az: Turned out to be even longer. I still need to brush up on action sequences.
Third time's... the charm? - Part 2
Written by Izzu alias honou-no-izumi
The sound of the recurring dial tone was frustrating to hear. And whenever the call got transferred to the message box, Otoya groaned in frustration. What happened to Fujimaru?
Earlier, he had sounded very alarmed and he heard some loud noises, before the call abruptly ended. Whom were those people chasing after him? He had called for Third-i for help... but they wouldn't be able to reach here so soon! Did those people already got to Fujimaru?
The call finally connected as Otoya immediately burst out in concern. He had spoken a lot before realizing that the one answering the call was not Fujimaru. He frowned.
"You? Where's Fujimaru?"
"Obviously not with me right now. Stay where you are, Otoya-kun. I'll take over from here until backup arrives. Those people who took Fujimaru-kun shouldn't be gone too long, they should still be around the campus."
Otoya blinked. Like hell she would give orders to him!
"I'm already at the campus, Mizusawa-san. And why—why were you here? Did you guys did something and drag Fujimaru into dangerous situation again? I—"
"It's nothing of that sort. Sorry, explanation should come later. For now, stay out of trouble—"
At that moment, his eyes caught something from the corner of the building as he saw a pair of foreigners coming down from the stairs. Even though seeing foreigners around any of the campus should not be so strange at all, those two perked his interest immediately. Almost right away Otoya made himself scarce and he proved his instincts were correct. The moment the pair descended the stairs completely, he saw that the man was carrying someone by his side. And that someone was no one else other than Fujimaru!
"Mizusawa-san! I saw them!"
"Just watch them for now, Otoya-kun! I'll come over there right away. Don't do anything before that!" said Hibiki hurriedly as she ended the call. She looked down at the bottom of the stairs as she saw some traces of blood on the side of one of the potted plant decorations placed at the corner. She continued walking down towards the nearby storage room and opened it. Immediately, a man fell out of it and Hibiki knelt to check as she confirmed that the unconscious security guard was still alive. She tapped the communicator at her side as she spoke softly.
"It's Hibiki. They got to him. I'll make my pursuit," she paused for a bit before added. "No, he seemed to be alright. If they wanted to kill him, they have no need to take his body along with them. Kujo spotted them somewhere in the building. Yes. I'll proceed with caution."
Hibiki frowned as she ended her report and immediately headed down towards Otoya's location.
Otoya's surprise was evident the moment Hibiki reached over to alert him of her presence. Then again, he didn't know that Third-i had planted a small transmitter in Fujimaru's wristwatch as a precaution. Ever since the two Bloody Monday incidents in the past, Third-i could not afford to ease their guard against any future attempts at causing disturbance. But then, things like this... were better left unknown to Otoya and the others.
Both of them managed to catch up to the two people as it appeared that they were waiting for someone.
Obviously they could not attract unnecessary attention to themselves by walking around with an unconscious youth.
"What about Third-i?" Otoya suddenly asked as Hibiki shrugged at him.
"They'll be here soon. It looked like it's just the two of them infiltrating this place to get to Fujimaru-kun. The two groups that had made their rounds around the perimeters of this campus found no other terrorist member hiding nearby. Kanou-san's team most probably tracking the ones that would pick them up."
Otoya turned to her in surprise at the way she explained everything as he watched her pull out her gun and attaching a silencer on it.
"Wait!" he hissed at her. "Don't tell me you're planning to barge over there? Fujimaru might get caught up in the middle of it!"
"Fujimaru might be hurt even more if we don't get to him first!"
Otoya did not manage to ask her on why she said that as Hibiki suddenly jumped out of hiding and confronted the kidnappers.
"Put down that young man!" barked the girl as the woman spy turned and shot at her.
Hibiki rolled to the side as she countered with her own shots but missed the woman. Though, one of her bullets managed to hit the man holding Fujimaru as he dropped the young man on the ground. Otoya held his breath as the man cursed loudly and tried to reach out towards Fujimaru, before Hibiki sent another torrent of bullets at them; preventing them to get near him. During the commotion, a black car sped into the compounds as the enemies turned their attention towards it; thinking it was their ally. Much to their surprise and Otoya's relief, Officer Kanou and Officer Minami walked out of the car, to prevent their escape.
Sensing her chance, Hibiki lunged to Fujimaru's side to get him away from the enemy before they could use him as hostage. Within moments, the place was surrounded with Third-i officers and the two terrorist captured, Otoya and Kanou rushed towards Hibiki's side as the girl pulled out a piece of cloth to wrap Fujimaru's head.
"Did Fujimaru get injured just now?" he asked as Hibiki shook her head.
