leradny (leradny) wrote in finalfantasized,

Tense family dinner, ahoy!

Title: Circles in the Dirt
Genre: Humor/Drama
Rating: K, for now. In later chapters, a very high PG13 for implied child abuse (both physical and sexual).
Summary: Everyone starts acting weirder and weirder as a series of murders occurs near Destiny High School. Policeman on the case: Leon Loire.

Chapter One.
Chapter Two.
Chapter Three.
Chapter Four

"Heartless?" Leon echoed flatly. It sounded like a stupid name for a gang, even if it did sound familiar. He suspected that he had heard people talking about it, but disregarded it as a topper story by some of the more easily bored line patrol officers, like Luxord. Luxord was always making things up.

Circles in the Dirt

Leon was rather covertly using a computer in an office that was not his, but Laguna Loire's. The reason for this was because Laguna was not like Larxene, who would probably shoot Leon repeatedly and make it look like an accident if he did that. She was that type of person. Laguna didn't even mind it when people entered his office without permission, as long as they were 'researching something that would help them in future cases.'

Leon bore a grudging respect for the man, though he couldn't figure out why Ellone loved him so much. He referred to Laguna by his first name because he honestly did not think of Laguna as his father. It rather relieved him that the older man did not seem discouraged or hurt. Ellone had been hurt. But that was over between them now, and she no longer tried to force her perspective on him.

He felt terribly confused whenever he thought about the issue, and angry, and resentful as well. He knew, on one hand, that Laguna could not have predicted the incredibly complicated circumstances of his separation from the two siblings, yet at the same time he had taken a long time to find them. It did not help that Ellone could remember him clearly and fondly, but Leon could not. He had been far too young for that.

Leon finished reading the twelfth site he had found on heterochromia and decided to stop looking. Several of those sites had been exclusively devoted to cats; he hadn't known that it would be this hard to find one specific piece of information. After asking Quistis, the librarian, for the technical term, he had been led on a maddening scavenger hunt chasing from one source to another, and he was too sick of it to continue.

At this point, Laguna entered the room and Leon tried hard not to look suspicious. "Well, hello, Squall!" The older man's reasoning for this was that if Leon always referred to him as Laguna, then he could use Leon's real name as well. It irked Leon, but he couldn't well do anything about it as it made perfect sense, so he was attempting to get used to it, which worked most of the time. It didn't work this time as Laguna looked over his shoulder nosily.

"Heterochromia? Are you trying to identify a suspect?"

"No," Leon said stiffly. "I was just curious."

"Well, it's very rare. And if you think heterochromia will make a search for a suspect easier, then think again! It doesn't."

Perhaps this applied to one of Laguna's cases. It probably did, since he had been on the force for twenty years and counting, though since his promotion he was often relegated to intelligence rather than field work.

"Anyway, Elle just called. She wanted to know if you were up to having dinner at her house, with me."

Leon shrugged. "Fine. It's fine with me." He closed the window on heterochromia quickly and strode out of the office. "See you, Laguna."

"Bye, Squall."

Leon heaved a long sigh and got ready to go home and change. It looked to be a very long night.

"Oh, hey Squall. Hi, Dad!" Ellone gave them both hugs and Leon felt very uncomfortable. Probably it was the basil he could smell cooking in Ellone's lasagna. Leon was not allergic to basil, per se, but if he ate a lot of it on an empty stomach he tended to break out in a rash all across his arms, especially his hands. It was why he liked wearing gloves.

Ellone knew this and tried to keep basil out of her family dinners, for his sake, but she couldn't help it when it came to lasagna. She said her favorite dish was just too bland and boring without basil. To compensate, she always served elaborate appetizers and desserts so her brother could at least go home on a full stomach; and so they wouldn't suspect anything, she did that every time--not just with basil dishes.

Leon thought she tried too hard.

"Squall? How are things going with Destiny High?" Ellone watched him carefully as he spooned some chocolate mousse into his plate.

"It's going perfectly well." He didn't know how to phrase the fact that one student, Paine, looked very suspicious to him, even though she did spend a lot of time with the harmless and very polite Yuna. Perhaps it was a front? "I don't know why they've stationed me there--it's a very well-kept school."

"Oh, you haven't heard?" Laguna was eating with gusto, but he stopped for a moment. He was already working through his lasagna. "There's this crew--we call them the Heartless--that have commited crimes uncomfortably close to Destiny High."

"Heartless?" Leon echoed flatly. It sounded like a stupid name for a gang, even if it did sound familiar. He suspected that he had heard people talking about it, but disregarded it as a topper story by some of the more easily bored line patrol officers, like Luxord. Luxord was always making things up.

"Yes. They rip out people's hearts."

Ellone grimaced.

"Well, so far they have ripped out one person's heart." Laguna had a strong stomach and continued eating his lasagna, not noticing the fact that between the layers was Ellone's thick, trademark basil-laced sauce dripping tepidly back down onto his plate. "Only one witness, and that was a hysterical teenager, the victim's friend. We're not taking any chances--that's why we put you there."

"Oh." Leon looked at Ellone, who gave him a timid smile back, and then he continued (albeit very slowly) eating his food. "That... explains a lot."

The rest of their dinner was pointedly shunted into less gory subjects, like Ellone's co-workers and friends at the Port Royal Hotel. Elizabeth and Will in particular was a hot subject, as they were planning to get married.

"Haven't they been planning to get married for over a year now?" Leon asked. He remembered that one day, he had pulled someone over for speeding on quite a wet, slick, rainy day road and it turned out to be Will, on his way to the wedding in full dress. They had both forgiven him, saying that Will at the time of the arrest would have been several hours late anyway, for reasons the perpetually betrothed couple declined to explain, but Leon still felt guilty.

"Well, things come up." Ellone shot him a very wide smile and waved off his question breezily. "They're kind of unfortunate that way."

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