Rating: NC-17 for violence
Fandom: JE, non-JE
Notes: A mostly het au series with JE boys and female co-stars from various drama. Read for murder mayhem and romance
fine line prologue
fine line ch.1
fine line ch.2
fine line ch.3
fine line ch.4
fine line ch.5
“Ryo, so why do you need my help with this case? I'm sure you could handle it on your own. Wouldn't be a better idea to have a Police Psychologist handle it? I mean they are trained to do this on a regular basis; I'm not”, Aya asked quietly, her fear at messing up very evident in her face.
“No, I don't want someone else! I can trust you to give your honest opinion; not what you think I want to hear. You are funny, outspoken, easy to work with and truthful about your observations. You are not stodgy; shy about giving your feelings about a subject's mental status, and male. That seem to be all our Criminal Behavior unit attracts, unfortunately. That is not what this case needs, what it needs is you. You are the key to solving it. I knew that when your name came up in relationship to it. Besides I thought it would give me a chance to apologize and explain the reasons why I joined the force. Did you ever consider the fact that I hate my job? Well, I do! All I wanted to do was be a good lawyer and work for the DA's office. I never wanted to be a cop. Even if I am pretty good one, it is not what I want to do the rest of my life. Do you know how hard it is to be a cop and attend School Law and politics at Osaka Daigaku? I had to transfer to the Osaka force to graduate. Now I think it's too late a Lawyer, I barely passed the Bar last year by the skin of my teeth”, Ryo said, his emotions visible in his eyes.
“Ryo, you are a great guy and you would make an excellent lawyer. We both liked to help people, isn't that why we fell in love with each other? Remember those mock trials we had in my living room? You used to be both the prosecution and the defense lawyers. You used to make me think I was watching a dance between two equally matched dancers. That was a beautiful sight; that was the reason I fell in love with you. You can see both views and strategies to take a case, you always won. Don't you remember the Horikoshi debate team? You were the star; you took us to the Prefecture finals three years in row. You were also the ASB president and the captain of the baseball team. Everyone asked how you could handle all that responsibility at once. Now I understand you were doing it to prove that you could handle three or more cases at once. That is the sign of a good Lawyer and a good husband. It would take such a man to balance a stressful career and family life”, Aya said mournfully as that realization hit her hard.
“Ai-chan, why do you have such an animosity toward cops? You never explained it to me, you always evaded the subject. Perhaps if I had understood, I might not have joined the force. I need to know why it was such a cruel blow to you and why it made you not love me anymore”, Ryo replied.
“Ryo, I can't tell you”, Aya moaned trying to pull away as the horrible scene flashed before her eyes clouded her vision. “Please don't make me; I don't want to remember it. It’s just too painful”.
“Ai-chan, what was it that you told me a long time ago? The pain doesn't go away if you don't talk about it, it just get harder to bear. I can't understand why my becoming a cop broke your heart” Ryo said cradling her head into his chest.
Before she could answer, Dara and Changmin were back with their tea, chopsticks and appetizers. “Here it is you two, sorry it took so long. Oh, we're interrupting something important. I’ll leave you alone. Your food will be done in five or six minutes”, Dara chattered as she poured their tea and dragged Changmin back to the kitchen.
“Yes, thank you, Dara. It looks marvelous”, Ryo said absently as Aya whimpered into his chest, then he added, “Ai-chan, please tell me! I want to help”.
“Fine”, Aya snapped, “You want to know? Then prepare to be disgusted! Remember when I said I was there when my father died? Well, I wasn't just there. I saw everything! I saw the jerk that killed him. He didn't need the gun; Tou-chan would have given him the money anyway. All he had to do was ask. Tou-chan wouldn’t have even made him pay it back. Do you know who he was, my father's killer? The star cop Udo Arata’s son that stupid drug addict. He wanted the money for his accursed heroin. His father was a pedophile and a rapist; he tried to make me so shell-shocked I couldn't or was too afraid to ID his son. Then he threatened me, he said if I told anyone he would kill me and my mom. I still see both of them in my nightmares. All the horror stories of cops becoming abusive husbands and parents made me terrified of them and anyone trying to join their ranks”.
