Of Locks and ThievesAuthor: coolohohLength:
One Shot, ~4.1k wordsRating:
What happens when Enomoto meets Kageyama? A fanfic in celebration of the Nazodi movie this year, and the Kagiheya SP next year.Warning and Remarks:
Spoilers/references to the Nazodi movie ahead! This fic is set long after the last episode of Kagiheya, but with a twist to the drama's ending...
Written for the Yamaficcon held at murasakinoyume
quite some time ago. Lazy me finally got round to posting the fic. :P
It wasn't often that Enomoto ventured out of his basement office, and it was even rarer for anyone to venture in for that matter. So Enomoto was presently surprised when he heard the sound of shoes clicking against the flooring of his basement hideout. The last time he's got a visitor was over half a year ago, when the enthusiastic young lawyer Aoto came to visit him during the new year season.
Team Enomoto. That was what Serizawa had called the three of them. It was an odd team, consisting of two lawyers and a locksmith. It by pure coincidence that the three of them met, but somehow they stuck around together for over two years, solving numerous locked room cases between the three of them. Well for the most part, it was Enomoto who did the solving, but Serizawa and Aoto often provided Enomoto with the inspiration to solve the puzzle (albeit unknowingly). But all good things must come to an end. The seemingly endless cases of locked room murders eventually ran dry, and Serizawa and Aoto were busy with meeting their corporate clients both in and out of Japan. The last time the solved a case together was in June last year.
Enomoto's trip down the memory lane was interrupted as his mysterious visitor appeared in front of him. Enomoto observed the visitor closely from top to bottom. The visitor had a very neat hair style. Nicely gel and parted to the side, revealing his forehead clearly. He wore a pair of gold rimmed specs, but the lenses were thin - the visitor was certainly did not have high myopia, if at all. His features were clearly defined, with a sharpish chin. He was dressed very smartly, in a suit, and complete with a handkerchief in his pocket and a bow tie on his neck. His boots were so well shone he could see the ceiling reflected on it. His skin was flawlessly white. Everything about the visitor spelled a neatness and preciseness that Enomoto couldn't help but approve of. If Enomoto really had to pick, the thick shoulderpads - indicative of sloping shoulders - would be the only flaw. The contrast between the two men couldn't have been any greater. Enomoto was dressed in a simple red sweater, striped red tie and grey pants. A pair of specs with thick black plastic rims sat atop his nose.
"Kageyama desu," the visitor introduced with a bow.
A bow with his right hand across his chest. The 'butler bow'. Enomoto should have guessed from the dressing, the bow tie in particular was a dead giveaway. He silently chilled himself for not making the connection earlier.
"What brings you here?" Enomoto asked with a frown.
"I am the butler of the Hosho family, and we would like to consult you on some security measures."
"My collegues on the first floor would be most pleased to assist you..."
"That's indeed the case, but I demand the services of none but the very best, and it is common knowledge that not only are you, Enomoto Kei, the best in the whole Tokyo Security, but most likely the whole of Japan."
"Is that so?" Enomoto feigned ignorance and continued working on his locks.
"As you may or may not know, the Hosho group has many heirlooms and treasures and we would like to ensure stays safe and sound, especially in view of the continuous cases of mysterious thefts in the past two years, including the one at the Tokyo Bank just last month..."
If Enomoto was shocked by Kageyama's words, he certainly didn't show it. Slowly putting down the lock he was working on, Enomoto replied "and so?"
"I, on behalf of the Hosho group, would like to invite you to our humble adobe to give us your advice on updating our security system." Kageyama replied smoothly.
Enomoto only raised an eyebrow in response. "I will be at the company lobby 2pm tomorrow to pick you up."
Enomoto didn't reply and merely continued to work on his locks, but Kageyama knew that Enomoto will show up.
Enomoto was already waiting at the lobby when Kageyama drove the Hosho group limo into the lobby at 2am sharp the next day. Kageyama narrowed his eyes as he studied the small man. He was also wearing a sweater, grey this time. A sling bag hang from his shoulders, and he was listening to music from his white earphones.
