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the spirits that follow

Chapter Text

 

Nishiki physically had to drag him to a hospital. 

Kiryu initially tried to brush it off at first and retorted that his brother’s injuries are as bad. Nishiki rolled his eyes, saying he wasn’t the one kicking the Dojima lieutenants’ asses and got shot multiple times. “For fuck’s sake Kiryu- look, how about we admit ourselves in, okay?” 

Tachibana was as persistent, like an overbearing parent as he lightly berated, “Kiryu-san, I highly suggest you get proper treatment.”

“You’re worse than a toddler”, Oda smirked.

Fine.

 


 

Both Marina and Yamanoi paged Kiryu several times while he stayed in the recovery ward. Out of concern, no doubt. Granted, he did left without a message and the guilt crept in.

“They aware you were a yakuza?” Nishiki asked as he lazily flipped through a magazine about the latest fashion trends for men.

Yamanoi, definitely not. Other than thinking he was a yakuza otaku (which Nishiki unapologetically burst out into laughter), thanks Oda . As for Marina, Kiryu has a hunch that she does. Being an undercover officer and the case of the murder charge on his head but she was always genuinely friendly towards him.

“You should have a proper talk with them once you’re released.” Tachibana suggested. Kiryu nodded in response. Speaking of the office, he wondered how Nugget was faring.

“Hold up, are you still training that chicken as a manager?” Nishiki blurted out.

Kiryu scowled, “don’t underestimate her, she’s been a great contribution to the company. Believe it or not.”

Tachibana chuckled, “indeed.”

Oda snorted, “even I can’t deny that. Revenue percentage was, what? 130% every time?”

“Even Tachibana and Oda agreed.”

Nishiki continued to stare at him in utter disbelief, “how the hell are you a legit real estate agent again?”

 


 

Much to Kiryu’s surprise, Sera shared him the address and room number of Makimura via a phone call once he was released from the recovery ward for like four days with Nishiki. She’s been relocated to a private hospital. But Kiryu couldn’t bring himself to, for he was a reminder to Makimura of the yakuza. Tachibana gently reminded him to be not too hard on himself and added, “I’m sure she’ll be happy to see a familiar face.”

Kiryu reconsidered that statement. 

 


 

Having to deal with the aftermath is weird, Kiryu decided. 

Nishiki kindly welcomed him to stay over at his place since his own flat was burned. Kiryu appreciated it, his debts racking up and made sure to owe him a drink and a meal or two once things finally settled down. His brother snorted and trailed off a list with his fingers, “bro, I got you that flashy suit, the lighter and you ran off with my car. You owe me big time.”

Kiryu chuckled, sipping his beer. Nishiki then looked around him. “Oh yeah, where’s Tachibana and Oda? They sure been quiet.” 

Ah. Kiryu paused to himself. “They’re discussing about what they’ll be doing as spirits. Tachibana told me he definitely wish to watch over his sister and I...Although I’m not sure about Oda.”

It’s been over an hour since they left to talk privately. It was either that Oda want to seek redemption or never come back again. It just occurred to Kiryu he hasn’t told Nishiki the complete truth yet. He seen the way his sworn brother glowered at Oda after the latter told Tachibana that Kiryu was not to be trusted. The sheer irony.

Nishiki looked puzzled at first, “huh? I can see him wanting to look after Makoto. But you?” He paused and snickered. “Then again, you always been a magnet for trouble and other weird shit.”

And then, his pager beeped. Nishiki picked it up from the table and groaned, “ah crap, it’s Kashiwagi-san. I promised to see him.”

Kiryu raised an eyebrow, “that urgently?”

Nishiki nodded, “I guess to see how we’re faring after that mess. I heard we lost a few guys.”

The other man dipped his head with regret, he remembered seeing a couple of confused ghosts when they left the ship. It was to be expected, he supposed. Noticing his expression, Nishiki attempted a grin, “anyway, just take it easy, bro. The doctor really warned us about open wounds. See ya later.”

With that, Kiryu bid Nishiki off with a lazy wave as the door closed behind. His eyes trailed back to the TV, replaying the news on the Sibaura event. As for the Dojima Lieutenants, Shibusawa and Kuze were arrested by the police. As for Awano, Kiryu heard he got shot to death. By whom, no one was saying anything.

