A/N. *pokes head out from behind very large wall and immediately ducks back* Alright, you guys should be angry *ducks more flaming/pointy flying objects* And I deserve that. *ducks* and that. *ducks again* alright, you can stop now. I hate to break the news to you, but this chapter is the last, and it has a really crappy ending at that. I just don't have the spark to keep writing Black Cat right now, having moved to Fullmetal and Naruto. I think I might be coming back a bit, so keep a watch out for a revised ending, but for now, I hope you won't hate me for this ending. Congragulations on all of you guys getting who the boy was in the last chapter. Who doesn't love Ed?
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Black Cat. I don't really remember who does, but then again, I may never have known.
Train pressed himself back against the stone wall and ducked his head doggedly. Maybe it wasn't that easy with the weight of hurting one of your closest friends, but Train still couldn't help but remember what it felt like when she'd punched him. Amber eyes wouldn't meet pink and Sven was left between the two.
"It'll be alright, you two." He said, placing a hand on each of their shoulders. Eve smiled weakly at him while Train flinched even further in on himself and looked away from both sweepers. Eve bowed her head ashamedly, looking from one wound to the next, from one scar to another, realizing just how broken he looked then. Sven switched looking between Eve and looking between Train, both of his partners looking so lost. Train ducked is head in such an un-Train like position that with all of the injuries and dirt covering him that Sven had a hard time believing he really was Train. The brown haired sweeper didn't life his head for the rest of the night, leavingSven and Eve to keep each other company.
Suffice to say that the rest of the night was spent in silence.
Morning came and went with only a single guard coming down to replenish their stale bread and blessedly clean water. Sven tried to get Train to eat some food, but the younger sweeper hadn't even acknowledged at Sven. Eve and Sven exchanged worried glances, but Sven knew better than to push his partner and Eve wasn't going to risk the thin bond she still had with him. Train remained slumped over himself the rest of the day, and was only mildly surprised that he was allowed to remain past noon. Sven and Eve looked oddly tensed near the door, but then the blonde bio-weapon glanced over at him and he immediately twisted away.
The temperature dropped drastically in the room as night approached, and Train began shivering sharply. Eve tried to sidle over and hand him the remains of Sven's jacket, but he just shied away, very stray-cat esque. She frowned darkly and gave a hopeless little look to Sven before retreating back to the older man and leaving Train on his own.
More time passed, going from the freezing night to the slightly warmer atmosphere of daytime. Eve would continually attempt to talk with Train, but the other sweeper remained distant and skitterish. Just as she was about to try again, footsteps rang out across the mutilated stone steps and even Train was interested enough to lift his head warily. Too much of him hurt-physically and beyond- for him to try anything else. Four lead the way down the steps, closely followed by Eight and a cloaked man. Topaz eyes lighted on the frayed edges of this mystery man's cloak and Train tilted his head slightly, only slightly, and tried to focus his attention on the man.
But it was getting so hard to hold a lucid thought that the sweeper just kept staring without really seeing.
Sven and Eve once again took up position in front of their discombobulated partner, but even with the obvious warning, Four and Eight sauntered forward. The cloaked man followed behind.
"Time for one last go round Thirteen. If you can make it, then good for you, you can leave. If not…" What would happen if Train lost today didn't need to be spoken. Train shrugged indifferently and dropped his head a little. He heard the third man step forward instead of actually seeing the movement, but the words that followed had him showing more life that he had for the past two days.
"I'd have thought you were smart enough not to get caught, Heartnet. Didn't I train you better than that?" The sweeper flinched violently, eyes wide as he lifted his head higher than his shoulders and stared at the long, limp sandy hair and gruff face of his old mentor-no, not him, anyone but him, please God quit punishing him, anyone but-
The man smiled, awarded his former pupil a small clap and stepped forward.
"It's good to see you haven't forgotten me over the years, Thirteen. But I heard you quit?" The statement was posed as a question and again, Train shrugged indifferently.
"That's the word on the street these days. But when I last saw you, I was sure as heck that you were gonna become part of it." Zagine chuckled amiably and began his story.
