A short notice before the story:
If the following themes either sicken or disturb you, I advise you hit the 'back' button. This is not a happy story. This is not a kind story. This is a dark story.
Contains: Yaoi (eventual), sex and/or sexual themes, gore, violent murder and/or post-mortem scenes, self-harm, addiction, and more.
You have been warned.
Chapter 1: Meeting Detective Levi
Sultry summer air enveloped the world outside, encompassing Eren as he slowly plodded towards the entrance to Inkblot, the bookstore he was currently employed at. He grasped the metal door handle thoughtlessly, jerking his scorched hand away with a hiss before glaring at the door and yanking it backwards quickly, ripping his hand away and letting the sweet bliss of air conditioning envelope him as the door clicked shut behind him. The smell of books and paper, musty and sweet, mixed with the scent of orange wood polish and the bitter scent of coffee.
Eren walked to the end of the rows, which stretched out on both sides, and turned left, to where the semi-circle desk was sitting, nestled against the wall. Marco Bott, Eren's boss, was sitting it one of the chairs, flipping through A Midsummer Night's Dream, the same book he had been reading for the last two days. Hannah Smith sat behind him, her fingers flying across her phone's screen while a cup of coffee sat steaming on the desk in front of her. Marco glanced up from his book and smiled, "Hi Eren. Hot out there?"
Eren rolled his eyes and moved to pick up a stack of books lying on the edge of the desk, "That, Marco, is the understatement of the century." He slid the stack forwards with one hand, catching the bottom with the other as it slid off the desk, before he picked them up and began the process of putting them back in place. Why people can't do the simple job of putting these up by themselves, I have no idea. The thought was not the first along those lines and Eren was positive it was not to be the last.
He slid 13 Reasons Why into its more-or-less proper place and moved on. He turned into another row and balanced the books carefully on his palm as he began to file more books away. Someone to his right cleared their throat and Eren glanced over. It was a man; a relatively short man, with black hair that was evenly cut before turning into a buzz and bright gray eyes, the underside of his eyes lined with deep, dark bags. The man tugged idly at the hem of his white t-shirt, glaring at Eren, irritation pouring out of every pore of the man's body.
"Would you mind moving so I can leave?" Eren raised an eyebrow at the frosty tone that the man used but pressed himself closer to the bookshelves all the same. The man rammed his hands into his pockets and brushed past. "Stupid brat…" Eren nearly dropped the stack of books in indignation, staring after the man, his mouth hanging open. What the fuck?
Eren turned the page, his eyes scanning the text, occasionally glancing up at the television screen that had been turned to a baseball game in order to provide some background noise to his otherwise silent apartment. He sighed and shifted lower on the worn gray couch so that his knees were halfway across the far armrest while the top of his head was pushed up against the other armrest. Needless to say, it was a cramped couch that was hard-pressed to fit two on it.
Eren let the book falling forwards and hit his chest as he stared past the top of it, his eyes fixed on the cracked white plaster above. There was no point in continuing to read, especially since he had been reading the same sentence for several minutes now. He couldn't even remember what it was about, even though he must have reread it at least a dozen times over.
His phone began to violently buzz on the wooden coffee table to his right, where he had dropped it next to the vase of white carnations Mikasa brought him every week. For reasons unknown to Eren, the black-haired girl found it necessary to bring him flowers, no matter how girly he insisted it was. He had tried to hide them one time and one time only. It had not gone over too well.
Eren stretched a hand out, picked the phone up, and glanced at the caller ID. Call from: Petra Ral. The phone dropped back onto the coffee table with a clunk and the book was deposited beside it in favor of Eren being able to roll over, smushing his face into the soft gray fabric of the couch, breathing in the cottony scent infused with whatever the scent of orange fabric cleaner. Yet another gift from Mikasa, all in favor of helping him keep his apartment neat and orderly even though she had never been obliged to do so.
The buzzing carried on for a few more customary renditions before stopping and Eren sighed in relief. Petra probably just wants to know if I want to come drinking tonight. Hopefully I can get away with not answering. The phone began to buzz again, but this time, as soon as one call dropped another came through. The first two were nothing more than a slight annoyance. By the twelfth, Eren was about to throw his phone out the window so it could shatter on the concrete streets below. He rolled over, slammed his hand onto his phone, and raised it to his ear, punching the "Accept" button. "What do you want Petra?"
"Oh, you know, the same old, same old. Just need you to make sure you're alive so that way I can tell you to get your ass down here in ten minutes."
