When I'm Gone

Summary: Niou and Yagyuu disappear. The rest of Rikkaidai go off to find them. Will they find them in time or has it been long too late? A remake of a story of the same title written by BloodySamurai

Philip: A remake of BloodySamurai's "When I'm Gone."

All the dialogues are the nearly the same as the original. I took the liberty of wording the descriptions out a bit more and try to push out more emotion that I know the original author had put in it. It took a long time to get the permission for this remake. Let's hope it's worth it.

The two of them were quiet, sitting behind an old shrine that was barely visited; this was their hiding place; this was their sanctuary.

For the two teenagers there, this was their paradise.

The wind started to blow and the cherry blossom tree above them showered them with countless petals. Their lunch boxes that were beside them lay empty and caught a few stray petals that fell.

Niou's smirk almost turned into a smile. It was just so perfect; so perfect that Yagyuu wondered just where the sudden question came from.

"Hey Yagyuu….what will you do if I leave one day?"

Yagyuu did not know why Niou asked that and was ready to reprimand his partner. When he looked at him and met his eyes thouggh, he saw a hint of seriousness. Perhaps he'd hit Niou another time. So instead he smiled.

"I will follow you."

Niou was satisfied with this answer.

"And what if the rest of the team finds out?"

Yagyuu raised an eyebrow at this. It was strange that Niou would even put their team into consideration given his streak of pranks. Yagyuu supposed he could play along just a bit more. After all, who else would play along with Niou? Then again, the rest would really prefer just having one of them disappear right?

Mentally slapping himself, Yagyuu smiled and shifted his gaze to the setting sun. It was beautiful.

"Then…I hope they will stop me in time."

Niou looked at him, contemplating for a while. He then let out a soft chuckle and turned his attention to the sunset as well.

Four days has passed ever since anyone had heard or seen Niou. It was as if he turned into thin air.

Among the members of the Rikkaidai team, Yagyuu was the only one they trusted to know the whereabouts of their team trickster.

"So where has that idiot gone to this time?" Marui asked as he joined the little impromptu meeting at their club room. He had heard of the incident earlier that morning and thought it was just one of the usual tricks of their team mate.

The looks the demon trio of their team had on their faces, however, told him otherwise.

"Maybe it's one of his tricks?" Kirihara asked as he looked around, voicing out what Marui had in mind. His tone was hopeful yet at the same time fearful.

At this, Yanagi shook his head. "Some may think that way," he agreed. "But let us put into consideration that Yagyuu is missing as well." At this everyone fell silent.

Jackal looked around the clubroom, as if looking for a sign or a clue as to why the two had gone missing. His eyes focused on their lockers and let out a sigh. "I'm getting worried. I mean, four days without a word…" he trailed off before running a hand through his scalp, as if momentarily forgetting that he didn't have hair to push back. "That… that isn't like Yagyuu at all."

Silence once again fell onto the clubroom. Kirihara had sat down on the floor and Marui had leaned back on the wall, silently chewing the gum that he had in his mouth. They didn't know what to do at that point; they didn't even know where to start.

One by one, their gazes turned towards their captain, hoping that he would at least have some sort of solution.

Yukimura noticed this and smiled at them. "I think we should do some of our own investigating," he told them. "What do you think…" he trailed off to look at the teen beside him. "…Sanada?"

Sanada adjusted his cap, regarding what Yukimura said for a moment before nodding his head. "I think we should."

Yagyuu had no idea where to start looking. He knew he could have asked the others for help but for some reason he thought it was a bad idea. He wasn't really feeling all too good about the situation and if Niou had gotten himself into something dangerous then it was best to keep the casualties to just him if it ever came to that.

Though he did hope it didn't have to come to that.

Pulling his scarf closer to himself he looked around. It was a school day and not much people were out on the streets. He had elected to wear civilian clothes that day to blend in. It was one of the times he was glad he looked older than your average high school student; otherwise he would have gotten into a lot of trouble.

He had been searching for a while now and he was growing more and more tired. Looking around, he realized that he was now at the park and the snow was nearly gone.

"Darn it," he muttered darkly as he kicked a small stone away towards the base of a tree.

Gathering his bearings for a while he walked over to a park bench and sat down. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone to check if Niou had even tried to contact him. Seeing the phone display nothing but the time, he sighed.

'No replies either,' he thought in dismay as he pocketed the phone. 'This isn't like you, Niou. Trick or not...' he leaned back and closed his eyes for a while, breathing in the park air.

Slowly he opened his eyes and turned his gaze towards the side. That was when he realized that he was in that certain part of the park that Niou frequently went to after school.

"Maybe someone has seen him…" he told himself before standing up and heading to the vendors in the area. Hopefully they could shed some light into the trickster's disappearance.

