A/N: Okay, so what prompted me to write this, you ask? A couple of things. First: I don't have a real DouWat fic, though they're my absolute favorite couple. I don't know if this counts. Second: I've been watching crime dramas like a madwoman for a while, and I just got this muse. Third: If Watanuki were killed by spirits or something, what would the police think about Doumeki randomly being there? I mean, sure, we fans get it, but they wouldn't, right? ^^; This isn't the best of my works, though, for which I'm regretful.
Warnings: Shounen-ai hints, character death. Maybe ooc-ness?
Disclaimer: I do not own xxxHolic or its characters, but I do own Detective Yamamoto.
Summary: When Watanuki is murdered, and all the clues point to Doumeki, it is up to one detective whose gut instincts tell him everything is not as it seems to solve this strange crime.
PS. I'm aware that they don't celebrate Halloween in Japan, but work with me here. I'm too lazy to change it. Also, I made up names for Doumeki's parents, since we don't know them, and probably never will, and I didn't do much research on the Doumeki shrine, cause I'm a bad, lazy girl. Sorry.
Ghosts in the Closet
On Halloween night, the crazies come out to play...
It was almost midnight on Halloween night when we got the call.
A woman taking her sleeping child home after trick-or-treating sees two boys scuffling in a dark alleyway. Scared, she runs home, but not before she sees one fall down and lay very, very still. She called us, the police, as soon as she arrived at her apartment complex.
My name is detective Yamamoto Hiro, and this was supposed to be a relatively easy case.
We arrived at the crime scene soon after the tip off, and everything was as the woman told us. A boy, I recognized him as Doumeki Shizuka, one of my son's classmates, held another one, bleeding and still, in his arms. We caught him red handed, quite literally, because we had a witness and his hands were stained with the victim's blood.
The victim was Watanuki Kimihiro, and orphaned student who went to the same school as the suspect. The interviews with fellow students that followed almost all said the same thing.
'Watanuki-san always said he hated Doumeki-san. The only reason they hung out was because of Kunogi-san.'
Everything pointed to the kid. Everything. And yet, I, with so many years of experience, did not feel in my gut that this boy had done it. Why, you ask? He was crying, that boy, like he had lost everything precious to him in one false swoop.
We arrested him, but I promised myself that I would investigate the case further.
Doumeki-san had been in our criminal holding facility for about a day when I visited his family shrine.
I had frequented the shrine often enough with my own family, and I could see the difference now. It had accumulated dust, things were broken, and the door was barred shut. I knocked anyway, knowing that they would have to open upon seeing my badge.
"Parents of Doumeki Shizuka, this is detective Yamamoto. May I come in?" Almost as soon as I said this, the door was opened a crack, and watery amber eyes, the same shade as Doumeki-san's, looked through. I flashed my badge towards this opening, and the door swung open soon afterwards.
"Please, come in," a petite woman, Doumeki-san's mother, said. She was usually dressed immaculately in the garments of a shrine maiden, but now she looked as if a tornado had blown apart her life, eyes red and hair messy. In retrospect, I suppose that was what happened. One's son becoming a killer was not an easy thing to bear. "My name is Doumeki Harue. I am Shizuka-chan's mother. This is my husband, Doumeki Honoka."
The man that greeted me from her side was a spitting image of his son, save for the laugh lines that had been converted to worry lines because of this new trouble.
"Please, detective, tell us what happened," he requested, in such a pain filled voice that it hurt me, a few steps away from him, too. I cleared my throat, which had suddenly tightened, and told them what I could.
"I don't know much, I'm afraid, just that things look very bad for your son right now." At this, Doumeki-san's mother began to sob. It was a quiet, hushed sound, and her husband pulled her into his arms, nodding for me to continue, but his eyes had tightened even further. "Do you happen to know Watanuki-san, the victim? And if you do, do you know why Doumeki-san would want to hurt him? I get the feeling that it might have just been an accident, and if that is so, your son might just get off on a misdemeanor."
The two were still for a few seconds, before Doumeki-san's mother pulled a little ways out of her husband's arms. She looks determined.
