Townes Van Zandt - “No Place to Fall” (Live at The Old Quarter, Houston, TX)
A great live version of this Townes track, Stu and I have spent many a whiskey hazed night crying inside together to this one and others from the king of despondency.
Recently, I’ve been displaced and sort of vagabonding again. There is a clear end to this current displacement, but those old memories come back so quickly. This song fills my head many days.
For several years, Townes Van Zandt has been one of the artists that some of my closest bro-friends and I have listened to together when times were too hard for talking (Gram Parsons being the other artist). Gallagher, Derek, and Stu have shared those moments with me where we just poured the whiskey and listened to songs like “No Place to Fall,” letting Townes do the speaking, the weeping, the feeling for us.
So, as of late, I’ve had to ask for a place to crash, and I can’t help but hear myself singing, "Well, if I had no place to fall and I needed to, could I count on you to lay me down?“
And when Townes sings, "I ain’t much of a lover it’s true. I’m here then I’m gone, and I’m forever blue,” something inside me tugs.
Sometimes I feel so completely lost. I feel like no one could possibly understand. But then I listen to Townes, and I know he does. "Oh time, she’s a fast old train. She’s here then she’s gone, but she won’t come again.“
Ginoza stared at her, and for a moment his eyes hardened into cold angles - a reflex born of a lifetime of putting up defenses. He took a deep breath and carefully moderated his voice. “May I ask why it was denied, Inspector?”
“SHINYA!!” Akane had just regained her voice the moment her restraints were released and she saw Kogami hit the floor. Apparently Togayama had planned for her to scream in agony as her back was being broken to make the enforcer feel helpless.
Division One, lead by Ginoza, came busting in the room the moment they heard gunfire. Akane had not noticed, and stayed staring down at Kogami’s still body.
“What in the hell?” Masaoka said when he walked in.
“You’re a little too late for the party.” A middle-aged man’s voice boomed from the top of the balcony of the stage. He had a gun in his hand.
“Drop your weapon!” Ginoza ordered, pointing his dominator at him.
“Crime coefficient: 32. No enforcement action is necessary. Trigger will remain locked.”
“What?” Kagari gasped.
The man laughed. “My son and I were fortunate enough to gain help from a friend of ours to show us how to have a clear psycho pass.”
“How is that possible?” Kagari asked. “He just shot Ko, didn’t he?”
“Old man, how is he?” Ginoza asked over his shoulder to Masaoka who was checking to see if Kogami was still breathing.
“He’s losing blood, but he’s not going down yet.” Masaoka said. “I’ll make sure of it.”
“Kagari, help Masaoka get him outside to the ambulance.”
“What? I can’t leave you guys here.”
Kagari and Masaoka quickly grabbed hold of Kogami and left the building.
“You know he’s going to die.” The man had ascended from the stairs down to center stage.
“You don’t know Ko. He has too much to live for to die that easily.” Ginoza snapped. “But enough of that. What game are you trying to play here, Genji?”
“Oh, this isn’t a game.” The old man said, glaring down at Ginoza. “My son and I just wanted revenge on all of the ones involved with that case 9 years ago. Kogami Shinya was an inspector that was assigned to help find my daughter. They all failed! Every last one of those people were brutally murdered for no reason!”
“So what does murdering an inspector accomplish? They’d all still be dead.”
“That may be true, but at least we would be getting rid of the obsolete people that couldn’t carry out justice for my Rikko.”
“Justice was carried out!” Ginoza shouted. “The head of the institution was executed along with those who willingly took part in the research! What more do you want?”
“For my daughter to be alive!” The man boomed, pointing the gun at Ginoza. “It isn’t fair that the one responsible for allowing my child’s information to be leaked to her killers is allowed to have the family we couldn’t have. Now, he’s even killed my son!”
The man’s voice began to crack, his emotions were starting to rage.
“Even if he makes it out of this alive, I’ll hunt him down, and I’ll kill him! Kamui didn’t give me this clear psycho pass for me to run away!” He began laughing manically and pointed his revolver at Ginoza. “Look, I can even kill you, and it will remain as clear as an innocen-”
A gun fired a bullet through Uryu Genji’s neck. His body fell to the floor of the stage, lifeless and bleeding.
Ginoza looked in the direction the shot had sounded from, surprised to see Akane standing there with the gun still aimed in the direction she had fired it. Her legs were shaking and her breathing was rapid, but her aim had been perfect.
She dropped Kogami’s gun to the ground and fell to her knees. She began sobbing. Everything had hit her at once.
She had just killed a man, and she just knew that her psycho pass took a toll because of it. Worst of all… Kogami was…
“Crime coefficient: 98. No enforcement is required.”
“You just shot and killed a man, and your psycho pass still manages to be under 100. Amazing.”
Ginoza sighed and put his Dominator away as he approached his partner.
“Come on, Tsunemori, let’s get out of here.”
Akane wiped her eyes and looked up at the man standing before her.
“Inspector Ginoza, I’m so sorry.” She hiccuped. “It’s all my fault. I read a case file with out permission, and now Kogami is-”
“Did you not hear Masaoka earlier? He was still breathing when he and Kagari got him out of here.”
