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02 March 2011 @ 07:10 pm
123  
 
a little bird perches itself on my shoulder and asks me many questions
what are my desires, what are my dreams, what are the wishes that i make
on the stars i happen to catch glances of late at night
i cannot answer, so it adds a little more weight on my back,
pulls a string around my neck just a little bit tighter
and flies away to ask me these things on yet another day
for i am unsure of my passions
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:49 am
T h e    D e v i l

Scene 9

When the days go by without the sight of Naruse Ryo or Serizawa Naoto, Ariake Koichi knoew for sure that he'd never see them ever again. When he takes the early morning train, more out of habit now, he would not see the detective. Or when he'd unconciously stray to the library or in front of the lawyer's office, he knows he would not see Ryo there. Loneliness tugs at his heart, yanking at it in deep sorrow and loss. Both of the places seemed to have something missing now, it was the certain presences that Koichi has grown to watch out for without his knowing.

On the day Ariake had decided to turn himself in, he had a dream. In it was a blaring white light, shining so vibrantly into the man's eyes. Emotions flickered over him: sadness, rage, guilt, lost, and fear. Just as the darkness looming behind him crept closer, as if to swallow him whole from behind, two hands are outstretched towards him. Gratefulness washed over him as he takes the hands with his own, not once doubting them, because he just knew they could be trusted. As Koichi is pulled into the light two voices whisper to him.

Goodbye.

A final parting and he woke up, tears glistening on his face. It was only natural for him to cry, anyone would if someone close to you just wasn't there anymore. Only after you've cried until no tears come can you begin to move on, things that were unclear before and the magical things that the person had bestowed on you were crystal clear then. There was sadness in this farewell but also an unspoken feeling, the emotion of gratitude. Without knowing so, a person can affect another so deeply.

----

Koichi turns himself in after the incident and is put into jail for a while. The days he spends there were calm as he would sort out his scattered feelings. He had loved Naruse Ryo. That, Ariake had made not of as a fact. He had also loved Serizawa Naoto. And that, was also a fact. All Koichi wanted to do was love others. It was easy to resent, hold a grudge, and hate a person, but it was a different challenge to loving another person. He wanted to find a reason, any at all, for any person that would make him 'love' them. He wanted to be able to help others, to give them hope to a brighter future. He...he wanted to love Shizuna and Taisuke as an older bother should, as a family would. Koichi wanted this for the rest of his life.

When he is released he knows he can start from scratch once more. There's the resteruant now, his along with his siblings, and the smells are just like when they were children. There's the warm atmosphere or being welcomed somewhere and happiness there. He knows that he is alive, watching over everyone, loved and loving.

Naruse Ryo and Serizawa Naoto had saved his life.

They had saved him from ruining himself and his life, taking to dark path that he was trying to run away to. Only now does Koichi realize that back then when the pain gripped his being so harshly, it was just another symbol that showed that he was truly alive. A human being's heart is like a pheonix, when a part of it dies it may seem like you're completely dead inside but only alive on the outside, but as time slowly drifts forward, it begins anew, reborn from the ashes and becoming a whole once more. The process can be slow and painful, some things might happen that you may never forget, but surely someday the wound heals. The overwhelming sorrow simmers and is replaced by something else, hope. You have to move on because no one can live in the past, you must live looking forwards, always.

Koichi wonders if someday he will meet the two once more. Maybe not in this life time or even this world, but the man knows they would meet the two once more. Maybe under the star studded sky as meteors streaked by they would be basking in bliss. Their wounds healed by then and everyone starting from a clean slate, untainted and unmarred, not victims or killers, just...people. They would be happy. Koichi didn't mind if they were to stay like that for eternity. Forever and always, forever and ever. They had been connected by their sorrow, but the unending hope for a new day would bind them together.

Ariake Koichi stares at dusk, the sun slowly going downwards Closing his eyes, he sends the image mentally to the other two, wherever they may be. He bids farewell to them and also to the radiant sun.

The sun would still rise again, shining vibrantly, tomorrow.

