Persona 4 Ghost in the Shell inspired au
Summary: Tatsumi and Satonaka meet up for the rainy day special. (this *could* be read as taking place right after the one about the Shadow Virus, but I'm pretty sure it actually takes place before Hanamura even joins the team.)
Word Count: 835
“You’re late, Senpai,” Kanji calls out, cheerful and rude. “Damn you, you know I’ll rust like this.” As if a military-grade cybernetic body will ever rust. Maybe those low-grade versions available on the Sumaru black market, but Kanji just likes to give her a hard time about the rain. Of course, the rain’s part of the point, really, since they wouldn’t have a Rainy Day Special without it.
“Well, I’ve been calling you a rust-bucket for years,” she responds, and a voice calls from inside the restaurant.
“Maybe you both rust outside, then you stop eating Aiya’s hard-earned yen.”
Kanji chuckles. “Nah, we’re police officers. They’d just buy us new bodies and we’d return to haunt you.”
Chie holds the door open for her friend. He’s gotten a lot better, calmer, since he first joined the Inaba Investigation Team years ago.
Aiya’s owner sighs dramatically. “Of course my luck not so good. All I need is ghost policemen scaring away all customers.” He shrugs. “Two Rainy Day Beef Bowls coming.”
“Excuse me, are you going to let them just take those without paying? Police aren’t above the law,” a man sneers.
The owner shrugs. “They always finish. I just save a step.”
“We aren’t above the law, no. And we’re not the law, either. Or we’d use our connections to toss bastards like you the hell out.” Kanji’s intimidating enough when he’s sitting, but he stands again, intimidating with height and glare and 230 kilograms of cybernetic steel body wrapped in a humanoid shell.
The man shrinks back, and Chie turns to grin at him. “Don’t worry about him, he’s just grouchy from lack of food. For which I can’t blame him. Beef Bowl, here I come!” She wipes away the drool carefully.
The bowls are placed before them, and they say their thanks before digging in. It takes a moment, but the normal conversations rejoin the pounding of the rain to create an atmosphere of relaxation sorely needed after the tower raid that week. They both might enjoy their jobs, but it’s still stressful.
Finally they begin slowing down, able to appreciate the food. “When are you going to get rid of that ugly mug, anyway? You know it’s a cybernetic body that the department will pay for. You don’t have to continue looking like a punk.” Chie’s genuinely curious. She’s not generally this rude, but Kanji is a special case, since they’d established a while back that they were pretty much equivalent in fighting capability, having fought each other to a standstill that required large expenditures to repair each other and the room and more than a few eye-rolls from Narukami. They still have the friendly rivalry going on, and they can take what the other dishes out.
“If I do that, how will Mom recognize me, though?” Kanji speaks with his mouth full, shrugging. “I wanna stay true to myself, and not lose myself. Too many people forget who they are when they get upgraded hardware and I don’t want to do that.”
Chie lets out a bark of laughter. “A face only a mother could love, huh?” She picks up another piece of beef with her chopsticks, feeling a little more thoughtful. “I get you, though.”
“So many idiots blame society for what they do, and they’re not totally wrong, way I see it.” He picks at his rice. “Everywhere, there’s stuff telling you to stop being yourself. If you get lost in that, it’s easy to get caught up in doing things without thinking about it, and next thing you know you’re stealing stuff.”
“Or beating up biker gangs,” she adds with a smile and rolls her eyes at the glare.
“Hey, they keep up Ma, they pay the price.” He shrugs. “But it doesn’t get them off the hook. It’s up to them to hold on to who they are and never let go.”
“Narukami-kun will never have that problem,” she points out with a smile and shrugs. “You know, I always find it interesting how you think.”
“I’ve got common sense covered. If Rise wants to be the ‘intelligent’ one, she can handle it.” He slams down his empty bowl, startling her. “I get to drive until the next rain, Chie-senpai.”
“Ugh.” She glares at him then begins shoveling rice into her mouth. He’d distracted her with the conversation, especially as he kept eating while he was talking. “I miss the days when you were the shy kohai.” She doesn’t, really. After how he’d been when they had found him, it had been startling when he’d been polite in the jail cell, with the excuse ‘I didn’t realize you were senpai’, and of course she enjoys having a sparring partner, both physical and mental.
He snorts, and that’s when they both get a message from Narukami, marked ‘URGENT’ and also ‘GET BACK TO THE STATION NOW’.
She tips over the entire bowl into her mouth, they both mutter their thanks, and then they dash into the rainy street.