The sound of knocking on the rotting apartment door, echoed down the long hall. The hall itself representing the economic situation of the person shut up in the apartment. Dingy carpet torn away at some spots faded distressed paint peeled from the walls leaving them a sickly grey color. The sound of people laughing probably due to the assistance of some narcotic substance, and coughing.
"Hey anyone in there?" Tom called, after another response from silence; he glances back at the tall blonde in the bartender outfit, who leaned against the opposing wall a look of annoyance very evident on his face. "Looks like no one’s home."
"There home alright, the bastards just want to piss me off!" Shizuo glared before kicking the door from its hinges, causing it to crash to the glass covered ground inside.
Tom walked inside and inspected the abandoned apartment building. It was probably one of the cheaper ones in the whole building which was saying a lot. There was only one room and they were standing in it, a fold out mattress sat in the center of it, and a small table was in front of it. The table was littered with bottles of all kinds of alcoholic beverages some completely empty others half full or spilling onto the floor. The room itself smelled of alcohol and incense, and the walls and carpet where stained with unidentifiable substances.
"Looks like they knew we were coming and got out." He stated. "They probably blew the money from the loan and anything to pay it back on drugs and alcohol. Well might as well head back, this guy isn't going to be back anytime soon." He said turning to leave, just as they were about to reach the door and quiet muffled sneeze broke the silence. "Where did that come from?"
They looked around there wasn't anywhere someone could hide in this place and not be seen.
"This guy's really pissing me off." Shizuo stated getting more annoyed by the second.
"Hey check this out," Tom tugged on a lock that kept the small coat closet door sealed shut. "What apartment has this big of a lock on this kind of door?"
"The kind where some ass thinks he can get out of paying a debt."
"But it locks from the ou-"
There goes that door. Though he was ready to do to the guy they were looking for what he had done to that door, both men were surprised to see what was behind it.
Sitting on an old blanket playing with a few small stuffed animals sat a small girl with [h/c] hair glanced up at them. The small closet space was bare except for her and her things.
Tom kneeled down outside the closet, and tried to speak to the girl. "Hey there, what are you doing in this closet?"
"Carole said not to talk to strangers." She stated.
"Who the hell is she talking about?" Shizuo said losing patience with the situation.
"Nick's the guy where looking for. Is he your dad?"
"No." She stated."I don't have one."
"Well can you tell us where Nick and Carole went?"
"Carole said we were going to a place in Shinjuku then to another place. Nick said they'd come back when the sharks left him alone."
"Well why didn't they take you with them?" Tom continued trying to get information from her.
"Nick told Carole to leave me in my room, and I was too slow. She'll be back, she came back last time."
The revelation that this little girl had been through this same abandonment before and was even used to it in the way she spoke of it.
"We can't leave her here."
"What are we supposed to do with a kid?" Shizuo stated, causing the girl to look up at him.
"Why are you so tall?"
"Why are you so short?"
She stuck her tongue out, and crossed her arms over her chest, causing Tom to laugh, "Looks like you two get along already. Say why don't you come with us, we'll find someone who can find you a place to stay."
"You can't stay here."
"Yes I can." The small girl, said defiantly.
"Stop being a smart ass kid, and come out of there." Shizuo said beginning to get annoyed.
"You're not the boss of me."
"Easy shizuo, she's just a kid." Tom said trying to calm him down.
"Well we should just leave the little brat."
"Good." She said going back to playing with her toys.
This behavior was the last straw, and Shizuo grabbed her by the back of her oversized shirt and pulled her kicking and yelling out of the closet. "Let's go." He stated to Tom ignoring the girl.
"Uh... Shizuo..." He didn't know what to say as the blonde walked out of the room, he sighed and picked up the girls few items and followed them out.
"No! You're mean! Carole is gonna come back! They'll leave if I go!!" She struggled but she was well off the ground as he carried her out.
"Shut up, you're getting dropped off at the nearest police station."
"No!!" She shrieked. "Meanie!"
"Shizuo why don't you try a different approach." Tom said trying to calm the scene as people on the streets where beginning to stare.
"Hey you must be hungry?"
The girl stopped struggling for a moment and pondered the thought, her stomach growling a little giving her away.
"How about we get you some food, then we'll take you back."
"Yeah I promise."
"Okay." She said dangling from Shizuo's arm quietly still pouting.
