Yuutoko Marshio, moonshiner, waitress, angry short person. She never expected to join a gang, or be thrown in a three-way gang war. But like most cliche stories, she was, and like most cliches; she falls in love.
Maybe, I guess. Love is a fickle and hard thing to describe, especially like someone like Yuutoko. To her, love is something that is intangible, and as fake and made up as God.
To her, making booze was the most simple thing in the world. Put a couple of ingredients together, stir, simmer, dance about and chant, and voila! You have booze! To her it was like magic, or witchcraft. Whatever word made Laiga's eye twitch the most. What did complicate her was the fact that she had not slept through the night for years. She wakes up in a cold sweat, pounding heartbeat and tingling toes. Most nights she doesn't even bother with going back to sleep, opting out with curling up with a book, or going out for a walk. The walk usually helps, as most folks don't wander the city in the ungodly hours of night. She enjoys the peace and tranquility, at least for the moment. Back again when she wants to sleep, the memories creep upon her and grip her sides like a vice.
3. Making History.
"Today will be the day! Today will be the day that folks will write about! I'm talkin' big, I'm talkin' huge, I'm talkin'-"
"You're talking way too much! What the hell is it?" Yuutoko snapped.
Deimos wagged his finger in front of her face, along with making a condescending 'tsk' noise. "Gams, don't you know better than to interrupt someone?"
Yuutoko crossed her arms and leaned back in the chair. "No, but get on with it already!"
"Oh alright, now where was I? Oh yes! Today is the day that we shall lie down in infamy! Today we're going to go-" Deimos paused dramatically as he pulled out a glass bottle with a piece of rope in the neck. "-bomb a building!"
Yuutoko cocked an eyebrow at the bottle. "Yeah? And how are we going to blow up a building with a bottle? It's a bottle."
Deimos shook his head. "My dear Bear-Cat, are you really that sheltered and naive?" He points to the liquid in the bottle. "This here bottle has got kerosine in it. Kerosine is flammable. As is this rope. We are going to light the rope on fire, making the kerosine on fire then when that's on fire." Deimos jumps up and spreads his arms in a big wave of action. "BOOM! Room's lit up with flames! Geddit now?"
Yuutoko looked away from him, her face slightly red that he had to talk to her like she was a child. "Yeah, whatever you say."
Laiga viewed Kento as a somewhat rival. Sure Kento was smart, tall (but not as tall as Laiga) and arguably very attractive. But Yuutoko always seemed to act like Kento was a big brother to her…even though sometimes she blushes whenever he was around. Laiga would always have to grit his teeth and try to ignore the growing affection between his caretaker and friend. However, the one thing he could not ignore was The Gods. Deimos Omega to be exact. That guy was the giant thorn in his side. Sure the guy never did anything remotely awful to HIM, but one could speculate that if Omega never ate at the White Lotus, then the Black Moths wouldn't have gotten interested in the establishment. And if the Black Moths never got interested then they wouldn't be forcing the employees to pay extra tax.
Not only that, but Omega always seemed to hang around far too long whenever Yuutoko was working as a waitress, and he always was careful never to let the girl out of his eyesight. And of course, Laiga's hatred for the cocky-son-of-a-bitch started when Yuutoko hid in the kitchen trying to keep herself calm when Deimos just walked into the restaurant. Laiga be damned if anyone tried to hurt his one true love. I mean friend, I mean sister-friend…dammit.
Yuutoko watched from the uncomfortable couch as Phobos was cooking dinner. Deimos was right beside him, making little jabs and insults on how Phobos was going about his cooking. Phobos would whine back and give Deimos a small slap on the shoulder or wrist, in which case Deimos would loudly laugh and continue his path of bittling his twin. Yuutoko smiled, watching them act that way reminded her how Tesu and Raito acted around each other. Of course they were cousins but are as close as brother and sister. Yuutoko let out a heavy sigh as she was reminded of their current situation. The family separated, Yuutoko forced to lay low with a known criminal and his partner in crime- his twin brother. Yuutoko continued to watch the two as Deimos escalated to smacking Phobos' rear end with a towel, making Phobos chase Deimos around the small apartment with a rolling pin. Yuutoko felt her body go into hysterics as she felt the tears roll down her face from laughing so hard. Having a sibling, it must be the greatest thing in the world. Because that love is eternal.
