Keishichou Tokuhanka 007 (Special Crimes Investigation Unit 007) and its original characters are the property of Kaji Eiri.


"Anyone here?" a soprano voice rang out. "We're here from Special Crimes Investigation Unit 007."

Silence.

"…Are you sure we're in the right place?" the voice whispered. "It's so dark in here—where's the light? It smells like… Wahh - !"

There was a thud, accompanied by splashing.

"Fuyuki?" a low voice, obviously male, called sharply.

"Tch! …oww… " the soprano whined, "What's this…eh?"

"What's what?" the male asked, and there was the sound of brushing as he searched the wall for the light switch. A couple dull lights flickered on, creating a small, and annoying, buzzing sound.

But that wasn't the only sound. The girl on the floor and the man at the switch looked up when there was the small, familiar rustling noise; the flickering of a flame. They watched, transfixed, as a small line of fire crossed the ceiling, from a broken light fixture above, and down the wall…a line that would eventually lead to the puddle of gasoline that the girl was currently sitting in.

"….Kuze?" the girl called, frozen.

"You Idiot!"

The large man lunged at the girl on the floor, grabbing her by both arms and violently thrusting both of them out the warehouse doors. Without a pause, he rolled multiple times, pulling the girl along with him, out of the way as a wave of heat and sparks poured from the doorway when the warehouse burst into flame.

The man called Kuze pulled back to get a look at the girl under him. None of the sparks had gotten on her. He sighed heavily in relief, sitting back on his heels. "You alright?"

Fuyuki propped herself up on her elbows, still reeling from the roll. She stared at the roaring warehouse with wide eyes, and then down at the ground the two had initially landed on. A suspiciously Fuyuki-sized patch of grass was burning there, aided by the imprint she had left with her soaked backside. She gulped audibly.

"That was…" she blinked, still wrapping her disoriented mind around what had just happened. "…quite…exciting."

"Oh, really…?" a dark, dangerous voice came from the man kneeling over her, his face overshadowed by his hair. The roaring of his angry aura nearly drowned out the roaring of the flames behind him. "…exciting, huh?"

"Kuze! Fuyuki!"

Both the man and the girl pinned under him looked up as a mild-looking man came running up the slope towards them. Fuyuki was clutching at both of Kuze's arms, trying to pull back the hands that were currently stretching both of her cheeks mercilessly.

"Sasaki—" Kuze said, distracted. Fuyuki fell back, rubbing at her abused cheeks, silently thanking their co-worker for having come to her rescue.

"What happened?!" the man called Sasaki asked, gaping in astonishment at the state of the previously peaceful warehouse. "—Where is the witness?"

"We were set up," Kuze said shortly, climbing to his feet and tugging Fuyuki along. He started down the slope, dragging the highly-flammable girl with him, away from the oppressive heat waves emanating from the rapidly declining structure. He seemed calm, but there was a dangerous undercurrent in his voice. "This is no simple arsonist we are dealing with—this was a trap."


"Finished?"

"Yeah, but I couldn't get the smell…hey!" Fuyuki shopped mid-sentence and thrust a finger toward Kuze, her whole aspect one of horror. "What…wh…WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?"

"Taking a smoke, obviously," the man stated blandly.

"PUT THAT OUT RIGHT NOW!" Fuyuki shrieked. "YOU STILL HAVE GASOLINE ON YOU!"

"Tch…so noisy," Kuze muttered, obediently snuffing out the cigarette in the ashtray on the coffee table. "I washed my hands first."

"As if that makes it any better!" Fuyuki fumed to herself as Kuze passed her on the way to the shower. They had stopped by her hotel room on the way to his apartment for a change of clothes, Kuze's reasoning being that it would be more efficient if they both showered at one location before heading back to work. "Kuze is an idiot!"

Fuyuki wrinkled her nose. The smell of gasoline still lingered in her nostrils.

