Some of you are reading this because of my previous works such as 'When the Circus Came to Town,' 'A Pirate's Life for Us,' or my most recent completion, 'Define Sin.' Others just clicked it looking for a good read and I guarantee this will be one. Mad-TopHat-Ter at your service, back and with tons of lost time to make up for. Originally I had a new story to jump right into after my last, but the more I tried to work with the ideas the more of a nuisance they became so I sent them back to my concepts bin. It's been a while but I've finally come up with a new idea I truly am inspired by and can't even describe my passion for.
This story is called 'Heaven's Light,' and is following the main characters you will meet in this chapter through a world recovering from a depression. The leader of an infamous society who helped pull the economy out of the gutter, Axel, has a thing about inferiority and is working to eliminate any threat of it. Sora has a separate goal he's working for without help from anyone, not even his brother since he's got his hands full in staying off Axel's list. There are others you'll meet along the way and I assure you it gets much deeper and complicated.
This is going to be a yaoi, not saying who will get with who or who will be happy in the end since I don't like giving it away. Thank you for taking the time and chance to read, please enjoy.
Meeting the Dogs
"Well there's another city we can't go back to," panted the boy, looking down the hill at the burning building. Against the dark sky the smoke from the fire was a grim reminder of what had happened, "I hope you're happy," he huffed, out of breath as he collapsed on the ground.
The other scoffed and watched the fire, "Sure am." It was the only way to ensure the 'good doctor' and his documents never were found and while his partner, who was now lying on the ground trying to catch his breath had a few ideas he thought of a much simpler solution.
Scowling at the response, the blonde bluntly said, "You know, you don't always have to nearly get us killed."
"You don't have to complain so much when I nearly get us killed," was all he said before picking up his bag and heading down the road, "Come on little brother, the ship won't wait."
Roxas didn't know why he had so much energy after running for their lives from a town who believed they'd murdered one of their own, "You're only older by three minutes," he grumbled under his breath while getting to his feet tiredly and following him down their unmarked path.
"Ah boys, welcome back," greeted the richly dressed financer of their latest venture as they entered his office. He didn't have to ask how it went, the look on Roxas' face said it all and he reached into his desk to get what was due. "Thank you," he said as he handed the older of the two, Sora, the envelope and without a word he turned and left the office.
When the door was shut the redheaded man sat back down and sighed, "Normally I wouldn't give a damn but I'm curious as to why you two are at each others' throats now. Was it really that bad?"
"He's just as sarcastic and stubborn as ever," Roxas quickly replied, slumping tiredly down into the chair opposite of him. He hadn't slept since they left on their mission three days ago and was more than ready to go to bed and forget everything.
"I know you're brothers and you have the right to pick at each other, just remember the society's motto," he told him disinterestedly.
"I know I know, but I second guess it every time he acts like this," Roxas reluctantly admitted, knowing the motto all too well and knowing what he meant in questioning him, "But Axel sir he-"
"Don't get so mad, it ruins your looks," Axel said in more of an order than as a joke. He immediately calmed himself and Axel looked pleased. Roxas sighed and looked away; there was no sense in arguing with the head of the nation's most infamous secret society. Cerberus was a group led by the man before him, Axel C. Tybalt, and its sole purpose was eliminating any and all examples of inferiority while smuggling a steady supply of explosives all around the world. The sick, those with ill intentions, and fools who made the mistake of crossing someone with power were all targets in his mind. Once upon a time Roxas had been all three, but the person he crossed found better use for his life, "Is he really driving you that insane?" Roxas didn't answer and Axel leaned back in his chair with an amused look, "What's with the silence? If you don't have anything new to complain about then go rest up for the next run."
"Yes sir," Roxas had nothing more to say, knowing their leader wasn't there to listen to his complaints. Axel was a busy man who oversaw a good portion of the underworld's ongoing and he had a small fleet of elite forces to govern, not just Roxas and his brother.
"If it's too much you'll have to disappear," Axel said, taking Roxas back in shock. He looked serious and unforgiving as he told him, "The results from last weeks physical weren't impressive. You're slowing down."
"I just haven't been feeling well!" Roxas immediately said, not liking the fact he'd been looking at his records. The only people who were looked into by Axel himself were those reported in the bottom 10th percentile of standards; they were given warning, a time limit, and a date which they would vanish on should they not improve.