Enomoto watched as Kageyama opened the door and invited him into the car. It was a long time since he last sat in such a luxurious one. He remember the last time he was stuck in the car between Aoto and Serizawa. He missed her. The times when Aoto would just sit in his basement and watch him tinker with his locks, or attempt to unravel the mystery of the locked room cases. Pity that the cases have ran dry of late.
Kageyama studied Enomoto through the rear mirror. It certainly was weird seeing someone other than his ojou-sama sitting in the back of the limo. Indeed it was weird for him to be anywhere else other than shadowing his ojou-sama, making sure that she was safe and sound. But that job of shadowing the ojou-sama had been handed to the new butler-in-training for now, and the Master himself had entrusted Kageyama with the task of renewing the house security system, and Kageyama knew that he could not fail his Master. His thoughts wondered to the new butler and a smile broke out on Kageyama's face. A sincere but clumsy guy that Masaki is. He always had a bright smile on his face, but was so clumsy and air headed that Kageyama wondered if he got himself into trouble already. Kageyama wonder if he could even last a month on the job. Not that he was jealous of that man or anything, he was confident of his own skills and abilities. Plus, the Hosho Group is more than large enough to hire an army of butlers.
Enomoto kept his silence as the car drove into the Hosho family home. He looked around the mansion and took mental notes of the existing security features and areas that needs checking or improvements. For the most part, Enomoto could not spot any flaws with the security measures. Only perhaps a few improvements that could help here and there.
Enomoto had been to his fair share of luxurious homes before, but the Hosho family home certainly tops the cake. Even the toilet, Enomoto noted reluctantly, was larger than this meager apartment. It was almost 9 pm by the time Enomoto noticed. Kageyama had long disappeared to carry out his duties, leaving a junior staff to bring him around the house. He had taken more notes and photos of the house then he did in a whole year. And Enomoto hardly takes notes. Usually his memory was good enough, but not for this mansion.
Enomoto was taken aback when Kageyama approached him as he was leaving. "I am sorry for not being able to accompany you earlier." He said with a polite bow. "But may I invite you to join me for dinner? I'm afraid my young mistress has eaten already and wasn't in the most pleasant of moods, otherwise I would have invited you earlier."
Enomoto frowned. It was certainly a weird request from the butler. No. It would be weird for any butler to say that. Weren't butlers supposed to serve the household only? Yes he was a visitor, but hardly a guest. A visitor brought into the mansion for work related purposes. So why the hospitality? Curious, he nodded in agreement, determined to discover what the butler was up to.
They dined on a table outside the kitchen. A strange but delicious combination of omurice and steak, that Kageyama had been proud to declare as his art of work. The dining table fell silent after that, neither party speaking a word. In the end it was Kageyama who broke the silence.
"There is something I would like to show you."
He stood up abruptly and leave the dining area without a second word, leaving a slightly bewildered Enomoto to follow behind. It was a long walk, past many winding corridors and several flights of stairs. When they finally reached their destination, Kageyama stopped to disable a series of both physical and digital locks before letting them both through the door. In the center of the room was a pedestal blocked by infrared sensors, and in the middle of it all, sat the largest block of raw, uncut sapphire Enomoto ever saw.
"This is the siren's tear. It is the world's largest uncut sapphire." Kageyama declared, confirming Enomoto's guess.
"There have been tip-offs from various sources that the same phantom burglar who committed the string of bank burglaries is now targeting this Hosho family heirloom, and that is the reason why I have requested your help."
Enomoto nodded his head in understanding. He had long figured that the reason for consulting him had to be some precious treasure. Or several. And Enomoto highly suspected that it was the latter.
Enomoto toook his time studying the room dimension and security features, while Kageyama looked on.
Finally Enomoto asked "Are there backup generators in the mansion?" Kageyama smiled. "Of course there are. You wouldn't expect such a huge mansion to be without something as essential as a backup electricity generator would you?"
