Darkness Rising

A Once Upon a Time in Mexico story by Merrie

Disclaimer: Robert who? SJ is all mine! Mine I tell you! is carted away by nice men in white with butterfly nets

Summary: Sands and Jeffrey, after having a good long homicidal run have finally been caught. So what happens next? And how the hell does a wanted psychopath wind up in the CIA anyway?

Characters: Jeffrey, Sands, Roland Rivers, Emily Brisbane, Lauren Drasden, Julian Manchester and Dr. Claire Harrington

Author's Note: Another month, another chapter. Enjoy.

Rating: R for extreme violence, graphic imagery and language.

Chapter Twenty-Five: The Trial Part I

Crazy, Toys in the attic I am crazy, Truly gone fishing. They must have taken my marbles away. Crazy, toys in the attic he is crazy. –Pink Floyd, "The Trial"

"There. Does that cure you of your curiosity, little kitty?" Sands asked Julian harshly, glaring at him from across the room as his erstwhile guards wouldn't let him get any closer than that. He had spent the last…hour or so spilling all the details of his capture and incarceration. He thought he normally wouldn't have been that loquacious and blamed the drugs. Then again, the drugs couldn't be blamed for everything so perhaps he had just wanted to talk. The harshness evaporated from his drying well of feelings and he stared at Julian blankly.

"Sands?" Julian asked with a modicum of concern upon witnessing Sands' mask-like face. To see a sudden shift from the lively and animated asshole he had known from school to the withdrawn and still mental patient he saw before him now was unsettling.

"Dizzy," Sands murmured. The blunt, unassuming way he said it lead Julian to believe it was truth and yet not the whole truth.

"How can you be dizzy? You're sitting down," Julian offered with a confused frown.

Sands sent him a withering look. Or at least, he tried to send him such a look. He didn't quite manage it as he looked about ready to slide off the chair he was in had he not been strapped to it. "Leave me alone," he muttered, his voice slurred and barely coherent.

"Sands?" a new voice asked, and Sands did his best to turn his head in the direction the voice had come from. It was…her. Lauren? He suddenly found it hard to remember just who she was. "Are you still with me, Sands?" she asked again, sounding concerned.

"For fuck's sake. Don't sound so sad. I'm fine." That was what he tried to say, but his tongue wasn't cooperating and he barely managed to speak at all.

Lauren's worry over her patient intensified once she realised Sands wasn't putting on an act. No one could fake that level of confusion, not even a master of manipulation like him. Had she made a mistake somehow? Had she given him too large a dose of Haldol this time? She hoped not, knowing that it could mean the end of her medical career if that's what had happened. He's a mass murderer. They're not going to blame you, she tried to rationalise. The fact that she wasn't as concerned for Sands' well-being as she probably should have been didn't concern her. She had her own life to look out for. But you've still got a job to do as well. So get to it, missy. Fix this. She reached out to take Sands' pulse and frowned when he didn't flinch away. Usually he was uncomfortable with her touch to the point of phobia but now he simply sat docilely and let her do what she wished. It didn't bode well for the state of his health. "Shit," she muttered, feeling his heartbeat throb beneath her fingertips. If she had been in a wry mood she might have thought that her very touch caused his pulse to quicken, but she knew better.

"Ms. Drasden? What's wrong?" her erstwhile guard asked cautiously, on edge at her words. She glanced at him and vaguely wondered if he was even aware that he was fingering the gun at his hip as he spoke.

"He's having an adverse reaction to the medication we've been giving him. That's all, Chris." Her voice was clipped and distant. She didn't have time to coddle jumpy guards right now. Her patient was at risk. "Sands, look at me," she directed firmly, even going so far as to grabbing Sands' smooth jaw and directing his attention to her. "You're alright. I'm going to fix this, do you understand? Just stay with me."

Julian watched with mute horror as Ms. Drasden reached over to block off the IV in Sands' arm. "What are you doing?" he hissed, convinced that she was about to let him up so that he could kill them all.

"Saving his life," she answered evenly. "I have to get him back to his room. He can't go off the drugs so abruptly or there will be consequences. But he can't continue on this dose either. Wait—why the hell am I telling you this? It's time for you to leave, Mr. Manchester. Visiting hours are over."

Julian blustered a bit but accepted that there were safer places to be than in a mental hospital with a mass murderer, even if he was leashed. "Very well. Goodbye, Ms. Drasden, Sands." He didn't bother saying goodbye to the guard since he hadn't caught the stoic man's name, but he did nod a farewell to him. "I don't think I'll return—" he cut himself off with a horrified gasp as Sands began convulsing violently in the chair.

"Shit!" Lauren screeched, whirling on the guard. "You! Go get a nurse, a doctor, anyone. Now!" Her tone ensured compliance and the guard went running leaving them alone with Sands, not that he could do much at the moment. She then spun on Julian and he jumped back at her notice. "Help me get the restraints off."

"What? Have you bloody lost your mind! You can't let him go!"