"Are you sick again?" Roxas froze under his stare, not moving and not saying a word as Axel continued, "You know how I feel about the sick."
"I'm not sick!" Roxas insisted, lunging for the desk and slamming his hands down on the surface. Axel didn't flinch and Roxas tried to think of how to explain himself but Axel simply said, "Good. Then improve or get out."
The building was always warm and it made Sora sleepy but he diligently counted through the money granted to them for completion of the mission. After counting for a third time he had to accept they'd only earned two-hundred dollars, not enough.
"Hey! You're back!"
Quickly he hid the money inside his sleeve as he turned to see the smug looking older man. Even with only one eye the man was able to spot his maneuver and the effort made him smirk a bit, "Got paid eh?" Sora didn't say anything, glaring right through Xigbar and almost daring him to come any closer. This was one of Axel's number one of the top three elites' who oversaw their own individual third of dogs and made sure nobody fell out of line; Sora knew speaking up would only cause him and his brother trouble so he held his tongue and his hands behind his back. The long employed elite though came in and kicked the door shut behind him, "Nice accommodations. Bet your brother was responsible for the move up in society."
The jab was ill intended since only months ago the brothers had been living in one of the rookie group accommodations two levels lower; where small divisions only a dozen in size shared missions, "We worked hard and earned it," he insisted and it was true. They'd worked harder than most had realized.
"Wonder how much little Roxy is earning by working hard."
Sora couldn't stop himself from taking a swing at him as he passed. Even though it was delivered from his blind side Xigbar grabbed his fist and in only two quick seconds had him shoved against the wall, holding his face into the wood with ease, "Not a smart move kid." He let his dog go only a few moments later though and leaned against the wall.
"What are you even doing here?" he knew he wasn't one of Xigbar's favorite people. Even now that Sora had moved up in rank he still served under him, and after refusing to shoot a fellow officer who'd fallen below standards Xigbar took a strong dislike for him. Recent rumors about his younger brother only gave Xigbar more reason to harass the twins though.
Xigbar took out a packet of cigarettes, ignoring the disapproving look as he lit one up with a tarnished silver lighter he pulled from his jacket pocket, "Call it a friendly gesture." Sora didn't buy it and he walked away as the smoke got to him. Glad he'd made him a little more miserable Xigbar told him the real reason, "I came to tell you your latest mission." Though all missions were handed down by Axel himself, they were then distributed by each groups commanding elite, "You're going to church."
"Church?" That was a place Sora hadn't been in a while and he was not only confused but also uninterested.
Xigbar nodded and took a drag off the cigarette, exhaling the nicotine laced smoke as he went on, "I've got an old minister down near the borough that needs dealing with."
"Then do it yourself," Sora insisted.
Xigbar chuckled and stood up straight, fishing into his uniform pocket and pulling out an envelope that immediately caught Sora's eye, "I'll pay you double what you just earned."
Before Sora could say anything the door opened and Roxas came in, freezing as soon as he saw his brother and superintendent in the middle of some sort of confrontation. Sora looked from him to Xigbar before agreeing, "Deal." With that one word of conformation Xigbar flicked his cigarette out the window and left without another word, brushing past Roxas on his way out the door.
As soon as he was gone Roxas shut the door and went straight to his brother, "What did you just agree to?" Sora didn't answer and Roxas grabbed his arm as he tried to walk away, "Sora?" He pulled away though and Roxas watched as he went over to his bed by the window and unzipped his jacket, completely ignoring him the entire time. Things hadn't always been like this and Roxas wanted to sock him sometimes for the way he acted; pretending to be an enigma, ignoring all apologies, and holding a grudge for nearly four years. There were times he was okay though and they could talk as if nothing was wrong, but at the drop of a hat Sora would turn back into the closed up little brat he was being now, "For an older brother you sure could do growing up."
"So how much did you get paid?" Sora asked, looking back to him as he threw off his jacket and it landed on the foot of the bed. Roxas looked confused since they both knew the envelope had both their pay in it but Sora just went on, "From how late you are I'm sure you did the Cerberus society a favor."
Roxas turned on him quickly, "What?!" Sora didn't say anything and Roxas didn't need further explanation, lowering his voice and looking mad, "So you're buying the rumors too?"
