8:57 AM; CLINSTONE POLICE DEPARTMENT, LAB
Bo sat down behind the table, sliding his second cup of coffee of the morning onto the wooden surface. He reached over and pulled a thin stack of paper from the printer. He laid them out in front of him and grabbed a brand new purple notebook from his satchel. While his red, black, and blue notebooks all had designated purposes, the purple one finally had one as well.
He would use it to keep track of the vigilante’s victims.
He clicked the end of the pen three times, flipping back the cover of the notebook. He wrote a single word on the header of the page in his familiar neat, nearly computer-like font:
Although Bo had printed off the reports for all six vigilante victims, he didn’t need to look at any of them as he wrote down the bare minimum about the vigilante’s first victim.
- Stanley McCullough – 32 years old
- Murderer (Blackout Killer)
- Killed September 2nd, 2028 (Saturday) around 10 AM in Clinstone, MN
- Skull caved in, crushed orbital cavity, broken jaw, shattered teeth, dislocation shoulders (entirety of description will be referred to as ‘bludgeoning’ from here on out)
Bo stared down at the page almost distastefully. He much preferred his coded shorthand to fully writing out the words. He preferred things like ‘TOD’ instead of ‘time of death’ or ‘killed on’ or ‘killed around’. He preferred things like ‘DOB’ rather than ‘date of birth’ or ‘born on’ or simply listing their age. He liked the little codes, things like, ‘D’, ‘SA’, ‘FP’, or ‘PA’. Drugs, sexual assault, foul play, physical assault.
The codes made him comfortable. The codes made him feel safe. He had started using them after he and the rest of the country discovered who Hangman really was. The revelation that one of his best friends was a serial killer, the realization that said killer had slipped right under his nose, had driven him to use the coded letters and words to keep possible killers out of his business and his cases.
The codes kept killers with access to the notes from knowing how much he knew about their cases and their victims.
But when it came to the vigilante case, he couldn’t risk it. He couldn’t risk hiding what he knew. The vigilante case messed with his head and made his bad days even worse. If he fell off the wagon, he needed to make sure anyone in the station could pick up his notebook, read his notes, and pick up exactly where he left off without any problems.
So he’d leave the codes and the safety net behind to guarantee the case would never be left untouched, no matter what happened.
Bo lifted his head to meet Jensen’s gaze. “Mm?”
“We’re gonna head down to the bar early, start questioning Will as soon as we can.”
Bo nodded. “That’s a good idea. I’ll be here taking notes until I take Cas and Greyson down the the ballet studio.”
“Sweet. What notes?”
“Vigilante,” Bo said after a moment.
Jensen frowned, raking a hand through his hair. “Should I have Jake stay here with you instead? He wouldn’t mind.”
“I’ll be okay.”
“I promise. I’m doing okay today. Not a lot of… darkness up there.”
Jensen crossed the room, as though a closer look would help him confirm the seriousness of the promise. “Take breaks, okay? Don’t trap yourself in your head with this guy, with this case.”
“Breaks.” Bo nodded. “I’ll be sure to take them as often as I can.”
Jensen pressed his hands to the table and leaned over to kiss the blonde. “I love you. Don’t let this guy drive you crazy while I’m gone.”
Bo smiled softly. “I’ll do my best, love.”
“I’ll see you in a bit, maybe even pop by the ballet studio to see our boy in action.”
“Okay. I love you.”
“I love you too, baby.” Jensen smiled as Bo reached up to push the dark hair from his forehead. “Thanks.”
“Mmhmm. Good luck with Will.”
Jensen nodded. “Good luck with your notes.” He kissed the tip of Bo’s nose and pushed himself away from the table. He flashed a smile laced with his usual Jensen-charm before turning and walking back out of the lab.
Bo shook his head, unable to fight back the little smile that came to his face. He pulled his phone from his earphone from his pocket. Notes on the ‘vigilante’, ballet, and then notes on whatever Jensen and the CPD Dork Squad managed to work out of Will.
Bo let out a sigh. “Work to do,” he mumbled, plugging his earphones into his phone before pushing them into his ears. He picked up his pen, made a mental note to call Dallas or Frank to check on things at the LAPD. “Lots and lots of work to do.”
9:30 AM; MAGNOLIA, THE HAPPY FACE KILLER’S FARMHOUSE, FOYER
Fiona pulled on her boots and shrugged a coat over her shoulders. She headed outside and closed the door behind her, simply breathing in the cold air around her. She had hoped she’d grow to like the farmhouse setting once it was her place, but that hope hadn’t gone far. She had hated farms before, and she still hated them now. The little ‘homey’ houses and the big plots of lands were far from her taste, but her mother had always moved them into a farmhouse no matter what state or city they ended up in. Her mother had loved the houses and the opportunities within them.
Her mother had always used one of the spare bedrooms or a large closet as a room to store her trophies in. Her mother had been smart, taking small trophies that could be easily transported, things that could be packed away with great ease and without taking far too much time in a dire situation.
She had taught Fiona, Freddie, and their little sister how to pack them away without making too much noise. It had been nothing more than a precaution, a ‘just in case’ for if the police ever managed to catch up to her. The police, of course, never had caught up to her, but their mother had been prepared.
She had taught her children everything they needed to know about killing and anything that would follow it. She had taught them to always steal little trophies, little things the cops wouldn’t notice. If you were going to steal a ring, make sure it was new. The last thin you wanted was a tan line left on the finger. Knowing you stole the ring would always let at least one cop into your head.
Their mother had been smart, incredibly smart, and Fiona had been one of the lucky few to gain her wisdom. Most of the killers in the country would kill–literally, she figured–to talk to the woman so many of them must have idolized. And there was Fiona, who had the sheer luck and joy of being born right into it!
And then there was Freddie. Fiona let out a scoff and dropped into the porch swing. Freddie, the little bastard. Mom would be so disappointed in her little boy. Back in the day, before she packed up her bags and left Cliffburn in the middle of the night, Mom had believed Freddie to be the poster boy of perfection. She had always seen him as her star pupil, always believed he would be the biggest, baddest killer in the family.
But he had failed her. Fiona hadn’t failed her. Fiona had started killing. Fiona had followed her mother’s every step, rule, and order, but she just wasn’t good enough for Mom.
Fiona thought that was okay, really. Mom just needed to come home and see her children again. She needed to see her children again. She needed to see what Fiona had evolved into. She needed to come back and see Freddie’s goody two shoes act, and then she’d quickly realize which one of her children was better, which one was actually evolving into a true God like Mom.
Maybe Mom would even help Fiona kill Freddie. He was too far gone, but they still had time to save her sister from Freddie’s way of life. Her sister could still come around to the truth. She was young enough for that.
Fiona just had to get rid of Freddie and his grandfather first. Then she would have full access to her sister, and she could remind her of all their mother’s training.
Fiona drew in a long breath, staring out at nothing. She couldn’t decide if wanted to knok Freddie down a few notches or take out another bar victim first. Either seemed fun, but she didn’t plan on letting the police find Freddie’s or Grandpa’s body.
And boy, did she want to remind the police of her business in and around Clinstone, Minnesota.
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