-sigh- Wow writer's block sure got me good. Luckily I managed to write a bit of this chapter every now and then. I've been having some problems editing this chapter now since the spacing refuse to save . But anyway! Enjoy and comment or complain!


"Well that certainly went well..."

Carmelita had been staring out the car seat window of Kurai's patrol car. She looked over to her watch which read 2:13 AM. Tired and wanting to rest, Kurai decided to drive her to his home. Hopefully some rest would help clear the thoughts of the scene in her head. Slowly as she supports her arm on the arm rest, her eyelids begin to drop down.

"Hey, sleepyhead. We're almost there." Kurai chuckled some, glancing over at the vixen.

A course she couldn't hear him as the vixen had drifted off to sleep.

The vixen found herself in some sort of containment unit in a computer room. They seem very familiar.

It almost reminded her of... Krack-Karov Volcano. Clockwerk's lair.

"What... Why am I here?" the vixen thought to herself as she surveys her surroundings.

"Flashback, Carmelita. Is that crime scene mucking up your mind?"

As on cue, Sly had entered the chamber to save the vixen, but everything had suddenly gone white and the vixen found herself on Kaine Island. She and a group of men equipped with SWAT gear were storming the island. Mainly to fight the giant monstrosity that Dr. M had created. The memory was not so easily forgotten as this was where Sly would later become known as Constable Cooper after his showdown with his father's former ally. Everything from then on had been fond memories to the vixen up to the point where Cooper confessed. Memories...

The vixen felt something pull her by the back of her jacket. A chill went down her spine as everything becomes engulfed in darkness. Everything in sight was pitch black, nothing to see but herself... Until she felt some sort of presence behind her. Her time in Interpol had develop sort of a sixth sense, due to the other officers at HQ back in Paris. Carmelita draws her shock pistol as she turns around to face who... Or what was behind her. What she saw made her tremble in horror to the point she lost her grip to her weapon. Floating before her was a humongous pair of bright, intimidating, blood red eyes. They almost looked like... Her partner's eyes, but that wasn't what made frightened her. It was large, sharp, black claws that were giving off a lavender glow reaching down upon her.

Carmelita raised her arms up to cover herself and shut her eyes, awaiting the fate coming down upon her. Nothing happened for what felt like hours before opening her eyes. Everything around her has changed to what looks like outer space. She was floating before the planet earth. The eyes and the hand were nowhere to be seen.

"Phew! That was really creepy. You have freaky dreams, Carmelita."

"Shut up. Where is that... Thing?"

From the emptiness of space, a small voice echos through the vixen's ears. It was a mix of many voices. Man, woman, and something entirely different, with somewhat of a metallic sound to it.

"The land... Shall scorch... And burn..." it said.

"What in the world...?" Carmelita searched around her for the source of the voice.

"All shall scorch and burn..." it grew louder...

"All shall scorch and burn...!" and louder...

"All shall scorch and burn...!" then it's very voice begins to shake everything around the vixen.

"All SHALL SCORCH AND BURN!"

At that moment, the red eyes and the black hand loomed over Carmelita and the earth. This time, another hand appeared, and a black hole materialized in each hand. With a hand on each side of Earth, the black holes begin to pull the planet apart, ripping it in two. The inspector closed her eyes and covered her ears as millions and millions of cries can be heard. For what feels like hours, she heard the voices crying in agony. She hoped it would stopped soon.

Carmelita finally opened her eyes to the sight of the red eyes looking down at her. Inspector Akatsuki's eyes. The vixen turned her head to her surroundings, finding that she was now back in the car. She notices her partner's hands holding onto her shoulders, forcing the vixen to blush some.

"Whoa there. You seem to have gotten quite a nightmare. You were thrashing about to the point I had to shake you awake." Kurai explained, letting go of her shoulders.