“Too bad he is dead I would have to made sure his career ended. That was totally unacceptable for any cop to do! Now I understand why what I did seemed like such a betrayal. I'm sorry; I was planning on quitting and joining a practice next month. I still will, thanks to you, now that I know have the courage and the talent to do it. Thank you, Ai-chan”, replied Ryo as he leaned down to kiss her.
“Please don't do this because you feel sorry for me. I beg you only do this if this is what you want. I ended our engagement because I was afraid your becoming a cop would turn you into a guy just like the jerk man who hurt me. Now that I know that's nonsense, I don't care if you want to stay a cop. I'm glad I told you, I don't even want to think about our marital life would have been like if you hadn't known”, Aya said when the kiss broke. With that out of the way, she grasped her chopsticks and dug unto her delicious gyoza.
Ryo started to eat his soup, but he didn't remove his arm from her waist, because it felt like it belonged there.
Soon after they began to eat Dara and Changmin arrived with their dinner and their spare plates. “Enjoy you two”, they chorused and with back to the kitchen.
“I'm surprised that they don't stay to talk, they usually do”, Aya stated querulously.
“Obviously they felt we need desperately to talk to each other alone, I think”, Ryo said through a mouthful of soup as Aya split up the food.
“Perhaps”, Aya muttered as she tried some of her food. It was just a delicious as she remembered, but she still missed their hearty conversations when they visited Shim's.
Ryo glanced at his watch, to his surprise it was almost eleven. Shim’s should have closed over 20 minutes ago. Their dear friends were staying open late for them. He looked down at his plate; he wasn't even quite half done. Then he noticed Ai-chan wasn't done either and broke the silence whispering, “Ai-chan, it's almost eleven, why don't we take our reunion somewhere else so Changmin's family can get a little sleep. You know the cooks have school tomorrow, right”.
“Sure, why don't you pay and get us some boxes. We could go to my office; we can use my desk as a table and finish discussing the ‘case’. Or we could use my dining room table to spread out and eat. Okay”, asked Aya.
“Your dining room table sounds perfect”, he answered as he headed off to the kitchen, hi eyes shining. He knocked on the swinging door and called out “Dara, Changmin? Could we pay now and get some containers for the leftovers”.
Changmin's eldest son Onew came out and said “Umma and Oppa are in the back. I'll take care of it. Umma left the bill with you right”, seeing it he continued without missing a beat, “I see she did, I'll have Key bring Ueto-san the containers.” He sticks his head in the kitchen, “Key, can you bring Ueto-san something for their leftovers and clear their table? I'm taking care of their bill” Onew called back to his brother.
“Alright” Ryo replied as they headed towards the register and handed Onew the bill.
Onew quickly rang up their meal and took the cash. As he closed the drawer he thanked him for coming.
Ryo went back their table to help Ai-chan out to the car. As they exited Shim's laughing, he thought what a contrast it was to the way they went in. When they reached the car, he opened the door for her and put the food on her lap. Then he went around to his door and said “Can we stop by the station so I can grab my car, before we go to your house? I'd like to be able to go home and change my clothes before I go to work tomorrow, since I don't know how long it take to brief you about what we know and don't know about this case. Is that okay with you, Ai-chan...”
“Sure, Ryo-tan”, she replied as she snuggled into his shoulder, trying to balance the food on her lap.
They drove silently to the station. Ryo got out and helped Aya out of the Mustang. He held her face in his hands, looked deep into her eyes and kissed her.
Aya was glad he had, as all thought evaporated she wished it would never end. When it was over she felt it had ended too soon.
