Series: Chapter 1/?
Pairings: 2+1, eventual 1x2x1
Category: 1st Person POV, AU, Crossover
Warnings: Adult Themes, Homicide, Supernatural
Summary: An investigation gone to hell. Literally.
Notes: Huge thanks to Madamhydra for the beta, and playing word games with me until a title popped up. Crossover, fusiony thing with 'The Dresden Files' novels.
Names are important, because they give us power.
Or give others power over us.
I'll give you three guesses which option I prefer. And the first two don't count. I don't mind giving people my adopted name. After all, it certainly isn't my birth name. Now most might think that I don't know my birth name, and those individuals would be wrong. Just because I grew up on the street, doesn't mean I don't remember my name. All the kids changed their names on the street; you began life anew in the filthy, litter strewn back alleys. Besides, it's far easier than coming up with an alias every time I need to talk to some one. Aliases sound so damn fake anyway. Besides, do you know how embarrassing and potentially dangerous it is to forget what name you're using? Quatre certainly doesn't let me. Little shit.
My name is Duo Maxwell. I'm a pilot, former terrorist, current Preventer and mostly trained wizard. The wizard thing is not the sort of thing that I actively advertise to the world at large. I mean, who would take you seriously in this day and age of technological marvels if you claimed to be a wizard. One way ticket to a padded room and a nice cocktail of drugs. Hell, I'm not even completely sure that the whole thing hasn't been one big delusion.
I've tried to avoid using any of my 'talents' anywhere outside of my tiny little apartment, but sometimes one has to give up security in order to keep your head. I mean, how do you think I managed to cause so much mayhem all on my lonesome during that fake-ass Operation Meteor and the Eve Wars? A couple of well-placed and constructed spells turned my partner into a giant protective talisman.
Speaking of partners, I want to know what genius in this office though pairing me up with the great Heero Yuy would be a smart idea. I would dearly love to strap a small, timed charge under their chair. Not enough to hurt, mind you, just enough to scare the crap outta them. As for Yuy, it's not that I don't like the guy, really I do. Like him that is. We just annoy the living daylights out of each other on a regular basis.
That and I would really like to get into the man's pants. Just once, that's all I ask, because I know once may be all I get before he strangles me. Truth be told, I'm reasonably sure Heero wouldn't strangle me, but I'm not quite ready to risk a perfectly good friendship and working relationship quite yet.
But enough with the lusting after my partner during office hours because judging from the persistent knocking on my door something needs my attention.
"Open it before you knock it down!" I shout between hits.
Opening the door partway, Agent Wickes watches me for a moment. While Commander Une and the various and sundry people in charge have kept the identities of the Gundam pilots very hush-hush, the way Wickes stares at me sometimes is a bit unnerving. Staring almost as if he's trying to see inside me.
"Agent Maxwell, we got a call from the local PD. Seems they have something out of their league. The Boss offered you and Yuy as the sacrifice of the day."
Ooh, joy. If the locals are calling us in then chances are that it's something really big and ugly. On top of that if the PD found it first, chances are they've had it for sometime and now are expecting a miracle. "Any clue what it is?"
"Nope. Have fun Maxwell."
"Did you tell Agent Yuy yet?"
The smirk that graced Wickes face was possitively evil. Damn, almost as good as mine. "He's your partner, I think you should have that honor."
Now I know I should have stayed in bed. I'm really gonna hate this. I can tell already.
"That's all we've got so far, buddy. Location, the detective in charge, and a whole lot of nothing else."
Heero is silent beside me, absorbing all the information without a word, as we make out way to the car that the motor pool assigned us. After the clerk pointedly gave the keys to Heero. I tell you, one accident with a tank and you're marked for life. I'd be vindictive and share Heero's history with emergency services vehicles, but then we'd be stuck using our own cars.
"So, Heero - ack, stupid tie - what do you - death traps, these things - think was so big they had to call us for help?" Did I mention I hate ties? For that matter I hate uniforms. There's nothing like making yourself an obvious target, the stupid things just scream 'shoot me'. I just don't seem to have the knack for tying those ugly green ties we have to wear, and the terrorist in me is bitching that I shouldn't be wearing things that some one else can use to strangle me in a fight. "That's it, I am so not wearing this! Screw the regs."
"Yes?" Oh, go me, I dragged that out at least an extra syllable or two. Double points for me, Heero's expression just went from it's usual flat to 'Maxwell could stand a flattening'. Sadly the kissing pavement kind, not the kissing mattress kind.
