Notes: This is the result of watching too much Midsomer Murders.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. sniff
Troy sat staring at his computer screen, tiredly swiping a hand across his eyes once more in an attempt to stop the world blurring at the edges; there was still a mountain of paperwork to get through before he could knock off for the night. He supposed it was the price you paid for promotion. Although the ugly voice in the back of his head, the one he always tried so hard to ignore, was quick to point out if was his utter lack of anything better to do, or closer to the bone, anyone to get home to that kept him in the CID office when his colleagues were either curled up in bed or out on the tiles.
Stifling another yawn he reasoned that today had just been particularly stressful. He hadn't even had chance to get a mouthful of tea and toast down him before his mobile had been ringing; The body had been lying on the banks of the canal, an IC1 male in his mid 20s wearing dark blue jeans, a striped black and white shirt, black lace ups; the back of his skull caved in with a weapon they had yet to recover. The scene was horrific. The attack had been brutal, frenzied, the back of his skull completely smashed in, forensics had been collecting fragments all day.
The body had been found by Turrel, the patches most notorious tramp who treated the station like a doss house and who hadn't even blanched when he'd almost stepped back into fragments of skull and brains and God only knows what, saying simply that he'd seen worse in the Gulf war and could they be so kind to hurry up as Toothless Henry would be nicking the prime begging spot in the high street as they spoke.
He on the other hand had struggled to remain professional and not empty his stomach into the murky water of the canal. No matter how many horrific deaths he saw he still struggled to disengage from the carnage on view in front of his eyes. Turrel had seen it in his eyes, had muttered quietly in his ear ("sometimes it all gets a bit much, son. There's no shame in admitting it."), before he'd wandered away spouting the drivel of the madman Troy now knew he wasn't. The words, however, had stuck with him all day, playing on his mind.
It wasn't too much for him.
They still hadn't been able to ID the body, now lying cold in the morgue. There were no matching Misper files and forensics wouldn't be back till morning. No witnesses had come forward; they had no idea where he'd been that night, nor where he was heading. There was nothing to go on. The man might as well not have existed. Gavin thought that was the worst thing about the city; Midsomer may have had more than its fair share of brutal murders, but at least they'd meant something. Had been real people. Here so many bodies remained unidentified - Illegal immigrants, the homeless, and thousands of others with no one to miss them or even to notice that they were dead; the faceless and nameless.
Gulping down a mouthful of water to quell the sudden wave of nausea Gavin forced himself to focus once more on the computer screen. He was coping, he was happy; he was going to solve this case. And, if he had to repeat it to himself till he had no choice but to believe it then so be it.
250 miles away DS Dan Scott slouched further into the forgiving seat of the sofa and popped another can of lager, tray of take away curry balanced precariously on his knee. Not necessarily his preferred way of spending an evening but the lovely PC Angela had just dropped him in favour of the company of that foreign git Marco from forensics. And Cully. Well, Barnaby had seen to it that that had gone tits up too. (The tits, unfortunately, being very definitely of the figurative kind) Not that he was, of course, bitter in any way.
Shovelling another forkful of madras into his mouth he grimaced, even the takeaways round here were foul. He hated Midsomer.
Back in Middlesbrough...
"Let me guess, you got that tie when you were working in Midsomer?"
"Huh" Troy looked down at the offending article, a vibrant red superimposed with overlapping squares of blue, yellow and green, "what's wrong with it?"
"Nothing." Sandra shook her head but Gavin could see the smirk on her face, "nothing, if the clown look was what you were going for!"
He would have retorted but DC Shannon interrupted them. "Sir," Sandra coughed, and the man nodded to acknowledge her, "DS Phillips, forensics have come up with the goods on that IC1 from yesterday, turns out he was copper, DC Darren Hicks. At least he was, left the Met last year."
Things were looking up. They checked his records and came up with an address, a flat on the Langsville Est., a favourite with dealers, junkies and casual users alike. It wasn't long before he and Sandra were searching the flat for any evidence of where Hicks had been the night before last.
"Yeah" He called from where he was currently rifling through the ankle deep debris in the living room.
Sandra emerged in the doorway, a slim notebook dangling from her gloved fingers.
"Look what I've found."
On closer inspection it turned out the notebook was in fact a diary, well, of a sort. Most of the pages were blank, a few doodles of cubes and swirls and daggers and the odd scrawled telephone number. However the page for the day before last, the day their man had met a messy end, was crammed full of untidy handwriting.
The case just got more and more interesting. From the stash of smack they'd found behind the U-bend and the needles laying all across the bedroom floor to the suspiciously tight lipped reaction he'd gotten from Hicks' old nick when he'd put a call through. It seemed nobody wanted to tell him exactly why Hicks had left the Met.
Back at the station, he read the diary entry properly, noting that one name appeared again and again. The thing was he had the oddest feeling he'd seen it somewhere before.