It's In The Water.
Arbroath, Scotland. Nice place, on the eastern, continental side of Scotland. Right on the coast. Pretty. Cold. Unfortunately none of them could understand much of what anyone was saying. The locals were very nice, pleasant, and welcoming of strangers. Or maybe it was just Lupin they liked since he had bought some old house just up the coast. Unfortunately even Lupin looked like he was only understanding one word out of five. This was heavy accent country and Jigen wasn't used to this heavy of an accent anymore. It sounded nice. He wished he knew what the nice young man had said when he had bought him a drink. He had simply smiled and nodded in return. The kid had blushed though so he wasn't sure he didn't accept a date. He looked at Lupin, who was laughing with a few people and shook his head.
Goemon cleared his throat. "What did he say?" he asked quietly.
Jigen smirked as he sipped his drink, then quickly shrugged. "Drink up. You won't get much better ale than here."
"It is not to my taste. I prefer saki." He looked around again. "I've never been this far north before."
"True, the last time we came to Scotland, it was lower in the country." He shrugged again and gulped more of his beer. He looked at Lupin, catching his eye, so he waved and jogged over, taking a seat. "Goemon doesn't feel very comfortable in here," he said quietly. "It's not exactly the quiet sort of spot he's used to." Lupin just grinned. "Lupin."
"Fine. We'll go," he agreed dryly, waving at his friends. Jigen tossed down some cash and followed him, with Goemon right behind him. He got them out to the car, hopping in to drive. "Come on, Goemon," he ordered when the samurai stood there looking around. He continued to stand there. "What's wrong?"
"Something is off. It's too quiet for this early in the evening."
"This is a pretty small town, Goemon. It's supposed to be quiet here, that's why people live in places like this," Lupin patiently reminded him. "In. You wanted to head out to the house."
"Fine." He got in, still staring around them. Something was not right. He could sense it.
Lupin's watch beeped and he grimaced. "Hey, Jigen, dig out my travel kit, would ya? It's time for my medicine."
"What are you takin' now?" he complained, but he did so. He checked the label. "Antibiotics?"
Lupin grimaced as he swallowed the proper dosage. "Yeah, it's necessary."
"None of your business." Lupin turned a corner a little sharply.
"So I take it Fujiko is taking a similar dose or is she pouting because you got it from some cheap hooker?" Jigen asked with a smirk.
"I can shoot you. You know that, don't you," Lupin said impatiently. "No, it's not her or me. It's not for that. I've got some odd infection in my intestines. It was making me feel bad a few days ago if you remember."
"I do," Goemon agreed quietly. "I was wondering about that actually. Anything serious?"
"Nah, just an infection. The antibiotics should clear it right up," he said, sounding more cheerful. They finally found the road out of town and headed up it to the house. "It's a good two hours if you guys want to nap. I think I remember the way."
"Sure, wake me when we get in," Jigen agreed, tipping his hat lower so he could take a nap. He tipped his seat back some as well, making Goemon sit in the middle of the back seat. "You okay back there?"
"Fine," Goemon agreed. "Have a good rest."
"Thanks, man." He closed his eyes, putting his feet up on the dashboard until Lupin shoved them off. "Hey! Hands on the wheel!"
"Feet off my dashboard," Lupin complained. "I just got it cleaned the other day from the last scuff marks you left."
"Sorry," he muttered, not meaning a word of it. He got comfortable and closed his eyes again, falling asleep.
"So, tell me, who was it that made you take the antibiotics?" Goemon asked once Jigen was asleep.
"It's an intestinal infection, nothing more," Lupin said impatiently. "I play more carefully than that, thank you."
"I'd expect you to, but sometimes things do slip past. Or condoms do break."
"Don't remind me. I got a Dear Lupin letter the other day from a girl who informed me that, thankfully, the baby wasn't mine, it was her real boyfriend's. Since I don't remember her and she never told me there might be a baby in the first place, it came as a bad shock to me."
"We wondered why you passed out."
"I did not, I just fell over. Girls pass out, guys fall over."
"If you say so," he said with a hint of a smirk. "What is wrong with this house of yours?"
"Roof has a hole in it. The person watching out for it just told me so we're going to explore the damage and see if it can be easily fixed now without replacing the whole roof." He glanced in the rearview mirror. "I thought it'd be a nice vacation for a few days."
"Sure. I could use a rest. I'll make sure the roof won't cave in under me as well."
"That's why we brought you along, Goemon. So you could see if there were more holes," Lupin joked. Goemon swatted at him. "Easy! I'm still driving."
"Good, then pay attention to the road before we hit that sign post ahead."
Lupin corrected their course, heading back onto the road. "You're being picky today. What's wrong?"
"I'm not sure but something is still off," he admitted quietly. "I don't want to think of what it might be. We've never been this far North in the past."
"No, we haven't," Lupin admitted. "I still say nothing was wrong back in Arbroath, Goemon. I didn't sense anything at all."
"I'm not sure what it was, but something was definitely off. Especially since we can't understand the natives. Someone said something odd to Jigen and he couldn't interpret it either."
"It'll be fine, Goemon," Lupin assured him. "I'm the world's greatest thief and even if there's a plot I will get us all out of it with only minor injuries if everything goes horribly wrong." He grinned back again, then sped up to go around a narrow corner. "Besides, I understood most things."
"If you say so," Goemon conceded. This time. For now. But he knew something else was going on. He stared out at the passing countryside in the falling dusk, frowning when he noticed the car was drifting into the other lane. "Lupin, are you not awake?"
"Huh?" he asked, snapping back into focus and correcting their path again. "No, I'm fine."
"Perhaps Jigen should drive," Goemon said calmly.
"I'm fine, Goemon."
"Lupin, I do not wish to meet my ancestors on this road tonight," he said impatiently. "Wake Jigen and let him drive. It would allow you to rest. You've been working non-stop on our last heist and haven't gotten any sleep in days."
"Geez, Goemon, you sound like my mother," Lupin complained.
"Still, it will mean neither of us meet our ancestors tonight. Please." He grabbed onto the seat in front of him as Lupin took another corner too fast. "Lupin, I was serious. I will stop this car if I have to." He poked at Jigen's shoulder.
Jigen woke up and looked at the oncoming car. "Lupin, we're in the wrong lane!" he yelled. "Wake the fricken hell up!"
"Shut up, you sound like women!" Lupin complained.
"That's it," Jigen announced, pulling his gun. "Pull over." He pressed it against Lupin's temple, cocking it when his friend didn't even slow down. "I mean it, Lupin. Stop and let me drive. You can sleep off whatever it is."
"Fine," he complained, stopping the car in the middle of the road and getting out to stomp around the front of it. He flopped down and crossed his arms like some pouty child. "You're being mean. I'm fine to drive, Jigen."
"Then explain why that car's occupants were praying and you could read their lips," Goemon countered.
"They were not!" he complained. "Besides, what car?"
Jigen gave him a sideways look. "Did someone spike your drink?"
"He hasn't slept in days, hasn't really eaten, is taking medicine, and had three beers tonight. It could combine to make him hallucinate," Goemon offered gently.
"Nah, we've seen him in that state, it just made him goofy." Jigen glanced at Lupin again but he was asleep. "What is going on?"
"If you think he was drugged, I did not see anyone slip anything into his ale."
"Me either but it doesn't mean it didn't happen. We've seen it in the past," Jigen reminded him. "It could have even been in the lipstick that girl who kissed him on the cheek had on."
"Most women do not have such things, I've only seen Fujiko with deadly lipstick."
"Not many normal women have it, but I'm doubting that something like that would be used by a normal woman. Which means someone is after him."
"Or us," Jigen agreed. "Have we had any psychotic women recently?"
"Yeah, she was pretty pissed that we conned her the way she does us most of the time," Jigen said with a smirk of fond remembrance. "It served her right."
"It did, but she was not in the most forgiving of moods."
"Yeah, well, that's been months ago," Jigen reminded him. "By now she's mellowed out, picked a new target, and moved on." He glanced at Lupin. "He's asleep."
"I figured he would be. The question still remains, is this person after him or us?"
"Probably him, but we'll still get caught up in the crossfire, like always." He glanced at Lupin again. "What's that road name?"
"Wonderful. Any idea?"
"It's been about forty minutes. He thought two hours."
"Decent enough," Jigen agreed. "You can rest if you want. I've got it."
"Thank you." Goemon got comfortable and closed his eyes, lowering himself into a state of relaxed sleep.
Jigen went a whole ten minutes without distractions, which was nearly a record when Lupin was around. Then he heard a quiet mutter from Lupin. "What?" he asked, nudging him. "What was that?"
"There's no road. There hasn't been a road in nearly ten miles, man."
"Turn right. Here."
"There's no road, Lupin."
"Turn right!" he whined.
"I can't, there's no road."
"Who is telling us to turn right?" Goemon asked him.
"The voice in my ear says so." Lupin made a sucking face and curled up on his side, getting comfortable again. "Turn right, Jigen. We'll miss the turn-off."
"I'm not following directions from the voices in your head, Lupin. That's too weird, even for us."
"The only worse thing would be aliens," Goemon joked.
Jigen snorted. "No, I'd accept them before I take driving directions from the voices in his head."
"Turn right! Now!" Lupin ordered in a whine.
"Nope. No road there," Jigen told him. They had passed by a small track but it wasn't really a road.
"Go back, we need to go that way!" He batted at Jigen's arm so Goemon grabbed his hands. "Go back!"
"Keep going, Jigen. Something is very odd." Jigen nodded, continuing on. He took off his sash and tied Lupin's hands with it, waking him slightly. "You were hitting Jigen," he soothed. "Go back to sleep." Lupin yawned and let his eyes close the rest of the way. Jigen looked back in the rearview mirror and he shook his head. "I don't know."
"Me either," Jigen admitted. "I guess we'll be figuring it out."
Jigen found the house. It was the same number, on the right road. He pulled up in front of it, noticing there was smoke coming from the chimney. He frowned as he got out, going to tap on the door. "Isn't this the Lupin house?"
"No, that's the next one up the road," the old woman who answered told him, smiling up at him. "They've just renumbered because of a neighbor coming in closer to the village."
"Thanks." He got back in and headed up to the next lot. He frowned at the house. It was a small hut, not what Lupin usually got. He stopped the car to look at it, then looked at Lupin. He was still napping. He nudged him with an elbow. "Hey, which house was it?"
Lupin yawned and looked up at him. "Huh?"
"Which house was it?" Jigen asked again. "The woman at the house at the right address said it was this one but it's a bit rustic for your usual tastes."
Lupin sat up and looked at the house, putting back up the seat. "No, this is too far. It's the neighbor's house. Go back one."
"That's the one the little old lady said wasn't yours," Jigen told him.
Lupin frowned. "Huh?"
"Yeah, that's what she said."
"Go back there, I think we can straighten this out. It's probably the people I have watching it for me." They headed back to the house while Lupin got his wrists free. "What was I doing that he tied me down?"
"You were thrashing and trying to hit me for not following the voices in your head," Jigen said sarcastically. "Goemon, we're almost there," he called, waking him.
"I'm up." He accepted back his sash, putting it back on. Jigen pulled into the driveway. "It's a nice house and the hole could still be patched," he noted.
Lupin looked up. "This is my house," he agreed. Once the car had stopped he hopped out, going up to the door. He frowned at the woman. "You're not the old man I had watch the house for me. Who are you?"
"I'm his daughter. He's in the back. He never said you were coming up."
"That's funny, he told me to come up to fix the roof." He stared her down, making her shiver. "Now, who are you really?" he asked with a small smile. "I'm not mad. Yet."
"I'm his daughter. He's staying in the back room."
"Take him out to the garage house," he ordered. "He can stay out there."
"There's no heat," she complained.
"It's got seven fireplaces," he snorted. "Go. Now."
"No, and you can't prove who you are."
He pulled out his wallet and held up his license, making her wince. "It's my house, woman. Your other choice is him being fired." She huffed off and he walked in to watch her pack. He nodded politely at the old man hobbling out of the back. "Did you notice any other repairs that needed to be made?"
"Just the roof, Lupin. Forgive my daughter. She's protective."
"She's a spitfire," he agreed with a small smirk. "Is there a problem with the garage house?"
"No, she just hates it out there. Claims there's a ghost haunting it."
"Possibly but I don't know who it'd be," he offered. Me and the guys'll fix the roof tomorrow. You go rest, old man."
"Thank you, young one." He hobbled that way, letting his daughter help him. "Don't forget my medicine."
"I won't, father." She glared at Lupin, who was heading back outside to get his things.
Her father stopped her. "Don't you dare call anyone either," he ordered quietly, staring her down. That family saved us and has taken care of us for many years, daughter. He's the one who paid for your daughter's illnesses. You'll not turn him into the cops."
"Fine, father, I won't." She went to get his medicines and the bottle of whiskey, taking it back to the house they'd be sharing. They could always move back once he was gone again. She did call someone once her father was asleep, but it wasn't the cops. "You promised he wasn't going to be here," she hissed into the phone. "He is! He and his two smarmy friends!" She sneered. "Well he acts like he's Lord of the manor and all that too," she complained. "Yes, now come get him like you promised me." She hung up and went to check on her father. He was still asleep. She calmed herself by making some tea and taking her mug to the window seat so she could watch the main house. Those men needed someone to take care of them in a permanent manner. Hopefully the people who paid her for her information would be doing that.
Lupin woke up, sensing someone in his room. He didn't move but he did make sure he could. That's how he figured out his wrists were tied to the headboard. He struggled but they weren't handcuffs, they felt like they were padded leather, like what was used in hospitals and mental wards. He tried to move and found another band around his chest. "What's going on?" he asked as he struggled.
"Ah, good, you're awake," a male voice said with gleeful delight. "You're at my house, Mr. Lupin. You're here so I can figure out some things and then I'll make you forget this ever happened and release you."
"Fat chance, release me now." He continued to struggle, looking up to see if he could get to them. They were too far above his head, he couldn't reach the straps with his teeth. He had been right though, they were the sort used on patients. He tried to kick but with the chest strap over his lower chest it wasn't going to do any good. He did get the freak coming toward him but the doctor pushed something and he felt an incredible ripping pain through his back, making him scream in pain. He panted, glaring at the man. "For that you'll die."
"I may but your friends are only in the other room," he offered. "They'll be released at the same time as you." He walked over with a needle, stabbing Lupin in the arm. "There, this should make you more cooperative."
"Truth serum," he snorted.
"No, a sedative. I have no need of anything in your mind, Lupin the Third. Only from your body." His smirk was the last thing Lupin saw for a while. He looked at his helper. "Get up. It's time. The serum is in his body. We'll start the operation to open the spot next." His assistant nodded, dropping the bottom of the bed and pulling down the leg harnesses to hold his legs up. "After this, the other part can be done tomorrow. Then we'll figure out who is going into him."
Inspector Zenigata kicked in the door to an old house in Scotland. He had no idea why Lupin was here, but he was. His tip had proven to be correct. He pointed at the rooms, then at the cops behind him. They ran in to check everything while he went for where he could hear people chatting. A few more backed him up. The rest joined him once they found the house to be empty. He readied himself, checked the others to make sure they were ready, then kicked in that door, startling the doctor. "Freeze! Hands in the air! Where's Lupin!"
"He's right here, Inspector. I'm nearly done with him. Let me finish this bit of his operation."
"Operation? Was he shot again?"
"No, some minor back problems," he said grimly, going back to work to seal the boy up. The trap wasn't fully set, the spring wasn't tightened enough, but it would still go off sometime soon. One of the cops backed him away once he finished with the stitches he was doing, handcuffing him. "I'm a legitimate medical professional."
"I doubt it," Zenigata said dryly. "Lupin!" No answer. He heard a thump from a nearby room and headed that way, finding Jigen and Goemon. Jigen was hanging onto the end of the bed for dear life. Goemon was unconscious. "What's the matter? Hangover, Jigen?" he asked dryly.
Jigen glared at him. "Try kidnaping, Pops." He reached for his gun but it wasn't on him. "Shit. Goemon!" No response. "Goemon!"
