• Published 12th Mar 2019
  • 683 Views, 62 Comments

Return the Night, or no Deposit - totallynotabrony

Detective Fit is stuck on a case involving a spree of anti-lunar graffiti. There are no clues, and Fit is getting desperate. Desperate enough to call the craziest consultant he knows.

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Chapter 4

In the morning, Fit sat at his desk, wondering if he should have done more about the mare who had bolted when confronted with police. Perhaps she would match the description of somepony already suspected for a crime. If nothing else, it might provide a data point.

Thoughts of what might have been were abruptly erased when Mirror came into the office, sporting a black eye.

“What happened?” Fit asked, getting up.

“The mare you told me about yesterday is named Dusty Tome. I’ll press assault charges if you want to arrest her for that. She lives on Starswirl Street.” Mirror was chipper, as if there wasn’t a hoof-shaped bruise on her face.

“What do you mean if we want to arrest her?” asked Haven. “Hurting ponies is a crime!”

Mirror shrugged. “I mean, I could have fought back. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I should have. She would be pretty easy for you to talk to from a hospital bed.”

“You shouldn’t joke about that,” said Haven. “Disproportionate self-defense is also a crime.”

Knowing her as he did, Fit didn’t think Mirror usually discussed theoretical situations that she wasn’t fully capable of bringing to reality. He said nothing.

“I wouldn’t want to influence the witness or anything, so I’ll just hang out here,” said Mirror.

“Oh no you don’t!” protested Bulldog. He looked around. “Where is the chief to put a stop to this kind of thing?”

“I got him a coloring book,” said Mirror. She shrugged. “He seemed to like it. Said he was taking vacation.”

Sure enough, Chief Sketchy’s office was empty and dark.

“We should get going after Dusty Tome,” said Haven. She and Fit hurried out.

Dusty Tome’s apartment building was an order of magnitude nicer than Slider’s, which still didn’t make it exactly fancy. They checked the address against the list of names at the front of the building, finding a match.

“Well, considering she’s a known flight risk,” said Haven dryly, “I’ll take the outside.”

Fit nodded and stopped by the building manager’s office. Showing his badge, he was given a master key, and he headed for the stairs. Getting up to Tome’s apartment, he knocked. The peephole darkened momentarily and there was a sudden flurry of movement from inside.

He faintly heard Haven call “Stop, police!” Fit slammed the key in the lock, twisted it, and threw the door open. Caught between Fit and Haven, Tome raised her hooves. She didn’t look happy about it either, not that they expected her to.

“You’re under arrest for assault,” said Fit, snapping the cuffs on her hooves. Haven clipped the wing bands on.

Was it surprise that flashed across Tome’s face before going back to sullenness?

Fit added, “Also, resisting arrest.” No reaction this time.

He caught Haven’s eye and pulled Tome towards the door. Haven retreated into the apartment, giving the place a once-over. Anything incriminating she spotted lying out was fair game, and cases had been won on less.

She came back, a rattling noise following her. She’d found a can of spray paint.

“What’s this?” Fit asked, though he could see perfectly well what it was. He looked at Tome expectantly.

“It’s not illegal to have paint,” she said.

Fit and Haven traded a look and mutually decided to save the questions for when they arrived back at the station. Maybe it would give the two of them time to think of good ones.

As nice as it was to finally be getting some clues in the case, this was still uncharted territory. Perhaps he was overthinking it, but Fit was aware that blowing this lead could put the case right back to stagnance. Proceeding carefully was of utmost importance.

Back at the station, they put Tome in the interrogation room and worked out a plan. She had paint, which looked like the same brand used at all the previous graffiti sites. Not damning, as they’d already discovered, because it was common brand sold nearly everywhere. But they also had her coming into Slider’s residence and fleeing from the police. None of it would hold up in court, but perhaps they had enough to convince her to come clean.

Perhaps Mirror had some advice, but she had curiously disappeared since they’d left to collect Tome. Fit glanced around the office, but didn’t take the time to search, following Haven into the interrogation room.

They read Tome her rights and sat down across the table from her. “How did this all begin?” Haven asked.

“You’ll have to be more specific,” Tome replied.

“Why did you run from us yesterday?” Fit asked.

“What are you talking about?” said Tome.

“That’s not even a good joke,” Haven responded. “What were you doing on Fetlock Lane yesterday?”

“And you walked into the apartment building of a suspect we already have in custody, saw the police, and bolted,” said Fit. “I hope you understand how suspicious that makes you look.”

“And what’s with the paint?” Haven added. “What do you do with it?”

“I’m a historian,” Tome explained. “Sometimes I need paint when I’m going to historical sites.”

“For what?” Haven pressed.

“For...painting.” Tome’s previous confidence was eroding. Just a little more, and she might actually tell them something.

“So you can imagine our suspicion when we met you, a historian with paint, in the apartment building of a pony who was arrested for painting political graffiti about the way things used to be historically,” said Fit.

“Uh...you said I could have a lawyer, right?” asked Tome.

Darn, she had gotten smart. Well, at least it seemed like they were on the right track. Fit and Haven got up, but before they could leave the room, the door opened.

Mirror came in, wearing a tie and carrying a briefcase. “Did somepony say they needed a lawyer?”

Tome raised a hoof. “Yes! Yes, I do.”

“That’s good, because I’m a lawyer,” said Mirror, coming over to her. “Here’s my card.”

“Wait, since when are you a lawyer?” Haven blurted.

“Since I passed the bar,” Mirror replied. She opened her briefcase and showed off a certificate. It was dated several years previously.

“Wait, so...you two have never met before,” said Fit slowly, looking between Tome and Mirror.

“Why would we have met before?” Tome asked. She frowned, as if realizing something, and examined both sides of the card Mirror had given her, as it was completely blank. “I don’t even know her name.”

“Right, I’m that good at confidentiality,” said Mirror. She waved the police away. “Now shoo, I need to talk to my client.”

Fit and Haven left the room. They looked at each other. Both of them opened their mouths. Both of them closed them again.

Haven was the first one to shake her head and speak. “What just happened? Did Mirror lie to us about Tome assaulting her?”

“Maybe,” said Fit, though he felt the answer was probably “yes.” “But she did find Tome for us and gave us a reason to arrest so we can hold her for awhile.”

“But lawyering? How is this going to hold up in court?”

“Well, Mirror’s not officially working for us, so I can’t even say it would be a conflict of interest,” Fit tried weakly.

Haven shook her head. “I think my point still stands. And anyway, what is she doing?”

Fit didn’t know. He said nothing.