Chapter 14: Evidence
Harris still wasn't back so I settled back into my usual spot on his couch. The walk back wasn't long and I didn't have any issues with people. Probably because I pulled my hair back and pulled my hood up as well as replaced my dark grey sweatshirt with a red one. Not my preference but I needed to switch out my common clothes for ones people wouldn't recognize as the typical Servester outfit. It didn't fit in with the normal outfit that lacked color and my eyes had to readjust every time I looked in a mirror.
The front door opened and Harris came in and dropped a backpack of stuff from work. Probably several different cases he was working on. I watched him curiously from where I was on his couch. He went up to his fridge and swiped a beer from the shelf before coming over and slumping on a couch across the room from me. His eyes were suspicious.
"What?" I asked him.
He took a swig of beer. "Nothing," he replied. I gave him a discontent look before turning towards the TV and flicking it on with the remote. Scenes of firetrucks came up and I saw images of the typical factory fire in the industrial part of Ransford. I watched it for a while before stealing another glance at Harris who was giving me a dirty look instead this time.
"Look," I told him, "I know I'm like a cold-blooded killer and serial killer but you don't have to be so bitter to me." He didn't respond and I just ignored him. My attention focused on the screen and I watched a report come up on me after the breaking news of the factory fire. Despite my frustration that the police had finally managed to worm me out of my home I found that they must not have given that information over to the press. They rarely did give up information about ongoing investigations but still I thought they would've at least said that I would be going around homeless and since I was always territorial that could mean I might get more aggressive. At least in their eyes. I just liked to have a comfortable amount of personal space and room to bury bodies when I had to because I screwed up and left evidence behind. Not that it mattered anymore considering the fact that I was stuck with Harris the detective for a while.
"You said you could tell me who murdered this guy right?" Harris asked breaking the silence that had fallen between us.
"I'd need the photos," I told him. I avoided looking at him and kept my eyes on the screen. The lady started talking about what a twisted person I was and proceeded to start insulting me like I wasn't going to be able to hear her. I heard Harris stand up and pick up the bag from next to the door. He hefted it over and I heard it's weight bang to the floor and flinched from the loud noise. He ruffled through it before pulling out a stack of papers.I held out my hand and he dropped them into it.
"What do you think?"
I pulled my leg up and tucked my ankle beneath my knee, a comfortable position for me. I glanced up at him. "This isn't a hit." My voice was flat.
"What makes you think it isn't?" he questioned me, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees.
"The guy was beaten to death. That's not very efficient. Clearly you guys don't pay attention to other things either. He was knocked out with the butt of a gun and then dragged over to the middle of the road. There the killer proceeded to beat him until he died," I took a steady breath.
"We knew he was kno-"
"Additionally," I interrupted him. "Your killer is ambidextrous but does more laborious tasks with his right but favors his left for things requiring finer stability and precision. He also wears converse so he's probably younger and then he takes some form of martial arts, likely self-defense. From the looks of it he took it at a more expensive dojo."
"How do you know that?" He gave her a disbelieving look.
"The beating is on both sides of the body but isn't consistent. Heavier punches were thrown with the right while faster ones were thrown with the left. The print in the blood that you probably didn't notice since it's just a partial is uphill of the body where the killer was so blood spatter wouldn't have reached the ground from there unless it was tracked there. The pattern isn't the usual drops but instead has faint lines that match up with my converse's treads. The martial arts is given away by the fact that the killers blood doesn't appear on the body which means his hands are used to punching things. Add that to the force of the punches then it's almost definite. The way you can tell that it's a higher end dojo is because they can afford newer equipment since the way he punched wasn't as rigid as it should have been and the fact he didn't care whether or not he hit bone which hurts like a son of a b**** if your not careful." I inhaled deeply and sighed, enjoying the feel of the oxygen in my lungs.
"Seriously? You're like the Sherlock Holmes of criminals."
"What?" He got a confused look.
"Jim Moriarty. The consulting criminal from Sherlock Holmes?"
Harris sighed and shook his head. "I don't wanna know how you know that."
"I knew this guy who was obsessed with him. Wanted to replicate some of the things he did. Though I don't think he would've seriously done it. For starters he didn't have a Sherlock." I stretched out my arms by moving them up and behind my back as far as I could. "What about the rest of that?" I nodded towards his bag that was stuffed with other papers.
