A day at the office; Or, "Actually, this is a reply to the reviews"

"Ah, here you all are!"

The small girl with bicolored eyes, long wavy hair and hair ribbons, bounced through the doorway to alight in the Fourth Area office.

"I'm sooo sorry to keep you waiting. Hajimemashite! I'm Fourth Area Shikigami Wakaba Kannuki! Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu!"

She tucked her hands before her and bowed, all sailor-suited, junior-high perkiness. "I'm descended from a long line of shinto priestesses, and I'm psychic. Oh, I'm the keeper of the Suzaku Gate to the gods' realm -- which has two tooootally HOT biseinen guardian tengu!"

At that last statement, underneath a fog of cigarette smoke, the newspaper propped open at the nearby desk quivered slightly.

"And this person," she extended a hand, "is my partner, Hajime Terazuma-san!" The newspaper was now solidly immobile.

"He was a police detective!" Nothing.

"He's an excellent shot and an expert at archery too." Silence.

"Terazuma-san?"

She frowned lightly.

"He wishes everyone will please call him Hajime-chan!"

The paper lowered. Under the untidy mop of black hair, two sullen, slitted red eyes, dark stripes below them, glared at her.

She waved a placating hand: "Eh heh heh, just a joke!" she assured him hastily.

The paper resumed its former position.

She bounced some more, happily. "Hajime and I are both hoping more people will write about us! We only show up for a few seconds in the opening sequence of the anime, but both of us are regular supporting characters in the manga!

"But still, there aren't any manga stories about us by ourselves, so you can use your imagination! And there's so much to do in the Fourth Area! Even if you're dead!"

The paper snorted.

"Hajime-chan, please tell them," she urged.

The paper crackled as a page turned.

"Hajime-chan."

"Chi-" the paper grunted, "what the hell do you want me to say, Kannuki?"

"Well, about our jobs as shinigami," she said with careful emphasis, "about how very exciting the Fourth Area is."

"Very exciting," he repeated woodenly. He lowered the paper fractionally and stared at her. "Yesterday it rained."

"But that's not--"

"Keh, maybe not for you," he said. Terazuma turned his chair so that his back was to her, propped up his elbow on his desk, and elaborately lit another cigarette. Then he returned to his paper and proceeded to ignore her.

"Well, ah, what Hajime-chan means," she said with a strained smile, "is that his parasite shikigami, Kuro-chan, likes it when it's not sunny. It makes him feel really active!"

"Who the hell is this 'Kuro-chan,' dammit!" he said staring at her over his shoulder with a thunderous expression.

It was Kannuki's turn to ignore him. "Hajime-chan's shikigami, Kagan-kokushungei, is a long-haired black, horned, red-eyed lion! Kuro-chan's soooo kakkoiii!" She held up a finger: "He protects Hajime-chan, you know, but sometimes he just does what he wants to. Ah, he can be a just a little bit destructive..."

"Goddamn shikigami," Terazuma muttered, scowling blackly. "Who needs 'em?"

She sighed heavily, and in a stage whisper added, "Well, now that you can see him better, you can tell. Hajime-chan is very good-looking, isn't he?"

"Kannuki!"

She jumped guiltily. "Eh?"

"Whatever you're babbling about over there, enough already. We've got work to do and BILLS to pay, in case you've forgotten."

"Someone, who has a bad temper, has bills to pay, yes," she retorted.

He flinched.

"But you, you even aren't trying to help, Hajime-chan." She gazed at him, eyes suspiciously moist. "How can we earn bonuses without fanfiction? And no one will want to write about us if, if you keep acting like this..."

"Well, who cares?" he muttered uneasily, uncomfortable under the potential threat of feminine assault by dampness. "Let 'em keep writing about 'sempai' over there, and his slacker work ethic and his pathetic loser love-life."

"Hajime-chan, Tsuzuki-san is very good at his job!"

"Yeah. That bastard's great for cleaning out the moldy leftovers in the breakroom fridge. Makes a good doorstop, too."

"But he's also a friend of ours," Kannuki reminded him.

"The. Hell."

"Oh, Hajime-chan," she said, leaning over, her finger hovering a few centimeters before his nose. "You know that, really, you do like Tsuzuki-san... You even went to see him in the hospital wing, and it was just so cute, the way you--"

"D,dammit, Kannuki, you, you woman! Don't TOUCH me!" he snarled, breaking into a sweat and throwing his chair backward.

"I'm not, I just--"

One of the wheels of his retreating chair rolled over her toe, and she squealed, overbalancing. Her hand brushed his cheek.

"Ka-kannuki, bakayaarr--raaaaaarrRRAAAGHHH!!!"

"Oops!" She ducked down under the raining plaster, scurrying away from the massive paw that flattened the nearest desk. "Hajime-chan, gomen gomen!"

As she dug through her pockets for some nice, soothing, shiki-calming ofuda, she said brightly, "Ah, well, of course, what Hajime-chan meant to say was, 'Yes, I also think there should be more fanfiction about the Fourth Area!'

"And we'll have to stop now, because," she leaned over to hook up a shredded black necktie over her finger, "this is not an adult fanfiction." She arched an eyebrow and added sotto voice, "After I use this ofuda, Hajime-chan won't be wearing any clothes at all, ne."

"RAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!"

"Coming, coming!" Kannuki patted the dust from her hair, and skipped out of the way of another errant paw.

Over the din of tumbling walls, Chief Kanoe could heard down the hall doing his own roaring about building repair and paycheck docking.


Konnichiwa! My apologies for all that rampaging Japanese; it seemed appropriate for something set in Japan, and I hope it was easy to figure out in context. Sometimes I do tap out stories for myself, but I've never posted any of them, because ... um, because not a writer. At all. Almost exclusively a happy reader. I don't imagine anything I crank out to please myself as audience-of-one is going to be very palatable for others.

So this was a one-shot I did last winter for myself; I'm very fond of the supporting characters in the Yami manga, especially the most improbable detective duo ever. Wakaba-chan is a perfect Mary Sue, isn't she? She's terribly kawaii and genki, and she has the hair, the eyes, and the psychic powers. Plus she's surrounded by all those iro-otoko who adore her. I don't understand how can anyone resist that.

But lots of people seem to be resisting lots. In the reader way, I got frustrated when I couldn't find any English fanfic featuring these two, and over time started to feel an uncharacteristic urge to share my rendition of Genki!Kannuki and Sawaranee!Terazuma. So I put this one online. More of an experiment than anything else.

I'm really very surprised and touched that other people have read it here. Thank you so much for reading. Minna-sama, otsukiai arigatou gozaimashita!