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All is Fair in Love and War

Chapter Text

It was a terrible day. Alex, Bones, Kong and the rest of Ash’s gang huddled together at the bottom of the staircase. Above them in a bedroom they heard Eiji and Ash fight. Although the couple’s voices were really loud it was hard to make out exactly what they were saying. No one knew what they were fighting about but they suspected it had to do with their current situation.

It started almost a month ago when a new gang was formed seemly out of the blue. This gang wasn’t very big and kept to themselves, so Ash and his gang didn’t pay much attention to them. In a short time however, their territory grew quickly. It became clear that Golzine was funding them. They soon started cutting off Ash from his buyer and limiting his supplies. Soon Alex and the rest found themselves low on food, ammunition, and metical supplies. Then the other gang started attacking Ash’s men. Their leader Johnny, set up a meeting with Ash. Alex, Bones and Kong attended with their leader. At the meet up they discussed territory. Then Johnny pulled out his ace and showed Ash a document he had. Before making his gang, he had gathered information on Ash and his men. If the police got their hands on the document, Ash and everyone involved with him would be in trouble. Johnny held that over his head and told Ash to keep away from his men.

With Ash’s gang’s supplies cut off, and the daily attacks, tempers in started to rise. Not a day passed where someone didn’t get into a fight. The gang was barely holding together. If it wasn’t for Ash they would have been done for. Their fearless leader kept cool head and kept things together. Johnny, however started to agitate him after a while. It seemed that Johnny had become interested with Eiji. He started having his men stalking him in the streets and Johnny himself flirted with the Japanese whenever he was near. Ash countered this by keeping Eiji inside and not letting him out at all.

Eiji took this bad. He had already been locked up once and that had almost driven him crazy. Ever since Eiji started taking some self-defense classes Ash had been less worried. Now however Eiji couldn’t even leave to go shopping. With tight rations Eiji couldn’t even help with the housework. The Japanese started to feel useless and guilty. He became stressed and worried about food and Johnny’s men. Most of all he worried about Ash. Whenever Ash returned, he was covered in bruises and cuts. Since there was a lack of medication there wasn’t much anyone could do about it. Eiji soon started to drive himself crazy.

Then the night before Ash and Eiji had a fight. This was not unusual. Eiji and Ash bickered a lot, especially when they started dating. They didn’t have many serious fights but when they did it usually ended pretty fast. This time however they fought all night and into the next day. It was now about 5:00 P.M. and they were still going strong. Alex had no idea what to do. This was the longest fight they ever had. The voices upstairs rose louder and there was a sound of something smashing against a wall.

“How much longer are they going to keep this up?”  Kong muttered worriedly.

“Who knows.” Bones said darkly. The fighting continued. Finally, after what felt like forever, they heard Ash swear loudly and then silence. Everyone looked at each other and sighed with relief.

“That took longer than expected.” Bones said optimistically “I guess they worked it out.” Alex frowned. There was something wrong with the silence. Usually when Ash and Eiji finish fighting they try to talk out their problems. Right now, however it was just completely quiet. Unless they were whispering neither men were making a sound.

“Maybe someone should go check on them.” One of the gang members suggested. Everyone shrunk back. Even if the fight was over if Ash was in a bad mood then going upstairs would be lethal. Unlike Eiji they didn’t have protection against the terrifying Lynx. After a couple of minutes of hesitation Alex sighed. As second in command he knew it was his job to make sure Ash was alright. Without a word he headed up the stairs. Before he could touched the doorknob the door it slammed open and Eiji stomped out.

He looked horrible. His dark hair was a mess and he had circles under his eyes that didn’t hide the tear stains. The Japanese was shaking so bad that he almost fell down the stairs. Eiji didn’t even seem to notice Alex or any of the gang. He hurried down the hall without a word and grabbed his. A few seconds later Alex heard the door slammed shut. The second in command turned his attention back to the room, Ash was sitting inside with his face in his hands. He looked equally as bad as Eiji. He was pale and looked exhausted. The way he was hunched over it wasn’t clear if he had been crying or not.

“Boss?” Alex said quietly as he approached Ash. The blond didn’t move. Alex froze, not sure what to do next. He never saw Ash this defeated before. After a few seconds it became clear that Ash wasn’t going to move anytime soon. Alex tried again,

“I saw Eiji leave…do you want me to send Bones and Kong with him?”

“No.” Ash said, his voice a horse whisper. He dropped his hands and Alex could see the emptiness in his eyes.

“Is everything alright between you and Eiji?” Alex asked, hoping he wasn’t crossing any lines. Ash took a deep shaking breath,

“We…broke up.”

Alex started at him trying to comprehend Ash’s words. Those two had been dating for over a year now. They had been through thick and thin together. And now they were just breaking up?

“I’m sorry.” Alex said blankly. His words seemed to bring Ash back to his sense. The young gang leader stood up, a steely glint in his eyes.

“We have work to do.” He said coldly.

 

After that everything changed.

 

Ash, who had been happier while dating Eiji suddenly became cold, colder than he had been before Eiji came into his life. He banned his ex’s name from even being mentioned and took all of the Japanese’s stuff and threw it in the cellar.  If Alex thought that was going to be the worst of it, he was wrong. A week later the gang started seeing Eiji hanging around Johnny. After that it became clear that the two of them were dating. Ash took this extremely hard. He ate less and slept less. He stopped smiling altogether. He began to attack Johnny’s men even with the threat of exposure from the document.

The question that hung ever member of Ash’s gang’s mind was why? Why did this happen? Eiji wasn’t the kind of person who would date someone to spite Ash. There was no way that he actually cared for someone like Johnny. The only conclusion they came up with was that Ash had said something so terrible to Eiji that this was the only way to get him back. The next question was, what on Earth did Ash say to Eiji? There were many different theories and guesses but none of them fit the situation.

The gang hoped to wait it out. They thought that it couldn’t last that long. Ash and Eiji probably still cared for each other and they would get back together. After a month of constantly fighting with no signs on Ash or Eiji making up the gang started to lose hope.

“There’s just no way this is going to end well.” Bones sighed. “And as long as…” he quickly looked around to make sure Ash wasn’t nearby. “as long Eiji is with Johnny, Ash will continue to act this way.”

“I wish I knew what they argued about.” Alex grumbled. “If we knew we could intervene. But there’s no way to ask Ash this.” It was quiet for a moment. The gloom that hung above them seemed to thicken. They were always at their worst right after a fight with Johnny’s men.

“I miss Eiji” Kong finally said. There was a murmur of agreement. They all missed Eiji. He was a ray of sunlight. They all had gotten used to returning to the base to see Eiji’s cheerful face. He had taken over cooking and clearing since he felt that was the only think he could do. It made the base feel more like a home. At first most of them knew what to make of Ash’s strange foreign friend. Eiji didn’t know how to fight and he was incredibly innocent. Yet their boss took to his in a way that they didn’t even know was possible. It took a little while but all of them started to warm up to the strange Japanese.

“It’s sad to think that Eiji’s no longer “boss’s boy,” someone muttered. Alex sighed in agreement. They always knew Eiji was special to Ash, but they didn’t know how special he was. Although it was more than a year ago, they still remembered the day Ash and Eiji returned to the hideout. The gang knew something was up when they first saw them. Eiji was wearing Ash’s jacket and looked extremely happy. After they got in Eiji showed everyone their matching silver rings and told them the news. On that day Ash was not a fearsome gang leader, but a proud boyfriend. He looked so pleased with his arms around the Japanese’s small shoulder. It was the first time Ash seemed human. He was just a young adult brimming with pride and showing off his boyfriend to everyone.

“I was so sure that they would be able to make it together.” Kong said gloomily.

“Things happen.” Alex said darkly. “People change. There’s no point thinking of Eiji now. We need to concentrate on what’s going on.”

“What are you doing?”

Everyone jumped and turned around. Ash was standing at the doorway glaring at them.

“Instead of reminiscing like a bunch of old people getting ready to leave. We have another point to attack tonight.” The gang scrambled quickly to get their stuff. Ash irately watched them for a couple of minutes. He had told them not to say Eiji’s name, but they did it anyways when they thought he wasn’t around. It drove him crazy and made this situation even harder for him.

“Ash,” a voice said behind him. Ash closed his eyes before turning around.

“What are you doing here old man?” Ash asked Max. The older man frowned.

“I want to talk to you.” He said. Ash glared at him for a few seconds before giving in.

“The roof.” He sighed. “We can talk there.”

 

The sun was setting over the city. Ash went over to the side of the roof and sat down on the wall.

“What do you want?” he asked. Max frowned at him.

 “How are you doing?” the older man finally said. Ash gave a humorless laugh.

“You came all this way out of hiding to ask me that?”

“I haven’t seen you since you broke up with Eiji” Ash winced at his name. Max frown deepened. “You look awful are you doing alright?”

“I’m fine.” Ash said shortly. Max groaned.

“Stop being difficult.” He said, “We both know that’s not true.”

“Then what do you want me to do?” Ash snapped, glaring at him. “Say that this is all mine fault? Cause I know it’s my fault already. I shouldn’t have said those things to Eiji. I shouldn’t have let him walk through that door. I know I put everyone I care about in danger. I can’t protect anything. I only kill and destroy those that are closest to me.”

“Ash I don’t know what happened between you and Eiji.” Max said, “But you should talk to him. He still means so much to you.” Ash clamped his mouth shut. He knew he said to much, but it was hard to keep his feelings about Eiji inside.

“You don’t understand a thing.” Ash finally said. “There, you came to check on me. Now you can go.” Max mouth formed a tight line and Ash thought he was going to argue. Instead he let out a long sigh and his shoulder sagged.

“Alright,” he said. “I’ll leave you, but Ash” he paused for a moment “take care of yourself, please.” Ash grunted in response. Max short him a sympathetic look and left the roof. Once the door closed Ash rubbed his temple.

 “Why Eiji, why must you be so stubborn?” he murmured to himself.  It had been a long day and tomorrow looked like it would be equally as long. He wondered if he would ever be able to get out of this hell. He didn’t know how long he was going to last. He missed Eiji. He missed Eiji’s smile, his frown, his laughter and his voice. Eiji was beautiful when he was happy or sad. Even during their fight Eiji was beautiful.

Ash also knew he didn’t have time to think about him. He needed to act now. If he failed, he would lose the one thing had cared about. The blond let out his breath slowly and hardened his expression. He let go any thought of Eiji as he headed back downstairs were his men were waiting for their orders.

Chapter Text

Bones knew he was in trouble when he heard the sirens. Ash’s and Johnny’s gangs were in the middle of a fight. Ash had his gang push Johnny’s men back into an alleyway in order to corner them. The plan worked well and they were winning the fight. Then they heard the sirens. No one knew who called the police, but they all knew they would be in trouble if they were caught. Everyone scattered in every direction hoping to put distance between them and the crime scene. Bones pushed past some guys from Johnny’s gang as he darted down one narrow ally into another. At the end he took a turn and then another turn. Behind him the sirens became steadily louder.  In a few seconds the police would arrive at the crime scene. Anyone around would be taken in for questioning. Bones knew he had to find a place to hide. After quick glance around however, he realized he didn’t know where he was. He slowed to a stop and took in his surroundings. On a wall across from him someone spray painted a symbol. Bones recognized it as Johnny’s gangs’ symbol, which could only mean one thing, he was in Johnny’s territory. Before he had time to act to truly comprehend the danger he was in, he heard footsteps behind him. Bones cursed his luck and quickly slipped inside the nearest building. He hoped he could wait there until whoever it was passed. Unfortunately, after a few seconds he realized the footsteps were approached the building.

“Damn, who called the police?” An angry voice said. The door swung open. Bones scrambled out of the hallway and into another room. Pressing himself against the wall he peaked around the corner. The two men who just entered were part of Johnny’s gang. Bones realized he chose the wrong building. Somehow without knowing it he had found Johnny’s base.

“Who knows” the first guy said with a shrug. “but it was a good timing. We were getting slaughtered out there.”

“What the hell man!” The second man growled looked around. He bent down towards he companions and lowered his voice. “You shouldn’t say that out loud.”

“It’s still true.” The first guy snorted. “Face it, boss’ no match for Ash Lynx. We didn’t stand a chance back there. If boss didn’t have dirt on Ash, he would have taken us all out by now.” Bones felt a sense of pride swelling in his stomach. Even when Ash was on the defensive, he was still terrifying. It made Bones proud to be part of his gang. The feeling only lasted a second however as Bones heard the two men approach the room he was in.

“Don’t let the boss here you say that.” The second man hissed angrily fear lased in his voice. “He’d kill us for sure.”  Bones could see their shadows approaching. He swore silently and pulled back into another hallway. There he found himself between a kitchen and a staircase. Voices were coming from the kitchen, so Bones took a gamble and slipped upstairs. He knew he was going deeper into Johnny’s layer, but he didn’t have a chose. If he stayed to long in any one area, he would surly get caught. He was almost out of ammo and he had lost his knife. Even if he had the proper equipment there was no way he would be able to take all of them at the same time. He wasn’t Ash after all.

At the top of the stairs he stopped to catch his breath, glancing around as he did so. The hallway was dark and narrow, filled with closed doors. There wasn’t a widow for him to climb out of. Bones sighed and slumped against the wall trying to think. Ash always made escaping dangerous places sound easily. Bones supposed if he was as smart and powerful as his boss, he wouldn’t be in such a pickle now. As far as his little brain could tell he was completely trapped. The chances of making it out alive was next to none.

At the far end of the hall a door banged open and Bones looked up in horror. He knew he had only seconds before someone caught him. Choosing a door at random he threw it opened as someone down the hall yelled.

“Hey!”

Bones didn’t turn around to see who it was. He jumped into the room and slammed the door close. In the hall he heard the man yell to someone else and footsteps approach the room. Bones’ heart started beating hard. This was it. He was trapped in this room and if he couldn’t find a way out, he’d have to fight. Bones spun around hoping to find a window he could safely jump out of. Instead he found Eiji.

The Japanese was sitting on a small rickety bed. He had a book on his lap and was clearly reading before Bones intruded. He was still very pale, but he was looking a lot better than the last time Bones had saw him. Bone started at him in shock and Eiji mirrored his expression.

“Hey Eiji!” someone yelled from outside of the room followed by hard hammering. “Open up!” Eiji’s eyes traveled from the door to Bones and then back to the door again. With a quick movement the dark-haired man beckoned to Bones and mouthed.

“Get under the bed.”

Bones, relived that Eiji wasn’t planning on turning him, crept across the room and dove under the bed. Eiji pulled the bedding down to block him from view. Bones watched Eiji’s feet walk across the room. The door opened and he heard Eiji say,

“Yes?”

“We just saw someone enter your room.” Eiji’s shoes stepped aside and two new pairs of shoes entered. “Who else is here?”

“No one…you probably just saw me…I was going downstairs for…something.” Eiji muttered. It was silent for a moment then one of the guys swore.

“Damn it Eiji you know you aren’t supposed to leave this room without an escort. What do you think would happen if the Lynx tried to get you back? Johnny would kill us!” It was quiet for a moment then Eiji muttered quietly.

“Sorry”

“Apologies don’t cut it. Damn it! Why do you have to act stupid!” One of the pairs of shoes stormed towards Eiji. The Japanese took a hasty step back. “You’re a pain enough to take care of! If you weren’t boss’s boy, you wouldn’t last a moment here! I’d thrash you within a inch of your life for disobeying an order.”

“S-sorry.” Eiji stuttered again. Bones clenched his fists. It was hard to stay hidden when Eiji clearly needed help, but there wasn’t much he could do. Even if he went out there it would only cause more problem.

“Why can’t you do something simple like stay in this room?”

“It was a mistake!” Eiji squeaked. “I-I just wanted to….uh see if Johnny was back.”

“Yeah like I believe that!” the guy second guy snorted. “You were trying to sneak, away weren’t you?” It was quite for a moment.

“Is that true?” the first guy growled.

“No! Why would I leave?” Eiji gasped.

“Oh please,” the second guy sneered, “You’re only dating Johnny to get back at Ash. I bet you regret coming here and want to go back to him.

“I don’t!” Eiji said desperately. The shoes darted forward and Bones heard a slamming sound. Eiji gave a gasp of pain and coughed.

