All good things would have to come to an end. Kagari began to regret that he didn't make the finish line 50 points or even 100 points. Kunicchi and Akane-chan were simply too good at the game, being close to reaching the goal of 30 points. He exasperated whilst spinning in his chair.
He would just have to make up for what little time they had left.
"Hey, special event, guys!" he announced.
The other two players exchanged rather weary looks.
"What would that be?" Yayoi asked the dreaded question.
"Let's do things a little different today," he chirped. "Instead of confirming each other's dares... we're going to observe and guess them instead!"
Akane frowned, trying to imagine how the event would proceed. "Eh, doesn't that complicate things too much? Like, would there be a penalty if we guess wrong? Or if we are all meant to observe each other or just one other player?"
She could have continued with her list of problems, but Kagari waved a hand in front of her as if trying to fan the problems away. "Just let me finish, Akane-chan!" he whined. "Baaasically, we're going to have to make ourselves so obvious that only an idiot won't be able to get it-"
"-you're already an idiot," Yayoi muttered under her breath.
Kagari continued without a pause, either ignoring her or had not heard her. "I'll observe Kunicchi, Kunicchi will observe Akane-chan and Akane-chan will observe me. At the end of the day we'll give our answers. If the dare was not guessed right, then no points given for the observed player! So like, if I guess Kunicchi's dare wrong, she doesn't get anything this round."
"Ehh! That sounds really harsh!" Akane interjected.
"That's why we gotta make ourselves look obvious, to help each other out," Kagari chuckled. "Now, time for the private dare ceremony!" He picked up the Dare Box, tapping its face so he could receive his challenge. After a few more sniggers to himself, the black cube was passed along to Akane.
She sighed as she read her own dare, and Yayoi responded to hers with just a raise of an eyebrow.
"Well then, I wish my fellow partners-in-crime good luck," Kagari sat comfortably in his desk. "Special event: start!"
Switch someone's paperwork with a magazine.
Performing the actual dare was not a problem, but it could easily be passed into the bin and no fuss would be made. Kagari- who would be observing her for the day- would overlook it. So, her usual magazine would not do, nor can she pick on a co-worker who would treat the incident quietly.
She waited until it was time for Unit 1's usual coffee break, then she left her workstation, weaving through corridors to the Unit 4 office area.
"'Sup, Kunizuka-chan," one of the male Enforcers welcomed her. "I rarely see you around here. Something you need from our Inspectors?"
"No, you'll do," she replied quietly. "I need one of your magazines."
The Enforcer dropped the pen he was fiddling with and stared at her with wide-eyed shock. "Erm, excuse me?"
"I know you secretly smuggle those magazines from the delivery boy on the tenth floor," she revealed, speaking softly so no one else could hear. "I won't tell anyone, so give me one too."
Eye twitching, the Enforcer glanced around the room, where his oblivious co-workers were either sleeping on their desks or gulping down hot coffee. He dragged out a frustrated sigh and reached for his drawer.
"Okay!" he hissed. "Here!"
He yanked out a manilla envelope which Yayoi accepted. She tucked it under her arm, leaving Unit 4's domain without as much as a backward glance.
Phase One was complete.
She returned to her workstation, pretending to organize some random papers whilst sneaking the magazine out of its paper casing. Kougami had gone out for a smoke, Masaoka was buying coffee at the vending machine, Kagari had disappeared to god knows where, and the Inspectors were probably having a work-related conversation outside the door. She chose to use the opportunity to pass by Ginoza's desk. She picked up the draft report he had completed, all packed up in a neat folder- which she emptied out and replaced with the magazine. The real paperwork was then buried under his bag.
The moment she retraced her steps back to her seat, Ginoza had stormed in with a troubled expression pinned behind his glasses. He picked up the draft report and made his exit, not saying a word to the only present person.
Yayoi sighed. She had hoped he would open it in front of Unit 1 so her dare would be more obvious.
"Looks like I lose this round," she said to herself.
