Never Leave Me

By Kachimoochi

Chapter I

What Does He Know?

The Citadel doesn't have a weather system, but it doesn't stop the powers at be from performing the illusion. Rain, or whatever moisture it was comprised of, fell from the "skies" of The Citadel, trailing on the thousands of skycars, and falling into the abyss below. To most it was natural, even calming, to Revin it was unnerving.

She sat in the passenger seat of the unmarked car, with her partner driving them through a fast food joint. Her nerves were still shaken for a reason she couldn't understand, on her native Palaven it rained constantly, she didn't know why it disturbed her so. She scratched the edges of her mandibles slowly, but it was enough for her partner to notice.

"You only do that when you're nervous" RJ said, not taking his eyes from the growing queue of skycars.

"It's the rain, I can't explain it, but it makes me feel…icky" Revin responded, her eyes glued to the lines of cars passing above her.

"Hmph. Relax, were only minutes away from a Guineo sandwich and Hirou milkshake for you, and a spicy chicken and diet cola for me" RJ chuckled, wanting to calm her nerves, in the only way he could think to.

RJ and Revin had been partners in the CLED for as long as they could remember, they were both in their 30s, so it must have at least been a decade, if not longer. The Citadel Law Enforcement Department was a private alternative to C-Sec, they were a public entity, but more disciplined, intelligent, and accountable than the alternative. That was the reason they both joined up they discovered, both had been former employees of C-Sec, but the endless bureaucracy and corruption jaded them to unthinkable nihilism.

They had been partners then too, only beat cops whose job was to issue citations to illegal parked cars or to bodyguard evictions. It didn't satisfy them, nothing there did. They made a joint decision to give their chief an ultimatum, change or fire them, the decision was obvious.

After working security gigs for a couple of months afterward, they were contracted by the CLED as beat cops once again; they decided that it was better than nothing. In time they would hone their skills together, side by side, Human and Turian, brother and sister in arms. In no time flat they became detectives, receiving no end of support from the overseers of the department, they still insisted on working side by side.

Time passed like waves in the sea, within seconds it sometimes seemed. This could be considered the high tide of their career, every case they worked on had been a success, not a single failure. Revin was the bad cop; RJ was the good cop, and through it all they were a force to be reckoned with.

On this occasion in particular, they had reached the end of their shift and were stopping for a quick dinner before RJ dropped Revin at her apartment, they decided to carpool years ago. RJ hated this place; it was a Turian dive, with only a handful of Human food items to satisfy the Citadel's diversity quotas. But this place made food that reminded Revin of home, and that was good enough for RJ. Even if it meant intense, abdominal misery from a half rotten spicy chicken sandwich.

"We could go somewhere else for a change, my feelings won't be hurt" Revin sighed, turning her attention finally to the never ending line of cars in the dive's drive thru.

"I've got nothing but time now, I'm a night owl anyways, you know that" RJ smiled at her.

Both beings turned their attention once again to their respective distraction, RJ counted raindrops in the windshield, whilst Revin observed the cars for broken tail lights, being a cop does this to one.

The pair weren't the average partnership one saw in Citadel Law Enforcement, Turians and Humans weren't seen together usually in the first place. Even in a so-called progressive paradise that the Citadel advertized itself as.

It made Revin laugh to herself the comments criminals would harass her with, seeing her together with a Human male, partner or otherwise. They were easy targets, but their skin had grown thick over the decade. Most of their coworkers would tease them relentlessly still over their obvious romantic tension, it was indeed there.

They behaved much the same as a married couple, without the government interference. Perhaps that was the reason they were still "married", as opposed to a majority of their friends. Maybe there could have been room for romance between the two years ago, but it was too late.

It was too late for anything now.

"HQ to car #33, RJ you there?" The intercom buzzed in their skycar.

"#33 copy that" Revin said, coming out of her stupor.

"We've got a report of a body found inside of the Vomis parking garage, the Captain asked for you two specifically" The female voice responded on the other end of the Citadel.

"I just got off a 20 hour shift, you know I haven't slept in 3 days right?" RJ groaned audibly.

"The Captain said there's overtime in it for you, ain't no rest for the wicked I guess" The voice spoke empathetically.

"Yeah yeah, alright Sal, tell Vik I'll be there in 10 minutes, #33 out" RJ concluded, deactivating the console and pulling out of the 30 car line.

Their car received dozen's of unhappy honks from the hungry patrons, that was until Revin reached her hand into the siren console and activated it, the car racing off in a lateral direction in a blaze of red and blue.

