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In the line of Duty (UndertheWeather & Gatichan)

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Gatichan


In the Line of Duty

 

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Name: Oda Masayuki

Age: 33

Occupation: Detective Chief Inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

Description: Masayuki graduated from a prestigious university with a first in politics, and later attended a college for police training. He displayed great aptitude in field exercises, and having completed two years of service as a uniformed officer, he went on a two-year probationary period to join the Firearms Unit. However, after serving in the Firearms Unit for three years, he took a written test under the recommendation of his then-Chief Inspector, and successfully joined the CID, where he quickly moved up the rank.


 

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Name: Akiyama Ryuu

Age: 22

Occupation: Rookie to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)

Description: Ryuu just graduated from the police academy and, due to his excellent notes, was immediately accepted into the CID. He's pretty impulsive and inquisitive, learns fast, but has a big mouth, which at times causes him grief. As his colleagues will soon find out, Ryuu is rather careless when it comes to doing paper work and he's an awful shooter, yet he more than makes up for this because he learns quickly, drives fast, but carefully and is a very fast runner. He's also the police officer who gets along best with the department police dog, Argus, because he has a soft spot for animals.

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UndertheWeather

The body had been moved away, and the house sealed off from the curious eyes of the neighbours. Standing tall in the hallway, looking down at the outline of the body, Masayuki rubbed his chin thoughtfully. To be honest, he was not exactly thinking hard; he was more concerned with staying awake. He had not slept well the night before. Things had happened. They had kept him up wide awake. A sigh escaped his slightly parted lips. Perhaps a cup of coffee would do him good. Better still, a caffeine shot right into his blood stream.

 

Akiyama!” he boomed from the hallway. He was not going to search the entire house, despite it being small, for the little rat. Abe Satoshi, his previous partner was promoted and moved to another city, and his replacement was a young sergeant, whom Masayuki regarded as green and still in his diapers. Not that Abe Satoshi was any better, but he was older than this youngster. Ryuu might as well be his son – that is if he impregnated a girl when he was 11. Now that he thought about it, Ryuu could be his son from the first girl that he slept with. It coincided quite well; he was 11 at that time, and her family name was Aki-something-something. The thought amused him.

 

Where’s that little kid, he thought to himself.

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Gatichan

“Here- aw, come here,” Ryuu said patiently spoke to the frightened green eyes, holding his hand out to the small ginger kitten he had found cowering underneath the stairs that had led down into the cellar of the house where he and his first ever partner, the tough, no-nonsense Chief-Inspector of the CID, had been summoned. Ryuu wasn’t about to lay his hand in the fire, but e was pretty sure that in Oda’s eyes, he was little more than a three-year-old who’d learned to walk and eat much later than he ought to have. And really, while his partner was somewhere upstairs and had already got a look at the body, Ryuu was crouched in the dark, trying to coax the half-starved kitten of the murder victim’s to come to him. And really, after Ryuu had called it quietly again, the poor bedraggled soul tore into his open arms with a weak “meow” and lay there against Ryuu’s chest, shivering and miserable. “That’s a good kitty. I’ll look after you, don’t you worry,” he promised as he offered the kitten some more of his tuna sandwich. He thought he could hear his name being called out, so Ryuu hurried up the stairs- he wouldn’t want Oviraptor Oda to pull a muscle screaming for him to hurry up.

 

Once he was back on the ground floor, Ryuu glanced down at the kitten carefully. The light was much better there and as he inspected the kitten’s front left paw, he smiled triumphantly. Yes, so he hadn’t been mistaken: there was dried blood on the animal’s paw. It could have been the blood of its owner, but the chances were that it was also the blood of the murderer, who had tried to kick the kitten away. Either way, it was worth looking into and holding the kitten in his arms as he hurried up the stairs towards his partner, Ryuu sincerely hoped that his partner would give him a chance to explain himself before he just blew up again at him. Really, he had it tough: from all the graduates at the academy, he had had to go and land up with the Oviraptor, a dinosaur in the force, when he could have landed up with a smiling, donut-eating chap like his best friend Toshi. Just great, he sighed as he stepped into the room to find his partner tapping his foot impatiently.

@UndertheWeather

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What took you so long, Akiyama?” questioned Masayuki in an irritated tone. To be fair, two minutes had not passed since his rumble; he was just an impatient and short-tempered old man, who was not growing any younger, but crankier with every second. His competency was the only thing that had landed him in this job as a DCI; if personality was ever considered, even in the slightest, he would be the first to be out of the list. Often, he blamed his ancestors. Others whispered of his age.

 

Masayuki looked at the kitten in Ryuu’s arms, and another line formed across his already-furrowed forehead. “Tell me that you have not been spending the last half an hour coaxing that little shit into cuddling with you,” he hissed. He could not believe this. What on Earth was the Superintendent thinking by assigning this rookie as his new partner?

 

Good lord,” he murmured, pinching the bridge of his nose.

 

Whatever should he do with a youngster like Ryuu? He adjusted his spectacles, and looking at the younger male through the clear glass of the dark-framed spectacles, he said, “Leave the cat to the animal specialist. We’re going into town.” He turned to leave, but stopped at the door and growled, “And hurry. You take forever to do everything.

 

Masayuki searched his pockets, and fished out his car keys. Well, it was not his car per se, it was the car provided for him, and so it was technically the government’s car. He did not care anyhow. He did wish though that he drove his car during working hours; his car was better in every way possible, at least in his egoistical opinion. But no, he was not going to take his car to places like the one they were at – a secluded house in the corner of the town. The roads leading up to the house were occasionally bumpy, and muddy, and he was not going to drive his white Mercedes-Benz E 220 on them. Plus, he had not known Ryuu too well to invite him into his precious car. Maybe later – that is, if this youngster could keep up with this job.

