|The Manhattan Mysteries
Author: Princess-Amon-Rae PM
Follow Private Investigator John Bates and his companions as they solve cases from murder, poison, kidnapping and more to keep the streets of 1940's Manhattan safe.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Adventure/Mystery - Chapters: 3 - Words: 12,949 - Reviews: 3 - Follows: 2 - Updated: 01-19-13 - Published: 10-22-12 - id: 3067865
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
April 7, 1947
The child cries softly for it's mother before it is soothed by a stranger's hand. As the stranger stroked the child's cheek a streak of blood smudged onto it. This was necessary.
"Do I get a say in this?!" Lucky shrieked loudly at the social worker. John winced slightly at the pitch that Lucky had reached. A few days ago John had met Lucky and on the first day he met her she saved his life. In return he had picked up some adoption papers. When John had hesitantly offered the idea to Lucky she'd been thrilled. Not long after putting the papers into effect they had hit a snag.
"Alexandra, you must understand that legally if you have a living relative we have to send you to them unless we have their consent." John and Lucky glared at the social worker at the same time. Lucky had stopped responding to Alexandra all together and Alex most times. Everyone had taken to calling her Lucky anyways, it suited her well.
"I won't go! I'll just run away again!" Lucky replied and John took a step towards her. She wasn't taking the snag in the adoption thing well, but John figured if she wanted to reveal why she could share that information of her own free will.
"Lucky." He started and she turned her glare on him.
"I will." She repeated pointedly. He sent her a look, trying to get her to understand that he liked this about as much as she did but she at least needed to try to be civil. Over the days they had both realized that they could practically communicate with glances and looks alone. Donovan had made a cheeky comment that they were made for each other. Lucky and John had blushed for hours.
"And we would know exactly where to find you." The social worker pointed out and Lucky spun towards her, a ferocious glare in her eyes. John took another step forwards, snagging Lucky's shoulder.
"Lucky." He warned and he was shocked to see her eyes swimming with unshed tears before she shook his hand off and darting into her room. He'd moved his office into one of the smaller rooms that had previously been used for storage. The door slammed shut loudly and he waited a few moments before turning to the social worker. He'd already forgotten her name because he was so focused on Lucky.
"Don't antagonize her. And her name is Lucky." Bates advised softly and the woman made a face. He ignored it.
"Who's this living relative of Lucky's?" He requested and she shrugged before digging around in her files.
"Her Great Aunt Alexandra." She answered. He cast a careful glance towards Lucky's door before asking the next thing.
"Could you arrange a meeting for us?" She nodded instantly, no doubt ready to prove to Lucky how the world really worked. The phone rang and John snatched it up in relief. The social worker mouthed that she'd show herself out and get back to him.
"Bates?" Donovan queried from the other end after a few moments of silence. When the door shut John spoke.
"If you value my sanity you will tell me that you need help on a case." John answered. Donovan laughed slightly.
"Do I want to know?" He asked and John sighed.
"I'll tell you later. Do we have a case?"John requested. Donovan sighed this time, he sounded a little overworked.
"A stabbing. I'm hoping you can help us because the victim can't remember a thing and our only witness is a four month old baby." Donovan explained and John winced slightly. Poor kid. At least the victim had survived.
"Where do you want to meet?" John requested while sending another glance towards Lucky's door. He was waiting for her to poke her head out and listen in.
"We're at Lenox Hill Hospital. I'll meet you at the front door. You bringing Lucky?" Donovan asked and John laughed.
"Do you honestly think I could walk out of here without her?" He asked rhetorically. Donovan laughed as well.
"Good point. She's got you wrapped around her finger." Donovan pointed out. A smile flickered across John's face at that.
"She does indeed." He wasn't complaining about it though, she was worth it. Donovan bid John goodbye and hung up the phone. John rested it on the handle and walked towards Lucky's room. She hadn't come out during that whole phone call and it wasn't like her. She'd taken to his detective life like a duck to water and she always bounced up and down slightly in excitation when they got a case. He knocked on her door before pushing it open slowly.
"That was Donovan." He started and she nodded slowly sliding off the bed. Concern flowed through him, usually if she was upset, she faked normalcy so that he wouldn't worry. She wasn't making that effort.
