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Friday, January 8th, 2016 12:12 am


            Their team of investigators along with Daisuke stood in the headquarter watching the video Changmin was playing back for them. 

            "We didn't see the mirror glowing like that when we were in front of it," Dongwook commented.

            "That's because only a thermographic camera could pick up infrared images," Changmin enlightened.

            "Interesting."

            Changmin paused the video right at the time Jaejoong was reaching out to the mirror.  Amongst the glow emitting from the antique, there was a face behind the screen.

            "Who is that?" Dongwook tried to identify the person.

            "Hold on.  Let me switch out of the infrared and back to the normal."  Changmin pressed a few keys and the picture cleared up.

            "Is that...?" Yoochun started.

            "That's Mao," Daisuke cut in as he leaned closer to the monitor.  "He really is in there.  My Mao is in there."

            "I think Jaejoong hyung saw him," Changmin guessed.  "That's why he walked toward it."

            "Mao!  I have to get him out of there."  With that, Daisuke rushed out and headed to the storage room.

            "Junsu, you return to Jaejoong's room and watch after him," Yunho directed.  "Changmin, you stay here and continue with what you're doing.  The rest of you follow me." 

            By the time the three investigators reach the room, they saw Daisuke looking into the mirror trying to find Kyousuke.  Unfortunately, the only thing he was able to see was his own reflection.

            "Mao, are you in there?" Daisuke rubbed at the surface as though he was trying to clear it in order to find his lover. 

            "Maybe, the mirror picks who it wants to pull in." Yoochun brought up.  "Since all three of you have already tried, I'm the only one left here who hasn't touched it.  Let me have a go at it."

            "Alright, but be careful," Yunho commanded.

            "I will, boss."

            "Changmin, make sure you record this."

            "Yes, Yunho hyung," Changmin answered through the earpiece.

            "Here goes nothing."  Yoochun stepped forward and placed his fingers on the surface with a slight hesitancy.  "Hey, kid.  Am I glowing?"

            "Unless you're referring to your forehead," Changmin sniggered, "nope."

            Yoochun pulled his hand away and let out a breath he had held in from the suspense.  "Yah!  What about my forehead?"

            "Nothing."  Changmin grinned.  "Yunho hyung, the mirror wasn't glowing at all.  I think Yoochun hyung is right.  The mirror seems to be picking its victims."

            "Couldn't you just admit that I'm smart?" Yoochun scoffed.

            "Are you smarter than me?"

            "You might be book smart, but I'm definitely street smart."

            "If you say so."

            "Ugh, you suck!" Yoochun hissed.

            "On what?"

            "Guys, we're working here," Yunho intervened.

            "Sorry boss, but he started it."

            "Tattletale." Changmin huffed.

            "If you two don't stop it this instant, you're not getting paid for this case."  Yunho's threat worked like a charm.  Both of them zipped their lips at once and focused back on what they were doing.

            Yunho walked up to the mirror and shouted.  "Jaejoong!  If you're in there, give us a sign."

            Soon after, there was a light tap coming from the screen.

            "Is that you, Jaejoong?" Yoochun became excited when he heard it.

            "Changmin, I think Jaejoong really is on the other side.  Did the mirror react at first?" Yunho sounded very worried.

            "No."

            "That's odd."

            "How is this possible?" Daisuke questioned.  "The mirror is so thin.  How could they both be in it?"

            "They might be taken into another dimension inside with a different kind of space," Yunho explained.

            "How do we get them out?"

            "The mirror seems to be choosing who it wants to take.  We need to figure out why Hamao-san and Jaejoong were pulled in while the rest of us were rejected.  There must be a reason.  Let's return to the headquarter and think things out before we proceed any further."

            "Alright."

            The four headed upstairs and put their heads together as they walked through what happened from the arrival of the mirror.

            "Watanabe-san, did you say that the mirror was given to you by an older acquaintance?" Yunho queried.

            "Yeah, he's a friend of my father's," Daisuke responded.

            "Where is he now?"

            "Well, from what I was told, he suffered from severe depression.  His housekeeper found him unconscious in his bedroom.  He fell into a coma."

            "How did you get the mirror then?"

            "His ex-wife came back to take over the household, because she was all he had.  She always hated that mirror in their bedroom, saying it gave her the creeps seeing herself sleeping.  When she had the chance to get rid of it, she did.  My father knew that Ito-san loved that mirror, so he decided to keep it until his friend wakes up.  Since my house is bigger, he dropped it off over here.  It's like I inherited that antique or at least is its keeper until its owner comes for it."

            "The Chinese has a believe that you should never place a huge mirror facing the foot of your bed.  If you sleep with your feet toward it, it would suck away your soul.  Night after night, you would slowly become weaker and eventually fall ill or even die.  It's bad feng shui."

            "Could Ito-san's depression be a result of it?" Daisuke asked.

            "Each case varies depending on the person's culture and traditions, so I can't really say.  Is Ito-san still in a coma?"

            "I'm not sure."

            "Is there a way you could find out?"

            "It's late right now, so my father is probably asleep.  I'll call him tomorrow morning and tell you what he says."

            "That would be very helpful."

***

            "Is your name, Jaejoong?" Kyousuke assumed.  "I heard them both screaming that name."
            "Yes, I'm Kim Jaejoong."

            "Hajimemashite, Kim-san."

            "Hajimemashite." 

            "I would have preferred us meeting under better circumstances.  Then again, we might never have met if this incident never took place.  I guess this was inevitable."  Kyousuke smiled.

            "I agree."

            "I could tell your teammates care about you a lot, especially the tallest one."

            "We are a team, so it's normal that we watch each other's backs."

            "I don't mean it like that.  I'm saying, I could tell that he has feelings for you.  The kind between lovers."

            "Yunho?"

            "Is that the tallest one's name?"

            "He's not the tallest in our team but the tallest of the three who came in earlier.  His name is Jung Yunho, the boss and leader of our 'P.I.' team.  I don't think he sees me as you claim."

            "Despite how confused I am with my own relationship, I'm pretty good at spotting other people's."  Kyousuke chuckled.  "Jung-san definitely has a thing for you."

            "Oh, really?"

            "Trust me.  You'll see that I'm right.  That is, when we get out of here."

            Jaejoong waved it off in disbelief.

            "Would you like to make a bet?"

            "Huh?"

            "If I win, you're going to have to show me around Korea when I come visit."

            "It's a bet."

***

            Changmin took a small break from the headquarter to go take a look at Jaejoong.  Junsu was asleep on the chair when he entered the room.

            "Junsu hyung."  He tapped on the man's shoulder to wake him.  "Go to your room and sleep.  You'll catch a cold sleeping like this."

            "What time is it?"

            "It's almost two o'clock in the morning."

            "But..."

            "Don't worry.  Yunho hyung should be coming in soon.  I'll watch Jaejoong hyung in the meantime."

            Too sleepy to disagree, Junsu nodded.  "Okay.  Good night."

            "Good night."

            Changmin grasped Jaejoong's hand once Junsu left the room.  "Jaejoong hyung, you should wake up now.  It's not good to fall asleep on your job," he joked and forced a chuckle.  "You're beautiful even when you're in slumber.  Just like sleeping beauty.  Perhaps, a kiss would wake you up."  The gadget guy slouched down and kissed Jaejoong's lips.

            Dongwook came looking for Changmin, whilst Yunho was turning in for the night.  Both of them saw what Changmin was doing and their eyes widened in shock.


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