“Hey Kei, how are you doing?” Yuri walked into their apartment and set a couple bags of groceries by the counter. She had some frozen food in there, but wasn’t going to bother dealing with them. Kei had been depressed for the past week and Yuri couldn’t figure out why.
Kei didn’t answer. In her hand was a picture. She had been staring at it a long time. She didn’t bother to do anything but stare at it. Her face was still. No tears, nothing.
“Kei, you’re getting me depressed, why are you like this?” Yuri walked into Kei’s room and saw her sitting there looking at something. Kei’s back was turned to the door where Yuri stood. Yuri was hurt to see her partner like this. It wasn’t like her she was always the strong one between them.
Kei still didn’t answer, she looked at the picture more only to see her own face upon it and the face of another holding her close. It was taken a couple months ago while she was off on a solo vacation. He was a good friend of hers from her childhood and they had gotten back together as if they ever were before. A date or two, ditching work for vacations only to be with him. It was bliss.
“Kei, cut it out!” Yuri shouted. Kei blinked and turned to her friend. She knew she was there all this time, but she couldn’t bear to speak let alone move from where she sat. She felt sorry for herself. She felt sorry for her friend to see her like this. Nothing could change anything right now.
“He’s dead, Yuri,”
“Who?” Yuri was confused. Her face also fell without a thought upon seeing how devastated Kei was. Who ever was dead, he must have meant a hell of a lot to her.
“He’s,” she sniffed and wiped her face with her arms, “He’s dead, damn it!” Kei jumped from the bed and hugged Yuri tightly with all the strength she had left. Yuri hugged back and started to cry. She couldn’t stand to see her like this. They held each other for a long time. Kei couldn’t cry.
Some time later they sat on the bed next to each other. Yuri had her hand upon Kei’s shoulder. Kei still looked at the picture. “What am I going to do?” Kei sniffed again.
“Who was he?” Yuri asked.
“You haven’t met him?” Kei asked even though she knew Yuri was never there when she was with him. “He was going to marry me, we were going to live our lives there in a small town on the planet Tranton,”
“Tranton?” Yuri thought, the name was familiar to her.
“He was exactly my type, good looking, self controlled, selfish and selfless when desired, great sense of humor,” Kei laughed remembering moments with him.
“Sounds like a great guy,” Yuri patted Kei’s shoulder there where she left her hand. She hoped to console her best she could.
“He was, I never thought things would work out so good for me. I’ve seen so many guys over the last year or so. I admit it, none of them ever worked out right. I was delusional to think they would,”
“It’s ok, nothing wrong with that, except maybe when you left me to rot in that toxic waste disposal!”
“Heh, still angry about that?” Kei laughed a bit.
Yuri was still angry, but was glad to see a smile upon her friend’s face. She decided to change the subject, anything to get her friend’s mind off this. That’s when she realized the food was going bad. “Uh, Kei, I brought some steaks home, they’ve been thawing in the bags for the past hour, want some?”
“Heh, sure, sorry about all this,” Kei wiped her eyes again.
“No, it’s ok,” Yuri got up to fix dinner.
Kei grabbed onto her arm and set the picture on her nightstand, “On second thought, let me make it, I’ve been sitting here for days and it’s been doing hell to my limbs and complexion.”
“Heh, why don’t you wash up first? I’ll put the groceries away, meat could use a bit more time to thaw anyways,” Yuri offered.
“Good idea,” Kei walked across the room towards the bathroom. She shut the door behind her and tossed her shirt aside.
“So what are you going to make?” Yuri asked.
“Eh I don’t know, hamburgers sound good?” Kei asked back.
“I have steak, Kei, not hamburger,” Yuri smiled.
“Steak burger then,” Kei smiled and turned the water on. Life was getting better by the moment.
