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Midnight Hours

By Gargoyl

Romance / Drama

Chapter 1

CHAPTER 1

A/N – Hey! So, I just had this new FRUK plot popping into my mind all the sudden so I had to write it. Hope you guys enjoy my latest sinister creation and as you may already know, I have a reason for calling them like that…so here it is! Also, there is a bit of explaining at the end.

"Why don't you want to use a safe word?" the young man asked, holding his head in his hand and looking rather bored.

The green-eyed blond sprawled onto the bed was still panting slightly, staring at the ceiling. The bonds were beginning to put a strain on his shoulders and he really wished he didn't have to have his wrists tied up like this, but then again he knew he wasn't strong enough not to struggle through the procedure. It was simply too intense.

"Because it's… ridiculous!" he said at last, tongue darting out to lick the chapped lips. "It's not like I'm doing this for pleasure, and besides, it's… oh, bollocks, it's no use, untie me."

The brunette girl leaned over quickly, severing the silk ribbons holding the Englishman's wrists captive with a small knife. Arthur sat up with some effort, still breathing hard as he pulled his unbuttoned shirt together, and buried his face in his hands. He had seen nothing, nothing! Could it have been that the gift was simply going to shit?

"Do you not understand? If I were to have a safe word – ignoring how bloody BDSM that sounds – the restraints would be useless! Because I would just use the safe word when it becomes too much and then I would never get to see anything!" he grumbled. "I can only see things when I'm pushed over the limit!"

He fell backwards on the bed as the boy moved to hover over him, having Arthur relax against the mattress, his head resting in the other sibling's lap.

"Whatever you say, young master… You know, our other clients don't have visions when we do this to them, they just feel good, or at least they think they do… ," the girl said, running long fingers through his unruly blonde bangs.

"Yep," her brother confirmed, "You're the only one doing it for your job. And if it's so terrible, why don't you quit that shit job anyway? You could always decide to become some psycho-poo-poo who tells people weird New Age stuff for a lot of money."

"You know why. It's the curse of all the men in the Kirkland family – we must take honorable jobs in service of the State and for the good of the society. Or else my pirate great-great-grandfather's ghost will come to haunt me because I'm not spending my life atoning for his sins."

"Arthur…"

"He is real! That time I made that fuss and got suspended he showed up at my bedroom door. Do you have any idea how bloody horrible that was?!"

The brunette had lit up a cherry-flavored cigarette and she took a long, lazy drag before settling it between Arthur's lips. "And? What did he do? Or say?"

"Nothing. He was just standing there, with chains wrapped around his neck and the rest of his body, water dripping off his clothes, staring at me. The sodding carpet was soaked in the morning, and there were seaweeds on it!"

Francis was excited. He'd been worried a bit at first, because it was a big change, but now it had all turned to excitement. There was a small smile on his lips as he walked into the new headquarters of his assigned police station, briefly smoothing the lapels of his jacket as he went. His glance swept curiously over the buzzing open space and the people at the desks, receiving a few curious glances from those still nursing their morning coffees, but no one bothered to ask him anything or say hello.

He'd been given his badge at the front desk after delivering his transfer documentation and the blond kept rubbing his thumb over the smooth steel now nested safely in his pocket as he walked towards the matted glass door which read 'Chief Inspector'. It was open, yet Francis knocked a couple of times politely before poking his head in. His eyes fell on a large, neatly arranged desk with a small plaque sitting on one end.

Alfred F. Jones.

So, Mr. Jones it was, he mentally repeated. A blond man, rather on the petite side and donning a pale blue uniform was standing with his back on the door, rummaging through some drawers.

"Bon jou-… Tch! Um… Hello?"

The man turned abruptly but gracefully, emerald eyes giving the Frenchman an once-over before he blinked, expectant. "Yes?"

"Mr. Jones? It's great to finally meet you, honestly I-"

Francis had taken a step forward, hand extended, but halfway through the sentence he got the feeling, upon reading the slight confusion on the other's face, that he'd made a goof. After all, the Chief Inspector would have worn a suit at work, not an officer uniform, so this little fellow most likely wasn't him. Merde!

"Feliks Lukasiewicz, nice to meet you too," the smaller blond replied eventually, reaching out in turn and offering a soft handshake. "Boss is like totally not here now, but I take it you're the new detective, yes?" He hurriedly leafed through the stack of papers in his arms in search of something, then looked up relieved. "Detective Bonnefoy, right?"

"That's right."

"Boss won't be showing until later today, but I'm supposed to help you settle in," Feliks said, motioning for the newcomer to follow him out of the office. "I am his secretary and he totally trusts me to handle this. So, it must be quite the big change to move from Paris to the States, huh? Although I heard that like many people signed up for the exchange programme…"

Francis struggled to keep up with the secretary's rant and quick stride, getting slightly confused by the information overload (apparently Feliks knew everything about everyone and it was somehow part of his first day orientation to get to know it as well), until they arrived in front of a remote office with no inscription on the door.

