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New Beginnings
A new start,old friends,new goals.Keep in touch as I begin a new life on here once again
VALENCIA NOIR

ACT IX


After their escapades at Rosa Medical Hospital, the detectives needed a new place to hide and read all of the documents that they obtained from Saria Rosa and Yorukage Tsubasa. Going back to Reisen’s apartment to see her and Cyrus was a bad idea-Raphael had to have let it slip that she and Tyler were cousins by now. It was better to not draw attention to them. Lillian’s place and Sveta’s church wouldn’t work either for these similar reasons. Dexter and Tyler were running out of places to hide fast. That being said, they went to the one place that they thought no one in their right minds would ever think of looking for them. “Ty, pass me that box from this June.”

“Here you go. Nothing too incriminating or noticeable in the March, April and May records…the smell of frozen meat isn’t helping me focus.”

“Just keep reading! We’ll move out of here once the diner closes and everyone leaves.” In the end, the angel and the werewolf could only find refuge in the meat freezer that sat in the kitchen of Daniel and Eleanor Lerner’s diner. The diner that was humbly dubbed “Dani and Ellie’s” was a favorite to the residents of Lower and Middle L.A., a place that danced between the grey and the colors of the two worlds that they all walked through every day. Made out of dulled silver metal inside and out, cobalt blue coupled with dingy white tiles and slashed with patches of red and white leather in the booths, this diner ran by the brother and sister team regularly provided delicious British/American cooking, a free cup of hot coffee to anyone that needed it…and a place where people could smoke to their heart’s content. There were jokes that the diner should have been called “The Smoky Flag” because of the permanent smell of cigarette smoke that settled into the seats and how the color scheme inside of the building matched the colors on the British flag. The angel could at least agree on the smoky part of that nickname. Even in the freezer he still had to cough a little from the smell of the smokers in the front. “Oh God! I thought the smoke smell couldn’t get in here.” He grumbled while pulling his two coats closer to his body.

“Try having my nose. I’m just focusing on the meat in here.”

“Sorry about that, fellas. There are still a few cracks and holes Dani and I are trying to find from when we bought the place. I thought we had the freezer all sealed up too…You can help us find them later, when you’re not wanted for arson!” The female voice with a light British accent and a teasing undertone belonged to Eleanor Lerner as she forced her way into the freezer with both hands carrying a tray of food and drinks. Ellie was as sweet as she was feisty, with big round eyes the color of warm brownies, feathery eyelashes and lips the color of sweet peaches. Her hair was the same shade of brownie brown and worn in a messy bun that framed her face and made her massive hoop earrings stand out. Her rebellious spirit could be seen in the way that she decided to wear her waitress outfit every day-with her cobalt blue skirt hitched up as high as possible, white blouse opened at her throat with her red tie undone and tight stripped socks worn up to her thighs and clipped at the top with a garter belt of sorts. She even found a way to make the paper blue hat that she had to wear every day work for her by wearing it with some bobby pins that allowed her to tilt it on her head. “Anyway, I brought you guys some fish and chips and coffee so you don’t freeze to death back here.”

“You know it’ll take a lot more than this to make me freeze but thanks Ellie.” Tyler said as he helped himself to the food and hot drinks on her tray.

“We both really appreciate you and Dani hiding us for a while. We’ll try and read this stuff fast so we can get out of here. We really don’t want to involve you guys in this…it’s kind of becoming a big mess lately…” Dexter said as he cupped the hot mug between his hands.

“Pffft! What’s life without a little danger and a chance to mess with the coppers and the mobs at the same time? Besides, Dani and I both owe you one for helping us keep this place a float. If you didn’t find out who was breaking in here and messing with our kitchen a few months ago, we may have had to close down and go back home to England.” Ellie replied.

“HEY! There’s a cigarette in my coffee!” Tyler exclaimed while pulling out a soggy butt of tobacco out of his mug.

“And that, I still owe for you, Tyler. I’ll send Dani to check on you boys in a bit. I have tables to tend to until closing time. Let him know how you’re doing with this…whatever it is!” Ellie left them both in the freezer with a sway in her hips, showing that she was happy about the werewolf finding that used cigarette in his mug.

