Dedication: To Superpixie42, who has been a darling dear for so long. Happy belated, love.

Warnings: Smut (if you'd like to skip, in the very first section of the story stop at "five minutes are up" and then start reading again at the start of the new section) and also mentions of sexual harassment/assault committed by a minor character on off-screen characters. If you have any concerns or questions, please contact me.


Deductions

Part One

Chapter 12: I Told You


Inuyasha stared at the ceiling, his internal clock ticking away. Each second that went by was a reminder of things undone: the mole at Sakura Scientific, the data yet to be understood from the Suzuki drive, the matching ring and its hidden code with a treasure that hadn't yet been found. It hadn't been that intruding at first, the dregs of sleep clinging and making the thoughts the slightest bit hazy. But it hadn't lasted. It never did. Quickly, those tiny reminders became louder, more prudent, until Inuyasha was sorting through their latest clues with something akin to desperation.

And then there was just no stopping it.

He looked down at Kagome, sleeping tucked into the crook of his arm. So many books would always write that those who slept looked their most peaceful, but she simply looked like she was sleeping. There was no resting peace, no serene quality that took over her features. This was why he didn't read anymore.

Inuyasha rolled over, the better to stare at her. He gave himself four seconds before shaking her awake. Instantly, her face scrunched up, hand reaching only to push at his arm. "Not yet," she whined. The words were hardly more than a slur. When Inuyasha didn't do or say anything, Kagome snuggled back into his body heat, relaxing.

He shook her again. "It's time to get up."

"No." She buried herself deeper.

"Kagome."

Another whine. "Five more minutes?" Her head popped up slightly, dark eyes in tiny slits. She was barely conscious, but her lips tilted downwards, pouting. One of her hands came up to pet his neck, smoothing down the line of his shoulder and arm.

He shouldn't. He really shouldn't. There was so much shit to do.

Inuyasha huffed and Kagome made another little noise, pitiful. Her head collapsed back down onto his arm. "Fine," he breathed out, noting that Kagome didn't even rejoice in her win. She was so relaxed already that she seemed to sink right back into sleep, knowing that it would be fine. Inuyasha shook his head. He settled, knowing that he had promised five minutes. He brushed at her hair, the long lines of silky black strands getting caught and tangled between his fingers. Probably from moving so much against the mattress. The reminder sent heat spiralling through him, a pleasant warmth he wasn't overly familiar with.

Had he expected this to happen? No. Inuyasha would be lying if he had stated he had. Maybe after Sunday, after he told her about his scars there was a chance. Inuyasha hadn't even really known why he had shared that part of his past at all. Kagome made him want things that were so different than the life he had built for himself over the last seven years. From the life he had lived before even that, before he had been forcibly brought to Hakurei and told to be good in a tone so condescending Inuyasha had wanted to punch everyone within a five kilometre radius.

What was it about her? Inuyasha wondered this, let his mind sink into the very fabric of it. He was rarely attracted to people at all, rarer still for any form of attraction to last beyond the other person opening their mouth. Yet Kagome had done all of those things, lasted through all of those barriers, and still managed to be around.

Be around and not make him want to die.

There had only been one other person like that and she—

Inuyasha let his hand trail down to her shoulder before he rolled her onto her back, giving him just enough leverage to lean over and kiss the purple bruise at the hinge of her jaw. "Kagome," he murmured. "Five minutes are up."

Kagome groaned but to her credit she did rub at her eyes, trying to wake. "Are you sure?" she asked.

Humming an affirmative, he turned his attention back to her neck. There was only one other bruise, closer towards her collarbone. In the light of day, that seemed like a mistake. He started to suck a mark into her neck before she had time to ask any other questions, anything else to distract him. Because Inuyasha would not be distracted.

"I'm going to have a hard enough time covering these up," Kagome gasped, but her hand clearly went to his scalp, pressing him closer while she tilted her neck to give him more room. Words and body language, a strange dichotomy. Inuyasha was fluent in both, despite what Miroku thought, and so far everything was pointing towards a very different morning than he had planned.

Still. "Should I stop?" he asked, eyebrows raised.

Kagome blinked at him. She stared for a beat too long before she shook head. "No, I really don't think you should."

"Good," Inuyasha decided, crawling until he was on top of her. "Now that that's settled." And then he spent some valuable time licking his way down her body, pulling out every possible sound that she could make. Last night was about taking her apart but right now, Inuyasha wanted. He wanted with a fire that had combusted suddenly, fuel-added and spitting. He wanted to consume her, every possible bit of her. He wanted to know every look, every breath, every sound that came from her, this woman who had entered his life and had made a space so wretchedly easily that Inuyasha was at a loss. At a loss because no amount of deducing could explain it: why she meant more, why she never tired of him, why she was as interested in these things as he was.

Not even—

No other—

Kagome cried out as he sucked and bit into the curve of her hip. Her hands tangled in his hair, pulling without any kind of power, and Inuyasha stayed his welcome until the skin started to mottle. This was a part of it: the craving he held to make Kagome his in any way he possibly could. The beginnings of the bruise showed before him and Inuyasha stared for a few long seconds as he contemplated some more on exactly what this was, what these feelings concluded.

Inuyasha wanted every inch of her, every bit that Kagome was willing to give. Up until now, he had been slowly but surely tearing pieces of himself out, carving the space that she so clearly had taken over. He had given the last of it the other night, his admission to the more of their partnership a clear-cut indicator.

So that was it, then. This was them.

Somehow, this did not relax him. If anything, Inuyasha felt wilder. He felt too big for his body, too much for his soul. His hands danced along the swells of her body, feeling up and down every inch. Kagome sat up, hands touching him everywhere as she pressed him back down into the mattress. Her body on top was a prize in and of itself, a stunning display to drink in and memorize. And Inuyasha had done so last night, several times.

This was yet another.

Kagome didn't breathe a word. She didn't have to, normally, but Inuyasha was losing track of all the things he wanted to do to her and all the things she was telling him with her body. Every cue and gasp and look meant something and while his brain tried to eat it all up, swallow it and savour, there was too much before him to process. Too much to consider, even as she slid down the lithe line of his body. Her long black hair was a curtain of mystery, an oversight quickly noted when she took his cock in hand and stroked it hard and slow. Inuyasha choked back a gasp, eyes closing against his will at the sensation.

This was better than any thrill. Better than bungee jumping over waterfalls, cliff diving off mountains. Better than the chase of clues, one after the other until a picture clicked into place, rapid-quick with each deduction uttered from his lips. Her touch was like fire, burning through him, that flame stoking higher. There was nothing delicate about it, but Kagome had never been particularly delicate, had she?

