It was a nice enough autumn day the day that Lupin arrived in England, collected his luggage and stepped out of the airport. He stretched his arms as he took in a fresh breath of air, something worth more than all the gold he’d stolen in his career after the stale airplane air he’d had to breathe for hours on end. After his arms were loosened up and his back sufficiently popped he grabbed his suitcase and started walking across the street. Only a few steps into his walk police cars came zooming around every corner in sight towards him at full speed, only breaking and swerving in time to avoid hitting him, and he quickly found himself boxed in in the middle of the street.
A single handcuff attached to a long chain flew at him and successfully wrapped around his wrist, and as soon as it did the chain was pulled taught forcing Lupin to take a stumbling step in the direction of the closest car. Zenigata, triumphant and in high spirits, stood next to the car reeling the chain in. His face was kept carefully neutral out of professionalism, but Lupin could detect the underlying excitement.
“Pops! I’m so glad to see you,” he called out and waved with his free hand as Zenigata continued pulling him closer.
“I’m sure that won’t last, Lupin,” Zenigata replied and stepped closer so that he could lay a hand on Lupin’s shoulder.
“Why wouldn’t it? Because you’re trying to put me in jail? Like we haven’t done worse things to each other in the past,” Lupin giggled as Zenigata turned him around to place a real pair of handcuffs around his wrists behind his back.
“No, because this time I don’t intend to let you get away again,” Zenigata replied and rummaged about in an inner pocket of his trench coat. A metallic clinking followed as he pulled his hand out and reached for Lupin’s hands again. Lupin craned his neck to look over his shoulder but couldn’t see what Zenigata was fiddling with.
“Whatcha got back there Po-oOAAGH!” He exclaimed as a frankly horrible stabbing pain bore into the sides of his thumbs. It was as if Zenigata had slowly stabbed him, but in his thumbs, and both of them at the same time.
Zenigata walked around him to stand face to face and now he wasn’t trying to hide his emotions anymore. He was clearly very pleased that Lupin was sufficiently restrained and crossed his arms over his puffed out chest.
“Hah! You didn’t see that one coming! I know you Lupin, and I know any regular old pair of handcuffs won’t hold you in place. That’s why I did some digging and dragged these old thumb cuffs back into the light. History says not even Houdini himself could escape them!” As Zenigata talked Lupin’s emotions morphed from disbelief at the rough treatment, to recognition, to pouting. Now that he knew what Zenigata had done to him he put on his most pitiful face and slouched his shoulders.
“And there’s a reason for that, these things were deemed too inhumane long ago. They’re designed to bore the fastening screws right into the flesh of the prisoner, Pops. They’re torture devices,” Lupin whined and tried to look as if he were in excruciating pain. In reality the worst pain had already ebbed away, but he wasn’t lying about the screws, that’d leave two round symmetrical scars.
At the mention of torture Zenigata immediately deflated and the pleased expression fell away. Of course Pops never would’ve used them if he’d realized the design behind the device, a small comfort at least to know he hadn’t gone corrupt after years of fruitless chase.
“That’s- that sounds awful. But I’ll have to look it up before taking your word for it,” Zenigata mumbled and nervously looked around. They were in the middle of the street, cars and officers surrounding them and observing with rapt attention, ready to pull their weapons if it came to that. The man closest to them had ridden in the car with Zenigata, and he must’ve felt somewhat closer to that man than the rest because he waved him over and talked with him in low tones.
“This man will accompany you in the car while I make a call, and if it turns out I do owe you an apology, then consider this one in advance,” Zenigata quickly bowed his head to Lupin before turning the other way and pulling his phone out. With his back to him Lupin could drop the pitiful act and smiled a fond smile. Zenigata would expire before he so much as had a single evil thought in his head.
The moment didn’t last long as the officer whose custody he’d been put under grabbed him firmly by the elbow and gave it a tug to direct him toward the car. Lupin hummed pleasantly to communicate that he was willingly cooperating and started walking. The officer hung back a step to keep Lupin in front of him as they walked.
