Coffee in the morning, pints in the evening. There was a rhythm to police work, though it wasn't anything resembling regular. More like the mad bands Hathaway listened to, the ones that had to be described with words like "deconstructed." Lewis'd had a deconstructed salad at a fancy do once. It had just seemed like a pile of veg on a plate, nothing that made a whole. Police work was sometimes like that too, a pile of facts on a life, nothing that made a whole. That was almost poetic, and he snorted softly at himself for even thinking it. Hathaway, waiting next to him at the coffee stall, looked at him curiously.

"Wasn't there a poem about measuring life in coffee spoons?" he asked, because if there was such a poem, his sergeant certainly knew of it. He sometimes justifiably thought Hathaway had crammed the entire Bod into his head. Useful tool for a sergeant, of course, though that wasn't why Hathaway'd done it.

"Prufrock by T.S. Eliot," Hathaway confirmed, looking at him even more curiously. "Not one of his better works, actually, though certainly one of his best known."

"That'd explain why it was on me O-levels," Lewis said, hopefully forestalling what might be an approaching tutorial on the merits of this Eliot person's poetry. Hathaway had that look. "Though why I still remember it, I couldn't tell you."

"Mind like a steel trap, sir?" Hathaway suggested, as he picked up their drinks from the stall and handed one to Lewis. He may have been smiling slightly, or it could be a trick of the light. Either way, he wasn't going to try to puzzle out Hathaway's lack of expressions before he'd had his coffee.

"Go on with you," he dismissed, and juggled said coffee to the other hand as his mobile rang.

"Yes ma'am," he answered with the proper mix of deference and world-weariness. It was not a good start to the day when the Chief Super called this early. After a short conversation consisting of mostly monosyllables on his part and mostly commands on the Chief Super's, Lewis hung up.

"Metropolitan Police have found John Knox," he said grimly. "And he's not likely to be the one responsible for the murder of Allan Raymond after all."

"Sir?"

"He's been dead at least a month, they say, stuffed in a old coal chute in the West End. It's back to the beginning, Sergeant."


Several very long days and very short nights later, they'd found the true murderer of Mr. Raymond (and Mr. Knox, more than likely, though that was for the Met to determine) and remanded her into custody. Chief Super ordered them home with a compliment, but Lewis had a better idea and steered Hathaway to the pub. At the end of a case like this, he needed a pint or two.

Unfortunately, Hathaway had needed a pint or two as well. The more he drank, the more he quoted, which was normal, but his quotes tonight were even more obscure and depressing than usual.

"How do thy potions, with insidious joy, diffuse thy pleasure only to destroy," he said, perfectly enunciating every word, and that was impressive given the amount he'd drunk.

"You keep saying things like that and not explaining them, you're on Ribena next time," Lewis threatened. There was little to no chance Hathaway would actually tell him why he was being more obscure than usual, though it worried Lewis when he was. There was a huge intellect in that head, and it could get itself caught in mazes with mythical beasts more easily than anyone else Lewis knew. What was that word his Lyn had used to refer to one of her more solitary coworkers? Brooding, that was it. Made him think of someone in one of those novels with lots of crinoline and cravats. Hathaway likely owned a cravat, though probably not a crinoline. He didn't need that mental image anyway.

"Reason spake more loud than passion. And the truth wore no disguise," Hathaway replied, which maybe made sense in context of the conversation, but then again it didn't.

"Right, it's home for you," he decided, and went to settle their tab. When he returned, Hathaway was staring into his empty glass as if it were a rare work by someone or other, and Lewis shook his head. Hathaway certainly couldn't drive in this state, and Lewis considered the hangover his sergeant'd have tomorrow. They'd both have a hangover tomorrow, actually, or at least it'd seem so, with Hathaway grumpy and Lewis having to endure it.

"Come on, then," he encouraged, and helped the lanky, leaning lad out of the pub.

"Let us go then, you and I, when the evening is spread out against the sky," Hathaway offered, pausing in the carpark and staring up at the stars, or at least Lewis presumed he was staring at the stars. Hard to see any with all the lights around, but that didn't seem to bother him.

"That's right, we're goin'," Lewis said patiently, because even when drunk, brooding, and quoting obscure poetry, Hathaway was still his bagman and he took care of his own.

"That's your poem, sir," Hathaway said helpfully. "Prufrock. That's from your poem."

"Not my poem, Sergeant, but thank you. Now, into the car you go, that's a good lad," he replied, and watched while Hathaway got all his limbs and head into the car successfully, then closed the door after him and went around.

"I'll not hear any complaints about sore heads tomorrow, mind you," he warned, getting in and starting the car. There wasn't a reply, poetry or prose, and he glanced over to see that Hathaway had nodded off for the moment. He wasn't sure why, but it made him smile. Maybe it was everything, full circle, starting with coffee to wake and ending with pints to sleep. There was a rhythm to police work, and he wouldn't change a bit of it.


A/N: Hathaway's excessive quotations are from "The Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot, "The Deserted Village" by Oliver Goldsmith and "The Norman Baron" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in order.