Length: Series [8/?]
Genre: horror, mystery, romance, AU
Pairing: Jaeho, Yoosu, Changmin
Summary: Jung Yunho thought he knew everything about himself and the people around him. Well he thought wrong.
Note: I'm REALLY sorry about the late update, but I moved, then i had finals, and THEN my laptop completely died. I managed to back up all my files though, and only a few days ago I got my new laptop. So yeah, at least there were SOME reasons as to why this took so long. Sorry!
“Fate determines who comes into our lives. Our attitude and actions determine who stays in our lives.”
A good five hours after Yoochun left for his own apartment, Jung Yunho stepped off the elevator to the fourth floor of Seoul Police Department. Quick strides took him past shocked faces as he made his way toward his office. He scowled and glared and grumbled to himself as he moved, the cup of hot double shot espresso in his left hand barely registering as being there while long legs swallowed up the path from the elevator to the other side of the building.
For the first time in the three years since he began working on the fourth floor of Seoul Police Department, Jung Yunho was late to work.
But that honestly wasn't the real reason why the man was in such an awful mood, bad enough that no one dared to look at him for more than two seconds on the threat of receiving one of his death glares. Jung Yunho doesn't give "death glares," which was why the fact that he was giving them now was about as terrifying as the coming of the Apocalypse.
To Jung Yunho, the day started up horribly.
Yunho kicked open his door with an audible bang, something that he never did before no matter what kind of mood he was in, and dropped the espresso and Yoochun's folder on his desk even as the door clicked shut on the rebound of his initial kick, shutting out the sounds from the outside. In the muffled silence, broken only by a few louder than normal shouts, Yunho sighed tiredly, leaning over to brace both hands against the edge of his desk.
After his partner left his apartment the night before, Yunho was so sure he would be falling asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Instead, as soon as he muddled his way through the usual nightly ritual of brushing and rinsing and lied down on his bed ready for sleep, he found himself oddly wide awake. He was definitely tired; his muscles were still somewhat tense from the events earlier and the bruises were sending mild pulses of pain to his brain, but every time he closed his eyes he saw Kim Jaejoong.
Facts from the case floated through his head, each vying for his attention even as a slide show of the beautiful man rotated in the background. The new information from Yoochun danced on the side, and the things he remembered from Club Shion lent another dimension to the mystery. And then the girl, screaming and crying and holding the scissors like her own personal holy sword raised to vanquish some kind of evil; could that actually be the action of a drunk looking to rob a few pockets? Yunho kept feeling like he was forgetting something utterly vital, something so important that he really shouldn't fall asleep until he could remember it.
After nearly two more hours of images and facts flickering through his head, he finally fell asleep under the shadows of the unknown man who greeted Kim Jaejoong so warmly at the other man's home, the one who could very possibly be the criminal they've been searching for.
A mere two hours later, he was woken up by the sound of Junsu knocking on his door, yelling for him to get up because he was clearly late to work. It was at that moment when Jung Yunho remembered that he didn't set his alarm clock before he went to bed, and the reason for that was because his alarm clock was his cell phone, and his cell phone was clearly not in any condition to become his alarm clock.
Really, if Yunho included everything that happened after twelve o'clock midnight the night before as today, then the day was almost half way over, and the first half was already the worst day of his life.
Yunho closed his eyes and heaved a heavy sigh, fingers rubbing light circles on his temple as he moved around the edge of the desk and sank gratefully into the black leather office chair. That was one of the better perks of being a top detective in the Special Homicide Department; budget tend to be a bit looser for those who were good enough to get their own room for office instead of just a cubical in the main room.
Focusing on work turned out to be ridiculously easy, especially since the reason he had such an awful day was because of work in the first place. Even while coming to the office Yunho was thinking about work, about Kim Jaejoong and everything related to that man. If his self-preservation instincts weren't so damned good, Jung Yunho might in fact be in the Seoul General Hospital via a car accident at this point rather than sitting in his office.
Retrieving a few folders from the cabinet to his right and then spread all the information out on his desktop, Yunho listed all the facts again, hoping that this time the thinking might reveal something big that hours of sleepless pondering could not. Yet, after a few minutes of reading the material, Yunho had to sit back and sigh again; he found that after looking over the pages so many times, he could almost quote everything word by word.
So what did he know about the case?
