The room hummed with the song of a couple dozen computer processors heating themselves up in the pursuit of information. Keystrokes logged and computer history regurgitated itself while Beyond stood at the other side of the locked library, meticulously selecting titles, and meticulously throwing them to the floor.
Do they actually use these for research anymore?
It wasn’t uncommon for Wammy’s to milk the talent of their students by having them assist in the grunt work of L’s cases, knowingly or not. Through the digital sea of research, porn and homework on the library computers, B was looking for something more than proof of how painfully boring of an institution the orphanage actually was.
He glanced up at the security camera stationed directly above his head, freshly disabled.
For the man who was apparently capable of finding anyone, he seemed to be having plenty of trouble with the worm right under his nose.
In L’s defense, Beyond Birthday was dead.
“Don’t?” Y took a step forward, lazily crossing one foot in front of the other in such an aimless way. “What does a man do with a dead woman’s body when he is nott… me?” Another step brought the youth just as much closer to Beyond as the door.
It also brought him right by the sanitation counter where Yacer took the liberty to outfit his right hand with a surgical glove. “I don’t think that any attempt at inductive generalization with insufficient evidence would be impressive.” He tugged at the edge to make sure it was tight before sliding the box to the wall and advancing.
“Ask a stupid question…” He rested fingers on the top of the edge of the locker case, allowing the sleeve to fall down to reveal two long rows of swollen stitches and heavy bandaging before digging into the ungiving steel and pulling himself 20 centimeters closer. ”Unless you’re psychotic as well as psychopathic, I’d think you meant what does a man do with a woman’s body when he is you” He stopped suddenly and pulled the locker open once again, gliding his hand against the metal as sterile as the latex he held up to examine in the artificial light.
Beyond peeked out from his rendezvous with metal to watch Yacer move, his satisfaction not immediately apparent in his face. An effective smart ass, if nothing else, but not exactly what he was interested in. Whether or not that cleverness and vindictive little attitude could be applied to a larger scale was another matter.
“It wouldn’t be,” he agreed simply. “Unless you were correct.”
Either way, it would’ve been cute to see him try.
As Y inched himself closer to B in another inconsequential act of defiance, the latter’s focus drifted to the patchwork revealed along what had appeared to be healthy skin, tracing over it, subconsciously memorizing it, even as he spoke.
“Dead body,” he corrected, absentminded in tone. “While we’re on the subject of unnimpressive innductive generalizations with innsufficient evidence; did you go over the PCL-R checklist in your head and everything?” without bothering to meet the eyes of whom he was questioning, his brow raised in mocking skepticism. “You know what you’ve heard. And what you’ve observed in your few collective hours of knowing me. I think you’d have to dig a little deeper to justifiably make a sweeping claim on my personality and mental health like that,”
He met Yacer’s pull like a magnet, and lowered his voice. “After all, I’m sure half these cabbage patch kids display an unhealthy amount of antisocial traits. Including you.”
“But can you blame us? Look at how we were raised,” Leaning back and looking away from the child once more, he began to chew his tongue. “I might just be shielding an arsenal of insecurities behind a grand show of confidence, or maybe I’m really angry inside. My father was an alcoholic, you know. I also could just be unusually fucking charming. It happens.”
He didn’t bother to hold back the smirk this time, and patiently watched Y play crime scene investigator. The moment he raised his index to inspect it, the older raven reached out to pull the glove smoothly from his hand and promptly fill it with his own. “Wrong. There are no shavings left behind here, or anywhere. Anja was destroyed,” with it, he grasped the underside of Yacer’s forearm, and slid his hand slowly upward, until he had pushed the sleeve out of the way. “So even if inductive reasoning is unreliable, you’d have to rely on it, and not your fingerprint dusting skills. But since you’re too embarrassed to give it a proper shot, I’ll spell it out for you.”
The obvious self-stitches that Beyond had been fixated on not too long ago were once again in view, and called his bare fingers to ghost along their ridges. His thoughts paused on the similar wounds reaching up his own left thigh. It was no surprise that neither boys had departed their first encounter unscathed. Without dwelling on what that indicated about the future, he began.
“Unusual subjects are typically the target of unusual events. However insignificant, there was something different about her that triggered her specific and singular destruction. To pinpoint what deviated herr from every other cadaver in this lab, it must be determined what the rest have in common. One universal trait that Anja completely lacks. And that trait was simply that the rest of them were supposed to be here. They were donated. They belong. Anja was not, and did not. She belonged under a headstone next to her great aunt in Wisconsin. The Universe destroys things that don’t belong. It’s how it flushes out chaos,” he fingers moved to pluck and pull at the tightly knotted thread at the stitch’s end, no doubt causing sharp pain.
