mazauric: (Akame)
[personal profile] mazauric
Title: Whitecap Widow: Trial Zero
Pairing: Akame/Ryoda
Rating: NC-17
Summary: It has been over a year since the horrific murders leading to Jin’s true identity and his clone had occurred. Safe from harm and continuing life as normal, Akanishi Jin, now a fully licensed lawyer, runs his own independent firm. But everything is thrown into question when an unexpected case blows both himself and Kamenashi Kazuya on opposite sides of the courtroom.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story, don’t sue me I’m incredibly poor. Also, if I could draw, I would have drawn the locations myself instead of using Sims. Just so we’re clear, don’t own them either.
Website: Trial Zero
whitecapwidow.jpg
Trial Zero
Chapter Three: The Other Side

“He’s beautiful,” Anna breathed as she gazed.
The goo in the tank was a clear light blue and floating in the centre was Jin. He floated, perfectly upright, his eyes staring ahead, a magnificent electric field beyond his pupils. Light shone from behind his eyes, it was truly magnificent to behold.
The scientists, few though they were, sitting before the vat were staring at Jin in awe. They’d actually done it. They’d found the true Whitecap Widow and Anna held all the answers as to how to unlock him.

“Is he active now?” one of them asked “Is he the real clone now?”
“Not yet,” Anna sighed “But this is a very good start. How’s his heartrate?”
“Nominal,” the lab technician reported “It’s amazing. Even though he’s not breathing.”
“I did tell you he was the Whitecap Widow,” Anna folded her arms. She looked at the time and hummed “Alright. Let’s get him out, he should be sufficiently recharged now.”
The technicians looked a little wary and understandably too. They knew more about the technicalities of what they were doing and Jin was like a charged battery.

“Is it…safe?”
“Probably not, so let him out and keep your distance,” Anna advised, making them all more nervous.
Reluctantly, they opened the tank and slowly lifted the platform. As it lifted Jin with it, Jin’s body naturally lay back on the platform as it took him up with it.
When his body hit the surface, Jin gasped desperately for air. It was as if he’d been on the brink of drowning, his lungs were clenching, making him cough and hack up all the liquid he’d managed to inhale and absorb. Jin shivered as the platform halted to a stop. He curled up and coughed, choking out the liquid in his body. As he gasped, Anna came up the stairs and leaned over the railing, observing him quietly “So? Whitecap Widow? How are you feeling?”

Jin looked up, his eyes still blazing blue atoms behind the colour. He looked around the room and turned his eyes to Anna. His vision was strange. He saw so many different things all at once and it was almost too much for his brain to comprehend. He saw figures, he saw skeletons, he saw words, he saw numbers, he saw entities and he saw materials.
He shook his head and coughed out a little more liquid before closing his eyes “My head hurts.”
“Your technical programming is starting up,” Anna explained “After having been dormant all your life, it’s got a lot to catch up with.”
“Hitoshi,” Jin shook his head and groaned at the headache he got immediately afterwards “I saw Hitoshi. I controlled him for five seconds.”
“I’m not surprised. You are his clone after all,” Anna hummed “But you’re not going to get anything done lying there on the platform. Now that the liquid is inside your body and brain, you need to give yourself at least a day to reboot.”

Jin groaned “You make me sound like a computer.”
“Well…you are kind of like a computer,” Anna supposed “Only the most advanced one this age has ever and will ever see.”
She leaned in “Anyway come on. We need to get you showered, dressed in new clothes and in a bed. I have your new room arranged.”
“And the other deal?” Jin looked up “I want Kazuya.”
“I’ll deal with that as soon as we know what’s happening with Hitoshi. If I suddenly pull Kazuya and Yamapi away, Hitoshi might get suspicious which will make our job harder. You can’t control someone who has their guard up…well you can but it’ll take longer. But we’ll talk about that later,” Anna promised and turned to the technicians “Help me get him down. Get him cleaned up,” she ordered “We’re not out of the woods yet.”

Jin felt himself being lifted and despite having just ‘recharged’ he didn’t feel like he had any energy at all. He could barely move. He felt the hands carrying him away and passed out before they even left the lab.