“Nishikiyama-san has a good point, Kiryu-san.” A familiar voice chuckled.

Kiryu turned his head. Tachibana had phrased through the apartment wall- did Kiryu not felt his presence earlier? Surveying the room, Tachibana’s lips perked up, “well, isn’t this nostalgic? Although, Nishikiyama-san does a better job at cleaning.”

Kiryu blinked at the last statement, he couldn’t imagine Tachibana living in a messy flat similar to his previous place. As if he knew what he was thinking (then again, Tachibana can read expressions it’s almost scary), his boss grinned, “on the contrary, I used to live like a slob.”

Yep, Kiryu honestly couldn’t conjure the image and Tachibana chuckled at his expression. 

Kiryu sipped his beer. “So, you were listening earlier?”

Tachibana smiled and sat opposite him at the round table. “Just briefly, I visited Xiao Qiao this earlier. Thankfully, she appeared well and slowly gaining consciousness.”

Kiryu’s eyes widened at the news, the burden in his chest didn’t felt as heavy, “really?”

Tachibana eagerly nodded with such a big smile, the happiest Kiryu has ever seen him. “Yes, hopefully she’ll be able to be fully conscious soon.”

“I hope so too.” Kiryu gave a small smile. If only Makimura can witness the genuine happiness displayed on her older brother’s face.

“Anyway, you should also take it easy as well, Kiryu-san.” His boss offhandedly commented. 

Kiryu blinked, “huh?”

Tachibana nodded with a serious expression, “well, you do have a tendency of attracting unwanted attention. Kazama-san wasn’t mincing his words when he first talked about you.”

Kiryu sighed at the number of anecdotes he can pull out, “no kidding. Everywhere I go, everyone and their moms need help.”

The older man softly chuckled, “but you’re always willing to help. I had numerous reports about you helping civilians. Especially when they are troubled by yakuza or street ruffians.”

Kiryu ducked his head and sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck. “Can’t help it, there’s something about punks making unnecessary trouble pisses me off. Oda warned me I shouldn’t go around playing hero all the time, saying its a bad habit, not that I care. Speaking of Oda, where is he?”

Tachibana’s lips flattened at the mention of the name. “Oda said he’s contemplating over what we spoken. I gave him two options: ‘one, you can wish to repent by aiding Kiryu in every way possible. Or two, wander as a lost spirit and rot for the rest of eternity’.”

Kiryu stared back wide-eyed, albeit frightened. Tachibana smiled, it didn’t reach his eyes.

“He lost my trust as it is. If he wants to gain it back, he’ll have to convince us.” Tachibana then took a deep breath, “to be honest, at first it was rather difficult for me, as his friend and brother. But what he did to Xiao Qiao and the other women in her shoes was inexcusable. And to betray us just to preserve our bond was a selfish, cowardly move, really.” 

“Tachibana...” Was all Kiryu could say. 

The ghost quietly continued, “despite the fact that he chose to turn-heel in the very last second, I can’t completely forgive him just for that alone.”

“Well, guess what, that loser is back.”

They turned to the voice, Oda went through the window. He has a sheepish grin on his face and hands in his pockets.

Tachibana fixed a firm expression (akin to a glare) at him and curtly asked, “so, you made your decision?”

Instead of flinching away out of sheer guilt like he previously did, Oda boldly maintained eye contact. “Yeah”, he first replied with a firm nod before glancing over at Kiryu, “hey, how’d you feel about having another permanent roommate?”

 


 

Kiryu shared the news with Nishiki later as they made their way to Serena. Reina had been worried sick when they were in the wards.

Nishiki snorted, “well ain’t that a coincidence. Sounds like the beginning of a weird punchline joke.”

“How?”

“You’re hopeless, man. You know, something along the lines of: ‘a ex-yakuza and two dead real estate agents walk into a bar.”

Kiryu wasn’t sure whether he liked the sound of that, “huh.”

“A real messed up one, if you asked me.” Oda mumbled while he quietly reminisced over the taste of alcohol.

“That does sound very particular.” Tachibana admitted with a tint of humour in his voice.

“Well, least I’m not the only one babysitting your dumb ass.” Nishiki casually added.

“Oi.”

