|Me & Mrs Jones
Author: BlueGreenApples PM
AU. KibaIno. Me and Mrs. Jones, we've got a thing goin on. We both know that it's wrong, but it's much too strong to let it go now.Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Kiba I. & Ino Y. - Words: 6,805 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 15 - Follows: 20 - Published: 07-15-08 - id: 4398212
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Me & Mrs. Jones
"Are you even listening to me, Inuzuka?" A red faced sergeant bellowed, bracing his bulky frame onto the lip of his desk and towering over the figure seated across from him.
The man in the chair seemed largely unaffected, and continued absently picking at his teeth. He glanced at the increasingly murderous face of his commanding officer and decided he should probably say something. Grimacing slightly, he worked his pinkey finger into his ear and responded, "How could I not?"
The pudgy countenance of the sergeant blanked for a moment before his eyebrows snapped down and he hollered, "That. Is. IT! Your father's influence has run dry! I'm demoting you, Inuzuka! You've acted like you run this precinct for TOO long! I--"
A firm knock sounded at the door. The angry sergeant swiped a hand over his ruddy face and flicked his other hand toward the door.
Slinking down a bit in his seat and craning his neck over the the back of the chair, Kiba stared at the inverted shape of the door for a moment. Looking forward once more he stared questioningly at the sergeant for a moment, as if to ask, 'Are you gonna get that?'
His commanding officer stared at the young man before him in disbelief before he sputtered and choked out, "Get the door, boy!" He glared and muttered loudly to himself, "It's like he's simple or something! Have to spell everything out! Ridiculous!"
Smiling slightly to himself, Kiba stood and sauntered to the door. He paused a moment to part the venetian blinds that covered the window near the top with two fingers, and wave cheekily at the man outside.
"Inuzuka! Open the damned door!"
Grinning and letting the blinds snap back into place, he swung the door wide and greeted the visitor, "Lieutenant Nara! It's so nice to see you!"
Lieutenant Nara raised his eyebrows at the obnoxiously sweet tone of his friend's usually gruff voice. At length, he replied, "The pleasure is mine, I suppose."
The lieutenant's dark, intelligent eyes swept over the scene before him. A cocky Kiba, a flustered sergeant and enough tension filling the room that it was nearly tangible. Detective Inuzuka must have done something rash...again. After considering a few courses of action, Shikamaru settled on the simplest one.
Turning to the rapidly deflating man behind the desk, he asked plainly, "What has the detective done, Sergeant...," he glanced at the tarnished nameplate on the desk, "Hiko, to earn this verbal demerit?"
The sergeant's watery eyes lit up at the prospect of finally getting a higher officer to see just how disrespectful and maverick the young detective was; Inuzuka's media-darling status couldn't save him now! Clearing his throat, Hiko reseated himself and asked calmly, "Would you like a seat, Lieutenant?"
Muttering slightly under his breath, Shikamaru nodded and took a seat. What had begun as a simple assignment run was quickly becoming troublesome.
Detective Kiba snorted loudly at the pseudo-collected facade the sergeant had assumed and plopped down beside the lieutenant.
Exhaling forcibly through his nose and pointedly refusing to look at the detective, Hiko began. "The young detective saw fit to take action into his own hands, again, and pursue a suspect on foot sans backup. This is an outright breach of conduct and cannot be taken lightly. It is my firm opinion that this, compounded with his past offences are grounds for a demotion--"
"Bullshit!," Kiba's cocky and unaffected air was gone. The detective sprung up from his seat, "I was in pursuit! If I hadn't followed, the suspect would've gotten away! And I had Akamaru for backup!"
Sergeant Hiko laughed mockingly, "That mutt?" Ignoring Kiba's angry growls, he looked to Lieutenant Nara, who was coaxing Kiba back into his seat. "You see what I put up with around here? This AWOL detective does as he pleases and considers his pet backup! What can I do, though? The press loves it! Makes him out to be a hero with the mutt for his trusty sidekick, it's madness! But I've had enough! I want him demoted! I--"
Raising a hand to placate the raging sergeant and still the agitated detective sitting nearby, Shikamaru spoke. "It seems that I have a solution that will benefit everyone in this situation." He raised a file that had been sitting in his lap, and continued, "This is a high profile case. Yamanaka Ino, daughter of Senator Yamanaka, is coming home. Her father is a family friend of both myself and the Chief and has requested a bodyguard to be assigned to the girl. I believe that Detective Kiba is the man for the job."