-

Opening his eyes, Hitoshi looked around the bedroom. He’d gotten used to waking up here lately. Shirota’s room wasn’t much. Minimalistic at best and when the owner wasn’t there, it really wasn’t much to look at but Hitoshi wasn’t there for the furniture.
He rolled over on the bed and glanced at the sleeping man next to him. He couldn’t help but smirk. Poor Shirota. So hopelessly in love with Akanishi Jin, he’d take and endure anything just to have him for a couple of hours. Hitoshi had no doubt Jin was aware of Shirota’s infatuation but of course Jin being the conscious and moral creature he was, wouldn’t have done anything about it.

Hitoshi stretched in bed and sighed. At least a relationship like this was advantageous. Shirota was in the perfect position to do anything Hitoshi wanted. Shirota could cut through a lot of red tape and get things done fast on his command. Not to mention he wasn’t bad in bed. He wasn’t anything like Kamenashi but there was something about Shirota’s desperate, emotion-fuelled sex that made it fun…or at least amusing on Hitoshi’s end.
Make no mistake. Hitoshi was not and would never feel anything for Shirota Yu. He found Shirota’s lingering love for Akanishi Jin completely pathetic and found no reason to respect or care about Shirota at all. But while the man was here, Hitoshi could admit that he found him amusing. Pitiful. Fun to play with.

Hitoshi reached for his phone and sighed when he saw the missed calls. Kazuya had called him seven times in the last couple of hours. Ryo had called him 13 times. Hitoshi rolled his eyes and put his phone away just as he felt Shirota’s arm slide over his waist.
Shirota’s face popped up, kissing Hitoshi’s bare shoulder “Leaving already?” he purred “You can’t just violate me and leave, you know. I’m pretty sure that’s against the law.”
“I have a text message from you telling me to come and violate you, I’m pretty sure I’ll be deemed innocent of all charges,” Hitoshi purred, leaning back into Shirota’s warm body.
“Says the lawyer,” Shirota kissed Hitoshi’s shoulder and pulled him closer.

Hitoshi’s phone went off and Shirota pulled him closer to himself “Ignore it. Play with me instead.”
Hitoshi wondered if it was Kazuya calling and figured he could probably do to be spared from a lecture for another couple of hours as he sank into Shirota and took his lips happily.

-

Putting his phone down, Kazuya frowned in confusion. It had been hours since Jin had just disappeared and Kazuya couldn’t get hold of him because the asshole wasn’t answering his phone. He huffed and looked up as Tatsuya entered his office.
“Still nothing?” Tatsuya asked, bringing a folder with him.
Kazuya shook his head and put his phone down “Disappeared into thin air,” he sighed and looked at the folder “What’s that?”
“New case,” Tatsuya handed the folder to Kazuya “Police have recently apprehended a man named Moriyama Mirai. Arrested on suspicions of kidnapping three children.”
“Suspicions?” Kazuya looked up “What evidence do they have to suggest its him?”
“Fingerprints and a couple of witnesses say they saw him near the children when they were last seen,” Tatsuya hummed “We’ll know more in investigation.”
“Fine,” Kazuya nodded, closing the folder “I’ll gather up the stats.”

He looked at Tatsuya but noticed the other looking a little depressed. Kazuya frowned “What’s up?”
“Ryo’s on defence,” Tatsuya mumbled “I mean, Kuroki’s little protégé Fuma is on defence but Ryo is his advisor and assistant. I’ll have to move in with you for a bit.”
“Not the best idea right now,” Kazuya warned “Jin’s being weird at the moment and I don’t know what’s up with him. He comes home at strange times, he’s all over the place and he doesn’t answer my calls. I don’t know what’s wrong but I’m a little uneasy. I don’t want you to try sleeping in that environment.”

Tatsuya hummed “You might be right; I don’t want to get in the middle of that. Plus, now that Jin’s not a lawyer, I don’t want to stay while he’s there.”
Kazuya leaned back in his seat and sighed “The company will pay for a hotel for you to stay in so Ryo doesn’t come to me instead. I’m pretty sure he’ll want to rip Jin a new one.”
“Oh you have no idea,” Tatsuya coughed “Ever since Kuroki Meisa stuck him with that protégé of hers, Ryo’s been murderous. Which makes our sex life absolutely great but all that frustration is going to kill him. He wants to kill Jin for bailing on him.”
“I still don’t understand him for that either,” Kazuya admitted.

