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 FOUR: 21 Questions
Zelgadiss made a tight corner, barely skimming over the curb of the street. Gourry instinctively grabbed the side of the car door, keeping himself upright. He looked incredulously at Zel.
"Hey, aren't you supposed to be the 'protector of the citizens?' How about learning to drive, huh?"
Zelgadiss flashed Gourry a cold look and made the next turn even tighter, almost jumping them over the curb and onto the sidewalk. Gourry stared at Zel for a moment, and then sunk down in his seat, deciding it was better to say nothing at all.
Coming around the corner, a tiny cafe caught Zel's eye. It was small, slightly run down, but it looked comfortable and clean.
"Is this Sam's, Mr. Gabriev?" Zelgadiss asked.
"Yah, that's the place. You can park in the back."
Zelgadiss made his way around the small building and managed to squeeze the police car in a relatively small space. He looked up from the steering wheel to see a young blonde haired woman with purplish tinted blue eyes staring at him through the kitchen window. Gourry paid no heed to the young woman, and got out of the car.
"You coming?" Gourry asked flatly. "Or should I just have you 'cuff me here?"
Zel scowled, opening the car door, getting out, and slamming it hard.
"Oh, real mature, Greywars." Zel thought to himself. "Let's just make the guy think you're even more of an idiot."
The loud slamming tore Ameria from her unusually peaceful sleep. She snorted, hiccuped, and then finally opened her eyes.
"Oh...Detective Greywarth...where are we?" she slurred softly.
"Just at a cafe, Saillune. Go back to sleep."
"Yeth, sir..." Ameria voice drifted off and quickly was replaced by snoring.
Zelgadiss shook his head and made a silent note to himself to never take Ameria any where that would give her free liquor again.
Zel turned back from his sleeping partner to see Gourry already making the corner around the cafe. He quickly caught up with the tall blonde, grabbing his arm.
"Hey, let's not walk too fast." Zelgadiss said firmly.
Gourry pulled his arm away from the detective, slightly annoyed.
"I go where I want to go. You want me somewhere, handcuff me and take me to the station. But until you do that, I'm going to do as I please."
Zelgadiss narrowed his eyes at Gourry and frowned. Gourry only turned to open the door to Sam's, flipping his hair into Zel's face as an extra insult. The chimera grumbled softly to himself, and followed the young man inside.
The young woman that Zel had seen watching them from the window came to the front and stood behind the counter. She wiped her hands on a small dish towel. She was neatly dressed, in a peach colored waitress uniform and apron, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and tucked in a hairnet.
She looked suspiciously at Zel for a moment and then grinned at Gourry.
The young woman quickly moved from behind the counter and threw her arms around Gourry's neck. The tall young man laughed quietly and picked the young woman up, spinning her in a tight hug.
"What are you doing here, Gourry?" She then looked at Zelgadiss. "Gourry, we agreed that you wouldn't bring any of your clients in here."
"He's not a client, he's a cop."
The young woman immediately pulled away from Gourry, laying her hands on his chest and staring long and hard at him.
"Gourry, what did you do?"
"I didn't do anything. Honestly, I didn't."
"Then why in heaven's name are with a cop?"
"I'm not just a cop, I'm a detective, ma'am." Zelgadiss interrupted.
The young woman stared very hard at Zel, and then shook her head.
"Did he bust you for something, Gourry? Is he one of those undercover kind of guys?"
"Well, he was undercover, but he didn't bust me for anything."
Zelgadiss sighed and cleared his throat, getting the duos attention.
"Forgive me for being so rude and actually wanting an introduction, but are you his girlfriend by any chance. Perhaps, his pimp?"
The young woman stared at Zel, very offended. She straightened her posture and stared coldly at the man in front of her.
"How dare you say such things about me. I am not his girlfriend, and I am certainly not his, pimp, as you so bluntly put it."
Gourry sighed, putting his arm around the young woman's shoulder and patting her affectionately. From the look in her eyes, Zelgadiss could tell she was about ready to readjust all of his facial features if given the chance.
"Detective Greywars, this is my half sister, Filia Ul Copt. She's a waitress here at Sam's and she's never committed a felony, misdemeanor, or even jaywalked in her life."
The young waitress relaxed a little.
"Detective Greywars, is that your name? Well, Detective, maybe you should be a little more polite with other people, instead of being so snoopy." Filia stated sharply.
Zelgadiss was tempted to say anything to shut her up, but he decided against it. Gourry was the person he was interested in, and the main reason they were in this cafe was so that he could get the information he needed.
