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Taking Care Of

rating R

Shinjuku ni-chome, 1981

The boy on stage moved suggestively slowly to the dark beat barely audible over the brawling noise that filled the crowded club. A mirror behind the stage allowed the customers to see everything the dancer did no matter his position. If dancer was the right word, that was. His eyes were glassy; whether from lust, broken will, drugs, or all of the above I couldn't say. Narrow back arched, he swayed his behind against the pole again, his buttocks almost folding around the cold steel. The black leather he wore barely covered his genitals. Upper body clothing was limited to a set of black straps crossing over his thin chest. At his shoulders they connected to a rough collar. 
     He couldn't possibly be eighteen. I judged him to be 16 or even younger, but then Shinjuku ni-chome was a raunchy, dangerous place, especially for the young, and Norumo's club was the most dangerous pithole in a series of pitholes - for everyone. 
     I gulped down half my glass of the piss they served as whiskey in here and watched dispassionately as the fool in his business suit on the stool next to me got 'a lower service' - the local description of getting head - in exchange of a drink. I knew a drink was the going rate because I had already declined several offers along that line this evening, despite the uniform on my back. 
     Norumo. I should go up to him in his backroom, kick the boytoy off his knees, put my service weapon to his fat face, and introduce his brain to the wallpaper. I was sure my career as a police officer would survive that. Easily. There were only two things that kept me from putting my drink down and following up on the plan. 
     The first? Norumo paid me too well for that. 
     And the second: if I went into that room, chance was that I wouldn't do what I wanted but instead would befriend the asshole. Intimately. Thanks, I could do well without that. 
     There was an astonishing number of politicians from the Metropolitan Government who apparently couldn't do without that. At least, I only took Norumo's money and his watered drinks. I finished the would-be-whiskey and signalled the bartender to refill the glass. 
     It was something strange about the way people changed opinions in that backroom. Something... beyond reason. Strange enough that somehow a report about it had ended up 'accidentally' on my superior's desk. Two days later, I'd been told to lie low and wait. The issue would be taken care of. Whatever that meant. Now I sat here, nursing my refilled drink, watching the almost nude kid on stage getting it off on steel. It wouldn't take long from now and they would put collar and cuffs to use for the entertainment reserved for the later evening. 

The street door opened and a gust of obscenely clean-seeming air rushed into the club's stench of cheap drinks, sweat, smoke, and sex. The couple that entered was a common sight here. The bulky frame of the bouncer, escorting another hapless boytoy. The kid would not learn what he was getting himself into until it was too late to escape. Not my problem. I snorted and was about to turn away. But then one of the stage spots caught the kid and I stopped.  
     That was Norumo's toy for the night. For sure. If they sold boys like him in this pigsty they'd be able to give out 20-year-old single malts for free at the bar instead of just a bowl of dingy peanuts. The spotlight had glittered over smooth skin and neatly cut hair that screamed 'exclusive school', had caught in eyes... I'd never seen before. At least not in a human face. There was an air of free, unbroken will and anger in the lean, surprisingly tall frame. Looked like Norumo was going to have the night of his life, breaking that one in. 
     I returned my attention back to the stage. The kiddo there was almost done, lying face-down, legs spread wide, shivering... 
     My glass was empty again. I should probably leave. It wasn't as if I was doing anything here. I preferred my flesh a little older and a little less drugged, still... I was paid to sit here and "be the police on the scene". So I ordered another drink. Probably I'd had at least one too many already. Who cared? A bear-like brute on stage proceeded to do the kid from before, hard. This was where the bottom of my glass always started to look interesting. 

The scream that ripped through the club a few hissed breaths later was blood-curdling. I whipped out my gun while the glass fell to shatter on the stained floor. I rushed to the backroom. What I found there nearly turned my stomach, though the cheap spirit I had all evening could have had a say in that, too. 
     Norumo, almost naked in all his fat unglory, lay sprawled on the stained pink plush of his couch. A black tie still hung loose around his non-existent neck that had always screamed 'weight-lifting' and 'steroid-abuse'. Disconnectedly, I registered that he still wore black socks and a brown shoe. His pants were pooled around his ankles. Blood was flowing slowly down around his slack penis, gluing his pubic hair. It was coming from... 
     ...a gaping hole in his chest where the heart should have been. I gagged. 
     The body was wavering, seemed to dissolve beginning from the feet and hands. Flesh flakes were swirling up into the air, dancing around me... No, not flakes. Petals. Sakura petals... 
     "You should have stayed outside as you were told." A young, yet well-trained voice said beside me. The whirl of petals was thickening. I couldn't see anything, couldn't scream. 
     "Sayonara, policeman-san..." 

The sakura's twigs moved slightly as it proceeded to imbibe the additional spiritual essence Seishiro had transmitted together with their designated target. It had been an interesting memory. Sei-chan was truly a creature of style, especially in comparison to his predecessor. The tree sent out a spiritual probe to make sure that enough of the sakanagi was scattered to other lifeforms. It wouldn't do to have the boy sick yet again. It found a couple of gutted dogs and a nest of imploded rats. Yes, Sei-chan had learned well how to help himself. The sakura's thickly blossomed branches rustled in the imaginary wind. It needn't have worried... 


Special thanks to my dedicated beta Solo for editing this on short notice.

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