"Leave him alone. He's better off not knowing where he's going for a few days," Zenigata sneered. "Boys!" A few cops rushed in and handcuffed them, carrying them out to the car. He went back to supervise the loading of Lupin. "Be careful with him. If he's hurt worse, they'll have to delay his trial while he's in the infirmary." The cops carefully put Lupin onto a stretcher and drug him out to the ambulance someone had called. The doctor went into the back of the van with Jigen and Goemon. Their weapons were found in the room they had been in, locked in a drawer, and brought out as well. Zenigata put them inside his overcoat, getting comfortable for the ride in. "I gotcha," he said smugly.
"For now," Jigen told him. "Lupin's still going to come for us."
"He's got an open incision on his back," the inspector said snidely. "I doubt he's going to be doing much of anything."
"What? Why? What did you do to him!" Jigen demanded, lunging for the cops
"Him, not me," Zenigata said, pointing at the doctor. "He said it was for his back."
"His back was fine, man! There was nothing wrong with Lupin when we came up here!" He looked outside, noticing the road looked familiar. He kicked Goemon, which got a sleepy response. "Get up. We've been captured and someone was experimenting on Lupin."
Goemon yawned and looked at the cops. Then at the inspector. "Very well," he decided, lashing out at them. Once he got his sword, he sliced Jigen's cuffs loose and let him handle the rest while he got himself free. He looked at he unfamiliar man. "Who are you?"
"He's the one who was experimenting on Lupin."
"Then we'll take him with us," he decided. Goemon looked behind them, noticing there wasn't a car for a ways back. He could barely see headlights. He sliced open the back doors, jumping out and rolling until he could get to his feet.
Jigen did the same with the doctor, then shot the tires on the police van so they couldn't come back. Jigen stood in the middle of the road, gun pointed at the ambulance as it came up on them. It stopped rather than run him over, like most of them would. He walked around to the driver's side door. "Out, now. Both of you." They slowly got out, hands in the air. "Thank you. We'll leave it somewhere you can find it." He got in, letting Goemon get into the back with the doctor. "Have him tell you what happened, then tie him up."
"I'd rather tie him up first," Goemon decided, taking some tubing to do that. "Now, spill."
"I'm not telling you anything. I have his signed permission form back at my house," he crowed.
"I have no doubt it is forged," Goemon said with a scowl. "You'll tell me or you'll met your ancestors a piece at a time." He flipped open his sword again and the doctor cowered. "Now tell me"
Jigen got them moving around the wreckage and heading down the road at top speed. "Do we need to get him to someone competent?"
"Yes, we probably should. There is a large incision on his back," Goemon decided. He used his scabbard to knock the doctor out. "How are we getting him out of the country?"
"It's not hard, Goemon. I'll arrange it. You watch over them." He considered his options. There was a boat nearby that he knew about that they could steal. "Do you think he could handle a boat?"
"I'd hope so but I want him as flat as possible. It's a long way to anywhere with a boat."
"I was thinking a hop to Greenland, then a hop to Canada, where we catch a flight to see John at John Hopkins. He's good at this shit and he's a surgeon we both trust."
"Fine," Goemon agreed. "Will the ship be large enough to house a bed for him?"
"It should. We'll question him on the trip and then dump him somewhere."
"Then it should be fine." He hit the doctor again since he seemed to be coming around. "If I must, I'll slowly feed the sharks his pieces until he speaks."
"Goemon, have I ever mentioned that you're a scary man," Jigen taunted.
"Yes, and I thank you each time you do," he said dryly, looking at Lupin again. He checked his blood pressure. "He appears to be mostly fine. Just sedated."
"Good. We'll steal some of the supplies for the boat. That way we don't have to worry."
Jigen got out of the van they had rented, looking at the doctor rushing out to meet them. "It's looking pretty bad," he offered. "It's started to get an infection." He opened the back doors, letting the doctor get in there beside Goemon to check him over. "The doctor refused to say what was going on, even after we sliced off a few fingers."
"He won't be doing anything ever again," Goemon agreed. "We left him on a small island by Greenland."
"That's fine," the doctor agreed. He pulled up the radio on his belt. "This is John, I'm in the parking garage on the third floor, I need a stretcher and a c-collar. I've got a patient that just got wheeled in after some butcher had a go at his back illegally." He let it go, getting confirmation. He looked at the two thieves. "I'm not going to lie, that opening doesn't look pretty and it's a bad omen."
"Whatever you've got to do," Jigen reminded him. "We'll be in there."
"Thanks, Jigen. How did you know I needed a challenge?" he asked with a small smirk. He climbed out as the emergency team ran for his position. "They found him, he was kidnaped," he ordered. "Careful with him. I don't like the looks of that scar."
"We've kept him on his stomach since we found him that way," Jigen offered. The nurse nearest him nodded. "It was done a couple of days ago. We came here since we weren't sure a lesser hospital could handle it."
"That's fine, sir." They carefully put a board under Lupin's supine body and moved him onto the stretcher, rushing him off. "Can you fill out his forms?" she asked, pausing. He nodded. "Good. Park and come down to the Emergency Room. We'll know something soon." They nodded and Goemon followed her while Jigen parked the van.
About a half hour later, John came out and he didn't look happy. "Jigen?" Jigen stood up. "It's worse than I thought. Come on. Goemon?" Goemon followed as well, all the way to the room where they read x-rays. "This is what we found," he noted as he flipped on a light board. Jigen let out a small gasp. "It looks like a mouse trap to us."
"It does to me too," Jigen admitted, tracing it. "How did they get that in there?"
"I don't know. Either the guy was a mad genius or there's some open spaces in there that we'll have to look out for. It doesn't look like it breaks apart." He looked at them. "We've got to remove this. There's another problem." He switched out one of the pictures to show a dark spot. "We have here a cavity in his body." He looked at Jigen, who shrugged. "I know it wasn't there the last time I saw him. Could this guy have been doing something like planting a bomb? We need to know before we go in there. The trap part would snap his spine but this new cavity is clearly man made. We did an ultrasound and saw some stitches. The guy made it so it opens into his rectum."
"You do what you have to," Goemon told him. "We'll help Lupin all we can."
"That's what I thought. I've called in a spinal specialist. We're taking him to surgery now. It's going to be a long one. Go get a room and come back. It won't be less than six hours." They shook their heads. "You need to, guys. A cop showed up to ask about you. I'll call you wherever you go." Jigen nodded, pulling out his cellphone to give him the number. John wrote it down and put it back into his pocket. "Thanks, guys. Trust me, this is wrong and we'll fix it. Go get a room. Trade out if you feel that one of you has to stay."
"I'll stay," Goemon told him.
"Fine," Jigen agreed. "Give me about an hour to find a spot. Any particular needs?"
"A good, firm bed. He'll need a while to recover."
"Fine," Jigen agreed, heading out to handle that part.
Goemon followed the doctor up to the surgical waiting area, settling himself in a corner to wait. The floor was more comfortable than the chairs were.
John walked into the scrub room. "I've got a contact number. One's here and one's went to find them a room," he told the nurse. "His number's in my left pocket. Before you come out, pull it out and put it on the shelf in my cubby." She nodded, taking it now and putting it in there. "Thank you." He went back to scrubbing his hands. He didn't blame them for waiting. He wouldn't have wanted anyone who wasn't the best working on this case either. He looked over as the spinal specialist came in. "Did you get the pictures?"
"I saw them. Who did that?"
"He's been taken care of," John assured him. "They left him in Greenland."
"Good! Hopefully he's naked on a rock in the middle of the ocean and gets eaten by something!" He took off his watch and put it in a cubby, taking off his shirt so he could get into some scrubs. "Anyone here with authorization to treat in case an emergency happens?"
"One of his partners. The other's finding a room. I've got his number." He saw the hesitant look, that was a medical gray area for partners to treat. "There's no one else who can."
"Fine," he agreed. "As long as we won't get sued for it."
"Nope, not them. I promise they won't sue." John rinsed off his hands, making sure the water ran down his arms and off his elbows. He walked over to the nurse, letting her dry him off and glove him. He walked into the surgical suite and was helped into his gown and a second pair of gloves. Then he walked over to check on his patient. "Are we ready with the laproscopic camera? Let's do that first and then we'll work on his back. We need to know if there's a trigger in there." The nurse nodded, feeding the straw-sized camera up into the new cavity. He looked it over, frowning at a spot. "What's that?" he asked, pointing at the screen. "Can you zoom in?" The nurse fiddled with the controls, which made him groan. "Print a copy of that. We're not dealing with it yet. Let's get the mousetrap off first." The camera was withdrawn and the other doctor came out, getting gowned and gloved. "Want me to open the stitches first?"
"Please," he agreed. "What's with that cavity?"
"It's mostly empty. There's a small mass of cells but I'll ask his partners later," he admitted. They shard a look and the second specialist glared at him behind his mask. "It wasn't me. It might be a moot point anyway with all that we've got to do. That can be dealt with last. I know this guy, it's not his idea."
"Fine," he agreed. "Any hint that the trap hinges on that?"
"There's a catch in front of it. I'm assuming that if it grew any it would trip the trap and snap his spine."
"Point." He came over to help reopen the man's back. "How long has this been in here?"
"About five days at the most. They weren't in a spot where they could get a direct flight so they took a small boat to Canada and flew down from there."
"Good. Sensible of them. I wouldn't want someone who wasn't a specialist working on this case. There's the top bar, let's look at it." He moved to examine it, coming out quickly. "It's got razor sharp teeth. I need a new set of gloves," he ordered, letting the gloving nurse redo his. He came back and found the doctor had padded it with some sponges. "That won't help much."
"No, but it'll keep it from snapping his spinal column." They shared another grim look. "I think I found a seam."
"Good." They got back to work, dismantling the device.
John came out eight hours later, his mask hanging around his neck. He found both men waiting on him. "We've got to talk," he said in greeting. "We found more than we bargained for." He tossed over a piece of the trap. "That was around his spinal cord."
Jigen looked at it, noticing the sharp points. "They were going to kill him?"
"At that level it would have paralyzed him once that cavity had expanded." He held up the picture from the laproscope. "This was found in the cavity."
"Is that a tumor?" Goemon asked.
"It's a blastocyte, Goemon, it's a baby." He looked at them. "There are two options. There's less than a one percent chance of it being carried."
"I cannot make that decision," Goemon told him simply, backing away.
Jigen looked at him. "One percent?" John nodded. "Which would be safer?"
"If we removed the cavity fully and fixed the hole in his rectum, which would mean he'd be on liquids only for about a month. He might never be able to touch someone that way again if that's his thing." Jigen nodded at that. "We noticed some prior tearing, that's why I mentioned it."
Jigen looked at Goemon, who shook his head. "Which would you like to do, John?"
"The medical professional in me is howling for the research opportunity," he admitted. "The person in me is howling at me to kill someone over this. It was set so that if he gained any weight at all, it would have snapped the trap." He considered them. "If it were me, the cavity isn't harming him. It's settled in pretty well. It's mostly healed into place. With that low of a risk of the fetus coming to be, I personally wouldn't worry. One percent means that there's almost no chance."
Jigen nodded. "Would it affect him later?"
"Then leave it, John. Thank you for saving his life, doc."
"You're welcome, Jigen. If you're sure? We can remove the cell mass."
"If it's only one percent then it'll probably happen tonight," Jigen told him. John nodded, understanding that. "When can we move him?"
"Not for a few days. We've got him in under an assumed name. One of you can sit by him but I'd be in disguise." He gave them a grim smile. "Other than some new holes where the trap had been, he'll be fine." He walked back in there to tell the other doctor to close him up. That got a nod and John sat down in the scrub room to pray that this sort of thing never happened to him.
Lupin woke up and figured out he was in a hospital pretty quickly. There was a nurse taking some blood from his arm. "What's going on?" he asked. "Was I shot?"
"No, Mr. Richards, you weren't shot. Your doctor will be up soon. Doctor Meade is very good, sir, so just lie still for a moment longer."
"Can I flip over?"
"No, sir. I'm sorry, Mr. Richards. You've got to stay on your stomach after the back surgery you had. Let me page your doctor for you." She hurried out to do that.
Lupin looked at the window, noticing it was a sunny afternoon. He was clearly in the US by the nurse's accent and uniform. So how did he get here from Scotland? The door opened and he looked back at the man coming in. "John, what the fricken hell is going on? The last I knew I was in Scotland!"
"Yeah, and the guy who had you messed you up in ways that made a number of doctors cry." He held up one of the scans, showing him the trap. "That was in your back when you got here." Lupin took it, looking it over. "It was sharp, had teeth, and nearly cut us all when we removed it. You're damn lucky Jigen brought you to me instead of somewhere else." He pulled over a chair, waiting until Lupin let out a few more swears. "Are you ready for the rest?" Lupin shook his head. "You need to hear it, man. That mouse trap, for lack of a better word, was set to go off once a new cavity in your stomach swelled with the implanted embryo in it." Lupin went stiff and stared at him. "Yeah, and it would have happened within a month or so, leaving you paralyzed from about the naval down."
"How?" Lupin asked.
"Zenigata broke in at just the right time. He found you and Goemon unconscious and Jigen just starting to come out of it. He told the guy to finish closing you up. Jigen and Goemon rescued you and brought you here via boat and Canada."
"Why not somewhere closer?"
"Because Jigen's spidey senses told him something bad was going on. He brought you here because he knew I could handle an emergency. No matter what it was, it was something I could deal with, and if I couldn't, I have some of the best specialists in the country at my fingertips. You're damn lucky, Lupin."
"I am," he agreed quietly. "I guess that's why I'm on my stomach."
"Yeah, and why we're pumping some very strong antibiotics into your arm. I'll release you in a few days to go stay with them. They've got a small hotel room with a bed just for you." He smirked at him. "Zenigata is in town. He hasn't found you yet, but he thinks he found Goemon walking out of here. He's been bugging security. The security guys know who you are but I showed them that picture and they decided you needed to be here for another day or so. When you go, I'll be sending some very strong pain killers and some very strong antibiotics with you. I want you to follow the directions faithfully."
"You said something about a cavity and an ...." He blinked a few times. "I'm what?"
"You are, but there's so little chance of you carrying that Jigen had us leave it. It would only upset your body more since it had started to heal. So you've basically got a pouch between your rectum and your intestines. Before you go, tonight actually, I'm going to be doing another camera scan of the inside to see whether or not those cells are still growing. If they are, we'll deal with it at that time."
Lupin nodded. "Please! I don't want to be a mommy. I'd look horrible with breasts."
John smiled at him. "Good, keep that sense of humor. You're to do nothing like running, jumping, climbing, or anything that would stress your back for the next two months. Then you're to *slowly* work your way back into shape. As for my bill," he added with a grin, "I'll send it to your house in France. I'll expect to be paid within a year." He stood up. "Anything else you need right now?"
"No, I think I'm good. Can I flip over sometime soon?"
"Nope. Not until the wound is healed fully. By the way, no anal sex until you're able to run or jump or play either. We noticed the scars."
"That wasn't exactly a planned event. Did you get that serum I sent you?"
"Yes, and I handed it to a wonderful woman I know as incentive to date me on a long-term basis. You were infected with it?"
"Jigen and Goemon were infected with it. It didn't get me much worse than the bad days when I'm watching strippers."
"Good. Then I'll leave you alone about proper preparation for those activities. Try to go back to sleep, Lupin. I'll wake you up later to do that scan."
"Sure. Can I have a pretty nurse?"
"You have a very pretty nurse and three who are simply stunning. One of those will be back in a few minutes and the one who called me is very nice as well. Even though her chest isn't up to what you usually chase after." He walked out, going to warn the nurses that Lupin was going to hit on them, he was just like that. It was a good sign of his recovery. He looked over as Jigen, in his usual disguise, walked up the halls. "He's been awake. I told him everything."
"Thanks. He throwing a fit?"
"No, he's still in shock." Jigen nodded and went into the room, coming out a minute later and heading to the bathroom for a moment. Then he came back with the cup of cold water, which was poured over Lupin's head.
Lupin looked up as Goemon walked into his hospital room. Hopefully it was Goemon and not Zenigata, but it looked more like Goemon. "Am I sprung?"
"You are," he agreed. "The real inspector is on his way to Taiwan. We're on our way back to Japan. John cleared you to fly as long as we could get a special gel pillow to put behind your back."
"Cool. I can go home?"
"If you'd like," Goemon agreed. He pushed the bell for the nurse, handing over the outfit he had picked out. "Here, some simple sweats. Low riding so they won't bother your incision."
"That's very thoughtful of you," the nurse cooed, pinching him on the cheek. "Is that a mask?" He nodded. "Good job. He's got a gel cushion, right?"