"I was. But Chronos had had their eye on me for a while, so when they 'found' me bleeding out on the street, they decided it would be a good idea to keep me around for a while. I was transferred here a few weeks ago as soon as they concocted up this crap plan on kidnapping you. I just never figured on them actually pulling it off." Train offered a slightly regretful smirk.
"Sorry to disappoint and all but… do we have to fight?" This question was more directed to the remaining numbers that had remained silent throughout the whole exchange.
"You don't really have a choice in the matter. Get up." Train ignored Eight, granted Zagine one last look and dropped his head back to his knees. The other two sweepers, who had also remained silent, stood swiftly in a last ditch effort to keep their strained companion safe. Eight frowned and stormed forward, wrenching the mutilated metal door away from the frame and pushing past the two sweepers with ease. Four waltzed in behind and kept them from pressing forward by wagging the remote to Train's bracelet in front of them.
"Ah ah ah! I wouldn't do that if I were you. Because if my hand were to slip…" he lightly jabbed his thumb onto the button and Train's body jerked sideways as if of his own accord. The younger man hadn't even cried out before the torture stopped and Eight bent down to roughly grab his arm and yank him to his feet. Train followed wordlessly, to all the world dead on his feet. Eight shoved him towards Zagine and attempted to slam the door behind him. The metal clanged off of the ill-fitting frame and remained slightly ajar.
Train stumbled forward due to Eights shove, but he regained his feet before slamming into his mentor. The brown head cocked slightly and Train had the gall to lean forward a bit and poke his former mentor none to gently in the chest. He frowned when he was met with a solid resistance and lifted his head to look Zagine in the eye.
"Are you sure you're not some hallucination because of some infection or concussion?" he asked. Zagine smirked and gave Train a quick slug across the face that had him stumbling backwards.
"That answer your question, Heartnet?" He asked. Train slowly wiped the blood dribbling down his chin with the back of his hand.
"Dang. I was kind of hoping you were." The Numbers interrupted.
"Enough chit-chat. Either you start fighting or one of them dies," Eight said, pulling a small pistol out of his jacket pocket and waving it carelessly towards the cell holding Sven and Eve. At the sight of the gun, Train again cocked his head while shying away a little. He only had three bullets left, counting the one in his gun and the two loose bullets that had been rattling around in his pocket. Zagine was sure to have one, and after pushing Train to the max only a few years ago, he wouldn't be surprised if the older man started shooting. Even being the Black Cat, he would be hard pressed to keep alive with only the bullets and an orichalcum gun against an assassin better than he was. Train slipped his hand into his pocket and fingered the two bullets there. One was a freeze bullet that he'd kept after being turned into a child and the other was a more familiar burst bullet. He grabbed the exploding piece of lead and loaded it with ease into Hades's golden chamber. After a second thought, he slid the freeze bullet in before the ordinary one and snapping the cartridge back in place so that the burst bullet was up first.
"Are you really going to fight me with three bullets, Train? I thought I taught you better than that." Zagine sounded tauntingly disappointed. Train balked viciously, brows furrowing and his head jerking back almost of its own accord.
"What, you get all the credit for training me? Nothing because of my own skill or determination?" Zagine shrugged uninterestedly, flipping a few strands behind his ear as he casually drew his own gun, a stunning black piece of metal that shone dully in the fluorescent light. Silence reigned for a few moments until several of the cool bandages soaking across Train's burns simultaneously dropped to the floor. An immediate pain shot up from all of the red, swollen skin and Train doubled over on himself. Zagine chose that moment to attack, rushing forward and slamming the butt of his gun into the joint between Train's neck and his collarbone. He dropped to the floor and when his head hit the unyielding concrete the world spun dizzyingly and the black spots in his vision merged with the black in Zagine's cloak.
Train lifted Hades shakily, his shoulder stinging and the gun feeling like lead so that he knew he'd never hit Zagine right in the heart. Sven shouted something about 'moving his hand higher, because dang it, the only thing he would hit now was the man's leg.' He followed his partner's advice wordlessly and lifted the gun a bit more.
The shot echoed around the room, and then again.
Bang! Bang! Bam!
