[When You Gonna Learn]


I almost screamed.

My fractured right arm finally snapped, at the wrong time and place. My fingers lost their strength and let go of my wire, which wound itself back into my watch. I would not have a chance of escape now, no I didn't think that I would win against all seven men surrounding me because they all had weapons. But each one of them would be Weiß' obstacle when Aya, Omi and Ken come to eliminate the Pope, and it was all I could help to kill and injure a few of them before Weiß arrived.

My arm now hung uselessly by my side. The wire couldn't be used anymore, I had to try a different tactic. Must earn some time for the punk to give my disk to them and get them away from here before anything else happen. None of them would be wearing their gear, they would not be ready to face eight automatics. Not that I was ready at all, but at least I managed to get rid of one.

I didn't know how I got busted, just like I never knew how they found out that someone had been through the documents, and frankly I didn't care anymore. They hadn't fired at me straight away and from that I could tell they wanted to catch me alive, meaning I could push my luck just a bit more. I sidestepped from a shot that aimed for my legs, then kicked up in a karate move, managing to kick away one of the bodyguards' guns, sent it flying up before landing a distance away with a clang, and broke the fingers of the man that held it. It was all I could do. The next moment I felt the cold metal against the back of my head and the even colder glares.

Oh Balinese, too bad.

I handed myself over to them and let them take my watch away. Hell, I loved that watch, I'd just have to ask Persia to get another one made.

Think you'd have a chance to do that, Balinese?

I followed them out of the backstreets. The guys should be gone by now with my disk, they would be on their way to the Underworld to read the information.

Of course. I'll go home, they're all waiting for me. This balinese kitten will go back to its home.


Omi! I head jerked up. Was that my imagination or were they still around? I spotted him, with Ken, Aya and the punk, so close to me, within my reach. I could have easily touched them if I could still move my right arm, though that might get myself and them all killed. Damn, they saw me, I was just under the street lamp, they would see my face. I didn't even have my sunglasses on. I didn't want them to see me this way, this ugly face of mine resembled nothing like the Youji they knew, wasn't the Youji they wanted to have back home.

'Go home, kid, I don't want to see you.'

They didn't have their weapons with them, I couldn't drag them into this. I read the change in their faces, not because of what I said, but because Aya and Ken had seen the automatic against my back. Hey you two, you know well enough not to move right now if you want to stay alive. Shut Omi up before he gets a gun against his back as well.

... What's that noise?

'Che.' The driver said, 'Get rid of him.'

Then I saw from the mirror the reflection of Ken. He was chasing behind us! No! I tried to turn around to look, but I was pressed down on the seat with a gun promising to send bullets into me if I dared to move again. Ken, don't do this!

The man on my right opened his window and hung his upper body out of the car to aim his automatic at Ken. I stared at the mirror, not sure if the chill and sweat was caused by the withdrawal or my fright, as the man fired once, twice, three times at my friend. No, not Ken, no one was to die for me! His death would be useless if I could not get away in the end!

He missed. Ken's headlight made it hard for the man to see properly, and Ken probably had his infra-red goggles on to see better. Ken tipped his motorcycle to the right silghtly but didn't accelerate, he just kept a good distance behind me. More soundless shots were fired. Did Ken get hurt? I couldn't see!

As I struggled, turning my body to see Ken, I felt something jab into my arm. Ken's headlight blinded me, but in a few seconds it got dimmer and dimmer, then everything was gone.


The frontwheel of the motorcycle slowed, then it eventually stopped. The headlight was smashed, flashing, shining onto Ken, who lay on his side, next to the broken piece of metal which he fell from. The snowing didn't stop, but the rough winds stilled when I saw him, as if time itself stood still. At the same time, the flashing ticked away the seconds, reminding me time would not wait.


The blood was black. Blackness pooled from his leg and two holes on his upper body, soaking into the snow. Black snow. I stepped into it, crouched down, and touched his face. He responded to my touch, his lips quivered, mumbled something, then he choked and coughed, and blackness poured from his mouth as well.

No. Please stay. I'll get you a bowl full of red kidney beans in Pizza Hut. I promise not to throw food at you again. Please don't go.

The dark irises moved, his eyes focused and found mine. He smiled, black blood brimming his lips, then he cleared his throat and spoke.

'I... I told you I'd see... see you tomorrow... I'm early...'