“Fine, don’t mess it up this time though!” Yuri joked. She was in the kitchen now with some boxes in her hands. She put them away in the cupboards and grabbed some more. “Say, Kei, you still going to be in the 3WA? The chief is quite angry at us for not accepting missions the past few weeks. I had to tie my hair up and get a part time job to get these groceries. We were running quite low,”
“Don’t really know,” Kei was staring at the water waiting for it to get hot, “I will think of something though,”
“Good enough, I’ll help you in anyway I can,” Yuri smiled again. It was like old times, always there for each other, always best of friends. Thankfully they didn’t have the same taste in men.
Kei got in the shower and opened her eyes wide. Flashes of memory blasted into her mind’s eye. She grabbed onto the walls as the water burned her back.
“Kei, ah there you are,” he spoke.
“Jean, I’ve been thinking,” Kei was sitting at an edge of a fountain. They were on the planet Tranton in a major city. People walked here and there without a care in the world. Was really quite peaceful.
“Oh?” Jean sat beside her.
“I was thinking about quitting the 3WA,”
“Why would you go and do that?” he joked.
“You know why, Jean, it’s the only way. It’s the only way I can free myself from all I’ve done. All those I’ve hurt. I can’t live on like this,”
“You have your partner,” he offered.
“Yeah, she’s great, but I need something more. I can’t get it from her,” she turned to Jean hoping he’d understand.
Kei shook herself out of it and finished washing all her bad memories away. It was a long shower. Afterwards she sat on the floor in a towel.
“Are you ok in there?” Yuri asked. She had walked over when the water stopped and waited a bit outside. She knocked in case she fell asleep or something.
“No,” Kei said meekly.
“I’m coming in then,” Yuri grabbed the door knob and waited for a reply. She didn’t get one. She walked in and saw her friend sitting on the floor looking miserable, looks as if the shower didn’t help any.
Kei sat there with her hair dripping upon the floor. She didn’t even dry herself off. “Yuri, I’ve decided what I need to do with my life,”
“What’s that?” Yuri sat down beside her and put an arm around her shoulders.
“I, need to find out what happened, on Tranton, he was killed. It was out of the blue, I have no idea how or who did it. I don’t know why, and I didn’t even get to see the body until it was in the morgue. I couldn’t even attend the funeral. I was, not in a good frame of mind,” Kei explained.
“Perhaps finding closure is best,” Yuri offered.
“Closure, I can never have closure, I just want to know. Damnit, I want to know the jack ass who killed him!” Kei stood up suddenly, the towel falling to her feet. Yuri stood up and handed the towel back to her. “Yuri,” Kei turned to her not worrying about the towel, “It pains me to think someone could kill an innocent man like that, I, I want to see who ever did this to him dead, I want him to suffer!” Kei was furious.
“Kei, calm down, we can find out who did it. There’s no reason to get carried aw,”
“Carried away? All I ever do is get carried away! I caused most of the disasters we went through!”
“It wasn’t our fault though,” Yuri knew it was futile to say that.
“I really doubt that, Yuri, I wanted to go off and have kids with a great man. A thought I never knew until I met Jean, he was everything to me and I was everything to him. He saw me for who I was and not for what I’ve done. He saw past the reputation. It was, bliss,” Kei took the towel and wrapped it around herself again.
“I’m jealous,” Yuri looked down at her hands, she had clasped them together after handing the towel over.
“Jealous?” Kei smiled and hugged Yuri again for a moment, “Let’s have dinner, we can find out what happened later.”
Yuri smiled and hugged back.
The next morning, Kei got dressed in her regular clothes. Jeans and a t-shirt. She strapped on her 3WA issue blaster and headed for the door. Her mind was set on one thing. Yuri ran over to stop her.
“Wait, hold up,” Yuri called.
“I was up all night, this time I was thinking,” Kei began, “I won’t need your help on this, Jean was killed on Tranton, that’s where I’m going.”
“Please, let me go with you!” Yuri pleaded. She was all ready to go and everything.
“No, Yuri, I’m sorry for this, but I need to do this on my own. He was my lover, I need to do this on my own,” Kei grabbed the door knob and walked out leaving Yuri at the door way.
