“Look at me!” Jin yelled as he reached forward and grabbed their jaws, trying to shake sense into their insane minds at some level as he forced them up to face him. “Look at me, you two – I’m fine,” his gaze switched to Kazuya first as he slid his thumb across the bottom of his cheek, “I’m fine – I’m fine,” he looked at Aoki, “I swear – it’s a scratch-.”
“It’s not-," Aoki’s face contorted.
“It’s a scratch,” Jin insisted, pressing his thumb into the younger’s cheek persistently as he crouched to level with them, “okay? Trust me,” he nodded, eyes softening, “this is nothing.” He glanced at Kazuya, shaking his head, “it’s nothing – she didn’t hurt me. She didn’t,” he pressed before the latter could open his mouth, “okay?”
He rubbed his thumbs over the apples of their cheeks calmingly, waiting until they instinctually came down from their high and leaned silently into the warmth of his palms before continuing. “Don’t worry so much about me, don’t worry,” he reassured them, so focused on placating their bloodlust that he barely picked up on background rattle of a steady thwap, thwap, thwap.
Yuki seemed to noticed though. The self-preservation which she’d seemed to have shirked earlier just moments ago returned in full blast as she immediately began struggling profusely against the idol sitting atop her.
It broke the calm Jin had managed to bring over the two monsters who’d full and well been intending to kill her, and he grimaced when he felt both Kazuya and whoever it was that was in Yamapi’s body, stiffen cautiously once more.
Reality slammed into all of them the minute she began fussin, busting them out of this strange dream – and Jin sucked in a sharp breath when Aoki shook his head violently as if to clear it from the serene fog that had settled into it and refixed his aim at Yuki’s head.
“Yamapi,” he started despairingly, trailing off when he remembered that this person probably wasn’t Yamapi.
“Something’s wrong,” Aoki ignored him, murmuring to Kazuya instead, “FBI black ops kill themselves if their mission goes awry - she hasn’t committed suicide yet,” he frowned, “she should’ve killed herself the minute I got her gun - she’s deviating from protocol-.”
THWAP THWAP THWAP – went the background noise behind them, getting louder and louder and Jin turned to sky.
“Why.” Kazuya demanded holding a knife to her neck, “you haven’t bitten you tongue off, yet we’ve already uncovered more than half your mission -,” he paused, a sudden thought occurring to him as his breath caught in his chest. “Where is your extraction team?” He breathed after a moment, “you would’ve set off the SOS signal before you attacked us, why haven’t they arrived?”
THWAP THWAP THWAP – went the helicopter Kazuya had warned their hostess about earlier as it rose past the trees just behind Yuki’s cabin
“Her loyalties have changed,” Aoki deduced with narrowed eyes, after he'd stared at her for a long, noisy while, “she’s FBI, but she’s working under someone else.”
“Who?” Kazuya immediately demanded, “whose orders are you working on? How did you know where to find us? Only The King knows where I am right now - and you’re not one of his first ring – AH!”
“Go fuck yourself, slut,” Yuki snarled in a fit of squirming rage, lifting a knee up to slam it into Kazuya’s back – right into his healing back wound.
And the idol yelped, losing his balance for just enough time for Yuki to fling him off, turn around, and lunge at her original target, Jin.
“Die.” She hissed venomously when she got her hands around his neck before any one of them could make sense of what was happening, and just squeezed.
“Jin-!” Kazuya jumped for where he lay on the ground, crying out when he could only fall back down, twitching in the pain pulsating out from his spine and into his tender sides.
“Bitch-!” Aoki gasped, making to grab at her hair but not before Yuki flipped out an arm to grab his own.
“Wha-?!” Jin watched Yamapi’s alter ego have his breath knocked out of him when Yuki wrenched her arm back and slammed an elbow into his chest. "Pi-,"he croaked helplessly as he watched the younger's eyes widen and automatically tear up as Yuki slipped her finger around his on the gun trigger.
“You don’t deserve to live-,” she hissed just loud enough for Jin, who beginning to choke and fade in and out of consciousness, to hear. She pressed her gun to his temple then, smiling something terrible as she whispered, “die for us, 21st Seal.”
And in that moment, Jin who hadn’t prayed to God for countless years, wished frantically in his head – for the best possible life his daughter and ex-wife could have with him gone, and for Yamapi and Kazuya to reach some level of sanity as he shut his eyes and hoped this wouldn’t be as painful as the television shows made it look.
