"The Maze"

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 Twelve: The Tangles Unravel

Zelgadiss turned the car silently into the 14th precinct's station. Gourry had said little once again the whole trip. He just stared at the music box resting within his hands. It made Zel more uncomfortable now than it had last night. Something was on the young man's mind and he knew he wouldn't talk about it until he was ready.

"We're here, Gourry." Zel said softly.

Gourry looked up from the box, almost shocked to hear the detective's voice. He nodded slowly and opened the duffel bag sitting on the car floor. Taking extreme care, he placed the small box inside, tucking it under the few pieces of clothes he had.

The rain beat down outside and Zel took his coat, placing it over Gourry's head before jumping out of the car. The blonde man was quick to follow and both moved rapidly inside the warmth of the precinct building.

"It's never going to stop raining..." Zel mumbled, his nerves oddly on edge.

Gourry only nodded again, his eyes scanning over the inside of the building he had been trapped in only the night before. His eyes fell on a small office and a woman with black hair and a large chest sleeping in her chair.

"Is that the woman who arrested me last night?" Gourry asked softly.

Zel already knew who he was talking about.

"Yes, that's Officer Naga the White Serpent. She tends to not get all the information before hand."

"I know, I have the bruises to prove it."

"And I have the scratches on my back to prove you are quite a resilient person." Zel smirked.

Gourry blushed slightly and smiled a little. Just seeing him do that made the chimera relax a little and he took the young man by the hand, ignoring the stares of the other officers passing by.

"We need to go and see Lina about the assailants. Zangulus and Vrummugen must have been the two who attacked me last night."

"How are your ribs, Zel?"

"Sore...but I'll live."

The two young men walked hand in hand to Lina's office. There was talking coming from the room and the sound of Lina's voice was far from pleasant. The other voice sounded like Ameria's.

"I wonder what's going on..." Zel thought to himself.

"Detective Greywars?" a soft voice from behind him said.

Zelgadiss turned around to see Syphiel holding a few of her folders. She was looking at Gourry and then down at Zel and Gourry's hands laced together. Zel felt his heart jolt a little when he saw the look of sadness come across the young woman's face.

"Yes, Syphiel?"

"I...I was supposed to tell you that Sergeant Inverse wants to speak to you immediately, but Ameria had to talk to her...and it might be a while..."

Syphiel then quickly turned away, picking up her pace and disappearing among the other officers. Zelgadiss sighed softly, shaking his head.

"Is she someone you were dating?" Gourry asked quietly.

Zel shook his head again.

"No, I considered it, but we never went out. I guess she already knows about you now."

"Well, you are holding my hand."

"Yah, I know..." Zel smiled slightly, squeezing Gourry's hand affectionately.

"You should probably go and talk to your boss, Zel."

"You're not going to come in with me?"

Gourry's eyes had drifted to the direction that Syphiel had disappeared in.

"No, I have something else I need to do. Just call for me when you're done."

Zel looked at Gourry for a moment before the young man released the chimera's hand and quietly walked away, following the same path that Syphiel had left in.

"He's got a heart of gold..." Zel thought silently.

Turning his attention back to the Lina's door, he could hear the voices becoming louder and louder and knew already that something was wrong.

"This can't be good..." the detective thought and hesitantly knocked on the door.

*****

Gourry caught sight of Syphiel's dark hair making a swinging turn around the corner. Moving faster, he turned the same corner and saw her disappear into the Ladies' Room. Gourry glanced over his shoulder and saw no one coming. He quickly slipped into the bathroom and closed the door.

Syphiel was splashing water over her face and wiping her eyes. Gourry swallowed and stood very still, watching her.

"Syphiel?" Gourry finally said.

The young woman spun around to see the blonde haired man standing in the Ladies' Room. She squeaked and backed herself against the sink.

"What are you doing in here? Don't you know this is for women?" she demanded in a surprisingly strong voice.

"I know, but it's not the first girl's room I've been in." Gourry said with a quirky grin.

Syphiel stared at the young man and quickly turned back to the sink, wiping her eyes with a paper towel from on the rolls.

"You really like Detective Greywars, don't you?" Gourry asked softly.

Syphiel let the paper towel drop from her hand. She stared down at the brown paper as it slowly soaked up the water from the sink.

"Doesn't matter now, does it?" she whispered, her voice full of hurt.

Gourry approached Syphiel slowly, not wanting to appear pushy. He rested his back against the counter with the sinks and looked gently at the young woman.

"Do you love him?"

"I don't think that's any of your business..." Syphiel sharply replied.