“Damnit, Kei, why’d you have to do this to me!?” Yuri fumed. To think Kei went out of her way to help find Billy Galet and won’t let her return the favor. She slammed the door and stormed to her bedroom. “Who the hell does she think she is? I’m her friend! I’m her confidant! We’ve been through hell together, what was different about this? A personal vendetta? Was it to harsh for me to handle!?” she punched a pillow and lay on her bed.
“What is so damn good about this guy? What the heck does this guy have that I don’t?” Yuri was jealous for a different reason now. Being left to rot in that giant toxic waste disposal unit was one thing, but left here to cry in anger. She was pissed. She had to do something, she had to help out somehow. She got up from her bed and ran into Kei’s room. To her surprise, the picture was where Kei left it.
Yuri grabbed it and looked at it.
“Flight 405 bound for Tranton leaving in 5 minutes, please board now. Next flight to Tranton in one hour,” the speakers boomed from within the space port. Kei walked up the stairs and into the ship that would take her back there. Back to where he was shot. Where his life was raped from her grasp. He had held her close. He had kissed her. They’ve even slept together, but now none of that mattered. He was dead and whoever did it would be dead as well.
“Your ticket?” a young woman asked from the door of the ship. Kei handed it over and took the remaining half of it to her seat. It was going to be a long flight, maybe she could catch up on sleep in the mean time.
“Th, that’s Jean!?” Yuri looked at the man holding onto Kei in the picture. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. The man in the picture was a well respected noble of Tranton. A real hunk too. “Damn you, Kei! How the hell you get with him?” she shouted and set the picture down on the night stand just as it was before. “No wonder you are so pissed,” she wiped her eyes and stood up from the bed. “I need to help her out, maybe I can do it without her knowing,” she ran out of the room and soon the apartment. She locked the door behind her and ran for the Lovely Angel. She would be going against protocol, but it didn’t matter. Kei needed help. She needed to be with Kei.
“Hello,” Kei smiled. She walked through the door of a police station.
“Ah hello, how may we help you?” a kindly young woman asked.
“I’m Kei Misaki, I’m looking for any information you can get on a certain Jean Toriyama,”
“Toriyama? Jean? Ok, say isn’t that the heir to the Toriyama family here in this city?”
Kei took a deep breath, “He’s dead, I want to know what happened to him,”
“Sorry to hear that, uh, you can go see detective Sherry Conan, she should be back from her lunch break soon,”
“Thanks a lot,” Kei smiled.
“I’ll just need your I.D. for a moment, I’ll pass the word along, you can wait in the waiting room afterwards,”
“Uh, ok,” Kei grabbed her I.D. card and slid it over. She hoped to whoever would listen to her prayer that she wouldn’t do what she knew she’d do.
“Kei Misaki, 3WA Trouble Consultant Lovely An,” she read it softly.
“Uh crap,” Kei thought and winced, she decided to add something, “I’m off duty,”
“Just shudap, no need for a commotion here!” Kei fumed.
“Sorry, Miss, Detective Conan will be with you soon,” she walked off to find her.
“It’s ok, carry on,” Kei walked to the waiting room and had a seat.
“Conan?” Yuri hid behind a pillar disguised as a police officer for this area. She was using every trick she had to go unseen and unheard by Kei. She had to solve this mystery before Kei did. Who knew what Kei would do when she found out? She wanted to be able to help her.
“Oh, a lady? Heh, ok,” Sherry smiled and walked over to the waiting room. “Red head, looks like trouble, sounds just like my type,” she licked her lips and saw the woman sitting with her legs crossed. She was obviously a tomboy by the way she sat, but she also looked downright depressed.
Kei looked up to see a woman with long black hair and a nice suit walk towards her, “You Sherry?” Kei asked abruptly.
“Sherry? It’s Ms. Conan, I don’t care to be so informal,” Sherry sat on the chair beside Kei.
“Whatever, I’m Kei, you’re Sherry, I’m depressed and I want you to find out who killed the man I loved,” Kei sounded quite frank and angry.
