Disclaimer: Don't own any part of Gundam Wing or the characters, more's the pity. This is for fun...no profit involved.

Warnings: AU , yaoi, swearing (lots), some OOC (probably), violence, drugs, sex, a naughty Duo (i.e. he has a potty mouth and is a bit, er, slutty)…if you are wedded to the "pure, chaste" version of Duo, he might be a bit dark and crude for your taste…ditto for the other characters in here…hey, Quat's a lawyer…how much lower could he get?

Pairings: 1X2 eventually, 3X4 also eventually, (past 2X3, 6X2)

A/N: I'll apologize in advance that Zechs is, well, deceased right from the start. I like him a lot, and there'll be mention of him…but mostly in the form of discussing/investigating his murder. Sorry.

And I know I'm behind on "The Academy," but there are plot issues that are holding me back, and I refuse to post anything substandard on that particular story just for the sake of updating. Trust that I will continue it, and I'll do my darnedest to make it worth the wait.

Meanwhile, this story was burning a hole in my pocket...


Chapter One: Paperwork Bites

It was a miserable day at the precinct. The weather had turned cold again, and a steady rain fell from a slate-grey sky. You'd think I'd have been glad to be stuck on desk duty, instead of out on the streets in that deluge, but I wasn't. I fucking hate paperwork.

And to make it worse, it was the reason I was on desk duty that really got to me. I mean, just because some punk kid claimed I'd roughed him up a bit—that's no reason for the department to pull one of its best detectives off the street and stick him behind a pile of paperwork the size of Mount Vesuvius.

And since I know you're wondering—yes, I did rough him up. But the little shit had it coming to him. We'd run him down in an alley while investigating a series of break-ins, and while my partner, Wufei Chang, was putting the cuffs on, the perp nearly broke his nose with a head butt, and then topped it off by kicking me squarely in the groin.

By the time we tackled him again, neither one of us was in a very good mood, and I'll admit I tossed him against the wall and pinned him while Chang cuffed him. I'll even admit that on the way to the car, when he spit on me and tried to get away again, I tripped him and let him go face-first into the pavement. Damn it anyway! How much abuse were we supposed to take?

Apparently more than we did. Both Wufei and I ended up on desk duty for a month.

And don't think I didn't hear an earful about that. My partner was none too happy that my indiscretion had gotten us both pulled from our active investigations. Usually (yes, this had happened before) I was the only one punished. But this time Chief Darlian wanted to impress upon Chang the importance of "keeping Yuy in line," and so he punished us both.

We were two weeks into it, which my partner staunchly declared was unjust, when things took a turn for the better. At least it seemed that way at the time.

Our captain gave a sharp rap on the door and stuck her head in. "Yuy—Chang—you're to report to the Chief's office, pronto!"

I looked up over my stack of papers, and Wufei turned from the coffee machine. "Why does the Chief want to see us?"

Captain Po narrowed her eyes, and trust me, both Wufei and I quailed at that look. I swear the woman could strip flesh from bone with her glare. "You'll find out when you get there," she snapped curtly, and then she was gone.

Wufei looked suspiciously at me. "Do you know anything about this, Yuy?"

"Not a clue," I shrugged, standing up and stretching to flex muscles weary from sitting in a chair. "But anything beats pushing papers the rest of the day."

"You'd think so," sighed my partner, setting down the cup he'd been about to pour coffee into.

"Why? You think he's going to suspend us? That would have happened right away."

Wufei darted me a cold look from onyx eyes—and let me say here that his glare was very nearly as lethal as Po's, though in a more chilling way. "It wouldn't have happened at all if you'd kept your cool."

"We've been over this—."

"And yet you continue to play rough with suspects when you know you'll only get into trouble."

"I can't help it," I shot back defensively. "Damn it, Chang! You know the shit we put up with out there. And just because some bleeding heart public defender whines about a bump or bruise on a kid that attacked us first—."

"I know, I know," Wufei sighed, having heard all my excuses before. "Let's just go see what the Chief wants before we get into trouble for being late."

My partner was a stickler for playing by the rules. He hated to be late, improper, uninformed, or in any way, shape or form, slip-shod about anything. In fact, I think it galled him that as detectives we weren't required to wear uniforms. He'd certainly always worn a perfect one while we'd been street cops together.

I, on the other hand, was no less of a perfectionist—but only when it came to investigations. I didn't mind bulling my way through a situation, or strong-arming someone for information—so long as it got the mission accomplished. I was all about results, and to Hell with how I got them.

