Chapter 18

TW: Gun violence, death, gore, and references to drug use.

(Tuesday, April 6th, 00:00)

ZHCh 18Sitting in front of them was Jin.  Though the room was dark there was no mistaking the young man.  His face was illuminated by the phone.  The young man looked up at Maseo then at Asami as he moved into the doorway.

“Jin…” Asami’s voice was almost a whisper.

“Who the hell are you?” the young man asked.  He tilted his head for a moment.  “Asami?”  He stood up.

Kirishima moved closer to his boss.

Jin was wearing an oversized black sweater and jeans.  He reached under his sweater and Kirishima and Suoh pulled Asami out of the way.  The young man managed to fire the gun once, the bullet hitting the wall, before Maseo rushed at him and held his wrist in an iron grip.

“Let go or I’ll break your bones,” said Maseo. The young man yelped and Suoh took the gun.  Maseo leaned towards the young man for a moment, frowning.  He was holding him around his waist.

“You’re hurting me, Asami,” the young man said, “Though it feels nice to be pressed up against you.”  The young man’s voice had changed.  It was pitched higher and sounded stressed.  Maseo looked at Asami and Kirishima.  He mouthed “Ryuichi.”  Kirishima frowned, looking at the young man.

“Jin…,” said Asami, stepping forward.  “I’m here.”

“And you thought it would be that easy, did you?” The young man looked at him up and down.  “You’re not my Asami.  He would have never waited this long.”  The voice didn’t really sound like Jin.  “He would have never left me alone in the dark like this.”  He looked up at Maseo.  “Let go of me!”

Maseo let go but watched very closely.  Kirishima pulled Asami’s arm until they were all in the hallway.  The young man followed, stepping into a shaft of bright blue moonlight then pulled up the black sweater for a moment.  Breasts.  They were small but unmistakable.  Asami took a staggered step back into Kirishima as the young woman dropped the sweater.

“Fooled you, didn’t I?  After I cut my hair I knew I could fool you easily,” she said.

“You sound just like him…,” said Asami.  Maseo saw Kirishima put his hand on Asami’s back.

“Of course I do.  We were twins after all.  Fraternal but we looked and sounded similar enough,” she said and now she was looking more like a girl.  “We’d only been in contact for a few months before he was kidnapped by that pervert Andou.  He’d forgotten all about me, you see.  Our parents put me away in an institution before we were six years old.”

“Why?” asked Asami.

“I tried to kill him and when they put me in the hospital I tried to kill another kid,” she smiled.  She had the same smile, the same light eyes, the same delicate features.  She was beautiful.

“He called me regularly when he got out of the hospital.  He told me about you, his nightmares, the kidnapping, about your relationship.  He loved you, my brother did,” she said, “He called me the night before his suicide, told me everything was going to all right, and he was doing much better. You were both going to Paris.”  She smiled again.  “I should like to go to Paris, Asami.  I should very much like to go.”

“He must have called you after I fell asleep,” said Asami.  He said this more to himself.

“Yes, he did.  He couldn’t tell anybody about us, you see.  Our parents would have tried to separate us again.”

She paused, looking down at the dirty carpet.  “He called me the morning of his suicide and left a message.  Tsuji forcibly injected him with heroin after you went to work.  He told Jin he would never recover from his addiction and you would throw him away when you found out.  He was crying.”  She looked back up at Asami.  “Then he hung up.  He must have found the gun and killed himself right after.”  Her voice had gone flat while she relayed this information.

Asami said nothing but he was clenching his left fist and trembling.

“He said you’d come for me when I called, Asami.  He said you’d love me as much as you loved him.”  She stepped towards Asami, holding out her arms.  “He said you would take care of me.  He PROMISED!” She screamed this last word.  Asami backed away from her, shuddering.

“Don’t back AWAY FROM ME!  I can replace Jin.  I can love you as much as he did.  I look just like him, don’t I?  When he gave me the phone, he—.”  A shot rang out, along with the sound of breaking glass, hitting her in the back of the head.  Her eyes went wide and her mouth gaped open.  She choked for a moment, dropped to her knees, and then fell face down on the floor.

The men all dropped down to the floor.  Maseo heard the sound of men behind them leaving the hallway, then exiting the building.  No other shots were fired.

Divider

Suoh, Kirishima, and Maseo were all in Asami’s office.  The men hadn’t found the sniper but they found where he’d set up on the warehouse just across from the window.  They’d searched the building and didn’t find anything else.  Her room was messy.  There was a makeshift bed, a small refrigerator, some empty take out containers.  When they’d searched the girl, they found a bug in her sweater.

Kirishima had called Detective Shirai as soon as they’d left the building two hours earlier and asked him to find out information about the girl.  The detective had just called to say he was on his way to the office.

Asami was standing at the window, his back to the glass, hands in his pockets.  He was smoking.

Kirishima glanced at Maseo, taking a breath, but turned his focus back to Asami.

Asami looked at him.  “How did we miss that Jin had a twin sister?”

“I don’t know, Asami-sama,” said Kirishima, “I double checked my records and there’s no information at all.  It’s like their parents completely erased this information but I don’t know how they could have done that.”

“Jin would have never called you ‘Asami.’  He stopped calling you that a long time ago,” said Maseo, “Obviously she was mentally ill.  She had that odd scent that schizophrenics get, sharp and metallic.”

Asami shook his head.  “Poor wretched creature.” He rubbed his eyes and turned to look out the window.  “Everyone but Maseo please leave.”

Kirishima looked at Suoh and they both stood up.  They bowed briefly and left the room.

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