"We have it in the car."
"Even better." She smiled at Lupin. "Give me just a moment to grab my bandage tray and I'll be back to pull your IV and all that stuff." She hurried out and came back with it, weathering his look down her top. "Naughty man," she chided when she stood up.
"If he was feeling his usual self, he would have tried to pinch at the very least," Goemon told her. "It shows how ill he feels." He watched as Lupin's back was bandaged and he was helped into the soft, non-binding clothes. He accepted the handful of prescriptions and allowed the pretty nurse to wheel him down the stairs. He had to duck away to get away from the real Zenigata, but he didn't care at the moment. They would be gone within an hour. Jigen pulled up and they got Lupin into the front seat, watching as he settled in on the gel cushions. "Pharmacy," he ordered.
"Of course. How many?"
Goemon looked through them. "Two antibiotics, one pain killer, one muscle relaxant, and two I'm not sure of." He grabbed on as they spun around a corner, avoiding a cop car with lights on. Goemon tucked the slips in his inner pocket. Jigen found a pharmacy on the way to the airport. They got through the pharmacy, the airport, and even onto the plane before anyone recognized them.
The stewardess gave them an odd look. "Are you all right, Mr. Lupin?" she asked. "You didn't try to pinch me this time."
He gave her a sad smile. "Someone tortured me."
"Ooh, I'm so sorry. Do you need anything?"
"Something to drink once we get in the air. I need to take my antibiotics."
"Of course. Do you need to adjust those cushions any?" Jigen helped Lupin sit up further and she adjusted it slightly, making him smile. "There you go. Once we get in the air I'll get you some water." She walked off to check with the others.
Jigen looked at him. "What about your pain killers?"
"She gave me a dose when we left," he said with a sappy grin. "I don't feel very much at the moment, and what I can feel feels good."
"Good," Jigen agreed dryly. The door shut and he groaned at the last person on. "How's your luck?"
"Fuck me," Lupin groaned. He heard an 'ah-ha' and gave him his most pitiful look. "I just had a super sharp mouse trap taken out of my back by someone who liked to play with my ass too much. Can't you wait?" A few nearby people turned to look at him. "Yes, me, tortured," he said firmly. Most of them turned back around. He looked at the cop. "Pops, sit down, shut up, and leave me to my drugged up haze. I'm not allowed to move. I'm not allowed to do anything else, but if you touch me I'm going to scream like a soprano on helium."
"Fine. You can't get away from me and we're heading to Japan anyway," he said lightly, smirking at him. "You're mine now, Lupin."
"Get in line. Others have prior claim on the butt you're claiming." He accepted his bottle of water from the stewardess. "Thank you. Can't you toss him back with the baggage?"
"No, I'm sorry. He did pay for his seat." She pushed the inspector. "Sit down. Now!" He hurried to his seat and buckled in. "Thank you." She looked at Lupin. "No causing a fuss or the pilot will have to land and have you removed from the plane and in your condition that's not a good idea."
"That's fine, we'll flush him during the flight," Jigen assured her.
"That would be fine," she assured him. She walked back to the front as they started to move. "Thank you for flying American Airlines, ladies and gentlemen. If you'll give me a moment we'll go over the obligatory safety precautions and let you get on with your reading and things." She pulled out the seat belt to show off how it buckled.
Lupin limped off the plane with Goemon's help. Jigen was behind them with Zenigata in his handcuffs and a gag from his tie. He saw the wheelchair waiting for him and fell into it with a sigh of relief, until his back hit the back of the chair and then he nearly leapt up from the pain. Goemon thoughtfully put the cushion behind him and took the wheelchair from the stewardess with a nod. "Thank you."
"You're welcome and thank you for flying American." She looked at the Inspector. "We were told there was a criminal on the plane. Is that him?" Jigen nodded. "I thought you might be an Inspector with the hat and all. Have a nice day and good job, Inspector." She got another wheelchair for the old lady who was going to be carried out by her husband soon. She hadn't been told there were two injured people on the plane. "Thank you for flying American," she said as another clump of people walked past her. The older lady was carried out and he took the wheelchair. "You have a nice day."
Lupin looked at his car, his favorite car, and smiled. "My car."
"We had someone get it from Scotland," Jigen offered as he got in to drive. He put the cushions in place and helped Lupin lower himself onto them. He adjusted the one under him at the last moment. "Better?"
"Yeah," he said with a goofy grin. "I want my drugs."
"Once we're on the road," Goemon assured him. They sped off once he had settled himself and their bags in the back. "Where did you put the inspector?"
"In the women's toilet."
"I'm sure he'll get a big thrill out of it," Lupin agreed. He wiggled some. "I feel better. I don't have a catheter. I have pain killers. I'm not pregnant."
"He told you?" Jigen asked.
"Yeah, he told me. I'll hit you for that later, Jigen."
"He said it'd cause more problems to take that out."
"Fine. I'll still hit you for that later," he said happily. He looked at him. "Right decision but freaking me out horribly."
"Yeah, I'd be the same way," Jigen admitted. "Thankfully it's not me." He sped up as they hit the interstate. "Which house?"
"One far, far away from anything happy, loud, and female."
"Fujiko is in New York," Goemon told him.
"Wonderful. Hopefully she stays there for the next six months. How much is my medical bill? Just so I know how many jobs to plan in the next year."
"Don't ask, I had flashbacks of selling organs." Jigen looked at him. "The one with the pink roof or the one by the coast?"
"The coast," Lupin decided, wiggling again. "My ass is numb."
"At least you can feel it," Goemon reminded him.
"Yes, and I thank you both from the bottom of my flinty and usually cold little heart for making sure I can feel that my ass is numb." He smiled at them. "Next time, one of you get to be the mommy with built-in mouse trap."
"It could have been worse, the doctor was saying something about the spring not being tight enough while we were torturing him."
"Ooohkay," Lupin agreed. "Is he dead?"
"We left him on a tiny island, bleeding from both hands from missing fingers, and wet. Off Greenland," Goemon told him.
"Good," Lupin said, more happy now. "Hopefully something like a shark or a whale will come up and eat him." He looked back. "Can I have my drugs now?"
"At the next place we'll stop to get you something to drink," Jigen promised. "What's his schedule?"
"I've got it memorized. He's due a pain killer, one of his antibiotics, and one of the unknown ones. In two hours he's due the other antibiotic and the other unknown. In six hours he's due for his next pain killer. The muscle relaxant is as needed."
"Okay, write it down once we get there," Jigen ordered. "Put it on the fridge." He pulled through a drive-thru and got them all drinks, letting Lupin have a milkshake since he looked so pitiful. It'd coat his stomach so he wouldn't get sick from the antibiotics again.
Goemon opened the door at the rapid knocking, frowning at the woman standing there. They'd only been here three days. "Go away." He slammed the door in her face and went to tell Jigen she was there. He was in the kitchen making sandwiches. "Fujiko was at the door." From somewhere nearby Lupin let out a groan. "I shut the door in her face."
"And it was rude," Fujiko complained.
"Go away," Lupin called. "Now please."
She walked into that bedroom, looking him over. "Are you sick?"
"I was freaken tortured, Fujiko. I'm not in the mood for women. It'd hurt if I got hard. So just go away."
Jigen brought in his sandwich and pills. "I agree, go away. He's not to be getting upset."
"What happened to him!" She glared at the other two men. "Who had him, is he dead, and why didn't you stop him!"
"They had us unconscious, someone put a mouse trap in his back, and go away," Jigen retorted. She looked stunned before bursting out laughing. He held up the souvenir piece of the trap. "This was about a quarter of the bar that was set to snap his spinal cord."
She snatched it, looking awed. "Really?" she asked Lupin. He nodded, taking a bite. "I can help take care of you."
"Fujiko, I'm forbidden from getting hard," he lied. "I'm on massive pain killers for this." He took another bite of sandwich. He didn't want her to be there, didn't want her to see him deal with this. He really didn't want to let her know what had really went on this time. He just wanted her to go away. "I'm sorry, Fujiko, but I'm supposed to have no noise, no stress, and nothing that could make me get upset. So out."
"Fine, if that's what you want. Do you need anything? I can do some minor shopping for you."
"No, I'm good," he lied. "Ask Jigen and Goemon if they need anything. I can't even have liquor." She cooed and gave him a hug, making him yelp. "Ow!" She sniffled and burst out crying. "Don't do that! I can't take that!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you more."
"He's got to take his painkillers anyway," Jigen told her. "We could use a few groceries and some booze. Go out to the kitchen and I'll make a list in a moment." She nodded, leaving them alone. He looked at Lupin. "You okay?" He nodded and finished off his sandwich, taking his pills with the glass of milk Jigen had brought him. "Need anything?"
"Her gone," he said quietly. "I don't want to talk about this."
"I understand, boss. We do need some things though. She'll be gone by tonight." He walked out and closed the door after himself. He saw Fujiko leaning against the fridge, still looking at the piece of bar. "He's really not in a good mood."
"I can see that." She tossed it at him. "Someone told a few of the criminals he was taken and tortured. There's a lot of rumors about what happened to him."
"Yeah, well, he doesn't want to talk about it," he reminded her. "Not even with us." She nodded, crossing her arms over her chest. "Let me make that list."
"Where did Goemon go?"
"Probably the back yard. There's a fountain here," he reminded her. He wrote out a quick list and handed it over with some cash. She wouldn't pay for it herself, not even for Lupin. "For right now, he needs some rest before we go do things to pay off his medical bills."
"Forget it," she snorted.
"We can't do that to John."
"John? That uptight resident he saved during a bank robbery?" Jigen nodded. "You took him from Scotland to the US?"
"I wanted the best to see him. I was right. Anyone else might have snapped the trap and it would have severed his spinal cord." He glanced around. "Put a carton of my smokes on there too." She nodded, adding it to the list. "Thank you, Fujiko."
"Fine. I'll go away after doing this. He'll be fine?"
"As long as he's allowed to rest. That's what he needs most."
She nodded, leaving them alone. As soon as she got outside she saw Goemon. "Should I add saki to the list?"
"I've got a few bottles," he offered, opening her door for her. "I'll be up when you get back. Jigen should be taking a nap soon."
"Fine. Give me an hour." She got in and turned on the car, heading out and down the driveway to the nearest town. By the time she came back, Goemon was sitting on the front step waiting for her. She handed over the three bags and gave him a long look. "He asleep?" He nodded. "Does he need more medicines?"
"No, he's fine. His prescription came with some refills."
"Fine. I'm going to Tokyo, then to Paris. Call me if he needs me." She got back into the car and tossed over the carton of cigarettes. "Here." She headed out again to relieve some stress. Maybe some of those rumors were true after all. But why would he have been pregnant, and how?
Jigen tapped on Lupin's door later that night, tossing him a pack of cigarettes and a few magazines when he saw he was awake. "She left without any more problems."
"Was she right? Are people talking about it?"
"People talk, Lupin. It happens," Jigen reminded him. "You're going to get better and shove it back in their faces."
"Yeah, but do they know *all* of it?"
"Someone may have leaked information but no one will believe that. It's impossible for men to have those sort of...issues. No one will believe it, they can't. I don't believe it and I was there."
"I don't want to believe it but it happened to me." He looked up at his best friend. "Maybe an honorable death is in order?"
"No, and get that thought out of your head right now, Lupin the Third," Jigen said coldly. "If we had wanted you to die, we could have done that in Scotland." Lupin nodded, looking down as he tapped the pack of cigarettes on his thigh. "I did that for you."
"Thanks, Jigen. You take very good care of me." He gave him a faint smile. "Can I kill anyone who says something?"
"Sure. We'll help." He walked in and shut the door. "Do you want to talk about it?"
"No. I want to forget it. I want it to never happen. I want my back to be fine and I want this to all be a nightmare."
"You'll need better drugs for that." He sat beside him on the bed. "Lupin, we'll take care of you. You know that. Goemon and I both agreed that we'd be taking care of you. We won't even get pushy about our cuts either. John deserves a few million for fixing you and your bill is about that anyway," he added with a small smirk. Lupin shivered, then winced. "You're still in pain?"
"A bit, but nothing much. I'm due for another dose in about an hour or so. My back is hurting because I'm stuck in here."
"You can hobble out to the couch and lay on your side," Jigen offered. "Watch some tv, nap in the sun."
"Gut the person who opens the door," Goemon said from the doorway, opening the door. "She came back with a small wound. She ran into Zenigata."
"Did she lead him here?" Jigen demanded. Goemon shrugged. "Fine. Gather up everything, we'll head to your house."
"Agreed. I've got everything but his medicines." He went to do that, coming back with a bag to put in the car. Jigen's things were easily gathered while Jigen got Lupin into the car in his bathrobe. Goemon checked the house, finding one last pill bottle in Fujiko's hands, then walked out, slamming the door behind himself. He held up the unknown drug. "She was looking at this one."
"What is that one for?"
"To make sure the little mass of cells isn't going to continue to grow and that if he planted another one it doesn't ever grow," Lupin said, snatching it. "He wasn't sure if he had implanted another one later than the first."
"Shit, Lupin. I'm sorry, man. If we hadn't been unconscious we'd have saved you from that."
"Not your fault," Lupin said calmly. "Let's go. Why are we stealing Fujiko's car?"
"Because yours is too well known," Goemon reminded him. "We'll get it later." Jigen sped them off, taking them to the city. Goemon's house was quiet and in a nice neighborhood, not too far from the markets. They snuck Lupin in since it was daylight and he was only wearing a bathrobe. Lupin headed for a couch and laid down again, wincing a bit. Goemon looked at him. "Are you all right?"
"I'll be fine. Is it time for my pain killers?"
"No," Goemon told him. "About forty minutes." He looked at Jigen, who shrugged and went to put up the food. Goemon knelt beside the couch, checking Lupin's forehead. "Are you in that much pain?" He nodded. "Is it real pain or just avoidance?"
"A bit of both, but I'd rather be drugged to the gills than have to think about this."
"I understand, but you must deal with it sometime. Otherwise it will haunt you for many years."
"I don't want to deal with it, Goemon. It sucks and I hate it."
"Of course you do. When you're ready, know you can come to us." Lupin shook his head. "We will understand."
"I'm not dealing with it, Goemon. I'm forgetting it happened once I'm healed and I'm moving on." He sat up with a wince. "I should probably go somewhere Fujiko won't find me."
"If you wish, but can you handle your medicine?" Lupin nodded. "You're sure?" He nodded. "Then check in with us each day," he instructed. "If you make us hunt you down we would have to get mean." He stood up and helped Lupin up, handing him his bag. "All but one of them are in there," he offered, going to find the other bottle of medicine. He brought it to him. "You should probably change."
"I'll catch a cab," Lupin said, pulling on a pair of pants and a t-shirt with a wince. He slid into his shoes and headed out.
"Was that wise?" Jigen asked from the kitchen.
"No, but it's better than us forcing him to think about it. He needs time to consider what has happened alone. If not now, it would have happened later. At least this way we know he won't be doing anything stupid."
"Where's his gun?"
"In my things."
"Even better." Jigen handed over the bottle of saki. "To not remembering," he said, clinking his glass with the bottle.
"Definitely." He sipped, going to put up his things.
Lupin eased himself onto the hotel room's bed, wincing a lot. He hadn't taken the cushions with him. He would be paying for that later. He found his list of medicines and took what he needed, including his pain medicines. Then he leaned against the pillows and headboard. He cleared his mind. He saw a picture pop up and frowned, pushing it aside. It popped back up and he pushed it aside again, growling at it. He hated that image. He didn't want to see himself in a wheelchair. Nor did he want to see himself in a wheelchair with a child sitting on his lap while he told it stories. He hated kids. He would not be in a wheelchair. He'd die before he ended up paralyzed. He looked at his bag. Then he shook his head. "No. I don't need more."
Someone knocked on the door. "Housekeeping," someone called in a high falsetto.
"Go away. I'm fine. Thank you anyway."
"Sir, you don't have any towels. We ran out earlier."
Lupin grabbed his bag but his gun wasn't in there. He'd be able to feel the familiar weight if it were. He struggled to his feet and hobbled over, looking out the peephole. "Just leave 'em, I'm naked."
"If you're sure, sir. Did you need anything else?"
"No, I'm fine."
"I heard you groan."
