|A Hopeless Place
Author: Landing In London PM
Post Reichenbach. Lestrade is asked to see how John is holding up.Rated: Fiction T - English - Hurt/Comfort - DI Lestrade & John W. - Words: 1,386 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 25 - Follows: 4 - Published: 01-23-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7769912
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Post Reichenbach spoilers. I'm still full of feelings this isn't getting any better. This is just a bit of comfort/angst. Venting my feelings. Rated because I used a bad word. :P
Lestrade walked down the hall of the morgue as he had a thousand times before. It was funny, how some things never changed. The smell was still stale, the walls still offensively white. It was quiet, save for the sounds of people shuffling in and out of doors. If he strained, Lestrade imagined he could hear the sharp rap of a riding crop in exam room number three.
But of course that was nonsense.
It was insulting how little changed, how he could walk into a place where he had spent countless hours listening to that mad man ramble on, and the absence wasn't even being acknowledged. People were just going about their days as if the Earth hadn't shifted beneath them a few weeks ago. But then, the detective mused, perhaps it hadn't. No one here cared much for Sherlock Holmes.
"Detective Inspector!" there was a hurried clicking as heels hit the tile floor. Lestrade turned and saw a familiar face walking towards him, her ponytail bobbing behind her as she rushed to catch up.
"Hello, Molly." He greeted her with an easy smile. "I was just on my way out."
"I know." Molly stopped next to him, but didn't return his smile. Her mouth was a thin line, and her eyebrows were drawn tightly together over wide eyes. The expression was a portrait of concern.
"Something I can do for you, love?"
"Actually, yes." Molly took a steadying breath and Lestrade tensed. He felt as if he wasn't going to like what she was about to ask. "Do you think you could stop at Baker Street for me?"
"Baker Street?" Lestrade repeated quietly.
"It's..." Molly suddenly looked like she wanted to burst into tears. "Oh, it's John! I've been checking in on him ever since - He hasn't returned any of my calls in a week. Mrs. Hudson said he hasn't been answering the door when she knocks, either."
"Give the boy some space, Molly," said Lestrade in a soft voice. "He's going through a lot right now. We all are."
"I know. But I made a promise."
"I have to know he's ok. Please Detective Inspector -" Molly bit her lip and took his hand pleadingly. "Please, Greg. Just stop in and check on him."
It was four in the afternoon when Lestrade found himself at the door of 221B. It's a slow process, crossing that threshold. First, there was the buildup, the Oh good god what am I doing here? What do I do now? What do I say? After that tension has passed, there's the time it takes for the brain to communicate with the finger and get it up to press the buzzer. Then there's the hug from Mrs. Hudson, that's another three years. The polite decline of tea. The exchange of concerned expressions as she pressed a small silver key into his hand. It didn't seem right to use it. She explained. Then finally, the ascent of the stairs. The knock on the door. The waiting. The second knock. The second pause. Then finally the scrape of metal on metal as Lestrade slipped the key into the front door, and the creak of the hinges as he pushed it open.
There was no answer, no sign of life at all in the small flat. But, Lestrade noted, no sign of death either. He let out a breath he didn't know he'd been holding as he realized there was no tell-tale smell of decay, no blood, no body, no note. He had come to Baker Street expecting the worst and was glad to find his anxiety unfounded. The mystery remained unsolved however: Where was John?
Lestrade poked his head in through the open door of the bedroom. John's bed was unoccupied, and immaculately made up. It didn't look slept in. In fact it didn't look like anyone had been there in awhile. The book on the nightstand had a thin layer of dust on it, like it hadn't been disturbed in a couple of weeks. Lestrade frowned and walked back out into the living room. He turned with the intention of leaving, but from the corner of his eye saw the other door. This door was shut tightly, as he would've expected; surely John wouldn't want to accidentally look in every time he crossed his own parlor. What Lestrade was intrigued by, however, was the light peeking out from under the doorframe.
He hesitated only a brief moment before pushing open the door to Sherlock's room, and there, as he expected, was John. The younger man was sitting, curled up against the headboard of Sherlock's bed, his fingers idly passing over a deerstalker cap.
"He hated this bloody thing," John mumbled.
"I know he did." Lestrade started walking slowly towards John. "How are you doing, mate?"
"Oh come off it Greg I'm not going to fucking detonate." John make a frustrated growling sound and tossed the cap across the room with a frisbee-like motion.
"Sorry." Lestrade relaxed visibly. "You've got people worried about you, you know."
"Molly was getting insufferable."
"And Mrs. Hudson?"
"Only so many jammy dodgers a man can take."
"Have you called your sister at all?"
"May I?" Lestrade gestured to the bed, and when John nodded he perched himself on the edge of it. "How are you doing, really?"
"Miss him more each day." John wrung his hands together. "I'm still cooking for two, still polishing his bloody violin, still leaving the trash TV he liked on at night. I don't want things to be out of place when he comes back."
"John," Lestrade whispered. "He's not coming back."
"You didn't know him!" John snapped. "You said yourself you didn't! He wouldn't have been up on that roof if he didn't have a plan! He wouldn't just give up like that! He wouldn't just leave -" John's voice cracked here. "- leave me!"
"All right," Lestrade moved closer and wrapped his arms around John as the smaller man broke down into sobs. "All right, you're right. You knew him better than anyone."
John clung to the front of Lestrade's jacket, and Lestrade combed his hands easily over John's hair. They sat for a long while, Lestrade eventually lost his jacket, and John eventually slid down so his head was on the pillow, and both of them eventually began breathing at a slow, regular pace again. Lestrade's eyes searched John's face, categorizing the clench of his jaw and the absence of his gaze, wondering what Sherlock would be able to see behind that look if he were here.
"You have to leave this bed eventually John. He'd want you to."
"He's a prat I don't care what he wants."
"For me, then. For your friends."
John didn't answer. He closed his eyes and Lestrade could feel his presence being drowned out. He stayed, though, just in case. He stayed for a long while, until John's breathing evened out completely, and light snores escaped his lips. He stayed even then. Finally, he rose to leave, quietly slipped on his coat and shoes and, feeling like his mission had at least been accomplished for the night, snuck towards the door.
He stopped before his hand even reached the knob.
"We could have coffee tomorrow."
Lestrade smiled and turned back to the bed, where John was looking up at him groggily.
"Pick you up at eight," he agreed. "I'll bring the police car, you can play with the siren."
John snorted a laugh and dropped his head back down on the pillow. It was a start.
Lestrade called. He said John is muddling through. Hope you're doing the same. -Molly
Watch over them for me. I'll be back soon. -SH
Don't lie to me, Sherlock. -Molly
Wouldn't dream. - SH