“I'll see you at home”, she called out as she blow him a kiss. Feeling rather nervous, she drove towards her house. Aya kept primping at the streetlights. When she arrived, Aya unlocked the door and turned off the alarm. Locking it behind her she went into her bathroom, washed her face and redid her make-up. Then she went out to the front door and waited for Ryo to arrive. She watched him pull in and when he walked up the path she let him inside.
“Hello, beautiful”, he said as he leaned down to kiss her again not realizing they were being watched from the shadows.
“My knight in shining armor has arrived! Let’s get down to business, my love. Is there anything important I should know about this case? Do you know anything I can use to develop the criminal’s profile,” Aya asked as she led him into her living room.
“Yes, Ai-chan, we have a knife that was used to stab through the skull. The killer sliced across the front of the neck and then partially sliced through the spinal column. Matsumoto-san was attacked from behind by someone less then a foot away or so our forensics scientists tell me. The coroner seems to agree. The tire tracks have been matched to a compact four door, Honda most likely. No word on color yet, but we have reason to believe it is a front wheel drive. The murder weapon had only one set of prints, they are a bit smudged but they still match what we believe to be the mayor's. Even though it seems to be the purchased by him; we will have a hard time charging him. He doesn't have a strong motive that we know of, but he has a motive; even if it is sort of weak, we know about his affair. We don’t know with whom, though. We are guessing the murder is a 5'6-5’8, possibly male, wearing black kidskin gloves (we found a few skin flakes from the gloves), and wearing dark clothes. We haven't found anything we can take a DNA sample from or any fingerprints unfortunately. That is because the murderer burned the evidence near the body and stole away. The body was discovered by a patrol car down in old town. They patrol it on weekends, because it is prime spot for teenage parties”, Ryo said.
“Are you sure it a man? Could it have been a woman? I know the mayor was having an affair, but I doubt he would have killed his wife to be with her; because he broke it off over six months ago. Maybe his ex-lover killed his wife out of revenge, and it seems that he is also being framed for her murder. Could you describe the knife”, Aya replied as she finished chewing some of her Egg Foo Young.
“Man, I forgot how good you are. I remember promising to use you as a witness in my cases. Now I recall why! Let’s see the knife recovered from the crime scene had pretty sharp looking blade. It says here it is a heavy duty hunting knife; the mayor thought he lost it when he went hunting a couple of months ago”, Ryo exclaimed as he reached for the food.
Aya pondered and then said “you mentioned the spinal cord was nearly severed; that takes a lot of strength as well as anger. This sounds a lot like a crime of passion; Jun Matsumoto is so mild mannered, I don’t think he is capable of such an act”.
“Now this problem is out of the way, let’s eat”,
“No, you don't Ryo-tan”, Aya said as she leaned over to kiss him. Her ability to make him speechless filled her with pleasure.
“Now, this is better then Chinese food”, he thought caressing her hair, then he noticed the time it was after 12am.
A furious Morbida, watched as the two dumb humans repaired their relationship. Hiding outside the window she decided that the strike on the next victim would have to take place soon. The enigma left sputtering.
“I'm afraid I’m going to have to eat and run, if we plan on getting to work tomorrow. So, we'd better hurry. I'm sorry Ai-chan, but I wouldn't want you to be too exhausted for work”, Ryo said as he gave Aya her food and her chopsticks. He then dug into his leftovers.
“Ryo, wait a second. Remember all those late night study sessions back in college? Why don’t you crash in the guest room and grab an outfit from dad’s closet in the morning. Mom and I never were ready to go through it and after she died I have just kept putting it off.
“Sure, why not.” Then a thought struck him; he tilted his head and asked, “Hey Ai-chan, what are you doing Friday night”.
The question was so out of the blue that Aya had a shrimp half in her mouth. Swallowing quickly she sputtered, “What”.
Ryo grinned, “Friday is the police man’s ball. Perhaps you’ll agree to accompany me.”
Aya blushed, “I’d be glad to but I don’t think I have anything to wear…”