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  • Writer's pictureHina Siddiqui

When it rains… Part I

Updated: Oct 22, 2020

The first of three times Nichi finds Ginoza in the rain.






Nichi hurried towards the pick-up point for the taxi. Her communicator informed her that it was six minutes away. It was already quite the downpour and Nichi struggled to keep her overflowing bag and all of herself under her umbrella.


The pick-up point was a three-minute walk from the entrance of Nona Tower. And it was on days like this that Nichi rued the security protocols that kept taxis from coming all the way up to the foyer of the Public Safety Bureau building. She hurried past the holo trees, that flickered in and out of existence, technology failing to contend with Mother Nature’s fury. She passed three empty benches, that were placed against the fake treeline because urban planners believed in the aesthetic effect of the combination perhaps? Because who in their right mind would want to casually sit down outside the Criminal Investigation Department’s Headquarters?


Nichi stopped mid-stride. On the fourth bench, the one just before the pick-up point, sat a certain someone. Nichi was almost worried before she recognized the tall and official-looking figure. She knew the man from many inter-departmental meetings over the past five years she had worked at Nona. And from the QA reports he submitted - detailed and meticulous - the only ones she never needed to follow up on. They had never spoken as such, but he always greeted her when their paths crossed and even spared the odd smile when they happened to share the same lunch hour.


But why was he sitting here? Hunched over like that? Without any protection from the rain?


“Ginoza Kanshikan*?” Nichi stepped forward.


The senior detective of CID’s Division 1 looked up. His glasses were missing and his green eyes looked startled for a second before he recognized the person addressing him.


“Nichi-san,” he acknowledged, though there was no smile or change in posture. “What are you doing out here?” he asked.


“Waiting for a taxi?” She pointed to the sign just ahead of him.


“Oh… right. Heading home then?”


“Yes…”


“Hmmm… Ki o tsukete ne.”


Be careful? What for?

Nichi walked past the inspector, making for the pick-up point. But something about the situation just didn’t feel right to her. So she turned around, only to see that Ginoza had gone back to slouching, staring at his hands clasped between his knees.


“Kanshikan?”


“Umm?” he intoned without looking up.


“It’s… raining.”


Ginoza actually looked around him, like he hadn’t noticed the storm pouring vengeance all over Tokyo.


“It is,” he confirmed, like that was the answer he was expected to deliver.


The small prick of worry was now blooming in to concern.


“Why are you sitting here in the rain?” Nichi asked, slowly, emphasizing each word.


Ginoza didn’t answer. His brow furrowed. And he turned his eyes away.


Nichi took a step closer.


“Ginoza-san, are you alright?”


Ginoza shook her head, like he was trying to snap out of something.


He stood up, fished out his glasses and put them back on his face. “I should be returning to Division 1… work… have work… I have work.”


Before she could process it, the concern had wormed its way out of her stomach and taken possession of her legs. She rushed after Ginoza - it was only a few steps really - and managed to catch the sopping wet sleeve of his suit jacket between her fingers. Ginoza faltered slightly, turning to peer curiously at what had gotten a hold of him. And he seemed very surprised when he realized it was a human hand, attached to a very human person, gripping his sleeve with all her strength.


“Nichi-san?”


“You can’t go back to work like this! Do you even have a spare pair of clothes?”


It was at that moment that Nichi’s drone-assisted taxi showed up at the pick-up point, making her communicator beep. It just added to the sense of urgency building up within her. Nichi wasn’t someone who had gut reactions or even believed in them, but something within her was telling her that if she let this man go at this moment, something terrible would happen.


“Come home with me!” she nearly yelled, unable to identify what compelled her to say that.


Ginoza just looked at her, stunned.


“My brother left some clothes last time he visited and they might fit you, I mean, they’ll definitely fit you and you can get changed and warmed up and it’s not too far!” Words rushed out of her. The taxi beeped again. So suiting actions to words, Nichi turned and headed towards the taxi, struggling now to keep her grip on her umbrella, her bag and Ginoza’s sleeve.


Nichi’s heart was beating over-time. But the taxi ride seemed to have the opposite effect on Ginoza. He seemed like he was shutting down. He hadn’t said a word since she had dragged him in to the taxi. If he was startled by her move, his face didn’t show it now. In the dim interior of the automated vehicle, his green eyes seemed dull and unfocussed.


He remained like that till they made it to her house - a modest, renovated akiya in Arakawa-ku. He followed her in when the door slid open. He took off his shoes when she did. He stood motionless while she went to get him towels and her brother's clothes - a large sweat-shirt and pants. He made his way to the bathroom when she pointed it out. Taking the toiletries she handed to him. All as if he was on auto-pilot.


Once Ginoza was in the bathroom, Nichi set soba noodles and instant broth to cook and went in to her room to change. He still hadn’t come out by the time the soup started to boil. Nichi walked up to the bathroom, but her hand froze before she could knock.


Slowly, she pressed her ear to the door. Inside she heard Ginoza’s stuttering sobs - cries breaking through his attempts at breathing and talking himself down from whatever it was that was strangling him. She stayed there, face and hand against the door, unwilling to intrude but also unable to move away. When the sounds of his breathing seemed to ease off, Nichi tip-toed back to the kitchen counter and started pouring out soup in to two large bowls.


Ginoza stepped out of the bathroom a few minutes later. His eyes were red but he seemed like himself again. He even looked happy to see the soup. He asked her what was in it.



Turned out Ginoza had a lot to say about soba noodle soup.






Inspired by the stormy weather, this piece came together this morning. I hope you enjoy it. There's two more parts to this, which I will put up shortly.


For a little bit of background, Ginoza Nobuchika is a character from the sci-fi anime Psycho-pass. He has a very sad story progression and typically represents the anime aesthetic of the silently-suffering hero. Which is why it is so easy for fan-ficcers like me to go crazy with him... in our imaginations of course.


Kanshikan is the Japanese word for Detective or Inspector. That's the title Ginoza holds in the series, originally.


Nichi is not a solidly-grounded original character in many senses. But she serves the story in the moment. So do give her a chance. Bonus Fun-Fact: Nichi is one of the kanji readings for 日, which literally means Sun. See what I did there?


Also, about mental health. Not everyone expresses a break-down or panic attack in the same way. While some get visibly agitated and display symptoms we recognize as panic, some individuals tend to just sob, some simply fall asleep while others tend to shut-down or disassociate in ways that may not be obvious to anyone who is not paying attention. As someone who has been through a lot of these situations - permutations and combinations thereof, I feel happy that I can talk about them through my stories. I would be happy also if you want to talk about these things on the side, just drop me a message.


If you want to familiarize yourself with the basics of panic attacks, I recommend this excellent myth-buster article: Myth vs. Reality: What Does a Panic Attack Feel Like? by Caroline Catlin, a photographer and writer who works on reforming the way health, illness, and disability are portrayed in media.




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