Authors Notes: Hello, readers! I originally posted this on "Archive of Our Own", but then I remembered I also had a FF account. So I'm just spreading the love. Hope you enjoy! 'Pursuit' will be updated every Friday, but other than that, here are the first seven chapters!
Chapter 1 - The Bike
He huffed and puffed as he thrust forward. There was sweat dripping down his face and his shirt stuck to his body. He tried as hard as he could to go faster because it was being demanded of him, but he was at his limit. He was so close. Every muscle in his body screamed at him to stop. But he was so close!
"Y-You!" he huffed as he pedaled his police bike, weaving through the driving cars. "S-stop!" he gasped for air. Several cars honked at him as he zipped past them. He just biked through a red light. "Damn it," he cursed as he helplessly watched the navy imported car become smaller and smaller from his view. He wasn't going to catch up to the expensive car.
Once the car he had been chasing since Fifth Avenue to Marth and Sixteeth finally sped up and swerved around another sharp corner, he lost sight of it.
"Fuck," he swore as he slowed down and tried to assess where they could've gone. "Frederick, you are the cruellest person I know," he muttered out loud as he tried to catch his breath.
As if on cue, he heard police sirens. He jerked his head back while sloppily wiping the sweat from his forehead. One car zipped by with its lights on and the one behind slowed down behind to stop beside him.
The driver rolled down the window. "How's your day going Officer Exalt? I got your call."
"Frederick," the man on the bike glared.
"Chrom," Frederick smiled politely, deflecting Chrom's annoyance with him.
"This is utter injustice," Chrom managed to say even with aching lungs and a pounding heart.
"Well, you said you'd accept the punishments. I took away your car privileges. I see that you still found a way to get around," Frederick gestured to the bike.
"I just missed a prime suspect that was part of the Grima syndicate!" Chrom protested loudly. "Because you took away my car privileges."
"I have a couple questions for you," said Frederick.
Frederick was indeed a close family friend of Chrom's family, but he was still his superior. They would banter together, mostly on Frederick's expense, but Chrom knew better than to disrespect the Deputy Chief of Special Tactical and Investigation Division.
Chrom waited for Frederick to continue.
"Who crashed four cars in the last nine months to catch a 'prime suspect' of the Grima syndicate?" Frederick inquired calmly.
"I did, sir," Chrom answered reluctantly.
"Who refused to take three weeks off after being shot protecting a civilian during a crossfire between drug gangs?" Frederick continued.
"I did, sir," Chrom quietly confessed. He saw where this was going.
"Who is the person who sleeps at their office desk in the police station almost every day except days when his sisters come to force him to go home and shower?" Frederick verbally jabbed him once more.
Frederick was right. As always. Emmeryn and Lissa came over so often, that the entire police force probably knew them. "Okay, I get it. I will stay on the bike," Chrom surrendered.
"You know that's not what I'm trying to say here. I'm telling you to slow down and take a break. You don't have to do this by yourself. You have us. Your team. Besides what are you doing chasing suspects? I put you on traffic patrol duty," Frederick lectured with a stern frown. "Go home."
"Yes, sir," Chrom said with the slightest droop of his broad shoulders.
Frederick sighed at his younger officer. He was only looking out for Chrom so that he wouldn't burn out. "That's an order," he said firmly to emphasize he meant it.
"I heard you the first time," Chrom picked his bike up and turned it around to pedal home. How dreary.
"Good day, Officer Exalt," Frederick pulled forward and drove off.
He swore that the reason why Frederick was so tough on him more than the others was because he must've done something to torment the man in their previous lives. Perhaps Frederick had to babysit him. (Not that he didn't do that now, although Chrom would never admit that out loud.) This must be payback. That was the only explanation for this unfair punishment of chasing criminals with a police bike. There was nothing threatening about being chased by a policeman on a bike.
He cursed Naga and began pedalling home. On his stupid police bike.
Chrom's legs were starting to give out. He had a long day. He also hated being on patrol duty too. With a bored expression, he stared at the red light and waited for the light to turn green. His attention was brought back to reality when he heard irritating honks again. Even though he wasn't officially on duty, he scanned his surroundings out of habit.
There was a crazy woman jaywalking across the street. Her dark obsidian ponytail whipped side to side as she turned her head to avoid oncoming traffic. She was awful at it. She made several cars come to jerking stops followed by enraged long honks. At one point, she gave one of the drivers the finger. The irony, he thought dryly. Another almost hilarious thing she did the entire time was that she had one hand up in the air. Like she was safely leading an imaginary string of ducklings or preschoolers across the street and all the cars around her were at fault.
