As the entered the building lot she heard him whisper softly. “Don’t worry I’ll get them back for trying to do that to you.” Toma parked in reverse backing into the lot. Immediately as the car switched into parking, Rie felt her door whipped open and saw her friend looking at her utterly stricken. Jin came up beside her and she saw Wana move away from them as Jin looked at her not bothering to speak as Toma unbuckled her.
She looked at him as he worked desperately at the plastic and felt her breaths grow shallow, he looked sorry…as if he wanted to say the words but couldn’t. His hands were frantically pressing the button and Rie was shocked to find his fingers shook by her side. Her breaths grew labored as she gulped feeling the tears come into her eyes.
Why did he care?
When she looked back to Wana and Jin unable to stand the thought of a human Ikuta Toma, Rie couldn’t help but think that somehow Ryo would be upset by the fact they were together she didn’t really understand Wana and Jin either. Jin hoisted her up and slowly pullled her to her feet and as she looked at her friend’s eyes.
“How many more lives Toma?” Wana’s voice was soft as she glared at her brother after she scanned him for any signs of hurt. When she was sufficiently satisfied she turned her eyes to Rie’s wound and released a painful hiss.
Rie didn't want to look at it herself for fear that she'd faint. She already felt the pain, how much worse would it get when she looked at it. Her forehead was damp with sweat and Jin struggled to keep a straight face as he felt how warm it was.
“She’s not dead is she An?” Toma turned his high beams on and Rie put her hand on her eyes trying to shield herself from the light.
“I’m going up. Come after you’re done talking with him.” Wana informed Jin indicating her eyes downwards as she dragged her friend off upstairs and Rie turned one last time to look at Toma except his eyes couldn’t quite meet hers as his hands were fixed on the steering wheel and even though everything else around her seemed blurred he wasn't. His body was shaking and she seemed to be able to tell every droplet of sweat on his face apart as Jin and he stared each other down. It was strange how her eyes seemed to focus on him, everything else blurred out. She blamed it on her body's lack of energy.
“I don’t understand why she would have done something like that but if she hadn’t jumped in front of me you’d have ended up looking at a corpse.” Toma laughed bitterly as he looked at Jin, who shook his head at the man in front of him.
“Just because you’re a selfish bastard doesn’t mean everyone else is, Ikuta. Besides you said you were going to go translate after the meeting with the gangsters…so why is she bleeding at 5 AM in the morning Toma?”
Toma looked at Jin who was delivering the clear claim with his eyes and Toma placed his hands revving up the engine, unable to answer him clearly. He wasn’t sure why he had taken her out to the ocean, only known that he’d needed to.
“Don’t do anything stupid. We can’t afford another hindrance in our plans to get the cocaine in.” Jin knew that it would only worry Wana further if Toma got involved in any prison stints now. Not that Takuya would let him stay there longer than an hour of course.
“Tell Lillith that, when she gains consciousness.” Toma geared up to leave as Jin walked back to the apartment building whipping his phone out.
“Daisy? It’s Jin. We need your help.”
“Are you feeling okay?” Daisy had been by her side all day and had surprisingly been a real help to her.
Every time Rie stumbled Daisy would be at her side helping her up, like now as Rie faltered for a second on her feet reaching the entrance of Tryst. She wasn’t working tonight but her presence had been requested anyways. Just because she got shot didn’t mean her brain didn’t work. She could still work well as a translator and he had said she would need to attend some meetings with the guys right?
“Thank you for all your help. I’m sorry I’m putting you through this.” Rie saw Daisy’s eyes shoot up in shock as if she hadn’t realized how Rie perceived this.
“You got shot Lillith...what did you think I’d just abandon you after I mended you up? Besides Wana left early today and she said she’d go straight to work. You needed me.” Rie looked to her arm and saw the bright red dot that covered and seeped into the white gauze that held her wound together. It was still percolating underneath, the wetness of her blood against the fabric was a feeling that she was entirely too aware of. Sometimes when she closed her eyes she still felt like screaming as she felt Daisy pull the bullet out last night, they had tried to make her drink but she refused to drink the alcohol choosing to remember the pain instead. She felt her stomach twist, there was one pain that would be worse than this and she had a feeling if she felt this pain she could hold that pain off from ever reaching her.
“Thank you again. I just don’t know what else I can say…there’s nothing I can do to repay you for yesterday.” Rie admitted bashfully, even though she hadn’t liked Daisy before there was nothing she could say against the girl now. It was clear that in stressful situations she wasn’t the girl that she’d shown her on the first day of work.