“You seem more angry than depressed, what will you do when you find out who did it?” Sherry asked. She crossed her legs trying to be as feminine as possible.
“I don’t know and I don’t care, I want to find out who did it, why and how and, damnit!” Kei grabbed her face trying not to cry.
Yuri listened intently from where she stood, “Kei, get a hold of yourself,” Yuri muttered to herself. She really wished she could be there, but this Sherry Conan was instead and by the looks of things-
“Ok, I’ll help you out, who was it that was killed?” she asked.
“Jean Toriyama!?” Sherry was taken aback, “Thee Jean Toriyama?”
“Yeah, yeah, whatever. He never cared about his prestige. He wanted to live out in the country with me,” Kei rubbed her eyes hoping they weren’t too red.
“He’s not my type, but he’s well respected in these parts. Was most unfortunate what happened to him,”
“What happened?” Kei turned to her.
“You don’t know?”
“Out with it, wench!”
“Sorry, he was shot, that’s all I know,” Sherry scratched an imaginary itch on the back of her head.
“Well, let’s find out more then!” Kei stood up and walked off. Sherry got up after her.
“Wait up, Kei, there’s already an investigation underway!” Sherry grabbed Kei’s shoulder. Yuri moved and hid at a different angle. She watched carefully.
“Sherry’s definitely not straight,” Yuri noted in her mind.
“I don’t want a big deal out of this, I want you to start over and find this out secretly, got it?” Kei asked rudely.
“Yes, I see, ok, I’ll do that. It won’t be easy, and I’m sorry, but it won’t come cheap,”
“I don’t care about money, I’m with the 3WA ok? It’ll work out,” Kei added.
“So all I have to do is find out what’s known so far?” Yuri thought. She left the police station and headed down the street. The streets were familiar. Actually she remembered where she was a couple weeks ago. She was investigating the Palm family here on Tranton. It was an easy job she could do on her own. In fact it went without a hitch and no buildings were destroyed. It made her wonder if the two being together had any direct influence on their reputation.
The next day Kei waited at a table at a local coffee shop. Detective Sherry Conan would meet her here soon with whatever she could come up with.
“Ah Kei,” Sherry walked in and passed up a woman wearing a hat and a heavy jacket. She was sipping some soda from a straw. Sherry sat down in the chair across from Kei and took an envelope from her brief case.
Kei looked down at the envelope and expected to find everything she needed, but knew it wouldn’t come so easy. “What is it?”
“All I could find out was that the Toriyama family was suspected of running a drug cartel under the mask of their charity work. It’s speculation with a couple missing witnesses who claimed information on this. No one can say for sure,”
“Drugs? News to me,” Kei shrugged.
“Drugs?” Yuri thought as she sipped the soda some more. Hiding in plain sight was working great.
“Yes, I plan on taking a couple leads and work with some of my own speculations,”
“The name John Langhley came up a few times, I don’t know who he is, but I mean to find out,”
“Alright,” Kei looked over a few papers.
“I’m handling this, so don’t go and do anything, I know your type,”
“My type?” Kei raised an eyebrow.
“Yes, if you didn’t notice, I’m a lesbian by nature. I’ve always had a thing for tom boys,” she smiled.
“Eh, um, just do your work, ok?” Kei was flustered, more frustrated though.
“Sure, I’ll call you on your cell phone again when I come up with something,” Sherry smiled and got up to leave. She packed the envelope away and left.
“Hmm, John Langhley,” Yuri thought and waited for Kei to leave. She ordered a refill and milled about there thinking about this and that. Nothing was making any sense yet.
“Ah Miss Frazer, fancy meeting you here,” a man walked in and sat by Yuri.
“Ah shit,” Yuri thought. She decided to feign laryngitis and looked all over for a pen and paper.
“You ok?” he watched unconsciously as the redhead walked by and out of the café.
“Yeah,” she choked.
“What was that? I didn’t hear you right,” he asked.