Just an hour ago they had gotten a call at the department—apparently, a person wearing the same clothes as the supposed suspect for a string of arsons had been chased away from that warehouse by a groundskeeper… but upon further investigation Sasaki had discovered that no such groundskeeper existed. It had all been an elaborate set up to lure the police to the scene to trigger that fire.

"So hateful," Fuyuki had exclaimed after Kuze had finished talking to Sasaki on the phone on their way to the hotel. They left the scene shortly after the fire department arrived—Sasaki had told them to leave things to him while they went to clean up. Kuze had remained quiet, but Fuyuki could tell he was furious under that calm exterior.

Fuyuki crossed the room to look out the window, her face pinched.

Whoever he is, he's in big trouble when Kuze and I find him… she thought darkly.

"You still haven't dried your hair."

Startled out of her reverie by Kuze's irritated voice and an angry hand on the top of her head, Fuyuki nearly jumped out of her skin.

"…You're already out?" she asked from where she had landed, several feet away, her body still comically frozen from the fright.

He lifted a brow and pointed to the carpet in front of the couch.

"Sit." He commanded.

Fuyuki brightened considerably as Kuze made his way back to the bathroom. She hopped obediently over to the specified patch of carpet and made herself comfortable, grinning from ear to ear. Kuze, having retrieved the blow-dryer, scowled at her giddy expression.

That was one of the funny things about Kuze—he was intimidating, cold, and difficult most of the time… but when it came to things like hair, and looking after a certain un-named seventeen year-old, he was surprisingly talented.

That all made sense if you knew a little about his background; his little sister, whom he had been the primary caretaker of, would have been Fuyuki's age by now if she were still alive…

Kuze's phone rang. He opened it deftly with one hand, tucking it between his ear and shoulder as he resumed his task of drying Fuyuki's hair.

"Sasaki," he greeted, cutting right to the chase, "Any new developments?"

"KUZE, YOU DEVIL-WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IGNORING MY CALLS!?"

Fuyuki cringed as Boss's voice rivaled the whirring of the blow-dryer.

"What's the point in answering your calls if I've got nothing to say to you?" Kuze snapped, pulling the phone away from his ear with one hand.

It had taken some getting used to, but the hostilities between Kuze and the Boss were no longer so shocking as the had been… Fuyuki had learned to sit back and watch things play out. Kuze's devil-may-care attitude clearly irked their supervisor, as well as the face that Kuze had been given the position of caretaker/partner for the young (and cute) Fuyuki… and with Kuze's attitude, Boss rarely ever got the feeling of having won any of their battles.

There was much roaring on the other end of the line, which ceased when Kuze promptly hung up on him.

On the other end, Sasaki sighed at the explosion triggered by said act, wondering if Kuze enjoyed toying with their superior's blood pressure.

"So noisy," Kuze muttered, scowling. He turned off the blow-dryer and stood, muttering something about an old gorilla stealing Sasaki's phone and everything stinking of gasoline. "At least you managed to keep your hair out of the stuff."

"We're leaving now?" Fuyuki asked, still wondering if it was really alright to hang up on the boss like that.

"We're meeting Sasaki back at the office to regroup," Kuze answered. "I'll braid it when we get there."

After a brief, happy squeal, Fuyuki sobered, mind back on the case at hand. "We're not going back to the crime scene? What about finding the culprit with my abilities?"

"We'll go there later, though I doubt we'll find much."

That's true, Fuyuki thought. The arsonist was good—he didn't leave personal possessions on site, so Fuyuki could only see images through things he had touched briefly…and he was always in the same disguise.

It's almost as if he knows about me… she thought as they made their way back to the station.

The office was a wreck when they arrived. Boss and 'the three idiots', as Kuze called them, were in a rage over having discovered that Kuze and Fuyuki had both showered at Kuze's apartment and the reason they were in need of a shower…though it was difficult to tell whether they were more upset about their near premature cremation, or their having used the same shower.

