Kanda set the file down on the smooth metal surface of a nearby table, and took a pair of surgical gloves from the box held out to him. The rubber felt suffocating against his skin as he pulled them on with a loud snap. He frowned at them for a second before turning his attention back to the corpse, "C.O.D.?"

Reever gently placed his fingers on either side of the victim's head and turned it to expose her neck, where a plethora of finger-shaped bruises seemed to overlap each other. "Strangulation."

"Multiple ministrations?" Reever nodded. Strike one.

"Sexual trauma?"

"Yes." Strike two.

Kanda clenched his teeth together and pulled back the sheet covering the girl's chest, fingering the cross-shaped cut across her left breast, stitched back together with what looked like black nylon string. "And this?"

"Cuts were made postmortem; heart was removed." Kanda held his breath as the coroner ran his hand over the stitching. "Damned clean cut, too. This guy's a pro." Ding ding ding! You're out! Kanda heaved a sigh and pulled the sheet back up, raising his head to stare at the ceiling. It's him; no doubt about it.

"Wait a minute," Reever's sudden words brough him back down to Earth. The blonde man was bent over the victim's right hand. "There's something under her fingernails. Some kind of fiber, I think. Hey Johnny, pass me a pair of tweezers, will you?" He said to his assistant, who passed over the instrument immediately, giving Kanda a nervous half-smile before scurrying away. Reever straightened up after a moment, and Kanda could see something glint under the flourescent bulbs. He pulled an evidence bag out of the pocket of his lab coat and watched Reever drop the fiber inside, snapping it shut when he was done.

"I've no idea what it is, but maybe it'll help you." Reever said as Kanda turned away and headed toward the door, and he waved a hand back in acknowledgement. There was a pause before the Australian man spoke again, softer this time, "It's him, isn't it? The one they all talk about."

"I don't know what you're talking-" Kanda Started.

Reever held up his hand for silence. "This is the third I've had this month; I'm not stupid, you know." He sighed when the Japanese detective didn't speak. "I hope you'll catch this guy, mate."

"I will," said Kanda, grabbing his file and making his way out, "I definitely will." Pushing open the door, he nearly jolted at the sight of his assistant leaning against the wall with a clipboard in hand.

"Sorry Sir, I didn't want to interrupt you during autopsy, but Supervisor Komui said he wanted you in his office ASAP."

"Tch." Kanda dismissed him with a huff as he started down the hall. Allen Walker was another departmental intern the higher-ups had forced on him. As of right now, the white-haired beansprout was nothing but a menace, though he still hadn't cracked under the pressure yet, like all the others before him. It irritated Kanda to no end that the Supervisors seemed to run every intern that comes in through him, as if he was some sort of ultimate test. Kanda was the best in the department, and he didn't need a Goddamned assistant; he could take care of himself perfectly well, thank you very much.

He turned into Forensics and, ignoring protests from his assistant, handed the evidence bag in his hand to a lab tech. "Put a rush on this, Miranda." He said.

The brunette nodded furiously and in her haste to get away, knocked over a beaker of God-knows-what on her lab bench, its contents spilling over the floor. Kanda grimaced.

"I-I'm terribly sorry!" She scramble to pick up the glass shards and then, remembering the evidence bag still in her hand, stood up again so abruptly that she sent a cardboard box cascading down to join the beaker on the floor. Kanda walked away before he exploded at her; it wasn't in his jurisdiction to hire such useless lab techs, after all.

"Sir, the Supervisor said to-" Began Walker, as Kanda trudged down the hall again.

"Where the Hell do you think I'm going?" Snapped the detective, stopping at a door with "Komui Lee" labeled on a small strip of metal nailed to it. His assistant made a move to follow, but a glare from Kanda stopped him short as the former pushed open the door.

As usual, Komui wasn't alone; the entire department knew of the man's insane love for company while goofing off - ahem, working - in his office. What wasn't usual, however, was the Supervisor's company that day. The red-haired young man seated on the couch (who the Hell has a couch in their office, anyway?!), who didn't look a day over twenty, turned back to look at his with a single shockingly green eye, while his other was covered by a dark patch. Kanda winced as the man stood up to shake his hand, his hair and orange scarf seemingly bouncing with color, momentarily blinding him.

"You're Yu Kanda, aren't you? I hear you've got quite the reputation down 'ere." The redhead flashed him s smile, "Can't wait to work on that serial with ya."

Kanda stared at Komui who, infuriatingly, nodded in agreement. What the hell is he playing at? I'm supposed to work with this brat?! He eyed the other man's outstretched hand like it was a poisonous snake, "I don't work with others."

"I'm afraid you don't have much of a choice, Kanda." Said Komui, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Detective Stratton here came all the way from L.A. and assigned himself to this case. You should be honored."

Something clicked in the back of Kanda's mind. "Stratton? Lavi Stratton?" He turned back to the eyepatched man, who winked at him. "The one who cracked the Kamelot case?"

"You've heard o' me?"

Heard of him? Who hasn't heard of Lavi Stratton, the prodigy investigator who brought down the head of one of the biggest crime rings in the world? But what was a bigshot like him doing here?

"The killer's first victim was in L.A.," said Lavi, his expression darkening for an inexplicable second. "When I heard he moved down to New York, I thought I'd come n' give y'all a hand." Before Kanda knew it, the redhead was all smiles again, even give him a small nudge with his elbow. No one, no one dared to touch Kanda.

He took a step back, deciding not to berate the other for the nudge. Who knows? Maybe the kid can help. "Fine." He waved the file in his hand at Lavi, "Get your stuff and meet me in 302. 10 minutes."

"Uh, about that." Lavi interjected. "I don't have any of my stuff here; I was kinda in a hurry when I came."

Komui picked up the phone on his desk and started dialing, "No problem, we can just call your headquarters in L.A. and have them send your kit and files down-"

There was a silence as Lavi's hand came down fast on the hook. "That's alright. I'm sure you guys can lend me a kit, and I probably don't have any info you don't. It's too much trouble." He smiled sheepishly as Komui hesitantly put down the phone. Kanda narrowed his eyes. What's with this guy?

Woot! The first chapter of my first story, and my first author's note! :D Just some things I wanted to get clear:

1. Lavi's last name. I know, it's horrible. There'a really good reason why it's not Bookman, which will be explained in the next chapter, but I couldn't think of anything else. I promise I'll try not to use his full name too much.

2. I sincerely apologize to Allen fans for making him Kanda's assistant. I don't care much for his character, personally, and I TRIED not to let that biase this fic. But don't worry, he's not just your average run-of-the-mill assistant :D

3. There will be very mild yaoi in this, if any at all. I'm trying to ease my way into writing, and didn't want to do anything too extreme as my first fic. I might change my mind later on, but that's it for now.

4. Terminology: C.O.D - Cause of Death. Postmortem - after death.

Review please :D Flames will be used to.... burn down Edward Cullen's house and melt his perfect face. Sorry, Twilight fans.