Chapter 6

TW: References to death and drug use

(Still on Friday, April 2nd, 23:26)

Zero Hr Ch 6Maseo stood in Jin’s master bedroom suite looking out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the city lights, weeping quietly.  It was dark in the room.  He knew if someone were to walk in at that moment, they would think they were looking at Asami silhouetted against the glass since their body types were so similar.  Though he couldn’t see, he knew there was plenty of blood and drugs.  He could smell both.  “How…how is this possible?  I just talked to you a couple of hours ago and you were fine!” Maseo said out loud.  He slammed his fist into the window then looked up, hoping it wouldn’t shatter.  The glass held.  He glanced at Jin’s body on the bed, wondering what he could have done to prevent this relapse then looked back out the window.

He searched the night sky, wondering what happened to people when they died.  He knew about people’s souls because he could see them but when they died, the souls left the body, and he didn’t know where they went.  To him, Jin’s body was an empty husk.  Since there was no soul, there was nothing to look at.

Still, he understood the concept of closure and saying goodbye, having watched people grieve.  And he knew he was grieving too from the pain in his heart and the tears trailing down his face. The room was locked from the outside.  He only had a couple of minutes left.  He needed to say goodbye.

“Your angel construct is going to miss you,” said Maseo, wiping his eyes.  He looked at the bedroom door, listening.  Someone was talking in the hallway.  Tsuji.  Maseo’s eyes narrowed.  A harsh feeling began burning in his chest.  He waited, trying to identify it.  Anger.  No, he thought, not just anger.  Frustration and helplessness.  He stood still, letting the feeling spread through him.  He realized everything about this situation seemed wrong and he wanted to find out if there was more going on.  He was supposed step back and watch everything unfold but the harsh feeling kept intensifying.

“Not this time,” he said.  He spoke quietly to the darkened room, shaking his head.  “No.”

He thought about what Jin had said earlier.  “I’m here now.  I have an effect on things.”  He glanced out the windows again then looked up at the ceiling.  “Jin was my friend and everything was going so well.  I’m NOT going to let this go without finding out more.”  He spoke these words louder and his fists were clenched.  Making this statement had taken effort and the feeling of going against everything he knew about what he was supposed to do was uncomfortable.

Maseo walked back to the bed, stepping carefully, and looked down at Jin’s body.  “Even angels need love,” he said slowly.  The anger died down and an aching sadness took its place.  He felt a familiar nudging in the core of his being so he turned towards the bedroom door.  Asami was on his way up to the penthouse in the elevator which meant Kirishima was with him.  He went to the door and pressed his ear against it, listening.  He couldn’t hear the Kirishima’s voice but he knew he would arrive momentarily.  He wanted to see him, at this moment especially.  He closed his eyes as heat and longing coursed through him.  “I want him to see me.  I want to talk to him.” Maseo took a breath.  “Not just that, I want him in my arms.”  He touched his fingers to his lips, wondering what it would be like to kiss him.  He opened his eyes, turned away from the door, then took two deep breaths to calm himself down.  He heard the front door slam and Asami’s voice in the hallway.

He went back to the bed and looked at Jin one last time.  “I’m very, very sorry,” said Maseo.  He exited the room when Tsuji was unlocking the door.

Divider

(Sunday, April 4th, 13:44)

Kirishima drove Asami to work.  He could tell he hadn’t slept the night before by the slight redness around his eyes though he was perfectly dressed and groomed.  Asami didn’t check his messages and if the phone rang, he merely glanced at it and put it away.  Instead, Asami stared out the car window. It was a cold day and a light rain was falling.  They had a meeting scheduled in a couple of hours and Asami was hosting was a private evening event for a prominent politician at Club Sion.

Kirishima had already seen to getting the penthouse floor on the market.  They’d also gotten word from Detective Shirai that he’d spoken to Jin’s parents, and that Jin’s body had been positively identified.  The penthouse suites were still being cleared out but there were assurances that they would completely vacate the property by tomorrow morning.  The funeral was going to be particularly lavish.  Asami had instructed Kirishima to spare no expense.  Even so, he knew Asami would not be attending.  He wondered if he could convince Asami to take a vacation, even a short one, in the next couple of weeks then he remembered that Asami and Jin had discussed going away together and he knew he shouldn’t bring it up.

Suoh had had two men review the security camera tapes but there was nothing out of the ordinary except footage of Jin leaving the penthouse with Tsuji and returning about 40 minutes later, and a ten minute gap in the lobby camera.  The gap coincided with the time Nishio and Sato had said they changed it.  The incident, along with the exact time, had been logged in the security station computer.  Suoh had hired experts to review the tapes and the equipment, suspecting the tapes had been tampered with. Taniguchi was still working on finding out about the heroin.

He and Suoh had discussed the issue of Jin’s missing cell phone as well.  There were two possibilities: if the tapes had been tampered with there would have been plenty of time for Tsuji to get the phone out of the penthouse, or Nishio and Sato had given the phone to someone when they replaced the lobby camera.  The lobby security guard had confirmed that they’d both gone out for a little over five minutes to smoke after replacing the camera then had gone back upstairs.  They assumed the person who hired Tsuji would use Jin’s phone to get in touch with them.

Asami’s phone rang.  In the rearview mirror, Kirishima saw Asami glance at the phone and then stare it.  It rang again then he heard Asami answer.

“Hello?”  Asami said the word slowly, even with some uncertainty.  Kirishima glanced at him in the rearview mirror again.  Asami’s eyes were slightly wide.  Kirishima took a quick breath and focused on the road. They were close to the office so he kept driving.  When he looked again in the rearview mirror, Asami was holding the closed phone in his fist, his hand over his eyes.

