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Natsuo jumped when Katsu emerged from his bedroom in a run, nearly causing him to spill his hot chocolate down himself. He stood as soon as he heard the other male's tone, knowing instantly something was wrong. Very wrong. Natsuo jogged to his bedroom down the hall, changing into a clean pair of black pants and a black shirt. He finger combed his hair and threw the room back into near perfectness before grabbing his weapons, his extra clothes, his bag, and turning off the light. He closed the door behind him and went back into the living room, setting down the things he had. He slung his bag over his shoulder, strapping his knives around his midsection for easy access if needed.
When Katsu came back out, he opened his bag to let him put the food he'd gathered into the bag, then zipped it shut. Natsuo was practically prancing on the balls of his feet, not really sure what was going on, but knowing that nothing was right. He guessed what Katsu might have received an email that set him off, or maybe just seen something on the internet.
Did the East Side government know he was here, on their side? Did they know who he was? Did they know why he was here, and that he was now an accomplice of Katsu? Natsuo paused, turning to look back at the other male. "If you come with me, they'll know." he said, watching the other male carefully. "They'll know everything. Are you willing to risk that?"
Katsu ran out into the living room, searching for Natsuo. "We have to leave. Get your things, anything you need and leave nothing that's telling of yours. Something is wrong." Before a moment could even pass to ask questions, Katsu retreated back into his room, taking a quick shower and suiting up with gear to travel light but enough to give him a somewhat okay feeling of safety. A surge of anxiety washed over him constantly that couldn't be diverted through any other thought or action. There was the possibility that this was an innocent email, a simple order, but with the format and the written tone, the protocol thrown out the window and everything, Katsu was almost certain that it wasn't so innocent.
It was against protocol to address without a ruse unless urgent, and it rarely ever happened if at all for meetings with the head. It was far too risky and hazardous, as well as just foolish and against set-in-stone rules. There was way too much wrong with it, and he didn't like the idea of staying in one place for too long.
He went back out into the living room, ready to leave at any moment. He grabbed a few cereal bars to keep his stomach distracted and his body somewhat energized for the day. He had to, at the very least, keep moving until they left.
Natsuo gave a small smile at Katsu's words. So his looks were reflecting how he felt? That didn't sound too good, since he didn't look all that great. He looked as if he'd been up all night, tossing and turning. There were slight bags under his eyes hinting that maybe he didn't get any sleep at all. His voice was groggy and his eyes were glazed, as if he were fighting the urge to go back to sleep. But would he be able to sleep if he did? Maybe that's why he was still awake.
Nodding at the question, he took a sip of his hot chocolate. "Yup. So we better get ready later on. Although the West Side is defensive, it won't be easy getting over there. Not with people expecting me to make a report tonight." He watched as Katsu got up and made his way back into his bedroom, heading to wherever he kept his laptop. Natsuo gave a soft sigh, but continued to drink his hot chocolate. I hope he's up for today. he thought to himself. If not, things aren't going to go too well for us.
Katsu chuckled sleepily. "Then I guess I look as bad as I feel, because I feel like hell." He ran a hand through his hair as he tried to compose his thoughts since Natsuo was in the room. He was a bit scatterbrained and wasn't sure what he should be thinking in the moment. He was a bit on the side of frustration with things that were a bit out of his control as well as the anxiety that came with the day, and more importantly evening ahead.
"So," Katsu said with a bit of a sigh. "Today's the day, huh?" He looked up at the ceiling for a few moments before saying near-absentmindedly, "I should check my laptop." He stood slowly and yawned before retreating back into his room. He opened up his laptop, going straight to his email. He saw the new email in his inbox and tensed. He wasn't expecting an email for anything, especially not today.
You have until noon. Report to the Head.
Katsu tensed. Noon...that was less than six hours away.