The End

 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:48 am

T h e    D e v i l

Scene 8

Naruse Ryo prays to himself deep in his heart that Ariake Koichi does not continue to stray down this path. The path is dark and thorny, and it destroys at your inard with such malice and unforgiveness. There was nothing the lawyer could do anymore, but to silently hope, only leaving behind the past comfort he had spared to the other man. He hoped that the feeling would linger in the man's heart, serving as a light or at least a spark to ignite hope into the future of him.  As soon as his used-to-be accomplice had stabbed him, Naruse knew that he was going to die even before a single drop of blood had dripped from the wound. His body felt heavy and spasmed with pain with his every sharp intake of air, yet the agony was no match against the sorrow he had felt when his family had died and the regret and guilt when he had murdered the others. His body swayed slightly as lightheadedness claimed him, plopping himself down to the bench that was conviently close. Only then did he vaguely notice that Yamano had scuttered away, driven by shame and misguided anger and hopelessness that was bottled within him. The lawyer's mobile rings and it's Serizawa Naoto, he is not surprised. The man's voice trembles slightly, his breath hitching ever so faintly with every inhale, and Naruse can feel his anger and overpowering sadness. It was the same as when his own brother had died, the hopeless feelings that were almost unexplainable that claimed your being with the harshness of truth and reality. Maybe now Serizawa would understand his feelings on such a scale, yet somewhere deep in Ryo's heart was the same regret Naoto had in his, the remorse for creating a victim and destroying one's life.

Taking a shuddering breath, he buttons up his jacket to conceal his wound, as if by doing so he can also guard his emotions, before pushing himself up to a stand and steps to his destination. With each step it grows more forced and hard, his mask slowly dissolving.

This would be the final act to his plan.

---

When they speak, Naruse's mouth is on autopilot, words spilling out without much thought anymore. It isn't calculated and by script, it just is. His head speaks the words for him, feeding them to his mouth, and it becomes a huge effort just to stand. The world is spinning around him, dizziness whurls into each small movement, his eyes almost blank and cold. It's like he's becoming more and more like a corpse with each and every second. He just wants Serizawa to end this, to end his suffering by taking his life. That was to be the final act. When it's clear that the detective can't do it, aware of his intentions now, his fingers fumble for the trigger. They fight, wrestling, both struggling to grasp ahold of the gun. There's a loud bang and the scent of gun powder lingers in the air. His stomache aches more and the two collaspe into a sit with one another. The lawyer can see the other man's expression, a calm smile of his face as death approaches closer. It wasn't supposed to be like this, but he no longer has any more energy to regret. Naoto's smile and words comfort him, making him reach peace. Silently Naruse Ryo counts their last breaths, they remind him of the clock's lullaby and Koichi's warmth that day. He can feel a tingle on his clammy skin, it seems to sparkle, dancing on him as the memory seems so close now yet fading at the same time. Their breaths begin to even out, like a low hum of a song, like Koichi humming to himself tunelessly, and it brings the two in enternal slumber, never will their eyes open again to the world.

During the last few moments he hears the sound of running, feet slapping against ground. His head tilts to lean on Serizawa's shoulder, hoping that next time all of them could be friends instead of foes in a tragic, unescapable game.

---

Faraway, Ariak Koichi clutches the trigger. His hands are moist with cold sweat as the gun's metal surface chills him to the bone. One shot that could change his life forever. His hand tightens on the dark metal in his hands.
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:47 am
T h e    D e v i l

Scene 7

Ariake Koichi knew that taking revenge for his parents' death would only bring more agony to him. Despite knowing so, he also kne that he couldn't just let it go, it wasn't as simple as that, the consticting and binding overwhelming feeling in his chest would not allow him to do so that easily. The promise his siblings and himself had made almost fifteen years ago still held onto his heart, burned into his memory so intensely it was as if it had left a scar, a permanent mark symbolizing that he would never, could never forget what had happened and all the grief and hatred cause because of it. He had promised Shizuna, he had promised Taisuke, he had promised and swore on his parents' lost souls, and even promised himself that once he found the murderer he would kill them. He had made that promise as a child stripped of his innocence and naivity, heartbroken and lost, and he would avenge that child. Koichi only hoped that when he did Tasuke and Shizuna would not be present so that he could recieve all the blame himself. Unlike him, they had a full life ahead of them, just about to begin. They had hope to live the rest of their lives fulfillingly, not as victims but as sheer human beings. To the oldest of the three, he felt as if he had already died the very second he had laid eyes on the bloodstained corpses of his parents. A sight that he would never forget even past his own death, it flashed vermillion with all the blood around them on the familiar old mats. He had wanted them to just pop up from the ground, smiling and laughing about how it was just a cruel joke that they played on him as punishment for sneaking out. But they did not rise, not even their chests were moving up and down, inhale and exhale, as a sign of breathing. Even though he knew they were dead, he had not wanted to believe. He had not wanted to believe that the two that watched over him so closely for all his life were gone, never to share a fond memory with or a kind or lecturing word with anymore. The cherished memories he felt that he had taken for granted had all turned into broken dreams and nightmares in just one second that he was gone.

Why?

