Hello readers! Welcome to Legion! I've had this idea for a long time, but have been refining the blurred lines a bit. Enjoy and reviews are always welcome!
Rukia quietly walked into her apartment after leaving the last firm on her list. Her feet had begun yelling at her hours ago to stop and think about her search. To stop being so frantic. To not apply to so many firms in a single day. Her brain wouldn't listen though. Neither would her bank account.
The poor thing had been slowly draining since her graduation from military school. Her job search had been fruitless, and countless hours spent researching possible employers had resulted in an extremely short list of places.
"You look tired, Ru. Want some tea?" Asked her roommate, Rangiku Matsumoto, from the seat she was lounging in. The tall, busty woman had been Rukia's best friend since childhood, and the two lived together with one more.
Rukia dropped her bag tiredly to the floor, "Ran! You shouldn't have waited up for me."
"She's not the only one who did." Said another voice, and her second roommate walked in, carrying a canteen filled with what was probably protein.
"Ren? You too?" Renji Abarai was her other best friend. They met in high school and found a similar interest in the military, quickly becoming fast friends. As it turned out, Renji was already really good friends with Rangiku, so everything worked out great.
Renji was currently going through the same school that Rukia had just graduated from, but for a different reason. He was going through with the army, while she was in spec ops.
She sighed and looked at her friends lovingly, "You guys are too good to me. I'll have tea, Ran, thanks." She said, accepting a hug from Renji. He was a lot taller than her, so it was more like she was hugging his waist, but it was comforting all the same.
"You do the same and more for us, Ru. Remember when I got chewed out for being late a few weeks ago?" Renji asked. She nodded. He had slept in, and an operative had busted through their front door and dragged him, in his underwear, to the academy.
"Do you remember what you did for me?"
She giggled. She had gotten him a stripper for the evening while her and Ran went out for dinner.
"Yeeeah. So you can drop the whole 'everyone is only sweet to me' act. You might be the worst of us all." He laughed. She laughed with him and they sat down as Ran returned with her cup.
"No luck again, Ru?" She asked, checking her finger nails. She was probably on the lookout for smudges in the nail polish.
Ran was the only one in their apartment who wasn't involved with the military. She was a tattoo and makeup artist, who actually was the one doing Renji's tattoos. The tribal markings were large and extensive, but she had a professional tattoo parlor and did them for free.
She sighed, "Nope. Not even a call." She took a sip of the fresh tea, savoring its sweetness. Ran must have put honey into it. Her favorite.
Renji took another big gulp of his protein shake, "Maybe you aren't looking at the right places. You've kept the search limited to public firms, right?"
Rukia nodded, "Of course. I don't have the credentials to even be considered for any private firms. I would need at least ten years of experience to get into Rukon Security, which is the easiest private place to get into."
Renji sighed, "Well...maybe you should start low and work your way around." He said. Rukia sighed. She really didn't want to work at some half baked firm for so many years of her life, just to make it to where she wanted to be in the first place.
But unfortunately, it looked like she had to.
She stirred her tea agitatedly, "Where should I go then?"
Ran tossed her hair, "Why not the local police? All you would need to do is pass the exam." She said, leaning back. Renji nodded, "Yeah! I have a friend with the local station that can get you in. Maybe you can even work homicide or S.W.A.T."
Rukia considered this. It wasn't exactly what she wanted, but homicide sounded somewhat interesting. She'd never thought to do it before, but it could be a good experience for her.
"I'll look into it. Thanks for waiting up for me, but I'm going to turn in for the night." Rukia said, hugging her friends once more before climbing the stairs to her room. Throwing her bag onto the chair, she quickly undressed and put her pajamas on.
She grabbed her cell from her bag and jumped into bed. Her fingers flew across the screen as she typed the message.
'Are you up?' Her father had a medical condition that, some nights, prevented him from sleeping. She texted him every night to make sure that either he was asleep or that he was okay while being up at absolutely ridiculous hours.
She lay in bed waiting for the reply. Her mind strayed to her job predicament, or more the lack of any job at all. Security was all she wanted to do since she was a little girl, since the attack, since her parents...
Her phone jingled to life in her lap, jerking her, thankfully, from darkening thoughts. "Hello?" She hadn't thought to check the caller id first, but she knew who it was anyway.
"Rukia, how are you?" Her fathers voice had always soothed her frayed patience.