The bullet hit Zagine right on the shoulder and then ricocheted around his gun and blew into the barrel just as Zagine had pulled the trigger. Only quick reflexes managed to get the weapon away from the assassin before it combusted and it was by chance that it landed near Train.
"Train, move!" Sven shouted and the sweeper in question attempted to scramble away as fast as he could on his back. But the gun exploded in mid air and even with the skill train had he couldn't get away.
The gun exploded almost literally in his face.
Train screamed out as shrapnel rained down around him, quickly ducking his head and rolling to the side as fast as he could. White hot metal clawed and tore at his arms and back before he got fully out of range. When he looked over, Zagine was flat on his back, breathing painfully. Train looked a little closer and could have sword he saw a particularly jagged shard of shrapnel poking out of his chest, but the lighting was bad, and Zagine just didn't get hurt that stupidly. Train panted heavily, attempting to get back on his feet despite the horrific ringing in his ears and the way he couldn't quite get his limbs to work correctly. He floundered for a few moments, flipped over several times and then pushed himself up with a wall.
"No! This wasn't supposed to happen!" someone shrieked manically, and Train lifted his head just in time to receive a flying blow to the face. He flew backwards and collided with the wall. Black filled his vision and he dropped back onto his hands and knees while trying to figure out who had smashed his face in. Black shoes slipped in front of his vision, but everyone in the room was wearing black shoes. It was the way he stepped that let Train know which Number it was. Yes, they seemed confident enough, but he took a little too much time in between each step, as if wondering where he should place his foot.
Four. Train lifted his head warily and stood on shaking feet to face the assassin. Four was livid.
"THAt SHoulD haVe bEen YOur LAsT fiGht! YoU were sUPPosEd to DIe tHen!" The shouting dropped in and out of focus as the ringing continued in Train's ears and he did the only thing he had left to do then; what with the threatening way Four was stalking towards him and the golden blade that hummed with electricity in his hand.
Train went of the offensive.
He lunged clumsily forward and slammed his shoulder into Four's sternum sending the other man stumbling backwards while he received a vicious slash wound across the chest. He stumbled, and then twisted around and attempted to lift Hades with both hands. The gun shook minutely as he took aim as well as he could and pulled the trigger as soon as he thought he had the shot. The freeze bullet flew out of the chamber and swerved a little before burying itself in Four's fingers. The Number screamed loudly and tried to drop his knife. The ice was faster though, and had already crawled up the rest of his fingers and begun to spiral up his knife.
Four shrieked as the ice began to inch the opposite was down his arm and up his shoulder and he clawed madly at the freezing substance. He blundered drunkenly around, shouting and panicking as Eight calmly and collectedly strode forward and pulled out his own weapon of choice. The shiny black orb glinted just as Four's helmet had and Train slid open the cartridge of his gun and fingered the only bullet left. A normal, ordinary bullet was all that he had left. No tricks. No left over exploding cat grenades.
He spun the cartridge around a few times in a clichéd move he'd seen before snapping it closed and took aim in time for his wrist to become shattered from the black ball that smashed into it. That hurt.
It was Train's turn to scream horrifically while the bones in his wrist cracked and split all the way up to his elbow. Hades dropped from his hand as he dropped awkwardly to the ground, the metal contraption making his landing difficult. Sven and Eve were shouting from some far away tunnel, but Train was focused on how much it hurt. He was tempted to curl around the shattered appendage but fear of what would happen afterwards to himself and his companions had him stretching his body up and weakly grasping Hades with his left hand. The handling was awkward at best, with the metal glove screwing his aim and forcing himself to change his normal shooting style. The two metals clacked together with a sound worse than nails scraping across a chalkboard. Probably worse than Rinslet's nails on a chalkboard.
Train cradled his destroyed right arm to himself and ducked one, two different swipes from Eight's weapon before dancing away and trying to find the shot he was looking for. The Number swung again, and again, and again. Still, there wasn't an opening and Eight kept pressing forward. The gilded orb missed Train's head by an inch, and the Eight pulled back the handle with both hands…
Quick as a viper, Train lined up a shot as best he could and pulled the trigger before he could mess up the shot.
