He enjoyed peace and quiet, on the rare chance that it was afforded. While it usually was, it was often a silence filled with the only other two people here. And to be entirely fair, he liked his moments alone, even if being alone with his thoughts wasn't always a good thing.
While a physically imposing man, Mark Hoffman was hardly any kind of real threat to anyone's safety, not after being cruelly disfigured by the trap that had been responsible for his rebirth.
The scars marked along either side of his full-lipped mouth gave him an almost comical, permanent smile. It was funny. He hadn't smiled a lot before, and it hadn't exactly changed now.
His skin was pale and ashen from the time spent indoors in the dark, his blue eyes dull with everything he'd seen in his life and ringed with dark circles, his dark hair mused and in dire need of a comb.
Though he hadn't exactly cared about his physical appearance before.
Muttering to himself, he ran a hand through his hair and tossed the pencil he'd been using aside. No inspiration ever came easily to him anymore. Not since Eric Matthews had been locked in that tiny little bathroom, the shackle that had bound Lawrence Gordon's ankle tightly clamped around his own.
In his mind's eye, he could still see him screaming at him.
"You're not Jigsaw, you motherfucker! You're nothing!"
He winced at the memory, turning away from his sketchbook, unable to focus and concentrate. John wouldn't be happy with him, he knew that much. So far, since the House, he'd been almost entirely useless to the man he owed so much to. His life, his very existence...he owed it all to John Kramer.
"Running out of ideas already, huh?"
He fought down the urge to jump at the new voice, recognition dawning a second later and dislike simmering his blood. Turning slowly to face the newcomer, he levelled a glare the woman's way and crossed his arms across his chest.
"What does it matter to you? If you were any help at all, you'd come up with something yourself," he snapped back at her.
Red lips curved into a smirk as the detective waltzed casually into the room like she owned the place. Her tie was askew, her hand holding her usual coffee.
Black, no sugar.
"Where's the old man?" she asked, her voice dripping with boredom. "There's a few new developments in the case that he should be aware of."
"Where is he usually every time you've found time to get your ungrateful ass down here?" he sneered. "The sick room, on every kind of painkilling drug we can get our hands on."
She turned her eyes on him and he was momentarily struck at how...empty they looked. Dead man's eyes. Or dead woman's in this case.
"Mind your tongue with me, Mark," she said quietly, putting her hand on her hip and discreetly showing where her gun was holstered. Bile rose in his throat but he refused to show any response. "Don't forget who's in charge here."
He bit back a response, settling instead to pull down his rolled up sleeve as her eyes drifted to his forearm, dotted with track marks from his former life, something the detective loved to taunt him with when they were alone.
Amanda sauntered over to him, her trademark smirk almost seeming like a smile if it weren't for the animal look in her eyes.
Predator circling vulnerable prey.
"You're looking paler than usual," she said softly. "What's wrong, Mark? Not getting enough sleep?"
He swallowed hard, her perfume invading his nostrils and the heat from her body radiating just enough to make him insanely uncomfortable. She always did that, got straight into his personal space and made his stomach churn. He wasn't entirely sure why, but he wasn't completely terrified of her. More...intrigued. He'd read about what had happened after the death of her sister, and John had told him the rest about her role in the murderer's own brutal death. A copycat, he'd said. Using the Jigsaw 'method' to kill him without any means of mercy, in a trap of her own design.
"What does it matter to you?" He finally got his tongue untied, taking an involuntary step back. "I haven't slept well in thirty years, Detective, and what we do isn't making it any easier. So back off."
She chuckled, stepping back and away from him, holding up her hands in an apparent show of surrender.
"Ouch, kitty's got claws, huh? Forgive the concern. Just worried about you getting so tired, you end up making a mistake. You know. The kind your dear John doesn't forgive."
"He'd forgive me for anything," he snarled, his hackles rising despite knowing she was doing it to get a reaction out of him, as she always did. "Seeing as his biggest mistake is staring me right in the fucking face."
A flash of fire rose behind Amanda's eyes, flaring high and then vanishing a second later. There was a long silence between the two of them, before she smiled that predator's smile of hers.
"Watch your back, pretty boy."
Without giving him time for a response, she stalked across the warehouse floor and into the sick room, leaving Mark alone with his rage and deep hatred of the cocky detective bitch.
She hadn't even been tested, and she thought she got to act like she was better than him? Fucking whore didn't know the half of what he'd gone through before ending up here!
A sudden stab of pain jerked him from his fury and he looked down at his hand, wincing as he pulled the sharp end of the small pair of nail scissors out of his palm. He couldn't even recall picking them up...
At this point, all he could say was he was just glad the detective hadn't seen him doing that. As if she needed any more psychological ammo to use against him.
Shaking his head, he tossed the little scissors back onto his bench and disappeared to properly treat the cut. It was shallow at least, nothing compared to other scars he'd had in the past. Or the present.
Deep inside, in a place he'd never fully acknowledge, the fear of the detective hadn't chilled his blood, but set it on fire in a way that no one had before. In his drug induced stupor, he'd done many...many horrific things to feed his habit, not entirely limited to the usual crimes.
He distinctly remembered being used by at least four women at one time, who growled and purred and rode him and smothered him. A shudder travelled along his spine at the thought of what he'd had to do for each fix, mentally numbing himself each time, over and over again.
But now, he was free and pure. Whole, as John had told Jill. He'd had his eyes opened to how he'd been living, and how he could help others that were as afflicted as he had been. He'd been so cold, so detached, for so long...
And so why...why did Detective Amanda Young heat his blood and stir thoughts in his mind? He didn't want to think about why, or her. Not if he could help it. Stalking over to the little curtained room where he slept, he pulled out the box from under his cot, wrapping his hand with gauze. It'd do for now, and it wasn't bleeding too profusely at least. Cursing the detective under his breath, he curled up on the cot and inhaled the familiar scent of apples that had somehow clung to the pillow for god knows how long, lulling him into a half sleep.
The bitch would get what was coming to her. Even if it was the last goddamned thing he ever did.