Noir: A Normal Life
Warning: If you've never seen the anime series Noir but intend doing so then please note what is written below contains spoilers.
Noir is a Japanese anime series set in France about three rival assassins who due to circumstances have to team up. The plot is about a legendary assassin known as Noir who only kills bad people. It was always believed that Noir was male but she is in fact a woman named Mireille. She is later joined by another named Kirika who is Japanese born rather than French. Then later there is another named Chloe who seems obsessed with Kirika and it's clear she wants Mireille out of the way. Kirika has partial amnesia and she's not sure who she really is, but has the memory of assassinating Mireille's parents which Mireille later discovers. They split up as a team, then once they realise they were all being manipulated from the start by someone named Altena there is a final showdown where only Mireille and Kirika survive.
This fan fiction continues from where the last episode ended and explores what happened to them next as they settle down to a normal life, told from the point of view of Mireille.
I was already injured, quite seriously in fact, with bandages around my thigh and arm along with a fresh wound in my shoulder. I wasn't sure we would make it but I didn't intend to go down without a fight. I just wished I had my gun with me.
Kirika stood ahead of me, her gun directly aimed at Altena who in turn pointed her gun at Kirika. It was a stand off. Normally I would trust Kirika to do the right thing but with all that had happened, as well as her amnesic state, I wasn't sure of anything anymore. It was possible she was still loyal to Altena and would lower her guard. Kirika's body shook as though her mind was in turmoil trying to come up with a decision only change her mind yet again.
"Kill me for all my sins and live on as a true Noir," Altena said in order to taunt her.
Kirika continued to hesitate, her sweaty body shaking violently, whilst silently whimpering with tears strewing down her cheeks. I stared wondering what she was about to do.
From the corner of my eye I could see Altena smile to herself as she took advantage of the situation and turn her gun toward me. Kirika noticed and without hesitation jumped in front of me. There was a loud bang and blood spurted from her shoulder as she tumbled against my body.
"Kirika!" I called out.
Altena appeared happy by the incident and stood proud with the open pit of boiling lava behind her. She knew all to well that whatever the outcome we will all lose in the long run, for if we do kill her we're destined to continue as Noir.
Kirika heaved herself up and wobbled on her unsteady feet.
"Our hands are deeply black," she told Altena, "Those sins will never be erased. But I will accept those sins as Kirika Yumika for we are not who you think we are!"
Within a flash she lurched towards Altena catching her off guard and pushing them both over the precipice.
"Kirika!" I screamed running over to the edge of the pit, "Kirika!"
To my surprise I found her holding onto the side, while Altena hung from her other arm. Altena gave me a look as though she was satisfied with the outcome of events and simply let herself go falling silently into the boiling lava below.
Kirika continued holding onto the ledge as I tried frantically to hold onto her.
"Farewell Mireille," she said calmly.
Before she had chance to let go I managed to finally grab hold of her hand.
"Mireille let go," she said with a whisper.
I burst into tears. With all that we had been through, despite the fact that we had tried to kill one another earlier that day, she was still my friend and I realised I couldn't live without her.
"Please I'm begging you!" I screeched with tears pouring from my eyes.
She looked up at me noticing the expression of dispair upon my face.
"Please!" I said.
She grabbed my hand with both of hers and I pulled her to safety.
We left the mansion of Altena within each other's arms, steadying ourselves, as we hobbled down the stone steps. Altena's men known as Les Soldats stood waiting for us with their guns in hand. There were at least six of them and we weren't even armed and were in no fit state to defend ourselves. From the looks on their faces they suspected what must have happened.
"Noir is just a name," I said to them as we slowly approached, "Stand aside if you fear darkness!"
To our surprise they lowered their weapons and let us pass.
"We live as we see fit," I said, "That is all. We continue to seek the light."
Kirika and I continued to walk very slowly down the street that was lined with large trees. Night had already fallen and there was a chill in the air.
"Mireille?" Kirika said, "What will we do now?"
"I want to go back to Paris," I replied calmly, "And have a hot cup of tea."
"Mmm," she mumbled.
"And you're making it," I added.
I realised Kirika no longer had her precious pocket watch with her that she so treasured in the past. It was now up to us to create a better future and new memories.
After the long journey home we slowly made our way up the steps of my apartment and went inside. It was early morning and the sun was just starting to peek over the distant horizon causing the night sky to turn from black to a dark shade of blue. We didn't even switch the light on as I sat upon the sofa letting out an exhausted breath. Kirika flopped down beside me, laying herself down, yet not quite positioned correctly with her legs hanging over the arm.
"I could really do with a shower," I said turning to face her.
"Mhmm," she said faced down.
I stroked her frizzy hair that contained specs of dust and God knows what entwined within. She could have done with a shower too, but like me she was far too tired to even attempt.
We were in bad shape and could really have done with hospital treatment, but that would only stir up questions which I was unwilling to answer, and besides none of our wounds were life threatening and we could treat ourselves once we got our strength back.
I could hear the gentle snoring of Kirika as she had already fallen asleep. She would very likely wake up with aches and cramps due to sleeping in such an awkward position but her injuries from the day would far outweigh them. I felt tempted to pick her up and reposition her, or even carry her to bed, but I was far too tired to get up from my sitting position.
"Sweet dreams," I whispered then closed my eyes.
