View Full Version : taty|noir

10-04-2004, 21:49
I haven’t posted a fanfic on this forum before, so here’s my first. It’s basically the anime Noir rewritten and crossed with Tatu, and I must hasten to add I don’t own either. (worse luck!) The first chapter will conform quite a lot to the Noir storyline, but it'll become a lot different in later installments. Hope you enjoy.

Chapter One - The Beginning

Paris, France, early twenty-first century.
As the new morning sunlight scythed through the misty morning air above the stirring city, it flowed across the buildings and cut through the spaces in a half-closed venetian blind. This particular blind was hanging in a large bay window in a penthouse apartment, situated in one of the more fashionable districts of the city. The light cast a slatted shadow onto the bed below the window, falling in gentle bands across the face of the pretty girl sleeping there.
She stirred faintly, a dreamy smile flitting across her lips. Opening one misty grey eye, she tested the world as a swimmer dips a toe into cold water – not quite sure whether to plunge forward or draw back. Finally she pushed herself up and rubbed her eyes sleepily, yawning as she did so. Sitting on the bed in the slatted half-light, she glanced around her apartment to check everything was in order before swinging her legs out of the side of the bed and falling back asleep.
Ten minutes later she was in the modern steel-and-glass kitchen that ran down one side of the living room, making a cup of coffee and humming softly to herself. She was dressed in nothing other than an oversized shirt, her tussled strawberry-blonde curls of hair clustering around her birdlike face. Even in her trancelike morning state she was enchanting, and as she began to water her plants in the sunlight anyone alive would have sworn she was beautiful.
How lovely to be alive, she thought, taking her coffee cup to her settee. I’m lucky, I really am.
As she settled down on the elegant sofa, her grey eyes fell on a copy of Vogue that lay strewn carelessly across the glass table. Picking it up, she tucked her feet beneath her and flicked through the pages idly. She had a dress sense all her own but prided herself on playing with fashion as she saw fit.
Nothing caught her wandering interest, so she put the magazine back down and drained her coffee.
“What am I going to do today?” she wondered aloud. “Maybe I have a client.”
Stretching like a cat in the sunshine, she pondered for a second before pushing herself up and walking to her pool table. It was situated in the middle of the open-plan apartment, and she occasionally used it as a computer desk. The rest of the apartment was mostly white, with minimalist furnishings and neutral tones. She conformed to the stylish, timeless theme of steel and glass, sparing no expense on the quality and beauty of her surroundings.
Placing the coffee cup on the pool table next to her computer, she switched the machine on before leaving it to boot up as she dressed. Clothes didn’t really interest Lena – she found them fleetingly interesting, just like the boyfriends she changed weekly. They were all the same; rich, stylish, strikingly good-looking and completely boring.
Slipping into her preferred outfit, she ran a brush through her hair and surveyed herself critically in one of the apartment’s many wall-length mirrors.
Her figure was certainly a breathtaking one. She was wearing a tight-fitting sleeveless red rollneck, which she knew emphasized her admirable proportions. Slightly below her waist she had tied a classic belt, and her hips gave way into a striking, short black skirt. With these clothes she always wore black boots to accent her perfect legs. Her curls were falling out into a slightly-waved classic style, dyed from her natural red to a Parisian ash blonde.
The finishing look was that of a feminine young girl, just tipping the dark side of innocence with large grey eyes and an enchanting smile.
The truth was very different.
Settling lightly on a chair placed against the pool table, the young woman tapped a key and waited for her email to load up. Her eyes quickly scanned the inbox, mentally sorting through the junk mail and unpromising letters. One email caught her eye, but she took the time to delete the useless ones before opening it to read.
Instantly a picture loaded up on the computer screen, causing Lena to blink in bemusement. It was only a small photo, but as she stared at it she found herself captivated. It was simply the head and shoulders of a young girl; a girl who could have been no older than eighteen. She had enormous dark eyes and a beautiful bone structure, her hair was short and black and it flicked out at the ends. She looked like nothing more than a schoolgirl, but her face held a tragic and old expression that Lena couldn’t quite put her finger on. Nevertheless, the openness with which the girl faced the screen disturbed her.
Underneath the picture a single line of words scrolled out, reading:
Come on a voyage with me. Yulia Volkova.
Lena read and reread the sentence. Finally she shrugged and moved her mouse to tap the delete button, but just before she could something happened. Her computer speakers began to play a melody. It was a soft, haunting tune that echoed through Lena’s past and brought hidden memories to the surface.
She paused, her eyes narrowing. What was this? Some sort of sick joke?
The melody repeated itself softly before fading away into the still sunlit air. The young woman was utterly unable to move, frozen in thought. Her eyes never left the screen, but finally and very slowly she reached under the edge of the pool table to withdraw a sleek gun with her questing fingers. Tucking it neatly into her belt, she took her wallet from beside the computer and glanced at the email address that gave her all the information she needed to know.
“Right,” she said softly, eyes cold and sinister, “I guess I’ll be going to Moscow then.”
With this she left the computer and walked out of the apartment, pausing for nothing more than to grab a well-cut black jacket and sling it over her shoulder. She let the door shut with a quiet click behind her, and peace returned to the apartment once more.
In the calm, sunlit air filled with a million dancing specks of dust, everything echoed silently as the melody began to play once more.

The graphic title for this chapter is located here:Click (http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/Chapterone.jpg)

Ann t..A.T.u.
11-04-2004, 21:42
hey ur postin here to i love this fic n now i actually wanna c the real show!1 :D :D

keep it up :coctail:

Veggie Delite
11-04-2004, 23:21
hmm... i really like this.

very nice descriptions :)

14-04-2004, 13:50
ohh I'm going to like this one too!! she got a gun!!!

14-04-2004, 20:52
Ann T..a.t.u - thanks for noticing! I'm glad you want to see the show, I can only recommend it.

$in - I'm pleased you like it so far, I do try quite hard with descriptions in taty|noir so I'm really pleased you approve.

Denial - glad you like it, and well done for noticing! :)

Chapter Two - In the Air

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. On behalf of myself and the cabin crew I’d like to welcome you aboard this flight to Moscow, Russia. Our flying time will be quite considerable, so we’d like to take this opportunity to invite you to make full use of our inflight facilities. The cabin crew will begin to serve drinks and snacks shortly after takeoff, with the evening meal following soon after. As you know this is an overnight flight, so the main lights will be dimmed at ten o’clock local time, when our inflight entertainment system and movie choices become available. If you have any problems please ask any member of the cabin crew and they will be glad to assist you. The main stewardess tonight will be Sophie, and for first class the chaperone tonight is Andre. We wish you a safe and comfortable flight with us, and we shall be taking off shortly.”
Lena handed her jacket to the chaperone, who took it with a courteous nod. As a regular traveller, she never bothered to save money on flights and always flew first-class. Besides, long-run flights in economy would be hell.
Settling back into her large seat, she adjusted the cushions behind her head and unzipped her boots. Plucking the inflight entertainment magazine from the seat pocket next to her, she scanned the movies that were available for the flight, and with a slight sigh of distaste realised she’d already seen all of them.
“I fly too much.”
To her brief surprise, a hand appeared on the curtained parting between her seat and the adjoining, and the screen was pushed back to reveal the owner of the hand – a smiling old woman.
“Do you, dear?” she asked, amiably.
Lena sat back and stared coldly at her. She hated being talked to, especially on flights when her thoughts were her own. In an extremely deadpan voice, she replied.
“Yes, it’s one of the reasons why I fly first class.”
“Oh yes?” asked the woman, genuinely interested, “what’s the other reason?”
Lena looked at her through half-closed eyes, her long eyelashes setting off her classically dark features. “To be alone.”
The old woman went on unperturbed. “Why would you want to be alone, dear? I would have thought a pretty young girl like you would want company…?”
Lena sighed angrily. “Yes, but not of the old woman variety! Goodnight!” With this she yanked at the screen and slid it back, a cold smile creasing her lips at the harrumphing emerging from the other side of the curtain.
She really hated being talked to.
The takeoff was smooth, and the airplane quickly settled into the calm, quiet murmur of a happy plane-load of travellers. Ten o’clock came and went, and took the lights with it. Still Lena was reclining in her seat, having not visibly moved. Her dinner had been delivered and spirited away uneaten half an hour later, and a glass of complementary Champagne bubbled by her right hand.
Her eyes remained half-shut, focusing on nothing really. Lena let her mind drift to wherever it wanted to, and was quietly furious when it returned to the one subject she seemed destined to dwell on – her family.
“Lena!” her father cried, his large grey eyes smiling. His strong arms were spread out in a wide embrace as the child ran towards her gentle, loving Papa. The little girl rushed towards him, her hair tied up with a pink ribbon and the full pink skirt of her child’s dress flying out behind her.
“Papa!” She threw herself into his embrace, closing her eyes and breathing in the deep summer scent of the Corsican sea-meadows. They were covered in yellow flowers and kissed by the light, set high on the cliffs above the aquamarine waves. A few birds circled lazily in the clear blue sky high above, and the sun shone down with the smiling benevolence that can only exist in childhood memories.
Little Lena was so happy then; so carefree. She knew nothing, only the endless summer days with her parents and younger brother in their Corsican mansion, their calm and immortal faces beautiful in her memory – beautiful and eternally young. Her parents had been quiet and very wise, and always gentle and loving towards their two treasured children. The little ones were growing strong and golden in the warm sea air and the ever-present sunshine, their eyes were clear and they were healthy and energetic.
Their father was so proud of them. He worshipped his elder daughter, and had very high hopes for his intelligent little boy, his six-year-old son. They were to carry on the line of the noble Corsican Katins, beheld in the highest circles as both an ancient and noble family.
Lena began to rub her temples, a headache beginning to throb through her head.
This was where her memory became sketchy. All she knew was that tiled pattern of their floor, those wide black-and-yellow tiles. She was walking slowly towards the large double-doors at the end of a corridor, her big grey eyes troubled and wide. Something was calling her towards and beyond the doors, into the large sitting room that lay beyond – the sitting room where her beloved family was relaxing.
Clutching her teddy bear to her heart, she took hesitant steps towards those doors. Something was desperately wrong, and dread was beginning to lay its icy grip on her heart. Placing a tiny hand against the cold, hard wood, she pushed it aside gently and moved slowly into the room. Suddenly her teddy bear fell from her hands as her grey eyes took in the scene revealed to her; the sight that met her gaze was…
…utterly gone.
Lena shoved the bases of her palms into her eyes and rubbed them hard, frustration building into anxiety. She’d blocked out almost the entirety of her childhood memories, with only half-formed and extremely disturbing flashbacks to remind her that she’d ever been young at all.
The next thing she’d known, she was boarding at a Finishing school in the English countryside, shivering as the unnaturally cold drizzle soaked through her rapidly paling skin, crying as the trauma of her blocked out memories washed over her again and again. She had no friends; she preferred the soliditude of her anguish to their menial, cheery gossiping. Working her pain out into her studies, Lena left the school under protection of an unknown guardian with superb grades, and still no idea where her family had so abruptly vanished to. She’d been provided for, and once she reached the age of eighteen had come into an unexpected fortune of undisclosed millions. With this she’d uprooted herself and left for the sophistication and aloofness of the young city of Paris, where she could forget about forgetting and get on with her new life. She had worked long and hard to try and make sense of her fragmented life, and had acquired discipline and ruthlessness, becoming a cold, elegant and distant beauty with a heart of absolute ice. However, this was not the end of her story so far, not even a part of it.
Lena had another skill.
She was inexplicably, extremely and unflinchingly good at killing. From the very earliest England days, her guardian had anonymously provided for her, with stipulations about classes she must attend. From the first the broken child was trained studiously in the arts of fencing, gymnastics, athletics and duelling. Upon reaching the age of ten, she was drilled furiously in martial arts, quickly acquiring knowledge of Taekwondo, Karate, Kung fu, White Tiger, and the darker art of Jeet Kwan Do. She was encouraged to spend her time in exercise and fitness, practising – always practising.
When she turned twelve, Lena was taken to her first shooting lesson. Instantly taking to it with an inexplicable avarice, she began to dedicate her studying time to learning about weapons, guns in particular. Something within her seemed to stir and awaken with the tremors of firing, with the soft clink of empty shells falling, with the acrid smell of gunpowder. As she progressed in years, the Corsican child became sleek and sharp, excelling her tutors’ wildest expectations. She handled guns with the beauty and simplicity of a born natural, prompting no end of strange looks and whispered conversations among her teachers. Fighting came naturally to her, and when by the end of her formal education she had mastered Judo and unprotected Fencing, she was renowned as a prominent future success in the field of combat sports. In an obscure way, Lena felt tied to her ability to kill. It wasn’t that she liked it – it was just that she was very good at it. Terminally so.
Seeing as how it seemed to be something she could do far better than anyone else, she began to invest interest in it, emerging with a career clear in her mind.
Lena Katin was to be a private Assassin, paid for death. She knew the price of life to a penny, but it was never the money that interested her or drew her to her job; she didn’t need it. It was simply something deeper than that, but she had never been able to work out exactly what…or maybe she was afraid to.
She hadn’t delved too deeply into the issue, enjoying instead her time in Paris among the young and rich. She was not a socialite, but she attended certain parties and ran in certain circles, and was occasionally contacted by anonymous clients requesting formally that a certain contact of theirs be “eliminated”. In these cases the requested man or woman simply disappeared from society, quietly and without fuss a few days later. Lena was extremely good at her life – by day she was a rich, elegant Parisian plaything with a penthouse apartment – by night an invisible Assassin, cloaked in the shadows. Everything was, up to an extent, fine.
Or it had been, up to that morning.
How could an email from a Moscow school address, a simple play of a few soft notes and the honest and open picture of a young girl shake Lena’s carefully built up world to its foundations?
Sitting now in the warm airplane, gazing out of a hazy window at the oceans below, the young Assassin’s eyebrows furrowed and her eyes became cold and determined.
Whatever it is, she vowed silently, I’ll find out.

Veggie Delite
14-04-2004, 22:32
i already read the story written so far on the other forum, and i must say it's excellent :)

maybe u could post everything here too :ithink:

now i'm interested in that noir anim too...

15-04-2004, 14:01
She's an assassin!! OMG! where is prostrel?? *looks around* ..

thanks for update tatufreak! update soon!


23-04-2004, 12:20
By: tatufreak

Thank you so much for the comments! Hope you enjoy C3, I know it's moving quite slowly so far but setting the scene's important, hope you guys agree...and don't worry, it's gonna get very cool soon, I promise.

Chapter three - Surveillance


Whirrrrrp. Whirrrrrrp. Whirrrrrp.
Lena sighed in complete apathy as she played with her electric window. Sitting in a long red convertible, she had the hood down and the heating at full blast.
“Cold little hole,” she muttered, tapping the dashboard dials. Pulling her jacket closer around her small frame, she shivered in the Moscow winter air, finding herself completely unprepared for the bitter temperatures. Her hired car was drawn alongside a curb near a school. It was a local city school, just one of many, but Lena had done some fast detective work and located its position from the email address the mysterious Yulia Volkova had used.
Now, sitting outside the building itself, Lena pursed her lips with an inscrutable expression. The school was one of the city’s many state-supported educational establishments, battling to teach a few hundred children on a tiny budget and fighting against recessions and over-jealous cost cutting. It reeked of Communism and discipline, echoing lifelessly into the dull streets. In the distance a bell rang, signalling the end of the day. Within moments children and young adults appeared from nowhere, milling around and chatting.
The scene was a dismal one. Slabs of broken and dusty concrete were creased with mud and people. They stood around and shouted at each other, heavy backpacks pulling them down while they talked aimless babble in a language Lena couldn’t understand. Behind them rose the school building, grey and unwelcoming. Mostly prefabricated, it had the bitter taste of disappointment about it that brought one thought to the watching Assassin’s mind – This is where dreams are broken by reality.
The school building sat like a watching animal with windows for eyes, greedily sucking in the life of the unconscious students that milled around inside it. The dismal scene was overhung ominously by a heavy black sky; rain was beginning to sleet the ground as the wind chilled the skinny bare legs of the girls wearing their strictly compulsory uniforms.
One girl in particular caught Lena’s eye instantly. She was standing in the centre of the crowd with her back to the Assassin, surrounded by chattering friends. Something about her fearless posture and brave stance gave her a quaintly herolike attitude, and when Lena caught a glimpse of her short black hair she knew she’d found her mysterious contact.
So, the Parisian said to herself, what now?
As if in response to her question, the younger girl suddenly looked round. The wind whipped a frenzy around Lena’s car and strange shouts seemed to echo through the air as dark crashed into grey. The hunter and the hunted locked gaze, the former suspicious and angry, the latter honest and sad.
“Who are you?” Lena whispered, and found in surprise and shock that she was unable to hold the girl’s open stare. Her eyes dropped of their own accord in front of the purity evident in the dark child’s face. In a flash the young Parisian was ashamed – terribly ashamed…but of what?
Lena frowned. She had no idea, and this was stupid. She lifted her eyes again, and with the truth dawned on her with slow horror.
The girl was gone.
As her eyes quickly searched for the student in the crowd, Lena cursed in fury. How could she have lost her? She had been right there, among the busy crowd, right there next to the walkway…
Quickly the Assassin revved her car and threw her arm across the back of the passenger seat, twisting round to see behind her as she backed up. Students parted around the red car as it reversed, conscious that the driver was in a hurry. Indeed she was, and as Lena twisted the steering wheel to execute a perfect three point turn she was almost ready to plough right through the crowd to find the dark-haired girl. She didn’t have to however, and soon found herself cruising grimly along the street perpendicular to the school, eyes firmly locked on the little figure that was calmly walking along in front of her. Lena was sure the girl knew she was there, but it was obvious that she didn’t care or simply wasn’t afraid.
Crawling along at walking pace only served to aggravate the young Assassin’s already-tense mood, but it was not for nothing that she’d been drilled in the calm of martial arts to combat her flashing natural temper. She could wait just as long as this young Yulia could.
Yulia Volkova. The name rang a bell – it was achingly faint and distant, but it certainly touched a memory buried deep in the locked off part of Lena’s mind. The sight of the girl had incapacitated her briefly as the swirling depths had temporarily parted to reveal something terrible, tragic, beautiful…
Lena suddenly snapped herself out of her reverie. They seemed to have reached a destination – a dilapidated and abandoned building painted in drab shades of grey where the brown bricks didn’t show through the cracks. Without hesitation or slowing the girl continued to walk towards the ancient office block, drawing Lena tantalisingly in, drawing ever closer.
The young student quietly paused in her stride, causing the Assassin to draw in her breath silently. With a quick glance to the left, the dark child turned into a doorway in the side of the building and disappeared from sight.
Back in the car, Lena forced herself to count to five slowly.
One…two…three…here’s my gun…let’s go.
Snapping back the door handle, she slid from the convertible and loaded her weapon with the speed and confidence of a master. She didn’t think that she’d need it to face a young girl, but as Lena leaned against the side of the car her eyes dropped to study the ground with an unexpected twinge of regret. She was ruthless, heartless and completely merciless, trained that way since childhood. With a feeling of guilt that she felt none at all, she knew that if this pursuit was for nothing more productive than a sick joke, there would be one less student attending the decrepit Moscow school in the morning.
A twisted smile creased her pretty face as a dark expression infused her blue-grey eyes with determination, chasing away the fleeting moment of innocence. Lena wasn’t cruel really, she was just terribly good, both at her job and at chasing away her self-destructive seconds of humanity. She had to be a ruthless machine or she would never survive in the world she had created for herself.
After judging a suitable amount of time to have passed the Assassin shrugged off momentary feelings of hesitation at the pursuit of the young Yulia, busying instead herself with the preparation of her gun and checking the scene for possible exits and escape routes, just in case anything went wrong.
Taking a deep breath, Lena slid her gun into her purse and began strolling towards the building, Assassin senses on high alert.
She was ready for anything that came at her, and her spine tingled in anticipation of a chase.
"Let the game begin."

23-04-2004, 12:37
By: tatufreak

As if by magic... :)

Chapter four – Intrigue

Footsteps echoed through the empty halls, retreating into distant obscurity.
Rats scuttled in consternation, their quivering whiskers and paws frozen in mid-activity.
Darkness pervaded every corner of the abandoned building; sinister doors and twisting staircases ricocheting loneliness as they watched the still intruder with malicious silence. Here in the stillness Lena waited patiently, straining her ears for any subtle noise that might betray the position of her young target.
Above and far away she could hear footfalls, but as she twisted her head upwards she couldn’t pinpoint the direction. The empty walls and corridors of the building echoed the tiniest sounds, completely distorting any noises and their location.
Lena fought the urge to curse before she began to move. She skirted a fallen beam and ducked under a low-hanging cobweb, brushing it aside with annoyance as she started to mount the stairs. Taking them two at a time with her gun now in her hands and ready for action, she sighted at shadows and mentally admonished herself for her jumpiness.
“An Assassin is always completely calm. We are masters of killing, the glorious perpetrators of remunerated justice. We hold the keys to the door of the Reaper; to be Assassinated is to be privileged - you will meet your Maker at the hands of an artiste. We are a silent assembly of shadows, our minds are always crystal clear and we know no fear. We are deadly, precise, and above all we act with sophistication and composure. We are the elite, and nothing can challenge us. We are the Enigma.”
Lena repeated the words of her Mentor in her head. He had been a mysterious man, engaged for one session when her overall fighting tutor had fallen briefly ill. The impressionable teenager had enquired about Assassination, and the man had replied with that exact speech. Lena had memorised it thoroughly and could recall it at any time. It usually calmed her down, but right now her edginess was more due to the surreality of stalking a little girl than to any fear.
Let’s get this over with.
On the second floor all was still. Ancient beams and exposed bricks lay strewn over the uneven floor, dusty cobwebs hung over piles of rubble and debris. In some places distorted squares of light filtered through the windows, but the majority of the level was bathed in darkness.
Suddenly a little blonde girl turned a somersault and appeared on the other side of a large debris pile, gun extended and eyes searching for movement. Upon seeing nothing, she turned to the left and regarded the scene for any traces of her target, ears open for any noises.
Lena’s head whipped around as footsteps echoed high above her. Without pausing she was on her feet, making her way towards the stairs. Once she’d reached them however, the Assassin was briefly annoyed at finding the third flight entirely missing.
Right then.
Sliding her gun into her belt, she braced herself against the still-present balustrade of the staircase. The marble top was about ten inches wide, completely smooth, and sloped at a forty-degree angle. With a sudden burst of speed Lena pulled herself up, relying on the power of her arms and the sturdy-looking banister support pillars. In no time she’d reached the third floor, and was pleased at finding the next staircase present and correct. Once on the fourth floor however, Lena’s eyes widened as she began to understand exactly what was so strange about the building.
Don’t be stupid, it’s not weird - it was just never built. Not an ancient building, an ancient building site. It’s just a little change of scenario, don’t get thrown off the course.
Overcoming her momentary disconcertion, the gun-weilding Parisian surveyed the scene with trained eyes, assessing her possible routes. The entire fourth level was floor and ceilingless, instead exposed iron and steel beams snaked across the the storey, connecting and twisting around each other.
So that’s why her footsteps echoed like that. How many floors can there be?Let’s see…the building is ten windows high, so not counting ground floor, that’s six to go from now. Surely if I can get past this level the going will be easier…
Fate slipped its icy fingers under Lena’s chin and pulled her head upwards.
Most of the rest of the building was constructed of those same beams and bars.
Suddenly a shadow appeared momentarily far above, catching the corner of Lena’s eye. When she’d turned it was gone, but the Assassin’s senses were stimulated with a thrill, and in no time she was tackling the beams with alacrity.
Swinging herself upwards and along, she reflected that it was probably a good idea that she’d been forced to run obstacle courses in her childhood training days. She was pleased with her muscles and strength, it was obviously not for nothing that she spent most of her days at the gym and the climbing wall. Lena worked hard, and she most definitely got places.
Suddenly she froze, eyes searching up and above. A mechanical noise echoed down the shaft, like a metallic crunch. It was not the noise that had made her pause, it was the proximity. Whatever it was, it had been very, very close.
Now she was two floors higher than she had been, and found to her surprise that at the six storey parts of the floor had been reintroduced. She heaved herself up onto a platform overlooking the central empty space, taking her gun in her hands and quickly sighting to make sure her target wasn’t on that particular level.
That was when she saw it.
Tucked behind a fallen beam, almost completely hidden from sight was a doorway. The door swung from its hinges, and Lena figured the mechanical sound she’d heard earlier was when Yulia Volkova had opened and gone through it.
Here we go.
There was a pause. The building watched, the rats stopped scuttling, and in the sunset sky high above the wheeling birds glanced down to see two figures; one, a small dark child, sitting on an extending beam high above the city, back turned to the other - a blonde girl who was holding a gun to her dark head.
Lena remained in that position for just a second, before she snapped into sense and forced herself to slip her gun back into her purse, nevertheless keeping her hand firmly fixed on it.
“Now,” she said in a hard voice, “you know I’ve been following you.”
The faintest of breezes blew over the two girls, ruffling their hair. Silence filled the air, and the black-haired student gave no idication of having heard the blonde, who tried again.
“What I want to know is, who are you? Why did you contact me?”
Frustration built up in her, and she moved quickly. Grabbing a handful of Yulia’s short dark hair, she pulled her head backwards while she leaned forwards, forcing the child to comply.
“I’ll give you one last chance,” she whispered through gritted teeth, fingering her gun, “tell me exactly who you are and why you contacted me. I’ll count to three…”
Very, very slowly, the dark haired child reached down into her skirt pocket. Her slender fingers quested for an object, which she found and withdrew with a fragile sense of calm. Lena craned forward to see that it was a round silver watch, ornate and decorated with strange figures.
As the younger girl pressed a tiny button, the lid flipped open and the Assassin pulled back, shocked. She let go of the student’s dark hair and stepped away, eyes wide with horror and tears.
The simple melody that echoed in the still air brought half-formed memories flooding back to her, fragmented and broken. They stirred in her mind and threatened to break down her carefully constructed barriers, boiling and angry. She knew the melody, she knew the watch, she knew the girl, but how? As tears rolled down her cheeks, Lena stared at the child sitting in front of her.
“Who am I?” she whispered, and that was when the first bullet struck her.[/quote]

23-04-2004, 12:40
By: tatufreak

Chapter five – Battle

Time slowed.
Lena was heavily conscious of her slow breathing, of the rip of the bullet through her skin. In a funny way, she was also distinctly aware of a sense of reason. It couldn’t have been the girl who had shot her – she was still sitting demurely in front of her. Who was it then? And how did her highly trained senses overlook them?
As she watched the slowed bullet spiral through her arm and out the other side, Lena cracked a faint, ironic smile. She’d been shot. She was never shot. They’d pay for this.
Acting before the pain reached her, the blonde whipped her gun out of her purse with her unhurt left arm and brought it round so that her wrist was pressing down on her bicep shot-wound. With this pressure she briefly stemmed the instant bleeding, while at the same time getting herself ready for her shot. As she turned her head to target the enemy, she was shocked to find not one but two attackers. They were suited men, with uniform buzz-cuts and heavy muscles. Lena took in no more than this, because with two single shots she had killed both of them.
“Bastards! Who are they?” she hissed, but as she turned around all thought of her assailants was banished from her mind, probably due to the fact that the black-haired girl had disappeared into thin air. Lena was left standing on the single beam stretching out six storeys above the street below, utterly confused and alone.
A movement caught her eye beneath her, giving her an idea of how the girl had disappeared. She’d swung herself down onto a rickety scaffold platform three floors below, somehow surviving the long drop and managing to get the hard jump perfectly aimed.
“You set me up! Now you’re gonna pay, just the same way they did!” Lena sprinted back inside the doorway, knowing that attempting the jump with one seriously injured arm was stupid and unrealistic. The moment she got inside shots rang out through the building, confusing her. She threw herself behind a pile of rubble and winced as her arm took the impact. She still had her left wrist pressed against the wound to stem the bleeding, so she’d have to fire over her shoulder – tricky, but by no means impossible.
How many are there? Six? And one upstairs…Yes. First target, the one on the beam near the window. The instantaneous thought flashed through her mind as Lena levelled her weapon and shot at him. She was precise, but it still took two shots to hit him. Then she turned herself around and shot furiously at the other visible attackers, before the terrible moment when she knew she had to reload.
Lena stared at her gun in absolute horror, realising that with her one incapacited arm, reloading was almost impossible. If only she could reach her prepared cartridge in time…
Strong arms gripped her back as a hand snaked around her neck. One of the men knocked her gun out of her hand while the other twisted her left arm painfully behind her back.
“Got her!” he grunted, and the other men made their way towards the girl, smiles on their hard faces.
“Little tiger,” Lena heard, and her eyes ignited with twin sparks of fire.
“Put up quite a fight,” another attacker said, and the fourth nodded. “Shame about Tony, though.”
Suddenly their chatter ceased as the fifth and final member of the squad approached them. Lena guessed correctly that he was the team leader. He had the same suit and haircut, but his hair was greying slightly and his eyes were a dull shade of blue.
“Hold her,” he said brusquely, and the squad members responded by crouching by Lena, pushing her to the floor. She struggled briefly, but realised it was of no use. Four enormous men were too much even for her, there was no doubt that she was trapped. The team leader stood at her feet. He stared down at her without a trace of regret or humanity, and Lena shivered as she sensed the cruelty present in the man’s heart. He withdrew a silver gun from its holster, the blonde was unable to see the make or type. It was simply her last view at a gun, the anonymous weapon with which the young Assassin was to be so crudely executed.
The team leader stared down at her, his pale eyes radiating contempt. Levelling the gun at her horizontal head, his lips parted in a final cruel smile.
In the air far above, birds scattered in surprise as below them a loud shot rang out.

