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Hiyori pulled up a chair, coffee as dark as midnight and hot as midday in her hand. She sat down, pulling her laptop out of its far-too-expensive bag. She opened it, almost immediately interrupted by a far too friendly “Mind if I sit?”


She took her eyes off the screen, inspecting the guy standing next to the table. He looked… average. Dyed hair, cheap jeans, plain black T-shirt, douchey sunglasses, azure laptop bag draped over his shoulder. Not a threat. “Sure.”


He sat down, putting his iced-whatever next to his laptop. “Sorry, but all the other seats here are taken.”


She let out a dry “It’s okay.”, and went back to her work, opening the file on Kitsune for the God knows how many-th time this week.  


“What’cha workin’ on?”


If there’s one thing Hiyori hated, is overly-chatty strangers. She stared at the screen, avoiding his look. “Stuff for work.”


“What kinda stuff?”


Could he not take a hint? She looked up staring him dead in the eye. Well, dead in her reflection on his sunglasses. “Look, buddy, I have things to do. I’m not here to make new friends. I let you sit here because I happen to be a nice person. Now go back to whatever it is you were doing before I arrest you on harassing police personnel.”


He scoffed, leaning back. “ Police personnel ? What are you, a meter-maid?”


“Oh, shut up!” She looked back the Kitsune file, staring hopelessly at meaningless info she had on him. Who does this guy think he is, calling her a meter-maid? Well, whatever. He wasn’t worth her time, or thoughts.


A few minutes pass quietly. “Are you going to the gallery opening tonight?”


“Will you leave me alone if I tell you?” She replied, not looking up.


He smirked victoriously, as if being as annoying as humanly possible was a competition. “Maybe.”


Better than nothing. “Yes.”


“Huh. Maybe you’ll catch me there!”


Really, this guy and fine art? “Maybe. Can you please leave me alone? This stuff really is important.” If you could call going over worthless info that.


He sighed in defeat. “Sure. I have stuff to do too. Wanna go for drinks sometime?” He handed her a card with a number and a name on it.


And that was enough of him for her. She slapped the card out of his hand, closed her laptop, and got up, putting the computer back into its bag. Good thing she got a to-go cup.


“See ya at the gallery, then?”


She walked out, sipping from her coffee. Man, what a douche. She started walking, preparing herself for the long walk to the station.




She looked behind her, finding a small-statured, pink-haired woman sprinting towards her. “Good morning, Kofuku.”


Kofuku caught up to her, still full of energy. “Gooooooooooood morning! You got a date for  tonight?”


Hiyori looked at her, baffled by the question. “Kofuku, I’m going there as security. Do you really think I can afford to go to that thing, and bring someone else?”


“Can’t you?” She sounded genuinely curious.


She stopped herself from laughing. “Maybe if I get three raises.”


Kofuku raised her hands in defeat. “Fine, fine, don’t bring a date.”


A momentary pause.


“Why do they need security from us, anyway? Don’t they have their own?”


“They do. They’re afraid Kitsune might hit them, so they asked us to give some back-up. That’s me and Kazuma.”


She looked confused. “Is the police allowed to do favors?”


“No, but the Director is a close friend of Bishamon’s.”


“Ah-hah. Is that legal?”


The higher you climb on the legal ladder, the less you have to care about the law. “Somewhere, probably.”


Kofuku giggled. “That’s Bisha for ya.”


She began to say something else, but Hiyori’s mind started to drift to other regions. Who the hell is this Kitsune guy? Probably some creep, like the guy from the coffee shop. Speaking of which, who the hell does that jerk think he is? And why couldn’t Hiyori stop thinking about him? Most idiots like him pop out of her head almost instantly. Oh, well.


Kofuku’s voice snapped her back to reality. “Hiyorin! Ya with me?”


She shook her head lightly, trying to toss a certain smug grin out of it. “Um, no, sorry. Got distracted. What did you say?”


“I asked what I should get Daikoku for our anniversary. It’s in a week!”


“Congratulations. Maybe take him to the Fujisaki gallery?”


Kofuku chuckled. “Maybe if we each sold a kidney. New topic!”


A moment passed as Hiyori waited for her to announce the new topic. It was a beautiful day outside. Birds were singing, flowers were in full bloom, and some kids could be heard playing outside.


“Um… Am I supposed to pick the new topic?”


She giggled, lightly punching Hiyori’s shoulder. “I was trying to get you to talk about that cute guy you were sitting with! For starters, what’s his name?”


Of course she did. “Oh, you saw him? Trust me, I have nothing to do with that douchebag. The bastard had the nerve to ask me out, ten minutes after we met!”  


“And what did you say?”


Hiyori stared at her for a moment, a bit shook. “I said no. Obviously. He was a sexist prick, and really annoying.”


