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Case 49

Chapter Text

Chaewon wasn't in the mood to be interrupted.

To be completely honest, there was never a good time for an interruption, especially on her day off where she thought she could lounge around on the couch for as long as she wanted until the early afternoon. The investigation division she worked for was never lacking cases to investigate or pursue depending on the skills of those assigned to handle said case. Most of the cases she was assigned to involved undergrounds rings or murders, though there were multiple times she was called to personally assist others during their burglary case.

Chaewon was one of the best on their investigation team; always able to find out information quickly, able to stay calm under pressure, always fast to react, perfect interrogation skills, level-headed. It was a fact she took the most pride in and at this point, after four years even the often all-nighters combined with stacks of paperwork that piled up seem to have less of an effect on her as time went on.

It wasn't that she minded the obvious lack of sleep or the work, she loved her job and everything that came along with it, but there were a few occasions where she only wanted to lay on her couch in her pajamas with a hot cup of chamomile tea in her hand while she lazily scrolled through the cable channels. After getting woken up at three o'clock in the morning to someone dry heaving in the next room, then having to clean puke off their bathroom floor, there was nothing more she wanted than proper relaxation. However, her captain had other plans. She called Chaewon in for work, telling her it was important and she would explain properly when she got to the station. Captain Kwon didn't give her a chance to talk before hanging up in her face.

Which is why she was now walking through the building with a light blue backpack hanging off her shoulder, her steps becoming more swift as she walked through the first division's double doors. She spotted their two technical analysts playing on their Nintendo switches at the far right corner of the room, their hushes voices could easily be heard over the light noise coming from the tapping of the computer keyboards, bickering about how it wasn't fair to be dropping turtle shells during the last lap.

Two of the younger detectives in training, one of the kids from their forensic team and one of their medical examiners were off at the far left corner of the room. Judging by the stack of board games on the nearby office table, she assumed they were having another game competition and she had a strong feeling the two younger ones declared war after losing the previous week. She swore she worked with some of the most childish people she had ever met in her entire life, yet there was a part of her that wouldn't trade them for the world.

“Kids, please make sure to clean up your board games when you're finished! We found a lot of leftover pieces all over the floor from your last battle!” Chaewon called out to the four childish board game players, her voice tinged with playfulness. The adorable girl with the chubby cheeks looked up from the Jenga tower, a beaming smile showing on her face that could rival the sun – Honda Hitomi, one of Chaewon's favorite kids in the division and one member of their forensic team. She had the most squishy cheeks everyone liked to pinch or poke, though Hitomi didn't seem to mind much.

“Don't worry, Chaewonie! The mess will be completely cleaned up this time!” Hitomi replied, the same beaming smile on her adorable chubby face.

“Since it's you, I'll trust it,” Chaewon said, a small chuckle escaping her lips. She made her way over to the captain's office, plainly ignoring the sudden screams of horror coming from her left followed by the sound of blocks falling all over the table. Clearly someone had knocked over the Jenga tower and she had her suspicions it was Hitomi judging by how it was her turn next along with the fact her teammate was harshly whispering things such as 'I told you not to look away!' and 'Ah Hitoma, seriously' coming from one of the younger girls with a 'Shut up, Yujinnie!' not soon after that.

Being around several people daily for long hours at one time usually builds a different type of relationship between two people whether someone intended for it to happen or not and that is exactly what happened with her. The members she got close to quickly were Hitomi and Chaeyeon. Hitomi often accompanied Chaewon on cases due to being part of the forensic investigating team, so they were almost always together reviewing evidence or comparing notes on the case to match sure their data matched.

Chaeyeon, on the other hand, would only accompany them to the crime scene if it were a homicide in order to determine the pronounced time of death before stepping aside to let the others finish up the job there. When Chaeyeon first was transferred into their division, there was a lot of confusion at first due to the two girls having similar sounding names as well as similar nicknames. Though she had to admit, it was amusing when the Japanese members would get their names mixed up and call them by each other's names.

