I do not own the One piece.
"Organs," Killer repeated.
"That's what I said." Kid was frying bacon in a cast iron pan over the stove, tossing glances over his shoulder at his friend, who was seated at the sofa, a mug of coffee in his hands and between his two knees.
Killer took a sip of the black beverage, his lips pursed tightly, the only sign of emotion on his hidden and blank face.
"What?" Kid snapped, sensing the tension in the air. "It's a business, a damned good one I'd imagine."
The bottom of the mug was all Kid could see from the kitchenette as Killer downed the last of it in one swift gulp. He cleared his scalding throat and set the ceramic ware back on the table with a scrape. "It's a dirty business, that's what it is, Kid."
Scowling, Kid tossed the bacon on a plate next to a good half dozen eggs. He snatched two bent forks and slammed the meal down in front of his friend. "And it isn't our business, so why the fuck should I care if it's messy?" Kid argued. He stabbed a piece of bacon and shoved the greasy strip whole into his mouth.
Killer went about eating his meal delicately in turn. "I'm just saying that I don't trust this man. And I don't think you should either."
Kid barked a loud laughter, kicking back to sit next to his friend. "Trust? Who the hell said anything about trust? You think I'd trust a man who has already underhanded me a handful of times?" He grabbed his own mug, which was coffee, but with a splash of Irish whiskey, and took a sip. "So he gets his jollies out a little bizarre, but it isn't my issue."
"So what is the issue, then?" Killer pressed, "Why haven't you slaughtered him yet?"
"Tried," Kid said through a mouthful of eggs, "But after we were interrupted, I got to thinking that maybe the posh bastard could be useful." He shifted uncomfortably in his seat, "I mean, think about how different Heat would look if we had gotten him fixed up right."
Killer placed down his fork and sighed heavily, "Kid, Heat doesn't care. None of us care. We know what business we're in. We know the stakes when we get into it."
"Whatever," Kid dismissed the blonde's argument, acting as though he couldn't be bothered less. But unconsciously, his eyes flickered to his left arm - a medical work of art to itself, the last parting gift Kid got from the war. Part prosthetic, part metal plating, but meshed in harmony with what survived of his skin and nerves. If it wasn't for what Kid had done, they would have slapped the man with the cheapest instrument on the market and shipped him home. Only Killer knew that Kid has sold what was left of his demon soul while he was in the deserts, and this arm was his reward.
"Anyway," Kid spoke, polishing off the last of his breakfast. "He has a job for us."
Killer nodded, "That makes more sense. Although I find it hard to believe he can't get what he needs to know from some overpaid hacker."
Kid chuckled, "Those typing wankers really think they can put us out of business, don't they?" Flashing a grin of too many teeth, he slung his arm around Killer's thinner frame. "But both you and I know that people believe their information is safer up here," he said, tapping the side of his temple.
"Until they meet us," Killer murmured, the corners of his lips twitching upward.
"Until they meet us," Kid echoed.
Killer stood and collected the dishes, tossing them in the sink and scrubbing them clean. "So who's the bird that the doctor wants us to make sing?" he inquired, passing Kid the utensils for the redhead to dry.
Kid tossed aside the barmop and pulled a folded slip of paper from his back pocket, squinting at the script. "A...uh..." he turned it to the side and frowned. Killer leaned around his friend and glanced at the writing.
"Samuel Dawson," Killer read. He wiped his hands dry on the rag and pressed the damp towel up against Kid's bare chest. "I'll browse the networks and find him. What does the doctor need to know from Mr. Dawson?"
"I was told to ask where the clown's laboratory is."
Killer opened his laptop and looked up from the glow of the screen. "The clown's laboratory?"
Kid turned about, the cast iron pan clutched in his grip now. "Oi, you know the drill. We don't go poking. I don't care if the clown's name is Bobo and he makes balloons. We get the answer, we pass it on, we close the file."
The blonde nodded and started running through various search engines as quickly as he could, until a noise from the kitchenette startled him. Glancing up again, he saw Kid doubled over, clutching his scarred torso, shaking with silent laughter.
