A/N: Guys. I am so sorry. I know I literally have no good excuse for this, except life. It's been years - I found this unfinished chapter on my computer and deeply deeply missed writing this story. But in order for me to continue, I need to re-watch the series, and watch the second season, get back into the characters. I'm so far behind - I may simply make this story based on the first season. Once I've done that, I'll edit this chapter, or add a really long ninth one. I need inspiration! I don't want to give you false hope.
Arisa heard her footsteps pounding upon the sidewalk in a lonely alleyway of Ikebukuro. Her uncle had warned her never to enter one of those ominous, shadowy crevices of Tokyo with news of Saika and the Headless Rider dominating nearly every newspaper article. But she was determined to prove Izaya Orihara wrong. Speak of the devil, she was running late because of him and his nitpicky coffee preferences!
She would convince this girl that her life was worth living, even if it meant escaping a terrifying urban legend while employing a shortcut. She reached the end of the alley to the main road and doubled over, clutching her side and gasping. She hadn't been practicing her mile like she had promised her coach to do. She was sure Lily Thompson was far quicker than she was by now. If ever she did return to America, she would no longer be the star of the track team.
Still panting, she looked up through thick hair to the hotel she had arranged with Katsumi Kyoto to rendezvous at. Gulping, she took off once again, cursing herself for not changing out of the Raira school uniform. The skirt was ridiculously short, and she would not be surprised if some perverts had appreciated an excellent view of her knickers while she was running down here. She grimaced at the thought before she entered the main hotel entrance. Why did this place seem so familiar?
Shrugging away the thought, she immediately jabbed the button on the hotel elevator, becoming impatient when the lift took a couple minutes to arrive.
When the door opened, an elderly man was pushing his way out while holding onto a nicked black cane.
"Come on, Gramps, I haven't got all day!" Arisa groaned, pushing past him and entering the elevator. Normally, she flattered herself that she wouldn't disrespect elders, but today, she was going to be late otherwise.
"Your brother just left," the old man replied, and Arisa looked at him oddly. Furrowing her eyebrows, she concluded he must have been senile. Hitting the roof button, she muttered, "Whatever."
The elevator finally arrived at its destination, and Arisa threw herself out of the elevator. The rooftop was empty.
Exhaling a shuddering breath she hadn't realized she was holding, she dropped down onto the edge of the roof and pulled out a cherry red sucker. Licking contentedly, she surveyed the steady stream of humans walking below, heterogeneous like a sea of indistinct jellyfish or a beach of elusive, indiscernible sand. She rested her chin on her right hand and checked her watch on her left. It was ten minutes past meeting time. Damn. The sky was darkening rapidly, and Arisa began to fear the disappointment of Hideki.
She focused her eyes once again on the crowd below, each person trying to stick out, to be extraordinary, to be remembered, only to finish by being conventional. Her keen eyes narrowed as she caught sight of the exception. His furry coat rested upon his overly confident shoulders, his silky black hair mussed up like he had just awakened, his arrogant gait was recognizable from fifteen floors up. What the hell was he doing here? She leaned down to get a closer look. A girl with long brown hair was at his side, and Arisa felt an unfamiliar pang of something as she watched the pair. What the hell was he doing? Why the hell was he with a girl?
She hadn't realized she was gritting her teeth, and she loosened her molars as she continued to watch the couple's fluid, poetic movement through the crowd.
When they were directly beneath Arisa's line of sight, suddenly and for no apparent reason, Orihara turned his face upward toward the top of the building. Their eyes met; his lips smirking, hers frowning, and Arisa scrambled back in shock. Breathing heavily out of anger or exertion she couldn't tell, she crouched on the cement tiles.
Her phone vibrated in her pocket, and she struggled to extract it.
xo Orihara Izaya ox (20:15:13): I am greatly looking forward to observing your interactions with your new psychiatric client, Risa-chan!
Swallowing, Arisa snapped her phone shut and clenched her fists. Her face was burning. Was it his mission in life to humiliate her? That absolute asshole! Well, not today. She saw them entering the hotel below. Dashing inside, she released a scream when she ran smack into what felt like a brick wall.
"Stars," she mumbled incoherently, the white lights spinning all around her. She groaned and stood up, rubbing her head. That was gonna bruise.
"Kid!" the voice growled. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Crap. It was Shizuo.
It all made sense now. The old grandpa had thought Shizuo was her brother.