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 SIX: Touch the Rain
Zelgadiss groaned as the alarm screamed in his ear. Pulling up his head, he squinted to read seven a.m. on his clock.
"No one should have to get up at these times..." he mumbled to himself.
Grudgingly, he slipped from the safety of his bed and searched through the piles of clean and dirty laundry. Filtering out a white button up shirt, brown slacks, and a red tie, he dressed in silence. Sitting on the bed, he attached his brown suspenders and slipped on his black socks. He then stared at the floor, thinking about the message on his answering machine.
"Two p.m. in the park. So Gourry Gabriev has finally broken down. Must be something he really needs to get off his chest."
Zel sighed, going down the stairs and once again tripping over a pile of papers.
"I really should clean..."
The chimera slipped on his shoes, grabbing his long trenchcoat, badge, and handgun, and left his apartment. He had a lot to do, and the first was to check in with Lina, which was something he was definitely not looking forward too.
Lina flinched as the voice on the end of the phone continued to scream at the top of their lungs. She sighed, leaning back in her chair, holding the piece away from her ear.
"And if this happens again, I'll see that the whole 14th precinct is shut down!!" the voice echoed from the phone.
"Mayor Saillune, I apologize for any actions that occurred against your daughter last night, but I assure you that Detective Greywars is a completely capable teacher and an equally good officer."
"He brought my daughter home drunk!!! Dressed her like a cheap hussy!!!"
"Mayor Saillune, I assure you that it was only an incident..."
Lina's words were cut off by the soft rapping on her door. She could tell from the shadow shape that it was Syphiel, and the person behind him was definitely Zelgadiss. She covered the mouthpiece of the phone.
"Sergeant Inverse, Detective Greywars is here to see you." Syphiel said softly.
"Let him in."
Syphiel turned to Zel, giving him a sympathetic smile.
"She's been arguing with the mayor for the last half hour, Detective Greywars."
"Great, that means I'm on potential suspension if things go bad."
"Maybe even permanent, Detective." Syphiel barely said.
"I...I have to go..."
Syphiel clutched her folder to her chest and quickly walked past Zelgadiss and to her office.
Zel swallowed and opened Lina's office door. Lina was rolling her eyes and tapping her pencil over a file folder. This was already a bad sign to Zelgadiss. Whenever she got like that, she was thoroughly upset.
Lina saw Zel and made a motion with her hand for him to sit down. Zel did, feeling tense again. The comment Syphiel had made only a moment before made it even more uneasy for him.
"Yes, mayor, I will talk to him. Yes, I know. Yes, I realize that it was more than personal. Thank you again, mayor, I'll let you know. Uh-huh...good-bye."
Lina set the phone down on the receiver very carefully. She leaned back in her chair and twirled the pencil between her fingers.
"Detective, that was Mayor Saillune on the other line." she said quietly.
The tone of Lina's voice sent an unconscious chill up Zelgadiss's spine. He swallowed and could swear he could feel his heart migrating into his throat.
"He called to let me know that Detective Saillune was not going to be in today due to intoxication. Now, please tell me, Detective. How did you manage to get a junior rookie completely intoxicated on the first night of her job?" Lina softly asked, the pencil continuing to move back and forth between her fingers.
"I didn't know she was going to actually drink, chief. I was apprehending the witness, I didn't know she was ingesting any alcohol."
"As I recall, Greywars, it is your job to make sure that your understudy is safe at all times. That means that until she knows the ropes, you have to risk losing some time with the case."
"And if you don't watch out for the understudy, their father's call you up and threaten to shut down your whole precinct!!!" Lina finally shouted, the pencil snapping perfectly in half and falling from her fingers.
"It was not my fault that the kid got sloshed!" Zel shouted back, instantly losing his cool.
Lina stood up and slammed her fist down on the desk.
"Are you trying to get suspended, Greywars?! Is that it?! I have been working on saving your butt on this force and the moment I take my eyes off you, something like this happens!!"
"If the kid was ready for this, it wouldn't have happened!"
"You forget who this kid is! This is the daughter of the man who kept you out of prison!!! This man is the one I had to wheel and deal with to make sure that charges were dropped! And you go out and let his daughter get wasted!"
Zel turned around and threw up his arms, frustrated.
"I didn't ask for a companion, Lina!! I'm terrible with partners. Yah, I'm sorry Ameria got drunk, but it's not like she had a bullet in her shoulder!!!"
Zel winced, unconsciously rubbing his left shoulder, his fingers tracing a small pattern where the upper arm and shoulder met.