Lee Jinho was a regular white-collar office worker with a dysfunctional family and a clearly dysfunctional life. He died two nights ago in a dirty alley, body chopped into roughly rectangular lumps, some as small as the size of a hand while the largest piece was the torso which was untouched. The sheer amount of blood pooled in that alley suggested that the crime was committed on site, but there was no weapon, no prints, no clues at all. From Lee Jinho's side, there were no probable suspects; the wife and daughter had no motive, and the rest of his acquaintances had even less.
The first to come across the body was the twenty-five years old Kim Jaejoong, supposedly on the way home from work. He claimed he lived alone and insisted that he worked at a convenience store. The latter Yunho could already disprove, as Kim Jaejoong in fact currently spent his nights as a host at a gay host club. The former, however, seemed to need a bit more work, but from Yunho's observations of last night, Jaejoong was very much an exceptional liar. Whether he lied on the first, Yunho hoped to find out later that day when he would return to Club Shion.
And then there was the problem of linking the two men together. Lee Jinho never mentioned to anyone about knowing a Kim Jaejoong. Kim Jaejoong never mentioned that he knew the victim he came across in the alley. Lee Jinho has a separate bank account, from which he withdrew a lot of money within the past few months and spent them on something that no one knew about. The monthly payments he made were to some place called Nepenthe, not Club Shion. It didn't link Lee Jinho to Kim Jaejoong at all, even if it was implied; hardly evidence good enough for arrest.
Of course, Yunho didn't think it was Jaejoong, anyway, but rather one of his customers, or even that tall man who seemed to have been quite comfortable in Jaejoong's apartment, waiting for him to come home. Which went right back to Jaejoong's insistence that he had no relatives and definitely lived alone.
And then the drunk robbery, if it was a robbery at all. How did that screaming and crying girl fit in all this, and the language that Yunho felt was familiar, but couldn't understand? It didn't fit, that was the problem. But they weren't just midnight robbers either, Yunho was sure of that as well; since when did robbers get smashed drunk before attempting an assault, and since when did robbers cry like she had just lost her best friend?
Yunho heaved a deep frustrated breath, leaning further back so that his head rest on top of the leather office chair. It wasn't making any sense, and what did make sense were completely conjectures on his part. And worst of all, Yunho had to admit that not all of his hypotheses were unbiased; even he realized he held some kind of prejudice against that man who seemed to be so comfortable at Jaejoong's apartment.
"Fuck," he cursed with feeling. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!"
A throat cleared cautiously from the direction of the door. Yunho's head snapped back up, the leather chair almost bouncing with the force at which he straightened himself.
"Is this a bad time?" Choi Dong Wook asked, raising an eyebrow. While thinking about the case, Yunho didn't hear the door open at all, despite the obvious rise in noise level within the normally quiet office.
Being a detective from the same department as Yunho, and having worked just as long there, Dong Wook was one of the few at Seoul Police Department who didn't cower at Yunho's slightest frown. Despite the fact that Dong Wook was actually a year older than Yunho, it was Yunho who was the faster of the two to climb the promotional ladder, making the younger detective the superior to the other man. For the most part Dong Wook didn't seem to care all that much; they graduated from the academy at the same time, as the younger man had skipped a level in training, and had been in acquaintance since the beginning. Before Yoochun's arrival to the office, Dong Wook was the one who was closest to being called Yunho's partner, and many had in fact considered the two the golden pair of their section. Generally speaking the two men, both being of superior status to many of the other detectives at the station, worked on separate cases rather than together, in order to maximize productivity. They gave help to each other when needed, but kept well out of the way when not. Yunho wouldn't necessarily call their relationship as something as mundane or even as nice as "friendship," although it seemed to the eyes of many that they were very close friends; there was always that layer of murkiness between them that Yunho could not really figure out. Yunho felt closer to Park Yoochun through just three months of partnership, than all six some odd years of knowing Choi Dong Wook; Yoochun, at least, was obvious about his feelings regarding his partner.
"No, not a bad time," Yunho replied curtly. "What is it?"
"The files you asked for last night, detailed background check on Lee Jinho and Kim Jaejoong, Hankyung wanted me to bring them to you." Dong Wook strolled forward and deposited the two folders on Yunho's desk. "Hard night?" He glanced at the messy, but clearly not yet occupied desk to the side. "I guess Yoochun's late again." He looked at Yunho and grinned almost sympathetically. "And I heard you made a spectacular entrance today, a good two hours late yourself."
