I wrote something! It was hard. But necessary, if only to satiate [personal profile] firthgal and my appetite for Shige/Wanko action.

TITLE: The Story You Can't See
FANDOM: Deka Wanko (Hanamori 'Wanko' Ichiko/Shigemura Kanichi)
RATING: R (for sexual situations)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own these characters. If I did, they'd be more fleshed out and kissing a lot more on screen.



The Story You Can't See
Deka Wanko-verse, March 2011

---


NOTES: This was surprisingly hard to write, mainly because the characters themselves aren't entirely three-dimensional. Harsh, but true, and a road-block I was probably always going to run up against when writing semi-serious fic about a very, very fluffy show. I was going to give up a couple of times, but I persevered - even when this song keep popping up on iTunes, like a sign from the George Michael Gods - so hopefully I did these two some justice. If not, just imagine her in an Angelic Pretty dress and then it's back in character.

...sorry, writers and producers of Deka Wanko. *pushes canon out the window with Kirishima*


---


Let fall your soft
And swaying skirt

Okkervil River, 'Girl in Port'


---


For Firthy <3


---


There was a set plan to the life he'd thought he'd live.


Become a detective. Meet a beautiful woman. Have a family. Retire. Be happy.


Shigemura Kanichi supposed he'd done most of those things, but like the overachiever he was, he'd managed to add in extra points along the way to convolute the whole scenario. Work too hard. Lose wife. Fall for a subordinate. Pretend not to be in love with a woman half your age who dresses like a French pastry, and watch on the sidelines as she tries to be happy.


It wasn't a grown-up situation, he knew, but there it was - teenager elements in an oh-so-mature life, and as he drank down his third whisky for the day, he tried not to think of the most beautiful brown eyes he'd ever seen (and the ridiculous hats they were framed by), in a half-hearted attempt to get everything back on track.


---


Hanamori Ichiko became very good at "The Game". The Game was played according to the rules set by those women before her, but she couldn't help but push them a little bit further towards their boundaries in an attempt to make it easier for the women that came after her.


And every time she did in the beginning, she'd fall flat on her face - before climbing up and starting again.


She'd be lying if she'd told you it didn't hurt - the smart ass comments about her clothes, the fart bombs to throw her nose off, the complete disregard for her skills as a detective and place in Section 13. She'd be lying if she'd told you she hadn't gone home and stood in front of her mirror and taken off her clothes, in tears, before pulling on sensible suits and shoes that felt like they belonged on a stranger.


It's better this way, she'd resolve, this is the only way to be. Until it hit midnight and the anger towards herself turned outwards - and, the next morning, Ichiko would get dressed in her most over-the-top lolita garb as a pretty, frilly eff-you.


There were days, sure, where it was hard - but she propelled herself through with the knowledge that it wasn't about being "one of the boys", but about being able to look at herself in the mirror without being ashamed of who she was. And as the pride she had in her work began to grow, she began to feel pride in who she was and what she was doing for the women who would, one day, follow in her footsteps.


In some ways, it was easy. In others? Easier said that done.


Later, she'd wonder if this is why she let the Kirishima thing go as far as it did - because despite all her gusto and confidence, there was still a part of her that stepped hesitantly for fear of breaking the path well-walked for the one that wasn't. It was easier to blend in, in certain ways, without sacrificing her sense of self - or so she'd thought.


So, with a war of self raging under her headbow, she'd accepted his backhanded first date request in the form of a jab at her dress sense - and had not looked in the mirror for the rest of the day in fear of what might be reflected there.


---


Everyday she seemed to grow into herself. From the first day he'd met her, he'd never taken her as a joke - because he saw the honesty behind her eyes, past the frills and bows and walls she'd built up and managed to see the woman she was supposed to become.


Her heart, he worried, would be her downfall. It was too big, like a heroine out of a manga or a bad TV soap, and he'd held her after a case involving several dead kids had left her shaken up and questioning her career choice. In private, he'd taken her aside to an interrogation room because he'd seen the cracks begin to show, letting her mascara run into his suit as she sobbed the case to sleep.


