Disclaimer: I do not own Neon Genesis Evangelion or any of its characters. I also do not own any of the copyrighted brand names I may have happened to use.

Shinji Ikari checked his watch to find he still had half an hour of his working day left. He sighed, before returning to typing his report. It had been a long day, and he had just closed a case up yesterday. It wasn't the way he liked; with a bullet in the head of the accused. However, he the punk had opened fire on them, so there was nothing they could have done. Despite that, he still had the closure he needed for the case; hence he had ended several weeks worth of stress for himself. He had hoped that this would be the last big case for a while, because he could really use the break.

"Hey, Ikari, the captain wants to see you in the office," said Maya Ibuki, the captain's secretary.

"All right. I'll be just in," Shinji replied. Maya was older than Shinji, but was by definition quite cute. She had short black hair that fell around her neck. Shinji got along pretty well with her and she could have been one of his few friends in this world. "How'd it go with Aoba?" Shinji asked.

"It was pretty good for a while, but I had to call it off after a while," Maya replied.

"Really? How come?"

"It was just…awkward. I couldn't really work around him well."

"That's a shame. Well Ibuki, you do need to find yourself another date sometime. You can't be single all your life."

"That goes to you as well, Mr 'I Work Alone'. I can't remember the last time you went on a date."

"I've been on a few. Nothing substantial though. Am I all right to walk into the captain's office?"

"Sure, go right on in."

Shinji opened the door labelled 'Captain' to see the purpled haired woman behind a pile of paperwork, as was the norm around her office. Captain Misato Kaji was in charge of the Tokyo-3 Metropolitan Police Investigations section and recently, she had the highest workload among all the section chiefs in the whole of the Metropolitan Police. You couldn't tell though. She was still as attractive as ever. It was a shame she was married.

"You called me, Captain?" Shinji said.

"Yeah Ikari, I did. Take a seat, right now, I need to find the file I need to show you," she said, rummaging around her desk. Shinji wondered how it was possible to find anything around her office. "Ah, here it is," Misato said, pulling out what looked like an officer's information file. "Okay Ikari, here's the deal; I've got you a partner."

Shinji sat silent for a moment, before voicing his protest, "But Captain, you know I can't do that, because…"

"Don't give me any of this 'I work alone' bullshit, 'cos that ain't the way things are run in this department," Misato said, rather harshly. "Ikari, you're a good cop, but if you ever want to make Lieutenant, then you gotta learn to work with other people. That's the name of the game once you go up past Sergeant."

Shinji sat down and digested the information. The last time the captain set Shinji up with a partner didn't go too well. What made this any different? "Well, is he a rook?" Shinji asked.

"First of all, he's a she. And no, she ain't no rookie. She led the Yakuza bust in Tokyo-2," the captain stated.

Well, thought an impressed Shinji, that operation was a piece of work. "So she's being transferred down from No 1 Metropolitan?" Shinji asked.

"Yup. Here are a photo and a name, plus some old records," Misato said, pushing the file forward.

"Asuka Langley Sohryu. Hmm, cute name," Shinji chuckled. He looked at the picture and one thing came straight to mind. "Foreigner?" he asked.

"You couldn't tell it from how well she speaks Japanese. But yeah, she's predominantly German," Misato explained.

"I see," Shinji said. "So when does she start?"


Shinji started at her blankly. "Tomorrow? Captain, surely you could have given me more warning?" Shinji asked.

"She's been given warning. You, my friend, are a different matter," Misato said. "Listen, you gotta learn to work with people. You got a lot of expectations on you."

Shinji nodded, knowing that his father was Commander of the No 2, or Tokyo-3, Metropolitan Police. "Yeah, I know that. The old man told me he'd give me a kick up the ass if I wasn't Lieutenant Detective by next year," Shinji said.

"And what better way to do get a promotion than to crack a few cases with your new partner?" Misato asked. "And on the plus side, she sure is good looking."

"That is a plus," Shinji agreed.

"Don't screw this up, Shinji. I went out my way to get her as your partner. She's heard about you, as you may be unaware that your reputation precedes you. I thought she'd suit your style of work. Ikari, do good on this, not just for me, but for yourself," Misato said.