Wink at anyone who maintains eye-contact with you.
It wasn't a difficult dare. It was just bloody awkward.
"Inspector Tsunemori," Kougami called out to her. "This is the extra information which came from the arsonist case."
He handed her a folder which she gratefully accepted. She craned her neck up out of habit and found herself locking eyes with him. The folder was placed in her hands but before Kougami walked away, Akane remembered to give him a wink.
He blinked back, confused to what just happened. He looked as if he was about to say something but decided against it, not sure how he was meant to respond.
Akane then briskly walked past him with her face buried behind the folder. This was going to be goddamn awkward.
Yayoi had barely looked at her direction, as if she wasn't at all that interested in what Akane's dare was. That suited the Inspector fine. She gave a fleeting glance to Kagari, who was sluggishly trying to meet some paperwork deadlines. He wasn't doing anything particularly different from his usual daily schedule other than flick marbles across a chessboard.
He caught Akane's stare and grinned. She winked, then looked away.
Of course she wouldn't be able to avoid talking someone face-to-face forever. Masaoka eventually dropped by her desk with a memory stick in hand.
"Ojou-chan, I finished looking up the profiles," he announced. "After an hour, should we go search for that old torching case in the filing room? It'll take a while for us to find it."
She blindly took it out of his hand, eyes fixed to her keyboard.
"Thank-you," she mumbled. "And... let's look for that case file later."
"Hmm, ojou-chan, something wrong?" Masaoka asked, leaning a little closer. "You don't sound like your usual self."
There was no way out, she didn't want cause a scene so she finally looked up, feeling her cheeks tug her mouth in an awkward smile. "I-It's nothing, Masaoka-san. Thank-you for returning this, I needed it."
She of course concluded their conversation with a wink.
The older man studied her face for a second longer, but shrugged his shoulders as a sign of acceptance. Before he left her desk, he looked over his shoulder and winked back.
Akane nearly fell off her chair. She wondered what Masaoka thought her wink meant.
Meanwhilst, Ginoza wondered why the hell was Inspector Tsunemori and his dad winking at each other.
It couldn't be- no. He was jumping to conclusions. A wink could mean a lot of things, such as subtly passing over a secret message. Tsunemori was a fairly young lady so it was possible she still used the kiddish wink sign with her co-workers. Masaoka -being quite laid back when it came to their female Inspector- most likely decided to play along with her antics. There was no way that there could be any other deeper meaning. This was of course, treating the Inspector asking his dad out as a separate case.
He waited until the coffee break, marching over to her desk before she had even saved her work for the morning.
"Inspector Tsunemori, may I have a word?" he inquired. "Outside?"
Akane's eyes seemed to be looking anywhere but his face. Was she... being shy? Or ashamed? Or scared? Or- Ginoza stopped there. He really should not try make baseless assumptions and get a concise story out of her first.
"Of course, Ginoza-san," she replied.
She followed him out of the office, her head hanging low. Even when he turned round to face her, she did not look up. She instead began a staring competition with his shoes- and so far, she was winning.
Ginoza cleared his throat, as a signal he was about to begin talking. Akane ignored the signal and resumed competition.
"Tsunemori, I've been meaning to ask you something for the past week," he began daintily. "It's about your interaction with the Enforcers."
"What about it?" she asked his shoes.
Her stubbornness to not look him in the eye was seeming a tiny bit rude now.
"Inspector Tsunemori, I would appreciate if you actually look at me when you're talking," Ginoza snapped. It was an alien feeling that he was scolding Inspector Tsunemori of people for acting like a child- usually it would be for the crazy-ass stunts she would pull off via Kougami's crazy-ass ideas.
By the way her shoulders stiffened, Ginoza guessed that she was feeling reluctant. Still, in a painfully sluggish manner, Tsunemori raised her head and eventually her eyes met Ginoza's. A new staring competition began for about 20 seconds. Then she winked at him.
