Finders Keepers

Part 2 - portraits of the soul

"Subaru-kun, what an unexpected pleasure it is to see you again so soon." Seishirou managed a smile as he opened the door. His mind was working in circles at this sudden development.

It had been a week since Nakano Plaza, a week since Subaru had gotten the best of him. It never occurred to Seishirou that the younger onmyouji would track him down to his apartment.

"The pleasure is mine...Seishirou-san." Subaru smiled pointedly looking over Seishirou's shoulder into the room beyond.

"Do come in." Seishirou steeped aside to let Subaru into his living room.

What does he mean to accomplish by this visit...?

Seishirou was baffled by the strange turn of events. His prey never did this before. Suddenly, the hunter had become the hunted and he didn't know quite how to respond.

Green eyes wandered over the black couches and subdued cream as if charting an unexplored land. They lingered on an impressionistic painting that Seishirou had purchased more for the way it broke the monotony of the room and not...because it looked like Subaru-kun's eyes. The denial worked pretty well when he bought the painting, but it did not stand with the younger onmyouji's presence in the same room with The Painting.

The Painting was a mess of leaves overlapping each other. The painter seemed to have conveyed the vivid life of collage. The faint suggestion of sunlight glancing off the foliage turned some parts into deep emerald and others into lighter green. Now that Subaru looked upon it, Seishirou knew that he had picked the painting because it reflected the verdant eyes in their shifting glory.

If he realizes...well, better to just brazen it out...

It was nothing to be disturbed about anyway, Subaru's eyes were really too pretty to belong to a man.

"Lovely painting isn't it?"

"Aa, Seishirou-san."

It was unnerving to see Subaru act so calmly after their fight at Nakano. It was as if the entire thing never happened. Green eyes continued their wandering in the room, not stopping. It felt as if he and Seishirou were old acquaintances who had been estranged from each other for a long time. It was...annoying...

"Satisfied, Subaru-kun?" That brought the eyes back to him, burning holes in their intensity.

Those eyes, I would give the world to possess them...

The random thought came as if a line from a long ago read book.

"No, and I won't be until I see your broken body at my feet!" The words were uttered so savagely, they were almost shouted, and with a lightning quick gesture, Subaru hurled several ofuda at Seishirou.

Surprised, Seishirou sidestepped. He managed to dodge all of the ofuda thanks to his assassin's reflexes but the last impacted on a table near to where he stood with explosive force. The metal table shattered sending red-hot fragments in all directions. One hit Seishirou on his right hip, he collapsed.

Damned, I don't have the strength to stand...

He hadn't fully recovered from the injury he suffered in their last fight and his ribs throbbed in time with this new one. He didn't think he needed to hasten the process since he was the hunter.

It seemed that I have underestimated you, Subaru-kun... But then, what more could be more appropriate than the prey coming to bay?

"You won't ask me why I'm here, Seishirou-san?" Subaru asked mockingly as he lifted Seishirou's head with a gentle finger so that their eyes would meet.

"I would think that it was self-evident." Seishirou's even tone didn't hint the pain he felt.

It would be...inappropriate to show weakness...

"I want to finish what I started at Nakano." Subaru continued as if there was no interruption.

"And can you kill a man in cold blood, Subaru-kun?"

"You'll be surprised at what I have become capable of these years, Seishirou-san." There was a rather disturbing smirk on the boyish face that hinted of dark things.

Seishirou gathered himself for the next attack.

Maybe if I...

The attack never came.

The hand went to the inner pocket for ofuda but stopped short. Green eyes went vague a moment and a frown knit its way on Subaru's forehead. Seishirou's face was released.

"Ah, it seemed Seishirou-san that we need to continue this another time." Annoyance laced the statement.

Everything wavered a moment.

Damned, it hit me more than I suspected it would...

When Seishirou's vision cleared the door had clicked shut and he was left alone in his apartment.

Ever considerate might have grown a little...but not enough... You still can't kill me, can you?

