ArashiForYou (arashiforyou) wrote,
ArashiForYou
arashiforyou

Men of Truth - Part 3/3

Title: Men of Truth
Author: arashiforyou
Artist:alienashi
Crossover: Arashi dramas and movie (Maou, Kazoku Game, Mikeneko Holmes no Suiri, Platina Data, Lucky Seven)
Disclaimer: I don't own the drama shows, the movie, the characters, or artwork. Just the story.
Type: AU/ Drama/ Crossover
Word Count: 22736
Characters/Pairings: Ohno/Sho/Nino (partnership), Sho/Nino, Jun/Aiba (partnership)
Rating: PG13

Warnings: Triggering/ slight OOC
Spoilers: Those who haven't watched Platina Data
Summary: In a world where everyone is connected. An AU wherein the split personality team (Naruse, Yoshimoto, Kagura) are in cahoots, and the ones sent to investigate are Shuntaro and Yoshitaro.
Author’s Notes:For the bigbang_je event. On this final part, there is a slight difference in Yoshimoto that I hope you'll enjoy. Also, I hope you take away the morals I put into this part if you catch them. :3


Link to Art Master Post: http://8tracks.com/staccatic/men-of-truth


"A prank?!" Yoshitaro retorted.

The president of a small acting company only grinned at him. His eyes were practically lines. The company rented only one medium-sized studio room at a building complex, so Yoshitaro had never heard of them. A few actors were practicing and ignoring Yoshitaro's confrontation with the president nearby the doorway. One girl with large eyes and long black hair watched him closely, but he ignored her gaze.

"That's right!" The short president said. "You pay, we prank! That's our motto."

"Sending an entire stack of fake foreclosure notices is a prank to you?!" Yoshitaro yelled. "That is a federal crime! Where did all my money go?!"

"I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you're talking about," the president continued grinning. "We only sent actors to your home and pretended to take away your stuff. It's common in America to give pranks like these. They call it MTV. Rest assure, as of now, your furniture should return safety and undamaged."

"But who hired you?" Yoshitaro demanded.

He started channeling his partner's methods and grabbed fist fulls of the president's shirt, but the short man's expression didn't change in the slightest. A few actors stopped for a few moments and stared at them. It made him feel conscious about his actions, but Yoshitaro didn't want to give in. He glared down at the man's tiny squinting eyes.

"I'm sorry," the president repeated. "We don't give away our clients' names. We hope you enjoyed the prank nonetheless. Have a nice day."

"There's no way I enjoyed it!" Yoshitaro yelled. He side glanced back at the actors who were all watching them. The girl with the long black hair had the most haunting pair of eyes; it made Yoshitaro feel anxious, but he was still furious and he wanted answers. He released the president and pulled out the bank notices. "I've been scammed! I want to know where my money went now!"

"I'm sorry, I don't know anything about that," the president grinned. "But as a professional prankster myself, these look very real to me. I can assure you, we do not have your money. Thank you and have a nice day!"

"It...wasn't you?" Yoshitaro mumbled, calming down at last.

The president never stopped grinning. "That's right."

At least he knew something was real. Yoshitaro almost hoped the foreclosure warnings were fake like the actors that claimed their belongings, but it was authentic. Still, someone had pushed Yoshitaro too far and driven his family apart.

"Yoshimoto," he growled.

He left the acting company and noticed how quiet it was outside. It was night time, but Yoshitaro sensed an unsettling feeling in the atmosphere. Despite the darkness, he spotted someone staring at him from behind a sign post. Yoshitaro frowned a bit before he realized who was spying on him.

"Kagura," he mouthed.

The scientist flinched and ran away.

"HEY!"

It was Kagura! It was his target! He was finally on the chase after Kagura Ryohei, and he would not dare lose sight of him. They raced down the hill and squeezed through tight alleyways. Kagura tried throwing debris to obscure Yoshitaro's path, but he would not give up.

"WAIT!" Yoshitaro shouted.

They came across an intersection and Kagura took the left pathway. Yoshitaro, however, was familiar with the area and decided to take the right. According to his past experience, the pathways would intersect again, and Yoshitaro, who took the shorter path, would be able to cut him off. As long as Kagura didn't climb over buildings, he will be able to catch him. When Yoshitaro reached the second junction, he waited behind the corner until he heard heavy footsteps.

This was it. He could hear Kagura running closer. He just had to jump out-

"NOW!"

Their bodies collided, and they crashed into the asphalt. Yoshitaro winced at the impact, but he kept his grip on Kagura's arm and shoulder.