 


 

Only accompanied by Oda (as Tachibana excused himself to look over Makimura), Kiryu eventually returned back to Sugita building. The moment he opened the door, Marina was the first to dashed over, Yamanoi following behind, both equally concerned. The bandages on Kiryu’s face didn’t help either as Marina gasped, “Kiryu-kun, what happened?!”

“Is that why you were gone?” Yamanoi asked next, ever the kind old man he is.

“…Something like that.” Kiryu grunted.

Oda shot him a look, “really, junior? That’s the best you could come up with? They were worried sick.”

Kiryu ignored him and asked how was business. Ofcourse, Marina looked like she has more to say, she briefly shot him an expression that clearly read ‘I need a word with you later’ before forcing a smile as she gave her answer.

Apparently, business was going smoothly as usual. The five former billionaires were doing well on their parole so far with whatever efforts they were putting in. Ofcourse, annual profits remained consistent and absurdly high with Nugget around (“why am I not surprised”, Oda muttered, though genuinely impressed). Said chicken perched comfortably on her pillow at Kiryu’s desk and clucked excitedly when she heard his voice.

“Poor thing missed you.” Yamanoi chuckled, taking his usual seat.

Well, this time Kiryu’s guilt tripled and his first instinct was to stroke Nugget’s feathers. “She did?”

Marina nodded, “I think it was after the second day you weren’t around that she became quieter?” She then turned to him with a pout and hands on her hip, “honestly, Kiryu-kun! If you’re planning to go missing, least remind me beforehand!” 

“S-sorry.” Kiryu sheepishly replied back.

 


 

They decided to talk over cans of coffee at one of the small parks nearby, thankfully deserted. Oda stayed behind in the office without throwing a little ‘don’t screw it up’ reminder as if he was on date. Even Yamanoi threw in a ‘ah, youth’ comment it’s almost embarrassing.

“Kiryu-kun, you used to be in the yakuza, didn’t you?” Marina finally bought up. 

Kiryu first tensed up, “when did you realized?”

His secretary put on a thoughtful expression, “it was only after I met you, that I started to hear your name a few times from some colleagues, especially the case of the man they found shot in one of the empty lots. You were a prime suspect and they told me to report if I ever see you.”

“But you didn’t.” Kiryu responded.

Marina couldn’t help but smiled, “that’s precisely why.” 

The other man stared back at her with a puzzled expression. Marina giggled, “Your bluntness and honestly was what convinced me, Kiryu-kun. Not only that, you always been attentive from the start, and made sure no one was dragged into any brawls or trouble previously caused by our competitors. Why would a murder suspect go that far?”

Kiryu felt his face heating up, stuttering, “I-I’ve no clue, maybe if he’s really good actor.”

“But you’re not.” Marina bluntly spoke, straight-laced as ever. “Besides, who else decided not to cook a chicken and instead decided to give them a job?”

Kiryu just wanted to dig himself a hole. Instead, he bowed his head as an attempt to hide his blush, “you’re too kind, Marina. I’m honestly glad you’re our secretary.”

She laughed, “and I’m glad to meet a hard-working president like you, Kiryu-kun.”

Unsure how to answer back, Kiryu busied himself by sipping his coffee and Marina just chuckled at his bashfulness.

Seconds later, she quietly asked, “what happened to you?”

Kiryu paused, his grip on his coffee can felt tighter, “what you know about the Sibaura event?”

“According to my colleagues, it was a yakuza gang war. Which, they’re not sharing openly with the public. Is that true?”

Kiryu gravely nodded. “Yeah, my former family was involved and I got dragged in. Many lost their lives. To be honest, I couldn’t just sit by.”

Somehow, this was the closest he ever revealed to a civilian. Marina frowned worriedly, “that certainly sounds like you. But, I’m glad you’re still alive.”

That last statement honestly made his cheeks warm and Kiryu ducked his head, “now I feel really bad for leaving you guys unnoticed...” 

Marina giggled at his reaction, but the smile on her face quickly fell. “But are you thinking to continue working here?”

“Ah.” Kiryu first said, because he hadn’t really thought that far yet. “To be honest, I’m still thinking about it. Although...I’m not sure if I should. I really don’t want to drag you guys after being involved after that event, let alone innocent civilians.”