"Detective, is there any reason that you've picked up my brother?"
"Actually, Miss Ul Copt, I just need to ask him a few questions."
"Remember, Gourry, you don't have to answer anything if you don't want too. You know these kind of cops, they wait for one wrong word and they slap the handcuffs on you."
"I know, Filia, I'll be fine. Why don't you get us some coffee?"
Filia nodded, throwing Zelgadiss a very cool look before going behind the counter and disappearing behind the swinging doors to the kitchen.
"Your sister is very forward."
Gourry nodded, smiling slightly.
"Yah, she's great. She's my baby sister, but man, she says what she wants too, when she wants too."
Zelgadiss nodded, unconsciously scanning Gourry. The young man looked so relaxed and calm when he was with his sister.
"You must love her a lot."
"I do. We're all each of us got."
"Nah. My mom died when I was four and my pop got remarried to Filia's mom. They died in a car accident when I was eight and Filia was four."
Gourry fell silent, his eyes falling on the floor and scanning his leather boots. Zelgadiss shifted a little under the uncomfortable silence.
"I'm sorry about your parents, Mr. Gabriev."
"Um, yah, whatever. Look, didn't you come to ask me other stuff, not about my family life?" Gourry questioned flatly.
Zelgadiss nodded, feeling a little awkward.
Gourry motioned to one of the cafe booths and both men sat down. A soft rumble of thunder echoed in the distance, and from the window that they sat by, a flash of lightning could be seen.
"Rain." Gourry said quietly, his eyes fixed on the streak of electricity in the sky.
"It's supposed to be a terrible storm. The newspapers say it's going to move in tonight and stay for three, maybe four days."
"Well, that will make business for me a little slow." Gourry grinned at that comment.
"Oh, I don't know, everybody needs a little warmth now and then." Zel responded, a touch of humor in his voice.
Gourry laughed quietly, smiling at Zelgadiss. It was that smile that caught Zel's attention. It was so laid back and innocent, gentle and kind. This was not the smile of a prostitute who had been working for way too long. It was a smile of a young man who enjoyed simple things in life.
"He shouldn't be on the streets." Zel absently thought to himself. "He should be in college, getting a degree. His sister shouldn't have to work here in this slummy cafe. She should have a nice home, and a family, and an education."
"Detective Greywars? Hello? Are you there?"
Zelgadiss was pulled from his personal reverie to see Gourry staring at him curiously. His attention was turned to a coffee cup being set down in front of him. Filia poured Zel a cup, and sat down some cream and sugar in front of the chimera. She poured Gourry a cup and then placed a huge sandwich in front of him.
"Filia, you aren't supposed to do this!" Gourry whispered.
"I know, but you need to eat. Besides, business is slow tonight and the cook needed something to do." Filia whispered back.
"Thanks, sis." Gourry smiled affectionately at his little sister.
"You're welcome." Filia smiled back and then looked at Zelgadiss.
"Did you want anything, Detective?" she asked flatly.
"No, coffee's fine. Thank you, Miss Ul Copt."
Filia looked at Zelgadiss for a long time, and then her features softened slightly, and she gave him a small smile.
"You can call me Filia, Detective."
Zelgadiss nodded, offering Filia a small smile in return.
"All right, Filia."
Filia ruffled Gourry's hair and then quietly went back behind the counter and disappeared into the kitchen again.
"Is there any reason she left?" Zel asked Gourry.
"Yah, she doesn't like hearing about what I do when I'm on the streets. Besides, it's business between you and me, and she has nothing to do with it."
"Forgive me, Mr. Gabriev."
Zelgadiss sipped his coffee, enjoying the rich, dark flavor. He swirled the dark liquid in his cup for a moment, gathering his thoughts.
"What?" Zel looked up from his cup.
"You don't have to call me 'Mr. Gabriev,' Detective Greywars. You can call me Gourry."
"Okay, Gourry. You can dispense with the formalities with me too. You can either call me Zelgadiss or Zel."
Gourry nodded, picking at his sandwich uneasily.
"So, what do you want to know, Zel?"
Zelgadiss took another sip of his coffee and sat the cup into it's saucer.
"What can you tell me about Martina and Garv?"
Gourry shrugged a little, tearing a piece of lettuce off from the corner of his sandwich.
"They were a couple of hookers I worked with."
"That's all you can tell me about them?"
"Well, what do you want to know?"
