|AIR DATE 2011.08.11|
|Synopsis: Harry drops by Theodore's office to talk about the Lonely Heart's case.|
|MR. LONELY HEARTS|
Hair tucked up into a bun, work glasses on, Harry walks like she has a purpose into the morgue building. She doesn't always need one, as she sometimes comes to visit Theodore for lunch or the like, but today she has Business to take care of. Though her folders tucked up under her arms and she's left her lab coat back in the ACRU lab (as to not get stares on the street) she still looks like one of those professor or egghead types…maybe it's the pencil she forgot she left stuck in her bun. Through the doors, past the guard, down the stairs and right into the morgue proper, Harry pushes the door slightly open and pokes a head through. "Theodore?" She was told he'd be in here. "It's Harry…got a minute? It's about that Lonely Hearts case."
Theodore is always in the morgue. He hasn't got much of a life outside of work, see. At any rate, yes, he's in the morgue. As evidenced by the crashing pomp and circumstance of John Williams leading the London Symphony orchestra blaring out from a laptop. Near the laptop are a set of chemistry beakers percolating over a bunsen burner. From the smell of the contents, the Earl Gray is ready. (Why use a coffee pot or tea kettle? So mainstream.) Hmm… all evidence points to Teddy being at work, but he's not in view.
So, it's going to be one of those days, is it? Harry steps into the morgue and smirks at the music and what smells like tea being boiled in the bunsen beakers. Things never change. Either the man stepped out for something or he's hiding somewhere. The door swings shut behind her with a creak and a click. Moving over toward the laptop, the young woman carefully puts the folders down next to it and shakes her head, smiling, when she sees a TARDIS zooming through space. Dragging a finger across the trackpad, the iTunes pops up automatically. She searches the list until she finds the proper track. Double clicking, the Imperial March blares out instead of the opening theme. Then, she sits down and looks around for a mug. "I think this is more your style," she calls out. "Also, I'm taking tea and you can't stop me!" She pauses. "Unless you do, in which case I won't. But, you'll have to show up for that."
Well. Harry's no fun today. One of the drawers that usually houses bodies, dead ones, rolls out beyond its open door, revealing Theodore. "I must be losing my touch," he says as he pushes the drawer out enough so that he can swing himself off it. Feet hitting the floor, he straightens out his glasses, then pulls his labcoat back on. "Second drawer to the right there has spare mugs. I assure you that they are all clean, sterilized and have not been used to house bits of those unfortunate enough to visit. So, what have you got on the Lonely Hearts Case?"
Grinning, Harry stands up so as she's not sitting in Theodore's chair. "Either that, or I'm getting wise." Either way, she's used to him attempting to play practical jokes on her when she comes down to visit him. "I mean, honestly, I wasn't about to start searching body drawers to find you. At that point, you'd be of no help to me! I'd have to start a whole new case file, and then it's a bunch more paperwork…etc." Obviously, she's teasing. As she stands, she pulls out the drawer and picks out two mugs - one for each. However, her nose wrinkles and she looks very closely at them as he clarifies. "Why is it when you say that I start to doubt you?" She sighs, and puts them down by the bunsen burners. "It's the case of the guy set up the whole apartment for a hot date, but his date never showed and he wound up dead of multiple stab wounds. We thought a gravity manipulator was involved, since there was a blood pool that actually set into the ceiling. I'm hoping you may have come up with something?"
"Good thing I gave up ahead of time, it's bloody cold in there," Teddy says with a grin. He gestures for Harry to sit back down as he settles a hip against the desk. His face settles into a mask of innocence. "Can't imagine why you wouldn't take my word for it, I run a clean area, unlike the yobbos on other shifts." Reaching behind him, he procures the sugar bowl, cleverly identified by the chemical formula for sugar on the front. A small chuckle is given, "Gravity manipulator. I remember the days when you just smashed someone's face in with a bottle. Mmmm.. still a bit flummoxed by that one. The victim's spatter is negative." Yes, spatter is a technical term. "Still hunting for traces of DNA from the perpetrator."
