I don't usually read Lol fanficiton because I'm not very interested in the lore. But Vi and Caityln's partnership is intriguing to me. I'd love to see you develop their relationship more because I'd like to see how they play off each other (if it's anything like their in game interactions then it would have to be good! Maybe Vi can even start calling Cait "cupcake" like she does in game).
Your have a great start to your story...the situation that's been set up really pulls you in. And I love that we're seeing the fun side to Vi but also the serious side. She seems like the "rebel with a heart of gold" type and you've really captured that. I particularly loved Caitlyn's line about bringing a sledgehammer to do a scalpel's job. A very apt description of Vi and her methods.
Anyway, great story so far! Please continue!
P.S. Any chance we see a flashback of Vi and Caitlyn meeting for the first time? I'm trying to imagine how Caitlyn approached Vi about joining the police force like it says in the lore but can't quite see how it would play out.
A week later the day came for Caitlyn to return to headquarters. Vi had decided to meet her a few hours after Caitlyn had arrived, to give her time to settle back in. She tried to tell herself that was the reason for the delay, anyway. The atmosphere at headquarters felt happier than it had for a while, but Vi couldn’t help but feel nervous. Caitlyn had said she needed her so she wasn’t going to jail, though Vi did find that she dreaded the inevitable chewing-out she was going to get. It had been hard enough watching as Holly was put in the ground, and now that wound was probably going to be torn open yet again.
Vi halted outside Caitlyn’s office for a few moments to gather her wits. Her gauntlets were hung from their back-mounted power pack again, as they always were when she was not using them. She thought it would be best not to accidentally break something in Caitlyn’s office during this visit, as Vi had done so many times before the incident. Vi took a deep breath, turned the knob and let herself in.
Caitlyn was seated behind her desk when Vi entered, her sniper rifle in pieces before her as she cleaned its components. From the care she showed as she picked up and cleaned each piece it was clear that the Sheriff had missed her weapon during her absence. Her pale violet eyes flicked up to her new guest, but her mouth did not move. Caitlyn’s gaze alone was intense enough to make Vi look down after a few moments. It seemed she was expecting Vi to say something.
“‘m sorry for not listening to you, Sheriff,” Vi turned beet-red from embarrassment as she spoke. She’d never had to give an apology before, she’d always thought she was right, but there was always a first. “I want to do what’s right. I want to protect Piltover and the good folks who call it home.” Vi’s frown deepened; it had all sounded so much better in her head. Her heart pounded uncomfortably hard against her ribs, and she chanced a quick look at Caitlyn’s face to see how her boss was taking the apology.
“That’s good to hear, Vi,” Caitlyn’s mouth turned upward in a slight smile, though her eyes did not share the expression and her voice was rather cold. “I would like to introduce you to your temporary partner, Charles Finnegan. He will be accompanying you for the next two weeks.”
A man that Vi had not noticed before rose from his chair in one corner of the room and stepped forward. He was shorter than Vi, with a light build and short brown hair that he kept combed back from his forehead. On his nose rested a set of round glasses that looked similar to the type that school bullies loved to aim at, though there were very few petty bullies that would try to take a swing at him now. The irony of his current situation was not lost on him, as he was well aware of the power he now held when it came to keeping the peace. He stared at Vi with a gaze kept carefully void of emotion.
“Pleased to meet you,” Finnegan’s voice was a light tenor to match his thin frame, and Vi noted that the hand he offered was slightly smaller than her own.
“Same,” Vi took his hand in a firm handshake. It was annoying that he'd been witness to her humiliating apology, and Vi wished she'd noticed him before giving it. She squeezed his hand a bit more than was comfortable to vent a bit of her frustration, as well as test how wimpy this new partner might be.
Finnegan’s face remained expressionless, and he maintained the handshake despite the painful pressure from Vi’s fingers. He withdrew his arm when she released him and clasped his hands behind his back, as if to state that he was not amused by her childish hand squeezing.
“You will be sharing a patrol route with Finnegan, as well as working with him on all cases you are given,” Caitlyn set down a clean rifle part and picked up another. “I don’t have any assignments for you at the moment, but be ready at any time should I find one for you.”
Finnegan turned to Caitlyn and nodded, "Yes, Sheriff."
"Your first patrol is scheduled to begin in one hour. I'll call on you again if anything comes up," Caitlyn gave the two a nod of dismissal and went back to cleaning her rifle.
Vi stared at Caitlyn for a moment to see if she had anything else to say, then turned and left the office, Finnegan trailing right on her heels.
Their shadows disappeared from the fogged glass set in Caitlyn's door as the two walked down the hall, and the Sheriff smiled. "Well Vi, the clock is ticking on your review period," Caitlyn reassembled the rifle in a flash and sighted down its barrel. "Let's see if you're actually serious about this."
(Continued in next post.)
Vi didn't quite know what to think of her temporary partner yet, other than the fact that at the moment she wanted to find out how to antagonize him. Finnegan just seemed too good a target to pass up, and a cheeky nickname would be a great way to start. "So Finny," Vi couldn't help but smirk at the butchering of Finnegan's surname. "What're we gonna do while we wait for patrol to start?"
Finnegan's expression didn't change, but the corner of his right eyebrow twitched noticeably. He retrieved a timekeeper from the pocket of his brown trenchcoat and checked the time. It was half past eleven. "Grab an early lunch, I suppose." Finnegan closed the watch with an audible click and tucked it back into his coat.
"Good idea," Vi realized she was hungry, now that he mentioned it; nerves had made her skip breakfast that morning and she was really feeling it now. "Any ideas on where to go?"
"There's a good sandwich shop nearby, we'll be able to eat on the go if we have any left over," Finnegan didn't wait for her reply and continued on to the main entrance.
Vi had to admit that a sandwich would be pretty good right about now, not that she was going to let him know that. She pretended to be uninterested as she trailed behind him. Maybe he would be more fun on patrol.
One hour and a few bad jokes later, Vi and her new partner were on their way to their designated patrol route in one of the less friendly districts of Piltover. It was an area in the far southern half of the city, one of the places where criminals fresh into Piltover tended to gather. Vi remembered it as one of the areas she used to frequent while stealing from other criminals; somehow they'd never figured out that reinforcing their vault doors to withstand triple the normal breaking force was a good idea.
The police techarriage dropped the pair off just outside the South-side boundary and drove away. He would be back in five hours to pick them up and take them back to headquarters, where the two would spend the rest of their evening doing any paperwork they may have acquired through a hard day's work. It all depended on how busy things got while on patrol.
"This place familiar to you?" Finnegan sounded like he was trying to be cordial as he unfolded the map of their patrol route, though the comment could be seen as a veiled insult of sorts. Vi would have to keep an eye on that, since Finnegan looked like he might be a little too clever for his own good.
"Yeah, I've bashed a few faces in around these parts before," Vi shrugged, as if the notion of smashing someone else's face in wasn't very important or exciting at all. "What's it to you?"
"Just wanted to know if you could point out any potential problem areas," Finnegan offered the map to her and adjusted his glasses. "This is a new route to me, so I don't know which places I should be more wary in."