"I'm fine, papa. How are you? Can't sleep?" She replied.
She heard a light laugh on the other end of the line, "Oh, I'm fine. I'm sitting in bed right now. How is your job search going?"
She sighed, "Terrible. Thirty four firms, no replies. Renji suggested that I start somewhere low on the ladder and work up."
"It sounds like a solid plan. Any ideas?"
"He also said that he has a friend who can get me into the local homicide unit. I'm not so sure about it though." She said truthfully. Uncertainty had been a constant through her whole life. This was no different.
"You'll never know if you don't try, Rukia. Take Renji up on his offer."
"I'll think about it."
"You never know, it might be just what you need to grow your wings and fly." Her fathers favorite phrase. Grow your wings and fly. He had used the same saying almost all of Rukia's childhood, yet every single time it was exactly the motivation she needed.
"Thanks, papa. Sleep well and call me if anything goes wrong."
"I will. Take care, Rukia. Good night." The line went dead and Rukia yawned wide. It had been a long day, and a nights sleep would be amazing. She had already decided not to do anything tomorrow. Maybe she would go with Renji to his 'friend'. Probably a girl he slept with, really.
Her head hadn't been on the pillow for a moment before she had drifted off to a calm sleep.
"So, Renji...who is this 'friend' of yours?" Rangiku asked with an amused tone. It was eleven o'clock the next morning and Renji was taking Rukia to see his friend. Ran had insisted on going, so now the three of them were packed into Renji's small white convertible.
"Trust me, this one isn't like the others. At all." He said with a smile. Rangiku and Rukia both rolled their eyes.
Renji was a typical guy; he never changed his excuse. Being tattooed, muscled and tall had allowed him to have a glorious sex life, with an equally glorious amount of women. Every single new girl came with the same guarantee. 'This one isn't like the others.'
"Whether she is or not, will she be able to get me into the homicide unit?" Rukia asked from her squished position between her two roommates.
Renji laughed, "That must be a joke, Rukia! With your resume, the force would have to be retarded to not take you." As he said this, the convertible swerved into a parking lot full of police cruisers, convicts being taken both in and out of the building and news crews running alongside them.
"So much publicity on a Tuesday?" Rukia wondered. Renji nodded, "This isn't like the military bases you and I are used to. Police stations are under coverage for most of the working week, though I do believe that weekend coverage is just as busy."
The trio got out of the car and made their way towards the front double glass doors. It really was hectic compared to what she was used to, but at the same time it looked...exciting. Something happening every second, a new criminal to be caught, a new case to solve.
Inside was like a transformation. The rush and heckle from outside changed to a calm and efficient work space. Officers roamed between offices, speaking to their superiors. Copiers and printers whirred constantly, printing of reports and warrants.
Renji walked into the station like he had plenty of personal experience. He led them to an edge office with a plaque on the door.
Ise Nanao. Director of Personnel. He knocked on the door twice before a curt reply came from inside.
Renji opened the door and walked in, Rukia and Rangiku following. Sitting at a flawlessly organized desk was a pretty woman with circle glasses. She had exactly two pens and one pencil in her dress pocket, her badge was fixed professionally on her lapel, and her sharp features were headed by two piercing eyes. Which snapped to Renji without hesitation.
"Well, well, well. Come to apologize for last month?" She said, her voice icy. Renji's face paled.
"Now, Ise...that wasn't my fault..."
"How was that not you fault! Your stayed for one night and then left! You never even called back!" She snapped. Rukia and Ran had to stifle roaring laughter. This woman Ise had Renji's imposing form backed into a corner, and she wasn't letting up.
"You could have at least sent a text! You better get your ass out of my office right now!"
He spluttered, "But Ise...I need to talk to yo-"
"If it's a favor that you promised, these two women can tell me just fine. Get your ungrateful face out of this office!" Renji scurried out, ignoring the knowing glances that he got from his roommates. They would understand soon enough.
Ise straightened her dress and fixed her glasses before turning a pleasant smile on the two girls still in her office, "Can I help you ladies?"
Rukia stepped up, "My name is Rukia Kuchiki, and this is my roommate Rangiku Matsumoto. We're Renji's roommates."
Nanao glared at the door, "How very unfortunate for you...I will apologize now for any past and future frustrations my cousin causes..."
Rukia started, "Cousin?"