 

He let himself into the car, and sat at the driver’s seat, waiting for Ryuu to get the kitten to the animal specialist. The Criminal Investigation Department that Masayuki and Ryuu were in was responsible for any criminal events that occurred within the county, and so they had to travel from town to town within the county itself wherever they were needed. This meant that occasionally they had to spend hours on the road together. Just the two of them. Again, he pinched the bridge of his nose. He did not know how he was going to work with a partner like Ryuu, let alone deal with him. Well, perhaps he should give the youngster a chance. He had not known him that well after all…

 

Resting his arms on the steering wheel, he leaned his head on his crossed arms, and let himself drift off for a little. He guessed that by the time Ryuu got back, he would be up already.

 

@Gatichan

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Gatichan

Ryuu didn’t even try to open his mouth- what for? Oviraptor Oda, as he was already well-known amongst the department for his viciousness, had already made up his mind that Ryuu was useless and even if he did try to point out that he hadn’t spent the half hour with the intention of cuddling, what was the point? Oviraptor Oda wouldn’t listen to him anyway. So instead, Ryuu kept his mouth closed, but his temper began to simmer under the surface. The ungrateful dog- and he of all people had had to go and be assigned to him. What had he ever done in his previous life to have deserved this unfair treatment? Waiting until his partner had left, Ryuu stuck his tongue out impolitely at the other’s back.

 

Stuff you, asshole. Some partner you are.” Glancing quickly around the crime scene and making mental notes as he did, Ryuu then hurried down stairs. Coming across the clearly-out-of-his-depth town sheriff, Ryuu placed the now dozing kitty into the man’s arms. “Take good care of here. See this?” he pointed, carefully taking the kitten’s front paw and pointing at the dried blood in the ginger fur. “This could be from the culprit. Have CSI look at it properly and call me- here’s my card,” he said, feeling rather proud as he pulled out the brand new, fresh out of the press card with his name stamped on the front below the official CID seal.

 

The sheriff nodded thankfully, whistling for an officer to come closer who had just shaken hands with the CSI captain. “Guard this little fellow with your life- he could become vital.

 

She,” Ryuu corrected helpfully before leaving. “It’s a she.” Making a face as he stepped out into the lightly falling drizzle, Ryuu groaned inwardly when he saw his partner slummed over the steering wheel. Not again- he was going to be the passenger again? Aw, damn it all to hell. And another long ride in absolute silence with Oviraptor Oda: Ryuu couldn’t imagine anything worse.

 

Feeling revengeful, Ryuu crept up to the car and then opening the door, jumping in and slamming the car door loudly, he smirked when the other jumped slightly. Served him right for sleeping on the job. “So…are you ready to hear me out now about why I spent, and I quote, an “hour coaxing that little shit into cuddling with” me?

@UndertheWeather

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The sound of the movements outside the car slowly faded into the distance as Masayuki drift off into the realm of empty dreams – something that everyone around him tend to regard as his lack of imagination. He, on the other hand, regarded them to have a lack of life for keeping themselves busy with forming stupid theories of his life and the events that occurred within it.

 

The weight on his eyes seemed to continue to grow until he could no longer hear the loud speech between the local police officers – BAM! In an instant, he jumped, his hands involuntarily pressed hard against the horn letting out a loud prolonged honk. Immediately he withdrew his hands, embarrassed by the attention that he had attracted. All around the car, he could almost hear their loud whispers and feel their curious gazes. For crying out loud!

 

So…are you ready to hear me out now about why I spent, and I quote, an “hour coaxing that little shit into cuddling with” me?

 

He averted his gaze from the side mirror towards the culprit; another ridge formed across his forehead as his brows furrowed forming a contorted expression on his flushed face – out of embarrassment or anger no one knows, probably both.

 

Fuck…

 

Without saying another word, he started the engine and quickly drove off the patch of open area next to the house where the cars were parked.

 

I swear I’ll break your bones, and suck your blood dry if you do anything like that again,” he barked, eyes still fixed on the road, as the car cruised down the highway fifteen minutes later. For some reason, he had drove down the muddy path in the opposite direction of the town, and ended up on the highway heading northwards. If they kept on the highway they would be outside of the county in just under an hour, and away to places that they ought not to be – at least not during working hours. The sun was already setting, and soon the coldness of the winter night would envelope the speeding car like shards of glass.

 

But he kept driving, his foot pressed down on the accelerator, not showing any signs of slowing down, and his eyes glued to the road ahead. His countenance was still that of the stern-faced, short-tempered asshole, but his profile, as seen from where Ryuu was seated, was somewhat more relaxed now.

@Gatichan

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Ryuu, leaving his partner to simmer for a good while, contended with trying to keep his lips from twitching. That…had…been…epic! When he got back to the station and told the guys he’d found Oviraptor Oda sleeping on the job and had stirred him up so much that he’d honked at an empty half circle of trees, he’d be made the unofficial officer of the month. Rolling his eyes when his partner barked that he would kill him if he ever dared on pulling such a stunt again, Ryuu muttered something incomprehensible under his breath and then fell back into silence. Inwardly, however, he was grinning like an idiot.

 

After they’d driven out onto the road and had put some distance between themselves and the crimes scene, Ryuu tried to explain himself. “Look, sorry about back there. It’s just that I saw the kitten and there was blood on one of her front paws. It’s a long shot, but we might get lucky and find that she managed to dig her claws into the murderer and hurt him in the process. It was worth a try and anyway: I like cats,” he added rather haughtily.

 

As expected, not much came from his partner after this statement, but then again, Ryuu had already been told not to expect any praise or thank yous from Oviraptor Oda. With a quiet sigh, he leaned deeper into his seat and gazed out the window at the cars they were passing on the highway. If there was one thing Ryuu hated, then uncomfortable silence. And even though, after a sneak glance to the side, it was clear that his partner had calmed down somewhat, Ryuu couldn’t stand the silence.

