MHC09

Part the Ninth—

“Just like nicotine, heroin, morphine / You’re all I need”

—“Never Be the Same,” Camila Cabello

It was rather silly really.  Juliana got up for the morning, dressed like the perfect Nazi fiancée, put on her engagement ring from Obergruppenfuhrer Smith, and went down to breakfast.  After he left for Nazi Headquarters and she sent Thomas off to school, she went back upstairs and changed into a Japanese dress, applied her Japanese lipstick, put up her hair in a Japanese style, slipped off her Western ring while leaving the ring from Takeshi on her finger, and slid out the door while wearing her coat.  She barely made it on time to the Imperial Embassy, but the assistant who had first introduced her to the building, nodded to her.

She bowed to him.  “Sensei,” she greeted.  “I need to see the junior ambassador.  I know that he is a man of great importance, but it concerns our mutual friend.”

The assistant looked at her hand for a moment as she rose.  “Your mutual friend is due to arrive within the next three hours, Misaki-san.  I trust that you might speak to him then.”

Visibly shocked, she nonetheless bowed and was sent to a room where she was reviewing old recordings of Resistance members who had been captured by the Embassy before the Nazis could get them.  Most of them were the white man, so she could understand the cadence of their thoughts although their motives were often oblique.  She took meticulous notes and waited in anticipation for Takeshi to arrive.

When a knock finally sounded on the door, she shut off the film and opened it to find a young Japanese woman.

“Misaki-san,” she greeted with a bow.  “The junior ambassador requests your presence.”

“Of course,” she responded.  “One moment.”

She moved back into the room and returned the film to its canister and took up her notes before leaving.  Juliana and the young woman did not speak as they took the elevator up to the top floor.  She was left with the personal assistant to the junior ambassador and was shown in almost immediately.

Juliana took in the large office and her eyes almost immediately fell on Takeshi.  Trying to hold in a smile, she looked over to see the junior ambassador behind his desk.  Bowing low, she greeted, “Excellency, Chief Inspector, it is a great honor.”

“Misaki-san,” the junior ambassador greeted.  “I was informed you wished to speak to me about our mutual friend.”

Her eyes flitted to Takeshi and a smile took over her face despite herself before it faltered again.  “My guardian,” she admitted, “Obergruppenfuhrer Smith, has forced me to become engaged to him.  I have an engagement ring at home.  He is insisting on marrying as soon as possible.  He will not listen to my protests or my pleas for delay, excellency, Chief Inspector.—He—”  She swallowed “Takeshi-san,” she whispered, “he said it was a vitamin.  They give me vitamins every morning and I thought the new pill was just another one.  He said he would give me—others—that he will make me happy, but I know this to be a lie.”

Takeshi glanced at the junior ambassador before standing and going to her.  He did not touch her, he would never do that, not in company, but his presence gave her a sense of calm. 

“You will not take any more vitamins,” he made her promise.  “Misa-chan, none.”  Turning to the junior ambassador, he stated, “I do not wish to delay.  I will marry Miss Crain today.”

Then he did what she thought was impossible.  He reached forward and his thumb brushed against hers for the briefest of moments before it withdrew again.  Juliana couldn’t even speak she was so shocked.

The junior ambassador stood.  “What crime has been committed?” he asked carefully in his heavy Japanese accent.

“He killed my child,” Takeshi stated quietly.  “It would have been born with honor, junior ambassador.  I do not know if this—vitamin pill,” he spat, “has injured Misaki-san’s womb.”

“Our doctors will determine,” the junior ambassador promised.  “Do you wish to proceed before or after an examination, Chief Inspector?”  His black eyes belied his seriousness and, if Juliana didn’t quite understand the nuances of Japanese culture, she would have been insulted.

“Now, excellency,” he answered with a small bow. 

There was a small temple in the embassy.  Juliana had never seen a Japanese wedding ceremony.  She was guided through the movements and found it strange that she never touched Takeshi until, once the ceremony was completed, he took out a jewelry box containing two wedding bands and presented it to her with a bow. 