Ise sat down at her desk, "Yes. Renji is my youngest cousin. I guess I sort of have a big sister complex with him. He had no siblings, and we lived in the same neighborhood. We spent a lot of time together when we were younger."
Rangiku cocked her head to the side, "So...what was that last fight about?" She asked. Rukia and her had probably thought the same thing. That this Nanao woman was just another booty-call that he slept with and never called. Guess not.
She sighed, "Oh, he offered to help me move into my new apartment. He stayed the night so we could finish in the morning, then he left the next morning. Never even called back. Jerk. Anyway, enough about him. What can I help you with?"
Rukia shifted nervously, "Well...er...I'm looking for a job and thought I'd start off in the police."
Ise shuffled through some papers, "Alright. Any specific department?"
"I was thinking of...um...homicide?"
Ise nodded, "I hope you have a degree, or a ton of experience." She said expectantly. Rukia nodded.
"Well, I just graduated from Gotei Academy of Mili-"
"Gotei? You graduated from Gotei? Screw the formalities, you're hired!" Nanao declared, slapping some files down. Rangiku squealed with delight and threw Rukia in a hug. Rukia herself had a wide grin on her face, before she began thinking.
"Wait, can you do that? Don't you have to talk to your boss?"
Ise waved a hand absently, "Captain Kyoraku will go along with whatever I do. If it was up to him, this place would be a bar. Welcome to the force Rukia. You start tomorrow."
She smiled and nodded, "Thank you, Nanao! Do I have a partner?"
She shook her head, "No. We had been in the process of looking, but you blew all the candidates out of the water, just based on your school. Would you like one though?"
Rukia was about to shake her head, but she gave it a moment of thought. She actually...had no idea how to solve a murder. A double murder. She didn't even know how to solve an assault and battery.
"Actually Nanao...I really don't know my way around the job. Is there anyone who can show me the ropes, I guess?" She murmured. She was afraid that she would lose the job now that Nanao knows that she has no experience.
"Certainly. There's a private practice nearby that we can contract to work with you for a few weeks. I'll give you their card and you can go over there. Again, welcome to the force!"
Rukia took the card with a smile and bowed before scurrying out of the office with Ran. Renji sat outside in one of the chairs talking to an officer that he apparently knew.
"Renji! I got the job!" Rukia said excitedly. He jumped up and threw her in a hug. "That's amazing, Ru! When do you start?"
"We have to go celebrate!" He cried. The officers shushed him, but it was too late. Nanao's door flew open, "Renji! Get out of my precinct! Now!" She bellowed.
Rukia followed her redheaded friend as he ran from the rain of office supplies that Nanao was bombarding them with. Finally they came to a stop at his car. Through the panting, Renji grinned, ear to ear, "So Rukia! Where do you want to go to celebrate?" He asked.
She grinned back, "Nowhere yet. I have to go to this address. It's a private detective agency, and Nanao said that they would contract them to work with me. She said I should go over and introduce myself."
He immediately offered to drive her there. The friends drove a few blocks away until they reached Arisawa Detective Agency.
Rukia asked the others to wait in the car and went inside. The neat little agency was well organized and air conditioned. The clean counters and magazine piles made it look more like a doctors office than a detective agency.
An older woman sat behind a mahogany desk, her half moon glasses carefully placed so she could look through them and over them if need be. Rukia walked up and waited nervously for the woman to realize that she was there.
"Miss Arisawa is waiting for you, Miss Kuchiki. Ise called us and we'd be happy to help you. Through that door there." She said pleasantly, pointing at a glass door with the name Arisawa on it in blocky black letters.
She eased the door open to find a woman with unruly black hair sitting behind a desk. she wore jeans and a red shirt with a badge on a necklace around her neck.
"You must be Rukia. Ise called me and explained everything. I'll be glad to help you out. Working with someone who graduated from Gotei sounds fun."
Rukia smiled and bowed her head slightly, "With all due respect, Miss Arisawa, I'll be learning from you, not the other way round."
She laughed, "Oh, I think you'll be surprised. This stuff isn't as hard as it seems, sometimes. You can call me Tatsuki, by the way. Listen, I know that you start work tomorrow at the precinct. Text me when you get all settled and we'll get to work."
Rukia exchanged numbers with Tatsuki and left with pleasant goodbyes. She was practically giddy with excitement when she got back into the car with Renji and Rangiku.
