Original Stories Fan Fiction ❯ Into The Void ❯ Always The Pain ( Chapter 2 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]
All characters are © Melissa Norvell and are not to be used otherwise unless given the permission of Melissa Norvell.

Into the Void
Chapter 2: Always the Pain
By: Melissa Norvell

The funeral was held on a sunny and calm day. The sky was of a bright blue and nocloudshung in sight. A moderate crowd of people gathered around Angora's casket to mourn her death. It was an open casket funeral so all those who visited could get one final look at her before she was hidden underground and forgotten by time.

Ibuki tilted his head towards the ground in evident sorrow for the events that had taken place only a short time before. The middle aged man wiped his eyes with a starched white handkerchief and cleared the last remaining tears that threatened to fall from his face.

Rubio had shown up as well, though he tried his best to avoid Ibuki for he knew that his fate was to be a grim one if he were found there. He stood among the crowd, looking miserable. He hadn't gotten much sleep since the incident nearly a week ago. The silver haired man had been in adepressionafter the events finally sunk in and reality hit him square in the face. He was in so much shock the day of the murder that he had no time to let the entire truth sink in. The day after, his sadness had escaladed and everything finally hit him – she was gone. Dead. Not coming back.

Angora lay in the casket perfectly still with her arms crossed over her chest. She wore a short, black dress with long white gloves and black panty hose with ebonyhigh heels. Her beauty was fading to the cruel hands of death. Her radiance and life stolen by the assassin dressed in red and black.

"It's a sunny day," Ibuki commented as he looked towards the heavens. "She always liked days like this. Not a cloud in the sky."

Rubio walked slowly toward the casket. A part of him didn't want to see the woman's lifeless body resting in peace within the velvet confines. He sat his hand on the edge as blue eyes set sight on his secret love for the final time. The young man concentrated on the woman's face and reminisced of the many emotions it once held and sighed. He had almost forced this last image into his mind.

"Hm?" His boss turned his head, catching sight of his wife's bodyguard hovering above the dead body.

Rubio's masculine hand ran its way across the green haired woman's cold features as flashbacks of their last shared memory resurfaced to his mind once again.

'I could never do with him what I do with you. Be mine.'

Their heads inched closer, and their lips were on the verge of touching.

A blur of red and black could be seen cascading down in a flash.

Ghostly blue eyes popped open instantly and widened in shock at the horror of the flashback. Feeling an ominous presence very close to him, he froze in position. He could see out of his preverbal vision a familiar black tuxedo, mustache, and the slicked back hair of his boss, Masateru Ibuki.

He was transfixed on him for some time, pondering on what to do. He hadn't spoken to his boss since the murder and had remembered what his fate was to be if he had lived. Right now, death was breathing right beside of him. He had to make an exit before something broke out or he was seen. He only hoped that he was not noticed and silently prayed to himself that he got out alive.

Rubio could hear a voice from beside of him.

It washis.

"Good-bye, my love. It's truly unfortunate that things didn't work out for us," his voice held no regret, despite his saddened appearance. It seemed as if it didn't matter to him.

'Indeed…'Rubio thought as he walked away casually as to not make a scene or seem completely obvious that he was trying to get away. If he was noticed then there would be two funerals. The man made his way through the crowd and as his head turned to find at least a small path to walk through, he caught glimpse of a man, clad in familiar red and black attire with the same messy black hair and those same odd sunglasses, but by the time he did a double take, the figure was gone.

The mournful Rubio sighed to himself.'I'm still shook up from all of this. I need to relax for a while, I've been letting this guy haunt me from moment one.'He thought that it was his imagination and at the very least that Valentino wouldn't dare show up to an event with a powerful man such as Ibuki present. It would be foolish to show up at the funeral of the one that you had killed unless you wished to be killed yourself.'Besides, if I'm going to get my head together, I need to do it while I can't see him. I can't go to him running on my emotions. That will get me killed. If the guy I saw was this Valentino, then I need to get some information on him. Bosnia said he was an assassin.


