- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Murder
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Crime Drama
“He has quite a history, Mr. Stilinski. And don’t even try and have me pronounce his first name,” Bell stated, handing over the background to Sherlock. “After I spoke with his father, who is the County Sheriff of Beacon Hills, California, that his son was a magnet for trouble and cases happening around him.”
“Surely it can’t be that bad, Marcus,” Joan interrupted.
“Oh, no, it is,” he insisted. “The boy did manage to stick his nose in his father’s cases a lot — and manage to solve a couple cold cases while he was at it — but he also had a lot of death happen around him. That town is a hot spot for serial killers, animal attacks, and massacres.”
“So I see. It’s a miracle the boy is sane at all considering the trauma he seems to have gone through,” Sherlock observed as he thumbed through the information provided.
“Yeah, agreed. In any case, despite all that, I don’t think he has anything to do with our body yesterday. Besides the fact that he has absolutely no connection with the victim, he actually has an alibi for the time of death: he was working at Mt. Sinai hospital doing his residency.”
“Yes, I could have told you as much. He did give Watson and me much to think about regarding his neighbors, though. It seems that they had a jazz band with a regular gig at a local club. He’s heard a few arguments over the last month. One of the tenants told him that they were considering switching managers.”
“So now we just need to figure out which one thought drowning the old one with the cheap beer was a good idea.” Bell shook his head and brought out the folders containing the information on all the members of the jazz band. “Why don’t we each take one and get down to business.”
Just as he suspected, Stiles noticed a couple lurkers on his way to work, hanging around while he was at work — he didn’t bother fighting it. It was better to be cautious than be caught unawares. Besides, there was still the issues of whatever was up with the extra dead bodies showing up in the morgue to deal with — and this time, he wasn’t sure that something supernatural wasn’t going on.
Being the protégé of Raiden, the God of Thunder and guide for the tournament, had its privileges and its downsides. On the one hand, the man did help him regroup after the trauma of whatever the fuck that was with the nogitsune. Also, he finally received the training he so desperately needed. Stiles was 200% sure that he would never have been possessed in the first place had Alan fucking Deaton had the common courtesy to give him any basis in what it actually meant to be a spark. But no, the asswipe was too obsessed with his little pet project otherwise known as The True Alpha, Scott Fucking McCall.
However, with that training also came knowledge on diplomacy between packs and clans, more lore, and healing. Stiles was not associated with any one pack or clan or whathaveyou, but many looked to him to settle disputes or negotiate treaties.
In addition, his father — once known as Johnny Cage — took the time to give him some extra martial arts training while Raiden was off doing whatever it was he did, and also gave them some father-son time away from Beacon Hills. Stiles felt one of the best moves he made was leaving after junior year.
Ironically, Stiles had chosen to go into a career dealing with dead bodies rather than get away from them like he thought he would. But in the end, it was the best way he knew how to contribute to the community. In this way, he could catch which cases were supernatural — victim or perpetrator — and tip off the appropriate people. Stiles himself wasn’t going to go off and do the investigating anymore, nope, he had learned his lesson. Well, lessons to be more accurate. He was better off as the research guy, brains of the operation. The Oracle to their Batman.
Which is what was a little off about this current endeavor. In the course of his job, Stiles had noticed that there had been an increase in the number of homeless men showing up on their tables. Homeless men with brown hair, brown eyes, around six feet in height, although from varying neighborhoods. All that would do is just trip his regular serial killer switch.
When Stiles noticed a residue of magic lingering on them, and faded runes on their lower backs and limbs — well, in that case, he had to cry ritual.
But where were they coming from? Was someone sneaking them in from the staff? From the Force? An outsider magically slipping them in, not realizing that there was someone on the inside that would notice? This is where Stiles was stuck in his research. He would need to meet with Darren soon to discuss calling a meeting of all the head betas from the surrounding packs to find the druid, or coven, or whoever was the cause of this. Ugh, not something to look forward to.
This was all so horribly cliché.
The research routine had changed a lot since his high school days. Once Raiden had taken over his care and training, everything was different. He had a wealth of sources to extract from, actual base of knowledge and skills to use, as well. But Stiles also did not have the close circle of friends he once had. Sure there was Liu Kang, and sometimes Sonya, but he had made no close friends his own age; he had been burned too many times by Scott and dismissed by the others as nothing more than a sidekick no matter how many times he had saved them. Trusting anyone like that again was just a lot to ask, and he would rather concentrate on his studies anyway. Besides, being close to any one specific pack member or clan member would set off some kind of dispute about him having a bias, and that wouldn’t end well for anyone.
