Rating: NC-17 for violence
Fandom: JE, non-JE
Notes: : A het au series with JE boys and female co-stars from various drama. Read for Detective Ryo...murder…intrigue and intermixed in it all is romance...
fine line prologue
The sight of the fire caught the attention of Officer Yamashita Shoon and his veteran partner Sergeant Sakurai Sho. It was past midnight when they headed toward the ruins of old Chiba. What should have been protected and preserved by a historical society had become a favorite weekend hangout for the town’s disreputable youths. Sho had been a cop for over twenty years and chasing those delinquents was not his favorite way to spend a Friday night. They had caused his hair to become prematurely gray-which he hid with hair dye and his complexion to turn ruddy. He prided himself on being a big man; sometimes all he had to do was pull up and get out of the car.
Rookie patrolman Shoon was still green enough that he didn’t mind wasting his Friday nights this way. It was their job to patrol these ruins and make sure they were empty. The buildings were old and unsafe. Wasted teens could get hurt out here. The first thing the two men noticed when they pulled in was a Blue Santa Fe.
Sho’s temper flared as he stopped the patrol car. He exclaimed “those deviants are at it again”. Throwing his door open, both men were surprised at the lack of noise and a smell that made even Sho instantly nauseous. There was an eerie silence that made even the shadows menacing. As he headed toward the nearest group of buildings, his twenty-five year old cop sense felt something was wrong. Sho smelled a cop’s closest companions, death and blood.
Shoon suddenly was clutched by an unexplainable terror as he watched his partner begin to search. Following the more experienced man’s lead he also began to search, for what he wasn’t sure but he was too uneasy to speculate.
Sho took care to follow procedure; he searched carefully, trying to find the crime scene quickly. Then a shape in the old Catholic church’s entry caught his eye. He shined the light from his 5lb magnum flashlight on the bloody remains of a petite burnette woman. The ghastly visage of the woman seemed all too familiar, so Sho directed the beam at her face. To his horror, that face was very recognizable. The white face and glassy eyes was that of none other then the mayor’s wife Matsumoto Maki. Shaking with revulsion, dread and disbelief, Sho raced back to the patrol car and called it in. “M6549, calling dispatch”, he said in a shaky voice.
“M6549, this is dispatch”, a tired voice came through the radio.
“M6549, I need a priority one secure line to Chief Ninomiya. ASAP”, Sho responded in a voice that was beginning to reflect his decent into shock.
“This better be important, officer! The chief went home hours ago”, the voice retorted.
“It is now are you going to get me that line or what”, Sho snapped.
“Fine, M6549, but it’s your badge”, the voice said.
“Hurry, I told you this is a priority one. I need him now”, Sho barked as to the stifling silence surrounded him.
“M6549, it’s me. This had better be good Sho, you just woke me up”, Chief Nino Ninomiya thundered.
“Sir, I recommend you, Captain Ikuta, Lt. Nishikido, the ME and CSIs get out here now. I am at the old Methodist church. We have a homicide; it’s the Mayor’s wife, sir. It’s a mess, there is so much blood I wouldn’t dare enter the scene. She is obviously dead”, Sho told his old friend.
“Sho, please tell me this is a joke! The department does not need a political hot potato case like this,” Chief Ninomiya moaned.
“Sorry, Nino I wish I could tell you that I was kidding, but this gristly scene is all too real”, Sho said quietly.
“Well, Sho, I had better summon the troops. I will see you in twenty to twenty-five minutes,” Chief Ninomiya said before he hung up.
Sho went numbly back to the scene of the appalling murder of the mayor’s wife. What he saw next did not surprise him. His rookie partner Shoon had turned a nasty shade of green from the sight and smell of his first murder scene. Sho still had his wits about him and directed his partner to tape off the scene. He then began to head back to the patrol car to wait for the troops to arrive.
The first to arrive was the Medical examiner Yamashita Tomohisa sensei, his assistant Toda Erika sensei in their navy Ford E-150 van and Captain Ikuta Toma in his champagne Colt Vista. By the time they arrived, Shoon was a lot better, he was no longer green and more in control having using the time he spent taping off the scene to get himself under control. Yamashita sensei was appalled at the scene; he had never seen a killing so brutal. Yamashita sensei was in his mid-forties, Sho didn’t know him very well; most of his own cases were involving juvenile delinquents and their delinquent activities, they rarely involved death of any kind. Captain Ikuta was a fifteen year veteran of the force, very little shocked him anymore but the sight of Matsumoto Maki’s corpse spooked even him.
Sho went and made his report to Captain Ikuta.