Seishirou tried to stand, wincing as his leg nearly collapsed from under him. He managed to crawl to the remaining table to dial the phone. His sight was beginning to dim.

"Tokyo City Hospital, I had an accident with a hot poker..." He said as the world wavered around him.

"We're not doctors but I think we'll do..." A cheerful voice greeted him from behind as he the world finally tilted.


"I'm cross-referencing Muraki with onmyouji right now. With luck, we'll find a connection." Watari said to Hisoka as his fingers flew over the keyboard.

"It might be simpler that way as Sakurazuka-san is one stubborn bastard."

"Hisoka!" Tsuzuki scolded as he came from the other room where he had just looked in their patient.

"We've helped him twice and he hasnt told us anything."

"He works in a very secretive profession. You can't blame him for being closemouthed."

It's just Tsuzuki being Tsuzuki...

Hisoka reminded himself for the nth time not to ream into his partner. It would only make the man whimper and him guilty afterwards. It was one of Tsuzuki's endearing yet exasperating qualities.

Looking the best in everyone is all very fine but this is a man who deals in painful deaths...and we ARE helping him!

"We are doing him a favor. We only have his word that he'd been fighting the Sumeragi."

"Now, now, he doesn't have any reason to lie..."

"Kurosaki-kun is right. The present Sumeragi Head isn't ruthless enough to inflict the injuries you documented on Sakurazuka-san. Here see for yourself." Tatsumi came in and set a folder down on a table in front of Tsuzuki and Hisoka. It was promptly snatched up by Watari to be used in his correlations.

"Sumeragi Subaru...premier onmyouji...part-time veterinarian...polite and gentle. No suspicious deaths linked except for the twin sister who died in the hands of Sakurazukamori, Sakurazuka Seishirou. Maybe he just wants vengeance." Tsuzuki concluded as he read the folder's contents out loud from behind Watari.

"I hate to say this, Tatsumi-san, but I think he's right." Hisoka conceded.

"There is only one way to find out either way and that is to interview the Sumeragi." Tatsumi placated.

He could hardly argue when Tsuzuki is so convinced...

There was always sexual tension in the room when Tatsumi and Tsuzuki interacted. It grated on Hisoka's nerves since he couldn't help but pick up on it. He'd rather leave them to their privacy, being an intensely private person himself, but it was impossible. least impossible when they aren't aware that there was something there...

But that was for another day. Hisoka was not looking forward to interviewing the Sumeragi Head.

It's not going to be pleasant or fair...

There was at least one pair of twins in the Shinigami ranks and their bond was the closest thing to being joined in the hip than anything Hisoka had ever seen. Kagome and Katsumi were hardly away from each other. The unique bond of telepathic twinborn that made them more like one than two people even if they did have some marked differences in personality. He even wondered a time or two what was like to be a twin, of never being alone. It was a slightly frightening, yet appealing, concept for someone who'd been shut in a cellar for most of his young life having no one. Contrary to the façade he presented to the world, Hisoka was not stone. He wasn't as sensitive as say Tsuzuki but he did have enough sensitivity to realize that this interview was going to be cruel on the Sumeragi Subaru.

I don't think he needs anymore reminders...

"But...but...Tatsumi!" Tsuzuki protested.

Trust Tsuzuki to understand that.

"No excuses, Tsuzuki-san." There was a limit to Tatsumi's concessions and this was it.

Most unpleasant indeed...


The Sumeragi Head worked in a small vet clinic inside a popular pet store in the shopping arcade. While the store walls were cream colored, the clinic was painted pure white with seats of dark blue vinyl. A white screen divider came between the examination and waiting areas. It was only about three meters wide but neat and well-appointed.

"We would like to talk to his other capacity." Hisoka asked the secretary who manned a small reception table. She was a tiny thing wearing a light blue dress, fading into the clinic's décor. She felt quite faded out to his senses herself. She was shy and had no inclinations to independent thought. that isn't your business...

Hisoka knew that he was being over critical in his nervousness but then he really didn't want to be here.