Lena’s eyes flickered open; she was only vaguely aware of what happened next.
On her left one of the men began to spiral backwards slowly, his flailing arms flying behind him and smacking against the body of his fellow soldier. His head was thrown back by the impact of the shot, and as the other three crouching men stared at him in horror, three more shots rang out with deadly accuracy, accompanied by the faint and unexplained sound of glass shattering up above. The four men collapsed to the ground as the squad leader stared at a figure moving above Lena’s head.
What happened to the guy upstairs?
A dark shadow appeared outside the seventh storey window, viewed through a large hole in the ceiling above. It became a muscled shape flying through the air, propelled by a spectacular flip. The heavy man slammed down onto a platform just outside, and a smaller figure was thrown through the air by his momentum. It was holding the man’s neck by the tie, and Yulia Volkova’s slender figure could be recognised by the school uniform and fluttering skirt. She flipped neatly over the man’s head and dropped down below him, still hanging onto the man’s tie. From this she was suspended above the exterior beam of the sixth storey for just a moment, choking the man above her, silhouetted vibrantly against the sunset-crimson sky outside. When she was certain he was dead, she dropped and rolled along the beam, emerging from the doorway. Walking confidently towards Lena, she paused just above her head.
The blonde fought unconsciousness from shock, blood loss and low blood sugar levels. She was growing faint, her vision was fading and growing darker. With a last effort she twisted her head to see the figure standing just above her.
In the last moment she took in the figure of a young student, achingly fragile and slender. Her one arm rested by her side while the other was outstretched, aiming an unfamiliar gun straight at the squadron leader’s heart. With her last bolts of sense, Lena found herself awed by the young Yulia’s perfect accuracy and gun control. She couldn’t be younger than eighteen; no one with that sort of training could possibly be younger than the Assassin herself. She was standing straight and fearlessly, a brave pure figure of retribution. Her eyes were filled with sadness, but also a faint look of inevitability.
At Lena’s feet the squadron leader was standing motionless, his gun resting at his side and his pale eyes locked onto those of the young student. A faint smile remained frozen onto his thin lips, and very slowly he inclined his head in a nod of twisted respect.
Lena had no more strength left in her fragile body. She finally slipped from consciousness, but just before the world faded into complete darkness, up above her…desperately far away…she heard a single shot - and then the quiet sound of a man falling to the ground at her feet.
She knew nothing more.

23-04-2004, 12:42
By: tatufreak

Chapter six - Healing

“More soup?”
Lena glanced up at the gentle figure hovering above her.
The student settled herself down on the floor, sitting the opposite side of the coffee table to her guest.
The blonde surveyed the apartment. It was done in a simple Japanese style. There were no chairs, just a soft rug on the floor where they were currently reclining.
Lena winced at her arm. It had been well bandaged and cleaned by her obliging host, after a brief checkup in a local hospital. It had been carefully examined, an IV had been provided, and Lena sighed at the thought of the long period of rest and recuperation she knew she'd need.
Now she was given her first real opportunity to examine her contact in the flesh. The student sat across from her, willingly complying with her guest’s careful scrutiny as she demurely ate her soup.
She was a pretty little thing, in a fragile way. An observer’s first instinct was to protect her; she looked achingly sad and regretful. Her black hair was soft and flicky, surrounding her face to set off her dark features and perfect complexion. Her eyes were enormous and soulful, holding the same look of poignant gentleness that had been portrayed in the photo.
Now the two girls were face-to-face, there was no doubt in Lena’s mind that her host was eighteen or less. She was tiny.
“So,” she said, breaking the silence, “are you going to tell me who you are, finally? Or do I have to get shot again?”
The student froze in her eating. She didn’t lift her eyes, studying the soup with something like regret. At last she responded, reaching down again into her pocket and withdrawing a another item, which she placed upon the table in front of her.
Lena reached forward and slid what looked like a credit card towards her. On closer inspection it was revealed to be a student ID card, laminated with the picture of the girl sitting in front of her. She scanned the unfamiliar Russian text before glancing up.
“What does it say?” she demanded.
Instantly the girl answered, half-closing her eyes in a way that showed Lena she had obviously studied the card many, many times.
“Yulia Volkova, student of the Moscow school of literature and art, student number three-oh-eight-one-six, class number four-oh-five, age eighteen, member of the advanced class.”
There was an ominous pause, and then Yulia lifted her red-brown eyes to meet those of her guest.
“No,” the latter replied. “Who are you really?”
Another dangerous pause, then the dark-haired girl smiled faintly.
“It’s a Russian word. It means ‘she’.”
Lena considered this. Finally she shrugged, eyes still narrowed and suspicious.
“It’s as good a name as any, I guess. So, you gonna tell me anything else about you?”
Yulia stared down at the table, hands folded quietly in her lap.
“I…I don’t know about myself. I don’t even know who I am, apart from what it says on the student card. I’m quite short and slender, I seem to have strong muscles, I have red eyes and short dark hair, I go to a Moscow school and have this apartment in the downtown city, I sometimes go to a building site not far from here to think, I have this,” she pointed at a smooth little scar running down her inner arm, “and this,” to a smaller scarline above her right eyebrow, “otherwise I have no other distinguishing features. I have this gun.”
Yulia produced the weapon from below the table, laying down on the tabletop. Lena started, watching the girl suspiciously for any sign of an attack. Her fears were unfounded as the demure student begun to unload the gun swiftly and with competence.
“I woke up two days ago, with two things in my mind. The first – that I was Ta, and the second, that I must contact Lena Katin in Corsica, Professional Assassin.”
Lena watched the girl as she spoke, assessing her for signs of untruthfulness. Either she was an extremely good actress, or she was genuinely telling the truth. Somehow, catching her light brown eyes, Lena seriously doubted she could be lying.
“I can cook. Only a little really, but I can make food. I…”
Yulia stared down at the completely disassembled parts of her gun lying on the table in front of her. Each piece was carefully laid out perpendicular to its neighbour, cleaned and ready for reassembling. Glancing up to meet Lena’s gaze, the blonde saw her eyes were filled with dismayed tears.
“How do I know how to do this?”
The Parisian ignored the question, examining her long nails with a bored yawn, only the technical side interesting her.
“That’s a point,” she said, half to herself, “how do you know how to do that? Not that I care, but your gun-handling skills are quite advanced for your age.” Although she wouldn’t let it be shown, in truth Lena was furiously jealous of the younger girl’s seemingly far superior ability with weapons and fighting. Whereas she had had to work and push her entire life to get where she was, the little Russian girl seemed to be absolutely natural with everything the blonde could do, and perhaps with even more. Either she was a born phenomenon, or she had had training so unbelievably good, that…
Lena shivered and changed the subject.
“So,” she said, almost casually, “what’s with the watch?”
Yulia glanced down at the bulge in her pocket.
“I found it with the gun and the ID card when I woke up.”
“And you have no memory about your previous life?”
“None at all.”
“How about the ID card? Is it real?”
Yulia stared down at the square, shiny piece of plastic. She picked it up between her slim fingers and toyed with it, an inexplicable expression on her face.
“I…I don’t know. It’s the only link I have, but it could so easily be fake…”
Lena rolled her eyes. Enough with the mush already.
“So until you find out, remember or have some sort of flashback, you’re Yulia Volkova, Moscow student who for some weird reason has a way with guns. And doesn’t mind killing,” she added, almost as an afterthought.
Yulia’s eyes travelled up to meet hers, and instantly became cloudy with regret and confusion.
“It’s not that I don’t mind it. I…it…I don’t know. It’s just a part of my life, like sleeping and eating. But I feel bad about not caring. Why don’t I care, Tu?”
“Tu?” questioned Lena, pulling back.
Yulia gave a tiny, self-conscious laugh. “Sorry…it’s just…tu means ‘her’ in Russian. And if I’m not mistaken, it means ‘you’ in French. I linked them, and I guess I’ve been calling you Tu all along in my mind. Sometimes things that are locked inside have a way of coming out.”
Lena chose to ignore the hidden meaning behind the last phrase.
“Tu,” she murmured, “Tu. It has a ring. Tu – you – her. I like that.”
Now she became conscious that Yulia was watching her with her big brown eyes, something like fragile, hopeless affection beginning to grow in her face for her new Assassin friend.
Very slowly the dark-haired girl leaned forward on the table, never breaking their locked gaze. She coloured with a delightful blush at the next question, but it had to be asked. Very shyly, the younger girl began the speech that would define the next few vital months of her life.
“Tu…Lena…I have no knowledge of my life. I’m a stranger to my own skin. I don’t know my own face, nor my body. It’s as if up to this time I existed in nothing but two facts; I am Ta, and I must contact you. I have done the latter, but just to this moment I had no idea why. Now I think I’m starting to guess.” She glanced down at her hands, where her gun lay perfectly reassembled. “We’re both extremely competent at killing; it doesn’t matter why. I can tell you like to work alone, but now I have something to ask you.”
Lena gave no signal, sitting silently across from Yulia. Her steel blue eyes searched the younger girl, suspecting the question but waiting for the words.
“If I had to guess, I’d say you were a professional Assassin. Generally you prefer to work on your own, but sometimes, rarely, two killers of the same calibre meet under not unfriendly circumstances,” here Yulia held up a hand as Lena opened her mouth. “Don’t speak. I need you to listen to me. We’re not at each other’s throats,”
“…yet…” muttered Lena, darkly.
“Yet,” amended Yulia amiably, “and you have to admit that in situations like the one today it helps having someone to watch your back. I think if you learned to trust me we could get along, and if we collaborated on an Assassination team…there’d never be anyone to match us. No, don’t protest, listen to my terms.”
Lena, surprised by the dark girl’s forceful streak, subsided.
“We’d work as a team. I’d follow your orders, help you on missions and do menial scout work. You can take all the glory, you can take all the prizes. I want no payment, the only help I require from you is your aid in helping me remember where I’m from and who I am.”
Yulia lapsed back into her sad shyness, shocked and exhausted at her own outburst. Lena sat opposite her, hard eyes shining in the gentle light. A pause followed, probably only a minute long but seeming like an eternity. The blonde’s mind was racing furiously as she considered the brunette’s timid proposal.
Is she lying? Is she telling the truth? How could someone that good at killing really need my help? If I say yes, I could lose my freedom…she’d be hard to get rid of, she could hang around my neck if she gets too emotional. And yet; if I say no, I might possibly lose the greatest partner I could ever hope for, and then there’s that watch. I’m sure she holds a key to my past, and I guess she could prove really useful.
Lena glanced up and caught Yulia’s desperately hopeful gaze. For a second a lump hovered in her throat as a warm feeling stirred her heart from deep inside. It was almost as if the ice had melted – her heart had defrosted a little from the dark-haired, fragile girl’s proposal of partnership. Then the lump went away and she froze again. This would be a strict business relationship, nothing more…or would it? She could already feel herself warming to this girl, even if it was in the tiniest, most inconspicuous amount possible. Any friendships could potentially destroy an Assassin – specially a friendship with someone she didn’t know or trust.
Lena knew what she had to do. Glancing into those deep brown eyes she found it hard, but then again she had never been one to back down from hard tasks. This she would find harder than forgetting, harder than fighting, harder even than killing…but she had to do it. There was simply no alternative.
She took a deep breath and stared right into Yulia’s eyes, locking their gaze in a mix of dark and light.
“Yulia,” she said, softly, “I hereby accept your proposal.”
As the dark girl’s eyes slowly began to fill with an expression of thankfulness, Lena shook her head, frowning.
“We will live in Paris, in my apartment. We will work together, you will follow my leads and you will not question any of my judgements or decisions. Our partnership will be formal, no unnecessary communication will be welcome. In return I will do my best to help you find out about who you are and where you’re from.”
Now Lena leaned forward, deadly serious. Her tone dropped slightly, and the next words she spoke were not unkind, but brutally honest.
“I want you to know something, Yulia. I work alone. I will always be alone, you are just a disposable part of this stage of my life. I will fulfil my agreement with you, but I want you to remember this.”
Now she took a deep breath. The sad, dark-haired girl remained fixed on every word she said, waiting for the final statement, staring down at her hands clasped so desperately together in her lap. Lena paused briefly, then continued.
“When the time comes that we know everything about you; when the day comes that we have discovered every detail to your past; when the hour comes that we finally know who you really are…you know that will be when I will have to kill you.”
Lena said this quietly and honestly, and when she’d finished, Yulia looked up and met her gaze unflinchingly. With a slow light her eyes flooded with secret joy as she leaned forward to reply.
“I shall look forward to that day,” she answered, softly.
Lena nodded, having received an answer to her affirmation. Not, perhaps, the one she’d been expecting – but an answer nevertheless. She extended her hand, which Yulia took seriously.
They shook, before Lena permitted herself to crack the tiniest smile.
“Welcome,” she said, “to TaTu.”

End of Part One

23-04-2004, 12:51
oh hell .. this is lots to read !!


Veggie Delite
23-04-2004, 12:51
this is gonna be so fun!

*jumps all around*

they working together, wheee...! maybe yulia will manage to loosen up that uptight ass of lena's...

23-04-2004, 18:35

24-04-2004, 09:16

TatuFreak!! welcome to tatysite!! :rose: :coctail: .....

25-04-2004, 15:25
okay .. I just finished reading this whole chapters.

“When the time comes that we know everything about you; when the day comes that we have discovered every detail to your past; when the hour comes that we finally know who you really are…you know that will be when I will have to kill you.”

WOAH!! so stylish!! I love it! hmm.. *is thinking to put this as her signature* ...

:::is in assassin mood:::

$in .. you think I should continue to update this one or not?

Veggie Delite
25-04-2004, 17:20
hmm... i'm not shure... maybe tatufreak should? but tatufreak isn't updating... i think we should wait a little and see what happens :ithink:

we can play hide&seek in the meantime. with guns :D

25-04-2004, 22:29
You can update if you want, Denial - I was sort of keeping the suspense in the other forum's posting realtime, but nevermind. :) Thanks for updating, when you're finished I promise I'll post the new chapters on both at the same time.

26-04-2004, 01:06
Thanks Tatufreak . Okay I will update this ... been having fun actually .. urr .. beside I am desperate to know what's next now. Thanks again .. :)

$in :hooligan: <--- denial the assassin.

Veggie Delite
26-04-2004, 11:33
ok, no more playing assassin dee. lotsa work to be done.

give me the gun thingy...ok, good!... now go and update *taps denial's head*

26-04-2004, 13:24
give me the gun thingy...ok, good!... now go and update *taps denial's head*

:bebebe: ..okay .. I go get more update! *puts on her black Gluk'Oza suits* .. you know...this feels cool .. like..going to rich people place and steal thier diamonds.. and you're wearing black with all those thingys ... *puts on her night sun glasses* ...

26-04-2004, 13:29
By: Tatufreak

Notes: To start with, P2 is going to be really different, with some quite heavy moments. Don't worry, I'll keep it lighthearted - the main aim of this fic is to be cool. And it's gonna be. Don't worry about that.

Right, "enough of this twaddle." (dude from tombraider movie 1)

Part Two Chapter One - Mission

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P2c1.jpg

As we fly in from our lives, eyes open for any clue of what’s happening in the big mansion on the hill, we are distracted by the sound of live gunfire. The ethereal white curtains ghost the wide bay windows overlooking the trees around it, and from within flashes of light and strange sounds emerge.

Yulia stood with her back pressed firmly against the wood-panelled wall. She sniffed the air – it stank of dried flowers, floor wax and expensive perfume; the legacies of the mansion’s single occupant, also known as TaTu’s soon-to-be first victim. An anonymous email had arrived only that morning with a date, a method of payment, and a name. While Yulia had been unsure with what to do, Lena was obviously used to this way of contact and had calmly begun to clean and load her weapons.
Now they were inside the mansion itself, and things were getting a little difficult. After a brief investigation into the widowed woman’s security systems, they’d concluded that unless they were careful they’d have a small army of Uzi-carrying guards hunting them down. The infiltration had gone well – it was a dark night, licked by fog as it curled around the house.
Yulia had gone straight in, making her way with her unknowing ease and style that rendered Lena insanely jealous. It had taken no effort for her to throw a wide somersault over the fence, propelling herself up with the help of a support pole. She never gave a second thought to her finesse in landing elegantly on the lawn, lightly enough so as not to attract the attention of the ground-based sensors. The way she stalked through the grounds silently and invisibly didn’t concern her, neither did the way she rendered the garden guard unconscious with ease and stylish simplicity. Such things were second nature to her; they were of no interest. If anyone had mentioned them to her as being superb shows of prowess and skill, she would have been genuinely surprised. All the mansion’s ground floor windows were barred and completely inaccessible, even to her. She’d suspected this would be the case, so the little dark-haired girl had performed a flip with surreal ease, landing in a perfect handstand with her fingers clasped firmly around the top of the bars bolted over the window. She was perfectly flat against the wall, feeling for the second-story window ledge with her toes. In order to do this right, she had had to kick off one of her shoes. Seeing as how they were still in Russia, they had had no time to equip Yulia with Assassin gear, which included suitable shoes. It was then that a perimeter guard had appeared brandishing a Uzi. He had no idea the dark girl was flattened against the wall just above his head because he was too busy noticing her dropped shoe. Bending down on the patio to retrieve it, he’d straightened up with the item in his hand, staring at it quizzically. It was then that he’d detected the slightest of touches to his hair, but before he’d had time to turn Yulia had shot a silenced bullet into his head.
Projected bodycount three, she’d thought to herself, balancing carefully on one hand, I mustn’t go over that.
As the man had crumpled quietly onto the patio, the girl had finally located the second-floor window sill, and through the efforts of her mysterious skills was able to knock out the glass and swing herself up into the room above. She quickly disabled the electronic security systems, and Lena had climbed in through the same window a minute later. The ash-blonde Assassin had then taken a few seconds to reprimand her new partner for “making a mess.” Yulia hadn’t risen to a reply, watching her Parisian associate with her big, soulful brown eyes. Lena had felt a twinge of guilt that she’d been unfairly harsh to the young girl, but had brushed it aside with annoyance.
We’re Assassins, not schoolgirls.
She’d then taken a knife from a concealed pocket in her boot, stabbing it unhesitatingly into a felt-topped table by her hand, causing Yulia to blink at the sudden motion.
“We start from here, we end here,” she’d said, confirming arrangements. She had then turned to go, and behind her back the smaller, dark-haired girl had reached for the knife. “Don’t touch it,” Lena had snapped, without turning around. Yulia had stared at her, then back at the blade, opening her mouth as if to speak. Finally, with a soft look in her eyes, she’d walked away from the table and exited the room without a word.
Lena had finally glanced over her shoulder at the knife, a quiet smile playing on her lips. The first test had been passed – Yulia obviously knew who was the boss in this partnership. With this, Lena had removed her gun from her holster, staring down the length of the clean barrel with something like pride before carefully making her way into and down the corridor outside.
A few minutes had passed uneventfully…until a large guard sporting another Uzi had peered into the room from the doorway, briefly checking everything was ok. He didn’t notice Yulia’s carefully knocked-out window, his blue eyes barely piercing the darkness of the room so like the other thirty he had to monitor that night. Then, as he’d turned to go, a flash of light from the corridor had fallen on the blade of Lena’s knife…and then all hell broke loose.
Now, as the alerted guards ravaged through the house in search of intruders, Yulia had her back to the wall, eyes squeezed shut. It was at moments like these that she found it useful to utterly disregard sight and rely completely on what her other senses told her. Another reason for this might have been that it was pitch black in that particular corridor, so she couldn’t see anyway.
Remember, a body count of three only.
Footsteps began echoing to the northeast of where she was standing. Yulia quietly oriented herself into that direction and then began to concentrate with everything she had. She detached herself from anything physical and tried to take the mind of whoever was approaching.
The walker was hesitant. They weren’t aware of Yulia’s presence, but were still being careful. They were holding a gun, the very slight click of the barrel against one of the walker’s buttons gave that away. They were half – no – three-quarters of the way down the passage, walking towards the corner, walking in heavy shoes, not disguising the heavy footfalls. It was a man.
Yulia kept her eyes closed, bracing her gun against her chest with her arm. At what she judged to be the perfect moment she brought her right hand outwards in a wide semicircle, ending with the butt of her gun smashing into the face of the would-be attacker. With a sick thud the man crumpled, his Uzi flying out of his hands. Yulia reached down and caught it as it fell. There was no clatter, nothing to alert anyone creeping along the corridors to her position. She quickly dropped into a crouch and felt the man’s pulse to make sure she hadn’t inadvertently killed him, shifting her gun to her left hand to do so. A rhythmic thud under her fingers reassured her, and the dark-haired girl allowed herself to crack a tiny smile.
“Lena would be proud.”
Her dark head whipped round as a soft footstep alerted her to a presence in the same corridor. In a moment she’d spun her gun up into her hand and was crouching again in her niche, eyes dark and shining. There was something in this moment – something inexplicable. All she knew was that the thrill of killing, hiding, hunting…it all stirred something deep inside her, like a sleeping monster buried in the grey mists of time. Why did it feel so right?
Now the person was almost halfway towards her. Whoever it was was taking very soft steps, and this time Yulia was sure they knew she was there. Funny, but not even in her depths did there stir a desire to run and hide. She was strangely awakened by the sensations of an Assassination mission – almost desperate for blood.
Here we go.
Yulia threw herself forward against the wall, placing a foot squarely onto the wood panelling. Hoisting herself up and sideways she flew into view turning a perfect side flip, gun held with both hands out in front of her. Tucking up her knees below her chin allowed her to soar into her somersault, preparing herself for the impact of firing in midair.
Instead her finger fell off the trigger as her brown eyes took in the corridor scene. She landed with a sideways roll to cushion the noise, rising to her feet almost instantly with her gun still pointed straight out in front of her.
Mirroring her pose inch for inch, Lena had her gun aimed straight at Yulia’s gentle little face. The two girls stared into each others’ eyes with the full emotion of the Hunt coursing through their veins. Lena breathed in and out heavily, unwilling to lower her gun. A flicker of memory surged through her, and her finger tightened around the trigger. She didn’t trust the dark girl within an inch of her life, and there was something more…something much deeper that was clinging on to the gun with everything it had – something that desperately wanted her to pull that trigger. Yulia stared right back at her, but was paralysed only by fear. It was not a physical but a mental terror; the slow sickening horror of dejá vu.
Their eyes were still locked – brown held blue in a torrent of sensation, passion and complete silence.
A sudden noise heralded the appearance of a guard at the end of the corridor. As one TaTu turned their arms together, and each fired once.
The man collapsed with a double hole in his forehead.
Yulia turned to Lena, eyes dancing. “What a te-”
She was cut short as the blonde Assassin slapped her sharply on the cheek.
There was a breathless pause, then Yulia lifted her hand to her face. She had a scarlet patch where Lena had hit her, which she now touched gently with her fingers, her brown eyes hurt and questioning.
“We are not a team,” Lena hissed furiously, eyes blazing. “We just work together. That’s all.”
She turned abruptly and stormed down the hallway. She’d only gone a few steps before suddenly gripping the handle of a door next to her. Twisting it furiously, she opened it, levelled her gun and shot a single bullet into the darkness. This done, she slammed the door shut again and threw a glance at Yulia.
“Mission completed. See you at the airport.”
With this she was gone, leaving the dark-haired girl standing on her own in the corridor, two men slumped at her feet. Her hand was still raised to her cheek, and tears began to stream slowly down her fingers; silver-clear dripping down to mix with and swirl into spilt crimson blood.

