Disclaimer: I don't own Kodocha… yet… MWAHAHA
Sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes. English is not my native language.Last Train To Happiness
He took a whiff from his cigarette, which had gotten smaller as the seconds passed, as he flipped through the papers of his latest case: Sana Kurata, age: twenty five, Occupation: Actor, was found dead in her dressing room. Presumed cause of death: suicide. It was an unexpected act by her. Everyone were in shock when that happened, including her fiancé, Hayama Akito, who disappeared right afterwards. Even though lately things had not gone well on her side, she was always cheerful, especially when she was with Hayama.
His colleagues thought that Hayama knew what his fiancé was planning, and were looking for him even now. Yet, years of experience with these kinds of cases taught the detective Umino Takahashi that it was usually the most loved ones, who did not know a thing about the thoughts of their dead acquaintance. Still, it was not clear yet if she were murdered or chose herself to die, even though they found proofs for a suicide act.
'Total waste,' he thought as he squashed what remained from his cigarette on the ashtray. 'So pretty and talented… a total waste.'
The wooden door opened. "Takahashi-san. Tsuyoshi Sasaki-san is here," said the officer, who stood in the doorway.
Umino nodded. "Let him in," he said.
The officer nodded and disappeared from the doorway, only to be replaced by a young man with black hair and round glasses. "Sit down," said Umino, trying to sound as nicest as he could. He needed to save the threatening tone for later. "Tsuyoshi Sasaki-san, correct?" he asked as the man sat down on the chair in front of him.
"Yes," Tsuyoshi replied, still with the poker face he had when he came in.
"Best friend of Akito Hayama, and a good friend of Sana Kurata."
Tsuyoshi nodded again, still not seeming even a tad nervous. 'This could make the investigation harder…' Umino thought. He dealt with those typed before, though, and they always broke down crying by the end. "So," Umino started, resting his head on his hand. "When was it that you found out about Kurata's death?"
"I was sitting in the library, doing my essay about Japan's lack on involvement during World War Three in 2006 for the university, when Aya-chan, my ex and now best friend, came rushing in and crying. She said that Sana was found dead in her dressing room." There was still no change in his facial expression, not even the slightest sadness. Could it be that he was that close to Kurata that her death caused him to become so impassive?
"And what have you done afterwards?" asked Umino, writing some things in his black notebook.
"We went to her house," Tsuyoshi continued. "There, they told us that they found her lifeless inside, and that she held an empty capsule of sleeping pills."
"Is it true that she was not taken to the hospital?" Umino asked, and Tsuyoshi nodded. "And is it true that only her mother, manager and only one officer saw her body? That they refused to show it to the police, except for officer Takaishi?" Tsuyoshi thought for a bit, and then nodded again. Umino fired the last question. "Do you know why?" his tone of speech has already became a bit threatening, and the smoke from the cigarette still lingered in the air, and the little light in the room had not helped the gloomy mood in the room. Well, not like it was needed to be any different during investigation.
"I have no clue," Tsuyoshi answered. "You'd have to ask them about it, not me."
"I give the commands here, Sasaki-san. I'll ask who I want, what I want." Umino said as he hit the table with his hand.
Tsuyoshi did not even flinch. "Maybe so," he started, still staring forward. "But if you ask me, I believe that Kurata-san wanted to entrust her daughter within the hands of people she knew, like Takaishi-san. He took pictures and showed you, if I'm not mistaken…"
Umino leaned backwards on his chair. "Why do you think Sana Kurata would commit suicide?" he asked.
"Well, a lot of new stars had been coming lately, and slowly, yet surely, Sana disappeared from the spotlights. She has been pretty depressed afterwards, but I never assumed she would kill herself…"
'Yup,' Umino thought. 'The closest to the dead person are the last to know what they're thinking.' After writing down some more things, Umino spoke again. "And what about Hayama Akito?"
"We went to his house and told him. A few hours later his sister called and said he disappeared. We haven't seen him since."
"You know where he may be?"
Tsuyoshi shook his head. "Usually when he's sad, he'll go to Sana, but now…" he looked down to the floor.
Umino stared at him for a moment, then sighed. "Well, Sasaki-san. I'll tell you this: you said exactly what Fuuka Matsui said."
"Of course. She's been with me when all of it happened."
