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Title: Singing Through the Static Part 10 Sins of the Heart
Summary: Not being able to handle all that she's learned, Leda leaves HQ and meets someone who'll change everything...
Disclaimer: Same, geez
Rating: Uh...I'm not sure...PG 13??
Feedback: Of course! I need it!
Leda pulled herself along the streets of Central in a daze. She didn't know where she was headed, nor did she care. She just needed to walk. To escape for at least a little while.
She finally spotted an establishment that bragged the best booze. The Devil's Nest. It looked like sort of a dive, but Leda though that nobody would think to look for her in there, which is exactly what she wanted.
She navigated down the steep stairs into the main room of the bar.
Immediately, all eyes were on her. She knew she didn't fit in here, but she could care less. She stalked over to the bar and hopped onto one of the leather seated stools.
The bartender eyed her wearily. He didn't even offer to serve her anything.
"Hello?" She waved her hand in his direction, frustration in her voice.
The bartender threw a towel down on the tabletop and strutted over to her.
"Yes Miss?" He drawled.
"I'd like a drink." Leda said, exasperated.
The bartender grinned at her, his teeth yellowed and too crowded for his tiny jaw. "This ain't no place for you to be having a drink, Missy. Why don't you take yourself on over to Danny's Pub. It's right down the street." He told her gently.
Leda clamped her hands in fists to avoid sending the biggest bolt of electricity right through this guy's ignorant body. "If I wanted a drink at Danny's Pub, I'd be there, wouldn't I?" She seethed. "I said I want a drink here. Now are you going to serve me or not?" Her eyes bore into his, silently telling him that his answer better be yes, for his own benefit.
"What do you want?" He sighed.
"The lady and I will both have a Scotch."
"Sure thing, Greed." The bartender scurried away.
Leda almost exploded. She turned her angry gaze to the man now sitting beside her.
"I don't want a Scotch..." She growled.
"Relax, Doll." The man laughed. "Tell me why you stumbled into a place like this and I'll buy you anything you want." He proposed.
"I'd rather not." Leda told him, turning away.
"Then Scotch it is." He chuckled.
Leda sighed. "Fine." She turned and faced the man again. "I found out some things...that I didn't like." She said simply.
"Come on, Doll, you'll have to give me a little more than that..." The man teased.
"My name is not 'Doll'." She replied angrily.
"Then what is it?" He asked, swiveling around on his bar stool.
"It's Leda." She yelled, aggravated.
The man was un-phased by her aggression. "Okay, Leda, tell me again, what happened?"
"Well," She began. "An old...friend...of mine came to town..." She struggled for the right words. She wasn't about to tell this stranger the whole truth. "She told me some things about...my other friends...that sort of...rattled me." She said, her head down. "I just need some time to deal with...all the things that I found out today." Leda confessed.
The man nodded, understanding. "Hey, Willie!" He called down the bar. "Bring this girl whatever she asks for. It's on me!"
The guy called Willie just nodded.
Leda put her head in her hands. She was beginning to think not even a drink would help her today. Things just seemed to be getting worse.
"Come here D-...I mean, Leda. If you need to relax, then I know just the place." He held out his hand for her to take.
Leda ignored his outreached hand. "You expect me to just follow you? How do I know you won't..." She trailed off, flushing.
"You don't." He shrugged. "But you can trust me or not." He said, lowering his hand. "Your choice."
Leda stared up at the strange man, wondering what her decision should be. He was handsome, she told herself. Perhaps not as good-looking as Roy, but good-looking just the same. He had thick, black hair that was styled into spikes. His body was lean and muscular. And his eyes made Leda shiver with excitement. They were violet; deep and rich and almost glowing.
"What the Hell." She muttered under her breath. She was confused and hurt and avoiding Roy. This man obviously showed an interest in her; why not let him make her feel better if he could?
She followed the man back behind the bar and through a rough, wooden door into a dark, dripping hallway. It smelled like dust and rotting wood.
Leda sneezed. Maybe this hadn't been a good idea after all.
"Almost there." He said, leading her around a bend in the hall.
They walked a little further, to a door on their left side. The man held it open for her and Leda entered, cautious.
Her eyes grew large and traveled over the entire room. It was amazing. You could never guess something like this existed in the basement of a seedy bar. Firstly, the room smelled nothing like the hallway they had just come from. It sported the scent of leather and musk and maleness. Leda breathed deeply, enjoying it.
The entire room was painted a deep, evergreen and even the thick, plush carpet was deep, soothing, green. In the center of the room sat a king-sized sleigh bed. Leda resisted the urge to jump on it. The canopy over the bed was an off-white gauze that floated all the way to the floor, completely secluding the bed.
"What do you think?" The man closed the door behind the two of them and walked in, right at home. He removed the fur-trimmed jacket he was wearing and tossed it over the back of a leather love seat.