"Axel's buying more than that it sounds like," there was no denying their leader always kept tabs on him, it was obvious to those who weren't even paying attention. Even before they moved up Roxas always answered to only one higher up and nobody understood why, not even Roxas. It wasn't until recently though that the rumors were created and reached the ears of the majority of the society. As the two dogs of Cerberus fought, hitting, biting, and cursing, an amused hound listened through the door.
"Eavesdropping isn't something I approve of."
Xigbar looked down the hall and saw Axel coming down the stairs with a folder in hand. He didn't move away from the door though, knowing he wasn't about to get a lecture regardless of what he did, "Evening."
As Axel came down the hall he passed a group of three female trainees who were exiting a room belonging to another higher up. The man had probably promised them promotions in exchange for something. They were foolish and even though they acknowledged their leader with proper greetings he made a note to check their records and see if deserved dismissal, "The mission you requested," he said, handing the folder to Xigbar. He could hear the fight through the door and shook his head disapprovingly before heading back for the stairs, not noticing Xigbar slide the folder under the door leading to the noisy room, "They're getting a bit out of hand."
"As long as they don't kill each other," Axel said simply, dismissing the matter carelessly.
Xigbar laughed though and followed him up the stairs, "I was talking about the rumors."
"Words aren't worth anything. If the people working for me are so bored with life they need to make up lies then they clearly need to be worked harder. I'll see each dog's hours double," Axel smirked and Xigbar laughed a bit more, "Besides, anyone with common sense would know better."
"Because you're straight?" Xigbar wondered why he found the knowledge so common place and how it could be so easy to see.
Axel shook his head though, smirk turning into a grin, "Because I don't like blondes."
Sora sat in the cab with one hand holding an icepack to his still aching knee and the other holding the folder open. It was just after 2AM and he'd just left the hilltop base, heading down through the works of Radiant Garden in one of the chauffer Cerberus cabs. The island's economy had flourished thanks to the society stationed on it and was finally pulled out of a recession four years ago. The governor on the island was anything but apt to lead and served as a figurehead more than a driving force. Though politics were important elsewhere, the people of Radiant Garden didn't care if he wasn't a suitable leader since nobody would dare attack or threaten their island with Cerberus on their shores. In fact, nobody in the northern hemisphere had anything to worry about since Axel's hand stretched far beyond the sea.
Mission Number: 08301990
Location: Ascension Christian Fellowship. Borough district, R.G.
Date Issued: 09/27/2008
Target: Minister Jasper
Objective: Eliminate minister who has been preaching of revolution and issuing slanderous remarks to press over one of his former followers, the island's senator. No second chances to be offered. Rumored to be housing small band of revolutionaries.
After cramming the rather low priority mission through his head again Sora shut the folder and leaned back in his seat. Though a part of him knew it was wrong to kill a man of the clergy, another part had been conditioned to know he deserved it. The main reason he was doing this was for the four-hundred dollar reward Xigbar promised. Something didn't seem right though: the mission statement was in Axel's handwriting, not Xigbar's, meaning that this mission was a direct dispatch from Axel to Xigbar instead. Why did he want to pass along such a low priority mission and then reward him for it? It didn't make sense but then again nothing in today's society did and with a sigh he looked out the tinted window at the sidewalks and stoops which should have been barren by this hour. There were people outside though, a handful who the recession still clung to and made suffer. A multi-billion dollar contribution from Axel himself pulled the economy out of the gutter and was distributed throughout Radiant Garden to businesses rather than the people. It was his philosophy that if jobs became available again people should find work to earn money rather than have it handed to them.
The people who sat on the sidewalk at this hour were people who in Axel's mind hadn't earned the right to live like they once did and they should just disappear. If they didn't work and find their niche in society there was no need for them, and no need to help them either. Sora couldn't look at an existence he'd once shared with the 'worthless ones' and instead looked down at his sore knee he'd bruised and possibly chipped in a struggle with his brother that had gotten a bit more violent than he intended. Roxas deserved it though; he was a fool and an even greater fool for allowing such rumors to be made about him. Sora knew they weren't true, he knew his brother better than that, but the fact he just carried on and ignored the whispers behind his back made him a coward. He'd always been a coward.