Burning images glimpsed through his head just thinking about it. Marina stayed quiet at first, standing up from the bench to throw her drink away. Eventually, she turned to him with a small smile, “regardless, you’re always welcome, Kiryu-kun.”

Kiryu wasn’t sure whether he deserved that statement. Instead, he only offered a weak smile, “thank you, Marina.”

Then, a thought occurred to him. “Though, I do need your help on one thing…”

Minutes later, Marina barged back in the office, dragging in Kiryu by the arm as she huffed, “Yamanoi-san! Our president need a new flat! So busy thinking about others that he can’t even look after himself!”

Startled, Yamanoi blinked, “I beg your pardon?”

Oda, who’d been distracted by Nugget (trying to figure out her prowess no less) glanced in their direction, “give that secretary of yours a raise.”

 


 

It was after two nights spent sleeping on Nishiki’s spare futon that Kiryu finally got an affordable and less shitty bachalor pad. He tried looking through cheaper ones but Marina wouldn’t have it.

“You should give Shiraishi-san a raise”, said Tachibana and Kiryu didn’t recall sharing Marina’s full name to him before.

Feeling a tad insulted for being assumed for failing to be considerate towards his co-workers, Kiryu scowled, “I will! You’re the forth person to say that.”

“Who was the second and third?”

“Nishiki and Reina.”

“Well, we’re not entirely wrong”, Oda lazily grinned, albeit interested at some informercial displayed on the tv screen. They were showcasing the proclaimed portable phone of the future, which came with a bag. Honestly, it looked troublesome to carry around.

Tachibana gave an apologetic smile, “apologies, Kiryu-san. Now then, what are you planning to do next?”

Kiryu looked down at his cigarette, “I’m still thinking.” He paused before looking up at his boss. “Tachibana, Kuze mentioned about Kazama-san giving me the opportunity to be a civilian. Was that also why he introduced me to you?”

The ghost somberly nodded, “I can’t deny it. After I approached him, he asked me to take you in. In order to pull you away from the path of a yakuza.”

“...He really care about ya, huh?” Oda quietly remarked. “Since you have too big of a heart, I certainly can see why.”

“That’s why.”

Both ghosts glanced at him, “huh?”

Kiryu pushed his cigarette into the ashtray, a bitter expression etched in his face.  “Because of men like Kuze, Awano and Shibusawa around...look what happened to you two and Makimura-san, I want to prevent any of that happening again.”

The two ghosts first exchanged glances before looking at the younger man again. Oda heaved a heavy sigh, one hand running through his hair, “even after all that shit, that naive part of you remained. Look, Kiryu, it ain’t gonna be easy. You’re basically gonna be fighting a hierarchy.”

Tachibana glared at his former right-hand man, “personally, I’m rather thankful Kiryu remained a gentle soul in spite of it all.”

Oda just rolled his eyes, mumbling to himself why he signed up for this.

The other spirit turned back to Kiryu, “regardless, Oda does have a point. It will be a difficult task, it’ll take even years, perhaps. Not everyone will have such noble intentions such as yourself.”

“I know!” Kiryu snapped back, both of his fists tightened. “It’s just…I know it’ll be considered rude to honor you that way...after all those times you two taught me what it is to be in the real estate business. But I don’t want any of this to ever repeat again.”

Oda first stared blankly at the younger man before groaning. “I swear, sometimes the shit you say just makes me feel disgusting.”

“Huh?”

Oda brush it off, muttering something about brats with hearts of gold. Tachibana sighed, torn between the feeling of being touched by the younger man’s idealistic goal and future concerns for other yakuza that would want to drag Kiryu back to the pits of hell.

“Kiryu-san”, he gently called out. Kiryu looked back at him, his expression still painted with frustration. Tachibana smiled, “we’re not asking for you to make a decision now. So please, take your time. But whatever path you choose, we’ll be there.”

Tachibana’s soothing demeanor seemed to work, calming Kiryu down.

“...Alright.”

 


 

Elder Chen invited Kiryu for a light meal sometimes after that. The table consisted of freshly cooked dim sum and tea. The older man shared him the location of the cemetery where Tachibana was buried, his body resting next to his mother’s. He even made sure to forward the news to Sera, who will inform Makimura in no time.