Koichi had felt the pain from both Naruse Ryo and Serizawa Naoto, in the way Naruse had held him tightly to his own body to the passionate kiss he had shared with Serizawa. They had both expressed such guilt and agony that it pained Koichi just seeing them like that. He could feel their hands and hearts trembled, faltering and wavering in shuddering grief. Both had experianced such lost and such sorrow, poignant.

Yet, Ariake Koichi could not stop now. He had spent the last fourteen, almost fifteen now, years searching for the murderer so that he could be the one to kill him with his own hands. If he gave up now, all those years of grieving and planning would've been in vain. All those years of unhappiness grappling at his chest for nothing. It didn't matter how much it hurt to keep progressing forward on this. It didn't matter how much his body was eing wrecked due to the waves of anger and sorrow. As long as the killer would pay in the end, Ariake was willing to do pratically anything.

"Aniki, what're you thinking about?" Taisuke asked as he glanced his way, taking a slow sip from the can of beer in his hands. The three siblings were on the roof again, lying on the ground to gaze at the stars splashed on the dark night sky. For a brief moment Koichi remembered the kiss he had shared with Serizawa here not long ago. The man had tasted bitter and sweet from the alchohol, soft mouth forming gently against his own. Then his thoughts went to Naruse, his mouth also soft yet so tenderly careful. The final thought was of fourteen, almost fifteen, years ago, the view Taisuke and him had both saw in the nigth sky. The man dismissed the thoughts, knowing that if he thought too deeply about all of it that his face would surely flush with a mix of joy, embarassment, anger, and nostalgia. his throat hummed lowly as he spoke.

"Nothing much."

"You have that look on your face again," he finds Shizuna's eyes on him that seemed to try to study and decipher him, their usual glimmer absent due to the seriousness of the atmosphere, "That pitiful look." A part of him wants to burst and blurt out all of his uncertainties to Shizuna and Taisuke. To say that he can't help it when he had that look. To tell them that he was breaking and broken as he had been all along, and just wished this was all over and done with. But he knew by doing so, indulging such a selfish wish, he would frighten them, letting them know that he was not so certain and 'invincible' as he pretended to be. He also had pride, such a terrible and eclipsing thing. Though, if not for his own sake but for Shizuna and Taisuke's sake, he had to hold strong and firmly in place. As the oldest it was his unspoken duty to shield and protect them with anything within his power and some beyond. The other part of him wished to hide the fear and sadness in order to prevent anymore sorrow and burden to his siblings. He listened to that side, keeping quiet as his loneliness and unhappiness fought to explode out and materialize in his words. Slowly he swallowed down the feelings, obediantly taking that shots his family threw his way. It didn't matter how much they insulted and loathed it of him, as long as they were protected from the harshness of reality even if only a little. As long as they could be shielded from the cruelty of truth for a little while longer. Even if for a few more moments, a few more breaths, that they could keep the small shred of innocence with them, the naivity, that would be enough.

 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:45 am
T h e    D e v i l
Scene 6

As the chilly evening air crept in and through the detective's clothes, Serizawa Naoto quickened his pace. Betrayul was harsh as secrets hid cruelty and filthiness beneath the skin, flesh-deep layer. Souda...and Kasai, his two best friends both had their secrets and lies, and Naruse Ryo had used them, extorted them to his will. He needed proof, evidence to put the man behind bars for good, so that no other person would be hurt, mentally and physically. Agony gripped and clenched deep in Naoto's chest, and it felt as if at any given moment now he would stop breathing, collaspe on the chilled cement or the ground, and cease to exist. The pain of losing everyone and the pain of not knowing what had been happening all along around him eclisped his thoughts. Just as the truth could set a person free, so could it bind a person down, shackling each and every one of their limbs so they were immobile and helpless. The considerably tall man pushed the thoughts about how he was feeling away, feeling himself close to tears now, he did not want to experiance such hurt anymore for it was destryoing him and he could feel it. He could feel parts of him dying within his body now, silently yet comencing rotting away to oblivion. His hands trembled and shook from guilt, sorrow, betrayul...and fear. Serizawa shut his eyes, a curtain of darkness, as he took a shuddering breath of air in obvious pain, all the while continuing to walk forwards. He heard the prolonged bark of a car's honking horn and his eyes snapped open. His body stopped and grew rigid in place as the car continued to speed towards him. He saw the driver's desperate face, he didn't want to be a murderer, did he? A strange malicious and bitter feeling that he contempted came over him, it was the urge to hurt and cause pain, sadistic and vile twisting in a dark knot in his chest. He wanted to cause pain to tha driver, to just stand there and use his life to make the man into a horror. He wanted to make that man evil, to let all the possibly hidden corruptness and hae shoot out from his panicking face, to make him into something he didn't want to be. Anger flared in the detective's chest then, ashamed and raged at himself for wanting that, he was about to step back when another thought hit ...maybe if he died right here the remaining people close to him would be spared. Maybe he would recieve forgiveness by dying here, paying for his many sins that had followed him throughtout his whole life. Naoto's eyes closed again and for a moment there was a sense of peace and bliss that washed over him. All the sounds around him faded so dull that they were almost inaudible now, stretching in a low hum.