Vi took the map in one massive glove and gave it a quick look. Yeah, she remembered some of these places. One or two were hot spots for fights and brawls, another notorious for the thieves that sold their stolen goods there... She leaned over so Finnegan could see the map as well and pointed out the problem areas. "Here, here, and here. First two have a lot of brawls, at least once a day, and the last one is a favorite for thieves."
Finnegan reviewed the locations that Vi had pointed out twice before he folded up the map and put it away. "Would you care to lead?"
"Of course," Vi smirked and took the lead. At least Finnegan now understood the pecking order to some degree. "Right this way, Finny."
The first sign of trouble showed itself as the pair neared a series of pubs. Even at this early hour there were those who wanted nothing more than to drink their time away, whether it was because of their troubles or because they simply no longer cared about anything else. Vi eyed the crowd, and spotted the beginnings of a brawl in a bar patron that was getting a tad too aggressive with his fellows. She sauntered over and allowed her heavy gauntlet to fall onto the man's shoulder. "There a problem here, buddy?" Vi gave him a frighteningly toothy grin, and false sweetness dripped from her voice.
Even through his drunken haze the would-be brawler was wise enough to know a whole heap of pain when he saw one. "N-no, ma'am," he stumbled away, suddenly turned off the thought of booze for the day. Vi snickered when he walked into a pole and hurried off to his home.
Vi turned back to Finnegan in time to spot him seizing the hand of a pickpocket who had decided to try his luck on him. Finnegan sighed. “I suppose we’ll have to stop our patrol here until someone can pick him up,” he held the struggling youth in an iron grip, a show of surprising strength for someone so thin. Vi had to admit she was somewhat impressed. Somewhat.
A techarriage from the nearest station arrived within ten minutes to take the pickpocket away, and Vi and Finnegan continued on their route. The second pub yielded no problems, since word of their presence had apparently raced on ahead of them and troublemakers had decided to lay low for the moment. Vi was just beginning to feel bored from the lack of action when a dark figure emerged from an alley and followed them.
Those who called the area home started to hurry off the street; they knew trouble when they saw it brewing. Vi and Finnegan came to a halt as a group of ten thuggish men surrounded them, emerging from the surrounding alleys and the doorways of several shops. Vi was practically shaking from anticipation, she'd been aching for a decent fight for a few days now. Finnegan was unmoved by the interruption, and he eyed the group from behind his large glasses.
"Looks like you pigs are lost," one of the thugs took a step forward and hefted his shotgun. "The Sheriff's lost her edge, this is our turf now."
Before Vi could even think up a reply, Finnegan spoke up. "I wonder how much you'll cry when we take you in," the smirk that appeared on his face was one after Vi's own heart, and his eyes flicked between their current targets as he pushed his glasses further up his nose.
The lead thug roared with anger at the notion and took aim as Vi shot forward. With one blow she shattered his shotgun like a cheap toy. Oh yes, this was definitely something she missed. During the heated violence of conflict was when she felt most alive, when she could live purely in the moment and forget everything else, if only for a little while. She slammed one metal fist into the leader's gut as he gaped at his broken shotgun. He dropped like a stone and she whirled to find her next target. Vi charged the accelerators on her left fist and took aim as he hit the ground. Two more thugs were thrown into the air as she bowled through them to get to her newest target.
A glance at Finnegan revealed that he was holding his own quite easily against their enemies. He had been trained in street fighting and was successfully dodging and blocking each physical attack that came his way, then hitting each attacker with his handheld taser. One thug raised a gun, and Finnegan beat him to the draw with a mid-range taser that had been holstered on his belt.
In a matter of moments Vi had taken down five thugs to Finnegan's four, and the last was making a run for it. The man dashed back the way Vi and Finnegan had come, and the two cops gave chase. He whipped down an alley, where the sound of falling crates and barrels could be heard soon after.
Vi and Finnegan were slowed by the obstacles and for a moment it looked like their quarry might escape. She cast about for a plan—and settled on Finnegan. Spur of the moment, no time to think unless they wanted the criminal to get away.
"Wha—hey!" Finnegan squirmed as one of Vi's massive fists closed around his waist and lifted him off the ground.
With a precise flick of her arm, Vi sent Finnegan flying after the fleeing criminal.
Rather than flailing around like a worthless dweeb, Finnegan unholstered his mid-range taser as he drew level with their quarry. The taser hit the thug in the torso, and the man seized up and fell to the ground with a loud thump. Finnegan himself continued past his target and hit the ground in a roll, then slid into a stack of wooden crates with a loud crash and disappeared from sight.
"Oh cr*p," Vi didn't like the thought of having possibly broken her new partner on the first day and hurried after him. Caitlyn would be so angry if he was hurt... Maybe throwing him hadn't been the best plan after all.
The demolished stack of crates shifted as Finnegan got to his feet, and a box slid off his back with a loud clatter as he straightened. "Well," Finnegan coughed from the dust that had been kicked up by his collision. "Never done that before. It was fun, at least," the statement was accompanied by an amused half-smile and another cough as he dusted himself off. His coat and clothes were quite dirty now, but otherwise he had suffered no harm.
Vi breathed a mental sigh of relief and grinned at her temporary partner. "You gotta admit that was pretty awesome," she laughed at the memory of Finnegan flying through the air. It had just been too fun.
Finnegan climbed out of the debris pile and walked over to the unconscious criminal that he'd been hurled after just moments before. "I suppose that's a good word for it," he took the man's coat in one fist and started back toward the alley entrance. "We'd better call this in. They might be part of a bigger group, and by the way people cleared off when they saw them, those thugs must've been terrorizing them for a while."
"Yeah," Vi did her best to calm her amusement and followed Finnegan out of the alley, passing him just before he reached the entrance. She had to remind him of her higher rank, after all.
The band of thugs were still unconscious and collapsed where the pair had left them. A few of the locals passed the scene in a hurry now that the fighting was over, but otherwise the street was empty. Finnegan contacted the local station again and a police techarriage was soon clanking down the street to meet them. Vi smirked when she noted that the lead thug was tearing up a bit. Finnegan had been right in judging his character.
Now that Vi thought about it, she was grateful that it had been Finnegan next to her rather than Caitlyn. She wouldn’t have had the courage to throw Caitlyn like that after what happened between them. Finnegan, however... He’d reacted at the right moment and hadn’t berated her for throwing him in the first place. He’d even laughed about it, in his own way. Caitlyn probably wouldn’t be out on patrol, either. She’d been shut up in her office doing paperwork between the infrequent big jobs when they were still partners, something that Vi found so horrifically boring that she’d thought she would die.
Finnegan watched the techarriage containing the thugs trundle away, his hands braced against his hips. "Hmph," he gave the criminals a disdainful jerk of his head and turned back to Vi. "Did you see the big one tearing up? Knew that would happen."
"Pfff yeah, just a big baby in the end," Vi grinned at the memory as the two continued their patrol. "He went down real easy, too."
