a sort of continuation from Day 12 but further down the line.
The lights flickered ominously in the tiny confines of the elevator and without a beat of hesitation, they stopped and everything turned black. It was dark enough that he could hardly see his own fingers before him and the elevator was deadly silent. His own heartbeat sounded like a drunken drum major pounding away on a timpani.
The air! They cut off the air! No, this was not the time for panic. He needed to calm down. Yes, calm down and focus on getting out of the situation.
Breathing harder and harder, and feeling extremely light headed, he found himself sliding down against the elevator wall and sitting down on the ground. He could feel his breaths coming faster and faster.
Oh god. What to do? He couldn’t see anything, and he couldn’t risk calling for help and get caught by the rival gang. Shit. He dug his phone out, hoping to get at least some light.
12% battery left and no green bars of reception.
Oh god. He was going to die in a stinky elevator. And who would take over the Y-gumi? Surely his father could not hold out until Hideki was grown up…? Hideki… he would never see his adorable nephew again. He choked on a sob, remembering how those bright eyes reminded him of Hayato-nii.
And now there wasn’t Hayato-nii to save him anymore. Not like that incident 10 years ago… He started to hyperventilate. 10 years ago. It felt so long ago. But that familiar wave of panic swept him under once again. He tucked his head between his knees, something he remembered from his previous claustrophobic attacks.
He was trapped, just like now. Only worse. Their biggest rival T-gumi had kidnapped him after school, grabbing him off the streets and stuffing him into a suitcase. He was so sure that he was able to die that time, trapped in a suitcase and about to be lowered into the ground and buried like a twisted funeral rite.
At that time, he remembered hearing Hayato-nii coming to the rescue, his resonant voice cutting across the fog of panic clouding his mind. And… someone else was there. Someone had jumped into the hole beside him and opened the suitcase. Who…?
He wheezed weakly, wondering if he was about to pass out from the lack of air. He couldn’t recall his rescuer. Only Hayato-nii shone the brightest in his mind. Except… he did know his rescuer…
A loud bam jerked him out of his weak recollection. What? What was going on?
Another loud thump, this time accompanied by a yell, “Kazuki! Can you hear me?”
Oh god, someone was out there. That voice, with its foreign drawl and accent. “Sinagra! Get me out of here!” It was rude and blunt, but now was not the time for keigo (polite speech).
“Hold on! I’m coming to get you,” the older man replied confidently, “Just wait a little longer. You can do it.”
Kazuki closed his eyes, focusing his mind on that voice, that self-assured tone and the comfort it brought to his panicked state. He could feel his breath starting to even out, getting less jerky and harsh.
It was fine now. Sinagra would save him. Just like he did 10 years ago. Wait. What? His eyes flew open at that stray thought.
And then there was light.
He shielded his eyes to see Sinagra rushing forward towards him, “Are you hurt? Kazuki?”
“It was you!” Kazuki narrowed his eyes, “10 years ago. That was you, right?!”
Gregory frowned, “10 years ago? Are you alright? Did you hit your head?” He ran his hands through Kazuki’s hair clinically, checking for any bumps on his head.
Kazuki tsked impatiently, batting at the hands, “When I got kidnapped and almost buried alive by the T-gumi! It was Hayato-nii and you back then, right?”
“I didn’t think you’d remember that. They said you pretty much repressed all those memories after developing your claustrophobia.” Gregory remarked, still holding on to Kazuki’s head, even if he had stopped messing up his hair.
“I remember now.” Kazuki answered shortly, pushing away the older man. He stood up slowly, brushing off his pants. Despite his dishevelled appearance – hair ruffled and bangs sticking to his forehead, attire rumpled and his undershirt soaked with sweat – he still looked ready to take on the world. “Was this little surprise planned by the T-gumi as well?”
Gregory shrugged, “Well, it has to be them. Other than the T-gumi, would anyone else know about your claustrophobia? Only the inner circle of the Y-gumi knows about it.”
“I’m going to fucking crush them and bury them six feet deeper in the ground,” Kazuki sneered, “Come on, Sinagra, we’re wasting time here.”
Arching an eyebrow at that demanding tone, Gregory smirked and followed him out of the dark elevator.