"Step Forward"

By: Miracle Shining

AUTHOR'S NOTES: The Slayers and Shoujo Kakumei Utena characters do not belong to me. They belong to their respective companies and/or distributors. However, the city of Worthing, character representations, and their actions and attitudes do belong to me, so please do not use them in this manner without my permission! This piece is soft SHONEN AI and is WAFFy, so you've been warned! Arigato! =^.^=V

SPECIAL NOTES: I have been and still am member of the swing culture since 1993, and I wanted to integrate the 40's noir flair into Worthing from the very beginning, which I think I did to an aspect. Now, we'll get a light hearted 40's touch in the style of the music, the dress, the attitude, and of course, Touga Kiryuu's famous car!



Detective Zelgadiss Greywars was actually smiling a real smile. That very action had been a rarity of recent, as he had been swamped by cases that seemed to be going nowhere fast, and a very irritable Sargeant Inverse had been on the war path since the beginning of the week. But, it all didn't matter now, because he had something to smile about. It had been a little more than a year since he had met his young lover in The Maze, and they were going out to celebrate in style.

Zelgadiss pulled his necktie through it's loop, securing it in place and tucking it inside his grey vest. He grinned, looking at himself in the mirror. The detective loved the 1940's elegance, and had a specially tailored zoot suit for important occassions. He pulled the suspenders over his shoulders, straightening out his perfectly pressed white cuffs. Sitting on the bed, he secured his grey pin striped pants around his waist with a leather belt. He chuckled to himself, taking time to add a spit shine to his Oxford loafers and then wiping them off on the corner of the bed. They sparkled brightly under the bedroom light. Sliding them on, he picked up his matching pin stripe jacket and then picked up his favorite accessory of the ensemble. An authentic noir film styled fedora based after one worn by Cary Grant in "Casablanca."

Zel gave himself a once over again before leaving the bedroom to go into the bathroom for cologne. He peeked slightly through the half open door, trying to see if Gourry was in or out of the shower. Both were a plus in Zel's opinion.

"Gourry?" Zel asked with a knock. "Is it safe to come without me getting turned on?"

Gourry started laughing inside of the bathroom and opened the door slowly.

"Why Detective Greywars, you'd think you liked me or something."

Zel had to remind himself to close his mouth as he saw Gourry standing at the doorway. He felt like a fifteen year old kid picking up his first date. Gourry stood in a slim fitting, more modern version of a zoot suit, done in deep navy with almost non visible silver pin stripes. His hair was pulled back, leaving a few wisps to fall around his face, and his blue eyes sparkled. Gourry's tie, which was something he only wore on special occassions, hung loosely around his neck.

"...wow..." Zel could barely manage to say.

Gourry laughed and walked over to the sink, handing Zelgadiss his cologne bottle and then fumbling with his tie.

"Now you said that Utena and Touga are coming here before we go to the club?" Gourry asked, almost getting his fingers knotted into the tie. "Dammit!"

Zel splashed a little cologne on before moving between his tall lover and the sink to help him with his tie.

"Yah, Kiryuu and Utena will be by in Kiryuu's machine. I don't know how he managed to get a one of a kind Ford roadsters, but he did."

Gourry smirked as Zelgadiss tied his necktie.

"I'd say you were jealous of him, Zel."

"Damn straight." Zel responded.

"Well, straight we are not, sir."

Gourry said the words so blithely that Zelgadiss almost missed the passing joke. Coughing as soon as he caught on, he tugged on Gourry's silk tie.

"Don't make me use this on you."

"Mmm...we haven't done that in a while."

Zelgadiss grinned, sliding his arms around Gourry's waist.

"Now we're not going to have that little incident where I had to pull you into the shower and have my way with you like last time we tried to go out with Utena and Kiryuu, are we?"

Gourry made a pouting face that almost made Zel melt.

"What, you didn't like having me drenched and soaking, moaning in a long strung out fit of passion?"

The detective felt the material in his pants begin to shift slightly. He tried to ignore the feeling as he swore to Utena after they had shown up to dinner two hours late last time, that it wouldn't happen again.

"If we don't get going, we're never going to get out of here."

Gourry leaned down, catching Zelgadiss's lips in a lazy, sensual kiss.

"Maybe we should just stay in and get..."

The loud thudding on the front door stopped Gourry mid sentence and for a moment the blonde frowned. The chimera laughed softly and tapped under Gourry's chin.

"Trust me, wildfire, after tonight I'll be doing more than the 'get' part with you."

Gourry felt a shudder slide up his spine, making him lick his lips slowly. He could never quite believe over the past year how much he had not only grown to love Zel, but to literally lust after him continually.

Taking Zel's hand, Gourry followed the classy dressed detective down to the entrance. Zelgadiss paused at the keyhole, something he habitually did ever since Gourry had been kidnapped a year ago. Seeing Utena's eye staring back relieved the little spot of doubt that had formed in his stomach.

"Zel, open up, we're going to be late!" Utena said loudly.

Zelgadiss chuckled, opening up the door to see the tiny pink short haired young woman with large blue eyes looking up at him. She was clad in a man's zoot suit, just like the rest of them, only graced in a soft white, with black and pink touches.

