"Uh, boss? We got another... problem..."
      Juzo Hasegawa, manager, apologist and, frequently, bailer-out of Criminal Intent, the most successful rock band in Oedo, closed his eyes with a resigned sigh.
      "What's he done now?"
      No need to ask who he was. Sengoku was the bane of his life.
       "Uh... well, perhaps you'd better see for yourself..." Okyo leaned over to switch on the vid-screen, giving the manager a good view of the tiny leather thong she wore under her equally tiny, short, tight leather skirt... skirt, hah! The thing would do better duty as a broad belt... He dragged his attention back to the screen.
       "This is Kami 'Crisis' Honda reporting live from the Oedo Hilton, where Shunsuke 'Blackdog' Sengoku, lead singer and guitarist of Criminal Intent, practical joker and well-known ladies-man, is currently hanging upside down from the flagpole outside the group's hotel suite. As you can see, somewhere along the line he forgot to get dressed..."
      Hasegawa groaned. Another indecency charge to add to the collection. A few more 'outraged' citizens to sweeten. A beautiful bit of free publicity for the band's next gig.
      He smirked to himself - then leapt to his expensively-shod feet.
      "Shit... Okyo, get a floater there now, with a net. If the stupid bastard falls..."

Meanwhile, inside the suite, 'Goggles' Gabimaru, drummer and occasional backing vocals, had finished smashing up the lounge and was looking around for something else to do. He debated trashing Sengoku's room, but the chances were better than even the singer had already done it himself. He sighed to himself. Such a pain in the arse, having to live up to their hard-rockin', bad-boy image... He tapped on Benten's door.
      "Yo, pretty boy! Wanna drink?"
      There was no answer. Goggles risked a peek inside the room; yup, Benten was sprawled over the bed, still in his stage costume and out of his head on the little blue pills he kept hidden under his pillow. Goggles grunted, debated pencilling a beard and moustache on the pale face with the makeup scattered over the dressing table - but the albino would probably spike his beer with laxative if he tried something so unwise.
      He growled under his breath and wandered back to the lounge, debating seeing if there was anything on TV, then remembered he'd just thrown the TV out of the window, narrowly missing Sengoku... He debated untying the safety rope wrapped around the singer's waist, then decided Hasegawa-bastard would have his arse if he had to break in a new singer...
      Gods, life was so boring!!
      He could hear Sengoku shouting from outside, and sauntered over to the window. The naked singer glared at the drummer from his upside-down position on the flagpole.
      "Give me a hand - I'm freezing my balls off out here!"
      Goggles rested his forearms on the sill and smirked.
      "Nah... Think I'll just leave you there..."
      "Fuckin' get me back inside now or I'll sic Benten on ya!"
      Growling, the drummer reached out, grabbed an ankle, and hauled Sengoku back inside, dumping him on the floor. The singer was shivering.
      "You'd better not have caught a chill. Our beloved manager will string you up by yer balls if you can't sing tonight."
      "You think anybody'd notice? They're all too busy watching my crotch."
      "Or Benten's..."
      Sengoku growled. It was a source of considerable annoyance to him that the albino had a slightly larger... fan following than himself.
      "Where is our prize fag, anyway?"
      Goggles jerked his head in the direction of Benten's room.
      "Doin' the usual. So if you wanna use the bathroom, do it before he comes round. He'll be fuckin' hours."
      Grumbling to himself, Sengoku went to start the shower...

"Aren't you fuckin' ready yet?"
      Benten directed a baleful glare at Sengoku over his shoulder.
      "Obviously not. Why ask when you can see the answer?"
      Goggles grabbed the singer's shoulder.
      "Save it for the stage..."
      Benten fluffed his hair one last time then sauntered from the bathroom, the high-necked tunic and close-fitting trousers, all white, making him look almost ghostly.
      "Now I'm ready."
      "'bout fuckin' time..." Sengoku led them down to the lobby, grinning and posing for the fangirls assembled there, begging for autographs, locks of hair, babies... It was a good fifteen minutes before they made it to the hover-limo to be whisked off to the massive Oedo Commemoration auditorium.

