xxboomcrash (xxboomcrash) wrote in otocen,
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Storm 2/?


Title: Storm
Score 002: Intriguing
Fandom: Arashi with possible mentions of others later on.
Pairing(s): None. There are some implications of Matsumiya.
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: I have no ownership of anything really except what I have receipts for … which isn't much, really.
Author's Note: This, by the way, is loosely based on Durarara!! Very, very loosely based. Some concepts have been adapted, but then most of it is changed.
Summary: The Elemental gangs, slashers, kidnappers – the streets of Shinjuku are constantly filled with new unseen dangers.  The Thunder has begun to rumble – an attack on someone close has set the stage for its movement. The Rain and the Wind are still working in the shadows. Nino, the newest addition to the residents of Shinjuku, is becoming acquainted with the dangers looming in the streets. Aiba, on his way to a close friend's apartment, witnesses a curious case that could lead to a horrible event. Ohno, quietly minding his own business, falls into fear as he gets introduced to the one person he'd rather not meet. Sho, in the middle of a flood of unforgettable memories, must make a decision on what should be done. While Jun rushes head first into a battle, he might be the one who can hold the stop sign to halt all of these unwritten events.



<Maiga has entered the chat-room.>
{Hana has entered the chat-room.}
<<Tokujo has entered the chat-room.>>
[[Maou has entered the chat-room.]]

[Haikei has entered the chat-room.]

[Evening, everyone.]
<Hey.>
<Hana-san was just telling us about something.>
{The slashings.}
{And the disappearances.}
{They've gotten more frequent now.}
{Have you noticed?}
[[Probably just some punks, right?]]
<<Most likely.>>
<<It's not like this area is exactly the safest neighborhood around.>>
{True,but these are happening too frequently.}
{Funny thing, I don't actually think they're connected.}
{My guess is two different things are acting up.}
[What do you mean?]
{Well, the slashings are at random.}
{No real target, or anything.}
{The disappearances are usually young women.}
[So, why bring them up together?]
{Well, they both started to become prominent the same time new movement in the Elemental front arises.}
[[What?]]
<?>
{Hmm, perhaps the Elemental gangs are the ones in charge of it?”
[You mean, they're back?]
{We'll see, we'll see.}

000

Masaki Aiba walked down the streets twirling a bag in his hand. He bought a few things at the nearby combini and he was headed to Sho's apartment. It felt as though he hadn't visited the older man in awhile, but that may have just been his thoughts. He skipped down the streets when he was quickly pushed out of the way by a shorter man. Aiba tilted his head in curiosity – he'd seen this man before. Ah! It was at Jun's apartment.

“You'll thank me for that,” the man said as a stop sign rushed by where Aiba had been standing, “Told you so.”

“Hey!” Aiba called out to the shorter man, “You're Nino, right?”

“And we met on the elevator at Jun-chan's place, right?” Nino smirked and walked past Aiba. He headed down towards the street, “I'd love to stay and chat but Jun-chan's on his way to kill me. I do prefer to be alive, so I'll be going now.”

Aiba watched as Nino headed down the alleyway. 'Wait, did he just say 'Jun-chan'?' Aiba laughed at the thought of hearing someone call Jun that. As Nino entered the alleyway, Jun ran past Aiba – he had a new stop sign in his hands. Fury rolled off the younger man as he scanned the surroundings.

“Aiba-chan,” Jun paused his search, “Did you see a brat come down this way? He's not that tall and he has the stink of deceit – did you happen to see him?”

“Yeah, I did.” Aiba pointed down the opposite direction of where Nino had headed, “He went that way. He said something about you being stupid. You should run and beat him up!”

“Thanks.” Jun nodded. He took a deep breath and began to head down the direction Aiba had pointed him towards. He growled, “Nino, get your sorry ass over here!”

