A long, formal overcoat, a brief case at his side, asking questions while flashing his badge around. No doubt about it, this guy was a Dove. For the last few hours he had been asking about the Ghoul attacks and sightings, inspecting hunting grounds, gathering information. Touka had been trailing him for a while now. Whatever this guy was investigating, he was getting close to finding out. Touka was piecing the information in her mind as he asked around. Something about her and some other ghouls hunting down Doves. She heard "Rabbit" tossed around a lot during the questioning, but it didn't matter. No, what mattered was getting rid of him.
Night was falling, people were starting to head inside for the day. It was time to act. She continued trailing the man, following him to the public park. He pulled out a cigarette, likely about to smoke.
She wouldn't let him get the chance.
Once the man sat on a nearby bench and dropped his guard, Touka made her move. She lunged at him from behind, clawing through his throat at blinding speeds. All she heard was the thump of his head falling off his shoulders as she darted away from the scene. "Tch," At least it was quick, not that he deserved it. That's one more down. She smiled, sparing a glance at the corpse she made before heading over to the alleys of the 11th Ward.
It was surprisingly quiet, no Aogiri grunts wondering around to kidnap people, no one hunting for prey, no Doves scoping the place. It was more unsettling if anything, but she didn't complain.
"Touka?" A small boy peeked out of an open window above her.
Touka smiled and waved at him. "Hey Akihiko," Soon, a woman came to the window as well. Touka waved to her as well. "Hello Mrs. Suzuki,"
"Hello Touka," The woman said back. "Staying safe?"
"Yeah," As safe as she could in the 11th Ward doing the things she did. "Took care of another Dove, so…"
"You did? Cool!" The boy's eyes lit up, but Mrs. Suzuki only frowned and sighed.
"Just… don't cause a problem you can't fix Touka. We're grateful that you're willing to protect us from the Doves and Aogiri, but…"
"Yes ma'am, I know,"
"So long as you do," The woman closed the window after that, pulling her child away. That was the usual reaction she got. Ever since she moved to the 11th Ward she had that mixed reception. She had only planned on staying in the 11th Ward for a month, two months at most just to get her edge back. It took a while to move out, and even longer to convince Renji to let her do it. Well, it was less 'convincing' and more 'trying and failing to fight him off until he finally got tired of knocking her down and caved'. After what happened with Kaneki, with Ayato, with… everything at Anteiku, she needed to get stronger, if only to prove she could handle herself for when things go to hell like last time. Even now she still felt the burning rage from how little she could do to help Mr. Yoshimura.
It started with a bit of aggressive hunting, then it was shooing away some low ranking Aogiri grunts from her apartment complex, then it was hunting down Doves after weaker Ghouls, and now… now she was something of a protector and avenger for the 11th Ward, if only a small corner of it. A wild rabbit hunted down Doves and Ghouls oppressing those that couldn't protect themselves. Though that had started bringing even more Doves to the already chaotic Ward.
Should I even be doing this? It wasn't the first time she thought that. Hunting down Doves always made trouble for everyone in a Ward, it might even bring some high-level Investigator here to wipe her and every other Ghoul out there. That was a worry, but it was also why she moved to the 11th Ward. The place was already a battleground of Ghouls and Doves fighting each other, it wasn't like another active Ghoul would make things worse. And hey, getting another shot at those Aogiri bastards and Ayato would be its own reward.
She headed back to her apartment, laying her mask and wig on the counter, letting out a sigh as she leaned against the wall. Was she really making a difference doing this? Moving into the 11th Ward to pick fights and cause trouble… Yoshimura would be disappointed in her for sure given how much of a step back it was, but he wasn't around to stop her. Renji was definitely disappointed in her, but he still let her go through with this. Maybe he's testing me… It wouldn't be the first time he pulled something like that.
