Chapter Two: Attempted Capture
The applause was deafening as Katsuya finished his speech. A few moments later the school board leader handed out their diplomas. In the crowd as she walked to the stage Stephanie could see her brothers, sister, mom, and stepfather cheering her on. Her father unfortunately couldn't make it in time since well he was still all the way in Chicago but he promised to call her as soon as she got home. The whole ceremony was over soon and an hour later she was gathered with the Sohma family at their main estate. Her mother and stepfather at the same time had a trip planned so they promised to celebrate when they returned. Shigure Sohma along with Ayame, who was frowning about the state of the graduation robes and the fact that they hadn't even changed in all these years, was clicking picture after picture. The rest of the family was either milling around the buffet tables or sitting in nearby chairs having conversations about various subjects. Reiji, Katsuya, Sakura, Stephen, and Stephanie were all near the main house with plates of cake in their hands.
"Well we did it" Reiji replied with a grin, "I wish Sara could have been here. She has her own graduation to worry about though."
"When is hers?" Stephanie asked.
"In another week. I plan on going up to Tokyo to see it."
"That should make her happy" Katsuya said with a smile of his own as he wrapped one of his arms around his girlfriend.
"I think so."
"Did you get her anything?"
"My secret" Reiji replied slyly.
"I thought this family didn't have any secrets anymore" Stephen teased making them all chuckle along with his joke.
"Nope" Reiji shook his head, "No more secrets in our family, thank goodness."
"By the way Katsuya" Stephen said after taking a sip from his plastic red cup, "That was a good speech you gave today."
"Oh really?" Kaye stared back at him with a slight raise of his eyebrows, "I thought I messed up a little bit."
"Oh no way little brother" Sakura shook her head with a smile and a toss of her long mahogany hair, "It was the perfect ending to our time in school. Were you able to see Soujiro?"
"Are you kidding? He jumped me on my way into school this morning. You know him."
"I know him" she nodded as Ayame arrived with his camera.
"All right kids, smile" he said holding it up.
"Uncle Ayame" Kaye sighed, "Haven't we had enough pictures for one day."
"Oh just one more. Besides you all look so cute standing there together," he added with one of his annoying laughs.
"We look cute?" Reiji frowned slightly, "Oh all right" he resigned as he saw that they were all getting into position.
"Now look happy" their uncle grinned as he took the shot, "Perfect."
"Oh Mr. Sohma" Stephanie replied stepping forward.
"Yes dear" he began, "And remember it's Ayame."
"Right. Ayame" she said slowly, "Could I have a copy of that print when you get it developed?"
"Of course" he nodded, "Anything for our little heroin. Oh got to run kids," he added before departing.
"Heroin?" Stephanie looked at Katsuya with a raise of her eyebrows so he smiled back as Reiji talked to Sakura and Stephen about future plans.
"They all think of you that way. It's just something you got to get used to" Kaye replied wrapping his arms around her once more.
"I guess" she shrugged turning her face away briefly with a look of deep concern on her face.
"Are you okay?" he asked staring at her face with his own concern.
"You've been kind of quiet today. Is everything all right? You haven't really said anything."
"Oh I'm fine, I'm just. I think I'm tired. I didn't sleep very well last night."
"No. I don't have those anymore. Thank goodness. My bad dreams stopped the day Ushida became bankrupt."
"Yea" he agreed cynically, "That was a wonderful day for all of us. But are you sure that's all that's bothering you? You look like you're thinking about something."
"I'm fine. Really."
"Okay. Hey I had a question for you?" he smiled holding her around her waist as she wrapped her own arms around his neck lovingly.
"Well Sakura and I are taking Takara to the temples tomorrow, you know because she'll be leaving in four months or so."
"Oh right. Her father is getting married. So?"
"So I was wondering if you wanted to come with us. We could make a whole day out of it. What do you say?"
"Sounds like fun" she grinned but still the lingering suspicion in her head that was apparent the night before, "I wouldn't miss it."
The teen stood in front of the group with the thirteen manila envelopes that his master only hours before had handed him. One by one he handed a folder to each of their hands.
"The master wants this done correctly" he replied, "Each one of you have their own target. We're all going to Kyoto."
"Oh is that where they're located" another teen spoke up as he brushed a hand through his short hair and he flipped open the manila envelope revealing the female in question, "She's cute. But I thought they were all living in Tokyo."
"Apparently they all moved to the capital city sometime later" the teen answered back, "Don't ask questions. Just do as your told. I will go with you Tamiko" he added turning to the teenage girl that was standing close to him whose eyes flashed much like his.
"Okay" she grinned enthusiastically as she bounded up next to him.
"We all leave first thing in the morning. You'll know where they are by your instincts. If you get separated, that's all right. Just concentrate on your targets."
"And then what Akira?" a tall figure with long hair asked from his right side, "What do we do then?"
"We meet back in the central location. Any more questions?" he added irritably.
They all shook their heads and then departed the room, some in pairs, but most on their own. Akira turned his attention to the girl next to him who was still grinning away.
"You and I will go together because they more than likely will be together. They're twins after all."
"Whatever you say Akira" she nodded starry eyed as she followed him out the door, her long striped tail swishing behind her.