Iron Sides rubbed her head and eyes as Kurai exited the car. She too left the vehicle and examined what she believes to be her partner's home. To her eyes, it seemed amazing for a man like Kurai to live in such a home. It was parked next to a very traditional Japanese style home that resembles the house of a noble during Feudal times. With a grassy lawn, a small pond, some bamboo stalks, a cherry blossom tree, and even an archway where Kurai drove in. The area itself were surrounded by modern homes, so this house is quite the odd one out.

"Wonder if there are fish in there..." the vixen thought to herself, imagining what the rest of the home looks like in broad daylight.

Kurai looked over at the vixen staring at the pond and chuckled some before leading her into the house.

"This is a first for you, yes?" he asked as the two approached the door.

Carmelita nods some as he turns the knob and pulls the door open. Inside the first thing she would see is the genkan or the Japanese version of a foyer or a porch. The floor behind was raised so that any dirt would stay in the recessed area. A pair of straw sandals can be seen placed neatly straight towards the door. A sign that there is another person who lives in this house. Kurai walks up to the raises platform before taking a seat on the ledge and starts removing his Zori or the Japanese version of flip flops, and places them neatly facing the door. The vixen would remember this as normal Asian customs to remove your shoes before entering a house. Her mother used to pester her about taking off her shoes back when she was a child.

After Kurai had gotten up from the ledge, wearing his tabi socks, Carmelita does the same, removing her boots and placing them neatly facing the door. The two would then walk down the hallway, leading up to the living room. On the way, the sound of a television playing can be heard. When the Interpol officers walked into the living room, they could see the TV on and a couch facing away from them with the back of a person's head with fox-like ears being visible. At the sound of their footsteps, the ears flickered and the person got up and turned to them. Carmelita's eyes widened some as the figure seems to be a white furred one tailed vixen. And holding a napping baby with white fur too, in her arms.

"Welcome home, Kurai-kun." the person spoke with quite a feminine voice.

"Whooooooaaaaaaa..."

The women wore a white and ice blue kimono with a sash wrapped tightly around her waist, showing off her hourglass figure. She had what some would say a model's face, judging from what Old Ironsides seen in magazines, complimented by a pair of eyes that seem to be either a golden color or a bright yellow, but what brings interest to Carmelita and her conscience is the women's hair... Her silverly white hair is so long it almost touches the ground. All in all, she was quite a beautiful women.

"Well, there goes our chance for this handsome guy here. I was really liking him."

"Just shut up! No need to rub it in!" Carmelita mentally yelled at her conscience.

"Rune-sama, how was my little girl? Was she good?" Kurai asked the woman.

The baby opened her little eyes and rubbed them, then looked over at Kurai. Instantly she let out a little squeal and reached out for him.

"Aww, Yuki-chan..." the inspector walks over, taking her and nuzzling the little baby.

"Your daughter has been a very good girl today." Rune smiled.

Kurai takes notice of his partner staring at the vixen, he let out a small chuckle.

"Carmelita-chan, this is Rune Akatsuki, my uncle. Rune-sama, this is my new partner, Carmelita Fox."

Rune smiled and waves lightly at the vixen.

"Konnichiwa, miss Fox."

Uncle... Carmelita just stood there with her mouth slightly open. Rune, the beautiful vixen, is actually a vulpine... Her mind is having a hard time trying to comprehend how such a man is so... Beautiful?

"How... What? That beautiful vixen is a man? How? You're telling me thats a man?"

"Please to meet you, mister Akatsuki..."

The fox bows before her before turning to Kurai.

"How is France, Kurai-kun? I bet it is quite fascinating."

Back at the Cooper Gang's new hideout, Bentley and Penelope were busy studying the security rotation, taking note of who comes in and what is changed. Murray had gotten himself some weight lifting equipment so he wouldn't lose his touch. Also some car parts from an auto-shop for customization of the gang's current vehicle. Keira was in her room, doing who knows what. She has been in there ever since the incident, never coming out. Whenever Murray would bring back food, he would have to leave it at her door. As for our master thief, Sly was in his room, laying in bed, starring at the stone ceiling.

As much as he should be thinking of the job at hand, the thoughts of Carmelita and the Phantom Thief refuse to leave his mind. An thief that could almost rival his skills is in the guise of a policeman, is also the partner of his ex.

