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What on Earth Happened to You?

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Detective Chief Inspector Tom Barnaby was early to the office early even for him but the cases were stacked up so he thought he’d get paperwork finished before they had to drive to Fletcher’s Coss on a follow-up inquiry.

Making his way out of the break room with his freshly brewed cuppa, taking a sip and grimacing at the watered-down yet bitter liquid that tasted less fresh than it was made he purses the papers in his other hand as he walks to his home away from home, his office.

Getting to the security glass circling the office room space a light crunch under his dress shoes stops him lifting his foot and looking at the source a smear of dried mud stuck with pea stones that the seasoned inspector instantly links to the fine rock gravel at the bike station outside the building tracking the trail with his eyes it leads cleary to his destination the homicide office.

Cautiously approaching the space Barnaby visually sweeps the office which appears empty, knowing better than to let his guard down Tom quietly steps into the office immediately seeing the source of the mud trail a body leaning back as far as the desk chair would allow and the perpetrator's mud-covered dress shoes propped up on the desk assigned to Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy.

As Barnaby closes the distance between him and the lounging figure covered with a similarly muddied suit jacket, finally standing next to the figure.

“Sergeant Troy?” he calls purposefully gentle the hidden figure shifts then stills, Chief Inspector lets out an exasperated sigh.

“Troy!” calls more seriously and takes a handful of the impromptu blanket and pulls it off the sleeping figure spooking them causing them to nearly tumbling out of the chair Tom Barnaby stares at the revealed Detective Sergeant Gavin Troy before him.

“Sir?”

Reality settling in his sleep muddled mind Troy quickly pulls his resting legs off his desk and stands before his superior.
”Sir!” and self consciously tries to smooth down his slept-on hair and looking to his watch as Barnaby continues to take his appearance in seemingly dumbfounded

“You’re early…” he clears his throat and winces slightly after all the rapid movements of rising then follows his bosses eyes to himself his trouser knees are shredded through with dried mud and blood caked to them, his hands and elbows scraped and raw.

Looking back to the Inspector Troy shifts uncomfortably in his gaze “What on earth happened to you?” there's an odd mix of amusement and concern in his voice causing Gavin to awkwardly clear his throat “I-I… erm fell off my bike last night Sir.”

Barnaby raises his eyebrows “Fell off your bike… Why are you sleeping here when you should be home or at hospital. Those wounds look bloody awful.” Tom adds looking at the scraps marking up his young sergeant's limbs.

“I didn't have anything to fix the flat and… “

Barnaby again raises his eyebrows questioningly.

“I didn’t have the cash for a cab I left my wallet in your car…” Gavin offers sheepishly.

“Well, then I suppose you’ll have to come back to the house and clean yourself up before we leave for Fletchers Cross” Barnaby offers Troy his jacket.

“I wouldn’t want to intrude Sir” Troy objects politely as he can

“Nonsense Troy, Mrs. Barnaby would not forgive me if I didn’t offer and we are heading for Fletchers Cross…”

Troy stops mid donning his damaged coat looking questioningly at his superior
heading for the door Barnaby turns to his halted Sergeant

“We wouldn’t want George to mistaken for a murder victim would we?” Tom adds darkly with a smile the humor too dark for Troy’s taste but follows his boss out regardless, trying to brush the stained clothing of its contaminants as he goes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Arriving at the Baraby residence Troy shifts uncomfortably in the driver's seat looking through the windows and Mrs. Barnaby peaks out and waves happily at the pair in the car.

“Sir you really don’t-”

Barnaby’s look cuts him off mid-sentence and he opens the car door to exit.

“Troy?”

Looking in the car to the Inspector still sitting and holding his wallet “Perhaps you should take this back.”

“Yes Sir.” Troy reaches taking the bi-fold without looking at his boss and heads for the door with his boss in step behind him Joyce Barnaby opens the door with her usually bright and cheery smile quickly replaced with a look of shock and worry

“What happened Gavin?!” she cries and takes Troy by the shoulders and guides him to the kitchen and sits him down leaving Mr. Barnaby standing by the front door watching his wife fuss over his young sergeant.

Sittin in the kitchen with his jacket forcibly removed by the Joyce and put aside.

“Really Mrs. Barnaby it's not that bad, just a plaster is all I need.” Troy tries only to have Mrs. Barnaby scrutinize him “what and have you be mistaken for a corpse at a crime scene. I think not.” and she hurries off “I'll get the medical box.”

Tom looks to his worse for wear sergeant sitting in his chair with a smile playing on the corner of his lips in an I told you so fashion.

Returning as quickly as she left Joyce places the kit on the table “Come on let's roll up your sleeves shall we?” she asks without really asking and helps Gavin pull up his sleeves Joyce takes his hand in hers and begins cleansing the wounds of dirt with a strong-smelling antiseptic that makes Troy hiss sharply.

You’ll come back tonight for dinner and stay of course.” Joyce tells Gavin who looks to his boss Joyce breaking from her tending follows Troy’s line of sight to Mr. Barnaby who quickly responds “Of course we'll be back after our follow up.” he adds with a forced smile

“Wonderful! I was thinking of making Cordon Bleu again.” she offers excitedly as she gets up from cleaning Troy’s wounds and heads off leaving Barnaby and Troy to exchange deeply worried glances then in unplanned unison they both shout after her “We can get takeaway!”