A/N: A garbled fanfic of Warren Ellis' Fell. It's an indie comic book series, so I doubt a lot of people know about it, but here's a summary of the first TP.

" Dumped in the collapsing urban trashzone known as Snowtown, Richard Fell is starting all over again. In a place where nothing seems to make any sense, Fell clings to the one thing he knows to be true: Everybody's hiding something. Even him."

You folks should go check it out. It's an excellent series under Image Comics.

Comments always are appreciated. :)

Mayko is missing.

Two days, and Idiot's isn't open.

Two days, and Mayko isn't in her hovel of a home.

Two days, and Richard Fell can truthfully say he's scared shitless.

Two days, and something in his bones tells him that everything is terribly wrong.

Three days, and Mayko is missing.

Richard Fell doesn't threaten his superior officer, but he comes damn close when he tells the old nutjob that he is not going to be going out to April Street to work on another murder. He leans forward on the old bastard's desk, gets low and stares deep into Lieutenant Beard's crazy, bloodshot eyes.

And then Richard tells him one thing: "No."

He sweeps out after that, storming past Violet in such a way that the usually vociferous woman only stares at him with frightened eyes.

He shoves open the Moon Street's precinct doors violently, almost feeling satisfaction as the metal snarls against the brick wall behind.

He gets back into his car, stabs the ignition, savors the growl that follows.

He goes back to Idiot's.

And Richard Fell starts hunting.

Four days, and his hands are shaking.

Maybe he's out of control when he starts questioning the neighbors, when he drags that drunk old shithead who always hides in a corner of Idiot's and stares at Mayko out and starts whaling on him, but he doesn't care.

Four days, and Mayko's missing.

Richard has been here too long, has been a detective for too long, to know that four days is a terrible sign. Time is tick, tick, ticking away like the blood draining from a dying body and the longer this goes on, the more likely she's dead.

Four days, Mayko is missing and there's blood on Richard's shoe. The drunk old shithead is cowering on the floor, curled up in the fetal position, and Richard asks him only one more time: "What did you see?"

The man didn't respond favorably when Richard asked the question the first three times, eyeing him with some type of crazy arrogance and belligerence, watching Richard's face with drunk amusement and that glint that told Richard that he knew, but now the man's scared.

Richard Fell looks like something dangerous and deadly, and the fact he is (was) a cop no longer matters.

He's off the wire, falling into dark oblivion, and the rules don't matter.

The wino starts to talk.


Five days, and there's a message on Richard's phone.

He glances in the rear-view mirror, sees maddened, insomnia-riddled eyes staring back at him.

They're distracting, and for a split-second Richard fears he doesn't even know who he's staring at.

But then his phone starts vibrating. He pulls it out quickly, fumbling between switching into fifth-gear and keeping a hand on the wheel, and shoots a quickly look at the number on the front-display.

Five letters.

One life.

Mayko it reads.

Richard's heart stops and the car comes to a screaming, blood-curdling halt.

Five days, and Mayko's been missing.

A black bullet known as Richard Fell's vehicle goes screaming over the median and flying back into Snowtown.

An hour and fifteen-minutes later, a hacker who Fell has politely reminded could easily go to jail looks nervously over his shoulder at the ghost of a man behind him and swallows.

He gives Richard a location.

And Richard runs.

It's a house that gives him the creeps the second he pulls up in front of it.

It's not bad looking – by Snowtown standards, the shithole is in fine condition, with most of the original paint still intact, only two boarded windows and the lawn not scattered with miscellaneous shit – but Richard feels dread crawl down his spine when he looks at it.

Danger, he's told, softly, a whisper of a warning. Danger.

He scouts the place first, carefully jumping into the neighbor's lawn (and what a relief it is that there's no killer dog waiting for him) and watching the front and back doors for any signs of movement.

Through a crack in the fence, he notices that the basement's windows are fortified by thick iron bars.

And that there's a scrap of clothing, torn and clinging, beneath the prison lines.

Richard jumps over the fence silently, rolling onto the dead grass without asomuch as a whump, but when he reaches a hand into his jacket and feels for the cold familiarity of the S&W, he has to stop.

Richard can't breathe.

He's hyperventilating.

Danger, he's told again, louder this time. Danger.

He hides behind a scraggly bush in the backyard for twenty minutes when a sound pricks his ear.

It's tinny, almost like that faint echo of a radio signal quietly dying, but what starts softly builds in volume until Richard recognizes it with a terrible jolt.

It's screaming.

And it's coming from the basement of the house.

Richard throws whatever scheme he had earlier out the window and simply moves, racing as quietly as he can to the back door.

Two terrible minutes later the back door's lock is picked and Richard Fell is face-to-face with the filthy linoleum of a kitchen.

The screaming stops.

And warily, Richard raises himself to a low crouch, gun out as he carefully scans each room in passing, craning his neck around open door frames and going still when he hears footsteps.

The ear pitches sideways, and Richard freezes.

The door.

Two feet away, closed, once white but now a scratchy, brownish-creme color. Kicked and abused god-knows how long of its miserable existence.

There are footsteps behind that door, and they are coming up.

It's a basement.

It's a man.

And it's (he feels this in his gut, his bones) Mayko.

Richard has a feeling the guy's big. The noise on the wooden stairs gives an indication of sizeable proportions and possibly strength. But he's breathing heavily, and leaning on a handrail.

