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04 January 2006 @ 10:14 pm
Power and Control- Chapter 11 part 2  

Sakaki had been completely dead to the world.  There were no dreams that he could recall, just the never-ending black of unconscious, exhausted sleep.  Then, ever so slowly he began to rise from the inky pitch.  Something was pulling him back, calling him to wakefulness. 




            Somewhere in the back of his mind, he recognized the sound of a human voice.  After a few more seconds, Sakaki began to realize that the voice was calling his name.  The blissful blackness was beginning to recede, and he moaned at the dull throbbing in his head that began to break through the haze as it became steadily worse. 


            “Sakaki, are you alright?”


            There was that voice again.  It took his sleep-muddled mind a second to process that someone was in the room with him.  He eyes opened and he bolted upright in his bed.  His head spun at the abrupt movement while his eyes fixed on a blur roughly the size and shape of another person standing at the foot of his bed.  Sakaki dove for his Orbo gun on his bedside table and swung it around to train it on the figure, but lost his balance and fell hard onto the floor.  He kicked his feet wildly to free them from their ensnarement in the sheets and backed up until his back hit the wall.  His hand trembled, but he kept the gun pointed in the general direction of the intruder.  Sakaki blinked repeatedly, trying to clear his vision.


            “Who the fuck are you and what do you want?” Sakaki croaked.  He wished he had his 9 mm, but that was locked in the safe in his closet.  The Orbo gun would have to do, and besides, the bullets from this gun stung like a bitch.  The figure didn’t move from its spot.


            “Sakaki, it’s me…Amon,”


            “Amon?” Sakaki parroted while his brain chewed on that information.  He shook his head to clear some of the fogginess.  “What are you doing here…and more importantly, how did you get in?”  He didn’t lower the gun.


            Amon wisely stayed where he was.  He knew Sakaki was not in the most stable frame of mind right now and he wasn’t going to press his luck, especially when he was on the business end of a loaded Orbo gun.   “The door was unlocked,” he stated dryly.  “Michael asked me to come and check on you.”


            “Michael,” Sakaki whispered sadly as he lowered the gun. 


            “Are you okay?  Everyone was worried when you didn’t show up for the hunt and we were unable to-“


            “Hunt? What time is it?”   


            “It’s almost six…in the evening.  It’s Sunday, Sakaki.  Were you asleep all day?” Amon asked, his brows knit in confusion.


            Sakaki’s eyes went wide.  He had been sleeping all day and didn’t even realize it.  He quickly began a mental retrace of his steps.  It had been somewhere around midnight when he made it back to the apartment. After he passed out in the bathroom and got himself cleaned up, he crawled into bed, but he didn’t know what time that was.  Holy shit!  I really have been out of it for the entire day.  No wonder Michael sent Amon over to look out…for…Amon? 


            Sakaki’s eyes darted back to the man in question, standing expectantly at the foot of his bed.  He may have been a little incoherent before, but Sakaki was perfectly lucid now and he remembered just how furious he was with Amon.  He pointed the gun back on the older man and pushed himself to his feet using the wall for support.  “Get out,” he growled.


            Amon’s hands went up in a gesture of surrender.  “I’m only here to make sure you’re okay, I don’t want to start any trouble,” he said in a calm and even voice. 


            ‘Trouble?” Sakaki repeated incredulously.  “You let that bastard manipulate me into giving you a blow job and you don’t want to start any trouble?  Well, guess what?  If you don’t get the fuck out of here right now, trouble is what you’re going to get.”


            A wave of dizziness that threatened to buckle his knees surged through Sakaki’s body and he threw out a hand to steady himself on the wall.  Amon took a step towards him.




            “Don’t come any closer!” Sakaki’s grip tightened on the gun, but his entire arm was shaking from the strain of aiming it at the other man.  Suddenly it felt as though a red-hot needle was shoved into his eye.  He cried out in agony and collapsed to his knees.  The gun fell from his fingers as he clutched his head with both hands, palms pressing into his temples in an effort to ease the torture.  Despite the earlier warning, Amon was by his side in a flash. 


            “No, don’t touch me,” Sakaki moaned as Amon placed his hands on his shoulders. 


            “Sakaki, look at me,” Amon ordered. 


The blonde swatted at the persistent hands that were attempting to pry his own from his head.  The quick, jarring motions of the scuffle caused another wave of nausea and Sakaki doubled over.  “O God,” he whimpered as his stomach began an all-too-familiar rippling.  Amon reacted immediately and hauled him up by the armpits and half-carried, half-dragged him across the room.  Kicking the bathroom door open, the dark-haired man hit the light switch and let Sakaki fall to his knees in front of the toilet. 


