A/n: revised chapter one. More notes at end.
Chapter rating: T
Warnings: Some profanity~
And I should probably say this: This is an AU fic.
Chapter One: Chance Encounter
The night air was refreshing; the cool wind clung to his skin as the raven silently moved within the shadows of a sleeping city. Jet-black bangs were plastered onto his pale forehead as an expanse of silky ebony locks followed suit to the tune of the rushing air surrounding him. Embracing him.
In his gloved hands he carried a large black tethered bag that carried the answer to all of his troubles. The contents of this bag, filled with gold, silvers, rubies, and other precious ores, did not belong to him. No, in the dead of night within the city walls of Fortinbras, he danced with the darkness to take all of which held value at the old city-mayor's home.
Such were the doings of a Thief.
However, if he were to ever care enough to justify his actions, the thief would simply remind himself that the mayor was swimming in splendid wealth and he never gave to the poor. His iron-clad grip over the city was a noose fabricated from the earnings of everyone around him-even his own kin. The portly belly that hung hideously from his torso was always well fed with the finest of meats and wine, and his massive sex drive was always satisfied whenever he saw fit with pretty whores and desperate wives of poor men.
The thief hated him. Him and his entire family.
It was because of that uncaring tyrant that half the city lived in the shambles of poverty, forced to search for half-eaten scraps in trash bins along the main city streets. It did nothing for their pride, and it did little to quell the beast clawing at the insides of their stomachs.
Yet, they could do nothing to stop the blatant disregard for their own well-being. The mayor was in term for life, appointed the position by his eldest brother, the Governor. At first, the citizens were elated to have the Governor's brother reign over the city of Fortinbras. The Governor was an extremely liked man, revered for his kindness and intelligence. The new mayor brought the promise of new and better paying jobs, affordable schools, and hope for a better and brighter future. But let the thief be dammed if that conniving ass did anything to better the city.
But alas, it was because of that man that certain and peculiar...'groups' began to emerge from within the city walls. Organizations filled with thieves and assassins that silently declared war against the wealthy and corrupt to aid the poor and feeble soon littered the shadows of the city. They were a threat to the corrupted swine every time they struck, either stealing or killing, in the name of justice.
Amongst themselves, they were organized and deceptively efficient in their dealings. They had the resources to steal, to kill, to harvest, and to order. A force to be dealt with, but to never cross alone; these groups were demonized by the politicians of the city and by the benefactors of the mayor. Nevertheless, these groups fully enjoyed their "thorn in the side" image as it indicated their growing success.
Within their hidden sanctuary's they kept food banks for the less fortunate citizens to indulge themselves in. For this, much of the city of Fortinbras delivered their humblest thanks to the knights of darkness. If a citizen could, they would play the role of an informant for a group as a way of gratitude for nourishment. Any information given, whether useful or not, would climb the ranks of the group until it met the sinful ears of the most destructive men and women the world had ever seen.
Only the highest ranks within the guilds could go on the risky missions, such as stealing from the mayor's home. This was simply because the higher ranks were the more cunning, stealthy, athletic, and significantly more dangerous of the group. It was within the mysterious clouds of their thoughts and actions that the guilds, and much of the citizens, survived.
Unsurprisingly enough, most of the thieves very much so enjoyed the thrill of venturing out into the main city and stealing whatever they could. It was exciting and fulfilling at the same time, like a full-course meal with elegant spices and delicacies with the most lavish of wines poured into a flawless glass cup by some horribly gorgeous waitress. (Or waiter...) And of course, it kept them and their families fed.
The mayor's thief however, one who ranked into the highest caliber and had no one else but himself to feed, found that his occupation was much more like a drug and a necessity. The overall excitement from stealing and killing kept him alive in this dull and colorless world. He craved it. He wanted it. He needed it.
Who else, other than the face of possible imprisonment and death, would befriend a horrid and immoral killer?
"H-Hey! You there! Thief! Stop!" A man yelled from behind the cloaked thief. The raven almost chuckled as he instantly recognized the voice's owner. What a persistent little man; I thought I lost him a couple of streets ago, the shadowed man thought amusingly.
The thief stopped in his tracks in the most mockingly way he could possibly muster. This, along with his outstretched arms ready for the iron handcuffs, only fueled the anger of the policeman as he too came to a halt, panting from the exhausting chase. Or was it a chase? The thief hadn't even acknowledged that the officer was running after him, too caught up in his own thoughts to hear anything other than his heart pounding in the confines of his chest. Or he was just ignoring him. It was probably the latter. Dammed thief.
"And what do I owe to you, Officer Flynn, the pleasure of this enchanting encounter?" the taller of the two asked as he bowed teasingly, strands of silky ebony hair cascading over his head. The thief was actually well acquainted with this particular policeman, having been chased by the exact same man for well over five years. He knew exactly how to push this smaller man's buttons and tickle all the wrong places. And judging by the man's scowl, the thief certainly knew how to push these buttons well.