After five minutes or so, Natsuo had come across a box of hot chocolate packets. Feeling successful, he filled the kettle up with water and set it to boil, grabbed a mug for himself and set it down on the counter beside the box. He leaned back against the counter, waiting silently for the water to boil. He stared up at the ceiling, knowing that he'd never come back here. He'd never get to come back and sleep in the bed he'd been using again, he'd never feel claustrophobic from the lack of windows down here again, never eat at that table or sit on that couch. He'd never return to the East Side at all. He'd probably never even be able to leave the West Side again.
With a sigh, Natsuo turned back around as the kettle boiled. He wondered if Katsu could hear it, if he'd wake up. As he poured the water into the mug, then added a single packet of hot chocolate powder, he heard the bare footsteps of another person wandering out into the living room. Taking his mug, Natsuo followed Katsu's trail and sat down opposite him in a chair, looking at him curiously. "You look like hell." he told him, before taking a sip of his hot chocolate.
Katsu slept lightly, his night fraught with random intervals of wakefulness and restless sleep. He could barely remember each time he woke up, both when and why, as it was all for different mental images, images that were vague in recognition but vivid in emotional association. Anxiety, panic, fear, eagerness, longing--it all pulled at him in his vulnerable sleep, much so that morning was much more of a blessing than he expected.
It was close to six in the morning...no, after six when Katsu woke up. He remembered looking at the time to see something around half-past five, then closing his eyes for a second only to see quarter past six. The small sounds of movement about the apartment brought him to a full waking state, even though he was quite aware of the source of the sound from the first second of recognition.
Katsu thought he could do with some company in the morning.
He wandered out into the living room, half dazed with drowsiness and a stressed mind. He still wore his tank top and loose pajama bottoms that he wore in variation every night, his mind not concerned with changing before going out of his room. He simply sat on the couch upon reaching the living room, not even aware of any presence about. In the short walk from the bedroom, he had pretty much forgotten about what...or who had brought him out into the living room in the first place.
When Natsuo woke up next, he felt completely rested. Like he'd slept for a year and had woken up to a completely perfect world where nothing went wrong, the people were kind and everyone got along with everyone, there were no wars and everything was just...perfect. Or that was the feeling, anyway. But he knew that he only felt that way because so much had happened the day before and he'd been so exhausted, what with getting lost and all, that sleeping had really revived him. For the most part, anyway. And he had the odd craving for hot chocolate.
Rising from his bed, he made his way through the black room, uncomfortable with the darkness and the fact that there were no windows. He felt slightly claustrophobic and nearly rushed to the bedroom door to escape. With a sigh as he opened the door, he found the hallway dark still. Maybe he's still sleeping? he thought to himself, padding down the hall. He walked into the kitchen, checking the time. It was five fifty-eight in the morning. Well, he thought. I haven't missed anything. And apparently I didn't sleep that long either. he ran a hand up through his hair, moving to the cupboards to see if he could find any packets of hot chocolate.
Katsu couldn't help but allow himself a bit of a laugh at the wave of relief that he could see wash over Natsuo once he approached. He could only imagine what it would be like to be in a strange city and not know exactly where they were. Although, he had to admit that such a problem might become reality very soon.
"Good to see you're alright," he muttered, half under his breath upon seeing Natsuo
Once back at the apartment, Katsu returned to his room with barely a "Goodnight" as he felt intense waves of drowsiness descend over him at the familiar feeling of something like "home." He was indeed exhausted, but for more reasons that simple physical exertion. A lot had happened in just one day, and he was surprised he had yet to overload from all that had happened. After all, it was still a lot to comprehend given that his life was less than a day from being turned around.
Sleep came easily but not peacefully. Katsu had a restless sleep plagued with worry and suspicion. He simply wanted to make sure that the day ahead went off without a hitch. Some time within the confines of deep sleep, his phone chimed with an email that didn't even pierce through his sleep.
