Uminari City Police: Daily Activity Logs
UCPD Log: Jan-9-20XX
Officers: F. Testarossa and N. Takamachi, H. Yagami and Y. Scrya & S. Yagami
There were a few days in a year that Fate dreaded with every fibre of her heart.
Tax return day.
Nanoha's birthday (because Fate would always inevitably allow herself to get talked into getting Nanoha a few more claymores and ammunition as a present).
And this terrible, dreadful, bad luck day…Weapons Permit Renewal Deadline day.
"Why," Fate moaned as she fought the urge to snap her pen in half as yet another one ran out of ink on her, "is it that Carim and Schach never draw the short straws for paperwork duty on permit renewal day?"
"Because the universe hates you," Signum supplied from her desk, absently sipping from her cup of morning coffee.
Fate glared. "I don't want to hear that from you when you're just as bad as Nanoha and you knowit."
The pink-haired woman simply smiled innocently.
"I should make Nanoha do this," the blonde grumbled, fishing around for a new pen and murmuring a soft word of thanks when Signum took pity on her and passed her one. "She's the one who got all of these."
"Aren't you the one who bought her most of them?" Yuuno asked innocently from the next cubicle.
"You!" Fate growled, giving him a dirty glare over the edge of the gray divider. "How could you let this happen? Aren't you supposed to be the one sane man around here?" The mild irritation was let out of her glare when Shari put a slice of apple pie down beside Fate's stack of papers, the aide giving Yuuno a wink as Fate was distracted.
"Why don't you make Nanoha do them herself?" Signum asked, an eyebrow raised. As deceptive as her apathetic look appeared, all of them knew the sergeant well enough to recognize the smug amusement she was truly feeling about the situation.
"Yes indeed," Shari giggled, jumping on the bandwagon. "Why are you doing so much work for Nanoha, Fate?"
Fate sighed, checked the ink in her new pen, and got back to work. "You know the answer to that as well as I do, Shari," she muttered, not even giving the brown-haired woman a look. It was no secret in the force that Nanoha was good at doing paperwork, but didn't have the interest in actually doing it.
Yuuno, Shari and Signum all exchanged looks. There was only one reply to something like that, but only Hayate Yagami could possibly have delivered the line as it deserved to be delivered.
When the reply came, it startled all of them.
"Because you're a sap?" Signum intoned quite seriously.
"Yuuno is a sap too," Fate shot back without missing a beat. "Every year he does Hayate's paperwork, even if she draws the short straw."
"How can I help it if Yuuno is a gentleman?" Hayate blinked innocently, leaning against Fate's desk with a smile.
"Holy—!" Fate yelped, jumping in her seat. "Where did you come from?"
"Coffee run for all you poor hard-working officers?" Hayate crooned, grinning wickedly. She set down the coffee cups from the tray she was holding.
"And just where is my worthless partner then?" Fate groused.
Yuuno scratched his cheek. "Actually, I heard she had a bit of a cold, so her mother came over and made her sleep in."
Fate blinked. "Really?" Nanoha never got sick, and it was rare for the chief to make an exception for something as simple as a cold.
"I know, we reacted that way too," Yuuno said.
"That is, after we realized that it wasn't an excuse," Hayate added slyly, "since you showed up for work today after all, Fate-chan!"
"Why would—" Fate suddenly flushed. Oh.
Signum looked up from her writing, deadpanning, "Walked right into that one."
"Yup," Shari pitched in helpfully.
Fate groaned and knew she couldn't even deny it—and in addition, it was no secret that when Nanoha was sick, or generally not feeling well, the blonde was right by her side. "Any idea how she's feeling, at least?" she muttered.
Signum shrugged. "Your guess is as good as mine."
"You could always check on her after your shift," Yuuno suggested helpfully.
"Hm." Fate went back to filling out the stack of papers.
Licensed owner: Nanoha Takamachi. Weapon Registration code: …I wonder how Nanoha is feeling?
Fate snuck a look at the clock—hm, still another hour before she could legitimately claim a lunch break… Urgh, why was she so concerned? Nanoha was a big girl, she can take care of herself! And besides, Momoko was probably there too, right?
But it was a working day…Momoko probably had to take care of the shop…so what if Nanoha was alone?
