When Amon first received the quinque a week later, he didn't think anything of it.
Amon was on his way to visit Shinohara in the infirmary when a third-ranked investigator approached him in the hallway, exclaiming: "Congratulations on capturing Centipede, Investigator Amon!" The investigator then deposited a silver briefcase into a bewildered Amon's arms.
"Thank you, but…er…what is this about?" Amon inquired, baffled.
"Keep it," insisted the investigator, "It's a new quinque, a gift from the CCG to celebrate. It's fresh out of the lab, they have only just finished making it," he clarified.
"Oh?" Amon raised an eyebrow, glancing inquisitively at the object in his arms. "Is that so?"
"Yes, according to the scientists, they were having trouble wielding it during the testing. It even bit one of them in its kakuja mode!" The younger investigator explained, enthusiastically.
"It has a kakuja mode too?" Amon asked as he examined the exterior of the briefcase gifted to him, pleasantly surprised.
"Yes, they were very pleased with how successful it was considering the quinque is for combat and not defence like the Arata."
'Interesting…' Amon thought as he recalled Shinohara's use of the Arata in the fight against the One-eyed Owl during the 11th Ward Battle. "Do you know what Rc type it is?"
"No, they didn't tell me. I think it might be that new chimera quinque they've been developing using some of the kakuhou collected from the 11th Ward Battle. A koukaku and bikaku combination…it looks like they're finally putting all those kakuhou to good use, eh?" The young investigator chirped cheerfully. "Chimera quinque are difficult to use and a kakuja on top of that is going to take some real skill. Good luck with controlling it, Investigator Amon!"
The third-ranked investigator strolled away, whistling as he went.
Amon sighed, his gaze drifting from the investigator's retreating figure to the briefcase in his hands. 'I'll try it out when I get the chance, but first I want to visit Shinohara…'
"Thank goodness. Then you'll be discharged in a few days?" Amon queried, relieved.
"Yeah. Sorry to worry you," replied Shinohara. Sunlight filtered through the blinds by his hospital bed, highlighting the healing man's form with its pleasant glow.
"At the time, I thought it was too late for you," said Amon, softly.
Shinohara gritted his teeth at the memory. "He was eating my Arata."
"A kakuja…" Amon murmured as his most recent conversation with Eyepatch came to the forefront of his mind.
"What have you been eating then?"
"They say that if you repeatedly commit cannibalism, you become a kakuja." Shinohara recited, lifting a bandaged hand. "A kakuja?" He repeated, staring intently at his quivering hand. "No, more like a half-kakuja." Shinohara's shaking fingers curled into a weak fist. "Amon, he's dangerous."
"Shinohara, he's…in the cells…at headquarters." Amon informed the older investigator.
"What?" Shinohara turned to shoot an astounded expression at Amon. "You captured him?"
"Yes, I did," the younger investigator confirmed causing the surprise on Shinohara's face to morph into an impressed smile. "Once you're discharged, do you want to accompany me during my next visit?"
"When are you planning on visiting him?" Enquired Shinohara.
"In two days. I've been too busy with paperwork and ghouls to visit him again this past week," replied Amon.
"Two days?" Echoed Shinohara as he mulled over the dates the doctors had mentioned. "I don't think I'll be discharged by then…I'll accompany you on the following visit instead."
"He'll like that," mused Amon, fondly.
"Who? The ghoul?" Shinohara asked, his eyebrows furrowing.
"Yeah. Eyepatch told me that he wanted to apologise to you," recounted Amon, "for hurting you."
"Hmm…" Shinohara hummed, incredulous. "An apology from a ghoul, huh? I would like to hear it… Tell him that I will speak with him the next time you visit."
Amon carried the briefcase around with him as he worked, like he had done with his previous quinque: Kura.
Two days passed since he had spoken with Shinohara.
A week and two days had passed since his talk with Eyepatch.
He still hasn't opened the briefcase.
The welcoming scent of coffee enveloped Amon in its embrace as he entered Anteiku, the jingling of a bell signalling his entrance. Taking a seat at a table beside the window, Amon opened the provided menu and scanned its list of hot coffee drinks.
'Eyepatch said he wanted some black coffee…why are there so many different blends?! Jamaica Blue Mountain, Hawaii Kona, Mocha Java, Yemen Mocha, Angolan, Brazilian and Kenyan…Which one should I choose?' Pondered Amon as he grew increasingly more stressed with each listed blend. 'Which one would Eyepatch enjoy the most?'
"Welcome to Anteiku. May I take your order, Sir?" A waitress with dark purple hair interrupted Amon's spiralling train of thoughts. Perhaps she could help him pick?
