A/N: I don't own any of the "Monk" characters and I am not making any money from writing this.
Please forgive any minor spelling or grammar mistakes, English is not my native language.
This story takes place post season eight, around Christmas time. Kris Kedder appeared in the episode 5x8 "Mr Monk Goes To A Rock Concert". I usually try to stay true to the episode format, but I couldn't have done so in this chapter (inspiration), so it is not a typical Monk intro. Sorry about that.
This is a case!fic (lots of focus on the case and some character dynamic/friendship along the way, no shipping), though my main intention was to bring back one memorable guest character. Also, it is Christmas themed.
The story assumes that Adrian has made some gradual progress while still keeping some of his quirks. Amy Devlin is Randy's replacement, she appears in several Monk novels.
The soft Christmas music was playing in Adrian Monk's apartment. Natalie sighed as she opened the first box containing the Christmas decorations. After about half an hour of trying to position the Christmas tree just right, there was the time to put the decorations on it.
"Are you going to see Molly?", she wondered, pulling out one of the Christmas balls, then carefully placing it on the tree.
"Well, she will spend the Christmas with her parents, like all the times before", Adrian explained, adjusting the Christmas ball. "But she'll come over for a visit."
Natalie bend over, examining one of the hits underneath the Christmas tree closely. "Trudy's present?"
"Just the box", Adrian exclaimed. "It didn't feel right to end the tradition."
"I just hope we don't get assigned to the case around this time", Natalie commented.
"Maybe the murder will occur in a nice setting, if it does", Monk commented, using his ruler to check on one of the balls. "Such as a shopping mall."
Natalie stopped in her tracks for a moment, her eyes wide, before a small smile appeared on her face. "Humor! That's an improvement!"
She was about to continue decorating the tree when her ringtone went off. She quickly found her phone and answered. "Hallo?"
Adrian stopped and looked at her. He saw her face fall. "OK, We'll be on our way." She ended the call and looked him in the eyes.
"Is something wrong?", he asked.
Natalie sighed. "How do you feel about going to prison today?"
It felt weird, being in prison at Christmas time. Natalie felt herself shiver as she walked down the pale white hallway, with Adrian by her side and followed by Leland and Amy. Adrian flinched as they moved closer to the body.
"You really are getting better", Natalie commented. "You allowed the CO to search you this time."
"It wasn't easy", he mumbled. Natalie smiled.
"The prisoner was stabbed on his way to the cafeteria", Amy explained.
"No offense, but from what I've heard, such things happen in such places often", Natalie pointed out. "Why do you need our help on this one?"
Stottlemeyer sighed. "The warden is a close... associate with many members of SFPD. They have lately had a few more... "problems" in here."
"The CO who almost got stabbed to death, a serial rapist who hanged himself...", Amy elaborated. "Press coverage and potential lawsuits all around."
Adrian stopped in his tracks as he came to see the body, and so did Natalie. "This is Kris Kedder", he exclaimed.
"Yes", Natalie frowned. "The rock star who murdered another rock star. On a rock concert." Amy looked at her, confused. "That was a hard day", Natalie elaborated.
"He was doing twenty five to life", Stottlemeyer explained. He looked around. "Prisoners were on their way to the cafeteria, it was lunch time. There was some commotion. By the time guards managed to break it off, Greg was laying dead on the floor."
"The improvised knife made out of... a turkey bone?", Adrian mumbled, observing the body.
Leland nodded his head. "They had that for dinner two days ago."
"The murder happened on the blind spot, so no use of security footages", Amy said. "They all claim they have nothing to do with this and that they didn't hear or see anything suspicious. Nobody wants to be a snitch. The shiv appears to be wiped clean of fingerprints-they are going to conduct the full examination in the lab, but I doubt that it will reveal much. Forensics searched the area, didn't find anything suspicious."
Natalie looked around. There were ten prisoners standing in the corner, two COs looking after them.
"Not a drop of blood on any of them, but since it all happened quickly and the knife wasn't pulled out out of the body after the stabbing."
