By: Miracle Shining
AUTHOR'S NOTE: All the Slayers characters are property of their respective companies and distributions. I'm just a fan, please don't sue me. This is an alternity fic with heavy angst, dark themes, and YAOI, so if you are under 18 or the legal age in your state or country, offended by m/m relationships, or can not handle really dark literature, than leave now!! I won't be responsible for you if you do not! Domo arigato, and enjoy the fic!! =^.^=
CHAPTER ONE: The Mouth of the Maze
It was nine a.m. in the morning, and he was already on his sixth cup of coffee. He sighed as he picked up the pot from the coffee maker and poured some more into his mug. It had become a necessary evil with is field of work, and he was beginning to regret ever getting addicted to the caffeine in it.
"Detective Greywars?" A voice softly asked from behind him.
Zelgadiss Greywars turned around to look at the young woman standing behind him. With her long black hair and rich purple eyes, the police station's pretty secretary was less than hard to look at.
"Sergeant Inverse wants to see you in her office right away."
"What did I do now?"
"She didn't say, Detective Greywars, but she said it was urgent."
"Thank, Syphiel. I guess I should go and face my own personal hell then."
"I'm just kiddin' Syphiel."
Syphiel and Zelgadiss looked at each other for a moment longer before the shy young secretary muttered a "good-bye" and hurried back to her part of the precinct.
Zelgadiss watched her leave, musing over the fact that he had never taken her out on a date. The chimera yawned lazily, straightening his white, long sleeved shirt and red necktie. He picked up his coffee cup and began to meander over to Sergeant Inverse's office.
Passing by one of the other doors, he peeked his head in for a moment to see Naga sleeping at her desk. Zelgadiss paused for a moment and shook his head.
"How that woman ever made it to top ranked officer is beyond me." He absently thought.
After a little more dawdling, Zelgadiss reached the door to his boss. "SERGEANT LINA INVERSE, PRECINCT 14, CITY OF WORTHING" was etched in big black letters on her door. If it was one thing that Lina had, it was an ego.
Zelgadiss knocked briefly on the door and after a moment, began to let go a sigh of relief. It was quickly interrupted upon hearing his boss shouting at him.
"ZELGADISS GREYWARS, GET IN HERE!!!"
Zelgadiss rolled his eyes and opened the door, entering quietly and closing it. He turned to see Lina sitting at her desk, her legs up on the counter, and her back reclining in her chair. Her fire red hair and red brown eyes scanned Zelgadiss for a moment before she motioned for him to sit down.
"Long time no see, chief."
"Cut the niceties, Zel, I've got an assignment for you."
"Boy, Lina, you sure do know how to make a guy feel welcome."
Lina frowned and pulled her legs off the top of her desk. She reached into one of the desk drawers and pulled out a manila envelope. She flopped it on the desk in front of Zel's face.
"Open it, and I'll explain." Lina stated flatly.
Zelgadiss tore open the manila envelope and felt his stomach twist just slightly. Inside the envelope were two separate sets of coroner pictures of two separate victims. They were both riddled with more bullet holes than Zelgadiss cared to count.
"The male...or in least what the coroner told me was a male is named Garv." Lina pointed to the first set of pictures. "They said they pulled out twenty-five bullets from him, and that may not have been all of them. The second set, the one you're holding was a young woman named Martina. Same kind of death, very messy."
Zelgadiss swallowed and slipped the pictures back into the envelope.
"A double homicide with similar elements...serial killer?"
"Well, we would have thought that, but we sent some of our undercovers out a couple nights ago into the Red Light district." Lina said quietly. "Some of the local color down there recognized both Garv and Martina as two prostitutes with some pretty deep mob ties."
"Great, just what we need, another hitman and mob case."
"But," Lina stated sternly, "all the locals said that both worked for the same pimp, some guy named Xellos. They also said that there was one more boy who worked for him, a guy named Gourry Gabriev. We need you to find this Gabriev, and get him under police protection custody. He might be our key to catching whomever is doing all of these killings."
Zelgadiss frowned and sipped at his already cooling coffee. He tapped the manila envelope on his knee for a moment, and then looked up at Lina again.
"We got a pic of this Gourry Gabriev?"
Lina nodded and pressed the button on her intercom.
"Syphiel, could you please bring in the Gourry Gabriev file I had you bring up now?"
After a minute, a soft knock on the door was heard.
"Come in, Syphiel."
Syphiel entered, carrying a small, thin folder. She laid it on the desk very carefully.
"There you are, Sergeant Inverse."
"Thank you, Syphiel."
Syphiel turned to leave, but very shyly smiled at Zelgadiss and then left. Zelgadiss grinned a little, truly enjoying the attention Syphiel gave to him.