"Is...is this yours?" Leda stammered.
He just nodded yes.
She continued to study the room. The furniture was all dark woods; smooth and shiny. There was also a bathroom off one wall.
Leda couldn't resist.
She entered the bathroom, her eyes shining like a child's on Christmas day. Black tile lined the floor and the same off-white as the bed canopy accented the room. A monstrous tub sat on the far wall, also a gleaming coal black.
The whole place looked spotlessly neat and clean.
Leda was amazed, to say the least.
She walked over to the tub and ran her fingers lightly across it's surface.
"Want to have a soak?"
"Oh, I couldn't." Leda giggled lightly.
"Sure you could. It's easy, I promise." He said, moving up behind Leda. "You just step in, close your eyes, and the water will do the rest." He told her.
Leda could feel him at her back; a heavy pressure. "No, I mean-"
"I know what you meant." He chuckled.
Leda laughed too, a bit nervously. "So...Greed? Is that what the bartender called you?" She quirked an eyebrow.
"Yeah." He answered.
"Your name is Greed?" She asked incredulously.
"Making fun of me now?" Greed teased.
"No, no. Just...making sure I heard you right. It's embarrassing to call someone by the wrong name..." She rambled.
Greed finally moved back out of the bathroom and Leda sighed with relief. His closeness had been mildly disturbing.
"How 'bout that drink, now?" Greed called from back in the bedroom.
Leda took one last, long look around bathroom before venturing back into the main room. "That sounds great, since that's why I'm here in the first place." She said flatly.
"No, you were in the bar for a drink. You're here because you find me irresistible." He joked.
"You wish." Leda retorted. In her mind though, she cringed at how close he was to the truth.
"What'll it be?" He asked, pulling out bottles upon bottles of liquor.
"Not Scotch." She laughed. "How about...Vodka?" She wandered over to the clutter of bottles and started reading the labels.
Greed poured them both a hefty glass of booze. He handed Leda hers and she took a lengthy swallow. She made a disgusted face.
"Good?" He asked, laughing.
She cleared her throat and said, "Excellent."
Cairo's feet felt like lead. They had walked all over Central and had found no sign of Leda or Kyra.
"Roy..." Cairo sobbed. "Where is she? Why can't we find her?!"
Roy's face was grim. Although he knew Leda could hold her own in most situations, he feared the worst had become her.
"Ed." Roy barked. "You and Al take Cairo back to HQ." Cairo started to protest, but he cut her off. "I'll keep searching." He promised her.
"Come on, Cairo." Al patted her on the back.
Tears began trailing down Cairo's cheeks. Her vision was so blurry with tears, she couldn't see which way was back toward Central Head Quarters.
Ed watched Cairo cry, his guts twisting. He felt sorrow for her, but didn't know exactly how to help. He placed an arm around her quaking shoulders and pulled her into an embrace.
"We'll find her." He whispered into her ear.
Roy watched Ed and Al lead Cairo down the street. Ed's arm was placed protectively around the girl's shoulders.
After he could no longer see them, Roy fixed his mind on finding Leda. There were only so many places she could be, he thought. They obviously hadn't looked everywhere yet.
Roy continued walking down the street, stopping at each establishment, asking if anyone had seen either Leda or Kyra. He described them both as best he could.
Each place he went was a disappointment. No one had seen them.
Rain started to fall down heavily, and people scurried in off the streets.
Roy just blinked the rain drops from his eyes. He couldn't quit searching. Not until Leda was safe and sound. Back in her dorm, where she should be now.
Roy blamed himself partly for her disappearance. He should've had tighter security. He should've been watching her.
If any harm came to her, he wasn't sure he'd be able to forgive himself.
He'd already toyed with the girl's heart, kissing her. And now, because of him, she was in Kyra's clutches, enduring God knew what.
He told himself he would make it up to her, as soon as he found her. He would do whatever it took to make all this right.
Roy kept walking. The next building he came to housed a couple taverns. He took a chance and descended the stairs into the Devil's Nest. The place reeked of cheap alcohol and cigarette smoke. He pushed his way to the bar and waited for the overweight bartender to acknowledge him.
"What do you want?" The man asked, eying Roy from head to toe, obviously dismayed by his military uniform.
"I'm looking for somebody." Roy said. "A certain girl. Long black hair, pretty. Possibly with another girl; blue hair."
"Haven't seen 'em." The man said and started to walk away.
"I thought you might say that." Roy chuckled. "So I'm willing to give you generous compensation for anything you can tell me." Roy pushed some folded bills across the bar, into the man's grimy hand.
"Black hair you say?" The man smiled, his teeth horribly yellowed in the dim lighting.
"Yes. About five six. Slim." Roy told him.