Inuyasha opened his eyes at the call of his name, seeing pleased brown eyes before they, too, disappeared as she ducked down, as her lips wrapped against the head of cock and sucked. If Inuyasha believed in any sort of god, he may have prayed. As it was, all he could do was groan, trying his best to keep his hips to the mattress and not fuck her mouth.

And the sounds. God, just the sound of her around his dick tested every ounce of stamina he had. Inuyasha closed his eyes again because he couldn't look. Looking would mean seeing, and seeing would mean understanding, and then he would cave. He would crack open, pressure points in hardened stone, and split with a thundering shudder as he fell to the earth.

Fuck, he was falling.

"Kagome," he gasped out, and he was pleading, wasn't he? Somehow, some way, Inuyasha always seemed to end up pleading to her, far more desperate than he had ever been in his life. Yet another difference, another mystery to be solved where Kagome was concerned.

He'd have to do some more testing, just to see.

It was his turn to grasp her hair, far gentler than she had been. Inuyasha took in the swollen puff of her red lips, shiny with spit, and the flush along her face. Her pupils were dilated, blown with lust, and Inuyasha could observe no further as he twisted her around, pressing her front into the softness of the mattress, a hand at her back. Kagome whined, whether at the handling or the position, he couldn't figure out. Too far gone, Inuyasha realized. This was desperation clawing at him again, confusing his senses.

Desperation is a loss of control, a familiar voice haunted. You showed your hand: you need me and now I can do whatever I want. That, Inuyasha, is power.

He licked at the dimples of her back, tasting the sweat of last night. He scraped his teeth along the flesh of her neck, a gentle warning that Kagome shivered with. She trusted him so much, with absolutely everything.

Inuyasha refused to waste more time. He dug into his nightstand for a condom, rolling it on with hands that were oddly steady. Kagome was already lifting her hips up, already bracing herself on her knees. Inuyasha didn't want that, though. He wanted every inch of her, just like he had demanded in the beginning. He wanted every breath and gasp and keen. With firm hands he grabbed a pillow for under her hips and pushed her back down onto it.

"Inuyasha." His name, simple, but there was something in the way she said it. Was it a demand? A plea? A question? He was too caught up, too overwhelmed by everything before him. Inuyasha could no longer stay away and so he crawled, plastering himself up against her and capturing her hands in his. She stretched along with him, her arms following as he raised them above her head. He nuzzled at the side of her face, kissed the flushed skin that peeked from her long, dark strands of hair.

"Let me be good for you," he whispered huskily, heat already pooling through his system at the feel of his cock against the burning heat of her. She was already so wet and he hadn't even touched her yet.

Kagome nodded, voice nothing more than a whine. It was the only invitation he needed. The first thrust was a slow, aching sort of torture. He could feel her take him in, inch by inch, lighting him on fire all over again. He readjusted, widening his legs until he could press all the way inside, until every part of him was consumed by her.

It was a cycle, wasn't it? Inuyasha and Kagome, a give and take that went on and on and on. He gave and she took; she took and he gave. Equally consumed and equally enraptured, brought together by mystery and held together with something much more unsolvable.

The thought spiralled, made itself home in his mind, and Inuyasha was helpless to do anything more than let it. He held her tighter, rocking into her with slow, powerful thrusts that had her breaths hitching at every one. He raised himself up, the barest amount to kiss along her shoulder, wet and sloppy as he continued to thrust inside. Every motion came faster, harder, until Kagome was keening below him and grinding her hips into the pillow. He rocked against her harder, buried himself so deep that the only thing she could breathe was his name.

He was losing it. He was becoming undone, slowly and surely. A trail of breadcrumbs would be less obvious than his shuddering groans, than the bites he pressed into her skin.

"Fuck," he whispered, burying his face into the back of her neck. "Fuck, Kagome, I can't—"

"Yes, god, please," Kagome panted. "I'm so close."

And fuck, all he wanted to do was let go. Inuyasha bit his lip and reveled in the flare of pain, sinking his cock deep inside of her and stilling, waiting, letting her grind against him and the pillow. He would give her anything and everything, let her use him as the rules of intimacy dictated. He felt each shuddering inhale, each half-gasped breath until Kagome stilled, neck arching and mouth opening in a silent cry. He could feel her come apart around him, so tight and wet that Inuyasha could barely do more than grasp her wrists tighter and slam into her over and over and over and—

If Inuyasha whispered anything into her heated flesh, his mind didn't record it.

That was fine, though. With the way Kagome was sagging boneless beneath his bulk, he was pretty sure she didn't hear either.


Well shit.

Inuyasha stared at the ceiling and realized that Kagome was, in fact, the best and worst kind of distraction. Five minutes, yeah right.

His phone vibrated angrily on the nightstand.

Kagome groaned but didn't move an inch from her sprawled out position on the bed. She hadn't even moved after he rolled off of her, body lax and malleable. Inuyasha would have to remember that sex with Kagome before anything remotely important was probably a very bad idea. She clearly was the type to pass out.

Quietly, Inuyasha grabbed his phone and saw the message from Sango.

[Incoming Message from Sango Houko – 06/19/2019, 7:53 AM]

Where are you?

You told me yesterday to bring them in. Well, I have them in.

WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU?

For fuck's sake.

"Kagome," he started, head turning on the mattress to stare at her. Her eyes were closed, breathing deep and even. She wasn't asleep but she was close. Inuyasha found it endearing, and then was annoyed that he found it as such. "I need to go to the station right away. You need to stay here. Miroku will text you in an hour, letting you know when he's coming by to drop off the missing Jane Doe file."

That, at least, got a frown. Kagome opened her eyes into tiny slits, head tilting up the slightest bit. "Shouldn't I come with you?"

"No," he answered, as casually as he could. "Stay here. Go through the file and see if anything was missed. I won't be long."

"Text me," Kagome told him sleepily, head crashing back onto the pillow.

Inuyasha stared at her for a moment too long before getting up. The best and worst distraction, indeed. He made quick work of getting ready, jumping in and out of the shower before throwing his hair up and heading downstairs. He sent a message to Myoga, a request for breakfast and tea if he wouldn't mind within the next hour, and then grabbed his red jacket just as he heard the sound of Kagome stirring awake. It made him pause for only a split second, thoughts of her slowly crawling out of his bed far too tempting.

He jammed the button for the elevator a little too hard, but that was fine. Sesshomaru only installed the best, after all.

He made it to the station in record time without Kagome, safety no longer than issue as he weaved through traffic at breakneck speeds. Sango was waiting for him in the lobby, purpling circles under her eyes. She needed to sleep, that much was obvious. Inuyasha scowled at her.

"Don't," Sango told him, holding up a hand with a fierce, unhappy expression of her own. "You're the one that told me to bring them in via text yesterday morning. We could have had a longer discussion about it at the doctor's place, but Kagome was there."

"I'm not mad at you," Inuyasha replied, rolling his eyes. "Where are they?"

