Chapter 5:

Year 1-5: The criminal?

Is it ok?

Rikus day began peaceful. He and Satsuki walked to school, like always deep in conversation. Riku really wanted to tell her about Nozomis condition but he had promised her not to say anything. Yesterday she had thanked him again over text, asking him what they had talked about in Yuus car. Apparently she was so out of it she couldn´t remember. When he told her she freaked out. Riku promised to help her in her pursuit of Shinichi.

Now after school he wanted to make good on that promise. He hoped to find Shinichi alone in the club room or at least on his way there. What Riku didn´t expect was a pair of twins running towards him screaming “Riku help us!” on top of their lungs being chased by a tall black guy.
“Yuki, Yuri what did you do?”
“We were stupid.” Yuri answered now hiding behind Riku.
“Knowing you two that´s a given.”
Shinichi came to a halt right in front of Riku. “Hi Riku.” He said friendly, then he glared at the twins as if he was imagining all the ways he could murder them.
“Hello, Shinichi-senpai. What did they do?” Just as Riku had finished that sentence a newspaper was shoved in his face.
“That´s what they did!” Usually Riku liked Shinichi voice, now he was terrified by it. He took a look at the paper: The cover page was a picture of Shinichi. Itou Shinichi Sani criminal? was written in big letters above it.
Riku turned to the covering twins. “Explanation?”
Yuki mustered the courage to stand up again. “We might have dug up some information…”
“You stalked.” Riku interrupted him.
“You could maybe under certain circumstances call it that. Well we had some information. And I swear on Yuri’s life…”
Yuki hushed her. “We didn´t mean for it to get out!”
Yuri now also jumped up, nodding. “How could we have known that there´s a newspaper club member in our class that would just steal the envelope!”
Riku took a deep disappointed breath. “Why did you bring it to school?”
“Yeah! That´s the stupidest idea I´ve ever heard!” Shinichi screamed.
“Shinichi-senpai please calm down you’re scaring them.”
“Good, they should be scarred!”
Riku turned back to the twins, now back cowering on the floor. “So?”
“We wanted to get more details.” Yuri said in the smallest voice Riku had ever heard come from her mouth. He was almost sorry for her, almost.
“And what made you think I would talk to you, complete strangers, about this?” Shinichi came closer.
The twins were hugging each other, preparing to be killed. Riku, not wanting to be a witness to murder, grabbed Shinichi´s arm. “Would you tell me more in detail?”
Shinichi followed him reluctantly. He turned to the twins, making some kind of sign, which Riku interpreted as Shinichi sliding his finger over his throat.

When they entered the club room everyone was already gathered there. Nozomi came running towards Shinichi. “Are you ok?”
Shinichi looked at her pale face, seemingly forgetting he had just chased down a pair of stupid twins. “You´re pale. Nozo…”
She hugged him interrupting whatever he wanted to say. Shinichi seemed to calm down, reminding Riku of a big teddy bear.
Riku explained what had happened. Shu seemed not to be able to hold back his laughter. Shinichi shot him a killer look, which made Shu stop. “I´m sorry but the thought of you running after a pair of poor twins like some feral bear made me crack up.”
“They’re not a pair of poor twins. There idiots not only did they dig up my past, no they were too dumb to make sure it didn´t get out!” Just as Shinichi got louder Nozomi held his hand, making him calm down instantly. Is she some kind of magician? Riku thought.
Shinichi took a very deep breath then turned to Riku. “Is that what you meant when you warned us?”
Riku nodded. “I´m sure they didn´t mean any harm. They just tend to do things without thinking.”
“I´m sure the school will have forgotten about this in a few days.” Hayato said reassuringly, he didn´t sound very confident though.

A few days had gone by and the school had not forgotten. Riku was asked by classmates if the article was right. Riku had not read the article about Shinichi, he felt weird reading about something that obviously hurt his sempai. He tried to ignore his classmates with the exception of Kishimoto.
“Maybe you should talk to him about it again. You know to find out why it pissed him off so much, then maybe the twins could apologize correctly.” He said.
“What makes you think they want to apologize? I´m sure they don´t even realize what they did wrong, they were just scarred of Shinichi-senpai.”
Kishimoto pointed at two blonde heads very badly hiding behind a wall. “I mean, they do seem to at least feel bad.”
“Why is it my duty to clean up their mess?” Riku felt his annoyance bubble up again. It was the same in middle school, that´s why he stopped associating with them.
“I thought you were friends?”
“You´re right in that we were.” Riku stood up, maybe talking with Shinichi wasn´t a bad idea. He did have his mission from Nozomi to fulfill and knowing Shinichi better could come in handy, if he was even willing to talk about this situation.

