Title: The Temptation of Dark Hearts
Pairing: Sakumiya, small hints of Nino x Masami
Genre: Mystery/ Romance/ slight Fantasy
Summary: Nino is married and a loyal detective for his country. His wittiness and great sense of logic helps him solve any case, until he was invited to play a game with Sakurai Sho.
Word Count: 9900+
Beta by: toinkydoink
Notes: For jadeswallow in the Nino Exchange Fic
Rain clouds rolled across the sky as Nino drove back to the family's house. There was still something Nino felt he was missing, plus he had no other place to call Sho in private. The house was no different when he left it. He entered the living room and he pulled out the rose whistle. Nino stared down at it for long minutes.
"I can't believe I'm doing this."
Nino brought the whistle to his lips and blew. He could hear it. A note rang inside the house and echoed pure and clear like a silver bell. Nino didn't realize he had closed his eyes. When he lifted his eyelids, Sho was sitting on the couch with a sly smirk on his face.
"You finally called me," Sho grinned.
Nino wasted no time.
"What should I do next?"
"Already? What happened to that stubborn pride?" Sho chuckled.
"For all I know, another family is going to die," Nino said, "I can feel your game is bringing me closer to some conspiracy that could be the biggest news Japan has heard all year. But there aren't any other leads I can go on. I need names. If this really is your 'game' then tell me—what should I do?"
Sho leaned forward and rested his arms on his knees.
"I'm willing to help you, Nino," Sho said softly, "But if you want my help, there is a price you must pay."
Sho got up slowly and held Nino's chin, but Nino quickly smacked his hand away.
"I will never be seduced by you," Nino sneered, pointing at him accusingly. "I won't ever fall that low nor will I do it. I could arrest you now."
"Why don't you?" Sho said calmly. "You have your handcuffs and your gun to suppress me. Why don't you arrest me?"
Nino gulped before his eyes darted away from Sho's piercing stare. Sho stepped closer and walked around him. Nino felt his fists shaking. They stood facing each other with only a few inches between them. Yet, Nino couldn't stop looking at the man's face, his eyes, his hair, his chest, his...
"You know why you won't; because you need me," Sho whispered, "In more ways than one."
"Am I wrong?" Sho raised an eyebrow at him. "I can see it in your eyes."
Nino did his absolute best not to break eye contact.
"This is more than a battle of wits, Nino." Sho said. "And you know what I mean."
"I've dealt with criminals like you before," Nino sneered, "You think you can control the police and outsmart us. But in time, I'll have you behind bars with solid evidence. And you'll be wishing you never crossed with me on your execution."
"Go ahead. Turn me in," Sho said, but Nino remained silent. "The truth is, you're in a battle of temptation."
Sho started with a small chuckle, but then it grew into a loud and mad laugh. Nino glared at him in disgust. Out of nowhere, Nino was pushed down to the floor and Sho stared down at him hungrily. Sho had his hands gripped tight around Nino's wrists, and Nino tried to kick Sho off.
But Sho was unfazed as he suddenly leaned down and stole a kiss. He was strong and pressuring. Nino tried to move his head aside, but Sho simply moved along with him. Before he realized it, Nino stopped trying to kick off Sho and his brow became less stressed.
When Sho finally drew away, there was a loud smack from their lips parting. Nino was completely breathless and noticed Sho's bottom lip was red. Nino blushed. He didn't intend to suck as well.
"Why are you so ashamed?" Sho said, "After this, I'll tell you what you need."
"H-how long?" Nino's voice cracked.
"Don't worry. I won't do anything dramatic," Sho smirked. "Just enough. But you have to do your part too."
Sho leaned back down and caressed Nino's neck with his plump lips. Sho slid his hands away from Nino's wrist and under Nino to arch his back more. Nino felt his stomach flutter at the touch as Sho continued down to his collarbone. Nino can't remember the last time he had been this aroused. Not even his wife can move him like this. Nino was too scared to make a move on his own.
The sooner this is over, the sooner I can solve this case.'Nino thought.
Believing in that thought alone, Nino decided to play along. He held Sho's head and pulled him up for another kiss. This time, Nino wanted to be the forceful one. He didn't care that Sho was practically holding onto his hair, didn't care he had his tongue inside Sho's mouth. Gradually, Nino started to feel hot and he would part away for a few seconds to gasp for some air.