Smiling, she took the larger one and, clearly to his surprise, slipped it onto his left ring finger.  Then, after a moment of hesitation, he repeated the action on her.  The ring was a little loose, but she knew she wouldn’t lose it.  It was precious to her because he had given it to her, he had wanted to follow this one small bit of her culture. 

There were private rooms with bedrolls in the Embassy for visiting dignitaries.  Takeshi was leaving on an evening flight, but they had a few hours with each other. 

In silence he took down her hair and kissed down her shoulder blades when she removed her dress.  He unhooked her bra and held her breasts in the palms of his hands as she reached back and kissed his lips.  For once, it didn’t matter that they were lost in their passion, a movement of limbs and hushed Japanese oaths.  A child that might come of this union would be born with honor and carry his father’s name with dignity and the history of hundreds of years. 

“A year and a half,” she whispered just as she was falling asleep, trying to rouse herself, “a year and a half before we can go to Japan.”

“You will love Nagasaki,” he promised her, tracing the lines of her face.  “We will live two hours outside of it in a fishing village.  It is a simple life, but you will appreciate it.”

“You won’t miss the city?” she asked.

“No,” he told her as he drew her closer.  “Will you?”

Burrowing her face into his shoulder, she admitted, “I don’t know.  I’ve only known San Francisco and New York.  Well, there’s Long Island.  I don’t suppose that’s a city.—How is San Francisco?  Have there been more attacks?”

Takeshi hesitated.  “Since the death of your sister, they have become less targeted,” he admitted.  “We have since learned that she was the leader of the cell in San Francisco.”  He paused while she shifted uncomfortably in his arms.  “Still, two nieces have been targeted.  One died immediately when she was shot in the street.  She was the woman of a white man.  A Japanese niece survived the attack against her.”

Juliana sighed.  “Why do they hate us?  We are the wives of war.  We don’t actively hurt anyone.”

“No,” he agreed, running a hand through her hair.  “No, none of you hurt anyone.”  Takeshi leaned down and, when she looked up, he kissed her gently.

Being unable to part from him, Juliana escorted Takeshi back to the airport.  They were standing close to each other, chatting in Japanese.  When they were about to part, Juliana realized, “What’s my name?”

“Misaki-san?”

“Am I Alexa Smith?  Alexa Kido?  Misaki Kido? Ju—”  She paused when he inclined his head slightly, showing that he should be silent. 

“I would like it,” he told her simply before leaning close to her, “if you were Juliana Kido.”  His voice was a breath against her ear, stirring her hair, and when he pulled away she was smiling, their eyes meeting.  “It is how I have privately thought of you since I placed that bracelet around your wrist,” he murmured in Japanese, “although I never would have vocalized such a thought.”

Scita,” she said in farewell as his flight was called.

Scita,” he agreed before he bowed to her formally before turning and leaving her.

Juliana stood in a crowd of Aryan men and women, her gaze set in the distance as he moved away from her, knowing her heart was leaving with him.

John had dreamed of Alexa again.  He dreamt that she had come into his room and roused him with her lips around his hardening cock.  John had gasped as he still slept, imagining Juliana’s beautiful Aryan eyes looking up at him deliciously as her lips were stretched around him before she stood and pulled her thin cotton nightdress over her head and lay down, completely naked, beside him, her beautiful back exposed to him.

Somewhere in his sleeping mind he knew she must have scars from that mysterious bus accident, but her skin was smooth in his dream when he ran his hand over the skin.

“Fuck me,” she begged, and when he moved to prop up her hips to gain entrance to her secret lips, she shook her head.  “No, John.  Not like that.  Fuck me like a whore you don’t want to get pregnant.”

And so he slid into her ass, and it was so warm and so tight, and she screamed and screamed and begged and begged, and John came with a shout, sitting up in his bed and realizing he was sticky with his own mess.

When he finally caught hold of his own breath, he wondered if the little Japanese monkey had fucked her like that, and realized he didn’t care.  The Jap probably did.  They were sick bastards.  Alexa would gladly give John anything he desired because she would wish to please him and all his dark fantasies.  While she was a beautiful Aryan woman, she did not have the horrible Aryan frigidness that so many women possessed in the Greater Nazi Reich.  They were too obsessed with getting pregnant that they wouldn’t try anything that mildly deviated from their ultimate goal.