But he didn’t want to linger on this. Worrying about Jin would get no work done and since he was up against Kikuchi Fuma, it was high time the kid who took over Jin’s place understood what kind of lawyer Kamenashi Kazuya really was.
Kazuya’s straight winning streak had been interrupted by Jin’s cases but make no mistake, Kamenashi Kazuya was still a dangerous prosecution lawyer to go up against. A child like Kikuchi Fuma had absolutely no chance against him.
He was, with the exception of where Akanishi Jin was concerned, the undefeated prosecution and he would get his guilty verdict.

-

Kazuya walked into Shirota Yu’s office and sat down opposite the desk. He put the case down on the desk and sighed “It’s been ages since you called me in for a kidnapping,” he pointed out and eyed the man on the other side of the desk “What’s changed?”

Shirota, who had been messaging Hitoshi on his phone, looked at the folder and turned his eyes at Kamenashi Kazuya. To think he’d once been jealous of the man for spending so much time with Akanishi Jin. Once he’d even thought the two were in a relationship. How wrong he’d been.
He put his phone down and sighed “I’m sure you’re already familiar with the case.”
“Three children went missing two weeks ago, Suzuki Ami, Ayu and Ani, 9, 8 and 4 years old,” Kazuya recited “Nobody knows where they’ve gone and a manhunt has gone from national attention to international attention. Yes I’m aware of it.”
Hard not to be aware of it when it was all that had been on the news for days now.

“Well I’m not asking you to solve the case,” Shirota sighed “There are detectives on that already and what they’ve all come to agree on is the fact that Moriyama is definitely insane.”
“You can’t prosecute an insane man,” Kazuya reminded Shirota “This case will be running into a wall.”
“The state can prove that Moriyama was probably sane when he kidnapped those children,” Shirota replied “He can’t take the stand and he can’t defend himself, he can’t say a word in his own defence but he can be prosecuted if he is found guilty. The evidence is all circumstantial too.”

Kazuya frowned. Circumstantial evidence was risky to play with. He could put someone behind bars on maybes and uncertainties but all it would take is one certain piece of evidence to either overturn the ruling or seal it in concrete. It all depended on what the police investigation would find and in the meantime, the courts had to deal with Moriyama.
However, he wasn’t quite in a position to turn down this case. One thing bothered him “Why me?” he asked “Wouldn’t it be better to keep this man in the wings until the investigation is over?”
“That could take years,” Shirota reminded him “And the public need someone to point their fingers at. This man has incriminating evidence-“
“Circumstantial,” Kazuya pointed out.
“Circumstantial evidence but incriminating nonetheless,” Shirota continued “And you’re still the best prosecuting lawyer Japan has.”

Kazuya huffed “So that’s why you called me. It’s not because you think I can do it, it’s because it looks good.”
“We need to show Japan that we are taking care of this,” Shirota pointed out “Having our best detectives out is one thing but using our best prosecuting lawyer to put the suspect behind bars…it shows that we’re doing something.”
“A result that can’t be achieved with any other lawyer, like say…Kuroki Meisa,” Kazuya hummed “Fine. You know my standard price.”
“You’re not cheap, we know,” Shirota huffed and watched as Kazuya got up. He watched Kazuya to the door and frowned “By the way, have you heard from Akanishi Jin lately?”
Kazuya paused at the door, he turned around and shot Shirota a cold look “Why would I?”

It made Shirota feel much better. He smiled “Right. You wouldn’t know anything about him, would you?”
Kazuya resisted the urge to glare at the man and instead turned on his heel. He walked out of the office and when he was gone, Shirota picked up his phone and called Hitoshi.
“Come over tonight,” he spoke as soon as Hitoshi answered “I miss you already.”

-

When Jin usually got a case, he went to the accused first. He’d interview them, get their perspective on the situation first and only after he had all the stats straight from the horses mouth, would he start looking at other pieces of evidence.
Kazuya’s approach was somewhat different. Nevermind that Moriyama was insane and therefore could not testify at all, because Kazuya was prosecution, more often than not, there were times when the accused asked not to let him see them, his job was mainly to find the evidence suggesting guilt.

