a due South story

by dirty diana


The file is at least an inch thick. Notes in neat blue ink, taken by the first officer on the scene. More notes in messy red ink, those are mine. Witness statements. The autopsy report. Crime scene photographs. The autopsy photographs. (I don't want to look at those. I take them out and place them, upside down, on my desk.) The file is at least an inch thick, and I've got paper cuts on my fingers from turning the pages.

"Perhaps it's time to go home, Ray."

Fraser just got here. We're the only two in the squad room at this time of night, and his voice echoes and bounces off the walls.

I don't look up. "Have you read this file, Fraser?"

"Yes," he says quietly, "I skimmed through it earlier."

"She was eighteen."

"I know."

And there's a silence, a long silence, and that seems to echo too. Finally Fraser tries again.

"I was merely thinking, Ray, that whatever clues are in there may better show themselves after a good night's sleep."

"Yeah, maybe." I start to tug open my lower desk drawer, ready to cram the file back inside, and then I stop. "I just got that feeling, you know?"

"A presentiment?"

"Yeah, exactly. I got a presentiment there's something I'm missing, it's like right in front of me. I figure, maybe if I looked again..."

"I see," Fraser answers slowly. Not the way he says it when he's trying to figure something out, but the way he says it when he really does see. "So, black, four sugars?"

"Coffee would be great, Fraser."