It was like an itch that could not be scratched. An addiction that could not be quit. Mr. 2 pored over the notes that his man McDougal wrote. All the locations that Deimos was not in. Practically half the city had been searched and proved to be clean, well minus that one tea shop owned by that weird bird Mascot, but that man had been dealt with. Mr. 2 dug his teeth into another piece of cake as he throughly examined the map of the city. The apartments. Apartments. Those specific apartments are weirdly enough right in the middle of it. Only five minutes away from that silly restaurant that almost poisoned him, thirty minutes away from that Opera House, and only an hour away from where Mr.2 was sitting. If they could just stake out that location and see if that was true…then the Gods would be no more!
Mr. 2 grinned wildly as he munched on his cake. He felt the wound where that man…no, woman stabbed him all those months ago. Oh, he was going to enjoy finding her as well.
If Lady Luck was on his side, then she would be in the same place where Omega is.
But the only one on his side at the moment was McDougal holding a napkin and a glass of milk.
"Do you believe in a God?" Yuutoko asked as they sat under the pavilion. She sat far enough away from him, but close enough so that she was still sheltered by the roof, as the rain kept pouring buckets.
Deimos put on a face as he pondered. "Maybe there is one. I know there's a Devil, so it just makes sense that there's a God."
Yuutoko kept her eyes on her shoes. "Oh. But then why do you think God allows bad things to happen? Isn't he supposed to be in complete control of everything and everyone? Stronger than the Devil and all that?"
Deimos leaned back against the wood banister and looked at her."I may be not that well versed in that old relic of a novel, but I do remember the story of Job. Richest man in the whole world. Businesses, nice house, a whole class of children, then God and the Devil make a bet about messing up this man's life. Perhaps even 'all powerful' deities get bored."
Yuutoko shrugged and continued to stare at her shoes. "I think I may be the new Job."
Deimos laughed. "Get in line sweetheart! I'm pretty sure there are a hell amount of folks that got it worse than you!"
Yuutoko turned away, embarrassment prickling her cheeks like sewing needles. "Then do you at least believe in a Heaven?"
Deimos was silent. The rain kept pouring, the drips echoing and bouncing off the pavilion roof. Yuutoko almost teased herself a look to see if he was still there when she finally heard, "Maybe, but Hell knows I won't be going there."
Yuutoko was about to ask what he meant by that, but then the rain stopped.
"You must remember children! You must give yourself to the Lord in order to join him in paradise!" Reverend Isbar paused, then with a drastic sweep of his arm, "Paradise will forever be closed to you if you live like the common squalor! Live your life like perfect beings, live always like pure untainted snow! Never let the temptation of the Devil sully your ears or your mind!"
The Nuns clapped earnestly, but careful not to look overzealous. The children, on the other hand, looked as confused as ever, Which was no surprise, as Reverend Isbar usually went on tangents a lot. From what the older kids had said, the Reverend only goes on tangents such as this when he feels like he has to atone for something. Like as if he was the one that took Sister Agnes' cookies without asking, or forgot to clean the bells, or left the candles burning for far too long, turning them into candle stumps.
Yuutoko listened to the older kids talk, it was better than listening to Reverend. Especially since the man's eyes never left her body.
Those dark, dead, dull eyes.
Deimos was staring intently at the fire. The flames highlighting his face with red. Yuutoko sat next to him, her mind wandering as usual. It wasn't until she felt a continuous nudging did she snap out of her pensive state of mind. "Huh? What?"
"Do you fear death?" Deimos asked, his voice hushed.
