Chapter 1: Hitman Jones
Alfred sighed as he walked down the nicely decorated hall to the room where Arthur Kirkland, one of the most feared mob bosses in town waited for him. Alfred knew he was only ever summoned when there was a very important, or very dangerous, mission at hand.
Soon Alfred stopped in front of a beautifully carved oak door which he knew lead to the gang's meeting room. He sighed again and opened the door, it creaked hideously.
"You really gotta' get these hinges oiled, dude," Alfred lamented as he entered.
"You mean 'got to,' kindly stop ruining the Queen's beautiful language. And I've said it before, and I'll say it again, I'll get to it, eventually," came a mildly annoyed, obviously British voice from inside the room.
The room was simple, it had a long table with chairs lining the sides. Two of the chairs were occupied at the moment. At the head of the table sat a rather short, blond haired man, with forest green eyes and hair that was more mustard yellow than Alfred's own wheat color. The man wore casual-formal beige pants, a short-sleeved, white button-up shirt with a green sweater and tie to top it all off. Next to him sat a much simpler looking Asian man, who had short, black hair, brown eyes and wore a simple black suit.
"I reckon you already know why you are here," the blond spoke.
"Yeah, you wanna have an epic threesome, don't you Artie?" Alfred joked.
The two at the table did not look so amused, Arthur was blushing and sputtering indignantly, while the Asian man, Kiku Honda, simply looked flustered, even if it didn't show on his usually emotionless face.
"Bloody git! You are here for a mission!" Arthur shouted angrily before he could calm himself. When he trusted himself not to strangle the American, he began to talk again. "This mission is very dangerous and risky so–"
"So you want his help, don't you?" Alfred cut in.
"Yes," this time it was Kiku who spoke. "He is our best chance at completing this mission. Judging his track record and reputation, we have deduced that out chances of success will be large if he is to carry out this particular mission."
"Alright then, what's the details?" Alfred questioned.
Street lamps lined the high-class neighborhood's empty streets, casting a faint, flickering glow on the concrete below. The posh and pristine houses all around were dark and quiet, there was no one around, it was to late at night, everyone was asleep. Even if there had been someone around, it would still have been hard to spot the figure dressed in dark clothes scaling one of the many-storied houses.
The figure was quick and quiet, precise and focused, a perfect hunter, looking for prey. As the dark figure reached its goal, a large window on the third floor, one of its strong arms reached down to a belt at its waist, the other still holding onto the window seal. A few tools were pulled free from the belt and the figure got to work, deconstructing the window as quietly as possible from the outside. Soon enough the frame became loose and the darkly dressed figure crawled through.
When the figure was sure it was out of sight of any possible peering eyes, it reached up and pulled off the dark hood covering its face. The dark material fell away to reveal a head of wheat colored blond hair and sharp, light blue eyes. "Now that that part's over," the man sighed, running a hand through his hair, smoothing down a strand of hair that bounced back up stubbornly, and putting on a pair of rectangular glasses. "Time for the fun part."
The blond searched the room, which happened to be a large study. He was glad he had found his way to this room first, it would save him time. He began to search through bookshelves and drawers until he eventually found his prize, an orange package of paper tied together with a red ribbon. The blond pulled out a folded piece of cloth from one of the few folds in his cloths and unfolded it into a bag, he stuffed the package in carefully and put the bag back into its place on his being. Next he approached a door on the other side of the room, he opened it and walked into it, before quickly realizing that the door was, in fact, just leading to a closet. He immediately stepped out and shut the door, happy that he was on a solo mission and didn't have a partner to laugh at him, not that anyone would dare. The blond nimbly crept towards the only other door in the room and opened it, this time peering out to make sure it wasn't another closet, it wasn't. It was a long hallway, which, he thankfully knew from heart by studying the blueprints he was given. The closet's position had given him the gist as to where he was in the house and where he needed to go. He was throughly surprised, however, that there was not many security measures. He did not see a chip nor a camera anywhere. But that didn't matter, he just had to find that room now. The lack of security just made his job easier.
Once again the man crept along the hallway, sliding in the shadows like a black panther tracking her prey. Soon, after going through the mental map again, the man stopped in front of a door, it was simple and unsuspecting, but the blond knew better. This was a dangerous job, even for him, he needed to be careful. The door was locked, but it was simple enough to pick. When he heard a quiet click from inside the door he knew he could start, he turned the door knob and prepared to quickly dispatch his target if the door creaking had disturbed him. Strangely, the door offered no resistance and silently opened on well-oiled hinges.
The blond looked into the dark room, his eyes had adjusted to the dim lighting long ago, so he could make out the large rises in the sheets on a bed in the center of the room. This was it, the room he would end his mission in. His finale goal: Assassinate rival mob boss, Ivan Braginski.
He snuck towards the bed, and pulled out another item from his belt of knick-knacks. This time it was one of his favorite tools, his sharp and trusty hunting knife. The blond raised the knife above his head as he snuck even closer to the bed. He was within a foot of the bed when he noticed something wrong.
The lump under the sheets was not moving. As in, it did not rise and fall in the peaceful pattern that sleeping people's chests usually did. How could he be so stupid?
He began to spin around to look for his prey, but he was to slow, he realized, as the hunter became the prey. He felt a needle jam into his arm and a substance injected into him and then blackness invaded his mind.
The darkness cleared and Jones realized that he was sitting on a very uncomfortable chair and could not move. He blinked quickly, trying to clear the haze blocking his vision. He surveyed his surroundings as best he could, as he had been taught to do oh-so many years ago, but he realized that he wasn't wearing glasses. Well, this is quite the predicament, Jones thought to himself. Then he heard the creak of a door somewhere behind him, and the sound of an amused chuckle.