"Yeah, I think I saw her, 'cept she wasn't with no blue haired girl, she was alone." The man said, leaning on the bar.
"How long ago did she leave?" Roy asked urgently.
The man grinned wickedly. "She didn't."
Roy glanced around the bar. There wasn't a woman anywhere. "I don't understand." He said.
"Oh, she didn't stay here here. She's with the boss man."
"Where are they?" Roy growled. The sudden wave of jealousy took him by surprise. He pushed the feeling aside, trying to concentrate on getting to Leda.
The man remained silent.
"Tell. Me. Where. They. Are." Roy said through gritted teeth.
The man nodded, his eyes a little wide. He went through a door behind the bar and disappeared for several minutes.
Leda squealed with drunken laughter at almost everything Greed said.
Greed continued to dish out drinks.
He and Leda were now sitting in the middle of the gigantic bed, talking about everything that popped into their heads.
"Then he said, 'I couldn't find it'." Greed finished a witty tale.
Leda roared with laughter and nearly fell off the bed. Greed jumped to catch her before she toppled over. He snaked an arm around her waist and pulled her further into the center, closer to him.
"Oh, Greed." Leda sighed happily. "You're so funny."
Greed only smiled. He knew it was mostly the booze talking, but he enjoyed it anyway.
"Time for another drink yet?" Leda giggled.
Greed, not nearly as drunk as Leda, put the bottle they were drinking from on a bedside table. "I think you've had enough." He told her softly.
Leda's face grew angry. "Why don't you let me make that decision, okay?" She fumed.
Greed shook his head. "Leda, you're drunk."
"No, I am not!" She yelled. "Just pour me another drink, or I'll pour one myself!"
Greed sighed. "I'm not pouring you another drink." He said sternly.
Suddenly, there was a loud knock on the bedroom door.
"What is it?!" Greed shouted.
Willie stuck his head in the doorway. "Sorry, Boss, but there's a man here for the girl. Military." He informed Greed.
Greed groaned. "Thanks, Willie. Send him down."
Willie nodded quickly and left.
Greed turned back to Leda. She had somehow managed to climb off the bed by herself and grab a bottle of Vodka. She was trying to unscrew the cap.
"I said no more." He growled dangerously.
"Well, I said I'm fine!" Leda spat. She continued to twist at the stubborn cap. Greed snatched the bottle from her hand. "Hey!" She yelled. "Give that back!" She lept for the bottle in his hand. She scratched and bit at his hand and arm.
Greed finally threw the bottle down on the carpet and tossed Leda back onto the bed. Before she could escape again, he climbed on top of her, pinning her body with his.
She struggled and bit at him some more.
"Stop it." He ordered her.
"Greed! Let me up!" Leda screamed.
"No!" He yelled back.
Roy followed the shouts coming down the hall.
"Let me up!"
Leda! She was screaming!
A male voice.
Roy began sprinting down the hall, toward the voices.
"Let go of me!"
Roy finally found the source; one of many doors in a long hallway. He threw the door open, ready to save his damsel in distress.
He froze inside the door, taking in the scene before him. Leda was being held down by a man in the middle of a bed. He mentally slapped himself into action. He ran forward, attempting to strike the man, but he was too quick. The other man did an impressive aerial off the bed and landed on the far side of Roy.
"Leda." Roy pulled her to him, quickly looking her over. She seemed unhurt, as far as he could tell.
"Roy?" Leda's eyes were unfocused and misty.
It was then that Roy caught the smell emanating from Leda and he realized why she was being so unresponsive. She was drunk.
"What did you give her?" Roy demanded.
"Oh, a little of this, a little of that." The man grinned.
"Come on, Leda. We're leaving." Roy lifted her easily into his arms and headed toward the open door.
"Ya know, if you kept your girl satisfied, she wouldn't have to come to places like this to get her fix." The man yelled after them.
Roy closed his eyes, pushing away the images of Leda and that man that threatened to conquer his mind.
Roy carried Leda in his arms all the way back to her dorm at Central. He laid her carefully in her bed and pulled the covers up to her chin.
"How do you feel?" He asked, concerned.
"Eh." Was her only response.
Roy couldn't help but laugh a little. "Yeah, that much alcohol will do that to you."
"The lights." She groaned.
Roy quickly switched the lights off and closed the curtains, casting the room into almost complete darkness.
Roy sat on the edge of the bed and stared down at Leda. He could tell she was miserable. He reached out a hand and brushed a stray strand of hair from her forehead.
"What were you doing there?" He whispered.
Leda tossed a little bit trying to get comfortable. "Roy..." She cried softly.
"What is it?" He asked tenderly.
"Stay with me?" Her eyes fluttered open, pleading with him.
Roy stroked her forehead some more, trying to comfort her. "I'll stay." He promised.
Leda closed her eyes again and fell into a fitful sleep.