Chapter 19: Suspicion
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"That damn Flea bastard!" I cursed, quickly ghosting down several flights of stairs and making it to the exit doors. As I walked out I saw Tom just standing there fidgeting with his watch, before my heavy huffing caught his attention.
"Hey Shizuo, ready to go out and uh… Shiz-" Tom paused when he saw my distraught face, bravely stepping a little closer to pat on my shoulder but I shrugged it off. "Shizuo are you okay?"
"Yes Tom, I'm fine! Just peachy!" I barked, but I shouldn't of to Tom, not to one of my few friends. … "I didn't mean to yell… I'm just frustrated, alright?"
"Hey, if it's because your late then it's no big deal. Don't worry. Besides we have plenty of time to round up the money, but the local bank is going to be our only client for a while."
"Well, the stacking of all of the debtors unpaid loans is starting to take it's toll on the bank and they are slowly loosing money and they're in a tight fix with their competitors and the economy right now. They have given us a month to collect as many of the current debts owed here in Ikebukuro as we can and they'll pay extra if we get most of the debts collected sooner. I just wish I could mark each of the debtors and their locations, it'd be easier since we're not getting much information on them lately. Most of them have went into hiding after your public performance last week, you know- the poor guy you almost beat to death and your intimidating warning to all potential loaners?"
"Yeah, I remember." I said more calmly. It was a very stressful Monday that a couple of stupid debtors tried to escape without paying up and I caught one of them and repeatedly punched the shit out of him, before roaring out to the crowd of gathering people- that should be minding their own business- about paying off their debts like they were meant to. It was the same day, one hour before- when that damned louse had snuck up on me and nearly slashed the front part of my vest off, leaving a large generous incision like usual. He didn't even say a word, he just slashed one of the outfits my brother gave me and chuckled like a madman just to piss me off. I clenched my fists tightly. …I did get pissed, very. And like that- he slipped away into an enormous crowd of people strolling down the street, somewhere in there hiding behind innocent pedestrians and watching me tick. My day got worse from there with annoying debtors laughing and making fun of my tattered outfit… that 'my brother' had given me! For an hour or so, all I could remember was seeing red. I must of scared everyone in Ikebukuro that day. "It's my fault they went crawling under rocks, … I was just so damn infuriated from that damn… Ghhhaaa- Izzzaaayyyaaahhh!" My voice rose like that of a roar, blood boiled in my veins. "Damn him! Damn him Damn!" Maybe I should I go back into my apartment and beat on him like I should of to begin with.
"Whoa, calm down." Tom backed away a few steps looking uneasy. "Lets go and find those debtors and you can release that pent up energy on the ones who don't pay up okay? Just Relax."
I needed some release. "Let's go then." I growled.
We had walked for several minutes in silence and I had noticed Tom glancing over at me from the corner of my eye. He wasn't trying to get my attention or anything like that but just watching my fumes die down, probably to see if he could safely talk to me now. Unlike many, he's actually learned to patiently wait until I've cooled down before starting up another conversation.
"What is it Tom?" I stared blankly at the concrete as we sauntered.
"Hmmmgh." I snorted. "I'm calling bullshit."
"Alright-." He sighed and deeply inhaled, slowing his pace. "I guess that I'm too curious as to why you were late today. You're almost never late, especially not by twenty or more minutes."
Damn it Izaya!
"I mean… I know it's none of my business and stuff like that but twenty minutes is a lot. I just can't stop myself from wondering you know."
I suddenly contemplated on the thought of telling him, I did say that I would explain my reason when I was on the phone with him a while ago but… there's no way he's going to believe it. He'll probably think I'm going crazy. I do owe him the reason for keeping him waiting for so long but I'm not sure if now is the right time, but that would mean there's never a right time because it's Izaya I'm talking about. Izaya the flea, resting under my roof? A ridiculous concept for anyone to grasp! They would think I've gone mad or insane. There's nothing wrong with me, just that damned psychotic louse!
"Huh?" I snapped out of my deep thoughts. "I'm sorry, I won't be late again… or I'll try not to anyway."
