Sleeping Beauty

By Ellie

An Awakened Killer ~Prologue

"God dammit. Get me something solid Barbara! Knowing that this monster is out there picking women off the streets is obvious… what I need is something to work with. Connections, dammit! Connections!"

A tall red haired woman nodded brusquely and practically bolted out the open door almost knocking over the tall man that was attempting to enter. "Whoa! Barbara?… Moving a little fast aren't you?"

Kenith Porter heard an inarticulate murmur from Barbara coming from the vicinity of his office door before his newest Junior Agent strode inside. He sighed, knowing that it was unfair at him to rage at Barbara just because he was pissed. She was trying just as hard as the rest of his staff to figure out what the fuck was going on.

More women were turning up dead and his superiors were getting it left and right…"Did they have any leads?…Are there any suspects?" over and over. No one likes being as clueless as the press… especially when the people in question are in the FBI.

They were getting fire breathed down their necks, and in turn they were giving him hell. Easy for them to demand answers when they no longer worked in the field… they were the brains of the operation, and Kenith and his agents were the ones rubbing elbows with the bad guys.

He massaged his forehead with one hand and looked up wearily into the steady blue gaze of his Junior Agent. "What is it Scout?" he asked resignedly.

In response, Scout threw a paper on top of the files strewn haphazardly across Kenith's desk. "The reporters have officially named the bastard."

Kenith snatched up the paper and unfolded it so he could read the front page of The New York Times. "Christ, The "Sleeping Beauty" Killer? That's just what we need… Mothers running around knowing that someone named after a Disney flick is out there butchering women."

Scout smiled wryly; "Well you certainly got to the root of the problem. But while you're holding that, I'd suggest that you read the first two paragraphs of the article."

Kenith's eyes narrowed at the carefully placed sarcasm. This kid had spunk. To be honest it was kind of a relief from all of the people he had tip toeing around him all day.

He unfolded the paper and began to read aloud. "Yadda, yadda… Female victims… yadda, yadda, yadda… 'Sleep of death', how apt… yadda, yadda…'The Federal Beaureux of Investigations has just announced to the Mayor that they have a new lead in the case and are working furiously to not only uncovering the identity of the "Sleeping Beauty Killer", but also to preventing them from doing any more harm.'……Well, shit."

His junior agent leaned against the file cabinets and crossed his arms over his chest before saying, "So I'm assuming that "The Federal Beaureux of Investigations" didn't inform it's own agents of any leads… They're trying to cover their own asses aren't they?"

Kenith's temper was unleashed. "Damnit! A lead?! The only lead we have is knowing who all of the fucking victims are!!"

"Yeah. I thought so." Scout responded dryly.

"No wonder they've been hounding me about a lead… they want us to make honest men out of them! Of all the shit I've put up with in the past thirteen years… Lemme tell ya, this takes the cake-" Kenith was bellowing his rage to the ceiling now, and Scout was feeling quite positive that Kenith's voice was probably traveling through the rafters to startle the birds.

Scout tuned out several minutes of ranting… once Kenith started getting REALLY fired up though, he made his move. "Hey Boss, Vikki asked me to inform you that your wife called to tell you that Jesi won 1st place on her poetry project and you're all going to celebrate tonight."

Kenith's face, which had currently been knotted with anger and frustration slowly smoothed into that of the typical doting father. Scout hadn't needed to be around Kenith long before he saw what a wonderful relationship he had with his family, and the love that was clearly between husband, wife, and daughter.

Scout felt a pang as he thought of the loss of his childhood and remembered the chill of an empty house… Jesi was a lucky girl to have such an openly affectionate father.

Scout watched Kenith look at the photo of the laughing little girl on his desk before the smile pulling at his mouth disappeared and his face was grim once more.

"I'm going to go see if Vikki and the others managed to dig up anything…" Scout announced, knowing that he still had to be dismissed before he could go do anything.

Kenith waved him away, "Go on, you coward. I know you did that on purpose."

Scout went wide-eyed with innocence, "Did what exactly, Sir?"