“Jun-kun is really scary, I hope he doesn't find out that I lied to him.” Aiba concluded to himself. He nodded in agreement with himself as well. If Jun ever found out that Aiba lied to him … Aiba didn't even want to think of the consequences that the younger man could throw at him. He wandered over to the alleyway where Nino had gone down, “Jun-kun's gone now, he went down the other way.”

Nino hopped down from the fire escape that he climbed up. He dusted himself off and smirked at the taller man, “When he finds out you lied to him to help me, he's going shove that stop sign up your a--”

“Don't say it, don't say it!” Aiba waved his arms in the air. He didn't even want to start thinking of the torture that Jun could launch. Jun was called the 'Captain of Sadism' for a reason and Aiba would rather not have to deal with Jun's sadistic games. “Jun won't find out. It's not like I'm going to tell him and it's not like you're going to him either, right?”

“Is this a reverse form of a threat?” Nino laughed.

“No, it's just there's no way I'm telling Jun. Plus, you wouldn't tell him. Even if you did tell him, it's not like he's going to believe you anyways.” Aiba nodded at Nino. This he was certain of. He knew for a fact that he wouldn't mention this to Jun because it would cause him cruel and unusual torture. He also knew that Nino wouldn't mention this to Jun because if Nino ever got that close to Jun, he'd receive cruel and unusual torture. The fact of the matter was if either of them even mentioned this to Jun, they would receive cruel and unusual torture. “Right?”

“Sure, I suppose that could work.” Nino walked down the alleyway. He looked left and right to make sure that Jun really did go the other way. “I guess I owe you one … what was your name again?”

“Masaki Aiba!” Aiba took Nino's hand and shook violently, “I'm Aiba. It's great to finally meet you, Nino.”

Nino pried Aiba off his hand. He smiled wearily at the older man and began to walk down the street. He was still cautious because he'd much rather not have to deal with getting hit in the head with something heavy. Last time he walked down the streets without much care, Jun sent a trash can flying towards him – ouch.

“Well, I'll be off then.” Nino waved Aiba away, “I'll probably be seeing you around.”

Aiba waved as Nino continued on his way. He shrugged off and began walking in the same direction. He shuffled his feet and hummed a soft tune; he twirled the bag filled with snacks as he skipped to the beat.
Nino made an agitated sound before stopping, “Why are you following me?”

“I'm not following you,” Aiba pouted. He wasn't a stalker like that; he wasn't a creeper who followed people randomly. “I'm just going down to my friend's house. He lives down here.”

“Which building?”

Aiba pointed to the large building in the distance. It was adorned with sleek material and smooth designs; a simple building but a grand one. It was large in size but only housed a few people – each floor belong to a single tenant and that was all. Aiba had been there many times too – it was once said that if Aiba wasn't at Jun's apartment he was at Sho's  pent-house. “That one right there.”

A scowl formed on Nino's face. Then, he released an exasperated noise and shrugged. He continued walking forward, “Well, lucky you. I live over there as well. Looks like you get the honor of keeping me company as well.”

The two walked in silence for awhile. Aiba didn't particularly want to speak to Nino about much considering everything that Jun told him about the guy. In fact, Aiba was actually scared. He didn't want Nino to find out any information about him – Jun warned him that Nino stole things that were important to a person. As much as Aiba wanted to keep the silence, it was an irrevocable law that Masaki Aiba cannot remain silent for more than two minutes.

“Ne, Nino,” Aiba teetered from side to side as he spoke, “Do you like Jun-kun? I mean, since you stole something that important from him …”

Nino laughed. He stuck his hands into his pockets and smiled, “You don't need to like someone to steal something important from him.”

“What are you talking about?”

“I mean, think about thieves. They can steal things from other people without even really caring about the person that they are stealing from, correct?” Nino had an air of dogmatism as he spoke to Aiba. “So, technically, I don't have to like Jun-chan to even steal from him. But, that's a different case. In this case, I do have an affinity for him. He's very amusing to pester. Jun-chan is ...”