"What blend of black coffee would you recommend? I have a friend who would like some but I'm unsure which blend he would like most."
"Hmm…I would recommend today's special blend. It's a Jamaica Blue Mountain blend with a medium roast that brings out the beans' flavours," she explained, helpfully. "If your friend is a fan of coffee, he will certainly enjoy it."
"Then I'll take one short black of this Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee to go," said Amon, relieved.
"And what size cup would you like?" The waitress asked as she took note of Amon's order.
"Large, please," he replied, knowing the ghoul would be grateful for it.
"Thank you very much. The coffee will be ready shortly."
As he waited, Amon gazed out of the window at the people bustling by, inhaling the rich aroma of freshly brewed coffee. The first question he'll ask Eyepatch would be what kind of coffee he enjoys, that way Amon would be able to bring Eyepatch his favourite coffee the next time he visits along with Shinohara.
"One large, short black, Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee to go," announced the waitress as she handed Amon a takeaway coffee cup. "I hope your friend enjoys it." Amon thanked her and paid for the coffee.
"I'm sure he will, thank you for recommending it."
The paper cup warmed his hand as Amon stepped outside into the chilly air. Amon smiled at it, proudly. He couldn't wait to give Eyepatch the coffee.
With one hand holding the hot drink and the other, his briefcase, Amon made his way back to headquarters.
"I'm here to see Eyepatch in cell two. I'd like access to the interrogation room, please."
The desk lady glanced up at, recognition lighting in her eyes. "I remember. Centipede again, right?"
"Yes, that's right," confirmed Amon.
"I'm sorry but that's not possible, Investigator Amon," she informed as she straightened a stack of papers.
"What? Why?" Amon asked, dismayed. "Was he transferred to Cochlea?"
"A different ward then?" He guessed.
"No," the woman repeated.
"Some other cell? Can I see him?"
"No, haven't you heard? I was sure they would have told you…" She trailed off, her eyes glancing from the coffee Amon held in one hand to the briefcase he was carrying in the other.
"They didn't," stated Amon, displeased.
"A one-eyed ghoul has a lot of potential. We've never seen one up close before much less captured one. It was a rare opportunity so they took it to the lab to harvest its kakuhou," the woman explained.
Amon froze, his mind halting on the words 'harvest' and 'kakuhou'.
Oblivious to Amon's numbing mind, the woman continued to inform him. "One-eyed ghouls are said to be more powerful than ordinary ghouls, they were excited to see just how powerful the quinque would be if they made one from such a ghoul. I heard they gave the quinque to you, Investigator Amon, so I assumed you had already known about this."
'They turned Eyepatch into a quinque? And I have…Eyepatch…' Amon stared at the briefcase in his hands as horror tore at his chest, clawing and shredding at his thudding heart before wriggling up into his throat. 'No…this can't be…'
"Investigator Amon?" At the sound of the woman's voice, Amon blinked and forcefully ripped his gaze away from his trembling grip on the briefcase.
The briefcase Eyepatch was in.
"Sorry, but I need to go back to my office…I…I've got some files that need finishing," he lied.
"I see…" The woman frowned at the obvious excuse. "You should go and finish them before you run out of time."
Amon fled the room before the woman could wish him good luck with the quinque as well.
"It's not the ghouls who are screwing up the world…it's you too."
"Don't make me a killer."
"I…don't want to eat anymore…"
"I'll be seeing you soon then, Amon?"
"Eyepatch…" Amon murmured as he stared at the briefcase lying unresponsively upon his apartment's only coffee table. "I brought the coffee you asked for." He placed the coffee cup with its gradually cooling brew next to the ever-silent briefcase. "I hope you like it…if only…"
'If only you were here to drink it, I would like to have had a long chat with you again.'
Hesitantly, Amon lowered his hand onto the briefcase's surface, silver like Eyepatch's irises. The metal felt cold beneath his fingertips, reminding Amon of the shackles he had restrained Eyepatch with that day.
Realisation gripped his heart in its chokehold. 'It was my fault. I was the one who caught him. I put the handcuffs on him and led him to his death. This is all my fault.'
"Eyepatch…I'm sorry…if only I hadn't stopped you…you could have escaped…" Amon's vision blurred as a sob he had been suppressing fled out of his parted lips. "They wouldn't have turned you into this."
'That's right…it wasn't just me who did this…' Amon swiped a hand across his watery eyes and stood up, shrugging on his coat. He reached over to pick up the briefcase but paused, his hand hovering over the handle.
