Solus: The Pairing of Fate
The boss of the kidnappers slowly approached me. I closed my eyes in an attempt to hide yet again, hoping that he thinks it was a mistake.
“Who are you guys?! Let go of me! Where did you guys take Madoka!” I heard Ikuro’s shouts as I continued pretending to be unconscious.
It was Ikuro who woke up abruptly and was seen by one of the kidnappers.
“Shut it, kid!” The boss was grabbing Ikuro by the neck and flung him to the wall.
“We were only after the girl, you guys were just extras. Count yourself unlucky.”
“That’s right, the Nanaho family would pay a hefty sum for her.” One of the grunts said.
“Ugh...hefty sum? So what?! You should now, my Amagami family will not let you go!”
Damn it...Ikuro just had to boast about his family right here…
“...Amagami? HAHAHAHA! We struck gold boys! Both Amagami and Nanaho! We are gonna be rich!” The people in the room laughed in joy as the boss exclaimed.
“...Then the other boy would be from a reputable family as well..?”
“Huh?! That bastard? He’s just a peasant that stuck to me.” Even in this situation, he was dead set on my status. And for the record, I was never stuck to him but in fact, he stuck to Madoka and me.
“Tch, can’t go three for three huh? Hey, Mike! Throw this kid in with that Nanaho girl! It’s about time we call for ransom.”
“Boss, what about the other kid? Should we leave him?”
“Leave him for now, we will get rid of him later.”
Damn it! So just because I wasn’t an elite and they won’t be able to get a good ransom off me, they were going to get rid of me? Like hell, I would let that happen! I recalled that my mother gave me an emergency S.O.S button the other day that I placed in my bag. She was insistent on me having it after hearing that my notebook was tattered.
“This button would replace that memento, if you ever need me, just hit that button and I will be there quickly.” she told me as she handed me the button.
If only I could get to my bag...I should try this.
“Boss, the last kid is awake.”
“Heh, aren’t you one unlucky kid? Being roped up in all of this.”
“...Could you let me go at least? I’m not even friendly with that bastard inside and to be honest, I hate him with all my gut.”
“Hoho, would you look at that, boys?”
“Sure. We will let you go. Heh.” They were chuckling amongst themselves as they gestured towards me.
“Thank you. I won’t tell anyone about them.” I bowed as I grabbed my bag and headed towards the exit.
“IZUYA YOU BASTARD!” I could hear Ikuro’s deafening scream from behind the room as I walked.
“...Did you think we would just let you go?” The boss said as one of the grunts picked me up by the collar and flung me backward.
“Haha! Look at this kid, thinking we would just let someone go! Hey, lock him inside with the other 2, they can handle his betrayal themselves.”
As soon as the door opened, Ikuro rushed out towards the boss, with his hand pulling Madoka along. They made a break for the door while the others were still surprised by the sudden attempt. As Ikuro tried to open the door and escape…
Two other grunts then grabbed Ikuro and Madoka as they flailed and cried and dragged them back into the room with me. Soon enough, I heard the door lock click on the room and I was faced against a furious Ikuro and a terrified Madoka.
“...You shithead! I thought we were friends!”
“Hah! Friends? You were just one-sidedly hanging out with Madoka and still doing the same usual stuff to me. You call that, being friends?!” I tried to argue back, pretending we were actually fighting.
During the struggle earlier, I managed to grab the said button from my bag’s pocket and slipped it into my shirt. I played along, hoping Ikuro would notice what I was doing and act back but apparently, he was too agitated. The next thing I knew, his fist was in my face.
Madoka was desperately trying to get Ikuro to stop hitting me as she cried while Ikuro was still screaming. I had my hands full trying to defend against Ikuro and I wasn’t able to get the button out.
“You hear that? I want 500 million, for each kid. Both Nanaho and Amagami, if you want them back alive that is.” The kidnappers were currently making their ransom calls to the two families and as expected, I wasn’t even part of their ransom.
“...cut it out!” I shoved Ikuro back.
Before Ikuro could lunge at me again, I placed my finger on my lip, gesturing to them to keep quiet. Ikuro didn’t manage to catch it but Madoka did and she placed her hands over Ikuro to shut him up.
“...just calm down...I got a plan…” I whispered softly to both of them.
It was only when I pulled out the button from within my shirt did Ikuro calm down.
“...When did you…”
“When I pretended to leave dumbass.” I snapped at him.
“You mean you were pretending..?” He questioned.
“Huh? Of course, I was, you think I was just going to leave you guys here? Like it or now, we have been together for 4 years now.” Both Ikuro and Madoka seemed shocked at my declaration. It seems that both had thought I was truly abandoning them.
Do I really look like that much of a selfish person?
I pressed the button three times, indicating I was in an emergency according to what my mother told me.
“Now we wait…”
“Izuya, who does that contact?” Madoka asked.
