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Persistent (or Stubborn) To The End *Lupin III*


Graham Cracked

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[[[Alright, for this story, I‘ve been a little bit more than obsessed with Lupin III. For those who haven‘t watched it, I highly recommend it, especially the Red Jacket series. My main favorite character from the series is Inspector Zenigata, so expect quite a bit of writing for him, with also some Lupin appreciation here and there biggrin.png I‘m a little bit rusty with sick!fics, so please don‘t mind this first chapter being a bit on the short side, I need to get back in the swing of things. And as per usual for me, really no sneezes just yet in this chapter, I want to have a proper build up into a hopefully ongoing story ^^; Now, typically, the episodes end with the grand heist, but I‘m putting mine here at the beginning for the plot. This one should probably be quite a few chapters long.]]]

They were hitting a little close to home, Lupin and his gang. At least, that’s how Zenigata felt, as he scanned the latest crime scene. A museum in Japan had an exhibit of several ancient artifacts that had only recently been discovered, so on the black market, they would be worth a fortune. And they had gotten away with all of them, leaving nothing but empty display cases in their wake. As well as a note that brought the inspector here in the first place, one that he was reading over for the hundredth time for any clues as to where they would hit next.

Thanks a lot for the swords and jewels. We promise to take extra special care of them, don’t worry. Pops should be able to find us, but as for catching us, that’s a no-go! He’ll catch something, though, that’s for sure~

Yours truly,

- Lupin III

“Inspector,” an ICPO officer piped up, taking him from his heated thoughts. “We did a full perimeter check, no sign of any of them, sir…”

“Well, keep looking, dammit! They couldn’t have gotten far!” The obviously frustrated Zenigata responded, tucking the paper into his jacket pocket. The curator had probably already read it and, by now, was highly doubtful of the Inspector’s capabilities, however lacking they were in the past. This time would be it, he thought. He was going to catch him for sure. Even the note said it…well, something along the lines of that.

“Nobody stops looking until the night is over, understand?!” He shouted to the rest of his team, starting to make his way for the main entrance. “I want him in handcuffs by tomorrow morning!”

As he stepped out, his foot met with a thin wire that seemed to have just been planted there recently. He stopped instinctively upon hearing a light snap of twine beneath him, when he was met face to face with a horn-looking device, honking automatically and spraying some sort of blue mist into his face. Bewildered for a moment, Zenigata backed away, before shouting angrily once again.

“Dammit, Lupin!! I think he just drugged me…poisoned me even!” He gasped, bringing a hand to his throat and pulling down the device with his other hand. As he did, another note seemed to slide down from what it was attached to. He picked it up and read it to himself.

PS. Knowing you, Pops, you more than likely tried to run out first and hunt me down. Now you think I may have just drugged or poisoned you, right? Well, you always were one to jump to conclusions too soon. This was just to make sure you’d be too preoccupied to chase us down. You’ll be fine…in a few days, maybe. By then, we’ll already be gone~

Better luck next time!

- Lupin III

He growled low, crumbled the note and slammed the device to the ground, stomping on it repeatedly.

“Crap, crap, crap!! I’m always one step behind that darn thief!” He then turned to shout back to his officers. “He was just here! Hurry, we can’t let him get away now!!”

“But sir…” an officer started to ask as he was heading out, stopping next to him and looking down. “…what exactly is this thing now?”

“I’m not sure, but if you see me dozing off, wake me up immediately, understand?” He responded, making his way to the passenger side of the police cruiser he came in. “He’s trying to keep me off his tail, but this time, it’s personal! I’ll make him regret ever setting foot in that museum!”

The officer watched him for a confused moment, wondering why he had been so passionate about a simple museum. However, not questioning it, he got into the driver’s seat and sped off, the rest of the officers following after.

What they hadn’t noticed as they drove away were two silhouettes in a tall tree, shrouded in the near complete darkness by the bent branches and leaves. They watched as the road cleared up of police, one of them snickering to himself, the other looking to the crushed horn on the ground.

“It was pretty risky of you setting that up while they were still in there, Lupin.” The latter figure started, holding his hat secure as he began to climb down the tree. “How in the hell did you know Pops was gonna be the first one out?”