Kofuku looked disappointed. “Shame. I think you two would look cute together.”


Hiyori chose not to reply, stopping in front of a big revolving door. She took a big sip of her coffee, and pushed it. “Good morning, everyone. Anyone make any progress on anything over the night?”


The station was nearly empty, save her, Kofuku, and Bishamon, who was closed up in her office. It would usually fill up later, but she still felt lonely in the thirty minutes she had before anyone showed up.


She sat down at her desk, opening her laptop. How do you identify someone who never leaves identifying evidence? Well, that’s she was there to find out. She mumbled to herself, “Well, looks like I’m going fox-hunting.”


“Hiyorin? Are you talking to yourself again?”


Hiyori lifted her head quickly, finding Kofuku standing next to her desk. “I guess I was. Sorry. Did you need something?”


“Not really. Just company, I guess. I have pretty much nothing to do until more people come in, and even then I expect a pretty slow day.”


Then why did she come this early? “Well, I’m sorry, but I can’t really keep you company right now. I’m trying to identify Kitsune. Again. For the sixth time this week.” The monotony of her voice perfectly reflected the monotony of the task.


Kofuku pulled up a chair, and sat next to her. “What if I helped?”


Hiyori couldn’t stop herself from chuckling, quickly covering her mouth. “Oh, God, that was really rude, wasn’t it? I’m sorry, but I really got this. I’ll probably have a general idea of where they’re from by the time I have to go the gallery.”


She took the laptop to her, looking at the file. Rude, but just taking it out of her hands would’ve been more rude. She stared at it for a moment, the gears in her head turning. “Probably by a junkyard. That’s all I got. Most witnesses said something about the scent of burning metal.” She handed the laptop back to Hiyori.


Well, it did makes sense for someone from around those areas to steal, but high-end art? Really? “Thanks, I guess.”


“No problem, honey. You got any change for the vending machine?”

Hiyori started digging around her pocket, finding a foreign object in there. She pulled it out, finding a simple, white, rectangle with a name and a phone number on it. She stared at it, shocked and disgusted. “Oh my GOD! That… That… That creep! Who the hell does he think he is, slipping his number into my pocket like that!”


Kofuku looked amused, covering her mouth. “You should call him!”


Hiyori stared at her for a moment, quite literally speechless. “Why, in the actual hell, would I do that?”


“Why wouldn’t you?”


Hiyori thought about that for a second, struggling to find an answer. “Because he was a sexist prick! And… And because he was annoying!”


“Is that all?”


She tried to come up with more reasons, but ultimately failed. “Yeah, that’s all.”


“So call him! Maybe he just has issues with boundaries! Maybe he was just raised in a problematic environment! You can change him, you can make him better! Just call him, what’s the harm?”


Hiyori thought about it, trying to come up with reasons not to do it. He was such a jerk, why should she invest any time or effort into him? Well, maybe just a quick call to tell him what he did was creepy and weird. Yeah, just a quick call. “Fine, fine. I’ll call, but just for the sake of yelling at him. Why do you care about my dating life so much, anyway?” She looked at the card, taking her phone out. What kind of a name was Yato?


“Honestly? Daikoku’s been thinking about adoption, and I need something non-baby-related to think about. I’m gonna go to the vending machine, tell me how it went. And no yelling, Bisha’s already giving you a death-stare.”


She turned back, finding a set of angry purple eyes staring her down from behind the Commissioner’s office curtains. She dialed the number, pressing the phone to her ear.


It rang for about a minute, giving her plenty of time to think about her utterly idiotic actions. Calling some random douchebag because her coworker needs a distraction from her life? Oh well, too late to turn back.


He picked up. “Yato Takahashi, at your service! Whatever you need, I can probably get it for ya!”


She rolled her eyes. “Nice intro. I need you to stay the hell out of my life, think you can deliver that?”


A brief pause. “Excuse me, who’s this?”


And he didn’t even bother to remember her. “Detective Hiyori Iki. You know, the girl you harassed in the coffee shop this morning.”


“Oh, you! Wait, you’re a Detective? Anyway, I see you found my little gift. Did you reconsider my offer about drinks, or did you just miss the sound of my voice?”


If she could punch him, she would. “I’m just calling to tell you what you did was really messed up. You can’t just slip your number into someone’s pocket like that!”


“Sure I can! It’s just not very socially acceptable. Besides, it worked, didn’t it? Got you to call me!”


She let out an angry grunt, trying her best not to yell her lungs out at him. “Shut up. Just shut the hell up. I don’t know what you’re trying to achieve here, but you’re not gonna get it.”


“Hey, you called me! I’m just making conversation!” He sounded genuinely offended.


“Well, don’t!” She hung up. “May the gods have enough mercy to never let us meet again.”


To her very little surprise, she ran into him again, a little under 12 hours after that conversation ended.