"So… what

"So… what? Do I just have to make coffee and do some filing or something?" Beetlejuice asked, following Cummerbund further down the hallway.

Cummerbund chuckled quietly. "You wish."

"They said intern. Wait… are you guys gonna make me wear a skirt?" The ghoul shot a sidelong glance at the reaper.

"I hope not. You don't have the legs for it." Cummerbund shook her head.

"Har." Beetlejuice rolled his eyes.

"If you make it through training, we'll give you a case." Cummerbund turned slightly to the ghost. "If you do well with that, then we'll let you out of the contract, but we'll expect you to keep up with the case."

"And if I just take off after you let me go?" Beetlejuice shoved his hands into his pockets.

"You're automatically dumped into Tartarus." Cummerbund faced Beetlejuice completely. "Look. This is probably the only chance we're going to give you. I expect you to treat it with a little respect."

Beetlejuice chuckled. "It's a little hard for me to believe that when I've spent most of my afterlife dangled over the sandworms."

"It's no one's fault but your own." Cummerbund shrugged. "I think that you can do this. Besides… think of the slap in the face this'll be to everyone who's doubted you."

"Oh yeah?" Beetlejuice sidled up to Cummerbund. "What d'you mean by that?"

"Becoming a Supernatural Control agent is one of the highest honours a soul can receive." Cummerbund continued walking. "It means that you are worthy of the respect of the entire Underworld."

"Really…" The poltergeist put an arm around Cummerbund's shoulder. "What about Juno and the paper pushers back in the waiting room?"

"You'd be able to trump their call." Cummerbund shrugged. "Hopefully we can instil in you a little respect on that matter as well…"

"We'll see." Beetlejuice shrugged.

The spirit floated a little in front of Cummerbund and kept pace with the soul reaper as she continued to the offices, rubbing his hands in glee. "So… what's first? Kicking some demon butt? Inspecting the succubi?"

"Cleansing." Cummerbund deadpanned.

"Begpardon?" The smile dropped right off the ghoul's face.

"You still haven't been properly cleansed. I doubt anyone told you about that when you got down here." Cummerbund opened the door to a large pool. "I don't think that you'll get very far looking like a bog man."

"But I like the bog man look…" Beetlejuice scratched at his neck as he followed her in. "It's rugged."

Cummerbund rolled her eyes. "You won't last in that state. You do realize that you're walking into a combat job, right?"

"What, like… combat-combat?" Beetlejuice tilted his head and put up his dukes playfully. "I can hold my own in a fight, babes."

"I strongly doubt that." Cummerbund grabbed the ghoul by his shirt and tossed him into the pool.

The poltergeist quickly came up from the bottom, spitting out the water. "What was THAT for?"

"…Did you even realize I'd moved?" Cummerbund crouched down by the ghost. "Sweetie, you have to have your soul free and clear to do this job properly."

"Then maybe I don't want to do this job." Beetlejuice grabbed the edges of the pool, just in time for the water around him to turn dark red and start boiling. "…Woah! WOAH! Okay! I'll do it!"

As the pool returned to normal, Cummerbund shook her head. "You need to watch what you say around here."

"No kidding." Beetlejuice looked warily at the water.

The reaper rose and started walking away. "I'll be right back."

"Where are you going?" Beetlejuice tried getting out of the pool, but couldn't find purchase.

"Calm down." Cummerbund tossed over her shoulder. "You need a new suit. I won't be responsible for you catching a cold."

"Right. It'll be the death of me." Beetlejuice turned back to the water and chuckled, smiling to himself as he heard Cummerbund laughing at the pun.

:

"…You decent?" Cummerbund came back into the room bearing a cleaner version of Beetlejuice's black and white striped suit.

"Sort of…" Beetlejuice tugged at the black robes he was wearing as Cummerbund found him inspecting his neck in a mirror. "What was in that water?"

