Disclaimer: I do not own these characters and I am not making a god damn dime off of them. I'm just taking some creative liberty with them.
Warnings: Violence, swearing, psychic powers, and eventual lemons.
Pairings: 3x4, eventual 2x5 and 1xR (Yeah, I know. Please don't flame me about Relena.)
Author's Note: I have no idea what inspired this. This plot bunny just sort of popped into my head and I found I was really excited to write it. There might be some out of character-ish things and I'm sorry for that ahead of time.
Please read and review. I'd really enjoy hearing feedback from people and it really helps me write.
The Price to Pay: Chapter 1
Sometimes it seemed that everything just seemed to overpower him and that his shields just simply weren't enough. There were days that even stepping outside of his small, suburban home was painful and that the constant pressure in his temples threatened to make his over stimulated brain throb, threatening to explode. Even the specially constructed shields on his home weren't enough some days, making his every breath and every movement full of fiery agony. His gift with Empathy seemed to be over taxed and over used, but who else would take a stand and help the police department find their missing victims? The nearby Hudson River was both a curse and a blessing as a conduit, though the fast paced river and the long history it had dating all the way back to the time of the revolution tended to make his job more difficult.
However, he had become an essential piece of the crime solving local police departments when it came to homicide cases. Quatre used his gift to help find missing persons and missing bodies for the local law enforcement agencies in the area. The Troy, Schenectady, and Albany Police Departments relied heavily on him…especially in the murders that seemed to take place daily in all three cities. The violence and crime rates were high these past few years, nearly equal to those during the rat pack days in Chicago. It was pushing his Empathy to the limit, causing massive headaches and his stomach to reject anything that he attempted to eat.
Needless to say that today seemed to be as horrific as it had been yesterday and the day before that. At least, that was Quatre thought as his alarm blared angrily from his bedside table. The pain that had plagued him yesterday had turned to a dull ache at some obscure hour in the morning flared back to painful life, causing a sharp gasp and a groan of pain to come from the blond. He rolled over, his arm flailing about until his palm connected sharply with the top of the alarm clock, effectively ending the blaring noise. Shifting, he lifted his head and squinted teal eyes at the clock, noting that the numbers were flashing 8:30AM at him.
Another groan was issued forth as he buried his face into his pillow, going through the breathing exercises Wufei had taught him in order to block the pain. He erected mental block after mental block, visualizing a brick wall built piece by piece until the pain had eased and he was no longer assaulted by the rolling waves of anger and anxiousness coming from his neighbor across the street. No doubt the man was late for work again, Quatre thought as he kicked the coverlet off and moved to the windows. Pulling back the heavy curtains, he grimaced at the sunlight filtered in and stung his eyes, blinking rapidly to adjust his watery vision.
Sure enough, there was Larry Henderson, off to work and highly annoyed…as usual. The blond shook his head as he tied back the curtains and continued with his morning routine. It consisted of making the bed, showering, and then making his coffee and breakfast before leaving for the department to work and trying to solve the latest string of murders in the Capital District of New York.
Another sharp lance of pain laced from one temple to the other as Quatre made his coffee, causing him to hiss and rub the right side of his head. Pulling on his gloves to prevent him from picking up any emotional residue from objects, he sighed and sipped his coffee. Things never seemed to change.
"Well fuck me, you look like hell there, Cat."
"Good morning to you too, Duo." The Arabian murmured, stepping into the small office for the team specially coordinated to deal with homicide cases in the area. Quatre was no police officer, but he worked strictly with homicide and cold cases that have been on the shelves for over five or more years. He found that he could get wisps of feelings or thoughts by touching evidence, the violent energies lingering long after the crimes had been committed on the different items that were recovered from a crime scene. Sometimes he could even see faces or flashes of places from the person's mind.
Hence why the district police departments had sent two others to work with him, both having their own psychic abilities that were unique gifts and the three of them were beginning to work together to find them. Only one of them was an actual cop, however.
An oriental man looked up from his laptop across the room, his obsidian eyes glaring daggers at the man whom Quatre had addressed. "Do you come with an 'off' switch, Maxwell? You're positively incapable of being polite and your mouth never ceases to shut."
"I'm just sayin' he looks like shit, Wufei! I mean look at him," The man known as Duo sat up, his hand gesturing towards Quatre as he settled at his desk. He had long chestnut hair that was braid, falling down his back to his hips that any woman would envy. Lively violet eyes glinted, amusement and concern warring in their depths and Quatre could easily read the emotions coming from him. The amusement was for Wufei while the genuine concern was for Quatre's health. "He's as white as a sheet and looks about ready to pass out on the spot."
