S-CRY-ed Fan Fiction ❯ Scryed Askew ❯ Dilemmas ( Chapter 9 )

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

Scryed Askew: Part 9 - Dilemmas
By Robster80
Disclaimer: I do NOT own S-Cry-ed, period! Not the characters, the name, or anything. It belongs to TV-Tokyo, Bandai, Tokyopop (Manga), etc.
“…I'm home…”
Kanami didn't like the tone of Kazuma's voice when he came home late that night. She rushed down form her room in her pajamas, as she was getting ready for bed. “Kaze-kun?”
Kazuma's head hung as he dragged his feet through the clinic he and Kanami called their home. His feet were sore from the long walk after he and Kimishima parted ways earlier in the evening. “Sorry to make you worry,” was all he said as he walked past Kanami, gently patting her head with one hand.
“You okay? Would you like some dinner?”
“Not really hungry, thanks. Just tired. Good night.”
“Kaze-kun, what happened? Did you get into a fight with Cherise?”
Kazuma stopped at the foot of the steps. He didn't look at Kanami; he didn't want her to see the tears reforming in his eyes at the name of the girl he had left behind back at the city. “…I don't think I'll be seeing her anymore.” How can I? I'm a fugitive now.
“…I'm so sorry, Kaze-kun.” Kanami wanted to say that maybe Cherise wasn't good enough for him, that he'd find someone else. However, she knew better than to say such things when the pain was still fresh. Also, she had yet to hear the full story. While she was only 8, she was very mature for her years.
“Thanks, Kanami,” was all Kazuma said before he went back upstairs. All he wanted to do was go to bed and hope that the day had only been a bad dream.
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Cherise slowly sat up to find herself on her bed back in her room. Looking around, she saw Cougar in a chair beside the bed. She judged that, from the windows being dark and that the main light was on, it was nighttime.
“Have a nice nap?” Cougar asked.
“Cougar, what-? How'd I get back here?” Suddenly, she gasped. “Kazuma!”
“He escaped,” Cougar replied calmly. “And Ryuhou's still sore about it. You don't want to know what he told Urizane about what he'd do to Kazuya if he got his hands on him. He's tried to visit with you several times, but I kept the door locked and told him you needed the rest after all the excitement.”
Sighing with relief that her boyfriend was safe for the moment, Cherise fell back onto her bed. “As long as he's still out there in the wastes, I'll rest easy. …What am I saying?” she cried, bolting upwards. “I don't know when or if I'll ever see him again! And It's all Ryuhou's fault!”
“Though I hate to disagree with you, Cherise, it isn't all Ryuhou's doing. Kazuya should have kept his temper in check during his interrogation. I was monitoring the whole thing, remember? He had a chance to join HOLY and get off lightly, but instead he chose to be defiant, not thinking about the consequences.”
“Cherise,” Cougar said, standing up. “Shortly after you came here, I did what I thought was my best to get Kazuya to join us because I knew you and he liked each other. Your relationship was strained enough when it all started. But now, I think you might want to consider finding another guy-.”
“Blasphemy,” Cherise spat at Cougar, scurrying across her bed to glare at her friend. “Sacrilege! I'd sooner kiss Ryuhou full on the mouth.”
“Well it's either that or leave HOLY and go back to the wastes. Which would you choose?”
This caught Cherise off guard. Once more, she was torn between staying with HOLY and never dealing with surviving out in the wastes again, or going to live with Kazuma and give up the comfortable life she had been given for two years. “I… I don't…”
“That's what I thought. You have to consider the consequences for your actions, Cherise Adjani. Don't be like Kazuya. I still can't believe he ignored my warning and came back here just to see you.”
Cherise then remembered the gift Kazuma had brought her when he had been disguised as a soldier. Her hand pulled out the small box form her one pocket and she opened it, gasping at its contents. With her free hand, she lifted out of the box a necklace, the one she once mentioned to Cougar that she'd really like for her birthday. It was a silver chain with several small diamonds on the front. Her eyes glanced upon a card within the box, which she took out and read carefully.
