Disclaimer: This story is for fun, not for profit. I own nothing that didn't come from my own mind.
"Isaac-Olivier Lawliet, Marishka Lawliet. Both shot dead in their home, no sign of forced entry, documents recovered from the premises confirm their ID."
"Understood. Anything taken?"
"Yes, it appears that the computer is the only thing missing, although there's something else Sarge."
"You found a lead?"
"Not as such. We have an unreliable witness. Young boy, roughly four years of age, no documents found regarding him but looking at the bodies I would say they were his parents. Hasn't spoken a word, and I'm not quite sure he's all there."
"Understandable. I want him brought to headquarters. If he heard or saw anything of importance, we need to know. I'll have our kid friendly shrink brought in."
"He's... going to need some clean clothes, and a shower. It's bad in there Sarge, real bad. A couple of the juniors from last year threw up. It definitely has the trademarks of being organised. From what the neighbours have told us, it was over in less than five minutes. They knew exactly why they were there, and what they were there for. There's blood and brains all up the walls, on the floor too of course, we've got forensics snapping away in there already. What's just downright creepy is that the kid looked around before we got there, and there are... footprints. Handprints too. That's something we don't get as well, they organised the raid, and just left the kid?"
"It seems that the boy is essential in bringing these killers to justice. Hopefully, knowing that he'll be helping us to catch his parent's killers will encourage him to tell us all he knows."
"Yes Sarge. Shall I send the boy on ahead with one of the juniors? It'll be a while until we get cleaned up here."
"Yes. What is the boy's name?"
"We don't know Sarge, there were no papers for him, and he won't speak. No pictures of him around either, in fact if it wasn't for the kid's clothes and a couple of toys in his room I wouldn't say a kid lived there."
"Never mind. Pack him a bag, get him in a blanket on the back seat and he'll be sleeping before the car leaves the town. He's at that age. Hopefully he won't remember this in a few years time."
"Hope so Sarge, this one's enough to give grown men the creeps. I think it's the kid's prints that are the worst."
"We need as much information from the scene as possible. Look for disks, especially. Or anything that hints towards what the killers were looking for. It may be hidden."
"Got it Sarge."
Gibson replaced the police radio when it became apparent that nothing more was to be said and stepped out of his car. Half of the officers there that day had children of their own. Smiling, happy children. Not like the child he would be returning to shortly. He'd rather die than see his own seven year old boy go through what this tiny something-year-old was going through. Of course, in that case, he would be dead, which would have caused the problem in the first place.
Focus Gibson focus, save it for when you get home, now is not the time. Bloody hell. Yes, it's Bloody Hell in there, and I'm going back in.
Gibson glanced at the flat's living room window out of the corner of his eye, absentmindedly bringing out a packet of cigarettes and a Zippo. He inhaled slowly, and breathed out the smoke in a steady stream of hazy white, as he watched the puffs get carried by the wind, listening as leaves rattled past him, focussed on their mission to block the nearest drain.
Somewhere in his mind he registered that it was stupid to be afraid of a crime scene, the killers were long gone and there was nothing to be afraid of. Except for that creepy kid. It wouldn't be so bad if only the kid would scream, or shout, or fight; just something other than crouching underneath the desk, or in his room in a corner (He was picked up, rigid as a stone statue, refusing to relax in the slightest, rejecting the contact until he was put down again, and even then he did not relax for a long time), gazing blankly at goodness knows what, goodness knows where. He'd never come across a kid like him. The few children around his age he'd met in scenes anything like this had been mostly hysterical, desperately latching on to the first safe person they saw. One had to be coaxed out of her hiding spot; she had squeezed into a boiler cupboard, in the tiny space between the boiler jacket and the back wall, but as soon as the girl had seen that they were the police, and that they meant no harm, she had crawled out, and flung herself onto the nearest woman and cried her heart out. That's what kids were supposed to do; they weren't supposed to do nothing at all! It just wasn't natural.
Realising that allowing himself to be unsettled by a kid no older than four was rather stupid, Gibson gave himself a disgusted snarl before grinding the butt of his cigarette beneath his heel and making his way to the front door.
