“Open the door and you will find me”
“What?” That had caught Hoffman off guard. Seeing this admittedly handsome FBI agent repeat the very words that had been imprinted on his arm since he was a teen had been a surprise.
“What?” He said momentarily confused before adding “what is it?” To refer back to the case at hand. Sure it was an interesting development, but he couldn’t let himself be distracted this close to a big trap. He did curse himself however, for replying with such a common phrase. Strahm probably encountered those words once or twice a day. He did see a slight recognition in Strahms eyes though and the agent even glanced down at his arm before continuing with his theories. It was possible that special agent Peter Strahm was his soulmate. Hoffman didn’t know how he felt about that, although he did feel a small thrill when this agent who had never met him before, immediately noticed and recognised Hoffman’s work. On the one hand this was terrible news as his presence had finally been noted but on the other, this was the thrill of being seen.
Still, if Strahm was his soulmate he hadn’t acknowledged it in the day they had spent together, and chances are, he would be dead by tomorrow. Hoffman had to leave the police station early to help out the finishing touches on this massive game, but it was likely that with all he had put in motion he would never see Strahm breathing again.
There were multiple ways Strahm could’ve died today, from all the various boobytraps left at past games. Anything from arrows to shrapnel could have killed him, and yet Strahm was the only agent to make it to the meat plant. Which meant that Hoffman had to execute him. As disappointing as it would be if this was all his soulmark came to, he didn’t really care about Strahm beyond respect for his intelligence and a small acknowledgment of his attractiveness. When Hoffman was emptying Strahman pockets he couldn’t help but take a look, on his arm in Hoffman’s handwriting were the words “what, what is it?” Hoffman may have always imagined perhaps a slightly more elegant sentence but the point still stood, Strahm was definitely his soulmate.
So Hoffman was going to kill his soulmate. Which was fine. As far as he was concerned his soul died with his sister. He never really thought he could have a soulmate and after just a couple of conversations with Strahm, sure he found him attractive but nothing more. Nothing to sacrifice all his carefully made plans for.
Yet he still heard John's voice echoing in his head ‘everyone deserves a chance’ So that’s what Hoffman did. He left Strahm a chance. A small nearly impossible chance, but hey if he was his soulmate he should be smart right? If he couldn’t even escape one jigsaw trap was he really worthy of being the future jigsaws partner?
Special agent Peter Strahm was having a pretty shitty day. His liaison, his partner, heck even one of his CSI’s had died and it looked like he was about to be added to that list. He had shot an innocent man and probably lost his soulmate. His soulmate. He’s still not sure, he never got a chance to check too keen to be proved right and show this police department up. Hoffman’s probably dead by now, those traps weren’t meant to be escapable. Knowing this didn’t stop Peter from screaming and thrashing. He could see the water and had a pretty clear idea of how this was going to go down.
When the water started coming down is when he really started to panic. There wasn’t a tape or any slot for a key. There wasn’t a way out. This trap was designed to kill him. This was unfair, he had caught jigsaw, he had lost so many people, he had just found his soulmate. He couldn’t die like this. He was still screaming as the water began slowly rising, he started to look through his pockets for his gun, for anything. When he saw his gun along with his badge and torch on a table out of his reach he felt like crying; all he had left was his pen. His pen. Strahm had undergone first aid training, it was possible. It would hurt like a son of a bitch and there’s every chance that he could miss and bleed out, but there wasn’t exactly anything else he could do; the water was past his eyes by now. Strahm took the pen and aimed for the trachea.
Well Hoffman had been right, his soulmate was smart, a little too smart. Strahm knew about him, he didn't have any proof yet but that didn’t change his mind. He also either didn’t know that Hoffman was his soulmate or didn’t care. Hoffman still planned on following his original plan framing Strahm for this new game, the fact that Strahm was still alive just meant there needed to be a slight adjustment. But he could still kill him, it didn’t matter that Strahm had survived Hoffman's test, had taken Hoffman’s chance and succeeded with it. Hoffman was in charge of the games now and Strahm had to die.
“HOW DO I STOP IT?”
Strahm was yelling now the dawning realisation of how badly he screwed up must finally be sinking in. He was pointlessly running around the room trying to stop the walls from closing in. He had completely emptied his gun into the coffin, there weren’t any bullets left for a quick way out, or any for Hoffman if he managed to get into the coffin. And, no. Why was he thinking like that? Strahm couldn’t get into the coffin. He had blown his only chance when he refused to listen to the tape. Refused to follow the rules. This was his price to pay. Strahm was going to get crushed. This was Hoffman’s favourite part, he didn’t have any empathy left, he didn’t care about his soulmate he had risked his life for the freedom to work alone and yet…
Hoffman had opened the coffin. Strahm didn’t know why and frankly he didn’t really care he could feel the walls on his back as he quickly jumped into the coffin. The coffin wasn’t exactly roomy and he was forced to lie directly on top of Hoffman. Still, it was better than being crushed to death. Eventually though his curiosity got the best of him.
“Why did you save me?” He had to ask, he had an inkling as to what the answer might be and it terrified him. He didn’t, couldn’t care for this monster pressed underneath him. This monster who dispersed his own sick form of justice, this monster who had saved his life twice now.
“What kind of animal would murder his own soulmate?” Hoffman replied with that smug look still on his face, as if he hadn’t just admitted to the very thing Strahm had been dreading for the past few days.