"We've arrived," the chauffer said as the car pulled to a stop only minutes later in front of a small white church, at least 10 of which could have fit in the base back across town. The driver got out and opened the door for him and Sora handed him the icepack, carefully putting weight on his injured leg. He couldn't let anyone see he was hurt though, an injured dog would be put down immediately to prevent tainting the Cerberus name and he couldn't die this early in life, "I'll be back in 10 minutes," Sora told the driver as he pulled on his jacket to shut out the autumn chill and hide the handgun holstered at his waist.
There was a light on in the church so he didn't bother knocking since as far as he knew places like this were always open to the public. Three steps in though he stopped and saw he'd walked in on something, quickly ducking behind a column to avoid being seen.
"Someone just dropped it off?"
"Yes, tied up and everything."
"Well what are we supposed to do with it?! It's a-"
"Shh! Keep quiet, I think it's listening to us."
"It's our duty to deal with things that are hell bound. We should just kill it."
Sora peered around the column, wondering what was going on. This didn't sound like any sort of holy meeting and he didn't need to be a loyal follower of the church to know there was something wrong with this. Quietly pulling out his gun he came around the corner, staying low as he crept down the isle.
"Kill it? How?"
"We can just slit its throat. If that doesn't kill it we can burn it in the back. Here, I have a knife."
Sora couldn't stay quiet any longer, straightening up and holding his aim on the two clergymen, "Don't move or I'll shoot." Neither man dared move as he went on to ask, "Which one of you is minister Jasper? Raise your hands where I can see them." As soon as the man on the right did so Sora pulled the trigger and completed the mission he was sent on. When the second clergyman panicked and turned to call for help Sora silenced him. With the two bodies motionless on the ground he saw what they were talking over: an unmoving body sitting on the small set of stairs leading up to the alter, wrists chained heavily behind its back and a chain hooked around an ankle, leading up to and wrapping around the base of the cross. There was a blindfold around its eyes and black masking tape over its mouth.
Sora turned to leave, telling himself the mission was complete and he had no business poking into matters that he shouldn't. Curiosity was a demon though that often tricked him and he found himself going back down the isle to get a better look. It was a man and upon closer inspection he realized that there were stains on his dark shirt and he could see a rather fresh wound on his neck, leading him to believe the other stains were more blood. His shoes were missing and it looked like he'd been through a rough encounter but Sora didn't understand why the clergymen were talking of killing someone who appeared to be already dead. When he reached to check for a pulse though he heard a ruckus approaching.
"Minister Jasper! We heard…" the series of men and women who clearly weren't associated with the church silenced their questions when they beheld the sight. Sora turned his gun on them but they came prepared and before he could fire he had to duck behind a pew to avoid getting shot. Bullets pierced through the wood sending splinters in all directions and he cursed shortly before ducking around the edge, firing into the dozen or so. He remembered reading in the mission file that the minister was rumored to be housing revolutionaries in the basement of the church, these must be them. A Cerberus dog was well trained, far more so than those trying to kill him and he easily took out a handful before diving across to a new hiding place while reloading. They all reacted when the doors to the church opened and Sora felt a panic sear through him as he recognized the person who rushed in, "Roxas!"
With his focus elsewhere Sora didn't pay attention where it was needed until a hand grabbed hold of his head and a knife went deep through his chest. Shocked and frozen immobilized by the sight, Roxas was quickly the next victim. One of the remaining women took advantage of his shock, firing a bullet right through his shoulder and another grazing his throat. Sora couldn't hear the pained cry, ears deaf as the knife was ripped out of his chest and he fell over into the isle. He saw the remaining few rush past him to finish off his brother who he was sure was still fighting on despite his injuries. He'd always been a fool.
His chest ached and throbbed, but the pain was almost numbingly reassuring that it was all over. A stare seemed to be weighing down on him and it made him wonder if one of the revolutionaries was watching him die. Dully he opened his eyes and looked up at the alter only to find the person staring at him was the corpse who'd been bound up and blindfolded. Even if he couldn't see the man's eyes he could feel them burning through the material and right into his own. A surge of hope gave him energy; this person could help him and his brother, he was sure of it. Keeping one hand clasped over his chest he pushed himself up to his knees, holstering his gun so he could grab onto a pew and pull himself up to his feet. Sora didn't dare look back down the isle, afraid he'd find it was too late for his brother and instead taking two steps and slumping down beside the bound man staring right at him. Sora saw the wound on his throat and wondered if he'd be of any use at all, some hope was better than none at all though and he pulled the tape off his mouth. The next three seconds reintroduced and redefined pain for Sora as a set of teeth, no, a set of knives penetrated deep into his throat.
