Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warnings: Male/Male sex, graphic, language, violence,past NCS.
Disclaimer: I don't own them and I don't make any money off of them.
Warning:Male/Male sex, graphic, violence,language, NCS flashbacks.
Shinigami's Lover III
Sequel to Parts
"There you are!" Duo said in a friendly manner and strode up to the gang with a wide, foolish smile, and his partner in tow. He elbowed his way into the center of the group, despite Kit's hissed surprise, and put an arm over the shoulders of the thin youth being held there. "I've been looking all over for you!"
"He's coming with us!" one of the tough's growled menacingly. "Get lost!" He put a hand on Duo's arm, preparing to shove him away, but he was suddenly confronted by a gun in his face, Duo's steely amethyst eyes glaring over the site.
"Oh, I don't think so," Duo replied and Kit followed suit, pulling her gun and aiming with both hands, as Duo pushed the youth in his protection down and out of the line of fire. "Go away quietly and you won't have a nice new hole in your brain, k?"
"You a cop?" another one of the gang swore. "Shit! You got no right! I'm reporting you!"
"Really?" Duo drawled, still grinning. "I bet if I run records I can find a dozen reasons to arrest everyone of you, am I right? I'm being charitable today though, 'cuz I'm in a hurry. Like I told you, walk away, leave the kid with me, and nobody gets messed up."
The gang exchanged glances with their leader and that young man, shaved head gleaming and a ring in his nose, spat aside. "Don't worry, Candy. We'll get you later, when you don't have one of your 'customers' hanging around!!"
The gang strode off. Duo didn't take his eyes off of them, or the rest of the street, until they had turned a corner. Then, he looked down at the person he had saved. The glare that met his eyes surprised him. The young man looked about nineteen. He was kneeling on the sidewalk, wearing torn jeans unbuttoned at the top, a clear sign of his calling, a tank top that stopped at mid waist, and a red bandana tucked into his back pocket. He also wore a narrow leather collar and a dog tag clinked against another one as he shifted and stood up. He was as tall as Duo, but bone thin, and his eyes were sunken, hard, and green. His hair was a dirty blonde and a shaggy tumble to his shoulders that looked as if someone had hacked it off at the bottom at some point.
"You arresting me?" the boy growled and his voice was strained and hoarse, as if he were a chain smoker. That impression was solidified when he pulled out a pack from his back pocket and a lighter. He lit a cigarette and puffed nervously. "I ain't done nothing."
"I thought that I was saving you," Duo replied as he holstered his gun. Kit followed suit, but her eyes never stopped watching the street around them. "Looked like they were about to get a freebie or mess you up. Which one was it?" The boy glared in answer. "Something happen to your pimp?" Duo continued, unperturbed, "I can't believe that someone who looks like you is out here alone." The young man was very handsome in a feral sort of way.
"I can take care of myself!" the young man snarled. "I don't need a pimp! Who says I'm whoring anyway?"
Duo's eyes flicked to the button of the young man's pants and the bandana and the young man looked away. "If you're on your own, then why are you wearing red?" Duo asked. "That's the color of that gang up street that was murdered. Is that why those guys thought that they could take you? Because they knew that everyone in your gang was dead?"
"You arresting me?" The young man ground out and then made as if to walk away. " 'cuz if you aren't, I'm outta here."
"I think you owe him, kid," Kit interjected angrily. "He just saved you."
The young man smirked. "Yeah, says who?" That implied a lot of things and Kit scowled uncomfortably.
"You wanted them to-" Kit began, but the young man hissed at her in annoyance.
"Dumb bitch! You're not too smart, are ya?" The young man tossed his hair back. "Maybe they was going where I wanted them to? Maybe I didn't need you sticking your freakin' noses in my damned business?"
"Someone waiting to jump them?" Duo wondered and the kid pointed a finger at him, cocked it as if he were firing a gun, and winked broadly.
"Maybe you're not as dumb as she is, cutie," he said and sauntered away from them, his tight jeans showing off his ass to advantage. "Shit's hit the fan, guys, and the dogs are marking their territory."
