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tiger,tiger burning bright

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zayn threw down a huge file down on louis’ desk, jarring him awake. he rubbed at his eyes, glaring at zayn.”you might wanna read over those.” he gestured toward the papers on louis’ desk and louis pulled his feet from his desk and flipped the cover over, it was a male with his neck slashed wide open in the drivers seat of a car.

the next was another male, his neck slashed, his body lifeless in a garden, dirt under his nails, grass blades wet with dew stuck to palms.

louis looked up to zayn.”why are you handing me these? i’m on desk.”

“captain thinks we’ve got a copycat on our hands.” he threw harry styles’ case file down on louis’ desk.

louis quickly dropped the file in his hand, covering harry’s.”fuck. no. get them off my goddamn desk.” louis could practically feel the letters on the crumpled note in his pocket burn him. the universe was obviously playing a sick joke on him.

zayn let out a huff of air but did as he was told.”styles won’t cooperate with the department. unless it’s you.”

louis snorted as he grabbed items from his bottom desk drawer and stood up, shoving his arms into his jacket.”fool me once, shame on me. it ain’t gonna happen, mate.” and with that the conversation was over as louis blew past zayn and out to the lot.


it had been six-going on seven-months that louis nearly bled to death on a prison floor because he was stupid enough to get too involved with harry styles. even his name made louis’ stomach turn but he was probably for sure more mad at himself than harry styles; styles was just doing what he did best and well, louis was always a sucker for pretty faces.

and that reminder was permanently etched into his skin.


louis stalked into winston’s office first thing the next morning, waited patiently as he ended a call before looking up at louis, gesturing to his leather chairs and louis took one and before the captain could say anything, louis did.”i’m not going to see him. please, don’t ask me to.”

“trial’s in two weeks. i would like this case wrapped up before then.”

louis was a bit taken aback by the trial being so soon but he guessed the system didn’t wanna make a show out of someone like harry styles, give him more coverage than he deserved especially now that a supposed copycat was on the loose.”i wasn’t aware, sir. i, uh. do i need to be there?”

winston took a sip of his tea.”that’s really up to you, innit? you’re not required to be there, no.”

louis did nothing more before standing up and leaving the captain's office.


louis found himself back at stonebrook, harry styles already being pulled from gen pop, a privilege he had earned for helping louis with his last case. a smile spread across his face when he saw louis.”good to see you again, detective tomlinson.”

louis crossed his arms over his chest with a roll of his eyes.”yeah, lovely.” he pulled out the files he needed and slid them across to harry, not making eye contact but harry grabbed his wrist and louis’ breath caught and jaw locked. harry stood up, louis forgetting just how much smaller he was and harry’s hand came up and tipped his head back and to the side, his fingertips ghosting over scar tissue.

“you wear it well, love.”

“it’s what you get when you get stabbed in the neck by a psychopath”. harry tsked, sat back in the metal chair.”you wound me so.”

”anyway. i heard you won’t cooperate with anyone else so don’t flatter yourself.”

harry hummed as he flipped through the folder.”never thought i would get my own copycat.”

louis could hear the enthusiasm in his tone.”not good enough?”

harry leaned back, his lips turned up at the corners.”you think my work is good?”

“i didn’t say that.”

“c’mon, detective. out of all the murders you’ve seen, were they good?”

“obviously you lacked some basic skills.” louis shrugged and harry detered the conversation as he picked up a photo.

“gonna share the details, detective?” harry’s dimples appeared and louis felt his stomach drop.

“there isn’t much to say. he was found with his throat cut from ear to ear in the front garden of his neighbor’s house.” louis pulled a few photos from the first crime scene.”almost like this one. found in the first seat of his own car bleeding out.”

“while i’m ecstatic about these, i have to say his handy work is a bit shaky.”

“first time?”

“i would bet on it.”

louis nodded as he grabbed the photo harry was holding but harry didn’t let go.

“just more one thing, detective.”

louis raised an eyebrow as harry finally released the photo from his grip.

