freezingrayne: (Jayden)
[personal profile] freezingrayne
Title: The World is Mine
Fandoms: Baccano! and Heavy Rain crossover
Pairing: Claire Stanfield/Norman Jayden
Rating: Mature
Word Count: 4200~
No real spoilers for either canon

Teaser: It’s the same face that’s stared back at him from the case file in ARI for the past few weeks. So far, the new killer has been a perfect copycat of Vino, down to the last detail.

For [personal profile] mmefrankenstein. Happy birthday, darling!

I doubt many people have played Heavy Rain--it's phenomenal. Unlike any video game I've ever played. Norman Jayden is an FBI agent, and ARI is a virtual reality device used to compile data.

The file thunks down in front of Jayden’s nose, rousing him from his doze. “Working hard, rockstar?”

Jayden picks his head up from his desk. If it had been his supervisor, he might have pretended he had just been resting his eyes, but Gary had hated him even before he’d become the FBI’s golden boy.

“Got a case for you, Jayden.” Gary is practically giggling, which is a bad sign. “A real fucking winner. High profile.”

Jayden flips the file open. “Yeesh.”

Gary snickers again. “Enjoy yourself.”

DC is muggy in the summer, humidity settling in like a damp blanket. The sun is hot and bright, turning the horizon hazy. Jayden can already feel his shirt sticking uncomfortably to his back.

He smells the murder before he sees it, immediate and unmistakable. Jayden’s never been in a slaughterhouse before, but he imagines this is how one would smell.

There are way more uniforms than there need to be, but this is a highly populated area, and that always makes the local cops nervous. It’s also right in the FBI’s backyard, and that makes the bureau nervous.

Jayden holds his badge up to get through the caution tape. It’s his first crime scene since the Origami case, and as he gets out of the car and pulls ARI from his jacket pocket, he can feel the ghost of an endless rainstorm pounding down on the back of his neck. The body couldn’t be more different. The Origami Killer’s victims always looked like they were sleepy—bodies meticulously posed.

This was a mess.

“This is the third victim?” he asks one of the uniforms. They haven’t met, but Jayden can tell he’s in charge—something in his stance, the way his eyes are bouncing from surface to surface.

The man gives him the obligatory scathing look. Jayden waits for it to subside. It’s one of the laws of the universe—local cops are always angry with the feds, no matter how pleasant he is to them. Though after Blake, this guy is a fucking sweetheart.

“Fourth,” he grunts. He’s looking down, but his eyes are focused on a spot a couple of feet to the right of the body. Jayden doesn’t blame him in the slightest. “They’re counting the one they found in the river. It was cut up the same, just wasn’t covered in blood. The river…river washed it away.” He looks sick.

“Thank you,” Jayden says. “That’s all I need right now. You can send your men home.”

Normally, he’d expect a protest. But not right now, not at this crime scene.

“You don’t have to tell me twice,” the captain says.

Jayden waits until the place has more or less cleared out, just a couple uniforms and the medical examiner left. They’re just waiting for him to have a look before they take the body away. He pulls out his sunglasses and slips them on, getting the glove on by touch alone.

The hallucinations have stopped, and the shakes are getting better, but he’s been forbidden against using ARI for anything but official business. Triptone is bad enough, but it’s ARI that’s really addictive, all that information right at his fingertips, anything he wants to see.

He leans down as the specs come up, analyzing the scene.

Race: Caucasian. 34 yeas of age. Blood type: O. Healthy.

“Well, healthy except for being dead,” Jayden agrees with ARI. He takes measurements of the knife wounds on the body, of the way it was dropped. He records tire tracks and blood spatter. He’ll look at it all when he gets back to the office.

“Okay,” he calls. “I’m done.”

Home is an apartment in Georgetown, just east of the river. The rent is almost nauseating, definitely too high for the fact that he barely ever uses it, but it’s about as quiet as you get in the city. Too much noise can interfere with some of ARI’s functions. There’s only three rooms—kitchen, bedroom, and living room, but it’s not like he does much entertaining.

The living room is three blank walls and a door out to the balcony, windows currently covered over by thick blackout curtains. Jayden sits down in the chair in the center of the room and puts the glasses back on. His office springs out of nowhere, ones and zeros forming into the familiar shape of his desk. He groans as he settles back into the most comfortable chair he’s ever owned, leather molding perfectly to his spine. He cycles through the possible scenery options, finally settling on autumn in the mountains. The crispness of the air will do him some good after the sauna that was his afternoon, and he likes the smell of the pines.

