DISCLAIMER: The following story is based off of Air Gear.
Also. My apologies for the rather long wait.
With the discovery of Akito's full name came all the information Kirin, Nian, and Gio had originally been seeking. Their police plant didn't even have to dig for anything. Merely mentioning 'Wanijima' made the man talk and talk about some big shot named Kaito. It didn't take long after that to learn Akito was Kaito's younger brother and apparently was once a valued member of their elite police force.
"Well, that explains why he knows how to fight so damn well," said a goggle wearing brunette. "Doesn't explain why only half of him can fight, but I guess that's just a decent bit of luck, ain't it?"
"We can't jump to conclusions. He might not be related to the Shinjuku Crocodile. That cop might have been mistaken." Kirin was sitting beside Gio, lounging in their suite where the remnant ashes of Akito's poor dress still dusted the drain of the sink.
"Yeah, I guess. It is weird Wanijima never went looking for his kid brother. I heard he was a heartless ass, but wow. Aki is his own blood. You'd think he'd show a bit more attachment." Gio stretched and glanced over at the third person in the room. The informant was being hesitant.
"Actually sir, from what I learned at the station, Kaito was known to shoot his little brother and hit him with a whip… I heard last time he beat him so much the kid could barely move. Reports say he kept the kid in a straitjacket too, even when they were out in hostile territory. If you ask me, it seemed more like he wanted his little brother dead."
Gio and Kirin looked surprised and after a moment of silence, Gio just shook his head.
"Looky there, all the puzzle pieces are slipping together. It's a family of crazy people," he announced with a grim laugh. Kirin was oddly quiet, with just a slight half smile on his face.
"He asked me once if I've ever been afraid of my brother…. I can see why he might have been afraid of his." Kirin glanced up as their door opened, revealing Nian. Kirin knew his brother had his flaws. Many many flaws… but at least Nian would never seriously hurt him. They had always, and would always, protect each other.
"Hey. Cops are still sniffing around. Lucky they didn't get their hands on our bitch. Who knew the little shit head would be worth so much money?" Nian grinned as he leaned against the door and lit a cigarette.
"Oh my my, did we get a buyer even with all that racket?" Gio looked up expectantly at Nian. Nian actually smirked instead of snapping at the brunette. His mood was too positive. Kirin wasn't sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing.
"I'll go talk to him. Make sure he is who we think he is… who knows, maybe ransom will net more than a sale." Kirin glanced at Nian who looked doubtful but didn't object to the idea. Hey, if it worked, that was extra money to line their pockets. But money wasn't really Kirin's concern.
Kirin headed out to another room among the many that lined the upper levels of this damnable casino. Inside, a large, heavily built guard was sitting on the couch watching tv while his partner sat casually on a chair near the bedroom door.
"No problems from the boy?" Kirin asked as he headed over to the door.
"Not a one… but the sedative won't last much longer. If he's as wild as Gio said, things aren't going to stay this quiet much longer. Hey, seriously, I wouldn't go in there if I were you, Kirin." The guard let out a yawn and lounged against the wall.
"He's not that bad…usually…" Kirin had a one sided smirk as he opened the door and went inside. He heard it click as the guard locked it behind him, but his attention was on Akito. The blue haired boy was curled up on the bed. He hadn't moved since Kirin entered and was still motionless as the blonde headed over to the bed. Kirin glanced around the bland little room. It was much less luxurious than the others and the guards were smart enough to remove anything that could be lifted by a 14 year old boy and used as a weapon. That left just the bed, blanket, and pillows.
Kirin made his way over to the bed and sat down on the edge, glancing at the little boy beside him. Akito looked like a life sized doll. The bruises on his face were gone and his clothes effectively covered the rest. Even the bandages that had been wrapped around his eye were removed, leaving just his original medical eye patch hidden behind his blue bangs. He was so still and now that he was cleaned up, his fair skin and golden eye made him somewhat pretty for a boy. His eye was open and staring blankly at nothing. He didn't even look real. Kirin was just starting to wonder if he was even alive when that golden eye flickered over to him. He blinked slowly and let out a dull moan. Kirin carefully pulled Akito up into a seated position as the effects of whatever they had drugged him with began to wear off.