They pulled into the office garage.  Kirishima parked the car in their private parking space.  Asami didn’t look up when he cut the engine.

“Asami-sama,” said Kirishima, leaning over the front seat.  He kept his voice gentle.  “What’s wrong?  Who was that?”

Asami didn’t reply.  Instead, he leaned forward and handed Kirishima the phone.  Kirishima checked the last caller and saw it was from Jin, or rather Jin’s phone.

“What did the person want, Asami-sama?”

“It was him,” said Asami.  He was looking down at the floor of the car.

“The person who paid off Tsuji?” asked Kirishima.

“No, it was Jin.”

Kirishima stared at his boss.  “That’s not possible.”  He realized this was a completely useless thing to say.  “What did he say?”

“He…he asked me when I was going to take him to Paris.”

Divider

Kirishima sat in his office.  Though there was plenty to do, he was looking off into space.  They’d exited the car and when they’d gotten into the private elevator, Kirishima had asked Asami if he was certain it was Jin.

“I know my own lover’s voice,” Asami had said, fixing him with an ice cold stare.  Kirishima had taken a step back.  When the elevator doors opened, Asami had gone straight to his office and closed the door.  When Kirishima tried to follow him, he found the door was locked.

Of course he had re-checked all the background information he’d collected on Jin and his family.  Kirishima had done a background check on the young man when he and Asami had first met but after he’d been kidnapped, Kirishima had asked Shirai to use his resources and contacts to find out as much information as possible about him.  Jin had no young relatives who might sound like him.  He was an only child and there were no cousins near his age.  Still, he couldn’t rule out another family member but that didn’t explain the comment about Paris.  It was possible that Jin had somehow shared this exchange between him and Asami with someone else but all the preliminary information he’d gathered from his computer suggested such a thing wasn’t possible since Jin hadn’t contacted anyone.

“Unless he called someone on his phone,” said Kirishima out loud.  He sighed.

There was a knock at the door and Asami let himself in.  Kirishima stood up, smoothing out his jacket.  “You should have called me.  I would have come to you.”

Asami sat down in the brown leather chair in front of his desk.  “Did you this cancel this afternoon’s meeting?”

“Yes, of course,” said Kirishima

“Thanks,” said Asami, “I know you’ve started reviewing Jin’s background information again.  Have you found anything that might explain the phone call?”

“No.  All of our records indicate he had no siblings or other family members near his age.”  He looked at Asami, gauging whether to ask him the next question.

Asami nodded at him.  “Go ahead.”

Kirishima took a breath.  “I think it might be helpful to contact Jin’s parents to see if they have any information.”

Asami didn’t respond right away.  Instead, he looked up at Kirishima, his gaze steady and unreadable.  Kirishima waited.

The issue of Jin’s parents had been a delicate one for though they knew about Jin’s preference for men, they didn’t approve of it.  When Jin had moved in with Asami, he’d requested that his parents never be contacted unless it was an extreme emergency.  He’d told them he was living with another man and had given them Kirishima’s contact information in case they couldn’t get a hold of him.

When Jin was kidnapped, Detective Shirai had immediately stepped in, offering to be the contact and go between with Jin’s parents.  Kirishima knew Asami had been very grateful for his assistance and he himself had breathed a sigh of relief when Shirai had suggested it.

“Would you be the one to contact them?” asked Asami.

“Yes.  That is, if you want me to.  I think it would be easier if I asked them questions directly.”

Asami said nothing.  He looked past him out the window at the view.  A cold, light rain was still falling, muting the city skyline to faded gray.

“I don’t want you talking to them,” Asami said, finally,   “They’ve been through enough already.  Call Shirai and have him talk to them instead.  Make sure he’s the only one.  I don’t want one of his subordinates doing it.”

“Yes, Asami-sama.”

Asami stood up and walked to the door, one hand in his pocket.  He paused, his back to the room, and looked down at the floor.  Kirishima held his silence. Asami took a deep breath then turned around and came to sit back down in the chair.

Kirishima reached into his jacket and pulled out a gold cigarette case, opening it up with a gentle flick of his thumb.  Though he didn’t smoke, he always kept a case of Asami’s cigarettes with him at all times along with a gold lighter.  Asami rarely asked him for a cigarette.  Instead, Kirishima handed Asami a cigarette when he knew he needed one without being asked, usually during stressful times.  Asami’s fingers barely trembled as he held the Dunhill while Kirishima lit it.  Then he leaned back in the chair, taking a deep drag.

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”  Kirishima’s voice was soft.  Smoke drifted in the room.

Asami glanced at him.  “Sit down.  This is your office.”

Kirishima sat slowly.  Asami looked down at the floor again.  To someone who didn’t know him well, Asami seemed to be sitting with a slightly worried look on his face but Kirishima knew better.  He could see that Asami was trembling very slightly.  When he gripped the arms of the leather chair, Kirishima stood up, went to the window, and looked out at the view of the city.  He waited, saying nothing.

Minutes passed and Kirishima heard Asami take a deep breath.  He still didn’t turn around.  “Do you want me to leave you alone?” Kirishima asked.

“No.”  His voice was very slightly hoarse.  Asami came to stand next to him at the window.  Kirishima didn’t look directly at him.

“I want to go to Jin’s wake.  I would appreciate it if you would come with me,” said Asami, his voice very low.

Kirishima looked at him, surprised.  He hesitated only for a moment.  “Of course, I’ll come with you.”

“No one else, Kei.  Just you.”

 

Zero Hour Archives

| Filed under Fanfic, Viewfinder, Zero Hour