The awkward silence that ensued while they waited for her meal to arrive at the table was deadly. Tom had tried to talk to her, but she refused to answer any of his questions except when he asked for her name. Shizuo had stood outside in order to calm his nerves and take a drag of a fresh cigarette. He walked back in just as the waitress brought out the small burger and fries and sat it in front of the girl.
"That's bad for you." [Name] said as she took a bite out of the burger. "You're not 'spossed to smoke."
"I'm an adult I can do what I want." He stated sitting down.
"Not 'spossed too." She said as she ate.
"She's got a point." Tom laughed.
At that moment a police officer walked in and strolled on over to the table they sat at. "This the little girl?"
Upon seeing the officer, [Name] began to cry, and try to get out of her seat. "No go away!"
"He's a good guy." Tom said trying to calm her.
"You lie! You said you'd take me back!" She yelled drawing the attention of everyone else in the diner. She managed to crawl under the table and tried to get past their legs, only to be grabbed and pulled back up by an annoyed blonde.
"Cut it out!"
"No you're mean." She said tears in her eyes. "Carole's gonna come back! She will she will!"
"Enough!" He barked, causing her to stop yelling tears still trickling down her face as she sniffled. "Now look you're going with this guy and he'll decide what to do with you."
"I'm sick of hearing you crying about that, it's giving me a headache. Now stop acting like a spoiled brat!"
She sniffled and whipped her eyes with her small fist. "Am not."
"Come with me." The officer said offering his hand to her. She looked up at him with tear filled [e/c] eyes and let her head fall against Shizuo's vest and clung to him. "Come on."
"No, I don't wanna." She said not budging. "I wanna go with the meanie. He can take me back tomorrow so Carole can get me."
"I'm not taking you anywhere now get off!"
"It looks like she likes you Shizuo." Tom stated.
"No way I'm not keeping some brat!"
"Maybe it'll convince her to-"
"Not happening!" He tried to pry the kid off, but she wouldn't budge. "Stop being a pain!"
"I have to take this child with me, there's protocol for this and leaving a child in apparent danger is-"
"I'll show you apparent danger!" He was tired of this stubborn kid, and since he couldn't take his frustration out on her, he found the next best thing.
"Hey Shizuo calm down." Tom said seeing where this was going. After an hour of trying to coax the girl to go, and the officer almost getting thrown out the door, there was no other option.
"Where are we going?" The small girl asked from the arm she was dangling from.
"Shut up." Shizuo said annoyed as he walked towards his home.
"Can I walk now?"
"But you're too tall, I don't like being up in the air."
"Shut up." He said annoyed trying to ignore the child and hating the fact that he was stuck with someone's brat. "When I find that guy I'm going to kick his ass."
"I thought I told you-"
"What-" He opened the door to the silent house and let her down.
"Wow~" she looked around it wasn't much but compared to what she was accustomed too, it was a castle. "You live here?"
"What do you think?"
She wandered around the open space looking at everything, she spotted the TV and her eyes lit up. "You got a TV, I used to have one then he gave it to somebody."
Shizuo glance at the child then sighed handing her the remote.
"I can watch it?" She smiled and crawled into the couch.
"Just keep quiet and stop asking so many questions."
She turned on the TV and began clicking through the channels until she was distracted by brightly colored ponies frolicking around. Her current guardian decided she couldn't get in the way and as long as whatever she was watching stayed on she'd leave him alone so he could finally get some peace.
"Who the hell leaves their kid like that?" He found himself thinking as he got something to drink from the fridge. "Now I'm stuck babysitting."
The sound of small laughter echoed from the living room.
"Meanie." She walked into the kitchen and looked at him causing him to grimace.
"Didn't anyone ever teach you to call someone by their name brat?"
"What do you want?"
"Here" He took out a bottle of milk, and gave it to her.
"I don't want it. I want juice."
"Well that's what you're getting."
"But I don't want it!"
"Look there is no juice, now drink that and stop being a pain."
"Meanie." She retorted before she drank the milk.
"Why are you in here, I thought you were watching TV."
"I am I got thirsty."
"You're getting on my nerves."
"Meanie." She pouted.
"Look brat my names Shizuo, get it right."
"I like meanie better." She said defiantly. "Sides you don't say my name, you say brat. My name is [Name] not brat."
She did have a point, but he was the adult and she was the child as she wasn't going to get the better of him. "Well I'm bigger than you."
"See big Meanie."
"That's it; it's time for you to go to bed." He stated.
"But I didn't take a bath yet."
He groaned, "This is going to be a long night." He walked into the bathroom, and began filling the tub with water.
"Don't put too much."