Suddenly, Sho rolled them over and Nino laid on top. Nino could feel both of their hard erections straining against their pants. Sho's hands clawed on his back, but Nino didn't find it painful. Rather it felt...good.
And if he continued more, he'll get more information. Convinced, he abandoned Sho's swollen lips and trailed along Sho's neck. Nino felt his face blush when he heard a soft moan from Sho. Nino didn't think he would actually enjoy this. His hands slid down Sho's abdomen and unzipped his pants. The man wore no underwear, and Nino finally onto Sho as he slowly lowered his head. Nino felt his body heat up as his lips were just inches away from the tip.
It was...really hot.
Nino sat up and looked around. The room was foggy and clouded with smoke. Sho, who laid calmly underneath him began to chuckle.
"Ah, so it's started," the man laughed.
"What's going on?" Nino jerked up. "Is the house on fire?!"
"That is the next step," Sho replied and he stood up as well and zipped up his pants.
Nino didn't bother to ask as he raced out the door and saw the entire neighborhood engulfed in flames. Nino covered his nose and mouth and tried to see if there was anyone out there. Someone set these houses on fire! They can't be too far away!
Nino started jogging around the neighborhood, but it was too dangerous. The flames started traveling along the power lines and sparks were flying everywhere, threatening to burn or electrocute him. Nino turned around to get away and saw Sho standing there looking unharmed.
"Go home, Nino," Sho yelled through the loud noises of the fires, "Look through your wife's desk. You'll find what you're looking for and much more."
"You son of a bitch!" Nino roared, "What did you do to Masami?!"
"Why don't you find out yourself!"
And Sho disappeared into the black smoke. Nino could hear the fire trucks coming, but this fire was just too big to handle. Nino hoped there were no stray families living inside any of the houses. He had no other choice but to drive away to his home. He hoped he wouldn't find anything.
* * *
"Masami!" Nino shouted when he entered his house. "Masami?"
He could hear the television was on. He slowly walked into the living room and saw his wife lying on the floor.
Nino couldn't even find his voice as he sank into his knees. She was shot in the chest, and her last expression was shocked and scared. Like a look of betrayal. Nino didn't felt any tears, but he felt his anger reaching to a boiling point.
"Damn it! SHO!" Nino screamed.
No one else was home as Nino searched, but he left the TV on. The news was already covering the burning houses. There was a footage of a bird's eye view of the houses destroyed and the firefighters trying desperately to take out the fire. Nino was cursing himself for being so stupid. If he hadn't done it Sho's way, he would have caught the arsonist and won the game sooner. And his wife would've been alive. Nino was disgusted at himself as he turned off the television and went upstairs.
Masami's desk was very organized, but Nino searched thoroughly and found nothing suspicious. But as he was about to close the last drawer, he spotted a loose nail on the side of the drawer. He poked and picked around the area, until the bottom lid popped up. A secret flap inside the drawer. Inside, there was a large brown envelope.
Nino took the envelope and pulled out stacks of papers. Nino read through them and felt his heart stop for a split second.
These were insurance papers for the rental homes. The very same homes that were on fire right now. There were also lease papers, or rather, the real lease papers. The last few documents were the housing structure plans. All sold under Masami's father's real estate company. All the documents were tied to Tokyo Star Bank.
In short, the insurance money went directly to the bank. The families nor the landlords got a single yen. Nino's hands were shaking when he finally understood it all.
"Tokyo Star Bank burned the houses," Nino whispered to himself, "Everything was their plan. Sending out fake lease papers to evacuate the families, burning down the rental homes, collecting the insurance money...but why? Why kill a family? Why kill Masami?"
After he called the department to pick up Masami's body, Nino took the documents back to the station. Everyone was running around since the fire broke out. Thankfully, the fire was put out thanks to the rain that came a little later. Ohno was looking calm and calling orders to check the houses if there are any causalities.
"Captain," Nino approached him. "I have something you might want to look at."
"Not now, Nino," Ohno grunted.
"I think I know who set the flames."