Nino's revelation of what Jun was to him was quickly stopped. He looked over towards an alleyway that was along the way. He paused in half-step but had to walk a good three or four steps forward because Aiba crashed into him. Aiba looked at the alleyway as well … his eyes opened wide as he realized why Nino stopped.

In the very back of the alleyway, there were a crowd of guys surrounding one girl. The guys had lewd expressions as they edged in closer to the girl. Aiba squinted as he tried to figure out who that girl was. As he adjusted his eyes, he realized who it was – Mai Sakurai.

Aiba stepped forward and the drew back. He wanted to save her from these thugs, but he didn't know if he could take them all. He had to think of a way to save her without having to resort to violence. Hesitation was obvious on Aiba as he struggled with moving forward and stepping back. It was one of his best friends' sister, he had to do something.

“You want to save her, huh?” Nino put an arm around Aiba as he walked forward. He smiled deviously as he pushed Aiba in front of the group. Aiba stood bewildered as did the group. All eyes turned to Nino, “Bullying isn't cool, you know. It's pretty refreshing though, to see such stereotypical bullies still around.”

“Look kid, you get lost.” One of the thugs said to Nino.

Nino laughed, “You say 'kid', but I'm sure I'm older than you are. But it doesn't matter whether you call me 'kid' or you call me 'old man' because we don't really have much to do with each other. It doesn't matter if I punch you here, or if you punch me here either – we really won't have much to do with each other anyways.”
“What the hell are you babbling about?” The group of guys turned their attention to Nino instead of Mai. They began to flex their muscles.

“Oh my, you're going to get violent on me?” Nino raised his hands up in mock defeat, “I'm not a violent guy, so I give up. I don't intend to fight people, it isn't my hobby. Instead,” Nino stuck his hand in his pocket and flicked his wrist. The group of guys' pockets all were cut open and their cellphones hit the ground. Nino picked each of the cellphones up, “I make it my hobby to stomp on their cellphones.”

Aiba, Mai and the guys that were in the alleyway all stared as Nino dropped each of the cellphones in front of him and continually stomped on each on. His laughter increased as he continued to stomp. All anyone could do was stand and watch the insanity escape Nino.

Nino stopped his foot in half step, “I've grown bored of this. It is no longer my hobby to stomp on people's cellphones. It's not entertaining enough.”

“That's it!” The group of guys ran towards Nino. They were going to get this guy if it were the last thing they did. “We're kicking your sorry ass!”

Nino smiled and easily evaded each of their attacks. He swiftly jumped onto the fire escape ladders and laughed from where he stood. “You should know better than to run head first into a situation that you cannot handle,” Nino pulled out his switchblade. He flicked his wrist and blade was out. As the light hit the silver of the blade, each of the guys' hairlines began to decrease. They touched their heads in surprise. Nino had quickly shaved each of them, “I'm pretty good with a blade, so if you really want to fight … then by all means, continue attacking.”

000

{Hmm, perhaps none of the Elemental gangs have anything to do with at all.}
{Perhaps all these slashings and disappearances are done by others.}
{Even if they were, the gangs would still get blamed.}
[[Why?]]
<<It's because the gangs are those usually blamed for everything.>>
<<Consider it the town's current mindset.>>
<<If something bad happens and they don't have answers, they need someone to blame.>>
<<The gangs are the perfect scapegoat.>>
[That makes a lot of sense, if you think about it.]
<But that's not fair.>
<The gangs don't do all the bad things.>
{Exactly.}
{My guess is it has nothing to do with the groups.}
{But if I were part of the Elemental gangs, I would try to figure out who it is.}
[[Why would you do something like that?]]
<<Clear the groups names.>>
<<Lessen the amount of people in the race for control of the town.>>
{Exactly.}
{Why deal with more than you need to?}
[But there's just one problem.]
[The slashings occur randomly.]
[That's the one that you can't catch, really.]
{Here's an idea.}
{What if it isn't just one person?}
{What if it's more than one person?}

