Duo Maxwell, Privet Investigator, gets a new case. Someone has been murdered and a music box has been stolen. But there is more to the case than meets the eye. Duo POV, AU, shonen ai. Please R&R!
Author's notes: I got stuck on my other story so I decided to write something new. I'll finish the other one someday. Anyway, this is my first POV story, but I like it so far. I'm having fun writing this so I'll keep it up. Oh, and please give me reviews. I love them and they make me write faster and better. Thanks
Warning: Figured I should add this. So far the story is only slightly shonen ai, but it could get more yaoi later. If you don't like the idea of male/male love and relationships then don't read. Also, if you don't like the idea of an overly smart iguana you shouldn't read either
Disclaimer: Don't own Gundam Wing, just using its characters for fun.
Murder and a Music Box
The Heir to the Winner Fortune
The first time I met him it was late on a Thursday night, and the rain was pounding against my dingy office's window. I had been playing blackjack with Ignatius but lost. Which was disheartening on many different levels, one being Ignatius was an iguana. All in all it wasn't turing out to be a very eventful night. Then I heard lonely footsteps stop in the puddle outside of my door and the knob turned. As the door opened a lone figure stood there and was briefly illuminated by a flash of lightening in the distance. I should have known right then, but I was desperate and he looked distressed. Okay, more correctly I was desperate and he looked rich. It could have been the slightly disheveled Armani suit or the perfectly manicured hands, but I could tell that he or someone close to him had money. Now here I was scraping by for my next bottle of economy sized conditioner. Like I said, desperate.
Can I help you? I asked the damp young man as he entered my office.
I hope so because I'm very distressed. Well, I was right on that one, he was distressed.
I'm listening, I said as I moved Ignatius back to his cage. He watched me closely as I sat back down and made a motion for him to do the same. I briefly considered offering him some coffee but didn't feel it was necessary. He could be a Starbucks stockholder for all I knew.
Well, a few days ago my father was found murdered, he said and held back a sob. It was all over the papers.
At that point I paused to think about it, but couldn't remember any murders recently. Then again, I'm more of a comic kinda guy. I decided to buy some time. What's your name?
Quatre Raberba Winner, he said and I passed him a box of tissues. Not that I cry a lot mind you, I've got some wicked allergies.
I said slowly, the name had started to sink in. Yeah, I've heard of your father's company. I'm terribly sorry about his death, but aren't the police dealing with it?
Yes, but they just think it was a robbery gone wrong. I think it's more than that, he said and squeezed the unused tissue.
Right, so you wanna hire me to investigate? I'll be happy to, but I should tell you the fee upfront. Then I rattled off a list of expenses that seemed plausible to charge him.
That's fine, he answered and nodded meekly. He was young, maybe just starting college. He had that hopeful look that kids get in their eyes before the real world turns them into soulless consuming zombies. I actually felt a little sorry for him.
Thank you, Mr. Maxwell.
I shook my head and gently padded his shoulder. No problem. It's my job, after all. And call me Duo, Mr. Maxwell makes me sound ancient. I even gave him a hearty smile.
He slowly looked up and gave me a very thin and slightly watery smile before breaking out the waterworks. I'm so so. . .sorry, he stammered. We had the funeral yesterday and it's all so hard. I don't know what to do.
Inside my head I was screaming But I held my cool and gave his back what I considered a reassuring pat. He seemed to calm down a bit at that and gently patted his eyes.
Then he lifted the tissue to his drippy nose and let loose a sound I would never have guessed could come from the young man before me. In order for you to properly appreciate this let me tell you about him. Young, kinda small and feminine looking with delicate shoulders and very pale skin only rivaled by the white blonde hair on his head. It was stylishly messy and hung in his large dark eyes like a gate put in place to protect his very soul. Now then, the sound he made when he blew his perfectly centered and shaped nose could have been mistaken for many different things had I not been in the room with him at the time. Number one I might have thought someone was, very badly, trying to play the tuba. That, or a disgruntled elephant was somewhere in the near vicinity. To put it lightly I had to bite my tongue to stop myself from laughing.
I'm sorry, he said after the elephant was gone. I just haven't really had time to grieve yet.
That is totally understandable, Master Winner.
No, please call me Quatre, Duo, he said and gave me a less watery smile.
