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The Death of Benji

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“A crime has been committed!” Morality all but shrieked. Janus rolled his eyes at the dramatics of it all as Morality pointed at the shattered pot on the ground as though it were a bloody knife. Yet, he somehow managed to not be the most dramatic person in the room as Creativity (not Remus) was currently sprawled on the ground like he had been murdered and not simply smacked on the head.

“Well…” Janus drawled. “If that is all…”

“No!” Morality insisted. The door Janus had been trying to escape through snapped shut suddenly, and Janus turned back to him with a glare. Dammed Light Sides with their ability to affect the conscious mind. “No one leaves until we solve Benji’s murder.”

“…Who’s Benji?” Virgil asked. He had also been forcibly summoned into this ridiculousness at the same time as Janus and did not look happy about it. He was slouching in his hoodie and glaring at everyone in distrust. Amusingly, he’d clearly been applying his eyeshadow as the dark smudge under one eye was far darker than the other. Janus did not find that adorable at all.

Morality pointed insistently at the shattered pot and the plant that had been spilled out of it in response to Virgil’s question.

“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me,” Virgil muttered.

Remus looked down at the pot and then back up at Morality. “Lame murder,” he declared. If you want a real crime…” he took a step towards Roman.

NO!” everyone else said at once. Creativity even looked up from his incredibly accurate impersonation of a querulous toddler to scoot himself away from his twin.

“I will go babysit,” Logic offered, walking over to Remus and shoving him down onto the couch. He proceeded to sit on Remus’s legs. Remus did not seem unhappy about this development.

That left three functional adults standing. Well… “functional” he thought looking at the bundle of hoodie and eyeshadow scowling at them from a few feet away and “adults” he thought looking at the man who was walking over to investigate the potted plant named Benji.

“And you will allow us to go back to our lives if we help you solve this ‘crime’?” Janus asked.

“Sure!” Morality said.

“Fine,” Janus agreed. “I will assist.”

Virgil stuck his hands in his pocket and slumped against the wall, not saying anything.

“How do we know he’s not the mastermind,” Creative piped up, still laying on the floor. “He is more of a Scooby Doo villain than a Scooby Doo.”

“I value your contributions, Roman,” Janus said.

“Thank you.”

Janus rolled his eyes. “Clearly I have a motive and I also frequent this area of the mindscape on my own power.”

“Hmm…” Morality said he put his hands behind his back and squinted at the occupants of the room. “If it were Remus, I think there may have been a bit more damage.”

“Heck yeah there would have been,” Remus said pumping his fist in the air and jostling Logic a bit. Logic glared at him and shoved his shoulder, so he ended up on his back on the couch.

“And clearly the laws of physics would have made it totally possible for Roman to have done it.” Janus paused and thought. “Unless he fabricated the evidence for some other goal. An action he does seem smart enough for.”

“Well then,” Morality said, “if it wasn’t Remus or Roman and it wasn’t you, then…”

“It was probably him!” Creativity claimed from the floor, pointing at Virgil. Virgil made a sound like growling in the back of his throat. “Unlike Deceit, he has been popping up around this side of the mindscape lately for no legitimate reason and he hates me enough to do it. Plus, he has that whole,” Creativity waved his hand around, “shoving objects off surfaces thing he does.”

Virgil narrowed his eyes at him and hissed.

“Now, kiddo,” Morality said. “I get your point, but I think we should be careful fingering people.”

“Oh, god no,” Virgil said as Creativity’s face screwed up. Remus started to cackle.

“What?” Morality asked.

“Nothing,” Janus was quick to say. “It’s nothing.”

Patton blinked at him and then at Remus curiously.

Logic put a hand over Remus’s mouth to prevent him from explaining. Janus could tell by the way his face screwed up that Remus had licked his fingers, but he did not relent.

“Anxiety is a possibility,” Janus agreed, but then looked at Morality. “But how do we know it isn’t you?”

“Me?” Morality asked, with an innocent head tilt.

“Well, you would have been in this side of the mindscape and you were, it seems, the first to find the crime. It makes sense, does it not?”

Morality gasped. “It does!” he agreed, seeming distressed.

“Are you lying Morality?” Janus asked him quietly. “Did you actually shatter the pot over Creativity’s head and then proceed to cover for your crime by being the investigator. I think that’s exactly what you’re doing.”

“Oh no!” Morality exclaimed and Janus honestly couldn’t tell if he was being serious or not when he said. “How could I?!”

“Can’t you sense when one of us is lying?” Virgil asked with a raised eyebrow. Janus’s eyes flickered over to him. “Is he lying?”

“… Yes.

“See,” Creativity said. “I don’t know whether to believe him or not.”

“You really are unbelievably stupid, aren’t you Pincey?” Virgil scoffed.

“Well, if you’re so smart Sherlock Groans, then who do you think did it?”

“Logic, obviously,” Virgil claimed. “He hasn’t said anything Deceit could identify as a lie and took himself out of the investigation process. If he really didn’t know the perpetrator, he would have jumped at the chance to play detective and would have barely let any of us talk.”

There was a pause. Then, Creativity turned to Logic. “You dropped a plant on my head?!”

“It was quite unintentional. I simply tripped over it and knocked it over the railing.”

“And then lied about it.”

“I did not lie. I simply didn’t offer the information.”

“You’re my new favorite Logan,” Remus informed him, still pinned beneath him.

“Welp!” Patton said cheerily. “Thanks for the help! You did a good job figuring it out, kiddo!” He leaned forward and kissed Virgil on the cheek causing the side to jump back in shock. “And thank you for being willing to help me!” He kissed Janus on the cheek before Janus could figure out what he was going to do. Then, apparently unconcerned with the death of ‘Benji’ now that the mystery was solved, he shuffled off into the next room.

Virgil touched his cheek. “That was weird, wasn’t it?”

“No,” Janus replied. “Not at all.”