//Grey has entered the chat-room.//

{He's here!}
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
<Are we being spammed?>
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
{Seems like it, right?}
<<Every time this guy shows up, a slashing happens.>>
[Can't you block him?]
[Boot him from the chat.]
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
{Oh, we've tried}
{And every time we did it, he finds a new IP address.}
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
[Damn.]
[GTFO here. Seriously.]
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
//The truth will be revealed.//
//Once the truth is revealed, everything will seem like a lie.//
{I wonder who tonight's target will be.}

//Grey has logged off.//

000

Ohno sat on the railing without any heavy thoughts running in his mind. He sighed happily as he gazed up at the night sky. It was a clear night, perfect for seeing the stars. He hummed a soft tune but stopped when he heard footsteps shuffling toward him.

“The Thunder's leader has returned, hasn't he?” Ohno smiled absent-mindedly at the stars. He caught a glimpse of a shooting star and made a silent wish. He stood up and dusted his jeans off. “Don't worry, I already knew about that. I guess, you know what this means, right?”

“You'll return?” His followers had a glimmer of hope running in their eyes. “You'll come back to us?”

“Tell everyone to meet at the port. We need to conduct a meeting. I want to figure out what we already know and what we'll do afterward.” Ohno rammed his fists into his hand, “If I know the Thunder's leader as well as I think I do, I'm sure his group is already trying to figure out what everyone's doing. Keep it low, keep it quiet – don't let anyone know that you're finding out information. I want all members to be at the port tonight.”

“Right away, sir.” The followed bowed, “You should be careful, sir. There have been reports of sla-”

“Ohno!” The voice of Jun Matsumoto carried over to where Ohno was. Ohno quickly waved the group around him aside. They bowed their good-byes as Jun neared Ohno. “Oh-chan, did you happen to see a brat come running by? He's not that tall and he's got a smug look on his face.”

“No, Jun-kun, I didn't see anyone.” Ohno bluntly said, “It's getting dark too, so I doubt anyone's really walking around. Um … could you put that stop sign down, by the way?”

Jun paused for a moment and then looked at the stop sign in his hands. He quickly threw it aside. He chuckled nervously before looking sheepishly at Ohno, “Forgot I was carrying that. I guess I was too focused on killing that brat.”

“You tend to forget things when you get too focused,” Ohno pointed out the truth. Jun usually did get too wrapped in whatever he was focused on. Ohno cleared remembered when he and Aiba had to literally pull Jun away from his computer screen using the jaws of life – what Jun was focused on, however, remained unknown to Ohno or anyone else for that matter. “But, that's just the Matsujun that we all know and love, I guess.”

Jun shrugged, “What were you doing out here so late?”

Ohno bit his tongue – Jun would be the person to ask such a question when Ohno was attempting to be inconspicuous. He decided it would be best not reveal that to Jun or anyone else … at least, not yet. “Hey, can I walk with you towards your apartment? I mean, there's a place I wanted to go and your apartment's on the same way.”

“The disappearances and the slasher stories got to you, huh?” Jun smirked. Those stories, however, had gotten to almost everyone in the town. Many people would literally lock themselves up in their houses as soon as the street-lights turned on – it was the only way to avoid any of the horrible consequences that could happen. “I guess, it's fine. Lucky for you, I'm going to retire from chasing that brat tonight. I'll get him some other time.”

As they walked together, Ohno let Jun do all the talking. It was more like Jun's ranting, venting and fuming at the infamous 'Nino'. Surprisingly, rather than warding him away from Nino, it made Ohno more curious about the guy. In fact, it made Ohno want to meet Nino just to see how bad of a person he was – it was usually like that when Jun said to stay away or when Jun made something seem even more horrible than it was.

“ … that guy's a lying, no good --” Jun put a hand out in front of Ohno to signal to the other man to halt. Ohno instantly stopped behind the younger man. Jun put a finger to his lips to signal silence from the older man, “Something's here.”