He was forcefully reminded just how cramped it was with everyone in there; men in suit jackets, men in white suits, uniformed police, the coroner's people... all tiptoeing around, trying to avoid stepping in the unavoidable. Pushing down the disgust, he dodged as best he could with his years of practice, and made his way to the kid's room, noticing this time that there seemed to be an unusually large number of rolls of what looked to be lining paper. Planning to decorate perhaps... but then who on earth would need this many rolls?
One of his juniors had volunteered to make sure the kid didn't leave any more foot or hand prints. It was simply protocol in this situation, however rare it may be. In situations like these, they get the kid bundled into their room or whichever room is cleanest, shut the door, and the kid gets a cop buddy for however long it takes to sort them out a place to go, and of course transportation.
He entered the room after giving a few quiet taps to alert the junior and hopefully not scare the kid too much – not that the kid seemed to be there the last time he saw him – to see pretty much the same scene as the last time he had been in here.
The kid was crouched in a corner with his hands resting on his knees, seemingly staring at nothing and everything at the same time. Gibson was just thankful that those eyes had not turned on him at any point, because he honestly didn't think he could hold out long enough to stare the kid down, and Gibson was a highly trained officer of the law with two decades of experience.
Well that would be Sarge's problem whenever the kid got there, and good luck to him.
The junior was sat on the kid's bed, and it was obvious by the slump of the guy's shoulders that nothing he'd said or done had gotten through to the kid. Gibson motioned for the other to move over to make room for him to sit, and tried for the direct approach.
"Hey, do you mind telling me your name so that I don't have to keep calling you 'kid'?"
No response, not a twitch. He waited a couple of minutes to make sure. Nothing.
"Right, well I suppose your name can wait. Here is what is going to happen to you. You're way too young to live by yourself, so you can't live here anymore. We will find you a place to stay."
Gibson swore he saw the kid's hands tighten their grip on his knees ever so slightly. Good. There's hope then... he's partially aware at least.
"Officer Steele here is going to give you a ride in his police car, and he's going to take you to London."
One of his elbows twitched slightly at 'London'. Good.
"You are going to London to meet a very important man. It is his job to find out what happened here, and to put the bad people who did this in jail, so that they don't hurt other people."
Nothing. The kids eyes were too dark, and his hair too long. The only things that gave him away were those twitches; otherwise he could have been a rather creepy looking doll. He looked five minutes away from haunting the nearest abandoned manor. Perhaps his place would be on the roof, amongst the gargoyles. Gibson found himself thinking that a pair of black wings would suit the child. Black hair that resembled a lion's mane, black holes for eyes, skin so pale that was almost white, and of course the fact that the kid was covered in dried blood.
No, not creepy in the slightest. Of course not, how could a kid that looks four be creepy?
"Right. We need to clean you up a bit, get some fresh clothes on you, and pack some of your things. Only things from this room though."
The three of them sat in silence, until the junior mumbled something about finding a bag or a suitcase, and left the room.
The door had barely finished closing when the kid jumped up and crossed the room to a set of drawers. He stood there looking at the second drawer down. Gibson was rather slow on the uptake, and it took a few fruitless questions before he noticed where the kid was looking.
"If you need help to open the drawer, then you should just ask," he tried, but as he'd thought, it didn't work. The kid just stood there, staring at the drawer and waiting.
Gibson sighed and opened the drawer, to find an assortment of plain long sleeved t-shirts in various colours.
"Right, I'm guessing your clothes are all in here. I'll get some out for you, since your hands are messy."
Gibson quickly piled the clothes on the bed, noticing that there were no socks or shoes in the room.
"Do you have socks and shoes?"
The kid turned away and shuffled back to his corner, hands on knees as he crouched and stared blankly once again. It was as if he had never moved. As it was he figured he'd have a hard time convincing the junior that the kid had moved at all. Great.
The junior, Steele, came back with a battered brown suitcase. Gibson nodded to him and began to pack the kid's clothes.
"Steele, could you clean him up a bit?"
"Yeah, the hallway to the bathroom is clear but..." Steele was clearly uncomfortable saying exactly what was on his mind, and the glance towards the kid confirmed the unspoken ending.