Sergeant Hiko huffed, "Surely there are better choices! What about the youngest Uchiha? If Yamanaka is a family friend, wouldn't he be the wisest choice?"
Shikamaru rubbed his temple discreetly and replied, "Uchiha Sasuke is currently indisposed. Although, his personal acquaintance with the client would have ruled him out even if he had been available. " Before the sergeant could interrupt again, Shikamaru closed the deal. "However, your concern as to Detective Inuzuka's rank will be addressed."
Glancing to a nervous-looking Kiba then to a positively gleeful Hiko, the lieutenant couldn't help but smile. "After all, if the detective does well with this assignment, he'll most likely be looking at a promotion."
The sergeant was completely speechless. Before he could recover, Shikamaru stood and motioned for Kiba to do so as well. "I hope you don't mind, Sergeant Hiko, but I need to debrief the detective as soon as possible. Thank you for your time and concern, both have been duly noted." Smiling lopsidedly, the lieutenant bowed his head slightly toward the silent man and led Kiba from the room.
Boldness returned, Kiba followed his friend's lackadaisical stride with one of his own but couldn't resist one last barb for his former boss. Just before the pair cleared the office door, he turned to Shikamaru and asked airily, "So, how's Temari doing?" Snapping the door shut behind him, he paused and counted backward from five. At one, he smiled at the exasperated look on his friend's face and pointed expectantly at the door.
The sergeant's angry bellow echoed clearly from the office. "JUST YOU WAIT INUZUKA! YOUR FRIENDS WON'T ALWAYS BE ABLE TO BAIL YOU OUT! YOU-YOU...LOOSE CANNON!"
Laughing heartily, Kiba grinned and thrust his arm out down the hall. "Lead the way, Shika." Shaking his head and murmuring to himself, the lieutenant resumed walking.
With a sharp whistle, Kiba called, "Come on, Akamaru! We're outta here!" A large brown and white dog bounded up to the detective, barking happily and following the pair of humans.
Sitting petulantly in what had to be the most uncomfortable chair in the entire precinct, Kiba frowned at the selection of donuts in front of him. From beneath his chair came a low whine. The detective chuckled a little, "I know boy, I'm hungry too. Someone ate all the good ones, all that's left is the squishy jelly-filled stuff." Wrinkling his nose, he sat back and squinted into the halogen bulb overhead.
Suddenly, the door opposite him opened, revealing a tall, regal looking blond man in a suit followed by Lieutenant Nara. Kiba could just catch the end of their conversation, "...had to be done in the interrogation rooms, sir. To avoid any non-essential personal asking questions, we hope it's not a problem."
The tall man let out a booming laugh and clasped the other man on the shoulder, "Of course not, Shika my boy! No problem at all! I only regret that you can't be the one to look after my princess, but I understand, I understand."
The tall man turned and entered the room after releasing his grip on Shikamaru. Springing to his feet, Kiba did his best to straighten his wrinkled band tee and destroyed jeans, but the chase earlier that day had taken their toll. Deeming that a lost cost, he stood up straight and nudged a dosing Akamaru with his foot. When he received no response from the dog, he tried a little more forcefully, this time waking him up. Raising his head from his paws, Akamaru glanced around drowsily for a moment before noticing the client at the door and jumping to a presentable sitting position.
"Ah, this must be Detective Inuzuka. I'm Yamanaka Inoichi, it's excellent to finally meet the hero I see so often in the news!"
Smiling a little nervously at the enthusiasm the man seemed to exude, Kiba laughed and mumbled, "I'm flattered that you've heard of me, Senator. Just trying to do my job."
The Senator's blinding smile widened and he exclaimed, "And modest, too! Please, call me Inoichi."
Kiba's eyes widened and he replied, "Thank you, sir. Feel free to call me Kiba."
