Paper Cranes

by Erin Griffin

Fandom: Murder in Suburbia

Pairing: Flirty Ash/Scribbs

Summary: While working on a crime scene, Ash is caught breaking a couple of rules.

Disclaimer: I think it is ITV who owns these characters. I only own the murderer and victim this time.

Author's Note: This is just a cute little 'scene' I kept thinking of while I was at work a few weeks ago.

Detective Inspector Kate Ashurst studied the whiteboard, where a map of some of Middleford's wooded areas was taped up. Behind her, Ash knew that Detective Sergeant Emma Scribbins was working on her own miniature version of the crime scene. That morning, the two women were called to the body of Evan Charleston, a hunter who'd been shot by his friend Richard Kent, who claimed it was an accident. Something about Richard's story didn't sit right with Scribbs, and she was immediately on the case. The brunette turned around and laughed when she saw Barbie in paper-made army clothes. Scribbs looked up when she heard the laughter. "What're you laughin' at?" Then she followed Ash's eyes and explained, "I didn't have another Ken doll, and I can't find Luke Skywalker, which ticks me-."

"It's probably better that Barbie represented Evan. That boy couldn't look more like Kurt Cobain-dead or a live- if he tried," the DI said, lowering her voice. Scribbs stared at the Barbie doll for a second, and wanted to say something about speaking ill of the dead.

"Well, I think Barbie looks quite fetching as a hunterman," Scribbs noted instead, then went back to her paper folding. At that moment, Scribbs had seven paper cranes, including the one she was working on, four cut outs of feathers, Gromet, Barbie's Dream Car, Ken, and Barbie all around her desk in the positions they'd been in at the crime scene. Scribbs' miniature could help prove that not only were the two young men hunting illegal game, but that Evan Charlston that been murdered, not accidentally shot as Richard had claimed.

Right after Scribbs adjusted the head and tail of what Ash assumed was the last of the paper cranes, she picked them all up. Ash was about to say something about ruining her own little crime scene and not being able to find where everything was placed, but then she noticed that there were white and blue punched holes taped to where the cranes and feathers had been. The blonde tossed the cranes and feathers up in the air about a foot, and watched where the feathers landed. She repeated the process a few more times before curiosity got the better of Ash. "So... You find something?" she asked.

"I think so," Scribbs replied. Her face was bunched up in her serious 'hold on, I'm thinking' feature as she placed the cranes and feathers back in the same spots on her desk, and Ash couldn't help but smirk. "Ash, hold on to Ken here for a second," Scribbs said suddenly. Ash went around the blonde's desk and held up the Ken doll so that he was standing, holding a paper gun. Scribbs twisted the doll so that the gun he was holding pointed in the direction of Barbie, also with a gun in hand, but her side was to Ken. Barbie was facing the area Scribbs had all of the feathers on the desk. "Evan was over here a few meters away from Richard. Little doggie Rex was here at Richard's side," Scribbs tapped Gromet. "He claimed to have been meaning for the birds, but Evan startled him. If there were geese near Evan, don't you think the birds would have taken off, leaving at least one feather behind?"

"Depends on how many birds were near him," Ash said.

"Richard said there were 'bout seven. I reckon there would have been at least one feather left behind if the birds had to take flight that quickly, like there were in this area. When these birds took off in a hurry a few of them lost feathers." Scribbs lay Barbie down flat. "The body was found with Evan pointing towards the small area of feathers at the crime scene. I think Evan was the one aiming for the birds but Richard shot him first. When the shot went off, the birds fled, leaving said feathers behind. Since there were no feathers near the body, I'm sure Richard killed Evan and it was no accident." Ash watched the crime scene on Scribbs' desk, walking around it so she faced her colleague.

"But wait, Scribbs. Who's to say those feathers weren't blown by the wind?"

"I don't think so Ash. Look, the feathers were in more or less of a circular formation by the small puddle of water where the feathers were found. If the wind were to have come, the feathers would've been more scattered or even in somewhat of a line, depending on the force of the wind gusts."

"I'll see if I can find you a fan. I want you to test that theory just in case. I'll check the weather reports from this morning to see if there was any winds in the area. This is good, Scribbs. Now all we need is a motive."

"I have your motive. Love or money, right? Money, in this case. Those geese are illegal to hunt this time of year, making products made from them rare and more expensive, but I'd assume the price per head went up too. From the looks of it, Richard just didn't want Evan to have his half of the share," Scribbs said, and Ash nodded.

"We'll check both of their mobiles to see if they've had contact to any shady people in the market," the brunette said as she wrote down the notes.

"Check to see if Richard's in any debt, too," Scribbs added. "He said he liked to go hunting to clear his head." Ash nodded.

"Brilliant job." The two women shared a small smile. Ash's eyes flickered down to her partner's lips, and they lingered there. She saw Scribbs' lips move into a smirk and she quickly forced their eyes to lock.

"Ash?" Scribbs asked. "What're your rules for staring?"

"Under no circumstances should one do it," Ash recited, feeling herself go red.

"Right. And... What're my rules for staring?"

"Uh-" This caught Ash completely off guard. 'Scribbs has rules?' she asked herself. "Uh- If one must stare... make sure you aren't caught... st-staring?" she guessed. Scribbs grinned as she moved to pick up her handmade feathers once more, then leaned in towards Ash.

"You're quite the rule breaker today, aren't you Ash?" she murmured, her eyes flickering from Ash's eyes to the desk. The blonde wasn't looking at her, but the smirk was still there. The DI nervously cleared her throat.

"Right then. I'll- uh, go tell Boss what you've come up with. Be back in a moment," Ash said, even as she hurried out of sight. She was empty handed, and Scribbs expected her back in three, two, one... "Scribbs? Where's the reports for the Charleston murder?" Scribbs looked down at the cranes and winced. "SCRIBBS!" Ash called, drawing out the DS' name so that it almost sounded like a whine. There was a laugh.

"It's too easy, Ash," the blonde said, reaching under the stack of the same paper used to make the paper cranes and producing the file Ash had put together not more than an hour ago, complete with the many paper clips and Post It notes. Ash took in a deep breath and tried not to look relieved, then she turned on her heel and walked into DCI Sullivan's office. She could hear Scribbs' soft laughter following behind her.


Erin Griffin

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