"Happy, bastard?" He questioned.
"Very," a man with a thick Russian accent responded.
The man walked to stand in front of him. He could make out silvery blond hair as the man pulled out a stool from a nearby desk and sat down. The man reached forward and all of a sudden, Jones could see again and he felt the comforting weight of glasses on his nose. Jones looked up to see the smiling face of his captor, he smiled in turn. Both men's smile equally disturbing.
"So," the silver haired man began. "You are the famous Hitman Jones of the Kirkland group."
"And you are Ivan Braginski, leader of the General Winter group," Jones replied.
Ivan Braginski chuckled. "I am. And you, were sent to assassinate and steal important documents from me, da?"
"Da," Jones mocked in a Russian accent.
Ivan's grin darkened. "You will learn to regret challenging me. I'll be sure to have you begging for mercy at my feet."
"Is that a threat or a promise?"
Ivan hummed as he picked up a package from the desk, which, Jones noted, was cluttered with a variety of tools. The package was tied with a red ribbon, it was the one he had taken from the office he had climbed into.
"You recognize it, da? It is the important 'information' that was part of your mission, such a pity it was a decoy," Ivan said as he opened it and poured out its content of newspaper articles and a stack of stapled papers. "'Dry Fire Burns Down City Gang's Hideout,' 'Man Found Dead in Office, Barely Recognizable,' 'Woman Shot in the Head, Body Found With Over $50,000 Stolen Dollars'," Ivan read off. "All these were you, weren't they?"
"Ah! I have been caught! I'm sorry officer! Take me now!" Jones gasped dramatically.
Ivan's smile faltered a bit at the mock guilt. Jones watched as Ivan picked up the stapled papers from the package. He stiffened when he realized what it was. It was files on him, on Alfred. No matter how heartless Jones was, he had no choice but to be protective of Alfred, they were the same after all.
"I have yet to view these. Let's look through it, shall we?" Ivan giggled.
He reached to begin flipping through the files, but he never got the chance to finish when a hand flew forward and hit him square in the nose. Ivan flew back, stunned. Jones grabbed the files and grinned dementedly down at the tall man on the ground.
"Sorry 'bout that, sweetheart, but I can't have this information known by anyone," Jones looked at the tools on the table. Torture instruments. He grinned as he picked up a pair of large tweezers. "Shall I play with you?"
"Go ahead," Ivan growled, standing back on his feet.
Ivan assumed a fighting pose, hands up and in fists, knees bent and legs spread out evenly. Jones, however, was much more casual and relaxed.
"Now might I ask how you got your bindings off?" Ivan inquired.
"Simple. You can't contain a weapon," with that Jones leaped forward and stabbed the tweezers directly for Ivan's eye.
Ivan just barely managed to dodge, small drops of blood began seeping through a new cut on his cheek, the red stream merging with the blood running from Ivan's nose. It was a bit scary how Jones seemed to match his strength. No one Ivan had ever met before could oppose him. Ivan smiled. This should be interesting!
Jones swept to the side Ivan had dodged to and realized that the man was gone. He then felt a large, cool hand grab his wrist and twist. Jones grunted and dropped the tweezers. He then felt and elbow shove itself under his shoulder blade. Next he knew, he was on the floor with the Russian pinning him down from on top of him. It was a compromising position, Jones couldn't move anything except his legs. Jones knew what he could do, but he wasn't sure how it would turn out.
Jones kicked his legs up with all the strength he could muster, which was quite a bit, actually. The force sent Ivan flying over his head, and Jones ended up with his back to Ivan on his hands and knees. He quickly rose and turned to face Ivan, the man had landed in quite a strange position, he was up against a wall, slouched over, upside-down.
Jones wanted to laugh, in fact, he did laugh. He couldn't help it, it was to funny. Ivan looked up at him with blatant irritation. Jones had noticed the single, small window in the room and saw how it was beginning to darken outside. Had he been here that long? Jones sighed and looked over at the Russian man who was pushing himself up and preparing for revenge.
"Well, I'd love to stay and play, but it seems that I must go, I'm very late and I know Arthur will be very cross. Bye-bye!" Jones called as he pushed out the window.
"You don't plan to leave without a parting gift?" Ivan said as he himself raced towards the window, hoping to stop the blond's escape.
Jones turned around and stepped forward in such a way that, instead of a hard fist meeting his face, his and Ivan's mouths met and both became stunned. Ivan's quick approach had made him push Alfred against the wall, where they now stood, mouths still together, eyes still wide and confused. Finally, Jones made the first move, he pushed Ivan away and climbed out the window before any more blunders could be made.
Ivan simply stood in the room. He stood so long, in fact, that he barely noticed the moon rising and the darkness filling the room. He felt strange, he had had the perfect chance to dispatch the infamous Hitman Jones, and he wasted it. But, Ivan thought to himself, he also had the chance to kill me.
Alfred woke up with a dull ache throbbing on his back. Had he slept wrong? Did he need a new mattress? Or perhaps it was left over from his mission the other night. Alfred still couldn't believe it, Arthur had informed him that he had not succeeded in his mission. For this reason, the mission was still ongoing, but Arthur had told him that he would not permit him going out again until he has his bearings together and could handle the job. However, Hitman did not like being underestimated. Or losing.