“Tyler, you really need to tell Ellie to stop acting this way towards you. It’s been months now and she still tries to slip cigarettes into your food! And to mention ‘accidently’ slip and nail you in the head with that tray of hers…or whatever she happens to be holding at the time.” Dexter said, taking a moment away from his reading to talk about this with his friend.

“Yeah I know…but I owe her and Dani that much. The guy nearly killed himself when Lillian picked me over him…the least I can do is let his sister occasionally act bitchy towards me and hit me with her best shot.” The werewolf explained, ignoring the coffee for the fish and chips. That was a really messy situation months ago and it nearly cost everyone their friendship to each other when the wolves realized their feelings for each other and left one lovelorn Daniel to try and take his own life. Thankfully the attempt failed, Daniel recovered and everyone made amends to each other after a LOT of explaining and apologizing. Still, the werewolves had to feel Ellie’s wrath from time to time…at least she didn’t ban them and their friends from the diner for life-she’s done that before. “Anyway, what do we got on the records? Anyone get the drugs used on the horses?”

“Sadly, it looks like just about everyone did. The drug was a pretty common painkiller…the best that I could do is pull up the groups that ordered and used a suspicious amount of the stuff.” The angel replied, presenting his partner with a list of these groups. “Over the last two months, a lot of second and three tier groups have ordered this particular painkiller for their doctors while the following first tier groups have requested the most out of anyone: Vivi’s Bolts, the “Nachtjager” run by Eclipse, the Fallon gang, the Nile Jackals lead by Seth and what I can only guess to be the group led by Ares. “Taking the Fallons out of the lineup, we’re left with only these groups.”

“There’s no way Ares could be the one that’s responsible for this. Kristine was taken out along with Nicky in that car crash. There’s no dad that’s heartless enough to involve his own daughter in taking out the enemy.” Tyler said. “Vivi probably didn’t do it either. He earns more money betting on the Fallons and taking a house cut from them than he could by taking them out and going after their slot.”

“He could still be a suspect though. Remember the rumors about him and Eclipse? When the gods banished him, they cursed him so he couldn’t get more than a hundred feet away from her without getting violently sick. Knowing that, she could use that as a way to push him around and help her out with the murder and the frame up. She has just as much to gain by getting rid of the Fallons and could use whatever resources she has. And Ares probably didn’t even know Kristine was with Nicky that night. He could have planned the accident without knowing she was in the car with him. Ares has been looking for the perfect time to make his comeback and the Fallons were the only ones in his way back to the top.”

“How about this then-what motivate could Seth have in taking down the Fallons other than the money and the power? He’s always been a careful player-never stepping on people’s toes that he couldn’t take down-but we don’t have anything to pin him to this other than these records. And having Saria work for these guys may not guarantee a whole lot of truth in these things.”

So the detective duo was left with another dead end. There was no way to even prove if this theory about the drugs was right. There were so many loose ends and people to consider and no way for them to really investigate them all while they were hiding out in a freezer. It was enough to make them feel dispirited for a few moments…before they heard someone trying to get into the freezer. The angel and the werewolf both got up and hid on both sides of the door. Dexter held up a spare sword, Tyler held up a frozen fish. As soon as the door started to open, they nodded while moving in to confront the possible intruder. They stopped mid motion once they saw who it was. And they were surprised at who it was that came to see them with a wide Cheshire smile. “Good evening, fellas!”

“Yang!? What-What are you doing here?!”

“How did you find us?!”

“Come on, guys! Ellie’s one of my best friends! Of course she would tell me that she’s got people hiding out in her meat locker-especially when they’re wanted criminals who thought choosing a pit stop for the boys in blue as a place to hide was a good idea!” The merman explained as she strolled into the freezer. “Wow! It’s pretty cold in here!”

“I’m sorry, guys. He snuck past me while I wasn’t looking and figured you were hiding in the freezer.” The voice of a young British male apologized as he walked into the freezer. This young man was Daniel Lerner, older brother to Eleanor and owner/head cook of the diner. Standing a few inches shorter than the boys, he was no less physically fit than they were. Matching his sister with the same shade of brownie brown in his eyes and hair color, Dani looked every inch of a responsible and loving big brother. He smelled of smoke and his eyes-though happy on the exterior-housed a buried past of pain and redemption. “…you two doing alright back here?”

