Disclaimer: Fat chance, man.
Dedication: animevivverz, who totally rocks my world and gave me all the information I need for this story. Thanks a bunch!
Sakura pulled into her brother's driveway, then stopped the car and checked her hair in the mirror before exiting and walking up to the door. She hadn't even rung the doorbell before the door was being pulled open and Sakura found herself in a giant bear hug.
"Sakura!" Her brother's happy tones echoed in her head while she swore she felt one of her ribs crack.
"Aki." She choked out, and he let go, smiling sheepishly at her and rumpling the back of his head.
"Haha, sorry." He said apologetically, and it was then that Sakura got her first good look at the eldest in a while: his dark locks were still rumpled, and his bright green eyes, the exact shade of hers, shone with mirth and happiness. He was dressed casually, but still nicely, and Sakura looked down at her uniform crusted with dried blood with a tiny nagging feeling of guilt.
Aki laughed and grabbed her hand, pulling her into the nicely-furnished apartment that he had only had for a few months. Sakura distinctively remembered him being so excited, since he had been promoted at his job and, thus, had been given a raise, so he had enough money to buy his own apartment.
"Don't worry, I have clothes for you here, remember?" Sakura smiled as her brother gently pushed her into the room he had designed for her, her bedroom should she ever want to spend the night. (Or if she was too drunk to drive home, which didn't happen often, since her hours for work rarely allowed her to, but there were times where it DID happen.)
Rummaging through the dresser Aki had bought her, Sakura slipped on a black knee-length skirt and a green halter shirt, along with black high-heeled sandals, and pulled her long hair into a half-ponytail.
Aki knocked on the door twice, and then opened it when Sakura yelled for him to come in. He smiled as he surveyed her. "Jesus, you actually look like a lady for once." He joked, then winced when his sister punched him in the arm. "You know I'm only kidding. Anyway, dinner's done." He looked down and raised an eyebrow. "Why the hell are you wearing shoes?"
Sakura shrugged. "They go with the outfit." She explained, and Aki snorted before shaking his head.
"Women." He muttered under his breath.
"Men." Said Sakura mockingly, and he pinched her on the arm, causing Sakura to yelp and kick him.
"Ow! High-heels hurt!"
"Yes, they are rather efficient weapons, aren't they?" Sakura said affectionately, and her brother shot her a weird look. "Hey, they ARE. I've gotten out of quite a few situations with the help of some spectacular pairs of high-heels."
"Bet they hurt like a bitch and gave you blisters."
Aki laughed and, like the perfect gentleman he was, pulled out the chair for Sakura. She dipped her head in acknowledgement and the dark-haired male walked into the kitchen before returning with a cutting board that held the sliced ham, and continued to walk back and forth between the kitchen and the dining room, each time bringing back more and more plates.
Sakura laughed. "Are you serious, Aki? It's just me and you; we'll never finish ALL of this."
In retaliation, Aki poked her flat stomach mockingly. "I need to fatten you up, you don't eat properly since you're ALWAYS working."
Sakura inwardly winced in guilt; it was true, she DID work a lot. "Well, what're you gonna do, eat me?"
Her brother rolled his eyes. "Sak, this isn't Hansel and Gretel, and nor am I some old, ugly, blind witch. Besides, I don't think my apartment is made out of candy, and nor do I want to lure small children into my home."
"Michael Jackson." Sakura teased, and Aki scowled.
"Watch it missy, I might poison your wine for that smart comment." Sakura smiled innocently, and Aki snorted but continued to serve the dinner.
When everything was finally on the table, Aki sat down and Sakura began to pile food on her plate. "Mmm… Ak, this is so good." Aki smiled in a pleased way.
"I'm glad you like it. Then again, you'll eat just about anything, especially that crap you call food."
"Hey, McDonalds is very good! They have good coffee!" Sakura defended, but knew her brother was right; Sakura didn't have much time to cook anymore, so she normally got something from some fast food place, whatever was open at the time. McDonalds, Wendys, Burger King, KFC, whatever she was in the mood for. Or whatever was closest. She normally just scarfed down the food before continuing to do her job, which she did damn well.
Aki rolled his eyes, and it was like looking into a mirror. "Seriously, Sak, you need to eat NORMAL food, not just a burger that they've had in storage the entire day." Sakura wrinkled her nose and shoved a forkful of peas into her mouth for lack of any comeback.