Tsuzuki looked wide eyed through the glass, longing no doubt to go out and pet the puppies and kittens at the front display of the store. The clinic was tucked discreetly in a less frequented part of the store, a precautionary measure to keep diseases from spreading to the pets being sold no doubt.

"There is someone here to see you, Subaru-san." The secretary nodded and called out.

"Thank you, Haruko-san. I'll be done a bit." A friendly voice replied through the divider.

A few moments of murmuring followed then the screen door parted to let a young girl out, carrying a cage with a guinea pig that looked like it had been startled out of its wits [1]. A man in black followed her, boyishly thin with the largest pair of emerald eyes Hisoka had ever seen, eyes that widened a little more when they fell on him and his partner. It seemed that the Sumeragi Head at least recognized them for what they were.

"There you go, Aya-chan, make sure Ran-chan drinks plenty of vitamin C and don't be afraid to go to Yuki-san for advice [1]." The man said to the girl in parting.

"Hai, Subaru-sinsei." The girl said as she skipped out the clinic door and it was only Hisoka, Tsuzuki and the secretary.

"Sumeragi-san? We need to ask you some questions." Tsuzuki asked.

"Call me Subaru, come in." Subaru gestured into the examination room where two vinyl covered chairs also stood, each on the side of a metal examination table. He then turned to his secretary.

"Haruko-san, make sure that we're not bothered for any reason."

Suddenly, before the secretary could answer, a wave of power washed over Hisoka. He saw from Subaru-san's face that he felt it too.

"Ah, Haruko-san, close up the clinic. It's a good thing that we did not take any inpatients this month, earthquake coming." Subaru said calmly and turned to them.

It seemed that the secretary was used to the odd instructions of her employer for she did not protest.

Not that she would even then...

Haruko opened her drawer and packed a cell phone into a black purse and tidied her desk. Hisoka and Tsuzuki didn't need any prompting to follow in Subaru and the secretary's wake as they went to the front of the clinic.

"My apologies, but I must leave for other duties." Subaru as Tsuzuki helped Haruko close the rolling iron cage in the clinic's entrance.

"We understand." Hisoka said, holding a restraining hand on a protesting Tsuzuki. They did not need to antagonize the Sumeragi Head when he had been so accommodating.

"Thank you." Subaru loped purposely down the wide hallway of the shopping arcade. Haruko had already vanished after the cage was locked in place.

"Hisoka! We didn't find anything out yet... Tatsumi's going to be mad with us." Tsuzuki wailed.

Hisoka privately admitted that the last would probably be the direst consequence for his partner but there was a reason for his keenness to let the Sumeragi go.

"Not really. Let's follow him."

Tsuzuki was too honest sometimes.


"This is our chance to verify Sakurazuka-san's claim. He might be laid up but there are other Angels. Besides, Sumeragi-san doesn't know that."

Recognition finally dawned in those purple eyes. Both Shinigami faded from sight to better observe the coming battle.


Angel...but which one...?

The building was rumbling now with the fury of the Dragon and Subaru was nearly running.

I need to get out of here...

He finally got out just as the building started to shake in earnest. He looked about seeing that there was more rubble around the building across the street.

That must be the epicenter... Sunshine 60 is a focal point of kekkai hereabouts...

He walked towards the building and built his star-shaped kekkai carelessly. The damage caused or the people that would be killed were less than nothing to him but he knew it would be suspicious if he didn't.

Heh, I would not miss Sunshine 60 at all...

The building held a few memories he'd rather erase and he had to pass it everyday going to work. He remembered…

Seishirou talking to the penguin rather adorably… Him gasping an apology for being late...

No, that day like any other day in that year was false...

He yanked his mind forcibly to the present and looked about for the source of a trouble.


Kamui was pinned in place by a


Troublesome boy...and...and...

It was as if his memories had called him out of the past...


There was not time to contemplate this as long white sash darted from somewhere on his side. He dodged quite well enough.

Interesting...afraid of me Seishirou-san...think help will save you from my vengeance...?