Happy early birthday, Cherise. You're worth any risk.
Cougar also noticed the necklace. “So that's really why he came back. All that for a lousy necklace. He is such an idiot!”
“But he's MY idiot!”
Blinking, Cougar watched as Cherise practically leapt off her bed and rushed to her closet to pull out a suitcase, stuffing her new necklace back into her pocket. His eyes widened at this; she'd really leave HOLY to be with Kazuma. “Whoa, whoa! Time out here-!”
“Not a chance in hell,” Cherise stated, opening her suitcase and tossing it onto the bed before she dashed for her dresser. “If my only options are to put up with Ryuhou or quit HOLY, then I am so out of here!”
“Hold the bus,” Cougar said, grabbing Cherise by one of her arms as she was grabbing some of her clothes. “You leave like this, and I know Ryuhou will follow you and drag you back here kicking and screaming.”
“He even tries to stop me, and he'll never have kids. I'll make sure of that.”
When Cherise tore her arm free to take the clothes she was holding to her suitcase, Cougar moved to stand between her and the bed where she had left her suitcase lay. “I promised Kazuya I'd take care of you since day one. The only way you'll be leaving here is over my dead body.”
“Finally, we agree on something!” Without warning, Cherise threw down her clothes and lunged at Cougar, her hands going for his throat.
The door suddenly unlocked and it came open. Mimori and Commander Zigmar walked in to find Cherise on top of Cougar, throttling him. The two groups looked at each other in a stunned silence.
Mimori was the first to speak. “Well, I see you're full of energy, Miss Adjani.”
“Uh, are we interrupting something?” Zigmar asked.
“No, sir,” Cherise said, getting up off of Cougar. “He was just leaving. WEREN'T you?” She gave a hard glare at Cougar as he got to his feet.
Cougar glared back, but only for a moment, before he faced Mimori and Zigmar. “Sir, Officer Adjani was trying to leave. She's not herself-.”
“Leaving?” Zigmar raised an eyebrow at Cherise. “Why so suddenly, Adjani?”
“It's… it's personal, sir.”
“I'm afraid that is unacceptable, mostly because I need you to accompany Miss Kiryu in two days.”
Cherise and Cougar both looked at each other in shock, and then looked back at Zigmar. “Sir?”
“The Commander is sending out a team to deliver medical supplies and aid to one of the stations out in the Lost Ground,” Mimori said, answering for Zigmar. “The team has been handpicked by me, with some recommendation by Commander Zigmar himself. However, we do have one more open spot, and I recall Mr. Cougar said once that your alter is a healing one, correct? You'd be perfect for the expedition.”
Seeing the opportunity in the moment, Cougar smiled while putting an arm around Cherise. “I'm in agreement with Miss Mino-, I mean, Miss Mimori, sir. Adjani's the perfect pick.”
“N-now just a minute!”
“Let me talk to her, sir. It'll be short, I promise.” Cougar then ushered Cherise into one corner of the room, turning their backs. “THINK of it,” he hissed to Cherise. “You could use this mission to get out of the city for a while, and maybe see a certain someone, if you get my point?
Opening her mouth to retort, Cherise paused as she realized exactly what Cougar was implying to her. This could be a chance to see Kazuma, and without him risking arrest if he came back to the city. However, before she could say that she agreed on it, Cougar turned back to Mimori and the Commander, walking over to them.
“She's agreed, sir, but on one condition: that Ryuhou Tairen does not know about her involvement.”
Zigmar smiled. “If that's all, then I believe I can arrange that for her. Thank you, Adjani. You have two days to make preparations. If you have any questions, my office is always open, and Miss Kiryu's will be as well. Good night and get some rest.”
“We'll be packing up the supplies tomorrow on the transport,” Mimori added, leaving behind Zigmar. “If Ryuhou asks, we'll say you're just helping us out.”
“What the hell did you just get me into?” Cherise asked Cougar seconds after they were left alone in her room. “I could have been out that door by now.”