"I saw that," Finnegan pushed his glasses up his nose yet again and fell into step with Vi. She noticed that he still allowed her to walk slightly in front of him, as if he were subconsciously submitting the mantle of leadership to her. In all honesty it was something she appreciated, and another perk she wouldn't have been able to enjoy had Finnegan been Caitlyn instead. Caitlyn was a born leader, and she and Vi would have been subconsciously fighting for the lead during the entire duration of their patrol.
Vi's grin faded to a confident smile as she led on. The pair passed two more streets and were three blocks from the next problem spot that Vi had pointed out when she stopped in front of an out-of-the-way alley. Finnegan walked past her less than a foot before he noticed she'd halted, then hurried back to her as if drawn there by an elastic band.
"What's wrong?" Finnegan peered down the street from over Vi's shoulder and waited patiently for her reply.
"Oh, I remembered that the next street is another place that has a lot of black market deals going on most of the time," Vi spoke from experience; she'd sold loot there in the past herself, though such instances had been infrequent due to her dislike of most of the shop owners and customers who used it. Just too dirty for her taste, even before she went legit. "This alley is where most of their goods are brought in."
Finnegan whipped out a small pocket book and jotted down the alleyway name and reason for significance. He would let headquarters know about it once they got back for the day. "I'm sure we can deviate from our route just a little bit to see what's going on," he tucked the pocket book away and looked up at Vi.
"Alrighty then," Vi gave a causal roll of her shoulders and started down the alley.
The alley was grubby and lined with two-story buildings that somehow managed to block out most of the sunlight despite their relatively small size, its cobblestones dusty and worn from use. Vi recalled that it tended to get horrendously muddy when the weather became damp and rainy, and the mud tended to be mixed with whatever trash the dealers here left behind. Shop owners usually kept their back doors and store rooms shut when not purchasing from their suppliers, and the first few buildings they passed were closed. The fifth building, however, was open and actively doing business with a group of men who were handling various pieces of hextech machinery.
Vi spotted the men before they noticed her, and she managed to saunter right up to one of the haulers without them noticing. "So where'd ya pick these up, buddy?" she lifted the crate of parts out of the man's arms with one hand before he had a chance to protest.
"Hey what're—who are you?" the man tried to snatch the crate away, but Vi easily held it out of his reach. "Give that back!"
"Just passers-by," Vi shoved the man aside one more time and popped the crate's lid open with one hand. "Ooh and what's this? Techarriage components?" she glanced back at Finnegan with a grin. "Didn't we hear about a robbery involving some of those a few weeks back?"
"Actually yes, I do remember that," Finnegan gave the group a cold smile and adjusted his glasses again. "I wonder if these might be the same," he managed to make it sound like an innocent musing, which worried the group of men all the more.
The other workers had stopped now, and a distressed mutter could be heard running through the group. "They're cops," one whispered. Some began to back off, while others put a hand on their concealed weapons.
"You can't prove anything," a man whose authoritative air declared him the leader of the group stepped forward and separated Vi from the worker she'd been talking to. "The newspapers said it was the work of a gang near the docks, so get lost and let us do our business."
"My gut feeling's proof enough," Vi tossed the box to one of the workers, who was knocked off his feet when he caught it. "So I could just beat the truth outta you if you prefer that," she slammed a fist into her open palm with a loud clang and grinned at him.
"We both know that's against your rules, cop," the man seemed completely unafraid despite having Vi and her massive gauntlets itching to give him a few good lumps. "So like I said before, get lost," he turned to glare at Finnegan, who was examining the parts in the crate that Vi had tossed earlier. "And you too!"
"Rules schmules," Vi's outward demeanor didn't change, but the man's protests were getting her rhiled. She wanted to lay into him more than anything right now. Still, the thought of disappointing Caitlyn again on her first day back didn't sit well with Vi and was enough to make her hesitate.
Finnegan rose and dusted his knees. "It is my understanding that you must have a permit to buy or sell these parts," he turned to the leader and tucked his hands into his trench coat pockets. "May we see it?"
"Of course no—ah?" the man stumbled over the unexpected question and lost confidence for the first time in their conversation.
Vi turned to him with a renewed grin. "Yeah, where's the permit?" she pretended not to notice the workers who were edging around behind them and kept her eyes fixed on the man she was talking to. It was always more fun when they thought they'd gotten the drop on her. "You must have one, you bein' legit and all."
The man was obviously flustered now. "Well, ah. Sure, let me just go get it," he started toward the techarriage truck that the group had been unloading the parts from, and climbed into its open back when he reached it.
At that same moment the group sprung into action, unholstering weapons and kicking crates of merchandise away to keep them from getting damaged during the fight. It was eight to one, the odds should have been in their favor. The Sheriff had grown weak, it was only a matter of time before her accursed police force fell and surrendered its power to the criminal underbelly of Piltover once again.
"Seriously?" Vi laughed. The nearest worker came at Vi with a knife and she sent him flying into the man behind him with a single blow. Two down. She grabbed another attacker with one hand and glanced to her left to see how Finnegan was doing.
Apparently one or more of the men had managed to catch Finnegan off-guard. Two held him while a third drew back a fist armed with brass knuckles. It looked like Finnegan would soon receive a lump of his own—right on the bridge of his round glasses.
Well, there would be no standing for that. Vi tossed the man she was holding over her shoulder and dashed to Finnegan's aid. The surprised scream he let loose as he flew would have made her chuckle if she were still paying attention to him. Her fingers closed around the third man's fist before he could swing, and he looked over his shoulder to see who had grabbed him.
Vi's hextech gauntlet and ruthless grin filled his field of view. "Awww, brass knuckles? That's just too cute," she swung outward, catching a man who was charging her from behind in the torso with his captive comrade. The two of them flew into the closest wall as Vi let go and turned on those who still held Finnegan.
One was about to bring his knife to Finnegan's throat when Vi's fists whipped forward, one on either side of her partner’s head, and knocked both men flying down the alley. The strike was close enough for Finnegan to feel the wind coming off Vi's fists, and violent enough to make the crooks release him out of pure shock. "Nawp, can't have that," she withdrew her fists and elbowed yet another attacker in the face as he tried to sneak up on her. "Come on, you didn't learn from the last guy who tried that?" Vi picked him up and spotted the last man, who was in the process of escaping toward the shop.
The man made it only a few feet before his body seized up and collapsed into a twitching heap on the cobblestones. "Had to redeem myself at least a little," Finnegan quipped. He holstered his taser and walked quietly to the back of the truck, where the leader was probably still hiding. He stopped short of the open end and waited for Vi to approach.
Vi didn't need to be told the reason for Finnegan's caution; the man inside might have a gun on him, and the cover of the truck gave him an advantage. She would have to use her deflectors again, but this time she would be more careful about how she protected her own with them. Without a word she put a hand on Finnegan's shoulder and gestured for him to get behind her, which he did immediately and without question. She then charged her left gauntlet and held it between herself and the open truck as she walked behind it.
A revolver shot bounced off of Vi's glowing gauntlet and embedded itself in the inside of the vehicle's storage cubicle. Five more followed before the gun's owner had to stop to reload, and even he knew what was about to happen as he scrambled to load the revolver again. He even screwed his eyes shut just before Vi's fist hit him in the face.