Ohno turned to give him his full attention. Nino thought Ohno would look pleased, but he looked even more worried. Suddenly, Ohno pulled Nino aside to a quiet corridor. He looked around to make sure they were alone.
"Who?" Ohno asked.
"I have these documents," Nino showed him the brown envelope. "It shows all the insurance money goes straight to Tokyo Star Bank. It's all a scam, sir. The biggest one yet."
Ohno didn't even ask as he snatched the envelope and looked inside. Ohno gave him a death glare. Nino was shocked to see Ohno's expression so different from his usual character.
"Don't mention this to anyone," Ohno said warned.
"Captain! We caught him!" Jun shouted.
Nino turned and saw Jun walking with Sakurai Sho in handcuffs.
* * *
Nino sat across from Sho in the interrogation room. The dim lighting cased a dark shadow over Sho's face, making him look more inhuman than ever. Nino did everything he can not to slay him once more, but his anger was beyond anything he felt towards anyone.
"I should have known it was you," he said, "You were there when the old man died. Who else would move the bodies of his wife and kids? You killed my wife, and you set those houses on fire. And for what? For money? Did Tokyo Star Bank hire you?"
Sho remained silent. His eyes were hidden under shadows, making his eyes unable to read.
"You're got some nerve, you know that?" Nino continued, "Letting yourself get caught so easily by Jun. Just what are you planning?"
"Why did you have to kill them?" Nino said, his frown growing deeper. "Why did you have to kill an innocent family to get my attention? And why was Masami involved?"
"You're still playing the game, Nino," Sho finally spoke, his eyes still unreadable and hidden. "This is but another puzzle. The final test between you and me."
Nino slammed his fist on the table and roughly got up. He had to pace around to calm himself down. He was wondering what the others were thinking as they watch him through the other side of the mirror.
"Nino, I can make you happy," Sho spoke. Nino turned around and finally saw Sho's eyes looking soft and sympathetic. It sickens him.
"Just who are you?" Nino sighed, feeling tired. "Why did you come into my life?"
"I am a sinner, a monster, and I crave one thing at a time. But my number one ambition is you."
Nino slammed his palms and leaned across the table, glaring hard at Sho.
"I will never-"
"Don't try to hide it," Sho said, now glaring back as well, "I was lonely until you wandered into my view. And as the game went on, I saw you looking at me too."
Nino could feel his neck veins pulsating.
"I'm only here to convince you," Sho said, his eyes looking clear and bright. "Look closely. I'll be waiting here for your answer. You won't have to suspect me anymore. Please, Nino, you have to win!"
Nino backed away and thought carefully. Things just don't add up. Sho is keeping himself imprisoned for him, but Nino was burning with a vengeance to just end this crazy psychopath. Just then, Ohno stepped inside.
Nino left the room and Ohno lead him next door to talk in private. Yet somehow, Nino had the feeling Sho could hear every word they were saying.
"The surveillance camera has confirmed he's the one," Ohno said, looking upset. "He killed the family. His fingerprints matched with the bodies. And footage showed him in the neighborhood setting the houses on fire."
"But—that's impossible." Nino mumbled.
Because Sho was with Nino.
"Look, the Commissioner wants this over, and now it's over," Ohno said, "We already have a death sentence made."
"Already?" Nino gasped.
"Why are you so shocked?" Ohno replied, "This man killed your wife."
"But..." Nino mumbled, "He turned himself in."
"Guilty conscience," Ohno shrugged. "The case is closed now. Go have a drink."
Ohno patted Nino's shoulder and was about to walk away, but Nino stopped him.
"No, sir. Something's not right," Nino said. "What is it that you're hiding?"
Ohno sighed through his nose.
"I didn't think I had to tell you this," Ohno said, looking grim, "But this must not be revealed to the public."
"Is it about Tokyo Star Bank?" Nino frowned. "Are they trying to use Sakurai?"
"Yes," Ohno nodded. "The president of Tokyo Star and politicians have invested with Nagasawa Real Estate to build these houses. Nagasawa-san, however, did not know those houses were scammed to be burnt down and the landlords would have to pay the insurance.
"The family that was killed worked for a smaller local bank and understood what was going on," Ohno explained, "As a threat to their plan, they ordered...someone...to take them out."