"Detective Greywars, if you're done ogling the secretary, could we please get back to the point at hand?"
Zelgadiss snapped back into reality, the image of Syphiel in a white teddy quickly vanishing in his mind.
"What? Oh yah, sorry chief."
Lina let out a frustrated sigh and handed Zelgadiss the folder.
"Garv and Martina's murders occurred in four days of one another. We have the belief that whomever is trying to wipe these particular group of prostitutes out will take out Gourry Gabriev within the next couple days if we don't find him first."
Zelgadiss nodded and began paging through Gourry Gabriev's police file. There wasn't much there except a couple arrests on soliciting which he was released for. In fact, he had a pretty clean police file for being part of the local Worthing color. Finally, Zelgadiss turned the page to see a picture of Gourry standing in front of the "number" wall as the cops liked to call it.
Zelgadiss swallowed as his mind reeled at the stunning creature in the picture. The young man has skin like cream and a set of blue eyes as deep as the sea. But, his rich blonde hair was what caught Zel's attention. The bangs completely covered his right eye, and Zel could tell that his hair had to well go beyond the middle of his back. Unconsciously, Zel was blushing.
"See something you like, Detective Greywars?" Lina questioned, her voice amused.
"Wha...oh!! No, I was just shocked that a guy like him would have such a clean record."
"Yah, I'm sure she bought that line...damn it!" Zelgadiss scolded himself.
Lina leaned back in her chair, her hands clenched together in a prayer like moment in front of her face.
"If this is mob related, then Gourry Gabriev will lead us to this so called Xellos and from there to whomever is probably doing the killing."
"And if it's not mob related?"
"Then we've got a serial killer with one hell of a fetish for bullet holes."
Zelgadiss sighed and rubbed his temples. He was one of the youngest on Worthing's police force and the only one who happened to be a detective. He was already getting old from these cases. Especially ones like this.
"Oh yah, and Zel, I've got another surprise to drop on you."
"I don't know if I can take any more surprises, chief."
"Oh this one you'll love...you get a partner."
"WHAT?!?!" Zelgadiss shouted at the top of his lungs. He immediately got to his feet and slammed his fist down on Lina's desk. "I work with no one, do you understand? NO ONE!!"
Lina stood up coolly and gave Zelgadiss an icy stare that immediately halted his hotheaded reaction. Zel slumped back down into his chair and gripped the arms, mumbling angrily to himself.
"This case is going to take more than just you, Detective Greywars. May I remind you that if it wasn't for me intervening on your behalf, you would have lost your job after that last botched drug raid."
Zelgadiss bit his lip, keeping his comments to himself. He had been involved in a very sordid case only a year before in which he ended up getting too involved. By the end of the who fiasco, two officers were indicted, the 14th precinct almost lost their license, and Zelgadiss should have went to prison. But, Lina had intervened, stating that the drug raid had been poorly planned and Zelgadiss had just been the puppet for the other two officers, Vrummugen and Zangulus. Both officers were currently serving time in the Worthing penitentiary, minus Zel. He owed Lina his freedom, and she made sure he didn't forget it.
"So, who's the guy I'll be working with?" Zelgadiss mumbled.
Lina smiled a cat like grin.
"Actually, the person is not a 'he' at all."
"Syphiel, would you be so kind as to show the rookie in?"
Syphiel opened the door and in walked a small young woman with short flipped up hair and purplish, black eyes. She was dressed in an impeccably clean precinct uniform with her new badge shining under the light. Zelgadiss raised his eyebrow and ran his fingers through his lavender hair. His blue eyes looked the newcomer up and down before turning back to Lina.
"Detective Greywars, this is rookie Detective Ameria Wil Tesla Saillune. He father is the mayor as you know."
Zelgadiss caught the subtle emphasis on the final sentence Lina spoke and nodded knowingly. Most likely Lina owed Mayor Saillune a favor and she gave Ameria a job.
"Detective Saillune, this is our head detective Zelgadiss Greywars. He's going to be the one showing you the ropes on your first case."
Ameria looked at Zel and suddenly ran forward, grabbing his hand and shaking it furiously.
"Oh, Detective Greywars, I'm so happy to be working with you!! Papa has told me all about the cases you've handled and what a great attribute to the city you are!! I'm sure with all of your experience, you can teach me how to do the just thing!!"
Zelgadiss managed to detach his hand from the overzealous Ameria. He turned just enough to throw Lina an unpleasant look.
"Live with it." She mouthed just to him.
Ameria began to move around the room, taking in the whole thing.
"Oh, wow!! I've never been in a chief's office before, it's so big!! What do you do in here all day, Sergeant Inverse? Is it busy? When do we start our case? Do we get a police car?"