"… Where … am I?" Akito's small voice was groggy and he still looked disoriented, but it was clear the drug had run its course at last. The blunette raised his hand and rubbed his eye slowly, not really remembering what exactly had happened the past few hours.
Akito blinked again and instantly looked up at the sound of his name. It was reflexive. Kirin didn't miss how natural of a response it was.
"Don't you think Kaito will be worried about you?" Kirin asked the muddled Akito. Usually the boy was careful not to betray any information that could be used against him, but he clearly wasn't very focused right now. Akito gave a slow shake of the head.
"Brother doesn't really worry." Akito nit his eyebrows. Kaito would probably laugh a bit at his situation actually. What was his situation again?
"Why wouldn't Kaito be worried about you? Aren't you the inseparable Wanijima siblings?" Kirin had heard Kaito wasn't exactly nice to Akito in public, but he had also heard it was a rare thing when Akito wasn't with his brother while at work.
"I was ….Wait. How do you know that name?" Akito finally seemed alert in that golden eye of his as it scanned his new location curiously. He finally landed his gaze on Kirin and stiffened his posture.
"Hey calm down. You know I'm not going to hurt you." Kirin raised his hands calmly and offered Akito a smile. Akito smirked back, raising his own hands.
"I know. Which is why I'm still here. I, Akito, am not going to hurt you either." Akito's smile was innocent and his words a bit confusing… until you remembered that Akito was only a single part of the boy sitting on the bed. Kirin gave a forced, low chuckle as he laid his hands back on the bed.
"Akito Wanijima huh? So I heard down the grapevine that you worked for the police." Kirin's tone was for light conversation, but they both knew this was more than just some small talk.
"What makes you think my last name is Wanjima?" Akito asked as he stared ahead of him, nor daring to meet Kirin's eyes. Kirin smirked at the boy.
"We have our ways of finding things like this out. Besides, you responded to it Akito. No point in denying that's your name. So are you going to tell me what you did for the police?" Kirin pushed, patiently waiting as he watched Akito's calm mask crack with distress before he recomposed himself.
"Knowing that name won't help you. I'm sure you've already looked me up. You should know I have no parents." Akito still faced the wall with a practiced look of composure.
"Just a brother. I know," Kirin replied, still patient. "We've got all the information we need already. I'm just asking out of curiosity now." The room fell to silence and stayed that way for quite some time.
"I was a field agent…but the police won't pay to get me back. I was court marshaled months ago." Akito's voice was strong and Kirin had no reason to not believe him. After all, this explained why the police plant said the 'little Wanijima' hadn't been seen at the office in a long time. But it was strange. What could he have done to get court marshaled?
"Not even your brother?" Kirin asked as he stared Akito straight in the eye.
"Especially not my brother." Akito's reply was instant. No hesitation in his voice, and no doubt in his eye. For some reason, that was unsettling to Kirin. They sat quietly yet again for a few minutes. Kirin glanced at Akito occasionally, but the boy seemed deep in his own thoughts and it appeared as if he was mumbling things to himself under his breath. Right. He could take 'talking to himself' to the extreme.
"You're curious right? Why we were court marshaled?" Kirin blinked in surprise as Akito blurted that out. He did want to know, but assumed it was a question Akito wasn't going to answer.
"I betrayed my brother, and the police. That's why they won't do anything to help me. I'm now my brother's enemy." Akito paused and looked straight at Kirin.
Kirin stayed silent as he processed this new information. Betrayed his brother? Akito didn't seem the type to be capable of betrayal. Kirin's eyes strayed to the eye patch.
