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The Caged Bird Must Sing
Writer I-Dont-Like-I-Obsess
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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The Caged Bird Must Sing
A - A - A
24 25 26 27 28 29 31 32
Chapter 30
Dec 7, 2017
20 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!OFWpW3MySapKvnI0aBwbposted on PENANA

The very first favor Law called on was an unusual one, and not what the person had been expecting at all. Granted, none of the favors he was taking advantage of would really be expecting him to be around anymore. But thankfully his conversation with Bonney the night before, at least just the part about him coming back, seemed to be the latest news among the networks. Most had already been informed of his return in a matter of hours. Information sure did spread fast.copyright protection49PENANAB64AKa49b8

"You want me to what?" The female on the other end questioned in exasperation, more surprised with his request than the fact that he was back in the game. Law stuck the phone between his ear and shoulder while he pulled out the box from underneath his bed with everything he would need. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Summer standing in the doorway of his bedroom, watching nervously.copyright protection49PENANAb0O7qKbcj3

He grunted, pulling at the heavy box and sitting up again to inspect it. "You heard me. Just bring a wig and some extra clothes for her. Then you'll never hear from me again."copyright protection49PENANAmIOS6xSg9p

"What makes you think I'd help you after all these years? For all I know, you could be setting me up." She spit nastily. Though, she'd always been a bit moody. Seems some things didn't change.copyright protection49PENANAsKvwkgGppS

"I thought you always kept your word, Vida." He replied with a scoff, using the nickname he knew she hated. "Guess I was wrong. I'll bother someone else, then, if you aren't willing to help those you owe." He said, moving to hang up the phone.copyright protection49PENANAxBSmIi7Tvq

"Wait a minute!" He heard the woman shout from the other end. "Don't even think about slandering my reputation. Fine. You want me to be a decoy? Fucking fine. But this is the last time, and after that don't ever show me your face ever again."copyright protection49PENANAXS9LLgiExr

The call ended and Law grinned despite himself, texting her his address. He looked back up at Summer, who wasn't as happy. "Don't worry, I've got a plan on how to get you out of here." He said, twisting the numbered dials on the box to the correct code. The latch unlocked with a pop, and he inspected the contents inside.copyright protection49PENANA3ZczvxPcWf

A few thick wads of cash he'd stored away over the years in case something like this happened, preloaded cards, a set of clothing that looked nothing like his normal style, a disposable cell phone, fake IDs, plus some additional items he'd need. The blonde walked closer to look inside as well, gasping when she watched him take the gun out from his waistband.copyright protection49PENANA5uQYQzgYtM

"You were carrying that thing around?" She questioned weakly.copyright protection49PENANAoqFycqOu4l

"Can never be too careful." He inspected the magazine, satisfied that it was fully loaded, before he placed it on the floor beside him. Summer toed herself back a few inches to put some distance between her and the dangerous weapon.copyright protection49PENANAW8l8HQGx3C

He rummaged through the contents, checking to make sure everything he'd need was there, before standing and regarding her. Her body was tense, unsure. Although she didn't appear as distraught as she had been last night, he could tell Summer was still in the process of digesting everything going on.copyright protection49PENANAM87C7YbnWE

He only hoped she wouldn't regret her decision.copyright protection49PENANAak5QShgHLl

The distance closed between them and he took her head in his hands to look down at her. "You still trust me, right?"copyright protection49PENANA2ItnRaexHi

Summer thought that when they were like this, the difference in their height became readily apparent. It didn't bother her. It felt secure. Safe. Something Law just seemed to naturally exude onto others, a sense of security. As if he had everything under control. She nodded after only a moment's pause, and his eyes softened.copyright protection49PENANAatrh6yfhWb

He pulled her in and wrapped his arms around her small body, resting his chin on the top of her head. The tenseness in her muscles relaxed little by little, until she sighed minutely and returned the embrace gently. Her breathing sent warm air into his shirt, and he slowly ran his hand up and down her back to calm her.copyright protection49PENANAW6w1Wpid64