“So why was she here? For that, I give you a little background information. Nothing that you probably didn’t know, but might’ve not considered. Wammy has a distinct talent for hiding things in plain sight. If you need an example, look around. A cognitive boot camp with enough resources pumped in to clone the next generation’s world’s greatest detective…tucked snugly and discreetly in a chain of privately-owned orphanages all erected by an aging and respected world-class inventor and entrepreneur. We are one hell of a secret, and so was Shannon.” B’s thumbnail pressed into and dragged down the swollen skin, even as his speech remained rapid-fire and unyielding.
“Her method of storage almost contradicts that statement, doesn’t it? Stolen from her family and a proper burial, yes, but shoved into a steel sarcophagus for a gang of snot-nosed brats to poke at and cut up as they please. Among…others things,” his eyes flickered pointedly up to Yacer’s, as if to chide him, and then fell back down to focus on picking at his wound. “So, it must’ve not mattered so much what happened to her - or what her condition was - as long as she was out of sight, and around, obviously, or they would’ve destroyed her first. That means there was something valuable about her, something you lot couldn’t screw up. Something inside her, maybe that they already had under wraps, but a backup never hurts. Something that you’ve been coming into repeated contact with ever since you started raping her.”
The stitches were inflamed by now. Beyond’s sated, sadistic gaze lifted to the small boy’s face.
“But don’t worry. I’m almost positive it’s been dormant for some time now.”
Yacer had wondered casually if there was some checklist to identify a necrophiliac that he was unaware of, tuning out the rest of the suggestions offered out to focus obviously on their deliverer, biting into the inside of his lip as the man moved toward him as naturally as negative to positive. Or the other way around.
He found moral analogy shallow enough to let his mind pass right over.
Y suddenly got the strangest impression that Beyond still expected him to try to impress him with a show of mental prowess. Perhaps run at the mouth in an attempt to prove that he wasn’t afraid of the big bad wolf until he slipped over his own words?
At least, that’s what Y would have done. He had no special desire to comply. The visitor would undoubtedly leave with some impression anyway. If B was done with what he’d had come here to do, Yacer assumed that that would happen pretty quickly
…actually he’d assume that a Backup to L would have been judicious enough to leave already.
Casual compliance received a quick response. The glove was removed from his hand. The focus shifted to his arm.
The sleeve was moved up slowly as if to demand that Yacer’s attention remain on his elder. As if the sudden change in subject wasn’t enough to peak his interest.
‘Anja’ had hazel eyes, ruddy skin, and despite the head’s repulsive disproportion to her stocky body, a good deal of natural facial fat. Not to mention the definite influence red in her auburn hair. If he had to guess, he’d assume either Irish, maybe German.
According to her description, ‘Anja’ was Ukrainian.
If she was, she’d stand out to say the least. It was enough to force him to stand still as his careful work was haphazardly plucked, ripped, and stroked. If B had been lying, he was a talented fabricator.
But don’t worry. I’m almost positive it’s been dormant for some time now.
Eyes shot up. B’s wrist was snatched, the other hand yanked Beyond Birthday’s head down over the metal locker to his owner’s own level, forcing the man’s lips to his own. The involuntary adrenaline rush caused the older one’s mouth to gape just enough to give Yacer enough of an opening to shoot saliva to the back of his throat, and shifted his thumb the top of the made-up neck to force him to swallow. In a moment he had pulled back, and in a moment more the lab door was slammed shut behind him. Two moments and he had launched himself over the stairwell directly into the path of the camera. Asking for forgiveness was easy anyway.
He looked over his shoulder briefly, a haughty smirk visible in the dim light.
Beyond jerked back just enough to break his contact with Yacer, but it wasn’t until his departure that he decided to straighten up - slowly, robotically, as if what had just befallen him hadn’t been both sudden and intrusive.
His tongue rolled out of his mouth in a half-hearted expression of disgust.
Kids are gross.
Still riding the coattails of that thought, he burst into abrupt laughter, awkwardly giddy and trapped behind two rows of grinning teeth.
He informed one-third of Wammy’s new protege that he’s been fucking an incubator for some anonymous, conspiracy-saturated pathogen for God knows how long; and Y’s first instinct is not to grovel in an attempt to learn more about it and save himself, nor to let the emotional reaction appropriate for learning of the possibility of imminent death or injury get in the way, but to take someone. Down. With him.
