In the Dark
Revy and Rock walked into the hotel room with the bellhop right behind them carrying what little luggage they had.
"Damn," Revy said as she put her hands on her hips, "they didn't make hotels like this back in Roanapur."
"So, Rock," she said as the bellhop left the room and closed the door behind him, "you haven't told me, what's the job? Body guard, infiltration, assassination?" her eyes lit up at the suggestion of the last one.
Rock, however, just shook his head, "Tutoring."
The excitement drained from Revy's face, "What?"
"They're paying me to tutor a kid while he and his mother are in hiding."
Revy's eye twitched, "You're shitting me, right? Rock, don't fuck with me, I've been waiting for some real action ever since we moved to this shithole of a state."
"I'm not kidding Revy. That's the job. Until it is safe for them to leave, I'm basically the kid's teacher."
"Great," she said disappointedly, "just fucking great. What else do you have to tell me?"
"What do you mean?" Rock asked, hoping that Revy wouldn't pry as deep as he feared she might.
"With you there's always something going on behind the scenes. And considering I'm going to be the one who has to get your ass out of trouble when that something comes back to bite you in the ass, just tell me now. What's the catch."
"Well there's no catch per-se," he said nervously.
"You're trying my patience, Rock." Revy responded angrily.
"Well," Rock started, "it just so happens that the man in charge of hiring me is my brother." Rock let out a bit of a nervous laugh.
Revy simply walked up to him and stood just inches away, staring right into his eyes with a cold stare that sent shivers down his spine.
"Umm….Revy, are you—" Before he knew what was going on, Revy dropped down and swept his legs out from under him, causing Rock to fall to the floor. She then got on top of him, grabbed his right arm, and bent it behind his back. "Ow, Revy…"
"You're kidding me. You've got to be fucking kidding me," Revy screamed, "For over two fucking years we hid from anyone who could possibly recognize us. And you decided to throw it away after being reunited with your fucking brother?"
"I didn't have a choice. He had already seen me. He came to the school." Rock could feel that his shoulder was on the verge of being dislocated.
"I don't care. I'm telling you now, Rock, if we get fucked over because of this brother of yours, I swear I'm going to make your life a living hell. You got that? When I'm through with you, even Sawyer wouldn't be able to stomach the sight of what's left."
"I doubt you are that creative," a mechanical voice said from the doorway. Rock and Revy, both shocked at the new arrivals, stared in disbelief at Sawyer, Lotton, and Shenhua.
"Jesus Fucking Christ," Revy said as she released Rock from her hold and stood up to face the newcomers, "Chinglish, what are you doing here? You should be dead."
"Trust me, I wish same thing about you when I hear that your boy toy be the one who got hired. But hey, you can't always get what you want."
"Tell me about it," Revy said as Rock walked up to join the group. "So, how did you survive the cluster fuck of Roanapur?"
"Oh, it very easy. Those bombs were nothing compared to my skill."
Revy didn't buy it, and Lotton and Sawyer gave Shenhua a look that proved her doubts.
"Uh huh, so Chinglish, how did you really survive?"
"I did it," Lotton said as he corrected his glasses position, "I convinced Shenhua to give me money to reinforce Frederica's work space so it could act as a bunker."
"Frederica?" Revy asked, and Sawyer raised a hand. "Huh, seems like a stupid waste of money to me."
"Well at least we all survive," Shenhua said, "unlike some people."
"You wanna go, bitch?" Revy screamed, but before she could blink Shenhua drew a knife and had it at her throat.
"You not so tough when you not have gun in hand."
"Shenhua," Rock started, hoping to diffuse the situation, "what exactly are you doing here? I can't imagine my brother would require your normal services."
"Oh that Japanese man your brother? We knew he seem familiar. No, you right, we not here on normal business. We here only to protect the boy and mother."
"Yeah right," said Revy, "How'd you land that job?"
"Black market, mother fucker. When you not want to draw attention to self, it best not to hire people in system. That where we come in."
"I'm surprised he'd be willing to trust you." Revy stated.
"Wow, life in real world make you soft," Shenhua said, "You were always 'money, money, money.' You should know that money best contract. He pay well, so we do service. It good business."
Sensing the rising tensions between Shenhua and Revy, Rock stepped in, "Well, at least this way we have the benefit of knowing who we are working with. Right Revy?" he directed his attention toward his partner.
"Do you know what this is about?" Sawyer asked.
"Well," Rock said, "I did a little research on it, but they're being surprisingly secretive about it. From what I gathered, the bill would basically give the Japanese special forces certain rights to combat organized crime that they perceive as a threat to the nation. And I hear they're not the only country attempting to adopt such a bill. The US, Canada, and China have also proposed similar bills in the past few months."
The other four looked at him with a mixture of confusion and annoyance on their faces.
Rock sighed, "Basically, it would give these countries the right to put extra funding into their military forces in an effort to combat organized crime."
"Fucking-A," Revy said as she walked over to the bed and lied down, "sounds like politicians trying to get votes by saying they're doing all they can do defend the country." Revy smirked, "I can't wait till they try to face off against Chang or Hotel Moscow. Now I'd pay to see that."