“My mother, apparently.”
“So how is that going to help us?” Ikuro questioned.
True. My mother was a rather mysterious person considering the fact that I barely knew anything about her job except that ran businesses. So even if mother somehow knew I was in an emergency, she didn’t know where I was and the police wouldn’t do anything unless I was missing for 24 hours.
“So we are back to square one then…” Ikuro sighed.
“Square one but I’m severely injured by a certain someone’s punches.”
“Sorry about that then, I was sure you betrayed me.”
“What’s all this? You guys already made up? Kids these days.” The bald-headed grunt, who the boss called Mike earlier, opened the door to check on us.
“You two are staying here until the ransom comes in. As for you, you aren’t really needed, or, do you have a number for ransom.”
“I…” I didn’t even have a phone with me so I couldn’t even give them my parent’s number.
“Tell my father! He will pay the ransom for both of us.” Ikuro shouted at Mike.
“Ohoho? Do you hear that boss? The Amagami kid says to get them to pay for both of them.”
“Ikuro…” I looked at him, as he nodded.
This was his way of saying that he was repaying me for what he did earlier on.
“Are you alright, Ikuro?” Madoka touched his face which was scratched when the grunts flung him earlier.
“Yeah, I’m fine.”
She was basically caressing his face while Ikuro blushed as they sat there. Madoka was awake the whole time and heard everything that happened, like how Ikuro was searching for Madoka even though he was in a rather dangerous situation himself and how he was flung against the wall.
“...Could you two stop flirting in this situation?”
“~W-We are not flirting!~” So they say but they were perfectly in sync and blushing red till their ears.
“Any updates from them?!”
“N-Not yet, Boss…” Mike had timidly replied.
Judging from my self-evaluation of the time, it has probably been two hours since they made the ransom call. Even from behind the door, I could make out that the kidnapper’s boss was furious by the fact that they had no updates.
The Amagami and Nanaho households were both not to be underestimated. They were probably stalling for time as they tried to find our traces.
“Make a call again…”
“Boss? But what would we tell them?”
“Hehe...If they want to stall...we just have to rush them...Bring the kid, we will let them hear his voice.”
“I-I don’t think threatening them with their heir would end well.”
“You idiot! You think I wouldn't know that?!” The boss had raised his fist and brought it down on his subordinate.
“...There’s another one, isn’t there? He’s not related to them but he is part of the ransom. Get him here!”
The door to our room flung open as the bulky-looking man stood before it. We were surprised by the sudden entry and started backing up towards the wall when he walked over. He grabbed me by the collar and lifted me up, dragging me out.
“Let go of me!” I struggled frantically as I kicked about.
“Izuya!” Ikuro rushed forward and bashed against the man, although it wasn’t of any use.
With our small bodies, a hit like that would simply be a tickle to him. He simply pushed Ikuro backward rather gently, making sure not to use excessive force.
“Stay put. We can’t have you getting injured now, can we?” He shut the door as he left the room with me in tow. As the door shut, I could hear Ikuro and Madoka’s scream from behind it.
The boss was currently talking on the phone. I presumed that he was speaking with either Ikuro’s parents or Madokas’.
Calm down...What can I do here? Could I maybe risk it and call out to them for help? But they wouldn’t know our location…
What if they could find my mother?
I decided to take my chances at attempting to inform their parents to find Mother. If they could meet her, they should be able to get our location from her. Although I wasn’t sure what would happen to us in the meantime, it was better than doing nothing now.
“...and of course we wouldn’t want to harm a precious heir of the Amagami household now would we? Instead, we have here his precious friend, who agreed to be part of his ransom.” The boss gestured to the man holding me to bring me closer.
As he brought the phone to my ear, he told me to speak into it. Perhaps it was due to my stubbornness at the time, I looked away, refusing to comply with his demands. This ended rather badly with me getting a fist straight to my abdomen.
“Kwhak!” I cried out, gasping for air.
“This little brat! You heard him, didn’t you this time? If you don’t hurry with your ransom, it won’t be this kid on the line next time...I am a very impatient man after all, hehe.”
“What a coincidence...I am a rather impatient woman as well.” A sharp and clear voice rang from behind the entrance.
“What in the?”
The entrance door which was locked securely suddenly blasted open with the sound of gunshots. Not long after, men dressed entirely in black suits, each holding guns, stormed into the room, with everyone pointing their weapons at each of the kidnappers.
“W-Who are you people?!” The boss exclaimed as he almost fell over backward. The grunts in the room were visibly shaken by the sudden intrusions that they couldn’t move.
A figure appeared from within the mass number of suited men, wearing shades. She took off her shades while her hair flipped in the air as she stared straight into my direction.
“Who am I?”
“I’m his mother, that’s who.”
