Sundown – Chapter 32 (Part 2)

[20th of September, 2740 AD; Lost Blue Club, Rezar, Iiayikohn – Deca District]

 

It was a quiet night as Sorin entered the building with the group. At the back of the club, the band played music as Sorin searched for where Kiku was and found her sitting with Ayame and Igor close to the front. The club had a few people inside, but it was mostly uneventful as Kiku waved to Sorin’s group.

“Ah! You finally made it!” Kiku said. “Over here!”

“This is quite a large lounge you guys chose to sit at,” Law said. “Well, let’s go, guys.”

The group consisted of everyone that went to the prime minister’s office as well as Noa, Luna, and Pekka. Once again, Storm opted to stay behind and help out Drake around his house. Fortunately for everyone, there were enough seats in the lounge, everyone taking a seat at the couches that surrounded the table.

“This isn’t normally my sort of scene,” Noa said. “I can kind of feel the tension rising as I see everyone.”

“You’re just nervous, that’s all,” Kiku replied.

“When I see you, definitely,” Noa said.

Kiku smiled. “You act as if I’m going to bite,” she said. “Come now, any friend of Wilkie’s is my friend, too.”

“That’s… quite an honor,” Noa said.

“Well, she gets along with people pretty easily,” Gale said. “It’s not that much of a surprise.”

“Yes, even I can see that,” Pekka said.

“You say that as if I am so lax with my attention,” Kiku replied. “Nona’s a very special person, I can tell. Something about him just screams mysterious, and that’s not even considering that young gentleman sitting next to Gavvy.”

Pekka tilted his head up. “There’s no way you’re older than me,” he said. “I’m at least a year or so older than you, that’s for sure.”

“I think she’s just trying to be nice,” Gavin said. “Or whatever she’s trying to do, honestly.”

“You two are hopeless!” Luna said. “But I guess with Pekka, it’s to be expected, but you, Mr. Power, should really know when a woman’s trying to compliment you!”

“Wasn’t that what I was implying?” Gavin asked.

“If it was, you weren’t doing a very good job of conveying it,” Luna replied. “Seriously, you can cook a mean breakfast, but you really don’t have the social skills. You were yelling at Sorin over there, even though he was just trying to help the best he could! Now I know you think you probably think you’re all tough and stoic and whatnot, but that’s no excuse for just blowing your lid at someone who’s supposed to be your friend!”

Gavin crossed his arms. “Are you done?”

“I, uh… I guess so,” Luna said.

“Oh, you’re just adorable!” Kiku said. “Your passion is as captivating as is your voice, which is also cute! Do you sing?”

“Some… sometimes,” Luna answered.

“I wonder if that band would appreciate it if you asked them if you could sing with them,” Kiku said. “You should totally do it, Gab!”

“Uh, that’d be nice, but I don’t think they would do it,” Luna said. “And my name is Luna… Luna Del Bosque.”

“Don’t pressure the poor girl, madame,” Ayame said.

“Indeed, it appears as if she’s got butterflies in her esophagus,” Igor added. “That’s how they say it around here, right?”

“Anyway, where was I?” Kiku asked. “Oh yes, Nona!”

“I was wondering when you would remember,” Noa said. “And why do you call me Nona?”

“The same reason I call her Gab,” Kiku said, pointing to Luna. “It just seems to suit you.”

She stood up and walked up to Noa, who edged away from her. Kiku, with the smile on her face refusing to break, decided to sit next to him.

“You’re so nervous, you know?” Kiku said. “Would sitting next to me be that worrisome that you think you’ll burst into flames the moment I come into contact with you?”

“No… no, not at all,” Noa replied. “I-I just…”

“He is nervous, after all!” Luna exclaimed.

Law shook his head. “That’s quite the display you’re putting on, Mr. Sniper,” he said. “Too bad Ayanna isn’t here, or otherwise I’d show you how you handle a situation like this!”

“I think she’d just be too embarrassed to kiss in a place like this,” Sorin said. “At least, I would feel that way.”

“You really would, would you?” Gale asked. “You didn’t have any hesitations with me that one time.”

Sorin moved his hair to the side. “But that was then,” he said. “This is now with all of our friends watching.”

