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Going over to the couch he leaned on the back seeing Nat was watching a movie from the list like the night before. Though when he looked at him a bit closer, he could tell that maybe something was wrong. He leaned forward over the back and tried to meet the other’s eyes. When he had he smiled. “You alright? You look all serious.” He said, standing straight. He almost looked like he had been caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to. Hunter at his heals he went to the kitchen and started boiling some water for tea. Long day, he could use a cup but he also felt better now that he was away from the office. So many stories came in different cases and such. But the missing person case. No one knew anything about the kid, he just up and disappeared, like a ghost almost.
He looked to the doorway thinking about Natsuo. If he had a case on Nat from his brother, he’d have to hear both stories before he decided if he would even ‘take’ it. If the reason’s were good enough, the boy would be given a fund from the city to start living on his own, away from whoever was in charge of him. Simple till you got further into everything.
With a light sigh and once the tea was done brewing, he sat down at the table leaning back with the mug in hand… Why he even took up the case and tried to help find a kid with no appearance was news to him.
Natsuo had spent the remainder of that morning thinking about the missing persons case, as well as searching around the house for readable books. When he'd finally found them, he took another ten minutes trying to decide which one he actually wanted to read. It was apparent that Marks' interests regarding books were quite different from his own, based on the fact that almost none of the books he'd found had anything he had interesting in them. When he finally decided he didn't want to read, and that he'd ask Mark later if they could go to the library, he went back into the living room and sat on the couch, television remote in hand. He spent another fifteen minutes channel surfing, trying to find something good to watch. When he realized that since it was the middle of the day and in the fall, most people would either be at work or at school, he settled on the Movie Network again like he had the night before, and went through all of the movie titles before he found one that he had seen before and knew he liked.
He wouldn't say that The Nightmare Before Christmas was one of his favourite movies, but it was definitely up there. He remembered watching it a lot when he was younger, it being one of the movies him and Sean had always agreed on. And then, a few times as he'd gotten older, though they had decreased. He remembered one time, though, specifically. It was the first night he'd come to stay with Sean, before he'd realized something was wrong with his brother. That first night, his older brother had turned on this very movie network, and played The Nightmare Before Christmas. At that time, nothing seemed abnormal to Natsuo. The two brothers had sat on the couch together, watching the movie that they'd watched throughout their childhood. But since that night, he hadn't seen it.
He was glad he was watching it at Mark's house, now. It seemed to be the marker of change, to him.
[I’m skipping to the end of the day]
Mark packed up his files, Lieke came over and gave him some papers along with the files he’d asked her to research. Now he had to figure out what was actually useful. Stepping out the door and onto the sidewalk he looked down one side seeing a man dressed casually but a bit nicer, as if he was meeting someone, but he turned walking down to sidewalk away from the station, Mark brushed it off and put the key in the ignition starting the car, backing out of the parking space then heading down the road to his apartment. It was quiet outside and the sun was starting to set, the clock read 5:04. He sighed to himself, dropping one hand from the wheel to his lap as he drove down the road. Other cars were either impatient or overly slow, wasting their time.
Getting home he parked the truck and then slid out, grabbing his bag, he headed up the steps. Before he even grabbed the handle he heard Hunter’s nails sliding over the floor and then stopping at the door. With the first bark and little whines he opened the door, almost tackled by the animal. Soon enough the German Sheppard went back to where he guessed Natsuo was. Sliding his jacket off and hanging it up, he slid his shoes off as well. Hunter scurried back towards him as he came further into the apartment, weaving around his legs. “Hey, careful now.” He said almost tripping over the dog. Whenever he left Hunter alone, he found that he was super excited but it was normally worse than this, he guessed since Nat was with him he wasn’t feeling as alone.
