Hi there! Okay, here's a brand new fanfic. I've been getting on a Sly Cooper kick lately, and this idea just would not leave me alone. For those few of you who might be wondering about my other fanfic, 'By A Thread', don't worry. I outright REFUSE to abandon it! I'm battling some writer's block, but when I conquer it, chapter 4 will be good. But for now, here's something different and new to tide you over.
Disclaimer: Sanzaru owns Sly Cooper and all characters within. I only own the OCs. A'ight then, read on!
Chapter 1: One of Those Nights
I seemed doomed to have one of those days where everything blows up somehow.
First, my roommate, Vivienne, casually informs me that she's going to be short on her half of the rent by over 40 Euros this month due to 'general budget cuts' where she worked as a nurse, though I suspected she had just racked up a new credit card bill. Then that chihuahua proceeds to throw yet another fit about the amount of dishes in the sink even though they were mostly hers. Hell, I rarely even sat down to eat. I couldn't afford the time. Most of my meals came out of wrappers and takeaway boxes.
Secondly, my first boss, a terrier named Isaac, calls me right after the fight ends (I employed the use of a guilt-trip and won) and tells me that the gym we work at is closed indefinitely. It had been discovered that the restaurant that shared the building with us had a huge rat infestation.
I had been relying on that job to pay my side of the rent this month, so I was really annoyed and slightly worried at the news. But, I tried not to let it show in my voice as I joked with Isaac about how glad I was that we had never eaten there. I thanked him for the update and bid him good night while I tried to figure out a solution.
I was working out approximately how long I could live on ramen without a cell phone when it rang again. I had a brief second to think sarcastically, Boy, am I popular tonight? I didn't bother looking at the number before putting it up to my ear. "What?" I snapped, then I winced at my tone. I was still agitated from the fight.
"Yo, Aurora!" yelled a familiar voice. "My little Northern Light!"
The only person who ever called me that cheesy nickname was Dimitri, my other boss. Rolling my eyes, I asked, "What's up?" I made my voice as casually polite as I could.
I needn't have bothered. Dimitri was too busy trying to yell over a pounding bass in the background, "A nasty bug flew to Layla's house and chained her to the porcelain throne. I'm up a creek and find myself short one paddle! I need you to cast a light on the disco ball from the here and now 'till the break of dawn. I'll be grateful-times-two for a 'yes', dig?"
It takes me a few seconds to translate what Dimitri just said into a recognizable form of English.
Apparently, another waitress named Layla had caught a bad case of the flu and left Dimitri short-staffed at the club. He needed me to cover her double-shift, but he was offering (I think?) to pay me twice the usual rate as compensation for this last minute call.
Even if he wasn't, how could I say 'no' to a financial boon like this? Dimitri paid his employees very well.
Thanking my lucky stars, I replied, "Sure thing, Dimitri. I'll be there in fifteen minutes."
"You are sweeter than the molasses!" he yelled, sounding elated. "Peace out!" And with that, Dimitri hung up.
I put my phone back in my pocket with a shrug. Dimitri was definitely the most interesting boss I had ever had. There was nothing conventional about the guy.
I spent the next 5 minutes getting ready for work, putting on a lime V-neck crop top along with dark-wash skinny jeans and a pair of black-leather high-heeled boots. Then I proceeded to put my long, blue-grey hair in a high pony-tail and swipe on some mascara and liner and finishing the look with plum lip gloss. Usually, I didn't care for this ensemble, but it got me the most tips at the club.
Giving myself a nod of approval, I grabbed my jacket and car keys and headed out the door.
"Where are you going all dressed up?" asked Vivienne's sulky voice from the living room.
I turned in the doorway to see her sitting on the couch in a bath robe with her feet propped on the table. She even had the nerve to be clutching a glass of wine when she asked me that! After seeing this, I couldn't resist prolonging the guilt-trip I had started with her earlier.
"To make up for the rent that you spent on that wine," I said flatly. It worked. She flushed deep red under her sandy fur before she turned back to the TV with a huff. I didn't want to stick around, so I let the door shut softly behind me as I went to work.
Precisely eight minutes later, I was pulling up in my little Volkswagen bug in the employee parking lot of Le Théàtre Formidable, Dimitri's night club. I say parking lot, but it was really more of a wide alley with some parking lines painted on the asphalt. As soon as I step out, I can hear the pounding bass from inside but I've grown used to it over the last couple of weeks that I've worked here.