Ohno stood firm and peered from behind Jun. Sure enough, there was something in front of them. It was a figure – he couldn't really see since the lighting was pretty bad. He squinted in an attempt to figure out what was there. From what he could make out, it was a boy … or was it a girl? Whatever it was, it was walking towards them in a slow pace. Behind it, Ohno could see something gleaming – a katana!

Ohno's eyes narrowed at the katana. It was the Slasher! Of all the people in the world they could run into a night, they would run into the Slasher. Ohno felt the blood in his legs slowly vanish; he felt his knees buckle over as he sunk into the ground. He had seen (and fought) many ferocious things, but the very presence of the Slasher stole away his vivacity.

“Jun ...” Ohno managed to squeak out, “We should ru--”

“What the hell do you want!?” Jun shouted at the figure drawing near. Ohno wanted to fade into the background – Matsujun would openly ask the Slasher what he wanted instead of running away. Jun stepped forward, “Who the hell are you?”

“Jun, it's the Slasher.” Ohno whispered, “Slasher. We should run.”

“No,” Jun stepped forward again, “If we get rid of it now, the slashings will stop. It'll be easier that way.”
Sure, that sounded easy. Sure, that was a good idea. Sure, that would be nice … but from all the reports on the slashing incidents, the amount of blood at the scenes were too much. Could they even handle the Slasher? Could they even get away without being a victim? … Jun seemed to think so.

Jun clenched his fists tightly. If he could get one punch in before the Slasher made his move, he could knock the guy out. Jun was determined to this guy off the streets – there were too many people getting hurt because of this guy. This so called Slasher, in Jun's opinion at least, was a coward. It preyed on unsuspecting people at random and harmed them for no real reason – that was unforgivable.

Ohno was frozen in his spot as the Slasher closed in. Jun wasn't showing any signs of fear. He didn't have to, Ohno was scared enough for both of them. Normally, Ohno could handle things like fights – he'd had his own sharing of finishing them with his fists, but this time wasn't one of those fights. This time, Ohno knew he couldn't help with the fighting … only because it was the Slasher. Only because the Slasher's latest victims were people that Ohno personally knew. Only because the Slasher's latest victims were people that were part of  Ohno's group … and once they had been attacked, something within the changed. They became lifeless – Ohno didn't want that to happen.

Ohno was still frozen when Jun rushed forward towards the Slasher. He couldn't move when he heard Jun's fist make contact with the Slasher's face. He didn't find the energy to get up when the Slasher's body hit the wall after being punched by Jun. Nor did he regain any movement when Jun took the sidewalk railing and wrapped it around the Slasher.

“Hey,” Jun jutted a thumb at the Slasher as he walked towards Ohno, “Think we should give him up to the police?”

When Jun held out a hand to Ohno, that was when Ohno's body began functioning again. He took Jun's hand and stood up. He dusted himself off and bowed, “Sorry about becoming dead weight in the middle of that.”

“At least you weren't dead.”

“True.”

“Hey, think you can handle this guy? Like,” Jun pointed at the near-by police box, “You can call that guy. Or, something. I've just got somewhere to go all of the sudden.”

Ohno nodded. He wouldn't call the police though. No, he would call his members up – he knew they were already around. Even though he sent them away earlier, he knew that they would remain hidden – they were like his bodyguards making sure that nothing would happen to Ohno that they didn't agree with.

“Yeah, I'll call the police,” Ohno lied, “Where are you headed off to?”

“Some brat's place. I'm going to punch him.”

“But I doubt he had anything to with this.”

“Yeah, well … I'm still going to punch him.”