"No!" Kagura shouted. "Please let me go! Yoshimoto will punish me again!"

"I'm sorry," Yoshitaro panted. "But I won't release you until you answer some questions, Kagura Ryohei."

The scientist just shook his head. "No...Ryohei is not here..."

Yoshitaro frowned. "What do you mean? You're Ryohei."

"My name is Ryu," the smaller man moaned. "Please...let me go. I wasn't suppose to be caught. Yoshimoto will find out about this. He always knows, and he'll punish me again."

They slowly got up, but Yoshitaro still held onto the man's arm. There was something different about Kagura. Of course, Yoshitaro had never met the man personally, but Yoshitaro remembered spying on him back at the cafe. Kagura looked like a cool, calm, collected man as he handled the tablet. He wore glasses and made small movements; he seemed to be a calculable type. But now he jittered, wore no glasses, and twitched his head ever so slightly as if trying to make eye contact but won't commit to it.

"Explain to me," Yoshitaro said more calmly. "Who are you? What is it that Yoshimoto wants? Why are you with him and Naruse?"

The man gradually calmed down thanks to Yoshitaro's softer tone. He placed his hand over Yoshitaro to reassure him he won't run away. Eventually, Yoshitaro released his grip and the two men stood alone in the alleyway.

"My name is Ryu," he repeated. "Kagura is asleep now. I am his other half."

"Other half? You mean, like, twins?"

Ryu shook his head. "I have split personality disorder, and I live with Yoshimoto. He found me one day and promised me that I can become real." Ryu frowned slightly and started fiddling with his ear. "I haven't been out this long since Kagura took over back in middle school when my father died. At first, I allowed Kagura to control my body, hoping that he would find meaning in life. But now I fear I might disappear entirely. All I ever wanted was to feel alive again, so Yoshimoto took care of me."

Yoshitaro noticed the way Ryu was trembling. His back hunched and his knees were slightly bent. Ryu made himself look so small, and he avoid making eye contact. Yoshitaro knew these were signs. Ryu framed his body in an inferior position and something was making him feel uncomfortable.

"Not to be rude," Yoshitaro spoke, "but you don't look well. What is he doing to you really?"

Ryu flinched again, and his eyes started darting around.

"I...I only do what Yoshimoto tells me to do," Ryu said. "You're lucky tonight. If he told me to kill you, I would do it...I would."

"To me it looks like you wouldn't kill me even if you were told to," Yoshitaro said. Ryu snapped his eyes at him before he looked away. "When was the last time you killed someone?"

"I...I don't remember," Ryu said, looking confused.

The detective frowned. "Have you done any killing at all?"

"I don't know!" Ryu sobbed. "But I always see their bodies, and their blood is on my hands. So I must have been the one who killed them. I was only following Yoshimoto's orders. I know it's horrible, but he's right. It is helping me feel alive." His eyes grew round and slightly bloodshot. "When I stand there wondering how my hands got bloody, I can feel my heartbeat pounding. My mind is racing. Do you know how good it feels to know it's your own mind controlling your body? I don't know how those people died, but isn't it good enough that this exhilaration is keeping me alive? From keeping Kagura from taking over my body?!"

"No, it's not!" Yoshitaro quickly grabbed Ryu's shoulders and briefly shook him. "It's never alright to kill anyone! There are so many ways to feel alive for good reasons! Yoshimoto is lying to you somehow, and you've got to fight back!"

Ryu pushed him off. "No, you don't understand. Yoshimoto is the only one who's helping me. I have to listen to him if I want to stay alive. I can't allow someone like Kagura to use my mind and body. He doesn't understand the meaning behind my paintings because all he cares about is data, accuracy, and analyzing people's genetic makeup. But there are just some things that doesn't need explanations. Art, beauty, and life. But Kagura is so strong, it's getting harder to make him understand and I feel like I'm dwindling away. Don't you see? I have to listen to Yoshimoto. He's keeping me sustained. I have no other choice!"

Yoshitaro was speechless. It was a lot to take in, but the pieces were slowing fitting in his head. Clearly, Yoshimoto is using Kagura, or Ryu, for killing the past murder cases. Yoshitaro wasn't sure if Ryu was in fact doing the killing, but he felt concerned for the man's well-being. Ryu is being held prisoner, and Yoshitaro wanted to help him.

The detective took a deep slow breath to calm his mind.

"I understand a little bit now," Yoshitaro spoke calmly. "I want to help, but you have to trust me."

"No," Ryu started backing away. "I messed up one time and now the police will not rest until they find me."