This could mean that he's out of shape.

...or it could mean he was just involved in an activity that exerted energy.

An internal snarl rises up, injecting rage before Fell can fight it back down.

Don't come to conclusions yet,he tells himself, though the dryness of his throat confirms a dread the wishful part of him wants to bat away.

But time isn't on Richard's side. The footsteps are thudding their way closer, and within seconds they're going to be, literally, at Rich's doorstep.

Closer, louder.

Richard Fell moves in front of the door, gun raised.

The doorknob twitches, the door moves one inch backwards...

And then Richard is on it, kicking out hard with a foot and sending the bastard behind the door flying down the stairs.

A grunt from the man. A curse and an exhalation of surprise. He lands at the bottom of the stairwell, looks up to the silhouette at the top.

But it's already too late. Richard Fell is on him, the bat out of hell, enraged, swinging fists and feet and a pistol and speaking in a way he's never heard himself speak before. Garbled curses, hisses and a low, seething growl beneath it all that screams unspeakable rage.

There's blood. Perhaps too much blood, but none of it is his.

He only stops when the man stops moving, stops fighting back.

There's a red flood flying from Richard's nose, but he doesn't care.

The man isn't moving anymore.

Richard unsteadily rises to his feet, chest heaving and hands shaking.

And then he looks over at what's around him.

And Richard Fell vomits.

She's breathing, but barely, and her pulse is so weak that he panics.

CPR five, maybe six times before she starts breathing again, coughing and gasping and hands instantly clawing like she thinks that Richard is him – that motherfucking miserable excuse for a scumbag human being.

CPR works only in a few cases. It's a miracle she's alive.

(And then he reminds himself – no, he just made it in time.)

He tries not to look at her body, because he's been in basements like these before with people like Mayko before and seen the damage inflicted. Seen the fucking carnage and whatever else you could call something that never, ever should happen.

He can't help it. He glances down once, sees what he doesn't want to see and then looks up at her and she's crying, sobbing now, tears falling down a eggplant face and she's trying to curl up into the fetal position, hide from him.

Mayko recognizes him, but barely.

He doesn't cry, because Richard Fell can't cry now when this woman needs him to be strong.

But he talks to her. Strokes her hair and talks quietly and tells her as much as he can, "it's me, Rich. Mayko, it's me."

She calms down after fifteen long, painful minutes, shuddering as her breathing slows and her body begins to back-off, adrenaline oozing out onto the cold concrete.

Rich tells her what he's going to do next and she nods, halfway listening.

He gently moves away from her, goes after the fuckface and kicks him one more time before handcuffing the jerkwad to the rickety staircase.

He doesn't want to leave the basement, so he wanders carefully around the cellar until he picks up a spot where he gets cell phone reception.

And then Richard Fell dials 911.

Lieutenant Beard isn't a happy man, and the way he looks at Richard over the table makes Rich wonder if the crazy thing the old man's been doing was just a charade.

His eyes are furious. Burning with an anger and (Rich says this grudgingly) a righteous disapproval.

Richard listens to his lecture obediently, not speaking until he is spoken to and not responding unless asked to respond.

"You're fucking lucky," once-crazy-now-lucid Lieutenant Beard snarls, "that this precinct is in sore need of detectives and you're –" the sentence almost stops, as if Beard isn't quite sure what the next part of the threat is going to be – " you're more than fucking lucky that the man you beat the shit out was wanted for numerous rape investigations."

Richard wants to mention the murders, but he wisely bites his tongue.

Lieutenant Beard shifts suddenly, and then rage is gone, replaced by a bone-deep weariness. He leans back in his chair and reaches for the pen on his desk.

He starts tapping softly against the wood, a habit he no doubt does unconsciously.

"You're suspended for sixty-days with pay."

Rich opens his mouth to speak but the Lieutenant raises a hand, stopping him.

"Get out of here. I'm fucking done with you."

Violet's not at the desk when he walks out.

And finally, Richard Fell finds himself here, slouched on a chair in Mayko's hospital room, watching the strangely reassuring beat of her heart dance on the monitor.

Richard doesn't like hospitals, but Mayko's here and he'll be damned if he's not here to protect her.

She's healing – slowly but surely. Multiple lacerations, three broken ribs, four broken fingers, bruised mandible and bruising to the trachea, a fractured arm and femur.

Mayko's tough. Rich will give her that much, and bit by bit, she's healing, pulling out of her drug-induced sleep sporadically.

Sometimes she's scared, and she whimpers.

Other times she's actually lucid and she calls him hoarsely, throat still raw from screaming and bruised from strangling.

She wakes up tonight, at eleven-fifteen PM, eyes fluttering open and irises tightening to focus on his blond, rumpled hair and overall disheveled appearance.

"Rich," she says, softly.

He jumps, startled, almost sleeping but not really realizing it.

"Yeah?" Not gruff, like he's trying to be tough but tired and worried.

Mayko slowly moves her right hand over to the side of the hospital bed and motions weakly with her fingers for him to get closer.

Rich does, jerking the chair loudly as he scuffs his way to the side of the bed.

Awkward moment of fuzzy silence, and the wheezing of the machines of a hospital.

And then Richard Fell reaches up and gently holds Mayko's hand.

She smiles, and falls back asleep.

...he follows shortly thereafter.