Officer Wufei Chang turned his calculating gaze on Quatre, causing the Arabian man to duck his head and proceed with setting up his own laptop. The Chinese man seemed to be as analytical as the computers he worked on, especially after being a police officer for nearly seven years. He could break down a crime scene and take in details, then recall them easily from memory. His hair was as black as his eyes, pulled back harshly from his face and tied at the base of his neck in a very short tail. Quatre could only guess how long it really was when loose, considering he had never seen the man even remotely in a state of disarray. However, despite the severity of his looks and the façade he wore, he truly did care about the people he saw as his friends. "How are your shields?"
"About the same as they were yesterday," The Empath answered, looking away as the Chinese man stood and walked to him. He felt the cool touch of his co-worker's fingers against his forehead and immediate relief swept through him. The onslaught of the constant emotions from Duo and the people outside the office lessened immensely as Wufei extended his gift. He praised Allah every day for Wufei and his psychic ability as a Shielder, strengthening the mental barriers of other psychics with little effort. His voice was hoarse and filled with obvious relief as he spoke, "Thank you, Wufei."
"Hm," was the only reply he got as the cool touch dropped and Quatre's reinforced barriers now kept out a good amount of backlash, the roar of pain in his head now just a simple discomfort. As the officer moved back to his desk, Duo stood and approached, taking Quatre's empty mug and filling it with the herbal tea that was in constant stock in the corner cabinet.
Another murmur thanks came from Quatre as his teal eyes watched the braided man prepare some tea for all three of them, flicking his wrist as he beckoned both Wufei's mug and his own to him from across the room. Duo's gift was a unique telekinesis, using some pulse waves to move objects and manipulate light. Currently a private investigator, the braided man didn't elaborate on his past and the others knew not to pry. Quatre knew he had been involved in some sort of government branch, though he had discovered completely by accident when he had forgot his wallet in the office…only to find Duo talking with two FBI agents.
The former operative had come to him the next day offering explanations but Quatre had simply waved him off, telling Duo that it was perfectly fine and his business was his own. Also, that he knew that whatever he was involved in would require him to lie and that he didn't want that in the way of their friendship. To this day Quatre remembered the brilliant smile and fierce hug he had received from his friend, using that memory to get him through the bad days when the negative energies overwhelmed him and he felt like hiding in a dark closet for days on end. It was a safe guard he used and used often.
Duo sent Quatre and Wufei's mugs to their desk, the white porcelain objects setting down carefully by each person as he made his way back to his own desk to sink into his leather office chair. Sipping at his tea, he looked at the file on his desk and flipped the page, leaning forward in interest as he read the details. Quatre smiled at Duo and glanced to Wufei, watching the stoic man slip on his reading glasses and began looking over a similar manila folder. Taking a sip of his herbal tea, sighing gently as the soothing chamomile soothed the tension in his body and he picked up his own folder.
The group had begun working on this case yesterday, one that involved a string of murders in the Albany harbor. For the past month, the bodies had been showing up in the general area but each of the causes of death had been different. Some had heart attacks and brain hemorrhages, but with the drugs lacing their system it hadn't raised any red flags. Others were blatantly stabbed, their throats slit, or shot executioner style. It had been difficult for investigators to form a connection between the murders, but the connection has been made through a convenience store clerk's account about a group of people who had been seen together when they had entered the store two weeks ago. The clerk had positively identified each of the victims through headshots of their corpses and the surveillance video from the store.
It was this way that all the victims had been identified as members of a local gang in the Albany area known as the Jokers, made up of drug dealers and abusers. They were a gang that the cops had been keeping close tabs on, especially since barges often came up from New York City through the Hudson and it was often speculated if they trafficked the narcotics up the river through those means. However harbor patrol had constantly searched suspected barges and ships, yet they found nothing and crews weren't enlightening them on anything…they were very well paid.
The case hadn't been given to Wufei's office until yesterday when their key witness ended as a body floating in the harbor two days ago. There were questions as to who had leaked the information and there was a formal inquisition going on in the Albany P.D., though Wufei had sealed the deal that the case was theirs when he sensed the psychic energy rolling off the body at the morgue. The clerk's cause of death was a massive brain hemorrhage, but there had been no drugs in his system or signs of disease. Wufei had gone to pick up an autopsy report that had been translated for their office from nearly five years ago, then had doubled over and nearly sick from the psychic backlash of just entering the room. Whatever had killed the clerk hadn't been drugs or disease, but a massive blast of psychic energy that had caused the man's brain to short circuit.
Upon reporting the incident to his superiors, Wufei had walked into the office yesterday and dropped the rather large manila folders on their desks. Their orders were to start working on this one, other cases be damned. However, Quatre wasn't exactly sure what they were dealing with. They needed to know is if the culprit was just a rogue psychic on a killing spree, drunk on his or her own power or one who was dealing out vigilante justice. Quatre has a sneaking suspicion that it was more than that as he turned a page in the file, his teal eyes scanning the autopsy reports on all the members of the Jokers that had been found dead. The different killing styles spoke volumes to him and he looked up to the others in the room.
