A/N: Concerning death penalties, I am not making a statement about it, for or against. Whatever your beliefs, it just seemed more likely that my serial killer character would be leaning toward getting the death penalty. But I have no idea how the whole thing is handled, court time and all that, so I'm remaining somewhat vague. I could probably do research, but I can't use the Internet at the moment and - well - I'm lazy and it's not all that important anyway. Sorry.
Trial of the century was a term that had become a nasty cliché over the years. It seemed to Mavin that even a parking misdemeanor could become a trial of the century if the accused was popular enough. But he had no choice but to use the title in consideration of the Hangman trial. In terms of time it had been brief - the trial practically over before it had begun - but having to recount everything that had happened made it feel far too long.
A search of Adrian's placed had unearthed more evidence in a day than the entire CSI had uncovered since the case began. There were jars of blood, boxes of siphons, and even photos of the vics before death and after, all kept as souvenirs according to Farrone. Then there was Adrian's unhesitant confession as he gave details only the real killer would know of. Adrian would never breathe free again, let alone breathe.
The final day of trial was adjourned, Adrian had been given life pending a second trial later to get him the death penalty, and Mavin was now pacing in short strides the cavernous front entrance to the Courthouse. The second half of his testimony had been given today, focusing on recent events. Following that came Danny's statement, which might as well have decided the whole thing. With his arm still in a sling and a thin, bloody scab circling his throat his presence alone acted as evidence to what Adrian and his brother had been about.
Danny's testimony had been clear-cut and finely detailed, but then he was well practiced at court appearances being a forensic and all. He answered questions without hesitation. Then he came to the part where Adrian had jumped him, wrapping the wire around his neck and putting a knife to his chest. It was here that Danny faltered, twice, as he forced himself to describe how he had incapacitated Adrian by begging him not to cut him open.
" Not in the front," Danny had said, paling slightly. " I - I told him I didn't want to see it. He agreed, so moved behind me. He described how it was gonna be… I pushed myself back, pinning him against the cupboards…"
The prosecution asked for Adrian's exact words during the whole ordeal, and Mavin wasn't certain whether Danny was going to be sick or leap at Adrian to tear his throat out. He said as much as he could remember of Adrian's words, the blood draining from his face even faster. Mavin thought he was going to be sick himself as he listened, yet Danny's intense gaze never wavered from Adrian.
Mavin shook his head in disbelief as he thought back to it. Danny had scored them major sympathy points, which most likely did more for them than mountains of evidence ever could. There was no denying the change that had come over Messer has he verbally reiterated the attack. There was no faking that kind of remembered horror, and it amazed Mavin that Danny had been able to do it at all. It made Mavin fairly ill thinking back on it, all that blood dripping off Danny's face and from his throat. What had made it most disturbing was the fact that Danny was still alive, and Mavin's brain kept registering that he should be dead. It had horrified Mavin, he admitted that, and that had only been the after math of the attack. Prosecution had really saved the best for last.
Mavin made another turn in his pacing, but stopped after three steps when he saw Danny heading down the hall toward him, looking slightly annoyed but still a little pale. He was the last one to be heading out (Mavin not counting himself) and seemed to be taking his sweet time about it. He gave Mavin a glance and a nod, then slowed as he approached the doors, craning his neck to look outside.
It hit Mavin suddenly what Danny was doing, and had to bite back a laugh. " I think they're gone, Messer," he said. " In fact I think they've been gone for five minutes already. So you're safe. Not the 'give a statement to the reporter' kind of guy I take it?"
Danny visibly relaxed as he stopped a few paces from the doors. He turned his tired gaze to Mavin. " Pretty much."
" Especially not today, am I right?"
Mavin grinned. " I don't blame you. I'll admit this much about myself, I'm usually into the whole news-spot glory thing, but something about it…" he clicked his tongue. " It just didn't feel right. Not today."
" Because of Myers?"
Mavin's immediate thought was that Danny was going for an insult, but the young CSI looked genuinely curious, even understanding. The prickle of irritation that coursed through Mavin vanished as quickly as it had come. He was too tired for it anyway. Besides, like it or not, Danny was right.
" Yeah, probably. She was always slick with the reporter questions. And, yeah, this should have been her gig to close up, not mine."
" Hey, at least it got closed," Danny replied.
" See ya around then," and Danny moved toward the door.
" Hey, Messer, wait," Mavin called just before Danny stepped out. He stopped and turned, eyeing Mavin warily.
Mavin couldn't help another grin. " Seriously, Messer you need to learn to relax."
" You need to learn to lay off."
Mavin chuckled. " You're not half bad, Messer, you know that?"
Danny gave a nonchalant shrug. " I suppose the same could be said about you."
" But you're hoping never to see me again, right?"
Another shrug. " Don't take it personally."
Mavin waved a dismissive hand. " Naw! Shared sentiment actually. But, hey, just in case - if we ever do work together again? I'll keep my mouth shut the whole time. Promise. Scouts honor."
At this, Danny smirked. " Can't promise the same."
Mavin chuckled again and nodded. " Then let's just hope we never see eachother again."
" Very cool with me," and Danny pushed open the door with his back and headed out. Mavin watched him go with a grudging respect he had no choice but to feel. Danny had a lot of guts and a lot of spine. Mavin both admitted and admired that, but was honest in his hope of never having to work with Danny again. Mavin always was bad at keeping promises.
Thank you, dear readers, one and all, for reading this bit of fic and leaving wonderful comments! I hope you enjoyed these last few chapters. Heck, I hope you enjoyed the story period. I had lots of fun thinking it up and writing it. I again apologize for the massive gap in the updates. I felt really bad about that, but it involved circumstances beyond my control. I will be doing other fics sometime in the future (all Danny related, of course, for all you fellow Danny fans) but probably not for a while.
P.S. - I think someone should do a story centered around the comment made by Flack to Danny in the episode Blood, Sweat and Tears (at least I think it was that episode). The one where Danny talks about not knowing anyone in his building and Flack responding by saying to Danny that he better hope he never disappears (or goes missing, whatever. Don't recall the details). I've been toying with the concept but haven't come up with anything I'd be willing to do. It would be interesting to see what someone else comes up with, though. Personally, (and this is just my opinion) the comment gave me the impression that there was some foreshadowing going on for some future episode. Then again, I was probably looking at it too deeply.