"Drat." Yes, Harry actually says things like 'drat'. "There was a partial fingerprint on one of the plates, but nothing we could use as a match. I put together the whole dining room table and that had nothing but more of the victim's blood on it. Whoever he or she was, they were good enough to not leave any prints or blood behind." Hmph. That makes things considerably more difficult. With a sigh, she sinks back down into Theodore's chair. "As far as we knew! I mean, every case we could have ever worked on might have been done with someone with the ability to do more. I'm surprised more Defense Attorney's haven't attempted that defense yet." She puts on a clearly fake, older man sounding voice. "'It wasn't my client, your honor! It was a shapeshifter!' And maybe fires that we've ruled as mysterious yet not malicious have actually been people with the ability to set fires. It's endless possibilities!" Yes, she sounds excited about that. Perhaps that's why she's in ACRU.
"Of course, all traces from the crime scene are your field of expertise. The vic is still getting a front and center seat of honor. Been working on him personally." Theodore turns pour out mugs of tea, "I could wheel him out if you'd like another go. He's cleaned up, but still no prettier than when you brought him in. Any leads on the date? He or she may be the culprit, but that's again your area. You bring me the bodies, I cut into them. But I do find the investigation side fascinating." Not to mention it brings Harriet into his den, and gives him an innocent excuse to chat her up. He hands over a steaming mug of tea, pay no mind that there's a cheshire cat that appeared once hot liquid was placed into the mug.
Seeing the Chesire Cat appear on her mug makes Harry smile and she raises the cup until it's eye-level so she can study it. "That's adorable! And clever." She'll study how it disappears as the liquid cools, too. If she's not too caught up in something else that's attracted her attention. "Oh, I know, I know. But, it's always good to just talk it over with a fresh pair of ears. I've been staring at a broken dining room table for hours hoping it will just stand up and start talking back." Frowning, she puts a chin in her free hand. "Detective Parrish was following up on the date. Haven't heard back, yet, though. I'm sure it's either the date or the delivery person, but we don't know who yet. They're still pulling the vic's calls to see where he ordered from." At the offer to pull the victim out again, she thinks that over and then nods. "Sure, it might help." As she stands, she puts out an offer of her own, "You know, if you'd like to learn more about the investigative side, I could ask if you could tag along on a call sometime."
"Funny how that sort of thing happens to you. I start having conversations with the guests while working overnight," Teddy says as he heaps sugar into his own mug of tea. (Red Dwarf logo, thank you.) He takes a drink before setting it aside to let it cool further. "Although they make nice conversation partners, seeing as they don't talk shite. Hmm, smashing idea. Let me know if it could be arranged. It'll make a nice change to see the body before it gets to me in a bag." Pushing off from the desk, he reaches into a sterile container to whip out some gloves, tossing a pair to Harry. "Masks in the usual place, same with the Vick's Vapo. Having our guests on ice helps a bit, but still, there's a bit of a smell if you'd like to try and chase it away." He pulls his gloves on with a *snap* while proceeding over to the drawer.
Sipping gingerly at her still too hot tea, Harry sets down her mug by Teddy's before moving off to grab a mask. She's used to worse smells than already refrigerated corpses, but she may take him up on the offer afterward. Pulling on the gloves a bit more carefully than Teddy, she follows behind him. "Can you imagine how much easier it would be if we could just talk to dead bodies. It would put us out of a job! They could just tell you who killed them! Of course, that takes into account the fact that they would all tell the truth. And, who knows, maybe some of them wouldn't. Then, you would still have to follow the evidence to make sure the corpse was telling the truth. So, I guess things wouldn't really change much. Except we'd have zombies." It's just in Harry's nature to sort of spin off whatever is in her head to make conversation. "Something tells me you'd relish that notion."
Theodore chuckles as he shows no hesitation, or even a need to check a chart for the right drawer. The door is opened and the drawer rolled out without hesitation. He afixes the mask to his face and pulls back the sheet, showing as much respect as possible to the body. While he may be flippant, a jokester and a bit of an oddball, the dead are treated with decorum. "Wasn't there a show on the telly like that? Pushing Daisies? Ah yes, I quite enjoyed it. Shame it was cancelled. I suppose there's got to be someone out there with an ability like that. All things appear to be possible these days. Why just two drawers over, I've got a bloke who was strangled by his own coaxial cable. Chap was installing cable in Compton, God bless him. A disenfranchised youth decided he didn't want to pay up for the installation, and strangled the cable guy. Nothing unusual about that, right? The gents that chauffeured the vic in said initial interviews from the scene state the perpetrator didn't even lay so much as a finger on the cabling. Did it all from here," he says, tapping at his temple.