“Captain Ikuta, Officer Yamashita and I arrived on scene at 11:45. We arrived on scene and immediately notice the blue Santa Fe. We thought there might be an under-age drinking party about to begin; it was late on a Friday night. The idea seemed logical. When we exited the black and white, I was instantly shocked by the silence. We instantly began to patrol the area searching the immediate vicinity for suspicious activities. I was immediately sure we had a murder and when I approached the Old Catholic church my suspicions were confirmed. I just wasn’t expecting it to be Matsumoto-san.” Sho said mechanically.
“Thank you, Sho. Please continue to secure the perimeter. You know who to allow inside the tape”, Ikuta Toma responded as her head over to his crime scene buddy, the ME.
“Hey Toma, we have a very bloody scene here. Since the normal body temp is around 98.6°F, and Matsumoto-san’s temp is around 93.4°F. I would estimate time of death to be around four hours, give or take a little. It’s hard to give an accurate TOD without further tests. You know the drill,” Yamashita Tomohisa-sensei informed the Captain.
Toma notice two vehicles kicking up dust as they rolled to a stop near the ME’s big black van. The coffee-colored Le Sable belonged to his six year veteran detectives Nishikido Ryo and Yokoyama Yu. The early morning wind ruffled their hair and the moonlight winked off their badges as they climb out of their car. Ryo looked up and waved to Toma as they headed over to be briefed. His somber partner Yoko followed his old friend toward the crime scene.
The other vehicle was a big black Expedition with large letters that read Chiba PD CSI. A tall and lanky CSI named Ayukawa Taiyou and his partner was Nikaido Takashi who appeared comically short compared to the other. At 6’5 Taiyou looked more like a star basketball player then a Crime Scene Investigator. As he was walking toward the crime scene carrying his cases of equipment, Toma again thought they looked too young to be ten year veteran CSIs. Toma knew the two of them had gone through the Academy with his detectives Ryo and Yoko.
Nika saw Toma, Ryo and Yoko and his face fell, this was serious. He called out to his old friends, “Hey, guys. Do we know who the Vic was...”
Anguish flooded Toma’s face as he delivered the news, “I received a phone call from the chief around 12:30. He told me we had a priority one scene out in the ruins of old town; a homicide. A prominent citizen had been brutally, that more details would be available by the time I reached the scene. When I arrived Sergeant Sakurai briefed me on the situation and told me he had discovered the body of Matsumoto Maki. It is really messy guys, just do your best. Other then a possible TOD of about three hours we don’t know much.
“Hi Nika, hey Taiyou. You guys can process the scene as soon as my assistant Toda Erika and I load the body into the van. As usual our shoe prints are the ones with rubber bands, you guys can distinguish ours from whoever did this. Erika, bring that gurney and the body bag over here stat. You can process the body while we wait for her. Let’s get this body to morgue and get more info for the Captain here. ” Yamashita Tomohisa sensei said as he stood up and hollered over to the van from his morgue.
The veterans CSIs normally high-spiritedness was damped by the sight of the scene of the execution of Matsumoto-san; they quickly became quiet and thoughtful. Armed with cameras and evidence bags they began to process the crime scene starting with the body.
“Sure thing, doc”, Taiyou replied as he and his partner nodded thoughtfully as they tried to process the body so the MEs could get the body to the morgue. After about ten minutes they took their last photo and sealed their last evidence beg. They backed off from the body to allow the docs to remove the body.
“Here boss, lets get this show on the road. I’ve heard that life is a play, if that’s true it just took a sharp turn toward tragedy”, Erika said to Toma, as they laid the body bag on the ground next to the corpse. They reverently laid the body of Matsumoto Maki gently inside its enveloping darkness and close her from view. They then gently lifted her on the gurney and push her over their ME van.
Yoko watched them as he contemplated the sleep this case was going to cost him. Ryo began circling the vehicle belonging to the victim, the blue Santa Fe. In a smaller town it was difficult to work a homicide case of someone you knew, it was easier to just think of them as a victim then a person you knew until later. He caught sight of a day planner and a cell phone, but he didn’t want to contaminate the scene. Ryo called over to Nika, “Hey Nika, do you think you can come give me a hand over here”.
Nika hollered over his shoulder, “On my way, Ryo”, then he turn to his partner. “Can you handle it over here for a bit, coz? I think the lieutenant wants me to process the Santa Fe. I’ll be back in a little while”. He took the keys that he had taken from the victim’s pocket-no Maki’s pocket.
“Sure no problem, Nika”, Taiyou said as he continued to photograph the knife he had just found.
