Raphael flailed for a moment and tried to escape, lashing out at his captor. Fondue growled at his side.
"H-hey, stop moving!" The voice exclaimed, and as he broke free of their grasp he realized he recognized the voice.
"Charlie!?" Raphael sputtered, taking another cautious step away.
"Yeah, that's right. I set this trap so I could catch you and prove my worth!"
"You're not doing a very good job," Raphael teased.
"Well if you'd just stay still…"
"Not a chance, Charlotte."
"Hey, just call me Charlie!"
Raphael smirked, but the effect was lost in the darkness of the room. He debated making a break for it, but before he could, Charlie spoke up again.
"I know that was you in the headquarters today. Why did you look so… different?" she asked tentatively. Her voice quickly switched back to hostile, though, as she threatened, "And do not even think about lying; the alarm is less than a meter away."
"You'll pull it anyways," Phantom R countered steadily.
"Unless you give me a reason to wait," Charlie said, tone unwavering.
"Well, do you expect me to go to school dressed as a wanted criminal?" Raphael replied after a moment of deliberation. "Like, 'oh, excuse me, I didn't write that essay because I was out stealing the Mona Lisa, no big deal, can I turn it in tomorrow?'"
"Then why do you steal?" Charlie pressed, her curious tone tinged with frustration.
"It's really a long story," Raphael said, taking another soft step backwards towards Fondue.
"We've got time," Charlie said, a warning in her tone.
"Well, I don't know about you, but I certainly don't," he scoffed, straightening out his hat. "I'm surprised there weren't guards stationed here when I arrived."
"Trust me, we've got time," Charlie, deadpanned, and Raphael could practically see her roll her eyes through the darkness of the room. "So let me repeat: you're going to explain to me why you steal art only to put it back. And, if I like your answer, I might not even pull the alarm. Do we have a deal?"
Raphael sighed in irritation before sitting down on the floor, figuring he was going to be there a while. "Fine," he replied, and started on telling the (shortened) story.
As Raphael concluded the story, he stood up and brushed the dust off of his pants. "So for the record, those weren't my parents who picked me up earlier. Fondue's all I've got, so if you don't mind, I think it's time we get out of here."
"Wait, why don't you just tell the police?" Charlie asked.
"I'm pretty sure they'd arrest me at first sight," Raphael argued, taking another step away from Charlie. "I'm a wanted art thief with several pieces stashed in a secret basement. I doubt they'd consider me trustworthy."
"No, Phantom, I could tell my father. I could explain the situation! He isn't going to throw me in jail," Charlie suggested, convinced that this was their solution. It was fairly logical, but Raphael still had his doubts.
"Uh, I think I'd rather just head out and save the confrontation for another day," Raphael decided, feeling around the storage room. There were enough stacks of boxes that he should be able to reach the vent again without too much effort, so he picked up Fondue and started climbing. "Or, maybe, never." He didn't have much light to work with, only slivers here and there, but the ceiling wasn't too high. It would've been a lot easier if he'd had some sort of rhythm to aid in his climb; that was how he did everything else in his life, after all.
"Phantom! Get back here!" Charlie hissed, and Raphael could hear her getting closer he felt around the ceiling, but the opening was a few feet over from the stack of boxes he was standing on top of. It was too far away to simply climb up into from where he stood, unfortunately. He'd have to lift himself into it, though, so first he lifted up Fondue into the vent.
"No thanks, Charlie," Raphael said, and he leaned over to grip the edge of the vent. He'd just have to step off of the boxes, hang in the air, and pull himself up into a crawlspace barely bigger than himself. Nothing he hadn't done before.
"I'm going to tell my father," Charlie insisted, and Raphael could tell she was somewhere below him. He had to move quickly. Gritting his teeth, he stepped off of the boxes and swung a little bit before coming to a stop. Now to pull himself up—"You don't understand, Phantom. This way, I can prove myself to my father and you won't have to be arrested. It's going to work!"
"Charlie, I— ah!" Raphael yelped in surprise as a hand grabbed his ankle and he slipped, crashing down onto the floor. Something had broken his fall and he was still disoriented, but before he could even process what had happened the lights flew on and felt as if they were blinding him.
"What is the meaning of this!?" Vergier's outraged voice came from the doorway, and Raphael had to blink a few times to see right again. When he could… well, he wished he couldn't. Charlie had grabbed him to try and stop him from leaving, but instead Raphael had slipped, falling directly on top of her. And of course, Vergier had chosen just that moment to walk in. "First you steal priceless art and now you harass my daughter!? What kind of person are you!?" The man's face was bright red with anger and Raphael jumped to his feet, face turning red out of embarrassment. Charlie followed suit, stepping away from Raphael.
"N-no, Inspector, I swear—" Raphael tried to explain, holding his hands up defensively. Out of any heist, this was by far the worst situation he had gotten stuck in.
"I don't want to hear your excuses!" Vergier yelled, interrupting him. "Men, arrest this street urchin!"
Raphael looked around in a panic. There was only a… a window! How had he not thought to escape through that? His thieving instincts were to find the most hidden way in and out, but clearly that was impeding upon his abilities to use actual logic. "Fondue!" he shouted, looking up and holding out his arms. The little dog leaped down and Raphael caught him, throwing open the window and placing Fondue on his shoulder. "Hold on, Fondue," he whispered, climbing out and carefully finding his way down the side of the building. He made it without any trouble, but the officers were probably heading down the stairs to follow him.
Vergier had tried to snatch him on his way out, but Raphael was too quick; now the Inspector was leaning out the window, pointing and shouting, "Somebody, catch him!"
Raphael chuckled as he ran, letting Fondue down so he could run on his own. He knew that Charlie would no longer be chasing him, and he was fairly confident that the officers weren't going to catch him any time soon. Raphael turned slightly as he ran, cheerfully calling back to the Inspector, "Show's over, folks!"
With a final wave from Phantom R and a gleeful bark from Fondue, the infamous duo disappeared into the streets of Paris.
Author's Note: Thank you again to everyone who read this, and I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it! I had a lot of fun writing humor for this game. Also thank you, TwilightWakerofTime, for motivating me to actually finish it finally and edit it all, as well as everyone who favorited, followed, and reviewed. I really appreciated it! And again, I am so sorry for making you wait for the final chapters! ^^"
In the words of Phantom R, au revoir! :D