Which in most cases, was much easier than finding evidence to suggest innocence.
So Kazuya’s first port of call was of course, the arresting officer. In some ways, Kazuya’s job as a prosecution officer was a lot easier. Unlike Jin, who ran around all of Tokyo to find extra witnesses and leads, most of the people Kazuya needed to talk to were all conveniently located in one building. The police department.
He checked the report and found Officer Minho hunched over his desk. Kazuya picked up a report and tapped him on the head, making him look up.

“Ah Kamenashi,” Minho sighed, he leaned back in his seat “I figured I’d be getting a visit from you at some point. This is about Moriyama right?”
“Correct,” Kazuya pulled up a seat to sit next to his desk.
Officers like Minho weren’t high in position enough to get an office. He had a desk…one desk crammed with a lot of other desks. If there was one thing Kazuya could be absolutely sure of in the Japanese Police Force, it was the importance in rank.

“So Moriyama is well known to us,” Minho explained, handing Kazuya a folder of Moriyama’s history “He’s had a troubled life and every now and then he causes a public disturbance. Things like hurling insults and abuse at people closest to him or getting obsessed with his neighbours…usually the people who call us in to get him are creeped out by him.”
“Anything proven?” Kazuya asked as he flicked over the pages.
“Plenty. He has three accounts of alleged sexual assaults. All about 2 years within each other and called on by different women,” Minho nodded “He served time for one of the accounts and on the other two he was on home arrest.”
“Alleged,” Kazuya frowned “So it wasn’t proven?”
“Sexual assault is hard to prove…as I’m sure you’re already well aware,” Minho explained “It’s hard to prove it happened and it’s hard to prove it didn’t. These assaults as well weren’t the full thing. The worst was he apparently cornered the poor girl and got her to touch him by holding her wrist down. The bruises proved something had happened but we never could prove that he was the one who’d put them there.”

“Of course,” Kazuya sighed. Sexual assault cases were always difficult but incredibly sensitive. He was distantly reminded of Ikuta Toma and shook his head. He turned back to the folder “The children were last seen two weeks ago. When was Moriyama declared insane?”
“One week ago,” Minho rolled his eyes “Whether the diagnosis is correct is all up in the air but he admitted himself to clinical help before we got enough evidence to arrest him.”
Kazuya had to hand it to the man, it was the smart way to go. Moriyama probably knew damn well that the courts couldn’t do much with an insane man. So if he saw this coming, admitting himself for psychiatric analysis was a smart move.
Alternatively, he could genuinely be crazy and planned none of this.

“What about his involvement in this case? What evidence do you have?” Kazuya asked “Circumstantial or not, it had to be strong enough to make a move.”
“We have three witnesses saying they saw him near the children the day they disappeared,” Minho replied “And his fingerprints on the school bag of one of the missing children.”
Kazuya nodded “I need the names of those witnesses. I need to get to them before defence does.”
“You’re going to need to move fast then, because Kuroki Meisa already made her move on behalf of her protégé who will be taking this case,” Minho warned. He pulled out a folder and handed it to Kazuya.

“Thank you,” Kazuya stood up, he put the folder in his bag and sighed “If you see Kuroki Meisa around, remind her that her little protégé will not get anywhere if she breastfeeds him this shit.”
“Noted,” Minho hummed as Kazuya stalked off back to his car.
Kazuya growled, Kuroki Meisa was going to be a colossal pain in his ass.

-

When Jin woke up again, he felt like he’d swallowed an ocean. He turned onto his side and coughed out blue liquid. His lungs burnt and his head felt dizzy.
“Morning sunshine.”

Jin opened his eyes. He was lying in what was probably the most comfortable bed he’d been in ever since this entire mess began. His room was different too. It was an actual bedroom, complete with a chest of drawers, a mirror, a bedside table, lightstand, bookcase…
He glanced at Anna sitting next to his bed and groaned “Am I charged now?”
“Sort of,” Anna sighed “You’ve been dormant all your life, this isn’t going to happen overnight. But the good news is that the worst is over, you probably won’t need to go back into that liquid.”
“I like the ‘probably’” Jin groaned “Let me guess, if I get all used up, I might have to go back into that horrible vat of chemicals again?”
“You’re not like an energizer bunny with a limited amount of power,” Anna assured him “Keeping you underwater for an entire hour was long enough for your entire body to get soaked inside and out. It’ll just take a little while for the chemicals to hit everything inside you and wake it up.”
“I understood 50% of that,” Jin admitted and rolled onto his back, he rubbed his head “Everything is fuzzy.”
“You’re going to feel off for a couple of days but I assure you, you’ll get there,” Anna told him “In the meantime you need to rest. Don’t walk, don’t strain yourself, just rest.”

