Soft Spoken Brutality: Somehow, someway, I’ll try to make you stay.
When Kaneki awoke, he did so in a way he was used to. Painfully. The youth expected his daze to end in another episode of suffering, one he supposed he deserved if he thought about it carefully.
“I see you’re awake.” a calm voice broke through his trail of thoughts. It held the quality of spring after a cold bitter season of death.
He supposed the next question would come from the man who sat across the table, calmly looking at Kaneki with an expression void of any emotion. The pause allowed Kaneki to study the man in detail, white hair, a silver briefcase, glasses that spoke of clean cut professionalism. Everything about this man screamed formality to the youth, he wondered what he was doing in his apartment.
The calm that seemed to permeate the entire room due to the man led Kaneki astray, he didn’t even realise that his legs were not able to move and that he had something liquid permeating the shirt he was currently wearing. The burning in his eye also led to a slow realisation of the current situation.
Didn’t the manager speak of investigators carrying briefcases?
He supposed the proverbial cat was out of the bag then.
Well, it didn’t take the world too long after all.
Rize knew that something was amiss, Kaneki was gone for days after she had last seen him, it was always like this with that frustrating and condescending… She stopped that line of thought before she got irritated again, it wouldn’t be good to start devising painful ways to make him pay for her inconvenience when she was somewhat in charge of his welfare.
This entire situation started with her usual relaxing morning, drinking a cup of coffee at Anteiku, her temporary base of operations following the situation with the manager. Her routine of coming to the cafe and relaxing before continuing on with her lifetime of enjoyment and relaxation at the expense of others didn’t change. She needed to vent her frustration with Kaneki, in a non destructive manner, otherwise she would be quite out of it.
A slew of admirers that never stopped coming even after her hunting days, the managers watchful eye prevented her making a snack of any of them. Now that she paused to examine her routine without the excess of the hunt and binge eating, she realised that her thirst for blood had died down.
It wasn’t gone, somethings would still make her blood boil like nothing else, however he desire to devour all that she could seemed to have calmed due to the regulation she faced.
“Nothing to pacify you like the fear of death huh.” She huffed, in a manner that resembled annoyance. Yet, she wasn’t really annoyed. Even those peace lovers that she was supposed to hate for disrupting here natural routine. They were quite accommodating, despite it all.
“Rize-san, the wall may be quite interesting, however I’d like to inquire as to where Kaneki-kun is.” a voice broke the stupor she was currently in.
“Manager-san” she replied lazily, not really intending to humour his attempt at linking the new ghoul to her.
“He is an adult and can do as he pleases. What he does in his own time is none of my concern.” she replied airily whilst demonstratively staring at her fingernails. She always wondered when the well of the managers patience would run dry. She supposed it could be a side project, after all, it is a harmless experiment.
“Of course he can, I would never imply otherwise,” he smiled, continuing “however, Kaneki-kun, whilst not being your responsibility, is the one who trusts you above all else.”
She had never considered it that way before. She had admirers, she had authority figures, however, she was severely lacking in those who understood her plight and stayed with her beyond the superficial reasons as listed above. Perhaps the manager was right to a degree, not that she would ever admit any of this to someone. Fending for herself did have a certain enjoyable pace to it.
“Also, as the one who introduced the young man to the life of a ghoul, a life that you of all people should know has its own set of extreme difficulties” he paused solemnly. “Perhaps your sense of camaraderie can be kindled due to both of you having struggles of the sort that one can’t deal with on their own.”
“Manager, I understand already, I’ll check up on him.” she said haughtily, perhaps too much so, judging by the gentle and knowing smile on the managers wrinkled face.
“I knew we would see eye to eye on this matter.” he stated with finality, inclining his head a small angle downwards and walking away with the same confidence that he usually carries on his home court.
“I suppose I could get this annoying matter out of the way quickly,” she huffed, standing up and briskly leaving the quiet afternoon cafe.
Arriving at the apartment did not take anytime at all, a normal pace led to her arriving only fifteen minutes after he departure from Anteiku, however the calm walk there had no prepared her for smelling someone she hoped she would never have to see.
The door was damaged, yet it was locked, the starving ghoul that was trapped inside would never have taken the care to close and lock the door nearly ripping it off the hinges.
Perhaps it was not too late to turn back and hope she escaped with her life, that man’s goodwill had limits after all…
“Rize-san, how nice of you to join us. Please come in, we have much to discuss.”
Now that it was too late to run, well hopefully she could at least die with some dignity she pondered. Walking toward the door and turning the handle.
“Kishou Arima. It has been a while.”