Disclaimer:I do not own the original characters or situational plot of the TV series "Inspector Lewis". I own only this fictional creation based on that series. I do this only for personal joy and because when I see or read something that makes me happy, I can't not write about it.
The first 45 minutes of the day had been wonderful. James had woken up, a warm body pressed against him, urging him to a repeat of last night's pleasure. It wasn't even 6:30 though before the day started to fall apart.
At 6:22 his mobile rang and the ring tone told him it was the station dispatcher calling. James valiantly shut any thought of work out of his mind to focus on the more pleasant face in bed with him, but he couldn't put it off indefinitely, and reluctantly he had to accept that his morning pleasure would have to end sooner than he would have liked. If he didn't call back but quick, they might call Lewis and that would lead to a very unhappy day for James, and the rest of the team. Inspectors don't like it when they have to field the call their sergeant is supposed to get.
Fortunately, his bed partner was a copper herself and so understood the change in mood and knew that James' work wouldn't be calling this early only to let it go, so laying back, she just appreciated the view as James got out of bed and picked up his mobile.
"This is Hathaway," he said when the dispatch sergeant answered. "It's not even 6:30," he added grumpily, knowing Kevin would take it in good humour.
"Sorry mate," Kevin chuckled. "Suspicious in the alley behind the bakery on Willows. You got back just in time, I was about 30 seconds from calling Lewis."
"Liar," James chuckled. "I wasn't even 5 minutes and you don't want him in a snit any more than I do. Have you got the morgue and SOCO already on the way?"
"Yeah, called them after you," Kevin said. "Uniform are still there too."
"Who?" James asked, pulling clothes out of his closet for the day and smirking at his companion's appreciative gaze.
"Walker and Matthews," Kevin answered, knowing James was formulating who else to wake up to go to the scene and needed to know which constables were already there.
"That new guy's starting today isn't he? Or is it tomorrow?"
"Uh," Kevin paused, flipping through the roster. "No, he actually started yesterday: getting all his paperwork in order."
"Ok, may as well get him used to the more fun aspects of the job," James said, moving out of the room and heading for the bathroom. "Have Hooper pick him up and meet us on site by 7."
"Will do," Kevin said, sounding amused. "You didn't meet him yet did you?"
"He's graduate entry you know…"
"And…" he said, getting suspicious. He and Kevin had always gotten on, even when James had first come to the station - as a graduate entry constable, not long before he was promoted to sergeant and he hoped he wasn't going to now hear Kevin mocking the kid just because he was graduate entry.
"Yeah, redbrick... but unlike you, James, this kid tells everyone he meets and is a bit… well, arrogant."
"Christ," James swore. "Just what I need." An arrogant snot reinforcing the stereotype James had worked so hard to make those at the station not apply to him without getting to know him.
"Good luck," Kevin said with a chuckle, "I'll call Hooper and have him call the kid."
After a quick call to Lewis to outline the situation and arrange to meet him at the scene James jumped into the shower.
"Sorry about this," James said as he hurriedly got dressed and combed down his hair. "What train are you on?"
"Well, I'm not due at work until 4, but I think I'll aim to catch the 8:05 so I'll have time for errands or maybe a nap since we didn't sleep much last night."
"Do you want me to call for a taxi?"
"James," she said straightening his tie. "I am perfectly capable of calling myself - or maybe I'll walk."
"You'd never!" he said with a snort.
"Well, I might if I had you to carry my bag, but no, you're right. I'm hardly going to walk to the station lugging my overnight bag like a tourist." She gave him a heated kiss then smoothed out imaginary creases in his jacket and shooed him toward the stairs. "Talk to you soon though, yeah?"
Smiling, he waggled his mobile as he jogged down the stairs indicating that they would indeed be in touch.
With his mobile on speaker, James had managed to get a preliminary report from Walker and Matthews, the uniforms who'd been the first responders and was glad to have the information as he'd driven up just as Lewis was closing his car door.
"Sorry sir," he said, rushing over. Whenever possible, the sergeant was to be at the scene ready to report to his inspector.
"No worries, James," Lewis said though as he stretched and rubbed his hands together to warm them. "I live a fair bit closer to the scene than you, I'm impressed you managed to get here as quick as you did." Lewis smiled as his thin sergeant pulled his woollen overcoat tighter around himself, shoving his hands in the pockets for warmth.
"Come on then sergeant," he said, beckoning him toward the caution tape down the other end of the alley. "We'll get the report from uniform at the same time."
"No need, sir," James said, following him into the alley. "I called and spoke with them while I was driving. It was on handsfree," he added quickly to ward off the glare. "Bakery owner, a Mr. Trust, was taking out the rubbish from this morning's baking when he spotted the body leaning against the wall," he reported, motioning toward the corpse they could now see up ahead as the uniforms lifted the tape for them. "Might end up not needing us after all though, Matthews recognises the deceased as an habitual drug user known to frequent alleys in this area. Can't say for certain of course, until after Hobson's examination and depending on what SOCO finds."
"Such a shame," Lewis said, looking over at the person whose life had been cut short, if not by an outside force, then by their own demons, and addictions. They didn't put on the full scene of crime suit owing to the fact that they didn't have to get too close, or touch the body, but after donning shoe covers they both moved to about 10 feet from the body.
"Gentlemen," Hobson said, walking over to them in her white scene suit and holding an evidence bag out to Lewis. "Probably going to be accident or misadventure. There's paraphernalia all over the place and obvious signs of frequent drugs use sadly. No picture ID, but bank and credit cards with 4 different names." "Matthews thinks he recognises him as a regular named Don Rutt," James supplied.
