The office had its usual buzz, with phones ringing, television playing in the background, and papers being filled out, everyone was doing something. Martinsson was doing work on his laptop, occasionally having to get up and answer the phone, while everyone else was preoccupied with their own tasks. Across from him, Ann-Britt talking to a woman on the phone filing a noise complaint, talking notes as she continued the conversation with her diplomatic personality. As that went on, Nyberg was practicing his graphology, examining a piece of writing from Martinsson, receiving a wary look from the young man when he asked for a sample, which was being held underneath a light and close to the pathologist's face. Wallander was with Lisa in her office, talking about some cases that had gone cold and what could be done for the families of the victims and the cases themselves, as well as checking for any new leads.
"Martinsson," Nyberg said from his desk as he examined the detective's handwriting, the wire-framed glasses perched close to the edge of his nose. "According to this, you have an active, restless mind, and are very self-reliant."
"Shocking." Martinsson replied in a sarcastic tone, raising his eyebrows in mock surprise.
"And your upward slant at the end of your note shows courage, but the spacing also suggests firm beliefs, judgment, an outright perfectionist," A dark glare was immediately directed at Nyberg, who paid no attention and continued. "You have angular writing, so that means you do not take criticisms well, but we all knew that." Nyberg scoffed and the taping on the laptop seemed to get a bit harsher. "You like the direct, quick route for information and answers."
Head now tilted in his hand, Martinsson rolled his eyes, still clicking around with one hand. "Reason why I'm on the computer." He added.
"And, surprisingly, a positive attitude." Nyberg said in surprise, catching a quick glance from Ann-Brit and a few others nearby officers. "You were the one who wrote this, right?" He asked, putting the paper down on his desk.
Chuckling, Ann-Brit went back to her phone call as Martinsson leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms and clearly not amused. "What are you implying, Nyberg?"
Nyberg chuckled and ran a hand through his hair. "Well, you aren't exactly the most opti-"
"Martinsson." Kurt barked from the office.
Shooting one last glare at Nyberg, who held a smug grin, Martinsson leaned back in his chair to look at his superior leaning out from the door. "Yeah Kurt?" He was tired, needed sleep, needed coffee, and it was only one o'clock, impatience clear in his voice like a teenager.
An audible sigh was heard. "You busy at the moment?"
Hesitating, he knew from that particular tone that no matter how he responded truth or lie, that tone meant work. And since it was Kurt, it was likely a lot of work.
"No." He said finally, biting his lip in regret and wanting to just let his head fall onto his desk to be a paper-weight.
"Great, come in here, will you? Need you to do some stuff for us." Now it was Kurt's turn to be impatient.
Sighing, Magnus pried himself from his chair and sauntered over to the office holding the detective and the chief, leaning against the door frame. The two of them were sitting across from each other with a file covered desk separating them, each looking as tired as he was, perhaps even more. Lisa was on her computer typing and Kurt was reading a file, glasses nearing the edge of his nose, an apparent trait at the station today. Waiting a few moments for the two realize that he had actually came, Magnus knocked on the door, breaking them from their trances.
Looking the young detective up and down with an uncertain face, Kurt took off his glasses and placed them on the desk. "H-how long have you been standing there, Magnus?"
Restraining himself from reply with an immature comment, Magnus decided to just cross his arms. "Not too long."
Kurt nodded hesitantly. "Okay...Erm, could we ask you to run a few errands for us? Lisa and I are still a bit occupied with the cases."
Nodding, Magnus smiled weakly, wishing he was doing more than just 'running errands' and 'doing research'. "Yeah, sure, of course, Kurt. What do you need done?" His tone was that of mocking an obedient puppy.
"We've got letters for a few families from some cases; Lisa and I have already labeled and stamped them, so all you need to do is drop them off at the post. And I have a book that needs to be returned to the library today. They've been calling for me to return it and I just haven't gotten around doing it. Think you could do that?"
Realizing that there would likely be more for him to do, Magnus cleared his throat and ran the list over in his head. "Yeah, sure. Anything else, guys?"
Kurt and Lisa exchanged a look from across the desk.
"We need you to pick something up from the bakery for us." Lisa said, folding her hands on her desk, looking like the true boss she was. Not even Kurt Wallander could disagree with her well-earned status at the Ystad CID.
Raising his eyebrows, Magnus gave a surprised look. "The bakery? What on earth do you need from there?"
Lisa gave the young man an honest look. "Just some lunch. We already put the order in under Wallander, so you just need to pick it up." She smiled. "Oh and here's your check. Pay Day." She added, Kurt reaching into his jacket and pulling out a piece of paper and handing it to Martinsson.
"Um…thanks." He smiled as he took it. "But isn't this a bit early? And I still haven't gotten the one from last Pay Day." Magnus said carefully, looking at his superiors who set their gaze on the desk.
"That, uh, is the one from last Pay Day." Kurt said in an embarrassed tone. "I sort of forget to give it to you." He finished, glancing up at Magnus, clearly unhappy. "Sorry."
