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The Butterfly Effect

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Akira looked at the Text Messages once more before looking at the building before him.

[Aragaki-san, April 9th, 20XX, 14:07]: I'm really sorry Kurusu-kun, but something came up. Look for a restaurant called 'Gemini' and you're there. I'm really sorry about this!

He found it hard to believe that she was 36 years old, according to his lawyer, a cousin of hers. He found the place easily enough. It wasn't flashy or anything like that. He opened the door and looked at the surroundings.

It looked like a little hole in the wall place but from the looks of the inside, it was a bit busy. There were a lot of high school girls sitting around some tables and giggling to themselves while the man in the kitchen worked. Akira waited until the girls left, all of them disappointed that the Detective Prince hadn't showed up. Akira walked in as the man cleaned the table.

“I'm closed.” He looked up and Akira felt he accurately portrayed confusion. The man glared at him and the boy grabbed onto the strap of his bag.

“I'm sorry. My name is Akira Kurusu. I was supposed to meet my new guardian today and she said that this was the address.” He trailed off, the man's face stayed glaring and Akira knew that he had just said something wrong.

“My name is Shinjiro Aragaki. Minako is my wife.” Akira felt himself froze. In all their correspondence, neither her nor his lawyer had mentioned a husband.

“My wife owed your lawyer a favour from long before I met her so that's why you're here because that boy would have taken you in a heartbeat but he doesn't have space. When my wife gets home, we'll set the ground rules. We also have a son, named Goro, who is in and out at all hours of day and night. Do not question it and leave him be. Understood?” Shinjiro asked and Akira nodded, setting his bag on one of the tables.

The bell rang again and Akira turned around, seeing a teenager walk in quickly and lock the door, then quickly walked behind the counter and ducked down. Shinjiro's eyes were on the windows as some girls ran up and began trying to force the door open and bang on the windows.

“Hey Mister! Did Goro Akechi come in here!?” One of them asked, trying to scan the small area.

“No. Just me and this young man here.” They let out a collective groan of disappointment before they dispersed. Shinjiro closed all the blinds before going behind the counter and kneeling down. Akira shuffled back and forth before the lock on the door opened and the bell rand for a third time. He turned and saw a young lady with long brown hair, tied into a ponytail with red eyes standing behind him.

“SHINJIIIII~ I'M...!” She stopped suddenly when she saw Akira and smiled brightly.

“Hello. My name is Akira Kurusu.” He held his hand out and shook it.

“Nice to meet you Kurusu-kun. I'm Minako Aragaki. Sorry my husband or I couldn't come pick you up. Did you eat already?” She asked, holding onto Akira's hands. He looked down and they were small and warm.

“I did.” He lied and she smirked like she didn't believe him.

“You're lying to me, but I'll ask if you're hungry now.” She was testing him, he could tell. He shook his head.

“I'm not hungry Aragaki-san.” He insisted and she nodded.

“Come on, I'll take you to your room and show you the house.” She let go of his hands and looked behind the counter, giving her husband and son kisses on the cheeks before taking Akira to the back and up a set of stairs.

He looked around once they were in the living room. There was a TV and some mismatched couches set around a small dining room table. If he hadn't known better he would have assumed this was someone's first apartment out of the family home. Two desks looked as though they had been shoved into the corner quickly. She took him down a long hall and opened the last door on the left. First thing he noticed was that the box he had sent beforehand was sitting on the bed.

“This is going to be your room. There's a bed, a dresser and you have a closet. Across the hall is Goro-chan's bedroom and then next to Goro-chan's room is mine and Shinjiro's. The bathroom is next to your room and the kitchen is right next to the living room. Feel free to use anything in the fridge. The Fire Escape is in Goro-chan's room. He's... not really home much so you might not have to worry about him. Due to the terms of your probation, you have to go to school and keep your nose clean. If you step out of line then you'll be sent right to Juvenile Hall and your assault will stay on your record. Do not pass Go. Do not collect 200 dollars. Twice a month either Shinji or I will be reporting to your Social Worker. I set a diary on the dresser for you to write your daily activities in. If either of us suspects that you are causing trouble then we will have you sent there. I'm doing this as a big favour to my cousin so try to be a good boy, okay? Yosuke... your lawyer sorry... already told us everything about your trial and I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt in this case.” Akira nodded and she smiled.

“Aragaki-san, I think I'd like to rest now.” It was a lot to take in and she smiled at him and nodded.

“Tomorrow I'm going to take you to your new school so we can meet your teacher and principal as well as get a good idea of the layout, okay?” She asked and Akira nodded. She turned around and left the room, allowing him to set his box on the floor and dig through it for his Pyjamas. Once he was changed he turned out the lights and climbed under the covers, allowing himself to drift to sleep and dream about the events that lead him to be in Tokyo.

He had been rushing home, he had things to do when he arrived. He had taken the back ally to get home quicker, which had taken him to the Main Street, hearing shouting. A man and a woman's voice shouting. He approached them and the man, clearly drunk, was harassing a young lady, probably in her mid 20's.

“Tch. What a waste of time. You think you're worth causing me trouble? Huh?” The man demanded in his drunken slur.

“I-I'll call the police!” The woman shouted, her voice unsure though.

“Heh, call them if you want! The police are my bitches! They're not gonna take anything you say seriously.” He sounded so sure of himself, causing Akira to clench his fist.

“No... Stop!” The woman demanded. Akira looked up when he heard sirens in the distance.

“Someone called the cops, huh? Get in the car! Incompetent fools like you just need to shut your mouths and follow where I steer this country!” The man shouted. He turned around and noticed Akira, ignoring the woman and advancing on him.

“What are you looking at? Get outta my face! This ain't a show. Get lost, kid.” Even from the few feet away, Akira could smell the booze on his breath. He looked at the woman angrily.

“See? This is because you're so damn slow! Get in the car!” He shouted, motioning to the car.

Akira woke the next morning in a cold sweat to someone knocking on the door.