Daisy was all too willing to provide her with a payment alternative. “There’s one thing you can do.” Rie let out a small smile. At least the girl wasn’t totally without her own agenda.
“What’s that?” Rie would do it. She just hoped it wasn’t anything too drastic. Nothing that could compromise this new trust she’d earned.
“Why don’t you tell me what you’re really up to Lillith? Because you can’t just be doing this for the money Rie. No girl jumps in front of a gang boss for money. There’s something you want from him, there’s something you’re trying to do here.” Daisy’s tone betrayed none of her emotions. It was blank, frank and caught Rie as off guard as she had expected the girl to be. It was clear that it wouldn’t be something light. “I want to know.”
Rie felt her blood run cold as she looked at the girl deciding to deflect the question. There was no logical way she could tell Daisy, even if the girl had saved her life. “Why are you here Daisy? We all know it’s not cause you’re desperate. There’s something more behind it.”
“Answer the question Lillith.” The exotic Daisy wasn’t playing around and as they walked towards the lockers. Rie felt the memories of last night flitting past her mind quickly. “Why are you doing this? What is it you’re after here? Why do you want to be a part of them when every single girl I know here wants to run away from this world?”
The question caught her off guard. Why was she here? The true reason was obvious…but the real reason was much harder to grasp now.
The bullet, Toma, drugs, a gang she was supposed to bring down. All of it was getting so muddled. She hadn’t been made in contact with yet but she knew after her getting shot Mukai had to be itching to come take her out of the situation. There was no way her department didn’t know right? “I’m not sure. I used to know why I was here…but I don’t anymore.” Rie was being honest and Daisy could see that but there was no way an answer as blasé like that was letting her get off the hook.
She tried to walk away but Daisy grabbed her hand and pulled her back roughly so that she yelped in pain at the unexpected tug that made the fabric of the white cotton unknowingly burn with friction against her skin.
“Enough. Enough and say the truth Lillith, and I won’t tell Sho I suspect you of treason. Otherwise he will make sure you’re shot in the head. Like I was able to heal you I could take that away just as easily.” Her voice was low and threatening and the lack of romance in her words made Rie’s blood run cold.
It was true, Sho seemed ready to do anything for Daisy’s sake in a way that didn’t seem to resemble any of the other guys here. She couldn't test that theory out could she?
Daisy didn’t sound like she was happy working here either…maybe she could turn into an ally…or at least stay out of her way if she provided her with the most basic details she possibly could.
“You really want to know? You have to promise not to sell me out.”
“That’s for me to decide and you to answer.”
“Daisy I’m not telling you if you won’t give me security in exchange.”
“If I deem you are harmless to me, you have nothing to worry about.” Daisy promised and Rie scoffed. That was the best she would get out of this girl.
“I’m here to bring them down.” She looked up at Daisy unaware of a shapely shadow stepping to the room. “I’m here to ruin this place.” Daisy backed away from her letting her hand go as she looked at her skeptically up and down and then bursting out in a laugh that was nothing but. It sounded cruel and bitter to Rie’s ears and she was happy to hear it stop when Daisy started taunting her.
“Forgive me if I don’t believe you. You’re not half as capable as me and I wasn’t able to bring ‘them’ down was I?” She lightly mocking the ability of the girl in front of her and Rie felt herself huff furiously.
If the girl was going to make fun of her she wasn’t exactly going to hold back either. “You fell in love though didn’t you? Aren’t you in love with Sho Daisy? Isn’t that why you think you can act better than the rest of us? Because you’re in love with Matsumoto’s weapons trader? ” At the attack of her feelings she came up straight and slapped Rie so quickly across the face that the only reason she knew she’d been slapped was the echo of the sound and a sting of pain on her cheek rested as she slowly raised her eyes to look at Daisy, ready to slap her back but-
Daisy’s eyes were tainted with so much pain that she couldn’t help but pity the beautiful foreign girl. “You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about you fucked up little bitch.” She barged out past her as Rie stood frozen looking at the girl as she barged out in her laced up black faded leather green military boots and Rie leaned against the wall covering her eyes.
She didn’t know why she was so intent on judging Sho and Daisy. After all, Daisy hadn’t so much as done what she had.
Take a bullet for a man who was supposed to mean nothing to her.