"It's fine, and you don't have to explain yourself. Just give me heads up if something like this happens again, that way I could meet you back at your place instead of meeting at the park or at Russian Sushi if the debtors live on this side of the city."
I have to tell him. Just in case something bad happens and he needs to know, then he'll know. But mostly to see if he believes. "You want to know why I was late?" I stopped and so did he.
"You don't ha-"
"No, I'm going to tell you just to see if you'll believe me. Plus, I might have to make trips back to my apartment after every few hours of work."
He raised a brow and casually shoved his hands into his pockets. "Um… Okay?"
I heavily sighed and faced him. He's not going to believe this.
"Hey. Try me, I'm sure you had a good reason even if it's something out of the ordinary or a personal problem you have to take care of?"
We'll see... "It's Izaya." I simply concluded.
"Wha- what? Izaya?" He looked taken aback a little, and somewhat confused.
I expected this reaction, now we'll see if he takes this seriously. I ran my fingers through my hair, having trouble of how I was going to explain it clearly, yet believable. "Yes, it's Izaya. He's … staying with me for a while until he's in a good enough condition to walk." I cringed at the mental image of that shitty smirk as if that louse had manifested here and began 'observing' my discomfort, but Tom looked even more confused and quite shocked. I knew he wouldn't. … "See, I told you that you wouldn't believe me." At least he wasn't laughing.
"Wait? So the informant… that shady guy from high school is staying at 'your' apartment for some reason that he can't walk?"
"Something like that… but-"
"Wow, that is pretty hard to believe," He nonchalantly scratched the back of his head. "… but I do for some reason."
Now that was a surprise. "Really, or are you just pulling my leg?"
"I'm not joking… but yeah, I can't figure out why or how Izaya ended up in your home but it sounds like a reasonable explanation and that would explain why you sounded pretty irritated on the phone earlier."
"Then allow me to explain all of it." We continued in the direction for the first debtor of the day.
"Go ahead, this is possibly the craziest thing I've heard in a while. It's probably the most interesting too."
"Okay. It first started out the day before yesterday when I saw that no-good informant leisurely trolling the streets with a suitcase, looking like he had just won the lottery. Which he didn't have anything good on him with his scheming expression. Anyways, I started the chase as usual with a scream of his name and forceful ram through a crowd, actually hoping that I might have been able to catch him since the luggage and the large amount of people had slowed him down. But with him being sly enough to escape; he made a dash through the back roads of the city and then across the highway over the borderline of Ikebukuro and into Shinjuku, bragging and taunting at my failure as he did. So- I was going to go back home and catch him another time, kill him later. But just as I started to turn away… he dropped."
"No, there was something else. At first I thought it was a rouse, maybe a strange form of taunting to piss me off and so being as furious as I was then- I crossed the busy roads and made it over to pummel his ass… but when I got a hold of him he was bleeding."
"Yeah, he had some blood on his fingers but the big pool came from his leg, it turns out that he got shot." I said haughtily.
"Shot? Izaya Orihara?"
"Yes, he managed to piss someone else off and they shot him." I couldn't help but smile. "Personally I would of preferred it if they shot him in the head or chest, but then I wouldn't get the chance to kill him. Anyways, he tried to escape and he couldn't. … You don't know how great it felt to successfully have him in my grip? He couldn't get away but he tried, he took the case and tried to smack me in the head with it so I tore it from him and tossed it aside. He then tried to cut me with his knife and again slashed my outfit and chest, putting my suit into an even horrid condition and I nearly lost it there. I grabbed him and started choking him like I've always wanted to, gradually tightening my hold at each despicable thought of him and the things he'd done. But-" My grin instantly faded. … "It would have been too easy to kill him then and there, possibly by a little effort at best. But honestly, I lost the mood to kill him at the time after seeing him struggling in such a pathetic yet rare condition. It was pitiful, the one and only untouchable flea finally falling down a few pegs with the vulnerability level like that of any normal human. Pity. I stopped because I felt pity and Izaya does not deserve any pity from anyone. But I dropped him and had decided that I was just going to leave him there to stew in his own misery and pain like he deserves, but he threw his damn blade and stuck me in the shoulder back here as I was walking away." I gently rubbed over the wounded area.
