Today, my close friend’s birthday is happening. Although I am not fond of writing this, I will make it an exception. (I am sure many of you are at least excited to see this type of OS be posted after one year.) Also, the time limit of three days to write this piece is but a great adventure! The number of times I've stared at my grammar books and thesaurus is ridiculous.
I would like to also give a big thank you to NJLlyloo for assisting me in this genre. She not only excels, but even provides ideas that will fit the bill in this story. Thank you for being the trustworthy and sadistic onee-sama that I need since I began writing!
As for the fiction, it loosely explores the infamous Stockholm Syndrome and potentially how much a person can change through time. I would like to also mention that it is, to an extent, loosely based off of MBLAQ's old MV concept, "This is War". (
) I apologize if there are errors on my part, but please enjoy this one shot. I can only hope it brings tremendous improvement in comparison to my previous projects and works. (I might go down on all four if it got progressively worse.)
If you have any question(s) pertaining to this piece, don’t be afraid to message me either through this forum or Facebook (if you know where to find me), or write a comment in this thread. I’ll do my best to answer your question(s) as soon as possible.
Now for the birthday message…
Happy Birthday, Kate! We may have not spoken for a long period of time since I've left the fandom, but I’m positively grateful that we’re finally able to catch up after so long. I doubt you need some tissue box, but I’m sure if you’re extremely paranoid like me, this fiction should be a breeze. Hope you have a pleasant day, and may our friendship remain throughout the years that is to come. Love you lots, girl!
P.S.: “Are you interested in beginning a collaboration project?” (I’m sure you know how to respond to this.)
Change of Heart [Mayuki]
Assassination requires great length of skills, patience, and determination to achieve a satisfying result.
Like a game of chess, the pieces must work together to corner the white King. Every single planned move and every single thoughtless action can bring forth complexity that wires into the mission. Quick thinking is a necessity in the cruel and heartless puzzle.
As for the prize? It was simply money; nothing more, nothing less. In exchange for a life, the assassins are granted the right to earn some cold hard cash. No matter if it is a famous politician or a homeless child, they strive to severe their victim’s lifeline. People consider it evil, they consider it normal.
A rewarding occupation with little to no risk to their well-beings, it was a job fitting for the young woman.
Watanabe Mayu, age unknown, rested a leather gloved hand on top of the long, thick black suitcase. The bulky container was smoothed over, laying flat on its side of the concrete surface. Standing on top of the rooftop, the fairly short two story building was seen resting inside of the countless taller ones nearby.
In the city of Akihabara, the black hooded mouse gained the perfect vantage spot for any sniper. An assassination attempt with a pull of the trigger, this was going to be an easy job. (As a bonus, the time of the day allowed the sun to provide extra assistance.) All the woman had to do was point, aim, click, and wait for the perfect timing. Pedestrians that should’ve littered the sidewalks were all but here in this spacious hole in the city; a quiet premise only few would dare transverse.
However, if an error were to occur, she could potentially scare the victim to shelter. It would be a major lost, and Mayu would have to spend countless hours creating a new plan. She treated every given assignment a one-time chance. There won’t always be a next time.
The mouse stuffed an envelope deep within her black skirt’s pocket. As its paper crumpled, her eyes narrowed.
Today, her victim was a young university student: Kashiwagi Yuki. At the age of 22, the woman was on the road to becoming a health profession at a prestigious medical school. She has a family, but had moved out of the household to reside in her college’s dormitory. Yuki is fully living her life as a citizen ready to integrate herself into the working force as a general surgeon. Hardships and obstacles difficult to overcome doesn’t seem to be a phrase that existed in her world.
So far, the information provided told a simple tale of an ordinary graduate student. The reason for her upcoming death sentence? No purpose was spoken nor noted of to the assassin. Mayu didn’t need to be concern about such useless information anyway. Her goal was to kill the woman. There was no reason to doubt oneself about the task. She overcame this fear long ago.
She then swiftly used both hands to click open the case.
Within the box, there laid a sniper rifle. Its model fully built to completion, only bullets needed to be inserted to provide the best weapon for assassination. Despite being capable of such destruction, its lash back is the ability to fire one bullet at a time. For every shot, the user must reload. A nuisance, it can determine the outcome of the given task. The amount of time between shots can give the target enough time to make their escape. Messing up should be the last thing on the assassin’s list.
She carefully took out the sniper rifle. As it was lifted, Mayu took the time to load it with a singular bullet. Extras left behind within the container, her fingers toyed and clicked the pieces of the equipment, preparation being made for the big event.
Now fully equipped, the young assassin tightened her hold on the weapon. Right eye closed, the left actively peered through the lenses. Its center point rested upon a lone female from the distant. From her observation, it appears that the graduate student has just exited out of the white building. Cell phone pressed against her face, Yuki seemed like she was speaking to another individual across the line. Giggles and smiles were plastered on her face during the verbal conversation.
The hooded female clicked her tongue. She knew that all of the positivity of the beautiful student will soon turn to ashes at a single pull of the trigger. If Mayu had any form of pity, she can only wish well that her death is instant.
Aim slowly perfecting itself, the assassin felt her index finger itching to curl inward. Make no mistake that the kneeling position she now has will lead to a precise, clean headshot. In just seconds, the person named Kashiwagi Yuki will no longer live.
So with a soft exhale, she then pulled the trigger—
An unexpected car was heard pulling up from afar. Mayu immediately retracted her finger, eyes diverted away from her target. Using the scoping lens of the sniping rifle, the young woman was able to observe from the rooftop.
There was a black automobile parked roughly a mile away from her position. A man cladded in a formal, black suit exited out of the passenger side of the vehicle. Sunglasses worn to conceal his eyes, the bald individual whipped out a silver revolver. Hands swiftly pulled back and cocked the firearm, prepared to go after his prey.
She watched the new stranger barge into the tensed atmosphere that formed between her and her target, shattering it with a whole new sensation. His gestures and posture showcased that he was no ordinary civilian. Rapid deduction and theories all point to the fact that this man is an assassin just like her.
The question was… Who is he after?
Brown pair of eyes continued to watch from afar as the suited middle-aged man hastily walked into the quiet and spacious vicinity. His feet that carried him hastily wandered over to Mayu’s left. She shot a glance over at the medical student, and felt a sense of dread loom over her head.
His potential target was also Kashiwagi Yuki.
It wasn’t uncommon to have more than one killing order on a lone target. At times, there were even up to five active requests to commit the sin. This led to the community full of assassins in the constant system of competition. Your friends one day may become your enemy the next. Trust was never a concept fully accepted in the job description. Whoever makes the first kill gets the payment.
She wasn’t going to let his hands be on her target. It was her target, and her target alone. If he steals the kill, then the mouse won’t be able to earn the desired sum she kept her eyes on.
Urgency blew up on the assassin’s face. Mayu then tore her gaze away from the young woman. The sniping gun that was in her grasp were now hastily thrown to the side; her entire posture immediately transitioned from kneeling to sprinting. (She didn’t have to worry about the weapon. She plans to call the cleaner, Matsui Jurina, to pick it up for her.)
Mayu slammed open the steel door, and dashed down the emergency staircases. She descended as fast as possible to ground level. By the time she got to the emergency exit, the young woman shoved her entire figure against the barrier.
It snapped open. There was no time to waste. Every second that ticks by is precious, and if used correctly, can bring the assassin one step closer to Yuki.
Then with all her might, she ran to the location that the raven haired female stood.
