Here's another AU with Quinntana endgame. I don't own any of the characters.
I've only been a detective for 10 months and 6 days, but in a department this small in a town this size, that practically makes me one of the highest ranking officers in this place. That means that when a major crime like homicide is committed here, I'm the one that gets the call.
"Fabray." That was how you greeted people as a detective. No hello. Just your last name. It was 3 am and the sharp ring of my cell woke me from a deep and much needed sleep.
"There's been another one." Officer Puckerman didn't have to say anything else. I know what he meant.
"Where? I'll meet you." I sat myself up and ran my hand through my long, blonde hair. I felt Rachel shift beside me, but she wasn't awake or at least she didn't want to be so she just rolled away and faced the wall.
Puck gave me the address of a house or I guess I should say mansion. Around here, there are a lot of those along with the tourists, celebrities and other bigwigs that make up the majority of the population here during the summer. They bring us money from their vacation spending during the three months they make this place their home, but they also bring us the most trouble.
I got dressed in navy blue slacks and a button up blouse I already had out for the next day or I guess, today technically. I ran a brush through my hair and one across my teeth and grabbed my purse and jacket along with my badge and gun.
"What's going on?" Rachel asked groggily from the bed.
"I've got a case."
"Quinn, it's 3 in the morning. You've hardly slept at all these past few days."
"You got in after me tonight so it's not like you have room to talk." I retorted. Rachel sang in one of the clubs in town. She had an amazing voice, but hadn't been able to make it big on Broadway like she'd grown up dreaming she would. We met in high school when I first moved here with my parents. Rachel was the first real friend I made. She convinced me to join the glee club where I met Noah Puckerman. My first mistake was believing him when he said it was his first time too. My second was letting him get me drunk on wine coolers and my third was sleeping with him because as a sixteen-year-old girl in a new town, I was terrified of being alone. I wouldn't classify our daughter as a mistake though despite how she came into existence. Puck and I would later date after Beth was adopted and then off and on from there, but we eventually just stopped for good.
"Quinn, just because they call you, doesn't mean you have to go." Rachel told me after sitting up and grabbing a glass of water off her bedside table and taking a sip.
"It's all in the job description, Rach. Stay as long as you want. I don't know when I'll be back. Just lock up when you go."
I walked out of the room and left her behind as had been our custom since I became an officer of the law. After Beth, my parents who had promised a sizeable trust fund and every opportunity two rich parents could afford their daughter, decided instead to disown me and leave me with nothing. I stayed with friends until I graduated, bouncing around like a foster kid working odd jobs to save up and get my own place. Even though I'd gotten into several good schools, I couldn't afford any of them on my own. My friend Sam's dad was on the force and Sam was following in his father's footsteps and convinced me to join up with his terrible Sean Connery impression. I had a few beers in me at the time so it sounded much better than it actually was, but he and I got into the academy and I've been working my way up ever since. I took night classes and earned my BS in Criminal Justice in five years. I celebrated with a night of heavy drinking and I met a girl that night. She was attractive and funny and I could tell she was flirting with me and with my inhibitions down, I didn't care. When she leaned in to kiss me, I didn't flinch or move away. I let it happen and I let it happen again and again all night at the club and when she asked me to go back to her hotel, I agreed.
It was a traditional one-night stand and I never saw her again after that. She was a tourist in town for a little weekend fun on the cape. I was apparently a closeted lesbian ready to find myself a girlfriend.
I hopped in my car and headed in the direction of the address. It was only a 10-minute drive. When I pulled up, it appeared the medical examiner was already on the scene and Puckerman was talking to him. I slid out of the car, attached my gun to my hip and hung my badge from a chain around my neck.
"Mike, what is it this time?" I asked as I walked up to Dr. Chang.
"That's not a what. That's a who, doctor."
"Time of death is around 11pm. She was stabbed 16 times in the chest and her head was shaved."
"Head shaved? That's new."
"The killer did a good job at it. It appears he took his time. Not just a rough cut. It probably took some time."
