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"The Horiuchi files you asked for, Inaba-san," murmured Toraha.
"Arigatou, Toraha-san," smiled Inaba, Chief of Police. "Hey, could you grab me a cup of coffee?"
"Two sugars, no milk," said Toraha, in her emotionless voice. "Yes, sir." She moved off towards the coffeepot to prepare it.
The redhaired woman standing in the doorway gave an involuntary shiver. How creepy...
"Ah, hello there!" said Inaba, catching sight of her. He was trying hard to remember where he'd seen her... ah, yes! She was part of Mori Kouran's entourage sometimes. He and his men had been on assignment enough times to protect the famous politician, he had learned to recognize many of them on sight. "And how is Mori Kouran-sama doing recently?"
"Quite well, actually," smiled Neon, a bit uncomfortable at being in the station. Still, there was no trace of discomfort on her face. "I need to speak to Officer Toraha about a little thing, though."
Inaba's face changed. "Everything's all right?" he demanded, looking suspiciously at his subordinate.
"Oh, of course! Everything's just fine... it's just that Mori Kouran-sama noticed the new face in the detachment sent to guard him at that last political speech, and he wanted me to tell her what a fine job she did."
"Thank you. It was my duty," said Toraha solemnly. She placed the coffee on Inaba's desk and stared silently at Neon.
Neon was feeling frustrated. How uncooperative.... I want some time alone with her!!! She tried to fish around for another excuse to stay around.
The intercom on the phone beeped for Inaba. "Excuse me, ladies," he said, "But they need me over in Fingerprinting. I'll be back in a moment, but if I don't see you again, ermmm...."
"Neon-san, yes. Then if I don't see you again, Neon-san, then give my regards to Mori Kouran-sama."
"Certainly," smiled Neon, and the Chief of Police left.
"What do you really want?" inquired Toraha, after the door had shut behind Inaba, and the two women had stared at each other for a short time.
"You remember what he spoke of to you during your assignment?" Neon inquired casually. "About the tournament? And a chance to pick up a few benefits on the side?"
Toraha only looked at Neon. "It's an illegal tournament," she said.
Neon shrugged. "Be that as it may, you still haven't flat-out said no that you won't honor us by being a referee."
"It's an illegal tournament," Toraha stated again.
"I know you don't make much money... and it can be difficult making ends meet. And with the.... benefits... that have been offered to you, you could be on your way towards making your life considerably more comfortable than it is now." Neon smiled insincerely. "You don't have to believe what goes on. You just have to watch and declare a winner. Mori Kouran-sama just wants a pretty face up there, and he's singled yours out from the crowd."
Toraha stared past a wall, into nothingness. Her face was placid and emotionless as always, but her mind was boiling over in controversy. On the one hand, it was... illegal. On the other hand... no one would ever know. No one would suspect a thing. No one would even care. And having a better place to live than that rat-hole...
Toraha looked at the woman for a moment before turning back to the coffeepot and washing it in the sink. "You have my address," she said. "Send me the information."
Neon hesitated a moment, then left without a word.
Once on the other side of the door, though, she leaned against it and heaved a sigh of relief. What a creepy girl.....