"It is kind of my business, Syphiel. I mean, if you do, that's good. Zelgadiss is kind of an easy guy to fall for. He's that strong, silent type. You know, has all these secrets and let's you glimpse in on them once in a while."

Syphiel looked at Gourry, the young man was smiling to himself, but he turned his attention to her again, the same gentle smile gracing his features.

"You're in love with him, aren't you Mr. Gabriev?"

"You know my name?"

"I did some file work on you last night. Gourry Gabriev, right?"

Gourry nodded.

"You really love him, don't you?"

"Yah, I do..." Gourry responded simply.

"I thought I did...I mean, I really like him, but I guess I'm not in love with him. It's just...he's the only guy who's ever looked twice at me since I started here at the precinct."

"You're kidding me?!" Gourry was shocked by the statement.

Syphiel nodded her head, wiping some more tears from her eyes.

"You see, I'm not very pretty and I know a lot of the officers here don't really care for me."

Gourry stared at Syphiel, his jaw almost hitting the floor. He glanced into the mirror and all he could see was a reflection of a sad, but very lovely young woman.

"You've got to be kidding me, Syphiel, you're beautiful!"

"Stop it, I know you're just trying to make me feel better." Syphiel said bitterly.

"No, Syphiel, I mean it. Look at you. You've got gorgeous black hair, pretty purple blue eyes, a nice body...a very nice body..."

Syphiel blushed and giggled a little in spite of herself.

"That's kind of strange coming from a gay guy..." she said softly.

Gourry quirked and eyebrow and playfully tugged on a strand of Syphiel's hair.

"Hey, I'm not gay, I'm bi...which means that I can still look at the ladies with the best of them."

Syphiel laughed out loud and the sound made Gourry smile.

"I'm sorry for being so rude, Mr. Gabriev."

"Please, call me Gourry. I'm sorry too that things between you and Zel didn't get the chance to work out. But, I know for a fact that you are a very pretty girl and I bet there's a young man out there somewhere who's going to see that and sweep you off your feet."

"You sound like a romance novel writer, Gourry."

"I'm not quite that, but I did star in porno a few times..." Gourry said with a laugh.

Syphiel got wide eyed and covered her mouth, a flood of laughter coming into her throat.

Gourry took her hands away from her mouth, letting the sound of her laughter echo through the bathroom.

"You're...you're kidding me?" she gasped between laughs.

"Nope, and there's one of my secrets that the detective doesn't know about."

Syphiel continued and laugh and Gourry joined her, until they were both crying, but not from sadness, but from the pure humor of the situation.

Finally after they had settled down a little, both Syphiel and Gourry looked at each other and smiled.

"Since I'm going to be around for a while, can we try and be friends?" Gourry asked gently, offering his hand to Syphiel.

"Yah..." Syphiel shook his hand and smiled, her face lighter and more pretty than before.

"Great." Gourry smiled and nodded. "I guess we should go and see if Zel is done talking with Lina, huh?"

Syphiel nodded, wiping her face to take away some of the red in it. Gourry walked to the door and held it open, letting the young secretary slip out and then following her.

"You know, Gourry, you're pretty nice for a hooker."

"Well, Syphiel, you're pretty nice for a secretary."

Both of them laughed and made their way back to the main precinct room.

*****

Zelgadiss had waited for an answer at Lina's door long enough. The voices continued to grow louder and finally the detective threw caution to the wind and opened the door. He saw Lina on one side of the desk and Ameria on the other, having a very heated and very loud argument.

"I will not believe it, Sergeant Inverse...not for a moment!"
"Saillune, may I remind you that your job is to protect the public, no matter what!"
"But this isn't fair to me!"
"Then I'll take you off the case and let Greywars finish it!"

"You can't do that, it's my first case!!"

"Am I interrupting something?" Zel stated loudly.

Both woman turned their attention to Zel, who was standing impatiently, tapping his foot.

"Detective Greywars, when the hell did you get here?" Lina demanded.

"Nice greeting, Lina. I got here a few minutes ago and Syphiel said you needed to talk to me about something."

Ameria pushed away from Lina's desk and paced to the other side of the room. The young woman looked as though she hadn't slept all night.

"Yah, I do, Zel. Forget the formalities of you being a detective and me being a sergeant for a while."

Zel nodded, pulling up a chair and sitting down, looking at the very frustrated Lina.

"We got a miscellaneous call last night from an unidentified person. As you recall, in Gourry Gabriev's confession, he mentioned that the mayor was involved with the Kopii mob..."