"That was quick. How'd it go?" Ran asked quickly. Rukia just grinned her response. Ran squealed-she couldn't seem to resist it- again and crushed Rukia in a boob filled hug.
Renji's grin couldn't have been wider, "Time to celebrate! Where to, Rukia?" He asked, joining the traffic of the busy road. Rukia's smile didn't dim, "We can't go out drinking now, Renji. I start tomorrow! Don't want to be hung over for my first day!"
Renji's smile did dim. He wanted to be drinking today! Rangiku clapped her hands together, "Well, at least lets go tell your dad! He'll be more than excited!"
Rukia hastily agreed and asked Renji to drive them to her fathers house. It was a short drive from where they were, and it took them no more then ten minutes to get there.
Rukia leaped out of the car and ran up the steps, knocking furiously on her fathers door. A mumbled yell came from inside and in a few moments, the door opened.
"Rukia! To what do I owe the surprise?" Her fathers polite voice said. She threw him in a hug, "I got a job in homicide!"
He cheered and wrapped his arms tightly around her, "That's wonderful! Come in, come in, tell me about this new job of yours." He said, ushering his three visitors inside. Rangiku and Renji bowed politely, "Thank you, Mr. Ukitake." They said in unison, following Rukia inside.
Ukitake's home was decently sized, featuring a kitchen, a large living room and two bedrooms, each with their own bathroom. The living room was furnished with several couches and single recliners, but no loveseats, which was perfect. Rukia and her friends sat on one couch while her father rummaged through his kitchen for tea cups.
"Y'know Ru, your dad's house always surprises me." Rangiku said as she investigated her nails once more.
Rukia looked over at her, "Why? It's just a normal house." She said. Rangiku nodded, "Well yeah, I know that. Just...why does he have so much furniture for a single guy?"
Rukia looked around the living room and mentally counted the seating space. Three single recliners and three couches. Seating for twelve. She nodded absently, "You're right, it is a bit weird, but I suppose he likes a lot of seats." Rukia said.
As she finished, her father entered the living room. He carried a tray laden with tea cups and a steaming pot, presumably filled with tea. Sitting down across from them, he quickly filled the four cups.
"So! Tell me about it!" He said exuberantly. Rukia smiled as she sipped the scalding tea.
"Well, Renji's cousin is the director of personnel at Tenpan Regional Police Department, and we went to talk to her..."
"About getting Rukia into the department with a job..." Renji continued.
"And when Rukia asked about the homicide position..." Rangkiu elaborated.
"She said no." Rukia finished. Her fathers face went from ecstatic to horrified in a quick moment. The tea cup that had been raising to his mouth was motionless.
"She said no?" He asked shakily. Rukia nodded and smiled.
"At first, yeah. When I told her that I just graduated from Gotei, she took me on immediately. I'm working in a homicide department, papa!" She cheered. His grin couldn't possibly have been wider.
"I told you, Rukia. This could help you-"
"Spread my wings and fly, papa. I know." She jeered playfully. He took a joyful sip of tea.
"That's right, little one, that's right. When do you start?" He asked. Rukia sipped her tea carefully to avoid burning her tongue, "Tomorrow, actually. Ise set me up with a homicide detective in a private practice. Her name is Tatsuki Arisawa, and she'll be showing me the ropes for a while."
Her father glanced at the cherry grandfather clock against the wall before quickly placing his cup down, "Oh my! If you start tomorrow you should get some sleep!" He said with worry.
Renji blanched, "Um...Mr. Ukitake...it's only one thirty in the afternoon." He said nervously. Rukia snickered at her roommate, knowing that he was being careful not to call her fathers age into question.
Long ago, she had convinced both her roommates that her father had a vicious temper when it came to his age. Rangiku figured out the game very quickly, but Renji and his gloriously thick skull had never figured it out. Neither girl was willing to tell him either, because watching the boy dance around the false temper was far more amusing than any practical joke.
Slowly, her father sat back down scratching his chin in embarrassment, "Oh...right. Well, I meant that she has to prepare! Do you have a uniform, dear?" Rukia shook her head.
"No, not that I know of. I haven't been given a badge, but I assume Ise will give that to me tomorrow." She answered. The very thought of having a badge of her own made her all gooey inside. She thought back to a movie she had seen where the female cop had worn her badge on her black lace bra. A blush blossomed on her face as she imagined some hot guy in her bed, and her showing her badge to him on her bra. Oh!