"Don't you ever wear a dress, Utena?" Zel teased.

"What, and ruin my good looks?" she quickly responded before sliding past Zel to greet her best friend Gourry with a hug.

Zelgadiss glanced down the hall to see Detective Touga Kiryuu of the 8th precinct come sauntering up their hall. He was dressed in of course, a black zoot suit, his long blood red hair pulled back in a braid that almost touched the center of his knees. He wore sunglasses over his ice blue eyes, and the fedora on his head was tipped rakishly to the side.

"Detective Zelgadiss Greywars, you actually made it out of the apartment on time." Touga said calmly.

Zel frowned, but made sure that Touga couldn't see. It wasn't that he didn't like the detective, just part of him was always annoyed by how Touga seemed to get all the cases that didn't involve him getting involved. Plus, they had always been opponents, way back when they were simaltaneously attending officers academy. But, since Gourry had become friends with Utena and the two were inseperable, Zel and Touga had to set their difference aside.

"Yes, well, Detective Kiryuu, some times we're more interested in 'other' activities."

Touga gave a slight smile to that comment and stood with Zelgadiss waiting for their mates to stop chattering to each other long enough to leave.

"...and you wouldn't believe it, Gourry, but there's going to be a real big band tonight!"

"Utena, hon, we're going to be late." Touga said softly, smiling at his girlfriend.

"Geez, Touga, you're always in such a hurry!" Utena playfully chided as she grabbed Gourry and both hurried out of the apartment toward the elevator, leaving Touga and Zelgadiss standing, blinking at the door.

"I don't think I'll ever understand those two." Zel said with a smile.

"You know, for once I'll agree with you Greywars."

Shrugging for a moment, the detective turned around and locked his apartment, putting his pass card in his wallet and he and Touga walked in relative silence to the elevator.


By the time the two detectives had gotten down stairs, Utena and Gourry had already piled into the one of a kind cherry bomb red 1945 Ford Roadster, complete with authentic hubcaps and white wash tires.

"This car...I could have had this car!..." Zel shouted to himself.

"You got to admit, it was a steal of a deal, wouldn't you agree Greywars?" Touga said, purposely egging on Zel's envy.

Utena crawled over the front seat and tugged on Touga's braid.

"Here's the game plan, we're going dancing tonight, we're going to have fun, we're going to have a few drinks, we're going to listen to music, and NEITHER OF YOU ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT WORK!!"

Touga and Zelgadiss both nodded mutely as the chimera looked at Gourry, who was nodding in agreement with Utena.

"Yes, honey." Touga responded, disengaging his girlfriend's hand from his braid and kissing it.

"Well then, with that settled," Zel began as he slid into the back seat with Gourry, "which club tonight?"

"The Slick Cat of course!" Utena said with a giggle.

Zelgadiss laughed as Touga revved up the roadster and squealed the tires before taking off. He rolled his eyes, thinking that a cop would love to nail someone who drove like he did. The detective glanced over to Gourry, who was watching the lights of the city as they edged into the road. Taking Gourry's hand, the blonde turned and smiled at Zel before nonchalantly slinking down in the back seat to rest his head on Zel's shoulder. The chimera couldn't help but smile. For once, he knew they were going to have a normal night together.


The valets were battling for driving rights when the foursome reached the elegant front doors of the biggest and most expensive night club in Worthing, "The Slick Cat." Touga chose a small, glasses clad young man to take the roadster after everyone had gotten out.

"If I find one tiny scratch, dent, or even evidence that someone wearing the wrong colored clothes brushes against it, I will take these keys and..."

Utena grabbed Touga by the braid, an indication that he was supposed to shut up right then.

"Just park it toward the back, 'kay?"

The young man nodded, grinning at the other valets as he jumped into the roadster and revved off. Touga was almost shaking in fear, watching his red car disappear from view and Zel couldn't hide the smirk on his face.

"Whatever you're thinking about, Zel, stop it." Gourry said with a whistle.

"You're worse than a girl some times, you know that?"

"You are so getting it for that comment." Gourry responded quickly.

"Does that involve getting some?" Zel retorted.

Gourry couldn't help the blush that actually crosses his face, more due to the fact that Utena was almost laughing so hard that her sides were hurting. Zel grinned, pinching Gourry lightly on the back side.

"Well, c'mon guys, lets go in."

The inside of The Slick Cat was the most impressive and most expensive clubs ever to be built in Worthing. The inside was made a replicate an old ball room scene from Germany just before World War II had started. The ambiance was incredible and relaxing, despite it's opulence.

The waiter showed the four to their table, the club being a mixture of a resturant, bar, and dance hall. Utena grinned, pulling on Touga's sleeve and pointing to the band stand as a number of brass players, drummers, and a two electric guitarists came onto the stage.

"Are you going to dance with me tonight, Touga?" Utena asked.

"Utena, you know that I don't dance, I kick box."

Utena pouted, crossing her arms over her chest.

"Yah, but you and Zel both kick box, and that's pretty much like dancing if you think about it." Utena responded.

"Utena's got a point, Zel, are you going to dance with me tonight or not?" Gourry asked.