When she didn’t come home immediately for dinner, he wondered if it was the day she played bridge with the other ladies and it perhaps ran late.  John berated himself for not asking Rose where Alexa had gone once he had left for work.

Then Thomas had finished his homework and John sat down to watch tv with him.  They often did this in the evenings.  Thomas would lie on his stomach and watch the latest episode of something and John would pour over files with a whiskey.

The telephone rang and John looked up.

Thomas glanced over when John got up to answer it.  After the third ring, he picked it up.  “Smith residence.”

Obergruppenfuhrer Smith,” the familiar voice of Erich echoed across the line.  “You left orders that if Miss Alexa Smith demonstrated any peculiar behavior that you should be informed immediately.”

His stomach sank and he glanced into the living room.  “Is she at the Imperial Embassy?”

Not to our knowledge,” Erich told him.  “She is currently at the airport, the international terminal, with Chief Inspector Takeshi Kido of the Japanese Empire.  Our sources confirm that while he has a ticket to San Francisco, she does not.

John had no idea Kido was in the American Reich, let alone in New York.  Taking a deep breath, he instructed, “Would you be so good as to escort my fiancée back to my residence?  Being a former citizen of the Pacific States, she has many acquaintances in the government and I find they often take advantage of her generous nature.  I’m sure the Chief Inspector can discuss the torture of Semites they both knew with some other Aryan woman.”  He hung up the phone angrily.  John took a calming breath and then ran a hand down his face before entering the living room again.

“Who was that, Dad?” Thomas asked innocently.

“Oh,” John replied casually.  “Just Erich from work.  Tying up loose ends.  Alexa should be home soon.”

Of course, John was sure that Thomas was upstairs and in his room by the time the official car pulled up and Alexa was escorted to the door.  Her hair was down in waves, her face free of all cosmetics, which was unusual, and she was wearing one of her Japanese dresses under her coat.  He thanked the Corporal for seeing his fiancée home, and then shut the door behind her.

“What,” he demanded, “were you thinking, seeing that man?”

Alexa blinked at him.  “I’m sorry?”

“After everything that has happened—after he took advantage of you to the point where we had to abort the creature he thrust upon you—Do you realize the seriousness of this?  You had to be smuggled out of the Pacific States because, as his mistress, you were a race traitor and you were being specifically targeted!”

“I had to be smuggled here,” she refuted, “because my sister Trudy gave me some film before she was shot dead by the kempeitai and the Resistance thought that I was the one who shot her for the film before turning it over to Takeshi when, in fact, I tried to smuggle it into the Neutral Zone!”  Alexa breathed in heavily and pressed the heel of her palm against her forehead.  “Don’t tell Takeshi that.”

John pressed his hands together.  “While I think you should have handed in that film into the authorities immediately, I don’t care about your lover’s spats with Takeshi Kido.  All he does is put your life in danger, don’t you see that?  You’re throwing your life away.  You’ve been given a second chance.  You don’t seem to realize that.”

She didn’t even blink.  “Aren’t I polluted to you or something?  I’m a kept woman!  A race traitor!  You know that every time he comes back into this country, he will find me or I will find him.  You can send me into space in one of your rockets and I will still find Takeshi Kido, John Smith.—Don’t even say that you love me, because we both know that’s not true.  I know what love looks like and whatever this is, it’s not love.”

“How can you possibly know what love looks like?” John argued, latching on to the last thing she said. 

“Love,” she answered after a long moment, “is when a Japanese man touches your hand in front of another person who is not family.”

The answer shocked John.  He had never considered that anyone of Japanese origin would consider touching another person in public.  Such an idea was preposterous.

“You are still his mistress,” John stated calmly and rationally.  “As soon as his assignment is over, he will leave North America and you will never see him again.”

She folded her arms and then nodded once.  “If that’s what helps you sleep at night, John.”  Then she went up the stairs.  John just stood staring at the door.  “Thomas, you should be in bed,” he heard her say, and he turned to see his son sitting on the stairs.

“Thomas!” he barked.  “Listen to your mother.”

Looking a little frightened, Thomas got up and scurried ahead of Alexa.  She looked down at him, raising an eyebrow, but continued up the stairs.