Ginoza blinked back. He quickly decided to dismiss as nothing more than her getting some dust out of her eye- with her eye.
"Anyhow, I wanted to ask about your relationship with one specific Enforcer," he continued with a hoarse cough.
"Oh, is it possibly to do with Kougami-san?" she asked, and winked again.
Ginoza definitely was not imagining it. Why the hell was she winking at him? Did she catch on to the fact that he was going to ask about Masaoka and brought up Kougami instead? The wink being the signal that she knew what was happening? Or was the dust in her eye getting really extreme?
"No, it's not about Kougami, it's about Masaoka," he corrected. "I just wanted to check that you two are on strictly professional terms."
"Eh? I don't really understand what you're talking about," Akane said. Wink again.
Did that mean she did know what he was talking about or was she just pulling a Kagari on him?
"You and Masaoka are close, no?" Ginoza strained.
"Why yes, I don't see why not... I've worked with Masaoka-san and Kougami-san frequently in cases and they both offer advice on the job," she explained. Another wink.
Just what in the name of Sibyl was she trying to hint at with that bloody-
"Why do you keep doing that!" he bursted out without second thought. "What are you trying to signal to me?!"
Akane took a step back. "Gi-Ginoza-san?!"
"I could accept Kagari and Kunizuka acting up but why is your erratic behaviour corresponding to theirs?" he demanded. "What have you three been doing?"
Before Akane could string together some valid response, a hand suddenly appeared on Ginoza's shoulder. The bespectacled Inspector jerked his head round only to see Kougami with a fresh scent of cigarettes and cold air circling him.
He nodded at his two superiors. "Gino, I was wondering if I could take a look at your draft report."
Ginoza almost told him to wait until later, but he realized that he was acting far too over the edge and needed sixty seconds to himself again. He wordlessly brushed past his ex partner and through the sliding door. The room was still relatively empty, Kunizuka was watching the news from her computer but her attention quickly switched to Ginoza's direction when he stepped inside.
He was too deep in his thoughts to acknowledge her properly and picked up the folder on his desk containing the draft report. It was passed over to Kougami just half a minute later and Ginoza persisted in his inquiry with his fellow Inspector.
"I went off-track," he began apologetically. "But I still would like to ask about your... hm? Tsunemori, what's wrong?"
Akane's face had flooded a crimson red, her eyes again avoiding his- and glued to what was over his shoulder instead, where Kougami should still be standing.
Automatically, Ginoza turned round to see what she was gawking at and-
"K-Kougami?!" he spluttered. "Why do you have that?!"
In Kougami's hands was the folder he was just given, and a magazine. But it was no ordinary magazine. It was the kind of magazine every heterosexual teenage boy did not want their mother discovering under their mattress. The front cover just told all the necessary warnings it needed, and Kougami was just passively flipped through some of the pages.
"What are you doing reading that in public?!" Ginoza interrogated, eyes tearing round the hallway for any other witnesses. "I have half a mind to report you for carrying indecent material!"
Kougami's mouth twitched into a ghost of a smile. "Gino, are you really going to use me as a cover up?"
"Just what excuse are you spewing out now, Kougami?"
"Well, this did come from your folder."
His statement was followed with heavy silence. Ginoza appeared to have gone into shock, Kougami had nothing else to say and Akane was debating if she should leave at this point. The tension was broken by the distant sound of doors hissing open and close, even the faraway hum of the floor's coffee machine suddenly seemed so loud.
Ginoza refused to drop his eyes on the magazine cover. Sure, the girl on the magazine had a pretty face, but she was severely lacking clothes... everywhere.
"No need to get embarrassed," Kougami assured. "Everyone gets found out at some point in their lives. Everyone makes mistakes and misplaces them. And in the end, you're still a guy so I can't hold it against you to own one of these."
At this point, Ginoza had no idea what to be more stunned at. That a porn magazine was found where his draft report should be. Or that Kougami was 200% okay with it being there. He didn't even want to know what Inspector Tsunemori was thinking.