It didn’t take even a full minute to get there. Mayu saw the talking student still on her mobile device, oblivious to the danger that was soon closing in on her. The killer that was suppose to execute her order came to a complete halt at this moment in time. Instead, the opposite desire that she never wanted to see nor experience occurred.
“Yuki!” she exclaimed. “We have to go!”
Upon hearing her name called out, the taller of the two snapped her head towards the caller. However, she wasn’t granted the chance to even object nor react at the proclamation. A hand shot out from the stranger’s direction, reaching out and grabbing ahold of her free hand. The cell phone that Yuki pressed against her face earlier dropped, dragged away from the location.
It appears that the man after her came to a realization that Mayu was bringing her away to safety. His figure from the distance began to, at a dangerous rate, come into full view; his pace quickening in hopes of catching his prey.
Should the two be in his line of sight for too long, the hunter will certainly come into close approximation. Not only is Yuki’s life is on the line, but even the assassin’s. After all, due to interfering with the hunt, he will knock down anyone and anything that stands in between his stance and his goal. (Assassins are ruthless, and will even slaughter their friends to get what they want.)
A sharp turn was made to the left, forcing the dragging female to be caught off guard. More sharp directions were performed before they came to a complete stop. Yuki soon found out that both her and the stranger were hiding in a skinny alleyway, easily away from the public's eyes.
Backs pressed against the wall, they used this time to catch their breaths.
The graduate student was completely flustered. Everything was happening far too fast for the young lady. One moment she was talking on the phone with her friend, the next she’s pulled around by a hooded stranger. Questions that she wanted to ask were caught in her throat, unable to formulate any at the current situation. She simply acknowledges the fact that her life is in grave danger.
Mayu, on the other hand, felt the older woman tightened her grip. It was the first time that the mouse has ever felt someone desperately hold onto her hand. Instinctively she curled her fingers and enveloped Yuki’s hand. She didn’t want her target to stray from her sight nor from her grasp. Right now, the safety of Kashiwagi Yuki is of upmost importance.
A quick peek was made from the corner of the slim alleyway. Based on the mouse’s observation and study of the premise, the two should be able to scramble away scathe-free if they avoid running into the man.
However, there’s a risk to undertake in the escape plan. There is only one path, and that one path that they must trudge through will easily expose their presence. It wouldn’t be surprising if they easily become tangle with his fingers. Of course, the assassin hardly wanted the outcome to tip to his favor. She will do everything she can to keep Yuki safe.
Exhaling, the mouse then shot a glance at the other female. The piercing gaze almost made her flinch, yet carried a sense of security that one could somewhat find comfort in. As for Mayu, she couldn’t help but make an unintentional note of the beauty that radiates from Yuki. That dangerous thought, however, was quickly shaken off. Now was not the time to waste on making unnecessary mental remarks.
Though no words were uttered, the shorter of the two separated from the wall. At that same moment, the tugging sensation was felt through the grip of Mayu. Quickly, they slipped out of their cover and into the anxious zone.
The two hastily sped through the spacious premise. Buildings that towered around the running females blocked most of the sunlight rays, only allowing few to slip by. Sounds of their pants and wheezes echoed in the rather silent setting.
Every couple steps or so, the mouse would shoot a glance over her shoulder, and so far the result has been the same. The man that relentlessly pursued their target is nowhere to be seen. This should’ve brought a sense of relief the them. Instead, the stress that accumulated over time began to overfill, paranoia comfortably settling down in their skull.
Footsteps then entered into their eardrums. Yuki’s heart nearly skipped a beat, feeling a pang of horror strike her core. As clear as day, the shoes tapped in consistency with the contact of the ground. The source of the sound progressively increased its tempo, hastening to their direction.
Both the student and the assassin were alarmed at the incoming presence. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who’s closing the distance.
A loud bang has resonated in the air, cracking the anxiety that built up within the student. Then there was a sudden outcry coming from the woman Mayu was pulling. The grip that once held dearly to the her savior’s hand loosened till connection was lost; weight that she was pulling on disappeared in an instant. All leg motion came to a complete stop, halting in place.
Her head then twisted around to see the fallen figure. At the sight of Yuki, her eyes widen.
Small holes were riddled on the student’s right shoulder, dark crimson blood splattering on her trench coat. The student’s face twisted from agony, jaw gaped at the intense stinging. Short breaths rapidly came and go through the respiratory system. Her left hand grasped ahold of the affected arm, eyelids narrowed in hopes of bearing through the pain. Upon further examination, the residues and pattern of wound suggest that the cause was from a shotgun’s barrel.
However, the mouse knew that the man merely carried a revolver, not a long weapon.
Mayu couldn’t help but turn her entire figure around to face the culprit. A couple feet away from where she stood, the male assassin kept his firearm raised at their direction. However, the aim shifted its focus from Yuki to the hooded female. Fingers could be seen readjusting its grip in preparation for the next target. The mouse immediately deduced that as long as he disabled his prey, he could take down the obstruction that blocked his goal with as much time as possible.
Her eyes flickered over to the weapon in his grasp. Its identity was indeed a revolver, yet the wounds present on Yuki’s shoulder did not come from any normal penetrating bullet. Eyes squinted, she considered the hypothesis that he managed to tweak the instrument. To his liking, he could easily attach an equipment that would cause the firing weapon to extend and spread its range. If that were true, it would explain why the raven haired female was inflicted in such style.
However, there was no time to lose. This wasn’t the right time to be thinking any further. As an assassin with full experience, she was well trained and taught in the ways to handle similar crisis as this. She knew very well that a moment of hesitation nor inaction can lead to a fatal conclusion. Both of her gloved hands curled into fists, tightening them at the sight of his figure coming close. A fight between two experienced assassinators will put their life on the line to take the spoil.
Mayu grimaced at the situation. It will end in a bloody mess for one of the two, and she wasn’t planning to be the short stick. With the corner of her lips curled downward, her pupils dilated as she pounced forward.
The battle has begun, initiated by the sneaky mouse. Without hesitation, the bald man pulled the trigger once more, allowing the bullets to spread outward at her direction. Due to her quick feet, she was able to swiftly avoid the blow by ducking. Its fires barely grazing the tip of her hood. His shock was written all over his face when he realized the mistake of firing too soon.
Everything felt like it was slowed down. Yuki managed to divert her attention from the wound, eyes sliding over to the unfolding scenario. The student was unable to pick words that could describe the witnessing match as she experienced the pain-wrecking sensation.
Like a mouse, she closed in rapidly. A hand reaching from behind, Mayu immediately unsheathed the hunting knife that she always carries close by. The metal blade glimmered by the thin sun’s ray as it slickly came out from its case attached to her waist. Her fingers curled around the handle, thrusting the arm upward to his chin.
He lowered his gun in desperation. The metal device clanged together against the edges of the sharp weapon. She smirked, sensing the dread that fell upon the man’s composure. Potentially it can be a deadlock position the two were at, yet thanks to the huge momentum of swinging her arm in comparison to his, enough force was required to knock the revolver out of his hand.
The weapon flung into the air, twirling and spinning without its owner. At that same time, Mayu straightened her entire body, bringing down the already-raised knife to his shoulder forcefully. If the hit man was only fast enough, he could’ve dodged the incoming blow.