Yuri found a pen and wrote on a napkin - “Sorry I’m not well, laryngitis, how are you?”
“I’m good, been what a month since we last saw each other? How did it go?”
“Went well, I took down the Palm family for what they were doing to Tranton,” - she wrote down on a napkin.
“Oh, that’s great, say you available for dinner?”
“No” she shook her head.
“Alright, see you around then,” he walked off.
“Damn Gregory!” Yuri cursed in her head. He was the stooge she dated just to have her stay here a moth ago. A small fling during her investigation. He was a retired detective that knew she was a tro con. Luckily she used a false name. He helped her get into the Palm family and left the rest for her. He didn’t like violence, but knew it had its purpose.
“Ok,” Yuri grabbed her hat and jammed it in a pocket. She got on her hover bike and sped off down the street. “Ok, let’s see, Jean Toriyama and John Langhley, what’s the deal between them? Maybe John shot Jean,” she didn’t know.
Days passed now and Sherry had made some progress.
“You know you want me,” Yuri flirted more, Sherry could only blush at the young woman going after her now.
“Wh, what do you mean?” Sherry gulped and walked backwards.
“How do you like it? Romantic, sexy, or kinky?” Yuri asked in a seductive voice. She spoke slowly with accents on each syllable. She licked her lips while pushing Sherry back with each step forward.
“Uh, uh, ahem,” Sherry was taken by surprise, this was most unusual. She fancied herself a great catch, but this was ridiculous.
“Well if you don’t choose, I will,” she looked up and down Sherry’s body.
“So forward,” she sputtered a comment. She watched unbelieving as Yuri pulled out a rope from her back pack. “Wh, what else you have in there?” she dared to ask. Yuri just smiled darkly and brought the rope to Sherry’s face.
“Well?” Yuri raised an eyebrow.
“Whatever you want, heheh,” she was sweating profusely now, this was all too much for her to bear.
“Sounds like fun,” Yuri licked her lips again and wrapped the roped around Sherry quickly.
Minutes passed and Sherry was bound and gagged within a closed closet. Yuri was rifling through her files with the briefcase open on a table.
“Oh my god,” Yuri realized at once why everything was familiar to her. John Langhley was the man who hired her to take down the Palm family with him. He was shot in the back by crossfire. Angle of shot suggested distance and accidental. “I sent him to the hospital and everything, he didn’t make it? Damn, guess it didn’t go without a hitch. Say wait a minute that burn mark, was that from my blaster? They all had model 3 blasters, that would leave a larger but not as deep hole,” she thought.
A few more papers flipped and she saw Toriyama’s picture again. He was in a fine suit decorated with flowers. It was from the funeral. Yuri was speechless, she put the papers away and back into the briefcase. She then headed back to the closet.
“Mmph mmph!” Sherry was still bound and gagged. Yuri pulled the sock out her mouth and kneeled down before her.
“Do me a favor, please, in return for your briefcase,” Yuri pleaded.
“You’re not a lesbian are you?”
“What do you want?”
“I want you to go about your business as if this never happened, I’m sorry for what I’ve done to you,”
“Forget you coming on to me and tying me up for nothing!?”
“Fine, all you did was get my hopes up, not the first time it’s happened, but it is the first time I’ve been apologized to. Consider it done,” Sherry smiled.
“Ok,” Yuri untied her and left the room. Sherry got her things together and left as well. She then grabbed her cell phone.
“Kei, ah how are you? Eh right, sorry, I believe I’ve found our main suspect. Meet me at the usual place as soon as you can get there, I’ll see you soon,” she hung up the phone and hailed a taxi.
Yuri followed close behind in a hover scooter. She had to see this through.
At the restaurant, Kei and Sherry sat at the table just as before.
“It appears as if the drug smuggling was a ruse created by the Palm family,” Sherry began.
“So he knew too much and got assassinated?” Kei was listening intently.
“That’s my current speculation, it’s a major lead I plan on following up,”
“Good, thank you,”
“No problem, I’m glad I could help a pretty lady like your self,” she smiled.