Hasegawa was already there, of course, Okyo at his side as always. Sengoku winked at the young woman, who stretched up to kiss him for luck, discreetly cupping his genitals and squeezing as she did so. She'd had her nose pierced again since the last time Sengoku had seen her this close: he wondered, idly, if she ever set off security alarms with all the metal she had through various parts of her body... Not that they weren't fun to play with, of course, ohhhh no...
      Hasegawa was frowning - but he was always frowning, so this didn't signify anything unusual.
      "Make it good tonight. We've got some major celebrities in the crowd."
      Sengoku grinned.
      "Anyone worth fuckin'?"
      "Not unless you want to spend your next ten years in prison..." Hasegawa eyed Benten. "OK?"
      One elegant white eyebrow quirked.
      "If you mean have I taken anything, no, of course not, you know perfectly well I don't do that until after a performance - if needed."
      The manager smiled and patted a narrow shoulder.
      "I know, my sweet. Just checking."
      Tossing his hair, Benten stalked towards the dressing rooms. Goggles chuckled.
      "You really know how to get a good performance out of him."
      Hasegawa's eyes twinkled.
      "It's my job."
      "An' you really love your job."
      The manager smirked.
      "Go. Please the masses. Earn fame and fortune."
      Goggles saluted, mockingly, turned and marched off, grinning over his shoulder.
      "Yassuh, massa..."

"Lookin' good!"
      Sengoku slicked back a lock of hair and leered at himself in the mirror. Benten folded his arms across his chest and sniffed.
      "What's that?"
      The albino sighed exaggeratedly.
      "Ignoramus... Someone who fell in love with himself."
      Sengoku raised an eyebrow.
      "Heh. Why settle for anything less than the best?"
      "You are so full of it."
      The singer turned, rested his forearm across Benten's shoulder and smirked.
      "How'd you like to be singin' soprano from now on?"
      Goggles growled.
      "When you two lovebirds have quite finished... we got an audience to please."

You could hear the chant from a block away. Inside the auditorium it was deafening.
      "IN-tent! IN-tent!"
      Goggles peered out, nodding his satisfaction. Spotlights sweeping and swooping across the front of the semi-circular stage - check. Sirens wailing - check. Instruments in their allocated places - check. He twisted, giving the thumbs up to his fellow band members, and everyone moved into place. As the sirens harmonised into a chord - a well-known one, as proved by the sudden increase in the chanting and screaming from the audience - the skittering lights faded to be replaced by the brilliant spotlights focussed on each band member. Sengoku, arms spread wide, eyes glittering, growled,


... and the crowd went wild as the opening bars of their signature song, Crime Wave, thundered through the vast, heaving space...

Juzo Hasegawa sat in the VIP box, foot tapping in time to the hard fast beat filling the auditorium and watching the close-ups on the huge screen at the back of the stage. The boys were on form tonight, Sengoku's growling vocals perfectly counterpointed by Benten's purring backup on Murder - always a crowd pleaser. By the fourth song, Takin' out the Trash - from the new album, UberDogz - Sengoku had stripped off his long red coat and kicked it to one side, his skintight black leather and deliciously arrogant smirk inspiring the fangirls - and boys - at the front to louder screams as he blew them kisses.
      "Going well, isn't it?" Okyo handed him a beer and a caviar and oyster sandwich. Hasegawa nodded.
      "This morning's stunt didn't do any harm either. Half the kids here are just dying to see if he strips."
      Okyo's eyes widened lustfully.
      "Will he?"
      Hasegawa smirked.
      "Wait and see..."
      On stage Benten had moved away from the synth, grabbed his bass guitar, and was sneering something at Sengoku. The singer snarled something in return, then strapped on his own instrument: the cheers grew deafening again as Goggles drummed the intro to the first of the band's instrumental numbers, Deaf Sphinx - not one Hasegawa particularly enjoyed, it always seemed to him to be a competition between Sengoku and Benten as to who could make the most noise, but the fans loved it. Perhaps it was the aggressively erotic way the normally cool, reserved albino moved as they prowled around each other. Or the snarling, grating sounds the claws Benten wore, to protect his long and perfectly manicured nails, produced from the big silver guitar. Or maybe it was simply the sheer presence of the pair on stage, silver and white, black and red, the tension between them as the music got louder and louder and faster and faster...
      By the time they finished, twenty minutes later, in a blaze of sound that felt like slamming into a wall, there was quite a pile of fan underwear scattered over the front of the stage.
      "We're gonna take a break now. Don't go 'way!" Sengoku leered, to hysterical screams as the trio left the stage.

