"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 NINE: Confessions and Realizations

Zelgadiss was forced to watch the humiliations that the 14th precinct put Gourry through. After a rather intimate search of his body and the fingerprinting and mug shots, they threw him into the solitary room with Naga to question. He was supposed to stand at the window and observe, but he couldn't. Quietly, he had left the observation room and had returned to the main office of the 14th precinct. Without noticing where he was walking, he ran directly into Lina.

"Greywars, watch it!" Lina reprimanded.

Zel looked up, his face drawn and tired and studied Lina. He narrowed his eyes and stepped back.

"Sorry, chief."

"Congratulations, Greywars. You didn't mess this one up. You caught the killer and now we can book him before anyone else had to die."

Zelgadiss was silent and he continued to stare at Lina. The look was making Lina very uncomfortable. Any time Zel got that look, it meant he had something to say.

"He didn't do it, Lina." Zelgadiss stated.

Lina stared at Zel and grabbed him by the arm, yanking him into her nearby office. She quietly closed the door, clicking the lock and then spun around, glaring at Zelgadiss.

"What the hell do you mean he didn't do it, Zel?! We caught the bastard red handed!" Lina loudly replied.

Zelgadiss stared back at Lina and clenched his fists.

"I know this kid, Lina. He's not capable of committing all those murders. He's not able to do so."

"Yah, well most serial killers look like normal people, Greywars. What is your problem? We caught him with his hands in the cookie jar. It's an open and close case. The courts will do away with him in no time."

Lina crossed behind her desk and sat down, letting her legs rest on top on top of the fine wood. She leaned back in the chair. Zel was still faced away from her, clenching his fists tightly. He suddenly spun around and slammed both of his fists hard down on Lina's desk.

"I tell you this only once, Inverse. Gourry Gabriev is not guilty of any of the murders and I will go to any extent, no matter how shady or illegal to prove it." Zelgadiss growled.

Lina got up from her desk and grabbed Zel by his neck tie, almost choking him. But, the chimera refused to back off.

"What is your obsession with this Gabriev guy? If I didn't know better, Greywars, I'd say you had taken a little friendly to him."

Zel pulled his tie from Lina's hand, backing up and glowering.

"He is not guilty."

"You're treading on thin ice again, Zelgadiss. I pulled you out of the gutter once, I'm not doing it again."

Zel unlocked the door, throwing it open. He looked over his shoulder at Lina, his eyes dark with anger and frustration.

"I think I'd rather be in the gutter, Lina. They in least have integrity."

Zel slammed the door behind him hard enough to crack the glass in the door frame. He stormed past the on looking officers in the 14th precinct main room. Syphiel clutched her papers to her chest as Zel pushed past two of the larger officers and headed downstairs to the jail room. She bit her lip and quietly crossed over to Lina's office, where she was to deposit the papers.

Tapping on the door lightly, Syphiel opened the door to see Lina with her head on her desk. She had her fingers tangled in her red hair and was massaging her scalp. Syphiel tip-toed in, not wanting to bother her. Placing the papers on a nearby file cabinet, she turned to leave.

"Syphiel?" Lina quietly spoke.

Syphiel turned back around, clutching another folder tightly against her chest. She didn't realize that she was shaking.

"Y-yes, Sergeant Inverse?"

Lina looked up at Syphiel, her eyes tired as she continued to rub her temples.

"Could you please go to the infirmary and get me a bottle of aspirin, I don't think I should move."

Syphiel nodded, and then paused.

"Is there something else, Syphiel?"

"Are you going to fire Detective Greywars, Sergeant Inverse?" she asked softly.

Lina sat back in her chair and stared up at the ceiling.

"No, I'm not, Syphiel. There are things about the city of Worthing that have been kept in the shadows for too long. Somebody has to break the cycle."

"What...what kind of things?" Syphiel asked nervously.

"Things that will change everything, Syphiel. It's time for the skeletons to come out of the closet and this time, I'm going to let it happen."


Zelgadiss argued with the jailer for five minutes to leave him alone with Gourry. After some mild confrontation, the jailer finally agreed, letting Zelgadiss go to the cell at the end of the jail room. For as much crime as the city of Worthing had, all the jail cells, except Gourry's, were empty.