"No. I figured that maybe he got himself hurt while trying to flee from his captors. I found blood at the place where I spotted his phone," Hibiki turned towards Kanou as she continued talking. "There was an injured security guard at the storage room near the stairs at the third floor. The man seemed to not suffer any life-threatening injuries but—"
Kanou nodded as he called for Minami to check the situation before turning his attention towards Fujimaru. Otoya looked over with concern as Fujimaru slowly opened his eyes.
"Fujimaru! Are you all right?" he exclaimed as Fujimaru shook his head.
Kanou and Otoya helped him up as Fujimaru groaned loudly.
"They drugged me... and just when I was about to escape, I fell—"
He looked up to see Hibiki staring back at him as he gasped aloud. "Hibiki! I thought I magined it that you've been around—"
Hibiki smiled. "You weren't supposed to notice—", her eyes suddenly flashed as she turned around before pushing Fujimaru out of the way, just as the male terrorist had freed himself from captive and grabbed a gun to shoot down Fujimaru.
Fujimaru gave a cry as Kanou-san let go of his arm and pulled out his own gun. Everything after that went blurry as shots were fired and the man went down. Fujimaru frantically glanced between Kanou and Hibiki as the older man gave him a smile.
"You think an old-timer like me gonna let himself get shot so easily?"
The young man gasped as he turned towards Hibiki.
"Hibiki! Are you—?"
Hibiki shrugged at him. "Do I look injured to you, Fujimaru-kun?"
Fujimaru shook his head.
"That doesn't mean—"
Otoya tried to pull his friend to his side as he tried to reason with him. "Fuji... that terrorist could have killed you—"
Fujimaru stared at him in alarm.
"I know that!" he exclaimed before turning towards Hibiki. "But just to protect me, you can't—"
Otoya exclaimed as Fujimaru collapsed again before he caught him mid-fall. Almost immediately, Officer Kanou checked his vitals to ease the young man's anxiety.
"He's fine, perhaps the shock as well as the injury on his head was too much for him."
Otoya looked at the officer worriedly as Hibiki exclaimed loudly.
"The ambulance is here," she said as Otoya looked up to see the white vehicle arrive. Kanou patted his shoulders as he finally noticed some of the university students had started coming to the area to see what was the commotion about. Kanou nodded off to Hibiki as he got up to leave.
"I'll leave you two with Hibiki-kun for now," he said as Otoya nodded, still holding Fujimaru protectively in his arms before the ambulance personnel took him.
The young man looked up from his watch as a young girl walked hurriedly into the room. He was slightly surprised to see Kirishima accompanying her but shrugged it off. He turned towards Haruka as she crept towards the bed.
"Is my brother all right?" Haruka asked as Hibiki gave her seat to her. Otoya shrugged as he turned his attention towards the sleeping Fujimaru.
"The doctor said he would be fine. There wasn't any permanent fracture... and the injury appeared to not be as bad as it appeared. And the drug that had been used to knock him off appeared to not have any lasting effect on him. I guess it was really just a shock to make him pass out again."
Haruka nodded as she took hold of her brother's hand.
"Big brother had always kept everything to himself, I guess this time... it was too much for him to handle."
She sighed as she ran her hand over her brother's hair. Fujimaru stirred slightly as he opened his eyes slowly.
"Don't worry about me. Take care of yourself first."
Otoya shifted closer to his side as Fujimaru turned towards him.
"How are you?" he asked as Fujimaru grinned at him.
"How else would I feel? I've been drugged and chased after and fallen over stairs and hit my head—I'd be lying to you if I said I'm fine."
Both Otoya and Fujimaru snorted together as Fujimaru turned his attention towards Kirishima.
"Kirishima-san? Did you... bring Haruka here?"
Kirishima nodded as he bowed. "I'm sorry that you had to find out things like this. Because truthfully, since the incident with the Magic Bullet group; we had been sending groups of people to watched over you three as well as other people related to Third-i—" Kirishima paused as he turned towards Otoya. "Yes, Kujo-kun. Including you. We couldn't afford to have any more incidents like what happened to Sawakita's son and Asada Aoi happen again. Things like that... shouldn't be happening again."
"Did my grandfather know about this?"
Kirishima nodded. "Yes. And he also assisted us about other related things, because you'd definitely notice it if your grandfather's SPs happened to be around."
Otoya shrugged. "Definitely."
Fujimaru tried to sit up as Haruka helped him.