During their breaks between work, they all slowly began talking about their personal lives with one another. Hitomi mentioned how she moved from her family home in Japan to a decent sized apartment in Boston with the dream to become a forensic specialist after she graduated high school despite her parents wishes for her to stay in Japan and take over the family business. She talked about her siblings, her adorable puppy back at home, her favorite color, her favorite snacks, her habit of switching to Japanese whenever she felt nervous or overwhelmed, her adorable bickering with Yujin, even the foods she couldn't or refused to eat.

Chaeyeon mentioned how she bounced around a lot between Korea and Japan searching for what she wanted to do in life before finally settling down with double majoring in medicine and science to secure a job in the detective field. Thankfully her parents were supportive of her no matter what she chose to do, even going to the point where they held a going away part the day she was scheduled to leave for America. It was embarrassing to say the least, but she was glad to have a supportive family. She also talked about her siblings; having a one year age difference with one of her younger sisters while having a six year age difference with the youngest.

Chaewon was usually a hard one to get to open up, but with Hitomi and Chaeyeon, she felt like she could tell them anything in the world, so she began with the short version of her story at first; middle daughter of a traditional Korean family who, similar to Hitomi, wanted her to take over the family business after graduation rather than chasing her own dream of becoming a detective. It was strange, really. Most parents would be happy if their child decided to branch out, choosing an even bigger dream and destination in life than the one already planned for her, yet that wasn't the case with her.

Her parents were strict and planned out their children's futures for them rather than letting them choose for themselves, using the excuse of wanting the best for them or saying they'll be more successful if they were the ones to plan for the future since to them, their dreams weren't realistic. Their eldest daughter, Joohyun, wanted to become a doctor, instead now she's a secretary at the family company. Their youngest daughter, Haerim, wanted to become a musician ever since she was a child, the only reason she's now able to live out and chase her dream to the fullest is because of Chaewon who took Haerim under her care when her younger sister left home. Their parents didn't seem care much, calling their younger daughter a disgrace to the Kim family like her older sister and whatnot.

Neither of the siblings had any contact with their parents in two years. As harsh as it sounded, they wanted to keep it like that for at least a while longer. They lived a free life; there was no strict rules – except for Haerim's curfew of course – and they were content only having each other as family. It was better that way.

“You wanted to see me, captain?” Chaewon called out, her head peeking from in between the door frame and the door itself, the slight nasal tone of her voice giving even her polite words a suggestion of sarcasm. The captain has never been able to determine if that was intentional or a simple accident, though she decided on the first choie seeing as she did interrupt Chaewon on her day off after all.

She turned her head to the doorway with an unreadable expression plastered on her face, a beige folder being held in her hands. “You're finally here. Please come in and sit down, there is something I would like to discuss with you.” Judging by the tone of the captain's voice, she knew whatever she had to say wasn't going to be good.

Not wanting to waste any more time, Chaewon took a step into the room and closed the door behind her. She was about to turn to face the older woman sitting at her desk when she noticed another person in the room, sitting in one of the chairs quietly in the back towards the file cabinets with her hands folded on her lap. Her eyes narrowed slightly. Who was that?

“Who is she?” Chaewon asked.

Knowing there was no possible way the younger girl would ever sit down in a situation like this, captain Kwon knew she had no other choice than to start explaining. “Well Chaewon, this is your new assigned partner the chief recruited from the Boston Detective Academy. I hope you two can work together well.” She placed the folder carefully on the desk and folded her hands on top of it, awaiting for whatever words the detective threw at her.

“This is absolutely bullshit.” Chaewon spat out, her arms now folded firmly across her chest as she glared daggers at the captain, Kwon Eunbi, of the Boston Police Department's first investigation division. A new assigned partner? Were they joking around with her or something? She didn't completely understand why they felt the need to suddenly assign her a new partner after two years, more so a random newbie they recruited from an academy she has never even heard of.