“A little cold but fine overall.”Tyler lied. He couldn’t feel cold in a place like this. “Thanks again for putting us up.”

“It was nothing, we still owe you both…did Ellie put cigs in your drink again?”

“I don’t mind.”

The mood started to feel heavy before Yang decided to interrupt. “Hey guys, don’t get quiet and moody on us. I bring news from the outside world that may help!”

“Anything on Tayte?” Dexter asked.

“Oh ho! You just used her first name…did I miss anything news worthy going on between you two while you were on the run?”

“Just zip your lip and tell us what’s been going on! And it better be good!”

“Quite the contradiction but okay.” On that note, Yang pulled out his own note pad and started to present the news as he reported it to the detectives. “Several of the smaller gangs have been attacked by Tayte Fallon and members of the Fallon gang. They said she was questioning them about the Gilmead murder before sending each of them to the hospital. She even went after several doctors before leaving them up on light posts, telephone poles and the like. They also report that she questioned them about their supplies and what was used on their last patients.”

“…she was doing what we’re doing now, Ty.” Dexter realized while looking at the box of records. “Weeding out the suspects.”

“Because of this though, the Council is doing everything in their power to bring her to justice and to face the Wild Hunt. They’re doubling the man power the police have and offering up rewards for anyone that can help turn her in. I don’t know how she’s staying off the radar while still causing trouble…I’m almost envious of that.”

“What else, Yang? You have to know more than that, we know you do.”

“Hold on…let’s see, let’s see…oh! There’s been suspicious activity for all the major gangs you two listed for suspects. Seth Tarik and his boys have been hanging around the docks again, mostly near the shipping yards…Virote had his boys around these docks and snooping around warehouses while putting the extra squeeze on the casinos…there’s been no sign of Ares beyond the Rosa Medical Hospital the last few days…and Eclipse has been acting pretty squirrelly lately. Same with Laurent Fallon, though that’s probably nothing…but any chance you think that he’s trying to frame his sister for something? I personally know how intense fights between siblings can get…”

“Doubtful. The Fallons all work as a team. Though Tayte is thought to be the weakest of the bunch, she’s still too important to try and cut out for a few extra bucks or as a means of punishment for…something. They probably wouldn’t even throw her under the bus if it meant saving their own hides…unless there was no other way out.” Dexter deduced.

“He’s probably acting strange because of some woman.” Dani piped in as he went to get a box of frozen French fries off of one of the shelves. “Laurent Fallon has a reputation for being a shameless playboy. It’s probably nothing to worry about. I’d focus more on those three, especially Vivi and Eclipse since they sometimes work together.”

“Dani’s right, Dex. Those three are starting to look pretty good for suspects. They may even have some personal grudges against the Fallon bird along with some business goals in mind.”

Dexter had to admit, those three were starting to look good for this. Two out of the three had gangs that were dead locked for second place under the Fallons, had access to the race track to drug the Fallon horses and the means to kill Cyrus and frame Tayte for it. Nicky Fallon almost getting crushed with two cars could have been one of their works as well. The angel started to realize what had to be done next. “We need to investigate and study these three. Figure out what could have pushed either of them…or maybe even all of them, into doing this.”

“Alright, we’re getting out of the meat freezer! Though I kind of like it in here.”

As the detectives started to gather up their things, they were interrupted by a quick scampering Ellie who came back to the freezer with a terrified look on her face. “Uhh…I hate to interrupt anyone’s plans…but we have a bit of a problem.”

“What is it, Ace?” Dani asked, referring to his sister by her favorite nickname.

“Well…we sort of have a half dozen cops sitting at our front counters and wanting to ask us both about Dex and Ty over here.”

“What?!”

“How did they know about this being our favorite place?!”

“I’ll give you a hint: He’s obnoxious, rude, could hide with the marshmallow eating polar bear in a blizzard and tried to hit on me.”

“Raph! That no good little twerp!”

“He’s as good as gone.” Dani promised as he started to head out into the kitchen and to the front of the diner to defend his friends and his sister’s honor. “I told him a thousand times that you’re off limits, Ellie!”

“Wait-Dani!”

“Don’t do it, guy!”

“You’ll give everyone away by telling him to get lost!”

“So what are we supposed to do?! Raphael and the rest of his cop buddies will want to look around if they smell anything suspicious back here and we were barely able to hide an angel and a werewolf in our freezer! Where are we supposed to hide them?”