"You're under arrest for stealing from the mayor's home. Please come quietly or I'll have to use force!" the golden haired man shouted, trying his best to sound intimidating to the brazen thief before him. But, considering this approach never succeeded in its previous attempts, he doubted he'd win that easily.
"Me? Steal from the mayor's bloodied home? Never!" the thief cried in mock disgust "I'd never do such a horrid and dastardly deed!" Smirking the thief added, "I'm a little insulted you'd think that."
"Is that so, thief? Then care to explain the bag of valuables in your hand there? Or did that bag of precious ores drop out of the sky like your innocence?" the officer scoffed, satisfied with his joke. To this however, the shadowed man only smirked and tapped the temple of his skull twice.
"Clever clever you are, Officer Flynn, but wouldn't you agree that obtaining innocence from the sky makes me an Angel, or quite possibly even a savior?" The raven questioned jokingly. "And besides, how do you know I have ores in this bag? Why not trash? Or even abandoned pups?"
"Nonsense. You steal, lie, and have killed. You have no characteristics of an angel. You probably wouldn't even be able to stand the presence of one, you demon." the ill-tempered man scoffed, not falling for other man's antics. "And I know you, Yuri; and I know what you're interested in: Stealing anything of value."
Yuri let the officer's words wash over him, humming as if debating whether this was true or not.
"Hmm, perhaps I wouldn't be able to. However, I have no intention of meeting an Angel, just getting this bag home. And oh!" the thief exclaimed while checking his imaginary watch "Would you look at the time? It's just about time I get going. Toodaloo!" And with that, the raven made a mad dash for the nearest exit, already contemplating the nice hot shower he would have once he returned home.
However, little did the thief know, Officer Flynn had anticipated the shadowed man's appearance at the Mayor's home and knew that he alone could not capture him. So, like all men that had at least a bit of intelligence, the blonde officer organized a group of heavily armed men to wait up the road for the thief. Sure, he would be somewhat...sad...to see the raven's body riddled with bullets, but such was the cost of defending what was just and right.
Such was the price to pay for thievery.
As the thief continued to stalk through the shadows, he quickly looked back to see if that silly officer was still trailing him.
Nothing. He wasn't there.
All that followed the thief was the darkness of the night and the sullen walls of a poor city's streets. If anything, there was quite possibly a small cat following the thief in hopes of being fed and cared for, but he regrettably had little time to worry about a kitten. He had more important people to worry about.
That's strange...I'd normally have another eleven blocks to go before Flynn up and quit', Yuri sighed. These cops are getting lazy, aren't they?
As he rounded the corner, the first thing his eyes became acquainted with was the long silver barrel of a shotgun held by arms much thicker and harrier than his own.
The second thing he noticed, something much more terrifying, was that there were at least twenty of these guns. All. Pointed. At. Him.
"LOAD YOUR GUNS!" rang through the streets, quickly followed by the sound of bullets being inserted in their magazines. The command was sharp, loud, and overly obnoxious; if the young thief had to take a guess, it was from one of the police station's squadrons. An entire squadron set out to hunt him.
The ebony haired man turned around completely, his eyes scanning for an escape, an exit, or just anything.
But all that he saw were the bleak gray walls of the surrounding buildings with rotting doors and cracked frameless windows. Unconsciously, he knew that now with the night's embrace, the buildings looked infinitely more livable. But during the day, an individual could see and almost feel the pain the building bore.
Not looking back, the thief ducked and rolled into an alley, immediately adopting a neck-breaking run for the nearest ladder that led to atop a looming building. The sooner he was above the bullets and their caregivers, the better. The bullets hurt, he knew so, but a dozen fists could prove to hurt worst.
"SHOOT TO KILL BOYS!" The over-joyed voice echoed off the dull walls that surrounded him, and the thief could have sworn that he felt the vibrations through the old iron-clad ladder that he was climbing. For a split second, he thought the rust lathering the ladder would give way to such a thunderous voice, but sighed with relief when the ladder held true.
Lady Luck seems to be toying with me today. She always was such a tease~
The thief climbed the ladder faster than he ever thought he possibly could, his arms shaking with effort to keep silent. But better was the strain of avoiding misfortune than meeting misfortune itself. And as the thief personally knew, misfortune was quite the bitch.
As the raven made a hop for the top, he felt something sharp and hard clip the side of his right shoulder, drawing the vivid and sticky substance from under his skin. He knew better than to look back and see where object came from, but a snarl filled with malice and money kept him from moving forward.
"Running away, are ya little thief?" the shadowed figure from below laughed. Knowing that he had little time before the other members of the squadron would find him, the thief briefly wondered whether he would have enough time to entertain the man below with a few quirks and insults.