Kuze ignored them, mildly advising that Fuyuki do the same. It was in moments like these when Fuyuki was glad for Kuze's habit of steering her around their excitable co-workers.

"Any progress?"

Sasaki smiled weakly, apparently more affected by the death glares leveled at Kuze, as he set to work braiding Fuyuki's hair, than the target was.

"Aside from the non-existent groundskeeper, there was one real witness," Sasaki handed Kuze a statement from the questioning of said witness. "He described the same man as the rest did—tall and skinny, baggy green hoodie, baggy jeans, sneakers, and a doctor's mask with sunglasses."

"It'd he hard not to notice someone dressed like that," Fuyuki said, holding the statement up for Kuze to read while his hands were occupied with her hair.

"Did the witness notice any vehicles or other methods of transporting large quantities of gasoline?"

"The gasoline was apparently already at the warehouse."

"I see. Anything more on the phony phone call?"

"The voice was male, but otherwise rather nondescript."

"What about the use of the light to trigger the flame?" Kuze went back to braiding with quicker movements, probably no longer reading the statement Fuyuki was holding up. She lowered her hands, looking through the other witness statements behind the most recent. "Has the fire-department gotten back to us on that yet?"

"Not yet."

The first handful of arsons in the sting suffered no casualties. In the fourth, there were injuries, but no deaths. The fifth had killed several people…that was when they got the case.

"…uki… … Fuyuki!"

She snapped to attention to find Kuze looking down at her.

"What are you spacing out about?"

"This woman," Fuyuki said, lifting one of the statements she that had caught her eye. "She lost her family in a fire when she was younger, and now her boyfriend… seems unfair."

"Life isn't always fair," Kuze said quietly, tugging on her braid. "Let's go to the scene—we can't give life back, but we can give some closure to the living."

Fuyuki blinked. It was rare for Kuze to say something like that. He had the same look in his eye as he did when he spoke of his sister, Naoko.

Rolling his eyes at her dazed state, he put her in a headlock and dragged her out the door by force.

"Kuze—my neck!"


It was early morning at the station when Fuyuki peeked into the lounge. Kuze wasn't there. She checked the office, finding Sasaki at his desk.

"Good Morning, Sasaki-san," Fuyuki said, smiling as Sasaki looked up at her where she was leaning in the doorway. "Where is everyone?"

"Good Morning, Fuyuki—Boss and the others aren't in yet," Sasaki answered, nodding politely to her greeting. He smiled at the slightly crestfallen look on her face. "Kuze's down at the range."

"The range?"

"There's a shooting range in the basement—Kuze often goes there to practice when a case is bothering him."

"Oh," Fuyuki blinked, and brightened, her eyes twinkling with mischievous curiosity. She had always wondered about Kuze's impeccable marksmanship. "Thanks!"

Sasaki smiled as Fuyuki skipped off down the hall, wondering what chaos he had just unleashed on his colleague.

Fuyuki didn't quite make it all the way to the basement. She met someone in the lobby that distracted her.

"Hina-san!"

The woman entering through the front doors looked up, startled, as Fuyuki greeted her. She was a tall, shy, and rather frail-looking woman—it was the woman from the witness statement she had been looking at yesterday.

"Fuyuki-san," she said hesitantly, smiling. She looked stressed, like she hadn't been sleeping very much, and her smile was unsteady. Her eyes were anxious. "Have you found anything new?"

Fuyuki sobered considerably.

"Not much—but we do know that his last act was directly targeted towards us, so we must be getting close."

Hina-san nodded, looking a little worn-out. Then she brightened. "Oh! Here—this is for you and the others in your investigations unit."

She handed a paper bag to Fuyuki, who blinked.

"Cookies—my younger brother and I made them for you."

"Oh!"

The older woman smiled at the happy light that filled Fuyuki's eyes, a smile that was a little sad.

"Will you come visit me again sometime, Fuyuki?" she asked, "I'd like to learn more about you… and it would be nice to have someone to talk to besides my little brother."

