I've come to the conclusion that Tom Hiddleston could play absolutely anyone and I would still love that character to bits. Hence, my new obsession with BBC's Wallander (and the Hollow Crown but I refuse point blank to try and write a Shakespearian fic. Not happening). But not series 3 because Magnus Martinsson is inexplicably absent – this upsets me. So I decided to write a fic about him to make up for the depressing lack of Hiddleston's face.
This is my first time in this fandom, it might take me a while to adjust, sorry about that. Set some time in series two I guess. Also, if someone could tell me what rank Magnus is, I'd be greatly appreciative – for now I'm just calling him detective.
Magnus sighed heavily to himself, running his long fingers through his curls and down over his face, trying to rub away the fatigue that was overwhelming him. The whole team was suffering – he didn't think that a single one of them had seen a proper bed for at least two days and the stress was starting to wear on them.
In the last week and a half, four girls had been murdered, seemingly at random, their only connection their looks. They had all been mid twenties with short, dark hair and blue eyes and each one had been slender and tall; their heights varied a bit but seemed to linger at around five foot seven. The press were calling the killer 'the man of roses,' due to the flowers that had adorned each corpse like some morbid party decoration; it freaked Magnus out.
For the police's point of view, it was a complete disaster; not a single scrap of evidence to be found at the scene except for one impossible detail: the fingerprints of a man who had been dead for twenty years. And it couldn't even be a case of mistaken identity – they had had the body exhumed and Nyberg had examined the remains only to conclude that it was definitely the body of one Kristopher Munstat,* an ex soldier who had died in 1988 in a car accident.
The young detective sighed again and forced his aching body to his feet, trudging determinedly towards the small kitchenette to retrieve yet another cup of vile coffee to keep himself awake. He'd spent the last five hours scouring records from hundreds of different crime organisations trying to find any instances that matched their killers MO – he'd just finished going through the data sent over from Halmstad about a case in 1999 where a girl had been thrown over a cliff. Her description matched up with their victims but the method was completely different and he wasn't convinced that it was related. Still he'd sent the information around to the team by email, mainly just to piss Kurt off – the man was a complete technophobe.
He lingered in the kitchen for as long as he could, loathe to have to return to his cramped desk and fold himself into the too small space. God he needed a holiday. He had some paid leave days that he hadn't yet taken and he made a spur of the moment decision to request them for when this case was over. Slightly bolstered by his decision he made his way over to his desk, offering a smile at Anne-Britt who nodded at him.
"You look like hell," she told him as he passed.
"Thanks," he said back sarcastically but he chuckled to show that he wasn't offended.
"You should go home, get some rest."
"I could say the same to you. When did you last see the light of day?" She hesitated but didn't answer him, having the grace to look contrite. "I thought so," he muttered, victorious. She stuck her tongue out at him.
He liked Anne-Britt, she was like the little sister he didn't have.** They had a strange relationship, more playful than anything; he supposed it was a method of dealing with the immense stress and seriousness of their job. It was probably why Wallander didn't seem to approve.
"You found anything interesting?" He asked after a moment of companionable silence. She grimaced.
"I've been trying to see if there was any connection between the girls. We're fairly certain that they were chosen by the way they looked but I was thinking that maybe there was a link – a cafe that they all frequented or something."
"You're looking for the killer's hunting ground," Magnus accused. She nodded at him slowly then sighed heavily.
"There's nothing though; I can't find anything that's useful. Have you had any luck?" He shook his head glancing back at his computer screen.
"I don't think I'm looking in the right place," he admitted, glancing at Kurt's office door to make sure that he wasn't within earshot. He really did not want to be chewed out by his boss for speaking his mind. Again. Anne-Britt offered an understanding smile, well away of the tension between the Inspector and the younger man – she chalked it up to father like concern on Wallander's part and Magnus being far too proud to accept it. The young woman was about to make a comment on it when the Inspector in question suddenly appeared in the doorway, pulling on his coat as he went.
"Magnus, whatever work you're avoiding doing right now can wait," the young man scowled at the implication but was unable to defend himself as his boss kept talking. "You're with me. Another body's been found."
