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Title: Keys to a Clockwork Heart, 1/8
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

- One day, I was foolish enough to make a bet, with a promise to write a long, multi-chaptered fic of 8 chapters if I lost. And I lost! The goal is to post one chapter a week providing school doesn't get in the way.
- Credit for the title and ideas that spawned this fic go to [livejournal.com profile] lyntek. I hope this is adequate compensation for the trauma the bet caused. XD ♥



Prosecutor Found Dead in Driveway

Arai Masa, lead prosecutor in the Sato embezzlement case, was found dead in the driveway of his home this morning when his assistant prosecutor, Saionji Kaoru, went to deliver legal documents pertaining to the case. Arai appears to have been shot to death as he went out to pick up the newspaper. The police have made no official statements about the case, but an anonymous source stated that the murderer could have connections to Sato Yuujiro. Sato, CEO of Kando Group, is currently charged with the embezzlement of over 1 billion yen. Tokyo’s Head Prosecutor, Yamamoto Kano, has released a statement saying, “Our case against Sato Yuujiro is solid. The evidence is clear and present, and the death of Prosecutor Arai has only made us more determined to make sure Sato is punished for his crimes.” When asked about who would take over the case, Yamamoto responded by saying the case would fall to previous assistant prosecutor Saionji Kaoru.


Identification checks at the gate. Two guards at the entrance, one guard by each elevator or staircase. One guard by the elevator on the third floor and two guards at the door to the office. No guards inside, he noted, giving his tie a miniscule tug. Security cameras covered the hallway and the inside of the office, and his client most likely thought that was more than sufficient. They always did.

One of the men in the room stepped forward to shake his hand, leaving the other two in front of the window – one seated in the desk chair, the other standing next to him with a hand on the head rest. “Thank you for coming so quickly, I’m truly indebted to you for taking us on as clients despite the short notice, especially since your company is the most sought after in the security business. I’m Yamamoto Kano.”

“Of course. I’m Niwa Tetsuya, we spoke on the phone earlier.” The man gave him a smile and turned to his companions. “These are-“

“Saionji-san and Shichijou-san.” Yamamoto turned back to face him. “We met before, a long time ago.” The chair swiveled around then, dislodging Omi’s arm, and for a moment he was eighteen again, back at Bell Liberty, waiting for Kaoru to start an argument about something. He had that same look now, easily recognizable since his face hadn’t changed a bit. The sight almost made him smile.

But this wasn’t high school, and he wasn’t eighteen anymore. “Yamamoto-san, could you please tell me more about the current security measures? And as much about the threat as possible, I understand of course that some of the details are confidential. Any information you can give me will be helpful.”

The biggest problem as he saw it was the security when the two prosecutors were on the move. The office was, if not airtight, at least observed carefully. Chances of an attack inside of the prosecutors’ offices were small; too many police officers around for comfort or good odds. The problem was outside. He tapped his pen thoughtfully against his lower lip and frowned. “When does the trial start?”

It was Omi who answered. “In three weeks. Additional security for the court house has already been arranged – there will be officers both inside and out.” Tetsuya nodded, letting the end of the pen slide in between his teeth as he thought it through.

“Do you still live together?” Kaoru’s shoulders stiffened and he hastened to add, “I’m sorry, I understand some of these questions are personal, but you hired me for a reason. There are things I need to know to do my job.” Kaoru remained silent, but Omi gave him an amused little smile and replied that they did. He had always had keen eyes; perhaps he spotted the underlying curiosity after all.

Tetsuya nodded, jotting down a few notes as he finalized his plans. “That makes things easier then. I will have to send my team to check the house for bugs and make sure the technical aspect is up to date?” There was a slight pause, unspoken communication, before Omi nodded their assent. “Excellent. I will task someone with patrolling the area at all times. All that remains after that is your personal security.” He paused a moment, putting down the pen and addressing Kaoru directly. “I will assign one or two bodyguards to stay with you wherever you go, including your office and home. I understand that this is invasive but I do not want to take the risk.” It earned him a glare, as he’d known it would, and that shift in the mood that told him Kaoru would like nothing more than to abuse him verbally and then toss him out.

“Of course, Niwa-san, whatever you think is best.”Maybe Yamamoto had picked up on it as well. His words made the tension fade, the mood turn resigned, but the glare stayed as strong as ever.

He smiled at the pair. “I am glad you agree. In fact, I would like to undertake that part personally. However this means I will have to move in temporarily.”

He had expected protests, but none were forthcoming. Instead, Kaoru crossed his arms and said, “You can sleep on the couch.” He found himself dropping the professional tone and giving the younger man a grin.