"Ooh, well you too late. They both go up in great ball of flame."
"Huh?" Revy shot up and she and Rock expressed simultaneous confusion.
"What, you not know? When attack came, Hotel Moscow and the Triad Headquarters first to go."
"This is pretty deep," Rock said as he took a seat beside Revy, "Are you sure they didn't make it out?"
"Very sure. You think either of them stay quiet this long?"
"She's got a point, Rock," Revy said, "I'm not sure about Chang, but Balalaika, even after losing the Roanapur branch, would have enough support to retaliate. There'd have been a call to arms long ago."
"Yeah," Rock agreed, "But that leaves Chang."
"Chang almost always in hotel. Only reason we live because we coming back from job. Five minutes early and we go up with hotel too."
"Jee," Revy said sarcastically, "that would have been a shame."
"Hey, don't make me split you in half, bitch." Shenhua threatened.
"Pfft, whatever," Revy said.
"Something doesn't add up here," Rock said, "Why would anyone want to target Roanapur? Anyone country with power has some sort of organization there."
"What about the US?" Sawyer asked.
"Well," Rock said, "I thought that too. But from what I gathered, they had a few CIA members working in Roanapur as moles. But Dutch warned me to keep out of it, so I never bothered pursuing the matter. But maybe—"
"Rock," Revy said, "just drop it. Whatever happened, this isn't the kind of thing that five people can solve in a hotel room. Just let it go, finish your lame ass job, and get on with your life."
"She right, it not important. We have paycheck to earn, that all we need. Which remind me. Two-Hands, what job does Mr. Big Brother have for you? I no think that dumb bitch very high priority."
Revy growled, "Okay, you asked for it," Revy wound up for a punch, but Rock quickly held her back. "Rock," she fought to get free, "Get the fuck off of me."
Rock was struggling to keep her back, "Revy, calm down. This is not the place."
Revy quickly relaxed and Rock let her go. Revy just stood there clenching her teeth and shaking with anger.
"Well, it good to see you again Rock. Good to know someone else here with brain." After she said this Lotton and Sawyer looked up at her disapprovingly, but Shenhua just smiled back. "Come on, let's go to bar. Mr. Big Brother say everything on him."
Once they left the room, Rock turned to the still fuming Revy, "Hey, are you—" Before he could finish, Revy punched him in the stomach, winding him and forcing him on his knees. "I'm going to go to the fitness center," she said to the coughing man, "You better hope they have a punching bag, or I'm gonna need someone to practice with."
As Revy gathered a change of clothes, Rock stood up, finally regaining his breath.
The other guests stared at Revy in a mixture of awe and fear as she vented all of her frustration into the poor punching bag that hung in the fitness center. Not wanting to tear her knuckles open like last time, Revy wore a suitable pair of gloves, but even with the extra padding, she could feel her already raw knuckles starting to reopen.
She had just started using the visual imagery of a certain Taiwanese Assassin's head, when a man got behind the bag and steadied it.
He was a large man, and judging by the fact that he had a group of similar sized friends behind him who stood there like they owned the place, Revy could tell they were the types of guys who probably spent all their free time lifting weights.
"Excuse me Miss," he said, his cockiness showing despite the honorific, "my friends and I would really appreciate it if you let us use the bag."
Revy narrowed her eyes and responded with a powerful strike that forced the man back a step before he regained his balance.
"Not bad. But if you wouldn't mind, us guys need the bag now."
"Look, fucker," Revy said, looking up at the man, "I'm really fucking picked off right now. So get the fuck away from me before I shove your tiny head up your ass." The guys friends chuckled at her response, and the man's eye twitched as he fought back the urge to react in a similarly brash manner.
"Now look, Missy," the man said, giving the bag a bit of a push that forced Revy to step out of the way, "Why don't you go do your Pilates and let the men have their space?" Again, his two friends chuckled. Revy tightened her fists, ready to punch the guy, but she knew that doing so could ruin not only Rock's job, but could also blow their cover. So instead she turned around and started walking away.
But before she could take even her second step, she felt a hand come down on her behind, and fury boiled. "Hey, jackass," she said in a calm manner unbefitting of the rage she was holding, "you do not wanna fuck with me."
At this point all eyes in the fitness center were on them, but the man simply stepped closer, "Oh, but what about you? I bet you couldn't resist me if you tried."
Revy smiled, "Wanna bet?"
"Of course," he said slyly, dropping his voice.
"Then how about it. You and me in the gym. One on one. Winner gets the bag, and the loser has to ditch their clothes."
"You're on," the man said.
"That goes for your friends as well," she said.
The man looked over his shoulder at his two friends. He gave a look, asking if they were fine with the conditions, at which point they both nodded. He turned back around with a smile and said, "Let's do it."
The man picked up a pair of gloves and the four headed to the gym. Once there, Revy got ready to fight, but the man held up a hand. He walked over to the one window that led into the hall and closed the blinds. He then turned to face Revy, "Ground rules."
