Chapter 5- Finis
A/N: Has anyone noticed that "Finis" sounds like "Feeny", as in Mr. Feeny of "Boy Meets World"? Just a random thought…
Captain Anderson wasn't exactly overjoyed to see us, but he listened closely to Will's account of what had happened and took the book and letter that he offered.
"Fine," he barked, getting out of his old creaky chair. "I'll get in touch with some officers. The bastard's probably still in town. When we catch him I'll mention you to the reporters. I'm sure you can find your way out."
Will's jaw tightened, but he gave a curt nod and headed out past Lieutenant Stoker. I, on the other hand, was starting to feel indignant.
"So, that's it? We hand you the solution and this is all the credit we get?"
The captain looked at me in surprise. "What the hell are you talking about? 'We'? What 'we'? I don't recall you suddenly turning into Nancy Drew."
"Whatever. Will solves this and all you can say is bye?" I felt a pair of strong hands on my arms, leading me away.
"Now, now, Mitra, it really is nothing."
"How can you say that?"
"Look, Hamilton, you keep your loony partner-"
"Temporary colleague. And she isn't loony. In fact, we were leaving right now, weren't we?"
"Cheers Captain!" He shut the door and steered me down the hall. Finally, I turned to him when he stopped in front of a vending machine.
"Will, what was that?"
"I could ask you the same thing. It's very noble of you to be so concerned about my role in this, but you needn't be." He pulled out some change and selected a Vanilla Coke. "Would you like anything?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, would you like a drink from this machine. You see, you put quarters in here, and the-"
He smiled broadly. "I know what you meant. I have a plan." He whipped out his cell and dialed a number, placing the phone between us so I could listen in.
"…Post," a crackly voice on the other end said.
"Yes, I'd like to place an advert in tomorrow's paper."
"Okay. What would you like?"
"Wanted: antiques book dealer to buy Encyclopedia of Miniature Art. Inquire at 3700 on 24th."
"That's fifteen dollars. How will you pay for this?"
"Er, just send the bill to Johnny Saeed in the Foreign Press Department."
"Have a nice day sir."
"Thank you. Good bye." He chuckled as he hung up. "Saeed's an old friend of mine. He owes me a few favors."
"Won't the thief be suspicious if we just advertise the book like that?"
"No. This set is not very rare, so it is probable that he will be looking out for more copies. Besides, he would never suspect us to be onto him. Ah, but this means I will be skiving physical chemistry and you'll miss your colloquium."
"What a shame. No Frank the T.A. I'll miss him so much," I commented humorously.
"I don't think his own mother misses him," Will muttered sardonically, sending me into a fit of laughter.
Early next morning, at nine to be precise, there was a knock at the door.
Well, it was more like a pounding, really.
"Vicky, girl, can you get that?" Monique groaned from her bed.
I heard Vicky climb down her bunk and open the door.
"What the hell do you want?"
There was a pause, and I froze as a sharp British voice replied, "You're not Mitra."
"Jesus," she muttered. "Mitra, it's Prince William for you."
I reluctantly rolled out of bed and staggered out into the hall. "Will? Do you know what time it is?"
"It's late Mitra."
"Late? It's nine o'clock."
"I was right in the middle of a dream where David Bowie was saving me from a gang of rowdy Smurfs," I mumbled.
He paused and cocked his head at me, his eyes crinkling and the corner of his mouth tugging up. "No wonder you're majoring in psychology. Come on, I've got some Starbucks in the car. Well? Don't just stand there, get ready! Go on," and he literally pushed me back into my room.
When I emerged he was waiting impatiently in his car outside the dorms. I slid into the warm leather seat and gratefully took the coffee and muffin he thrust my way. Through a miracle of encountering absolutely no early morning accidents on the roads, we were able to reach 24th in less than twenty minutes, where we found 3700 to be a high rise office complex. He led me through the large lobby and up to an even larger office room that took up the entire twentieth floor. It was very spacious and the furniture looked like it was from Theodore's. Windows covered three walls and afforded a very nice view of the city.
"This is my brother's office, although he rarely uses it," Will explained, picking up a large box off of the floor. "He's quite well known in the business world, so that will give us some credibility at least. Your aunt allowed me to use the encyclopedia set." He carefully arranged them on a bookshelf on the left wall. "Now, I'm sure many actual brokers will come, but we're looking for a heavily built, blo-"
"Hey Will, I have a question."
"Ah, I knew your night would be restlessly spent in trying to find flaws in my plan," he replied.
I pretended to ignore his comment. I had only done that half the night actually. "How are we supposed to take down a highly dangerous criminal by ourselves?"
"What time is it?"
"About nine-thirty," I answered, wondering if he had heard my question.
"The captain is out of his office from nine to ten. He checks his messages at eleven. I've observed his habits for some time, you see." He flipped open his cell phone and dialed. We heard Captain Anderson's gruff voice, telling us, in what he obviously thought was a cordial tone, to leave a message after the beep. "Hello Captain, Hamilton here. Just thought you should know that we've captured the man who robbed King's Bookshop and Ms. Whitner's house a few days ago and killed Anne Davies in August. He is here on the twentieth floor of 3700 on 24th if you would like to come down and claim him. Good bye."
