Dewey Riley yawned as he sat at his desk at the police station. His shift was over in an hour. Then he could go home and sleep... But for now, even though nothing ever happened in Woodsboro, he and two of his fellow officers were required to remain at the police station - just in case.
They had been doing a lot of sitting-in-the-office-watching-tv type work lately. There just wasn't much need for anything else. The town had been fairly calm, so only one pair of officers went driving around patrolling the town on weekdays while the others remained on-call at the station. Dewey honestly didn't know which assignment was more boring, but at least at the station they had television.
"Isn't your girlfriend's news thing on?" Cody asked from a desk across the room as he nodded toward the small television hung up in the corner of the room. Right now it was playing an old episode of The Twilight Zone. None of the three officers had really been paying much attention to it as they sat around chatting, waiting for the last hour of their shift to slowly tick by.
Dewey frowned. Yes, Gale's special news report was scheduled to air right about now... but she wasn't his girlfriend - well... maybe she was. They never really broke up. They just didn't see each other much lately... but then, when they were together, they weren't official about cementing whatever they were as an established relationship in the first place. You can't break up if you were never dating... He also knew this news report wasn't going to be a smooth one. Sidney and Cotton were involved, and he'd already heard from Sidney how the interview had gone - not well. It was pre-recorded, and Sidney didn't appreciate how it went... but of course Gale was going to air it anyway. It was sure to be awkward and either make Gale's hate-viewers dislike her more, or make Sidney look rude, which wouldn't be fair at all.
"What's the matter, Dwight?" Anthony, an officer a few years older than Dewey asked. "You don't watch her reports anymore?"
Dewey shrugged and exhaled. "I do... Sometimes."
"Well, let's watch it then." Cody went on, flipping the channel on the tv to Gale's report. It was just beginning. Unfortunately, they hadn't missed even a minute.
The camera focused on Gale, who sat with perfect posture, perfect hair, a perfect outfit, and a satisfied smirk on her face. She knew she'd just struck news-gold by getting Sidney to agree to this. Dewey could see the excitement in her eyes, though the reporter was clearly trying to appear calm.
Gale's piercing blue eyes stared into the camera in such a way that Dewey could almost swear she was staring right into his eyes as she spoke in her usual strong, professional voice. "The Woodsboro murders. A chilling, horrifying tale so many of us thought would only ever be part of someone else's tragic story. Nothing but a distant news report, far removed from our own lives. For this reporter, it became a reality not once, but twice. In reporting on these crimes, I became personally involved, and grew close to the brave young woman in the center of it all - Sidney Prescott."
She turned slightly in her chair, so that she faced both Sidney and the camera as the image zoomed out to show both Gale and Sidney. Sidney looked less than comfortable, but forced a small smile as Gale continued. "Miss Prescott, tell us about your experience being at the center of this, not once, but twice."
Sidney swallowed and nodded before inhaling a breath. "Well... I guess it started with my mother's murder..." She paused again. Dewey could see she felt uncomfortable. She was looking only at Gale or her own lap and not at the camera. He was still surprised Gale had somehow convinced the younger woman to participate in this. Sidney went on in a low voice as she looked at Gale. "I didn't know her death was at all related to the other murders at first. But it was..."
Gale nodded and almost looked genuinely sympathetic. "Did you ever suspect your then-boyfriend, Billy Loomis was involved?"
Sidney shook her head, but then nodded. "I did, actually. He was there the first time the killer attacked me. He had a cell phone, which most high school kids didn't have... I knew the killer was calling people before attacking them. Why would he have a cell phone if he weren't the killer? Why was he there at my house, right after the killer was? I really did think it was him. But then another murder happened, and Billy wasn't responsible - so they let him go, and I let my suspicion go. So yeah... I did suspect him. And then I didn't. No one believed there could be two killers. Not the cops. Not me..."
"You lost a lot of friends that night." Gale noted. "Which was the hardest death to deal with?"
Sidney almost scowled. Dewey knew this interview was going to turn hostile very quickly. He could see already that Sidney was getting annoyed. Gale's questions were becoming a bit too much already, and Dewey knew they would only get worse from here. He wondered how much of it Gale would keep - which parts would be cut... Sidney had called him pretty soon after filming and told him all about it... so he knew where this was going - and it wasn't going to be pretty.
"She's so attractive." Anthony noted in a low voice as he stared at the screen.
