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01 July 2005 @ 09:03 pm
Power and Control- chap 12 part 1  

Without further ado, the latest chapter of "Power and Control" 

Power and Control- Chapter 12

 

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A/N:  Once again, I want to remind everyone of the semi-AU status of this story.  I have taken liberties with some of the facts and filled in some of the lack of specifics from the series with my own interpretation. 

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            The tepid water streaming down his back should have relaxed some of the tension in his body, but Sakaki still felt like he was wound tighter than a guitar string.  He had washed himself robotically, sparing only the amount of brain cells needed to lather, scrub, and rise.  Once finished with that task, he stood under the spray, arms outstretched to brace himself against the wall, and just let the water rain over him.  His wrists burned and screamed in protest whenever they came into contact with either soap or water, and his head thumped in time with his pulse.  If only I could stay in here forever.  But the answer to his questions was currently wandering around his apartment, and Sakaki was tired of all the cloak and dagger.  It was time for him and Amon to have a nice, long chat.         

 

            His stomach grumbled loudly to remind him of the many hours since his last meal, and he ran a hand over his belly in hopes of soothing the growing ache.  Sakaki reached down to turn the faucets off and then stood, staring blankly at the tiles while he listened to the sound of the water swirling down the drain.  He still felt drained and the realization of this amused him.  Didn’t I just sleep away an entire day? 

 

            If he had had the strength, Sakaki would have laughed.  He settled for a wry grin as he reached for the towel on the rack just outside the shower.  He dried himself quickly and then wrapped the towel around his waist.  He poked his head out the door to see if Amon was still in the bedroom and was relieved to find the room empty and the door to the living room shut.  He strolled over to his dresser and grabbed a clean shirt and a pair of sweats.  As he dressed, he could hear the muted sounds of cabinets and drawers being opened and closed in his kitchen.  After finger-combing his hair to be somewhat presentable, he went to investigate.

 

            He pulled open the bedroom door with a hard yank and walked out into the living room.  Across the open space of the apartment, he saw Amon in the kitchen area, busying himself at the stove.  The tall man seemed unaware of his presence.  Taking a glance to the left, Sakaki noted that his helmet and keys were still on the floor in the foyer where he dropped them last night.  He was not one to mistreat anything that pertained to his precious motorcycle, so leaving the helmet in its current position was unacceptable.  He bent over to pick the items up, and the world banked sharply to the right immediately before his vision darkened around the edges, and then left entirely.

 

            “Sakaki!  Sakaki, can you hear me?  Are you alright?”

 

            Cool hands touched his cheek, smoothed his hair back from his forehead.  The voice sounded so very far away at first, at least until Sakaki pried open his eyes. He wasn’t sure where Amon came from, but in the next instant Sakaki found himself on his back, half-cradled in the other man’s arms, head resting against his collarbone.  Sakaki’s ear was pressed against Amon’s chest, and he could hear the other man’s heart thumping loudly in a steady rhythm.  He blinked a few times to clear the blurriness and tilted his head to look up into Amon’s wide and frantic hazel eyes.    

 

            “Sakaki?” he asked again, clearly concerned as the blonde regained consciousness.

 

            “I’m okay,” Sakaki groaned.  “I just got a little dizzy.”  He moved to sit up and Amon gently guided him in the action.  The fact that he had just been laying there, out cold, while the other man held him in a rather intimate embrace wasn’t sitting too well with him. 

 

            “You fainted,” Amon stated. 

 

            Sakaki pressed his fingers hard into his temples and began to rub in a circular motion to try and stop the throbbing. “I seem to be doing that a lot lately.”

 

            “You fainted before?” Amon asked as he reached out to lay his hand on Sakaki’s shoulder.  The blonde pulled away from the touch.

 

            “Yeah, last night when I got back here…after I puked the first time.”

 

            Amon’s face went serious.  “How many times have you thrown up?”

