Hi, everyone! Welcome to my new story, Stockholm Syndrome! The majority of you all voted for the next fanfiction to be for Sly Cooper so, lo and behold, here I am! I am counting the reviews and people who talked to me in person and surreptitiously threatened me with knives.
I really, really like this story. If you notice some writing style fluctuations, it's because I started this story two, maybe three years back. As it progresses, so will the writing style, I promise.
And yes, if you were able to read between the lines there, that does mean that I have quite a lot written on this story already, so I will try to develop an update schedule. I'm thinking every week or two, but in all likelihood, I'll just update whenever I remember, lol. You guys can certainly help out the speed (and remembrance) by reviewing, though!
So, I'm assuming that those of you who are still around are sick of my babbling and are ready to read, so, without further ado, on with the chap!
"Please, Dad?" I was being at once as annoying and as sweet as possible. It was a difficult balance to maintain, but I'm pretty sure I pulled it off; particularly because my dad was pinching the bridge of his nose and looking around for any and all conceivable exits.
"Kaia," he said, a desperate tone to his voice. "You hate flying."
"Pssh," I flapped a hand dismissively, "What's a couple of hours in a plane? It's Egypt, Dad! Besides, I can't remember the last time we went anywhere together." I added that last bit like an afterthought, stating like a fact, but making sure to say it as though disappointed.
I could practically see him start sweating. It was actually quite hilarious how easily a battle-hardened FBI agent could lose his composure when faced with a teenage girl. My dad was a big guy too, a husky actually, with light gray fur and a steadily growing patch of white around his dark nose.
"You don't have a passport," he said, clearly dwindling in his list of excuses. You'd think, as a profiler, he'd be able to see my inner glee as he conversationally backed himself into a corner.
Like a shark that smelled blood, I went for the kill, "Dad, I went to Europe last summer with my class, remember? I bought you a coffee cup."
He deflated visible and I gave a mental cheer, "Alright, alright. I just can't win with you."
I flung my arms around his neck and hissed his cheek, "Thanks, Dad!"
Two days and a harrowing plane flight later, we landed in Cairo, Egypt.
My dad and two other agents had been assigned to accompany the Clockwerk Parts from the Natural History Museum in New York, where we lived, to its sister museum in Cairo. Once there, they were to join the museum guards in keeping an eye on them for the week-long exhibit.
Things didn't exactly go to plan.
I was awoken the first morning, through a haze of jet lag, by a noise from across the room. Blearily opening my eyes, I saw my dad strapping on his gun holster.
I blinked, then sat bolt upright, "Dad?"
"The Clockwerk Parts were just stolen." He explained his tone serious. "There were seven guard casualties and lots of damage. I'm going to go see what I can do to help out. Do not leave this room. Order room service if you need it.
There wasn't really anything I could do, so I settled on saying, "Be safe, Dad."
I spent most of the day pacing. I had a couple of books and a Nintendo DS in my backpack with some spare clothes, but I couldn't seem to concentrate on the perceived entertainment.
When my phone rang at nearly nine in the evening, I couldn't answer it fast enough."
"What's going on?"
"They only stole the Clockwerk Parts, which is understandable, given how heavy they are. There's a couple of Interpol officers here who seem convinced that the thieves will return to the scene of the crime, so it looks like a stake out. Could you bring me a clean shirt and my tooth brush?"
I almost laughed, "Sure."
"I'm sorry I can't take you to see the pyramids."
I blinked at that, then carefully sounded chipper and unsurprised, "Don't worry about it, Dad. I knew something like this might happen when I asked to come. I'll see you in a few minutes."
"See you, Kaia."
I hung up with a sigh. Great. Now he was blaming himself. This was not going according to plan in any shape, form, or fashion.
I settled my backpack on my shoulders, and went about gathering the few things Dad had asked for. It took me a little while to find the toothbrush in the medley of pockets in his suitcase, but after a few minutes, I'd put everything together in a small bag and was about to head out when I heard a familiar sound.
Being raised by as FBI agent, I spent a lot of time at the firing range as a kid. I knew what a shock pistol sounded like.
I turned off all the lights in the room and slunk over to the balcony window, sliding open the door and peering slowly around the corner.
Our room's window looked down into an alley, parallel with another hotel. There was a building at the end of the alley as well, making it a dead end, but the roof of that building was several stories lower than our hotel.
Beyond it, I could see red and blue lights reflected off the low-hanging clouds overhead and the sound of shock pistol bolts getting steadily closer. Shadows formed and disappeared and I knew that a chase was coming my way.
A chase that was coming from the direction of the museum.
I pressed myself against the wall, keeping an eye on the shadows of the opposite building. I could hear them now, the unwavering beat of feet against the rooftop and the demands of "Freeze, Cooper!"