"I don't think we're dealing with just one killer here," He murmured, meeting both Duo and Wufei's surprised gazes. "There are different causes of death and, if it was just one psychic, he or she would solely use their powers. However, there are people who have been killed by knife and gunshots wounds."
Wufei nodded a little, frowning and pulling his glasses off of his face to set them on his desk. He rubbed at his eyes for a moment, speaking as he did so. "If the victims hadn't been already buried, I would go see if I could sense any psychic back lash from them. Though, they have already been laid to rest."
"So, if it ain't one psycho killer doing it, do you have a theory, Cat?" Duo looked at the blond, raising a brow at him in question when the blond shook his head.
"I don't know, Duo. It could be a group of vigilantes, a few people exacting revenge for some violent crimes committed, or something like that. We should probably take a look at a few crime scenes and see if any of us can pick up anything there. Also if I can get a hold of anything that the latest victim had on him, I think I might be able to pick up a few things from them."
Once again, the Chinese man's calculating gaze settled on Quatre and caused the younger man to flinch and duck his head. However, it was Duo that spoke. "Your shields are already shredded to shit, man. You really think this is a good idea? You should probably take a couple of days off to build them back up, y'know. Wufei can only bolster them so much and you still get beat to shit when you ain't balanced."
Obsidian eyes glared at Duo, though the care free man simply grinned brightly at him as Wufei spoke. "Duo has a good point, Quatre. Even as vulgar as he put it, your shields wouldn't be able to stand up to it."
The braided man's eyes widened visibly. "Holy shit, Fei, did you just say that I was right?"
"Shut the hell up, Maxwell."
"Damn, hell must be freezing over if Wuffers just said I was right."
Quatre smiled, rolling his eyes a little and turning back to the file in front of him, interrupting their bickering easily. "I'm fine, you two. Honestly, you both worry more than a mother hen does over her chicks." He stood and drank the rest of his tea in several gulps, looking at them with a raised brow. "Should I meet you two there or shall we carpool?" He held up his keys that went to his navy Jeep Liberty, jingling them a little to get their full attention.
Duo, still grinning triumphantly, grabbed his black ball cap and tugged it onto his head. "Since you're drivin', Cat, can we stop at Dunkin Donuts? I'm craving a coolatta." He whooped as Quatre nodded, the man damn near skipping out the door at the thought of a delicious coffee coolatta. "And I think Fei should buy this time, since he finally admitted that I'm right about something."
"Watch it, Maxwell, or I swear I'll take scissors to your hair the next time you fall asleep at your desk." A slight smirk quirk the Chinese man's lips at the indiginant cry from the braided man and the sight of him clutching said braid to him tightly. Wufei adjusted his brown, unbuttoned suit jacket and checked his wallet to make sure his police badge was still there as he headed out the door.
Quatre merely smiled and shook his head, turning off the lights and locking the door as he followed them out with a slight sigh.
Across the city on the south side of Albany, a man sat quietly as he read in the newspaper about the how the rate of crime had risen in the past month. Emerald eyes scanned the columns, reading on how the police have stepped up their patrols in the habor area and he sipped at his black coffee. His brown hair fell partial into his face, obscuring half of his face nearly to his chin and his lanky, tall frame was relaxed in the café chair he was currently lounging in. He was a usual in this place, often enjoying coming here before his shift started at Galloway's Bar and Grill started. Though, he was here earlier today for a different reason entirely.
The bell on the door to the establishment rung as said reason entered, walking directly to his table and sitting down. Her cold blue eyes glittered at him for a second before placing an order with the waitress when she came over, then she looked back at the lanky man as she tossed her platinum blond hair over her shoulder. "What? No 'hello'? You are ever the strong and silent type, Trowa."
"Dorothy," Trowa turned the page in his newspaper, not looking up from it as he spoke quietly, "You're late. By an hour late, to be exact."
The woman's eyes narrowed at him slightly, however she had no time to tell him off as the waitress brought over a tall cup of chai tea. She smiled brightly and gave the girl her thanks, waiting until the waitress left before addressing Trowa. "Hmph, the thruway was ridiculously busy this morning." She stated as she sipped at her tea, watching him sharply over the edge of her cup. "However, I do bring you this."
Setting her tea down, she opened her purse and took out a white envelope and slid it across the table to Trowa. Her voice was low as she spoke to him, watching him accept the envelope and slide it into his inner jacket pocket. "Grandfather sends his regards and that your next job is in that envelope, as well as your payment." She watched him, her lips smirking at him almost cruelly.
"Understood," Emerald eyes finally lifted from the newspaper, meeting her gaze with a cool stare of his own. "It will be done by the end of the week."
"Excellent!" Dorothy stood, walking to his side of the table and pressed a kiss to his right cheek, making a loud smacking sound as she did so. "We look forward to hearing from you when you've finished." She turned, taking her tea and leaving the café.
However, she didn't see Trowa coldly glare daggers into her back nor the disgusted look as he wiped his cheek where she had kissed him.
To Be Continued...