“You know what?” the other guy jeered. “I bet he misses being the Lynx’s chew toy. Don’t ya?!” Eiji made a gurgling sound and Bones gridded his teeth. If this went on any longer, he was going to go out there and take them out. Eiji always was kind to him and the rest of Ash’s gang. He had made the base feel like home. It was hard to hide there while the Japanese was getting beat up, especially when it was his fault in the first place.

“That’s enough!”

The two men suddenly stilled. Bones’ eyes widened as his heart quickened. He knew that voice. It belonged to Johnny.

“Boss!” The two men exclaimed in unison.

“What’s going on here?” Johnny demanded angerly. “Why are you beating him up? You know I don’t like it when my property is damaged.”

“He was trying to escape!” one of the gang members protested. “We were just reminding him of his place.” It was quite for a moment.

“Is that true Eiji?” Johnny said coolly

“No.” Eiji said forcefully. “I went downstairs for a moment to see if you were back.  I didn’t leave the base.” It was quiet for another second then Johnny growled,

“Leave.  I want to talk to Eiji alone.”

“Yes boss!” the other men said hurriedly as they scrambled out of the room. The door shut and it was quiet for a few seconds. Bones wondered if Johnny could hear his heart beating.

“I wasn’t trying to leave.” Eiji said again.

“Oh, trust me I know you don’t want to return to him.” Johnny snorted. “That would ruin your revenge. But Eiji.” Johnny voice suddenly became smoother. “You know you can’t leave this room. Why are you being difficult. Now you’re hurt and that’s not fun for anyone”

“Sorry.” Eiji said quietly. Johnny’s feet approached Eiji’s and the Japanese took another hasty step back.

“Still playing hard to get eh?” Johnny purred. “It’s fine. I like a challenge.”

“I-I just want to take it slowly.” Eiji stammered weakly.

“You might have only dated me to get back at Ash Lynx but remember.” Johnny’s voice got lower. “When I date someone, I always get what I want in the end. Understand?” It was quite for another minute then Eiji whispered,

“Yes.”

“That’s a good boy.” Johnny said smugly. “I’m going downstairs. Don’t give my gang any reason to hurt you. You are far less attractive with bruises on your face. Stay up here and wait for me to return, alright?” Eiji hummed in agreement. The door opened and Johnny left. After a few seconds Eiji said in a shaky voice,

“It’s ok Bones, you can come out.” Bones popped out from under the bed. Eiji was standing next to the door, his arms tightly crossed over his chest. On his check a bruise was forming.

“Are you alright?” Bones asked worriedly approaching him.

“Fine.” Eiji said shortly turning away. Bones paused and frowned. It was clear that Eiji was far from alright. He looked uncomfortable and fragile. The way he kept shaking made Bones thing he was about to cry. He hovered next to the Japanese unsure what to do. Eiji didn’t seem like he wanted to be approached right now. After a few seconds Eiji started talking again,

“How’s things going?” Eiji asked quietly. “I mean back at the base…How’s Ash?” Bones hesitated for a second. He could lie and say everything was fine but if he did that Eiji might think Ash had gotten over him. Bones decided to tell him the truth.

“Bad,” Bones said. “Boss is taking your breakup extremely hard.” Eiji closed his eyes, his fingers digging into his arms.

“I see.” He mumbled. Bones suddenly got a flashback to Ash huddled miserably in his room.

“Why don’t you come back?” Bones asked. “I bet you and boss can work something out.” Eiji hung his head and Bones thought he saw tears.

“I can’t” Eiji said in a shaky voice.

“Why?” Bones asked desperately. “You both miss each other.”

“I can’t be weak anymore.” Eiji said miserably.  “I can’t just give up like that and go crying back. Not after I-” Eiji suddenly stopped and buried his face in his hands. Bones watched him baffled. Once again it all came back to that horrible argument. If Bones only knew what they argued about maybe he would understand why Eiji was so angry at Ash. After another hesitation he decided to ask.

“What did you and boss fight about anyways?” Eiji didn’t answer he just sunk to the ground tiredly.

“Why are you dating Johnny? It doesn’t make any sense. Even if you want to get back at boss there has to be a better way to do it. You’re miserable here.” Eiji rocked back and forth a little but didn’t answer. Bone’s temper started to rise. What was wrong with him? Ash was a terrifying gang leader, so it made sense for him to act this way, but Eiji? Eiji was always more flexible in the emotional department. He tolerated so much up to this point. Bones was sure that if Eiji returned everything would be better.

“Look Eiji I can help but you need to tell me what’s wrong.” Bones said desperately.

“I can’t” Eiji’s voice was barely audible. “I have to do this on my own…You won’t understand.” Bones let out a frustrated sigh. Eiji might have said he wanted to do this on his own, but his actions showed that he desperately needed help.

“Eiji come on!” Bones exclaimed. “This is stupid!” Eiji didn’t answer. They stayed like that for a couple of minutes. Finally, Bones gave up.

“Fine be that way.” he growled. “Sit here in your misery. I don’t care.” It was a lie he cared a lot. He wanted Ash to go back to the way he was. He wanted Eiji back at their base. He wanted things to be as they were before Johnny started this stupid war. But he was tired, tired of everything. He was in the middle of the enemy’s base and he could no longer stick around and argue with Eiji. Life in a gang was never easy but with Ash acting unreasonable and the food and medicine shortage it was becoming unlivable. Bones turned away to try to figure out how to get back to his base safely.

“There’s another building right across from here.” Eiji muttered. “it’s abandoned. You can escape through there.” Bones paused and looked back at him.

“Alright thanks.” He said dully. He turned slowly and started to leave. He couldn’t risk staying there any longer, but it felt wrong to leave Eiji huddled in a small ball. Bones pushed down his feelings and opened the window.  He easily jumped across and landed safely on the other side. Once there he stopped again and turned around. He wanted Eiji to call out, to change his mind and go with him, but Eiji didn’t moved a muscle. He looked so small, helpless, and lost sitting there alone. Bones almost went back to force him to come along, but he restrained himself. Even if he wanted Eiji and Ash to get back together he couldn’t force Eiji to return with him. Bones turned his back on the small Japanese and headed out of the building.

It wasn’t until he was back on the street when another thought crossed his mind. Eiji was clearly not on Johnny’s side. If he was, he wouldn’t have helped Bones. It was also clear that he still has feelings for Ash. Bone sighed frustrated.

Why couldn’t Eiji let go of his anger?

Chapter Text

Yut-Lung finished pining up his hair and checked out his appearance in the mirror. On the behalf of his shaky alliance with Golzine, he had agreed to meet with Golzine’s newest toy. Some guy named Johnny. Golzine hoped this man could take out Ash. Unfortunately, though not unpredictably, Ash was dealing with things better then expect. Yut-lung choose a hair ornament and pinned it up. It was important to make a statement when meeting someone, especially someone new. The last thing he wanted was to give any impression of sloppiness. There was a soft knock on the door and the Chinese leader glanced in the mirror at the man who entered the room.

“Sir,” he said with a bow, “Your guests have arrived.” Yut-Lung gave a small grunt and waved him away. The man bowed again and rushed off. Yut-Lung gave himself one more glance over before closing the drawers and getting up. He left his room and headed down the hall. As he approached the meeting room, two of his men bowed and opened the door for him.

Inside he found his guest waiting. Yut-Lung entered the room and almost did a double take. Johnny was big burly man who looked around the age of twenty-two. He had his blond hair gelled back and wore sunglasses. He also had too many piercings and a scull tattoo on one arm. Nothing about this man impressed Yut-Lung. He was a very typical looking gang leader. No matter how many tattoos or piercing he had this man could never get to Ash’s league. What startled the Chinese was the small Japanese man huddled to the gang leader. He had heard that Eiji and Ash broke up, but he didn’t realize Eiji was with Johnny now. He stared down at the Japanese who didn’t react at all. Eiji’s eyes were down cast and he didn’t look up at Yut-Lung at all. He was as still as a stature,  his hands placed tightly on his lap. Yut-Lung raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment. Instead he turned his attention to Johnny.

“Welcome,” Yut-Lung said “I hope you found my men most accommodating.” Johnny paused a moment looking confused then asked,

“You’re Yut-Lung?”

That’s correct.” Yut-Lung said calmly. Johnny looked the Chinses up and down with peculiar look on his face. Yut-Lung surprised a smirk. From his expression the Chinses could tell that Johnny was unnerved by his appearance. Yut-Lung has seen his kind before. They believed that tattoos and piercings showed power and strength. It was off putting therefore to have Yut-Lung dressed in such as fancy way.

“Would you like something to drink?” Yut-Lung asked waving a hand.   One of his men brought out glasses of wine. Johnny looked even more nervous. It was clear that he had head of Yut-Lung’s specialty with poisons. Yut-Lung took a glass and watched Johnny. The gang leader hesitated and then took his glass. He paused again before taking a sip. Yut-Lung knew he shouldn’t be tormenting his guest, but he wanted to make it perfectly clear who was in charge here. The Chinese then turned his attention to Eiji. The small Japanese had completely ignored the glass in front of him. He still hadn’t moved a muscle. Yut-Lung felt a ping of irritation. He put down his glass and turned to the Japanese

“It seems like you brought a guest.” Yut-Lung said nodded towards Eiji. The Japanese didn’t react.

“Huh?” Johnny said, his attention still occupied on his wine. He glanced over at Eiji and shrugged “oh him, he’s my boyfriend.”

“Is he now?” Yut-Lung said narrowing his eyes.

“I didn’t want to leave him along at home.” Johnny said. “Some of my guys have been very interested in him and I don’t want them to wreck him while I’m gone.”

“I see.” Yut-Lung said mildly. He found this information quite interesting. So Eiji was playing boyfriends with Johnny now? The Chinese wouldn’t never have guessed Eiji would do such a thing. It didn’t seem something the timid man would do. He was a lot of things, mostly pathetic, and weak but he wasn’t someone bent on the whole revenge thing. Even when he had Yut-Lung at gun point, he refused to shoot him even to save Ash. Yut-Lung found himself wondering what went on between Ash and Eiji. It was clearly much more important than he first guessed.

“But he’s not important.” Johnny said waving a hand. Yut-Lung reluctantly turned his attention back to Johnny.  “I made this meeting with you because I need more money.” The Chinese raised his eyebrow and rested his chin on his hand.

 “You’ve been given quite a lot of money.” He said, “Why do you need more.” Johnny’s face darkened into a scowl.  

“That Lynx is tougher than I thought he would be.” He growled. “I need more men and weapons if I’m going to take him down.” Yut-Lung suppressed a snort. Did he think taking out Ash would me easy?

“I see.” Yut-Lung finally said in a calm voice. “So even with two mafia’s behind you, you’re having trouble taking out one gang?” Johnny bristled but didn’t challenge him. Yut-Lung almost smirked. The fact that Johnny restrained himself from rising to the Chinese’s snide comment showed just how desperate he was to get money.  Yut-Lung found himself enjoying making the gang leader struggle. Johnny was way out of his league with Ash. He didn’t have a change against Ash no matter what he did. Yut-Lung knew he would give end up giving money to the gang leader purely for the sake of his and Golzine’s alliance, even though it would do nothing.

“My men have taken a lot of his territory.” Johnny said defensively. “It’s not my fault he’s insane! I have blackmail against him. He shouldn’t be fighting me at all! If you give me money, I’ll be able to take him out once and for all! I have some plans to make him suffer but I…” Yut-Lung tuned him out. He didn’t want to hear his excuses. The Chinese didn’t care what the gang leader was plotting. He wasn’t important. What really bothered Yut-Lung was the silent Japanese. 

With Johnny engrossed in his story, Yut-Lung once again turned his attention back to Eiji. The Japanese was paler than the last time Yut-Lung saw him. He also had dark circles under his eyes.  On his check sat a dark bruise.  His usual innocent air was missing, and Yut-Lung could practically feel his misery ebbing off him. The more the Chinese surveyed him the more unbelievable it was that Eiji was dating Johnny.

When Yut-Lung had first heard of Ash and Eiji’s breakup, he had found it very amusing. The Chinese knew they couldn’t last; they were so different from each other. A lynx could never be satisfied with a rabbit. The next reasonable step would be that Eiji would either return to Japan or go into hiding with the other Japanese man Ibe. The last thing Yut-Lung expected was Eiji decided to date Johnny. It didn’t make any sense. What could Ash and Eiji have argued about? What stupid idea could have gone through Eiji’s head to come to this conclusion? Yut-Lung didn’t understand Eiji in general but now he was making even less sense.

The Chinese leader though of Ash’s actions against Johnny. He had thought at first that Ash was acting reckless because he was upset about the breakup. Now that Yut-Lung knew Eiji was dating Johnny, his next conclusion was that Ash was trying to get back at Eiji. When Yut-Lung thought farther on it he realized that course of action made no sense. Although Eiji made Ash act dumb, this was a whole different level. Even if the young gang leader took out Johnny’s men, Johnny could easily go to the police and get rid of Ash before he even reached Eiji…. Was the gang leader planning something? As the young Chinese leader thought over the situation a bunch of theories and ideas immerged. Some of them were more plausible then other, however he could confirm none of them. What he needed was to talk to Eiji and trick him into telling him the truth.

Yut-Lung clapped his hands to summon one of him men and Johnny stopped talking looking surprised. Yut-Lung smiled encouragingly at him.

“From what you’ve been telling me you need new weaponry.” He said. Johnny looked confused as he tried recall what he said to make the Chinese think that. Yut-Lung took advantage of his confusing to continue.

“This man here will guide you to the armory.” A man stepped forward next to the Chinese leader. Yut-Lung turned to him “See if there’s any weapons our guest might want to take.”  The man bowed and went over to Johnny. The confused gang leader got up and Eiji followed in suite.

“Perhaps your boyfriend should stay here.” Yut-Lung said calmly. Johnny paused, a frown on his face. It was clear he didn’t like the idea of separating from the small Japanese man. He glanced over at Eiji who refused to make eye contact.

“I would like a word with him.” Yut-Lung explained. “He can join you when we finish talking.” Johnny looked like he wanted to argue, then seemed to think better of it and nodded.

“Eiji stay here.” He commanded. Eiji nodded weakly and sat down, a look of concern on his face. Johnny turned and followed the man out of the room. Once the doors closed Yut-Lung turned to Eiji.

“You piss me off.” He said to the Japanese. “Everything about you. What the hell do you think you’re doing? You are not capable of this. Ash is right you are useless” Eiji’s eyes widened in shock. Yut-Lung surveyed his expression. It was clear that he was right in his theory of why the couple had fought.

“What do you know about it.” Eiji asked agitatedly, attempting to regain his composer.  Yut-Lung smirked. Eiji was terrible at hiding things. It was a wonder he lasted this long. Hell it was a wonder Ash put up with him for so long. The Chinese twirled his hair through his figures wondering how far he should push things.

“This little game you’re playing is cute.” He finally said. “But highly likely to fail. When things go bad do you expect Ash to show up and save you?” Eiji eyes filled with pain and he looked away.

“No.” he choked fighting back his emotions. “It’s over…” Yut-Lung paused watching Eiji closely.

“Do you actually believe that? From what I heard Ash is suffering a lot because of you.” Eiji flinched and his shoulders tightening.

“I doubt he’s over you.” Yut-Lung concluded. Eiji took a deep breath in and let it out slowly.

“He is over me.” Eiji said dully turning to face the Chinese again. “He said he is…” Eiji look like he was going to cry. He was clearly replaying a painful memory in his mind. The Japanese noticed Yut-Lung’s watchful gaze and he quickly tried to hide his emotions. The Chinese thought over Eiji’s words and expressions. What Eiji was saying made everything more baffling. Although he had figured out why they fought, if what Eiji said was true then he was still acting unreasonable.

“If he has already given up on you then why are you still doing this?” Yut-Lung finally said a hint of impatience in his voice. “It’s not going to achieve anything.” Eiji was quiet as he fought down his emotions.

“You wouldn’t understand.” Eiji said quietly. The Chinese sighed irritated. He should have guessed it was something this stupid.

“You still love him, don’t you?” he asked, annoyance oozing into his voice. This was another reason why Eiji annoyed him. He always acted out on his irrational emotions.

“I don’t.” Eiji snapped.

“Your actions show differently.” Yut-Lung snorted. It was too much for Eiji. The Japanese jumped to his feet shaking. He opened his mouth angrily, then closed it. Eiji closed his eyes and took a ragged breath in.  

“If you excuse me, I would like to join my boyfriend.” Eiji said through clenched teeth. Yut-Lung paused for a moment. There were other questions he wanted to ask but Eiji didn’t look like he was going to tolerate his interrogation any longer.