Afterwards, as she pressed forward and hardened up, as the bad cases became more like normal ones and less like the cops they'd both seen as kids on the TV, they would go for a drink. Alone, in a dive that was near the station, and he'd just let her talk. Uninterrupted, like a priest (she'd joked), she'd tell him everything she couldn't tell the others - because she knew intrinsically he'd hold her feelings to his chest like the precious secret they were.


Each season turned into the next, one year over the other, and her skills as a proper, respected detective began to outweigh the power of her nose. And every anniversary of her first day in Section 13, he'd give her a squeeze on the shoulder that he hoped told her everything he'd wanted to say - his pride in who she was, and his respect for her as a detective and woman - returned with a smile that could light up every one of his dark nights in a lonely apartment in Asakusa.


Where she'd stumbled around previously, now he saw her confidence. And those small things, picked up from him over late night one-on-ones and quiet observations behind a plane of glass; those small things that made his heart jump because it showed that maybe she held him in the same regard as he held her.


Nothing sinister, nothing creepy, nothing inappropriate you understand.


Just a co-worker caring for another, as sure as the Spring turned to Summer, and he began to date women her complete opposite in an attempt to keep it all at bay.


----


She would go to Harujuku, to IOIO in Shinjuku, to Baby, The Stars Shine Bright and (of course) Angelic Pretty, and she would shop. It was a cliche, sure, but a defined one - a new JSK, put aside with her name on it, thirty thousand yen on to her credit card and out she'd hop, with a giant pink bag to cover the giant hole in her chest. This hole, she'd thought, that seemed to be closing in one way but opening larger in another, after late nights in dark bars where she'd told her hopes and fears to a man that was probably old enough to be…well, at the very least, her cool uncle from out of town.


To be completely honest, she knew she'd probably been in love with Shigemura longer than she knew she hadn't. At first, she'd recognised it was a crush - one of those big, fluffy crushes one had in order to have an appearance of control in a situation that you so didn't, all wrapped up in an obvious, outward form of respect. She'd watch him, enwrapped, as he interrogated suspect after suspect, her cheeks flushing a little when he gave her small signs of triumph that only she understood, and finally?


She began to feel wanted.


Needed, even - he was the first in Section 13 to respect her, to attempt to understand her and draw out her advice and opinions when the others hadn't - and as the months rolled over, their feelings towards her as a person and a detective began to change, as sure as hers changed towards Shigemura.


It was around the same time she'd met Leticia - she realised, as he'd crossed that bridge into the arms of a daughter she didn't know he had, how desperately she wanted to have a part in his happiness. So she'd fled back to Paris, only to come home when she'd realised how much fuller it would have seemed with him beside her. Placing a lock at the lover's bridge, his well-cut suit playing off her Baby, When The Stars Shine Bright coat and pastel mary janes, making her feel a little less conspicuous and more like a detective - a woman - than just a Wanko.


As she took up Kirishima's seemingly reluctant request for a second date, she decided it was always easier to cross the ocean in a boat - a lot easier than attempting to swim through uncharted waters in two layers of petticoats and with the rocks in the pit of her stomach that seemed to match the slow hardening of her heart.


---


The relationship between Wanko and Kirishima seemed to grow organically, like it was always supposed to be. Obvious things, like sitting together on the way to a crime scene, or leaving the station together; drinking from each other's cups and talking about TV shows they'd watched together in spirited unison. Little things that the others in Section 13 called "love", and used against Kirishima and Wanko in good-natured ribbing that did nothing to hide their glee at two of their closest finding something within each other.


Those same obvious things that Kanichi called "friendship" - but he never said anything because it was easier not to, because he'd have to explain to the others what he meant when he wasn't entirely sure himself. So he sat back and watched their relationship evolve, the bickering and fights giving away to living together and, eventually, an engagement.


It was here, he realised much later, as Kirishima held her hand and told the entire station that he loved her, that Kanichi knew that strange feeling that always seemed to be around the edges of his thoughts was nothing but pure, simple jealously.


---


They'd kissed, once. She'd drunk too much and he'd drunk too much and he'd kissed her in the anonymity of a back room table in a bar in the middle of Shinjuku. She'd grabbed his hair, his tie, his shirt; he'd pressed his hands into her sides and they felt like they were burning her in all the passionate ways she'd read in those awful books Kotomi had tried to lend her.