I startled myself awake as I found myself laying down on the sofa with my arm still asleep resting across my face. There was also a whiff emanating from my armpit reminding more than ever how much I desperately needed a shower. I lowered my arm and shook my wrist trying to get sensation back only to cause the feeling of pins and needles to tingle throughout my arm. As I attempted to right myself I noticed Kirika using my side as a pillow, and to my surprise she did not make or even murmur as I repositioned myself. I took a quick glimpse toward her belly, to make sure she was still breathing, just in case she had a serious injury I never knew about. She was the kind of girl who kept things to herself and I wouldn't have put it past her to not mention such a thing.
I took a deep intake of breath causing my tummy, Kirika still used as her pillow, to wobble her head while I turned my gaze to the fax machine in the corner of the room. The light was blinking and there was a fresh page in the paper tray below. No doubt we had been offered another contract but we were no longer in that line of business. Noir was no more. The crime bosses would have to do their own dirty work to rid the world of their competition.
The morning sun filled the apartment with a warm glow. A bright day revealing a bright future for the both of us. I wondered what the coming years would be like and whether we would still be friends. As I thought about it further I realised we weren't real friends at all, we were simply colleagues that worked together, and I hated her for the betrayal of my loyalty. But with all that had occurred she was simply a lost soul with nowhere to go. I looked down at her head as she slept soundly with her head still resting on my tummy. She was like a baby sister that needed me to look after her, at least until she was well again, until we had some sense of normality.
I awoke to the sound of gentle humming coming from the kitchen as Kirika prepared a pot of tea. My head throbbed and the urge to shower filled my mind, but I was far too exhausted to get up from the sofa in which I still sat.
The curtains were closed and the lights were on, it was night, so I guessed I had slept all day long. Yet I still felt we had only just arrived home with only minutes rather than hours passing.
Kirika exited the kitchen carrying the pot of tea and two cups on a tray before making eye contact with me. It was clear from her appearance she had cleaned herself up and changed clothes.
"I've made us some tea," she said while resting the tray on top of the pool table.
"I, erm," I said while trying to regain my faculties, "I don't think I could hold it down, my stomach feels a little temperamental, it needs time to rest along with the rest of my body."
I caught a whiff of my armpits again, I so desperately needed a shower but was groggy. I was going to have to have another nap.
Kirika poured out the tea into two cups and poured in the cream, I guessed she either hadn't heard what I said or chose to ignore me.
"It's not good for you to oversleep," she said softly, "And I'm worried about that wound."
I looked at my shoulder but could see nothing other than the blood soaked material of my clothing.
"Get yourself cleaned up," Kirika said, "We'll then have some tea, and if necessary get you to a doctor."
It was clear she wasn't willing for me to stay on the sofa. My head span and I heaved myself to my feet and wobbled into the direction of the bathroom.
Some time later I exited the shower with a towel wrapped around my body while wiping my hair with another. I had also taken a couple of paracetamol to calm my throbbing head but they had yet to kick in. I calmly walked into the living room and sat on the sofa trying not to reveal to Kirika how bad I felt.
"So how's your wound?" She said in her usual calm way sitting in a chair across the other side of the pool table.
"It's clean for one thing," I responded while wiping my hair.
Kirika already had a first-aid kit in hand as she stood up and headed over to me.
"I really have no wish to cause a fuss," I quickly said.
"It's not bother," she said, "It's either this or take you to the hospital where they'll ask all sort of questions."
She sat on the sofa beside me and opened the first aid kit retrieving some anti-septic liquid and a swab of cotton. I let out an internal sigh, knowing full it was going to hurt, then lowered the top of my towel revealing my bare shoulder. She took a moment to look at the injury.
"It will heal but you're going to have a permanent scar as a reminder," she said before pressing the anti-septic soaked cotton swab against my wound.
I let out a sharp intake of breath through gritted teeth.
"I never want to be reminded of this day," I said.
I was in fact reffering to the previous day but with the way I slept I still felt confused as to what day it actually was. Ether way, whatever day it was, I still wanted it to pass as quickly as possible becoming just a distant faded memory.
Kirika tore open a packet containing a sterile pad and pressed it against my shoulder.
"Hold this please," she whispered.
I immediately rested my fingers against it as she retrieved a length of bandage from the first-aid box and wrapped it around my shoulder. Once it was secure I slid my fingers away.
"So what about us?" Kirika said while still securing the bandage.
"Us?" I said.
"If you still have it in you to execute me I won't put up a fight," she whispered, "I did betray you after all and I tried..."
"Now you stop talking like that right now!" I said turning my body to face her causing the bandage to slip out of position in the process, "Let us just take one day at a time, okay? Forget what happened and be friends again."
"But nothing!" I said firmly before turning my back to her.
She remained silent as she started to adjust my bandage, with only the sound of gentle sniffing from her repressed urge to cry that could be heard.
A number of minutes passed before the tension within the room eased off and we were soon drinking our tea which I so longed for. It was only a moment before I was on my second cup and it was the most delicious thing I had tasted in a long time.
"I'd better be getting dressed," I said placing my cup back down on the pool table between us.
"Mhmm," Kirika said softly.
I stood myself up and held my towel tightly around me heading for my bedroom.
"It will be okay, you'll see," I said over my shoulder, "Things'll soon be back to normal."
"Sooner than we think perhaps," she said as she walked over to the sheet of paper in the fax machine glancing at its contents.
I knew what it was without reading it for we only ever received contracts by fax. Kirika smiled at me and I knew what she was thinking.
"Noir is no more," I said knowing that neither of us knew any other way of making a living.
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