Yunho stifled a sigh; he seemed to be doing a lot of that lately. "Don't remind me, Dong Wook. I didn't get to sleep until seven this morning, and I forgot to set my alarm. Speaking of alarm," he said, pulling out the broken cellphone, the large crack on the screen clear as day, "can you get this fixed? And I'll need another phone immediately, until that one's fixed."
Yunho passed the phone to his coworker, and Dong Wook examined the half broken piece of gadget for a moment. "Man, when did I become your lackey?" he asked, almost to himself, before looking up at the man behind the desk. "It's hard to believe we graduated at the same time from the academy, even if you did skip a year." He grinned, indicating that he was just teasing. "But consider it covered. I can get Sungmin from fifth floor get you a replacement, although honestly speaking I think this one can be fixed with just a change in the outer shell. It seems like only the screen's broken." He examined it again. "Though I'm not an expert. I'll get this to Sungmin first and I'll let you know what's up with it later."
Yunho nodded. "Thanks Dong Wook, I owe you one."
Dong Wook snorted. "I think you owe me more than just one by now." He turned to leave, but suddenly stopped just as he reached the door. "Oh, I wanted to ask, that Kim Jaejoong you asked for information on, does he happens to work at a place called Club Shion?"
Yunho's head, which had been bent down toward the new folders, snapped up. "What?"
"Kim Jaejoong," Dong Wook repeated. "Club Shion? It's a really classy club in the bar district." He shrugged. "Just thought the guy who was here yesterday look really familiar." He rolled his eyes. "And of course you and Yoochun thought I was being a pervert, when I just wanted to see if he was really the guy I remember from that club."
Yunho stared at the other man for a moment before letting all the air out of his lungs in a long exhale. Somehow the idea that anyone knew of the club or the host seemed incomprehensible to Yunho, but why wouldn't anybody know of a clearly very special host club, out of the multitude of standard ones? Just by being what it is, its reputation should be quite well known within the right circles, and Yunho knew his coworker was at the very least bi-sexual, and certainly very open minded. Yunho of all people should know; after all, Choi Dong Wook had tried to hit on him once back in their academy days, before Yunho made it very clear he was not interested.
"Yes, he is," Yunho finally replied, realizing that there was no reason not to tell the other man. "Seemed reluctant to reveal it, however, since he lied when he gave his statement."
Dong Wook shrugged. "Well I would too, if it was me. It may be a classy club, but being a gay host really isn't exactly the type of occupation I'd want to yell out to the world." He turned to go, but again he stopped abruptly, letting out a loud exclamation. "I almost forgot again, Hyukjae from second floor wanted to know if you're going to press charges."
Yunho blinked. "Excuse me?"
"Press charges," Dong Wook repeated. "The four drunkards from last night?" he added at Yunho's blank look. "The ones who tried to attack you and only got an ass-whooping for their trouble, and you called the department to do cleanup?"
"Oh," Yunho muttered, thoughts returning to the crying and screaming again. "No, no I don't want to press charges, but I don't want them to leave any time soon, either. They need to cool their heads, and I want to know why they attacked me and kept spewing a language that was clearly not Korean." Yunho looked up from his thoughts. "What nationality are they? The ID's I found were pretty much unhelpful, but they weren't speaking Korean when they attacked me."
Dong Wook gave him a weird look, as if he thought Yunho's head had problems. "You didn't understand them?" he asked, incredulous. Yunho raised an eyebrow, wondering why his coworker, and ex-classmate, was giving him such a look. "Uh, you were top of our class during academy days, remember? You topped me on this subject. Hell, you topped everyone in that class..." Yunho's stare continued to show blankness. Finally, exasperated, Dong Wook exclaimed, "Japanese! They were speaking Japanese!"
Slowly, something like comprehension started to glow behind Yunho's eyes.
"They were all first generation Japanese, although all reached Korean citizenship status at this point." Dong Wook gave him another weird look. "But they can speak Korean. Accented, yes, they definitely understand and can speak Korean perfectly well. Why were they spewing Japanese at you?"
Yunho frowned, remembering and not liking what he remembered. The girl's words kept echoing in his head, now that he knew it was Japanese. And Dong Wook was right, he had known it was Japanese, but somehow the knowledge of that escaped him last night when he was facing the four attackers. "I don't know," he finally answered. "I just came out of Club Shion and they started following me. Coincidentally, I was with Kim Jaejoong at the time, as well." Yunho shook his head, utterly confused over the events of the night before. "The girl attacked him with scissors, and that was what broke my phone."