000

{I heard the Thunder's about to roar.}
{Something happened.}
{You can just feel the Thunder.}
[There appears to be more members of Thunder roaming the streets.]
<<They're getting pretty visible too.>>
<<Something internal must happened.>>
[Verge of war.]
[Against the Rain?]
<Probably.>
[[But there's not evidence that the Rain has even moved against the Thunder.]]
{Maou-san, have you been doing research as well?}
[[No, I was referring to past events.]]
[[Remember the wars?]]
[Wars?]
<<When the Rain and the Thunder fought, they would fight within the streets.>>
<<They would corner each other and beat them down.>>
<<The Leaders of both gangs, however, never really faced off.>>
<<I don't think they've seen each other yet.>>
[[Exactly, but the Rain hasn't been targeting the Thunder.]]
{ … true.}
{They've been quietly collecting information and members.}
{The Thunder, however, started searching for the Slashers.}
<But I thought the Slasher was taken care of.>
[[By Matsujun!]]
[Perhaps that wasn't the Slasher.]
[Perhaps it was a fraud?]
{They never said that the Slasher was just one person, after all.}
{Either case, the Thunder's in full motion.}
{I wonder how the other gangs will react to that.}

000

When Sho bought the warehouse and most of the empty lot around it a few years ago, he knew it would simply be just a warehouse. Sho knew that it would be a safe house for many people; a warm place to stay when situations were too tough to face alone; a hide-out for when the pursuers were getting too close; a place where everyone would fight your enemies with you; it would be anything and everything except just a simple warehouse.

Today, however, it was none of those. Today, what looked like an abandoned warehouse from the outside was an intelligence hub searching for an answer to the various newly formed questions.

“Find out who attacked her!” Sho barked his orders. Normally, Sho was diplomatic about his orders; normally, Sho was cool, calm and collected; normally, Sho's sister wasn't an a target for an attempted kidnapping. “Find out who's behind the disappearances. Find out who the Slasher is. Find out anything about anyone who's suspicious. When you find out those things, report it all back to me.”

Angry? Was Sho angry? Angry was an understatement. Sho was beyond the definition of angry.
Sho's footsteps were heavy as he paced around. The members that were at the warehouse with him knew better than to approach their leader now. From past experiences, they had known it would be better to let the man in charge cool down by himself.

“Hey,” Sho asked aloud, “Do you think that the other Elemental gangs had anything to do with it? Do you think that the Rain or the Wind were the ones behind it?”

“Can't say. It's not as if they've resurfaced completely. Their motives are still unknown.”

“Well, if I find any evidence that any of them had any part to do with Mai's attack, we destroy them. All of them,” Sho glared at the ground. “Hopefully, they had nothing to do with it. I'm not exactly in the mood to fight them without finding out their resources.”

“Sir, if you don't mind my asking, how did your sister get saved?”

Sho paused. In all honesty, he didn't know how his sister was saved. “Aiba brought her to my apartment. Apparently, she was going to visit me when she got cornered in an alley. Aiba was passing by with a guy named 'Nino'. This 'Nino' saved her from those guys who cornered her.”

“'Nino?'”

“Yeah, I'm not sure either.” Sho sat down on his seat – it was a make-shift throne on raised platforms. No one ever sat on it except Sho. Even when Sho went on hiatus from the group, no one dared to sit there. “I'll keep an eye out on this 'Nino' guy … that is if Matsujun doesn't kill him.”

“So, he's the guy that set off that hellish game of chase in the city.”

“I'll do my research on him, you guys find everything else I ordered you to find.”

Sho leaned back in his seat. A silence loomed over the warehouse. Everyone was busily shuffling around attempting to complete Sho's orders. Sho observed as they worked. His eyes, however, were disconnected with what was going on at the moment. His mind was silently in its own world – he was mulling over different thoughts and emotions.

This whole idea of being the leader of the Thunder? It wasn't originally something this serious. No, Sho had only began gathering members because it was an escape from the duties being pressed onto him by his parents; it was a way to escape the veil of reality forced upon him by his family and enter the reality that he personally wanted. He had stopped, but so did the other gang leaders … that fight, that single fight.
Sho would never forget it – he knew for a fact that no one would ever forget it.
The Wind, the Rain and the Thunder had all fought head first … but it all ended in the blink of an eye. When the Elements were slowly combining, a single force settled their fight and silenced them all.
Sho remembered that day all too clearly.