"You don't have to come." John offered. Lucky glanced up at him and gave him a glare.
"Nice try." She replied and John was happy to see the fire come back into her eyes and her step as she walked to the door. Lucky still wasn't impressed when he had suggested that she not come on cases because it was dangerous. She had replied with pointing out the fact that if she hadn't been in the warehouse John would be dead. John had agreed that she had won the argument and she continued to accompany him.
"Are you going to tell me what's happening or do I have to guess?" Lucky asked as they walked to the car. John sent her a smile which she returned.
"There was a stabbing." John announced and Lucky flinched slightly while John started the car and drove off.
"I figured you'd draw the line at a murder." Lucky mused pushing a lock of her hair out of her eyes. John had to bite back a laugh. She had seen right through him as usual, he had been planning not to let her help him with a murder. His plan was foiled now.
"The victim's still alive. We're going to the hospital." With that news Lucky brightened into her old self and John relaxed. He wouldn't have been able to focus on the case very well if something was off with her. Donovan had asked John why he didn't just ask Lucky what had happened to her family and he explained that he was waiting for Lucky to trust him enough to tell him herself. He figured it was a good idea but sometimes his curiosity almost won out. This was one of those moments.
"Hello Phillip." Lucky called as she and John walked towards Donovan who was leaning against one of the walls by the front door chewing thoughtfully on the end of a pen while rereading his notes. John raised an eyebrow up at him, shifting his gaze between him and the pen. Donovan returned the look.
"Says the man who drinks coffee like he breathes air." Donovan replied and Lucky laughed. John held his hands up in defeat.
"True. What do we need to know?" John asked. Donovan pulled the door open for them and they headed for the stairs.
"Sophie Langdon was attacked in her home early this morning when her husband Robert was away at work. The only reason she was found was because one of the neighbours head the baby crying. She was found in the nursery." Donovan informed them. John noticed the way Lucky paled and frowned. Now he was getting really worried about her.
"No body saw anything?" John asked as they stopped outside her room.
"Not that their admitting to." Donovan answered. Lucky bit her lip and began to rub her right shoulder with her left hand.
"Do you think she might remember something and is just too afraid to say anything?" Lucky asked. John noticed her actions and guilt slammed into his stomach. Her arm was still aching from when she had hauled him up from the catwalk. When she realized doing it bothered him she quite doing it consciously, but sometimes when she was thinking she did it by accident. His guilt must've shown on his face because her hand dropped back to her side and she glared at him.
"Worth it." She replied pointedly and Donovan jumped before he rolled his eyes halfheartedly.
"Were you two doing that whole communicate without speaking thing?" He faked annoyance, but John knew that he didn't really mind. They did some of their best thinking that way. They sent each other a conspiratorial grin. Donovan shook his head before cracking a smile.
"Back to Lucky's question, I'm not sure. She seems sincere but I'd rather be sure before I start an all out manhunt." Donovan stated and John nodded. As much as they trusted each others judgements they were both people who liked to double check things.
"Shall we?" John requested, waving a hand at the door. Lucky nodded and opened the door. The woman on the bed stirred when the three entered.
"Mrs. Langdon is it alright if we speak to you for a moment?" Donovan asked quietly as he approached one side of the bed while John stood on the other side. Lucky lingered by the door before moving to the foot of the bed.
"Please call me Sophie. And of course you can." Sophie Langdon smiled tiredly with warmth in her eyes. John gave her a smile.
"Where's your husband?" It seemed as though if he had a wife in the hospital he wouldn't have left her side for anything. John had a feeling that the husband wasn't guilty but he'd learned to ask anyways.
"He went to pick up Sarah from our neighbour, Mrs. Scott. I just needed to see that she was okay with my own eyes. Call it a mother thing." She answered and John nodded.
"Do you remember anything about the attack?" No doubt she was sick of being asked that but once more couldn't hurt her. She shook her head carefully.
"I remember going to get Sarah up but I don't remember anything after that. I must've hit my head on something." As she said this, she brushed the back of her head, which was covered with a bandage. Donovan nodded. John noticed that she spoke English with a slight accent that added an elegant flair to her words.
"Are you French?" John requested and she blushed before nodding.