Natsuo sighed, realizing he probably wasn't going to get an answer. Did Katsu know the street corner he was on? Well, he should, right? He'd lived in the city long enough. But...what if he never came this way? What if he'd never had a job in this direction before? Natsuo shook his head. It isn't worth it to panic. If he didn't answer, he's probably too busy looking for- He looked up. His face lit up at the sight of a familiar face, and he felt like jumping into the sky. At that moment, he could have easily resembled a toddler who'd just been found by his mother after being lost in the super market.
"It's about time!" he said, but he was grinning. "I suppose you're right. But I only just recently realized that I'm not familiar with the East Side. No matter how alike the two...sides...are, they don't have the same layout." he gave a soft shrug. With a quick glance around them, Natsuo stepped toward Katsu. "Can we go back to the bunker? I'm exhausted...too much walking and getting lost for me...not enough sleep." he smiled, then shrugged. "I'll need my strength for tomorrow night. And...so will you." he gave Katsu a once-over and could tell he still looked tired.
When Natsuo finally returned to his bedroom down in the bunker after following Katsu back to it, he collapsed onto the cushiony mattress. He stared at his ceiling, shadows darkening the corners from the lamp beside his bed. The room was almost dark, and no light was leaking under the door.Maybe he went back to bed? he thought, and turned over. He reached out to turn out the light as he pulled his blanket up to his shoulders, getting comfortable. I hope he's ready for tomorrow. he thought to himself. It isn't going to be easy.
Katsu felt his phone vibrate as he stepped outside. He checked it and sighed a bit in frustration at the first response. He walked around the front of the bar and went back and forth, looking for where Natsuo would have gone. He tried to think like him, but he was still in the dark about how a person from the West Side truly thought. He wasn't used to thinking defensively, so he didn't know where exactly Natsuo would head if he thought he knew where he was going.
He felt his phone vibrate a few moments later and read through the message with a more relieved sigh. Lyle and Jane, Katsu thought. That was somewhere he knew. A few bright storefronts on that corner would be somewhere a person would wait. It was a few blocks away, so it took a good few moments to walk there. And when he got to the corner, he looked around, anticipating a familiar figure.
He walked a bit down the road and came across what seemed like a brick section between two stores. There, he saw Natsuo leaned against it, looking down and away. "There you are," Katsu said, relief clear in his voice. "Not the best time to get yourself lost, isn't it?"
Natsuo nearly jumped when he felt the vibration from his pocket. It took him a moment to realize it was phone buzzing from an incoming message. He rubbed his eyes, though he hadn't been sleeping,and looked around him again. Eventually he'd sat down, leaning against the wall between the two shop windows. He knew he shouldn't go anywhere else or try to find his way back to the bar because he'd just end up more lost, so staying where he was was the best option. But, because he was out in the open, he couldn't let his guard down. All night he'd received looks of suspicion from people passing by him, and he knew it was because of his appearance. He just hoped no one reported him; that would only end badly.
Taking out his phone, Natsuo scanned over the screen carefully. He didn't know the number, but judging by the contents of the message, he could only guess it was Katsu.
I have no idea. he sent back, and looked around himself again. Getting an idea, he stood from the ground and walked to the corner a few paces away from him. He looked up, finally glad he'd thought of something that might help: the street sign. Oh, wait. I'm on the corner of Lyle St. and Jane Avenue. Please tell me you know where that is. And hurry and find me. I'm hungry.
He sent the message, sighed, and walked back over to the small space of brick wall. It wasn't very comfortable, but it was the only place he'd realized that no one cared about. So, he leaned back against the wall, continuing on with what he'd done all night as he waited for a reply from his new ally.
Katsu woke up groggily, feeling the weight of the single drink on his head. He managed to sit up for a few long moments and noticed first that his bedroom door was still open. It was suspicious, considering that he didn't hear anything from the other rooms. After a few more moments of overcoming the drowsiness, he went down the hall to Natsuo's room, noticing that he wasn't home yet.
