Pairing : RyoUchi
Rating : PG-15
Genre : Crime, drama
Summary: Nishikido Ryo was a disillusioned investigator in the Tokyo Major Crimes Division, filled with self-hatred and regret for not being able to save his sister. Uchi Hiroki was a journalist looking for a scoop. A macabre crime by a killer with a personal vengeance soon brings the two together.
A/N : Messed-up Ash = messed-up jumbled fics that don't necessarily make sense. Not really very good with the crime scenes, just ignore the mistakes with criminological phrases if they aren't too glaring. And comments are always loved.
Ryo was once again back in his nightmares again. He knew he was going to wake up from this, just like he had countless times before but this time, he felt an urgency, as though he was running on borrowed time. In the twilight realm of his dreams, there was always the overpowering smell of ammonia, the smell used to cover up rotting flesh. There were hands reaching out for him as he tripped over the things on the floor. He looked down. Dismembered limbs and torsos. Great. He drew out his Glock, eyes getting attuned to the darkness. Suddenly he heard the sound of a boot scraping against the floor and he whipped his head around, his finger poised to empty the gun cartridge……
Ryo sat up in bed, his shirt clinging to his back and he ran his hand haphazardly through his hair. He finally reached for his cell which was vibrating on his beside table.
“Detective, we have a crime scene down in Osawa, right at the edge of
“Okay, I'll be down in twenty minutes.” Ryo said as he stepped out of his drawstring pants. He grabbed a shirt from his wardrobe and shrugged into it. Finally he strapped the holster to himself and the bulge of the gun against his hip proved to be reassuring. On the way to the door, he noticed it was barely dusk yet, the smog still covering the city in a layer of purplish pink. As he stepped into his leather shoes, his own personal demons and nightmares forgotten and shelved to the back of his head, he heard the dry wry voice in his mind. That he had woken up from one nightmare, only to land right in the pit of another.
When he arrived at the crime scene, the area had already been cordoned off, the yellow tape flapping ghoulishly in the wind. His deputies were already there, when he exited the car, there was the smell of evergreens in the breeze, the smell of moist leaves and undergrowth and beneath that, the musty decaying odor of death. This area was on the edge of the park, and the rain in the last few days had made the soil waterlogged and muddy. Here, the jogging track curved away from the main road, cutting into a slope and Ryo walked closer to the embankment. Down the descent of the slope, the young crime lab technician was cleaning up the scene.The sight of the body was like throwing him back two years ago, the pale pallor of the face crusted with dried mud and the limbs stiff and unmoving, her last breath robbed away by death.
Ryo pulled on the latex gloves, making his way down the slope. There were going to be no footprints, the torrential rain had ensured that. Then again, he doubted they would have found the body that quickly without the help of the rain.
“She was slashed, across the throat. From one ear right to the other. Would say it requires plenty of strength to make a clean cut like that.” The crime lab technician elaborated. Ryo squatted down right next to the body, cradling her wrists almost reverently in his gloved hands.
There were deep indentations along her wrists, corrugated blood beneath the bruised skin. He wondered how long she fought, how long she tried to tolerate the pain before her mind shut down. His gloved index finger trailed over her fingertips, wondering whether they would find fiber or tissue beneath them. Unlikely, the profile of their killer had been established as someone who planned, someone who believed in control; she would most likely have been scrubbed down before she was dumped.
He turned towards one of his deputies, Ohkura and he could smell the strong scent of mint rub. Ohkura had been one of the most promising newcomers under his tutelage, if he could excuse his habit of rubbing mint rub under his nose whenever they neared a crime scene.
“This area of the park, it isn't exactly deserted right?” Ryo asked absentmindedly as he surveyed the surroundings.
“No, there're quite a few joggers in the morning. In fact, one of them found the body.”
Ryo bent down and picked up a fistful of the soil.
“So why do you think he chose such a place? Did our perp panic? Or is it just part of his strategy?” He heard Ohkura's question, and part of him wished it was the earlier. A reckless killer was likely to accelerate his violence and commit mistakes and a single mistake was all he was going to need to apprehend him.
“I think our perp's on a schedule. We're having the press con today and we received the tape yesterday and this morning, we found the body. You wanna bet this is his way of guaranteeing a spot in the front pages?” Now he could add narcissistic and egoistic to the profile of killer. Interesting, though he suspected part of it was meant to throw the police force off-balance, to throw a big target on their backs as the press mowed them over with questions. For a moment, he just pondered, running through the facts over in his head before he raised his head to Ohkura.