"That's all you. You see, every single cut on every single victim you killed is analyzed and that's what it amounts to since you move your bodies afterwards. There's a few of them that you just left but there wasn't much there."
"Can I see?" I felt weird asking to see my own case.
"What harm could it do?" He threw the bag at me and my arms hurt when they took on it's sudden weight. I let it set down on the floor before I rummaged through it. The first stack of papers I pulled out was on a man I killed weeks before. Accompanied to the photos of the body and wounds was a computer simulation of what kind of blade I used.
"This is wrong." I shook my head.
"What is?" His curious eyes wandered to the paper I was holding.
"This knife. It's not the same. Here," I said and pulled out my favorite knife from it's sheath.
"You carry those things around?" he asked astonished and, looking over, I could see the horrified look on his face.
I laughed. I really couldn't help it. "Do you carry around your gun?"
"When I'm working. I don't wear it inside my own house."
"Yeah, I'm always working and I don't know when I'll meet someone who want's to kill me." I flipped the knife over in my hands and looked at the reflection of my reddish brown eyes. The color of old iron. Harris was not used to people like me but I was not used to having to deal with other people constantly like I had for the past several hours. I got the feeling we'd both take some time to adjust to each other.
"What exactly goes through your head when you do that kind of stuff?" He gestured to the photos in my hands. My mind took a second to wrap around his question. Usually, my thoughts were split between what would cause them the most pain and what I'd do if it turned into a bad situation. I didn't want him to think I was that twisted so I ignored the question.
"Do you think this sweatshirt is too bright a color?" I asked trying to steer his attention away from the subject. He blinked at me as if realizing I had changed outfit even if it was just one piece. Weirdly, it turned about to be unnecessary. The doorbell rang. I looked at him to see if he wanted me to do anything.
"Stay there," he told me. I relaxed and let myself sink into his couch cushions.
He walked over to the door and swung it open after removing the chain. I shook my head. He should have checked who it was before taking it off. It turned out to be just one of his work friends.
"Hey," the new guy said. "Just thought I'd drop by. I was bored so."
My lie detector went off. The guy would see Harris the next day so there was no reason why he couldn't wait a few hours until then. "Yeah, Ethan. Come on in. Do you want something to drink?"
"A beers fine," Ethan nodded.
I listened in on them. While they made small talk before coming into the living/sitting/whatever-it-really-was room. I had a hard time suppressing my fit of laughter at Ethan who froze solid when he saw me and took several seconds before he recovered enough to look at Harris.
"That's my niece," he said with the good ol' relative from out of town staying with him while his sister went on some cross-country road trip.
"Oh," he said and swallowed. "Nice to meet you... uh?"
"Sandy," I filled in for him and hopped off Harris's couch to shake his hand. The papers I had pulled out of his bag fluttered to the floor and I realized the sensation of my favorite knife's hilt was now just a memory. My fingers twitched since they should've still had the hilt tucked safely there. Of course, my mind slipped in my complex thoughts to keep Harris out of my head and I had let go of it which meant it was still sitting on the couch. "Pretty cruel huh?" I asked gesturing towards the television screen. Which unfortunately switched over to a commercial right at that second. It was still enough to distract him while I slipped back to the couch and shoved the knife into the waistband of my jeans. The sharp edge pressed dangerously into my skin but I pulled my sweatshirt over it anyways. I didn't have time to screw around with the sheath. I'd just have to be careful.
"What is?" he asked me missing the headline before the ads came on.
"The girl in the woods. I mean, who can do that to people. Can you even imagine the pain they were in?"
"No. She's cruel. I see that you were looking at some of her work," he said and gestured to the floor where the papers had scattered.
"Aw. Sandy, pick those up," said Harris after he noticed them. I wondered how it had slipped his attention when they first fluttered down.
Me having just about everything going wrong for me tonight, made a small but noticeable gesture to where I pulled the knife from before. Harris didn't catch on. I couldn't bend over thanks to the length of the knife and the fact that it would slice open my skin.
