Fandom: Gakuen Heaven
Warnings: None for this chapter, highlight for overall warnings: slash, mentions of rape
Summary: Reunions don't always happen during the best of circumstances.
Chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
- Huge thanks to lyntek who did not let me take the lazy way out with this chapter despite my complaining.
- This chapter was kind of hard to write, and I haven't reread it because I was heartily sick of looking at it so if there are spelling mistakes or weird sentences I am really really sorry!
Due to the attention the Sato case had garnered in the media, the steps leading to the door of the courthouse were filled with both reporters and spectators. Tetsuya took one look at the masses and ordered Handa to drive them to the back entrance. There were people waiting there too, but less, and his team formed a protective circle around the two prosecutors without being asked. They politely but firmly forced a path to the door, and Tetsuya was grateful to be on the right side of the group; at least no one had the chance to bump into his injured arm.
It wasn’t much better inside, although the seriousness of the situation did seem to put a bit of a damper on the gathered group of people, and he was glad to finally reach the quiet of the rooms set aside for prosecutors to use while waiting for trials to start. Kaoru and Omi instantly headed for the table and began to discuss strategy, and Tetsuya took a look at his watch and left the room. He made his way to courtroom, carefully making note of the nearby exits and relaying the information to the rest of his team through the communication channel. Chiba would stay in the hallway, he decided, and he would ask Fuchida and Erisawa to cover the two exits nearby. Handa would stay in the courtroom with him, even though he hoped Sato was smart enough to not try anything in front of this many witnesses. But if he’d learnt one thing from his father, it was that desperate people tended to slip up, and he wasn’t taking any chances.
People were already entering the room and finding seats, and his team escorted Omi and Kaoru in before he could go back for them. They quickly filed out when he explained where he wanted them to be, and he slid into the bench located right behind the prosecution’s table. Kaoru was bent over his notepad, nodding absently to something Omi was saying, but his head snapped up when Sato and his legal team entered the room.
There was a smirk on Sato’s face and Tetsuya wanted nothing more than to go over there and plant his fist in the man’s face. He counted five lawyers and had to roll his eyes at the extravagant display. He caught Kaoru’s soft snort and shared a grin with the other man. “They’ll be putty in your hands,” he said with a wink, and Kaoru tilted his head haughtily and muttered, “Of course.”
The judge entered and Tetsuya pushed himself to his feet along with everyone else, scanning the occupants of the room briefly before sitting back down. The judge asked for the opening statements and Kaoru gracefully got to his feet and stepped forward.
The confidence with which the young prosecutor presented himself was awe-inspiring, and it reminded Tetsuya of how Kaoru had taken command of and handled all business related to the treasury during his time at Bell Liberty. But that had been child’s play; nothing like this, watching him captivate the attention of the jury - utterly convincing, each spoken word causing the spell he had placed on the room to grow stronger, steadier. Tetsuya listened, and believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Kaoru would win this trial.
The evidence proving that Sato had in fact embezzled the money was plentiful, but the evidence regarding the hiring of hit men and murdering of Prosecutor Arai was more difficult to find. There should have been a paper trail; phone calls, transfers of funds, but Sato had hidden them well, and by the second week of the trial the signs of stress were beginning to show. Kaoru’s temper grew worse every day, and Tetsuya felt bad for the hapless idiots that so often got snapped at over the phone.
When the situation escalated and Kaoru began to take his stress out on Omi (who, Tetsuya was amused to notice, remained unfazed) he took matters into his own hands. He grabbed Kaoru’s long, white coat off the coat rack and pulled him off the couch, relying on his still sore arm to curb Kaoru’s instinctive resistance. He got him into his coat, out of the door and into the car without any kicking but plenty of glaring, and Tetsuya quickly drove off before the redhead could think of getting out.
Neither of them said anything as he drove aimlessly about the streets. After a while he turned on the car stereo, switching between stations until he found one that played classical music. He left that on and waited.
It took a while but eventually he could see Kaoru relaxing, the combination of the drive and the music he liked slowly but steadily draining the tension of the past few weeks. Tetsuya wished he had thought about bringing a thermos of tea with him, but decided Kaoru probably would have refused it anyway. Instead, he took a right turn and began to make his way back to the center of town, hoping to find a coffee shop.
