"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 FIVE: Family ties

Zelgadiss sighed softly as he made his way up the steep hill to the Saillune mansion once again. The rain had moved from being a light sprinkled to a sheet of almost unpentrable water. He carefully maneuvered his way around a corner and finally made it to the main gates of the Saillune estate.

"Who is it?" A voice on the gate intercom demanded.

"Detective Greywars, sir. I'm bringing Detective Saillune home, would you be so kind as to open up the gate?" Zelgadiss was already annoyed, and this wasn't helping.

After what seemed an eternity of silence, the gates creaked open and Zel drove the police car to the front of the Saillune mansion. He frowned, realizing that he would have to get out in the downpour to get Ameria inside. He debated about calling one of the servants, but decided it would be just as well he did it himself.

Zel pulled his leather coat over his head and opened the door. If there was one thing the city of Worthing was famous for, it was it's terribly cold rain. Tonight was no exception, and Zel felt a chill shoot up his spine as the first of the icy drops struck his jeans. He quickly jumped out of the car and opened up the back door.

Ameria mumbled in her sleep, the effects of the liquor still weighing heavily on her. Zelgadiss rolled his eyes and picked her up, grumbling softly to himself. He managed to balance himself on the slick cement and still keep her in a comfortable carry. The first touch of cold water struck Ameria's face and she immediately came too, flaying herself in the process.

"What? Who?! When?! Where am I?" she sputtered.

Zelgadiss almost fell over from her sudden jerking, and had to reestablish his footing.

"You're home, Saillune. Come on, I've got to get you inside."

Zel did the best he could about sheltering Ameria from the rain. By the time he made it up the huge front steps and the butler had opened the door for them, they both were soaked to the bone. Shivering and cold, Zelgadiss set an equally chilled Ameria down on her feet. The young woman staggered about, and then slumped on him, still quite drunk.

Mayor Saillune had heard the commotion and came out of his study. Upon seeing his daughter obviously drunk, his eyes flared at Zelgadiss.

"Detective, what have you done to my daughter?!" he thundered.

Ameria looked up to the source of the voice and started giggling.

"Hallo, Phil...er, Daddy...whee..." with that, Ameria passed out again in Zelgadiss's arms.

The chimera stared at the limp girl in his arms, thoroughly dumbfounded. Mayor Saillune took two huge steps and pulled his limp daughter from him.

"If this is the way you train your rookies, detective, dressing them in scanty clothes and getting them wasted, I think I'll reconsider your reinstatement into the force!"

Zel winced only slightly at Mayor Saillune's words. He stood calmly as the mayor took his daughter upstairs to her private chambers. The butler looked disdainfully at Zel and showed him the door.

"Miss Ameria will not be available for work tomorrow, Mr. Greywars. Have a good evening." The butler hotly said, pushed Zel out the door, and slammed it behind him.

Zelgadiss stood out in the pouring rain, chilled and angry. He stomped down the marble steps to his staircase, no longer caring how wet he got. He threw open the car door in a huff and got inside. Slamming the door, he revved the engine as loud as he could and took off, squealing his tires behind him. The gate keeper barely had time to get the gates open before Zel tore through them, making a sharp turn onto the street.

"What right does that man have to say what I do is wrong?" Zel angrily thought. "It's not my fault that his daughter can't decipher right from wrong. Come on, what am I supposed to do? She's just a freaking kid, and I'm not the one to be teaching her things about detective work."

Zelgadiss's thoughts became a little more relaxed, and he became a little thoughtful as he slowed his car down to the speed limit.

"Let's face it, Greywars, you aren't capable of taking care of yourself most of the time, let alone a partner."

For some strange reason, Zel's mind wandered to the conversation he had had with Gourry only a half an hour before. He found he was lingering over the expressions in Gourry's face and the movement of his body. But most of all, he was thinking of Gourry's eyes. Those eyes that held so many secrets. A shiver went up Zel's spine again, and this time it had nothing to do with the chilled rain.

"Stop it right now, Greywars!" he announced out loud to himself.

Grumbling softly, Zelgadiss made a right and headed to his high rise apartment, trying desperately to make the image of blue eyes disappear from his mind.

*****

Philip Saillune waited for the maids to finish dressing his daughter. The maids carried the still unconscious Ameria out of the bathroom and handed her over to Philip. Phil sighed, looking at his daughter who slept rather contentedly, despite the alcohol tinted scent of her breath.

