Title: The Gambit
Claimer/Author: This story is written by and belongs to Emmy Kay.
Summary: Yuuya is gambling in an old city on the Continent, in more ways than one.
Notes: Inspired by the ending of "a pair of spies and their endless battle for justice behind the frail curtain of a society."
Disclaimer: Yuuya and all affiliated characters belong to Moa Hato/PigeoNation Inc. This story is written without permission and for personal/fan/nonprofit entertainment purposes only.
Should he bet it all? He looked at the table thoughtfully. He knew what the other males sitting around the table were thinking. He didn't have very much money left. And baccarat was a game for high rollers only. Still, unbeknownst to them, he had a secret weapon...
"Yuuya? Yuuya Sakazaki?" the clear voice broke in through his musings.
Yuuya's head bobbed up, trying to hide his alarm. Could it be - ? Of all the times and places for that thrice-damned girl to turn up. Merde. Not here. Not now. The stakes were too high. His life - would it never run as planned? With a wide gesture, he flapped one arm in welcome. "Ah, ma belle, let's see, who could you be? Marie-Claire of Fond du Lac? Noriko of Osaka? Oh, I remember. Helga! How is Berlin these days, liebchen?"
A frown creased her face. "It's me, Hiyoko. Hiyoko Tousaka. From St. PigeoNation's. We went to school together."
"Hiyoko? Hmm." He rubbed his chin.
"You used to call me mon amie, Yuuya." Her stare became accusatory.
"There have been so many lovely hens in the past few years, how could I possibly remember? Even one as beautiful as you, ma chou."
The cocks around the gambling table laughed with him as he shrugged fatalistically.
Hiyoko's chin firmed and she struck him across the shoulder. "I can't believe you!"
Her flouncing departure was barely noted when the game began again in earnest.
She was nearly at the elevators when she heard it. The gunshot. But before it could echo, she felt someone grab her.
"Hey -" she looked down to see Yuuya's concerned face.
"Hiyoko - come with me."
"What?" She couldn't hear him very well over the screaming.
He pulled on her arm, urgent. "There isn't any time!"
And so, she allowed herself be dragged across the enormous casino floor. In the opposite direction that everyone else was running. "Why this way?"
They were in the kitchens when the bomb exploded. Yuuya flung himself over her back and head, protecting her. As if he had expected it. The rubble hadn't yet finished falling when he pushed onward.
"What have you done?" she asked.
It was the uncharacteristic humility that tipped her off. It might have been years since she last saw him, but she couldn't believe his basic nature had changed that much.
"Tell me," he panted as they hurried away from the crowds, "what are you doing here?"
"I had an interview with Senor MultiNational Chairman. They were looking for someone to head up an accounting division. I'm just staying here at the casino. I mean, I was."
"I'm sorry," he said. "I don't think you'll get the job."
"How do you know? I think the interview went well."
"...he won't be needing one anymore."
Deciding not to pursue it, she asked, "Why didn't you act like you remembered me?"
"I couldn't. I was in the middle of a particularly sensitive game. There was a great deal riding on the outcome."
She halted, pulling him to a stop in the middle of a tiny, winding alleyway. "I don't believe you. You didn't even remember me."
"I never forget a face, especially one as lovely as yours."
She laughed. "Oh, Yuuya. You haven't changed a bit."
He tilted his head, his regard warm. "Neither have you, mon amie. Neither have you."
She awoke the next morning to an empty hotel room. The space next to her was still warm from his body. She should have known he would disappear. Still, he had shown her a wonderful time in this old Continental city. They had eaten in a tiny bistro, danced across the streets, seen the lights from a little known vantage point, and finally, watched the earliest of the fishing boats set sail before dawn. Talking endlessly all the while. About their old friends and mutual acquaintances, their current circumstances, their pasts, and their future.
She should have known it was all a lie. He had always been very good at lying.
She went to the front desk. While she was waiting, she scanned the front page of a complimentary newspaper. The headline "CASINO BOMBING!" screamed up at her. In much smaller font, on the bottom of the page, it read, "Senor MultiNational Chairman found dead in office late yesterday. No foul play suspected."
She looked up.
"Someone left these for you." The clerk handed her a small bouquet of roses and an envelope.
She smiled. She couldn't help it. The flowers were gorgeous. "Thank you."
It was only after she checked out that she opened the note.
"Chére Amie, I'm sorry to be leaving. I have some plans that cannot be changed. Your loveliness would be too much of a distraction. Meet me later. Á la prochaine avec bisou, Y."
Once outside the hotel, she opened up a cheap, disposable cell phone. She texted: Hunter has gained rogue target.
A moment later, she received: Bring him in. Commence Operation Lovebird.
Hiyoko smiled as she threw the phone into a handy recycle bin. She was most definitely going to enjoy this mission.
Á la prochaine avec bisou=Until next time with kisses (If my memory of high school French doesn't deceive me, which it totally could.)