I wanted to say thank you to all the people who reviewed including fox gal, ShinigamixGirl, aki, Hiya120, Hanamaru, FlyingShadow666, Lady Katelynna, Sir Gawain of Camelot, Maggie-Morbid, strawberrydevil, Amakurikara, Closet Chocoholic, the-bunnys-echo, Serendipity281, Sea Queen, Jacky-the-Ripper, and Snowy Leopardess. Thanks!
Oh and I also want to say sorry for taking so long to get this next part out. Sorry! And hope you like it. The real case hasn't really begun yet but it should soon enough.
Chapter #2: Hokkaido: Part One
The first outing of the tour was the city of Sapporo in Hokkaido and after another two hours of driving the next morning, the bus made it there and the passengers started to unload.
"This place is kinda nice," Tsuzuki noticed, looking around him at the busy streets. Sapporo was Hokkaido's capital city and as such it was the biggest city on the island, made up of modern buildings and apparently a rather active nightlife.
Hisoka, not really caring about the scenery, snorted and wrapped his arms around himself, hugging his winter coat closer. He was so cold. He didn't care how much cool stuff it had, he didn't like Hokkaido at all. Much too cold even if it was a bonus that the Hokkaido girls wouldn't be able to meet up with them because they were on a case.
"Doesn't look like there's anything interesting going on at the moment though," Seitarou noted as he read through his guidebook of Japan. Most of the stuff in the book he already knew, but there were some tidbits in it that were really useful to know. "The Snow Festival was months ago and the city's not really known for any need-to-see sights."
Kanta looked somewhat confused by this. "What? But I thought Sapporo was really big on clubs. I wanted to go clubbing."
Seitarou looked up from the tour book to smile at his boyfriend reassuringly. "And we can, but I think we have to wait until it gets dark for that, remember?"
Kanta nodded, looking reassured, but Tsuzuki and Hisoka both looked a little concerned.
"Clubbing?" Tsuzuki asked with a frown, almost afraid of the answer.
Obviously hearing the fear in the question, Kanta frowned at his new friend. "Yeah. Didn't you know?"
Tsuzuki shook his head.
"Then you didn't pack any club gear?" Kanta asked.
"Well . . . no," Tsuzuki said hesitantly.
"Don't worry. We have all day. I'm sure we'll be able to find something for you to wear," Seitarou said soothingly.
"Oh yeah!" Kanta said, starting to look excited. "Shopping!"
Obviously unsure about this, Tsuzuki looked to Hisoka who was staring at Kanta with wide eyes. Tsuzuki couldn't imagine Hisoka really wanted to get dressed up in slutty clothes and throw himself into a writhing mob of drunk people. "I don't . . . think we'll be going," Tsuzuki said slowly as he turned back to Kanta. "We're not exactly . . ." How to put this? "club people." Yeah, that worked.
"Don't be stupid," Kanta said, waving him off. "Get enough drinks in you and everyone is a club person."
Hisoka then turned his wide eyes to Tsuzuki, obviously begging him to find a way out of this.
"It's just . . ." Tsuzuki started again. "Hisoka really doesn't like crowds." He paused then added, "Or dressing up." He thought about this again. "Or showing skin." Then once more he thought and added, "And he has absolutely no tolerance for alcohol."
Kanta blinked. "What, really?"
Tsuzuki nodded. "The one time he did drink he passed out after one sip."
Kanta turned to Hisoka then. "Wow. That's pretty bad." Then he frowned and seemed to consider the blond. "But that doesn't mean you can't go. I mean, you like music, don't you?"
Hisoka frowned. "Of course."
"And you're really too good-looking to not dress up," Kanta continued, still considering the blond before him. "I mean, you look great now, but you'd probably look amazing in some leather pants and a clingy shirt. You don't have to show any skin at all if you don't want to."
Hisoka tried not to look uncomfortable under that assessing stare, saying flatly, "I don't like crowds."
"But you can ignore that for one night, can't you? It's only a few hours."
Hisoka looked at him a moment and then said flat out, "No."
Kanta frowned. "What. So you're just gonna sit in the room all night after you paid so much for this vacation? That doesn't make any sense."
"I don't really care."
"Oh c'mon," Kanta said. "It's just one night. Try to broaden your horizons a little. You'll have fun, I promise."
Hisoka shook his head stubbornly. "Still not going."