Thomas was having trouble focusing.  He knew he should be happy that his father and Alexa were marrying, there had even been an announcement in the New York Times (which had made Alexa silent that morning at breakfast), but they no longer seemed to be a family.

One day when he was snooping in Alexa’s room, he found several pages with Japanese written on them.  When he compared them, it seemed they all began the same way.  He wondered if it was a list of some kind of list or a letter.

His teacher, Mr. Mills, noticed his distraction, and asked him to wait after class.

“You seem disturbed, Thomas,” Mr. Mills began.  He was a man with dark brown eyes but golden hair that Thomas secretly envied.  He was in his sixties so his hair was graying a bit, but he was certainly of Aryan descent.  “Can you not speak to your father?”

“It’s about Alexa,” Thomas admitted, “and father.”

“Who’s Alexa?” Mr. Mills pressed.

“My father’s fiancée,” Thomas told him firmly.  “She’s great.  She defected from the Pacific States and I helped her study for her ACT.  She passed with nearly perfect marks.  Then—then some Japanese man started sending her gifts.”  He looked down at his hands.

“Gifts,” Mr. Mills repeated.  “I take it she is Aryan?”

“Yes,” Thomas assured.  “She has eyes that are so blue they almost hurt.  Still, there is this Japanese man.  Then he came here.  I don’t know what happened, but it made Alexa upset.  She was crying and—” He didn’t want to mention the pregnancy.  “I think he hurt her somehow.  The gifts just keep on coming even though Dad refuses them.  Somehow they got one to her, a ring, from a former employer of hers in the Pacific States.  Then the man came again and my father had to send the police to escort him to his plane or something.”  He shrugged.  “I’m not sure what happened.  I’m just worried.  She’s so concerned about the wedding and I think it’s because of the Japanese.  I think they’re scaring her and she’s too afraid to tell my father.  Whenever I overhear them it sounds so cryptic.  One time Alexa was talking about love and touching hands.  I have no idea what she meant.”

Mr. Mills was solemn for a long moment.  “If your future stepmother defected, it is possible that she is afraid of the Japanese, Thomas.  You should speak to your father about it.  I am certain that he is doing everything he can to protect Miss Alexa, but she may need your help, as well.  As a citizen of the Greater Nazi Reich, you must protect all of its citizens, including Miss Alexa.  Perhaps you are able to see something that your father can’t.”

Thomas nodded once.  “You know, she even had to change her name.  It wasn’t Alexa.  Alexa was the name of her cat in the Pacific States.  She had to come up with a name quickly, so she chose it because it was the first name that came into her head.”

Smiling, Mr. Mills looked at Thomas fondly.  “Well, she must have been fond of her cat.  I imagine she was better company than the Japanese.”

Thomas laughed at the idea.  “I think she will make a beautiful bride.  Of course, she hasn’t gone shopping for a wedding dress yet.  I overheard her tell someone over the telephone that in the Pacific States a bride simply wore her best dress and it seemed strange to buy one specifically for the occasion, but I’m hoping Dad will be able to change her mind.”

Now Mr. Mills laughed.

Thomas stood and then hesitated.  “Can you tell me what something means, Mr. Mills?  It’s just, Alexa has it on her bracelet, and I don’t know what it means.  I don’t want to seem ignorant—”

“Of course, Thomas,” he agreed.  “What is it?”

“Can I draw it?” Thomas asked, going to the board.  He drew a circle and then several rays coming out of it at strange angles.  “Now, the circle and the lines are a deep red and the rest is white.  At first I thought it was the Japanese flag, but it’s obviously different—On the back of the bracelet something is written, but I haven’t gotten a close look at it yet.”

“That’s the symbol of the Imperial Navy,” Mr. Mills whispered in shock.  “Are you quite certain, Thomas?  Only the Japanese can serve in the Imperial Navy.  Alexa, as an Aryan, would not have a family member in that order.  It’s inconceivable that she would wear it.”

Thomas’s stomach sank.  Perhaps that’s what his dad and Alexa meant when they called her a ‘race traitor.’  Perhaps it had something to do with her association with the Imperial Navy.

