TW: Gun violence, death, gore, references to rape, references to drug use, suicide.
(Tuesday, April 6th after 09:00)
“He saved me,” said Jin, nodding towards Maseo.
Kirishima stared at the young man. Without a doubt, it was Jin.
“I knew you were in love with the First Assistant,” said Jin. He looked at Kirishima. “He always used to ask about you.”
“How…?” asked Kirishima, looking at Maseo.
“He’s my imaginary friend, you see. He used to visit me when I was recovering. He encouraged me, made me feel better. Sometimes he would hug me when the addiction cravings were at their worst and they would always subside. He made me believe that I could overcome it. He’s an angel, Kirishima-san. You’re very lucky.” Jin smiled briefly. “It’s good to see you’re real, Maseo.”
“How did you get in here? How are you still alive…?” asked Kirishima.
“It was a compromise,” said a deep voice. A man came out of the dark hallway. He was tall, broad shouldered with short hair. He wore a finely tailored charcoal suit with faint chalk pinstripes, a lime green striped tie with matching pocket square. He was pointing a gun at Jin.
Kirishima reached into his jacket, wincing at the pain in his shoulder. “No, Kei-san. I’ll blow the kid’s brains out and your boss is going to be very unhappy about that.”
Kirishima held up his hands, glancing at Maseo who also slowly raised his hands. The man approached, reaching into Kirishima’s jacket to pull his Beretta out of its shoulder holster, and quickly searched him. He stepped back. “I’m Andou Seichi. Pleased to meet you at last, Kei-san. I hope you don’t mind if I call you that. I feel like we’re on intimate terms.”
“But…we killed Andou and his men,” said Kirishima.
“That was a decoy and that wasn’t all my men. You didn’t think someone who ran an organization could be that incompetent, did you? I didn’t even bother to tell them you were going there to destroy them. Excuse me for a moment.” Andou turned and shot Maseo twice in the head. He dropped to the floor without a sound.
“NO!” Kirishima yelled. He dropped to his knees and laid his hands on Maseo’s body but he already knew he was almost gone. He turned Maseo over, hands trembling, his injured shoulder aching. The bullets had penetrated his skull, ripping through his brains. Pieces of bone, brains, and blood were splattered on the carpet. Blood was pouring from the head wounds. His dark eyes were wide open. Kirishima choked back a sob and forced down the terrible pain gathering in his heart.
“A bit sentimental are we, Kei-san? I wouldn’t have thought that about a man of your position,” said Andou.
Kirishima traced his fingers along Maseo’s cheek, tears gathering in his eyes. He was still warm but Kirishima knew his body would go cold soon. This thought made him want to scream but he managed stay focused. He gently removed Maseo’s glasses, put them in his breast pocket, and closed Maseo’s dark eyes. He knew he was taking too long but he needed this moment. He glanced at Jin who stood a few feet away. Tears were trailing down his face but other than that he was very calm.
Kirishima threw himself at Andou’s legs, tackling him to the ground, then he went straight for his neck. He was going to choke the life out of him, watch his eyes bulge and his lips turn blue before he stopped breathing. He was about to close his hands around Andou’s neck when he stopped.
Andou was pointing his gun at his chest. “I would hate to kill you now, Kei-san, after everything that’s happened and here we’ve only just met.”
Kirishima was breathing hard. “Go ahead and shoot me. Just do it.” His voice was almost raspy.
Andou stared at him. “More than sentimental. You surprise me, Kei-san, falling in love like that. You know men like us shouldn’t fall in love, right?” Andou pointed his gun at Jin. “He means nothing to me. I’ll kill him right now.”
Kirishima was shaking, the murderous rage pouring through him. The pain was scraping him raw. He clenched his teeth, trying to get himself under control.
“Get off me. Now.”
Kirishima paused then slowly climbed off him.
“Sit on the couch,” said Andou. He was still pointing his gun at Jin but hadn’t taken his eyes off Kirishima.
Kirishima sat down. The pain in his heart grew worse. “I’m…I’m going to kill you before this is over.” His voice was raw and hoarse.
Andou shook his head, standing up. “That’s not going to happen. I promise you,” he said. “Sorry I had to kill your lover, Kei-san, but he’s been unpredictable so I wanted him out of the way.” He looked down at Maseo’s body. “An odd man. Our research yielded no results on who he was or even his last name, not even from people who had known him for a long time.”
Jin sat obediently down on the couch followed by Andou. Kirishima took a slow breath, willing himself to go still, and said nothing.