The forest leaps out around him, cool and shady and infinite. A breeze stirs the leaves, lifts his damp hair away from his neck. Jayden rests his hands on his desk and takes a deep breath, before reaching over to the little old-fashioned clock and setting. He can only stay inside ARI for up to twenty minutes at a time.

“The evidence should be done compiling by now,” he says aloud to himself, more to hear the echo of his voice in the forest than anything else.

He cycles through the entries—no consistent sign of foot or tire prints in the alley, or any of the other crime scenes. No physical evidence—hair, fibers, fingerprints. The same blade hadn’t been used in every murder, but the knife strokes were the same—right handed, diagonal slashes, some deep and violent, others slow and meticulous. The corpses had been shredded to the point that, so far, only two of them have been identified.

Jayden opens the file, bringing up the other crime scenes.

“Search the police database for any potential connections to the open cases,” he tells ARI. It takes about three seconds, data popping up in the corner of his vision. One occurrence of a similar pattern, over eighty years ago.

The Vino killings of the late 1920’s. Jayden scans it over quickly, ARI loading any relevant information. Suspected to be just one perpetrator. Named for the fact that the bodies look as if they’d been soaked in wine.

“You don’t get that sort of imagination anymore,” Jayden says aloud.

The alarm makes him jump, the clock on the end of the virtual desk ringing that his twenty minutes is up. He drops the file in irritation, feeling ARI beginning to disengage from his brain automatically. He’d done it manually for awhile, but it’s getting harder and harder recently to go through with it. Leaving ARI is like losing a limb, except this limb suffuses your entire body. It’s like voluntarily going blind.

He wakes up on the chair in the living room, stark white walls pressing in on him, mind cut off from the rest of the world.

There’s a chink of glass on wood. “Vodka martini, am I right?”

Jayden glances up from where he’s been staring at the tips of his fingers. There’s a fresh drink in front of him and a man standing beside the table. He’s dressed in slacks and an old-style pea coat, the sort of thing you’d find at an estate sale or the Salvation Army. His hair is very red, styled conservatively.

For a second Jayden thinks he might be a waiter, but then he sits down next to him.

If it’s a come-on, it’s an awkward one. “Sorry, man. I’m not really—.”

“It’s what you’re drinking, ain’t it?” The man flashes a smile. “I wanted to introduce myself, since I heard you were looking for me.”

Jayden’s just about to tell him to fuck off and take his drink with him, when he realizes where he’s seen him before. He wonders if he can reach his gun in time.

It’s the same face that’s stared back at him from the case file in ARI for the past few weeks. So far, the new killer has been a perfect copycat of Vino, down to the last detail.

“God dammit!” Jayden makes a grab for his gun. The man puts a hand on his arm.

“Calm down. Just here to talk, you know? No need to make a scene.”

The pianist finishes up his song onstage and there’s a polite smattering of applause. Jayden takes his arm away from his holster, settles back into his chair, heart beating too fast.

“So what are you, his grandson?” he asks. He picks up the martini, swirls it around in the glass. He isn’t stupid enough to drink it, at least not without first checking for any additives. It only takes getting roofied once in your life to make you careful.

The man grins. “Why don’t you use that shiny piece of technology to find out?”

That’s sort of unsettling, Jayden thinks, as he slips on the glove, pulls out the sunglasses. It’s a relief to put Ari back on, feel it sync with his brain.

The man with the red hair sits calmly, like he isn’t the spitting image of a serial killer who committed his murders over eighty years ago.

Ari begins scanning his face, comparing characteristics and features. The whole process takes three seconds, the ID flashing up at the corner of the spec.

Identified: Claire Stanfield, adopted member of the Gandor crime family. Born 1907. Vanished 1932. Presumed dead.

The number one suspect of the Vino murders of the late twenties and early thirties. Disappeared the same year the murders had tapered off. According to the Daily Days, last heard of the night of the famous disaster aboard the Intercontinental Express Flying Pussyfoot.

“No, that’s not right,” he tells ARI. “Scan again.”

Three seconds later and the exact same information comes up.

“No,” Jayden says again, a little irritated. “That’s not him. He’s too young.” It’s one thing for ARI to be wrong once. It’s the cutting edge of FBI tech, but mistakes can happen, especially when features are similar. But wrong twice is pushing it. The only way to tell for sure is with DNA, and he needs physical contact for that.

“What’s wrong?” the man asks. He’s still smiling. “Your little do-hicky not work on me?”

Jayden takes the glasses off. “It’s saying you’re Claire Stanfield. The first Vino killer.”