"It's not true!" Ameria exploded again.

"Saillune, if you have an outburst like that again, I will have Officer White Serpent restrain you!"

Ameria turned back to the corner, biting her fingernails. Zelgadiss swallowed and felt his heart jump in his throat. This wasn't a good sign.

"Yes, Lina, I remember that part of Gourry's confession. What does it have to do with this caller?"

"This person who we couldn't get a trace on said that Mayor Saillune was in fact involved with Kopii mob and that if we did not cease our investigation, the mayor himself would be seeing the 'dark side of the moon' as the caller put it."

"Damn, these people aren't messing around, are they?" Zel stated flatly.

Ameria turned back to the Lina and Zelgadiss. Her face was red with anger and a mixture of betrayal and sadness.

"Papa would never work with the Kopii mob. He would never do something that unjust..."

Zel looked at his partner, a wave of pity flowing over him.

"There must be something that your father is unwilling to lose if he's going to such great extents as working for the Kopii. Is there something your father is hiding, Saillune?"

"No!!! Papa doesn't lie, he just doesn't!!! None of you believe me, do you? Well, that's it!! I'm going to go back home to get Papa and bring him here, so we can just forget about this part of the case!!!"

Ameria threw open the door and stormed out, slamming it behind her. The new glass in the window barely stayed in place.

"Saillune!" Lina shouted through the door. No answer came back to her. "Damn, the girl is really distraught about this. I'm taking her off the case."

Zelgadiss said nothing, he only stared at Lina's desk.

"Zel?" Lina finally asked.

Zel looked up at Lina, her eyes were tired and she looked as though she hadn't slept in a few days.

"Yah?"

"How's Gourry?"

"Better, I think. I got some of his stuff from the crime scene. Before you say anything, I already know it's against the rules."

"I don't really care about rules any more, Greywars. It's all messed up in this city any ways."
"Yah..." Zel responded softly.

"Zel?"

"Yah, Lina?"

"You're sleeping with him, aren't you?"

The chimera relaxed back in the chair, crossing his arms over his chest. He exhaled slowly, wishing he had something to occupy his thoughts and hands with at that moment.

"You going to fire me?" he finally asked.

"No...I should have fired you a long time ago, but you're too good at what you do. We'll just pretend you two are really good friends until this whole thing washes over, okay?"

Zel smiled slightly, leaning forward again and taking Lina's hands with his.

"You're a good friend, Inverse."

"Don't get mushy with me, Greywars." she said quickly, but smiled.

Zel released Lina's hands and relaxed back.

"Lina, I need you to make a call for me."

Lina raised her eyebrow.

"Who can I call that you can't?"

Zel shifted a little uneasily, a jab of pain in his side making him gasp for air. Lina immediately got up from her desk and walked over to the chimera, laying her hand on his side.

"Zel, what the hell happened last night? Don't tell me you and Gourry are that rough in bed!"

Zel shook his head, breathing slowly and trying to ease the pain mentally.

"N-no...no, I was attacked by two assailants last night. I could hear two voices and I think they were the same two who killed Filia and Xellos."

"You were attacked and you didn't go to the hospital or call the police?" Lina demanded.

"Call the police, Lina?"

Lina sighed, stepping away from the detective. He was right about one thing, the police in Worthing weren't exactly the greatest in the world. Lina sat down at her desk again, her eyes scanning over Zel's shifting frame. The young man finally got into a more comfortable position and relaxed again.

"All right, Greywars, who do you need me to call."

"The Worthing penitentiary. I need you to see if Zangulus and Vrummugen are still in prison."

"Why wouldn't they be? They don't come up for parole in a few more years." Lina stated.

"When I went to the apartment this morning with Gourry, I questioned the land lord that owned Gourry's building. He said that two men came to talk to him just before Filia's murder. One had a jewel in his forehead and the other was dark skinned, with blue black hair pulled back in a pony tail. Gourry then told me those were the two men he had seen working for the Kopii mob. If it's who I think it is, somebody managed to get Zangulus and Vrummugen out of prison."

Lina stared wide eyed at Zelgadiss.

"That can't be possible, those descriptions have to be wrong."

"Lina, how many people have a jewel in their foreheads?" Zel demanded. "Please, just make the call.

Lina sighed, opening the phone book on her desk and picking up the line. She dialed the numbers and waited patiently. A tired voice picked up the other end and asked for Lina's name.

"Yes, this is Sergeant Lina Inverse from Worthing's 14th precinct. I'm calling in reference to two inmates that are residing currently in your facilities."

