Title: Investigative - Part One
Pairing: None, thus far. Though, drink enough of Hallibel's booze, and you might see a little Ulquiorra/Ishida, though it's doubtful. Otherwise, nadda.
Warnings: Two swear words. Maybe three.
Summary: Ulquiorra hungers for the story of a mysterious run away.
Author's Notes: This particular ED reminded me very strongly of the DC Universe from the world of American comics. I think the whole SuperKanonji put me over the edge, but since I like the darker underbelly aspect, that's what I'll go with. Nehalenia, thanks for the awesome idea, and prompting me to take on yet another project! 'Cause I need another one just as much as I need a hole in the head. And that title is totally subject to change.
Disclaimer: Bleach isn't mine. Nope. Neither is the uber-nifty ED. They're both fun to scamper like the insane lil' bugger that I am within.
The year doesn’t matter, nor the place, he reflected as he stepped into the shadowy building from the rain.
A seedy bar is still a seedy bar, regardless of when or where a man should stumble across one.
The flaming emerald of this particular man’s irises starkly contradicted the cold experience with which he scanned this particular dive as the heavy door swung closed upon the rainy city night.
Three Sirens crooned their hearts out to a distracted audience from the stage at the rear. Slowly rotating lights brought voluptuous shadows to life in a sensual dance around the three women. Shrill arguing added a dissonant harmony to the smooth tones from both a pair of women at the bar and a girl at the table across the room.
The newcomer’s cool gaze settled for a moment on the table.
His initial assumption about the fight from this corner had been incorrect. The blond girl hadn’t been arguing with the brunette man opposite her at all – only yelling about what a cheater he was. It takes two to bicker, and the guy was simply waiting it out.
Resigned brown eyes rose at feeling the scrutiny from the door way and he shared a weary look that clearly stated, “She does this ALL the time.”
Easily enough, the seeker dismissed the two.
The piercing voices at the bar had stopped, thanks to the unamused tender passing out a fresh round of drinks.
The two offenders – a dusky beauty and a sharply featured black haired woman – sat huffily with their backs to each other as they nursed their drinks. Scotch on the rocks for both of them. He was willing to bet the argument truly stemmed more from their similarities than any real disagreement between the two.
Off in the remaining corner, not far from where he now stood, an intense pool match was going on. Right at the moment, a young, dark haired man was analyzing the spread of billiards lain out upon the green table before him.
The only one paying the observer any mind, however, was the curvy blonde behind the bar.
Quietly, he made his way across the empty span between door and counter.
“Looks like you’ve had a rough day, stranger.” Her voice was deep, sultry, but held no particular interest in the goings on around them. Pale eyes drifted along his dripping ebon hair and the saturated trench flowing from his shoulders.
“No worse than most.” He rested a pale hand on the smooth wood between them. “Busy night.”
“No worse than most.” Full lips smirked. “What’s your poison?”
He ignored the flirtatious smile from the copper haired girl with the grape nehi who happened to be settled next to the sullen duo. “Just a coke.”
A blond brow arched, but she still pulled him his drink. “On duty, officer?”
“I’m nothing quite that intimidating,” the ghost of a smirk flickered before dying just shy of birth. Nonchalantly, he paid her plus tip, before a small pad of paper was pulled from an inner pocket, and the pen slid from the coil at the top. “I am doing a bit of research for a story though.”
Casually, she grabbed a mug and started polishing. Wary attention never wavered, however. “Press? That’s even worse.” She paused at his noncommittal shrug before giving in to her own curiosity. “What’re you researching?”
“A runaway.” He’d scribbled the name of the bar on the page he’d flipped to. The first half of the notebook was already filled with his fluid handwriting – details of how he arrived at this particular point.
Light eyes narrowed with suspicion. “Wouldn’t know anything about that.”
“Oh?” She was lying – he was more than experienced enough to notice that simple tell in her expression – but she wasn’t close enough to what he was looking for. “Who would?”
He followed her silent gaze to the pool table – more specifically to the comparatively slight man standing back to watch his tall, sharply muscled opponent take a turn.
As the expressionless man watched, the youth took stock of the layout left by the other, and Ulquiorra could tell from the flickering of sapphire eyes behind rimless glasses that he was calculating angles.
“Ya gonna just stand there and stare, Ishida, or are ya gonna shoot?” The brawny man bearing the other cue carelessly over his shoulders growled impatiently.
The smaller man glanced dryly over to his adversary and pushed his glasses further up his nose with a slender finger. “You want me to shoot, huh?” His voice was low, but supremely confident. The tone held an edge felt more than heard – like an arrow held to the back of one’s neck, cocked and ready to sever the spine.
The rival snorted and swung the tapered staff in his hand off of his shoulders to rest the broad end on the floor. “I dunno about ev’ryone else, but I’m here ta play pool, not stare at yer girly face.”
Thin lips smirked, and Ishida merely nodded. With an inborn grace, he again stepped up to the table, angled his stick, and struck the cue-ball with surgical precision.
The white orb shot at the solid red ball before it, which careened into two more, which then angled perfectly to set the chain reaction off needed to clear the table.
Coolly, the young man straightened, strode over to his gawking rival and shoved the cue into his chest. “Satisfied?”
Before the man could reply, the youth smoothly made his way to a nearby table and lifted his drink to his lips, sharp gaze constantly on the milling thugs.
Sure enough, the brawniest of hanger ons yelled, “Cheat!” and stalked towards the slender man.
Before his fist could advance upon Ishida’s jaw, however, it was caught and held by a startlingly powerful hold. “It looked fair to me,” the observer’s flat voice promised unspeakable violence, despite the benign words.
The punk stiffened at the icy tone and stepped back, pulling his hand free in the process.
Sapphire eyes regarded the interloper as he lowered his arm, drink lowered soundlessly to the table. A flash of vague familiarity lit within the intense depths for a moment before it was carefully veiled behind arrogant calm.
“Aw, hell.” The massive man who’d lost fished a battered wallet from his pocket. As he shoved a couple of bills into the victor’s chest, he growled, “Take yer damn money an’ get outa here.”
One by one, the disgruntled posse members did the same, and the younger politely thanked each in turn, much to varying levels of chagrin.
Neatly, the pool shark folded the small stack of bills and tucked it away before acknowledging the silent man standing to the side. “Thank you.” He said simply, and shrugged an impeccably tailored overcoat on.
Before the brunette could pass him by, the pale man’s hand landed squarely upon his shoulder. “Do you mind if I ask a few questions?”
Bright blue eyes narrowed. “As a matter of fact, I do.” Easily, he shook the touch off. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment I need to keep.”
Again, Ulquiorra captured his movement by wrapping long fingers around a surprisingly toned bicep. “If you change your mind,” he shoved a business card into the graceful palm reaching up to remove the offending appendage. “Contact me.”
The youth smirked. “Right.” With that, he again brushed the contact away and strode to the exit.
Impartial green eyes tracked the young man as he slipped past. He had the feeling this one knew exactly what he needed. Silently, he followed Ishida and skillfully blended into the dripping night as soon as he breached the door.
I apparently don't post enough to LJ to remember code that well. SORRY!!