Title: Resolutions (1/5)
Author: Jordanna Morgan
Archive Rights: SH22 Fan Page; others please request the author's consent.
Disclaimer: If you know them, they belong to DiC, not me.
Summary: Beth Lestrade deals with fantasy and reality during a New Year's Eve misadventure.
Notes: My favorite of Doyle's stable of Yardies gets a reference here. I hope to do more with him in the future.
Chapter I: A Damsel in Distress
It started the day after Christmas.
"Something troubling you, Lestrade?" Sherlock Holmes asked offhandedly, settling into the passenger seat of Inspector Beth Lestrade's police cruiser. Even those lacking his observational brilliance could not have failed to read her put-out expression and short, stiff movements.
"No. Yes." Lestrade pressed the palms of her hands flat against the steering wheel, then abruptly turned to him, scowling as though he was the source of her irritation—which, granted, was often true, but not so in this case. "It's that weasel, Jack Rizzo. He's been all over me ever since I took him to traffic court after the Timble case."
Holmes quirked his lips. "Ah, yes. I remember the redoubtable Mister Rizzo."
Lestrade let out a huff. "That guy has been a nightmare! He called me up this morning, trying to get me to agree to have dinner with him."
"I presume you've tried politely declining his overtures."
"Holmes, this guy is deluded. He wouldn't understand the word no if I—it punched him in the face," Lestrade quickly corrected. Then she dropped her head onto her hand. "He's going to be at the Yard's New Year's party, and I just know he's going to be putting over his slimy moves on me. If I had any choice, I wouldn't even go, but Greyson expects me to be there."
"How on earth did Rizzo manage to be invited to a New Scotland Yard social function?"
"One word: money. The guy used his court date to make more connections than the Yard's computer core." Lestrade sighed miserably, and a long moment of silence followed.
Then, slowly, Lestrade raised her head and looked at Holmes. Hard.
He swiftly raised a hand. "You're about to ask me to attend this 'party' and run interference for you. I think not, Lestrade. Unlike Mister Rizzo, I have not been invited—no doubt because Chief Inspector Greyson loathes me. And even had I been, I would not be inclined to attend."
"Number one, Greyson does not loathe you. He just… doesn't understand you."
"Nor do most people, but they don't refer to me as a non-entity."
"Number two, you need to get out for a change. You've already spent Christmas cooped up in your sitting room with Watson. It's time for you to rejoin the land of the living."
"That, thanks to you, I already have done," Holmes replied crisply. "I have no wish to spend an awkward evening entertaining your… less competent colleagues… with the charming party trick that is my analytical method. Furthermore, I suspect they would all just as soon avoid 'the dead detective' as well."
Lestrade turned away abruptly, staring straight ahead through the windshield. "Okay, okay. Forget I ever brought it up." With a sigh she brought the engine to life, and the hovercar smoothly lifted off from Baker Street, bound for New Scotland Yard.
Holmes spent the ride gazing out the window in silence, reconsidering his words.
In the nineteenth century, he had been a singular individual. In the twenty-second, he was positively an artifact—and acutely aware of it. That was more reason than ever for him to want isolation. He found no great loneliness in solitude; if he had, he certainly would not have adjusted so well to this new existence of his, two centuries distant from the world he had known.
Besides, he always had Watson for companionship… or at least, a most peculiar incarnation of Watson. He appreciated the irony of it. The methodic and dispassionate "calculating machine" once chronicled by the true John Watson had rediscovered his old friend in the form of a real machine.
A machine, even still, with more sensitivity to feelings than Holmes had ever indulged in.
Perhaps Lestrade was right. It might benefit him to sample a bit more of society than he had in his former lifetime. At the very least, it would be an interesting exercise for his skills of observation. Besides, Lestrade was in need of help, and he was ever mindful of his debt to her. His return to the world was an adventure he once might not have chosen for himself—but once thrust upon him, he found himself not unappreciative of that extraordinary gift.
Well, most of the time.
Holmes steepled his fingers, stared intently at their tips, and sighed elaborately. "Oh, very well."
Lestrade glanced over to smile at him, as unaffected by his sudden surrender as though she had expected it—which, of course, she had. She was a woman, after all.
"Great. I'll pick you up at seven on New Year's Eve."
The detective responded with a slight snort, and returned to his thoughts.
© 2003 Jordanna Morgan