The man lets out a low whistle. “Damn. Haven’t heard that name in quite awhile. So it’s saying I’m Vino, huh? What do you think, Mr. Jayden?”

Jayden touches a tip of a gloved finger to the martini, sending tiny ripples across the surface. No additives, so at least no heavy-handed attempts to poison him.

“What do I think?” He throws back the martini, feeling it hum through his veins. “I think you’re the grandson of this Claire Stanfield, possibly the great grandson. If you are the killer, then you’re a copycat. And a damn good one too.”

“Aww…you’re gonna make me blush.” The man looks down at the table for a second, sheepish. “But I assure you that I am the killer. And I am, or was at one time, Claire Stanfield.”

“Don’t fuck around with me,” Jayden says. “The allegations you’re making are a very serious matter. You’re telling me that you’re the copycat?”

The man shakes his head. “Now, see, that just hurts my feelings. You don’t believe me. What’s it gonna take?”

“In all honesty? DNA.”

“DNA, huh? With that fancy thing?” He glances down at Jayden’s hand. He hasn’t taken the glove off yet. “Alright, go ahead.”

Jayden raises hand. Ideally, they’d do this somewhere where he’d have room to access his office, but this guy is much less likely to try anything in public. As public as a corner of a badly lit Dupont bar is.

He reaches for the man’s head. Hair isn’t as good as blood, but it’ll do. Before he can reach, the man leans forward, eyes glittering, taking two of Jayden’s fingers into his mouth. He makes a tiny noise in his throat, tongue slithering up and over. Even through the glove, Jayden can feel the heat of his mouth.

Even for his life, this is weird. Some complete stranger coming up and claiming he’s a serial killer, and then felating his fingers across the table.

The man backs off, giving the tips of Jayden’s fingers one last flick with his tongue. The leather glistens with saliva. “That enough DNA for you?”

Jayden has to clear his throat before he can speak. “That—that’ll work.”

ARI takes a little longer to analyze the DNA than it did to match the man’s features. While it does, Jayden focuses on the martini, trying to pretend the alcohol is the only reason his face feel so hot.

The results flash up as soon as he puts ARI back on.

Claire Stanfield. Born 1907. Adopted by the Gandor Crime—.

Jayden jerks the glasses of. “Fucking hell.”

The man—Stanfield—laughs. “You’ve got that right.” For a moment they just stare at each other across the table. The pianist has struck up a livelier tune—something you could dance to, if this was the sort of place people danced. “Can I buy you another drink?”

It takes Jayden’s brain a couple of seconds to catch up “What?”

“Well, you see…” Stanfield leans across the table, dropping his voice like he and Jayden are co-conspirators. “I was planning on killing you when I came in here. You and your fed buddies got the potential to make things tricky for me. Especially nowadays.”

Jayden’s fingers tighten on his gun, but he doesn’t draw. Anyone else, and he’d have had them cuffed and halfway downtown by now. But there’s something about Stanfield’s voice, something hypnotic about his eyes that makes Jayden want to keep watching. He has an odd quality to him, like he’s just on the edge of perception—a hallucination brought on by ARI.

“But now I’m not so sure,” Stanfield goes on, watching him, eyes fascinated and intent. “I mean, this world is mine. Everything in it belongs to me, of my own making, but sometimes it can still surprises me.” He leans back with a reckless grin. “I don’t think I mind having someone like you chase me, Norman Jayden.”

Jayden doesn’t exactly know how to respond to that. Not only does this man appear to be ageless and psychotic, he also seems to have a god-complex. Which is fine, no problem.

“I’m flattered,” Jayden responds. But really, enough is enough. He’ll bring Mr. Stanfield into the bureau and let the techs sort out how he’s able to be over a hundred years old and not look a day more than twenty-five.

He’s reaching for his gun—for real this time—when he feels a tremor in his arm. He has just enough time to think, no, not now, before the shakes set in full-force. One hand knocks the martini glass flying as he forces the other into his jacket pocket, scrabbling for the little vial. Fumbling the cap off, he raises it to his nose and inhales, just in time to prevent himself from jerking right off the chair.

By the time the shakes diminish and his vision clears, Stanfield is gone.

Jayden keeps the windows shut at night. It’s too damn hot during the summer, and you never know what might come crawling through.

When he drifts awake, the window is open, pale curtains moving restlessly in the breeze.

“You should really see someone about those shakes. They can’t be healthy.”