 

            God, what is with the third degree?  Why the hell is he so interested in my vomit?  “Twice, I think,” Sakaki answered cautiously.  “Why?”

 

            “It’s the concussion.  We really should have a doctor take a-“

 

            “No!  No doctors.  I’m not going to the hospital,” Sakaki said, waving his arms in vehement refusal.  Amon sighed loudly in frustration.

 

            “You were nauseous, just passed out, and now you tell me that you’ve been vomiting. Sakaki, this could be serious.”

 

            “I’m fine now,” Sakaki ground out.  He was quickly becoming annoyed with Amon’s pestering.  “And besides, what would we tell them happened?”  That remark was enough to make the taller man back down a bit. 

 

            “Let me take a look at your eyes,” Amon said as he reached out to take hold of Sakaki’s face.  The blonde slapped his hands away and jerked himself backwards.  “Sakaki, I need to check to see if your pupils are dilated,” Amon scolded as if he were speaking to an unruly child. 

 

            “I said I’m fine.  Don’t touch me,” Sakaki snapped.  Amon glared at him for a moment before moving in again.

 

“Stop being so difficult, nausea and vomiting indicate that the concussion is probably serious.  While I doubt that Zaizen cracked your skull with his elbow, he gave your brain a good jolt, so there might be some bruising. That can lead to swelling and more problems down the road if it’s not monitored carefully.  I just want to check and see if your pupils are blown.”  Amon once again reached out only to have Sakaki shove him, hard.  The tall man fell back onto his rear, but recovered quickly, expecting another attack from the distressed teen. 

 

            “Stay away from me, Amon,” Sakaki warned.  How dare he be so casual about touching me, like we’re now close friends?  After what went down last night, Amon is the last person I want breathing the same air as me, let alone touching me.  Maybe he’s used to this scenario, but I sure as hell am not.  And I’ll be damned if I’m going to let him brush it off as if it’s no big thing. 

 

“I’m fine. It wasn’t the concussion that was causing me to throw up, okay?” Sakaki said with an irritated sneer. 

 

Amon raised a questioning eyebrow.  “What was it then?”

 

“It was the fact that less than twenty-four hours ago, I had my mouth on your dick!” he shot at the other man, narrowing his violet eyes in distain.  Amon’s face fell.  Whatever he had been expecting to hear, it wasn’t the blonde’s caustic remark. The rookie hunter ran a trembling hand through his damp hair and then slammed his palm down onto the hardwood floor with a loud smack.  “You fucking came in my mouth, you son of a bitch!  I’ve never been able to do that for Michael and…and…FUCK!” he screamed in frustration.  If ever there was a time where he wanted to curl up in a ball and block out the rest of the world, this was it.

 

Amon cringed from the stinging words as though he had been slapped across the face.  This was not supposed to be happening, and now things had gone well past the point of no return.  Thanks to him, Sakaki was now involved in the whole mess.  Zaizen had used Amon as a vessel to pass his perversions onto the blonde, and in the end he did nothing to prevent it.   There was nothing he could do or say that would be of any comfort to the boy.  He had earned every hateful word and venomous stare. 

 

            “Sakaki,” Amon said in a voice that was barely a whisper.  “I…I,” he tried to speak, but choked on the words.

 

            Sakaki whipped his head in the dark-haired man’s direction.  “Don’t you fucking apologize to me…don’t you fucking dare,” he spat out through gritted teeth.   Amon wisely remained silent as Sakaki took a deep breath to calm himself.  “Just promise me that from here on out, whatever happens, my sister stays out of it.”

 

            Amon felt his chest tighten in response to that statement.  He met the young man’s sorrowful eyes and felt his own guilt gnawing at his gut.  “Sakaki, I don’t think-“

 

            “Promise me!” Sakaki interrupted, as he doubled over to clutch his head in his hands.  The blood roared its way to his temple and he bit down on his lip as that bass drum pulse began once again. 