Alfred looked at a note pad that rested on his desk. He used it to communicate with Jones. For as long as he could remember, Alfred and Jones had shared their body with a few simple rules: No harming the body intentionally. No romantic interaction unless approved by the other half. And the most important one, the one that kept the peace, no invading the other half's 'out time.' It was simple. Jones had control at night, and Alfred had control during the day. This was now starting a fight, however. Alfred looked at the handwriting on the page that was different from his own, yet still his.
I can't believe this. It was not my fault that the mission failed, it was yours! You broke the rule when that bastard kissed us, I would've killed him right there, but you held me back! He could've killed us in that moment and it would have been your fault!
Alfred sighed. He didn't even remember going out. It might have just been Jones discovering his weakness. Alfred wanted to laugh at that. The infamous Hitman Jones, weak to kisses and cuddles.
Alfred's thoughts were interrupted by his cellphone ringing. He looked at the caller ID which read "Artie Grouchland," Alfred chuckled, his contact names were the best and never failed to make him smile.
He clicked the answer button and practically shouted, "'Sup, Iggy!"
He heard an annoyed grumble from the other end followed by Arthur's tired voice, "I've told you about those silly nicknames, and I am not in the mood. Anyway, I have a job for you. After your shift at the pub we have some cleaning up to do. You know the usual place, and please, for the love of God and everything good, don't mess around."
Alfred was about to respond but Arthur hung up before he could get a word in. He huffed. "Grouchland."
Alfred sighed as he signed the paper that verified he had showed up at work and left too. He was signing out earlier than usual today. It wasn't his fault, a bunch of drunk bastards had decided it was a good idea to grope him. He nearly broke their faces open, and so he was told to go home early. Most people would be happy to be sent home early, but for him, it meant having to 'clean up' a mess earlier than expected. He was not looking forward to it, that was for sure.
It took him a couple of hours to drive to the dumping area. The dumping area was the forest a few hours out of town, no one ever went there, except for the gangs. Everyone knew about the gangster powers, even the police, but nobody did anything or else they too would end up in the dumping area. But the one good thing about the dumping area was that it was No Mans Land, no one gang owned it, but every group had their own section of the forest.
Alfred walked silently as he swung a large shovel all about, handling it like a large, uneven staff. Hitman wasn't the only one who could fight, obviously, it was just that Hitman was better at it.
Alfred was merciful, and Hitman was merciless. Day and night trapped in the same body.
There was a long history of how and why Hitman Jones came to be, but Alfred did not talk if it to anyone, only a select few knew of the story. Once upon a time there was one person who knew the story, it was a therapist who had tried to help, she was very nice and caring, but Hitman enjoyed killing recklessly in childhood, so it was an unfortunate night when she had come into their room to check up on them only to be jumped on and strangled with thin bedsheets. Alfred didn't like to think of what she might have seen last: his body, the smiley child of the day, or his eyes, the murderous psychopath of the night.
Alfred was brought from his thoughts when he made it to the spot where an occupied body bag lay. Alfred sighed and got to work, shoving the shovel into the dirt, lifting it out, throwing it into a pile, and repeating. He repeated until he had a good, six-foot deep hole that was the length and width of the body bag. Alfred, not wanting to have to touch the bagged corpse, began to push the body into the hole with his shovel, meanwhile, unbeknownst to him, a certain Russian mafia boss had just finished up enjoying burying his own prey and was heading straight in Alfred's direction.
Quick note to help you understand Alfred and Jones: During times of physical and/or mental weakness, a personality can take over more easily, a personality may be able to force its way out, or it can be forced out. However, when one personality is 'out', the other will not be aware of what is going on 'outside'. This can leave a personality rather helpless if it is called out in a desperate time.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
Alfred jumped when he heard footsteps in the foliage off to his side, he had been resting on an old tree stump after finishing his job, not wanting to go back and face the world just yet. Now, he was on his butt, scrambling to get to his feet and into a defensive pose if anyone or anything came at him. The shuffling in the trees had stopped, so, either whatever was there was gone, or waiting for him to lower his guard, or, you know, it was just the wind. Alfred didn't sense anything, so he guessed it might've just been the wind, he relaxed a little bit, just enough for him to become aware of how hot he was.
His dark clothing and mask combined with the beating summer sun made him sweat a river. Small salty drops ran down his body in a way that was sort of ticklish. Man, did he need to cool down.
Alfred knew that, despite being a gang-claimed area, the forest was a very beautiful place, when you got over the stench of human decay thing, that is. Alfred, himself, knew of a place that was relatively free of unmarked graves and other people.
Alfred set off walking until he pushed through a patch of familiar trees. He took on the astounding beauty of the place he had found oh-so long ago. It was a small waterfall that fell into a clean, crystal pool. It was always cool and beautiful there because it was concealed by trees so thick you could barely see through them. Alfred giggled with childish glee as he threw off his mask and dark clothing, jumping into the surprisingly deep pond with nothing but his boxers on. The water was cool and refreshing on his hot, clammy skin.
Alfred splashed and swam about the small area of the the pond, shoving his head beneath the cool waterfall and laughing. This was one of the few places he could return to the childhood he never had. He was free here, completely free. He was safe here, completely safe–
Another rustling in the forest cut of his musing and playing, he had completely forgotten about keeping his guard up, and now he was defenseless in the water. Alfred began to panic when someone pushed through the branches he had come through just minutes—or had it been hours?—ago.
Alfred squeaked—in a very manly way, mind you—and almost completely submerged himself in the water, leaving his nose and eyes above so he could breathe and see. The new person had silvery hair and violet eyes. Alfred noticed, with a slight blush, that the man was rather attractive. Tall, with a childish face. The man was wearing a long, thick coat and a scarf, Alfred observed, and he wondered how the man hadn't collapsed from the heat yet. Alfred also noticed that he seemed familiar. They had probably passed each other on the street somewhere.