I wiped the mist from my eyes, then did it for him too. Our tears would do nothing, we didn't need them.

'Yeah... let's have pizza tonight shall we?'

'You pay.'

'I pay.'

I hoped he didn't notice the tears in my voice. His smile got broader, so did the pool of frozen blackness around us. His gaze on me gradually became diffused.

'... I'm cold...'

Biting back my sob, I unzipped my jacket, yanking it off my body despite my broken arm. With one hand I held it, looking up from the jacket at him again.


He was no longer looking at me. His head was against the black snow, his smile was gone. The blackness still ran from the lips, down his chin, onto the snow. I placed my jacket over him, then I reached out, and touched his face again. He didn't move.

... Ken?

I didn't answer. I said nothing at all, biting my lips to make the point that I would not speak. Maiko Shirakawa walked up to me, slapped me across the face, and demanded once more:

'Who do you work for?'

'How did you find out about us?'

'Where are the rest of you?'

She must have thought I came from one of her opponents in the industry. No, woman, I'm a part of Weiß, the people who eliminate those in the darkness, like you. It wasn't necessary for you to know, because you would soon be dead, my friends would come to get you.

I received a punch in the stomach and my body responded by vomiting. It had wanted to do that for a long time.

'It doesn't matter if you don't tell us. As long as we have you here, the rest of you will show up and we'll get rid of all of you then.' She smirked, 'In case you want to know, the bodyguard you crashed your Beetle into recognised you. He's woken up.'

She left with the other men and I heard a key turn the lock.

Get rid of us? No, I would not bring them all here to be killed. They would come here to finish you and get me home. I trusted them to do this.

Just be careful, my friends.

The sedative had put me into short sleep in the car earlier. The dream I had was so vivid I could almost still feel Ken's warm skin against my fingers, see the way the headlight illuminated our faces, the way the sparkle in his eyes faded. I didn't know what happened to him in the end because of the drug, but in my dream, he had...

It's just a dream... They couldn't have killed Ken. If they wanted him to bring the rest of my teammates here, surely they wouldn't have killed him. No, Ken was too smart to get shot. He must still be alive, must be...

I would just have to wait for them. I didn't feel fear, even though I was held captive right here by this woman. Aya, Ken and Omi would find me. I just had to wait and stay alive for that.

My empty stomach tried to throw up and only a throat burning liquid came out. Maybe my stomach acid. Not that it mattered, because it didn't make me feel any better or worse. I wormed my way to the corner of the empty room with my tied hands and feet, my arm sending me painful messages because it had been twisted to the back. I definitely didn't look good at this state. I had no choice but to scare them when they see me. They would be rather shocked to see Kudou Youji looking like this, wouldn't they? A drug addict with a broken arm, bounded by hands and feet, shivering and trying to vomit, plus the bonus of five finger marks on the face. Oh don't forget the cheek that had just started to swell from Aya's punch. This was like nothing I had imagined, they shouldn't be seeing me like this, no... don't look at me. Must try to crack up some jokes when they get here, make my appearance something to be laughed at instead of something to be worried about. How much time do I have? Perhaps another half an hour before they get here... come on Youji, where's your sense of humour, you must think of some good jokes...


Aya! Get down and stay still!

Need help with European history?

No more freaking red kidney beans, please.

There's only one Tokyo University in the world.

Do you ever learn something with a different intention?

To have him put to death means we are no longer complete.



... What was that?

Had I fallen asleep? For how long? I managed to fall asleep at this state? But then again, why not. Even with the sickness and pain I felt, I was tired enough to go to sleep. I could do it because I felt secure, even now.

It was a real explosion that I heard. It wasn't part of my dream. My friends had arrived and made their entrance.

Persist, my man. They'll be here very soon. The girl got what she wanted through persistance. You can do it too.

'I had that floppy disk since a long time ago and they still haven't given up yet. Neither should you.'

'... to us he is still a part of Weiß and to have him put to death means we are no longer complete.'

I let my jerking body relax and be enveloped in the faith that they would come for me soon, and drifted off to sleep again. A dreamless one.

Perhaps I was just silly, but it was always good to have someone to believe in.

At least I would die happy.

... Although the punk's words still rung in my head:

'Yes, but life doesn't usually work that way.'

[end chapter eleven]

chapter ten chapter twelve