He went down with a thump. Back landing roughly against the concrete surface, his entire expression scrunched upon contact. The man’s hand reached over to the buried blade, fingers wrapping around its handle. Yet despite his attempts to tear off the weapon, this was the most crucial moment in a fight. In this position, his entire front body is exposed to the opponent. Nothing could shield him from the truth that loomed.
Mayu stepped forward with a hand stuck inside of her sweater. When she retracted, there was a black pistol in her grasp. Fully loaded, it was ready for its user to pull the trigger at any given time of the day.
The predator’s facial features darkened at the sight; his entire face pale in knowledge of the fate he was given. Not a single word nor sound was able to escape his voice box, unable to even verbally react properly to the woman. It baffled him how a young lady like her could have beaten him into submission. He has the strength and the cunning mind of a serial murderer. However, his overconfidence was his greatest flaw, leading him straight to his demise at the hands of someone so young.
Whatever thoughts he had afterward didn’t matter. The cold gaze that looked down upon her rival remained on his figure as a shot was fired. His entire body shook from the strike, the bullet now lodged deep within his chest. Blood splattered at the violent impact only to be faintly concealed by the dark colors of his suit. His entire expression had shock plastered, eyes kept its dead stares on the towering girl. All further body movements came to its end, internal organs and muscles shutting down.
Once the pistol was securely hooked within her sweater, Mayu then bent down with a hand outstretched towards the knife. In a swift motion, there was a slick noise as blades slid out of the fresh stab. The smell of blood reeked the air around the assassin and the man from below. Color of red painted the theme attached to the conclusion of a hitman’s life.
The deed was now complete. She has taken down the man that chased and hunted after Yuki.
Alas, this wasn’t the end. Now it was her time to seal the deal with her own two hands.
Mayu glanced over at Yuki. The student was down on her knees, watching the entire murder play out since the beginning. Shock, anger, horror, and sorrow could be some of the many emotions thrown in a turmoil. How she felt was none of the mouse’s concern, however. She was no savior; she was no hero. Mayu is the true definition of a ruthless murderer.
Knife still at hand, she walked over to the frightened woman. Blood slithered down the blade, gathering at the tip till droplets came to life. Drips of the crimson liquid fell upon the concrete ground that rested between the deceased assassin and the shrinking student.
Words didn’t need to be spent to give an explanation to Yuki. She knew exactly what was going to happen next.
As she closed the distance, the corner of her lips remained stiff. The tainted innocence that mixed throughly with fear floated from the older woman’s direction. Her knuckles became white from the tightening hold of her right arm. The fate that was about to descend upon the female has arrived, and the hooded female was to deliver it like a death reaper.
Once close enough, Mayu gazed at the victim. Eyes with lack of emotion were spotted in Yuki’s perspective, automatically dubbing the young woman as a heartless killer. She wanted to get up and run as far away as possible from the place. However, terror was instilled into her body’s system, freezing up. Mental commands and screams were not enough to motivate the figure back into action. Sadly, all the student could do was become a sitting duck to the assassin’s doing. ’It’s time to end this.’
Knife was raised high above the woman’s head in a single fluid motion; it hovered a good distance away from the top of Yuki’s head.
A single strike to the head should dive the blade far enough to penetrate the skull and into the brain itself. No one should be able to survive a fatal encounter like this. Should she survive from the first round, Mayu could always plunge the blade back into it. Rinse and repeat the action till the death of Kashiwagi Yuki is confirmed.
Weapon at hand, the mouse then brought it down.
The sound of wind cut into two proclaimed, strength used in the swing publicly executed. Muscles went to work as it constricted, straining themselves to transfer the energy from the arm to the moving blade. Intensity was easily showcased as the speed increased from gravity.
Yet it completely missed.
Where Mayu had swung only came close to the vulnerable female. The blade literally came to a full stop near Yuki’s twisted face. As if her entire body disobeyed the commands, the wrist shifted to an angle where contact is impossible. The mouse couldn’t help but freeze up on the turn of event.
This entire situation literally made a fool out of the assassin. Should she raise the knife high up in the air once again, it is almost guaranteed that the result will be similar. Mayu didn’t need to try again to see if her prediction was right; she knew for sure that she won’t be able to land even the tip of the blade on the woman’s hair.
“Let me help you,” Mayu grumbled. “I’ll help treat your shoulder.”
She hastily sheathed the weapon, returning it back to its case. A soft exhale came out of her mouth as she bent down. Gestures and arm motions were made to assist the wounded to stand up on two feet.
Yuki, still in great anguish, allowed the assassin to do what was needed. Numbness spread throughout her body and mind, almost as if the student was watching her own figure move and perform actions.
At this point in time, she didn’t care where she was taken. She simply didn’t want to die. The will that many organisms carry throughout their entire life overrode any common sense in this particular moment. Yuki just didn't want to die, and she was willing to do just about anything to have her life spared.
Disappointment, on another hand, trickled in the midst of Mayu’s mind. The question of why she couldn’t end the older woman’s life would bother her to no end. To even think of sparing her victims is inexcusable, yet it happened. Facial features expressed various forms of emotions as the two hurried over to the mouse’s hideout in the nearby outskirt of Akihabara.
[3 hours later]
The wound that has been sustained on the raven haired female was bad. Consistency of bandaging and redressing came at the interval of every thirty minutes to prevent potential infections.
Yuki, on the other hand, has yet to fully awaken. Every single time the student cracked open her eyelids, she was washed over with the intense burning sensation that struck her shoulder and a migraine. Speeches became slurs, groans escaping through her trachea in desperate attempt to formulate words. A fever continues to ravage her entire figure, chills constantly running its course. Both sleeping and waking proves to be simply a world full of anguish.
Such sight is almost enough to earn pity points from the assassin. (Almost.)
She sat on a wooden stool nearby, overlooking the suffering female. In one hand, there was a wet white towel. In another, she twirled the pistol.
Within the bedroom of her puny hideout, there lies a collection of dust, weapons, papers, and small body bags filled with cash scattered throughout the room. Two desks (one near the bed, another near the furnitures), a single-seat sofa, a coffee table, and a boxed television barely manages to squeeze themselves in this tight space. Worst of all, no windows could be spotted anywhere; ventilations luckily operated through the filters and central A/C high on the walls. Otherwise, one could describe this area as the junkiest bedroom to stand in. The kitchen and bathroom laid outside of the bedroom’s door, steps away from where they rested. Yellow lights barely covered was mostly able to erase the darkness's presence from all three.
As cramped as it may be, Mayu finds solace in it. That is, until her victim is turning and groaning all over her bed mattress. She was automatically kicked to the side to sleep on the uncomfortable sofa for tonight and who knows how long. Irritation boiled from within her chest, yet kept it under control as she overlooked Yuki.
Mayu never understood what possessed her to keep the girl in her hideout. The only person that ever knew of its existence and location is the cash dealer, Shinoda Mariko. There was no point in bringing the target to a safe place. Not to mention what insanity infected the mouse from keeping her alive.
This was no joking matter. This woman had to die. The crumbled envelope tucked within her pockets clearly printed out the assignment. Another assassin attempted to exact the same result as she wanted earlier. If she wanted, she could just let Yuki bleed out in her hideout even, receive an infection from poor treatment, and succumb to the fate the medical student originally planned to have. Yet maybe it was too much of a hassle.
No— that wasn’t right. Perhaps Mayu couldn’t kill Yuki right now. She didn’t like to admit it, but the hooded female found herself unable to bring down a hunting knife to the woman’s figure. Even with a fully loaded firearm at hand, she couldn’t raise it up, aim, and pull the trigger. This frustrated her greatly as a stream of questions were present to ponder upon. Could it be due to the injury the student has sustained?