The click of shoes pulled Gourry from his thoughts and he immediately balled up against the corner of the cell, trying to disappear in the dark. The footsteps got closer and Gourry held his breath.

The source of the footsteps stopped in front of Gourry's cell. Kneeling down, Gourry could finally make out the face of the person. Zelgadiss looked into the darkness, seeing the shape of Gourry huddled in the corner.

"Gourry?" he asked softly.

"Go away..." the response came.

"Gourry, I'm not here to question you. I'm here to talk."

"I can see what talking to you gets me." he said bitterly.

"Gourry, I swear, I didn't know what was going to happen."

"I'm sure you didn't. You sure let them arrest me fast."

Zelgadiss sighed, sitting down in front of the cell, staring through the bars. Gourry looked like a lost animal caged up against it's will. He watched in the dim cell as Gourry rubbed his feet.

"You're feet must be getting cold."

"They already are." Gourry spat. "Right along with everything else inside of me."

Zelgadiss stared down at the cement floor and bit his lip. It would be lucky if the young man trusted anyone again, especially him.

"Gourry, please, I need you to talk to me. I know you didn't do it, but I need to know if you know who did."

"How can I believe anything you tell me, Detective." Gourry angrily responded.

Zel ran his hand through his spiky lavender hair and rested his head against the cell bars. He reached his hand through the bars, offering it to Gourry.

"If you never believe me again, Gourry, believe me this once. I'm going to get you out, and I don't care how or in what ways I have to do it. I know you're not guilty, and I want the bastard who is stopped."

There was silence on the other side of the cell and for a brief moment Zelgadiss was sure that he had lost any chance of convincing the young man to talk. But slowly, Gourry moved from the darkened corner of the cell and toward Zel's hand. He looked ancient, his face slightly red still from the tears and his golden hair knotted from being in the rain too long. His clothes had been ripped, most likely from Naga's unnecessary handling of him, and his bare feet were tinted a light blue.

"Gourry..." Zel whispered, his voice unconsciously catching in his throat.
Gourry reached the cell bars, but refused to take Zel's hand. He rested his back against the bars, pulling his feet under him, trying to keep them warm.

"They could have in least given me some towels or blankets, Detective. My feet are freezing."

Zelgadiss swallowed and nodded. He studied the back of Gourry, his blue leather chest shirt was torn on the back and his beautiful golden hair looked as though somebody had tangled it permanently. Zel reached up and gently slid his fingers through part of the hair, untangling a small section.

Initially with Zel's touch, Gourry wanted to pull away, thinking he was going to get frisked again. The gentle touch through his hair indicated something else and Gourry closed his eyes, trying to focus only on Zel untangling some of the mess in his locks.

"Tell me, Detective Greywars, tell me something."

"What do you want to know?" Zel asked softly as he continued to untangle Gourry's hair slowly.

"I overheard the head cop, uh, Lina, I believe was her name, before I was thrown into that questioning room thing. She said that catching me would redeem you in the 14th precinct. What did you do that gave you such a nasty reputation, Detective?" Gourry sharply asked, though his voice was still quiet.

Zel stopped untangling Gourry's hair for a moment.

"I don't think that really has any bearing on getting you out."

"You told me that I could trust you, Detective. Prove to me that I can. Tell me why you need to be redeemed."

"If I tell you why, then you must tell me what you know about what has been happening in The Maze."

Gourry was silent for a moment and Zel found himself silent praying that he would agree.

"All right, Detective. You tell me what I want to know, and then I'll tell you what you want to know."

Zelgadiss breathed a sigh of relief and relaxed against the bars, taking another piece of Gourry's hair and working out a large knot.

"I had just joined the force here at the 14th precinct. I was new and the only detective on 14th precinct's force. Even though I was still a rookie, I had already a good reputation under my belt for getting cases cleaned up quickly and without dirty means of getting information. I had been on the force a couple months when Sergeant Inverse got a tip that there was a huge drug ring running things outside of Worthing, in the suburb of Oldon. She assigned two other officers and myself to go undercover as drug dealers who wanted in on the 'get rich quick' scheme.

The two officers and myself went undercover as we were instructed. We quickly weaseled our way into the organization and with the smooth talking of one of my fellow officers, we managed to arrange a meeting with the big guy. His name was Shabradnigo, but everyone who worked under him referred to him as Mr. S. The smooth talking officers met with Mr. S directly and after a very long meeting, he came out and informed us that he convinced Mr. S that we should be his top sellers.