"Tsuzuki-san will be there," Kanta said, still trying to convince him.
Tsuzuki blinked. "I will?"
"Just go along with it," Seitarou said.
"Don't care," Hisoka said.
"But I won't be able to have any fun if I know you're stuck at the hotel," Kanta tried, but then, seeing that that wasn't working, switched to another method. "And Tsuzuki-san will be lonely by himself. And he'll look single and available. Do you want him to look single and available around all those drunk and horny people? 'Cause I know I wouldn't if it was Sei-chan in his place."
Hisoka opened his mouth once more to say that he didn't care and that there was no chance in Hell he was going when Tsuzuki nudged him. Turning to his partner, Hisoka asked an impatient, "What?"
Not saying anything, Tsuzuki made this kind of gesture with his head. Not getting it, Hisoka blinked once and tilted his head slightly in confusion. Tsuzuki made the same gesture and then raised his eyebrows emphatically.
Oh. Right. The mission.
Hisoka frowned and tried to think of a way in which his not going to a club would somehow negatively affect their mission. Not finding one, he turned to Tsuzuki again and shook his head.
Tsuzuki only nodded his head insistently, eyes wide. Hisoka shook his head again and Tsuzuki continued to nod insistently.
Frowning, Hisoka had to admit that maybe Tsuzuki had thought of something he hadn't and so turned back to Kanta and Seitarou to say, "Alright. I guess I can put up with it for a little while."
Kanta and Seitarou, who had watched the whole "conversation" silently, looked only amused.
"You do that a lot?" Seitarou asked with a smile.
Tsuzuki looked blank. "Do what?"
That set Kanta off laughing and Hisoka rolled his eyes.
Tsuzuki scratched the back of his head, confused as to what had so amused their new friends. When it seemed Kanta's laughter was dying down, Tsuzuki decided that they had been standing in the same spot near the bus for far too long and so looked to Seitarou.
"Does that book tell you any good places to eat around here? I'm starving."
"Tsuzuki . . ." Hisoka trailed off, shaking his head.
"What?" Tsuzuki asked, looking back at Hisoka with a hurt expression.
Seitarou raised a brow at the request, but turned back to his guidebook nevertheless. "It does talk about two restaurants that are supposedly must-sees."
"Ooh!" Tsuzuki said, turning back to Seitarou and starting to get excited. "What are they?"
"Well there's the Hyosetsu-no-Mon which is apparently really popular, but it only has king crab dishes. Or we can go to this one, Hanamura, for the really simple stuff like tempura and noodles."
"Which one's cheaper?" Hisoka asked.
"Hisoka!" Tsuziki cried. "What's that got to do with anything?"
Hisoka leveled Tsuzuki with a stern look. "We have a budget and you know what happens when we go over that budget."
Tsuzuki looked utterly disappointed, but nodded anyways. "Tatsumi gets mad."
"Right," Hisoka said, still giving Tsuzuki that stern look. "And so we're not going to go over it, are we?"
Tsuzuki looked pained. "No."
Kanta was looking amused again by this whole exchange. "Who's Tatsumi?"
Tsuzuki was still looking too sad to really hear anything, but Hisoka glanced over at him and answered, "He's a friend of Tsuzuki's who's basically taken over our finances after this idiot here nearly ate us out of our apartment. He did it back when we weren't dating too, but I refuse to freeload off of friends like he did back then so it's never going to happen again." Hisoka shot Tsuzuki another stern look.
"He eats that much?" Seitarou asked, looking a little doubtful.
Turning back to him, Hisoka merely nodded solemnly. "And more. You really need to keep an eye on him."
"Then we should probably go to the really cheap place, Hanamura. I like tempura anyways," Kanta said, but then aimed a look Hisoka's way and added, "And then shopping."
As if Hisoka could forget.
And so the plan was made and the foursome made their way down to the noodle and tempura place. When they got there it was bustling with the lunch crowd, but they managed to find a seat and got comfortable. Tsuzuki was happy enough with his tempura as he hadn't, so far, been denied any sweets and he was hoping that because they were eating at such a cheap place they might have enough in the budget left over for dessert.
And while they were sitting there, just talking of inconsequential things, Hisoka finally found the point where he could start asking about the investigation. "So what made you decide on going on this tour anyways?" he asked curiously. He was and had been determinedly ignoring all of the emotions in the room that were pressing on his shields and giving him a headache. This was for the case. And later it would be for the case too. He was really not looking forward to the clubbing experience, but tried to keep from dwelling on what was to come.
