In Gods' Good Time: Chapter Twenty Five of an Angel Beats Fan Fiction Story
C V Ford
Chapter 25: Tribunal
Rachel, offside on the couch, gazed about the office. Only a few minutes had passed since Duffy and several of the Battlefronts' male contingent left to escort the man in and already the room was more than halfway full. Yuri, through Yusa and others, had spread the word and it seemed almost the whole Front would show. Even all four of GiDeMo along with Yui had arrived.
Duffy made it known to Yuri he pledged Kaji safe conduct to the office. After that, it was up to Yuri what was to happen. Jack also stipulating he would not intervene in any way unless the man would try to leave without her say so. Not that there weren't others who would also have a say in that.
Before leaving on that errand, the man cleared the area before the desk and made a point of positioning a plain hard backed chair in front. It was obvious the Building and Grounds foreman was to undergo a "drumhead" tribunal.
Both Rachel and Jack were sure there wasn't going to be anything resembling a real trial, fair or otherwise and that Yuri, as judge, jury and executioner, was to carry out sentence. In a short debate before their coming to the office, the couple agreed there was no real authority at Heavens' Academy to handle anything of this type of situation anyway. Even if there was, it wasn't going to make the man any more guiltier or innocent.
In any event, the purpose of this afterlife/in-between was to iron out whatever emotional or spiritual issues anyone had and whatever happened here today was going to be a way of "resolving" what lay between the two.
And what lay ...
Speculation ran wild through the gathering. Though the ones' earlier present, some with Jack on their escort mission, had a good idea, the later arrivals had no clue as to what was up. With Noda constantly at Yuris' side, Hinata, Oyama, Takamatsu, and Sakaki kept to themselves looking serious and not answering questions. For all anyone else knew, if it weren't for O'Hara-senseis' presence, it could have been a briefing for a meal ticket hit or some kind of elaborate scheme she wanted them reviewing.
Yuri herself, sat silent at the desk, stern look on her face, gripping and re-reading the document.
Noda made it a point not to look over her shoulder. What little he had seen initially was enough as far as he was concerned and anything else would be between the man and Yuri. Though it was obvious the young man was in grim anticipation on what lay ahead what with the look on his face and the way he gripped that halberd.
The escort, composed of Duffy, Matsushita, TK and Fujimaki was met at the utility garage door by Kaji. Apprehension was quelled by Jacks' assurance nothing was going to happen. At least not on the way to the office. The four flanked the man, Duffy in the lead to the left, and proceeded to their destination.
Jack noticed a figure in plain sight at the far corner of the pool building watching. Someone else had invited herself along. One could never tell with that one. But then, if the ninja had decided on attack, she would already have done so before the contingent would have even arrived.
"No," thought Jack. "She's just here to watch. Probably thought he might make a break for it."
The short, solemn walk, uneventful.
A noticeable hush fell over the office prompting Rachel to break from her observations and turn her head to the door along with everyone else. The four man escort with their subject had arrived.
"Do you have anything on you?" Duffy asked.
Indicating his use of the left hand, Kaji reached slowly into his coverall and gingerly withdrew a pistol, handing it to Jack. A collective intake of breath sounded from the gathering on sight of the gun. A fixture of the school had just revealed itself not only as NOT part of the scenery but as a potential menace that had until now, gone long unnoticed.
Hefting the pistol, Duffy made a quick estimation.
"Old Nambu eight millimeter. Wartime relic ... ," surmising to himself. "Must have brought it with him coming here."
Pocketing the weapon, he indicated for Kaji to put his hands to the doorjamb for a pat down search.
"No need for that." The interruption coming from the back of the spacious office.
All in the room looked to the desk. Yuri looked back down continuing to read.
"She's taking this quite well considering," thought Jack seeing the grim, tight lipped apparition, still seated, papers now flat on the desk surface. "So far."
Contingent advancing to the desk, the man noted Shiina back in her usual position at the rooms' northeast corner.
"Probably got here before we did and I'll bet no one had seen her arrive," thinking to himself. "Gotta' find out how she does that."
Gesturing for Kaji to take the lone seat at the desks' front, Jack turned toward Yuri. Placing the foremans' pistol on the desk in front of her (Then snapped up by Hinata.), he turned and went to an awaiting Rachel on the couch. Now just an observer, his part in this unfolding drama was over. Seating himself between his fiance' and Iwasawa thus putting himself between the desk and Rachel, he put a reassuring arm around the teacher.
