Never Leave Me

By Kachimoochi

Chapter X

Swallowing Lava

Dr. Yuibo crossed and re-crossed her legs as she sat leaning forward, intently staring at RJ, as if trying to read his mind from across the room.

RJ, now visibly sweating from the ends of his golden locks, was evading eye contact as best as he could, still unsure how to answer.

"What do I say?" RJ screamed to the heavens in his mind.

Revin stared equally, though unbeknownst to RJ, from behind a bookshelf as well, desperate for an answer to a question she thought she never cared about.

Audibly clearing his throat, RJ wiped his forehead with the sleeve of his leather jacket and responded in as calm a voice as he could muster.

"I won't say that the feelings were never there, but I think I knew in the back of my head that no matter which way I sliced it, it wouldn't have worked out" RJ uttered, trying to prevent his teeth from chattering out of nervousness.

"It wouldn't have worked? Do you perhaps mean that your relationship wouldn't have been accepted? Or even, that you wouldn't have accepted it?" Dr. Yuibo inquired further, slightly more inquisitive than before.

Revin didn't know what to make of the response, if she truly were a figment of RJ's imagination, shouldn't she already know the answer? The response wasn't entirely shocking, if fact, it sounded like an evasion to the professional interrogator herself. But there her answer was, if one could call it that, and she didn't know what to make of it at all.

"I'm not sure, it seems as if the entire world wanted us to be together, but neither of us would relent" RJ admitted, deciding to selectively reveal the whole truth, as required.

"I believe I understand, and if I may ask, have any others caught your attention in a… romantic sense?" Dr. Yuibo asked, her voice caked in more honey than usual, as she re-crossed her legs once more.

RJ had heard a line similar to that a countless number of times in his career, from a business woman trying to direct his attention from evidence, to a prostitute in a holding cell trying to negotiate her way out of a record. If this was going where he thought it was going, he may be in more trouble than he thought.

Of course, Revin knew of the techniques as much as her human partner did, and she could feel her blood pressure raising by each passing syllable. She was a woman, and most women were the same, she knew what she was doing. Dr. Yuibo may have thanked her lucky stars that Revin was unable to beat her to a pulp, if she were alive there wouldn't have been much stopping her.

"I…I'm sorry…what?" RJ asked, rather put off by the turn of questioning.

Dr. Yuibo, not wanting to say what was on her mind in the simplest of methods, knew that to get what it was that she desired, she needed to be creative and cunning. It had never failed before after all, her results spoke for themselves.

"Do forgive me if I am treading on sensitive ground, it is only that if one is to move on from such a tragic event, perhaps one should be open to analyzing different experiences in life, perhaps to distract from such an emotional wound" She responded, returning her voice to its original pitch.

"Erm…yes I think you've got a point, but I- "

"And as such, and to your mental benefit, I believe that it would be prudent to allow me to assist you personally in overcoming such a tragedy, such is my duty, wouldn't you agree?" Dr. Yuibo returned to her honey-laden tone of voice.

On the far end of the room, one may have noticed a steam rising to the ceiling, emanating from the head of the phantom Turian, who was seething with unimaginable rage.

RJ didn't respond for a moment, the sweat becoming even more visible on his brow, he needed to tread carefully, as he needed to keep the woman aloof of his true mental state. Even more so, he needed to keep focused on the case before it went cold, more than it already was. RJ was trapped between a rock and a succulent, Asari hard place.

"I…certainly Dr, I'm desperate to forget about all of the pain, at this point I'm willing to do anything to fix myself"

Dr. Yuibo beamed, a small quiver of her lip in self-satisfaction, her streak had officially remained unbroken. She carefully stepped out of her wicker chair, taking slow and determined steps with her slender, lengthy legs until she was behind RJ's wicker chair, where his attention remained where she had previously sat.

"I'm very pleased to hear that Detective- may I call you RJ? I propose that you and I accompany one another to a restaurant for dinner, there I will re-teach you social skills and how to redevelop your personality, as informatively and… intimately as I can" Dr. Yuibo almost cooed into RJ's ear.

Revin, who couldn't believe that this slut's textbook pickup was succeeding on her secret love. She knew RJ to be a man impervious to feminine charm, almost as if he could read the minds of anybody trying to seduce him. Had her death put him so desperate for attention and love? Was this all her fault?

The less-than-professional psychiatrist shook RJ's hand, as if to still maintain a suitable Dr-patient relationship. The doctor allowed RJ to remain in the room for as long as he needed until he wanted to leave, which RJ took to further wipe the sweat from his brow, and compose himself in a mirror nearby.

Knowing that what followed could result in disaster, Revin through caution to the wind and walked out of the back of the bookshelf. Though silent, RJ had long been aware of his former partner's stealthy steps, in fact, he was the only person who could hear them. Though he at first thought it was his imagination, he realized that it was, but not in the sense which he thought at first.

If what he thought had happen, had happened, he certainly had some explaining to do.

RJ looked into the corner of the mirror he was peering through, noticing the phantom revealing herself, and staring at him accusatorily, he braced himself for divine punishment.

Such a punishment manifested itself as a slap across his face by the cold, clammy, and powerful hand of his love.

"I'd really like to hear an explanation of what I just saw, because it just might be the most insane thing I'd ever witnessed!" Revin shouted maliciously in RJ's face.

RJ, confused as to why he hadn't noticed her presence before, spoke his defense as calmly as he could.