"Where did this come from?" Yuutoko asked, turning to face him.
"Sticking with me, and it may get you six feet under. No, not may, it will kill you."
Yuutoko scoffed. "Now you're bringing that up? Seems a little late for that don't you think?" She snapped.
Within a couple seconds her back was on the cushions and Deimos was staring down at her with such an intense expression. He had her pinned down, his hand held her wrists down, his legs careful to keep her legs contained under him. "Mr. 2 is relentless in finding the two of us. He finds me and I just get shot in the head, no big deal. When he finds you-" Deimos used his free hand to stroke Yuutoko's covered chest. She flinched under his unwelcome touch. "He's going to use and rape you until you'll be begging for death."
Yuutoko tried to throw him off, she tried to wrench her captured hands away from him. "I won't let him! I'd rather kill myself than…than…letting that happen!" Yuutoko yelled.
Deimos scoffed. "Suicide? That's a cowards way out."
"What the hell do you want me to do then?" Yuutoko screamed in frustration as she tried to buck the man off of her.
"Throw away any fear of death, and kill him first." Deimos answered simply.
Yuutoko head butted him, earning them both a slight headache. "How about you? Have you thrown away your fear of death?"
Deimos chuckled. "If I didn't, I doubt that I would be here right now."
Scott was what he considered to be a master of everything he ever did. He was everyone's favorite. Whenever he played a sport, everyone would want him on their team. If he was in class, everyone would want to be his partner and study with him. He was popular, he was well liked, he was loved. So when he moved out and went to Chicago he expected to be loved by everyone by the need of the first week, In reality, by the end of the first week he got a job as a waiter and a personal waiter to an eccentric man with a taste for top hats and hot pancakes. Scott didn't know what to make of his new acquaintance at the time, but in the future, he'd be glad to have met him. Opportunities to be a tea maker for a gang leader didn't just fall from the sky now didn't they?
Yuutoko was sure that she was going crazy. Could it even be possible that one's life could be so uprooted in the course of three months? Nix that, a lifetime? Her parents were killed, she's pawed up by the Reverend that was supposed to be taking care of her, she becomes an illegal shiner, she killed a couple men and lost her home four times.
By the end of the year she's sure that she'll be stuck in a corner mumbling about the apocalypse. It was inevitable.
12. Dead Wrong.
She acknowledged that life would be difficult, and that some days there would be no point to waking up, no point in getting out of bed. But today was not that day, she had to go prove that she wasn't afraid, that life could chew her up and spit her out, and that she would still get up and walk. She was going to make a statement. That if The Black Moths thought they could keep her hiding and running, they were dead wrong.
13. Running Away.
"Come on keep up you fat pig!" Raito yelled as he led the team of kids down the abandoned farm road. Laiga fell behind and was struggling to catch up, his grunts and pants getting louder by the second.
"I say we just leave him behind! He can just be the decoy." Tesu called right behind her cousin.
"Oh come on! You need me, I'm stronger than any of you!" Laiga gasped as he tried to get his fourth wind.
"Oh yeah? You can't even climb to the tip of the tree!" Raito retorted as he ran farther away.
"Well that's cuz' you're smaller than me! Get to be my size-"
"And I'd roll over and die, but at least I'd be able to get through winter because of all that blubber!" Raito chortled.
Laiga clutched his fists when he had to stop and take another breather. Yuutoko strained her eyes and tried to see throughout the darkness. Of course it was Raito's good idea to leave at night, where the adults couldn't see where they were, but that means that THEY couldn't see where they were going. They were relying that the moon would be out, but at that moment it was cloudily. Yuutoko felt a stitch in her side but couldn't afford to worry about it. Every second that they waste catching their breath is a second earned for Father Kiok to find them.
'And Reverend Isbar.' her thoughts reminded her. She bit her lip hard, hard enough to break skin. Any where would be far better than that place, for such a holy ground, it sure was a hellhole.