"I'm sure you'll find a way Steele, and the quicker the better, you have a long drive to London ahead of you. You know it still won't be fast enough according to Sarge. He'll assume that whoever's driving will be tearing it down the motorway, blues n twos screaming as the masses make way," he responded, packing trousers now.
"I've heard nothing's ever fast enough for him. I'll go run a quick bath for the little one."
After Steele left, it took all of two minutes to pack every item of clothing. There didn't seem to be many toys as he looked around, usually every kid had something that they wanted to keep with them. He found himself trying to guess what this kid would bring, but nothing seemed right.
"Right, we've still got space in here so if there's anything you want to bring with you..." he trailed off as the kid hopped to his feet, and scrabbled under the bed, dragging a pile of... books? Picture books and dictionaries. Of course. Not only that, but the kid was dragging them out by barely pinching the corners of the stack with only the thumb and forefinger of each hand. If only his seven year old had the same respect for his books... but then this was this kid's parent's blood.
This tyke wasn't so bad really. He's had a big scare, and he's a bit odd, but he's a gentle soul. Gibson realised that yet again the kid had moved when it was only the two of them in the room, and sure enough, the kid went back to his corner, looking as if he'd never moved. Maybe the kid was secretly laughing at him, knowing that the others would never believe him if he told them he'd moved. He sighed as he packed the seven books, a dictionary and picture book for each of three languages, English, French, and Japanese, and 'A Study in Scarlet'. Go figure. Well, thumbed, obviously second hand, but if it's what he wants... perhaps it was his fathers.
This... is bad. This is very bad. They... those... Why?
He had heard a vehicle drive away at a speed that was too fast. Sounded like a van. Like those white ones. Something was wrong with the engine noise, maybe something is broken -
Everything is broken; their insides are on the outside!
Things won't ever be the same –
Why did they shoot them? –
What code? -
The van headed towards the main road leading to –
Why did that man pretend...? -
Why did they take the computer? -
What if they can be fixed?
He had padded around in his bare feet, stepping in the blood because his legs just weren't long enough to step over. He'd known Daddy was gone straight away, no noise from him, just a thud. It had shaken the floor and L would never forget it. He was right in guessing after all; his head was gone, they shot him in the head.
There was no coming back from that.
Maria – Mother – was in the kitchen, wheezing slowly, laid down on the floor. She wasn't awake. She would be gone soon too.
L had sat with her, had stroked her hair gently with the tips of his fingers, and had held her hand. He hadn't noticed the red round his feet, and when he shifted slightly a short time later - NO!
In the back of the police car L was still silently crouched, wrapped up in the thick blanket from his bed, showing no sign of his inner thoughts. The officer driving had given up trying to get him to either talk or go to sleep about fifty miles ago, not that L noticed. He noticed when they packed his clothes. He noticed packing his books. He noticed being washed by someone else for the first time in a long time, since he could do it himself, and the sea of red with bits floating was the last thing he remembered before finding himself outside.
He remembered everything up until he slipped on the floor, then there's a blank, then I'm under the desk again and the police are talking about me, and I decide they're doing well enough without me, then I calculate the percentage probability of masked robbers entering through the back door (64% more probable than them entering through the front door), stealing a computer (breaking and entering increased the probability of stealing by roughly 92%), gunning down two adults and leaving me an orphan, all on a Saturday morning, before I've had my cake. No idea how I came to be in my room, then packing, -
Clothes – books – sea of red – blank – outside – police car.
At least now he knew what times were missing, and that blood was a common factor. How annoying (frustrating, aggravating, irritating, distressing, disturbing).
The only visual evidence he had was of the one person who had kept him secret. It just wouldn't be right.
L brought himself back to reality and realised that this was the first time he could remember being in a car, and also this is the furthest he has ever been away from the home that wasn't home anymore. The urge to stare out of the window and soak up everything he could see was shadowed by the urge to retreat a little and work on some percentages for today.
Then he remembered that he was in this car, because the man trying to catch his parent's killers wanted to speak with him. The worst part being, he couldn't tell him what he knew.
Well... silence had worked out well for him until now. If he's lucky they might find someone to teach him sign language, it had fascinated him since he had heard of it. In fact, I think it's 78% certain I will be learning sign language if I keep this up.