I'm enveloped by techno music and the swaying bodies of patrons the second I walk in the door, forcing me to navigate through them to get behind the bar so I could punch in and start working. It was a Friday night, and it seemed like the whole west side of Paris had come here to drink and be merry. I had just put up my jacket and keys when I heard someone call out, "Auroooorraaaa!" Looking around, I spotted Dimitri in an instant.
Even in this crowd, it was impossible to miss the purple iguana dressed in a chartreuse suit and a shirt almost as loud as the music. The guy had the worst fashion sense of anyone I had ever known.
I gave a smile and a wave, and he raised his glass at me and winked. I turned around to grab my drink tray as my head shook in disbelief. Dimitri was a shameless flirt, but for the most part he was harmless. So I slapped on a smile and got to earning the last of my rent.
Seven-and-a-half of the eight hours in my shift had passed, and I was running low on professional perk. This had nothing to do with the fact that it was currently 3:30 AM. I had always been more of a nocturnal type. But the crowd was especially rowdy tonight. In the last hour alone, I had broken up a cat-fight (between two actual cats, no less) and thrown out three guys trying to break a bottle over someone's head. Also, just minutes ago, some drunken Labrador had yanked my tail and whispered in my ear, "How much for the night?" I promptly replied with an elbow to his gut and had a bouncer pull him out the door by one floppy ear. I'll admit that his yelps of protest brought on a flash of vindictive satisfaction for me.
I had retreated into a relatively quiet corner for a breather when I heard Dimitri yelling angrily from his office. I was by myself and only a few feet from his door, so I could hear him pretty clearly even though I hadn't intended to eavesdrop. One of the burdens of being a cat, I guess. He said something about a break in his data streaming. Judging by his tone, I guessed that his computer was broken or something. I was about to dismiss it and go back to work when the next legible words that came out of Dimitri's office were 'nosy raccoon', 'data satellites', and 'sabotaged'.
That got my ears perked. Why anyone would need satellites at a night club was beyond me, let alone why someone would sabotage them. Then I realized Dimitri had called the unnamed raccoon 'nosy', not 'drunk'. So it couldn't be a patron, even though it was a rougher crowd than usual.
I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned to see Bernard, a poodle who tended the bar here. "Hey, Aurora, I'm going off the clock. Could you give this to the boss?" He held out a folded note to me. "Some guy dropped it off. He said it was important."
I gave Bernard a smile and slid the note into my pocket. "I'll see that Dimitri gets it," I promised.
The poodle patted me on the shoulder and walked away, his curly white head blending into the crowd. As I was left alone with my thoughts, I decided that it seemed awfully suspicious for Dimitri to receive an anonymous note after I hear him yelling about sabotaged satellites and a 'nosy raccoon'.
Suddenly, I realized what was happening and I shook my head to derail the train of thought my mind had jumped onto. No, no, no, you're wrong, Aurora. It's just your overactive imagination talking. You're tired, you've had a few adrenaline rushes, and you're just being paranoid. It's none of your business anyway, so just leave it alone.
I had just convinced myself to follow my own advice when Dimitri stepped out of his office. The murderous expression on his face undid all my efforts to curb my curiosity. The iguana was puffing steadily on his cigar, and he had none of his usual swagger as he stomped through the crowd to exit through a door marked 'Not An Exit-Security Pass Only'.
I felt a familiar itch behind my ears, and I knew that whatever was behind that door was probably going to get me in trouble.
But I could never resist a secret.
Inwardly groaning at myself in defeat, I strode towards the door. It was on a pneumatic door jamb to keep it from slamming shut, and it hadn't quite closed yet. I just grabbed the edge before it could latch and slipped myself inside.
I could feel my spine tingling as I made my way down the hall. At the end was a set of metal stairs with lights shining through the grates from underneath. Since I was virtually alone, I decided to continue forward.
Once I reached the bottom of the stairs, I saw that I was on a wide metal catwalk in a very large room. There was some kind of machine running one floor down, and when I looked over the metal railing, I gasped in shock and my eyes widened to saucers.
There was a printing press underneath me, and it was churning out currency like there was no tomorrow. The floor was stacked with palettes of the stuff ready to be cut and bundled. It finally hit me that Dimitri was running a counterfeiting operation. The smart part of my brain told me that now would probably be a good time to get out of here and call the police.