But I don't remember what type she said he was. I really need to just gather my thoughts.'

He stood a few feet away from the crowd and watched the coffin be lowered into the ground. At the same time, Ibuki watched from the front of the crowd. All eyes were on the grim box, as the body inside of it was being cast down into the earth and hidden from the world.

After the funeral, the silver haired man decided to take a walk in order to calm his nerves. He had been shaken up over this turn of events ever since it happened. He needed to purge his mind of the assassin who plagued it, as well as Angora's final hours that had been reeling through his head like a never-ending nightmare.


Two hands shook, ending a deal between what seemed to be two men.

"A job well done, Valentino. They never suspected a thing and there was absolutely no evidence," Ibuki took his hand from the young man who stood a couple inches away.

"It's what I'm good at," Valentino replied in that familiar monotone voice.

"You don't say that with too much confidence," Ibuki noted and wondered why this assassin wasn't the typical sadistic man who would be smiling after a good day's slaughter.

"It's just another job," the red-clad assassin stated simply.

"I knew what those two were doing ever since Angora first started to cheat on me. I was just waiting for the perfect time to get rid of her. So, was Rubio there?" Ibuki asked peculiarly.


"My trusted assistant," lips curved into a crafty and contemptuous smile as he let out a choked laugh. "He was dressed in black and had shoulder length silver hair."

"Yes," Valentino was handed some money. He took it from his hand and stuck it in the pocket of his long, scarlet trench coat. "He was there."

"What did you do to him?"


"Nothing?" The terrorist questioned, surprised by the remark. He thought surely this man would have taken him out too.

"His disposal was never discussed," Valentino noted informatively.

"He's still alive then?" The terrorist's face turned stern.

"You discussed the sniping and/or assassination of Miss Angora Belladonna. It was no where stated that a Mr. Rubio McDougall was to be killed as well." The red eyed man stared down the radical with an equally stern expression.

"Ah well, what he doesn't know won't hurt him," Ibuki shrugged it off. "He didn't know I hired you."

"You act nonchalantly about this," the assassin pointed out.

"I can always hire you to kill him if he were ever to find out," the man smiled at his partner in crime, who said nothing and simply looked at him through odd shades.

Mustached lips curved into a witty smile. "You act like you almost don't want to." He taunted the youthful assassin.

"I do what is required of me."

After those words were spoken, Rubio stepped around the corner and saw the two of them talking casually, as if they had been friends who knew each other for years. He was quite confused at what he had witnessed. How could Ibuki act in such a way with a man who had killed his beloved wife? This moment was beyond him in many ways.

'What the-?! Why is he here? He's talking to Ibuki.'Rubio thought, amazed that Valentino had the gall to talk to someone whose spouse he had just killed.

He quickly ducked into some nearby greenery and listened to what they were saying. The two exchanged a few more words and Ibuki headed off into his mansion, the door shut behind him, leaving Valentino standing there.

The young man stood still on the sidewalk, and simply gazed at the mansion through dead red eyes. He turned to walk and got a few slow steps ahead of his last position when he heard a voice call out.


This caused Valentino to flinch in surprise, and then take a step back as Rubio jumped out in front of him from the bush he was hiding in and pointed at him with accusing index finger. The assassin man just stared at him.

"You're back," Valentino couldn't believe the stupidity of this man. He had a perfectly good chance to run and never show his face again but he chose to stay and face him. Rubio truly was really brave, really vengeful or really stupid for that decision. "Do you want a death wish?"

"I told you that we'd meet again," the silver haired man said in disgust.

"Are you naive or just stupid?"

"Neither, I'm angry," Rubio retorted. His voice was still laced with abhorrence for this killer.

"You have every right to be," Valentino agreed.

"Don't try and be sympathetic to me now. Your eyes give lie to your words!"