Cool, will do. Now, I need to take down some information. The rest of our conversation was rather dull involving billing and arranging a time for me to scope out the scene the following day.
As the door shut behind him and I looked over at Ignatius nibbling a piece of lettuce I had a strange feeling. Of course I wrote it off as nothing or due to a lack or sleep and forgot about it within a few minutes. You'd think for a detective I'd be more intuitive.
The next day I got up and put on the least wrinkled suit, shirt and tie I could find. I figured I'd better try to look as professional as possible. I even pulled out an old fedora and my khaki trench, they really made me look the part. After giving myself a once over in the mirror, being reasonable pleased with what I saw, and vowing to start using some type of eye cream, I was on my way to the Winner Residence.
It was in a very upscale part of town. I got lost twice on the windy roads and cursed the well off for thinking straight roads were just too bland for them before finally pulling up to the sprawling mansion. Like I said it was big and grand. I might have been impressed but I'm pretty jaded. I just can't figure out why someone would need a multimillion dollar mansion. I'd be happy to live in a bungalow, but that's just me I suppose. Everything about the place was designed to impress. The driveway was long and sweeping. The yard was lush and green. I wouldn't have been surprised to find a few peacocks on the property. The house itself looked like it was paying homage to the south, with at least twenty different columns and a white exterior. I expected to see Miss Scarlet any second.
I got out of my Hyundai and walked up to the front door. This part always gets me, should I knock or ring the bell? Hell, I'm obnoxious so I went for the bell. I heard the multi toned ring echo throughout the house and footsteps running to get the door. I was more than a little surprised to see none other than Quatre Winner standing there when the door opened.
Please come in, Duo. I've been expecting you, he said and I walked in. As soon as I did he took my hat and began to pull off my trench which made me a tad uncomfortable. Not because I mind another man touching me, it was just he was a little too gentle. I didn't like thinking that about a client. It's not a good idea.
I said and looked around the massive entryway. It was complete with marble floors and a grand staircase, the whole deal.
When I looked back at Quatre he looked a little embarrassed. It's a bit much, I know. Father liked to impress people, at this he bit his lip and his eyes dropped to the floor. I prayed he wouldn't start crying again. Have you eaten? he asked after a couple of tense seconds, on my part anyway. I have some brunch set up if you're hungry.
My stomach grumbled slightly and I followed the young man out onto a patio. Well, I was never one to turn down a meal, I said and smiled, although I had pictures of dancing finger sandwiches running through my head. I was relieved that he had a more substantial brunch planned, some tropical fruit, muffins and eggs. All that was missing was the meat, but I didn't' press the subject. I just scooped up my plate and, being a master privet investigator, watched him load up a small plate as well. He avoided the eggs and only took one muffin and a lot of fruit. Either he was constipated or watching his weight, I didn't ask.
Quatre said gesturing to a glass table, and I happily sat with my plate much fuller than his.
After I spent a few minutes stuffing my face and the grumbling in my stomach stopped I decided to start questioning him. So, what do you do Quatre?
He wiped his slightly full lips and took a sip of water before answering. I'm in college. I knew it.
What's your major? I asked after another bite of scrambled eggs.
he said and blushed slightly. I really wasn't expecting that. I would have figured it was business or something like that. I guess I was being a bit stereotypical.
That's cool. I majored in photography and got a minor in Chinese, and look what I ended up doing, I said and gave him a cheesy smile.
He nodded and smiled back. I love photography. I even have my own dark room.
At that remark we started in on a photo nerds conversation about developing times and enlargers. After we covered just about every topic available, including vowing to show each other our best work, I remembered I had a job to do. He was my client, after all.
I said finishing off my third glass of tea, I really should get to work.
Oh, yes, he said and blushed slightly again. It was getting to me which was damn annoying.
But first I need a bathroom.
He smiled and showed me to one. It was very nice with all marble floors and countertops. Hell, it was probably the best place I've ever taken a piss. Not that you wanted to know that, but I thought I'd share.
After I exited the bathroom I walked back over to Quatre. So, down to business, I said, adopting a serious tone.
He nodded slowly. I'll take you to where his body was found, he choked out and began to ascend the stairs. I followed.
He took me into a large room lined with oak bookshelves with a large desk in the center of it. Behind the desk was a comfortable leather chair. The bookshelves were lined with books and various other items, small sculptures, and other pieces of art. After taking all of this in I deduced it had been Mr. Winner's study.
