MAJOR TRIGGER WARNING: If psychological disorders, murder, and suicide are triggers, DO NOT read! ID: Invaded gets heavy into this and I am writing to the feel of the series.
This is set pre-series, but will loosely link to the fourth in my series. Because this is before the trauma that crippled him, Akihito Narihisago will behave different than in the series, consider this what I believe he was like originally-much happier for one. Though my stories are all stand alone, I tend to link them in a single headcanon that is canon compatible. It is not essential to read them all but you might get more from doing so as I like subtle links, foreshadowing and calling back ... and I also enjoy Easter eggs!
I hope you enjoy my take on ID: Invaded.
For some strange reason the letters grew larger and larger beneath Detective Akihito Narihisago's pen. Stooped over his desk he blinked slowly in the morning light spilling through the half open blinds behind him. They cast stripes over the paperwork as the pen gradually slipped from his fingers to roll off onto the floor. His forehead edged down an inch at a time until it just dropped the final one onto the back of his hand. Within minutes his head rolled so his cheek rested on his arm, whole body leaning forward precariously propped against the edge of his desk.
His impromptu nap hadn't gone unnoticed in the First Investigation Division's homicide office. Most of the detectives' desks were laid out in the open floor plan, only senior staff were awarded private offices. Chatter ran in a wave, stifled laughter, elbowed gestures, pointing to his desk in the corner where he lay softly snoring. A small group of more established detectives drifted over behind him, whispering.
"No, just tap him on the shoulder."
"Heh, no way. He falls asleep on the job he needs to learn a lesson."
"Yeah, he asked for this."
"We're not in high school, guys. This is a professional office."
"Well, Narihisago clearly thinks this is preschool nappy time. Soo … " With a foot against the base of his chair, all it took was a gentle push to finish what his own precarious position had started. The chair wheels gradually slid to the right extending the gap he lay over, until …
Narihisago's eyes snapped opened as gravity seized him. In a sudden panic he clawed at the edge of the desk trying to rescue himself from the plummet and failed as his own scrambling weight drove the chair far enough from his desk. He tumbled face first onto the floor, barely catching himself with this arms.
Snickering laughter broke out overhead as he blinked at the base of his desk trying to put together the pieces. What the hell? Why am I …
"Shh! Look!" Suddenly that mirth dispelled as a pair of distinctive high-polished brown leather shoes stopped in front of him.
Crap. Now I'm in for it.
A throat cleared. He looked up into Senior Detective Kokuryu Matsuoka's stern face, his arms crossed over his chest. For some reason he always looked like he suffered from chronic constipation. "Something wrong with your chair, Narihisago?"
"No," he mumbled, a yawn aborting any other words he might have tried.
At that yawn Matsuoka's brow knit deep enough to hold chopsticks. "I thought that's what I saw. Is there no end to your disrespect? Sleeping on the job now?"
Narihisago sighed and pushed up from the floor, rubbing his eyes. "It's not—"
Thrusting a finger at the stack of now smeared documents, Matsuoka snapped. "Being a detective isn't all about spotting clues and making wild ass deductions. Nothing holds up in court without meticulous record keeping."
"I know. I know." That was all he'd been assigned since entering this department, secretary duties. "I'm getting the paperwork done. I was on it."
He snatched one of the documents and held it up. "Sleeping on it! I swear you must have had some major connections for a disaster like you to make it out of the academy. Why did you have to land in my department? Good for nothing rookie."
Narihisago heaved a sigh as Matsuoka turned and walked away. Pulling his chair back into place he stole a glance over at the suspicious knot of detectives suddenly looking rather busy across the room. One of them was smiling a bit too broadly. Sure they pull the prank, but does he say anything to them? Nope. It's like a hen house in here.
Funetaro Momoki wandered up with an eyebrow quirked in the tense air as Narihisago flopped down in his creaking chair and pulled out a fresh document to recopy what he'd inadvertently smeared. Setting down a mug of coffee beside him, Momoki went around to his own desk facing Narihisago's. "Ok, I can feel it in the air, something happened in the short time I left."
"Not much. Just a childish prank," he muttered.
"Was that Matsuoka?"
"Yeah. Guess there is one way to get him out of his office."
A passing detective chuckled and mock-whispered around his hand, "Pull a prank on Napping Narihisago."
His head lowered a bit over the paperwork.
Momoki leaned forward. "Don't tell me you fell asleep at your desk."
His hand tightened on the pen.
"I knew you needed the coffee, but not that badly. Ok, what's going on?"