Fun it was.
"Quite possibly. I'm not too fond of having bullets put through my body, you know? It's quite painful", the thief light-heartedly chuckled. Try as these men might, it was very hard to get this man to drop the composure of his voice. It was a weapon that he used to instill both security and insecurity. For now however, it only made the man below shoot at him more. Though the bullets didn't hit the thief, he knew to consider them a warning. A warning taken into pseudo-consideration, that is.
"I know who you are. You're not just any thief, are you?"
"Oh no, I'm just a thief. A normal run-of-the-mill thief. Stealing things of whatever nature…it's my hobby."
Never call this thief a liar, for lying he was not. He did steal many things; from gardening tools to priceless gems and cloths. Anything that could fetch a pretty penny was stolen and sold on the black market. Even dolls. Though he's been never that desperate before...
"No no, you're not a normal thief... I recognize that voice of yours..."
"Voice? What voice are you talking about, dear sir?" Yuri asked through a chuckle.
"The voice you're talking with dumb ass!" The soldier snarled, not finding the thief's antics humoring.
"Ahhh, this voice. Tis a nice voice, don't ya think mister police officer?"
"Sounds like sin grating against my ear drums if ya ask me...and where have I heard it before...?"
"Perhaps I am a famous actor? Hmm? Someone you admired from afar?" The thief spoke as if flattered. He wasn't graced with any form of answer for a while though, and he figured the man was reloading his gun until the officer let out a slightly high-pitched, "AHA."
"I know now! You're that Yu-"
The thief didn't stay around long enough to hear the rest of the name. He knew who he was, but having others outside of his guild know was dangerous, fatal even. So, making sure to remember the figures voice for another time, the thief booked it on top the buildings, heading for sanctuary. He would kill that man later…
But oh! How cruel was fate to the raven thief at times! Making a leap for the ground, he misinterpreted the distance required to make a safe landing, and instead landed on a pile of trash bins.
You know normally, he would have just brushed the excruciating pain off and continued off into the night like a silent hunter, but not now. Not when the back of his head collided with the side of a particularly hard trash can; and definitely not since said man's head also violently made itself acquainted with the cold cemented ground.
His vision was beginning to blur as he struggled to move his muscles. Managing to sit up, he forced his body into a sitting position and inwardly snarled at his own incompetence. FUCK. He really needed to get back home now; this was no time to be screwing up like an amateur. What would Raven say should he find Yuri on the ground like an unprofessional dolt?
Probably laugh, that sadistic idiot, Yuri mused.
For a while, he couldn't see anything other than the walls of the surrounding city and the smelly debris scattered around him. Then slowly, ever so slowly, he began to notice signs, grass, and lights in the distance. Well that's strange...didn't know this part of town could afford fancy signs and grass. Heh…
Before he could ponder exactly where he was at however, the thief heard rustling and light footsteps edging closer to his position. They were too heavy to belong to a city animal, but far to light to belong to one of the squadron members. Perhaps a curious child trying to be brave?
"W-who's there?" asked a quivering voice from the thief's right. Sighing, and inconspicuously making sure the blades attached to his arm were easily accessible, the thief cracked open his eyes and nearly groaned in disapproval.
The voice didn't belong to a frightened child, but rather, a frightened man. If this man felt threatened, he could easily hurt the raven thief- or worst: Contact the hunting squadron. Just his luck…
"Who's there?" the thief questioned back, smirking despite his pain.
"I asked first!" The other man stated rather loudly.
"And I asked second!" Yuri smirked when he heard a huff come from the other man.
"Therefor, you answer first, or such is the custom of this city's people." Yuri drawled, not bothering to hide his disdain for the city. If the other man noticed it, he didn't say anything in response about it. He just pressed Yuri further for answers.
"W-what kind of logic is that?"
Though he couldn't see the face of the man who was currently attempting (failing) to interrogate him, the thief could barely make out an outline. Slim shoulders clothed in seemingly nice material—no rips or loose ends noticeable-long slender legs snugged tight by what he could assume were jeans, and a scared and slightly shaking figure.
"Where am I?" the thief slurred, his vision becoming filled with dark ugly smudges around the corners of his eyes.
"Answer my question first. What's your name and why are you here at this hour?" the soft voice demanded, much like a mother would when chastising her children when they were in trouble. Soft...that wasn't quite right though. There couldn't be someone with such a soft voice in this part of town. Maybe his hearing was washing away as well, because the voice speaking to him was much too gentle. And this voice wanted his name...
The hell with it. He was probably bleeding to death anyway.
"Yuri Lowell. I'm here because I fell." He said this as if were completely normal.
"From the sky?"
"From the sky."
