‘So you really don’t have a clue who I am, do you?’
Tifa Lockhart strided down the street in a quick, determined pace. She was dressed in a dark office skirt with a white blouse with a black trench coat worn over it, as classy as someone could look. Her high heels ticked over the pavement in a constant rhythm as the young woman made her way through the growing city crowd. To any person passing by she would be seen as someone in her daily routine of getting to work, while in fact, this couldn’t be less true.
Tifa had just moved to Midgar about a week ago, after she had been offered a job. Previously she had been working for the police department in Nibelheim, but her boss had been under the impression that she had too much potential to stay in such a police department, thus, she had been recommended to the detective superintendent of one of the best detective teams of Gaia.
She stopped before the high building where she was supposed to be and looked up for a moment before she stepped through the automatically opening doors . With a quick glance on her watch as she stepped into the elevator, she concluded that she was 10 minutes early, and she let out a relieved sigh.
The elevator doors were about to close when suddenly someone put his foot in the gap, and the doors opened again. Tifa looked up in surprise when a guy with black spiky hair stepped in, followed closely by a blond guy whose hair was even spikier. The largest one of the two was about to press to the second floor, but stepped back when he realized it had already been pressed. He gave her a curious glance, but said nothing.
Tifa looked straight ahead and waited impatiently until the elevator would reach the second floor. When she glanced at the two men behind her, she noticed that the blonde man was staring at her. His piercing blue eyes almost burned through her and she quickly looked forward again.
The elevator had reached the second floor and Tifa slid through the doors before they were even completely opened. She hadn’t been nervous for her first day of work, but that constant stare of the blond guy had made her anxious. If she hadn’t been nervous before, she certainly was now. She was about to step into the briefing room when she suddenly heard a loud’ HEY’, and she turned around.
It didn’t come as a surprise to see it was the dark-haired guy who had just called out, and had it obviously been directed at her because he was walking towards her, with the blond at his side.
‘Seeing as you’re about to go into the briefing room, I take it you’re the new one on our team?’ The guy then extended his hand and shook hers briefly. ‘Nice to meet you, I’m Zack Fair,’ he said with a wide smile.
Tifa gave him a smile in return. ‘My name is Tifa Lockhart,’ she said, then frowned a little when the blonde’s head suddenly snapped upwards. ‘And who are you?’ she asked anxiously.
He sighed. A sigh which seemed to linger somewhere between disappointment and playfulness, but she couldn’t determine which of the two it was.
‘So you really don’t have a clue who I am, do you?’ he said and Tifa watched in silence as the corners of his lips crooked up into a smile. ‘I thought you would have recognized me, after all, we were neigbours for years ,’ he said, and that’s when Tifa suddenly realized who he was and why he had been staring at her like that.
‘Cloud!’ she gasped out and stumbled forward to embrace him. His body tensed as her arms made contact with him, but after a few seconds he wrapped his arms around her shoulders and hugged her. ‘It’s good to see you,’ he said, then let her go after a few seconds.
Zack was staring at them with a blank expression. ‘You two know each other?’ he asked. Tifa was about to explain, but Cloud was quicker.
‘Like I said, she was my neighbor back when I was still living in Nibelheim,’ he said and gave her a small smile.
‘It’s good that you already know someone Tifa, I guess that makes it easier to adjust to your surroundings. Anyway, all the others are already there, so we better get in there before Angeal arrives,’ Zack said. Tifa followed Zack and Cloud and took place in an empty seat next to a man with dark, spiky hair.
A few minutes later the door to the briefing room opened again and the last member of the team stepped in. Detective Superintendent Angeal Hewley silently took his place at the head of the table, with Tifa sitting on his left side, and Zack on his right.
‘ Before we start to discuss the case where I’ve called all of you in for, I’d like to introduce you to your new colleague. This is Tifa Lockhart. She has been transferred from Nibelheim and will be working in our team from now on. I will shortly tell you everyone’s names, they can introduce themselves to you properly later, because we don’t have a lot of time.’ Angeal said. ‘On my right you have Zack Fair, Cloud Strife, Snow Villiers and Reno Sinclair. The person next to you is Noctis Caelum and lastly, Claire Farron.’
Tifa followed every person with her eyes as Angeal called their names, and repeated them in her head. Luckily she could easily match names with faces, so she would hopefully remember who her new colleagues were.
Her attention drifted back to Angeal when he started to rumble through a stack of paper situated in front of him. He cleared his throat, then started to tell them the casualties about the new case.
‘About an hour ago they have found a middle aged man in a deserted alley, who has probably been stabbed. The police has informed me that they think it was completely intentional, so it is now our case. They still don’t know a lot, things such as his identity, so I want you to get as much information as possible. Lightning and Noctis, you will be going around the neighborhood, visiting houses and asking around if anyone has seen anything unusual. Reno and Snow, I want you two to focus on evidence. Not only on the crime scene itself, but also on the things that you can conclude from what you see. Cloud and Tifa, talk to the police. Question every police officer that is at the crime delict. Try to gather as much information about the victim. Zack, you’re coming with me.’
Everyone stood up as soon as Angeal was done talking. There was a lot they still had to do, and every detective knew that the first few hours of a crime were the most important. They really had no time to lose.