He hid among the rankings of his group – it was suggested so that no one would know who the leader was. It would be easier to let Sho escape if something went wrong and something did go wrong. A civilian had been walking by – he'd just moved in to the town. Sho remembered how the groups were all settled on attacking, but that civilian happened to walk right in the center of their fight. Sho remembered how everyone ordered their member to stop, to halt, to let the civilian pass … but then, someone reacted. Was it the Rain's lackey? Was it the Wind's? Or had it been the Thunder's? Sho didn't remember that, but that someone attacked the civilian – a direct blow to the head.
Silence spread in the groups.

They thought the civilian was dead, but he wasn't. In reality, he was fine. In all actuality, that blow to the head set off a great torrent of violence in the civilian. Fearsome, awesome power – the civilian fought off every group's members that were present. As that single man fended off each of the group's members, the war was hushed. Sho was escorted away from the violence but he remembered how that civilian who had nothing to do with the fight settled the war with just his fists.

Sho knew that the other Elemental leaders were watching that civilian. Why wouldn't they? Each of them knew that if they had that civilian in their group, they would have the upper-hand no matter the circumstances.

“Maybe it's time we asked you to join. I'm sure the other Elements are starting to make their move about this. Maybe we should get you in our group now,” Sho spoke aloud. He glanced out the window. “Matsujun, the Thunder will acquire your strength.”

000

<<I think the Elemental gangs are starting to move in secret.>>
{But that would be smart thing to do, wouldn't it?}
{Avoid full confrontation first.}
{Acquire information first.}
{Then swiftly eradicate one's opponents along the way.}
[Hana-san, I'm curious.]
[Are you one of those leaders?]
{Haha.}
{No, just someone who speculates.}
{I'm a simple civilian enticed by the rumors one hears in their everyday life.}
<We're all just regular people, anyways.>
<Our interests are what makes our chats interesting.>
[[So, our city's pretty horrible now.]]
[[More so than before.]]
<<Elemental gangs roam the streets.>>
<<Slashers attack at night.>>
<<People disappear without a trace.>>
{Throw in that 'Nino' and everything else gets messy really fast, doesn't it?}
[You're still on that?]
{He's … intriguing.}
{An anomaly.}
[[If I didn't know better I'd say you liked him.]]
{Oh no, I could never like him.}
[Are you sure about that?]
{Quite certain.}
{I just hear the most interesting rumors about him, that's all.}

000

Nino walked into his study with a warm cup of coffee in hand. A few days had passed since he started unpacking, but everything was finally in the manner that he wanted. His sipped the coffee and made a face at it – bitter, quite bitter. He slid into his chair. He set the coffee down on the desk. He looked up before kicking off and let himself spin in his seat.

“Ahh,” He settled the spinning down and stopped right in front of his computer. The twinkle in his eyes were of a devious sort. Nino smiled happily at the computer screen. “It's been awhile since I've used my switchblade on someone.”

His fingers touched each of the letters on the keyboard slowly. His right index reached for the 'H'. His left pinky reached for the 'A'. His right index reached for the –

The doorbell rang.

Nino scowled, “Who the hell could it be at this hour?”

Nino frowned when he opened the door. There was no one there. “Stupid kids,” He muttered as he shut the door. He locked the door tightly and returned to his study.

On the middle of the coffee table was his deranged board game. This time, however, the board was filled with many pawns. The queen was still in the middle. The three checkers pieces were replaced with three kings – the three kings surrounded the queen in a triangle. The pawns fell in line behind the Kings. Nino smiled, pleased at the visual his board game displayed.

He picked up a checkers piece, “Which of these pawns will be the first to unravel? Who will be the first to fall?” The piece he picked up was quickly thrown on to the board game. A few pawns collapsed, “As in all battles of life, the pawns will be the first sacrifice.”

Nino strode over to his computer again. The screen had the first two letters of his screen-name. He said the syllables as he retyped it, “Hana. Password: dango.”

-END-


Tags: !fanfic, *multi-chapter, arashi
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