Anime Fuel Veteran
Location: My world.
Luke swallowed, not sure if he wanted to know anymore “Not intentionally?”
“Mrs Green heard two shots and saw the two bodies fall, she said that the young neko tried to resuscitate his brother, then left when the sirens came too close.”
Luke nodded, then pointed to the blondes poster “And…and what did she do?” He tried to look as if he was interested when his father explained about the robbery the blonde was caught in the middle of, but all he could think about was Alex. No wonder he’d looked such a mess, he knew he shouldn’t but he felt sorry for the guy. Then something else crossed his mind, why did it matter? Better yet, why hadn’t he reported seeing Alex in the club?
“Actually we caught her just today.”
His fathers voice snapped him back, “Here?” he asked.
Lord Willard nodded, “Brung her in about an hour ago, funny you should pick her poster to show me.” It was only then that he started looking a little suspicious.
Luke shrugged “I picked the lowest amount on the board.”
“Yet the second highest?” True Alex’s friend had been higher, Jade Cole.
“I didn’t see a higher price.”
He nodded “I see.” then gave a small wave “If that’s all you can go.”
Luke hated that, the way he could just be waved away. As he went out of the room he felt his phone vibrate, he pulled it out of his pocket, Tammy. “Hey.” he said making his way up to his room. He felt completely drained and Tammy picked up on it almost straight away.
“Where did you… Are you alright?”
“Did you leave the night club?” he asked. Going into his room he laid back on his bed and took a deep breath.
“I’m coming to yours.” she sounded a bit embarrassed but the alcohol had given her enough confidence to… well invite herself round. And there he was thinking she had gotten boring.
“Nice, can I ask why?”
“I didn’t get to see enough of you tonight.”
He laughed “You were way too preoccupied with Jade to care.”
“That ne… the dark haired guy with the top hat.”
“Oh him! Yeah” she giggled. “He’s nothing, I’ll see you in a bit Luke.”
Luke disconnected and relaxed against his bed, he took a few deep breaths, he was glad Tammy was coming around, he needed some sort of distraction.
Pain shot through his head and he rolled over with a small groan, then something in his stomach squelched and he jumped up, scaled the rocks outside the cave and almost fell over when he hit the ground, the sun was pounding against his back as he doubled over and threw up the little food that was in his stomach, and the little amount of alcohol he had consumed.
Alex staggered when he landed back in the cave, he felt eyes on him and raised his head to look around. None of them were laughing like he had expected, Tux was sitting at the far end his head bowed, now and then he’d glance up but most of the time he kept his eyes on the floor.
Even Jade peeked up almost mournfully, “What’s wrong?” Alex asked, his own voice hurt his head and he winced, no one answered at first then Sam stood, moving her gaze over everyone she came to rest on Alex, apparently she’d already told Jade.
“Honey didn’t come home this morning.”
Alex winced as her sharp tone cut his head, and then his gut. “Why did she go out?”
Tux got to his feet and came forward “She went out to look for you and Jade last night, seeing as you took off without letting any of us know where you were going, and she hasn’t come back.” His voice was laced with accusation as his eyes flicked from Jade to Alex.
“How could you do it Alex?” Ollie asked, “I’d expect it from Jade but you just put us in so much danger by going out there like that, and getting drunk! Seriously Alex how old are you?”
“I didn’t mean to get drunk.”
“But you meant to go to a club!” Ollie glared at him from his space on the floor.
“And you hung out with Lucien Willard” Tyler added.
Sam’s ears perked up, “Lucien Willard? Willard!” she slumped to the floor, “Alex do you have any idea who that is?”
Alex shook his head, his ears dropping, his eyes on the floor now.
“That’s the son of Lord James Willard, the human that’s fighting to make every neko in the country an exile,” Sam explained, her voice swept over the cave, covering it like a blanket, Alex felt like he was suffocating and shook his head. “Neither you or Jade can go back to town again, what’s the betting that Lucien Willard has already reported you?”