Martinsson looked around the bleak landscape tiredly, not really taking in the surroundings. Before him lay the body of another girl: Caroline Vers. It would take a while to get official identification as it had already been determined that her recorded Next of Kin – her mother – had passed away about a year ago.
"It's your serial killer alright," came the sombre voice of Nyberg who was pulling off his latex gloves, having finished his preliminary examination. "Same as the others."
"Snapped neck?" Kurt asked quietly, watching as the ME's assistants moved the corpse gently into a body bag for transportation.
"Looks like it. I'll get the results of the autopsy to you as soon as possible but I don't think that there'll be anything new. It all looks the same; no marks on her except for the bruising around her neck with roses in her hand." Wallander nodded at him with a grim smile.
"Ok, thanks." The ME nodded back and wandered off, instructing his assistants as they cleared the scene. The Inspector just remained standing there, looking around bleakly as though a clue would spontaneously appear before him.
"So, now what do we do?" Magnus asked after a moment, earning him a glare from his boss. He blinked innocently back at him until Wallander just huffed and marched away back over to the car. Muttering to himself about overreactions, the young detective followed, groaning a little as he slipped back into the small interior of the Volvo.
"You hungry?" Well, that was unexpected. Magnus just stared at Kurt as though he had gone insane with wide, surprised eyes even while his mind thought it through, trying to find a trap in the question.
"Err, sort of?" He said eventually, somehow turning the statement into a question. Wallander nodded to himself, starting up the car and driving on without further comment.
'Be like that then,' Magnus thought to himself, pulling his ever present laptop onto his lap and beginning to type away at a report he was meant to have finished three weeks ago.
They pulled up at a small diner on the outskirts of Ystad and Wallander was out of the car without a word, leaving Magnus to stumble after him, confusion marking his brow.
"Why are we here exactly? I thought we were going to Vers' house," he asked when he caught up to his boss.
"And I thought you said you were hungry?" Was Wallander actually grinning? Magnus suddenly wished he had a camera to catch the image of this once in a lifetime moment. "Come on. We'll go to the house after we've eaten. You look like the wind is about to blow you away any minute." The younger detective wasn't sure whether that statement should offend him so he just shrugged noncommittally.
They sat at a table far away from the chill blowing in from the door – they might only be in Southern Sweden but in late November the cold was biting. Coffee was delivered to them with remarkable speed and their orders taken by a waitress who spent a good minute staring at Magnus with her mouth hanging open a little and then another five minutes batting her eyelashes in his direction. The detective did his best to ignore her.
"I think you might have a fan," Wallander pointed out, looking far too smug; Magnus glared at him. "What? Is there someone else I should know about?"
"I've barely left the office in the last fortnight. You really think that I have someone waiting at home?" Magnus saw the way Kurt's eyes tightened and instantly berated himself for the stupid comment; Wallander knew better than most the toll their job could take on relationships. In the office it was a taboo subject – he should have known better.
"You might have a point," he replied eventually, shaking himself out of his meandering thoughts.
"So," Magnus said, desperately wanting a new subject. It was only once he spoke however that he realised he had no idea what the rest of his sentence was meant to be. "Err, any thoughts on the case?" It was the first thought that popped into his head – he refused to consider what that said about his mental state. Kurt shrugged.
"I think that we're missing something. We don't need that stuck up profiler Ekholm to tell us that the appearance of the victims is somehow vital. In cases like this I've seen in the past the killer has targeted a specific group of people for a reason – revenge or anger perhaps." Kurt scrubbed at his face. "There was a similar instance a few years back in Stockholm."
"I read about that, when I was researching," Magnus interjected. "A woman was killing men who reminded her of her abusive husband."
"Exactly. But the trigger for something like this could be anything. We have no idea what to look for." He looked so helpless for a moment that Magnus' heart bled for him.
"We'll get whoever's doing this Kurt," he assured him. The Inspector just smiled grimly at him as the food was deposited in front of them and talking ceased while they ate. The food was nothing special but neither of them cared; Magnus was just glad that it wasn't the sandwiches from the canteen in the office – they were the worst.