"Was hopin' you guys would give us a better fight," Vi grabbed the man she'd just knocked out and tossed him into the alley. "It was fun anyway." She jumped to the ground and turned to Finnegan, who was feeling the back of his head as he climbed down himself. "You alright?"
"One of them got me on the back of the head," Finnegan's fingers brushed the injury and he winced. "I'm feeling alright now, though."
"Sure," Vi could see that he was walking steadily enough, but she would keep an eye on him regardless.
The shopkeeper insisted that he didn't know that the techarriage parts were stolen when Vi and Finnegan confronted him over it. He couldn't give them a permit for buying the parts either so he would be in for a hefty fine, but no jail time since he hadn't purchased anything yet. Another police techarriage arrived within ten minutes to pick up their haul, and a second to confiscate the techarriage parts that Vi and Finnegan had seized from the group. There was even an ice pack ready for Finnigan when they arrived, which Vi had insisted that he request in the interest of not having her new partner suddenly pass out on her while on patrol.
Their patrol route came to an end behind schedule, and Vi found herself wishing the crooks hadn’t gotten wind of their presence and laid low until evening. It had been a highly successful day in the end. Now for the dreaded paperwork, which there would be a heap of since they’d seen a lot of action on their first patrol. The pair stopped at an Ionian cuisine restaurant on the way back to headquarters and took their dinner to their shared office, where they would work on their paperwork until eight in the evening.
Paperwork was as boring and irritating as ever, though it came at the end of a fun and productive day rather than the heaps and heaps that Caitlyn always had to deal with. The Sheriff had never asked Vi to do it for fear of the bruiser messing up some vitally important form or case file. That meant Vi had been left to amuse herself in the office since she had been stuck with Caitlyn as her partner and wasn’t allowed to take cases on her own. It was these long periods of tedious inactivity that caused her to go more wild than usual when they actually did take cases, in fact. There was just too much pent-up energy for her to act any other way.
At least this stuff was her paperwork, dull as it was. It even brought back a few memories of the day she had. Vi set a completed form aside and drummed her fingers on the desk. Her hand was starting to hurt from all this extra writing. She glanced up at Finnegan to see how he was doing.
Finnegan already had a large stack of paperwork piled in the 'finished' basket on his desk, and he reached up to touch his head injury just as Vi looked at him. She probably should've made him get another ice pack once the first had thawed, but she was quite impressed that he'd been able to keep quiet about the bothersome injury. It seemed that Finnegan had a much higher tolerance for pain than she'd expected. The thought made her wonder just how careful Caitlyn had been in selecting a temporary partner for her. Such resilience was a pretty important requirement when working with Vi, given her brash and impulsive attitude and reckless fighting style.
"Hey," Finnegan looked up at Vi immediately after she spoke. She pointed at his head, "Make sure you ice that again when you get home."
"Oh, right," Finnegan seemed a bit embarrassed over her noticing his discomfort and promptly buried himself in his paperwork again.
By seven in the evening Finnegan had finished his paperwork, whereas Vi still had some ways to go. He pushed his chair out from the table and stretched his neck and shoulders as he got to his feet, working out the kinks after the hours spent slaving over paperwork. Finnegan pushed his chair back under the table and strode over to Vi's desk to check her progress. "Need some help?" he leaned over Vi's desk to get a look at the form she was working on.
"Nah, I can do it," Vi tapped her pen on the desk without looking up at him. "You can get me a drink if you wanna help."
Finnegan didn’t reply and instead walked over to the nearest bookshelf, where he removed a book that Vi had never bothered to look at before. He then set the book on her desk and took his leave.
Vi opened the book once she was sure Finnegan was gone and thumbed through its table of contents. The table of contents revealed that the book would help her with the information that she had been trying to write down from memory. She finished several forms in the time it took Finnegan to return with her drink, a cup of coffee to keep her sharp until the paperwork was done.
"Thanks, Finny," Vi accepted the drink and took a sip. The coffee was strong and dark, without any milk or sugar added to change the flavor. She was about to consider asking Finnigan if he'd gotten any sugar when he set a napkin with a few sugar cubes on her desk, followed by a small cup full of cream and a spoon to stir the coffee with. Vi dropped three sugar cubes into her coffee and stirred it before taking another sip. Much better.
Despite the fact that he'd already helped Vi a great deal with her work, Finnegan sat back down at his desk and waited for her to finish. It was nice of him, though Vi felt a little annoyed that he thought she needed to be babysat like this.
At ten minutes to eight Vi set the last piece of paperwork in her 'finished' basket and stretched her arms. The paperwork had been boring, but all in all it had been a satisfying day for her. She got to her feet and Finnegan rose from his own chair as well.
"Well, I'm outta here," Vi stretched again and picked up her power pack and gloves. "See you tomorrow, Finny."
Finnegan nodded and followed Vi out of the office. The two split up at the main entrance, which was just being inundated with the officers of the night watch. Twenty minutes later Vi was sitting comfortably on her own couch and going over the day from start to finish. She hadn't gotten the lecture she thought Caitlyn would lay into her with, and that was a relief. Vi had definitely deserved it... With that being the case, she wondered what Caitlyn might be playing at by not even bringing the issue up.
An entertaining day indeed, and Vi hoped tomorrow would be just as fun. She leaned forward and lifted Holly's journal from its place on her coffee table. Maybe she could work on the fire flowers this weekend, and visit Holly too. Vi wasn't much for explosives and the like herself, but she could always learn. She could do that much at least.
Little over a week had passed, and things were looking up.
“Move it, Finny!” Vi gave her partner a brief call over the shoulder as they continued their pursuit of a mugger. The chase had been an abnormally long one, having run over from their patrol route in South-side and into a busy shopping district. Vi was still going strong, but the long run was beginning to weigh on Finnegan and he lagged behind.
"'m sorry," Finnegan gasped and tried to pick up the pace, with little success. "Don't have as much endurance as you!"
Vi gave him another glance, then grinned as an idea popped into her head. Without missing a stride she scooped Finnegan up in one hand and kept running. "Everybody MOVE!" she called ahead to the shoppers and pointed at her target.
The shoppers immediately responded to Vi's booming command, and some dashed into shops while others pressed themselves against the wall to keep out of her way. Those lucky enough to be on the other side of the street and therefore out of harm's way started following Vi out of pure curiosity.
Soon a path was cleared for them, and Vi began to charge her free gauntlet. "Get him with yer taser!"
Finnegan unholstered his mid range taser just as a hanging sign hit him in the forehead with a loud thonk when Vi passed beneath it. "Gahk!" Finnegan rubbed his forehead and glared back at the offending object, only to have another sign hit him in the back of the head when he did so. "Why are there so many signs?" Finnegan grumbled and ducked his head to avoid being brained by more signs as he took aim. "He's out of range."
"Not for long!" with the sidewalk clear, Vi was able to let loose. She activated the accelerators on her free fist and shot off toward the fleeing criminal like a rocket, Finnegan still clutched tightly in one hand.
