In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Four of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
Chapter 24: One He Did Not Suspect
Morning break. By himself in the cafeteria, Duffy sat with his coffee, musing on his God given good fortune. In about three weeks he was to exchange vows with the most beautiful, caring young woman he met ever. And he didn't "mess things up" as he had in relationships past. Making the promise of things later all the more sweeter.
He was a guy after all.
So what did it matter this not being a "normal" situation? He, Rachel, the others ...
"We may not be alive so to speak but that doesn't mean we have to be dead," he thought.
A movement to the front broke his reverie. Kaji approaching with a sheaf of work orders. The foreman would sometimes find him on his breaks, handing him notes so he wouldn't need to check in later.
After a brief exchange of greeting, the foreman left the papers and exited.
Glancing at the receding figure, Duffy examined the notes.
The second bringing him up quite short.
"Whatever you do, show no reaction on reading this. Someone may be watching.
"Please see me IMMEDIATELY in the office. This is of grave importance regarding matters of a very personal nature."
Being the stoic type, Duffy kept the reactions to what he hoped an undetectable minimum. After reading ALL the notes (Keeping up appearances in case of aforementioned observation.), he pocketed them, casually got up and left, leaving cup and saucer on the tray caddy at the entrance.
He never once would have suspected Kaji as a genuine. The way he acted, went through the motions, he was the NPC of NPCs. In all the time he had been here, through his observations, Jack saw no indication the man to be anything other than the "R.U.R." (1) he made himself out to be. There had to have been GOOD reason for him to have concealed himself all this time.
"Matters of a very personal nature," he thought. "This better not have anything to do with Rachel. Doubt it though. He's been here longer. Longer than me, even. Shoot. First person I ever talked to here."
Arriving at the utility building behind Class A, Jack noted the garage doors down. Pulling to loosen the .45 in his under the coveralls shoulder holster, the man cautiously entered, heading to the office in back where Kaji awaited. At his desk, the lead motioned for him to sit.
"No one followed you? See you leave and come here?" Nervous.
"None that I noticed. If I was, well ... I wouldn't have been able to tell. Besides, she's not in the habit of shadowing me ALL the time and hardly does that anymore anyway. Got other things to do."
"That's good for now ... I guess." A look of resignation on his face.
"Never would have thought you to be uh, for real so to speak." A suspicious Jack starting the conversation. "It'd be an understatement to say you've hidden yourself well. Mind telling me why, sir?"
"I ... Have good reason to. It's partly why I called you here."
"That reason being?"
Kaji looked down at the desk, hands on several papers stapled together. Moving them toward Jack, he stated, "I need you to do a favor for me ... A big one."
"Yes ... ," continuing to slide the papers forward. "I need you to deliver ... This."
Lifting the sheaf, Duffy examined. In spite a very expanded vocabulary and his knowledge of several hundred kanji and getting the hang of the other two alphabets, the script still came across as a seemingly endless parade of mangled spiders.
"Mind telling me what this is all about?"
"You're entitled, considering what I'm asking ... and about to tell you anyway."
"Should be ... interesting."
Both men settled back in their chairs. Duffy felt this to be a long one. He was right. Kajis' tale WAS ... interesting.
"Like you, on coming here I was confused, bewildered. Had no idea what I fell into. Of course, being Japanese, it wasn't so hard to take in as you had. No one noticed me, I fit in.
"I was also relieved at the same time ... at first. It wasn't the hell of suffering and misery I expected. I also not only didn't have to worry where my next meal was coming from but I had a job, with title and position. An actual place in uh ... society I could be a part of. Something I found very hard to maintain when I was alive.
"This wasn't Heaven. I could see that right off. But, like I said before, it wasn't damnation either. For the first couple days, I thought my troubles were over ...
"Then I saw ... HER.
"She was ... older. Her looks may have matured but I could tell right off who she was.
"I've been spending time in hell ever since."
On conclusion of Kajis' story, Jacks' mind was a mix of conflicting emotions. Running from pity to utter contempt of the broken creature before him, he didn't know wether to feel sorry for or spit on him. Thoughts of emptying a full mag of .45 into the man ran through his head.
Maintaining self control, Duffy picked the papers off the desk and re-examined.
"Mind if I bring someone else in on this?"
Kaji giving off a nervous twitch asked, "someone ... else? ... I ..."
"Another neutral third party," Jack held up the papers. "Can't read this. Need someone to verify."
"Oh," relieved. "O'Hara-sensei?"
"Yes. I'm taking this for her to look at before delivering. No insult intended. This is sudden and I need to make sure something isn't being put over on me."
"I ... understand."
Leaving the utility garage, Duffy went down the side of Class C and entered the buildings' first tier. Going to a wall phone in the teachers' communal office he dialed Rachels' cel. Like his apartment phone (He was a cel phone "hold out". Didn't care for them.) Rachels' still operated on the number she arrived with. After these several months it still felt odd, his dialing a Toronto, Canada number, area code and all.