"Everything will be alright." He muttered, eyes flicking back down to the contents of his box. Hopefully…he added unsurely in his head.copyright protection49PENANAy9M1xDcLbU

Within half an hour, a knock sounded on Law's door. Summer's head jerked up from where she sat on his couch, and Law stood to go get it, holding up a finger to his lips for her silence. The blonde nodded, watching like a hawk as he approached the door, gun loosely held in hand. He cracked it open a bit, but a black-haired woman pushed through impatiently and stepped past him.copyright protection49PENANA4lovDu3TL0

"Let's get this over with." The woman bit, stopping in the middle of the living room to inspect the blonde as she took off her large sunglasses. Law looked irritated, but locked the door anyway to join them again.copyright protection49PENANA4H7BJ411h8

Summer inspected the woman who was all but glaring at her. Her attire was sharp and sexy. A shimmery, deep-red colored shirt with a low neckline and black pants. She was tall, given the high-heeled, knee-length boots that adorned her feet, and intimidating as all hell. Her face was done up with makeup a bit too outlandish for Summer's tastes, but which suited her just fine. Her pinched and scowling expression was intimidating too, especially considering she was probably just as dangerous as Law. They knew each other from his gang days, after all.copyright protection49PENANA5QhRSOv4AG

"Stand up." She snapped with an impatient gesture, setting down a large case she was carrying with her.copyright protection49PENANAZE2naFReyC

"Oh, sorry." Summer rushed to do as she'd said, eyes glancing over at Law for guidance.copyright protection49PENANAeDklf3pg5H

"You're going to switch places with Alvida, wearing her clothes and a wig, so no one follows you when you leave." He explained, watching cautiously as Alvida walked closer to Summer and started turning her face this way and that.copyright protection49PENANAobxG2puyu5

"Are you sure this will work?" Summer questioned, frowning when the woman forcibly spun her in place to 'observe' her back.copyright protection49PENANAftKhQVWH9v

"Shut up, it'll work." The black-haired woman interrupted, taking her time to memorize whatever it was she was memorizing, before turning her back around. "Alright, we better start with makeup."copyright protection49PENANAko8FJnJ9EP

The finishing touches were made, and Alvida stepped back to admire her handiwork. She nodded after a moment, putting away her makeup supplies and digging around for something else in that bag of hers. She pulled out a black-colored wig, setting it on the coffee table. She turned her eye on Law, jerking her head off towards the hallway. "Leave."copyright protection49PENANAR20oI3OdBi

He frowned, obviously reluctant to have Summer by herself with someone she didn't trust, but Alvida cut off the protest before he got a chance to voice it.copyright protection49PENANAjQM47DZ4l9

"I'm not taking my clothes off with an audience, now leave. I'll tell you when you can come back."copyright protection49PENANAzGxIlh65qK

Piercing her with a glare that relayed his silent threat, Law wandered off towards his bedroom down the hall, away from where the two women sat. The black-haired woman gave Summer another glance before starting to take off her boots.copyright protection49PENANAUhNUGwXuJz

It took the blonde several moments before realizing that she was also supposed to be getting undressed. The thought was a little embarrassing, stripping down to her underwear with another stranger in the room, but at least she was female as well. Pushing past the discomfort, Summer slipped off her socks and started on her shirt, unbuttoning the front.copyright protection49PENANAN3qA7xd7Cy

"I'm taller than you, but the boots should cover the pants if they are too long anyways, so it shouldn't look obvious." Alvida said, shucking off her pants and setting them beside the black wig.copyright protection49PENANAgbeNUA40Gv

"I guess my clothes might be a little small on you, huh?" Summer replied, and Alvida shook her head dismissively.copyright protection49PENANAKBNxvt3tYN

"Doesn't matter. As long as we can fool anyone watching from afar." She said nonchalantly, as if there was no danger involved. Summer kept quiet after that, shedding the last of her outer clothing. She also couldn't help but compare how unsexy her undergarments were compared to the taller woman.copyright protection49PENANA3MQtmY1A6D

"Wait, we need to add one thing." Alvida said as Summer reached for the woman's shirt. Hands dug through the bag once more, this time pulling out two bras from inside. Much bigger than what Summer would need. "Here, put these on."copyright protection49PENANA8mPn9JYeJF