"I'm not being sympathetic to you. I'm being void of emotion, which is what this job requires me to be." His voice was calm and mechanical as ever, which really began to grind on Rubio's nerves. He was so damned calm about everything! He was like an impenetrable fortress,unmoving and cold.

"Why did you do it?" The angry man asked, trying to get some sort of answer as to why all of this took place.

"Because it was asked of me," Valentino replied. The answer was evasive as always.

"I suppose you acted friendly around Ibuki-sama so he wouldn't know, right?"

"You know nothing. Don't assume," the assassin shot back, narrowing his eyes a little.

"Is your name Valerio Valentino?" Rubio asked. He at least had to know the identity of this man who stood before him and argued with his every word.

"Yes," Valentino confirmed and looked very tense. Now that he had given this man his name, who knew what would happen beyond this point.

"Don't look so tense. I learned it from a pirate girl in town," Rubio smiled; at least he got some little victory over the assassin or rather, he felt that he did.

'Pirate girl…'The assassin thought to himself, as he thought of what took place earlier that day.

Valentino had sat on a bench in town, pondering over his recent slaughter when a young girl sat beside of him. Her pastel green hair contrasted with the bright Tiger Lilly that adorned it, and light eyes sparkled happily with the sunlight.

"Hi, I'm Bosnia," She smiled.

Valentino acknowledged her but said nothing.

"Huh?" She blinked, and seemed like she noticed something. "You must be Valentino."

He glanced at her, but still remained silent.

"I recognize your face from the wanted poster." The young girl pulled out a wanted poster with his portrait on it and a hefty reward offered. She sighed and glanced to the side. "But I wouldn't worry about those if I were you. I'm one too." She stuck out her tongue and smiled. "I'm a pirate but I'm not stupid. I'm not out to make enemies or turn against anyone. Us wanted people have to stick together, hm?"

Valentino arose and walked casually away. He said nothing to the young girl, who just wore a bewildered expression at his silent act.

"Ok, bye then…" She told him uncertainly.

"Bosnia…" He finally said as he recalled that moment in time.

"Yes, she said you two knew each other," Rubio told him.

"If you count five minutes on a bench."

"I didn't ask for smart remarks," the silver haired man scowled, his face marred with detest.

"I do have to say," Valentino looked slightly amused. "I do admire your courage, no matter how stupid you seem with it."

"I'm not stupid," Rubio argued. "I will defend her honor!"

He was then asked how he planned to proceed with that plan but he could give no answer. Then Valentino told him something that brought the blazing demons of fury out from their hidden chambers in his soul.

"You can't defend someone's honor if the honor isn't there."

"You son of a-!" Rubio, driven by rage of the harsh insult, attempted to punch his opponent in the face but instead his nose met with something sharp and cool to the touch. It froze him in his step. It was a very long sword, sticking diagonally up from the red cape. At this distance the sword could have easily gone through his head. If he dared to take even one step forward, his nose would have been split in two.

Valentino asked him if he would like his nose in tact but could get no answer from the other man, who was shocked by his action.

"The truth hurts."

"That isn't the truth!" Rubio screamed at him in blind fury.

"There is no honor is being unfaithful," the assassin stated simply.

The emotional man told him to shut up, getting all the more offended the more the emotionless assassin told him his opinion on Angora and their relationship. Valentino never showed any hint of emotion, he kept his cool and remained calm, cold and collective.

"You are aware that I can still kill you…" He warned.

"I thought that wasn't what you were hired to do," Rubio said coldly, recalling his previous statement on the subject and using it to obviously mock him.

Red eyes narrowed once again as the sun's rays bounced sharply off of his glasses.

"…and you call me stupid." Rubio glared with a smirk of satisfaction.

"I hold true to that comment," Valentino was offended and even a little hurt by that harsh statement, "Since you insist to talk, even when there is a sword pointed in your face."

"I'm also a swordsman," Rubio informed. "If you let me get my weapons, we can settle this like men."