I'd heard of him before, naturally. He'd robbed some of the most famous museums in the world, but he never seemed to steal without reason. When he stole an item, the previous owner's illicit activities were usually discovered during the investigations, especially when the item in question had been acquired under shady circumstances.…
Once, a copycat of him stole the Mona Lisa. He'd stolen it back and left it with a note explaining what had happened on the desk of the Interpol officer assigned to his case.
I heard she blew a gasket.
But even through his supposed virtue, if he was caught, that would be a good mark on my dad's record instead of a black one.
I heard the zip of something sliding along the power line outside and, still having an eye on the shadows, lunged when the runner was right outside my window and grabbed onto the first thing I could.
Sly was not sure what had just happened. One second he was nearly to the rendezvous, about to get away clean, and the next his cane had practically been yanked out of his hand.
His grip tightened reflexively and he was yanked back a few inches, losing his balance and falling the few feet to the alley street.
He shook his head and looked to see what his cane had caught on.
Or, he blinked, who.
Holding on to the golden hook of his cane, despite the fall and subsequent landing, was… what appeared to be a teenage girl. She lifted her head and glared daggers at him, her eyes seeming to glow in the dim light, her pointed ears flat against her head in agitation.
She was between him and the van, where Bentley was screaming at him to hurry up.
They both leapt up at the same time, not breaking eye contact, gripping the cane tightly. He tried to yank it out of her grasp, but she held tight, twisting with him when he tried to wrench the can away.
He didn't have time for this. The sirens and Carmelita were getting closer. Sly considered his options, which really weren't that good. The girl wasn't letting go and there was no way he was leaving his cane behind. The one idea he had didn't appeal to him, but there was no time for another. "Sorry, kid."
He crouched and lunged, catching her in the middle with his shoulder and leaping into the back of the van with her.
"Floor it, Murray!"
I glared at my captors, still clutching the trademark cane of Sly Cooper.
I was in the back of a fast moving van; the driver was a strange-looking pink hippo wearing a mask. Cooper, that evil raccoon, was in the back with me, but he was leaning over the back of the passenger seat, which currently accommodated a turtle with whom he was conversing at a fast pace.
I flicked my ears forward, trying and succeeding to catch their conversation as they argued, not quite being quiet enough.
"… were you thinking, Sly?"
"I didn't have any choice! She wasn't letting go and I wasn't leaving my cane behind!"
"But now we don't just have grand larceny on our records we have kidnapping! Kidnapping!"
"Yeah, Sly. 'The Murray' does not want people to think he is a kidnapper."
Did that hippo just refer to himself in third person?
Cooper sighed, "Listen guys, we can just drop her off in a public place near a payphone and give her some money to call a ride. Bentley, what do your contacts say about the Klaww Gang?"
My ears pricked forward even further. Klaww Gang? I'd heard of them, mostly from snatches of conversation at my dad's office.
"I've tracked down one of them, an art forger named Dimitri; my sources say he has the Clockwerk Tail Feathers. We need to get to Paris." The turtle, who had now been identified as "Bentley", looked at me over his shoulder, shuddered, and turned back to his laptop, "Let's drop her off as soon as we can, her eyes are giving me the creeps."
I spoke up, "You aren't dumping me anywhere."
All three swiveled to look at me. Cooper raised an eyebrow, "What makes you think we'll let you stay?"
I tightened my grip on his cane, for all he was obviously unaccustomed to shelling out threats; I didn't want him to think he had the upper hand. I had his weapon after all. "Who said anything about 'letting me stay'? If you wanted to get rid of me you shouldn't have let me hear you were going to Paris."
He scowled, but it seemed somewhat out of place on his face, "How much did you hear?"
Sly was… moderately impressed when the little hybrid girl relayed their conversation word for word. She must have gotten her aptitude for eavesdropping from the feline genes that gave her the unusual green-gold eye color that creeped Bentley out. Neither wolves nor huskies had that color and she displayed traits from both, as well as feline flexibility.
Hybridization had its downsides, though. Despite the flexibility he'd seen her exhibit; she had a clumsy, broad shouldered frame that was emphasized by her short stature, the unfortunate result of a blend of canine and feline genes. Outwardly, she had the appearance of a wolf-husky, not an uncommon occurrence of themselves. Her feline genes were subtle enough, a prehensile tail, retractable claws, a slight curve to her jaw line that gave her a sharp face and, of course, her eyes.
All this he took in and analyzed instantly with the well-trained, critical eye of a thief. He was sure Bentley already knew from his own look what breed of feline and wolf the genes were from, whether they were paternal or maternal, and what the girl's blood type was.
Sometimes Bentley frightened him.
The fact remained, however, that the girl knew where they were going and was undoubtedly planning… something. Her presence in itself was weird; she had an American accent and seemed to know who they were. Who was this girl?
Whoever she was, hopefully they could avoid whatever she was thinking up long enough to finish their business in Paris and leave her behind, without letting her find out where they were going next.
He glanced at the rest of his gang and saw that Bentley had reached the same decision and Murray was waiting for them to tell him what to do.
"Bentley, how soon can we get to Paris?"