Lina then proceeded to give Zangulus and Vrummugen's names to the voice on the other end of the phone. There was a long pause and Lina tapped her fingers impatiently on the desk. After a moment, the voice returned, giving Lina her information.

"I'm sorry, this can't be correct. They had at least five more years before probation."

Zel immediately sat up more, listening intently to Lina's conversation.

"I want to know who set bail for them then." Lina stated.

There was another long pause and Lina began to thrum her fingers over the desk, her anxious face registering every small noise on the other end.

"What do you mean it's classified? I want the information now, lady, or I will go to some very nasty extents to get it! What? All right...no, that can't be right...you have it recorded. I understand, yes, thank you..."

Lina set down the phone, her motions seeming to be numb and slow. She leaned back in her seat, and stared up at the ceiling.

"Lina?" Zel asked quietly.

"According to the records office, Greywars, Mayor Philip Saillune posted bail for Zangulus and Vrummugen almost six months ago."

"What?!" Zel shouted, jumping to his feet. The pain in his side almost dropped him, but he was too upset to care.

Lina got up from her desk slowly, shaking her head.

"I can't believe it...Gourry was telling the truth. That means that your two 'old friends' are working for the Kopii now...and they tried to kill you."

"Well, they certainly have good reason too."

"But, if Mayor Saillune has been threatened if he doesn't get the police out of the way. Zelgadiss, he's in danger. We need to get the mayor under police protection and then get him questioned."

"What about Detective Saillune?"

"I'll take her off the case and put her under protection too. Most likely if these two are working for the Kopii, they're not going to just go after the mayor. Ameria is his only child and a likely person to be used for bait by them."

"And Gourry?" Zel questioned quietly.

"Since you seem to know him so well now, I'll leave him under your protection?"

Zel nodded, and ran his fingers through his wiry lavender hair.

"It's all coming undone, isn't it, Lina? All the nasty secrets in The Maze are starting to come out, aren't they?"

Lina nodded slowly.

"Who would have thought that the death of a couple of hookers could have started it..."

Before Lina could finish, the phone in her office rang. She looked at the phone and hesitantly picked up the receiver.

"This is Sergeant Inverse of the 14th precinct of Worthing. May I ask who is calling."

There was no response on the end of the line.

"Excuse me, I repeat myself, may I ask who is calling?"

"The Mayor had a little lamb, her fleece was white as snow and no matter where the mayor went, his little lamb was sure to go. So she followed him into The Maze one day, which we all know as against the rules, and there she learned the meaning of things you don't learn in school..."

With that morbid poem, the phone clicked on the other end.

Lina set down the phone, her hand shaking. Zelgadiss watched as she slowly stood and walked over to the chimera.

"That was our mystery voice again. He just gave me a new version of an old nursery rhyme."

"Nursery rhyme?"

Lina nodded.

"What I'm getting from it though is that they're planning to go for the mayor and Ameria. We got to get them first."

Zel nodded, going for the door.

"Hey, Zel?"

"Yah?"

"Watch yourself and watch Gourry. This isn't anything simple any more." she said quickly.

Zelgadiss nodded.

"Lina?"

"What?"

"You take care of yourself too."

The young red haired woman nodded and Zel quickly left her office. He glanced around the main precinct and spotted Gourry sitting in one of the chairs, sipping a little coffee and talking to Syphiel. The young woman was laughing a little and he was smiling.

"It's kind of nice to see him smile again." Zel mused.

"Gourry?" he said quietly as he approached the duo.

Gourry turned his attention to Zel and he could instantly see the worry on his face.

"Yah, Zel?"

"I'm going to take you back to my place. I need you to stay there for a while."

"Why?"

"I'll explain later, I just think it would be better for you to stay out of sight for a while. Things are starting to get bad, very bad."

Gourry nodded, standing and helping Syphiel to her feet.

"Thanks for the coffee, Syphiel."

She nodded, smiling quietly.

"Thanks for everything, Gourry, I mean it."

The young secretary walked off, a new air in her step, much more confident than before.

"What were you two talking about?"

"That's our little secret." Gourry said with a smile.

Zel shook his head and laughed slightly, leading Gourry back out into the rain. The cold droplets tore through their clothes and both men were shivering once again when they got inside the car.

"So, why do I have to go back to your place?"

"I think it would be safer for now. I won't be gone for long, I just need to go and check up on something involving our friend, the mayor."

Gourry swallowed, suddenly throwing his arms around Zel's neck and burying his face into his nape. The reaction surprised the detective, but he quickly wrapped his arms around Gourry, rocking the young man gently and rubbing his back.