"Candy!" Duo called and the young man paused, shoulders stiffening
"That is NOT my name!" he snarled, paused, and then said, "It's Shy."
"Shy?" Duo repeated. "Not really?"
"What's real?" Shy wondered with a shrug and continued walking.
"Uh, partner?" Kit said nervously. "All of this wasn't even essence of 'By the book'. What's going on?"
"We just made a contact," Duo replied with a reassuring smile as he lead the way back to their car.
"Then...," Kit wondered. "Why isn't he still with us in custody?"
"You think he would talk if he was?" Duo replied as he slid into the driver's seat.
"Uh, no, I guess not," Kit replied, "but.... what about the gang? We should have arrested them."
"For taking a walk with their 'friend?'" Duo wondered as she settled into the passenger seat. "'Shy' wouldn't have pressed charges. He lives on the streets. Maybe they were going to hurt him, but he's not about to chance being pegged as a 'squealer' and having everyone trying to kill him."
"So we didn't have a chance of prosecuting or holding any of them?" Kit understood and didn't like it. "Still... we could have held Shy for questioning, found out who he really is."
"We'll get our chance," Duo assured her, "But we have to do it on his home turf. A little records checking, and some surveillance, first might get us more of a leg to stand on and the right questions. It doesn't hurt to find out who he's associating with now. It might give us a clue who might have slaughtered our up street gang."
"Maybe he was just bluffing and he is alone?" Kit pointed out.
Duo's eyes went cold and distant, memories nibbling at the edges of his mind. "No, someone 'owns' him. Looking like that, I'm sure someone picked him up right away. He's a money maker."
"That sounds...." Kit struggled, "Cold."
"It is," Duo agreed. "It always has been."
Duo turned on the radio and flipped to a hard rock station. He let the music wash through him and he tried not to think, not to remember. He knew that Kit was watching him, wondering about his sudden change in mood, but explaining it would have been remembering too. When He pulled into Preventer Headquarters, Duo couldn't help sighing in relief.
"Five bucks says he clawed his way through the door," Kit said suddenly, trying to lighten Duo's mood.
Duo managed a smile as they threaded their way through the crowded halls towards their office. "I say he ripped up the carpet and chewed up my desk for spite."
"Done," Kit grinned.
They saw the secretary first. The older woman looked frazzled as she stood up to greet them. "Agent Maxwell!" she exclaimed. "Your dog has been frantic since you left here. I have been subjected to constant howling and I think that he nearly clawed his way through the door trying to get out. Please consider an animal cage the next time you leave him behind, sir."
Kit held out her hand triumphantly. "Five bucks, mister!"
Duo grumbled and opened the door as he dug in his pocket for his wallet. He was almost knocked backward by an anxious Soda. The dog sniffed and licked him all over, looking at him frantically as if reassuring himself that Duo was unharmed.
"It's okay, Soda!" Duo soothed as he crouched to take the big dog into his arms. "Sorry about leaving you, but I can't take a dog into a crime scene. You'll have to get used to it."
When Soda calmed enough to back off, tail wagging gently, Duo straightened and began reaching for his wallet again. Kit scowled sourly and said, "Forget it. Looks like we were both right."
Duo looked and saw that the edge of his desk was chewed into splinters and that the carpet by the door was raked into shreds. Duo sighed as he went to sit in his chair. "I guess the secretary's right. I need one of those big pet cages for Soda. I don't think Sally is going to like this kind of thing on my expense report."
"I wouldn't think so," Kit chuckled as she sat at her own desk opposite Duo. "So, let's crack this case and make it up to her, okay? What do you think, so far? Should we chase down more leads still or stick with this 'Shy' guy?"
Duo frowned as he booted up his computer. "We do have a problem. We are investigating this case because that gang had links to a terrorist organization. It's too bad that they were all killed before we could get enough surveillance to make the connection. The police are investigating the murder, we aren't. What we have to decide is, can we still find a connection by pursuing the case further? Can Shy tell us anything about the connection? Did this murder have something to do with the terrorists or is it just a case of one gang eliminating another?"