"It isn't what it looks like"

"Hmm… that's funny, because it looks like you just fell for the most classic pickup in the business, you couldn't have been more clueless if she was naked in front of you"

"I was- wait a minute, I was not clueless!" RJ retorted, forgoing his defense of his action to the defense of his ego.

"Y'know I've known you to reject the advances of every woman you ever met, even that rich politician who tried to get you to hide evidence for "exclusive access" of her "assets", I mean what I just witnessed was embarrassing" Revin chuckled, her rage boiling into spiteful laughter.

RJ, not pleased at being mocked by his partner, turned his attention to the question he'd been wondering about. How was she even there to begin with?

"Well, I've always known you to work together with me and respect my privacy, not hide behind a bookshelf when I'm trying to fix whatever the hell is wrong with me, or at the very least have a restful sleep for the first time in months."

This response rattled Revin slightly, though the two fought occasionally, as all partners do, she'd never known him to defend himself actively. RJ often reveled in humiliating Revin by calmly refuting her points with calculated calmness, he'd never sunk to her level, never.

"Wrong huh? So, I guess I'm what's wrong with you, then right? Well you know what, I think I'd rather go back to being dead if you're just going to fall into the arms of any slut that will have you" Revin calmly said, with venom under her breath, turning away from RJ.

RJ raised his finger as if to make a point, only to find that sentence sucking the wind from his lungs and rendering him speechless. As he analyzed the words, his furrowed brow relaxed, and he felt as guilty as he did the moment he found out that his love was dead.

Revin was slowly vibrating in place, as she crossed her arms and felt tears well in her eyes. If she suspected before, then she knew now for a certainty, she was in love. It hurt all the more as she realized, it was too late.

RJ noticed the subtle shaking of the phantom's body, and couldn't resist reaching out and hugging her, his arms lying over hers, and his face burying itself in the back of her neck, almost resting in the back of her armor.

The tears fell freely from Revin's face as she realized what was happening, it wasn't out of the ordinary for the two of them to hug, away from prying eyes, but this was different. She felt warmer than she had ever felt before, a warmth that emanated from inside of her body, a warmth that could melt iceberg. Was this it? Was this love?

RJ felt it as well, the feeling of swallowing lava, and it spilling out through his body warming it to the core. He'd never been a big believer in love, passing it off as chemical reactions in the brain. Though he knew he was correct, it almost didn't matter now. Minutes passed with the two holding one another, when they broke apart it felt as if they'd been thrust into a blizzard. Revin turned to look at her partner.

He felt as if anything would be worth feeling that warmth for just one more second.

"I'm Sorry" They both said at the same time, making them pause and elicit a small chuckle.

What they had felt was indescribable, a feeling thought unknown to the both of them. The look in their eyes told the entire story, they both knew that the other had felt the warmth, but they just couldn't find it in themselves to say it to the other. But when the cold set back in, they both found themselves equally terrified. They feared what the other thought about them, what they were feeling, what that all meant.

Needing to break the silence, RJ returned to his original explanation, feeling it to be an adequate distraction.

"I know what she was doing, it isn't anything I'd never seen. Hard to believe such an accredited doctor would be so ruthless" RJ began.

Revin's tears were gone, hopefully before RJ noticed was her hope, she listened intently to her partner, giving him the attention, he'd always given her.

"You have to understand, if she even suspects for a second that I'm not right in the head, which we both know I'm not, I'll be barred from the case. You know I'd travel to the end of the Citadel to find who did this to you, but it'll be a lot harder if I'm stuck in the booby hatch"

Revin could only nod her head in agreement, wishing she had seen such a clear motive earlier.

"I just got to feed her what she wants until the case is over, then she can throw me in an asylum and lock away the key for all I care. All I… all I need is a little more time" RJ finished quickly, feeling his voice quivering and breaking as tears began to well in his eyes as well.

"I'm so sorry, I should have known, I'm such an idiot. I don't know what the hell I was thinking, of course you didn't believe her, by the spirits, I'm a worse detective dead than I was alive." Revin relented, her voice quivering equally as his.

They both didn't say anything else; they didn't even make eye contact. What they had experienced would change their entire dynamic, even if they didn't realize it. They knew that the other cared about them, so much so that it physically hurt when faced with separation. They would never be the same, and they didn't even seem as sad about it as they thought they would.

The automatic door leading to the therapy room opened once more, and the minxy doctor walked in once more.

"I've made reservations for us at the Peregrine Falcon, I know the cook so I'll haggle us a free meal, but in the meantime try to focus on- Oh my! RJ? Are you crying?" Dr. Yuibo spoke, surprised at the display of emotion from what had seemed to be a stone-cold, hard-boiled detective.

"Um…yeah I'm sorry… it's just… whenever I think about her again, the tears aren't far behind" RJ excused, quickly thinking of a suitable explanation.

Revin, being a phantom, wasn't noticed by the Asari, if she was, she'd have felt the piercing stare of demonic rage. Revin wished for one more chance to affect a mortal object, if such a wish was granted, she'd use it to strangle the life out of the flirtatious doctor. But she trusted her partner, and if the spirits were on her side, maybe RJ would do it for her.

All Revin needed to do was to bite her tongue until Dr. Yuibo was thoroughly convinced of RJ's mental soundness. She just hoped the questionable doctor wouldn't take her studies too far with the man she loved.