Nodding, Inoichi's gaze landed on the dog sitting obediently at the detective's side. "This must be the canine companion that I've also heard about." Crouching down, he patted the dog's head.
Kiba smiled at Akamaru's antics as his tail thumped happily and his tongue lolled out. "Yeah, his name's Akamaru, I like to consider him my partner."
"Akamaru it is." Inoichi gave the dog one last good rub behind his ears as he straightened himself. Clasping his hands together, a sudden, innate air of command filled his proud stature. Still smiling kindly, he looked back to Kiba, "Well, down to business. Let's have a seat."
Once both Kiba and Senator Inoichi had settled in, Shikamaru stepped into the room and shut the door behind him. Making his way to the free chair next to Yamanaka and across from Kiba, he explained, "Sorry to hold things up. I had to do a little misdirecting to keep things confidential. I assume you've exchanged introductions?" At their nods, he continued, "Good, good. We're ready to talk business then."
Dropping a thin file onto the tabletop, Shikamaru seated himself. Rummaging through the contents of the file, he slid a five by seven picture to Kiba. "This is Yamanaka Ino."
Picking up the print, Kiba inspected it carefully. A twenty-something blonde girl with bright blue eyes was smiling happily at the camera, arms thrown wide as if asking for a hug from the person taking the picture. Kiba looked to Inoichi and noted, "She's a pretty girl."
Taking the picture, the Senator smiled down at it. "Thank you. She's my only child, and we're very close." After passing the print back to Shikamaru and watching him tuck it back into the folder, he continued, "Which is why I called in a personal favor with the Chief of Police to get someone to serve as her bodyguard while she's visiting. My office has received a few threats of violence, which of itself is not too unheard of, but last week one arrived detailing the layout of the apartment Ino rents when she's in the city. It...went to great lengths to explain just what they would do when and if they got to her."
Sensing the man's anger and worry, Shikamaru took over. "But we're not about to let that happen. Which is why I recommended you. I know that you and Akamaru can handle this case. My team will be working on tracing the threat back to its source while you escort Ino and look after her personal safety."
Kiba nodded and looked earnestly at Inoichi. "I'll do everything in my power to make sure no harm comes to your daughter, Senator. You have my word."
Inoichi smiled wanly, "From a man like you, Detective Inuzuka, that means a lot to me. Thank you." Glancing to Shikamaru, the senator stood and said, "Well, gentlemen, it's been wonderful talking to you, but I really must get back to my office. Thank you both again for your time."
Kiba and Shikamaru stood, shook hands with him and watched him walk to the door before resuming their debriefing. Once they had returned to their places, Shikamaru shared the threatening letters with Kiba. A sick feeling filled his stomach as he read the uneven, sloppy printing of the notes. They were painstakingly thorough and disgustingly graphic. As if sensing his repulsion, Akamaru started to growl softly.
Rubbing his ear placatingly, Kiba quieted him. "Easy boy. We'll get this sicko."
Seemingly reassured, Akamaru settled back down to sleep beneath Kiba's chair. After looking carefully at each piece of evidence, the Detective reluctantly muttered, "Whoever it is, he's damn thorough." A crooked grin settled over his features, "But I've said that before just for the brainiacs down in the basement to crack the whole thing wide open with a glance."
Shikamaru sighed heavily and smoothed his dark hair back to where it gathered at his nape. "Exactly, but with the holiday coming up I'm swapped and understaffed. I've got as many as I can spare in the Lab on it right now, but..."
Grunting knowingly, Kiba finished his sentiment. "It's gonna take a while." At the lieutenant's tired murmur of agreement, he dropped the notes back into their rightful file. "So, a week? Two weeks? What am I looking at here?"
He could imagine the look on his face when Shikamaru answered. "Closer to three, if not more. I just don't have the manpower to burn through these," he gestured at the stack of threats, "and with you looking after her, Inoichi will be pacified for the time being." Removing his glasses and rubbing his eyes tiredly, he concluded, "I'm sorry Kiba. I know you had vacation time coming up, but this should be a fairly easy assignment. The threats, while rather graphic, are most likely just that: threats. I've looked through the recent councils and legislation that the senator has been involved in and nothing stood out. That cuts the probability of a hired professional being involved drastically. It's probably just some depraved lunatic vying for attention."
