Rating: M for Mature language and m/m sex
Also warning for violence.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters
or products named in this story
Spike is a Homicide detective trying
to stop a serial killer before he strikes
again. Xander is a psychic who offers
to help him.
Warning: Graphic character death in this chapter.
Thanks to the talented Petxnd for the banner and preread.
Fred Cooper took an extra few minutes before getting out of the car.
He checked the status of his off duty 357 in the way he
had done a thousand times before. Loaded and safety off,
he tucked it back in his shoulder holster and gave it an
Looking at the front entrance of the building, Cooper noticed, with
some concern, that the 24-7 security light seemed to be burnt out.
It gave the whole area a deserted abandoned look.
He made a mental note to call the power company when he arrived
at work tomorrow. If none of the tenants had reported it by then
he would make sure it was fixed before tomorrow night.
Toss about a bit of official weight, as it were.
Cooper knew first hand that a darkened doorway was a haven for
drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes, and kids of all ages just looking
for a bit of vandalism and trouble.
Reaching into his glove box, he retrieved a flashlight and climbed out
of the car. As long as he had come out here he might as well make
himself known. Check the perimeter of the building and knock on
Dawn's door. Even if she was asleep he knew she would feel
better knowing he was around.
He checked his watch and knew he had about 8 minutes to return to
his car before the dispatcher would call on his radio asking if all was
With his long legs and large feet he made short work of the brick
walk way, all the time swinging the flashlight back and forth in front
of him to light the way.
He nearly shit himself when a chipmunk darted across his path heading
from one patch of bushes to another.
Chuckling, he noted his tense muscles and willed them to relax.
Gratefully, he looked up at the night time sky and thanked the
mythical Gods of nature that there was a full moon. The blue glow
from the starry sky gave the whole area an eerie illumination, but it
was better than nothing.
Moving on, he stayed to the center of the walkway.
The shrubs on each side of him framed and darkened the area even
more and Fred found himself becoming increasingly uncomfortable.
Reaching the solid double doors, Fred's flashlight reflected off something
sparkling on the ground and crunched under his boots. Crouching
down he picked up a small sliver with his fingers. He knew
immediately what it was. Standing back up he tipped his head and
saw that the light bulb hadn't burnt out, it had been smashed.
Immediately Fred turned and flattened himself, pressing his back against
the cool brick of the front of the building. He flipped off his flashlight
and held his breath, straining for any sound, any movement that could
be detected. None came.
Using his palms behind him, Fred felt the sharp, irregular roughness of the
brick exterior as he crept along down toward the east end of the wall.
When he reached the corner of the building, he paused, then quickly ducked
his head around the side towards the small service entrance. Just as he
feared, that light had been knocked out too.
Leaning back against the solid feel of the building, Fred took a deep breath
to calm his jangled nerves. Every instinct he had was screaming and waving
signs that were painted in neon colors announcing "Danger" "Beware"
"Proceed With Caution"
Fred planned on heeding them all.
He considered returning to the car to call for back up but his cop's gut
told him there wasn't time. By his estimation he had about five minutes
left before his well call. He knew if he didn't respond with an "all well"
Osborn would have back up rolling within minutes.
Fred thanked his lucky stars Taylor wasn't on duty.
He knew he would be fucked.
Switching his darkened flashlight to his left hand, Fred drew his gun and
held it firmly in his right. He edged back down toward the front entrance.
Except for the lack of light, all appeared normal.
He knew that was a lie.
Reaching the front doors, Fred tucked his light under his arm, reached
behind him and wrapped his hand around the smooth cool door knob.
It turned easily.
Taking one last look around, Fred raised his gun, spun around and
Once inside, he again flipped on the flash light and aimed the beam
in a rapid sweep of the area.
He stood on a small square landing no bigger than 5 ft. x 5 ft. Off
to his left was a stairway that went to the basement. Also dark.
Directly ahead of him were the steps that led up to the first floor
His heart pounded in his throat as his light detected the sparkle of more
broken glass on the landing at his feet. Whoever had smashed the exterior
bulbs had been thorough. And inside.
He stepped forward. His right hand feeling for the side wall barely noted
the mailboxes that his fingers brushed over.
Remembering Dawn's apartment number, Fred knew it must be on
the first floor. As soon as she let him in he would call 911.
Phone the station and get a couple black and whites out here to run a
complete check on the property. Maybe bring the dogs.
If there was anyone prowling around, Fred wanted to know the
Gripping the flashlight back in his left hand, Fred moved forward
The second his foot touched the bottom step he felt the arms
wrap around him from behind. He was jerked back and off balance
so quickly he barely had time to make any noise beyond a short grunt
as the iron grip squeezed the air from his lungs.
As if in slow motion, Fred watched as the flashlight flew from his fingers
and crashed to the floor, rolling to the top of the basement steps and
tumbling down, the beam of light disappearing out of sight.
In the same flash of time, the razor sharp blade sliced cleanly from ear to
ear. As the shock of the cut registered in his muddled brain Fred was
released from the arms that held him, almost lovingly, tossing and spinning
him away. Immediately his legs gave way and Fred felt himself stumble
and follow the path his light had led. He tumbled, with surprisingly little
pain, till he landed in a heap on the cold cement floor of the cellar.
With his vocal cords severed completely, Fred was unable to make
any sounds beyond the silly gurgling that almost made him smile.
As his sight dimmed and his pupils slowly dilated, Fred watched the
rapidly growing pool of red that surrounded him.
A true feeling of regret and sadness filled him as he thought one last
time about the wife that waited for him to call and the daughters he
would never hold or protect.
Life was so wonderful and unpredictable and he had been so wasteful
A tear rolled down his face and Fred Cooper sighed his last breath.
The sound of the car radio crackled loudly.
"Starcom to Cooper. All well?"
"Starcom to Cooper?"
"Fred? You there? Everything o.k.?"