"The clown, though?" Kid snickered, "I feel bad for the poor bitch who got stuck with that street name."
Killer nodded, "Me too, Captain. Me too."
About an hour passed afterward, during which Killer continued to flip through databases and social networking sites, taking down notes on their client. Kid finished cleaning the dishes and amused himself furthermore by throwing four inch daggers at the wall. The splintered wood and cracked paint crowded one sector of the wall, almost like a mural in its own fashion.
Kid tried to clear his head as he felt the weight of the hilt in his hand, tossed, and heard a satisfying thump when the blade was embedded in the wall. He tried to became engrossed in the rhythm of things, but for some reason, he could feel every needle sting of pain in his left arm. It felt cold again, a psychological chill that had settled in the marrow long ago.
It was only a handful of years before when Kid had been arguing with a salesman outside not too far outside of Kabul. The heat was oppressive - he had a white scarf around his head and was wearing torn, old combat pants from some lost soldier and a linen peasant top that was colored shit brown.
"Don't in sha Allah me!" he screamed at the man, repositioning the firearm strapped to his back. "It'll happen by tomorrow, because I will it, get it?"
The man said a smattering of things in return, half in English and half in Farsi. Kid was about to reach the edge of his patience when the salesman pointed over his soldier to the dunes beyond and murmured, "Americans."
Kid whipped around, already feeling the sweat-soaked hairs on the back of his neck raise. Both he and the salesman stood stock still as the soldiers pulled up in their jeeps and dismounted. Each of them slung their firearms around to be cradled under their arms as they approached.
"Afternoon, gentlemen," the taller American greeted with more cockiness than any human could be given credit for. Kid scowled.
"What?" he growled, "Look, we'll be on our way in a second." He pulled the automatic rifle off his back and tossed it on the ground at his feet. "You can confiscate it if you'd like, doesn't make shit difference to me. I ran out of ammo weeks ago."
The soldiers had been momentarily alarmed when he pulled the firearm from his back, but relaxed when it was off his person and on the ground. "Thanks, but that's not what we came out here for," the taller man replied. He turned to the native and shooed him off. "Go on! Boro gomsho!"
The salesman with whom Kid had been negotiating with nearly tripped over his own feet as he stumbled off back to his own van, kicking the dying engine into gear and taking off back down the main road.
Alone with the soldiers now, Kid eyed the men, their positions, and his car, calculating his chances of busting their faces in and making a run for it. It was a shit luck deal. Meanwhile, the one soldier was still trying to chat with him, spouting stuff about getting swindled by local businessmen.
"Cut to the chase," Kid ground out, squinting through the sunlight to try to catch glimpses of their shadowed faces under their hats.
"We're looking for a redhead Scottish bastard by the name of Eustass Kid," the man finally admitted. "The colonel thinks he could help with our operation."
Kid scoffed and tried to hack up spit in the back of his parched throat to ease the smoothness of his voice. "Tell your colonel that the Scottish bastard is under no obligation to help that Yankee motherfucker."
The soldier laughed loudly, slapping his mate on the back. "Yankee!" he chortled loudly for half a minute, before he petered out into seriousness once more. He didn't cock the gun or indicate its readiness, but the muscles of his upper arm twitched on the right side, as though tensing for something. It wasn't an action that Kid would miss.
"The situation is, Mister Eustass, that you actually have lots of reasons to help our colonel. You see, once he heard you were in the area, we did some research." Kid was hardly listening at this point, because from behind him, another jeep had pulled up, this one unpacking three soldiers. He was completely surrounded.
"So what? Am I on Wikipedia or something?" Kid sneered.
The soldier chuckled and shook his head. "No, no, but boy you are a funny one! No, but we did find out about how you were 14 when you beat a man to death in a pub in Ireland. Then reappeared two years later in a bank robbery in Detroit in the states. And then...how old were you? Nineteen, I think, when you evaded UN forces in Somalia who were trying to peg you for piracy."