Everyone was scrambling for a solution before Yang and Ellie looked at each other with the same idea. “Kirk’s place.” They both said in sequence with Dani nodding in agreement.

“You…both know Kirk Yoru?” Much to the surprise of the detectives.

“Oh yeah! We’re both from Japan so we have a lot to talk about! And I come with him on some of his more mischievous adventures from time to time!” Yang replied with a wide grin.

“Ace and I sometimes visit Kirk when we’ve run out of our…special brownie mix.” Dani added. “He gives us a pretty good discount on his Golden Apple salads.”

“And he’s a beast in the sack.”

“ELEANOR!”

“GROSS!”

“I didn’t need to know that, Ace!”

“Lucky duck.” She and the merman exchanged a casual fist bump while the rest of the men in the room had to feel slightly disgusted by this confession on Ellie’s part. “Grow up! Anyway, Kirk will hide you both for a while so you can look into these goons to find out who killed Gilmead.”

“How are we going to get out of here though? The back exit is blocked by the dumpsters from the Chinese place next door.” Tyler reminded everyone.

“If it was any good, the place wouldn’t need that many dumpsters…”Yang replied with a slightly sickened look from past experiences eating at the restaurant.

Dexter had an idea though. “Yang! You know I wouldn’t normally ask you this, but I need you to be just as obnoxious…and maybe even flirty…with Raph and the cops! Help Ellie and Dani distract everyone in the front so Ty and I can sneak out of here. Fake an interview or something!”

“Hmmm…a chance to annoy the most annoying angel ever…cover for my buddies and maybe find a cutie in uniform to hang off of for a few minutes…say no more, Dex! I’ll help out!”

“Great! You three just-just-do whatever you can and give us a signal for when to make a break for the door!”

“I’ll say that someone has fiery buns for the signal!”

“…whatever. Just make sure we’re clear to go when you say it.”

“Got it.”

“You two hide behind the doors in the kitchen and wait until we have everything ready.” Ellie said as she poked her head outside of the kitchen along with her brother. “I think I know what to do.”

“I think I know how you want to do this too.” Dani confirmed with a smile to his sister.

“Let’s do this then, ladies and gentlemen! I’m ready to give out a performance!” Yang said as he followed them both out into the main part of the diner. That left the angel and the werewolf to crouch behind the door, hoping that no one would look through the windows or anything while they were out in the open. With ears pressed to the wood, they started to listen.

Raphael and five other police men were standing around the front counter, each nervously shooting glances out at their squad cars and the radios that sat on the dash boards.“Hey Sanzio, you sure about this? Those two would have to be pretty desperate to come and hide at a hangout of ours.” One of his fellow officers asked.
“Trust me, they’re desperate. I know these two hang out here and I know that they can’t count on Aoi anymore. Especially since we got her in the back with a pair of silver bracelets on.” Raphael said as he looked around the diner and its dingy looking occupants. Unbeknownst to him, the sleuths had heard every word of this and had to see for themselves as they quickly stood up and looked through the round window to the kitchen door. They could see straight through to the street and saw that the angel girl was indeed in the back seat of a squad car with a pair of handcuffs on her wrists and looking scared out of her mind. “She’s start singing as soon as we threaten to show her the inside of a jail cell! Just like the goody two shoes that she is.”

“Ty. Ty! Settle!” Dexter hissed through his teeth as he held his werewolf partner back behind the door with a hand over his growling mouth. “We’ll pop him one in his smug little kisser later!”

“We can’t just let him bully Reisen like that though!”

“I know, I know! We’ll think of something though.”

Ellie and Dani didn’t waste any time in talking to the cops as Yang sat nearby, watching and waiting for his chance to jump in and make a rightful nuisance out of himself. They started with the usual defense on their part, saying that they hadn’t seen Dexter or Tyler in days and if they did, they would have done the responsible thing and called the police. “We both run a respectable business around here, gentlemen. My sister and I have a lot to lose by getting involved with criminals and allowing illicit activity to take place around here.” Dani said with a straight face.

“Funny thing to say when this place smells like ten different kinds of cigarettes…and no doubt masking some other smells belonging to illegal substances.”