“D-Don’t move! I have this kid in my hands, do you not care what happens to him?!” The man, arms choking me by the neck while his other arm wielded a knife that was pointed to my throat.
“Tch!” She clicked her tongue, seemingly annoyed by the situation.
Why was mother here, and who were these men dressed in black? There was a mountain of questions in my mind despite my current situation. I was rather terrified by the sharp edge of the knife that was almost touching my throat, especially since his hand was slightly trembling, making me wonder if I would be accidentally cut.
It was then that the door to the room where we were in started banging. Ikuro was desperately ramming against the door, creating much noise. The said noise had distracted everyone in the room for a brief moment, including the boss’s attention on me as he turned towards the noise.
“Argh! You brat!” I bit down as hard as I could on the arm before me, causing him to release his grip on me as I stumbled on the floor.
“Capture them all!” Mother shouted.
At that instance, everyone rushed towards the kidnappers and had them pinned to the floor.
“Izuya…” Mother had opened her arms, welcoming me into her embrace. Despite that, the first thing that I did was turn back and ran towards the door at the back. I reached up to unlock the lock and then opened the door.
“Ikuro! Madoka! You guys alright?!” More than my curiosity on how Mother was here, I was more concerned for my friends who were trapped inside, especially after that loud sound a while ago.
“...what’s going on over there?” The phone the kidnappers were using was still connected to Ikuro’s parents. My mother picked up the phone and answered it instead.
“Your children are safe, I got them.”
The kidnappers were taken care of rather quickly after they disappeared into the car with handcuffs on. Were they being brought directly to the police?
“Izuya, let’s head off for now. You two come along as well, your parents are waiting for you.”
“Mother…” My head was facing downwards as I spoke to her. Her face was one with guilt and concern, thinking about how to explain everything to me.
“...SO COOL! Who were those people?! What just even happened?! Was this the job you were talking about?” I bombarded her with a variety of questions, unable to hold back my curiosity any longer.
Ikuro and Madoka were both equally excited behind me, although they didn’t ask questions on their part.
“Pfh...Hahaha! I will explain it to you later. For now, let’s get in the car.” She said as she guided us to the fancy car that was parked by the entrance. Apparently, we were brought to an abandoned construction building. The place was rather run-down and seemed to be far away from where we lived.
Despite my eagerness to hear what mother had to say about what just happened. The three of us fell asleep a little while after the car had started moving. We must have been exhausted from the events of today, seeing how we had already arrived when I woke up.
We were greeted by a large number of servants as soon as we left the car.
“Ikuro!” A lady had rushed out and embraced Ikuro in her arms.
“Madoka...I’m glad that you are fine.” The old-looking man that approached after, knelt down as he placed his palm on Madoka’s head.
Both had burst into tears as they were finally reunited with their family. I looked up towards my mother, who was standing behind me and hugged her as well.
“...and here is my room!” Ikuro opened the doors to a rather large room that was almost half the size of my living room.
After settling down, Ikuro and Madoka’s parents both thanked my mother. They were engaged in their own conversation that the three of us were seated there rather awkwardly. Not long after, Ikuro told them that we were going up to his room and the adults would have their own conversation.
“What is it, Ikuro?” The three of us were seated in the room, discussing today's event.
“I’m sorry. If I didn’t lash out at the start, it might not have escalated this badly. And I am sorry for hitting you too…”
“Ah...You should be.” I grinned at him as Ikuro looked at me in surprise.
“It’s all because of your arrogant and haughty attitude in the first place, and you even hit me without listening to my explanation. Sigh.”
“Ugh…” He looked down in guilt over his own actions.
Although I was partially joking as heard from my tone, Ikuro didn’t seem to catch it. Madoka on the other hand was giggling to herself as she understood my intentions.
“So...Just change from now on.”
“Huh?” Ikuro looked puzzled at my statement.
“...Like I said! Let’s just forget what happened and move on. You should change your arrogant attitude too!” I said bashfully, looking away.
That was the day that the three of us experienced a rather traumatic event, and also the day we would form an everlasting friendship
“Come to think of it, Izuya. What does your mother do exactly?” Madoka had questioned.
“I don’t know either. She is rarely around the house and I don’t really see her often. So I didn’t get the chance to ask about it. The only thing I know would be that my father told me she handled multiple businesses.”
That statement would hold true even today. After the whole episode at the Amagami household, I had asked my mother about her job on the way home.
“What do you think I do for work?”
“Um...The police? Or maybe a secret force?!” I excitedly replied.
“Hahaha! You are not that far off.” She ruffled my hair as she drove.
“I just called on some old connections to help today. The mafia is scary.” She said as she whispered the last line
“Old connections? You mean those strong men from earlier?!” Being the child I was, I only heard her mention her old connections and couldn’t figure out what she said at the end.