"Your brother reminds me of my brother. They both like to hit me and keep me in a cage," added Akito as he looked back towards the wall. Kirin again was silenced by this news. He didn't know if he understood Akito properly. This wasn't the first time he had mentioned being in a cage before. Kirin was starting to wonder if it wasn't a metaphor at all like he originally thought.
"Did you know? My brother hates storm riders." Akito glanced at Kirin. His sentence didn't seem very relevant to anything though. Kirin recalled Akito said he wasn't a very good AT rider and although he could ride, he definitely didn't consider himself a storm rider.
"Good thing we're not storm riders then, huh?" Kirin asked as he smiled warmly at Akito. The bluenette's own smile was surprisingly mischievous. He tapped the eye patch covering his right eye and giggled.
"You didn't finish your snooping did you?" Akito asked. Judging from Kirin's expression, it had never even occurred to the blonde to check into the young Wanijima's other name.
"Enlighten me then. What don't I know about the other you?" Kirin asked, but Akito just giggled again and pressed his finger to his lips.
"I'm not going to do your work for you."
Kirin sighed and shook his head. There was no point in dancing around the topic anymore anyway.
"Akito, I know it doesn't seem like it, but I'm really trying to help you. Please, tell me there's somebody out there who will pay to get you back. I broke the rules. I care about what happens to you. I don't want to see you get sold to some pervert with a child fetish. So come on Akito. Tell me who to call to get you home." Kirin looked at Akito pleadingly, but the boy just stared blankly back.
"You won't find money from the people who know me," he finally said. Kirin didn't like that answer. If Akito was telling the truth, not only was there no chance he'd be able to get him home, but it meant Akito believed nobody wanted him enough to pay for him. Hell, nobody cared enough to even look for him or report him to the police. Akito was such a good kid too. Life really wasn't fair.
Kirin stood up and headed to the door, leaving Akito behind on the bed. He felt the kid's eye tracking him.
"I'm sorry then, Akito… I don't have the power to stop them from selling you. You are what they consider a perfect item. Young, pleasing to look at, and obedient." Kirin said as he tapped the door three times.
"So what will your buyers do if they see a boy who is rude and violent instead?" Akito asked. Kirin again glanced towards that personality controlling eye patch.
"They won't see that side of you. I was told you'll be sedated again." Kirin replied as the door clicked open. Kirin had been careful to avoid using names, but Akito knew who he was talking about anyway.
"Kirin, I have a message for your brother," Akito called out. Kirin looked once more towards Akito as the boy sat with a mask of calmness on his face.
"A fortune made by a lying tongue is a fleeting vapor and a deadly snare."
With that, Kirin left the room, leaving Akito alone in the room.
'Akito, why tip him off about me? Having them look into my name will only hurt us, not help us.'
Akito smiled as he let his legs dangle off the edge of the bed and kicked them gently back and forth.
"No, I think Kirin will use the information well." Akito spoke quietly this time, glancing at the door before spinning on the bed and facing the opposite wall.
'You put too much trust into him. Don't forget, he's that Nian bastard's brother. That's who he's loyal too.'
"Just like we're loyal to Kaito?" Akito's words made Agito hesitate, but he did not let it hold him up for long.
'…You don't think I can fight our way out?'
"Consider Kirin a backup plan. We don't even know where we are. But I feel like if Kirin catches us in our escape… he'll just point us in the right direction and let us go."
'Doubtful. Especially if he's with his dickhead brother.'
"You should trust my intuition more, Agito."
'Where have I heard you say that before?'
Kirin was sitting in an internet café with a coffee in one hand and a mouse in the other. Akito left him a tip and he decided it was immediately worth looking into. It made sense that the informant in the police force didn't ask about an Agito. He wasn't even aware the kid had multiple personalities. Few people on this mission did.
So it was up to him to do some digging and the best place to start was the internet.
Typing in the name 'Agito Wanijima' immediately brought up quite a few selections. Strangely enough, some were encrypted, but most were AT related. There was even a tiny paragraph about an old storm rider team called 'Agito' that wasn't active anymore. But there was no way it was this Agito… who named a team after a single person anyway? Besides, Akito was pretty clear that he didn't ride ATs anymore.