Dewey frowned. "Who, Sid?" He wondered. "A little young for you, Anthony. She's barely out of high school."
"No... Well, Sidney's cute too, but I meant Gale. You're really screwing up with her Dwight. You can't get so hung up on little stuff like her reporting annoying you. She's stunning... and for a guy like you? You're so lucky she gives you the time of day... No offense." He shrugged and offered a sympathetic smile.
Dewey exhaled. Anthony was like a mentor to him - he was probably the best cop Woodsboro had. Dewey knew the older man didn't mean anything by his remarks. They weren't the nicest things to say, but he was right, in a way... of course, Dewey wasn't with Gale just because she was beautiful. That certainly didn't hurt. To Dewey, Gale was the most gorgeous woman he'd ever met... but her actions still mattered too. He didn't like it when she did things he perceived as cruel or selfish. He knew she had a good heart, and that's why he still wanted to be with her. Her heart was at times difficult to find under her tough exterior, but it was there.
On-screen, Gale was still staring expectantly at Sidney, refusing to break the increasingly uncomfortable silence, thus ensuring Sidney would answer her question.
The younger woman blinked and breathed in and out. "I mean... The whole thing was hard... I thought Billy loved me... but I'm glad he's gone. His death was a relief by the time it happened... I guess the first time, with the first killers, Tatum was my biggest loss. She was my best friend... but losing my mom was the hardest overall. In a way, she was my best friend too."
Dewey looked down. Tatum was his biggest loss too. He missed his little sister every day.
Gale shook her head on screen. "I can't imagine. And only a year after all that, you lost your father. This trend - the ghost-masked killers, and their copycat killer... They've taken away your whole family, most of your friends... You've lost almost everything you hold dear. How did that feel?"
Sidney exhaled. Dewey could tell she was about to say something less than kind. Sidney was a sweet, caring girl, but when people got on her nerves, she could get harsh, and Dewey knew better than anyone that Gale had a very easy time getting on Sidney's nerves.
"You were kind of at the center of the second murder-spree too, Gale." Sidney noted, glaring across the space at Gale. "How did you feel?"
Gale laughed nervously. She shook her head and actually seemed like she couldn't find words for once. She must not have expected Sidney to turn the questions around on her.
"That must've been hard for you, Gale. To have put trust in the wrong person like that. How do you feel now, knowing you spent so much time alone with the person killing everyone around you?" Sidney persisted. Dewey almost felt bad for Gale in that moment, but the reporter was airing this interview on her own free will. She didn't have to... She cared more about ratings than even her own feelings, apparently.
Gale stared back at Sidney and looked like she was almost ready to snap, but she pushed her anger down and breathed in a calming breath. She brushed her hair behind her ear and swallowed before sitting up even straighter and using her professional, stoicm emotionless voice. "It was hard, Sidney. I was entirely betrayed, and unknowingly put myself and others in danger over and over again by associating with him. It's hard when someone you're so close to, someone you trust turns on you and does something like this. It must have been infinitely harder for you. I barely trusted Xavier. You did trust Billy, seemingly quite a bit. Enough to give him a second chance after being sure he was guilty. A chance he didn't end up deserving."
Sidney stared back at her, but said nothing more for the time being.
Gale forced another smile. "Which brings us to the other person you once suspected of part of this whole ordeal. Cotton Weary."
Dewey could swear he saw the color drain from Sidney's face. He could see the dread in her eyes. She knew full well where this was going.
"I had good reason to suspect him." Sidney interjected before even being asked. "But I admit I was wrong. I wish nothing but the best for Cotton, wherever he may be. He's an innocent man, and if I could take back my part in his presumed guilt, I would, in a heart beat. I was wrong."
Gale nodded. "Cotton is here today, and is willing to discuss this with Sidney for the first time in front of our cameras." Gale spoke. She wasn't even looking at Sidney anymore. She was talking to her audience.
Sidney glared at her and shook her head. "I'm not doing this." She stood from her chair and pulled off the microphone that had been clipped onto her shirt.
"Sidney, wait!" Gale moved to stand.
Sidney turned back, balling her hand into a fist and staring with what certainly looked like pure hatred down at the reporter. Dewey noticed Gale shrink back slightly, probably expecting a punch she totally deserved.