"You idiot!" a hand belonging to the outraged voice grabs at Serizawa's wrist, yanking him back to safety. The detective's eyes flicker open and widens in shock as the car whizzes past him, the honk from it long and loud quiets down as it passed him. In bewilderment, he notes to himself that he not only wasn't dead but very much alive without a single wound. The owner of the hand pulls him further back again, dragging Naoto off to a different direction as the voice mutters later on with silent anger and concern, "You really are a fool, aren't you?" Ariake Koichi scolds the taller man once he sucessfully brings him to his room above the resteraunt. The cook swats the man on the head as he exclaims, "You could've been killed!" He falls silent and they are both quiet. Finally the detective speaks up with eyes directed downwards to his feet.

"Maybe...it would've been better if I was."

Hi comment is quiet and suddenly arms embrace him tightly, a face pressed against his nape. "Don't you dare say that!" a voice wavers to his skin, "You're a good person...even if you did make some mistakes it doesn't mean you have to die!" The man's hands tighten at the cloth at Serizawa's back, clumping them in fistfuls in his hands. "You have to live on...you have to live and...and..." Koichi trails off in a shuddering breath and the detective feels dampness at his neck. Gently he holds the other man at an arms length away.

"You're crying." There is pain in Naoto's voice as he stares at the man's pale face stricken with sorrow and tears.

"Does it..." Ariake finds his voice again but its faltering, "Does it hurt to kill someone?" His voice his a hoarse whisper, as if the grief he felt was a harsh sun, drying up his throat so it was scratchy.

"Yes..." Serizawa reaches his hand to grip that front of the other man's shirt, "It hurts...it's as if you've killed a part of yourself when you kill someone." He whispers fade to silence as his other hand at the small of the man's back pulls him closer as Koichi leans forward, capturing Naoto's lips in a passionate kiss. The touch is of all the almost unexplainable feelings... The sorrow they both felt, the guilt, the pain, and all of the meshed up emotions that overlapped. A deep, deep melancholy. Ariake could feel the man's agony as his soft lips touched the others, as a tongue entered his mouth, softly molding and dancing in a overwhelming yet sad number. It hurt as much as being a victim, if not more.

Koichi pulled back and rested his head with one ear pressed against the other man's chest, as if listening to the detective's heartbeat as he whispers, "I'm sorry."

Naoto didn't know what he was apologizing for.
 
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:44 am

T h e    D e v i l

 

Scene 5

 

Naruse Ryo is slightly amused when he finds Ariake Koichi barging into his office unannounced and seemingly uncaring of the fact. The seated man behind the desk glancing at the clock hung up on the wall, noticing that by this time he should be off from work and at home by now. He turned his gaze back to his visitor, discarding the pile of paperwork that had made him lose track of time to address the other. “Ariake Koichi-san, what brings you to my office today?” The man took a seat across from him, slumping into the chair comfortably. His fingers tapped the armchair in a makeshift beat for several moments before he finally spoke up with a serious expression.

 

“What does it feel like to kill someone?” Koichi’s eyes are glazed over, shimmering and glassy as his mind drifted far away. His expression becomes unreadable even to the normally observant lawyer. “When you take a person’s life, does it hurt?” his dark eyes are lidded as his head rests back on the head of the furniture, “Does the pain in your heart go away? Does the constriction unwind itself in your chest?” A pale hand rests on top of his chest limply as it slowly tightens into a fist, grasping at the cloth of the front of his shirt. “Or does the agony remain, becoming more unbearable with each day that pasts?” Ariake’s voice falters to a whisper by then and Naruse can see the overwhelming sorrow in each and every one of the man’s features. His own hand tightens at the surface of his rich wood desk, futilely grabbing at the smooth surface. He wants to hold the other man at that very moment, to press encouraging and comforting words that would take away his pain even if momentarily. But he couldn’t do such a thing, to be in the position of risking that the cook could become close to him, straying him off the path of his objective. He must complete the revenge he had started for the sake of his deceased brother, because he now knew that he could not live any other way. If he got close to the boy, he would only hurt him when he left. “Naruse-san…” the lawyer peers up to meet the wavering gaze of Koichi who seems torn and almost wrecked by emotion, “Where and what is justice? Am what I’m doing justice? Because there is a killer, must there be a victim? If I…if I kill the man who killed my parents, will it just create a hurt person who will then in turn come after me? A…a person just like me.” The man seems so small as he pulls his knees to his chest, burying his head into his knees as if scrunched up by the ache of the hole in his chest, as his voice grows softer still, so soft that Ryo almost misses his words. “Is it possible for me to stop being a victim?

