The Mushroom Murder
When Rose stepped out of the cab the first thing she noticed was the body, lying in a crumpled heap to the left of the porch. Bits of broken glass lay scattered around. She looked up, three stories, a large broken window yawned in the late afternoon light.
"Mr. Holms," a man in an expensive suit said, extending his hand. Sherlock took the offered hand and they shook. "I'm-"
"Thomas Slater. Son of the deceased. Yes, I know."
That was rude. Thomas scowled. He appeared to be in his late twenties to early thirties. He rubbed the back of his neck, grazing his neatly trimmed dark hair.
"Sherlock," another man greeted.
"Lestrade," Sherlock acknowledged before stepping toward the body.
Rose took in his suit, overcoat, and graying hair as she trailed behind John. So, this was the inspector? He watched them.
Thomas stood off to the side, purposely averting his eyes from his father's body. She felt sorry for him and wondered why he didn't go inside.
"The police think that he jumped," Thomas said.
"Jumped?" she asked, gazing up at the window. "Through the closed window?"
"He was alone in the room," Lestrade pointed out.
"Where were you?" John asked, looking at Thomas.
"He was having dinner with his girlfriend," Sherlock said without looking up. "Pasta with butter sauce."
"How did you know?" Thomas asked.
"There's a bit of sauce on your tie," Sherlock commented.
Rose watched Thomas pull out his tie and look at it. She could see the sauce now, no more than a couple drops, but there it was.
"How did you know about his girlfriend?" she asked.
"Lipstick smudge on his collar."
She glanced at his collar. A smudge of red lipstick was visible at the top.
"Show me the room," Sherlock continued as he stood up.
Lestrade led them inside. They passed a few police officers on their way to the marble staircase. It was very posh. Even nicer than the mansion her parents lived in.
Sherlock slid his hand along the rail as they made their way up the stairs. He appeared to be deep in concentration, but she knew he was taking in every detail. He was brilliant and he knew it.
They stepped into an office like study. There was a mahogany desk on one side. Antique. A laptop sat on the desk with an open bottle of wine next to it. Sherlock began examining everything.
"I'll be back in a minute," Lestrade said.
Sherlock waved him off dismissively. Again with the rudeness, but Lestrade didn't seem to notice or maybe he was used to it. He walked out the door and down the hall. A moment later a woman with frizzy dark hair popped her head in the room.
"Oh, look, it's the freak," she announced.
"Sergeant Donovan…always a pleasure," John greeted, sarcastically.
"Still with him then?"
She eyed Rose.
"And who's this?" she asked.
"This is…" John began, trailing off as if he wasn't sure what to say.
"John's sister," Sherlock called from under the desk.
"Maybe you can talk some sense into your brother," she said, stepping toward Rose. "That one there," she pointed at Sherlock who was now examining the chair, "is bad news."
"Why's that?" Rose asked.
"Well, look at him. He shows up at all kinds of crime scenes."
"The Inspector doesn't seem to mind."
"That's not the point. The point is he does it because he likes it."
"He must be good at it otherwise he wouldn't be here."
"Not necessarily. Sometimes he just shows up because he's board."
"So, normal people don't go to crime scenes because they're board."
"He doesn't strike me as normal."
"That's my point."
Rose rolled her eyes.
"So anyone who isn't your definition of normal must have something wrong with them, yeah?"
"No, I'm not saying that."
"So…what? It's just people who want to help?"
"No, and he's not doing it because he wants to help, he's doing it because he likes it."
"Oh, so it's anyone who does what they like?"
"No, I'm not saying that. What I mean is-"
"What you mean is him. It's not other people. It's just him."
"There's something wrong with him, that's what I'm saying."
"There's something wrong with someone in this room and it isn't him."
Donovan opened her mouth, Rose guessed to shoot back a reply when Lestrade entered the room. She turned on her heels and stalked out the door.
"That was brilliant," John said.
"What was?" Lestrade asked, glancing from Rose to John as if he'd missed something.
"Oh, nothing," he dismissed.
