- Rough Draft
- Work in Progress
- Character Bashing
- Discussion - Murder
- No Beta
- Violence - Canon-Level
- Crime Drama
Stiles smelled it before he stepped in it. The rancid odor normally only found in the basement of the fraternity house having the latest party, or the dive bar down the street. And then he stepped in approximately a centimeter of stale beer in what should have been an empty bedroom — a place no beer flooding should be.
Reaching for his cell phone as he surveyed the room, his first thought was to be thankful that his comic book collection was in the closet in sealed plastic containers because he really is that paranoid – although at the time he was thinking more insects, not liquids. The beer had spread throughout his bedroom floor, soaked at least a quarter of his mattress, and from the looks of things was spreading towards his closet area as well. The leak itself seemed to be coming from the ceiling where a great big beer bubble, for lack of a better term, was forming. How long before it burst and his mattress was soaked as well?
Stiles backed up a few steps so to be out of the danger zone and simply watched as the bubble grew in size, waiting for his landlord to pick up the phone. He quickly described the situation, pausing when the inevitable happened and the bathtub from the apartment above came through — along with the party keg they had been emptying out and a dead body. Okay, that last part wasn’t expected.
He duly reported this to the landlord before hanging up and dialing 9-1-1.
“And again I am telling you, I don’t know the guy,” Stiles responded in a weary tone to Detective Bell. “I know you are just doing your job, but seriously, how many times do you expect to ask me the same question and expect a different answer? It’s way too early in the process to be playing these sorts of question games, and you know that, Detective.”
A raised eyebrow, stiffening posture, and Detective Bell took a more suspicious stance. Stiles cursed his lack of brain to mouth filter. “My dad’s County Sheriff. I know how this all goes. And the moment the body dropped, I skedaddled and called 9-1-1. So once again, for those in nosebleeds, I don’t know the guy, never seen him before. I just came home, was calling the landlord about the rancid stale beer fest that was dripping into my bedroom from the apartment above, when the tub – surprise unwelcome guest and all – broke through. Beginning, middle, and end of my involvement.”
“He is being truthful,” a British voice interrupted from the doorway of the apartment. Said voice was followed by the appearance of a man who quickly introduced himself. “Sherlock Holmes, and my associate, Joan Watson.”
“Not a cop.”
“No, no we are not. Very astute.”
“Easy to spot. Just felt like going for a stroll right into a random crime scene?”
“We are consultants with the NYPD, we assist them on some of their investigations. Tell me about the beer when you came home. About how much was already leaking into your room when you noticed it and at what time? Are your upstairs neighbors frequent partiers?”
Detective Bell was about to apologize for the abruptness of Holmes, and Watson was about to explain the reason for his question, but Stiles immediately understood where he was going with it and just answered. “There was already about an inch above the carpet, beyond what was soaked in, and the drip was steady at that point – this was at 4:45 exactly. The bubble was approximately three and a half feet in diameter before it burst and the rest of the ceiling gave way – which was three to four minutes after I had arrived home.”
“Excellent! I do love an observant witness.” Sherlock rubbed his hands together in glee. “Body was in what condition upon falling into your domicile?”
Stiles thought back before answers, “Dry on top. Couldn’t see underneath, didn’t touch him to find out.”
“Fantastic!” and Sherlock walked off to once more look over the room and do more calculations.
“I apolo –” Joan started to apologize for Sherlock’s insensitivity, but Stiles cut her off.
“Oh, please don’t. He’s doing what he needs to and that obviously required more data. It was a smart question, and I see where he’s going with it. I’ll leave you all to it. I need to find somewhere else to stay for now.”
Turning to Bell, he asked, “Do you think I’ll be able to grab a couple of things so I have clothes and whatnot for a few days while my place is a crime scene?”
“If you don’t mind my saying, you are awfully calm for someone who has just found a dead body,” Joan commented, seeing Bell agree with her.
Stiles just offered a very bitter laugh in return. “Oh, lady, I grew up with so much death that this isn’t even a blip on the radar, unfortunately. I’m sure when the lovely doubting detective here runs my background you’ll see what I’m talking about. Beacon Hills was a real joy.”