Sango made a face at him, unimpressed. "Then what the fuck is that scowl for?"

She clearly ignored the other question, the important question. Inuyasha could feel his patience – limited and tiny as it was – snapping. "It was a busy morning and I have things to do. Where are they?"

"Sometimes, I really fucking hate you," Sango sighed. She rubbed at her face before turning away to lead him through the doors towards the office. Inuyasha felt a tiny wave of guilt crawl up his spine, a voice sounding suspiciously like Kagome's saying, did you have to be so mean?

Ugh.

"We've brought them in on suspicion only, and I can only hold them for so long without formal charges," Sango explained, bringing them towards the hall of interrogation rooms. Miroku was already there, looking just as bad as she did. The two of them were clearly overworked, clearly drowning under the assault of all the cases piling up. Inuyasha hadn't asked if the Jinenji Egawa case was officially transferred over from Detective Koharu Orikasa yet, but after the recent discoveries, he'd be surprised if it hadn't been.

"Which rooms?" Inuyasha asked.

"Dr. Hiten Inada is in room four," Sango said, pointing in its direction. "And Dr. Manten Inada in six."

"The glass?"

"There for both."

Inuyasha nodded. "Good."

Both Sango and Miroku stared at each other for a moment, startled. Inuyasha ignored them. He had just said 'good,' it wasn't like he was singing their fucking praises.

"So how do you want to play it?" Miroku asked. "We still have a few hours. The younger brother, Manten, is already a bit of a mess. He's been fidgeting non-stop since we brought him in, yelling obscenities."

Inuyasha grunted, sauntering over to the viewing room of room four. Miroku and Sango followed quietly, letting him do what he wanted as he took in Dr. Hiten Inada. A director at Sakura Scientific, and Kagome's boss's boss. He had already done the ground work and Sango had sent him copies of all the digital files he requested on Monday. That was where he had been that day, doing this alone because Kagome was compromised even if she tried not to be. And no matter how simple the burglary was, it had nattered at Inuyasha how the entirety of it hadn't been solved, how no one was flipping over and giving them the details they needed. The diener might have, eventually, if Sango kept pushing. But Sango and Miroku were right; their sergeant and captain would only protect them for pursuing this for so long, and the leads kept drying up. Inuyasha had to step in, had to make it a focus over the rest of the murders.

It was a good thing he was fucking great at what he did.

The chain of command was simple at Sakura Scientific, or at least the branch in which Kagome worked in. She directly reported to Dr. Manten Inada, and had ever since she received the short-term contract. Dr. Manten Inada, in turn, reported to his older brother, who managed the pathology side of the lab. There were others, of course, but the Inada last name held weight within the building. The two original suspects from the Sakura Scientific – Kaguya and Yura – had both been watched, both been followed. Nothing had ever jumped out. Inuyasha had been so sure.

And yet.

At the time, he hadn't processed all of the facts, all the steps and money and control needed to execute everything that had happened. The conspiracy had unraveled itself, growing deeper, and Inuyasha hadn't even gone back to the thought of either of the two who had been working that night. He had been so sure that he hadn't thought differently.

But then Sakura Scientific started to push back. They painted lies about Kagome and threaded false accusations with fake paperwork. The police were at loose ends, the straight and narrow path of proper procedure limiting.

And it was all because of the Inada brothers.

"So," Sango tried again, leaning against the wall to raise a brow at him. "Miroku's question? The plan of attack? We have one shot and one shot only. Once I release them, Sakura Scientific is gone for good. What's the play?"

"It's basic game theory," Inuyasha stated, barely holding back from rolling his eyes. He stared at Dr. Hiten Inada through the one-way glass. There was a feeling inside of him that was desperate to be unleashed, an unnamed fury. But emotion would only make him more like Sango, who was so close to her wit's end that she may break a chair over their suspect's head.

"I know game theory," Sango sighed, frustration in every line of her body. "I'm not stupid."

There were a lot of things he could say to that, the first being that he never implied such. Well, never implied such today at least. "The weak point is the younger brother," Inuyasha stated, kindly not indicating the obviousness of it. "So that's where we'll break them."

Miroku headed towards the door. "I have the keys for Manten's—"

"No," Inuyasha interrupted. "I'll be seeing Hiten first."

Sango frowned at him, mouth opening before shutting it again quickly. She had clearly decided any attempt to understand why wouldn't be cared for. All the detective wanted was a solution. It was a basic, simple transaction and one that he could accomplish.

Miroku led him towards the main door for room four. He unlocked it, letting Inuyasha inside. He quickly assessed Hiten's position within the room before gesturing with his head that he'd be outside. Inuyasha nodded and sat down.

"Are you filing any charges?" Dr. Hiten Inada asked.

Inuyasha shook his head. "Me? No. That's not really my thing." A small furrow appeared between his brow, but it smoothed out immediately afterwards. He went back to looking pleasant again, if a little on edge. Inuyasha was already bored with this, but steps were steps. "Was it you that brought the body bag of our missing Jane Doe out so that it could be stolen?"

"No," Hiten replied. "Do I need a lawyer?"

"Honestly, if you were smart, you'd ask for one." Inuyasha sighed and stood up, rubbing at his face. "But you're not because you think you're better than us. That's fine, really. Better for me, anyways. But really, I don't really want to talk to you. There's no point. In the end, I'm a hell of a lot fucking smarter than anyone in this building and that includes you."

Hiten's red gaze did narrow at that, an expression that finally lasted. He was confused, bewildered by this unexpected turn of events. He expected to be harassed, to be asked question after question until he tauntingly invoked his right to an attorney. Hiten was a people person, and he was far from smart but he also wasn't dumb. He was manipulative, narcissistic. He rewrote stories in his head of his greatness, molded himself into a being that put out nothing short of perfection.

In other words: he was really fucking boring.

"Then why did you bring me in at all? Why come in here?"

"I didn't, and because I had to," Inuyasha replied, ticking off his fingers with each answer. He waved a dismissive, disdainful hand at him. "Just be quiet, will you? It'll be over soon. Your brother is already a fucking mess so he'll crack like a fucking egg."

"You underestimate my brother," Hiten stated then. His tone was even, but his eyes were still glaring, still reproachful.

Inuyasha sighed. "Uh-huh," he muttered, loud enough for the demon's ears. He didn't say goodbye when he left.

It was Sango standing out in the hall waiting for him this time. She raised an eyebrow at him but was smart enough not to question him on his tactics with Hiten. She led him over to room six, hesitating before letting him in. "I'll be on the other side."

"Bring Miroku in, too," Inuyasha said. "This is the fun one."

"Where you break him?"

He smirked but didn't answer. "Game theory, Sango. It's all game theory."

