A woman sat alone in the police locker room. She was sitting, her elbows on her knees, eyes closed. It had been a long day. Her body was sore but more than that, she was tired. Down, deep into her bones she was tired. She felt as if she could lay down and sleep for the rest of her life and she would still be tired. She ran her hands through her hair. She wore it in the same short bob she'd worn since childhood, much to her mother's chagrin.
"You'd be so pretty if you grew it long!" Her mother insisted.
"Mama, it's much easier for work to keep it short!" She'd argue.
The woman smiled to herself. They were both right, of course. She stood and stretched, trying to loosen her stiff muscles. She had to meet her sparring partner in the gym in about twenty minutes. She dug her gym clothes out of her locker and quickly stepped into them.
"Ayumi-san! Ayumi-san!" Some called for her from the door. She stood, and looked around. One of her fellow officers appeared from behind the lockers. It was an officer new from the academy that Ayumi had been trying train. She looked so young. Ayumi was only thirty but she felt much older, lately.
"There you are Ayumi-san." The young woman said. "I was wondering if you'd want to go get drinks with me and some of the other girls tonight."
Ayumi leaned against the open door of her locker and smiled politely. "Not tonight, I think. I'm supposed to meet a friend in the gym soon. Then I have dinner plans."
"Ohhh, dinner plans?" The young woman winked.
"Not like that!" Ayumi blushed "I'm meeting with Mouri Kogoro."
"Mouri…That name is familiar. Wasn't he some private eye a long time ago?"
"Mouri Kogoro is one of the greatest detectives of all time!" Ayumi argued.
"Maybe twenty-five years ago!" The woman teased "Why meet with a dirty old man like that? Come out with us!"
"Maybe another time." Ayumi told her and shut her locker. She bid the woman good-bye and hurried to the gym.
"Ah! Ayumi! You're late!" A boisterous voice greeted her in the near empty facility. A tall barrel-chested man was waving at her. She smiled and waved back. He was imposing and powerful, already sweating from him warm up, holding a jump rope in one hand. Ayumi dropped her duffle bag and went to him.
"Sorry, Genta. I got caught up." She said. He patted her roughly on the back and laughed.
"Well you better hurry up; I've got us in the ring in twenty minutes." He told her. She nodded and pulled a jump rope from the nearby rack. Genta and Ayumi had worked together at the police department for the last ten years. While Ayumi became an inspector early in her career, Genta preferred being a patrol officer. They didn't always train together but they each spent at least an hour in the gym every day.
Ayumi had become enamored with becoming an inspector since childhood. Her mother blamed her old friend Edogawa Conan and their childish 'Detective Boys' club for being such a bad influence and leading her down such unladylike paths but the same tenacity and bravery that had lead Ayumi her whole life is more likely responsible.
When she was ten years old, she began to train in Lacrosse and karate to hone her strength, in piano to sharpen her mind and devoured any newspaper articles on Mouri Kogoro, Kudo Shininchi, and even Heiji Hittori. She would cut them and paste them into a scrapbook. Everyone thought it was just a cute hobby except her two best friends, Genta and Mitsuhiko.
A bell rang out, signaling the boxers in the ring were finished and it was now time for Genta and Ayumi to take their turn. Genta, never as studious as Ayumi, had found he excelled in boxing and took to the sport in high school. Ayumi was no match for him in the ring but the exercise was good for her. He never admitted to her that he often held back when he fought her, so that she would not be defeated too badly. She politely pretended not to notice his kindness.
"I don't think you're ready for me this time, Genta. I've been practicing." She teased, strapping the heavy boxing gloves to her hands.
"Is that so? You're still no match for the great and powerful Genta!" He lifted his gloves, flexing impressively. Ayumi giggled and prodded him in the stomach, making him drop the confident stance.
"Alright, that's enough of that!" She chided his pride. He blushed slightly and they set themselves for the match.
Genta had trailed along behind Ayumi as she became interested in the deductive arts, more out of puppy love than anything. Yet, when 'The Detective Boys' became 'The Detective Club' in high school, he began to study criminal justice and easily decided that being a police officer would fulfill his need for action and excitement. He tried hard to imitate her cold and quiet deductions but never fully succeeded. He was good police officer and well decorated for his services but he had no desire to become an inspector.
After a few rounds, the two old friends climbed breathlessly out of the ring. Ayumi was bleeding from a small cut under her eye and Genta was nursing a swollen lip. They shed their boxing gear and cleaned their faces. Ayumi checked the time.
"We still have time before we have to meet Mitsuhiko, want to take a few miles around the track?" She asked. Genta groaned.
"I hate running." He whined but, as always, he followed Ayumi. They stretched and began to jog side by side around the track. The sun was quickly falling, painting the sky in vibrant red and orange. The two moved in circles around the track until the sun finally sank behind the horizon and made them only two dark shadows against the night.
"It's getting late." Ayumi huffed. "We'd better get cleaned up and head out."
"Ugh! Finally!" Genta halted, dropped his hands on his knees, breathing hard. "I really, really hate running." Ayumi patted him bracingly on the back and they headed back into the facility where they separated into their respective locker rooms.