The sash fighter was good. Subaru could give him that. He destroyed the ofudo birds with a whirl of his sash.

Wait...what was that?

He felt a distinctive ki signature somewhere behind him.

So they haven't give up...hmmm...

The distraction only a moment but he felt the sash wind around his wrist.

You are good...

Subaru tugged at the sash, bidding his time, it might be tight but not that bothersome yet.

But not good enough...

The other fighter had closed in just in time to catch the fire blast Subaru focused through an ofuda he flicked in the last moment.

Let them see this then...a Dragon of Heaven is doing his duty...

Subaru didn't know why they were interested in him, anyway. He abided by their rules as a good onmyouji should.

That is for another time...

The blast had thrown the Angel wide but kid wasn't a normal human and can't be expected to remain incapacitated for long. There was also the matter with Kamui, no matter how Subaru felt about the boy, he had to protect him.

That is my destiny...

"He is quite a handful, isn't he?" Seishirou-san asked, steadying the other Angel.

"Let me take care of him."

Seishirou turned to say something to Kamui, calling out the bent girders to restrain the boy. Then he turned to the sash fighter.

"You baby sit..."

Subaru threw an ofudo before Seishirou could finish the statement, knowing that surprise was the only way he could defeat two Angels. Kamui was worse than useless in this sort of thing.

"Eager aren't you?" Seishirou-san dodged and the battle was on.


Hisoka sighed as he and Tsuzuki returned to the Meifu. It seemed that they were not getting anywhere with their investigation. Following the Sumeragi head only seemed to prove Sakurazuka-san's assertion that he'd been fighting the man all along.

He certainly showed enough hostility to have done the deed...but then I don't blame him...

The way the other Angel used Sakurazukamori's form and patronizingly called the Sumeragi head "Subaru-kun" reminded Hisoka of Muraki. He wanted to eviscerate the white-haired doctor every time the man called him "boy". One could almost feel the condescending head patting in the tone. He wouldn't blame anyone else for feeling the same way.

Much less if that someone killed your twin sister...

The resulting property damage would have done Tsuzuki, on a bad day, proud.

If Sumeragi-san hadn't put up his kekkai...

The Sumeragi head had trounced his opponent senseless before the sash fighter intervened.

There's no fear for Humanity's survival with someone so formidable as a Dragon of Heaven...

Hisoka would not begrudge them the victory and Subaru-san deserved his revenge but if Sakurazuka-san was right then they will have to let him go and find another bait to lure their killer.


I hope Haruko-san got out of the way in time...

Subaru thought as he drove Kamui to the hospital to be checked over. It was hard for him to find such a secretary that fitted his needs so well. He even paid her salary this year, knowing that he would not be using her services for most of it. Despite his kekkai, he had not been able to prevent some structural damage to Sunshine 60 since Kamui and his counterpart had battled there before he had set it up. Some debris had fallen down and hit a few bystanders afterwards.

It would have been better if it had collapsed...


Author's Notes:

[1] A little private joke and yes, the guinea pig breed really exists. It's an Abyssinian. Please tell me if you get the joke. It has something to do with my original fandom.

All the canon scenes were taken from Taryn's manga scanlations. Mangled somewhat to suit the story, of course. I think I got my canon timeline mixed up...was Nakano Plaza before or after Kamui went within? Anyway too late to fix that now.

Erm, I need help on Tokyo Babylon, anyone got summaries? Translations? I mislaid my scanlations and I need the translations for the next chapter. Help will be credited and much loved.

Next Updates: Violets Fade Quickly and then Wingless Flight chapter 2 (especially for Portia). Or maybe it is reversed.

For those who might be amused, the last parts were written to the sound of Lara Fabian belting out Broken Vow and Gloria Gaynor singing I Will Survive. It seems appropriate somehow. Though I'll never hear "Broken Vow" without thinking of "Meteor Garden" soap op. Hmmm, maybe I should make a filksong of "I Will Survive" with the SxS? Pardon me as I babble.