She rolled her eyes before opening the door, doing her precursory check before heading out. It was obvious from the beginning that Miroku had been right: Manten was, in fact, quite worked up. There was sweat along his forehead, his big eyes red-rimmed. When Sango had been inside, he had been trained on her figure, watching her until she disappeared from sight. Unliked his brother, Manten was far more obviously a demon. While humanoid, his face was oblong, peaking at his mouth. He was far larger, broader, but from his slight tremble he was weaker-willed. Inuyasha took it all in factually, leaning back in his chair to study him and not saying a word.

It didn't take long before Manten snarled. "I'm not telling you anything."

"I really don't expect you to," Inuyasha replied easily. "You look pretty stupid, for one, and for another even if you weren't stupid, I'm a fucking lot smarter. It's just a better use of both of our time if I simply gathered what happened from staring at your face."

Manten froze, his expression stuck in a disgusted, horrified glare.

"Like that one," Inuyasha helpfully pointed out, smirking. He folded his hands across his chest and leaned back.

"How—How—" Manten's voice shook with rage, his body trembling. Zero control, mentally and physically. Hated himself for it, clearly. Hiten was the opposite and as such, the 'better' being between the two of them. "How dare you," he choked out. "Release me immediately."

"Nope," Inuyasha replied. "Still got a couple more hours."

"For what?"

"For whatever," he answered, matter-of-fact. "I can honestly just sit here the whole time and stare at you and that would be that."

"To what end?" Manten snapped, face contorting into even greater rage when Inuyasha simply shrugged. "You cannot do this!"

"I'm not doing anything." Inuyasha smirked. "Actually, give me a moment, will you?" He stood up and headed towards the door. He didn't even bother shutting it behind him. Miroku was immediately at his side, blue eyes clouded in confusion. What, the detective mouthed.

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Search the Sakura Scientific database again," he said, not even a little bit quiet. "Check for the number of women who have been let go with a significant package. We're talking double the severance, if not more."

Miroku blinked but Inuyasha merely shut the door in his face. Now was not the time to dawdle. He had places to go, people to see.

"What was that?" Manten demanded, the moment he came back inside.

"Nothing to worry your pretty head over," Inuyasha answered nonchalantly. He smirked then, and this time he let it simmer, let it turn into something ugly and sneering. "Or, well, whatever adjective you'd call yourself."

Yet again, the demon froze. It was horrifying, how one single well-aimed comment could shut Manten down completely. Inuyasha watched him, studying the way his eyes glazed and fixed themselves at a point in the room. Not at Inuyasha. Never at the abuser, body still trembling slightly. Not with rage though, but fear.

Ah.

Inuyasha bit the inside of his cheek. "Hit a little close to home?" Manten didn't respond but his jaw clenched, throat working on a swallow. "Oh good, pretending I'm not here. Smart. Play possum. Roll over dead and all that." He chuckled a little, ignoring his chair completely so that he could sit, cross-legged on the table. Manten was so close – within a dangerous range, one that Sango would surely scream at him for later – but the demon didn't move a muscle.

Well-trained, apparently.

"It has to suck, being you," Inuyasha continued ruefully. "I mean, it's always a pain in the ass to be the younger sibling. Especially when you're brothers. There's always…competition. An edge that underlies every single conversation or action. But you know what I'm talking about." Manten didn't even look at him, his big demonic eyes still staring far and away. "You're a disappointment, they tell you," Inuyasha rattled off. "You're not good enough. Your strength is subpar. Your looks are terrifying, less human which is apparently some gold standard. Your older brother is better than you at every single little thing."

Another swallow and Manten actually pressed his mouth together, a thin line whitening the ashen tone of his face.

"You grow up lesser," he went on, "and you know it with every breath you take. You're wasted air. Wasted time. Even if you are smarter, maybe, at one little thing, your brother has an achievement lined up and waiting. Oh, you solved a case? Here's a head pat, but look at your darling brother, serving the government and ending world wars before they start." He paused for a moment, considering. "Or maybe starting them. Depends on how the mood strikes. But that's all there is to it. Your life was forfeit to your older brother's the moment you were born and they took a look at you." Inuyasha snorted, waving yet another dismissive hand. "I mean, let's be serious. Hiten is far more attractive than you. He's your boss and I've seen the records. You've been with Sakura Scientific for six years longer. Since you were an intern. And your brother strolls in and gets a promotion to your level within a month. A year later? He's your boss."

There was another chuckle building in his throat so he let it loose, watching as Manten turned his big eyes towards him with something akin to hatred. "Overlooked in love, in looks, in a career. I mean, what else is there? Knitting?"

"I'm not falling for this," Manten hissed.

"What is there to fall for?" Inuyasha asked, incredulous. "These are factual statements, you fucking idiot. Nothing I'm saying is a guess, or a lie."

There was a window knock then, on the glass to his back. Inuyasha listened to the four raps, his smirk worsening with each one.

"You're wrong," Manten declared. "My brother isn't better than me. We're different. We're—"

"Cut the bullshit," Inuyasha interrupted, rolling his eyes. "Do you hear the tremble in your voice? Five year old children have better vocal control. Listen to me, and listen to me closely: nothing you can say will change my opinion of you. And the thing about my opinion: it's always right."

"Fuck you," Manten spat.

Inuyasha laughed, cruel and loud. "No thanks. Familiar with that sentence? How many times have you thrown yourself at women the moment they've given you even a scrap of decency? I mean, let's talk in simple terms: they smile at you in a completely benign, normal way. And you take it for affection. You take it as a promise. You look at a pretty girl and you think it's what you deserve. And when those smiles turn into frowns, or anger, and you still push them? Still demand that they let you touch them?"

"No—"

But it was far too late, and Inuyasha could see every crack in the demon's armor. "I know all about the women. How many was it? How many of them did your brother have to bury in legalese until they simply settled and walked away from the job?" He eyed Manten up and down, sneering. "Two? No, not low enough. You're the kind of pathetic that would start panting after a head nod. Three?"

Manten looked sick to his stomach.

"Four," Inuyasha decided, feeling his hooks dig in. "Four women you assaulted. Four women you made uncomfortable, that you touched without permission, that you lathered with your gross, disgusting thoughts until they were so desperate to leave that they took the hush money your brother offered them and they ran. You want to know why your brother is better than you in every way? Because he cleans up after you. Every. Single. Time. And he's so perfect, so much better, that you can't even say you've returned the favour."

"No!" Manten screamed, standing up and looming into Inuyasha's space. They were maybe the same size, but Inuyasha was sitting on the table. He was smaller, unprotected, but he simply held up his hand to the glass behind him and watched with a smirk as Manten crowded close and snarled. "You know nothing," he spat, each word a thundering roar. "I'm the one who covered for his addicted, pathetic self when the raige—"

Viciously, the demon sat back down in his chair. He was trembling with rage, hands balled into fists as he glowered at the table. He didn't move for a long while. Inuyasha sat there and watched, subtly impressed.