"Of course!" Fuyuki exclaimed with enthusiasm, giving an emphatic nod and clenching her fist excitedly, "You can count on me, Hina-san!"

As Fuyuki continued on her journey down towards the basement, she pondered on the encounter with Hina-san. It was difficult for Fuyuki to make friends…living at the research institution, she had always been rather isolated. Her only real friends had been Ryu and Arashi, both boys that she had met at the institution, and she never really had the chance to make any real female friends.

'But maybe that's about to change,' she thought brightly, smiling to herself. It was a funny feeling, at once exciting and uncomfortable. 'I'm growing, aren't I? That's a good thing, right? Growth always feels a bit uncomfortable…'

"Fuyuki!"

Fuyuki turned to face the smiling man in the white lab coat that was striding toward her.

"Good morning, Dr. Yuu."

"What's this?" the grinning doctor asked. He leaned in close, a little too close in Fuyuki's mind, and sniffed. "Cookies? …and…gasoline? What have you been up to?"

Urk…that smell just won't go away!

Fuyuki blinked. "Doctor?"

Dr. Yuu had leaned forward further still, causing Fuyuki to practically bend over backwards. There was a strange light in the man's eyes as he peered at her over his lenses…

"Don't go playing around such toxic fumes too much, Fuyuki—you'll ruin those lovely pink lungs of yours."

"And don't go playing around with this Doctor, either—his perverted-inner-organ-loving thought processes might be contagious."

"Kuze!" Fuyuki gasped, oddly relieved to be swept into a headlock as her partner dragged her away from the leering doctor.

"Black-lung Kuze, to the rescue!" Dr. Yuu sang after them, earning a chilling glare from the irritable officer.

"Eh?" Fuyuki noticed that they had taken a wrong turn. "Where are we going? Was there another fire?"

"Yes—but you are going home."

"Huh?!" she dug in her heels, fighting to eradicate herself of the headlock. "What about work?!"

Kuze eyed his young charge/partner as she tried to squirm from his hold. If he told her that he didn't want her to come along because he thought the culprit knew about her abilities and was targeting her, it would just rile her up further.

"Everything there is too hot to touch right now—so unless you have suddenly developed the ability to see an object's history from a distance, you aren't going to be of any use."

Fuyuki flinched. As much as his words stung her, he did have a point—her 'sight' was indeed limited to what she could make direct physical contact with.

She pouted and muttered darkly as he dragged her from the building and hailed a taxi, telling the driver the address of her hotel.

"Just be a good girl and go straight home," he ordered, practically throwing her into the back seat. "I'll swing by in the morning to pick you up."

She rolled down the window as the taxi pulled from the curb.

"Kuze is an IDIOT!"

The way he stiffened and glared at her childish insult was satisfying.

Hmph. Serves him right, she thought irritably, watching the buildings zip by. The comment on her 'usefulness' still stung. Was she not worth anything without her special abilities?

Well. They were the only reason she had the job in the first place…

Being the stubborn, contrary creature she was, Fuyuki did not go home. When the taxicab driver thought to remind her of her partners admonishment to 'go straight home', she thought to remind him that it wasn't Kuze's card that would be paying the fare.

Since she didn't know the location of the fire, she couldn't very well show up at the crime scene. She'd have to settle for seeing if Hina-san was home.

Her brother answered the door first, and gave Fuyuki a rather chilling glare. He was a bit on the short and bulky side, and hadn't really struck Fuyuki as a social butterfly the last time they had met.

"Hello, Hiro-san," Fuyuki said awkwardly, not really liking the look in his eyes. "Is Hina-san home today?"

"Sis!" the boy called up some stairs. "It's that police girl with the creepy powers!"

"…Fuyuki-san?" Hina came rushing down the steps and somewhat anxiously shooed her little brother away. "That was so rude, Hiro—I'm sorry Fuyuki-san! He's never gotten along well with people…"

"It's alright, Hina-san—I'm used to it," Fuyuki smiled, ignoring the dull throb in her chest. "Please call me Fuyuki."