Sakura leaned back in the chair, patting her stomach. "I can't eat another bite. I might explode, and then you'd have my guts and food all over your nice white walls."
Her brother sighed. "Sometimes, I wish you'd give me less details. You should probably stop watching so many horror movies."
"They're entertaining." Sakura replied, shrugging.
"I'll bet; when that girl died in Freddy vs. Jason, you started laughing."
"Well, she was a slut! Seriously, she comes out of the lake, TOTALLY NAKED, and is giggling in that stupid bimbo-y way and calling for her boyfriend. She was practically begging to be killed, especially at night in the woods." The female retorted, defending one of her favorite hobbies. (Watching horror movies, not watching stupid sluts die. Though that was half the enjoyment.)
Aki shook his head and started to clear off the table. Sakura helped him and a couple minutes later they were done. She tried to help him wash the dishes, but he wouldn't hear of it. "Good," grunted Sakura, "cause I really gotta pee."
Aki laughed. "So ladylike." He teased, but the truth was, Sakura wasn't. For as long as she could remember, it had just been her, Aki, and their father; their mother had died when Sakura was only three, and Aki had taught Sakura how to throw her first punch when she was seven, so that she could defend herself. Sakura had never cared much for nail polish or making her hair more glossy, and she only saw boys as friends, nothing more, unlike the girls who twirled their hair and giggled and flirted so obnoxiously.
Sakura wrinkled her nose at the thought and then wandered off to go find his bathroom.
"Jesus, I never knew drinking five cups of coffee could be murder on your bladder." She muttered, washing her hands. She exited the nicely-decorated bathroom and listened intently; she heard the running water, meaning her brother was still washing dishes, and she smirked before walking off.
She opened the first door she found, knowing instinctively what room this one was.
The dusk had settled, so she flipped on the light but closed her eyes, inhaling deeply and then opening her lids again.
Statues and paintings faced her, some half-finished, some Aki was obviously still working on, and some that were finished; those that were finished were by the wall, and Sakura's attention was immediately caught by the sculpture of a woman. Walking over, Sakura inspected it.
The woman's hair was up and was coiled loosely; a wreath adorned her head, one that looked like a crown of ivy leaves. A tunic of some sort was wrapped around her body; it wrapped around her shoulders, curved underneath her breasts and ran off to the right, showing off a good portion of her left ribcage and the middle of her stomach, then returned to her left side and molded themselves into her hips before the tunic stopped at her lower thighs, by her knees.
"Athena, probably." Sakura mused; she and her brother both had the same fetish for Roman Gods and Goddesses, and Aki liked to sculpt the Roman Goddesses especially.
Walking around the room and looking at all the different sculptures, including one of her that made Sakura smile, she walked over to the paintings. One was covered, and feeling particularly nosy, she rose the sheet.
The first thing that caught her eye was a beautiful woman. Her hair was midnight black, and curled softly around her shoulders, coming to rest underneath her breasts. Green eyes smiled at the camera, and she was wearing a gray sleeveless turtleneck. Black dress pants adorned her slim legs, and Sakura knew that where the camera had cut it off, there were black pumps that were on her feet.
Standing next to her was a man with light blond hair, so light it almost looked white, but Sakura knew better. He had warm brown eyes, and the happiness practically shone through. He had an arm wrapped around the woman's shoulder, and both their smiles were easygoing, not fake in the least, though the picture had been done professionally, judging from the blue backdrop in the background. He wore a blue sweater over black slacks, and black dress shoes that were hidden from view.
In front of them were two children; the oldest was sitting down and smiling, a boy with messy black locks and a goofy smile on his face. In between his legs was a little girl dressed in a pink dress and looking confused, bright green focused on her older brother. The little girl's pink hair was up in a messy ponytail, baby fine, the way a toddler's was.
"I didn't realize you still had this picture." Sakura commented to the air.
"You thought I threw it out?" A voice inquired, and Sakura shrugged, turning to face Aki, who was leaning against the doorway, arms crossed and looking at her with an eyebrow raised.
"I thought it might've gotten lost in the move, or something."
"More like hoped." Aki muttered, and Sakura glowered at him. "Alright, come on, I got us dessert. Chocolate chip cookie dough, with chocolate syrup on it, your favorite Sak."