The kiss was nothing like the chaste ones she'd shared with Kirishima. This one made her stomach drop and her hands become hungry and searching. It made her imagine scenarios where she'd drop her petticoats and let him touch her, discover her, without a single inch of self-consciousness or thought for the outside world. It made her feel like a woman - someone who was worthy of being held for everything in her brain and not her nose or her clothes, and only when she'd eased fully into his arms she'd realised that it couldn't - could absolutely not - happen.


Not here, not now. Not ever.


Her lipstick across her cheek, she'd picked up her bag and left, and they'd never mentioned it because it was only something meant to be remembered as a dream.


---


"Congratulations."


"Thank you." A pause. "You'll be there, yes?"


His heart began to beat too fast, so he put his hands in his waistcoat pockets and smiled. A big one, a genuine one, because you couldn't have kept him away on her most beautiful day in a million years even if it killed him.


"Of course."


And she smiled so broadly, so honestly, that he almost didn't know what to do - because he was too old for his heart to break this solidly, for it to ever be whole again.


---


It's this night, that night - the one before she's due to be married, and they'd travelled in a gang around Shinjuku before ending up in a dive in Kabukicho that Duke had yelled (in bad English) was "the coolest place in Tokyo, okay, right?!" Section 13 plus Kotomi, a bunch of well-suited men and two girls in completely different dresses, and Kanichi's own hand clenched into a fist every time Kirishima reached for hers.


They'd barely spoken in the previous months. She'd tried to involve him in her wedding plans, before he'd asked Boss to send him to Sapporo on an undercover job. Out of the way of anything to do with the frills and pomp of a wedding he didn't not approve of but - but. Always the but, and he finally agreed to come to the night-before celebrations as a way to try and drink away everything he possibly could.


Of course, he didn't expect her to make sure she was next to him the whole night, her thigh pressing against his as she downed beer and sake like someone who was trying to forget, and the silence is deafening when they are finally - conveniently - alone.


"Your big day, tomorrow," he says, after everyone else had gone - the boys and Boss dragging Kirishima off for one last run around Kabukicho as a free man, and Kotomi and Yanagi both making the same bad excuse about going to see the chef about a fish salad (only to be easily spotted making out near the kitchen).


She's watching him, carefully, and he twists his mouth into a smile he hopes is genuine before he says the only thing he can without it seeming like he's coming on to her - or, even worse, like he's disappointed in her.


"You're the woman I hope my daughter becomes."


There isn't a moment to think because she's on top of him, her small hands framing his face and her mouth pressed on to his, her knees on either side of his lap and the noises she's making almost make him forget himself completely.


But -


There's always the but.


"Wanko - stop." There's a moment of disentanglement, the both of them trying to right themselves in the booth that, he thanked the hostess silently, was soundly inside a private room. Her eyes are black, her breath heavy, and it's only now he realises she's crying. "What - Wanko?"


"Why. Why isn't it you tomorrow?"


His feet feel like they're encased in concrete, and he feels old. Looking at her, the head bow slightly haphazard on her head, the pink of her cheeks the only colour he ever wants to see for the rest of his life, and he feels older than he's ever been. Twenty-two years too old, and he feels both like a teenage boy who has no idea and a geriatric man with nothing to lose.


Her hands are twisting the hem of her skirt, and Kanichi knows he needs to say something. Anything, so he manages -


"I'm sorry."


Her eyes close like she's in pain, and his throat constricts. You caused that pain, that nasty teenage voice inside him says, and he can't do anything but watch as she picks herself up and leaves in the same hurt, broken way she used to in the old days. The first days of when she was a detective and she'd been bullied and written off, and he pulls to his feet and pushes his shoes on - stumbling, clumsily, all feet and thumbs as he runs after her down the street.


"Wanko!" he calls after her, but she doesn't stop. Doesn't slow down, instead, seems to go faster than before in an almost-run. "Ichiko!"


