I miss you…
(I miss you…)
Jesse went through all the data Brennan had gathered about Shay Morrison on his digital screen. Brennan in the seat next to him, observed his partner pore over the files with intrigue and grew pale.
“Multiple stabbing. Fifty… Jesus fifty seven times. DOA. Unsolved. Case closed after only a week.”
Jesse’s disgust for the judicial system was obvious. Chances were high of the case being closed without any investigating at all. Brennan bit his lip to control its trembling.
“Unidentified freak with no known relations… why fucking bother right?”
Jesse looked at him, hoping for a better explanation. Who was this Shay Morrison? And why now? After two years?
Brennan had told the younger man everything about how he met Shay and what happened to him that very night. What he didn’t elaborate too much on… was his feelings for the green-eyed boy. He was aware that Jesse was waiting.
“I… never told you about him… about Shay… probably because I hadn’t realized myself there was actually something to talk about.”
He breathed deeply, Jesse still waited.
“Shay probably was my first… guy crush, one I hadn’t even been able to assimilate before it turned into this… horrible nightmare.”
Jesse knew how intense this man was in everything he felt and believed in. If Brennan had really felt something for this boy… then his gruesome killing soon after would have left an everlasting impact on Brennan’s very… soul.
Brennan shook his head, thinking back to that awful night two years ago.
“I never told anyone about it. That night, I ran so hard… all the way back to my apartment and threw my guts out.”
“I never admitted to myself, let alone anyone else how much… how bad it was. I cried for hours without truly understanding why. After all he was just a stranger. I didn’t even get his name.”
Jesse didn’t respond. There was nothing he could say.
After awhile, Brennan continued… knowing there was no holding back the emotion floods that had clogged up in his heart for so long.
“I took off soon after that. Found a new home in New York. New place, new friends… new jobs. Guess with time the whole… *thing* just got relegated to the back of my mind. I don’t think I truly forgot, but I must’ve sorta suppressed it somehow. I don’t get how Emma could’ve known.”
Jesse was wondering about that too. Her powers were growing faster that anyone else and even Adam didn’t know how to control them. There was so much to the woman that they didn’t know. He realized Brennan was speaking again.
“After that I never came across any other guy who could… grab me the way he did. Not until a year later… not until you Jess.”
Jesse stared at Brennan with a weird mix of despair and hope in his eyes. He so wanted to touch the man… he was so close, and yet so far. Jesse looked away, not confident he knew the right reaction to let out right now.
Brennan felt a pang when Jesse turned away, but he realized this probably wasn’t the best time anyway. He looked at his screen and changed the subject.
“According to the police file, the only two pieces of evidence were… the postscript indicating a Klu Klux clan-like motive. Handwriting unmatched. And the shape and size of the stab wounds indicating two different makes of knives. Untraced.”
Jesse focused at the screen again and bent forward to reach his keypad.
“Two knives, two people at least. Let me check to see if I can find something on the weapons.”
It was hopeless. No hairs, no skin traces to locate who the killers were. The body lay in the pouring rain for almost two hours before it was discovered. No leads, no clues. Brennan stood up in complete fury to pace the length of the cockpit.
“Fucking assholes. I should fucking kill the police officers instead.”
Jesse looked up at him.
“Is this what you planned to do Bren? Find the killers and murder them?”
Brennan did not reply, did not turn around to face his accuser.
“Will that give you the closure you need?”
“Maybe. Maybe not. Look Jesse I need to know alright. I need to look those fuckers in the eye and… and I don’t know. His murder left such an everlasting impression on me. I… believe it or not, that night at the bar, with Korso and the gang there… I got scared Jesse.”
Jesse swallowed, forced himself to not look away. Brennan walked up to him, knelt before him so he could look up into Jesse’s stressed face. And Jesse could see it wasn’t easy for Brennan to fess up either.
“I was shit scared they’d find out. Did I think I’d end up like Shay did? Or worse would *you*? Hell I must have, at some subconscious level I think I was trying to protect us. From the hatred, the prejudice and the cruel words I knew they were capable of.”
Jesse couldn’t look at Brennan anymore. He lowered his head and studied the tips of his fingernails in his lap. His voice escaped meek and barely willing to cooperate.
“They did use cruel words Brennan. You… you just stood there and… let them.”
Hello there, the angel from my nightmare
The shadow in the background of the morgue
The unsuspecting victim of darkness in the valley,
We can live like Jack and Sally if we want.
