Disclaimers for all - not mine.....except this fic's villains!

They stood in freeze-frame, holding their breaths in the hope that it would all disappear. All of it. The weeks of investigation into porn rings which would make your skin crawl. Weeks in which they had, to a man, gone home in the evenings and scrubbed themselves clean. Weeks of hoping something would be found, so they could stop having to go through it all over and over.
Fearless had to let the breath go, but he could hear his chest fall....then rise again. It was a ragged sound, almost panicky. He couldn't believe it had come to this. Finding the leader of the porn ring had been tough enough, hunting him down just as difficult, but this was too much. He prayed that it wouldn't end the way their last confrontation with him had done. In tragedy - blood pouring thickly over concrete, flowing the very life out of a man barely out of the police academy. He could remember every moment of that scene. Joel rushing towards their suspect, trying to reach him before the gun went off, blasting its way through another cop's skull. The suspect running, realising he might just be able to escape. Fearless remembered running to his partner's side as Joel cradled the cop's body in his arms, reassuring the poor kid as he quickly died.
Ray Hechler glanced briefly sideways at his partner. He could feel his heart thudding against his chest like it was about to make an escape attempt. There was nothing he could do, and for what it was worth, it killed him. He couldn't stand to see another colleague die. So unnecessary.

His partner, Tom Turcotte, knew he was partly at fault for this. His skin was tingling, not with excitement, but with fear, in the knowledge that he might very soon be responsible for a man he had known for years. He cursed silently, wishing that he had had the sense to watch his own back.....if he'd been paying a little more attention, maybe they wouldn't be in this situation, where their suspect had the upper hand - and a hostage.


He knew he wasn't supposed to be there, but somehow he couldn't help it. Tom just wanted to talk to the girl again, see if there was anything they had missed. He felt like he was falling behind on this one, and he wanted to make it up. So he had decided to ask her a few questions, get out of her whatever it was she was hiding (and there was definitely something).
Tom couldn't shake the feeling that someone had been watching him as he entered the apartment building, but he did ignore it. The girl lived on the first floor, so not far for him to walk. He made his way fast up the narrow stairwell. The walls were streaked with greenish moss and stench- ridden damp patches. As to the stains on the concrete floor, Tom didn't even want to think about what they might be down to.
He got to the door - nondescript, brown, damaged but obviously not that old - and tried to persuade himself that it was purely professional interest that had got him here. She was beautiful. Long wavy hair, chocolatey-brown, and eyes to match. Hell of a figure too. Tom shook his head free of all the thoughts that plagued him. This was a professional trip. He knocked on the door, hoping fervently that he hadn't wasted a trip across town. A small voice came floating to him. "Hello? Who is it?" It was almost tearful, and he recognised it instantly as the woman he was looking for - Lucy Allthorpe.

"Lucy? It's Officer Turcotte."

"Oh-" she sounded a little brighter to Tom's ears, but that was probably wishful thinking "-um, I guess you can come in then."

It was unlocked quickly for him, and two strong hands (male, definitely male) dragged him inside. A thought went through Tom's mind as his surroundings rushed past him and the world crashed into darkness, and it was simply this - 'Ray is going to kill me for this'.


The detective sat back lazily, but deceptively alert in his car seat wishing he was anywhere else. He glanced sideways at his partner, who was paying considerably more attention to the task at hand. Not that Fearless was neglecting his job of course, no way - it was just that Joel seemed hyper-focused on this one. It was a feeling he totally understood, and probably would have shared had he gotten anything like a normal amount of sleep in the past few weeks.
It didn't help any that the car was a particularly uncomfortable one. They'd borrowed it from one of the uniformed officers, since most of the others had been seen already by Lucy Allthorpe, and they weren't prepared to take any chances. He sighed heavily and reached for another potato chip. They were running out, naturally, and there was no way of getting anymore before their shift ended. Eating was about the only thing you could do to stave off the boredom too. With a belated piece of self-admonishment, Fearless shifted himself and started paying more attention.
Even so, Joel spotted the problem before he did. The man swore violently under his breath. Not something Fearless normally associated with his mild-mannered partner. He raised an eyebrow and tried to follow Joel's line of sight.

"What is it, man?" He said.