Already having put on her mask, Harry stands on the opposite side of the drawer than Theodore, so she can get a full view of the corpse. She knows how seriously he takes his work - though sometimes it seems as if he is goofing off. "I've heard of it, but never saw it," she replies. "That's the sort of ability that would definitely be useful in your line of work." As the man relates the tale of the cable guy strangled with his coaxial cable, she frowns. Though that's not possible to see through the mask, her eyebrows knit to show her distress at hearing it. "That's terrible." It wasn't a case that she had been working on. "Did the catch the guy who did it?"
"It took them a day, but yes. I suppose there's some kind of code about harboring criminals in Compton," Teddy says with a shrug before readjusting his glasses. He likes to stay in the loop on cases, as much as will be allowed. "Mmm. Yes, that ability would be useful," he says in a non-committal tone before he starts showing the various entry points of the blade on the body and giving a detailed analysis, involving depth, type of blade speculated, etc. Without once consulting the file. "Exit point is here, here, looks as if the blade was stuck here. See the tearing here? Could be the blade became stuck in something behind this bloke and had to be pulled loose with force. The edges of the wound suggest a serrated blade."
"I'd hope the code is to get them to the proper authorities." Of course, Harry is not quite naive enough to believe that. As they get down into the nitty gritty of her particular victim, she studies each point and wound with a detached sort of curiosity. She's heard and read all of this before, but it's a bit different to see it. As she does so, the woman moves up and down the table to get better looks at everything. She makes "Hm"ing noises to show that she's listening. As she keeps looking at the body, she thinks over how everything was set up at the apartment and what she already knows. Seeing one particular wound near his ankle - one of the deep ones - she frowns and leans in a bit deeper. "I didn't notice any defensive wounds when I was at the scene," she adds as she thinks. "Did a closer look show him putting up any kind of struggle?"
In Compton? Are you insane? Anyway. "That's what baffles me. I would think that the first stabbity stab or two would have caught him by surprise, but then he would have put up a little fight," Theodore says while still pointing out more of the wounds, "No sign of defending himself at all. I've been getting shirty with the lab, but they still haven't gotten toxicology back to me." Which is frustrating as hell. He knows what to look for and how to operate a microscope. He doesn't just know how to cut on bodies thank you very much.
Hmmm. "But, the champagne wasn't even opened…" she says softly as she listens to Theodore's complaint about toxicology. The woman moves back up the slab as she thinks. Then, abruptly, Harry stands and walks back over to her desk. She grabs a pencil and then stands on his chair. "Hey, Theodore. Come here." Why is she standing on his chair? Hopefully, this will explain. Holding out the pencil, she grins at him. He's much taller than she is, however, when she stands on the chair, she's just over eye level with him. "Here, pretend to stab me in shoulder."
"Doesn't necessarily mean it /had/ to be the champagne. He could have been drugged any other way. I saw no evidence of a syringe or injection." Teddy looks up from the body and watches Harry go back to the chair.. and stand on it. He replaces the sheet over the body before he follows after the woman. "Erhm, careful there, the chair has got wheels on," he says as he gestures as if to help steady Harry, but stops himself a split second in. "I.. what?" He stares at Harry a bit longer than necessary before taking the pencil in a stupid manner. "Ah. Why would I want to pretend to do such a thing?"
Wobbling just a little, but balancing, Harry grins at Theodore. "I know it doesn't have to be the champagne, but it's the most likely. We didn't find any other alcohol or drugs in the apartment. Of course, someone might have roofied his water, who knows!" As she compensates for her movement, she mis-balances a little and quickly reaches out to steady herself on Teddy's shoulders. "Because, you're a murderer who has figured out how to incapacitate me, but making the gravity around yourself just low enough to lift me off the floor and you've pinned me against the wall. So, you stab me in the shoulder. And then, I keep lifting off the floor," as she explains, she uses Teddy's shoulder as a brace to move to a clean spot on the desk to stand on, "so you keep stabbing me, with equal ferocity, until you've reached my ankles….well, I can't go any higher than this, but that would make sense, right? If you're starting to float off the ground, you'd be terrified. Maybe too terrified to fight back!"