"I think that Shy is definitely worth pursuing," Kit replied. "We could be looking for needles in a haystack if we look around for other witnesses or suspects. We should go with a sure bet."
Duo looked at her and snorted. "Not so sure. He was probably out working the street when the murders happened. He might know who did it. He might know what that gang was doing for a group of terrorists. Will he tell us? Will he lie to us? We can't know that, and, while we tail him and try and find out, our other leads could be disappearing into the woodwork."
Kit raised eyebrows. "So, what? Are you suggesting that we split up?"
"Seems best. What do you think?" Duo wondered.
Kit snorted. "Good, you're asking my opinion at last. I was beginning to wonder if I was part of this partnership." She grinned at Duo's guilty expression. "S'okay, Duo. You know a lot more than I do about street life, it seems, so you naturally take the lead, but WE are working on it together, so don't run ahead and make me the stupid sidekick, okay?"
"Okay," Duo replied apologetically. "So, what are your thoughts?"
"Well," Kit looked doubtful. "It's dangerous out there and I don't like the thought of you being on the street alone with just your doggie for company. You need backup. I say we get someone else to do the legwork where the other suspects and witnesses are concerned and we stay together."
Duo frowned. "This is a sensitive case. I don't like the thought of someone else doing something so important."
"They are all trained agents," Kit admonished him, "You have to trust the people you work with, Duo, to do their jobs."
"I know," Duo agreed, but he still didn't look convinced.
Kit's face suddenly lit up and then she smiled deviously. "Duo, I have an idea... I mean, it's basically just going through files and doing some interviewing, right?"
"Yes," Duo replied.
"Well, what better way to get your boyfriend back to work than to ask him to do you a serious favor?" Kit suggested. "He can do this. All he has to do is observe and take notes. It's one step up from filing, but at least it IS field work ."
"Can I kiss you?" Duo wondered with an amazed chuckle.
"And start office rumors?" Kit retorted good naturedly. "I don't think so! You think it's a good idea, I take it?"
Duo grinned, "It's perfect!"
"Get it passed Sally Po first before you get too happy," Kit reminded him.
Duo didn't stop grinning. "You forget the power of my charm."
"But I doubt that she's forgotten Soda biting her rump when she had the bad taste to reprimand you loudly for hot dogging that last assignment," Kit retorted. "Paybacks' a bitch, sometimes."
"Yeah, but I think Heero's important enough to her too, that she'll be willing to let bygones be bygones, don't you?" Duo replied. "She pretty much thinks Heero is the best agent anywhere. I'm sure she'd give her eyeteeth to have him back in any position."
"So, you clear it with Ms. Po and then take it to Heero," Kit said.
Soda barked and walked to the door, looking expectantly at Duo. "I think Soda needs a walk," he said as he stood up.
"Eh?" Kit blinked in surprise at Duo's sudden concerned expression. "What happened to happy, everything's solved, face?"
"Just had a thought," Duo said. "Sally Po may not be a problem, and Heero may want to do this for us, but will he think that he CAN do it? His self confidence has been shit lately."
Kit frowned. "And I already pointed out that you were fueling that fire, right?"
Duo winced. "Yeah, and you're right."
"Then reverse engines and start thinking positive," Kit urged him. "He'll have confidence if you do. If that charm of yours works on Sally then it should work on your lover, right?"
Duo found his smile again. "You're good for me, you know that, partner?"
Kit snorted. "Just wanting you to get your head fully engaged on this case is all, partner."
Duo took that criticism without argument, because he knew that it was true. Heero had been distracting him and he couldn't afford that on such a dangerous case. If Heero didn't rise to the challenge of the position, then Duo knew that he was going to have to seriously consider not working on the case, or any other, for that matter. He loved his work, and he felt that he was making a difference, but Duo knew that he would never stop putting Heero first in his thoughts.
"He has to say yes," Duo muttered as he headed for the door.
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