Ivan, himself, was scanning his surroundings until his eyes landed on the soaking head sticking part way up from the water, it had wheat blond hair and clear blue eyes that matched the magnificent crystal blue of the water. Ivan knew those features well.
"So, it is you, da?" Ivan asked.
Alfred was distracted for a moment by the stranger's—sexy—accent, but he recovered quickly, "What? Have we met?"
This answer puzzled Ivan, but then, he thought, this might be a sneaky tactic, fool him into thinking he had the wrong person. But it might not be him after all, he was completely submerged except his head after all, and his manner of speech was not the same.
"Get out of the water," Ivan ordered.
"Nah dude, I'm good here," Alfred responded, not willing to be seen in only his underwear, especially by this—attractive—stranger.
Ivan sighed, he was not willing to get wet, but he was not willing to let this person—who may or may not be his assassin—get away. He pulled out his hand gun from his coat, and watched in amusement as Alfred recoiled in the water.
"Hey, man! This is neutral territory! No fighting here!" Alfred exclaimed, suddenly finding the stranger a little less hot.
Ivan hummed in thought, "It doesn't matter if no one finds the body, da?"
Ivan prepared to shoot, his mistake, however, was blinking. As soon as his eyes closed, Alfred shot out of the water and tackled Ivan with inhuman speed. Alfred ended up straddling Ivan at his waist, hands clamped over his neck in case he tried anything. Ivan was shocked for just a moment, but then he smirked at the confirmation that this person was his assassin.
Alfred, too, had made a mistake when he tackled Ivan. He secured the neck, but not his hands. With this fatal mistake in his favor, Ivan raised a fist and slammed it into Alfred's cheek, sending him flying. Alfred had landed near the place he had thrown his clothing and gear earlier. He grabbed his shovel, holding his wounded cheek in his hand.
"Bastard," Alfred grumbled, then he charged Ivan, who had, in turn, taken out his own weapon, his favorite metal faucet pipe. Alfred couldn't help but wonder where these weapons cane from, that coat was huge after all.
Alfred had jumped to add some force to his attack as he brought the blade of his shovel down, aiming for Ivan's shoulder. Ivan was able to intercept the attack with his pipe, catching the shovel by the shoulder with the curve of his pipe. He yanked his pipe, which sent the shovel flying behind him, and leaving Alfred defenseless. Alfred, however, had realized this long before the shovel left his hands, and was already prepared to punch Ivan. He did. Hard.
Ivan was sent backwards, hand clutching his stomach. Only a few had ever been able to harm him like this before. Ivan giggled, a strange sound, a kind of mix between a child's laugh and a howler monkey's call—which was a terrifying mix. Alfred flinched.
"I'm glad I had Toris clear my evening schedule," Ivan mused before he grabbed up his pipe and ran at Alfred, he feinted right, and swung from the left while Alfred had gone to defend his other side.
"You seem slower than our last encounter," Ivan observed as Alfred crashed into a tree. "Why is that?"
Alfred spat out a bit of blood and 'tsk'ed, but when he heard Ivan's question, it clicked. The stranger's accent was Russian, and you know the only Russian person he knew of? Ivan Braginski. And you know who Ivan Braginski was? The person Hitman was sent to—and failed to—kill. And you know what this person is close to finding out? Alfred's "daytime" identity. Alfred couldn't allow that, for the sake of his life, social and not, he couldn't allow that. These whirled about his mind, so he did something he may or may not regret. He forced Jones out.
Meanwhile, Ivan was taking confident, but cautious, steps towards his assassin, preparing a finishing blow, when a noise stopped him in his tracks. It was a laugh. Coming from the blond. Ivan watched as the blond lifted his head, revealing his face that was partly shadowed by bangs. This face was different from the naively innocent face he had been battling moments ago, this face was insane and sadistic. It was the face from some nights before, the first time a captive had escaped his grasp. This was it.
This was Hitman Jones.
I'm sorry if I'm terrible at portraying the characters accurately, and I know that I am very bad at writing action scenes, so there's that too. Man, I'm a terrible writer, I have no idea what I'm doing!
"Ah, well this is new, Alfie rarely ever forces me out, I wonder what the occasion is," Jones mused before looking up.
If not for years of training, Ivan would have shuddered with the way the blond was looking at him. Like a hunter observing prey.
"Oh! We meet again," Jones smiled. "A pity that it will be the last time."
"For which one of us, I wonder?" Ivan responded.
Without another word, the blond man surged forward. Ivan had trouble anticipating what Hitman would do, he was unarmed after all, so he assumed he would turn to punching him. Ivan got ready to intercept Hitman's attacks with his pipe, he knew that it could easily break someone's hand if they hit it hard enough. As Jones raised his fist, Ivan saw his leg also lift off the ground. Using the velocity he had built up while running, he sent his foot right into Ivan's stomach, knocking him backwards. Ivan had barely any time to react, but he managed to slam his pipe down, and with the way he was currently falling, he was lucky to hear a sharp crack. Ivan watched, quite proud of his mini victory, as Jones fell to the ground with a cry.
"Shit," Jones cursed. He was pretty sure that his leg was at least dislocated, but it was most likely broken. I could force Alfred out, no one would dare touch his puppy face, he hasn't got a lot, but he has that for sure, Jones thought to himself.