 

It was that question that broke Naruse’s heart, pulling and jerking on his heartstrings violently. He wanted to ignore the pain by acting naïve, pretending nothing of such had just happened, but he also wished to just embrace the other man, if not able to give an answer than to at least be able to comfort the man. “It hurts…a lot…” Naruse whispers, realizing that fact himself as he says it, and he murmurs his story to the boy. How his brother had been murdered, and how he was killing everyone that was dear to his brother’s murderer for revenge. And by seeing the broken man’s face now, realizing that the two now shared the same pain of loss, a pain that no one should have to suffer. Pushing himself up quietly from the desk, the smooth sound of the wheels of his chair rolling back against the ticking of the clock, Ryo gently sat himself on the armrest of where Koichi sat. With one hand, he slowly placed it at the side of the other man’s head, pulling him closer to him so that Ariake’s head now rested on his lap. Tenderly, Naruse stroked the side of the man’s face, tracing the cheekbone through soft skin in a fluid yet soothing manner. He didn’t want the man to go through such pains. The lawyer knew that he couldn’t take back the agony of becoming and being a victim, but he wanted to spare the man the guilt and pain of becoming and being a killer. “Please don’t…” The two remained like that for a long time, the tick tock of the clock becoming almost like a lullaby to them. When Ryo peered down to the man whose head was rested against his thigh, he saw that Koichi’s eyes had long fluttered shut, lulled to peaceful slumber from the clock that hung on the smooth walls and even breaths that the two took. Careful not to jerk too much or too suddenly in the process, the lawyer removed his jacket gently and draped it lightly on Ariake’s sleeping form. The man grumbled slightly as he rolled his head deeper against Naruse’s thigh, scrunching up his brow. As if Ryo was ironing a shirt, he smoothed out the crease on the man’s brow, almost as if clearing Koichi’s troubles in the process.

 

Naruse Ryo watched the clock attentively, seeming almost hypnotized by the beat of it. He wanted to protect this victim, not as a lawyer but as a human being, to spare him the pain of being a murderer.

 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:43 am

T h e    D e v i l

 

Scene 4

 

Silence fell upon the two figures. Ariake Koichi stared at the sitting form of Serizawa Naoto with a mix of curiosity and amusement. The other man was peering downwards at the counter, as if unable to meet his eyes. With a tentative yet sly smirk Koichi leans down close to Naoto and waited. Slowly Serizawa’s head bobbed up, finally meeting the other man’s gaze. At that moment Ariake wriggled his eyebrows suddenly, earning a surprised chuckle from the detective. The wriggler of eyebrows grinned like a lazy feline, proud and mischievous, and remained in that position, clearly invading the personal space of the other. “So we meet again,” Koichi whispers huskily and grins wider now, knowing that the space between their faces was not much which allowed his warm breath to tickle Serizawa’s face. Naoto flushed as Ariake pulled away to stalk over to the door gracefully to close up for the night. All the while he hummed quietly to himself as the seated man stared after him. Koichi glanced at the other with the corner of his eye, feeling the gaze following him, and how the detective looked as if he was in deep thought. He noticed how the man’s shoulders sagged slightly as if a mysterious force weighed him down, just as Shizuna described how he looked when he was looking ‘pitiful’. The man shook himself, letting out a deep troubled sigh as he pushed himself upwards to a stand.

 

“I should get going if you’re closing.” Naoto spared him a small smile. It was a smile born from politeness, unlike joy was forced and stressed so that no one could see what he was truly feeling underneath.

 

“No,” Koichi shook his head, “Stay. Stay and have a drink with me.” He didn’t like those smiles; he didn’t like it when a person smiled despite their true emotions. He could see the hurt, the agony it brought to act happy when a person wasn’t happy. It shone in their eyes, bringing as much pain as a bleeding wound or a blotchy bruise. To see the detective like that made his chest ache, knowing that probably in the other man’s heart he was feeling a thousand times that ache. It would tear at his chest, grasping flesh and continuing to grab despite the discomfort.