Mina laughed. “So you wouldn’t do it here, then! You wield that sword just fine in the heat of battle, but I guess even you have your shortcomings!”

“I could say the same to you, Mina,” Sorin replied.

“Uh, well, that’s something completely different!” Mina exclaimed. “Rain and I… we only have just realized our feelings for each other! Ha ha ha…”

Rain placed her hand on Mina’s shoulder. “It’s okay,” she said. “Just being here is enough for me.”

“You two really do make a nice couple,” Kiku said. “It’s the princess and her hero, though I wonder which one of you is the actual ‘hero’ in the relationship…”

Gavin sighed. “Anyway, was there something you wanted to discuss with us? I still don’t know why I had to come.”

“Is not being here with your friends a good thing?” Kiku wondered. “Gavvy, I’m actually surprised!”

“With all due respect, I’d rather be thinking of our next plan,” Gavin replied. “I’m just feeling anxious just sitting here.”

“Maybe you should just get some air, bro,” Law said. “I know this isn’t your sort of thing; you’d rather be talking about how good you are with your gun.”

“As a matter of fact, I think I’ll do just that,” Gavin said, “But not because you suggested it.”

Gavin stood up and walked away until he left the club. Kiku wrapped her arm around Noa’s as he did nothing to pull away.

“You know, I think I’m going to join Mr. Power,” Pekka said. “These lights and that music aren’t exactly for me.”

And with that, Pekka was the next to leave.

“Eva, are you going, too?” Sorin asked.

“Despite what you might think, I’m not that stuck up,” Eva replied. “At least, the stick in my ass isn’t as far up as Gavin’s is.”

“Didn’t expect to hear you say that,” Law said. “So you’re into that sort of thing, aren’t you?”

“It’s a figure of speech,” Eva said. “As in: if you make any inappropriate jokes at my expense, I will eviscerate you.”

“Wow, that authority in your voice is so sexy, Evie,” Kiku said.

Eva looked aside. “I appreciate the compliment.”

“It’s the least I can do,” Kiku replied. “You know, your hair is so wavy in beautiful, but I can’t help but wonder what it would look like in a different style. Have you ever tried to tie it up in a ponytail or something?”

“It’s not my usual look,” Eva said.

“I bet Kirk would like it,” Law said. “At least with a ponytail, it introduces new options, if you get what I’m saying.”

“Oh, Lala, you are so intriguing with your words,” Kiku said. “An imagination like that must has to be caused by so many years of experience, I must guess.”

“Don’t entertain him,” Eva replied.

“Well, I was thinking of entertaining you,” Kiku said. “What about pigtails? You’d look great in them!”

Eva lowered her head. “I think… I’ll pass on that.”

“Madame has tried the same with me,” Ayame said. “It’s the thought that counts, but I could never wear that sort of hairstyle out on duty.”

“Just so,” Law said, “It would be unfitting for a graceful soul like yourself.”

“Oh my god, it’s because Ayanna and Gavin aren’t here,” Gale said. “He’s just going to go on and on all night at this point!”

“Please, Gale, it’s what I do,” Law replied. “Kiku, you’d agree, right?”

“It would be unfitting if you weren’t so provocative,” Kiku said. “Though, it is part of your irresistible charm, so I guess I would say it’s not nearly as bad as people say it is.”

“It’s not that hard to see the similarities,” Noa said.

“I wonder, Nona,” Kiku said. “You’re almost too comfortable now.”

Noa exhaled. “After a while, it’s sort relaxing…”

“See, Noa, you just had to go out there and experience it yourself,” Luna said. “It’s like being thrown into the middle of the ocean if you want to learn how to swim, or climbing a mountain with only a fork and spoon. Sooner or later, it’ll turn into a natural reaction.”

“That’s close enough,” Sorin said.

“Say, Nona, if I sat on your lap, would that make you more comfortable?” Kiku asked. “I’m almost tempted to try it.”

“That’s fine,” Noa replied. “I must ask why you bring yourself so close to me, considering I’m all but a stranger to you.”

Kiku placed her finger on Noa’s lips. “I said it before, haven’t I? Any friend of Wilkie and Gigi is a friend of mine, even you!”