The light at the intersection turned green and he started to pull out when he saw a black car approaching at high speed through his rearview mirror. He narrowed his eyes and took a wrong turn deliberately, and when the car followed he bit back a curse and pressed the gas pedal. He could feel Kaoru’s eyes on him, could feel the question hanging in the air between them, and he hoped fervently that his suspicions were wrong.
He took another left turn followed by a right, and each time the car followed and gained on them a little. Then it gave a sudden burst of speed and came up next to them. The windows were tinted black and closed, which gave him hope that no one was planning on shooting, but then the other car turned sharply in the middle of the road and slammed into the front of his car, speeding off right after. Tetsuya cursed loudly and floored the breaks, keeping a tight grip on the steering wheel and feeling sharp stabs of pain go through his left shoulder as he struggled to keep the car and its occupants in one piece.
The car finally skidded to a stop and he let go of the wheel with a wince, arm trembling slightly. He heard the sound of a seatbelt unbuckling and then warm hands were prodding at his shoulder, massaging the area gently until the shivering stopped. A slight turn of his head brought his face into close proximity with Kaoru’s, who was twisted awkwardly in his seat to reach his left shoulder. He let his forehead bump gently against the other man’s. “You okay?” he whispered, and Kaoru murmured something affirmative in response. He lifted his right hand and let it slip through the red strands until it was resting until the back of Kaoru’s neck and they stayed like that for a while as the last strings of the music piece that had been playing on the radio faded. The other man pulled back then and Tetsuya let him go, turning the key in the ignition. The car started normally and he drove them back home in silence.
Kaoru was less tense than he had been by the time they arrived but twice as determined, and he headed back to his spot on the couch the instant they stepped through the door. Tetsuya hung his coat and stepped into the empty kitchen, flipping open his cell phone and typing in a number from memory.
“Someone tried to kill Kaoru-chan in a car accident,” he greeted his friend. There was silence over the line for a few seconds. ”I’ve been thinking he might have a phone line we don’t know about. He must use something to stay in contact with them.”
There was a kettle full of water on the stove and Tetsuya turned on the heat, taking cups and saucers out of one of the cupboards with one hand. “Can you find it?”
”Give me a few days,” he was told before the line disconnected. He closed his phone and slid it back into his pocket, turning the heat off and pouring the water as the kettle started to whistle. He took the tea into the living room and watched the two prosecutors continue their endless search for any scrap of evidence as he sipped his tea.
The case needed to be laid to rest.
A hand tapped him lightly on the shoulder while Kaoru was interrogating Sato’s secretary, and he twisted in his seat. Chiba jerked his thumb towards the door and Tetsuya nodded, silently following his team member to the hallway. He was greeted by Hideaki’s self-satisfied smirk and took one last look at Kaoru before closing the door behind him.
“You found something,” he stated, and led the way to the prosecutors’ room. He locked the door behind him and turned to his friend with an outstretched hand and an expectant look. Hideaki tossed him a small MP3 device and headed straight for the coffee machine standing in the corner while Tetsuya put in the earplugs and pressed play.
The recording of the phone call lasted only a few minutes, and by the time it ended he was smiling. “Can they use this?” he asked, as he tugged the earplugs out again. He slapped his friend’s back elatedly when Hideaki gave him a mocking look that could only be interpreted as a yes.
”Ten minutes recess,” he heard over the channel, and he put the device in the pocket of his jacket. “Let yourself out when you’ve finished that, okay?” Hideaki gave him a lazy wave as he sipped his coffee, and Tetsuya unlocked the door and made his way back to the courtroom, heading towards the prosecutors once he had spotted them. “Got something for you,” he told them quietly, and he scanned the room for Sato and his lawyers before taking out the player and pressing it into Kaoru’s hands. The two men shared the earplugs, listening to the recording at the same time, and he watched eerily similar smiles appear on their faces. Kaoru was already taking out his phone before the recording had finished playing. “Nagase,” he said as Omi opened his laptop, “we’re going to send you an audio file. Try and get Okita to confess. Call me as soon as you get anything.”
Kaoru’s green eyes were still gleaming after the recess ended, and he tore into the defense’s testimonies with renewed vigor. The cell phone he had left on the table rang halfway through his cross-examination of Sato’s secretary, and Omi picked it up and briefly left the courtroom. When he came back he was smiling, eyes crinkling at the corners, and Tetsuya felt a deep sense of satisfaction.
“The prosecution would like to call Okita Taro to the stand.”
