Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
“Come on now, Winslow. Is it really necessary to be such an asshole to dicks like that?” Norton asked as he closed the door behind them. It gave a soft click with the same volume as the detectives’ shoes squeaking across the newly cleaned floors.
Winslow quickly found his way to his desk, slipping down into the beaten chair and turning it around to meet Norton. He smirked as he returned with, “Is there a particular reason that I shouldn’t give them a taste of their own medicine?”
Norton sunk into his own chair with a sigh.
“I just don’t think you should be spending so much time trying to piss them off.”
Norton bounced up from his chair as Captain Jones came to stop beside their joint desks. The man glared down at Winslow with a question of Why aren’t you dead? If it wasn’t a question of Winslow being dead or not, it was certainly a question of What the fuck are you doing here?
But if Winslow was going to be fair to his commanding officer, the man hasn’t wanted him there since day one.
It was hard for the detective to hide his amusement with the man’s discomfort as he asked, “Is there something we can help you with, Captain?”
“Yeah I heard that you had an issue with one of the perps by the Saenger clobbering ya.” The captain paused while rolling a partially chewed toothpick between his fingers. “I thought you secret Army folks were supposed to be something special when it came to hand to hand combat.”
Winslow stared right back at him with his fingers tapping out a gentle melody on the desk top. He looked briefly to his left where Norton was still standing at attention and then returned to Captain Jones to say, “Well, you could say I’m a little bit out of practice.”
The captain huffed, sticking the toothpick back between his teeth and giving Winslow a glare.
“Then maybe you should get some more practice by hunting down some of those witnesses in the Johnson murder.”
Norton remained at attention as the captain walked away and only sat down as Winslow said, “Oh sit the fuck down.”
The younger detective went back down into his seat and only relaxed when the door to the commander’s office clicked shut.
“Doesn’t that man just scare you a little bit, Winslow?”
“Why would a loon like that scare me?” He fished out a coffee mug from his desk drawer, grabbing Norton’s as well, and started walking across the room to the coffee pot. Over his shoulder, Winslow asked, “Do you want the usual?”
Norton hummed a little bit and Winslow dumped the sugar and the cream into his partner’s cup. He wasn’t one to say anything about people’s habits but he would be the first one to recommend a healthier diet for Norton. Not that he had a healthy diet himself. And that gave even more reason for why he wasn’t one to say anything.
Winslow noticed the smile on Norton’s face as he sat down the primarily cream filled cup. He waited a moment for Norton to pick up the mug. As the younger detective took a sip he said, “It’s just perfect.” And with a laugh he added, “I guess this is one of the bonuses of having a partner who spent time in France. They can make even bull pen coffee taste alright.”
“You say that like you think I just went to cafes all the time instead of doing my job. What do you think I did in France, Norton?”
The younger detective smiled more as he joked, “I thought your job in France was just going to cafes and flirting with beautiful people.”
There was a slight hesitation in Norton’s voice as he said ‘people’. Winslow knew that some members of their department might be aware of his past history. And he had seen Norton’s eyes go down to the papers covering their desks. Paranoia started to fill the detective’s head as he thought about the possibility of Norton seeing his awkwardness with Morgan.
It took a moment to push the paranoia away before he could say, “Now you do have me there, kid.”
He let the silence fall over their desks, looking through the different witness statements that had been gathered by the various patrol officers. Each person at the scene had said more or less the same thing - they were walking (or driving) back from the banquet at the country club after the end of the New Years celebration. While they were traveling back, each person heard a scream coming from the Johnson house but the times of the screams was varied. Based on what Winslow had arranged on the time line so far he was assuming that the screams came from different people. The first scream was likely Mr. Johnson with the second being Mrs. Johnson, and the third - well he didn’t know who the third screamer was.
Ten minutes later, he came to the portion of the stack that contained Mrs. Morton’s statement. The shakiness of the officer’s handwriting was understandable based on Winslow’s interactions with her. It made the slightest mention of her son - her companion for the prior evening - but his statement was nowhere to be found.
Breaking the careful silence, Winslow asked, “Norton, have you come across the witness statement from that uh Lieutenant Morton?”
Norton barely looked up from his papers, just giving a short, “Hmm?”
Winslow presented Mrs. Morton’s statement to Norton and continued, “I have his mother’s complaints about screaming but I don’t have anything from him.”
The younger detective looked back down to his desk, shuffling through the disorganized stacks. Winslow sat there thinking about all of the excuses Norton had given him about the paperwork chaos. He had been told that the young detective had a system, but from a discussion with Norton’s wife, Winslow found out that the system was just as chaotic at home.
“You’re thinking about my paperwork again, aren’t you?”
Winslow just hummed, still holding Mrs. Morton’s witness statement, and waiting for his partner to come up with something.
“There doesn’t seem to be any statement from the son. Should there be a statement from the son?” Norton asked as he finally made eye contact.
“Norton, was he a witness at the scene?”
“Yes. Well at least I think so.”
Winslow sighed as he stood up, looking down on the young detective and answering, “If he was a witness, then there should be a witness statement.”