8-5-2001

Title: "The After-Life and Misadventures of Duo Maxwell, First Class Corpse"

Part: 1/?

Author: Euce. [overhaulver3@aol.com, ceilingwaxx@aol.com]

Credits: Gundam Wing and all its creators for so graciously turning a blind eye as I bastardize their series like the many GW fanfic authors before me.

Rating: For all the chapters I have completed thus far [five total], it's pretty light. I wouldn't say it exceeds PG-13. Alternative Universe, modern setting- could be now, just then, or tomorrow.

Brief Contents/Warnings Listing: Death, Romance, Police Detectives, Angst, Ghosts, Wufei, Vague Comedy, Coroners, Homosexual Themes, and Bisections.

Summary: This is actually a relatively light AU romance / horror / drama / ghost fic that deals with the after-life, the fragility of human emotion and it's ability to break all known boundaries, and other such things. I want to try to use as much of the cast of GW in this fic as possible. I think that sums it up.

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Wisps of buttery, caramel coloured hair floated in the water as though in suspended animation. Surprisingly, the body wasn't discoloured or distended when they found it, that early afternoon. No blue belly burst and swollen with salt water. Also surprisingly, though much more vaguely, it was totally nude; a golden chain peeking through strands of hair at the neck the only exception. Gases trapped inside the body caused it to float, ass up, on the surface of the briny water. It was assumed that the boy - the body, indeed, was a teenage boy; the legs hovering inanimately in the water, spread-eagle, revealed that - had drowned recently, probably even as early as this morning. The only immediately visible signs of struggle was a broken hair band, found weakly clutched in the boy's left palm. The body had no visible bruises or scratches. All of the police investigators mumbled to one another about how strange it was. The water was shallow and calm as glass. There shouldn't have been any reason for this boy to die. At least not in the water.

They remarked to one another what a pity it was when the young ones died seemingly meaninglessly. It was horrible when a body was found full of pits and gouges where crabs and scavenger birds had picked at them; horrible when the eyes were bulging and the skin was discoloured, the body misshapen. The most terrible though was *this* boy, who looked like he should roll over, laugh at his farced death, and continue at play.

Four men in rubber pants over spare suits took photographs, put the hairband in a small baggie marked EVIDENCE, and lifted the boy's slight weight, carrying him the short distance to the beach to lay him face up on a plastic tarp. The boy's eyes were open, wide-violet, and unnervingly coherent seeming. One of the investigators kept glancing at the boy's face, as though expecting him to blink. Another couldn't stand the painfully beautiful colour of the irises and gently pulled the creamy lids closed. A young, pale, blonde detective - on his very first assignment as investigative coroner - walked several paces away and threw up. When he returned - his stomach and heart still lurching, some, but mysteriously feeling remarkably placated - he straightened out the gold chain around the boy's neck with gloved fingers, resting the tiny golden cross in the hollow of the boy's clavicle. The "clean-up" crew's job went silently, hastily, and efficiently after that. Estimations of time of death written up. Reports already being planned. No one could put those violet eyes out of their head, though, that day.

The blonde one - whom no one criticized for vomiting - insisted on taking the boy to the coroner, personally. He didn't quite understand it, but his heart ached with tragic pain for this boy. The coroner was busy, hand-deep in someone, when the blonde - Detective Winner by name - arrived in the morgue with the boy's body, black-bagged, on a stretcher. The coroner's assistant assured Detective Winner that Doctor Barton would be finished shortly to see to "Jonathan Doe," and that they'd send samples, impressions, and prints to forensics.

Detective Winner was adamant in waiting with Jonny Doe, himself, and even went so far to say that he'd prepare the body for examination. Unzipping the bag, an overpowering saltwater smell washed up at him. Detective Winner felt a vague urge to throw up again, but it was inexplicably quieted hastily again as he looked into the boy's features, beautiful in death, and knew he must've been absolutely gorgeous in life. Without quite knowing what he was doing, Detective Winner carefully threaded the boy's fantastically long hair up over the boy's shoulder and began to weave it into a plait, smiling with affection and satisfaction at the nutmeg-coloured rope of hair, even petting the long braid...

"Detective Winner?"

Doctor Barton's quiet, inobtrusive voice startled him into his senses; he snatched his hand up, guiltily rubbing his palm on the right thigh of his slacks, and wondering what on earth had come over him...

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Please stick with me, I did mention ghosts, right?

~Euce.