A/N: Bit of a silly one for you all - who knew there were so many phrases that incorporated the word 'under'?
From Wordwielder: Under
"Watson? But why has Watson gone undercover?"
Holmes hushed me. "Keep it under your hat, Lestrade!"
"Keep it under wraps, there's a good chap." He waved over to a barmaid for a round of drinks. "Now, it's about this last case you sent my way. You see the pub that was robbed was under lock and key, but it was under new management." The barmaid handed across our drinks and Holmes nodded his gratitude. He looked right odd himself, dressed in an old sailor's garbs and with bushy eyebrows that weren't his own. Next to him I felt rather exposed, having not been warned and so having worn my usual clothes. "So it must have been an inside job. We went and spoke to Dennis, one of my Irregulars-"
"Those street urchins you've taken under your wing?"
"The very same. Now Dennis sometimes takes work at the butchers opposite the pub, and he saw one of the new barmaids speaking to a Mr. Waterman."
"You think it was an inside job then? She was under his thumb?"
"Exactly. Now don't look over, but there is Watson with Mr. Waterman now."
I took a long swig of beer, and out of the corner of my eye I saw the Doctor enter with a large, bearded man. Watson looked a tad hot under the collar, I reckoned.
"A little under the weather," Holmes said brusquely. "But Mr Waterman likes to drink, and my tolerance is lower than Watson's."
I smiled to myself, for I had seen first-hand that Watson could drink Holmes under the table. And Mr Holmes under the influence was quite a thing to see.
"Wait a moment." Holmes swung his head back and forth around the pub, suddenly agitated. "That doesn't make sense. He shouldn't be here yet..."
I looked again from the corner of my eye; Mr Waterman was chatting and drinking with Watson, whose coughing I could hear all the way from our table in the opposite corner.
"We appear to be labouring under a misapprehension," Holmes murmured under his breath. "We hoped to light a fire under Mr Waterman... but I fear that it is Mr Amberly who has pulled the rug out from under our feet!"
"Mr Amberly?" I hissed back, because that was the owner of the last pub which had been robbed. "How do you reckon that?"
But before Holmes could answer, Amberly himself had entered, and strode straight up to where Doctor Watson sat with Mr Waterman. Beside me, Holmes blanched.
"Quickly Lestrade!" He spoke in an urgent undertone. "Go up to Watson and say you need to speak to him - that you're about to go under the knife and need his advice as a surgeon!"
"Just say anything - otherwise he may well end up six feet under!"
So I hurried over, not bothering to ask why Mr Holmes couldn't go, because when he wanted to he could be quite domineering.
"Excuse me, Doctor, W- uh..." I stammered, not sure if Watson were using his real name or not and under no illusion that my acting skills were under par to say the best. As the three men - Amberly, Watson and Waterman - turned their eyes upon me, I felt rather as though I'd been placed under a microscope.
"Watson," Watson replied, quickly, "Yes, what is it?"
"Well uh..." What was it Holmes had said? "I'm about to go in for surgery you see, so-"
"Hang on." Waterman squinted at me. "I know you. You're that Inspector from the Yard!"
The pub went a little quieter at that, and if I felt under the microscope before, it was nothing to now. I gulped.
"Lestrade, Watson, get down!"
I tell you, I must have been born under a lucky star, because I felt the bullet practically graze my hat as I ducked. It was Holmes who'd yelled, and him who'd shot at Mr Amberly, which was just as well because he was a big bloke and had been about ready to thump me. Holmes's shot didn't hit anybody, but the distraction was enough for me to grab Doctor Watson and run.
We were nearly out of the pub, the Doctor wheezing with whatever illness he'd picked up, when more shots rang out from behind us - we were under fire! But Mr Holmes soon appeared as if from nowhere and yanked us out a little side entrance. Under cover of darkness, we fled through London, supporting Watson whose dodgy leg kept buckling under the strain.
"I am alright, you know," Watson panted, trying in vain to extricate himself from our joint grip as we chivvied him onward.
"Sorry Doctor," I told him between my own gasping breaths - who knew I could run so fast under pressure? "But I don't think you'd make it away under your own steam!"
"Alright, but under protest..." He didn't sound as if he had the energy to protest, poor man.
Finally, we deemed it safe enough to stop in a little side alley in Lambeth, and had the chance to regain our breath.
"So it was Amberly." Watson was the first to speak. "Under our noses the whole time!"
"I thought there was something wrong with him," I said. "He got under my skin..."
"He certainly doesn't let the grass grow under his feet," Holmes warned me. "That will be his second robbery in a week."
"Don't worry Mr Holmes," I responded grimly. "Under the circumstances, we can arrest him for attempted assault in under a few hours, then take it from there."
"Sorry to have put you under the gun like that," Holmes added apologetically. "But I had to clear our escape route."
"Water under the bridge," I reassured him. "Anyway I'm used to it by now. Nothing new under the sun with you two, is there?"