"That is, on the condition that you hold up to your end of the bargain." The point of the sword lowered slowly from the silver haired man's face and then the blade turned horizontally as it lifted up the young man's chin and leveled him with a gaze, their faces close, nearly nose to nose. "If you don't show, I'll make it my personal goal to hunt you down and kill you, and then you can ask for a burial plot right next to your star crossed lover."

Rubio looked rebelliously towards him at the persistent jabbing at the Angora subject. "Why do you hate her so much?"

"She had something I didn't possess," he said simply.

"…and that is?"

"None of your concern; now go and get your weapon. If you want to know where I'll be," he lowered the sword as the blade hit the ground. "I'll be on the outskirts of town, west of the church."

"That's holy ground!" Rubio didn't want to fight on the church grounds. It was a sacred and spiritual place, not intended for bloodshed.

"Does that bother you?" Valentino turned around with his back facing him.

Rubio gave no response. The stoic man took a step to leave and then the frustrated man decided to tell him that he didn't understand him. Valentino slowly looked over his shoulder and told him that there was a reason for everything that he had done and while it didn't make sense to him now, he would learn in due time.

"Not if you live that long," Rubio assured arrogantly. There was no way that he'd let Valentino live to see another day if it was all possible he would claim his revenge tonight for what he had done to Angora. There would be no way in hell that he would let him continue to plague his life. Everything would end on those church grounds and God would punish him for daring to have a battle on his sacred grounds.

Once again, the assassin had been silent.

With an 'I'll see you there', the silver haired man darted off to retrieve his weapons. Red eyes watched as Rubio disappeared. He uttered the word 'fool' then sighed to himself. The arrogant man would definitely see his true skills, much to his disappointment. He hadn't wanted things to come to this. Why couldn't Rubio have just run away? Things would be easier and definitely not as inflicting.

"Oh well, I'm used to it. Since we never established a time I'll wait around."


A katana was pulled from its sheath. The sun bounced off of the smooth blade as it reflected a pale version of the blue eyed man that held it with his hand.

'Still in good working order,'Rubio thought to himself as he examined his weapons.'I wish I were as confident as I was when I spoke to him. He was breaking me down with his cold façade! It was like talking to an android. Maybe he is an android of some kind. In that case, I couldn't beat him. He'd be out of my league. He was obviously faster than me, so I'll have to be strong. Hmm…'

Memories began to flood back to him of his sword pointed at his nose. Glassy blue eyes widened as he had suddenly realized something important about the type of weapon that Valentino had used.

"That's it!" Rubio exclaimed. "His sword is a long ranged weapon, and that means that he can attack from far away and since his weapon is so large, it may take a lot of force to swing it. That's got to be his weakness. Yes…" He smiled victoriously to himself. "I think I'm ready."

In town, Valentino was perched atop the church steeple. He gazed out across the town, eagle eyes scanning the horizon for any hint of the light headed man. The cool winds blew his unkempt black hair as it danced in the winds. He could then see Rubio, headed toward the large, white church. The silver-haired man walked at a casual pace, though he had a stern, hard look on his face. It was as if he were going in to war.

The black and red clad man leapt from the church steeple in one smooth motion and landed on the ground a few feet from Rubio. His red garments fluttered around him like falling leaves in autumn. Rubio stated that he was ready and at the ending of the word, Valentino shot off from the ground and tried to decapitate his opponent, but he dodged it by moving to the side.

The red eyed man spun around, hoping to hit his victim but Rubio ducked down and pulled out one of the two katanas he had brought with him and a loud clank echoed through the houses in the small, quaint village.

"Hunh?" Rubio blinked as blue eyes burnt into red against the yellow sky of dusk.

This momentary pause of silence gave the man the chance to push forward and swing his sword, which was blocked yet again.