She stops, and he reaches her. She doesn't turn around and he can see the tension in her shoulders. It's about here he realises she's not drunk - in fact, he can't be sure if the beer and sake he'd been sure she was downing wasn't the same bottle and cup all night - and he feels as sober as a priest. The air is cold but he barely feels it, and the people walking past them slyly observe their little scene with great interest.


"See those looks, Ichiko? They're the ones we would get for the rest of our lives." He's suddenly angry, selfishly, and he can't keep the words down. "'How old is your daughter?' ' How nice of you to take your father out for dinner!' That's not a life!"


Ichiko spins around, and her anger is palpable.


"You're a coward, Shige. I'm a coward, too, because all I wanted was to be a detective. To be taken seriously, despite what I'm wearing or what weird talent I have - and instead I got all of this." She's waving her hand around like she's meaning the whole of Japan, but he knows what she means.


I got a loveless relationship with a yellow-haired boy band look-a-like because I fell in love with a man who doesn't know how to love me back.


He doesn't know what to say, and he lets his frustration vent through his anger.


"So what now? What do you want me to do, Wanko?" It's a jab, one he can't help, and she scowls.


"I don't know, Shigemura. There's a love hotel over there, maybe you could screw my brains out and leave me with something to carry me through my marriage. But - " and she smirks, one that both kills him and turns him on - "you're too old for that, aren't you?"


She's acting so out of character that he knows she's being honest. He sees the brittleness, and recognises it as the same he sees in his own eyes, the same clinched hands, the same edge to her words -


You couldn't have stopped him for anything in the world, and he scoops her up and presses his mouth to hers like it's the only thing left.


---


They don't go to a love hotel because - well, it's not her first time, but it's their first time and he's a gentleman and they both feel like teenagers and oh god his mouth is on her neck and Ichiko clutches her skirt as she allows the guilt to flow out of her fingertips and away from the heat they're creating.


There's no surprise that he's better at this than Kirishima, his fingers burning the skin on her legs as he pulls down her tights before making small circles on her inner thighs with his thumbs. There's tentativeness and aggression and want, all tied up in complete honesty, and she forces herself to meet his eyes.


He's watching her. Dark and brown, his hair pushed back making him look younger and gentler and he smiles, slightly, when she nods to give him permission to keep going. His hands make their way around her dress - they both have to laugh at the ridiculous amount of effort it takes them to get her out of the damn thing - and when they're done and she's only wearing her blouse and panties, his eyes take her in with the full attention of a man who's only job on earth is to make sure she feels okay.


"Ichiko," he mutters against her mouth, his fingers unbuttoning her shirt, and her eyes close in an involuntary response as her back arches against him.


His sheets are black, and his house is tidy. Cold, almost, and she's brought back to earth with a resounding thud when she remembers what's supposed to be happening tomorrow. Her wedding, the house she was making with Kirishima and, as her body tenses, her hands go slack by her side as the guilt seems to crawl back up her arms and into her shoulders.


He stops kissing her hipbones and pulls himself up to face her.


"Kirishima," he mutters, and she nods. "Alright."


The moment he pulls himself up and away from her, Ichiko feels like an intrinsic part of her is missing - and even she can't believe she's thinking things cheesy enough to make even a TV drama unbelievable, but there it was. There he was, on the edge of the bed, now running his hands through his hair and she reaches out to touch his back in an attempt to get that warmth back.


"I don't want to…" she swallows the words, and he turns around to face her, taking her hand as he does so. It would be unfair to say he looks tired, but he looks worn. Rough around the edges, and she has to ask the question necessary before she uprooted more than one life that night. "I don't want to marry Kirishima. I can't say I don't love him, but."


"You're not in love with him."


It's a statement, not a question. Because he knows as well as she does - he knows everything that she'd been feeling since that first day when she'd rocked up in her frills and her tiny hats and ridiculous nose, and she knows it's okay to ask the question she needed the answer to.


"Why have you never said anything to me before? About how you feel?"


Shigemura sighs, then laughs. A wry laugh, one that matches the worn edges around his eyes, and he looks at her again with that look - the one that she's sure was created just for her.


