Yay, my second story. I wasn't sure about this title and I'm still iffy about it, but i'm stuck with it now. So if it doesn't seem to fit the story I accept full responsibility; I just couldn't think of anything better.
This is dedicated to catiemon! :D
Disclaimer: I don't own Naruto, any ideas on how to go about it though? :D
Warning: This is a SasuNaru so if you don't like that turn back now. And starting off big! Character death! I also have no claims to being a Dr.!
Calm Before the Storm
The gray, writhing mass of clouds reflected the mood inside the silver Lexus as it slowly made its way to its destination. Tsunade had received a call only 20 minutes before of a deceased person found inside an old, rundown building. It was an all too familiar sight nowadays. A building steadily falling into disrepair due to years of neglect and being turned into a crack house or being used for various other uncouth purposes. The owner clearly didn't know how to care for the property properly.
She snorted with disgust. It would figure that on her only day off in the last sixth months would land the department a new case, and a murder to boot! Not that her little precinct was lacking in work, but it was slow going at the moment.
Her sleepy little town never did have much crime. That was why she left the big city and took a pay cut when she became Chief of Police over the small precinct of little Konoha. It was run by herself, her lieutenant, and eight detectives that had a lot of potential. But even with potential, it was still slow going; and Tsunade knew from experience that always heralded something larger was on the horizon. Something told her this was the calm before the storm.
Thunder was heard off in the distance as the clouds darkened considerably more, blocking out any rays of sun and threatening a downpour. Just what the Police Chief needed: rain on top of the crowd of reporters amassed outside. She cut the ignition and stepped out of the vehicle.
"Captain, over here!" A man in his late-thirties with wild, gravity defying silver hair called out before the reporters noticed her and tried to pounce on her for answers she didn't have. He sighed knowing they were hungry for blood. News had been slow recently in this sleepy town and the editor of the Konoha Daily was looking for any news he could sink his claws into. His latest article was about the lacking police force, unable to solve a simple crime in a timely manner. It was complete hogwash used to sell a declining paper and at the expense of the hard working detectives; who cleared cases the day they landed on their desks. But the public was easily swayed by his slick words. No doubt he was the reason that there were so many reporters outside now. Just another attack on how the police were incapable of preventing a murder, though their record was better than most. This was only the third murder in 15 years.
"Danzo's work I presume?" The Chief asked, flashing her lieutenant a grimace. "He sure works fast, the old coot. And this building; what was the city thinking waiting so long to tear it down anyway?
"It was scheduled for demolition tomorrow. Obviously, that has been put on hold now."
"Obviously; so what do we have so far, Kakashi?"
"One deceased male in his late sixties, large build, about 6'3''; shot once in the back. That was all I was able to get when the coroner arrived. I stepped out to give her some space."
"And that man?" She asked, pointing to a guy being detained by the officer's.
"He is just a security guard from the apartment building across the street. He was first on scene and takes his job very seriously. He was intent on keeping everyone out, even the coroner, so I had to have him physically removed." Kakashi paused as the Chief crossed the caution tape and entered the active crime scene; eliciting a sigh from the lieutenant.
She glared harshly at any CSI who tried to prevent her further admittance or tried to force her back the way she came. Once inside the building Tsunade was able to get a look around. It was the epitome of rundown with very little walls standing and wiring hanging loose from the ceiling. Debris from crumbling dry wall littered the floor and black mold was seen creeping up one wall. Water damage was clearly evident from the leaking roof. It was being supported by wide wooden beams that looked rotted out with termite damage. How was this building still standing?
Tsunade wrinkled her nose in disgust as the smell of mold over-powered her senses. She scanned the area looking for the coroner, her honey brown eyes alighting on her long-time friend, Shizune. She would have answers that Kakashi didn't.
Upon seeing her blonde haired friend Shizune hastened to cover the body with stark white linen. She rose from her crouched position and intercepted the Police Chief before she had taken more than two steps into the derelict building.
"Tsunade, it's been awhile since we last met." Shizune smiled.
"Yes, it has, but what more can you tell me about the victim?" Tsunade demanded, but not unkindly.
Shizune smiled and laughed nervously. "Well, without a complete autopsy, not much. The victim was shot in the back at close range; a through and through. The CSI's extracted a bullet from that wooden pillar there." She pointed to the right of the body where the splintered pillar stood. "From rigor mortis, I've concluded that he hasn't been dead more than two hours and from the blood pool; unconscious within seconds of being shot. There was little displacement of the body which leaves me to conclude that no life-saving measures were attempted. They left him to die here alone. It may be preliminary, but I am ruling it a homicide for now."