Kiba snorted and flopped back in his chair. "Yeah, the usual." Noticing the dark, heavy bags under his superior's eyes, the young detective decided not to hassle him. The job was looking easier and easier the longer he thought about it and the possible promotion was too good to pass up. Instead he drummed his hands on the table and decided to get some specifics. "When do I start?"
"Tomorrow. I'm having a squad car escort her to her apartment and arranged for you two to meet around ten o'clock that afternoon. You're expected to contact me or my office to let me know how things go." Subtly pleased by Kiba's acceptance of the case, the lieutenant slid a document across the table to the detective. "Here are the basics you'll need. The address is at the top and a few things about Ino and her history. Standard information: description, common acquaintances, the usual."
The younger officer scooped up the debriefing and gave it a cursory glance. "I'll look it over tonight, then." With that, Kiba stood, Akamaru bounding up as well. Glancing sideways at Shikamaru as he made to leave, he asked, "Got a minute for a break? You look like you could use a smoke."
The dark haired man just smiled tiredly and replied, "Can't. Temari's convinced me to quit."
Eyebrows nearly touching his messy hairline, the Detective stared in disbelief. "Damn. Alright then, get some rest then, Lieutenant. I'll talk to you tomorrow." Shaking his head in mock disappointment, he ducked out into the hall where he commented to his canine companion, "Whipped if I've ever seen it." Akamaru simply cocked his head while his master laughed. Once they reached the street outside the precinct, Kiba stretched and declared, "I'm starving. Let's get some grub, boy." With that, the detective turned and strode off into the dusky streets of the city, Akamaru at his heels. He had some serious reading to do and he'd hate to do it on an empty stomach.
Some time later, Kiba was sprawled on his ancient leather couch, wolfing down his dinner. Akamaru was lounging nearby, his shaggy head dipped into his food bowl between baleful glances at his master's meal. The detective looked up from his work to take another bite of his burger. When he noticed the canine's longing look, he quipped, "This," he brandished the thick hamburger, laden with bacon and cheese, "isn't good for you." Visibly weakening at his partner's low whine, he tried to reason. "I buy you the expensive lamb formula kibble and you still beg. Mooch." Sighing and picking a medium-sized piece of bacon from beneath the bun, he tossed it to the ecstatic pooch. As Akamaru munched away at his treat, Kiba snorted amusedly and looked back to the thick packet on the coffee table between his knees.
The dates, names and time lines were beginning to run together. Scowling and flipping the page, he cursed when he saw that the grease on his thumb had left an oily stain on the paper. He continued to growl fruitlessly to himself as he scrubbed his hand on his jeans. "Maybe this stuff isn't so good for me either, huh boy?" A soft woof was his answer. Nodding, as if in understanding, the young detective set himself back to his task. Dark eyes skimmed the bland, factual pieces of information dutifully for an hour or so until the folio that he'd dropped haphazardly on the other end of the low table caught his attention. The glossy surface of Ino's portrait was gleaming in the muted light of his apartment. From his position on the couch, he could only just see her inverted face and mane of platinum hair.
Absently taking another bite of his now-cold burger, Kiba mused that he at least had an attractive charge to look forward to. Even if the paperwork he had to do at the present was mind numbing. Chewing thoughtfully, he mentally reviewed what he'd gleaned from the brief biography Shikamaru had given him. The magazine clippings inside told him that Yamanaka Ino was a rising star in the fashion business. Her latest collection of clothing had been showcased in Milan and was her debut as the starlet of the legendary Godaime boutique. The collection, simply titled 'Femme' consisted of many floral designs and inspirations. Flowers, it seemed, had become her trademark. The entire whirlwind 'Femme' tour had earned her a firm niche in the artistic community and she was being hailed as the freshest, most 'in' designer of the year.