“Tell the chief deputy to cancel the press conference. Give a press release instead. Leave out details of the tape.” Ryo said, finally feeling more in control. He imagined the killer watching the evening news, getting more and more agitated as he switched between channels, no mention of his careful elaborate set-up. No official press conference to give him the recognition and acknowledgement he craved. He wondered how much that would unsettle him and push him over the edge. One more murder, one more and he would have him.
“Detective, I believe we found something.” Ryo turned to the lab technician who was brushing off the soil off the woman's naked torso and right below those pronounced collarbones, was the unmistakable imprint of a cross, almost similar to that of Michiko's cross pendant, burnt into her skin.
Uchi Hiroki walked down the hallway, it was late and there were still several officers on the phone, poring about the old case files they had pulled out from the archives. He wasn't quite sure why he was here, or why Nishikido had granted him entry. The press conference had been cancelled and frankly his first reaction had been one of anger and disgust because all he was getting was a stingy press release in return. Of course, he could always include that little detail of the tape the police had deliberately omitted. Except that this time round, he had been hesitant and unsure, and it disturbed him that his conscience had conveniently decided to rouse at such a time after a long, deep slumber. Or maybe that was the aftereffect of getting too close to Nishikido Ryo; he had been compelling and fascinating when he was merely a photograph on the newspaper, it was only getting closer that he saw the devastating somber eyes that he realized Nishikido wasn't a subject, wasn't a mere article, that he was real. What other detectives investigated, Nishikido probably breathed them, slept on them only to wake up and mull over them first thing in the morning. Uchi Hiroki couldn't imagine what kind of obsession that was, to be steeped so deep that your life was spent sorting through possibilities and questions, and the endless quest of those answers. He wondered whether there was peace to be found at the end, some kind of closure he didn't understand. When he arrived at Nishikido’s office and saw his head bowed low over his desk through the blinds, he realized there was none.
“Here to file a complaint that the press con was cancelled?” Nishkido raised those eyes to Uchi before he turned his gaze back to the open case file on the table. Uchi thought he saw the rare crack of a smile on his face before his attention was diverted to the board behind Nishikido, colorful tacks pinning the crime scene photos and notes and taking up ever available inch of the board, with the rest of the polaroids in messy disarray and scattered on Nishikido's desk.
“Why, do I get a refund if I file one?” Uchi leaned against the wall, crossing his legs at his ankles. Nishikido twirled the pen in his hand, and the sight of those fingers made a raw shudder run through him when he thought about the way those fingers had moved over his body with maddening tenderness and familiarity.
“If I recall correctly, I'm not the only one enjoying myself yesterday.” Uchi Hiroki couldn't believe how relaxed Nishikido Ryo seemed to be, leaning back in his chair. Maybe it was what it felt like to finally have someone to converse with after being caged in a small office with only grisly crime scene photos for company. He liked this neutral safety ground, where he could actually catch a small glimpse of who Nishikido had used to be, before a killer had taken his life apart. Outside, lightning like the metallic glint of a knife slashed across the dark canvas of the sky.
“Seriously, why are you here?” He heard Nishikido ask.
Uchi Hiroki's fingers curved around the cool steel of the doorknob, and wondered whether Nishikido would be displeased if he told him how predictable he was. One thing he had realized about people working in the police force, they didn't like ambiguity, didn't like 'maybe ors', that they spent so much of their time demanding answers that it became the only conclusive truth to them.
“You wouldn't have believed me anyway.” He knew Nishikido was going to be peeved by that. Let him sleep on it because the truth was, quite frankly, Uchi Hiroki didn't know the answer himself.
He watched Uchi Hiroki walking down the sidewalk, disappearing into the apartment building. He raised his gaze to the third floor, waiting for the lights to come on. He was almost too easy, at first he had simply noticed him because he had been doing a little too much research into the Michiko case and he couldn't decide whether he was a help or hindrance. Now he was glad he had waited, because somehow Uchi Hiroki had wormed his way into Nishikido Ryo's heart with his conniving lies and that pretty face. He swore he was almost disappointed. He had thought Nishikido Ryo was above such plebeian wants like lust. The truth was Nishikido Ryo would have made a good accomplice; he was ruthless, cold and merciless. He probably thought himself smart for withdrawing the press conference today. He had surfed the numerous channels and he felt the twitch, the throbbing and the restlessness overtaking him when his carefully crafted plan had been reduced to a short news clip. No mention of the tape either. He could feel the rashes surfacing, and he resisted the urge to scratch. Nishikido Ryo saw through his foil, but he had more. He always had more. He dug his fingernails into his arm, the pain making the itch retreat and he knew just the right activity to channel that anger to.
He was going to beat Nishikido at his own game, and tonight he was going to conduct a little experiment. If he was correct, Uchi Hiroki would prove to be Nishikido's weak spot. And instantly he felt a lot better.