"Why?" Nino gawked, "For what?"
"What else? For money." Ohno said. "And the Commissioner is part of the investors."
"What?! The police is part of this?"
"I was against this too. But I was told to keep our heads down," Ohno said firmly, "What good will it do if we rebel against the higher uppers?" Ohno placed a hand on Nino's shoulder. "Face it, Nino. This was a lost battle. And we must keep this underground."
"N-no!" Nino flung his arm away. "These crooks must be put to justice! They can't do this to the people! To that poor family. My wife!"
"Yes, about your wife..." Ohno sighed heavily. "She knew what was going on, but she was...silenced. Believe me, I hated this ordeal since the Commissioner first explained to me. But I had no luck in finding help when someone from a higher position attempted to silence me as well. So, I had to cooperate. No one is to know who really started the fire or who killed your wife or the family."
Ohno pointed at Sho across the mirror.
"I've been given orders to use him as a dummy," Ohno said, "I'm sorry."
"You knew from the beginning?" Nino gritted his teeth. "How come I wasn't told this until now? Just tell me! Who killed my wife?"
"Trust me when I say this, Nino. There are some things better left a secret." Ohno said. "There is nothing you can do now. No matter how hard you try, you cannot beat the system. That is the cruel reality of life."
Ohno walked out the door, leaving Nino completely dumbfounded and feeling useless. Nino looked through the mirror and saw Sho staring back. The look on his face showed disappointment.
* * *
It was the day of Sakurai Sho's execution. It came a lot faster than Nino expected. Just as Ohno said before, the news reported that the homes were burned by the "crazed maniac" Sakurai Sho. The news also reported that he killed Masami and the one family that the news falsely proclaimed was killed in the fire.
Nino felt completely disgusted. Everything he thought he knew about the police force was a lie. His loyalty, his trust, was completely crumbled. There will always be a higher power above to force them down. All the chaos and corruption just to gain money. Nino thought this is what Sho really meant by the game. He never meant it was his game against Nino, but a struggle to stop the power-hungry oppressing game run by politicians, presidents, and commissioners. They were the real enemies.
Nino wished he could fight this war longer, but he didn't know where else to turn to. Nino was sitting in Sho's prison cell with him one last time. They were alone and no one was around to hear them.
"Please...just tell me who did it," Nino pleaded quietly, "Who killed them? Who killed my wife?"
"Don't you think it's me?" Sho titled his head playfully.
"How can you be like this when you're about to die?" Nino asked.
"I'm not worried about that," Sho chuckled. "The game is over, so I will not answer."
"Please, just tell me," Nino asked again. "Do you or do you not know who killed her?"
But Sho wouldn't give him an answer.
"Please!" Nino begged louder. "You're going to be executed! I need to know if it was you or not!"
"You're worried for me?" Sho asked softly.
"Nino," Sho moved closer and held Nino's cheek. "Will you accept my love one last time?"
"Will you tell me what I need to know?" Nino asked.
Sho pulled his hand away.
"No," he said. "You lost the game; that part of the deal is over. Forget about this stupid scam and the case and your wife. Just you and me, the one time I ask."
Nino stared back at the handsome man's soulful eyes. He thought they were the eyes of a murderer, a creature of lust and madness, but Nino started to believe differently. The more he thought about it, the more he realized he didn't have any emotional attachment to Masami for a long time. Not compared to the man sitting in front of him.
But he just didn't have to heart to say so.
"Take your love, I don't want it," Nino whispered, "I wouldn't even call it love anyway."
"You're afraid," Sho said, his eyes hurt. "Aren't you? Why can't you choose?"
"Why must I choose when there are no other options?" Nino yelled. "I couldn't beat your game! I've lost my wife, and my faith in my co-workers. Knowing that this country is full of lies in their own system. The only logical system I thought I could trust. I don't know what you want from me! I just don't know what I'm supposed to answer!"
"Forget about the game!" Sho said, his voice firm and strong. "If you truly have nothing left to believe in, just look at me!"