Eunbi simply stared back at her, her eyes darting between the fuming youngster standing in front of her desk and the silent presence loitering at the back of the room. The other girl had her hands folded on top of her lap with her back straight against the chair she was sitting in, anyone could tell she was nervous with one glance and not to mention clearly inexperienced due to the blank section of previous police work experience on her record, but the chief ordered a new partner for Chaewon and handed a list of possible candidates over to Eunbi the previous day, telling her to make a decision before sundown. She simply did as she was told. She was not in the mood to get herself lectured because of the other's foul attitude she was displaying.

“No, it's not bullshit. This is your new partner.” Eunbi corrected in the most polite tone she could muster. Knowing Chaewon for four years had its advantages – she knew almost everything about her; her favorite colors, her favorite food, her allergies, what kind of tea she preferred, how she enjoyed her coffee after a long day at work, her annoying yet adorable habit of twirling a ballpoint pen when she was filling out paperwork, but there were also some disadvantages that came along with it. The kid was extremely stubborn to the point where she could argue for hours upon end about one specific topic if she felt the other person was wrong, she wasn't the type of person to accept change easily; There was once an incident where the chief ordered to change around the whole main office to make more space for fellow members and she hated it. The whole room was different, the placement of the desks changed completely and it drove her nearly insane.

The final thing was Chaewon would always scare off possible partners, claiming it's better to work alone in order for nobody to get in her way and for the case to move along more quickly. There was an incident similar to this last year where the chief attempted to introduce someone to her, it ended with the younger blatantly refusing to return to work the following day unless she was alone. The person was transferred to the second investigation district the same day. Despite the constant denial, the kid definitely had a slight anger problem with a dash of abandonment issues which only made introducing new people to her even more difficult.

“Like fucking hell it is. I am not partnering with some fresh meat newbie you grabbed from a random ass academy who probably doesn't even know what the hell they're supposed to be doing if they're put on the next case, would you like everything going down the drain because of them?” Chaewon hooked a thumb over her shoulder, pointing at the taller girl who remained glued to her chair. Her eyes glanced down at the captain's desk to finally notice the folder spread out in plain view, the girl's photo pinned to the top with a paper clip. She caught a glimpse of the name written across the file in black ink – Kim Minjoo.

The older of the three was slowly losing patience as time went on. She knew how Chaewon was; stubborn, often at times bratty, never impulsive, polite when she had to be, but for her to stand there and have an attitude with a superior as well as practically mock the innocent girl assigned to work with her was absolutely unprofessional and Eunbi wasn't going to stand for it. “Look, Chae. Chief Bae ordered a new partner for you and gave me a list of candidates to personally choose from, I chose Minjoo over there because she was the most suitable for you due to her exceptional record back at the academy and she can make up for your weaknesses despite not having any real police work experience before this. I'm your boss, I'm in charge and you will be working with her from today on-wards whether you like it or not or else you will be suspended. Do you understand me?” Her voice was strict, oozing with authority. She leaned forward on her desk, her arms supporting her weight as she waited for an answer.

She always hated being strict with the younger kids, specifically with Yujin and Chaewon, though sometimes it was needed under certain circumstances. Like the one time Yujin nearly set their whole office on fire by attempting to microwave leftover ddeokbokki in a tin foil container. The foil sparked and set the microwave on fire, causing Eunbi to run from her office to the other side of the room with a fire extinguisher in hand while the others stood there in shock. That kid received a serious scolding after that along with Hyewon, one of their technical analysts, who gave her the idea in the first place.

Chaewon was... Different than Yujin. She never did anything that put herself or others in danger, she took the time to think decisions through rather than acting on pure impulse, she always followed the rules around their division as well as in general, she was a good kid overall. She only despised the idea of having a new partner due to a specific past experience and that was completely understandable, but she also had to understand acting out whenever faced with something like this was never going to change anything.