“Fine.” The Chinese said waving him away. One of his men approached and lead the Japanese out. Yut-Lung picked up his glass while he watched Eiji leave. Eiji was a piece of work. It took the Chinese a few moments to  realized he was in a towering mood.

“Stupid Ash.” He growled slamming down the glass. “He’ keeps letting Eiji dragging him down. When will he learn just to let him go?!” It would make everything much simpler. Eiji would either leave or get himself killed and Ash would become the blood thirsty killer they both knew he was inside. How things stood now however nothing was going to change.

“Damn it.” Yut-Lung groaned. He had hoped Eiji was gone for good, yet here he was causing everyone problems.

The Chinese picked up his phone, bent on sending someone to just take out Eiji before reason caught up with him. It really didn’t matter if he did anything or not. Eiji would probably end up dead anyways. Johnny was a brute of a man and it was only a matter of time until he lost his temper and killed Eiji. He would wait it out. This surely would not end well. There was no way that Ash and Eiji would ever get back together.

 

The rain was pouring down though the dark empty streets. Ash stood in front of the hideout slowly getting soaked. He had lost all control about a moment ago and had run out here before he stopped himself.  Now he wasn’t sure what to do. All his instincts were telling him to keep going. Run until he found Eiji and beg for forgiveness. Take him back and say he didn’t mean any of those things.  Ash knew he couldn’t do it and it was killing him.

“Boss?” someone called out behind him. Ash knew his gang was watching him. They thought he was crazy. He knew he should turn around and go inside but he couldn’t do that either. If he moved, he knew he would run to Eiji. It was getting to hard to put the Japanese out of his mind. It was hopeless, he was hopeless. He still loved him. Ash clenched his fists and tried to clear his head. It would do no good to think about Eiji now. The Japanese would be furious with him if he showed up. A wave of anger hit him. Everything would be better if Eiji would just give up and come home. Ash was so sure that if he waited Eiji would see how stupid he was being and return….However it seemed Eiji was bent on his plan and nothing was going to change that.

“What do you have to be so stubborn.” Ash growled to himself.  “Why?!”

“Boss” Alex said coming outside with an umbrella. “Let’s go inside. It’s pouring.” Ash summoned all his strength and forced himself to turn around. Every step away from Eiji was agonizing. He walked until he was inside and out of the rain. The second the door shut behind him he felt his energy leave him and he almost fell to the ground. He didn’t want to fight anymore. He didn’t want to be Ash Lynx anymore. All he wanted was Eiji.

Chapter Text

 “We’re attacking Johnny’s gang’s main base.” Ash declared suddenly.

Everyone looked up in shock. A messenger from the enemy gang had just left moments ago. He had informed them that if they continued their attack, Johnny would hand over the document to the police. The last thing any of them expected was for their boss to continue the assault, especially targeting Johnny’s main base directly.  Ash glared around the silent group.

“What about the document?” Alex finally asked nervously. “Johnny could turn it over if we do anything.”

“Don’t worry about that.” Ash said plainly. “Once Bones guides us there, I’m going to send you four” he gestured at a few members of his gang “to follow and jump Johnny when he takes the document to the police. The rest of you will start taking his outposts until we get to the base.” He glanced down at his watch “Start getting ready. We’re leaving in 30 minutes.” He glanced up and noticed that everyone was still watching him “Well what are you waiting for?” Everyone hurriedly jumped to their feet. They started rushing around gathering their supplies and equipment. Ash watched them for a few seconds before stalking out of the room. Once he’s gone Kong let out a long sigh and muttered to the group.

“It looks like boss finally snapped.”

“It was bound to happen.” Alex said gloomily as he loaded his gun, “You’ve seen how he’s been acting. He wants to go to Eiji but he’s too stubborn.”

“Eiji’s equally as stubborn.” Bones groaned as he reached for some lose ammo. “He’s suffering too but he won’t return out of pride.”

“I thought boss was going to go and kill Johnny after he heard how Eiji’s been treated.” Kong said. Everyone murmured in agreement. They remembered the look of horror and hate on their boss’ face when Bones told them about Eiji’s condition.

“So, did I,” Alex said darkly. “It must have taken all his strength to hold back.” Everyone fell into a gloomy silence as they thought of their boss. They all remembered how, only a few days ago, Ash had rushed out in the rain, a crazed look in his eyes. He stood there getting soaked looking both desperate and dangerous at the same time.  Alex shook himself from the thought and straightened up. He frowned around at the group.

“This isn’t the time.” He scolded them “If we go into a fight depressed, we’re bound to get ourselves killed. Ash might have lost his mind but he’s still a terrifying genius. There’s no way we’re going to lose this as long as he’s our leader.” A murmur of agreement went around the group.

“Besides” Alex continued “After we take out Johnny and his men then Eiji will be safe. After that hopefully he and boss can talk things out.”

_____________________________________________

Johnny was in a terrible mood. He stormed around the base snapping at everyone who dared to talk to him. He already threatened to shoot at least two of his men. It was no secret why he was so angry. Despite his threats to Ash the stupid blond kept on retaking land and attacking his men. Johnny thought he had finally got through to him after his last messenger. Five minutes after his messenger returned however he got wind of another attack.  It wasn’t any random attack this time; it was a direct attack on their main base. Johnny wasn’t sure how they figured out where it was, but he was going to kill whoever gave their location away.

“He’s snapped.” One of his gang members whispered worriedly to another. “The Lynx completely snapped.”  Johnny growled at them and they fell quiet. Obviously, the blond was out of his mind.  It made him less predictable and more dangerous.  Not that Johnny could predict him anyway. Ash always acted in a way that was strange yet successful. Johnny had lost too many men and two much land already.  The mere thought put the gang leader in a rage. He flopped down angerly on a sofa. Around him his gang weary watched him nervously.

“What should I do next?” Johnny muttered to himself. If Ash truly snapped, he wouldn’t care if Johnny turned in the document to the police. The blond would probably take him and his men out before the police came to arrest him. Johnny gridded his teeth. If Ash had waited another week the extra supplies from Yut-Lung would’ve come in. Now Johnny found himself under attack with low money and supplies.

“Damn it!” Johnny roared. His gang retreated in fear, trying to distance themselves from his furry. Johnny ignored them. If he couldn’t win against Ash, then he should at least hurt him. Johnny needed a way to destroy Ash permanently, but how? Johnny pondered the question for a few minutes tapping his fingers in irritation. Finally, an idea suddenly struck him. His grimace slowly turned into a malicious smile.  Johnny jumped to his feet. His gang pulled farther back holding their breaths; waiting for his anger to boil over. To their surprise their leader ignored them and left the room. Johnny headed up stairs and knocked on Eiji’s door.

“Eiji are you in there?” he cooed. It was quiet for a moment before a soft voice answered replied,

“Yes,”

Johnny smiled and opened the door. Inside the small Japanese male sat on the bed a book in his hands. He slowly closed it; eyes glued wearily on Johnny. The gang leader strolled across the room towards Eiji. At first Johnny only took Eiji to make Ash jealous. Over time however the small dark-haired man started growing on him. He was small and pale with large dark eyes and pretty black hair. He was exotic and cute, like a doll or plaything. To make things even more interesting the Japanese always played hard to get. He pushed back if Johnny made any moves on him. It took a while before he even allowed Johnny to put an arm around his shoulders.  It made the gang leader desire him more. Johnny wanted nothing better then to pin Eiji down and take what he wanted but he didn’t want to ruin the sport. He was a patient man. He knew he would get what he wanted, but first Ash needed to be taken care of. After the young gang leader was out of the picture, he would have plenty of time breaking in his new boyfriend. The mere thought of it made Johnny smile with pleasure.

“Eiji I have a job for you.” Johnny said softly in the Japanese’ ear. Eiji shuttered and Johnny sat down next to him, putting an arm around his thin shoulders.  “You’ll help me, won’t you?” Eiji shifted uncomfortably.

“What is it?” he finally asked. Johnny reached into his coat pocket and pulled out an envelope.

“Do you know what this is?” he asked. Eiji shook his head. “This is a document that will get Ash and all his men thrown in prison.” Eiji’s eyes widened.

“It seems the Lynx finally snapped.” Johnny continued, “So I need you to deliver this to the police.” Eiji stiffened and sucked in his breath. For a second Johnny thought he saw a flash of excitement in the Japanese’s dark eyes, then before he could confirm it, the Japanese turned away. Johnny waited a moment to see if Eiji would say anything, but he was silent.

“Will you do it for me?” he finally purred. Eiji didn’t answer. His whole body became ridged and stiff. Johnny smiled to himself. Eiji always made everything more entertaining. The Japanese could play innocent all he wanted but Johnny saw the excited glint in the dark-haired man’s eyes. He knew that Eiji wanted to deliver the envelope very badly. He knew this was ultimate payback for the fight he and Ash had. The only reason the dark-haired man was holding back was a sense of guilt. Eiji was such a good boy. It was times like this his innocents really shown through. Johnny licked his lips. It would be so much fun to break him once Ash was out of the picture.

“There’s no need to act this way.” Johnny said softly “We both know you want this document.” He felt a tremor run though Eiji. “We both know you want to bring it to the police.” Eiji curled his legs in. Johnny pulled him closer and planted a kiss on his check. Eiji shuttered again but didn’t pull away.

“Ash hurt you badly. Isn’t that you left him? Isn’t that why you’re here? Why not make him pay?” Johnny could hear the dark-hair man’s heart beating wildly in his chest but still he said nothing. Johnny bit his lip. Although he’d love to keep playing this game until Eiji gave in, every second he wasted Ash got closer. The gang leader decided to change tactics.

“He’ll be alright you know.” Johnny said shrugging pulling his arm off Eiji. “Jail isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. Ash will be safe there, away from the cutches of Golzine. You aren’t condemning him, merely making him pay for what he did to you.” Eiji relaxed slightly and Johnny smiled in triumph. He knew playing the innocent card would work best. Eiji was naive enough to believe that Ash would be fine in prison. In his currently hurt and confused state of mind Eiji could probably justify his actions.

“Many members of my gang have been in and out of prison.” Johnny continued. He’d only need to push a little farther for Eiji to give in. “In many ways prison is safer than the streets. Trust me, it’s more horrible out here than in there.” Eiji relaxed farther. Johnny almost laughed at his gullibility and desperately.  Johnny continued lying until the Japanese seemed comfortable and relaxed. It was clear that Eiji was feeling reckless and detached.

“So,” he concluded gently pulling back a strand of Eiji’s dark hair. “Will you do it?”

Without looking at Johnny Eiji extended one trembling hand. Johnny felt a wave of victory as he handed over the letter. He had done it. He had won one of Eiji’s little games. The sense of victory made he want to push Eiji farther. He wanted to see the Japanese struggle, to break. Johnny held back these feelings though. Eiji first needed to break Ash. If he turned over this letter, he would be cutting all ties with Lynx. The blond would be broken in prison and Eiji would be all his. Johnny leaned forward grinning broadly as he kissed the back of the Japanese’s neck.

“That’s a good boy.”

___________________________________________

Jack the policeman was having a quiet day. It was late Tuesday evening and his shift would be over in a couple of hours. He was just relaxing in his chair and reaching for a donut when the doors of the police station opened. Jack looked up as two men entered. Instantly the policeman knew something was wrong. The first man who entered was Japanese and dressed modesty in dark pants and a hoody. He looked like a nice young man. The second man however raised some warning bells in Jack’s head. He looked like he was part of a gang. He had short cropped green hair and torn up jeans. What was even more alarming was the bruises on the man’s exposed skin and a large gash on his arm. He was muttering something, and Jack strained his ears to hear what he was saying.

“Damn those guys.” The gang member grumbled as he nursed his arm. “Ash was expecting us.” Jack frowned. This man was definitely up to no good. He was about to speak when the gang member glared at the small Japanese and growled

 “You better hurry up before Ash sends more men.” Jack held his tongue waiting for the Japanese to speak and give him more information on what was going on. The Japanese man however didn’t answer. He shuffled forward a little but stopped a few feet away, his eyes look everywhere except the policeman. They stood frozen like that for a solid minute. The gang man finally cursed and grasped the dark-haired man’s shoulder,

“Hey.” He snarled his fingers digging into the Japanese’s shoulder. “Get a move on!” The Japanese looked at him startled and pulled away. Jack’s eyes narrowed.

“Can I help you with something?” he asked sternly to the two strangers. One of his hands was on the button that was located under his desk. If the gang member tried anything funny, he would use it to call for back up and then deal with him. The gang member glared at him clearly trying to go for intimidating. Jack stared back at him.

“We have something for you.”  He said finally lowering his eyes. “It has info on the crimes Ash Lynx.”

“Ash Lynx.” The policeman echoed in shock. Although his station wasn’t anywhere near the young gang leader’s territory he still heard of that name. He was the youngest gang leader in New York City. This man had been talking about an Ash earlier. Was it the same person? Were they connected to the infamous Ash Lynx? Before he had time to comprehend this the gang member roughly shoved the Japanese forward.

“Just give it to him already.” He snapped. The dark-haired stumbled forward and began walking stiffly towards Jack. He seemed to be going deliberately slow. The envelope was cradled in his arms as if it was a baby. He stopped in front of Jack and slowly helped up the envelope with trembling hands. He was still not making eye contact.

“Is everything alright?” the policeman asked as he took the envelope. The man looked up in shock and pulled the envelope back.

“What do you mean?” he asked squeaked hugging it to his chest. “It’s just an envelope…I mean it has something inside…”

“It has information on Ash Lynx.” The policeman clarified. The Japanese nodded vigorously.

“Yes, it does.” He said loudly, his hands trembling. “all his crimes.”

“Just give him the damn envelope already!” the gang member snapped annoyedly. “We need to get back to Johnny.”

“Oh,” the young man looked down at the envelope and then held it out again. The policeman leaned forwards as he took the envelope.

“Is that man threatening you.” The policeman whispers. It was clear the gang member had connections to Ash Lynx, but this man seemed too innocent to have anything to do with such a dangerous man. The Japanese blinked at him for a second before giving a weak chuckle.

“No.” he said hoarsely. Then before the police could say anything else the Japanese had quickly turned around and rushed back to the gang member, his head bowed.

“Good.” The gang member grunted putting an arm around the Japanese. “Now get back into the car. Let’s hope there’s not another ambush on the way back.”

___________________________

The battle was going well of Ash and his gang. Johnny’s men seemed to be running out of ammo and many were deserting. Ash had just taken out a man and was crouching behind a trash can when his phone rang. He felt the buzzing rather then heard it. It was impossible to hear over the gunshots and sounds of fighting. Cursing loudly, he jumped out from where he was hiding, kicked a man who was trying to sneak up behind him then dove around a corner. As he landed, he heard the sound of bullets hitting the brick wall in front of him.

What?” He snapped picking up the phone.

“Bad news boss!” one of his guys said in a panicked voice. “The ambush failed. We couldn’t stop the car.” Ash swore loudly.

 “There’s more.” The man said. “Eiji was going with them to deliver the document.” Ash paused, his pulse quickening as a lump growing in his throat.

“Boss?” the man asked concerned. “Are you still there?”

“Yes.” Ash chocked “Stay there.” With that he hung up. What should he do? Call for a retreat? Continue on? If Eiji was delivering the letter….

Another buzz from his phone snapped him back to reality. Ash glanced around to make sure he wasn’t being target before checking his messages.  His eyes widened.

“He did it.” He gasped in shock “He actually did it….” For a moment Ash was overwhelmed with emotions. He fought them back as a new wave of energy hit him and he straightened up.

“Boss!” a voice yelled nearby. Looking around he saw Alex a few feet away. “We took out most of them here and are just finishing this area. Should we start to the next area?”

“Do you think you can do it without me?” Ask asked. Alex looked surprised.

“Yeah,” he said nervously. Alex felt a wave of concern for his leader. Ash had a steely glint in his hard eyes that wasn’t there before. His whole poster was different, and he looked even wilder than usual.

“Good,” the young gang leader growled “I have to go ahead for a while.” He put his hand on his gun, his teeth bared in a deadly smile.  “I have something I need to take care of.”

Chapter Text

 “We just lost westside base and now they’re heading towards the ‘watch tower’.” Johnny clenched his fists. The man giving the report backed up a little looking worried.

“And where’s Eiji.” The gang leader demanded angrily.