 

            Amon opened his mouth to reply, but closed it when the words would not come.  What could he possibly say?  It was tearing him apart to watch Sakaki go through this.  He knew firsthand what it was like, and then watched from the shadows as the same thing happened to Michael.  He told Sakaki that he would do everything in his power to keep him out of this mess, and what had he done? He practically handed the boy right over to that monster. 

 

            Sakaki slowly sat up straight.  When the initial dizziness passed, he pressed a hand to his belly to calm the slow roll of nausea.  The silence stretched between the two men, strained and uncomfortable. 

 

            “I don’t want to make that promise to you, and then have you hate me for it when I can’t keep it,” Amon said softly.  “I couldn’t even keep my promise to you.”

 

            “I don’t care about me anymore,” Sakaki said as he met the other’s eye.  A horrible look of exhausted resignation outlined the boy’s features.  “I don’t care what I have to do.  I don’t care what Zaizen makes me do, to him or you. I will not let him so much as look at my sister ever again.  So, until this whole fucking thing is over with, I want you to promise me that you will do whatever you can to insure that Mariko is left alone and never finds out about this.”

 

            Amon felt his heart sink.  Though it seemed like a lifetime ago, he himself had uttered almost those exact same words to Zaizen, and that began his downward spiral into hell.  He saw some of his old self in the boy before him, the same stubborn pride.  And he hoped that tenacity would be enough to get Sakaki through this.   With a melancholy sigh, the dark-haired man rose to his feet and extended his hand to the teen.

 

            “I promise you that I will do my best for your sister, Sakaki,” Amon declared. 

 

Sakaki stared at the offered hand briefly and then looked back up to Amon’s pale face, gauging the sincerity.  He really had no choice but to believe the man, but some small part of him wanted to think that it was because Amon was a man of his word and had never, at least until recently, gone back on that word once it was given.  Sakaki gave a nod to acknowledge the pledge, and then took Amon’s hand in his own and accepted the help as he stood up.  When the other man began to turn away, Sakaki grabbed his wrist to stop him.  Amon looked back to see two very serious and angry violet eyes staring back at him.

 

“So help me God, Amon.  When this is all over, I’m going to personally insure that that bastard is dead.  No arrest, no trial…dead.”   

 

Amon looked into those eyes and knew that he was looking at Zaizen’s angel of death.  Years ago he had attempted to break free from the leash, but failed to follow through.  It left him withered, dead inside.  Now it was time for vindication, and even though it most likely wasn’t coming from his own hand, he felt empowered, recharged.  The nightmare was almost over.  “Let’s get you something to eat,” Amon said as he gently steered Sakaki towards the kitchen.

 

Rubbing his hand over his belly and loosening the grip on Amon’s wrist, Sakaki replied, “Yeah, I’m starved.”

 

“Have a seat,” the dark-haired gestured to the small table.  “I would have prepared you something better to eat, but the only thing you have in this apartment is instant ramen.”

 

            Sakaki gave an amused snort when he saw the Styrofoam cup of steaming ramen and a pair of chopsticks waiting for him.  “Yeah, well, I usually don’t eat here that often.  Michael and I have dinner together most nights,” he answered as he sat down.

 

            Amon walked over to the stove and picked up one of the two ceramic cups and placed it in front of Sakaki.  The blonde stared at it in wonderment.  “I had tea?” he asked.

 

Amon paused in the motion of bringing his own cup up to his lips, eyes going wide.  “O god, how old is this stuff if you can’t remember owning any?”  

 

            Sakaki thought about it and could not recall the last time he purchased any tea for himself.  It might have belonged to the previous tenant, but he wisely kept that detail quiet.  “Maybe someone gave it to me as a gift.  I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s fine.”

 

            Amon brought the cup up to his nose and sniffed at it cautiously before taking an experimental sip.  Deciding that it was safe for consumption, he took a larger drink.   Sakaki grabbed the chopsticks and immediately began shoveling noodles into his mouth.  Amon tried not to let his grimace at all the slurping noises show, but it was like watching a shark feeding-frenzy the way the boy attacked the noodles.   