As we reached home, my father gave me a rather warm welcome as well. A few weeks after that, mother returned overseas and father was back to work. This time around, however, I started hanging out more with Madoka and Ikuro at their houses or mine sometimes.
“Wait, so you haven’t seen your mother since then?”
“Didn’t you mention that your mom recently left to find your father?”
“Oh that. My ‘mom’ is actually my father’s secretary. She was just staying here as an act-in for a mother for troublesome stuff like meetings with the teachers.”
After listening to my recollection of the past, Suzuha began asking questions about it. We had talked for a long time at the family restaurant after I invited her out for a meal the other day. I was rather nervous considering I was asking out a girl who had confessed to me not long ago.
As we were immersed in our conversation, the time passed rather quickly and we decided to stay for dinner as well.
The sound of a camera shutter sounds off. I turned towards the windows, looking outside.
Did Madoka or Ikuro find me here?
Outside the window, stood four girls. All of them were fully dressed up, making it hard to tell who they were. The one holding her phone and taking the picture was wearing a cap, with purple hair flowing down the side, wearing a huge grin on her face
“...Chitose?” It was the girls from Alvus…
Before long, the four of them had made their way into the restaurant, casually joining us at our table as we squished together.
“Thanks for the treat, Izuya.”
“Huh?! Who said anything about tre-” I tried to reason as Chitose began waving her phone, with the picture she took displayed on the screen, at me.
“Right. Don’t order too much though…”
“Izuya-kun, do you know them?” Suzuha looked at me, half puzzled by the current situation and another looking rather furious at the situation.
“Right, we should introduce ourselves, shouldn’t we?” Lena, who was seated beside Suzuha commented.
“I’m Utsuya Lena, and these three are Chitose, Kana, and Saya.”
“The Alvus band?!” Suzuha exclaimed, with a hint of excitement in her eyes.
“Shhh! Not so loud! We are technically under disguise.” Kana had tried to calm Suzuha down.
“Affirmative, attention would be bad here.” Saya monologues.
“Izuya-kun! Izuya-kun! How do you know them?” She leaned over the table, closing in on my face as she asked.
“Well…” I looked towards Lena, asking for her help but was met with a shrug.
As there looked to be no escape, I decided to tell Suzuha about my part-time job as a tutor for them. Lena supported the description when Suzuha looked to be doubting my words. After a few minutes, she finally calmed down while Chitose and Saya were on an ordering spree.
Would I have enough to pay for all this?
“So...Izuya...what’s your relationship with her?”
“Ah! I wanted to ask that too!” Chitose and Kana both questioned me as Chitose gestured towards Suzuha.
“Just friends. Izuya-kun invited me for a meal today as thanks for the previous time.”
Suzuha had interjected as I tried to find an excuse to tell them. Hearing her, the four girls looked disappointed and slumped back into their seats. If I were the one who said that, they would probably be teasing me for not telling them the truth.
“Tch, that’s it? For a second there I thought this was Izuya’s crush or something.” Chitose remarked.
She wasn’t exactly wrong, just the opposite. Instead of me having a crush on Suzuha, it was the other way around. We both flinched at Chitose’s remark as we looked at each other awkwardly.
The food came as Suzuha began talking with Lena and the rest. They were engaged in their own conversation as Chitose began telling Suzuha about how I was a demon during their lessons and whatever wrong I did, prompting Suzuha to look at me with concern.
I was also rather busy trying to refute everything she said while explaining myself to her. Suzuha then asked for their autographs as we finished dinner to which they had given. Apparently, Suzuha was a major fan of Alvus as well and had wanted their autographs for the longest time. I was rather surprised that the girls had given it to her too, considering they usually reject such requests.
While we were leaving, I made sure to comment on their studies and reminded them about the upcoming lesson yet again, leaving them dejected.
“Still, I think it is rather amazing that you know the Alvus band personally, much more than you are their tutor.”
“I just got lucky on the opportunity. I didn’t know you were a fan of theirs as well.”
“Of course I am! I mean, they are the Alvus! Despite being a year younger than us, they are famous throughout the nation!”
“Regarding my job...Please don’t tell anyone about it, it is technically against my contract to even tell you about it earlier.”
“No worries. Your secret is safe with me.” Suzuha had replied as she did a zipping motion over her mouth.
The streets were already dark by the time we were walking home so I had offered to escort Suzuha home. She had informed her servants that she didn’t need a ride home today so there was no one to accompany her.
We talked more about Alvus on the way home, such as what her favorite songs were and how elated she was that she got their autographs. Before long, we had arrived at the Mikase Household.
“Thanks a lot for today, Izuya! See you in school.” She waved as a servant opened the gates and escorted her in not before giving me a slight bow. I bowed back out of reflex as I headed home as well.
“Izuya? What are you doing here?”
“Huh? Geh! Ikuro.”
Ikuro was going along the path where I was heading home, with Madoka behind him.