He considered his options for a moment. One: he was off-duty as Frederick pointed out and should go home. Two: he was on traffic patrol duty until Frederick lifted the probations so he should do his job. Three: the woman was doing something illegal and he couldn't turn a blind eye to wrongdoings, whether it be as minor as jaywalking or the criminal activities of drug syndicates. Again, he should do his job.
One point for 'Going home' and two points for 'Doing his job'. He was going to do his job.
"Miss!" he shouted while looking both ways before entering the intersection to chase her down. He, like the woman before, held up his hand to the surrounding cars to momentarily stop for him. They obliged. He represented the law, after all.
Chrom stood up on his bike and pedaled quickly to catch up to the woman who was now running away. He jumped onto the curb and began to gain on her. Her long ponytail bounced lusciously behind her and her worn backpack thumped against her back with every running step.
"Hey, you! Stop!" he shouted.
Surrounding pedestrians slowed their paces to watch what was going on. Chrom saw the girl briefly glance behind her and then begin to full-on sprint.
"I'm serious! It's an offense to run from a police officer!" Chrom hollered. He was almost there. Just a little more. He scanned his surroundings and saw that if he swerved around the forested area of the park, he could catch her by surprise. Chrom veered off his original path and headed into the trees.
The woman glanced behind her again and saw that he was gone. She stopped in her sprint and looked around to find the weird, sweaty, awkward policeman on the dinky bike. Nowhere to be seen.
"Oh, thank goodness," she breathed.
"Ah-ha!" Chrom shouted triumphantly and jumped out of nowhere with his bike.
"Ahhh!" she screamed.
Chrom got off his bike and the bike fell to its side clusmily. "You stay right there!"
"You almost hit me!" the woman snapped. "What would you have done if you had hit me?"
"Look, lady, you ran first," he pointed a finger at her.
"I'm needed at the hospital! They're short on staff in the ER." Her words were laced with irritation. "What is it with you Ylissean policemen? Always chasing me?"
"You ran," he pointed out.
"Well, if someone was chasing you like a mad man, would you stop?" she snapped.
"No. Wait—if it were a policeman I would," Chrom stumbled on his words. Gods, he was tired.
"See, you agreed with me," she crossed her arms.
"No, I didn't," he calmly responded. "Name and ID, please."
"Am I being detained or am I free to go?" she answered with a question.
"Name and ID," Chrom repeated. "You're getting a fine for jaywalking and you ran from a police officer."
"How do I know you're actually a police officer? You could just be a pervert who dresses like a police officer. And you're all sweaty," she grimaced at him.
"Okay, look. I've had a long day—," Chrom began.
"Mine's just started. Besides, what policeman chases people on a bike," the woman snorted.
"—and you're not making this easy. So either we go to the police station together, or you give me your name and ID right now," Chrom gave an ultimatum. It was the bike. No one took him seriously anymore. It didn't matter if he had his uniform on, which at the moment was drenched with sweat stains. Great. The bike and now the sweat stains.
"I don't think we'll both fit on the bike," she scoffed.
Ring ring. The woman pulled out the phone and read the new text message, ignoring Chrom momentarily.
"Shit," she swore. "There's been a school bus crash. Oh no, that's a lot of casualties," she gasped with a fixated gaze on her phone. "I need your bike. I have to go save lives! I'll return it later!" The uncooperative woman shoved him aside and ran for his bike. Swiftly, she hopped on and pushed off the ground to try to balance herself on the bike that was too big for her. Surprisingly, her feet could reach the pedals and she began to pump her legs vigorously.
Chrom stood there dumbfounded, trying to register what had happened. She just stole his bike. Unbelievable. Looking at the direction she was headed, the closest hospital was the Ylisstol General Hospital.
That was still a couple blocks. Well, he needed to get that bike back. Naga must be on Frederick's side: punishing him for being the shit-disturber of the police force. This was what Frederick must've felt like when he was responsible for new recruit Chrom, once upon a time. Left in the dust. Alone. Stranded. On more than one occasion.
He was still in a state of disbelief as he began his trek to the hospital. She just stole his bike. The woman with the long ponytail. Stole his bike.
Just wait 'till I find you, he swore in his thoughts.