"I'll see you later…Eyepatch," he promised. Sending one last sorrowful glance over his shoulder at the voiceless briefcase, Amon left his apartment with a heavy heart.
Amon strode into the 20th Ward's CCG lab, maintaining an indifferent mask on his face as he bottled the seething resentment inside.
"Oh! Investigator Amon, what a pleasure it is to see you here. Does your new quinque work well for you?" Asked the Head Researcher of the 20th Ward, approaching Amon with a cheerful smile upon his face.
"I came here to have some questions answered," replied Amon, coldly.
"Ask away and I'll answer them to the best of my ability."
"Why wasn't I told about the decision to turn Eyepatch into a…quinque?" Amon snapped. If the scientist was bothered by Amon's sharp tone, he didn't show it.
"I can see why you would be upset about that, you are the investigator who captured it after all. Well…when we saw the photos of the ghoul and its single kakugan, we were thrilled at the opportunity presented to us. To think we would be the first to create a quinque from a one-eyed ghoul! Imagine the possibilities! The power we will wield!" The scientist exclaimed, his eyes shining with wonder. "This project had so much potential! We couldn't wait any longer. As soon as we got permission from the higher-ups, we got to work on extracting the one-eye's kakuhou."
"What happened to keeping Eyepatch alive for information?" Amon asked through gritted teeth.
The scientist raised an eyebrow. "We were informed that you had already interrogated the ghoul once. Therefore, we assumed you had already extracted enough information, Investigator Amon."
"I was told the quinque bit someone," recounted Amon, changing the subject before he said something he would regret.
"Yes, it was my assistant. None of us could control it. So we thought Arima Kishou would be able to handle the quinque, we planned on giving it to him but…" The scientist trailed off, frowning.
"But?" Amon prompted.
"We thought we should see if you could control it first. The ghoul wanted it too and you were the investigator who caught it so-"
"Wait." Amon interrupted the scientist, cutting his explanation short. "What do you mean 'the ghoul wanted it too'?"
"Before we took the ghoul to the lab, we asked it if it had any last words or requests, it is a mandatory procedure we must follow. One request was that should it be turned into a quinque, the quinque should be given to Amon Koutarou."
'Eyepatch wanted me to wield the quinque they made from him?' Even after he was gone, the ghoul still continued to astonish Amon. "Is there a written record of these last words?"
"No, we don't bother complying with a ghoul's last wish. They don't deserve it, so why should we bother wasting our time on them?" Grumbled the scientist. "Now, about that quinque-"
"I'm keeping the quinque," asserted Amon, glaring at the scientist, determination burning in his eyes. "Even if I can't control him."
Without deeming to give the man a second glance, Amon stalked away, leaving the scientist to stare at his retreating form in stupefied bafflement.
Cell two had all the basics a prisoner would need. It had a cot with a thin, fraying blanket; a toilet and a sink with running water; it even had a working lightbulb. This cell was where the infamous, SS-rated, eye-patched ghoul had been held prisoner.
'Eyepatch deserved better than this.' Amon thought as his gaze drifted from the cracking paint on the wall to the book lying forlornly upon the cot's single pillow.
The Black Goat's Egg. Its familiar title stared back at him, dredging up memories of a black-nailed finger tracing the letters with a tender fondness.
Carefully, Amon lifted the book up into his hands and gave the room a final scan before leaving. However, just as Amon took his first step away from the bed, something light collided with his foot and was sent clattering across the floor. Startled, Amon glanced around until his gaze fell upon a pen lying innocently by the wall.
'Strange…' Thought Amon as he plucked the pen from the hard floor. 'Why would he have a pen in his cell?'
That night, a book and pen joined the silver briefcase on Amon's coffee table…
"Good morning, Amon," greeted Shinohara as Amon entered the lift to the offices with him.
"Oh, Shinohara, they finally released you? How are you feeling?" Amon asked, pleasantly surprised to see that the investigator had been discharged.
"I feel well enough to take on a few ghouls," replied Shinohara, cheerfully. "Speaking of ghouls, why don't we visit this ghoul of yours that you captured?" Amon froze, nausea bubbling in his throat.
Eyepatch wanted to apologise to Shinohara but now…
"Eyepatch…" Amon's voice sounded hoarse and he coughed to clear his throat.
"Hmm?" Shinohara hummed, giving the younger investigator his full attention as he waited for Amon to speak again.
"The lab took Eyepatch…Shinohara…they turned him into a quinque." Amon's voice cracked on the last word as his grief made itself known.
