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[personal profile] krysyuy
This is nowhere near finished and I have no idea where the fic is going. (I do have an inkling, but it needs to be fleshed out.) Posted a teaser b/c of [livejournal.com profile] alienashi. Yes, I blame her.


.the beginning

“There seem to be no side-effects from the tranquilizer used on your daughter. Aside from a headache, she’s perfectly healthy. I’ll sign the paperwork and she can be discharged soon.”

The detective muttered a prayer under his breath and kissed his daughter’s hand when she smiled wearily at him. “Thank God.”

“Well, Natsume-keiji, I’ll leave you to it.”

Natsume stood and bowed several times. “Thank you so much, Hotta-sensei.”

Katsuhiko smiled and nodded, leaving father and daughter to have some alone time. He jotted down some notes - falling behind on paperwork was not an option - glancing down the hallway as he did so, then did a double take.

That profile...

“Wait.” His voice came out as a whisper.

The man was getting further away, slipping through the busy corridor with ease.

“Wait!” He raised his voice at the same time his legs finally followed his head’s commands - move! - and hurried after him, almost but not quite running, still mindful of the hospital rules.

The man turned the corner towards the stairs, and Katsuhiko put on a burst of speed to keep him in his line of sight.

Wait! Masakazu!”

He grabbed his wrist to stop him and maneuvered himself in front to prevent any kind of escape - he knew the way Masakazu’s mind worked. “What are you doing here?” he asked, tightening his grip. “You told me you wouldn’t- Why-” He focused on the top of his head. “Why is your hair grey?” he finished stupidly.

For the first time, Katsuhiko looked into his eyes. There was no flicker of recognition, not even the clinical distance from their last conversation. His dark brown eyes were blank. Katsuhiko stepped back to take a good look. Masakazu would never be caught dead in such an outfit; he certainly wouldn’t grow out his hair that long either. He liked things neat and precise, always clean.

“Oh... I’m sorry,” Katsuhiko said. This man looked like Masakazu - from the arch of his eyebrows to the contour of his eyes and even to the small bump on his nose. He could be his twin, and yet... Something in his chest constricted. “You look remarkably like... an acquaintance of mine. I’m sorry.”

The stranger blinked and looked down. Katsuhiko followed his gaze - he still had a tight hold of his wrist. He released him immediately, bowing.

“I’m sorry.”

That seemed to be the only thing he was capable of saying, mind reeling from looking into Masakazu’s face for the first time in months.

The stranger stared at him for another beat, then walked away without saying anything.

All of it - all too eerily familiar, and Katsuhiko closed his eyes to resist the temptation of following him. When he opened them seconds later, the man was gone.

The absence of relief was not a surprise.

-

Moving twice within a year wasn’t really helping his dream of opening a private practice. The first time he had received an offer he couldn’t refuse, plus it had the added bonus of putting distance between him and his first unrequited love. Her family was lovely, but watching them always had a tint of the bittersweet.

The second time there was no choice. He had to move. Finding work wasn’t a problem - he had fabulous references.

But it seemed old ghosts were determined to haunt him.

-

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