Sub-Genre: Crossover - Monster (Anime) & Lupin III (Anime)
The hotel was fairly basic, but had the essentials. 24 hour reception, linen changes and all that jazz. The lobby was decked out with brown rugs and a fake marble coated floor. Inspector Heinrich Lunge had concluded that it was just vinyl when he felt his shoes sticking to them.
The investigation he was on had been going slowly, but he was sure he was finally onto something. Unfortunately, he had been called off the case and assigned to another. It was all so dreadfully inconvenient. Had he just had a few more days he was certain it would have been a closed case. But, who was to argue? Not him. He was in no position to.
He had arrived at the hotel to meet with the local officials. He had been travelling all day and was really in no mood to chat. He just wanted to basics and the go ahead and he would be on his way. But, as always, that was not an option. He would have to go through the motions.
He walked to the table off to the far right of the doorway and nodded a greeting to the 3 people who had seated themselves comfortably in the hideous and time-worn chairs. Two men, one with grey hair and one with black hair, stood up and offered their hands to shake followed by the brown haired woman who seemed to be as uninterested as Heinrich in the meeting.
"Ah, well. Welcome to our city. We hope you find it interesting." The black haired man had an annoyingly squeaky voice. Heinrich had already done his research on him. He was essentially the 'second in command' for the local police department. Josef Muntz. A man who had a spotless reputation and known as the one who always catches his criminals.
"I am not here for sightseeing."
"Ah yes. Quite, quite. Well, at least sit with us and have a drink." He waved his hand to flag down a waiter. The sleeve of his suit slipped downwards to reveal an expensive Rolex hugging his wrist, something that caught Heinrich's eye. Gaudy, expensive and seemingly out of place on someone of his status. He was obviously very image conscious.
"Forgive me. I do not think we have the time."
Josef turned to his superior, the grey haired Gordon Adler, who merely shrugged off the comment and nodded that he should indeed not waste time.
"Very well, Inspector." He lowered his hand. "I suppose you are right. We won't waste anymore of your time. We are fortunate that you took on this case in the first place."
"Enough babbling!" Gordon's voice boomed, causing some of the hotel staff to stop and turn to look at him. "Forgive him, Inspector. He talks too much nonsense. He's still new to his position and knows not of the politics of…" He was interrupted by Heinrich waving his hand dismissively. "Without further ado I will enlighten you on the situation. The thief we are tracking has been sighted nearby and we are certain that he is targeting the museums. As you are aware..." He was caught off guard by Heinrich's fingers suddenly sparking to life at his side, tapping against his trench coat as if typing on a keyboard. "Er… Well… As you are probably aware, we have a string of museums housing various artifacts and valuable state treasures throughout the city."
"What makes you so sure that he is targeting them?"
"He sent us a calling card." Josef butted in and launched his hand forward, the card poking out between his fingers for Heinrich to take.
"Shouldn't this be in a bag as evidence?"
"You are mixing up your DNA and possibly ruining any chances of finding a print." Heinrich's face was deadpan. In his opinion, this man was nothing more than a bumbling idiot playing at cops.
"Relax, Inspector. This thief would never leave prints. We have that from a very good source!" Gordon tapped the side of his nose. This made Lunge's nose wrinkle a little bit. He hated when people played games.
"Anyway," continued Gordon, "We want you and our Inspector here to join forces and collaborate on this case. She has already been working very hard, haven't you dear?" He reached over and took the female Inspector by the arm and dragged her forwards.
"Wow. Thank you. Patronize me. I love you too." Her voice oozed of acidic sarcasm. She hated Gordon's habit of talking down to her. And now he'd done it in front of her new work partner. She could barely even look Heinrich in the face. "Way to make me look great in front of the new guy."
Gordon jabbed her in the ribs with his elbow. "Now, now. Temper tantrums. I don't think Inspector Lunge cares much for y…"
"I assure you, I see no changes in my opinion of you." Lunge interrupted Gordon before he could make her red face turn even redder.
"Well, great." She sighed and shook her head. "There's a god afterall."
"This feisty, highly strung gal is Inspector Rachel Prince. I would advise caution when dealing with her. She has a head full of knowledge, but she's easily fried." Josef grinned over at her hoping that she was taking his bait. She gave him a sour look and walked her way over to stand by the new Inspector.
"No. It's only you who need to be cautious." Her finger pointed at Josef, who in turn rolled his eyes and gathered his jacket and bag.
Gordon shook his head and handed Lunge a stack of files and paperwork. "This is a collection of names, locations, aliases, known targets and whatnot. If you need extra information ask your new partner. She will fill you in on the rest."
Heinrich pulled a pair of passports from inside one of the folders. They had his and Rachel's photos inside and false names. He found it very odd that they would go to such trouble just for a thief. Undercover work with aliases? He had to suspect that he was more than just a thief.