Kid was unfazed. He knew his life story and much more than that, and although it was amusing to listen to the man become more and more overwhelmed with arrogance as he spoke, it wasn't on Kid's priority list. The rap sheet would continue, he was sure, but he had a plan involving a sideways maneuver, a broken jaw and -
"...but colonel can't be here to personal meet you, Mister Eustass...because he figured that he'd pick up your blondie faggot friend first."
And that was when Kid's blood ran cold.
Killer closed his laptop and, with deft fingers, stole the last dagger from Kid's fingertips right before he could toss it.
"Samuel Dawson," he began his brief. "He works at the nuclear power plant in Sizewell, Suffolk. Married to Jeanette Dawson, with a daughter, aged 16, named Susan. Mr. Dawson is currently in London on a business trip. He's staying at Central Park Hotel, room 260. His last meeting ends at 6 PM today, and he's leaving in the morning." Killer took the knife in his hand and stabbed it into the table in front of him.
"So that means after six we can assume he'll do some wining and dining with coworkers, and then call his wife and hit the sack. I suggest," Killer held up a finger, "that we wait until he has gotten off the phone with his wife."
Kid grinned, "Of course. Otherwise poor Mrs. Dawson would be worried about dear Sammy."
Killer looked fondly at his younger friend. "With reason," he added maliciously, "But that's none of our business."
It was nine in the evening and Kid was twirling a cigarette between his painted fingers, eyeing the fancy hotel doors with a certain distaste. "He smokes, right?" he asked again to the mouthpiece.
The crackle of Killer sighing on the other line was prominent. "Yes, Kid, he'll be down for a smoke. It's a simple no-entry gig. I'm watching him now, and he's still on the phone."
Kid rolled his eyes, "What the fuck does he even got to say to her?"
"Women like to talk," Killer countered, "Especially when their husbands are away. Make sure they aren't cheating, and the like."
"Well I wouldn't know that," Kid snapped. "I've never wasted my breath on women."
Killer was fast to change the topic. "He's getting off the phone," the blonde announced, and then, a moment later, "And picking up his smokes. Your cue, Kid. I'll meet you there."
Kid smirked and clicked off his earpiece, shoving the device in his pocket. He crossed the busy streets without looking and lurked in a corner not too far from the hotel entrance, cigarette pressed between his dark lips. In short order, a thin man with unruly brown hair exited the building, bringing out a smoke and lighting it up.
"Hey, mate," Kid called out to the man, not moving from his spot on the wall.
Samuel Dawson looked up, "Evening," he replied.
"Got a light?" Kid threw back.
The man nodded and made for Kid, pulling his lighter from his pocket. Kid smiled and leaned down into the man's flame. In the same moment that the redhead pulled back to draw a drag and puff out some smoke, he drew his handgun from his dark red coat and pressed it into Mr. Dawson's blue button-down chest.
As always, it took the victim a few moments to comprehend his situation. Kid waited patiently, puffing away on his smoke, eyeing his car which was illegal parked just some few feet away.
"Is that a gun?" the man asked shakily. He shook his head. His cigarette fell from his lips and started burning useless on the pavement. "You can't shoot me here, on this busy street. You're bluffing."
Kid was used to this routine. He lowered his golden eyes to meet Mr. Dawson's light brown orbs and narrowed them, embodying the spirit of his intent. In daylight, Eustass Kid looked just a little rough and tumble around the edges, just a tad off-kilter with his red hair and thick accent and painted lips and nails. But in moments like these, the clear lighting illuminated something deeper born within him.
In short, Kid housed a demon. A demon without honor, without the constraints of societal ties or domestic training. Kid was a leviathan of an beast, full of fire, rage, and a set of teeth to match. Instinctually, every human cowered before his animalistic madness, and Mr. Dawson was no different.
"What do you want?" the victim asked, the logic of his resistance snuffed like the weak flame that it was.
"Just get in the car," Kid nodded to the two-door vehicle. "In the backseat, passenger side."
Mr. Dawson obeyed, and Kid joined him, turning on the ignition and driving out into traffic. The doors locked, the passenger seat pushed back, and Mr. Dawson had no feasible means of escape.