“What?” She sniffed.
“He could still be alive.” Ginoza spoke evenly to Akane. “But we won’t know that until we leave.”
Akane slowly nodded and let her partner help her up. He put his jacket around her and they both left the building.
“Shinya~” Akane sang, kissing his lips as he woke up.
“Huh?” He asked, slowly gaining consciousness.
“Wake up.” Akane said, kissing him again.
“Someone is being a little feisty this morning.” He chuckled when their lips parted.
“I can’t help it.” She said, moving her lips to his jawline and working her way down to his neck and chest. “It’s so lonely watching you sleep.”
“Heh.” He smirked, letting her dominate him while he woke up. She never really got this way, but he liked it.
He let his gaze wonder around the room while she continued to rouse his body awake. He realized that this was the same bedroom he had seen in his dream from before.
Did that mean that this was a dream, too?
“What’s wrong?” Akane asked, looking up at him.
“Nothing.” He said, brushing her cheek and giving her a small smile.
“Okay then.” She smiled back and gave him a kiss on his lips one more time before getting out of bed.
“Hey, that’s not fair.” Kogami said, sitting up. “You wake me up like that and now you’re leaving?”
“Sorry.” She said, smiling over her shoulder. “I have work today.”
In this world, he was a best selling author who stayed at home with their two kids. She was the detective in their family.
He sighed and laid back down.
What was the last thing he remembered? He tried hard to dig up the memories.
Kunizuka woke him up and said that Ginoza’s team needed back up. He had handed Ayaka off to Shion and hurried to the Satori building.
An image of Akane on the crucifix flashed in his mind, causing him to bolt back up.
Togayama was going to kill her!
He had to find a way to wake up. He had to get her out of there.
“You know,” Akane said, appearing in the doorway of their bathroom in just a towel. “The kids won’t be up for another couple of hours.”
Kogami swallowed hard, seeing the look she was giving him.
“Come join me.” She said, letting the towel drop to the floor as she walked back in to the bathroom.
Kogami felt conflicted. He knew that the real Akane was in trouble, but his mind lusted after dream Akane.
He shook his head and started following after her, shedding his sweat pants in the process.
He woke up when the dream completed last time, so most likely, it would happen again.
The bathroom was steamy from the hot water. He could see Akane’s silhouette through the glass door of the shower. He put his hand on the door, opened it and walked in.
When he walked through the door, the room changed in to their office at the PSB and he was wearing his suit.
“Hey there, Ko.” A masculine voice greeted.
“Sasayama?” Kogami was staring at his former subordinate who was sitting at his old desk. “Now I know I am dreaming for sure.”
“Heh. Well of course you are. I’m dead, aren’t I?”
“Yeah.” Kogami said with a frown.
“So, why dream of me? Don’t you have a babe or a living friend or two to talk to?”
“You got me there. I was just about to enjoy myself before you got here.” Kogami said, sitting at a desk and propping his feet up.
“Don’t blame me.” Sasayama said. “It’s your head. You could be avoiding something subconsciously.”
“I don’t know.” Kogami shrugged. “I’m not a doctor. I don’t know anything about psychology. Not really fond of it, to be honest.”
“Well, the fact that I’m here could mean that something is reminding you of that night.”
“When you found me.”
“Oh…” Kogami looked down, remembering the lifeless body of his old friend.
“She’s in danger, right?” Sasayama asked.
“I think so… I just can’t remember what it was that I was doing before I passed out.” He answered, putting his hand to his forehead and pushed for himself to remember.
All he could remember was a loud pop, and then complete silence.
“So, if you can’t remember, let’s just talk like we used to.” Sasayama said as the room shifted around to Kogami’s living quarters. His old living quarters.
Two glasses of scotch were in front of them and Kogami now had a cigarette lit between his fingers. He took a drag off of it, then looked seriously at his old friend.
“I’m a father now.”
“Oh?” Sasayama raised his eyebrow. “Who’s the lucky gal?”
“An inspector. You’d like her.”
“Of course I would.” Sasayama smirked. “She’s gotta be a pretty tough babe to keep you in line. Just look at your face. You love her, don’t ‘cha?”
Kogami avoided his eyes. He did love Akane. That’s precisely why he needed to wake up so he could tell her.
“So… Why haven’t you told her how you feel?”
“You know how it is living life as an enforcer.” Kogami said, taking another drag off of the cigarette in his hand. “Sibyl counts you as a criminal, and your right to marry is taken away.”
He looked down, thinking about the naivety he had shown in his actions after Sasayama was killed. Had he known Akane before then… Maybe he would still be an inspector.
“Akane still has the freedom to marry anyone but me. Sibyl’s match for her is out there somewhere. I’m nothing but a dog that couldn’t control himself properly.”
“What if you were her 100% match? That means that she has to settle for someone less than the perfect one.” Sasayama said, taking a drink.
“You’re just echoing the things I have thought.” Kogami glared.
“Well, I am a part of your mind.”
“Then how in the hell is this supposed to help me?”