"Did they have any enemies? Any connections? Perhaps owe any debts?"
"Vert and Rouge? Man, I doubt that. They hardly made enough a night to even owe a debt."
"Vert and Rouge?" Zelgadiss asked quietly.
"Oh yah, that's their 'street names.' We each had a French word for a specific color. Martina was Vert because of her green hair and Garv was Rouge 'cuz of his long red hair and red coat he always wore."
"Is that why they call you 'Bleu?'"
"Yah, 'cuz I got these blue eyes and I always wear a blue shirt." Gourry responded softly.
Zelgadiss nodded, opening a package of sugar and pouring the crystals into his coffee. He didn't know why he did it, he only liked his coffee black. But, he felt as though he needed to keep his hands occupied.
"So Martina and Garv had no enemies?"
"Hell, all of us have enemies, Zel. That's what happens when you work in The Maze. You make some clients and you make some enemies. That's the way it goes."
Gourry ate a little of the lettuce he had torn from the sandwich and sipped his coffee. Zelgadiss couldn't help but watch him. Everything the young man did seemed to have a specific purpose, though Zel couldn't figure out what.
"Were you good friends with them?"
"Nah, not really. Vert was okay, and Rouge was a little rude, but generally okay. I slept with both of them a couple times when the client paid enough."
Zelgadiss choked on his coffee, pounding his chest a little. Gourry picked up a napkin and handed it to the chimera. Zel took it and wiped his mouth, still coughing slightly.
"What did you say?"
Gourry relaxed back into his seat, his long locks of gold shifting and falling over his shoulders and chest. He stared at Zel with his one visible blue eye.
"You meet all kinds down in The Maze, Zel. You know, guys who like more than one guy or girl in their group. Voyeurs that just like to watch. It's how it works."
Zelgadiss sighed, dabbing the corner of his mouth quietly. He balled the napkin in his fist, and leaned back, staring back at Gourry.
"Do you like what you do, Gourry?"
The question seemed to strike something in Gourry. The young man narrowed his eyes and he leaned a little forward, almost predatory in his glare.
"The bartender told me that you're a local favorite. You must be good at what you do. You probably don't have that much competition." Zel said quietly.
Gourry leaned a little farther forward, lacing his fingers together.
"There's always competition, Zel. That's how The Maze works."
"Of course, if there was no competition, if two competitors just disappeared, it would make things a lot easier for you, wouldn't it?" Zel stated softly.
Gourry's eyes flared and he leaned back in his seat, his hands unlacing and balling into fists at his side.
"Are you inferring, Detective, that I killed Vert and Rouge?"
Zelgadiss relaxed calmly back in his seat.
"I have only inferred what you interpreted, Gourry. But, may I remind you, that you are a suspect. Unless you can give me some information that would prove the theory wrong."
"Is this a setup?" Gourry questioned coldly.
Zel leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table. He stared long and hard at the young man sitting across from him.
"Who do you work for?"
Gourry leaned forward now, his eyes darkening with a touch of anger. He leveled his head so that he and Zel were eye to eye with one another.
"My employer is none of your business."
"If you tell me, Gourry, we can get this whole mess sorted out. We have suspicion that whomever killed Martina and Garv may want to kill you next."
"Didn't you just say I was a suspect, Detective?"
"Everyone in The Maze is a suspect. But, you are also the potential next target. Tell me what I want to know and we can offer you and your sister protection."
Gourry lifted one of his hands and suddenly grabbed Zelgadiss by the shirt collar. The chimera grew wide eyed, and his first instinct was to reach for his gun. Swallowing the idea, he stared into Gourry's endless visible blue eye.
"Leave my sister out of this." he stated coldly, his lips so close that Zel could feel him mouthing the words.
Zelgadiss reached up, grabbing Gourry's hand with enough force to cause him to release Zel's collar. He continued to apply pressure, until Gourry's hand was down on the table. Both men still stared at one another.
"I will not push this, Gourry, but we need your help."
Zelgadiss reached into his pocket. He felt Gourry stiffen slightly under his hand.
"It's all right, Gourry, I'm not going to handcuff you."
Zel pulled out an ink pen and then released Gourry's hand. He pulled out a napkin from the napkin holder and scribbled something down on the paper. He then offered it to Gourry.
"Here's the 14th Precinct's number and here is my own number. If you change your mind, call either one. We want to help."
Gourry looked at the paper suspiciously, but took it any ways. He reached down and tucked the paper in the top part of his leather pants. Zel felt his heart speed up for a moment, and couldn't understand why.
