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You're a Sham, Asogi!

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“The very foundation of the prosecution’s case is in shambles!” Ryunosuke concluded, slamming his hands down on the bench. “The cause of death was not a puncture wound. The glass is irrelevant in this murder!” 

 

“Objection!” Kazuma smirked, his fingers on his temple. “I am afraid your facts are outdated, Mr. Naruhodo.” He reached into his folder and revealed an envelope. “I had doubts about the initial autopsy report, thus I have appealed to one Doctor Maria Gorey for her opinion. She has confirmed that asphyxiation could be caused by an infection near the lungs, an example of which we can see in the photographic print of the crime scene.” With a bow, he addressed the judge, “The prosecution would like to submit the updated autopsy report as evidence, my lord.”

 

“Objection! My lord, the defense was not informed of these alleged new facts. I don’t see why the prosecution would need to conduct a second autopsy in secret. I implore you to consider the possibility of foul play here.”

 

“Objection!” Kazuma’s eyes bore into Ryunosuke’s soul. “I kindly ask the defense to refrain from attacks not only on my person, but on Dr. Gorey and the legal team that oversaw the autopsy.”

 

“I-”

 

“Objection sustained. This is the most unorthodox thing I’ve seen in a while, but…” The judge shook his head, and declared: “The court accepts Dr. Gorey’s autopsy report as evidence.”

 

“Ryunosuke-san…” Susato whispered. “I am afraid it is our case that is in shambles.”

 




“Ryunosuke, stop being ridiculous.” 

 

He didn’t look up from his book, comfortable between the ottoman and his blanket. “I kindly ask the prosecution to refrain from attacks on my person.” 

 

“You already won the case. What are you so angry about?”

 

He flipped the next page.

 

Kazuma sighed. “Please, partner, just come to bed.”

 

“You should have thought of that before updating the autopsy report, Prosecutor Asogi.”

 

“Is that what this is about?” Kazuma attempted to sit beside him, but after a sharp glare, thought better of it. “I was only following my instincts with respect to my duty. You can’t be suggesting the prosecution discuss the details of the case with the defense?”

 

“This is the cause of death we are talking about!” Ryunosuke snapped. “I am not saying you should discuss your entire strategy with me, but the developments on the basic facts of the case must be made known to all parties involved!” His argument made it too easy for Ryunosuke to slip into his professional speech patterns. 

 

“I received the final report just before the trial. I didn’t even have the opportunity to discuss the change in my case with the judge beforehand.” 

 

“You asked for the report long before that, though. The defense has the right to know about the investigations you initiate through official channels.” 

 

“Only after the inspection has concluded, not during.” Kazuma crossed his arms. “What do you want me to do, Ryunosuke? Apologize for doing my job?”

Ryunosuke only buried himself further into the sofa and pretended to be very indulged in his book.

 

“Alright. Be that way.” With a huff, Kazuma stomped out the door. “Hurt your back on that tiny excuse for a sofa. See if I care.”

 

“I have a very small structure you know,” he called out after his partner. “I can be very comfortable here!”

 

His only response was the crash of their bedroom door against its hinges. 

 




“Lord van Zieks,” Ryunosuke greeted. “May I ask for a small favor? I need these statements forwarded to Prosecutor Asogi for his signature.”

 

“Of… course…” Barok said slowly, confused. “You… certainly can do it this very moment, for that he is right across the room.” 

 

He shook his head. “I believe it might be wiser to hand him such documents through his supervisor. He is known to alter them when they don’t particularly sit right with him.

 

From where he stood, he couldn’t see Kazuma’s desk behind his back, but he could hear his bristling just fine. “Lord van Zieks, I expect you to not allow implications like that toward your disciple. Please inform Mr. Naruhodo that such alterations don’t happen without concrete evidence and the approval of related experts.”

 

“Lord van Zieks, if you would kindly remind Prosecutor Asogi that it is highly unwonted that he revise the files his case is built on in the middle of a trial, and that appropriate procedure would be to either submit it for the next trial if the case were not closed, or reopen it with additional evidence if it were.”

 

“I implore you to remind Mr. Naruhodo that I have gained the trust of the British court for a reason, and I may use that trust to speed up the process of getting to the truth as I see fit, without being held back by bureaucracy.” 

 

“You wouldn’t allow your disciple to take such unorthodox shortcuts wherever he might see fit, would you, Lord van Zieks?”

 

“I hope you would agree when I say ‘shortcut’ is a gross exaggeration-”

 

“Enough,” Barok snapped, halting the dispute with the sharp sound of his leg landing on top of his desk. “Pray forgive my discourtesy, but I shall not be a part of… whatever this is.” With his chalice in hand, he reached for a bottle of wine, paused, took two instead, and headed for the door. “Resolve your petty squabbles on your own,” he commanded, before letting the door slam behind him. 

 

For minutes after Barok left, Kazuma and Ryunosuke glared at each other, challenging the other to be the one who would break the silence. Kazuma crossed his arms, his sharp gaze piercing through Ryunosuke’s skull, and even though he responded in kind with a defiant frown on his face, Ryunosuke couldn’t help the thought of how kissable his partner looked.

