New York Minute
This is the original script the doujin was based on. This, along with First Do No Harm and One of these Nights will be published with the studio notes and sketches in the impending Materials Book along with ITW12 this month.
The Materials Book will include an unpublished short story (also a prequel) with at least two new illustrations as a bonus. Join our twitter, FB or newsletter (info on our site) to get the latest update.
New York Minute
Although it had already passed midnight, well into Christmas day, Katsuya’s focus still remained on the thick stack of papers fanned out in front of him. Full color crime scene photos were strewn among the papers that detailed the double homicide from days ago.
He had chosen a seat at an oval table, his back to the window in one of the drab conference rooms that stank of stale cigarettes and spilt coffee, thinly veiled by the sweet scent of cheap air fresher. Outside the snow still came down hard, the thickness of it lit by orange street lights. He didn’t like New York winters. He didn’t like the snow.
He’d decided to study the files at the precinct for an absurd reason. There was always someone in the building, and there was always the constant cacophony of the city dregs resonating in the booking section down the hall. The incoherent yelling from the drunks and shrill protests from the prostitutes made him feel less isolated, although he didn’t celebrate the holidays. As usual, he had repeatedly refused company from other cops who had taken a liking to him and who’d tried to collect him like a stray and include him in their family functions.
Good thing I can self-diagnose and know if I’m insane or if I just like being a recluse. I’m not lonely, but I don’t want to be alone. Classic.
Katsuya only looked up at the clock when he reached for his coffee, feeling the cold liquid through the paper cup. It was nearly 1 A.M. He stretched, pushing himself away from the table. He looked out the window and frowned. The snow had buried most of the cars in the lot, including his own. The thought of shoveling it out pained him. He was still staring at the strange snow-covered shape that he was certain was his sedan, when the door behind him opened abruptly. He turned, startled by the sudden slam against the wall.
“Sorry. They should really attach a hydraulic thingy on top of the door,” his visitor said.
“I see you’ve invoked the Captain’s wrath again,” Katsuya remarked.
Homicide detective David Krause shut the door before seating himself at the table. He was in full uniform with his parka unzipped. There was still a dusting of snow on his shoulders and hair. He flung his damp wheel cap onto the table.
“Yes and no,” he said, shrugging off his parka and leaving it draped over the back of the chair. “We’re already under-manned, but the Commissioner ordered three times the DUI checkpoints to be done over the next twenty-four hours. I got drafted because of a little verbal altercation I had with the supervisors last week.”
David knitted his fingers together and pillowed the back of his head as he leaned back in his chair.
“It’s shit work, but at least I am not on call until the twenty-sixth. Merry Christmas to me.”
“For another…” Katsuya looked at the clock, “twenty-two hours.”
“The entire twenty-two hours.”
“Then you should be home, enjoying it.”
“Technically I am not off yet. Not for another thirty minutes. I came in to drop off a deuce. Made McKenzie take it so I’m not stuck with the paperwork.”
“So you’re hiding out here until your shift ends.”
“Yeah. If I go back out on the road, I might catch another drunk and there goes my twenty hours,” David said. “And of course, I’m here to annoy you for a while.”
Katsuya tapped a finger on top of the papers, uncertain what his answer should be. He had known the detective since he was assigned to the district, one of the very few vets that didn’t give him an uneasy look because he was Japanese and looked “too young” for his position. He liked David. There was an abrasiveness and callousness to the detective that Katsuya was fascinated by. He couldn’t guess his age, although he could have easily stolen glances at the personnel records he had full access to. He placed him at least ten years older than himself, just based on the years a cop would need to invest to reach David’s rank and position.
“You look very nice in uniform,” Katsuya said. It wasn’t something he would ordinarily have said, but David did look sharp. His hair was neatly brushed back so it could be tucked underneath the wheel cap. The dark blue uniform, adorned with just a silver badge and a metal name tag, fitted him perfectly. The man didn’t carry himself professionally all the time, but he did dress well. He knew how to present himself and probably owned little off the rack.