"John," Sherlock called.
"So?" Sherlock asked, opening his arms wide and turning to indicate the room.
"Oh…um…" John walked to the window and gazed down. "He jumped."
"Yes, but was it suicide?"
"Isn't that generally why people jump out a third story window?"
"You're not seeing everything."
John looked around the room. "Well, he was alone. There wasn't a fire. No reason for him to have to jump out the window, but that's what he did."
"What?" John asked, but Sherlock ignored him.
Instead, he gazed at Rose.
"Ms. Tyler, what do you think?"
She hadn't expected that. The fictional character didn't ask what other people thought. Well, sometimes Watson, but not anyone else. At least, not that she remembered.
"Ms. Tyler?" he asked.
She gazed around the room. Come on, you can do this. How many times did you help the Doctor or figure things out on your own at Torchwood?
"You see something. What is it?" Sherlock asked.
One sentence rang through her mind, one she hadn't thought of in a very long time.
"A footprint doesn't look like a boot," she said.
Sherlock caught her gaze. His eyes widened and then he smiled.
"What?" John asked.
"Precisely," Sherlock agreed.
"A footprint doesn't…What the hell does that mean?" Lestrade asked.
"Oh, shut up Lestrade," Sherlock said, crossing the room. "She's on to something." He stopped in front of Rose, catching her eye. "Suicide?"
"No," she insisted. She smiled. There might not be a werewolf or Daleks, but she hadn't had this much fun in...She realized he was waiting for her to continue. "It looks like suicide, but it was murder."
His lips spread into a wide grin as he grabbed her shoulders.
Her gaze fell on the wineglass and then traveled to the open bottle on the desk.
"The wine?" Lestrade asked.
Sherlock released her and they both turned to the Inspector.
"Don't you see?" Sherlock asked.
"No, not really," Lestrade answered.
"How do you do it?"
"Live with that tiny mind of yours."
"Rude," Rose shot.
Sherlock turned to her.
"He was drinking wine before he jumped," Rose cut in, choosing not to listen to Sherlock's reason for being rude because she knew why. He was like Doctor. Neither of them took the time to think before they spoke because their minds worked too fast and they couldn't slow things down.
"So?" Lestrade asked.
"But he didn't set the wineglass down. He dropped it," she continued.
"What does wine have to do with-" Lestrade began.
"It has everything to do with it," Sherlock insisted. "There's a stain on the carpet."
"Which means he was interrupted when he was drinking it…surprised, or-"
"Poisoned," Sherlock finished walking over to the desk to pick up the bottle of wine.
"Poisoned?" John and Lestrade asked at the same time.
He sniffed the contents then lifted the bottle to his lips.
"What are you-" Lestrade began.
"No!" John and Rose shouted, but he'd already taken a sip.
"Psilocybin," Sherlock said.
"What?" Lestrade asked.
"Mushrooms?" John asked.
"Hallucinogenic. Not too bad in normal doses, but there's…" he stumbled. John was at his side in the next minute. "Quite a bit in the wine."
"And that made him jump out the window?" Lestrade asked.
"Maybe he thought he had to or he didn't think it was a window," Rose suggested.
"Someone made him jump out the window," Sherlock said.
"But there wasn't anyone in the room," Lestrade protested.
"Whoever it was called him. Probably suggested he have some wine while they talked."
"How could you know that?"
"His mobile is outside, under his body."
"He could've been talking to anyone."
"Trace the last call. You'll find your killer."
Sherlock swayed again.
"Alright. That's enough investigating. I need to get you to a hospital," John insisted.
"I'll be fine, John. Just take me home."
John took a couple steps, but as soon as Sherlock let go of the desk they almost went down together.
"Here, let me help," Rose said wrapping Sherlock's other arm around her neck and putting her arm around his waist just below John's.
"I'll drive you," Lestrade offered.
He led them down the stairs and then opened the door of his patrol car. After helping to load Sherlock in Rose slid in next to John. She hoped they could get him home before the hallucinations kicked in.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers! :)
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