The chimera and the red haired detective stared at each other and then back at their respective partners.

"Um...er, well you know how well I dance, Gourry..." Zel responded awkwardly.

Gourry thought about it for a moment and then nodded, knowing all too well that Zel's version of dancing was a slow dance that didn't require him to count past four.

"Well, then, in least are you going to slow dance with me?" Gourry prodded.

The detective couldn't hide the smile and nodded.

"That I can do as long as Kiryuu here goes out with me."

"W-what?" Touga almost choked on his glass of water he had been sipping.

Before he could say anything else the band had finished tuning their instruments and the first familiar chords of "In the Mood" began echoing through the club. Utena's feet were already tapping and without another word, she sprang to her feet, grabbing Gourry without a second thought and they were off to the dance floor.

Zelgadiss relaxed back in his seat, tapping his finger along with the catchy beat and blinked as a dry martini was set down in front of him.

"Compliments of me tonight, Greywars, as I think we're probably going to have to get a little tipsy to keep up with our other halves."

Zel gave Touga a half smile and sipped at the martini slowly as the red head sipped on one himself before bringing out a pack of cigarettes and lighting one.

"I thought you told Utena you quit."

"She gave me permission to have one tonight, so I thought I'd better get it out of the way."

Touga took a long drag off the cigarette before offering the pack to Zelgadiss.

"Nah, I started smoking a bit too much the past couple months with the cases and Gourry has forbidden me to do it any more."

"You poor, poor man..." Touga said.

Zel rolled his eyes and watched as the group that was already on the floor broke open and in the center was his blonde lover, flipping and spinning Utena around and up in the air like there was no tomorrow. Both were master dancers, and their skill was never more evident then when the duo arial swinged.

"He is so good. Damn, Greywars, how did you get so lucky to get assigned to the case that would lead you to him?" Zelgadiss found himself thinking. "He's the one who keeps you sane, even if you do fight occassionally. It's been a little over a year, and he's still here with me. I never thought I'd be able to say that..."

"Greywars? Greywars?! Are you listening to me?"

"What?!" Zel quickly spun to look at Touga.

The red head pointed to Gourry and Utena.

"They're gesturing for us to come out and join them, the song's switched to a slow one."

Zelgadiss blinked and stood up, walking with Touga to the center of the dance floor. Though Zelgadiss caught some people giving him strange looks as he took Gourry's hand and slid his arm around the taller blonde's waist, he gave it no heed. This was their night to just be them.

"You know, you could learn to dance fast some time." Gourry said softly as Zelgadiss swept him slowly across the floor. Despite what Gourry joked about, he had always found Zel a relatively good dancer if the beat didn't go over 4/4 time.

"But I like watching you more. You and Utena are incredible when you dance like that. No wonder the club comes to a stand still."

"You've been drinking a martini." Gourry said with a smile.

"Is it that obvious already?"

"And you smell like smoke, did you have a cigarette?"

"No, I stand guiltless of that, Utena gave Touga permission to smoke tonight."

Gourry laughed softly and leaned down a bit to rest his head against his smaller lover's forehead.

"This is really a nice night, Zel. Thanks for letting Utena and Touga come along."

Zelgadiss nodded a little and pulled Gourry closer, bringing their bodies tighter against each other. The tall, lanky blonde nuzzled the side of Zel's cheek and the chimera turned his head, catching Gourry's mouth in a slow, gentle kiss. Gourry sighed into Zel's mouth, his hand dropping from the detective's in favor of wrapping his arms tightly around the chimera's neck. Zelgadiss slid his arms tighter around Gourry's waist, enjoying the kiss more than ever, and not caring that it was in public.

"Hey, you two, you're going to turn on the sprinkler systems with those kind of kisses."

The two men's lips broke apart to find Utena and Touga standing beside them, both smiling.

"The song's been over for about a minute now, you were the center of attention."

Blinking the two men looked up to see that the rest of club had been watching them quietly, including the members of the big band.

Gourry felt an evident crimson cross his cheeks, but Zelgadiss smiled and stepped forward, holding Gourry's hand.

"Ladies and gentlemen, this is my latent one year anniversary to my lover here, and we thought we'd celebrate it in style. I don't usually do these kind of things, but I want to tell everyone in here as well as him that I love him, and I'm glad we met a year ago."

Gourry was too stunned for words, never seeing Zelgadiss that forward about his feelings before, as he wasn't the type to speak openly about his emotions.

The detective just turned to Gourry, smiling warmly at his lover.

"And I'm hoping that we'll be able to have a few more years to come, if he doesn't get tired of living with a schizo, moody detective."

"Oh Zel..." Gourry whispered and hugged the other man tightly.

The soft sound of clapping greeted the duo's ears and they looked back to see Utena clapping her hands quietly, tears sliding down her cheeks. Slowly, Touga also joined the applause, and soon the room was at a standing ovation, applauding all at the same time, and the big band picked up their instruments, playing a soft romantic love song for the two men.

"Happy Anniversary, Gourry..." Zelgadiss whispered among the applause and music.

"Love you too, Zel..." He whispered back and then leaned down, kissing his lover for an eternity.


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