Hina-san smiled, if somewhat distractedly. She kept glancing back into the apartment after her brother. Once again, Fuyuki noted that she wasn't looking very well, and seemed a bit harried.

"Is this a bad time, Hina-san?"

"No! …No…I guess I just need a bit of fresh air," she said, shaking herself as she tucked some strands of hair that had come loose from her bun behind her ear. Her hands trembled slightly. "Would you walk with me?"

"Of course."

Fuyuki walked alongside the troubled woman in silence. One of her special abilities was to 'read' the thoughts of the heart by touch—and if she had learned one thing from the varied occasions where she had 'read' a heart, it was the pain that came with those thoughts was not to be taken lightly.

Fuyuki couldn't remember her own family aside from her father, who was the head of the research institute she grew up at…and who had never really been interested in anything but her abilities… so it was hard to imagine having lost anyone near to her heart.

What would I feel if something happened to Kuze…?

She balked at the thought, shaking herself roughly. Kuze couldn't die. Nope. Definitely not.

"Fuyuki?"

Fuyuki blinked, coming back to the present. "Yes, Hina-san?"

"Are you and that handsome officer very close?"

"...Kuze?" how did she know I was thinking about Kuze?

"Yes—You two are usually together whenever I see you…are you dating?"

"Eh?!" Fuyuki's ears suddenly felt very warm. "N-No, that idiot Kuze and I are just p-partners!"

The older woman smiled somewhat knowingly, which Fuyuki found rather uncomfortable.

"But you like him, right?"

Fuyuki felt herself turn to cement. …like…Kuze? …well…yeah, but I've never talked to anyone about it, and I wouldn't really know how to start…

But girls talked about this kind of thing, right? It was a phenomenon that was foreign to Fuyuki, but it was something she kind of wanted to give a try anyway…

"…Yes."

Hina-san nodded. "I thought so. He's handsome, and he looks after you so well…you could hardly help falling in love with him…"

There was a lonely tenor to her words, like she was remembering something. She seemed to come to herself after a moment, though. She smiled.

"Will you be seeing him later today?"

Fuyuki pouted, face pinched angrily. "I won't be seeing that idiot until tomorrow morning."

"Oh," Hina-san nodded. "I see. You quarreled?"

"He said I was useless and sent me home," Fuyuki muttered darkly, scowling. She missed the strange dimming in Hina-san's eyes.

"You live alone, Fuyuki?"

She nodded.

"What about your family?"

Fuyuki wrung her hands a bit. She wasn't used to this kind of questioning—it was what made it hard to make female friends…they were so much better at asking personal questions… and once they knew how …different…Fuyuki's upbringing had been, they found it harder to talk to her.

"My father runs the Ichikawa Research Institute," she answered, hoping that Hina-san wouldn't pry too much further. "I grew up there."

"You and your father are close, then?"

"…No," Fuyuki answered quietly, feeling a little uncomfortable under the compassionate look in Hina-san's eyes. "We never were very close, really."

"I see," Hina-san said, looking away.

Suddenly, her eyes flared wide, and she froze.

Crossing the street in front of them was a figure clad in a green hoodie, a doctor's mask, and sunglasses.

Fuyuki gasped. "HEY!"

The figure jumped at her shout, and took off running, with Fuyuki hot on his heels.

"Call me useless….I'LL SHOW YOU WHO'S USELESS, KUZE!"


Miles away, officer Kuze felt a foreboding chill ride down his spine.

[i hope this is turning out alright...if i let myself stress too much over it, i'll never get around to posting it, so here goes! Keishichou Tokuhanka 007 {that sure is a mouthful...} is a fun manga - not all that serious, and it the art can take a little getting used to, but i like it well enough...well enough to write a fanfiction, anyway ;) I'd really be encouraged by comments and pointers, so feel free to send me your thoughts - thank you for reading!]