“Okay,” Bell replied, drawing the word out. “One of the officers will grab some stuff for you if you tell them what you need. Just leave your information of where you are staying with them, in case we have more questions.”
“No problem, dude.” Stiles sketched a sloppy salute and wandered off out of their way.
“Thoughts?” Bell directed at Joan.
“He was very forthright about everything on his mind, wasn’t hiding anything. He really meant every word coming out of his mouth.”
“Yeah, yeah, that’s the impression I got, too. He still creeped me out.”
“You know what he’s studying?”
“I didn’t even know he was a student, no.”
“He’s looking to be a pathologist. He’s currently finishing up his residency at Mt. Sinai.”
Darren Phillips was not convinced in the least. Stiles could see it in every move the beta wolf made as he paced the length of the living room in his newly borrowed apartment.
“You should be surrounded by pack,” Darren stated for the fourth time, turning to face Stiles once again.
Stiles sighed, closed his laptop in resignation – he would try to get some of his research done later once Darren finally left – and gave the agitated man his full attention. “Darren, the Phillips pack, while a mighty fine pack, is not my pack. You understand the distinction, yet?” Without waiting for a response, Stiles rose to retrieve some sustenance. Dealing with stubborn idiocy – well-meaning as it was – made him hungry. “And do you honestly think Raiden would let me use his apartment without having it be as safe as possible? Would you like me to inform him that you and your pack thought that he wasn’t taking his protégé’s safety seriously?”
Darren paled at this and was about to speak, but Stiles cut him off once again.
“And while we’re at it, how about the fact that I have already explained that this dead body – all together now – has nothing to do with me. I can say it a little louder for those in the nosebleeds, just in case they didn’t catch it.” Stiles was sure there was no way that the fellow betas that Darren had to have brought with him, that were most likely spread around the building, could have missed his growing anger and frustration.
“I appreciate the worry the Phillips pack has in this instance, but I assure you that I am safe, I am not under attack or threat. Should that change, I will inform your Alpha.” Or whichever beta was sure to be left behind in lurker position. No doubt Darren would be passing word around to the packs from the other boroughs to have someone on the lookout for his safety as well.
Darren stood there another moment in silence, brooding for all he was worth before nodding – as if he was giving permission for Stiles to have this opinion – and then simply headed to the front door. “You have guests arriving,” he informed Stiles as he exited.
“For fucks sake,” Stiles mumbled, giving up on getting anything done that evening. There was something hinky going on in the Mt. Sinai morgue and he was trying to get some basic research done on the hospital itself before moving on to the staff, but he couldn’t seem to get a moment’s peace.
With a perfunctory knock on the open door, Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson waltzed into his borrowed abode. “Lovely place you have here, how did you come by it so quickly?” Sherlock asked while looking around.
“Belongs to a friend of the family, he’s letting me use it until my place is back in order – you know, what with that big hole in my ceiling and the beer-soaked bedroom.”
Turning to Joan he asked, “Would you like a drink, Ms. Watson? It seems your companion is a bit busy snooping through my friend’s home.”
“Oh, um, yes, thanks. Sorry about –”
“No need, I’m the same,” Stiles interrupted her apology again. He was astounded by her need to apologize for Sherlock at every turn.
“Right, very interesting. I’d love to meet him when he returns.”
“I’ll set it up. So I’m sure there was some purpose to your visit?”
“Yes, indeed. I had some additional questions about your upstairs neighbors, their habits, visitors, et cetera.”
“Sure, let’s sit.”
The moment Sherlock and Joan exited the apartment building Joan informed Sherlock, “You can’t keep him.”
“Don’t be ridiculous; what are you speaking about, Watson?”
“You are completely taken in by that young man –”
“He’s 30 years old.”
“You want to train him like you have trained me.”
“I don’t need to train him, Joan.”
“You – wait, what?”
“You didn’t notice? He’s already been trained, by the owner of that domicile, among others. He doesn’t need training.”