“we did well as a team the first time. maybe this time won’t be any different.”

louis pulled his bottom lip between his teeth, meeting harry’s green eyes.”i sure do hope it has a different outcome, for my sake.” he gathered his stuff and headed for the door.”good luck on your trial.”


he felt the weight of the day on his shoulders as he climbed into a warm bath, a cold glass of wine on the tub and a loaded glock on the floor.

he closed his eyes, dipped down until the water reached his nose with harry on his mind. and he hated himself for that.

hated himself that even after all these months, he wanted nothing more than to be back underneath harry, having his pretty lips trailing over his skin.

the shrill of his phone echoed in the bathroom, he dunked himself under before coming up and picking the phone from the floor, pushing his wet fringe off his forehead.”yeah?”

“three was found an hour ago. you don’t have to come down but serge wanted you to know.”

“yeah, thanks.” he ended the call, dropping it to the floor before pulling up himself from the water, sloshing water all over the bathroom.


louis showed up late to the courthouse, harry craning his neck in louis’ direction when he entered, a smile spread across his face causing his dimples to shadow and louis felt his palms start to sweat as he took a seat in the back.

he could see will sweeney’s parents up front, tears in their eyes and taut lines on their faces and he wanted to vomit. the judge entered his plea, harry accepted as he stood up, gracefully putting his hands behind his back, bowing his head and then he was being led out of the overjoyed room.

another life sentence and tacking on another twenty-five for attempted murder on a law enforcement officer.


louis stepped inside stonebrook, the air conditioning hitting him full force as he was led through the same procedures to be let in. he ran his hand through his sweaty fringe, and he had missed lunch driving up here and his stomach growled as he was let into a holding room, harry already sitting at the table.

“what do i owe the visit?”

“a third was found.” louis handed the most gruesome photos to harry, knowing it would be the one he would pull from the pile.

“she’s quite pretty. reminds me of my sister. smooth, creamy skin. dimples. and dark hair.”

“the only thing tying any of these victims together is the killer. your copycat. he’s left nothing behind.”

harry shrugged, picking up another photo.”let me know when number four happens.”

louis made a face.”i was really hoping to avoid a fourth.”

“then go to the scenes and tell me all about them. i want details like what color panties was she wearing, that type of thing.” he threw a wink to louis, holding the photos out for him. louis said nothing as he grabbed them and stuffed them into his bag.

“i hear you’re being transported down to everdeen.”

“got my welcoming committee all ready.” he drummed his fingers on the table with a smile.”why didn’t you testify against me?”

“captain thought it was best given my involvement. best for me to lay low.”

“lawyer says you could have easily put the nail in my coffin.”

louis pushed his fringe up, a crease between his eyes.”the death penalty?” louis didn’t even consider the thought.”was that like something you wanted?”

but before harry could answer, a buzzer sounded from the hall and then the door opened, signalling their time was up. harry stood up as a guard stepped into escort him back to his cell.”see ya, detective.”


louis woke with a start, the house dark and still but his heart raced as he fumbled on the nightstand for his glock. pushing his sweaty hair from his face as he listened with blood rushing behind his ears, a heavy thumping.

but his heart lurched as he heard the noise again, he threw his sheets off as he slowly padded down the hallway and pointed his gun, the metal feeling awfully heavy in his hand as the loud banging continued.

louis jerked the door open, preparing to fire but his finger firmly left the trigger as a sigh left his body at the looming body standing in his doorway. harry stood with shackles on both his wrists and ankles.”christ.”

harry cackled as he slipped the gun from louis’ hand and placed it on the table and before they could say anything, louis’ phone chimed and he rushed to grab it, seeing zayn’s name on the screen.

“mate, styles escaped during transport. be on the look-out. serge has got every badge out.” louis swallowed the lump in throat as his eyes shot up to harry standing in his doorway with nothing but orange jail assigned pants on.

“do you need me?”

“sit tight.”

and louis threw his phone on his bed, rubbing his face with his hands as he wondered what the hell he was doing. the bed dipped with harry’s weight, a reminder that this was real.

“everything alright, detective?”