That couldn’t be it. There were various times in previous assignments that the mouse shot down wounded individuals. No matter if they were sick or hurt, Mayu would be there to bring an end to it all. Could it be how young Kashiwagi Yuki is?
Impossible. She’s struck down innocent children before their family, and have gotten away with the bloodshed. No one could be able to forget the cries of parents and guardians of a youngster’s death, and certainly no one but murderers like the mouse could forget the sensation of putting them down. Could it be that she’s a woman?
Ridiculous. Men or women, gender never played a part in the deciding factor. Regardless of who the individual really is, if a death flag is raised, then so shall it publicly wave.
Mayu’s eyes kept watch over the slumbering figure. As personal examination ensued in silence, the girl couldn’t help but remark the beauty that was blessed to the medical student. Could it be… her beauty?
Victims’ looks never were at the top of the list, never mind ever being branded as a priority on the list anywhere. However, Yuki’s striking looks had caused several instances where the assassin mentally complimented. It wasn’t the determining factor though. Fashion and exquisite body physiques was never one that finalized any choice for the mouse.
So what exactly brought her to this current predicament? Could it be… she wanted someone?
It’s true that being an assassin meant isolation from the rest of the world. Contact was minimal, and the only person that she’s fully spoken to was Mariko. However, even with her dealer, a couple sentences were merely exchanged before she lurked back into the shadows. Mayu never thought twice about the status of being a loner.
Unexpectedly, that one moment when Yuki was desperately holding onto the short woman’s hand in the midst of a pursuer brought about a feeling that she never knew existed. The sweat and warmth that transmitted through her glove that time was a first for her. She never held anyone’s hand, and never had someone hold hers. A strange, fuzzy sensation built up deep within her chest at the initiation of Yuki’s earlier action. It stirred a new form of emotion that Mayu never knew she could possess.
This was a one-time thing though. It could just be a spur of the moment. It could be—
She snapped back to reality when she heard a moan coming out of the sleeping beauty’s parted mouth. Without thinking twice, the young woman got up from her seat. The weapon placed down on the nearby desk, Mayu proceeded to gently press the damp surface of the towel against her forehead. In a gentle pattern, she wiped off the sweat that overfilled the pores, spilling out in forms of sweat droplets.
Perhaps the mouse should give herself time to decide Yuki’s fate. She wasn’t thinking straight, and the target is on the road to recovery. A couple days should be more than enough time to settle down and think over the situation. Once the raven haired female becomes well, then Mayu should be able to severe her lifeline.
It has been two weeks now, and the older female has, thankfully, healed for the most part.
Although scars cannot be avoided, Yuki was able to freely move her shoulder effortless. Meals that were provided by the assassin were eaten with ease compared to the past couple of days. The constant self-therapy session she had has increased the mobility and returned most of her strength back to its starting point. She was able to shuffle around from place to place, but due to the order of the stranger, Yuki was only allowed to stay under this roof.
So many questions bubbled inside of her head, all ready to pop at any given time. She wanted to clearly understand her circumstances, and divulge on who exactly her captor is. As a student, it was not surprising that her curiosity got the better of her. Like an innocent child, she awaits for the arrival of Mayu.
The college student sitting on the edge of her bed, she kept her eyes on the assassin as the young woman brought in a mug filled with herbal tea upon entering the room. A brief thanks was given before receiving the cup.
She brought the white edges of the object to her lips. Gently it pressed against the mouth, opening slightly as the liquid seeped through the small slit. A quiet sip provided warmth as the tea traveled down through the throat and into the stomach.
As she drank the substance, Mayu wandered over to the nearest sofa. There she plopped herself on the furniture, crossing her legs and ensued the stares on Yuki. Silence hung in the air excluding the sound produced from sipping. The assassin merely rested her hands on the arms of the sofa, unmoving; it was as if she were a hawk keeping a watchful eye out of her prey.
This didn’t bother the student. She was a bit concerned about the treatment, but regardless, brushed aside the doubts.
“I’ve… never gotten the chance to properly thank you,” Yuki spoke once she retracted the mug. “So… Thank you for saving my life.”
“You don’t need to,” the assassin coldly replied. “You shouldn’t even thank me.”
It was an unexpectedly response to the remark that she has uttered. A saying wasn’t required, but the way Mayu spat it out gave a negative connotation. Yuki wasn’t expecting anything from the captor, let alone a tone full of warning. She could only blink a few times before vocalizing herself once again.
“It still doesn’t feel right. You’ve saved my life from the hands of a man intent on killing me.”
“Is that so?”
Another apathetic answer. However, it didn’t stop the other from continuing to further compliment the female and even complicate the conversation.
“You’re a sweet person, you know that?”
A rare smile bloomed on the assassin’s face as the other female pointed out a trait that she never would’ve thought have possessed.
“I don’t know if I should be flattered.”
Sweet? Mayu was far from anything but sweet.
If one should describe the cold-blooded killer, then bitterness or sourness would be the best fit. For Yuki to say such compliment, either she’s oblivious or too kind for her own good.
Yuki giggled at the distinguishable remark.
“I’m only speaking how I feel— Ah, that reminds me… I didn’t get your name.”
“Does it really matter?”
“Well, I can’t keep thinking of you as a nameless savior. Besides… you know my name.”
Silence was met. Perhaps it would be difficult to retrieve an answer from the mouse in regard to her identity.
She spoke in a hasty pace, almost tricking Yuki into thinking she misheard the slayer speaking. It took a couple seconds for the student to realize that she wasn’t imagining it.
“That’s a nice name," she complimented once again.
“I’ve never thought of it.”
“I think it’s perfect for a hero.”
It was time to cut the casual chatters. The treatment that she was receiving from the student almost made the assassin vomit on the spot. Sweet words slipping out of the older woman’s mouth could become poison to the young female. No matter if the person was generous and honest with her words, they meant nothing to Mayu. She learned that long ago, those same words transformed into venom. Besides, Yuki was a target. If she slashed her down, then this nonsense would all be over, and she would return to the quiet, tense life of a hit man.
“You don’t know me, Kashiwagi-san,” she said, standing up from her seat. The hooded female narrowed her eyes at the sitting female. “I’m an assassin. I kill for a living.”
“But you’ve saved me—“
“I didn’t save you. I simply saved you because I wanted to end your life with my own hands.”
The assassin didn’t hesitate to unfold and whip out her pocketknife. In a swift motion, she now stood before Yuki, positioning the blade against her throat. The mug that was once in the student’s hand immediately dropped to the ground, shattering upon impact; the tea that was once in the container flowed out and spread on the wooden floor.
It felt as though time has hit the pause button. The only movement that could be seen between the two individuals was their chest falling and rising.
Hairs on the back of the target’s neck stood up as goosebumps began to makes its presence. Her eyes shakily dragged its gaze down to the weapon pressed against her vital spot. If sweat wasn’t building up from within her pores, it surely began. The sensation of the death reaper stood by her side once again, breathing down her neck as Yuki faced the slayer.
The envelope that crumpled from within her skirt’s pocket was immediately taken out. A folded paper was seen half in, half out of it. Mayu managed to shake the necessary piece in order to shove it at the other’s face. Its paper container slowly descending to the ground, the mouse roughly unfolded the file. Once properly held in her grasp, she raised it to her victim’s level; she even shook it to prove a point.
