endless_scrolls: (Evil)
[personal profile] endless_scrolls
Title: Enter the Red Queen
Type: Fanfic
Fandom: AU!Durarara!!
Word count: 3060
Character(s): Sonohara Anri, Kida Masaomi, Ryuugamine Mikado
Pairing(s): Strong hints of Mikado/Anri
Warning(s): Teel deers.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but these words.
Note: All the gross sobbing, I finally finished one.
Dedicated to: [personal profile] its_game_time and [personal profile] alory_shannon

The rapid clop, clop, clop of her heavy boots felt like daggers, body shaking with every hardened step she took. And if there was one thing the young girl knew well, it was the sharp pierce of a knife-edge plunging into soft skin. A deteremined, perhaps even desperate, Tribute from District Five made sure of that only days before. And with the harsh huff of breath - both his and hers - Anri's world was encased in the deafening sound of echoes. It was enough to drive even the most controlled and collected person to madness. But then, the Games had already started to chip away at her sanity the moment she had been chosen at the Reaping. What were a few more crumbles by comparison?

"Just a little further, Sonohara-san."

Besides, this wasn't about her comfort - her survival. It never was.

It was about his.

There was no doubt in her mind that he knew of their promise to each other to protect him at all cost. Mikado was a very intelligent young man from one of the most technologically advanced Districts in all of Panem. He would have to be blind not to notice the unspoken exchanges between his two best friends in the midst of their training. Just as they would have to be completely oblivious not to see the shifting changes in his own demeanour that had occured since their path to the Hunger Games began. To the world, such things could be mistaken for lingering tension, both sexual and otherwise, between them. And all the better for it, if only to make their story of a sortid love triangle between the trio from District Three all the more believeable. Even if it slowly started to tear apart at the seams before the boom of the canon sounded.

But there was no time to dwell on such matters when lives balanced on the edge of a precipice, waiting for that moment when the hand of the Capitol would finally push them over into the abyss that swirled below. Maneuvering through the political gauntlet of the Games took up enough of their energy and focus without the additional strain of having to learn new skills that were necessary to carry the three of them through the Arena. Anri had certainly felt the pressure to perform as she was instructed, each of them moving like pieces on a chessboard.

Gripping his hand tightly, she kept to their steady pace, letting him take the lead towards freedom. "Mikado-kun - where are we going?"

In the end, none of it even mattered. Mikado had his own agendas that completely overshadowed and engulfed theirs.

However, even the best laid plans had their snags. A carefully crafted trap and one moment of carelessness proved to be almost disasterous to the strategy he had mapped out. And when she had finally woken up after being unconscious for a time uncounted, it had been to the sound of his voice calling out for her to run.

"The buildings are too compacted for them to find a clear space to land in the city." He turned his gaze back to her in that moment, eyes sharp with a gleam of something that nearly stopped Anri's heart cold. "So we need to head up to the rooftop."

A look of confusion crossed her face, then, hanging on to one key word from everything he had just said. "Land?"

Land what, came the next logical question. But there was no time to ask it as the loud crash of a door broke up the steady rhythm of their feet. The ominous pound of footsteps trailed in afterwards like a stampeed behind them.

"I'll explain later, Sonohara-san, I promise. Just... keep moving, they're waiting for us."

Her heart was racing, then, mostly from the fast pace of their run up the endless flights of stairs. But there was a lot of fear fueling her adrenaline as well. Granted, there was enough uncertainty of survival during the Games themselves to keep her at the very limits of her senses - whether they'd trained sufficiently to outlast the other Tributes or if their little show of the District Three Love Triangle garnered any sponsors to help them further through the Pageant. But with the explosion at Mikado's hands and the utter chaos that errupted in the Arena afterwards, Anri felt her instincts start to slip into something almost primal.

By the look of fire that flared in the young man's eyes, though, one thing was for certain: The Games would be ending soon. And unbeknownst to her, the Rebellion had begun.

Knowing for certain where their ending destination resided, the once shy little wallflower tightened her grip on his hand and pushed forward. She ignored the aching protest of burning muscles and gave every last ounce of strength left into climbing those steps and remaining ahead of the jackals that hunted them until Anri found herself in front, her schoolmate and fellow District Three Tribute struggling to keep up. The tight grip she had on his hand helped, of course, though. Any other day and the girl might have blushed at the thought of clinging to him in such a way, and if there had been time to think beyond taking another step, and another one after, she might have still. But as Anri slammed against the heavy metal door that stood as their last obstacle at the top of this tower of stone and steel, her only thought was on the sense of freedom that greeted them.