Kiba wasn't precisely sure what half of that meant, but it evidently made her a big deal to a lot of 'important' people. He rubbed his nose with the back of his hand and snarled at his own foolishness when a dollop of sauce splashed onto his pant leg. Somehow he'd managed to forget that he was holding a sandwich in the very hand he'd chosen to use. Still muttering to himself about the injustices of fast food, he tossed the cooled, unappetizing burger into the crumpled paper bag that it'd come in. The damned thing hadn't tasted good since, he glanced at the clock, eleven o'clock anyway. The wall clock he'd just read now displayed 'four A.M.' That meant he only had six hours until he met the girl and he needed to catch at least a couple of hours of shut eye to look presentable.
He stood, tossing the greasy remains of his dinner into a nearby trash bin and made for his bedroom. Kiba had just begun to shrug out of his well worn tee shirt when the picture on the coffee table caught his eye once more. Breaking his stare at the photograph, he curled the shirt into a wad before dropping it into the hamper as he shuffled by. As he paced, exhausted, toward his bed, the detective went through the motions of setting his alarm and shutting the blinds. A moment later, he was prone on the mattress, well on his way to snoozing for his allotted four hours.
'God it's early...My back, ugh. I need a new mattress.' Cranky thoughts like these paraded through Kiba's mind as he slowly began to wake. A groan later, he'd flipped from his sprawled position on his stomach to reluctantly prop a hand under his sleepy head. Shaggy locks of bedhead partially obscured the glowing numerals of his alarm clock, distorting its reading to: '8:09.' Once he'd passed a rough hand through it and he got a clear view however, the machine blinked an entirely different message. '9:09? Shit!' He had an appointment with his swanky new client in less than an hour. Various curses tumbled in increasing ferocity from the male's lips as he shot out of bed. As soon as his feet touched the scuffed hardwood floors, he was jogging toward the shower.
Kiba twisted the taps on the old fashioned copper plumbing as quickly as possible, stripping and hopping in as soon as the water began to fall. He complained loudly to the room at large as freezing water poured onto his drowsy head. Hands, still clumsy with sleep, slowed his usually speedy bath to a little over five minutes. Soon enough, though, he was hurriedly stepping into an unironed pair of khaki slacks. Fumbling over the button, he tried in vain to nudge through his messy closet with his elbow but only managed to knock several of the shirts to the cluttered floor. Rather than being discouraged, the harried Kiba simply hooked the most likely candidate with his still bare foot, tossed it upward and plucked it from midair seconds after the stubborn fastener on his pants finally slipped into place.
Grinning at the unintentionally slick maneuver, the young detective made his way from his bedroom into the living room. Shoes and socks in hand, he plopped down on the couch and called to Akamaru. "Time to get up, buddy. We've got an appointment half way across the city in twenty minutes." Once he'd tied off his final lace, Kiba patted his canine companion's back in greeting and pondered. He was starving, but another glance at the clock told him flatly that he didn't have enough time for a meal. A dark scowl settled over his rugged features at the thought of missing breakfast. He could've killed for sausage and eggs. His stomach growled just as his wristwatch beeped half past. Rolling his eyes he mused that police work involved entirely too many sacrifices on his part as of late. First vacation, now breakfast. What was next?
Detective Inuzuka was still grousing to himself as he stepped out of his apartment, Akamaru at his heels and suit jacket in hand. Locking the door behind himself, he opted to catch a cab once he reached street level. He generally preferred to walk but it was a fifteen minute drive to the upscale high rise he was supposed to be reporting to, as opposed to a forty minute walk. His sour mood fell farther at the thought of being crammed into a smokey, stinky backseat. Let alone the extra fee he'd have to pay to transport Akamaru along with him. Rubbing a hand over his fallen expression, Kiba wondered if the day could get worse...just as he reached his stubbly chin. He'd forgotten to shave.
Citizens passing on the sidewalk cast cautious glances at the hassled looking man and his dog as he began to violently scrub at his jaw line and mutter to himself about 'jinxes' and 'shitty karma.' All and all, it was a normal day in the city.