"That's…unfortunate," commented Shinohara, sympathetically. Unfortunate is an understatement. "I was hoping to hear the ghoul's apology from the ghoul himself. May I ask who the quinque was given to?"
"They gave the quinque to me, Shinohara," replied Amon, quietly. "They said that Eyepatch wished for me to wield it."
"I'm surprised they complied with the ghoul's wishes," remarked the older investigator. "The last time they had done so was nearly ten years ago." Shinohara's gaze dropped to Amon's empty hands. "Where's this new quinque of yours, Amon? I would like to see it."
"He's at my apartment. I haven't opened the briefcase yet," answered Amon.
"Why don't you have it with you, Amon? You know how dangerous it is to go around unarmed," admonished Shinohara.
Staring unseeingly at his clenching fists, Amon said, "It's better if Eyepatch stays at home. Even if I am attacked, I wouldn't be able to open it anyway. I can't…just…not yet…"
PING! "This is floor seven. Please mind the doors," announced a recorded voice as the lift's doors parted.
"Oh and Amon?" Shinohara came to a halt only a step out of the lift and turned around to face the younger investigator still in the elevator. "When you feel ready, spend some time practicing with your quinque. If the ghoul wanted you to wield it, I'm sure he would be happy if you spar with him."
As the elevator's doors began to close, Amon's lips twitched upwards into a small smile.
As he walked towards his office, Amon shuffled through the pile of papers he was carrying, giving them a brief scan to see what papers he had been given. No. 440…No.536…
Amon's feet came to a stop. No.798.
The file had been updated since Amon had last seen it. A pair of familiar silver eyes met his. Despite the emotionless expression on the mug shot, Eyepatch's eyes were smouldering with a fierce resolve, unshakeable in the anguish that threatened to extinguish it.
Amon noted that the pile of photos (attached via paperclip) was considerably thicker compared to those on the other ghouls' profiles. After flicking through them, he soon discovered the reason being was that a majority of them were photos of Eyepatch's kakugan.
A single kakugan.
Yasuhisa Kurona and Nashiro. They were human in the past…
'How could a human become a ghoul?'
Eyepatch had the same eyes.
'If it's possible for a human to become a ghoul then…'
"Thank you very much!" A voice chirped and too late did Amon realise that he was standing too close to the corner as a body barrelled into him, scattering the papers he was holding over the floor. "Oh! I'm sorry!"
"Nagachika?" Amon asked the bowing boy. He had thought that voice sounded vaguely familiar.
"Oh…Mr. Amon." Nagachika Hideyoshi replied, confirming Amon's suspicions.
"I should apologise. Are you all right?" Enquired Amon, concerned.
"Yes." Upon seeing Amon kneeling down to gather the disseminated papers, Nagachika swiftly joined him. "Ah, I'll do that," he offered.
Before Amon could reach it first, the young assistant scooped Eyepatch's file up from the floor. He paused, staring at the top secret file, making no move in handing it back to Amon.
"Nagachika?" Amon's voice fell on deaf ears as Nagachika's eyes remained fixed upon the page before him, frozen. "Hey, Nagachika."
Nagachika blinked, causing a tear to roll down his cheek. "Huh?"
Amon was alarmed. Usually, Nagachika was like the sun, he was always cheerful to the point it was almost blinding to the often gloomy CCG workers. "What's wrong?"
"Oh…" Nagachika brushed the tear away and gave a somewhat forced-sounding chuckle. "It's nothing. I was just thinking, I've heard a lot about this 'Eyepatch' lately. The status just shocked me that's all. 'Eliminated' already, huh?" Something about the way Nagachika spoke sounded off, even to Amon who had little contact with the newly employed assistant.
Amon remained silent as he finished collecting all the fallen papers. Once done, the two stood.
"Well, thank you very much," said Nagachika as he dipped his head at Amon, holding onto his red and white cap with one hand.
"Yeah…Good work." Amon replied. He watched as the assistant walked away, frowning at the subtle trembling of Nagachika's shoulders.
Amon sighed as he trudged down the deserted hallway, tired after spending the day sorting through those documents. His mind wandered to the silver briefcase sitting upon his coffee table at home. He didn't want to leave Eyepatch waiting and alone for much longer than he was forced to.
"Why…'Neki…" The muffled voice, barely heard over Amon's heavy footfalls, caught the investigator's attention. He scanned the empty, white hallway for the source of the sound, straining his ears.
There! It was coming from the male's restroom.
Stifled sobbing filtered in through a crack in the door beside Amon. "….Rabbits…die of loneliness…I can't…please…"
"You didn't…deserve to…die like this, Kaneki!" Nagachika wailed andAmon felt his heart wrench at the sheer grief that permeated those mournful words.
