Title: Partner
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: Unbeta-ed, pre-Phantom time, before the series
Genre: General
Main Character(s): Jo, Jin
Ship(s): None
Summary: He didn't look like he belong in here at all. One shot.
Disclaimer: Innocent Venus is copyright to Bandai Visual, Lantis and WOWOW.
Author's Notes: This takes place before their Phantom days and the series. I tried to match as closely as I can to the IV Radio Drama Ep 1 as possible but with my limited Japanese, I might have missed out some scenes or words. But this is what mostly happened in the drama itself. Jo is known as "Buddy Killer" in here as most of his former partners can't keep up with him and always end up dead.

Jo remembered the first time he had met Jin.

It had been at the base's firing range, and he had already been in the military for few months already. Vice-Commander Vikro had asked him to come down to the firing range. Apparently, there was a guy who can load and shoot his gun in under six seconds, a record time for any new recruit and not having the name Katsuragi Jo. They wanted to have him test fire with the guy. The other soldiers were intrigued. It wasn't everyday someone can actually come close to Katsuragi "Buddy Killer" Jo.

When Jo entered the firing range, he admitted being a little surprised at the other person's appearance. Granted, he had expected someone older or younger like him. The guy had him threw out his mental imagery as soon as he set eyes on him.

He was a little shorter than Jo but while Jo was all dark, he was light. Light hair, light coloured eyes and he when he smiled, his cheeks dimpled. He had a face meant for laughing and smiling, and he didn't look like someone who can actually survive the entire duration of training, much less alone belong here.

Although the way he handled his gun had Jo raised an eyebrow in slight respect. At least, he seemed to know what he was doing instead of fumbling around blindly like many of the new recruits.

"Tsurasawa Jin," he introduced himself cheerfully, when Jo stopped at the booth next to his.

"Katsuragi Jo," he mumbled back, a little taken aback by the other young man. He noticed that they weren't the only ones here; there were several others who had been practising their shooting, and were watching them none too discreetly. He ignored their stares and whispers.

"They told me that no one has ever come close to your time before," Jin continued, putting on his ear mufflers; he already had the goggles on, and he was checking his gun. "You're really that good, aren't you?" There was the slight admiration in his tone.

Jo grunted a reply, not bothering to even put an effort in conversing with him. Vice-Commander Vikro's voice came through from the speakers, telling them to start as soon as they see the red light. The world faded back as Jo gave his full concentration on the task at hand. He fired several holes into the test dummy at the end of the range, each bullet fired in the precision to kill and not to wound.

He was aware of the sounds of fading gunfire from next to him when he took off the ear mufflers and the goggles. He looked up towards where Vice-Commander Vikro and the Major were, and they seemed to be in a deep discussion. He looked over to the side to see the others now wearing expressions of envy, jealousy and some with open admiration.

"Hey," came Jin's voice again. Jo turned to face him, wearing his usual frown on his face. It didn't deterred Jin at all; he merely smiled.

"If I come in close to your time, I'll be your partner." Jin placed the goggles on the table next to the ear mufflers. "I heard that no one can partner with you."

Jo shrugged. The others began to talk, some in disbelief, some in mildly disguised amusement, others with resentment but they all said the same thing. No one partnered with Jo and come away alive. Either Jin was crazy or he was really as good as Jo.

It turned out Jin was closely matched with him; only 57 seconds behind Jo's five seconds. A fact that duly impressed Vice-Commander Vikro and the Major since no one had ever matched to Katsuragi "Buddy Killer" Jo before. It was also a fact that made everyone envious. That a new recruit can actually match up to Katsuragi Jo for the first time.

Jo himself was very impressed and his level of respect notched up a level, though he didn't show it. When Jin made his request to be his partner to Vice-Commander Vikro, Jo had already made his decision.

He accepted Jin as his partner that day.

Owari.