 

Back at the academy, he’d heard rumor already of the hot-shot prodigy Oda Masayuki. Of course there had been rumors- his partner had risen up the ladder fast and had been made head of the CID at an age most were only just starting to get a foot into the door. And while back at the academy Ryuu had begun to dream that a similar career awaited him if only he tried hard enough, once he’d met Oda personally, all his illusions had gone up in smoke. The sullen-faced, impatient guy who’d turned out to be his partner had been the exact opposite of the grinning, eternally cheerful and joking guy Ryuu had pictured in his head.

 

Tilting onto one butt cheek, he pulled out a card. He’d got it when he’d been eating inside the canteen a couple of weeks back- of course without Oda, because his partner was too awesome to eat with other normal policemen. But Ryuu had many academy friends there and it had been then that an officer from the narcotics department had chatted him up and given him his card. There seemed to be a vacancy in that department and he’d already heard about Ryuu from one of Ryuu’s many friends. And about his not having been exceptionally happy with his lot. Clearing his throat, Ryuu kept a neutral face on. “Hey Oda-san; have you ever wanted to work in the narcotics department?” he asked as casually as he could. @UndertheWeather

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Although it was only half past four, darkness had already descended on the silver Volkswagen that was protecting the two detectives from the harsh cold of the winter outside in the highway. The streets light had come on, gently illuminating the wet road as a succession of cars speeded as fast as they could on the slippery road – for that matter, the road was not as packed as one would expect on a Monday evening; perhaps the rain had kept many within the comfort of their homes, or trapped them within the confinements of their workplaces. Whatever it was, Masayuki was thankful for the lack of further interference in his day.

 

In silence, the car cruised along the highway, a little faster than the rest of the procession. Masayuki had one hand on the steering wheel, while his other elbow was propped against the frame of the car window, his cheek resting gently on his hand. He was fond of driving, and could go on cruising around the county, if not the country, for hours at a go.

 

The silence was weighing down on their shoulders, rousing a sense of awkwardness between and within the two police officers. Minutes passed before it was broken by the voice of the younger male.

 

Hey Oda-san; have you ever wanted to work in the narcotics department?

 

His eyes were still fixed on the wet road ahead. The wiper danced in a monotonous rhythm on the windscreen, clearing away small droplets of rain that had managed to find their way onto the clear glass. For a moment, there was no answer, and his stance showed no sign of responding to the young officer. But then, he sighed, and said in his usual tone, “No.

 

Then there was silence. As expected. The awkward silence.

 

But then he continued, this time in a bored tone, “Worked with them years ago. Dreadful. You can never negotiate with crack heads. Just shoot them dead, and take the hostages out of the hell hole.” One could almost physically see the irony in his words; it would make one laugh out loud if Masayuki would ever consider negotiation as a first choice in a hostage-involved situation. On top of dead, one would question if he ever not shot anyone dead, be it a crack head or a shoplifter. But of course, as a police officer and one with rank, neither of the two behaviours would he ever engage in – certainly, though, if abuse of power was possible one would never doubt that he would use his guns to speak.

 

For the first time after hours in the car, Masayuki casted a side-way glance towards Ryuu. “Thinking of transferring to Narcotics?” he questioned. He returned his gaze to the road ahead of them, the procession of which had by now cleared up as cars broke away from the highway to their individual small routes taking them to their destinations.

 

Do you fancy desk jobs? Because if you don’t, Narcotics is not for you,” he stated almost as a matter-of-factly, “You don’t have field experience, and have not been trained in firearms wielding. Besides…

 

His words fell into the darkness, as he himself was dropped into a spiralling dimension of the past. The silence returned to the car. Not so much the awkward silence. It was just a silence.

 

@Gatichan

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Gatichan

Ryuu had had so many dreams and illusions before his stupid partner had opened his mouth and shot each and every one of the visions he’d had inside his head. Ryuu had already envisioned himself creeping down a dark, dusty corridor, Glock raised up close to his face. Behind him ran shadowy figures, further police officers, all masked, but Ryuu wouldn’t need one: as the leader, he wouldn’t fear the junkies seeing his face. And in another image, Ryuu saw himself running down an alleyway. It was raining, pools of water splashed as he pounded through them, chasing after a drug addict trying to run away from the arm of the law. And Ryuu saw himself, badge hanging coolly around his neck, beneath shabby clothes as he went undercover, pretending to be an addict as well while he rubbed elbows with a gang he had worked months to earn his way in to. But what came from the stupid Oviraptor Oda?

 

Do you fancy desk jobs? Because if you don’t, Narcotics is not for you. You don’t have field experience, and have not been trained in firearms wielding…

 

Ryuu made a face, not caring if his partner saw it, but then again, it was unlikely that Oviraptor Oda would even spare him a glance. When he drove, he fell into a trance-like state and was probably just annoyed that Ryuu had opened his mouth to speak. And as the silence around them became deafening again, Ryuu had to really fight the urge not to smash his fist against the dashboard in frustration. It was terrible! His partner thought of him as a total puppy- useless, untrained, a nuisance. How was Ryuu ever supposed to rise under such a partner? And with Oda already being the important personality that he was, it was unlikely that any cases that they solved would ever be attributed to Ryuu. It was terribly depressing and de-motivating.

 

When his partner finally turned their car to the right and they entered the parking lot of the police station, Ryuu didn’t wait until his partner had properly stopped and parked the car. “I’ll be at the gym- I’ll write my report later,” he muttered, slamming the car door with unnecessary force. He didn’t have to wait for any reaction on Oda’s side- his partner had probably forgotten him the minute that Ryuu had left the car.

 

Ryuu-tan!” Turning around, a smile of relief spread across Ryuu’s face when he saw Akiko and Jun, two of the guys he’d gone to the academy with. They were just crossing the street and had obviously just arrived on the tram. “You sure look like shit- you been with that decorated asshole of a partner again?” Jun asked as he slapped Ryuu’s hand and Akiko ruffled Ryuu’s hair.

