Chapter 1: Prologue
Javier took one final bow, waving at the screaming crowd before exiting the stage.
“That was a great show, Javi!” Tracy told him, giving him a towel and a water bottle.
“Thanks, it was really fun! I love Japan tour stops, they’re always so awesome.”
He patted his face and neck dry, hanging the towel over his left shoulder, before taking big gulps out of his bottle, nodding at people passing by him.
He reached his dressing room, and his team followed him inside.
“Javi, now the show’s done, you know we need to address the issue you’ve been ignoring.”
Javier looked down.
“I don’t think it’s that big of a deal.”
“Javi, someone actually managed to violate our security, on repeated occasions, to leave death threats in your hotel rooms. You can’t tell me this is not that big of a deal.”
“What do you suggest we do?”
“I talked to the legal team, so they could tell us what the best course of action is, and they said to contact Interpol. You know you shouldn’t be playing around with this. What you saw was horrible, and I know you want to forget, but there’s no telling what these people will do, now they have found out who you actually are.”
“Tracy, I can’t just go live in a cabin in the middle of the woods to disappear from the public eye so they can’t find me. I’m famous, and I have half a world tour still to complete.”
“Please Javi, I’m begging you. Let people handle this and keep you safe. Please.”
Javier sighed, rubbing his face with his hands.
“Okay. I will take whatever protective measure you want me to have, as long as it doesn’t affect my career.”
Knife after knife thrown against different targets, each hitting the intended spot with precision.
The last one hit the middle of the last practice dummy’s head, the blade buried into the foamy material.
“Hanyu!” He turned around, eyes sharp, to find Brian standing at the door. “I have a case for you.”
“You know I’m not handling field work anymore, Brian.”
“Believe me, you’ll want to take a look at this one. The Silver Dagger is involved.”
Yuzuru’s eyes glazed over before going stone cold, making all agents shiver in fear and exit the room as quickly as possible.
He started walking towards the exit, grabbing one lonely knife left on the tool table and throwing it over his shoulder, without looking back.
Brian let him through, and shook his head as the closed the door, looking back one last time.
The last knife was embedded right in the middle if the dummy’s chest.
Chapter 2: In This World Before Me
Hi, hello, Hallo!
This is your friendly neighbourhood author bringing you the first chapter to this story, courtesy of a baby cat that reminded me this existed lol, I hope it meets your expectations lol.
Thanks to 4Mine3 for reading it over for me!
So, happy reading, and see you when I see you!
The cool night air against his skin.
The sound of crickets.
Cars driving by the avenue that surrounded the park.
Hushed voices. A loud thud.
The glint of metal.
Breath caught in his throat.
The smell of death and the scent of money and betrayal.
The gravel under running feet.
Steps coming closer.
Javier woke up with a gasp, face covered in tears and hair and body damp with sweat.
He turned on the light and frantically looked around, sighing in relief before slumping back against the pillows.
Tokyo. He was in his hotel room in Tokyo. There was a security guard standing in front of his door, arranged by Tracy, and the hotel staff was on the lookout for anyone suspicious. They had not taken the fact that someone had managed to slip inside his room unnoticed by any of their safety measures lightly.
He gave up on trying to go to sleep, throwing back the covers and slipping out of bed, taking off his soaked t-shirt and pants as he made his way to the bathroom, turning the shower on so the water could warm up, and leaning onto the cool marble sink.
Javier raised his head and looked at himself in the mirror.
He couldn't recognise himself.
"Javi, you look like shit."
"Good morning to you too, Evgenia, nice to see you. Did you have a good night's sleep?" Javier said sarcastically, sitting down on the make-up chair and setting his coffee cup next to a bunch of beauty blenders.
"Well, I had a fantastic night, but you obviously didn't. I think I'll have to send someone to buy more concealer, because I don't know if the amount I have left will be enough to cover those racoon eyes of yours." She crossed her arms over her chest and raised an eyebrow.
"Bite me, Medvedeva."
"I would, but then I'd have more work covering the mark."
"Okay, children, that's enough." Tracy said, walking into the room and patting Evgenia gently on the shoulder as a greeting, making the girl smile at her, sassy face instantly gone. "Zhenya, dear, could you leave for a little while? There's something I need to tell Javier alone."