“I… appreciate the thought, but I think I’ll decline having you sit on my lap,” Noa said. “That woman is glaring at me and I don’t want to get on her bad side again.”

“Aya can be a little jealous, but it’s not like she’ll hurt you,” Kiku replied.

Noa pulled away his arm from Kiku. “That may be true, but I don’t want to tempt fate more than I already have.”

“Clearly, madame, you’ve already made this guy suffer enough with your teasing,” Ayame said. “Any more and I feel as if he’ll faint from the pressure.”

“It’s been rather nice to be here,” Rain said, “But I’m starting to wonder if we should go now.”

“What’s wrong, Ray?” Kiku asked.

“Nothing’s wrong,” Rain answered. “I just want to go back and get enough rest so I can face tomorrow with a clear head.”

Sorin adjusted in his seat. “I kind of agree.”

“If that’s the case, then I won’t stop you all,” Kiku said. “Just being able to see you was good enough for me.”

“Truly an experience to behold,” Law said. “I guess even my bro would agree, even though he’s not here.”

“Oh yeah, Gavin’s still outside, isn’t he?” Mina asked. “Do you think he already went back to my uncle’s?”

Sorin thought it to be possible, but would Gavin have gone home without saying something to everyone? He had to imagine that Gavin was still around, even if it had been some time since he stepped outside.

 

*****

 

Gavin stood outside the building with Pekka, who squatted down and looked across the street. Being inside such a place was not suited to Gavin, although he did not have it in him to head home. He could not leave the rest of his allies behind, even if it was only for a short amount of time. Gavin kicked aside a small rock as he peered through the lens of his sunglasses. The lights shined bright in the darkness as Gavin peered over to Pekka.

“It’s funny,” Gavin said.

“What is?” Pekka asked.

“Only a few months ago, we fought on opposite sides,” Gavin replied. “I’m just thinking to myself how quickly the circumstances have changed.”

Pekka picked a pebble off of the ground. “I understand.”

“You’re like that friend of Ayanna’s,” Gavin said, “You only joined the True Thekohnians because of Lokke’s influence. If events had gone differently, you and I might have fought against each other.”

“You were the one that took down Victor, correct?”

Gavin nodded.

“What you don’t know about him was that he grew up fighting his entire life,” Pekka said. “He lived his life as if death’s touch were right behind him, which went up all the way to his eventual demise.”

“You’re not the same as him, though,” Gavin replied. “That’s what you’re saying, aren’t you?”

“I came into the True Thekohnians by circumstance,” Pekka replied. “These hands have killed before, yes, but not because of thrill. No, I did it out of the love I had for my family.”

“Family, huh?”

“I only just learned that both my mother and father were killed just after I broke Victor out of prison,” he said. “Unfortunately, I do not know who did it, but I have an inkling as to who might have directed the hit.”

“I see,” Gavin said. “I would have had reservations about siding with you in the past, but these days, I’ve come to understand that even the side I’ve fought on isn’t exactly perfect, either.”

“Well, either way, we’re working together,” Pekka replied. “For now, at least.”

“Don’t worry, I’m not the type of guy to stab another man in the back,” Gavin said. “Only a coward would do such a thing like that.”

“As you say.”

A sudden thud rang out from the other side of the street, interrupting Gavin and Pekka’s conversation. Both looked to find the source of the sound and spotted a man in a recognizable uniform running into the alley.

“Are you thinking what I’m thinking?” Pekka asked.

“It’s them, isn’t it,” Gavin said. “It’s best to inform the others. Wait here.”

“No, if we wait, they’ll get away,” Pekka said. “I’m not about to let them run away into the night, especially not in a city like this!”

“Damn it, listen to me!”

Pekka stood up and ran over to the other side of the street. He attempted his pursuit of the Neu Thekohnian Order member as Gavin’s protest went unheard. Gavin sighed as he adjusted his sunglasses.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” he said. “Hopefully he hasn’t gone too far.”

Gavin chased after Pekka into the alleyway. Whatever was going tonight, Gavin knew it that it was not good. That was why he had to chase, because there was no way he was about to let the Neu Thekohnian Order roam free in Rezar. Not while Gavin had something to do about it.

 

To be continued…

 

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