Belief Cannot Absolve Sin

Jin stepped lightly up the steps to the library, his heavy suitcase occasionally smacking against his legs. His gaze was set above him, on the four huge glass doors up ahead. A man in a business suit passed him, eyes glued to his watch. It seemed Jin wasn't the only one focused on work. Pushing the glass door open with his arm and hip, Jin entered the library. It was dimmer inside the library than outside, so his eyes had to adjust, and the bustling noise of outside was sealed off when the door closed behind Jin. These places always had a cold, official air to them, like banks and offices.

Once his eyes adjusted to the new lighting, Jin examined the room before him. There were a few people on the computers, and a librarian eying him over his half-moon shaped spectacles. Jin nodded at him in greeting and found an empty table. It wasn't too difficult given the empty state of the library. Kids were still in school at this time, adults at work. Mostly just deadbeats were here right now.

Flipping open his laptop, Jin logged into the Revenge Request website, eyes scanning the new emails in his message box. There were a lot of different kinds of messages; some were chastising him for what he was doing; there were the skeptics, and of course, the curious sorts who asked for weak requests in order to see if this website was truly real, or if it was all a hoax. Jin didn't respond to the emails just yet, and he was sure to flag the actual jobs as unread so he could go back over them again later.

Opening his spreadsheet software, Jin checked off the jobs they had already done and been paid for. He reviewed the jobs they were going to be doing tonight with a fine toothed comb. He had to make sure everything would go off without a hitch. That was his job right now. To make sure their illegal business ran smoothly.

Okay, time to focus all of his energy on Babeluvr69, AKA Tatsu Fuujibara. This was the job they were doing tonight. Jin flexed his fingers, then opened his file on the client. Tatsu Fuujibara was a 19 year old bouncer at a local club. He had many ex-girlfriends, but the last one had really ticked him off. She took off with his wallet and dragged his name through the mud. She was also apparently seeing Fuujibara's best friend now. Funny how many of the requests they received were connected with infidelity. Takaya really had a point about the world's impurity sometimes. Though sometimes when he went off on one of his infamous monologues, Jin wondered if Takaya thought Jin was only an insignificant pee-stain, as well.

Pushing his glasses back up his nose, Jin cleared his throat. He shouldn't be wondering things like that. It wasn't his place. What he should be doing was concocting a plan to get even with Fuujibara's ex-girlfriend.

"A good scare, eh?" Jin mumbled under his breath, staring at the photos that he had currently on the screen. The ex was a small woman with short black hair and a haughty air about her. She seemed to think she deserved every good thing she had. She was the kind of woman Jin could see Takaya railing about. Jin lightly tapped the table next to his laptop. He couldn't seem to think of anything heinous to do right now, though he usually had no problem with this. He kept remembering Takaya tossing and turning in bed last night, clearly deep in the throes of a nightmare. He had probably been dreaming about their time with the Kirijo Group. Jin would be lying if he said he'd never had nightmares about that. It was one reason he disliked sleeping, especially at night. He had a bad habit of eventually falling asleep in the afternoon, and usually only for a few hours. Lately, he was running on caffeine and a burning desire to carry out Takaya's every wish.

Jin ran a hand through his hair and nibbled his bottom lip. All right, so this girl needed a good scare, something to force her into seeing the light. Something that might make her a good person, after all. What could that be? A near death experience? But how would they get away with that without accidentally killing her? Did it matter if she died? Somehow, he didn't think that was what Fuujibara had in mind. He probably hated her this much because he had once loved her; otherwise, why would her betrayal hurt him so much?

Hm, well, they could kidnap her a for a few days, maybe even have Fuujibara look like the good guy. Without letting Fuujibara in on the plan, of course. Jin didn't want his clients to have a face to put with the anonymous screen name he spoke with. That was just asking for police intervention.

"Hm…" Unable to think of a better idea, Jin hastily typed out the plan. He left the Revenge Request site and opened up a browser. He had to find a good place to hold the woman. An abandoned building would be best, some place that couldn't be connected with them. Everything pertaining to this website, Jin carried out with painstaking care. He could not afford to get caught. More importantly, he couldn't afford letting Takaya get caught.

Several hours of research later, Jin had a place marked out and all the details worked through. He didn't even realize how long he'd been sitting there working on his diabolical plan until the librarian came over and advised him to take a break from his work.

Jin glanced up, noting the man's eyes were merely concerned, nothing more. Jin closed his laptop and rubbed his eyes. A huge yawn escaped him before he could answer, and the librarian placed a hand on his shoulder, patting him. Jin tensed under the contact.