Next thing I know, there's callused fingers wrapped around my wrist and I'm practically flung in the nearest car. Normally I would be up in arms about this kind of treatment from anyone else, but damn, I think one of my fantasies last week started something like this.
"Um, Heero, man " My tie is rather brusquely plucked from my fingers. "Uh. That's my tie "
Before I can protest my handling or the subsequent abduction of my tie warm, sturdy fingers are under my collar, lifting it up. And I swear, when those thumbs brushed my skin I must have zoned. Who knew that the sensation of thumbnails barely scraping the skin there could be so incredibly erotic in this situation? I only have a vague recollection of him efficiently tying the knot that made me look somewhat presentable and professional. After that my next clear memory is Heero patting the tie a bit, silently proclaiming its completion.
"Next time," Heero briefly drops his hand on my shoulder, "ask."
Wow. I do believe I've been rendered speechless.
The area around the crime scene was very nearly crawling with cops and people from the local ME's office. Funny thing was, looking at them, they all looked like they were just about ready to jump out of their own skins if it meant they could get out here.
I don't even need to see what's got the cops so antsy to know that this investigation has just gone straight to hell.
"Wow thats a lot of cops. Wonder if some bigwig pitched himself out a window?"
"If it were that simple, we wouldnt have been called in."
I cross my arms and fake-sulk over my spoiled game while Heero carefully winds our sedan through the sea of cop cars. Just as he finds a suitable place to park, a small detail finally caught my attention.
"I see a distinct lack of news crews, Heero. Is it just me, or does that seem real odd? This many cop cars is like honey to news crews. They should be buzzing all over this. But then again this whole morning has been off. Bad morning karma, or something. I didn't get my coffee or a chance to properly annoy Wufei."
"I'm not sure what this could mean. We'll have to talk to the detectives. And you can annoy Chang when we get back." And with that were both out of the car with our game faces on. Time to play with the locals.
It isn't long before we hit the almost gaudy plastic yellow line that has been liberally roped around street signs and lampposts and nearly run smack into the rather broad front of a uniformed officer.
Heero and I manage to flip out our badges in fluid, nearly synchronized movements. You would think they trained us to do that. Oh, wait, they did. I have vague recollections of a lecture revolving around badge flipping techniques all new recruits are forced to sit though. I shit not; it was a real lecture. Although, I'm pretty sure I was in the back of the room with my head propped on the piss-yellow painted concrete wall, pretending to be awake.
"Better turn back now boys, this is no place for kids your age." The officer is a huge, hulking sort of man, obviously born and bred into law enforcement. And taking great pleasure in telling us to take a hike apparently.
'Hold it in Maxwell,' I tell myself in an inner voice that sounds as if its been taking acting lessons from Heero, 'don't start cracking wise at the officer.'
"Obviously, there's been some miscommunication between us, we were sent from the Preventers' headquarters by request from an officer on the scene."
Even the gratuitous badge flashing Heero and I have been pulling for the last minute doesnt seem to convince the gorilla in blue of our identity.
"And two of you are obviously too young to be Preventers."
Forget being too young. The gorilla obviously meant 'too short'. Never have I been so annoyed at someone for making a dig about my lack of height. On a low gravity colony, you'd expect people would grow taller, unrestrained by earthly forces. That, however, is not the case. Most true colony-born are short and slender, a genetic factor rigorously encouraged and desired during the construction phase of the colonies, and still holds sway with residents to this day. I'd like to see this guy fit in an airshaft.
"Listen here, boys. I imagine you think this whole thing is a riot and you want a story to brag about in the dorm, but kids your age don't belong in a place like this. We're waiting for a couple of hotshot agents from the Preventers." I can barely resist the urge to poke Heero in the back when the uniform unknowingly calls Heero, of all people, hotshot. Oh, hell with it. I poke him anyway. And get the standard 'keep your fingers to yourself, Maxwell' glare for my trouble.
"I dont know where you got those," the uniformed officer points a huge finger at the badge still in Heero's outstretched hand, which I notice is trembling ever so slightly. From this angle it's hard to tell if it's from suppressed laughter or suppressed violent urges. But knowing Heero, I would pick violence first, laughter are sadly last place in terms of Heero's reactions. I can't honestly recall ever hearing him really laugh. "But you had better leave before the real agents get here."