Sakaki began coughing and choking the moment his face was over the bowl, but there was nothing left in his stomach to come up.  His whole body heaved forward painfully with each spasm, blacking out his vision.  He wished there was something that he could throw up rather than deal with these rib-breaking dry heaves.  In between convulsions, he became aware of a light caressing on his back. 


“Easy…relax, Sakaki,” Amon whispered soothingly as crouched beside him and rubbed his hand in a circular motion between his shoulder blades. 


Sakaki was loathed to admit it, but it was helping.  After a few more gags he spat the drool out of his mouth and wiped the tears from his cheeks.  When he was confident he was finished with this round, he sat back.  Amon handed him a towel for him to swipe over his face.  Sakaki felt gross.  He was drenched in sweat, shirt clinging to his body, bangs stuck to his forehead. 


“Feel better now?”


Sakaki narrowed his eyes over the towel at the figure standing in the doorway.  “Yeah, I feel just peachy.  Thanks for asking,” he shot back.  If he had had the strength he would have thrown the towel back in Amon’s face, but settled for an annoyed look and a soul-weary sigh as he leaned back against the side of the tub.  “What are you doing here, Amon?”    


Amon’s eyes widened slightly as he was caught off guard by the question.  “Michael asked me to look in on you,” he answered matter-of-factly.


Sakaki gave a derisive snort.  ‘And here I was thinking that you came by because you wanted to apologize.”


Amon was taken aback by the contemptuous tone in Sakaki’s voice, but kept his expression carefully schooled while he ran through possible ways to respond.  Being the somewhat impatient lad he was, Sakaki didn’t wait for Amon to come up with something.


“That is, unless you feel you have no reason to apologize.  Maybe you get off on that sort of thing.”  His comments were meant to hurt, meant to shatter the air of perfection the older man always managed to display.  “Is that it, Amon?  You like the rough trade?  You like when someone smacks you around…tells you what to do?  Or maybe you like it when other people are forced to do things to you.  Is that how you get your kicks?  Can’t come unless-”


“That’s enough,” Amon snapped, the words hitting him just as hard as the blonde’s fists had the night before.  


Sakaki cocked his head to the side and regarded the other man with a cool glare.  “Hit a nerve, did I?”


“What is it that you want?” Amon asked with a voice that was clearly worn-out and annoyed.  He bent his head forward and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.  He shook his head with a sigh before raising his eyes once again.  “You want an apology?  Then I’m sorry, Sakaki.  From the bottom of my soul, I’m sorry for everything that happened.  You were never meant to be involved with this.” 


Sakaki began to seethe with anger.  The vibration began in his toes and quickly shot upwards until he was growling though gritted teeth like some wild animal.  It was amazing how much strength his rage was able to provide.  “Fucking bastard,” he screamed as he launched himself at Amon, shoulder colliding with his chest and slamming the taller man into the doorjamb.  He fisted his hands in the lapels of Amon’s trench coat and pulled him down until they were nose to nose. 


“Never meant to be involved?  Well, I’m fucking in it now, aren’t I?  Thanks to you.” he hissed vomit-flavored breath into the other man’s face. 


The impassive mask slammed down over Amon’s features.  Sakaki was leaning his weight forward to keep him up against the wall and it was easy enough for him to use it to reverse their positions.  Amon, now that he was back in a position of dominance over the teen, pointed his finger into Sakaki’s chest, while his other hand on the boy’s shoulder kept him pinned to the door frame.  “You think that was my choice?”  The blonde surged forward to try and get free, but Amon slammed him back into place.  “You don’t think I would have stopped him if there was a way?” he asked flatly.


“You sure as hell didn’t look that way last night.  You were the perfect little pet.”


Amon swallowed hard to keep from rising to the bait.  “He wants you to be upset, Sakaki.  Can’t you understand that?  When you’re upset, you’re off balance and easy to control.  If you don’t learn to reign in your temper, you’re going to play right into his hands. And he’s going to use Michael, or your sister, or whatever he can to get you to do whatever he wants.”


Those words finally seemed to break through to Sakaki, and he slouched as the urge to fight seeped out of his body.  I can’t let that happen…not my sister.  He’s already got Michael; that motherfucker cannot get to my sister. 


Amon took a step back, sensing that Sakaki was calming.  “Why don’t you take a shower and get yourself cleaned up?  Then we’ll talk.”


