Wolf and Red: Monster Hunters

Four

Akira Tobina was half western, half Japanese, which had made life rather hard for the young woman. Yes Japan had advanced a lot of the years, yes there was much less prejudice against 'gaijin' as they called westerners, but it still had a impact. She had struggled both in school and later as a police officer, trying to be recognized for her skills rather than her appearance.

Therefore when she got the assignment to assist the monster hunters, she had thought it was a punishment of some sort. The two women were brash and crude, and she had thought her superiors were joking about them being 'experts.' She, however, had been wrong.

Wolf, the tall, strange one, had somehow instantly caught the trail of the killer. She and Red, with no concern for their own safety, had confronted the... creature, after it entranced Akira. Attacking before it could violate her the two adventurers had killed it, and clearly had saved Akira's life.

IN the aftermath they got the surviving victims together, called the doctors and did their best to keep everyone from freaking out too much. Akira handled most of it and was glad, as it gave her something to keep her mind off what nearly happened. That monster had nearly put one of it's spawn into her... she could have died.

"Think they'll recover?" Red asked dryly as the attractive woman in now blood splattered tank top and shorts asked.

"I'd think so," Wolf said as the tall, rangy young woman used a towel to get the crap off her arms, "they're just in shock. Give it some time and they'll probably forget it ever happened."

"Really?" Akira asked a bit disbelievingly.

"You ever wonder why no one ever believes stuff like today happens?" Red asked wryly. "There's something in the human brain that just... kind of papers it over. It becomes a dream, or some half memory and you just forget."

Akira puffed out a breath as she muttered, "I hope so." She really did not want to retain the memory of that beautiful... THING about to violate her mouth with one of it's spawn.

"Come on, let's check with your bosses," Red said cheerfully, "I wanna know when we get paid for this."

Akira was less than pleased with the woman's greed, but she WAS a mercenary. They retrieved her car and headed downtown, weaving through traffic as they went to her department headquarters. The modern police headquarters was reserved for the regular officers... they went to a older building, formerly a local police department office, where the more unusual police squads were based.

"Still operating outta unit 13?" Wolf asked curiously as they went inside the whitewashed and very clean building.

"Officially it's room 12-a," Akira admitted wryly as they took the stairs up to the second floor. She lead the way up the hall past rooms eleven and twelve, then knocked on the next one.

"Come in," a slightly gravelly voice answered.

Akira opened the door and waved the two women in, then followed them inside. Chief Inspector Shiro Azuma smiled as he got up, shaking hands with both westerners heartily. She was rather surprised at the warm welcome, though she had remembered that he had worked with them before.

"Chief, huh?" Wolf noted cheerfully, "You get a raise too?"

"Some," Shiro said cheerfully, "not as much as I deserve for this job, but such is life."

"Tell me about it," Red agreed.

He waved them to the chairs in front of his desk as Shiro said, "I heard Akira's report, but I'd like to hear it in your own words."

"Yeah, well," Red flopped down in one of the office chairs and told the tale, with Wolf jumping in to offer commentary and clarifications.

"I think we got the critter responsible for the killings," Wolf said with a shrug.

"Very likely," Shiro agreed as he leaned forward. "I can provide your payment for the mission," he said, "but could I ask you to stay in the city a short while?"

"Why?" Red asked curiously.

"It appears the thing was attempting to create spawn of some sort," Shiro said, "I'd like to keep you around for a bit until we know for certain none of it's children survived."

"Makes sense," Wolf conceded with a grunt, "but we didn't exactly plan on a extended stay..."

Shiro gave them a wry look. "I can provide accommodation, at least for a few days," he said, "I know how much you hate paying for hotels."

"What can I say, I'm cheap," Red shrugged eloquently.

Akira bit back a chuckle. "I have a spare room if you need it, sir," she offered loyally.

"Worried I'll put them up in my spare room?" Shiro asked his minion impishly.

"I suspect your wife would object," Akira teased back.

"Actually Hitomi knows both of them from their last visit," Shiro chuckled.

"Hitomi finally bagged you?" Wolf grinned, "Congratulations."

"Finally?" Shiro raised a eyebrow.

"Hey, she was chasing you all the time on our last visit," Red noted mildly. "But we'll take a spare room or a decent hotel, whichever," she said.

"Hotel," Shiro decided, "I wouldn't want to corrupt poor Akira with the sound of you two frolicking at night." He looked amused, "She's far too innocent for you two."

