Author's Note:
Okay, to be clear: Though the idea is original (technically), this was a writing assignment I had a couple weeks ago in my 12th grade English class. We had to do our own short, "modern day" version of the story of Beowulf (or, at least of the part we read in the literature book, which wasn't very much to begin with), and this was mine. It was originally only two pages long, but I had written way too much, editted it over and over to fit it in two pages (I even extended the margins as much as I could), and though it worked, I wasn't happy with it. So, this is my finished product of it (which still isn't very good; it was just kind of a spur of the moment thing; 'tis nowhere near my best work), so read, review, enjoy, and as always, constructive criticism is appreciated, but no flames. d:P Enjoy.
-RR


"So when's this guy getting here, anyway?" the disgruntled officer asked.

"Patience, Echolls," growled Hawthorne, the head of the department.

"Why?" the man named Echolls snapped. "I can handle this case on my own!"

"Oh yeah?" Hawthorne asked, turning to him. "Then how come Gamez isn't in handcuffs yet?" Echolls didn't answer. "That's what I thought," the chief said as he ran his fingers through his graying hair.

James Gamez was the fear that had haunted New York City for over five years.
No, fear wasn't the word.

Horror. That was more like it. For the past five years, Gamez had been hunting. Killing. Tearing apart families with no intention of stopping. He was a crazed killer with no distinguishable pattern except for executing his victims right outside the walls of the precinct, as if to mock the officers inside. He always made a show of his killings, as if telling the officers, "Let's see you step outside the doors of your damn precinct now! Come and catch me, if you dare!" A sick sociopath who seemed to slither away from their grasps every time. Yes, that's what Gamez was. One with dark eyes that oozed evil, if evil was ever able to escape from its excavation.
"Just let me handle the case alone, Chief!" Echolls cried. "Look at my badge! Look what it says! 'Jason Echolls, Homicide Detective'!"

"I know what it says," Hawthorne said calmly.

"Then let me do my job!" Echolls pleaded. "I can handle this case! I'm not new at this!"

"Echolls!" Hawthorne said sternly. "Look, it's been over five years and we still haven't caught this eradicating monster! You think I'm gonna let some rookie officer take the case?"

"I'm not a rooki—" Echolls started, but Hawthorne cut him off impatiently.
"People used to actually come to this precinct for help!" he argued. "Can you even imagine that? People actually acted like this was a real precinct and came here when they needed help! Now, no one will even darken the doorstep of this death trap with the fear of what may happen to them the second they get within a ten foot radius of this damn building! We need this guy's help!"

"Why?" Echolls asked bitterly, looking down at his feet.
"Because I've caught psychopaths before," came a deep voice. Both Hawthorne and Echolls turned to see a tall man dressed in a black suit with a tan trench coat standing in the doorway. The man stepped forward, extending his hand to Hawthorne.

"Chief," he said, shaking Hawthorne's hand with a strong grip. "I'm Detective Scott Benson. I—"

"Just transferred, we know," Echolls muttered.

"Excuse him," Hawthorne said coldly, glaring at Echolls. "He's new to the department and not used to having a partner. We're grateful that you're here. Maybe you can help put an end to all this."

Benson nodded, then turned to Echolls. "Ready?" he asked.

Echolls studied the foreign veteran suspiciously. "You just got here. How d'ya know where he is?"

Hawthorne rolled his eyes at Echolls, then said, "Well, I'll let you ladies get to know each other. Have fun." Echolls glared at Hawthorne. Benson smirked. "Echolls, Benson," the chief said, smiling as he walked away.

Echolls turned back to Benson. "So, how do you know where he is if you just got here?" he repeated.

"I don't," Benson admitted. "But this guy only kills in front of this precinct, yes?"
Echolls nodded. "Yeah. So?"

"Well," Benson said knowingly, "deductive reasoning tells me that that's a good place to start looking for him."

----

2 hours later…

Benson and Echolls stood shoulder to shoulder, looking down at the bloody mess and ruffled mat of brown hair, neither of them noticing the rain that was still falling. Gamez was dead. Finally, after five years, the terror of the precinct had met his match.

Benson and Echolls devised a plan for one of them to take the back door and one to exit the front in case Gamez was there waiting for them. Echolls, having worked there longer, seemed the obvious choice to send out the front door. Benson left out the back a few minutes ahead of Echolls and waited on the sidewalk, pretending to be an innocent bystander waiting to catch a cab in the stormy New York weather.
No sooner had Echolls stepped out the precinct door less than five minutes later did Gamez strike, planning to make the rookie his victim of the day. Echolls tried to take him out but freaked as Gamez pulled out a gun and began shooting back at him. Luckily, Gamez's unknown adversary in the tan coat, standing only a few feet behind them, had saved Echolls by shooting Gamez in back of the head, killing the monster instantly.

"Thanks," Echolls said timidly as they looked down at the corpse. "I owe you my life."

"Don't worry about it," Benson said, not taking his tired, dark brown orbs away
from the dead man. "That's what partners are for."
"I shouldn't have freaked out—" Echolls started.
"No," Benson said. "You shouldn't have. But you did. You're a rookie. That's okay."

"But—"

"Just watch my back over the next few years," Benson said, still not taking his eyes off of Gamez. "Watch my back and we'll call it even."

----

10 years later…

Benson lay in the street, dying, a bullet hole in his chest. Echolls sat by his mortally wounded friend's side, trying to stop the bleeding. "I tried, Benson," Echolls stuttered. "I tried…I'm so sorry…"
Benson shook his head slowly. "It's been ten years," he said. "You've watched my back plenty of times. You've saved my life more often than I've saved yours…" He stopped, taking a deep breath. His end was near, and he knew it. "I've lived a good life," he continued. "I was bound to die in the line of duty a long time ago, kid."

"Don't say that!" Echolls said sternly. "You're gonna make it, Benson! You're not gonna die on account of my stupidity!"

Benson shook his head again, even more slowly than before. "You take care of yourself, Echolls," he ordered. "Train some new kid the way I trained you. Teach him to watch out for more than just himself. Teach him constant vigilance…Teach him it, or he'll end up like you did on our first case together, against Gamez, remember?" A twinkle came to Benson's tired eyes.

Echolls nodded, holding back tears that he knew were desperate to fall as his friend lay dying in his arms.

"Take care, Jason," he whispered, saying Echolls' name for the first time. And with that, Benson took his final breath of life and closed his eyes one last time. "Benson…" Echolls whispered.

The sound of sirens pierced through the rain that was pouring all around them.

The End