“Look here, feathers. Everyone in here may smoke like chimneys but there are two things that are true: No one smokes in the kitchen so the health department stays off our backs, and no one smokes anything illegal.” Ellie throw in with a stern face. Anyone that knew anything knew that those two only served that kind of substance in their brownies that they made every other Wednesday. And those only went to their friends that partook in such adult treats. “Now, why don’t you and your boys go play police men somewhere else and let us get back to work for the night.” This comment on Ellie’s part did what it was supposed to do: Provoke the police into arguing about the validity of their jobs to defend their masculinity in front of a pretty girl. This was needed to buy some time for a common occurrence at the diner to take place. This happened nearly every night and at the same time too. The music on the record player suddenly started to skip and warp in sound and volume.

“AHH! Dani, the record player is broke again!”

“I’m on it, Tony!”

“Is this really the time for that?!” Raphael wanted to know as Dani went over to fix the record player. “You two are dodging questions,I know that you are.”

“We aren’t dodging anything. The regulars that come to eat here really don’t like to eat in a quiet diner so fixing this is a top priority.” Dani said. Since it was always breaking, he knew how to fix the record player in under two seconds. But now, he knew how to break it to sound even worse. And as the seconds ticked by, it got to be so bad that he was getting volunteers from around the diner that thought they knew how to fix it to end the ear shattering, head splitting sounds that were being distorted from off the vinyl. Soon it got so bad that the police were getting in on the action as well in order to get back to the investigation. Arguments on the best way to fix the record player started to form between the regulars and the police men…which form into arguments on who was biggest imbecile to who was clearly a moron when it came to fixing stuff. Either way, this was doing what Dani and Ellie wanted: Getting everyone distracted and away from the front doors and kitchen. That was…everyone but Raphael.

“This is ridiculous! I’m checking the place out myself!” The angelic cop said as he walked towards the kitchen.

“Hey! No one is allowed back there except for me and Dani!” Ellie said, ready to run some interceptions between him and the door.

“Out of my way, waitress!” The angel had his hand on the door and was ready to push his way into the kitchen when he saw a flash of light from a camera. “Hey, what the-?!”

“One of L.A’s finest pushing around cute little waitresses and sneaking into diner kitchens? I wonder how the readers of the L.A Times would react to a story like this?” Yang asked Raphael while holding up his camera and smiling his signature smile.

“Keep out of this, newsboy. This is police business! We’re trying to find two arsonists! And we need to catch them fast, we’re busy tonight!”

“Not too busy to pass up the chance to give an interview on these events I hope!” Yang tried to talk Raphael away from the door for as long as he could before he had to go to Plan B. As soon as he heard the music kick in from the record player again, the merman took a hold of Raphael’s hand and spun him around and into his arms. “We can do the interview while dancing!”

“ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND!?!”

“Just a little!” Despite Raphael’s struggle and protesting, Yang was able to dance them both away from the kitchen and towards everyone’s line of sight. All eyes were on them again and leaving the boys in the kitchen open to run. The merman’s finishing move was a rather graceful dipping of the angel…and a hand on his butt. “One thing I can throw in my report is that the L.A policemen have some fiery buns!”

“That’s it! Go go go!” The werewolf and the angel hiding in the kitchen heard the signal and started to make their escape. They ran as fast as they could and low towards the ground, coat collars turned up to hide their faces. They made it outside and started to run…before doubling back to the police cars to let Reisen out. “Rei! You need to run, now!”

“What? But-But-they arrested me for hiding you two! I can’t run from the police!”

“They only think that you hid us-there’s no real proof that we were there! They’re only holding you to make you tell them where we could be! You’re not going to know where we’re going after this so you can still say that you don’t know where we are.” Dexter said as he opened the car door and started to get the handcuffs off of the angel girl.

“But-But that’s still lying and you know I can’t do that!”

“We can speak for your defense after we solve this case! In the mean time, go to Sveta’s church and tell the Sisters you need sanctuary or something! They’ll hide you. Please Rei-Rei! I don’t want to think about my cousin being locked up with a bunch of crazy people! You’re too cute for jail, they’ll eat you alive!” Tyler pleaded from his cousin in law.

“…okay…but-but what about my Donnybear?”

“What about him?”