Akira opened her mouth to protest, but wasn't quite sure what to say. Frolicking? Was he implying that they...? She shook herself, not sure she really wanted to know.

"Okay, we'll stick around a few days," Wolf agreed, "and you'll cover any expenses?"

"Reasonable expenses," Shiro said as they got ready to go, "I am not paying for one of your drinking binges, thanks. My budget wouldn't take it."

"Spoil sport," Red laughed. "See if you can clear some time off work," she added, "let us catch up with you and the missus."

"I'll do my best," he said, then asked Akira to stay a moment.

"Yes, sir?" Akira asked respectfully.

"Escort them to their hotel," Shiro said then hesitated, "And could you stick around with them for a bit?" As she looked at him questioningly he continued, "The two of them are my friends, but... I rather dread the kind of trouble they can get into."

'Babysitting duty,' Akira thought, 'great.' Aloud she said, "Of course sir. Can I get changed before...?"

"Thank you, and yes," Shiro nodded, relieved. "I know I'm asking a lot, and I am very greatful," he added.

Akira excused herself and swiftly changed out of her uniform and into some street clothes, then headed out front to meet the two women. "The Chief asked me to take you to your hotel," she said briskly, "do you want to take my car?"

"I'd appreciate it," Red admitted, "it's been awhile since we've been in town."

"The Okami attacks two years back," Wolf noted mildly as they walked to the young woman's car in the parking spaces beside the building, "hated fighting relatives, but what do ya do?"

'Wolf gods,' Akira thought, then blinked. 'Does she seriously think she's a...?'

Wolf got in the back seat, stretching out to relax while Red took shotgun. "Thanks," Red said as they started out. "Hey, do you know any good nightclubs? It's kinda fun to unwind after a case..."

"There's a few places I could show you, if you like," Akira answered, smiling.

"Good," Wolf noted, "that way you can keep an eye on us like Shiro asked."

"Huh...," Akira started.

"Yes, we left," Red smiled slyly as Akira blushed, "but Wolf has good ears."

They dropped off the couples bags at the hotel, a foreigner's one in the middle of downtown. The prices were enough to make Akira pale, but both women seemed to take it in stride. They changed to clean clothes, a short dress for Red and slacks and a white shirt for Wolf, then they followed Akira into the evening light.

"So what sort of places do you like?" Akira asked curiously as they made their way down a busy Tokyo street.

"Someplace to drink first," Red said as she held onto Wolf's arm, the taller woman intimidating the men and women packing the sidewalk, "then maybe some dancing?"

"Quiet to start out with," Wolf added.

"Hmm," Akira hesitated then asked. "Uhm, would you object to a same sex bar? I go to one pretty regularly."

"Sure!" Red agreed enthusiastically.

They ended up heading to Roppongi by train rather than car, for safety. And honestly Akira didn't trust her driving after a few drinks. Catherine's was a smaller club not far from a Yakuza owned bar and a Nigerian run cabaret, but it kept it's share of the market by only serving women and providing quality service. It was in a small building but was two floors, with the bar on the first floor and a stage upstairs for a singer or other acts.

Catherine herself was a older woman with grey in her hair and a twinkle of amusement in her eye. "Akira, nice to see you again," she smiled, then looked over the westerners curiously.

"This is...," Akira hesitated at using the nicknames but carried on, "Wolf and Red. They're visiting the city a few days and I offered to show them around."

"Nice to meet you," Catherine bowed a bit, smiling. She looked at Akira, "You should know I saw Yuki upstairs."

"Ah," Akira made a face. "Well, it wasn't unexpected. Is she here with the new girlfriend?"

"I didn't see her but...," Catherine shrugged eloquently. She beamed at the three of them, "So, what can we get you to drink?"

All three ordered then Akira led them to a downstairs table overlooking the street. "Ex-girlfriend?" Red asked curiously.

"Red," Wolf scolded, "that's a bit personal for someone we met today."

Akira thought about denying it, but didn't see much point. "Yeah," she sipped her drink, "but we broke up after she ended up sleeping with someone else."

"Ouch," Red winced and patted her shoulder. Coincidentally she was facing the window, and stopped patting as she saw outside. "Oh crap. Is someone pulling a zombie walk event, or something?"

Wolf and Akira both looked up to see the street filled with shuffling figures headed right to the bar. "Oh crap," Akira managed right before someone pitched a trash can right through the window...

To be continued!