I may do more one-shots later on between Hei and Misaki. But there was a lot that I had to save for my DTB: Rise and Revolt story. I know this is a long one-shot. So just take your time and soak it in. I had an awesome time writing it. This will be the first scene that I've ever written between Hei and Misaki's meeting. So I wanted to keep it in actual realms of the characters and how they behave. Tell me what you think when you finish :) Enjoy.
Misaki stared blankly at her dashboard which solemnly warned her there were thirty one minutes left before the New Year.
She had left the office twelve minutes ago, hungry and in desperate need of sleep.
She managed to find a lonely ramen restaurant for dinner. The taste was nothing spectacular, but on such a cold winter's night, a hot meal sounded like heaven.
Not long after she'd been occupied with her meal, Kanami called for the thirteenth time to invite her to her friends New Year 's Eve party. Each time she called she sounded less and less sober.
Misaki could barely understand her now. Before she could begin to worry, one of her family members drew the phone away.
"Kanami's had a few too many drinks," chuckled Kanami's close cousin. "You know how she is. Work hard, play hard."
Misaki felt compelled to muster up a half-hearted smile. When she realized no one was watching, she frowned to herself.
"Are you sure you don't want to join us? The party doesn't exactly end at midnight, you know."
"I appreciate the offer, but I'm very tired tonight."
There was a small sigh. "Ah well, there's always next year, right? Happy New Year Misaki. Take care of yourself."
"Bye!" shouted Kanami on the other end. "Bye Mi-sa-ki. I-I love you!"
"Kanami, stop!" her cousin countered quickly. "You're embarrassing yourself."
Misaki could hear Kanami and her cousin wrestling for the phone, a battle the latter overcame. "Mi-sa-ki, I need you to do something for me. You h-have to. Are you listening?" her voice slurred lazily through the phone as Misaki set down her soda to prepare herself for a drunken lecture.
"Yes, I'm listening."
"Okay, just do this for me. Please. Find- you gotta. F-find a nice man, okay? And GET LAID!"
"Now you've done it. Give me the phone. Now!" The fight for the phone filled Misaki's ears as she quickly glanced up. Apparently, Kanami spoke so loud that she shocked her waiter into nearly dropping a plate he'd been carrying. He turned bright red as Misaki looked away, mortified.
"Wait! I'm not done!
"Hand. It. Over."
The call ended abruptly for which she was thankful. At least, her best friend was in good hands. Her family would make sure she got home safe tonight.
Misaki was finishing off her meal when her waiter brought her ticket before quickly ducking into the kitchen. She thought it was rather peculiar until she noticed he had bashfully scribbled down his telephone number on the back of it.
She felt the heat rush to her face. The guy was no more than 17. How old do I look?
Later, she found herself idle in watching time move. Where she should go now? Home? There was nothing there but an empty place. No one would be there to greet her when she walked through the door. There would be no dinner waiting. No lights. No sound. Nobody. She didn't want to face that yet.
Back to work? The office was closed for the night. And she had already established herself as wholly exhausted of any work-related energy. All of her cases would have to wait, not that she was any closer to solving them at the moment. As for her "golden" case, she wasn't any closer to catching the Black Reaper as she was to grasping smoke.
What about that party? Her stomach curled with aversion at the thought. A loud room full of people wasn't how she wished to spend the New Year holiday and that was that.
Maybe right here. In my car. She thought to herself as she leaned her head back. After all, no one's expecting me. There is no one. She closed her eyes and breathed evenly.
There were times when she believed that her job swallowed her whole. Come to think of it, it felt like each time she put away one bad guy fourteen more sprang up. She thought about what it would be like to have all crime eliminated by locking up every criminal in Japan. But then what would she do with her life? Being a cop was all she knew, all she wanted to be.
It was a dangerous job, required reflective dedication and sometimes isolation. Most times, she paid no mind to the thought. She typically went to work, ate a hefty meal and crashed when she made it back to her apartment. Why should tonight feel any different?
But it did.
If Kanami were home and sober, she would've went to see her. Company sounded so nice. She opened her eyes and found his star. BK201. What are you doing for New Year's?
Suddenly, her phone rang. She jolted upright and grabbed it from her purse cursing herself when she realized she hadn't checked the caller id first.
"Misaki. I'm glad you picked up."
"I'm sorry if you were expecting another man's call. How are you?"
Misaki rubbed the corner of her eye to distract herself from rising guilt.
"I'm fine. Did you need something?"
"A man can't call his daughter to wish her a Happy New Year? I'm afraid you could use some repairs in your people skills."
"Sorry," she said gloomily. "Happy New Year, Dad."
There was silence on the line.
"How…are you, Misaki? It's awfully quiet over there. Are you home?"
"No. Not at the moment," she said glancing out at the night sky.