"Rukia!" Renji yelled, tearing her from her thoughts. She looked around and found that all three of her companions were staring at her intently.
"Are you ok, Ru? Your face got as red as a tomato all of a sudden." Rangiku asked, closely observing Rukia's cheeks which, despite her best efforts, remained a rosy red.
"Its nothing!" She said over enthusiastically and smiling awkwardly. Renji and Rangiku looked at each other and shrugged while her father nonchalantly went back to his tea. She would really have to curb her imagination in future.
"Anyway, I'm excited for you, Rukia. I have an arrangement to keep, so you can call me tomorrow after your first day!" Her father exclaimed. Rukia and her roommates smiled and said their thanks and filed out of the light blue home.
Rukia waited for her father to get his coat and lock his house before walking down the driveway to his car with him, "Going to see some friends?" She asked innocently. Many of her fathers friends had moved away from him, so she found it pretty special when he went out.
"An old, old friend. Known him for almost all my life. You remember Uncle Shunsui?" Rukia nodded avidly, "Yeah! He used to bring me presents and treats all the time...even though you took them away mostly."
Ukitake laughed, "Well yes. Giving a child sake is not something I would allow. He called me up and asked me to go out with him." He said with a smile.
"That's great, papa." She said, reaching his car. Rukia hugged him and promised to call when she got the chance. She ran and joined her friends in Renji's convertible, squishing in next to Matsumoto, "Alright guys. Back home we go, I have a lot to do." She declared.
Renji's face couldn't have sagged more, "But Ru! Let's go celebrate! Get drunk! Get laid! Ge-"
He was silenced when Rangiku smacked him with the back of her hand, "Shush! You don't want Rukia showing up tomorrow with a horrible hangover."
Renji snickered at the thought, "Why not?" He asked, his amusement clear in his voice. "I would have to explain to Ise how you tricked me into drinking. I wonder what she'll do?" Rukia wondered aloud.
Renji's look of pure horror sent both the girls into fits of hysterical laughter.
Rukia scanned through the magazine she was reading with a bored eye. Rarely had she had free time like this. After graduating from Gotei, she had immediately jumped on the job trail, looking for somewhere to work. The obsession had claimed almost every hour of every day, so doing things like reading a magazine were few and far between.
It was eight o'clock that night and she was alone. Renji and Rangiku had been at her tattoo parlor for the last few hours, doing more work on the extensive back tattoo he was getting. Upon getting home from her fathers, Rukia had spent a good two hours arranging the perfect outfit to wear, the perfect way to do her hair, everything.
She had expected herself to get butterflies over it, but they never came. She generally assumed that she was just overly prepared for everything and that's why she rarely got nervous over things like this. Renji had guessed that because of her spec ops training, she wasn't capable of getting butterflies. Rangiku had ignored them.
Whatever the reason, she was glad. Being nervous wasn't something she enjoyed at any point in time, new job or not. Hopefully though, she could get a good night's sleep and be ready to rock the world tomorrow.
Her bed was warm and comforting as she lay in it, her lights off and the front door locked. Rangiku and Renji had keys, so they weren't locked out. For reasons that she couldn't guess at, her pillow was more comforting than ever that specific night. Sleep came quickly for her.
An infernal ringing in her head pulled Rukia from dreams of stardom and fame. Her room was still dark, so it wasn't her morning alarm. She looked to her bedside table, where her phone was the source of the terribly loud beeping. Who the hell was calling her so late?
Before she answered it, she look at the clock. It was one thirty in the morning. Shit, she thought, If this is Renji, I'm going to freak. When she looked at the phone, it wasn't Renji, but it wasn't a number she knew either.
"Hello?" She groaned, finally answering the call.
"Rukia, it's Tatsuki." Came the answer. Rukia could just barely recognize the voice as the detective. Why was she calling her so early?
"Hey Tatsuki, what's up?" She responded, wiping her eyes. If this new detective wanted to get to be friends, she would have to wait until the daylight hours to do so.
"I know it's early, but you're needed. Get to Tenpan as soon as you can!" Tatsuki exclaimed. Rukia grew curious, because the woman's voice sounded almost...perky. She flipped her covers off and fumbled for the light switch, "Alright, I will. Anything I should be expecting?" She asked. A moment passed before she heard sirens echoing on the other end of the line.
"Your first case."
What did you think? I know it may seem a bit bland right now because its just a first chapter, but it'll get better, I promise.