It was true that it was probably worth it, even for the mission. After all, now Ikuta Toma trusted her. She couldn’t help but think at what cost had she gained that trust? She knew the moment she was away from these guys, her team would reach out to her. How could they not? They knew right? They had to-
She heard her cell phone beep and felt her eyes widen at who had texted.
She had changed his name of course so as if he did ever text her she wouldn’t arouse any suspicion. She felt her fingers glide past the rolling ball as she scrolled past the text and felt her heart jump into her throat.
Rie, be careful. Ikuta’s killed two guys. From what we know he was injured as well but there seems to be more going on here than just a race for the Akihabara district. I’ll try to call you later with more details when I get them. Be okay till then okay?
Her blood ran cold as she stared at the harsh light from her cellphone rereading the text over and over again. She knew Mukai had risked everything by telling her, but he wanted her to be safe and yet all she could think of was that idiot’s safety. Toma was hurt?
What had he tried to do? Why had he-
But who was she to ask a question like that? Why had she-
She gulped weakly feeling her stomach plunge down to her toes. Barely realizing she hadn’t thought of Mukai’s safety. She went back to read the text. It seemed for now he didn’t know that she’d gotten shot but how long would it be before he realized?
She ran out of the locker room barely noticing the figure that had come in staring at her, the girl’s eyes hardening.
Nothing was safe anymore.
Christol came through the swinging blue glass doors and Rie stopped wiping the glass she had with a dishrag. She still hadn’t seen Wana all day and Daisy had kept her distance. Yeona was forced to partner up to her today as Tsuki didn’t seem to want to get anywhere near her.
Koyama followed her shortly and they looked like they were in some sort of heated discussion so that Rie quickly excused herself to the washroom and snuck up through the crowd to get close to them to hear their conversation. It had something to do with Ikuta she could feel it. She ducked past the curtain and stood outside the room they were in. Christol was shaking furiously and Koyama was holding onto her by her shoulders as if to stop her. Her voice was low but Rie pushed through closer so she could hear, Christol sounded desperate, scared out of her wits. “What the fuck was Toma thinking? How could he go into their territory like that?”
“Christine… Christine calm down. No one can hear this-“ Why was he calling her Christine? Rie felt her curiosity piqued and listened closer.
Christol scoffed. “CALM DOWN? HOW THE HELL DO YOU THINK I CAN CALM DOWN RIGHT NOW? YAMASHITA WAS GOING TO KILL HIM. KILL TOMA KOYAMA.” For the first time in her time here Rie saw Christol’s face contort into something exquisitely human...despair, desperation, and above all sadness. She looked ready to collapse as if all the strain on her shoulders had finally become too much to bear.
“BUT HE DIDN’T DID HE?” Koyama yelled back quelling the hysterical girl before him who simply latched onto his shirt. “Yamashita-sama knew better than that…he’s upset. I’m sure he’ll let Toma out of the torture house soon. He’s angered because he’s just lost Ryo…and he’s almost lost Shige now. It’s no light cost losing your best sharp shooter and Christine, you went to see him. I’m sure that pleased Yamashita-sama. He wouldn't displease you to that extent. He knows better than to take away Toma from you like that. If he did so-”
It was as if Koyama had spoken some sort of secret whisper that only Christol understood because all of the sudden she was shaking and shivering in Koyama’s grasp. The woman who Rie found herself spying on right now was radically different than the one she was used to seeing on the floor. “I- I can’t go back there. Going back today was enough - I can’t Koyama. I can't! Not to that house!”
Koyama slowly hugged the girl back and brought her close to his chest, attempting to calm her frantic nerves. “Yamashita Tomohisa-sama is not the same man as his brother Yamashita Tomoya. Christine…he wouldn’t-“
“IT DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.” The girl started heaving heavily again as if an attack were being raised on her lungs and she clutched onto her heart with a strained hand, the veins and bones so clear that it scared Rie. Christol’s eyes were flooded with oceans of water as if something horrible was rushing in waves back to her mind, back to her heart. “If Toma hadn’t come to save me back then I don’t know what I would have done…I can’t just throw away everything Toma did to go back to a guy who didn’t save me Koyama.”