“How can I refuse an offer like that?”

---

The first thing he did upon arrival was check the layout of the house. It was smaller than he’d thought it would be; only the ground floor, with two bedrooms and one and a half bathrooms. They could certainly afford something better and bigger if they wanted to, even if Kaoru never touched the funds left to him by his family. It was very modest but still stylish and comfortable. And private – it was an upscale neighborhood, and between their house and their nearest neighbors lay two gardens and a fence.

The layout was such that the living room was the central point of the house and the only way to reach any of the other rooms. If he could cover both entrances, Tetsuya would feel confident he’d done as much as humanly possible to keep them safe. He glanced at the couch, a decadent monstrosity with a mountain of fluffy throw pillows, and quirked a wry smile.

He was instructed by a smiling Omi to place his duffel bag in the second bedroom instead of leaving it next to the couch as he had planned, and was surprised to find signs of the room being lived in. A furtive, guilty check of the wardrobe proved the room to be Omi’s. He had simply assumed Kaoru didn’t want him to make himself comfortable in the guest bedroom, never once considering that there might not be a spare room. A frown creased his brow as he put down the bag and unzipped it, taking his jacket off afterwards and tossing it to the side.

The gun in its holster came out first, and he quickly checked that the bullets were loaded and the safety was on before shrugging it on. A small packet of bullets went into his trouser pocket, something he’d picked up from his father. He had to dig through the bag for his earpiece, wincing a little when he found it caught on one of the bag’s frayed edges.

“Chiba, report,” he said into the earpiece as he fiddled with the volume settings.

“All secure. Handa is covering the area and Fuchida is stationed at the back exit.”

“Good. Anything suspicious, I want to hear about it at once.” The footsteps coming up from behind him stopped right as he finished speaking, and he turned around to watch Kaoru eye him with a look of distaste. “You brought a gun,” he said coolly, and Tetsuya gave him a smile that he hoped was reassuring.

“I’m just trying to prepare for all possibilities,” he replied, crouching down to zip up his bag and pick up his jacket. “Now then,” he continued cheerfully as he shrugged it back on, “how about we go inside and you brief me on your schedule for the foreseeable future,” and this time he didn’t resist the urge, gesturing towards the open door with a flourish and an entirely too cheerful “Kaoru-chan,” just to see that icy expression no one else could pull off quite that well.

Kaoru didn’t rise to the bait, and for a single moment before following him out of the room, Tetsuya almost regretted it. He matched his pace to Kaoru’s, pointing to the doors they passed and asking Kaoru where they led to. That he would have to enter each of the rooms at least once to check the positions of the windows he decided not to mention, thinking Kaoru looked tense enough with the situation as it was. Omi had a tea set laid out on the coffee table when they entered, and gave Kaoru a steaming cup without being asked. Tetsuya detected the faint scent of Earl Grey and recognized it from their school days, back when their only worries had been school budgets and student fights and the sniping they did amongst themselves. It was true; they were out of school and far away from eighteen, but he still felt as he had back then: these two were still his responsibility; his to protect.

He would not allow himself to ponder the possibility that he might fail.

With a cup of tea in his hand Kaoru seemed more relaxed, and Tetsuya let him have this moment of peace, probably the last he’d get for a very long time. He accepted his own cup from Omi with murmured thanks and sipped it in silence, granting the two friends the illusion of privacy, letting them pretend it was just a normal day for a little while. He focused on the sounds coming through his earpiece, listening to the updates he insisted every member of his team give every hour and the conversation that sometimes went through the channel as well. His rules were lax, and the communication channel was rarely silent for very long, something his father had disapproved of loudly and repeatedly. It created camaraderie between his members however, and Tetsuya was sure that every one of them knew when it was time to shut up. He hadn’t randomly picked them off the streets.

The clearing of a throat interrupted Fuchida’s complaints about his girlfriend’s brothers, and he placed his empty cup on the coffee table. “My team has gone over the house. I’ll tell you about how we’ll handle this first, and then we can work on the schedule alright?” It took a moment, but Kaoru squared his shoulders and gave him a nod, and he launched into the details.