Phil carried Ameria to her bedroom and tucked her into her bed. Ameria mumbled a little in her sleep, hiccuped, and quickly fell into a deep sleep. The mayor of Worthing watched his daughter sleeping, his face lined with worry. He had never approved of Ameria's choice in work. Yes, he had desired that his daughter work for justice, but he had always pictured her being a lawyer, or perhaps a psychiatrist, never a detective. The fact that she also chose the 14th Precinct for her training grounds made her field of work even less appealing to him. The 14th Precinct didn't exactly have a spick and span record, and the mayor knew it.

The soft ringing of the telephone pulled him from his thoughts. He waited, wondering whether or not the servants would bother him with the call. It was around midnight, and he was usually asleep. A soft rap on Ameria's door answered his question. The door creaked open quietly, and the maid peeked her head inside.

"Master Saillune, this person demands to speak with you."

"Can't you take a message?" Phil responded, whispering to avoid disturbing Ameria.

"I already tried, but the person says that you must take the call."

Phil frowned and stood, pausing to look at his sleeping daughter. He quietly walked to the door and slipped out, closing it behind him.

"I'll take the call in my study."

The maid nodded.

Philip made his way down the winding staircase and down the left corridor to his study. He entered quietly and shut the door, locking it. He picked up the telephone.

"It's all right, I've got it."

"Yes sir." the maid responded and set the phone on it's receiver.

"Good evening, mayor." the voice on the other end suddenly said.

Phil felt his stomach sink. He uneasily sat down in his study's chair, and held the phone against his ear, his hand trembling.

"Evening." he managed to speak.

"It's been a while since we talked."

"It was yesterday."

"Oh, that's right." the voice on the other end laughed icily. "Have you come to a decision yet?"

"No, I haven't." Phil responded flatly.

"Well, you should come to one soon. Two of my associates were out and about tonight. It seems that the police force is getting a little nosy in The Maze. One of them identified your daughter. It would be a shame to let anything happen to that pretty young thing, wouldn't it?"

"Are you threatening me?" Phil demanded much louder than he had intended.

The voice remained calm.

"Of course, not, mayor. I'm stating the obvious. Get the police out of The Maze, and everything can go back to how it was. Nice and quiet."

Phil wiped the sweat that began beading on his brow.

"I'll see what I can do."

"You do that, mayor. Oh, and remember, a daughter is only good when she's alive..."

With that morbid remark, the voice on the other end disappeared, being replaced by a thrumming dial tone. Philip let the phone fall onto his lap, ignoring the beeping noise. He stared blankly at the portrait in front of him, a painting of Ameria when she was a little girl.

"I've made a deal with the devil." Philip thought absently to himself. "What have I done?"

*****

Filia squealed when the rain hit the top of her head. She was already cold as she desperately tried to lock the door to Sam's. Gourry couldn't help but laugh, despite the situation they were in. The icy Worthing rain beat down on them and both were without jackets or umbrellas.

"Oh, work, won't you!" Filia grumbled and the lock finally took.

"Good, let's get home, sis." Gourry quickly stated, grabbing Filia by the hand and pulling her down the street. The duo ran two blocks and made a right down a dark alley. The rain had already flooded the potholes in the alleyway, making small lakes that soaked right through Gourry and Filia's footwear. Trembling, Filia pulled her keys out and climbed up the metal ladder on the side of their apartment building. Gourry was quick to follow, stopping only for a moment to pull the ladder up and secure it in it's locks. Filia squealed as a huge gush of water fell from the roof of the building and landed directly on top of her. If the water wasn't so cold, it would be a hurricane outside.

Gourry laughed again as Filia fumbled with the keys, finally putting the house key in the lock and flinging open the door. Both of them jumped inside, slamming the door and chattering loudly. Gourry turned around and locked the three locks on the inside of the door.

"I can't believe how cold the rain gets here! You just stood there and laughed!" Filia scolded Gourry.

"C'mon, sis, it was funny."

"I didn't think it was!" Filia fumed.

Gourry shook his head and grinned. He walked over and pulled Filia into a tight hug.

"Go on, Filia, go and take a shower and I'll get some hot chocolate made."

Filia smiled at her brother, hugging him tightly and heading toward the bathroom, making soft, sloshing noises from the state of her clothes. Gourry shook his head, laughing quietly. His sister was definitely up front about everything.