"Thanks, Mike. Puck, what've you got?" I started to walk toward the house. Puck followed.
"Beverly Thomas, 23 years old, model. She's a renter. In town for the week for one of those richy rich sailing competitions. She was alone in the house when it happened."
We approached the door and walked into the living room.
"Any sign of forced entry?"
"No. Front door was unlocked when we got here."
"Who discovered the body?"
"This is where it gets interesting."
"Isn't it already interesting enough for you, Puck? Three murders in three weeks in a town that hasn't seen as many murders in 40 years?"
We walked toward the opulent staircase complete with giant glass chandelier and cherry wood bannisters.
"I'm not saying I like the fact that girls are getting killed, Quinn. I'm saying that it's interesting who those girls are. One actress in town from L.A., one singer who just won a her first Grammy, and now a model who was an angel."
"Angel? Did you hit on her in a bar and she said no or something, Puck?"
He laughed as we headed into the bedroom and were immediately surrounded by the crime scene techs who were examining the room and the body, which was sprawled on the bed. At least she was clothed.
"No, she's a Victoria's Secret Angel."
"You subscribe to the catalog, don't you?" I asked him as I leaned over the body to check out the damage.
"You've known me forever. What do you think?"
"You get off to it nightly alone in your bathroom." I smiled as I heard him laugh behind me. The first dead body I saw was right after I graduated from the academy. It was my third day on patrol and there was an elderly homeless man on a park bench asleep and upsetting the tourists. It turned out he had died during the night. When we found him, I couldn't tell if the smell was because he hadn't showered in a while or if it was because he was dead. Thanks to this recent murder spree, I can now easily tell the difference. Death is a smell you never forget.
"Told you he did a good job." Mike had entered the room with a gurney and his assistant.
"You're right. It looks like a professional job. They knew what they were doing or they were extremely patient." I glanced at the dead woman's head. She'd been given a buzz cut that looked like one the ARMY might give a new recruit.
I stood up and turned around to stare at Puck.
"This is funny to you?"
"No, God you're so damn literal sometime, Quinn. I mean the hair. She just got some big modeling job. She was the new spokesperson for some shampoo or something. Girl stuff, but I read about it."
"Then, funny isn't exactly the right word." I told him and returned my eyes to the dead body. "Was she-"
"No. No sexual assault." Mike knew what I was going to ask because I'd asked it at the other two crime scenes. "She didn't suffer too long. It looks like one of the first stabs went through her heart. She probably died quickly. I'll know more once I do the autopsy."
"Well, at least there's that." I looked around the room. "Where's the person who discovered the body?"
"She's in the kitchen." Puck explained and pointed out the door toward the stairs. "And if you think about it, have her sign something for me."
"Told you it was interesting."
I walked down the stairs and in the direction of the kitchen. It was then that I saw her sitting at the table drinking a glass of water while another officer was asking her questions.
She looked right up at me.
"Officer, I'll take it from here."
The officer collected his notebook and took the hint.
"I'm detective Fabray."
I sat at the table next to her and pulled out a notebook of my own.
"I'd say it's nice to meet you, but I think you can get why that's not really the case."
She looked like she had come down from the initial shock enough to answer some of my questions, but I could tell her hands were still shaking slightly. Her long, dark hair was pulled back in a lazy ponytail. She looked scared and tired at the same time and I couldn't really blame her for that. Despite all of that, she was even more beautiful than she was on screen.
"How did you know the deceased?" I clicked my pen to start writing. My hand was shaking slightly too. I can't believe I was star struck and I was having a hard time covering it up. Santana Lopez wasn't only someone I'd thought was incredibly hot, but she was gay too. So, in my mind as I sat in my small living room at home and watched her perform at the Grammy's and win several and then watched her movie career start to take off, I'd gotten it in my head that it could actually be a possibility. When my first real girlfriend and I had gotten serious, we'd gone over our lists. 5 celebrities you're allowed to sleep with if you get the chance. Santana Lopez was on my list and now she's sitting next to me at a crime scene.