Kirishima’s phone rang. He looked at Andou.
“Let me see,” said Andou, holding his hand out. Kirishima gave the phone to him. “Suoh. Nope. I’m only interested in your boss. I’d explain but I’d rather do that when Asami’s here. Go ahead, Kei-san, call him. You can even tell him about Jin and me. Just make sure you tell him not to call anyone else.”
Kirishima made the call. He closed the phone. “Why here?”
“Jin wouldn’t cooperate, wouldn’t take me to Asami’s condo. Oh, I tried reasoning with him, even taking away his fix but he refused to yield.” Andou looked over at Jin who was staring at his hands. “He’s been useless for the most part.” He turned back to Kirishima. “It was easier to break into your condo. You’ll need to do better with your own security, Kei-san.”
They waited. Kirishima leaned towards Jin, speaking softly. “Are you all right?” Jin looked steadily at Kirishima. He was thin and pale, like he’d stopped eating regularly. There were dark circles under his eyes. He was still beautiful but he looked wounded and his warmth had faded.
“He’ll be back, Kirishima-san,” said Jin, glancing towards Maseo’s body. “He loves you.”
Kirishima shook his head and looked down, trying to force back the pain squeezing his heart. He was just barely able to keep the onslaught of pain at bay because he knew Asami needed him now, more than ever, but Jin’s comments hurt him to his core.
“And the dead will rise, right? He keeps talking nonsense. Jin here has gotten back into old habits. He doesn’t really care about anything anymore except that next fix. He doesn’t even care about Asami,” said Andou. He was still holding the gun but not pointing it at anyone. He settled back in his seat.
Time passed. Kirishima used it to focus on centering himself though this seemed almost impossible.
He looked up at Jin who was watching him.
“Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to stay alive when you feel like dying. I know all about that,” he said. “You have to stay alive. Ryuichi. He needs you. Right now, at this moment.”
Kirishima felt tears stinging his eyes. He gave Jin a small, sad smile then pushed aside his own shock and grief and brought himself into the present moment.
The doorbell rang. Andou grabbed Kirishima, pulling him to the front door and answered it. He yanked Asami into the hallway, closing the door, then removed his gun and quickly searched him.
“Please come in,” said Andou when he was satisfied that he’d disarmed him.
Asami walked into the living room. He stared at Jin then ran to him. “Jin! Are you all right?”
As soon as he approached, Jin made a small animal sound deep in his throat. He cowered away from him. Asami slowed down until he was a couple of feet away. He knelt down. “Jin.” Asami’s voice very soft and gentle. The young man whimpered and curled up into a ball, covering up his face.
“He won’t answer. We’ve given him a lot of drugs to keep him calm but he still gets agitated. And even with all that he can get defiant. I usually let it go but sometimes I have to be a little heavy-handed. Like when I had his sister killed. He refused to take us to your penthouse even after I took away his fix so I had the sniper blow her brains out. It was for the best. You saw how mad she was. She was getting difficult to control and a lousy shot. What a waste of time that was,” said Andou. He took a silver cigarette case out of his pocket, removed a cigarette, and lit it.
Asami had moved closer to Jin though he was still giving him plenty of space. Jin turned his head to look at him. Asami tilted his head just slightly and their eyes met. “I have missed you.” Though Asami said this quietly, Kirishima could still hear the tremor in his voice. Jin turned his head away again, curling tighter into himself.
“He’s become so unresponsive. You have no idea. I even stopped raping him because he would just lie there. Sure, he fought me at first but he just shut down after a while. Might as well be screwing a corpse,” said Andou, exhaling smoke.
Asami was shaking in his fury. His piercing eyes were narrowed, his jaw was set but then he took a deep breath and turned back to Jin. Asami leaned closer and whispered something to him. Jin looked at him, his eyes slightly wide, then turned his head away again.
Kirishima kept his focus on Andou who was sitting on the couch again, smoking. He wondered why he hadn’t told them what he wanted. Asami stood up and went to stand next to Kirishima, his hands in his pockets.
“You should thank me, Asami. I kept him alive all this time. I should have killed him outright but I knew having him around would come in handy even if he has been useless for the most part.” Andou shook his head. “Don’t know what you see in him. He’s pretty but too soft and not very bright. You would think he would have changed his loyalties by now especially since I’m the one who provides him with his fixes but he remains steadfast when it comes to you. He even sacrificed his twin sister for you.” Andou took a drag on his cigarette. “I told him such actions weren’t heroic, only stupid, but he refuses to yield.”