"Is everyone here?" Yukimura asked as he watched Jackal and Marui join them. The regulars had gathered upon deciding that they'd try to look for their platinum pair and they were determined to get at least some piece of information before the day was done.

Yanagi did a headcount and nodded before turning his head towards Yukimura. "We informed our parents," he told the captain. They had explained the situation, they had to, and thankfully their parents understood and offered to help as well, Niou and Yagyuu's parents especially. "They understand," he finished.

Sanada nodded in satisfaction upon hearing this. He then checked the time. It was getting late. "Does anyone have a clue where we will begin our search?" he asked them and almost immediately Kirihara raised his hand.

"My uncle works at the train stations and he said Niou-senpai hasn't been there for the past week," the youngest answered.

"That means he's still within the city," Yukimura voiced out thoughtfully. "Thus, a small proximity of a search area for us is made. Anyone else?" he asked hopefully.

"If anyone can find that idiot first, it has to be Yagyuu," Marui voiced out before popping the gum he was munching on. "He is, after all the idiot's boyfriend," he voiced out and Jackal nodded in agreement to this. "I say we look in his place for information first," he suggested.

Yanagi nodded to this. It was a good idea. "I'd have to agree with that," he said in approval.

Kirihara grinned. "Then what are we waiting for?" he asked before running off to the bus station.

The sky had gone dark. The sun had nearly disappeared over the horizon and Yagyuu still had no idea what to do. Sighing, he tugged the brown jacket that he was wearing closer to himself. It was getting cold.

'This is crazy. If this is some sick game that Niou—'

His thought was cut off upon hearing a couple of familiar voices.

"Damn it, Akira! What if someone finds out!"

"No one will find out, Kizu."

Yagyuu followed the voices and ducked behind a tree. He took in a breath to calm himself before slowly peeking out; making sure that the two weren't able to notice him.

'Akira and Kizu Mitsuzashi,' he identified as he watched the two look around suspiciously. 'Niou had been in a fist fight with them a couple of times. As far as I know they're Yakuza..' he noted to himself. Then he frowned. 'What are they doing here? Aren't they from Hokkaido?'

'Wait…' his gaze then turned sharp. His bad feeling had just gotten worse upon this revelation. 'Maybe they have something to do with Niou's disappearance.'

Ducking back behind the tree he stared into the foliage in front of him. His heart was beating fast and his body felt cold. It unnerved him.

He then decided that he was going to follow these two.

Marui groaned in frustration, he had been digging in Yagyuu's drawers for 15 minutes now and nothing useful was turning up. "There's nothing here that could help us, Yukimura!" he said in complaint.

Yukimura, who was kneeling down, looked over to Marui and shook his head. "Don't give up. There has to be something around…" he said before bending down to check under the bed.

Kirihara sighed and looked through the bookshelf. He shoved aside Yagyuu's copies of "The Lord Of The Rings" to see if he could find anything. He paused when he spotted a CD. Plucking it out he noticed it was unmarked except for a piece of tape that had the date just a week past scribbled on it. He turned around and held it up.

"I think I found something!"

The regulars paused to look. Sanada huffed and grabbed it and promptly walked over to the radio that was there. Popping open the CD case as well as the CD compartment, he put the disk in and pressed play.

Yagyuu's voice drifted out of the speakers after a few moments.

"This talk was done at the Kazeryo shrine near the beach. The shrine itself overlooks the sea."

His voice was loud and there was no external noise compared to the next few parts. Perhaps he recorded this after having recorded what followed.

From the speakers the sound of waves crashing into something was heard followed by Niou's voice.

"Oi! Yagyuu! What the hell are you doing?"

They couldn't help but look at each other when they heard this.

"Just a moment, Niou.."

Sanada reached out for the volume knob and turned the volume up.

Yagyuu had followed Akira and Kizu until they reached the Kazeryo shrine, a place all too familiar for Yagyuu. He had no time to reminisce, though. He had to focus his attention on the two just a few meters ahead of him.

'Why are they constantly looking behind them?' he wondered to himself as he crawled behind some shrubbery there.

"Come on, Kizu! Help me here! This damn moron is heavy!" Akira called out from inside the shrine. Yagyuu moved closer to hear better, not wanting to miss a single detail.

Kizu whined and ran up to his brother. "If someone finds out that we killed Niou Masaharu we're both dead…" he said in complaint.

Yagyuu then felt the blood drain from his body. His hands had gone cold and it was as if he had gone into shock.

'No…Masaharu…impossible..' he thought to himself repeatedly, not willing to believe what he had just heard. It was impossible. Niou dead? It was a heresy.

He then snapped out of his thoughts when he heard footsteps heading out of the shrine along with the sound of something heavy being dragged across the wooden floor.

Yukimura was running like he had never run before. The regulars hot on his heels as they dashed towards the bus stop. The conversation that they had heard was still ringing in their ears.