Hopping out of bed, he picks up his family cane, lying against it, and leaves the room. For some reason, the raccoon felt the need to talk to Keira. Moving down the hall, there was nothing but silence. It was probably late and everyone was asleep. Upon reaching to the she-wolf's room door, he raises a hand to knock, but stops only an inch away from it.

"You'd do best to make your presence less noticeable, raccoon." Keira's voice coming from behind the door.

"Ah, so you noticed. May I come in?"

"If you have thoughts of making any sort of move onto me, I suggest you leave those at the door."

That brought a small chuckle from the raccoon as he shrugs.

"Crystal."

A small clicking sound broke the silence, the door knob turning, then the door itself turns back, finally revealing the she-wolf. She was still wearing the same attire, even the same facial expression when the two first met.

"Ah, the lady has finally revealed herself. A pleasure. May I come in?" Sly bows, looking up at her.

The kunoichi said nothing, but turned and moved to her bed. The room was as simple as it gets. A small bed and a nightstand. Only thing out of the ordinary was the katana hanging on the wall. Sly follows and quietly closes door.

"So, since you are going to be with us for quite some time, I feel like we should get to know each other a little more better, don't you agree?" Sly gave her his most friendliest smile.

Sitting in a meditating style on the bed, she was silent for a almost a minute before speaking.

"What would you like to know, raccoon...?" She asked almost with a dull voice.

"Well, you got a family name?"

"No." the she-wolf responded rather quickly.

Sly raised his hands in defense as if something were to happen.

"Alright alright. So where are you from?" he asks, leaning back on the wall.

"Queensland, Australia. Where I was from exactly, unknown."

"Australia, eh? Well that doesn't explain the whole ninja get-up."

Keira stands up and walks over to her katana, picking it up and drawing it slightly from it's sheath.

"Believe or not, there are other groups like the Black Sakura..." She turns, sword fully drawn.

"A long time ago, in a small secluded town. I know not of the name, but I remember that it was my birthplace. The town was attacked and burned to the ground. Everyone was killed. Men, women, and children. Except the infants. The people who attacked were called, the Burning Taipan. As comical as it might sound, they were a large threat that even involved the military to step in. These people took the infants, and used them in an experiment. A program to create the perfect soldier. I was one of them."

Sly stood there, listening carefully at her story. She almost reminded him of himself and the attack from the Fiendish Five.

"At the age of ten, we were put to intense and brutal training, given experimental equipment and augmentations like these bandages." Keira shows him the grey bandages wrapped around her wrist to almost her elbow.

"Crafted with various materials unknown, it was made to block powerful strikes from simple melee weapons to even a .50 caliber bullet."

"Wow, something like that could prove very useful for the gang."

"Doubt it. With such, we were trained to to have our reflex at it's maximum, take heavy blows, survive through many environmental conditions, how to use any weapons, assassination techniques, various martial arts, computer hacking, stealth, and harden our will like iron. There were thirty of us when the program began. Only four of us are left when Interpol and the military finally destroyed the Burning Taipan. Me and my sisters as I call them, were put into therapy and under surveillance for three years." Keira slides the blade back into it's scabbard.

Sly nods slowly at the she-wolf's story.

"So you are a super-assassin."

"If that is how you put it, yes. Anything else? I wish to be alone." the she-wolf moves back to her bed.

"What brings you here in the land of the rising sun?"

Keira was silent again before turning towards Sly.

"What if the Burning Taipan and the Black Sakura were just two gears of one machine...? Think about that. Now leave." she demanded.

"But."

"Leave or you'll be missing a body part.." The she-wolf glared. Her brown eyes gave out a very faint red glow.

Putting his hands up defensively, Sly slowly backs away towards the door before turning to leave.

"Good night."

"Shut up."

Inside, Sly knew there has to be some good in the she-wolf... Well maybe. Leaving the room, Sly had decided to go outside, get some fresh air before bed. It wasn't like he was going to fall asleep anytime soon.