"She was a friend." She interlocked her fingers and squeezed them together tightly before wrapping her arms across her chest. She was staring at the floor.
"Just a friend?" I asked knowing she wasn't telling me the whole truth.
She looked up and made eye contact.
"What? Because you think you know me and you know I'm gay, we must have been together?" She snapped.
I leaned back in my chair and left the pen resting against my notebook.
"I'm not assuming anything. I just need to know what your relationship was to Ms. Thomas. If you're saying you were friends, I'll write it up that way." I paused and leaned forward a little and I could see some of the tension in her body release a little. "Off the record?"
She looked around the kitchen and watched as officers continued to walk hastily past the door.
"Off the record?"
"Let me clarify." I explained. "I'll do my best to keep it off the record, but I can't promise it won't get out somehow."
"Her parents didn't know and I don't want them to find out this way."
"So you two…"
She leaned forward and started playing with the pen I'd left on my notebook as if she was keeping me from using it by doing so. "She was new to the whole thing. She hadn't really figured out what to label herself or if she wanted to label herself at all. We met at some red carpet event and became friends. We'd only been on a couple of dates. I'd been touring the past couple of months and just got to town to meet her here. We were going to try to see if this was something worth doing."
"Where were you tonight?"
She leaned back again.
"Are you asking me for my fucking alibi?"
"It's just a question; not an accusation."
"I just got here. I was supposed to be here this afternoon, but my flight was delayed. I didn't get in until around 10:00 and then I had to pick up my rental car. I got here around 12:30."
I leaned in a little more and gently pulled my pen from her clasped fist. I put it to the paper and wrote down what she'd just said.
"And when you got here?"
"I've already fucking explained this to the other officer and to two more before him. How many more times do I have to go over this with you small town hick cops?"
"Well Ms. Lopez, I'm sorry we're all a little too small town for someone like you, but considering there's someone out there killing women and I'm the one trying to find him, I'd ask you to please tell me what you did when you got here and I'll do my best to keep up so you don't have to repeat yourself again." I knew it was rude, but I was exhausted and I was also right. Three women were dead and it was my responsibility to figure out why and who did it so I really didn't want to put up with some celebrity, drama queens little fit.
Her glance back at me was that of surprise, but it also seemed like she was at least slightly impressed that I had the guts to talk to her like that.
"What did you say your name was?" She asked.
"Fabray. Sounds pretentious." She folded her arms across her chest again.
"Well, I'd take pretentious over non-cooperative any day of the week." I shot back.
"Look, I'm sorry. I was already exhausted before I got here and with all this, it's just a lot so I'm not in the best mood, okay?"
"Just tell me what you saw when you got here. What you did, what rooms you went into, how long before you called 911. Give me those details and you can go."
"Quinn?" Puck was standing at the entrance to the kitchen.
"What?" I sounded sharp, but I felt like I was finally getting somewhere with her and he was interrupting.
"They're… uh." He hesitated and looked over at Santana. "They're ready… to you know."
"Mike wants to know if you want to go through the room one more time before…"
"Tell him it's fine. Go ahead."
Puck turned and went to walk back upstairs.
I turned back to her upon hearing her say my first name.
I laughed lightly until I remembered I was supposed to be professional.
"Where were we?"
"What are they ready for upstairs?"
"Huh?" She caught me off guard.
"That officer said they're ready for something. What is it?"
I thought about not telling her, but she'd find out soon enough.
"They're ready to move the body. They've documented the scene and they need to get her to the morgue to do an autopsy."
"Oh." She hung her head.
"I really am sorry for your loss. I know people say that, but recently we've been dealing with a lot of death around here and it's terrible what whoever did this is putting people through. Putting you through. It's evil and I'm going to do everything I can to stop him, but I need your help."
She stood and walked toward the kitchen counter, which had an old pizza box on it. I watched as she paced back and forth, seemingly uncomfortable in the space. I could tell she hadn't spent too much time here, which went to corroborate her story that she had just arrived tonight. I'd still check with the airline, but I was getting the feeling that Santana Lopez really was just a witness in this whole thing.