“Maybe it has to do with where she worked?” he wondered aloud.  “From what I can tell, she was in a position of importance although she was Aryan and that’s unusual there.”

“Is your father aware of his bracelet?” Mr. Mills asked, clearly trying to sound casual.

“She always wears it,” Thomas responded, “since the day she first appeared and was placed under our protection.  Alexa always wears that and the strange lipstick.  I’ve never seen an Aryan woman wear lipstick that dark.”  He turned to Mr. Mills.  “You’re going to call someone about this sun.”

Mr. Mills looked at him.  “I believe I have to, Thomas.”

“Call Dad,” he begged.  “It’s difficult to see.  I only noticed because she fell asleep in a lawn chair and she was holding a book across her stomach and, when I went to take the book, I was finally able to get a good look at it.”

After a long moment, Mr. Mills nodded.  “I’ll call Obergruppenfuhrer Smith.  You have my word, Thomas.  The Japanese man you mentioned might be threatening your future stepmother.  That could be why she wears it.  We must remain vigilant at all times.”

Juliana thought she had arrived home before Thomas, certainly before John.  When she walked into the house, she was startled when John came out of his office and took in her coat and her pink Japanese dress.  Then his eyes drifted down her arms.

“Not only are you not wearing your engagement ring,” he stated, “you seem to be wearing a bracelet that claims that you’re the property of the Imperial Navy.”

Stilling, Juliana looked at him in shock.  “When did you notice?” she asked, not denying it.

He laughed.  “Thomas did and mentioned it to a teacher.  You’re lucky the police didn’t pick you up for being a traitor to the Greater Nazi Reich.”

He turned to go into his study and, after a moment, she took off her coat and followed him in.  John was leaning up against his desk, pinching the bridge of his nose.  “Alexa,” he stated after a long moment, “why do you still believe yourself to be the personal property of the Imperial Navy?  You are no longer the mistress of the Chief Inspector of the Japanese Pacific States division of the kempeitai.”

“No,” she agreed after a long pause.  “I am not his mistress—or his ‘niece’ as we were called.”

He spread his hands to show that he had made his point.

“I’m his wife.”

John stilled.  “You’re his wife?” he asked dangerously.

“Yes,” she agreed, not backing down.  “We were married two weeks ago, the night you had me picked up at the airport.  He flew in for the ceremony.  His first wife died, you see, making our marriage possible.”

The room became so silent, Juliana couldn’t even hear them breathe.  Then, in a sudden fit of rage, John screamed and flung his hand across his desk, throwing half of the contents onto the floor, glass smashing and ink splattering.  “You whore!”

Juliana just stood there, not reacting.  When he said nothing else, though he continued to breathe heavily, she stated calmly, “You knew I never wanted to marry you.  That I love him.  That day in the diner I was talking about my engagement to Takeshi.”

“Joe knew?” he questioned dangerously.

“No,” she lied.  “I never told him who I was talking about.  He may have assumed it was you.  He may have assumed it was some other citizen here in New York.”  She shrugged.  “We were just celebrating.”

Looking around, John laughed.  “Well, your citizenship has reverted.  As Chief Inspector Takeshi Kido is a citizen of the Japanese Empire at large, so are you as his wife.  I trust the Imperial Embassy has issued you the proper papers?  What’s your name now?  Alexa Kido?”

“Not quite,” she told him.  “Takeshi wanted me to use the name I was born with.”

John laughed hysterically.  “And what’s that?  We know Alexa is your cat?  Who are you now, Mrs. Kido?”

Her blue eyes flashed up.  “We both know I am ‘Madam Kido,’ John.  Don’t be culturally insensitive.  Now, would you like me to pack my things and go to the Embassy or do I still have a room under your roof?”

Deflating, he admitted, “I have no idea.  I’ll decide in the morning, Madam Kido.  Goodnight.”

“Goodnight.”  And then she left.

That night she had a dream.  Normally, she would imagine Takeshi’s fingers against the side of his face, a kiss placed on her shoulder.

However, that night was different.  Here there were strong limbs holding her down and a voice she knew and could not identify.

When Juliana woke up, it was as if nothing had happened.

2018/10/03

Published by excentrykemuse

Fanfiction artist and self critic.

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