"Listen to me, Ryu. You don't need Yoshimoto to keep you as...you. Yoshimoto is using you to do horrible things, and you know it's not right."

"But it helps me feel alive-"

"Do you think those victims feel alive now?!" Yoshitaro shouted angrily. "Do you think killing others senselessly would help so you can live? That's not how it works! If you want to stay alive, you have to fight for it! If there is something oppressing you, then you have to stand up for yourself. Not slitting someone's throat!"

"How...?"

"You attack the source!"

He inhaled sharply. Yoshitaro felt his heart drop to his stomach. The crazed tutor's words echoed in his head just as he repeated to Ryu. Attacking the source. That's what this was all about. The hair on his arms stood up and his body felt slightly colder. His gaze dropped with sudden realization. Yoshimoto gave them a test, and Yoshitaro felt he found the answer. If he continues to hide and avoid his problems, Yoshitaro will be stuck in an endless loop of desperation and doubt. In order to eliminate a problem, he has to find the origin that started this fiasco.

The detective grasped Ryu's shoulder's again. "You have to tell me. Where is Yoshimoto now? I promise I won't turn you in because I believe in you. I know you are innocent in all this. Yoshimoto is our real target. We have to face him."

Ryu shoved him away even harder. "No. I can't tell you."

"You have to fight back, Ryu!" Yoshitaro stressed. "That's what this has been all about. Attacking the source. You have to break free from Yoshimoto or you'll never know when Kagura will control you again."

"Please stop," Ryu whimpered, covering his ears.

"You must have thought of running away before, haven't you?" He continued to pursue. "You know you don't want to kill. You just want Kagura to understand you. Yoshimoto is never going to help you with that. You have to cut off the source of your problems...and that's him."

Ryu glanced up, his eyes watery and pink. Yoshitaro gave him a tender smile and offered his hand. He was closer to the truth, and he wanted to help Ryu anyway he can. Ryu lowered his hands, and took a step forward.

A bright red dot appeared on Ryu's chest. The air became still, and Yoshitaro thought his heart stopped. Ryu glanced down and saw the red light and panicked. Ryu screamed and ran down the alley. Yoshitaro wanted to chase after him, but he could sense someone was watching. Yoshitaro looked over his shoulder, but he saw no one. The shadow concealed the intruder where the red beam shined. The red dot moved to his chest, but Yoshitaro didn't move. There was no point in running.

"Who's there?" Yoshitaro whispered.

He heard a snapping sound of a pen, and the red beam disappeared. High heels clicked on the asphalt, and the girl from the acting company emerged from the shadow. Her eyes were round just as he remembered.

Yoshitaro's eyes widen. "You..."

"Hello," she greeted. "My name is Mizukami Sara. I heard everything...and there's something you should know."

*         *         *

Naruse closed the door behind him; his feelings were in a mixed tornado. He didn't know why he suddenly reveal his identity to Serizawa's father, but he wasn't expecting the chairman to apologize after all these years. All Naruse ever wanted was for the Serizawa family to face their wrongdoings and be repaid with the same anguish he felt as a teenager.

So why does he feel regret? This was what he wanted. This was everything he could have ever wanted, but seeing his life long target crumble before him is giving Naruse remorseful feelings. For the past few weeks, it has been painful for Naruse. He didn't expect the brother to commit suicide. He didn't want to keep running into Shiori who begs him to stop his malice. He certainly didn't want to hear Serizawa Naoto telling him they have the same expression.

And he especially didn't want to work with Yoshimoto Kouya anymore.

In the end, he became Manaka Tomoo again. He vowed no one will die anymore. His revenge has finally come to an end, and it's time for him to fall into the hands of Naoto. After he left the prison for paying Kasai's bail, he called Yoshitaro. Thanks to Kagura's DNA profiling, he was about to have access to Yoshitaro's and Shuntaro's cellphone numbers. But he decided to call the older detective. As the phone rang, Naruse pulled out the morning newspaper. The headlines read of a detective turning himself in for embezzling the police department, and Detective Ishizu Ryohei was re-hired. However, the photo showed a happy family reunited.

"Hello, Yoshitaro. It's Naruse."

"N-naruse?!"

"Congratulations on becoming a family again," Naruse said, as a sad smile played on his lips. "I only wish I could have helped you with your job."

"Naruse! W-where are you?" Yoshitaro asked frantically. "Shuntaro and I have tried nonstop to find Yoshimoto, and we can't find Ryu anywhere."

"Ryu?"

"That's Kagura Ryohei. His real personality. Yoshimoto was just using him!"