Setting the pen down, he rubbed his eyes. "I don't think there is enough coffee to counter this. It's Muku, she's decided that she doesn't need to sleep anymore. Nothing is more resolute than a toddler who has made up her mind. She is a perpetual motion machine."
"Did you get any sleep last night?"
He shrugged, yawning again. "Maybe an hour … collectively. I really hope this phase doesn't last long. Between Ayako and I, we've run out of tactics to try."
"It can't be that bad."
Narihisago eyed him, one brow raised. "She's become an overnight escape artist, getting into everything. I have to put her back into her crib every ten minutes."
Momoki took a sip of his own coffee. "What about Ayako? Surely you can trade off so someone can get some sleep."
"We are. She has the alternating five minute marks."
He cringed. "Jeez. No wonder you're so tired. Still, there's no excuse for the others messing with you. They don't do anything to me."
After a sizable gulp of the coffee, Narihisago chuckled. "Be a pretty definitive career ending move to screw with the son of a police commissioner."
"Uh, Narihisago, you happen to be the son-in-law of the same police commissioner."
"Not the same thing. I don't have your family name so I doubt anyone knows, let alone cares." He yawned and scratched his head in a stretch. "Don't worry about it. Sure, it was a rude awakening, but it could have been worse. They woke me up before the chief passed through. Saved me that epic level of trouble."
People drifted through the floor all the time. Most days it was a constant flurry of background activity of some sort. But for some reason a blue-clad figure caught Narihisago's eye. He glanced up behind Momoki and cleared his throat with a subtle gesture. He stiffened, eyes half closing as Narihisago gave a single confirming nod.
A hand clamped on his shoulder. "Funetaro, I should have known I would find you here." Commissioner Momoki in full uniform tucked his hat beneath his arm.
He couldn't duck out of it. "Well, this is my desk in the middle of the workday, so it kind of makes sense I'd be here."
"I'm glad I caught you, son."
Momoki's eyes half shut before he looked up, meeting his father's smiling gaze.
"Tonight we're hosting a formal dinner. I was here inviting the chief. The mayor along with several other dignitaries are gathering at the house. Oh, and your brother is back in town, too. So, your mother and I thought we would have a nice get together."
Staring like a deer into headlights, Momoki didn't reply.
"Oh yes, speaking of family get togethers," Commissioner Momoki turned toward Narihisago who suddenly felt the attention and glanced up at him. "Akihito, why don't you and Ayako stop on by tonight. Even though it's formal, you can bring Muku, I'd love to see my little granddaughter again!"
The office immediately ceased to move, everyone seemed to transform into a forest of deer in front of headlights.
"Uhh, well, appreciate the invite, Sir." Narihisago's weary eyes blinked. "But we're kind of in the middle of a rough spot. Muku's been stubborn and we're trying to re-establish sleeping habits. Your party would interrupt that. So, have to pass on that."
He cocked his head, studying him before grinning. "Ah the terrible toddler years. I remember dealing with that. You have my sympathy, son."
"You don't happen to know if they make handcuffs in toddler size?"
He chuckled. "Not the last time I checked. Consistency is the key, my boy. You'll get through it. Bring her by another time once she's out of this phase. We'll have dinner."
Narihisago smiled. "I'll let Ayako know."
"Give her a kiss from her father." Commissioner Momoki turned and tugged on his cap. "See you boys around."
After he left the room, one of the standing detective's slowly tipped over and hit the floor with a solid thud. Narihisago returned to his paperwork, muttering just loud enough for Momoki, "Well, now it doesn't take a senior detective to answer the question of who woke me up. So, you going to get all dressed up in blues tonight?"
Momoki folded his arms across his chest. "No way in hell. I have no interest in being paraded around like a little trophy."
"You really should tell him how much it bothers you."
"He only seems approachable to you. Damn it, you're so lucky you don't have to put up with this."
Narihisago finished a line on the form and glanced up. "What? You mean cause my dad is on the other side of the country and can't just pop into the office where I work randomly to ask me to sample the sake? That would leave a rather bad impression."
"You talk to him, right?"
"Of course. Over the phone. He managed an online video call once, that was … interesting. We're still in touch, it's just less … intrusive. You know, part of it might be that you're still living at—"
Narihisago lifted a shoulder. "Just saying, maybe some time away."
"Time away?" Momoki rolled his fingers. "Hey, I got a proposition for you!"
"Oh yeah? I'm listening while I fill out this thing, again … seriously, how redundant do these have to be? I'm beginning to think some sadist made these up just to be difficult. Besides we're in the digital age and yet someone wants handwritten hard copies to scan. Old fashioned time wasting idiots."