"Umm, I don't think- wait, both of them?" She asked, taking the two bras from Alvida regardless.copyright protection49PENANAKtgx1M14f0

"In case you haven't noticed, you're a little smaller in the bust size than me. We have to make you look like me when you walk out of here, and those are no exception." She pointed at Summer's breasts shamelessly, and Summer had nothing to say in defense.copyright protection49PENANARjMIM9HNJN

Awkwardly, the blonde was able to manage putting on both of the bras Alvida had given her, feeling much more restricted than before. Several layers of padding up front felt strange, and slightly suffocating, but there was nothing to be done about that. It did help to make her chest look bigger and more…protruding, as was the desired effect. In exchange, Alvida donned a binder to make her breasts appear smaller, more the size of Summer's. That looked uncomfortable as well.copyright protection49PENANArSaggkZfyJ

Both women put on the other's clothing. Summer wasn't used to such low necklines, and Alvida looked with disdain at the clothes provided for her. In a matter of minutes, they'd both changed and stood facing each other looking much different than before.copyright protection49PENANAUicaQdWSic

"Alright, you can come back now." Alvida shouted down the hall, reaching for the wig on the table at the same time.copyright protection49PENANASavFThPA5z

Law came back around the corner just as Alvida flipped the black wig onto Summer's head, pulling and tugging on strands of her hair to hide them inside the black locks. She stood there uncomfortably, feeling as if this body were not her own in these clothes, sight blocked by thick strands of black hair from the wig as Alvida struggled to get it to sit properly on her head.copyright protection49PENANAowryMISMXr

Finally, all that tugging seemed to pay off, as the woman stepped back and inspected how Summer looked. She nodded, before grabbing a brush from her bag and smoothed the rest of the hair to look more like her own.copyright protection49PENANAvRKI2AWZtf

"Can you walk in heels?" The woman asked, pointing to the boots now on Summer's feet. She nodded, having grown accustomed to high heels during her life. She was no stranger to a bit of height on her shoes. "Good, then you just need to make sure you walk out there looking confident and like nothing is wrong. Otherwise, they'll be suspicious."copyright protection49PENANAblpG1iYQT4

"Ok…" She agreed, looking down at herself. Just be confident. Just walk confident. Pretend there wasn't anyone out there looking for you. Pretend nothing was wrong.copyright protection49PENANAqiARRnzKax

"I think it would be less suspicious if you left first." Alvida said, digging in her purse for her car keys before dangling them out to Summer.copyright protection49PENANAbGpVorwlrZ

"Oh, right…I can't take my car, huh?" She realized belatedly while taking the keys, and Law nodded. "But, where am I supposed to go?"copyright protection49PENANAAClZjniiec

"Drive to another city, book a hotel room, and don't tell anyone where you are going. Not even me."copyright protection49PENANAmEvXwml66w

"Why can't I tell you?" She questioned, all the while watching as Alvida reached in her bag for a blonde wig.copyright protection49PENANADic3dBvKWW

"Where's a mirror I can borrow?" The woman cut in, and Law pointed behind him down the hall.copyright protection49PENANAKxy6wStPaI

"Bathroom, on the left."copyright protection49PENANA2wmxuSTPYZ

Alvida disappeared down the hall and Law turned back to look at Summer again.copyright protection49PENANAlCiyFv9ag5

"I can't be blackmailed for information I don't know. The less I know, the better." He reasoned, trying to reassure her. She supposed that made sense, but all this was happening so fast. It seemed a bit extreme.copyright protection49PENANA61CF79xAZH

"For how long?"copyright protection49PENANAi1eFyJysyx

"I honestly don't know, Summer."copyright protection49PENANAsU9KsPgB0w

"Will I be able to contact you at all?" Was her next question, and he looked away, hesitant to answer.copyright protection49PENANAH6xkMEukfu