 

Serizawa bit his lower lip as if debating it over and it was his turn to shake his head as his gaze drifted downwards to the ground, “I have work tomorrow.”

 

“So do I.”

 

In his mind, as if sending out the challenge mentally, Koichi dared him to refuse. If only a little and if only for a while he wanted to soothe and comfort the man as unhappiness grappled at him. The shorter man stalked over to him, raising his hand so that his fingertips were smoothing out the crease in Serizawa’s forehead, as if by doing so his troubles would go away too. Finally with a resigned sigh, Naoto nodded, “Fine, but only for a little while.” A little while was all Koichi wanted, needed, even if it was just a prolonged ten or fifteen minutes he would gladly accept it. Every second he spent with that man, something in his chest would progress and blossom wider, bigger, and more extravagant. So much so that his chest would ache for a totally different reason then from before. Ariake grabbed him by the hand, dragging him along as he shut off the set of lights, picked up a pack of beer, and trekked up the flight of stairs to the roof, all the while noting to himself that the hand in his was warm to his touch. Shizuna was probably with that Togami Yukinari, despite her denial and him acting blind to it as Taisuke probably was roaming freely in a bar of some sort amongst a crowd of females. Koichi felt a twinge of loneliness creep into his heart, as part of him was afraid that his siblings would move on forward and leave him behind. He shook away the emotion as he opened the door to the roof, as soon as he stepped foot outside he let go of his hold on the taller man. His hand felt cold then, as if something was wretched from it and now felt a sense of missing. Slowly and tentatively as he stowed away the insecure feelings deep into his being, he walked out to the fence, observing the sight of late night traffic filled with blazing lights. To him they were so bright it was almost scorching, the artificial beauty so pretty yet contaminated by sin. Ironically they reminded Koichi of stars, but more dirty. More corrupt and plain filthy, they were. Closing his eyes, a cool evening breeze blew over him, leaving his skin slightly chilled yet refreshed. He listened to the low hum of cars littering the streets in masses and the secretive whispery whistle of the wind. Opening his eyes again, he turned around and stalked midway to the detective before sitting himself to face the fence once more. After a few moments Serizawa joined him, and took the can of beer offered to him from Koichi. The smaller man laid down to monitor the twinkling stars against the dark night sky, hearing the snap and fizz coming from the other man opening the can.

 

“Give me some,” Koichi murmured, reaching his hand up for the can.

 

“Open your own,” Serizawa tapped the other man’s forehead with a low chuckle and a playful expression on his face as the hand holding the can dodged the outstretched reach.

 

Koichi growled, equally as playful, “I gave you that.” He intertwines his hand into the detective’s hair, rubbing the man’s scalp relaxingly with his fingertips. The man lets out a satisfied hum deep from his throat. Koichi gently pulls him closer, nudging the man to take initiative to follow or stop him if he disagreed. Naoto allows himself to be pulled downwards into a blissful kiss. They taste the bitterness and burn of beer and sweetness with soft lips. They flavour withheld and kept emotions that are stored deep in their souls, those that are hidden from view, on their tongues, as if tasting the words unsaid there. Serizawa forgets his difficulties momentarily, lost in the instant as Ariake invisibly grasps at his troubles, taking and keeping them to himself so that the weight could be lifted if only for a while. He would gladly carry the weight for him for now, wishing to give the man the break he needed. As the lips part their breathing is irregular and as their breaths even out, Koichi rests his head in the other man’s lap as he closes his eyes. His whisper penetrates the night in a plea, “Please don’t go yet...” His mind continues the broken sentence, feeling somehow that the other man understood it without him saying it aloud.

 

Please don’t go yet and be hurt once more.
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:42 am

T h e    D e v i l

 

Scene 3

 