“You see this paper? It has all of your profile information on it. An anonymous requester sent in an order that you should die.”
Dread loomed over the female. She examined the file and noticed the abundant information on her profile. Photos taken without her permission were accompanied by the vast, detailed text. Descriptions ranging from her height and weight to the university that she attended sent a shudder down her spine. It wasn’t the matter of what the information provided, but rather who and how they have gotten it.
“H-How did you—“
“I exercise my right to remain silent in answering any of your questions, Kashiwagi-san,” she mumbled as her face was brought up close. Each word that spat out of her mouth was deliberately in staccato, putting an emphasize on the overall sentence; it was as if she was a cobra hissing at its victim before lashing out. “You’re going to die, and I will kill you.”
The file now dropped, the mouse refocused all of her attention on how fast she was going to end her life. Her victim bit the bottom of her lip, feeling a sweat drop slide down from the side of her head.
“Then… why don’t you kill me?” Yuki bravely pointed out. “Kill me, Mayu. Kill me right here, right now.”
She was baffled at the foolishness.
As for Yuki, she was actually terrified. For her to voice such a demand simply meant digging her own grave. The student knew somewhat that the assassin is hesitant in slitting her throat. Based on her observation, Mayu isn’t able to deliver the final strike. If she was wrong, however, then it would spell doom for the older woman. Only time, patience, and psychological luck could tell the aftermath of a courageous outburst.
Mayu, on another hand, was ready to kill this irritable woman. If it could shut her up for good, then it would do well to severe this all. All she had to do was violently flick her wrist. The amount of damage produced from the move was enough to complete her original goal.
Yet she found herself unable to. Her heart slammed against her chest painfully, watching the hand shake. It continuously shook in place regardless of the mental commands she snarled. Once again, her entire body disobeyed the organ in command.
There was no explanation to why the assassin couldn’t even grant such wish. She had the knife planted against the vital throat, yet the mouse was unable to press it any further than now spill a thin line of blood. No matter how much will she applied, it never registered into her mind.
A scowl was scrawled on the girl’s face. Retracting her arm, she then twirled the pocketknife to sheath it. She returned the piece of weapon back into her sweater, hooking it from within.
As for Yuki, the student let out a large exhale, noticing that she has been holding back her breath since the encounter. A hand reached up to touch her own neck, determining how deep the cut was. Frankly she was glad that the confrontation ended on a stale note as predicted. Should she be wrong, then— It wasn’t worth mentioning. It has passed, and the heated tension that hung in the air eroded.
There was no point in continuing this conversation anyway. It wasn’t pointless, but Mayu, shamefully, couldn’t even recreate a solid answer to the demands of her target. If she couldn’t show, then it would be wise to keep her mouth seal. Many believe in showing, not telling.
How silly. This assassin was beginning to become unsure of her place in the situation. She was suppose to be the one to pull the plug, yet it appears that the mouse could only watch onward in puzzlement. No matter how much she screams to rip it off, her body wouldn’t obey.
She turned her back to the female, hands tucked into her sweater’s pockets. Mayu then proceeded to walk out of the bedroom. Hand placed on the doorknob, she was ready to shut the door. However, the assassin came to a brief halt at the doorway. Without peering over her shoulders, she murmured a warning.
“Don’t follow me, Kashiwagi-san. I won’t kill you now, but remember this: I will have your head in a month.”
It’s now been a month since Mayu first met and saved Yuki, and the female has yet to take a step to the outside world.
Despite the disarray and uncomfortable space that she resided in, there was a fair amount of food and water to live off of for a couple months without taking a step out. Disorganization became organized as the student found time to push and shove objects around. Whether it would please the mouse, Yuki will never know; she only did it for her own comfort. At the same time, bit by bit, she would find clues and hints that point out to who Mayu really is.
Although she could’ve gotten out of the shelter, report to the police, and return to a life full of security and safety, the student was unable to find the desire to do so. Even though her life is on the line, Yuki couldn’t help but remain at the captor’s home. An explanation doesn’t warrant her decision (she doesn’t have a legitimate reason prepared), but the student has a gut feeling that she should stay; an instinct to keep herself in the home of the assassinator. There has to be a reason to why this individual shouldn’t leave, and why she couldn’t stop thinking about the assassin. The image of Mayu consistently flickered in her mind both day and night, concerning the target of her view on the predator.
Perhaps if Mayu came back soon, the two could resolve this strange issue. The student struggled to find a reason to why she was unable to not only leave, but to cease thinking about the assassin.
However, the presence of Mayu has yet to return.
Ever since that day, the hooded female hasn’t come back since then. Thanks to scouring through some of the assassin’s supplies in the desks, she found out that there was another task the woman must complete. Another assassination job; the life of Watanabe Mayu is filled with mystery.
The more Yuki thinks about it, the more she realized how little she knew about the assassinator. Interactions the two had together were brief, but exposed so little of their personal stories. Books that were dying to be read were out of reach of for the medical student. Every chance that she had, she could only get near, fingertips brushing against the dusty surface of the cover.
Although she shouldn’t be bothered by such minor details, it bugged her from the back of her skull. Even if she didn’t want to think about it, it tickled her curiosity at her like an ant scuttling around. Information that she wanted to take in was anything but easy to achieve. Again, it requires the appearance of a certain hooded mouse to make it happen.
As the raven haired female reread the file that indicated the mention of the next victim, thumps and crashes were heard in the kitchen. It alarmed the medical student, perking her ears up in hopes of determining the source of the noises. Could it be an intruder?
It couldn’t be. If she remembered what Mayu has told her earlier as she recovered from her injury, no one knows of their location other than Shinoda Mariko. She may have not taken a step to the outside world to observe the type of shelter she’s kept under, but she places faith on the words uttered by the assassin. This is her hideout, after all. The terminology isn’t loosely used for a location easily discoverable by outsiders. Could it be the dealer then?
It could be a possibility. What would Yuki then say if she is confronted by the very person that assigned her death sentence? The sheer thought of facing the individual terrifies the student. However, she can’t falter now. It would be wise to remain silent, pretending she wasn’t here. There’s no need to hide, but if she could only grab ahold of a nearby object as a weapon—
Another crash erupted from within. However, it was much closer than it was from the previous. It struck a nerve within Yuki, causing her to leap. Sight fixated on the door, its knob began to shudder as it turned. Almost thirty whole seconds passed by before the barrier pushed open.
When she saw who it was, a sigh of relief got caught in her throat. Watanabe Mayu now stands present before her, but it froze Yuki to her spot.
The mouse weakly leaned against the door, hand gripping ahold of her left side. Her entire attire was in ruins; the cuts and tears that shouldn’t have existed were present on many areas of her clothes. Blood trickled out from the corner of his lips, bruises signifying that someone or something has beaten up her face. Rapid breaths ran through her respiratory system, bringing the dizzy spell to the woman’s head; her consciousness barely alive as it kept Mayu from fainting outdoor.
Yuki was startled at the assassin’s appearance. All she was able to do was stare in horror at the sight. Never did she expect the young girl to return back in this state.
A faint scoff came from the mouse’s direction.
“So… you’re still here…” she breathed out.
With that uttered, Mayu wasn’t able to keep her eyelids open any longer. Limbs began to drop their weight as a wave of blackness shrouded her vision. The girl was falling forward as the hood slipped off from her head, fainting from the injuries that burdened her entire body.