"I don't want you to go...something bad is going to happen if you do." Gourry whispered.

"Nothing is going to happen, Gourry. I promise you. I'll only be gone for a couple hours, and then I'll be back, I swear."

Gourry still held tightly to Zel, refusing to let go.

"You can't make those kind of promises, Zelgadiss." he said softly.

Zel gently kissed Gourry's ear, rubbing his back still.

"I'll be all right, Gourry. I'm more worried about you. I need you to be safe, now that the Kopii are out in full force."

The young golden haired man drew back, tears once again in his eyes.

"I don't want to lose you, Zel. You're all I have now."

"You're not going to, Gourry. I promise you."

The detective pulled Gourry head down, their lips meeting in a deep kiss. Gourry latched his arms tighter around Zel's neck, holding himself close to the chimera's body.

"I'm never going to let you go, Zel...never..." he thought to himself.

Zel stroked Gourry's back in slow, gentle caresses, the kiss growing more passionate and almost desperate.

"They're never going to hurt you again, Gourry...I'm not letting you go...ever..." Zel quietly told himself.

The rain continued to beat down on the car, the two men sharing the silent moment of unspoken love between them.

*****

The red sleeved hand set down the receiver on it's rest. The person turned around in his chair, facing the two men who stood in front of him.

"I think that little poem I left our friends at the 14th precinct has done the appropriate job, don't you agree, gentlemen?"

"Yes, sir." Vrummugen responded softly.

"Erin?" the man said quietly.

Erin approached, carrying a glass of red wine and setting it on his desk.

"Yes, Mr. Kopii?"

"Would you be so kind as to leave me with Zangulus and Vrummugen for a moment?"

"Of course, Mr. Kopii." she responded quietly.

Erin crossed the room and exited through the large doors, closing them behind her.

"Gentlemen, you failed in framing Gourry Gabriev for the murders of Xellos and Filia. You also failed in killing the nosy detective, Zelgadiss Greywars. What do you have to say for yourselves?"

"Mr. Kopii...sir, we didn't know that our boots would leave mud..."

"On a rainy night like last night and you didn't know your boots would leave mud..." Mr. Kopii stated flatly.

The tall man in the red suit stood from his desk and approached Zangulus and Vrummugen. He straightened Zangulus's coat, smoothing out some of the wrinkles in the material.

"Well, water and dirt makes mud, my friends...and mud can leave clues..."

Mr. Kopii grabbed Zangulus by the throat and pulled him off the ground, holding him by his neck, his feet dangling off the floor. The man choked, grabbing at his throat. Vrummugen stared on, too startled to move.

"Well, well, Zangulus, perhaps this should be both you and your associate's punishment for failing me. But, since I'm a fair man, I will give both of you one more opportunity to prove that having the mayor release you wasn't a bad judgment on my part."

Mr. Kopii dropped Zangulus on the floor, the blue black haired man coughing and dragging in long breaths of air. Vrummugen carefully helped his compatriot off the floor. Mr. Kopii returned to sitting behind his desk and he sipped his wine quietly.

"I want you and Vrummugen to go and fetch Mayor Saillune and his little baby girl, Ameria Saillune for me, gentlemen. I then want you to go and get Sergeant Inverse and bring her here."

"But, why, Sergeant Inverse?" Vrummugen questioned.

"She knows too much about what's occurring in The Maze and I want to have her shut up." Mr. Kopii stated simply. "After you fetch those three, bring them here. They're going to be a clue to our dear Detective Greywars. Then, I want you to go and get Gourry Gabriev and leave a note for our dear detective to come to this location. We're going to kill all the birds with one stone, so to speak. Now, I would like to remind you gentlemen that I will not accept failure again. Do this quickly and neatly, and you will be well rewarded."

"Y-y-yes sir..." Zangulus gasped, still holding his throat.

"Now, get out of my sight. I don't want to see you again, until you've returned with the people I want and the detective is hot on your trail."

Both men nodded, quickly walking to the door and opening it. As they exited, Erin entered and closed the door again. She approached Mr. Kopii quietly, standing beside his desk.

"What are you going to do, Mr. Kopii?"

"I'm going to make sure that The Maze will always function at it's top capability, Erin. No sense in letting a good thing go to waste."

With that, Mr. Kopii pulled the unresisting Erin onto his lap, a smile gracing his features and closed eyes that seemed to know everything scanned the room.

On to Chapter Thirteen or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the Roses?