"Hey," said Ethan. "What does your T-shirt say?" I saw Harris go pale out of the corner of my eye. I had never taken my sweatshirt off until I pulled out my knife which revealed the cobweb of straps and sheaths I had on. Usually I would put them underneath my shirt too but I hadn't thought of it amid the running around this particular day when I got changed. For once, my ears pounded and my head just went into a swirling mass of hopeless thoughts. It lasted for several seconds and I ended up just walking out of the room mumbling something about having feminine issues to take care of.
His hand reached to grab me and my freakish paranoia led me to whirl on him getting very close and in his face and already having been twitchy as hell, I had drawn a knife and held it up to his throat. There goes all hope of getting out of this without consequence.
"Sam," I heard Harris's voice behind me and felt his foot steps through the floor. I saw him in my peripheral vision reach up and grab my wrist that held the knife. "Drop it." I heard ice in his voice and could tell he was not happy with me.
I felt a familiar rush and wanted so badly to give in to it but I couldn't. If I killed Ethan then I'd be screwed with my delicate truce with the police. The stench of adrenaline streamed out of Ethan and it soothed the stress I was under. My teeth ground together and I let go of the hilt. The resulting clatter hurt my ears for some reason. Probably my own rush that made everything seem more precise and sensitive. Ethan took a step away from me and Harris.
"You had to turn out this way," he said and started to turn around.
"It wasn't his fault," I growled. I was feeling more pissed off than I usually did. Ethan stopped and glanced back at me. I jerked my hand out of Harris's grasp. A single step made Ethan freeze solid again. He tightened his jaw and made like he wasn't afraid. I knew better even without the smell. The same smell he had gotten when he first saw me. The corner of my mouth twitched trying to go into a smile but I wouldn't let it.
My hand reached up and pulled the zipper of my sweatshirt down, revealing all my knives and sheaths and straps and holsters. I saw Ethan stiffen even more, which I didn't think was possible, and swallow. I pulled the one out of my waist band and dropped it to the floor. I proceeded to strip off the layers of knives and weapons and drop them to the floor. There were about ten by the time I was done but they had been strapped on with several different straps which made it look like a lot. I wasn't perfectly sure what to do from there since my goal was to get Ethan to trust me not to kill him. "No weapons," I said despite the twitchy, paranoid, exposed feeling I got without them.
"So what?" he asked.
"So will you at least hear me; or us out in this case? It's not like you didn't provoke me so you can't blame me for pulling a knife out like that." I ground my teeth some more. I didn't even know why I was trying so hard. I could've just threatened him or something like that but something nagged at that thought so I pushed it away.
"I guess we could make a five-minute truce if you're so desperate to talk to me." He held out his hand and I hesitated to shake it but I did. I felt sweat sticking to his fingers when our skin touched. Instinctively I wiped my hand off on my jeans. I had gotten burns from acid people put on their hands before at the lab. Since then I always wiped my hands off on my jeans just as a precaution.
The next minute was dead silent. Ethan hadn't moved and Harris hadn't stopped staring at his feet. I got the feeling the two of them were friends and the realization that Harris had been housing me probably struck Ethan pretty hard. Me, still being paranoid picked up one of the knives off the floor and tucked it into my waistband until I had the time to pick them up. I saw Ethan and Harris giving me dirty looks about it but I ignored them and instead slumped on the couch. I was going to have to break the ice because the two of them clearly couldn't even look at each other.
"I made Harris let me stay here," I said. At least it might make Ethan loosen up around Harris and the two of them wouldn't completely neglect each others attention.
"How did you make him do anything? He's one of the most stubborn people I know," Ethan's voice was pissed to the point I couldn't tell what he was really feeling.
"He took me to the hospital the day before you found Bates, thinking I was just an innocent little girl," I ignored his question. "The next morning he got a phone call and left. When he came back, he already knew who I was and was planning on taking me in but I convinced him to hear me out first." I was stretching the truth but I didn't want to lose Harris to the police. I'd probably get caught. "After that it just took some sweet talking to give me enough information for him to lose his job. Add that to the fact I can't kill people while I'm here and you get the deal we made."
"You two made a deal?" he asked.
"Yes." It was Harris's turn to explain. "She managed to weasel information out of me and then decided to strike a deal with me. She agreed not to kill anyone if I let her leech off me for awhile. She was helping me with that new case that just came up too... as well as trashing us for getting information wrong on her own case."
Ethan didn't say anything.