Eventually, Manten raised his head. "We're done here. I want a lawyer."

Inuyasha hummed. "What you want doesn't actually matter," he explained calmly. No more sneer; it wasn't needed. "Pick your words better."

Manten did nothing.

"Let's finish this, shall we? I promise you don't even have to say a word."

The fists clenched tighter but Inuyasha wasn't worried. "I would be stupid to forget that recently a woman came along, and she smiled at you and didn't immediately run when you responded back." Everything about this was merciless, except for his tone. There wasn't much to be done about that. "It was only after that you found out she was never interested in you at all. She wanted what you could do for her, and in the end, your brother was so much better suited, wasn't he? He had the big promotion, after all. The shiny title of director. What you should have had."

The demon looked up sharply, shaking. His eyes were as big and wide as they always were, but Inuyasha didn't stop looking, didn't stop assessing. He sighed and was the first to look away. "That's what I thought."

"I will never betray my brother," Manten insisted, shaking his head. "Take your tricks somewhere else."

Inuyasha smirked, rueful. He slid from the table and nodded. "I'd like to point out that you haven't admitted to anything."

That made Manten frown in confusion. "What?"

"You haven't verbally given up anything." Inuyasha made a face. "Well, one thing. But it's not your fault I'm smart. Sango and Miroku behind me have no fucking clue what's going on." There was a thump on the glass. Inuyasha smirked wider. "You are a piece of demon garbage," he continued. "But your brother is definitely worse."

"How dare you—"

"Oh, save it," Inuyasha growled, rolling his eyes. "Never mind, I take it back. You're equally bad. Christ, you try to give a demon a bone what with all the childhood trauma and shit and they just fucking throw it away." He left then, leaning on the wall outside the room as both Sango and Miroku came from the viewing side.

"What was that?" Sango demanded. "You didn't even talk to him about the burglary!"

"Why the fuck would I do that?" Inuyasha asked, disappointed. "I told you the plan."

"Game theory is about optimal decision making," Sango exclaimed. "And making them think that it would be optimal to give up their partner! That isn't what you did at all! It was some fucked up version of Dr. Phil in there!"

Inuyasha scowled. "Are you done?"

"The clock is ticking," Sango hissed. "And our asses are on the line. Do you understand that, Inuyasha? We're fucked if this fails. Miroku and I will be buried under desk duty until we get forced fucking out, are you serious—"

"Be quiet," Inuyasha cut in, pushing away from the wall. "For fuck's sake, I know you're tired but listen to yourself. You really fucking think I'm going to fail?"

"Guys," Miroku cut in, palms firmly on both of their shoulders. He looked around, and Inuyasha knew that there were a couple officers spectating a little further down the way. He wasn't the one that worked here though and he really didn't give a shit about anyone's opinion. The same couldn't be said for Sango and Miroku. "Let's talk about this reasonably."

"No need," Inuyasha replied blithely. "In fifteen minutes of monologuing you'll have your admission of guilt. Happy?"

Sango glared at him but wisely didn't open her mouth.

"Good," he replied. "Now, back to room four."

Miroku sighed. "You're not making this easy."

"I make everything fucking easy, do you see the magic that's happening?" Inuyasha scowled and huffed, making sure his displeasure was known. "Fifteen minutes and I'll do what neither of you could in a week!"

"Stop being an asshole," Miroku snapped, his hand going to reassure Sango with a touch to her back.

Inuyasha rolled his eyes. "Look, take it however you want. I wouldn't fucking do this for anyone else. For fuck's sake, if you both got fired I would have to stop doing this and then the solve rate for this entire fucking division would tank. Tank. And then the city would be in even bigger shambles. I mean, we're all fucked but at least with the three of us it's slightly more tolerable." He gestured towards the door for room four. "Now if you'll excuse me, I'll wrap this up with a bow. Miroku, follow me in and look intimidating, won't you? Don't open your mouth though. Don't even look at me."

"What?"

He didn't waste any time, bursting through the door and smirking in delight at Hiten's blank face. He sauntered back to the table, Miroku coming inside. To his credit, the detective didn't look outwardly confused. Only Inuyasha would have been able to tell, which was a win in and of itself.

"Well," Inuyasha started. "This has been fun but all good things must come to an end. I just came from your brother's room – fuck, does he have issues – and we had a great chat. It was mostly me, not going to lie. Still, result will be the same. My friend here is going to arrest you on charges of aiding and abetting, conspiracy to commit burglary, bribery, conspiracy to commit murder… What else am I forgetting?" He looked over at Miroku for a moment but it didn't matter.

Hiten started to stand, face incredulous. "What?" he exclaimed. "My brother would never talk to you."

Inuyasha shot him with an unimpressed glance. "Uh-huh, right. Because I've been gone for the last twenty minutes frolicking through the fucking fields of Hakurei's city streets. Grow the fuck up."

"He didn't," Hiten insisted.

Blowing out a breath, Inuyasha turned the chair around so that it was backwards and straddled it. He gave Hiten a long, sad look. "On June 11th, a woman approached your brother. At first, you were angry because, you know, here we go again. But this time it was different. This time, she wanted to get to you. She had a proposition. A body was being transferred to your lab and they wanted you to do three simple things."

Hiten opened his mouth but Inuyasha held up his hand, ticking off his fingers.

"One: take the Jane Doe body and leave it in the body bag for these new friends of yours to steal. It wasn't that hard, let's face it. Kaguya and Yura often work the same shifts and your entire system is antiquated, but it's good at one thing. It tracks usage. Which means that you could see every single time Kaguya and Yura went offline to go and have their impromptu, unauthorized coffee break. The records clearly show to us that this has been happening for – what – six months now? They averaged being away from their computers for twenty-seven minutes, which gave you twenty-seven minutes to enact your plan. You gave the woman a timeframe, you got out the body and you left it there. Easy peasy. No one would be the wiser, not after all they promised. Which leads me to my next point.

"Two: look the other way on the hacking. This was better for you, honestly. They broke the locks, stopped the alarms, killed the cameras. Made it easier for you to pretend to leave work like you always do with your younger brother. I'm sure you even waved goodbye to Kaguya and Yura as you left, am I right? Had to get it in there that you were gone. Only you didn't leave. Manten got into the car and you snuck back around to the fire escape. The camera footage from outside would be non-existent, thanks to the hack, and your demonic strength made it easy to climb up the escape and leap the gap towards your window. As long as you left it unlocked – which you did – you could crawl back into your office with no one the wiser. The easier to sneak into the freezer and collect the body. All that was left was the final task.

