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Schadenfreude -- Chapter 2

Title: Schadenfreude Chapter 2: Friendly Favors
Characters: Miroslav Klose, Thomas Müller, Jürgen Klinsman, Kevin Großkreutz, Sebastian Kehl; various mentions of others
Rating: PG-13
Words: 2,038 | Overall: 3,633
AO3: This Chapter
Previous Parts: One
A/N: The second part, I hope you like it also. :)



The rain had started around seven in the morning and it still continued as Miro pulled up to a stop outside the residence that Thomas called his home. Residence was a kind word, because all it really was was a small apartment building containing a bunch of dingy lower middle class housing.

Miro had never been invited up before, not that he would accept even if he had been. For a brief moment, Miro wondered what sort of state the boy kept his home in. If it was anything like his desk at work, Miro feared for the health department should they ever have to go into Thomas Müller’s apartment.

Miro only had to wait inside the black BMW 5 series for a moment before Thomas came out looking as if he hadn’t slept much. At least he’s in a suit and brushed his hair, Miro noted as the door opened and his partner slid into the car, already closing the door behind his gangly legs. The smell of some sort of cologne washed over Miro and he shook his head. The boy still needed to learn that subtly was key, not overpowering one’s senses with such robust smells. He has a lot he still needs to learn.

“Did you get some rest, sir?” He asked politely as Miroslav pulled away from the curb.

Not really, unless you count sleeping in my chair at work resting. “I did. You smell better than you did earlier this morning.” If you consider smelling like the entire bottle of cologne ‘better’.

Thomas looked pleased with himself as he leaned back in the car. “Thank you.”

After Thomas put on his seatbelt, Miro pulled back out into traffic and headed back towards the office nearer the city center of Munich. Thomas pulled out his phone and began texting; at least Miro assumed that’s what he was doing since his fingers were practically flying over the screen. He didn’t feel inclined enough to ask.

As he drove back towards the office, Miro thought of what else he had done that morning. It was true; he had fallen asleep in his chair at the office before waking up around zero-six-fifty. It had just started raining as he had gone outside to get in the car. He felt his neck and back were stiff from the position of sleeping in the office and he had gone home for a while. Just for a shower, a shave, breakfast and an aspirin.

What had made him smile, and what had made his whole morning, is that he had seen his boys and had gotten to have breakfast with them. Luan and Noah, both fresh from an evening spent lost in slumber had beamed when they had seen him. They ran to him and he hadn’t wanted to let them go. In fact, he hadn’t, until Luan had scrambled out of his arms to run and get the cereal for breakfast.

Miro kept the image of his fresh-faced boys in his mind until Thomas’ voice stirred him back to the present.

“Did you learn anything else before you went home?” Thomas asked. His fingers had finally stilled on the phone’s screen and he was watching Miroslav.

“No.” Miro replied, tone soft. “I suspect I will have more when we get there.”

He had left the office around five after seven, after he had made a phone call to the authorities in Dortmund. It was still early, of course, but he had left word for one of his friends in the Dortmund branch. Sebastian Kehl, someone who he knew from long ago, was a good man. Miro knew that Seb would definitely look into his records and see if something about Kevin Großkreutz stood out.

Miro frowned a little as he reflected again on that name. Großkreutz, it sounded so familiar and he felt as if he should’ve known it from somewhere. Yet he couldn’t place it. It was annoying him.

Thomas shrugged and looked out the window as the city went past. Thomas’ attention seemed to be on the fading view of the mountains in the distance that were being swallowed up by the buildings as they became closer and closer together and taller. Thomas’ phone started to buzz in his hand after a moment and he answered the call. Another perfect reason to have a younger partner, Miro thought. They could also serve as your answering service to phone calls you’d rather avoid.

Miro half-listened to the conversation from Thomas’ perspective and surmised it was their superior, the head of their department, Jürgen Klinsmann. He guessed it was him because of how little Thomas was talking for a change. When the call ended, Miro glanced over expectantly.

“Klinsi wants to see us when we arrive.” Thomas replied simply and went back to looking out of the window.

Miro acknowledged with a nod before concluding their journey by making a turn into the parking garage for their building in the city center. They exited the vehicle and Miro stretched a little. His back was still stiff and his neck hadn’t quite forgiven him yet. Oh well. He was armed with some aspirin and promised himself he would be sleeping at home in the comfort of his own bed tonight.

They made their way upstairs and Thomas let Miro out of the elevator first. He was respectful, Miro had noted, which was good. Respectful could help cover up the fact the boy could be as subtle as an elephant on the Autobahn at times. Polite manners were at least something commendable. And he was honest, which never hurt either.

Thomas went to his desk, a small cubicle just outside the door of Miroslav’s office, and set his bag down and checked his messages. Miro went straight towards Jürgen’s office, decidedly against making his boss wait. He knocked and waited for Jürgen to nod before he entered.

“Yes, sir?”