Tom's eyes slightly widened. "And you didn't kill him?"
"You didn't let me finish. That little act of his pissed me off and I decided that I was going to kill him for that, what a mistake he made against the wrong person on the wrong day. I was generous enough to allow him to live and give him a possible chance to call somebody for help or be saved by any person off the street and he ruined that chance."
"So where does the story go from there? If he's at your apartment now then he can't be dead or killed yet."
"Getting there. So I'm stomping up to that pitiful louse ready to crush his face in and then some noise at a high pitched frequency; suddenly ringed in our ears. The sound was coming from the case and Izaya had also realized this, then he said something about a bomb and I didn't know what to think. I just instinctively jumped away when the pitch ringed louder, thinking it was going to explode like you'd think of one in a movie or something. … Then it blew up." Tom intently stared in my direction, lifting a brow. "I saw white for a good minute and found myself on the ground and the flea surprisingly in one piece several yards away."
"Hold on one second. Both of you survived a bomb?"
"Yeah, it wasn't that big of an explosive. Just enough to purposely kill the carrier and I suspect that Izaya was played, deceived by one of his own clients. Serves him right."
"Did he lose an arm or something?"
"No. He got lucky, like he usually does. Well maybe not that lucky. I did throw the case away when he swung it at my head, so he unknowingly saved himself that way. But still, he did take a stomach full of shrapnel."
"Really?" Tom Cringed.
"Yeah, he deserves that too. Anyways, to make the rest of the story short- I have to take care of him now. At least for a week. And don't say 'what about Shinra', he's the reason I'm stuck with that pest. He's taking care of Kadota because he had been struck by a vehicle on the same day, nearly the same time the bomb went off and the doctor couldn't take care of both and he didn't want to dump Izaya on anyone else."
"Kadota too? … … Ummm… don't you think that's a little suspicious?"
"If he purposely got hit by a vehicle and Izaya… I imagine was purposely shot-, then there could be a connection between both incidents. I might not be a private investigator but I think there may be link with both attempts of homicide, especially since the time between them was so short. Either that or Kadota was just an unfortunate pedestrian walking on the wrong road at the wrong time, but I still think the driver was the same as the shooter."
"Now that you mention it, I remember Kadota saying that he was tracking down a suspicious man and he said that it looked the same one that hit him. It could be the same guy, but I don't really care. Izaya got what he deserves."
"Yes, but because of that suspicious man- now your hands are full with taking care of Orihara."
"Damn!" I cursed loudly. "You're right! I could of killed Izaya at any time, but now I'm stuck with him because of that guy! … I'll kill him too when all of this is over."
"But you don't even know who it is."
"I'll find out one way or another. He'll eventually figure out that the flea isn't dead and will probably go after him again, then I'll get him and after the flea is back on his feet- then he's dead too."
"So you are going to kill Izaya after he's up and running?"
"What? Did you think I was going to nicely let him just walk off? He's been a torn in my foot and a menace to society for far too long. Plus he's making my time off of work... and even my dreams a living hell, I'd rather work than stay home and cater to him all day. He's the reason I'm so pissed off! The first chance- he's dead. I would of killed him by now if it wasn't for Shinra and Celty, I don't see why they want him to live. Or why they want me to help him! I've helped him enough already by telling Celty to come and pick him up after the bomb went off and he survived with injuries that needed to be taken care of, but apparently they don't want keep him and get his blood on their hands."
We stopped in front of an old apartment complex.
"I see. It must of took some strong convincing to get you to go with the idea."
"You don't even know the half of it."
"Well, i'm sorry to put a halt on your story but I believe this is the place of our first debtor today."
A/N: Again, sorry for the long wait. I'm moving within the next month and my weekends are now going to be occupied with moving our stuff over until we actually move to our new home. It's long and boring… seriously. I'd rather not move during the winter but we don't have a choice. The next update may not be done for a couple of weeks but I will try.
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