26-04-2004, 13:32
By: Tatufreak

Part Two Chapter Two - Above

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/p2c2.jpg

Lena played frettingly with the cord of her earphones. She twisted it around her finger a few times, unravelling it and retwisting it. Out of the corner of her eye she could tell that Yulia hadn’t moved for over an hour. Maybe she was asleep, lulled by the calm background hum of the airplane.
A quick glance disproved this – the dark-haired girl was staring avidly out of the window. She was utterly enraptured by the view from the airplane, eyes wide with joy and surprise.
I suppose she should be surprised, Lena thought, a faint smile twisting her lips, she has no memory of ever being in an airplane.
“I think…” Yulia’s soft voice interrupted the blonde’s muse. “I think I have been. …A few times maybe, it’s just; it’s sort of that I can remember this same angle, like a dejá vu from another life. Or…something.” She halted, blushing and a little shy. Suddenly aware that no answer was forthcoming, she glanced up at her partner, who was frowning.
“How did you know I was thinking that?”
Yulia blinked. A timid look crept into her eyes, and she shielded her expression by turning away to the window again.
“You must have said it out loud, accidentally…”
Another pause made her heart beat faster as Lena contemplated this.
“Yes,” the latter said finally, “I must have done.”
Nothing more was said, but the blonde remained staring at Yulia with suspicion and a dark mistrust.
The moment was broken as a hand tapped Lena’s shoulder, causing her to start and then turn.
“Hello dear!” The same old lady was sitting behind the duo. “Fancy meeting again!”
Lena scowled furiously. The last thing she wanted was another episode. Behind her Yulia could sense her tensing up, she could see the stress building in her neck and shoulders.
I should do something…she looks really angry. Why is that strange woman talking about her son’s knee problem? Uh oh, there’s a vein rising on Lena’s forehead…
Yulia quietly picked up her glass of water and flipped her table away with one hand.
“Lena, hold this.”
Wordlessly the blonde took the cup, eyes questioning. Yulia placed her left hand on her thigh and used it to twist herself round in her seat. Quickly and calmly she reached out to the chattering old woman and pressed a soft spot just below her ear with her other hand. The inane babble ceased as the aged lady’s greying head fell forward onto her chest.
That done, the dark-haired girl turned back towards Lena.
The blonde glanced at her, then stared pointedly at the little hand that was still on her thigh.
Yulia followed her eyes down before pulling it away with a start and a shy smile.
“Sorry, I uh…”
Lena changed the subject. “I hope you didn’t just do anything illegal.”
“No, she’ll be awake by the end of the flight.”
Yulia stared down at her offending hand, squeezed tightly into the other one in her lap. The silence pressed on her, so she glanced sideways at Lena, who was calmly proceeding to read a magazine.
“Are you…” she began softly, when she had her full attention, “are you fond of flying?”
Lena was pleased by the girl’s quaint speech, and a tiny part of her crushed her normal response of a brusque, rude reply, urging her instead to be civil for once.
“I suppose so,” she answered, pushing the magazine back into the seat pocket. “I tend to fly a lot with my job…our job, I guess. I…we…have to make quite a few long journeys, so flying first class is generally the best option. That means it’s easier and more relaxing to fly, so yeah, I guess it’s ok.”
This was the longest and most friendly non-work conversation they’d yet shared, and Yulia’s troubled eyes began to lose their sad look for a brief moment. Lena noticed this, quietly pleased. She decided to ask her a question.
“Do you enjoy flying?”
The younger girl lit up. “Of course! The view…it’s…” she lapsed into an expressive silence, her eyes shining with rapture.
“I can tell you do, then.” Lena began to toy with her earphone cord again, searching for anything else to talk about. “So what else are you good at?”
Yulia frowned slightly, considering the question.
“I think I’m ok at acrobatics and gymnastics, I mean flips and stuff. I…I can handle a gun pretty well, because it just seems so right. The way you hold it, point it, aim; the pressure of the trigger, the steady weight, the smoothness of the sheen as you slip it from hand to hand…” Yulia’s eyes went briefly dreamy for a moment, and Lena quietly acknowledged that she was sitting next to trained and tested master. “And then there’s other stuff, like running, stalking too. I think I can fight with sticks or poles, and I seem to be pretty strong for my size…or maybe I’ve just never seen how strong people my size can be; I seem to be drawn to darkness and shadows, and…” Now she paused, causing Lena to study her downcast face. “I…I can…I mean I think I can…”
“You sound like the little Engine that Could.”
Yulia glanced up, confused.
“The Engine that Could, you know…Ok fine, you don’t know. Sue me.” Lena crossed her arms and stared at the seat in front of her. Yulia felt her attention and good nature slipping away, so she desperately searched for something to say.
“Paint. I can paint. At least, I think I…I…” She raised her eyes to Lena’s, and they met with force. One pair of eyes was shy, timid, quietly sad but hopeful – the other was bright, cold, and very slowly beginning to soften. Yulia took a deep breath.
“I guess I’m the Little Engine that painted.”
Lena stared at her silently, acknowledging Yulia’s pathetically gentle attempt at a joke. A moment passed as did a nameless flight attendant and a balding man on his way to the toilet, as well as several large clouds and a few miles of air. Yulia turned slowly back to the window, watching the darkening sky and the myriads of pinpoint lights visible far below.
Behind her, very slowly, a heartless Assassin stared down unseeingly at her table in front of her. The cold, cruel Parisian socialite of steel blue eyes and long eyelashes with a hushed up, broken childhood of memories hiding deep inside…her identity flashed through her sharp mind with a warning, but Lena was momentarily tired of her barriers.
Slowly she turned her face to the window, and as if by magic Yulia anticipated her motion, moving back to let her see. Lena blinked in surprise as a sea of tiny lights winked and shimmered in the frozen night hair. Far below a million people were relaxing with their loved ones, tied down in the world with happy cares, no idea that high above their sleepy heads a brutally unhappy, hopelessly broken young woman was thinking about them. She had no loved ones, she had no threads. She wasn’t tied to the world in any way – If I died, no one would miss me…no one would know.
“I’d know,” Yulia whispered, still watching the lights below. The magic shimmered and hung heavily in the air, and the dark-haired girl put out a little hand to touch the cool glass. “And I’d miss you.”
Lena stared at her again, but this time her dark blue eyes held no suspicion, only a deep, sad fragility. She glanced down at the twinkling lights as Yulia’s honest and simple words sank into her heart, and then, very slowly, Lena began to smile.

26-04-2004, 13:34
By: Tatufreak

Part Two Chapter Three - Present Time

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A Parisian street at sunset. Bustling bohemia settles down to a low buzz for the night as the darkened street lamps begin to come to life, casting pools of light on the pavements and people below. The crowds shift and sway to the short faded bursts of music from the bars they pass, chattering and linking arms with their partners. Darkness falls peacefully, a happy moment pervades the dusk and humanity holds its breath through the exchange of the early sleepers for the late.
It is in this moment that little Yulia Volkova shoulders her bag and looks at the scene through shining eyes. They reflect everything she has to say, and more. She is stunned; awed by the bustling activity and beautiful people.
A hand on her arm pulls her attention from the scene towards the blonde haired girl standing in front of her. The combination of the heavy magical moment and the light falling on her beautiful face catches Yulia’s throat in a wave of sudden affection. She rushes towards Lena and throws her arms around her neck, thanking her in delight for bringing her to live in the enchanted city of lights.
There is a brief moment in which Lena’s blue eyes widen in shock, and then she shoves the younger girl roughly away.
“Don’t ever do that again, Volk,” she says, angrily, and turns her back coldly upon the crushed dark-haired girl behind her. The latter takes a last look at the beautiful scene with a sigh, before she swallows the lump in her throat and turns to follow her partner-in-crime through the tree-lined streets. They reach the apartment soon, and Lena checks the letter box quickly before leading Yulia up the well-lit staircase to the top floor. She pushes the door open with a foot and allows the smaller girl to pass through before nudging it closed behind them.
Yulia is once again enraptured, this time with the apartment. She takes in every detail with her dark eyes, assessing it quietly. Her gaze falls upon the double bed, then she searches unsuccessfully for another.
Lena guesses what she’s thinking, shaking her head and unravelling her loose blonde curls with her long fingers. “There’s nowhere else to sleep, apart from the couch. We both have to get the maximum amount of quality sleep we can, so we’ll share the bed for now. I’ll talk to the landlord in the morning about getting another bed up here, in the meantime you’d better not kick, snore or sleep talk.” The girl stares at the sheets for a moment, and then back at the girl next to her, adding, “And if you sleep walk, you’re definitely on the sofa tomorrow night.”
Yulia cracks a half-smile and puts her bag down on the bed before glancing at Lena, who coughs pointedly.
“That’s my side.”
The dark haired girl moves her bag obligingly and begins to unpack the few things she has – a pair of pyjamas, a toothbrush, her ID card, gun and the watch. Lena’s cold eyes remain fixed on the last item, nestling among the smooth sheets. Yulia notices her interest and quietly picks the little silver timepiece up, glancing at it quickly before taking it in one hand. With an open sweep she extends her arm, proffering the watch for Lena’s inspection. The latter stares at it furiously, before shaking her head and turning away. Wordlessly Yulia watches her movements, and then quietly tucks it beneath her pillow. There was time for that later.
Lena walks into the kitchen area, lighting the cooker and getting a chopping board from a silver wall-rack. She switches on the overhead lights and instantly the space is flooded with warmth and brightness, gleaming off the chrome surfaces.
“So, are you gonna just stand there, or are you gonna help me cook?”
This is addressed to Yulia, who is standing silently by the bed. She instantly brightens, joining Lena in the kitchen and taking a peeler from her.
“Start on those,” the blonde said, pointing towards a few potatoes she’d set out. “You can sauté them in a minute.”
Yulia obligingly takes the vegetables and begins to peel them, quickly and efficiently. Lena watches her movements out of the corner of her eye, giving no indication of noticing. They work side by side for a few minutes, neither venturing to start a conversation. The silence is not uncomfortable however, in fact it is almost reassuring. Lena doesn’t want to speak, and Yulia sees no pressing need to.
Finally Lena finishes her task and looks over at the wall-rack beyond her dark-haired partner.
“Pass me that knife, will you?”
Yulia looks up before setting down the peeler. She picks a sharp blade from the rack by the handle, barely glancing at it. Turning to Lena, she shifts the knife in her hand with a simple slip, holding it by the tip and offering the handle to her blonde host.
Lena stares at Yulia for a moment, once again cold and suspicious.
Why didn’t she mention she was good with knives? She asks this question in her mind, with unshown confusion. It clears quickly however, as she realises the truth behind the movement. Because she doesn’t know, does she? She’s completely unaware of her skills.
Lena takes the knife, still staring at Yulia. The latter quietly resumes peeling, unconscious that anything has just happened.
The two girls finish preparing the meal quickly, and they eat it at the dining room table without conversation. Lena continues to watch her guest, observing the way in which she holds her knife, cuts her food, breathes, stirs, shifts her body slightly to catch the cool night breeze filtering in from the half-open window next to her. Her movements are simple and pleasing, her pretty eyes framed with long eyelashes are expressive and pressingly sad. She is a gentle child, unaware of her own fragility and hopelessness, forgetting herself in her forgotten memories. She has obviously been well taught and trained, brought up somewhere where her motions have not gone unchecked. She is unconsciously graceful and has a quiet air of sweetness and purity, something that the socialite sitting opposite her finds refreshing and gently attractive.
After the meal has finished and the dishes have been washed, the two girls change quickly into their pyjamas. Lena is dressed tastefully – and extremely elegantly – in a simple combination of white silk. Yulia on the other hand wears pastel shorts and a tank top, her childish figure evident in her somehow adorable lack of Lena’s womanly curves.
They move to the bathroom. Lena ignores her reflection in the brightly lit mirror as she begins to squeeze toothpaste out onto her toothbrush, but pauses as she notices Yulia hasn’t moved at all. She glances up and watches her, a half-sad smile crossing her face as she realises what is happening.
Completely oblivious to her, Yulia is standing face-on towards the mirror. She is staring straight at herself, a confused and somehow quietly horrified look in her dark eyes. She reaches forward tentatively, and Lena is suddenly aware she is holding her breath. Yulia touches the cool mirror with a fingertip, tracing the outline of her face. She runs a line from her left ear to her chin, up the other side, over her hair, around her eyes.
She’s memorising herself, Lena thinks to herself, quietly aware that she is witnessing something special and that she should feel privileged.
Now the dark-haired girl traces the outlines of her neck and shoulders, eyes still never leaving the mirror reflection’s. It’s as if they’re locked in an eternal gaze; the fatal embrace of two souls equal and opposite. The younger girl concentrates on her features, Lena watches lost somewhere between suspense and anticipation.
“She doesn’t know her own face,” Yulia whispered slowly, referring to herself in third person. “She is a stranger to her own reflection.” She speaks dreamily; trancelike – as if she’s remembering a long-forgotten line of poetry, a chant hidden within the veils of a childhood even she can’t remember.
Then her eyes move slowly to Lena’s reflection, catching them and holding them with a force and fragile brutality that shocks the latter, forcing her to concentrate on wiping up the toothpaste spilled from her toothbrush.
After a while the adjoining sink’s tap is turned on, the blonde Assassin doesn’t look – she winces at the sudden sound and hastily chides herself for being so emotional and jumpy.
She’s a kid with amnesia. She doesn’t know her own face – big deal. She’ll remember it soon enough…
“And then I’ll be out of your way.”

Yulia glances at her quickly, and for a second a desire to draw aside the curtain and let Lena peek into her true nature invades her irresistibly.
“That’s something else I can do. I can read people like books – their body language and their eyes say more in a moment than they ever could…ever.”
Lena frowns at her, but it’s a good sort of frown.
“So that’s how you can answer questions I haven’t asked?”
“And finish sentences you haven’t started,” adds Yulia, with a hint of a smile.
There’s a pause, and then Lena plants her hand on the girl’s shoulder and shoves her away, playful for a fleeting moment.
“You’re weird, Volk. You’re really weird.”
Yulia flashes her a smile, but it fades quickly as sadness crosses her face again. Lena perceives this, and then she quietly promises herself that she’ll remember not to be too rough verbally with the girl.
Even jokes can hurt her…she’s so fragile, and yet she’s not really. It’s a paradox – she’s undisturbed by killing and blood, and yet the lightest of criticism scars her. What is she? She’s like a steel machine with a heart of…pink…chocolate. Somehow.
She shrugs her thoughts off and turns away, dancing around the apartment to turn off the lights. As darkness falls around her, Yulia finishes brushing her teeth and wipes her hands, rinsing off her brush and hanging the towel up. Her conscientiousness forces her to wipe the sink with a paper towel, which she throws away before turning off the bathroom lights and making her way through the darkness.
Lena is already in the bed. She closes her eyes and listens.
Yulia’s footsteps are unhesitating. She barely knows the apartment, and yet she walks through the pitch black with the surety of a child bathed in light. Reaching the correct side of the bed she reaches for her rucksack and picks it up, moving it off the bed. Finally she peels back the duvet and slips in, and for the first time Lena notices she is shivering.
“We’re getting up at seven tomorrow,” she breaks the silence, playing with the silken hem of the coverlet. “Clients like to call early. In the mean time get some sleep – you’ll need it.”
Yulia doesn’t answer, because her teeth are chattering too hard.
She’s only a kid…she has nothing on her at all, it must be strange for her in a new apartment with no past and a cloudy future – she needs comfort, or she’ll die. This thought echoes in Lena’s mind surprisingly clearly, and she instantly knows it’s the truth. Yulia is already dangerously close to falling into darkness – her eyes are constantly sad and hurting, despite her quietness and gentleness. She must be really broken up inside, and she’s so fragile…
Just as Lena’s about to act, a warning flashes up viciously, setting off alarm bells in her head.
If you do this, there’s one more barrier you’ll never be able to rebuild. Don’t do this Lena, don’t do this to yourself.
Conflict wrecks her mind and twists her forehead into lines of confusion. Silence and night kiss the sleeping city as a young blonde girl wrestles with a problem hidden away in the darkness. It’s irreversibly, incomprehensibly dangerous.
And now she acts – now she makes her decision.

Very quietly, with minimal fuss, Lena pressed her back gently against Yulia’s. The movement was simple and uncomplicated, but as her healing warmth began to flow silently into the younger girl, her mind was flooded and tortured with pressing feelings of regret, horror and dismay.
Just as they threatened to overwhelm her, something suddenly happened.
A shy, timid little hand touched her hair. Yulia was reaching back over her head, her fingertips gently stroking Lena’s soft curls. There was nothing in the gesture but pure greatfulness, and Lena was shocked to find that for the first time her pent up, overwhelming emotions of self-hatred and fear began to diffuse. They sifted away into soft clouds of unimportant questions, like sand falling away beneath her outstretched fingers. Lena blinked suddenly as slow realisation set in.
She’d just experienced an epiphany – a miracle – an answer. For once in her life she’d done something for someone else. Always used to concentrating on keeping her regrets away, she’d never sacrificed anything for anyone…and then Yulia had come along with her intense fragility and scarred past, hurting and hopelessly sad, desperately in need of reassurance. Lena had melted just enough to take one single step towards healing the girl, braving the inner voices that tormented her for just long enough. They’d followed, of course, but that was when the miracle had happened.
Yulia had stretched out a little hand and gripped the motion, pulling herself towards restoration…and she’d returned the gift to Lena. Hurt, dazed, broken, confused – the little dark-haired girl had something within her that mirrored the blonde’s aching torments. She’d responded with her own timid step, and somehow had offered her an equal chance of healing and restoration.
“We’ll heal each other – you and I.”
Yulia heard the whisper.
She stared into the darkness…nodded…smiled.
“TaTu together, until death do us part.”
Lena bit her lip and nodded slowly.
Only if you’d been there; a silent watcher with glowing eyes and the gift of wisdom; would you have seen the flash of pain cross the blonde’s face.
But…you aren’t.
Are you.

26-04-2004, 13:38
By: Tatufreak

Notes: A few changes from now on. This will be the last mushy chapter for a while, as you can probably tell it's a bit boring to read when it's like this! Sorry guys...I didn't mean to make it boring...:(
Anyway, on with the story!

Part Two Chapter Four - Summer

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There were a million specks of dancing dust, catching the falling sunlight and lighting the apartment with tiny sparks of morning.
They illuminated the peaceful face of the sleeping girl in the wide double bed, her dark hair splayed out across the pillow, her long eyelashes barely touching her sunkissed cheeks as she slept.
Above her, leaning over the bedpost, a slightly older blonde girl watched her every move. Her loose curls fell around her vividly blue eyes, which sparkled in the sunlight. Normally bustling and active at this time in the morning, she was for once content simply to look down upon the sleeping Yulia, as one angel watching over another. Below her, the girl began to waken from her deep-sleep state, her breaths becoming softer and softer until Lena had to hold her own to hear them.
Now she opened her dark eyes – they were extraordinarily clear, just for a moment. For the briefest second they shimmered with unworldly clarity, like the eyes of an ancient warrior waking from his long sleep in the hills above a scarred battlefield.
She stretched and yawned widely, provoking a similar response in Lena.
“Nyap nyap nyap,” Yulia mumbled, closing her eyes again and pulling her pillow down against her shoulder with a smile of luxurious pleasure.
Quietly Lena left the bedpost, stealing towards the large Venetian blinds. Winding them completely horizontal, she watched as direct squares of morning sunlit fell straight onto Yulia’s resting body. The girl reacted slowly, lifting an arm to shade her eyes as she opened them again to briefly regard the warm, brightly lit apartment.
“What time is it?” she asked sleepily, rubbing an eye with one hand while covering a second yawn with the other. Lena folded her arms and turned to look at her, standing at the centre of the bay window. From the bed she was a striking silhouette of darkness against a square of surreal light.
“It’s past eight,” she motioned to the wall clock, “and we have work to do. Get dressed and make some coffee while I check the post.”
With this she tossed her long curls and strode through the open doorway, shadows dancing across her legs and face as she crossed the window spaces. Yulia followed her with her eyes until she had disappeared from view, then stretched herself out once more before rising from the bed.
Her soft feet made no sound as she padded through to the bathroom, as she flicked on the light she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror that made her pause and stare. She lifted a finger very slowly to her reflection, feeling herself slipping; falling…
She withdrew her hand suddenly, eyes half closed as she forced herself to concentrate on brushing her teeth. That done, she dressed quickly and ran her fingers through her hair, checking quickly in the hallway mirror to make sure she was looking ok. Dancing to the kitchen on light feet, she put the coffee pot into the machine and switched it on while humming a quiet tune over and over to herself. Shadows and light made a play on the floors and walls, causing her to smile. Tipping her head to one side to let her dark hair fall down over her shining eyes, Yulia looked enchantingly pretty and quaint - her little figure wrapped up tightly a shirt borrowed from Lena.
She met her own eyes in one of the many apartment mirrors again. This time she couldn’t pull away and found herself walking purposefully towards her reflection. She halted with her nose an inch from the mirror and reached up to her eyes, pulling the lids apart. Now she stared unhaltingly into her own gaze, and because pleasantly surprised to see her initial guess had been true. A little of the sadness in her eyes had disappeared over the night, except somehow it was still there – just in a different place now, closer to the healing light and the surface.
“Flesh wounds heal faster,” she whispered, and then smiled as her warm breath made two overlapping circles of steam on the smooth mirror surface. She pulled back, smiled at herself and then coloured with a delightful blush. The coffee machine beeped once to indicate a new pot of warm coffee, and at that moment Lena walked back into the apartment, leafing through the letters she held in one hand.
Halfway through towards the kitchen she paused and looked up at Yulia, eyes slightly narrowed.
“What are you doing?”
Yulia turned and glanced at her before letting her gaze drift back to the mirror, somewhat confused. She had been abruptly woken from her trancelike state, finding nothing now in the mirror that could possibly justify her previous actions.
“Nothing,” she sighed, wiping the mirror with a sleeve of her shirt. She joined Lena in the kitchen a moment later, accepting a cup of coffee and wrapping her fingers around it, inhaling the smell deeply as something tangible.
Lena leaned back against the counter, watching her. She was already finding herself getting too emotional, and obviously Yulia was being weighed down by thoughts and feelings.
I knew this was a bad idea.
Nevertheless they were in this together, and she quickly decided that getting out of the apartment and undergoing some rigourous training would be good for both of them.
“When you’ve finished your coffee, I’ll take you into the city to get you some clothes and things, and then we’ll go to the gym for a while.” She almost found herself adding, “Is that ok with you?” but caught herself just in time, furiously.
It doesn’t matter what she thinks, she works for me.
Yulia nodded at the suggestion, although it was more a command.
“That sounds nice.” She lifted her cup to her lips and drained the hot coffee, enjoying the taste and the warmth as it entered her body. She washed the mug quickly, putting it on the rack to dry before towelling her hands and turning back to Lena. “Shall we go?”
“We shall.”
The blonde took a pair of keys from the pool table and spun them lightly on her finger, expecting Yulia to follow. She heard the hesitation before she reached the door, and without turning she spoke.
“You don’t need a gun today. Leave it.”
The two girls left the Parisian apartment and emerged on the street below, blinking in the bright sunshine. The sky spanned the world high overhead, clear and blue. Lazy planes droned away and birds circled lethargically. It was a perfect late summer’s day, where the world soaks in the sunlight and radiates warmth, friendship and happiness.
As the girls walked past the large park a few streets down, Yulia turned to take in the scene. Wide green lawns looked thick and inviting in the light, exuding a dusky smell of relaxation and late summer days. A little blue lake shimmered and sparkled - it looked cool and inviting in the already hot day. Little children splashed around the shallows, watched over by their sunbathing mothers with their romantic novels and cans of warming Coke. These women often seemed to leap up for no apparent reason, dashing down to the water’s edge with a bottle of sunblock which they rubbed over their toddler’s neck and back; the children bore these frequent assaults calmly with slightly affronted dignity. Around them couples lay together in the warm grass, sometimes simply sunbathing, sometimes reading to each other or talking quietly. An ice cream van was parked along the path running through the park, passed by joggers and rollerbladers. In front of them a small group of pretty young girls were having a picnic, and a happily exuberent game of frisbee was taking place next to them involving athletic boys shouting and laughing in the hot summer sun.
Yulia took this all in with her soulfully big eyes while Lena watched her.
“You want to be a part of them, don’t you? You want to have fun with them, to belong in their groups.”
Yulia shook her head. “I don’t think I do…I think maybe…I think I, I think it’s just that…I don’t want any harm to come to them…I think I want to – is it wrong to want to protect them, Lena? To make sure they stay happy and alive and…and free, just like this?” Lena considered this for a moment, before flashing a smile and turning down the street.
“Come on Yulia. Let’s try to get some shopping done before lunch.”
“Ok.” The dark haired girl followed her, pausing for just a second to give the happy scene one last look. Her eyes took in the people and the warmth, before she suddenly paused. Something was amiss… She scanned the scene again and did a double take, staring across the lake. Two men stood together beneath a large tree, wearing dark suits. They had sunglasses on but Yulia could see they were looking straight at her, not talking or moving while they watched. They didn’t fit into the happy park at all, and the dark girl had a creeping sensation that something was distinctly wrong. As she opened her mouth, a hand suddenly gripped her wrist tightly. She turned, eyes wide.
“Come on Yulia!” cried Lena, pulling her down the street by one arm.
The girl tottered behind her; pulled back – resisted for a moment. Then she gave in, turning her head to search the park one last time.
Her eyes widened in horror.
The men had completely disappeared.

26-04-2004, 13:40
By: Tatufreak

This isn't really a chapter, more an interlude. More to be posted very very soon, check back.


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Somewhere, hidden on an obscure stretch of border below France, a vineyard glinted in the sun. Light shone off the rounded, ripening grapes with their smoky sheen and heavy lustre. They’d be ready soon…
Nearby, in a dark place forgotten in time, a figure sat at a wooden desk. Gloom surrounded the man, who was leaning over a quietly busy laptop set up in front of him. His dark eyes glowed in the dim light; the room was lit only by a small window set into a thick wall far beyond him.
The computer followed a tapped in command, but responded with nothing. The man stared down at the blank screen, waiting. Suddenly it came to life as a tiny line of green numbers scrolled across. He watched them with his busy eyes, expression utterly untranslatable. The readout was followed with a few letters, assembling to tell him everything he needed to know – LSK;?85;FR;25.8.06.
Lena was shopping again.

26-04-2004, 13:42
By: Tatufreak

Part Two Chapter Five - They

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“This would look good on you,” the blonde girl said, holding up a small blue blouse.
Next to her, Yulia obediently nodded with disinterest. Her long, slim arms were already being pulled down with the weight of twelve large shopping bags, and she was vaguely worried by the thought that Lena seemed ready to add to their number in the near future.
Now the blonde picked up a soft, grey-blue wooly sweater. “That would go with your eyes beautifully.” She threw it over her arm and moved on to the next rack, humming to herself pleasantly. She obviously found shopping extremely relaxing, whereas Yulia found herself becoming increasingly more anxious. The shop was a typical Parisian boutique – brightly lit and sporting the latest fashionable cuts and colours. Music played faintly over the radio system, but the words and actual tune were indistinguishable. Outside the silvery glass windows a short, close-grown miniature hedge blocked the bustling street from view.
The girl turned quickly to see Lena holding out a large sunhat.
“We might have a client with a rich target sometime soon – that means the Bahamas. We can’t have you burn – you’ve got such pale skin. Try this on for size.” Without waiting for a response Lena placed the hat heavily on Yulia’s head, smiling a little as the oversized brim slipped down over one of her large dark eyes. “It’s perfect. Fits admirably well.”
Yulia raised a hand to lift the hat a little, enabling her to see.
“I like it,” she whispered softly. “Thank you.”
“That’s about it, isn’t it? There’s nothing really left to see. Let’s move on – are you hungry? I’m hungry. Let’s go get some food, there’s this café down the street that has the most delicious-” Lena halted her relaxed chatter as Yulia’s little hand took an iron grip on her arm. She looked down at it, then at the dark girl, then at where her gaze was directed.
Outside the shop window, beyond the hedges and across the street, two men stood side-by-side. They stared in through the glass, straight at the girls. They were cold; unmoving and quiet to the extreme – time seemed frozen around their identically suited bodies.
“Who are they, Lena?”
The blonde stared, eyes narrowed. She answered quietly, distorting her mouth almost as if she was afraid the men could lip-read.
“Aren’t they the same type of men that attacked us in Russia?”
Yulia peered at them through a shield of gauze netting.
“I think so. Maybe, they have the same colour ties – and that little blue badge on their left lapels…”
Lena glanced at her sharply.
“Hm…you could be right. Well, it looks like we’re unarmed and unprepared for an attack. Or-” she watched Yulia colour deeply. “maybe we’re not.”
“I couldn’t help it,” the younger girl explained, drawing her gun from a shopping bag, “I just can’t go anywhere without it…sorry…”
Lena gave a little smile at the ironic situation they now found themselves in.
“Nevermind. Just next time,”
“I know, I know,”
“And you promise to-”
“Shall we?”
“Why not?”
“Why not?”
“I don’t think-”
“Yeah ok.”
“Let’s just-”
“Consider it done.”
The girls turned as one and left the store, Lena throwing down the selected clothes before they walked out.
“We can always-”
“Sure we can.”
“That’s very-”
“Annoying?” Yulia glanced up and smiled. “Yeah, I know.”