“He’s not back yet.” The man said nervously. Johnny swore under his breath and smacked his fist on the table. Where the hell was that boy? The sooner Eiji arrived back, the sooner he and his men could bail. Ash’s gang was working steadily though his territory, but the route they were taking, while thorough, also gave Johnny time to escape. Johnny mulled over his options and decided that once the Japanese returned, him and his men would scatter. Then they would meet up at the eastside harbor. Since it would take a while for Ash to find them, the police should be able to interpret them. All Johnny needed to do was to tell the police where Ash and his gang were heading. Even if Ash managed to outmaneuver the police, once Yut-Lung sent Johnny back up supplies, then his guys could hunt down the Lynx. With Ash and his men attempting to avoid the police, it would be easy to pick them off one after another.  It wasn’t the ideal plan, but it could still work. Of course, all depended on Eiji retuning from his task….

“Five minutes.” Johnny growled. “If he’s not back in five minutes go find him.” Johnny demanded to some of his men. “I don’t know what’s taking him so long, but I want my toy back.” The men nodded and backed off a little. They knew what happened when their boss didn’t get his way. Johnny turned back to the map he was looking at. Suddenly there was a scraping sound and one of his boys entered the room.

“Eiji’s back.” He panted. All around him the other men gave sighs of relief. A few seconds later Eiji entered with two of his men.

“Took you long enough,” Johnny snapped. He glared around at the two men who accompanied the Japanese. “What took you so long?”

“We were ambushed.” One of the men said holding his bandaged arm.

“So, I take it the other four I sent with you are dead.” His men nodded mutely. Johnny sighed in frustration. The men he sent with Eiji were some of his top shooters. To lose four of them was a heavy blow.

“Did you at least deliver it?” He growled turning to Eiji. The Japanese looked down at his feet and nodded shakily. Johnny felt his temper subside. If Eiji completed his task, then Ash was as good as finished. He felt a calmness spread inside him. He turned and surveyed Eiji. The Japanese still looked nervous. He was probably starting to regret what he did. Johnny smirked.

“See that wasn’t too bad.” He said throwing his arm around the Japanese and dragging him down onto his lap. The dark-haired man gave a small squeak. “You did the right thing. However, you had me worried for a while. It took you longer than expected.”

“S-Sorry…” Eiji muttered pushing against him and getting up again. “C-can I go to my room now?”

“We don’t have time for that.” Johnny said. “Now that you’re back, we can start our retreat.” Eiji stared in surprise.

“But what about the rest of your men?” He asked hurriedly. “If everyone pulled back wouldn’t Ash be able to follow you? Wouldn’t it be better to just to all gather here? I mean the police will probably be here in a couple of hours…” He trailed off uncertainly. Johnny rolled his eyes. Eiji might be cute but he was quite naive and stupid.

“We’re leaving the other men” Johnny said. “We’ll need a distraction for Ash’s men.” Eiji gaped at him.

“You’re abandoning them?” he said shocked. Johnny ignored him.

“The rest of you split up and get to the Eastside harbor.” He continued “You three take Eiji there by car.” He pointed to three of him behind him. There was a chorus of “yes boss” and the men started out. One of them men reached forward and grabbed the little Japanese’s arm.

“Let’s go” he grunted.

“W-wait!” Eiji exclaimed a new look of alarm on his face “Why don’t I stay behind and distract Ash’s gang? I can handle his men.” Johnny rolled his eyes. Once again Eiji was so innocent it almost hurt.

“You just betrayed them Eiji.” He snapped. “Ash isn’t that forgiving and nether is his gang. Do you think they actually liked you? Ash’s gang puts up with you because you’re the Lynx’s chew toy. You are no longer that. You’re their enemy. Do you actually think Ash won’t put a bullet in your brain because you’re his ex? It’s better if you stick with me.” Eiji’s eyes widened in horror and Johnny smirked. It was obvious that Eiji had just realized the repercussions of his actions. He probably just figured out that Ash wasn’t going to forgive him for turning the document over to the police. Johnny’s amusement grew as he watched the Japanese’s horror. He was so predictable. Eiji finally understood the horrible situation he was in. It was too late for him to do anything. It was too late to run back to the Lynx. Eiji’s two options were to stay with Johnny or to be brutally murdered by any remaining member of Ash’s gang or Ash himself.

 “Don’t worry.” Johnny cooed, standing up and putting his hand on Eiji’s check.  “You’re safe with me.” He slowly moved his hand down until it curled under his chin. “I won’t let them catch you.” He leaned in close to the Japanese “You’re mine after all. The only one who’ll break you is me.” Eiji tried to pull back but Johnny grabbed him and pulled him close.

“Don’t forget who your boyfriend is.” He said. Eiji turned to avoid eye contact. “Eiji who’s your boyfriend?” He gripped Eiji’s arms tightly.

“You are.” The Japanese said hopelessly, shoulder sagging.

“That’s right.” Johnny purred letting go. “Now go wait for me at the Eastside Harbor.” Eiji nodded mutely, eyes filled with fear. He looked completely lost. Johnny turned to his other men who had stopped to watch the two of them interact.

“Hurry up, go!” He commanded. The remaining men scrabbled out of the room.

“Let’s go!” One of the gang members shouted to Eiji as he marched him out of the room. Eiji numbly let himself be guided; eyes glued to the floor. Johnny watched them leave then turned to survey the room. There was some discarded weapons left in a corner. He packed it up and headed downstairs. He knew there was too many weapons for the remaining gang members to take. Most of them were out of ammo anyways. He would have to burn them so Ash wouldn’t be able to use them against him

“Hey you.” He snapped at the few stranglers who were in the process of leaving. “help me gather these up.” He nodded to the side where some extra guns and knife were lying. The men got to work throwing them into a pile. Johnny was just about to get out his lighter when one of his men, who was by the window gasped. Johnny glanced out the window and his blood went cold. Standing outside was the Lynx himself and he looked furious.

Johnny had fought Ash one-on-one only once. If the police hadn’t shown up when they did, he would have lost terribly. Johnny’s side and arms still ached from where Ash had slashed him.  He knew he couldn’t take out the blond by himself.  

Ash paused for a half second longer then rushed at the door. The gang member nearest the window panicked and shot twice at him. The Lynx easily dodged both bullets and, in a single movement, shot two bullets back. The man in the window and one of his comrades fells dead. Johnny swore and backed up towards the back door, reaching for his gun.  

“He figured it out quite fast.”  he grumbled as he crouched down, waiting for Ash to enter. It was no uses trying to escape right now. If he ran for the door Ash would shoot the back of his head. He needed Ash to duck for cover before he could make a break for it. The front door banged open and the few men around opened fire. The Lynx jumped to the side and easily shot each man dead. The two remaining men lost their heads completely and tried to bolt. Ash took them out as well. Once the room was quiet, he looked around. Johnny took this opportunity to fire a shot at the Lynx. The blond bent to the side and the bullet grazed his arm. Ash swore as he noticed Johnny.

“You,” he hissed, trying to get a clear shot. “Where’s Eiji.”

“Looking for revenge?” Johnny sneered shooting. “Or didn’t’ you know that Eiji was the one who turned you in…” Ash’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t blame you for being angry. Eiji just sealed your fate.” Johnny took advantage of Ash’s anger and shot at him again. The blond dove behind the couch. This was the chance Johnny had been waiting for. Once Ash was out of view he ran around the corner and thundered through the back door. He could hear Ash yelling after him. He ignored the Lynx as he jumped on his motorcycle and zoomed off.

As he turned the corner a bullet grazes his arm. Johnny swore as blood started trickling all over his shirt. He thought he was far enough away from the Lynx. It turned out that all the rumors of how good Ash’s aim was were true. Johnny turned off one street and started down another. He wasn’t heading to the eastside harbor yet. First, he needed to get to the police. If he arrived fast enough, he could still tell them Ash’s location before the blond had time to get very far.

_______________________________________________

Johnny pulled up to the station and got off his bike. The sudden movement made his arm throb and gritting his teeth in pain. Johnny cursed as he turned to go into the police station. It was then he noticed his reflection in a nearby store window. His whole shirt was covered in blood. If he went into the station like this the police would ask more questions, he was willing to answer. With no other choice Johnny just took off his shirt completely. He through it on him motorcycle before walking inside.

The policeman, who was behind the counter, looked up from the newspaper he was reading. He took in Johnny’s appearance and his expression darkened. Johnny gritted his teeth in annoyance. He knew that the police thought he was trouble. Without the bloody shirt the officer probably won’t think he was currently in a gang fight. That being said however, with all of Jonny’s scares and tattoos the police was still suspicious. If the cop thought, Johnny was up to something he would make things difficult for him. The gang leader didn’t feel like dealing with a suspicious officer right now. Every second he wasted; Ash would be farther away from the base.   

“Can I help you?” the policeman asked carefully, slowly putting the newspaper down. Johnny strolled across the room trying to act as unthreatening as possible. He got to the counter and leaned on it.

“I have information.” He said. “On the location of Ash Lynx.” The man’s expression darkened more.

“Is that so?” he asked irritated. Johnny ignored his attitude. He needed to get this over with. He was probably going to make Johnny spell it out for him.

“Some of my men came in earlier.” The gang leader said, trying to keep his voice friendly.  “They handed over an envelope that had information on Ash Lynx.”

“Ah yes them.” The policeman said his eyes narrowing. “Your man was forcing another man to deliver the envelope.” The police’s voice got colder. “He seemed to be under a great deal of stress. Care to tell me what your ‘men’ were doing with him.” Johnny almost rolled his eyes. Leave it to Eiji to act so uncertain that the police thought he was being forced to deliver the document.

“Nothing,” Johnny said. He having a real hard time keeping his temper.  “Eiji was doing it on his own. He’s just shy by nature.” If only Ash didn’t shoot him. He’d probably have a better chance then of dealing with the cop.

“I see.” The policeman said in a disbelieving voice. Johnny felt his temper rise. He was deliberately keeping off topic. Eiji wasn’t a problem right now. The guy should be much more concerned about the long list of crimes Ash had committed. Did he not see the document?

“You received the document, right?” Johnny clarified. The man glared.

“I received the envelope.” He snapped.

“Well didn’t you read what’s inside?” Johnny asked his voice rising slightly.

“Listen.” The policeman said in a low voice. “My patience is at an end. Your little prank wasn’t very amusing. Why did you drag that young man into your games? You do know you can get in trouble for this. You’re wasting our time.” Johnny stared at him his mouth slightly open. The officer thought the document was a prank. How could he though? It had photo evidence on it! It was signed by Golzine and had dates to match each crime. How could this man discard that? Was he that much of a moron? Or was Johnny’s appearance so suspicions that he just now decided it was a prank.

“The document isn’t a prank.” Johnny growled no longer bothering to keep the contempt out of his voice. “It had proof on it. Look I’ll show it to you.”

“Oh, you will?” The policeman asked coolly.

“Yeah,” Johnny snapped. “hand me the letter.” The policeman paused for a moment then ducked behind the counter. He came up with the envelope. He handed it over to Johnny a nasty smile on his face.  Johnny snatched it and opened it. It was empty.

“Where’s the document?” he asked.

“What document?”

“The one inside!” Johnny yelled.

“There wasn’t anything inside.” The police said his voice rising angerly. “It was empty.” Johnny opened his mouth then closed it again his mind trying to comprehend the police’s words.

“Are you done.” The police asked after a few seconds. Johnny stared at him in disbelief. Then he put down the envelope.

“yeah…” the gang leader muttered heading slowly for the door.

_________________________________________________________________

Once outside Johnny leaned next to his bike and tried to think it over. How could the envelope be empty? That man might be a moron, but he couldn’t have miss a document. That only meant one thing. The document wasn’t inside the envelope when it was delivered. If it wasn’t inside, then were was it? He had checked it this morning and it was still there. Johnny rubbed his temple. Did it fall out? No, he sealed it shut before giving it to Eiji….

Eiji

The truth his Johnny like a ton of bricks. Eiji had destroyed the document. He must have torn it up in the car and eaten the pieces or something. A red-hot rage filled Johnny. How dare the Japanese betray him.  Did he think he’d get away with it? Did he think he could just do whatever he liked?

Johnny turned and got on his bike. He would meet up at the eastside harbor and find Eiji. Then he would make the Japanese pay until he was screaming and begging to be killed. If Johnny’s temper had subsided by then then perhaps, he would put him out of his misery…. maybe… A sadistic smile crossed Johnny’s face. He would make Eijij pay dearly. No one double crossed Johnny and got away with it.

Chapter Text

Flashback couple months ago….

It was late when Ash returned to the base. He was tired after such a long day. They had just lost more territory and it was getting harder to hold their own; especially with Johnny threatening them with the document. The Lynx was in a sour mood. As he walked down the hall his gang shrank from him. Without saying a word, he stormed upstairs and into his room, slammed the door behind him.

“Another bad day?” a soft voice asked. Ash looked over at his boyfriend. Eiji was sitting on the bed with a book on his lap. Just the sight of him made the blond relax.  It was hard to stay irritated when his boyfriend was near.

“Yeah.” He sighed slumping down on the bed. Eiji put down his book and slipped off the bed. He padded over to Ash and hugged him. Ash closed his eyes taking in Eiji’s scent and heart beating. The warmth of Eiji’s arms became his world and his exhaustion, hunger, and sour mood melt away. It didn’t matter if they were in a gang war or not. It didn’t matter if Johnny was slowly cornering them. At this moment he was safe and at peace with himself.  His breath became steady and his heart stopped pounding. After a few minutes Eiji slowly pulled back.

“Ash?” The Japanese said gently.

“Hmm.” Ash said.

“We need to talk.” Ash opened his eyes and looked at the dark-haired man. The expression on his face was very serious.  Ash leaned back on the bed, allowing the real world to seep back in, with it all his fears and exhaustion.

“What is it?” he asked. Eiji fidgeted looking nervous.

“Remember a few weeks ago when you were making plans to steal the document?” Eiji asked.

“We had to scrap those plans.” Ash said sighing. “There was no way any of us could sneak into Johnny’s base, gain his trust, and then steal or convince him to hand over the document. It could never work.” The memory of those meetings made Ash feel agitated. He remembered desperately going over different variations of those plans in hopes one of them might work. At the end all of them were failures. It left his feeling more hopeless and trapped. He hated that feeling; it was suffocating. Eiji was quite for a moment before he continued.

“What if….” The dark-haired man said quietly, “Johnny trusted someone to bring the document to the police for him? That way the person we send could destroy it on the way there and only hand over the envelope. That would even give him time to escape.” Ash hummed to himself thinking it over. It was obvious that Eiji had been planning this out during his long hours stuck inside, so Ash wanted to give the plan a chance. After a minute however the glaring flaws became too apparent and Ash and to scrap the idea.

“No good.” The young gang leader said tiredly. “Johnny’s not stupid enough to trust anyone else with it.” A tense silence followed. Ash felt himself stiffen. Eiji was fidgeting, clearly trying to choose his words carefully and Ash felt like he wasn’t going to like what came next.  

“What if Johnny gave it to someone else because he thought that, if they handed it in, it would hurt you more?” Eiji asked. Ash frowned trying to work out what Eiji was suggesting. Something about it made Ash feel anxious but he couldn’t put his finger on why.

“Even if that was possible there’s no way any of my men could convince him they want to join his gang.” Ash said.

“What if someone joined him not as a gang member.” Eiji said simply. Ash thought this over for a moment. What position could allow someone to get close to Johnny and convince him to hand over the document? It also would have to hurt Ash, or he wouldn’t agree with it….

The answer hit Ash like a stack of bricks. The world was suddenly too loud, too close, and too vivid. His instincts were right. He hated this solution. What Eiji was suggest was too horrible to imagine.

“I was just thinking-”

“No.”

Eiji looked up in surprise.

“I didn’t say anything yet.”

“You want to pretend to be Johnny’s boyfriend.”

“Well yeah….”

“The answer is no.”

Eiji eyes darkened and he frowned.

“Why not?” he asked, clearly to upset. “It’s not like you have a plan.” Ash stared at his boyfriend. Could he not see the obvious problem?

“That plan would only put you in danger.” Ash said shortly. Eiji clenched his fist frowning.

“but you’re always in danger…I was just thinking I could hel-”

“So, you want me to put you in danger?” Ash asked his temper rising. He was too tired to deal with this.  “That’s a stupid plan. What if it goes wrong?”