"To be safe, probably not, but that doesn't mean you'll be by yourself." He dug in his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, plus the disposable cell phone she'd seen in the box earlier. "Once you find somewhere safe, contact the person on this paper and they'll help you. Tell him I gave you this number and that it's an emergency."copyright protection49PENANA2yvge4ZMwy

She took the offered items and put them in her pocket for later, before looking back up at him. "I feel ridiculous in this."copyright protection49PENANAjYttIViYxi

"I could get used to it." He grinned jokingly, and she chuckled quietly.copyright protection49PENANAvfp2AcH4wX

"Yeah, right…"copyright protection49PENANAyyw4PK9PxF

Law smiled softly at her, struck that she was doing all this for him. "Once you're out of here, you can take it off and get into something more comfortable."copyright protection49PENANAoRERkmMDlk

She looked away, laughing under her breath. Slowly, though, the grin slipped from her face and she glanced back up at him. "I'm scared…"copyright protection49PENANAVQzlT9xBe3

"I know." Law's hands reached out to take hers, rubbing them gently to try calming her. "I'm not going to let anything happen. You know that, right?"copyright protection49PENANAzNC5SrQ1go

"Yeah…" She admitted, knowing Law believed that wholeheartedly.copyright protection49PENANAGEfkwAHid2

"Just follow what I said, everything will be fine." He said. "I know the number to the phone you have, so I will call you as soon as it's safe."copyright protection49PENANAD9ScuMm1nA

Summer nodded, staring up at him, trying to glean reassurance from how calm he appeared to be. They shared a silent moment, faces naturally gravitating closer for a kiss. Unfortunately before anything could happen, the now-blonde Alvida reappeared in the room and broke the moment.copyright protection49PENANA5WnH2f9Tgq

"Alright, let's get a move on." She wandered over to the window facing the parking lot and peered through a slit in the blinds, oblivious to the fact that she'd just interrupted the couple. "My car's the black Mercedes up front."copyright protection49PENANAhX4wiA6ZTj

She rounded on Summer, who had walked closer to take a look, pointing an accusatory finger at her. "Don't. Scratch. It."copyright protection49PENANA2wsVJXH5Z5

"I won't." She promised with a nervous gulp, fingers twitching over the unfamiliar keys in her hand. Alvida gave her the bag of stuff she'd carried in as well as the sunglasses she'd been wearing earlier. Summer put on the sunglasses to hide more of her face, just in case, and grabbed hold of the bag. Taking a breath to steady herself, she recalled that she was supposed to appear confident.copyright protection49PENANAG414M4kVXB

Don't be Summer. Be Alvida. Be confident. Be strong.copyright protection49PENANAleyqLQ1RQV

"Be safe." Law chimed in softly, his usual bid of farewell. At this point, it almost felt like a secret the both of them shared, the sentiment to be safe while away from each other, and it helped immensely to hear it from him again. Summer gave him a soft smile before squaring her shoulders and grabbing the handle to the door.copyright protection49PENANAbSsENbBvhA

Law and Alvida watched Summer through the slits in the blinds as she sauntered her way towards the parking lot. He felt tense, watching with bated breath as she confidently took step after step. For fearing danger, she was doing remarkably well. Law felt a spike of pride, as well as a shot of relief. Hopefully this would work.copyright protection49PENANAAXFC1sGlnE

As naturally as if Alvida herself was the one doing it, Summer made her way to the black Mercedes and climbed inside like she'd done it a thousand times before. The bag was thrown into the passenger seat and she started the engine, eventually backing out of the parking lot and driving away out of sight.copyright protection49PENANAWJTvaEmcwd

"Part one complete." Alvida said without much concern, stepping away from the window and sitting on the couch to wait. They'd agreed that she would leave ten minutes after Summer did, just to stave off some suspicion.copyright protection49PENANA7I5AmTLYp3

Law paced the living room, unable to help the worry deep in his gut that someone had still caught on to the ruse and Summer was being followed. All he could do was hope the plan had worked, and trust his intuition. It would be the only thing helping him the rest of the way now.copyright protection49PENANAzZ0fC2Hjo5

Enough time passed before Alvida got back up, tucking the phone she'd been scrolling through into her pocket. She grabbed Summer's keys from the table and sent him a glance. "Alright, I'm going."copyright protection49PENANAXlOQQZudb1