"You didn't tell me he was going to be here." Sidney growled under her breath. She kept her hand down, balled into a fist at her side. She looked like she wanted to hit Gale again. The woman deserved it. But Sidney held back.
"He's harmless, Sidney... You owe him your time, since you took so much of his away with your false accusation." Gale sat up straighter in her chair, seemingly no longer afraid of the possibility of Sidney striking her. "Just sit down, Sidney. No one here is against you. We're all on your side. I just think-"
"No. No, Gale. I don't owe him anything! He had an affair with a woman he knew was married. He looked extremely suspicious when she was killed... Why wouldn't I suspect him? Everyone else did too. I'm not talking to him. This interview is done." Sidney threw the microphone down on the chair and turned to leave.
"This might be your only chance to publicly apologize, Sidney." Gale spoke. "Come on out, Cotton."
The camera panned from Sidney to Cotton. Sidney looked very tense, but paused in her tracks as Cotton cautiously made his way out from behind a curtain sectioning off dressing rooms from the stage. He looked nervous, like maybe he didn't expect the interview to go this way either.
"Hi, Sidney." He waved nervously as he made his way toward the chairs set up. "I'm glad we're finally getting a chance to talk."
"I've spoken to Cotton privately, Gale. I don't need to do this here." Sidney hissed.
"I can't believe they're showing all this." Cody whispered as he stared wide-eyed up at the screen. "Sidney's going to kick her ass."
Dewey stared back up at the screen as well, feeling guilt and nerves on behalf of Gale and anger and betrayal on behalf of Sidney. It was so hard for him to feel so strongly about both parties in this situation. He wished Gale could just be nicer.
"He seems to think you're still upset with him, Sidney. Let's make this right. Once and for all." Gale suggested with a smile, which though it appeared almost cocky, also had a hint of nervousness to it. She knew she was pushing her luck.
Sidney swallowed hard and shook her head as she turned away from Gale.
"If he can forgive you for basically ruining his life, I'd think you could forgive him... He didn't even do anything to you." Gale noted from behind her.
And that was seemingly the last straw. With a small growl making its way up and out of Sidney's mouth, she turned toward the reporter and swung out a punch, hitting Gale across her face.
Gale gasped and fell back, nearly knocking over her chair before scrambling out of it and hiding behind it to avoid further assault. She held her hand over her cheek and stared at Sidney with what looked like shock in her eyes. Dewey wasn't sure why she was always so surprised when Sidney lashed out like this after Gale said something insensitive. It was becoming a pattern. She should have expected it at this point.
"Sidney, calm down." Cotton advised as he put himself between her and Gale. "We don't have to do the interview. It was my understanding that you agreed to this. I'm sorry."
"We did agree to this!" Gale lied from behind him.
Sidney almost went for the woman again, but Gale's new camera man was quick to come up behind her and put a calming hand on her arm. "You should just go." He noted in a soft, almost sympathetic voice. He wasn't wearing a microphone, as he wasn't meant to be a part of this interview, so he could barely be heard. "It's not worth having the police called on you. Just let it go."
Sidney nodded and did just that, storming out of the room and not looking back.
Dewey grimaced as he continued looking up at the television as Gale regained her composure, smoothing out her skirt as she re-positioned herself back in her chair. She tucked her hair behind her ears and held her head up high as she continued to interview Cotton, who looked a bit uneasy, but continued with the interview anyway.
Dewey exhaled as he looked across the room at Anthony. "I can't believe she didn't cut any of that... Sidney told me what happened... I figured half of it would be cut... But I guess Gale knows what's good for ratings."
"Damn." Anthony laughed. "She's feisty, isn't she?"
"I guess that's one way to put it." Dewey laughed.
"Cotton still seems suspicious to me." Cody noted as he continued watching the screen. "I mean, I know he was exonerated, but he just seems weird. I don't trust him. How can we be totally sure Maureen was with him consensually? We're gonna trust the word of sociopath-murderer high school kids when there's physical evidence to the contrary?"
"He didn't do it, Cody." Dewey insisted.
"Maureen's murder wasn't in the same time frame as the others... it just doesn't feel like it was the same killer." Cody went on.
Dewey shook his head. "It wasn't Cotton, Cody. Trust me. I've interviewed him more times than I can count. He's weird, but he's not a killer."
"He sure doesn't mind the awkward, insensitive news reports." Cody noted.