"And they were shouting Japanese at you two?" Dong Wook asked. He had a "what the hell" expression on his face, as if not quite believing what Yunho was telling him.
Yunho nodded, then shook his head and rubbed his temples again, eyes closing almost involuntarily against the light streaming in through the partially shuttered window. "It doesn't matter, doesn't seem like it was related to our case anyway. It wasn't like either of us understood what they said. I don't see how these first generation Japanese kids could be in any way related to Lee Jinho, so just, I don't know, keep them in the detention ward for a couple of days until I can go down and question them a bit more, alright?"
Dong Wook shot the other detective another doubtful look before shrugging. "Whatever you say, you're in charge on this one," he said, turning to once again head through the door. "But you do realize Club Shion is headed by a Japanese company, right? And that half of its clienteles is high echelon Japanese businessman who wanted some entertainment? The club's entire staff should know Japanese quite well; it's part of their requirement for working there." He shook his head, one hand closing the door behind him as he said, "Chances are, that Kim Jaejoong you were with, he understood every single word." And then he was gone, the door once again secure against the hum of noise outside.
Yunho felt like he was hearing the other man's voice through a haze or fog, because otherwise he never would've let him leave.
Kim Jaejoong understood every single word. Yunho felt confused and angry and incredibly betrayed all at once. Jaejoong understood what they were saying but he pretended otherwise. He lied to Yunho again, even though Yunho had been trying his hardest to make the other man understand just how important, how dangerous this whole case was. And then that glare, that harsh reply as if he was really offended when Yunho asked him a second time if he understood them, if he knew them.
"Goddamn it," he snarled, slamming a hand down as if somehow that would alleviate his anger and frustrations.
"Someone's in a good mood today," came a second voice, and Yunho looked up into the eyes of his partner, Park Yoochun, wearing what looked suspiciously like the wrinkled dress shirt of the day before. Yunho let his clenched hands loosen for a moment, pushing that throbbing rage to the background now that there was a witness.
"Where's Dong Wook?" Yunho demanded almost immediately, wanting the other man back to clarify the things he said. The detective was also painfully interested in why and how the other man knew so many apparently inside information on a club that he should've only "heard" about; what happened to Club Shion's confidentiality?
Actually, now that he had stopped letting pure rage rule his thoughts, Yunho wondered how Choi Dong Wook knew Jaejoong by his real name. Didn't that Kim Heechul say the club has a tight security regarding information on their staff and customers? Futhermore, when Yunho asked for Kim Jaejoong, the other man was clearly clueless that there was someone with that name at the club, yet Jaejoong was working at the club under the alias of Youngwoong. Yunho frowned. What the hell?
Yoochun gave him a semi-unfocused and weird look before closing the door behind him, juggling his own cup of espresso as well as his suit jacket. "Dong Wook? I just saw him head upstairs, said something about Sungmin and stuff. I guess you had him fix your phone?" he asked without looking at his older partner, heading toward his own desk piled with papers that he never put back together last night. He let out a loud yawn and flopped unceremoniously down on his office chair, nearly upending his coffee all over himself.
"What an awful day it's already shaping up to," he muttered to himself, eyes barely open into slits as he looked toward his partner. "So what's up? You've been here for a while, I'm guessing you already came up with new leads while I was away."
Yunho closed his eyes and leaned back, feeling his temple throb with all the frustration and anger from earlier, as well as with all the sudden new rush of questions. "I just got here myself."
Yoochun snorted, nearly choking on his coffee.
When Yunho didn't say anything, the younger man sat up straight and stared. "Wait, you really just arrived?"
The older detective gave a terse nod. He rested his hands, intertwined together to form a steeple, in front of him low on his stomach as he tried to relax into the soft leather of the office chair. Yunho stared at the edge of his desk for a few silent moments, not really noticing his partner's dumbfounded look as his mind replayed the conversation with Dong Wook. Now that he wasn't reacting impulsively on anger, something big occurred to him with the sudden appearance of the other detective.
"Something's up," he finally said, looked to his left to glance at the still open-mouthed Yoochun.
As if waking from a very odd dream, the younger man sputtered back to action. "What? Wait, what's going on here?" He rubbed harshly at his eyes. "Am I still freakin asleep or something?"