"If Harris goes then there's not gonna be any reason for me not to kill anyone and I'll probably have to get by somehow," I added in so he saw the kind of situation Harris was in.
"You are the worst person I ever met," he said to me.
"I didn't want to be but I was forced to anyways. Harris is very stubborn but he ranks the things he wants to be stubborn about by how important they are. Keeping people safe is at the top above his own worth. He'd rather deal with me sticking around in his house than have other people die." I wanted Ethan to understand at least what was going through Harris's head. Harris, himself, probably didn't realize how he made decisions but I could see how his brain worked.
"Why should I trust you to know Harris better than I do? I've known him for years but you've known him for what? A day?" I snickered at first but couldn't help going into a full laughing fit.
"I was trained to get into people's heads, Ethan." I used his real name. "I know how his head works but I don't know him as a friend like you do. I don't think we should be talking about him like he's not here, though."
"You have surprisingly good manners for such a messed up child. Why do you care about him and what happens to him?"
"He saved my life and if he goes then I'll have to go around killing more people which isn't my goal right now."
"What is your goal then? Are you gonna go out and clean your slate." I couldn't help cracking up again. I saw him look at me pissed off and offended.
"My slates had blood ground in it so deep you could grind half of it away and there'd still be grime stuck in it. Ethan," I used his name again because I knew it pissed him off. "You wouldn't understand if I told you. You don't see life the way I do. The only thing that is keeping me alive is the fact that I don't feel much emotion apart from the genetically modified hormones I get a good dosage of every time I kill someone."
"Oh, so now there's genetic modification involved because it definitely can't be your fault. Let me guess what else. Mind control chips? Hypnosis? Sleep-"
I cut him off. "You don't know what you're dealing with. I can't just die. It takes a lot to kill me. Even a bullet through the chest would heal over time and I'd keep walking. My body is just a nightmare of modification. I could show you the paperwork but I don't think you want to take the time and look at boring biology reports."
"I wouldn't believe that even if that was true," he said flatly.
"I've seen it, Ethan. She's not lying," Harris had to take my side. Not because he wanted to but because Ethan was challenging him just as much as me.
"Whatever. You don't just let a serial killer into your house and give them a place to stay. You're a police officer. You should know how to deal with her." Ethan crossed his arms but seemed to be a bit more understanding.
"Look, just trust me to make sure she doesn't go around killing anyone. I have my ties to her that bind her to our deal." Harris looked annoyed and I guessed through the events of the, like, realizing he saved a serial killer's life, having to deal with me controlling him, my case and the new case that had popped up, he had to be worn out and over-stressed.
"I trusted you to tell me about anything that was bothering you but that clearly didn't happen," Ethan snapped at him and stormed out the door. I heard the front door slam and flinched from the sound.
I could see Harris out of the corner of my eye. He looked beaten down except without the bruising. His eye's were bloodshot and had dark circles underneath them, his shoulders slouched and he collapsed almost onto the floor. He just made it to the chair. I went up and sat down next to him. He looked uncomfortable around me and I knew why. That much was obvious.
"You should sleep," I told him. I knew that he didn't like me and that he felt that his friend hated him now and it made me feel bad since it was my fault. Okay, partially my fault since he was the one who told me to just sit there and he was the one who let Ethan, a police person, inside the house in the first place.
He didn't say anything. He just blinked and looked at me.
"You'll feel better in the morning... and you're overtired," I urged him.
Several seconds passed by in silence. I watched him stand up and walk just to collapse halfway to his bed. I could see that he was out. Collapsed more from stress than anything else probably. I walked up to him and slid my arms under his and slowly dragged him into his room. I didn't want to just leave him on the floor. He was blocking the hallway to the bathroom which I rarely used but that wasn't the point. He was heavy but remember that I had to move dead bodies all the time. He probably wasn't heavier than them.I hefted him up onto the mattress and shoved him so he was completely on there at least.
I shut the door behind me and walked back to his couch. Guilt gently pricked the edge of my mind about the whole thing. Sure, I didn't like police or detectives for obvious reasons, but that didn't mean I wanted to rip one of their lives apart which I thought I had successfully done.
I curled up and closed my eyes feeling unusually tired. I slipped out pretty quickly and welcomed the rest.
Yay! That's been in my documents for days and days. So, hope you enjoyed. Review if you want. Etc.