The lady in question, was in fact was inching towards the door.
"I-I should leave..." she mumbled, ready to scurry away.
Ginoza thought about coming up with some sort of excuse, but his mind was still numb from all the chaos and had no processing power to conjure a reason why he was in possession of pornography at his workplace. So her let her go and let Kougami keep the magazine.
Unbutton your shirt for one hour. If anyone points it out claim it's 'too hot.'
5 extra points if you persuade someone else to do the same.
Though Kagari didn't really enjoy betting, he was pretty damn sure he got the most obvious dare. Which was why he didn't execute it straight away. He went ahead and began observing Yayoi but she was being fairly boring.
So much that when their coffee break began, Kagari was almost nodding to sleep. Out of the corner of his eye he saw that Yayoi left the room, but wasn't bothered enough to spy on her. She probably wouldn't do her dare in other areas of NONA tower anyway, since no one would be there to guess what she was dared to do.
Instead, Kagari slipped into the filing room and crashed onto the sofa. Whilst NONA was a prison, it was a classy prison at that and he was able to appreciate how soft the seats were as it moulded round his weight. Since the filing room was a small, square space crammed with files and no windows, it could sometimes get a little stuffy. He loosened his collar, only remembering that his dare was that he needed to leave his shirt open. Since the room was warm, Kagari took advantage of that and unbuttoned it completely.
He lay there comfortably, drifting away into a short dream while the coffee break passed. Akane and Masaoka were planning to search for something in filing room anyway so he didn't bother setting an alarm.
However, when a rough hand was shaking him awake, he was not expecting to see Ginoza's frowning mask greet him.
"Oh, Gino-san," he yawned. "What time is it?"
"Time for you to get back to work," he replied coldly. "And button up your shirt! It's indecent."
Kagari sat up on the sofa and stretched his arms. "Aw, give me a break, Gino-san. It's really hot in here."
"Uniform protocol requires you to wear your shirt properly, so button it up," Ginoza ordered again, picking up some files off the shelf.
"What's the problem, it's just us guys in here, right?" Kagari drawled. "You can loosen up too, you know."
"This 'guy' here just happens to be your boss," Ginoza warned. "Now don't make me repeat myself a third time."
Kagari scratched his head. "If you think the ladies might have a problem with it, I hardly doubt it. Kunicchi isn't even interested in guys and Akane-chan is probably used to it seeing how Kou-chan is such an exhibitionist at times."
"Kagari, you are in the Criminal Investigation Division representing Japan's police force," Ginoza growled. "Standing in front of you is your boss, Inspector, Owner so you can at least have the decency to look presentable."
The young Enforcer only bared a toothy grin. "Okay, no need to get all dark, Gino-san. I'll do it as soon as I leave." He rose to his feet but was his path to the door was blocked by the older man.
"Just do it now, Kagari. It's not that difficu-" Ginoza was interrupted when the door behind him was flung open, pushing him forward in the process.
He crashed into Kagari and they both landed on the floor, in a tangle of limbs.
"So, as I was saying, Masaoka-saaAAAAHHH!" Akane stopped dead after her first step into the filing room. She dropped the neatly arranged folder she was holding and brought her hands up to hide her scarlet face.
Behind her, Masaoka peered over he head only to see two bodies writhing on the floor. They had trouble moving around due to the limited space provided by the overbearing sofa and shelves. Even so, Masaoka was clearly able to tell that it was his dear son Inspector Ginoza lying on top of a practically shirtless Kagari.
All four people eventually figured what the situation was looking like, and it wasn't awesome.
Akane decided that three seconds was too long and awkward for her to still be around and she staggered past Masaoka yelling "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" into her hands.
"W-Wait, Tsunemori!" Ginoza frantically tried to call to her. "It's not what you think!"
"Yeah, Akane-chan! I'm definitely straight!" Kagari added desperately.
Masaoka didn't move.