Alex had to lean against the rock pile, this was too much, “Luke wouldn’t.”
“Luke would” Tyler laughed dryly. “Bet your ears on it.”
Alex shook his head again and turned to climb the rock pile, he felt someone grab the hood of his jacket. He slipped himself out of the jacket and made it to the top before Jade grabbed him around the waist and pulled him down, “Where do you think you are going?”
“I have to find Honey.”
“It’s peak time Alex, you’ll die if you go out now.”
“Good, let him go.” Tux spat, “Take Jade with you.”
Jade looked around, his ears perked “What was that?” he growled. He went to walk across the cave but Sam put her hand on his chest to stop him. Alex looked up at Tux who stood with his hands by his sides, fists clenched.
“What if they caught her?” he asked “What do you think they’d do to her? They know we travel in packs! They’ll want to know where her family are.” He choked up on the last words, even Alex wasn’t sure he liked the way it sounded, Family, he looked around at the others, he’d known them all for at least three years, could this really be called a family? Could their cave really be called home?
“We need to find her.” Jade said as Sam dropped her arm, “I’ll go out with Alex when it gets dark.”
“That isn’t good enough.” A low growl was humming in the back of Tux’s throat.
“What else can we do?” Jade asked, “Fight about it? We shouldn’t fight amongst ourselves.” he shook his dark head and leant against one of the walls, his back curving with it, he was the tallest of them, at about 5 and a half foot, the ceiling of the cave stood another foot above his head at its highest point.
“It would make me feel better.” Tux snapped.
“If you could even land a punch.”
“Like you can boast, it isn’t like you have the claws for it.” Tux touched on the one insecurity that Jade had, his inability to grow claws.
Now the cave hummed with the growls from both nekos “It’s a shame you can’t go out and help look for your girlfriend.” Jade shot back, bringing up the fact that Tux had been seen in Gallerie, so he couldn’t go back there. “Don’t worry, we’ll tell her how worried you are.”
Tyler got up then “That’s enough.” he snapped, “Jade was right before, we shouldn’t fight amongst ourselves, it will just break us down and then we wont be able to work as the unit we should be” He let his eyes linger on each of them as he said it, “We’ve already decided that we will let Alex and Jade go out at sun down, although maybe we shouldn’t let them go alone.”
“Are you saying we need a baby sitter?” Jade shot.
Before Tyler could answer Ollie cut in “I’ll go with them,” he looked to Tux, “We’ll find Honey.” it was a promise, although Alex noticed that he didn’t add that they would bring her back. He hoped she had just gotten herself lost, or spent too long in town and forgotten to come home before peak time, although he highly doubted it, everyone silently knew that she probably wouldn’t be brought back. They wouldn’t kill her, but it would be just as bad. It wasn’t like humans really looked after their neko prisoner.
Like darkened shadows the three nekos made their way into town, Alex had traded in his white jeans for black tracksuit bottoms. He still wore the striped roll neck and black hooded jacket but he had cut the ears off of the hood.
Jade had put on a black jumper under his blazer and now wore a cap on his head to cover his ears and Ollie had swept back his mane of white hair and covered it with a beanie hat. It wasn’t the dark clothes that made them look suspicious, it was the fact hat they all wore head coverings. Like the night before Alex and Jade were moving swift and cautiously, they all moved together around the neko settlement until they came to one house in particular, a known sanctuary to all nekos who wouldn’t report it.
Tom Cat opened the door of his run down, but bigger than average, house when Ollie knocked, he was a shabby man wearing tattered clothes with a mess of brown hair that hid his ears, his wide almost completely black eyes surveyed the three, he waited.
Jade stepped forward and pulled his hat off, he pressed his fist to his heart “When it’s our turn…” he held his hand out to the man, who smiled, flashing a set of sharpened teeth.
Tom Cat pressed his fist to his heart “… I will fight with you brother.” he extended his hand and they grasped each others wrists in a friendly manner, the old neko’s eyes flicked to Ollie and Alex. “Will these brothers also fight?”