Seitarou and Kanta looked at each other and shrugged. "Well normally at this time of year we'd be going to the beach," Seitarou answered, "But even Kanta agreed that that was getting a little repetitious and I'd always wanted to see the rest of Japan. So we settled on a compromise. He'd still get his day at the beach in and I'd get my chance to travel."
"But why this tour bus?" Hisoka asked and Tsuzuki finally looked up from his food as he noticed the interrogation. "Couldn't you have found one where people aren't turning up dead?"
"We liked the fact that it was for gay couples," Kanta answered. "I mean, we have to hide our relationship enough during our regular life so it's nice to not have to hide it when we're on vacation. I should be resting then not worrying about who will see me and Sei-chan together and get ideas. And I'll be damned if somebody finding a few dead bodies robs me of my vacation."
"Why'd you choose this tour if you're so worried about the deaths?" Seitarou asked curiously, apparently going to ignore the cutesy nickname for the moment.
"Because, like you said, it's nice not to have to hide our relationship," Tsuzuki answered, starting in on the lies. "It's bad enough that we have a bit of an age difference, but Hisoka's family is really old-fashioned and they really look down on homosexuality and wouldn't stand for it in their heir."
Hisoka felt the brief pang that always came from talking about his family, but ignored it to back up Tsuzuki's statement by saying, "Father would have an absolute fit and disown me and I still need him to pay for my college tuition."
Seitarou and Kanta looked immediately sympathetic. "Oh, I'm so sorry," Kanta said then continued, "We've actually already told our families about our relationship and while my parents still won't actually recognize it as something real and not some phase I'm going through, they would never actually disown me.
"How'd your parents take it?" Tsuzuki asked, looking to Seitarou now.
Seitarou looked a bit hesitant to smile, but finally did. "Oh they had guessed I was gay since I was about thirteen and didn't care in the least. I think it may have been my obsessive need for clean that clued them in. What about yours?"
"Don't have parents," Tsuzuki said, not letting it show that this bothered him in the slightest. "I was raised by my older sister and she was just too thrilled that I had anybody to really care. She never was one to let petty prejudices get in the way." That may have come out a bit sadder than Tsuzuki had meant (It was hard enough to talk about his older sister without trying to pretend to be happy about it) and Kanta and Seitarou immediately picked up on the lowered mood. Hisoka felt them become wary and genuinely sympathetic.
"She sounds amazing," Kanta said cautiously.
Tsuzuki nodded with a soft smile. "She was."
"She died?" Kanta asked, just as cautiously.
"About a year ago," Tsuzuki answered.
"I'm sorry," Kanta said and Hisoka could feel that he obviously meant it.
But Tsuzuki took the sympathy as he always did—with a fake smile, bursting with fake happiness. "Don't worry! It's okay," he said cheerfully, waving Kanta's sympathy off.
"How did you get through college?" Seitarou asked as an obvious means to get past a sensitive subject.
"Oh I got some scholarships, some federal aid," Tsuzuki said casually, "and I work at a small Private Investigations Office to make up for the rest."
"Oh?" Kanta asked, visibly perking up. "That sounds interesting. Much more interesting than anything we do, at least."
"Hey," Seitarou protested mildly. "Being a lawyer can be interesting."
"Yeah, but this Private Investigating," Kanta said, not bothering to sooth his boyfriend's wounded ego. "I bet they get all the interesting cases."
"Oh we really don't," Tsuzuki said, continuing with the lies even though Hisoka could tell that Tsuzuki was already starting to feel bad about having to lie so much to these people. They normally didn't ever have to become so in-depth with their guises. "It's mostly tailing cheating husbands and filling out paperwork."
Hisoka couldn't help the snort that came then. It was just automatic whenever Tsuzuki talked about doing paperwork. He honestly couldn't help it. "Like you actually do paperwork," he said.
Tsuzuki looked hurt. "I do some."
Hisoka merely raised a brow. "Some," he repeated.
Tsuzuki cringed just a little bit. "Okay. A little," he amended.
Hisoka rolled his eyes and decided to let that pass without comment. He turned back to the couple seated across from them at the table who were smiling at Tsuzuki and his byplay. "But what have you actually heard about the deaths?" Hisoka asked, continuing with the interrogation.