26-04-2004, 13:44
By: Tatufreak

Part Two Chapter Six - Ass-Wupping

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P2c6.jpg

There was a pretty Parisian street in mid-summer. Brightly-colored umbrellas blossomed along the hot streets, cars beeped occasionally and the bustling people lining the shops and pavements moved in a lazy pattern, chatting and going about their lives. Two young girls separated from the thronging crowd, one laden with shopping bags, the other twisting her blonde curls around a finger. The darker one with the fair complexion seemed to enjoy the summer sun greatly, lifting her face to the light and sighing in pleasure. Her companion, in contrast, seemed anxious to get out of the hot sunlight, readjusting her sunglasses and looking uncomfortably warm. They crossed a busy road and headed for a nearby park. They moved lethargically, as if tired out by their shopping, looking really ready for a cool break on the grass.
Suddenly they were gone, they disappeared as unobtrusively from the scene as if they'd never been there in the first place.
Two men standing in a darker region of the park seemed to suddenly wake up. They scanned the area from behind their sunglasses, at first in an inconspicuous, relaxed way. After a moment however they became more perturbed and began searching in earnest, peering around trees and talking in low voices. Eventually the slightly more thick-set of the pair walked away towards the edge of the park to get a better view of the surrounding streets, leaving his companion to scan the perimeter.
His name was Olivier. He was thirty-one, was not married (although he had come close after high-school) was a non-smoker, enjoyed playing squash and tennis, liked the Rolling Stones, and now felt a gentle tap on his shoulder. There was a soft touch to his jawbone, a flash of light, and then cool darkness.
His feet made a dragging sound as he was pulled through the undergrowth.
"Why do you have to do that Volk?"
"I had to knock him out..."
"But a simple smack could have done..."
"But there would have been traces, like a bruise."
"Well, yeah ok, but...you're so garish."
Olivier groaned softly.
Both girls looked down at him; one smiling darkly, the other hanging behind and blushing.
"Hi," said the blonde, brightly.
Olivier maneuvered himself up onto his elbows, peering at the girl through narrowed eyes.
"Who are you?" he grunted, knowing full well who she was but forced out of habit to ask.
"I'm the person with a gun pointed at you," she replied, happily.
The smaller dark girl stepped forward. "We want to ask the questions now, if that's ok with you."
Lena rolled her eyes at the pleasantries. She crouched down, placing her knee firmly on the man's chest. One hand aimed Yulia's gun at his head, while the other gripped his tie firmly, forcing his head up.
"Listen, you-" she began through gritted teeth. Yulia calmly but firmly interrupted.
"If you don't mind, we'd like to ask why you and your friend were watching us."
The man stared at her. Was this some sort of joke? He'd taken interrogation before, and something definitely wasn't right here. Glancing at the gun pointed steadily at his head, he closed his eyes. Whatever this was, it was working. The dark-haired girl was polite, but there was the tiniest edge in her voice - a barely noticeable grate below the bottom edge of the sound that hinted strongly that he was sitting on a time bomb, and that somewhere where the universes collided, buried deep inside the heart of worlds, something was going TICK.
He bared his teeth in a grim smile. "What if we weren't watching you at all?"
Lena shifted the gun ever so slightly to remind him it was there. She let go of his tie to regard her nails with apparent boredom.
"We don't like witnesses," she murmured.
Olivier clenched his teeth and brought a foot flying up behind Lena, arching his back against the ground with the momentum. He smacked her sharply in the head and caught the gun as it fell. Now he looked up and his eyes widened in horror as he realized the dark girl had completely vanished. That same second he felt a light pressure on his neck. It was a gentle enough grip, but cables of taught iron ran through Yulia's slim arms. He had already seen what she could do, and now Olivier knew that she could easily snap his spinal cord - perhaps fatally.
"I think that's mine," she said pleasantly. "Can I have it back?"
Olivier caught her off guard. He hurled himself backwards with her behind him, throwing her fragile body against a nearby tree-trunk and crushing it beneath his own weighty momentum. With unexpected speed she reacted; she braced her hands against his shoulders and managed to twist her elbows inwards, placing them close to her ribs against the trunk. With this she gathered enough strength to push the man forwards slightly, just enough so that she could swing up her legs, knees tucked up below her chin. She shot her feet into the man's back, propelling him forwards; using this she caught her own motion and flipped neatly in mid-air, landing on her stomach with both arms outstretched. Savagely she slashed at the man's feet and ankles, tripping him up onto the sandy ground. He fell forward onto his face and Yulia sprang to her feet, temper thoroughly aroused. Seizing his legs, she braced herself and began to throw her weight around.
She wasn't heavy, but by leaning completely backwards she was able to shift the man. Now she used all the momentum she possessed, yanking him off the ground feet first. She used her own body as a simple weight, turning in a tight circle to bring the man flying through the air in a large arc. He smashed head-first into that same tree trunk, and when Yulia let his ankles go he sank to the ground with a thick, sickening thud.
Dust settled, birds started singing again, Yulia brushed herself off, picked up her gun and helped Lena to her feet.
“I did ask politely, and I tried to make it less garish...” she said, almost anxiously. The blonde glanced at the crumpled figure beneath the tree and began to rub her head, wincing.
Yulia looked down at her handiwork, then at the gun in her hand. “No bodycount,” she whispered, a smile briefly lighting up her pretty face. Then she glanced back down again. “What a mess.” Without hesitation she shouldered the man's heavy body in a fireman's lift, swinging him up onto a low branch of the tree. “That should keep him a while…”
Lena risked a quick smile, before turning away.
“Come on, Yulia. Let's go before the other one gets back.”
The younger girl took a last look at Olivier, and then as she went to follow her companion, the blonde half-turned with a colder smile.
“And you see? You didn't need to bring the gun after all.”
The dark girl looked at her, then at her weapon, then back at the man. She colored, and her eyes filled slowly with shimmering tears - half of embarrassment, half of the hurt of being chided.
And then, strangely, she felt a touch on her shoulder. Lena had gently placed her hand there, eyes friendly and full of quiet smiles.
“Come on, Yulia. Let's go.”
The girls melted into the buzzing crowds once more, and the scene was as if they had never been there at all. Children laughed, cars hooted, flowers swayed in the window boxes.
And somewhere far, far away, a man began to smile.

End of Part Two

26-04-2004, 15:45
Honestly, I'm really impressed at how much you've updated! Thanks...saved me a lot of work :) so...any comments?

Veggie Delite
26-04-2004, 22:11
this fic is so good. i mean, they have guns...right? lol

ok, ok... i like this story because u manage to describe everything, but somehow i never skip those parts. usually i always skip not important parts, just scan through them... coz i read a bit fast. but not this time ;)

27-04-2004, 01:25
well .. honestly tatufreak .. I found this fic different from other fanfic in way it was written. I think its your style of writing, your sentence and description. I have to put lots of focus on it and have to make myself imagine the situation since you do describe then almost very detail .. well . I can't compare with other "action/stunt"" fiction writer because this the first that I read that full of it .. so .. I'm a bit slow .and still still reading those I updated last night ... but I'll finish soon .. thanks ..

not much emotion I think .. well I dont remember I felt anything so far .. just a little shock here and there and those girls would just kill .. when Yulia just shot that guy on the head .. I imagine she had a flat face like this :none: that time .. no emotion .. just kill .. .and its cool!!

so ...

:::aims her gun at $in::::squintting her eyes::::

Veggie Delite
27-04-2004, 10:45

i took out u'r bullets...

finish the reading, then we can play :cool:

27-04-2004, 17:52
i took out u'r bullets...
I have spare ...this .. the other gun... and careful $in ... I am pretty good with gun .. at the game archade at least :rolleyes:

Dear tatufreak, you see .. I started reading this fic ..I like it the first time at the mention of the gun .. and also your descriptive sentences ...I admit... it was pretty difficult for me to adopt myself to your writing style at first ...that sometimes I had to read a line many times .. But as I continue to read.. I'm getting use to it.. there was not much to feel there ..I turned off all the noise around me .. and let only the dim light.. just that the sound from the street that I could not control .. I read this heartless .. but later on something did happened .. and I began to understand the characters.. and to feel them .. my curiosity triggered..

Anyway .. I really like your writing style .. so I listed here some of my favorite "moments" that you crafted perfectly with words ...

It was then that he’d detected the slightest of touches to his hair, but before he’d had time to turn Yulia had shot a silenced bullet into his head.
Projected bodycount three, she’d thought to herself, balancing carefully on one hand, I mustn’t go over that.
--- oh wow .. I adore this ...

There was something in this moment – something inexplicable. All she knew was that the thrill of killing, hiding, hunting…it all stirred something deep inside her, like a sleeping monster buried in the grey mists of time. Why did it feel so right?
--- :dead:

“We are not a team,” Lena hissed furiously, eyes blazing. “We just work together. That’s all.”
She turned abruptly and stormed down the hallway. She’d only gone a few steps before suddenly gripping the handle of a door next to her. Twisting it furiously, she opened it, levelled her gun and shot a single bullet into the darkness. This done, she slammed the door shut again and threw a glance at Yulia.
“Mission completed. See you at the airport.”
With this she was gone, leaving the dark-haired girl standing on her own in the corridor, two men slumped at her feet. Her hand was still raised to her cheek, and tears began to stream slowly down her fingers; silver-clear dripping down to mix with and swirl into spilt crimson blood.
----oii .. Lena is hard! but I like it .. *feels some emotion there* :rolleyes:

Far below a million people were relaxing with their loved ones, tied down in the world with happy cares, no idea that high above their sleepy heads a brutally unhappy, hopelessly broken young woman was thinking about them. She had no loved ones, she had no threads. She wasn’t tied to the world in any way – If I died, no one would miss me…no one would know.
“I’d know,” Yulia whispered, still watching the lights below. The magic shimmered and hung heavily in the air, and the dark-haired girl put out a little hand to touch the cool glass. “And I’d miss you.”
--- see I love this fic very much ... its in the sentences..

“She doesn’t know her own face,” Yulia whispered slowly, referring to herself in third person. “She is a stranger to her own reflection.” She speaks dreamily; trancelike – as if she’s remembering a long-forgotten line of poetry, a chant hidden within the veils of a childhood even she can’t remember.
Then her eyes move slowly to Lena’s reflection, catching them and holding them with a force and fragile brutality that shocks the latter, forcing her to concentrate on wiping up the toothpaste spilled from her toothbrush.

She’s a kid with amnesia. She doesn’t know her own face – big deal. She’ll remember it soon enough…
“And then I’ll be out of your way.”

Yulia glances at her quickly, and for a second a desire to draw aside the curtain and let Lena peek into her true nature invades her irresistibly.
“That’s something else I can do. I can read people like books – their body language and their eyes say more in a moment than they ever could…ever.”
Lena frowns at her, but it’s a good sort of frown.

Even jokes can hurt her…she’s so fragile, and yet she’s not really. It’s a paradox – she’s undisturbed by killing and blood, and yet the lightest of criticism scars her. What is she? She’s like a steel machine with a heart of…pink…chocolate. Somehow.

Only if you’d been there; a silent watcher with glowing eyes and the gift of wisdom; would you have seen the flash of pain cross the blonde’s face.
But…you aren’t.
Are you..

Notes: A few changes from now on. This will be the last mushy chapter for a while, as you can probably tell it's a bit boring to read when it's like this! Sorry guys...I didn't mean to make it boring...
Anyway, on with the story!
-- its NOT boring this way!!

“You want to be a part of them, don’t you? You want to have fun with them, to belong in their groups.”
Yulia shook her head. “I don’t think I do…I think maybe…I think I, I think it’s just that…I don’t want any harm to come to them…I think I want to – is it wrong to want to protect them, Lena? To make sure they stay happy and alive and…and free, just like this?” Lena considered this for a moment, before flashing a smile and turning down the street.

He watched them with his busy eyes, expression utterly untranslatable. The readout was followed with a few letters, assembling to tell him everything he needed to know – LSK;?85;FR;25.8.06.
Lena was shopping again.
-- Let me guess!!! Let me guess!! this guy watching Lena credit card spending!!

“We can always-”
“Sure we can.”
“That’s very-”
“Annoying?” Yulia glanced up and smiled. “Yeah, I know.”
LoL LoL ..

The younger girl took a last look at Olivier, and then as she went to follow her companion, the blonde half-turned with a colder smile.
“And you see? You didn't need to bring the gun after all.”
The dark girl looked at her, then at her weapon, then back at the man. She colored, and her eyes filled slowly with shimmering tears - half of embarrassment, half of the hurt of being chided.
--- ohh c'mon Yulia . shoot him!! shoot him in the head!

And somewhere far, far away, a man began to smile.

*off to get more updates*

27-04-2004, 18:55
:kawai: Do you know what, denial? Out of all the comments I've ever had on this fic, I think yours is the most special, simply because it's obvious you've actually read and enjoyed the story...
You and $in rock.
Thank you. :D

27-04-2004, 19:26
tatufreak, ..thank you ... for writing this ... your fic rock! :done:

27-04-2004, 19:39
By: tatufreak

Part Three Chapter One - Muse

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P3c1_-_2.jpg

Yulia woke up with a towel on her face.
She was lying curled up on the bed the caretaker had brought up the night before - it was a single mattress with rusty springs and several protruding lumps in it, but in her exhausted state she had fallen asleep before her head had even hit the pillow; she could've slept on anything in that state. She and Lena had been to the gym the previous day, working out thoroughly after the episode involving Olivier. Yulia's muscles were toned and strong, but were not quite ready for the physical onslaught of three hours of Lena-coached training.
Having a towel on her face really didn't help things that much. After a moment's consideration she lifted a corner and peered into the bright blue eyes of her partner in crime.
"Come on, get up," Lena said, prodding the dark girl several times in the duvet. "We have a client. Coffee's waiting, no time to get dressed, just put on a dressing-gown and join me." She emphasized every other word with a poke, and soon Yulia's sleepy head appeared fully from under the towel Lena had thrown at her. She yawned and reached for her new gown slung over the bedpost. Shivering at the coolness of the silk against her bare skin, she tied a knot around her waist and rubbed her eyes.
Lena watched her from her seat at the pool table. She was adorable in her early-morning state. Little wisps of dark hair brushed her rosy cheeks, all fluffy and flicky. Her long eyelashes looked even longer, her tiny kitten's mouth seemed soft when opened in a hastily covered yawn. Even her expressive eyes looked different; there was something happier and softer within her in the mornings that tended to fade into darkness during the day.
Quickly, find something else to look at.
Furiously the blonde dropped her eyes to the computer, tapping a few unnecessary keys to distract herself. Yulia joined her quickly, examining the lacy stitching on the insides of her sleeves.
“This gown is really pretty Lena,” she murmured, “thank you.”
“It’s my pleasure. Look at this.”
The blonde passed her a sheaf of paper. Yulia took a glance at the letterhead and the signature before flicking through it idly.
“This is the Maxman Corporation’s Japanese Headquarters. Here are the plans, here are the ducts, here’s the electrical grid and the security system…”
Lena pulled the papers out of her hands.
“I know that,” she snapped, listlessly. “They came this morning in the post. Along with this.” She separated a note and handed it to Yulia while tapping on the computer with her other hand. “While you were sleeping this morning I’ve been researching Maxman.”
“James Donahue, CEO…” Yulia scanned the note. “Date – payment – plans enclosed; travel arrangements…look Lena, they made travel arrangements for us!”
“What?” Lena glanced over to her. “Oh…they do that sometimes, just to make sure you take the case. You know, they can check up on whether you catch the plane or not; if you don’t they know to make other arrangements.”
“First class, too!”
“We fly first regardless of whether they’re paying or not. We always fly first.”
Yulia turned the note over. The other side was blank, so she laid it down on top of the other papers. “What would have happened if they’d bought us economy class tickets?” she mused, half smiling.
Lena glanced up. “What?”
“We wouldn’t take the case, of course.”
Yulia glanced at her; she was smiling coldly, as if to test the younger girl. They stared at each other for a brief moment before Lena continued.
“So we’re flying tonight. You’d better go pack for us while I get some more information.”
“Pack what?”
There was a pause, then Lena pressed a button on the computer and swivelled her chair sideways to face Yulia. Resting an elbow on the table and her chin in her hand, she looked at the girl with her big blue eyes, an expression of something halfway between amusement and annoyance flickering across her face.
“Figure it out.”
The dark haired girl put out a little hand and began to count off her fingers.
“Well, we need our pyjamas, toiletries and that…” she paused as Lena began to shake a finger, and then began to wonder how she could have made a mistake already.
“You don’t know Japanese hotels, Volk. They provide PJs, toiletries, stuff like that. Think more technically.”
“Well, obviously we need our guns, ammo, cleaning fluid, cases and laser sights…main suitcase.”
“Main? We’re travelling light.”
“Then we’ll need a change of clothes, and our fighting gear. Is that it?”
Yulia waited for a while but no further communication seemed to be forthcoming, so she turned and began to look for the items to pack. Her search took her around the apartment, with each retrieval she went back to Lena’s large double bed where she stacked the objects in neat piles ready for packing into the suitcase. The latter item was a little harder to find, but she eventually located a little cupboard high up in the bathroom wall. Standing on her toes and stretching her full length meant she could just reach the case with her fingertips, so she balanced on one foot and pulled herself up far enough so she could grab it.
Just as she was about to reach for it she paused and looked down at her foot. Her arch was incredibly strong and her toes held her entire weight, her balance and legs seemed tuned for this. Now she became pleased with her foot, smiling down at it in surprise.
“I didn’t know you could do that,” she said to it, studying her smooth instep and slim ankles. “You don’t look like you should be able to do that.”
She placed her other foot on the ground and let her toes and arches carry her. Reaching into her pocket she withdrew a round, familiar object that turned out to be the watch. She clicked it open and smiled as the hauntingly simple melody began to play into the air, bringing shadowy spirits and the faintest butterflies with it to hover just out of sight.
Very slowly, Yulia began to dance. The patterns she traced with her body were eccentric but ancient and beautiful, like a forgotten language etched into the stones of a lost cathedral. Light from the ceiling lamps caught her hair and shone down her arms, casting graceful shadows across the floor as she danced enchanted steps. Her eyes looked past the walls and the city. She was somewhere ancient and dead, dancing in a stone courtyard on a dying world, lost in the whorls of time. Her body remembered the movements, echoing something done many lives before. She was the light in her courtyard, around her fragile spirit enormous dragons stirred out of the dust, climbing into the dark air and circling her dance of light with great beats of their time-heavy wings. The ancient monsters surrounded her, captured by the spells of her magical dance, drawn to the girl as moths to their flame. They followed her movements, glowing eyes searching for a way into her world of light. Her dance kept them away and drew them near, with every curve of her body forgotten spirits stirred and awakened, each slowly shimmering between reality and–
“What’s with the music?”
Yulia was jerked out of her reverie as Lena’s voice cut through her muse. She glanced up guiltily to see the blonde with her arms crossed leaning against the doorframe. Quickly she dropped back onto the ground, snapping the watch shut and slipping it back into her pocket. The last icy drops of the melody still hung in the air, and the dark-haired girl was confused and surprised to find herself back in the world of blue tiles, ceiling lights and suitcases.
She dropped her tousled head. “I was looking for the suitcase…”
“It’s in the cupboard, not in danceworld.” With a frustrated sigh, Lena reached up beyond Yulia’s head and pulled the case down, using her extra height as an advantage. She handed it to the girl in a deadpan fashion and watched as she took it, a smile of patronising irony in her blue eyes.
The moment Yulia was gone, however, it changed to one of thoughtful interest.
No one dances that way without training…she’s obviously got natural talent, but to dance like that at so young would require one of the best teachers in the world, and very long durations of time in their company. She was on her pointes too; even when I did ballet I only just reached that stage. The strange thing is, she didn’t need blocked shoes or anything – the best dancers can dance barefoot with care, but she seemed so strong and sure. Lena’s forehead creased further.
Maybe she was so careless because she didn’t know she could do it, so finding out that she could dance like a spirit would have been a pleasure too great to pass up.Now the look of confusion passed from her eyes and she straightened up, her mind set on one objective.
No matter what, I have to find out who she is…

…even if I have to kill her.

27-04-2004, 19:42
By: tatufreak

Part Three Chapter Two, part 1 - Jitters

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P3c2.jpg

Maxman Corporation Headquarters in Tokyo. A vast glass-and-steel building rose from the depths of the city, glittering in the sunlight and arching towards the sky above it. It was relatively similar to the hi-rise buildings that surrounded it, but it was starkly beautiful nevertheless - a mind-hurtling display of mankind's technology and affluence. At its street-level base a glass reception desk opened straight out onto the pavement, set off by lush plant areas and steel sculptures. A hundred feet above a solitary man stood in his office, hands clasped behind his back. He had a striking face; well-hewn features began with his chiselled jawline and piercing blue eyes, reminiscent of an alpine model. His hair was a distinguished silver; overall he had the looks of a timelessly handsome older man. He was a man known and widely acclaimed for his quiet determination and ruthless efficiency, the dark figure who stayed behind the scenes and at the head of the table, calmly making sure that everything went to plan. He was a man who got what he wanted, achieved higher than his contemporaries, drove an understated Jaguar and wore tailor-made black suits from Saville Row. In short he was a figure of style and success, as cold and beautiful as the building he stood in.
"What a man," Lena said softly, studying his chiselled face through her high-powered binoculars. "Shame we have to kill him."
She was leaning against the dark glass of the window of TaTu's Tokyo hotel room in direct line of sight with the Maxman building and, ultimately, with their projected target. The direct sunlight was dimmed out by the high-tech window glass, so a soft light fell across the girls, illuminating and warming them. Yulia was sitting across the room with her gun, carefully running a static free cloth down the barrel. Momentarily she would pause and examine her work, tipping her weapon this way and that in the mid-afternoon light to check any imperfections. Lena's gun lay on the table in front of her - she'd already cleaned and checked it carefully. This meant that the blonde was free to undertake surveillance of their target, unwittingly regarding the bustling empire at his feet.
"I wish we'd brought a snipe rifle," Lena commented, half annoyed. "We could take him from here." She let the binoculars fall by their string around her neck, lifting her hands into the mime of a rifle. Cocking her head, she closed one eye and sighted the silhouetted figure. "Bang."
Yulia laid down her gun and pushed out her chair, rising to join the blonde at the window. "But we couldn't, could we? There would be too many clues..."
Lena glanced at her. "How many, exactly?"
The dark girl began to count off her fingers. "There would be the aspect of his fall. That combined with the shatterpoint of the glass and the orientation of the bullet would show any half-decent detective the direction from which the shot was fired."
She's so confident about this, Lena thought. Anything else sets her stammering, but it's like assassination is her tried and tested subject...something she's been bred for.
Yulia continued without her pauses, her brilliance shining through her usual shyness.
"Obviously if you measured the amount the bullet de-accelerated as it passed through his body you could work out how much it had slowed down over travelling, meaning you'd end up with both direction and a rough estimate of how far away the firing weapon was at the time of the shot. Put these together and it points you to exactly one building..."
"The Tokyo City Hotel," Lena finished, eyes shining with a challenge. "But how would that lead straight to us?"
Yulia tapped the glass. "We're on the twenty-fourth floor. If you hadn't noticed, there's no way to open the windows - they're sealed shut for safety reasons. A shot would have to be fired through the glass, creating another shatterpoint and the only clue the police would need. It'd then be simple for them to find out who we were - even though we're checked in under aliases, a simple DNA test of the renewed items such as glasses and sheets would lead them straight to us."
"And if we went up to the roof?"
"These six floors are the only levels that have straight sight contact with James Donahue's office - it's no accident that this room was booked for us."
Lena threw up her hands and laughed. "Ok, you got me. It was only speculation anyway."
Yulia dared to risk a tiny answering smile, a warm feeling beginning to fill her. Had she really managed to please Lena?
A cloud passed over the sun. Both girls looked up to check the weather, anxious about that night's mission settings. The sky seemed to be darkening quickly; sullen clouds were gathering darkly on the horizon, promising rain in the night.
The two girls stood side-by-side, each pondering on the forthcoming events. Quietly they walked through the mission with understated apprehension, their moods brooding and solemn. Lena's eyelids flickered as she dropped her gaze, a twinge of guilt touching her at the impending death of the man. He looked so noble and hard-working, a dash of true class and style in a world of lessening sophistication. For a stated sum his life was to be ended that night - and by her own hands, nonetheless.
As she glanced down at them, Yulia gazed at her sadly. "Do you know what we are, Lena?"
The blonde didn't look up. "What are we, Volk?"
"We're maidens..."
This time she glanced at the younger girl staring out at the late sky, her brown eyes looking almost red in the strange stormy light. They flashed as she turned to catch her gaze.
"We're maidens with black hands."
Something buried and hidden surfaced and seared across Lena's mind, burning into the darkness a terrifyingly vivid memory. It vanished as it appeared, drained away by the defences she'd built up over a lifetime.
She let out an involuntary gasp, leaning forward to place her hands against the window glass while she recovered.
Yulia watched her with horror, desperately hoping she wasn't the cause of her partner's sudden shock.
A breathless moment passed before both girls started out of their darkening moods, Lena skipping across to the light switches and flipping all the overhead spotlights on.
"We're just being silly," she laughed, "it's just pre-mission jitters, that's all. We need some food for this evening before we go out, I'm going down to the streets to get some. Stay in the hotel, I won't be long."
Yulia nodded and sat own at the table again, picking up her gun and staring down the barrel. She smiled happily at it - it certainly was a lovely weapon, and she'd taken great care of it. She knew it would never fail her, and now, slipping it from one hand to another, she enjoyed the familiar weight and texture. She understood guns; they were a part of her.
The door clicked behind Lena as she left the room, causing Yulia to glance up. Now she was gone, silence settled on the room and began to filter through to the dark-haired girl. Quietly she reached up and flipped off the switches, smiling in the cool darkness. She picked up the binoculars from the bed and walked over to the window, surveying the view. The evening had come on extremely fast, speeded by the gathering storm. Bright buildings and light-lined streets shone out of the gloom, cheerfully proclaiming that despite man's inability to control the weather they could still make their own little worlds hospitable and warm.
Yulia's dark eyes travelled over the tiny lights and people with a strange sense of calm and detachment. They made her feel special - elite. She was sitting in a quiet room hundreds of feet above their bustling heads, a little girl with the power to kill...and no memory of how she came about it.
Yulia lifted the binoculars to her eyes, searching the Maxman building. She let her gaze travel past Donahue - he didn't interest her; he was just a target. What interested her was the layout of the office.
James Donahue worked late three nights of the week, tonight he would be going home at eleven. He was a calculated machine, Lena and Yulia were relying on the fact that he hated any deviations from his scheduled life. The mission was to take place between ten and eleven, with the aim of eliminating their target at twenty-five past.
Lena was going to go in through the ground floor ventilation chutes, making her way towards the twentieth floor. While she was doing this Yulia would be infiltrating the building by scaling a complicated system of fire escapes on the North side of the Maxman HQ.
At ten past Lena would be able to travel towards the electrical controls through the 20th floor intersection with the ventilation shafts. She would then wait until exactly twenty past, when an electronic signal from Yulia (now on the 25th level) would show her to be ready. Lena would then cut the power from the main and backup generators, plunging the building into total darkness. When this happened, the plan was that Yulia would make her way towards Donahue's office, infiltrating his private, closed network of ventilation shafts from the floor above. She would crawl through until she was directly over him, thereby avoiding the backup security systems that would still be active on the 24th floor. When she was positioned over him she would signal Lena, then drop into the office and dispatch Donahue. Once that was done she would climb back into the shafts and meet Lena twelve blocks away in a deserted carpark at eleven fifteen, with eight minutes' leeway.
Now the younger Assassin was taking in every detail of the office, watching. She memorised the position of the wide desk and the potted plants, as well as the chairs and the coffee table against the other wall.
Then something caught her eye. It was just a flicker, a tiny discrepancy that to anyone else would have gone unnoticed. Yulia only just caught it out of the corner of her eye, suddenly alert. James Donahue had sat down at his desk, making a very slight shift to the left as he'd done so. Now, as Yulia watched, it became obvious that there was something attached to the underside of the table that he had moved slightly to avoid hitting. This didn't really alarm her until a thought seared through her mind.
"It can't be," she shook her head, "they would have told us."
Nevertheless, she pushed the binocular high-power switch further and zoomed in. There could be no doubt, there was definitely something strapped to the desk.
Without waiting for any further confirmation, Yulia slid her new cell phone out of her pocket, flipping it open and pressing 1 - the set speed-dial. It rang for a moment before the other end was picked up. Yulia didn't wait for an answer.
"Lena," she said, quietly. "He's got a gun under his desk."
There was a pause before the other girl replied.
"This makes things a bit more complicated. Are you confident you can take him out?"
Yulia lifted her binoculars back to her eyes with one hand while still holding the phone to her ear.
"He's...the way he's writing, his fingers are a little stiff...he obviously spends a lot of time...I mean, I think he basically writes most of the day - that means he won't be able to handle the gun as well as I...I mean I might be able to get a better shot at him..."
She lapsed into an embarassed silence, so Lena confirmed the conversation.
"Basically he's not as good as your are. Well you'd better make sure Volk - if you think there's any possibility he might be able to get a clear shot we should walk away for tonight, there's no use in risking it and getting hurt."
While Lena had been talking the younger girl had been carefully monitoring Donahue's hand movements, and now she felt confident.
"I'm sure it'll be ok...I think I can do it."
"You sure, Volk?"
"Ye...I think so, Katin."
There was an ominous pause, and Yulia scrunched up her nose in horror, dropping her binoculars to smack herself on the head with her free hand.
"I'm sorry...I shouldn't have..."
"Don't let it happen again, Volk. I can do it, but remember that I'm the boss here."
"Forget it. I'll be back in ten, start getting ready."
Yulia switched her phone off and put it carefully on the table. She then pulled the binoculars from around her neck, placing them next to the cell. Her hands found her face and she dropped onto the bed, covering her eyes. Tears began to run down her fingers as she slipped backwards, and very slowly all the pain, worry and misery were cried out into the sobs of the dark-haired girl.
When Lena finally returned to the hotel room a few hours later she found Yulia sleeping sideways across the bed, her cheeks still wet from tears. She dropped the bags of food she had aquired on the desk before very slowly approaching the bed, settling herself down next to the girl and kicking off her shoes. She flipped on the TV and opened a packet of popcorn, switching between channels before finally settling for a rerun of the anime movie Akira.
A few minutes later Yulia opened her dark eyes and glanced up at Lena, who didn't bother to turn around but somehow knew she had woken. “We're leaving in two hours, Volk. You might want a shower before we go, there are towels in the bathroom.”
A rush of painful affection overwhelmed little Yulia, but she restrained herself from hugging the older girl and desperately pouring out her problems. Instead she forced herself to flash a tiny smile and push herself up from the bed.
“Thank you,” she whispered, putting as much meaning as she possibly could into those two words. Then she turned, walked into the bathroom and turned the shower as hot as she could stand it.
As the sound of running water echoed through to Lena, the blonde sat and stared at the closed bathroom door, a handle of popcorn frozen on its way to her mouth.