"I'm fine," he repeated. "Just leave them there." She left a small stack of towels on the floor and left. He waited for a few minutes. No one else came. Someone walked past the door and gave the towels an odd look. He waited another moment, then sighed and opened the door, grabbing the wrist coming toward him, squeezing it painfully. "Don't think about it." He shoved the arm away and grabbed the towels, then slammed the door and locked it. He heard knocking and ignored it. "Leave me alone or I'm taking my pain killers and I'm going to pass out."
"If you're walking, you already took them, Lupin," Fujiko called.
"I'm going to kill you," he called. "Go away!"
"Let me in, Lupin. You need to be looked after. I can do that for you."
"Yay." He considered it but he couldn't soak in the tub with his incision. He looked at the bottle of pain killers again and it was starting to be a good option if that person didn't quit pounding on his door. "Go away!"
"Lupin, I can get you to a doctor."
"I've seen a few already, thanks though." He leaned back slowly. "Why did I leave Jigen and Goemon?" he muttered. "They would have shot her for this." He called Jigen's cellphone. "I hate you, you have my gun so I can't shoot Fujiko." He hung up and glared at the door, his arms crossed over his chest. Finally she got the door open and walked in with an unfamiliar man behind her. "Get out."
"No. You obviously need help, Lupin." She sat down beside him, stroking his cheek. "You need a shave."
"It's not been high on my list of priorities, Fujiko. Excuse me but I've been in a bit of pain." He glared at the man beside him. "I don't know who you think you are, but you might want to write your name somewhere on you so when they find your dead and mutilated body they can identify you and put your name on your tombstone."
"Lupin!" Fujiko snapped. "Leave him alone. He's a very nice doctor."
"Yay," he said sarcastically. "I'm fine. My doctor is wonderful and a specialist. He did all I needed."
"You sound like you're in pain. Have you taken your pain killers, sir?" he asked calmly.
"Yes, and then I had to get up thanks to you two." The doctor nodded. "Just go away. I'm fine."
"If you were fine, you wouldn't have to have painkillers," she said gently.
"Shut up," he sneered. "Since when have you cared?"
"Since always, Lupin. We don't always agree on everything but I do care for you." She stroked his cheek again. "I just want what's best for you."
"Then get your toy and leave," he told her. "I need rest. I need peace and quiet. I can't do that with you and the unknown person in here." He glared at her. "Out!"
"Fine." She put a card on the bedside table. "Here's his number if you need it, Lupin."
"I don't need it. John's more than enough doctor for me."
"I know, but he's not here if something happens," she said gently. He shrugged, then winced.
"Are your stitches pulling, sir?" the doctor asked.
"Are you sure? I can check those for you."
"I'm fine," Lupin assured him. "It's only been a few days since my surgery." He nodded. "What's your speciality?"
"Surgeon. I do a lot of wounds," he told her. Lupin nodded, then winced again. "Are you sure? It's not trouble and Fujiko was very worried about you. She pulled me away from my dinner and my rented girl."
Lupin snorted. "Watch out for that one. She's got bad timing. As she's proven by having Zenigata raid the place where I was resting peacefully."
"I understand." He bowed to him. "If you need me, call me." He walked out, and Fujiko glared at Lupin. "Come, Fujiko. He needs to rest and you're not the most restive person to be around."
"Coming," she complained, still frowning. "Don't be such a grump, Lupin. I'm trying to help."
"Go away, Fujiko, before I get pissed and hit you," he told her. "I'm in pain. I'm in a lot of pain. My pain killers haven't worked yet." She snorted but walked out and locked the door behind her. "Great, now I need to move again," he complained, looking at the bottles. He looked at the card, it did look real, but he didn't know this guy and he definitely wasn't going to him for anything.
Goemon looked up as someone knocked on his front door, getting up to answer it. "He's not here," he told her.
"I know, I introduced him to one of the local underground doctors. He's being mean."
"Fujiko, get over it. He doesn't want to talk. He doesn't want to be around people at the moment. Just leave him alone," Goemon told her. "He'll talk to you when he's better." He shut the door in her face and went to wake up Jigen. "She intruded on his peace. She brought another doctor."
"Wonderful," he complained, getting up and putting on some clothes. "I should go check on him. He called to complain because we kept his gun." He pulled on his shirt and lit a cigarette before buttoning in it. He slid into his jacket and smirked. "Look decent?"
"No, you look like you had sex most of the night," Goemon said seriously. "Did you want breakfast when you get back?"
"If I know Lupin he'll be hiding and I'll have to talk him into letting me in. If he hasn't moved."
"Fine. I'll cook when you get back." Jigen nodded and walked out, grabbing his shoes at the door, and lighting his second cigarette once he was outside. He looked up and headed for Lupin's normal hotel of choice.
"He moved to someplace; I'm not sure where it is," Fujiko called from the hood of her car. She looked over from buffing her nails. "I can't find him."
"If you hadn't driven him off, we wouldn't have that problem," he pointed out. He went to the hotel anyway. He got Lupin's messages with the simple lie of he was his personal care nurse. The staff had noticed he was walking funny and was in pain. Plus the housekeepers had said something about the pill bottles. He talked one of the housekeepers into letting him into the room since no one was answering. He walked in and looked around, seeing the clean, neat, perfectly sterile room. He walked over to look at the pill bottles, noticing they had been straightened out and the labels turned toward the bed. There was also one missing. "Shit." He checked the labels. One of the antibiotics was gone. If it had been Lupin's idea to leave suddenly, he would have taken the pain killers. That meant someone had him and had access to pain killers.
He took the bottles and put them into his pockets, heading back to Goemon's. He handed them over and went to find Fujiko, not having to say a word. Goemon knew what was going on. There was only one explanation. Jigen found Fujiko in a local martini bar having a drink with a tall, handsome Russian man by his accent. "'Scuse me," he said, grabbing her by the back of the neck and walking her into the kitchen. "He left, Fujiko. Who did you bring over?" he asked coldly. She didn't say anything so he shook her. "Speak, bitch, or I'm snapping your fricken neck. Whoever has him only took an antibiotic."
"Rios. Doctor Rios. He's the local underground guy for wounds and gunshots. Lupin was having a lot of pain. He could have went to him." Jigen shook her again, making her scream. "He gave him his card!"
"Fine. Where did you find this person?"
"At the Black Star bar."
"Fine. Go away now, before Goemon and I have to deal with you, Fujiko. If he's hurt worse, you're a dead woman this time." He walked out, going to find that bar. He vaguely knew where it was, and a shopkeeper quickly pointed it out. He walked in and up to the bar, pushing over a hundred yen note. "I need to speak to Rios."
"He's not here," the bartender told him quietly. "He hasn't been in since last night."
"Do you know where I can find him? It's an emergency."
"He's at his house probably. He lives near the Meiji Shrine."
"In Shinjuku?" Jigen asked. The man nodded. "Any idea where?"
"Above a small poet's club."
Jigen tipped him another hundred yen and left, going to catch a train. He knew exactly where that was. He had hung out there in the past. He even knew where the club was. Once he got there, he scoped out the place. It was quiet. It was a hectic street but the club wasn't open yet. The windows above showed no movement. The curtains were closed tightly. He snuck up the stairs to listen at the door. He could hear some quiet music in the background. He heard some muffled noises that could be voices talking. He didn't hear Lupin's trademark whiny voice. These were deeper.
He put his ear on the door, listening as hard as he could. What he heard made him shudder. He pulled his gun to check, loading the rest of the bullets into it. Someone was coming so he pressed himself against the wall, thanking his funny metabolism for making him so skinny that the doorknob didn't even hit him. Once most of them had gone and he had peeped through the gap between the door and the frame. They didn't have Lupin. Someone was closing the door so he moved around it and pointed his gun at the man's nose. "Inside, now," he ordered. The doctor shook and nodded, letting him inside. He glanced around, not seeing Lupin. "Where is Lupin?"
"He's not here. I don't have him, sir."
"Bullshit. I heard you. Last chance, where is he?" He got a head shake so Jigen batted him on the temple with his gun. He searched the apartment, he wasn't there. He found a hidden compartment and opened it, finding a stairway. He climbed it with his gun held ready. He found a small medical lab and groaned, going over to look at his friend. He was snoring, which was a good sign. He wasn't bleeding, which was another one. He nudged Lupin but he wouldn't wake up. That was a bad sign. He called Goemon. "I found him, we're in Shinjuku above the poet's club. He's unconscious." He hung up and checked Lupin over. His stitches were cleanly bandaged. His body was limp. He wasn't wearing pants when he moved the sheet. That was a second bad sign. One more and he was going to explode on someone. He walked back down the stairs, going to wake up that doctor and talk to him. He found him waking up and kicked him on the side, making him yell. "What are you doing to him?" he asked coldly. "You can answer me or answer the samurai coming to help me. The last one who didn't answer got left to die on a small rock in the middle of the North Sea without most of his hands." He cocked his gun, pointing it at the man's temple. "Your choice."
"I...I...I...I... I was paid to test a hypothesis. They wanted to know if what they heard was real."
"Who did you tell and what did you do?"
"It wouldn't work," he said quickly. "No matter what the man wanted. It wouldn't work, he doesn't have the right hormones." He got to his knees. "Please, don't kill me. It was ten million yen."
"That's not that much. You're a dumbass." He looked over as someone knocked. "Expecting visitors?"
"No," he said fearfully. "I swear I won't move."
Jigen went to the door, peeping out the small window. He opened it to let Goemon in, noticing he was dragging Fujiko by the hair. "Dump her or kill her. He doesn't need this shit and she's the reason." He looked at the man once Fujiko was shoved out of the apartment and the door slammed in her face. "What, exactly, did you do. Every single step, man."
"I checked the cavity. I took the embryo they brought. I implanted it. I watched it not take since he didn't have the right amount of hormones. I flushed the area out and cleaned him up. Then I fixed a pulled stitch on his back and put him back to sleep. I made sure he had his antibiotic. Please don't kill me."
"No," Goemon said, slicing into him with a quick movement. He looked at Jigen. "I've got a cab waiting."
"He's not wearing pants."
"Fine." Goemon pointed at the open door and Jigen nodded so he went up to check on him. He came down carrying Lupin. "Let's go."
"Sure." Jigen spit on the body and walked off after them. He got in and paid the cabbie, letting him take them to the hotel. They got Lupin back into his bed and settled in to wait. "Fujiko?"
"I shoved her down the stairs."
"Too bad she didn't die."
"Lupin," Jigen called softly. Lupin moaned and batted at him. "Lupin. Wake up for a minute, boss. It's important."
"Go away," Lupin complained.
"Get up," Goemon ordered quietly. "It's important."
Lupin blinked up at them. "Where am I?"
"The hotel room you chose. We took you back from that stupid doctor and avenged your insults," Goemon told him.
"What?" He sat up, only wincing a bit. "What happened?"
"That broad of yours. That doctor she called over took you and tried it again." Lupin blinked, looking very confused. "Yeah, again."
"Lupin, cavity, large needle, mass of cells?" Jigen asked. "Getting more of a clue." He held his stomach. "He admitted it didn't work before he died."
"Thank you." He looked down at himself, then at them. "I don't feel so good."
"I wouldn't either," Goemon agreed, helping him up and into the bathroom. He came back out and closed the door before the sound of sickness came out. "Should we take him back with us?"
"We should but if he doesn't want to come we can't force him to," Jigen reminded him. He lit another cigarette. "If we do, we should probably be prepared to stick him between us to comfort him."
"That would be fine with me." Goemon agreed, sitting on the end of the bed. "Lupin, do you need help back to the bed?"
"No," he called. He opened the door. "What did he do to me?"
"Long needle, mass of cells, didn't work, so he washed the area," Jigen told him.
"That explains why my ass hurts and why I'm crapping water." He went back into the bathroom and brushed his teeth before coming back and lying down again. "I feel bad."
"You should," Jigen agreed. "If you want, we can go back to Goemon's and you can have a rest."
"I'm not sure I'm ready for that."
"Lupin, if not, one of us would have to stay with you," Goemon reminded him. "Plus, Fujiko will probably be back and pretend to be sorry." He looked at his friend. "Nothing will happen that you don't want."
"I could even be talked into shooting the bitch if you want," Jigen offered. "Plus, you know, food you can actually eat."
"I'm not hungry."
"You still need food to heal," Goemon reminded him. "Come back and we'll watch over you again. You will not have to talk to us if you don't want to." Lupin nodded but he crawled back into the bed.
"Lupin, you're not safe, man. That doctor was paid ten million yen to try you again by someone else. He told 'em it didn't work but that doesn't guarantee you'll be left alone."
"I don't want to go outside."
"We can plan how to steal your medical bill from them," Jigen offered. "I saw who it was." Lupin gave him a long look. "I was more worried about you," he admitted.
"We can always go after those with bad taste, finding you took precedence," Goemon agreed. "Come home with us, Lupin. You don't have to see anyone."
"No. I'm tired. Maybe tomorrow."
"Fine. Then one of us will have to stay with you."
"No, I'm fine. She won't come back," he promised. "I won't let her in and I'm not moving from this bed."
"She can pick locks and you're still not safe," Jigen reminded him. "Come on. I'll stop and get you some girly magazines."
"I'm not sure I can get it up."
"Now I know that you need to come home with us. You're definitely depressed."
"Gee, I wonder why, Goemon," Lupin said sarcastically.
"Enough. We will help you through this, no matter what may happen."
"Yeah, like you did for us in Germany," Jigen reminded him. "Selective amnesia and all."
"Fine. I still want to wait."
"You can rest in the car," Goemon told him, getting up and gathering the remaining things in the room. He handed them to Jigen then picked up Lupin like he was a large child, taking him down to the car by the freight elevator so no one would have to see him being so ill. They got into the car and Jigen got in to drive, taking them back to his house. He found the place trashed but settled Lupin into the bed before going to check for others and to straighten things out. By the time they got back to him he was snoring again. So they climbed in on either side of him, loincloth and boxers still on, letting him curl up however he wanted. He ended up on top of Jigen. "You are a good choice. Your chest is softer and less muscled," Goemon said quietly. Jigen frowned at him. "I've slept there before, it is quiet comfortable." He shifted closer, curling up behind Lupin's back. "You rest," he soothed, stroking the clear portions of his back. Lupin relaxed and went back to snoring.
Jigen woke up when someone tried to crawl on top of him, putting an arm around the body on top of his. "Goemon, lay still," he complained, still mostly asleep.
"I would but I'm not him and I've got to shit more water," Lupin said, struggling to get out from between them and heading into the bathroom. He head quiet padding behind him and turned, making Goemon freeze. "I'm just going to the bathroom, I don't need help."
"That's fine, I was heading for a drink. They're in the same direction." He walked around him and went into the kitchen to get himself some water. Not that he was up for that reason but Lupin sounded very sure that he hadn't needed help so he'd leave him alone for a few minutes. He padded back to the bed, climbing back into the warm spot. He saw the bathroom door open and Lupin came back to the doorway. "Come back. It's safe." Lupin shook his head. "Yes. It's still very early. You need to rest and so do we."
"I'm going to watch some tv," he said quietly. "You and him?" Goemon nodded. "After Germany?"
Goemon nodded. "Sometimes we still have flashbacks and who else would understand."
"Cool." He headed out to the couch, laying down very carefully. He realized that Goemon had a very old tv, one that didn't have a remote and groaned. "Crap." He yawned and heard bare feet behind him. "I'm fine."
"You're not fine, but it is time for some medicine," Goemon reminded him. He dished out the pills and handed them over with some water, watching as he took them all. "You are welcome to rest with us. It's more comfortable than the couch and you're less likely to be interrupted." He heard someone outside and glared. "That is what woke me." He grabbed his sword and headed out through the back door, stopping the man out there. "You," he sneered. "Why are you here?"
"I'm doing a good thing for you, Goemon," his old adversary said patiently. "There's a contract out to bring Lupin to them. They want to see whether or not the experiment will work." He handed over an old scroll. "I turned it down but others haven't."
"Thank you. I'll warn him. We'll be leaving tonight."
"Good idea. Try to be very inconspicuous. Some people are still having thoughts after that thing in Germany." He hopped over the neighbor's fence, making her scream before he ran off.
Goemon unrolled the scroll, groaning in misery. "Fine, we will work on this later," he decided. He found Lupin in the kitchen. "Ratboy said he owed us."
"Fine. How bad?"
