Foto bij Chapter 2.2 || Donuts With Green Sprinkles

Chapter Two – IV, V, VI

Part Two of Nine.

The lab consists of exactly three people: Jane Forster, Darcy Lewis and Ian Boothby. They get swamped easily, but usually they somehow manage to stay on top of things - opinions on how differ greatly, while Steve thinks they never actually end up leaving the lab and save up mountains of overtime, Clint is convinced they’ve got clones running around doing their work for them. Darcy is the easiest to reach; Jane gets caught up in her work and won’t hear her phone, Ian is usually at least accompanying her, running the scans and checking results. Plus, his phone got smashed a week ago and he still hasn’t gotten a new one, at least that Steve knows about. Darcy, however, is never without her phone.
      “Darcy Lewis,” a cheerful voice says after only a second ring. There’s rock music in the background, which isn’t allowed in the lab but no one actually bothers to keep it.
      “Darcy! I need a favor.” He can bribe her with muffins if she gets annoyed, right? Bucky won’t mind.
      “I’ll need more coffee.” Darcy always manages to sound like she’s about to hate what she needs to do - and maybe she even does - but she’ll do it anyway. “You do know the amount of work we’ve got right?” She is guilt tripping him. It usually works, when he is in a better mood. When he’s had more sleep.
      “I know, Darcy. Tell you what, I’ll go get the entire lab donuts, if you want,” Steve says. “You just gotta run that partial we found on Kyle Terry against the military database.” Donuts are always a safe bet, if Darcy will eat half of them and Jane will stress-eat the other half.
      “I’ll get back to you when I get a result. Don’t forget about the sprinkles. And green icing!” Darcy replies just before the line goes dead. Steve can hear the smile in her voice. He however has no idea where he is supposed to get donuts with green icing and sprinkles. Maybe Nikolai has some. Bruce is stuffing the body in a body bag with Clint’s help, Sam and Natasha standing a couple of meter further, quietly talking among themselves. There’s nothing more to do at the scene: photos have been taken, evidence photographed and bagged for transport back to the lab. Nothing much for Steve to do. The partial is a long shot, but it’s the only solid piece of evidence they’ve got. Whoever the killer is, he’s so far been meticulous enough to leave no prints.
      The MO changes with every murder. First victim, Kyle Terry, had been shot point blank, barrel of the gun pressed against the guy’s forehead; in all aspects a personal kill. It would allow him to watch the life drain from Kyle’s eyes. Second victim, the priest, had been stabbed: one clean wound straight through the heart. Like he was meant to die instantly. And now this. The only way they even know that they have all been killed by the same killer, are the numbers on the victims’ necks: sloppy but deep lines displaying Roman numerals. They’re small, no bigger than a coin. It took them a while to even realize these are Roman numerals and not just some kind of grid.
      Steve watches the last ambulance drive away from the park, sirens blaring. A chalk outline shows where the first two victims lay, the place where the only casualty had lain only marked by bloody dirt.
      “Who are the victims?” he asks Clint, before he takes another sip of his coffee. Clint slumps against the tree next to them and stifles a yawn. Steve offers him the travel mug without thinking. “You look like you need it.” Clint takes the cup from him and takes a long sip, practically draining it before he hands it back to Steve. Judging by the sloshing, there’s barely any coffee left.
      “Thanks. Darren Mills is the dead guy. Was in his low forties, worked tech support. The two taken to the hospital are Lauren Anderson, twenty-three and Mike Thompson, twenty-six. Thompson moved to the US only three days ago.” Welcome to the states, Pal. “From what Anderson told us before she passed out, she was in and out of consciousness a lot and never saw the shooter brand her neck. They were on their morning run.” Clint makes a face like he’s just smelled the worst thing in the world, nose all scrunched up; he says the words ‘morning run’ like they’re trying to kill him. “This early?”
      “Anderson was a nurse,” Natasha says, joining them out of the blue. It makes Steve jump a little, when she just appears out of nowhere. Coffee doesn’t do much for his nerves. “She was supposed to start her shift at six AM.” She looks up to Clint, squinting against the sun finally coming up over the horizon proper. “Mornings are the best time to run.”
      “You’ll find me dozing off in my bed at any time before seven AM,” Clint grunts. “Best time to run or not.”
      “Did they take her to the hospital she works at?” Steve asks. “Or do we need to alert them?” The people she works with wouldn’t be happy with the paramedics if they did bring her to another hospital, he’s seen that annoyance up close and it is honestly rather frightening.
      “They took her to Brooklyn Health Center, where she works,” Clint replies, then adds: “I don’t think the killer counted on the joggers being there.”
      “Why?” Sam asks.
      “Because he didn’t kill them. He shot and marked them, but he didn’t shoot them in a vital place, like the head or heart. He shot them in the leg, even we have had a few of those and we’re still standing.” Steve nods vaguely at Clint. It sounds about right. Why else would he leave them alive?
      “Victims of opportunity then?” he asks. “But why not wait until they ran past and shoot then? Why brand them?” Natasha’s nodding slowly, pensively.
      “Might be,” she muses. “He could have run out of time. Sun was about to come up. If he didn’t want to be seen, he might have made a rush job out of this one. Maybe he made a mistake somewhere. Clint and I will go back to the precinct and call Mills’s relatives. You and Sam head to the hospital.” It doesn’t surprise Steve. He’s only known Natasha for a year or two, ever since he’s begun to work at the PD. She has never been at the hospital, unless she really had to and even then she had been fidgety and nervous. So, she prefers Steve and Sam go to the hospitals, if they can. Steve doesn’t mind, he’s grown up in and around Brooklyn Health Center, it is like a second home to him. So hospitals don’t freak him out so much anymore. The only downside is that most of the older nurses and doctors there have known him - and seen him regularly - ever since he was still in diapers. They know too many embarrassing stories about him. Way too many.
      “Got it. See you back there. Call if you find something out.”

Reacties (1)

  • Arcturus

    (Bucky come backkk) Loved this chapter, especially the last bit. Awkward hahah. Now I want donuts. Green with sprinkles sounds very very good.

    3 jaar geleden

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