Apr. 5th, 2010

Winter

Apr. 5th, 2010 06:59 pm
griglewood: (Default)

Hidaka wasn't there.

The young English woman next door chewed gum and shruggged her shoulders when he asked. He's probably at work. Ran gritted his teeth silently over foreign manners.

The apartment was unlocked and nobody objected when he pushed the door open and went inside.

Ken had tidied. And cleaned, judging by the lemony smell about the place. His mattress had been put away, his clothes folded neatly into a case in one corner. His dishes were dried and stacked on the table.

A child's picture was pinned to the wall. Perhaps he was coaching again.




 

The mission in Rome went smoothly. Kyo seemed capable, Sena needed managing. He had Omi's sharp eyes and Ken's impetuous temper but lacked the raw instinct for killing. He was also young.

They didn't need to go back to Japan straight away. Ran wasn't much for sightseeing but it would pass time. He avoided the churches (which were many) and found himself outside the Colosseum on a white hot afternoon. A gaggle of American tourists thronged around an elderly trumpet vendor. Ran had been wanting to kill the man slowly for several minutes.

Ken would have helped.




 

Crawford had been in the same hospital as Yohji, until Yohji was moved away for more specialist care. Mamoru didn't tell him where. The young Takatori was busy stepping into the shoes of his dead father and brothers.

Ran encountered Schuldig in the carpark, one arm in a sling, smoking a cigarette he'd been denied indoors.

"How is he?"

"Alive. More of a bastard than ever." Schuldig said something in German which was probably obscene. "Are you really planning to visit?"

"You should know," Ran replied.

Schuldig blinked. "Ja, I did. Just seemed too funny to be true."




 

Ran went to America, and then to England. England was always raining.

They had a mission which involved football. Ran was glad that Ken had missed it, especially when he read the player profiles. In summer, Yohji surprised him by turning up with his wife. Not that he knew he was Yohji.

Schwarz's arrival was completely expected.

Chloe and Schuldig shared a mild contempt for the Welsh but a healthy respect for the Irish. Crawford looked older, and well. He was a businesslike associate but spent a lot of time on the phone.

He also had pictures in his wallet.




 

Mamoru called him at 2am, apologising.

"What's wrong?" Ran had been asleep.

"Yohji-kun is missing." Mamoru sounded oddly young over the phone, and hesitant, like he thought he was in trouble.

"Missing from what?"

"From home. Asuka was here. She says he went on a business trip three nights ago and hasn't returned."

The heating was off and Ran's room was cold. "Did she say where?"

"Osaka, somewhere, but there's no evidence he actually left Tokyo."

"Did he take his watch?" Ran asked slowly.

"No, Aya-kun."

They sat in baffled silence, miles apart.

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