"News has spread. There's a contract." Lupin snatched the scroll to read, frowning at the contents. "You should leave and let us handle this, Lupin."
"Oh, no, I want these morons," Lupin said grimly. "Preferably to be in the same position and for the same reason." He crumpled it up and looked around. "I can't think of anywhere safer."
"I can," Goemon assured him, "but it doesn't have any beds." Lupin gave him a long stare. "Iga."
"That would be safe, but we can't get all the way up there by car and I'm in no shape to hike." Goemon nodded. "You're thinking?"
"I'm thinking you do have a house near there," he admitted. "It's a small place but very nice with very good views."
"Fine. We can go up there," Lupin agreed. "I'd just like to stay in the same place each night for a while."
"We do as well," Goemon assured him. He went to tell Jigen, waking him gently. Jigen stared up at him. "There's a contract to do the test again," he said quietly. "Ratboy brought it."
"He said he refused to take the assignment. We're heading near the family home."
"Fine. We can't get up there by car."
"But there is a house near there," he reminded him gently. "Very small and defensible."
"Let me shower and we'll go. Get any refills he'll need before then." Goemon nodded, going to get dressed and do that. Jigen stretched and got out of bed, finding Lupin in the kitchen making some fried eggs. "You okay?"
"No. But I'll live." He looked at him. "I'm happy if you are, Jigen. I wasn't going to say anything about it."
"Thanks." He headed into the bathroom then came back out. "How did you know?"
"I woke up first," he said dryly, smirking at him. "Go shower. It's a long damn drive. I'll even ride in the back, give Goemon the chance to sit up front for a change."
"If you're sure." Lupin nodded. "Okay, give me twenty minutes. Can you make me some too?"
"Sure. Go shower before we run out of hot water." Jigen headed back into the bathroom while Lupin added a few more eggs to the pan as his finished cooking. He put some in for Goemon too. They had time to eat and he felt queasy when he didn't eat with his medicine. He made a quick decision and wrote out a letter, sticking it next to the pan. He turned off the heat so it wouldn't ruin the food before Jigen got out of the shower and headed out into the cool morning air.
Lupin walked into the nice apartment and nodded politely at the woman he was there to see. The others probably had a clue where he was but he knew this woman wasn't going to hurt him any. Besides, she'd love this. "Thank you for seeing me."
"You're welcome. Have a seat, Lupin." He shook his head quickly. "It's soft," she said gently. "I remember having pains in that area very well. It's also stain-proof because of that same reason." Lupin sat down delicately, then relaxed and got comfortable when it didn't hurt him. "Now, you said you had an interesting proposition for me. What was it?" She poured him some juice and handed it over. "I've heard about that doctor and what he did."
"What he did was die after he tried to make me pregnant and put a giant mouse trap in my back," he admitted, sipping the juice. "I know where his house is. His papers would be there. I'll even let someone examine me very briefly. If you'll promise to do it to all the others who are so interested in this procedure that they came for me to try again."
She looked stunned for a moment, then calmed her features and sipped her own juice. "That is ...interesting. Could it work?" He nodded. "You're sure?"
"The first one took in me. It was removed the day before I was released." She shivered. "It was either the small mass of cells or me," he pointed out dryly. "My back's still aching from having that mouse trap removed."
"Yeah, he set up a sharpened, teethed mouse trap around my spine with a switch that would set it off once that cavity grew by another few inches." She shivered agin. "Exactly. Personally I don't want this cavity but the doctor said it was too well-healed and it would cause more problems to take it out. At this point, the only thing I want is revenge. This is a wonderful form of revenge and you could make sure that all those nasty little men who picked on you while you were pregnant will suffer the same fate. I'm sure you can get them doped on female hormones easily enough." He took another sip of his juice. "You know I laughed that first time I heard," he said honestly, "but you weren't there and I treated you well while you were pregnant. You having a child means that you'll fight harder."
"What happens if they find out it was me?"
"Then laugh at them and remind them of the concept of karma." She smiled at that. "Then remind them that I bribed you for trying me. However you want. You can tell them that I ordered it so they could share in my misery. Because if I can't get laid ever again, they won't get laid ever again."
"The operation basically bruised my prostate. I asked my doctor and he said it'd probably be a month or so. At least until after my back heals, the other opening back there closes, and until I'm no longer in pain." He finished his juice and put the glass down, wincing as he bent over. "Ow." He sat up slowly and rolled his shoulders to get into a more comfortable position. "As you can see, I can't do it on my own."
"I can. May I?" He shrugged and took off the shirt, letting her see the bandage, which made her scowl. "It probably needs changed."
"It does." She rang a small bell, bringing her European maid. "Get me some bandages and some tape," she ordered. The woman bowed and hurried to do as ordered, bringing them back on a small ceramic tray. "Thank you. You may go." The woman went back to what she had been doing. She shifted over, carefully removing the bandage. She used one of them to wipe around the edges, then applied new ones and taped them down. "There, much neater than Jigen ever could," she said with a gentle smile. She stroked up the rest of his back, making him shiver and blush. "You really are injured," she said finally, kissing him on the cheek. She moved back to her original seat, letting him put back on the shirt. "How many do you think I could do and where was his house?"
"Arbroath, Scottland. Zenigata busted us there. It's off the main road out of town going north. There's a little side road to the right about forty-five minutes out of the town, it's basically a track. It's the only one near there." She nodded. "I remember seeing a very wavy red brick house, three story with a normal roof." She nodded, writing that down. "Hopefully he's dead. Goemon cut off most of his fingers and left him on a small rock by Greenland after dousing him in the sea." She poured him another half-glass of juice. "I really want them to suffer."
"I understand," she agreed. "They have earned it by what they did to you and what they did to me, they'll suffer," she promised. She leaned over, kissing him on the cheek again. "We shouldn't have to examine you but if you need me, you call upon me, Lupin the Third. No matter what." He nodded, finishing up that juice. "Now, Jigen should be here any second."
"We're heading out of town."
"That's very wise. I hope you heal quickly. Your exploits often make my morning when I read them in the papers," she said with a gentle smile. "We'd hate to lose such a dynamic and feisty man."
"Thanks. The next few jobs will be going to pay medical bills."
She smiled. "That's fine. Just don't bother my things and we'll call it even. After all, I had been looking for a way to get back at them for the loss of my own child." She stroked his cheek. "Don't worry, you can leave this in my hands. It'll be like it was in the water." He smiled at that. At least until the door was kicked in. "Jigen. Good timing. We've just finished discussing how to...bother those people who have been trying to harm him. I've changed the bandage on his back and fed him some fresh orange juice. His back looks fine, but it could use some more gel on it."
"Thanks. Need help?"
"No," she said with a small smile. "I have my ways of getting what I need. Take good care of Lupin. He's very special to a great number of us. After all, he never laughed except in joy and he was there at the funeral for me, not as a show of respect." Jigen nodded, helping Lupin up. "You be careful today. There are those I can't stop yet. But soon. Very soon."
"Anything you need, you yell our way," Jigen told her. "It's becoming personal very quickly on our end."
"Deal." She kissed him on the cheek as well. "Take him to one of his many homes. He needs to rest."
"We keep tryin' but then Fujiko pops up," he offered with a small smirk. "Come on, Lupin. The car's packed and everything." He walked him out, letting him brace himself on his arm. "What are you having her do?" he asked once they were alone in the elevator.
"It's like it's in the water," Lupin told him with a small smirk. He walked out and climbed into the back seat, lying down on the pillows with a yawn. Goemon covered him. "Thanks, guys."
"You're welcome. Will she help?" Goemon asked.
"Oh, yeah, she's got a great thing going," Jigen agreed. "Something about water." He hopped in to drive, speeding them away and as far out of town as possible. It was a long drive but Lupin managed to sleep most of it. He woke up a few times when the road got bumpy or he needed his medicines, but otherwise he slept peacefully.
Goemon reached back to gently wake him when they reached the correct road, getting a cold arm. "We should have put the top up."
"He's probably fine," Jigen pointed out, pulling into the driveway. He got out and moved the blanket, finding Lupin curled in a small ball in the backseat. "Hey, Lupin?" he called gently. "We're here."
"Hmm?" he chattered.
"Okay, let's get you up. We're gonna lift ya, boss." Lupin groaned as he was moved, but then he was handed to Goemon, who carried him inside and tucked him into a bed immediately. "Bathroom?" Jigen suggested as he carried in the bags.
"In a moment. Let him get warm first," he pointed out, moving to open the windows. It was warmer outside than it was inside at the moment. Lupin quit chattering and peered up from under the mound of blankets. "Would you like help into the bathroom?" He nodded so Goemon helped him up and watched as he walked in there. He looked at Jigen. "Do we have everything we need?"
"Probably not. Let me check the cabinets." He went to do that, making a short list. Which he waved as he walked out to go shopping.
Goemon held up the blankets when Lupin came back, getting him underneath. "There. You rest. We'll be back in a few moments. Let us finish settling things in."
"Sure. Thanks, Goemon."
"You're not being a bother," he assured him. "We'll tell you when you are." He left him there, heading to put their bags into their normal room. He paused to consider the sleeping arrangements, then headed back down the stairs to talk to Lupin. "Would you like to sleep with us again tonight?" he asked from the doorway.
"No thanks. I'll be fine. You two should spend some time alone," he offered. He peered over the lesser mound of blankets at him. "I'll be fine, Goemon."
"As you wish." He went back to unpacking, nodding at Jigen as he came up to help him. "He said he wants to sleep alone."
"He's being stubborn."
"Perhaps, but his pride is being damaged by this," he said gently.
"Yeah, and he'd have to wake us up each time he had to go to the bathroom, which is more often now." Jigen stamped out his cigarette in the ashtray on the dresser, grabbing his own bag to put up his things. "How long before we should check on him?"
"He's due another dose of medicine in an hour," he offered. "That should be dinner time as well. Do you want to cook tonight?"
"Not really, but I can if you don't want to."
"No, I'll do it tonight since Lupin made breakfast." He finished and went down to start on dinner, a soup that would be hearty, nourishing, and easy on tender stomachs. By the time it was ready, Lupin was a bit overdue for his medicine but he wasn't complaining. He made a bowl for him and walked it into the bedroom, smiling at the sleeping man. "Lupin, wake up. It's dinner and time for more medicine."
"Mommy?" he asked quietly.
"No, Lupin, I'm not your mother. If you were my son, you would be able to control your libido." He sat down the tray and moved to check on him, finding him slightly fevered. "Lupin, wake up," he ordered firmly. Lupin blinked up at him. "Do you feel warm?"
"It's all the blankets. I'm being smothered."
"Fine." He removed most of them, leaving just one covering him but the others still on the foot of the bed. "I made you some soup to go with your pills."
"Thanks, Goemon, you make a very good daddy." He settled in to gulp the soup. He was really hungry. He hadn't had breakfast or lunch. "Is there enough for seconds?"
"Probably. Finish that first and take your medicines while I feed myself and Jigen." He got up, going to do that. Lupin came out while they were fixing bread to go with it, earning a frown. "I would have brought it in to you," he chastised as he poured more of the soup out for him, a half-serving just in case he wasn't that hungry. Lupin sat down at the table to eat, gulping greedily. "There's more left if you want more," he offered.
"Thanks, Goemon. It's good," Lupin said between mouthfuls.
"Slow down, you're gulping and you'll get sick again," Jigen ordered. Lupin stuck his tongue out and swallowed the rest before getting up to get some more. "At least your appetite is a good sign."
"I missed breakfast and lunch," Lupin reminded him, slowing down a bit but eating that bowlful too. He leaned back, looking at them. "I'm stuffed. Thanks, Goemon."
"It's not a problem, Lupin. Are you sure you wish to stay by yourself tonight?"
"Yeah, you two need time alone," he said with a small grin. "It's not like I give you guys a lot of vacation time and things." He stood up slowly. "I'm gonna go to the bathroom and then back to bed. Have a nice night, guys." He wandered back to his bedroom, going to do the practical things, like bathe, before heading back to bed. Fortunately she had put on waterproof stuff earlier. He came out and found a pair of boxers waiting on him, smiling at the fussy nature of his friends. Without them, he'd be in a lot more pain and more miserable. He climbed back under the sheet and blanket, picking up a book to read. Jigen must have brought it back since he had stolen it last.
Jigen woke up to a sound downstairs, frowning as he slid out of the bed and grabbed his gun. He snuck down the carpeted stairs slowly, gun poised to hurt someone somehow, when he saw the light on in the hall. Those were some brash people. He headed toward the noise, running into Lupin. "What are you doing up?"
"I was going to watch some tv. I can't sleep any more."
"You need to be in bed, Lupin, not watching something idiotic on latenight tv."
"I still can't sleep and I was going to lay on the couch. I dropped my pillow." He pointed at the soft thing on the floor, just beyond the stairs. "I'm being good, dad."
Jigen snorted. "If you were my kid, you'd have better control of your little head," he said sarcastically, picking it up and handing it to him.
"Goemon said the same thing," he noted with a grin. "Tell me if this sudden urge to have kids hit." He wandered back to the couch, grabbing the remote before he arranged himself on the couch. Jigen came in and covered him, watching as he shifted. "See, I'm fine."
"Fine. You sure?"
"I'm sure." He tried to sit up and winced. "Oooh, forgot to go to the bathroom." Jigen helped him sit up, then stand up and kept him from falling back over. "Sorry, a bit dizzy." He wandered to the nearest bathroom then came back, but Jigen grabbed him and pulled him up the stairs, forcing him into bed between him and Goemon. "I wanted to watch tv."
"Hush," Goemon ordered. He moved closer, putting one arm around his chest. "TV rots the mind."
"Maybe, but it's something to do when you can't sleep anymore." Lupin shivered, they were both curled up around him, breathing in his ears. Jigen pulled the sheet higher around him then held him like Goemon was. "Thanks, guys, but I really shouldn't...."
"Quiet," Jigen ordered. "You're staying for the moment." He got comfortable, closing his eyes.
Lupin waited until they were both asleep again, then he tried to wiggle out from under their arms. Which hurt, a lot, but he didn't want to wake them. Goemon gave him a gentle squeeze and Jigen basically burrowed into his shoulder so he paused until he was sure they were asleep again, cursing that doctor in as many languages he knew, and he even made up a few new words off the top of his head to describe them. He heard the snoring and grinned, knowing he could get up now. He wiggled a bit more and got free of Goemon, then carefully moved away from Jigen, sneaking to the bathroom first and then down the stairs to sleep on the couch and watch some tv. He really wasn't sleepy. He'd slept all day, and for the last few days. He got comfortable, wincing a bit because the couch was so scratchy, but comfortable enough. He flipped on the tv, changing channels until he found an old movie. Within moments he was asleep too.
Which is how a sleepy Goemon found him about ten minutes after he had managed to escape. He shook his head, turning off the tv and lifting his friend up to take him back to bed, remote and all. He'd wake up if he touched the remote.
"We don't have a tv in here," Jigen said sleepily, pulling Lupin close again.
"If I had removed it, it would have woken him and more time would be wasted on meaningless protests," he pointed out as he climbed back into bed. Again, Lupin went under their arms and they moved closer, adding a leg over each of his thighs this time as well. He made a good pillow for them. "He's even better to sleep on than you are," he praised. "More squishy in the right spots."
"Gee, thanks," Jigen complained. "Gonna add him to our thing?"
"No. Just a note for future reference. The next time there's only one bed, he gets the center position." Jigen smirked at him. "He is comfortable."
"He is," Jigen agreed. "Must be why all those women sleep with him." He got comfortable again, his arm going across Lupin's stomach this time. Lupin let out a small moan. "Relax, Lupin. We're not molesting you in your sleep." Lupin shifted, going onto his side.
"He's bleeding," Goemon announced.
"Wonderful. Can he feel that?"
"No, but I can." He sat up and turned on the light, looking at the bandage slowly being soaked through. "Let's get him onto his stomach to check this out. He's probably lost a stitch or three."
Jigen nodded, getting Lupin settled onto his stomach, then wincing at the bandage. "How long has that been going on?"
"Probably most of the day." He carefully peeled it off, nodding at the few places where staples had pulled. "It should be fine, but we need to get it looked at sometime soon by someone knowledgeable."
Jigen looked closer. "He may be fine, it'll just be a wider scar."
"What's going on?" Lupin asked.
"You broke a few staples. You're bleeding."