"I have a bad feeling about this," I confessed when he had hung up.
"All we need to do is stall him until the captain comes."
"What if he has a gun? Or he doesn't come? Or the captain doesn't come? I'm telling you Will, thi-."
"Mitra, Mitra, Mitra," he said soothingly, placing his hands gently on my shoulders. "Relax. You worry too much and think too little. And don't gawk like that," he added, grinning impishly. "Trust me."
I muttered darkly as he let go and began walking across the room with alacrity, as though he were directing a play. "I am Edward Hamilton, of Hamilton Industries-"
"Is that your brother's name?"
"Can I call you Eddie?"
"No, because you are my secretary." He glanced down at my clothes. "Good thing you're wearing a skirt."
"And what's that supposed to mean?" I demanded, putting my hands on my hips.
He rolled his eyes in irritation. "No need to get in a feminist strop. You look presentable and businesslike is all I meant."
"Would you rather that I was the secretary?" He asked exasperated.
I brightened up. "Okay."
"All right then, you're, erm-"
"Levsky? Fine. I am Mr. Aubrey."
"Vanya Levsky. And I'll have a Russian accent."
"Whatever." He paused and took out a pair of black rimmed glasses from his coat pocket. "Here. These ought to make you look intelligent."
He put a finger to his lips. "Someone's coming." He picked up a clipboard and settled on the ledge behind the desk, while I sat in the comfortable leather armchair.
"Nice chair by the way."
"Thank you Ms. Levsky," he said, slipping into an Ivy League accent as someone knocked on the door.
"Mr. Aubrey, I believe ve are in business.
Will was right- there were a lot of actual brokers who showed up. We listened politely to them and pretended to study their resumes but hurried them out. Finally, on the fifth try, at three minutes past eleven, we hit the jackpot. A broad-shouldered, blonde man, with small eyes and pale lips, entered the room and introduced himself as Jack Roderick.
"So, Mr. Roderick," I said. "How long ees eet you been as a broker?"
"Oh, 'bout five years ago," he replied easily.
"Ach. And vat you do before that?"
"I was a car salesman. Not a huge leap to bein' an antiques dealer." He guffawed and I attempted a little smile, while surreptitiously glancing at my watch. A quarter past eleven and the captain wasn't here yet. I had to stall him.
"My father vas also in the sales."
"Yes, in the old country. Russia you know." I leaned back in the chair and assumed a nostalgic look. "Yes. Ve lived in small fishing village on, uh, Vidoslavic river. My father had good business there. Vell, he had to, for there vere ten of us to feed, not counting the cousins. All those fish. The, uh, sole, and tro-"
"Ms Levsky. I think we should move on," Will said firmly, shifting behind me.
I sat up and cleared my throat. "Yes. You vill to please excuse me. Now, ve vant good price for the set. They are quite good. Vat vill you give to us?"
"Well, Ms. Levsky," he said, sitting comfortably back in his chair. "I'm not sure; I'd have to maybe inspect these books first. Can't offer a good price if I can't. You know how it is." He attempted a smile, revealing crooked yellow teeth.
"No, I do not know how eet ees," I replied stiffly. "Mr. Aubrey!" Will came to my side as I snapped my fingers. "Show Mr. Roderick the books."
"Right this way sir."
Only twenty past. I knew this plan wasn't going to work.
"Now here Mr. Roderick, is the 'D' volume. You see how it has dollhouses and daschund clothes. Excellent condition. It's been in Ms. Levsky's family for generations. But I have a question for you sir, which I hope isn't too forward."
"Yeah?" He said, staring at the books, trying to pick out the ones that he had already checked. I saw him reaching for another volume just as I heard some movement in the hallway outside.
"Where did you hide Anne Davies' body, Mr. Patterson?"
The man started violently and staggered against the bookshelf, but he quickly recovered and leapt for Will, who sidestepped him just as the door burst open. Before he knew it, three officers and Lieutenant Stoker, in an amazing show of swiftness, had him on the floor and handcuffed.
Captain Anderson raged over and let out a furious string of profanity at Will, who was looking with satisfaction at the culprit and remained unperturbed even as the captain began a tirade in his ear.
"What the hell do you think you're doing? When I heard that message I thought I was gonna blow my top. You think this is a game or something? You think that just because you know the former commissioner you can play me for a fool? Huh? You think you're some hotshot detective just because you help us out once in a while? Huh? I should arrest you for obstruction of justice, you little punk. I oughta-"
"Please Captain," Will said calmly. "The prisoner is trying to listen to his rights."
I could almost see the debate going on inside the captain's meaty head. Will had tricked him, but, on the other hand, here was the perpetrator of three crimes literally at his feet. His spit-speckled mouth twisted as he came to a decision, and he cursed again while glancing at us.