Another thought made itself known. His slice of cake, in fact, the whole cake was probably still in the fridge back there. He wouldn't ever be going back, and his cake would never be eaten. Unless the police found it and decided not to let it go to waste, in which case he would rather not know seeing as he was relying on the police at the moment and didn't want to think too many negative thoughts about them. He wondered if there would be cake wherever they were going. In fact, they had better hope so. It had been a rough day.
Officer Steele kept his eyes on the road, avoiding looking into the rear view mirror, knowing he'd see those creepy blank eyes staring vacantly somewhere. Quite frankly he was amazed that the kid wasn't passed out on the back seat. The ride was silent the entire time, the older one afraid that the younger might actually say or do something. That would almost be worse than the silence. As for the other, it took him a split second to subconsciously note the driver's discomfort and to dismiss it as unimportant. Consciously, he was unaware.
Time crawled by for Officer Steele, as it inevitably does for those in uncomfortable situations, whereas the boy felt that the journey had barely begun before they were pulling into a car park filled with police vehicles.
Officer Steele grabbed a file from the passenger seat, got out of the car and haltingly approached the back door before fumbling with the door handle.
"I bet you won't be up to walking yet kid, guess I'll be carrying you," he mumbled almost to himself as he opened the door. He lifted L and fumbled slightly. "Sheesh kid, you weigh even less than I thought." He found it easier to talk to the kid now that the end was in sight. Also, it would have been strange to carry him without a word. He also had an excuse to not look down at him. Unfortunately for Steele, it seemed that once he'd started talking, for some reason he found it difficult to stop.
"Should manage you and your suitcase no problem, we'll get you up to see the Sarge you've heard about, and he'll sort you out from there. Well, even if you did feel up to walking, we never found any shoes or socks for you so I suppose I would be carrying you anyway. Don't worry too much about Sarge, he's a good man and he's good at what he does. Might seem a bit grumpy at first but then he solves mysteries like today's all the time."
He nodded a greeting to the receptionist, who tiredly informed him that Sarge was waiting, which looked to translate roughly to, 'For goodness sake get up there already, he's been phoning me every five minutes.'
Making his way through corridors that he'd only walked down a few times, and checking the signs to make sure we was going the right way, he carried on the one-sided conversation, suspecting that the kid didn't understand a word he said and that he was probably retarded even before today's events.
"Look kid if you're in there, I know you don't really want to talk to us, but we really want to find out who did this, so..." Steele trailed off and glanced down, almost dropping the kid when he saw those eyes looking at him as if to say 'so what?'
Not retarded then. If anything that one glimpse told him the kid was far from it.
He definitely wasn't what a person would class as 'normal'.
It was the eyes that did it. Imagine any colour of eyes except black, and he'd be a really cute kid. A smile or two wouldn't be amiss either, but admittedly he would be a lot more concerned if he'd seen one today. It was just a feeling he had that the kid didn't smile much.
They say that the eyes are the window to the soul, and the man named Steele would never admit to anyone or anything, that he was severely spooked when he had looked into the eyes of a kid that couldn't be more than four years old, and had seen nothing.
The only thing he had seen was a tiny reflection of himself in each eye.
What almost terrified him was the 'so what?' glance. It was simply loaded. With one glance he'd felt as if the boy had x-rayed him and found him lacking, inferior even, and the terrifying thing about this was that on some level, he believed it.
The only other people he'd met in his life who had made him feel remotely the same way were his parents and the man whose door he was about to knock on, yet he, Officer Steele, felt intimidated by a small child who refused to uncurl himself out of his ball – even in the bath! What's more, the kid hadn't even said a word.
A man can't help his instincts you know!
He'd heard criminals say that phrase, or variations of it many times in his short career, sometimes said with a manic lecherous grin, sometimes desperately. Logically it is a plausible excuse; we're all told at some point to trust our instincts, and to have faith in ourselves. Morally he could never understand how instincts could override all logic and reason, driving people to do despicable things to each other.
Logic and reason both drowned out the instincts telling him to drop the kid and run far, far away, and he thought that perhaps he was gaining some insight.