Hallucinogen

A/N: Don't worry . . . The title will work itself into the story . . . Don't frack out and be like, "OMG!! That's like . . . DRUGS!!" ;; I have kick a titles for the other two chapters, too.

Chapter One: Mercenary

His breath rose as white mist in the cold night air. The stars winked at him through the branches of the coniferous trees. He kept his eyes ahead as he ran, the cold air burning his throat and lungs.

They were watching him. There was no doubt about it. They always watched him . . . And they would make sure to let him know it.

"Maybe," He thought as he slowed to a stop at the edge of a city. "Maybe . . . It's time for me to stop running."

He smirked slightly, watching the moonlight glint off of a copper dome in the center of the city.

"Try to find me."

--

"This bodyguard gig will be a cinch, Jareki!" A'Jete cried, slapping her companion on the back.

"Are you sure the title of 'mercenary' encompasses the duty of 'bodyguard'?" Jareki replied, looking over the room their employer had given them.

"Who says it doesn't?" A'Jete replied, flopping down onto a bed.

"Can't beat that logic," Jareki muttered, sitting down on the bed across from A'Jete's. "I'm just not so sure about this."

"Oh, you're never sure about anything, Jareki," A'Jete replied, rolling onto her stomach and propping her chin on her hand. "C'mon . . . Relax."

Jareki sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "It's just that he's got that mage . . . And . . ."

A'Jete cut him off, waving a hand dismissively. "Don't worry, Jareki. I've got your back." She grinned at him. "It's just crazy . . . You . . . The big, bad mercenary man Jareki . . . He who braves all challenges . . . he who back down from no fight . . . Is afraid of magic."

Jareki shrugged. "Kind of like A'Jete, she who has a big mouth and an even bigger ego is so afraid of heights, she can hardly walk up stairs without freaking out."

"Oh, shaddup," A'Jete muttered darkly, tossing a pillow at him half-heartedly.

Jareki laughed, shaking his head as he caught the tossed pillow. "C'mon, A.J. . . . Like you said . . . This will be a cinch."

--

The boy dipped his final vial into the stream, filling it with the clear water.

"They're watching me . . ." He thought as he put the stopped in the glass tube. "They know I'm here."

He stood up and smiled coldly at the bronze dome. The silver glitter of the moon on the polished metal reflected in the stream as he thought, "I'm ready."

"Try to catch me."

--

"You've been working for me for a few days now," Aerick, A'Jete and Jareki's employer, began. "You've done a wonderful job protecting my son, Jeb."

"Surprising . . ." Jareki thought absently. "Seeing that A.J. has come close to strangling the brat on several occasions."

"Now, I'd like to assign you to something else. I believe it is necessary to keep Jeb safe."

Jareki raised an eyebrow, intrigued.

"After you do this for me, you will receive your payment in full, and I shall no longer need your services."

"What do you want us to do?" Jareki asked slowly, feeling a bit uneasy.

"I want you to . . . Get rid of someone."

"Woah, woah, woah," A'Jete began, startled. "You mean, 'get rid of' as in . . . kill?"

"Yes."

"Sorry, Mr. A . . . But we're not hit men," Jareki replied nervously.

"But it is necessary to my son's safety," Aerick replied, resting his elbows on his desk. "Isn't it your job to keep my son safe?"

"Yes, but . . ." A'Jete began, arms crossed over her chest. "Going out of our way to kill someone is a bit too close to the bounty hunter side for us."

"If you really want this guy dead, it's not that hard to place a hit on him. There are plenty of bounty-chasing, boot-legging scoundrels out there . . . a bit too much if you ask me,"

"But, I want you two to do it for me," Aerick said firmly. "I trust you to be able to do it."

"No," Jareki replied flatly.

"We don't do that. We do have some self respect, you know," A'Jete added.

Suddenly, and to Jareki's dismay, Aerick's pet mage appeared from nowhere to stand behind him. Apparently, 'nowhere' was a popular hang out for evil villains.

"We won't do it," A'Jete said firmly, her head level and her eyes set in that stubborn expression she so often wore.

"Oh, but you will . . ." Aerick replied, as any cliché villain would.

A'Jete let out a small cry of surprise as she was suddenly lifted off the ground and into the air, supported by Aerick's mage's magic. "Ack! Not fair!" she squeaked, trying not to look at the ground.

Jareki shuddered and took an involuntary step backwards, frightened, but determined not to show it.

"Now," Aerick continued, his mage still standing silently behind him, his eyes set on A'Jete. "I suggest you listen carefully to what I say, you two. I have more magical power at my disposal."

A'Jete muttered darkly, though her eyes revealed her fear.

"His name is Sitka," Aerick began, leaning back in his chair. "He is in this city, and shouldn't be too hard to find. You may either bring him back to me, or kill him once you find him."

The mage broke his concentration on A'Jete, and she fell to the ground unceremoniously.

"Off with you now," Aerick finished with a smile. "Don't try to skip out on me. It won't do you any good."

Jareki sighed and opened the study door, waiting for A'Jete to finish glaring at the two. He closed the door after himself, and led A'Jete a decent distance away before she exploded.

"Can you believe the nerve of that guy?" A'Jete all but shouted. "Treating us like common hit men . . . Perhaps mercenaries are not body guards . . . But there is extremely obvious line between bounty hunter and mercenary."

Jareki sighed. "I know . . . But I think it's best for us to find this . . . Sitka person. Besides," he smiled wryly. "I want to know why our employer wants this guy dead."

"Yea, yea . . . Whatever," A'Jete muttered darkly. "Lets just get it over with."

--

A/N: This is so different from the Kryst-based stories I've been writing . . . I hope it's not turning out too terribly. Sorry . . . It might be a while before I update again. No motivation. ;; This one was inspired by the song "When All Is Said and Done" by Trapt. I love Trapt! Not as much as Linkin Park . . . But I still love Trapt! ::Does BGDance::