This snapped the graduate back to the reality of the situation.
“Mayu!” she screamed, running forth to catch the limp figure.
Upon having the wounded in her arms, Yuki came to a realization of how light she was. Warmth that normally would spread throughout a human’s body has been drastically reduced to a dangerously lower temperature. Panting was heard from the mouse as the body struggle to keep itself from shutting down.
Yuki couldn’t just leave the woman in this state. If Mayu dies right here and right now, then—
What was the point in saving as assassin that wanted her head for the bounty? It would be simple to leave the young lady alone in this state. With the injuries that she has received, it would not take long for her body to consequently take a heavy toll. Death may not come immediately, but a long, awaiting days full of suffering will play out. Once the murderer, Watanabe Mayu, meets her fate, then she is guaranteed a peaceful life free from threats for a bit longer.
Yet here she was, beginning to drag the mouse to the nearby bed. It was as if her body was in complete autopilot, only able to watch her hands carefully bring Mayu an area to lay. Why wasn’t she able to stop herself from doing what she’s doing? Why is she helping out her killer? ’It couldn’t be…’
, she thought to herself, almost scaring herself. ’Could that really be it…?’
As the answer tumbled inside of her mind, she began the start of treatment.
Thankfully, the student was studying in the field of medicine. The rigorous study habits and late night sessions with the textbooks proves to be helpful. She should be able to treat the assassin from further complications. At the very least, she would able to prevent an infection due to negligence.
She then rested the female down on the bed. Back laid against the soft mattress, the medical student glanced around for any signs of a first-aid kit. Since Yuki has cleaned most of the place up, it didn’t consume much time to seek for the container. In a quick pace, her thin fingers found themselves curling around the plastic handle of the box.
Now bringing the kit over, it was time to take out the required materials. Gauzes, cotton balls, alcoholic pads, band-aids, and tapes. She laid it all out on the empty part of the bed near Mayu. A soft groan was heard from the young assassin as the raven haired female placed the necessary supplies on a clear space.
By the time Yuki glanced up, she almost dropped the alcoholic swab packets. The fainted female was now seen to forcefully attempt to sit up. Both hands shakily fumbled around, a soft growl slipping past the corner of the assassin’s lips at the difficulty.
The student immediately came to push the weak female, but heard a much louder growl emit from the assassin. Unable to stop the woman, she could only assist in sitting her up and treating her wounds.
“You shouldn’t force yourself awake, Mayu,” she warned as she began to slip pieces of clothing were off from the woman’s upper body. “It’ll do more harm than good.”
There was a long time interval between the statement and a reply. When she responded, it was quivering. Breaths were sharply inhaled and exhaled as two measly words were uttered.
A gasp nearly left the medical student’s lips; the sight of the woman’s injury was potentially enough to leave a blank slate of mind behind.
Gashes and scratches scattered all over the smooth skin. Faint scars from previous wounds were seen, but they’ve mostly healed under the newer ones. Scabs and dried blood coated nearby areas of the mostly smooth skin, displaying that Mayu have been bearing it for a long period of time. Discoloration and purple colors splotched itself under the unbroken skin. The unruly scene that she has just witnessed caused brows to scrunch together.
There was no time to lose. The longer she gawks at the the girl’s body, the more she would endanger her life with a prone infection.
The mouse leaned forward, feeling the cold air smack against the cuts that rested on her skin. Although most became scab, slight movement and contact with the atmosphere brought forth waves of stings. Teeth clenched, the female knew well that she won’t be able to fully use her mobility skills for at least a week.
She then grimaced at the start of dabbing the alcohol swab against her injured shoulder, flashes of white pain slapping against her body. Oh how much Mayu wanted to dive back into the unconscious world where all five of her senses were numbed. (Just because she was an experienced assassin doesn’t mean she was used to being harmed.)
As she bore the agony of cleaning her wounds, the mouse couldn’t help but find a question dying to be answered in the back of her mind. At first, she decided that it was not necessary to ask. It wasn’t a big deal nor was it important enough to open her mouth about. Yet there was this curiosity that bubbled within her core. In that same moment, a sensation of warmth and comfort has awaken. This was a new sensibility that she has yet to experience in the longest time possible.
“Why… are you helping me?” she finally questioned.
There was a short pause from the student upon hearing the question. However, it felt as though Yuki was prepared for the assassin to ask it. A faint smile ran across the woman’s lips as she removed the swab.
“I felt like I should repay you back for saving my life.”
“Call me Yuki.”
The assassin felt irritated at the demands that she was forced to obey. She didn’t like to call Yuki by her first name, but if the older woman asked for it, she didn’t have much of a choice. Besides, the student was tending to her injuries. Perhaps this could be one of the easiest ways to repay back a debt. At least this thought comforted the mouse.
She heard a faint huff from behind. It appears that Yuki is pleased to have the young lady heed to her words. At least it would drop the stiffness that was always present in their conversation.
“Okay then, Mayu. I must ask you though… What exactly happened?”
So she was one of those type of people. Annoyance right until the end. They like to poke and probe at an incident, dying to know the answers. They’ll never give up until they achieve their desire. Mayu hated them, but it doesn’t look like she has much of a choice. In the end, Yuki could badger her till a satisfying response is made. If only the assassin wasn’t in a critical state, she would just shut the other female up by persuasive threats.
“My mission went badly. I put down the man as requested, but never did I expect to run into trouble.” She let out a small exhale, her breath hitching when the white pads began application to her cut shoulder blade. “He has security guards everywhere. I made too much of a commotion to kill him, so it was my fault.”
Yuki was unsure of how to take this all in. She wasn’t exactly fond of the woman’s drive and ability to slay her victim. The mindset of not just a medical profession, but any normal civilian would wish good health for others. Yet instead of pitying the now-deceased man, she found herself more worried about the health of his killer. That ever growing mindset was somewhat frightening for the student.
She didn't speak anymore, directing her attention back to bandaging the younger of the two up.
It took some time for the entire treatment to be complete. The last step involved a small band-aid to be placed on the corner of Mayu’s lips. A small ‘There!’ was heard from the healer as she retracted both hands from the assassin’s face. Then, in a swift motion, Yuki threw away the plastic wrappings of the band-aid to the nearby trash can. In that same moment, the mouse took the time to lower herself back on the white mattress. A new set of clothes covering her upper body, she knew there were words to express the tiny gratitude hidden within her heart.
“Hm? Did you say something, Mayu?”
She didn’t like to repeat herself. An act of kindness; that was an extremely rare response that ever came out of the girl’s system. It gave her even more reason to keep her mouth seal.
As she laid on the bed, her eyes flickered over to the medical student. Yuki’s back was turned to her direction, cleaning up and putting away the supplies in the first-aid kit. Since she was simply resting, the unnecessary thoughts came trickling back into her skull. The silent atmosphere didn’t make it any better; her eardrums picked up the sound of her heart beating as she gazed at the slender figure.
“So… I finally realize the reason why you didn’t want me leaving your hideout," Yuki bluntly proclaimed.
Mayu felt an eyebrow raise in amusement.
“Oh? Why don’t you tell me then.”
“It’s because you wanted to keep me safe from other assassinations.”
A pregnant pause hung in the air.
“Ironic. You do understand that I too have an order to kill you, right?”
“But I’m still alive.” Yuki places a hand over her chest, proving a point. “You could’ve killed me, yet it’s been one month since we’ve met. If you truly followed your order, I shouldn’t even be brought here in the first place.”