Magnus took a breath to calm down, closing his eyes and ran a hand through his hair. "It's fine, Kurt. Better late than never, right?" He chuckled, putting the check into his side pocket and trying his best to not sneak in some sarcasm. "So, drop the letters off at the post, pick up lunch, and return your book. Miss anything?"
Kurt shook his head. "Nope. Guess I should give you the book and letters though."
"Might help just a bit, Kurt." Martinsson said as Kurt reached down into his bag for a fair-sized volume with a hard cover for the detective and handed it to the young detective, who could help but gasp a little at its surprising weight. "What's this made out of? Steel?" He asked turning it over and raising his eyebrows in surprise at the title. "Since when did you take an interest in poetry? Let alone War Poetry?"
"It's good for the soul and none of your damn business." Kurt fired back, but that didn't stop the young blonde from catching the smile creeping on the detective inspector's face.
"Whatever." He snorted, taking the letters from Lisa and sorrow crossed onto his face in a slow wave.
"All these families," He whispered. "Elena Sturnsson, Stellan Ake, Axelia Stulnasson. People we couldn't find, people we couldn't save. Their families have all lost someone and some will never see them again." Clearing his throat, Magnus re-organized the letters and glanced at the two others in the room, who shared the same faces of sorrow as him. "If our job in society is to help, save…protect people, what good can we do for these families, these victims that we never could get to in time?"
Martinsson's thoughts were pondered by everyone, a daily question asked every night by all at the station.
"Closure, hope, faith." Lisa spoke in a level tone, looking at each of the men in her office like her sons. "The knowing that we'll always be looking for their loved ones, and that we don't forget a case. Ever."
The room was silent, aside from the office buzz and the sound of the television outside, Lisa's words held heavy in the quiet atmosphere. Everyone's eyes were on the floor, Kurt tapping his fingers against the armrest of his chair, Lisa turned to her desk of photos of those who were still missing, and the youngest detective went through the letters again, holding the book between his arm and waist.
Memories of each of the cases went through the man's mind like wild fire; chaotic, emotional, graphic. But each had a lesson within it and the drive to keep looking and not to give up. Biting his lip, Magnus finally broke the silence. "Let's go bring closure to some families then."
And with a shared smile, walked out of the office to get his grey jacket, slipping the book into the chest pocket on the inside of it and took one final glance at the letters before slipping them into the opposite one.
"You seem cheery." Nyberg remarked as Martinsson passed his desk, who just chuckled in reply. "Watch it, Martinsson, that positive attitude is showing."
Rolling his eyes at the pathologist's comment, Magnus just laughed once again, giving a curt nod and wave at Ann-Britt, who waved back in return.
"Bye, Magnus. Be safe." She called as he passed her, receiving a look of confusion in return.
"Ann-Britt, I'm just going out to run a few errands, it won't take long. No need to say 'bye'." He chuckled, despite the strange feeling in his gut. "But I appreciate it."
The brunet pushed her hair behind her ear and leaned back in her chair just as he reached the door. "Everyone deserves a 'goodbye', Magnus," She smiled, earning one from the blonde as he went out the door. "Even if it isn't the last."
Adjusting his jacket to shield himself from the fall wind, Magnus carried the bag containing lunch and headed to the library to drop off the book and return to the station. Dark clouds were rolling in, and from just one glance, the detective knew it would be a storm. Realizing that he might only have a few minutes before it reaches him, he picked up the pace, taking even longer strides with his legs. Pulling his sleeve down to ensure that he would still have the hand that was carrying the bag when he got home and shoving the other in his pant leg pocket. Martinsson was only a few blocks away from the library when thunder crackled in the sky.
"Damnmit." He whispered through gritted teeth, biting his lip as he remembered his late cheque.
Feeling the paper in his pocket, a thought dawned on him, and cautiously, Martinsson pulled out Kurt's check and looked at the date it was valid to.
"Damnmit Kurt!" The date matched today's, and there was no way he would be making it home early enough to cash it tonight. Of course the detective inspector would give him a cheque the day it expires, just his luck. "Bloody hell."
The numbing sensation of the cold covered his face completely as he began to jog, leaves crunching under his feet and rain beginning to fall and wet his hair. Then he saw it, the brownstone building of the bank. His fingers straining with the ties of the bag, Magnus sighed in relief and welcomed the warm air of the bank, the rain behind him beginning to come down in cold, heavy, white sheets.
Author's Note: Okay, this is the beginning of something that's been sitting in my head for a while and I've been thinking about it a lot, and I think it's worth sharing. This was just planting the seeds for something that will hopefully be big and successful. Please leave a review! I also have a Tumblr of the same name that you can follow to embrace fandoms, look at my other work (photo-edits, poetry, and other stories I've written and posted here). Thank you for your consideration! Chapter One will be up soon in a day or so, perhaps even sooner, depending on the response. Thank you again for reading!