The effect that name had on Sato was visible to anyone who cared to look his way. By the time Okita took the stand Sato was wringing his hands. Tetsuya noticed the nervous habit and suppressed a smirk.
“Okita-san, please state your occupation.”
The man looked surprisingly composed when he answered. “I do different jobs for different people, but always things they don’t want traced to them. Sometimes it’s as simple as beating someone up.”
Kaoru folded his arms. “And other times?”
“Other times, I kill people.” Murmuring started in the seats and grew louder, and Tetsuya noticed that the jury was paying Kaoru and the witness unrivaled attention, some of them literally sitting at the edge of their seats. Kaoru waited for sound of the judge’s gravel and the noise to die down before asking, “What was your latest job?”
“I was ordered to take care of two people.”
“I’d like to hear some names.”
“Saionji Kaoru and Shichijou Omi.” The commotion started up again and the judge threatened to have anyone who refused to stay silent kicked out.
“What about the one before that?”
“A group job. Two-part.”
Kaoru uncrossed his arms and took a few steps forward. “Who did you partner with on this job?”
“Suzuki Kin and Fukao Shuichi.”
“What was the job?”
“We were asked to kill Arai Masa. Fukao and me were backup for Suzuki.”
The prosecutor nodded thoughtfully. “That was the first part, yes?” Okita nodded. “What was the second?”
“To kill Suzuki after it was done. The client didn’t trust him.”
Kaoru turned back to the table and picked up two separate files, holding them up. “Obviously the job succeeded, since I am holding the autopsy reports for Arai and Suzuki right here.” The files were dropped on the table as he stepped forward once more. “So tell us, Okita-san. Who was this client?”
It was no surprise to anyone when he answered, “Sato Yuujiro.”
The defense objected, and Kaoru smiled and pulled out his trump card. The recorded conversation between Sato and Kubota Ryozo, the last member of the group Sato had hired, mentioned both Okita and Fukao by name, and Tetsuya glanced at the jury and saw not a single unconvinced face.
“No further questions.”
It surprised Tetsuya a little, how fast the trial was wrapped up after that. Sato’s lawyers valiantly struggled against the accusations and the evidence, but Kaoru shot down their claims of forged evidence and lying witnesses with minimal effort. The calling of witnesses by the defense eventually came to a stop, and it took the jury a mere twenty minutes to settle on a guilty verdict.
The seats emptied quickly, the people talking excitedly about the case as they filed out. Tetsuya stayed in his seat and stretched. The prosecutors were gathering their papers with matching smiles, and Omi gathered them into a single pile and scooped them up. “I’ll take these to the car,” he said, and Tetsuya alerted Chiba and Fuchida as the pale-haired man walked through the door.
He looked at Kaoru as the door closed, and the other man looked tired but happy. Tetsuya quirked him a grin and shifted in his seat, moving over to the right. “You seem to be as glad that’s over as I am.”
Kaoru’s lips twitched slightly as he took the offered seat. “Are you that eager to be done with us so you can return to your paperwork?” he teased, and Tetsuya’s shudder was only partly faked. “If it’s alright with both of you, I’d rather hang around for a few days more, just to make sure he doesn’t try anything stupid just because he thinks we’ve relaxed.” The redhead’s sigh was loud, but he seemed pleased, and the thought warmed Tetsuya. “I suppose we can handle having you underfoot for a few more days,” he finally said.
Tetsuya placed his good hand over his chest with a wild grin. “Really, Kaoru-chan, I’m going to start thinking you can’t stand the thought of me leaving if you don’t stop with these overly enthusiastic offers.” It earned him a light kick against his ankle and another sigh as the younger man stood up. “You may not have to go back to your paperwork but I do.”
“Office or home?” Tetsuya asked as he got to his feet and began to follow Kaoru to the hall. “Home,” Kaoru said, adding, “Omi said he felt like celebrating so if there’s anything particular you want to eat tonight now’s the time to tell him.”
The walk out of the courthouse and the ride home were spent discussing whether or not the celebratory meal should have only meat while the rest of them looked on with various degrees of amusement. It was simple teasing like he’d done a thousand times before, but the domesticity of discussing dinner with Kaoru gave him a sense of peace he had been missing for a long time. He thought of his apartment, cold and dark but most importantly empty, no one waiting for him to come home or to berate him for the risks he took. The thought was fleeting, but there all the same: he didn’t want it to end.