27-04-2004, 19:44
By: tatufreak

Part Three Chapter Two, part 2 - Jitters


Yulia emerged from the bathroom twenty minutes later, rubbing a towel vigorously through her short dark hair. She was wrapped up warmly in one of the hotel's fluffy dressing gowns and smelled pleasantly of Dove bodywash. Lena was still watching Akira, the popcorn now completely gone. She turned on the bed and studied Yulia before wiping her hands on her towel, which she had laid across the bed after completely drying her hair. It was now beginning to flick up at the ends into an adorable style, and the younger girl stretched luxuriously onto the wide bed, feeling refreshed and clean.
"I'll take a shower now too," Lena began, pushing herself up. "Get dressed in your underthings and basic clothes and I'll join you in a second. We need to run through the outfit preparations together - this'll be our first real mission as a team."
Yulia nodded from her spot on the bed and reached for the remote control. Anime didn't interest her, she wanted something more relaxing to calm her jitters down. Also, the sight of a psychic and immensely powerful child destroying Tokyo using his mindpower alone did nothing for her mood or sense of safety, especially while she was sitting in the city itself.
Lena disappeared into the bathroom for a while, leaving Yulia on her own again. She flipped through the channels for a while before discovering that the Matrix was playing. Leaving it on this she went over to the suitcase and slipped the catches, lifting the lid and surveying her few, carefully selected clothes.
There were a few items that she pushed aside before she got to the pile of 'underthings'. Choosing a pair of cropped shorts emblazoned with the image of Mickey Mouse, she smiled at the recent memory of their purchase.
"Mickey Mouse? You don't want Mickey Mouse underwear! What are you, eight?"
"I don't even know my real age..."
"Ok, enough with the emotion already. I'm tired and hungry, you can have the underwear. Just don't come to me when you get hit by a bus and the doctors in the emergency room start laughing as they strip off your corpse, ok?"
And Lena had bought her the Mickey Mouse underwear, which Yulia now admired on herself in the mirror. She tipped her tousled head sideways and smiled at herself. When she was satisfied she put on a white tank top and a pair of tiny black shorts that only just covered her treasured new underwear. This done, she was just about to start combing through her hair when a movement from the TV caught her eye. She stared in fascination as Neo and Morpheus began to fight each other in the Chinese dojo. She followed their precise motions with their eyes, hands unconsciously beginning to twitch. Something in their frenzied battle of martial arts stirred her imagination and captured her completely. The music became faster and more complex, and she suddenly felt a surge of energy. Rising to her feet, she faced the bathroom and took a stance. She didn't really have to think about it, the position was so natural that her body seemed to fall into it. All she knew was that her arms must go like so, her legs must be this far apart, her fists would be clenched with the thumbs pointing at her little fingers, like so, her chin must be lifted into the air above squared shoulders, head thrown back.
It all came so normally, as if she'd done it a million times before.
Then she began to spar. At first she tried the simplest couple of kicks, but her natural sense of rhythm kicked in to the fast music and she found herself slipping into something a little harder.
A front kick was turned into a side kick, which she twisted under and transformed into a neck-bound crescent kick. As she landed on both her feet she twisted her upper body and spun on her momentum, slicing out with one leg and following with the other. Her arms came round and she threw a vicious double-punch into the air, turning to block an imaginary volley of attacks before dropping to the ground and snaking out her legs in a style reminiscent of extreme breakdancing. Twisting gracefully upwards in a spin kick, she turned, slashed her hands forwards into a combination cut, and managed to stop them an inch from either side of Lena's neck as the blonde stepped out of the bathroom.
"Save it for later," the blonde remarked, completely unfazed.
Yulia followed her to the suitcase where the older girl separated out two pairs of dark trousers; lightweight, but woven out of high-durability materials, perfect for crawling through the air vents later that night. Matching belts were added with concealed inner straps for carrying guns and tools, they were wide straps of black leather with white stitching. Both girls then put on dark blue body-hugging T-shirts with green sleeves, which Yulia noticed were made by Ralph Lauren.
As Lena caught her glancing at the little polo symbol, she commented, "Just because we kill people doesn't mean we don't have style." Yulia nodded her silent assent and turned to her next item of clothing, a pair of tight-fitting arm warmers. They were technically to cover up her support bandages, but they helped with warmth as well. She took the roll of white wraps that Lena held out and stretched a length between her hands before placing an end over one of her wrists and beginning to bind the bandages tightly around it. When she had finished completely and tied off she quickly did the same to the other arm before handing the roll back to Lena. As she flexed her fingers, Yulia felt strength seep into her arms from an unknown source; she knew that the mission must start soon or she would be in danger of losing the surge. Pulling her arm warmers over her support bandages, she sat on the bed and kicked her feet while she watched Lena wrapping up her own wrists.
Only then did both girls strap a special watch to their left arm and a small communication device to their right. Lena glanced down at the timer and pressed a button.
Yulia glanced at her own and then at the large city clock of glowing digits a few buildings away, visible from their window. It read 8:47, which she quickly set into her watch before flicking to the seconds dial.
"Eight forty-eight in three...two...one..."
A beep from Lena's timer confirmed, and the girls turned to their communication devices. They checked them thoroughly and then pulled out their respective guns. Yulia had done a superb job cleaning and polishing them, and Lena found to her surprise that the handling felt easier and more natural. She glanced at the dark girl in surprise, and Yulia responded with a happy smile. "I used a special static-free cloth and a non-sticky wax. You should find the feel is less clingy and a bit easier to aim properly. I also loaded it with slightly heavier bullets, so the weight distribution is more even." She shrugged, suddenly worried. "I...I hope you don't mind; I know that we...I mean Assassins are very - um - particular about...I mean I would, I would be but I don't want to assume..." she lapsed into silence and looked pathetically at Lena, who continued to play with her gun.
"It feels ok," she commented brusquely, causing Yulia to breathe a sigh of relief. "Just ask next time. I'm gonna go dry my hair before I tie it up. Fit the ni-glo goggles to your face while I'm doing that; they're in the suitcase."
Yulia found them quickly - her very own pair of extremely hi-tech night vision glasses. They weren't as exciting as those in the movies, but as Lena had commented, they were just about cool enough to pass. They were mounted on a lightweight aluminium frame that Yulia slotted into place around her head, sliding the tiny metal clips tighter to give the perfect fit. Both eyes were covered by the mono-vision goggles, which were surprisingly light and unobstructive. She stared at her hands through them, and then at the hotel room. In the light everything was a bright green, but by fiddling with one of the tiny buttons she was able to dim the goggles.
By this time Lena was back, tying her silky blonde curls up into a high ponytail as she made sure their steel-woven black gloves were by the door.
"We ready?"
Yulia nodded at her and picked up the binoculars for a last look at James Donahue.
The man was sitting at his desk, a sheaf of papers spread out in front of him. He sat back and pinched the bridge of his nose, stifling a yawn and rubbing his tired eyes. Quickly he glanced at his watch and then at the clock on the wall, and then Yulia suddenly turned around, hissing, "Lena! The lights! Quickly!"
On reflex the blonde smacked the light switch with the back of her hand, plunging the room into darkness. Without words she joined Yulia at the window, eyes wide. She'd never heard the younger girl speak in that tone of voice, but it felt almost as even if she'd wanted to disobey, her body would have acted of its own accord. There had been something extremely confident and powerful in that moment, and Lena shivered to remember it.
She distracted herself by asking the reason for Yulia's sudden outburst.
Wordlessly the younger girl handed her the binoculars, and Lena put them to her eyes before inhaling suddenly.
James Donahue stood at his window, staring right at them.

The girls sat side-by-side on the bed, shocked.
"There's no way! ...Is there?" For once Lena was less than confident. Suddenly she shook herself and wiped her forehead.
"It was nothing, just chance. He saw a silhouette in a far window and looked at it, nothing new there. So are we going or what?"
In her haste Lena had forgotten her own rule - always go over the plan.
Yulia glanced at the little laptop on the desk, then at her.

Fifty minutes later, the two Assassins were standing outside the brightly lit headquarters of the Maxman Corporation.
They stood side by side, looking up at the building. Lena's eyes were narrowed and prepared, Yulia's were shining with excitement.
"Here we go," she whispered, causing Lena to hide a smile.
"Let the games begin," the latter returned, and in the distance the city clocks chimed ten.

27-04-2004, 19:47
By: tatufreak

Part Three Chapter Two, Part Three

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P3c2.jpg

Lena glanced left and right before crouching at a grille beyond the brightly-lit reception area. Sliding a screwdriver from her belt, she quickly undid the bolts and slid them into her pocket for later replacement. Very carefully she removed the covering and laid it flat on the ground, slipping into the shaft without a sound. Once she was in she turned to pull the grille up against the opening behind her, and then she paused for a moment. Detaching her ni-glo's from her belt, she slipped them onto her head and adjusted the brightness so that the shafts appeared in front of her. Green-lit corridors stretched away in every direction - it was imperative that she took the right one. Closing her blue eyes, she saw the carefully memorised map and traced her position on it. Then her eyelids flew open as she began to crawl silently onwards.

Yulia swung herself up hand over hand. She grunted with the effort, but scaled the vertical scaffolds like a sailor. Quickly she made her way up and onto the first floor fire escape, careful not to be seen or heard. Below her feet a security guard emerged, patrolling the grounds and carrying a Uzi.
Yulia paid him no attention, quickly making a dog-check before turning her face upwards. She scanned the side of the building above her, eyes lingering on a large flagpole extending from the second storey.
Now she snapped back into action, climbing up to balance on the handrail of the fire escape. Carefully she reached up and jumped to catch the base of the next exit, grunting as she pulled herself up and onto the scaffold platform.
"Only twenty-three more to go..."

Lena had reached a fork in her shaft. Her forehead wrinkled as she contemplated it, trying hard to remember the map. Left or right?
Finally she decided to turn left, crawling until she met a large propeller. It turned with a dull throb, cooling her sweaty forehead.

Yulia was scaling the fifth floor. She had run into a spot of trouble regarding a loose rail, but her lightning-quick reflexes had saved her - not for the first time either. Now she was just about to pass the fire exit when a sudden movement made her duck into the shadows. A security guard emerged into the lighting, headed straight for the door.
Yulia quietly reached up for the base of the sixth floor fire exit, wrapping her hands around the strong horizontal supports. She carefully lifted herself up and flattened herself against it, muscles shaking from the effort.
The exit creaked open as the man looked out. He half-closed it behind him as he stepped out, walking towards the railings as he leaned over to look at the scaffolds below him. After a cursory check, he lifted his walkie-talkie to his mouth and pressed the talk button.
"Fred, there's no one on the exits. False alarm. Must be the other-floor alerts malfunctioning again."
There was a pause, and Yulia clamped her eyes shut with the effort of remaining pulled up to the base of the sixth story escape.
I can't hold on much longer!
The radio crackled a response.
"If they're malfunctioning, guess I'll turn 'em off for the night. We'll get the engineers in to look at them tomorrow. Thanks Bob."
The guard opened the door and disappeared back inside. Yulia counted to ten before letting her feet drop. She swung them up behind her onto the sixth floor, hooking them against the railings. Then it was a simple matter of a sit-up to complete the motion, leaving her on the next fire escape.
"Why weren't we told about an alarm?" she mused, annoyed.

A few minutes later, Lena finally reached her intersection, taking it quickly as she raced against time. She turned a corner, then another. Finally the shaft reached a dead-end, and Lena grunted in frustration. She shut her eyes tightly and tried to remember...ah yes.
Quickly she braced herself and kicked the shaft end wall, hard. It buckled and folded away. Lena pushed her way past it, into a separate passage.
Suddenly she pulled up short as she found herself face to face with the heart of the colossal building - the electrical centre shaft.
The entrance was through a large round screw door at her feet. Quickly she spun the wheel and lifted the hatch, descending the interior ladder before closing it behind her. She found herself in a tiny room, about five feet by six. In the centre was a large, padded chair and a ring of surrounding computers.
"Hmm...this I like," she commented, but decided not to take the seat. Instinct told her it would probably not be such a good idea.
Now she crouched below one of the larger computer terminals, supported by a rack on the wall. Quickly she unstrapped a wire from her belt and plugged one end of it into her laptop, which she pulled from a bag on her back.
With the other end of the cable in one hand, she got onto her knees and looked at the back of the computer above her head.
"Now where does this go?"

Yulia was hanging off the rail of the thirteenth floor when she saw the lights in the building flicker slightly.
Something's wrong.
She yanked herself over and hurled her back against the wall, checking the doorway while lifting her right wrist to her mouth.
"Ta! Ta, what just happened?" At first she heard nothing, but then the voice of her partner came through, sounding extremely pissed off.
"Power surge, my laptop's fried. I can still get through on one of theirs, but we'll have to keep it tight to avoid complications. Where are you?"
"Got it. Speed it up."
Yulia switched her device off and continued climbing, putting the new problem aside for a brief second.

Meanwhile, Lena was now attempting to hack into the building mainframe using their own computer. The client had provided a password, but somehow she didn't quite trust them. Quickly she wrote her own and tapped through the firewall, closing her eyes.
A sudden beep made her open them as a little message flashed up, outlined in red. A few lines of code were added, and Lena quickly and furiously countered with her keyboard. She typed fast, disregarding normal protocols.
A few seconds later the message disappeared and the operating system opened up in front of her eyes.
"That's gotta be the dirtiest damn hack I've ever done," she smiled, humourlessly. "Now let's get down to business."

It was time. Yulia pulled herself onto the twenty-sixth floor fire escape, arms aching and sweat pouring down her forehead. She placed her ni-glo's over her eyes and flicked them on before checking the hallway for intruders. There were none, so she carefully let herself into the building, grateful that the fire escape alarms had been turned off. After backing down a few corridors she arrived at her target, a corner office with a grate below the desk. She pulled a key from her belt and slid it into the door handle, twisting it to let herself in. Now she turned her device back on.
"Ta, I'm in position."

The call came just as Lena accessed the mainframe.
With a smile she entered a command and hit the enter button. A second later the little room was plunged into darkness, as was the rest of the building. The row of computer monitors went dark, and through her ni-glo's Lena could see that the power was completely off - even the backup generators were offline.
Suddenly the hatch above her head flew open. A scrawny men half descended the ladder, a torch in one hand. He flashed it at the chair hurriedly, checking for any signs of tampering. When he saw none he climbed the ladder again, disappearing out of sight.
Lena waited until her heart rate returned to normal before smiling at her insight.

An electric thrill passed through Yulia as the lights flickered, then cut out completely. It was time.
She lifted the grille below the desk and slipped into the shaft below, closing it behind her. She dropped noiselessly and landed on all fours like a cat. She had no problem remembering the route; her photographic memory led her unfalteringly.
Eventually she reached the grille in the shaft floor that led downwards into the office of James Donahue.
Closing her eyes, Yulia breathed in. Right now, Lena would be making her way out of the building many floors below. In the mean time, there was a living, breathing man below her feet that she must concentrate on killing.
It was up to her, now.
Yulia wrenched her ni-glo goggles off and stuck them into her belt. She didn't need them.
She balanced over the grille on four points, staring down below her. The room was dark, and there was the sound of a man breathing heavily. She knew that James Donahue was waiting for the lights to come back on, patient but annoyed.
Here we go!
Yulia jammed one knee into the grille, pushing down with her other foot and forcing the cover from its bolts. As it fell and clattered onto the office floor below, she gripped the edge of the opening, swung herself down into mid-air, and then nearly fell as with a low throb the office lights came on brightly.
Twenty five floors below, Lena stared up at the building in rising horror. The power! The power was back on! But...how?
She closed her eyes and buried her face in her hands, ice settling around her heart.
They knew we were coming...they knew.
Suddenly her eyes flew open and she stared upwards in utter terror, uttering one word in a strangled half-sob.
In the office, the dark-haired girl stared as everything seemed to slow down. The CEO was standing at his desk, a gun levelled straight at her. Three armed men stood beyond him, Uzis raised. Bullets began to fly through the air towards Yulia, and without thinking she turned a flip in the air, throwing herself forwards towards Donahue.
The amateur gun-handler dropped his weapon in surprise as the girl landed almost in his arms. A little hand jerked out and caught his belt buckle, and before he or his guards could respond he was yanked through the air as the girl began another flip.
The man spiralled through the air gracelessly, towed by the ballistic actions of the dark-haired Assassin. They reached the windows, and without thinking one of the guards opened fire with a barrage of bullets before the screams of his superior sank in. The shots riddled Donahue's body and made several shatterpoints in the glass beyond him.
As the guards threw down their weapons in horror, a girl emerged from the other side of their boss's bloody corpse. She faced them as she gathered her momentum for her final flip, and in that brief instance her sad, dark eyes searched and understood the three horrified men. Then she was gone - framed for an instant against the huge glass windows and the stormy, heavy sky.
The next moment her back smashed through the glass and she fell towards the earth, instinct causing her to twist as she plummeted.
This is it, Yulia Volkova. The thought flashed through her mind like white-hot lightning. She quieted herself for the final moment, her mind growing strangely clear. She was ready to go. Below her she suddenly spotted Lena, standing far away on the street pavement. Her eyes were terrified and wide, and held something Yulia didn't expect - fear. Fear not for herself, but for the fragile little girl plummeting towards certain death so, so fast.
In that moment, the girls connected. A bond formed that blazed into both of them, something that couldn't and mustn't be broken.
It gave Yulia the will to live for that one instant, and it was just enough.
Her arms snaked out into the darkness and caught the second storey flagpole that she had noticed earlier. As she slammed to a muscle-wrenching halt, she closed her eyes and let her body twist into a natural curve, flipping up and over the pole to exhaust the murderous momentum of the fall.
She dropped the last twelve feet and rolled as she hit the ground, rising to her feet almost as she touched. Then she was away, running like the wind.
She tore around the block, cut through a riddle of passages and emerged at the abandoned carpark, twenty-two seconds before deadline.
At first she thought she was alone - that Lena had deserted her. Had she been set up all the time? No, she couldn't believe that - she wouldn't. As she turned a movement caught her eye, and as her watched beeped the final count, Lena stepped out of the shadows. The two girls approached each other wordlessly, stared into each others' eyes for just a moment, and then the blonde suddenly wrapped her arms around Yulia's little body. The latter slowly reciprocated the hug, and they stood together for a long time under the streetlights, aware of nothing else.
"I thought you..." Lena began to choke back a sob of mingled relief and fear. "I thought you would..."
Yulia reached up and wrapped her curls around her little fingers, comforting the older girl.
"It doesn't matter...shhh...it's ok now."
"But I should have realised it was a set-up..."
"You had no way of knowing. They were very good."
"It must have been the relatives of a previous target..."
"Nevertheless, we completed their mission, and they have to pay us, don't they?"
Lena gave a watery smile. "Yeah..."
The irony of the situation was not lost on her - how the older, sophisticated Parisian socialite was clinging desperately to the comfort of the young, troubled amnesiac.
But for once in her life, it didn't matter. She'd realised how close she had come to losing the younger girl, and it had terrified her. Tomorrow she would once again become a cruel, heartless antagonist - but for now she could cry, and she did.
Tears ran down TaTu's faces as they held each other, and their bond very slowly began to heal both of their bruised and bloodied souls.
A passing young man stopped and sneered at them, displaying a mouthful of gold teeth as he shouted, "Lesbians! Get off the streets!"
As one, Yulia and Lena quietly drew each others' guns from each others' belts. They didn't have to look as they aimed, still holding each other with one arm.
Two identical shots rang out in the night, and then all was still.
In the distance, wailing police sirens were drowned out by the clock striking eleven.

The heavy skies roared.

It began to rain.

27-04-2004, 19:53
By: tatufreak

And here it is, folks! First guest written chapter by the fabulous Vicky7.
All I can say is - Enjoy. :thumbsup:

Vicky7 - Clash

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/Clash.jpg

Yulia yawned and stretched the springs on her makeshift bed straining as she moved bidding her good morning, the loud tapping on the keys of a laptop signifying that Lena was already up and about. She ran her hands over her face wiping the sleep from the corner of her eyes and swung her legs out of bed. Did they have a new client?

Yulia stumbled sleepily out into the kitchen where Lena was sat at her laptop sipping slowly on a glass of orange juice occasionally taking delicate bites of her slice of toast. Without saying a word Yulia stood behind her noting the way her fine features were illuminated perfectly by the light radiating from the laptop’s screen.

“What time is it?” Yulia asked breaking the silence.

“Nine O’clock.” Lena replied her eyes never leaving the screen. “You have a client.”

Yulia’s eyes widened in surprise “I have a client?”

“Yes. This evening. It’s an easy hit. You can do it alone.” Lena said her eyes meeting Yulia’s in a steely gaze.

“But we always go together.” Yulia answered in a small voice.

Lena remained collected her voice emotionless. “Not this time. Just you.”

“But why aren’t you coming?”

“It’s simple. It’s a test. All you need is your gun and one bullet to the head. What’s so hard about that?”

“Nothing I suppose.” Yulia shrugged her shoulders. “If you want me to go alone I will.”

“Good.” Lena said turning back to the laptop and pointing at the screen. “Now here’s the brief. The target is a man called Julien Madorre, he's a works for Biotech International here in Paris.”

Yulia studied the picture of the smiling middle-aged man on the screen. “Why do they want him dead?”

“It doesn’t say, all I know is that he’s rumoured to have connections with Cypric Morning some secret society in Albany.”

“So what do I have to do?”

“He’s working late tonight, all you have to do is enter the building, locate his office, which is on the fourth floor, room 4.25 and then take him out.” Lena smiled thinly at the simplicity of her task.

“Do they have security?”

“Yes and that’s where I come in. I have a plan…”
Yulia stood against the hard stonewall pushing her back hard against it as she studied the two security guards chatting and laughing together. She was ready to enter the building and it was time for Lena to execute her part of the plan.

Yulia held her pager firmly in the sweaty palm of her hand and typed the word ‘go’ before sending it to Lena’s phone. Now she just had to watch and wait.

“There a man on the top floor…I think he’s about to jump…” The guard dropped the phone and beckoned his colleague to follow him as he bounded into the lift in a blind panic.

Lena had successfully facilitated her entrance Yulia thought as she prepared herself for the kill her heartbeat thumped in her ears as the exhilaration got the better of her. This was almost too easy for her…

She crept inside being careful not to let the heavy door slam shut on its hinges to alert anyone to her presence. Having spent the day memorising the layout of the office block she was aware where every security camera was and so she deftly took the stairs two at a time adrenaline pumping through her veins.

Upon reaching the fourth floor she soon located room 4.25 and found that it was locked. Taking a quick look around she forced the door open with ease and as she entered she could see a man’s head poking over the top of a large leather chair in the corner of the room, the smell of Cuban cigars infusing the air, smoke rings forming from behind the chair. Julien Madorre.

She covered the distance between them stealthily until she was close enough to hear his slow steady breathing, her small figure casting a large shadow across the room. She swiftly pulled her gun out from her pocket and was about to spin the man around in his chair. However, she didn’t have the time, her plan foiled as the chair rotated of its own accord and Julien smiled that all knowing smile as he nodded to someone behind her.

Gun shots rained down upon her forcing her to dive down on to the floor and roll across it to avoid being hit.

“Where did she go?” she heard one of the guards say distracting her attention. She was caught unaware as cold steel ripped through her skin forcing her to drop her gun as her arm went numb and limp. Her assailant grinned sinisterly as he continued to wield the knife at her, which she was successfully able to dodge.

As he swung the knife at her again the sharp blade cut the air menacingly just in front of her face. Yulia instinctively reached out for the knife grabbing the guard’s wrist and twisting the knife around in his hand and slashing his throat wide open from ear to ear, his body crumpling to the floor as he choked on his last breathes.

Seeing another guard preparing to attack her Yulia flung herself to the floor once more to retrieve her gun. She adroitly pulled the trigger just in time before he was able to take aim and fire at her with his own weapon. His body as in slow motion flew through the air his body hitting the ground with a thud as the bullet penetrated his skull and lodged into his brain.

Yulia readjusted herself looking around to find the leather chair empty. Julien Madorre had gone…


“What the hell happened?” Lena questioned as Yulia scampered breathlessly in through the front door her large dark eyes filled with a distress beyond their usual sadness.

“I don’t know, it just went wrong…” Her voice trailed off painfully.

“And the target?”

Yulia eyed Lena warily and bit her bottom lip nervously. “He escaped.”


“I’m so sorry Lena.”

“It was the easiest job I could have possibly given you, I even helped you and you go and mess it up! This is unbelievable!” Lena said roughly pushing Yulia back but halting her aggression as she was startled to see her hand was covered in blood, Yulia’s blood. “You’re injured…”

“Yes.” Yulia said simply hanging her head in shame while clutching a hand to her bloodied arm.

“Let me see.” Lena grabbed her arm forcibly to survey the wound making Yulia flinch as a sharp pain shot up her arm. “Hold still.” Lena demanded through gritted teeth a combination of frustration and fear threatening her customary cool exterior. “It’s a deep wound I’m…gonna have to deal with it now.”