"Siren." Sakura sulked, and her brother laughed.
"So what's going on with work?" Aki asked, as Sakura scooped up some ice cream and licked it off her spoon.
"You really wanna know, while we're eating?" The viridian-eyed female inquired, and Aki nodded.
"Give it to me straight."
Sakura ate some more of her ice cream while she thought up a way to say it. "Well, we found a girl that had been murdered earlier. Whoever killed her did so specifically; her hands were by her breasts, her throat was bound with a red ribbon, her eyes were cut out, and she was posed in a prayer." Sakura looked at Aki. "Any theories as of to why?"
Her brother shook his head regretfully. "Sorry, I don't. You know I've never been good with religion and stuff." He smiled sheepishly, and Sakura laughed. "What else do you know about her? Maybe she's a stripper, or a prostitute, who irritated a client."
"That's what I thought, too." Sakura mused, sucking on her spoon thoughtfully. Then, she shrugged, and finished off her ice cream. "Well, I'll find out tomorrow, and to be clear-headed-"
"And drugged up on coffee."
"I need a good nights sleep." Sakura said, ignoring Aki's interruption. "So I'll go, but I'll call you tomorrow, or something."
Aki pouted, but then relented. "Well, okay. Keep me posted about the case."
Sakura nodded absentmindedly while she got up, heading to her bedroom so that she could get her uniform. "Sure thing. Just don't keep me in the dark about any more sculptures of me, okay?" She winked teasingly, and Aki looked at her in exasperation.
"That sculpture of you was supposed to be your birthday present, but you just had to be nosy and go snooping." Sakura smiled. Her and Aki had always been close, and sometimes, in a world like this, she was glad for it. Sakura had been there for him when he discovered his passion for sculpture and the arts, and he had been there for her when she decided to become a cop after the death of her best friend.
She turned around and walked towards the bedroom, her thoughts now plagued with thoughts of her best friend, who had been killed ten years ago; he had been openly gay, and the person who killed him got charged with First Degree Murder and a hate crime.
Her heart squeezed painfully when thoughts of James swirled in her head; in a lot of ways, he reminded her of her brother, which is probably why they became friends in the first place. Sakura wouldn't have made it through Middle School if she had never met James.
Shaking her head, she picked up her uniform and headed out the door. "You know, I can always just clean that and give it to you sometime this week, or whenever you're free." Aki offered when she stepped into the living room.
Sakura paused and looked down; she never really got a chance to do laundry much, and Aki was actually better at doing homely stuff like this.
"Alright." She relented, and her brother smiled, taking the uniform from her.
"It'll be spotless when you get it back, I promise."
"Better be." She grunted, and Aki grinned, shaking his head. Sakura leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. "You're the best. I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"
"You'd better." Her brother chastised, and Sakura saluted him mockingly before exiting the apartment, a wide smile decorating her face.
Sakura's phone rang, and a hand reached out and grabbed it from its cradle, dragging it underneath the covers. "Hello?" She asked grumpily, voice thick with sleep.
"Good morning Miss America!" A cheerful voice yelled, and Sakura winced.
"Kiba, I am trying to sleep, like a normal person. What time is it?"
"Five. And Lin identified the girl, so I suggest you get your butt in the office."
Sakura yawned widely and regretfully pushed back the covers, standing up and shivering; apparently, wearing short pajama shorts and a tank top to bed in the middle of September was officially not a good idea.
"Alright, give me fifteen minutes."
"I'm holding a steaming hot cup of coffee that has your name written all over it."
"Scratch that; I'll be there in five."
Feeling much better now that she had some caffeine in her system, Sakura observed as Lin removed the sheet from the girl's body.
"Alright, she was definitely raped and beaten, and you guys were right; she tried to fight back. Her name is Holly Thorton, and she lives on 13 West Ave, apartment 10."
Sakura nodded and looked at Kiba, who was still looking at the female's naked body.
"I still think she's a stripper."
A/N- Alright, I know this is kinda filler-ish, but it's more for some background information and Sakura, and to show her relationship with her brother, which will be important in later chapters, since it's just the two of them now. And no, nee-chan, they're not going to have a more-than-brother-and-sister relationship, sorry xD. Don't worry, Sasuke and Naruto appear in the next chapter. Anyway, I'm incredibly happy with the reviews I got. Keep 'em comin!