The foreman looked nervous but resigned. He had made his choice and come what may, would submit to whatever might happen next. No doubt more than one gruesome scenario had circulated through his mind over the several years he had been here. His guilty conscience giving no let up and now ...
"There was one who held back ... Tried talking the other two out of it."
A hush fell over the gathering. Yuri, papers now down on the desk, looking straight at the man in the chair, had begun to speak.
"That was you ... wasn't it?"
Her voice flat in extreme effort to keep herself calm. Effort noted by one and all from the way her left hand gripped the desks' edge.
"I ... Didn't think he'd do it." Kaji answered. "Was only going to put a scare in you he said. Was only going to be the money and whatever else we could get-"
"It was supposed to be quick ... Get in, get out ... Take what was small and easy to fence and whatever cash there was to grab. I didn't think he would-
"I didn't ... think."
The sudden expletive seemed to focus the man.
"Stopped breaking into warehouses ... too well guarded. Security companies getting wise. Thought we'd lay off that for awhile ... try something else.
"We started looking at the better neighborhoods. Better the homes, better the chance of a good haul and-"
"NO!" Yuri momentarily exploded then instantly calmed. "I ... don't give a damn ... about that."
Kaji, bewildered, looked questioningly at the Front leader.
"Why our place ... why us ... Why ... did my brother and sisters have to-"
Tension mounted among one and all. The suppositions of the initial bunch with Yuri when she recieved the papers confirmed. Her question an announcement to the rest as to what it was about. Confusion now cleared. Most in the Battlefront familiar with her backstory.
"Your house ... Off in the corner ... More separate from the rest ... secluded ... Trees in back ... That's how we got away. We-"
"Why did they have to die!? ... DAMN YOU! ... WHY!?"
"I wanted to stop them. I ... couldn't. I-"
"ANSWER ME YOU SONOFABITCH! ... WHY ... DID ... THEY ... HAVE ... TO ... F-----G ... DIE!?"
The Front leaders' controlled facade breaking, she rose from the desk chair.
"We ... They were just kids ... LITTLE kids! ... Mari was nine ... and Saya was seven. Kei was only ... five ... WHY ... You didn't have to- ... And in THAT way."
"I didn't want to ... I didn't kill any of them, I-"
"You held them back! You helped keep them in the living room while I had to go over the house looking for anything that might be worth something. YOU ... BASTARD! You killed them as surely as if you used the knife yourself, you-"
Yuri abruptly stopped, taking a breather in trying to calm down. With something of a grip on herself and now slightly cracking voice, she continued.
"You thought we had money and valuables laying around? A safe maybe? Mom and Dad had all their money tied up in investments or the bank. It wasn't like some stupid movie where someone makes deals and throws out envelopes full of cash. It wasn't some-"
"He wouldn't listen ... Said it would be easy. Had it all planned out, he said ... Things went wrong ... he went crazy ...
"I didn't think he'd do what he did. I wanted to stop him ... couldn't."
"WHY!? Why couldn't you stop him? Except for your whining at him, you didn't even try. Why couldn't you have-"
"He was my brother ... was ... I ..."
This new development brought Yuri up short. Though shaking, she sat back down, silent with a look telling him to continue.
"He ... never was ... any good. Was always wild and strange ... violent.
"I remember mom making me promise to watch over him when we were kids. She hoped he'd change.
"Got worse as we got older. Got into trouble a lot. Fights, petty theft, drinking ... you name it. Reform school, psychiatric examinations ... Did nothing for him. When he got out, he graduated to burglary and breaking into stores and warehouses.
"He seemed to have smartened up ... At first. No violence. Tried to avoid running into anyone. The merchandise and money was what counted.
"Then something changed.
"It was the damn coke. Took to snorting it a few weeks before we hit your place. Hyped him up. Stopped thinking straight. Don't know how he got it, laws being so tight on it usually you could only get grass or heroin.
"I tried to convince myself it didn't matter. That he'd keep his head together. Didn't.
"I wanted to stop him ... couldn't ..."
At the pause, the Front leader jumped back in.
"WHY!? Other than saying something, you didn't even try! So what if he was your brother ... Damn you! I-"
"I was afraid of him! ... I ... was ... "
Yuri, breathing hard and in almost a half crouch in her chair, glaring at the pathetic creature in intense hate.