“I’m sure Tachibana appreciate your efforts.” Kiryu respectfully bowed with pure gratitude. Said spirit smiled, tinted with regret.

Just as Kiryu was about to leave the restaurant, Elder Chen called out his name. Kiryu blinked. The older man just gave a small smile back, “if you need anything, you’re always welcome to Little Asia.” Laced with genuine kindness to boot that even left both Tachibana and Oda speechless.

Kiryu shook his head, “you’re making a mistake, making an offer like that.”

“Am I?” Elder Chen’s eyes glinted with amusement.

By the time they left the restaurant, Oda sharply turned to Tachibana, baffled. “Am I going deaf or did the boss just gave the kid a free pass?”

“I’m as surprised as you are, Oda. It appears Kiryu-san is his only exception.”

Exception or not, Kiryu didn’t felt he truly earned it.

 


 

Unclear decisions aside, Kiryu finally took it upon himself to visit Makimura with Nishiki by his side. Tachibana followed behind, Oda is also there, reluctantly and forcibly dragged by the latter.

“Whoa. Sera-san wasn’t kidding to keep Makoto safe.” Nishiki said to Kiryu in a low voice when they spotted two masked guards waiting outside Makimura’s private room. Said guards detected their presence and greeted them with a nod.

“Good afternoon, Kiryu-san, we been expecting you. Makimura is awake now.”

With that, they bowed and opened the door for them. Inside, Makimura sat in her bed and sitting nearby was the same female doctor Kiryu seen on the ship. At first, Makimura tensed up, uneased until the doctor placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. 

“Rest easy, Makoto”, she gave a reassuring smile before looking up at the two men. “It’s just Kiryu-san and…?”

“Nishikiyama”, his brother finished, returning the smile. “I’m his sworn brother.”

Makimura relaxed at the familiar voices and her lips perked up. The doctor, who introduced herself as Dr. Joy explained Makimura’s current condition, that she can make out silhouette shapes but not enough to distinguish colours yet. Kiryu doesn’t expect a speedy recovery, he’s just glad she’s resting peacefully. With that, the doctor politely excused herself.

“How are you holding up, Makimura-san?” Kiryu first asked. The young woman looked pleasantly surprised at the question and Kiryu quickly felt nervous. “S-should have I not asked that?”

Makimura giggled softly. Finally, a lovely sound in comparison to the many times Kiryu heard her cried. She shook her head, saying no one other than her doctor ever asked her that, not even Sera. “Speaking of Sera-san, he shared me the location of Li Hua’s grave to me the other day. They placed him next to mother’s.” Makimura softly remarked.

“Yeah, he informed me as well.”

“Have you visited him yet?”

Well, he’s here and decided to watch over us. Literally speaking.

Ofcourse, Kiryu just shook his head and Nishiki shot him a look. “Not yet, been too busy.”

Makimura smiled, “you two mind accompanying me then when the time comes? I’m sure brother will be happy.”

He’s right here. A part of Kiryu wanted to say.

Noticing his inner conflict, Tachibana flashed him a smile and shook his head. Oda frowned, “don’t think she’ll take it well if you say now that her brother’s spirit remained.”

Kiryu reluctantly nodded and responded with, “okay.”

Nishiki sheepishly rubbed the back of his neck, “are you sure, Makoto? I never gotten the chance to meet him in person.”

“Oh hush, Nishikiyama-san.” Tachibana tutted.

Makimura shook her head, “you were also willing to help me, and I’m sure he’ll appreciate it.”

After that, she changed the topic. “Ah, Sera-san also told you both were also checked into a hospital nearby?”

Nishiki snorted and jabbed a thumb at his brother, “well, I had to drag this stubborn guy’s ass. Can’t believe he’s worse than a kid.”

Kiryu flushed, scowling, “shut it, Nishiki.”

Makimura laughed at their banter. In the back, Tachibana smiled at the emotions his little sister was expressing. Oda sighed at the side, torn between regret and relief.