Law followed her to the door, opening it for her kindly. She swished the blonde wig over her shoulder in a dismissive gesture as she passed him, but he grabbed her wrist and pulled her back towards him. He made sure they were out in the open should there be any unseen watchers around.copyright protection49PENANAqiJwS6qE4P

Trying to seal the deal, his hands held her head and he leaned in close, appearing at a distance to be kissing her. She played along, but glared up at him venomously.copyright protection49PENANAHEPITrLAK9

"Ditch the car in some junk lot, like we discussed." He instructed, and she scoffed.copyright protection49PENANAGHvuymt3zF

"Whatever. Contact me again and Joker won't be the only one you have to worry about." She hissed quietly.copyright protection49PENANA40YNwQTXvY

"I won't. You can consider my favor payed off. But if this plan doesn't work…" He trailed off leaning closer to make her even more uncomfortable. "…then likewise."copyright protection49PENANAMdCBWw3H7N

Knowing that extending this facade any longer would only raise suspicion, Law released her and settled his face into a more appropriate expression of worry. Alvida pretended to linger a moment, staring back at him hesitantly, before turning and running off towards Summer's car. Law stood at the door and watched her go, in the way a worried boyfriend would, then went back inside after she'd gotten safely into the car.copyright protection49PENANARNvni3JM7j

Once back in the 'safety' of his apartment, he watched through the slits in the blinds at the parking lot as Alvida pulled out of the spot and drove off. To his satisfaction, just a moment later, another parked car pulled out and followed after, effectively taking the bait.copyright protection49PENANArbjpZQgTNL

Law released a pent up breath and turned back to his bedroom to prepare for his own departure, making sure he had everything he'd need to go into hiding himself. There wouldn't be any decoy for someone to follow in his case. But that was alright. Now that Summer wasn't around to worry about, he wouldn't have to worry about scaring her should a fight come about.copyright protection49PENANASAZvcV1fD9

Things would get a little bloody from here on out. Better if she wasn't witness to it.copyright protection49PENANA2uWyRfCB1J

*Several Days Later*copyright protection49PENANAUsUeSU48OS

"…yes, and again, I'm so sorry about all of this. I know Marcus personally and have worked with him before, so I'm certain he'll be able to do a wonderful job with your wedding photos." Summer said, leaning heavily against the side of the counter in the hotel kitchenette. Her eyes drooped from exhaustion, and she rubbed a hand at her temple while listening to the person's response through the phone.copyright protection49PENANAUGtTbFPdUs

The room was cold, and she tried rubbing at her forearms to generate a bit of heat. Perhaps she should put on a sweater instead, as it did nothing to help. "Of course. I'll go ahead and issue a full refund, as well as ask Marcus for a discount on your portfolio package for all of this trouble…" The blonde pushed away from the counter and wandered a few steps around the small space in front of the mini fridge. Phone in hand, she nodded along with the client's words. "…yes…thank you so much for understanding…mhmm, you as well. Goodbye."copyright protection49PENANAmXXjwPy8qz

The call ended and she let out a long sigh, tucking the device into her sweatpants pocket after a long afternoon of cancelling appointments. That had been the last one. Thankfully, most of her clients had been understanding enough not to be terribly upset at the sudden cancellation when she'd explained that her 'mother' had suffered a terrible accident and was now unable to care for herself, demanding Summer's full attention for the foreseeable future. They'd mostly expressed concern for her fictional mother's health, bidding well wishes and seeming relatively satisfied that Summer had offered to arrange for their appointment to be rescheduled with another photographer's services.copyright protection49PENANARk2MzUGD2u

Wandering back into the small living area of the hotel room, Summer plopped down onto the couch and closed her eyes. It had been a long morning, and the lack of sleep over the past several days was now beginning to catch up with her. All the stress made it difficult to get rest, and she was now paying the price.copyright protection49PENANAwXbZQmEFAz