"Lieutenant, I would recommend that you contact the officer in charge of this scene, a Detective Rozzman, if I recall correctly, Agent Maxwell?" Never taking his eyes off the uniformed man, Heero slowly and deliberately replaces his badge in the special inner pocket on all agency issued jackets. I follow suit, trying my hardest to look dour and not like an ass by dropping my badge because I was struggling not to laugh.
"Correct, Agent Yuy." I can so play along with this.
The hulking officer stares at both of us for a long moment; doubt warring in his eyes with the fact that we knew the name of the CO on scene. For Heero's sake I put on my most professional face. Even better than my game face, if I do say so myself.
Finally, he grunts something that sounds suspiciously like 'wait here', but it's hard to tell around the bear-like growling. We do just like he asked and I try really hard not to start playing with the crime scene tape, Une generally ignores my acting out, but I figure that for the sake of interdepartmental cooperation I would keep my 'shenanigans' to a dull roar. For now. I'm not promising anything later.
Barely five minutes had passed when our brute of an officer returns trailing like some kind of overgrown puppy behind an older man. You couldnt find a more stereotypical detective if one fell out of the sky and landed on you.
"Detective Rozzman, I presume." 'Go me!' again for keeping the fake British accent out this time. "I'm Agent Maxell and this is my partner, Agent Yuy. You called Preventers requesting our assistance." Heero and I pull our synchronized badge flipping shit again.
Rozzman looks hard at our badges, then even harder at us. Heh, intimidating us is no easy feat, and the last person that's going to accomplish that is some hard-ass detective. Even if hes got nearly a foot extra in the height department.
The scowl that seems an integral part of the older man's face only gets deeper as he reaches for the plastic line, "Would've thought I made myself clear to your office that I needed experienced help."
"Detective, let me assure you that neither Agent Yuy or myself are fresh out of the Academy." Try 'never gone', the trial by gunfire method gets you straight to the top in our class. But Rozzman doesn't need to know that pesky little detail. "If the situation requires, we will not hesitate to pull more Preventers resources for the case."
Heero and I join the detective and head toward the knot of perplexed looking officers milling around the mouth of an office park plaza, pointedly trying not to look toward where the body must be.
"Must be a nasty scene, Detective, if those officers look so upset."
Heero's left me to do the sweet-talking and trust establishing while he does his Heero thing of trying to observe every little detail for dissection later.
"Actually the body is perfectly fine. Not a scratch on him." Rozzman looks distinctly uncomfortable for a brief moment before plowing on. "That's the problem. This is the tenth man we've found just like this. My team is pretty sure we've got a serial on our hands, but the evidence is practically nil. We dont have nearly enough to make a case on anyone."
Coming up on the group, its easier to feel the waves of tension and near fear that this situation has brought them.
I've never been one to wear my cross in plain sight. Not for any particular religious reasons, but simply because I'm a closet wizard. Joining up with G and the Sweepers may have given me my Deathscythe, but hanging around with those guys taught me something very important that even growing up on the streets hadnt truly prepared me for. I learned I wasn't the only one, and chances were good I would end up needing a burial in space if I didn't figure out how to defend myself.
Sure, I was still a bit of a daredevil and liked taking a few risks, but there was no point in being stupid. So I turned Sister Helen's final gift into something of an alarm system of the magical variety. I figured that a cross would be innocuous enough that no one would look twice at it should I ever be captured. Anything larger or more elaborate would have been taken away.
After messing with the damn thing, I had to wear it under my clothes and rely on touch alone to clue me in when there was something bad afoot. You see, I was new to using magic and I kinda screwed up the original spell. Now my cross glows like a freakin' beacon flare. But never let it be said that I cant learn from my mistakes. I layered a much simpler and cleaner charm over the light show. So now it does the glowing thing and heats up.
...which it was doing in spades right now.
I make the decision to lift the lid, so to speak, on my magical senses. Normally I rely on my little alarm cross to keep me aware of the world around me. Sometimes my senses get a little overwhelmed by the sheer force of the auras around me. Honestly I look enough like a space cadet most of the time, so why add to the agony of my day?
The scope of what lies beyond the tangle of hardened detectives hits me with the force of a sledgehammer right smack between the eyes, making me stagger briefly. I know whats there. I know just what has them so subconsciously wound up.
In that brief moment before I manage to shut everything back down to normal human levels, I know why they can't find the killer.
Its obvious to me alone. The sad, crumpled figure lying in the shadows of the city's commerce buildings, a place so completely immersed in the worship of technology and the power of money, had been killed by a demon.