 


 

To say that Tachibana and Oda’s friendship soured was an understatement. Whatever harmony they had became somewhat non-existent with Tachibana coldly distant and Oda left with the weight of his debt. Even if they were conversing, a majority of the time they exchanged banter and sarcastic remarks over Kiryu’s shoulders. Sometimes they would retort in their mother tongue when things get too heated and Kiryu found himself learning some Chinese Mandarin profanity and insults. Kiryu had just realized this fact when he managed to cook up a simple curry rice dish for dinner, as Tachibana wasn’t having any more of his cup noodle budgets.

Oda scoffed with crossed arms, “what are ya, his mom? You do realize we were like that at some point. Let the kiddo live out his life.”

Tachibana huffed, “well, Kiryu-san has a stable income and I’m simply looking out what is best for him. Unlike you, a terrible influence.”

Huuuuh? Says the rich man who’ll spent without so much batting an eye. And when was the last time you bothered cooking for yourself?”

“And you’re no better?”

Kiryu sighed in the midst of it all. 

 


 

Weeks passed. Kiryu busied himself with his estate business and occasionally visiting Makimura in between. It was only while he was watching a cooking program late at night (the host was teaching easy to prep meals), that the decision finally came to him.

“Tachibana, Oda.” He called out to them once the program entered a commercial break.

“What’s up, junior?” Oda asked, slouching on the floor while Tachibana sat crossed legs.

He looked straight at them in the eye, “I’ve made my decision.”

As Kiryu explained, they listened closely and stayed quiet. By the time he was done, Tachibana gave him a troubled expression, “but are you sure, Kiryu-san? I’m sure joining the Kazama family would be much better, and guarantees your safety in the long term.”

Oda agreed with a grave nod, now in a proper sitting position. “Seriously, not sure what will be going though Dojima’s head or its members if they have to see the guy that thwart his plans and bought him ruins every other day of the week.”

Kiryu nodded, “I know. But, as you mentioned before, Tachibana. I might as well return to the root of it all and square things up first. But, I want to stick it and find my own way as a yakuza. My own stye.”

Both ghosts stayed relatively quiet at first as they exchanged glances. Oda gave an exasperated sigh, “you really gotta go all out with that cool speech? Ugh, fine, do what you want. Since this the shit I signed up for. You really like trouble, don’t you?”

Tachibana chuckled, “just like I said, we’ll be there at every step of the way.”

A comfortable silence fell and the cooking program was back on. 

“Have you told Nishikiyama-san yet?”

 


 

When Kiryu handed in his notice, Marina got teary-eyed. Yamanoi was also greatly saddened by the news, they have been through a lot ever since they opened their firm. Kiryu only has one favour and that was to ask them to look after Nugget. While she can’t legally sign papers, her presence was more than enough. 

“Duly noted”, Marina sniffed, rubbing away her tears. She then crossed her arms with a determined look, “however! We have no choice but to throw our president a farewell party!”

Taken back, Kiryu stuttered, “t-there’s no need to-”

“No buts!” She huffed up at him. Behind her, Yamanoi wholeheartedly agreed. 

Oda grinned at the scene, “take what they want to give, Kiryu. You deserve as much.”

 


 

That night, they did threw him a party. At Earth Angel as Mama was more than happy to close her bar early and bought out the karaoke machine. Nearly anyone available attended, including the rest of the former five billionaires. Even Miracle Johnson happily flew back in such a short notice ( and how) because he was afraid that will be the last time he will ever see his samurai friend. 

There was much singing and dancing and tears shed. Gin the Leisure King, Krazy Kyo and Marina sang their hearts out. Miracle grooved out as per usual with his smooth moves, encouraging other people to join him including Oshiro the Media King and Papillon. Yamanoi was sharing drinks and old stories with Ueda the Finance King. Other than that, plenty of people were sharing their thank yous and good wishes. Sachiko was blushing and mad at the same time when she gifted Kiryu home-baked cookies. Koshimizu stuttered out his genuine appreciation. Yamada the Electronics king asked him for future arcade battles.  Eva the Pleasure King pouted, saying she’ll never meet another man like him.

Through it all, Kiryu was honestly enjoying himself. 

“I gonna admit, this is a weird-ass bunch.” Oda pointed out, torn between amusement and confusion. “No seriously, how the hell did they got hired? And I can’t believe Miracle fucking Johnson is gliding before me.”

Tachibana lightly chuckled, silently wishing he could join in the occasion, “I suppose there is something about Kiryu-san that draws people in.”

