Summary: Oneshot. "You got this look in your eyes." He cups a lighter in his hand. The cigarette he holds up to it flickers to life. "I've seen it before. A long, long time ago."

Disclaimer: I don't own Blade of the immortal.


Her new partner is odd. This is her first day on the job and now sitting in a darkly lit bar, perched on an uncomfortable stool, nursing a drink that makes her wince as it burns down her throat, she cannot believe that she worried about making a good impression this morning.

Her partner is busy downing enough drinks to incapacitate a bull elephant, disregarding any form of restraint. He takes a swig and slams the shot glass down with enough force to chip its edge. She winces.

"Why so glum, kid?" He fixes her with one of his one-eyed gazes that she has to make an effort not to shrink away from. "You wanna different drink?"

"No." She snaps more sharply than she meant to. "It's fine. What I'm having a problem with is the fact that my new partner shot four people today."

He shrugs and turns back to his empty glass. Taps it twice to signal for a refill. "What's your name again?"

She swallows her annoyance and answers though it would serve him right if she just stayed silent. "Soejima."

"Alright. Listen up Soejima. I've been at this longer than you've been born. Trust me when I say there are three types of people in this world: nice people, people like me, and then there're people that deserve to get shot. It's just how it is."

"You're supposed to arrest them." She doesn't have much of an answer, but she's not going to give him the satisfaction of staying silent. "That's protocol. Arrest them. Not shoot them."

"Oh, protocol. Well if I'd remembered protocol of course I wouldn't have shot them." His voice drips sarcasm and his laugh is a low growl of amusement. "What'd you sign up to be a cop for anyway? Pretty girl like you could find some rich boy and spend the rest of your life not having to worry about shit. You some kinda do-gooder? Looking to fight the good fight?"

"No." This time the snap in her voice is intentional. "My mom was raped and murdered. My dad just killed. Far as I can remember vengeance isn't a good fight."

He grins. "So you think you're tough? You think you're special? You think 'cause a bad thing happened to you, you're the shit?"

She holds his gaze for a moment before glancing down at her glass and taking a reserved sip. "No."

He grins, an expression that crinkles the many scars on his face. "Didn't think so."

"But you picked my as your partner." She looks up. "Why?"

"You believe in karma?"

She blinks. "Like reincarnation? That your deeds from past lives affect your life now?"

"Past lives." He holds his glass up to the grimy bulb lighting the bar. "You believe in it?"

She shrugs. "I guess."

He tips the glass back, taking a long swallow. He swipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "Me neither."

She shakes her glass, shifting the ice till a glimmer of the alcohol at the bottom hits the light. "And?"

"Huh?" He looks up. "Oh. Yeah." He pulls out a wad of bills, ruffles through them for a second then slaps a few on the counter. "C'mon."

Outside the air is chill. She pulls her jacket closer around her.

"You got this look in your eyes." He cups a lighter in his hand. The cigarette he holds up to it flickers to life. "I've seen it before. A long, long time ago."

He takes a long drag and with a quick motion of his hand waves the lighter back and forth, flame guttering out.

"Smoking kills, you know." She says for lack of anything better to say.

He coughs and pounds his chest twice with a clenched fist. "I wish."