"Something wrong, Fate?" Shari asked, a smile twitching on her lips.
"Shut up, Shari," Fate grumbled.
The brown-haired woman snickered.
Fate glanced back down at her papers. Where was she? Weapon Registration code…she had the codes somewhere. Digging through her desk drawers, Fate riffled through the colour-coded files. Registration codes…
She should probably bring Nanoha lunch. The silly girl often forgot to eat when she was sick…
No, Fate had work to do! Nanoha's work! She had no time to be running all the way to her partner's apartment just to deliver her lunch! But, well…Fate could always just call Nanoha up to check…
Signum sighed, pitying the woman. "Fate, do you want me to tell the chief you're going on a short break so you can at least call her?"
"No, no!" Fate coughed fakely, burying her face back in the paperwork. "It's fine! No worries at all!" She promptly shut up—her arguments were starting to sound lame even to Fate's ears.
Weapon Type: Rifle. Model: M16…More codes…Date Acquired…
Great, finished another one! All that was needed was Nanoha's signature on ALL the forms, but Nanoha couldn't complain when Fate was the one to fill everything else out. Fate set the completed form to her right triumphantly. Then she saw the thick blank stack still on her left...
"ARGH, NANOHA!" Fate yelled.
"You know," Shari began innocently, "I would think you would be able to drag Nanoha out of bed for this kind of thing, Fate."
"What do you mean?" the blonde asked, suddenly wary of where the conversation was going.
The other woman's eyes gleamed. "Well, since you always leave her apartment in the morning..."
"I'm always there to wake her up!" Fate protested, waving her hands. "You know she'll never wake up on her own! I was running late today, so I didn't go over…but that's really why!"
…How come whenever Fate defended herself with the truth, none of them believed her?
Maybe she needed to stop putting so much energy into her protests whenever she was being teased...
"Officers!" Grahem's door slammed open, and Gil poked his head out, looking just as frazzled as the rest of them. Through his open office door the stacks of files were balanced precariously across his desktop—all of them winced in sympathy. "I need someone to run down to the post office and pick up a package for me. Any volun—"
He rubbed his brows as everyone's hand shot up. "Sergeant! Get everyone to draw straws or something—but only one person!" The door slammed shut again.
"Now, now, Signum," Hayate perched on the edge of Signum's desk, her eyes glittering. "You gotta play fair…"
Signum sniffed as she reached into one of her desk drawers, rustling around before she pulled out the small can filled with straws. "I don't know what you're implying, Hayate. We all know you're the one who rigs it."
Fate didn't know if it was good or bad that the blue-eyed girl didn't even bother denying it.
"All right, everyone, you know the rules," Signum continued as she sat the can on her desk. "The one who draws the short straw gets to go. No drawing more than one straw at a time, and no..."
She smacked away Shari's hand as it inched closer, making the woman pout.
"... drawing before I say go. It's only fair."
"Anyone want to abstain from drawing?" Hayate asked, eyeing Yuuno with an expression that the blond man seemed to dread.
"Hayate, stop trying to intimidate the competition."
"Would I do that, dear cousin?"
"Hey, no biasing the executor!"
"Um, girls," Yuuno said nervously.
"All right, all right." Ending the conversation by giving Hayate's ear a light twist, Signum put her hand over the straws, as did everyone else in the room. "On my count. One, two..."
"Heh heh heh…" Hayate held up her short straw, cackling as she leapt over the chairs, dramatically whipping her jacket over her shoulders. "SCORE!"
"I swear," Shari grumbled, pouting, "she still cheated somehow."
"Hear hear," agreed Fate, staring gloomily at her long straw.
Hayate grinned. "Don't worry, Fate. I'll give Nanoha a kiss for you."
"Do whatever you want! Why would I care?" Fate went back to scribbling, her pen digging into the paper. She heard a muffled "Ow!" as someone kicked Hayate in the shin.
"I was just kidding," Hayate whined.
"Go," Yuuno hissed.
As Hayate slunk out, all of them couldn't help but look longingly after her. Shari picked up her own armful of paperwork—records of the UCPD explosive devices…all of the explosive devices…of which there was a lot—and whimpered.
