“So man-tiger... do you conceded?“ The executive growled, forcing Atasushi’s apendage off to the right, where- just the slightest bit of pressure could potentially snap the bone. He hoped it wouldn’t come to that. However, his orders were to take in the man tiger alive and broken was preferable than dead. Easing his back to allow the feline some dexterity, Akutagawa thought back on his early years of training- questions, methods to get them to talk without physical force but none came to mind. All that consumed his thoughts were the realization that the man who’d once trained him, the so called "former-mafia executive" Dazai, has taken a new pupil. That pupil who now lay beneath him, beaten near his breaking point and he couldn’t even relish in the victory. It wasn’t fair. Not that he himself had ever been given a fair start in life. Living the streets, the horrible feeling of suffocating but not from the smog of the city’s exhaust- not the cold rain bleeding through his worn clothed- not even the sickness that plagued him could compare the realization that man was a beast itself. Wild and lurking to strike, feed and devour from others to claim what they had not worked to accomplish- that is the primal desire.
That is what suffocated him. He couldn’t contend with the primal nature of man. He couldn’t survive until he could do what sickened and made him cringe. When he became numb would be the time of his evolution. To further the progression and become a beast. He stole without remorse, he bludgeoned the woman- to lift a clean coat now stained with the memory of its owner. The unshakable sensation of being unclean. It was warm vbut no in a comforting way... the black fabric became a second skin. Skin of a carcass draped over his back. The thick scent suffocated him, only prompting his coughing fit as he staggered through the streets.
He would not drown like the rat! It’s eyes milky, reflective, able to taunt him from its half submerged rigor mortis.
“You’ll be just like me.” It sang.
“You'll die in the gutters, no one will help you. No one has pity for those who cannot evolve and survive. That is the way of man.”
He couldn’t stand it, he would not crawl in the spaces of the pavement again! Akutagawa let his grasp tighten, the rate crying and screaming for its fellow vermin but they would not come. No one would come. Claws began to take shape, steaming from the knuckle .
He would become the rat if he could not kill.
If he could not complete this simple task he would drown and suffocate under the heel of another. Like some rat, wearing the face of man, ravenous teeth like glistening coins in the pockets of those who slept well at night. In a cot, bunker with a roof and dreamed of their little more than doubled futures while he clung to life in the dirt.
A sharp gasp, much like a gurgle broke him from his trance. His wine red orbs blurred two different pictures before him- the rat and the tiger. Flying back, the boy scuttled away from him, sputtering and in-taking every breath of air his lungs could take. Akutagawa's fingers formed into a fist in anger and his own displeasure at loosing composure. Sure enough, the rest of the Armed Detective agency burst through the door. He would retreat for now, feeling the low reverberation of Rashomon's hunger skulking into the shadows he knew despite his act of turning his back, he was in fact the higher and dominate being.