"Wonderful," he groaned, sitting up slowly and carefully. Another one shifted and he winced. "Am I going back to the hospital?"
"That'd be a long drive back to Baltimore," Jigen noted sarcastically.
"There's ones nearby," Lupin reminded him, frowning a bit. "Am I going or not?"
"You probably should," Goemon agreed. "However, that would lead to others knowing where you are."
"So we head down-country by a few hours to throw them off the trail," Lupin pointed out. He heard a window crash in and flinched but the other two were already up and out the door. "Thanks, guys." He got up and moved to the mirror, looking back at his back with a wince. "Well, I fucked it up," he congratulated himself. He heard groans and found his gun in Jigen's bag, heading down to help. He found Jigen groaning from a kick to his side but Goemon had successfully sliced the person into halves already. "You okay?"
"I'm fine," he protested, waving him off. "Give me that before you have a cramp and shoot us too," he ordered, taking the gun back.
"My back and my trigger finger aren't really connected that directly."
"You twitch when you have a cramp, it's a reasonable precaution until you're no longer in pain." He looked out the window, waving his sword. "Wake me up again, next time it'll be six or seven pieces." The headlights went out and the car backed down the driveway very quickly. "Huh. Someone has some common sense."
"You're scary first thing in the morning, Goemon," Lupin teased. He kicked over the top half, nodding at him. "Do we know him?"
"No. He dresses like a local but I don't know him," Goemon offered, staring down at the shocked expression the face had. "Lupin, did you want to go to the hospital now or in the morning?"
"Guys," he whined.
"Tough," Jigen complained. "I'll take 'im if you're sure you'll be okay."
"I'll be fine. I doubt anyone else is going to try anything." He heard a car in the driveway and walked outside, frowning at the officer. "Someone just tried to break in. Unfortunately he got in the way of my sword."
"Uuuuhhhhh," he said, staring up at Goemon. "Do you own this house?"
"A friend does."
"I just got told that you attacked the residents."
"No, the owner is inside. Lupin?" He came to the door. "They said they own the house."
"Fat chance," he said dryly. "Maybe they were squatters but it's my house. They can die some more," he said mock-cheerfully.
"That's it, you're going to be seen," Jigen ordered, dragging him out to the car and getting in to drive.
"Jigen, clothes?" Goemon suggested. He looked down at himself, realizing he was only in his loincloth and went to take his own advice. By the time either of them got back, the cop was gone, so was the body, and Lupin was pouting.
"Here," Jigen said, tossing him some pants. "Put them on now so you don't have to wiggle in the car." He got in to drive, watching as Lupin got out and got into his pants, then sat back down, arms crossed over his chest. "A bit of care now means you don't get an infection later," he pointed out, starting the engine. "We should be back by midmorning. I've got my pager if you need me," he offered, smirking before backing down the driveway.
"I could have stayed."
"Shut up, Lupin. We want you back on your feet as soon as possible. The longer you're down the more stupid people will bother all of us." He turned onto the main road, put the car into 'drive' and headed off to a semi-distant hospital. "I hope we don't have to move again."
"Eeh, he was scared of Goemon. Unless he puts it out on the wire where we are, we should be fine, barring Fujiko." He got comfortable. "I hate her."
"Yes, I love her still, even though she endangers my life."
"Not just your life, buddy, and some day she's going to be burying you. So just be a bit more careful about her."
"Hey, I ordered her to go away, she came in anyway."
"Fine, if you say so. Can I shoot her next time?"
"No," he complained, frowning at his friend. "I don't want her dead."
"Hey, then why don't we encourage someone to do the same thing to her that she was going to have done to you?"
"Do you really want to see a hormonal, scary Fujiko with a machine gun?" he asked dryly.
"I was thinking more the mouse trap part, but it could be fun to watch."
"You're mean, Jigen."
"Yeah, and you still love me for it, Lupin." He smirked at him before changing lanes to get around a slow truck and speeding off to somewhere closer. Even he could smell the blood now.
Lupin was walked into the house by Jigen, who sniffed. "Someone made waffles or pancakes."
"Hmm, waffles," the very sleepy Lupin moaned. "Syrup, butter, nice." He followed the scent into the kitchen and plopped himself down like a marionette with the strings suddenly cut. "Waffles?"
"He's just had his pain medicine switched to something a bit stronger," Jigen explained at the worried look. "The doctor said he wasn't supposed to move. He suggested we reimplant a catheter." Goemon shuddered at that. Apparently he'd had one before. "Lupin refused and promised he'd be a good boy, to the nurse's tits, and the doctor upped his medicine after fixing the staples." He accepted his plate. "Thanks, Goemon."
"I thought you deserved it for going all the way to the hospital. Lupin, would you like some?" Lupin drooled and grinned. "I see. Perhaps a bit too strong?"
"Yeah, but he's still got to eat. No drooling on the table, Lupin. You're not a dog." Goemon put a plate with a single waffle in front of Lupin, watching as he fixed it and scarfed it, then put his head down and napped on the plate, drooling on it instead.
"Hey, maybe they'll be strong enough to keep him in bed," Jigen offered dryly.
"We'll be sorry when he's off them if they do," Goemon reminded him. "Any idea if we're being hunted?"
"I haven't heard yet," he pointed out. "Of course, Pops could probably sniff us out like a bloodhound."
"With the way he was bleeding last night, that wouldn't be hard." He dug into his own breakfast. "Any other good news?"
"Yeah, the doc said there's no sign of infection." He ate another bite. "I made real sure of that. He said it's all the moving he's done and the only person he's seen with that many stitches was a post-op trangender new guy," Jigen told him. Goemon shuddered again. "Sorry."
"No, just something I never considered in the past. I don't particularly want to know either." He dug into his food again. "Lupin, perhaps you should go to bed?"
"No time, mommy, gotta play before sun goes down," Lupin said in a childish voice into his plate.
Jigen and Goemon shared a look. "At least he'll be easier to keep sedate," Jigen said with a shrug. "He only gave him two days worth. He said by then Lupin should be ready to scream for more."
"That's why we got the other one refilled. Just in case." He ate another bite, ignoring Lupin stroking the table's edge and telling it how firm and nice it was, and how pretty and sexy. "He's still...soft, correct?"
"The doc said that if that bruise was bad enough to keep him from coming up by now, it'll probably be at least a week," Jigen assured him.
"Oh, good. I know that he'll hurt himself if he starts to deal with that issue again."
"Hey, as long as he can't get pregnant, I don't care," Jigen pointed out dryly. "That's even worse than the scary mental picture of a pregnant Fujiko with a machine gun."
"Why were we considering such heinous and nightmare producing images?" Goemon asked before taking a bite of breakfast.
"Just and equal payback for that doctor."
"Hmm." He nodded, getting up to get a drink. "It would be nice but then we'd be plagued with her fatness and Lupin trying to nurse off her." He came back, sitting down again with the milk container. "There's no glasses."
"Huh. I thought we replaced them after target practice." He dug into his waffle again. "Not a problem. We've shared spit and other things, I can drink out of the carton after you, Goemon."
"Thank you." He took a long drink, then put it back down. "We should probably put him back into bed after cleaning off his face."
"He's decided we should get a dog so we don't want kids anytime soon," Jigen joked. Goemon shuddered. "What? You don't like kids?"
"No, the thought came over me of how to pick the mother and he's the best choice." Jigen shuddered at that too, dropping his fork onto his plate. "We can put off that decision until we're much older."
"Yeah, much, much older. Or we'll knock up some random woman and take the kid."
"Yes, that's a much better idea," Goemon agreed, banishing the naked, pregnant Lupin images from his head. Jigen gave him a kiss, fully repressing those nasty things back down into his perverted subconscious. "Thank you." He gave him another one. "Eat. Before we have to take a shower with him and put him back into bed."
"No showers today, but a washcloth would be in order for his face." Jigen dug back in, eating heartily. Goemon could handle that part, he was good at cleaning up messes. That's why he had the chore of cleaning the kitchen anytime Jigen tried to cook.
Lupin woke up woozy, disoriented, and tired, which didn't feel right to his cotton-wool covered mind, but he wasn't quite sure why it wasn't right. He frowned at the face he could see blurrily above him. "Jigen?"
"Not hardly," Goemon said quietly. "Are you all right?"
"Have you ever been to the dentist and had that gas used on you but you didn't quite fall asleep?" he asked in an odd tone of voice. The head bobbled so he assumed it was a nod. "I feel like that. And I'm still tired. How long has it been since I took those demonic pills?"
"Three days. Fortunately we haven't given you any dosages since then. Want some water?"
"No, water. That stuff you drink."
"Drink? Drink good," he agreed with a dopey smile. He allowed the blurry person to lift his head up and help him drink. He gulped it all down without any one of the myriad voices thundering in his head protesting. "Thank you." His head went back down. "Can you turn down the volume of the party? It's really loud."
"There's no party," Goemon told him.
"Then why do I hear a lot of happy people throwing a party with noisemakers?"
"It's the drugs, Lupin. Let me get you into the bathroom then you can go back to sleep."
Goemon groaned but put down the cup and hoisted Lupin up, carrying him into the bathroom. He sat him down on the toilet, then remembered his boxers before he had another accident. They really didn't need another accident. Lupin obligingly peed for him then grinned like a little boy who had just learned that trick. "I feel like your father," he complained as he got him cleaned up and redressed, then back into bed.
Jigen stuck his head in. "Is he still doped up?"
"Yes. He keeps calling me you." He squeaked as he was grabbed and pulled down for a cuddle. "Lupin, what are you doing."
"Nice, mommy. Cuddle your little Lupin? I have nightmares and the party's still really loud." He smacked his lips a few times then started to snore.
"I'm keeping those pills for the next time Fujiko comes around. That way she can do this too," Jigen said as he came in to help free Goemon from the Lupin octopus. "There. Need anything else?"
"No, I can flush the toilet before I go." He headed in that way, slamming the door.
"He's sorry, he's not in his right mind," Jigen called after him.
"He apparently is having a party in his head with noisemakers and he still thinks I'm you, even after I told him I was me."
"He'll be better soon, Goemon, I promise."
"He'd better be. I'm not his parent." He came out after flushing the toilet. "That is disturbing."
"Yeah, well, at least he's not too much trouble most of the time. As long as we don't have to change or flip the mattress again." They looked at Lupin, who had just sighed and smiled. "Or maybe not."
"If so, he sleeps on the couch and we can take his bed."
"Sure, Goemon. Help me peel the sheets off him again." They got the sheets pulled back and didn't find an accident, just Lupin's normal horniness starting to come back. "Oh, good, it's back," he said dryly, covering him back up. They went back to the kitchen. "You know, we could put some diapers on him."
"They don't make them in his size."
"They make adult diapers."
"Yes, but not for his tiny waist. I checked, trust me."
"Fine. We can improvise. Duct tape?"
"Good idea, go get some before we have to change the bed again, or worse, our room." Jigen nodded, going to do that. "Get glasses as well."
"Fine. Saki too or do you still have some?"
"No, I'm out," he admitted. "It's from feeling like this is preparation for our own child."
"Hopefully that's a long ways off and we'll look at this fondly next year and laugh," Jigen said with a smirk. He headed out to the car, going into town to buy the necessities. He didn't really want to wipe Lupin's butt again, but anything was better than having to buy a new bed and carry it up those stairs.
Lupin woke up and blinked at the bright light above him. "Am I back in the hospital?"
"No, we just changed the lightbulb," Goemon assured him. "Want me to turn it off?"
"It's like the sun. Very round and pretty. Goemon, why am I wearing a diaper?"
"Because it's been five days since you took that dose of medicine the local doctor gave you and you wouldn't wake up. It saved the mattress and having you carry another one up here."
"I'll buy you a new one anyway," he said tiredly, looking at his friend. "You're still kinda blurry around the edges, Goemon."
"At least you're not calling me Jigen or mommy," he said, holding up the cup of the water. "Want a drink?"
"A sippy cup?"
"You spilled it the last few times. Again, to save the bed." He helped Lupin sit up and gulp the water, then checked his back. "We should change the bandages today."
"Probably. How many days?"
"Five. Two days ago you managed to sit up and drink and go to the bathroom, but not much else."
"I'm sorry I'm such a pain."
"As Jigen pointed out, this time next year we'll look back on this and laugh." He helped him up, watching as he wobbled into the bathroom. "Want a knife to cut that tape off? Jigen did it this time."
"Please." Goemon pulled his sword and cut the diaper off him, making Lupin sigh and fall onto the toilet in joy. "Out?"
"In a moment." He looked at the bandage supply. "You have enough waterproof ones to take a shower if you want, but you're not steady enough yet. Who do you want in with you?"
"Whichever one of you hasn't done it yet," he said grimly. "That way I'm not making you grumpy."
"Thank you, I'll get Jigen off the couch. You hurry up." He left, leaving the door cracked open as he headed down the stairs. "He's up again, had some water, wants a shower."
"He obliquely apologized by asking for whoever hadn't done it so he's not making me grumpy."
Jigen snorted. "You, grumpy? Why would he think that, Goemon."
"I can still tie you down and tickle you," he threatened, heading into the kitchen. Then he decided to be nice and call out for dinner. "You're buying dinner. I've cooked two meals and done a load of wash already."
"Sure, get my usual," Jigen agreed lightly, heading up to help his friend. "Hey, Lupin, you ready for me?"
"My ass hurts."
"That happens when you lay on it for five days straight from what I understand." He tapped on the door.
"No! Let me finish taking a crap."
"Sure. We'll even let the room air out before your shower. Are the bandages in there?"
"Yes. Do you know hard this is to do with one of you two lurking?"
"Sure." He went to check the bed, pulling off the sweaty sheets and putting on new ones. He was even nice enough to head down and throw them in the washer, changing the loads around and putting the dry stuff in a basket. Since he found a pair of Lupin's boxers, he carried them up for him to put on once he was done. "You ready yet?"
"Sure. Let me clean up. Ow!"
"Crap, another cramp?"
"Moved to fast. No more pain killers, Jigen."
"No, we'll keep those so that the next time the bitch shows up, she has this pleasure."
"She's insert a catheter before you could blink, put me on an IV, and then leave," he pointed out. Once he was as clean as he was getting he stood up, grabbing the edge of the sink, using his toes to flush the toilet so he could wash his hands. That had been gross. He was finally done and had turned on the fan before he let Jigen in. "Okay, I'm done."
"Good job. Let's put on a waterproof bandage and let you get clean."
"Do I have to?"
"Yup, sure do. Sorry." He taped the protective covering over the old bandage, then started the water. "You want hot, warm, or coolish?"
"Warm. Not too hot. I'm feeling very tender."
"I figure it's normal after five days of rest." He got the water adjusted and flicked some at him. "That good for you?"
Lupin grinned. "Fine with me. I can do it, if you'll stay out here."
"Fat chance. You're barely standing up and it'll take more than two minutes this time. You've been sweaty for days." He stripped down to his boxers but got Lupin fully undressed, getting them both in there so he could work on his friend's body. Lupin rested his forehead against a wall to let him work over his back. "Listen, at least you're not paralyzed. You're getting better and you won't have to put up with this stuff for much longer," he said quietly.
"I know but it's embarrassing. I've been cleaning my own ass now for years."
"You're still cleaning your own ass. I'm only doing your back and the back of your thighs with a brush."
"Yeah, keep it up. Speaking of, your ...functioning came back on line while you were diap...down."
"It did?" He looked down at his dick. "You could answer me anytime now. I wouldn't mind."
"I would." He quickly got finished and put everything where Lupin wouldn't have to bend to reach it, including the hand-held sprayer and the washcloth for his butt. "There." He got out and dried off, getting redressed. "When you're done, I've got clean boxers for you and you can go down to watch tv."
"Thanks, Jigen." Lupin picked up the shampoo, working on his hair first. It needed it, it felt like he could wring grease out of it. Once that was done, he picked up the brush to start on his arms and chest. He really did need it. He kinda stunk. The washcloth got a bit painful but he did it without more than a moan of complaint. He leaned against the wall to do his feet and legs, then rested there for a few moments. It felt good under the water. He yawned and fell asleep right there.
Jigen groaned when he heard the first snore. "Should I wake him or just let the water run cold?" he mused, looking toward the bedroom and hallway. "Nah, better not chance it, he'll yell and bring Goemon running, and then he'll yell."