Nino felt his heart swell and Sho pulled him in for a kiss. He felt his face heat up again as Sho wrapped his strong arms around Nino's shoulders. He felt inferior to this strange man, but it felt good. As if he felt safe and protected. Nino didn't realize he was living a dangerous life and just once, he would like someone to support him.
Maybe all this time the one he needed was Sho.
Nino didn't resist or fought back as he sucked down on Sho's bottom lip like there was no tomorrow. He even wished he could go further, but when he heard doors opening down the hall, he backed away.
"One last time, Nino," Sho gasped. "Will you give me an answer?"
Nino could hear the guards coming.
"But—you're going to die. Why does it matter what my answer is?"
Sho gave him a sweet smile.
"I'll take that as a yes," Sho said, "Don't worry about my death."
Nino didn't go see the execution. The sentence was lethal injection. Nino attended the burial, however, and he was surprised no else came. He thought that some distant family relatives would have been contacted, but no one was there. Nino watched the cemetery workers shovel the piles of dirt into the grave, never to be disturbed.
That night, Nino went to the bar with Aiba, his only friend and companion left in the force. While drunk, he told Aiba the conspiracy in the police department and the reason Tokyo Star was connected to the murder cases. Aiba got drunk with him just as Nino decided to have a cup of coffee.
"I feel your pain, Nino," Aiba hiccuped. "I can't believe the mess we're in. An old man like Ohno will never understand that we can still fight!"
"I hear ya," Nino grunted, feeling a little sober.
"My gosh, I never felt more sorry for you than that one time I heard Jun was sleeping with your wife," Aiba blurted out.
Nino turned his head in shock.
"Well, yeah!" Aiba said, his face red and drunk. "Everyone in the department knew that but you. I didn't want to tell you because I knew you'd be heartbroken. But man—after what you said, it looks like Jun was using her."
Nino's drunkness level was completely zero, and his attention was at his peak.
"Why? How was he using her?"
"Hmm? Well, she is the daughter of Nagasawa Real Estate, right?" Aiba goofed, before he collapsed on the table.
Nino felt his heart faster, and everything around became silent as he thought hard. Jun was with his wife? Jun was first at the scene of the crimes. He was the one that turned in Sho right after the fire.
"Where is Jun now?" Nino demanded. "Aiba, wake up!"
"Where is he?!"'
"Eh? You didn't hear?" Aiba said, "Jun got promoted. The Commissioner praised him for capturing the culprit and now he's the new Superintendent. Weird, really. He's higher than Ohno now."
"Jun was working with the Commissioner..." Nino whispered to himself. "I've been so stupid!"
It was Jun all along.
"Ah, which reminds me," Aiba brought up and pulled out a photo. "I did what you asked and researched on the man Sakurai Sho. Funny how you suspected him first but Jun was the one that got the credit. Anyway, I found this photo in the library, and I thought you might find it interesting."
Nino took the photo and stared down at it long and hard. His eyes widen as he continued to stare at the familiar face in the lower right hand corner. There was no mistake in it. This was the same man who Nino shared feelings for...
"That was a picture of his family," Aiba said, still drunk, "He looked just like his ancestor, doesn't he. They even have the same name too. Haha!"
The year written on the photo said 1670.
Nino ran out the bar and drove into the night as fast as he can to the cemetery. He didn't care about the case anymore. He didn't care about his wife for a long time. Forget about the internal corruption. There was a fiery passion, a dark craving, an aching desire burning inside him. There was only one person he wanted to be with as his escape from this cold world.
Nino longed to feel Sho's warmth once again.
Nino took the spare shovel from his truck, and he ran to the grave site. He started digging desperately. He had to be sure of his theory. Nino had to know. Finally, after brutal hours of digging, he reached the coffin. He wrenched the coffin open, and breathed out a sigh of relief.
It was empty.
Nino climbed out of the grave and reached for his rose whistle. He blew hard, but no one came. Suddenly, feeling desperate, he blew harder and longer until he almost ran out of breath. He was panting heavily, but there was no one around in the dark.
His arm fell limp on his side.
"Sho..." Nino moaned quietly, feeling tears building up. "Sho, please..."
As if by magic, he felt strong warm arms wrapped around his shoulders. Nino felt a smile spread across his face like he never had before.
"I told you not to worry about my death."