Natsuo had sat down in the chair that was tucked into the desk in Mark's office, Hunter taking position lying on his feet as he sat there. His eyes scanned the papers that held the information for the missing person's case, and there was no doubt about it. The person Mark was looking for was him. It made him feel sick to his stomach. The old woman who had lived in the apartment next door...they'd never met, but he could remember her. Her balcony was beside Sean's, though they weren't attached. Once, Natsuo had peeked outside when he'd heard singing, and found the little old lady singing to a bunch of birds that sat at her bird feeder. When she noticed him, he'd hurried back inside, knowing that if someone found out he lived there, Sean would be pissed. Incredibly pissed.
Apparently, though, she had seen him. And more than once, it seemed. Though, she'd never gotten a good look at his face. Well, that was a relief. But it really amazed him that someone, who didn't even know him, was worried about him. When Sean hadn't been worried about him his entire life, and they were brothers! Natsuo put the papers down, looking down to the pup at his feet. As it seemed, Mark hadn't made the connection yet. But, was that a good thing, or a bad thing? He'd told Mark a small piece of the horror story that was his life in the past couple of months, so surely, if he did tell the older male about this, he wouldn't want to send him home. Right? But, what if his job came first? What if he thought Natsuo was just a kid, making an alibi for himself? That he really should go home to Sean?
Natsuo shivered. He wasn't exactly sure how this would turn out, but he trusted Mark...he wanted to trust him with this. But, the real question was: could he?
Mark wasn’t in the mood to be as stubborn as he normally was, he gave in to letting someone else take a couple of his cases or at least research them a bit more. And throughout the day he had a few people asking about their own cases to see if they were getting them right. He’d brushed a few of them off, not to be mean or anything like that but he needed to get his own work done at the moment. And with it, the rest of the day passed slowly or it seemed to, when the clock hit noon he sighed, leaning back as one of the others declared he’d brought food. People often gave orders to someone who was running out and they would bring back something for everyone. Of course they all chipped in. Though this didn’t happen every day. “Hey Mark. Got yours.” He said tossing him a wrap. He thanked him and started eating, wondering what Natsuo was doing.
Books for actual reading were on the shelf under the coffee table, books for research and things relating to the past were in his office. Though cases and case files were on his desk and filed away in the drawers. After ten minutes, he’d finished and conveniently the phone rang. “Hello, Detective Marwin speaking.” It was the old woman wondering if anything had come up, reporting her neighbor had been getting more and more restless in the past couple days. But more so in the past couple hours. Assuring her that everything was under control she thanked him and hung up. How hard could it be to find a kid, kidnapped or runaway. Of course runaway’s were easier since you had to look where a teenager would go to be safe, away from what they were running from, but kidnapped was a bit more difficult.
She seemed to be in a rush, not giving him any time to ask about what the boy looked like, still even a hair color would help at this point…
Natsuo looked around the office, going to the far wall beside a window where a bookcase stood. As he scanned over the titles, he found that there weren't really anything he read. No books about hobbits and evil rings, no books about magic wizards with lightening scars; there weren't even any books on werewolves or vampires or fairies. Not even any documentaries! At least he doesn't have a bookcase full of Shakespeare. he thought to himself. With a slight roll of his eyes, he turned back to Hunter, watching him with large blue eyes and a wagging tail. "When I asked for books, I didn't mean stuff like this." he said, sighing. "I can't read this stuff. It's all...technical and real. It's booooring." he smiled as he crouched down, Hunter walking over to thrust his face into Natsuo's, licking his cheek. The raven haired male laughed as he rubbed behind his ears before standing up again. "I guess we better get out of here..." he mumbled, heading toward the door.
As he walked, Hunter jogged past him, jostling slightly to the side and into the work desk that sat on the opposite wall from the bookcase. Natsuo gave another eye roll, rubbing his hip. When he looked down, he noticed he'd knocked something off of the desk, and bent down to pick it up. When he reached it, he noticed something that didn't seem...right. Not that anything regarding cases of the police would ever be "right". As he stood, his eyes scanned over the police report of a missing person. The address...it was around where he used to live, though he could never remember Sean's exact address. It had been given by an old woman...
He stopped. There had been an elderly woman who'd lived next door to Sean since before he'd gotten there. It couldn't be...could this missing persons report be about him?!