"Sure thing, Tracy, I'll go get this weirdo something to eat because 4 cups of coffee do not count as breakfast." Javier gave her the finger, and Evgenia stuck her tongue out at him as she left the room, closing the door behind herself.
Tracy sat on the chair next to Javier, and forced his chair to turn until he was facing her.
"Javi... this can't go on like this." Javier didn't meet her eyes, choosing to look at his shoes instead. "Seriously, you need to sleep, you're going to keel over one of this days out of mere exhaustion, kid."
"I can't." He confessed. "Every time I fall asleep for more than ten minutes I go back to that night." Tracy's eyes softened, and she leant forward to grab Javier's hand, her grip tight and secure and making Javier's perpetually racing heart slow down a little. "I want to sleep so bad, I want to eat all the things I love, especially now we're in Japan. I love Japanese food so much, but I can't manage more than one or two bites before the knot in my stomach tightens again and makes me want to vomit everything I just consumed."
Tracy looked at him with warm eyes and an empathetic expression on her face.
"Okay, then this news I'm about to give you might give you some peace of mind." Tracy patted his hand one last time before leaning back. "I talked with Interpol last night. Told them about what was going on, and to get in contact with the agent that had first been there when the investigation began. They think it would be good for you to have 24/7 protection, so they're assigning an agent to be by your side until they can solve whatever is going on and be sure you're going to be completely safe."
Javier blinked at her a couple of times, taking in what she had just told me.
"So..." Javier started, lifting an eyebrow. "Interpol is giving me a ba..."
"...bysitter. You want me to play babysitter to a 27 year old pop star because he received a couple death threats." Yuzuru scoffed, crossing his arms in front of his body. "Why did you think I would ever go back to field work just to go babysit a famous brat, Brian?"
Brian sighed, rubbing his temple.
"Yuzuru, he's not a brat, and these are not just 'a couple death threats'. We have every reason to believe the Silver Dagger is targeting him." Yuzuru kept his posture, but Brian could see he was actually listening now. "I talked with someone in our Moscow Office. He apparently was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and saw something he shouldn't have seen. That was a few months ago, they're still investigating there, but you know the Silver Dagger has their tendrils all over the globe. And he's in a world tour, so every single time he moves, he's under a new kind of danger." Brian sighed, leaning to rest his elbows on the desk, and trying -and failing- to make eye contact with the younger one-. "Yuzuru, I want you to take the case because you're both our Silver Dagger expert, and the best field agent we have. I am certain you can keep Javier Fernandez alive and safe until we solve this case. But if you don't want to, I will understand, and send Zagitova instead. I know you're still recovering from ..."
"DON'T." Yuzuru interrupted him. "Don't talk about that." He finally looked up. "Fine. I'll do it. I'll go."
Brian nodded, a proud smile on his face as he saw a glimpse of the person he used to be as he looked at the man he basically considered his son.
"Great. I'm glad. Well, go pack. You just joined a world tour."
"He's not a babysitter, Javi." Tracy sighed. "I know it can feel like that, but you're in grave danger, and they're making sure you are safe. Please, please cooperate."
Javier bit his lip, but nodded.
"Okay, sure, why not. Maybe this will work and no one else will leave random death threats in my hotel rooms."
Tracy stood up and pulled him into a hug. Javier melted into the contact.
"You'll be okay. Everyone will do their best to make sure you are okay." She let him go, and patted his cheek. "Okay, I'll go get Evgenia to stop torturing Jason and send her back in so you can get ready. You have an interview scheduled in an hour."
Javier nodded, and sat back down. He grabbed his cup, coffee now cold and disgusting, and tossed it into the bin.
'Let another day begin.'
The cool night air against his skin.
The sound of crickets.
The cool, slick weight of a gun in his hand.
The small click of a picked lock giving in.
The commotion, loud shouts, no time to think.
The feeling of having to act out of instinct.
The heavy weight of a child in his arms, before the weight transferred to another's grip.
The loud bang of a gunshot.
The struggle of trying to grasp wet shoulders, of loading dead weight onto his back.
The hopelessness of having to run, to abort, knowing that you had failed.
The loud gasps for breath of the person that was always by your side.
Yuzuru woke up with a gasp, face covered in tears and hair and body damp with sweat.