"I don't know how I can help you. When I got here, the door was unlocked. I figured that was because she knew I was coming in late. I yelled for her. I saw her rental car in the driveway so I knew she was here. I didn't hear anything though so I walked around the downstairs looking for her before heading upstairs."
"You saw her car in the driveway?" I started writing in my notebook. "What kind of car? Color? Model? License?"
"Fuck! I don't know. It was dark and do I look like a girl that knows about cars? Not all lesbians know about cars, Fabray." She rested her hands tensely on the table in front of me. For a moment, it was like we were in a cop movie and I was the one being interrogated. "Can't you just check with the rental agency?"
"What kind of car did you rent tonight?" I asked.
"A Prius. Black." She paused. "Lame, I know. It's all they had left when I got there."
"Can I call you Santana?"
She released the tension in her hands, but kept that same position.
"Can I call you Quinn?"
"There's one car in the driveway and it's a black Prius. The rest of the vehicles on or around this house belong to law enforcement or emergency services."
She stood completely straight up.
"What are you saying?"
"Santana, I'm saying that the killer either stole the car Beverly rented or-"
"Or the psycho was here when I got here and I didn't know."
She slumped back into her chair.
"What did you hear when you first walked in?"
"Nothing. I told you. I called for her, but she didn't answer."
"What sounds, Santana? A dog barking nearby, the washing machine running, anything like that?"
She appeared to be thinking hard. I couldn't help but watch her. She was biting the inside of her lip either out of anxiousness or maybe that's just what she does when she's thinking.
"Nothing when I first got here, but as I walked up the stairs, I thought I heard something. It sounded like a car door closing. I didn't think anything of it then. I thought it was a neighbor or something, but it was him, wasn't it?"
"I don't know. It could have been a neighbor."
"Wait." She said out loud and then walked quickly out of the kitchen.
I stood and followed, leaving my notebook behind.
"Santana, where are you going?"
She stopped in front of a door, which she opened. It was an empty coat closet.
"Wrong one." She opened the one next to it.
"What are you doing?" I asked her.
"It's the fucking garage." She motioned for me to look through the door. I did. There was a red BMW parked in it. "This is her car."
"I didn't realize there was a garage." I told her before reaching my hand around her to try to find something.
"What are you looking for?" She asked me when my arm brushed up against her shoulder.
"This." I pushed a button and a light in the garage came on at the same time one of the two now visible garage doors now open. As they did, I could tell why no one thought to check the garage. "The garage opens to the side."
"Standing right here with you, so no need to state the obvious out loud and make me feel anymore freaked the hell out."
"Sorry." I walked into the garage to check the car. I saw the rental car agency decal in the windshield and walked outside. I left Santana standing in the garage while I walked around to the front of the house and noticed the windows that were really into the garage, but looked like normal windows. They had curtains on them that were closed. The officers hadn't yet made their way through everything and obviously had missed the garage. I walked back into the garage and saw her standing there waiting for me. "I'll check with the agency, but I'm pretty sure this is her car and that the assailant was still here when you arrived. He must have gone out the door to the balcony in the bedroom and escaped through the back."
"Why didn't he just kill me too?"
I paused trying to figure out how to answer her. The truth was that I had no idea why he didn't just kill her too. I knew she had to be terrified and I didn't want to make it worse, but she's obviously not dumb and understands she was very lucky not to be dead herself.
"I'll ask him when I catch him."
She lifted the corner of her mouth in a smirk.
"Cocky and pretentious, huh?"
"Says the woman who when she found out she was nominated for her first Grammy, told a reporter that 'I'll win. I sold more records then all of them combined and, well look at me.'"
"I won, didn't I? And what are you, a fan?"
"We should get back to the kitchen. We still have some things to go through and then I'll have an officer drive you wherever you want to go."
"Is Paris an option?"