Mark had gotten to the office in about fifteen twenty minutes. It wasn’t far off but it was far enough that he would never walk here or there from the office. He walked in and was greeted by one of the newer secretaries. Going to his desk he saw new information about the missing kid who ran away or was kidnapped. One of his colleges walked over and sat in the chair by his desk. “Anything come up yet?” Mark looked up then back at the papers. “Marwin, come on you can tell me, I work on the same kind of cases you do.”
“The case was labeled confidential by the people who asked us to look into it.” He said looking through the papers before putting them into his drawer. None had as much information as the one he had at home. Only problem was it didn’t give a physical description of what he looked like. No pictures, no eye color, hair color labels. All he knew was that he was a teenager and was a boy. A really crappy thing, cause then he couldn’t figure out anything about who the boy was or even have people look for him since no one knew what he looked like.
Leaning back in his chair he looked through a different one, a murder case but there was no sign of a weapon and the only drug in his system was something to give pleasure to him. Weirdest case he’d ever seen. Maybe he was allergic to whatever it was but he couldn’t tell.
“Mark.” He looked up, his boss stood with a smile looking at him. “How are the cases coming along?”
“You give me a new one every other day, its hard to focus on one.”
“You should ask Lieke to help you, she’s capable of handling and organizing files. The girls still pretty new but not as capable as some people.” The chief was a tease and as he walked away with a wink he got up holding a couple files and walked over to the new girl. Help wasn’t a bad thing after all.
“Can you do some digging on these two for me.” The woman was a year or two older than him but looked like a teenager to be honest.
Natsuo was a little surprised when Mark knelt down in front of Hunter, telling him to stay and watch the house. That meant...he was staying? With him? His eyes followed the older male as he stood back up, and then their eyes met. He nodded once, though let a small smile slip through. Good. He wasn't going to be alone. And apparently Mark had picked up on his want to not be left by himself, so leaving Hunter with him...well, it was definitely more than appreciated. Maybe I'll make dinner tonight?" he thought to himself, watching as the older male walked to the front door of the apartment, then turned back around. Hunter came back over and practially sat on Natsuo's feet as Mark said good by, and the raven haired male smiled again, waving after him. "Have a good day at work!" he called after him, before the door shut.
And then the two were by themselves. He looked down to the dog next to him, his tail beginning to wag right away. He smiled, patting his head gently and scratching behind his ears. "Let's go see if Mark has any good books to read." he said, and Hunter picked himself up off of the floor and trotted after Natsuo. He paused in the hall, not really sure where exactly he was to look for books. He hadn't noticed any in the bedroom before, but was he allowed to go check in the office? He looked down to Hunter, raising a brow. "Do you know what he keeps his books?" he asked, almost sarcastically. To his surprise, Hunter trotted over to Mark's office and nosed the door open, before peeking back at Natsuo, as if ushering him inside. Well, if the dog says so...
Mark nodded after a minute of thinking about what the boy had said. He didn’t know where the other had come from; he thought it was close to his town so maybe he had been here before but obviously not. Hunter wasn’t really needed for today so looking down at the pup after he had picked up his suit jacket from the back of the chair he knelt down next to the dog and said quietly but loud enough for Natsuo to here. “I need you to watch the house for today. Alright?” The dog whined a little then looked up at the boy behind them and tilted his head. Mark stood back up. “He’s not really needed today, if he is, I’ll just come and pick him up.” He said since he had seen Nat eye the pup and shift a little.
Picking up his phone from the counter he wrote down a number, putting it on the fridge then put the electronic in his pocket. “Call me if theres a problem or anything.” he felt like he was related to Nat or something. Walking out of the kitchen, Hunter at his heals he picked up his belt from the table by the door, fastening it around his waist he looked down at the dog. “I told you, you need to stay here for today with Nat. Alright?” Hunter tilted his head then rubbed it once against his owner’s leg before trotting over to Nat and sitting by him looking up as if he was Mark. It made the older male smile before he opened the door. “I’ll be back in a few hours.” He said closing the door behind him as he walked to the car and opened the driver side door. His jacket laid on the opposite seat, he took a last look at the apartment before starting the car.
