Witch Hunter Robin Fan Fiction ❯ I Cannot Offer You Freedom ❯ Chapter 12 ( Chapter 12 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]

I Cannot Offer You Freedom


"I did not!"

"You did too!"

"I did not, Sakaki and you know it!"

"Yes, you did!"

Groaning, he rolled over and opened his eyes, matching voices and faces as he blearily tried to remember where he was. Doujima and Sakaki did not seem to notice him, for the moment anyway, and their petty argument only escalated in volume. "For the last time, I did not-"

"Ugh, you two at it again?!" The arrival of an annoyed Karasuma brought the fight to a screeching halt. "We've got work to do today, so please save the love spats for your off time, ok?" She shook her head at the two younger people and went over to the meeting room.

Glaring daggers at each other, Sakaki and Doujima followed her, still not paying any attention to Michael. Said person tried to roll over and sit up, but a sudden lance of pain in his arm forced him back down. "Be careful with that arm of yours," said a soft, familiar voice next to him. He looked up, to see Robin giving his arm a concerned look and biting her lip.

"Don't worry, I'll be fine," he told her, attempting to sit up once again, this time avoiding putting pressure on his arm. "The doctor put it in a cast last night after taking me to the hospital, so I'll be fine now, see?" He pulled the sleeve of his shirt up enough to show off the white plaster covering his arm, then looked up and smiled at her. A visible weight lifted from her shoulders , and her own mood lightened.

With a small smile of her own, Robin placed one of her hands over his. "Michael." Both looked up, startled.

Zaizen towered over them, his face impassive. His hands reached up to his neck, and it was then that Michael realized his dog tags were dangling from his boss's neck. Unhooking the clasp, Zaizen brought the metal links back down to Michael's neck and secured them in their place once more. "Now get in there and do your job."

The hacker's head fell to his chest and when he glanced at Robin, she saw the ache and the shame in his eyes. But then he stood, gripping Robin's hand tightly, and strode past Zaizen, his head held high. A proud light kindled in the craft-user's eyes and she knew that the old Michael they all knew and loved was back.

"Ok guys," he said, joining the rest of his coworkers. "Let me take a look at my files and we'll see what we've got." He took his place in front of his customary computer, and Robin sat next to him; she noted, with some amusement, that Sakaki and Doujima were also sitting together, their hands clasped under the table. Occasionally, Doujima would pull her fingers away and stroke the bandages still wrapped around the lower half of his arm.

Karasuma caught the direction of the girl's gaze and gave her a wry smile.

The rapid clicking of keys halted and a low whistle issued forth from the hacker's mouth. It appeared that even with only one hand to type with, he could still manage better then any of them could. All heads immediately turned to face in his direction. "What is it?!" exclaimed Sakaki, and a few moments later, two windows popped up on each of the team members' screens.

Doujima gasped aloud, but the others could only stare in horror at the picture before them.

"That would be the victim," Michael pointed out needlessly.

"What…what happened to him?" Sakaki asked in a choked voice.

"Avi Yusanada. He's 28 years old and he possess the power of the void."

"A void?" Robin asked wonderingly.

"Like a vacuum." But it was Karasuma who answered, her eyes skimming the article that accompanied the picture on their computers.

"Right," Michael answered. "The victim was a male also, unidentified as of yet. If you notice, it appears he has collapsed in on himself, almost as he was dried out from the inside out."

His blunt observation was met with disgusted looks from all around. "Such is the power of the void or vacuum that Avi possess. His ability to create a void around a human being at any given moment makes him more dangerous then the STN had originally predicted. He could suck the life from some one within less then a minute. On the other hand, if the void were to be punctured, its effects would immediately diminish and the person trapped would be able to survive."

"What do you mean by puncturing the void?" Doujima asked, her pretty face twisted into a confused scowl.

"Well, think of the void as a giant balloon surrounding a person. If something were to hit the surface, oh say, a bullet from a gun, it would pop much like balloon, allowing air to reach the trapped person. Even so-" he addressed the entire team this time, "the void is not something to be taken lightly. Even a few seconds in there could cause permanent damage to your brain, or other internal organs."

Karasuma nodded, saying nothing, but her eyes were troubled and everyone knew what she was thinking because they were thinking it too. If only Amon were here.

But she stood up and her posture was rigid and her face was determined. "Michael, you know his location right? You can track him?" Her voice was crisp and self-assured, though her eyes still screamed insecurity and fear. But, as the team's new leader, she quickly smothered that fear and hid it from her colleagues.

"Of course I can!" Michael exclaimed, sounding slightly put out.

Robin smiled and laid one hand on his arm. Quieting, he glanced over at her and gave her a sheepish smile. She then got up and followed the others from the room. "-be our watch dog," Karasuma was saying. "I know that it's your left arm that's hurt, but I don't want you getting into any situations that will further risk the safety of the team."

"Yes ma'am," the rookie replied, only a slight trace of mockery in his tone. Karasuma smiled a little and moved away to talk with Michael, presumably about Avi's whereabouts. Glancing down at his arm, he saw Doujima rest her hand there, and brought his eyes back up to meet hers. "Listen to her . . . I don't want anything to happen to you," she told him firmly, then quickly looked away as the bridge of her nose was stained a delicate pink.

Sakaki grinned at her embarrassment and put his good hand under her chin, turning her head back to face him. "I'll be careful, I promise," he told her sincerely, then touched his lips to hers.

Robin looked away from the two hunters and found Michael watching her with a sardonic smile playing about his lips. Karasuma rummaged in her pocket and pulled out her headset, slipping it around her head with a crisp jerk. "Ready Robin?" She left the room without waiting for an answer, just like Amon would have done.

Robin moved to follow the older woman, but was stopped by an arm slipping itself around her slender waist. Turning, she found her face inches away from Michael's and she smiled as he brushed a lock of her hair out of her eyes. "Be careful Robin," he said quietly. "Please be careful . . . I'd never be able to forgive myself if you were killed by a witch . . ." The unsaid "also" hung in suspended in the air between them.

"I'll be back Michael," the blonde-haired hunter reassured him. She put her arms around his shoulders and hugged him; his own arm tightened around her in response as his lips brushed her face. Karasuma's call tore her from his embrace and she left the room in a swirl of skirts. Sighing, Michael left also, sitting himself back down in front of his computer and flexing the fingers on his good hand tiredly. Note to self: next time, injure leg instead.


Yay, I get to write another witch hunt next chapter! ^.^ Sorry this part was a little slower in coming out; I've been busy lately and I probably won't update tomorrow cause…IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!!! *dances around*

Anyway, even though this has nothing to do with Witch Hunter Robin, I'm going to mention the fact that Saiyuki is my latest obsession. And Gojyo . . .oh my Lord, don't even get me started. I'm already bidding on a Saiyuki poster on E-bay, never mind the fact that I only became obsessed this week. ^.^

Speaking of E-bay, I'm ALSO bidding on a Witch Hunter Robin T-Shirt! *does another happy dance* I mean, it doesn't matter that I'll be in debt to my dad for like a month, as long as I have the shirt!!! -__-;; Yea, I'm insane, so what? I guess you kinda have to be when you're as into anime as I am . . .

That's enough of my babbling for this chapter. R&R!