At the end of the couch was a fleece blanket she'd brought with her and, reaching over to grab it, she pulled it around her cold shoulders to bundle up. It took a few moments before the fabric began to retain her own body heat.copyright protection49PENANA8Wx5f3UObl

Across from her the tv was turned on with the volume nearly muted, the faint sound of conversation between people from the show the only sound audible. She slowly opened her eyes, staring at the program with disinterest. Despite being a nicer hotel room, it seemed there still wasn't much variety when it came to the cable package. Nothing remotely worthwhile was playing at the moment.copyright protection49PENANAn2GpOfkvSn

Hearing distant footsteps grow closer, Shachi emerged from one of the bedrooms down the hall and saw her laying on the couch. "Were you able to call all of your clients?" He questioned. She nodded sleepily. "Good," he said, moving off to the kitchen, "at least that's out of the way."copyright protection49PENANA0pkboby3R8

Summer wasn't nearly as pleased with the fact that she now had no appointments or source of income lined up, but according to Law, this was all necessary.copyright protection49PENANACZ594ldZ9o

In addition, Shachi was staying with her as a sort of bodyguard. When Summer had called the number on the paper Law gave her, she had been surprised to hear Shachi on the other line, and completely unfazed by the realization that they were now on the run. He'd told her to pick a hotel far away, and to only give him the information of it's location, but to do it through a payphone nearby once she arrived. She'd done as instructed, and within a few hours, he'd shown up with food and clothes for her to wear. Since all of her belongings were back at her apartment, and she'd been unable to go back, all she had was what Shachi had provided for her.copyright protection49PENANAkwr0WgfhL8

The only time he wasn't with her at the hotel room was to buy food and to go to work, in which case, Penguin would replace him until Shachi returned. This left Summer with someone else around at all times, giving her a sense of comfort, but also reminding her that life was no longer as safe as it had once been. Her life was so upside down, any sense of normalcy went out the window.copyright protection49PENANAELxYWW9uZ1

"Hey, how are you holding up?" Shachi asked, suddenly appearing closer to her than before. She looked up sharply, not realizing he'd come into the living room from the kitchen. She turned back to stare at the tv again.copyright protection49PENANADB0IL53Z5c

"I'm alright, I guess…" Was her colorless response. Summer no longer really tried to pretend it was comfortable with being in this hotel, unable to leave at all. It felt more like a prison than a safe house. Granted, she was thankful that Shachi and Penguin were both willing to keep an eye on her to make sure she was safe. That didn't mean she had to be happy about it all the time.copyright protection49PENANAnpJPqG5GXR

Shachi pursed his lips and looked off to the side for a moment before his gaze returned to her. "Listen, I know none of this makes a whole lot of sense right now, and you might be-"copyright protection49PENANAOBDmAAiK5i

"You don't have to try explaining. Really, I understand that Law just wants to keep me safe…" Summer interrupted with a small pang of guilt. He was only trying to help ease her mind, after all. "I just…it's still going to take some time to adjust is all."copyright protection49PENANALITLqFRuEW

"Right. Well…" Shachi paused, tugging unsurely on his whale-themed baseball cap, "if you ever need to talk about anything, I'm always here."copyright protection49PENANAG2mqSM6Xs4

"I know. And thank you." She said, forcing a small smile.copyright protection49PENANAPhGsEg2X18

Feeling the end of the conversation, he nodded awkwardly and moved off towards the bathroom, leaving her alone in the living room for the time being. She retreated back to her thoughts after hearing the door shut behind him.copyright protection49PENANAfMQ9yhOqLt

Not for the first time since stepping foot into this hotel room, she wished her trusty companion cat was with her. She'd asked Hitomi to take care of him in the meantime, saying she was going on a sudden vacation and couldn't bring the little feline with her. Her friend had graciously agreed to look after him, once again reminding her to be safe, whatever she was doing.copyright protection49PENANAmswITovZlY

A pang of hurt flashed through her chest. She missed Max. She missed Hitomi. She missed being able to visit Corazon and everyone else at the Heart Seat.copyright protection49PENANA4bfKEU1GS3

She missed being able to live without worry.copyright protection49PENANAO7QFgoW5PI

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