"Three: the woman gave you a photo at the time of your meeting, a picture of a random Jane Doe and a file filled with false details. As director, you have the authorization to go into any employee's account and get their data, like, say, Kagome's password. And then you could log in as her and remove both the details of her original work, and then enter in the new details as given to you. When you collected the body, you re-attached the physical photo to the newly printed, falsified file. Done! It all would have gone so well if Kagome hadn't been there to fuck it up."

Hiten grew considerably paler with each word that Inuyasha uttered. There were a lot of words so by the end of it, the demon was sinking into his chair, shock all over his face. His composure was lost.

Inuyasha smirked. "I mean, it was a pretty good crime and cover-up. It only got worse because Kagome was there, fighting you every step of the way. Pretty soon you needed to bribe the poor other diener she worked with. But that man? Zero backbone. Terrified. You could see the writing on the wall: it was only a matter of time before he crumbled and Detective Houko was pressing in. She called you on Saturday, didn't she? A courtesy call, reminding you of her meeting with the diener on the Monday." Humming to himself, Inuyasha clicked his nails across the tabletop, over and over and over until Hiten's eyes were forced to stare at them. "So you made a call yourself, back to the woman who started this whole mess. You needed help. You needed this covered up. You weren't going to go down because they surely didn't pay you enough to deal with all this. No one was supposed to know. So you made the call – either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, who knows – but by Sunday evening, your dear ex-employee, Kagome Higurashi, was viciously attacked. Someone tried to kill her."

"How do you—"

"How do I know?" Inuyasha asked, leaning forward like a predator eyeing its prey. "How do you think?"

"No," Hiten forced out, voice raw. "My brother would never—"

"We never would have noticed the discrepancy either," Inuyasha interrupted, waving a hand around. "I mean, no one even noticed that you didn't arrive with your brother that night to the scene. The police didn't even notice. How stupid! I mean, no fucking wonder you thought you'd get away with a plan that was supposedly genius. But I'm a man of facts and data, Dr. Inada. The past determines the future and all that shit. So our good friends at the corner bodega right down the street from us offered the Hakurei Police Department free viewing of their outdoor cameras. I mean, there was paperwork and shit but—" He was getting off topic. "The point is the cameras are far better quality than the street ones. Which, honestly, says a lot of shit about the municipality. Whatever. I digress. The bodega has had a handful of attempted robberies so maybe it's not surprising. The point is: you and brother have carpooled home from work every day for the last year. One whole year. And on June 11th, for whatever reason, you weren't there. The best part is that the camera also captures your younger brother driving back to Sakura Scientific early on the morning of the 12th, clearly to come and deal with the police that you supposedly both arrived at the same time for. Only you weren't in the car."

Hiten shook his head, but it was out of disbelief rather than any sort of negative affirmation.

Inuyasha lowered the hammer on the nail in the coffin. "Well, prison can give you one benefit at least. It'll be hard as fucking hell to get raigekijin. I mean, out of all the drugs you could get addicted to, that one kind of sucks. But I'm not here to judge you."

"He fucking sold me out?" Hiten screamed, and just like his brother, stood up to announce it. "No, no this was all his fault! He was the one that planned this. I only did it because I had to, because if I didn't then it would be him and we'd be all fucked. It was him! It was Manten! He brought that bitch into our lives—"

"Oh, right, what was her name again?" Inuyasha asked.

"I'll tell you," Hiten spat, shaking with rage. "I'll tell you everything but I want a fucking deal."

"I feel like I know everything already," Inuyasha pointed out. "So I'm not sure what kind of deal you're expecting. Let's be real: what the fuck do you know that I don't?"

"The woman's name was Kagura," Hiten snarled. "The one that did this. I can tell you everything. Everything they have planned. Everything she wanted."

Hiten had no idea what she had planned, Inuyasha thought wryly. He shrugged. "Well, you'll have to work that out with the police."

At that, Hiten blinked. "What?" he asked, voice suddenly a whisper.

Inuyasha held out his hands. "I'm not with the police. I'm a consulting detective. I'm helping out with the case, you know, because the police kind of suck." There was a pounding on the glass and Inuyasha smirked towards Miroku, who was staring at him with so much shock it was actually embarrassing for both of them. He quickly looked away.

"But you were giving me charges," Hiten hissed. "You can't do that if you're not with the police. That's lying! You were trapping me!"

"Ah! Ah, now you're just being purposefully dumb. I said my friend was going to arrest you, not that he was. Also, I told you filing charges wasn't really my thing. It was literally the first sentence I ever said to you."

Hiten growled. "You said my brother sold me out."

"Yet another idiotic lie. That narcissism is really bad for you, huh? I never said that. Also, Manten definitely didn't." Inuyasha propped his head in his hand, nails still clicking away on the table. "Well, he accidentally said half of the drug you used to be an addict of but I'm pretty smart so it wasn't hard to figure out what he was trying to say. Hell, I even told you that when I spoke with your brother, it was mostly me talking to him." He paused, primarily for the shits and giggles of it all. "Manten didn't say shit about the burglary. In fact, we didn't talk about it at all."

"Then how—"

"Because I told you from the beginning," Inuyasha snapped, standing up. "I'm a lot fucking smarter than anyone else in this entire fucking building." With a jaunty salute, he headed towards the door. "Oh, and thanks for the name of your contact. Good luck having any sort of leverage with the police to try and get a deal."

After that, it was a flurry of activity. Inuyasha sat at Sango's desk, only interacting with Miroku for two minutes while the detective stared at him some more with something like awe in his expression. He took a few boxes and disappeared; apparently, this was the time to drop off the files to Kagome. Probably for the best.

Checking the time on his phone, Inuyasha groaned. A few more hours until his meeting with the Director of Economic Development at the City. Ugh, why couldn't the day just go by faster? Once this was all wrapped up, he could go back to the apartment with Kagome, go over any theories she had and then they could take off. Maybe they could order dinner in, afterward. That was a normal thing couples did, right?

"Jesus fucking Christ." Sango's voice was raw and rough, emotion laced with every word. In a moment, she spun his chair around while she sat down in the one left for guests. Her magenta eyes pierced him and Inuyasha had to look away because he absolutely did not want to see what was there.

"Let it be, Sango," Inuyasha told her seriously. "It's just what I do."

"Monday," she said simply. "You spent only Monday on this, and you got all that. Why didn't you tell me?"

"Because it was all circumstantial," Inuyasha replied. "Even the fucking bodega cameras."

Sango shook her head. "How did you even get those?"

"A friend of a friend. Like I said before, don't ask."

The detective swore again, burying her head in her hands. Inuyasha watched her breathe, long and deep breaths that seemed to settle her a little more every time. It was fine though, he could wait. When Sango eventually resurfaced, she was still shaking her head but there was a smile there, tiny and incredulous. "I followed along, for the most part," Sango said then seriously. "You connected Miroku's knocks to the number of women, just like he knew you would. But what I don't understand at all is how you knew it was a woman, at all, who approached them for this whole shitshow of a conspiracy." She stared at him, even after Inuyasha looked away. He could feel it boring into his skull.