The other officer and I were excited and we informed Sergeant Inverse that it was our first major break in the case. Things were running more smoothly than any of us could have expected. We were introduced to a new drug that we would be selling. It was a one of a kind designer drug, a new hallucinatory that could guarantee an almost religious experience for the user."

"Claire Bible..." Gourry interrupted quietly.

Zel stopped talking and glanced over to Gourry's face. He was watching the floor, a tear slipping down the side of his cheek.

"You know the drug?" Zel asked softly.

"It's still a big seller in The Maze. Some of my customers would use it before I would provide services for them. It really messes them up, and I'd come out pretty beaten afterwards." Gourry whispered, another tear sliding down his face.

"Did you ever use it?"

"No...but, please Detective, continue..." Gourry responded softly.

Zel watched Gourry for a moment longer, wondering silently how much this young man had seen in his short life.

"Please, Gourry, call me Zel. The 'Detective' thing just makes me uncomfortable."

"All right, Zel..." Gourry whispered.

Zel leaned against the bars again, moving his fingers through Gourry's hair still. He had gotten most of the snarls free, but he still continued to stroke the soft locks.

"The two officers and I began to sell Claire Bible to customers, keeping track of the buyers so when it came to the major bust, we could target all those who had bought from us. The money was incredible and I couldn't believe how much people would pay to buy the junk. But, the money started getting really good and Mr. S began to pay us from it. At first it was just a couple hundred dollars every two, maybe two and a half weeks to let us know his heart was in the right place. As the two officers and myself became more successful, we started receiving a thousand, sometimes two thousand a week from Mr. S. I guess that's when things got crazy.

We stopped reporting in at the 14th precinct. We started spending more time out on the streets and getting more money. Before I knew what I was doing, I had already bought a brand new motorcycle and moved into a penthouse on the upper side of Worthing. My fellow officers also enjoyed the new found life and spent even more time with Mr. S than I did. We became three corrupt cops living off the crime that we were supposed to be preventing. Both of my fellow officers began to use Claire Bible, though I abstained. One night, when both of them were out making a night of it, they were picked up by an officer from the 18th precinct of Worthing. Then everything we had come to know as the perfect crime came tumbling down."

"You got caught?" Gourry asked quietly.

"Not exactly. Sergeant Inverse received news that two of her officers had been arrested by the 18th precinct on drug charges. It wasn't the first time it had happened in her precinct, but when she was informed who it was, she immediately contacted me.

I went through the same process that you did, getting frisked, mug shot, fingerprinted, and placed into the questioning room. Sergeant Inverse questioned me well into the night before I broke down and told her everything she wanted to know. I had hit bottom, relying on criminal money to live out my material fantasies. I also revealed what the other two officers had been doing.

There was a very messy drug raid that insued two days later, Sergeant Inverse using me as the bait to get into the Oldon complex. There was a huge shoot out and in the midst of it, I got a bullet through my upper left shoulder. It almost separated my arm from my shoulderblade. I was passed out from the pain when Sergeant Inverse took down Mr. S, who was attempting to shoot me while I was down. You might say I owe her my life."

"So what happened to the other two officers?" Gourry questioned.

"There was a trial and a lot of corruption within the court rooms. The two officers had lawyers in high places and knew exactly who to bribe to get what they wanted. Fortunately, Sergeant Inverse pulled some strings with the mayor and for the first time in my life, I was grateful that even Worthing courts were corrupt. When the sentence came, the two officers received twenty to twenty-five years in Worthing penitentiary and I received a probationary sentence of one year under the observance of Sergeant Inverse. During that one year, if I messed up once, I would join my fellow officers in prison."

"Has it been one year yet?"

"It will be in about a week." Zel answered softly.

"So by helping me, you're risking going to prison, Zel?" Gourry asked.

"When someone is being wronged for something they are not guilty of, I'm willing to risk my own reputation for it." Zel responded firmly.

Gourry looked down at his feet again, rubbing his toes, trying to get them a normal color again. He bit his bottom lip and wiped another tear from his eye. He sighed softly and leaned back against the bars.

"A deal is a deal, Zel. You've told me you're story, now it's time for me to tell mine..."