"That's too bad. I thought it'd be nice to ring the New Year in together for once. I can be over in ten minutes, if you wouldn't mind my visiting."
"I'm actually on my way to a friend's party. Kanami's waiting for me there." What am I doing? She knew he was just baiting her. He wanted to know if she had plans for the night. She was sure he did.
The truth was, she couldn't face him without breaking down and revealing that she felt entirely alone in the world. She couldn't. It was the aftermath that she chose to avoid.
He'd take one look at her and know something was wrong. No doubt, he knew by the sound of her voice already.
A pause. "I see." There was no mistaking the disappointment in his voice.
A new wave of guilt washed over her as she locked eyes on the brightest star in the sky.
"Well, should you change your mind, I'm only a phone call away."
His voice softened considerably. "Happy New Year, Misaki."
She felt a lump form in her throat that she couldn't force back down. "You too," she said before quickly ending the call.
Clearing her throat, she pulled down her visor to look at herself in the mirror. Her eyes appeared glassy. Now, why in the hell did she want to cry so badly? I've really snapped, haven't I. Crying for no reason.
"Dispatch, this is unit 7. Contractor activity reported in Shibuya. Advise. Over."
Misaki idly listened in as she fixed her gaze back on the stars. She wasn't surprised to hear it.
"…suspect is a male wearing a black trench coat and white mask. Requesting backup."
Misaki snapped her head to her dispatcher radio. Did she hear that right? She shook her head. Anyone could be wearing black and a mask, especially one of the many contractors that took advantage of their abilities.
"10-4, this is dispatch. What's your 20? Over."
The location the unit mentioned wasn't far from where she sat. She listened to dispatch check in for all units.
"Unit 4, this is dispatch. Proceed with caution. Backup is en route to scene. ETA 12 minutes. Over."
"10-4 Dispatch. Requesting messier code for active star. Over."
A pause. Misaki stared at the source of sound with intense anticipation. She couldn't help the rapid beating of her heart, or stop herself from wishing. Is it him?
"10-4. Astronomics has confirmed the active messier code for TS-018 and messier BK-20-"
Misaki shot off into traffic without a second thought.
TS-018 was a nuisance of a contractor with the ability to vaporize his victims. He was disorganized and often used his ability to earn his living by burning holes through pockets and purses to steal wallets. An independent contractor, not that any organization wished to use him. His behavior was often on the reckless side of rationality.
However, unit 4 was in for a world of trouble if they thought they could contain the Black Reaper. She turned her siren on and notified her dispatcher that she wasn't far from the scene.
"Dispatch this is Kirihara. Responding. ETA 2 minutes. I'm en route to scene."
She listened to the dispatcher cancel the previous backup unit.
When she arrived she found the two officers from unit 4 in their cars waiting. When they spotted her, they rushed out to meet her.
Misaki stepped out of her car and walked briskly to meet them, pulling her scarf more snuggly around her neck to fight the biting chill in the air. She fidgeted with her inner coat pocket to rest her anxiety. Out of the corner of her eye she saw a flash of light and looked up.
On the roof of one of the apartments she saw sparks of electricity here and there followed by faint noises she couldn't decipher.
"Glad you're here chief," officer Fumio said quickly. He seemed honored by her presence. After all, this was her area of expertise.
The other wasn't happy to see her at all. Officer Giichi, she recalled. Not the most pleasant man to work with. But, he'll do his best to get the job done.
Misaki readied her gun in concise movements. They followed suit. They were average men on the watch, but they were prepared for the odds. "Let's go. Keep your eyes open."
The three of them quickly moved toward the top of the apartment building. Thankfully, they only passed by a young couple making out in the hall who were too occupied to notice.
They had seven stories to travel. On the fifth floor, the electricity in the staircase briefly flickered. Misaki paused and strained her ears. It was silent above. Strange.
Her officers looked to her for instructions. She briefly looked their way. "Let's keep moving," she said, continuing up the staircase.
Before they knew it, they were on the roof where everything was still and vacant. The three officers did a quick sweep of the area.
"There's no one here."
"I don't get it," Fumio said walking over, shaking his head. "They were just here."
"You're sure you saw them?" Misaki asked, lowering her weapon. There was no hiding her frustration.
"We had a visual," Giichi said sharply. "Did the description not match your contractor?"
Misaki looked up at the sky and grappled with the failure of catching the flame that blazed her pursuit in the first place.
"No stars have fallen," she observed thoughtfully. She turned to her officers. "They still might be in the area. Search the neighborhood. Civilian safety is top priority, as I'm sure you're aware. Contact me if you find them."
"Yeah," officer Giichi stated morosely. "We're on it. Come on Fumio."
What the hell is his problem?