The two men said their goodbyes and walked out of the hotel's main entrance.
Heinrich's attention suddenly switched to the fuming female at his side who had just muttered an insult under her breath.
"No. No, it's all good." She heaved a sigh and stretched her arms in the air. A faint click was heard from one of her shoulders as she relaxed again. "To work?"
Heinrich gestured with his hand for her to approach the reception desk and handed her the passports as she walked by. She gave them a onceover just before she got to the desk and couldn't help but laugh to herself over the names. She leaned backwards with a smirk to her partner. "Mr and Mrs Broom? Seriously?" Stoic as always, he didn't respond, so she threw the passports onto the desk and greeted the clerk as cheerfully as she could. "Well, heyyy. We have a room booked."
The receptionist took the passports and gave them a glance. She looked from the picture of Rachel and up to her grinning face. A grin far too wide to be natural. Then she looked down at Heinrich's picture and low and behold he was pulling the exact same face in real life as on the photo. A stern, poker face as was the norm. "Ah yes. Mr and Mrs Broom." She closed the passports and handed them back, cocking an eyebrow at Rachel who was stifling giggles over hearing the name once more. "We have your room ready if you'd like to take your things up." She reached for the key and placed it on the desk.
"Ahh, great! I can't wait to dump all my stuff and relax." Rachel was OK at small talk, she thought. At least, better than Heinrich was doing so far. He hadn't said a single thing to the receptionist the whole time he'd been stood there.
"Yes. I'm sure you want to relax! You must be tired from travelling."
"Oh ever so tired." Rachel feigned a yawn and grabbed the keys. "And Mr here needs his beauty sleep in the afternoons. Mm-hmm. So, don't let maids or anything bother us during the afternoon, 'kay?" She cracked a smile at Lunge who was giving her a harsh frown. She could feel his eyes boring into the back of her head.
The receptionist gave a small giggle and nodded. "Well, dial 1 for room service should you need anything."
With keys in hand and proud of herself for her quick thinking, Rachel spun on her heels and marched past her partner smugly. He was still frowning at her as he hauled both of their luggage into the elevator. The doors closed with a clatter.
"Oh come on. It was the first thing I could think of! Even you have to admit that was some quick thinking. I gave us some free time to do some serious work and not be disturbed!"
He just nodded and stayed silent as the doors clattered open to reveal a hallway. They wandered down towards the end to find their room number.
The room was small, but adequate. The brown carpet from the hallway continued inside up the small corridor into the room. To the right just after the door was the bathroom. After that was the main room. A double bed with beige blankets, two bedside tables flanking it with a light on each. A phone on a table in the corner with another of those round shaped arm chairs like the ones in the lobby next to it. Heinrich decided that the table would be the ideal area to sit and do some work.
He glanced around the room again and fixed his eyes on the double bed, then on the chair and back again. He placed the suitcases on the floor and gestured for his partner to take the bed for herself.
"Oh, no. It's fine. Don't worry. I can have the floor or something." Rachel had already begun to dump the covers on the floor in preparation.
"This is not up for discussion."
"Yes. Yes, you are right. It's not. I'm having the floor and that is that!" She stuck her nose in the air defiantly and continued with her preparations.
Heinrich was having none of her attitude. With one swoop he made his way over, took the pillow and covers and dumped them onto the arm chair without uttering a single word. After he had finished he shot her a stern look.
"OK, OK!" She held up her hands. That face he was giving her was not really something to argue against. "Thank you."
Rachel plopped herself down on the bed, the old springs creaking under her weight. She didn't weigh much, but the bed looked as old as the hotel. She assumed that her night's sleep would probably be less comfortable than if she'd have taken the floor after all.
It was not long after that Heinrich had pulled out all the paperwork that he'd been given and had his nose deep within the pages. The case so far was truly fascinating to read and he felt that he would, for once, have a challenge on his hands.
The files began with a profile on the main culprit. Arsene Lupin III. It was a very detailed report on who he was and his criminal history. It had to be the thickest profile he had in the pile. Next were the profiles of his accomplices. Jigen, Goemon, Fujiko. Half an hour had already flown by as he leafed through the pages.
Rachel had been attempting to set up her own space to work in during the time he had been looking at the profiles and had unpacked the laptop she carried with her from the small satchel at her side. The screen blazed to life and a small beep notified her that she it was all loaded and ready. Her eyes glanced over to her partner again who was hunched over the table, scanning the pages over and over again, his fingers tapping furiously on the table beside them.
"Nice rhythm." She grinned widely, a tinge of sarcasm tainting her words. She couldn't resist. She was in a funny mood and had been since her superiors had left.
Heinrich stopped what he was doing and stared at his hand for a moment before tilting his head back to shoot her a bland gaze.