“Ko, listen.” Sasayama said, putting his glass down and crossing his arms. “You need to stop cowering behind your job.”
“I’m not cowering!”
“You just referred to yourself as a dog concerning the mother of your child. It’s obvious that you love her, so why can’t you see that just because you are an enforcer now, doesn’t make you less of a human being?”
“I’m no good for her.” Kogami avoided Sasayama’s harsh gaze. “I’m a cold blooded killer.”
When those words left his lips, the memory of a bullet hitting Togayama flashed through his mind.
“Not to her.” Sasayama said, evenly.
Those words caused another trigger in Kogami’s mind. He heard Akane scream his name, and he felt a burning in his side.
He looked down and saw blood pouring from a hole in his body.
“What in the hell?”
“Ko. You need to face the facts head on. You’ve never been one to hide from your problems. Now grow a pair and show your woman just what you feel deep down.” Sasayama said as Kogami’s vision became tunneled.
Kogami’s eyes slowly opened to a white ceiling, and he heard the beeping of a heart monitor. He knew that he was awake for real this time.
He turned his head to the right, and saw the best sight he could ever hope to see.
Akane was sleeping in a bed next to his with Ayaka curled against her chest. He reached out to touch her, but his IV kept him from going very far.
“Akane.” He whispered. “Hey, Akane.”
She stirred slightly. Her body repositioned itself, automatically conscious of the baby it was holding, but she had remained sleeping.
Kogami gave up and decided to just remain content with watching her sleep. He was glad that she was finally back were she needed to be: at his side.
A few weeks later, Kogami and Akane had both returned to work. They had been interviewed separately on the kidnapping and what Togayama and his father had said.
Division Two was now working with them to figure out who this Kamui person was and how he was able to keep other people’s psycho passes clear.
When they were done giving their statements, it was still quite a while until their shift started. Since Akane’s parents had offered to keep Ayaka while they worked, they had time to be alone and just enjoy the presence of one another in his living quarters.
It was their first time being completely alone after everything had happened.
“You don’t have to talk about it yet, if you don’t want to.” He interrupted her as he brushed her cheek.
Akane blushed. He had been doing these little affectionate gestures more and more lately. He usually only did stuff like that after they had slept together.
“No, some things happened, and I’ve been thinking.”
“Oh no.” He smirked, being a smart ass.
“Shut up, I’m being serious.” She said with a pout.
“They scanned my mind when they took me, and they found out everything about me.” Akane began. “They knew my height, my blood type, and even that I had given birth to a little girl. But there was one thing that the scanner was not clear on, and I know that it’s because deep down, I’m not sure how you feel, myself.”
She looked at him seriously. “Shinya… What are we?”
Kogami sighed and ran his fingers through his hair. To be honest, after the dream he had in the hospital, he had been thinking about the same question. He started to open his mouth to say something, but she interrupted him before he could speak.
“And don’t give me this ‘I’m an enforcer under you, so I do as you command’ BS! I’ve had enough of that, and I need to know how YOU feel. Not your position in the PSB. What does Kogami Shinya feel?”
Kogami looked at Akane for a few moments, then he leaned in and kissed her in a soft and tender way that she had never felt before.
When he pulled back, he gave her a small but genuine smile. “Akane, I love you so much.”
Akane’s heart thumped in her chest. She wasn’t expecting anything like this from him.
“I don’t think I realized that until you were taken away from me.” He said, looking away from her eyes.
Akane reached up and kissed him with the same gentleness he had given her.
“I love you too.” She smiled. “I’m so sorry I ignored your warnings about the case. I was being careless.”
“I don’t want to talk about it right now.” Kogami said in a serious tone. “Akane, I need to know something.”
“Have you… Met your match?”
“My match?” Akane blushed, knowing very well what he meant.
“Your 100%. Have you met him yet?”
Akane looked down.
“You have?” Kogami’s heart sank in to his stomach, but he refused to show it.
“A couple of years ago, Yuki and I dared each other to look up our matches that Sibyl had for us.”
“Yuki didn’t have the guts to follow through with it.” Akane smiled, thinking of the look her friend had when she had seen her match’s info.
“What about you?”
“Well, when I looked up my matches, I only had 3 instead of the 4 that Sibyl usually provides.” Akane answered. “My highest match was a 50% match, and he was nothing that I could ever see myself with. I didn’t bother trying to meet him.”
“I see.” He said, trying to hold back a smile. “But you can see yourself with me, even though we could never get married?”
“You’re the father of my daughter.” Akane said, running her hand through his hair. “I don’t care if Sibyl acknowledges how we feel or not. The System can never erase Ayaka’s existence. When I see her, I see you, and I’m reminded that we are a family.”
Kogami started laughing.
“What?” Akane asked, feeling like he was making fun of her. “I’m serious!”
Kogami pulled Akane in to a tight embrace.
“You managed to do what I have thought was impossible since I became an enforcer, Akane. You’ve domesticated a hunting dog of the MWPSB.”
(A/N: THE END.
My God, that was harder than what I wanted it to be. I’m so freaking insecure about this fic. Thanks to those who stayed with me this last week that I’ve written it!)