"I already am. And you're going to help me," she ordered, unbuckling the strap across Sands' chest first. She frowned as this only served to make the seizure all that more violent, but that couldn't be helped. "We need to get him on the ground. He'll hurt himself otherwise. Now help me!"

Julian clearly had reservations but did what he was ordered. Between the two of them they managed to get Sands unrestrained and laying flat on the floor. Julian immediately stepped back, having touched Sands as little as possible. While he was hesitant to grab onto someone while their body betrayed them in a seizure, that wasn't the reason he kept his distance. He knew the dangers that came from getting to close to that man, even if this idiot nurse didn't.

Lauren was muttering something about the murder of all men on the face of the planet as she moved Sands into the recovery position. If that pansy Brit knew anything at all about seizures, he would know that Sands would be far too weak to even glare at him let alone attempt to murder him. Sands' eyes were already fluttering as the convulsions in his lean frame ceased, and Lauren knew he would be out of it for awhile. As she watched him sink into unconsciousness she reviewed in her mind what could have caused this. It had to be a reaction to the Haldol, but why now and not earlier? Dr. Harrington is going to have my hide for this, she suddenly realised, dismay colouring her features. Lauren knew just how protective that old witch was of her patients and anyone with any sense could see that Sands had become the doctor's current pet project. This only served to further convince Lauren what an utter quack Harrington was, for there was no way in hell Sands was staying here for very much longer. They didn't have the resources to deal with someone like him despite how they had been managing thus far. This was at its heart a medical hospital for the public, not a prison for the criminally insane.

"I'm leaving," Julian announced. "I don't bloody care if you still need help. That's your job, not mine. You can have the crazy bastard. I won't be coming back." Lauren didn't acknowledge him and Julian turned on a polished heel and retreated in a huff though he was grateful to be escaping with his life once more. His curiosity was cured. He now no longer had any desire to have further dealings with Sands whatsoever. He was finished.


"Open the door, Brisbane. I know you're in there," Roland muttered as he pounded on the featureless hotel room door. He wasn't quite up to the kicking-the-door-down stage of knocking, but he was getting close. No answer was forthcoming and he pounded harder. He was dimly aware of several doors down the hall opening and the people within them standing to yell or glare at him, but he paid them no mind.

Emily mashed her face into her pillow, daydreaming on how she was about to shoot Roland's prick off for waking her up at this hour. Her hand slipped under her head and came back with her handgun for just that purpose. It was with eerie silence that she got out of bed, crossed the suite, unlocked and opened the door and pointed the gun at the juncture between Roland's legs.

Roland might have been a little too drunk at 3:46 in the morning to know better than to go knocking on Emily's door, but he wasn't so drunk that he didn't understand the threat that a gun pointed at him—especially there—caused. "Whoa, Brisbane! Don't go doing anything you're going to regret in the morning!" he tried, his words slightly slurred but coming out clear enough to get his point across. Apparently though, that had been the wrong thing to say.

"Roland Asshole Rivers I am going to shoot your dick off right in this very hall and you know what? I think I'll celebrate in the morning. But to let you know that I'm not completely without heart, I'll leave you to bleed to death so that you won't have to live the rest of your life as a eunuch." She cocked the gun.

"Emily, don't!" Roland pleaded, holding out his hands in front of him in a futile gesture to stop a bullet. "I'm sorry! I just wanted to talk!"

"About what?" Emily asked warily, though she didn't pull the trigger. Yet.

"About tomorrow."

"Tomorrow?" he took a minute for her sleep-fogged brain to catch up. "Oh. Sands' trial. Why?"

"That bastard isn't even going to pay for what he did to her," Roland growled though his voice sounded more sad than angry.

"Who? Susannah? Yvette? He's going on trial for murder, Rivers. Either way, he's going to pay for what he's done." She sighed and lowered the gun after flipping the safety back on. "Come inside. You're making a scene." Actually they both were, but it was easier to just blame him.

"We're off the case and he's going to get away with fucking everything," Roland muttered as he stumbled into Emily's suite as she closed and locked the door behind him.

"We never should have been on the case in the first place," Emily answered him though it was clear by the tone of her voice that she thought this was a load of bullshit just as Roland did. "It wasn't our jurisdiction, it was the FBI's." Those motherless bastards had swooped in and taken over fucking everything. "Not to mention there was a conflict of interest. For both of us. Yvette was my friend too." As was Susannah. "We should have turned this over to the FBI from day one."

"If we had, Susannah would still be alive," Roland muttered, sounding more than a little maudlin and guilt-ridden over this fact. Emily wanted to say 'Good. He should feel guilty for what he's done to us,' but she couldn't.

"Maybe. But a lot of other people would be dead. Or do you think that the FBI could have honestly caught him fasten than we did?"

He shook his head. "Not without a lot of help from us."

