In the end, it was so simple Kurt was kicking himself. He had spent two weeks convincing himself that it was complicated - a political killing, perhaps. Instead, Karla Anderberg had caved in under pressure and admitted that she and her husband had killed Lenart Hansen because he was blackmailing them. Simple.
Kurt chose to leave that out of the report. Instead, he opted for being as succinct as possible while still including all the required details. Magnus and Ann-Britte, he knew, wrote more extensively than him. They could tell Lisa about the chase across the beach after Max Anderberg as he'd tried to run. They could tell Lisa how he went off on his own again, racing back to the house and only calling them in once he was certain.
He ran his hand across his face, staring at his computer screen in disgust as the cursor flashed at him.
He was being unfair to them again.
They made a good team, truthfully. He was grateful to have such good officers to rely on, who always did what he asked when he asked for it, even if Magnus did complain about it. He just enjoyed working alone. He didn't have to worry about getting anyone else hurt, didn't really have to be concerned about throwing himself into dangerous situations.
It made sense.
With one finger, he started to pick out the letters on the keyboard.
Lisa was heading for his office door.
Closing his eyes briefly, Kurt willed himself not to look as exhausted as he felt.
"Have you been getting any sleep lately? You look ready to drop where you sit."
Apparently, he looked worse.
"Lisa", he acknowledged.
She gave him a stern, considering look and sighed.
"Magnus told me what happened."
"Oh, of course he did." He took a breath, steadying himself. "Look, Lisa, I didn't take any risks. The Anderberg's weren't a threat-"
"You didn't know that! What if you had been wrong, hm?" She moved to sit in the chair on the other side of his desk. "Kurt, we discussed this. We have to go by the book as much as possible. As much as possible, I said". She held up a hand to silence his protest. "I understand that sometimes the book isn't, perhaps, the best option, but considering where we currently stand," she said, emphatically, "I think it would be best for you to keep a low profile. Alright?"
She waited for him to mumble his acquiescence before nodding briskly and moving towards the door.
"Oh, and Kurt? Well done."
He waited until she was swallowed in the usual chaos of the station before he allowed his head to sink into his hands.
His last case had revolved, primarily, around the murder of a young American businessman who had been found dead in his car. When the FBI had stepped in, to 'ensure justice was done', he had lost his temper, stepping on quite a few toes in the process and giving Lisa more than a little extra paperwork to deal with.
He did feel guilty about that, but at least his little outburst had stopped the bloody Agents hovering around, peering over his shoulder every five minutes. They had been impossible to work around.
By the time he finished typing out his report, one letter at a time, it was nearly nine o'clock.
More overtime, he thought.
He nodded to the night shift officers, clutching cups of coffee and tea as the uniforms prepared to go on patrol.
The car park was quiet as he fumbled inside his pockets for his car keys.
The keys fell to the floor and bounced underneath his car. Breathing deeply and trying to control his frustration, he crouched down and began to search for them.
"Magnus. I thought you'd gone home."
"No. Well, yes, but I left something behind. Had to pick it up."
After a slight pause, Magnus crouched down beside him, reached under the car, and produced the keys. Kurt took them and tried not to seem entirely ungrateful.
"Actually, I'm glad I caught you. I-I need a favour."
Kurt paused, half inside the car, and turned to stare at him incredulously.
Kurt allowed an uncomfortable silence to settle between them.
Magnus was shifting, almost nervously, alternately shoving his hands in his pockets and taking them out to rub them together. It was a cold night.
"I, well. I want to take a couple of days off."
Kurt was confused.
"That's not anything to do with me. Ask Lisa."
"I have. She said I could take two days, if you'll agree." When Kurt offered no reply, he continued, "I need tomorrow and Thursday. I promised I'd go to this... Family event, and if I don't, well. I'll never hear the end of it."
His smile faded when he saw the look on the Detectives face.
This felt like another of Holgersson's little tests, to make sure he was still able to be team leader. She had been concerned that his insistence on going off on his own would affect his view of others. Utter nonsense, he knew, but it been disheartening to know that she thought he would be entirely dismissive of his team.
"I suppose I don't have a choice, do I?" Magnus tipped his head, looking awkward. "Fine. But I want you in on Friday, early, to go through some case files with me."
Magnus rolled his eyes.
"Fine, but you get your own coffee."
He was woken, early the next morning, by his phone ringing loudly on the coffee table, where he had put it when he had collapsed into a chair to watch television.
Blearily, he reached for it.
"Kurt, I know it's early, but you need to come in," Ann-Britte's disconnected voice explained. "Another murder."