“You got that right.”

 


 

“Huh, fancy that. The one thing I didn’t predict.” The old fortune-teller approached him later. She was looking past Kiryu, at both Oda and Tachibana to be exact. Both spirits froze in place.

“The hell she’s yapping about, Kiryu?”

“You can...see them?” Kiryu quietly asked, not wanting to draw in attention. 

The older woman huffed out a laugh, “silly boy. Why wouldn’t I?” 

She then stared at them with a leveled expression. “Well, atleast you won’t be alone with what the future has in store for you.”

With that, she sauntered off to the counter to grab a drink.

 


 

Captain Kazama appeared remarkably well and healthy when Kiryu arranged to visit him. His surrogate father smiled briefly when Kiryu first greeted him with a bow and announced, “I’m here to give my report.” 

Kiyru slowly lifted his head, “but...I’m sure you already knew.”

Captain Kazama hummed in agreement. It must have been Sera or Kashiwagi or both. “But, I would like to hear it from you, Kazuma. And I believe you have something more to say?”

Other than the fact that the ghosts of Tachibana and Oda decided to accompany me , a part of him wanted to quip. Did he ever recalled telling the captain he can see ghosts when he was younger?

Kiryu simply shook the thought aside. He has far more important things to say and many things to apologize for.

 


 

“How bout that one?” Oda pointed out at a dramatic floral patterned shirt, accompanied with a bold plain suit jacket and trousers. 

Tachibana scrunched up his nose, “obnoxious flare is more of your style, Oda. Here, Kiryu-san, the colours seem to suit you.”

Kiryu looked to the suit Tachibana selected. But with one glance at the price tag, he immediately pulled back. “I-it’s alright.”

Oda snickered and Tachibana shot him a glare. Kiryu sighed to himself, and he thought shopping with Nishiki was difficult. He continued to look through aisle to aisle. And then, one such suit stuck out to him the most.

Oda observed long and hard once Kiryu emerged out of the changing room, “it’s not bad but...isn’t the cutting kinda not in the trends?”

“Well, I’m sure trends are the least of Kiryu-san’s concerns.” The ever so kind Tachibana defended him, “sure it’s simpler. But the bold contrast of the red and white does appeal to you.” 

His boss’s approval was more than enough and Kiryu immediately bought the suit, missing the arrogant triumph look Tachibana directed at Oda to which the other ghost just rolled his eyes.


 

Nishiki understandably freaked out when he heard the news, demanding an explanation when he barged into Serena.

‘See?’ Kiryu silently shot a look over at his two spirit guardians while Reina lightly berated Nishiki, saying there was no need for dramatic theatrics. After one long-winded explanation and disagreements because that’s how protective Nishiki can really be. Eventually, His brother reluctantly nodded and gave a resigned sigh. “There’s really no stopping you, is there?”

“Well, that’s why we’re here.” Oda quipped with a lazy smirk while Tachibana firmly nodded.

Kiryu grinned, taking a sip of his whiskey. Nishiki then trailed his eyes over to his attire and blinked, “huh? Where’s the usual suit?”

“Oh, went out shopping the other day. This one really spoke to me.”

Predictably, Nishiki got his own criticism and Kiryu pinched the bridge of his nose, something about the outdated cutting, the lack of flair in comparison to his real estate suit and claiming it didn’t suit him. “Bro, why didn’t you venture into the fashion industry instead?”

Nishiki snorted, “because one of my duties is to make sure my sworn brother look proper and learn how to take his damn friend’s advice.”

“Says the man with a crimson suit and yellow mustard button-up.” Reina teased and Nishiki reddened, stuttering out his defence.

“Ohh! Nice one, mama!” Oda chortled.

Tachibana hummed, “yakuza sure are into a particular flashy style.”

Attempting to divert the attention, Nishiki looked to Kiryu with a mischievous grin, “since you got yourself a suit, how about treating us some grub?” His grin widened, “at Kamurocho’s finest steak house.”

Uh. “I, erm, don’t have much cash on me right now.”

Huh?

Oda rolled his eyes, “you’re hopeless, junior.”

Tachibana chuckled, “well, with the money he earned from his business, it should be fine.”

With that, a yakuza, his sworn brother and two dead real estate agents left the bar.