"Aren't you going to blindfold me?" he asked after a few minutes from the back of the car as they began to head downtown.
"No," Kid answered simply. "Now shut up."
City lights flashed by, and Kid knew that his subject was not paying attention to a single thing that drifted past his vision. He was plotting, thinking of escape routes, possible enemies, his wife and daughter, and probably praying to God. Kid knew what it felt like, and he had no sympathy. Everybody had to fight like rats to survive in this world, and if one became so disillusioned to forget this, then he deserved his fate.
They parked on an abandoned side street, outside of a run down textile mill. Kid cut the ignition and opened the door for Mr. Dawson, seeing him out. The man did not try to run for it. He did hold up his hands though and began to plead.
"If you want money, I have -"
"No," Kid said shortly. "And I told you to shut up already. I won't say it again."
Inside the back door of the textile mill, down to the lower layers. Killer was waiting with some rope and a chair nailed to the floor. His face was completely masked. Mr. Dawson shuddered and backed up at the sight of him - his wild mane of hair, his concealed face, his silent aura.
"Hello, Mr. Dawson," Killer greeted. "In the chair, if you would."
Mr. Dawson sat, trembling visibly by this point. Kid pulled out another cigarette and lit it. "Did you pick up the booze?" he pressed his friend.
"I did," Killer responded as he tied Mr. Dawson securely to the chair. "The rum is still a bit chilled. It's in the other room. I figured you'd want a glass while I worked."
"Thanks," Kid muttered, going to leave the couple alone. As he left, Mr. Dawson's eyes followed him greedily, begging for the redhead man to come back. He was familiar with that man. Kid's face wasn't masked, his hair wasn't overly long, his jeans weren't ripped up the sides with tassels. Killer watched his begging expression with amusement.
"I'm not the one you should be afraid of, Mr. Dawson," Killer told him. "If you are lucky, you'll never have to see my Captain again." The blonde pulled an old metal seat out from the far pile of scraps. The legs of the chair scraped and squealed across the ground. Eventually, he saddled it in front of his victim and sat on it backward, resting his arms on the arch.
"My name is Killer," he introduced himself.
"Am I being held hostage?" Mr. Dawson asked.
Killer shook his head, "No, Mr. Dawson. I just have a question." He pulled a cigarette from his pack and pressed it between the victim's lips, lighting it up for him. The man puffed on it like a baby sucking from a tit. Killer smirked under his mask at the man's complacency.
"I need to know where the clown's laboratory is."
Mr. Dawson dropped his cigarette for the second time that night. Patiently, Killer plucked it off of the man's chest, where it was burning a hole in his shirt, and took a drag off of it himself, while waiting for the victim to recover. Mr. Dawson had paled considerably at the mention of the name the clown. He couldn't play the poker face card now even if he had years of interrogation experience.
"I can't tell you that," Mr. Dawson managed to say. "Please, it's not a loyalty thing... it's just that he... him... I..." he turned his head desperately looking at the thin ray of moonlight coming into the room. "I'm not even involved in it, please. I just can't tell you though. My wife, my daughter..."
Killer interrupted him, "Notice that we haven't threatened them. We aren't like those people, Mr. Dawson," he lied, "We don't really hurt people. We want to stop them, that's all. Now tell us where, and we'll protect your family. We'll get you somewhere safe."
Visibly, the man's shoulders sagged. He sighed and eyed his trembling knees for a good moment. "You can protect them?" he asked hopefully, "Are you guys MI6 or something?"
"No," Killer answered, "But we will keep you safe. I swear it on my father's life."
Mr. Dawson was not a complete fool, though. He glanced around and then shoved forward his pant leg with his cell phone in it. "Then call my wife," he said, "And tell her what you're doing, where we'll be safe."
Killer pushed himself off of the chair and put out his smoke in the empty glass of rum he had helped himself too. He paced around Mr. Dawson's chair, until he was behind the man. Then he grabbed a handful of the man's hair and pressed a sharp dagger to his jugular.