Claire Stanfield steps out from between the billow of the curtain. Jayden sits up, reaching for his gun on the little table beside the bed, but it’s gone, holster and all. Things are not where he left them, and there are candles lit, scattered around the bedroom like it’s a fucking music video. He doesn’t even own any candles.

It hits him in a moment—he’s fallen asleep with ARI on again.

It’s happened once or twice before, using it late at night, not realizing that he’s starting to nod off. It’s designed to disengage with his brain after a certain amount of time, so there’s no real danger, but it does make for some bizarre dreams.

“Mr. Stanfield—,”

“Aw, I think we’re passed that, don’t you? Call me Claire.” He’s dressed all in black, material tight-fitting and glossy, like a costume. “You mind if I call you Norman?”

“Not even my friends call me Norman,” Jayden says.

“You don’t have any friends,” Stanfield counters, coming closer. The candle light arches his cheeks, makes shadows under his eyes. “At least not from what I’ve seen.”

“You’ve been following me.”

“That’s right.” He grins, wide and hungry. “And you’ve been following me.”

“Trying to follow you,” Jayden corrects. He makes a conscious effort to wake up, but ARI doesn’t work like that. Sometimes he’s convinced it has a mind of its own. “You’re a hard man to find. Of course, I’m sure a lot of that has to do with being over a hundred years old.”

Claire smiles, bashfully, as if Jayden’s embarrassing him.

He could ask Claire what he’s here for, but there’s no point, not really. This is a sensory hallucination, one his own mind has brought to the forefront. This Claire is here because of him, because he hasn’t been able to get those eyes out of his head, or the warmth of his mouth through the glove.

Still, he asks, “Would it be worth the breath to tell you to get out?”

Stanfield puts one knee on Jayden’s bed, and that is almost too close. Jayden can’t remember if he’d been wearing anything when he’d gotten into bed, but he definitely isn’t now.

“Maybe. But you’re not going to ask, are you? You like me where I am.” He stretches out, body forming a long, lithe line. Jayden reaches for him before he can help himself.

“I knew it,” Claire says. “I’m never wrong.”

His hand slides up Jayden’s arm, hot and solid, moving over the dip of his shoulder and up to his throat. It doesn’t tighten down, but it’s a definite threat, thumb hovering above his pulse.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Jayden asks. He braces a hand against Claire’s arms, feeling the shift of muscle underneath the stretchy shirt, moving slowly until his posture is a mirror, hand at Stanfield’s throat. His pulse beats steadily, though it increases as Jayden’s fingers settle around his neck.

Claire grins, tipping his chin up, like he’s giving him room. “I mean that all of this world is of my making, so I know exactly what you’re going to do before you do it.”

“You’re a hallucination,” Jayden says, “So I doubt it.”

“Oh yeah?” His fingers tighten down slightly, squeezing at Jayden’s throat. “Some hallucination.” Twining his other hand in the sheet, he pulls it down, splaying his hand across Jayden’s stomach. “Do all your hallucinations come through the window to fuck you?”

“Only the good ones.”

Claire laughs, low and guttural, before releasing his throat and twisting his fingers in his hair, kissing him hard. Jayden makes a tiny noise of pain, before opening his mouth for his hallucination’s tongue.

He’s never used ARI for something like this before, as much as anyone at the bureau would never believe it. Most of the agents who had one talked like it was all they ever did, but to Jayden it seems like a waste of the precious time he can be inside ARI without it short-circuiting his brain. Just the knowledge that it isn’t real, no matter how it feels, makes it unappealing to him.

This isn’t like anything like he’d imagined it would be—hot and desperate, the weight of Claire against him more real than anything he’s experienced in a long time. ARI mimics life perfectly, even down to the smell of his sweat, the taste of whiskey on the back of his tongue.

Stanfield kisses like he’s starving for something, hands fisted in Jayden’s hair, rocking his hips against him. Jayden wonders if the man is actually like this, or if it’s simply something his mind has conjured up, because it’s what he likes or what he needs, or something psychological like that.

Alright, so the software that hacks into his brain thinks he needs a horny serial killer with a god-complex. Stranger things have happened.

Claire pulls away after about thirty second or so with one last bite to his tongue, lips flushed, eyes slightly hazy. He sits back and pulls his shirt off over his head, body arching artfully. He’s got the build of someone’s who’s never been inactive a day in his life. If Jayden remembers the files correctly, Claire Stanfield was an acrobat for years before returning to the employ of his adoptive family, and splitting his time between conducting on an intercontinental express and committing vicious, bloody murders.

At least, that was the other Claire Stanfield, the one who had been born in 1908. This one, the one that’s currently pulling the rest of the sheet off him…he has no idea.