He practically forced Fumio back into the staircase, who struggled to express his deepest gratitude for working with the Chief of MPD.
Misaki listened to their footsteps grow dim before she checked her watch. 27 minutes till midnight. And here I am. What am I doing here?
Her job, she reminded herself as she sighed.
Though it was probably twenty degrees outside, it was kind of nice to watch the city from the roof. She could almost feel the excitement the lights from below emitted as she listened to the town's celebration.
She felt a gust of wind brush against her. She tried to bury her face as much as she could into her scarf. It really was a beautiful night. The air was crisp. The sky was clear.
Gunshots rang out in the distance. Two distinctive shots fired from a police issued 9mm. Gasping, she turned suddenly to leave, but froze at the sight.
There he stood, like a phantom of the night. Clad in black, knives drawn as he looked eerily to her behind a porcelain mask. She was almost trapped in a daze, trying to determine if this was real. Was he really standing there?
"BK20-?" It's really you. With a quick shake of her head she raised her gun. "Hold it right there!"
"Or you'll shoot me?" he asked.
His voice was bottomless, so husky it sounded like a harsh whisper against the cold night air. She almost questioned if this was the same exchange student she'd had dinner with long ago.
The Black Reaper's gaze lifted to the sky to watch a star fall.
"Looks like your men found the contractor," he said.
Misaki spared a quick glance toward the sky, but it was already too late.
Just that fast, The Reaper moved from his position and promptly disarmed her by twisting her arm backwards. She cried out in pain and moved to attack him with her free hand before he locked it firmly in his grip. She had no choice but to either surrender her weapon, or completely dislocate her shoulder which she could already feel tearing.
It was too late for her to decide. BK-201 had possession of her gun as he stood closely behind her with her arms constrained.
"Why are you so eager to capture me?" he spoke gruffly in her ear. "I'll die before I turn myself over to the likes of you."
"That's not a very rational thing to say," Misaki retorted as she struggled against him.
His grip tightened.
"Perhaps you're right," he said coldly as he shoved her forward.
Misaki fell headlong on her palms and knees. When she turned back he was taking her gun apart and tossing its remnants over the side of the building. She did, however, take the opportunity to grab the switchblade she had hidden inside her coat pocket.
Afterwards, she tried to push herself up, but stopped short of the pain that sprang from her shoulder with a stifled grunt. It felt like he had practically dislocated her shoulder anyways.
He stood there watching her. When he stepped toward her, she hastily scooted herself back with a more discernible grunt.
He froze at the sound.
"I didn't mean to hurt you," It didn't matter if his voice sounded a trace softer. The mask he wore still made him sound like a sadistic criminal.
"Just stay back," she replied fiercely, hoping her most angry look would keep him at bay.
He barely regarded her warning. He moved forward and reached for her. It gave her the opening she needed to take a swing at his arm. She cut flesh; that much she knew.
He hissed as he retreated a few steps back. He seemed rather surprised as he gaped through the dark slits of his mask at the fresh wound, which already began to bleed.
Misaki held her blade in front of her now like she'd learned in combat training. Am I really going to fight with the Black Reaper? I must be losing my mind. I'm no match for him and he knows it.
"Looks like I got the drop on you," she said confidently to him as he covered his wound. She couldn't show him fear. Not when she knew her life was in his hands.
"You did," he sounded impressed.
"Is this the part where you kill me?"
He was silent.
Then, softly. "I don't want to kill you."
"But you'll do it," she finished.
"You're jumping to conclusions. I never wanted to kill anybody," he said as he neared the edge of the building again. He took the wire from his belt.
Misaki felt her heart clench as he prepared to leave her alone again. "So…why did you bother to work for the Syndicate then? I mean, you managed to blend in easily with normal people. You even had a job, your own apartment." You could've lived as Li.
He was quiet for a moment and all they could hear was the ambient noise from below. The sirens carried by the wind brought a raw chill, one that separated them not only by distance, but by complete worlds.
"I chose this life."
It struck her like a ton of bricks. So did I, she thought despondently.
"And look where it's led us," Misaki said aloud as she struggled to her feet. She could see him out of the corner of her eye, but moved forward so she couldn't. He was a painful sight. So close, yet so far away. "We're alone on new year's eve on a freezing rooftop in Shibuya."
She checked the time. Twenty minutes till midnight.
Misaki put her hands in her pockets. She heard his wire spring out and latch onto an object nearby. By the sound of it, he jumped and left her alone.
She never had a chance.
Since she spoke seldom to anyone else about her feelings, it was worth a shot in isolation.
"Being a cop was all I ever wanted. To help the victims of unjust crimes who couldn't help themselves. That's how I saw it. But in reality, it's a job that forces you to sacrifice everything for everyone else. You spend years working hard, until one day you look up and wonder why. Why do I put myself through this? Why not settle down and have kids? Do I even want to? I can't decide because I don't even know myself anymore. I only know how to do my job. It feels like there's no room for anything, or anyone else. This is the life that I chose."