"Shut up I know what I'm doing."
"If you put too much I can fall and drown."
"Didn't I say I know what I'm doing?"
"Not to hot either or cold."
"Alright alright just be quiet." He said turning the water off.
"Okay get out." She stated.
"I can do it myself."
"Whatever." He said leaving the bathroom, leaving the door ajar slightly so he could still hear her in case anything happened.
[Name] sat in the tub, the warm water delighting the small girl who didn't get the luxury often. "I'm bringin' home a baby bumble bee~" she sang as she played in the water. "Won't my mommy, be so proud of me~ I'm bringin' home a baby bumble bee~ ow he bit me." She giggles.
Shizuo listened to the small girl thinking that she wasn't a complete nuisance nothing like that annoying flee.
"I'm washing up the baby bumble bee." She finished bathing and got dressed in the only pair of pajamas she had in her possession. "Meanie I'm done~!"
Maybe not... He sighed and got up. "Alright now you're going to bed."
"Okay." She said.
He walked towards the closet in the hall to get a spare blanket and pillow. "You can sleep on the co-" when e looked back he saw that she hasn't followed him. "Hey you're not getting out of going to bed come out." He looked around for her. He checked the kitchen to see if he was hiding from him there. "I said come out."
"Hm?" She peeked out from one of the cabinet doors that was under the sink.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"You said go to bed."
"Does that look like a bed?"
"Carole and Nick always say this is my room, cause I'm small."
He thought back to where they had found her. "Get from under there." He ordered as the small girl crawled back out. "Come on." He said making her walk in front of him as he walked back to the living room and then down the hall opening a door. "You can sleep in here."
Thinking he was leading her to another closet she quietly walked in, only to stare in awe at the room, not even the room more the large bed.
"Go on, go to bed." He stated.
She climbed up onto the bed and marveled at the comfort the sheets and mattress offered. "Wow. I never got to sleep on the beds in the hotels we lived in. Do I really get to sleep in here?" She asked looking up at him with shining [e/c] eyes.
"Thank you." She smiled, before climbing under the blanket and laying her head against the pillow.
"Yeah your welcome I guess. Now go to sleep." He turned off the light and was about to walk from the room.
"Um... Meanie..." She said quietly.
"There's nothing to be afraid of."
"But..." She looked around the overwhelming size of the room was intimidating to her since she was used to what she had been living in.
Shizuo looked at her and figured why she was. "Look there's nothing to be afraid of, just go to sleep."
"Can you stay?" She asked.
He sighs knowing he wouldn't get any quiet if he did leave, so he walked over to the bed and sat down. "There now sleep."
"Okay, night Meanie." She said closing her eyes.
He watched her until he was sure she had fallen asleep, he sighed standing up. "What have I gotten myself into?"
Shizuo hung up the phone once he finished the conversation and glance over at the small girl who was eating in the living room as she watched cartoons.
"What Meanie." She said looking over at him.
"Finish eating already."
"I am." She said taking a small bite.
He shook his head and walked over to the door, he knew it was only a matter of time and he didn't want this to end with her crying again like last time. Hopefully she wouldn't hang on to him again and would just go when they came.
"What are you doing?" She asked looking up at him.
"None of your business."
"Meanie." She stated walking back to Watch TV.
There was a knock on the door; he hasn't heard the car pull up or anyone get out while he was talking to her. He opened the door to reveal a woman in a black pants suit, with grey rimmed glasses and her hair tied in a tight bun, with an impatient expression.
"Is the child here?" She stated.
"What do you think?" He retorted.
The woman pulled out an ID, "I'm with the local orphanage, if you don't mind I'll be taking the child now." She said letting herself in.
[Name] looked at her confused by her presence.
"Come with me dear."
"No." She shook her head and fled behind Shizuo's leg. "Meanie."
"Look you have to go with her."
"No I don't I have to stay with you." She said refusing to budge.
"No you're not." He said not looking at her.
The woman walked over and pulled on her arm causing the girl to cry. "Come now."
"No! Go away!" She cried as she tried to hang on to Shizuo. "I don't wanna go!"
"Stop it already."
"No!" She cries as she was pulled from him by the woman. The woman managed to pull the screaming child outside and loaded her into her car. [Name] banged her tiny fist against the back seat window, tears streaking down her face. "Meanie! I don't wanna go! Meanie!"
The woman got in the car and began to drive away, leaving Shizuo standing outside and watching the small girl cry and hit the window. "Shizuo!" She pleaded, before her and the car were gone from his view.