"Fuckin' hot out there tonight!"
      Benten eyed the singer, sniffing delicately and wrinkling his nose.
      "You are, anyway."
      Sengoku leaned back in his seat, ostentatiously raising his arms and tucking his hands behind his head.
      "I'm always hot, baby..."
      Tossing him a disgusted look, Benten went back to reapplying his makeup. Goggles gulped down his third bottle of beer.
      "An' the fan club are there."
      Sengoku grinned.
      "Course they are. Gonna be fun tonight. Couple o' new girls, by the look of it." The band's 'fan club' - actually a handful of groupies going by the collective name of the Lemon Tarts - attended every Criminal Intent gig. "And," he poked Benten in the ribs, making him smear his lipstick, "Carrie's here again."
      The albino paused mid-glower and shuddered.
      "Oh hell."
      "Better let security know."
      Benten sighed and beckoned to a young, starry-eyed gopher, murmuring instructions to the youth then patting his cheek with a smile. The dopily-grinning, blushing boy nodded happily and meandered off to do the albino's bidding. Goggles dropped his fourth empty bottle in the trash.
      "OK kids, everyone know what we're doin'?"
      "Of course." Benten frowned at Sengoku, eyes narrowed. "You'd better be careful with that knife."
      The singer smirked.
      "Oh, I wouldn't dream of damaging that lily-white skin of yours. I'd never hear the end of it. Nag nag nag..."
      A light flashed over the mirror before the speechless Benten could get his brain sufficiently in gear to think of a suitable rejoinder. Time to get back onstage...

The screaming started before they'd even taken up their positions again - this half of the gig was what they'd all come to see...
      "How ya doin, kids?"
      Incoherent yelling answered the singer, who leered.
      "Ya want some more?"
      Even louder screaming. Sengoku glanced at Goggles over his shoulder as the light show started and they stormed straight into their next number - the only cover version in their repertoire...

"You only get a single chance, the rules are very plain,
the truth is well concealed inside the details of the game..."

Hasegawa peered around Okyo's shoulder where she sat in his lap, happily impaled and bouncing up and down in time with the music from the stage, a friendly little number called Murder Puppies with the refrain "kill the bastards, kill the bastards" with which the audience were cheerfully singing along. Yes, it was all going splendidly... As the song finished and the boys went into the next song - Want it in Triplicate, which Sengoku always insisted was a romantic ballad, though Hasegawa could never quite see how a song about coprophilia could be considered romantic - Okyo squeaked and stiffened, then with a sigh climbed off his lap and dropped to her knees between his legs, lowering her face to his groin. Noting distantly that her new tongue stud really did feel rather nice, Hasegawa left her to it: it had become almost a ritual by now, and he could safely leave his body to its own devices...
      The tension in the atmosphere was building as they finished the number and Sengoku placed his guitar back on its stand. Hasegawa leaned forwards slightly as Benten moved away from the synth again, towards Sengoku, and appeared to say something. The singer stiffened and swivelled angrily to the albino, who shrugged theatrically and tossed his head. Sengoku grabbed his shoulders and shoved him backwards a step or two, then turned to the audience: Benten, eyes narrowed, reached out, grabbed the back of his vest - and yanked hard, ripping it from the broad tanned torso in shreds, and incidentally pulling the band from his hair at the same time.
      As the singer, black hair tumbling around his face and shoulders, stared down at his half-naked body in seeming-shock, Benten tossed the leather scraps from him, expression arrogant. Sengoku alternated his gaze between his body and the audience until the screams had died down a fraction, then turned to the albino.
      "You bitch..."
      The screams started up again as Sengoku grabbed the high neck of the white tunic and ripped, then came back to the waistband of the trousers and wrenched hard, pulling the material from the slim body. Benten stumbled forwards a couple of steps, then regained his balance and stood, legs parted, glaring at the singer.
      The screams rattled the windows of the buildings next door, and Benten placed his hands on his hips...
      Hasegawa drooled. Red fishnet stockings, black thigh-length stiletto-heeled boots, the tiniest black leather thong he'd ever seen, a skimpy black leather basque laced up the front, silver-studded black leather wristbands and matching collar...
      Security moved in quickly as the fans at the front tried to climb onto the stage. Sengoku flashed the albino a quick smirk and reached for his guitar - then slapped Benten's backside as the albino reached for his bass, leaving a bright pink handprint on the tight white little buttock. Glaring at Sengoku - oh, there'd be hell to pay for that later! - the albino slung the strap over his shoulder as Goggles started the slow, complex beat that underscored the penultimate number of the night, an unashamedly sleazy instrumental piece that had hands reaching for groins throughout the auditorium as Benten stalked around Sengoku, the high heels giving his arse a thoroughly seductive sway.
      Hasegawa grabbed for Okyo's head, hands fisted in her hair...
      The song came to an end with a lustful groan from the audience, following by wild cheering and another rain of underwear. Benten grinned, unslung his bass and bowed, to freeze as Sengoku grabbed his hair. A breathless hush settled over the auditorium. The singer was waving a long, very bright, very sharp knife in the air...
      ... which he used to slice through the laces of the basque...
      As the leather fell to the floor, the cheering started again, louder than ever. Chains of brilliantly sparkling gemstones hung from the rings through the albino's nipples, twinkling in the light as Benten reached for his bass again, for the last song of the night, Midnight.
      Okyo sat back up and reached for a beer to rinse her mouth, then gazed at the stage, grinning. Hasegawa just stared.
      "When did he have that done?"
      "Couple of days ago." She chuckled. "Masochist, he must be, that must hurt like hell. They won't have healed yet."
      And she should know, thought the manager to himself, glancing at his PA as she struggled back into her tiny crop top.
      "Uh, hope he's careful. Going to be a bit painful if he gets the jewellery caught in the guitar strings."
      Hasegawa winced...

