Chapter Twelve: Faceoff

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Leo and Lucia were sprinting down the alleyway before the target had even move.

“Why don’t you try shooting at him again,” Lucia growled, “That worked so well last time,”

“At least I tried to wound him and didn’t stand there like some idiota,” he responded, his Italian accent entering his voice. Leo turned to look backwards to see if they were being pursued. He saw only Lucia sprinting after him.
“He isn’t behind us,” he said, slowing down. “I think we’re safe.”
Lucia didn’t stop and ran into him, knocking him over and falling onto him.

“Now isn’t the time, Lucia,” Leo said, smiling. Lucia pushed herself off of him and stood.

“Get up, idiota!” she shouted. “Did you forget that he can fly!”

Leo shrunk into the ground as he saw the target flying overhead. Lucia turned and created a shield above them. She felt lucky that the jet was parked above them. Through the shield, she saw Tengu land above them. He stomped on the shield a few times. His gaze turned from his target to the right, where the alley met the sunlight.

“Darkness powers...” he uttered as the shield began to shift. He used his wings to throw himself into the light. His wings cut into the wall behind him. They seemingly worked by themselves, separate from the figure, who stared down at the darkness user and the fool who robbed him of his cash. Lucia stared back, creating a shield which wrapped around the two. Lucia pulled Leo to his feet.

“Give me the gun.” she said, putting one hand on the shield and holding the other one out for the gun. Leo pulled the gun from the holster.

“No. I have an idea. Open a small hole in the shield. I’ll try using my powers.” he responded. He popped the bullet in the chamber and released the cartridge. He lied the gun on the ground and put his hands up.

“Open a hole that I can talk through.” he said.

Lucia sighed.

“Fine. Don’t mess it up.”
She opened a small hole in the wall, around the size of an eyeball.

“Hello, good sir,” Leo said, taking a casual step towards the opening.
“Hello,” the figure responded. His wings continued to move around inside the wall.

“Now, we may have gotten off on the wrong foot,” Leo spoke, trying to push his powers into his speech. The figures eyes, which had been looking towards the sunlight.

“But I feel like we can talk about our...” he shut up when he saw the target fly into the sky. Leo knelt down and grabbed the gun and the magazine, handing it to Lucia.
“Nice plan, culo,” Lucia snapped as she took the gun from his hand and loaded it. She aimed the gun at the target and concentrated on opening a small hole in the shield. The target had flown into the air. He then covered his chest with one of his wings. He turned towards Lucia. Lucia studied the wing for a second. She hadn’t noticed how beautiful they were. How sleek and shiny they were. Shiny.

“Oh no...” she whispered to herself. The target found the position he was looking for. The sunlight bounced off of his wing, sending a bright stream of light directly into Lucia’s shield. In one swift motion, the target pulled out a brick and threw it into the stream of light. Lucia dropped as the brick sent her head into the wall behind her. A steady stream of blood began pouring from a wound on her forehead. She shield dissipated. Leo looked to his friend. He looked back to the target, flying in the air, smiling at his work. Leo quickly turned back to Lucia, almost lunging into the wall to get closer to her. He tried to speak, but couldn’t force any words out. He put his hand behind the girl’s head. He felt blood pouring down from a wound she must have received from hitting the wall.
“Lu... Lucia,” he forced out. Tears began to fall from his eyes. He quickly wiped them. Why couldn’t I stop this! he thought. Why couldn’t I take the guy down! Why did I need her to protect me!

“Lucia! Lucia, you can’t die on me!” he forced out, the words cutting into his throat. He gritted his teeth together, grabbed the gun and stood. He faced the gun. He didn’t recognize what the model Kira had given him was, but he knew it could kill if it hit.

“Die,” Leo growled, the word, the feeling behind it feeling wholly unnatural to him. The word cut into his throat as he spoke it. He pulled the trigger three times. The words still stung his throat as they flew towards the target. Leo watched the bullets seemingly spin through the air. The smile on the target’s face faded. His wings began to slow. Leo fired another round. The bullet found it’s mark, piercing the target’s left wing. Patches of blood began appearing scattered throughout his chest. The sound of sirens and footsteps began echoing from different sides of the alleyway.

“Is it winging time?” A Romanian accent asked from Leo’s right. The footsteps slowed down. The target’s wings stopped moving. He fell forward, falling face-first into the rough concrete of the alley.

Leo began walking towards the downed enemy.

“Leo, sto...” Riku’s voice trailed off. “Lucia!”

Leo approached his target. He knelt down next to him.

“This is for Lucia,” he whispered.
Click. Click. Click.

Leo pulled the gun back and looked at it.

“Only eight rounds.” he said quietly. He stood up for a second, before falling forward, face down next to the target.

Vlad picked up Lucia. He looked forward at the end of the alley. While he wasn’t used to the sight, he recognized an ambulance at the end of the street.

“I’ll take her.” he said as he wrapped his arms around Lucia and jogged towards the ambulance.

Riku approached the target.

“I was wrong with the codename.” he said. “He looks nothing like the Tengu I’ve read about.”

He watched Vlad meet two paramedics. He handed the injured girl to them and they rushed her into the ambulance. He then returned his attention to the target.

“Your days are done.” he said. He pushed his foot into the target’s back and took a hold of his right wing. He fully extended the nearly four foot wing and chopped where it met his back. He did the same with the other wing.

“Consider yourself lucky that you aren’t a threat to me anymore.” he said. He turned to Leo, who was passed out next to him. He quickly examined Leo’s body, but found no wounds. He picked Leo up, an easy task since he was smaller than Lucia, and began walking to Vlad’s location. He was half way to the end of the alley when he heard a loud slam behind him. He turned and saw the target on his feet, two new wings, blood red wings regrowing on his back. He looked up and pushed himself up, flying into the air. Leo fell off of Riku as Riku watched, unable to pursue the now mobile target. Riku’s heart skipped a beat when he saw another figure, who appeared to be covered in fire, in pursuit.

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