Kirin looked on and finally found the exact name Agito Wanijima in a forum post about a battle with a team called Behemoth. It was worth a shot to add that name to the search… and that was really all it took. Plenty of forums had talked about this fight. People blogged about it, websites dedicated pages to it, there were articles written about it… all in the storm rider world. Agito was a storm rider, that much was pretty damn obvious. How could Agito know how to ride and Akito not? It made no sense… well, neither did an eye patch that could switch your personality. It looked like it was just something he'd have to accept.
So was Akito trying to tell him his brother hated Agito because he was a storm rider? Or was it something else? For the first time, Kirin cursed his indifference towards AT battles and classes. He rode for fun alone and never bothered learning about storm riders and their teams. It probably would have helped him now if he knew what the big deal was about this battle between Behemoth and Kogarasumaru. Kirin continued to read until one word caught his eye. Fang King. That was a word any rider would recognize. What did it have to do with Agito though?
"Shit…no way." Kirin stared at the page in sheer disbelief.
"What are you up to all alone down here, my blonde haired compadre?"
Kirin jerked a bit as he looked up to see Gio reading over his shoulder.
"Ohh, research on the evil prince. And I have no idea what that means. Wing road, obvious. Your flame road, after demonstration, also obvious. But how can you ride a bloody road?" Gio looked at Kirin with a cocked eyebrow and waited for an answer.
"The bloody road is ridden by riders who like to fight…it's called bloody because its riders usually scar their opponents by … carving them up." Kirin shuddered. This was one of the roads he truly thought was horrible.
"So the little demon boy can ride Air Treks too?" Gio asked as he leaned against the chair and read more of the page on the screen.
"Ride? I'd say yes… according to these websites… he's the Fang King." Kirin said the words and still couldn't believe them even as they left his mouth. That boy… was the fang king of the bloody road? He had never met a king before and never wanted too. If this information was true, than he could only thank god Akito didn't have air treks on when they went after him. They would have been slaughtered.
"Yeah…you lost me. What do you mean 'fang king'?" Gio failed to see the importance of such a title. He didn't realize just how dangerous Agito was.
"It means he's the best at what he does. Nobody who rides the bloody road, the fang road, like him is as good of a rider as he is. You've seen me ride Gio. If all of these sites are to be believed, Agito could probably ride circles around me." Kirin logged off the computer as Gio gave out a short whistle.
"I kinda want to see this. Should we give him a pair of ATs?" Gio asked, but Kirin looked at him like he was absolutely insane.
"Woah woah, just kidding. No need to freak out on me." Gio said as he backed up. Kirin just sighed and shook his head. Gio already thought Agito was scary… Kirin wondered just how the brunette would react if he saw Agito in his natural element.
Riding Air Treks covered in blood.
Kirin headed straight back towards Akito's room with Gio as a tagalong.
"What the hell are you hiding in your jacket?" Kirin groaned as he put his hand on the door. Gio grinned and shrugged.
"I'm being prepared. You said our little angel has his hands free. His psycho half has forced me to arm myself." Gio patted the bright orange and yellow thing tucked away at his side with a grin.
"…it looks like a nerf gun." Kirin just stared at it while Gio shrugged.
"What? You expect me to walk around with a real gun when there are still cops crawling around?"
Kirin couldn't suppress the smile from breaking through his attempt at sending Gio a disapproving frown. Instead he just went inside the room. He wasn't really expecting to see Nian there.
"Perfect. Kirin I was going to call you anyway. So? Anything new and interesting about our prized bitch?" Nian asked as he jerked his thumb towards Akito's room. Kirin paused and stared at the room.
"…he's… No. He said his brother hates him and he has no family." Gio glanced at Kirin, but the strawberry blonde said nothing more.
"Alright, then we sell him to the highest bidder. She's paying a pretty penny for him. We're lucky he cleaned up so well." Nian said with a grin.
