Yuki hit the water a good thirty meters away from the houseboat. She could have done better, but she'd been concentrating on accuracy rather than distance. Clipping the window frame on the way out wouldn't have been fun. The sudden cold was a shock, but she was a strong swimmer, and had always preferred to dive right into cold water rather than inching her way in, shivering and complaining like Mami-chan always did. She had entered the water in a shallow dive, and now was using her forward momentum to put even more distance between herself and the two thugs, staying underwater as long as she could. Yuki felt alive and elated. Her dad was here. She'd heard the sound of the helicopters, and knew she wouldn't have to run for long. As she was about to come up for air, she heard a large splash, startlingly close. Had that man somehow followed her? That was hard to believe, but it didn't matter; she needed to breathe, and soon. She'd make him sorry if he had. She broke water gasping, preparing to dive again to evade capture if necessary. But at that moment she heard the last thing she would have expected.
It was, unmistakably, her mother's voice.
The two partners ran along the aged dock, sending it rocking and pulling at its moorings. Junichi could be amazingly agile for a big man, but he couldn't avoid the laws of physics. The bucking of the deck didn't bother Chain much at all, but he did worry that Junichi would put a foot through the old, half-rotten timbers. Reaching the bank, the two veered to the right, heading towards the escape route they'd agreed on. A thick maze of ramshackle buildings and narrow streets lay in that direction, and the two had stashed a car in an alley. They should have been able to expect some help from Haruki's people before long, but that whispery voice of survival was advising Chain not to count on it. By the sound of the choppers the cops were already on the ground, and the two needed to lose themselves quickly to have any hope of escaping. Trying not to imagine police sniper lasers crawling on his back, Chain rounded a corner and pounded on.
Suddenly, a girl appeared in front of them. That was an apt way to put it; one moment the street had been clear, and then she was just…there. The kid was unmistakably there for them; she was standing directly in their path, regarding the pair intently. If she was at all afraid of the two armed thugs, she gave no sign of it.
Great, Chain thought to himself. Another magic girl. Now all I need is hemorrhoids. I ever see Haruki again I'm gonna rip his lips off…
Recognizing a threat to their plans for escape, Junichi growled deep in his throat and raised his pistol.
"No!" Chain cried, but it was too late. There was still ten meters between them and the girl, but suddenly she was inside the big man's guard. Taking the pistol out of his hand as if he were a small child, she gave him an almost negligent shove to the shoulder. Junichi flew sideways into a wall, splintering the siding, and bouncing back to land in a stunned heap on the sidewalk. He wasn't seriously hurt; Chain had seen him absorb much worse, but he was a little slow getting up. The kid had gone easy on him, and Chain fervently hoped his partner would realize it. The girl was now between the two men, regarding Junichi with her hands on her hips. That she currently had her back turned to Chain, who was still armed, didn't seem to bother her in the least.
Nor should it. Chain knew better than to try anything stupid, and was carefully putting his own pistol on the ground.
"We give up, miss." He said to the girl's back.
Junichi had rolled onto his stomach when he fell, and was pulling himself up onto one knee. Hearing his partner capitulate, he looked up sharply. Clearly he wanted to contest the point, but in light of what had just happened, was thinking about it. The girl turned to Chain, and he got his first close look at her.
Cute, in a dark sort of way….
"That's good. A very wise move," she said quietly, "but if you've hurt Yuki-san, I'll still rip your head off."
The girl's eyes scared the hell out of him. Sweating slightly, Chain concentrated very hard on hoping that Yuki hadn't been injured jumping out that window.