"Fine, fine. But I want you to know Hamilton, that I ever catch you doing this again, and I'll have you locked up. For good. Don't think I'm gonna be giving you much credit for this. And don't you even try to negotiate, red riding hood," he added to me as I opened my mouth to argue. He stomped out of the room behind the officers, still cursing.
"Red riding hood?"
Will shrugged, a look of amusement on his face. "I think he's finally landed on a nickname for you. It's probably because of your hair."
"Guess so." I took off the glasses and handed them to him. "You knew when they were here, didn't you?"
"The lift is rather squeaky."
"And if they hadn't come?"
"I'm sure you could have gone on about the old country all day." I laughed. "That was a nice touch by the way."
We made our way to the elevator in what I thought to be a strangely awkward silence. Now that the case was over, I felt like our "temporary colleague"-ship was also over. Neither of us spoke on the drive back to the university. We got out of the car and began walking away from the parking lot.
"I have a class in fifteen minutes," Will said.
"So do I."
"Human Development with Professor Sanders?"
"How'd you know?"
He shrugged. "Monique might have mentioned it."
I grinned and shook my head. "Well," I said after a while."This was…interesting."
"Glad you thought so," he replied.
"Aunt Wendy will be really happy when she gets her Buddha back."
"Erm, they might have to hold it for evidence in the trial."
"Oh. Well, she'll be happy when she gets it back eventually."
"I can imagine."
"You know Will, this was a lot of fun."
"Yeah. I mean, for you it's just a puzzle, but I really enjoyed getting in on the action."
He shrugged and pulled out a Milky Way from his pocket. "Not a lot of action, but all right."
I eyed the candy bar. "You know Will, caffeine and sugar aren't healthy."
He unwrapped it slowly. "Would you rather I smoked for a high?"
"Huh. Good point." We stopped when we reached the middle of the quad. "Well, I have to go that way," I said, nodding towards the older buildings on the left. "So."
He raised an eyebrow and chewed.
"Well, I guess this is it. It was great working with you," I said, smiling. "So, uh, bye." I began walking off when he spoke up.
I turned to him, perplexed. "What do you mean?"
He tossed the empty wrapper in a trashcan. "You said you'd enjoyed it."
"It's obvious that you'd like to continue."
"You mean, help out in other cases?"
He shrugged, which I took to be a yes.
"But I thought you said you didn't want any partners."
He managed to look slightly abashed. "I did have a partner before. My roommate, Dante. But then he decided to get a girlfriend who doesn't approve of detective work. He started complaining about missing assignments and failing classes from helping me out." He rolled his eyes. "Honestly, I don't know what he was talking about."
"Why'd you lie and tell me you'd never had a partner?"
"I didn't know you well enough then. But, for all your overwhelming perkiness and faux-intelligence-"
"-You were still very helpful. I've grown rather used to having someone there to admire the way I handle a case."
"Will! You be careful, I just might use my wicked sense of humor on you."
He laughed. "What do you say? Is it a deal?"
"Mm." I bit my lip in thought. This involved certain danger from criminals, investigating rotting corpses, and working with a sharp tongued, egotistical man. "Sure!"
"Will," I said as he firmly shook hands with me. "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
He made a face. "Mitra."
"Sorry, no more clichés, right."
Two days later, Anne Davies' decaying body was found in the woods along Route 270. Patterson is currently awaiting trial. Aunt Wendy was so overjoyed about the prospect of getting her Buddha back that she baked brownies for Will, who really enjoyed them. Captain Anderson and Lieutenant Stoker received a lot of attention in the paper, while Will's participation in the case somehow never came up.
And that was the end...
…or was it?
A/N- Wow, this is the first story I have ever finished completely, (choir sings "Hallelujah!"). An effusive thank you to all my reviewers for…well, for reviewing. (How truly eloquent). And also thank you all for liking this story enough to want more of Will and Mitra. I'm so excited to write more. However, there is a little problem: I have two plotlines planned that are not similar but that sort of relate to each other, so I will have to make them different. In doing so, I will probably end up writing two stories so I don't have any overlaps. So, this will take a while. But, I have spring holiday coming up and I will, hopefully, write the entire thing(s) then.
Anyway, thank you to Rae Street, so glad you like this story. Your name reminds me of the Dave Matthews song "Gray Street". Which is good. Mariana, I had a friend from Brazil in high school, and I'd really love to visit the Amazon sometime. Anyway, I'm really happy you like Mitra and Will and the plot. I'll try to make it more interesting next time. Ed-Wood, glad you liked this chapter and this story enough to call it one of your favorites. Also, thanks for saying Mitra and Will are natural. I was afraid they'd come off as plastic. By the way, I saw a little bit of the movie "Ed Wood" the other day, including the part where Johnny Depp turns into a transvestite stripper. No matter how many years of therapy I may go through, that image will never go away. Oish. And Dreamsprite5, thanks for liking the characters and I'll try to make Will even more sarcastic- he might end up sounding really mean, but I see your point. But could you just explain what you mean by "more random"? I'll try to incorporate that too next time. I've reviewed your story "Fiery Past" by the way.