Joel raised a finger and pointed an the immediately obvious figure sneaking guiltily into Allthorpe's apartment building. Fearless swore under his breath. All they needed was for Tom Turcotte to go storming in and spoil their surveillance because he couldn't keep his mind off a girl for a while. But they waited, in the hope that Lucy wouldn't open her door, and Tom would leave. It didn't happen.
Through the small window, they could make out a little of what was going on in Lucy's apartment. Fearless watched, straining his neck and squinting to get a better sight on it. He could make out two figures - a large one, probably male, and a small one - definitely Lucy. It all happened so fast after that.
One minute he was watching the window, the next he was chasing after his partner, going to rescue Turcotte from almost certain death. They didn't need a cop being used as a bargaining chip for anything. Fearless ran top speed, but still he couldn't catch up with Joel. He'd never known his partner to move so fast. They reached the door to the building in a matter of seconds.
His partner threw the door open and ran up the narrow stairwell, moving as swiftly and quietly as was possible in a creaky, rotten old building. Fearless got into a covering position, and nodded to Joel. His partner nodded back, and kicked down the door with surprisingly little effort. They rushed in, covering the room fast. It didn't take long to discover the open window at the back of the immaculately-kept little apartment.

Joel turned to Fearless. "They went to the roof. Call for backup!" He said.


He didn't hate surveillance so much as - ah, hell, he did hate it. It was quiet, sure, but you had to deal with your partner fidgeting when he was bored. Plus your own boredom of course. Still, if helped to catch Gareth McKay, he was all for it. The guy had made (and sold) films where unfortunate prostitutes and HIV-positive ex-porn stars had their lives prematurely snuffed out. It was weird - these women went missing, and half the time noone even knew. Eight deaths. Eight, before anyone had even found out that something was going on.
It wasn't just that which was bothering him. There was something else too. He wanted to talk to Fearless about it, but first he wanted to make sense of it in his mind. There was a lot to think about there, and he needed time. Time, he reminded himself with a glance up at Lucy Allthorpe's window, that he did not have.
He was starting to feel a little anxious. Tom should surely have been out of there by now. Not that he should even have been around in the first place. What if something happened to him? Despite their differences, Joel wished him no harm, and besides, they couldn't afford to lose another cop on this case. He squinted up at Allthorpe's window.
A rapid movement caught his eye - Joel wasn't too sure what it was. He thought he saw a large figure, probably a man, hide. Then the other figure (he presumed that was Lucy) open the door. Then it all went straight to hell. Joel could see there was a struggle. He found himself out of the car in a second. Just behind him, Fearless slammed his car door shut, but by then the blond detective was already running.
To his amazement, hi partner was struggling to keep up with him. Joel's mind ran through all the trivial things it could - what was that stain running up the wall to his left as he burst through the main door of the apartment building? How was he going to explain this mess? What would McNorris say about all this? Then it hit him like a ton of bricks - there was a man he knew in danger, and he might be too late.
He shook off the feeling of dread. Fearless' footsteps followed him up the stairs to the first-floor apartment. It was really more of a hovel. Joel slid to a halt outside, and waited for his partner. With the all- clear, he kicked open the flimsy door and stepped in with his gun carefully raised. The room was a tip. He had had Lucy down as an ordered individual. But he had also had Lucy down as someone who wouldn't be in league with their friendly neighbourhood murderer.
It wasn't too long before Joel noticed the open window at the back of the apartment. He sighed heavily and turned to his partner.

"They went to the roof. Call for backup!" He heard himself saying.

"You're not going up there on your own." Fearless argued.

"They're smart, they'll have split up -I might be wrong, they could've gone down the fire escape, not up it. We need to split up on this one partner."

Fearless went to fight back on it, but he knew Joel was making sense on some level, and he nodded wearily. "But after you're telling me what's been bugging you all week." He said quietly.
Joel nodded, and climbed out the window. He didn't even look back, he knew his partner would already be in action, and he couldn't afford to waste any time. McKay was ruthless. He had no respect for authority, especially the police. He'd already killed one cop, a kid who'd died in Joel's arms. He had to be caught.
So Joel rushed up the fire escape, and realised with anger that it was broken off just at the top. No way to the roof. He thought for a second, and knocked on a window. A startled and angry man faced him down.

"Listen to me, asshole!" Joel shouted through the glass. "There's a serial killer up there, I gotta catch him, or maybe you want to take a trip to the station for accessory to murder?"

The resident reluctantly opened the window, and shouted at the detective as he pushed past. It was a tiny apartment, not more than a couple of seconds to cross it and throw open the door. He located the door to the roof stairwell and flung it open.
Joel took the steps two or three at a time. His mind wasn't looking over trivial things anymore, it was visualising all the terrible ways in which Officer Tom Turcotte might have died. A little voice in the back of his head piped up - 'Hechler's gonna kick your ass if he's not OK.' Joel reached a thick steel door and flung that open.

Bright light bouncing off the dusty rooftop nearly blinded him. Joel blinked furiously, but kept his hands on his gun, and his gun raised. When his vision cleared properly, he froze. Tom Turcotte was kneeling on the hard roof surface, his hands linked behind his head. Execution-style.