"Son, you should go home and get some rest. You look exhausted."

"Right." Jin felt like he could pass out at any given moment, he was so damn tired. He needed some caffeine to fuel his system. He packed his laptop into his silver briefcase, while the elderly librarian smiled and went back to his desk.

Bastard. He doesn't know me. How can he give a damn about me? Acting all concerned, like he really cares about what happens to me.

Jin grabbed his briefcase and left the library. He could feel his empty stomach trying to digest the nothing that was in there. It left him feeling weak and shaky. He really needed to eat something.

He grabbed a donut and some coffee while he waited for the train to arrive. He sat on the iron bench, trying to phase out the cold breeze winding through the station. He hadn't worn a coat, but he hadn't noticed the weather before. One glance up at the sky told him it was bound to rain any moment now. It was an ugly gray, with fat, dark clouds rolling in. Jin fought off a shiver and bit into his donut. His coffee was already cold. It was disgusting, but he downed the entire cup before tossing the Styrofoam into the nearby trash receptacle.

Without food or drink to keep him occupied, Jin's thoughts turned back to Takaya's tossing and turning the night before. He tried to ignore it whenever it happened; burying himself deeply into his work, but sometimes, it simply was not that easy. He could have sworn that last night, Takaya cried. It had to be all in his imagination, of course. Takaya? Crying? It had sounded suspiciously like a sob, though…

I'm thinking way too much into it. I'm sure he was just suppressing a bad cough again. Even if he was crying, what's it to me?

Well, that was a dumb question. If Takaya was crying, it was everything to Jin. Not only was Takaya his savior, showing him the light when he had given up and nearly sank into the shadows, but…

Jin was pretty sure… Well, no.

Sleep and food deprivation were causing him to day dream. He certainly felt like he was in a trance. He'd only lain in the bed beside Takaya until the older man fell asleep. Then he had gone back to work. He'd been too full of energy then to sleep. Takaya needn't know.

The sound of the train coming to a loud stop before him snapped him out of his half dreamlike state, and he sprang up from his seat. He took the train over to Paulownia Mall, grabbing Chidori when he spotted her outside the window, doodling in her sketchbook. She rarely showed him her works, and he never asked.

Today, as he sat across from her at the coffee shop table, he drummed his fingers along the table.

"Are you ready for today's job?"

"Hm…" Chidori nodded, staring into her cup of water.

Jin sighed and picked up his own water glass.

"I wonder where Takaya is."

"I saw him earlier."

"You did?" Jin looked up from his glass, just before he took a sip. "At the Port Island station where I found you?"


Jin frowned in confusion. "I wonder what he was doing there."

"He didn't tell me."

"I figured." Jin set his glass down. He glanced around, wondering when their food would be coming already. His stomach felt like there was a war going on in there. "Maybe he went to talk to Aragaki."

Jin was guilty of doing this himself. He never knew when Chidori was really listening to him, and Takaya… Well, Takaya wouldn't understand Jin's emotions. He seemed to have cut ties with his emotions—except for anger, but Jin's still remained painfully intact. He questioned what he was doing from time to time. He longed for that normal life he'd never have. That was taken from him by the Kirijo Group… He understood Takaya's thirst for vengeance, even though he privately did not share it. Not anymore. Jin had a hard time holding onto grudges.

Not like Takaya, whose grudge seemed to be the only thing keeping him alive.

"What's wrong?"

Jin looked up at Chidori's question. She was watching him with steadfast eyes, completely serious. Jin averted his gaze. When she looked at him like that, he felt like she could see into his soul, and it disturbed him.

"Nothing. I've just been thinking about tonight's job, is all," Jin lied. He wasn't sure Chidori would understand where he was coming from. Like Takaya, she seemed to have severed her emotions. It was their way of dealing with what happened to them. Jin almost envied them that ability. "I think I'm going back to the hotel for a nap after this."

Right after he said it, he broke into a huge yawn.

"You haven't been sleeping much."

"I know, but I have to keep on top of all this work. If I don't, who will?"

Chidori didn't respond. Their food had arrived.

Back at the hotel, Chidori took her spot in the chair while Jin sat on the edge of the bed. Takaya wasn't back yet, and he couldn't stop himself from wondering where he'd gone. They often broke off to do their own thing, but only Jin talked about what he'd done while they'd been absent. He never got an explanation from the other two.

Jin set his briefcase on the floor beside the bed and curled up on the bed, not bothering with the blanket. He was too tired. His eyes slowly shut and he finally fell asleep.

Wow, this is rolling along VERY slowly. Keep reading, though. Next chapter it gets a lot better. Promise.