"Nice try," the silver haired man smirked arrogantly but it was short lived when he got kicked harshly in the face as Valentino catapulted himself upwards, balancing himself on the point of his sword, much like a pole vaulter before making it over the first obstacle. Then his feet landed on either of Rubio's shoulders. He picked up the sword and tried to bury the point deep within the light haired man's skull. He wanted to turn him into a human shish kabob. Thinking quickly, Rubio crossed his swords above his head, and stopped the lethal strike.

Holding the sword in position, Valentino looked down at him. "You're much stronger than I expected. I thought you were all talk."

"Seems we both underestimated each other," Rubio told him.

"Too bad it has to end."


A gun was drawn. Acting on impulse, Rubio grabbed one of Valentino's legs and threw him off of him. Valentino did a flip and stuck the end of his sword in to the ground, landing in the kneeling position as he skidded to a stop. Dust flew from the ground and mixed with the air, creating a smoke effect to the air around the assassin. The red eyed man was dead still as the dust settled around him.

'Hm…I don't see him.'Valentino thought for a moment before a metal blade was pressed against his neck.'Oh, there he is.'He confirmed nonchalantly.

"Now who will die?" Rubio heard a gunshot as his eyes widened and a look of pain and horror crossed his features. The red clad man had stuck his gun under that cape and shot him in the stomach at an angle.

"Never move close to your enemy when they have a long ranged weapon."

The injured man backed off holding his stomach, which was gushing blood. The red liquid washed over his hand and black suit, making the white cuffs underneath turn crimson. He coughed up a little blood, which had been welling up in his mouth.

"Time to end this…" Valentino rushed at him.

Rubio dropped his sword and they continued to battle, his opponent pointed the gun at him once more but it was kicked by Rubio’s foot and the shot was fired into the air. That earned the man a violent hit in the face with the gun. His body went crashing to the ground and landed in a crumpled heap.

'Man, he's tough. If I don't do something, he's going to kill me.'He thought.

Then he heard a gun clank on the ground. The assassin had dropped it in defeat, but why? He was winning the battle.

"This fight is unfair, so I'll match myself with you," Valentino told him as he drew his fist back.

Then it was grabbed by the wounded man. "Before you beat me, and possibly kill me. I just wanted to let you know, I'm sorry for talking crap to you."

"I didn't want it to come to this myself. That's why I warned you. You don't understand."

The man said nothing but let go of the assassin's hand and lay on the ground in defeat. A loud punching noise could be heard as birds flew from the trees into the bright red sky. Two more punches could be heard, followed by another gunshot.

Valeninto stood up slowly and looked at his opponent, lying motionless on the ground. Rubio's silver hair was in disarray and his clothes were blood-stained and disheveled. He walked away silently and at a slow pace.

The next day, the village was littered with dead bodies. That night it had been ransacked and nearly destroyed. A few houses were left standing but looked completely abandoned and an eerie silence befell the whole village. A single blue eye, framed with long, white lashes scanned the horizon.

"Another one completely destroyed. No signs of life in this sector of the village." A semi-deep but authoritative feminine voice intoned. A woman with shoulder length, wispy white hair looked around, "I guess I should check by that church to see if any of the clergy have been killed."

The white haired female walked through the village, carrying a clip board. She wore an eye patch over her left eye, which was also blue. This woman also wore a short, dark blue jacket with a medium blue undershirt that buttoned up the front, under that was a light blue tight shirt that covered up half of her breast. She also wore a short dark blue skirt and mid-thigh light blue stockings and small brown shoes. She looked to be an authority figure of some kind.

Her voice could be heard throughout the empty village. "Dead, dead, dead and dead..." Then she scratched down the tally on her clip board and walked around the church. "Him…No one seems to be here…" She said to herself as her eye scanned around the church grounds. Then her eye narrowed as she felt a strange sensation overcome her. "Wait a minute. I'm getting a reading here."

She ran over to Rubio and kneeled down. The white haired figure took him by the shoulders and shook him, trying to bring him into consciousness. "Hey, wake up. You're not dead yet." She said firmly.