Theodore helps to steady Harry in her transition from the chair to the desk. Still holding the pencil, he looks uncomfortable with this reenactment. Why does /he/ have to be the bad guy!? He makes a half-hearted stabbing motion at Harry as bidden, "Uhm. Perhaps, but even with shock, there is usually a sign of struggle. It's human nature. Uhm. Perhaps this is why I'm at my best here, working after the fact. I just can't get into the head of the bad guy."
As Harry stands on the desk, she thinks that through. "Hm. No, I think you're right. The body has that natural desire to preserve itself. So, there had to be more than just the fear of heights." With a frown, she thinks that over. She notices how half-hearted he is in the reenactment and smiles. "Sorry, next time I'll pretend to stab you. That way we're even." She sits down so that her legs dangle off the desk and then shifts herself off of it. "And it's a good thing if you don't think like a criminal. That means you're a good guy." Though, what that says about Harry who tries to come up with bad guys do all the time is up for debate.
"Of course I'm right. It's instinct, self preservation. Even if there was a fear of heights, there would be quite a bit of thrashing going about. Have you ever dealt with someone who has a phobia?" When Harry seats herself, Teddy follows suit in his chair. He gives a half-smile at the woman, "Or it just means I haven't got any spine, or gumption in the Southern vernacular." It did take him into his early thirties to break free of his father's pressure/reign.
Reaching for her tea mug, Harry holds the handle and thinks some more. "I have, yes. There would be thrashing, true. But, what if you weren't anchored to anything, how well could you fight back?" It's a question she's truly asking the opinion of Theodore for. "Gumption," she grins. "Now I wonder where in the world you could have picked up such redneck slang." She has been known to slip into her Texan accent when excited or very tired.
Theodore shrugs his shoulders, then starts to spasm in his seat as he says, "There should be flailing at least," then he ceases thrashing about. "It's definitely puzzling. Perhaps I should shout at Dickie a bit more or bribe him for the lab results. All I can come up with is a pharmacological reason. No signs of restraint. There would be ligature marks if there were.." He chuckles at the woman, "Ah Harry, haven't got the faintest clue." Which is a lie. He's a walking encyclopedia.
"I bet if you flirt with him, he'd give you the results," Harry teases. "I think he has a thing for tall fellas." Does he really? Who knows? Why would Harry? Of course, Harry is the type of woman who would talk to just about everyone. "That would make the most sense. But, how would they give it to him? That's what's bothering me." All they have are more questions! At his answer, she pretends to look put out, though she isn't doing a good job at it. "You know, you could have at least said I don't sound like a redneck."
"Oh God no, Harry! I'm no poofter! Besides, there's only one person I wou.. nevermind. It's not important," Teddy says as he trails off into mumbling and looks away, suddenly interested anew in his mug of tea. "Haven't got a.. what.. I.. no, you don't sound like a redneck! I know you're quite educated, have got a degree, I would never insinu.. oh you're teasing me. Aren't you?" For someone with the odd sense of humor, sometimes things escape him and he's a bit slow on the uptake.
Poor Theodore. Harry gives him an amused and sympathetic smile when he finally catches on that she's just teasing the poor man. "There's someone you've been flirting with?" Suddenly, the scientist's ears perk. "You know, I could stop teasing you for at least a day or two if you spill the beans."
"Ah, no. No flirting. I'll take the mickey instead, Potter." Theodore takes a large gulp of his tea before he gets up to push the vic's slab back into the freezer. Even giving the door an apologetic pat for leaving him out in the warm(er) air.
Right! The body, whups. Thankfully Theodore is on it and Harry stands up from the desk and takes another long drink of her tea. That's reminded her that she should get back to the lab to continue on this train of thought. She wrinkles her nose at the nickname of Potter, but has already fought that fight and lost it before "Fine, fine. I won't pry." One more big gulp of tea and she's finished with the mug. "I should get back to the lab. Thanks for the tea, Theodore. Let me know if you find anything in the toxicology report. It was good talking with you! Next time, though, if you're going for creepy, I don't think the Star Wars theme is the way to go."
Theodore chuckles, "It was what I was listening to, that bit wasn't planned. Come back around this weekend if you get the chance. I can perhaps get you addicted to a little show called Torchwood. New season is chock full of people being killed, but not able to die. It's a bit shite placed in California instead of Wales, but it got back on television. So I'll take the setting change." Harry's mug is plucked up and set in the sink for washing, "When I get the toxicology back, you'll be the first to know, as always."