Pale violet eyes inventoried the other man’s expression and noted, as if for the first time, the large bruise on his cheek and the bruised lip.  Not regret, but disappointment, bubbled up within Sakaki.  It was so easy to heap all of the blame onto Amon’s shoulders, taking it out on him as he did last night.  Sakaki backtracked over that last thought.  He had scored two solid hits to Amon’s face when he knew very well that the somber man was capable of avoiding or at least blocking them.  He let me hit him.  He didn’t even try to…my god, he just took it…took it so I could vent?  Jesus, this just keeps getting better and better.  I can’t fucking deal with this right now.  He raked a hand through his sweat-damp hair and exhaled loudly.  He hadn’t seen it before, but now that his ire had vanished, the truth was obvious.  Amon was as much a victim in this as both Michael and he were, and that didn’t give him the right to beat the piss out of him, no matter how much he wanted to.  That was why Amon took the beating.  He knew on some intrinsic level that Sakaki needed to focus all his emotions on something and willingly stepped forward to offer himself up.  It was a sobering thought that a man as distant and reticent as Amon would do that for him.  


Sakaki moved around Amon to the shower to turn the faucets on.  He offered no apologies of his own for the damage to his team leader’s face, but given the tense situation, he didn’t think now was the time.  Amon was back in his skin of cool indifference and perhaps that was for the best.  There was no sense in rehashing all this, they both new that fault lay elsewhere.  If they were ever going to work together on this, they would need to put this incident behind them.      


“Don’t make it too hot,” Amon advised, half turned in the doorway, ready to leave.  “You look like you have a concussion and you might pass out if your body temperature gets too high.”  Sakaki nodded his head to acknowledge the information.  “Also, you might want to soak those first,” he pointed to the toilet paper around Sakaki’s wrists.  “They’ll come off easier.”


Sakaki looked down to the improvised bandages and then back to Amon’s face.  “Yeah, thanks,” he whispered.


“I’ll be outside if you need anything,” Amon said before he backed out of the room to give the boy his privacy, closing the door behind him. 


Sakaki stared at the door for a few moments. After this, Amon, you and I are going to have a nice, long chat.  I’ve got plenty of questions and you, my friend, are not leaving until you answer every single one of them.







            Michael sat back against the cool side of the stone well and stretched his arms over his head.  His shoulder joints popped at the strain, releasing some of the tension that had built up.  He looked to the clock in the corner of the laptop’s screen and sighed.  It had been over an hour since Amon had agreed to check on Sakaki, and he had not heard any word yet.  He hoped everything was alright.  He knew Amon would have called if there had been a problem.  He took a deep breath to calm his nerves, but found his stomach still churned with worry. 


            Letting his head fall back, Michael stared up at the plate-glass roof of Raven’s Flat.  The sun had already set and it was a clear night, not a cloud in the sky to obstruct his view of the stars; stars, he reminded himself that he would only ever see through a pane of glass.  He really didn’t want to keep replaying last night’s events, but it was unavoidable.  How could he not?  He had been forced to watch his lover pleasure another against his will while he did nothing to help.  When it was all over, Sakaki called had Amon a coward.  Those words stuck with him even now, hours later, and the part that saddened him the most was the fact that it was true.  Amon was a coward and so was he.  After three years of torment, it had become almost second nature to obey whatever Zaizen commanded.  He was absolutely terrified of the man.  But his lover had never known what he had been subjected to.  Sure, in the beginning he had told him the kinds of things that he was forced to do on a somewhat regular basis, but he was never specific about it.  There were some things that went on behind Zaizen’s office door late at night that Michael didn’t want Sakaki to know.  Now there was no way he could hide behind half-truths and omitted details.  Sakaki had seen it for himself and been forced to participate.  Then, after it was over, he ran away with nothing but pure disgust written all over his face.  Michael didn’t think there was any way he was going to be able to salvage their relationship after this, and maybe that was for the best, too.  He couldn’t just stand by and watch Sakaki’s fiery spirit become diminished by Zaizen’s perversions.  He loved him far too much to let that happen. 


            Michael snapped his head in the direction of shuffling feet echoing through the courtyard.  His heart leapt for a moment, thinking that it was Sakaki, but when Robin stepped from the shadows he stifled a groan of disappointment. 


            “I’m not interrupting you, am I?” she asked meekly. 


            “No, not at all.  I just came down here for a change of scenery.  What brings you here after hours?”  Michael’s eyes went down to the small box she cradled against her body.


            “I brought you some pastries…from that place you like.”   She held out the box to him with a smile that seemed hopeful as she walked forward.  Her long skirt swished loudly when she sat down beside him.


            “Oh, thank you.”  Michael took it from her and immediately opened it.  He wasn’t even the slightest bit hungry, but Robin had made a special trip just for him.  He took out the smallest chocolate-covered cream puff and popped it into his mouth.  It was the least he could do.  “That was delicious.  Here have one,” he offered.  She dipped into the box and pulled out a powdered sugar dusted canoli and bit into it shyly. 


            “Thanks.  It’s hard to believe that you can find European pastries here in Japan, but these aren’t too bad.  Not as good as the ones I used to get when I was living in Italy, but not as bad as others I’ve tried.”  She continued to nibble while they sat in uncomfortable silence. 