Jin didn’t doubt she was telling the truth. After all, it was his abilities that she needed. He felt his vision waver a little and groaned “And?” he asked as he pressed a hand to his head “What about our deal? Kazuya and Pi?”
“As I said before, I can’t make a move until you can control Hitoshi,” Anna clarified “This will get tricky if he catches on. Once you gain the power to control him, I can bring Kamenashi and Yamashita here.”
“What if he does something to them?” Jin groaned as his vision wavered more and he lay down on the bed “I won’t be your anything if they’re harmed.”
“He won’t hurt them,” Anna assured him “I got to talking with him when he was in the asylum. I know what he wants.”

Jin rubbed at his eyes but when that didn’t work, he gave up and left them closed. He probably just needed rest. He took a deep breath and nodded “Yeah? What does he want?”
“He wants your life,” Anna told him “Your car, your house, your name, your identity, your lover….everything. He thinks you have the life he was supposed to have if you two hadn’t been switched by your parents. He wants you to be the clone and him to be the human. He wanted to be you.”
Jin wanted to believe Kazuya hadn’t fallen for that but from the little tidbits he’d seen through Hitoshi’s eyes, Kazuya had fallen for it. Worst of all, so had Shirota.

Well at least Hitoshi was fucking Shirota and not Kazuya.

“Once Hitoshi is captured and Kamenashi and Yamashita are brought here, we can begin on Trial Zero,” Anna told him.
“Trial Zero, is that what we’re calling it?” Jin threw his arm over his eyes “The trial where you study me and try to duplicate me by putting little mini me’s in pregnant women. Including yourself.”
“It won’t fail the second time around,” Anna replied confidently.
Jin was less convinced. But she was the boss, they had a deal and he felt his consciousness giving out fast. He was out before he could reply.

-

“Nobody saw it coming.”

Koki and Toma walked through what used to be a fully functional asylum. Since the attack, the police had cleaned up the area, removed the bodies and such but it was still very much a restricted zone. They walked with Dr Miles, who had thankfully been absent on the day of the escape.
“The patients remained unharmed but all the staff…” Dr Miles sighed and turned to Koki and Toma “Police are still trying to figure out who did it.”
“Let me guess,” Koki hummed “The cameras weren’t working on the day of the attack.”
“They were deliberately turned off,” Dr Miles nodded “We’re kind of doubting a patient could have done it but considering the two patients in question…”
“Hitoshi and Hikaru,” Koki nodded “I’m not sure about Hikaru but Hitoshi at the very least is not someone to be underestimated. He’s smart.”

“They were also on 24-hour care,” Dr Miles shrugged “If they were behind this, they can’t have been alone.”
“Yes but this isn’t the first time Hitoshi has escaped this asylum,” Koki reminded him darkly “He escaped earlier this year and thankfully we were able to find him and return him. Something we should not have done, in retrospect.”
“I don’t understand how he managed it. This is the most secure facility in America, he shouldn’t have been able to escape so easily,” Dr Miles continued, a little defensively.
“I suspect he might have had help,” Koki sighed “I need a list of your staff who were here on the day as well as a detailed report on what parts of the asylum have been damaged, missing objects, the lot.”
“Yes sir,” Dr Miles nodded. He hurried off and Toma rolled his eyes.

“Why did you put Hitoshi in here?” Toma asked “Even after he escaped once, why did you bring him back here?”
“Wasn’t my call, it was Shirota’s,” Koki folded his arms “And he’s right. This is the most secure asylum in the States.”
“Not secure enough obviously…” Toma muttered.
Koki shook his head “We’re dealing with Hitoshi here. He wouldn’t have been any better off in Japan. He’d have escaped there too. Someone helped him and we need to find out who.”