 

Yeah- let’s not talk about it,” Ryuu shuddered, feeling much better when his friends draped their arms around his shoulders and escorted him into the police station. “Either of you wanna hit our gym? I need to let off some steam.” His two friends were instantly game and as they waved at the two guards at the front desk, the younger one trying to explain the way to an old, practically deaf woman, Ryuu glanced over his shoulder. There was no sign of his partner yet and het let out a sigh of relief- it Oda had heard those comments…well, knowing him, Oda wouldn’t give a damn. Oda would probably never give a damn about him, Ryuu thought bitterly as he slammed the door of his locker inside the gym changing room shut. And that was exactly the problem.

@UndertheWeather

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Sat in the driver seat with both his hands on the steering wheel, Masayuki watched Ryu’s back as he left the car and joined his officer friends. It seemed to him that Ryu had lost his temper for one reason or another, but Masayuki could not care less. He was paid to do his job as a DCI, not a baby-sitter to this adolescent who was only growing out of his diapers. He averted his gaze from the younger male, and hit the road, heading home.

 


 

As usual, Masayuki was always one of the earliest to be in the office, and on that morning, it was no different. A cup of hot coffee, freshly brewed was sitting on his desk, the aroma of which was lingering in his small space of an office. He was sitting relaxed in his chair, one leg rested on top of the other in a figure four crossed-legged position; a black-cased tablet was held in his left hand and with his right hand, he leisurely navigated through the news pages. Flooding in a number of the coastal cities down south; a break-in in a secluded western city; activists protesting outside of a court house…He sighed. Just then, his sleek titanium-cased mobile phone vibrated; simultaneously with it a click sound was just barely audible. Masayuki reached out for it, making the least effort of moving away from his initial position. He turned the screen on, and saw the message icon at the top corner. Almost immediately he knew the sender of the message – there was only one person who would text message him at this hour of a working day. Reading the message confirmed his expectation. The corner of his lips quivered to the message, but promptly turned the screen of his mobile phone off and slid it back on the table.

 

With his sharp, watchful gaze, he inspected from the open door of his office the empty desks of his underlings that were only beginning to fill up as the day drew on. The Akiyama guy had only arrived with the others. Not late. But not early. Not that he cared. He turned away and returned his attention to his tablet.

 

On the screen, a Facebook page glared back at him, reflecting itself on his glasses, shading his eyes from the view of the others. Mishima Ren. He swiped his finger across the screen, bringing the bottom page to the top where he could read the wall posts. No doubt there were a whole lot of things that got on his nerves at once – one stupid comment here and another one there; a tonne of photos, half of which were barely clearly visible; and a gazillion wall posts by a mere few, and himself. What a pain. A look of annoyance furrowed his brows, and he let out a grunt. Again, he reached out across his desk with minimal effort, and retrieved a clear file. In it were a few sheets of papers filled with someone’s biography, a Mishima Ren. A passport photo was clipped to the corner of the papers next to a photo of his body sprawled across the carpeted floor with blood under his head.

 

Yes the right person. Oh he could not be asked to read through this. Maybe his partner could make a summary of this whole junk yard of whatever this Facebook thing is. Masayuki looked up, his eyes peering through his clear glasses, and checked if Ryuu was in his seat.

@Gatichan

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Ryuu yawned widely, stretching, but was interrupted in his morning routine when the door to the Detective Chief Inspector’s office was thrown open and his partner stalked out, looking intimidating and mean as always. Ryuu hastily dropped his arms and tried to stifle his yawn, but this made him feel uncomfortable.

 

“Morning, Oda-san,” he said as cheerfully as he could, but his partner wordlessly dropped a thin file onto his desk, scattering the memo notes that had been inside his pigeon hole. He sighed out impatiently. “How about saying good morning at least? God,” he frowned as his partner retreated to his office, all high and mighty, and slammed the door shut on his words. Ryuu made a face- why the hell did he even feel the tiniest bit or irrational interest in that sadist? He didn’t even get offered a single crumb, was constantly treated like an invisible being and yet still, Ryuu wanted nothing less than to hear two nice words.

 

With a disappointed and discouraged sigh, Ryuu opened the file in front of him and found himself looking at the bloody corpse of Mishima Ren. It was a good thing that Ryuu had already seen the actual body, otherwise he might have dumped his breakfast all over the official police photos. It didn’t surprise him that his partner wanted him to carry on looking into their murder victim of the day before, but why did Ryuu find himself looking at a screenshot of a Facebook account page. It undoubtedly belonged to the victim and beneath the screenshot was a longer typed biography containing any dates that could be attained from through official channels. With a further sinking heart, Ryuu logged onto his personal computer and logging onto Facebook, called up the site of the victim. Sure enough, there was Mishima, looking incredibly stupid as he raised a bowl of sangria and a silly straw hat- honestly, why did people insist of loading such embarrassing photos onto the net of themselves? Didn’t any of them realize that once photos were put up on the net, they would remain there forever? Scrolling down, Ryuu let out a frustrated groan when he saw that their victim had over 1000 Facebook friends- who seriously had so many friends in real life!? That was impossible.

SexyChica4: lol loved your photo!

 

TanakaAlpha: nice hat!

 

Ryuu rolled his eyes at the stupid comments those who had liked the newest photo of the victim. It was pretty obvious why his partner had given him that tiring task. Well, Ryuu thought as he properly sat up and pulled out some pen and paper to make a list, if Oviraptor Oda believed he’d give up, he was in for a nasty surprise! Eyes narrowing, Ryuu began to click his way all over Mishima’s page.