Ameria wandered down to the precinct morgue, holding a kerchief over her nose. She had been instructed by Lina to study the body and see if there was any more evidence of physical abuse to the female body. Ameria had always had a latent fear of dead things and being a detective meant she'd be seeing a lot more of it.

Ameria walked down the last couple steps and peeked her head through the entrance. A woman with red colored hair pulled up in a high ponytail was scribbling on a piece of paper, studying some photos.

"Luna?" Ameria asked softly.

The young woman turned to look at Ameria with her red brown eyes. She pulled her reading glasses from her face and tucked them in her white lab coat.

"You must be the new detective, Detective Saillune."

Ameria nodded, walking in.

"Please, just call me Ameria." she said softly.

"All right Ameria, you can just call me Luna. Sergeant Inverse called down here and said you had come to observe the recent murder corpses."

Ameria nodded uneasily.

"Well, let's see, where shall we start?" Luna said cheerfully.

Ameria watched as Luna pulled out one of the strange drawer like containment units and locked it to stay out.

"This body belongs to a Xellos Metallia, time of death approximately seven thirty to seven thirty five p.m."

Luna motioned for Ameria to join her in studying the body. Ameria drew in her breath and gathered up all her courage and approached the corpse.

"As you can see from the body, Ameria, he was forcibly held by the contusions located on his left and right shoulders. The cuts that are not visible currently on his back are from the shattered glass. He has a bullet cavity located in his chest precisely at the heart. He was most likely dead before he struck the vehicle. The impact broke both of his legs, his right arm, his neck, and all of his vertebrae."

Ameria nodded, trying to keep anything left in her stomach down.

Luna pushed the drawer shut and pulled open the one beside it. A young woman with black hair rested on the table.

"This body belongs to a Phibrezo, no last name in record. Time of death is approximately seven twenty five to seven thirty, briefly before Xellos Metallia expired. You can see she was also forcibly held by the contusions around her upper arms and around her neck. Her neck has been broken in three places, apparently from a severe twist. She died instantly."

Ameria again nodded, praying this little session with the dead would end quickly.

Luna closed that drawer and opened the final one, one that Ameria wished she didn't have to see. The pretty young woman lying on the table looked at peace with the exception of the hole resting in her forehead.

"This body belongs to Filia Ul Copt. Time of death is approximately eight fifteen to eight thirty p.m. She was also forcibly handled by the contusion that rests on both her shoulders and also one that is evident on the back of her head, most likely caused by an impact with a chair or wall. She has a bullet cavity directly through her forehead and exiting the lower part of her skull. Her death was also immediate."

Luna closed the drawer and Ameria looked at her with her pale face.

"Would you like to sit down, Ameria?"

The young detective nodded and Luna offered her a chair next to her working space. There were instant Polaroid's that covered the desk of both the Xellos and the Filia crime scenes.

"Now tell me exactly why you're here, Ameria?"

"I'm supposed to see if there's anything else that the police might have missed. Sergeant Inverse says she has a hunch."

"Well, when she's got a hunch, you have to go with it."

Luna picked up a picture of Filia's room.

"What I can't understand with the Filia murder is why she didn't exit out her back door. Whomever attacked her came through the main door to her apartment and there was a back door that she could have exited through. If she placed the 911 call, she should have had time to escape." Luna stated flatly.

"We checked the crime scene, Luna. The ladder that led to the ground floor would have had to have been unlocked and lowered. I'm guessing that Filia figured she wouldn't have had enough time to get out and get it undone."

Luna looked at Ameria, very impressed.

"You're already turning out to be a very efficient detective, Ameria."

Ameria beamed, hearing the compliment from Luna.

"Thank you, Luna! So, what are all these pictures? I thought you coroners only used developed film."

"Well, with cases like these, I also take Polaroid's so that I can study them quicker. Some times it's easier for me to pinpoint the time of death and method when the pictures are in color."

Luna held up a Polaroid and placed a magnifying glass over it.

"See, this is Xellos Metallia's room. If you magnify the window, you can see the point of impact in which the glass shattered."

Ameria took the magnifying glass and looked at the picture. She scanned the whole photo and something suddenly caught her attention. She held the glass close to the picture and noticed the mud on the floor.

"Luna, is this mud on the carpet?"