"Robert and I met in Paris." She answered. As if on cue the two other Langdons appeared at the door. Sophie sat up a little more with a wide smile on her face while holding her arms out.
"Oh Sarah!" She cried and Robert placed the baby into her arms while kissing his wife. John, Donovan and Lucky all crept back towards the door. Robert glanced up at them and nodded in thanks. When Donovan shut the door John turned to Lucky. She hadn't said a word through that whole thing and it wasn't like her. He grasped her shoulder gently and stepped closer to her.
"Lucky?" His soft voice makes her look up and a single tear rolls down her face which she quickly wiped away. Now John was really worried. His head snapped up and he connected eyes with Donovan, who jerked his head to the room next to him which was empty. John lead Lucky in there and Donovan planted himself in front of the door. He lifted Lucky onto the bed so that they were the same height. Her hands were folded on her lap and he placed his on top of them and gave them a squeeze. He could wait until she explained.
"Do you even want me to stay?" She asked as she finally let the tears out. His heart broke and he moved his hands to her shoulders, taking special care of her right one.
"Yes. I want you to stay more than anything. I want you to know that I'm not giving you up without a fight." He answered and she gave him a small smile. He smiled back at her while hoping up onto the bed next to her to hug her like he had when she saved him.
"I miss my parents." Lucky sobbed again after a few moments of silence. John nodded sympathetically, his own mother Grace had died five years ago and he still missed her a lot.
"I was visiting my Aunt Alexandra when they caught tuberculosis and died very suddenly. I was only twelve. When we found out Aunt Alexandra told me it was my fault, that because I was such a horrible child I killed them." Lucky explained and John's heart clenched in a mixture of hatred and sorrow. He was sad because he had always assumed that Lucky had never known her parents and run away from a distant relative. The anger was directed at Lucky's aunt, he couldn't believe that she had said that to a twelve year old.
"I suppose that's why I saved you instead of running like you told me to. I didn't want to kill anybody else." Lucky admitted and John launched off the bed, coming to stand in front of Lucky and pulled her against him in a proper hug.
"None of that was your fault. None of it." John smoothed her hair down as she sobbed into his shoulder. He was trying to calm both of them down if he were being honest with himself, Lucky so that she would go back to normal, and himself so that he wouldn't punch someone. He pulled away and made Lucky look him in the eyes.
"I'm fighting for you Lucky. You will stay with me because I won't let her have you. Do you understand?" John said and Lucky nodded, while sliding off the bed. She took a few steps towards the door before turning back and holding her hand out to him.
"Let's go solve this case." She stated. John smiled happily and grasped her hand, letting her pull him towards the door. Donovan nodded at John, telling him that he had heard everything and was just as impressed by the news as John was.
"Do we have any leads at all?" Lucky stated, back to her own self almost instantly. Donovan sighed and shook his head. John bit back a groan.
"You know Donovan I'm really glad we've got Lucky on this one." John replied and Donovan laughed.
"Why do you think I specifically asked if you were bringing her?" He shot back. Lucky rolled her eyes but the smile on her face gave her away. As they walked back past the Langdon's room, Robert poked his head out of the door. He closed the door behind him and gestured to Donovan.
"I know my wife wouldn't have mentioned this but an old rival of hers was recently sent to a mental ward. They hated each other with a passion." Robert announced and Donovan dug out his pad of paper. Lucky sent a smirk at John who shook his head while trying not to laugh. How had he solved cases without her?
"Could you give me the name?" John asked and he nodded.
"Elizabeth Harriet." Robert replied and Lucky smiled.
"Thank you. We'll look into it." She said and he slid back into the room to be with his family. Lucky and John turned towards Donovan who was swiftly jotting things down.
"What's our next move?" John asked as soon as Donovan was done. He'd received that pad to the forehead before when interrupting his train of thought. Lucky had laughed hysterically from the look on his face.
"Well we could wait for God knows how long for clearance to her medical files..." Donovan stated slowly.
"Or we could just go to the records in this hospital and see which hospital she was sent to and go see if she's there." Lucky suggested before darting off down the hallway. Silence fell between the two left behind her. Donovan and John exchanged a confused glance before they clued in to the fact that she was planning to do just that.