Eight screamed harshly, immediately pulling his hands back down to his chest and drawing his bloody wrists back to himself. The bullet had gone straight through his left wrist and out of his right wrist, severing the tendons so that it made it an agony to move either hand. Eight dropped to the floor, and Train knew he wouldn't bother them anymore.
Four, however, was another matter entirely. He lunged forward and tried to club Train over the head with his now rock-hard arm and frozen dagger. The brown haired sweeper dropped forward and rolled, sweeping his legs out behind him to send the Number crashing to the ground. Four hit his head on one of the jagged boulders. A large dent appeared in his helmet, far larger that it should have been. Four didn't move again, but with his helmet still on Train couldn't be sure. He danced around the limp body and shoved Eight to the ground so that it would be almost impossible to get up again before turning and stepping over Zagine's unconscious form to pull open the door to the cell. They were finally free!
But suddenly a hand wrapped around his ankle and his surprise at the act didn't leave him enough time to react and he fell to the floor. His right hand seemed to lift of its own accord to help his left brace his body. He wasn't prepared in any way shape or form for the sheer agony that came with the motion.
It was as if the two jagged shards of bone were grating against each other and tearing into his muscle as he tried to brace himself. The scream in and of itself should have forced Sven and Eve into motion, but it was more the look of loss and pain that had them running towards their friend. Eve, trying to prove herself worthy of Train's trust again, barreled through the off kilter gate so that she could leap at Zagine. The small blonde pummeled the assassin violently while Sven pulled Train much more gently from the fight. Train tried desperately to stand on his own and once he was on somewhat steady feet Sven went forward to grab Eve as well.
"Easy Eve, easy! He doesn't need to die!"
"Yes he does! He hurt Train!"
Train himself watched from a distance as his partner finally managed to pull the riled teen away from his ex-mentor. Swaying on his feet, he waved with his elft hand to get Sven's attention.
"We need to leave now." The green haired man eyed the metal contraption on his wrist with unease and uncertainty.
"What about that?" he asked, pointing. Train shrugged.
"We can stop by Tearju's and she'll fix me and Eve up." Both men turned to look at the collar on the girl's neck before returning to the conversation.
"Do you think we can make it?"
A sudden premonition came to Train- grass and trees and a mansion behind them. A gunshot "Eve, move!" And then blackness…
"Yeah, we'll be fine." Sven accepted this answer from Train and then turned to look at both of his partners.
"I would be the best suited to help Train along, but I would also be the one who was most up for a fight if it came to that. So Eve, you help Train along and I'll go ahead. You head anything, you find a place and hide, alright?" They both nodded, Train a little more sullenly that Eve before they set off. Sven managed to find the small pistol Eight had dropped before they scaled the stairs and wound their way out of the dungeons. From there, the younger two of the trio would wait as Sven crept ahead and determined whether or not the path was clear of not.
They went through three different passages of this before Sven suddenly hissed back at them to hide and Eve herded Train into a side room. She peered out of the key hole and saw several dozen men running for the dungeons.
"Eight must have managed to get to an alarm system then." Train whispered. They waited for Sven's signal before sneaking back out and running for the elder sweeper. They had to stop four more times before they reached the front doors in complete solitude. Sven was the one to shove the heavy oaken doors open and they all filed out, silent as thieves in the night.
They were halfway across the dark yard before tragedy struck.
"There they are! Get them! Get them NOW!"
Train twisted to see Eight on the balcony above them, trying to turn a spotlight on them with his injured arms. There was a black shadow somewhere around there and…
A glint of metal.
They were aiming for Train. And no one but Train was that good of a shot from that far away.
Train shoved the blonde girl away from himself and towards Sven, knocking the both of them to the ground. Then, he turned to face the sniper head on just as-
God, it hurt so bad, like fire lighting on his torso.
A girl was screaming hysterically and a man was shouting about something, and a far away voice was sheering manically…
But then it stopped hurting so bad, and the being known as Train Heartnet really couldn't care less anymore.
A/N. it's done. Good and done. I'm going to post it tonight with out editing so that you all can read it, but this weekend I'll get around to editing. If you feel like re-reading it, by all means, go ahead. Please review!