Title: Warning Shots
Rating: T (language and violence)
Notes: So this has had a huge vamp and I have re-written big chunks of it, done some work on guns and generally edited the whole of the chapter. It's not a new chapter, I know, but the next chapter is on it's way! I'm excited about this one! I hope you enjoy it! VS x
The air was rich with the scent of salt and the green, sodden planks of the jetty creaked beneath his feet. He pulled his black cloak hood up over his head and glanced around the harbour, his sharp blue eyes narrowed as they considered their surroundings.
A small cluster of aged men shuffled with green-coloured crates and lobster-pots, heading for a couple of rusty fishing boats. They talked jovially and their sun-wrinkled faces were creased with smiles so peaceful it made him turn his head away sharply.
The peace was unnerving, like they hadn't done anything wrong.
Other than the few fishermen and young children playing with the remains of some old lobster-pots and rope, the little harbour was empty. The boats rocked gently in the calm waves that sloshed up against the stone harbour wall and their masts creaked softly. Gulls cawed overhead and somewhere, faintly, music and laughter drifted through the air. The sky above was a musky orange, glowing like the embers of a soft fire and behind him his own crew gushed at the sight.
One, a boy, ran forward - his orange hair glowing like a flame in the light. "This is so exciting!" he exclaimed, wringing his hands and making to run to the gate leading into the city.
He snatched the boy's arm and dragged him back. "Shut up! Want to get caught?" he snapped, his eyes flicking to the elderly fishermen that were now loading their pots and baskets onto their boat. For a second he thought he caught a glimpse of red among them, but in his agitation he dismissed it swiftly. He turned his eyes back to the boy sharply. "Do not draw attention, Cody." He hissed.
The boy, Cody, scowled and from behind them a soft chuckle sounded as another tall man stepped from their boat with a canvas bag folded under his arm. "Uh-oh Dante means business, Chee. You'd better behave." His white teeth glinted in a grin from beneath his own black hooded cloak and 'Chee' stuck his tongue out, pouting.
Dante pulled Chee's hood up over his head and swept past them, "Just keep quiet, both of you." he said coldly. The third man shook his head and followed him, concealing the bag beneath his cloak and curling a finger out towards Chee. The boy took the signal and scrambled up behind them, his feet taking two steps for every single stride of theirs.
The streets of the town were relatively quiet like the harbour. One or two residents strolled along the streets and hardly seemed to notice them. When someone did Dante's heart jolted and his hand darted to the Colt M1911 resting at his hip, but he feigned an itch when the man simply tipped his hat and bid them a good evening. Dante nodded, uttering a reply and quickened his pace.
Chee was jogging to keep up and ran into Dante when he stopped suddenly. "Dante, you-!" he was interrupted by the third man slapping a hand over his mouth.
"Shut up you fool!" Chee directed his angry grey eyes at him and made a muffled noise that earned him a glare. "For someone as cute as you, your temper's the complete opposite." He growled.
"Lucifer," Dante interrupted, "You and Chee can deal with these." He handed a small piece of paper with a crudely written list over to Lucifer and the man dropped the hand around Chee's mouth. "I'll take the weapons."
Lucifer smirked softly, looking over the list, "You're gonna go off on your own?"
Dante watched him carefully, "Your task requires more men..." His gaze fell slightly when a young soldier with hair turning a bruised purple in the dim light of the shop beside them stopped to examine a gun in the window, then strode inside the shop itself. He heard Lucifer snort and shot him a glare.
"Of course it does." he sniggered.
"I can handle him." Dante assured, narrowing his eyes, "I am your leader. Have faith in me."
"I have faith in you!" Chee chimed in softly, taking the list from Lucifer.
"God, you sound like him sometimes." Lucifer said, shaking his head and pulling his cloak further around himself. Dante glared at him.
"Do your job." He barked and stomped into the weaponry store. Chee winced softly and looked up at Lucifer.
"Who's 'him'?" he asked. Lucifer shook his head once again and pushed the boy on the back, leading him away.
Luke wasn't particularly thrilled at the idea of warden duty, but he knew the reasons behind it stood for more than his enjoyment. Keeping the city safe was a soldier's top priority and training couldn't extend into the city without routine paroles and surveillance. However the nights were always long and nearly always uneventful.