"Sure thing, Captain," Shinji said.

"Well, that's good. She will be here tomorrow, right from the start of the day. You're free to go home now. You've done your job for the day."

"Gee, thanks Captain. And I promise to do good on the whole partner thing."

"You better."

Shinji left the office and gave Maya a smile before heading off to a local bar to meet up with a few of the guys.

Toji Suzuhara was an officer in the Organised Crime Section, and Kensuke Aida was a Police Forensics expert. They were old pals from the academy, and Shinji would meet up with them on a regular basis, just to hang out or watch a football game.

This time, he was meeting them at a pretty upscale local bar. He entered the place, and found the two sitting at a table. They waved him over and he joined them. "Hard day, Shinji?" Kensuke chuckled.

"Not really. Just some news," Shinji replied.

"News, huh?" Toji asked. "What's it this time?"

"The Captain set me up with a partner," Shinji replied.

"Well, ain't that a shame," Toji laughed. "Although I would sure love to get set up with your captain!"

The three laughed, knowing that Misato's appearance and good looks weren't exactly typical 'cop'. "I wouldn't do that if I where you, buddy. I know her husband and he's one of these National Security types, ya know? You get on the wrong side of him and he might make you disappear," Shinji pointed out.

"Really? I've heard it all now. I thought I heard it all when I heard you got reprimanded again for the last time you had a partner, but now I hear your Captain's married to someone in National Security, I have heard it all," Kensuke said.

"I almost thought you were untouchable, with your old man being Commander. I guess we were all wrong," Toji said.

"Don't get me wrong, the old man's a great guy. But when it comes to me, the expectations are up to my neck. He isn't best pleased when I screw up, especially on the partner issue," Shinji explained.

"So who'd they set you up with this time? Another rookie?" Kensuke asked.

"Nah, this time I got someone who knows what they're doing," Shinji replied.

"Oh right. So, who is he?" Toji asked.

"Well, first of all, he's a she," Shinji said, echoing Misato's words. "And she led the Tokyo-2 Yakuza bust."

"No shit? That was one hell of an operation. Almost as good as the ones I run," Toji chuckled.

"Hey, you have to give a big assist to Investigations for that bust," Shinji pointed out. "Plus, I nailed the guy."

"That guy nearly nailed you. But yeah, couldn't have done it without you. Anyway, you spill over in Organised Crime turf all the time," Toji said.

"Hey ladies, could we quit with the bickering?" Kensuke said. "You'd make life in forensics much easier if you two ain't trying to claim every case as your own."

The two knew Kensuke was right, so they changed topic. "So, your new partner, what's she like?" Toji asked.

"What's she like?" Shinji asked back.

"Well, yeah, appearance and all. She a looker?"

Shinji nodded his head while a smile. This got Kensuke's attention. "She looked mighty fine in the picture," Shinji replied.

"Damn. How come this boy gets all the good stuff?" Kensuke muttered.

"That's 'cos I don't work in forensics," Shinji pointed out.

"Ooh. That's low," Kensuke said. "I think you should buy the drinks for that."

"I agree," Toji chuckled. Shinji sighed as he stood up to buy the round and wondered what his new partner would be like.

Shinji sauntered into work casually with a cup of coffee in hand. When he went to his desk, another desk had been placed perpendicular to his, with a box of personal items on it. So, she's here, Shinji thought. He looked toward the Captain's office, and saw a head of strawberry blonde hair through the frosted window. Yup, she's definitely here, Shinji thought again.

He opened up his computer and began checking for any new assignments or cases. Sure enough, there was one for this morning that he would get straight to work on…once his partner had settled in. He sipped his coffee while slipping glances toward the office. His new partner certainly seemed animated in her mannerisms.

Soon she exited the office and headed toward her new desk. "Hey, Detective Shinji Ikari, right?" she asked. Shinji smiled as he stood up and extended his hand. "Yup. And you must be Detective Asuka Langley Sohryu," he said.

"That's me," she said with a confident smile. That was something Shinji immediately took a liking to. She seemed to have aura of confidence, which was a good sign. And apart from that, she had the kind of figure that all women wanted and that all men wanted women to have.