He instinctively tightened his hand around the knife he kept under his pillow when he slept, and sat up quickly, turning on the light and looking around, alert as if he hadn't just been sleeping, searching for a possible intruder, before relaxing against the headboard.
Just his apartment. Small, and organised, nothing out of place. No one else but him was there. Just as was supposed to be. Just as it had been for the last 3 years.
He looked at the clock and sighed. It was already 4AM.
Yuzuru instantly gave up on trying to go to sleep. It's not like he had actually managed to sleep more than 4 or 5 hours for the last 3 years.
He went to the bathroom, stripping naked and letting the water from the shower wet him entirely. He looked at his ofuro with longing, but quickly gave up on the idea of taking a soak. He would only fall back asleep. He would only go back to the nightmare.
He would only go back to the flashbacks, and the tangy, metallic smell in his nose, and the warm liquid escaping from warm bodies. Yuzuru closed his eyes tightly, forcing himself to stop that train of thought.
That was done, it had happened, thinking about it would not reset time and make everything as it was before.
Yuzuru turned the water off, and patted himself dry with his towel, going back to his room and sitting on the chair in front of the balcony window.
He looked to the side and found his reflection in the full body mirror. His wet hair longer than it had ever been, so long he was starting to consider tying it into a small ponytail or bun so it would stop being all over the place. Dark circles under his eyes matching the dark colour of his pupils, cheeks sunken, jaw and cheekbones sharp and defined, not by choice but by lack of fat and lack of care. His body was thinner than it had even been, but only because there was no fat to it, only hard muscles rippling under pasty white skin every time he moved.
He would be an anatomy student's dream, he chuckled inside his mind. You could see every single muscle group in his body.
Yuzuru looked back up and stared at his own reflection in the eyes.
He couldn't recognise himself.
Chapter 3: I’ll Throw Myself
Hello, beautiful people!!
How are you doing?? I actually thought I was going to update babies today, but a slight case of writer's block hit and then I found out someone needed cheering up so...
This chapter is for Baby Cat once again, I hope you like it ♥
Also, big thanks to 4Mia3 for reading it through for me, once again. You rock, you cutie!
And I'll see you when I see you
PS: Italics in dialogue mean someone is speaking Japanese
Javier used hand motions to make the Engineer understand the levels in his in-ear monitor were okay, before motioning for him to up his mic volume a bit, as he considered the music was far too loud in comparison to his voice.
He saw the affirmative sign, and sang out a line to check, nodding and lifting his thumb to signal he was happy with the results.
"Let's try Tu Refugio one last time now that the levels should be okay, and then we're done."
Javier was so exhausted he would drop to the floor and sleep for a hundred years in that instant, but instead he walked to the end of the stage and playfully sat down with his feet dangling over the edge, leaning back with his arm extended behind his body to support his weight as he sang his newest single for the third time that day.
He looked up, mechanically singing out the words to the song, consciously saving his energy for the concert that night. As soon as the song was done, he got up with a little effort that he masked with laughter, and thanked everyone for a successful soundcheck, before heading backstage grabbing the towel Jason was holding out for him and rubbing it over his face.
"Great soundcheck, Javi!" Jason exclaimed, ever present smile wide on his face. "Tracy told me you're needed in your dressing room now that you're done. Some people arrived and she's there with them."
Javier nodded, patting Jason on the shoulder and walking away, pulling at Evgenia's ponytail when he saw her standing there with her back turned towards him, winning himself a scowl and a loud 'JAVI!' that made him laugh.
He took a deep breath when he got to his destination, before composing himself and opening the door, walking inside to see Tracy sitting there with two men.
"Javi! You're done? Great!" She smiled at him, standing up. "This two gentleman here are from Interpol."
Javier saw the older one get up, walk towards him and hold out a hand, which Javier instantly shook.
"Hello Mr. Fernandez. My name is Agent Orser and I'm in charge of supervising your case here in Japan."
"Nice to meet you." Javier said, letting go of his hand.
The other man stood up and bowed to him, and Javier hurriedly bowed back.
"My name is Yuzuru Hanyu. I'll be in charge of your security for as long as the case is still unresolved and your safety isn't certain." Javier nodded, mutely. He had been surprised at the high voice that had come out of the man's mouth when he spoke.