"Yes, it appears that there were boot prints that were left in Xellos's room."

Ameria stared at the picture again, studying the muddy prints.

"Luna, there are more than one set of boot prints in this room."

"Excuse me?"

Ameria held the glass in front of Luna's eyes. Luna pulled out her glasses and placed them over her eyes.

"There are two sets of boot tracks about two feet apart and they're both facing the same way. No one person could make two sets of boot tracks facing the same way without a connection of some sort. These are completely separate from one another."

"Good heavens, Ameria, you're right!" Luna was astonished.

"Luna, do you have a full picture of Filia's room, like this one of Xellos?"

Luna quickly flipped through the pictures anxiously. She pulled a Polaroid free from the pile and handed it to Ameria.

"Here's one."

Ameria grabbed the magnifying glass again and stared down at the mud on the carpet. The picture revealed two separate sets of boot prints, once again about two to three feet apart and not connected.

"The same thing is in this picture, Luna. There are two separate boot prints...oh my heavens..." Ameria trailed off.

"Ameria, what is it?"

"He wasn't wearing any boots...when we arrested him, he wasn't wearing any boots..."

"Who wasn't?" Luna questioned.

"Luna, I need these two pictures and the magnifying glass."

"What is going on, Ameria?"

Ameria grabbed the glass and the two pictures without asking twice. She ran up the steps to the 14th precinct main office without saying another word.

Luna shook her head.

"Youth..." she mused.

Ameria ran up the steps and through the officers wandering aimlessly through the main office. She quickly ran to Lina's office and threw the door open, and ran in, slamming it behind her.

Lina looked up from her desk and groaned, holding her head. Her headache had not subsided at all and that little extra noise added to it.

"What do you want, Saillune?" she asked through gritted teeth.

"I know something!"

"Good for you...tell me tomorrow..." Lina groaned.

"Sergeant Inverse, please, listen to me!"

Lina stood from her desk and walked over to Ameria, turning her around and showing her to door.

"I'm sure that you have lots to say with that overly cheerful attitude of yours, but now is not the time."

"But, Sergeant..."

"Go home, Saillune, and get a good night's sleep, okay?"

Lina was just about to show Ameria the door when something inside the young woman broke. The frustration of not being taken seriously got to be too much and Ameria spun around and gave Lina a deadly stare.


Lina blinked, shocked at Ameria's outburst.

"Wha..." she barely got out.

Ameria began to back Lina up to her desk, each step seeming to pound on the ground. Lina was all but cowering when Ameria pushed her into her chair.

"Now listen to me, Lina Inverse, and listen good. I have proof that the man who is sitting in jail right now is not the killer. You're going to sit down right here and look at the evidence I have to show you and you're not going to open your mouth once until I am through, have I made myself absolutely clear?"

Lina could barely nod, the look in Ameria's eyes showing she was more than serious.

"I want you to look at the mud in each of the pictures and tell me what you see."

Ameria handed Lina the magnifying glass. Lina took it with a slightly shaking hand, almost afraid to rile Ameria any more than she already was.

"Now, Sergeant Inverse, what do you see?"

Lina switched between the picture of Xellos' apartment to Filia's room, studying the mud on the carpet. Her eyes slowly became wider and she began to look more closely at each photo.

"The mud is boot prints."

"Not just one, Sergeant, but two."

Ameria used her finger and slid it under the magnifying glass, illustrating to Lina the separation of prints in the picture of Xellos' apartment and that of Filia's.

"Two sets of boot prints...separated by two to three feet, Sergeant. Now tell me, how could a young man make two separate set of boot prints facing the same way when he wasn't wearing a set of boots when we found him with the gun?"

Lina felt all the saliva leave her mouth. When she had sent Ameria down to the coroner's, it had been just to keep her busy. But now she had proven that not only had officers of the 14th precinct over looked a very obvious clue in both crime scenes, but they had arrested and ill treated an innocent man.

"Name in heavens...Zelgadiss was right..." Lina barely whispered.

Ameria stared at Lina, her eyes still cold.

"I suggest you go down to the jailer and let an innocent man go."

Lina only nodded, getting from her desk quickly and running out the door, Ameria quick to follow.


Gourry exhaled slowly in the cold cell, still rubbing his feet. He gathered his thoughts carefully, trying to remember the details of what led him to this jail cell.