He leaned against the door hinge, resting a hand over his wrinkled brow. "Nobuchika..." he began, voice deep in sorrow. "As a father, I'm sorry that I never realized, otherwise I would have been more supporting-"
"Shut it, old man," Ginoza cut him off. "And Kagari... BUTTON UP YOUR SHIRT!"
Dare Game special event conclusion:
Kagari guessed that Yayoi had to pretend to be normal.
Yayoi guessed that Akane had to flirt with her male co-workers.
Akane guessed that Kagari had to seduce Inspector Ginoza.
Thus- no one got any points this round.
Kunizuka Yayoi- 19 points
Shuusei Kagari- 16 points
Tsunemori Akane- 21 points
Flirt with a stranger of the opposite gender using literature quotes.
5 extra points if you get your target's number
It would be a lie if Choe Gu Song said he wasn't worried. His employer, Makishima Shogo, was an anarchist who would do nothing other than read dystopia and have tea with psychopaths. How would anyone expect such a person to know how to flirt with a girl- let alone with book quotes.
So, Choe watched rather grimly as Makishima walked into a café, ordered an earl grey tea from a table and began reading on a... wait, was that an eBook? Choe could not fathom why Makishima was choosing to read on an eBook even after he had firmly stated his dislike for them. He was sure Makishima was not one for hypocrisy, so why?
Ten minutes later, a young girl carrying a hot drink was zigzagging through the clutter of silver tables and chairs. She had to walk sideways or push through the odd chair in order to squeeze through, and she eventually got close to Makishima's table, he was still reading so Choe wasn't sure if he noticed her. In that split second, Makishima -who had not looked up from his eBook- kicked the chair in front of him so quickly that Choe was not entirely sure it happened.
The girl noticed the chair too late, and she tripped on it, stumbling forward with her drink flying out of her hand. Makishima shot out of his seat to catch her and pushed his eBook forward. The drink landed nearly on top of it, spilling hot chocolate over the screen.
"Oh gosh, I'm so sorry!" she choked out in a frenzy. "I didn't look where I was going! I-"
Makishima gave her an angelic smile and moved out of her personal space, letting her nervously smooth down her hair and clothes.
"And your eBook!" she continued, worry drowning in her eyes. "I'm so sorry!"
He shook his head. "It's fine, I was reading a poem I already knew, anyway."
"Yes, Annabel Lee by Edgar Allen Poe, have you heard of it?"
Choe watched quite amazed as the two sat in the café together, the girl had ordered another drink and whilst she was waiting for it to cool a little, Makishima recited the entire poem to her. Despite its length he took his time, talking in a soft voice which only the girl could hear. She quickly forgot about her drink and became quite mesmerised, stanza by stanza.
Still, the poem had to finish, the girl had to go on her way and the two got up to shake hands.
"I'm so sorry again about your eBook. Are you sure that you don't..."
Her voice trailed away when Makishima raised his hand. "Everything in that eBook was already in my memory, so there is nothing lost at all. Though, I would very much like to spend a proper day with you, Miss."
It was only then did the girl kind of get what where this was going.
"Erm, sorry, but..." the girl stammered out. "I'm not... interested in guys... like that."
Makishima let the information sink in. "You're not interested in guys like that," he echoed.
What did she- oh wait. Oh. OH.
Shimotsuki Mika bowed her head apologetically and then walked off.
It's funny because technically, this dare game has only spanned out over seven days. Seven long days in which Gino is slowly losing his sanity.
A few people seem to be concerned on how much I pick on Ginoza. Well, I tried not making him the target but it's just too easy. Not that I don't like him, he's such a loveable asshat and dude's come a long way. Though, even I have to admit, I got a little carried away this round ahaha let's try keep things mild next chapter.
Thank-you Mad Decameter for the porn magazine dare and Niry and EyeslikeSky for suggesting the winking dare.
Mika should add 'I dumped a pretty boy anarchist' on her job description. She'll be hired in no time.