Nika grabbed his kit and strode over to the Santa Fe. He saw Ryo looking intently at what appeared to be a day planner and a cell phone. Nika dug into his case for his fingerprint powder and brush just in case the perpetrator opened the door. He photographed the prints before he lifted them. Then he unlocked the door after fingerprinting her key’s buttons and actual key. He opened the door gently and photographed the interior as he found it. He turned to Ryo and asked, “Can you lay out the tarp from the side of my kit on the ground so I can catalogue everything in here”.
“No problem, Nika. Always happy to make this go faster,” Ryo replied as he turned to reach into the case for blue tarp. Then he saw something that struck him, the CSI evidence tarp and Santa Fe were the same shade of blue.
The sound of another car driving through the ruins brought everyone’s head up. The Chief’s green Chevy Tahoe roared up and screeched to a halt. The chief’s face was even more deeply furrowed as the stress traveled from his eyes to his facial expression.
Shoon thought, “chief on deck’, but common sense prevented him from saying it. This was not the time to be making rookie jokes. That was the department’s term for dumb jokes rookies made using police jargon.
Ninomiya Kazunari was pleased that progress was being made. On his way here he had passed the ME van on its way to the morgue. He saw the CSIs processing the scene and the detectives Nishikido Ryo and Yokoyama Yu overseeing. The crime scene seemed well in hand so he walked over to his old comrades at arms.
“Nino, I wish I could say it was nice to see you but then the reason for this visit couldn’t be worse”, Toma said as he and Sho nodded solemnly.
“Definitely considering next year is an election year. Aren’t you, Matsumoto-san and Yamashita sensei up for election then”, Sho asked looking thoughtful.
“Well the mayor and I are supposed to be; didn’t you hear Tomohisa is retiring some time this year? I got a memo from his office six months ago or so saying he was going to publicly announce handing the reins over to his chief assistant Toda Erika sensei sometime in the next two weeks. He might just let her handle the case alone to prove her capabilities to the community. I mean he can’t just announce his retirement, her promotion and then say he is going to handle the case that would totally undermine her chances at being elected next year. I think he is tired of working with dead people; he wants to go back to being a pediatrician so he can deal with the living. Then again he might decide to retire altogether I don’t really know,” Chief Ninomiya replied stroking his chin thoughtfully.
“I hadn’t a clue, Nino. But I don’t really pay attention to politics unless a friend is running for office, such as you. I usually have my hands full dealing with the town’s delinquents. I admit I think I must have scared quite a few back on the straight and narrow because they have become pretty productive citizens. Just look at Yokoyama Yu, I caught him partying out here one night back when he was in his teens and now look at him. Didn’t I hear he got another citation a while back, Toma”, Sho asked as he tried to shake himself out of shock.
“I’ll say! He is one of the best in the major case squad. I would be very sad if I ever had to lose to Vice. He and Ryo make a good team. Ryo passed the Bar a little while ago. Scuttlebutt around the office is he is trying to join a practice or the DA’s office. I certainly hope he changes his mind and stays a cop. I can’t imagine my squad without him. I would rather promote him and demote myself then lose him. I think Yoko might request a transfer to vice if Ryo leaves. I don’t think there is a cop in my squad that would work well enough encourage him stay on as one of my detectives. They came from Osaka together and helped jumpstart my unit.” Toma said as he watched the scene being processed.
“I was wondering if you wanted one of us to stay involve with the case because of the sensitive nature of the case. If you do I recommend you assign that to Shoon, he is a natural born detective. His instincts are on the money. He could be quite an asset to the major case squad. I know he has only been on the force a little over a year but he is a great cop. Toma, you better snap him up before vice discovers how good he is. Considering how closely we work with them, that’s not too far away. His family is filled with cops; I swear it’s got to be in the blood. I on the other hand am too old and tired to be reassigned to the fast paced world of major case”, Sho said as he attempted to casually lean against his patrol car despite the oppressive atmosphere.
“Hey Ryo, I’ve got something” Taiyou called over his shoulder startling Ryo’s careful paging through Matsumoto Maki’s daily planner with gloved fingers.
Ryo gently placed the planner on Nika’s tarp and quickly walked over to the ruined church and stuck his head in to avoid disturbing the crime scene.
“What did you find, Taiyou”, Ryo asked excitedly.
“It looks like dark pigmented skin, very dry. Possibly from an animal of some kind stuck in the knife grip. I’ll have it analyzed when I get back to the lab. It might give us a lead, but it is too early to tell,” Taiyou as he gently brushed the fragments into an evidence bag.
“An interesting piece of evidence, I am not sure what it means. I think I’ll just chew on it for a while. It could be important piece of the puzzle.