This story was written for the Small Fandom Fest at livejournal dot com. The prompt: Mick - alone.

In this story an undercover Mick is bait for a serial killer.

Da Vinci's Inquest

The Next Poor Schmuck

Mick checked his look in the mirror one last time. Even after three weeks, he wasn't used to being "Mike Larsen". He wasn't used to being a brunette. Or fully bearded. Or average height – 5'9", thanks to the lifts in his $600 black Hugo Boss boots. (How the hell, did Ben ever get approval to kit him out with $600 Hugo Boss boots? Jesus. He hadn't paid that much for his first car.) And he hadn't worn the tiny diamond studs in his ears for at least a decade.

But all that was nothing compared to the disconcerted feeling he got in his gut when he saw hazel eyes staring back at him instead of green (thanks to tinted contact lenses) and teeth that were small and evenly spaced (thanks to a special dental appliance.)

With all that together, he looked nothing like himself, which was the point of course, but damn, his brother might not even recognize him. His face wasn't even the same shape thanks to the new teeth and not having the gaps was just weird. At least he wasn't constantly running his tongue over the unfamiliar surfaces anymore.

Shit. Dominic wasn't kidding when he said Lt. Ben Mendahlchuick, was a genius when it came to putting together disguises. How the hell did that happen? The guy was head of the Fraud Bureau. He was a licensed CPA, for crissakes!! How Dominic knew he was a genius of disguise, he didn't fully understand. It had something to do with his time with the Horsemen but neither man would answer any questions about it.

He checked the watch that was not his own (Seiko, gold-plated, $495 according to the Internet, also more than he'd paid for his first car). It was almost time for his suspect to arrive.

If his pattern held, the man could well be hidden outside the rented duplex watching his every move through the blinds as they suspected he had with most, if not all, of his other victims.

If he was going to be bait for a serial killer this rented duplex was the safest place he could do it from. Between the multitude of hidden microphones and cameras throughout the entire apartment, he was completely covered at all times. Even the bathroom was wired. But thankfully there was a hidden kill switch inside the toilet tissue dispenser for when he needed a little privacy. Thanks for that, by the way, Chick.

That wasn't the only thing that was hidden in the apartment. Owing to the nature of the vicious murders their suspect was thought to have committed, Mick had taken the careful step to hide, sometimes in plain sight, a wide variety of items, at least a half dozen in each room of the apartment, he could grab quickly to defend himself. Among them were a bunch of mini-canisters of mace, under cushions, in drawers, all over, really. But there were also everyday, common items, like the hockey stick under the couch and the very carefully placed and sharpened skates in the closet.

Having always been smaller than most, not to mention having the father he had, he'd learned early on how to fight, and dirty if necessary. He was confident he could hold his own. On the other hand, he'd feel no shame if it came down to driving a can of creamed corn into the guy's nuts with all his might if it meant not being the next poor schmuck to be tortured for days before being eviscerated alive and left to bleed to death in writhing agony. No shame at all. The guy was that dangerous. And frankly, he scared the shit out of him.

Mick stopped looking at himself in the mirror and went into the kitchen to check on the dinner he had in the oven for his 'date'. Grabbing the towel he had draped over the oven's handle, he opened the door and inspected the herbed chicken roasting in a pan along with some quartered potatoes and onions and baby carrots.

He'd made the dish without thinking much about it. It was always what he cooked for a woman the first time he cooked for her. Impressive to look at, but simple as hell. Pretty damned tasty, too. He idly wondered if he would have to come up with a new 'date meal' after tonight. Somehow he had the feeling roasted chicken just might not have the same appeal.

The ringing of the wall phone brought him back to the present. Closing the oven door with one hand while lunging for the ringing phone with the other, Mick moved over to the table and in full view of the windows. He began to fiddle with the place settings he put there earlier. If their suspect was surveilling him, it would just look like last minute preparations for their first date.

The call turned out to be from Angela, asking him if he would like to change his long distance carrier, a code they had worked out to let him know the suspect was on the scene without letting the suspect know he had been spotted, in case he was eavesdropping on the phone line as he was believed to have done with some of his victims.

Declining the phone offer curtly, acknowledging he understood the message, as opposed to a polite reply which would have told his back up team there was a problem, again as prearranged, Mick replaced the receiver in its cradle.

He felt his stomach clench involuntarily at the news. It was on. Showtime.

Calm down. You're in a house that's wired with surveillance and recording equipment from top to bottom and from every conceivable angle. The closest back up team is four houses down. There is another stationed a couple of blocks away and another in an unmarked car cruising the neighborhood. No undercover operative has ever been safer. Yeah, but he still scares the shit out of me.

Mick went to the sink and got himself a drink of water. He leaned against the sink as he sipped it. It was as much to help him get himself to relax as to appear normal and unawares to the suspect, if he was watching through the window.

A couple of moments later, his doorbell rang.

"This is it," he said to whoever was listening. Cops, unspecified deity, whoever.

Mick carefully put his glass in the sink and went to answer the door. As he opened it, he greeted his visitor with a shy, almost timid "Hi" and a small smile, in keeping with his character.

The first blow knocked him down and several feet across the room. He heard the door slam shut and the deadbolt slide home.