"I'll yell about what?" Goemon asked, bringing in the basket of clothes. "How is he doing?"
"He's napping again against the wall, but he's mostly clean."
"Already?" he complained. He came in and turned off the hot water, which got Lupin awake so he turned off the cold. "Lupin, hurry up and dry off so we can have dinner. It should be delivered soon."
"You're welcome." He walked off, smirking to himself. Jigen was being nice, he was being impatient, but it was necessary sometimes. This house had a water tank the size of some small lakes.
Jigen steadied Lupin as he got out, handing him a set of towels from the basket. "I was going to let the hot water run out," he offered with a small grin.
"That woulda been tomorrow," he sighed. "I put in a hotel sized hot water heater after the pond scum incident." He dried himself off but kept one of the towels around his head as he stepped into the boxers Jigen was holding open for him. "Thanks, man."
"Welcome. Let's get you downstairs." He helped him down the stairs, putting him onto the sheet-covered couch. "There, now you rest there and watch some tube."
"Sure." Lupin smiled up at him. "You're a nice guy. You and Goemon both. You deserve something really nice."
"Just don't make it a kid or a dog and we'll be fine, man." He went into the kitchen to steal a kiss and to see when dinner was coming. "He's dressed, he's on the couch, and he said we deserve pretty presents."
"I'll let him know what I want as soon as the medical bills are paid off," he said sarcastically. "Is he all right?"
"Better. We can change the bandage after dinner. You can sit on him while I do it."
"Agreed, but only if you put up the laundry."
"Sure. It's not fair that you get to be the mommy and do all the work," Jigen said with a wicked smirk.
"I'll show you mommy later when I make you beg for yours," Goemon assured him. "I hope the bed was changed?"
"Everything but the pile of blankets at the foot of it." Someone rang the doorbell. "Food?"
"Too soon for food," he said with a grimace. He went to check it, glaring at the person on the other side. "No, we don't need any girl scout cookies." He slammed the door in her face, looking at Jigen.
"Cookies?" Lupin called.
"It was a scam. He was in a the wrong uniform," Goemon told him.
"Shoot, we could use some cookies." He heard the knock again and stood up, wobbling to the doorway. He looked at Jigen since he couldn't see the main doorway. "Another boy scout selling cookies in a girl's uniform?"
"No, this time it was the rabid bitch." He looked at him. "You're supposed to be on your back."
"I would be, but it hurts. I've got sores on my ass from sleeping for the last five days." He looked at Goemon. "Did you kill Fujiko this time or just send her off pouting?"
"Hopefully I sent her off packing. She did flee." He shrugged. "Sorry, but each time she shows up, things get worse."
"Thanks, guys, you two are the greatest." He hugged them, making Goemon blush. "Okay, enough mushiness. Am I sleeping on the couch from now on so you two can have some privacy?" Jigen shook his head. "I promise, I'll be good and not wander around."
"We'll try it for tonight," Goemon allowed, "but you'll be wearing ankle bells to make sure we know when you get up."
"Sure. That way you guys can celebrate having your own bed back," Lupin agreed with a bright grin. "Food?"
"On its way."
"Thanks, Goemon. You're the bestest, if only because Jigen wouldn't clean my butt for me." He grinned at Jigen.
"I'm not touching you there, man. That's private property and I don't want to know what's been near there before we went to Scotland."
"Nothing recently. I've been a good boy." He went back to the couch, finding a news show on. "Hey, guys, one of the Triad gangs got busted totally," Lupin called happily.
"Perhaps we should keep those drugs around for other reasons," Goemon said quietly.
"I heard that. She'd be mean to me."
Jigen looked at Goemon. "Hey, Lupin, will you be fine for a few hours?"
"Yeah, sure, go have a nice date."
"Are you sure?" Jigen demanded.
"Yeah, just leave me my gun in case Fujiko comes back. I'll use it on one of us."
Jigen nodded, getting it for him, but only leaving one bullet and the clip on the top of the tv so he'd really have to get up to get it. "Thanks."
"Welcome. Have fun. Watch the fishies in the river, that's very nice."
"Sure. Remember, food's on the way. I'll put money by the door."
"Thanks, Daddy Jigen."
Jigen snorted but walked out with Goemon, leaving the promised food money there. Once they were in the car and halfway down the driveway, Jigen glanced at him. "I'm starting to feel like his fricken dad at times."
"Me as well. Thank you for this."
"Not a problem. We deserve a night on the town and he's mobile again." They stopped when they heard the gunshot, Jigen's hand resting on the gearshift. "You don't think..."
"No, I think she came back. Lupin was still too stoned to feel that much pain."
"Good." He continued to back out of the driveway, heading for the nearest town. "We'll call from the road, make sure it was her."
"Fine. Maybe he'll give her that medicine. Then we can dump her somewhere in a park for the authorities to take her for a few months."
"You're mean, Goemon, have I ever told you that turns me on?"
"No, but I'll happily be more mean if you want."
Jigen snickered, shifting up into a higher gear. He was right, Lupin wouldn't have shot himself, he wasn't feeling much pain yet. He'd be fine.
Lupin looked at the woman on the stretcher in the hospital, grinning down at her. "Hey, Fuji-cakes. How do you feel?"
"You shot me!"
He smiled. "You know, making a man feel paranoid usually means he'll do dumb stuff to protect himself."
"You're claiming manhood now?" she sneered.
"And for that, I'll see you in a few months, dear." He walked out, his brilliant disguise as a doctor already in place. "Oh, nurse," he called, bringing one running to him. "She's awake now and gave me her name. Fujiko Mine?"
The nurse looked stunned. "She's one of Lupin's gang," she said frantically.
"Then I'd probably call someone. From what she said, she and he had a slight falling out and he shot her accidentally. Who's over that case?"
"Um, Interpol. There's always that one guy on the news about him though."
"Ah, yes, Inspector Zenigata. Perhaps we should call someone like him to take care of her before she tries to release herself. Fortunately she is strapped down."
"Thank you, doctor. Will she be fine?"
"Just fine. Have someone in the police department yank out the bullet and stitch her up again," he agreed gently. "Malpractice is very bad in these situations you know." She nodded, hurrying to get someone to take control of their very dangerous patient. Lupin strolled out, going back to his car, which had Jigen sitting on it. "Fujiko just pissed me off," he told him, getting in to drive. "See ya back at the house."
"Sure," he agreed, watching as the car pulled off. He looked at Goemon, who shrugged. "I wonder what she did?"
"She accused him of not being a man."
"Fine. Let her suffer. Wanna call Pops or should I?"
"Go ahead. He hates me more than you." He handed over the phone they had stolen earlier.
"Yo, Pops, it's Jigen. You remember how Lupin got tortured recently? Well, Fujiko just made a nearly fatal error. She came up to pick on him about it and since he hadn't had pain killers in a few hours, well, he shot her. No, she's up by Iga but we've already left. Yeah, that hospital. They should be calling some cops soon. No, he's royally pissed at her this time. Sure, have fun, Pops. We'll see ya in a few months, when he's better." He hung up and grinned. "He's stone drunk."
"That man would crawl out of his grave to get one of us. I'm sure he'll have someone sober drive him up here." He got into the car. "Shall we?"
"Sure, let's take his advice and look at the fish." Goemon nodded at that. Lupin had seemed well enough when they saw him. They took off, heading for the river and the nice picnicking spots near there. They were wonderful makeout spots as well.
Lupin watched the news as Zenigata walked out of the hospital, about as unsteady as he was, and showed off Fujiko, who was still injured and moaning in pain. He grinned, saluting the tv. "Another win for the good guys. Yee-haw and all that stuff." He sipped his milk, then put it down and dug into his chinese feast. Apparently Goemon had been very hungry when he had ordered. There was enough food there for a few days, but he was starving so none of it would last until the morning. He smiled as Goemon and Jigen walked in. "Pops made it up here already. He's got her."
"Good. Hopefully we won't have to help her escape?"
"Nah, she's got boytoys in Japan who can help her," he offered. "I'd share but I'm starved."
"That's fine, we're full anyway," Goemon said, coming in to look at Lupin's back. "We need to change that. We should do that before your stomach is full, just in case it hurts."
"Sure. Where are the bandages?"
"Upstairs. Let me get 'em. He can sit on you, Lupin."
"I'll be fine."
"Did you take more medicine?"
"Only the stuff I had before. A half a pill," he defended at the stare. "Just enough to dull it so I can move."
"Fine. That was wise of you. Your antibiotics?"
"Already taken and hopefully dissolved. I did that ten minutes before I started to eat."
"Good." He looked over as Jigen came in with the bandages, then picked up a pillow and threw it at the person behind him. "You wanted what?"
"To check on you," Ratboy said with a moan. "You toss a mean pillow, Goemon."
"While that's true, I do shoot people who invade my house, especially when I'm irrational," Lupin said sarcastically. "Why are you really here?"
"To plead for mercy since it's your plan that's getting a lot of people tortured."
"If you leave the country, we won't do it on our own." Jigen looked down at him. "But since you're here, you can always go do some laundry and the dishes."
"I'm not a maid," the other man whined, taking off his nose bra when he saw Goemon staring at it. "Sorry, I was napping when they nearly caught me. I promise, I'll be nice, I'll be good, I'll behave, if you just won't torture me. Please don't let her torture me. I never laughed at her. I just said that she should take a vacation until she spawned."
"That's about the same as laughing at her, Ratboy. If you want, you can stay, but you've got to do the laundry and the dishes so Goemon doesn't have to."
"You'll help me leave the country?"
"Go to Hong Kong, it's nice this time of year," Goemon offered. "The dishes are that way and the laundry is what's going now."
"Thank you." He got up and headed that way. They were odd, but they wouldn't let him get tortured by that woman. He looked at the pile of dishes and shuddered. "Eww." But he did them, otherwise they wouldn't protect him and they'd probably turn him over to her.
Jigen smirked at Goemon. "Nice job," he mouthed. He and Goemon got Lupin onto his stomach, weathering the belch he let out. "Feel better?"
"Much, now I can eat more." He winced as the bandages were taken off, but Jigen didn't look too disturbed. "Bad?"
"No, actually it's pretty good for two weeks past major surgery. It's starting to close." He put on a clean bandage and smoothed down the tape, then patted him on the head. "Okay, you can get up and eat more now."
"Thanks." He got up and dove back into his food. "Did I eat anything while I was under?"
"We thought about some slimfast drinks, but we didn't think you needed more torture," Goemon assured him. He went to check on their servant, then came back to watch tv. "Has he gotten her yet?"
"Yeah it was on right before you guys walked in. They had her pretty drugged too, she looked dull and lifeless."
"Good. She deserves it for that crack she made," Goemon assured him.
"I know, but I'm not being mean," Lupin told him. "I just don't want to deal with her until I'm well. By then she'll be out of prison for sure." He ate another bite of noodles, then grinned. "That's also why I'm having Jigen hold the cuts until the medical bills are paid off."
"Smooth," Jigen agreed. "She'll hate it."
"Probably, but I don't care at the moment." He ate another bite, then jumped when something broke in the kitchen. "What was that?"
"A glass. It slipped. There was nasty grease in it," Ratboy called. "How long do I have to do this?"
"Until I'm satisfied," Goemon called back. "Do you need medical attention?"
"No. I'm fine." The sound of a door opening and closing, then of sweeping. Then another opening and closing of the door after a tinkling sound. "Can't I just be nice and buy you new dishes? Some of these things have mold."
Lupin looked at Goemon. "The kitchen's more your domain than mine," he teased. "You hate it when I cook."
"I may but I hate having to clean up after Jigen more," he said bitterly. "Fine. Do so, but take out the trash with them in it so we don't have to. There's a dumpster out back."
"Yes, Goemon." The sound of more tinkling, clanking, and breaking things. "Do I have to clean the antique platter?"
"Yes," Lupin yelled. "It's an antique. Do not throw those away, my Grandfather will come haunt you."
"Fine." The sound of rustling and running water. Then the sound of a hefty grunt and a door opening and being left open while something's carried outside. The door closed and he yelped. "When did you get a cat?"
"We have no cats," Goemon said patiently, getting up to check on the beast. He looks down at it, seeing the small uniform it was wearing. "Are you a messenger or a peace offering?" He picked it up, looking at the note attacked to its collar. "A peace offering from the Fuma's. They must have pissed her off as well." He took the cat to the main room, showing it off to the others.
"Fine, if you want a cat, you can have a cat," Lupin promised. "But you get to clean the litter box."
"Why not, I cleaned your ass while you were down," he said sarcastically. "I'll be right back." He walked outside, holding up the cat. "Did you want it back or is this a true peace offering?" A long string came down and looped around the cat's middle, carrying it away. "That's what I thought. That's up to her, not Lupin." He went back inside, closing the door again. "It was only a messenger. How's Eliza?"
Ratboy patted his pocket. "She's doing fine. I had to steal her back from some scummy boy mouse recently." He shrugged. "All normal in my life I guess. How long?"
"Where's the other platter?" The water was pointed at. "Broken?"
"Chipped but it was probably already liked that. It was also cracked when I found it."
"I remember tripping over it the other morning," he admitted. "Thank you. Finish up and we'll send you away."
"Thank you, Goemon. I'm so sorry that he was done that way. I had nothing to do with it, but I'm so damn sorry any man was done that way."
"Then I'd be careful who you piss off in the future. Remember, women are the stronger sex at times. Think about how many children there would be if men had to bear them." He went back to the living room, sitting down again. "The Fumas were begging for mercy. They took the cat back."
"That's fine. You can go to a shelter and adopt one if you want," Lupin suggested with a grin. "Someone to curl up with you when you're being grumpy. Someone to put a wet nose in just the wrong spot when you two are having fun...." Jigen slapped him across the back of the head. "Hey!"
"Sorry, force of habit," he said with a smirk. "We don't need a pet. If Goemon wants a beast, he can find his own and train it so it won't interrupt things."
"If I find one I like, I'll do so," Goemon agreed. "I told him we'd send him away once he was done."
"Don't forget that included the laundry."
"I'm not. What did you do to that loin cloth, Goemon?"
"Lived in it," he called back. "It's part of life, get over it."
Jigen looked at him. "You're letting him fold those when you won't let me touch them?"
"The last time I let you touch one, you tightened it on me and I walked funny for days."
"You should probably change them more often than that," Ratboy said from the doorway. "Which room?"
"Upstairs, the lived in one," Jigen told him. "There's only two."
"Sure. Not a problem." He headed up the stairs with the basket. "Should I put on a frilly skirt too?"
"You know, I can add another day," Lupin pointed out smugly. "I'm still not feeling well."
"Fine, sorry, no problem. Let me finish these up for you." He hurried up the stairs.
Lupin grinned at Jigen. "So, I'm sleeping down here. You two are getting the night off. Why are you sitting up with me?"
"To make sure you don't have a funny reaction and die," Goemon told him. "Then we'd have to steal your medical bills in your memory."
"True. Go, have fun, be crazy kids," Lupin shooed. "Before I get depressed over having shot Fujiko."
"Fine," Jigen agreed, heading up the stairs, taking Goemon with him. "We've got to straighten things out anyway, just in case she leads Pops here."
"If she does, I get to gut her, right?" Goemon asked.
"Sure, why not," Jigen said with a shrug. He walked in and found Ratboy tied up on the bed and someone in there. He pulled his gun. "Stupid of you," he noted calmly. The person turned so he shot them in the arm. "Now, sit!" The man sat, staring up at him in a hurt and abused way. "Tough, you're in our room. Ratboy, you okay?" He nodded, making muffled complaining sounds. Goemon got him untied and he ran back down the stairs, and kept going out the back door. He'd rather take his chances at the moment. "Let's see who you are," he said, pulling off his mask. "Huh. Look, it's a Lupin impersonator."
"I'm the real Lupin."
"Sure you are," Jigen agreed sarcastically. "I wonder what the other real Lupin on the couch downstairs would say about that?"
"I don't know, why don't you ask me?" Lupin asked, glancing behind him. Jigen turned but it was Goemon who jumped and Lupin who ducked at just the right moment. "Thank you for not walking on me this time," he said with a small grin. He looked at the not-him and grimaced. "Mask or surgery?"
"I don't need any."
"Buddy, let's not go there, okay? I'm tired, I'm sore, and I don't feel well after having a giant mouse trap taken out of my back a few weeks ago. You've got nothing in common with me and I doubt you even know my middle name."