Vi let out a wild laugh as the thief glanced over his shoulder to see what all the commotion was about. His eyes widened in terror at the sight of Vi speeding toward him, and he picked up the pace as a small scream escaped his lips.
"Any time now, Finny!" Vi laughed harder when she saw that the thief had spotted them and tried to keep their progress as smooth as possible so Finnegan could line up his shot.
"Got hi—" Finnegan was a hair's breadth from pulling the trigger when something darted out of a shop and into their path.
A kid. Finnegan's surprise at seeing a child suddenly in their way messed up his shot, and he stopped himself before he could pull the trigger.
"Augh kid, no!" Vi had to think quickly to avoid the boy, who was still oblivious to the danger he was currently in. He looked up just as Vi was about to run over him and crouched down in a defensive ball. Their momentum was too powerful to stop, so Vi was forced to do the next best thing—alter their trajectory. Her foot shot out ahead, and she kicked herself off the ground just before she could reach the boy.
"Sorry Finny, I'm gonna have ta throw you again!" Vi's kick sent them soaring upward, and at the zenith of their jump she tossed Finnegan after the fleeing criminal as she had on the first day of their partnership. The act of throwing Finnegan knocked Vi completely off-balance, and she hit the ground gloves-first in a cacophony of clanging and grinding metal.
Finnegan didn't need his taser this time. Vi had thrown him at such speed that he would overtake and slam into the fleeing purp in mere moments. He braced himself for impact just before he hit the thief's back and sent the man flying forward.
The landing was hard, but Finnegan was lucky enough to land on top. Not so much for the thief, who was dazed from the blow and now lay groaning on the cobblestone sidewalk. Finnegan got to his feet and quickly cuffed the man before hurrying back to Vi, who was just getting to her feet after the rough landing.
"Leave it to a kid to get in the way at just the wrong moment," Vi braced her hands against her lower back and stretched to get the kinks out. Despite herself, she felt a painful twinge at the back of her mind for saying such a thing. It reminded her of Holly. "How'd you get through? Anything hurt bad?" she glanced at Finnegan and cracked her neck to loosen it up.
"I got off better than our purp," Finnegan jerked a thumb over his shoulder at the thief, who had the good sense to stay down now that Vi was in the close vicinity. "You?"
Vi touched rapidly-swelling lump on the right side of her head and scowled. "Hit my head on the back of a gauntlet," she winced when she accidentally pressed it too hard and let her hand fall to her side.
"Wow!" the pair turned as the boy Vi had lept over just moments before approached them, his eyes shining with admiration. "That was awesome, Miss police officer!"
The praise immediately snapped Vi out of her grumbling and she turned to the boy with a big smile. "I know, right?" she flexed without realizing it. "You should see when I get real rough, those crooks don't stand a chance!"
A round of applause filled the street as shoppers emerged from the stores and gathered around the pair. Vi was promptly surrounded and showered with various compliments on traits from her bravery to her gloves. Of course, they wouldn't know it was Vi who had caused the fiasco just three weeks ago. That information had remained private, and Caitlyn had somehow been able to keep her officers from spreading word of it. Part of Vi wished she could forget about what had happened, but another chimed in to remind her that doing such would be disrespectful to Holly, and she just couldn't stand for that.
"Alright people, clear the way so we can call this in," Vi puffed out her chest and motioned for the crowd to move aside as Finnegan dragged the thief up to her. She leaned down so her nose was within a few inches of the purp's and grinned. "So, are ya gonna try running again?"
The mugger made eye contact with Vi for a few seconds, then looked away. "No," he sulked as Vi straightened.
"Aw come on, give us a better face than that," Vi gave a smile of fake innocence and held her hands in a dainty fashion. "It's so unbecoming!"
Much to Vi's delight, the remark got a burst of laughter out of the crowd and they swarmed her again as Finnegan called in the successful arrest.
"Those gauntlets are very impressive, young lady. Did you make them yourself?"
"You must be really strong to use them so easily!"
"Would you and your partner like to have a snack at my bakery? It's on the house."
"Oh, your head's hurt! Could I bring you an ice pack?"
Vi kicked her foot against the cobbles in a fit of bashfulness. "We gotta go back on patrol soon, so we can’t stay long. An ice pack would be nice, though."
"Actually," Finnegan turned off his handheld and slipped it back into his pocket. "We went over our patrol time again, so the next watch can take over for us," he stood by the criminal so Vi could freely interact with her admirers.
Within five minutes the pair were seated in a nearby bakery and the mugger was on his way to the nearest police station. Vi held an ice pack to her head as she lifted a cup of sugared coffee to her lips. Her gloves and power pack rested against the nearest table leg, close enough to keep an eye on yet in the open so the other bakery patrons could admire it. "So Finny," she set the cup down on the table and looked up at Finnegan, who sat across from her. "I never got to ask what you did to get stuck with me."
"Hmm?" Finnegan seemed genuinely surprised by the statement, as if he didn't consider working with Vi to be punishment at all. "How do you mean?" he lowered his own cup of coffee, which he'd been about to take a sip from himself.
"Well, I toss you around all the time, we constantly get into scraps together, I think you're smart enough for a higher position. How come Caitlyn paired you with me instead of someone else?"
Finnegan set the cup down on the table as well and laced his fingers. "I don't do well in positions of authority," he seemed embarrassed to admit it, since such an attitude could be looked on as weakness. "Also, I don't have a mind for hextech in the slightest," he took one of his tasers in his hands and stared down at it for a moment. "Sure, I can use a taser easy enough, but I can't fix it if it breaks or malfunctions," Finnegan put the device away again and looked up at Vi. "As you know, in a place like Piltover you need scientific and magical smarts on top of everything else if you want to move up in rank," he gave her an ironic smile and closed his eyes in acceptance of his fate. "All that aside, I don't consider it unfortunate to have you as a partner, even if it's only for these two weeks."
That was right, Vi had nearly forgotten that tomorrow would be the end of their partnership. The thought darkened her mood instantly—it would be back to either tip toeing around Caitlyn and smothering herself or constantly getting reprimanded by the Sheriff for disobeying orders. Despite herself, Vi let out an annoyed sigh and frowned.
"Something wrong?" the sudden change in mood had not gone unnoticed by Finnegan, who seemed worried that he may have said something wrong.
"Nah, just not looking forward to working with Caitlyn again, I guess," Vi leaned on one elbow and stared at the wall opposite her, at a spot just over Finnegan's head.
Finnegan didn't reply and took a sip of his coffee as he thought about what Vi had said, the glare of the setting sun reflecting off his glasses and obscuring his eyes from her view. A minute later he looked up, "So how did you and the Sheriff meet? I've heard rumors but nothing definite."
Vi leaned back and drummed her fingers on the table. Guess it wouldn't hurt to tell him... She glanced around, and noticed that many of the bakery patrons had gotten quiet and were sitting abnormally still. They were listening in, they wanted to know more about this flashy new cop who had dashed into their district. Vi contemplated it for a few more moments. It wasn't like it was supposed to be a secret or anything... Though it was pretty embarrassing for her to tell again.