"… What if I don't wanna come? What if I wanna stay home since it's my day off at the bookstore?"
"Oh boo ho. Get your ass down here anyways. Irvin requires your presence. 'Effective immediately,' he said. Or at least it was something along the lines of that for the most part."
"Petra, it's my day off. Does caterpillar-brow not know that?"
"Haha Eren, that was very funny. Seriously though, we've got a new case and Moses is taking care of his mother. She just had cataract surgery."
Eren sighed and looked up at the ceiling, running his fingers through his hair absently. "Fine… I'll be there in twenty. Anything I need to bring?"
"You just need your brain and something to carry stuff in – see you in twenty."
Petra dropped the call before Eren could get a snarky comment off at her. He sat up with a groan, glaring at the phone. One of these days, I am going to strangle her. He stood, slid the phone into his pocket, and turned the TV off. Within five minutes he left his apartment, light brown satchel over his shoulder, iPod blaring, and spinning his key ring on his index finger.
Eren pushed the heavy oak door leading into the police station open, glad that someone had finally gotten around to greasing the hinges. He stepped into the cool relief of shade and air conditioning, standing still for a moment as he felt the sweat more or less freeze on his body. "Petra!" Eren called out into the office, searching for the short ginger girl amongst the other officers.
"Eren, you finally made it!" Petra called, popping up from behind a desk bowed with enormous piles of paperwork. She ducked back behind the stacks of paper, reappearing a few moments later holding a manila folder. "Come on, come on," she said, waving him onwards as she turned back around, "Irvin and Levi are waiting on you."
Eren groaned but resigned himself to following Petra through the maze of desks, stacks of paperwork, files, and assorted bits of evidence. One would think that a police station would be a little cleaner, but considering the work load that this particular force had to deal with, Eren could understand the chaos. He caught sight of Irvin. The tall blonde man was talking with someone, leaning over a desk and making jabbing movements with his arm.
"Alright," Petra said, "You should know where to go from here." She turned and strode away, flipping the manila folder open and scanning the contents.
Eren sighed and rounded the desk, "Irvin, I'm here." Both men turned and Eren stared at the unknown of the two. Or rather, to be more precise, he stared at the nameless man from the bookstore three days ago. He was wearing a long-sleeved dark blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows and black pants. That couldn't have been a very comfortable combination considering the humidity that still filled the air outside. You have got to be kidding me.
Irvin straightened up and turned, snagging a manila folder off of the desk and holding it out for Eren. "Here is your case," he said, "You will be working with Levi on this for the time being considering Moses is out currently. Eren, this is Detective Levi Rivaille. Levi, this is Eren Jäeger."
Levi looked up at Eren, a scowl adorning his face and his blue-gray eyes boring into Eren's. Eren stuck his hand out, concealing a grimace and attempting to smile warmly, "It's nice to meet you Detective Levi."
Levi's eye twitched a bit and he stared critically at Eren's hand for a moment before he turned back around in his chair, letting out an irritated huff. Eren let his hand drop back to his side, glaring half-heartedly at the black-haired man. "Your hands are filthy, you disgusting brat." Eren felt his eye twitch and he clenched his hands, desperate to wrap his fingers around the small man's throat.
"I suppose I can leave it to you to solve this case then," Irvin said, easing his way past Eren, "Good luck." Eren couldn't tell if the words were directed at the two of them about solving the case or just to him about restraining the murderous urges he was currently feeling. Irvin left them, leaving an uncomfortable silence between Eren and Levi.
Levi glanced up at Eren, his stormy gray eyes uninterested and irritated. "Are you going to read that or are you just going to sit there and stare like an idiot?"
Eren sighed. It was going to be a long, arduous case. Eren opened the file, flicking through the papers, skimming the documents. Samuel Masters, a thirty-one year old male. Arrested twice for drug possession and has been investigated for a claim of domestic violence. His body was found last night and is currently being prepared to be autopsied. He was rumored to have been affiliated with several gangs and or sectors of the black market. "So…" Eren said, shutting the folder, "What now?"
Levi turned around in the chair and stood, sliding the black swivel chair back under the desk. "Now, we go to the bastard's apartment."
Levi ducked under the yellow crime scene tape first, leaving Eren to push the tape out of his way without breaking it. The scene was desolate except for two guards that they had posted to ensure that no one disturbed the scene. "Hey Nanaba, hey Hitch." Both officers nodded at Eren as he ducked under the tape, straightening to examine the apartment beyond the white door.
