az: I'd probably be waving a flag to beg for reviews and STILL I would only get it from the usual people and not the rest of those curious IPs I've been seeing in the stats. Ah well. And this came out because Yume had been devious again.

Gift - Offshot

Written by Izzu alias honou-no-izumi



How could that money have disappeared? For sure he had guarded the money so well... and despite how intelligent dolphins are, they couldn't have taken it. And those divers had seen no one touching the pouch after the dolphin dropped it. So how?

"Ahh... even more work to figure out what happened to that money—" said Kato as he glanced towards Ainosuke. The man patted his shoulders to reassure him even though it did nothing to calm him."Don't worry too much, eh... Ainosuke? This was just normal procedure... the money did disappear under your nose after all. And Detective Fukuchi won't be too harsh on you... I believe."

The man sighed. "If only I could tell this to your teacher as well..."

"But Kato-san! I really didn't know anything! I don't know how it could possibly happen—"

"Ainosuke, there was that part about you shaking off our tail and going off alone—you have to understand this. If it wasn't for that new officer reminding Fukuchi-san about the animal related clues, we couldn't have possibly be able to pick up your trail again!"

Ainosuke threw his arm around as both of them entered the interrogation room.

"But Kato-san! That time, if I hadn't done that the kidnapper said—eh? What new officer?"

Kato shrugged.

"You know that officer that found Mai-chan? Well, it happened that he had some idea—well, I have some work to do, you wait here for Fukuchi-san, okay?"

Ainosuke nodded his head as the door closed on him. He sighed as he took his seat on one of the chairs in the room. He frowned.

The new officer... Kato must have been referring to his brother. But then, why? That woman on the phone, she must have been his brother's accomplice! If so... why did he helped out by hinting about the clues to his whereabouts when moments earlier, his partner had told him to ditch his tail? He really couldn't understand it at all!

Someone had opened the door and entered as Ainosuke didn't bothered to look up. He jumped in surprise as a juice carton was placed before him. He looked up in surprise as his eyes met that of his older brother.

"It's been dangerous... eh? The money disappeared suddenly, you must be alarmed. And oh, you can relax for a bit right now... Fukuchi-san had to attend to some pressing matters at the moment."

"Cut the act! What's your aim? I heard what happened from Kato-san—"

Yumehito sighed as he patted Ainosuke's head so gently. The gesture had been so intimate Ainosuke almost forgot that he was confronting Yumehito the crime planner and not Yumehito his brother. He tried to push him away as his brother grabbed the other chair to sit beside him.

"I heard there was a dolphin earlier! So how was it? Is it the first time you've seen one up-close? Did you touched it?"

His brother had been speaking so casually and his smiles had been so genuine that Ainosuke was left speechless. He was left confused about the person in front of him now as he thought about his situation. Why this sudden... change of topics?

Ainosuke's mind immediately wandered back towards that moment when the dolphin had appeared. He had to admit, that was his first time seeing a dolphin so close... and he hadn't imagined to get that chance like this. Despite how he used to want to see one as a child, he hardly—wait! As a child, he used to want so much to see...

Ainosuke turned to stare in disbelief towards his brother's smiling face. Could it be that all of this had been...!

Yumehito grinned as he noticed how Ainosuke's cheeks had started to colour. He was amused at how such an honest reaction had caused the younger boy discomfort. So perhaps Ainosuke did liked his gift.

He chanced for another gesture of intimacy as Yumehito leaned closer to kiss Ainosuke on the cheek. He rose as he walked towards the door.

"Sorry I had to leave you now. I have other work to do as well. Take care of yourself. Fukuchi-san may looked very strict to you but he's a good officer. You don't have to worry much... I think. See you later!" said the man in a slight sing-along tone as he walked out of the room.

He didn't even manage to see the glare Ainosuke had given him as the young boy wondered about the true intention of his brother towards him...