It was over. All over. Was it for the good? The bad? Jin certainly had an inkling of relief; this little traitorous whisper of a thought that sighed in relief, at least he’d be done with this mafia shit forever. At least he wouldn't be subject to the terror of subliminal messages, secrets that stretched forever and led to these rivers of blood that seemed to never end. Jin tried not to give that little thought too much momentum as he took a second to himself to just… breathe…?
The idol blinked cautiously, nerves on fire and ice simultaneously as his ears rang and rang.
A gun had fired – yes. This he noted as he opened his eyes wider to see a smoking barrel, sleek and silver, held just an inch from his face.
But unless he’d developed some sort of blessed insensitivity to pain, the only wound whose wrath he was currenty suffering was the rough bullet-graze in his left arm. And so he frowned. Looking down at himself, he validated the conclusion with a quick onceover; indeed, no other blooms of scarlet beside the one on his arm and the one… pooling on the ground near his knees…
“WHA-?!” He flinched, yelping as he fell back onto his palms and scrambled away from what he now realized was Yuki who was still on her knees in front of him, not dead – but very close to dead, given that her blood was gushing out of hole in the side of her stomach as she just stood and stared on in shock.
“MISS-!” Jin gasped, caught between lunging at her to help her and crawling further away from the woman who’d just been about to kill him.
He ended up doing neither instead, breathless and panting as he switched his gaze back to the silver gun that had been in his face earlier. Lifting his chin, he raised his field of vision and took a gander at the man on the end of that gun.
Silver, he was. Tall, and silver and black and stunning - Jin recognized him immediately. A picture of his face was what Suzuha had shown him first that day after all; he was distinct enough to leave an impression too: Mika Ragako.
With his waist-length silver hair and hazy gray eyes; tall and lean under a black trench coat decorated in such a way that it seemed to hold a strange sort of ironic likeness to a military uniform. He was a picture of imperfect perfection he was; perfectly out of place with a gun in his hands and black scabbard on his hip.
As Yuki’s still form fell forward and onto the ground, face-first into her own blood, the man who'd shot her before sh'ed had a chance to shoot Jin murmured, “too close.”
“Just in time though,” Kazuya gasped, having stood up at some point during the skirmish to limp forward where now stood in front of Jin and fell to his knees to gather his bandmate into a shaky hug.
“The fuck ‘just in time’?” Jin registered the man snapping irritably as he sank into Kazuya, watching from over his shoulder as the gun Ragako had been holding, fell idly to his side. “Ya’ pulled me out of Tokyo for this bullshit, Kazuya,” he growled in a voice that as pleasantly raspy but riddled with tweaks that were 120% Okinawan gang slang, “ya’ know the Cazzerone Family’s here, why’re ya’ botherin’ me with this?”
“Would you rather I be dead?” The idol groaned in his own contrastingly perfect, little rich-boi dialect as he pulled Jin away to hold him at arms-length where he could glance over him as whole to make sure he was alright. “She’s FBI, you know? She could’ve killed me if you’d gotten here later.”
He was promptly heeded with a glare that would’ve stunned, considering that it was emitted from eyes the color the glass, save for the lethality of it because if looks could kill.
“Ya’ could’ve taken care of this yourself,” the owner of those eyes snarled viciously, but with no real bite, “why’d ya’ have to bring me into it?”
And Jin blinked as Kazuya caught his eyes, seeming to ask if he was alright before he turned away and grinned up at the Mafioso.
“Because I felt like it.”
Kazuya dodged a searing bullet for that. “Don’t kill her?” He added as he pressed his palms against Jin’s shoulders, using him as leverage to stand, “the police will want to show off with interrogating her and I won’t know how to explain an American death on Japanese soil-,” he dodged another bullet as he held his hand out to help his own bandmate up. “Use your words,” he wrinkled his nose as he ducked under the spray of bullets that followed, “you’ll hit Jin. What’re you going to do if you accidentally,” he tilted his head away from another ‘stray’ bullet, “kill a Seal? You’ll shorten the time limit-.”
“Bitch.” Ragako snarled, cackling rather childishly a moment later when he managed to land a punch into the younger’s side while he’d been busy helping Jin get to his feet.