"Isn't this a little morbid?" Kanta asked, but then smiled mischievously at Hisoka. "I guess you must be into that sort of thing though. Dating a PI and all."
Hisoka felt himself blush and cursed himself for it, deciding that maybe it was time to let the subject go before they became suspicious. "No. I just was curious. I haven't heard anything about the murders besides what's in the paper and you know they don't really supply too much information there."
"Of course," Kanta said, rolling his eyes. "Because the victims are gay men. And we all know that the death of a gay man doesn't deserve to be investigated thoroughly."
Tsuzuki frowned at this open display of cynicism. "I'm sure the police are doing all they can."
"Not much they can do, what with the murders being so random and far apart," Seitarou said with a shrug, taking a sip of his soda. "I heard they looked into the Tour and didn't find anything so they're probably now scratching their balls and forgetting all about it."
Hisoka's eyes narrowed. These two were actually feeling some open hostility toward the police. He guessed it wasn't that strange considering some of the things the police had let go, but that was enough for maybe a mild dislike or distrust not the true anger that these two were feeling. Tsuzuki looked like he had noticed it too, and like he was about to make a comment, but Hisoka put a hand on his arm and subtly shook his head, telling him to ignore it for now.
And then Kanta was finished with his noodles, finally, and he smiled, trying to clear the suddenly heavy atmosphere. "So shopping? We still need to find you guys some clubbing gear after all."
Seitarou nodded and got out his guidebook again. Flipping through the pages, he came back to the Hokkaido section and read a bit. Finally he looked up. "Well there is a somewhat important shopping center we could go to. The Tanuki Mall."
Kanta looked at him. "Is it far from here?"
"Um . . ." Seitarou said then looked through his guidebook some more, trying to find the answer. After awhile he said, "It's a bit of a ways, but we can always take the subway."
Kanta and Hisoka nodded in agreement and started to get out of their seats when Tsuzuki pouted and turned to Hisoka pleadingly. "Can't we have some dessert first?"
Unable to believe he had let Tsuzuki talk him into this, Hisoka stared at himself in the mirror. He still needed to figure out what the problem would be if he didn't go clubbing with the group and Tsuzuki would answer that question as soon as he got him alone.
"Kurosaki-kun?" Kanta's voice called through the dressing room door. "Are you dressed?"
"Hardly," Hisoka grumbled under his breath, eyeing once more the strange mess of cloth and leather he had somehow squeezed himself into. The leather pants were simple enough although they had strange buckles going all the way up his legs. It was the shirt he really had problems with. A long sleeve shirt, it looked like some psycho had attacked it with a pair of scissors and then patched it up again, leaving holes in random places along the sides and sleeves and the rest meshed together in strange ways. And it clung. Stubbornly outlining his body in ways none of his other clothing ever did.
Still, he was dressed. Giving a heavy sigh, Hisoka decided to get this over with. He'd already modeled what felt like hundreds of outfits only to be told they were no good. This one would be no different.
"Alright, I'm coming out!" Hisoka called to Kanta then opened the door and stepped out into the hallway.
"Ooh," was all Kanta said as he took in Hisoka's appearance. Frowning lightly, he narrowed his eyes and then said, "Turn."
Rolling his own eyes at this repeat process, Hisoka obediently raised his arms and turned in a slow circle. He couldn't believe he was actually doing this.
But Kanta seemed please. "I think we may have found the one."
Hisoka stopped turning and blinked at the older man. "What. This?"
Hisoka still looked a bit surprised. "Seriously?"
"Uh-huh," Kanta said cheerfully as he started to grin widely. "Oh, am I a genius or what? Tsuzuki-san is going to love me."
At that, Hisoka frowned before turning to look at himself in the hallway mirror. "But I look ridiculous," he said.
Kanta wasn't really listening though. "You," he said as he pointed at Hisoka with both hands, "my fashioned-challenged friend, are my masterpiece. Now we just need some make-up, maybe some hairgel, definitely eyeliner," Kanta walked around Hisoka, eyeing the boy speculatively as he muttered to himself and planned out Hisoka's further torture. "Oh yeah. Definitely eyeliner. You have gorgeous eyes. Do you think glitter would look good?" he asked then just as quickly answered himself. "No, never mind, you are definitely not a glitter person. But maybe some lip gloss?"
Kanta continued to mutter to himself and Hisoka had to ask himself for the thousandth time what the hell he was doing here.