“Turned on by a man in uniform?” David asked, a grin blossoming over his face. He unhooked his interlaced fingers and patted his chest with one hand. “Merry Christmas to you. Don’t say I never gave you anything.”
Katsuya laughed, something he seldom did. He could smile easily at colleagues and strangers alike — it was part of his persona to be comforting and accessible, although he never truly meant it. There was rarely any genuineness in his smile, and ironically he felt guilty about that. However, David was one of the few people that made him happy and could make him laugh.
“Uniforms are intended to create the illusion of power and order,” Katsuya said. “I suppose some people associate fetishism with the desire to access the power and status the uniforms represent. Of course, this is not a confession.”
“Don’t shop in the dollar store with ten dollar words. You’re not gonna get change back.”
“Right…,” Katsuya said, his smile remaining. He looked down at the paperwork and his wish to continue evaporated. He didn’t want to look at the pictures of the deceased or read the gory details anymore. It felt wrong — being happy while documents of violent deaths were spread out in front of him. He started to return them to the manila folders.
“No plans tonight?”
“I’m not a Christian,” Katsuya said, suddenly feeling awkward, reflecting back on his absurd comment about David’s uniform. “Today is just another day.”
“It won’t be.”
David reached out. He hesitated for a second, short of touching Katsuya’s hand. Instead, he started collecting the photos and slipping them back into the numbered envelopes.
“I’m alone. You’re alone. Let’s be alone together.”
Katsuya almost laughed again. He disguised it with a cough. “I have a personal policy about being with colleagues….”
David rolled his eyes. “Yes, yes…. If things don’t work out, it’d be terribly shitty to work in the same place and see each other every day, I know. But we’re not going steady. Just two friends being friendly. Don’t put any conditions on how two people should behave. You over-plan things. It kills the spontaneity.”
“I think that’s the point,” Katsuya said. He dragged his briefcase from the side and placed the accordion folder bound with a rubber band into it. “When you plan, you can anticipate the worst.”
David leaned in – his body hovering over the table. It was uncomfortable and he had to be on his tip-toes, but he was able to reach Katsuya. He cupped Katsuya’s face in his hands.
“You also will give up opportunities to find unexpected good in people, if all you do is turn them away.”
Katsuya was confused, stunned by the sudden intimacy. The only words he could utter were, “Your hands are very cold.”
David smiled and planted a kiss on his lips. A gentle kiss – almost testing Katsuya’s resolve. When he didn’t push David away, the kiss become bolder. The tongue that swept into Katsuya’s mouth tasted of coffee.
“Wait for me,” David said softly, after he pulled back.
Katsuya gave the slightest nod and David’s smile grew. He kissed Katsuya on his forehead.
David left his parka in the chair and cap on the table and walked out of the room. Katsuya sat back in his chair, sinking further into it. His lower lip felt warm. He hadn’t felt that kind of warmth in a long time. He felt stupid, as he reached up and touched his lower lip with his index finger.
He spun his chair around and looked through the window. The snow had let up into a light flurry. Somehow, Katsuya realized, maybe he didn’t dislike New York winters or snow so much after all.
There was the promise of a warm cup of coffee, perhaps an early breakfast. He didn’t have any more expectations besides company on Christmas day. At least that was what Katsuya had thought.
Katsuya could feel the warmth of David’s apartment as soon as he walked in, the light snapping on behind him. He paused a couple of steps into his friend’s place – it was very different from his own. He looked to his right then to his left – studying the new environment with curiosity. He was drawn back to reality when David’s hands rested on his shoulders.
“Let me take your coat,” David said.
Katsuya let the coat slip off his shoulders. Vaguely, he heard his coat and scarf pool on the polished wood flooring. He didn’t recall much else as David wound his arms around him. The warmth of another human being wrapped around him was a sensation that he hadn’t realized he missed, until now.
“I’m glad you’re here,” David said. His voice was uncharacteristically soft, followed by a deep intake of breath, as he took in Katsuya’s scent at the nape of his neck. “You would have broken my heart if you’d turned me down again.”