"Aw come on RJ, you know I can't survive without my Hirou milkshake. Come on, let's cut to the front of the line, we'll say it's a police emergency?" Revin begged.

"As much as I love frivolously abusing our authority, I'm afraid the overtime is an offer I can't refuse" RJ spoke softly, easing up on the speed of the car, closing in on the location Sal punched into his GPS.

"I don't have any say in this do I?" Revin spoke, staring back out her window once more.

"Not anymore I'm afraid" RJ whispered.

In no time, the pair's skycar slowed to a crawl as it closed into the Vormis parking garage, a Salarian wearing a red cloak stood beckoning them to an empty space, standing still awaiting his employees. Behind him, a hologram of the body was lined out on the ground of the garage, while the real body was being lifted into an ambulance.

"Welcome Agent Clifford, I see you took the scenic route" The Salarian spoke.

"The rain calms me, besides to you it's RJ, every friend I have calls me RJ" RJ said as he stretched his arms, having been in the fast food line for at least a half hour.

"Well then, Agent Clifford, we should begin immediately, while the crime scene's still fresh.

"As you command Vikeni" RJ mumbled, race walking to the corpse's hologram.

The Salarian and the Human scoured the space around the body for evidence, before touching the hologram. It was standard for the CLED to use holograms in place of the body, all the accuracy, no contamination.

Their labor bore plasma residue leading to an empty space where a skycar once stood. RJ ascertained that the murder weapon was a self defense plasma pistol; it was single shot and made a large blast, in effort to scare away assailants.

The Salarian observed the body before RJ, noting that it was an Asari who had been shot in the head, the entry would on the back of her crest smaller than that of the front, meaning that she didn't even see it coming. The two spent at least a half hour more gathering clues or observations before meeting again with one another.

"What do you have?" Vikeni commanded neutrally.

"The weapon was plasma-based, there's residue appearing on my Omni-tool, call in forensics to find the weapon and the plasma cartridge purchaser. It was single shot, because of the large blast of particles, meaning it was probable a self defense model, but I guess that doesn't necessarily mean it was self defense." RJ concluded.

"You're right, it wasn't. The exit wound is in the front of the Asari's head, meaning the shot came from behind, cold blooded. The body didn't have a purse, so no ID, but that also puts robbery as the main motive." Vikeni said.

"I'm about to pass out, put in the call to forensics, and find somebody to identify the body, I'm going to get a few hours of sleep. I'll be in tomorrow afternoon, I need to catch up on my Z's" RJ surrendered to his drowsiness, sauntering back to his skycar.

"Your shift ended 4 hours ago, where were you in the first place, I'm suppressed you got the message?"

"I was…at home…but I was talking to my dad…I don't see him much, I'll stay on top of it next time, I shouldn't let myself get this tired"

"You were there again weren't you, at that dive?"

"Yeah, she told me not to, but it made her happy"

"You can't keep doing this"

"Doing what?"

"Listen, Revin was my friend too. Not a day goes by that I don't miss her complaining about her sister's financial issues, or her spoiling every movie in the cinema on a weekly basis. But she's gone, I'm sorry but she really is. What you're doing isn't healthy, you need to get help"

RJ looked to his car, watching Revin now outside of the car, staring at the faux skybox that covered the Citadel, she didn't pay any attention to the other two detectives, her attention was drawn to something else, whatever it may be.

"Thanks for the tip, goodnight" RJ whispered, ignoring his advice the entire time, and sauntered back to the skycar.

He approached Revin, who had now turned her avian had to face her companion, she smiled, as Turians could possibly attempt. He didn't see her smile much anymore, whenever he looked at her, it was as if her head was always facing the clouds, metaphorically speaking.

"He told you to stop going there? To stop talking to me?" The female Turian inquired, still smiling, teeth exposed and mandibles flexed.

"Yeah, he doesn't understand, no one does"

She approached her partner and embraced him in a long hug, one that lasted for at least a full minute. RJ didn't feel warm these days, but whenever she hugged him, it was as if he was standing on the surface of the sun. He could feel the color red stain his otherwise pale face, he never touched her much as it went.

"What does he know?" She replied, walking back to the skycar.

RJ hadn't noticed it for a while, but once he saw it, it would stick in his mind for days to come. As she walked in front of him, a large hole appeared through her abdomen, the sides blazing in orange, from a lazer bolt. Blue liquid slowly leaked and congealed from the hole, staining the grey, concrete ground of the garage as she walked. Besides that, she looked the same as she always did.

It was no use denying it to him, no matter how much it hurt. She was dead, he couldn't save her, and he never got to tell her he loved her.