Lina sighed, slumping down in her chair. She let her head fall back and Zel could almost hear her whistling, something she did when she was deep in thought.
Finally, after what seemed an eternity of silence, she spoke.
"Okay, I believe you, Greywars. I realize that Ameria should have had the sense not to drink anything. But I also see the mayor's point of view. His only daughter is enrolled in one of the most dangerous fields in Worthing, and he's entrusted her with a person, to put it blatantly, that he absolutely hates."
Zelgadiss turned around, his hand dropping from his shoulder. He sighed softly, running his fingers through his lavender hair. He walked back to his chair and sat down.
"Am I on suspension, then?"
"No, we can't afford to have you off this case, Zel. We got some news from a couple of our narcs down in The Maze. Gourry Gabriev does work for Xellos Metallia. But, that's all they could find out about him. But, there was some rumors going around that something happened at The Night Dweller last night, that Xellos looked pretty shook up to some of the patrons."
"Nothing occurred while we were there, but I did find the mysterious Gourry Gabriev."
Lina's face lit up, a nice change from her generally sour nature.
"He wouldn't give me any information, whatsoever. He's worried about his half sister getting involved."
"Yah, her name is Filia Ul Copt. She's a waitress at Sam's, this really run down diner on the outskirts of The Maze. No criminal records, and she is definitely protective of her brother."
"Damn, our only witness and suspect won't talk."
"Well, that's not exactly true."
"What do you mean, Greywars?" Lina demanded.
"He left a message on my machine last night. He wants to meet me one on one at Worthing park at two p.m. today. Apparently he has something he needs to get off his chest."
Lina released a relieved sigh.
"Well, in least that's one thing going for your advantage. Just careful of your questioning, Greywars. He didn't seem to be too anxious to cooperate the first time."
Zel nodded, getting up from the chair again.
"Are you finished with me, chief?"
Lina nodded, relaxing a little in her chair, thoughtful again.
Zel turned and opened the door. Just before he exited, he heard Lina speak.
"How exactly did you manage to make Ameria look like a 'cheap hussy?'"
"I'll explain it to you after the case is closed."
Lina laughed softly as Zel closed the door, shaking her head in spite of herself. She picked up the folder that had been lying on her desk. Opening it up, she stared down at the picture of Gourry Gabriev.
"How can a kid with little record of any criminal activity be a suspect in these murders? It just doesn't make sense." Lina absently thought to herself.
She closed the folder and turned around in the chair, staring out from her window at the high rise buildings of Worthing.
"Dirty money and dirty games...and we're supposed to clean it up..." she thought to herself.
An old saying came to her mind, and she laughed softly to herself.
"Hell hath no fury as a woman scorned. How true..." Lina smirked and watched the cold Worthing rain beat down onto the sunless city.
Zelgadiss grumbled, staring at his watch. It read two p.m., and there was still no sign of the golden haired young man. He shivered, pulling himself tighter in his trenchcoat, staring out from under the picnic bench awning.
"Why the hell does it always have to rain here?" Zel thought disgusted.
His eyes scanned the large park, hoping to pick up the shape of another person through the icy rain. There were no children about and the playground was empty. He watched the swings go back and forth, realizing that the wind was picking up.
"Oh great, by the time I figure out he's not coming, it's going to be torrents."
Zel's thoughts were interrupted when he saw a figure coming from the other side of the park. Even in the rain, Zel could make out gold.
"I can't believe it...He showed up..."
The figure came closer to the playground, now coming into view. The young man wore a skin tight blue chest sweater and low slung blue jeans that had more holes in them than denim. His combat boots rode high up to his knees and his golden drenched hair clung to him. He rubbed his arms, obviously chilled.
"Gourry Gabriev?!" Zel loudly said to the young man.
Gourry looked up, seeing Zelgadiss. He frowned for a moment, secretly hoping that perhaps the detective would have dismissed his message. He approached the awning, shivering.
"Detective Greywars, you came." he said warily.
Zel nodded, stepping back to allow Gourry inside the small space. The young man shivered horribly, his teeth chattering.
"What were you doing walking in this rain?" Zel questioned.
"Sis and I can't afford a vehicle, and since it's only about four blocks from my place, I just walked." Gourry responded, his teeth clicking together softly.
Zel nodded, watching as Gourry tried to wring out his hair. He smiled a little, seeing that it was already a losing battle. The chimera slipped off his trenchcoat and offered it to Gourry.
"I'm fine, thanks." he flatly stated.
Zelgadiss rolled his eyes and walked over to Gourry, wrapping the trenchcoat around him. It was almost too small for the young man, but it was dry and would warm him.