Ivan stood over the grounded hitman, pipe raised, victorious smile, and dominating aura. He began sending the pipe downwards, but he stopped just an inch from the finishing blow. Something strange happened to the hitman's face, again. His clear blue eyes—which Ivan would be lying if he said the weren't attractive—were wide and frightened, something looked. . . younger about him.
"What are you?" Ivan wondered out loud, pipe still posed a mere inch from the blond's head.
"Are you going to finish me or not? I'm defenseless and I literally cannot move," Alfred asked Ivan, ignoring the other's previous question.
Yes, there was definitely something different. Was it in the way he spoke, his mannerisms? Ivan's thoughts were drawn away when he realized that the other was, quite literally, halfway naked. Ivan never thought of anything but work, but in that moment, a new, strange thought entered his mind. He crouched down in front of the immobile man, careful to secure the other' hands before he moved closer. Alfred, in the meantime, was very confused. He was wounded and the perfect prey, why was he not dead yet?
Ivan forced Alfred to look straight at him as he moved forward, closing the distance between their faces slowly until their lips met each other. Alfred began freaking out, trying to wriggle way as he became more and more aware of his unclothed state. Ivan kept his eyes open, looking at the other's face, studying it. Then he pulled away.
"You are different, yet you are the same, who and what are you?" Ivan demanded.
Alfred, however was busy blushing and shouting curses at the man above him, but neither of them noticed the flash of a bright red mask behind the trees until the new person stepped out into the open, a gun aimed at Ivan. Ivan looked over at the new person and scowled.
"Of course cowards never travel alone," he mumbled, the comment drawing an indignant comment from the man below him.
Ivan got up and began walking away, hands up to the gun-wielding person. He looked back at Alfred one last time and said, "I will find you, and all of your secrets," before disappearing into the trees.
Alfred let out a shuddering breath before looking at the red masked person.
"Mattie, thank fuck that you're here!" Alfred sighed before pausing. "Wait, when the fuck did you get here? I thought you were still in Canada!"
"Well I came back, and you should be glad I did, eh?" Mattie laughed before approaching. "What exactly did you do to make someone like that attack you in a neutral territory? He fucking broke your leg!"
"He did?" Alfred gasped. "I knew it hurt for some reason, but fuck. . . it's broken?"
"You're such an idiot, how could you not know your own leg was broken?"
"Well. . . I guess it happened when, you know, he was out."
Matthew paused. "Oh," he said simply before continuing. "Well anyway, I went to Arthur's to see where you were after you weren't at the bar, he told me that he didn't have "A bloody clue" because it had been hours since he sent you to bury someone. I'm glad I found you before anything serious happened. Nothing serious happened, right? Besides your leg?"
Alfred thought back. "Well that dude saw me basically naked, if that counts," Alfred joked before pausing. "Holy shit!"
Matthew looked worried, "What? What happened?"
Alfred hesitated, should he tell Matthew? They were brothers after all, they never hid anything from each other, but this was different, wasn't it? What should he do? Alfred looked up sheepishly, "Well, for some reason, I don't know why, don't ask me. I mean like, I do know why, after all, who could resist–"
"Alfred," Matthew glared. "What. Happened?"
"Um. . . Well," Alfred blushed a little, "he k-kissed me?"
It has been four years since I worked on this. First of all, I was in, like, seventh grade when I started this, I am now about to be a senior and my writing and planning skills actually got worse so yeehaw. Second, I haven't been terribly invested in Hetalia in quite a while, like, I have no idea what's going on in the fandom right now. Third, I have been taking so many advanced and honors classes that I have forgotten how to relax and generally function. Fourth, I can't remember where this story was supposed to go so I am just picking up what I have and attempting to build a cathedral out of the foundations for a dirt shack. The important this is that I am back (for now, I might disappear again, who knows).
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Kissed you?” Mattie shouts for perhaps for the twentieth time since leaving the forest, causing a headache for Alfred and all his neighbors who had the misfortune to be home when the rampaging blond stormed into the building.
“Yes Mattie, now shut up about it, it’s not that big of a deal!” Alfred shouted back, just barely managing to catch his apartment door before it slammed shut completely. “Actually it was pretty weird, like, he made this really intense eye contact the whole time and I swear he was about to stick his—”
“Nope! No no no, I don’t want to hear about your freaky teenage wet-dream make out session!”
“Well you were the one making a totally big deal about it in the first place,” Alfred pouted.
Matthew sighed and leaned against one of the stained walls of Alfred’s apartment, “I wasn’t making a totally big deal…”
Alfred raised an eyebrow at that, just as the old man from next door (who smoked way too many packs a day) banged on the wall and shouted for them to “quiet the fuck down” or else he’d come over and quiet them himself.
“Okay, fine, but Al, I’m just worried about you, like, why would he do that in the first place, eh?”
“Damned if I know, but He was sent to assassinate that dude just a couple days ago and that didn’t turn out too good either. Maybe He did something weird to this Braginski dude that made him do that? Who knows, I bet the guy is just a creepy bastard anyway, I mean he is a mob boss, and you know how creepy Arty is? Probably just comes with the territory.”
“Al, I don’t think you are taking this seriously enough, this could become a serious problem!”
“Dude, this guy almost killed Jones, I am just using humor to cope with the fact I could have died twice within a very short amount of time by the same hand and probably have the same possibility of imminent doom within the near future. I think I am taking this plenty serious, ‘specially since it is my life on the line.”
Matthew stood silently for a moment before mumbling, “I am only trying to look out for you, Al.”
“Matt, I don’t need you to look out for me, I’m the big brother here, remember? I do the whole ‘looking out for’ thing, you do the whole “OMG Alfred you’re my hero! I love you so much and you’re the most awesome and badass person in the world!” thing, alright?”