"Oh… you know… water." Cummerbund rolled her hand as she handed the poltergeist his suit. "…and some magic."

"Magic?" Beetlejuice raised an eyebrow. "What's wrong with the magic that I have?"

"Different stuff." The soul reaper motioned to the water. "It's what we use on the reapers that are still attached to their corporeal forms."

The ghoul blinked emptily at the reaper for a moment. "… Huh?"

"You'll understand once we get into the office." Cummerbund patted the poltergeist on the shoulder. "Get dressed and meet me at the end of the hall in ten minutes."

Within ten minutes Beetlejuice was leaning on the wall next to the glass doors that led to the Supernatural Control wing.

"Can I help you?" A female jiang-si with a long black braid approached the ghost.

"Oh, uh… no, babes, that's okay. I'm waiting for Cummerbund." Beetlejuice waved off the woman.

"I see." The jiang-si nodded. "You're Beetlejuice, right?"

"The one and only." The poltergeist nodded, pushing off the wall with his foot and extending his hand. "And you are…?"

"Amai." The corpse puppet shook his hand.

"You've got quite a grip for a zombie." Beetlejuice mused.

"I'm not a zombie." Amai chuckled. "I'm a jiang-si. Ex-Yakuza too. Toshi brought me back to… life, I suppose… and I've been working for her ever since."

"Must have not been too long ago." Beetlejuice shrugged approvingly. "You don't look a day over eighteen."

"I died when I was sixteen, actually." Amai corrected. "…And I've been with the Spiritual Phenomenon division for almost sixty years."

"I see." Beetlejuice's eyebrows raised.

"Beetlejuice, I wouldn't recommend that…" Cummerbund quickly approached the pair.

"What? It's just harmless banter." Beetlejuice shrugged.

"But she has work to do." Cummerbund opened the doors and ushered the pair inside.

As the trio headed inside, the reaper turned to Amai. "Did you deal with that necromancer?"

"Necromancers." Amai corrected, handing Cummerbund a folder. "There were a half dozen of 'em… but they won't be a problem anymore."

"What do you mean by that?" Beetlejuice leaned around the reaper to address the jiang-si.

"I instructed them on the rules and regulations of dealing with the spiritual realm. As in 'don't call us, we'll call you'." Amai shrugged. "And… beat a couple of them within an inch of their lives to make a point."

Beetlejuice got in front of the group and stopped them in the hallway. "So, you mean to tell me that we're allowed to 'deal' with the living."

"If they're causing a problem that upsets the balance between life and death." Cummerbund nodded. "Like necromancers, or people that think they can play God."

Beetlejuice's eyebrows shot up. "So… in that case, I can still call myself a bio-exorcist?"

"No." Cummerbund shook her head. "You won't be dealing specifically with the living. Mostly the dead."

"Nuts." Beetlejuice kicked at the floor. "Can I be a soul reaper then?"

"Again, no." Cummerbund crossed her arms. "You're over qualified to be a soul reaper. That's why you've been assigned here."

"How the Hell can you be 'overqualified' to be a soul reaper?" Beetlejuice tilted his head.

"For one, you'd enjoy it." Cummerbund walked past the ghoul.

"You can place him with me in Spiritual Phenom'." Amai started. "We've got a bit of a backlog."

"Are you sure you can handle him?" Cummerbund looked at the jiang-si. "He still needs to go through some training."

"On the job is the best kind." Amai shrugged. "C'mon… I'll take him."

"All right. But don't break him." Cummerbund nodded.

"I'll go easy on him." Amai put a hand over her heart and the other in the air.


A/N: More explanations!

Jiang-si: Corpse puppet. Chinese in nature, necromancers would attach spells to the forehead of the corpse and return them to their homes for proper burial, or press them into service. Made popular by Hsien-Ko from Darkstalkers. In Demonhunter, Amai sports her paper spell wrapped around her heart, so it does not interfere with her line of sight, so most people assume she is a zombie of some kind.