Kenith scowled, "Don't be a smart-ass Junior. Go check with the team and stay out of my hair."

"Yessir!" was rapped out with a mocking salute as Scout slipped out of the doors before his boss could grab something to throw.

Scout smirked as he walked down the dim hallway, Everyone knew that once you cut in on Kenith while he's raging, all you have to do is break his train of thought and then he can't hold onto the anger anymore. Sometimes he'd remember what he was talking about and start all over again, but THIS time Scout had used the double-whammy: Interruption AND family. Worked like a charm every time.

The smile was wiped off of Scout's face when he saw Jazalyn's expression. Something was wrong. Why was something always wrong?

Hours later, Kenith remained in his office, drinking coffee and trying to find some connection to the files that lay in front of him. He had spread them out… all seven of them, trying to find some sort of link. If the killer was really just choosing randomly then who knew how many innocent women would die before they caught 'It'. That's how Kenith thought of the monsters that preyed on human flesh and blood. They were abominations… not fit to be human… so they became 'Its'.

He rubbed his head wearily and looked back at the victim's files. Peaceful women were on each photograph. Until you flipped the bodies over for the back shot… then you saw the chunks missing. The pieces that 'It' had lopped off as some sort of trophy. It was a disturbing display that only cemented the thought that "It" must be stopped.

"There MUST be something here, there has to be!"

* * * *

Scout poured over the newest victim's file. She was quite a bit older than the others… but so far age hadn't seemed to be much of an interest to the murderer. The 'Sleeping Beauty' Killer had sent eight women "to sleep" now. The deaths had been spaced out at first… but now the resting period between murders were just a matter of months. Did the Killer just like the taste of killing or did they have some sort of sinister plan? Where was the connection?

Trying a trick he learned in college, he began to read off the information on his file. He concentrated only on what he was reading… not what he knew or what he thought. He focused on the bare facts.

"Name: Marylin Medson. Age: 24. Hair: Black. Eyes: Brown. Residence: Union City, New York…. Union City. Why does that ring a bell? We already know that the killer's a native… all his victims have been in New York… Union City. Why does that sound familiar? Oh, CHRIST, we're imbeciles… the cities! If the killer is native there may be SOME sort of pattern." Still muttering oaths, Scout ran to Kenith's office only to find it locked.

Scout's heart was thrumming, and adrenaline was pounding through his body. All that stood between him and those files was a lock. Never mind that the files were currently "out-of-bounds" in his Boss' locked office. He needed those files- Kenith would understand…he would have to.

But still, as Scout slipped the thin pieces of metal from his pocket he felt a tinge of regret. But not enough to stop him.

The lock was open within half-an-hour and Scout went to work.

* * * *

Kenith was attempting to drink his coffee to the best of his ability, even though he was being mobbed from all sides. "Agent Porter! Kenith! Sir, Sir!"

Kenith sighed. It was enough to drive a man INSANE! He continued to stride through the masses like Moses parting the Red Sea. He felt a giddy happiness as he saw his office door coming into view. No one could bother him in his own sanctuary… he had gotten a high-grade lock installed- not because he didn't trust his team, but because he valued having time alone to think… or as his wife Miranda put it- time to brood.

He smiled as he thought of Miranda… they had celebrated with their daughter for her achievement and then later, had their own little "celebration". He felt exhausted, but strangely renewed… go figure.

Kenith deftly unlocked his door and closed it behind him, locking it just as swiftly… surely they could wait until he finished his coffee?

His happiness at being alone in his office didn't last for long. There was blonde hair peeking over the top of Kenith's chair…The same chair that had been facing the door- not the wall, when he had gone home last night.

"WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON!!!!!!!!" Kenith roared.

The blonde hair jumped and the chair lurched backwards.

"Holy SHIT, Kenith! Was that necessary?" The deep voice sounded tired and annoyed.

Kenith fought the urge to throw something…He knew that voice.

The chair swiveled and Kenith was suddenly eyeball to eyeball with his newest J.A.

Scout's eyes were bloodshot, his tie was dangling limply around his neck, and from collar to shoes he looked worn and wrinkled.