 

            After finishing the ramen in record time, Sakaki picked up the tea and practically downed it in one gulp.  He would have rather had one of the beers that were in his refrigerator, but the tea was wet and it soothed his thirst.   He sat back in his chair, feeling much better now that he had something in his stomach and watched Amon quietly sip his tea.  The dark-haired man’s eyes seemed a million miles away.  Under the bright kitchen lights, the swollen bruise on Amon’s cheek stood out like a neon sign.  Sakaki looked down at the scraped knuckles on his right hand and sighed.  It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

 

            Brought out of the slight daze he was in by the exhalation, Amon placed the cup down on the counter and reached for the first aid kit that was leaning against the toaster next to the stove.  He pulled out the chair across from the blonde and sat down.  “Give me your hand.  I’ll bandage your wrists,” Amon said.

 

            “I did have a kit,” Sakaki exclaimed happily. “I couldn’t find it last night.  Where was it?”

 

            Amon opened the small plastic box and began removing the items he would need.  “This is mine.  I keep one in the trunk of my car at all times,” he said without looking up. 

 

            “How industrious of you,” Sakaki commented dryly.

 

            “It has come in handy many times.” 

 

            Sakaki caught the meaning of that statement without having to meet Amon’s eye.  What kind of sick, twisted things has this man been forced to endure if it was bad enough where he had to treat himself afterwards?  Though, he did say that to me the other night.  He told me he had to dress his own wounds after…after all those men.  He leaned across the table and brushed his fingertips lightly over the bruise.  “I’m sorry.  I didn’t apologize before, but I am sorry for this,” he whispered.

 

            Amon’s reaction was immediate.  He caught the fingers in a firm grip, but did not pull them away from his face.  “I understand.  You don’t need to apologize to me,” he said sternly, keeping his hold on the boy’s hand for a moment longer; their faces were inches apart. Intense hazel searched out violet to make sure they understood.  Sakaki nodded quickly, startled by the aggression, and Amon relented. 

 

            He sat back in his chair and let Amon inspect and dress the abrasions around his wrists.  A bizarre feeling of déjà vu came over him, causing him to smirk inwardly.  The silence was beginning to make him uneasy.  Now that his anger had subsided, Sakaki wanted to jump right into the conversation he was pretty sure the two of them were dreading.  It’s better to get it over with quickly, like ripping off a band-aid.  As soon as Amon was finished, the blonde went over the fridge and pulled out two bottles of beer.

 

            “I don’t drink,” Amon said flatly when Sakaki placed a bottle in front of him.

 

            “Trust me, you’re gonna need it,” the blonde replied as he retook his seat.  “Start talking…and don’t gloss over the details.  I want to know everything.”

 

            Amon took hold of the bottle and began to pick at the label nervously.  “Are you sure?  There are many things that you will not want to hear.  I would spare you that.”

 

            “It’s too late now.  I’m in it until the end, so if we’re to bring this motherfucker down, I need to know everything, Amon.  What you’ve managed to gather on him, who your contact is, and what we can do to end this now,” Sakaki said as he took a tug off his beer.   “You can start with how you got involved with Zaizen.”  Amon bowed his head a little further and gave a weak nod in the affirmative.

 

            “Can we go somewhere a bit more comfortable?” the solemn man asked.  “This will probably take a while.”

 

            “Yeah, sure.  Let’s go into the living room.”

 

            Both men walked quietly, beers in hand, into the other room.  Sakaki sat himself cross-legged in the armchair, while Amon sat across from him on the sofa.  They lapsed, once again, into a heavy silence, and Sakaki waited patiently for Amon to start.

 

            Amon brought the beer bottle up to his mouth and quickly chugged down half its contents in a matter of seconds.  After placing it carefully on the low coffee table, he looked up to meet Sakaki’s stunned expression.  “What I am about to tell you goes no further than this room.  Not even Michael. Am I understood?” 