He took his usual route through the market square and down to the harbour, where he patrolled along the waters for a while, checking with the guards stationed at the city gate and the locals coming in from a day's fishing. Afterwards he would follow the streets and talk to some of the owners, keeping the civilians informed and reassured as well as himself.
War was on everyone's minds and speculations were high and continuously evolving around new rumours, occasionally foul and infuriating. The fuel to such rumours was a consistent, albeit small, infiltration that was becoming more of a threat with each new instance of theft, disturbance and violation.
'Rebels' as they were known; or the Gamma Movement were the root of the problem. They were infiltrating the Royal City that Luke and his fellow soldiers were working so hard to protect and their damage was beginning to become unbearable. Captains and Generals alike were talking of war and Luke's relations to the higher officers meant that he understood an ultimatum was being written and could lead to the outbreak of war within a month if ignored.
For Luke, and the other Cadets, the concept was frightening. Training was brutal, but not as difficult as the real brutality of war. The Cadets and lower ranking soldiers talked to one and other often and they couldn't help but romanticize the concept of war. He too had imagined being a hero and saving civilians; being awarded medals; bringing peace to the Royal City once and for all; but they knew it was false. They were constantly reminded of the fact that war was hard and fighting wouldn't bring about heroes, but survivors. Medals weighed on the breasts of men like an albatross, as for every medal given, a gravestone was erected and often there were more graves than medals. Luke wanted to be a survivor; that much he knew, but he couldn't imagine the costs of that medal.
Despite himself, he smiled softly over at a group of fishermen pottering along to their boats to lay their lobster pots and crab traps out for collection in the morning in time for the morning market. He strode across to them and carefully helped them haul a mound of crates up into their boats, questioning them about the events on the harbour that day. When he had finished, they had assured him that they hadn't seen any Rebel boats on the water that day.
He was relieved to hear so, but a small part of him hoped for a little action. The shifts were terribly long when everyone behaved themselves. His attention snapped across to a group of men in black cloaks. He quickly stepped behind one of the taller fishermen, and watched them closely.
One of them –small and possibly the youngest- had the hood of his cloak down and looked like a child receiving a scolding from a teacher, said teacher being another from the group that was gripping his arm. He couldn't have been more than thirteen or fourteen and his features were soft and mildly feminine in his youth, his hair a bright orange, illuminated like fire from the sunset. The taller one looked around cautiously at the group of fishermen and Luke caught his icy blue eyes from under the cloak. His gaze lingered for a second; then he turned and resumed his conversation with the smallest of the group.
Too intrigued to pass this off as a coincidence, Luke waited until they had left through the gate before following them swiftly and silently. They followed a straight path through the city up towards the sector that served the war-effort – providing weapons and food for the soldiers in training and those that taught them. Luke knew that the shops and warehouses around them held huge boxes of guns, ammunition and even swords in this sector, and half also contained food. He hung back, inclining his head towards them to listen to their conversation.
"I'll take the weapons." A spark of excitement flooded into his stomach as he did so – the group were Rebels. He decided quickly to follow them closely and, if necessary, force them to reveal their identities before arresting them. He already had one of their identities and he was vaguely certain he could get the others too. All that was left to decide was a person to tail.
He guessed that the one with the ice-blue eyes was the leader so he decided to keep a closer eye on him; perhaps he could draw the others out by cornering him. Quickly, he stepped inside the shop and prayed that the leader would enter this shop to 'take the weapons'. He strode through the shelves of the store with his eyes trained on the open doorway and found the shop keeper.
"Keep inside your room.." he murmured. The little man's old eyes widened before he grumbled and nodded, pulling a pouch of money from beneath the counter before scurrying into the small back room. He locked the door quietly and Luke began to pace around the shop. He dragged his fingers over the weapons slowly, keeping one hand settled on his own gun held at his right hip. He eyed the door and felt a jolt of exhilaration as the black hooded man stepped inside the store.
The man slowly picked his way around the assortment of guns and knives with a placid pace – evidently acting as though he was just browsing. Luke watched him as his hand slipped out from his black cloak to touch one of the pieces, and then it disappeared again. He narrowed his eyes, briefly glancing at the shelf and finding it one gun lighter.