“She’s gone rogue,” he informed in that strangely pleasant voice of his a while later, wrath apparently appeased by Kazuya’s pitiful whining.
“For who?” Aoki, who had moved to stand beside Yuki - that writhing woman spitting curses into the ground, hands wrapped around her bloody wound.
“Who knows?” Ragako shrugged before pointing up to the helicopter from which he’d leaped out of to save Jin just moments earlier. “Let’s get out before we find out-,” he cut off, glancing across at Jin for a moment, before muttering something low enough for only Kazuya to hear.
Not that Jin would’ve heard anything either way, ear ringing still and staring blankly at Yuki the way he was.
She’d die within the hour if she didn’t get help soon. The gunshot in her side was small, characteristic of a subtle gun made for silent kills like sniping and assassinations - but small or not, it was a gunshot wound. It'd bleed out either way. She’d die soon – he could only think, strangely unfeeling as he just stared at her blood on the ground.
Shouldn’t he be caring some more?
“We should call an ambulance…,” he heard someone with his voice saying, “before she bleeds out-.”
“ ‘Er people should be nearby, whoever in de’ hell they is,” Ragako replied, and when Jin glanced up, he found the man with the glorious silver hair hanging off the helicopter ladder that had been lowered to the ground at some point between his life being in Yuki’s hands and right now. “She’ll get’er rude ass picked up sooner or later.”
“If she doesn’t?” Jin continued hearing himself talk, curious as to where the sense to put together sentences was coming from when he could barely keep his sanity together.
“Tough,” Ragako wrinkled his nose without missing a beat. “Leggo’,” he demanded a second later, when he turned back and started climbing back up to the helicopter hovering above them all. “Ueda, that headass’, been blowing up my cell like a damn terrorist-…,” – the man’s voice faded into the aircraft’s noise as he climbed higher and higher, and Jin watched unseeingly as he finally disappeared up into some part of the helicopter with Yamapi... or not-Yamapi, on his heels.
“Jin-?” The idol flinched, slipping back into reality with a rough flinch when Kazuya touched his arm a second later.
“You okay?” his band leader frowned slightly with that gorgeous, insane face of his. “Jin…?” Kazuya ducked his head to catch his eyes, as Jin turned away again to stare at Yuki who’d calmed in her frantic thrashing, and had started to settle down, looking like she was losing energy and consciousness.
“Jin – are you-?”
“I’m fine.” Said the man as he stared at the dying woman, wondering where in the hell his sympathy had disappeared off to.
Kazuya blinked as Jin turned him and repeated quietly, “I’m fine, really,” he added when the younger started opening his mouth.
He’d reasoned that even if he threw a moral tantrum here, neither Kazuya nor Yamapi’s alter ego had enough of a moral compass to quell his shattering psyche. He reasoned that if he had to break down, he might as well break down in the safety of Tokoro’s home, alone and under blankets where he wouldn’t be disturbed. He reasoned a little selfishly that Yuki had had it coming anyway. If she hadn’t died yet she would die soon enough – and considering her line of business, she would’ve died at some point in her career – FBI, Yakuza, or whatever she was.
She’d chosen to come after them knowing that hadn’t she?
Jin pushed every last moral inkling of guilt into the farthest reaches of his mind as he stepped over the puddle of blood gathering near his and Kazuya’s feet as he followed the younger to and up the helicopter’s ladder.
He couldn’t break yet. He couldn’t break yet. He couldn’t break yet.
She’d deserved it – he told himself repeatedly, casting her a last glance as he climbed into the helicopter cabin where Ragako and Yamapi were already buckled in and arguing heatedly over something.
She’d deserved it – he told himself as the cabin door slid shut moments later, and they jetted off, leaving Yuki to bleed out on the ground in front of the cabin they’d been staying in for the last day and a half – she’d deserved it. She deserved it. She deserved it.
And as they flew off into the heart of the storm, Jin looked back once more – meaning to look back at Ragako’s latest victim, but stalling when his eyes snagged onto something else instead. Jin blinked. He peered as he leaned forward toward the helicopter window. He could’ve been the slightest bit off, but for a second he could’ve sworn that - down in the branches of the cherry tree that stood at the very edge of the clearing in which the cabin stood, something very eerily green glinted through the flourish of pink, pink, pink cherry blossoms.
LET'S TALK RAGAKO MIKA