Jürgen watched him for a moment before pulling a folder from an orderly stack on his desk. It was the top one. He tapped it and indicated for Miroslav to sit, which he did so. Jürgen looked out the door of his office and barely suppressed a sigh when seeing Thomas still at his desk.

“You have a new case, I heard.” Jürgen opened the folder and Miro saw the name ‘Großkreutz’ on the front of the folder. Jürgen flipped through the photos that the crime scene staff had amassed in the hours since the case had been opened. “Do you know who he was?”

Miro hadn’t checked to see if Sebastian had sent him any new information yet. It had only been about two and a half hours, after all. Honesty prevailed over the conflict of not having any information for his superior.

“No sir.” Before he could open his mouth to inform him that he had someone in Dortmund assisting them in getting new information, Jürgen interrupted.

“You should read the newspapers more often, Miroslav.” Jürgen pushed a morning edition in his direction. He looked up at the door before he spoke again. “Ah, Mr. Müller, how kind of you to join us at last.”

Miroslav almost sighed. Thomas really needed to learn to be on time. Miro felt as Thomas came to sit next to him on his left in the other chair in front of Jürgen’s desk. Miro focused on the headline in front of him, frown lines deepening when he recognized a photo of Thomas on the cover in front of the crime scene tape. The headline read ‘Banker’s Son Murdered. Großkreutz Heir Slain’. Miro didn’t get a chance to start reading the article underneath because Jürgen started speaking again.

“His father is a well-renowned banker in Berlin. I’m surprised you didn’t recognize the name.”

Miro looked up, frown still in place. How did the press find out about this so quickly? “Am I expected to know every banker in Germany?”

Jürgen smiled a little. “You are, when their wife is more well-known.” When Jürgen noticed the recognition wasn’t taking, he waved his hand. “Search it on the internet later. For now, the Großkreutz are on their way from Berlin on the morning flight. I will deal with them when they arrive. I’m sure they will want to speak with you, Miroslav. I suggest the pair of you find something good to tell them when they arrive, such as the name of who murdered their son.”

Miro nodded and stood, recognizing Jürgen’s polite dismissal. “Of course. We are on it.”

Thomas followed him out of the office after apologizing for being late. Miro heard Jürgen dismiss him with a little less-politeness than he had used with Miroslav. He walked into his office and straight away checked his messages for anything from Sebastian. A simple message was all he had. Call me. Miro shook his head and picked up the phone and began to dial as Thomas leaned against the doorframe just inside his office.

The phone rang twice before the familiar voice answered.

“Sebastian.” Miro greeted professionally.

“Ah, Miroslav. Good morning. I found out a few interesting things about your man.” Sebastian replied and Miro could hear the background noise behind him. It faded after a moment; he assumed Sebastian had shut the door that led to the outer office of other employees.

“Oh?”

“Indeed. It seems your Kevin Großkreutz is the son of some banker from Berlin, Martin, and a lady from the old days, Pia Großkreutz.” Miro racked his brain for some recognition of the name and stilled when he did. So that’s why Jürgen chided him for not recognizing Kevin’s name. Of course. He let out a breath of surprise. Sebastian continued. “Seems Kevin was in Dortmund because that’s where he was studying. He and his friends had gone to Munich for the end of term celebration.”

“Do you know if they are still here?” Miro asked, excitement causing his heart to beat a little faster. A lead; at last.

“As far as I know, they are. The few students we could round up who knew him this morning were saying that they expected Kevin and the others to be gone till at least Monday.”

“Thank you Seb. I owe you one.” Miro stated gracefully, already standing up.

“I will let you buy me a beer the next time Borussia plays Bayern and beats them in Munich.” The grin was evident in the other man’s voice. Miro shook his head.

“You will be waiting a long time then, my friend. You will never win here. Do you have an address or know where the students were staying?”

He heard Sebastian’s laugh on the other side of the phone before it faded. “I don’t, I’m sorry, Miro. I will have someone ask around again and send you the details if I learn anything further.”

“Thank you anyway. See you later, Seb.”

They exchanged goodbyes before Miro turned to look at Thomas who was still leaning against the doorframe. Miro shifted slightly under the younger man’s gaze. It was unsettling in some way to be stared at so intently. Besides, he usually did the staring while Thomas did the talking. God he could talk the patience out of the Pope at times.

“Learn anything interesting?” Thomas asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Go get the nicest picture of Großkreutz we have. We’re going to do some walking until we find his friends.” Thomas nodded once and pushed off the doorframe as he went to his desk.

Miro ran a hand over his face. Perhaps walking all day would lessen the tension in his neck and his back. He looked at the clock. Perhaps he would have some good news for the parents of Kevin Großkreutz before they arrived in Munich.

He could hope anyway. But knowing the scandal that had followed Kevin’s mother, Miro somehow doubted it would be that easy to have an easy open-shut case and keep any scandals to the minimum.

Just once, why can’t someone feel guilty about killing a person and turn themselves in? Miro wondered to himself as he started out of his office and to stand next to Thomas’ desk as the other man looked for a decent photo.

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