 

            Sakaki nodded his head dumbly.  The fact that he was about to discover this allusive man’s deepest, darkest secrets made him almost giddy.  He was having a hard time containing his excitement. 

 

            Amon reached down to clasp the Orbo pendant that hung around his neck and held it out in front of him.  The emerald fluid sloshed inside the glass casing. “This.  This is what Zaizen has been holding over me,” Amon began somberly.

 

            “Orbo?” Sakaki asked in bewilderment. 

 

            “I have a need for this…other than the hunts sanctioned by the STN-J.  Zaizen discovered this and has been using it against me ever since.”  Amon caressed the pendant reverently before letting it fall back against his chest. 

 

            Sakaki blinked at him for a second.  “What do you mean you have a need for it?  Like an addiction?”  Now that he thought about it, Sakaki couldn’t remember a time where the Orbo pendant wasn’t around Amon’s neck.  He never really gave it that much thought.  When it came to their moody team leader, some things were best left unquestioned.

 

            Amon gave a very soft sarcastic snort.  “In a manner of speaking, I suppose it is.  I never really thought about it that way.  The Orbo…helps me.”

 

            Two blond eyebrows went up in confusion as Sakaki tried to ascertain just what it was that Amon was trying to tell him.  Helps him?  Helps him do what?

 

            Clearly frustrated, the dark-haired man wiped a hand over his face.  “There really is no easy way for me to say this, so I’ll just come right out with it.  I’m a Seed, Sakaki.”

 

            The bottle of beer slipped out of Sakaki’s grasp and fell into his lap, spilling some onto the front of his pants. He scrambled furiously to pick it up and was grateful that he hadn’t been drinking at the time.  He knew he would have probably choked on it.  “A Seed?  You’re a Seed?  How…how is that possible?” he sputtered.

 

            “My mother,” Amon’s eyes went down to the floor as he spoke.  “She was hunted when I was a teenager.  I never knew…she never said anything to me.”

 

            “But how did you get in the STN?  They would have never accepted your application if you were on the Seed Registry.”

 

            Amon gave a wry smirk.  “I’m not on the registry, never was.”

 

            Sakaki’s mouth opened and closed a few times as his brain attempted to process this new information.  Never in a million years would he have suspected Amon as being anything witch-related.  In fact, Amon’s distain of their kind was almost legendary.  No hunter in the STN-J’s history before or since had been able to match Amon’s success record.  All this time he was a potential witch himself?  Holy shit!  I never saw this coming.  “How did you manage to avoid that?  Solomon HQ keeps the most extensive records I’ve ever seen.”

 

            “I somehow managed to fall between the cracks in their system.  I wasn’t born here.  My father was Japanese and worked overseas in America for his company.  My mother was half Japanese, half American and worked for the American branch of the same firm.  Anyway, all boring details aside, I was born there even though my parents were not married.  When my father was called back a few years later, my mother and I went with him. I was registered as a Japanese citizen and put under my father’s surname.  A few years down the road, my parents married.  It seems that my father had been married before and they had to wait for that divorce to be final before they could marry.” Amon paused to take a deep breath.  He looked up at the boy sitting across from him who stared at him in rapt fascination.       

 

            “So, when your parents married, you were already under your father’s name,” Sakaki said as he slowly began to connect the facts.

 

            Amon took a sip of his beer, not even tasting it as he nodded.  “Yes, though my official record states the name of my birth mother. At the time of the wedding, my mother had to “adopt” me because through an error, my father had been the only one listed on my citizenship papers.  They could have had the forms updated, but with their busy schedules, it was never done.  After my mother was hunted, the investigation team didn’t dig as deeply as they should have.  On the surface it appeared as though my real mother was my adoptive stepmother.  And as a result, my name never went on the Seed Registry.” 