"Gourry?" Zel asked softly.

"Just give me a second, Zel. This is the first time I've told this to anyone. "

Zel nodded, trying to wait patiently.

"I...um, I had been working the streets since I was thirteen, keeping Filia and I fed and stuff." Gourry's voice choked instantly, saying Filia's name.

"Just go slow, Gourry." Zel softly encouraged.

Gourry wiped more tears that came to his eyes.

"By the time I was twenty, I had become one of the most desired prositutes around, having a reputation for being the cleanest and also the highest priced. Xellos was one of the best pimps around. His hookers had only the best treatment and all of us were well taken care of. He also had mob ties and we were all introduced one night to the head of the Kopii mob."

Zelgadiss ceased stroking Gourry's hair and listened very intently to Gourry's story.

"It was one of the few weeks that it wasn't dumping freezing rain on Worthing. Xellos and Phibrezo had been invited to a kind of meeting at an old warehouse just outside of The Maze. He brought Martina, Garv, and myself along as entertainment for the night's activities.

When we arrived, we had to ride up this very old elevator. It's strange, but I remembered how much it creaked until we reached the floor that the meeting was on. We were all led down this hall covered with paintings of the head of the Kopii mob. None of us knew his name, except Xellos and Phibrezo.

Inside the main door, there was a huge room that was dimly lit. Off to the side was a large wooden table and at the table sat the head of the mob, two men beside him, his secretary, the head police guy over all the police forces in Worthing and the one and only Mayor Philip Saillune."

Zel felt his blood freeze upon hearing the mayor's name. Ameria's father was involved with the mob? It didn't seem possible. But, watching the look on Gourry's face indicated that everything was telling Zel was true.

"The head of the mob, he wore this red three piece suit. I always remembered how bright it was. He also had eyes that were permanently closed. He looked like he was blind, but he seemed to know everything that was going. Anyway, we were all brought in, I was on a dog collar, a favorite of Xellos'. Martina was instructed to sit on the lap of the first man beside the mob boss and Garv was instructed to rest his head on the second man's lap. The mayor looked really uncomfortable, as well as the big police guy. But, I stayed with Xellos. I didn't know why until later.

The mob boss started talking to everyone at the table about how things were getting a little tight in The Maze. Police were around too much and the mayor wasn't helping by passing new laws and such to keep crime down. The mob boss's secretary brought out these huge cases and set them on the table. Both the head police guy and Mayor Saillune opened them up. I kid you not, Zel, there had to be at least five hundred thousand dollars in each one of the those big cases. The boss then told them if they started leaving The Maze alone and let business get better, there would be more money where that came from. If they didn't agree, then he would have his two associates, the men sitting on each side of him, do away with their families, their homes, and then finally themselves."

"The Kopii mob boss really didn't leave them much option, did he?" Zel questioned.

Gourry shook his head.

"No, and reluctantly the mayor took the money. The head police guy, on the other hand, took it more than willingly. The meeting was short and the mayor and the police man were excused and led out by the secretary. The mob boss then turned his attention to Xellos, Phibrezo, and us hookers. He informed us that if any of the secrets that were passed along today leaked to someone who even vaguely looked like a 'do good' law enforcement member, they would kill each one of us. It was definitely a way of keeping us quiet. He talked to me personally, reminding me that I had the most to lose, since I had a pretty young sister."

Gourry stopped, the tears came flowing again and struck the pavement. He sucked in his breath, determined to finish the story.

"S-so...so the guy with Martina took off with her for and the guy with Garv took him somewhere else. Xellos led me over to the mob boss on my dog collar and offered me to him as a gift of his respect. It was the most abuse I had ever received in my whole life. I was so bruised and bleeding that I couldn't work the streets for almost a week."

Zelgadiss felt his stomach turn hearing those words. He swallowed back the bile of disgust that had risen in his throat.

"The weeks went on and business in The Maze really kicked up, and we were all living good. One night, I guess, Garv got messed up on Claire Bible with a client and spilled the secret. The next day he was found so riddled with bullets that nobody knew who he was except for dental records. Martina got scared and was actually the first one to run to the police. Before she could say anything, she was shot down on a dark street, just like Garv. I guess those two that the Kopii had kill Garv and Martina thought they could get to me by killing my sister...Filia...oh, Filia..." Gourry whispered softly, his voice strained with grief.