Almost an hour after school let out, Yuri sat at her desk in Safe and Sound pondering the strange phone call Duffy-san called in earlier.
A matter of grave importance, he said. Concerning her. And it would be a good idea to get some "muscle" to attend as well. Noda, Matsushita, TK, Fujimaki and Oyama patiently standing by, others soon to arrive.
Looking up at the clock she noted the time. A knock at the door (Mallet trap deactivated for the moment.) revealing the foreign couple punctual ... and seriously reserved.
Yuri motioned the two to sit.
"So ... ," the Front leader starting hesitantly, not sure what it was they were here for, "just what is this 'matter of grave importance' you mentioned?"
Jack glanced sideways at Rachel still examining the papers. Noting the mans' attention, she handed the sheaf to him.
"Rather than give an account of what was told us, your reading will serve better and save us both time and breath."
"Reading ... As in?" Yuri cocked an eyebrow, pointing at the papers.
"Yes, this." He held up the notes then placed them before her.
"What is it exactly?"
"A confession." Reply in flat statement, Duffy sliding them toward her.
"Confession ... ?"
"By someone you've ... uh ... been very much wanting to meet for quite some time. Sorry ... can't put this into words very well.
"As you know, Rachel can read this certainly better than I could ever hope to. She's cross checked this with his story and it matches what he told us. He wanted us to deliver this to you and-"
"Someone you've met before."
"Before?" The girl hesitantly picked up the papers.
"Though you've never seen his face. At least not when you initially met."
"And he very much wants to meet with you," Rachel added noting the curious male members of the Front gathering 'round. Duffy also noticing their closer presence.
Noda, stepping up to Yuris' side, looked quizzically at the sheets before his leader. A sidelong glance from her to the halberd wielder gave no sign of annoyance or disapproval of the young mans' close proximity as in the past.
"Good," thought Duffy. "She's gonna' need ALL the moral support she can get when she takes this in."
Holding the document, both hands, Yuri read.
Not even half way down the page, a tremor in the hands evidenced, not lost on those about the desk.
Reaching out, Noda placed a comforting hand upon a feminine wrist only to have the hand brushed abruptly aside. His shock at such quickly dissuaded as Yuri, with a quick intake of breath, relented and grabbed the young mans' mitt for support, holding tightly.
Her other hand clenched, the papers partly crumpled under the grasp.
Shaking spasmodically, Yuri set the sheets down hard.
Looking straight into the mans' eyes, a wide eyed look of shock and maniacal hatred.
"Not until a few hours ago," the man talking low and slow. "He had everyone fooled ... You ... me ...
"To tell you the truth, I'm not happy with this guy either. It was all I could do to keep from shooting him myself. Had no idea I was working next to a monster all this time."
Abruptly standing up, both hands now flat on desk surface, Yuri quick-glanced at each of the six young men about.
|"FIND HIM ... NOW!"|
"We've ... got to find him ... FIND HIM! ... The bastard! ... The son of a-! ... "
"Find who!?" The collective question from the young men.
"The-," Yuri looked at Jack then back up to the men. "The Building and Grounds foreman! He's not an NPC!"
"His not being an NPC, how does that-?"
"Just FIND him!"
"Hold it. Yuri, he can't-" Jack trying to reason.
"Find him ... NOW! He mustn't- ... GO!"
"Wait! Guys! HOLD IT!"
The six stopped themselves in mid-rush to the door, a surprised Hinata, Sakaki and Takamatsu just entering through. Alternately looking between the foreigner and their leader, minds partially confused. A stoic Shiina, having unobtrusively taken her usual corner during the precedings, looked on.
Yuri, again with that hate charged look toward Jack. The sudden usurpation of her authority in her group by an outsider, not sitting at all well.
"He's not ... going ... anywhere hon," Duffy stated. "... Except here."
Rachel, taking a risk, leaned forward, reaching out, both hands enfolding Yuris' right. Though shaking violently, the girl made no effort to slap them away. The gesture seemed to have a calming effect as the girls' face went from ferocious to stern.
"Why ... would he-?"
"Where else would he go?" Jack making a rhetorical question. "There's no place he could hide on the school grounds. You and your group know the place better than I do and I know I could find him quick enough. Certainly not the guild tunnels. The woods? Matsushita and I know the hills better than he ever could and no matter what, Shiina'd track him down before any of us could get to him.
"No ... Like I said before ... He's not going anywhere ... But here.
"Which should be," the man glanced at his watch and then at the wall clock, "in about twenty minutes."
To be continued ...
1. R.U.R. (Rossoms' Universal Robots) - A 1920, three act science fiction play by Karel Capek about a revolt of synthetic humans.
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