"An educated guess," Inuyasha admitted finally, begrudgingly.

Sango huffed. "You don't make guesses."

"Well, as you said before, this was our last shot or we were completed fucked." He tapped his nails against her desk. "Sometimes you have to play the odds."

For a moment, there was silence. Then there was a huff, and Sango was swearing again, a soft, "Jesus fucking Christ."

"We got a name out of it," Inuyasha pointed out. It was an unexpected bonus. "Kagura. Kagura. We'll need to run if there's any ties between that name and anyone who works at the Hakushin Medical Centre or at the City, specifically Ruri Shiima, the director."

"You think Kagura is the one behind Sara's murder?"

"No, she's part of the solution to Sara's murder," Inuyasha replied. "She's the person who our murderer called, or she works for the person our murderer called. She's part of the cleaning crew who orchestrated the burglary, Jinenji's death… Probably the doctors and the missing Jane Doe."

"Shizu," Sango said then. When Inuyasha finally looked at her, she sighed. "Our missing Jane Doe, her name was Shizu. I'll send you everything I've got but we managed to find a photo of Doctor Suzuki with another woman, and managed to filter it through some missing persons reports. No hits but it pulled in one of our databases. The girlfriend's name was Shizu Yamaguchi. You'll never guess where she used to work."


Kagome balked as Inuyasha told her the news. "What?"

"Exactly," he replied, jogging up the steps to City Hall with what even he could call excitement. "Sango's sending over copies later. She'll leave them in the garage if we're not home though we probably will be. What do you want to do for dinner tonight?"

There was a choked off laugh and then Kagome grinned at him, confused and delighted. "You're going to eat?"

"Me? No." His expression quickly turned unimpressed. "But you need to eat."

"You do too," Kagome argued, hands leaving the nest of her scarf to wave in the air enthusiastically. "You're a half-breed. You should be eating way more than me. Not nothing at all! It isn't healthy."

"Yes, Doctor."

"You're eating tonight."

Inuyasha scrunched up his nose as he opened the door to City Hall. "I will not."

"You will, too, or I swear to god—"

"Whatever, okay, we're here." Inuyasha pushed her forwards with a hand on her lower back, distracting her. "We can't be late for our meeting."

The administration desk told them where they needed to go, directing them to the elevators for the fourth floor. Kagome led the way, Inuyasha feeling his cell phone vibrate just as he stepped out.

[Incoming Message from Miroku Tsujitani – 06/19/2019, 3:54 PM]

Tech came back, confirmed the drive from Dr's house had no data.

It's an encryption key.

One step forward and two steps back. Inuyasha held back a growl. He typed another message, not bothering to pay attention as Kagome spoke with a woman at the desk. The floor they were on was separated from the main part of the building; in fact, it held only the offices for the top positions within City Hall. There was the receptionist that Kagome was talking to and another woman in the furthest back corner, blocking yet another office.

Inuyasha narrowed his eyes in distraction before turning back to his phone.

[Outgoing Message]

The girlfriend's apartment must have the data.

We need access ASAP.

[Incoming Message]

Why do you think we're pulling another late night?

With a sigh, he typed out a last message to not kill themselves. "Kagome."

The doctor turned around, eyes immediately drifting to his phone before looking back up at his face. "What happened?"

"The drive we found at Suzuki's was nothing more than an encryption key."

"For what?"

"The blackmail, probably," he answered, shoving his phone back into his pocket before looking around the floor yet again. He lowered his voice to a whisper. "If we can get to Shizu's house and find her data, whatever Suzuki's ring is a code for, then we can crack this case open."

"Well, in the meanwhile, we'll talk to Ruri Shiima," Kagome murmured. Her hands grabbed at his arms, steering him towards the seating area. "We're still a bit early and apparently the director may be a bit late in one of her meetings so we have time."

They sat down but Inuyasha wasn't really invested in just waiting. He took in everything about the room and then took in the sight of the two women on the floor with them. The receptionist was ancient. Someone who was going to be there until they forced her into retirement, taking her government pension with her. She was competent even though she spent most of her time clearly staring at pictures of her grandchildren on the computer. The other woman, however, was more interesting. New at the job, a month at most. Her lilac hair was messily tied back, the stress of her position causing her to overheat. Her desk was scattered with papers, phone ringing without being answered. She was overwhelmed and suffering for it.

"Who even reads these?" Kagome asked suddenly, distracting him.

Inuyasha focused on what she was looking at. It was the usual city magazines that a local media company put out. The media company, while privately owned, also was in the pocket of the City. Unsurprisingly, every article was a flourish of loving the mayor, loving the work their precious city was doing, a book of propaganda on every achievement that made it better than everywhere else. Inuyasha curled his lip as Kagome leaned closer, showing him a spread that was done in the past quarter on the mayor. The headlines were all about city growth, higher employment, new big business for the economy. A re-election plug if he ever did see one. Inuyasha rolled his eyes, knowing they would never dare talk about the opioid crisis, would never dare to talk about the issue of homelessness and the corruption and everything else that went on.

"This seems…about what I would expect," Kagome said eventually, finger idly tracing the lines of the photo. It was of the mayor sitting in his office behind a massive mahogany desk. Trophies lined the wall behind him, plush chairs and a seating area over an artfully decorated rug taking up the space in front of him. Everything was ostentatious and loud, screaming of wealth. "I've seen him on TV. He seems nice."

"They all seem nice," Inuyasha replied, tired of looking. He scavenged the room once more for anything interesting but when it came up short, he stood up.

"Inuyasha," Kagome whispered, her dark gaze glaring at him. "It won't be much longer."

"I'm not going to do anything," he retorted before he sauntered away and promptly went to do something. Harassing the new assistant in the corner of the room seemed like the most fun anyways.

The desk proudly displayed a sign for the Executive Assistant to the Mayor, with a little plaque underneath that stated the mayor's name, Menomaru Seki. Inuyasha tried not to roll his eyes at it. "Excuse me," he greeted, not at all polite.

The woman looked up at him, with eyes that were definitely crazy. "Can I help you?"

"Not really. Are you new?"

That was definitely a frown sliding over the woman's face, her eyes going from crazy to distrustful in seconds. "Why do you ask?"

Inuyasha shrugged. "You seemed stressed. You work in government which, I'm not going to lie, is like the easiest job in the world. Depending on where you are but like… You're admin so unless your boss is a dick, you're kind of doing well." He made a hand motion that meant absolutely nothing and the woman before him started to glare. "Anyways, I don't have an appointment."