Levi had already pulled on a pair of black leather gloves and was slowly moving around the room, examining the shelves that were lined with books, knick knacks, and various other meaningless articles. Eren watched as Levi ran his fingers along the edge of one of the shelves, pulling his hand away and staring at his dusty fingers in disgust. "Filthy…" Levi muttered as he turned his head and looked at Eren, disdain clear in his eyes. "Well are you just going to stand there or are you actually going to examine the room?"
Eren rolled his eyes, "It's not my fault," he grumbled, "The closest I've come to doing this is watching CSI occasionally when I'm home."
He approached the bloodstain and the chalk body outline; most of the blood appeared to be coming from the upper abdominal area. The coffee table beside of the outline had been flipped, the various articles and devices thrown haphazardly across the floor. Eren ran his eyes along the walls.
The open window attracted his attention first. It was just inside of the apartment's living room, right next to the small hallway which most likely led to the deceased's bedroom. Eren stood and peered around the corner. There was a smear of blood on the wall, hidden as it was on the non-visible side from his previous angle. Eren glanced at the floor; a trail of blood splatters and droplets that led from the smear to the still-damp circle of blood that had soaked into the carpet.
He glanced to the base of the wall, his eyes draw to a small piece of paper, folded numerous times and a bright blue. Eren crouched down and picked it up by the corner, carefully using his nails to pry the folds apart. The note was simple: Die slowly you filthy mole. Eren tucked the note into his pocket and straightened up and moved towards the four doors lining the small hallway, two of which were left ajar.
Eren pushed the closer of the two open; it was just a bathroom, smelling faintly of bleach. He pushed the second door open and peered into the bedroom. The room was torn apart, with boxes, blankets, and various other things thrown all across the room. Several guns and large knives littered the floor, along with several small bags filled with white powder and green leaves. Eren slowly edged his way in, carefully stepped over the scattered objects. Nudging anything would probably not be the best way of getting on the cops side.
There was a smattering of blood on the floor near the bed, a tooth lying nearby. Whoever had murdered Masters had dragged him out of bed and beaten him. Masters must have escaped for a few moments before being stabbed in the hall and left to stumble out into the living room and die. Eren glanced around the room one last time and left, edging out slowly. He went back to the living room, his eyes sliding over the blood on the wall and over towards Levi.
The other man was peering at the bloodstain currently, rubbing his chin absently as his light gray eyes bored into the stain. Levi abruptly turned around, a fresh scowl on his face. "Come on," he growled, "We're going to the coroners."
Levi rapped on the door and Eren watched as the shorter man tapped his foot, impatient for whoever the coroner was to answer. The door jerked inwards, revealing a tall, smiling young woman with brown hair piled high in a bun and her brown eyes shining behind her square black-rimmed glasses with excitement.
"Levi, I'm so glad you could make it! We just finished stitching Masters up too! Well, we actually finished that up about three hours ago, but that's not the point!" The woman turned to Eren, her face glowing with maniacal glee, "And who might you be?" Levi pressed his index finger against the woman's forehead, pushing her back into the room and following her in, gesturing impatiently for Eren to follow.
"Hanji, Eren, Eren, Hanji." Hanji rolled her eyes as the door clicked shut behind Eren, leaving them closed in a cold room with a white tile floor, a white ceiling, and walls lined with what looked like lockers. Eren grimaced; cubbyholes for dead bodies, how wonderful. So help me God, if any noises come from those lockers, I am so out of here.
"Now, now Levi," the woman chided, sticking a hand out for Eren, "That's no way to introduce someone! My name is Zoe Hanji. You can just call me Zoe though! What's yours?" Eren stretched his hand out, chary of the possibility that the woman might break his fingers from over excitement.
"My name is Eren Jäeger," he murmured "Just call me Eren." He made a genuine effort to smile at the eccentric woman. Zoe beamed back at him and twirled around, marching further into the tiled room towards one of the six tables, only one of which was currently occupied by a sheet-swathed figure lying unmoving on the cool aluminum slab.
"Moblit," Hanji called, "Can you get the photographs?" Eren turned his head at the creak of a previously unnoticed door. A man of average height and build with short brown hair and glasses stood in the doorframe of the adjoining office.
"Sure thing Dr. Hanji. And my name still isn't Moblit." The man turned back around, disappearing back into the office. Eren could see his form moving, blurred and indistinct through the frosted glass. The sound of a metal filing cabinet opening with a screech filled the morgue, grating along his eardrums.