"Well, neither does Gale. Some people are just a little insensitive. Doesn't mean they're killers. Both Cotton and Gale were almost killed last time," Dewey reminded him.
"I'm not saying Cotton was involved last time." Cody raised his hands in defense. "But with Sidney's mom... Maybe... And I don't think Gale was involved in either one."
"She sure is quick to profit from other people's suffering though." Anthony noted.
Dewey frowned and looked down at his desk. On the one hand, he didn't love his friends talking about Gale in a negative light... On the other hand, they weren't wrong. Gale did profit from these murders, and usually not in a way that was tactful in the slightest.
"I mean... She is hot though. And smart." Anthony shrugged. "I can see why you're into her. I might be able to forgive the heartless part too." He added with a laugh.
Dewey looked toward Anthony as the phone on the older man's desk rang. He listened as Anthony answered the call. Judging by the side of the conversation he heard, it sounded like something serious was going on. Dewey frowned. Their shift was almost over... But they were going to have to respond to whatever this was anyway.
Anthony exhaled tiredly and hung up the phone, closing his eyes for a moment before turning toward his co-workers. "There's something going on at the Parker residence. The boy, Tyson's parents are away. Neighbors heard screaming and breaking glass... Tyson and maybe his girlfriend were found dead and the neighbor says it looks like either a double murder or a murder-suicide."
Dewey felt his breath hitch in his throat. "They're just high school kids." He frowned. Woodsboro was such a small town. Dewey knew pretty much everyone who lived here. Tyson and his girlfriend Skylar were just a couple years younger than Tatum would be now - but around the same age as she was when she was killed.
"Let's hope this is an isolated case and not..." Cody trailed off.
Dewey nodded as he stood from his desk. "Watch the office, Cody. Anthony and I'll take this one."
"Okay..." Cody offered a tight, sympathetic smile. "Let me know what you find out."
Dewey nodded again and exhaled. "Come on, Anthony."
He certainly hoped the same thing Cody did - the same thing everyone in Woodsboro did - that this was a single tragedy - that these two kids had killed themselves/each other in some tragic fight. The last thing this town needed was a second copycat killer. People hadn't even fully recovered from the first string of murders, let alone the second.
Dewey was so not ready for this to start back up again...
... ... ... ... ... ... ...
As soon as Dewey and Anthony arrived at the scene, it became quickly apparent that this was no accident. Whether it was a double murder, a murder suicide, or the start of something much bigger remained unclear, but what was clear was that this was definitely a crime, and one the press was going to be all over.
While the CSI team did their job, Dewey put himself in charge of standing near the gate which led back to the pool. While there was crime scene tape around the whole house at this point, and other officers patrolling, Dewey wanted to be personally sure no one got in through the most obvious entrance to the bloody crime scene. The last thing the families of the victims needed was for there to be graphic photos of the deceased finding their way onto the internet.
Of course it didn't take long for reporters to arrive. At the moment, only the local ones had had time to get here, but he knew more would follow, especially if this wasn't a lone incident. If this became a serial thing, like before, there would be more reporters here than actual citizens. While he dreaded that possibility, he mentally prepared himself for it.
Woodsboro was a very slow place as far as news stories were concerned. The press was very quick to catch the scent of a good story, because they were starving for it between stories of fundraisers, local small businesses opening or closing, and stories of baby horses being born on local farms. Dewey was fairly sure some of these reporters would literally kill to get a story that wouldn't bore viewers half to death.
"Officer! Officer!" A reporter yelled from the other side of the police tape stretched out about four feet away from Dewey. The cop turned his head and pretended not to hear the voice. He didn't have any information to give to the press. Even if he wanted to, the investigation was just starting and there were no real answers yet.
"Officer Riley!" A second voice screamed over the first. "What can you tell us about what's happened here?"
"Is it true the victims are minors?" The first voice asked again. "Is this related to the school? Does Woodsboro High have a bullying problem?"
"Was it suicide?" The second voice rose even higher. She was literally screaming so that her questions would be the loudest.
Dewey shook his head softly and continued looking away.
"Hey!" Dewey frowned and took a step over when he noticed a third reporter looking suspiciously like he was about to climb under the police tape. "Take a step back, sir." Dewey ordered.
"Officer Riley. Hi. Scott Van Buren. Channel 6." The man started with a satisfied smirk.