“Seriously, you should consider switching to decaf. Anyway, what I did was give you an opportunity to go see Kazuya in two days. Face it, there'd be no way you'd get very far if Ryuhou had anything to say about it. Plus you might let it slip that you and I know Kazuya personally, and then we'd all be in hot water. Just bear with it. I'll go see Kazuya first thing in the morning and let him know you'll be in the neighborhood so he and you can get together.”
“And what happens after that? Ever think about that, Straight Cougar?”
Cougar said nothing but headed for the door. As he opened the door to step out of the room, he turned and said. “Let's take this one step at a time, shall we? In the meantime, keep a cool head, and don't try to run away on me.” He started to close the door behind him.
“Hold it!”
Cougar stopped and looked back at Cherise to see her sigh in defeat. “At least come see me before you leave, okay? I'll have a letter for Kazuma done before I go to bed.”
“You got it.”
After Cougar had left, locking the door behind him, Cherise picked up her fallen clothes and put them back into the dresser before she returned her suitcase back to her closet. Once this was done, she went to her desk and pulled out some paper and a pen. Taking her necklace out of her pocket and setting it before her on the desk, she began to write her latest letter to Kazuma.
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Kanami had to literally drag Kazuma out to the farm the next day for work. She told everyone that Kazuma was just having a bad day and not to ask him about anything other than what he was to do on the farm. While some were curious, they complied with the request and left Kazuma to help with the chores and repairs.
Kazuma was lost in a daze, unaware of his surrounding, though he appeared to be doing well with the work. His mind wandered back to the previous day, and how he and Cherise had left each other before he escaped the city. The last words he said to her rang in his ears, and his depression worsened. How would he ever see her again after what he did? He had picked a fight with HOLY, and now he was sure they'd be on the look out for him now. Not to mention that if he ever showed up back in the city, he'd be taken prisoner again.
What have I done? He asked himself over and over in his head. I may never see her again, and she might even find a new boyfriend. Sure, I got her some good gifts, but that doesn't really mean much if I can't be with her.
…I should have joined HOLY when I had the chance. Now, it's too late for even that.
The shout never really registered with Kazuma before he felt something fast and hard collide with his face, and he went flying off the roof and onto the ground below right on his posterior. The nerves of his left cheek were exploding in pain as the swelling began. Depression forgotten completely, anger arose in Kazuma like a brushfire as he jumped to his feet. “Whoever just hit me, you picked the wrong day to-!”
“You left me no choice, Kazuya. I was trying to get your attention for like five minutes.”
Cougar's voice made Kazuma snap his head upwards to see his surrogate brother looming over him on the edge of the roof of the farmhouse. “Oh, it's you,” he said, fuming at not his friend, but the HOLY uniform Cougar wore. It reminded him of all that had happened yesterday. “Bad enough I feel like crap after escaping from your friends yesterday, but you have to rub it in my face with that uniform.”
“Well then a Merry Christmas to you,” Cougar replied. He pulled out a letter form his pocket and waved it casually. “This latest letter from dear Cherise just might boost your spirits.”
The name of his girlfriend erased all anger left in Kazuma, his eyes wide open upon seeing the letter. “GIMME! GIMME, GIMME!” Not even noticing the stares he was getting from everyone, Kazuma frantically jumped into the air with all his might repeatedly, arms reaching upward to try and grasp the letter.
Cougar laughed. “Oh, if she could only see you now, Kazuya.”

His anger returning a little, Kazuma grabbed onto the edge of the roof and pulled himself up with all his strength before he snatched the letter from Cougar's fingers. “I'm taking my break now,” he cried happily to the foreman before he leapt off the roof and took off running from the farm. “Thanks a lot, Cougar!”
“Uh, sure.” Well, better get back and see if Mimori and Cherise need some help packing the supplies.
Kazuma didn't stop running until he was well away from the farming area. He wanted to make sure he had some privacy before he tore open the envelope and pulled out the letter with trembling hands.