Enomoto smiled in return.
It was almost midnight when Enomoto was done with his inspection. He was deadbeat - both physically and mentally, that he was extremely tempted by Kageyama's offer of staying the night. In the end he refused however, citing the need to check things up on his computer. He did let Kageyama drive him home though.
It was almost 3am when Kageyama was finally finished for the day and got round to writing a report to his masters. Not the master, as in the head of the Hosho household. But his masters at Interpol. Enomoto had only come under the radar about six months ago, but he had been on the case ever since. The NPA (National Police Agency) has had their suspicions about Enomoto for quite some time, but Interpol Tokyo hadn't believe it was Enomoto behind the string of phantom burglary cases. Till 6 months ago that is. Kageyama himself couldn't be sure though. Six months of spy work and following, no doubt 'borrowing' (a euphemism of abusing) the powers of the Hosho family group at times, had bought him nothing. The man hardly went anywhere besides his house, the supermart below his apartment, and his basement office. He was even able to certify that Enomoto was alone in his basement office when the Tokyo Bank burglary occurred. Kageyama saw Enomoto there with his own eyes. He can't help but smile when he recalled the way Enomoto was completely focused on the locks, unaware of his presence a mere 15 meters away. The man had a mysterious aura about him, and Kageyama loved mysteries. It didn't help that he looks so small, and vulnerable, so wanting the kind of motherly protection that Kageyama was so eager to give. Oh and his long, slender fingers, twisting and twitching as he worked the locks... imagine if those fingers were doing something else...
"Get a grip of yourself Kageyama!" He chided himself and concentrated on his report once more.
It was past 4am already, time flies when you are having a good time they say. Kageyama noted wistfully that time flies when you are thinking of having a good time too. He'd better finish his report fast so he could catch a shut eye before another long day of work.
Enomoto was at work early the next morning. He had a lot of thinking to do. For one, he was now certain that the mysterious visitor he got on the night of the Tokyo Bank burglary was Kageyama. He had believed it to be so when Kageyama first (or rather, second) visited two days ago, but after yesterday's dinner he was dead certain. He couldn't explain or rationalize how he knew though. It was just instincts, but a gut instinct so strong that he was absolutely convinced must be the truth. So why did Kageyama invite him to the mansion then? Was it to test him? Or did he still believe that he was connected to the burglary somehow, perhaps the mastermind... and so purposely threw the siren's tear as a bait? He couldn't help but think back on the invitation to stay overnight, and the way Kageyama was constantly stealing looks at him though...
Enomoto dismissed those thoughts as he turned to the more serious problem at hand. He too, had received tip-offs that the Hosho mansion would be targeted next. He toyed at the idea of him and Kageyama having received the tip-off from the same source. He made a mental note to look that up later. He needed to concentrate if he was to prevent the phantom thief from succeeding again. It had been really frustrating for Enomoto. The cases have always ended the same way. He'd receive a tip-off from his source, nothing happens for a long time, he'll go and check out the security in the area, and a burglary happens within the next two to three days. Its as if the thief has been waiting for him to show up all along. Worst still, the thief never make a mistake. No clues, no alarms, no nothing. While the earlier crimes were conducted in places with lax security measure, the later cases occurred in high security banks, and even Enomoto himself could not forlorn how the burglary last month was carried out. Enomoto sighed in frustration. It was going to be a long day.
It was just after midnight when it happened. Kageyama had just finished for the day and was throughly exhausted. He barely had three hours of sleep last night after all. He had to calm a panicky Masaki down and assure him that the backup generator would be working soon. He tasked Masaki with checking on the young mistress while he rushed towards the room with the siren's tear. Did Enomoto really take the bait? But the blackout? He looked out the window and confirmed that they were not the only household affected. It was dark as far as his eyes could see. No streetlights, not even the signs of the shopping mall in the distance could see. Now it was certainly unusual for a blackout of this scale to occur. Not when there was been no warnings of earthquakes or typhoons or tsunamis. But with the power out, the digital locks are all unless... all that's left are the physical locks that would be open in the flick of a wrist for someone like Enomoto... why isn't the backup generator working yet? Kageyama wondered. Under normal circumstances it should have started up already. Of all times it can fail, it has to fail now? Was it sabotaged? Was Enomoto really the one behind all of this? He couldn't ignore the glaring coincidence that the man had only been invited to take a good look at the mansion's security system yesterday.