“Fine, whatever, not my problem if you die a horrible brutal death at the hands of the mafia… But,” he paused, “just remember if you want to just, I don’t know? Stop? One day, you can just hit me up, me and Gil can help you get out, eh?”
“First of all, you just described my entire life, second, Mattie, you know there is practically no way for me to stop, right? Now get outta here ya loser, I gotta go to the bar later and I wanna try and get some sleep in before then.”
With a terse goodbye and a pitying look from the younger, the two brothers parted ways.
“Hey blondie, a little help over here, yeah?”
“Coming right over sir!” Alfred hid his low growl with a bright smile as he glided over to the impatient customer to refill the man’s drink and probably spit in it on the way back.
Never let it be said that Alfred hated his day job. Quite the opposite, he loved it, his boss and fellow employees were friendly and most of the customers were respectful and tipped well, but there was always that occasional customer or two who insisted on being a burden on society, trying to cop a feel, or cause other unnecessary trouble for the sake of being an asshole. In these cases, Alfred acted not only as your friendly neighborhood bartender, but also as the terrifying bouncer that people never take seriously until they need to (and boy do they need to). Unfortunately, Toris, the owner, said he could only physically kick people out when they began disturbing the other patrons or getting physical themselves. Of course there were a couple times Alfred simply lost it and could not handle some people for longer than a second, it’s a miracle he didn’t simply unleash Jones on the idiots. Miraculously, Toris never fired him, instead switched him to kitchen duty when it became obvious Alfred was about to break.
Now was about that time he was narrowing the end of his rope, so he was not surprised when he felt a gentle tap on his shoulder and heard the short brunet’s timid voice ask him to switch out with Feliks in the kitchens.
“Can do boss,” Alfred shot double finger guns as he walked backwards through the swinging door to the back.
Fate is such a strange and wonderful thing isn’t it? Because just as the doors swung shut behind him, one Ivan Braginski stepped through a different door into the very room Alfred had just left.
“Privet, Toris,” Ivan hailed the timid man.
Without further prompting, Toris hurried behind the bar, pulling an expensive bottle of imported vodka from a locked compartment, kept secret and safe for special customers. Well, customer. Singular.
Contrary to popular belief, Toris Laurinaitus was no coward. No, during his own glory days he was the leader of his own gang, a rather strong one too, but he knew when he was beat. When Kirkland and General Winter moved in, Toris and his boyfriend, Feliks, both took their respective gangs and quietly disbanded, falling under the rule of other, stronger, groups who moved in. Toris happened to fall under General Winter, despite his best efforts to stay neutral, Braginski seemed to take a liking to him.
He could not escape. It seemed like no one who caught the poisonous violet gaze of that man could escape.
So, Toris was sure to use the best glass and spill not a drop of the clear, strong alcohol.
He was no coward. He was, however, a man.
Keeping a practiced, steady, hand, he slid the glass over to Ivan, who caught it effortlessly. Gracefully bringing the crystal to his lips.
A man with functioning survival instincts.
A weak, drunken push causes a small stream to fall right down the front of Ivan’s no doubt expensive shirt. However that is not the reason Toris stiffens and prepares to witness murder.
There, on Ivan’s precious scarf, a spot of liquid stain, seeping into the fibers, darkening. Darkening like the cold amethyst of Ivan’s eyes.
The bear of a man stood up, coat flaring menacingly and he pinned his “assailant” with his dangerous eyes. The drunkard gulped, but, unlike Toris, this man obviously had no survival instinct.
“Oi, Toris, you gonna let dirty pigs into this bar now? It was one thing to have useless blonds working for you, but for this, you might get health coded!” the man jeered, attempting to look over Ivan’s shoulder at him.
Ivan seemed to get larger then, “the only pig I see in here is you. Fortunately for you I am in a good mood, and don’t like pork. It would do you good to walk out of my sight before I make it so you can not even crawl,” he grinned and reached into the depths of his coat dangerously.
Toris was no coward. He was a survivor. He had instinct.
“Hey Alfie, just heard there was almost, like, a fight by the bar, wanna bet it was the same loser who was trying to get at it with you?” Alfred smelled Feliks long before he was beside him. The short blond always seemed to have the lingering smell of onions on him.
“Dude I wouldn’t be surprised, the guy was already drunk and an asshole, I’d love to see his ass beat, better yet, I’d like to be the one to beat it myself,” Alfred snorted, flicking some hair out of his face.
“Yeah but, this guy apparently decided to throw one at Torry’s best customer, he got, like, vodka or something all over him.”
“Bro, that’s so not cool, hope he got a good sock in the face, or balls. Or both.”
“He will probably be getting worse, honestly.”
“Banned from the bar hopefully, should have happened long ago if you ask me.”
Feliks gave Alfred a strange look, the kind you give a kid when they ask where babies come from. The ‘I know something you don’t know, and I won’t tell you because you are too pure’ kind of look. The kind of look that Alfred knows well because he has been on the receiving end of it oh so often. Quite honestly that look infuriated him because he saw it so often when he was younger, asking where his brother and parents were and never being told because—
No, no reason to get worked up about the past. No good will come from it.
“Well, whatever. Torry’s taking the customer to his office to get him cleaned up, and he told me to tell you specifically not to bother them,” Feliks declared jokingly.
Feliks simply laughed as he went back to the bar room.