"Why don't I come over to your place after work, spend the night. I could watch Muku for you guys and let you both get some sleep."
He dropped the pen and looked up slowly, one hand bracing his chin as he lifted an eyebrow. "Wow. You really don't want to go that dinner party. Do you have any idea what babysitting a toddler is like?"
"She's my adorable little niece. How much trouble can she be?"
He threw his head back and laughed. "Famous. Last. Words!"
Blanching, Momoki held his hands out. "I'm an adult. I can handle it."
"Alright, you got a deal. I'll honestly accept being your alibi with gratitude. Ayako'll be relieved too. I just hope you won't regret it."
He glanced up through the top of his eyelids. "We'll see about that after you have a few rounds with Muku-zilla."
Funetaro quietly knocked on the apartment door. Out in this hallway every door looked the same except for the little number letter combinations. After a moment, the door swung open to the cheery little face of Muku singing snatches of a song, most of the words not quite right in that typical child-mishearing. Something about cracker crumbs. She was so tall because she rode on Akihito's sagging shoulders, kicking her little jungle animal-print pj-ed feet with her hands buried in his snarled hair. Dressed in a loose white t-shirt and a pair of black sleep shorts, his baggy eyes were already halfway closed as he waved Funetaro in.
He hissed as Muku leaned backward, hands full of his hair. "Muku honey, remember what Daddy said about leaving his hair attached to his head?"
Coming to his rescue, Funetaro dropped his overnight bag, smiled and held out his hands. "Look who's here!"
She showed her perfect little toddler teeth. Shrieking with joy, she wriggled into his arms. "Uncle Moki!"
Akihito rubbed his freed shoulders and yawned. "You know where everything is, help yourself. I lost the coin toss and had to stay up. Ayako's already in bed and she says thank you."
"I got this." Funetaro held his niece in his arms as she hugged his neck. What a sweet little bundle, it was hard to imagine her being a terror.
When Akihito shuffled out of the room, Muku looked up. "Where Daddy go?"
He paused enough to mutter, "Daddy and Mommy need to take a long nap."
She raised a hand and did a wave resembling a lobster claw opening and closing. "Ni-night, Daddy."
He was trying to reply, but a yawn obliterated it. Around the corner he vanished.
Funetaro smiled as Muku traced the letters on his t-shirt. "Ok sweetie. We got some time together. What do you wanna do?"
Sucking on a finger, her smile creased her eyes. "Uncle Moki wanna dance?"
He stiffened, looking around the toy strewn living room. "Uhhh, I'm not much of a dancer."
Holding his hand she crawled out of his arms and tugged him to his feet. "I teach you."
At the mercy of the toddler Funetaro was shocked to find her grabbing the remote for the TV and bringing up some children's sing a-long channel. To his relief, the device was set on child lock. Akihito had been with it enough to remember to do that much. Repetitive music tinkled through the air as she grabbed his fingers and swung his arms back and forth. She belted the lyrics, a bit off key, "We dance because we happy!"
This isn't so bad.
That impression lasted til the end of the first hour. Then Muku had the wild idea to play race cars. At least he thought that's what was going on as she made squealing sounds while taking laps around the apartment. Her feet thumped along the floor at mach-toddler.
Passing by the bedroom door trying to shush her, the sight caught him by surprise. For a moment, Funetaro paused in the doorway. Ayako and Akihito both lay passed out on the bed, Akihito with his arm hanging off the edge. Both of them with visible bags beneath their eyes. Even exhausted as they were, they made for a damn cute couple.
As Muku raced past him and tried to enter the room making a beeline for the bed, Funetaro grabbed her by the wrists and swung her up into his arms. "Not so fast, sweetie. Remember what I told you? Not in here tonight. We gotta be quiet."
She sucked on a finger and blinked at him. "Uncle Moki, wanna tell them something."
He ruffled her hair. "When they wake up, kay?" Carrying her back out to the living room, he suggested, "How about you take a nap like them."
"No!" She pounded her tiny fists in his arm. "Muku no sleep! Not tired!"
Oh, but she was. It was obvious. Akihito was right, she was stubborn and insisting on being a perpetual motion machine. The moment he set her down, she took off and started jumping on the couch. Funetaro darted over, waving his arms. "Whoa, let's not do that. If you fall you could get hurt."
Of course that only shifted the rambunctious child to jump over to the chair cheering, "Weee!"