"Shizuka would never hurt that boy. We did not meet him yet, but I know my son. He..." She paused when her husband gripped her arm, signaling at her with his eyes. I was about to get up and tell him I would come back with a warrant, but she shushed him, tears filling her eyes once more, and these were angry. "I don't care about family honor; I care about my baby, my Shizuka. He can't go to prison, just because you are ashamed of who he is!" She turned to me once more. "He...he cared for that boy. Shizuka would rather die than hurt him."
I froze and looked towards Doumeki-san's father, looking for a clue, and he gave me a subtle nod. Pain and shame lit up his eyes, but another emotion was there as well. Hope. He hoped that this new knowledge would be able to get his son out of prison, but I knew the truth. District attorneys would only twist the words and say Watanuki-san had been killed because he'd rejected their son. I tipped my hat and said goodbye, face blank.
I went to visit Doumeki-san after that, wondering what his reaction would be to this new information I had.
I was supposed to check in with my boss, tell him what I had learned, but I couldn't. I didn't know why, but I just couldn't do it. Shaking this bit of doubt from my mind, I walked up to a prison warden.
"Ah, detective Yamamoto, ready to beat some info out of that kid? He's been moping since he got here," the man greeted cheerfully. I offered him a tight smile, humorlessly reminding him that 'beating' was not allowed. He only smiled more.
"You're right about one thing, though. I am here to see Doumeki-san. Can you put him in interrogation room A?" The man nodded, asking me to take my gun out of the holster and place it in the safezone, before directing me in. I waited in the interrogation room while he got Doumeki-san from his cell.
The boy, like his mother, looked downtrodden. His neat black hair was a mess, dirty from his laying position in the cell, and his face was unwashed, stained with dry and fresh tears along with depression. He was mourning, I could sense it. I waited until the warden left before I began to question him.
"How are you feeling, Doumeki-san?" I started off by asking. He had his eyes turned downward, not looking at me, and one of them was closed. He remained silent.
"What's wrong with your eye?" I asked this time, frowning. It hadn't been hurt when we apprehended him, so did one of the wardens do it? Maybe another prisoner.
"It can't see," he finally answered, looking so very tired, in blatant pain. "Not since he closed his forever."
Now it was my turn to remain silent, as I stared at him. What did he mean? Had he blinded it himself as some kind of repentance? Had he killed Watanuki Kimihiro?
I wanted to ask all of these questions so badly, but I didn't, instead saying, "He's being buried today."
I didn't have to clarify who, as he knew already, and pain lit up his gaze. Instead of turning away from me, he looked me straight in the eyes. He didn't say anything.
"Did you kill him?" I finally asked the question I had wanted to for so long, veering off topic, but his eyes were blank, so I couldn't tell if he was surprised.
"Not in the way you think," he answered, and I could swear I heard guilt lacing his voice. I wondered, was Doumeki-san really just another victim?
"Your mother said you cared for him," I whispered this softly, almost too low for him to hear, but he did, and he looked me in the eyes with determination.
"I did," he said, and the two words, though simple, held so much powerful emotion. I nodded at him, getting out of my interrogator's chair.
"I'll see if they'll allow you to go say goodbye." With that I walked out, not looking back to gauge his reaction.
Doumeki-san did not cry at the funeral, but I could feel the emptiness in him.
He held the victim's hand and just sat at his side, watching him with unreadable eyes. There was one emotion that was easy to identify. Love. His mother was right, he cared for this boy, more than anything else, in fact. But if that was so, why did he kill him? Did he even do it?
It had been raining continuously since Watanuki-san's death, and I had heard Doumeki-san mutter something vague about the rain shedding tears for the boy, though I didn't really understand the significance of this.
Doumeki-san was reluctant to leave the victim, but eventually did, looking resigned, and I helped him into the transport vehicle. There were three guards there to keep an eye on him, along with myself, which I thought was overkill, but I was willing to accept. I had to pull more than a few strings to allow even this.
It was when the car had already driven away that a young girl ran up to my side, eyes tear-filled and green, with long, curly hair. She was careful not to touch me, even when beckoning for my attention.
"You're detective Yamamoto, right?" she asked, voice quivering, and I gave her a piteous glance, nodding my head. "I am Kunogi Himawari. I was absent on the day you interviewed the other students."
She paused, and I gave her new, more interested eyes. The other students had said this girl was a close friend of both Doumeki-san and Watanuki-san.