Amon backed away from the door, his mind whirling. Nagachika had been upset earlier when Amon had spoken to him. So this was why? Someone Nagachika knew, someone called Kaneki, had died?
Amon wanted to go in there and offer Nagachika his support. After grieving Mado Kureo's death, he knew how much a little bit of comfort and support can help. Amon didn't know how he would have coped if it wasn't for Shinohara.
He wanted to help Nagachika but…
He didn't know Nagachika very well, they have only spoken a handful of times. If he was to go in there now, would Nagachika appreciate it knowing Amon had witnessed him during such a private moment?
Amon's hand hovered over the door's surface, uncertain. Should he?
"Don't l-leave me…K-Kaneki…" Nagachika pleaded brokenly and Amon could hear the way his breath hitched with each body-wracking sob.
He should but…
The next day, Nagachika was absent from work.
Amon left the briefcase at home again.
He still hasn't opened it.
With a relieved moan, Amon sank into the soft cushions of his sofa. His back ached after sitting through all those meetings in those awful, hard, spine-breaking chairs. Why couldn't the CCG invest in some more comfortable and investigator-friendly chairs?
Amon yawned and cracked one bleary eye open, only to find his coffee table empty. Shooting up onto his feet, heart-racing, Amon frantically searched the living room.
Did somebody steal Eyepatch?! Where is the briefcase?! How could I lose it?!
His foot bumped into something under the coffee table and Amon's heart leapt in response. Peering under the table, Amon collapsed onto his knees and sighed in relief.
"There you are, Eyepatch. I thought I lost you," he said, fondly, as he carefully manoeuvred the briefcase into his arms. "Ah…your book."
The novel that had been sitting on the table alongside the briefcase was now lying upon the floor. 'Did something knock them over?' Amon wondered as he plucked the book up from where it had fallen. Standing up, Amon carried his burden over to his sofa, scanning the room for clues as he did so. 'That's strange…there's nothing here that could have knocked them over.'
Amon settled back down onto the couch, Eyepatch on the seat beside him with the book upon his lap. He traced the title with a finger absentmindedly as he debated whether or not he should read it.
Why not? He has time for it.
Curious to see what kind of book had enraptured Eyepatch, Amon turned the cover to the first blank page of The Black Goat's Egg.
Except it wasn't blank.
In neat, elegant handwriting, a letter was inked into the page.
I am aware that the CCG does not bother recording the last wishes of ghouls, so I have written this for you so that you may know them.
Firstly, should they harvest my kakuhou and turn me into a quinque, I want you, Amon Koutarou, to wield me. I know this might be hard for you, but please don't leave me alone inside that briefcase.
I don't want to be alone.
Ever since that night we first exchanged blows with each other, I had wondered what it would have been like to fight beside you rather than against you.
Take my quinque with you. Let me help you protect them.
Also, in the back of this book there is another letter. Please tear it out and give it to Nagachika Hideyoshi. When I am gone, please look after Hide and make sure that he lives the long, happy life that he deserves.
I wish I could continue protecting Hide…and everyone at Anteiku.
Remember our conversations, Amon. Not all ghouls are murderers just as not all humans are murderers. I have learned to see the world from both sides, human and ghoul. The world may be wrong but perhaps we were meant to fix it. Surely, one day, humans and ghouls will be able to coexist peacefully together?
I'm glad we were able to talk, Amon. I truly enjoyed every moment of it. I'm still looking forward to that coffee you promised me. I hope it's not instant coffee (and let me warn you, if you're trying to win a ghoul over with coffee, go for the freshly brewed coffee. The best coffee is at Anteiku.). At the moment though, I wouldn't mind it even if you brought me instant coffee (bring a good brand like Blondy at least). The CCG doesn't serve coffee to its prisoners.
I've tried looking for a way to escape, but the CCG hasn't been taking any chances with me.
I overheard the guards whispering about how the scientists at the lab want to turn me into a quinque. Soon. Without telling you too.
It doesn't look like we'll be speaking again, Amon. I really wish I could have spoken with you more, there's so much about ghouls that is misunderstood or remains unheard by humans.
Look after this book for me and read it if you want. I've written my list of recommended books, which I had mentioned last time, in the back after Hide's letter.
-End of Part Two-
End of Chapter Notes:
-Blondy: a popular, fairly cheap brand of instant coffee in Tokyo Ghoul, available in jars or canned from vending machines. It is extremely popular with ghouls such as Nishiki.
Thanks for reading chapter two! :)