Curiosity is a hell of a drug. It’s not the kind you take one hit of and either become immediately addicted or turned off of. It is the kind you take once because you’re bored, then twice because you saw someone else do it, then three times because you remember what it felt like the first time and second time, then so on and so forth. Alfred has been plenty curious in his life. It has led him to terrible terrible events before… but it has also led to some of his greatest adventures. So, naturally, Alfred leaves the kitchen, sneaking deeper into the backrooms, towards the simple wooden door he knows to be Toris’s office.
The door is cracked just slightly (the hinges had always been a bit weird, he had asked Toris to let him fix it at one point, but now he’s glad that never happened). Alfred peaked in, scanning the room within the limited angle of view he had. It took him just a second to focus his eyes on the sole occupant of the office…
Here it is. Chapter 6.... after 4 years. Funny story, when I was going back through my stuff I found a completed draft of this chapter, but I had forgotten all about it evidently, and I had already started to make a new version of the chapter and the two ended up pretty different so I stared at them both for, like, an hour and decided to use the new one. Who knows when chapter 7 will come?
Ivan allowed Toris to escort him to the office in the back where the shorter man nervously offered to replace his dampened clothes. Ivan accepted the change of clothes Toris so graciously kept around in case Ivan stopped by with conspicuous traces of certain… substances... that would surely draw a lot of attention in the streets. He also parted–regretfully–with his lightly dripping scarf, which Toris almost reverently handled away to be cleaned and dried.
With nothing better to do, Ivan simply made himself at home in Toris’s small office, settling heavily into the leather chair behind the desk. As he got bored, Ivan began examining the contents of Toris’s desk drawers. Most of the content was as bland as the rest of the office, but beneath a stack of heavily inked papers, a dull glint caught Ivan’s attention. Curiously Ivan nudged papers out of his way and grabbed an old pen delicately between two fingers.
A gold carved eagle adorned the head of the pen, making it uncomfortably unbalanced as exaggeratedly long tail feathers twisted down to the tip of the pen, trapping dark polished wood in a golden cage. The design reminded him of something, something he could not quite place.
The pen was not in the best condition, the gold was dull and wood polish was foggy, there were small chips in the eagle’s tail, and a thin crust of dried ink clung to the point of the pen. Experimentally, Ivan dragged the pen across a piece of scrap paper on Toris’s desk, the old ink flaked off onto the paper, but nothing else came of the motion. Naturally, Ivan did as any other person would when something doesn’t work as they want it to.
Ivan began to furiously scribble at the page so hard he ripped the paper and ended up sending the poor old pen halfway across the room, rolling to a stop at the foot of an unassuming filing cabinet.
Truly Ivan was tempted to simply leave the useless thing there, but he supposed he might do Toris the favor of not endangering him with the tripping hazard. After all, Toris being indisposed would probably prove inconvenient to him in the future. The man was very good at gathering intel after all.
So Ivan stood from his comfortable spot in Toris’s chair and went to scoop up the hazard. As he straightened, he ended up face to face with a neat, hand-written label of the top compartment; “Employee Information”. Well, Ivan had nothing better to do while waiting for his old clothes to come back to him, so he decided he might as well continue snooping into things. This was a simple childish pleasure of Ivan’s, looking through and taking things that weren’t his just to see if someone would notice or dare reprimand him. With that in mind, he absentmindedly slipped the eagle pen into his coat while he opened the cabinet.
There were not many files in the drawer, more than half of the drawer was empty. Of course, that was to be expected, as it was a rather small business so not many employees were necessary. Less employees made it easy to control everyone and keep track of them anyway.
As he fingered through the files, occasionally pulling out manila files and looking through the personal information of some employees (which is definitely not the most illegal thing he has ever done, far from it really) one name caught his attention. It was just the last name, and of course Ivan did not expect much because it really was quite a common American name, but his interest was still piqued. And so Ivan pulled out the employee file labelled “JONES, ALFRED”.
There was no picture, just a name and basic features listed along with an address and phone numbers, but it really seemed like a possibility. Still, there was no way, it was too good to be true. Surely Jones was just an alias, no professional would use their real name to sign their work, much less use the same name for civilian information. But here it was:
NAME: Jones, Alfred F.
HEIGHT: 177 cm
ADDRESS: 420 Blaze St, Building B, Apartment #69
Of course there could be hundreds of blue eyed young men named Jones just in this city, but this truly was intriguing to Ivan. Even if it did just lead to nothing, Ivan quickly took note of all the information he could, committing it memory as fast as he could before replacing the file in the drawer, right where it was before. Untouched.
Ivan fucking Braginski was here, at his work, in his boss’s office, just. . . relaxing! As if he owned the place. Alfred could not believe it, how did he find him? Did he even know? Was this just a coincidence? Was Toris being intimidated by him? Damnit, Alfred had no idea what was going on, so, naturally, he ran. He made sure his steps were completely silent until he was over half way down the hallway, whisper-shouting for Toris.
Alfred almost crashed completely into Feliks in his hysterical rampage of confusion and fear. Out of breath, he desperately begged Feliks to tell him where Toris was. Before Feliks even completely answered him, directing him to the employee break room, Alfred was continuing his mad dash; leaving a very confused and mildly concerned Feliks in his wake.
Slamming open the door to the break room, Alfred shouted out for Toris, effectively scaring the ever living scheiße out of the poor brunet man. Barging completely into the room, Alfred firmly grabbed Toris’s shoulders.
“A-Alfred? What happened?” Toris stuttered.
“Toris, my dude, my best bro. . . did you know that Iv-I mean this weird stranger dude is inside your office, right now?” Alfred gasped out.