"Sergeant Signum…want to trade?"
Fate sighed. "I was afraid you'd say that."
Suspiciously, Signum narrowed her eyes at Fate. "Why? Were you going to pawn off some work on me too?"
"Hey, isn't that what superior officers are for? You're a sergeant—shouldn't you be used to desk riding by now?"
"Fate," Yuuno said dryly, "remember who you're talking to? This is coming from the woman who owns more guns than Nanoha."
"Hey." Signum huffed, as if insulted. "Unlike Miss Butterfingers, I actually get my paperwork done early so it's not a problem. Far less headaches that way."
"Where do you find the time?" Fate scowled as she fudged a registration code. She stole a white-out stick from Hayate's desk and scrubbed at the error. Under her breath, she grumbled, "I swear, next year I'm making Nanoha do these herself!"
"You know, if you did one every day, you'd be done in the year," Signum deadpanned. Then she smirked. "And do you know what's an even better idea?" She picked up one of the sheets and waved it. "You know that carbon copies are just for sticklers, right? Our licensor has been happy to accept photocopies for the last two years."
"You mean…" Fate gaped and stared down at her piles of hand-written, carbon copy forms, then looked over at Signum's bound textbook-sized stack of sheets.
"Just leave some date spots blank and your signature—the rest stays the same every year."
"…I would have thought that you were smart enough to notice that?"
"I think you broke Fate," Shari whispered.
"You…mean…" Fate stared at her papers. All those stacks, all the used up pens, all the minutes of cramped muscles in her writing hand… "YOU MEAN IT WAS ALL FOR NOTHING?"
"Not nothing," Yuuno pointed out logically. "You kind of need an original copy first, right?"
Gnashing her teeth, Fate's forehead dropped onto her desk with a bang.
"Yup. You broke her."
"I didn't do it on purpose," Signum muttered.
"Doesn't matter. You still broke her."
"I'm okay," Fate said, her voice wavering in a slightly maniacal way. "It's alright—why wouldn't it be alright? I already filled out eighty-seven of those forms, what's another seventy-nine? Oh no, it wouldn't be any problem at all, ha ha ha…"
"I'm back!" Hayate called out cheerfully as she walked through the glass doors, holding a package up just as Fate screamed, "I'M SUPER ALRIGHT, JUST SEVENTY-NINE MORE TO GO!" and finished with a bout of mad laughter.
"…What the hell did you guys do while I was gone? And why wasn't I here to film it?"
"Signum broke Fate," Shari replied.
"I didn't!" Signum yelped.
"SEVENTY-EIGHT MORE TO GO!"
"Almost…" Fate droned, her eyes practically glowing red with anticipation. Her hand scrawled faster, ridges worn into her fingertips from clutching the pen. She could no longer feel the writing implement—it was as if the words just appeared on the page as her hand moved. "Acquisition license number…storage information…"
She was so close…so close…One last blank field to fill—
The front door opening didn't distract Fate from her goal, but the familiar voice calling out did.
Startled, she looked up, blinking groggily. "Hello?"
Standing near the door, Nanoha waved weakly. "Um, hi."
"Nanoha!" Fate jolted, starting to get out of her seat, then blushed and sat back down. "Uh," she tried again, trying to sound less worried, "Aren't you sick? Shouldn't you be at home resting?"
"I feel a lot better, actually." Smiling sheepishly, Nanoha rubbed the back of her neck. "Mom and Onee-chan came and looked after me, so I don't feel too bad now." She cleared her throat. "But what about you? It's dark outside, Fate-chan."
"Yeah," Nanoha nodded, walking over. Then she perked up and said, "But you wouldn't guess what I actually got done today! It was so boring, being at home, so I thought that I might as well do something useful."
Gleefully, Nanoha pulled out a heavy stack of papers as thick as an encyclopedia from under her arm and brandished it towards Fate.
"... Nanoha, is that..."
"Yep! All of the licenses and permits for my weapons. It took me all day, but I figured since I was already in bed anyway I had nothing better to do, and... Fate-chan, are you all right? You've gone pale."
END LOG 1-9-20XX
Author's Note: Any lack of realism in the renewal process of weapon permits shall be excused for the sake of humour! ^_^