Dewey couldn't help but to stare at the man. He couldn't believe this guy had just tried to trespass onto a crime scene just to get Dewey's attention. Behind Scott was a rather tall, muscular man holding a camera. The guy looked like he'd be better suited as a bouncer at a bar. The two of them were actually a rather intimidating presence.
"Witnesses report screams and the sound of broken glass." Scott went on. "Can you give us any information as to what has happened here tonight?"
Dewey shook his head. "No. I can't." He frowned. He'd just broken a promise to himself not to talk to the press at all. He felt disappointment that this guy had flustered him enough to get a response.
"We've spoken to neighbors who believe a young high school couple was killed here tonight. A young boy and girl. Can you confirm this?" Scott asked in a confident voice.
Dewey exhaled and shook his head. He turned away again.
Scott shrugged and turned back toward his camera man. "Two young lives were lost tonight in what appears to be a murder-suicide. Neighbors and classmates of the tragic lovers claim all they ever saw was love and care. A beautiful young girl madly in love with a boy who would rather see her dead than happy."
Dewey frowned as he stared back toward the reporter, who was completely focused on his burly camera man at the moment. A part of him wanted to interrupt, to tell the guy he was wrong. To ask him to shut up until things were confirmed or denied... but another part of him figured it didn't matter. The guy was probably wrong. He would lose credibility for this, and at least he didn't know any names, wasn't ruining anyone's reputation. It was harmless to everyone but Scott himself.
"As we investigate this in the days that come, perhaps we'll discover Tyson's motive. Did Skylar cheat on him?" Scott speculated.
"Hey!" Dewey called out again, catching the reporter's attention. How did this guy have the victims' names already? Why on earth would he think jumping to these conclusions and ruining the reputation of two dead teens was appropriate?
Scott turned toward him with raised eyebrows. "Yes, Officer?"
"Would you stop that?" Dewey hissed.
"Stop what?" Scott shrugged.
Dewey hesitated, glancing toward the camera that was now focused on him. "This is an ongoing investigation..." Dewey stammered. "We don't have answers yet. No confirmation that it is or isn't a murder suicide... Before you drag these kids' names through the mud, maybe you need to get your facts straight." He stared at the camera, knowing this would likely be edited to include only the parts that didn't make Scott look like an asshole.
"Will there be a press conference?" Scott wondered.
Dewey shook his head and shrugged. "That's not up to me. Be patient for once. Answers will come, but this is really fresh. Give the families a chance to be notified, and to grieve."
"Thank you for your time, Officer Riley." Scott nodded as though satisfied with the interview and walked off to harass someone else.
Dewey exhaled and closed his eyes. Every time he was somehow convinced or tricked into speaking with the press, he felt sick afterwards. Maybe he had said too much. Maybe he hadn't used the right tone. He really shouldn't have said anything at all, but the guy had kind of forced him to. It was that, or stand back and watch him trash the names of two kids who were honestly probably both murder victims.
"Dwight." A voice called to him from the other side of the gate. Dewey looked over to where his partner Anthony was waving him over.
With a frown, Dewey stepped toward the gate and leaned in close.
Anthony shook his head. "I don't think any part of this was a suicide." He whispered. "We need to start working on a suspect list."
Dewey leaned in closer. "What's the probable cause of death?"
"The boy was stabbed and thrown out the window. The girl was stabbed a lot more and had her throat cut."
Dewey winced and looked over his shoulder at the reporters who were also leaning in closer trying to hear. He looked back toward Anthony and exhaled tiredly. "Alright. We'll figure this out."
Anthony offered a tight smile and nodded.
Dewey turned back toward the crowd of reporters and citizens who had flocked toward the scene. He tried to keep his facial expression neutral, but inside, he was terrified that this was going to be like last time, like the time before. If that were the case, Skylar and Tyson were the first of many.
He narrowed his eyes as he scanned the crowd, ignoring the voices of reporters calling for his attention. Some of the people were whispering quietly to each other. Some were craning their necks, trying to see over the fence that was simply too high for that to be possible. The reporters were still asking questions that fell on deaf ears. A group of teens stood further back, staring up toward the house with uncertainty and fear in their wide eyes.
The killer could be among these people. Future victims could too. No one looked outright guilty, but at the same time, each and every one of them was a suspect at the moment. Until Dewey and the other officers ruled people out, they were going to have to treat everyone as suspicious.