"But Kirishima-san, about this attempt on me... was there—"
"There was nothing that we know for sure right now. So far we have detected no other suspicious terrorist activities—and we still am trying to track the whereabouts of Kanzaki Jun and Anzai Mako, as well as the remaining Magic Bullet member, Hotaru. We still don't know if this incident have any relation to the groups we've faced in the past,"
Kirishima shrugged as he noticed both Fujimaru and Otoya exchanged glances with each other the moment J and K were mentioned. "Still, we should not ignore what happened today..."
"About that—" Hibiki suddenly spoke, as everyone's attentions turned to her. "Fujimaru-kun, I'm sorry for what happened this afternoon. I was supposed to protect you yet... I had wanted to check over the reason why that lecture of yours had been cancelled but—"
"It's alright, Hibiki. I'm not blaming you."
Kirishima smiled as he patted Hibiki's head fondly.
"You've done a great job protecting him regardless," he said before turning back to Fujimaru. "What did they want from you, Takagi?"
"I'm not sure. They seemed to be looking for my laptop, but I had left it at Third-I with Sawakita-san last week when I went there to work with the server and upgrade the system. But when they didn't find it, they seemed to decide to take me along regardless."
Kirishima nodded. "I seemed to remember that, Sawakita had also expressed her concerns when she heard what happened."
"What did you think they were after?"
Kirishima shrugged. "I don't think it's because of anything we've been handling lately, like I said—we found no terrorist movements lately. But considering they were targeting you, there maybe something—"
"Could it be because of Falcon?" asked Otoya suddenly as Fujimaru turned towards him, before realizing something.
"Could it be—they want to know about my hacking techniques?"
Kirishima frowned. "I think that was a likely situation. And the fact that the last two Bloody Monday incident had been stopped because of Falcon, perhaps they were targeting you because of that as well. Kanou told me about how one of them tried to kill you when they couldn't take you away."
Fujimaru sighed. "So it's either they get me or kill me so that I won't be able to help Third-i stop them, eh?"
"I'm sorry to have dragged you into this again, Fujimaru."
"It's okay, I don't blame you. Even if my father was still alive, I—Kirishima-san, right now... what about Haruka—?"
"I'm staying at Otoya-san's place for a while," said Haruka suddenly as Otoya shrugged at him. Fujimaru raised an eyebrow at him as Otoya shrugged.
"I'll be dragging you there as well the moment you get out of here, don't think you can escape! And I know you'd start asking about me and my grandfather, but well... I should at least go back there sometimes..."
"Thank you, Otoya."
Fujimaru glanced up towards the clock on the wall as he sighed. It was almost nine o' clock at night. Otoya and Haruka already left with Kirishima-san hours ago after the other officers that were supposed to guard him arrived. So now, it was just him inside the room as well as...
Fujimaru turned towards his side as he sighed.
"You should rest as well, Hibiki."
Said person just gave him a leer.
"I will, whenever I decided on it."
"So you're now with Third-i, huh? Since when?"
"It was sometime after I've recovered after my injuries. Since that incident, my country had renewed their diplomatic ties with Japan and allowed me and the Professor to remain in this country, as well as continue working together with Japan to counter against any other future terrorist activities. And since you're mostly familiar with many of Third-i's officers, they put me in charge of you."
"Huh? When I already knew who you are? You're so full of yourself!"
Hibiki laughed as Fujimaru smiled.
"I'm glad to be able to see you again, Hibiki. You looked different. I never thought I'd see you laugh so casually."
Hibiki gave him a look before shrugging. "I'm glad to see you again. A lot of things had happened and I'm glad to be able to get to know you personally. And hopefully from now on, we could work well together."
Fujimaru snorted at her, before looking out of the window longingly.
"So you really think there could be another Bloody Monday incident?"
Hibiki sighed, taking a moment to ponder on her answer.
"Hopefully not," she said softly.
Fujimaru bit his lips. To put it frankly, he didn't want another incident to happen to this country any more. But thinking about the fact that J and K were still out there—despite how he said that they wouldn't appear before him again, he felt unsettled. As much as he hoped that the two of them would finally see to their errors and atone for their crimes and lived peacefully somewhere, he still feared that they might just hiding out while planning for another attack. Even if, there could be other terrorists that could have attacked Japan and still not have any relation with them; he would still worry about it. Because when one of your enemy was your friend's half-brother and another, your classmate; the fight just hit him even more closer to home. It hurt more than if it was just strangers, that had come to destroy the things precious to you.
He wished that he could stop fighting like this, but it seemed that there was no escaping this fate.
After all, he was still Falcon. And like his father, he would not allow himself to do nothing when his country, and everything important to him are in danger. Like it or not, it had become his responsibility. Since he had this ability, he should put it to good use. And pray again that this time, everything would finally end completely.
As they said, third time is the charm.