Zelgadiss picked up the manila envelope containing the coroner's pictures and slapped them against Ameria's chest.
"Here, look at these for a while."
Ameria lit up.
"Are these for our case, Detective Greywars? I'm so excited." Ameria opened the manila envelope pulling out the pictures. "I know it will be an experience..."
Ameria's voice trailed off upon seeing the horrors of the photos. She became quite pale and dropped the pictures, holding her hand over her mouth and running out of the office. Syphiel was quick to follow her.
Lina moved from behind her desk and picked up the envelope.
"Great, chief, you gave me a rookie who can't handle blood."
"It's a minor technicality, Zel. When she recovers, get out of your uniforms and go undercover to the Red Light district tonight. See if you can find this Gabriev. From the people we talked to, he can usually be found selling his wares outside and inside this night club."
Lina handed Zel a matchbook that one of the officers had picked up. It was in dark maroon with black, gothic styled letters on the top.
"The Night Dwellers? Sounds like a Goth club."
"It's something like that. Now get out and start the case, we need to get this Gabriev as fast as we can!"
Zelgadiss nodded, tucking the matchbook with the club's address in his pocket. He left Lina's office, making sure he slammed the door good and hard.
"ZELGADISS GREYWARS, DON'T SLAM THE DOOR!!" He heard behind him. He grinned triumphantly. It might have been childish, but it was still fun.
Zelgadiss reached his desk, and picked up his brown leather trench coat hanging on his coat rack.
"Detective Greywars?" He heard a soft voice.
He turned around and saw Syphiel guiding Ameria into his office. Zelgadiss looked at Ameria for a long time and felt a tinge of guilt for making her look at those pictures. He quickly pushed it back when he remembered they all had to see it some time.
"Detective Saillune, grab your coat and meet me in my car. We're going undercover."
Zelgadiss then swiftly pushed by them, heading down the stairs and to the main door of the 14th precinct.
Both Syphiel and Ameria stood there, not saying anything. Finally, Ameria coughed a little and Syphiel looked at her.
"Is he always that rude, Syphiel?"
Syphiel sighed and nodded slightly.
"But he's a really good man at heart, Detective Saillune."
"You can call me Ameria, Syphiel."
"All right, Ameria."
"Are you in love with him?"
Syphiel stared at Ameria for a moment, her cheeks blushing.
"I see, you've just got a crush." Ameria smiled.
"You're a pretty observant detective for being a rookie, Ameria." Syphiel stated.
Ameria grinned. "Papa taught me it was always important to notice the little things."
"You had better get downstairs Ameria, Detective Greywars will leave without you."
Ameria nodded and quickly left the office, running down the stairs and out the door. Syphiel shook her head and smiled a little before closing and locking Zelgadiss's office.
Zelgadiss sat in the car, revving the engine just for the sake of doing so. He waited impatiently for his new "partner" to get herself into the vehicle.
"What is taking that rookie so long?" He grumbled.
Zelgadiss realized that he had not grabbed the picture of Gourry Gabriev from Lina's desk. But, he realized at that moment, he didn't need it. Gourry's image was already burned into his mind. Without knowing it, his mind drifted over an image of the mysterious Gourry standing in water, his long hair clinging to his back...
Zel was ripped free from his rather misplaced fantasy. He shifted in his seat awkwardly. He had NEVER had a thought about a man, especially like that. He felt his blue tinted skin blush.
"Detective Greywars, oh good, you didn't leave!" Ameria huffed.
The young woman opened the car door and hopped in, now more excited than she was before.
"Our first case, Detective Greywars, won't this be exciting!"
Zel only nodded a little and pulled out of the parking garage. He edges his way onto a side street and into the bustling downtown roads of Worthing. He sighed as his car was caught in a small traffic jam.
"So, where do we go first?"
"My place? But why, Detective Greywars?"
"Because the way your dressed, you're not undercover."
"Oh, I get it...you need me to change?"
Zelgadiss nodded as they finally reached the stoplight.
"Which way do I go?"
"Go straight and then make a left and another left. Papa's house is the biggest one on the block."
The light turned green and the police car slowly inched forward.
"So what should I wear, Detective Greywars? I have evening gowns, and suits, and some pretty blouses. What would be appropriate?"
"We're going to the Red Light district, also known as The
Maze, Detective Saillune. You want to know what to wear?"
"Got anything in leather?"
Ameria's eyes grew wide and she sat back in her seat. Zelgadiss secretly smiled that he had shocked her into silence. The rest of the way to the Saillune mansion was silent.
"Tonight, I'll find you Gourry Gabriev. Even if I have to go into The Maze myself."
On to Chapter Two or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the roses?