Dead leaves and gritty dirt swirled around them, suddenly, as they were met with a tsunami of wind and a flood of sunlight. And the loud whirl of blades.

"Nice of you two to finally join us!" a familiar voice called from above, "I was starting to get jealous, thinking that maybe Mikado finally fell prey to Anri's ~erotic~ charms and took advantage of your alone time."

Startled and overjoyed to know that their companion was still alive, the young girl followed the sound of Kida's to the helicopter hovering overhead. Because the last she had seen of him, the yellow-haired Victor had been leading a pack of ravenous dogs away from the pair, down a dark alley street in the middle of the night only two days ago. His hand was bandaged tight, from what she could see, and there was still spots of blood that seemed to be seeping through the gauze. But he was alive, and fine enough to give one of his usual light-hearted and dramatic soliloquiis over the hum of the chopper's motor.

Before Anri could call out her relief to him, though, she was stopped short by a garbled, chocking sound that rang out right beside her.

And she could almost hear the blush in his usual studder. "Wha - I wouldn't - I-i-i mean... Masaomi, don't say weird things!"

"It's no use lying to me, Mi. Ka. Do~." Looking hurt and pained, even from this distance, Kida gave a dramatic stretch of his good arm and pressed the bandaged hand to his chest, clutching at it as if burdened by some deep ache. "My vision may be blurred by the heat of battle, but even I can see how you two cling to each other so desperately."

As if suddenly realizing the warmth of the other's fingers and palm were still there, Anri darted her gaze down, seeing clear as day how they still held tightly to each other. He must have noticed the same at that exact moment as well, because when her eyes swept up to get a read of Mikado's reaction, they were met with deep, wide pools of black, mirroring her look of surprise and shy embarrassment. And together, as one, they seemed to drop their hold, his fingers loosening their grip while hers easily slipped away to rest back at her side. Because, for her part at least, despite everything that had been said and done in the Games, both inside and outside of the Arena, the feelings were still new. Still mostly unexplored. How much of everything - from their confessions to their actions since the Reaping - was genuine and how much was simply part of an elaborate plan to survive had yet to be determined.

And, as was the standard, Kida was determined to exploit every opportunity to tease his best friend. "Looks like I've lost to you, again~"

Mikado made another sound following behind Kida's comment, this time as some hybrid between a grunt and a growl to mark the former's irritation. "Stop fooling around, already, and just get down here. There are people running up the stairs behind us."

Hearing that, it was like a switch had been flipped inside of him. Gone was the playful and cheery grin they both knew and had missed. And in its place was the serious face of the Victor they all had grown to reconize since his return from last year's Games. "Why didn't you say that sooner?"

From where she stood on the roof, Anri could see Kida wave to the pilot next to him to land. Like a general leading his troops, there had been no hesitation, from neither him nor the man at the helm of the helicopter. There had been no question in authority or intent. And if she had a moment to really consider such a thing, Anri might have questioned the ease in which his command had been followed. But there was a time and place for everything, as the saying goes. And Now was not right for it. Because no sooner had the signal been made, the chopper started making its decent towards them, smooth and clean and steady like a hummingbird in flight. From there, they would only be minutes away from safety and freedom, from both the Capitol and the Games themselves.

Fate, it would seem, had other plans.

The shot that was fired could probably be heard throughout the whole arena, the sound reverberating against the holographic dome. It could only be amplified by the accoustic qualities that the structure provided as it seemed to drown out all other noise, ringing over the hum of the propellars - even over roar of the motors a the aircraft flew in closer for the pickup. And in that moment, it was as if the entire world had grown completely still save for the sound of her own breathing. It was like she was back in that stairway again, with nothing but the echo of her own heartbeat and harsh huff of her breath to stand as a hollow comfort.

Fear gripped at her chest, cold and ominous as a heavy weight seemed to settle in the pit of her stomach. Because while the likelihood of any one of them living long enough to escape the Arena had been slim, after the blast Mikado set off to disrupt their systems, their chances had been looking fairly positive. But Anri should have known better. Her life had been nothing but a plague and a curse to all those around her, herself nothing more than a parasite feeding off the lives of others. Now should be no different.

Shaking clear some of the muck and haze from her already exhausted mind, Anri's limbs moved sluggishly in search of the source, whipping her body around on unsteady feet to place herself between Mikado and the roof entrance where a lone figure stood. With a gun raised and aimed squarely at them. Days later, Anri will come to realize that there had been no intial danger; that the target had been the helicopter hovering above them - more specifically, Kida, the surviving Victor, inside. But in that moment, the tip of the weapon seemed poised and ready to signal off another round of canon shots. And there was no other thought in the young girl's mind but the sole safety of the boy standing beside her.