"I heard that you arrested Doumeki-kun... Do you think he did it?" Her voice was weak, as if the very idea of this disgusted her.
"I'm not sure, Kunogi-san. You are their friend, so you know them better than I. Do you think he did it?" I returned her question with my own, and she quieted for many minutes before answering.
"No, I know them both, and I know Doumeki-kun would never hurt Watanuki-kun." She paused again, tears running down her pale cheeks, but she was smiling. It was a sad smile, remembering happy memories. "They...cared about one another more than they let on."
She looked towards the sky, letting the rain mix with her tears and wet her further, before looking back at me abruptly. She handed me a piece of paper, giving me a determined expression.
"If you wish to know what happened — really, really wish — go to this address, and a woman, Watanuki-kun's former employer, will tell you the truth." She turned, about to leave. I could see another sad woman with green eyes similar to her own waiting for her, possibly her mother. She left me one last comment before running towards her mother. "She won't tell you for free, though. Be aware of that."
She left, and I sighed, wondering why this couldn't be a straightforward case like any other.
The house, or shop, was a strange one. It was orientally Japanese, and slightly gaudy, between two large skyscrapers. But that wasn't the strange part.
The really strange part was how my legs seemed to lead me straight to it, though I was unfamiliar with this part of Japan.
Two girls opened the door from me when I got there. They had strange colorings, but I focused more on their tears than their strangeness. They, too, had known Watanuki-san, I guessed, and they were mourning him.
"Detective," they both said at once, in one voice, though I had not told them of my status, "Mistress has been waiting for you."
They each took one hand and led me towards a back room. A woman waited for me there, laying flat on her divan. Her eyes were a strange red color, and I had a feeling that it wasn't only because of the tears. She, unlike most others I'd met who'd lost account for themselves, was still impeccably dressed in a beautiful, flowing black kimono, embroidered with butterflies the same shade of blue as the victim's eyes. This, along with the sheer black veil she wore, was the only indication of her sadness. She offered me a wan smile.
"You are detective Yamamoto. I am Ichihara Yuuko, the Witch of the Dimensions." This was all a statement, and her voice, though it was obvious she'd been drinking, had an almost musical quality to it.
"Were you the victim's — Watanuki-san's — employer?" At this, she nodded, sitting up. She nodded her head towards the two girls, and they, in a single motion, brought in a platter of treats and a pot of tea. This they set out before us.
"He was a good child, and I came to care for him more than I should have. I knew this would come to pass — it was Hitsuzen, after all — but I still wish it hadn't." Her voice was melancholy, but I felt weary of her. This woman, she'd called herself a witch, and I could feel the power that gave her. Then, I started, realizing what she'd just said.
"You mean, you knew Watanuki-san was going to die? You said it was inevitable!" My heart began to flutter, and all humor left her face. This woman knew the answer to all of my questions. I could feel it.
"Yes, I did. I can tell you how, but that would require a payment on your part." I nodded before I could stop myself. She wanted payment for her information. Kunogi-san had told me as much. Many criminals I had gotten tips from in the past had wanted deals for their services, but this felt different somehow. Dangerous. I nodded again. She smiled, but there was no joy in the motion.
"Someone else has paid the second part of your wish already, so you will not have to pay as much." I felt relieved at this, though I couldn't think of why I should, or who would pay for this. Was it Kunogi-san, by any chance? "You have a picture of your wife and son in your pocket. Leave that with me. Tonight, Watanuki-kun will tell you what happened."
"Watanuki-san will?" I would have asked in any other situation, but I knew not to doubt this woman, for some reason. I took out my family picture, somewhat reluctant to part with it, and thanked her, getting up to leave. When I got outside and turned back, the little shop was gone. I went home and went to bed.
I was in the Doumeki shrine, though I didn't know how I got there.
A boy with unruly black hair and vivid blue eyes waited for me. The victim, Watanuki Kimihiro, alive and well, at least while here, and ready to tell his side of the story.
"How is he?" he started off with, almost as soon as he saw me. There was no need for an introduction, we knew each other well, so he went right to the point. His pale face was lightly flushed.
"He's sad," I answered, and he visibly deflated in response. "He said he's responsible for your death."
Now his face went red, presumably from anger, and he muttered a few unkind things under his breath.
