A/N: And ... I'm back? Alot of people have been asking for a developed fic of "The Bait" or for me to update "Snapshots" so I dug around my folder and found something of a compromise - a prequel. Honestly, I haven't been writing much lately so I can only hope this meets your expectations. Thank you for the continuous reads during my long hiatus; the past two years were hectic but I've finally graduated! Hopefully I'll update more regularly after this, if you guys like it. Now, let's move on to:
Disclaimer: I wish I owned these boys...
Summary: Mafia AU And we see how the Prince fell in love.
~Prequel~ Underworld: The Captive Prince
6:00 AM Saturday
"Oi, seishounen!" Slam. "Wake up!"
The open door revealed an empty room. A table sat in a corner, books an organized pile on its pristine surface; on its left, the walls carved inwards into a huge cocoon where a thick mattress filled the bottom half of the huge expanse, the rest decorated with pictures of a Himalayan cat. Opposite lay wooden wardrobes, each filled with neatly folded clothes; hanging from one of the polished knobs was a family picture of four.
Light filtered in through the drapes drawn over full-length glass panes; it was morning. Soft sunlight played over the posters on the wall, outlining players and their tennis rackets. Beneath them stood a cabinet, where several rackets and tennis balls were placed on top of.
Feet padded softly across the room, towards the bed in the wall. Reaching into a cervix in the hollow of the "cocoon", a white slip of paper was pulled out.
Mada Mada Dane.
Echizen Nanjiroh scratched his head. "Rinko-chan! Our son has disappeared again."
6:30 AM Saturday
Echizen Ryoma smirked. Honestly, did his baka oyaji seriously believe that he would quietly put up with another of his stupid "hey-guess-what-here's-a-girl-for-you-to-make-friends-with" plans? He ducked into an alleyway and dug out a sandwich from his pocket.
Ryoma frowned. He hated those girls his father kept bringing home to meet him. They were so annoying. All they ever do was to giggle, flirt, giggle, make a pass at him, and giggle some more. He may be turning seventeen soon, but it did not mean he was in any way, interested in skirt chasing. Plus, he thought, girls are boring to play with and they can't fight.
He bit into a piece hot bread he picked up on his way out. Mhm, his cousin should consider opening a bakery. A cat meowed somewhere near him and the boy glanced around. He was now in one of the seedier areas in town where children shouldn't be; and it was quite a distance away from the mansion he called home. Well, he shrugged, as long as it meant his father had to spend more time looking for him. Really, he had better things to do.
Thoughts wandering, he absentmindedly chewed on his breakfast, letting his feet lead him. Spotting familiar tavern nearby, Ryoma strolled through the quiet streets and entered.
"Ah, Ryoma-sama!" A wizened man welcomed him with a friendly smile. "It's been a while."
"Kanjou-san." The teen replied, tipping his hat slightly.
"Giving your old man the slip again?" the barkeeper asked, leading him to a seat in the corner. "Why, your father was just here the other day."
Kanjou left and returned to the table with two beers. "On the house." He said, winking.
Ryoma took a sip and wrinkled his nose slightly. "Hm, ponta's better."
"Not your taste?" Kanjou laughed. "Next time, I'll get you your ponta. We don't stock them here, you know." The older man pulled up a chair and leant in. "And I reckon you want to know about the recent buzz." He sighed and drained his beer in one go. "Thought you'd have heard of it already, considering how you're part of the-"
"Right, right, sorry." The old man paused. "Okay, so, you know of Seigaku, Hyotei and Rikkaidai, right? The Big Three… only under your father instead."
"And I'm sure you've heard of the Elites too, heh, who hasn't? And they're the best of the best. Well, trouble starts here. I suppose you've heard of the new gang that recently moved in, the-"
"HeL Dogs, I know." Such creativity deserved praise, Ryoma snorted mentally. What class.
"So you have heard of them." Kanjou muttered. "Figures. So anyways, these newcomers pretty much established turf around here, and are starting to pick fights with neighbouring gangs, challenging higher ups, you know what rookies are like."
"Che, let me guess, they're aiming for one of the big three?"
Ryoma cocked an eyebrow.
Kanjou shook his head. "No, no, they're not that stupid. We gangsters may be tough, but bonds of blood runs deep. The Elites are known to have relatives in other influential gangs; sisters, brothers, cousins… you name it." He took out a cigarette and lit it. "So of course, these dogs chose to take the back door."
"Exactly." Kanjou took a long draw. "This gang had a specific target in mind. Yesterday, they targeted 's."
Ryoma sat a little straighter. He had once been to 's headquarters to pass on a message from his father, and met a few higher-ranked members. They had received him politely and had not shown any signs of hostility. Ryoma's lips quirked, although, its members were somewhat… quirky. Like the purple guy who kept twirling his hair.
"They managed to capture one of their best. Most suspect trickery, 's may not be the best, but they've been around for a long time and they know the game well. But the main reason for all the hush and empty streets is because of the supposedly kidnapped member. Rumour has it that he is the brother of a certain Elite from Seigaku."
"Hm." The teen mused. "So they're afraid of a fight…"
"Fight?" Kanjou snorted. "Ryoma-sama, the streets are going to shake with the force of his anger. You see," he grinned, "these dogs seemed to have aroused the wrath an angry, vengeful elder brother out there."
Ryoma let out a low whistle. Echizen Ryoga sure had his over protective moments too. Although only a few years older, the eldest son of Echizen Nanjiroh had never failed to go out of his way to baby his brother. Which included kicking a stranger through the walls of a shop for trying to talk to him. "Ouch."
"You bet. And if rumours are truths, they've messed with the wrong Elite."
7:00 AM Saturday
"Nya, Tezuka, do something!" Kikumaru Eiji, acrobat extraordinaire burst into one Tezuka Kunimitsu's study. "Fujiko's on a rampage!"