As Natsuo started eating, he found Hunter's eyes kept travelling back to him, as if he was looking for approval. What the raven haired male really wanted to know was what the German Sheppard had been trying to accomplish by taking his towel. He knew the pup was too smart to do something like that randomly, and that he probably had hatched some sort of crazy plan, in his dog brain. When he looked back to his own plate, he picked up the bagel again and gradually started eating it. When Mark spoke up, asking him if he had any plans for the day, Natsuo was almost half finished. He shook his head. "No... I don't." he said, then shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know anyone in this area, aside from you. I don't know what's around here...stuff to do." he shrugged again. He felt like he was somewhere he shouldn't be. In a sense, it was kind of true. But, he didn't really know where he should be, either.
When he finished the bagel, he picked up his plate and rinsed it in the sink, then set it in the dishwasher after Mark. He wasn't really sure what he wanted to do. Half of him wanted to go with Mark and Hunter to the station Hunter had brought him to the other day. But he knew that Sean knew about that place now, and he didn't want to see him there again. The other half of him wanted to stay in the apartment, safe from the outside world, but he didn't really want to be alone. Though, he knew Hunter needed to go with Mark because of the job. He shrugged his shoulders again, not really sure how to answer.
Looking up when Hunter had whined a slight apology with a wagging tail he shook his head keeping the laugh in his head. When he was spoken to Mark smiled lightly and then nodded. “No problem.” He said from where he was sitting, he’d eaten only a little as he had mainly been waiting for the other. It was only polite to do so, eating meals had always been one of his favorite things when he had been growing up. He wondered if Nat also thought about it like that, the past being something you want to hold onto, things you did as a family for really any time you felt it necessary to make another smile.
When he’d finished he looked to Hunter who had almost finished his own meal. He was hesitant about leaving Natsuo here by himself, of course there wasn’t much to do at the police place but he wasn’t sure being here would be much better. At the same time he wasn’t going to make him stay anywhere, he knew that was just a bad idea since you had to give others freedom in order for them to want to come home. “Any plans for today?” He asked giving the other a curious look. “You’re welcome to come with us or go somewhere in town if you want.” Standing up and putting his plate in the dishwasher, he finished his cup and then put it in as well before turning back to see if the other had an answer.
Natsuo looked up when footsteps rounded the corner, and then Mark was walking toward him. He felt the heat rush to his face, but noticed he was using the towel to block his view, before putting it over his back. Natsuo ducked his head as he did so, though never took his eyes off of the other male. Watching as he walked away, he was just about to stand when he caught him turning around, and stopped himself. He smiled, nodding, before watching the other leave the hall and go back into the kitchen. With a sigh of relief, he finally worked the towel around his waist and stood, positioning it better before walking into the bedroom. There he found the clothes Mark had set out for him on the bed, and quickly dried himself off before changing into them. The waist on the jeans were a bit big, but the length of the legs were close enough, since he wasn't tripping over them. Though he figured if he had a belt, it would be better. When he slid the shirt on, he found that it wasn't all too baggy, and didn't go down very far for him. Though it was a bit roomy, it was still comfortable.
When he walked out of the bedroom, he brought the towel back into the bathroom and hung it up to drip, then went into the kitchen. He found Mark sitting at the small table, tea in hand, and two plates of breakfast set out on the table. He smiled when he saw it, sitting down in the place across from the other male. Hunter looked up from where he'd lain down, and gave a soft whine, though his tail was wagging. Natsuo gave a soft laugh, shaking his head. "That's not much of an apology." he said to him, jokingly. When he turned back to Mark, he felt the heat return to his face. "Thanks for bringing me the towel back."
