CAUTION: Contains Spoilers! Read at your own risk. The anime and characters included in this fan-fiction are under the exclusive ownership of their creators and Bandai Entertainment.
Despite all efforts, Robin tossed restlessly under the covers. Dreams, never-ending dreams, played as she tried in vain to get some sleep. Witches twisted in agony before her eyes, as angry, orange flames licked at their flesh. Flames that originated from the slightest spark in her mind. She awakened in a cold sweat, hands over her ears, trying to muffle the witches’ echoing shrieks.
Amon was no longer in the room.
Robin didn’t even need to look to know that he wasn’t there; her senses were so heightened from stress and lack of sleep that she knew he was gone. The temperature of the room had dropped in his absence. The bed creaked as she wrapped the sheets around her and moved to search for him.
Amon re-entered the hotel room, fully clothed in his trench coat and holster. Robin shivered slightly as the night air snuck in through the open door. She pulled the sheets more snugly around her as she met his eyes. His eyebrows were knitted together in contemplation, but over what, Robin could not discern. The look in his eyes unsettled her and she turned away. Somehow, Amon always succeeded in making her more uncomfortable, just when she thought she was finally beginning to understand him.
“We need to leave here.” He seemed distracted and looked down at the orbo gun he held in his hand. The green liquid glowed eerily in the darkness and the question of why Amon was holding the gun gradually took hold of Robin’s thoughts. With the fluid movements of experience, he replaced the orbo clip and put the gun back in its holster.
“Amon... What’s wrong? Is… is someone hunting us?” Her voice was grave, but possessed a tinge of fear. Not waiting for his answer, she picked up her clothing and went to change in the restroom. When she returned, she peered around Amon to survey the parking lot. The body of a man was sprawled on the pavement and tell-tale traces of green orbo were splattered on his chest. A… hunter? They’ve already sent hunters after us?
The door was closed abruptly, cutting off any further inspection of the scene. Robin searched in the dark for her glasses, found them in one of the pockets of her trench coat, and put them on. “Amon, maybe we should see Nagira. Maybe he can find out…” she began.
“Probably. For now, we shouldn’t stay in one place for long.” He hadn’t moved from his position at the door; Robin sensed that he was becoming impatient with her.
She slipped on her gloves. Amon reopened the door and they stepped outside, two witches moving soundlessly in the dead of night.
“We shouldn’t stay in one place for long,” he’d said. Robin’s eyes refocused as she stared out of the car window. Amon was right. She knew that whatever became of STN-J, Solomon would still be hunting them. And the hunting would not cease until she and Amon were dead.
Amon cleared his throat. He flicked his eyes from the road ahead and back to Robin, then back to the road. He couldn’t pin-point the feelings that Robin was stirring in him, which greatly annoyed him. In fact, many things about Robin annoyed him. He felt caught between protecting her and fearing her. She could be so naïve, yet at the same time very wise. There were too many conflicting behaviors in her that he couldn’t quite grasp. Not that I’m trying to grasp them, he reassured himself.
And the voices in his head. When had he begun to hear them? A cacophony of sounds, tirelessly tearing at his mind. He was going to have to shut them out somehow. It seemed those voices had always been present, but maybe he was imagining that. The one thing he did know is that he felt very torn. Torn between hunting witches and being a witch. Could these contradictory feelings explain some of Robin’s actions? It was a possibility, at least.
They had been on the road for what seemed like hours. Once, Robin had drifted off, but was rudely awakened by yet another dream, this one of her days at the convent in
They were parked in front of Nagira’s law office. A solitary light shone through an upstairs window. Someone was there, most likely Nagira. He had a tendency to stay up all night doing the work he had shunned off during the day, and working until morning on his cases only made Nagira more sluggish (much to Mika’s disdain). Robin and Amon climbed out of the car, knowing that if a Hunter was on their trail, hiding the car wouldn’t make much difference. Amon pressed the buzzer and spoke a few words that Robin couldn’t distinguish. The door was quickly opened by an uncharacteristically frazzled Nagira and he hurriedly shooed them inside.
“What’s been going on? I’m hearing all sorts of rumors about Factory collapsing and hunters prowling the streets.” Nagira’s face was slightly flushed as he pushed the door closed. “Several of the Seeds I’ve been protecting have turned up missing.”
Memories of a little brown-haired girl, a playground, a box of takoyaki: all of these memories flooded Robin’s mind. She clenched her fists at her side, but said nothing, hoping Amon would do the talking.
Nagira’s eyes read the exhaustion on their faces and sighed. “Come, sit down. We’ll talk about this over coffee.” He saw Robin perk up, if only slightly. They trudged up the stairs and sat down heavily on stiff office couches. Nagira made them each a cup of coffee, which Amon didn’t touch and Robin tried her best to nurse along. “Now, what’s going on? Something tells me you two are involved in this.”
Amon rubbed his temples absently, and finally replied. “Factory has been destroyed; it was Solomon and STN-J’s doing.”
“So my informant was telling the truth.” Nagira always got a grim satisfaction out of knowing that he hadn’t wasted money in buying information. “I guess it was a good thing I parked your car in the woods for you, eh?”
Amon’s frown deepened in irritation. “We came here to see if you had any information about the other members of STN-J. Whether they’re alive and if they have a mission from Solomon to hunt us.”
“How should I know? I only know what happens in the alleyways, not the offices of Solomon,” Nagira scoffed. “You two were my only ties to STN-J.” He shrugged.
“Nagira-san, can we stay here until we can find out what is happening with Solomon?” Robin asked softly. “There’s nowhere safe for us to go.”
“With hunters on your tail, you wouldn’t be any safer here than somewhere else… But, I’ll see what I can manage. For tonight, or what’s left of tonight, you can stay here.” He smiled as Robin downed the rest of her coffee and he offered her another cup, which she refused.
Shaking her head, she said, “I’m tired. I’d better try to get some sleep.” She shuffled off to the room that had been her home no so long ago.
Nagira watched her as she left. Then he turned to Amon. “Your powers are no longer dormant,” he said, bluntly. Amon glared up at him, still massaging his temples. Nagira continued, unfazed by Amon’s reaction. “I know a witch when I see one. Have you told Robin?”
“But to what extent does she know?” Nagira asked.
“Does it matter? It’s not her concern.” Amon’s irritation was rising.
Nagira scratched his sideburns thoughtfully. “It’s her concern if you are traveling together. It helps to know that you can trust your partner.”
“There was no ‘comrade’s-trust’ between us.” That’s how he’d justified hunting Kate to Robin and to himself. Now he was on the other side of the hunt, Kate and Robin’s side. Did he need to trust anyone?