“As I mentioned before, there will be someone patrolling the area at all hours of the day, whether you’re at home or not. There will be two guards with you at all times.” Tetsuya raised his hand to forestall Kaoru’s impending objections. “I know it’s invasive, Kaoru-chan, but no one wants to see either of you come to harm because you got embarrassed.” He regretted the words the moment they came out of his mouth. “I’m sorry, that’s not what I meant. We have to take every precaution, better safe than sorry right?” He glanced at Omi, who had been remarkably silent up till now, and found himself being scrutinized. He turned his eyes away. “When you’re at home there will be two of us covering the doors and one or two within your vicinity, depending on whether you’re in the same room or not. At night someone will be stationed in the hallway between your doors.” He noticed Omi’s hand came to rest upon Kaoru’s knees, to buy his silence he suspected. “We’ll go over the house each day. Just remember to keep the curtains closed at all times.” He waited until both of them had acknowledged his words, then plastered a smile on his face and relaxed into the cushions of the couch. “Now then, tell me about your plans for the next two weeks. Leave nothing out.”

---

It only took two rings before the phone was picked up, and Tetsuya rolled his eyes where no one could see him anyway. “You’re such a workaholic.”

“Let me try and remember whose fault that was again.” He could hear the sound of fingers flying over the keyboard and he grinned, using his free hand to loosen his tie. “You can’t keep blaming that on me, I never forced you to do anything.”

The fingers stopped their tapping and he heard a snort. “Your inactivity was as good as forcing me. And don’t blow me a raspberry over the phone again, it’s disgusting.”

“Aw, where’s your sense of humor Hide?”

“It matured and left yours behind.” There was a lull in the conversation then, but it was comfortable, as it always had been. “So, whose computer do you want me to hack into this time?”

Tetsuya smirked and let out a ‘tsk’. “Hide, you work for the police, did they not inform you hacking is illegal?” His friend’s smirk was almost audible over the phone. “Actually I just need some information, an update. Tell me what’s new in the Arai case.”

“Alright, give me a second to look it up.” Tetsuya leaned back against the wall; it wouldn’t be a long wait. “So how is the queen?”

He snorted in amusement. “I never mentioned Kaoru-chan.”

“It’s the obvious conclusion. You protect people still among the living after all.” A short pause, punctuated by the decisive sound of a final tap on the keyboard. “No solid leads so far, no evidence found at the crime scene. Hmm, hold on.” Tetsuya shifted the phone to his other ear and heard a faint hiss over the line, causing him to step away from the support against his back. “Damn, Niwa. Are you sure you want to take on this case?”

“What did you find?”

“You’ve heard of Suzuki Kin?” Tetsuya’s eyes narrowed and he took a quick look at the living room, relieved to notice the home owners were still deep in conversation. He stepped further into the kitchen and lowered his voice. “The thug who acts as an assassin. He’s behind it?”

“There’s no way to know for sure, but that’s what they’re suspecting. They found him dead, Niwa.” He understood it then, the reason behind the question, and he fell silent as he struggled with the sense of dread filling him.

“I can’t leave them unprotected, Hide,” he answered quietly, and didn’t even reprimand the other man for his language as he let out a string of curses. “Who are the suspected accomplices?” he asked then, and tried very hard not to wince at the three names Hideaki tossed out at him. “Damn,” he muttered, heartfelt.

“I’ll keep an eye out for updates and pass them on to you as I get them.” Tetsuya murmured his thanks, slowly rubbing at his temple. “Maybe you should call your father about this?”

He snorted loudly as his fingers tried to rub the headache away. “And how would that help exactly? There are people on the case already, and mom would strangle me if I involved him in something like this.”

“She’ll strangle you anyway when she finds out you’re involved.”

Tetsuya’s response was tinged with amusement. “Not if no one tells her.”

---

He had made it a rule to never eat before making sure his team was fed. It caused some people to mock him and others to respect him, but he didn’t care either way. His father accused him of caring too much, of becoming too involved with his cases and the people around him, and sometimes he thought his old man might be right. But most times he remembered the way his team laughed with him even as they respected his capabilities as their leader, something his father didn’t have.

Kaoru had been observing him all through his routine, eyes fixed on him as he made small talk with Chiba while the latter inhaled three sandwiches in record time. He had sensed the younger man following when he stepped into the garden to bring Fuchida a mug of coffee and give him a clap on the shoulder, staying a few moments to let the man rant about his troubles with his girlfriend. When he was done with his rounds he turned around and met the green eyes straight on, reading a grudging respect in them that made him smile.

Kaoru turned on his heels and took a step towards the kitchen, then shot him a look over his shoulder. “Omi made dinner. Your portion won’t be reheated if you let it get cold.”

Tetsuya watched the pale red hair disappear around the corner and fingered the gun stuck in its holster reflexively. Then he followed Kaoru into the kitchen and pretended, for a short time, that this was a normal day and he was there on a normal visit, that no one there was at risk of losing their lives, and that, if he asked Kaoru on a date, it would be neither unethical nor refused.

---

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