 

Four hours of painstaking stalking later and several hundred idiotic comments later, Ryuu had a short list of potential murder suspects that he faxed to the IT department to inquire for more in-depth information. From the 1000 Facebook friends, only thirty had really regularly commented on the pictures and status updates that Mishima had put up. And from that group, four had, of late, begun to type really aggressive comments…to which Mishima had responded in a likewise way. Rubbing his eyes tiredly, Ryuu stood up, deciding it was time for a break. Snatching up his forgotten memo notes to read through them during his break, he dropped the first memo, which fluttered to land beside his desk. If someone had been looking at him right then, they would have noticed this. And possibly picked it up to read that the blood that Ryuu had discovered on the murder victim’s kitten hadn’t matched that of Mishima, but had a positive match to someone inside the police data bank. @UndertheWeather

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Masayuki had pushed the tedious job to his partner. He knew it was a real pain for anyone, but he was not going to sit through it, even if it meant making someone else sit through it. The brief encounter with the comments had boiled his blood, and he was about to break something with his fist. All those inane words. After pushing the file to Ryuu, Masayuki stormed back to his office room, snatched a packet of cigarette and left the department, face as black as charcoal.

 

The wind outside was blowing gently against his pale skin. Between his long fingers the cigarette burnt quickly as he continuously puffed the length of its body - one cigarette, two, and three. He let out a sigh with it came a trail of white smoke. His cheeks were pink, and his finger tips burnt with colour, and his left hand was tucked in his trousers pocket, hiding from the biting cold of the coming darkness of the short winter day. And suddenly the tips of his fingers felt it - the vibration of his mobile phone in his pocket. But Masayuki did not react to it, at least not physically; his mind had registered it.

 

Killing the cigarette, he stepped back into the warm building and returned to his confined office space. Ryuu was still on it, scrolling through the Facebook profile page, reading every comment, and viewing every photo. At once he felt the urge to break Ryuu's computer monitor. What a waste of space these people are. Well at least, the Mishima guy was no longer part of his directed hatred, only simply because he was no longer taking up space - at least not social, economical, or whatever else but physical space. Masayuki silently hoped that Mishima would be cremated. Completely and utterly cremated. And his dust will be cremated too. And again. And again. Disappear. One would wonder how he had become a DCI with such thoughts...

 

In his office, Masayuki looked through the various other case files that were stacked up on his desk. It was not odd to have many different cases happening at the same time, and most of them were cases from the past - some were almost a eight months old, and when new cases arrive on his table, these old cases would have to be pushed away, either to a lower ranking detective, or just be forgotten forever. Sooner or later they would go cold, and they had to be stashed up in a cabinet in a dusty corner. But for now, the cases were on his desk and he had to look at them. Another sigh.

 

After about four hours looking through the stack of files - some he had read before - Masayuki dragged himself out of the office space towards the coldness outside the building. It was then that he saw the notes on the floor by Ryuu's table, and by reflex he picked it up and his eyes flitted across the page as quickly as lightning, before returning it to where he found it - on the floor. And he continued on to his journey towards the outside, and again, he placed between his pinks lips one, two, and three sticks of cigarettes, one after the other within a short period of time. He knew the dangers of smoking, but he did not care.

 

The sky began to darken even though it was still early. Just cloudy he guessed. Masayuki stepped back into the building and headed for the cafetaria. As he stepped into the empty place, he grunted reflexively. Not the best place to get food. He could do with something down in town. Almost immediately he stopped in place, and turned around only to find Ryuu bumping into him. What was this boy doing here? He looked at the younger male, brows furrowed, and asked almost without thought, "Coffee?" His lips quivered as if to speak again, but just then a female voice from behind Ryuu was heard.

 

"Yuki-kun," she chirped, "I've been looking for you all over the building!"

 

His gaze averted from Ryuu's face to the beautiful face of a tall woman on the other side of the corridor leading up to the cafeteria as she approached the two detectives, her heels making sharp clicks on the polished tiles. It was as if high heels were a part of her for she had walked the distance as quick as she had suddenly appeared. Her wavy, long, brown hair bounced as she grabbed hold of Masayuki's arm and held it in a hug.

 

"Hi there," she greeted Ryuu, "Akiyama-kun eh? How do you do?"

 

Her height, matching that of Masayuki, gave her an air of superiority. But more so was the way she carried herself, and the way she was dressed - it was as if she was of some importance. Somewhere. Somehow. Not just as a wife of someone. But of a real importance.

 

There was no expression of discomfort or disgust carved across Masayuki's face; all he had was a bored look as he stared at the lady interacting with his partner, his arm relaxed within her hug.

 

"What's this all about, Suzume?" Masayuki grunted.

 

@Gatichan

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Oh rats, of all people… Ryuu immediately plastered a smile on his face when the man he’d walked into turned around and he realized that it had had to go and be his antisocial partner. Struggling against the urge to hurl when Oviraptor Oda’s eyes immediately became suspicious, almost as if he couldn’t believe that Ryuu had dared to take a break without asking for permission, Ryuu held up his coffee mug as an excuse. After all the crap on Facebook he’d had to read, he was pretty close to responding rather impolitely, but he was saved form disgracing himself when a sexily clad woman suddenly called out his partner’s name in a singsong voice.

 

Turning around, Ryuu tried not to gag. Coming towards them on high heels that cost more than his monthly salary, was a beautiful woman. Even though Ryuu was gay, he could also see that she had a sexual prowess. And of course she came right up to them, wrapped her arm nonchalantly through that of his partner’s and smiled up at him meaningfully, battering her eyelashes and sending out obvious pheromones. All around him, Ryuu could see other police officers turning their heads to send the woman longing, jealous looks. Only his partner remained seemingly disinterested, but it had to be a sham- no heterosexual guy could remain that unperturbed when a model-like woman was basically throwing herself at you.

 

Startled when the woman actually turned towards him to ask him how he was, Ryuu could only stupidly open and close his mouth for a moment, wondering who on earth this bombshell was. How come she knew who he was while he didn’t have the faintest clue about her? When he finally managed to get his synapses to fire correctly again, his partner had asked the beauty what she wanted. And then the coin dropped: the woman was politely asking him to piss off so that she and Oda could talk. Fletching his teeth and hating, really hating his partner in that instance, Ryuu sent the woman a tight smile and turning around on the spot, just left.