 

Then Ryunosuke realized he couldn’t just walk up and kiss his partner, not right now,  which soured his mood further. He all but threw the folder on the table, albeit not without making sure the last crime scene model Kazuma worked hard on wouldn’t be harmed by the impact - save for an isolated panel that would be easy to replicate, because he still needed to make a point.

 

“Signature.” 

 

“I heard.”

 




Ryunosuke pointedly spread his sheet onto the ottoman, looking right into his partner’s eyes. 

 

“This is just childish at this point.”

 

He didn’t stop staring as he settled along his pillow, reaching for his book.

 

“I will not humor you by acknowledging whatever it is that you think you are doing, Ryunosuke.”

 

He pulled the blanket up to his chest. 

 

“Argh!” Kazuma slammed the coffee table. “You win. I am acknowledging it. Stop sleeping on the damn sofa.”

 

He opened the cover of his book as slowly as he could.

 

“You will hurt your back at this rate.”

 

He pulled out the bookmark.

 

“Fine. Be petty. I will go to sleep, alone, comfortable with none but Karuma on my giant, real bed.

 

Ryunosuke finally broke eye contact pretending to yawn, discarded the book that was little more than an accessory at this point, and laid his head on the pillow, humming comfortably.  

 

He proudly listened to Kazuma’s stomping footsteps disappearing into the corridor, and only after hearing the bedroom door slam, he opened his eyes and let the tiny smile drop from his face.

 

He was beginning to hate this sofa. 

 

Maybe he was being unfair to the sofa. It had been supporting him through his battles against a cheating prosecutor. It was a good friend. 

 

He caressed the cushions as a silent apology. 

 

It was lonely, though, was the thing. He had pointedly ignored this fact last night, steaming in his frustration; but the feeling was starting to slip through his fingers, making way for blatant craving to settle in its stead. The lack of soft breathing near his ears, or the warmth in his arms, or the familiar scent from under his chin… Ryunosuke had never realized how accustomed he had grown to sharing a bed with someone. 

 

Usually, even if they had to part for a while, Kazuma would leave his sword with Ryunosuke, so he would at least have Karuma to feel a weak echo of his partner beside him. He didn’t even have that now, and he kept turning between the sheets, hoping the day’s exhaustion would triumph over the longing soon enough. 

 

He heard the bedroom door open once more. He crawled further under his blanket, pretending to be asleep. 

 

“You’re not fooling anyone, Ryunosuke.”

 

“Yes I am,” he murmured from under his breath, as if he were merely exhaling the words in his sleep. 

 

Kazuma sighed. 

 

Ryunosuke stayed silent.

“Alright. You won’t come to bed.”

 

No reaction. 

 

“...can I sleep here instead, then?”

 

Ryunosuke’s eyes popped open. 

 

“Just so you know, I will not apologize for anything. I didn’t do anything wrong and you are being a brat. But…” Sighing again, Kazuma added, “I miss you, partner.”

 

His treacherous lips curled up. He could only hope Kazuma didn’t see his smile under the dim candlelight. 

 

“I only wish that you would let me sleep next to you for the night.”

 

“Oh, thank God.” Ryunosuke sat up, reaching out with his hands. It was too hard to hold on to that last drop of his anger after Kazuma said those things. “Hurry up and come here.”

 

Despite the cloak of the night, Ryunosuke felt Kazuma’s grin, right before another body crashed into his chest, arms immediately wrapping around his waist. 

 

Kazuma kissed the top of his head, inhaling sharply. “I should never forgive you for avoiding me like that.” After a pause, he added, “And never call me Prosecutor Asogi again.”

 

“What am I supposed to call you in court, then? Honey? Dearest? Objection, my beloved?”

 

Besides professional settings, obviously.” To his credit, Kazuma indeed tried to sound harsh, but the smile in his voice was clear as day.

 

With a chuckle, Ryunosuke pulled his partner down next to him. The ottoman was too small for them both, but it was hard to mind when it forced them closer. 

 

Kazuma had other concerns, though. He had to constantly wiggle under the blanket, trying to find a comfortable position. “How do you sleep with this thing in the way?”

 

“What thing?” Ryunosuke followed his gaze. “The headrest? Are you saying your head can’t rest here?” 

 

“I retract my previous statement. I did not miss you and your lazy puns. At all.”

 

“I am sorry, Kazuma, I am genuinely concerned that this headrest does not feel right for you. Maybe we should see the carpenter again.”

 

“I… don’t think it’s necessary?”

 

“Perhaps he could offer his expert opinion on the matter.”

 

“Where are you going with this.”

 

“Or should I say he could even-”

 

“You should not.

 

“-update our furniture.”

 

Kazuma groaned. “You’re never going to let me live that down, will you?”

 

Ryunosuke snickered, nuzzling the crook of his partner’s neck. “Never,” he repeated. 

 

Sighing, Kazuma pulled him closer, breathing in his scent.  “You are awfully lucky that I love you very much.” After some more wiggling, he let out another groan. “Why don’t we sleep on our actual bed?”

 

“Because that you are here makes it clear that you waved the white flag first.”

 

His face buried in Ryunosuke’s hair, Kazuma’s voice was little more than a grunt. “Insufferable.”