"Because I was afraid of you. Because, like you, I'm playing that game, too. The stoic older cop, with a gorgeous wife and family and beautiful home, even if they're long gone. Because I saw something inside you from your first day that scared me half to death. And - because I was too chicken shit to tell you how much I love you, because I couldn't even admit it to myself."


She can feel her cheeks reddening, her stomach fluttering. This is it, she hears, everything can be fixed tomorrow, together, and she swears it's the voice of her mother in heaven - or a passion-induced hallucination, and she laughs, bringing a confused smile to Shigemura's face.


"Wanko?" He closes his eyes in regret. "Ichiko."


And it's here she pulls up onto her knees, her shirt open and her heart exposed, and she takes his head between her hands.


"Wanko is fine." Slowly, deliberately, she kisses him - lips, teeth, tongue - and she lets out a dangerous sound when his hands clasp around her hips again. "I'm going to have to change departments."


The shock of this statement out of the blue brings out a choke of laughter from his throat, the vibrations tickling her mouth. "Why?" he manages, tossing her over onto her back and pulling her shirt off, before throwing it on the floor. "You didn't with Kirishima."


"About that," she begins, before fixing him with a critical eye. "You've got too many clothes on."


She begins removing Shige's clothes in a languid, third-person striptease - tie, shirt, pants, underwear - and she loves how turned on he is by her dominance. His hands never leave her, even when it's difficult, and they always find their way back to her skin and nothing else on earth could have felt as perfect as they did right now.


Everything is slow, deliberate and cherished, and she almost thinks she's going to explode from the way he's making her feel. His desire floods her nose and she feels almost overwhelmed at the heavy air in the room; overwhelmed at the way his body reacts to hers, his face pressed into her neck, the perfect sounds he's making because of how she's making him feel, and his mouth finding hers in a solid confirmation that everything they were doing was completely and utterly justified.


It's exactly like how she imagined - she can't help but feel powerful, in control, and she runs her fingernails down his back and bites his lip to make him to build the pressure further. It's enough to finish them both off in all the ways she'd always thought were written about in books, but weren't actually for normal people.


The stars, the orchestras, the angels, and every single edge of her is tingling when they finally sink back down on to the bed.


---


There's that silence that, with Kirishima, had always been heavy and awkward against the ticking clock and Tokyo continuing downstairs. But here, against the black sheets and a cold bachelor's pad, Ichiko couldn't help but notice how natural - how right - the whole thing was.


Tomorrow - or today, she knew - wasn't going to be easy. The dress would have to be returned, the guests sent home, and Kirishima.


Kirishima.


"You're thinking about the wedding."


"Mmmm."


"He'll be okay."


"Will he?" She feels him stir, and he pulls her closer towards him so his head is resting against hers.


"I don't know. Not really. But." He sighs. "We're going to be the bad guys, that's inevitable. The talk of the station, at least for the next year. The lolita and the old guy."


She knows there's no excuses for their behaviour. She knows Shigemura is not trying to make them when he tells her that he believes Kirishima probably knows more about their situation than he'd care to admit to himself. It's both of them being selfish, she thinks. A form of self-preservation to lessen their guilt, because all points aside, they were going to hurt Kirishima. They were going to hurt someone they both genuinely cared about, and neither of them wanted to admit it fully.


Without pain, there's no love, her grandfather would say. Without love, there was nothing worth living for - and all she hopes for, in her heart of hearts, is for Kirishima to one day find the other half of himself - the half that makes him whole - and have the complete happiness he deserved. But until that day, she'd have to handle everything with respect and love, just like she knew Kirishima would do for her if the role was reversed, and be nothing but honest with him and with everyone else in their lives.


"The destination is nothing without the trip," she says out loud. "My grandfather's words."


She feels him smile against her cheek.


"Hey. You never told me why you had to change departments," he whispers against her hair, and she turns into him and smiles.


"Oh. Because I never had fantasies about jumping Kirishima in the interrogation room, that's why."


He laughs, the sound new and honest, and he kisses her. She knows without a doubt that he looks less tired, less worn, and her heart feels so full of happiness she thinks it may burst - just like a heroine in a late-night TV drama.


---


Fin.


---





Basically.

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