"No, we're lucky his face healed up and that the damages from you weren't visible during the display," Gio said as he placed his hand inside his jacket and looked evenly at Nian with a smug expression. Nian just glared back.
"Doesn't matter. We're getting a huge payoff for him anyway." Nian didn't take Gio's bait, which really seemed to dishearten the brunette. He lowered his hand from his nerf gun and sighed.
"Whatever let's just get her…him…it… demon angel thing out here." Gio said as he shooed Nian towards the door.
"What? Too chicken to get him yourself?" Nian cooed, smirking at the snipe towards Gio.
"Damn straight." Gio's reply wasn't what Nian had been expecting and it was now his turn to be annoyed at the ignored bait. Kirin rolled his eyes as he sat down on the couch. After a small amount of bickering, Gio finally headed over to the door and opened it wide.
"Hey Angel. Time to meet your new owner," he said as he grinned at the boy sitting on the bed with his one leg curled up and the other dangling. The boy's eye locked onto Gio and sent a chill down the brunette's spine.
"Shit, he's in psycho mode." It was the only sentence Gio managed to say before the boy leapt at him, barreling into the brunette and knocking him to the ground. Agito instantly used his free hands to back flip away from the man and land safely on his feet. He launched a roundhouse kick at the sight of metal, knocking Nian's gun to the ground before he could fully draw it. He paused to glare at Kirin with his predator's gaze and Kirin couldn't help but feel intimidated. Knowing who he really was made that gaze suddenly much more dangerous.
Agito broke eye contact when Nian came towards him with his fist. He dodged as smoothly as he could and aimed another kick at that blonde bastard. Nian let out a satisfying 'oof' as it connected with his gut. Agito was preparing to move in for another blow when he saw a gun rise out of the corner of his eye and instantly leapt backwards to dodge it. The suction cupped foam dart threw him off and he stared at it a moment in disbelief as it stuck to the wall.
Nian took advantage of his lapse in attention. He swept his legs out from under him and grabbed him by the neck. Agito cursed as his hands instantly gripped Nian's arm. He curled his legs under him and launched them up onto Nian's shoulders and around his neck. The force caused the surprised blonde to stumble backwards and Agito made full use of the inertia to break Nian's hold on him and force him down. He stomped his own foot against Nian's arm and grinned.
"Not so tough when your opponent isn't chained to a wall, are you, ya damn bastard." Agito raised his other leg and prepared to slam it into Nian's neck when Kirin finally jumped in and pushed Agito off of Nian. Agito recovered easily, turning the fall into a roll and springing back to his feet in one fluid motion.
"Aww, cute. Brothers who actually stick together. Ain't that a rare sight. You're both so fucking weak," Agito sneered as he stood ready.
"Don't get cocky for catching someone by surprise you little shit," Nian growled as he stood up and went for the pint sized demon child yet again. Nian wasn't a pushover and without ATs, Agito couldn't make up for his lack of arm and leg length with speed. Nian had longer reach and was only happy to remind Agito that he was still recovering from a few bruised ribs. But the pain only made Agito angrier. That's why it pissed him off so much that he couldn't tear into this braided bastard with a pair of ATs. He wanted to mark him with his fangs so badly it hurt more than the punches to his chest.
Once again he saw out of the corner of his eye that stupid ass nerf gun being aimed at him. If they thought that distraction would work a second time, they were dumber than they looked. He continued his charge, ignoring the goggle headed idiot, and charged his fist straight towards Nian's face. Something pricked his shoulder and he felt himself slow down. Nian caught his punch and instantly kneed him in the stomach. Agito coughed and stumbled backwards as Nian released his grip. He was getting tunnel vision and he instantly turned to look at the suction cup dart stuck to his shoulder. He grabbed it and pulled it off. A tiny needle was sticking out of the suction cup.
"Fucking…bastards," he groaned as he fell to the ground, dropping the poisoned dart and succumbing to some type of drug for the umpteenth time this week. The three boys in the room just stared at Agito as he lay there. Finally Gio broke the silence.
