A/N: Merry New Year!! Here's a small pressie for you all. Jeice finally makes an appearance…
Jeice: An' it's about bloody time!
For every chapter I've decided to give the characters a theme song. Feel free to send me character songs of your own too!1st. Character Song
Bra Briefs: Evanescence - Tourniquet
Angels and Reapers
King Enma's helpers scattered across the room, their blue faces wrought with anxiety as they shuffled nervously around the enormous desk. Enma himself, a pink faced giant sporting a thorny beard and deep lines embedded in his forehead due to a millennia of stress, sat rigidly behind his desk in the Other World entrance hall.
Jeice eyed the man with a measure of apprehension and contempt. After all, it was Enma who he held partially responsible for his two-decade holiday in Hell.
What's more, Jeice could not begin to guess at the reason for his summons. A feeling of trepidation was beginning to swell in his gut. A few years ago (at least he supposed it was a few years - while time didn't exactly exist in the afterlife, it sure felt like it if you were squandering in the pits of Hell) Zarbon, Frieza's cunning Right Hand Man, had been summoned by Enma and not long afterwards, Burter had followed. Neither had returned and while Zarbon's absence didn't particularly vex him, Burter had been the closest thing to a friend Jeice had ever known.
Jeice furrowed his snowy brow and chewed on his lip as he tried to imagine a fate worse than being blown up, humiliated and sent to Hell. Being blessed with a fertile imagination however, he quickly decided to cease his current train of thought, instead focused his sullen green eyes on Enma and awaited the Giant's lecture.
Ten long minutes passed, the young man growing increasingly aggravated with each tick of the clock. He was by no means a patient being. The Captain had never been very amused by his inability to sit still longer than a minute. Enma however was cool and composed as he leaned back into the arch of his armchair. Looking pensive, the Judge gazed at the red skinned soldier before him, his mind an angry buzz of conflicting arguments.
'This boy's nothing but a punk,' Enma thought irritably, 'Cold and selfish. Unpredictable. No remorse whatsoever. What use can he be, even to those who have no hope?'
Unable to bare another second of standing unacknowledged, Jeice snapped. "Ah'm I gonna be waitin' here for another decade before you decide yeh want to chat, or is borin' immortal souls to tears a new form of torture for the condemned?"
Enma continued to ignore him, reaching for his clipboard instead, which was almost as large as the ex-Ginyu Soldier himself. Jeice watched with suspicious eyes as the Judge began scribbling notes down.
"They informed me you were cocky one," he muttered resentfully.
"Who did?" Jeice demanded.
"You were employed by one Captain Ginyu as a member of his "elite pirating fighters", correct?" Enma enquired.
"What about it?"
"As a group of five you were hired as mercenaries by the late Lord Frieza to serve under him and carry out any order thus given."
The man grunted in disdain. "Look is this goin' anywhere old man, 'cause I really don't need nor fancy a trip down memory lane."
"Between you, the brutal murder of three thousand people was carried out. You alone are responsible for the loss of three hundred and sixty-two lives."
Jeice almost flinched, but was quick to catch himself, shrugging his shoulders instead. "It was survival of the fittest – a case of limited options. An' ah had no intentions of becomin' a slave."
"You have no regrets then?" Enma asked, quietly.
This time Jeice lowered his eyes. "What's done is done."
Enma stopped writing and laid his clipboard down on the desk. He scratched his beard and shook his head. "I don't suppose you have any concept of Hitsuzen?"
Jeice cocked an eyebrow. "Hitsu-what?"
"Hit-Su-Zen," Enma repeated, irritably. "Hitsuzen. Where certain events, decisions and actions in life - and death - relate to one another by a complex string of ties that bind, so that without them particular important events in the future cannot happen; events that are meant to happen and must happen."
Jeice simply gawked. "…ah'm not following."
Enma huffed. "It is Inevitability, simply put."
"Oh!" the pirate exclaimed. "You mean like Fate?"
"No! Fate is definite; Fate is unchangeable. To be conducted by Fate is to be a puppet on a string. Hitsuzen is inevitability and Hitsuzen is precisely the reason why I have your empty-headed carcass standing before me."
"Fine, fine. Geez, lighten up. Yer already dead," Jeice grumbled.
Enma glowered and shuffled a stack of papers impatiently. "There has been an …upset as of late, and we require your workmanship. One of our Death Bringers disappeared recently and the files of their ward, Bura Briefs, have been tampered with."
"Death Bringer?" Jeice interrupted. "What, like a Shinigami? They actually exist?"
"Of course they exist!" Enma barked, unused to being so easily interrupted. "How else do you think spirits find their way here?"
Jeice snorted and tossed his white mane across one shoulder. "Ah don't remember any Shinigami bringin' me here."
A vein popped on Enma's broad forehead. "That's because you're not supposed to remember," he replied through gritted teeth. "Now, this is certainly against my better judgement, but it you have been chosen as a temporary replacement for Bura Briefs Shinigami."
"What?!" Jeice choked. "Yer settin' me free?"
A sardonic grin spread itself across Enma's face. "Don't get too excited now." The giant clapped two enormous hands together and summoned a figure waiting patiently in the corner. "This will be your mentor and partner for the time being."
Enma motioned with one outstretched arm as the shadows dispersed to reveal a young woman, no older than Jeice himself. She strode confidently into the middle of the Entrance Hall and took a deep bow before him.
"Saku Ookami, an Angel-in-training. She will be your watcher and report directly back to me if you, ahem, happen to get out of hand."
Jeice glanced at the angel, who shot a most un-angelic smile back at him, and sweated.
"But what've I got t' do?" Jeice protested to the Judge. "I don't know the first soddin' thing about being a Shinigami!"
"The date of Bura Briefs death has been tampered with. You will watch over her and prevent her from harm until we discover the whereabouts of her Shinigami and retrieve her stolen death certificate. While we expect the meddler to reveal himself soon, we cannot be everywhere at once."
"Really?" Jeice smirked. "Santa Claus can."
Enma scowled and grumbled something inaudible, and likely rude, into his beard. "You must take this task very seriously. This act of misconduct brings evil tidings and if what I suspect is true, then we are all of us in very grave danger. Death is not the end of things, after all."
He looked to the Angel-in-training, who looked grimly back at him.
And Jeice left the Judge feeling as if he knew even less about the situation than he did before he arrived.
Rose Kitty: Glad you like it. I've never really written a mystery before, I'm a bit worried it's too confusing at times, haha!
Leanne: Well the original concept and villain is there, but there's less angst… at least for the first few chapters. I felt like the last version was a little too emo for my tastes lol. Oh, and the blood on Bra's cheek was the little girl's…hence the mystery, muhaha!
Ladybugg: I'm happy that you're still enjoying the updated version of the story! Hope you like the future chapters too!
Caith: As if I could keep Caithion out of this fic, even if he only has a small cameo smirk Besides, he gives me a good excuse to bring Trunks down off his high horse every now and again.
HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!! & remember to send in character songs!