"He's an idiot, Yamamoto-san. He was only there to protect me, and now he's going around spreading lies about himself because he couldn't do that..." He sounded guilty now, and I could see tears in his eyes. He really cared about Doumeki-san's well being.
"Do you blame him?" I asked, and he paused, just staring at me blankly, before he vigorously shook his head.
"No, I could never blame him. Though I don't usually admit it, he's been my guardian angel up to this point, I guess you could say..." He said this with another light flush. I smiled at him, but then it left, my gaze turning serious. I only had until morning to ask things of him, and I had to make use of the time wisely.
"How did you die, Watanuki-san?" I finally asked, and he visibly quaked. I pitied him, but I needed to know.
"I've been haunted by spirits snce I was very young, and it only got worse after my parents died..." He paused, and I could practically see a small child, hiding under the blankets to protect himself from otherworldly fiends. Though it sounded farfetched, I somehow knew it to be true.
"I see," I said finally, more to myself. "And these spirits...they were the ones who killed you?"
He nodded, biting his lip anxiously, and looked up at me with pleading blue eyes.
"Will...he be released now?" he asked in a soft, weak voice. I just stared at him for a few minutes, before nodding, letting the answer spread out over my face. He sighed in relief, and I could see tears matting his lashes. "Thank you, Yamamoto-san, and goodbye. Please tell him to take care of himself from now on. Tell him that I don't need to forgive him, because there's nothing to forgive. Tell him...I feel the same way about him that he does about me." He paused, smiling just a little, and continued, "Tell him he's an idiot."
I nodded, and felt the lightest brush of a kiss on my cheek before he vanished completely, leaving me one last smile. I smiled in return, but, now alone, I let it show for what it was. It was tinged with sadness. I thought solving the case would bring me relief, but all it did was make me mourn these two boys who could have led a happier life. I made a note to tell my son that I would always accept and him, no matter what.
I was more happy than Doumeki-san when he was finally released.
"Why are you so upset?" I asked. We were waiting outside the correctional facility. I could see his parents a little ways off, Kunogi-san waiting with them. I had a feeling Watanuki-san's employer would be joining up with them soon, but not now. I was grateful to the woman, not only for granting my wish and allowing me to meet with Watanuki-san, but also for answering my second request: for everything to fall into place. She had made the whole thing disappear, as if it was an accident, and while I normally wouldn't want a victim forced from closure like that, I knew human cops could do nothing against spiritual demons.
"I can't be forgiven now..." Doumeki-san finally answered, looking empty. I frowned at him, and perhaps because of my recent attunement with it, I knew that Watanuki-san was doing the same thing in the spiritual world.
"There is nothing to forgive," I told him, and he looked up in surprise. "That's what Watanuki-san told me."
He looked even more surprised now.
"You...you talked to him?" He sounded almost as if he couldn't speak, voice thick, as if he were about to cry. I placed a comforting hand on his drooping shoulders, looking him in the eyes, so he could see the truth in mine.
"Yes, he did, and he also said that he'd be upset if you didn't listen, because he doesn't blame you." He looked down, frowning. "You're his guardian angel, and he feels for you what you feel for him. You're an idiot not to know — his words, not mine."
"R-really?" he whispered quietly, and I nodded.
"Yes, now why don't you go on with your life? That's what he wants. You can always rely on the fact that he'll always be watching you, waiting for you..." As I said this, I could see tears sparkling in his amber eyes, but I could also see the beginnings of a smile forming on his face. I suddenly realized that his parents were still anxiously waiting. I flashed them a smile, before pushing him forward. "Now get going."
He smiled in return, nodding, and headed off. His parents accepted him with open arms. I smiled again, and headed for my car. I looked up towards the sky and smiled towards it, shaking my head. I would go visit Watanuki-san tomorrow, and I had a feeling that I'd see Doumeki-san there. In fact, I was betting on it.
A/N: So, what do you think? I know, I know, I killed Watanuki, and that's not a good thing, but other than that, did you like the fic? I kind of don't, because I personally think I could have done better. I totally suck at writing Doumeki. ^^;
Notes on Names:
Harue: Springtime bay. It has no real significance.
Honoka: Harmony. Thank you, Forevernyu, for this suggestion. ;P
R&R: Please review if you enjoyed the fic, even a little bit. :D