He moved in. His eyes were trained on the rebel as he stepped closer and he felt the air change as the man stepped swiftly towards the door, his cloak billowing out over the shelves as he did so. Boxes of bullets and guns disappeared with it and Luke quickened his pace to catch up with him.
Chee wriggled his arm out of Lucifer's grip with a soft glare. "Where are we gonna find all this stuff anyway? It could be anywhere." he asked; looking over the list Dante had given them. Lucifer smirked.
"It's not going to be that hard." he told him, glancing around as they crossed over a road.
"Kay, so how are we gonna get it back to the boat? I mean yeah, I can get into small places and keep the guards distracted with my cuteness," Lucifer rolled his eyes and clambered up over a fence, then turned to help Chee over, "but I'm not so strong yet and this is gonna need huge crates." he declared, landing on the ground and glancing around the small yard. It looked as though it had been neglected for a long time and was probably rarely used if at all. They wouldn't be seen unless they made a loud noise.
"Well you insisted you wanted to come." Lucifer reminded him, stepping over to a door and crouching next to it. He pulled out a small hair pin and a long thin knife. "So deal with it. Maybe we can get some muscle on you."
Chee straightened up and took out his Beretta pistol. "I refuse to grow muscle… it's gross." He grimaced and leant back against the wall beside the door, checking the number of bullets in the magazine.
Beside him the lock of the door clicked and Lucifer straightened up and smirked. "I thought you liked a bit of muscle… you seem to like Nick's enough." Chee glared a hot and fiery dagger at him.
"Shut up and go get the damn stuff." he spat, his cheeks turning red. Lucifer laughed and slipped inside. Chee watched him, and then turned his attention back to guarding the door for him.
He pouted to himself. He hated being teased, it just made him angry and his anger made him less cute.
Lucifer poked his head out of the door, "Oi."
"What?" Chee looked at him, pretending to be angry with him. He wouldn't let him off that easily.
"I found a bunch of stuff, so I need you to hold the door open while I drag it out." Chee nodded and stepped to hold said door open whilst Lucifer dragged out a heavy sack of goods. He knew the kinds of things in there were mostly supplies like rope and tools, but he couldn't help thinking of the scarce sacks of food they received every month. Food was scarce in the Rebel camp and nobody got a full meal on a regular basis. Particularly now that most of their efforts were focused on the war, it seemed that nobody had the time or the energy to pick up any other food than what was previously arranged – a single cart every month.
Thinking about it made him remember just how hungry he was and as if to agree his stomach rolled and gurgled. He rolled his eyes as Lucifer looked over at him with raised eyebrows.
"That's so unattractive…" Chee moaned, slapping his stomach. Lucifer grinned and threw him a small bag.
"Here," he said, "to keep you going." Chee caught it and looked inside. His eyes lit up instantly.
"Oh my God! I love you!" he pulled out one of the little biscuits and ate it in ecstasy. They were a small treat that usually accompanied wines or port and they tasted of cheese; Chee adored them but they were native to and made solely by the bakers in the Royal City so he rarely got any.
"Yeah, yeah I know you do. You can pay me back later." Lucifer said with a wink. Chee scoffed and rolled his eyes, heading back to the fence to jump back over it.
"You're such a pervert." he said, popping another biscuit into his mouth before vaulting over it.
"And yet you love it." Lucifer grinned and passed the sack over to Chee then jumped the fence himself.
"From you, no."
"From Nick, yes." Chee slapped him.
Luke frowned heavily: the man was ignoring him and getting faster. Luke was sure he would soon start running and he couldn't call for back-up mid chase.
He tried once more, "This is an official order; stop and lower your hood!" He saw the man glance at him from under his hood then look back around. Luke's excitement faltered and instead he grew anxious.
The other man was likely to be looking for the other two Rebels and stalling for time by ignoring him. He gritted his teeth and took a long stride, reaching out a hand to grab his shoulder then spotted the other two cloaks.
He growled and grabbed the man's shoulder, whipped him round to face him and roared, "I'm not playing chase!" The force of the spin had sent the man's hood tumbling down over his head and Luke saw his face – younger than he had expected with dark hair streaked with blonde or silver, which, he couldn't tell in the fading light, and glowing blue eyes that looked shocked but showed no hint of worry. The Rebel cursed and threw his head over his shoulder.