Yamanaka Ino was utterly exhausted. Her usually bright eyes were hazy grey and her long hair flopped pitifully down her back. Tugging on a lock and yawning widely, she turned to her father. "When's the guy supposed to be here? I'm so jet lagged, I just want to sleep." The red eye she'd caught had been convenient for sure, but it had also served to throw her sleep schedule for a punishing loop. She couldn't even muster the nerve to be annoyed by the consoling pat her father laid on her head. Instead she sagged back into the sleek couch and half-heartedly listened to his speech.
"Ten o'clock, it's 9:47 now, so not too much longer. He's a good man, Ino-love. I spoke with him yesterday at the precinct. He's a star detective and a local hero, more or less." The senator smiled as he advised his only child, "He's an excellent acquaintance to make. Men like him are destined for leadership. I can see it in him--"
The dozing blonde sighed and droned, "Daddy, I've told you: the only 'acquaintances' I need now are top designers and agency executives." She shot him a firm look. "I don't want to do politics anymore."
His imposing shoulders sagged theatrically and earned a soft laugh from his daughter as he sighed, "You break my heart, child mine. All your mother's looks and my ravishing wit going to waste. You would have made a damn good politician." His grin deepened as he saw a reluctant smile stretching over Ino's open face. "Take my advice anyway, make friends with the boy. I have a feeling he'll be good for you. After all, he came recommended specifically by Shika--"
Inoichi knew he'd said the wrong thing completely when the young woman on the couch's expression shutter closed. The abrupt change in the atmosphere was almost palpable in the air between them as he attempted to backpedal. "I didn't mean to bring him--"
"It's fine." Was her quick and ready response, though her tone strongly suggested otherwise. Her arms crossed tightly over her chest, Ino looked ready to say something further when a brisk knock rang through the quiet apartment. Still maintaining eye contact with his suddenly taciturn child, the senator nodded to the bodyguard stationed against the wall to his left. His personal security dipped his head in return, his dark glasses remaining eerily still over his eyes as he answered the door. A gruff voice was audible along with the smooth baritone of the guard for a moment before the detective stepped up to the seating area.
Senator Inoichi stood immediately, grasping Kiba's hand in a firm shake. Ino rose much more slowly and brought the cushion she'd been curling around with her. For their part the pair of men paid no attention to her, save for a quick glance on the detective's part, but rather alternated between small talk and 'assignment details.' Still hugging the pillow to her chest, she eyed the man before her with a designer's critical eye. He wasn't hideous. His best feature had to be a decently muscled pair of broadly set shoulders matched with a trim waist. A snort sounded in her head as she thought caustically, "Not that the shapeless bag of a sport coat he's wearing shows it.' A voice deep in the recesses of her mind told her that the comment was especially catty, even by her standards, but the sulking blonde couldn't be bothered to feel guilty. Her father had managed to both mention a particularly sore topic, make a pathetic attempt at matchmaking and push an alternate career on her all in one short conversation.
Needless to say, Ino wasn't feeling particularly hospitable when the man turned to her, hand extended in greeting. Still ruffled by both her father's comments and her own exhaustion, she cast a glance to his rumpled sleeve and faint facial hair only to ask, "Are you homeless?" Her father's exasperated 'Ino...' only fueled her as she at last noticed the massive, though surprisingly obedient dog at his feet. Raising an eyebrow, she mumbled, "Excellent. Absolutely marvelous," before stalking past the tall male and toward her bedroom and ignoring his hand completely.
As the last panel of her flowing summer frock disappeared around the corner, Kiba picked his jaw up off the floor. Forcibly holding his smile, he coughed a little and dropped his arm back to his side. As the older man sighed and began to make excuses, he simply waved a hand and commented, "I've had...days of my own. It's not a problem." Brushing the sides of his coat back and settling his hands on his hips, the detective added finally, "I'm positive that we'll be able to maintain at least a civil, professional relationship." His canines winked as he smirked sharply, "We don't have to like each other."
