He sat staring through the one-way glass at the man with the |
thin-rimmed glasses who was sitting at the table on the other side. Nigel
Crane, stalker and murderer, was rocking back and forth in his chair
repeating the same phrase over and over.
“I am one and who am I? I am one and who am I?”
Those words would haunt Nick’s nightmares for weeks, he could tell
that already, as would the feeling of falling two stories, and the sight of
a body crashing through his own ceiling to land on the carpet in front of
him. Outside of his nightmares, he knew that it would take a while to
shake the feeling that he was being watched, even though he knew the
watcher would be behind bars, quietly going insane, if Crane wasn’t there
Nick supposed that this was part of the job, that sometimes the
perp would get you, hurt you, and he’d been prepared to accept that. He’d
been prepared to accept injury on the job ever since Amy Hendler had held a
gun on him, but he’d never imagined that any case would hit this close to
home: literally inside of it. It was going to take a little time to get
over, probably more than the injuries from the fall would.
The door opened and closed behind him, and he ignored it, staring
at the man who had tried to steal his life, in more ways than one.
“Nick?” He hadn’t expected the concerned voice to be Greg’s, but
it didn’t really matter who it was, he ignored the question. Of course,
with Greg, ignoring him never seemed to make him go away. “You can’t just
stay here staring at the guy.”
“Day shift’s about to start, and they’ll be taking him away soon.”
“So, I can stay until he’s gone.”
“And what are you gonna do after that?”
The quiet question took him by surprise; he really didn’t have an
answer for it. He should be going home to get some rest, but his home was
a crime scene at the moment, and he really didn’t want to be there anyway.
Not that it really mattered; after all, Vegas wasn’t exactly running short
“Look, I’ve got a spare room if you need somewhere to stay. It’s
nothing fancy, but...” his voice trailed off, but Nick heard the rest of
the sentence anyway: but you won’t be alone. The offer surprised him more
than the previous question had, and he found that he appreciated it.
Apparently, being alone wasn’t high on his current list of things he
He finally looked away from the man in the interrogation room, and
towards the one who was standing rather awkwardly just on the other side of
the closed door. “I’d appreciate that,” he answered, “If you don’t mind
Greg relaxed noticeably and smiled in time to a slight shrug. “I
don’t mind at all, like I said, I have the room.”
“I, uh, they brought me here in a cruiser,” he said awkwardly.
“It’s okay, we’re going the same place anyway; it’d be kinda
pointless to take two cars.”
Nick smiled, knowing the expression was weaker than usual, but at
least it was a start. He turned back to the interrogation room, nothing
had changed. He heard Greg’s footsteps approach, and then the lab tech was
beside him, resting one warm hand on his shoulder. He was briefly reminded
of their earlier argument, when it had been his hand on Greg’s shoulder, in
a far less friendly grip. He’d been so angry about those posters, and they
had probably been what had saved his life, what had gotten help to him in
time. It was strange the way things sometimes worked out.
He closed his eyes tightly, listening to the repeated phrase from
the other room, feeling the warmth of the hand on his shoulder, and wanting
nothing more than to just collapse on the spot. He wouldn’t do that
though, he couldn’t.
“You gotta walk away from this Nick,” Greg’s voice was soft, and
He nodded slowly, the motion seeming to break a dam inside him that
let all his exhaustion flow forth in a surging wave.
He opened his eyes again, and looked wearily into Greg’s concerned
gaze. “Yeah, let’s get out of here.” Nick turned his back to the figure
rocking in the room and walked slowly towards the door. Greg opened it for
him, and he stepped out into the hallway, listening to the repeated phrase
until the door shut behind him, cutting off the haunting noise.