"What the hell! You're lucky I was here. I totally save your ass, Nian." Gio hopped back to his feet, dusting himself off and pocketing his not-quite nerf gun. He didn't really seem injured at all. Nian was aware of this.
"Was the floor that fucking comfortable you really didn't want to stand back up after the first hit?" Nian growled as he wiped his mouth and glared at Gio, then Agito.
"Dude. If I stood up, he'd come after me again. I'm not a dumbass." Gio laughed as he walked over to Agito and rolled him onto his back.
"Look how cute he is when he isn't trying to kill us." He said almost sweetly as he looked over the unconscious kid. He moved the eye patch over just in case the drug wore off too quickly. He wasn't hoping for a rematch anytime soon.
"Just take the damn thing downstairs. The customer is waiting." Nian was in no mood to play nice anymore as he continued to glare at Agito.
"Oh stop being such a baby. He only got you a few times. According to Kirin he…" Gio started but trailed off at the looks he was getting from the two blonde brothers.
"Fine captain sour pants. Be pouty." With that, Gio scooped up Akito and left the room.
"He really didn't get you that bad." Kirin said as he picked up a few broken decorations from their little tussle. Agito's strength was in his riding. Without ATs, he was just a kid who happened to be trained in defense and had a nasty kick. If anything, it was Nian's pride that had been wounded, not his actual body.
"It's over with tonight anyway. Glad that fucking bitch is finally out of our hair," Nian said with a bitter bite in his voice as he pulled out a cigarette.
"…Who bought him?" Kirin asked cautiously. Nian looked over his brother a moment. He exhaled a puff of smoke before replying.
"Mrs. Ebony Lycos," He said as his lips tugged into a tiny smirk.
"Lycos? … She … Nian. You sold Akito to a murderer." Kirin's gaze turned dark as he glared at his brother, but Nian merely shrugged.
"Nobody knows for sure what happens to the boys she buys. She wanted a pretty new toy, we had one, she liked him, she paid big money for him. She's rich. That scrawny kid will get to live a plush little life as long as she favors him." Nian took another drag of his cigarette, completely unphazed by the look Kirin was giving him. Kirin was disgusted. Ebony Lycos was a wealthy woman with no children of her own. In public she was wonderfully pleasant, but never invited people to her estate. Why would she? That was where she kept her 'pets'. She was a frequent visitor to this underground market and had an eye for those she thought were particularly pretty young boys. Sometimes a seller would ask her how a past 'item' was doing. Sometimes she'd respond with praises…sometimes she'd respond with 'who?'
"Everyone knows what happens to the things she buys. She has her way with her 'toys', then disposes of them when they break or if she gets bored. We never sold to her before. Even you used to have some morals," Kirin's hands bunched into fists as he yelled at his brother, but Nian still seemed indifferent. Kirin threw the remnants of the décor he had been clearing, letting them smash into even smaller pieces against the floor. Kirin was raging. He had promised Akito that at the least he would make sure someone safe bought him…then Nian went and sold him off to the insane.
"What's wrong with you Kirin? It was just one snot nosed little brat. Who cares what happens to that shit head?" Nian was finally growing annoyed with his younger sibling and turned to stare him down.
"That kid was someone's brother, Nian. He had family and you just sold him to the slaughter." This time Kirin didn't back down.
"Who cares if – " Nian didn't get a rebuttal.
"I care! What if it was me? What if I was the one you were handing over to that mental woman?" He growled back and at last Nian seemed hesitant. He paused for only a moment before he looked at Kirin evenly.
"It's not you, so it doesn't matter," he said calmly before leaving the room. Kirin could only watch as he was left alone.
Kit: I'd love to hear your opinions on the story and characters. You must have something to say about them. For example, anyone here dislike Nian?
It's a much bigger motivator to read your opinions rather than just reading 'update please' over and over again. While I appreciate all reviews, the thing I love is reading reactions.