Feliks opened it cordially, revealing a simple interior, some dusty shelves and two opposing seats placed on each side of a joint desk laden with an absolute mess of papers and files. An ugly sweater vest lay on the backrest of one of the chairs, while in one corner of said desk sat a rather expensive looking laptop, sporting a 'painful' crack in the lid.

"So, like, this is your new office, detective Bonnefoy," the officer stated, clapping his hands together. "I totally hope you like it and you'll be sharing it with your new partner. I'll see right away that you get a computer of your own, but for now there's only the one over there... and detective Kirkland trashed it last week."

"I see..." The blue-eyed blond moved into the room, still looking around although there wasn't much to see (more like damage to be assessed) and tried to lift the window – some fresh air would have been nice for a change. It didn't budge. "Anyway, Feliks," Francis turned away from the troublesome window, having decided to insist upon it later, "I was wondering if you could tell me a few things about my partner, detective... Kirk-land, was it?" Since the man had not been mentioned before, he mentally noted.

Officer Lukasiewicz scratched his head, as if pondering where to start. "Well, he's like totally weird, but in the same time everyone agrees that he's the best investigator we have. He's also like, a total drunkard and God-knows-what-else, so…" the smaller blond paused and walked to the desk on the ugly sweater vest side and fished something from the top drawer. "Here!"

A key was presented to Francis while the other shrugged, as if this was the most natural thing in the world. "Detective, I know you're eager to work on your first case here with us, but currently it's Monday morning, 9:30, so your partner is probably at home, hangover or passed out under a pile of stuff, so you'll like totally have to dig him up and drag him here before anything else. I'll write down the address right away."

At first, the Frenchman though that since his English wasn't perfect he'd somehow misunderstood the task at hand, but after it was patiently repeated by Chief Inspector Jones's secretary the information finally sunk in and he found himself wondering if this wasn't some sort of joke his new colleagues had planned for his first day.

"Oh, and boss says that probably this will, like, become a regular job on work days, so keep the key."

"Mais... you can't expect me to break into the home of a man I've never met and... drag him out of bed or something!"

"There is, like totally no problem, that's why boss made him leave a key here," Feliks replied, sighing. "Just show him the badge and tell him who you are, I'm sure he won't mind."

Somehow, Francis was less than convinced that there would be 'like totally no problem' with that, as he was left alone in the unsightly office, absently weighing the key in his hand. His gaze fell on the abandoned sweater vest and he couldn't help imagining the kind of man who would be wearing that – middle-aged, skinny and bony, with clouded eyes, greasy hair and reeking of alcohol and cigarettes. He knew full well the type of 'genius' he'd been handed over to, the kind requiring a lot of pampering and attending to in exchange for regular loads of 'constructive criticism'. At the thought, his enthusiasm dwindled significantly, but well, it was going to be a new experience, after all.

Or maybe this was a joke, or some sort of test Chief Inspector Jones had devised, maybe they'd even planted the depressing clothing article on the seat on purpose. With that bit of hope, the blue-eyed young man made his way out, ignoring the more than few curious stares which hadn't been there before and the barely restrained amusement behind officer Lukasiewicz's smile.

The cab left Francis in front of a decent brownstone house and he looked around curiously, immediately noticing a fancy black Mercedes Coupe parked awkwardly on the side of the street, after having hit several trashcans. Dieu, was this a tell-tale sign of his new partner's character? Most windows were covered by aging wooden shutters painted in a dark brown, appearing rather ominous and hostile at a first sight and the door too looked massive and unfriendly. Oh, well...

The blond sighed and fumbled with the key in the lock, eventually letting himself in after no one had answered the doorbell in the past five minutes (Feliks had told him it would surely be a waste of time, but he'd meant to do the right thing anyway). The parlor was dark, but it opened into large drawing rooms on each side a bit further away, the space nevertheless cramped with heavy, ancient looking furniture and looking utterly deserted. Given that the man was apparently British, Francis suddenly found himself thinking, after a brief inspection, that the inside of the house looked like a Victorian mansion.

A haunted Victorian mansion.

A/N – I know the first part is confusing as hell, but I kept it that way for a reason which will be revealed later on. Also, the story will for the most part be written from Francis' point of view (which is entirely new to me, by the way, but I'm willing to give it a try). Anyway, I know the first chapter isn't much, but I promise there will be plenty of action (of all kinds ;)) as well as some serious magic because let's face it, life without the flying mint bunny is bloody meaningless… just kidding, no flying mint bunnies. So maybe let me know what you think, because I love reviews as much as goblins love gold and they're a great motivational factor ;)

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