Just as Stiles was about to cut open his first body of the day, Sherlock waltzed into the room as if he belonged there. “You know you aren’t authorized for this area, yes?”
“No matter, I’m here on police business.”
“It does matter, actually, as you aren’t involved in this particular case and I’d like it if you didn’t ruin it for anyone — say, the victim’s family — should this be anything other than natural causes,” Stiles explained, covering the body again, stopping Sherlock from uncovering it once more. “This is not your home, nor your precinct, Mr. Holmes. Do not mistake my cooperation with you lately for permission to run rampant over my rights and those of my patients.” Stiles had to stop letting people trample over him when he had left Beacon Hills behind.
Moving the body back into its drawer and closing it he turned around. “Look, let me put this plainly, dude. I was happy to help with the crime scene back at my place; I was tangentially involved in that the body fell into my home, but I was not involved beyond that. I gave you whatever information you needed about the neighbors, which I hope helped you on the way to solving it.”
“Fantastic,” Stiles continued in a dry tone. “That does not mean, however, that you get to keep me like a little kitten you found on your stoop.” At the raised eyebrow, which Stiles took as what passed for surprised on Sherlock’s face, he continued, “If you want to have a private conversation, then you should have it in an actual private setting. Ms. Watson and yourself were overheard by a few of my neighbors, who were well aware that you had just been to see me.”
“Ah, my apologies if I offended you.” Sherlock cleared his throat, unsure of where to go from there. Stiles had obviously caught him unawares, and he was also obviously unused to not being in command of the room and conversation. “Watson thought that I was trying to recruit you into the same job that I had offered her, into working with me as a consulting detective. I did disabuse her of that notion quite quickly, as it was readily apparent that while you have the trained skills, you are quite comfortable in your chosen career path.”
Stiles merely bent his head slightly in acknowledgment and waited the other man out.
“Yes, well, that’s not actually why I came to see you. I had noticed while we walked through your apartment some of your boards.”
For a moment Stiles thought he meant the current case he was working on researching, but then he remembered that the only boards out in the open — or at least on the backs of cork boards — were cold cases that he was fooling around with when he needed a distraction from studying for the Boards.
“The cold cases, you mean? I work on them when I have some free time, talk about them with my dad. It’s a better conversation piece than the latest autopsy method to rejuvenate fingerprints or shriveled organs, you know? Even though he’s in law enforcement, there’s still a line that you don’t cross over burgers and fries or Skype calls.”
“Yes, I can see what you mean. In any case, I did want to speak to you about one of them as I have the same one set aside for when I am stuck and need a ‘breather’, so to speak. It would be interesting to compare notes sometime, especially with your perspective as a pathologist.”
Stiles laughed softly and shook his head. “Mr. Holmes, I’d be happy to sit with you and geek out over the cold cases I’ve been studying, and new ones if you have them, just not anytime soon. I have Boards coming up next month and that takes priority.”
Making all the motions of leading him back to the door, Stiles didn’t even stop when Sherlock tried to tempt him with some tidbit about the body he had put away when he had walked in. “I’m sure you noticed the Celtic rune on the outer left thigh of the —“
“As you’ve said, I’m comfortable in my career path and do know how to do my job. That does mean, Mr. Holmes, that I don’t need others to tell me how to do it. If and when I need help doing my job, I know who to ask.”
Taken aback, Sherlock put his hand up in apology. “I did not mean to overstep, merely to assist.”
“You mean to overstep, as you are probably used to being the smartest person in the room. The problem here, dude, is that I’m not an idiot. And you aren’t the only genius I know, and I’ve known them a hell of a lot longer than I’ve known you.” Stiles purposefully left off his own IQ, knowing that staying under the intelligence radar is always better than screaming to all and sundry how smart you are. No need to put a spotlight on himself more than he already has.
Gesturing towards the open door, Stiles waited for Sherlock to exit before closing it and returning to work. He had a mystery to solve and didn’t need some arrogant consultant getting in the way. It was a real pity, Stiles had initially thought it would be interesting getting to know the man, but it was looking like he would be just like the others.
When Stiles walked back into Raiden’s apartment at the end of the day he was surprised to find the man himself waiting for him with freshly brewed tea.
“Come, sit, tell me of your day.”
Sherlock was sitting in the dark when Joan walked into the kitchen of the brownstone, scaring her some. “Sherlock, what are you doing in the dark?”
“Oh, Watson, right. I didn’t notice, I was lost in thought.” As really did seem distracted, Joan was a bit worried.
“Anything I can help with, something about the case? I thought it was Jake Marcel from the second-floor apartment?”