I suppose that's why we made such a good team. I had the ruthless determination and Chang had the cool head. We were both smart, observant, and damned good detectives.

We were also less than optimistic at getting called into the Chief's presence.

I paused at the door, and Wufei nudged me. "Go on, Yuy. He's waiting."

"Why don't you go first?" I challenged.

"You're in front," came the reasonable response.

I started to step back and my partner braced a firm hand against my back. "Be a man, Yuy!"

I darted a glare at him and knocked firmly on the office door.

"Come in!"

We edged nervously into the office to find the Chief seated at his desk with the Mayor across from him, the Commissioner standing nearby, and two other suits against one wall.

Fuck. Chang and I were in more trouble than I'd thought. They'd brought out the heavy guns for this little meeting.

"Y-you wanted to see us, sir?" I asked politely, nearly wincing at the slight stutter that betrayed my unease.

But Chief Darlian merely gave a grim smile and a shake of his head. "Relax Yuy. You and Chang aren't here for another punishment…"

The Commissioner made a rude sound under his breath, clearly showing that he didn't like whatever reason we were there.

"You're here because we've got a mess on our hands, and need you two back on the street." The Chief tossed our detective badges onto the table, and I picked mine up with a steady hand, knowing that if it meant our punishment was being revoked, it must be deadly serious. "Zechs Merquise was murdered last night. A forensic team is already at his apartment, and I want you two there before they finish gathering evidence."

My jaw went slack. Zechs Merquise was one of the most high-profile criminals in the state. While we'd been unable to convict him of anything, we knew perfectly well that he was running illegal gambling, prostitution, and drug operations in the club district. Rumor had it he was one of Treize Khushrenada's lieutenants, overseeing most, if not all, of his illegal enterprises. And Khushrenada was the biggest fish in the sea, as far as the department was concerned. He was the head of the Oz syndicate, or so our sources claimed; once again, we'd never been able to get near enough to pin anything on him. He kept his hands clean and his aristocratic ass far removed from those who worked for him.

The Romefeller Foundation was his front—a seemingly-legitimate import-export company, they had tendrils extending into the banking industry, the entertainment industry, and several technology companies. And once again, we couldn't prove a goddamned thing.

"What's the address?" Chang asked, breaking into my wandering thoughts as he scooped up his own badge.

"Victoria Heights—the penthouse suite."

Wufei whistled appreciatively. "Expensive digs," he commented. "Surely there are security cameras…"

Ah, yes. Investigating a murder in a ritzy, high-security building like Victoria Heights should be a piece of cake. Why then did I have a feeling it wouldn't be that easy? Could it be because my life is never that simple?

I gave a curt nod to the Chief, and followed Chang from the office.

"Zechs Merquise!" he exploded once we were out in the hall. "Can you believe it, Yuy?"

"I can't imagine how anyone got close enough," I shrugged. Indeed, from all we knew of Merquise, he had at least one or two bodyguards around him at any given time—at least in public. I guessed that in private, he was more vulnerable.

We stopped by our office to grab our coats, and then headed for the elevators.

"Well, anyone who got past his security probably didn't overlook a little thing like cameras," Wufei commented, shaking his head. "I have a feeling this won't be an easy investigation."

I just gave him a withering look. "No shit."

We arrived at the apartment to find utter chaos awaiting us. There were literally dozens of people swarming about the place, cruisers blocking the entrance, officers keeping people out, and reporters trying desperately to find out what was going on.

"Lovely," Chang muttered as we pushed our way through to the officer at the door.

He grinned bleakly at the sight of us. "Hey, Chang. Yuy. Thought they might pull you off desk duty for this one."

"Lucky us," I said flatly, slipping past him and heading straight for the elevators. I didn't fancy climbing twenty flights of stairs to the penthouse suite. "You want to talk to the building manager and get the security footage, or view the body first?"

"Oh, by all means, let's view the blood and guts," Wufei said dryly.

So we did.

We were greeted at the top floor by the officer in charge of the crime scene. "Well, about fuckin' time! What'd they do—make you walk here?" he demanded.

"Nice to see you too, Kelly," I said snidely. "What've you got?"

"Call came in about an hour ago. The maid showed up and found him. We figure he's been dead at least nine or ten hours."

"How'd he die?"

"Gunshot to the head—execution-style."


I turned a wide-eyed gaze to Chang. If Merquise had been executed, the most likely suspect would be his boss, Treize Khushrenada. The case couldn't possibly have gotten any bigger.