Toma leaned against the wall and looked around the hallways. Though forensics had cleaned up the place, the eerily vacant look of the halls was creepy. To think the staff had actually been slaughtered here but the patients left in their cells.
Inevitably, his thoughts turned back to Yamapi as they always did and he frowned “Koki. Did you notice anything off with Pi?”
“I don’t talk to the guy enough to notice much,” Koki admitted “Lately I haven’t been talking to any of them. Been too busy with police academy.”
Toma eyed him “Not to mention that you’re the only one who knew Hitoshi was still alive. I imagine that put a rift between you and the Jin Collective.”
“It was Shirota’s call and I think it was for Kame and Jin more than anything,” Koki sighed “They wouldn’t have been able to carry on with their lives knowing that Hitoshi was still alive somewhere. It was better for both of them to think he was dead.”
“Except now he’s on the loose and they’re not on their guard,” Toma reminded Koki darkly.
“Again. That was Shirota’s call,” Koki muttered.
“Since when have you been Shirota’s bitch boy?” Toma questioned “The guy is annoying as shit, he’s a pencil pusher.”
“He’s also the chief of police,” Koki reminded him “And I’m not his bitch boy. I never thought Hitoshi would ever escape this place and I didn’t see the point in worrying Kame and Jin when I didn’t have to. We were so certain that Hitoshi would never get out of here so what’s the point in scaring everyone by telling them he’s still alive?”

“Yes but now he’s escaped and you still won’t tell them,” Toma pointed out.
Koki glared at Toma for a moment and looked away “It’s Shirota’s call,” he muttered.
Toma shook his head “Bitch boy.”

Five uncomfortable minutes later, Dr Miles finally returned with an archive box of files and folders. He handed them to Koki “That’s all I could pull up,” he promised “Now if you’ll excuse me, we are dangerously understaffed and we still have too many patients.”
With a nod, he left and Koki eyed the box in his arms.
“Come on,” Koki sighed “We can sort through this shit back at the hotel.”
Toma watched after him and followed. He still wasn’t entirely convinced about this but he had no choice. The sooner they found something, anything, the sooner they could find Hitoshi.

Hopefully they’d find him before he found Yamapi.

-

Kazuya looked up when Tatsuya came in through the office door carrying two stacked boxes of files and photos. He sighed “Isn’t it great to have an assistant who can go question the three witnesses for you?”
“What did you find?” Kazuya asked, he got up and went to help Tatsuya carry the boxes into the middle of the room and place them on the coffee table.
“Three witnesses, all batty,” Tatsuya huffed “Ichigo, Ringo and Budou.”
“You’re kidding,” Kazuya gaped.
“I kid you not,” Tatsuya huffed “Ichigo and Ringo are these two old biddies who spend their time together. They knit, they do pottery, they talk and they talk.”

Kazuya sat down on the couch. He pulled through the files and smirked “Let me guess, they talked your ear off.”
“Fucks sake it took me SO long to get them to get to the point,” Tatsuya groaned “Basically what I managed to work out was that they claim to have seen Moriyama lure the kids into his car the morning they were kidnapped. They’re willing to go on stand to testify.”
“Fine,” Kazuya rubbed his face and put the file down “And Budou?”
“Budou is a seven-year-old boy who claims he witnessed Moriyama taking the kids away,” Tatsuya looked at Kazuya “But he also claims to have invented the internet. He’s on pills for ADHD and boy is he hyper. Overhyper.”
“I’m reluctant to have a seven-year-old on stand,” Kazuya winced “According to the police reports, they’re the only three witnesses to have come forward so we’ll have to leave Budou and go for Ichigo and Ringo. I doubt Kuroki would force an ADHD seven-year-old to take the stand.”

“Yes,” Tatsuya looked reluctant “But it’s not Kuroki you’re dealing with, it’s her protégé. God knows what he’ll do and I’m not allowed to talk to Ryo to find out.”
“We’ll tackle that when it comes to it,” Kazuya promised “All that’s left is to interrogate the man himself,” he sighed “I’ll do that tomorrow. The trial is soon.”
Tatsuya nodded and looked over the files “Do you want me to sort these?”
“Yeah, head home afterwards,” Kazuya rubbed at his eyes “I’ll head out soon as well. Need to check on something before I go home.”
“You mean Pi?” Tatsuya sat down on the couch and started in on the files. He looked at Kazuya knowingly “You’ve been hounding him relentlessly.”