Natalie turned to look at the prisoners gathered in the corner and crossed her arms over her chest. "So, one of these ten guys is the killer." She sighed. " Now it's just a matter of finding out which one."
"Well, for one, whoever did this is left handed", Adrian concluded, still concentrated on studying the body. "Pretty strong too."
They all glanced at him, eyes wide, and he just continued studying the body and the close area of the floor, his hands pulled out in front of him.
"And how do you know that?", Stottlemeyer eventually asked.
Monk stop and looked up at him, appearing as if he was surprises by the question. "Greg was stabbed right in the heart", he explained. "The stab would is pretty deep and the shiv is leaned slightly to the left."
Amy's lice lit up. She searched her pockets and found the pen. She pulled it out, as well as the evidence bag.
"What are you doing?", Leland asked.
"You'll see", Amy answered with a smile. He put the pen in the bag, then sealed it. She then approached the prisoners and held out the bag for all to see. Stottlemeyer followed her.
"Anyone recognize this?", she asked.
Everyone just mumbled "No" or shook their heads. She held out the bag to the first prisoner on the left.
"Examine it closely", she ordered. " It's important."
After some hesitation, the prisoner took the bag, with his right hand, and examined the pen closely for a few moments. "I don't recognize it", he answered, shrugging, before hanging the bag to a prisoner sitting next to him, who took it with his left hand. The last one handed the bag back to Amy.
"Take Smith, Stanworth, Green, Lake and Bellinger back to the cells", Stottlemeyer ordered. He and Amy then joined Adrian and Natalie. Adrian was still studying something on the floor near the body.
"Five eliminated, five more to go", he exclaimed.
Natalie frowned, observing the prisoners. "Well, the killer had to be strong, so I think we can eliminate the last one in the line", she concluded, looking at the short, thin, middle aged man in an orange jumpsuits.
Stottlemeyer took a quick look at him, then called out: "Take Eggers away!" One of the COs quickly find a replacement for himself before taking the prisoner back to his cell.
Amy glanced at Adrian, then at the floor. She took a step closer to him. "Everything OK?"
Adrian looked up at her. "The prisoners were right, it all happened very fast. But not as fast as you probably think." "There are some fresh scuff marks on the floor near the body and Greg's right boot is positioned lower than his left. He put up a fight after the killer attacked him, only it didn't last long."
Stottlemeyer frowned at him before walking over to the prisoners, followed by Amy.
"OK. We need you to show us your arms and belly", he ordered.
Some just stared at him for some time, and few chuckled.
"You heard the man", Amy exclaimed.
The prisoners glared at her, exchanged glances, but eventually did as she said.
The last prisoner in the lane, a buff looking bald Caucasian man, had a pretty big, yellow bruise, right above his belly button. Stottlemeyer smirked.
"Take him to the solitary", he ordered a near by CO. "We'll interrogate him later."
The prisoner groaned as the CO began taking him away. The other CO took over the other prisoners.
"Carl Bradshaw", Amy informed them. "In here since 2010, doing nine years for an aggravated robbery."
"Well, we can't charge him with murder based on the evidence of the killer being left handed and the fresh bruise", Leland said, while Adrian was studying the poster on the wall near by.
"We are going to search his cell", Amy pointed out. "Maybe we'll find something."
Adrian eventually pulled a piece of scotch tape hidden under it, with his hankerchief. He presented it to others.
"Here is the missing part of the murder weapon", he said. "I noticed that there was some fresh glue residue on the handle. Then I noticed the same thing on the poster on the wall a feet away."
Leland's face lit up. "The shiv had been wrapped with tape around the corner!", he concluded. "It probably came undone while he was wiping his fingerprints off the murder weapon. He panicked and hid it."
"Forensics will probably find his fingerprints and DNA on it", Amy added, smiling as she did.
Adrian nodded his head, sighed, and looked down at Kris' body.
"Didn't even get a chance to smear him at the parole hearing, huh?", Stottlemeyer commented.
But little did they know, it was all far from over.