"Well, where should I start...?
"Guess the beginning of that day is as good a place as any."
Vi packed her loot bags into a few belt pouches and looked around her small, somewhat messy apartment. It was nice for its size, she could've had better... If she didn't spend so much on improving her gauntlets. Improving her gauntlets and putting the hurt on her fellow criminals, such was the summation of Vi's life at this point. She lived for nothing else.
And today she would be skunking yet another gang of dirty criminals by stealing everything they had in their precious vault. Information on the hideout had already been beaten out of one of the crime boss's lackeys, who'd been promptly dropped off at the nearest police station once she'd finished. With everything in order for the operation, Vi slipped her gauntlets on and left the apartment.
"It was pretty easy to get to the spot where I was gonna break in. Those crime boss guys never learned, thought they were invincible just cause most other crooks feared them."
The sewer tunnel that ran beneath the complex had only a slight smell. It had been dried up for a few years now as the sewer network beneath Piltover had been improved, and this tunnel was no longer needed. Vi held her lantern a bit higher and measured the steps from the tunnel entrance to the underside of the compound.
Forty steps. This was the place. The tunnel's ceiling was around five feet here and Vi had to stoop to fit, but it would serve her needs just fine. Vi removed a large grey tarp that she'd tacked to the ceiling earlier, revealing a large hole that stretched to a shadowy dead end about four feet above her head. She'd been working on this for a few days, it was supposed to eventually come out in a little-used store room that she would get to the vault from once she was in. As far as she knew, no one else had discovered it yet.
Vi pulled herself up using grooves she'd cut into the rock while making the hole. Once in position, she hung to the side of the hole and slammed one gauntlet into the ceiling above. The rock gave way and shot upward rather than falling back into the tunnel; she'd made it into the store room.
"Didn't run into anyone on the way to the vault. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't be able to deck anyone with my latest upgrades, but I wouldn't turn down good luck when I found it."
The room that led to the vault was the boss's own office, but the man was absent. A distant commotion could be heard from where Vi was now, more good luck if it was a decent enough distraction. Vi approached a large bookshelf that stood behind the boss's desk and grasped either side of it with her gauntlets. With a single heave she sent it crashing to the side, the secret door it created torn clean off its hinges to reveal the vault's entrance.
Vi laid one hand flat against the vault's door and knocked on its metal surface with the other. The tone would tell her the approximate thickness and strength of the metal so she could pull her punch a bit if she needed to. It wouldn't do to destroy her loot, after all.
Three well-placed blows leveled the vault door to reveal the treasures she was after. There was a good collection of gemstones, finely-wrought jewelry, and even a few gold bars sparkled on their respective shelves as Vi entered the vault. Two half-foot stacks of paper money took up space on the floor, and Vi grinned as she opened one of her sacks and began loading it up.
"It was a pretty good haul for such an easy job. With everything loaded up I was ready to get the hell outta there."
The three sacks were a satisfying weight on Vi's shoulders as she made her way back to the store room and its tunnel. Whatever the commotion was that had been taking place near the front had died down by now, and the halls were completely empty. Really none of Vi's concern, since it only made her job easier. She picked up the darkened lantern and turned it back on, then clipped it to her belt to keep it out of the way.
Vi lowered herself into the tunnel and dropped the last few feet to the floor. Her landing was immediately followed by the clank of a closing trap and the loud roar of pain that Vi let loose as it snapped shut on her lower leg. The sudden pain made her drop the bags of loot with a clatter, and she bent down to get a better look at the steel trap now fastened around her leg. Despite the incredible strength of her gloves, the trap didn't budge when she tried to pry it open, and in fact it may have even gotten a little tighter when she let it go. Vi was fiddling uselessly with the mechanism, her massive metal fingers more a hindrance than a help, when the sound of boots walking in an even, confident stride echoed down the tunnel.
"I was wondering when you'd show," a smooth voice with the distinct accent of Piltover's upper class echoed through the tunnel as the Sheriff stepped into the wildly-swinging light of Vi's lantern. "Judging by your ridiculously large hextech gauntlets and sacks of loot, you must be that thief who only steals from criminals," she stopped five feet in front of Vi, confident and calm despite being within range of the criminal's fists. "Your name is Violet, isn't it?" though she posed it as a question it was clear that Caitlyn already knew the answer.
"You won't call me that if you know what's good for you," Vi snarled, her fingers flexing one after another. She hated being called by her full name, and those who tossed it around so lightly as this Sheriff was usually received more than their fair share of pain.
Caitlyn's eyes flicked down to Vi's gauntlets, then back up to her face. "I wouldn't try launching yourself if I were you. The trap that has your leg is bolted to the ground, it would probably skin your calf if you did," Caitlyn spoke as if Vi skinning herself was of little concern, even if it meant catching a hextech gauntlet in the face.
"I'll take that risk if it means wiping that smirk off your face," Vi took what should have been a threatening step forward and was greeted by the loud clank of a second trap closing around her free leg. She reeled back in renewed pain and lost her balance, pitching herself backward to land in the most non-painful way possible, on her rump. The two traps combined hurt like hell, but at least Caitlyn had been merciful enough to position them so they wouldn't hit her full in the shin.
"Are you finished?" Caitlyn was thrown into heavy shadow when Vi's legs and body blocked the lanternlight, and she held her rifle in one hand and put the other on her hip as she stared impassively down at her prisoner. "I still have a few things to say."
Vi grit her teeth and glared up at Caitlyn. "Fine. What do you want? To gloat?" her voice was tight with pain, despite trying to keep herself under control.
Caitlyn shook her head. "No. I've been watching you or a while, Violet. I've noticed that while you are indeed a thief, you do have a habit of helping those around you and foiling other criminals when they try to take advantage of the city's civilians," a faint smile lit Caitlyn's face as she spoke, which instead of making her seem more friendly only succeeded in making her look more threatening.
"You've been watching that too?" Vi grumbled and turned her eyes from Caitlyn's. She usually didn't make a big deal of helping people out, it was just what came naturally now.
"Yes. And due to such tendencies, I am willing to offer you a deal," Caitlyn shifted and kicked one boot against the concrete floor to relieve a slight cramp. "I could simply throw you in prison and forget about it, but I am a believer in redemption. I would like to give you a chance to shape up and fly right: if you join my police force as an officer and help me keep this city safe, and surrender all stolen items you still possess, I will clear your record and allow you to remain free."
Vi blinked. This had to be some sort of cruel joke on the Sheriff's part. She'd heard Caitlyn was dangerous, brutal and keenly intelligent, so mercy had been the last thing she expected from the likes of her. It was so strange that it got a full-throated laugh out of Vi as she sat on the cold concrete floor with a steel trap fastened to each leg. "So you'll give me a job that lets me pummel any scum I want, without being chased by the police? Are you serious?" Vi was laughing so hard now that she fell over backwards with a muffled thud. She looked up again once she had herself under control. "You're joking, right?"
"No joke. I am being quite sincere."
The statement sobered Vi up immediately, and she sat up. "Well it would be nice, but..." the glare came back, and she rattled the chains that bolted the two traps to the floor. "Why the hell did you have to get me with these things in the first damn place?!"