Where you can always find me
And we'll have Halloween on Christmas
And in the night we'll wish this never ends
We'll wish this never ends…
I miss you, I miss you!
Brennan knelt there, silenced into a guilt and shame deeper than he’d ever known. There was nothing he could say. He winced his eyes shut, swallowed painfully.
“I am so… so sorry Jesse. I hurt you. I didn’t mean to, I swear. I… I was…”
A teardrop made itself evident on the rim of Jesse’s left eye, he bit his lip to stop its trembling.
“I’m sorry I was a coward Jesse.”
Then Brennan pulled away and stood. Jesse looked up in his face then, wanting to say something, anything to feel Brennan close to him again. But Brennan wasn’t looking at him anymore. He was staring off into space, his eyes frosting over.
“I’ve let too many people get hurt, because I was a coward. If only I’d be man enough to stay with Shay like I’d wanted to that night… then he wouldn’t have been alone and… ”
Jesse shook his head, standing up himself.
“You didn’t know what you were feeling Brennan. Please don’t blame yourself.”
But Brennan continued like he hadn’t spoken at all.
“And last week I did it again. Too much of a wimp to stand up to Korso and his pack of bullies. Too weak to…”
He gritted his teeth in rage at his own self, frowning so hard it hurt Jesse to see him in such pain. He went to the older man and suddenly hugged him from behind, slipping his own trembling arms under Brennan’s armpits, clawing at the broad shoulders with all his molecular might. Pressing the side of his face in a spine stiff as adamantium.
“Shhh, enough… its okay Brennan. Please!”
Brennan did not melt against him, did not turn around to take Jesse in his arms like the other man so hoped he would. He just stood there, rigid, chest heaving with the effort to control his seething breaths.
“No”. He hissed.
“It’s not okay.”
Where are you and I'm so sorry
I cannot sleep, I cannot dream tonight
I need somebody and always
This sick, strange darkness,
Comes creeping on so haunting every time
And as I stared I counted,
The webs from all the spiders
Catching things and eating their insides
Like indecision to call you
And hear your voice of treason
Will you come home and stop this pain tonight?
Stop this pain tonight…
Jesse let go, slowly… and sighed deeply. He wiped away a stray tear creeping down his face and walked back to the dashboard, fists on hips. Thinking fast.
“I have an idea how we can locate the bastards.”
Brennan’s cold eyes turned towards him then.
“Surveillance satellites. I can hack into each one of the hundred and seventy six satellites in orbit since the beginning of this decade. Every major country in the world has at least one. We have nineteen, fucking voyeurs that we are. Someone must have been looking that way that night.”
“Isn’t that a long shot?”
“Not very. Most surveillance programs do a consecutive sweep across latitudes on a periodic basis. There is a 95% probability of at *least* one of the satellites scanning Phoenix at any given time. And if there is, there should be about an hour’s worth of recording to work with.”
“Why didn’t the police use it then?”
“They wouldn’t have bothered most likely. Plus *they* cant hack into other countries’ satellites my love.”
Brennan just nodded, not acknowledging the endearment slipped out. Jesse wasn’t sure if he was relieved or disappointed. He quickly continued.
“We could enhance resolution and see how much detail is retrievable. If we’re lucky there may just be enough to playback and see the whole… thing… happening. Its worth a try.”
Jesse turned back around and got to work on his dashboard. Brennan pulled a chair next to him. Another hour passed and they landed atop a deserted warehouse in Phoenix but Jesse still hadn’t had any luck. Brennan took to pacing the length of the plane again. It seemed to be getting more and more hopeless with every passing minute.
“Ah. Shoulda figured.”
Brennan started and ran back to Jesse and the dashboard.
Jesse played back the zoomed in clipping from the night of the murder, then looked up at Brennan with a face unsettled by what he just uncovered in the Russian satellite surveillance archives.
“They’re always watching us.”
Brennan sat impassive and unmoving as the clipping played from its morose start to gruesome finish. His eyes followed every move, every plunge of the daggers caught on tape… every soundless scream leaving Shay’s lips that soon turned to soundless gasps, and then nothing. Death, was all that was left. He was still watching when one of the attackers kicked the lifeless body once, then dragged his partner away who insisted on leaving ugly words of parting spray-painted on the street beside Shay’s body. Words that wouldn’t wash away when the rain came, and would haunt Brennan for the rest of his life. Words that were waterproof. Blood that wasn’t.
Don't waste your time on me
You’re already the voice inside my head…
I miss you, miss you…