She sighed deeply, hoping it would lift the load that weighed on her heart, but it remained in place.
She found his star, one she believed glowed brighter than any other in the sky.
A moment later, she heard movement behind her and turned so suddenly she tumbled right into the arms of her masked fugitive. Soon, she was staring into the black slits of his mask. Had it been daylight, she might've been able to gaze into his deep blue eyes.
The touch of his gloved hand at the small of her back was enough for her. She was shocked into silence. He turned her right side up.
"Do you always stare at my star?" His questions always sounded like statements to her, as though he already knew the truth.
She opened her mouth to speak, but couldn't find an appropriate response. He didn't need an answer since he stepped next to her to watch the sparkling city.
"How's your hand?" she asked.
"It's fine. How's your arm?"
"Its fine, thanks," she said dryly.
"You drew blood."
She couldn't help a small smile. Maybe contractors were still human. "Why don't we call it a truce tonight?"
Misaki actually smiled now. He was still here. He could've killed her earlier. Instead, he was spending this evening with her, not as Li, but in his true form. As Hei. Because he chose to. It didn't matter why he'd been out here tonight nor did it didn't matter where he would go afterwards. All that mattered was this moment. Although Misaki knew she may never catch the man standing next to her, she would always cherish this moment; when he stood still long enough to keep her company.
She wouldn't bother to ask why he stayed. She already knew.
"I'll never see you again, will I?"
"I don't have the ability to see into the future," he said plainly.
At that point, the chill in the air had seeped into her bones. Combined with his blunt answer, she shuddered.
"Don't you have someplace warm to be?" He didn't even look her way.
"I'm okay." In fact, she was more than okay. She didn't want to move a muscle with how close his body was. So close she could hear him breathing.
Her cell phone rang and she cursed inwardly when she felt his body move away slightly.
It was officer Fumio reporting that they had found and killed the contractor. Forensics was on the scene.
"How are things on your end? Any sign of BK-201?" he asked.
Misaki peeked to the man in the mask. "No. I think it's safe to assume that BK-201 has escaped tonight. I trust you two can handle the cleanup. Good work." When she finished the call she found him staring at her.
"I'm being rational about this," she explained to him. "If I told them the truth, you'd only be gone before anyone arrived. Besides, if you don't plan on killing me-"
"You think you can trust me? You realize I'm a contractor."
"You're still a human, Hei. You bleed."
What she said must've moved him in more ways than one. To her surprise, he slowly moved in front of her and did the unthinkable. He reached up. There was hesitation in his effort, caution as pulled his mask off.
With the city glowing behind him, Misaki squinted hard into his face. His eyes almost appeared black under his dark brows; so insensible, yet so full of wisdom and unfathomable pain, it almost made her choke. His face was shaven and smooth as strands of his tousled hair lined his face.
With a solemn expression he replied "That's right. I do. But that doesn't make me human. I'm not sure how you could come to that assumption after all the people I've killed."
"Contractors were once normal people," Misaki responded, staring deep into his eyes and hoping she could make him understand. "You are not a monster. I'm actually inclined to believe that you still feel deep down. After all, some emotions are too strong to ignore."
"Feelings are not essential to survival. Instincts are." His face was motionless as he placed his mask on. "Remember that the next time you decide to get in my way."
It was worth a shot. I thought maybe I could dig a little to find out more about him. If I knew his history, maybe it would give me clues to finding the real Syndicate, or deciphering the truth behind the Gate and how he's connected to it. But more than anything, she wanted to satisfy her own curiosity.
Misaki checked the time. 16 minutes till midnight. She watched him back towards the edge of the building. This time he turned and latched his wire onto an object below them. He slightly turned his back to face her.
"You'll hear of me," he said softly.
Misaki said nothing. Her masked man allowed himself to fall forward off the edge. Misaki walked over, hoping she'd hear the sound of his wire again.
He was gone.
"I'm counting on it," she said quietly.
When Misaki got home, she checked the time again. It was eight minutes till midnight.
Her shoulder hurt like hell. But she still had a phone call to make.
She listened to the ring twice. And finally. "Why, hello. I take it you changed your mind then?" her father asked hopefully.
"I have. I'm home now Dad. Why don't you stop by?"
"Very well. I'm glad to hear it. Now open your door, I'm outside."
"What?" Confused, she walked over and did so. Her father had been waiting with a bottle of champagne.
"Were you waiting here the whole time?" she asked him, surprised. He smiled as he went over and set the bottle on her kitchen counter.
"You're a terrible liar, Misaki. Now where do you keep your glasses?"