Even if Beyond had been lying about the pathogen’s inactivity, he’d only have to induce vomiting to refute Yacer’s quick thinking. Still, it was an applaudable move, and in that move, the successor had proven himself ready and willing to play any arsenal of Beyond Birthday’s games. As a bonus, he’d revealed certain traits in his possession that could potentially keep them interesting.
Basically, he did just what B asked of him.
For one, he was certainly no stranger to the human body and its workings. The craftsmanship of his stitches and even the way he applied touch had given that away.
This whole dilemma was right up his alley.
There was the question of whether or not the boy was expecting to be followed, but his elder knew better than to let himself get carried away with distractions, no matter how entertaining.
After all, he was here for a reason.
The raven’s chuckling cut like the end of a looping track.
With Y gone, B reached into his back pocket, and slipped out a laboratory access pass, an unimpressive laminated name tag without its lanyard, and slammed closed the locker door in front of him that no longer served a purpose.
Even though the pass belonged to Shannon, it was to end up somewhere else.
Opening a very specifically positioned chamber in his rows of freshly rearranged corpses, Beyond lifted the head of the facedown male inside by his scraggly white hair, and stuffed the card as far into his mouth as what seemed to be allowed. His face was unceremoniously dropped, and the drawer closed once more.
It was a simple, subtle message. Whoever found it, and whether by means of the puzzle Beyond had used his idle time to put together didn’t entirely matter.
What did matter was that Wammy became aware that a third party was aware of their compromising situation, and their resulting reactions.
Did they have something to be afraid of already, perhaps?
He exited the room and moved to the adjacent forensics lab, where his DNA match had finished processing.
Anja was indeed Shannon.
Wrenching his now loaded thumb drive from the main computer, it became clear there was still much work to be done on the house he intended on building, even if he’d gotten an opportunity to throw a wrench in someone else’s.
He’d be back. And when he did, he just might have to multitask.
|[TEXT]: My head.|
[ arrives all too promptly at K’s door, kicks over an aspirin bottle, and smiles ]
|"There is no memo. You either are or aren't. But... from the looks of things, it would seem it's plagued you for a while."|
I mean the memo that there was something to be jealous of.
|[TEXT]: Beyond, last time I checked, you're the person in my contacts whose room is closest to the medicine storage. Won't you be a dear and bring me aspirin?|
[TEXT]: What hurts?
|"Backup, I'm almost hurt by those assumptions. With such resentment and distance, I'm led to believe you have found something new to occupy yourself. And, as the reason you are free, I must keep tabs."|
I’m right here. Don’t worry.
But jealousy’s an ugly trait.
You could’ve kept better tabs with me in a jail cell, but that didn’t work out so well, did it?
|"I'd almost hoped your loneliness would have rotted your mind. It's nice to see you again."|
I’m an extravert, L. I never let myself get lonely.
But I guess if I’m not playing with you, I might as well be. Isn’t that how the circular logic of the self-obsessed works?
With some misguided interest in the piddly little first failure.
Either total ignorance or indignance of the connotation of that name…
With no desire to claim responsibility for using it.
And, of course, the tracking skills to have any inkling of an idea of how to contact me. Or that I’m even alive!
|why do you think A hates you? do you think he always has or is this something new?|
He’s always so mean to me. There is no other possible conclusion.
beyondthebackup is asking a Question.
“Backup to the Alternative. What a lovely position to be in,”
B rolled his head on his shoulders, intent to get a good audible crack out of his neck before dropping it, and letting an abasing, bang-curtained gaze travel from Q’s toes to the air directly above his head.
“Do you mean…the position above you?” to the untrained ear, he might’ve sounded polite. “Figuratively, you couldn’t imagine the satisfaction. Buttt… physically, I don’t think I’ve had the undoubtedly prevalent opportunity yet…mm…”
He pressed two fingers to his forehead and drummed them in quick succession to make a show of collecting his memory, despite the fact that he hadn’t forgotten at all.
Wolfishly, B grinned.
|Oh, I'm /sorry/. I was still under the impression that you liked to play with me. My mistake.|
[ grasps shoulder, slides hand down to forearm, and yanks violently ]
|when did you realize you wanted to fuck A?|
I don’t think you’re quite getting it.
Especially when we were very young, A and I were rivals.
I fucked with him every chance I got, and he continuously proved himself to be the very definition of passive-aggressive from an impressively young age.
Every move we made was an attempt to throw the other into a whirlwind of desperation and self-doubt.
So basically. Always.