“No, no, Bell has that about wrapped up. They went off to get him and I’m sure he’s confessing right now. I didn’t feel we needed to be there for it, it’s pretty straight forward.”
“What is the reason you are sitting here in the dark? Do I need to find you a meeting to go to, Sherlock?”
“No, Watson, a meeting is unnecessary. Besides, I attended one earlier. No, I was reviewing a conversation I had with Mr. Stilinski today. I seemed to have misstepped, but I am unsure as to how. I need to reevaluate how to approach him.”
Joan stopped in mid-process of preparing herself some tea and turned to face her partner. “You misstepped in approaching him about what, exactly?”
“I invited him to join me in reviewing some cold cases as I noticed his interest when we were in his home. Initially, he agreed, but something about our conversation angered him — not into a rage, mind you — he was most put off. He agreed to get together sometime a few months from now once he passes his Board exams. But he practically kicked me out of his workplace, and his entire demeanor suggests he was decidedly unimpressed with me by the end of the discussion.”
Joan finished preparing her tea and took it with her out to the living room, laughing all the way.
Raiden had listened to Stiles as he recounted the last day or so, and how he came to be living in the apartment. When he was done, Raiden put down his cup, moved his long white hair back over his shoulder and relaxed in his chair, focusing on his student. “You will request assistance from the Phillips pack to move the rest of your belongings into this apartment and continue living here.”
“Stiles, I promised your father I would keep you safe, and something in me is telling me that you need to be under this roof.”
Stiles fell silent at that, knowing an order when he hears one. There was no way not to obey his mentor, and in this case, he really didn’t want to move back to his apartment anyway. The wards surrounding this apartment had made it possible for him to sleep soundly for this first time in quite a while — something he didn’t even realize he needed or was missing.
“I will contact Darren shortly. Did you want to speak with him about my findings at the morgue as well?”
“Yes, this does trouble me. The markings you speak of reek of a power raising ritual, but to what end?”
“I will finish cataloging all the marks and have it ready for a meeting with everyone so we can put our heads together on it.”
“Excellent. And what of your new friend?”
“Yes, the one that has you so riled up, it’s written all over your aura, young man. What has he done to upset you?”
Stiles huffed and got up to pace. “There is a detective — well, he’s not a — he calls himself a consulting detective, works with this woman, Joan Watson. They help the police with a number of cases. He’s this genius that is able to take in all that he observes and actually formulate hypotheses out of it all within seconds. I guess he’s used to it impressing most people or something, but after knowing Lydia, and you, and Liu and all the other extremely smart people I’ve met over the years, he just isn’t that special.”
“But he intrigues you.” It wasn’t a question. No, Raiden knew already how his student felt, how much he yearned for a friend that had some of the same interests, the same obsessions as him. As separated as he was from most regular life, even Raiden had heard of Sherlock Holmes and his companion, Joan Watson.
“Maybe. Possibly. Depends.”
“On whether or not he can speak to me without mansplaining everything like I’m some idiot without a working brain of my own. He admitted to his partner that he could tell that I was trained, so why does he talk to me as if I’m not? He needs to get over himself and speak to me as an equal or not at all. I won’t be some minion that does him favors and sits in awe of him.”
“Hmm. Well, we shall see what will come of this. Now, go call Mr. Phillips, arrange for your things to be brought here and discuss the homeless men. I will see if any of the others are aware of a new coven or high priest or priestess running a group.”
Stiles nodded and was off to find his landlord’s number to inform him that he would be moving out. It sounded as if the landlord was relieved, as the word that needed to be done was fairly extensive and now he didn’t need to worry about displacing his tenant.
That done, he dialed Darren, dreading the conversation. “Hey there, buddy, how’s it hanging?”
“Stiles, why do my brothers tell me that they cannot hear your heartbeat even though they know you are inside the apartment?”
“That would be because Raiden has returned and we required some privacy. Stop being such a busybody.” Ignoring the sigh coming down the phone line, Stiles continued, “Anyway, you have time to pop over this evening? I have some stuff to talk to you about and also a favor to ask.”
“What’s the favor?”
“Raiden wants me to move in here permanently.”
“Yeah, he’s having one of his feelings.”
“I will have a truck and four guys go with you in the morning to start packing it all up. You tell them what needs to be done, let them do it, you know it will go faster. Don’t get in the way.”
“Sir, yes, sir!” Stiles saluted the phone, even though Darren couldn’t see it.
“I’ll be over in an hour.”
“You should maybe think about bringing your Alpha.”
“I — what? Stiles, what is going on?”
“There might be a teeny tiny issue.”
“You could always come alone and fill him in later?”
“Why do people always say my name like that?”
“We know you.”