"Just take it. I can tell you're freezing."
"Is this a way to con me into saying something?"
"No, I just thought you were cold. You know, a thank you wouldn't be completely out of place here."
Gourry looked down at the table and nodded.
"I'm sorry, detective...Thank you."
"Hey, I told you. No 'detective' stuff. Call me Zel."
Gourry nodded, his gaze still pinned to the table he sat at.
Zelgadiss went to the other side of the table and sat down, studying the young man. Gourry laced his fingers together, drawing himself as far as he could go into the coat.
"So, Gourry...I got your message. What did you want to talk about?" Zel asked softly.
Gourry bit his lip, his eyes scanning over the cracks in the table.
"Yah, just give me a second...You asked me whether or not I had a pimp last night..."
Zelgadiss nodded, hoping that the information that the narcs gave Lina was accurate.
"I do...His name is Xellos Metallia...I've worked for him since I was thirteen..."
Zel could feel a ball of saliva catch in his throat. This beautiful young man had been a prostitute for that long already.
"I see. And why did you decide to tell me now, Gourry? Why didn't you tell me last night?"
"'Cuz Filia thinks I don't work for him any more, okay?!" Gourry suddenly burst out.
Zel leaned back, holding his hands up in a non defensive manner.
"Okay...I was just wondering...So, what can you tell me about Xellos Metallia?"
Gourry shifted uneasily, glancing over at the park. Zelgadiss noted secretly how his eyes scanned the whole landscape, stopping and really watching the playground before returning back to Zel.
"What was the question again?"
"I said, what can you tell me about Xellos Metallia?"
"He, um, he owns The Night Dweller, where I do most of my selling...He also had three prostitutes and a bodyguard. Vert and Rouge were two of them and I'm the third. His bodyguard is called Noir, but her real name is Phibrezo. I couldn't tell you if she had a last name, no one knows."
Zel nodded, making a motion for Gourry to go on with his information.
Gourry nervously scanned the park again, leaning back this time to make sure he saw the whole area.
"He's had some pretty bad business endeavors outside of prostitution, so Vert, Rouge, and I had to up our prices. He also started making us work earlier and we started seeing less and less of the money. Rumors started to fly around The Maze that The Night Dweller was on the verge of closing down if Xellos didn't find some funds and quick."
"How long ago was his 'funds problem?'" Zel asked quietly.
"Um...about six month ago. A couple weeks after things started looking grim, business started to pick up again, not just in the club, but for prostitution, drug selling, weapons deals...everything that goes on in The Maze. The Night Dweller became a major hot spot for some reason. I was pulling in a grand a session and people were willing to pay. The Night Dweller made close to twenty to thirty grand on Saturday's alone. But, we didn't know where all the money came from and also we didn't know..."
Gourry's voice trailed off as he nervously got to his feet and looked out from under the awning, his whole head searching the grounds this time.
"Are you looking for something, Gourry?" Zel asked suspiciously.
"Wha? No, I...it's just...I'm nervous..." he answered, his voice cracking slightly.
"So, what else didn't you know?"
Gourry swallowed, turning around to look at Zelgadiss.
"We didn't know where all the cops went."
"What do you mean?"
"Exactly what I said. In the past five months, there has been virtually no law enforcement down in The Maze, maybe only a cop car passing by the outskirts. There's been no speeches about the mayor cleaning up the town, nothing. Then, Vert and Rouge get killed, and someone reports it...and you and your little girl detective were the first ones back down there again..."
Zel couldn't believe what he was hearing. He was always assured by Lina that The Maze was patrolled by rotating precincts, everyone taking their turn. But, according to this young man, there was every possible crime being committed in The Maze, and no one cared.
"You have got to be joking." Zel said.
Gourry shook his head, holding the coat close to him. He turned back around, staring out into the wide area of the park. Gourry pulled the collar up against his face and inhaled gently. He could smell Zel's cologne on the collar.
"Mmm...he wears expensive stuff..." the young man thought absently.
Zelgadiss stood up and walked over to Gourry.
"You've been edgy since you got here. Is there something you're not telling me?"
Gourry looked at Zel, his visible sapphire eye seeming to burn into Zel's lighter blue ones. Zel felt his heart speed up slightly, and he frowned.
"I...I need to get going, Zel...I need to...to get back to The Night Dweller..."
"And back to work...let me remind you Gourry, that even though you have given me information, you're still a suspect."
Gourry stared at Zel, pushing his gold bangs away from his other eye.
"His eyes are like jewels...Greywars, knock it off!!" Zel reprimanded himself silently.