Zelgadiss moved from his spot and sat down so that he could see Gourry's face clearly.

"I'm sorry about your sister, Gourry."

Gourry bit his lip, trying to control his urge to mourn.

"I guess there's only Xellos, Phibrezo and myself left."

Zel lowered his head.

"Gourry, Xellos and Phibrezo are dead. She had her neck broken and Xellos was shot and thrown out a window. I'm sorry..."

Gourry stared down at the cement, his eyes looking suddenly glassy and empty.

"Maybe I should just let them come and kill me too and be done with it then..."

Zelgadiss grabbed Gourry's shoulder, turning the young man to look at him.

"Don't you dare say that..."

"And why not, Zel? It's not like you're in my shoes right now...you still have a job and people who care about you...I don't have anyone any more...absolutely no one..." Gourry barely whispered.

Zel stared into Gourry's visible blue eye, searching for some indication that the Gourry he had met only a day before was still present. Gourry's bottom lip began to tremble and Zel felt a shiver of relief laced with sadness shoot through his body.

"You've got me, Gourry...I might not be much, but I'm here..."

Gourry turned and rested his head against the bars, reaching out and taking Zel's hand, holding it tightly in his.

"I know you believe me, Zel...but if no one else does, what does it matter?"

"I'm going to get you out, Gourry. I don't care how I have to do it, but I'm going to do it."

Gourry raised his head up and looked at Zelgadiss through the cell bars. Zel swallowed, feeling his heart speed up slightly. The chimera reached up his free hand and wiped a tear from the young man's face. Gently, his thumb trailed down and traced the shape of Gourry's lips.

Gourry closed his eyes part ways, needing the gentle contact after all the rough treatment he had faced at the hands of the other officers. Zel touching him was even more than he could ask for and he savored the comfort it brought his wounded body and soul.

Zelgadiss leaned forward, his whole body trembling as he tilted Gourry's unresisting head to the side slightly. Carefully, almost as if testing his own surety, he moved forward again, his lips barely apart from the young man's.

The noise from the staircase forced both men apart, Zel shaking his head in severe annoyance and Gourry rubbing his cheeks from the blush that had taken them.

Zelgadiss watched as two figures came running down the hall, one fumbling with what sounded like keys. Reaching the far cell, the two people stopped, holding up the cell key.

"Lina?! Ameria?!" Zel could barely ask.

Lina only nodded, putting the key in the cell and pushing the gate to the side. She puffed a little and nodded to Gourry.

"If I could apologize to you enough, Mr. Gabriev, I would but I can't. Thanks to the sharp eye of Detective Saillune, we now have proof that you are in fact not the killer we're searching for. We're looking for not one, but two people."

Zel quickly went into the cell, helping Gourry up on his numb feet. Gourry rested his weight on Zel, almost too exhausted to keep standing.

"How the hell did you find out I was right, Saillune?"

"The pictures of Xellos and Filia's apartments. The mud on the ground are two separate set of boot tracks. Gourry isn't wearing boots!" Ameria announced proudly.

Gourry barely nodded.

"I took them off before I going into the apartment, because they were muddy. My landlord caught me and made me come downstairs to his room, making me take my boots. He and his crazy mother made me leave them in his apartment. You can call him to verify that."

Lina blushed.

"The 14th precinct would be the first to apologize for our rather hasty actions, but you were caught with the gun. We should have listened to your confession a little more carefully."

Gourry only nodded, too tired and upset to really care. Zelgadiss carefully balanced the taller man against him.

"Could we get some slippers or shoes for Gourry?" Zel demanded.

"Of course, forgive me."

Lina exited, running up the stairs to fetch some slippers. Ameria took Gourry's other arm and rested it around her shoulder.

"You've done good work tonight, Saillune. You're on your way to becoming a real detective." Zelgadiss said softly.

Ameria smiled and nodded.

"Thank you, Detective."

Carefully, both detectives helped Gourry up the stairs and into the main office. Lina was waiting with slippers. Zel and Ameria sat Gourry down carefully and Zel slid on the slippers.

"Zel..." Gourry whispered softly.

"Yah, Gourry?"

"I want to see the body..."