Gourry made his way to the corner of their one room apartment. They lived in a terribly run down building and half the time the pipes broke or the heater went out. But, they always kept it clean and there was always food to eat. Sure, the place was in the worst part of town, but Filia and him had always made the best of it. There was a small kitchenette, a bathroom, and the main room which was both bedroom and living room. Gourry picked up a towel dangling over the only chair in the room and dried off his mane of golden hair. He shimmied out of his skin tight, wet clothes and hung them over the chair to dry. He dried himself off, and opened Filia and his chest of drawers. Pulling out a pair of gray sweatpants, he put them on quickly, shivering in the chilly room.

Filia came out of the bathroom, wearing a simple white nightgown and her hair resting over her shoulders. She yawned and looked at Gourry, her eyes heavy with sleep.

"On second thought sis, forget the hot chocolate. I think you need to go to bed."

"I'm not tired, Gourry." Filia yawned again.

"Uh-huh...and I'm not a hooker. Come on."

Gourry pulled Filia to the bed and pulled down the sheets. He tucked his sister in, smiling affectionately. Filia smiled back, her eyes already half shut.

"Get some sleep, Filia."

"Gourry?"

"Yah?"

"You'll be here when I wake up, right?"

"Of course, sis. Get some sleep."

Filia sighed happily and closed her eyes. Gourry kissed his sister on the forehead and got up, pacing the room for a moment. He looked back at her and went to the chair where his clothing hung. He spotted the soaked napkin hanging from the waistband of his leather pants.

Gourry pulled the paper free and stared down at the water soaked, smudged writing on the napkin.

"Zelgadiss Greywars." he thought quietly to himself. "He said he can help. Maybe...no, this has nothing to do with him."

Filia mumbled a little in her sleep and Gourry found his gaze pulled to her. He felt a tear slip down his cheek.

"No, Filia shouldn't have to live in fear."

Gourry walked over to their ancient telephone, and pulled up the receiver. Resting it between his chin and shoulder, he dialed the number on the napkin and waited for someone to pick up.

*****

Zelgadiss stood shivering in the elevator of his high rise apartment. He sneezed and grumbled softly to himself. The red numbers above him seemed to take forever to get through the floors. Finally, the number 18 showed itself and doors flew open, Zel quickly getting out.

He silently made his way down the hallway to apartment 187 and unlocked the door with his pass card key. He opened the door up and quickly went inside, savoring the feeling of the automatic heating striking his frozen skin.

He closed the door and turned around, stumbling over a pile of his dirty clothes sitting in front of the entrance. His place was always a mess, but he preferred to look at it as being organized chaos. Weaving his way through piles of dirty clothes, old case files, books, and other miscellaneous pieces of junk, he made it to his bathroom.

After indulging in an overly long shower, Zel came out, towel wrapped around his waist. He made his way to his CD player and turned on some soft music. After tonight, it was just bliss for him to have a little peace and quiet. Absently, Zel wandered over to his answering machine. The light blinked continually at him.

"Damn, can't I even get peace when I'm at home?" he grumbled.

Zelgadiss hit the button and listened to the tape rewind.

"Detective Greywars, this is Sergeant Inverse reminding you that you are not to be late tomorrow morning. I want a full report of last night's work."

Zel saluted sarcastically at the machine.

"Yes, ma'am."

"Do you want to make more money?"

Zelgadiss fast forwarded that message. He hated automated sellers.

"Zel...um...hi...this is Gourry Gabriev...I, uh, I thought I might catch you at home...but, um, I guess not...Look, if you want to talk...I mean, you know...um, meet me at Worthing Park at two p.m....I'll be near the swings...okay...bye..."

Zelgadiss stared blankly at the machine and quickly rewound the tape, speeding past the first two messages. He listened to Gourry's message again, making sure he got the location and time right.

Zel sighed, shaking his head. He was grateful that Gourry had called, but would the young man give him the information he needed to know.

Zelgadiss climbed the stairs to his bedroom, going inside and flopping down, pulling the towel from underneath him. He slipped under the covers, yawning. He hadn't realized how tired he was until now. Sleep pulled at his senses.

"Don't worry, Gourry. I'll get to the bottom of your mystery one way or another..." was Zel's last thought before sleep over took him.

On to Chapter Six or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the roses?