Umino smirked. "That's where you're wrong, my friend. You may have said the same versions… but Fuuka said she'd been with Takaishi, not you." And then, Umino noticed Tsuyoshi started to sweat. 'Finally,' he thought. "And don't you think it's weird, Sasaki-san, that all this time you were staring at the lovely scar on my forehead and keeping a poker face, while you're known for your emotional reactions?" the poker face was gone, and now Tsuyoshi showed… fear.
Umino lit another cigarette and exhaled it's smoke in Tsuyoshi's face. "Now… tell me what really happened. You don't want to stay here until late, am I right? I believe that Aya is getting married today…"
Tsuyoshi sighed. It didn't work… he had to make it to Aya's wedding. He promised her that he would when they broke up five years ago. 'Forgive me, Akito-kun,' he thought. If only his and Fuuka's versions were alike… how could they have missed this small yet very important detail? "Classify this," Tsuyoshi demanded.
"I don't think you're in any position to make such demands…" Umino said, cocking his eyebrow.
"I know…" Tsuyoshi said quietly, avoiding the detective's piercing gaze. "But if this comes out, then Sana Kurata would really die."
"What do you mean?" Umino asked, now curios. They investigated Hayama and Kurata's friends to see what could have caused her to kill herself, but as soon as he saw Tsuyoshi, Umino knew something was up. Sure, there was no problem to classify it. Sana Kurata still has a right for privacy but… why go as far as say she committed suicide to get it?
"In middle school, me and Akito had a homeroom teacher, whose name was Sengoku-sensei. He really hated Akito, and disliked Sana… heh, he and Akito even got into a fistfight. Akito won, of course," Tsuyoshi said, smiling as he remembered the happy days of back then. "Anyway, he retired after some time, and became a journalist. As soon as he found out that Akito was engaged to Sana, and as I mentioned, he hated both, he revealed Hayama's past to the world… and they chased both of them. Akito… Akito was a bad boy when he was a kid… his life weren't that easy, either. So the media chased them, told terrible lies… and nobody wanted to hire Sana anymore…"
Now that is what made this case interesting. This whole thing is one big lie…
Tsuyoshi continued. "So they decided to elope and leave Japan. Only their best friends and family knew about this. And since Takaishi-san, Fuuka's boyfriend, is an officer, they made a plan…"
The plane arrived by midnight, and the couple boarded it, hand in hand. They were about to leave this accursed place they called home. The place, which turned it's back on them and betrayed them. New life was waiting in a new country.
"…They would tell the world that Kurata Sana was dead, and that Hayama Akito disappeared after hearing this and then died from loneliness. Takaishi, being the officer he is, would investigate this case by request. Akito and Sana would board the plane to Los-Angeles USA, since Akito has some friends there that would help him. Then they would be safe from the media… for a while, of course. They know it's only a matter of time until this fraud gets out to the public, but until then, they could sort things out." Tsuyoshi finished, shaking his head. This plan could have gone so well…
"You know, Sasaki-san, that officer Takaishi could get fired for this." Umino said, tapping with his finger on his cheek.
Tsuyoshi nodded. "He knows that, too. He was willing to take the risk."
Umino sighed, and then got up from his chair. "Well, you may go now. We'll invite the others to see if what you told was the truth." Then Umino opened the door and motioned for Tsuyoshi to leave.
"So what's the deal, Takahashi-san?" asked one of the officers in the hall as Umino locked the door.
Umino turned around slowly. "Tell the world," he said quietly, narrowing his eyes. "That Sana Kurata was not found in the dressing room."
"What?!" the officer cried, surprised.
Umino continued. "She chose another place…" he said and left. Sana Kurata and her fiancé would be safe from the media for a little while longer. It wasn't a complete lie. After all, she did choose another place…
And besides, Umino Takahashi was always a big fan of Sana-chan…
"Aya-chan! You look lovely!" Tsuyoshi commented as he hugged his best friend, dressed in her beautiful wedding dress.
"How did the investigation go?" Aya wasted no time before she asked it, desperate to know if their plan worked.
Tsuyoshi sighed and shook his head. "We had a problem with the versions." Aya gasped. "I had to tell the truth."
"Then… that means…" she stuttered.
Tsuyoshi smiled in reassurance. "Don't worry… something tells me we can trust the detective…"
"Do you think that… we can really get away?"
He shook his head. "They'll get us, sooner or later."
"Then what should we do?" she asked, panic rising in her voice.
"What we've done when we were younger: we'd deal with problems, when it's time to deal with them."
She smiled, and leaned against him. "Good night, Hayama."
"Good night, Sana."
Author's Note: well, the came out… crappy. Anyway, review please! ^-^