Together In The Dark

Chapter 8

"How's it coming," Takano whispered. The lighter had been off for who knows how long. Takano had fallen asleep twice, and Onodera had told him he slept for a while, so he estimated that they had been in the room three days and two nights. However, it was impossible to know for sure. He and Onodera had not spoken that much since Onodera broke his glasses, but the continuous sound of scraping on the floor filled the room.

The scraping momentarily stopped, presumably because Onodera was feeling the two ear pieces of the glasses. "It's getting there," Onodera answered. "Probably just a little while longer and they will be able to fit into the lock." Onodera tried to focus on what he was doing again, but he felt very feverish, sweaty, and all together not well. The bleeding in his leg had seemed to have stopped. He hadn't looked at it since Takano had bound it, though. But the entire area felt incredibly hot. Ritsu desperately wanted some water, really anything that would help cool him down.

Scraping began to fill the room again as Onodera set to work again. Takano listened momentarily before sighing and asking the question that had been burning in his head since he and Onodera had been thrown in the room. "Why do they think your family can pass that legislation?"

The scraping stopped again before Onodera answered, "I don't know. We don't have any political ties, unless my father has friends he's never told my mom and me about. But… that has happened before. I have no idea what they hoped to gain."

"What else are you thinking," Takano asked quietly.

"W… what?"

"Your holding something else back, aren't you."

There was silence in the darkness as Takano waited for Onodera to respond. "They shot me right away. They haven't given us food or water… They're not worried about keeping us alive… That means, as soon as they get what they want, they're going to kill us," Onodera quietly stated.

"That's why you're working on making some lock picks?"

Onodera nodded his head as he said, "Yes. We need to get out of here before then."

"We've been in here for three days, when do you think they will come?"

"I don't want to find out," Onodera sighed as he began scraping again.

The silence persisted for a while before Takano spoke up again. "The last thing I said to my mother was 'I wish you'd go to hell.'"

Onodera stopped momentarily before asking, "Why?"

"It was when I was in college and she was about to get remarried. I was furious with her because she finally told me I was a bastard child. She was trying to… I guess ease my mind about the divorce, even though I was fine, but it pretty much ended up backfiring. I can still remember the look on her face when I told her that. It was so hurt, pained, and angry… I… I haven't spoken to her since."

"How old were you?"

"I was about to enter my second year of college so I was nineteen."

"Your twenty-eight now! That was nine years ago!" Takano just took a deep breath at this. "As much as she annoys and stresses me out, I couldn't imagine not talking to my mom for nine years."

"Yah, well, we have different backgrounds. I come from a divorced family and you somehow come from one that involves lock-picking. Care to tell me the story behind that?"

"It's a closed door."

"A closed door that involves you," Takano paused to let that sink in. "I told you before in the Toukhoku Region, I want to know everything about you."

There was quiet again in the dark room. Takano waited for Ritsu to tell him that he was being an idiot again. "I'll tell you only when I'm sure we're going to die," Ritsu sighed. Scraping again filled the room as the conversation ended.


"I think… I got them done," Ritsu breathed heavily, a few hours later. The heat pulsating from his leg and body had continued to get worse, as did his sweat. Had Ritsu been able to see, he would have found his vision had become blurry.

Takano quickly flipped open his lighter so they could look at the make shift lock picks. "They looked pretty good," Takano said as he turned his gaze to Ritsu. "Ritsu," he exclaimed touching Onodera's face, "You're burning up!"

"I'm okay, I'm okay. We just need to get out of here!"

"No we need to… let me see your leg." Ristu simply nodded and rested his head against the wall as Takano began to unwrap the bandage around Ritsu leg. When the wound was finally revealed, there were no words to describe it. It was clearly infected. Takano tried to think how it could have happened, he had been careful when he was tending it. Then he remembered…

"Onodera," called Takano. There was a small moan in reply. Takano stood up and felt his pockets. The kidnappers hadn't bothered to go through the pockets at all! Takano quickly pulled out his new cigarette lighter and flipped it open. Granted it was a crappy light source, but right then it felt like pure gold. Takano saw Onodera curled up in the fetal position in the corner and made his way towards him. "Onodera, let me see." Takano saw Onodera shivering uncontrollably. "Onodera, show me."

Onodera shivered some more before rolling onto his stomach, on the dirty floor, before turning to Takano so he was on his left side. He removed his hands from his right thigh to show Takano. The dirty floor had caused the infection!

"You need a hospital!" Takano exclaimed, worry evident on his face.

"Mmm," Ritsu mumbled with his eyes closed.

"We need to get out of here."

"What do… you think… I've been trying to do?"

"Ritsu." That's when Takano realized Ritsu had pretty much been running on adrenalin since he got into this room. Now that he had finished what he had been focusing on the entire time, he was starting to crash. Ritsu hadn't slept since they had been in here. "Ritsu, how do you pick locks? You're in no condition to do it you're going to tell me what to do."

"Mmm, okay… here's what… you do," Ristu started to explain.

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