Serenity Vol. 2 Going Under Part 2

The next afternoon after finishing work Jia pounds on her brother’s bedroom door. The plan was to meet up this morning to go over what she found but she spent the morning in bed cuddling with Cassie and they barely got her to the winery before opening. There was no time to talk. Now that her shift’s over she has all the time in the world.

Opening the door, he looks like he’s still waking up. “Are you asleep? It’s almost dinner time.”

He walks back into the room, finding a chair at his computer desk. He struggles to get into it without tipping it over. “I don’t really focus on time that much. Not a lot to do lately. I can’t find a job, dad won’t let me help at the winery and I can’t leave the area without worrying about dying. Sleep sounds pretty good comparatively.”

Rolling her eyes, Jia leans against the door frame. “Dad would probably let you help if you’d stop pouring full glasses for tastings. We’ll go broke with pourings like that.”

“I tried that and the regulars kept telling me it wasn’t enough.”

“Of course they do, they smell fresh blood. You have to tell them it’s plenty. Standing up to them’s half the job.”

He grumbles as he fails to enter his password for the third time. Holding his hands up, he shakes his head before trying again. “Seems like a lot of stress for a job I’m not being paid for.”

Entering the room, Jia closes the door and sits on the edge of Shin’s bed. Ignoring his comment she says, “So I got some good news last night.”

“Ew, you don’t need to tell me about that. I know you never came home.”

Jia’s face turns bright red. “Not that, that’s none of your business. I asked Cassie to look into Jillian for me and she may have found something.”

His eyes light up. “That’s amazing. I didn’t know you were still looking into it.”

Shrugging, she lays back on the bed. “Didn’t want to get your hopes up. She was questioned in San Francisco last week, something about a bar fight.”

Shin’s shoulders sink in on him and his eyes go dark. “Thought you said it was good news. She’s in the one place I definitely can’t go. Plus, my baby’s apparently getting into bar fights. Guess it shouldn’t be a shocker with me and Jillian for parents but I was hoping he’d start teething first.”

Pulling herself up, she leans over and sets a hand on Shin’s shoulder. “Come on, we know where she is, that’s a start. We just need to track her down now.”

Shaking his head, Shin finally unlocks the computer. “She’s only an hour away, she clearly doesn’t want to be found. No reason she couldn’t swing by, or at least call.”

“That’s not something we can control, but this is your baby too. You should be involved.”

He throws his hands up. “I can’t go there, they’ve got too many people in the bay area and too many of them know me. I’ll be dead about five minutes after I show up.”

“Someone else can go though.”

The room goes quiet. Shin stares her down, hoping she’s going to offer more. She doesn’t. “So are you offering?”

“Maybe. I’m a vigilante so anything I have to do, I have a built in excuse for. I could go track her down, try to convince her to let you be involved. I’m not doing it for free though. It could take some time to track her down and the city’s crazy expensive.”

Pulling out his wallet, Shin starts digging through a stack of credit cards. He tosses one to her. “This has over twenty grand free on it. Use it however you need. Go crazy if you want, I don’t care.”

Looking the black card over, Jia gives her brother a look of disapproval. “How are you ever going to pay that back? You don’t have a job.”

“The same way I’m paying all my other cards. With the money I still have stashed away. Once I run out I won’t be able to pay them anymore and they’ll all get shut down. I’m already past the point where that’s inevitable. Use it how you need to. Long term I’m screwed regardless.” He looks his sister up and down. “You sure you’re going to be okay? I know you’re just starting with that girl and I don’t want to mess your thing up.”

Thinking about Cassie puts a smile on Jia’s face. “We talked, it’s all good. She’s going to come visit if it takes too long. I’m going to track this girl down for you. Please don’t put me in a position where I have to do this again though.”

Promising to be more careful in the future, Shin gives his sister a hug. She slips the credit card in her pocket and leaves his room.


Packing a duffel bag with clothes and other essentials Jia hears a knock at her door. She turns to find her dad standing there with a slightly worried look on his face. “Hey kiddo, got a few minutes to talk?” She waves her hand to invite him in and he takes a seat on the bed. “So your brother said something about you taking a trip to San Francisco.”

“I was going to tell you before I left. Shin can cover my shifts. I know he’s not great at it but he’s not going to get better if you don’t let him try.”

“What’s your brother gotten himself into this time?”

There’s a long silence. Jia’s given her word that she won’t rat Shin out. “I don’t know what you mean dad. Carly moved to town and I want to catch up with her. I’ll be staying at her place for a few weeks.” She keeps her eyes on the bag as she stuffs more into it.

“I’m not stupid Jia. Shin doesn’t sit around in one place for months without a reason.”

She glances up at him, her eyes narrowed. “I don’t know what to tell you then, you should probably ask him.”

Her dad sighs and shakes his head. “I really didn’t come in here to argue. I know we’ve been doing that a lot lately. The whole vigilante thing’s hard for me. I didn’t want that life for your mom and I really don’t want it for you. You’re an adult though and I need to let you make your own choices. I’m going to try and be better. So whatever you’re doing in the city, that’s your business. Be safe though.”

Sighing, Jia’s disarmed by the sudden display of kindness. Walking across the room, Jia sits next to her dad and wraps an arm around him. “I’ll try really hard to be safe. I promise. If you want to know more about Shin, push him. It’s not my place to tell you but he probably should tell at least part of it. Try not to lose it when you find out though. It’s going to be okay.”

They hug and for the first time since she signed up under the Vigilantes Making Us Safe Act, Jia feels they’re going to be alright.

Part 1

Part 3


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