It had been a long while since Katsu fell asleep, so he began to wonder where Natsuo was. His first assumption was that Natsuo was heading back, but then there was his realization that Natsuo was fairly new to this city and probably hadn't been so far into the city tonight as they had in a long while. Even Katsu himself had a few accidental wrong turns in his distractions.
It took him some time of wandering along the streets of East Side to make it back to the bar, but he didn't see Natsuo inside or out. It was then that he got an idea when he reached into his jacket pockets, his left hand brushing past his cell phone. He, in fact, managed to get Natsuo's phone number early in the day when his suspicions had yet to be confirmed. He managed to get his cell phone and the number as well, and program it into his phone. He sent a quick text, standing outside the bar.
Outside the bar. Where are you?
Natsuo took his cell phone out of his pocket, the one he normally used to call his parents, his sister, but more recently the government agency he was working for that had sent him on this mission. He was supposed to only call them to keep them updated if he couldn't meet with the person sent to take his information to the company. He hadn't spoken to his parents since he'd been enrolled in the company, and he hadn't even seen his little sister. And now he realized that since he didn't really use the phone at all anymore, he had never asked Katsu for his number. He couldn't even call him to ask for directions. So how was he supposed to get back?
"I guess I could go back to the bar and wait for him to come looking for me..." he thought aloud, turning to face the direction he'd come from. But, he realized, he didn't know how to get back to the bar from there, either. With an agitated sigh, Natsuo tried to grab the attentions of people walking by to ask for help, but all that got him was weird looks and people running off. Did he really look that scary or something? He didn't think so.
"Ah, Katsu, hurry up and come looking for me." he said in a long breath. He stepped back against a wall between two shop windows, watching people as they walked passed him. What else could he do, really?
Katsu breathed a sigh as he made it back inside the apartment. The low automatic lighting was somewhat refreshing, but a part of it was irritating to him at the same time. There was something odd in the colour that he always hated, that always made him feel a bit comfortable. The light wasn't bright, so it wasn't any softness of white. It was a dirty mustard colour in glow, and unbearably constant in shine. And now, it cast little circular shines on focused areas, and failed to illuminate parts of the room that were outside of it's reach.
However irritating it was, he didn't do anything about it. Instead, he went straight to his room, looking for something to calm the building headache in his head. In his bedside drawer, he found a pill bottle for some headache medicine, and took it immediately, dry. There was no instant relief, and Katsu let out a small groan as he fell asleep on his bed, his bedroom suite door wide open.
Natsuo nodded, watching the other male carefully. He looked like he might just fall over, and Natsuo didn't really feel like carrying him back to the bunker apartment. So, when Katsu suggested heading back, Natsuo nodded. "You head back. I'll stay here, finish my drink." he smiled softly. "No need to wait up." Carefully, he watched Katsu make his way out of the bar, and watched him start back the way they had come through a window on the side of the building. And then he was alone.
He looked over, catching a glimpse of the sports game on the TV that the men were still hollering up at, behind him to a few couples sitting down at small tables, then to his other side where empty bar stools were his only company. He gave a soft sigh and looked back to the drink that still sat in front of him. He picked up the glass, downed it, and stood from the bar stool. "Be careful on your way back!" he heard a voice call after him, and guessed it was the bartender. But he didn't acknowledge it as he left the building.
Outside, the air had grown crisp, but not particularly cold. The sky was still dark, but bight stars lit it up, as well as the moon's light. Casually, Natsuo pushed his hands into his pockets and started in the direction he had seen Katsu take off in. He began winding his way through the streets, passing lit up stores and more bars, couples and people on their own on the sidewalks. As he took the last turn, Natsuo stopped. He looked around him, chewing the inside of his cheek. "Now this isn't right." he thought aloud, looking around himself. And in that moment, he realized he'd never walked back to the bunker apartment by himself. He'd always followed Katsu back.
He was lost.
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