"Ah," Laura said with a grim smile. "Let me know as soon as you're sure and I can pull any medical files for the forensic ID"
"'Course doctor," James said, pulling out his mobile and walking away to order up the files.
"Ahh," Robbie said when he noticed the doctor's scrutiny as he stared at the dead man. "It's just such a shame is all. I don't like to see this kind of waste of life any more than I do a murder."
Hathaway, standing several inches taller than both of the first response officers he was standing near, was easy for Hooper to spot as he pulled up and parked. As he turned off the car and took off his seat belt, he tried to gauge the sergeant's mood, knowing that if he was cranky, it meant that Lewis was cranky and the whole unit would be cranky. Mind you, he couldn't blame anyone for being cranky what with being called out to a suspicious death in a back alley before 7 in the morning. Dealing with the new graduate entry brat meant that Hooper was already cranky today seeing as how the little snot made him late. The dispatch message had been to meet the senior officers on scene by 7. It was now, 7:06 according to the clock on the car dash as he climbed out which made them at least 10 minutes late given the law enforcement mentality that meant that when you were supposed to be somewhere by7, if you weren't there at least five minutes before that, you were late.
With a gruff "come on," to the kid, Hooper approached the sergeant who, with no more than a glance and a slight jerk of his head sent one of the uniforms off to move along some gawpers.
"Rutt, Don," Hathaway said into his phone, glaring meaningfully at Hooper and the kid as they walked up. "Nothing? Matthews," he asked turning to the remaining uniform. "Is it Rutt: R-U-T-T?"
"R-U-D-T maybe, sir?" Matthews answered uncertainly. "I thought that was his real name, but maybe it's an alias…?"
"No, that's got it," Hathaway interrupted, responding to what he was hearing on the phone. "Brown hair, yeah. 1.7 metres…" Hathaway traded physical features of the deceased with the person on the phone and Hooper started to move away, hoping to find something to do and avoid talking to the sergeant, but with a look and a raised finger, Hathaway kept him still and Hooper grabbed the sleeve of the new kid to keep him wandering off, earning a glare from the kid - which he ignored.
"He looks like he weighs less than that to me, but the last arrest was a couple of months back - can you send me a picture?" Holding his phone away from his ear to receive the picture being sent Hathaway turned to Hooper and his charge. "Check on the baker: Mr. Trust. He discovered the body. Lewis or I will be in to take his statement in a minute. Send Williams out to start the canvas."
Having received and viewed the picture while he spoke, Hathaway returned to his call without waiting for a reply so Hooper just nodded and started leading the kid toward the bakery as he heard the sergeant confirm it was the right man and to send the file to the morgue right away.
"Who's the posho?"
Christ.The kid had timed that remark so that even though he probably meant it to be heard only by Hooper, he'd said it just after Hathaway had stopped talking so Hooper, Hathaway and Matthews all heard it clearly. Trying to relax his now tense shoulders, Hooper stopped, and pulling the kid with him, he turned back toward the sergeant.
Having worked with Hathaway for a few years now, Hooper felt he was well versed on the sergeant's facial expressions - what few he allowed were subtle, but Hooper felt he had at least his O-levels in Hathaway expressions by now and so relaxed a little bit to see the slight amusement in the look he gave him before turning a solid glare on the kid. The uniform, Matthews for his part mumbled something about helping his partner with the looky-loos and scarpered.
"Uh, Sergeant Hathaway," Hooper started the introduction. "This is Training Detective Constable Jones. Jones, this is our sergeant: Sergeant Hathaway. Sorry we were a bit late, sir…" he added, tilting his head toward the kid to indicate he was the reason. As much as possible, without crossing over into disrespect for a superior officer, Hooper engaged in all variety of verbal gymnastics to avoid having to call the much younger Hathaway "sir", opting instead for Sarge, or Sergeant whenever he could get away with it, but, he went with the "sir" now to try to worry the trainee a bit.
"Was there a problem getting ready Jones?" Hathaway asked with just the right amount of imperiousness thought Hooper.
"Uh, no Sergeant," he replied, not quite managing subservience. "I just didn't expect to be called in so early on my first day and my mobile wasn't on, so Hooper had to just come to my flat and wake me and so once I got my gear all together - well, we got here as fast as can be expected."
Hooper cringed and looked away after that statement. Hathaway's raised his eyebrows, giving the kid a disapproving glare. "I was told that you'd done your paperwork yesterday Constable, so it's not really your first day is it? If you're hoping to work and advance in the CID, Jones," he said in a tone of voice that suggested he thought the possibility remote. "You keep your mobile on and charged. And you haven't quite got all your gear together," he added. "Straighten your tie before you go in to see to the baker. Hooper," he added, nodding in a friendly dismissal to the DC and his charge. He gave him a slight commiserating smile as he walked away when the kid looked down frowning at his tie.
"Christ, kid," Hooper said, leading Jones toward the door into the bakery. "You sure know how to make a good first impression on the man who's going to be doing your training evaluations." As a training detective, the kid was in a uniform instead of suit, but in the rush, his shirt and trousers were rumpled and his tie was still slightly askew. Hooper doubted that the baker, who was likely traumatised, would notice the kid's state of disarray, but the sergeant and inspector would once they saw him in the full light of the bakery.
"When they come in to take the statement, try to keep a low profile and maybe they won't notice the state of your uniform." Hooper suggested, shaking his head.
This was going to be a hell of a day, he could already tell - and it wasn't even half seven yet.