"Tezuka!" Oishi Syuichiro came running in. "Who told him about his brother's kidnapping? There are currently 104 injured, 59 crying in fear, 9 desks has been set on fire, 15 closets suffering damages, 13 doors ripped off their hinges… we've just managed to hole him up temporarily in his room, but I think the door won't hold any longer-"
"Buchou!" Momoshiro Takeshi shouted. "The rookies told me they heard some weird chanting coming from-"
Kaidoh Kaoru hissed from the door way. "Tezuka-buchou, just now-"
"Te-Tezuka!" Kamua Takashi skidded into the room. "Sorry Tezuka, but he's really really angry, and, um-"
"You missed him by a minute, twenty-three seconds and forty-seven milliseconds." Inui Sadaharu spoke up. The data specialists pushed his slipping glasses. "He left a while ago."
Tezuka sighed. He needed more painkillers. "Everyone go after him now and bring him back!"
6:59 AM Saturday
A figure scaled the wall easily and strolled away from the safe house casually.
"Hn." Fuji smirked, eyes opening a slither. "Sorry Tezuka, but I'm going to be gone for a bit." Hearing sudden shouts of commotion behind him, he fastened his steps. "Nu-uh, you're not catching me that easily."
"Now…" Sharp blue eyes slid open. "HeL Dogs… where are you?"
At the same time...
Ryoma yawned as he waved Kanjou goodbye. He briefly toyed with the idea of heading home, but he remembered why he ran in the first place and decided to wander around town. With a father like Echizen Nanjiroh, Ryoma knew these streets well, often stealing out of the house to explore. Heading North towards a more deserted area near the forest, Ryoma wondered if he would find anything more interesting to occupy his time with.
He yawned again, closing his eyes and letting his feet take him around. It was only after half an hour when he paused. "Where am I?"
He glanced around. He was on the outskirts of town, only a few houses were within his sight. Crates and boxes lay around, broken on the dry ground. Ryoma blinked. And he realized he was quite… lost.
"Oiya, oiya, what's this? Has this little boy gotten lost?"
And apparently deaf too; he didn't hear the men approaching. It was at that moment, when he noticed that he was surrounded. By a lot of people. By a lot of tall, muscular, tattooed people.
An ugly buck-toothed man stepped out. "Let's have some fun shall we? Boys."
And… Ryoma found his entertainment.
A cocky grin touched his lips. "I haven't had a good fight for a while."
Ryoma sulked the entire trip, upset at the loss of his hat. And, he had lost. "You guys are cheaters, I tell you, cheaters." He mumbled under his breath. He didn't think there would be so many of them, and they're big.
The two men holding onto him laughed down at him.
"Cheaters?" The left one said. "Oh no, we'd never do that."
"You're just weak, brat." The right one said. "Weak."
Ryoma scowled as the two men laughed above his head. He estimated that they were around fifteen minutes away from the outskirts of town; if anyone looked for him, it wouldn't take long for him to be found. He scowled. If only he had his hat with him, the sun was blinding.
"Here we are."
Ryoma looked up.
"How is it, that a midget, was able to down half of my men?!"
Ryoma rolled his eyes at the outburst from behind the door and received a rough shove for his efforts. It took him a few seconds to notice that the men holding him were shaking. A lazy smirk fell on his features.
"Hmm, your boss doesn't sound pleased, does he?" He tossed out lightly.
The grip on his arms tightened. The guard on his left leant in and hissed. "Don't get too cocky just yet, chibi."
His foul breath made Ryoma cringe. "I'm not that short, you stinker." He muttered.
From behind the door came a series of screaming and cursing – Ryoma thought he heard a chair fly – before silence fell. The heavy metal door opened seconds later, and Ryoma was dragged in unceremoniously. What he saw was enough to make his eyes twitch and cough out a 'cliché', but he kept his mouth shut.
A huge hulking man sat on a throne-like chair facing the door, a good hundred meters away from the door. In front of him lay a carpet stained with things Ryoma didn't care to find out about. But he did notice the man cowering in front of grimy leather boots and smirked. Oh, so you're the messenger.
Wow, Ryoma thought sarcastically, this man sure has a king complex. He eyed the gaudy furniture in distaste and secretly wondered if his mother would have a fit if she saw this.
The Prince was rudely pulled from his thoughts when he was pushed onto his knees. The moment his knees touched floor, he snarled. Mindful of his bound hands, he flipped backwards and lashed out with his feet. Landing in a crouch, he stared up at the man in the chair, leveling a cold stare at him. His previous guards lay in a heap behind him. "Like I'll ever kneel in front of such scum."
"Impressive for a boy."
Ryoma raised an eyebrow. "Can't say the same for your men."
A backhand sent his head whipping to one side. Hissing like a cat, Ryoma rotated his jaw lightly. This meathead packed a hell of a punch. Shaking his head to rid of the pain, he righted his stance and held his head up proudly.
The leader, Kurano, leant down and Ryoma frowned when beady eyes raked over his figure.
"Well, well, what a cute kitten I've caught here."
Ryoma didn't like the greasy implications behind the man's words and made it clear. He spat in his face.
"You can go join the other kitten," Kurano roared, face purpling in anger, "in the rat hole!"
Ryoma was once again grabbed roughly, and soon found himself stumbling into a dank musty cellar. Yuck. He could practically feel the yeast calling at him from the walls.
"Behave." The guard growled. He slammed the door shut and Ryoma heard the bolts click. Great. Huffing, he decided to explore.
That is, until he stumbled over something in a dark corner. Something lumpy, big and alive.
Echizen Ryoma, meet Fuji Yuuta.
So how was it? ^^ I shall try my best to make this decent, interesting and lengthy. Reviews anyone?