“Please don’t flirt with me, Sherry,” Kei stared with her eyelids flat. She wasn’t amused.
Down the road Kei walked passed a handful of grave stones. She looked around and decided to make a right turn. She saw someone in a jacket kneeling before a gravestone a long way down. She figured she’d go and talk with him or her.
“Hey, Miss Frazer is it? You were at the restaurant a week ago right?” Kei asked with a smile. She looked at the grave stone and blinked.
Yuri didn’t say anything.
“Hey this is the grave I was looking for, who was he to you? Oh that’s right, you had laryngitis, that get any better?”
Yuri still didn’t answer. She played with a petal that fell from the flowers she left there.
“Well he was a celebrity of sorts, seems like some guy at the Palm family knocked him off,” Kei knelt down beside her and left her own bouquet of flowers. She stayed there for some time. Both of them were quiet for some time.
“I’m sorry,” Yuri spoke and departed quickly. She ran across the cemetery and down the street for her hover scooter.
“Sorry?” Kei wondered.
Down the street, “Damn you, Kei, damn you for being happy!” Yuri sped down the street with a helmet on, she was crying making it hard to see, she didn’t care. She hated her partner, she mostly hated herself.
Days passed, long agonizing days with even longer hours. Kei walked back and forth as if she had a pregnant wife. She was going to find out who did it, she was going to find the one who killed him. She was going to find out why.
“Kei, I’ve some eh news for you,” Sherry said slowly. Yuri walked into the room behind Kei.
“Really? Thank you! What did you find?”
“There was apparently a tro con hired by a certain John Langhley to take down the Palm family along with him, he was shot in the back by a 3WA issue blaster. I had a few of my friends look into it, it was by crossfire, an accident you could say,” she explained.
Sherry looked on to see Yuri behind her, she didn’t know what to make of the situation. Yuri nodded to her. Sherry decided to just hand the envelope over with her findings. Kei grabbed it fast and rifled through it.
She read through a file and saw the picture. She lost her breath. She lost her mind. “John and Jean was the same person?”
“Damn you, Yuri,” Kei spoke softly. Her body shook and trembled as emotion overwhelmed her senses. In a puff of rage she grabbed her blaster and landed it directly between Yuri’s eyes. She pressed it against her leaving an indentation. Yuri only stood there. She could do nothing. What was done was done. It was her fault no matter the surrounding circumstances. She stared deep into Kei’s eyes awaiting her next move. She showed no emotion.
“YOU killed him, YOU took my lover from me!” Kei choked. She charged the gun and rested her finger upon the trigger. “YOU were the one!”
Yuri stared as if she had no emotion. She wanted to plead and beg, she wanted to whine and complain, she wanted to cry her heart out. She also wanted to die, but that wasn’t why she remained standing before Kei’s gun. This was hurting Kei, all she could do was to let her sort this out. It was her turn now. Nothing she could do or say mattered at this point.
“Yuri,” Kei pulled the gun away. She didn’t want her to die, she wanted her dead, she wanted more than anything to have Jean back. Her head was aching, her eyes were watery and her vision wasn’t clear. Her mind was racing with memories of carnage, of happiness and sadness. Her boyfriend, her lover, her husband to be, her heart and soul was ripped from her body by her best friend. She shot him dead. She was the killer. She couldn’t handle knowing this, she couldn’t handle any of this.
“Bitch,” Kei mumbled. She thought of her time with him, holding him close, kissing him, being swept off her feet by him. “BITCH!” Kei swung her gun and belted Yuri across the face sending her into a wall. The wall nearly crumpled with the impact. Yuri lay there bleeding from her wound. The side of her face was becoming badly bruised. She didn’t cry.
Kei fell to her knees crying. She dropped her gun and cried. Finally she could cry.
“I’m sorry,” Yuri muttered.
“I know,” Kei choked.
“Eh, damn,” Sherry commented.
Back to YFFH