Naruse's smile vanished. He remembered his last encounter with the retired teacher and wondered if the man ever resolved his twisted ideals. At one point, Naruse could have ended up just like Yoshimoto, blinded only by a corrupt sense of justice. But Naruse had broken free of such morals. The newspaper clearly showed Yoshitaro found the answer to their test; Naruse was positive Shuntaro had found his answer as well. Yoshimoto, on the other hand, must be consumed with rage now.

If there was one more soul he could save, he'll try his hand at it before he faces Serizawa.

"Thank you for telling me," Naruse said calmly. "I want to apologize for any harsh feelings I've caused you. I was wrong to make you feel you are the blame for the death of the children's uncle. But I'm glad you were able to confront your troubles and take responsibility into your own hands. You're a very brave man, and you have my sincerest respect. Now, it is time I face my test. Farewell, Katayama Yoshitaro."

"Naruse? Naruse, wait!"

He closed his cell phone.

He knew where Yoshimoto lived. He had once followed the tutor and made a mental note of his whereabouts, and he headed for the rundown apartment. The sun was setting as he climbed up the stairs. As if waiting for him, Yoshimoto had his door open and leaning against the door frame while snacking on a banana.

"Ah, you came," Yoshimoto grinned, tossing the banana peel away. "I was wondering if you ever got my email."

Naruse only glared at him.

"I know you came all this way, but I'm afraid you'll have to leave." Yoshimoto pouted. "Kagura is sick with the stomach bug, and I don't want him to spread it to you."

"You mean Ryu," Naruse sneered. "You never told me the man had split personality disorder."

Yoshimoto's smiling act dropped immediately. "What does it matter?"

"You're using him as your scapegoat in case the authority catches on your plans," Naruse said louder. "I can't believe how foolish I was and never saw through you sooner. All that talk about eliminating the source of all criminals and whatnot."

Quickly, Yoshimoto grabbed Naruse's arm and pulled him inside the apartment before shutting the door close. "Not so loud, dear angelic lawyer. The neighbors will hear."

Naruse's eyes followed a trail of dark blood on the floor. The kitchen led to the small living room where Ryu laid on the floor completely unconscious. Bruises covered his face and some parts were slightly swollen. A strong smell in the room made Naruse feel nervous. He whirled around and faced Yoshimoto who blocked the only exit.

"Now," Yoshimoto groaned, touching his bottom lip. "What was it you were saying? Something about you being too stupid to see through my character?"

"Enough of this," Naruse breathed. "You've made Ryu think he's doing the killings when really it was you all this time. Killing those two detectives is never going to change anything. It will only cause you more pain, frustration, and regret. You can stop all of this now. Release Ryu and repent."

"Oh, now you're telling me to repent?" Yoshimoto chuckled. "That's rich coming from you, Naruse Ryo. You've delved your hand in murder as well. Don't think you're any different from me."

"Not anymore," Naruse refuted. "If there is any shred of humanity left inside you like me, you too can get out of this madness. Faking Shuntaro's ex-girlfriend's death, faking Yoshitaro's house to be reclaimed. You wanted them to take responsibility and they did. Yoshitaro turned himself in, and Shuntaro is repaying back all his swindling money. Let that be enough."

"No!" Yoshimoto roared. He grabbed Naruse's collar and pulled his face close. "It doesn't stop there! I must be the embodiment of all their sins and give them their just punishment! They must eat the very filth they refuse to touch! So long as there will always be criminals, I must always be there as their merciless judge!"

"Why them?" Naruse murmured. "Why Yoshitaro and Shuntaro? They never intended to kill anyone. Why did you targeted them in the first place?"

"They killed my student!" Yoshimoto roared. "Eight years ago, Katayama Yoshitaro could have found the culprit that abused my students, but he failed to do his job properly! Tokita Shuntaro was dating my co-worker's girlfriend. My co-worker later vented out his anger onto my students! And it's not just them. Many more played into the factor, and I hunted them down as well! I am doing exactly as I sought out to do. Attacking the source!"

"Revenge is never the answer," Naruse choked. He tried prying Yoshimoto off, but the man was too strong.

"You once thought like this too, didn't you?" Yoshimoto continued. "I kill my victims personally and just reawaken Ryu in my place. He certainly gets a kick out of it just by standing there, so why the hell not? Plus, he's a great fuck buddy. But after our last kill with Saki Takeshina, the little bastard had to run away in fright and leave behind a strand of hair. Still, I got the MOGUL data I needed from that brainy girl; I didn't care if I framed Kagura. But you? You've plotted murder through the use of others. Different methods for the same cause. We both seek out justice!"