Dear Kazuma,
I was so relieved when I heard that you escaped from the city. After you left me to get away, I asked Cougar to help ensure you left the city safely, but when I passed out from the kiss you gave me (and my heart races each time I recall it), he instead took me back to HOLY. What a jerk. At least he stayed with me to make sure Ryuhou didn't visit with me - I really despise him after today.
You must know that I do not whatsoever blame you at all for yesterday, even though Cougar said that it was. Yes, you ticked Ryuhou off and thus marked you as a wanted man, but frankly, I wish I had your guts. I've wanted to hit him, spit on him, or anything else violent to make him understand I don't like him, but I guess yelling at him is all I can do. Does that make me a coward, Kazuma?
“Hell no,” Kazuma said aloud to the letter. “You're not a coward, Cherise. …And I'm glad you don't blame me… even if I can't be with you for a while…”
Thank you so much for my birthday present, Kazuma; you really spoil me, but I don't care what I get as long as it comes from you. Still, it's nice to know that you'd do anything for me. I'm not talking about buying me expensive gifts, but risking your life to sneak into HOLY just to see me and give me a present. While I like that about you, please don't take so great a risk again; if anything happened ot you, I'd go crazy.
In closing, there's something I want to tell you: I'll be joining a group that will be delivering medicine and such to one of our medical camps out in the Wastes. We'll be arriving in two days; tomorrow, by the time you get this letter, or so I pray. I'll be the only HOLY officer on this trip, so I hope to see you again for a lot longer this time. Just don't go and get yourself injured just to see me, okay?
PS: Cougar just told me the transport leaves about 7 in the morning because it will take at least an hour to reach the camp in Sector Z284, which is two miles east of the Alter Forest. And we return to the city at 5 in the evening. That leave sus plenty of time to be together.
“…I forgot to ask her just what exactly those x's and o's mean,” Kazuma said as he stuffed the letter into his inner jacket pocket. “It's a date, Cherise; count on it! Now I gotta find Kimishima and see if he'll give me a ride. But first, I'd better get back before Kanami gets worried, and I get chewed out for taking off like that.”
When he returned to the farm, however, Kazuma saw a group of people standing at the main farmhouse. The worried looks on their faces told him something had to be wrong. His pace quickened, moving towards everyone else. “Hey, what's going on?”
The foreman was the first to see him. “Kazuma, where've you been? Kanami's been asking for you-.”
Now Kazuma was scared. “Kanami! Where is she?”
“She's inside,” one of the women replied, “but… she suddenly collapsed, and she's very pale. We don't know what's wrong.”
“Pale? Collapsed? But she seemed fine this morning.”
“We thought so, too, but it happened so suddenly. Your friend Kimishima showed up to talk to you, and when he heard about Kanami, he went in his car to get a doctor.”
God, I owe him a lot for this. “Take me to Kanami, right now!” Kazuma was led into the house and into a small bedroom, where he found Kanami lying in bed, a small washcloth draped over her forehead. Her face was nearly white, and her breathing seemed heavy. Kazuma knelt beside her, taking one of her hands into his. “…Kanami…”
“…Kazu…kun…” the little girl muttered in her fever-induced sleep.
“I'm right here,” he said softly, “I'm not leaving your side. I promise.”
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Elian walked into Commander Zigmar's office to find him laughing aloud at his desk watching a video. “You're watching it again?”

”I can't help it,” ZIgmar said, chuckling as he saw Elian's video of Kazuma and Cherise gagging and spitting in Ryuhou's car after they had realized they kissed Cougar on both sides of his face. “This is my favorite part of the whole thing. The looks on Adjani and Torisuna's faces are just priceless. You did a fine job keeping tabs on them for me; they never even suspected that you were recording them from the moment they set foot in the elevator up until they wrecked Ryuhou's new car. Did his insurance cover any of the damage?”
Elian shook his head. “Since it was taken by a fellow HOLY officer against her will, it wasn't deemed as stolen. He won't get a cent.”