"I didn't kill Vert and Rouge, Zelgadiss. But, I can guarantee that they won't be the last ones dead in The Maze. The law that we created is still ruler down there, and the laws that the city made tend not to be what we follow. I want you to know that I broke one of our unwritten laws right now."
"Oh, and what is that?" Zel asked, his voice sharp.
"Never talk to a cop. Here's your coat, Detective, thanks."
Gourry slipped off the trenchcoat and handed it to Zel. Zelgadiss blinked, taking the coat from the taller young man. Gourry stepped back out into the cold rain. He began to walk away.
"Gourry!" Zelgadiss suddenly shouted.
The young man stopped, turning around and wiping some of the rain from his face.
"Yes?" he responded, his voice shaking slightly.
Zelgadiss stepped out into the rain, his bones seeming to chill instantly. He walked over to Gourry and wrapped the coat around him.
"I've got a car...let me give you a ride."
"I don't think that would be a good idea, detective."
"It's freezing out, and I told you, call me Zel."
Gourry swallowed, staring at Zelgadiss through the rain. The chimera refused to move, getting drenched right through his white shirt. Gourry could make out the fine tone of his muscular frame and felt his breath stagger slightly. He pulled his eyes quickly back to Zel's face.
"Okay, but just drop me off and leave."
"Agreed...C'mon, let's get out of the rain."
Gourry followed Zel to his car parked a little ways from the picnic bench. He glanced over his shoulder one more time, seeing no one in the park. He released a soft sigh and opened up the car door and slipped inside the safety of the vehicle.
The two figures watched from behind a large tree as Gourry and Zelgadiss got into Zel's car. It had been difficult staying hidden, as the gold haired young man kept watching the grounds. But, they had managed.
They weren't close enough to hear any of the conversation, but from the look on Gourry's face, it had said the whole story.
"What do we do now?" the first figure asked, his jewel in his forehead beading with rain.
"We go and tell the boss...and see what happens..." the other responded, his blue black hair gathering the raindrops. He laughed coldly and turned from the tree, his comrade following behind him.
Zelgadiss stopped at the alleyways that Gourry had directed him too. He couldn't believe the state of the buildings located near The Maze.
"The city should be fixing these." he said quietly.
"Yah, well, I wouldn't rely on the city to be doing too much." Gourry responded, his voice bitter.
Zel looked at Gourry for a moment and then sighed.
"If you want to tell me anything else, Gourry, call..." Zel noted softly. Almost as an afterthought, he gently squeezed Gourry's shoulder. "Or if you want to just talk..."
Gourry stared at Zel, the feel of the detective touching him, sending a thousand sensations through his body.
"Um, yah, I will..." he replied nervously.
Gourry removed the trenchcoat, offering it to Zel. The chimera shook his head, smiling.
"Nah, you keep it. You got a ways to still get to your place and we don't need you any more soaked than you already are." Zel smiled slightly.
The gold haired young man nodded, a small smile on his lips.
"Yah, any time."
Gourry nodded, opening the car door and getting out, pulling Zel's trenchcoat over his head.
"I'll give it back when it stops raining."
"It could be a while, Gourry. I'm not worried. Thank you for the information and have a good afternoon."
Gourry nodded, closing the car door and walking down the alley. Zelgadiss watched him pull down the ladder in the rain and crawl up the slick steps and onto the platform to his apartment door. He pulled up the ladder, locking it before unlocking the door. Zel saw him turn and look at the car. He waved and then went inside.
"Have a good day, Gourry..." Zel thought softly to himself. He took a deep breath and sighed. His car smelt like Gourry's hair, clean and sweet.
"Greywars, you don't like men...you know that!"
He snapped himself out of his reverie and quickly pulled the car from it's parking space and made his way back to the station.
Gourry pulled the coat from his head, staring at the worn brown leather of the trench. He wandered over to the bed and sat down, gazing at the lining inside. There was a small label with Zelgadiss's name embroidered inside. Gourry smiled and then Filia's words drifted into his mind.
"You like him, don't you?"
"Wha? No, I don't..."
"Yah, you do. I saw the way you were looking at him through the pick up window..."
Gourry felt his bottom lip quiver, and he clutched the jacket close to him. He only released the leather for a moment to undo his boots and then he laid down on the bed. He buried his face into the softness, inhaling Zel's expensive cologne.
"I'll give it back when it stops raining..." his words echoed in his mind.
Gourry felt tears slide down his cheeks as he kissed the coat secured in his arms.
"I hope it never stops raining..." he whispered to himself, closing his eyes and letting his mind wander free.
On to Chapter Seven or Back to The Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the roses?