"Thank you so much to both of you, seriously, knowing you're already aware of the situation and working to solve it is extremely reassuring." Tracy said, handing Javier a water bottle, and motioning for him to sit down. "How will Mr. Hanyu's presence in Javi's entourage work?"
"Well, Yuzuru here will play the part of Mr. Fernandez's friend that was invited by him to join the tour if anyone questions his presence here. His identity as an agent is not known, as he's part of our special secret agent group. He's our most knowledgeable agent when it comes to the Silver Dagger, and has outstanding performances in field work, so we're giving you the best we have to offer. We've assembled a little team to go with you as extra security as well, all will be working undercover, so I hope that will ease your concerns even more. One more agent will join you in your next stop, and then you'll have a full team that will be under Yuzuru's orders to guarantee you and your entire team will be safe."
Both Tracy and Javier nodded in understanding.
"I'll need to remain as close as I can to Mr. Fernandez." Yuzuru explained, sitting on his chair with legs crossed at the ankles and hands resting over his knees, back perfectly straight. "This means, everywhere you go, I go. I'll be your shadow to ensure no one can get to you without getting through me first. I will also ask to be in the same hotel room as you, can that be arranged?" Javier remained quietly, still trying to understand how in the world he had gone from singer to someone that needed a 24/7 babysitter.
"Yes, of course. Today is the last show in Tokyo, so we can't do anything about it for tonight, but I'll make sure to arrange all suites will have an extra bed in the entrance room attached to the bedroom for all future stops." Tracy answered, extending her hand to pat Javier's knee reassuringly.
"That would be most helpful, thank you. I'm sure we can manage to find a suitable arrangement for tonight, please do not worry." Yuzuru bowed his head shortly.
"Okay, I'll go take care of logistics." Tracy said, standing up and walking towards the door. "I'll be right back."
Once she had exited the room, closing the door behind herself, the older agent took a small tablet out of one of his pockets.
"Well, we'll introduce the team to you so you know who you can run to in case you have an emergency and, for some reason, you can't find Yuzuru. I'll ask you to keep this information secret, and do not tell anyone these agents' status as such or they, and by consequence you, could be endangered. Please review these in silent." Javier nodded, and accepted the small device that was being handed to him.
There, he found pictures, accompanied with a name, and the role they'd be in while the tour was ongoing.
AGENT ZAGITOVA - Styling Team
AGENT KOLYADA - Backline Crew
AGENT CHA- Lightning Crew (Will join team in Seoul, SK)
AGENT UNO - Monitor Engineer
He memorized the faces and crew positions, and gave the tablet back to Agent Orser.
"Okay, I got them. I will be able to find them if I need to."
"Great. Now I'll be going, there's much to do and not enough time. I'll leave you in the hands of my best Agent, Mr. Fernandez. I hope to see you again soon with this problem having been sorted." Agent Orser shook his hand, gave Yuzuru a nod that the younger agent returned, and left.
Javier turned to stare at the Asian man, not knowing what to do.
"I think we need to figure out how we're going to act while we're under public scrutiny. I believe your fans will question the veracity of me being your friend if we act awkwardly with each other." Yuzuru said, expression still as blank as ever.
"Oh, yeah, right. Well... I lived here in Japan for a year when I was younger, as an Exchange Student, so maybe we could say we met there and kept in contact over the years?" Javier suggested.
"I believe that would work." Yuzuru nodded. "Do you really speak Japanese? Your file says so but there have been no known instances of you using the language in public" He suddenly asked.
"I learnt when I was living here and tried to keep using it and perfecting it through the years, but..."
"If I speak at this speed would you be able to understand what I'm saying and answer to me with a certain degree of fluency?" Yuzuru suddenly asked, speaking rapid-fire Japanese, making Javier start to sweat a little.
"I do understand and can answer, but there's no way I can speak that fast. " Javier answered slowly, trying to string the words together and pronounce them as nicely as he could.
Yuzuru simply nodded.