Zelgadiss stared up at Gourry, unsure if he had heard the young man correctly.

"Excuse me?"

"Filia's body...I want to see it. After the way the people here have treated me, it's the least that they could do for me."

Lina bit her lip and ran her fingers through her hair. Gourry was right, after the terrible treatment they had shown him, they could in least let him see her a final time.

"Luna has the body downstairs in the morgue, Mr. Gabriev. Detective Greywars and Detective Saillune will help you downstairs. I'll notify Luna that you're coming."

Lina disappeared through the main office and into her office. Carefully, Ameria and Zel helped Gourry to his feet again and slowly they made their way to the morgue's stairs. Walking down slowly, Zel looked at Gourry's distant face.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

"I want to say good-bye, Zel. She's all I've know for almost thirteen years. I need to see her one last time..."

They reached the morgue and Luna stood there quietly, the case containing Filia's body pulled out and covered respectfully with a sheet.

"Mr. Gourry Gabriev?" Luna asked softly.

Gourry nodded, leaving the support of Ameria and Zelgadiss and approaching the coroner. Luna looked at him with gentle eyes and smiled somewhat.

"Filia Ul Copt is your half sister, correct?"

Gourry nodded.

"Are you sure that you wish to see this, Mr. Gabriev."

"I need to..."

"All right..."

Luna pulled back the sheet and Gourry sucked in all his air again, seeing Filia as he had only a little while before. But now she was clean of the blood on her face and a small piece of bandage had been placed over the wound in her forehead.

Gourry forced his eyes to look down at the young woman lying still on the table. She was all he had ever cared about in his life and now she was beyond his grasp. Reaching up, he gently touched her face with his trembling hand, looking at how peaceful she seemed now that the coroner had closed her mouth and eyes.

"Hi, sis..." Gourry whispered. "I bet you're really having a good time now...probably giving those boy angels a run for their money, huh?"

Ameria gripped Zel's hand, burying her face in his sleeve, unable to watch this sad reunion.

Gourry stroked a little of Filia's hair, his tears sliding down his face and splashing on some of the white gold locks resting on the table.

"You even look pretty like this. I bet you're the most beautiful angel in heaven right now...I'm sorry I couldn't be there to stop this or to take your place, sis. But I already know you've forgiven me and you're watching me right now. Say 'hi' to Momma and Dad for me, please? I'll try to always make you proud of me, sis...I promise...good-bye for now..."

Gourry leaned down, placing a gentle kiss on his sister's lips before drawing back and turning to Luna. The young woman gave him a small smile through her tear strained face. Gourry smiled back a little through his tears.

"Thank you for letting me see her..." Gourry said softly.

Luna nodded as Gourry walked away. She pulled the sheet over Filia's calm face for the last time and pushed the drawer shut.

Gourry walked over to Ameria and Zelgadiss, both staring at him through their tear filled eyes.

"I don't have anywhere to go..."

"Yes you do..." Zel said softly, wiping his eyes and gently taking Gourry's hand. "You're staying with me..."

"Detective Greywars, that's against policy..." Ameria whispered as she wiped her eyes. "But who cares any ways..."

Zel shook his head, smiling a little as Ameria headed up the steps. He balanced Gourry against him and the young man looked over his shoulder one last time at the case that held his sister. Turning back, he allowed Zelgadiss to lead him up the stairs and into the main office.

The two men walked in silence through the noise of the office, ignoring questions and comments. Zel stopped at his office to grab his black leather jacket, which he placed over Gourry's head and shoulders. In silence, they left the 14th precinct building and walked out into the cold rain. Zel opened the door to his own car and Gourry slipped in. Going to the other side, Zel slipped in the driver's door and put the key in the ignition. Both men drove off into the dark rainy night of Worthing.

Lina, Ameria, and Syphiel watched them drive off through the window. Lina turned to the two women standing beside her.

"You know what this means, don't you?"

Ameria and Syphiel shook their heads.

"If Gourry's statements he made in the confession room and in the cell are true, than he's not the only who's a target any more...Detective Greywars has just become another potential victim..."

Syphiel let out a squeak of horror and quickly walked away, but Ameria stood beside Lina, watching the rain fall and wondering whether justice did exist in this world.

On to Chapter Ten or Back to the Maze or Back to Worthing or Back to the roses?