"Which they wouldn't have asked for. Inter-agency cooperation, my ass," Emily muttered. "At least the police didn't get him," she rationalised, setting the gun down on the table and taking a seat on the couch as she watched Roland do the same. It was clear she wasn't going back to sleep anytime soon. "He'll be tried for all of the murders now, not just the ones he committed in DC or Maryland. Yvette's included. And they've frozen all his known accounts. No fancy lawyers to get him off on fucking technicalities either."

"They'll ask for an insanity plea. You know they will. He'll spend a few years in a cushy hospital room and then go free."

"Bullshit. Even if he does get committed rather than incarcerated, there are ways to ensure he won't be comfortable for his sentence. You can bet your ass we'll use them all."

"Really?" he asked, a hint of a smile making its way to his face.

"What? Do you think that this doesn't fucking upset me too? Knowing that the murderer of two of my best friends is going on trial tomorrow and that better yet, he may get away with everything just because he claims he hears fucking voices in his head? Fuck you, Rivers. I may be a bitch, but I'm not a cold-hearted one."

"Sorry," Roland slurred, slumping a little on the couch at his own stupidity. He wasn't a complete bastard who couldn't admit to his own mistakes any more than she was a complete bitch.

Emily ignored the apology. "Just how drunk are you right now?"

He stopped to consider it. "Enough that I came over here in the middle of the night and risked circumcision by bullet just to talk to you about tomorrow."

"Pretty fucking wasted, then."

"Yup. Sounds about right."

Emily shook her head. She was annoyed to find that she couldn't really blame him for wanting to be a little lubricated before the big day. After all, the both of them could be called on to testify against Sands, and she knew that it would take a hell of a lot of will power not to leap off the witness stand and strangle him across the table. "You can sleep it off here."

"Here, here?" he asked, eying what looked to be a rock hard couch with a frown.

"Don't push me, Rivers. I could just kick you out and make you sleep in your own hotel room."

"This is my own hotel room. We were sharing, remember?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I was blocking it out," Emily responded with a smile.

Roland grunted in response to that. "Fine. I guess I'll just sleep on the couch."

Emily rolled her eyes at the overdramatic way in which he had said that. "Don't be such a baby, Rivers. And if you think you're going to guilt-trip me into letting you sleep in the bed with me when you're wasted you've got another thing coming."

"So if I wasn't wasted you'd let me sleep in the there with you?" Roland pressed.

"Just get some sleep, Rivers. I'll be sure to make lots of noise tomorrow morning bright and early so you'll get up on time for court, don't worry," she said wickedly, knowing just as well as he did what kind of state he would be in tomorrow—this morning—given how drunk off his ass he was now.

"Bitch," Roland grumbled, though there was more fondness in his tone than actual malice.

"You better believe it, Rivers. Goodnight."


"Hear ye, hear ye, calling criminal case S-46-678, the District of Columbia vs. Sheldon Jeffrey Sands, The Honourable Judge Winthrop presiding." Sands took his seat again when the court was directed to, his shackles clanging loudly against the top of the defendant's table and one of his lawyers sending him a hard look to not do it again. Sands barely restrained himself from rolling his eyes at the man. He could barely stand up straight without tripping over his own feet and he was expected to ensure that his chains didn't bang into the table? Fuck that. Everyone knew who and more importantly what he was, so what was the point in hiding it? He was here on trial for murder, not unpaid parking tickets.

That bastard Rivers is just lucky that he was able to push off my trial long enough for me to heal, Sands thought to himself grimly, remembering the long weeks of healing broken bones from Rivers' little…visit. He could have used that to his advantage and then some. He snickered to himself at the image of smiling around his wired-shut jaw to the jury but was cut off by a sharp elbow to his ribs from his head attorney.

"If you want to get out of this you'll keep your trap shut. Sir," the hardboiled 60ish man said coolly, his clear grey eyes stabbing through Sands' own cold return gaze almost effortlessly.

Sands rolled his eyes at that before reminding himself that he couldn't strangle his lawyer in the middle of his murder trial. Well he could, it just wouldn't be the wisest thing he could have done. Not that he expected to get out of this with his head intact, no matter how good his lawyer thought he was. He was bound and gagged, caught and caged, and he wasn't going to get away so easily.

"Don't look at the jury," the lawyer's voice floated over again as Sands found himself glancing over to the juror box, more than a little amused when the juror's didn't meet his gaze in fear. He could kill each and every one of them easily. They were sheep. They're also in charge of your fate, idiot. Don't look at them like that. That thought sobered him and he looked away.

"Sheldon Jeffrey Sands," he was pulled upright by his chief lawyer at the judge's words. "You are charged with over 30 counts of murder before this court. How do you plead?"

His voice was quiet, but it managed to cause quite a stir in both the courtroom and at his table as this had not been what his lawyer had discussed earlier. "Guilty, your honour."


A/N Ok shorter than most but I figured that A. this was a good place to stop and B. you didn't want to wait another 2 months for a few more pages. O: ) Anyway, thank you again to all my reviewers. You guys keep me writing.