Gentleman's Code

ZTX

11/24/12

Disclaimer: I do not claim to own Black Cat nor am I affiliated with Kentaro Yabuki.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately...the past.

Maybe it's because of all that's happened recently; with Train and Creed-with Eve.

Creed said he knows everything about me...but how much is that, really?

Does he really know everything?

I: Auld Lang Syne

CRASH.

He awoke to the sound of her muffled screaming. Rubbing his bleary, brown eyes of sleep, he clambered out of bed and toddled to the door. Fumbling with the bulbous, brass knob and using both of his tiny hands to turn it, he pulled the door open; his eyes first meeting the bright light of an overhead lamp. He could hear crying. Across the room, a tall, slate-haired man hovered imposingly over the crumpled, crying form of a petite woman with sage green hair. She trembled as he roughly grabbed her shoulders, shaking her violently as he snarled a series of foreign words in her direction. She hissed back in the same guttural tones; flinching as he swiftly raised his hand to her.

"Mama? Are you okay?"
The man stopped in his tracks, glancing viciously over his shoulder at the young boy standing there in the doorway. The sage-haired woman offered the child a smile, hot tears streaming down her cheeks as she shook fearfully,

"G-Go back to bed, dear. Everything is fine."

The boy hesitated, glancing back and forth between them cautiously.

Aggravated, the slate haired man bellowed angrily at the boy,

"Go back to bed, Sven."

The five-year-old swallowed hard, still hesitant to go back to his room. At this, the slate-haired man spun around; his eyes burning angrily as he started toward the child,

"I said, 'go back to bed'!"

Quickly, the boy turned tail and dashed back to the safety of his bedroom; slamming the door shut behind him as he went. He swiftly locked it, his heart racing as he scampered back to his bed and dug his way under the covers. He lay there shaking momentarily; squeezing his eyes shut as his mother's cries rang out once more...

My parents never did get along. Ever since I could remember, they were always at each others throats.

Eventually, I grew accustomed to their nightly song and dance...and by song and dance, I mean his fists and her tears.

I hated being unable to stop it, but short of shoving my face in front of his punches, there wasn't much I could do to help her.

The boy, a few years older now, straightened as he heard yelling again, pushing away from his desk and the trinket he had been working on as he hurried to the door. He opened it only a crack at first. His father was screaming at his mother again, in that same language that he could only pick up bits and pieces of. He said something about 'leaving'. The boy straightened as his mother then came into view, suit case in hand as she shoved her way passed the screaming man. Gasping, he threw open his door and rushed after her, pushing his father aside on the way out. He followed her down the stairs and to the street, eyes wide as she made her way to a waiting taxi.

"Mama!"

She stopped at reaching it, gasping softly upon seeing the small boy. The air was cold enough that she could see his breath and he was not wearing a jacket. Sighing deeply, she set her suitcase down and waved him over. He ran to her quickly and threw his arms around her; squeezing his eyes shut,

"Where are you going?"

The woman pulled away from him with a smile and took off her coat. She draped it around his shoulders as she nervously glanced back at the slate-haired man standing at the door,

"On a trip."

"Where?"

The lime-haired boy pressed, his tiny frame beginning to shiver. She rubbed his shoulders to warm him up, and smiled,

"Back home...to Sonia. To visit your grandmother."

He sniffled, his nose beginning to run due to the cold,

"When will you...be back?"

The sage-haired woman paused at this, her mouth falling open slightly. With a deep sigh, she pulled the little boy back into her arms and he could feel her beginning to shake,

"Mama?"
"You be good...Sven."

There were tears in her eyes as she pulled away, and she stood, refusing to look back at him even as he called to her,

"Mama?"

Rounding the car, she placed her suitcase in the open trunk and slammed it shut; keeping her head down. She then climbed into the back seat and shut her door. The taxi pulled away a few minutes later, and he scampered into the street after it; confused.

He pulled the coat tighter as it rounded the corner; disappearing from his sight.

I was eight years old the last time I saw her. I guess she had finally grown tired of being his punching bag.

At the time, I couldn't understand why she had gone. I thought I had been the problem.

It took me a long time to realise that wasn't the case.

He sat alone on the sidewalk, her white coat still draped around his small shoulders. It had been a few hours since she had left and he could feel the temperature steadily dropping as he sat there. He shivered, pulling it tighter.

She didn't say when she would be back. Maybe she just didn't know?

Or maybe she wasn't coming back.

He felt a hot tear hit his cheek as a cold wind blew through him; the droplet slowly beading down his tiny nose. He felt confused.

What had he done wrong?

"You okay, Sven?"

He gasped at the sound of a voice and glanced up to see a young girl about his age standing beside him. She had chocolate-brown skin and her fluffy, black hair was pulled up into a pair of pigtails. She sat down next to him on the curb and locked arms with him, resting her head on his shoulder,

"It's okay. My mom left me, too."

At this, the boy could not hold back his tears.

Bowing his head, he softly began to cry and the girl sighed, putting her arms around him.

Her name was Claudia. Claudia Clements.

After a few minutes, she pulled away and offered him a smile,

"My dad and I are gonna go to the Square to watch the ball drop. You wanna come?"

Wiping his eyes, the boy nodded shortly and stood with her. She took his hand as they hurried off toward the neighbouring apartment complex. Her father stepped out as they reached the door, the dark-skinned man looking startled as he spotted the tiny boy with his daughter,

"Where on Earth are your shoes, child?"

The boy smiled sheepishly, nervously glancing back toward the adjacent building. Sighing deeply, the man turned and headed back inside. A few seconds later, he returned with a pair of Claudia's old sneakers in hand,

"Let's hope you don't mind pink. I don't think nobody will be lookin' at your shoes, anyhow."

They just barely fit on him.

Shaking his head, the man then opened the car door for the children and ushered them in.

She was my best friend, my ONLY friend, and not only that...

They now stood in the packed Square, Claudia bouncing excitedly next to him as the countdown began. Her father stood behind them, hands on their shoulders as the crowd counted loudly.

"10, 9, 8..."

He gazed up at the ball as it slowly sunk down the pole, glittering brightly in the night sky. The tiny girl grabbed his hand as it drew closer to the bottom,

"...7...6..5..."

He glanced over at her, a smile hitting his lips. It was hard to be sad when she was so happy.

"...4...3...2..."

She threw their locked hands up into the air as the ball flashed brightly, touching the base of the pole as the sky erupted with confetti,

"1!"

Turning, she gave Sven a quick peck on the cheek and the boy blushed; gasping softly. He watched for a moment as Claudia then turned to her father, who hoisted her up into his loving arms. Smiling, Sven turned his gaze back to the glowing ball, the new year flashing brightly beneath it.

1980.

...she's the reason I'm who I am today.


A/N: I'm baaaack~

Happy New Year, guys~! :3