Gourry looked back up at Zel and the two men were face to face. There was an uncomfortable tension between them, neither one sure of where to move too.
"Are you finished questioning me, Detective?" Gourry finally said, his voice shaking slightly.
Zelgadiss nodded, pulling back and shaking his head. He finished drinking his coffee and stood, pulling out his wallet and a ten dollar bill.
"Hey, don't worry about it. It's on Sam's." Gourry said softly.
"Are you sure. I'm more than willing to pay..."
"Yah, I'm sure. Look, Detective, I'm sorry about how I acted a little bit ago. I just don't want my sister involved. If I'm a suspect, I'm a suspect. But, there are just some laws we follow in The Maze that aren't written in the town charter. I'm not going to break those laws."
Gourry stood up, his slender form moving underneath the tight clothes. He offered Zelgadiss his slightly trembling hand.
Zel took it, shaking it firmly. He nodded at Gourry, offering a slightly awkward smile.
"Hey, you can call me Zel, Gourry. No more 'Detective' stuff, 'kay? If you change your mind, call me, not the station. We can go somewhere that's comfortable for you."
Gourry nodded, biting his lip.
"Yah, sure, Zel."
Zelgadiss opened the cafe door, the rain beginning to strike the concrete lightly. Another loud rumble of thunder cracked in the sky.
"You should stay in tonight, Gourry."
"Yah, maybe I will." Gourry responded softly.
Both men looked at each other for a moment, a strange kind of peace settling over them. Zelgadiss smiled a little and walked out of the cafe, closing the door behind him.
The rain splashed the top of Zel's head lightly, and he made his way around the corner to the police car. He glanced in the back seat to make sure Ameria was still there. The young detective rolled onto her back, a small stream of drool slipping from the corner of her mouth. Zelgadiss laughed quietly, unlocking the door and slipping in. He closed the door and then leaned back in the seat, releasing a soft sigh.
"Gourry Gabriev, I've found you, and now you won't cooperate." Zel bitterly thought.
His bitterness ended quickly when his mind flashed over Gourry's lips close to his. It had been strange and new for Zelgadiss. Feeling that connected for a brief moment.
"What the hell am I thinking?!" Zel finally snapped at himself. "He's a hooker, for heaven's sake! Besides that, you don't even like men!!"
Zelgadiss shook his head, annoyed with himself. He started up the car and revved the engine. Something about doing that action always made him feel better. Putting the car into gear, he eased out of the small parking space and into the street, making a left away from the cafe. He unconsciously looked up in his rear view mirror, trying to see if he could catch a glimpse of the gold haired young man in the building.
Gourry watched as Zel's car disappeared over the hill. He wondered quietly to himself if Zel could see him watching.
"Is he gone?" a soft, feminine voice asked.
Gourry felt a set of arms come around his waist. He smiled as he laced his fingers through the hands.
"Did he ask a lot of questions?"
"Yah, Filia, he did."
"You're my big brother, Gourry. I wouldn't know what to do without you. But, if you keep getting mixed up with the law, they're going to throw your butt in jail and then I won't have anyone."
"Filia, he didn't want to arrest me. He just wanted some information."
"Well, did you tell him what he wanted to know?" she asked quietly.
"There are just some things I can't talk about." Gourry responded softly.
Filia hugged Gourry tighter, burying her face in his back for a moment. She pulled back and sighed quietly.
"You liked him, didn't you?"
"What?!" Gourry exclaimed.
"The detective, you liked him. I saw how you looked at him. I was watching through the pick up window. You were really taken by him."
Gourry blushed, stammering, "He...he w-was just another guy..."
"Yah right. When was the last time I've seen you look at a guy like you looked at him?"
"It's nothing, Filia."
Gourry turned around to look at Filia, saline forming in his blue eyes. Filia gently moved his bangs away, wiping the tears from his eyes.
"I'm just a hooker...and he's..."
"A cop." Filia finished the sentence. "Oh, Gourry..."
Gourry sobbed quietly, leaning down and burying his face in his sister's shoulder. Filia stroked his back gently, holding him and rocking back and forth to calm him.
"Oh, Gourry, if things were only different. Maybe then, it would work for you." Filia thought to herself.
She continued to hold Gourry as he cried softly. She watched the rain fall down onto the sidewalks and wished silently to herself that the rain could wash away the world's sins.
On to Chapter Five or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the roses?