"We're in trouble." John muttered before dashing down the hall after her. Lucky was fast unfortunately and by the time he caught up to her she was leaning against a wall holding a manila folder with a smirk on her face.
"Should I ask?" John requested and Lucky shrugged while she pushed herself off the wall. He was worried that she'd done something really stupid.
"If you must know, it was perfectly legal. I know people who work here. How do you think I knew about the mayor?" She answered. John shook his head at her and she gave him a smile. He caved and smiled back as Donovan came up beside them. His eyes fell on the folder and raised his hands in surrender.
"I don't know how you obtained that and nor do I want to." He announced. Lucky smiled and cracked the folder open. They all hunkered over it and read greedily.
"Do you want the house or the hospital?" John asked Donovan, who double checked his notepad while Lucky gave the folder back to whomever it was that she knew. A deep frown formed on John's face when Lucky kissed them in thanks and he crossed his arms. Donovan noticed and sent him an amused smirk. Lucky's eyebrows shot up when she turned back towards them.
"I'll send Jameson and some other men to the house." Donovan announced and Lucky groaned.
"Great another hospital." She replied sarcastically. Donovan laughed while Lucky grabbed John's arm. He was still glaring at the guy Lucky had kissed.
"Come on big man." She stated as she pulled him towards the car.
"We're here looking into one of your patients on behalf of the police department." John announced to the head nurse. She smiled and nodded while she was charting something on her clipboard. A few seconds after John spoke she realized what she had actually said.
"Excuse me!?" She clarified, dropping her pen in shock.
"One of your patients has been connected to a crime that was committed early this morning. Could you tell us where to find Elizabeth Harriet?" John asked. He was watching Lucky out of the corner of his eye. He was aware of the fact that these places were usually a little disturbing but he couldn't convince her to stay in the car. So he was keeping an extra close eye on her.
"Elizabeth Harriet was released two days ago. Our treatment helped her greatly" The head nurse answered and Lucky's eyes widened as a scream resonated through the building. John bit his lip so that he wouldn't bit out an 'I told you so' to her. He glanced at the head nurse.
"Can I borrow your phone?" He questioned and she nodded while handing him the receiver. He dialed Donovan's office while she got up and left the room, muttering something about drugs.
"Donovan." John glanced at Lucky and she nodded, standing up and heading out the door for the car.
"Elizabeth Harriet was released from the hospital two days ago." John announced and Donovan's chair squeaked, which told him that he had tipped back in his chair.
"So our only hope is the house." Donovan mused and John nodded, pinching the bridge of his nose.
"Was there anything found at the crime scene?" John asked. He still hadn't been there yet and he was hoping that there wasn't something vital there.
"Nothing of importance. A long blonde hair but that could mean anything. Have you been there yet?" Donovan questioned.
"No I haven't. No murder weapon?" He was hoping Donovan had had a slip of the mind and had forgotten to mention it.
"No murder weapon." Donovan clarified. The head nurse came back into the room and gave him a smile. She left the door propped open. Silence fell over the phone line until a voice drifted in from the hallway.
"How about we go watch the sunset from the roof Mrs Harriet? Wouldn't you like that?" Lucky's overly loud voice followed by the sound of people walking up stairs filled John with horror. She was no doubt doing something stupid to prevent further damage. He was going to kill her if she wasn't alright when he got up there.
"Donovan send police here Now!" John shouted into the phone as he launched from the chair and it crashed to the floor behind him.
"On the way." John dropped the phone before he heard whether or not Donovan spoke again. He was thundering down the hall and up the stairs before he even thought of that. He burst onto the roof and on the other side spotted Lucky and a blonde haired woman holding hands watching the sunset. Lucky turned towards him slightly and waved to the bloody knife in her other hand while giving him a weak smile. Elizabeth turned towards him twisting Lucky's arm in the process who had to do some quick manoeuvring so that she could stand normally.
"Who are you?" Elizabeth asked which made John's focus shift from Lucky to her. He inhaled deeply before answering.
"I'm a friend of Lucky's" He answered taking a slow step towards the two of them. Elizabeth took a step back and pulled Lucky with her. John froze instantly.
"You know I could've been friends with Sophie but then I learned that she went and married Robert." Elizabeth took another step backwards and John flinched, knowing how close they were to the edge.
