Title: Solving Puzzles
Characters: Dee, Ryo, OFC
Setting: During the manga.
Summary: Being a detective is all about solving puzzles; homicide detectives get the worst puzzles to solve.
Word Count: 641
Content Notes: Possibly disturbing images of the scene of a violent murder. Irreverent black humour.
Written For: Challenge #91: Puzzles at fan_flashworks
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
Being a detective was all about solving puzzles; finding clues to what happened, when, where and why, putting them together in order to find the person or persons responsible. Dee and Ryo, in their years as officers of the law, had become adept at tracking down clues and piecing them together, in the process putting quite a few bad guys behind bars where they belonged. Needless to say, it made them rather unpopular with the criminal fraternity; not that they cared. They had a job to do, and they did it to the best of their ability.
As homicide detectives they’d had to adjust to the fact that many of the clues they had to work with came in the form of bodies or body parts, making for rather grisly and macabre puzzles. The crime scenes they were called to were seldom pretty; they got to see the worst atrocities humans were capable of and they’d had to develop thick skins in order to handle it, otherwise they’d never be able to sleep at night.
Sometimes the only way to cope with a case was to look at it in a completely abstract way, not ignoring the bloodstains and bodies, but seeing them as things rather than the gory remains of what had once been people. Inevitably, that led to the darkest kinds of black humour, often corny, but still somehow funny.
“Guess he just lost his head,” Dee commented casually, studying the decapitated corpse.
“At least we can rule out suicide,” Ryo replied.
“Oh, I don’t know, muscles like that he’d probably be strong enough. One good swing with a sharp enough blade might just do the job.”
“But if he’d done it himself, the head would still be here.”
“Good point. So what d’you think, the killer wanted a souvenir, something to put on the mantelpiece?”
“Maybe a trophy, have it stuffed and mounted to hang on the wall.”
“Nice. Not many people have bagged a bouncer.”
All the while they were talking they were taking in the scene, looking for clues, a murder weapon, the missing head, anything out of the ordinary that might give them a lead. The solution to any puzzle requires a starting point.
The woman who’d discovered the body wasn’t impressed.
“Hey, have some respect! This might be one big joke to you, but I knew this guy! Least I think I did, seem him around anyway. He didn’t deserve this!”
Dee swung round to glare at her.
“Lady, ain’t no one deserves this. You got any useful information then spill, otherwise shut the hell up and let us do our job!”
Ryo put a hand on Dee’s chest, holding him back with a touch and a shake of his head, before turning to the woman himself.
“Ma’am, I’m sorry if we appear insensitive, but we’re not joking out of a lack of respect. You have to understand, we deal with violent death every day, this isn’t even close to the worst we’ve ever seen. If we didn’t joke about it, the job would drive us insane. We’ll get whoever did this, but to do that we can’t afford to dwell too deeply on the deceased. We have to look at him as evidence, a fragment of the puzzle we’re trying to put together. The body won’t be treated with disrespect, but our priority is to find the killer. It’s the only thing we can do for the victim now.”
The woman nodded, understanding.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled. You’re just trying to do your job. I can’t tell you much, but I think I know his name and where he worked. I recognise the tattoo on his arm.”
“Anything you can tell us could help us to catch whoever did this.”
Ryo pulled out a notebook and prepared to take her statement.