Asami was staring down at Maseo’s body. He looked at Kirishima, his face grim. Kirishima shook his head but said nothing.
“You have me here. What do you want?” said Asami, turning his full attention to Andou.
“First, I’d like to invite you both to sit down. This way we can have a little chat.” Asami and Kirishima sat on the couch opposite Andou and Jin.
Kirishima saw Jin move the cushion he was leaned up against.
“It’s nice to talk to you finally. It’s taken a lot of planning but I think you’ll give me all your weapons routes now.” Andou sat forward and took another drag on his cigarette. “This has been an elaborate undertaking. Getting Detective Shirai on my payroll was easy enough but it was more difficult with Tsuji. He’d been with your organization since the beginning. Fortunately, he was jealous of Kei-san here becoming your First Assistant over him. It took a while but he came around. After that, everything was easy. Shirai took care of the sister and her records, and filtering information to you. My men searched far and wide but we found a young man who looked close enough to Jin. His face wasn’t exactly the same but almost everything else was. I even kept him prisoner like Jin. I raped him the same way, my men tortured him the same way, and we even used the same drugs from the same supplier. And we had tattoos made of Jin’s birthmarks. Tsuji gave us Jin when the two of them went out for a walk that afternoon. We forced him to change clothes by giving the other kid heroin. You know the kid went through the same rehab as Jin, right? So you can imagine the effect it had on him. I forced Jin to call his sister to tell her he’d had a relapse and that you would throw him away when you found out. After that, Tsuii got the other kid into the house and, with the help of his lackeys, killed him.”
“You’re talking too much again,” said Jin. He was sitting up straight and looking at Andou with something like contempt in his eyes. “You always talk too much.”
Kirishima could see Asami was surprised at Jin’s comment.
“Such bad manners,” said Andou, shaking his head, “As for—.”
“My sister never tried to kill me or anyone else for that matter. She was sick, it’s true, but she never tried to harm anyone. And our parents never tried to separate us.” Jin was turned slightly towards Andou now.
Andou looked at him. “All right, I made that up. It was more interesting. She did look almost exactly like you. It was a bit eerie to be honest.”
“And his name was Tomo, not ‘kid.’ He had a mother and a father and he went to school and he had friends!” Jin’s voice was rising, “And…and you did all those terrible things to him then killed him all because he looked like me!”
Kirishima glanced at Asami who was watching Jin closely, sitting very still.
“You see what I have to deal with when he gets in one of his moods?” said Andou.
Jin uncurled himself on the couch and faced Andou. “I am not in one of my moods,” he said, slowly and clearly. His light brown eyes were blazing. He pulled a revolver from between the couch cushions in one very quick, smooth motion and shot Andou once in the eye then in the mouth. Andou shook, dropping his gun to the floor. He was making choking sounds deep in his throat. Blood gushed out of his eye and his good eye was blinking rapidly. The eye rolled into the back of his head, showing just the white, and he fell backwards onto the couch. A spurt of blood gushed out of his mouth then he was still.
Jin was breathing hard, eyes wide, making whimpering sounds between his clenched teeth. He was still holding the gun out.
“Jin,” Asami said. He started to get up.
He pointed the gun at Asami. “Don’t. Don’t.” He pressed himself into the couch.
“It’s all right. It’s over now,” said Asami, holding up his hands.
“No,” said Jin, shaking his head, “It will never be over. The nightmares, the fear, the danger, the drug cravings, the pain, all the people who died because of me. None of that will ever be over.” Jin looked up at Asami with tears in his eyes. “He made me listen on the phone to Tomo screaming while they killed him.”
Asami stood up slowly, hands still out. “Those people died because of me, not you. Everything happened because of me. It’s not your fault.”
“I hate all this. I hate this life. I can’t…anymore,” Jin said, his voice breaking. Asami took a step closer to him but Jin didn’t put the gun down. “Can’t…anymore…,” Jin wailed then he lowered the gun and slumped on the couch. He sobbed, tears pouring out of his eyes.
Asami reached out to him. “Give me the gun, Jin. Let me take you home.”
Jin stared up at Asami. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand, still holding the revolver. He seemed to be taking in the details of his face.
“I love you, Ryuichi,” he said. Then Jin put the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
The sound of the gunshot echoed through the condo. Asami made a choking sound and dropped to his knees.