Katsuya leaned into David’s embrace.
“I never turned you down,” Katsuya said, turning to look at him. He gave David a kiss on his lower lip. “You just didn’t ask me the right way.”
Peripherally, Katsuya looked at the trail of his clothing and shoes scattered on the floor – from the doorway, through the living room and onto the the bed. David’s gun belt with the Beretta still strapped in its holster half hung off the bedside chair. Katsuya’s shirt was held together by the last two buttons. His pants were undone and barely hung on his hips. David’s uniform was still on. Its crisp, starched fabric felt harsh against Katsuya’s bare skin, but he couldn’t complain — he’d been the one who’d asked David to keep his uniform on.
Katsuya was pulled back into another kiss. He gave himself up to it, letting David devour him – as the cop writhed against him, hard. Katsuya gripped a handful of David’s erection, tracing the shape of it through his pants.
“Have you…been with a man?” David asked into his mouth.
The question sounded absurd and Katsuya nearly laughed. “A little late asking me this now, isn’t it?”
“You know what I mean.”
“Yes,” Katsuya finally said, taking a gentle bite against David’s lower lip. “But this is the first time I really want it….”
The confused grimace that came over David’s face then nearly spoiled the mood. Katsuya took hold of David’s tie, not allowing him to back away.
“Don’t think about it,” Katsuya murmured and leaned in for another kiss. “All that matters is now.”
It was that quick; a few words and David’s thoughts were forgotten. He slipped his hands under Katsuya’s shirt – the skin there firm yet soft. David was reminded briefly then, how much younger Katsuya was compared to him.
“Tell me what you want me to do,” David said, his breath catching. His body still pinned Katsuya against the wall and it already knew what it wanted. But he needed to hear it.
Katsuya let go of the tie. His hands slipped down, sliding along David’s body down to his belt – stopping short of the bulge that was straining against his uniform. He leaned in, smiled and spoke into David’s ear.
He hadn’t any idea of the time or even where he was, when he made himself wake in a haze. There was an interesting sensation that was still resonating throughout his body. Not quite pleasant but not exactly pain either. He was sore, he realized. And he wasn’t in his own bed.
His eyes opened to a room that wasn’t his. He had been lying on his stomach – naked and half buried under the sheets. He blinked – finally registering everything at one moment when he saw the gun belt with its holster and clip casing emptied, slung over the chair. He squinted until he could read the clock.
There was a note tucked under that clock. Katsuya stared at it for a while, until he could muster enough energy to push himself up and crawl over to fetch it.
The note had a poorly drawn Santa’s head and a brief message.
On call. Help yourself to anything in the house. Wait for me. We haven’t done all of the gift exchanging yet.
Katsuya read the note a few more times before slipping it back onto the nightstand. In spite of aches; he felt good. He left the comfortable warmth of the bed and walked toward the window. Gingerly, he pulled up the venetian blinds until he could look out at the snow-covered scenery before him. The window looked out over a playground that was behind the apartment complex. He could vaguely make out the shapes of the jungle gym and swings that were coated by snow. It was still snowing. And it was so quiet that he could hear the brush of snowflakes against the pane. In the distance, he could see colorful dots of Christmas lights in the windows of other apartments.
He could feel the smile on his face grow, pulling at the corners of his mouth.
Everything changed. In a New York minute.
I got lost in the night, without the light of your eyelids,
And when the night surrounded me
I was born again: I was the owner of my own darkness
Comiket — GO!!!
We got news from our POC in Japan that we got in!! We are slotted to be on JUNE day (last day), West Hall Ru 30a (西る30a). We are very excited to make our first appearance as G|P there and looking forward to meeting our Japanese readers!
A thanks goes out to our Libre editor, Irie-san, for taking time putting in the application for us. :)
On the same Comiket weekend, CWT (equv. in Taiwan) also happens. We are looking to port New York Minute to premier in both shows in their respective languages.
We are also working on ITW7 … no worries. Our goal is to have it completed before heading off to Tokyo in mid-August.