When Things Fall Apart (The Sleepover: Part 2)
[5 minutes ago, on the other side of town]
Sweat was dripping down his furrowed brow, forming a thin layer of wetness on his skin. His muscles were so tense, he wa trembling. Breathing heavily, he ignored the smell of his own irony blood as the gash on his leg bled out, pooling into a shiny red puddle on the ground. He held his arms out in front of him, the cold metal for once heavy in his large, calloused hands.
There he was, standing across from him – the murderer. He was wearing a mask, but he, too, was visibly fatigued. The man was holding a gun, aiming it at his face. Still, despite his huffing and puffing, the criminals hands were steady.
"You have nowhere to run."
"Who said I would run?" The officer snarled. "I've been waiting for this moment for a long time."
"Because I hate you."
"The feeling's mutual."
Sabo held his Chopperman toy close, anxiously sucking on one of its antlers as his body shook with suppressed sobs. He stood in the doorway, watching as Law tried to calm Ace, who just seconds ago had been thrashing around and crying hysterically in his sleep. Killer was rocking Luffy, who was wailing loudly, tears falling down his flushed red cheeks. Sanji and Zoro were frozen in place, shocked looks on their faces as they stared at their hysterical friend. Kidd looked stuck, like he wanted to reach out to help the slightly younger boy, but he didn't know how.
"Sabo?" The young boy jumped, startled, and turned to Law. The teen was looking at him with desperate eyes. "Has this ever happened before? Do you know how to make it stop?"
The blond child sniffed and shook his head miserably. "Nuh-uh. Not like this. Never like this," His mumbled turned into a whine and he let out a choked, strangled sob. He hated seeing his brother like this, in pain, inconsolable.
Everyone was silent for a moment. The only sounds that pierced the quiet were the whimpering of Luffy and the frantic, sleep-hazed mumblings of Ace.
The silence became tense when a fierce pounding echoed through the apartment.
Kidd scrambled to his feet and yanked Sabo out of the doorway, pulling him farther into the room right as a loud shot was heard. He put his hand over the younger child's mouth as he bit his own lip to keep from screaming. After that, no one moved. The pounding resumed.
Law very gently and quickly picked Ace up and put him in the bed with Sanji and Zoro. He motioned for Kidd and Sabo to get on it too and Killer, getting the idea, handed Luffy to Zoro, who held the baby close in his panic.
Law and Killer exchanged glances. Law moved to the closet of the bedroom and began rummaging around in it while Killer got as close as he could to the boys and began speaking to them calmly, trying to soothe their fraying nerves.
"Listen to me. You are all to stay here. Keep as quiet as you possibly can. Law and I are going to-"
"Wait, Killer, no-"
Killer put his palm over Kidd's mouth, bringing his finger up to his lips in a shushing gesture. "We'll be fine, Kidd."
"Here," The redhead looked to the side at Law, who was holding a knife out to the child. "Only use this if they manage to get in here."
"Law, why do you have a gun?" Sanji whispered in terrified awe as Kidd slowly accepted the knife, looking down at the rather large blade in horror, the reality of the situation sinking in. Law glanced at the blond and then looked away, turning to Killer and handing him a pair of brass knuckles. The blond took them and uneasily put them on, staring at Law with wary eyes.
"Killer, let's go."
Sabo watched them walk out the door silently. He was silently crying on Sanji's lap right now, but right then he pushed the fear to the back of his mind. He wondered why Law had a tortured look in his eyes at the mention of the gun.
He wondered why Law looked so afraid of himself.
The sound of screeching wheels echoed off of the walls of brick and cement buildings on the currently empty street. It was eerie, light by only a couple of light's currently running on reserve power.
The man jumped off of his motorcycle and quickly put down the kickstand so it wouldn't topple over with the slightest touch. He ripped his helmet off and put it on the handlebars as he turned, running into the building he was parked in front of. He ran through the reception, unsurprised when he noticed that the receptionist was on the ground. He didn't check to see if he was bleeding or not, he just kept running, avoiding the elevator and heading to the stairs in the back. He shoved his body against the door to the exit stairs and began to sprint up them, going two steps at a time.
Just as he passed the first six steps, he heard a gunshot. He froze for a second before cursing loudly and pushing his body to move faster. He pulled his own gun out from the inside of his dark purple leather jacket.
As he turned on the third set of stairs to head to the third floor, he saw a woman standing up there. She turned upon hearing him and he brought his gun up as she brought up her own. He was faster, however. The first shot missed and he cursed, but before she could get over the shock of the bullet being shot at her, he pulled the trigger two more times. One skimmed her arm, the other hit her right breast. He didn't stop to look at her and just continued running. He was chanting quietly to himself, "Please be safe, please be safe, I'm coming, hold on."
When he burst open the door to the floor his family lived on and he heard the gunshots, he pushed his body to move faster than before.
Killer crouched down in the shadows of the back of the hall while Law stood flat against the wall, eyes trained on the door at the end of the hall. He shuffled slowly and quietly, breathing as quietly as he possibly could. His fingers smoothed over the cool metal in his hands, twitching occasionally at the familiar feel in his palms.