“What about the hospital?”

“There’s no time” Lena said searching frantically around for the first aid kit and returning to cleanse the large gaping gash on Yulia’s arm. “Does that hurt?” she asked purposely pressing down hard on the wound.

Yulia shook her head. Although the pain was making her head spin she wasn’t prepared to show Lena she had any weaknesses she was desperate for her approval. “No” she lied.

“Well I damn well wish it did.” Lena said maliciously digging her nails into her arm forcing tears to well up in Yulia’s eyes as she averted them sadly from Lena’s gaze. She had let her down; there was nothing she could say to make it right; she deserved to be punished.

Lena efficiently stitched up Yulia’s arm holding it steady in her lap absorbed in the task at hand. As she finished she shoved hers arm away and stood up. “Now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to get ready for bed. One of us needs to be up early to deal with the mess you have made.”

“Look I’m sorry.” Yulia pleaded with sad eyes as Lena turned her back on her and left the room.

Lena slammed the bathroom door shut behind her and leaned heavily against it suppressing a long shaky breathe in a vain attempt to calm down. She ran her hands over her face inadvertently smearing it with blood, the smell tormenting her nostrils making her feel sick to her stomach.

She clambered over to the sink and bent her head over it a wave of sickness overwhelming her as she began to heave. Her hands gripped the basin tight, her knuckles white as beads of sweat formed on her forehead. Her legs gave way from under her and she fell to her knees, her eyes pricking with unshed tears as she studied Yulia’s blood on her shaking hands.

This is all your fault. You’re so selfish. Why did you do it? What do you have to prove?

She did as you asked. You sent her there alone. You’re sorry now aren’t you?

It’s hurts doesn’t it?

The blood, it didn’t seem like it was ever going to stop… Lena sighed as she raked her hands through her blonde mane. Why is it the more I push her away the more I think about her?


As Lena lay in bed that night she stared up at the ceiling afraid to go to sleep. She was too shaken, what had happened tonight had taken her by surprise. She hadn’t expected to feel this way, Yulia wasn’t supposed to mean anything to her so why did it upset her so much to see her hurt?

Her thoughts tormenting her into exhaustion Lena fell asleep…

There were flashes… the sound of footsteps echoing…getting louder…and louder… familiar…the smell…it was nauseating… blood…blood…blood…seeping through a black and yellow tiled floor…and then…

“Oh god.” Lena cried out as she woke up with a start feeling a heavy weight on her shoulder looking around to find Yulia sleeping peacefully next to her.

She pushed her off wanting as much distance between them as possible. She was meant to be alone; to have any form of attachment to another human being would make her weak, she would not allow it. She was Lena Katina, an ice maiden, a consummate professional and Yulia’s boss and she would make her pay for making such a big mistake tonight…

“GET UP.” Yulia coughed violently as cold water rained down upon her and looked up from where she was lying to see Lena looking at her with contempt. “Why are you in my bed?”

“You were having a nightmare. You sounded so upset.” Yulia defended herself shaking the excess water from her body. “ I just wanted to be there to comfort you.”

“I don’t need comfort.” Lena snarled. “I need you to learn how to do your job properly.”

“I think it was a set up, they were expecting me.”


“Yes. Julien and two guards.”

Lena smiled evilly. “Well Julien wasn’t expecting me this morning.”

“You killed him?”

“Yes.” Lena nodded. “I did my part of the job properly, you didn’t, so now it’s time for you to be punished.” She snatched a handful of Yulia’s short messy hair and dragged her out of the bed and on to the floor. “Do you know what happens to people who let me down?”

“No.” Yulia said softly preparing herself to find out.

“They suffer.” Lena tugged hard on Yulia’s hair making her gasp in pain as she pulled her head back. “And then they suffer some more.” She said grabbing Yulia’s wounded arm and twisting it behind her back.

“And some more.” She released Yulia’s arm and threw her to the floor before punching her in the face. “And some more.”

Blood began to trickle out of the corner of Yulia’s mouth as she watched Lena stood over her, her beautiful face twisted hideously with anger and hate. “Are you just going to lie there and take it?” Lena spat vehemently clenching her fists. “Come on what are you waiting for, why don’t you try and hurt me?”

Yulia meekly raised her eyes to meet Lena’s her voice low and husky. “I could never hurt you…”

Lena recoiled as if Yulia had struck her turning her back to her and staring out of the window at the cloudless Parisian sky consumed with guilt. She was nothing but a bully. “You couldn’t hurt me if you tried.” The truth was they both knew she could, there was no doubt.

Veggie Delite
27-04-2004, 19:55
exactly. thank you for writing this. :rose:

“I’d know,” Yulia whispered, still watching the lights below. The magic shimmered and hung heavily in the air, and the dark-haired girl put out a little hand to touch the cool glass. “And I’d miss you.”

my favourite part so far. so full of emotion, in just a few lines.

and yes, you rock :10x:

27-04-2004, 19:56
huh?! :confused: ..Vicky7? ...woa... unexpected interesting....

*off to continue the updates* :bebebe: at $in

27-04-2004, 20:00
By: tatufreak

Another Interlude/Short Chapter:


Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/PIntrusion.jpg

There was a prod in her side.
Lena rolled over, rubbing sleep from her eyes. She groaned and stretched out a hand, plucking her alarm clock from the bedside table and squinting at it in the sharp morning light.
"Two am? This had better be good..."
Yulia hovered over her, a dark blur resolving gradually into her delicate features. She was troubled and anxious, whispering to alert her partner.
"There's someone at the door, Ta."
Lena rolled to peer over her shoulder at the door, before frowning sleepily.
"There's no one there, Volk."
Yulia knelt on the bed, leaning towards her.
"I didn't say they had knocked."
Lena stared at her for a moment as her blue eyes cleared. Suddenly she hurled back the covers, almost throwing Yulia off the bed. The dark girl tumbled over and picked herself up off the floor, but Lena didn't take the time to notice or apologise. She was already making her way silently towards the pool table where her gun and a round of bullets lay in plain sight.
"How did you know?" she tossed to Yulia, keeping her voice as quiet as possible.
"I heard them on the stairs," came the whispered reply, and Lena was a little reassured to see the girl was carrying her gun.
There's just something about the way she holds it...I know I'm safe when she's there; unless of course she turns on me, Lena thought with a sardonic smile. But somehow I don't think it would ever occur to her.
Her knuckles throbbed, reminding her of the previous day's 'disciplinary session'.
At least, it had better not.
Yulia's very soft breathing jerked her back to life, and she looked down at her hands to see the gun loaded and ready.
Edgily she motioned for the girl to cover her while she slowly moved towards the door. Tension built by the footstep as she tried to maintain as much silence as possible, while in her head questions streamed through her mind.
Who are they? What are they doing here? Why are they just standing outside, how many of them are they, and why on Earth did Volk just gasp?
She spun, paused, then lifted her gun and fired a single shot. With the muffler attached the bullet made significantly less noise than the man did as he slumped over his chest wound.
Yulia stared at him. His hand still grasped a knife, the same blade that had been inches from her eye. She looked down with utter disinterest, before returning her gaze to meet Lena's.
"They're in the house."
Instantly every potplant was a hiding place, every corner was a lookout. Without words or communication Yulia and Lena threw their backs together, guns outstreched. Both scanned the apartment furiously for intruders, and then Lena found her hand being gripped very hard by Yulia's own. She kept utter silence, somehow sensing the intensity of the wordless command. Yulia's eyes were shut and her mouth was clamped in a hard, thin line as she forced herself to listen and move through the apartment in her mind. She pulled herself through the sluggish layers of the walls and investigated the rooms, inquisitively. Her exploration told her that there were two other men in the apartment, both in the bathroom. Then she turned to outside, and levelled her gun at the door. Lena turned her head and watched the muzzle weaving slowly up and down before it froze, and then four shots rang out in a tight succession. There were two moans and three thuds, followed by a groan and the sound of the last man sliding down the wall.
The two men burst out of the bathroom and Lena unleashed metal fury upon them. Normally they would be a threat and a foe, but the moment they intruded into her house - the moment they pushed her barriers - that was when the fight had become personal. They were the no longer the enemies, they were her enemies.
Bullets riddled their bodies as Lena kept firing, a grim look in her eyes. Yulia half-turned to watch, concerned but unwilling to stop her.
Suddenly something caught her eye, and she held up a hand. Lena reluctantly paused shooting while she ran forward, crouching next to the bloody corpses. Without a wince or hesitation the dark-haired girl reached into the chest of the closest man, withdrawing a navy pin from the pulp. She glanced it, then flicked it away across the floor and got onto her knees, reaching to extract an identical pin from the next body.
“They’re the same pins as the others…”
She got no further as the blonde suddenly ran forwards towards the motionless bodies of the men and began to kick them furiously.
"Who are you? How dare you enter my home? How dare you?" She only stopped when she noticed pools of dark red spreading out across the floorboards.
She stood still for a moment, gazing at the spread. Then she turned back to the prostate men and fixed them with a baleful glare.
"And do you know how long it's gonna take for me to clean that mess up? Do you have any idea?"
Yulia gently placed a hand on Lena's shoulder, which the girl shrugged off. She put her face into her own, her shoulders beginning to shake.
"They could have killed us as we slept."
"No, they couldn't. I was awake."
"What if you had been asleep?"
"There is no what if."
Lena took her face out of her hands.
"There's something we have in the civilised world, Volk. It's called shock. Just leave me alone right now, cut me a little slack, you know?"
Yulia took this in and hesitated before she turned back to the double bed.
"Ok...but, Lena?"
The blonde remained very still, closing her eyes in the effort of remaining calm while Yulia's anxious face looked over her shoulder.
"Do you want me to...um...can I sleep next to you, just for now, just so if..."
The syllable echoed throughout the apartment and died, taking a little of Yulia's heart with it.
Her shoulders slumped and she turned to her own pathetic little cot-bed.
"Ok," she whispered, barely audibly. Sitting down, she laid her gun next to her bed lamp and swung her legs up, so she was lying on her back.
Lena finally turned a few minutes later, not looking at her as she climbed into her own bed.
"We'll obviously sleep in this morning. I'll call you at ten."
Yulia's dark eyes glanced up, meeting only the huddled shape of Lena's back. She blinked and sighed, quietly.
"Ok," she repeated, and then her lids slowly drifted down, barely touching her cheeks.
She slept.
Lena tossed and turned, awake until the bright morning.

Veggie Delite
27-04-2004, 20:01
:bebebe: at $in

ok, now what was that for? little denial is grumpy again... wanna candy? :chupa:

now be a good little girl :D

27-04-2004, 20:02
By: tatufreak

The second brilliant guest chapter - short, but most definitely sweet. :)

Nunzilla - The Perfect Mango

Banner: http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/Theperfectmango.jpg

The warm Parisian wind blew lightly, causing the new-fallen leaves in the cobblestone street to dance with the breeze. Tourists and locals alike strolled aimlessly about the walkways, enjoying the gentle weather. Parked near the classical buildings were stands: hat stands, clothing stands, watch stands, and several fruit stands. At one particularly cheery fruit stand, an elderly woman bent over and scanned for her startled pet.
"Come on you little devil," the old woman whispered, coaxing her little kitten out of its hiding place underneath the rickety fruit stand's wooden timbers.
"I've got food for you, kitty kitty." She held out a piece of mango and dangled it above the pure white ball of puff that was her hiding cat. Finally losing all its fear, it crept slowly out and sniffed the small offering.
“Mrrrow?” It questioned, and quickly nibbled at the orange edges.
“That’s a good kitty,” the lady coaxed, petting her tiny friend. In the distance, one young woman, and what appearing to be a young girl walked toward her. The sun overhead shined brightly over the merchant’s goods. It was good day for fruit, and the juicy morsels had been selling all afternoon. The two strangers continued to get closer. Her kitty licked his lips and stared curiously at the prospective customers.
“Oh, mangos!” Lena cried, stopping to pick one up and examine it. “That would be a perfect snack for lunch...”
Yulia, suddenly distracted, merely nodded but kept her eyes fixed on the kitten in the old woman’s arms. The kitten stared back, unwilling to back down, unafraid.
“I think he likes you,” the old woman spoke, her voice soft and friendly, “You can pet him if you’d like.” The cat almost instinctively began to wriggle from his owner’s arms. Yulia held her own arms out and scooped the little kitten up. Such a small thing, so fragile and innocent, unaware of her pain, uncorrupted by the dark aura of suffering that seemed to seep from within her.
“He’s very beautiful,” she whispered, almost choking on her words. One hand clinging gently to him, Yulia stroked its white fluffy fur, still gazing into the cat’s glowing honey colored eyes. Lena, having found her perfect mango, huffed quietly and reached into her purse, pulling out the necessary funds for her purchase. The lady took it and artfully produced the correct change, and a bag to put the delicious fruit in.
“Come on Yulia, we need to get back before dark,” she demanded, breaking Yulia’s trance; causing her to turn towards Lena, who merely shot a glance to the cat in the short haired assassin’s arms and back again. The young girl wore a look of pure felicity on her face, and the rareness of that look struck Lena hard. She flinched and motioned with her hand for the girl to come along.
Yulia took one last look at the kitten, and handed it back to the woman. “It was a pleasure meeting you,” she uttered tranquilly, “what is his name?”
Yulia and Lena then departed, the old lady following them with her eyes as they made their way home. “What a strange pair those two were,” she mumbled, playing with her purring pet’s ears, “weren’t they kitty?”
Quickly, the cat squirmed from her grip and dashed out into the street.
“Come back Noir!” The old women cried, but her plea was lost in the scattered chatter of Paris’ pedestrians.
The white kitten padded onward, bent set on following his new-found friend.

27-04-2004, 20:10
ok, now what was that for? little denial is grumpy again... wanna candy? :chupa:

now be a good little girl :D

grummpy? me? :::aims her gun at $in again ....:::..squinting eyes::: ..

oii! that was the last one .. no new update yet.. well .. I hope new chapter arrive as I finish reading this...

*looks at the clock* .. 3.19 am .. :bum:

Veggie Delite
27-04-2004, 20:18
i liked both vicky's and nunzilla's chapters very much.
and the little kitty... i hope lena won't shoot the poor thing... she's such a cold bitch sometimes...

awww...little denial is just sleepy :)

and don't point at me with that gun! it's rude, u know. daddy told me, u never point a gun at person. even if it's empty!!! he also teached me how to clean a gun, so i know how to put it into parts...

*puts denials gun into parts, and puts it back (without the trigger)*

now there u go. clean and harmless :)

28-04-2004, 13:47
*puts denials gun into parts, and puts it back (without the trigger)*

now there u go. clean and harmless :)

::::tears began to stream slowly down denial's... her fingers; silver-clear dripping down ....:::she looks at her un-trigger gun..::: ..

:cry: waaaaaaa!!! put it back!! put it back!! :cry:

:::goes to get another gun::: :::aims at $in ...on her face... focus.. sharp::: ...then .."Click!"
...you see...I am not rude ... but I am heartless ... you're lucky .. this gun is empty....


==okay back to fic review==

Dear tatufreak .. phew . oh well .. was an intense moments reading this - to kill James Donahoe .. so I listed my favorite moments again .. anyway .. there's something about Lena character that I think doesn't fit the beginning of the story .. with the appearing of Yulia .. Lena has become more like an amatur and weak instead of sharp and focus like before .. she seems careless and made mistake .. she even forget her route on the map .. and she just guessed to go left ... her judgement became weak .. now .. what happened? She can't be that weak I think .. she was well trained .. and heartless.. something is wrong .. was she putting Yulia on test .. or .. she's not suppose to trust her ..

“So we’re flying tonight. You’d better go pack for us while I get some more information.”
“Pack what?”
There was a pause, then Lena pressed a button on the computer and swivelled her chair sideways to face Yulia. Resting an elbow on the table and her chin in her hand, she looked at the girl with her big blue eyes, an expression of something halfway between amusement and annoyance flickering across her face.
“Figure it out.”
The dark haired girl put out a little hand and began to count off her fingers.
“Well, we need our pyjamas, toiletries and that…” she paused as Lena began to shake a finger, and then began to wonder how she could have made a mistake already.
“You don’t know Japanese hotels, Volk. They provide PJs, toiletries, stuff like that. Think more technically.”
“Well, obviously we need our guns, ammo, cleaning fluid, cases and laser sights…main suitcase.”
“Main? We’re travelling light.”
“Then we’ll need a change of clothes, and our fighting gear. Is that it?”
--- hahahaha .. my mind couldn't help but to cross with the More than Bargain For fic .. when Yulia has to pack ..

Maybe she was so careless because she didn’t know she could do it, so finding out that she could dance like a spirit would have been a pleasure too great to pass up.Now the look of confusion passed from her eyes and she straightened up, her mind set on one objective.
No matter what, I have to find out who she is…

…even if I have to kill her.

Yulia lifted the binoculars to her eyes, searching the Maxman building. She let her gaze travel past Donahue - he didn't interest her; he was just a target. What interested her was the layout of the office.

And Lena had bought her the Mickey Mouse underwear, which Yulia now admired on herself in the mirror. She tipped her tousled head sideways and smiled at herself.

Twisting gracefully upwards in a spin kick, she turned, slashed her hands forwards into a combination cut, and managed to stop them an inch from either side of Lena's neck as the blonde stepped out of the bathroom.
"Save it for later," the blonde remarked, completely unfazed.
heh heh .. :gigi:

Twenty five floors below, Lena stared up at the building in rising horror. The power! The power was back on! But...how?
She closed her eyes and buried her face in her hands, ice settling around her heart.
They knew we were coming...they knew.
Suddenly her eyes flew open and she stared upwards in utter terror, uttering one word in a strangled half-sob.

At first she thought she was alone - that Lena had deserted her. Had she been set up all the time? No, she couldn't believe that - she wouldn't. As she turned a movement caught her eye, and as her watched beeped the final count, Lena stepped out of the shadows.

She'd realised how close she had come to losing the younger girl, and it had terrified her. Tomorrow she would once again become a cruel, heartless antagonist - but for now she could cry, and she did.

A passing young man stopped and sneered at them, displaying a mouthful of gold teeth as he shouted, "Lesbians! Get off the streets!"
As one, Yulia and Lena quietly drew each others' guns from each others' belts. They didn't have to look as they aimed, still holding each other with one arm.
Two identical shots rang out in the night, and then all was still.
--- hahahaha! cool !

:::: on Vicky7's chapter :::

Well .. Vicky's writing style suddenly felt different .. maybe Vicky noticed too .. that Lena can't be weak .. she should be strong .. I guess ..

As he swung the knife at her again the sharp blade cut the air menacingly just in front of her face. Yulia instinctively reached out for the knife grabbing the guard’s wrist and twisting the knife around in his hand and slashing his throat wide open from ear to ear, his body crumpling to the floor as he choked on his last breathes.
-- oii!! denial past out :dead:

This is all your fault. You’re so selfish. Why did you do it? What do you have to prove?

She did as you asked. You sent her there alone. You’re sorry now aren’t you?

It’s hurts doesn’t it?

The blood, it didn’t seem like it was ever going to stop… Lena sighed as she raked her hands through her blonde mane. Why is it the more I push her away the more I think about her?

...hmmm... this is Lena? ...awww...

She pushed her off wanting as much distance between them as possible. She was meant to be alone; to have any form of attachment to another human being would make her weak, she would not allow it. She was Lena Katina, an ice maiden, a consummate professional and Yulia’s boss and she would make her pay for making such a big mistake tonight…
yep! :)

“Do you know what happens to people who let me down?”

“No.” Yulia said softly preparing herself to find out.

“They suffer.”

“And then they suffer some more.”

“And some more.”

“And some more.”



I need to get some fresh air and smoke at the balcony for a while .. I'll be back to read the Intrusion and Nunzilla chapters.

Veggie Delite
28-04-2004, 14:32
reading u'r reviews is so fun :p so i'll put back the trigger. but u cnt aiming at people anymore! ok? :kwink:

28-04-2004, 15:10
reading u'r reviews is so fun :p so i'll put back the trigger. but u cnt aiming at people anymore! ok? :kwink:

okay!! :gigi:

Well there's something about reading .. you get to read whats in their mind .. compare to watching movie ..you don't..

"I heard them on the stairs," came the whispered reply, and Lena was a little reassured to see the girl was carrying her gun.
There's just something about the way she holds it...I know I'm safe when she's there; unless of course she turns on me, Lena thought with a sardonic smile. But somehow I don't think it would ever occur to her.

"They're in the house."
oh-oh ..

They were the no longer the enemies, they were her enemies.
I like this very much!

:: By Nunzilla ::

Yulia took one last look at the kitten, and handed it back to the woman. “It was a pleasure meeting you,” she uttered tranquilly, “what is his name?”

okay .. so .. how do I pronounce "Noir"? :none:

Okay .. I'm done!! *pats herself on the back* .. well done!! .. goes to line-up in queue waiting for update .. :none:

::: but she won't forget her gun ..:::.. navsigda ... nikogda...

01-05-2004, 10:04
Back to me! :)

Chapter Three - Kitten

Pitter patter.
Yulia stopped and turned at the strange noise, her senses calling her to look around.
Behind her the street basked in the sunshine, reflecting warmth and late summer sleepiness. Lena had called it the calm before the storm, a sure sign it would snow in a few days.
Paris, it seemed, had notoriously unreliable weather patterns.
For the time being the street was empty, so Yulia turned again to walk fast and catch up with Lena, already several meters ahead and chatting away to the air.
Pitter patter, came the noise again. Instantly Yulia's head whipped round and she instinctively crouched to the ground, expecting danger.
Instead, she was confronted with the purring, smiley face of the fluffy white kitten.
Before she could stop herself her little hand had reached out towards the baby cat. She began to stroke him, and was enchanted as the animal nudged her fingers with his nose before pushing his way into her arms.
She straightened up, marvelling at how little Noir weighed. He was adorable and innocent, lifting his tiny face to peer into her own - his big blue eyes shining with inexplicably certain kitten-love.
Lena turned, suddenly aware of a lack of her crime-partner's presence.
"Come on," she waved, beckoning. "it's starting to get dark, and I really don't want to hit rush hour in the car."
Yulia reluctantly knelt to let Noir scamper from her arms, hands still tingling from the soft fuzziness of the kitten's baby fur. She rubbed them together and gave the little animal a last tickle before straightening herself up and turning to follow Lena.
Behind her, Noir gave a tiny meow of hurt and confusion, begging with his eyes to be treasured and loved again by his little dark-haired admirer.
Yulia paused at that moment, eyes closed. If they'd been open, she knew they would be brimming with unshed tears. She knew it was stupid and over-dramatic, but something about the unassuming, unconditional love of the kitten made it almost impossible to walk away.
Then she caught Lena's repeated call, tinged with impatience. There was no choice, she must do what she must.
Leaving the confused kitten behind, she walked towards her blonde partner, half a smile on her face as she blinked back the tears.
Behind her Noir stared after her for a while before getting bored and scampering off to find new things to play with.
Yulia felt him go.

Darkness smudged the apartment's clean lines as they entered.
Lena flipped on the lights, chucking her keys onto the table and dropping her bags by her feet.
"That took ages" she yawned, while Yulia carefully began to water the potplant near the window. "I haven't seen traffic like that in a while...sure hope there was a bad enough accident to justify it. Go make tea, ok?"
As she disappeared through to the kitchen, Lena turned to watch.
She's really attached to that kitten, isn't she?
Yulia busied herself with the kettle, industriously emptying, refilling and checking it. She was in her own little world, trying desperately not to think about the little fluffy ball of tumbly innocence that she had held in her arms only a few hours ago.
This desperate concentration on anything other than Noir let her hand find its way to her pocket. She slipped it in and unconsciously withdrew the round silver watch. The lid flipped open, the tune began, Yulia's mouth opened in a round O of horror, and Lena calmly looked around.
"Playing with the watch again?" she asked, a lot more gently than Yulia had been expecting. The lid snapped shut, the melody ceased.
"I didn't mean to..."
Lena unexpectedly walked toward her, eyes fixed on the little silver timepiece. She had a look of resignation on her face as she approached; resignation mingled with curiosity.
"Let's have a look at it, then."
Yulia instantly thrust the watch out to her, but while Lena's eyes stayed absolutely fixed on it, she made no move to touch or take it.
"Open it again," she commanded.
The little silver lid flipped open, and very quietly the ringing melody echoed into the air.
Lena studied it with her narrowed eyes, pursing her lips.
"I know that tune."
Yulia nodded, staring down at the ticking hands, mesmerised by the hypnotic motion.
Next to her, the Parisian blonde's head began to spin as with every haunting note a flash of memory came shimmering through the darkness.
A few views of a room from waist-level, a tickly teddybear clasped tightly. Sunny breeze, humming bees, big yellow butterflies...but no, they were big yellow flowers instead. They melted and ripped apart, stretching and flattening into spinning tiles; murderously slotting together with the space for darkness in between them, then a field of flowers, now a growing, stretching floor of black and yellow...
Yulia heard her gasp and caught her before she fell, taking her hand and placing it firmly on the counter so she could steady herself.
Lena recovered quickly, shaking her head to clear her vision. She leaned heavily sideways and passed the back of her other hand over her hot forehead before steadying herself and burying her face in her hands.
Yulia disappeared for an instant, returning a few seconds later with a glass of cool water.
"Are you ok?"
"I'm fine, I just don't know what came over me. I'm probably just tired."
"Drink this." Yulia pushed the water into her hands and Lena took the glass with clumsy-feeling fingers.
A few minutes later and Yulia had returned to her task of making the tea, while at the same time pondering her partner-in-crime's confusing faint. Could a watch have that much effect on her?
It must have brought back some serious, maybe very old memories...but for a little watch to do that it must have been central and quite tied to her previous life.
She turned to the bed and offered a cup of tea to Lena, who was resting casually. Just in case she fainted again Yulia had pushed her bed next to Lena's, anxious to keep an eye on her and make sure she would be ok.
Surprisingly Lena had allowed the gesture with minimal fuss, content just to close her eyes and relax.
They slept.
The morning came early, stealing into the apartment and waking a sleepy dark girl.
"We need some food for today," Yulia commented to herself as she woke.
Lena's eyes flickered open for just a moment.
"Go and get some, then. The money's in my purse, don't spend it all."
"And you?"
"I rest. Scoot."

Yulia dropped a paper bag of them into her basket.
A carton was added.
"Red wine, frying steak, onions, cream..."
The items were dropped in one by one as she moved down the aisles.
When she had finished, the dark-haired girl paid and packed her own bags. She stepped blinking into the bright light, balancing her food and navigating the busy street.
People were bustling and pushing. Somewhere a baby cried, but closer the air was filled with the sound of laughter and chatter. Cars hooted amiably, children played underfoot, mothers scolded, and Yulia Volkova stopped dead.
Somehow, through the dense atmosphere of noise and laughter, she'd heard a tiny sound that had filled her heart with hope. Making her way towards a dark alleyway she placed her bags on the ground and peered in for any sign of...
Noir looked up from his garbage-can scavenging, a wide smile of recognition crossing his kitten face. Yulia stared down at him halfway between pure joy and horrified sadness.