“Ash.” Eiji said frustration rising in his voice. “What other choice do we have? We’re cornered! If you strike and he hands over the document the police will get involved. There’s nothing we can do!”

“I’m still not letting you put your life in danger!” Ash his voice rising. Why was Eiji even arguing this?  “Do you know how worried I’d be? I wouldn’t know if you were safe or not!” Eiji started at him for a moment then snorted.

“Imagine that!” the Japanese said with a mirthless laugh. “Not knowing if your boyfriend is safe or not. I can’t imagine how that would feel.” He stared at Ash. “It’s not like that’s a day to day occurrence for me!”

“At least I can defend myself.” Ash snapped. “I’m not helpless.” Eiji eye widened with pain.

“You mean like me?” the dark-haired man asked in an angrily shaky voice. “Nice to know you have no faith in me.”

“You’re being unfair.”

“Then what are you planning to do?! Wait around until Johnny kills us?” Eiji asked loudly, throwing his hands in the air his. “You know if you guys lose, I’ll get killed to. Why not just take the risk?”

“I won’t let you die.” Ash snapped. “You know that!” Eiji stared at him.

“How are you planning to fight and win against Johnny if he has you cornered?” he asked incredulously

 “Because I’m send you back to Japan before that happens.”

The second those worlds were out of Ash’s mouth he regretted it. It had been a long time since he had threatened to send Eiji back. Eiji took a step away from Ash, a look of shock in his eyes. Ash rose to his feet, the desire to take it back almost overwhelming him. He wanted to tell Eiji that truth, that he didn’t want him to leave. That the second he was gone, Ash’s life would be filled with only darkness. Ash fought to hold his tongue. What good would it do for Eiji to stay? The gang leader was already proving himself too weak to protect him. Ash and his men were probably all going to be picked off one by one by Johnny. They were out of options. This was the only way to keep Eiji safe. Ash closed his mouth and folded his arms. He could see Eiji fighting to hold back his tears. After a few seconds of struggling with his emotions the Japanese’s expression turned into furry.  

“I get it.” He growled his voice slowly rising. “You think I’m weak, helpless, useless-”

“I didn’t say that!”

“But you applied it!” Eiji yelled “You know I can’t do anything.”

“That’s not true!” Ash exclaimed. “You do a lot.”

“No, I don’t!” Eiji yelled. “I can’t fight. I can’t go on missions. I’m no good with guns or knives. I’m not one of your men. I drag all of you down. I spend each day as a burden to you.” Eiji gave a broken laugh, “God why did you even ask me out in the first place?! Do you pitying me? Did you do it as a favor? As a bet?”

 “You know that’s not true!” Ash yelled. He was horrified to hear the words that came out of Eiji’s mouth. How could someone so good think so lowly of himself.

“If it’s not true, then trust me and let me do this for you!” Eiji yelled slamming his fists down on the bedside table. “Or are you saying I’m not trustworthy and am only good at meaningless things such as cooking or cleaning? I can’t even do those things anymore with Johnny blocking our food supplies.” He glared at Ash. “You know, you’re such hypocrite. You don’t want to trust me with dangerous things because you don’t want to worry about me but it’s ok for me to worry about you?!”

“Now you’re just being stupid.”

“Stupid, am I? Are you adding that to the list of my failings?”

“Sure whatever makes you happy.” Ash snapped. “I don’t care anymore. You are not putting yourself in danger.” Eiji’s face turned red and he opened his mouth to argue. Ash rubbed his temple. He knew they were both beyond tired. He knew they were both under stress. He knew Eiji was worried sick all the time because of him. He knew that they were feeling trapped with Johnny blocking their exit. He knew this was all his fault for not being able to keep his boyfriend safe and happy. He knew he should just drop the argument….

 

But he couldn’t.

 

He couldn’t let this go. The idea of Eiji in any danger was enough to send him over the edge on a good day. On a day like this it was too much. Instead of dropping it he continued to yell back. The conversation started to break down. First it became about the mission but soon they started just insulting each other. Ash attacked all of Eiji’s insecurities and Eiji attacked his. He wanted to hurt Eiji enough that he would give up this stupid notion. He didn’t care what came of it. There was no chance in hell he would let him do this task.

Ash was dimly aware of time moving. When the sun started to rise over the horizon Ash tried to pull back again. His throat hurt from all the yelling. He was beyond tired. Eiji was a mess and in tears again. In the early morning light Ash felt a twinge of guilt. He said a lot of nasty things last night, none of them true. He knew that, in their exhaustion they said things that they wouldn’t have usually said. This situation as pushing them to their limits.  Ash tried to change tactics.

“Ok.” He said in a calm voice. “let’s say for some reason I do let you throw your life away. How would you be able to lie to Johnny? You’re terrible at lying. If you can’t convince them, they’ll kill you.”

“Oh, trust me that’s not going to be to hard.” Eiji said, breathing heavily. He was clearly not ready to let go. “You said plenty of nasty things to me already. I can just use those as a reason.” He gave a dark chuckle. “I don’t even need to lie about it!” If Ash was in a better mood, he would of recognized how hurt Eiji was. Instead his temper started to rise again.

“Excuse me?” he exclaimed. “What you said was worst. You’re a really nasty person, you know that?”

 

And the argument continued.

----------

Ash had no idea how long they were at this. He knew it was way past noon. He was hungry, tired and beyond ballistic. He had long gave up trying to end the argument. He just wanted to win.  Why couldn’t Eiji just give in? They continued for another hour or so. Finally, when another wave of exhaustion hit Ash decided to put his foot down.

“Look, it doesn’t matter what you say. You’re not doing it and that’s final.” Ash shouted kicking the bedside table. The lamp on it fell off and crashed on the ground. The room was quite for a second. Eiji’s eyes flashed.

“Oh really?” The Japanese laughed coldly “Are you going to stop me?”

“Yes.” Ash growled. “I won’t let my boyfriend put himself in danger no matter how stupid he is!”

“Well then I guess I’ll have to stop being your boyfriend then!”  Eiji yelled.

Ash’s mind went blank and he stumbled back. Eiji’s eyes widened as he realized what he said.

“Y-you’re kidding right? Ash said. Eiji didn’t answer. “You’re breaking up with me?” The Japanese took a step forward then paused. He exhaled slowly and his face darkened.

“If I stay any longer as a useless boyfriend then I might as well.” Eiji growled his eyes brimming with tears. “I can’t do this anymore. I can’t just sit around while you put yourself in danger. I need to do this to prove my worth to you!”

“Prove your worth?!” Ash asked. “I never asked you to do that. Stop being an idiot. You won’t even last a day with Johnny.” Eiji clenched his fists.

“We’ll see about that.” Eiji snapped. Ash opened his mouth then closed it as the truth slowly dawned on him. Eiji was going to do it whether or not Ash wanted him to. The blond swore loudly and turned his back on Eiji.

“Fine, go.” He growled lowly. The room was silent. After all the yelling the silence too loud.

“Ash.” Eiji finally said. All the anger in his voice was gone replaced by sadness “I can’t be your boyfriend if I’m just a burden. I need to do this for myself as well as for us. I’m not planning to always put myself in danger, but we’re trapped with no other way out. When I prove myself, I’ll come back if you still want me. If not… I’ll go back to Japan”

“Well then, you better start packing.” Ash snapped. Although the blond couldn’t see the Eiji, he could still feel his shock and pain.

“I-I’ll text anyways.” The Japanese said and Ash could hear a tremor in his voice. “I’ll text and tell you when I’m done. If you want me back, then you can come. If not...” Eiji voice faded. Ash didn’t answer. After a few second Eiji left the room. Once he was gone Ash hid his face in his hands and sunk to the bed. What had he done?

_____________

{Bold is Ash} { Italics is Eiji}

____________________

Ash regretted everything. After he calmed down a little he automatically wanted to go after Eiji, but his pride held him back. The Japanese would give up and come back to him. He was just being stubborn. Ash could play this game too.

 

It was easy to convince Johnny to let him in. Eiji wasn’t going back until he could prove himself. Ash probably thought he would come crying back to him. He was going to show him.

 

Why wasn’t Eiji coming back? Was he really planning on seeing this through? Ash was starting to panic. Eiji would be killed by Johnny. He needed to come back. He had to…

 

Eiji was having a hard time. Johnny was cruel and his men were wild. Eiji felt like a prisoner. Johnny kept on making moves on him. It made the Japanese feel very uncomfortable, but he didn’t want to give up. He couldn’t crying and cower anymore. He needed to suck it up. If Ash was in his shoes, he would do everything he could to complete his mission.

 

It didn’t matter to Ash anymore what Eiji said. If the Japanese came back Ash would beg for his forgiveness. Ash was wrong. He shouldn’t have said those things. He should have worked with Eiji. Why did he tell Eiji he didn’t want him back?  Eiji deserved better…He shouldn’t have stuck with Ash in the first place. Why did Ash think he could keep him safe? He was really an pathetic idiot.

 

Eiji couldn’t do it anymore but he had to. He couldn’t bear to return to Ash yet. When he was finished, he would go back …If Ash would still take him…. It hurt Eiji to remember that the young gang leader had told him that he didn’t want him back. When all of this was done, he would beg Ash to take him back. Why did he break up with him? Couldn’t he have done this without a real break up? Why did he say those things to Ash? Ash deserves better. Even after making such a fuss about this whole thing Eiji regretted coming here. He was really a pathetic idiot.

 

One morning it finally dawned on Ash that Eiji was really not going to come back until he finished his mission. Instantly any of Ash’s remining pride disappeared and he desperately wanted to go to the Japanese. He wanted to break into Johnny’s base and safe Eiji…. but that would Eiji in danger. If Johnny got wind of Eiji’s goal he would kill him before Ash arrived. Besides the Japanese would be angry at him if he ruined his mission. Ash forced himself to stay put.

 

Eiji didn’t realize just how much he missed everyone until the day Bones broke into the base. After he left Eiji cried for hours. He forgot how kind Ash’s gang was. He wanted them back. He wanted Ash. He wanted to hold the gang leader in his arms and forget about the world. Then the memory of their fight came back along with Ash’s words. The blond  had said he didn’t want him back. Eiji couldn’t count on the young gang leader to save him after he was done with the mission. Eiji still had to complete and escape alone…. That thought alone dragged him deeper into depression.

 

Ash almost ran out the door when he heard of how Eiji was being treated. He wanted to kill Johnny. How dare he let his men hit him. How dare anyone raised a fist against Eiji…How dare anyone treat Eiji like a toy. His will gave out and he ran into the rain. He needed Eiji. He needed to tell Eiji how much he meant to him; how much he was worth. Why did Ash say he didn’t want Eiji back? How could he be so stupid? Reality hit Ash hard and he stopped himself. He couldn’t go to Eiji no matter how painful this was.

 

Was this what Ash’s life was like? Knowing you can’t do something but having to do it anyways? Eiji was tired. Tiered of playing fake boyfriend. Tiered of lying all the time. Tired of men jeering and calling him names. Tiered of deflecting Johnny sexual advances. He wanted a way to escape. Why won’t Johnny just give him the document? How did Ash put up with pretending all the time? Eiji knew Ash had to hold his emotions and let people to terrible things to him. Eiji still didn’t have it that bad and he was still feeling broken. The dark-haired was wrong. He was just a naive Japanese who truly didn’t understand Ash’s life…

 

Was this what it was like for Eiji? Waiting helplessly day and night for someone you love to come home? Trying to occupy your time in hopes that your anxiety will go away? Why didn’t Johnny just give him the damn document? How did Eiji put up with all this worrying and waiting all the time? Ash couldn’t deal with it for just a couple of months, how did Eiji deal with it for over a year? The young gang leader was wrong. He thought he knew everything. He thought Eiji was fine all this time. He truly didn’t understand what Eiji went through for his sake….

 

“I miss you so much. Please come home”

“I miss you so much. I want to go home”

 

[text- from Eiji]

Eiji: I destroyed the document. I’m sorry for everything. If you still want me, please come pick me up.

 

“He did it.” Ash gasped looking down at his phone “He actually did it….” For a moment Ash was overwhelmed with emotions. Eiji did it…he destroyed the document. He had saved Ash and his gang. Eiji was amazing.

 

And now he could come home.

 

A new wave of energy hit Ash. He felt more alive at that moment then most of his life put together. He felt like he could single handedly take out Johnny and all his men. All his previous exhaustion disappeared.  Eiji saved him and now he would save Eiji. He would take Eiji back. He would be able to see him, hold him again. He would be able to tell Eiji how much he loved him….

 But first he had to take care of Johnny. Johnny who treated Eiji like a toy. Johnny who let his gang hit Eiji. Johnny who tried to break Eiji emotionally. A wave of anger hit Ash.

“Boss!” a voice yelled nearby. Ash glanced up and saw Alex a few feet away. “We took out most of them here and are just finishing this area. Should we start to the next area?” Ash paused. He couldn’t keep doing this roundabout way to get to the base. Every second he wasted put Eiji in more danger.

“Do you think you can do it without me?” Ask asked. Alex looked surprised.

“Yeah,” he said nervously eyeing Ash.

“Good,” the young gang leader growled “I have to go ahead for a while.” He put his hand on his gun, his teeth bared in a deadly smile. In his head he thought of all the terrible ways he could make Johnny pay.  “I have something I need to take care of.”

Chapter Text

Eiji knew he was in a bad situation. He was currently locked in a side room in a harbor warehouse. The guard had told him it was for his own protection so if Ash and his men come, they wouldn’t be able to get him. Although that was probably Johnny’s initial intention, if he figured out that Eiji destroyed the document, this place would become his prison.  Eiji looked around the room trying to find a way to escape. There was a small window near the ceiling on the back wall, though there was no way to reach it. Eiji looked for something to stand on but the room was empty. The Japanese’s heart started pounding as panic filled him.  He needed to get out. The fact that Johnny hadn’t returned meant that he was probably going to see the police. When that happens, he would come after Eiji…

The Japanese shuttered. He didn’t want to think of what the gang leader would do to him. The horrible scenarios his mind was coming up with didn’t help sooth his panic. The dark-haired man rushed around the room in a frenzy. He tried to think rationally but his mind was muddled. He was beyond tired. He had spent all his energy pretending to be Johnny’s boyfriend. Now that he was done with his mission, he found that he didn’t plan ahead as well as he thought he did. Eiji silently cursed himself. Why didn’t he think of a better escape plan? Did he just assume he could leave when he was done? There was no way out of this room. He was truly trapped this time. When that realization hit him, his energy disappeared. Eiji’s legs gave out and he fell to the ground. The young man tucked his head into his arms and drew up his legs as despair overwhelmed him. Eiji was going to die painfully and there was nothing he could do. He was so close to getting away, but his own stupidity had caught him. No wonder Ash didn’t trust him with missions. His mind flashed to Ash and his heart gave a painful jolt. What he wouldn’t do to see the blond one more time. What he wouldn’t give just to hold him. Eiji didn’t even get the change to apologies for the hurtful things he head. He regretted the fight he had with Ash. He wished he could have one more chance. But it was pointless now. He wasn’t going to get out.  Ash had probably read his text and discarded it by now. There was no way he was coming for Eiji. What Eiji said to him was too harsh and cruel. Why would he want Eiji back after all that? The blond had probably realized by now how pointless it was to date Eiji. The Japanese was alone. He felt a crushing feeling inside his chest, and he let out a sob. Why? Why did it come to this?

“You wanted to prove to yourself and Ash that you weren’t useless.” His mind reminded him. “Do you regret it now?”

“No.” Eiji whispered and suddenly he realized it was true.  He didn’t regret taking this mission. He didn’t regret destroying the document. He didn’t do it to get Ash’s praise or to see him again. He did it so Ash could live on. He did it to make up how useless he was all this time, so he wouldn’t be a burden to everyone.

Eiji closed his eyes and concentrated on Ash. Even if he couldn’t be with him anymore, even if he went back to Japan, he had still saved Ash. Now Ash would be able to survive on and defeated Johnny because of the Japanese’s actions. Just the thought of that helped Eiji to calm down. If Ash was in this situation, he would find a way out. He wouldn’t give up and curl in a ball accepting his fate.

Eiji’s eyes flashed open. He would find a way to escape. He would find Ibe-san and get a plane ticket back to Japan. He would survive as well.