Yunho let out a frustrated little growl. "Stop being so melodramatic, Yoochun. So I was a little late to work, big deal. There's something more important going on here." He eyed the various papers scattered on his desk for a moment, considering how to tell his partner what he just realized. Finally, he said, "I think Dong Wook's going to be on this case with us soon."
Yoochun blinked. "What?" With a bit of disgust, he realized he was sounding like a parrot.
"Dong Wook was just here and he was passing information from the other departments to me; he's being pretty active for someone who isn't supposed to be on this case," Yunho said. "He was also asking about Kim Jaejoong, and I'm not too sure if it was just mild curiosity that made him open his mouth."
Yoochun grimaced. "Sounds like the chief definitely think this is a serial murder case, and want it nipped in the bud before the papers get to it." It wasn't uncommon to have several detectives on the same case, sometimes even multiple teams working together, but here on the fourth floor, it almost never happened to Jung Yunho. Since becoming partners, Yoochun and Yunho never had to deal with outsiders intruding while they're trying to solve a case. And Yoochun knew, if Choi Dong Wook were in on the case, then his partner would be in too, as well as whomever else he might want to pull in to help. It was bad enough to have just one person constantly come and go from their office, but to have a whole host of people who were unfamiliar with Yunho's obsessive-compulsive quirks treading in and out, it would become a total nightmare.
But if it was the chief's decision, there wasn't much they could do. Yunho might be the best candidate for the next section chief, but he wasn't one yet.
"The best thing we could do right now," Yunho said, interrupting Yoochun's train of thoughts, "is to wrap this case up. If we can provide adequate lead or evidences, it might prove to the chief that we can take care of this on our own."
"Or it might not," Yoochun added grimly.
Yunho nodded. "If this really is a serial case, but aside from the fact that all three murders had similar profiles, there were no connections. None of the victims knew each other, nor were their social circles overlapping. There was no common link between the first two, and it doesn't look like we'll be finding one with Lee Jinho either." He sighed. "The best we could do is just keep going and see how it goes with Dong Wook."
Yoochun nodded, and there was a moment of subdued silence as each man considered the situation. Finally, with a sharp slap at the desk, Yunho straightened up from his chair.
"Alright, let's get back to work," he said, reaching for the forgotten expresso. He took one sip at the lukewarm liquid and cringed, dropping the entire full cup into the metal trash bin to the side of the desk. "I need the postmortem examination report. Set up an appointment for today to see the body. I have the background check on Lee Jinho here, go through that and let me know whatever that sounds interesting; I'll read through Kim Jaejoong's and see what's there." He shoved one of the folders Dong Wook brought in to the side of his desk, within easy reach of his partner.
Yunho stopped, the girl's scream echoing through his head.
" Anta ga kazuya wo koro shita ! Anta ga koro shita ! "
Something sounded oddly familiar.
" Anta ga kazuya wo koro shita ! Anta ga koro shita ! "
" Anta..... kazuya ......koro..............................
Yunho frowned. "Yoochun," he said slowly as his partner walked around the desk to reach for the folder.
Yoochun paused. "Yeah?"
"Does the Japanese word kazuya mean anything to you?"
The younger man shrugged, bringing the folder with him to his desk. "No, should it?"
Yunho shook his head. "Nevermind, I don't know why I'm remembering that right now. Just pretend I didn't say anything."
~ * ~
The two men spent the next hour and half in silence, each absorbed in their own research and work. Yunho read and reread Jaejoong's background check, but to his frustration, there was no real new information no matter how hard he searched. Kim Jaejoong never owned a car, and so never had a speeding ticket or gotten in a car accident. He owns one credit card, which he always paid on time every month. He had never been hauled into the precinct for anything related to alcohol or drugs, nor was he ever reported for any violent behavior either. In fact, there were no records of the man ever having stepped foot into the building before this case. He was completely clean.
The information on his family and living conditions were even skimpier, and completely matching what he said during the questioning session; no parents and no siblings. The job listed in the documents was the twenty-four hour convenient store Jaejoong mentioned before, and since his apartment was an average sized one bedroom in a very average neighborhood, it completely matched with the kind of wage he should be getting from a place like a convenient store.
In other words, if anyone else read this background check, they would've immediately said Kim Jaejoong was unrelated. Certainly no one would've guessed that the man works at a gay host club, and might be hiding more than it looked.