"No...I'm not-"

"You and I are the same," Yoshimoto said low and throaty. His eyes were wide and maniacal. "We are both men of truth."

Suddenly, Ryu had woken up and tackled Yoshimoto. The tutor lost his grip on Naruse, but they all lay sprawled on the dirty floor from the sudden impact. Naruse watched in shock as the paler man ravaged through Yoshimoto's jacket with such speed until he pulled out a small disk.

"No!" Yoshimoto shouted.

At that instant, Naruse threw himself at Yoshimoto as Ryu made a dash for the door. The two men struggled, but Naruse held onto Yoshimoto long enough to give Ryu a head start. Suddenly, an elbow smashed into Naruse's cheek, and he released his hold. Through squinting eyes, he saw the deranged tutor chase after his prisoner. Naruse panted heavily, slowly sitting up and touching his cheek. It hurts to even move his jaw, but it wasn't enough to bruise.

Naruse wasn't sure what the small disk meant, but he had a pretty good idea where Ryu might have run off to. However, there was no way he could reach Yoshimoto now. At least he helped Ryu even in the slightest. This conflict was over for him. It's in the hands of Yoshitaro and Shuntaro from now on. He left the apartment and glanced down at his watch. It was nearly time for him to meet up with Yamano at the park.

*         *         *

Shuntaro sat besides Kayano for weeks trying to find Yoshimoto's location. The cellphone number Kyoko gave him turned out to be a landline, but Kayano reassured him that within a few days, she could find his target. While he waited, he wrote letters to all his past swindling targets. He promised to each and every one of them that he'll repay the money he stole from them, and he received a few letters back saying they appreciate his efforts and accept his apology. Others refuted their hatred at him and wished to never see his face again. Still, a heavy load lifted off his chest after so many years. He had wished he'd done this sooner.

Shuntaro ended up telling his agency about taking a job without their permission. Everyone, of course, was furious at his naive behavior, but it wasn't until their boss told them to calm down.

"This has become your fight now," Fujisaki Touko said. "We will help any way we can, but you must take responsibility for whatever happens."

"I will," Shuntaro nodded confidently. "I want to be the one to tell my client the truth."

He contacted Yoshitaro and they recapped their personal encounters. In the end, it all boils down to finding the madman who calls himself Yoshimoto Kouya. The man who claims so proudly about finding the source of all criminals. He was the source, and he needs to be removed. Yoshitaro still insists the man meant no harm, but Shuntaro wasn't buying it. He promised himself when he finds Yoshimoto, he's going to beat the shit out of him.

"Here it is!" Their tech secretary proclaimed.

Shuntaro made a quick glance and buried the address into memory. All this time, it wasn't that far away. He raced out the door and quickly called Yoshitaro the location. The night had already settled, but Shuntaro wouldn't allow the cover of darkness to help aid his target. He will find Yoshimoto and arrest him for sure.

He hurried up the crummy staircase and burst through the room number. The apartment was empty, but it looked as though it was recently thrashed. Shuntaro flicked on the light switch and saw the blood splatters on the floor. Judging from the broken table and knocked over garbage, there had been a struggle.

He heard Yoshitaro's panting breath climbing up the stairs and enter the apartment.

"Shuntaro...did you..."

"No, he's gone," Shuntaro said bitterly. He kicked around a few advertisement papers until he spotted the cell phone that Kayano tracked. "Damn it! He's gone!"

"Maybe he couldn't have gone far," Yoshitaro said.

At that instant, Yoshitaro's phone rang.

*         *         *

Naruse managed to climb onto the bench to put less stress on his knees, but the blood was seeping out from the knife wound. He couldn't believe Yamano would actually stab him. He didn't want his life to end like this, at least not by the hands of his former conspirator. For a split second, he thought of calling an ambulance, but it wouldn't matter. He plans on facing Serizawa one last time. If he could just endure a little longer, he could tell Yoshitaro one last piece of advice before he leaves.

He reached for his cell phone and dialed his number.

"Hello, Naruse?"

"Yoshimoto...he ran after Ryu," Naruse managed to utter. "The last thing I saw...Ryu took a disk from him...it probably belonged to Kagura..."

"Naruse? What happened? What's wrong?"

"You must hurry...to Kagura's lab study," Naruse voiced. "Catch Yoshimoto...put an end to this sad story...I will do so for mine..."

"Naruse! What are you talking about?" Yoshitaro shouted through the receiver. "Naruse? Naruse!"