“please, don’t call me that. not right now.” he cleared his throat ”you broke out.” it wasn’t a question and a spark lit behind harry’s eyes.”c’mon, i have paper clips in the kitchen.” he stood up, wanting the fever from his face to vanish.

harry followed behind him quietly and it wasn’t until louis was kneeling between harry’s knees with harry sitting in one of the chairs that matched his dining set and a paperclip flattened out and jammed into the cuff on harry’s right ankle, just above never gonna, louis’ fingers accidentally lingering over the ink a bit longer than necessary as he jiggled the paperclip and the cuff slid open but harry’s hand sliding into his hair, made his eyes shift up; harry chewed on his bottom lip.”you’re so fucking beautiful.”

and that broke it, louis pressed his face into harry’s thigh, his hands gripping at the fabric at his calf and if louis could cry right now, he would. and harry seemed to sense that as he pulled louis’ face from him by the roots of his hair, his hand cupping at louis’ jaw.”are you going to turn me in?”

louis surged upward and pressed his mouth to harry’s, he went to pull back but harry stopped him, splaying a hand on the back of his head, fingertips leaving prints on his skull as he kissed, kissed, and kissed louis until louis couldn’t breathe. until the sanity inside him broke into millions of shards and purged through his pores.

“don’t make me regret this. please, don’t.” louis hated how weak he sounded but harry hauled louis up and pressed him flat against the kitchen table, kissing down the column of his throat and louis was sure harry could feel how his pulse jumped. louis dug his heels into the table for leverage. he could feel the hard outline of harry's cock through the thin material of his prison pants, through his own joggers and it made his breath hitch that he was back under harry.

"i can't tell you how many times i wanked to you." harry mumbled against louis’ skin, tracing the uneven mess of skin with the tip of his tongue.”i wanted you so much. to be inside of you again.”

his hand palmed at the growing bulge in louis’ joggers and louis was completely pliant, having harry running his hands over his body. pulling his joggers down just enough for his cock to bounce out feely, louis stroked himself a few times before harry pulled his hand away, and sunk down and took louis into his mouth, swirling his tongue around the head.

“oh, fuck.” he withered on the table, his hand gripping at the edge, his other hand tensed against harry’s hand, he bucked upwards into harry’s warm mouth.”just. fuck. please, fuck me.”

harry pulled off his cock with a pop,wiping at the spit dripping down his chin before twisting louis’ nipple through his shirt.”patience.” he ran his hands down louis’ thighs, pulling off his joggers before burying his face between louis’ ass cheeks and nearly bending louis in half.

and as soon as harry’s tongue was flat against his rim, louis screwed his eyes shut tight, feeling dizzy with need that he felt he was having an outer body experience.

“open your pretty blues.”

louis did as he told and glanced down between his legs, harry’s hands were big against his thighs as he held him up and open, only his curly hair was visible and louis thought he could come just from the sight alone.

louis tugged at harry’s hair.”please. i’m gonna come. want it to be while you’re inside of me.” and when harry tore himself away from louis’, hovering over him, louis could see the look in harry’s eyes; blown wide, and it made louis’ body thirst.

harry undid the orange pants, getting his cock out before pulling louis down by his thighs. louis digging his heels into harry’s sides as he eased into him, and louis could feel the burn as he stretched around harry’s cock.

harry began to move, slowly at first before he gripped hard on louis’ thigh as he fucked into him and louis was sure he would have bruises in the shapes of harry’s fingers in the morning and he was alright with that. knowing the marks would be there under his clothes.

the fire coiled low in louis’ gut as he shut his eyes, moaned and whimpered whenever harry hit his prostate, louis’ body arching involuntary, his toes curling.”oh. oh. fuck. harry.” his cock blurting precome against his belly and he knew he would be coming just on harry’s cock and nothing more.

harry slowed his pace down before leaning over louis and nipping at his lower lip.”not without me.” he punctuated each word with a hard thrust and louis made the most inhumane noise as he looked up to harry with his jaw slack.

louis’ body burned from every end as harry pumped into him over and over, just right and louis was blinded by the feeling.”please. please. now.” louis begged, needing to be released now.