No one spoke for three hours. That was how long it took to reach something that looked like a cheap motel in the middle of nowhere. Cooper and the turtle donned disguises and went inside, leaving me with the hippo.
I draped myself over the back of the seat lazily. I needed all the information I could get before I could figure out what the heck I was doing. To be perfectly honest, I had no idea. Let's tell the world-renowned thieves you know their plan just before they let you go! Great job, Kaia.
I guess I was thinking that I wanted to get them arrested for the sake of my dad. If he could be tied to the arrest of such famous criminals, he'd get some huge recognition. He'd always wanted to be in Interpol…
In any event, I needed to seem as small a threat as possible and still be significant enough for them not to leave me behind. This was going to be… interesting.
I started with the hippo, Murray. It seemed like a good idea; Cooper probably wouldn't let his guard down around me if he could avoid it and the turtle seemed born paranoid.
I tilted my head up at Murray, attempting to look completely innocent. I was good at lying; it came from having a profiler for a parent. You had to learn to lie with the best of them.
"What's your name?
Murray tried to flex, but the small interior of the van just wouldn't allow it. "I am 'The Murray'! Protector of Justice, Defender of the Weak!"
I blinked at him, then grinned so widely it made my jaw hurt, "Cool! What do you like to do?"
The other two returned to Murray and me discussing the pros and cons or various racing games. I had the hippo wrapped around my finger already.
Cooper scowled, probably all too aware of what I was up to, and tossed me a key after opening the back doors, "You're in room 106, we're in 107. What's your name anyway?"
I caught my key in slight surprise. I had my own room? Oh well, their funeral. I hopped out of the van, readjusting my backpack on my shoulders and, seeing no harm in telling them my name, said, "Kaia. Kaia Jenks."
He snorted and snatched his cane from me while I was distracted. "Your last name is Jinx. Figures."
I scowled, "Not J-I-N-X, smart one. J-E-N-K-S. My luck's bad enough as it is, or hadn't you guessed?"
He smirked at me and I rolled my eyes, stomping the short distance to the dingy door that bore the letters '106'. I unlocked the door and turned on the dim lamp nearby, casting an eye about for any creepy crawlies that may have made the room their home.
Seeing none, for the moment, I closed the door, turned the deadbolt, and linked the chain. Then I smiled slightly. This was going to be easier than I thought. Maybe the Cooper gang didn't have the Clockwerk parts, but they knew who did. They'd exchange the information for a lighter sentence. Win-win all around. Well, they'd still get jail time… ah well.
This thought process was brought on by the smart phone resting in my pocket. I'd turned it off in the hotel so it could update and had left it off in the van because it made noise when it turned on and I didn't want the Cooper gang to know I had it.
I reached into my pocket but couldn't feel my phone. My fingers brushed something distinctly not plastic and I pulled out a blue piece of paper. I unfolded it and found what I could only assume to be Cooper's calling card.
I stared blankly for a few seconds before crumpling it in my hand and growling. Okay, plan B.
I made my way to the cheap phone on the bedside table, picking it up the receiver and finding the English instruction on the little sticker… then pausing when I heard no dial tone.
I checked the back of the phone and saw only one cable. Where was the cord to connect it to the jack in the wall?
I looked behind the table and saw, to my extreme chagrin, another calling card, this one with a short note scrawled on it in black ink.
Nice try, but no. And by the time you read this, I will have removed the doorknob from your door, so don't go off trying to get a phone from the front desk.
So that was why he had seemed smug earlier! He was laughing at me!
I kicked the wall and screamed into the first pillow I grabbed.
Sly couldn't help but grin a little at the thud and the muffled screaming that came through the paper-thin wall.
"So Bentley, what have you got on our pleasant friend next door?" He asked, leaning over his friend's chair as he typed away furiously at his laptop.
Bentley sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. "Well, it's not good. You're sure her name is Kaia Jenks?"
"Yup." Sly produced a passport from his leg pouch, having taken it from the girl's pack without her noticing, and tossed it to his friend, "See for yourself."
The turtle did and sighed, "Yup. This is a problem. Her father is an FBI agent. He must have been part of the team sent to accompany the Clockwerk Parts from America."
The thief grimaced, "As if the FBI didn't hate us enough."
"Indeed. As for the girl herself… she might be a problem. I'm getting mixed signals from her school records." He took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes, "Her medical records say her father was a husky and her mother was half wolf-half clouded leopard, of all things." He replaced his glasses and closed the laptop, "I'll learn more in the morning. For now, we should probably just give her a basic disguise and not give her an opportunity to slip away and contact the authorities."
Sly shrugged, "Shouldn't be too hard."
A loud snore drew their attention to Murray, who was asleep on one of the beds. They both looked at the couch, then longingly towards the remaining bed. Bentley produced a quarter.
"Heads or Tails?"
There you are everyone, Chapter 1! Please let me know what you think so far of this story, I look forward to your feedback!
Please Review and GOD BLESS!