"Oh God! ... You've no idea how much I wanted to ... Every night ... when I ... try to sleep ... I see the faces of those children ... those kids. Every day, especially when I see you around, is a constant reminder of the coward I am.
"I can't live .. DIE ... with myself. I ... "
An audible, low growl of utter contempt could be heard from beyond the desk. With an effort, Yuri put her arm up signalling restraint to Noda. A restraint she was hard pressed keeping for herself.
"Your brother ... was very brave. Showed some guts ... Stepped up to be the first. Probably thought he was protecting the three of you doing what he did. He-"
"I don't need anyone ... Least of all ... YOU! ... Telling me what happened," Yuri interrupted through clenched teeth. "I ... saw all three of them go. All three ... Kei ... Mari ... Saya ... All that ... blood ... and that f-----g brother of yours laughing ... LAUGHING damn you!
"Did it right in front of me ... Wanted me to see it ... See it all ...
"And ... you ... did ... nothing. NOTHING!"
A thought hit Yuri. If one of her past tormentors was here ... in this-
"The others! ... Your brother ... The other two ... Are they-"
"They're not here, believe me," Kaji started explaining. "If they were, I'd have told you. My brother's ... dead ... the other guys-"
"He got his? Good! I hope his going was hard. Yours too ... As it will be from now on."
The man visibly shuddered, apprehension building on the girls' last remark.
"It WAS hard ... His going. I did it."
"Did ... it. What? You kill him?" Yuri skeptically inquired.
"... yes ... ," the foreman, head hanging, stared at the foot of the desk. "I killed him. Had to ..."
All in the room long in rapt attention. Yuri, momentarily silent in the hope it would prompt the man into continuing.
"We ... Laid low awhile. Two months for the heat to die down. Stayed in Osaka with friends. Goro, he was one of the other two with us when we ... were at your place ... spotted an opportunity we took it."
"He saw an old man in a bank. Drew out a lot of cash. Followed him home, then got back to us. Kenji decided to pull the job. Same as when we-"
Though knowing it was futile, the man brought himself up short lest he arouse more ire in the Front leader.
"Old man and his wife. Another so-called easy hit. We busted in on their dinner. Had 'em scared ... like ... before."
"Go on," Yuris' curiosity had a slight toning down effect.
"I knew what was coming ... Couldn't let it happen again ... couldn't ...
Looking up, straight into Yuris' eyes. The mans' sniveling ceased and the calm resignation from before took over.
"He had the old man fetch the money. With that knife at his wifes' throat I knew it wouldn't stop there. He was gonna' kill 'em both right there. I couldn't let it ... Not again ... Not this time."
All on their feet in Safe and Sound leaned forward, not wanting to miss a word.
"The old guy was out of the room. That's when I made my move.
"Kenji was holding the old lady while flashing that knife around. When that blade was away from her, I hit his knife arm. Guess it wasn't hard enough. He still held on to it, but he let her go.
"I told him no more. Stealing's one thing ... Murder? No more-
"He came at me, I shoved the pry bar in his face. He backed up a bit, I swung back and hit him again. That's when he went down.
"The other two took off. Don't know what happened to them.
"What I do know is ... I'm looking at my brother on the floor. Could tell he was dead by the way his neck angled. Must have broke it.
"His eyes ... Staring ... Looking like he was surprised before he died. Guess he didn't think I had it in me. I know I didn't ... 'til then.
"I noticed the blood. Mine this time. He must have cut me. In the gut. Didn't feel a thing ... Not at first. Had to get out of there.
"The old man and lady were just standing there holding each other ... Oh God! ... Just like your two little sisters did when-"
A more than audible, deep from within, primal hiss emerged from the girl behind the desk, building up.
Not seeming to notice, the man continued.
"I started to tell them how sorry I was. Seeing as how I was leaking all over that living room, I had to get out ... hospital. All I remember after was getting out the door then ...
"I was here."
All Yuri could do at that moment was glare at the pathetic excuse of humanity before her.
"I ... know there's nothing I can do to bring your brother and sisters back. If there was I ... would.
"I came here ... Wrote this statement out ... because I can't go on ... living ... If that's what you'd call it in this place, with this on my conscience. Eating away at me like it's been these last few years here in this Naraka ... This ... hell.
"I'm not asking for forgiveness, that would be impossible knowing what you ... What I put you through.
"Whatever you do ... your descision I'll accept. Anything's better than going on with this sham I've been going through-
Yuri still behind the desk, tense breathing along with face looking the same.