"I loved him and he didn't even notice. It should've been me." She said. Lucky nodded swiftly, noticing how nervous John was so she realized that they were nearing the edge with every step.
"And that's why you had to make room for you to take Sophie's place." Lucky replied and Elizabeth sent her a happy smile.
"Of course!" John sucked in a breath when they took another step backwards. Lucky was at least trying her hardest to get Elizabeth to let go of her hand but she wasn't succeeding. A car door slammed and John assumed it was the police. Elizabeth whirled around to see what it was and in the process Lucky tore her hand from hers. She flew over to John who caught her in a hug. When Elizabeth whirled back the other way she lost her balance and tipped over the edge. Lucky screamed while John hugged her against him so that she wouldn't be able to see what happened. He couldn't stop her from hearing the sickening thud when Elizabeth hit the ground though.
"Case Closed." Lucky muttered weakly into his chest. He pressed a kiss to the top of her head.
"Are you sure about this Lucky?" John asked the next day. The social worker had gotten back to him to inform him that she had made an arrangement for the four of them to meet in John's home. They were due to be here in a matter of minutes. Lucky had been nervous the whole day.
"Sure." She replied hesitantly and he laughed. When there was a knock at the door they both got up to answer it. On the other side was a woman who was wearing a very formidable looking hat with matching dress and a cane. She also had a disapproving glare on her face as she gave Lucky a once over, sniffing when she glanced at her hair.
"Alexandra what have you done to your hair?" She requested and Lucky stood up ramrod straight.
"I cut it. Do you care what my hair looks like John?" Lucky asked to put her aunt's attention on John. It took all of John's self control not to smile like an idiot when she called him John. She'd only ever called him Bates up until now. He managed a neutral facial expression.
"Not at all. I like it this way, it suits you." John answered and Lucky gave her aunt and smirk before leading them into the living room. John also had to try very hard not to laugh when Lucky very pointedly sat her aunt down in the most uncomfortable chair he owned. Alexandra's glance turned towards him.
"What do you gain from taking in this devil child?" John's eyebrows shot up while Lucky flicnhed. Up until that very remark he had told himself that he was going to be civil to the best of his abilities.
"Lucky is not a devil child. You want to know what I gain? I gain an angel in my life. A guardian angel. She saved my life and I owe it to her to return the favour." John replied, leaning forward to show that he was begin perfectly serious.
"And you think that she would be better off with you?" The social worker asked and John nearly slapped her. He glared at her while he clenched his hands into fists to stop himself from doing just that.
"At least I won't call her a devil child, and I won't tell her she's the reason her parents died from tuberculosis. I would make her feel at home with me." John replied. Lucky smiled brightly at him and he lifted up his arm so that she could snuggle into his side and he hugged her.
"Would she be better off with you?" The social worker turned to Alexandra. She raked Lucky with a sneer.
"She would be better off because then I could rid all the awful influences from her father. I told her mother that she should never have married her father let alone bore his child. I told her mother that she should've killed the child when it was born. It was just going to be the death of her anyways." Lucky and John glared at her ferociously. The social worker took notes before broaching the next topic.
"I think it would be better for Lucky to stay with Mr Bates. Would you please sign this form to hand guardianship over to him?" She pushed the paper across the coffee table and Alexandra glanced at it before moving her hand to flick it back towards her. John snagged her wrist.
"Before you act know that I will fight you tooth and nail to have Lucky stay with me. I will go to court and I've got the mayor and the chief of police on my side. I will fight for Lucky. Will you?" John asked. After the case yesterday John had explained to Donovan the whole story and he had started to look into lawyers who had the best case records for just in case of emergencies. Mr Weston had somehow heard and informed John that he was behind him. Lucky had been immeasurably happy.
"She's not worth that much." Alexandra stated and signed the paper before standing up and heading for the door.
"The Hell she's not!" John cried after her. The social worker smiled at them when John and Lucky jumped off the couch and John scooped her up and spun her around in glee.
"I'm going to call Phillip and tell him!" Lucky said before darting off to the phone.
"Congratulations. You'll officially be family in a few days." John was grinning like an idiot and his heart felt like it was going to burst he was so happy.
Well there we go! Number Two! Thanks for Reading!