When he reached the room, the door was wide open and the jewel long gone. Kageyama cursed himself for being so careless. Just what was he doing last night? Letting the wolf into the pen? But he had been so certain that the NPA was wrong and Enomoto was innocent... He looked out of the window to the garden just in time to see the shadow flicker past. He was almost relieved to find that the shadow did not match that of Enomoto. Kageyama jumped out the window (he was on the first floor) and gave chase. Whoever the thief was, he was certainly very nimble. He climbed over the high fence and out into the back alley. Kageyama slowed down as he struggled to climb over the fence, before giving up and deciding to go by the gate. He cursed as he hurried down the alley where he last spotted the thief. He thought he'd lost of thief for good but he certainly was not expecting to see him.
There in the alleyway, as still and as passive as every, stood Enomoto. The thief stood in between them, panting and catching his breath as he considered the next move.
"So it was you all along huh? Kagura-san. I should have guessed." Enomoto spoke, calmly and firmly. "After all who else but the genius scientist would be brilliant enough to hack into the grid and cause a blackout in the whole Tokyo city?"
"I know what you are after. And I can assure you that no one in the Hosho household has done it. If you ever need help, you could come to us you know..." Enomoto continued.
Kagura laughed. "The Phantom Soros will always get what he wants. Without help."
"Oh maybe so for the Phantom Soros. But perhaps not for Phantom Soros the second." Enomoto replied.
Kagura's eyes widened. Kageyama looked just as confused.
"You seem to know a lot about me." Kagura said.
"Indeed I do. For one I know that Kageyama there," Enomoto tilted his head up slightly to indicate where Kageyama was standing, "has meet with the original Phantom Soros, in other words, your mother, and she has stolen and returned the siren's tear."
Kageyama seems to have regained his composure by then, for he stepped forward to shake hands with Kagura and said "Ah, Soros the second I see. I invited your mother to my house but I'd never imagine that she would have sent her son to visit me in her stead."
Kagura gave a bitter laugh.
"I would love to stay and chat, but I guess your friends would not welcome me." Kagura motioned to the two figures running in from afar.
He handed a package back to Kageyama before leaving with a wave, "Till next time, it's been an interesting night."
Kageyama and Enomoto watched the Kagura disappeared into the darkness. Once again, the siren's tear was safe in the possession of the Hosho family, but Kageyama felt none of the satisfaction as he did last time. He couldn't help but feel completely outsmarted by Soros... and Enomoto.
"What were you doing here anyway!" Enomoto was about to answer when a panting Masaki and friend appeared.
"Ah, Inspector Matsumoto." Kageyama smiled as he recognized the newcomer.
"I've been wondering who sent an idiot such as Masaki here." Kageyama turned and left for the mansion in a most dignified manner before anyone could protest.
The months that followed was nothing but boring. There were no more break in attempts at the Hosho family house, and Enomoto's visits to the mansion stopped as soon as the security system upgrading was completed. He did get to know the man a little bit better though, for one, he now knew that Enomoto was not the one responsible for the phantom thefts. He also came to realize just how smart the man was. After hearing about the cyber hacking incidence on the grid, he had immediately deduced that the thief would make use of the blackout to steal the targeted siren's tear, and from the layout of the mansion and the security systems in place, deduced that the thief would end up escaping by the back alley, and had simply waited there.
"I prefer to get the most done with the least effort," was all the man had to say after Kageyama lament how he'd chase the thief around the mansion for a full 10 minutes before he finally disappeared into the back alley.