"Niou, I want to ask you something," Yagyuu started as he looked over to his partner who was now scarfing down some donuts he had brought along.

"Fire away," Niou told him before biting into another donut.

"If one day, you suddenly decide to go missing…"Yagyuu started.

Niou laughed, cutting Yagyuu off. "Come on, Hiroshi. You know I wouldn't just disappear."

"Let me finish and just answer the question, Niou," Yagyuu fired back as he frowned at the other.


"If you one day, decide to go missing, where would I most probably find you?"

"…Where the wind dragon finds the sea."

"I see…then I would have to drag you back home from there," Yagyuu said with a nod of his head.

"Hiroshi, anywhere with you is home," Niou answered, causing Yagyuu to look at him in surprise.

"…Since when did you get this sappy?" the bespectacled one asked.

"Don't blame me! Blame the darn scenery!"Niou retorted, tearing his gaze away from the waves to look at his partner.

Yagyuu blinked and looked over in front of them. "The sea?"

"Yeah…" Niou answered with a grin forming on his lips as he turned his attention back to the waters. "The sea…"

Yagyuu had to force himself to wait patiently from his hiding place. The progress of the two brothers was slow, but eventually they reached the mouth of the shrine.

The teen felt like he was going to hurl.

The two were dragging out what seemed to be a large brown sack. They were both pulling on one side which left the other side quite open for anyone to see.

There poking out by what seemed to be an area held by garter made Yagyuu felt even more sick.

Silver hair that was tied back by a red hair-tie.

The same hair-tie that Yagyuu had given Niou that exact same morning the day he had disappeared.

Rage quickly made its way to his system and his heart beat furiously.

"MITSUZASHI!" he roared as he charged at the two.

Akira and Kizu dropped the sack and turned around, their faces pale.

"Shit…" Akira said before reaching into his pocket, his hand curling around a dagger.

"Where are we going?" Kirihara asked as they got onto the bus. He reached out for one of the bars and bent down panting, trying to catch his breath.

"Kazeryo shrine," Yukimura answered, panting slightly, as he walked up to an empty chair and sat down.

"W-why?" Marui asked, equally out of breath.

It was Yanagi who answered for the captain. "What Niou said. 'Where the wind dragon finds the sea'," he started. "Kazeryo roughly translates to Wind Dragon…and the Kazeryo shrine, as Yagyuu had said in his earlier narration, is overlooking the sea."

"How sure are you that they're there? It's been four days!" Jackal exclaimed as he wiped away the sweat from his brow.

Sanada glanced at him, his eyes almost a menacing glare. "It's a chance we have to take," he told him.

"A chance that I pray we can still take," Yukimura added, causing the rest of the regulars to look at him in dread.

Yagyuu moved quickly and managed to wrestle the knife away from Akira who was too surprised to register what was happening.

"You bastards! I'll kill you!" he yelled in rage, his façade as a gentleman gone and replaced by hate and uncontrollable anger.

Akira, recovering, kicked Yagyuu back and watched as the teen landed on his back and quickly got up. The older couldn't help but chuckle. "Kill us? You can try," he sneered. He studied Yagyuu for a while. He had to admit that someone actually found them. Then again, he never even expected that someone would actually be looking for the trickster. "What made you look for him?" he asked, almost casually.

"Two days…" Yagyuu answered almost immediately, eyes flashing dangerously. "He had been missing for two days!"

"And two days had already caused you to doubt if he's coming back?"

"I know Niou," Yagyuu spat. "He will never spend less than a day away without informing me or any of our team mates of his whereabouts."

Akira grinned as his hands moved towards the back of his pants. Carefully, as he watched Yagyuu, he stepped to the side and Yagyuu mirrored him. They were like animals, circling one another while waiting for an opening.

"Why can't you just have assumed that he was sick? Things would have been better," Akira paused before his grin turned to a smirk as his hand closed into the handle of a gun. "..for us," he finished.

Yagyuu narrowed his eyes and let out a near feral growl.

"Want revenge? Want to kill me?" Akira mocked, slowly pulling out the gun. "Go ahead! Let's see if you're any better than that useless—"

Yagyuu snapped. All thoughts of self preservation gone as his mind blanked out. Before he even knew it he was charging at Akira again just as the older pulled out a gun.

"Yagyuu, what will you do if I leave you one day?"

Akira aimed at him and pulled the trigger, missing by a fraction of an inch.

"I'd follow you."

Yagyuu spotted an opening and side stepped. Akira's eyes widened and tried to adjust his position. Yagyuu merely used the opportunity to trip him.

"And if the rest of the team finds out?"

A gunshot was heard and Yagyuu felt pain burst from his chest. He fell down and looked behind him, Kizu had another gun and it was pointed right at him.

"Then I hope that they stop me in time."

Another gunshot echoed through the evening air.

