Absolution. Chapter 1.
There was so much blood.
Alec stared at the body of a young girl with mousy brown hair, his stomach revolting at the smell. He knew the steps of decomposition from his courses at the police academy. If the death was within an hour, the smell was from the mix of waste caused from the body's initial relaxing of it's muscles and the blood that-
"Alec." He jerked his eyes away from the body, looking to his partner. Or rather mentor. Jace was looking at him with serious eyes. "Are you okay?" He asked. Alec nodded slowly. Usually you had to go through the police academy, followed by several years being mentored before you could try for the position of Detective. Jace had sailed through the academy and nabbed the rank within two years. He was a modern day prodigy, and Alec should have been grateful to have him as a mentor, even if he was a year younger than him. The officer hoped to make Detective one day too, to work in Homicide and put murderers behind bars. Jace had been impressed by his zeal and had agreed to look after him, as he had put it. He had spent their first two days as partners putting Alec to work with old cold cases and having him bouncing possible solutions off of the blonde. Jace would dissect his theories, pointing out holes or speculations and generally making Alec feel like an idiot. It had been a learning experience though, and on the third day of his mentoring Alec got his first call.
"Meet me Flatbush and J, over by the park." Jace had ordered, sounding more serious than Alec had ever remembered. Alec had yanked on his uniform, kissed his sister Isabelle on the cheek and disappeared right out the door.
Maureen Johnson had been waiting for them, lying on the sidewalk in a neighborhood not far from the subway. She was flat on her back and staring wide-eyed up at the night sky in frozen surprise. Her clothing was in shreds, the blood on the cloth already darkening as the medical examiner poked at her broken body. She looked so young, like a doll, her face round and pale. Alec jumped when a hand landed onto his shoulder.
"Alec?" Jace was watching him, his eyes searching his face. "Answer me. Do you want to leave? It's late." Alec stared back at him, seeing the concern in Jace's eyes. He'd read the file then.
"No." Alec said, squaring his shoulders. "No, I'm fine. I want to help her."
"You want to solve the case. You want to catch who did this." Jace's tone was gentle. "She's dead, Alec. You can't help her anymore." Alec squeezed his eyes shut. "If you're not up for this, then-"
"No, really sir, I'm fine. I just...it's the first body I've seen." It wasn't, and Jace knew it, but he didn't comment on it.
"It's Jace." Was all he said. "The man that called 911 is still here. Blackthorn got some information, but I want you to interview him again, see if there's anything Blackthorn missed." Jace pointed over his shoulder and Alec turned to see a man sitting on the steps of the house across the street. A police officer was stationed next to him in case he tried to walk off. Alec nodded at Jace, before making his way over.
The man was tall, Alec could see that even though he was sitting with his long legs crossed at the ankles. His hair was black and he looked part Asian, his eyes ringed in neon blue eyeliner. He looked like he might have been at a party earlier. Glitter was streaked across his face, and his outfit a crazy mix of colors. Alec winced at the barrage of shades, making his way to the officer first and nodding at him in greeting.
"I need to talk to him." Alec said. The officer shrugged, walking towards the caution tape and the small crowd that had gathered there despite the fact that it was past 2am. Alec faced the man, who was watching him with golden eyes. They had to be colored contacts. The witness shifted slightly and Alec heard a metallic jingle and glanced down to see the man's wrists were handcuffed. He looked again, confused, and quickly figured out why. The man's clothing was a radical haze of colors, but what Alec had mistaken for dye earlier was blood. It was all over the man's shirt, from the collar to bottom hem.
"Are you injured?" Alec asked, alarmed. The man blinked in surprise, before he grinned. Grinned.
"Well, you're the first person to ask me that tonight."
"What?" Alec gasped, horrified. "Someone should have-"
"The first officer pointed a gun at me as an introduction and the second didn't give me the time of day once he handcuffed me." The stranger answered, shrugging a shoulder. "Then again, I guess I could be that girl's murderer. I'm covered in her blood and all. Though that doesn't make much sense when you consider the fact that I was the one that called 911, huh?" Alec bit his lip, embarrassed at his department's work.
"Uh, about that, I need to interview you, but did you really need a doctor?" The other man smiled, baring his teeth.
"No, thank you, Officer. I just need a shower." Alec looked him over with worry.
"But all that blood..."
"It's not mine." There was a flash of sympathy in the man's eyes as he looked across the street. "It's hers."
"Oh." Alec replied softly, before he remembered what he was supposed to be doing. "I, um, I'm going to start asking you questions, alright?" The stranger looked at him, amusement glittering in his eyes.
"What's your name?" Alec began, dragging out a spiral notepad and scribbling down the date and time.
"Magnus. Magnus Bane."
