After a week of complaints, he was found dead in his bedroom.
Dreams of falling had plagued him all that time, his roommate told them. It had woken him up. He was afraid of hitting the ground. The roommate had told him to talk to someone about it – maybe it was caused by stress. He had an appointment set up for tomorrow.
She wished she had a cigarette to bite down on. Not because she smoked, but because she felt the need to fit a role she wasn’t filling right now. “What caused this, doctor?”
The coroner looked up at her, then at the ceiling. She could jump up and reach it, it wasn’t a big room. “Falling.”
The mangled body said he had fallen from a vast height, hitting the floor of his room fast. All evidence pointed to that.
Except for the fact there was a ceiling here.
“What do you think it is?” she asked.
He stared at the flask, sitting oh so innocently on the shelf, and tapped a finger against his chin. “No idea. Half-full, but is it because that is the amount or has someone already taken half of it?”
“That would be dangerous.”
“Potion drinkers usually are.”
He always said that, but she had come to ignore his feelings against alchemy. With as many crimes that came about because of potion misuse, it had become too hard to defend them. She kept that to herself. Instead, she pulled out her identification kit. They were running out of supplies, it was really too bad neither of them could recognize what the potion could be.
While she began that process, her partner continued to examine their surroundings for anything else. No other supplies, no other potions. Just this one here, in the dorm room of a missing person.
“I’m going to bet on it either being something for schoolwork or relationships. What about you?”
He snorted. “I told you, I’m not betting on this.”
“Well, it gives me a direction to angle for while I attempt to figure this out. Help me out here.”
“Her grades don’t suggest she’s gotten much help from it, if that were the case.”
The category of potion making she hated the most. “Relationships it is.”
“-and I’ve nothing to say,” their witness finished. “The police said so.”
Jay and Robin looked at each other. “Perhaps this is as far as we’re getting today,” Robin suggested. “We could go back to the office, have dinner, clean up a bit, get an easier case…”
“You’re giving up too soon!” his boss retorted. He turned his eye on the witness. “I appreciate you having taken the time to speak with us after the police took up so much of your time. It really does get in the way of business.” Pulling out his wallet, he absently began to rearrange some bills. “How many customers were you unable to make sales to when they spent so much time in their interrogation? I’d hate to take up even half that time while doing the same.”
Robin bit his lower lip. The man’s eyes widened. Jay placed some bills on the table.
“While you’re wrapping those up, perhaps we could make some conversation?”
“Of course! What do you need?”
“Is any of that for me?” Robin asked quietly. “Is that why I’m not getting a raise?”
Jay hushed him and Robin had the distinct impression none of that was for him. He attempted to sulk through the entire interview, but he wasn’t good at sulking, so instead he worked too. They left, heads stuffed with information and pockets stuffed with tiny pastries.