“And maybe if I’m lucky I will be able to see Ash one more time.” A tiny hopeful voice said in his head. Eiji didn’t have the heart to push it away. Perhaps the voice was right. He didn’t need to be by Ash’s side, not after what he said to Ash, no he only needed to see him once more. If he was able to see Ash and know Ash was going to live he would be satisfied. Ash’s gang didn’t hate him, Bones made that clear. Maybe Eiji could get them to help. They could sneak him into Ash’s base so Eiji could catch a glimpse of the young gang leader. It was kind of a pathetic thought, but it made Eiji insanely happy. He hung onto that happy emotion as his energy returned.

“Right then!” Eiji said to himself. “First I need to escape.” The Japanese took a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Once his heartbeat returned to normal, he sat up looked around again. The window was too high to read but the wall under it had deep cracks. Eiji pulled himself to his feet and walked over to the wall. He picked at the cracks and a bit of the wall crumpled away. What was left was a small hole, big enough to grasp. Eiji had never been much of a rock climber but he still had an athlete’s body. He knew he could make it to the top. The Japanese dug his hands and feet into the cracks and slowly pulled himself up. When he was standing in those cracks, he broke the wall in front of him and made more holes. Then he climbed up onto those. Gradually he made his way up the side of the wall. It was hard work and his hands started bruising from all the times he hit the wall. When Eiji was halfway up, he began to feel tired. In his weary state he started to make sloppy mistakes. He slipped on the wall and almost fell down. It took almost all his arm strength to pull himself back up. When he was more than halfway up, he heard a sound that made his blood go cold. There were loud voices coming from the other side of the door. After a few seconds there was an audible click and the door bang open.

“Eiji!” he heard Johnny growl. There was a startled paused as Johnny took in the sight of Eiji climbing the wall. The gang leader swore loudly and charged the wall. Eiji didn’t need to look down to know that Johnny was climbing up after him. The Japanese knew he couldn’t waste time seeing how close Jonny was. The gang leader was bigger than him so he could reach farther. That meant he would be able to climb faster. Eiji tried to ignore the heavy breath below him as he picked up his pace. His arms were screaming in protest and his legs were shaking. He was so sore that he wouldn’t be surprised if his body just collapse and fell. Luckily his limbs didn’t give out and after another couple more heaves, he arrived at the window. Eiji pulled himself on the windowsill, gasping for breath. While he caught his breath he glanced down to see how close Johnny was.

To his alarm the gang leader was almost to the top. Eiji knew he had only seconds. The Japanese turned around and quickly pushed at the window. To his horror it was locked. Eiji gritted his teeth and punched the window with his fist. After the third attack his fist went through the window with a crash. The Japanese ignored the throbbing pain as he attempted to climb through. Before he was halfway in, a hand grabbed his leg and pulled it back. Eiji screamed and grabbed the sill. He glanced down to see that Johnny had reached up to grab him.

“Let go!” Eiji yelled kicking Johnny.

“You aren’t getting away” Johnny snarled angrily. Eiji kicked at him repeatedly in the face with his free foot. Finally, the Japanese felt his foot contact the gang leader’s nose and he heard a sickening crack. Johnny’s grip lessened as blood dripped down his broken nose.  Eiji took the chance to tug his leg out and kick out with both legs. He hit Johnny square in the face and the gang leader tumbled back to the ground.

“Boss!” some of his gang yelled as they ran to where their leader fell. Johnny sat up and staggered to his feet.

Eiji turned his attention back to the window, a feeling of relief flooding into him. If he just got through and jumped to the ground, he would be free. He pulled himself up on the sill again and started through the window. He only took a few steps when he heard a gunshot and a piercing pain went through his shoulder. Eiji cried out as his vision swam in front of him. Then he started to fall backwards. The world rushed around him as fell. A sharp pain he landed on the hard-concrete ground, knocking his breath out of him. Eiji gasped for breath as darkness started to swarm in front of his eyes. This couldn’t be it. He was so close. As the Japanese struggled to remain conscience Johnny’s leering face came into his vision.

“You’ll pay for this.” He snared. “Don’t think you’re get out of this alive.” Eiji’s body gave out and the world faded to black.

“Ash I’m sorry. I’m so scared”

________________

The base was deserted. Johnny and his men were gone, and Ash had a sinking suspicion that Eiji was with them. The problem was that the blond had no idea where they went. They must have scattered and rejoined at another location. The young gang leader growled in frustration as he searched through a box of discarded weaponry. He was hoping to find a clue to where they were hiding, but Johnny’s gang did a good job of covering their tracks. He knew he was running out of time. Every second he wasted brought Johnny closer to figuring out the truth and then going after Eiji. The thought of it made Ash’s skin crawl. He knew Johnny’s type; he knew what would happen to Eiji. If he took too long, what he would find left of Eiji wouldn’t even be recognizable…

Ash closed his eyes for a second as a horrible image came into his mind. He clenched his fist fighting down his emotions. He wouldn’t let that happen. He would tear apart New York City to find Eiji before it was too late. He would destroy anyone who stood in his way….

And yet here he was, still at Johnny’s base and no closer to the man he loved.

“Damn it!” Ash roared in anger, kicking over a discarded box. The weapons inside fell out with loud clangs. He glared down at them before noticing something about them he missed earlier. Each weapon had a mark on it. Ash recognized it as the Chinese Mafia’s mark. If Johnny was working with the Chinses Mafia, then he would probably ask them for new weapon once he got to his new location. If that was the case, then there was one person who would know where Eiji was….

_____________________________

“Who’s here?”

The man shifted uncomfortablely under Yut-Lung’s aggressive look. The Chinese leader tapped his foot aggravatedly. “Well?”

“I said that a man named Ash Lynx is requesting to see you.” He repeated. The Chinese boss hummed to himself. This situation was getting interesting. A half hour ago Johnny had contacted him and asked for more weapons and money. This surprised Yut-Lung for a number of reasons. To start the location was different than the usual one. For another thing, even though he sounded calm, Yut-Lung could hear the anger in the gang leader’s voice. That was unusual enough, but with Ash’s sudden arrive Yut-Lung’s curiosity had been peaked. What happened that would make the blond come see him of all people? The Chinese boss bit his lip, deep in thought. Next to the men who brought him the new fidgeted nervously. Finally, Yut-Lung came to a decision.

“Let him in.”

The man nodded and hurried from the room. Yut-Lung leaned back in his chair. This was going to be an interesting conversation. A minute later the door banged open and the young gang leader stormed in. When he saw Yut-Lung he stopped and narrowed his eyes.

“Have a seat.” Yut-Lung said causally twirling a piece of hair between his fingers. Ash didn’t move. He stood there rigid and stiff. The Chinese surveyed him. Ash had been in a fight from what he could tell. He smelled of gun power and blood. He was disheveled and his clothes torn. More interesting that his appearance was the look in his eyes. When Yut-Lung looked closer he saw an array of emotions in the blond’s eyes. There was everything from anger to fear to desperation. The most prominent emotion there however was determination. Yut-Lung only saw that look in Ash’s eyes ones before. It was when Ash had put a gun up to his own head and tried to shoot himself. Yut-Lung’s eyes narrowed. Ash only did that because he thought it would save Eiji. If it was the same now that would mean….

“Are you looking for Eiji?” he asked Ash.

 “He’s with Johnny. I want to know where Johnny’s hiding.”  The young gang leader growled. Yut-Lung’s glare intensified.

“I see.” The Chinese said, leaning his face in the palm of his hands. He was in a dilemma. On one hand he wanted to know what happened between Ash and Johnny, but he knew the blond wouldn’t tell him without getting information himself. On the other hand, he didn’t want to give Ash that information. It wasn’t any loyalty toward Johnny; truthfully the sooner that guy was taking out the better. Yut-Lung’s shaky alliance with Golzine didn’t stop him from giving Ash information either. What made him hesitate was the change that Ash would go to Eiji and get back together with him. The thought of that left a bad taste in Yut-Lung’s mouth.

“Well?” Ash finally demanded. The Chinese crossed his legs and thought it over for a few more seconds. Finally, curiosity overcame him and he gave in.

“First tell me what happened.” He said calmly. If this was about Eiji he was in no rush to give Ash the information, he needed.

“I don’t have time for that!” Ash snapped stepping closer to Yut-Lung. The men in the room pulled out their guns and pointed them at the blond. Yut-Lung raised his eyebrows and held up a hand to keep them from shooting.

“If you want information then first give me what I want to know.” He said. “There’s no reason to be hostile.” Ash snarled his hand on his gun. Yut-Lung wondered if he would attack anyways. After a moment the young gang leader calmed down and dropped into the chair across from the Chinese boss. The men around them put down their guns and stepped back. Ash paused again and then started his story. Yut-Lung listen interestedly. Ash’s men had figured out where Johnny was hiding and started taking them out. The Chinese knew that Johnny never stood a change against Ash. It was almost comical to think he did. Hearing how everything planned out filled Yut-Lung with a sense of self-satisfaction. He had predicted how this would end and he was happy to see he was right. The Chinese boss also noticed that Ash left out any mention of Eiji and his mission to steal the document. When Ash finished the Chinese unfolded his legs and snapped his fingers. A servant approach and placed two cups of tea in front of them. Yut-Lung picked one up and sipped it calmly, enjoying the furry it was casing Ash. Finally, he put down the cup.

“So Eiji actually completed his mission.” He said simply. Ash stiffened looking startled.

 “You knew about that?” he asked suspiciously.

“I figured it out,” The Chinese said in a bored tone. “Anyone with any knowledge of Eiji’s character could figure it out. Johnny’s just a moron.” Yut-Lung paused again as he filled out the missing parts of the story.

“I see, so Eiji completed is mission but is now trapped with Johnny.” He said slowly glancing up at Ash. “What are you planning to do about your ex?” He hoped Ash wasn’t planning on saving Eiji. Didn’t they have a terrible fight? Eiji even said that Ash wouldn’t save him. Across from hm the young gang leader’s fist clenched.

“I gave you the information you wanted now give me the location.” He snapped confirming Yut-Lung’s suspicions.

“You’re planning on saving him?” Yut-Lung asked incredulous. “Why would you do that? You just freed yourself from that burden. Why go back?” Ash didn’t say anything. He just continued to stare at the Chinese.  Yut-Lung felt his temper rise. What was wrong with that guy? Why couldn’t he break free? He never understood why Ash would want Eiji around. He was just a nobody, a burden. He didn’t belong in this world. He didn’t belong with Ash. Yut-Lung knew Ash was intelligent so why couldn’t he see how useless Eiji was?

“You two broke right?” Yut-Lung said annoyedly. “I know that part wasn’t faked. Why go crawling back to him? It’s pathetic. He served his purpose. Why not just get rid of him?” He had gone to far. Ash snarled and jumped up.

“Don’t ever talk about Eiji that way again.” He spat. The men pulled out their guns again. Yut-Lung held up a hand and the men put them away.

“Calm down.” He said. “I’m only telling the truth. Eiji even knows it.” Ash’s anger dissolved in a second replaced my shock. “He’s not expecting you to come save him. He said so himself.” A look of pain and horror crossed Ash’s face and he plopped back down on the chair.

“He said that.” Ash whispered. Yut-Lung sighed in irritation and snapped his figures.

“Map.” He demanded. One of him guys came over with a map of the city. Yut-Lung took another long sip of tea before continuing.

“Johnny is hiding here.” The Chinese pointing his figure on the harbor. Ash nodded mutely and stood up again to go. Yut-Lung saw a new look of determination in his eyes. Before he gone a few steps, the Chinese raised his hand and all his men pulled out their guns.

“Who said you could leave yet?” He asked pleasantly.

“What the hell?” Ash growled, his hand on his gun, “Why are you stopping me?”

“Johnny isn’t going to leave his base anytime.” The Chinese said standing up as well. “If I let you go now all you’ll do is save that useless ex of yours, and what good would that be to you? He’s only a burden. Let Johnny take care of him first and then I’ll let you leave.” Ash looked furious.

“Sit down.” Yut-Lung commanded. Ash didn’t budge. “You can’t take everyone here out, they out number you.” All the emotions disappeared from Ash’s face. It became mask like. Yut-Lung’s heart quickened. Was Ash actually going to fight all of them? He couldn’t possibly win. He must realize that.

In a flash Ash whipped out his gun and pointed it at one of his men. The men opened fire. After a few minutes the sound of gunshots faded away leaving the room in silence.

Chapter Text

Yut-Lung couldn’t believe it. He dragged himself up to a sitting position, wincing as his bruised arm brushed an overturned sofa. Around him his room was in disarray. The couch and table were overturn, there was bullet holes in the walls, and the window was shattered. Yut-Lung felt something damp touch his hand he and he looked down to see blood dripping. He lifts a ginger head to his forehead and found a long scrape across it. On further inspection of himself he found that here were pieces of china sticking into him. The nice teacups must has shattered during the fight. Yut-Lung gritted his teeth as he began pulling out pulled them out. He reached the one in his arm and let out a loud hiss. Before he had time to cover his wounds the door opened and one of his men ran in.

“Sir, Ash Lynx is heading downstairs. Should we stop him? We cou-” He stopped mid-sentence gaping at the scene in front of him. After a moment he regained his composure and ran to his leader.

“Are you alright sir?” He asked.  Yut-Lung waved him away impatiently.

“I’m fine,” he snapped. The man shrank back. Yut-Lung dragged himself to his feet, wobbling a little. The man hesitated then asked again.

“What do you want us to do about Ash Lynx?”

Yut-Lung ignored him and surveyed the room. Three of his men lay dead in a pool of their blood. One man was sitting in the corner his legs broken, the rest of the men lay unconscious. It turned out Ash wasn’t joking when he said he would do anything to get to Eiji. The second the men pulled out their guns, Ash had pulled out his and dove behind the couch. After that he systematically took out each of the men, working his way around the room. Chaos ensued and at some point in the confusion Yut-Lung was knocked to the ground.

The Chinese boss grimaced at the thought. If this was what the Lynx was capable of in a small room, there was no way his men would be able to stop him while he roamed the building freely. Yut-Lung remembered the last time Ash went to save Eiji. He didn’t stop no matter how many men he ran into. This would end the same way.

“Let him go.” Yut-Lung said resigned. It would be a pain if he lost too many men. It wasn’t like they had a chance against the Lynx anyways. The best chance Yut- Lung had was when Ash was trapped in this room. On reflection the Chinese boss realized that he was overconfident in his ability to hold back Ash. He had underestimated once again Ash’s love for the stupid Japanese. It was frustrating. Yut-lung had messed up his one chance to catch him and now the blond was out of his reach.

“Damn it.” He growled. He should have just killed Eiji when he had shown up with Johnny. Yut-Lung had been careless and lazy. He was sure the ignorant Japanese didn’t know what he was doing and would get himself killed before long. Apparently, he did know what he was doing, and with the fact that Ash still loved him, the Japanese’s changes of survival was quite high.

Yut-Lung went to the broken window. Below he saw Ash dart out and take off down the street. It would only be a matter of time before he reached Eiji. The Chinese clenched his fists. How did someone so harmless cause so much problems?

____________________________________

The first thing Eiji became aware of when he woke was that he was lying on the ground. The second thing was that his arms and legs were tied tightly. As he realized this other feeling returned. His arms and legs began to throb. He became painfully away that his body was covered in all sorts of burses. He could feel wet blood tricking down his face and shirt. It was hard to breath. Eiji groaned and tried to readjust himself so he could breathe easier. As he did so, he forced his eyes open. The second he could see, he wished he had remained unconscious. Johnny was hovering over him a sadistically smile on his face. Eiji’s eyes traveled over to the knife the gang leader held in one hand and he shuttered.

“Looks who’s returned.” Johnny said amused. “How is my “boyfriend” doing? Are you hurt?” Eiji didn’t answer. Johnny frowned and kicked the Japanese in the face. Eiji gasped as he felt his blood in his mouth.

“When I ask you a question you answer it.” He hissed. “I do not like being ignored. Understand.” Eiji nodded weakly.

“Speak up.”

“I understand.” Eiji said thickly though the blood. Johnny’s smile returned.

“Good. So…” he leaned down closer to Eiji. “What did you do with the document.” Eiji gulped. Johnny narrowed his eyes.

“I asked you a question.” He pulled his knife close to Eiji’s injured shoulder.

“I destroyed it.” Eiji said quickly. Johnny’s face darkened.

