stigmata reign.

Edmund Grate was a stout man. A lot could be said about his weasely demeanor and small beady eyes. Personality and appearance wise, Edmund was as attractive as a sewer rat. But, despite his looks and utterly disgusting non existent charm, Edmund had women flocking to him. Maybe it is his ability to support a family with the copious amount of cash he had. Or perhaps it is his family heritage, him being from an extended line of 'business men'.

Carrington Dane found no redeeming qualities in Edmund what so ever. This all leads up to differ, why she was in the Stigmata Reign at this late of an hour? Well, let's just say she has a certain Edmund Grate and a certain wereman to blame for it.

Carrington weaved her way through the rowdy darkness of the Stigmata Reign. The dark bar's old carpeted floors may have looked luxurious when the establishment was built so long ago, but now, the floors were riddled with blood and alcohol stains. The deep red curtains were meant to be rich and seductive, but over the years have become handkerchiefs or places for drunks to spew their dinners.

It was busy in the Stigmata Reign tonight, making her and her partner's job much easier.

Well. They're not partners. More like… Business acquaintances. Or, detectives sharing housing. Perhaps, Coworkers with benefits?

The point is, Carrington Dane and Elias Carnegie, are in no way, partners. The wereman and brunette simply are working on the same case.

Together.

Elias Carnegie liked to think that Carrington was like a detective in training, he being her mentor. He liked the idea of having someone to look out for, someone who shares the same interest. He enjoyed the fact that Ms. Dane was older than Jonathan, making her easier to relate to and easier to sneak into clubs. It's amazing what the pair of sleuths have done to solve some cases.

But, this was only when Jonathan was in Lightside with his father, safe out of harms way. Also meaning it was only when Carnegie couldn't get elbows deep in fighting with vampires, or evading futures heirs to the Ripper throne.

Carnegie's massive form trudged through the bar, his dark eyes catching the stares of drunks, showman and other creatures of the Grand. As he adjusted his stove pipe hat, the loud laughter of a man echoed through the bar, rising above all of the other fights and conversations.

Suddenly, the wetness of alcohol met the front of Carrington's white blouse, seeping down onto her breaches and soaking them through. Looking up, Carrington eyes met with a rather stout man. He was laughing deeply, bellowing out the sound like a horrid weeze. From across the bar, her eyes caught the bulked form of Carnegie, his lips curling into a snarl. His half empty drink was resting lopsidedly in his clammy grip.

"Well, look who we have here!" Edmund Grate's voice choked out, his upper lip quivering. Edmund was a sweaty man, Carrington noticed as he pulled out a handkerchief and quickly dabbed his face. Swigging his drink, he continued on, "It's the junior detective!"

The bar around him erupted in laughter, throwing drunks laughing backwards in their seats. Carrington's bright eyes rolled in their sockets, her repulsion being shown in the simple curl of her lips. Another man bumped her from behind, sending her staggering forward. She was approached directly by Grate.

Elias was plowing through the bar mates and servers, ignoring the boisterous sound of accordion music and cynical laughter. Above his head, he watched a dark shadowy form sway above his head.

The cage.

The cage was where the highest and richest of Darkside's drinkers sipped and enjoyed cards amongst one another. Carnegie frowned, and growled before continuing towards Carrington and her little skirmish with Grate.

Grate was rich, there was no denying that, but Carnegie would have guessed that he would have been residing in the cage…

Grate's eyes scanned the crowd as Carrington smiled slightly, her eyes flickering behind him.

"What's so funny, girl? Where's that pet of yours, Carnegie? Surely he's here somewhere… He follows you like a lost puppy." More laughter followed Grate's taunts, and more than half of the bar had their attention trained on him.

"Hm. Who? Elias? Yea'. He's here. Probably off drinkin', I suppose. Sorry ta disappoint ya. I guess yer only gettin' me tonight, Edmund." Her words flowed off her tongue, jabbing the hot, and alcohol ridden air.

Carnegie's large figure burst through the circle of spectators, taking most by surprise.

"Hello, Edmund." His lips curled upwards, revealing sharp canines, "I've had enough of my drink, Carrington. I thought I'd join you."

"We're here fah the stolen silver, Edmund. Jus' give it ta us, an' no one gets hurt." Carrington knew what was about to happen. The scruffy man next to her was slowly loosing it.

Men from the bar suddenly stepped forward with the wave of Grate's hand. Large men, almost as big as Elias, stepped down from their wooden bar stools, each sporting an assortment of tattoos and scars.

"Show them the door, boys."

With the flick of his hand, Carnegie held his hat out to Carrington, "Hold this, kid. I'll take it from here."

Carrington opened her mouth to protest, holding the hat awkwardly in her small hands. A roar suddenly tore through the bar as Elias became the beast. Sighing, and turning the hat over in her hands gently, Carrington plopped it on her head, before swiftly moving out of the way of the fight. A punch was thrown her way by one of the goons, but promptly moved around it and jumped onto the counter, taking a seat.

Most of the bars in habitants had cleared out by now, the loud growls from the wereman scaring them off. Carrington was carelessly gripping the collar of Edmund Grate's suit coat, preventing him from slipping away as Carnegie tossed on of the goons across the counter.

The sound of breaking glass echoed through the bar as the last of the henchmen was thrown through one of the tables and deemed unconscious.

"S-Stop! Please! I'll do anything! J-Just don't touch me!" Carnegie snarled with laughter as he approached the trembling figure of Edmund.

Carrington lazily rolled her blue eyes once more.

"Jus' tell us where tha' silver is, Grate. We'll leave ya' alone if ya' do." Her voice was thick with annoyance.

"They're… They're d-down by Devil's Wharf! J-Just leave me be!" Carrington's grip loosened on the man, and he made a break for the door, Carnegie's fist came around quickly, meeting with his nose. Edmund fell to the floor, knock out.

"That's for spilling your drink on the miss." Carnegie chuckled, returning to his more human form.

Carrington looked up at him, smiling brightly. Carnegie was always happy after a fight. And after he ate. Those two things seemed to be his favorite things in the whole world.

"Here's your hat." Carrington pulled it off her twist of brown hair, handing it to him. He nodded his head before patting her shoulder, smiling.

"Let's go get the silver, Carr."

A/N: Just a quick one-shot. The Darkside series needs more fanfiction and fanart.