Alex and Ollie removed their head coverings, Alex saw recognition spark the elders eyes “Until the last of them.” Alex said first, Ollie followed suit and Tom Cat nodded. He let go of Jade and backed into the gloom that seemed to cling to the doorway. Jade glanced over his shoulder and followed with Alex and Ollie just behind him.
The three had thought it best to visit Tom Cat first on arriving in Gallerie, if Honey had been arrested he would know. They walked down the familiar musty hall and into a small living room, two nekos were already seated there, Tom cat settled into a black leather arm chair, leaving Jade, Alex and Ollie to stand awkwardly by the door.
The living room was much like the rest of the house, as far as Alex knew, the colours were faded and the surfaces dusty, it was scented with cigarette smoke and a kind of sweet incense that together made it an almost sickly place to be. Alex recognised the other nekos that were present and nodded to them in turn.
One was known around the settlement as Audrey Parks, she was a kind of mother, looking after everyone and was often laden with kids who wanted just some of the woman’s attention, like all nekos she was small and thin, at about 38 her hair was grey and wispy, she smiled warmly at Alex and he forced a smile back, he was someone she had always called a lost cause, the type she had tried to look after once but refused to have the help and was spiralling out of control because of it.
Alex didn’t know the other neko too well, he knew she was young and had only recently fallen into a circle of crime, he’d heard Tyler and Ollie talking of her as someone they expected to soon have a picture on the notice board, which meant she’d have to move away or stay in the cave with their pack.
“So what can I do for you boys?” Tom Cat asked, his tone of voice gentle and welcoming, although it was rumoured that he could have quite the temper on him, something Alex had never witnessed.
“Honey Turner,” Jade said simply, knowing that a name was enough information for the man.
Alex saw Audrey shake her head and knew the answer Tom Cat would give “Ah, Yes we were jus’ talking ‘bout her.” his eyes flicked around the room, “She was picked up jus’ this morning whils’ walking through our settlement, ol’ Audrey ‘ere says she saw it”
Audrey shook he head again as the eyes of the room moved to her “I’m sorry boys, I know she was one of yours, I’d gladly beat some sense into any neko who reported her,”
“Do we know what they will do to her?” Ollie asked.
“As far as I know they ben questionin her all day, prolly ‘bout oo she’s with, where they are,” Tom Cat tried to make the statement as gentle as possible, but they all knew the implications it carried.
“I hope your girl has hard skin.” The young neko said quietly, she received a whack to the back of her heard from Audrey for that one. She gave the woman and sharp look before turning her head back to the three boys. “I’m just saying what everyone here knows.”
“Well if we all know then there’s no real need to say it is there?” Audrey shot.
“There’s nothing we can do.” Ollie said quietly.
“She won’t talk.” Jade assured him.
“We need to get her out.” Alex spoke for the first time since entering Tom Cat’s home. He felt everyone look at him and raised his chin “There is something we can do, we can try and get her out.”
“No one has broken out of Gallerie Prison ‘fore lad.” Tom Cat shook his head.
“Has any one tried?”
Tom Cat shrugged “I spect no one has been dumb ‘nough too.”
“Then there is no hard proof that it can’t be done.” Alex sent a pleading look in Ollie and Jade’s direction. “You know we can, with Tyler and Sam as well.”
Ollie looked away but Jade’s eyes hardened “I will fight with you brother.” he said quietly, remembering the way he had greeted Tom Cat before, it wasn’t just a secret greeting used to show Tom that the people about to enter his house could be trusted, it meant exactly what the words implied.
“Madness.” Audrey snapped, “How do you plan on even getting a layout of the prison?”
Alex bit his lip, but to his surprise Ollie answered that one “Tom, has Alex been reported recently?”
Tom Cat shook his head “Not as far as I know, and believe me my knowledge goes very far.”
Ollie’s lips tugged into a smile “What do you know about Lucien Willard?”
Don't worry, it only seems kinky the first time.