Of course, the second I turn to go back upstairs, who should be there but the criminal himself?
Before I can react, he grabs my arms and pins me to the railing. He even steps on my feet to keep me from kicking at him. Dimitri leans in close enough for me to see the individual cinders from his cigar and says almost affectionately, "My little Northern Light, you shined too bright tonight."
I really didn't want to find out exactly what Dimitri meant by that, so I gave him the ol' Glasgow kiss, if you know what I mean.
Dimitri grunted in pain and let go of me to clutch at his nose. The second he did, I sprinted for the door. That maneuver gets you out of trouble nine times out of ten.
Unfortunately, this was a one-out-of-ten time. I had just reached the top of the stairs when a hot jolt made my whole body spasm. I fell to the ground in pain as every part of my body felt like it was exploding. I lay there in a twitching, barely-conscious heap as I felt my arms get pulled behind me. I tried to move away from whoever was doing that, but I couldn't. Whatever it was that hit me had me paralyzed, and that brought on a really sickening feeling.
I was trying not to black out or throw up when I felt myself being tossed over someone's shoulder. I was still struggling to keep my last energy bar down when I felt my toes wiggle. I would have shouted in glee if I could. My moment of victory was short-lived, however, when I felt the person carrying me set me down and proceed to fold me into a very tight space that smelled like a permanent marker.
Ugh, I can almost feel my brain cells dying in here, I thought as something clanged into place over my head. I was still dizzy, and my left shoulder hurt like crazy, but at last my eyes opened only to find a metal wall before me. A small shaft of light above me let me see that I had been stuffed into a metal drum. My hands had been tied behind my back, and my ankles were also tied together. I could even feel the strip of tape that had been adhered to my mouth.
My poor fried brain managed to fill in the gaps for the time I had been immobilized. Apparently, Dimitri had used a shock pistol or something on me after I head-butted him and tried to make a break for it. Then, he had trussed me up like a turkey before putting me in this barrel. I could hear the creep talking outside my little prison.
It was too muffled to make out anything clearly, but I didn't have to worry because Dimitri came over and told me.
"Well, my little Northern Light, I'm afraid you came to the wrong place at the wrong time. Now the other members of the Klaww Gang want to make you past-tense. Can't let you sing like a canary for the boys-in-blue."
Now, mind you, I already knew I was in a lot of trouble, but as I translated Dimitri's words, my stomach slowly sank to the bottom of my barrel.
Dimitri had called in this incident to the Klaww Gang, of which he was a member (I should have seen that coming!), and now they wanted to silence me permanently.
I was arriving at the point where it made sense for me to be very afraid, and I was very much afraid.
A red eye blocked out my light and stared at me with detachment and mild regret. "I do this with lead shoes, you know? Dimitri wishes he could have gazed at his little Northern Light for longer."
Anger flashed through me. Here's Dimitri, casually informing me that he's going to end my life, and all he can think to say is that he'll miss me?!
You know what? I was fed up with that stupid nickname he had for me. My name was Aurora Seville, and I was darn proud of it! I glared daggers at him (at his eyeball, anyway) and started yelling at him through the duct tape. I didn't even care if it came out as muffled nonsense. I just wanted Dimitri to know how angry I was and let him imagine all the colorful things I was calling him. He walked away after just a few seconds, but I'd like to think he could still hear me from at least a few feet away.
After I ran out of steam, it was pretty quiet except for my breathing and the sound of the printing press. It gave me time to think which is something one probably shouldn't do when one is awaiting their demise tied up in a metal barrel. You know the phrase 'Curiosity killed the cat'? I was thinking how stupidly cliché it was that I was going to be able to apply that to my last moments on earth.
Actually, I wouldn't be applying it. Everyone else would be applying it while I would probably be lying at the bottom of the river, you know, because I would be dead.
I sighed heavily through my nose. Yup, I was definitely having one of those days where everything blows up somehow.
LOL. Okay, that's the end of chapter 1 in my first Sly Cooper fanfic. It was going to be longer, but I decided to hold off and make what happens next into chapter 2. *evil smile* I know, I'm so mean. You won't regret it, though, I promise. Reviews are appreciated and encouraged! Faves and follows are nice, too.