"Alright, Mr. Bane. We'll start at the beginning." Alec thought back to Jace's introduction to the crime scene. "You placed the call at 1:34am, correct?"
"Yes, around there, I would assume." Alec began writing away, nodding his head absentmindedly.
"What were you doing around here?" He asked next.
"I was walking home from the subway station."
"Why were you out so late?" Magnus grinned at the suspicion in Alec's voice.
"I was out clubbing, Officer. Would you like to go out to dinner later?" Magnus was studying him curiously as his spoke, his elbows resting on his knees easily.
"I-" Alec's pen jerked across the notepad, leaving a black streak. His gaze snapped to Magnus' amused face. "What did you say?" He asked, not sure if he'd heard correctly.
"Dinner." Magnus' golden eyes gleamed like a cat's in the shady lighting of the nearby street lamp. "Would you like to get some with me later?"
"It's 2:30 in the morning." Alec replied automatically. Magnus laughed, and Alec felt his face grow hot in response.
"That is true. Breakfast, then?"
"I, I don't-do you always ask police officers out in the middle of an interview?"
"Only the cute ones." Magnus answered, smiling easily at the expression on Alec's face. "Relax, I was kidding. Not about you being cute, of course." Alec frowned.
"You shouldn't joke about homicide, Mr. Bane."
"Call me Magnus, please." Alec shook his head, turning back to his notepad and the notes scrawled it in his messy handwriting.
"So you were out clubbing until 1am, Mr. Bane, and upon making your way from the subway to your home, you found the victim on the sidewalk. What did you do from there?" Magnus paused, looking as though he was organizing his thoughts.
"Well I checked to see if she was breathing and had pulse. She didn't have either, but I still attempted to revive her." Magnus gestured to his bloody clothes. "When I attempted CPR her blood gushed out of the holes in her chest. My clothes were ruined."
"You seem remarkably calm about the whole thing." Alec noted, feeling a little ill at the mental image. Magnus merely smiled at him.
"I work at the St. Raziel Trauma Center under the Head Nurse Caterina Loss, Officer."
"You're a nurse." Alec clarified, taking in Magnus' sparkling attire. The man was still smiling.
"I've been in the operating rooms for the last five years." Magnus added, maybe a bit proudly. "Blood spurting out of chests isn't so much of a shock as it is an annoyance. But it was obvious from that moment that she was gone, so I stopped CPR and called 911. I waited a few minutes until that charming officer drove up and pointed a gun on me."
"Charming?" Alec repeated before he could catch himself. He felt his cheeks tingle when Magnus laughed at his response.
"You really like to play hard to get, don't you, Officer?" Magnus smiled, jingling the handcuffs in front of him merrily. "Mind letting me go, since I'm not the killer? Or, if you wanted, we could keep them on and take a trip up to my-"
"Officer Lightwood, did you find anything out?" Alec jumped, whirling around to look at Jace. It was scary how quiet he was when he moved.
"I, uh, I interviewed the witness." Alec answered, flustered by Magnus' earlier comment. Jace lifted a brow.
"He claims that the reason he's covered in blood is that he attempted CPR and the victim, uh, spurted blood from holes in her chest." Alec said, glancing down at his notes. Jace nodded, before turning to face Magnus. The man gave the blonde a once over before settling back against the stairwell, looking bored.
"Magnus Bane, was it?" Jace greeted, earning a nod. Jace knelt down in front of him. "I just got off the phone with my supervisor, Magnus. Do you know what she told me?" Magnus didn't so much smile as he did grimace.
"I suppose she told you all about my bad history with the police." Jace nodded.
"She did. That history is fairly long, but there aren't any arrest warrants out with your name on them, so I can't take you to the station. You're free to go." Jace told him, reaching out to undo the handcuffs. Alec looked at him in surprise.
"You aren't going to arrest him?" Jace looked over to him, standing up and pulling Alec away from Magnus. They stopped halfway across the street. "But he's covered in blood, and-"
"His story explains why perfectly. The victim was cut open in several areas of her body. Though he was here during the medical examiner's estimated time of death, we searched Bane and he doesn't have any weapons on him that match the ME's description. We've got officers searching the area for the murder weapon, but so far we don't have one. We also don't have enough for probable cause. No judge is going to give us an arrest warrant with a half-assed assumption, bad history or not." Jace explained, looking over his shoulder back at Magnus. Alec followed Jace's gaze and Magnus met his eyes. The man winked and Alec felt Jace's grip on his arm tighten a fraction. Alec glanced up at his partner, blinking when he saw Jace's eyes on him.
"I, he was flirting with me, but I'm not-"
"I don't care either way, so long as it doesn't impede the investigation or cause you any harm, Alec." Jace told him, frowning. "But Magnus Bane is bad news, don't let yourself get dragged in by a guy like him." Alec nodded, refusing to look back over at the man.