He hung up. Naruse pulled out his black handkerchief and tried to stop the bleeding from seeping more into his shirt. He applied pressure and winced slightly. His forehead broke a sweat and he started to feel weak. Suddenly, his phone rang. He thought it was Yoshitaro trying to call him, but the number was different.

With a weak hand, he answer his phone.

"This is Naruse," he managed to breathe out.

"Meet me at the storage behind the school," Serizawa's voice came through. "Come alone...I'll be waiting."

"...I understand."

*         *         *

"Naruse?" Yoshitaro continued to yell into his phone. "Naruse?!"

"What happened?" Shuntaro asked.

Yoshitaro lowered his phone and glanced at his partner. "He gave us a tip. Ryu might be heading to the DNA profiling laboratory and Yoshimoto might be following."

"Then, let's go."

Yoshitaro drove them to the lab, and along the way he noticed how awkward the silence was in the car. It has been a while since they've been alone like this. It seemed so long ago since their first encounter. If he never met Shuntaro, Yoshitaro would still be out trying to find Kagura while stealing money from his department. Shuntaro, too, might still be chasing after a mad tutor while the shadows of his past ride his shoulders. Fate was truly a funny thing.

"Hey, Yoshitaro," Shuntaro finally spoke. "I want to apologize."

Yoshitaro frowned slightly. "For what?"

"I have misjudged you," Shuntaro confessed. "Before, I had thought you were too weak to be a detective. I thought very little of you."

"Oh?"

"But that's different now," the young detective nodded. "I read the newspaper about what happened to you, and I realized you are a lot stronger than me. I'm glad we partnered up even if it's just for this one case." Shuntaro turned his head away as if embarrassed. "And...I'm taking your advice. I'm prepared for what we're about to face."

Yoshitaro glanced at Shuntaro and saw a small hint of blush on his face. For a minute, Yoshitaro thought his heart made a little skip with joy, and he smiled to himself.

Soon, all smiles and happy thoughts disappeared from his mind when they arrived at the lab. Immediately, they spotted the security guard laying on the ground completely knocked out. It wasn't a good sign. He parked his car clumsily, and the two detectives raced inside. Along the way, more bodies laid on the floor unconscious.

"It's like he's a one man army," Yoshitaro whispered.

They came across a security pad door, but a poor knocked out scientist kept the door open with his body. Yoshitaro feared the worse. Then, he heard a scream. Shuntaro forced open the last set of doors, and they entered the laboratory's computer room. In the center, Yoshimoto held something small in his fist while his other hand gripped onto Ryu's hair.

"Yoshimoto!" Shuntaro roared.

The man only turned his head towards them; his eyes looked sleepy with a plastic smile on his face. "Ah, detectives. So good to see you again."

"Ryu," Yoshitaro muttered, feeling his heart sink heavier at the sight.

He was on his knees and at the mercy of his master. His lip was bleeding, and patches of his face were in shades of yellow and purple. Yoshimoto held up a small disk.

"Ryu thought he was being clever and tried to steal this," he said.

"What is that?" Yoshitaro spoke out loud.

Yoshimoto chuckled. "On the day Kagura came back to the lab to get your profiling, I was there to make sure he did his job." He shook Ryu's head. "I allowed him to look up my profiling, but only a short while. After which, I quickly acted and knocked him out before he could remember anything."

"I didn't forget," Ryu coughed. "Kagura might not have seen you, but I was awake...right before I passed out completely. That's how I know you had it. I saw you using the MOGUL data."

Yoshimoto clicked his tongue. "Clever little brat, aren't you? Next time, I will hit your head even harder."

"Yoshimoto Kouya!" Shuntaro spoke. "As detective of Lucky Agency, I hereby arrest you for assault, murder, and domestic violence."

The man flashed his large front teeth in a sinister grin. Suddenly, Yoshimoto threw away the disk and whipped out a switch knife. With a flick of the wrist, a large blade popped out. Tension was thick in the air as he brought the knife close to Ryu's throat. The scene was too familiar to Yoshitaro as he watched the madman pulled Ryu to his feet.

"Here is your final test!" Yoshimoto crackled. "How willing are you to go for your goals at the expense of another life? My escape or Ryu's life?"

"Of course we will not allow Ryu to die!" Yoshitaro shouted. "Ryu, we'll get you out of this. Don't worry."

Where was backup when they need it? Yoshitaro was kicking himself for not calling in, but then he was cruelly reminded he doesn't work for the police force anymore. He side-glanced at Shuntaro and wondered what was he thinking. How will they restrain Yoshimoto? If only there was a way to break through to him.