"I know." She took a pointed look at her computer, which meant the calendar was up and she was absolutely double checking. "Also, the mayor is out."

"Ah yes, probably feeding the poor," Inuyasha lamented, spinning around so that he could step behind her desk. It wasn't to get any closer to her at all. Inuyasha was bored and there was nothing of interest around anywhere. He peeked into the tall, skinny window that had its blinds open, peering into the office of the illustrious mayor. "When is he going to be back?"

"Not today," the woman stated. "You can't be here."

"Why?" Inuyasha asked, taking in the stupid mahogany desk, the plush chairs, shiny hardwood and the numerous trophies. So ostentatious. "I have an appointment."

"Not with—"

"No, with someone else." He waved a hand, bored again. "It's fine. I'll sit. Don't lose your mind."

"I wasn't—"

"Shh, shh," he hushed, dismissing her with a wave before heading back towards a despairing Kagome. He smirked when he sat back down beside her, making sure to press into her space. "Why are you looking at me like that?"

"You know why," Kagome grumbled. "At this rate, you're going to get us kicked out."

"Never," he swore, but the mayor's assistant was still glaring at him unhappily. He decided to play dumb. "Actually, you know what? Let's go."

Kagome blinked at him, momentarily dumbfounded. "Let's what?"

"Go," Inuyasha reiterated, standing up and holding a hand out to her. "This director is already five minutes late to a meeting with the police," he announced, rather loudly and with a pronounced glare to the receptionist. "I'm sure we can file our complaints accordingly since this is for a murder and all."

"A—" The receptionist, having clearly heard him, started to bulk. The grandchildren photos were minimized on her screen. "Uh, I'm sorry, sir. I can go and get her—"

"No, no," Inuyasha replied, embracing the spirit of his half-brother so that the arrogance flowed through. "It's clear that Director Shiima thinks that her budget meetings are of far greater importance than the murder of one of her city's own. I'm sure that will be a great headline to sent to The Guardian, don't you think?"

"I'm sure they'd enjoy the feedback," Kagome played along. "A huge disappointment."

"Sir, I promise you I can get her," the receptionist tried but Inuyasha was already grabbing Kagome's hands and dragging her to the elevator.

"No, I don't think so. I'm horrified by the atrocious acceptance of murder within our city. Your director knows how to contact us if she deigns to care at all."

"Sir—"

Inuyasha shoved Kagome through the elevator and spun around with a haughty glare. "Goodbye." He jammed at the 'door close' button exactly seven times, making sure to keep his expression straight and unhappy until they were finally alone.

Kagome sighed and then, unwittingly, laughed. "What the hell," she asked, shaking her head at him.

"I determined it would be a waste of time," Inuyasha replied, her hand still in his. He laced their fingers together, tugging slightly. "She clearly didn't care which meant that any information she gave us would probably be vague and only after pulling it from her like teeth. We have better things to do, like go through the information on the doctor's girlfriend and find whatever blackmail she and the good doctor had."

They left City Hall without a fuss, though one of the people from behind the admin desk on the main level gave them a worried look, phone in hand. Probably the receptionist calling to give details. No one called after them though so they made it outside, the fresh air a welcome reprieve from the stuffiness of the building behind them.

"Dinner?" Inuyasha asked then, dragging them down the walkway towards the parking lot.

"It's early," Kagome replied easily. "We can order delivery at home?"

He was distracted. It was the only excuse he had for why he completely walked into another person, the shock of it turning him around. It was an older woman, her face heavily lined with age and the cruelty of the outdoors. She was bundled up despite the weather in hand-me-downs, her hands shaking as she pressed her palms into his chest.

He took it all in, realization dawning. "Sorry," Inuyasha told her. "Here, hold on a second."

She kept her hands on his chest while he dug out his wallet, pulling a bill from it. He carefully took her hands away, watching her dull eyes as he transferred her scrap of paper for his money. Once the exchange was made, the woman buried herself in her scarf and turned tail, practically running around to the other side of the building.

"What… What was that?" Kagome asked, brown eyes wide.

"A message," Inuyasha murmured, excitement thrumming through him. The scrap of paper left in his hands was worn, dirty, but the message written in pen was clear as day:

Tomorrow, 6PM. I'll hear you coming.

"Who is it from?" Kagome asked, her head pressed against his shoulder to read it.

"Only one demon that would sign off about his hearing," Inuyasha commented, pulling his gaze away from the message to look at her. "Remember our trip to the Arches?"

"Mimisenrei?" Kagome asked. "Wait, you were asking him for something, weren't you?"

"And apparently he found it." Inuyasha read the message again, and again, and again. "He found our witness to our missing Jane Doe."

"To Shizu," she whispered, hands clutching at him. "Do you think they could help us find her body?"

Inuyasha shrugged but the possibilities displayed themselves before him, endless and thrilling. "Depends," he murmured, tucking the message into his jacket and wrapping an arm around her waist. He used it to haul her closer under the pretense of speeding them through the parking lot to leave even faster. "What's important is that Mimisenrei finally found the allusive Totosai. We finally have yet another break in the case."


Next Time on Deductions:

"So you followed him," Inuyasha prompted, though this time his tone was far more leading, less accusatory. Kagome was almost delighted that he was following her approach. "You saw where he took the body."

"Yeah, I saw. I'm not going back. Not ever."

"You don't have to," Kagome promised gently. "We just need to know where to go. Help us find her so we can catch the man who did it."


Responses to Anon Reviews:

Guest: Haha apparently no one was prepared for the smut so I'll take the win. Did you expect THIS SMUT?! Thanks love!

NoYoureNotReal: I am happy to be of service, my love. You're the greatest.

LQH: Oh my god, you're so adorable and so, so sweet. Thank you, love. AH. I'm going to go scream now.

Stella: SWEET BABY JESUS, STELLA. You are, without a doubt, one of the kindest people ever. I cried for a good hot minute reading your comments. Ugh. What would I do without you.

Mal: Well, that's probably a good thing? Hahaha I'll assume it was XD Considering how the last chapter ended. You're a gem and a dear and I adore you.

Irish Indy: You are one of the few people who probably thought the relationship wasn't slow and honestly I adore you for that. Thank you lol. I honestly didn't even think about it I'm just in my Lalaland of like HAHAHAHAHA MYSTERY TO SOLVE, WHY HAVE ROMANCE. But no, the romance is there. I'm just a disaster. What is the point of my rambling? NO CLUE. But you're wonderful and I thank you immensely.

MandiRox89: AHH thank you darling! It's really interesting because I want Inuyasha and Kagome to be, you know, INUYASHA AND KAGOME. But this is also Sherlock so like…a blend of SHERLOCK AND WATSON and I usually just pray for the best and here we are. You're too good to me. I hope you loved this chapter too, darling :)


Feedback is love.