“I just don’t accept what he’s doing,” Kazuya sighed “Something is desperately off here and I want to find out what that is.”
“You’re not going to get your answers from hounding him,” Tatsuya hummed as Kazuya got up and went to get his bags.
Kazuya knew that but he also didn’t want to leave Yamapi alone. A thought occurred to him and he pulled his bag up on his shoulder “I’ll see Moriyama tomorrow, head home when you’re done there.”
“I love doing paperwork,” Tatsuya groaned as Kazuya headed out of the office.
Tatsuya looked over the files and took a deep breath. It was different facing someone other than Akanishi Jin. It wasn’t that they hadn’t done it before but knowing that Akanishi Jin was out of the legal pool altogether wasn’t something anyone could have predicted. Tatsuya had to wonder what brought it on. Had he been wanting to do it for awhile? Was this a spontaneous thing? He hadn’t even warned Kazuya or Ryo, the two people who should have known everything.
Tatsuya shook his head and got to work. There was no point in reflecting. Especially on the impossible mind belonging to Akanishi Jin.

-

Nakamaru Yuichi looked up when the bell above his shop door jingled. He frowned “We’re closed.”
“Then lock your door,” Kazuya replied, appearing from behind the mannequin that was inconveniently placed right in front of the door. He pushed it gently out of the way and closed the door behind himself before heading up to where Yuichi was sorting out the daily till “Productive day?”
“Not really,” Yuichi put the rest of the money in the safe and locked it “Fewer and fewer people wanting expensive itchy clothing these days.”
“You should look into selling other things as well…or maybe lowering your ridiculously high prices,” Kazuya suggested “I mean really. There’s socks behind you that seem to be priced at 50,000 yen. Each.”
“They’re…the cotton is expensive!” Yuichi exclaimed defensively “Anyway, what are you doing here? If not to insult my clothes.”
“I’m here about that doomsday prediction you had,” Kazuya replied “Now it’s not that I believe you. Because I don’t think the world is going to end but for the sake of the Jin Collective, I have a task for you.”

“Ooh,” Yuichi’s eyes lit up a little and he leaned against his desk “What can I do?”
“Keep a very, very close eye on Yamapi,” Kazuya instructed “I’ve tried getting to him, it’s not working and Jin – for some reason – isn’t comforting him. I don’t know what’s wrong so I need you to watch him without him knowing that you’re watching him.”
Yuichi frowned “You want me to spy on him?”
“Essentially yes,” Kazuya shrugged “Some weird things have been happening and it’s not doomsday but I don’t understand what it is and I need an extra pair of eyes.”

Yuichi hummed “I can get the others in on this.”
“So long as you don’t let Yamapi know you’re watching him, do what you like,” Kazuya sighed “I’m worried about him. First he breaks up with Toma for no reason, then he looks like shit whilst he continues with his prostitution work. If he looked okay, I’d let it go but he doesn’t.”
“We’ll keep an eye on him,” Yuichi promised “I’ll get the others in on it. We can take turns watching him.”
“Good,” Kazuya nodded “Good. Just make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”
“What? Like kill himself?” Yuichi rose his eyebrows “I can understand Pi being depressed even though he was the one who did the dumping but I don’t think he’s the kind to commit suicide.”
“No, like take the wrong client,” Kazuya sighed “I suspect Pi’s sense of judgement is seriously impaired at the moment and I don’t want him doing something dumb. Just look after him. I’d do it myself but he’d notice me.”

Yuichi nodded and Kazuya checked the time “Anyway, leave it off until tomorrow. It’s too late now to do anything.”
“Gotcha,” Yuichi watched Kazuya head towards his door. Before Kazuya left, Yuichi spoke up “Hey Kame. Do you really think something’s going on?”
Kazuya paused at the door and looked at him “It’s not doomsday,” he clarified “But it’s something.”
“Oh. Something,” Yuichi hummed, watching as Kazuya turned on his heel and left his shop. When he was gone, Yuichi sighed “So it is doomsday.”

Part 2

December 2016

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