Suddenly Toris’s face darkened in what Alfred could only interpret as utter terror as he whispered, “Alfred. . . please tell me you did not disturb him. Please for the love of God tell me you didn’t bother him! Better yet, did he see you? Hear you? Even smell you, please Alfred. Please!” Toris’s voice rose in volume and desperation as he went on, muttering in fear.
“No, no, Toris, I don’t think he even knew I saw him, bro is Iv– is this dude threatening you? Are you in danger?” Alfred questioned frantically. He would not allow Ivan to harm Toris (or Feliks or the nice old couple that would come in on Saturday evenings to chat with him or any other person he cherished).
Toris knew Alfred very well, and knew very well Alfred was probably planning on confronting Ivan if he didn’t talk the poor idiot with his hero-complex down. “No! Alfred he is just. . . an acquaintance. He was, um, assaulted, earlier in the bar and his clothes got a bit dirty so I offered to clean them,” he gestured to the machines at the back wall of the break room the employees used in case of spills and other messes, which were currently humming with the faint sound of wet cloth being tossed around inside.
Alfred stared, not convinced, for obvious reasons, but he understood. Toris was trying to protect him, he knew. After all, he believed Alfred was just a poor kid with a hero-complex and shining personality, and Alfred intended to keep up that appearance, at least for Toris. So he let it go. Or, at least, he made it appear that way on the outside. On the inside, Alfred was reviving his burning desire to end Ivan Braginski with his own two hands because he was obviously threatening Toris somehow. For how long, he didn’t know and he knew he could not ask, but he had a sneaking suspicion this had been going on for longer than Alfred had even known Toris. He could do nothing about that, but it did serve to infuriate him even more.
“Alfred. . . why don’t you take the rest of the night off?” Toris suggested softly.
“. . . Fine,” Alfred conceded, still fuming slightly, and planning the most glorious murder in his mind. It involved fireworks and an Asian black bear. He thought it was a pretty cool plan.
Still sensing murderous intent, Toris revised, “Actually, why don’t you take the next week off? Paid of course.”
Alfred’s shoulders slumped and he even dared to employ his most dangerous weapon: puppy eyes, but still Toris stood firm. And so, Alfred sighed and pulled off his small black apron, shoving it into his employee locker along with his name tag while he pulled out his change of casual clothes and bag. Ever the modest gentleman, Toris left the room so Alfred could change out of his uniform, saying he should get back to work.
Left alone in the break room, Alfred began to change, unbuttoning his work shirt and pants. His chest was exposed and pants sagging low on his hips when he heard the door open again.
“Toris, I will be leaving now, so I will be taking my scarf at least. Someone will be by to pick up the rest–” Ivan Braginski himself was stopped in the doorway, gaze obviously not on Alfred’s face.
Considering he had been seen by the man in much less than he currently was wearing, he should not have been as embarrassed as he was. Regardless, Alfred yelped and immediately pulled his shirt to cover his chest, cheeks filling with blood.
Still standing in the threshold of the door, Ivan seemed almost as off-guard as Alfred. The two simply stared at each other for what felt like a solid five minutes, not even blinking before the situation seemed to catch up to the both of them. Alfred relaxed his grip on his clothes, slowly standing straight and turning to face Ivan fully.
“Um, well. . . I don’t know what the protocol for revealing your secret identity is so, hi? Surprise?” Alfred felt his blush deepen with how stupid that sounded.
Ivan stared even more, gaze drifting all over Alfred’s body before settling on his face. “You seem oddly nonchalant. If I didn’t know any better I’d say you don’t care that I have just discovered your cover, Hitman Jones－or rather, Alfred? I must say I am surprised, you don’t seem to have put any effort into your alias, you even use the same last name.”
“First of all, who says I don’t care, on the inside I am screaming and planning an epic escape and new identity. Second, who says “Alfred Jones” is my alias?”
Another staring contest ensued, each waiting for the other to make a move. Neither did before Alfred sighed, carefully turning his back to Ivan as he began to continue changing. He felt the intense gaze of violet eyes bearing into his back, watching each new inch of skin exposed.
After managing to successfully change without having a nervous breakdown (or knife in the back), Alfred turned to Ivan once again and said, “So I don’t know about you, but I ain’t actually in the mood for a fight, so how about you fuck off and I fuck off and we pretend we never met, deal?”
The casual manner in which he was addressed certainly caught the Russian man off guard. Dare he say this was the closest he had gotten to a normal civilized conversation in a while. The fact he was having any sort of mildly friendly conversation with his would-be killer was certainly a feat in and of itself. Ivan found himself once again looking into the crystalline blue eyes of the young man before him, really looking into them when he realized it.
There was a certain lack of something: that beautiful murderous intent he had carved into his mind ever since his first encounter with Kirkland’s famous hitman. In the eyes before him he saw only mild exhaustion and wariness. These pure eyes were as lovely as the murderous, Ivan decided he rather liked them as he heard himself say, “Deal.”
I don't know what kind of info employers keep on employees don't @ me.
@ Ivan for not knowing old fountain pens need ink wells.
Chapter 8: no update lol
Y'all my girlfriend started reading my fanfic over on ff.net and I lowkey am really embarrassed bc now she's seen all of the gay porn I've written and she says she loves my writing but I am still so embarrassed because, y'know.... smut and literally everything I've written is so cringey and shallow and actually writing is so hard, like even right now I have no idea what I'm doing with this "story". Basically what I'm saying is I am a disgrace to everyone I know and have no idea what i'm doing with my writing or my life lol.
Anyway, school is also about to start again soon so I will probably disappear for another five years until I get my imagination and life in check.