Claire makes an admiring noise in his throat. He leans in for another incredibly realistic kiss, biting down on his lip, making Jayden hiss. “I read about that Origami Killer stuff in the papers. Apparently you’re a hero.” He settles between Jayden’s legs, running his palm over the inside of his thighs. “Saving kids and tackling murderers.”

Jayden threads his fingers through the thick fall of Stanfield’s hair. “It’s my job.”

“That right?” Stanfield makes a low sound in his throat as Jayden tugs on his hair. “And now you want to stop me doing my job.”

“Killing people isn’t a job.”

Stanfield grins, the candlelight hollowing his cheeks, making his eyes shine like a Cheshire Cat’s in the darkness. “They deserved it. They weren’t good people. Bad men.”

Jayden narrows his eyes, fighting the urge to roll his hips against Stanfield’s. “So what does that make you?”

Stanfield takes hold of his cock with one big, warm hand. “A very bad man.”

When he wakes the next morning, Jayden is utterly exhausted. Not the thick, muddy-eyed exhaustion of a restless night, but the pleasant bone-deep fatigue of a good workout. Or a really good dream.

He rubs his eyes, pulling the blankets back to go stumble to the kitchen and the coffee machine. He stops when he sees the curtains moving in the breeze. He never leaves the windows open.

He drops back down into bed. Stumps of burned down candles crowd his desk, and there’s a set of someone else’s clothes tossed over the chair. Jayden reaches to his face for ARI, but it isn’t there.

That’s because it’s across the room on his desk where he left it the evening before, glasses folded and set neatly atop the glove.

There’s a clank and a juddering of pipes in the wall as someone turns off the shower. Jayden hadn’t even noticed it was running. Either he is way off his game, or ARI is infringing in reality again.

He’s halfway out of bed, one foot on the floor, when the door to the bathroom swings open, releasing a cloud of steam and a very wet, very naked man.

“You don’t have any towels,” Stanfield comments, shaking his head like a dog, dripping onto the carpet. “Not that I was expecting maid-service, but come on, Norman. You’ve got to be a better host.

“Also,” he goes on, padding across the carpet and over to the window. “I think I may have broken your coffee machine. Sorry about that. I’ll get you a better one.”


Fifty million thoughts are crowding through Jayden’s brain, all of them waiting to be given their turn, taken apart and analyzed. He gets a little tripped up, however, by the beads of water escaping from Stanfield’s hair to roll down his neck and shoulders, tracing past lithe, clean muscle. He pulls back the curtain, the weak morning sun making them shine like tiny beads of light.

He tries again. “You—you can’t be real. ARI—.”

“What, this thing?” Stanfield picks up the glasses from the desk, slipping them on. Jayden makes an almost pained noise, up and across the room before he can stop himself, making a grab for them.

Stanfield catches his wrist, big hand tightening enough to make the bones grind together. He squeezes until Jayden makes a tiny noise of pain, before letting go, flicking the sunglasses off and back onto the table.

“Doesn’t seem too fancy to me.”

“They’re…” Jayden swallows. His brain is working at half-speed, it feel like. “It’s keyed to me. It won’t work for anyone else.”

“Convenient. I’ll never be able to keep up with this stuff. Computers, artificial intelligence. All these shitty replacement for reality.”

“It’s reality that’s shitty,” Jayden responds, rubbing at his wrist.

That Cheshire grin again. “Oh yeah?”

He shoves Jayden hard in the center of the chest, pushing him back onto the bed, hopping up to straddle his hips. “I’m insulted, Norman. Talk bad about reality, talk bad about me. The world—.”

“—Is yours, yeah.” Claire’s breath is hot on his neck, and his tongue makes him shiver. He makes a noise of low, growling pleasure as Jayden threads his fingers in his hair. “I’ve heard.”

mmefrankenstein: Default (Default)
From: [personal profile] mmefrankenstein
"So what does that make you?"
"A very bad man."

XD And then I died.

Ho~ly~shi~~~~~t! XD Absofuckinlutely the hottest fucking thing in the whole fucking universe. You have Claire's voice and behavior down to an absolute T. I could hear Jerry Jewell's dulcet tones. And Nahman too, man--that thing about him staring at his fingertips just made me grin.

Dude.dude.dude.dude. This is the best. It is supreme. It is 1000000% Lovely and Excellent. It is awesome. XD Thank you so,so,so,so,so muchhhhh!!!! GAHHHHHH I MISS YOUUUUU!!!!!!


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