Mark saw that Hunter had only left for a moment but his tail was wagging in view, what he had the corner of in his mouth made Mark raise an eye brow. Looking back to the hallway he stood up knowing that there were no other towels since he had lived alone he only really needed two. “You big oaf…” He muttered. He looked back to Hunter taking the towel from him and telling him to sit with a motion. Hunter’s expression dropped as he sat down and bowed his head until his owner left. Mark walked to the edge of the hallway. Seeing that Natsuo had himself covered pretty well he walked down holding the towel up covering his view of the boy he put the towel over his back. “Sorry about that.” He said quietly he was still damp from the shower and Mark turned around and went back towards the kitchen.
The image of the boy sitting on the ground like that, naked, his hair still damp, because of what his dog had done to take the towel away, he guessed that he would be embarrassed for a while. He stopped at the end of the hall for a moment. “Breakfast is ready so when you’re done come out and eat. Alright?” He smiled over his shoulder to the boy before going back to the table, finishing making a cup of tea. Coffee only did good things for headaches for him. With the warmth showing in the steam it gave off he took a sip, and it felt like it burned his tongue. Might have, he couldn’t tell at the moment. He hadn’t had Hunter decide to go and take a towel from someone before, he’d had it happen to him only because one of the older towels had been used as a tug of war toy, but it had been thrown out. He sighed to himself before taking another sip this time more careful of the heat…
Natsuo jolted lightly out of his thoughts when he heard Mark's voice, and turned around to see him in the doorway, though he didn't stay there for very long. In a second, he was gone, and Natsuo was alone again. But, even so, he didn't really all that alone. With a sigh, he stood and undressed from everything except his boxers, leaving a pile of his dirty clothes on the floor before heading to the bathroom. Him and Mark were both guys, so seeing him in his underwear wasn't that big of a deal...right? He was in the bathroom before anyone could have seen him, though, so it didn't really matter. After he'd started the water and stripped off his boxers, he jumped in when the water was the right temperature. He waited a couple of minutes, letting the hot water roll off of him, but soak into him at the same time. It had been so long since he'd had a good shower, and it felt amazing.
When he was done, having only took about eight minutes since his hair was shorter than Mark's, Natsuo got out and grabbed the only bath towel left in the bathroom, since Mark had already used one and gotten it wet. He used it to dry his hair temporarily, then his body. When he looked in the mirror above the sink, he found that he didn't look as...pale, as he had whenever he looked at himself in Sean's apartment. Probably because Sean wasn't there. With another light sigh, he tied the towel around his waist, leaving the bathroom and going out into the hall. He was halfway between the bedroom and the bathroom when Hunter trotted up to meet him. Natsuo stopped walking, petting the pup's head. Hunter barked, happily wagging his tail before he lurched out, grabbed Natsuo's towel and left him in the hallway before he could say anything. Automatically, Natsuo dropped to the ground in a crouch, not really sure what to do. He could go back to the bathroom, but there were no more towels, and only his boxers. He could go to the bedroom, but there weren't any towels in there, either...
The water was warm when the older male had stepped in, his hair getting soaked completely within a couple seconds. He wondered why he too, had been comfortable with the boy laying on him when at first it hadn’t been the most comfortable. Though the contact had been warm. He sighed to himself and after 15 minutes, he got out drying off and getting dressed quietly. When he opened the door who else was sitting there but Hunter. He smiled and pat the animal’s head scratching the back of his head lightly. Walking back into the bedroom he spotted Natsuo. “The bathroom’s open if you want to shower.” he said before leaving the room again to make breakfast.
Pulling out a couple bagels and heating one of the pans he let the butter sizzle on it for a minute, he put them face down on the pan letting them cook that way. They were really good this way and he’d learned to make them the way his dad had taught him. After another fifteen minutes of them cooking themselves and Mark turning them every once in a while, they were done. Putting one bagel on each plate he set them out and waited for Natsuo to come to the kitchen before he started eating. Pouring Hunter’s food while they waited so he wouldn’t beg for anything while they ate. But even so the dog was just sitting there until he went to go and get Nat from where he was. The big pup checked the bedroom first…
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