They were back on the road again within half an hour. The younger detective was annoyed – turns out that Kurt had conveniently 'forgotten' his wallet, leaving Magnus to foot the bill; it might not have cost all that much but it was the principle. Besides, he had seen Wallander slip the offending item into his coat before they had entered the diner.
"Have you got the address?" Kurt's question snapped him out of his musing with a jolt. He fumbled for the slip of paper he had scribbled it down on during a call to Anne-Britt, eventually producing it from one of the pockets of his trench coat. He read it out to the Inspector who was driving, then lapsed back into pointed silence; he could swear that he saw Kurt grinning out of the corner of his eye, smug bastard.
When they arrived at the house, Magnus whistled appreciatively.
"Someone was doing well for themselves," he commented, looking up at the massive building before them.
"Until someone snapped her neck and dumped her body in the middle of nowhere," Kurt snapped back, once again annoyed at the detective's flippant attitude. Magnus shrugged but dropped the attitude.
The house was in the middle of nowhere, only accessed by a private road. From what the detective could see, the building was in the middle of a huge plot of land, complete with a small lake and a wooded copse. For firewood perhaps? Either way this place must be worth more money than Magnus could imagine.
"Anne-Britt said that she lived alone. There shouldn't be anyone else here." It was at that moment that he saw the way his boss was staring at the front door of the house. He followed his gaze and his hand leapt to his gun – the lock had been forced and the door swayed in the icy breeze. "Then again..." he muttered, mainly to himself.
"You take the back," Kurt ordered, his gun in his hand as he made his way towards the house. Magnus complied without question, carefully moving around the side of the house, ducking past the windows as carefully as he could.
The back door wasn't locked and he nudged it open carefully without lowering his gun. With practised ease the two policemen swept through the house without a hitch, not leaving a single room unchecked; the whole place was empty. They joined each other in what appeared to be the sitting room and Kurt instantly began to look around. Magnus wasn't entirely sure what he was looking for but he knew better than to comment.
The silence of the room was broken by the quiet noise of a distant splashing. The younger detective darted to a window and looked out at the lake, noticing for the first time the wooden jetty that suck out into the water. There was no one there but Magnus was on edge.
"What is it?"
"I'm not sure. I'll be back in a moment," he said, before walking outside without further explanation. Kurt just let him go.
Magnus pulled up the collar of his trench coat against the breeze, shivering slightly in the freezing air. He might spend that holiday of his somewhere warm – Spain maybe. When he reached the jetty, he was immediately alert as he took in the muddy footprints that ran to the end of the landing and back. He poked at one of them, feeling the wet dirt come away on his fingers – these were fresh. He gripped his gun tightly in his hand as he slowly wandered forwards, eyes on the water trying to see if anything had been dumped.
The tense silence was shattered without warning or fanfare. His mind vaguely registered the heavy footsteps behind him, almost drowned out by Kurt's voice shouting his name, sounding almost scared. He didn't have time to think about it though as he span around, bringing his gun up on instinct just as a heavy weight crashed into his side.
He slammed into the unforgiving wooden planks, his head cracking against them with a sickening snap and then lights were dancing in front of his eyes. Who ever had attacked him landed on his chest, a shoulder digging harshly into his ribs for just a moment before the momentum of the attack carried him over, rolling away. There was a split second for there to be relief before Magnus' addled brain realised that hands were gripping him tightly and as such was being dragged to the side with his attacker towards the edge of the jetty.
'Oh hell,' was his only thought before he was dragged over the edge, and into the freezing depths of the lake.
*I don't know any Swedish names. All names not taken directly from the show are just random strings of syllables that sound Swedish to me; they will almost certainly not be accurate representations. Apologies.
**I haven't read the books so I have no idea what family he may or may not have.
This chapter was really odd. I don't like it much, but I had to set up the premise for the story. Anyways, there will be more action later and hopefully I'll have a better read on the characters and so they'll be less out of character.
This is un-beta'd so all mistakes are mine, sorry for the appalling grammar. Please point out any mistakes :)
No idea what my update time on this will be. It really depends.
I'll shut up now.