            “Do you miss it?” Michael asked.


            Italy?” she inquired, and Michael nodded.  “Sometimes.  Things were very different there. Not to say that what I have here is bad, but it’s just…different.”  She smiled sweetly at Michael and inched a little closer to him.  “What are you working on?” Her eyes drifted over to the laptop situated between them.


            Michael immediately tapped the keyboard to clear the screen.  “Oh, nothing, really, just some project for Amon,” he answered, hoping that he sounded convincing.  He didn’t miss the slight scowl she made at the mention of their illustrious team leader’s name.  “So, are you going to tell me what’s going on?  It’s not that I don’t enjoy your company, but the dessert and the guilty look on your face tell me that you want something.”


            Robin blushed and gave a nervous laugh.  “Am I that transparent?” 


            “Yeah, kind of, but its okay, I won’t hold it against you.”  He gave her a half-hearted smile that didn’t reach his eyes, though she didn’t seem to notice.  Robin dug into the pocket of her long, red coat to pull something out.


            “I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind taking a look at something for me. She held a strange, golden object by the tips of her slender fingers.  Michael took it from her and pushed his glasses up on his nose as he held the item up for closer inspection.


            “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that this looked like a shell casing for a bullet,” he said as he turned it over.  The spent shell was not cylindrical with a tapered tip like a regular bullet.  Instead, it flared out at the base and then became more graduated towards the tip.  It was also covered with a dozen or so runes etched into the metal.


            “That’s because it is.  I found it on the ground when I went to investigate where the person who fired on me was.”


            Michael’s eyes widened considerably.  “Then you were right.  I thought the factory said they didn’t find any evidence.”


            “They were lying.  Someone was there, and that someone fired a bunch of those bullets at me.  I want to know why.”


            “Yeah, sure, I’ll look into this for you.  We should let Amon-“


            “If you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to keep Amon out of this…at least until we know something,” she interrupted quietly. 


Michael knew a lie when he saw one.  Amon had come down on her pretty hard after the witch they were hunting almost got away.  But he figured she probably had her reasons, and he had too much on his mind right now to argue.  “Yeah, okay.”  He nearly jumped out of his skin when she leaned over and placed a kiss on his cheek.


“Thank you, Michael.  I’ve got to go now.  I’ll see you tomorrow.”  Robin all but ran out of the courtyard with nothing more than a quick wave.


When she was out of sight, Michael stared down at the shell and exhaled loudly. “That certainly was weird,” he said out loud.  He was a little miffed that she felt the need to bribe him with sweets when she could have easily asked him. He tucked it into his pocket and went back to his laptop to finish working on breaking through Zaizen’s seemingly impenetrable firewall. 


It was about a half hour later when his phone began to ring.  Michael jumped at the sound and then quickly scrambled to answer it.  He had never been so happy to hear Amon’s voice on the other end.


“How is he?”


“He’s alright.  It looks like he has a mild concussion, but he should be fine,” Amon answered.  He sounded very tired.  “I’m going to stick around here for a while to make sure he eats something.”


“Was he really angry when you showed up?” 


There was a long pause before Amon answered.  “He’s calmed down some,” he said dryly.


“That’s good.  Is he there?  Will he talk to me?” Michael tried not to sound too desperate, but it came through loud and clear regardless. 


“He’s in the shower now.  I’ll let him know when he gets out.”


“Okay…thank you again, Amon.  I was really worried.”  Relief washed over him like waves from the sea.  It nearly brought him to tears.


“I understand.  I will talk more with you later,” Amon said before disconnecting the call. 


If Michael hadn’t known any better, he would have been upset by the apparent brush-off, but that was Amon simply being Amon.  It wasn’t that important; Sakaki was safe and had calmed some, and that was all that mattered to the young hacker.  He leaned back against the well and stared up at the night sky once again.  It really was an awe-inspiring view, though he would have liked to be standing out in the open air rather than locked inside a stone building.  He wasn’t one to wish on stars or anything silly like that, but a little help never hurt.


“Star-light, star-bright…”






            Amon disconnected the call and placed his cell phone back into the pocket of his trench coat.  He could hear the sound of the shower running in the bathroom and had to take a few deep breaths to calm his nerves.  As soon as Sakaki was finished, he was going to sit the boy down and tell him everything.  Things had already progressed too far for him to be able to keep his secrets too much longer. 


            He sat down on Sakaki’s couch and began to ponder just how he was going to impart all the sordid details of how things ended up the way they did.  He would be forcing himself to own up to things he didn’t even want to admit to himself, let alone another person.  It was a very humbling prospect.


            Amon’s head snapped up when the water cut off in the bathroom.  This was it.  There was no turning back now.





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