Was this his study? I asked to confirm my hunch and pulled out my note pad.
Quatre nodded. He was found behind the desk, he said and pointed, still standing in the doorway.
I walked further in and found the large spot of blood on the carpet. No wonder the kid didn't want to come in here.
The murder weapon? I asked as I stood up from examining the floor.
The police found it. It was a statue.
I bet the police took fingerprints too?
Yes, they didn't find anything, he said.
this was getting better and better. I really wanted to help Quatre Winner but I needed something to go on. What exactly was found missing?
One of the safes was emptied, he explained in a pained sort of way. The one behind that bookcase, he pointed and I went to examine it. Sure enough there was a safe behind there. I guess it was a little less obvious than a picture but still, a good thief would see that a mile away. I didn't vocalize this to the kid though. I'm not that inconsiderate.
Quatre spoke again and I looked over at him, a music box. It was right behind the desk.
I walked over to have a look and sure enough there was an empty space on the bookshelf. What kind of music box, I asked. I hadn't known any to be very valuable.
It was old, 1840's I think. I have a picture of it, and he pulled a picture out of the back pocket of his khaki pants. I walked over to have a look. The picture was slightly bent, having been sat on by him, but it was fine besides that.
The music box was made of colored glass and gold. There were various pictures on the glass all with plenty of flowers. It looked like some silly thing a grandmother would have, not a grown business man.
How big was it?
Quatre gave me some gross estimates with his hands and I wrote them down on my ever present note pad. About six inches long, three or four high? I asked to confirm.
he said, it may seem silly, but it was my mother's. It had seemed silly and that made a lot more sense.
And your mother? I asked as sensitively as I could for fear of another breakdown.
She passed away when I was about four. I don't really remember her, but the music box is very important to me.
You don't have any siblings?
he said, I'm an only child.
I really did consider if I should ask him what I did, but I'm a detective and I needed to know. Did your father have a will?
He nodded. Yes, I got everything. The police already asked me that. I loved my father. I want to know who killed him, and I want my mother's music box back. I don't care about the money, his voice broke off at the last part and he stayed silent.
I really should have known right then, and I could lie and say I did. But I didn't. I looked at the young man in front of me. His dark eyes and trembling lip and I vowed, silently, to find his dead mother's music box and whoever killed his father. Man, I can be a sucker sometimes. But at least I was gonna get paid, and well for that matter.
Do you have any idea who might have done any of this? I asked when his lip looked a little steadier.
No, but you can look around all you want, he said. I'll be downstairs so just let me know if you need anything.
I said and gave him a warm smile. Then I patted his back. He gave me a gentle smile that made everything I was doing seem right and walked away. Hey, I already said I can be a sucker.
Well, enough of my short comings and back to the story. I had a nice long look around the house. All the drawers and cabinets where at my disposal and I looked through them thoroughly taking all the notes I could. I still was going on very little, that is, until I checked Mr. Winner's closet.
It was like the rest of the house, oversized and over stuffed. That man had more suits than I had pairs of socks. That should be impressive because I have about thirty pairs of socks and two suits.
As I was going through a very nice Versace I found what every detective hopes to find. The key to the entire case. The get out of jail free card. The, okay you get the point. Plus, I ran out of analogies. But I found it. Mr. Winner's little black book.
I did a quick flip and noticed a number of different business cards and a ton of phone numbers. There was even a matchbox from The Blue Angel. I'd never heard of it before, but it sounded promising. So, I pocketed it and ran down the stairs.
I found Quatre lounging in a chair and reading. He heard me, not that I was trying to be quiet, and looked up.
Well, I think I'm done for today, I said and flashed him a smile. Found some clues to go on so I'll get back to you when I find something.
he said and stood up to show me out. He didn't ask what information I found for which I was grateful. I didn't want to show him the book. People can get kinda weird about stuff like that.
He handed me my coat and hat. And before I left he gave me the name and number of the cop who was working on the case, for collaboration purposes. I happily took it but felt annoyed when I saw the name. It figured with my luck. But as I got back in my Hyundai and drove away I had a smile on my face. I was a great detective. I found the little black book. Even if I had to give that cop a call later it didn't dampen my spirits at all. I mentioned I was a sucker, right?