He wanted to yell and curse but he couldn't, immobilized completely and not sure why the brief seconds dragged on like days of agony. He could hear a scream ring through his brain, wondering if it was his seemingly muted voice amiss from his agape mouth. Abruptly he was released though and immediately fell back against the cross, holding his breath and sure it was all over. The pain faded quickly to his relief and he looked to the person responsible as he easily slipped his wrists right out of the chains. Sora managed to sit up in time to see four revolutionaries approaching with Roxas nowhere in sight. He started to get up but the other pushed him back before reaching into his jacket to retrieve the holstered gun, firing four shots and Sora watched as all four served as fatal head wounds. Seconds passed in silence as they waited to make sure the group was indeed dead. With one last shot the silver haired man fired down, destroying the chain bound to his ankle.
Sora was relieved at first that it was all over but a surge of horror rose quickly when the person who'd put an end to it all looked back at him. He was still blindfolded and Sora backed away, unarmed, injured, and attempting to use reputation as a weapon, "I'm a member of the Cerberus society! Kill me and you'll regret it!" He took a step towards Sora and the dog shouted, "Stay back!" He wasn't human and Sora prepared himself to run, convinced if he waited he'd end up like everyone else in the church. Suddenly though the blindfolded man stopped, swayed, and collapsed completely right at Sora's feet. Not waiting for an explanation or to see if he was alive or dead Sora forced himself to his feet and ran back through the church, the pain in his chest gone but his throat still throbbing, "Roxas!" he called, looking for his brother as he clutched both hands around his throat.
"He'll be fine."
Sora recognized that voice and opened the slightly agape doors only to see the head of his society right outside, not looking happy. Sora bowed his head, knowing he'd probably been called in when his driver heard the ruckus. A quick blow to the head made Sora stumble to his knees, ears ringing as grabbed him by the back of his jacket and literally dragged him back down to the alter. Axel was completely unfazed by the bloodshed, remaining stone faced in a morbid situation just as always. He released Sora on the stairs, crouching down and pushing over the other before ripping the blindfold off, "…You're a mess Riku," he chuckled a bit, looking quite sinister as he recognized the man whose eyes were staring at him even before he took off the blindfold.
"You have your one-eyed friend to thank," Riku replied coldly and Axel looked a bit shocked and annoyed by the news.
Sora was confused even more listening to them and he pushed himself up to see what was going on. Axel looked over when he heard him move though and spotted the blood on his neck, both from the bullet's graze and Riku's fangs. A smirk toyed at the corner of his lips as he grabbed Sora's jacket and jerked him the rest of the way up the stairs, "Looks like you've been more use than I thought you'd be," was all he said before shoving him towards the man he'd called Riku. He got to his knees quickly and grabbed Sora before he could fall, clutching his right arm tight with one hand and a fistful of hair with the other. Sora opened his mouth to scream as his head was forced back but his entire body was silenced when for the second time that morning the fangs ripped deep into his throat. Axel grinned and stood up, ignoring the look of utter misery and agony on Sora's face as he straightened his jacket casually. He saw Sora raise his unrestrained hand with difficulty and try to shove Riku away but he wasn't able to exert any force whatsoever, "Don't bother. Just die quietly."
That was what was happening; he was dying and the life was literally being sucked right out of him. When he thought it was all over though and his vision was beginning to fade he felt the grip release and he slumped forward listlessly into a set of arms with a long pent up gasp.
"Not going to finish?"
"I don't want to kill him."
"Nah, I kind of owe him anyways."
"A vampire in debt; how amusing."
"Indeed. I owe both of you now."
Nothing made sense anymore. The only things Sora knew were that Roxas was okay and the embrace around him instilled a sense of security which helped him fade into unconsciousness.
Wow, I've really missed this. Writing, it's a drug addiction, you stop and you go into withdrawal! It's been so crazy…I'm back though and proud of what I'm bringing to the table. Uniform sketches and floor plans will be on my DA hopefully by the end of the week (I got really into it…haha, they need to be cleaned up and off napkins though) What did you think? Tell me in a review please, I'll get onto replying to them between studying for midterms which may or may not kill me. Thank you all for reading and I wish you all the best in all the world.
~Your loving bohemian, Mad-TopHat-Ter.