Caitlyn's faint smile widened to one of genuine mirth, "Because you're very much the type to punch first and ask questions never."
Vi grunted with annoyance, more because Caitlyn was exactly right than anything else. "Well can ya take 'em off, then?" she grumbled, crossing her massive fists over her chest.
"If you promise you won't try to hit me when you're out," Caitlyn's voice carried that light, careless tone again as she shrugged. Vi was sure it was an act to tell her she wasn't a threat, and she was ashamed to admit that it was working. Even if she'd been at full capacity Vi wasn't sure she would be able to take Caitlyn in a fight; she wasn't stupid enough to think that sniping and setting traps was all the Sheriff was good at, and what she could do in League matches definitely wasn't the full summation of her abilities.
"Yeah, I promise," Vi sighed and rested her gauntlets on her knees.
Caitlyn removed a small, sturdy key from one of her belt pouches and knelt by the nearest trap. Vi watched as Caitlyn inserted the key into the trap's mechanism and turned it to the right. The trap lost tension and fell to the ground instantly, and Vi couldn't help but appreciate how clever the concept was. It saved Caitlyn from wasting time getting the trap open if she was in a hurry.
Vi spoke up as Caitlyn moved to the second trap, "So who made these?"
"My mother," Caitlyn smiled again, but this time it was an expression of gratitude rather than mirth. "She's an inventor, she made all my gear, in fact."
"Oh," Vi felt a sharp pang of jealousy when she heard this. To have a mother at all, and one who supported her so much at that. The second trap fell away, and Vi was grateful for the decreased pain for the time being, though the wounds still hurt.
"Here," Caitlyn retrieved a potion from another belt pouch and offered it to Vi. "So I don't have to carry you," she moved to the loot bags once Vi had accepted the potion and hefted them easily onto her own back. "It's a quick fix, so you'll have to see a doctor once we're out just to make sure." With that, Caitlyn turned on her heel and strode down the tunnel.
Vi gulped the potion and got slowly to her feet as her legs partially healed themselves. She followed Caitlyn at a slower pace due to pain, but she had no desire to try to run away. Her life felt shallow now that she thought about it, endlessly stealing and improving and stealing again for more improvements. Maybe this could be a chance at something more...
"The other officers were pretty surprised when they saw me walking out with Caitlyn, but they didn't say anything. She said she’d been planning the whole thing for a while, but I think they didn’t believe it would work. Shows how much they know."
"So after that I got assigned as Caitlyn’s partner and I've been legit ever since," Vi finished. She lifted her coffee cup to take a sip and found that it had gone cold. The ice pack had thawed as well and now rested on the table where she’d placed it during the story.
"Hah, so that's how it went," Finnegan leaned on the table with one elbow and gave Vi a relieved smile. "I heard the two of you met just after you finished strangling some mugger who was after an old lady."
Vi took a few moments to process what Finnegan had said, then burst out laughing. "Oh, that. Actually I was doing that the first time Caitlyn saw me, but it wasn't as simple as you'd think," She leaned back in her seat and grinned at the memory. "The old lady that guy mugged was about ready to beat him to death when I stepped in and separated them. I swear she had bricks in her purse. Anyway, I didn’t find out she saw that until way after the fact."
A ripple of whispers filled the room before Finnegan could think of a proper reply:
“Oh wow, she used to be a criminal? I thought she was just the eccentric inventor type.”
“There’s no reason she can’t be that too. Real nice of the Sheriff to do that, gives you hope for the future an’ all that.”
“So does that mean she was self-taught? That’s a genius-level IQ if I ever saw one, those academics will have a run for their money if she ever visits the university.”
Vi couldn’t help but blush from the praise that came her way; she hadn’t expected to be accepted so readily. But thinking back on their first meeting, Vi realized that Caitlyn had looked... Worn out. She’d noticed shadows under the Sheriff’s eyes that shouldn’t have been there, and they’d deepened in the weeks that followed as Caitlyn tried to reign Vi in. If Caitlyn could be that forceful and annoying when she was tired, Vi didn’t want to even attempt imagining what she was going to be like when they paired up again tomorrow...
"You alright?" Finnegan had noticed the change in Vi's expression again, and silently she wished she was better at keeping her inner feelings from showing on her face. He retrieved his watch from a breast pocket and checked the time. "Ten minutes to six, we should get going so we can get the paperwork done before nightwatch reports in."
"Yeah, good point," Vi got to her feet and picked up her power pack and gloves. To slip them on and activate the gauntlets took only a few seconds, as long practice allowed her to do so with ease and speed. She wasn't looking forward to tomorrow, but there was nothing to be done.
Vi would deal with tomorrow when it came.
Great chapter! I especially love Vi literally falling into Cait's traps. Their duration seems a little OP though. :P
I'm wondering how Cait and Vi's partnership is going to go. I hope not as rough as Vi thinks but I do agree with you that it seems like both parties would compete for control. Finnegan being more submissive is definitely more up Vi's alley but at the same time I sort of enjoy the rivalry between Vi and Cait because they seem like they challenge each other. I'm curious about the gameplan Caitlyn was working on in the first chapter but I suppose I'll have to wait and see.
Caitlyn was again seated behind her desk when Vi entered the Sheriff’s office, several files and other papers stacked neatly before her. The Sheriff's posture and the set of her shoulders bespoke a large degree of quiet confidence, especially now that she was rested and in peak condition once again. "Good morning, Vi," Caitlyn's face was relaxed and blank as Vi entered her office to stand before her desk.
"Morning," Vi shifted from one foot to the other and eyed the files. They were unlabled, but apparently important enough for Caitlyn to peruse just before their meeting. "So what happens now?"
"For a start we will review your work in the past two weeks," Caitlyn set a hand on the stack of files and dragged it toward her. "I've already studied it myself, and I must say I am pleased by the results. You really are serious about doing better and treating your duties as a proper job rather than a violent whim."
"Wait..." Vi started forward and came to a halt just inches from Caitlyn's desk. "Where'd those come from?"
"Finnegan, of course," Caitlyn got to her feet, the file still in hand. "The reports were necessary for determining your eligibility for remaining part of my police force."
Vi's brows knit together upon hearing that Finnegan had been reporting their activities to Caitlyn, especially since no one had told her about it.
"Oh don't make such a fuss," Caitlyn rolled her eyes, dropping her professional tone for just a moment to show her annoyance. "The majority of what Finnegan had to say was very good, though I am a little concerned that you tend to toss him about like a toy on occasion," she opened the file and read one of its pages. "You do a thorough job in keeping the criminals under control while on patrol, you go out of your way to help civilians in need when you see them and the stats on the areas you patrol state that crime rates have gone down considerably during the time frame of eleven to five, your patrol time," the file was closed with a snap as Caitlyn finished and tucked under one arm. "You've done an excellent job, as I expected."
"So..." Vi scuffed a boot heel against the floor and swung her gauntlet-clad arms. "Does that mean I get to keep Finnegan?"