“I think I’ve been in this business long enough to know my pursuers front and back, Zenigata especially.” Lupin responded with a smirk, merely jumping down from his branch and landing silently behind the tree, still out of sight from the remaining security by the building. He had brought down a few small crates and velvet boxes with him, containing the spoils of their endeavor.

“He seemed pretty upset. This place probably has some significance for him or something…”

“Well, Jigen, we won’t have to worry about him now, won’t we?” He chuckled, looking far into the night sky and spotting distant lights of a slowly approaching helicopter. “By this time tomorrow, he’ll be far too tired to even think about coming after us.”

“I dunno, the old man sure is stubborn sometimes. Especially when it comes to getting cuffs around your wrists.” Jigen said, taking a crate from Lupin’s struggling grasp as they trudged through thick bushes and pure darkness. “I’m not sure giving him a quick bug like that is even gonna work.”

“Every time you doubt my methods, they work out twice as well, so keep doubting away, my good friend!” Lupin responded with a smile, feeling overly confident from the heist to even hear him out completely. Jigen merely shrugged, looking back down to the boxes under the brim of his hat.

“So, what are we gonna do with these anyway?”

“Goemon knows of quite a few temples and palaces that would love to make these goods their own…for a price, of course~”

“Hopefully, this won’t end up bad on our ends, like that damn mask you stole…” Jigen muttered, sending a chill up Lupin’s spine.

“Don’t remind me about that mask…I had to deal with it twice, you know. And you didn’t see what I saw!” He then returned to a more relaxed state. “Nah, I’m pretty sure we’re safe from any ‘curses’ from this one, otherwise, Goemon would have certainly told us not to take any of it.”

“Even if he did say that, it wouldn’t have stopped you.”

“Aww, you’ve come to know me so well~” Lupin smirked as they both reached an open area of land, free from trees. They looked up to see the helicopter hovering up just above their heads, a voluptuous brunette piloting it. Lupin’s smile grew wider at the sight of her, and he immediately ran for the rope ladder that was lowered for them.

“Alright, Fujiko, you found us!” He exclaimed happily upon crawling into the helicopter, boxes under his arm.

“Did you have any doubt, Lupin~?” She asked coyly, not taking her eyes from the controls and allowing Jigen to climb in as well before taking off.

“Of course not, I’m just always glad to see that beautiful face coming to our rescue. And boy, did we need it. Pops nearly saw us! It was only by sheer great timing that he didn’t even realize we were there the whole time.”

“Well, I’m glad you boys got out of it in time.” Fujiko smiled, looking back to them over her shoulder as they flew higher into the sky. “Goemon’s waiting for us back at the checkpoint, he already has an interested buyer waiting.”

“Alright, didn’t even have to keep us waiting!” Jigen said, readying a cigarette in his mouth to relax.

As they continued toward their destination, Lupin began sorting through the loot they collected. There were several necklaces studded with flawless rubies and diamonds (one of which he promised Fujiko under a certain arrangement), some particularly delicate pottery, and a couple of katanas that could possibly fair up against Goemon’s Zantetsuken, if wielded by the right person. However, as luck would have it, Lupin’s tampering would not fair him as well as he had hoped. Whether by curse or coincidence, Zenigata was not about to be the only one ‘too tired’ for a pursuit.

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Gweeeeeee~! Your characterization is ON POINT~!

And I love Lupin III, so needless to say I am very excited to see where this goes~

Kudos to taking the time to set it up properly, and not rushing <3

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Yes! Another Lupin fic! And like BlackScatter, I am very excited to see where this fic takes us. It looks VERY promising! I love how you've written the characters and it reads very much like an episode, so yay! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading the next installment.