"When you said he had a history, what did you mean?" Jace released Alec's arm, counting off on his fingers.
"Several counts of criminal mischief, possession of a slew of substances, trespassing, graffiti, obscenity, sexual misconduct, and comtempt of court. To name a few." Jace lifted a brow at Alec's shocked face. "To be fair, they're all misdemeanors, and homicide is a very large jump from-"
"Sexual misconduct?" Alec repeated, horrified. Jace snorted.
"He was caught skinny dipping at a party, nothing too bad." Alec flushed, looking at the ground. "At any rate, I don't think you have anything to worry about concerning your witness. My superior has apparently spoken with him a few times, and if the Chief doesn't believe that Bane is a killer then I trust her." Jace clapped Alec on the shoulder. "Either way, he's still waiting for you." Alec looked over to see that Magnus indeed still waiting for him on the stairwell. "When you're done with him head home and review the interview for tomorrow, got it?"
"Yes, sir. Jace." Alec corrected automatically. Jace laughed, shaking his head.
"Alec, I'm younger than you, relax." Jace grinned at the officer before turning and walking back over to the medical examiner. Alec watched him go, before looking to Magnus and making his way over. Magnus looked pleasantly surprised.
"I figured you'd just leave me here, Officer Lightwood." Magnus smiled. "Lightwood's a fairly uncommon name, what's your first one?"
"It's none of your business." Alec replied, not trying to be rude, simply stating the facts. Magnus laughed, shaking his head.
"Really Officer, if you keep being so mean, I won't feel the need to tell you my little secret." Alec perked up at that.
"A secret, about the body of that poor girl."
"Why didn't you tell me before?" Alec asked, annoyance tinting his words.
"Because I don't have a good relationship with the cops." Magnus replied simply. "Most of the time they're bastards that don't give a damn about the bodies they put away down here. But you, you're different. You must be new." Magnus said with a smile.
"What?" Alec said, flustered. "How do you know that?"
"Because you still believe in justice." Magnus answered. "You wanted to arrest me as that girl's killer because you wanted to show her parents the man that killed their daughter. You wanted to give them peace and show them that the law will be there for them. But that drive for justice can lead to mistakes, something your partner knows well. You should be careful about that."
"That's not true. I..." Alec trailed off, looking at the ground. Magnus watched him for a long moment before shrugging his shoulders.
"Either way, I find it adorable, and adorable is attractive on you, Officer. So, a name for a secret?" Magnus offered. Alec bit his lip, looking away. He gaze was drawn to the sight of Maureen having a black bag zipped over her body.
"Alec." He said, looking back at Magnus. "It's Alec Lightwood." Magnus smiled.
"Alec." He repeated, tasting the name. "You do look like an Alec, don't you?" He said.
"That secret?" Alec asked, ignoring the tingle his name in Magnus' mouth caused. Magnus smiled.
"The secret is that girl's body was cut open like an animal at the butchers." Magnus told him. "I'd be willing to bet that her organs are already up on the black market for sale."
"The black market?" Alec repeated, looking back at the body bag. "Someone killed her for her organs?"
"Good organs are hard to come by. Trust me, I work in a hospital." Magnus shrugged. "Sometimes people find out that they won't be able to get a liver in time-which is pretty often, mind you- so they outsource. They go to a shady place, find someone who has a liver for sale that has questionable origins, and they paid a ridiculous amount for it and the surgery that comes with it."
"Definitely, a corrupt surgeon'll probably leave a scalpel or two in you just for kicks."
"Magnus!" Alec shouted, loud enough to earn the attention of several of the crime scene investigators. He lowered his voice a fraction. "A girl is dead because someone wanted to make money." He looked up at the man, watching as Magnus' face slipped from shocked, to astounded, to entirely affectionate.
"See, that's what I'm talking about, Alec." Magnus said, nodding his chin at the badge on Alec's chest. "Justice." Alec grit his teeth turning away.
"It's Officer Lightwood. And I don't have time for your sick humour, I have a murder to solve."
"But Officer, what if I remember anything else?" Magnus asked innocently. "You should leave me your number, just in case." He added.
"You can contact the station if you have any more information to offer." Alec answered curtly.
"Maybe I just want your number for personal reasons?" Magnus clarified, earning an annoyed look from Alec.
"You're not getting it." He answered, before turning and walking towards the caution tape.
A/N: A new story! Whoo! This plotline just kinda burrowed it's way in between tPatS and VMtHGF like a puppy looking for attention. And I pet it. Because plot puppies are adorable. This plotline is also going to see a lot more violence in future chapters in comparison to other stories. We are solving a murder mystery folks. That being said, I hope you enjoy the ride!
Reviews are adored~!