The senator assumed a similar stance and replied non-verbally with a gesture of agreement. At length, he began, "I know you don't need an explanation, but I'd like to at least warn you of something. It's undoubtedly going to arise sooner or later. You'd best be aware." Dropping his voice to something much quieter, Inoichi said, "Lieutenant Nara and my daughter were high school sweethearts. We all figured they'd stick together, but when college came around, they went their separate ways. The Lieutenant went to study abroad while my daughter stayed here." Shifting his weight and staring with mixed emotion at his shoes, the man continued, "You must know about Temari?"
At Kiba's nod, he supplied, "Shikamaru met her on campus and fell head over heels. But Ino...she'd been waiting around here in the city for him to come back to her. Imagine her surprise when Nara showed up to his graduation party with a fiancee. They never made each other any promises when they split up, but Ino always thought..." Senator Yamanaka grinned without mirth and didn't complete the thought. "It's been almost three years, but I don't think Ino's ever really let it go. I wouldn't--" An abrupt ring cut into his speech and the politician frowned at the front screen of his cell.
Flipping the lid of the phone open, he held a hand over the speaker as he apologized. "I'm sorry but I need to take this and my time until my next engagement is running short. Your quarters are down the hall," he pointed to where Ino had disappeared, "and to the left. Someone will bring your things by this afternoon. I sincerely hope things between you and my daughter aren't strained." Offering the stunned Kiba a cursory smile, the official had been whisked from the penthouse by his shade-wearing entourage before the detective could protest. As shock steadily wore off, he turned toward the entrance door of the living space, hoping to find someone to argue with. The five or so darkly clad men previously stationed around the room had disappeared along with the senator, however, leaving the apartment empty aside from he and his less than gracious ward.
Live in bodyguard had never been part of the deal! Digging into his left pants pocket with latent frustration, he produced his own cell phone. With a thumb clumsy with lack of practice, he slid the top panel up to reveal a keypad at the bottom of the device. A look of almost comical concentration came over his face as he jabbed at the touch sensitive buttons, growling to himself as he tried for the correct combination. Finally achieving it, he tapped the 'send' order with more violence than was strictly called for and pressed the small phone against his ear. He hardly gave Shikamaru's poor secretary time to announce a standard greeting, the office and her name before barking, "This is Detective Inuzuka, let me talk to Nara."
Ignoring the less than kind tone of the woman's voice as she informed him that he was being patched him through, Kiba was virtually seething when Shikamaru greeted him lazily. "This is Lieutenant Nara." A mighty grimace overcame the detective's face at the lackadaisical tone of the man on the other end of the line. Furiously, he snapped, "Live-in was never part of the agreement." The agitated sigh that his superior released made his hackles rise. At last, Shikamaru replied, "It was, actually. It was a listed fact on the debriefing statement in the file I gave you."
Kiba growled. He hadn't read that sheet of paper very thoroughly at all, he had skipped to 'necessary information' and conveniently forgotten to check for anything of the sort. The way he looked at it, he'd been saddled unfairly and someone needed to hear about it. Since he had Nara's ear he decided to unload on him, no matter how fruitless it would ultimately serve to be. Rather than dwell on that, he paced toward the wall of windows beyond the sitting area, leaving Akamaru lying quietly by the couch. Pacing cagily, he railed, "You could have said something! You knew I wouldn't take the case if you had, though, didn't you? You're too good at your job to not know something like that." Growing increasingly more angry as it became apparent he'd been played, Kiba snarled, "I never take assignments like this and for damn good reason! I don't enjoy being cooped in a house with stuck up pricks I've only known for an hour if I'm lucky. I don't do high profile shit! I like my downtown beat!"
With infinite calm and a measure of discipline, the lieutenant intoned, "Detective, you and I both know that your job in your former division was going nowhere fast. I had a problem and I reasoned that you would be the best solution. You're a good cop," he paused for a moment before delivering his reprimand, "but your resentment toward authority has gotten you into trouble more than once. Now, as your friend since academy, I don't like saying things like this, but you're leaving me no choice. Either you take this case and conduct yourself accordingly as an officer of this precinct, or I'll be forced to demote...or fire you."