"Well, I can gladly say that I will be your new partner," Shinji said, taking a seat, going through all the motions that he had done before with previous partners, although this time his partner wasn't a rookie.

"Same here," Asuka said. "I heard about your work, especially the Mugita case. That was a hell of a bust."

"Thank you. I have to say, when I heard about your involvement in the recent Tokyo-2 Yakuza case, I was very impressed," Shinji said.

"Why thank you! Well, I hope that this will be a fruitful relationship," Asuka said.

"Me too. And we have work to do straight away as well."

"Really? I'll just set my desk up and we'll head out."

Shinji droved his unmarked police car (it was a BMW M5, which was a nice touch) toward the scene of the crime. "You want a coffee or anything before we get there?" Shinji asked. "My treat."

"Yeah, sure," Asuka replied. Shinji was no longer going through the motions, as none of his previous partners was a highly attractive woman. She had her long red hair tied into a ponytail and Shinji wondered what it would look like hanging down.

After they stopped to get coffee, they arrived at the scene to find it had been taped off. It was a major Tokyo-3 bank and apparently it had been robbed. The bank owner it seemed, was being questioned by an officer, but the officer soon gave way at the appearance of Shinji. "Good morning, sir. I'm Detective Ikari, and this is Detective Sohryu," Shinji greeted. "I understand your bank was robbed?"

"Yes, Detective. However, the fact that it was robbed does not concern. It was the vault that the money was stolen from that concerns me," the owner replied.

"Certain significance?" Shinji asked.

"I believe so," the owner replied. "If you two can take me inside, then I can explain what I'm talking about."

"Of course. Lead the way, sir," Shinji said.

It was a very impressive structure. The floors were tiled with marble and the foyer was fashioned very ornately. They were led down into the basement, where a large steel door was hanging open. Shinji made a note to check with forensics for any evidence. "I have reason to believe that the vault that was stolen from belongs to some in the Yakuza," the owner said.

"You don't know?" It was Asuka this time.

"No. We express total client confidentiality. However, this man had Yakuza written all over him," the owner explained.

"Very well," Shinji said, taking a note. "So, how much money was stolen?"

"All of the money in the vault. It had a value equal to five million US dollars."

"Which is quite a substantial dent in the reserves of the Yakuza," Shinji noted.

"Yes. I'm sure they have other accounts in other banks. However, what startles me is the nature of the robbery," the owner said.

"Continue," Asuka said, trying to get as much as she could out of this man.

"Well, all the security guards were killed; each had a bullet in the head. All the CCTV camera footage was stolen along with the money. This was done very professionally and planned ahead I suspect," the owner explained.

"I see. Well, thank you for your time. Detective Sohryu and I will take a look around the scene. The officer here will escort you back out," Shinji said.

After the owner left Shinji looked around the bank. "Well, looks like someone's trying to start a war with the Yakuza," Shinji noted.

"They'll definitely demand heads for this," Asuka agreed.

"This means that Organised Crime gets involved in the investigation as well. They'll chase ghosts while we follow the real leads," Shinji added. Asuka frowned. She had heard that Shinji Ikari had a record of not working well with other people, never mind other police departments.

"We could use all the help we could get," Asuka said. "This looks serious." Shinji nodded, and examined the vault. It had been left open with its contents gone. "Well, it looks like we have nothing to go on. We'll have to get out to let forensics do their thing," Shinji said.

"Right," Asuka agreed.

When Shinji left the bank, he wasn't surprised to see Toji Suzuhara standing outside, munching a doughnut. "Morning, Shinji," he said.

"Morning Toji. Detective Sohryu, this is Detective Toji Suzuhara from Organised Crime, and also a good friend of mine," Shinji said.

"How do you do?" Toji said, extending a hand. "A pleasure."

"Pleasure is all mine," Asuka said, although her smile looked uneasy.

"So, you've heard about the Yakuza connection?" Shinji asked.