 

He made it as far as the lower male restroom. Once he’d locked himself inside a stall, he slammed his fist against the wall until it was red and dangerously hurt. Breathing in and out aggressively, his chest heaving, Ryuu was trying his hardest not to cry. These moments…they didn’t come often, but when they did, they overwhelmed him. And once again made it clear to him that he had no chance whatsoever and that his feelings were pointless.

 

Oda Masayuki was his partner, period. Oda Masayuki was his partner who couldn’t have given a sh** about him and who half the time probably didn’t even know what his name was anyway…and who was probably praying for the day when Ryuu would get shot and killed by a stray bullet that would spare him the trouble of wringing the rookie’s neck himself. It was so obvious that Ryuu’s partner was in another league entirely, that he could have any woman he wanted – like that sex goddess back there – and that he would never give Ryuu the time of day anyway. And that it was pointless of Ryuu to continue wishing and hoping that by some strange whim of fate he’d have a chance with the chief inspector.

 

Arrrrgh!!!” Ryuu moaned as he hit his head against the stall wall while covering his eyes. “Get OVER it already, damn you.” How stupid could he be? Why didn’t he finally get his ass moving and found a new department to transfer to already? It was torture, real torture working with a guy who didn’t even know he existed.

 

Splashing water into his face and trying to ignore the fact that he looked seriously under the weather, Ryuu trudged back up to his department. By then his coffee had gone cold and his break had been anything but restorative. Glancing down at the floor and picking up the memo he’d missed before, not even the fact that his hunch about the kitten had been correct helped improve his mood. Seeing that he’d received a mail from the IT department, Ryuu printed the results of the Facebook search out without much enthusiasm, scanning the information and picking out odd words and names. Calling up the police officer who’d sent the memo, Ryuu asked to know if they could tell him the name of the criminal whose blood they’d found on the kitten.

 

“Detective Akiyama, that was a stroke of genius!” the sheriff he had met the night before gushed effusively, clearly impressed. “The kitten was a huge help. Our banks spit out the name Ichikawa Kei. He’s been busted twice already for armed burglary and about a month ago he was let out of prison for manslaughter. I hope you find him and once again, Detective Akiyama, thank you so, so much for your help!”

 

Yeah, yeah, whatever, Ryuu dismissed it, but he couldn’t help feel his mood lifting slightly as his partner stepped in, looking as foul as ever. Waving to attract Oviraptor Oda’s attention, Ryuu suddenly frowned- Ichikawa…hadn’t he just read that name before? Shifting through his papers on his Facebook results, a triumphant smirk began to spread across his face: one of the four users who’d been writing back and forth with the victim was called Ichikawa Kei. “I think we have a winner here,” he told his boss, holding the result sheet out to Oda as his partner stopped beside his table. @UndertheWeather

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Suzume, bent slightly forward, watched the animated young officer as his expression changed from as stiff as a rock to one that was of a gaping surprise. And all at once, Ryuu bolted from his spot without saying a word, leaving the two standing by the entrance to the canteen. Suzume straightened up, and chuckled, "Oh dear. What do we have here, Yuki?" Masayuki eyed here and let out a sigh, "Leave him alone." He ran a hand through his hair as he watched the figure of his partner shrink and slowly disappear around a wall; Suzume giggling like a schoolgirl by his side.

 

The two left the building.

 


 

A few hours later, a silver Volkswagen screeched into the parking lot in front of the police department. Making their way back up to his office, Masayuki was greeted by a loud remark - one that was quite a change from what he had heard hours ago - as he stepped into the office space, "I think we have a winner here." He took the sheet from Ryuu's hand and for a moment inspected it. Standing behind him, Suzume could not help but grin widely as she watched the elated young officer gloated over his own achievement.

 

Without a word, Masayuki turned away from Ryuu's desk and headed back to his office, Suzume tailing behind him, her heels clicking on the smooth tiles. Just before they stepped into the office, Suzume touched Masayuki's elbow and the two exchanged a few words. She spun around, her grey eyes glowing, and headed back to Ryuu's desk.

 

In his office, Masayuki sat on his desk, and without looking again at the results sheet, he pushed it into a file - its cover held a sticker with the printed words "Mishima Ren". It was as expected of a rookie. Too quick to jump. He did not even feel the need to sigh at the thought. Picking up the receiver of the office table phone, he dialled the forensics department, requesting them to send in a few documents over to him. As far as forensics can tell, the victim had had a party that night in his basement - one that involved drugs, alcohol, and possibly women. Forensics and detective work had also established that he was not alone, and there were at least six other people - friends or acquaintance, nothing solid established as of yet. Apparently a fight broke out. And so the blood on the cat's paw was not a conclusive evidence for Ryuu's conclusion; it was only sufficient to put Ichikawa Kei at the victim's home, nothing more - not whether he was at the scene, or he was the murderer.

 

Masayuki sent to his printer the documents that Forensics had sent to him over secured e-mail, and arranged neatly into another file the profiles of the people who were suspected to have been part of the drug party. Well, it would be their job to interview them then. But he would leave that for tomorrow. The day was coming to an end.

 


 

As Masayuki busied himself in his office, Suzume walked over to Ryuu's desk, a wide grin carved across her beautiful face. She sat herself at the edge of Ryuu's desk, making herself comfortable and at home within his office space. Her hands were pressed on the edge of the desk, and her long fingers wrapped themselves around the perimeter of it - her varnished fingernails tapping against the hard wood to a rhythm within her mind. Hey grey eyes spied Ryuu from behind thick, long lashes, inspecting the movements of his facial muscles. Interesting... she thought to herself, somewhat amused.