"Simple. If either of us gets knocked out, or is on their back for more than five seconds, the match is over." He pointed his thumb toward his friends, "they'll keep track of the clock. Fair?"
Revy looked over. She knew it was anything but fair, but regardless she nodded her head. The two stood, eyes locked, waiting for the match to start.
The man bounced up and down a bit on the hard floor, fists in front of his face in a good boxing posture; meanwhile Revy just stood. Arms relaxed, and slightly slouched over.
Then, when one of the friends signaled, "Go." The man charged forward at full speed, but Revy simply stepped to the side and tripped the man. He fell flat on his face, and skidded for a few feet before standing up and turning to face Revy, who was smiling from ear to ear.
"Wanna give up yet?" Revy asked playfully, which only angered the man even more.
He came at her again, this time more carefully and threw a punch, but Revy evaded it, grabbed the man's arm, and kicked his leg out from under him. He fell flat on his back with a thud, wincing a little at the impact, and Revy released his arm.
The two friends, meanwhile, were looking nervous. "Brent," one of them called, "stop messing around."
"Shut up!" he screamed, and he came at Revy once more, who simply ducked as he threw a jab at her face, and punched him in the ribs. The man flinched, but forced himself to stay straight.
"You had enough yet?" Revy asked.
"Go to hell, bitch," he said as he came at her, much slower. Revy simply sighed and, as he was within range, kicked up as hard as she could right between the man's legs. She stepped back, and the man seemed frozen in time for a few seconds before falling on his back, desperately trying to block out the pain emanating from his nethers.
"Dumbass," she said. "Hey," she called to the friends, "we had a deal didn't we?" The two looked at each other nervously, "We'll," she said as she reached into the man's pockets and pulled out a card key, "Am I right in assuming this is the only key you guys have got with you?"
One of the friends stayed frozen, while the other slowly nodded his head.
"Then I'll tell you what. You guys give me the other key, and then undress him, and I'll let you two go free. How's that sound?" The two friends looked at each other for a moment before one darted into his pocket and tossed her the key, before they both ran to their friend and stripped off his clothes, desperate to be spared the humiliation. When they were done, Revy shooed them away, and walked up to the man and kneeled by his side.
"Some friends you got there," she said, "You're lucky I have bit of a soft spot for dumbasses," she said, "Most people that I've done that with haven't made it back." She gathered his clothes and headed for the door, "Oh, and one more thing. Don't lie and say that it was cold in here," she said before laughing and heading out the door. She tossed the clothes and the card keys in the first waste basket she could find and headed back to the room, her anger vented.
Revy walked into the room smiling and she started removing her workout clothes.
"Great, Revy," Rock said, relieved that she was back, "you're…..smiling," he said, his happy tone instantly dropping, "why are you smiling? Please tell me there are any bodies."
"Relax, Rock," she said, as she dropped her top, "just left a guy with a shattered sense of manhood, that's all."
As she finished removing her clothes, Rock didn't know how to react—odd considering how often she did this back in Roanapur. But considering the amount of time since Revy had last done this, well…..
"That's good," he said. "At least you're feeling better."
"Yeah," she said as she started the shower and stepped in, "So, when do you start teaching the kid?"
"Tomorrow morning. I'm sorry, but while we do this, you're going to have to leave the room."
"Why, Rock," she said, her hopes of sleeping in shattered.
"You know, for being your older brother, you two don't play the part too well."
"What do you mean?"
"Fuck, I may have had a messed up childhood, but even I know how brothers are supposed to act toward each other. And if you ask me, you and Benny were closer to each other."
The two fell silent at the mention of their ex-coworker's name. They didn't bring them up too often. Too many memories and too many reasons for them to be angry.
"Yeah," Rock said, trying to heighten the mood, "Well, I told you before. He was the favored child, I was always just the black sheep. Once mom and dad gave up on me, we kind of fell apart."
"So what are you going to do?" Revy asked, "Now that he knows your alive, are you going back with him when this is all over?"
Rock sat down on the bed. He didn't answer.
"You should," she said, "He's family. If you're with him you won't have to stay in hiding, always lying about your past."
"Revy, I can't." He said.
"Well, yeah. I guess your company declaring you dead and all would—"
"No, Revy," he cut her off, "I don't give a shit about that." He stood up and walked to the bathroom door, "You guys were the closest thing I've ever had to a family. I'm not going back to a life as the quiet salary man who gets kicked around by his bosses. My brother's not worth it. My parents are not worth it."
"Well, what is? I get why you want to be away from them. But what's keeping you here?" Revy asked, and everything seemed to freeze.
"I wonder…" he said quietly, but instantly hoped that Revy couldn't hear him.
But in the shower, a jolt of fear went through Revy, and she started feeling angry.
"Hello," Keiichi said into the phone in Japanese, "Prime Minister, I am very sorry to bother you at this hour, but it is an emergency. The bodyguards we hired… well…they're asking for more money."
"No, replacing them is too risky."
"50,000 American dollars, sir."
"Yes. Thank you, sir," Keiichi hung up the phone and smiled. "Rock," he said, "it's time you came home."
There's chapter 5. Hope you enjoyed. Please leave feedback.