The assassin’s heart nearly froze.
“Idiot. You would think of such thing? It is true that I’ve kept you off from the hands of others, but it doesn’t mean that it’s out of good will.”
She was about to say more, but the woman cut her off.
“I… also found out about something else.”
At this point, Mayu was irritated at the nosey female. Not only did she blabber ridiculous statements, but even dare to speak up more than one! If she could only shut her up by slitting her throat—
“You’re lonely, aren’t you?”
Her entire expression shifted; eyes widening and blinking blankly at the speaker. She didn’t know how to respond to that question. It should’ve been an easy question to answer, yet the assassin was unable to reproduce one.
The lack of any reply initiated the student into speaking more. Now turned around, her entire attention placed on the laying female as she walked over to the bed. Without warning, she crawled on top of the mattress and over the now-flustered assassin.
“Even with this cold act, you’re still someone that I truly owe my life to.”
Yuki allowed both of her hands to gently cup the assassin’s face. Thumbs softly caressing the bruised skin, she let out a quiet exhale at the sight of Mayu.
“I love you, Mayu. I’ve always loved you.”
There was more that has to be said. She definitely has more to say, and she wanted to lash out at the student. Yet the number of thoughts that fumbled in the mouse’s head, for once, came crumbling down in a heap of dust. All sort of witty and sarcastic replies stopped dead on its track as the beautiful woman came close. Her face closed the distance between the two, so close as to feel each other’s breaths. Every single inhale and exhale were felt faintly, tickling the mouse’s skin. Heat crept up on Mayu’s cheeks at the close approximation.
She’s never felt like this before in her life, and she demands to know what’s causing her to feel like this; what sort of sorcery Yuki has enchanted her with.
“W-What do you think you’re doing?” she managed to choke out.
An answer to her question turned out to be a surprise; the student’s lips crashed upon the woman from below without warning. Mayu’s eyes widen as her first kiss was stolen. She didn’t expect anyone to initiate intimate contact, especially when it came from a target that was suppose to be dead.
If one despise and didn’t consent to this sort of action, it would be common practice to distance themselves from the cause. However, to Mayu’s dismay, her injuries hardly granted her a chance to choose that option. So she was stuck in the position for a long period of time. Meanwhile, that fuzzy sensation stirred from within her chest. The warmth that she felt since meeting Yuki grew at a rapid rate. Heart that only beat wildly in danger reacted in the same manner towards the push from the student. Why is she feeling this way?
Many weeks has passed by for the mouse to analyze her tossing emotions. Answers potentially standing in front of her face were in her reach. Yet there was only one that she could grab with ease: Love and affection.
She desperately wanted these two things in her life. At first, Mayu rejected the ideas, claiming that it was nothing but foolishness. The more she thought about it, however, the more it became clear that this was the dreaded answer she’s avoided for so long. Ever since she became an hit man, many privileged concepts were only given to those that carried on a normal life. The female never had a normal life to begin with. Her past muddled, she only remembered that she started this occupation at the earliest memory possible. The lack of love and kind treatments caused the young lady to grow up into a cold-blood killer.
Then there was the presence of Kashiwagi Yuki. Since the day they’ve met, it must’ve been fate. Everything that the mouse thought was normal became unclear, disrupting the daily activity that she has gone by. ’I love her.’
That was why she acted so strangely. The beauty and the vibe of a kind soul emitting from the student halted the student in her spot. Why this has never happened to others before her, Mayu will never know; a magical spell must’ve been sprinkled upon Yuki to label her as special.
As for Yuki, she’s solved the mystery before beginning the treatment of this girl’s injuries. She finally came to a realization to why she couldn’t bear to leave this shelter. It was an answer that fully cleared her doubts and confusion of the endless wonders her relationship with Watanabe Mayu.
A passionate kiss that intertwine with the dominance of Yuki, they separated to relieve some air into their lungs. A tear unconsciously sprung forth from the corner of Mayu’s lacrimal glands, streaming downward as she stared lovingly at the hovering female.
“I… I love you too… Yuki,” she whispered. “I love you and I need you.”
Just hearing the assassin speak of the confession brought about a sincere smile on Yuki’s face. The hands still resting on her face, she used a thumb to wipe away the tear that slid down to the side.
“I need you too, Mayu,” she tenderly spoke, leaning in to give one more kiss.
Although shorter than the previous round, it exchanged an emotional connection that the two were finally able to acknowledge. It was an extremely special event that ever happened to the two females.
Afterward, she then proceeded to slide off of the woman’s frail body. Her head resting nearby, they laid side-by-side from each other. The blush that colored their cheeks remained as their eyes remained fixated on one another. A vibe never known to the slayer floated into the atmosphere, tainting it. Unlike her usual attitude of brushing it to the side, Mayu found comfort in the graduate’s presence.
Perhaps… Perhaps she was just a little girl, after all. She truly didn’t know the concept of love and affection. Now that she has Yuki, perhaps it was the start of a romantic relationship that she is proud to call it her first. There really was no reason to kill someone that she loves, and she is willing to fight against any future death orders of the woman named Kashiwagi Yuki.
She will protect her girlfriend, and she will love her girlfriend as a whole.
It was time for the confession.
Almost half a year since the incident passed by the two individuals, and so much has been going on. The feelings that the two shared since that fated day brought forth a blooming flower full of blessings and romance. Although Mayu was an assassin that once targeted Yuki, they both lived under the same roof for half a year till this date. Not a single attempt was made to her life, and the attitude that the young woman once had eroded away at the presence of her girlfriend despite the ensuing missions she undertook.
The heart that continuously pumped blood throughout her body ran at full speed. Their relationship status is at a level many would admire, but Yuki wanted something more. She wanted to raise it up to where they can seal their bond. The life that two separate individuals carry will bind to one, detailing that together they will move forward.
She wandered out of the bedroom, trying to find the assassin in the hideout. A couple minutes of searching resulted in nothing but a faucet left running on accident in the kitchen’s sink. (To which Yuki turned it off.) Another round of searching in the small space yielded the same exact result as previous attempt.
With a huff, the medical student decided to leave the place.
When she opened the door, she found herself blinded by the bright light of the sun. Eyes squinted, Yuki had a hand brought up to provide some shade against the rays. The heat that accompanied the day was accompanied by the gentle breeze that soothed the unbearable temperature.
Her eyes gazed upon the heaps of trash that countlessly stood on the recycled land. The shelter that housed the two, on the outside, looks like it was in shamble. Wooden boards and flimsy steel pieces kept the roof above their heads. Pipes filled with filters and water barely stuck out of the crumbled, concrete ground from nearby; its starting point from a nearby financial district and ending here in the outskirts.
At the location they could be found, it was not rocket science to how the mouse was able to coop in her hideout without issue. Not only were there lack of visitors in the outskirts, but there was always a huge number of waste building up in piles nearby. It’s highly unlikely that anyone would walk around the premise in their spare time.
A couple more minutes progressed by as the female resume her search for Mayu. Although time shouldn’t be an issue, the number of obstacles that represented barriers ate up seconds that could’ve been used to seek the assassin.
Yuki let out a sigh of relief when she finally sought the hooded figure.
The shorter of the two stood a couple feet away. Hands in her sweater’s pockets, the young lady blew a pink bubblegum out of her mouth. It popped, prompting her to chew the material once again before blowing it; rinse and repeat. From where Yuki stood, it appears that Mayu was staring at the city of bustling city of Akihabara. Curiosity perked the graduate. Questions began to formulate as she proceeded to walk over.