Riku managed what he´d been hoping for a while: finding Shinichi alone. He was sorting the books in the club room. “Hey, Shinichi-senpai. How are you?” He tried to sound natural, Riku was sure he failed at that.
Shinichi turned away from the books to look at Riku. “I´m great, everyone in school thinks I´m a criminal.”
“Why though?”
Shinichi seemed taken aback. “Didn´t you read the article?”
Riku shook his head. “I thought it wasn´t my place to read it without your consent.”
“You´re actually a nice person.”
“I would call it common decency but I´ll take the complement.”
Shinichi made his way to his chair. “It´s about my dad.” He said.
Riku sat down next to him. “Ok?”
“It´s kina funny… or more stereotypical, you know the black guy has a criminal for a father.” He sounded frustrated.
“Is that a stereotype?”
Shinichi laughed. “You´re either very sheltered or naïve.” He looked at the floor. “He sold drugs for the Yakuza.”
Riku didn´t know what to say. “He´s a yakuza?”
At that Shinichi had to laugh. “I think he thought of himself as one, but no, he was just an underling.”
“Was…” Riku mumbled.
“He´s in prison. My aunt, his younger sister, found out he as selling drugs. He decided that the appropriate way to deal with this was to chase her with a knife, with my infant cousin mind you, and threaten to kill her.”
Riku starred in his face. “Wow, he sounds…awful.”
Shinichi nodded. “I can´t even believe he´s related to my aunt and cousin, they´re nice. Well my mom got divorced from him after a few years of him hitting her and the brilliant idea to try hitting me too.”
“I´m sorry to hear that.”
“No need, you didn´t do anything.” Shinichi looked more sad then angry at the situation.
“I´m sure Yuki and Yuri didn´t mean for this to get out.” Riku tried to break the uncomfortable silence.
“Well they sure made it seem that way.”
“I´ve known them since middle school. They´re really bad at making friends.”
“Is that supposed to be their stupid way of making friends?” Shinichi asked.
“Kind of. Their dad is a journalist, so getting information is like their only talent. I´ll talk with them again, I´m sure an apology isn´t going to make it better but I hope it´s a start.”
“I don´t think you´ll need to do that.” Shinichi pointed to the door. Yuki and Yuri were hiding on either side.
“Can we come in?” Yuri asked.
Shinichi nodded. So they made their way right in front of him. They fell to the floor in a dogeza pose. “We´re so sorry!” They yelled.
Yuki looked up. “We should have made sure the information couldn´t get out.”
Now Yuri looked up. “We´ll do some damage control, we promise!”
“What´s that supposed to look like?” Shinichi asked confused.
Yuri showed them a little book. “We collect information whenever we can, we could use them to ask the newspaper club to retract that article, saying they lied.”
Shinichi nodded, then patted their heads. “Do that and promise me to make sure something like that doesn´t happen again. Or else…” He didn´t need to say what he´d do to them, it became obvious they were scare either way.
“We promise!” They said while running away in terror.
“They really are scared of you.” Riku said impressed.
“As a future cop I should probably be able to do that.” Shinichi seemed pleased with himself.
“You want to become a police officer?” Riku asked shocked.
“Why, do I seem like I couldn’t do that?”
“That´s not what I meant. Now that I think about it you remind me of those nice officers who seem scary but they try everything to sort out the situation in front of them.”
“Good, I don´t want to be like my dad you know.”
Riku laughed. “If I didn´t know any better I would think you only had a mom. You´re way more like her then your dad, so don´t worry, I couldn´t see a world where you would be like him.”
Shinichi smiled. “Thanks. Riku call me Sani from now on, no honorifics needed.”
Riku felt weird to call him that but he did. “Ok, Sani…san.”
Shinichi laughed. Riku couldn´t help but burst out in laughter either.