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[personal profile] lazchan
Title: Partners
Fandom: Kamen Rider W
Characters: Philip, Shotarou
Notes: Another fic set right after Begins Night
Written for Shadi. :P




He didn't want to be here, not really—there were too many people around and he simply wasn't used to it. Most of his time was spent with the Gaia Library and the few times he worked with the scientists, they kept their distance from him, hardly ever speaking to him. He was used to it and to hear the faint chatter of the girls near him, the beeping of cell phones and the press of bodies against him—he kept still and hoped that he'd be able to be free from them soon.

He wished he had the time to escape into the library to read Hidari Shotarou's book; but when they were on the run, even he had to watch out. He couldn't just drift off. Although, being on the run, while being sandwiched between a couple dozen people was an amusing thought. He smiled inwardly at it; Shotarou had probably done the first 'normal' and 'automatic' thing to come to mind…getting on the train to get to their destination. Well, it wasn't likely they'd be followed on the train. Anyone that was going to come after them probably thought they'd go on a more subtle route.

Shotarou was watching everyone carefully, even though his body was sagging with exhaustion, his eyes dull with grief. It seemed that he was very intent on carrying out the duty that Narumi Sokichi had given him; taking care of Philip. He did hope that they wouldn't be put in a situation where they had to fight. He knew that Shotarou would push himself to protect Philip, to protect himself—but he was in no condition to do so. Philip was suddenly aware of that fact and that he didn't want Shotarou to hurt himself.

Is this some sort of connection, of camaraderie? It could be just due to the fact that he shared Shotarou's mind briefly, had gotten a sense of the other. He had never given thought to caring for another person before or thinking of their well-being.

When the train jerked to a stop at a small station, Shotarou dragged him off and Philip noted the name "Futo" as they clambered off by themselves; it seemed no others were coming into the small town so late at night. It could be good and bad-- no one to see them, but as the only ones, they stood out.

"I know that the boss was rescuing you because of a client that hired him," Shotarou began slowly, not sitting down yet, but not moving forward toward any destination. "Do you know who that could be at all? I…I can take you to them if that's the case."

Philip shook his head, mystified. He couldn't think of anyone that would want to 'rescue' him; his entire life had been in creating the Gaia Memories and refining them for the scientists.

Shotarou nodded slowly. "Then—if you want to—you can stay at the agency with me and…" he coughed and looked away. "I mean, with me." He clutched the hat that had been a parting gift and a silent acknowledgment from Narumi. It was clear that he was nervous about the answer, even from the 'devil' he had dubbed Philip to be.

Philip nodded slowly and followed Shotarou when he started to lead them 'home'.

~

The agency was small and nestled above a billiards hall, small touches had tried to make it a home and a bed in the corner showed that at least one person slept there; studied there. There was a school bag hastily tossed in the corner with papers spilling out of it. Philip guessed that this was Shotarou's bed, but the other didn't hesitate in cleaning off the area and offering Philip the bed. "It's not much, but it's comfortable," he said slowly.

Philip shrugged, making himself comfortable on the bed. "Shotarou," he asked slowly, glad to at last to be able to ask questions, "how old are you?" He didn't miss the school bag and the uniform that Shotarou wore. From what he had briefly researched, high school students wore that type of uniform.

Shotarou jumped at the sound of his voice, staring at Philip. It was the first time he heard him speak since they had joined as W. "Seventeen," he said slowly, then stared at Philip with wide eyes, the rest of his words coming out in a rush. "But that doesn't mean I can't take care of you!" he protested. "The boss trained me well and… and I can quit high school and study here so that I know you're taken care of and…"

Philip just shook his head. "I'm only sixteen," he offered. "We are close in age then, Shotarou. Maybe that will make it easier for us to get along." It was one of the few things they had in common, Philip knew. At least, what he knew of before reading Shotarou. "And this is where you lived?" he inquired. "Was Narumi Sokichi your father?"

Shotarou's eyes closed briefly and he shook his head to the negative. "No… but he raised me for awhile, taught me everything I know about being a good detective," he said softly, voice still raw with pain. "I don't have anywhere else to go."

"Then we are the same in that as well," Philip smiled faintly. "I do not wish to go back to where you rescued me from; I … was given a chance to make my own choice in this matter. I think it would be best to stay here and not be forced into making more of the Gaia Memories."

"I thought you said that you didn’t mind making them, that it was a human's choice that made them evil, not the Memory itself," Shotarou pointed out.

"Were the Memories that we used evil?" Philip countered. "No, Shotarou—I am not opposed to making them in themselves, but now I get to choose how they are used and when they are used—and to stop those that feel as if they can abuse them." He frowned briefly. "It is only for a certain number of people that can use them without harm."

"You never really had a choice before, did you?" Shotarou asked softly, looking less ragged and more concerned over Philip. "Well, I won't force you," he smiled, "but I hope that you'll choose to stay."

"It will be at least interesting to see what else the Double Driver can do," Philip mused, already moving onto the next subject. "While you were slow at least—the shock can allow for that—I believe that you would be the type to adapt quite quickly and be more successful with each successive try."

"You want to actually try that again?" Shotarou demanded, eyes wide. "You weren't scared at all?" He didn't mention how Philip reacted when he took over being the body for the Drivers, it didn't need to be said.

Philip winced a bit at that; as much as he would have liked to be the one controlling things, it seemed that Fang had too much of a mind of its own and was not able to be controlled. The intensity with which Fang fought was overwhelming. Philip shuddered. He never wanted to go through that ever again. Still…

"Still, Shotarou," he forced himself to speak calmly. "If you are the main component, I am sure we can achieve a great deal. Don't you wish you can help people?" he asked. "With the two of us together, I am sure we can do a great deal to undo the wrongs that I may have created with the Gaia Memories." His gaze was sharp. "And you…"

"And I can start to atone for the mistake I made," Shotarou whispered and Philip knew, without asking, that Shotarou blamed himself for Narumi's sacrifice. If Shotarou asked him, Philip could tell him that he wasn't at fault, but Shotarou listened to emotions more than logic and it would take a great deal of time for him to understand. Now was not that time.

Shotarou held out his hand. "Well, if you'll have me, partner—" his voice was cautious and Philip answered him with a smile, clasping his hand in his.

"I think we will make a most efficient team, partner."
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