When detective Kashiwabara brings him out for dinner, Serizawa Naoto grows weary, all he wanted to do was crawl into his bed and remain there forever. It was the blankets and sheets twisting around him that brought him comfort, a sense of security and a small tinge of forever, as if, if he laid there time itself would discontinue, and all the horrid things would slink away, replaced by calm, happy thoughts. Discovering that the lawyer, Naruse Ryo, who had been close to him throughout that cases that had commenced was indeed the criminal behind all of it had been a shock. Naoto, with his own eyes, had saw what had his actions done to the man, how he had ruined the man’s life drastically. The detective had grown sad, angry, and played all at the same times. He and also felt the sense of fear, goose bumps aligned up and down his arms as his hands moisturized by cold sweat were clammy and uncomfortable. The thoughts whirled in his consciousness along with the haunting of unanswered questions and the preparation of more pain to come. He withheld the urge to yell at the top of his lungs at anything and anybody, holding it in his aching chest and simmering the feeling of being about to burst. The scream had slowly boiled into a mild sore, still remaining as a constant reminder but not so overwhelming that it lashed at his insides like a rabid beast hungering for flesh and blood. This, however, seemed to take a toll on his body. Fatigue that he had not noticed before consumed him. It did to a point that he wished he could just collapse, and to the point he wanted to go to sleep and never wake up again. But the thought of what little he had that remained, the precious few, drove and motivated him even more to find a way to put a stop to Naruse. Shiori’s words came back to him from memory about how the killer was in deep pain like him and wished to be stopped. Guilt sagged his shoulders with burden, the weight of truth and knowledge, if he had not killed Manaka Hideo, Naruse…no, Manaka Tomoo would not be like this now. He could have been happy, living with his family by his side and possible having a family of his own, but Naoto had taken it all from him. And even with that fact, he was not the one to die, to pay for his mistake.

 

Serizawa swiftly blinked twice, knocking such thoughts out of his mind. He had no time to be depressed over it, he had to find proof to convict Naruse and protect the few that were still alive. He had to stop the man so that he could save his family and friends…and the even Naruse Ryo, the man he had distorted. The other detective present called over his shoulder for Naoto to hurry up. With a resigned sigh he quickly followed the older man into an unfamiliar restaurant. Inside he took a seat beside Kashiwabara, running a hand through his unruly hair. He looked down to the counter, glossy and smooth, as the other man ordered. Kashiwabara prodded at him afterwards for what he wanted and Serizawa murmured, “Same thing,” Half-heartedly as his fingertips ghosted the surface of the counted, cool to his touch. A steaming plate of food was placed before him and the detective recognized the smell vaguely from somewhere even though he had never in his life tasted or came upon the dish before. Even though he had been out of it, didn’t the other detective order curry? Kashiwabara’s love for curry and chocolate, and more so the two together, was legendary at headquarters. A voice spoke, crisp and recognizable, “Hayashi rice.” Naoto gazed upwards for the first time, peering into Ariake Koichi in surprise. He opened his mouth to speak just as Kashiwabara ordered him roughly to dig in, because, after all, he was paying due to a lost bet between the two. Koichi smiled warmly at him when the older man wasn’t looking and the sound of a hard thump of Serizawa’s heart resounding in his chest rang in his ears. Swallowing slowly in slight nervousness, he looked down quickly and focused on consuming the food in a vain attempt to hide the heat that had crept into his expression.

 

“Is it good?” Kashiwabara asked the other detective as he gulped down some water.

 

“Mhm,” Naoto nodded, “It’s really good.” His voice was quiet and he dared a glance at Koichi only to see a shy smiling face beaming at him. He could feel a blush come over him as happiness gripped his being tightly, bubbling joyously in his stomach alongside fluttering butterflies of nervousness. Kashiwabara took out his leather wallet that was a bit worn with use and pressed down a few bills on the table.

 

“I’m going first, Serizawa,” the man gruffly put as he retracted himself from his seat with weary effort as he then faced the man behind the counter, “Remember to give your brother a call sometime, Koichi.” He clapped Naoto on the shoulder in farewell as he ambled out, leaving the two alone.

 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:41 am

T h e    D e v i l

 

Scene 2

 

Naruse Ryo noted to himself only now was the game beginning. Serizawa Naoto discovered his true identity…no, not true identity. His old identity. The so-called angel lawyer trembled slightly. These days he was becoming uncertain. Uncertain of the revenge he was seeking and has so carefully devised over the years. All because of the girl Shiori’s words, Naoto’s pleads, and even that stranger Ariake Koichi’s gaze filled with unspoken agony was he wavering to go through the plan he had worked on for the last few years of his life. He shook the thoughts out of his head, the over crowding of voices in his brain, not wanting to think about it anymore for now. The lawyer’s mind wandered to the man he had encountered not long ago…

 

A knock on the hard wood door broke Naruse out of his trance-like state as he called instinctively for the visitor to enter. His secretary informed him of a guest without an appointment and whether to shoo him off or show him in. Remembering that his paperwork was light today and was almost complete, he told his secretary to bring them in. His breath hitched when his eyes lay upon that figure that came in. The man seated himself in the leather armchair across from him; he was the man from the other day.

 

Ariake Koichi.

 

As soon as the secretary left, closing the door shut gently, the man spoke up as his dark eyes studied the lawyer’s office, “I was in the neighbourhood. Did I come at a bad time?”  Naruse quickly composed himself in a professional manner. Gathering his loose nerves and the fleeting gnaw in his stomach.