Jaejoong's personal history was pretty dry as well, although there was one thing that made Yunho raise his eyebrows. From birth until fourteen, Jaejoong lived in an orphanage, but at fourteen he won an audition and entered training at the prestigious SM Academy as trainee. The initial two years were paid by a grant from getting first during the audition, but he left after that, possibly due to lack of the ability to pay for further education and training.
Perhaps it was because of this that he sounded so bitter when they talked of singing and stardom.
After that he worked various jobs, sometimes more than just one, and made a living from those earnings. Or at least that was the official story. Precisely when, and how, Kim Jaejoong began to work at Club Shion was a complete mystery.
So where does this lead me? Yunho wondered for a moment, only to rub his forehead and admit to himself that he was getting absolutely no where.
~ * ~
Two hours later, Yoochun had to interrupt his partner's intense examination of Kim Jaejoong's background check to inform him of two things: first, food, second, postmortem report. It was past four in the afternoon by that point, and it was only after Yoochun paused in his cross-referencing and evidence analysis that he realized the state of his ravenous stomach. In less than an hour was also the appointment he made with the basement level for reviews of the victim's corpse and the postmortem report, neither of which the two detectives had seen yet. The cause of death was obvious; the motives, not so much - but either way, they were both hoping for some kind of new information from the good doctors downstairs.
Anything was better than the lack of a real lead that seemed to be plaguing them.
A few minutes was all it took for the two men to unbar themselves from their office and head down to the cafeteria for some sandwiches and more coffee. Yoochun wasn't aware of just how hungry he was until he took the first bite of his roasted beef, and he ended up eating both his portion, and half of Yunho's, who had, for a reason Yoochun did not bother to ask, decided to not gorge himself.
It wasn't until they had gotten down to the harsh florescent lights and bare, white-washed walls, and beheld the pieced together body of their victim, that Yoochun wished he had asked.
"Jesus fucking Christ," he muttered, staring down at the almost recognizable form lying in chunks on top of white sheets that were as white as the body itself. Next to him, Yunho looked stoic; Yoochun wondered if it came with experience. Certainly something this ghastly never occurred at his back watered home town.
"Fourteen pieces total," Lina said without preamble, moving to pull some elastic gloves onto her slim fingers. "And I wouldn't touch that if I were you, not without gloves, anyway."
Yoochun snatched back his hand which was about to prod, with a sense of morbid fascination, at the jagged edge between two pieces.
"Fourteen pieces: the head, the torso, three pieces to each arms separating the hand, forearm and biceps, as well as three pieces to both legs, separating the feet, calf, and thigh. In other words, the person who did this wasn't doing it blindly - he or she was deliberately aiming for the joints where it is easy to sever the body." Lina moved around the table, somehow seeming to be completely at ease in front of a corpse that could be passed off as a pig at a slaughter house.
Yoochun wondered, with a mild sense of revulsion, how a beautiful woman like her could not have nightmares with a job like this. Although he had to admit, this new version of Lee Jinho looked a whole sight better than the bloodied version in the crime scene photos; on the other hand, the fact that the man himself was lying right there in front of him made the situation more disgusting than it really was.
"Method of death should be obvious," she continued, "but it wasn't the first strike that killed him. The killer dismembered him first, probably to inflict the maximum pain. The victim was awake for that for perhaps the first four extremities before passing out from pain and blood loss. Afterwards, the killer might have brought him around to consciousness before decapitation." Lina looked up in time to see Yoochun's white face. "In other words, he was one sick bastard."
"This amount of pain, there were no witnesses to screams?" Yunho asked. Yoochun was envious of his partner's poise – he himself wanted to find the nearest toilet and vomit up his lunch. Why the hell did he eat before coming anyway?
"Gagged with his own underwear."
Yunho grimaced, the first hint of emotion.
"The body was stripped when the perpetrator commenced, I'm assuming to make the cutting easier to do. The clothes were found stuffed in one of the trash bins, undamaged, and currently up in the forensics for tests, which you already know," she continued, then pointed to the area between Lee Jinho's legs. "His genitals were untouched, which means this most likely wasn't some kind of perverse sexual assault. A finger here," she pointed again, "is gone and was never recovered from the scene. However the lack of clean severing implicates more along the line of, say, a stray dog or cat looking for dinner." She gave a wry smirk at the utterly disgusted look on Yoochun's face. "It isn't uncommon, with this much blood shed all over the place, I was surprised there weren't animals feeding on it when it was found."