Once more Zigmar burst into laughter. He knew it wasn't really funny, but how could he fight it? He pressed a button on his desk, which turned off the video. “At least no one else knows that we have this footage. So what did you find out about Cougar's quick trip today?”
“He delivered Cherise's message to Kazuma at some farm he and some little girl work at. NP3228-.”
“Elian, he has a name,” Zigmar somewhat sternly said.
“Sorry… father. Kazuma seemed to be happy with the letter; however… that little girl he lives with suddenly fell ill.”
Zigmar raised an eyebrow. “Is it serious?”
“Not really. It's just seems that way to those who don't have access to the proper equipment. If she were to be brought here, she could be treated easily enough.”
“Or at the medical encampment we have in Z284,” Zigmar added.
“Permission to speak freely, sir.”
“…You're wondering why I don't send someone after Torisuna, and then have Cougar and Adjani arrested for possible treason, am I correct?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Have you read his file, Elian?” Zigmar opened one of his desk drawers and pulled out a folder with Kazuma's name and number on it. “He never resisted arrest, and he kept his temper in check up until Ryuhou started to get really nasty. He also quietly slipped out of our base and only returned to give something to Adjani before he was forced to take her `hostage' and escape in Ryuhou's car. And on top of that, he only struck in self-defense.”
“No, he didn't sir.”
“Okay, so he didn't, but you get the idea, don't you? He's not like some of the other Inners who abuse their powers. He seems to merely use his just as he says - to earn a living and for defense only.”
“Ryuhou dislikes him,” Elian stated simply.
“He hardly likes anybody. Elian, my son, any man who can get under Ryuhou Teiren's skin is a-okay in my book. Besides, I wish to learn from Torisuna himself about his connection to Adjani and Cougar.”
Elian raised an eyebrow. “You're going to ask him to join HOLY yourself, aren't you?”
Zigmar simply smiled at Elian. “Perhaps. You disapprove?”
Shaking his head, Elian replied, “Haven't known him enough to make up my mind just yet.”
“That makes two of us. Before you go, would you go fetch Miss Kiryu for me? I'm going to need her to deliver a message for me.”
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Kazuma grabbed the doctor Kimishima had brought, slamming him into the wall. “What do you mean you can't do anything?! She's sick, you're a doctor - help her!”
“Kazuma,” Kimishima raised his voice while pulling his friend away from the doctor. “Roughing him up won't help Kanami! Don't think that you're the only person here who's worried about her.”
“Really, I want to help her,” the doctor said while he brushed his coat with his hands after he had been freed from Kazuma's grip. “However, I was trying to say that I don't have the proper medicine or equipment to treat her. Hell, I'm not even sure what's really wrong with her.”
“Then we'll get another doctor-.”
“No one else will know any better than I,” the doctor exclaimed. “Unlike in the city, we don't have access to the most modern supplies. I'm sorry, but… she's beyond our aid.”
Kazuma was about to tell the so-called doctor where he could stick his “aid” when he suddenly had a thought. Pulling out Cherise's letter, he quickly re-read it to verify what she had written him. “…But I know someone who can help her. Kimishima, get Kanami! We're going home. And get a map, too! I need to find out where HOLY's medical camp is located somewhere east of the Alter Forest.”
“A bit puzzled, Kimishima still did what he was asked: he scooped up Kanami from the bed, wrapped up in blankets to keep her warm, and followed Kazuma out to his buggy. “Let me guess… we're gonna ask Cherise to help?”
“She and a supply convoy will be there early tomorrow morning. It's our only chance; Kanami's only chance.” Please let nothing go wrong this time! Kanami needs help.
…And I want to see Cherise again.
End Chapter 9
This should be my lats chapter for a while. It's the Xmas crunch time for me; got some shopping to finish up, plus work is REALLY gonna be taking up my time this week and on Sunday (12/24). Also, my father will be confiscating the computer once more until he goes back out to his job in Russia after the New Year. Sucks to be me, don't it?
Anyway, in closing, I want to wish all of you out there a very Merry Christmas 2006, and a Happy new Year. See you all in 2007, and please review.
Exit, stage right!