“touch yourself.”

louis gripped his cock and only got a few strokes in before he was spilling over his hand and lower belly. and harry abruptly pulled out, pumped his cock through his fist and came with a moan onto louis, mixing their come together. harry ducked his head, scooping up come before kissing louis, rolling their come between their tongues.

he pulled back, a string of spit trailing behind. he wiped at louis’ mouth before kissing him. “c’mon, let’s get you in the shower.”


“so, uh, two things.” zayn greeted louis with a starbuck’s iced coffee.”styles has a goddamn fanclub. like an actual fanclub. they write to him, post these things called fanfictions and fanart and all this other crazy shit.”

louis sipped his drink.”i didn’t think styles could get letters sent because of his clearance.”

zayn shook his head.”ever since he made the deal to work with us.” zayn tugged at louis’ shirt hem.”c’mon. there’s more but i need a fucking cigarette.”

louis followed behind zayn out into the back courtyard, the wind blew gently as zayn lit up a cigarette.”captain’s putting in a search warrant right now for the owner of the website of the fanclub. his name is his niall horan, nineteen and works in a pub downtown.”

“think it’s him?”

zayn blew out ring of smoke.”i went back to look at the personal effects of vic four. found this.” he reached inside his leather jacket, pulled out the clear plastic bag with red, bold letters stating evidence and handed it to louis. inside was a card of some pub called requiem.

“let me guess, the pub niall horan works at?”

“bingo.” zayn sucked down the rest of his cigarette before dropping it to the concrete and stubbing it out with the toe of shoe.


louis held his gun in stance as zayn repeatedly knocked on the door of niall horan’s flat and with a final knock, zayn reeled his leg back and kicked the door in, louis headed inside, checking rooms on the right side while he heard a clear from zayn.

louis holstered his gun before his eyes caught the sight of the far wall of the room he was in, it made his belly quiver. newspaper clippings of harry’s coverage of his murderous spree, article of his trials and his mugshots were taped to the wall. clippings of his own murders as well. but the biggest shock was seeing candid photos of himself staring back at him.”fuck.” louis huffed out as he began tearing down photos of himself.

“lou, you gotta leave it.”

louis felt zayn’s hand on his bicep, louis shrugged him off as he walked out of the room. zayn followed behind with his phone pressed to his ear.

“c’mon, forensic will be coming. we gotta go get horan.”


louis stood behind the double plated mirror, watched as zayn and liam handled niall horan. the irishman did nothing but cackle like a maniac, boasted about how amazing harry was and that he wanted to be just like him, oh yeah, what a lad, niall declared and stood up, pushing the chair back before coming over to the two way mirror and louis backed away as niall’s fists pounded on the glass and called for louis, wanted to see the scar.

winston stepped into the room with louis, turned the intercom off.”we’re gonna release him.”

louis’ face fell.”what? why?”

“being the owner of an online fan club, even to a convicted serial killer, doesn’t make him guilty.”

“what about one of the vic’s having his pub’s business card?”

winston shrugged.”still doesn’t make him guilty. it’s all circumstantial. i need more to hold him, especially on a murder charge.” winston pressed the intercom button, calling for zayn and liam. he turned to louis.”look, if this is the guy then i want to nail him to the wall and i need actual proof, alright?”

louis said nothing as zayn and liam came into the room.


louis stepped inside his flat, the only sources of light were from the overlight from the stove and the tv, playing an infomercial on low. he spotted harry asleep on the couch, his hair laid out across a throw pillow, his mouth slightly parted and louis toed off his shoes and loosened his tie before crawling into the crevice between harry’s body and the couch. harry was warm and solid and smelled of his shampoo and soap and he closed his eyes for a second, letting his mind consume this moment right now.

harry stirred and shifted to accommodate louis, and louis burrowed even deeper into harry as he wrapped an arm around his waist.”i saved you some fajitas.” he opened his eyes, kissed louis’ nose before louis’ stomach let out a loud grumble, making them both laugh at the timing.”c’mon.” harry climbed from the couch and pulled louis up too.

louis rolled his sleeves up as harry pressed the buttons on the microwave.”so, get this. you have a fanclub.” louis grabbed a beer from the fridge, the timer went off on the microwave. harry raised an eyebrow as he pulled the reheated food out, handing it to louis.”we think the owner is your copycat.” louis nodded as he swallowed down his bite of food.