The shout that had been sitting on Kenith's tongue died. "What happened to you, Kid?"

Scout raised an eyebrow and pretended to consider the question carefully.

"It took me until 4 AM this morning… but I may have found something, Boss."

"Found something? What?" Kenith knew he sounded skeptical…but it really wasn't every day that he found one of his agents asleep in his office.

Scout pushed the chair away from the desk with his feet and revealed the wall that he had fallen asleep looking at.

There were eight tacks pinned on a map of New York. Scout gestured at the neatly stacked files in the middle of Kenith's desk. "Residences. I marked their residences… not where they worked but where they LIVED."

Kenith stared at the bright red tacks. "Patterns?" He demanded gruffly.

Scout rubbed his eyes with his knuckles wearily. I spent most of the night trying to figure out why two of the victims weren't from the same area the rest were…"

"Well?!" Kenith cut in impatiently.

Scout started to raise an eyebrow and stopped, apparently even that small movement was tiring. Kenith felt some unaccustomed sympathy for the Junior Agent and handed Scout the rest of his coffee. "Drink up and then explain yourself."

Scout grasped the mug and gulped down the coffee before Kenith had time to finish the last two words of his sentence.

"Thanks." was heard from the depths of the coffee mug. Once the last drop was drained… Scout sat up and explained himself: Two of the women had just moved to the towns they were living in… they hadn't been there long enough for residency.

Kenith studied the map. "Did you notice that all of these cities seem to be surrounding-"

"Croxton and Hoboken? Yeah, I had."

Kenith could feel excitement sizzling in his veins, forcing him to smile at the agent in front of him. Scout smiled back and for a moment they both allowed themselves to hope. Hope was all that they had… but for now- Hope was enough. More than enough.

"Go home Scout, I expect you back in exactly 7 hours… we have work to do if we're going to catch this one."

Before Scout slipped out of the building, he turned to a woman sitting at a desk near the exit and said, "Vikki? Please look for older murders. Ones a couple of years before "Sleeping Beauty" showed up in New York. Check for two cities in particular 'Croxton' and 'Hoboken' and tell Agent Porter if you find anything, okay?" He didn't wait for a response- simply walked out of the doors and into the Taxi Kenith had called for him.

Two hours later, Scout was roused from sleep by the shrilling whine of the phone.

After he realized that the person on the other end had no intention of letting him get any sleep, he yanked the portable out of the cradle and snapped into the mouthpiece, "This better be good!"

"We certainly think so." Came the cheerful voice of Agent Porter.

Scout rubbed sleep from his eyelids, "You found something?"

"A death. One and a half years before 'Sleeping Beauty' made It's debut."

"Where?"

"Hoboken." was the upbeat reply.

"You know this may just be a wild goose chase?" Scout warned.

His voice was calm and clear when Kenith announced, "I'd rather have felt that I did something then just sit back and wait for someone else to die. Who knows- Maybe this'll put some pressure on our Killer."

"So…"

"So pack your bags, Kid. We're going to be visiting the charming town of Croxton."

Scout's eyes shut convulsively, "When you say 'Pack your bags'--"

The cheerfulness was back with a vengeance, "Pack them now. You'll have to sleep in the car."

"The car." Scout echoed hallowly.

"Ah, the rewards of working to keep our nation safe… We'll be over in thirty minutes. Be ready."

Scout was suddenly listening to the buzzing of an empty phone line. Sighing, he stood up to pack.

"How big is Croxton any ways?"

If you think this looks familiar that's because it is. Only know I'm taking full credit for it… And full responsibility.

You may wonder why this chapter has no GG characters in it… well, that's because it's the PROLOGUE. Next chapter you'll have your fill of a certain Gilmore girl, I promise.

I kept trying to write something for Gilmore Girls and I kept hitting a *HUGE* brick wall. It took me a while to realize that I really wanted to work more on this story. So here it is. Hopefully I'll be able to update more frequently but I can't promise anything other than sporadic updates… Which I've rationalized are better than nothing.

Thanks to all of my old reviewers…

~Ellie