Enomoto had not showed the slightest hint of being interested in Kageyama, and evaded all questions of a personal nature, before disappearing from his life completely after the security upgrades were done. He had even stopped picking up all phone calls from Kageyama. Kageyama wondered if he was barking up the wrong tree, and the man simply was not interested in other man, but he couldn't keep his brain from wondering to that mysterious man. He refused to believe he was attracted though. he's just another puzzle he has yet to solve, and puzzles attract him. Not the man, no no no, he was not attracted to Enomoto. At least that's what he's been trying to convince himself.
It was a rare day when Kageyama finally had some free time to himself. Masaki had, unlike his predictions, lasted over a month. However as the months passed by and no news of Phantom Soros surfaced, NPA finally decided to put the man out of his misery and put him on another case. Kageyama just hoped for his sake that he wasn't serving as a butler in another mansion. So things had gone back to before when Kageyama shouldered all the responsibilities. It was only because his young mistress had gone for a day trip with her NPA colleagues and made it absolutely clear that she was not to be followed that Kageyama had a break. He needed a break anyway.
On impulse, Kageyama decided to give Enomoto a visit. He's legs bought him there before he knew it anyway. Kageyama was puzzled when the lights in the basement were off. He turned it one and went in. Nothing. No Enomoto. No locks. No models. Empty. All the tools on the walls and the locks in the display shelves were gone.
"Why did Enomoto leave without saying a word to me!" Kageyama thought angrily.
He banged his head on the wall in frustration, before giving up and seating down in Enomoto's seat.
"How did he disappear without me knowing!" He scolded himself.
Three years on the job as a butler has certainly dulled his detective skills and senses. He cursed. He had stopped following Enomoto after the case ended but he hadn't stopped thinking about that man. Sighing, he headed upstairs as he made up his resolve to track Enomoto down.
Questioning the Tokyo Total Security staff was hardly of any help. Enomoto had resigned two weeks ago, and even moved out of his old address - as the landlady had informed him. Kageyama sighed as he slowly crossed the bridge. The sun was setting in the distance but Kageyama was in no mood to enjoy the scenery. His phone vibrated and he checked his watch. It was merely 5:30pm, way too early for his young mistress to be done with her outing. An unknown number. Alert on high, Kageyama received the call. His breath hitched as he recognized the voice coming from the other side.
"So I heard that you came to my old office." Kageyama nodded, before realizing that Enomoto wouldn't be able to see it. "My apologies for not picking up your calls in the past few months. I have been busy."
"As I'm sure you are aware, the shuffle in the NCB was quite troublesome don't you think?"
'NCB, the INTERPOL National Central Bureau... just how did Enomoto know???!' Kageyama thought.
"Don't you think so too? Sakurai Sho."
Kageyama's heart sank to his stomach and he staggered backwards. So the man knew all along and was playing him? He, a trusted and accomplished agents of interpol had just been played by a locksmith?
"Where are you?" Kageyama stammered.
"Winter is coming, and it gets terribly cold in Japan. I prefer warmer places. Somewhere to fish and maybe watch the merlions... would you like to come with me?"
"Yes of course!" Kageyama yelled into the phone before he could even process what was going on and immediately regretted that outburst of emotion.
The line went silent, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3... 5... Kageyama was about to give up and just hang and phone when Enomoto finally came back on the line.
"Sorry for the long wait. I thought you might have hang up already," Enomoto chuckled.
'I wanted to hang up a million times but I couldn't bring myself to do it' Kageyama thought in his head.
"Finish up what you have to by the end of the month, and come join me after you're done. Look up the local Interpol, they'll should know where I'm staying. The name is Ohno Satoshi by the way."
"Oh uhmm okay..." Kageyama stammered, still in shock.
He was still standing there 5 minutes later after Enomoto hang up the phone. Kageyama, no Sakurai Sho, took a deep breath and closed his eyes. A picture of Enomoto's, no Ohno's, smirk as he ended the phone call floated into his mind. Sho smiled. A new adventure is about to begin.