"You can't just judge someone like that Yuutoko, that's God's duty." Laiga lectured.
Yuutoko glared at him. "Then God's been slacking off."
15. Seeking Solace.
Books, books upon books upon shelves. Even the smell of the place makes Yuutoko's heart dance in glee. A quiet sanctuary where she can be at peace and read to her heart's content. Where she can read about valiant heroes, faraway lands and happy endings.
"...And then the bird decided it was a good idea to go- crash! Right through, I did my best to stop it, but it was huge! And I mean it was bigger than big! It was probably the size of an elephant or something!"
"Yuutoko I saw you playing ball in the house, go clean up the glass. I'm docking the repairs from your allowance."
Yuutoko pouted. "But I-"
Kento turned away from her. "No buts! You heard me time and time again, no playing ball in the house."
Yuutoko pointed out the broken window. "But it's raining outside! What did you want me to do?"
Kento took a rolled up piece of paper and whipped it on her head. "Well now I want you to clean up that mess! Hop to it!"
Wham! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clunk! The metal clashing with skull. Blood spurt out of the man's mouth as a large noticeable dent formed on the man's forehead. He fell away, and did not move. Yuutoko watched this with a large smile on her face. She started to giggle, then it progressed into a laugh, then escalated into a high-pitched wild frenzy of cackling. Phobos started shaking by a tombstone and glanced nervously over at his brother. Deimos, however, was looking at her like she was an angel. A fallen angel at least. He smiled as she continued to laugh, an laugh and laugh.
A foreign word, a hard to understand emotion, an enigma of a state of being. But besides all that Yuutoko knew one thing. It was one-sided. Yuutoko moaned and groaned whenever her love was inside her. She salivated at the thought of it, her stomach rumbled as she looked at it. "Oh steak! Let us never be apart again!" She would promise as she cut a piece off the center meal and stuck the meat into her wide mouth.
Kento looked at her with amusement. "My goodness Yu, you really need to relax with the steak. You may get fat one day."
Yuutoko smiled smugly as she put another delectable morsel in her mouth. "Don't be ridiculous Kento, I'm never going to get fat, never ever."
Kento shook his head, still keeping that smile of amusement on his face. "You say that now, but if you start adding up the pounds I'll have no choice put to put you on a diet like what I did with fat-boy."
Laiga stuck his head out from the kitchen. "For the love of God, will you stop with that nickname! As you can see, I'm more of a stick than tubby!"
Kento and Yuutoko started to laugh.
Shuddering breaths, a clenched fist and eyes that looked straight up at the dark ceiling. Sounds of panicked grunts and other sounds that she couldn't name also pierced the silence of the study. Looking down slightly she could see the silver reflective shine of his glasses, and his teeth in a wicked smile. She turned her attention back up to the ceiling, warm angry tears running down her face. Fighting back was not an option, doing so would bring back the wrath of God. Apparently as she had been taught, men who strongly followed the Word of God were Gods, themselves and could not be punished for whatever they did.
20. My Inspiration.
Deimos studied her, twisted his face as if he was trying to think, scrunched up his nose and then started to scratch something down on the paper that he was holding. Yuutoko didn't notice this, her face once again plastered into a book. She did notice the little noises that he made under his breath.
"Oh...yes..right there....perfect, mmhmm, mmhmm, oh excellent. That's what...yep right there....brilliant."
Yuutoko looked over her book. "What are you going on about?"
Deimos smiled but did not look up from his paper. "Oh nothing Gams -Gams, just working on a little drawing."
"Oh? Can I see what you have so far?"
Deimos shrugged his shoulders coyly. "May-be~ I don't know if you'd like it though, I'm very rusty."
"Oh come on, I bet I can draw worse than....is that me?"
"Without clothes on?"
"How do even know that I have a scar right there?"
"I peeked on you while you were taking a shower."
Yuutoko started punching him in the shoulder as he laughed and laughed.