The crowd were chanting before the number was even finished, hands waving an assortment of things - dildoes, underwear, figures of band members, various body parts - in the air.
      "CRIME-wave! CRIME-wave! CRIME-wave!"
      Sengoku grinned.
      "OK - then that'll be your lot."
      A loud groan went through the audience - but no-one dared actually object. Everyone had heard the tale of the time several obnoxiously vocal audience members had started heckling after Sengoku had announced only one more number: Benten had treated them to a stunningly vituperative stream of insults and stalked off the stage, effectively stopping the gig. Sengoku and Goggles had shrugged and followed him: the fans had turned on those who'd caused the furore and kicked the shit out of them...
      If one was wise, one didn't upset Benten.
      They poured heart and soul into the number, making it last twice as long as normal, and by the end were all exhausted and dripping with sweat. To the sounds of cheers and applause and stamping feet they took their bows and made their way off the stage. It wasn't lost on anyone watching that Sengoku grabbed his coat from the floor and wrapped it around the albino's naked shoulders as they did so...

Goggles groaned as they slipped through the stage exit. The gig may have finished but they still had to run the gauntlet of the Lemon Tarts...

As Crime Wave was finishing, the Lemon Tarts were making their way quietly and inconspicuously backstage. Security recognised most of the select few and let them through - even the new girl. Thus there were six women waiting for them as they trooped offstage. Uh, make that five women and one boi.
      But right now security was holding them out of the way, so the weary performers could at least get to their dressing room before being jumped, for which they'd be properly grateful later on...
      Goggles grinned.
      "Heh, Sarah's here - and that little cutie with the long blonde hair mus' be her friend. Well, that's me set up fer the night..."
      Benten eyed him speculatively.
      "Two of them?"
      The drummer smirked.
      "More than enough of me to go 'round!"
      "Fuckin' right!" Sengoku punched Goggles' shoulder, shaking his hand as inconspicuously as possible as he nearly broke his fingers. What did the man eat, anyway, granite? Goggles chuckled.
      "You two look like you'll be OK."
      Sengoku grinned and stretched.
      "Yeah... I can just lie back and let 'em serve me..."
      Benten scowled from his place before the mirror, where he was struggling to unhook the gemstone chains from the nipple rings before they caused any more damage, cursing when his nails got in the way.
      "You are such a chauvinist."
      "Why thank you!"
      "It wasn't a compliment... fuck it..."
      "Oooh, you said a bad word! What's the matter, honey-blossom?"
      Gritting his teeth, Benten glared at the singer.
      "I can't get the damned things undone..."
      Sengoku sighed, shoved his feet off the table and stood, moving to sit on the table in front of the mirror, hands reaching for Benten's nipples.
      "Hold still..."
      A couple of minutes later, the gemstone chains lying back in their box, Sengoku rubbed his thumbs gently over the swollen, abused nubs of flesh and grinned at the albino.
      "There y'go. Looks sore though. Then again, if you will mutilate yourself..."
      "Thank you - mother..."
      Sengoku shook his head sadly, still stroking soothingly.
      "Now that attitude isn't going to win you any friends."
      Benten smirked, bringing his face very close to the singers' and purring,
      "Oh, I don't know... I've never had any complaints. Unlike you..."
      Sengoku scowled, pinching the nipples under his hands hard. Benten yelped and pulled back, hands gingerly covering his pectorals.
      The singer smiled and tapped the albino's lips with a finger.
      "Ah-ah... You're the refined one, remember?"
      Goggles growled and shoved a hand between the pair.
      "Enough already! I wanna get laid!"
      Hissing to himself, Benten pulled a loose vest over his head and slid into a pair of tight shorts, leaving on the thong, boots and stockings. Most of his fans seemed to get some sort of a kick out of peeling him out of his clothes...