The next day Katsuya, Stephanie, and Sakura showed Takara the many temples she had never seen in her hometown. Kaye even included his favorite, which delighted both the young girl and Sakura who had only ever heard about it and never seen it. As they moved through the tourist section the yellow and tan eyes of their stalkers watched their every move from the rooftops where they were perched. In the nearby bushes another pair of eyes watched the former rabbit of the Zodiac as she ran through the many crowds of tourists ahead of the others.
Meanwhile at the same time Reiji, Kanako, Akito, Angel, Naoko, Raiu, Daisuke, Krysta, Hitomi, and Takuto were all being stalked and within moments without their knowledge surrounded by their attackers.
After the trip to the temples Takara asked if she go visit one of her friends from school so Kaye and the others dropped her off leaving her all alone waiting on her friend's front door step. Within moments she too was attacked by her follower, who leapt from the bushes. Startled by the appearance of the strange girl Takara ran in the direction of the temples once more trying to find her cousins to no avail.
At that moment they were heading towards Stephanie's house to drop her off. Suddenly she stopped as the wind picked up around them. Sakura put a hand to her hair as it blew.
"My goodness it's windy all of a sudden" she replied glancing up into the sky.
Katsuya heard the movements from the rooftops just in time.
"Look out!" he shouted throwing himself on top of the girls as the two figures jumped down and surrounded the three teens.
"Oh darn we missed" the female replied her tail swishing.
"We won't miss the next time" the male snarled his yellow eyes glinting.
Katsuya and the girls stood to their feet and stared at their attackers. The male was dressed in a jade green tee shirt that was underneath a black leather jacket. His black jeans matched the pair of tennis shoes he had on his feet. Around his neck were three necklaces. One had a single large black stone. The second had several stones that were similar to the stones on the cat's bracelet. And the third had a small tiny gold stone that shone brightly as the sun hit it. In his left ear were three earrings; two that were black that surrounded a third that was gold. In his right ear were only two earrings, which were both black. His medium length orange hair hung in his eyes somewhat and his yellow eyes burned much like an animal on the prowl. The female was even stranger. Her hair was long and tan pulled back in a messy ponytail that scattered it all over the place as the wind blew. She was wearing thin tight tiger striped spandex all over her body that was accented with a black belt. Around her neck was a choke chain with the same striped pattern. In her ears was a pair of orange stud earrings that matched the bow that tied her hair back. Her tan eyes gleamed at the anticipation of another attack as her tail the most unusual thing about her continued to swish back and forth.
"What in the?" Kaye began, "Who are you guys?"
"Ask no questions" the male responded, "We'll give you no answers. Now Tamiko!" he shouted as the two of them pounced forward once more.
At this reaction Kaye and Sakura immediately took their stance around Stephanie to protect her. Tamiko aimed straight for Katsuya while Akira put all his effort into overtaking Sakura. The two teens fought with the best of their ability, barely stopping the two from grabbing them. Suddenly they heard a group of people coming down the sidewalk and Akira stood up straight his ears picking up the sounds at once.
"Tamiko!" he shouted, "Let's get out of here!" he demanded.
"But" she protested.
"We don't have time" he insisted, "Let's just think of this as a warning" he directed to Kaye and Sakura, "We'll be back" he added as they sprung out of site leaving the three teenagers completely stunned.
"What just happened?" Kaye said slowly as he heard some pounding feet from behind him.
"Kaye!" Takara's voice cried out as she ran up to them.
"Takara?" he replied as she grabbed his outstretched hands for support.
"Kaye. It was awful. I was just attacked," she cried.
"You were attacked as well" he said stunned as his phone rang and Stephanie put her arms comfortingly around the scared girl, "Reiji. Reiji calm down. What's wrong? What? When? Okay. Okay. We'll be there" he clicked his phone and put it into his pocket.
"Kaye what's going on?" Sakura asked.
"We weren't the only ones just attacked" he replied with a frown, "They all were."
"What do you mean all?"
"All. I mean everyone. Every former member of the Zodiac."
"Well are they all right? Did anyone get caught?" she asked worriedly.
"No. Thank goodness. But they are all gathering at the main house in Yamato's room. They're waiting for us."
"Well let's go. You should come too Stephanie. After all you saw the attack."
"Okay" she nodded warily as her friend took her hand while Kaye took Takara's.
They began to run to the main house all the while the thoughts swirling around in Stephanie's head once more.
"Was this what I was afraid of? Is this the event that I was so afraid would happen?" she thought worriedly.
As the sun began to set he frowned as his yellow eyes flashed angrily. Next to him Tamiko perched trying to cheer him on.
"Don't worry Akira baby, we'll get them next time," she purred.
"Don't talk to me right now" he snapped, "I want to be alone."
She lowered her eyes sadly as she walked away from him and he continued to frown his own thoughts plaguing him.
"There was something I didn't count on," he said to himself, "An eyewitness" he growled remembering the fight and that Stephanie was there watching every moment.
(To be continued…)
Authors Note: Hey guys! I'm back! Hope you enjoyed the chapter. You'll find out more next time!
Next Chapter: Tsukasa Arrives
As the former Zodiac members discuss the attacks the intrepid teen from Los Angeles returns to help them once more. And this time he has new pieces of information. Does it have anything to do with the Sohma's strange attackers? Find out next time!!!