"Mr. Xavier! I didn't expect to see you here!" 

Zachary was hunched over on the bar stool, his chest against the ceramic counter and a bottle in his hand. He turned around and gave a small grunt of confusion. It was Officer Davidson. A raggedy-looking bearded man was with him, but in cuffs, of course. "Ayyy! Offsir Davington, ma fayrit cop! How you doin', man?" Zachary enthusiastically greeted, his arms open wide. His breath was more alcoholic than a full keg. Officer Davidson noticed that a troop of empty bottles accompanied the one in the detective's hand.

 "I'm doing well. Uh, tell you what, Mr Xavier; I'll go drop this guy off at the station and then I'll come back and share a drink with you. It'd be good to get to know the town's best sleuth", Davidson suggested, although mostly to himself, since Zack seemed to be half-dead at the moment.

Half an hour later, Davidson was back in the bar. This wasn't exactly the fanciest place in town, but it seemed to suit the drunken Zachary just fine. The officer took a seat beside Zack and ordered a bottle. Zachary was conscious, but his eyes seemed to be staring into nothingness. He paid no attention to the police officer on his right side. "Hey, you alright, Mr. Xavier?" Davidson asked.

"I've never been alright, officer; I don't think I ever will", Mr. Xavier muttered.

Officer Davidson usually looked upon the legendary detective Zachary Xavier with respect, but could only stare at the wrecked young man in pity tonight. According to files, Zachary Xavier was only 22, a whole 14 years younger than Davidson. What the hell was he going through that would make him so look damn distraught?

Just then, the detective raised his head up from the counter for the first time in hours... to check his watch. "Well... snap", he groaned, pulling a bottle of pills from his coat pocket.

Dawson Davidson watched with piqued curiosity (and mild concern) as Zack washed down two black capsules with a mouthful of vodka. "Um, is that safe? What is that stuff?" the officer worriedly muttered. 

Zack shook the pill bottle around playfully in his hand. There were dozens of the small, black capsules. "Nothing to be concerned about, officer," he chuckled, "This is just a unique concoction designed for the sole purpose of keeping me sane... it won't get screwed up by something as small as a fistful of vodka."

Both of them took a drink. A fighting match was being aired on TV, but neither of them was into sports. "Oh, call me Dawson," the cop suggested, "I don't get called it enough anymore. Say, how often are you here, Mr. Xavier?"

"Almost very damn night," the hairy, gruff bartender snickered, eavesdropping on the conversation, "We did the math one night; Zack spends at least 40% of his income here, and I love him!" 

"Shut it and grab me another one", Zack hissed, rattling his newest addition to the growing empty bottle collection. He turned to the cop. "So Dawson, tell me: why are you here, tonight?"

"Like I said earlier, I wanted to get to know - "

"Everything about me?" Zachary finished. "You want to know why I can do what I can do, right?"


"Everyone does. They all come up to me, hoping to learn some incredible, supernatural power... They all act like they understand and that they can help me with the troubles I'm having... it's sickening." Zack spat into a nearby shot glass, disregarding its distressed drinker entirely.

"Okay," Dawson shrugged, "You got me. That's exactly why I'm here. I'm just another asshole, eager to get into the mind of one of the world's finest. So now what?"

"Oh, God... I'm going to have to tell you my story, aren't I? Well that's fine... as long as you tell me yours", Mr. Xavier bargained. 

"It's a deal." 

"You know, Dawson, I like you. Maybe you're different from those others... or maybe I'm just too drunk to say no... Well," Zachary Xavier began, "It all started in the winter of 2003. I was a teenager. I lived with my mother and father, along with my two younger twin sisters, aged 12. I was one of the innocents. Never did drugs, never smoked, never even sipped a beer. Yet somehow, I became the most screwed-up kid this side of the country..."


The End

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