Yamato had always hated the muggy humidity of summer in Tokyo. Even sitting in an air-conditioned car like he was now, the sticky heat seemed almost poised to attack, barely held at bay by the falsely chilled air struggling out of the idling car’s vents. Yamato told himself that it was the humidity that had left him feeling simultaneously both light-headed and like his insides had been weighted down with hot, molten lead. Yeah. It was the humidity, not the unenviable clusterfuck that his life had become.
“You need a minute?”
Yamato glanced over at Minamoto. The younger officer had invited himself into the car the moment that Yamato had driven up. Yamato could see two other members of the task force milling about in the light near the front entrance of the apartment building, but so far, neither had approached. There were groups of bystanders here and there, but most were staying far back from the officers and none were on the floor that Yamato knew held Daisuke and Ken’s unit.
Yamato probably had Minamoto to thank for that. The man could be strangely intimidating when he wished.
“No, wait,” Yamato requested when Minamoto reached for the car door handle. Minamoto turned toward him expectantly.
“I need you to walk me through it one more time,” the blond man requested, falling back on police procedure in a bid to keep his mind from spinning out of control. He opted not to notice the look of pity that flashed through Minamoto’s eyes.
“Both men were seen entering the apartment building just before 11:00 AM. Then there was no movement until just after 22:10, when Ando and Iseki noted the lights came on.” Yamato nodded to show that he was following even as he continued to watch for movement on Daisuke and Ken’s level.
Minamoto continued, “Ando and Iseki were relieved at 2357 by Kimio and Fukada and it was just when they were about to leave towards the rail station that they noticed the disturbance.”
“Motomiya Daisuke appeared to be throwing potted plants off of his balcony.” Yamato broke in. Minamoto nodded.
“They went back to the car. Kimio and Fukada had also noticed the disturbance and had already radioed it in. That’s when dispatch called me,” Minamoto explained. At Yamato’s strange look, he clarified, “I know the girl who works the graveyard shift. I had asked her to let me know if anything strange came across.”
Yamato nodded. Friends in the right places could make or break a detective, especially when it came to getting to the “good” cases first. Yamato found himself strangely proud of the younger officer’s initiative and forethought. Yamato was certain that Minamoto was going to go somewhere, make a name for himself, unlike some of the other taskforce members.
“So who approached the apartment first?” Yamato asked.
“Ando,” Minamoto answered, “Followed by Iseki. They knocked, pounded Iseki says, on the door, and there was no answer. But they could still hear the pots breaking and were worried someone might get hurt, so Ando says he kicked down the door.”
Yamato watched as white crime scene investigation van pulled up next to the apartment building. He would need to get out there and take control of the scene soon or risk getting locked out of his own investigation.
“When they got into the apartment they did not see Ichijouji, but they could see Motomiya on the balcony. Ando says that by the time they got in there, he was already up on the plant stand, leaning over the rail. They called out to him but…” Minamoto trailed off. There was no point going into explicit detail when they both already knew the end result.
“We do have one other issue,” Minamoto hedged. Yamato nodded for him to continue.
“Ando and Iseki are clear on the idea that he jumped, but there was a witness, a young woman, who is insisting that he was startled and he slipped.
Yamato felt like he had been kicked in the gut. It was hard enough, thinking Daisuke had intentionally chosen to jump off of his balcony, something Yamato was willing to believe, if only because of the depth of Daisuke’s bond with Ken.
But the thought that maybe it had been an accident, that maybe it could have been prevented if someone else, if he, had been the officer to go into that apartment tonight horrified Yamato. He didn’t want to even consider it.
Because, if it were true, Yamato would never be able to look any of the other Digi-destined in their faces again. He did not how much more he could handle losing.
“Did Fukuda or Kimio see anything,” he heard himself ask, his voice dry.
Minamoto frowned. “They say he jumped,” he admitted before acknowledging, “Though it would be hard to tell from their stakeout position.” Yamato nodded.
“And Ichijouji?” he finally asked.
“Deceased,” Minamoto stated simply.
“Suicide?” Yamato assumed, but the only answer he got was Minamoto’s strained silence. Yamato turned to study the other officer, stricken by what he saw there.
“Asphyxiation, most likely,” Minamoto finally admitted, “Through we won’t know for certain until after the autopsy. “
“Daisuke wouldn’t—“ Yamato began before stopping himself. If there was one thing he had learned early in his career, it was never to assume that there was anything humans were incapable of doing, if given the correct incentives. “I see,” was all he said instead. It was all that there was that could be said.
Yamato reached up, turning off the car’s engine even as he opened his door, letting the summer air come rushing in to surround him, heavy and wet. He told himself that it was just the humidity that was what was sucking his breath away. Not Daisuke. Not Ichijouji. Nothing so petty as the personal.
Yamato did not have time for the personal. He did not have the energy. Not when there was work that needed to be done.
And there was always work that need to be done.
God, Yamato thought, unable to stop himself from sighing even has he made his way over to the apartment complex, or, more precisely, the sheet covered body lying nearby, I really hate summer in Tokyo.