"LUCIFER MOVE IT!" he yelled. Luke saw the other two begin to bolt down the street carrying a large sack and he punched the man. He kicked his legs, knocking him down and pinned his arms up over his head. He heard what he assumed was the youngest rebel scream "DANTE!" and smirked; now he had a name. Dante however looked extremely annoyed.
"Fuck you." he spat before kicking Luke in the stomach and sending him flying back. Luke hit the hard floor painfully and his vision burst into shattered light fragments and blurring colours. He felt the ground underneath his hands and shook his head, trying to get his vision back. He felt himself breathing erratically and slowly his vision began to piece itself back together despite a new throbbing feeling in the back of his skull. He looked around the street and cursed himself, having lost sight of the Rebels.
The thought, however, snapped him straight back to focus and he stood to scan the area. He caught the fluttering of a cloak from the corner of his eye and focused in on it.
Dante was on the rooftop.
Groaning in frustration, he pulled out his gun, a Browning high-power pistol, and gave chase. He knew the streets well, and knew that there was a large gap between the houses that were coming up where Dante would have to jump down into the streets. The Rebel noticed him and muttered something that sounded like an insult, retrieving his own gun from its leather holster strapped onto his leg. Luke narrowed his eyes, picking up his pace. If he could catch up whilst Dante was delayed by the jump then he would become a much easier target.
Dante stopped, and then leapt from the current rooftop to the next, then the next; this time heading to the harbour. Luke skidded to a halt and his jaw hung open. His mind reeled – was he dreaming? Was the Rebel human? Was this a joke? A bitter sensation curled through his throat and he swore, starting to run again. There was still a chance that the guards at the harbour would catch them, but his heart sank, knowing that he would lose the Rebels and fast.
He lifted his head to find the Rebel again then cried out as a bullet streaked past him, millimetres from his cheek. He stopped, glaring up at Dante who was smirking with his gun aimed straight at him again. His hand twitched and Luke ducked and rolled to the side to avoid the bullet, straightened and shot a warning at the Rebel before he got to his feet again.
He heard the Rebel laugh cruelly as he began to run again, then leapt down from a roof and into the harbour. Luke cursed loudly again and followed him, racking the slide of his gun. He raced through the gate then stopped dead in his tracks, staring at the barrel of a gun and cold blue eyes staring coldly at him.
"No warning shots." Luke felt a searing pain in his shoulder, and then the hard ground under his back.
Dante lowered his Colt and stepped back from the railings on the boat. A small smirk lingered on his lips. He turned, heard a whooping from behind him and dropped the gun as Chee threw himself into Dante's arms and hugged him.
"You never miss a shot! You're the best!" he exclaimed, grinning. Behind them Lucifer shook his head but smirked.
"He was panicking about you a minute ago, he's faking this happiness. He never really believed in you" he said, dropping his bag of goods down a hole in the deck.
"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine. Okay?" Dante interrupted, ruffling Chee's hair smirking. Chee nodded and found a grin bursting onto his lips again.
"That shot was brilliant, though." He grinned and leaned back against the railings as the engine started up and the boat rocked shakily.
Dante bent to pick up the Colt and Lucifer stepped up next to him, clapping his hand on his back, "Nice shooting." he smirked, "I don't get why you didn't- Chee!" The younger boy cried out and fell forward clutching his side. Lucifer fell to his side and rolled him over; eyes widening at the sight of blood.
Dante saw red and whirled to face the harbour. He saw that the soldier had propped himself up against an old crate and he ducked as the soldier unloaded his magazine in their direction. "You damn little fucker." he snarled. He whipped his gun out and shot out three times at the mauve-haired soldier, only satisfied when he heard a pained cry. He tucked the gun away and turned back to his cousin. He dropped to one knee next to him and glanced over the wound on his side. "How is it…?" he asked, looking at Lucifer briefly.
"Bullet only grazed him, but it's gonna need a stitch or two." Dante sighed softly and stroked his cousin's hair from his cheek gently.
"You'll be fine Cheeto." he said softly.