"Call your wife?" he spat in Mr. Dawson's ear. "Very witty, I'm sure she'd alert the police rapidly enough, even though, honestly, I've taken down my fair share of the stick-toting fuzz." He nicked under the man's chin and hissed, "I guess we were playing each other for fools, weren't we?"
Mr. Dawson panicked. His breathing began rapid and inconsistent, his heart started to pound and more blood than necessary gushed from his small neck wound. "Please!" he begged, "Please just let me go! Find someone else to tell you!"
"No, no, no," Killer tutted, "You are the only one for us." He began to make his way to the door, "I'll motivate you quickly enough though." Killer cracked the door open and called out, "Captain! Your turn!"
Kid grunted from the other side. There was the clank of a heavy bottle being set on the floor. Killer turned to Mr. Dawson to explain.
"Captain's had a bit to drink now, so he's probably in the mood." Mr. Dawson's primal fear increased exponentially as Kid's booted footsteps scuffed across the floor. "You see, you should have told me, Mr. Dawson. I would have killed you quickly."
The man in the chair heaved as though he were about to vomit, which Killer didn't doubt. Then he screeched, "But you swore! You swore on your father's life!"
Killer pushed up his mask and stepped into the moonlight for one moment, fixing Mr. Dawson with a cold blue-eyed stare. "I killed my father, you dumb son of a bitch."
By this point, Kid was leaning in the doorframe. He pressed down on Killer's mask and eased it back over the man's face. "You've been drinking too much," he chided his friend. "You're being dramatic."
The blond shrugged, "Forgive me, Captain. He's a lot of fun."
Kid nodded, looking down his crooked nose at Mr. Dawson. "I bet he is."
It was only a half hour later and Kid was listening to the ringing tone on his mobile. He polished off his glass of rum and wiped his bloody fingers on his pants.
"Eustass," a cool voice answered the phone.
"Trafalgar," Kid responded. "I got your location."
There was a tinny chuckling from the other end, "I had faith in you. I'd prefer you tell me in person though. Did you write it down so you don't forget?"
Kid eyed the mutilated corpse at his feet. "You could say that."
"Wonderful." The satisfied smirk could nearly be heard from across the receiver.
"When do you wanna meet?" Kid pressed.
"Tonight," Law answered bluntly, "When you get home."
"Okay well where -"
"I'm in your flat already."
Kid scowled and kicked the carcass with the tip of his boots, "You better be fucking kidding me, you slimy little -"
"Ah, ah, ah!" Law interjected, "How could you call me such things, Eustass-ya? You see, I've seen your living situation, and I can hardly classify them as anything near the godly state of cleanliness."
Kid rolled his eyes, "What, are you upset with the state of my linens?"
"No...those are quite nice." Law made a deep purring noise in the back of his throat, "I'm actually lying on your bed right now, and don't worry, I've taken my shoes off. Hurry home, Eustass-ya, or I might fall asleep before you get here."
There was a snap, and suddenly the phone in Kid's hands was shattered to bits of wires and silicon chips. He growled and dropped the shards of the appliance into Killer's hands. "Clean up the mess," he ordered his subordinate. "I have to pummel the living shit out of a doctor."
Killer looked at the dead body and the broken phone, and then sighed. "This is the second blackberry this month, Kid. I'm switching you to flip phones."
But the redhead didn't respond. He was on his way back to his flat, driving with a cold patience down each city street, seething at each traffic light. It was not in his nature for him to be curious about the affairs of his clients, but he couldn't help but wonder why an organ-dealing surgeon wanted to know the location of a lab in the Siberian tundra.
Yet even more pressing was the question of why the doctor felt the need to press every one of the madman's buttons, currently lying on his bed like he belonged there, cocky smirk plastered right above his goatee. Kid's knuckles turned white on the steering wheel - the thought of the man made him sick.
Whew. This story is NOT easy to write, holy hell. Well I hoped you liked the little bit of backstory. Please read and review.
in sha Allah - if god wills it, arabic
boro gomsho - get lost, persian