 

“No, you’re timing is good, is there anything I can be of service of?”

 

“The Statute of Limitations for murder is fifteen years,” he stated absentmindedly, more talking to himself than to Naruse, “How many years does a person serve for murder?” The man wringed his fingers, his eyes seemed to fall downwards in deep thought.

 

“It depends and varies upon each case,” Ryo was intrigued.

 

“How about for swindling?”

 

“It depends on age and situation.”

 

“Okay,” and then the man did the most curious thing abruptly. Koichi’s lips leaned to capture the lawyer’s in a soft breathless kiss. Naruse felt a hand creep to cup the back of his neck, pulling and prodding him gently forward, deeper into the kiss. He complied, eyes fluttering shut, the other man’s lips soft against his own, as if the plush red mouth was caressing his own. After Koichi pulled away he stands up, face slightly hidden by his bands, “So that’s what kissing a guy is like.” The still seated man feels no barriers to hid words, knowing that they weren’t meant to be discriminating or hurtful in any way. Ariake was about to twist the doorknob to open the door when Naruse speaks, .

 

“When will I see you again.” His voice is calm and quiet, in silent confidence assured that he would lay eyes on the other man again.

 

“Soon, maybe…” a mischievous grin dances on Ariake Koichi’s face as he slinks out the exit as quiet as a shadow.

 

Naruse Ryo notes to himself that the smile didn’t reach the man’s eyes.
 
 
26 August 2010 @ 11:40 am

T h e    D e v i l

 

Scene 1

 

Ariake Koichi rode the train more regularly after that. Their second encounter and the ones that took place after that were filled with the cook’s questions. He fired them out as quick as a bullet and with just as much force. It amused him to see the expressions that crossed the man’s face as he answered. Serizawa Naoto was entertaining and possessed some kind of magnetic charm that yanked at Koichi, making him come back for more each and every time. At night as sleep loomed over him or even on the slow business hours during the day, his mind was consumed with thoughts about the detective. He would plan more questions and predict what reactions he would receive, but every time he was surprised as Serizawa would give a totally different expression that Koichi thought he would. Koichi wondered why the man always bothered to answer him. Why didn’t he act slightly disgusted or something like Shizuna or Taisuke? The more the detective told him about himself, the more Koichi hungered for more information, like a starved man for edible substance. Sometimes that fact left Ariake appalled with himself, but mostly he was intrigued.

 

One afternoon his feet led him to the library. It was probably because the sun still strong despite it setting that he wanted some shade. Browsing through the collections of books absentmindedly, the spine of one book caught his eye. It was a book on criminals, murder, and fraud. Interested, his pale hand reached for it just as another hand, slightly darker, did too. Both figures stopped and finally the other man pried the book gently from the shelf. Koichi turned to see a man in a suit with a small smile on his face. The man placed the book into his hands, “Here, you can have it first.” The tone was polite as so was the smile. The expression was of a man trying to fake a smile, and it was one that could probably fool any normal person but not Koichi. He wasn’t exactly ‘normal’, but an expert on such.

 

Are you a victim or are you a killer?” The question blurted out before he would stop himself. It was just like with Serizawa Naoto. The two seemed to carry the same burden, as did Koichi. And all of them seemed as if they had died long ago, the inside of them lost. Seriousness flicked over the man’s eyes before disappearing quickly. Hesitation, and because of it newfound confidence blazed in Koichi’s veins.

 

“Excuse me?” the man faked naivety, “Oh, maybe you recognized me from somewhere… If you need help in such cases, you can call me.” A card produced swiftly and entered the hold of the cook’s hands. Glancing at the crisp stark white piece of paper, it read Naruse Ryo. He looked back at the lawyer and there was another fake smile. The confidence boiled hotter still in the pit of Koichi’s stomach.

 

“I’m Ariake Koichi, but that’s besides the point. You shouldn’t fake smiles when they’re meaningless,” Koichi spoke in a hushed neutral tone, his composure well in place, “But taking in your reaction, I’m going to assume you’re both.” Koichi spun on his heel away after he gave the other man the book, calling over his shoulder quietly, “But it’s okay.” He was about the walk away when a hand wrapped around his wrist in a firm hold, stopping him.

 

“How is it okay?” the man could not see Naruse’s face but the tone he used was serious.

 

“Because,” Koichi replied as he took the of his free arm to dispatch the other man’s hold, “I’ll be that soon enough.” The whisper faded to silence against the quiet library.

 

 

 

With that said Koichi stalked off without another glance back.