[Fandom] Detective Academy Q
[Notes/Summary] Kyuu and his mother throw Ryu a surprise party.
The surprise birthday tea was Mum’s idea, because actually, Kyuu hadn’t known it was Ryu’s birthday. Mum must’ve found it out the way mothers do, but it wasn’t like it seemed a weird idea. She just said to him that he should invite the others round for four-thirty (“and try not to get caught up in any mysteries, please, dear,”) and she would make cake and there’d be balloons and… other cake and stuff.
So Kyuu invited everyone round and he was thought, good, because Ryu liked to act like he was too cool for everything but even he’d probably be pretty upset if he thought everyone had forgotten his birthday.
So they walked in and Mum had laid out the food and put up a banner with Happy Birthday Ryu on it and everyone yelled Surprise and –
Ryu did that blanking thing. Where he’s decided he’s not going to have feelings so he’s just going to look kind of bored. And Mum saw. Kyuu saw her seeing and saw her, for a moment, looking really hurt, before Kinta (maybe sensing a problem, maybe just being Kinta) yelled, “This is the best day ever,” and grabbed a plate.
Kyuu wanted to be a good person but he was actually really, really angry that Ryu had been at his most Ryu-like when Mum had only been trying to be nice. He was even angrier when Ryu coolly declined any cake. Kyuu chowed down on enough cake to stop himself yelling there and then, and talked to to the rest of Q class, and then when everyone finally left he helped Mum with the tidying up. Ryu skulked off somewhere which meant when Kyuu had finished helping he was seriously annoyed, and he was kind of buzzing on sugar too, so he headed straight off to find him.
Ryu was in their bedroom, staring out of the window, and Kyuu slammed the door as he entered just to make a point.
“You didn’t need to be like that,” he said.
Ryu’s shoulders tensed as he said, icy cold, “I don’t like surprises.”
“Yeah, well, if someone tries to give you a nice surprise, and they’re nice and you know it, then you should… try and say thank you anyway, okay?” Maybe. Kyuu knew he wasn’t the right person to advise on matters of etiquette, but… “You know Mum did it to be nice so you should… so you should’ve been nice back. Not acted like you were too cool for birthdays.”
It almost got really horrible then. Ryu started to say something, sounding bored, and Kyuu was already thinking doesn’t he get it? and wondering how long they were gonna have to stay mad at each other.
But then Ryu stopped. He stopped and swallowed and said, in a completely different voice, like he was being choked, “It's not... it wasn't about being cool.”
“Then what was it?”
A long silence – which was weird in itself because Ryu always knew what to say – and then, finally: “Surprises are… frightening.”
“You’re not frightened of anything.”
“Sometimes one isn't frightened of what's happening now. Sometimes you remember that you were frightened before. I... I've never...” Ryu ran his hands over his head, through his hair, like he wanted to hide under his own arms. “I've never had a birthday surprise that didn’t mean I had to solve a puzzle.”
“But you're good at –”
“I am now,” Ryu said, voice flattening. “I didn't start off that way. And it isn't fun when everyone’s watching you and you're pretty sure you don't know the answer. I didn't used to know much. Children don't, do they?”
“Like a… like party games? On your birthday? Or… or like a test?”
“On your birthday?”
“I knew the cake would be all right to eat,” he said. “I knew really your mother wouldn't do it. But I wasn't... I wasn't expecting it. I might have missed something.”
He shrugged. “I’m sorry. It was stupid. I’ll tell her it wasn’t her fault.”
Kyuu wasn’t angry any more. Well, he was a bit, but at the kind of people who’d deliberately poison a kid’s birthday cake or whatever other awful thing Ryu was hinting at. For Ryu he just had that mix of sympathy and I’m really glad you’re here and I’m an idiot and you’re weird but it’s okay.
“It wasn’t stupid,” he said. “It’s fine. Mum’ll understand. It’s all right.” And then the air is heavy with all the words they're not saying so he trots out something about how they shouldn’t tell anyone Ryu doesn’t like cake ‘cause Kyuu can just have his portions. And luckily Ryu laughs, and Kyuu knows it is all right, sort of.
[Title] Shadow Puppets
[Fandom] Ayatsuri Sakon
[Notes/Summary] Kaoruko can't understand why Sakon keeps discovering murders.
“Why do you keep going to these kinds of places?” Kaoruko screamed at Sakon after yet another spate of horrific murders within the walls of a traditionally-built Japanese building devoted to cultural activities of the past. “Why can’t you ever hang out in a, a manga shop or a hotel or a maid café? Then maybe this kind of stuff wouldn’t keep happening!”
“Hey, a maid café, that’s not a bad idea.” Ukon prodded Sakon. “Or a hostess bar! Come on, Sakon, let's go to a hostess bar!”
Sakon smiled and pointed out that it isn’t because of him that such murders occur. He often just happens to be on the scene – as a practitioner of Japanese traditional culture himself, it isn’t surprising.
“Huh.” Kaoruko scowled. “Well, if it were me, I’d stop being a practitioner. I mean it’s not like I can’t deal with murder, but the ones I end up seeing when I’m with you are so weird. Doesn’t it get you down? You must be getting sick of creepy masks and blood all over the paper doors and… corpses in shrines and stuff.”
Sakon didn’t argue the point. He didn’t think that Kaoruko would understand if he said no. Obviously it would be nice if humans weren’t constantly driven to kill each other, but if they were going to – which he didn’t see changing any time soon – then if it was happening in candlelight, amid polished wood or tatami flooring or, as Kaoruko said, paper doors – if it was framed by demon masks and kitsune statues and bamboo – then it was a scene he could fit into. A scene he could solve.
Not that he doesn’t do his best if something happens back in what people call the real world, but he feels like a man out of time there. He and Ukon belong to the world of wood and shadow.