“What are you doing here, Mayuyu?”
It appears that the older woman brought surprise to the mouse. By the time Mayu glanced over her shoulder, Yuki’s arms were placed on her two shoulders.
“I didn’t expect you to come out here,” she added after spitting out the gum to the side.
A giggle was heard from Yuki’s direction at the spoken words.
“You should be though. I’ve been cooped up in your house for a long time.”
Upon hearing that, the assassin felt the corner of her mouth perk upward.
“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised.”
Yuki leaned down to plant a peck on the girl’s cheek.
“Hey... Do you remember that day when you called me by my first name?”
"This is rather sudden."
"Just answer my question, silly," she said as another smooch was landed on the same cheek.
“When I came back from my mission, yes?”
She shook her head.
“Not exactly, Mayuyu. It was actually before that.”
This puzzled the assassin.
“I… don’t remember calling you by your first name before that time.”
A sigh then escaped the raven haired lips. Her hands retracted from Mayu’s shoulders, the smile still shown on her face.
“It was when we first met; when you first saved me from the gunman.”
“Where are you going with this, Yukirin?”
She knew very well that this conversation was going in circles, avoiding the main point of the unknown topic. The mouse would be lying if she stated that it didn’t touch her nerves. Impatiently she awaited for the woman to get to it, furrowing her brows.
“Mayu, I… really want to solidify our relationship,” she proclaimed, taking the girl’s hand into hers. “I want us to be more than just girlfriends…”
What could she mean by that?
It took a bit of time for the mouse to digest the spoken statement that left Yuki’s lips. Then, she raised both eyebrows with concern. The hand that was in the older woman’s grasp pulled away with force.
“It’s impossible,” Mayu bluntly shot down the request. “I’m an assassin and you’re a normal civilian—“
“Then you can always quit your job.”
Her eyes widen at the suggestion. Yuki passionately spoke those words, hoping that her girlfriend could agree. Both hands clasping together, her fingers intertwined as she desperately persuaded the female.
“For me, Mayu, please… I want to build a future where we can be happy.”
The name of the other female was uttered as the assassin extended a gloved hand out. Palm resting against Yuki’s cheek, warmth seeped through the clothed material. A slow, yet gentle, caressing motion brought a fuzzy sensation to the student, slightly pressing herself against the moving hand. Then without hesitating, she leaned forward to capture Mayu’s lips.
All of her emotions poured into that one kiss. She wanted to showcase how serious she was with Mayu. She wanted to show how much she wanted to by by the woman’s side. She just wanted to show how much she loves her.
Although Yuki has surprised the assassin, the female, hesitantly, reciprocated in a similar manner. The gloved hand that rested against her cheek cease moving any further, attention fully heeded to the simple, yet powerful, gesture of expressing one’s feelings.
They retracted, but only briefly before making connection once again. On the second round, it was much deeper, pressing onward to the soft delicacy that could be bitten and licked in lust. Eyelids closed, the two felt heat rising from their cheeks at the arousing stimulation that two lips could possess.
Movement was seen from Mayu’s mouth after they separated to catch some air.
“…You’re so naïve and innocent, aren’t you?”
Tone drastically changed, the raven haired female snapped open her eyelids. At that same moment, a pressure was felt against her abdomen; it was followed by the sensation of a solid object resting from within.
Yuki felt a gasp leave her gaped mouth. She stumbled backward, a couple steps taken to distance herself from the mouse. Pair of brown eyes shakily gazed downward to the affected area.
From her observation, the student was able to see a pocketknife puncture her abdomen. Residing deep within her body, its wooden handle made contact with her outer skin. The color red painted the cloth that surrounded the weapon. Thick substance by the name of blood slowly seeped out of the stab, soaking the white blouse that Mayu has bought for her.
The mouse took a couple steps towards the confused woman. A hand shot out, instantly taking ahold of the handle. In a single motion, blood poured out of the hole that used to hold the sharp blade. A choking gasp left her lips from the sudden transition. Once the knowledge of the received injury finally soaked into her brain, pain signals shot out wildly throughout her body.
Yuki succumbed to the sensation, crumbling down to her knees before falling flat on the concrete surface. Two of her hands pressed against the injury in dire hopes of slowing down the bleeding. Yet it wasn’t enough; the wound was deep and it would eventually kill her. No matter how much she attempted to keep it from flowing, she knew very well that death was going to overwhelm her desire. She truly felt like the death reaper is standing by her side once more. This time, he— no, that wasn’t it; she
brought down the scythe to Yuki’s lifeline.
“You know that I can’t quit my job,” Mayu spat out.
Physical pain from the newly created injury was nothing compared to the emotional wreck that the student now suffered. Her hands pressing against the wound, Yuki’s fallen figure trembled. A bundle of indescribable feelings tumbled everywhere in her mind like a chicken without a head.
Words that were meant to spill out of her mouth got caught in her throat. Communication became difficult as shock could hardly be registered in her mind; her eyes continuously watching her girlfriend examine the blade that she tore away earlier.
“W-Why…?” she finally croaked out after so much struggle.
The assassin paused; the blade slowly twirled so it sheathed itself automatically.
Now that the weapon of interest was gone from her sight, a cold-hearted gaze was shot down at the young woman.
Then there was a grin
. It was, however, easy to distinguish from the earlier ones presented to the victim. With the combination of penetrating pair of eyes and a wicked smile, ominous vibe came from the expression, sending shudders to anyone that dare witness it.
Mayu began to bend down at Yuki’s level. Once she was at a reasonable point, she answered the student’s burning question.
“Please don’t take it the hard way, Yukirin,” she answered. “You’ve brought in love and security that I never knew was needed.”
Then there was a short pause.
“However… the reward for killing you is something far greater than that.”
The same hand that shed the woman’s blood used its fingers to gently push aside the stray strands that fell out of place. Although such action was meant to provide warmth, it only served its purpose to intensify the irony.
Mayu was—no, she has always been an assassin. Although she felt a bond develop between her and the ex-target, the hooded mouse was relighted by a new offer. The old offer that she had forgotten was brought back to life. This time, it was with at an even grander number, surpassing the triple digits that plagued the previous. Upon the notice by Mariko, the younger female was reminded of her occupation.
Love was nothing but a concept to toy and play with. Individuals that fell for the disease was guaranteed a life of foolishness. Its best role it played was a stepping stone to the next level. After all, Yuki was simply the unfortunate victim that needed some stomping before putting the foot down. It was a sacrifice that she was willing to make for the prize. Money could always buy her love if she so desired.
There was no need to have Kashiwagi Yuki in her life anymore. A pact once made to the female, Mayu can now be free from it. After all, currency rule society till this day. Money holds a higher importance to the silly concepts that two individuals spark up.
On another hand, Yuki couldn’t accept all of this. All of the laughters, happiness, and love they’ve created together was all a lie in the end. One huge bloody lie that led to the demise of her life. As compensation for extinguishing the woman’s lifeline, the assassin will soon receive a large sum by the next payment date. A sensitive and pure life that was swapped for money infuriated the dying individual.
Yet there was nothing she could do. Strength trickled out of her body, internal systems failing to keep her consciousness alive; the color black shrouded her entire vision. Yuki then gave her last exhale at the sight of the mouse walking away from the zone.
L-Look at the time! I think I've... got to go before I'm corrupted by Satan himself!