“what’s he like?”

louis thought the question over, took a few more bites and washed it down with his beer.”really, nothing like you. like he’s a bit insane and shit. had a collage of me and you all over his flat. a bit scary, too.”

harry smiled, pushed away from the counter to stand in front of louis.”a bit scary?” louis nodded as harry took his plate and sat it beside him on the counter.”were you ever scared of me?” harry challenged.

louis touched harry’s throat gently.”i don’t think so. i went in knowing what you were capable of. read everything about you for weeks. i think i scared myself with that attachment.” louis admitted before harry captured his mouth with his, the counter digging into his back as harry kissed the breath out of him, louis could taste the fajitas and wine on his tongue but the kissed ended when louis’ phone interrupted them.

louis pulled it from his slacks, zayns’ name across the screen.”yeah?”

we’ve got a dead four.

“shit. text me the address.”

will do.

louis leaned up on his toes and pressed a kiss to harry’s mouth.”i’ve gotta go. four’s been found.” he moved around harry but harry’s grip on his wrist stopped him and before he could say anything, harry pressed a few more kisses to his face.

“be careful, alright?”

“of course, i’m a detective.” he gave harry a smile before slipping his shoes on.”i’ll see you in a few hours.”


four was tyler hoechlin, an american on business in london. louis nearly lost the fajitas he had partially consumed when he saw the mess of his brains spilling from the back of his skull. zayn turned him away from it when he saw him going green.

“m.e. says he’s been dead for a good twelve hours. maybe more.”


“serge says he’s still our prime suspect.” zayn pulled a cigarette from his pack.”has captain said anything to you about styles?”

louis shook his head.”just that he’s still got an abp out for him. says he’s hasn’t been spotted or anything yet.”

zayn nodded.”just. keep yourself safe, alright?”

“don’t worry, zee.” he patted zayn’s shoulder before getting into his vehicle.


louis stirred around, reaching over for harry but he got nothing but cold sheets. he cracked his eyes open, harry was holding his slacks in one hand while a white piece of paper in the other.”what are-” he immediately stopped when he met harry’s eyes, already knowing.

“you kept this?”

louis sat up fully, the sheets bunching at his waist.”yeah.” he cleared his throat.”it was always a reminder of what happened. what i let happen.”

“did it not teach you anything?”

louis’ eyes shot up, his fingertips scratched at his neck in return grazing over the raised skin.”i guess not.” he wasn’t sure what to make of harry’s question.

”a proper sop.” harry placed the worn card on louis’ dresser. “in my defense, i did apologize.” harry patted the card before crawling under the sheets, pressing louis’ shoulder back.”now, let me show you my appreciation.”


and as soon as he got to his desk the next morning, liam was already there.”five is alive.”

louis’ mouth dropped open.”oh, shit.”

liam hummed in agreement.”you and malik need to go see her. dna will be back in a few hours.”


five’s name was holland roden, she was a redhead in her late twenties with a mouth. zayn jotted down her statement as she talked.”i bumped into this guy who works at a pub in the town center. he was a cute little guy so i brought him home but like the crazy fuck flipped out when i told him no that i didn’t wanna fuck. he grabbed his bottle of beer and smashed it.” she talked with her hands, even had sound effect.”and like before i knew what was happening, he like literally leaped at me and-” she ran her finger across her throat.”i clawed him real good.” she held up hands, several of her nails were broken, ruining her pink manicure.

and it was hard to look at her, her throat covered in gauze, dried blood already seeped into the cotton. she tilted her head, her mouth pursed.”he got you too?” she asked, gesturing to louis’ neck.

louis instinctively pulled his jacket collar up, hoping to shield the scar from view. zayn cleared his throat before answering.”not the one who did that.” and gestured toward his throat and her eyes widened, her mouth wrapping around an O and squeaked out a sorry.

“get some rest.” louis responded as they left and as soon as louis was outside, he felt like he could throw up everywhere. zayn pressed his hand to louis’ lower back.