"Anywhere in town. I need you to say here for a while. I'm going to get someone to go through possible cars with you tomorrow and then-"
"Wait. You expect me to stay here? Girls are getting killed almost nightly in this hole. You shouldn't even stay here."
"I'm not his type."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"He only kills celebrities." I said it before I really thought it through.
Her eyes got big.
"Then, I'm getting the hell outta here."
"Just a couple of days and we'll get you protection. You'll be safe."
"Your officers didn't even think to look for her car in the fucking garage and I'm supposed to trust them with my safety?"
She started to walk back into the house. I caught Puck out of the corner of my eye as I walked behind her.
"Puck, check the car in the garage. Call the rental agency and get all the details."
"No one's going to answer right now. The sun's not even up."
"Then, keep calling until someone does answer and get the damn information." I joined Santana back in the kitchen. "Look, there aren't many hotels here. Most of the tourists who come through just rent places like this. I'll have one of the officers call around and see if there are any rooms for tonight and I'll have him drive you over and stand outside your door and then bring you to the station later."
"Why isn't this news?" Her voice was soft as she sat back in her seat from before.
"What do you mean?" I sat back down too.
"I haven't heard anything about some serial killer stalking famous people in the Northeast."
"You've been in Europe. The news started covering it after the second victim. That's when people started paying attention. Two dead famous girls in a small town like this."
"Who were they?"
"The first victim was Erica Richardson. She played a surgeon on TV. He cut off her hands. The second was Marley Rose."
"Shit. I knew her. Well, I met her once. Ran into her at the Grammy's." She appeared to be thinking again. "What did he do to her?"
"I'm only giving you this information because it's already out there and you'll find it out anyway."
"What did he do to her?"
"He took her vocal chords."
"He took Bev's hair. What the fuck is this guy's problem?"
"I don't know, but the FBI is coming in. They'll probably be taking over from here, but I'm going to do everything I can to stay on the investigation and find this guy."
I continued with my questions and she answered them without anymore delaying. I could tell she was exhausted and just wanted to wrap this whole thing up. I was exhausted too, but knew I still had a lot of work to do. I had one of the other officers call around and find her a room in a local B&B. When we were about to wrap up, I offered to drop her off instead and have the officer just follow us and remain behind. I felt she could use someone she was at least a little comfortable with for the ride over.
She stared out the passenger's side window. Her eyes were sometimes open; sometimes closed. I couldn't tell what she was thinking, but I wished I could reach inside her mind and pull out her thoughts. Was she in mourning over the loss of a friend, someone who could have been potentially more? Was she scared over the possibility of being next? Both? It was about a fifteen-minute drive to the bed and breakfast that had one room available out of the four it had. Normally, no one would have been at the front desk, but given our situation the owner greeted us and I walked Santana up to her room with officer Richards following close behind.
"Here you go." I handed her the roller suitcase I'd been pulling for her so she could carry her duffel. "Officer Richards will be just outside the door. If you need anything, just let him know. I'll call later once we're ready for you down at the station. I promise I will try to get you out of our little backwater town as soon as I can."
"Don't think we're done talking about how you're a huge fan of mine." She winked.
I smiled and rolled my eyes.
"I wouldn't say huge."
"You knew I was in Europe on tour. You quoted an interview from years ago. I'd guess you have posters of me on your wall; you follow me on Twitter and have a Google alert for me too. Am I close?"
"Not even a little bit." We both smiled and she turned to put her key in the door and unlock it. "Get some sleep."
"You too. You look like crap, Fabray." She wiggled her eyebrows at me and smiled. I knew she was kidding, but I also knew I really did look terrible.
She took her luggage and closed the door behind her.
"No one goes in or out of this room. She doesn't leave here unless it's to the station. Understood?"
I left Richards there to watch over her. I wish I could have stayed to make sure she was okay, but it's my case so I don't have that luxury. I stopped by the front desk again and asked that they just bring food up to her instead of making her come down. I wanted as few people to know she was in town as possible. We checked her in under an alias. I used my credit card. I didn't want this psychopath knowing there was another celebrity in town he could torment or worse… kill.