Ghost In The Shell Fan Fiction ❯ Ghost in the Shell: Once Burned, Twice Shy ❯ Once Burned Two ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

Once Burned: Part Two

"This is going to be lots of fun," Yayoi sighed as they got into an unmarked cruiser, starting it up and moving off into the rain.

"Well, let's hope no one decides to take a shot at her," Motoko smiled slightly, "maybe while we're watching over her we can get some snuggle time in."

Yayoi laughed softly, flashing a fond smile while expertly maneuvering them through rain drenched streets, "You're bad."

The hotel that Dr. Gretchen Phillips was staying in was one of the city's best, though she thought their security was a bit weak. They didn't even try to confirm that Motoko and Yayoi's ID were genuine before letting them go up to the lady's suite. A mostly unenhanced security guard stood at the door, giving the two of them a suspicious glare.

Motoko presented her ID, Yayoi following her lead. "We're here to provide security for Dr. Phillips while she's in town," Motoko explained.

The burly man looked them over a moment before muttering, "Dr. Phillips is just going to love having you two around."

Yayoi gave him a sympathetic glance, "Don't I know it."

A flash of a smile, "Then you'd better go on in, she was complaining earlier about the additional security being late."

A blonde haired woman was pacing the room, and Motoko instantly recognized her as Dr. Gretchen Phillips. "Where have you been" the blonde growled, then did a visible doubletake at getting a good look at them. "You're cyborgs?" she scowled, "Why did they send.. never mind, I want to speak with you're superiors, right now."

"I'm not sure that'll really help you," Yayoi fought back a slight smile as she explained, "first you'll get the run-around, then when you do finally reach our boss he'll probably just tell you that we're all he has available."

"So instead of wasting all of that time," Motoko said crisply, "why don't we get you to the conference so you can do your speech on time?"

Gretchen's jaw worked as she ground her teeth together for a moment, then with a loud "Damn it!" she grabbed her briefcase and coat and was out the door.

"I guess that counts as a yes," Yayoi smiled as they, along with the startled young man, fell into step behind her.

Before they could climb into the limo that was waiting outside Motoko checked it over thoroughly, getting an approving nod from the man who then settled behind the driver's seat. The ride to the convention itself was mostly silent, Gretchen staring out of the window and pointedly ignoring her two reluctant companions.

The convention was well underway when they arrived, Gretchen almost jumping out of the Limo and trying to put as much distance as she could between herself and her two new bodyguards. Yayoi smiled wryly, hanging back just a bit to watch the crowd while Motoko tried to stay as close as possible. The director of the convention ushered them into a waiting room, where the three were to remain until the speech.

"Do you think we should do a sweep?" Yayoi asked Motoko softly, giving a glance to the clearly irritable Dr. Phillips.

"Well," Motoko started, then shuddered slightly. Yayoi smiled at her innocently as she gently slid a hand up Motoko's thigh. "I don't think we really need to," she murmured softly, clearly enjoying the subtle touch.

"Five minutes," a young man carrying a data-file stuck his head in to say.

With a soft sigh Yayoi stepped back, murmuring, "Later."

Motoko gulped, feeling the sweat clinging to her brow. "Later," she agreed softly, silently wishing that later was right now.

"One minute," the boy stuck his head in to report.

Gretchen picked up her papers, organizing them carefully. She strode out into the hallway, the two following closely as she ordered, "Don't follow me onto the stage! It would completely ruin my credibility."

"Yes, ma'am," Yayoi threw a mock salute.

"I don't like this, " Motoko muttered as Gretchen strode out onto the stage, soaking up the cheers of the crowd.

"Give me a break," Yayoi muttered. "She's a nut, and I seriously doubt that anyone is going to really try something!"

"But..." Motoko started.

"There's better things to do," Yayoi murmured, moving in close to Motoko.

Yayoi pressed her lips to Mokoto's, gently silencing her partner. She resisted a moment, then Motoko gave in, returning the kiss with a whole evening's worth of denied passion. The sound was small, so small that she might not have even noticed it even if she wasn't distracted. But the bullets sliding into a chamber, that was a sound she recognized instantly.

"Shit," Motoko pulled free from Yayoi's grip, pushing her lover backward.

Mokoto was running across the darkened stage even as the weapon fired once, shoving Gretchen aside. The woman's shoulder exploded in a splash of red, a shot that was meant for her head. The two rolled, Gretchen ending up shielded beneath her as bullets impacted the floor around them. A pause in the firing and Motoko had her pistol in hand, three fast shots going into the shooter who was concealed on the upper balcony.

"Motoko," Yayoi ran out after her, eyes wide and face pale.

"Watch over her," Motoko got to her feet, running after the fleeing shooter. She was up the stairs in seconds, then out the service door onto the roof.

He stood on the edge of the roof, looking out at the city. It was a casual thing, the wind gently ruffling his gray hair, an odd smile visible on his face as he turned to look at her. Something about him, his stance, the way that he moved, told Motoko that he was fully cybernetic, with little or no parts of his human body left.

"Climb down slowly," Motoko barked as she held her gun on him, "and keep your hands where I can see them!"

"The Wired is coming," he smiled, "and a fool like her cannot prevent it's coming." He tilted his head, "I'm sure that you understand."

"No, I don't," Motoko growled out, "just get down."

"You will," he answered, and calmly stepped off the edge.

Motoko ran forward, looking down towards the street as he flashed her another enigmatic smile just before he hit the top of the limo. His body broke there, plastics and alloy flying through the air, a mix of oil and synthetic blood pooling all around his broken form. The crowd drew back in fear, then rushed forward to study the ruined form.

"Shit," Motoko muttered softly, slipping the gun away.

Gretchen was being carried out on a stretcher when Motoko made it back inside. She watched the medics silently, then moved up to stand at the blonde's side. "The shooter killed himself," Motoko said to her quietly, "to avoid capture. I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Gretchen smiled up at her weakly, "you saved my life."

Motoko watched the ambulance leave silently, barely feeling Yayoi's presence beside her. The dark haired girl tightened her grip on her arm and softly said, "Motoko?"

"Don't," Motoko shrugged her hand off, walking out alone into the rain...

Once she finished speaking Motoko looked down into her glass, swirling the fluid around before finishing it off.

"What happened afterward?" Aramaki asked quietly.

"The only reason that I didn't get into real trouble was that Gretchen just didn't realize how badly distracted I'd been," Motoko said grimly.

Aramaki nodded thoughtfully, "And Yayoi?"

"I transferred her right out of my team and then moved out of our shared apartment the next day," Motoko quietly admitted. She sighed softly, an oddly regretful look on her face, "I just couldn't risk something like that happening again."

"And that's why you won't have any women in the unit now," Aramaki noted, "you're worried that you might be tempted."

"I have a few friends that I visit off work," Motoko admitted, "but not on the job." Her eyes narrowed, "I won't allow someone to be hurt again because I got distracted."

"I understand," Aramaki said quietly, "and I'll back you up if anyone questions you on refusing those applicants."

"Thanks," Motoko nodded slightly.

End, Once Burned