“He’ll want to know where I am! He’ll be worried if he doesn’t hear from me! The gangs are starting to really get fidgety and anxious with everything that’s going on. He’ll think that something happened to me because of one of them!”

“Fine, fine! We’ll track him down and tell him that you’re in hiding for the time being.”

“He went to Kirk’s place tonight to help with inventory and talk about expanding their menu. I think he’s there right now.”

“We’re-We’ll go and find Donny then and go find some place to hide! We’ll contact you as soon as we’re safe!” Dexter said to Reisen, choosing not to tell her about where they were going to hide for her own safety.

“Okay, you two please, PLEASE be safe!” Reisen gave them both one last hug before taking to the skies and flying towards the church. That left the two sleuths to make a break for it, running away from the diner where Dani and Ellie were cheering Yang on as he tried to continue his dance with Yang and half of the police department…all the while the radios in their cars started to go off with reports of a major drug bust beginning to take place and all units needed to get to the following address…

“Are we really going to tell Donny where Reisen’s hiding? I don’t want that guy anywhere near Sveta’s place!”

“I don’t like it as much as you do Ty, but we promised Rei! Not to mention that he may be able to keep her safe until this whole thing blows over!”

“Right! Because whatever’s left of the Fallon gang that isn’t following Tayte around on a small extermination campaign is SURE to keep her safe!”

“Don’t get mouthy on me now! We need to be able to work together!”

“Alright, alright!”

The sleuths ran through alleyways and empty streets until they entered the neighborhood where Kirk’s business, The Blue Caterpillar, took up residence. The closer they got to the building though, the more cop cars they started to notice and hide from. By the time that they could see the little blue building, they finally understood where all of those cop cars were going. Pulling and spinning each other into the nearest alley before they could get any closer, Dexter and Tyler saw that the cops were turning Kirk’s place inside out. It was a drug raid.

“Dang it!”

People were running in and out of the building, their faces hardly recognizable in the street lights of the night. Some were trying to escape the police while the rest were the police trying to capture suspects and force them into squad cars. Bags and boxes of mushrooms were being pulled out and stacked up as evidence while officers demanded to know where Kirk Yoru and Donavan Fallon were from their captured club goers. No one was talking. As the detectives watched, they started to notice something was really off. Among the mushrooms that were being stacked up as evidence, there were also pills, needles and bottles of…something. They only met Kirk for all of five minutes but even Dexter and Tyler could guess that the kitsune didn’t dabble in THOSE kinds of illegal substances. “…I’m smelling a set up here. How about you?”

“As clear as those rotting bananas in the dumpster, Dex. And…hey, wait a minute!” The werewolf whipped his head around to look down the alleyway and saw that there was already someone down there. And that someone tried to make a jump at them both. They back stepped out of this person’s reach but something furry and white went at their ankles a second afterwards. The awkward dance of avoiding the grabs of a person in the dark, the nipping of a small furry animal while trying to keep out of the street and out of the sight of the police felt like it went on forever…but really only lasted for a few seconds before Tyler took an elbow to the face, Dexter got bit on the shin and both were dragged down the alley by the mystery creatures of the shadows. “Hey-Hey, what gives?!”

“Let us go!”

“Calm down, you morons! Do you want the whole neighborhood to come down here?!”

“It doesn’t really help that we had to…kidnap them in a way.”

Taking a closer and harder look at their assailants in the dark alley, the detectives saw a familiar outline of a tall young man with wings and lofty…blue locks? “Donavan?” Dexter guessed.

“Yes. Brilliant deduction.”

“And that voice is Kirk! But…where is he?” Tyler asked.

“Down here. I’m just wearing my second birthday suit at the moment.” Looking down towards the ground, a white fox with two fluffy tails and familiar blue eyes sat at their feet. It was Kirk in his fox form. “Hey, fellas.”

“Uhh…hey.”

“Care to tell us why we’ve been kidnapped by the alley creepers?”

“To keep you from getting caught by the cops.”

“And you’re hiding down here to keep from getting caught yourself.”

“Bingo.”

“Oh my sweet little Caterpillar…”Kirk lamented, ears pressed against his head in a defeated gesture as he looked up the alleyway. “I put my whole heart into that place. I spent everything I had in making it perfect and collecting the best mushrooms for my customers and friends…now half of my friends are going to the slammer and no one is going to come to my place ever again.”