They’d been close to the car to begin with, but in the few steps it took to close the distance Lupin had shown himself to be docile enough to make the watching officers visibly relax. They though it was already over, they’d all get to go home today without bruises or cuts. One step away from the car Lupin huffs out a quiet laugh.
“Not today fellas,” he says before taking a leap to the side in an effort to slide over the hood of the car, a good enough start to any escape. However, instead of the smooth solid feel of sliding over metal Lupin abruptly stops mid-air and falls on his ass, the rough texture of asphalt biting at his skin through his clothes. He has enough time to figure out that the officer’s reflexes had been better than he’d expected before the hand that grabbed his arm and thwarted his escape pulls him back to his feet. The device eating away at the skin of his thumbs digs deeper and Lupin protests loudly.
“Hey, hey-ow OW OW! Man, careful!” His yelling doesn’t make the officer hesitate for a second. Once Lupin is on his feet again he is turned around and shoved backwards. His back hits the side of the car and the officer steps up close and balls his fists up in the fabric of Lupin’s shirt to prevent any follow up attempts at escape. Over the officer’s shoulder Lupin sees Zenigata some meters away, his mouth ajar and phone held limply in his hand. Lupin smiles sweetly at him and it seems to bring Zenigata back to the present.
“That’s quite the impressive feat son, not many people can keep up with Lupin-“ Zenigata begins to praise the officer once he’s recovered enough from the split second of fear that gripped his heart when it looked like Lupin, despite his best efforts, could’ve slipped away again so soon.
“Quite true, I never knew the Yard had such skilled hands at their disposal, it’s just a shame they’re wasted on cops,” Lupin jokingly interrupts him and punctuates his statement with a wink to the officer in front of him. The man growls in response and presses his body against Lupin’s, completely pinning him to the car to remind him who’s in control.
Zenigata sighs, of course Lupin will never change, and observes the two of them having an intense staring contest for a few seconds before putting the phone back to his ear to make the call. Except before he does so, a sight without precedent unfolds before him. Zenigata stares and sees but cannot believe his eyes. It came out of nowhere, like a lightening strike from a blue sky. Right in front of him, in front of everyone, Lupin and the officer he’s gotten to know over the past week are vigorously kissing. Scratch that, they’re noisily making out, in the middle of the street, with not a care in the world. Zenigata stares dumbfounded. Half his brain has the here withal to ascertain Lupin hasn’t freed his hands and is using the make out session as a distraction to relieve the officer of the car keys or other items. But no, his hands are held firmly behind his back. Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the officer whose hands have traveled from Lupin’s collar to his hair and his stomach, the tips of his fingers creeping up under his shirt.
Zenigata experiences his second bout of panicked clarity in the last minute and jumps into action with a start. He storms over to the two of them while yelling at the profoundly misconducting officer.
“Have you no self control!? Do you want him to accuse you of police brutality? Get off of him!”
He reaches them a mere second later, but it’s still a second too late. The officer, apparently oblivious to the world, presses a thigh between Lupin’s legs and gets a loud moan in response. A cold shiver runs down Zenigata’s spine as he grabs the officer by the back of his collar and tears him off of Lupin. It had just been going too well, Lupin had been too easy to locate and capture, because he’d probably planned this from the start. But to what end? Zenigata doesn’t have much time to think, he needs to act immediately. He puts himself between the two panting men and yells.
“Do you have any idea what you’ve done? Have someone drive you back to the station where you’ll immediately report your misbehavior to the chief!” Zenigata feels his face getting redder and redder from equal parts embarrassment and pure fury as he speaks. Truly this is the most humiliating day of his professional life. That someone he’s working with would behave this way, shameful! Thankfully the officer seems to have snapped out of whatever spell he was under and looks appropriately ashamed as he ducks his head and walks over to another car for a lift.
Zenigata turns back to Lupin and opens his mouth to speak, to say something, but what should he say? No words come out and he is left gaping at Lupin who in turn looks like he just rolled out of bed the way his hair is tousled this way and clothes rumpled that way.
“Aw, Pops, I’ve never received such a warm welcome to a country before and you just had to go and ruin it,” Lupin pants and grins while pretending like nothing out of the ordinary just happened.