The regulars arrived at the shrine, all of their hearts beating fast in apprehension. They were trying to catch their breaths from their short run from the bus stop to the shrine.

There wasn't even a trace of anyone being there.

No blood. No knife. No gunshot. No Yagyuu and no Niou.

It was getting colder and some of them started to shiver under the night's cold air.

A light came from down the road and they saw a police officer on a bike come into view.

"What brings you here in this time of the night?" he asked them with a frown evident on his face.

"We were looking for some friends," Yukimura answered for them. "We thought we could find them here," he told the officer, glancing at the Shrine once again. "They're both missing."

The officer raised a brow in curiosity at this. "They disappeared at the same time?" he asked.

"No." Yanagi said as he stepped up. "The other disappeared two days after the first one had; a total of four days that we haven't heard of them nor seen them."

"Four?" the officer asked in confusion.

"Yes. The second one was unable to go to school and stayed at home for the first two days of the disappearance of the first one."

"Are they related?"

"You…could say that."

The officer paused and looked at them with a cold gaze, making the regulars wonder what was on his mind.

"Do you have a picture?" he asked carefully.

Yukimura immediately reached into his pocket and flipped it open. Slowly, he pried a picture out of the plastic display pocket. "The silver haired one and the one with glasses," he pointed out as he handed it to the officer.

When the man took it, his expression became grimmer. "I think you better come with me," he told them before returning the picture.

The regulars looked at one another, dread running through their bones. Slowly, they followed the officer who got off his bike and walked in front of them, leading the way.

They were led to the hospital not too far away. They remained silent as the officer talked to one of the doctors who glanced at them for a moment and nodded his head.

He approached them and wordlessly handed them surgical masks before leading them down a flight of stairs.

Sanada looked around and paled when he saw an arrow with a sign that was pointing towards the general direction they were going to.

The mortuary.

"These bodies were found at the Kazeryo shrine two days ago," the doctor started as he pushed the door open and watched as the team filtered into the room. The smell of decay and chemicals assaulted their noses. Kirihara tried very hard not to gag.

"This one," the doctor continued as he gestured to something covered on a metal table. "…died approximately four days ago due to an intensive bleeding. We discovered a crack on his skull that most possibly caused his death while this one…" he paused to gesture to another lump covered on the table beside the first. "…died two days ago. His death was due to a gunshot wound that had hit him directly in the heart. From assessing the damage, he was shot from behind and from the front from a very close range." He paused for a while, looking at each member of the group and finally settled his gaze on Yukimura.

"The ones responsible were taken to custody and were charged with homicide. They both refused to tell who these two were."

The regulars couldn't avert their gaze from the two figures on the tables. They said nothing and the doctor supposed he could continue.

"We were hoping that someone could identify them before we bring them elsewhere. Their cell phones were either destroyed or had gone missing, and the police officer outside told me that you might know who they are."

He then stepped back to give them space. "Pull the covers when you're ready."

It seemed that none of them wanted to move and they all continued to stare. The tension was so thick that you could grab a knife and cut through it. They all seemed like they were in a daze and had turned into stone.

That was until Yukimura stepped forward and took hold of the cover of the figure nearest to him.

Sanada, managing to snap out of the daze as well, dutifully stepped up to the other table and took hold of the other cover with a shaking hand.

They looked at one another, panting slightly due to the adrenaline rush, before turning their attention towards the figures. Slowly, they pulled down the cloth simultaneously. They stopped when they saw the faces of their two friends.

Kirihara let out a scream and fell to his knees.

Yukimura felt as if he was going to faint and Sanada, sensing this, immediately walked up to him.

Yanagi and Jackal averted their gaze, not able to say anything.

Marui stood there, trembling as he placed a hand on his mouth.

Yukimura's hand found Sanada's jacket and on instinct, the vice captain pulled him close and helped him to stay up, all the while trying to keep on his feet as well. Yukimura started to sob and soon the tears of the rest flowed down as well.

"Niou…Yagyuu…" Yukimura called out. "We…we were too late…" he said in anguish.

The doctor looked at them and called for some staff to usher them out into the hall to gather their bearings and calm down.

"We were too late…" Yukimura whispered as Sanada gingerly helped him sit down, tears still falling from his eyes.

Sanada removed his cap and Yanagi bowed his head.

"We're sorry," Yanagi said through nearly clenched teeth. "Yagyuu…we weren't able to stop you in time..." he said, causing the others to fall into silent mourning.

In their heads, the last part of the recorded conversation replayed.

"Yagyuu, what will you do if I leave you one day?"

"I'd follow you."

"And if the rest of the team finds out?"

"Then I hope they stop me in time…"

A/N: That was…surprisingly emotionally difficult to write. Kudos to the original author for this masterpiece. I hope it gave you justice wherever you may be.

Written in memory of the original: BloodySamurai