The silence on the phone line was so thick that it was nearly solid. All at once, Kiba felt cold fury rise up in his chest. Before he knew it, he was speaking with utter deliberateness as he replied calmly, "Fine. I'll take the assignment, but know this: my actions toward superiors may be disrespectful at times, but I've never shirked off duty to a friend. Especially for something as unprofessional as a prior relationship." At Lieutenant Nara's continued silence, he asked, "Surprised I know already?" A less than joyful laugh fell from his throat, "Well Senator Yamanaka was kind enough to catch me up on your relationship with his daughter." With an air of continued resentment toward the situation and the man he was speaking to, Kiba concluded, "So I may be stuck with your snobby bitch of an ex on an assignment that you fucked me into, but don't presume to speak down to me about professional conduct, Lieutenant." Without giving Shikamaru a chance to comment, the detective snapped his phone into its dormant position.
Shoving it with equal roughness into his suit pocket, he looked up when Akamaru whined softly. He was about to question the canine when he noticed a flicker of movement in the hall where his partner had been looking when he made the sad sound. He only just saw the whorl of airy fabric as its wearer disappeared back down the hall. Belatedly, he recognized the pretty pattern as matching the dress Ino had been wearing when he'd spoken to her father. Its delicately embroidered wildflowers stemming from the hem and utterly feminine color and fit were hard to forget. The girl had been even more attractive in real time than she was in her photograph despite her obvious exhaustion. Another bout of frustration worked its way into Kiba's mind as he realized that she'd probably heard at least the tail end of his conversation. If not all of it.
He swore through his teeth and fisted a hand in his messy hair. He wasn't sure if there was anything he could do now to make himself look any less professional. Openly slandering her, his employer, and disrespecting his boss within her earshot was hard to top. Knowing what a poor report or so much as a wayward word to her father could do to his career, Kiba realized that he was going to have to scrabble for her acceptance. He'd given up on her ever liking him as a person, given what she'd heard him say about her. Let alone the fact it was to the man she was obviously still a little in love with.
There was a firm knock at the door and his thoughts were successfully derailed. Retrieving his hand from his wayward hair, he paced to answer the call. Caustically, he wondered if he was going to double as a butler, as well. His tumultuous thoughts must have been apparent on his face, because when he yanked the door open to reveal the visitor he found a suddenly jumpy bellboy. Listening impatiently to the young boy, Kiba glanced to the stack of suitcases on the rolling cart behind him. Two looked familiar, being ones he'd owned since college, but a newer, sleek black one was foreign, as were the garment bags dangling from the rail. Kiba's eyes narrowed at the logo emblazoned on the hanging bags. He knew for a fact that he didn't own any suits from those particular shops.
Irritation rose within him, at the thought that he was being dressed for his position. Did they think he was a pet? Akamaru released a low bark, as if sensing his master's indignation. At the look of fear that overcame the bellhop at the sight of the large dog, Kiba decided to simply sign for the things and be done with the boy. It wasn't the staff's fault and he'd just released some steam on Nara. He wasn't due to blow up again just yet...though if things continued as they had been going, he might before the day was through. Taking the cart from agreeing to leave it in the hall when he was finished, the detective shut the door firmly after tipping the boy. He almost regretted it when he saw the expression of surprise on the younger man's face. What did he look like, a heathen?
Resting his suddenly tired form against the door, he turned toward the cart and caught sight of something that spawned a reluctant idea. His leather laptop case, a Christmas gift from his techo-savvy older sister, was sitting forlornly among his assorted things looking wholly unused. A tick developed in the region of his left eye at the thought of doing battle with the electronic beast, but he figured that he had to do something. For a moment he considered just blindly purchasing what he was considering, but decided that Ino was a special case. She, from his first impression, would be far less forgiving than the past girl friends and female acquaintances he'd managed to piss off. No, appeasing her was going to take some research and the cashing of a few favors. A long suffering sigh fell from his lips as he anticipated the long night ahead of him. He could feel a headache coming on.
Part one of a four to five part KibaIno story. The next chapter will be just as long, if not longer and I haven't set a release date just yet. Color Theory will be updated by the end of the week, hopefully by tomorrow. I've had a bit of trouble writing the next chapter (of CT) and, as it's a pivotal point for the plot, I've taken extra time accordingly.
Thanks for reading and please review.