"Yeah, hence me being here. This is big. We've got armed robbery and five cases of murder. According to our good friends in forensics, four of the five guards were tied up, and those four were shot exactly in the centre of the head. Also, bloodstains on the wall have made us come to believe that they were killed, execution style," Toji explained.

"Great, so that's four counts of premeditated murder," Asuka said.

"Yup," Toji said, finishing off his doughnut. "You're obviously aware we're not dealing with fools here."

"Yeah. I'm just hoping forensics comes up with something, like prints or something. Right now, we have nothing to go on," Shinji said.

"What about the CCTV cameras?" Toji asked.

"Nothing. The tapes were all stolen," Shinji answered.

"No witnesses?" Asuka asked.

"If there are any, they sure are taking their sweet time coming out," Toji said in annoyance. "Looks like we got ourselves another bastard of a case."

"You can say that again," Shinji agreed.

"Another?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah. We've spent the last six weeks on another case and the Yakuza were involved. It all ended in a shoot out," Shinji said.

"Mr Hero here put a bullet in the bad guy's head," Toji said, patting Shinji on the shoulder. "Anyway, if you'll excuse me, I've got people to see and things to do. If I have anything, I'll get in touch."

"Sure thing," said Shinji. He checked his watch. "Well, it's been a good start so far," he muttered.

"You bet," Asuka agreed, in annoyance. "And that Toji guy was…looking at me. You know how."

"Oh, really? Sorry, he can't help himself around good looking women," Shinji said.

"You seem pretty under control yourself," Asuka noted, seeing that Shinji hadn't been staring at her breasts.

"It's my job, Detective Sohryu. Any other way would be detrimental to our good working relationship," Shinji said with a smile.

"Quite the smooth talker," Asuka said, returning Shinji's smile. "Well, since we are planning on a good working relationship, maybe we should switch to first name basis."

"All right. So from now on I'll be Shinji."

"And from now on I'll be Asuka."

Shinji's morning got better. "Nothing? Not a single print?" Shinji asked down the phone.

"No," Kensuke replied. "Not one. We have a few hair samples but I doubt they'll turn out anything conclusive."

"Just peachy," Shinji muttered.

"Anyway, my next stop is the morgue. We're going to try and track down where the bullets used came from. Sorry we couldn't do more man," Kensuke said.

"It's okay," Shinji said, although he was clearly annoyed after he hung up. "Sorry you couldn't start your tenure here with an easier case."

"No, it's fine. I like challenges anyway," Asuka said. "This is almost scary though, how well it was done."

"Yeah, I know. I'm trying to think who would hold a grudge against the Yakuza but coming to think of it, most of those people are dead," Shinji said.

"No one said the Yakuza were a friendly bunch," Asuka said. "In the big bust in Tokyo-2, we lost a good officer. He was also my boyfriend at the time."

"I'm sorry," Shinji said.

"It's okay. I've kind of gotten over it," Asuka said. "Sorry for piling you up with depressing information. We've got a case to crack."

"At this rate, we're not going to be doing much cracking anytime soon," Shinji said. "And besides, if we are to maintain a good working relationship, it's good if we know each other, right?" Asuka nodded with a smile. "Good. Well, since nothing is happening here, I suggest lunch," Shinji said after looking at his watch.

"Best idea I've heard all day," Asuka said.

"So your dad never wanted you to be in the police?" Asuka asked.

"Yeah. When I told him that I had gotten accepted into the police academy, he gave me one of those 'disapproving' father looks," Shinji chuckled. Asuka laughed at the thought. "So what did he do once you became an officer?" she asked.

"Placed a helluva lotta expectations on me," Shinji said next.

"Really? That seems a bit hypocritical," Asuka said.

"Well, that's my dad. 'I don't want you to do that, but if you do that, you do it damn well!' he would say," Shinji said.

The two laughed as their plates became emptied of food. "What about you?" Shinji asked.

"Dunno. I moved over here from Germany when I was about six. Something about police work just appealed to me, so I went through with it," she said. "I graduated from the Tokyo-2 academy and got a posting in investigations. The rest is all history."

"I see," Shinji said. "Anyway, we better get back to the office. We have reports to fill out."

"Oh, the joy," Asuka said sarcastically.