Lena opened her eyes as the late afternoon sunlight slanted through the window slats. Her stomach growled as she lifted her fists to her eyes, yawning as she wiped the sleep away.
"What's the time?" she mumbled, shielding herself from the golden light with a hand. "It's quite late, isn't it?"
Something nudged her memory, niggling at the back of her mind. Lena glanced sideways and caught sight of the second bed.
"Oh...Yulia...where's Yulia?"
As if in answer, the apartment door opened. A dark-haired girl walked into the apartment, carrying a few brown paper bags in her arms. With an apologetic glance at Lena, she moved to the kitchen and was about to start unpacking before the blonde could say anything. Unfortunately, Lena's tongue was quicker.
"What took you so long, Yul?"
The other girl had been wincing, expecting a lashing rebuke. Now she opened one eye, questioning and surprised.
Lena yawned widely, stretching herself in the warm sunlight. She caught Yulia's confusion and smiled reassuringly.
"I'm always nice after a good long sleep. And," she indicated a button flashing on the computer screen, "we have a client, by the looks of things - pretty agreeable day, isn't it?"
Yulia stared at her, looking extremely uncomfortable. She had a thick jacket on due to the cold wind outside, and seemed to be cradling one of the bags closer to her than the others.
Lena met her gaze, then very slowly her eyes travelled down towards the brown paper bag. It rustled.
Lena took a step closer, a look on her face not unlike that of a shark baiting a swimmer.
"So, Volk...just what, exactly, did you buy?"
Yulia kept her eyes on Lena's, even when the bag she was holding unexpectedly squirmed. She didn't need to look to feel the little white paw emerge and push down the side of the bag, followed by the nudging through of a happy white face. She didn't need to look to know the big blue eyes were shining, or that the fuzzy muzzle held a happy kitten smile. And she definitely didn't need to look to know that the innocent playful little kitten was in full view of Lena's piercing gaze.
The blonde stared at the kitten for a few moments before looking up to Yulia. The dark girl's eyes had never left hers, holding a deep expression full of fear, desperation and pathetic hope.
The moment was shattered as the little cat meowed. Lena glanced at him, before finally jerking a thumb towards the kitchen.
"He can stay until the snow comes and goes. Get him some milk, I'm gonna look at the client request."
She turned and strode fast towards the computer, not looking back to see the flood of relief and quite joy in Yulia's eyes. She knew it was there, she just didn't have time to see it.
"Our target," she murmured, after a while. Yulia glanced up at her. "He's an ex-KGB agent. Long list of war crimes, seems a pretty nasty guy. Looks like he made a lot of enemies in his life."
She sat back, meshing her fingers behind her head and yawning.
"He'll be a really easy take. You can do it." Lena turned in time to catch the strong look of sheer dismay and fear in Yulia's eyes. Her mouth widened into a smile. "Don't worry, Volk. I'm not about to let you slip up again. I'll be with you, but you do the actual killing. Got it?"
Yulia's face cleared, and she gave a barely perceptible nod.
"Got it."
Lena reached for her gun, examining it. Her accomplice had spent many hours polishing and cleaning both weapons, and the care showed.
"We strike tomorrow," she said, abruptly.
Yulia glanced up from playing with Noir. "Tomorrow?"
Lena nodded, meeting her gaze.
"Tomorrow night. For now, get some rest."

Veggie Delite
01-05-2004, 10:14
she agreed to keep noir ?! maybe she isn't such a bitch afterall :D

i loved the part about noir squirming in the paper-bag :)

and now i'm very curious abot lena and that watch...
*scratches beard she doesn't have*

02-05-2004, 09:41
Yulia stared at her, looking extremely uncomfortable. She had a thick jacket on due to the cold wind outside, and seemed to be cradling one of the bags closer to her than the others.
Lena met her gaze, then very slowly her eyes travelled down towards the brown paper bag. It rustled.
Lena took a step closer, a look on her face not unlike that of a shark baiting a swimmer.
"So, Volk...just what, exactly, did you buy?"
ahahahaha :laugh: .. I could really imagine Yulia face and Lena face at this moment ..

"We strike tomorrow," she said, abruptly.
Yulia glanced up from playing with Noir. "Tomorrow?"
awww... so cute .... hehehehe :gigi:

I like Lena sound strong that way .. denial can't wait for next action!!

:::::squinting eyes at $in::::

Thanks Tatufreak for update ...please update again soon!

Veggie Delite
02-05-2004, 18:52
:::::squinting eyes at $in::::

what did i do again :ithink:

i see progress here. no aiming u'r gun at me. u being a good girl, i brought u something. now eat u'r lollypop :chupa:

03-05-2004, 03:53
i see progress here. no aiming u'r gun at me. u being a good girl, i brought u something. now eat u'r lollypop :chupa:
... $in ... don't trust me .. :::::denial plays with her kalanshnikov::::::

back to topic, LoL ..

Well .. I just curiuos what is this "Noir" about.. I thought its just a name at first.. but then I dont think so .. so I looked in doctionary ...and I can't find it .. so I search internet .. then

"The females in film noir are either of two types - dutiful, reliable, trustworthy and loving women; or femme fatales - mysterious, duplicitous, double-crossing, gorgeous, unloving, predatory, tough-sweet, unreliable, irresponsible, manipulative and desperate women.

Film noir films (mostly shot in gloomy grays, blacks and whites) show the dark and inhumane side of human nature with cynicism and doomed love, and they emphasize the brutal, unhealthy, seamy, shadowy, dark and sadistic sides of the human experience. An oppressive atmosphere of menace, pessimism, anxiety, suspicion that anything can go wrong, dingy realism, futility, fatalism, defeat and entrapment are stylized characteristics of film noir. The protagonists in film noir are normally driven by their past or by human weakness to repeat former mistakes.

... so how do I pronouce Noir? :cry:

03-05-2004, 15:49
...Noir...French for black...Nwar? :)

03-05-2004, 19:43
Nwar .... okay! thanks tatufreak :)

03-05-2004, 19:49
Although...they pronounce it a bit weirdly - Nuhwar. ...and for future reference, it's Klo-eh.

03-05-2004, 20:16
Klo-eh? you changing them? for new concept?

03-05-2004, 20:20
Perhaps...what about Nastya :P

03-05-2004, 20:23
what are those? Klo-eh and Nastya? ... well .. if you ask me .. I like Nastya .. sound like a girl name.

03-05-2004, 20:49
:) all shall be revealed......soon.
And by the way, is there something going on between you and $in? You know, petty arguments, troubled pasts, brutal massacre of each other's families, that sort of thing?

Veggie Delite
03-05-2004, 21:11
nastya sounds good. isn't "Klo-eh" the original name from the anime?

03-05-2004, 21:19
:) all shall be revealed......soon.
And by the way, is there something going on between you and $in? You know, petty arguments, troubled pasts, brutal massacre of each other's families, that sort of thing?
no :no:

denial is innocent ... but $in is a flirt under training ... she thought I'm the best .. so she hitting on me ... I'm just heartless, sharp, focus, manipulative and I just love my...gun....sound like Noir .. eh? :gigi:

Veggie Delite
03-05-2004, 21:37
denial is innocent ... but $in is a flirt under training ... she thought I'm the best .. so she hitting on me ... I'm just heartless, sharp, focus, manipulative and I just love my...gun....sound like Noir .. eh?


*stabs denial in the ass with denial's kalashnyikov*

03-05-2004, 21:45
LoL ... :lol: .....*cough* *cough* *cough* *cough* .. :dead:

03-05-2004, 21:58
:D you're like the ultimate groupies an Assassin-fic writer could ever have!

04-05-2004, 17:13
tatufreak .. glad that you like us :D .. so we waiting for update and I feel a bit desperate to know what will be up ..I mean with those mistery questions you asked ..

:::denial smiles sweetly at tatufreak::::..but there's a gun on her back ... she holds it neatly... she is ready...she is always..:::::

04-05-2004, 17:30
Your wish is my command.


Wild grey shapes loomed out of the fog again and again. Above, greens and blues meshed and grew together, surrounding the shrubs that stayed low to the ground. Powerful, towering trunks soared out from around them, silent and sky-scraping - the forest was half an uproar of colours and growth, half a beautiful but eerie place; a living tomb.
But the winter had come, and the snow drifted down through the shrivelled leaves and the curly dead branches. It cushioned and quieted, bringing the mighty trees to silence and surreal expectations. Christmas was coming, the snow was already here.
Far below there were two little boys tussling and laughing. They were honest, happy children with round faces, big eyes and dark hair - warmly wrapped up in their mother's knitted jackets, hands jammed into woolen mittens and feet snug in their 'big-boy boots'; the ones Papa had worked so hard to buy for them last Christmas. Their house wasn't far away - it was a cozy little log cabin, set into a picturesque forest clearing with trees that blossomed in the summer and a smooth, thick carpet of grass, perfect for little bare feet to run over when the weather was right. Nothing smelled so good as that grass in sunlight, the dusky smell and the summer warmth made those two little boys content simply to lie on their backs, breathing the fresh, piney forest air with happy childish contentment.
Now they were busily making a snowman, the 'biggest snowman ever built in the whole wide world!' - and it was almost finished.
The slightly taller of the boys packed another handful of snow onto the snowman's base, glancing up at his brother to give a command.
"Vlad, run to the house and get a scarf and a carrot for him."
As the younger boy turned, the elder straightened up and put a hand on his shoulder.
"This is gonna be the most amazing snowman ever..."
Vladimir nodded, joyfully. "And all because I helped you, Dmitri."
The elder boy smiled, pushing his brother towards the house. "That's right, now run and get the things, we don't want it to get dark before we finish him."
The younger boy scampered off through the forest, leaving Dmitri to pack the snow onto the snowman. "You're huge," he whispered with admiration, "I bet no other kid in the whole world could ever make anything this great!" A thought occurred to him, and he slapped himself theatrically on the forehead. "I forgot to tell Vlad to get a hat! I'd better run and ask Mama for one."
He threw a last glance at his snowman before turning on his heel. The forest was his home, he was completely at ease with it. Weaving through the trees like a ghost, he ducked and twisted mechanically to compensate for obstacles present to him since he was a toddler. It wasn't long before he reached the scrubby bushes at the edge of the clearing, and it was then that he pulled up short.
There were two Jeeps parked outside his house. They had come via the dusty track that led away towards the nearest province town of Syabra, and by the snow just beginning to settle on the bonnet, they looked like they'd only just arrived.
Thoughts and alarms flashed through the young Dmitri's mind. Papa had warned the boys never to come into the house if there were cars parked outside - it was his only strict rule with his children, unquestioned and obeyed. Now the boy was confused about what to do. The cars must have arrived just after Vlad had gone into the house, since the younger son would have never disobeyed The Rule. Now he looked, Dmitri could just make out steam still rising from the car's bonnets.
He quietly made his way behind one of the larger trees, squatting to get a lookout point through a thick shrub. He always did this with visitors, it was nothing more than a routine to him now.
As he rubbed his hands together and stamped his feet to keep warm, his mind drifted.
When the visitors go, I shall go in and have a warm cup of milk, because Mama always keeps the fire going in the winter. And with the milk I shall have one of those rusks she makes, and perhaps Papa will melt some butter onto it for me. I think it's Papa's birthday soon, and it's mine next week, maybe he'll make me a sled that me and Vladdy can share. Of course Vlad won't get me anything, he never does, but Mama always bakes me an extra little cake and says it's from him...I wonder what cake she'll bake for me this year? Only last year it was that one with-
But...but what was this?
The door of the house had opened, waking Dmitri from his thoughts. His Papa walked out first, hands roughly tied behind his back. His Mama followed, and then little Vladdy. All three were tied and bound, and behind them four men with machine guns followed into the fresh snow.
Dmitri's round eyes widened further as he scrambled to get a better look. He watched in confusion as his Papa was shouted at, then forced onto his knees.
Oh, but he'll be so cold in the snow! This is all a joke...it must be...
The lead military man pushed the muzzle of his gun onto the kneeling man's forehead.
Dmitri tried to scream, but his voice choked and nothing more than a strangled squeak emerged. He stared at the scene, frozen. He could do nothing - nothing to stop this terrible thing, nothing to change what he feared was about to happen.
"Pa...pa..." he whispered, tears beginning to fill his eyes. "Papa...what...why?"
Away, far away, the noble man knelt quietly in the snow, his strong face bowed in readiness for what he knew must surely follow. The beautiful, kind eyes - once so filled with love and pride for his two sons - were empty and calm. Nothing could change his fate now, and as his little boy stared at his face he knew that his beloved Papa was already dead; not physically, but in every other respect.
"Good-bye Papa, my Papa," Dmitri whispered, tears shining brightly in his eyes.
Suddenly the calmness of the forest was shattered as a sharp shot rang out into the depths. Birds screamed, and very slowly Dmitri opened his eyes to see that his mother had fainted in the snow.
He half-rose to his feet but one of the military men had already started walking towards her, causing him to pause and draw back. The man leaned down and peered into her face, taking one of her fragile white arms in his big, clumsy hand. He shook her roughly, her eyes opened, he jerked her to her feet.
"Get up," he grunted, and from the forest the watching Dmitri trembled as he lifted a gun to her pale cheek. She very nearly slumped over, but caught herself just in time to the raucous laughter of the military men.
The one holding her glanced at his colleagues before landing a hard punch straight to her jaw.
Dmitri rose to his feet like a shot, but instinct prevented him from running forward to catch his dear mother. She landed in the snow with a soft thud.
The same man gripped her arm and pulled her to her feet, as before. Blood ran down her chin, an ugly bruise was already beginning to show on her delicate jawline. From the forest, her elder son watched as her crimson blood dripped down onto the white snow below, counting every drop with growing horror.
Suddenly the men had had enough. A muzzle was placed onto her forehead, a trigger was pulled, a shot echoed out.
Dmiti uttered a strange moan, like an animal in pain. It went unheard in the retort of the gun, but the four men shivered involuntarily before pulling themselves together.
"No," the watcher whispered, eyes on the fragile little boy lying in the snow at their feet. "Please...please...no..." Tears streamed down his cheeks as he pleaded with the men silently, his desperate cries unheard. "Take me, take me..."
He saw little Vladdy raise his tousled head, round eyes staring up at the four men above him. Four identical muzzles were aimed straight down towards him, and in that moment Dmitri knew, with horror, terror and a grim certainity, that it wasn't going to stop.
The shots rang out again, again, again. The men kept firing at Dmitri's fallen Papa, Mama and brother with a vengeance, set grins on their faces as their fingers tugged the triggers over and over.
Away, cowering behind his little shrub, hidden by his tree, a trembling boy with tear-filled eyes watched them. He shook in fear and horror, but his tears were those of anger. Jaw set, his dark eyes stared - not at the men's faces, nor at his bloodied family, but at their uniforms.
As the hot tears ran down his cheeks, he made a vow. The men kept on shooting, Dmitri couldn't tear himself away. He had the face of a vengeful angel, a child with the soul of a wrathful god.
"You will pay. You will all pay." This through gritted teeth; this promise-curse from the very depths of his soul. "You will all pay."
The shots continued, they doubled in speed, Dmitri put his head into his hands. The shots echoed louder and louder until the boy grew dizzy. He felt like he was falling, going insane, still they grew louder as the world erupted into manic blotches of crimson-
The old man sat bolt upright in bed, panting and shivering - his fingers tore at his cover, stiff and clenched...cold sweat ran down his forehead, his eyes were wide and terrified.
Somewhere outside an owl called.
He leaned forward, dropping his head into his hands and letting out a tortured sigh.
"Will these dreams never end?"
The moon came out from behind a cloud and surreal, dark light filled the room. It shone off a mirror on the opposite wall as the man lifted his face, catching his white-haired reflection.
I'm just an old man now, he thought, great tears running down his careworn cheeks, soft as silk and wrinkled with a thousand lines. I kept my promise, and I regret it every day...hate can never save you....never.

04-05-2004, 18:47
oh wow! Tatufreak .. this chapter is very "throbbing" ...

:::denial stares at the screen....not moving....for a moment.. the whole world is silent..::::

update soon okay..thank you ..


Well I read this chapter last night.. and there's something I wanted to tell you.. [ well I was speecless last night ].. that when reading about the gun shots . I could almost heard the sound of the bang and the echo .. and birds flying of shocked .. I think this the best chapter you wrote in term of decriptive ... and when the guy woke up from a dream .. that was another shot too . I didn't expect it happened long time ago .. so .. well done tatufreak :done:

06-05-2004, 13:44
Thank you...that means a lot to me.
I really felt sorry for the boy, the way he went from innocent into a relentless, brutal killer...maybe that shows.
New update in a few days. :)

Veggie Delite
06-05-2004, 20:52
that was really great tf.

i'll just hang around this thread waiting for the update. just be quick, i don't have a tent, and i hate being cold

Veggie Delite
16-05-2004, 14:07
by tatufreak:

Just a quickie ;) I've got exams on at the moment so sadly I don't have much time anymore, but here's this update - it doesn't have a title because it's not long enough, so it's sort of an interlude. And doesn't get a graphic title either :)
Anyway hope this is enough until the weekend - and thank you everyone for the lovely comments. As always, they're what keep me writing.

Yulia got to bed early.
She rolled onto her side, letting a hand dangle over the edge. A soft purr heralded the little cat present below, and a playful paw appeared, batting at Yulia's limp fingers. The girl smiled in response, eyes happy and shining in the semi-darkness.
Suddenly the kitten emitted a pleased meow, scampering to the approaching Lena's feet. Yulia quickly propped herself up on one elbow to call a warning to Noir, but her worries soon proved unfounded. Her partner carried neither gun nor bad expression, but a saucer of cream and a blanket. The latter landed on the dark girl's legs as Lena squatted to place the dish down for the kitten. She ran a gentle hand down Noir's soft white back, taking his stubby tail between her long fingers and giving it a playful tug.
Yulia watched with a pacified expression, hardly daring to believe it.
She's playing with him! She likes him!
In fact she had misjudged Lena's feelings toward animals - as long as they were quiet, kept themselves clean, didn't foul in the house and didn't stay around long enough for their odour to permeate, she was actually extremely sociable towards them. She'd even had a cat of her own briefly - a long tailed, elegant creature...but he had been killed when a stray bullet from the vengeful brother of a victim had taken his little life. Lena missed him in her way, and Yulia was later to learn that he had been named Dorian. The relevance of the name pleased and saddened her; as did the double entendre of the cat's life and death.
Her dark eyes fell onto Lena's reclining form in the next bed.
Their eyes met, one pair instantly shaded, one slowly expressive.
"Animals aren't so bad," Lena pouted, embarassed.
Yulia watched her passively, willing her to continue. This she did, but perhaps not in the way she had hoped.
"Unfortunately, the snow will probably carry on for quite a while. We can't be expected to keep the kitten for that long, so tomorrow morning we'll find the old woman and take him back."
She rolled onto her back, closed her eyes and propped her hands underneath her head.
Yulia watched with quietly dispassionate eyes, and gradually she lowered herself towards the edge of the bed, letting her hand fall towards the playful kitten.

The next morning, when Lena opened her eyes and rolled over, she found to her surprise and then annoyance that Yulia had disappeared.
If I can't even wake up when the girl wanders out of the apartment, how am I ever going to maintain a decent Assassinship? Mustn't let myself slip...
A doubt nagged at the back of her mind but it was hastily buried, resurfacing as unease a few minutes later.
Lena stirred her fresh coffee, watching the milk swirl into the velvety darkness. She carried her steaming cup to the table, set it down, picked up her coat and walked through the door.
She stopped halfway down the staircase, eyes closed.
"I don't own her. I don't need to worry. Stay in the apartment, read a magazine, check up on the client. That's what a normal person would do..."
She turned to go back upstairs.
"But then again...I've never been normal."

Veggie Delite
16-05-2004, 14:12
by tatufreak:

Part Three Chapter Five - Letting Go (http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P3c5.jpg)

It was a dark, moody day. The distant sheet of clouds had a greenish tinge – there had been a brief break from the snow, but Yulia knew it would fall again soon. All around her high buildings, black streaked with white, towered and brooded above the dark stone courtyard below. No one was around; they were all tucked up in their beds, eyes closed against the coming morning.
Yulia shivered, warm little hands cupped around the kitten curled against her neck. His stubby tail tickled her chin as he curled, purring to his mistress. She was wrapped warmly in a thick coat, her dark wisps of hair almost crackling in the icy cold of the air around her as she trudged through the thick snow towards the marketplace.
As she approached the stall, she closed her eyes.
I couldn’t let her do it… she thought, ashamed. I have to do this on my own. This is important.
Her heart ached terribly with the thought of abandoning the kitten once again. She knew the little animal…he loved her. He cared about her, he wanted her, he relied on her – this feeling was new to the emotionally-starved little girl.
And now she walked with suicidal inevitability towards the place where she would have to let this love fall away from her hands.
To distract herself from the hot tears running down her cheeks, she cradled the kitten closer and tucked her nose into his soft white fur.
“It’ll be ok, Noir,” she whispered, softly. “You’ll be a happy kitten, and you’ll grow up to be a big white cat, with all the lady cats loving you…you’ll chase away all the big dogs and you’ll be the pride of the street, and then one day you might have little kittens all your own; just like the kitten you are now. And they’ll all look up to you, and they – oh!”
She had stopped dead in her tracks, eyes confused as she scanned the street. The stall was nowhere to be found, the entire market had moved on overnight.
Yulia turned, wildly searching the connecting streets for a sign of life.
All around her, the heavy snow muffled any noise, somehow curiously sinister; while the actual flakes were white and pristine, one got the distinctly uncomfortable feeling that just out of sight they turned a crimson red, a horrific sea of frozen blood.
…Or that was how she felt.
Yulia shivered again, shifting Noir protectively in her hands. He let out a protesting miaow, squirming and suddenly uneasy. His mistress glanced down in surprise, and suddenly the kitten began to claw her fingers and push his way out of her gentle grasp. He fought his way free after a moment, springing from her arms and landing without a sound in the soft white snow, miaowing loudly.
“Noir?” Yulia cried, hurt.
“Myshkin,” answered a voice from behind.
Yulia didn’t dare to turn. She closed her eyes, analysing the speaker. He was old, his voice was gentle and amused. There was something kind in it, and yet something hidden below the audible speech – something dark, hesitant.
She opened her dark eyes and glanced over a shoulder, relieved to see a warmly wrapped old man with gentle eyes and a snowy grey beard. His face was scored with thousands of deep wrinkles; laughter lines, or the mark of suffering? He was stooped, but not enough to be slovenly, he had a surprisingly clear gaze and ultimately very handsome features, once-beautiful, now marked with age and kissed with kindness.
He knelt to the snow and spread out a pair of large, soft hands towards the little kitten. The latter reacted instantly, springing into his arms with a purr and a paroxysm of delight and affection.
The man straightened up, watched by the silent Yulia next to him. He toyed with the kitten for a few seconds, then smiled at the girl.
“His name is Myshkin,” he said, in a deep voice. “I think you must have met his friend, Marianne?”
“The fruit-seller,” Yulia echoed, quietly.
“Yes. Sometimes this little kitten escapes my home,” with this the old man laughed affectionately, cuddling the cat closer. “It is then that he goes to her, begging for a piece of fruit. She knows him as Noir, being her special little joke for a white kitten.”
Yulia held her silence, eyes on the gloriously happy kitten in the gentle man’s arms. She concentrated on his accent – it was mostly French, but had a tint of something older; Russian? …Yes, it was definitely Russian.
Must be from a long way back, she mused.
The man smiled down at his little cat.
“Thank you for looking after him. We were quite afraid when he ran off…”
Yulia shrugged, rubbing her arms self-consciously.
“It’s nothing. I’m glad you were here to recognise him.”
The man stroked the kitten and glanced into her dark eyes, searchingly. Yulia stared back, transfixed.
Light blue met dark with force, mixing a little of both into each other. The old man was frail, but his heart was strong – the young girl was strong, but her heart was weak inside her.
A brief moment passed, then the man turned away.
Yulia watched him go, watched the kitten disappear in his big, safe arms. They passed out of sight among the great grey buildings, taking with them a little of her heart, and as she stood there a tear slowly began to run down her face.
Snow began to drift down again; tiny flakes caught on her eyelashes and dark hair, providing a strange comfort. She watched the flurry begin; thousands of similar shapes falling together in the same direction; always the same, and yet every single one different.
And then, drifting down among the others, a few of the snowflakes were caught and lifted by the updraft from the enormous buildings around the courtyard. They whirled high above Yulia’s head, curling into each other and then drifting apart, before freeing themselves from the gust and falling straight onto the sheltered, outstretched hand of the dark-haired girl. She stared down at the four flakes, the four shining little stars held against the darkness of her glove. Gradually they began to melt, as snowflakes do, but under Yulia’s dark gaze two persisted – two of the flakes simply refused to melt away.
A place, somewhere else. Far away? Not really. Far away? Yes…a journey between worlds. Darkness in every room, ancient crumbly damp cold. Stone walls lit into crimson by candlelight and tapestries, evil swirling out of every crack…sunlight blocked out, tortured screams in the dark pits far below.
Yulia began to tremble, eyes squeezing shut to force the tears out. In the blur she could still make out the two bright little snowflakes on her hand, still resilient against the warmth of her breath and the crush of the swirling wind.
Warmth, gentleness, even a hint of love. Acceptance, of a kind. Companionship at least, a home of true acceptance.
Yulia took a deep breath, exhaling in a cloud of warm steam. The snowflakes shimmered for a second, and then melted away in her palm.
“Oh…” the girl said softly, and then she slowly turned to see Lena leaning against one of the buildings, arms folded. Her golden hair fell in curves around her beautiful face, her blue eyes were for once gentle and quiet.
Yulia cast a last glance back at where Myshkin and the old man had disappeared, and then she turned to begin walking towards the waiting girl. As she approached Lena watched her without comment, taking in her empty arms and expression at a glance. Then she turned, and they were walking together - two figures melting away into the snow.
Silence reigned in the courtyard once more as the snow flurried down, burying the world in a blanket of light.

The next chapter will be long. I mean really, really long. It's the end of this part, it's the mission, it's Yulia's first real decision, and if I'm to do justice to it, it'll take a long time to write.
I'll work on it in my spare time as hard as I can, but it might take a while...hope you don't mind. :)

16-05-2004, 17:18
Thanks for update $in and TF,

She stopped halfway down the staircase, eyes closed.
"I don't own her. I don't need to worry. Stay in the apartment, read a magazine, check up on the client. That's what a normal person would do..."
This is a nice chapter .. while Yulia is a constant sadness .. there's something about Lena .. the conflict between her dark hardness and her denied softness... confusion ... I guess this what make the story strong...

As she approached Lena watched her without comment, taking in her empty arms and expression at a glance. Then she turned, and they were walking together -
I like this part very much .. when there is nothing to say .. but everything is understood ....



Veggie Delite
13-06-2004, 00:24
by tatufreak:

Ok guys - here it is.
This has taken me a good while, and I've put a lot of myself into it...so...I really hope you like it.
To Nunzilla (regardless of the emo) :)

*References: Prufrock by TS Eliot, The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky*

Nazarev (http://img13.photobucket.com/albums/v37/Tatufreak/P3C6.jpg)

Lena perched her elegant body on a chair pulled up to the pool table. Her long fingers tapped at the keyboard, occasionally cradling the mouse with one hand and a red snooker ball with the other. Her printer whirred constantly with its busy printing, sliding sheet after sheet of information onto the smooth green table below. Curvy lips shaping the ghost of a smile, the ash-blonde Parisian sophisticate looked calm and relaxed; truly in her scope, icy in her element.
In contrast, the dark girl lying across her duvet against the other side of the room was a ball of misery. She had her knees curled up to her chin, but her arms were spread out across the blanket and her eyes were numb, staring up at the ceiling without expression or feeling.
Golden sunlight kissed the apartment, casting beautiful shadows across the two girls inside. It slatted through the blinds and sheeted through the wide glass windows, wrapping the evening in a haze of glory. The snow clouds had broken briefly, even though more thorough falls were predicted later that night – the calm city was bathed in light, the moment was perfect and magical.
Except for one thing.
Yulia’s empty arms tingled as they lay across the sheets, bare and untouched. Even when the sunset light moved over them they felt vacant, despite the warmth of the gentle gold that shone off the downy hairs along her arms. She watched the shadows, she watched the sun’s path flowing across the ceiling in slats of light and darkness; visible time moving slowly through her world.
A happy face suddenly appeared in her line of vision. Lena was leaning over the bedpost, golden hair tumbling down over her cheeks. Yulia shifted slightly to look up at her, then she rolled over wordlessly to sit on the side of the bed, dark hair falling down over her quiet eyes.
“Is it time?”
“Yes. Let’s go.”