“How did this even happen? You said that your business was fairly legal. What are those guys doing dragging out pills, powders and needles?” Dexter asked.

“I’m not sure. I was just getting the early night shift started when I heard something rattling around in my back room. I go there to check and I see some goons piling up these boxes among my usual inventory. They must have broken the lock on my door and snuck in.” The kitsune explained.

“That was about the time I showed up to talk shop like I usually do. Kirk was already struggling to stop some of these guys from running when I came in and popped a few. Those guys were the ones that planted those drugs in the back room, not Kirk!” Donny added.

“Did you get a good look at them?” Tyler asked, his angel partner already pulling out his notepad.

“Yeah. They looked like goons…but I don’t know whose goons they were. They looked new to the game… They split as soon as we all heard the sirens and the police came crashing in. Kirk and I were barely able to get away.”

“I had to shift and jump out the window. Donny punched a half dozen cops’ lights out before he could find me outside. They’re probably still looking for us… Hold on! You got a piece of one of those guys! I can smell it in your pocket!”

“Huh? Oh, right! I caught a piece of a jacket while they were running. It’s just some bits of cloth and whatever was in the guy’s pocket.” The male harpy replied while digging this scrap fabric and little knick-knacks out of his pocket.

“Give it here.” Tyler took a hold of the fabric while handing the knick-knacks to Dexter. “…I can track this.”

“Can you?” Kirk asked while looking up at the werewolf. “I mean, my nose is just as strong but still.”

“It may be a little spotty in certain parts of town but I can still track this.”

“Ty, guys…look at this.” Dexter held up a coin for everyone to see. Only it wasn’t a coin… it was plastic with a cartoon mouse with yellow, black and metallic grey stuck to it. “Poker chip.”

“Vivi’s Boys?”

“HEY! Who’s down there!?” A single stream of light from a policeman’s flashlight rushed down the alleyway, shining on the small gathering of fugitives and revealing their hiding place to a single wandering officer. “You’re-You’re that Fallon boy-and that drug pusher-and those arsonist gum shoes from the slums! HEY! Hey guys, I found them! They’re down- GAH!” The officer was quickly taken down by a flying trash can lid thrown into his face by Donavon and dragged into the alley by the sleuths before he could make another sound. He was quickly hog tied by a combination of belts from all parties still wearing pants and tossed into the nearest dumpster.

“That’s some nerve, assuming me to be a drug pusher without even investigating first!” Kirk huffed and puffed at the dumpster before his ears started to twitch and move. “We got more people coming this way!”

“Time to run then!” The boys started to run for the way out of the alley and to the street before they were cut off by the police that were searching for Donavon and Kirk in the nearby buildings. The small group had to run back down the alley as soon as they were spotted. The police gave chase to them. Dexter and Donny tried to fly up the wall at the end of the alley with Tyler and Kirk in their grips but the rain of bullets aimed at their backs prevented them from reaching the top. They had to make a sudden turn, crashing into the nearby fire escapes and scrambling up to the roof as the bullets continued to zigzag among the metal and brick. They lost the human police officers as they reached the roof tops and started to run…but the more nimble and better equipped officers-the creatures with wings, claws and the reflects to give chase to prey such as this-were able to catch up and the little group a run for their money!

“We need to split up! It’s the only way to shake them!” Dexter shouted to everyone as they ran and jumped from roof to roof. They were dodging bullets, flying stingers and poisonous spit wads. “At least if we’re caught they won’t have all of us!”

“Reisen was nearly arrested by Raph but we broke her out! She wanted us to tell you where you could find her!” Tyler told Donny and Kirk as they jumped over a small opening between the buildings. “She’s at St. Margaret’s Church on Magnolia and Lucas! Tell the Sisters you’re friends of ours if you want to see her!”

The expression on Donny’s face grew a little softer when he heard about Reisen. “…thank you. Thank you both for that.”

“Donnybear can’t live with his little Angel fish now.” Kirk found a time to tease with a foxy grin.

“Be quiet, you.”

They were coming up to the last building on the end of the block. They would have to make their move then. “On the jump we split up!”

“Let’s make it count! Good luck to you guys!”

“Thanks! …you’re really not as stupid as I thought you were when I saw you in Rei’s kitchen.”