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[[[i'm glad you both like it so much so far! DaylightStarr, it was actually your story that inspired both my return and this fic, so it's awesome that I have you as a fellow Lupin fan for this ^^ It really does help to write when I know I have fans of the series reading. Also, I haven't written onomatopoeias for sneezes in a while, I'm just trying to match up how they usually sound in the anime >///<]]]

Quite obviously, Zenigata’s searching ended in failure, as the sun rose in the Japanese sky. But that didn’t mean he was anywhere close to giving up. Even as he was without sleep, running on empty with minimal meals and, worse for him, starting to feel like complete--

“Crap…” He grumbled low, rubbing the side of his head as he leaned against the police cruiser. “What the hell did you do to me, Lupin…”

It had taken only a short while for the affects of the spray to work in his body, his exhaustion excelling it throughout. It merely started off as a rough throat and mild headache, but the longer he searched (to no avail), the worse he began to feel. Eventually, the officer driving insisted he take the day off to rest, reassuring him that they would be searching for Lupin in his absence. But, in Zenigata style, he wasn’t about to give up on finding and bringing him in, and his body wasn’t going to stop his mind.

“Well, if you obviously think something like this is gonna keep me from hunting you down, you got another thing coming…”

He began to reluctantly make his way to the small motel room he had rented for his stay during the case. Once he got inside, he sat at the bed, reaching over to the phone at his end table and dialing for the department.

“Sheriff’s department, how may I help you?” the voice on the other line responded.

“Yes, this is Inspector Zenigata of Interpol, I was wondering if there was anything on the Lupin the Third investigation…”

“Lupin…Lupin…nope, nothing filed under that name recently, unless you want to talk about the stack of cold cases we have.”

“What?!” Zenigata growled, standing up. “Last night, he swiped an exhibition’s worth of valuable treasures! Surely you have to have something telling you that!”

“Inspector, I’m told of almost a dozen crimes a week, but Lupin is a definite red flag. If there was anything he’s done, I would know.”

“That’s impossible, the entire squad was there with me last night! Wait a minute…” He suddenly stood up in a fueled rage. “LUPIN!! Is that you?!”

“What?!”

“Dammit, I know it’s you! Don’t you even think about moving, I-ihhh…I’m oniihhh-” He quickly pulled the phone away from his face, burying his face into the crook of his elbow. “Heeh-TshIUU!! Hnn…Ihh-KchIEWW!!!” He grumbled and sniffled groggily, bringing the phone back to his ear. “I’b on by way…”

“Inspector, you sound absolutely miserable. I assure you, I am Sheriff Masao. I don’t know how I can prove it over the phone to you, but here’s what I can do. You’ll be the first person I call if any word on Lupin comes in, alright? As for now, I advise you get some rest.”

“Hhnn…” He sat back onto the bed, rubbing beneath his nose. “I haven’t godden buch sleep today…bud I can’t, not while Lupid is still oud there!” He stood back up once again, swaying briefly in dizziness. “I…I’ll beliebe you, Sheriff, bud I’b nod godda stop looking!” He hung up before the Sheriff could respond, grumbling and holding the side of his head. “Eheheheh…you’re gedding desperate, Lupid, a head cold ain’d keeping me from arresding you!”

Zenigata hurried quickly out of the room and back for his cruiser, stopping only to hastily get a kerchief from his pocket and hold it to his face, his brow quivering.

“Hiigeehh…Ihhh-KshUU!! Hiii-KshhUU!! Hiiih-…Ihhh--…” He paused, his face lingering in an awkward expression as the last sneeze failed to come. He growled, pocketing the cloth and glancing over to a few people who had been watching. With a deep blush, he silently got into the car and started it, pulling out quickly.

In a private house hidden well in the middle of nowhere, Lupin sighed deeply, rubbing his eyes and turning off a radio-looking device. He pulled away a microphone from his ear and walked for the living room, where his three accomplices were splitting up a few stacks of bills.

“Fifty-k’s not really what I was expecting from that one sword…” the bearded Jigen grumbled, pulling his cut from the table. “Hopefully, the other buyers will be a bit more generous.” He then spotted Lupin walking in, looking agitated as he sat next to him. “Hey, what’s the news on old Pops?”

“Well, I tried to hold him off, but you know how he gets with no sleep. He almost saw through my act, and now he’s back on the road.” He sighed, leaning back into the couch. “Not even my little gift for him changed his mind…”

“Can’t say I didn’t warn ya, Lupin…” Jigen replied, crossing his arms and looking over to Goemon, who remained silently sitting cross-legged on the ground. “So, when are we meeting the next buyer?”

“In a few hours…” Goemon responded, opening his eyes up to him. “The checkpoint is a couple of miles north from here.”