And then it hit him.

"Yoshimoto...no, Tago." Yoshitaro spoke. "Listen to me. Release Ryu at once."

"Hmm, not gonna happen," Yoshimoto titled his head. "And I told you, my name is Yoshimoto Kouya."

"No!" Yoshitaro shouted. "I know the man I saw in the rain on that day. His name was Tago Yuudai and he was a teacher who cared for his students."

It was brief, but Yoshitaro saw the slightest flicker inside Yoshimoto's eyes.

"Tago is dead," the delirious man grunted. "He does not exist anymore. Now tell me your answer. Save Ryu or capture me? Your choice."

"I don't have to choose," Yoshitaro frowned. "Because I know Tago Yuudai would never do this. I may have only talked to him once, but I know he was a good man."

"Yoshitaro, what are you doing?" Shuntaro muttered under his breath.

"Tago," he continued calmly. "You know this isn't right. You don't have to be the representation of all things evil. On that day when the real Yoshimoto fell down the stairs, you ran away to make yourself seem like the real criminal, didn't you?"

Yoshimoto flinched.

"You did it to protect one of your student's identity. The one who really pushed Yoshimoto down those stairs."

"How do you know this?" Yoshimoto whispered.

"That acting company you sent to my house to fool on my family, I investigated the place," Yoshitaro said. "I talked with the president, but he was useless to me. But one of the actresses approached me. You know her, don't you? She was once your student."

Yoshimoto only glowered at him.

"She remembered me as the police officer that questioned the school," Yoshitaro nodded. "She told me about how Tago Yuudai blamed himself for the death of his former student. She once plotted with you, but you started to change and became more aggressive, so she left."

"Stop it..."

"After that I started fitting the pieces together," Yoshitaro pressed on. "You've become so obsessed with eliminating this so-called 'source' of all crimes that you even went so far as too become one. You've abused Ryu's personality disorder to your advantage and sought to kill police officers. Don't you see what is happening to yourself? You've become the very thing you hate the most!"

"Don't-"

"Wake up, Tago!" Yoshitaro bellowed. "Your student's suicide wasn't your fault! This isn't you! It's time to fight back!"

Yoshimoto's cold expression changed. His eyes looked warmer but sad.

"It's...it's not worth it, Tago," Shuntaro joined in. "Yoshitaro and I both regretted the things we've done. You've helped us realized that. You are not the reflection of corruption you claim yourself to be. You are a teacher first, and it's okay to repent peacefully."

Yoshitaro could see the man loosened his grip on the knife.

"Tago...come back to us and forgive yourself."

The former teacher glanced up, his eyes brimming with tears. Suddenly, he shoved Ryu away and the knife fell to the ground. The man screamed and held his head as if he was suffering a horrible headache.

"Stop it!" Yoshimoto growled. "Don't...don't wake up!"

Suddenly, his voiced changed to a higher pitch. "Please...help me!"

It changed again back to the former Yoshimoto's low haughty voice. "No! You are weak! I must cleanse this world of its corrupt structures!"

He grunted and shook his head. "No...I don't want to kill anymore. Please stop it!"

Yoshimoto roared to the floor. "Go back to sleep!"

"What's wrong with him?" Shuntaro uttered.

Yoshitaro could only watch in horror. "I don't believe it...he also has split personality."

Tago glanced up, tears streaming down his face. "I never wanted this to happened. I only want to help families, but something took over. Yoshimoto had a taste for murder and I couldn't stop him."

"Shut up!" Yoshimoto growled.

"I can't hold him back," Tago sobbed. "I'm so sorry! Everything isn't how it should be! You're right, Yoshitaro. I only wanted to help my students. But now I've done more harm than good. Please...you have to stop me!"

Shuntaro approached the trembling tutor. "It's alright. We'll get you help-"

"Get away from me!"

Shuntaro expertly dodged the incoming punch, but he missed the knee to his gut. Yoshitaro immediately jumped in and tried to grab him around his back, but an elbow landed on his face and he released his grip. Shuntaro was back on his feet and blocked Yoshimoto from escaping. He swung his long legs at Yoshimoto's face, but he backed away and ducked at the right moment. Shuntaro tried throwing a few punches, but the crazed man deflected them away.

Yoshitaro stood back up and tried his hand at fighting again. It's been so long since he had hand-to-hand combat, but he was not going to let Shuntaro do all the fighting like last time. His first punch was quickly avoided and a leg was flying towards him. He ducked just in time and threw another punch.

It finally landed, and Yoshimoto stumbled back.

"Nice one, partner!" Shuntaro cheered.