Rubio moaned in pain and slowly opened his eyes, waiting for the haze of sleep to fade and when he saw the woman he jolted back and gasped. "Who…?"

"Can you tell me what happened here, sir?" She sounded more like a news reporter then a concerned citizen.

"Ugh…" He sat up slowly and excruciatingly, a grimace came to his face.

"Are you alright?"

Rubio looked at himself.'I'm not dead…He…Spared me…Again…'

"Damn it…" The silver-haired man cursed at the very thought of the assassin's seemingly kind actions.

"Is that a yes?"

"Who are you?"

"Sergeant Battissia Agata," she introduced herself. "I was assigned to tally the dead and recover the living."

"I thought I was dead," Rubio replied.

"You have some pretty bad injuries, but you aren't dead," Agata told him. "Gunshot wound to a non-lethal area of the stomach and another wound to a non-lethal area of the shoulder. Judging by those wounds whoever did this definitely knew what they were doing. They were a professional and not kidding around with you, they didn't mean to kill you. They staged it to look like an accident. They knew exactly where to shoot you to make it look convincing. Looks like a true criminal mastermind you've got there. Do you know who did this to you?"

"Just some assassin," Rubio had a disgruntled voice.'I don't even know why I'm saving him…But he did spare me twice. I figure I owe him that much.'

"You didn't know him?"


"Did you get a good look at his face?" Agata asked.

"I couldn't see it," Rubio lied. "He tried to pick me off from behind."

"Whoever shot you, shot up the village as well," the white haired woman stated.

"What!?"The white haired man yelled in realization. He swiftly got up and staggered to the front of the church. His eyes widened as he caught sight of the dismal sight before him- dead bodies were strewn about and he gasped in shock and revulsion at the destruction before him.

Agata ran up behind him. "Sir, you really shouldn't move like that. The bullets will only lodge themselves farther into the wounds. You need medical treatment."

"Did anyone else survive?" His light blue eyes looked into the medium blue one of the police officer.

"None yet, other than you, I've not seen a single person alive. You're lucky."

'Could he have…No…He's just one person.'Rubio recalled the earlier thoughts he had about the possibility of Valentino being an android. His face twisted into one of fright. If this was true, then he couldn't possibly hope to beat him and he even felt a little stupid for fighting him and expecting to win.

"You look paranoid there," Agata pulled out a cigarette and stuck it in her mouth and took a drag off of it. "Need a smoke?"

"No thanks," the wounded man declined. "How can you smoke at a time like this?"

"I see these kinds of things every day," Agata told him. Situations like these were a normal occurrence and she didn't feel any certain way towards death. "We should look for a place to take you."

"I want to help look for survivors," Rubio offered, a new found determination rose within him. If he found some of the survivors they could answer his questions.

"Are you sure?" The stoic woman wondered why he was so diligent about everything even though he was injured. "You look pretty bad."

"If there's anyone else alive, they might have the answer to my questions and help me piece together what happened here."

"If you say so," Agata agreed nonchalantly, though her mind wanted him to go to a hospital for medical treatment. It was his choice, after all. If he wanted to risk gang green then she had no choice but to let him do what he wished.

"How many are dead so far?" Rubio asked.

"Five hundred and thirty," she looked at the clipboard.

"What's the population here?"

"Three thousand."

"Not even half."

"No joke and I'm the only one they've assigned. It would be nice to have some help now," Agata replied.

Rubio nodded. "Glad to help. Let's go before time wastes."

"Right," She agreed, "but first…" The woman pulled out some bandages and wrapped them securely around his waist and shoulder. She decided that the man was too stubborn to take care of his wounds until he found another living human being. "This will slow the bleeding."

"Thanks…" Rubio didn’t even worry about his own injuries.

"No problem," the sergeant commented. "Now, let's get going. Those who are alive are calling our names. We've got to hurry, as times wastes, so does a life."

"Right," the injured man agreed as they both paced through the village, in search for survivors.

To Be Continued…