Koyama’s stature hardened as he looked at Christol shaking his head. “Christine," He stressed and Rie raised an eyebrow. Christol wasn't her real name? "You know that if he’d known what Tomoya was doing to you, your husband wouldn't have even hesitated to come back and kill his brother before your beloved Ikuta Toma.” Koyama hissed as the water hit Rie’s eyes as she realized exactly what had conspired between Tomoya and Christol, the bile rose up from her abdomen causing her to curl over herself as she felt it burn through her throat. When Koyama spoke again he spoke with a tone of sweetness…this Koyama sounded like the one Rie knew. “You don’t have to leave now…you know I’ll always wait for the day you’re ready to go back to that house that day will have to come Christine, even if you hate it. One day Yamashita-sama will lose his patience with you…because he loves you too much to leave you here forever with Ikuta Toma of all people. The man you've described to him as the most important in your life.”
“Ikuta Toma’s engaged. There’s not much that his honor, his word of promise to Takuya, would let him do now. Yamapi has nothing to worry about.” It was like Koyama had swallowed a bitter pill himself. Rie shuddered, why would Koyama care if Toma was engaged? “I’m sorry I forgot.” Christol spoke back feeling sorry as she reached for his arm but Koyama shook her off attempting to gain back his strong stance.
Koyama snickered to himself shaking his head. “It’s fine…it’s good to remember it isn’t real, that when you leave. I’ll leave everything behind here as well Christine. You and I can move on together. I promise that I'll help you...if you help me." He pressed a quick kiss to her forehead smiling at her. Rie felt irked watching this, she'd never known Christol and Koyama were such good friends.
“Koyama,” Christol paused as she hugged him and threw Koyama off his feet for a second. “I’ll be back. I’ll go get changed and come back out.” She left him standing alone in the room and once she was gone, Rie was shocked to hear Koyama’s mouth move after a second.
“You can stop spying now Rie.”
“EH?” Not only had Koyama known she was spying he knew her real name?
Gingerly she stepped through trying to wipe any emotion she’d felt from Christol’s story.
He was smiling widely but his words held nothing if the unhidden threat of danger. Yet again. “If you repeat anything you heard today I will have to kill you is that understood? This story was not the reason you were brought into Tryst.” He placed a hand on her shoulder. “You’re a smart girl though aren’t you? Spying on everyone. Thinking no one notices…you’re quite cocky honestly.” She was unsure whether he was complimenting her or trying to scare the living wits out of her which he was doing an excellent job of. Somehow the fact that the nice Koyama wasn't quite so nice broke her heart. “Being a smart girl…I know you’ll make the right decision,” He came up close to her ear and she felt her body freeze. This was no longer the sweet Koyama who always seemed concerned about her.
No he’d never been concerned about her. That much was clear now. “Or you’ll end up at the bottom of the ocean. And Hikaru, gomen I forgot that was a fake name! Mukai Osamu-kun wouldn’t like that at all would he? Maybe I'd get to send him down there too... it's always good to do a public showing of killing the police. Reminds everyone how utterly useless you guys are anyways.” He patted her back lightly and ruffled her hair as she stared at him wide eyed as he approached her front again. “Don’t worry I won’t rat you out. I couldn’t. Yamashita-sama is the man who placed you here…and I cannot go against his wishes. He wants you here to ruin Ikuta’s plan…so you'll ruin it. Legally and all! Though honestly Rie, I've got to say for a girl who graduated at the top of her class you're a disappointment. You’re not doing that well are you Rie? I was supposed to stay out of this but it seems inevitable.” He sighed disappointingly grabbing her hand roughly. “You’re lucky that Ikuta’s still in Roppongi. It means we can raid his office, which I know better than you and I’ve never been in there. What a useless woman you really are." He shook his head continuing to put her down as Rie stared at him dumbly.
Who was Koyama? Yamashita-sama?
“Koyama!” She couldn’t take it anymore. It didn’t seem like the real Koyama and this time when he turned to look at her he actually had a small glimpse of pity in his eyes as he saw her eyes watering.
“Look…I know you’ve been through a lot here.” He was considerably kinder for a second…but then just as soon he was back on the train to run her down. “But I can’t waste time with you anymore Rie. You’re a liability. Every second you’re here Christol grows more suspicious of why I requested you be hired. Why do you think I smacked your ass on the first day? Established some semblance of a friendship with you? To keep her from realizing you’re a spy, that you’re here to ruin the man she loves.” Rie’s own eyes fell to the floor as she felt her heart speed up as she shivered when Koyama threw her into the room. “Hurry up. Get in. Get out. That’s how simple it should be. I'll knock when I hear someone coming."
And then there she was. Alone in the room she’d longed to be alone in for so long. The information stretched across the long table just waiting for her to read it.
So she grabbed a paper.
The paper that would undoubtedly ruin her life.