“it’s over now. she can identify him. his dna will match the dna that’s coming back from the lab. we’ve got him.”

“yeah. it’s over. let’s go.” louis took a deep breath because this was far from over for him, he rubbed his aching belly before climbing into the car with zayn.


they ate mostly in silence, harry chiming in so often to talk about how he finally figured out the microwave or some show he saw on tv and it wasn’t until they were lying in bed, bellies full of pasta and wine, come and sweat cooling on their skin when louis wrapped himself around harry.”we, uh, found the copycat. he’s in custody now. five survived.” he whispered into the air, unsure if harry was asleep or not.

harry ran his hand through louis’ hair, hummed.”you did good, detective.”

the praise settled warm in louis’ belly.


the precinct was nearly empty for shift change and louis stepped inside the captain’s office and placed his glock and brass badge on the oak desk.”i think i would like to put my two weeks in, sir.”

he thumbed at his lip, looking at louis.”you sure, tomlinson?”

louis ran a hand over his neck and down the side of his neck, the scar reminding him he had to do this before dropping his arm to his side.”yes. i just can’t do this anymore.”

captain gave a simple nod of head and louis let himself out before going to his desk and cleaning what little he had out.

zayn stopped in front of his desk, stuffing his arms through his leather jacket, unlit cigarette between his lips.”you going somewhere?”

louis could already feel the guilt making a mess in his stomach, he couldn’t even look zayn in the face.”yeah. i put my notice in.”

“louis.” zayn removed the cigarette from his mouth, sliding it behind his ear as he gripped at louis’ bicep.”it’s him, right? you know where he is.”

“zayn.” louis breathed out as he fell into his chair, covering his face with his hands.”it wasn’t suppose to be like this. i fucked up.” louis could feel the warm puffs of zayn’s breath fan over his face, his hands being taken away from his face.

“jesus, louis.”

”i’ve gotta go. fuck. zayn, i’m so sorry. please. don’t tell anyone.”

and with that, he pressed a kiss to zayn’s face and hugged him hard, probably making marks into his olive skin underneath the leather and hoped zayn would wear them with pride. hoped the hug said everything that louis couldn’t.


louis was itching out of his skin all the way to his flat. harry was in his bedroom, waiting on him with what little he had packed. every dime of louis’ savings sat in the shaving kit.

“you alright?” harry asked, sitting on the bed with a shirt in hand and louis chewed at his bottom lip, pulling his button up off and slipping the shirt in harry’s hand over his head. louis nodded as he grabbed the last family photo he had taken with family two christmas’ ago and stuffed it into the side of his duffel bag.

harry grabbed at louis’ wrist.”you don’t have to go with me. you know that. i understand that. you have a life and job and friends and all that here.”

louis stopped, his shoulders sagged.”i just. i’m giving up everything at once and i just-” he paused, looked down at harry, wanted to picture him as the murderer that he was, but saw the charming harry that he had always seen.”it’s overwhelming.” not to mention louis was laden with so much guilt.

harry stood up, pressed a finger to louis’ chin, tilting it upwards and kissed his mouth.”don’t worry. i’ve got you.” louis nodded against him as he pressed himself into harry. harry’s nails scratched gently at his scalp.”let’s go then.”

louis followed behind harry, leaving the key inside the lock and climbed into the passenger side of the car while harry got into the driver’s seat, bag thrown in the back. louis switched his phone off and tossed it out of the window. he looked back behind them, no sirens, yet.

as he settled into the seat, he realized there wasn’t any going back. this was his life now. they hit the motorway, louis kicked his feet up and switched on the radio, seeing if an apb had been put out for him and once he heard nothing, he quickly switched it off. zayn would never go behind his back.

harry’s hand rested on his knee.”i think once we get out of london, we should get a motel and switch cars in the morning.”

“so who’s bonnie and who’s clyde?” louis threw a grin to harry who laughed brightly, rubbing his hand up louis’ thigh.

“pretty sure you’re bonnie.”

and though louis didn’t really agree, he didn’t mind being the bonnie to his clyde.


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