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Lead in the Case

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Lead in a Case (Kamen Rider W)

By Haruka (haruka@ymail.com)

--

Hidari Shotaro frowned as he studied the notes on his latest case. The client's teenage son had gone missing, and so far the clues were pointing toward his being with his girlfriend, an older woman interested in the BDSM scene. Shotaro had no knowledge of that lifestyle whatsoever. He had the vaguest idea that it had something to do with one person in a relationship having control over the other, but beyond that ….

"Shotaro!"

"Hey, I was thinking of –" The detective stopped as he looked up and saw the startling apparition before him.

His young partner had forgone his usual style of dressing from which he never deviated. Now he wore a pair of tight leather shorts with black braces, a strip of rawhide weaved around his bicep decoratively, and was that CHAIN MAIL masquerading as a tank top? The only recognizable thing about Philippe was his style of boot (although these were black), and the way he wore two plastic barrettes in his hair. There again, the one he had on now were shaped like little handcuffs with a real chain between them.

"Philippe, that's just … weird."

"I did a lookup," the teenager told him. "The boy we're looking for was spotted with his ladyfriend at a particular BDSM club, and this is how we'll infiltrate." He held something out to Shotaro, who looked down at it, puzzled. It looked like the end of a dog leash, and as he followed the chain with his eyes, he realized in horror that it was attached to a collar around Philippe's throat.

"No way!" Shotaro held up both hands and backed off. "Never, not in a million years!"

"This is the only lead we have," Philippe said, then glanced at the leash and chuckled. "I think I just made a joke. Leash, lead – that's funny, isn't it?"

"NO!" Shotaro exploded, snatching his hat off his head and slapping it against his thigh for emphasis. "It's NOT funny and this whole idea is crazy! I'm not going to lead you around like a puppy in public!"

"You'd rather do it in private?"

Shotaro gave him a dark look. "Right now I'd rather swat you with a rolled up newspaper!"

Philippe grinned broadly. "Great! Hold that thought until we get there."

"AUUGH!" Shotaro exclaimed in frustration, accompanied by more hat-slapping and with added waving of his arms. "I'm not doing this! No, no, NO!"

--

An hour later, Shotaro found himself walking into the BDSM club, Philippe's leash in his hand, his partner wearing a satisfied smile along with all the leather and chain mail. Shotaro didn't want to think about what he himself was wearing; somehow, Philippe had outfitted him in second-skin pants and a pair of matching leather gloves. He told a protesting Shotaro that the black leather vest he already wore was fine to keep on – it looked 'dom' enough, whatever that was –but he took away his shirt and left him bare-chested. He then switched Shotaro's hat for a leather motorcycle version. The detective had refused to look at himself in the mirror for fear he'd run screaming from his own reflection.

"I'm never going to be able to pull this off," Shotaro grumbled.

"Of course you can. I have complete faith in you," Philippe assured him. "Now start acting like you own me."

"If I own you, does that mean I can give you away?"

"See? You can be funny, too."

"Who's joking?"

The two of them walked into the dark, noisy club, weaving their way through the dancers and other patrons. Half of Shotaro didn't want to look at them, while the other half couldn't help staring. Everyone seemed to be wearing leather in some form or another, and almost all were paired off, with one seemingly dominant over the other.

"Let's see if they're here and get this over with," Shotaro shuddered.

"Fascinating!" Philippe said in wonder, taking in everything around him. "Someone over there is chained to the wall, Shotaro! And why is that man striking that other man on the buttocks?"

"Wanna find out?"

"Yes, tell me! Also, that girl is walking on her hands and knees behind that other girl – is that fun?"

"How would I know?! Anyway, we're here to WORK, remember?!"

"I am working, research is always valuable. Oh, look! That girl has a long-handled paddle and is using it to drive that guy ahead of her! And there's someone with their hands bound behind their back –"

Shotaro began tuning his partner out and scanned the room for his client's son or his girlfriend, but couldn't recognize them among the leather-clad throng. He moved off to search another section, figuring Philippe was following behind him.

He found himself near the bar, noticing with some discomfort that for as many people as were sitting on stools, just as many were crouched or kneeling on the floor beside them.

"Why would anyone want to debase themselves like that?" he remarked in distaste. When Philippe didn't respond, he turned around and realized he wasn't there.

Damn it! he thought, and made his way back to the room he'd just left.

Philippe wasn't where he'd last seen him, but that didn’t alarm Shotaro yet; the boy had a habit of wandering off. However, he had now disappeared in a place where another teenager may have already gone missing.

"Philippe?!" he yelled, looking left and right fearfully. "PHILIPPE?!"

"Shotaro!"

The detective spun around and followed the direction of the voice. He finally saw Philippe standing between a man and a woman, both of whom had a grip on the leash connected to his collar.

"See? That's my owner coming now," Philippe was saying, nodding toward Shotaro.

"What are you doing over here?! I thought you were behind me!" Shotaro scolded, reaching to take the leash back, only to have the other two grip it more tightly.

"You left him alone; that makes him fair game," the woman told him with a sneer, and given the amount of make-up she was wearing, made it somehow more threatening.

"Yeah, but I saw him first," the strange man argued, his hairy bare chest and overall bulk doing battle with the woman's power make-up. Philippe glanced between them, no fear on his face, but a great deal of curiosity.

Shotaro was neither afraid nor curious; he was angry. "This kid isn't a plaything or possession!" he yelled. "He's underaged and he's my partner!"

Around them, several others went silent, and Philippe sighed. "Shotaro, that's probably not something you should have announced to the whole room."

The looks he was getting made Shotaro frustrated. Accusation, disgust – how judgemental could they be, considering half their dates looked no older than Philippe, and these two had even been fighting over him?! "He's my DETECTIVE partner, we're DETECTIVES, you morons!"

Philippe shook his head. "You probably shouldn't have said that, either."

Next thing Shotaro knew, he and Philippe had both been tossed out the door and had it slammed behind them.

"Well, that's just great!" Shotaro shouted, stamping his feet. "Any chance we had of solving this case is probably in there and we've just been barred!"

Philippe fingered his own chin lightly, gazing up from under lowered lashes. "The case is already solved," he said quietly.

Shotaro stopped blustering to stare at him. "What did you say?"

"The boy's parents called to say he came home last night. He wasn't with the woman at all; he'd gone to his cousin's without telling them."

His partner blinked, piecing it together. "Then why in the hell are we here?!"

The teenager's face brightened. "The chance to research this lifestyle was irresistible, and very hard to do at a distance! I wouldn't have been able to come here alone, but with you –"

Shotaro stared at him for a moment, then wrapped the leash around his fist and started to walk away.

"GAK!" Philippe croaked, trying to keep up. "Where are we going?"

"Home, to do more research," Shotaro replied grimly. "You wanted to know why that man was whacking the other one on the butt? You're about to find out."

--

Theme: Free-for-all
Prompt: Any, any, "That's just … weird."

(2012)

Kamen Rider W belongs to Toei.

This fic is not to be re-posted.