The other man seemed to dwell over what Yuri said for just a moment, making a commemorating hum before asking another question.
"...What were you doing atop of the buildings anyway? Don't you think that's a bit suspicious and dangerous?" If Yuri knew any better, he'd say he really was being scolded by a mother hen.
"...Where am I, first?" The raven asked.
"You're in sector C. The Entertainment district." The reply was immediate if not a bit confused.
Ah. That's why this place looked cleaner.
"Oh...", his eyelids grew heavier. "...Well...what's your name then?" Why not know the name of the man who saw you die? Maybe he could point him out to all the people in hell like an adolescent does with their partner.
Yuri waited a couple of moments before he heard a soft sigh followed by a gentle, "...Luke. Luke's my name."
"Y-yeah, just Luke" the voice stammered.
"Heh...that's a nice name, I guess." Even though it's not your full name.
"I suppose...Uhm...you look pretty hurt, and I guess I could help..."
"N-no, Just...just leave me. I'm alright." Yuri didn't want this man to recognize his face. If by chance he knew that Yuri was a member of the Thieves guild, then he'd be sent to the prison for sure.
"Look, I'm not looking to steal from you while you're off being knocked out...it's just that y-you look pretty hurt, and well, it wouldn't be good for business if I have a passed out man in front of my shop." Logical, if not a bit insulting, Yuri wanted to laugh at the man's words.
Business…What type of business did this man run in the Entertainment district? Theatre? Game? ….Pleasure? He would have to find out later when he wasn't dealing with a possible concussion.
"Hmm..." He would have said something better, probably something sarcastic, but he couldn't summon the strength to.
"How about I just let you stay in the back of the shop until morning? Would that be okay?"
...Is he really asking that? Heh...free place to stay at, possibly rob later…
"...I don't care."
"Well, okay then. Uhm...Do you need help getting up?" Yuri heard the other man fidget and grimaced.
"...no." The infamous Raven thief could at least do that much in his current situation, right? Unsure of himself, Yuri called out for the man. "C-come here though. I might need…a little help."
Slowly, the soft spoken man emerged from the shadows, wide and beautiful green eyes directed towards Yuri, auburn hair caressing his porcelain face astray, and a delectable pair of lips turned ever so slightly upright, as if whimpering.
In Yuri terms, he was absolutely stunning—a man worth teasing in the near future when he wasn't on the brink of possible death. Fate was so kind…offering Yuri an angel in his oh-so-precious time of need. This man was truly a beautiful specimen…and therefor was not allowed to see Yuri in this despicable state anymore.
With as much strength as he could summon, the raven thief lethargically pulled himself up from his sitting position, trying as hard as he could not to cringe from the pain. He wasn't fond of appearing so vulnerable in front of a stranger; especially one as gorgeous as Luke, but now was not the time to be so embarrassed. If this beautiful man was offering sanctuary, Yuri would take it for the time being, since he didn't doubt the police were still looking for him at this very moment-and he didn't fancy his chances with lady death at the moment.
"Where's the...back door?" The raven asked between clenched teeth. Honestly, he never knew trash bins could inflict so much pain.
With an uneasy glance, the red-headed shop owner semi-turned around so that he could point to his shop's back entrance.
"It's right over there, not that far...Just a couple of steps further."
Biting back a groan, Yuri pushed his body away from the wall and cursed all trash bins in existence while doing so. Every part of his body hurt and his bones screamed in protest from the sudden movement. There was a sharp pain in the back of his arm as he moved, and the raven knew he broke something. AndHolyfuckinghell did it hurt...
Alright concentrate! Forget the pain! Left foot...Right foot...Left again...
Yuri was finding it harder and harder to maintain some form of control over his limbs. They were like bags filled with bricks and then lit on fire-certainly not a pleasurable experience to be forced to endure.
"Are you sure you're alright mister?" Luke asked again, watching Yuri's struggle with foreign worry.
"Yeah kid. I'm...good. Promise." The distressed thief sighed. He shouldn't have made a promise he couldn't keep, for as soon as the words left his lips, the alluring blackness of unconsciousness took over and he fell to the ground with a thud.
The pain was lost to an immediate dream though; a dream where Yuri indulged in forest green eyes and silky crimson locks. In all of his life, he had never felt calmer. He felt like he was in heaven, floating and basking in gentle warmth unlike anything he'd ever experienced before. Yuri decided right then and there that if this was what heaven was like, he never wanted to know the warmth of the sun again.
Okay! Revised chapter. It's not the best work I've ever done, but I wanted to fix up this part just a little bit. When I went back and read the original copy, I was like, "Good GOD, this is atrocious!"
So I fixed it.
Of course, even this revised prologue will one day be revised again. It's normal though. Writing basically is rewriting everything you've ever written before~
Chapter two is on it's way!