"Ugh…" She dragged herself to her futon, flopping right onto it and checking her phone. Two texts messages. One from Yoriko, just the usual check in to see if Touka was alright, something she had done often since Touka told her she moved to the 11th Ward. The poor girl was probably scared stiff for her given the rumors and facts about the place. The second… was from Renji. Speak of the devil. It was about an hour ago too.
Underground Passage. ASAP. That was all it said.
Blunt as always. Touka gave a wry smile. That text was an hour ago, but knowing Renji, he was probably still there. I'm gonna' get an earful for this.
It was a somewhat difficult getting to the Underground Passage from the 11th Ward, but she got there as fast as she could. Down there she saw Renji, a stern look on his face as usual.
"Sorry," Touka said. "I was busy." She placed a hand on her hip, glancing around and noting his jacket was on the floor, just a few inches from his feet. "So what's up? We training again?"
Renji said nothing, only giving a solemn look.
"Training then," It was a weekly thing with them ever since Touka moved to the 11th Ward. She'd get a text from Renji to meet him down here, then they'd warm up and go a few rounds with Renji giving some critique afterwards. If Touka was going to be fighting Doves and other Ghouls, if she truly wanted to get stronger to protect others, she had to get back into a routine of exercise and training. At least… that's what she figured Renji was trying to tell her. She was pretty good at guessing his motives, but he was always… well, Renji.
"Take this seriously," Renji's kagune burst out from his back, two black wings, darting about as if on fire. "You've been taking out fodder so far, but the real investigators and Aogiri will come soon." He explained.
Touka blinked, hopping back on instinct. The atmosphere changed, she could feel the pressure getting heavy. Renji was serious about this. The look in his eyes… seeing his black sclera flash, it was like a beast had awoken. She gasped, reminding herself to breathe. This… was going to be intense. It was the first time in long while Touka had seen him with his kagune out. Looks like I won't be walking out of this without some bruises. "Fine then," She stretched out her back before summoning her own kagune and dropping into a feral stance, letting out a small growl to psyche herself up. "Bring it!"
"Ugh…" Touka was flat on her back, bruised and cut beyond belief. Renji was an absolute monster when he was serious. It brought back memories. She knew he broke a few ribs at least, maybe a few bones in her arm too. A black eye, a cut cheek, a broken nose… it'd be hard to explain this one to a stranger.
"Your movements are improving, but you rush in too much without a plan." He rolled his shoulders, then held out his hand for her. "Think, then strike."
"Y-Yeah…" Touka wheezed out, sitting up before taking his hand to pull herself to her feet.
Renji stared at Touka awhile longer before grabbing his jacket. "Next week, same time, on time." It was all he said before taking his leave. He was always watching her, like a guardian angel… okay, more like a stalker really, but still.
It was a trial getting back home after the beating she took, even getting a few looks with how bad a shape she was in, but she was able to make it home without incident. She was able to flop onto her bed and slept like a log the second she made contact with it.
The morning after she checked her phone and the news, looking for information about Doves. It was her morning ritual. Research her targets, stalk them for a few days, then strike. It looked like several stronger investigators were heading to the 11th Ward after the Rabbit had killed so many. Though the weird thing was seeing a black rabbit mask on what they thought was the suspect. Along with killing several investigators, the Rabbit had also been causing general havoc around the 11th Ward. She had been seeing that for a while now. Was someone trying to take credit for her work? For now, she turned off the TV and headed out.
She made her way to a café, a place she often visited now that Anteiku was no more. She had some time before she planned to hunt down another Dove. She took her phone out again. Her next target was a female investigator, Akira Mado. Apparently, someone that had risen through the ranks after the assault on Anteiku and the 20th Ward. Touka's blood boiled just looking at her. She looked a lot like that bastard Investigator she killed. Something about the look in her eyes reminded her of that man.
"Pardon me," Touka turned around, widening her eyes. A woman, blonde hair, purple eyes, flashing a badge in front of her with an ID that was the exact same as the picture Touka was staring at seconds ago. "I'm CCG Investigator Akira Mado,"She said. "Mind if I ask you some questions?"