 

"Well, what was that back in the canteen, Akiyama-kun?" she asked with a wide grin "Old ladies don't bite, you know." A pause, and realising herself, she bent slightly forward towards the young officer. "Oh dear. Excuse my rudeness," her voice quivered with slight embarrassment, "I've completely forgotten to introduce myself." She straightened up, her figure erect, towering over the younger male. Her elbow-length business jacket boasted the muscles of her sturdy arms, a long scar running down the length of the left arm; the white body-fitting shirt underneath the jacket revealed an athletic figure; the stockings bragged of the muscular legs. She was clearly well-built.

 

Suzume stretched out a hand towards Ryuu, "Igarashi Suzume. Pleased to meet you." There was a twinkle in her eyes and a warm smile on her face.

 

@Gatichan

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Ryuu was left standing, once again, like a total idiot. There he’d been, elated that he’s found them a trail, but what did his demented partner do? He simply walked on as if Ryuu were invisible! Hearing some snickers from the other detectives sitting around inside the large office, Ryuu felt his cheeks flash in humiliation. Turning towards the sound, several faces hastily looked away, ashamed at having been caught smirking. In between, though, there were some sympathetic faces. Incensed, Ryuu stomped back to his desk, once again dangerously close to taking his badge and throwing it into his partner’s self-satisfied face. He didn’t deserve this dis-appreciation, not one bit.

 

And what’s more, the beautiful bitch who had wandering in after Oviraptor Oda had to go over and sit down on the edge of his desk. Glaring up at her as he tried to control his face, Ryuu felt like shoving everything off his desk when he saw the drooling expressions on the faces of his colleagues around him as they threw this vamp sitting decidedly too close to him hormonally disturbed looks. Ryuu felt like screaming. Nostrils flaring, Ryuu fletched his teeth. “I don’t remember ever having met you and for your information, Madame-san, I don’t recall ever having been on friendly terms with you. I don’t even know who you are,” he told her rather bitingly. Ryuu eyed the manicured hand being held out to him as if it was that of a poisonous insect he’d rather squash with his shoe than touch. “Suzume-san, I have no idea who you are and, quite frankly, I don’t care. And stop flirting with me- I’m gay,” he snapped aggressively, snatching up all the paperwork he’d got from the forensic department as he stood up. “Have a nice day.”

 

With that, eyes narrowed to slits, Ryuu marched straight into his partner’s office without bothering to knock. “Okay Oda, what’s with this shit?” he demanded, slamming the door shut on the startled exclamations went up in the office behind him. He threw the files onto Oviraptor Oda’s desk, knowing that if he kept this crazy behavior up, he’d be in for a disciplinary rebuke, but right then not caring. “You give me the most menial task, you don’t acknowledge my detective work and now you send your girlfriend to sit on my desk- this is sexual harassment!” he yelled lividly, glaring at his partner. “I know that you hate me and think I’m useless, but instead of treating me like air, how about telling to my face like a man, Oda?” he challenged, on purpose leaving away the honorific title at the end as he leaned his hands on his partner’s table to be able to glare him in the eye properly.

@UndertheWeather

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The stare that sat on the stern face of the Chief Inspector was one that was bored. But annoyance began to creep in as Ryuu continued to let off steam, screaming at his face. He silently waited for Ryuu to be sufficiently satisfied with his outburst, attempting to his best ability not to snap at the young officer, and possibly speak with his fist that would surely knock Ryuu out in one go - experience was behind him in that after all. It was not because he was patient, or that he respected some kind of social rules of conversation; he was merely waiting for the monster inside him to eat away at the stored patience. Though that was only his believes; others could not imagine any other monster residing within him other than the one that he is. If there was another one, it would be such a horrible world to live in, working with him...

 

Masayuki stood up, and in a composed tone said, "Firstly, Igarashi-san is not my girlfriend." The change in the manner by which he addressed her sounded a little strange given that he was not someone who appeared to be quite the respectful kind, if it must be stated that way. He continued matter-of-factly, "She's a chief inspector in Matori. Narcotics, if you prefer it. And your lack of respect..."

 

Before he could continue, Suzume made her presence in the room apparent; she had been there all along, following Ryuu to Masayuki's office. She let out a chuckle, "Well, Oda-san, there is no need for that." Anyone who was there knew that if she had not stepped in, Masayuki would go all out on Ryuu and probably break his mind with his harsh words; and certainly Suzume knew that, and so spoke before he could say another word.

 

He felt the urge to continue, but it seemed odd that he had learned to not blow up like a child when Suzume was around, and that made him feel a little off, like he lost respect for his ownself. He stood in silence as Suzume spoke to Ryuu, "I'm not sure that is how you should be handling your situation. If it wasn't me and surely too if it wasn't Masayuki, you'd be out of the building this very minute. Jobless." Her eyes were hard on him, staring down from her lofty height.

 

@Gatichan

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Ryuu had had surrealistic moments such as these before. Like that first time he had been in gym class and while all his friends had nudged each other and joked and spluttered when the girls in their classes had made leapfrogs and their bottoms and breasts had better shown, he had remained totally untouched. Until the male class president had jumped and the material over the front part of his shorts had stretched and all at once Ryuu had felt the space inside his own shorts become confined. Or that one time he’d walked in on his mother kissing their bachelor next-door neighbor, even though his father had still been living at home. But neither of them could quite top that specific moment.

 

It was surreal for a whole different number of things. To begin with, Ryuu couldn’t believe that Oviraptor Oda had actually opened up and told him something about his personal life. Secondly, Ryuu straight up didn’t believe that there was nothing going on between his partner and that sex-on-legs female. Thirdly, if Suzume-san really was the chief inspector of the narcotics department, that meant that his partner had seriously gone to the trouble of seeking her out, which fourthly would mean that he had actually gone and done something nice for Ryuu. Which led him to the fifth point: Ryuu had just f***ed up big time.