Zenigata doesn’t know whether he should try to smooth Lupin’s clothes out or if that would be too inappropriate at this point, so instead he starts reading him his rights aloud. As he does so the car containing the officer drives off and he misses the conspiratorial glance and wink Lupin and the officer share before they’re out of sight from each other.
Back at the station the offending officer stands in front of the chief’s desk. The chief wastes no time in picking up the yelling right where Zenigata left off at the airport, and with no less amount of fury in his voice.
“I’d have thought that someone like you of all people would value your position smack dab in central London and not get up to any… indecencies! And so soon! You do realize you’ll be sent back to the countryside with a dishonorable discharge, right?”
Ah yes, the countryside, where he is from. The officer sighs softly and quietly mutters something under his breath, which does not escape the chief.
“You got something to say about all of this then? Speak up!”
“I said; it’ll be a relief to finally shed this itchy face after having worn it for two consecutive weeks,” the officer scratches at his neck and walks around the desk between himself and his boss. The chief looks on as he approaches at a loss for words, what in God’s heaven does that mean?
The officer stops in front of the chief who turns in his chair to face the other man. He’d kept one hand in his pocket as he walked up, and from it he quickly produces a small spray bottle with which he sprays a mist of some fluid right in the chief’s face before dropping it and hurriedly clamping a hand over the chief’s mouth to prevent him from any further yelling that might alarm others outside of the office. At first the chief thrashes and tries to pry his hand off his face, but his efforts quickly grow weaker until he slumps in the officer’s grip fast asleep.
The officer holds still for another second to assure himself that the drug has properly kicked in before letting the chief go and straightening up. He reaches for his own neck again and scratches at a spot just hidden under his collar until his nails catch a seam. With his fingertips firmly gripping onto the latex edge he rips the mask off.
Jigen puffs out a hot breath and wipes sweat from his forehead, the masks are so stuffy and this one in particular had started to smell from all the hours he’d spent in it. It was a comfort to know that his time in masks for this job was almost over and he pauses for a moment and smirks. Everything was going smoothly. After a few more cooling breaths he goes back to work.
Zenigata’s mood has once again lifted when he steps into the chief’s office. Lupin, after being freed of the thumb cuffs, was successfully transferred to the station and into a cell without any hiccups. He hadn’t attempted any more sudden escapes and, to Zenigata’s relief, none of his partners had pulled off a daring rescue mission either.
The chief is sitting behind his desk filling in information on a paper that Zenigata may or may not recognize as a termination contract. He’s had a couple of those thrown his way too in the past but, unlike that officer, they were always based on false accusations. When he walks up the chief lifts his head and greets him.
“Zenigata, the man of the hour! Congratulations are in order. Has all gone well?” The chief stands from his chair and reaches a hand over his desk to shake Zenigata’s hand.
“Thank you sir. Lupin is in his cell and so far there have been no signs that he’ll try to escape, but that doesn’t mean his plans aren’t already being put into action. I fear the mishap earlier had something to do with a scheme of his,” Zenigata says, still waiting for the no doubt inevitable disaster to come. Things were peaceful so far but if experience had taught him anything it was that it is always calmest before the storm.
“You mean that countryside nobody? Frankly it’s embarrassing that we ever brought him all the way here, but he had shown promise in his home village. But do not worry yourself over that, I saw him earlier and it’s all been taken care of, I’ve got the proof of it right here on my desk,” the chief says and slaps a hand on the papers he’d been working on. Zenigata glances down at them and feels a small amount of relief, at least the officer was a real person then and not just someone fabricated to play a part in Lupin’s plans.
“Yes, he’s taken care of. All that’s left to do is to arrange for Lupin’s transfer to France as soon as possible so that he’ll be forced to finally face the consequences of his lifestyle. Still, as much as I push for the process to be prioritized bureaucracy takes its time,” the chief says as he sits back down in his chair and looks at Zenigata.
“Inspector, you look wrung out. Why don’t you take a break? You caught Lupin and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon,” the chief suggests as he examines Zenigata’s face.