Impulses and instinct were their saving grace as her fingers shot out to take a firm hold of the other's collar, jerking them both to the side and out of the bullet's path as the man pulled the trigger once more.

"Mikado-kun, please, go." Normally so polite and considerate of others to a point of foregoing her own comforts, she gave him a guiding push towards the chopper where their yellow-haired companion was calling for them to run. To reach for that thread of freedom and escape this nightmare for good. And when the only thing to follow were studdering words of protest, Anri felt her voice soften in sympathy over his concerns. Sympathy and possibly regret at the possibility of having to decieve him. "I will be right behind you, I promise. Please..."

But even though her expression was as steady and focused as they always were, she did not turn to face him during the exchange. Because if there was anyone who could read the hidden intent in her eyes, it was Mikado. That if the choice came down to it, she would still chose his life over hers. And before he could question her on that, Anri charged forward into the fray.

Truth be told, it was nothing more than a distraction. She only stood as a decoy to take attention away from Mikado and his escape. Because between the two of them, he was the one with the lesser chance of fending for himself. Among their little band, his was the life more necessary for the world to continue turning. That was why she and Kida had made theri silent pact to keep him safe. Because he, alone, needed to be the one person to make it out. He needed to be the one to live, even at the cost of their lives.

So, Anri fought, putting every ounce of her training into that one moment to ensure that the men who were after them had their full attention on her and not the hovering aircraft above them. And, for a time, it was as if her body were not her own. As if she were simply watching outside of herself while someone else controlled the young woman's movements through the battle. Because there had been no thought in the way Anri dodged and pivotted around those men, disarming them almost as easily as she took her next breath. Because while she had been surprisingly agile during training, there was no way such skills could come so naturally within a week's time. Even for the smartest and most diligent of students.

But then, what did it all matter when it, in the end, meant Mikado's survival? Whether she survived or failed this endeavour, in the end, he was the reason and cause of it all. Why Anri willingly placed herself in harm's way, to stand tall and firm as that last barrier between their escape - his escape - and returning back into the cage of the Capitol. Exhaustion was not an option. Neither was failure.

Even as her limbs began to shake under the force of the blows, Anri fought on. Even as the voices within her soul began to whisper of defeat and desperation, thoughts of them were ever present in the young Tribute's mind...

For Mikado. For Kida. For me...

"Sonohara-san, come on!"

At the sound of Mikado's voice, she was snapped out of her momentary daze, just in time to sidestep and barely dodge a club to the temple. Long enough to reach deep and find that extra ounce of strength within her to push away from the throng of adversaries that surrounded her from every side.

"A lovely vision, as always. But it's time to go, Anri-chan~" Kida called out, as well, a sense of urgency in his tone.

Breathing hard, the young girl dodged another glancing blow, darting between two more adversaries as they all seemed to close in around her. And with the short strands of Anri's hair billowing in the wind, she stopped short in her escape at the most despairing sight. Off in the horizon where the Arena dome was left crumbling and crushed, two huvercrafts dropped down from the sky and the world outside. And with Capitol flags flying like a beacon, she knew - Anri understood - that there was very little time left before more would come; before they all would be surrounded and trapped.

And even as the young girl settled on a decision concerning her own fate, all thoughts turned to one person. "...Mikado-kun."

Mikado gets out. Mikado survives.

Eveything for Mikado.


That was all the convincing she had ever needed.

When she speaks again, it's about the loudest that either boys had ever heard her voice go. And under any other circumstances, the young girl would have shied away from such attention. But Anri had to make certain that they - that he - would be able to hear her words and heed them. "Kida-kun... Remember our promise."

"...Anri-chan?" She could hear the alarm and concern in his voice. Whether it had been Mikado's or Kida's, didn't matter. It was a heartbreaking protest all the same.

Sparing them a glance, blood red pupils met with deep seated gold in a wordless exchange of understanding. And then she was turning "Please. Get him out of here. I... I don't want him to see this."

And with that, she was off, racing towards the edge of the roof, towards the shouts and screams of overbearing men sent to capture them. Towards the loud roar of hovercrafts built to collect them one by one. And away from the desperate screams of a young boy that she... could have loved. Did love. With all her young heart. It was, perhaps, her one regret as Anri sped off towards what would surely be her certain doom. But for her, it was a price she was willing to make, over and over again.

Already, she felt the burn of the tracker chip the Capitol had implanted inside each and every Tribute before the Games, lighting the way for her growing determination... Blazing a trail for her quiet rage. And from that moment on, the perfectly quiet world of shadows Anri had spent her entire life cultivating - living in - started to turn blood red.

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