"I can speak spanish if needed, but I'd rather not use it if it isn't necessary. It would be far too suspicious if your exchange friend turns out to be that much of a polyglot all of a sudden." He had switched back to English. "Great, so that's been solved. We can switch between English and Japanese in front of people to make it easier to talk and keep appearances." Yuzuru's eyes suddenly became harsher, colder. "I will have to ask you to listen to me at all times. I need you to understand that, whatever happens, your safety is my number one priority, over anyone else's. The rest of my team will make sure your crew is safe, but my sole mission is to keep you alive and healthy. So if I say stay, you stay, If I say go, you go, if I say hide, you hide and if I say run, you run. No questions, just do what I say. Okay?" Yuzuru's voice had dropped to a lower, deeper tone, making it sound like how cutting yourself with a sharp edge felt like. Javier nodded quickly. Yuzuru nodded back, and looked around the dressing room. "According to your schedule, you have a couple of hours until the concert starts. I will need you to talk me through your daily routine, giving me as many details as possible."
Javier sighed. This sounded like he wouldn't be able to rest before the concert at all.
Yuzuru stood backstage, staring at Javier jumping around the stage as he interacted with his audience and made sure to involve them in every single moment of the concert. He had to admit that, while he actively avoided Javier Fernandez's discography, he was a great singer, and an even greater entertainer.
Javier had looked dead on his feet when he had first walked into the room where he had been waiting with Brian and Tracy, and had continued to look spaced out and tired the entire time between their meeting and the start of the concert.
But, as soon as he had set foot onstage, he had become a completely different person. Stage makeup on, a flirty smile on his face and oozing confidence, he looked nothing like the defeated shadow of a man he had met that afternoon.
He wouldn't have believed such a change was possible if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes.
"He's really good, isn't he?" Yuzuru looked to his right, and found Shoma standing there, bulky headphones around his neck.
"What are you doing here, shouldn't you be manning the console?"
"They said I'd start in the next concert, today would've been too much of a hassle." He lowered his voice. "Apparently, I've gotten rusty. I can hack into the pentagon in under a minute but can't distinguish the bass panel from the guitar one" Yuzuru snickered, and Shoma's eyes suddenly softened. "He was a fan, wasn't he?" He asked, motioning at Javier with his chin, making Yuzuru tense. "You know... "
"Don't." Yuzuru cut him off, tension in his voice matching the frown on his face. Shoma sighed, but nodded.
"You know he really liked his music. Loved it even. Always wanted to come to one of his concerts."
"Shoma, please, can't you..." Yuzuru turned towards Shoma, but was interrupted before he could continue talking.
"Hi, is any of you Shoma?" They both turned around staring at a smiley short haired man. Shoma nodded. "Oh, thank god, I've been looking for you everywhere. You're needed in the monitoring booth, the encore is almost over and they want you to see how the packing up is handled so you can know where things are for the next stop. Please follow me! I'm Jason, by the way, production manager, nice to meet you!"
Shoma patted his shoulder before following Jason, leaving Yuzuru alone once again.
He turned around to see Javier was bowing to the crowd one last time, and exiting the stage as the lights started going off.
"Great show everyone!" Tracy said, patting all musicians and back up dancers on the back as they came off the stage. "Nice work, Javi, that was an awesome show!"
Javier smiled weakly, grabbing the towel that was being handed to him and patting his face dry, absorbing as much sweat as he could.
Yuzuru's senses yelled at him that something was wrong. And as he inspected the man, he noticed what it was.
Javier was sweating again, completely covered in moisture even when he had just wiped it off. His face looked extremely pale, and his hands were trembling. And once he saw him start to sway, his suspicions were confirmed.
He was the first one to react as everyone around him froze in shock.
And mere moments later, Yuzuru found himself lying on the floor on his back, with an unconscious Javier in his arms, head cradled to stop it from hitting the floor.
Everything was still for a moment.
And then chaos ensued.
Chapter 4: Instagram Interlude
So, this isn't a *chapter* chapter, but a more... experimental update. I thought about adding more social media to this story, so I guess I'll need your feedback to know if you'd like to see more things like this in the future.
(Shay, baby Cat, I'm sorry, I thinked I cheated on this one lol, but there's a small preview of Chapter 5 for you guys at the end)
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"That's my bed."
"Relax, I'm not doing anything to it."
"Then why is there blood all over it?"
"There was a slight mishap. You might want to call the front desk to send someone to clean the room before you go to sleep."
"I'm not afraid."
"That's why you're shaking like a leaf?"
"I'm not afraid of them."
"Oh, so you're afraid of me?"
Did I use an EXO concert for that? You bet your ass I did lol