 

Which led him to the sixth point: his partner was a total, incorrigible asshole. If, after he’d insulted the narcotics department and told Ryuu to never work there, but at the same time he was going out of his way to build a bridge here for him, it was pretty obvious that Oviraptor Oda wanted him out his department. In other words: Oviraptor Oda thought he was useless and deserved to be kicked out. Anger flared up within Ryuu as bile rose into his mouth. He’d worked his fingers to the bone that day and this was the thanks he got?

 

Right then, what Ryuu really wanted to do was strap out his gun and shoot Oda through the head, then toss his badge into that stupid woman’s face and sarcastically tell her to shove it somewhere. And then he’d collect his things and just walk out the station, ring up some friends and get decently drunk. Glaring back at the woman with as much disrespect as he could muster- thanks to the friends he’d made at the academy, he wasn’t in danger of remaining jobless for long – Ryuu swallowed down his words: it didn’t matter either way, since he’d probably get fired anyway. “Really? Why don’t you just fire me? I find it quite difficult to believe that my partner would have gone to the trouble of contacting you, Suzume-san, after he personally told me that working in narcotics was dreadful and a waste of time,” he said, shooting a venomous glance at Oviraptor Oda. “Is this your way of telling me I suck working under you? How about you say it to my face instead of this ridiculous sneak-attack from behind?” Oh yeah, he was angry, and he wasn’t going to be able to control himself for much longer.

 

- - - Updated - - -

@UndertheWeather

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The two Chief Inspectors stared at the young sergeant's sudden outburst; they had not the faintest idea what had brought about the eruption, nor why Ryu was acting so carelessly as if he was still in high school. Suzume raised an eyebrow at the scene, attempting to suppress a growing laughter as her sides were tickled by the thought of how old she was, and her inability to remember the last time she had seen such commotion. 10? 20 years? More. 30, probably. Was she that old? She had better check whether the wrinkles on her face had started showing, and perhaps get that cream that she saw in the pharmacy.

 

Her arms were crossed across her chest as she waited for Ryuu to be completely satisfied with firing up. It was becoming more and more ridiculous, and her patience was beginning to run out. While Masayuki was a complete prick, and not the best person to work with, his work ethics was commendable - after all, he had years of police training behind him, and the hierarchy and social structure of the law-enforcement ran in his blood; and well...he was an adult. Her bored gaze lingered about Ryu's face; Masayuki, on the other hand, had several lines carved across his forehead, and the fury was almost apparent in his eyes. At any second now, he would lash out with his fist...

 

With quick strides, Masayuki got from behind his table to where Ryu was, and everything from there happened as quick as lightning. He took grip of Ryu's collar, and his other hand, curled into a ball of iron, raised and plunged down at the fragile face of the young man. Masayuki was known for his monstrous countenance, but at that moment, the light in his eyes seemed to have disappeared, absorbed in by the darkness that was what he was; it was as if he was ready to kill. But the fist never reached the face. It stayed just inches away from Ryu's cheekbone. Suzume's reactions matched that of Masayuki's; she had stepped forward and took hold of Masayuki's wrist.

 

"Let him go, Masayuki," her voice was as hard as steel, and her countenance stern, "Get back to your desk, Akiyama. You will need some sorting out."

 

Masayuki glared at Suzume. Annoyance burned within him at the fact that he was unable to do what he wanted to. His grip around the collar loosened, and with a light shove he let go of the young sergeant.

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Ryuu’s eyes widened when out of nowhere, Oviraptor Oda went from sitting to standing, to leering into his face and almost attacking him. It was as if a switch had been flipped and suddenly the bored, controlled person he had known to be his partner had been replaced by a berserker. Okay, so he had known that maybe he’d stepped a tiny bit over the line back there with his ravings, but seriously? To justify this outcome? That did seem a little extreme. He had begun to raise his own hands to protect himself, but his brain made quick calculations and he knew that it would be impossible to defend himself, so his hands dropped again and he winced, preparing for the blow…but it never came. Squinting, he looked to the side and realized that the female vamp and stopped Oviraptor Oda’s hand just at the right time, warning him to let go. Some tense minutes passed, but then finally the vice-like grip around his collar lessened and he was let free.

 

Breathing out, not even having realized he’d been so tense, Ryuu needed a moment to shrug himself back into shape. All the while, he glared into his partner’s eyes with open dislike, all his respect for the elder man vanishing. All the rumors were true: Oda Misayuki was a mutt, a stupid prick and an asshole. And right then and there, Ryuu decided to bury all his feelings for the other man- what for? Had he been expecting a miraculous turn of events? For his partner to suddenly look at him properly and realize that he was actually worth something? Unlikely. People like Oda remained alone and were happy that way. So Ruu was going to stop ruining his own life and move on.

 

“Whatever,” he said sullenly, nodding at the vamp as he strode towards the door. “I’ll wait at my desk if I absolutely have to. Will I be suspended?” he asked, glaring at the woman’s feet. God, how he hated this woman- it was sooo obvious that she was sleeping with his partner; the two of them would probably do it right there the moment he turned his back and left. His cheeks heated up and turning around, left, needing every ounce of self-restraint to close the door quietly instead of banging it shut.

 

Sitting down, Ryuu didn’t waste a further minute and got on the phone with his father. “Dad? Here’s Ryuu. Listen, I have a huge favor to ask of you: are you still golf buddies with the police president? … Uh-hu… Look, I know this is a lot, but could you possibly ask him to have me moved to another department? I don’t care where, I just never want to see this asshole Oda again…we got into a fight…well, let’s just say he attacked me…with his fist? …Dad, if I inform internal affairs, who do you think they’ll fire- the decorated old man, or the young rookie? … Look, just ask him, okay? I don’t even care if I’m put on foot patrol for a while- just get me out of here, please…oh! And not into narcotics either, okay? Thanks,” he sighed, putting the phone down when the office door opened.

@UndertheWeather

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