“Yeah, try not to mention that please.”

“Donny, lift me up!”

The boys were on the ledge of the roof when they made the jump. Kirk jumped into Donny’s path so the harpy could catch him and the angel flew up a little to grab onto the werewolf’s hands. As soon as they were in the air, everyone with wings started to fly in opposite directions. The police that were stuck on foot were trapped on the roof and shouting at the escaping suspects before those wings with tried to continue their pursuit. Dexter and Tyler could only look back for a moment to see Donny and Kirk fly away with a few demons after them before addressing their own problems. “Dex, look out!”

Poisonous barbs and claws were flying around the angel and the werewolf as he flew them both above the city with several flying policemen after them. He had no idea where he was going. Dexter just knew that he had to shake these guys. The up and coming construction sites for skyscrapers could help with that, the twisting mazes of metal, glass and wire providing lots of opportunities to slip in, slide out and loose people on the other side. “Ty, get ready! Curl up when I say so!”

“I got it!”

Dexter was flying fast at the tallest skyscraper with the most incomplete work visible and eyeballing the best way to get in. Once he found it, he went for it. “Hold on!” Pulling his wings in as close as he could and with Tyler curling up into a tight ball up towards him, the angel dove into the nearest window with several of LAPD flyers crashing into the wall surrounding this window. Dexter didn’t look back as he flew through the building, choosing to ignore the sounds of struggling, shouting and wings flapping after them. Tyler did his best to help to the best of his abilities, kicking nearby tool boxes, loose wood boards and cans of nails behind him and hoping it would hit something as they flew. His efforts weren’t in vain and it helped slow their pursuers down. Eventually Dexter found another window to fly through that took them back outside. They had enough of a lead to escape the police still trapped in the unfinished building and get some distance between them. By the time they realized it, they were heading towards the docks. “Ty…I need to rest…my wings are cramping up!”

“Just hold on, buddy! We need a safe place to land!”

“Don’t think…I can hold up for that long!”

“Dex! Dex, wait!” The angel was starting to lose altitude and fast. They were barely gliding over the docks and the massive cargo ships that were already put to bed for the night in the lazy waters that chipped and chopped against the rocks. The werewolf was worried about hitting the water or landing on the rocks or getting pasted against the side of a building or a boat. “Dexter, go up! Go up!” They were flying towards the ground faster and faster.

Dexter heard Tyler and tried to fly higher but his wings were starting to cramp up badly and it was making it hard for him to move them. He wasn’t used to flying for two and all that maneuvering in the building really put a lot of stress on the muscles in his back. The best he could was glide for a few more minutes. The distance that would take them both would be over a cargo ship before Dexter had to drop Tyler and fall over the ship himself. The sound of their screams echoed through that part of the docks as they fell to what looked like their dooms until the angel mustered up a little extra strength. He grabbed onto Tyler’s hand and opened up his wings once more to slow down their descent. They would still crash but they wouldn’t be killed by the impact. Thankfully, they had the extra good fortune of landing on something relatively soft. They landed on a pile of loose bags of floor and other food supplies that were meant to go down to the galley. In a mini explosion of white powder, Dexter and Tyler were coughing waving away the powder as they rested where they crashed in the broken bags and crushed food. “Ty..? Tyler, you okay?”

“Ahhh…a little bumped up and dusty but I’m okay. What about you?”

“About the same. I haven’t done any flying like that in a long time…it looks like we lost them though. Hopefully Donny and Kirk did the same.”

“…if Kirk stays in that form, he may be able to blend in with the animals at the park or even the zoo. Donny may be a little harder.”

“…he seems smart. He’ll know where to go until this blows over…someone’s really trying to go after all of the Fallons now. Tayte, Nicky, and now Donny. Laurent may be next.”

“He’s going to be next. It makes me wonder how this guy is going to try and take care of him. It could be anything…and maybe like how Nicky was nearly bumped off.”

“…we got to find this guy before then.”

“Right.” As the flour cloud cleared, the boys could finally see the ship they crashed on and looked up at the sky. But Tyler noticed something. Something important just laying around on the ship’s deck. “Dex.”

“Yeah?”

“Those ropes and bricks…look a lot like the ones used to rig those cars to hit Nicky Fallon and Kristine Wellington.”





 
 
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