"What?" Her grin widened. "I was only saying! Well, I was actually more curious, but… yeah."
His bland stare continued as he placed the papers in his hand down on the table. Rachel suddenly felt incredibly awkward. It was as if his eyes were burning a hole into her face. She lowered her head and focused her attention back on her laptop screen, clearing her throat somewhat loudly.
"Care to impart your knowledge on the suspect, or are you just going to sit there and watch me work?"
His voice was slightly icy and it made her feel even more on edge. She nodded in agreement and scooted over to the far end of the bed so that she was sat in front of him.
"Y-Yeah. Sure. I suppose now is a good a time than any."
Rachel's eyes darted around looking for something more useful than her hands to focus on. His face was certainly not the ideal target. If she looked at his unamused and slightly hate-filled expression again she feared she would end up combusting on the spot.
"Where should I start?"
"For one, you can start by explaining your involvement with this Lupin III and his partners in crime."
"Involvement!?" Her head shot up and she ended up catching his gaze and froze on the spot. "What… do you mean by that?"
He waved a hand dismissively. "Oh, nothing. I am simply collating information. I simply assumed that you had been involved in," he smirked a little over her reaction and paused for a moment before continuing, "The case."
"Oh! R-Right, the case. Well, yes. I have been involved for a while. Ever since Lupin first came here a few years back and stole a piece of artwork from one of the museums. At the time, I didn't know just how big a deal he was! I mean, woah! The guy is prolific!"
His fingers that had been tapping on his knee suddenly stopped. Raising both hands to his chin, he laced his fingers together and breathed in sharply through his nose. "It sounds like you admire him."
"What? N-No! I just… I am just…"
"Never mind. Who is your main source? I assume that you had an informant, or a partner on the case that you mentioned, am I correct?" His fingers went back to tapping on his knee once again.
"Yeah. Yeah, I had both really. He suddenly showed up out of thin air as if by magic. Inspector Zenigata." She raised a brow. "I was most confused about the fact that he was a Japanese officer. He was not from around here."
"Japanese, you say?"
"Yeah. He showed up as soon as Lupin was reported to have appeared. It was odd." She shrugged. "I'm surprised he isn't here now, actually." A laugh left her lips as she imagined the Japanese inspector suddenly poking his head through the doorway.
"And how much help was this Zenigata?"
"A huge help. He's been tracking Lupin for years now. He's never been able to catch him and I know he'd be itching to collaborate on this."
"He can't be a very good Inspector if he's never caught him." Lunge's left eyebrow twitched a little as he stared at his partner as she spoke. "Years you say?"
"Well…" Rachel stammered for words. "He's a good man! Great at his job. He just can't catch him. Lupin is too skilled."
"No." Lunge shook his head. "He is obviously not good at his job, or Lupin would be behind bars." He breathed inwards and let it out, reclining backwards against his seat. "But, I will give him the benefit of the doubt if you genuinely think he will be of use."
Rachel was gritting her teeth. Zenigata may not have caught him, but she still knew how important it was to him that he kept trying. "I do believe he will be of help, yes."
"Then, by all means, contact him as soon as you can."
"I will. Right now." She stood up, rummaged for her phone in her satchel eagerly and retired to the bathroom so she could call the Inspector.
Lunge had watched her with great interest. He was now curious to hear the conversation between the two and stealthily got up from his chair and made his way over to the door, leaning against the small strip of wall beside it to listen.
"He-Hello? Zenigata?" Rachel's voice was slightly shaky in it's tone as she began to speak. "AHHH, ZENIGATA! It's me Rachel!"
Heinrich's eyebrow raised again at the sudden switch of mood.
"Yes. Yes, I know…" Her enthusiasm suddenly dispelled and morphed into a quiet nervousness. "It's been so long. I haven't, no. Why would I? You know I…"
Heinrich's eyes narrowed more as he listened. It seemed the pair were more familiar than he had previously thought from the conversation pieces that he was picking up. Friends, perhaps.
"You silly! No, I haven't! Hahaha! Oh, you…" Her tone became cheery once again. "Anyway, yeah. I'm calling about a case I'm on. And you're never going to guess who I'm trackiiiing!"
It was at that point Heinrich heard the second voice of the Inspector pipe up over the phone incredibly loudly and he could imagine Rachel having to pull the phone from her ear due to the volume.
"Yes! I know! Look, anyway, I need your help on this. I'm working with another Inspector… What? No, I don't know him. No, I've never seen him before. What? How should I know? He's pretty tall, yes. Handsome? What's that got to do with an… Now hold on. He's pretty cranky, mm-hmm. Yeah."
Lunge rolled his eyes. Maybe he shouldn't have listened in after all. It was becoming much like a conversation held by two teenagers.
"Shut up before I punch you in the throat! Haha, you're mad!"