“Pardon my sudden intrusion, but to detective Chaewon, I can assure you I will always do my best while we work together and if there is ever a time we are put on a case, I promise I will do whatever is needed to fully investigate with no complications nor problems made. If a problem were to arise, it would be solved immediately with no hesitation. You will not regret having me as your partner and captain Eunbi will not regret choosing me!” Minjoo's voice was shaky as she made an attempt to defuse the tense moment between them all. She boldly stood up and took a few steps forward, standing beside Chaewon in front of the desk with her hands now shoved casually inside of the front pockets of her denim jeans.

Chaewon turned to Minjoo with a blank look on her face. “To be quite frank, I don't really give a shit about whatever you're telling me right now. As long as you stay out of my way and do your own job properly like you're supposed to, we won't have a single problem between us. I don't particularly care about you and I don't fancy the idea of suspension if I don't accept you, so let's stay as far away from each other as physically possible, okay?” She mirrored the other's action by shoving her hands into the pockets of her black leather jacket.

A small smile made its way to Minjoo's lips, her eyebrow raising slightly as if she was challenging her. While they stood face-to-face, Chaewon took note of a lot of things about her so-called partner. She took note on how the girl was an inch or two taller than her, how her chestnut brown hair had slight curls at the end, the way her round glasses sat perfectly on the bridge of her nose, how her ruby red lip tint complimented her lips perfectly, how her brown eyes shined with so much sincerity it almost annoyed her. Almost.

“Oh. Does that mean I should move over a bit then?”

Eunbi pursed her lips in an attempt to hold in her laughter. She first had doubts about choosing someone who had zero past experience, but with the way Minjoo challenged Chaewon with a hint of amusement, she knew she made the best possible decision. It was going to be interesting seeing those two work with one another and she couldn't wait.

Chaewon clenched her jaw tightly out of announced and was about to bark back with something that could probably hurt the other's feelings, but they were all interrupted by a loud music box-like noise. She sighed heavily, reached into her back pocket and pulled out her cell phone. After unlocking it with ease, she clicked on the most recent notification and began reading, her eyes softening immediately.

“Hmm... Captain, there's something far more important I have to take care of right now, so can we please cut this whole introduction nonsense short?” Chaewon looked up from her cell phone screen and shot Eunbi a pleading look, hoping the latter caught on fairly quickly to avoid explaining any personal business in front of Minjoo.

“Seeing as today was originally your day off, I suppose I can cut this meeting short for today. I would like both of you here inside of my office an hour early than scheduled to continue this tomorrow, is that understood?” Eunbi looked between both of the youngsters, waiting for a response from either of them. She knew the exact reason why Chaewon had to leave early, in fact several others were aware as well seeing as she had left work early multiple times before or even during a case. For her, it was understandable as to why she didn't want to explain in front of Minjoo. The kid was total stranger to her, to everyone, and there was no saying Chaewon or anyone would be able to trust her just yet.

“Yes, captain,” Minjoo answered.

“Chae, you're free to go. Take this home with you and read through it when you have a free moment, maybe it could change your mind about your new friend over here,” Eunbi said before passing a copy of Minjoo's folder over to her. Chaewon reluctantly took it with no words spoken before bowing her head slightly and making her exit out of the office, not bothering to look back once.

Minjoo brought her hands out of her pockets, folding them politely in front of her as she awaited for the captain to give her an order. Kim Chaewon was... An interesting person to say the least. She couldn't wait to officially start her first day of work with the shorter detective tomorrow.

“You're free to go as well, Minjoo. We will have your badge and your gun ready for you first thing in the morning when you arrive, I will send you a text message with the time you are supposed to be here, but please keep in mind I would like you here an hour early to continue the meeting as well as other introductions to the other members, understood?” Eunbi's tone of voice was soft as she spoke to the new recruit.

“Yes, I understand. Thank you again for this opportunity, I will not let you down.” Minjoo bowed ninety degrees and made her way out of the office, not forgetting to close the door quietly behind her.

Eunbi rested her head on the desk and let out a deep sigh.

She had no idea what was in store for them tomorrow.