Suddenly, Yoshimoto moved fast like a snake. Yoshitaro didn't even see it coming. The blow was powerful and he was seeing stars afterwards. His vision became blurry, but he could make out Yoshimoto beating up Shuntaro again.

"Don't..." Yoshitaro panted. "Stop this..."

He heard another grunt from Shuntaro who fell hard on the metal floor. Yoshimoto was breathing hard, but he remained standing. Yoshitaro wished he was more athletic like Shuntaro, but that one kick to his chest weakened him completely. Yoshimoto stared down at them with disgust, and Yoshitaro thought for sure they've lost.

Then, he heard Yoshimoto huffed a painful grunt. His eyes were round as he looked over his shoulder. It wasn't until Yoshimoto fell over with a knife on his back that Yoshitaro realized it was Ryu standing behind him. Yoshitaro's mouth was slightly open in shock.

"Ryu..."

"I did it...I'm free of him."

Dead silence followed afterward. Shuntaro slowly got up while suppressing his grunts of pain. Yoshitaro helped him stood up, and he slung Shuntaro's arm over his shoulder. He glanced back at Ryu who looked more at peace than he ever had. Ryu strolled towards where the small disk had dropped and picked it up. Ryu's expression changed into a person with a cool and calm posture.

"So he had this piece of information all along," Kagura sighed. "I was a fool to have trusted Yoshimoto from the beginning."

"Ryu- I mean, Kagura...what exactly is that?" Yoshitaro nodded towards the disk.

"This is MOGUL; the DNA information that Yoshimoto stole from his last target, Saki Takeshina," Kagura explained. "All I remember was looking up Tago Yuudai's DNA profile and everything blacked out. I guess that's when Yoshimoto interrupted. He must have wanted to analysis MOGUL for himself. Whatever this disk holds, it was more important than Yoshimoto cleaning up my DNA at the crime scene."

The two wounded detectives watched as the scientist inserted the disk into the main computer. The screens lit up and displayed fast numbers scrolling down or flickering about. After a few key strokes, the blue atmosphere started glowing red. Pictures of citizens started popping up on the screen. Some of them looked familiar.

"They're politicians," Yoshitaro mumbled. "High ranking officers and business owners."

"Unbelievable," Kagura rasped, leaning his hands on the table. "These are the NF files! They're undocumented into our data system. If their DNA was found at a crime scene, their profiles won't appear. They would be completely hidden from the public."

"Yoshimoto was right all along," Shuntaro gasped.

"He wanted to keep this data to himself and hunt down every single one of them," Kagura nodded. "He truly was a selfish villain, thinking he could take on the world by storm." Kagura lowered his head in despair. "My own system...used by the very people I tried to capture."

Kagura pulled out the disk and walked towards them. He reached for Shuntaro's good hand, placed the disk on his palm, and closed his fingers around it.

"You have to make this come to light," Kagura said. "Don't give it to your authorities. They'll only hide it again. Give it to your client. Let him take it to the media and it'll become worldwide headlines."

Shuntaro clasped the disk tightly into his fist. "What about you? What will you do?"

"I...must allow Ryu more freedom," Kagura half smiled. "I'm not sure what might happen to me. Maybe I'll disappear all together, but I've come to understand what Ryu was trying to say. I have worked for so long to categorize all of Japan and even the world, but all the efforts to look at DNA analysis can't surmount to intuition. You two have proved me wrong. I had once thought of you two as wrongdoers, but you've redeemed yourself. Your DNA can spell out everything for you, but sometimes...it takes a little bit of heart to see a person's true nature."

Kagura glanced back at Yoshimoto's dead body. "I only wished Yoshimoto understood that sooner."

"Yoshimoto might not have...but Tago certainly did," Yoshitaro nodded. "I'm sure of it."

Kagura turned to face Yoshitaro. "I want you to turn me in. Ryu and I aren't the ones who killed anyone, but the police are still looking for us...or me at least. They don't know about Ryu, and I intended to keep it that way. But as soon as all of this comes to light, I'm such Detective Asami will release me."

"Is this really alright?"

"I'm positive," Kagura nodded. "I will not continue to live a life on the run. And so long as I know there are people like you two in this world, it makes living a little more bearable."

Yoshitaro nodded slowly, and Shuntaro carefully removed himself from his supporter. Shuntaro reached inside his jacket and handed a pair of handcuffs to his partner. With a heavy sigh, Yoshitaro took the metal rings. The room echoed with the sound of its clicks as they secured around the wrists of a brilliant scientist.


The End
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