 

            “Surely Solomon would have done an extensive background search on you while you were in the academy.  They almost didn’t want to let me in because of my father.  I had to go through all sorts of psych tests before they allowed me to graduate.  How did you get by that?”  Sakaki asked as he shifted around in his chair. 

 

            Amon began to pick at the label on the beer bottle again.  The nervous habit seemed so out of place on such a modest man.  “That required a little bit of forgery,” he said without looking up.  “A relative of mine knew some people who knew some people who were able to exchange my real birth certificate with a fake that had a different birth mother listed.”

 

            “So, in addition to lying on your application to gain acceptance into a prestigious world-wide agency, you also forged government documents?”  Sakaki didn’t mean for it to come out as incredulous as it did, but he was just so dumbstruck. 

 

            Amon winced slightly at the tone in the other boy’s voice.  “Yes,” he answered simply. 

 

            “Shit, I mean…shit.  I would have never pictured you doing something that,” Sakaki said as he ran a hand through his still-damp hair. 

 

            Curiosity piqued, Amon asked, “Oh?  And why not?”

 

            “Because, well you’re you…and you don’t do stuff like this.” Sakaki paused to take a swig of beer.  “I mean, you’re the most brutally honest person I know.  Shit…” The words trailed off as Sakaki took another large gulp of the bitter brew.   “So, when did Zaizen find out about all this?” he asked once some of the initial shock ebbed. 

 

            Amon exhaled heavily and leaned back into the plush cushions of the sofa.  He rubbed his fingertips across his forehead in an oddly endearing gesture.   “When I was still a rookie hunter.  Back then he used to monitor the missions himself from the control room.  This was years before Michael, remember?” he said with a sad, little smile.  Sakaki felt himself smirk at the mention of his lover’s name.  “The team split up.  There was an accident.  I…let the witch slip past my guard and he managed to disarm me.  He was a low-level telekinetic…caught me off guard and ripped the Orbo gun right out of my hand.  When he tried to throw me back, the Orbo pendant prevented it, so he yanked it off my neck.  I panicked.” 

 

            “Panicked?” Sakaki parroted.  Amon was beginning to become visibly upset. His breathing was harsher and his voice trembled with emotion.  

 

“The Orbo keeps my craft at bay…without it, I have no control.  When the witch attacked, I couldn’t hold it back.”      

 

 “Did you kill him?” he asked and Amon gave a pitiful nod in the affirmative.  Sakaki nearly dropped his beer again at the admission.  Amon making rookie mistakes, letting a witch get the drop on him, being a Seed.  It was unfathomable.  “Fuck, Amon…,” was all he could voice.  Amon looked down at his hands, ashamed. 

 

“So, now you know my dirty little secret,” Amon said somberly.   “Zaizen was monitoring, he heard the whole thing go down.  A few days later he called me into his office.  He found out about everything- the forged documents, traced them back to my br-relative, and threatened to have them arrested and me turned over to the Factory.”

 

            “So, that’s when you made a deal with the devil, huh?”

 

            Amon buried his face in his hands.  His shoulders were slumped as though he was carrying a heavy load.  “I was so stupid,” he whispered.  “I didn’t know…I didn’t know.  I thought,” he paused to choke back the tears that were brimming.  “I don’t know what I thought at the time, but I never thought it would end up how it did.  I was young and scared, and Zaizen knew all the right cards to play.”

 

            Sakaki watched the other man try so hard not to break down.  He suspected that this was the first time Amon told anyone about this.  Just like that night he found Amon in the park; Sakaki had no clue what to do to offer any type of comfort.  The silence between them grew thick once again. No wonder it was so easy for Zaizen to manipulate him.  He used his family and his own fears about his heritage against him.  I can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the same thing if I were in his shoes. Though, I guess my situation isn’t all that different.  I hope Michael comes up with something soon.  I don’t know if I can handle the abuse that Zaizen likes to dole out without retaliating.  I would put everyone in danger if I did.  God, what did Amon have to go through to make him so subservient?  What does it take to break a man like him? 

 

 
 
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