Snow hung heavily in the sky, filling the square with a strange, unearthly light.
Across the street an old man stood at a loaded wheelbarrow, next to a queue of poorly-dressed old and homeless people. Selecting certain items from the cart, he would give these handouts to his followers, seeming to know each one for their needs. They would receive their gift and a kind word, perhaps a handshake, and then they would disperse into the street ends, each with grateful smiles; and the old man kept on giving, despite the threat of a snowstorm.
Behind him, in one of the small chemist shops, two girls leaned on the counter and watched him.
“They call him a saint, you know.”
Yulia glanced up at Lena, and then continued gazing at the man.
“I can see why.”
“They say he’s out here most days, no matter what the weather.”
“I’m sure he’s very committed to the people.”
“No one really knows where he gets the stuff that he gives them, but he seems to have a lot of money.”
“Maybe he was involved in something during the war.”
“Probably – but the locals seem to adore him. They worship him and view him as some sort of saviour.” Lena snorted sardonically. “Funny, when he killed so many.”
Yulia made no comment.
The blonde glanced at her after a while, curious at the younger girl’s expression and silence.
“What’s up?”
“Do you think…it is possible to atone for your sins, Lena?”
She seemed fixed on the old man, giving out his love and gifts so readily.
“He’s certainly been trying,” The blonde answered, “from reports, he’s been doing this a while; I think so far it’s about twelve years.”
“Every day?”
“I guess.”
Lena sighed and drew her gun from her bag, just slightly. The sullen daylight filtering through the shop windows shone down the barrel, deadly and brooding.
“What I do know for sure is that we’ve been contracted to kill him.”
After a tense moment she slipped her weapon back down, out of sight.
“But,” she sighed, “I don’t think I can bring myself to take him now.”
Yulia glanced at her, her eyes questioning.
The blonde’s dark eyelashes nearly touched her perfect cheeks, her expression was unreadable.
“I think he at least deserves the honour of dying in his bed…we can afford him that privilege.”
Yulia listened to this, then turned her dark eyes back to the man in the street.
She could picture the shattering of the window glass as the sleek silver bullet sped silently towards the old man. She could hear his grunt, see the daylight flicker as a spray of crimson dusted the cart beyond him, feel the weight of the man’s frail body collapse to the floor, gnarled fingers clenching at the bullet hole in his chest. Horrified screams, hundreds of desperate hands stretching out to help; sobs and spasms and disbelief; the shock chasing them all away. And there would be the old man hunched around himself in a ball on the cold street, utterly alone, grey beard stained by the street dust on the hard pavement, clear blue eyes clouding as the blurry world darkened around him. The sounds muffled, the street merging into colours and shapes, his heart beating slower and slower. And then, as his tortured breathing measures his world, the slow fading to black as the pain finally washes over him; as the dark sky fills with gentle lights.
Yulia closed her eyes, shutting this out.
Lena…you would have done it… She left the train of thought unfinished, opening her eyes to see the blonde paying for a small bottle of cough syrup and some aspirins before nodding to her accomplice and making her way towards the door.
Yulia shook her head and cleared her thoughts, locking herself instantly into her natural calm; and it was then that the old man turned.
A white kitten meowed, and suddenly the previous day flooded back into her mind.
The dark girl was left staring at the gentle, kind face across the square.
“It’s him,” she whispered.

And away, far away, a dark man sat in a dark room.
His colourless eyes glowed almost red in the reflected light of his sleek computer, his soft fingers tapped the tiny keys in a rythmic dance. With one hand he called things to light, with the other he manipulated them through his little touchpad.
Glowing figures on a screen, informants of a distant quest.

Later that evening the girls sat in the apartment across the pool table from each other, cleaning their guns in complete silence. Occasionally Lena glanced up, but she never caught Yulia's gaze - the latter was concentrating very hard on the task at hand.
Minutes passed as both girls cleaned and checked their weapons over and over; Yulia unwilling to break the silence, Lena silently warned not to.
Eventually both guns shone beyond possible improvement, and the excuse for silence was gone. Lena laid down her cloth, crossed her arms on the table and cocked her blonde head to one side, waiting for the little brunette to look up.
She waited fruitlessly for a few more minutes there before feeling stupid, so she got up and moved to the kitchen.
"Look Yulia," she said eventually, her back to the girl, "I know you're feeling cut up about shooting an old, helpless man."
Behind her, Yulia glanced up and opened her mouth as if to say something, but she slowly shut it again and busied herself with a cartridge of bullets.
"The fact is," Lena continued, "we're Assassins. We can't choose our victims or our clients, we're simply the middlemen here...and it remains true that we should never get involved in the stories of our victims or clients, they are simply our next source of revenue. Coffee?"
"And then there's the fact that he’s helpless. As a professional Assassin I also am naturally indisposed to the killing of the defenceless, but the fact remains that his death is required of us by contract. Sugar?"
"No thanks."
"Need more time?"
There was a pause, during which Lena busied herself with the two cups of coffee.
"I think," Yulia began shortly, "that I owe it to spend a little more time in surveillance."
With this the girl straightened up and slid her gun away from her, reaching for her coat instead.
"I'm going down to the square to see if he's still there." She turned briefly to see Lena standing behind her. "Thanks for the coffee."
Seconds later the apartment was empty save for the blonde. She stood frozen, eyes slowly traveling down to the forgotten cups in her hands. In the swirled surface she caught her reflection staring up with worried blue eyes.
"Owe it to who?"

Yulia was silent in the darkening evening. She walked in the dusk on the narrow city pavements, watched the smoke rising from the pipes of lonely men in shirt-sleeves leaning out of their windows. She saw the evening spread out across the sky, walked the half-deserted streets that followed like a tedious argument.
The evening malingered as she found the square and sat, pushing her hands into her pockets and resting her chin on her knees. She huddled herself into a warm ball, waiting for the old man to come with his cart. Already a couple of homeless women waited around, chatting and laughing quietly.
The sky was heavy above their heads - sullen and dark, the clouds looked almost as if they were boiling.
There was an incredible tension in the air around the girl, she could almost feel the very ends of her dark hair stiffening and stretching with the waves of static coursing through the nerves of the darkening day.
Yulia shivered as she watched the scene.
Lena's wrong. She's completely wrong...that's not it at all, that's not what I meant at all. She gave a half-smile. If she knew, she'd be shocked...or would she? She's colder than I am. Maybe she already suspects...or maybe it is I that is wrong. ...No, that is not it...that is not what I meant at all.
Her thoughts were interrupted by the squealing of wooden tires, and the cart rolled into view pushed by the old man and pranced upon by the happy Myshkin.
The bustle in the square increased as homeless people appeared from every corner, making their way towards the old man to receive a gift and to thank and bless him. He responded to them, humble in his kindness but great in his love.
Yulia watched the scene with dead eyes, her gaze traveling past the old man. It rested on the kitten beyond him, the happy little cat that awaited his master while he cared for the people.
Her mouth formed the word "Noir" as her little hand reached out towards the baby cat. And as if by magic, the kitten glanced up to see her.
Giving a joyous miaow, he leapt off the cart and scampered towards her, ears pricking back and white head held high. She knelt to touch his fur; to feel the soft warmth of the kitten's back - and she was rewarded and surprised when the animal responded, putting out his little pink tongue and licking her fingers.
A shadow fell across them, Yulia glanced up straight into the gaze of the old man.
"Hello," he said softly, deep voice rumbling. "It's you."
The girl straightened up as Myshkin gave a grudging miaow.
"Young Myshkin's been missing you, you know."
Yulia's eyes widened. "Has he?"
The old man smiled gently. "Indeed. He has been quite unspirited of late."
Yulia stared down at the kitten. He had grown tired of being ignored and had curled up on her shoe.
"He looks well."
"Yes," smiled Nazarev, "he is in good hea- Ah!"
Yulia's head snapped up to see the old man looking distressed. His clear blue eyes stared beyond her as his gnarled fingers reached for his chest.
"Sir?" she asked, desperately.
Nazarev let out a strangled groan before his eyelids closed and his knees buckled.
Yulia caught him in an instant, shocked at how little the old man weighed. His head flopped down over her arm, hands trailing in the dirt.
Horrified screams filled the air as the homeless people crowded around the duo.
"Saint Nazarev! Poor Nazarev!" cried an old woman, "What has happened?"
Yulia stared up at the crowd with flashing dark eyes. "Quickly! He has had a heart attack; he needs help."
A young man pushed his way through the crowd. "It isn't a heart attack Miss, he must have forgotten to take his pills this morning. They're at his house."
Yulia turned on him, still supporting Nazarev.
"Then lead the way to his home!" she hissed, her arms aching. The crowd quickly bustled her towards the old man's house, everyone desperate to help but none quite sure exactly how to.
His home was nothing more than a two-room hovel in the lee of a large railway bridge. As they approached, two young boys dashed into the house and emerged with a small bottle of pink pills. Yulia scanned the label before tipping two into the old man's mouth and carefully leaking some proffered water from a bottle into his throat. He swallowed, semi-conscious.
In a few moments he was laid gently on his bed, grey head resting on a soft pillow and frail body tucked under a thin coverlet.
Once he resumed normal breathing and seemed to be asleep, Yulia straightened up and glanced around his home. It was tiny with minimal furnishings, but it was well kept and extremely neat. There was a fireplace, a rug or two, a worn wicker chair and a few books carefully laid on a table. On the shelf above his bed were a few photographs and a trinket, as well as an extremely worried white kitten who miaowed piteously.
Yulia went to take him in her arms, but Myshkin jumped away from her. His large eyes mirrored his terror, so the dark girl left him alone while she tended his master.
Eventually she was happy to leave him alone, but only when she straightened up did she realise that all of the homeless people were still there. A woman slipped into the room and took her hand, kneeling at her feet and crying.
"Thank you, thank you, bless you for saving our saviour. Thank you, bless you."
Yulia stared down at her as the crowd mumbled their grateful thanks and blessings, each looking at her with their honest, gentle eyes.
In that moment a wave of love threatened to engulf her. Never in her broken, fragile life had so many people loved and accepted her; the emotionally-starved girl found herself drowning in the gentleness of the warm friendship extended towards her.
The onlookers were surprised when the mysterious little girl with the suffering dark eyes slipped quietly out of the room, making her way silently towards the exit. A few of the people tried to thank her, but they found themselves talking to empty air.
A couple of meters into the street, Yulia turned to stare through the window at the unconscious old man tended by his loving friends. Her dark eyes were empty and cold, but her glassy heart fractured ever so slightly; a tiny crack spreading through the cold surface of her mind.
The girl stood there for barely a moment before the same homeless woman who had thanked her appeared at the window, staring straight at her with the same expression of grateful love.
She turned and ran.

"Back so soon?"
Yulia glanced up to see Lena at her computer, tossing a cue ball and catching it with the same hand.
She nodded, dark eyes heavy and troubled; but for once, Lena didn't notice - she seemed preoccupied.
"We have a problem, Volk."
"Anyway, as I said, there's a problem."
Yulia moved over to her side, glancing at the busy screen.
"What is it, Ta?"
Lena swiveled in her chair to look at her.
"You're definitely gonna have to make the kill tonight." She pointed a long fingernail at an ominous whorl of clouds on a printed satellite image lying on the table. "This isn't any ordinary snowstorm. We'll be snowed in for a few days, there's no way you can take him tomorrow night - and obviously the day is ruled out by professional courtesy."
Yulia nodded. "He must die in his sleep."
"Yeah, that. Anyway, you're really going to have to do it tonight...unless you aren't happy with it. I know you've been watching him, and I know you have a great deal of sympathy for him - so I guess just this once, if you really don't w-"
Yulia turned and walked away. She went over to the side table where her gun lay, staring down at it for a few moments before taking it in her hands. Loading and cocking it unflinchingly, she slipped it into her pocket and turned back to Lena.
"I'll do it."
The blonde sat in silence, watching as the dark girl shouldered her jacket once more and headed out of the apartment.
Once she'd judged a suitable length of time to have passed, she very quietly put on her own coat and slipped out of the building, following Yulia from a distance.
Good luck, Volk, she whispered, I hope you make this.

Perhaps Lena was superior in stealth, or perhaps Yulia had too much on her mind to be fully aware of her surroundings - but somehow the duo traveled through the city of Paris in the quiet, heavy evening without the dark girl sensing any followers. She kept her chin to her chest, tracing the cobbles with her eyes while fidgeting with the smooth round watch she kept in her pocket.
The clouds overhead had whorled into an unearthly green colour, bulging with their load and looking sullen and angry. The dark, towering city was ominous, reflecting in the quietly cold eyes of the child below who trudged through the streets, hands in pockets, head down and mind fragile.
Do I dare? ...Can I do what is required of me?
She passed a doorway where a homeless man had curled up, shivering under a blanket to protect himself from the oncoming snow.
The men who killed his father, those very people who Nazarev later killed himself...their friends want him dead.
She paused, watching the homeless man.
And he knows...he has to.
Lena's voice from an earlier conversation came drifting back in echoes.
"Of course he's a kind old man. He probably hopes that if he shows enough kindness and looks frail enough, his enemies will take pity on him. Shame, such naivety in one so old."
Yulia shook her head and began to walk again, head hanging slightly lower.
That's not it. The thin blanket, his light, skeletal frame...his tiny home, his tired eyes and grey-white hair...how carefully he put those books on that table, how gently he loved Noir and the homeless people...he's not trying to fool anyone.
And then it shimmered. Deep inside her, it was almost as if the broken, revolving shards of her crystal past had momentarily spun together - as if they had cast a fleeting shaft of light, a sunbeam of glinting memory that had played over her tortured, ruptured mind and plunged her further into darkness.
She stopped dead, alarming Lena, who was still following at twenty paces.
Yulia's lips began to move, wrenching strange, random phrases from her deepest subconscious and placing them together.
"Dark hands - with every sin, growing blacker; you can never atone, you'll never be free, never be cleared of the evil that is fated to you - no matter how...hard...you...try..."
Her fingers gripped the watch, clenching around it and locking it tightly into her palm.
He's not trying to fool anyone, save himself. He's trying to atone - he knows of his death, he foresaw it many years ago; he's trying to cleanse himself of his evil before he dies.
She shook her head, suddenly overcome as a rush of the deepest, most infinite sadness filled her. Her heart seemed torn at the fragility, at the naïve hopes of the dying old man.
"You can never atone," she whispered. "You can never make your sins go away - they'll stay with you forever...and I'm sorry...I'm so, so sorry..."
A little way behind, Lena watched as Yulia very quietly lifted a glove to her cheek to wipe the tears away.
"If I act now," the blonde whispered to herself, "I can contact the client and refuse the mission, it's no big deal, all Assassins do it..."
But now, glancing at Yulia's back, she knew there was no need.
As the dark girl squared her shoulders and slipped her hands into her pockets, Lena shivered involuntarily.
It's like she's cried out all emotion in those little tears...she's ready - and she's much, much stronger than I'll ever be.
Yulia began to walk towards the old man's house once more. Her paces were even and her head was once again held, if not high, then certainly level. She didn't stop to glance left or right, but stuck to her path and stared straight ahead.
Lena found herself watching the girl with a mixture of awe, fear and horror.
She's the perfect Assassin - measured, cold, calculating...she's just become emotionless right in front of me and somehow turned from a little girl into the most brutal and unstoppable killer imaginable...
Before she could stop herself, three words sprang to her lips.
"What are you?"
But Yulia didn't hear her - she had already gone.

Laughter echoed through the snow-scattered woods. Bright colours danced in the ice-crystal air, mittened hands tingled with the sharp cold as the birds twittered and the air nipped with frost.

Yulia gripped her gun tightly in her glove. She didn't slow as she crossed the railway tracks, didn't falter as she strode silently down the hill wrapped in the breathless darkness of the night. The clouds hung very low above the silent earth, ghostly flickers of light flashed high above as the Assassin made her unflinching way towards the tiny house below. Her eyes were different; darker. Somehow the gentle depth and tortured love in them had disappeared, leaving two cold mirrors - shields of ice.

Shouts echoed through the forest. The young boy turned sharply, uneasily. The snow seemed to tremble, the birds were eerily silent. Very slowly, the boy began to creep towards the clearing...

Nazarev opened his clear blue eyes. The room seemed echoey and eerie in the strange light, despite its tiny size. In the corner little Myshkin was calmly washing himself, and in the doorway stood a silent figure.

Horror in an icy world, a hell of snow and silence muffling a little child's pain - towering tree-trunks laced with snow, offering no consolation to the little boy, only a stark reminder of the brutal reality of this strange new world.

Yulia stared down at Nazarev with her cold, hard eyes. Her gun was leveled at his heart, her finger tightening around the trigger.
Behind her, Myshkin cowered in a corner, his large eyes confused and terrified. The little kitten couldn't understand what was happening, all he knew was that very shortly his fragile world would come crashing down; would change forever to send him fleeing into the cold night.
Very quietly, the kitten let out a whimper.
Somewhere deep inside her icy shield, the tiny fracture in Yulia's heart spread like a pressure point. Her head whipped around as her eyes fell on the kitten cowering from her; from what she was about to do. She could feel Nazarev's gentle eyes on her as she stared at the animal, mind racing.
Little Noir, little Myshkin...he was truly the Prince Myshkin of Yulia's confused world; all that represented innocence and purity, now watching as she made her decision.
Yulia glanced back to the old man in his bed. His frame was fragile under the thin cover, but his heart was strong. He caught the dark girl's troubled, open gaze for the last time, before pulling his gentle mouth into a tired smile.
Then his great eyelids closed, as quietly as a child falling asleep.
Yulia watched, her heart finally stilled. There was no choice; there had never been. All along he'd known, and all along...so had she.
Once more she leveled her gun, but this time her eyes were gentle and sad, and for a few seconds they mirrored the deep, desperate pain inside her.
A single shot rang out into the night, and in that little house a kitten's heart broke in two. Whimpering, Myshkin backed away from his master and the Assassin, before turning tail and fleeing into the darkness of the night.
Yulia watched him go, feeling a tiny part of her heart tear out and disappear with the kitten; a little piece of her that could never return.

The boy's eyes narrowed, his heart starting jumping as his face contorted into the visage of righteous wrath. His fingers clenched as he sank into the depths of himself...and then...
and then...

Yulia met Lena outside. The blonde was leaning against the wall, waiting patiently; somehow she felt that the brunette had known she'd been there all along.
Just one glance at the girl's eyes told her everything and she refrained from comment.
Yulia looked up and stood frozen, her eyes locked into Lena's.
And then, slowly, a tiny white flake drifted down between the girls, watched by both as it fell.
Lena lifted her eyes to the heavens, suddenly aware of the beginning of the snowfall, as Yulia continued to watch the solitary flake drifting gently to the ground.
Neither spoke, neither moved.
...Until very slowly Lena slipped her arm around Yulia. The dark haired girl let her forehead fall to rest briefly on the blonde's shoulder, and the Assassin duo found themselves locked in a strange, deeply touching moment. In their own way it was personal and special, and as Yulia began to smile, her eyes flooded with long-held back tears.
Snow fell softly around the two girls like angel feathers, touching the darkness and bringing gentle magic into the night.
"Come on," whispered Lena, gently. "Let's go home."

The young boy opened his eyes. Instead of the usual furious darkness that engulfed him, he was surrounded by a gentle warmth. Around him lights danced in the air as music that he strained to hear filtered through the beautiful forest. His destroyed, broken heart was soothed with the lightest of touches, his ruptures and pain finally beginning to heal as he pushed himself to his feet. Sunlight streaked through the warm green leaves waving gently around him and shone off the tears that rolled down his cheeks; the forest was bathed in a dappled, gentle light and filled with the surreal warmth of a childhood summer as the snow melted away. Forgotten shapes and memories hung briefly in the air around him, just beyond view in the shifting, changing forest. His little hands reached for them, his ears straining to catch the distant sound of childish laughter, the very edges of his world beginning to fade to darkness. He stumbled to the edge of the familiar clearing, his world alive with beautiful and long-forgotten memories, the light quietly beginning to dim and ebb away. His bare feet fell against the warm, smooth grass, his short hair was whipped up by the gentle summer breeze, and then...
Dmitri stretched out his arms, his eyes filling with tears of joy.
"Papa," he whispered, as his world quietly faded into darkness for the very, very last time, "at last."

14-06-2004, 14:47
okay .. I read this .. thanks $in and tatufreak.... but no comment.. :none:

Veggie Delite
14-06-2004, 20:28
just... wow.....

i just finished reading, i posted but didn´t have time to read

and now i´m so speachless...

16-06-2004, 19:22
...no comment? :bum:

Veggie Delite
16-06-2004, 19:30
it's oh-mah-gawd-tis-brilliant kind of speachless

16-06-2004, 19:35
thanks Veggie Delite :)
...but Denial? ...has tatufreak done wrong? *looks all beaten up*

Veggie Delite
16-06-2004, 20:58
she's just probably sad coz it's over, so she can't play assasin anymore :cool:

*collects all denial's weapons and throws them in the bin*

sooooo... we still have these:


16-06-2004, 22:27
ahh but it's not over...it's just over for now. I'll be back at work on it in a few weeks, when the exams are finished - and plus, Altena, Chloe etc haven't even been introduced yet! Finished...pah :-p

Veggie Delite
16-06-2004, 22:40
whew... :coctail:

*starts digging in the bin*

everything is here, but i can't find denials kalashnyikov... she probably already digged it out... uhm.. i'm gonna go now :hmmm:

17-06-2004, 13:21
:D I think you'll like the new weapons...
Plus, it's not in the anime, but I was sort of thinking - Yulia AKA Kirika has to make use of stuff if she loses her gun, so what about being on a China mission and having to adopt a Samurai sword?
...cue Kill Bill-style music...

17-06-2004, 13:35
thanks Veggie Delite :)
...but Denial? ...has tatufreak done wrong? *looks all beaten up*

aww ... of course not Tatufreak .. I was just speecless .. hehe .. well okay I write some comment here :)

Its really-really nice to get to read the whole story in one shot .. as usual I just make my world silence and leave the dim light .. and lighted a cigarette and of course newly made hot tea .. I also know that this chapter mean a lot to you .. since you been taking long time to write .. and I see that this chapter have more images then usual ..and you crafted it with words beautifully .. so its always like watching a movie .. I do like this one very much .. well okay my favorite part is this one,

"The fact is," Lena continued, "we're Assassins. We can't choose our victims or our clients, we're simply the middlemen here...and it remains true that we should never get involved in the stories of our victims or clients, they are simply our next source of revenue. Coffee?"
"And then there's the fact that he’s helpless. As a professional Assassin I also am naturally indisposed to the killing of the defenceless, but the fact remains that his death is required of us by contract. Sugar?"
"No thanks."
"Need more time?"

hehe .. I love it very much ..

How ever .. I just get a little confused in the end .. if the guy is dead or not ..heh heh .. well .. at first .. but when I read again .. I know he died in peace ... and he was happy .. umm .. I just suspect .. he's the one that hired the two girls to kill himself .. right? ..urrr... or shall I wait for the answer ?

whew... :coctail:

*starts digging in the bin*

everything is here, but i can't find denials kalashnyikov... she probably already digged it out... uhm.. i'm gonna go now :hmmm:

oh.. you already know me so well .. I see .. yes .. I have my kalashnyikov with me .. always...
:::aims her gun at something::: squinting eyes::
you know what $in, when it comes to love, I never hesitate to kill ..
*click* ..

so what about being on a China mission and having to adopt a Samurai sword?
samurai sword? yes yes yes *nods* *nods* *nods* .. I think its very romantic!!

17-06-2004, 13:43
Ahh yaay! I thought you didn't like it :bum:
The answer...it's a paradox. For you to decide, I think.

17-06-2004, 14:13
Umm.. then I already know he's the one hiring the girls to kill himself.. I knew it for sure .. I could see in his eyes .. when he looked at Yulia .. LoL .. other than that .. was he the one on the computer .. with some figure on the screen ?? LoL

17-06-2004, 17:09
Ah, no. :)
The figure at the screen is a very, VERY major character soon to enter into the taty|noir world.
*rubs hands and grins*

Veggie Delite
17-06-2004, 19:56
so what about being on a China mission and having to adopt a Samurai sword?

oh yesssssss!!!
as a mather of fact, i have one right here. *looks at denial with a dangerous look*
but i have to take it back to my coach next week... :( and it feels so good in my hands, much-much better than those wooden ones for practising... :rolleyes:

18-06-2004, 01:53
Tatufreak ,, oh okay . I'll wait then... :D

$in, oh dang! *is jealous* .. I love those thing!! its beautiful.

18-06-2004, 08:28
A real one?

...wanna describe how it feels to fight with it? *gets out notebook*

Veggie Delite
18-06-2004, 13:14
it feels naturall. and powerfull. being the master of that weapon, but also it's slave (any sense...?)
they say that just by holding the catana, you can feel it's owner in it. well, it's true.

if you want i can ask my friend to borrow me his camera, so i could take some pictures.

lemme look through some pics, i think there are a few that would suit...
[links removed]

18-06-2004, 14:00
Thanks for the picture $in .. beautiful sword... hmm .. any picture of you with the sword and some style? LoL

oh well .. talking about how does it feel? I can tell you ..

last night after I post this:
you know what $in, when it comes to love, I never hesitate to kill ..

I went to sleep and I had a dream that I killed two guys with a sword.. and I sort of chop off half of their head ... worst is they were defenceless .. they didn't know I was coming from the back.. and I don't know why I kill them ...but there was reasons ... I just don't remember.. and it was not a good feeling after that... guilt.. pity.. sins.. everything ... I looked at the body ... and it doesn't move anymore... I woke up this morning feeling .. I don't know what .. and its bad .. really bad feeling .. and even now .. thinking about it make me ... I don't know .. it just bad feeling ... urrgh .. :bum: :hmmm: ..but the sword feels like a part of me .. and it was so light .. *past out* :dead:

Veggie Delite
18-06-2004, 15:59
ur welcome :)

if i get the camera i can take pictures of me too. maybe even hit some cool sexeh pose :gigi:

i always thought that the sword will be light, but it's not light at all. the blade is made of steel. but it's balanced very well, it slides through the air in a perfect straight line. after a while, i could feel all the muscles in my arms, i didn't even now some of them existed, lol

but it seems light when it's held by someone who knows to use it.
a good katana in good hands can slice off the pipe of the shotgun :dead:

18-06-2004, 16:12
but it seems light when it's held by someone who knows to use it.


Anyway .. I think this seems cool in the movie .. but in real life .. it would be a painful scene .. the samurai sword .. looks beautiful .. we look at it with passionate eyes.. but its designed to kill...


So here my latest look .. :rolleyes: .. hehehe.. illustration by Greg .. so you'll know .. the girl ... denial .. in the assassin suit (http://www.nichya.net/thegurgi/stalkingdenial.jpg) .. I have a samurai sword and my kalashnikov is still smoking .. LoL ..

at $in :bebebe: ..take care girl .. thank you .. thank you .. thank you ... I'll miss you .. and tatufreak.. I'll catch your next chapter in few weeks times ... *writes in her organizer* ...

take care ..

Veggie Delite
21-06-2004, 11:00
have fun, and don't make a massacre! leave ur weapons at home!

take care and have loads of fun :rose: :rose: :rose: :10x: