A/N: As most of you will be aware, this story is the sequel to the fic Blood of a Stranger. It will follow the events from the first instalment and hopefully I will be able to tie up a few loose ends still hanging around.
This story will not be rated as high as the last, as it doesn't deal with too much gore and whatnot. Not that the first one did; I just wanted to make sure I didn't offend.
I will let this chapter tell the story and although some of the content is a little vague, hopefully you will all be able to follow. I highly suggest reading Blood of a Stranger, if you have not already.
Chapter One: Typhoid Mary
-You cannot play God and then wash your hands of the things that you have created. Sooner or later, the day comes when you can't hide from the things that you've done anymore. – William Adama, Battlestar Galactica.
He marvelled at the simplicity of life, and the delicacy of death. It had turned him inside out, folded his outsides, exposed his still-beating heart. And yet, though he was gone, rid of his life, wallowing in his empty death, there was still one thing he yearned for. There was still one thing he remembered that he could not reach in death. Something, in life, he had tried to take with him to his grave.
And though he was gone, she remained.
She remained a lost, void, piece of life's great downfall. Depressed and lonely, she bore the scars that stung with a mighty pang every time she remembered his death. Every time she remembered letting that bullet loose from its cage. She remembered with a stab of regret the moment when she had taken his life.
And yet, it was nothing to her.
Though she grieved, though she felt that stabbing pain, none of it mattered to her. She didn't feel anything. She didn't acknowledge the dangerous repercussions her depression was causing the universe, that black hole of an existence that balanced life with death.
Life and death. Simple analogies for complicated people.
Still, it didn't matter to them.
They carried on as best they could, glancing away from the caked blood on their hands, their fingers glimmering with the taste of a life taken.
They carried on with him watching from above, his cautious eye wandering over the situation. He understood that with grieving, came pain, time, constraints, and also comfort in another's arms.
He saw this unfolding below him, and did not like it.
It wasn't there anymore.
That spark, that fire for life. Gone. It was all gone. And for what? Some ridiculous game of throwing dice God decided to play with the universe? What was that saying, God doesn't play dice with the universe. Yeah, right. Like a hole in the head.
She laughed in ridicule. Hole in the head. Hole in his head.
She remembered the splitting of his skin as the raging bullet plunged into his forehead, exploding like a bomb deep inside.
The polished wooden table in front of her spattered into life, laminated photos dropping down on the oak so hard it felt like an underwater explosion, where the ripples flung sheets of icy water out onto the dry land.
"Do these look familiar at all to you, Miss Davies?"
She glanced up at the sound of her name uttered quietly, accusingly. She stared at the photos. Blood. Human.
Shook her head, denied knowing. Denied everything. Denied the sound of her name.
The man fingered his gun, peeled away the sides of his jacket to reveal his piece. He scoffed, stifled a small, bemused laugh, and placed his palms flat on the table. He left sweaty imprints when he moved them.
"Witnesses recognised you and a man walking towards the crime scene moments before the killings," his gruff voice was accentuated slightly with a Southern drawl, "Anything you want to say to that?"
She looked up at him, her eyes dull with painful exhaustion, smouldering depression, and aching nausea. "I don't know anything about this."
The detective gave her a stern look, studied her with his dark, mysterious eyes, and flinched involuntarily as his lip gave way to an impulsive sneer. With his hands placed firmly over the edges of his bony hips, he offered her a final look before dismissing her, moving to leave the room.
"I'll let you contemplate over those photos," he stammered with an edge of frustration before leaving the dimly-lit, cluttered room.
Opened boxes lay strewn about the dusty floor, files spilling out, papers crinkled everywhere. Noticeboards overflowed with notes, poorly-written scrawls about notifications, different cases. It was all nothing to her. Just mess. Just rubbish in a deeply upset world of unfair life and peaceful death.
Once again, her eyes moved back towards the photos, those distortions of a reality that she had purposely chosen to forget. He lay there, mattered and caked with his own blood. The smooth concrete stones beneath him were stained with the crimson liquid that leaked from himself, and his own father, laying beside him. The two looked peaceful, yet strained with the darkness death had finally brought them. One, who had been so far gone it was clear he no longer possessed a soul, had a wry smile plastered on his youthful, yet slightly wrinkled features. The other, older and more strained from the demands of life, wrought a distressed presence among the witnesses to the deaths. He bled openly through the gaping wound in the back of his head, his neck slippery with dark beads of crimson. His expression was one of utter surprise, and fear of the unknown. He had not known what would happen once he had crossed that blurred line of life and death.
The photos were tremendously clear, glazed in a plastic cover of laminate. They told of the scene with unhindered clarity, and yet those who had taken the photos had not witnessed the desperation of the younger one's last moments, those struggles between the dead and the living, those breeches of the lost soul that could only watch from above as his host body self destructed.
Tru cringed, convulsed impulsively, looked away. She could not relive it. Not this time.
She had taken a life and its aftertaste tasted so sickly sweet she did not trust herself to look at another human, for fear she would lose it all.
It had taken a while to come to trust in the one other person who plainly understood her pain and drowning depression. He understood everything, she knew. He dealt with death every day. He was death.
Jack Harper could only stand back and watch as Tru suffocated with the wrath of her guilt, with the ravishing desire to relish in the taking of another life. He had known back then, with her sobbing and convulsing in his bed, her arms draped over his taut shoulders and her resistance to let go, that she would break, that she would not be able to handle the pounding pressure death ensued in those who harboured it.
He had known, and yet did nothing to stop it.
Although his utter resistance to admit to it, a part of him, the darkest part, the part rotting his soul, wanted Tru to uncover the truths about death, and relish in them. To be a part of them, even. To completely lose herself in the ecstasy of death, and the thrill of the killing.
Tru could trust him. She knew it. She felt it deep in the hollows of her heart, her soul.
She could trust Jack Harper with her life.
He knew she couldn't trust him. Not after everything he had done. Not after the careful, flawless way he had arranged the bodies in such a way that it would be deceptive to the naked eye. Not after the lies that poured from his mouth like vermin down an alleyway.
He remembered. He remembered everything; every painfully clear detail of the night's events.
How beautiful she had looked in that dress, how flawless and defined she had been with that shower of cobalt draping over her.
The painful, disapproving looks her father gave him as he had continued to stare shamelessly at her tanned skin.
The beating heart, the pounding in his chest as he wrapped his hands around the gun without so much as a mild hesitation.
Blood, everywhere. Wounds, though not from his own gun; hers smoked with a wicked satisfaction while the body lay in a heap on the ground.
"Do these look familiar to you at all, Mr. Harper?"
Without looking at the arrogant, flustered, sneering detective, Jack almost scoffed at the sheer ignorance of the Southern man. The photos were clear, deserving of attention, and extremely surreal, though reality settled in the pit of Jack's stomach. However surreal the photos seemed to be, they were very much real.
He gazed his eyes over the glossy pictures, their words speaking more than any voice could. The bodies, laying a couple of steps away from one another, the gun still smoking on the ground, fingertips reaching out to its metal tip. Blood everywhere, splattered, pooling, spilling. Oozing.
It was all real, Jack knew. He had been there. He had arranged both father and son that way. He had been prepared to kill the son without a soul for the greater good. Kill in cold blood. Murder.
In the end, that sweetly numbing end, she had pulled the trigger, fire streaming from the lip, exploding in the centre of Jensen's forehead. Killing him instantly. The way his body should have died, along with his soul, all those months ago.
That was now but a distant memory, Jensen's initial death. The death that grabbed his soul, stole it from him. The events to begin it all.
Finally, Jack brought himself back to reality just enough to conjure up a reply. "Should they look familiar to me, Detective?"
The detective didn't hesitate to scoff. "Your fingerprints were found on the gun, Mr. Harper."
"Please," Jack interrupted with a falsely polite voice, "call me Jack."
Impatience wearing on him, the detective slammed his palms down on the wooden table in front of him, leaned over, and glared at the man before him. "Cut the game, Mr. Harper. There is sufficient evidence against you in this case, and if you don't cooperate, we are going to have to assume the worst."
Folding his hands together while leaning his elbows unceremoniously on the table, Jack feigned a look of concern, before tilting his head sadistically, eyes cold. "You do know what they say about the word 'assume', don't you? When you assume, you make an as-"
"Don't say another word unless you want me to cuff you right now," the detective interrupted coldly before smirking arrogantly, "I could have that arranged."
Swallowing a lump in his throat, Jack forced himself to sigh and think with rationality. "Jensen Ritchie and I were acquainted, make no mistake of that. But don't think for a second that just because you found my supposed print on his gun that he wasn't the monster you want so desperately to deny."
The detective was silent, forced into stunned surprise at Jack's hard wisdom.
Seeing a glimmer of fear in the man's eyes, Jack continued with his cold, unforgiving voice. "Jensen Ritchie was responsible for several brutal murders of young women. That fact itself was proven by his testament to his father early on that night. That was why the son killed the father."
It was common knowledge an anonymous call to the police that night had been made about the killings before the murder of the good doctor. It was released to the public, along with a report of the murders of the young women, and mentioned in the article had been the name of the assailant. Jensen Ritchie, a medical student at Hudson University.
Jack continued. "You call my fingerprint sufficient evidence, when your case for justice is laying in plain sight. Guilt is a terrible thing, Detective. I'm sure it ate away at Jensen Ritchie like a cancer."
Boldly, the detective replied sternly, "And you would know all about that."
Unfazed, and completely at ease, Jack relaxed his features, leaned back in his chair, and smiled up at the detective, his voice still hard as stone, "Before you go chasing ghosts, Detective, look at the evidence first before you decide what is and isn't sufficient. Then maybe you will discover how much time you have wasted chasing me down."
Sliding his chair back with a pitched screech, Jack stood and wandered over to the unlocked door of the interrogation room, reaching for the handle before turning back fleetingly. "If that was all…"
Jack shuddered on the inside when he felt the calm rush of the cool air over his face. He looked around and could not help but feel guilty. Behind locked doors, he knew innocent people were being tied to guilty charges. And he could do nothing but feel guilty.
No, he knew Tru couldn't trust him. Not after everything.
She sighed once she left the cluttered room. She looked around, shuddered on the inside, and cleared her mind.
She stopped. Stared. Froze.
He did the same.
Their eyes met. There was a space between them, a large gap where crimson carpet grew underfoot. They stood there, watching each other.
Tru looked away first. She couldn't take it. Not again. She couldn't disguise her hatred towards the agony of desire between them. It was painful; it ached deep within the soul.
Jack was forced to look down. It was too much to bear, that painful agony of unspoken words, of feelings too shameful to speak of.
They walked away, the two of them staggering towards the exit of the building, each down opposite paths.
A/N: Again, hopefully that made sense in the way I wanted it to ;) Please review and offer feedback, as I live for that sort of thing :)