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How to Disappear [Asuma, Katsuko][Nov. 13th, 2011|09:13 pm]
[Backstory: Takes place in November two years after the Kyuubi, six months after In A Place Like This. Katsuko is fifteen and Asuma is seventeen in this.]

The cell to right of hers had been empty for two weeks, now. When the orderlies slammed open the basement door, supporting a limp body between them, Katsuko’s only thought was a listless, I hope the new guy’s quieter than the last one.

Hakuin coughed, a bone-dry rattle that echoed in the suddenly silent hallway. Ichiba was curled up in the far corner of his cell, eyes round as dinner plates over the huddle of his arms. Katsuko herself rose to a half-crouch, craning her head towards the new prisoner’s faceless silhouette.

One of the orderlies fumbled open the lock to the empty cell while the other manhandled the prisoner over the threshold; he landed on the dirty rushes with a heavy thump. She stared at him as the orderlies turned to leave, relaxing when she saw the ragged rise and fall of the man’s chest.

There was a collective sigh of relief when the basement door slammed shut; Katsuko exhaled, quietly, and crawled her way over to the grate set in the right wall of her cell. “Hey,” she whispered, peering at the dark form in the room beyond. “Hey. You all right there?”
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