“I thought you might have, but I had hoped you had some common sense.” He kicked Eiji in the stomach. The Japanese coughed and curled into a tight ball, shaking. He knew this was the end. He knew Johnny was going to kill him and he would never see Ash or anyone else he cared about again. The Japanese closed his eyes tight fighting back tears. He hoped Johnny would make it quick. The dark-haired man felt a sharp pain in his arm, and he cried out.

“No one told you, you were aloud to sleep.” Johnny snarled pulling Eiji up by his hair until he was an inch away from his face. “I’m going to break you in every way possible. By the time the police find you, you’ll be unreasonable.” Eiji whimpered pitifully. Johnny’s expression turned eager.

“Now…where to start.” He dropped Eiji and racked his eyes over the Japanese.

“Perhaps I should start on your face. Let’s see how cute you look without your nose.” Johnny brought his hand to the smaller man’s face. Eiji could felt something sharp touch the side of his nose.

“Or perhaps before you’re to deformed I should break you in other ways.” Johnny licked his lips his gaze traveling hungerly down the Japanese’s slim body. Eiji shuttered and shut his eyes again.

“Ash.”

He felt a swift kick to his side. It took a moment for the Japanese to realize he had spoken out loud. Johnny growled menacingly.

“He’s not going to save you.” He said anger oozing from his voice as he kicked different parts of Eiji’s body. The dark-haired man cried out again.

“You’re going to die here.” A swift kick hit Eiji’s chest and he thought he heard a crack. “And then everyone will understand what happens when you mess with Johnny.” Eiji gave a squeal of pain and tried to curl up in a ball again. It hurt so bad. He just wanted the pain to end.

“Boss!” A voice yelled followed by footsteps. Eiji wearily opened his eyes. Johnny’s leg was pulled back for another strike, but he was distracted by the newcomer. In the silence sounds could be heard from outside the warehouse.  It took Eiji a moment to realize that it was the sound of loud shouting and gunshots from outside the warehouse.

“What is it?” Johnny demanded. “What’s going on.” The new man gasped for breath fear in his wide eyes. Finally he was able to breath.

“Ash is here.” He said, voice quivering. “He found the base. He-” before he could finish there was a loud bang and the man fell dead. Eiji, Johnny, and the other men in the room turned to the door. There was Ash standing in the doorway, covered in blood with a gun in his hand.

It took Eiji’s mind a few seconds to catch up to what was happening. When it did Eiji’s mind started coming up with different possibilities of what he was seeing. This must be a dream…though the aches and pains told him otherwise. Then it must be a hallucination… however if it was then Johnny wouldn’t look so scared. Finally, it dawned on Eiji. This was real. Ash was really here. The Japanese felt his eyes tear up. Ash had actually come for him. He wanted him back. If the dark-haired man wasn’t tied up, he would have ran to him and hugged him. Instead he called out desperately.

“Ash”

The blond’s head snapped towards Eiji’s voice.  The Japanese saw Ash’s eyes widened as he took in his appearance. Eiji knew he looked horrible, tied up and covered in blood, cuts, and bruises. He knew Ash saw the bullet wound as well as the knife wounds. The young gang leader’s face contoured in furry. Without another word he began shooting the other men. The remaining guy came out of their horrified trances and attempted to fight back. Ash was too quick. One after another he shot them all down. Within a minute, there was only Johnny left.  The gang leader swore and dove for Eiji. He grabbed the Japanese and put a knife to his throat.

“Shoot and he dies.” Johnny growled. Ash hissed his eyes locked on Johnny. Eiji could feel a tremor go through Johnny’s body. It took him a moment to realize that Johnny was afraid of Ash. With his remaining hand Johnny slowly reached for his gun.

“Put down the gun.” He commanded Ash. The blond hesitated. Johnny pressed the knife against Eiji’s throat. “Do it!” Ash stiffened.

“If I drop my gun will you let him go?” He asked. Johnny glowered.

“I’m the one’s making the demands.” Ash hesitated for a fraction of a second and Eiji felt the knife press farther.

“Alright.” Ash said his arms relaxing in defeat and he tossed the gun to the ground. Johnny’s grip relaxed.

“No!” Eiji thought desperately. This couldn’t be happening. If Ash didn’t have a gun Johnny would shoot him without hesitation. Ash would die and it would be all Eiji’s fault. He was going to lose Ash permanently. Eiji would let that happen. He was not going be a burden to Ash anymore. Without thinking the Japanese lunged forward and dug his teeth into Johnny’s arm. Johnny yelled and jolted sideways. Eiji felt the knife leave his neck and dig into his shoulder. He cried; his voice muffled by the gang leader’s arm. Johnny hit him with the side of his gun. Eiji went flying and hit the ground hard. He coughed as he tried to regain his breath. He heard loud swearing and felt Johnny turn him over. The gang leader’s eyes were aflame with furry and hatred.

“You’re dead.” He roared, jabbing the knife towards Eiji’s throat. Before it reached its destination, a hand reached out and grabbed it. Johnny and Eiji turned to see Ash inches away, his hand around the knife.

“Don’t. You. Dare. Hurt. Him.” He said punctuating each word with a snarl. Johnny grunted and tried to pull away, but Ash held on fast.

“Damn it.” Johnny yelled as he reached out to grab Ash’s throat. The second he was off Eiji, the Japanese attempted to roll away. He got a few feet away from the fighting gang leaders and turned around to watch. Ash and Johnny were now fighting over the knife. The bigger man hands his arms around the blond’s shoulders. With a swift kick the Lynx hit Johnny in the stomach. Johnny grunted and sank to the ground coughing up blood and bile. Ash took this to his advantage and knocked the knife out of Johnny’s hand. Johnny tried to reach for his gun again, but Ash pinned his arm down.

“Damn you!” Johnny yelled again struggling. Ash watched him struggle a look of pure hatred on his face.

“You’re lucky.” Ash said, his voice barely over a whisper. “I don’t have time to make you pay. I guess you’ll get off easy.” He picked up Johnny’s gun and pointed it in Johnny’s face. “Goodbye.” Johnny’s eyes widened.

“Wait!” he cried. “You-” There was a bang and Johnny fell silent. Ash paused and shot three more times into his chest. He stared down at the dead gang leader panting heavily, his eyes wild and dangerous. He suddenly swore again and shot Johnny.

“Damn you.” He growled repeating the word with each shot.

“Ash.” Eiji called weakly trying to get the blond’s attention. Ash’s head snapped up as he noticed Eiji. His expression softened. Without another word he dropped the gun rushed to Eiji’s side

“Are you alright?” he asked gently looking over Eiji’s injuries.

“I’ll be fine.” Eiji said. Ash frowned clearly not buying it.

“I’ll get you free.” He said glancing around for Johnny’s knife. He located it across the room and rushed over to it. He returned and began cutting the ropes. Eiji watched Ash free him He had so much to say to the American. The words were building up in his throat and he felt like he would explode. Yet he didn’t know where to start. What was he supposed to say? How could he put his emotions and thoughts into words? Before he could figure it out Ash finished cutting him free. The tightness in his arms and legs released and the dark-haired man gave a long sigh of relief.

“Thanks.” Eiji said sitting up and letting the ropes fall to the ground. The second the word was out of his mouth he cringed. Of all the things he wanted to say that was all he could get out? He should be saying sorry or explaining himself. Eiji opened his mouth to try again but before he could make a sound Ash reached forward and pulled him into a hug.

“Eiji.” He whispered into the Japanese’s hair. All the words Eiji wanted to say died on his lips. All the pain disappeared. Suddenly nothing mattered except for Ash. Ash was here. Ash was with him, He could feel Ash’s warmth, Ash’s embrace. He could hear his breathing and heartbeat. He could feel Ash tremble with emotions and relief.  Slowly Eiji brought up his arms and hugged him back.

“Ash.” He cried as tears started down his face. This was real. Ash was here. Everything was right in the world again.  Eiji knew he needed to explain things properly. Eiji knew he needed to apologize and try to make things up to the young gang leader, but in that moment it didn’t matter. For now, Eiji just wanted to just enjoy Ash’s presence.

After a few minutes Ash gently pulled away. Eiji reluctantly opened his eyes. He was startled to see the serious look on Ash’s face.

“Eiji.” The blond said, “We need to talk.”

Chapter Text

 “Eiji.” Ash said, “We need to talk.”

 

Eiji looked into Ash’s serous face and his heart sank. He should have known it was too good to be true. Just because Ash wasn’t heartless enough to leave the Japanese to die by the hands of his enemies, didn’t mean they were going to get back together. Eiji just jumped to conclusions. Of course, he did. He loved Ash more than anything else in the world. Even so it was selfish to push his desire on Ash when it was, he who broke up with the young gang leader in the first place.

“Eiji?” Ash asked gently peering into Eiji’s dark eyes. Eiji winced and looked away. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t face Ash. He didn’t want to hear what the blond had to say but he knew he owed it to Ash to listen. Even after all he said the fact that Ash could overlook it to come and save him was to much. Ash was too good for him. Ash deserved better.

“Hey, look at me” Ash’s voice sounded concerned. Eiji gulped but didn’t look up. Completing the mission didn’t take back all the nasty things he had said to Ash. He knew what was coming and it scared him.  The blond was quiet for a moment before letting out his breath slowly.

“Alright.” He said. “You’re not ready to talk yet. That’s ok. For now, please just listen.” Eiji gave a mute nod. Ash took a deep breath and paused as he gathered his thoughts.

“I-I’m not good at talking about my feelings but I’m going to try.” Another deep breath “What you said to me when we broke up…. well…it really hurt like hell. I never thought I would hear those things from you. That night.” He gulped “It was like a nightmare that I couldn’t get up from….” He was quite for a moment and Eiji felt tears prick at his eyes. He wished he could take everything back, but he remained silent.

“Even so….even so it’s unfair to blame you for all of it….What I said was equally as bad…What I called you…what I accused you of…” Ash made a little sound in his throat. “I thought you were going to hit me… I know I wanted to hit you….” He paused again and gulped.  “But even with everything that was said that night the thing that hurt me the most was the thought of losing you.” Ash’s voice broke. “At that moment all I could see was your lifeless body lying in front of me.” He trembled and took a shaky breath. “All I could see was the one good thing in my life destroyed because of me. Because of my inability to protect my one ray of sunshine.” A sob escaped him. “I would have done anything at that moment to stop you from going even if it meant you hated me…When you finally broke up with me and left, I thought I would never see you alive again…” Ash’s voice broke off and he stopped talking. Eiji knew he was holding himself shaking.

The Japanese felt tears trickle down his face.  He never meant to hurt Ash. He never meant to say those things. He knew it was horrible to see someone he loved putting himself in danger. He hated it when Ash did it to him. Even though he knew how terrible it felt he still did it to Ash. He hated how much of a hypocrite he was. Eiji had taken Ash’s heart and shattered it into pieces. It made him sick to his stomach. Why did he lose his temper? If he could just talk it out and if that didn’t work, try talking to Ash’s gang. Someone might have a better idea or an alternate version that wasn’t so risky. Instead he planned the whole thing by himself despite the fact he had no experience in going under cover. Eiji tightened his hands around his arms until it hurt. Why the hell did he break up with Ash? Listening to everything Ash said made him realize just how deep the wounds went.  The dark-haired man couldn’t take it anymore. He opened his mouth to apologize for everything. Before he could get anything out Ash continued.

“I’m sorry.”

Eiji’s mind screeched to a halt and he looked up in shock. After all the things he put Ash through he was the one apologizing? In front of him the young gang leader was sitting with his head bowed.

“I realize now how stupid I was.” Ash said. “I said terrible things to you to keep you in order to keep you safe with me instead of in danger. It’s no wonder you snapped back. You were angry as well. I should have been more mature. I should have helped you find a way to sneak into Johnny’s base instead of abandoning you like I did. I should have rushed after you when you broke up with me and fixed things.” He ran a hand through his hair. “I don’t know why I acted that way. I was cornered I guess…” his hand fell to his side. “That’s no excuse for the way I acted….” He gave a violent shutter. Eiji’s clenched his fists. Ash was wrong about everything. It was Eiji was wrong. Eiji who should be apologizing. He was the one who acted unmatured. The Japanese opened his mouth again, but Ash cut him off.

“You’re amazing Eiji did you know that? Not only for the mission you took but for everything in the last year. While you were gone, I had to wait and hope you were safe.” The blond balled his fists. “It was madding! I thought I was going crazy! You never acted like it bothered you at all…. If I was in your shoes, I would have left me long ago. How did I get so lucky to have someone like you?” He gave a weak chuckle and Eiji felt frustration rise in his chest.

This conversation was not going in the direction he thought it would go. Ash should be angrier at him. He should be demanding Eiji to apologize. This felt more like a dream or fantasy then reality. Eiji wondered if the whole thing was a hallucination and he was still in Johnny’s grasp. It would make more sense then what was going on in front of him. Eiji amazing just for waiting? Yeah it was hard and yeah, many days he thought he would go crazy, but he wasn’t anything special for that. Anyone would wait a hundred years for Ash. He was such an amazing person. Compared to the happiness Eiji got just by being near him quickly made up for all the waiting.

“But” Ash said startling Eiji out of his thoughts. “I don’t want to ignore what you did… What you did for me…” he shook his head violently and continued firmly “no for my whole gang…You saved us…” his voice broke. “There was really no other way to end it… Thank you Eiji…You’re so brave and amazing…I’m so sorry I did those things to you…Please come back to-”

“Your wrong!” Ash opened his eyes in shock. He looked up at Eiji and his eyes widened. The Japanese was shaking, his eyes watery. He sniffed loudly and rubbed his eyes. Eiji didn’t know when he started crying but he didn’t care.

“Eiji.” Ash asked uncertainly reaching a tensive hand forward.

“You’re wrong.” Eiji said quieter. “I wasn’t brave…It was so horrible with Johnny. I-I don’t know how I pulled through. I was being arrogant when I said I would take that mission. I fought you as if I knew better then you…You understood the situation better.” Eiji gave a weak laugh. “I was pathetic…so helplessly pathetic…And scared.” The Japanese wrapped his arms around himself again. “I don’t know how you did it all those times…. I don’t know how you did it at all.” Eiji’s words faltered and he bowed his head in shame. Now that everything was done, he felt shameful for his actions. He might have gotten the document, but he still needed to be saved at the end. In all his time waiting for Johnny to trust him enough he spent most of it curled in a pitiful ball and crying. Why was he still weak? He needed Ash to understand that he wasn’t brave or amazing. He was just pathetic.

Ash leaned forward and gathered Eiji in his arms. The Japanese nuzzled him face in the blond’s chest.

“It’s alright to be scared.” Ash said softly. “If I seem brave to you it’s only because of how dead I am inside. You on the other hand is so full of life…Of course you’ll feel afraid. That doesn’t make you any less amazing.” It was to much for Eiji. The Japanese threw his hands around Ash’s middle and started sobbing uncountably.

“I’m sorry for everything. I shouldn’t have said those things. I shouldn’t have broken up with you.  I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”

Eiji repeated those words over and over again. He couldn’t stop crying. After everything that happened, the full extent of what he did to Ash and all his time in Johnny’s base came crashing down on him. It was quickly followed by how close he was to getting killed. Eiji clung to Ash and babbled, his words a mixture of Japanese and English.

“You don’t need to apologize.” Ash said gently stroking the smaller man’s hair.

“Yes, I do.” Eiji sniffed angrily. “It’s all my fault not yours.”

“That’s not true.” Ash said softly. Eiji clinged onto Ash tighter. He hated that he could do nothing but cry.

They sat there for a while Eiji sobbed. Finally, the Japanese was able to calm down. He gave one final loud sniff and pulled away from Ash.

“I thought I wasn’t going to see you again either.” Eiji admitted sniffing quietly. “I was sure you weren’t going to come to get me.” Ash’s eyes widened in horror.

“I’m sorry.” He muttered. “That’s my fault…I told you I wasn’t going to come.”

“I’m glad you did…. come and get me that is” Eiji said, “Thank you.” Ash hummed in acknowledgment and they both fell into an awkward silence. Ash bit his lip like he wanted to say something his hands fidgeting. Eiji struggled with an internal battle. He was not sure what Ash was feeling. He was mostly sure that Ash still had feelings for him but a small part of him still doubted. It just felt wrong to translate Ash’s words and gestures as anything other than friendship no matter how intimate it felt. Because of that it seemed rude to try to push Ash into another relationship. He wished he could just read the blonds mind to know if it was ok to make a move. He felt frustrating with himself. Eiji really wanted to beg and plea Ash to take him back. The Japanese clenched his teeth trying to fight back the rising emotions in his chest.  