The pounding on the door stopped and Law froze, eyes widening. His bare feet were rooted to the ground as he held his breath. A bead of sweat from anxiety formed on his forehead, dripping down the side of his face distractingly. He shifted back slightly to see if he could wipe it off of his jaw with his shoulder while trying to move as little as possible.
The sound of a gunshot echoed throughout the floor of the building and Law bit back a curse as the bullet grazed his arm, imbedding itself into the wall right next to him. He brought his own hands up and aimed for the door, not caring for the wood as he pulled on the trigger. He heard a scream and then, the pounding came back louder, but with more purpose.
Kidd flinched at the sound of pounding and another gunshot. He had a feeling that they wouldn't be getting out of here in one piece, not all of them. The thought sent trembles down his spine.
Kidd looked behind him at his friends. Sabo was clutching Sanji's shirt in a fierce grip, wrinkling the fabric, but the older blond didn't seem to care. Zoro was curled up with Luffy, trying to calm the baby down with soft words so unlike the boy that Kidd realized both of them were just as terrified as he was, even if they were acting brave.
His eyes turned to Ace. The child was awake now, but he wasn't completely there. His eyes looked dead, and he looked as if he was mumbling something even though no sound escaped his pale lips. Kidd gulped, worrying for the boy but at the same time he was jealous, because he was completely unaware of the danger…
But maybe his nightmares were worse than this. Kidd wasn't sure. He just wanted to leave this place.
Kidd's eyes turned back to the door when he heard a loud thud, and he prayed Law and Killer were safe.
Before Law could move, the door had been knocked down. He brought the gun up and quickly aimed, firing at one of the masked men. It just barely missed as the man moved to the side, running forward at the teen. Law ran towards him and then, with perfect timing, ducked and rolled between his running legs, as though he had done it before. With practiced ease, he brought the gun up and shot for the man's back. Just as he fell, a hard force connected with Law's back, knocking him over to the ground. Law grunted in pain as a foot stomped on the back of his head, but then it was forcefully moved. Law quickly got to his hands and knees and turned. Killer was on the man that had just pinned Law, but a third man was behind the unsuspecting teen.
As fast as he could, Law turned and aimed at the bat-wielding man, hitting him right in the gut. The man let out a quick shout and the bat fell from his limp hands as he curled in on himself.
Law shouted as a bullet lodged itself into his shoulder. He looked up as he gripped his bloody left shoulder with his right hand, his body trembling from shock. He glared at the doorway, where a large, looming figure stood.
His vision blurred as he struggled to get to his feet, but his trembling legs couldn't hold him up. He couldn't manage to form words or sounds as Killer stood and charged the man, only to be knocked out when the man attacked him and hit him over his head with the butt of his gun.
Law realized he had dropped the gun when he got shot. With his unharmed yet bloody hand, he reached for the weapon, never taking his eyes of the slowly approaching figure. He reached for it blindly on the floor, the blood on his hand causing it to slip over the polished wood. With a glower, he raised the weapon to the larger man.
The man, unfazed, lifted his foot and brought it down on the uninjured limb. Law's body fell forward at the unexpected force and he opened his mouth in a silent scream as he thought he felt bone crack. He raised his eyes after a few moments, filled with hatred. The man just stared down at him, uncaring. The man raised his gun, but Law's gaze didn't falter, not even as the safety was released.
The sound of gunshots bounced off of the walls. The man above Law gasped and his blood splattered on Law's face. He fell forward, almost falling on Law, but tanned hands grabbed the falling man and shoved him out of the way. And then the new man was on the ground, wrapping the wound on his arm and trying to talk to him, but everything was blurry and he couldn't hear that well anymore. Maybe he had lost too much blood. But, at least there were no more bad guys. No one would hurt his brothers and friends, not with Marco here.
The relief he felt allowed him to pass out as the adrenaline wore off and his body attempted to heal itself.
Tashigi felt frozen in place as she stared at the scene before her.
There wasn't much to it. It looked like a usual crime scene, and she had witnessed plenty atrocities. Recently she had seen some of the worst yet. This one wasn't as bad. There were no guts, no mangled bodies, but it was still completely nerve wracking because there was no one there, just blood splattered everywhere.
The flashing lights of the cop cars behind her light up the scene and made the shadows dance in disturbing patterns. She didn't really hear what they were saying, and she didn't care either. She was relieved they had let her in, as the entrance to the alley had been closed off with the yellow police tape.
A few witnesses were being questioned, two of the five sobbing hysterically. They had been the ones to stumble upon this mess.
Tashigi fell to her knees. She heard one of the other officers asking if she was okay, and honestly, she wasn't. She stared at the blood-covered wallet on the ground, one she recognized because she had bought it as a birthday gift for her partner because his old wallet was falling apart. She knew it was his, even without the pictures of his family that had fallen out and been stained red.
But there was no one there. No bodies. No sign of a victim or a criminal. There was only blood and a wallet. There were no clues as to where anyone was.
"Smoker…where are you?"