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  • Writer's pictureHina Siddiqui

When it rains... Part III





By the time the typhoon season passed its peak, Nichi and Ginoza had started spending time together on purpose. Division 1 had closed its case in the nick of time and the rains had kept criminal activity to a minimum. Nichi had gifted him a nanotech raincoat that folded down to the size of a kerchief and could thus be placed in his suit pocket. Ginoza, embarrassed and slightly overwhelmed, had felt obliged to return the favour. He had taken a week to research options and then presented her with a necklace that generated holos of different constellations and displayed relevant astronomical, mythological and meteorological information on her command.


Nichi had met his dog Dime, had learned about his life. Ginoza had introduced her to gardening and helped her start her own collection of herbs in her kitchen when he learned that she wanted to quit the PSB in a couple of years and start her own cafe.


It was the afternoon and Nichi had grown quite bored by all the maintenance and quality control reports. It was work better suited to a drone and not for the first time she wondered why she hadn’t been replaced by one already. So she was more than happy to join Ginoza on a walk down to their regular lunch place.


She walked out of Nona Tower to find Ginoza already standing by the treeline. He had his new raincoat on, hood pulled back, face turned up to the sky. Thankfully today, the rain was light and refreshing.


Ginoza seemed light too. His eyes shy behind his glasses. His hair wet over his forehead. And his smile gentle.


He took the umbrella from her. Since he was taller. She drew closer to him. They started walking. They were halfway to the restaurant when Ginoza spoke.


"My dad thinks we’re dating."


Masaoka Tomomi. Latent Criminal. Enforcer with Division 1. Under his son’s command as it were. It was only recently that their damaged relationship had begun to mend, after Masaoka-san nearly died in the hunt for the serial killer Makishima. It was slow-going, but Ginoza seemed to be genuinely invested in changing their dynamic.


"Aren’t we?"


Ginoza stopped so suddenly that Nichi took two steps in to the rain before she realized her umbrella and its holder were gone.


"Hey!" she squealed and rushed back undercover. She looked up at Ginoza, to see his eyes go from startled to sad.


"Gino?"


"Ni," he started, "Ni, you know I can’t… I’ve told you why."


"Have you told your father?"


"I did… I mean, I tried to. He has a tendency to only hear things he wants to. He basically thinks it’s about finding the right person."


"And he thinks I am the right person?"


"I think he has already picked out the names of our children." Ginoza sighed. Somehow, his eyes looked even sadder now. "Ni, is that what you think this is? Is that… what you want?"


Nichi snorted. Causing Ginoza some alarm.


"Allow me to explain this, how I see it." She held up one finger, "Your father has an archaic, narrow understanding of what dating is, right?" Ginoza nodded, "So, he believes that when two people date, romantic feelings and sexual intimacy are implied?" Again Ginoza nodded, his eyes shifting from sadness to attentiveness now that Nichi was speaking language he understood. "From what we have discussed, you don’t feel any romantic or sexual attraction, yes?" Nod. "If at all you do, you may harbour at most an aesthetic attraction to mostly men or masculine-presenting individuals?"


"I don’t understand where you are going with this."


"I am merely stating facts Kanshikan," Nichi thumbed her nose facetiously, "Now, answer my questions. Do you care about me?"


"Ni, you know -"


"Uh-uh, restrict your responses to yes or no please."


"Yes."


"Do I care about you?"


"Shouldn’t you answer that?"


"Yes or no?"


Ginoza’s eyes flashed with annoyance. Nichi had to admit, it was a much better look on him than dejection.


"Yes," he said, his tone taking on a dangerously low volume.


"Damn right, I do!" Nichi smiled. And again Ginoza’s expression changed. Consternation. That made his brow scrunch up. "So, I propose a new definition of dating for us. We care about each other. We like expressing affection towards each other. And we like eating together. As long as all three conditions hold, we are dating."


If Nichi wasn’t already used to the phenomenally long pauses Ginoza could take during conversations, she would have thought her last statement had broken him. But she knew from the long months of growing closer to Ginoza, that he liked to contemplate. Even when presented with all the evidence, he needed to run through the options in his mind.


When he finally spoke, his question made Nichi giggle.


"How long have you been thinking about this?"


"A couple of weeks," Nichi responded truthfully, "I saw a documentary."


"I would like to watch it too."


"Your place or mine?"


"I have a better viewing port."


"Alright. On your next day off?"


"No, that’s the day… to visit mum."


"Oh, right! The week after?"


"Yes, sounds right."


Nichi shrugged and resumed her position next to him. They started walking again.


"You’re coming with me to meet mum, right?"


"Of course I am! Have you decided whether you’d like me to bring flowers or cookies?"


"I always take flowers. What if... I made the cookies this time?"


"Sure, we could meet earlier in the day to bake them together."


"Yeah, that would be good."


"It would."




The storm died down. Which is great news for people in general.


If you are wondering, Typhoon Season in Japan goes from May to October. And peaks around September. So by this time in the story, Ginoza and Nichi have been hanging around for around four and a half months.


I changed the facts of the series to suit the mood of my piece. In the original, the hunt for the serial killer Makishima destroys Ginoza's life. His father dies and they don't really get a chance to reconcile.


Also, in case you are wondering, they are talking about visiting his mum's grave. Food is an important part of o-Haka Mairi (visits to the gravesites of ancestors or relatives). Sometimes, people will also have picnics by the haka. If you'd like to know more about funeral traditions in Japan, there is this very insightful and respectful article on Tofugo.


A note on the Split-Attraction Model, Aromatic and Asexual Spectrums:

In this piece, Nichi refers to Ginoza's aesthetic attraction. This is vocabulary that comes to us from the Split Attraction Model (SAM). This model starts by first defining what attraction is (liking a place, person, animal or thing) and then goes on to define a structure that can help compartmentalize different kinds of attraction (sexual, romantic, platonic, aesthetic, sensual etc).


This gives us a very important framework when talking about desires, feelings as well as expressing our wants and needs in any relationship. For everyone, yes, but especially for individuals on the aromatic spectrum (Nikolai Tesla and Queen Elizabeth The First are speculated to be, but we can't exactly, confirm, can we?) and the asexual spectrum (me!). If you want to know more about SAM, please do give a dekho to this article by Nadejda Romanciuc. It lists out the basics as well as the criticisms and though the choice of images is weird, the information is good and simply explained. For a more nuanced look by a person on the AroAce spectrum, have a look at this post by self-proclaimed asexuality nerd Sennkestra.


And finally, I know this story throws more light on Ginoza and his needs. But if I do continue this series, I promise to do justice to Nichi as well. If that's something you would like to read, feel free to encourage me by sharing this story, sending me love via email and liking the Dragons & Rainbows Facebook page!

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