“It would be poor repayment for me to start acting like a dramatic teen just because I want him back.” He scolded himself “Hell, I  was the one who broke up with Ash. I have had no right….”

“But he was hugging you!” another part of him whined. “He ran his fingers through your hair and told you how much he missed you.”

“He could just be comforting me.” The first part pointed out. “Also, he could be talking about old emotions that he used to feel. Ash had a rough life full of sexual abuse. It would wrong of me to assume things. People always assume things about him.”

Still….

It was too much. The little whiny voice in his mind won kept pointing out that this was his last chance to ask Ash. He couldn’t hold it in any longer. Even if it was wrong. Even if Ash would take it the wrong way, he had to do it. If Ash said no he would leave to go back to Japan. If Ash said yes…Eiji tried not to be too optimistic. He took a shaky breath in.

“I love you. Please come back to me.”

“I love you. Please come back to me”

……..

Eiji and Ash stared at each other. It took a few seconds to register that Ash had spoken. It took a whole minute before the meaning of his words sunk in.

“Wait…” Ash said

“You mean it?” Eiji gasped.

“So you still want-”

“Yes…I mean if you want to…”

“Oh thank god.” Ash grabbed Eiji and kissed him on the lips. Eiji closed his eyes and leaned in. A heavy weight was lifted from Eiji’s chest as paradise was restored. Everything was right in the world. All the tension in Eiji’s body was gone. It was just him and Ash…his Ash…. his boyfriend. After a couple minutes they pulled way to catch their breaths.

“And to think.” Ash said panting. “I thought I would have to beg and plead you to take me back.” Eiji’s face turned red.

“Stop it.” He muttered. “I’m the one who would have to beg.” Ash snored and gathered Eiji up in his arms.

“I love you.”

“I love you too.”

“Don’t ever believe that you are anything less then amazing.” Eiji’s hid his face in Ash’s arms.

“Don’t ever believe that you’re not worth everything.” Eiji’s voice was muffled by Ash’s arms. Ash gently lifted Eiji’s face and kissed him again.

 

Ash’s gang had received a call from their boss about an hour earlier. Ash had apparently found were the rest of Johnny’s gang was hiding and gave them the address. It had taken them the last hour to finished cleaning up the head over there. Now they were all standing in front of an old warehouse. The man they sent to check the area snuck around the perimeter before returning to the rest of the group.

“It looks like the cost is clear.” He said.

“Of course, it is.” Kong muttered. “This is our boss we’re talking about. He’s not going to lose to Johnny or his men.”

“He would if he was heartbroken” Bones said softly. Everyone was quite after that comment.

“We don’t know if Eiji actually betrayed us.” Alex finally said.

“But if he did….” Bones said gloomily. “Who knows how the boss would react. We all know he can’t think straight when it comes to Eiji…. And did you see the look on his face when he got the text?” Bones shivered. “I never saw him so angry before…I think he believes Eiji actually did it. He would be the one effect the most if the document was given to the police.”

“Alright that’s enough.” Alex snapped. “We don’t have time for this. We need to go in there and help Ash. We can question Eiji later

“If Eiji’s still alive that is” Bones muttered gloomily. Alex shot him a look before turning and rushing forward. The rest of the men followed. The ran to the doorway and stood on either side of it, backs against the wall, listening to movement inside. All was quiet. After a few second Alex motioned to one of the guys and he peaked his head around the corner.

 “Damn.” The man gasped. “Boss did a number on this place.” Bones stuck his head around the doorway and gaped at the scene in front of him. Inside the warehouse there were at least twenty men lying face down on the ground. It looked like there had been a nasty fight. The windows were broken and there were bullet holes all over the place.

“Man, boss must be really angry.” Kong muttered as he looked around the corner as well.

“Let’s move in.” Alex said softly as he shuffled inside, his gun at the ready. After a few seconds he signed that the area was clear. The men relaxed slightly and entered the wherefore.

“All right.” Alex said turning to the rest of them. “Let’s split up into groups of fiv and look for Ash. Keep your guns out in case there is-” He suddenly cut off as a movement from another room caught his attention. Alex bent down to a crouch. The rest of the gang tensed up and reached for their weapons. After a second their second in command motioned for Bones, Kong and a few others to do the same. They slinked towards the room silently. As they got closer Kong took a sharp breath. “Is that Johnny?”

The rest of them turned their attention to where Kong was looking. From where they stood, they could just make out Johnny’s head lying on the ground. He looked dead. Without putting down his gun Alex continued to move forward. He wasn’t going to take any chances. When they got to the doorway the found that Johnny was indeed dead. He was lying in a pool of blood; his eyes open and a look of shock on his face.

“Looks like we won.” Bones muttered as he lowered his gun.

“Shhh.” Alex hissed tensely his eyes glued on something else in the room. The men turned to see were the second in command was looking at.

There, in a corner of the room, was their boss tangled up in Eiji. The Japanese’s back was to them and they could see the blond’s hands reaching behind him and up his shirt.  Ash was locked in the lips with the Eiji. Bones made a small sound of surprise and Kong covered his mouth quickly. It was to later. The second the sound left Kong’s mouth Ash’s eyes snapped open. For a moment they saw the softer version of their boss before his eyes hardened. Suddenly he looked like a wild animal glaring at his prey. He stared them down coldly. Bones shivered in fear. Their boss hated it when they interrupted him personal time with Eiji.

Without breaking away from the Japanese Ash slowly lifted the hand from the smaller man’s back and pointed angrily at the door.

The gang got the message and quickly (and quietly) made their way out of the warehouse relieved that they got away without punishment. As the past the rest of the waiting men Alex beckoned them to follow.  Once they were all outside conversation broke out. The men who went with Alex started explaining what they saw to the amazed group.

“Looks like they’re together again.” Alex said.

“Eiji didn’t turn us in!” another man yelled.

“That’s a relief” Bones muttered. “He was in such a bad state when I saw him at Johnny’s. I’m glad he’s with us again.”

“Boss looks happy.” Kong added. “He’s going to be in a better mood now.”

“This means we don’t need to wake him up in the mornings anymore.”

“And we’ll go back to eating hot meals again!” someone else shouted. Alex smiled watching the men celebrate. Everyone was happy to see Eiji again. The Japanese made the base feel like a home.

“Alright that’s enough.” Alex finally said breaking up the excited men. “We need to check the rest of the area. Johnny’s men might still be lurking around.”

 

It took them a half an hour search the whole area. By the time they were done Eiji and Ash had finished their make out session and had met them in front of the warehouse. Eiji was happily surprised to see them there. Ash shot them a look reminding them to keep quite on what they saw. No one was going to say anything anyways. They all remembered the last time someone had made a snide remark about seeing Ash and Eiji make out. Eiji had turned bright red and looked very uncomfortable. Ash had calmly took the man to the side and gently reminded him that if he ever said anything like that again Ash would cut out his tongue.  It was better just to stay quiet.

 

After Ash and Eiji shared greetings with the rest of the men, the couple explained what happened.  Afterward they all headed back to the base.

“It’s crazy to think that all of that was going on while we were fighting Johnny.” Kong muttered. The other gang members nodded their heads in agreement. It was much later in the evening. The men were still digesting everything Ash and Eiji had told them.

“No wonder they were acting so strange.” Bones said glancing over at the happy couple who had fallen asleep on the couch. After everything they had to do, Eiji and Ash had fallen conked out right away. Eiji’s head was resting on Ash’s chest while Ash’s arms were tightly wrapped around Eiji’s small body. The gang watched them sleep for a few minutes. It felt like forever since Ash had looked so calm. He barely slept while Eiji was away and even when he did it was unrestful and short. Now however he was deep in slumber. Eiji too looked relaxed. The gang could guess he didn’t sleep very soundly either. It was clear that the Japanese was feeling save, snug in Ash’s arms.  Watching the couple sleep made everyone feel calmer. Eiji was back and Ash was happy again. Everything was right in the world.

Chapter Text

Eiji ducked behind a create breathing heavily as he tried to catch his breath. He just needed to get to Alex, then everything would be alright. The Japanese took a deep breath as he attempted to silence his breathing. If he was too loud, he would be caught. He knew he only had a few minutes at most until he was found. As he sat in the dark warehouse behind the create his mind start to panic. He didn’t know what do to next. He was wasting time worrying about it instead of acting. He needed to do something now!

“Calm down.” Eiji hissed to himself as he closed his eyes. Panicking wouldn’t help him. He needed to sort out his thoughts and remember his directions.

Make sure you know you’re always aware of your surrounds.

Right he should be doing that. Eiji opened his eyes again and peaked out from one side of the create. He squinted to see his surroundings in the dark warehouse, using the small streaks of light that shown through high windows as a guide. From this angle he could see the few knocked over boxes that he had mistakenly ran into earlier. He also saw the broken jar that he had smashed in order to by himself some time. As he continued to scan the area, he spotted movement near a side door that led to an alleyway. Eiji ducked back behind the create his heart pounding.

If you need to see around corners use the camera on your phone.

Eiji pulled up his phone and popped up the camera. He slowly slid it out into the open and surveyed it. He saw a tall figure standing by the door. The Japanese zoomed in and saw that it was Alex. Eiji gave a sigh of relief as he relaxed. He put his phone away and thought of his next move. The dark-haired man wondered if he could make a break for it. After thinking that plan over he nixed it. He wasn’t fast enough to run that distance without getting caught. If running wasn’t an option, then he needed to find another place to hide. He could sneak around the warehouse until he got close enough to run. Eiji was about to look for the nearest hiding place when a horrible though occurred to him. Where was-

“Found you.” A soft voice said next to him. Eiji jumped up with a little scream, his legs trembling. He felt like he was going to fall over. Instead he forced himself to run. His only chance was to make it to Alex. As he took off in a dead sprint, he silently reprimanded himself for forgetting one of the rules.

Listen for footsteps and keep your senses sharp.

Eiji heard a snigger behind him followed by quickly approaching footsteps. Without turning around Eiji judged the distance between himself and Alex and the rapidly approaching person behind him. The Japanese’s heart sank as he realized he still wouldn’t make it to Alex in time. He only had one option left. He needed to try to defend himself. Without slowing down, Eiji spun around and using his momentum to kick his pursuer. His leg was easily caught. Eiji tried to break free but to no avail. He threw a punch which was a stupid move since it was also easily caught.  Now Eiji was down one arm and leg. Instantly the Japanese started to panic and thrash around.

Remember you aren’t defenseless. If you find yourself caught use pepper spray.

Eiji mustered up remaining strength and reached his free hand into his pocket. Before he could retrieve the pepper spray however, a hand swooped down and grabbed his arm. Eiji suddenly found himself flying through the air before landing on his back. His arms were pinned to the ground and he couldn’t sit up at all. Eiji kicked his legs and struggled but found that he was unable to move. A dark shadow loamed over him.

“Caught you.”

Eiji huffed and frowned up at Ash who was smirking down at him.

“You’re getting better.” The blond said amused. “You’ve managed to last 5 minutes now instead of 2. Impressive.” Eiji pouted and turned his head away from his boyfriend. He could feel his cheeks heat up at Ash’s mocking. He knew he was pathetic but that was why he wanted to practice.

After the whole mess with Johnny Eiji and Ash agreed that Eiji needed to learn how to protect himself.  Ash had started teaching Eiji self-defense. Since Ash refused to teach Eiji how to use a gun, the Japanese learned different ways to defend himself as well as techniques on escaping an enemy. The idea was not so Eiji could help Ash fight, but, if he was targeted, he would be able to away from trouble. According to the blond all Eiji really needed to do if he was in trouble would be to find someone in Ash’s gang to help him to safety and take care of the problem. That was why, in the practice matching, the goal was to get to Alex. The second in command represented anyone from Ash’s gang who would help. After each training session Ash would go over everything Eiji did wrong and help him learn different ways of surviving. If Eiji knew what to do when he was in trouble it wouldn’t matter if he panicked or not as long as he relied on his instinct,

Of course, there was one major downside to these practices. His opponent was Ash. Even after two weeks of training he never last more than 5 minutes.

“You know you could go easy on me.” Eiji sulked. “I don’t stand a chance against you.”

“What would you learn if I go easy on you?” Ash asked with a chuckle. Eiji turned to shoot his boyfriend an aggravated look. Ash laughed and unpinned the dark-haired man’s arms. Once Eiji’s arms were free he crossed them.

“If you won’t go easy on me then maybe I should train with someone else who isn’t as hard as you.”

“If you can hold your own against me.” Ash said. “Then you can hold your own against almost anyone.” He leaned down and kissed Eiji. “Besides you’re actually doing remarkably well. You’re starting to panic less when you’re cornered and you’re remembering the things I taught you.”

“You think so.” Eiji muttered not completely convinced. Ash chuckled again and kissed him gently.

“I know so.” The blond said soothingly. Eiji smiled shyly up at Ash as the American began to sit up. Before he got very far Eiji reached up and grabbed him around the neck. He pulled the blond down again.

“Wait let me catch my breath.” He said. Ash raised his eyebrows but still hugged him back.

“Every time I catch you, you want me to hold you while you ‘catch your breath’” the young gang leader commented. “You know, if you make catching you to desirable, it makes want to try harder to win. I should probably only snuggle with you after you are able to escape. Would that be a good incentive?”

“That’s cruel.” Eiji complained his eyes widening. “I won’t be able to struggle with you at all then!”

“You’ll eventually get better.”

“But that’ll take to long.” Eiji complained. Ash nuzzled his face in Eiji’s neck.

“You’re right.” He murmured. “That’s as much as a punishment for me as it is for you.” Eiji closed his eyes enjoying Ash’s presents.

“Alright that was five minutes. Time to practice again.” At Alex’s voice Eiji opened his eyes and looked up. The second in command was hovering near them staring at Eiji with a look that clearly said.

Seriously Eiji? You’re here to learn not to play with Ash.

Eiji’s face turned red and he released Ash. The blond, noticing Eiji’s embarrassment whipped around to see what the problem was. The second his boss turned to face him, Alex’s face went back to neutral. The gang leader eyed him suspiciously for a few more seconds before sitting up. Eiji sat up as well, already missing Ash’s warmth.

As much as he wanted to continue snuggling with Ash he knew Alex was right. The second in command was only drafted into their training after Ash realized how easily distracted Eiji was.  At first, they were just using an umbrella to represent a gang member who would help. The problem was, after Ash caught Eiji, he didn’t want to let him go. Eiji also didn’t help. It was much easier to just lay on the ground snuggling and kissing then to run around trying to avoid Ash. After the fifth failed attempt, when they only trained for two minutes before spending the next hour making out, Ash had decided they needed a third party to intervein.

Eiji at first didn’t want Alex there. It was embarrassing enough to lose to Ash without an audience. After a while he learned the benefits of having a third party. Alex would give Eiji some tips if he got discouraged. He also sympathy with Eiji having to go up against his boss. During these training matches it was just dawning on Eiji how dangerous Ash was as an enemy. He always knew Ash was dangerous, but since he constantly need of Ash’s protection, he didn’t quite realize just how little others stood a chance against his boyfriend. Now having to face Ash he was aware just how powerful he was. Although it was frustrated to try to outmaneuver the blond it also was a comforted to know how protected he was.

“What’re you looking at?” Ash asked raising an eyebrow. Eiji’s face turned red again. He must have been staring at Ash.

“Nothing.” He muttered. Ash raised his other eyebrow but before he could speak Alex siad.

“Alright, I set the timer. Eiji you have five minutes to hide.”  The couple nodded and Alex went off to find somewhere to wait for Eiji. Ash turned back to Eiji smiling.

“See you in a couple of minutes.” He said sweetly. Eiji pouted and crossed his arms. Ash smirked before closed his eyes. Eiji dropped his arms and took off running.

It might take a while but Eiji was planning on learning to defend himself. Once he could, he would be less of a burden to Ash. He also never wanted to get into a situation like the one with Johnny again. Just the thought made him shiver. If Ash hadn’t shown up…

Eiji shook his head fiercely. He needed to concentrate and find a place to hide. The dark-haired man wanted to learn everything he could to survive in this world. No one said being a gang leader’s boyfriend would be easy, but if learning to defend himself was the only way he could stay by Ash’s side and walk hand and hand with him into the future.

Well then it was a hurdle he would gladly take on.