Zoe scratched her head absently, nudging her glasses further up on her nose, "Really now? Well then, it is possible to learn something new every day. And I thought I knew everything about this place! Then again, there is a distinct difference between objects, bodies, and living people…" Moblit, or whatever his name was, appearing from the small office once more, a blue folder clutched in his hand. "Here you go Doctor," he said, handing Zoe the folder before ducking back into the office.
Zoe handed the folder to Eren and moved over to the occupied table, pulling the pristine white sheet away from the dead man's body, revealing his upper torso. There were six wounds, not counting the incisions that Zoe had made in order to examine the man's organs. All had been cleaned off any remnants of blood lingering on the pallid flesh, but only the 'Y' shaped incision that Zoe had made had been stitched up. The black stiches stood out, contrasting the white flesh of the man's body and the red of the edges of the wounds. Zoe began to talk about them, pointing to each of them in turn with one hand as she tugged a pair of latex gloves on.
"You've probably already seen the crime scene already so I'll cut to the chase. I believe that he was dragged out of his bed sometime during the night and punched in the face, which explains the missing tooth, along with the bruising along the jawline on the left side. Then he was stabbed in the hallway. Judging from the height at which the blood was I am assuming that the wound just below his right kidney was the first. Masters then stumbled into the living room and was thrown to the floor before being stabbed in the base of his throat, three times in his left ribcage, and once through his heart. It looks like he was hit on the temple with the hilt of the knife. The wounds are about two inches in width and go about six inches down at the furthest point. We can assume that a relatively large hunting knife or a kitchen knife was used, but as the blade was not left, we cannot be certain. He had been dead for about eighteen hours when a concerned neighbor checked up on him after he missed a prearranged meeting."
Levi glanced up from the body to Zoe, "Is that all?"
Zoe nodded and gestured to the body, "Feel free to examine the body if you feel the need." Levi held out his hand and Zoe slapped a pair of latex gloves into his palm.
Levi pulled the gloves on, wriggling his fingers around before letting them snap into place around his wrists. He skipped straight over the wounds and went to the man's feet. Levi pulled the sheet away from the man's feet and crouched down, staring intently at the bottom of the man's feet before raising the left foot slightly. "Have you found something Levi?" Eren asked, peering at the gray-eyed detective.
Levi glanced up, "Do me a favor and pull some gloves on. Check for any more tattoos or marks, particularly around the neck area or on his back. Honestly Hanji, I'm surprised you missed something so obvious."
Zoe wordlessly handed Eren another pair of gloves and pulled a pair on herself, helping Eren pull the corpse up into an upright position. Fingers digging into the cold, almost squishy white flesh, they hoisted the corpse upright until the back was visible. They examined the back together. There was nothing on the man's back other than a mole and some long-healed scars. "Neck, check the neck," Levi said irately, watching Eren and Zoe impatiently. Eren flipped the air on the man's neck on, revealing an unusually straight and even scar on the back of his neck, about three inches long.
"There's a three-inch scar on the back of his neck, towards the base," Eren said, glancing down at Levi. Levi frowned, his eyes sliding from Eren back to the corpse's foot, raising an eyebrow questioningly. "Typically, members of the Swedish Mafia have two markings, the general one and the sector one." Levi let the foot drop back onto the table. "You can let him down now. Eren, we're going back to the station for his computer." Eren and Hanji slowly leaned the body back onto the cold aluminum table. Eren tore his hands away from the body, relieved to finally remove his fingers away from the cold, dead flesh, so strange and vacant without the familiar human warmth that filled them. Hanji tugged the white sheet back into place as Eren and Levi removed their gloves and tossed them into metal wastebasket.
"Come back if you figure anything out," Zoe called, wiggling her fingers at them as they left.
Chapter 1: End
Sorry for the wait; schoolwork has been a royal bitch and I'd rather have a good Alg 2 grade than failing but with a 60-chap story up. Anyways, thank you for reading the first chapter of End Game, which I hope you come to enjoy. The note at the beginning of the chapter was merely a warning about the themes that lie ahead. I hope you are prepared.
The relationship is a slow build; they are not going to have sex within the first five freaking minutes of meeting each other. Maybe another time.
Anyways, a new chapter will be up in a few days, depending on how long I decide to make it. But they will be considerably longer than those of Together Again. Anyways, thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy the future chapters.
I do not own Shingeki no Kyojin or these characters, just this plot.