"You ... Have NO idea what I went through after." Yuri stating evenly. "I spent three years going through psychiatric treatment ... The drugs ... the mind games, the-"
Duffy stiffened at that announcement, Rachel gripping his hands noticed the tension in him immediately.
"Ever since ... it ... happened. I dreamed of what I'd do if I had the chance." The Front leader stood in full, hands off desk. "All sorts of things ... When I wasn't crying over it ... I couldn't think of anything else. Never thought it'd be dropped in my lap like this-"
"SHUT ... UP! SHUT THE ... HELL ... UP!" Yuri pushed back the desk chair, setting the stage for conclusion. "You had your say ... Now I'm having mine."
The man visibly cringed at the sight of the now about to be avenging angel.
"Yeah ... all sorts of ... things ... to do if ever I ran across any of you ...
"Funny ... For some reason I can't think of anything right now ... I'm Okay with that ... for the moment.
"You can't die here, you only come back. Well and good 'cause that means I get to kill you more than once ... Yeah ... a LOT of times.
"I'll think of something later but right now-"
A collective intake of breath and exclamation hit the crowd, many drawing back, as Yuri slowly drew the Beretta from behind.
In trying to protect Rachel from a possible wild shot, Duffy instinctively turned, grabbing his love in a tight hug, putting his body between her and the scene unfolding. The teacher complicating matters by trying to look around.
Everyone else, stock still in witnessing the execution.
"This'll do for right now," Nakamura declared, sick smile on her face, aiming the large pistol straight at that of the man. "Heh ... All the time ... in the world."
The front leaders' left came up in support of her gun hand. Right thumb swept up the safety lever with an ominous click. The opposable digit then levered the hammer back into single action.
It was as if the target looked straight through the guns' barrel and slide at Yuri. Bravery wasn't what showed. Only an exhausted resignation seemed to register on his face.
|"All ... the ... time ... in the world."|
"All ... the ... time ... in the world." The girls' smile wider.
Right index gradually increased pressure on the trigger. Yuri was relishing for the break. The low audible hiss from before rising in volume-
-cut off abruptly on espying the now empty chair before one and all. Beyond dead silence, making its' ponderous non-presence known.
For Rachel and Jack, it was the second and fourth time respectively they had seen an obliteration.
The silence, broken only by the heavy thump of a pistol being placed on a wood surface, continued. All eyes on Yuri now leaning palms down over the desk, head hanging.
Small gasps, becoming deeper, graduating to sobs, breathing erratic, shaking, trembling in her anguish. Her siblings gone long before, now the very revenge she dreamed of taken as well.
With startling abruptness, the Front leader snapped her head up, face twitching with emotion, spasmodically scanning the crowded office.
"OUT!" The high pitched rasping shout at least as hard. "GET ... OUT! ... Everyone ... All of you! ... GET OUT ... NOW! ... get-"
She paused and continued.
" ... Please!" Her tone changing as she returned her gaze to the desk top. Tears starting to form. "Just ... leave? ... please ... I ... can't ... I ... I need to ... need ..."
Their commanders' voice trailing off into anguished sobbing as she collapsed into the chair. The varied crowd of the Front turned to leave, teacher and maintenance man following suit.
Noda, reaching out to her hand, thought the better of it and turned. Feeling the sudden tug on his sleeve, he partly turned back to see a spent, weeping girl, staring pitifully at the desk top, holding onto him. Through stacatto breathing he heard her plea.
" ... You ... stay ... See everyone out but ... stay ... Please? ... Lock the door and ... come ... back here."
Placing the halberd in the corner, the young man proceeded to the door.
Emptying quickly, the room but for Yuri and Noda was soon vacant. Last one out, the ever observant Shiina nodded to him on exit.
Lock clicked into place the ax man apprehensively returned to the desk, not sure in-
He coming round the desk end, she was instantly out of the chair and upon him with a speed he found incomprehensible. Yuri enfolded the young man in her arms, clawlike fingers digging seemingly through his blazer and into his back.
Face in his shoulder, she, through her tears, haltingly instructed.
"Hold me Noda ... Just ... hold me ... Nothing else ... I don't think I can ... stand ... "
|"Hold me Noda ... Just ... hold me ... Nothing|
else ... I don't think I can ... stand ... "
To be continued ...
Storyline and original characters (only) copyright © 5-1-14 C V Ford
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