"Muku!" Funetaro now wondered why his sister and brother-in-law didn't already have gray hair from this. He chased the child like a demented dog trying to herd cats. Even in the small apartment this task was proving difficult. No wonder Akihito was tired as hell. The moment he caught her, she wriggled out of his grasp, giggling with glee. He glanced at the clock, not even midnight.
This was going to be a long night!
The residence was quiet. Too quiet. Akihito cautiously tiptoed around the corner peering into the living room. He wasn't expecting this. Muku lay in her crib, by some miracle actually sleeping. She was rather more colorful than when he had left her, obviously having pulled out her art supplies and turned herself into a canvas. But the rainbow smeared little girl was snoring peacefully.
Casting his gaze to the couch, he found Funetaro half awake … and covered in finger paint.
Clamping a hand over his mouth, Akihito barely managed to stifle the laughter.
His eyes drifted up. "What are you laughing at?"
"My daughter's art project, apparently. Funetaro, you've never been so colorful. Is that a pink heart on your cheek?"
He sighed, hands hanging in the air as if he were sopping wet.
"I warned you she's a handful." He waved. "Come on, that cleans up with soap and water."
"At least tell me after all this you got some sleep."
At the kitchen faucet he turned it to warm and wrung out a washcloth lathering up a good amount of soap before handing it over. "I did. Thank you. But even more so—" he pointed to Muku, "thank you for that. How did you do it?"
Scrubbing off an unflattering mixture of red and green from his arm, Funetaro shrugged. "I honestly don't know. She was making a fine old mess with the only thing I found to keep her from tearing around the place, and the next thing I know, she yawned and sunk down. I would have cleaned her up."
"Ahhh, I wouldn't have. Not if she was finally sleeping. That's a miracle." He leaned on the sink watching and grinning. After Funetaro freed himself from the technicolors, he filled a tea pot and boiled some water.
At length they went back the couch, Funetaro suddenly stopped and jerked his foot up, half a yowled curse escaped him before Akihito clamped a hand over his mouth, eyeing Muku. They looked down at the floor and there lay one of Muku's toys, a little dog with a upright tail. That tail had gone straight into his bare foot.
"Heh, more than once I got bit by that thing. Tellin' yah, she better never ask for a real dog!"
They sat down on the couch sipping the fresh tea as he shut off the child lock and turned on an action flick, keeping the volume down.
"Akihito, you can go back to bed if you need to."
"Nah, I'm good. Slept a lot deeper than on the edge of my work desk." He sipped the tea, watching a car chase on the screen and chuckling at the way they dramatically flipped and caught on fire. "Seriously, script writers know nothing of physics. Cars don't do that."
Funetaro raised an eyebrow.
A few minutes later, Ayako wandered out from the bedroom, wrapping a robe around her. She smiled and leaned over, kissing Akihito on the lips. "Good morning."
He held up a mug, "Help yourself. Should still be hot."
"Thanks." She poured herself a mug and then came around the couch to lean over Funetaro. "I can't thank you enough, brother. This was a huge help knowing she was in good hands. Awww, and she's sleeping. Finally sleeping! Do you want to do this every night?"
Funetaro stiffened. His shock was cut short by a burst of muffled laughter. He stared over at Akihito, pounding on his knee. "What's so funny?"
"Have to start calling you Nanny Moki!"
"That's not funny." He folded his arms.
"You're right. It's hilarious. I just pictured you in a frilly apron, brother!"
Funetaro's breath forced out of his nose.
Ayako giggled. "Oh, but you would wear it so well."
Catching himself, Akihito shook his head. "Sorry … you really did do us a solid. Specially getting her to sleep."
Ayako sat down and sipped her tea. "How long?"
"Couple of hours."
"Well, that's more than the past couple of days."
Over from the crib, she started to stir. Her eyes opened.
Akihito pushed up from the couch and leaned over the crib. "Mornin' sunshine."
She giggled and reached for him as he picked her up.
His nose wrinkled. "Ok, someone's ripe … " he eyed her colorful fingers. "And in need of a bath."
"I can get it, Aki … "
He waved to Ayako, "I got this. I have a bit before we have to get ready for work."
She called out behind him. "I appreciate it."
Muku's little hand rubbed his cheek, warm and soft. "Daddy bright eyes."
"Yes, sweetie. That's what happens when you let Mommy and Daddy get some sleep."
She giggled as they entered the bathroom. "No sleep for Muku!"
Starting the water and testing the temp, he muttered. "Oh yeah? I just need to keep Uncle Moki around."