"Mildred," he not-him said with a 'ha' sound at the end.
"Mildred?" Jigen asked.
"No, not Mildred. Grandfather considered it a few times, said it'd teach me humility, but he was never into mental torture." He looked at the thief on the floor. "Who are you really?"
"I'm Lupin the Third."
"Fat chance, kiddo. Try it again?" he suggested dryly. "You know, you're close, but you don't have the voice down and you don't have the looks *quite* right. I don't have a dimple on the end of my nose. The occasional zit, but not a dimple." He reached down, finding the edge of the mask, and pulled it off while the thief screamed. "I seem to remember you from somewhere."
"Yeah, Scotland. This is one the guys who was in the pub that night," Jigen told him. "It's the guy who propositioned me."
"Huh, I'm having a disney song flashback. All together now, it's a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small world after all, it's a small, small world. It's a world of laughter, a world of tears...."
"If you continue, I will harm you," Goemon promised. "I do not believe in torture."
"Sorry, Goemon," Lupin said with a grin.
Jigen coughed. "I agree with him, no torture. Those new drugs are still fucking with your system if you're happily singing disney."
"But it's a great song, Jigen," Lupin said with a bright grin.
"That's it," Goemon said, knocking him out with a careful strike to the back of his head with his sword. "There, that should keep him down until the drugs are completely out of his system."
"Thank you," Jigen said. "Now maybe I can get that song out of my head sometime tonight."
"Oh, just kiss him already," the crook on the floor said in disgust. Jigen shot him, then took his kiss, which did clear his mind and supplanted other happier sounds in its place. "Thanks. I still say disney is a subversive organization by the makers of those happy pills."
"Probably true," Goemon agreed, stealing another kiss. He picked up the groaning body and tossed him out the window, then closed it and they went back to fixing things so they could leave if they had to. Lupin was put back onto the couch before he woke up and the station was turned to the cartoon channel for him. He'd want something like that.
Lupin finally got the staples and stitches removed and came wandering out of the doctor's office, grinning sappily. "I'm a bit high," he said, right before falling down at Jigen's feet.
"I can see that." He picked him up and waved off the nurse. "He okay?"
"He's fine. He should have a bit more rest but he'll be fine to resume normal activities within a month. Go slowly, let him build back up to it, but start him exercising in about a week." Jigen nodded. "Any other questions?"
"No, he should be fine now, sir. The pain killers should only be for when he's in serious pain and he said he had some muscle relaxants for any cramps?" Jigen nodded. "Use them sparingly. Break him off of them. He'll be fine."
"Thanks." He carried Lupin out to the car, allowing Goemon to open the door since he hadn't wanted to come inside and it was raining so the top was up. "He's fine. Just stoned again."
"That's good. Are they gone?"
"Yup. Another week of lounging then slowly working his way back up to normal mobility in about a month. Use the painkillers and muscle relaxants only when necessary and break him of them."
"Fine," Goemon agreed, tossing them both at a trash can as they left the parking lot. "He can use herbal remedies from now on." Jigen smirked at him. "They're not all that bad."
"They are so. That last painkiller you gave me was nasty, Goemon."
"But it worked."
"It may have, but I never wanted to get hurt again."
"Which was also the point," he said smugly, smirking at him. "Home?"
"Food then home. He can eat a burger today."
"Food?" Lupin asked, then smacked his lips. "Fffffoooooooooddddddddddd."
Goemon shook his head, but he was chuckling. "It's never boring when he's down."
"No, it's never boring," Jigen agreed. "What do you think our first target should be?"
"How about the car behind us that has someone beeping?" Lupin asked from the back seat. He sat up and looked. "Hey, it's Fujiko." He flopped back down again. "Am I dead?"
"No. You're too annoying to be dead."
"Okay. Thanks, Goemon. Love you too, man." He burped. "Ow."
Jigen pulled over at the next park and got out, going to beat the woman senseless. "He's still injured, Fujiko. He just got his staples pulled. What's so damn important?"
"They did it to me too!" she said, hitting him with her fist. "I hate you all! All men are scum and need to die from torture! Long, horrible torture!"
Goemon got out and grabbed her, tossing her onto her hood. "What are you going on about now, woman?"
"They did that same fucking thing to me!" she shouted, pointing at their car. "They decided I should share in that misery! You've ruined my life!"
Goemon wiggled a finger in his ear. "Try making sense this time, and at a lower volume if possible."
"Apparently Lupin's little *friend*, the one who's getting everyone back for him, decided I was to blame so therefore they decided to torture me too! I'm fricken pregnant with Lupin's kid!"
Lupin stuck his head out the window. "That would be kinda hard to do since you won't let me sleep with you," he noted dryly. He got out and came back to join them. "You're what?"
"Your *friend* got me too."
"She didn't have any sperm of mine, Fujiko. I'm doubting it's mine."
She glared at him. "She did have your cells, she had that stupid bandage she took off, *Lupin the Third*," she sneered. "So they captured me and put your spawn of hell into me!" She started to hit him but he caught her hands and pushed her back. "You told her to do it!"
"No, I didn't," he assured her.
"It made sense she did though since you had him given to that one guy," Jigen told her. "It's your own fault, Fujiko. You fucked us over one too many times."
"This child won't come out alive and you'll pay for this!" she screamed, lunging for Lupin again. This time Goemon got in her way. "What? Are you lovers now?" she sneered.
"He's still ill. He does not need this, Fujiko."
"You know, guys, that sounded like a threat to me," Lupin pointed out. "Didn't it to you?" Jigen nodded and Goemon nodded too but he didn't quit staring at Fujiko. "So let's treat it like a threat."
"Shall we cut off her feet and send her to a monastery?" Goemon asked.
"I thought you didn't believe in torture, especially of helpless monks and nuns?" Jigen asked.
"No, we'll do something much more subtle," Lupin decided, smirking at her. "Yo, Pops, I know you were following us. You might as well come out now!" he yelled.
The man pounced from the bushes but everyone got out of his way before he could get them. "Ow."
"Hey, Pops, did you hear? Fuji's gonna have my baby," he said happily, grinning at him. "Isn't that great? *Two* Lupin's running around soon!"
Inspector Zenigata hopped up. "Are you kidding? That's a sign of Revelations!" he shouted.
"Pops, I'm still high on painkillers, can you not eat onions and then breathe on me, before I puke on you in return?" he begged, waving a hand in front of his face. "Eww." He grinned at Fujiko, who was backing away from him. "You know, the only way to keep that from being a little Lupin the Fourth is to make sure it's raised by someone who's very upright and proper. Someone who has a good grasp of the law and can teach the mother how to help him and not screw over her lovers for pleasure. Especially since I never slept with her because she wouldn't let me."
"They did it like they were going to do you," she said, starting to cry.
"Oh, quit, Fujiko. After all, you're not the only one you know," he said smugly. He looked at Zenigata, who looked thoughtful. "Then again, I doubt they had my seed to do that since I couldn't get it up due to the surgery until a week ago. I wonder whose it could be," he said, tapping his finger on his lips. "Pops, have *you* had any blackouts recently?"
"Yeah, one or two," he admitted.
"Any where you had suspicious discharge that you didn't before you were overcome?" Goemon asked. Zenigata blushed and nodded. "Then perhaps it is yours. The only way to tell would be a paternity test."
"Which I'll gladly give a vial of blood for," Lupin agreed happily. "If not, maybe it's yours, Pops."
"Ummmmm." He looked at Fujiko, who was looking horror stricken. "Isn't there a way to tell before it's born?"
"Yeah, there's a needle in the belly test, I've seen it done before," Jigen told him, lighting up and handing that one over since the Inspector looked like he was going to fall over from shock and dismay. "It can probably be done already. You'd have to drag her to a doctor though."
"No! No, I'm not going! They said it was Lupin's!"
"Can't be, honey, they didn't have my sperm to do that," he said with a bright grin. "After all, you couldn't have any since you never let me sleep with you." She looked horrified. "And if you're registering on a test, then it's been a while already, much longer than I've been down. Which would make it...when, Jigen?"
"If she's just registering, probably about three or four months ago, boss."
Zenigata stared at her, then glared once the probable range of time hit. There had been that one night stand..... He handcuffed her and drug her off. "My mother will want to meet you, Fujiko, right after we do that needle in the belly test." He shoved her into his car. "Thank you, Lupin."
"No, Pops, thank you. Women who claim they're having my kid have to prove it. I'll still give a vial of blood, just on the outside chance that someone did it to her though."
"Not an issue," he promised smugly. "I've already got some." He got in and handcuffed her to the gearshift, then backed out and headed to his doctor's office. He wanted confirmation as soon as possible. "Mother will be very pleased with me," he said happily. "She's wanted grandchildren you know."
"No! It can't be! Let me go!" she screamed, struggling to get off the gear shift, but the handcuffs were too tightly around them. "No! I didn't sleep with you!"
"Yes you did," he said in a sing-song voice. "You slept with me back in Heinsberg."
"Yup, sure did. Mother will be very pleased. She was quite the looker in her day before Daddy nabbed her and made her turn straight. I'm sure she can help me with you, Fujiko. She'd adore you. And if the baby isn't mine and it is Lupin's, well then there won't be an End of Days, will there?" he asked smugly. "After all, two Lupin's in the world is a sign of the apocalypse. Just like two Jigens or two Goemons working at the same time." He turned on the radio to cover her screaming and crying. "Yup, mother will be very pleased with me. Just like Daddy." He pulled into the parking lot and got out, uncuffing her and dragging her with him. "Hi, Doctor," he said happily. "She's pregnant, it's probably mine. Can we do that needle in the belly test I heard about so I can introduce her to Mother? I've got the alternate sample at the office since she claims it was implanted into her."
"Sure," he agreed, smiling and opening the door for him. "Bring her back, Inspector. She's a beautiful woman. Just like your mother was."
"Oh, she is *just* like Mommy," he agreed happily. "She's even a crook."
"Congratulations! I know it's a fine family tradition. Now, let's check her over first, and then we'll see what we can do about that amniocentesis. All right? Go ahead and handcuff her to the bed if you want." He smiled as Fujiko was handcuffed to the exam table and put on some gloves, letting the Inspector take off her clothes for her. She was kicking and screaming by now but so had his mother before she had figured out that being the wife of such a noble Inspector was better for her. This one would learn as well. He pulled over a stool with his foot and sat down, looking at the woman in front of him. "Hmm, definitely past four months. She's got the mucus cap already in place," he said, probing gently. "Do me a favor, pull over that machine." Zenigata pulled over the pointed at machine, plugging it in for him. "Thank you. Yes, definitely pregnant." He stood up and took off his gloves, moving her shirt to put some of the gel on her stomach, then turned on the ultrasound. "Hmm, yes, I can tell the sex of the baby, just barely five months."
Zenigata counted back on his fingers. "May?" he asked hopefully.
"Late April, early May," the doctor agreed.
"Hmm, we were together in the middle of May."
"She could be running early. Hold this in place while I get the needle to do the extraction. We'll do it with the ultrasound running so we don't hurt the baby." He grabbed a package out of the drawer, using a cleaning sponge to clean off an area of her stomach and sterilize it. He opened the long needle, and Fujiko started to struggle again. "Now, now, my dear, this won't really hurt a bit. Just the initial pinprick. Of course, if I hit the wrong spot, you could be in serious trouble, you or the baby." He guided it with the ultrasound, using a hand to push on the main part of the lump that was now sticking up. He smiled as he inserted the needle, Fujiko's shriek covered by Zenigata's free hand. As soon as the needle tip came into view, he opened the other end to suck out a tiny bit of fluid for testing. "There we go. You'll be happy to know it is a boy," he said proudly, withdrawing the needle. Fujiko was passed out by now. "Hmm, must be tired. You'll have to be quite gentle when you break her in on your wedding night. Let me send this sample right in, Inspector. The other if it's not yours?"
"I'll have someone get it off my desk and send it over later," he promised with a grin. "Does it look like me?"
"It does have a very pronounced chin," the doctor admitted. "We'll have to wait for test results to know for certain."
"Thank you, doctor. Let me get her dressed. How soon should we know?"
"Within 3 days. Bring her back then. I'm sure by then your mother will have her calmed down and more used to being with you." He shook his hand and left, letting the nice man redress his new spouse. There was no doubt it was his, it looked just like him, but he sent along the sample anyway, just in case there was something wrong.
Zenigata got her back into her skirt and unhitched from the bed, carrying her back out to the car. "Maybe Mother can wait," he mused. He shook his head. "No, there's plenty of time for that later," he decided, going directly to their house. Fujiko would love her tower room. After all, his mother had learned to love it. She could too. She woke up and he grinned at her. "We'll know in three days. Mother will be so pleased!" he said happily. "Did you need to eat on the way there, Fujiko? I know pregnant women are often very hungry."
"No," she said weakly, looking like she was still in shock. "I hate you too."
"That's fine, Mother will help you see I'm a great guy," he said with a grin. "Since you're not hungry, can I stop to pat the baby?" She slapped him, making him wince. "Fine. I can wait the three days." He turned a corner and pulled her back into the seat when she tried to open the door. "Don't do that, you'll be hurt and then Mother will have to help me bandage your scars." He hummed as he drove, one hand sneaking over to touch her unclothed portion. He had only put her skirt back on her. He didn't really understand panties all that well. She squeaked as his fingers found their goal, but whimpered as he tried to play with her. He figured her had the wrong angle so he pulled over into a nice looking park and hid in a deeper shadow to help her out. Pregnant women liked having sex, all the magazines talked about that horny stage they went through. She didn't seem to mind, she was getting just as happy as he was. So he pulled her into his lap and went back at her, pleasing her to show her what she could expect each and every night of their married lives.
Lupin saw the announcement in the papers of the marriage and grinned, showing it to Jigen. "Awww, I wish we could have went," he said with a smug grin.
"Huh, she looked decent, but she's showing pretty well," Jigen noted, outlining her stomach with a fingertip. "Hey, Goemon, wanna see pictures of Pop's wedding to Fujiko?"
"No thanks. I don't need my stomach upset this morning." He came out and smirked at them. "Is there a baby announcement as well?"
"Yup, sure is. He said it's his," he agreed happily, rereading it. "Ah, love at last for poor Fujiko."
"Plus a family soon to be joining them," Goemon agreed, sipping his morning tea. "I wonder how long it took to break her?"
"Probably not very. She's very malleable at times," Lupin reminded him.
"You know, she knows most of the hideouts," Jigen pointed out.
"I've already planned on selling a few and buying a few new ones near the old ones," he said happily. "The housing market is wonderful right now and I'll make a great profit. Any of them that you guys want?"
"I like the house near Iga," Goemon offered.
"The new one near Iga is going to be further up the road, nearer to the mountains."
"Then I will probably like it more," he agreed. "We'll need to pack."
"No, Liz is doing it all for us," Lupin said smugly. "She's got a few....people who need something to do while they worry about how much pain they're going to be in soon." Jigen choked on his sip of coffee. "What?" he asked innocently.
"It worked?" he demanded. Lupin grinned and nodded. "How many are yours?"
"Not a one. They're all Liz's." He grinned. "She missed her daughter a lot."
"Then we'll have to send her a present soon," Goemon agreed. "Along with one to Fujiko and Zenigata."
"A gag for the birth?" Jigen suggested.
"One of those with the hole in the center perhaps, that way he can get her used to it."
"Old Pops may already have one of those," Lupin said with a wink at them. "He's not the vanilla guy you'd expect ya know." He got up and headed out back to stretch and work on his flexibility.
"That's a scary thought. Pops being into bondage."
Goemon choked and kicked him. "Do not say such things while I'm eating or I will make you beg for mercy later."
"Sounds like fun. Wanna go now?"
"Sure, why not," he agreed, following him up the stairs.
Outside, Lupin was smirking as he worked on his stretches. "Like I said, it's in the water. Love may be in the air, but lust requires a stronger medium."
(ärbro-th') or Aberbrothock (a(b''rbrtho(k') , town (1991 pop. 23,934), Angus, E central Scotland, on the North Sea at the mouth of the Brothock River. A seaport, it is known for its smoked haddock, shipbuilding, and the processing of flax and jute. There are engineering works, breweries, an iron foundry, and diverse small industries. Arbroath Abbey was founded by William the Lion c.1178 and contains his tomb. The Scottish estates met in the abbey in 1320 and called for independence from England.