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I've watched him the last few days.

From our first meeting where he came bounding in, with no obvious cares that he'd interrupted his partner and his captain in a meeting. Just bursting to share his information, grinning and glowing in the face of their combined glower. Within in the first couple of hours spent in his presence, I knew.

I've had many friends; long lists of friends in the various cities where I've been, longer than anyone knew or, surprisingly, noticed. I've had bright, bouncy friends before. They can be so much trouble and yet so worth it.

And yet something about himů Excessive naivete? Perhaps. But an experienced world traveler, full of esoteric information - a challenge. Simply wishing to see the positives everywhere? Silly boy. Life is nothing but shades of negatives. But to know someone like him - no - to know him for a time will be ...thrilling.

We talked. Serious discussions involving the killer I was consulting with them about. And all the time I watched him, watched them all to be sure. His partner, the big detective, watched him with friendship, kindness, concern, silliness and the beginnings of respect - even in the face of the odds against them. Those pale, pale blue eyes. None of my other friends had eyes like that. Too see so much... no, too hard.

His captain watched him, mostly full of confusion and wariness, not quite trusting, not quite sure of his place in the captain's world, in the detective's life. And yet, the beginnings of friendship. I've had more friends like the captain before, easy to be wary and distant.

The planning stages have begun. Friends like him, special friends like him require more effort, more... thought before they agree to be your... my... friends. They have to be wooed, coaxed. I need to find out more about them... him, before I approach. I need to know more about his song.

Everyone has a song, it sings from their eyes, from their personalities and no amount of washing or punishments can change their song. The captain's is strong, loud, gruff, commanding. The detective's is more stealthy, powerful, more dangerous with a softer undertone. But his... his song sings the joy of life, of curiosity, of happiness. Everything I've wanted in a friend. The songs of the flesh, that's what I look for, what draws me.

My recent friends have been ok. But their songs have been incomplete: music but no drive or intelligence; a desire for money but no other drive and trapped into immobility by a wheelchair; and a woman with money but who was cold and isolated from anything but her
material possessions. His, his song calls to me, his flesh can be my flesh. I can have him as my best friend ever.

His detective friend will be mine, his growing respect from the captain will be mine, his friends at the university will be mine, the beautiful China doll will be mine. I just need to watch a little more, learn a little more. I need to stall them a little longer, share something else with the press, set up a decoy... I need more time to make plans.

But they are too good, too fast. They've been investigating without me. As soon as I hear them receive the fax, I know my time is up. I know I'll have to use the plans that I have and improvise the rest. I will follow him. The detective will let him go to the school while he hunts for me, but I will be following my singer, my bright one, my one who's song of the flesh is stronger than any I've come across.

I leave the doctor and the police station behind. I have to get to the school before them, to wait, to get him to be my friend. Let them wonder - who am I now?