“Well, at least we’re getting them all sold pretty quickly. Pops won’t be able to track them down, either.” Jigen said, lighting a cigarette in his mouth.

“But what if he finds us while we’re trying to sell them?” Fujiko asked, turning away from the window she was looking through.

“Leave it up to him,” Jigen smirked, pointing over his shoulder to Lupin, who briefly went cross-eyed and began hitching softly. “He always finds a way out, no matter what--”

“Heeh-KchIUU!!” Lupin sneezed loudly, shuddering a bit. He brushed it off quickly with a smirk. “Sure, I’ll be able to get us out of anythiiihhh-- Hiii-KchIEW!!

“Are you sure about that?” Jigen asked. “You’re not looking too good yourself…”

“I’m fine, it just smells too much of Fujiko’s perfume in here~” He smirked lightly in her direction before reaching over to gather his share. “Besides, Pops is gonna be off his game for sure, he sounded miserable over the phone. Won’t be hard to slip away from him.”

“Someone with the determination of Zenigata wouldn’t even consider putting themselves at risk…” Goemon said, looking over with suspicion. “It’s like cornering a wild animal. He could be more dangerous than you think.”

“As if he’s not already an animal enough as it is.” Jigen said with a chuckle, when Lupin suddenly began hitching once again, holding a hand in front of his face.

“Heeh-ihhh--IshIWW!! KchUU!!” He sniffled, rubbing at his reddening nose. He looked back up to the others, who were all looking to him. “What?”

“Looks like you’re in no shape to go out either, Lupin…” Jigen said, leaning in a bit to get a better look at his face.

“I told you before, Jigen, I’m fine!”

“You probably picked up whatever bug you gave Zenigata…” Fujiko said, going over and sitting down next to him, placing a soft hand onto his forehead. “You’re starting to feel warm.”

“Dammit, Fujiko, I may have clumsy moments, but I was careful enough not to-- Ihhh-KchUU!!!” Lupin sneezed shakily into his wrist, turning away as a blush started to fill his cheeks.

“Look, Goemon and I can handle the exchange. You can’t be wiping yourself out when your sick.” Jigen said, standing up and tucking his hands into his pockets.

“I. Am. Not. Sick!! I’m fit as a fiddle, right as rain!”

“Lupin…” Fujiko said, putting on a face of concern and turning his face gently by his cheek. “You’re going to exhaust yourself if you keep this up…just stay here, and let me take care of you, alright?”

Lupin blushed deeper, a wild smile passing his lips. He could never say no to Fujiko, especially when she asked him something in that voice.

“Heh, alright, if you insist…Oh~ I am feeling cold, warm me, Fujiko~…” he sighed dreamily, allowing his head to fall onto her shoulder as she chuckled and wrapped an arm around him.

“That’s better…stay here with your nurse, they can take care of the antiques.”

Jigen looked over to Goemon as he stood up, gesturing to the door to let them be left alone. As they walked out, they heard Lupin continue to gush over the seductress, Jigen rolling his eyes under his hat as he shut the door.

“This isn’t good, Fujiko’s got that fevered bastard wrapped around her finger once again.”

“It is better for him that he doesn’t come along.”

“It’s just all bad timing, and now…” Jigen looked back to the door, grumbling a bit. “She’s probably gonna end up taking advantage of him in this state. Damn, we could’ve really used his help, too.”

“Don’t fret, Jigen, with my sword and your gun, we can take care of ourselves.” Goemon said, starting for their car.

“Hnn…alright, I believe you, Goemon, I just don’t trust her alone with him too much…”

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“Dammit, Fujiko, I may have clumsy moments, but I was careful enough not to-- Ihhh-KchUU!!!” Lupin sneezed shakily into his wrist, turning away as a blush started to fill his cheeks.

Hehehe~! Awwww, Lupin blushing is like, the cutest thing <3. I love it when men get all grumpy and defensive~~ It's always fun to see Lupin down for the count, since he's usually so well-put together and unstoppable~

“It’s just all bad timing, and now…” Jigen looked back to the door, grumbling a bit. “She’s probably gonna end up taking advantage of him in this state...

>w>~~ tehehehe~~ I do look forward to what's to come~

Very good chapter, and can't wait for more! <3 Thanks so much for sharing!

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