Tsunade nodded in understanding. "Was there an ID with the body?"
Shizune's heart fluttered at the question and she paled considerably. She was expecting the question sooner or later, but it didn't make the answer any easier. A lot of people would mourn this man's passing; too many people. "We recovered a passport and a Federal ID on the person's body. It's been handed over to the CSI's for processing."
"And the name of the victim?"
"Umm…" Shizune stammered nervously. Sensing Shizune's hesitancy in answering instantly put the two detectives on alert. Whoever this was, it wasn't going to be good. "He's a high ranking official within Konohagakure." She paused, trying to find the right words to make it less painful, but her efforts were in vain. This death would cause many ripples; deep, painful ripples.
"His name Shizune, please?" Kakashi prodded gently, unrest settling deep within his chest.
She took a deep breath and tried again. "He has political ties that span all five nations. A highly respected individual..." But she couldn't do it; she couldn't tell them, especially the Chief. It couldn't possibly be real; if she didn't say it then it was like it never happened. She would wake up soon to find that this was all just a vividly, horrifying nightmare. She had almost convinced herself when Tsunade yelled out and burst her fantasy bubble.
"Shizune, give me his name! I didn't ask for his credentials, I asked for a name. It cannot possibly be as bad as you are making it out to be."
Tears welled in the coroner's dark eyes, and with a choking sob, identified the man. "You're right Tsunade; it's not bad, it's worse. It's Jiraiya."
Kakashi arched a brow in astonishment. Jiraiya Sennin? The Jiraiya Sennin, Senator to the five great nations? This was definitely un-happy news.
Tsunade looked livid, fearing that her friend had lost her mind. "This isn't a joke Shizune! I know for a fact that Jiraiya is on a plane at this very moment heading for Suna. I talked to him this morning when he told me his plans…stop shaking your head!"
Shizune gulped, stilling her head as the tears flowed freely. "He's not been dead long." She reasoned.
"I don't care how long that body has been dead for! It is not Jiraiya. He is on that plane, Shizune. He told me himself just this morning…" Tsunade was brought up short as Shizune released a ragged sob.
"We recovered a plane ticket bound for Suna, it's dated for today."
Tsunade tried furiously to comprehend her friends words; her mind working to find any loophole that would allow her friend to still be alive and not lying face down in his own blood and covered by a white sheet. It was impossible for one so enigmatic and boisterous to be felled in such a cowardly way.
"It must be a coincidence. Many people travel to Suna at this time of year." She reasoned weakly.
"We have his passport and Federal ID." Shizune reminded her friend.
"Then it was stolen! He would have told me if there was a change in plans and would be staying in town." Tsunade denied.
"I don't know how he ended up here." Shizune whispered. "But he did and someone shot him."
"Why wouldn't he be on that plane?" Tsunade asked quietly, finally starting to come to terms that her friend was dead. "Why wouldn't he tell me…?"
"Tsunade, we need to move fast on this. You know how loose lipped some of those CSI's are; it will only be a matter of time before they take this to Danzo." Kakashi stated, coming out of his disbelief.
Tsunade took a moment to collect her thoughts before her mind sprang to action. Jiraiya was a highly respected Senator, murdered in a less than respectable part of town, thousands of miles away from where he said he would be. There would be media frenzy and Danzo would waste no time in dragging Jiraiya's name through the mud; that's why they had to act first. She couldn't allow Danzo to spin this into something completely false. She would let Kakashi handle this effectively and efficiently with his public swaying ways.
"Kakashi, you are best at dealing with the reporters."
"Leave it to me, Tsunade." As he passed his superior he laid a comforting hand on her shoulder, squeezing in reassurance before he was gone to address the media. Shizune silently excused herself to personally escort Jiraiya to the awaiting ambulance and then to her cold, steel examining table. Tsunade's hand shook as she dialed a number she hadn't called in years.
The first thing she had to do was gain jurisdiction to investigate Jiraiya's murder. By right's it should be all hers, but with his Federal standing it could be ripped from her grasp. She bit her thumb as she waited for the other line to pick up. It was received on the third ring by a gravelly voice.
'Tsunade, what a pleasant surprise! To what do I owe the pleasure of this phone call?' He asked jovially.
She chuckled darkly and replied steely. "Jiraiya's been murdered."
AN: So there it is. Let me know what you think, good or bad.