"Yes and no," Caitlyn tossed the file back onto her desk, where it landed neatly on the top of its stack. "There is still the issue of your position..." she strode around to the back side of her desk again and removed something from one of its side drawers. "You were not given a proper rank when first brought into service, partly because I was unsure about where I would permanently place you," the other unspoken reason reminded itself to Vi as Caitlyn paused; the Sheriff had been off her game around that time as well, and had likely lacked the time to assign a proper rank. "But now that I've had the time to come up with a solution..." the object she now offered to Vi was a dark leather flip wallet that was roughly the size of the Sheriff's hand, and easily large enough for Vi to manipulate with the mechanical fingers of her gloves.
Vi slowly extended her hand to receive the wallet, which Caitlyn placed in the palm of her gauntlet. In a motion most would consider too dextrous for such a large piece of machinery, Vi flicked the wallet up into her fingers and flipped it open in one quick movement. A silver five-point star overset by the icon of Piltover—a clockwork gear—glinted at her from within the wallet, engraved with bold letters stating her new first and secondary ranks: Chief Enforcer, Deputy Sheriff.
For a moment, Vi could only stare at her new badge. After all that, Caitlyn really had so much faith in her that she was willing to give her a second chance and the second highest position in the police force. She looked up at Caitlyn after a full minute had passed, "You're serious? What's the catch?" Vi's eyes found their way back down to the silver badge, and she read the top rank again. "Chief Enforcer? Is that an actual rank?"
"It is now," Caitlyn seemed rather pleased with herself, as evidenced by the real and genuine smile that now lit up her face. "The Enforcers Division is a new section within the police force that will act as a heavy duty strike force as well as the patrol officers in high-crime areas of the city, and you are going to be its leader."
"Wait, what?" Vi did a double take from Caitlyn to the badge and back again. "You're putting me in—" she took a step back from sheer shock at the realization. "But I don't even know how!"
"You're a natural leader, and if you have questions just come ask me," Caitlyn waved away Vi's concerns as if there were no possible way the bruiser could screw this up.
Vi's shoulders slumped, as if the weight of her new responsibilities had already settled upon them. The task ahead was daunting, sure enough, but even now Vi began to get excited over the challenge. "It's a pretty tall order," she flicked the badge wallet again, and this time it flipped closed and landed neatly in the palm of her glove. "You sure about this?"
"Of course. I wouldn't have had the badge made if I weren't," Caitlyn could see that Vi was warming up to the idea now. Good, all was going according to plan so far. "The rank you now hold will have a higher pay grade than the one you had before due to the increased workload of course, and it gives you access to civic projects that the government considers. You might be able to get traction for those ideas you had to help at-risk children in Piltover."
To Caitlyn's surprise, Vi did a small jig of happiness and swept her into a tight hug of gratitude. "Aww thanks, cupcake!" Vi leaned back and lifted Caitlyn off the ground. "You're the best!"
"Cup... Cake?" Caitlyn's eyebrows slanted downward in a displeased frown; the new nickname obviously didn't sit well with her. She shifted her arms and slid downward in Vi's hold.
It happened too quickly for Vi to fully register what took place. Caitlyn was held tightly in her arms one moment, then the next, Vi was face down on the ground with Caitlyn's boots pinning each of her gauntlets to the floor. A stack of books that had been set close to the edge of Caitlyn's desk fell onto the back of Vi's head with a dull thunk as she tried to grasp what in the hell had just happened. "Ow," the statement was more a reflex to being hit with the books than anything else. Vi was still too shocked to really say anything else.
"Yes, you are the head of your own division now, Vi, but don't think you've escaped having to work with me just yet."
The pressure of Caitlyn's boots eased off Vi's gauntlets, and she pushed herself up to find that the Sheriff was already standing behind her desk again. "You're the Enforcer of Piltover now, but that badge also names you as the Deputy Sheriff, meaning that we will still be taking cases together," she held up a hand for silence even as a grumble rose in Vi's throat. "I know we have our differences, but I would like to offer a compromise when it comes to working together."
"I'm listening," Vi crossed her gauntlets over her chest and leaned shakily against the nearest bookshelf. The fact that Caitlyn was even capable of throwing her like that was just as surprising as the fact that it happened.
Caitlyn paused, and took a few moments to review what she was about to say. "You must remember that I do not give orders merely to hear the sound of my own voice. I give them because they present the greatest chance for success. But, I will not deny that your intuition and bravery are two of your strongest traits, and they should not be wasted in any situation. If you are about to make a change to my plans based on some gut instinct or unexpected development, I need you to tell me first. If I have the time I will rework the plan, but if not your warning will at least allow me to properly improvise," she raised her eyebrows and looked Vi in the eye. "Sound reasonable?"
Vi pretended to think it over for a moment, though she already knew the answer. "Yeah, it sounds good. But which cases?"
"The cases that require the skill set belonging to you and to your division. Of course, the frequency will depend on how many large threats enter the city, and you know as well as I that there may be plenty brewing beneath the surface where we might not find them in time."
"So what'll I do between those?" Vi found that she was dreading what Caitlyn might say next. She wouldn't be able to stand getting buried in paperwork and administrative duties for days on end the way Caitlyn had been.
"You may patrol the streets with Finnegan as you please, as long as you leave enough time to manage your division. The secretaries I have assigned should take care of a lot of the paperwork that you don't need to deal with directly."
“YES!” Vi jumped away from the bookshelf and pumped her fist, which bumped the hanging ceiling lamp just above her head and knocked it to the floor with a loud crash.
Caitlyn glared down at the lamp, obviously not appreciative when it came to Vi’s aptitude for breaking things in her office. "That's coming out of your next paycheck."
"I know," Vi was too happy to care about a slight pay reduction at the moment. It all seemed too good to be true, and for a moment Vi considered the possibility that she might be dreaming.
Caitlyn sighed. “Anyway, I need you to select the officers who will serve in your division,” she swept up the review files and made her way to the door. “You’ll find the files you need in the Archives, follow me.”
The trip down to the Archives seemed to last only a brief moment for Vi as the pair made their way through the corridors and halls of Headquarters. Soon they stood at the door of the Archives and were welcomed inside by the keeper—on the express grounds that Vi not ruin anything, a wish that she pledged to uphold with the utmost care. Caitlyn led Vi to the files containing the records and combat test scores of every officer in the force before leaving to attend to her own business in the Archives.
Now alone and seated with the monumental task of populating her division with officers from among the hundreds who worked under Caitlyn, Vi removed her gauntlets, set them against the nearest desk and got to work. She started by selecting the officers who had the highest scores in strength, instinct, and aptitude for hextech machinery. By two in the afternoon, she had a respectable pile of files on her desk but was still far from being done with her task; there were still hundreds of files to comb through even after the many she'd already reviewed.
It was around this time that Vi became hungry again. She got up with a long stretch and slipped her gloves back on as she left the Archives. The sandwich tasted even better than usual as Vi wolfed it down, her thoughts centered on how she would organize her division and ensure that they remained in peak condition for their work. Mandatory sparring a few hours before patrol and missions might do the trick...
(Continued in next post...)
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