Goggles stretched out happily, Sarah on his right, Sayuri on his left, both women asleep and cuddled into his big, warm body.
      That had been very nice, very nice indeed. Sayuri was an inventive little minx, and Sarah as willing and affectionate as ever...
      He sighed and idly wondered how the others were getting on...

Sengoku sat under the bedcovers, knees pulled up to his chest, arms wrapped around his legs, gaze switching glumly from Helena to Shoko and back where the women faced each other across the table.
      "I've known him longer!"
      "But I know him more... intimately!"
      "Oh suuuuure! You just work with him!"
      "And I trained with him! I got a prior claim!!"
      "Like that counts for anything!"
      "It does where I come from."
      "Yeah, out in the sticks! Which turnip truck did you fall off?"
      "Oh sure, resort to cheap insults why don't you? Last refuge of the desperate..."
      Sengoku sighed and lay down. It really didn't look like he was going to get anything - laid, sleep, rest or even a goodnight kiss - tonight...

Jade had waited 'til they reached the rear lobby, then sprung forwards, wrapping his arms around Benten's neck and kissing him passionately.
      "Oh, Benten... I've missed you soooo much..." he crooned - squawking in a most undignified manner as the woman behind him grabbed his hair and yanked.
      "Oh no you don't. He's mine..."
      Benten's blood ran cold as he recognised the voice of his long-time stalker. Carrie. Oh hell. Where was security when you needed them?
      Carrie cupped his cheek in her hand, smiling unpleasantly.
      "Now this is hardly fair, is it, Benten my love. I mean, I'm faithful. Why can't you be? Perhaps I ought to teach you a lesson..."
      She pulled a sai from somewhere on her skimpy excuse for clothing, and pressed it to his neck. He froze momentarily, but before he could do anything the sai went flying and Jade had slapped the stalker away from the albino.
      "Fuckin' bitch! He's mine, you hear? You can't have him."
      Benten watched, breathless, as Carrie snarled and pulled a gun from another hidden recess somewhere in her skintight outfit - then sighed with relief as security finally turned up, grabbing Carrie and wrestling her to the ground. Then doing the same to Jade.
      "What...? No, I'm a friend! I helped! Benten, tell them!"
      "Or you could leave him to their tender care and accompany me tonight." The voice was a deep, warm, erotic purr in his ear. Startled, he glanced over his shoulder into a pair of topaz eyes in a strong pale face.
      She smiled.
      He eyed her warily. A primal figure, from the green-tipped mohican-punk hair through the tribal tattoo encircling her neck to the ripped clothes. The metal through her skin. The sheer intensity of her appraising gaze.
      Different, very different. Very attractive. He smiled.
      "Perhaps you would prefer to accompany me... ?"

Hasegawa settled back in the bed, smiling happily, Okyo buried under the duvet at his groin level, tongue, lips and various bits of metal working very nicely together, thank you...
      It had been a tiring but satisfying day. The boys had clocked up yet another incredibly successful gig. They'd managed to outrage several previously uninterested sections of the community - without bloodshed - and several of the more conservative groups were screaming for them to be banned/imprisoned/extradited (this last amused him. Extradited to where, exactly?). The media were speculating even more frantically about whether Sengoku and Benten were a couple, and if so, were they gay or bi or was one of them - bets were on Benten - actually a genetically enhanced female. Also which of them was seme. And what private kinks they had.
      The manager sighed happily - then scowled as his eyes settled on a review.
      "J-pop girl band Aisu-Kurimu's first foray into moviedom an overnight success!"
      He gritted his teeth. Aisu-Kurimu were managed by one Gina Cullen. Who used to occupy Okyo's position, until she got ideas above her station. He growled and read on.
      "Fans camped overnight to buy tickets for the premiere showing of Aisu-Kurimu Against the Aliens, and in its first week the film grossed in excess of..."
      His eyes bulged. The figure was more than the band's entire income over the last year.
      "Reviewers have slammed the movie as tooth-rottingly sweet, saccharine, 'cute' and without any artistic merit. Which isn't likely to prevent the proposed sequel being every bit as successful as the original film. A return to the old Godzilla days? Maybe. But in an increasingly sophisticated world, sometimes it's good to see the old values respected... Go see it. You'll come away feeling great!"
      Well, that was his mood well and truly fucked for the night...

© 2004 July 19th Joules Taylor

Originally posted on the CCO808 LJ.

There is a sequel, but because of its adult content it's in the password protected Zone.

Criminal Intent, (c) Marie Bird

Criminal Intent, © Marie Bird 2004

Story partly inspired by an old picture of Marie's and partly by This is Spinal Tap ...

© 2002-2005 WordWrights

Lost Johnny - Hawkwind, Hall of the Mountain Grill