Yoochun swallowed, but immediately regretted the action when he felt the content of his stomach roiling dangerously.
"There were tracks, I'm assuming?" Yunho asked, examining the body under the bright overhead light.
"Yes, a few animal tracks, including the prints of a dog that, I'm assuming, made off with the finger."
"And?" Yunho raised an eyebrow at the woman. "I don't believe there were no human footprints around, not with that much blood, not when the murderer must've been drenched in it when he was doing his little job."
"Only one set," Lina admitted. "Black, size eleven men's shoes and we think they were Lee Jinho's."
Yoochun looked up. "How did you know?"
"They were used," she said. "And forensics found stray hair in it, which turned out to be the victim's. Footprints from those shoes were the only ones, aside from the animals, found at the crime scene. We can only assume they were the victim's since there were no shoes found among the abandoned clothes in the trash, and they were the victim's shoe size. It's up with the forensics right now."
"That's insane!" Yoochun burst out. "There was so much blood! I mean, just by chopping at the body, there should be squirts of blood spraying everywhere, so not only would the murderer be wandering around afterwards completely soaked in red, there is no way he could be able to walk out of there without stepping in the mess and leaving a trail!"
"What if," Yunho murmured almost to himself, "what if the murderer donned Lee Jinho's shoes before doing the deed, walked around in it, and then abandoned it?"
Lina shrugged. "My job's to figure out how the guy was killed, so don't ask me. But yes, that's a possibility that the forensics are keen on – it's why they're hovering around the shoes like vultures, hoping to find something to identify the killer. Otherwise, there was nothing on the body; no finger prints, no hair, nothing for us to tell who did it. We're testing every single strand of black hair we managed to find on Lee Jinho's body, but so far they're all false leads."
Yunho frowned. "But you left an email with me claiming otherwise. You must've found something."
Lina nodded. "Well, I had to give my report at some point in time. But mainly I thought the murder weapon would interest you." She was standing right at the head of the table now, and Yoochun found that he could not look at her without glancing down at Lee Jinho's bloodless face, and seeing the face means he could not avoid the almost smooth black chasm between his head and his shoulders.
"It's the lines," she said, and Yoochun dragged his attention away from the repulsive sight, only to see that her gloved hands were actually indicating to the gaps between one body part and the next. "They are quite smooth, from a fairly sharp blade. The amount of jaggedness suggests that the murderer used on average two to four strikes to sever each part - obviously the thicker the area, the more hits."
Yoochun frowned, "So?"
"I originally thought only an axe could've done the job so cleanly," she said, but then shook her head. "But that wasn't it at all. The fact that the murderer only needed a few strikes to break the body apart means absolutely that it was either a really, really, really strong woman, or it was a man. I think if I show you what I believe the murder weapon looks like, you'll agree with me." She moved to the side where a desktop computer sat, monitor dark. She moved the mouse, and the dark screen flickered to life, revealing a picture of the possible murder weapon.
Yoochun blinked, and next to him Yunho made a small noise of surprise.
On the screen was the open browser connected to the Internet, but it was the actual content of the website that caught their attention. Instead of a large axe, or some kind of huge blade weapon such as a sword, the browser was actually opened to a simple shopping network on kitchen ware. And currently Lina had the page opened to an image of a blade, maybe a little less than a foot long and half that in width and altogether very innocently waiting for some house wife to come and order it online.
But despite the fact that Lina was clearly indicating this to be it, Yoochun was having a difficult time imagining that the every day cooking knife, a knife that really could be found at any random Korean family, could really be the murder weapon.
Note: Finally to elaborate on the knife, it is in fact a type of knife that my own family uses often, both in China and here in US. I'm not sure about Japan or Korean, but I'm fairly sure it's a common type of knife, sort of like a smaller version of a butcher's knife or a cleaver, used to cut anything from soft tofu to frozen meat. Generally they're not SUPER sharp, but even though the one in my house was pretty dull, it cuts meat REALLY well. These knifes are more for chopping, while american style cutting knifes are more for stabbing... Hopefully this elaboration helps
EDIT: The japanese word Yunho said was 'kazuya' not 'kazuki'. -_-;;; as you can see, i do not read the language so i read my own katakana wrong. >.>;;;;