Chapter Notes: Here we are again. This story sprang from an event I could not find a place for in the previous installment. The only way I could have introduced this concept was if I did a blind introduction of a character out of the blue that is cheap to me so I came up with this concept. I think it might wind up being a bit controversial, but I am going to plow on anyway.
Watson and Lestrade are once again taking residence in my brain, and I hope I can get this story out before they do significant damage up there. Of course those who know me would quip, "how do we know there is damage?" Miserable comforters all!
The title will make since later on...nuff said. I also have a picture with this fic that I worked hard on, I hope it adds to the enjoyment. Check it out in my profile. Pay attention to the story notes after.
Once again these are Conan's boys and I ain't talking O'Brien! LOL!
Doctor John Watson, Police Surgeon: Scotland Yard 3
Esau Have I Hated
Lestrade was in a foul mood as he arrived at the Yard.
The inquest the day before about the recent events surrounding the capture of the Sherlock Holmes impostor had not gone well for the Yarders.
"Let me see if I understand the relevant facts in this matter," wheezed Judge Hollow, his washed out brown eyes glinting with disdain. "Firstly, there was a mentally ill individual roaming around London posing as Sherlock Holmes exhibiting disdain for the law and you were unable to capture said individual for nearly three weeks? Secondly, although there was a member of Scotland Yard in good standing intimately familiar with the man he was posing as, and you failed to utilize his cooperation until the situation escalated? Lastly, this man, Doctor John Watson, had to fight off this impostor by himself and risk his life while the Yard was left behind, then later on shot yet another man in the back at the Diogenes Club to prevent an assassination?"
Lestrade and Doctor Watson had made a pact to keep the Baker Street Irregulars out of the paper work, seeing as they were minors and had broken several laws on the Doctor's behalf, but without them involved, a pall was caste over Scotland Yard's involvement. The situation, not helped by the suicides of all involved. The three heavies that assisted the impostor by cyanide capsule, the impostor himself by hanging.
Before the Judge "Hard-arse" Hollow could lower the gavel on the Yard, Mycroft Holmes redeemed himself somewhat by writing to the Judiciary a personal note allowing the matter to drop, but the inquest was still on the record, which hurt Lestrade's chances for career advancement.
"Why don't I go get a law degree, sit on my family's standing, wear an ugly horsehair wig and lord it over the hard working constables, you know when I'm not visiting the East End work houses that pander to men who like little boys..." Lestrade grumbled to himself.
"Lestrade, a word if you will," called Superintendent Collins as Lestrade passed his office on his way to the area he shared with his fellow Inspectors.
I love my job.
"Yes Superintendent," he replied dutifully following the tall austere sophisticate into his office.
He emerged less than an hour later perplexed.
Yet another impostor? What's happening to this city?
Just in case he thought things couldn't get worse from his conversation to Collins, (disconcerting to say the least) Lestrade made his way down to the offices, and found two unexpected visitors heavily bandaged sorting though large mountains of files with speed and dexterity all the while keeping up a constant brisk dialogue.
"I've got a partial decapitation over here, Tommy."
"Well place it on the partial decapitation pile, Bobby."
"This one was done with a rope pulled by a horse, Tommy."
"Then it goes on the hanging pile, Bobby, do I have to think of everything?"
"Right you are, Tommy, so sorry."
"No worries, Bobby, no worries."
Lestrade sighed wearily. Not these two, anyone else but these two!
Having heard Lestrade PC Tommy Parlier glanced up. "Blimey, Chief Inspector, you look like you've already had a day, don't he look tired, Bobby?
"To the bone, Tommy."
"What are you two doing here, instead of White Chapel, and still in uniform past your shift?" Lestrade demanded, trying to head off a barrage about his appearance.
"We had a bit of a riot down at the docks, guv."
"A bit Tommy? I says twelve men and four constables getting banged about qualifies as more than a bit."
"Right you are Bobby. Anyways, we got it quieted down and carted'em all back to tha' Yard for processing, had to call in a bunch o' Surgeons to get everyone patched."
"Even called in Doc Watson, even though we don't usually bother'em unless sumthin strange goes down, right Tommy?"
"Good thing we did, Bobby, one o' tha Frenchies was worse off than he first appeared, and it was good we had a Doc with Surgical experience with the breathing here, saved the man's life he did."
"Had some sort of possible Aortic Thrombosis, so I hear, Tommy."
"Anyways tha Doc figured it out, got him out to St. Bart's in time, he should be up and French in a week or so."
"You take the good with the bad, right Tommy?"
"It's the way of the world, Bobby."
Lestrade found himself standing there slack-jawed, he blinked a couple of times shaking his head a bit to clear it. "What are you doin with these files, please be brief?"
"Well we was here anyways, so Hopkins put us on this project he had been workin on, what is it Bobby?"
"A four-enz-zic filing system, or some such, Tommy"
"We's been sortin the files into method of murders so's if a new murder comes in with similar characteristics we can see a pattern, or sumthin like that, Hopkins explained it better."
"We been working through the last five years, got a bunch sorted already, since we're goin to be sidelined with the injuries. Might take a day or so, right Tommy?"
Tommy jerked a bandaged thumb over his shoulder at a large PC who was sorting quietly; he was so taciturn that Lestrade did not realize he was there, a direct contrast to the two verbose coffee addicts. "Hopkins asked Reynolds to pitch in," Tommy explained. Reynolds waved lazily, "Lo." Tommy leaned in closer to Lestrade in the manner of a conspirator. "He talks a bit much if you ask me guv, just ain't natural." Bobby nodded eagerly.
As they turned back to their work, Lestrade began to touch his pistol and think about possible repercussions.
"I wouldn't do that, at least wait until you're not in the middle of the Yard," said Inspector Hopkins with a grin as he walked over with an armload of more files.
Lestrade glared at the younger man with the razor crisp uniform and patchy moustache. "I can't believe you brought those two into our nice quiet work environment!"
Hopkins shrugged. "We need this done; they are already sorting twice as fast as any three PC's I've used so far."
Lestrade was curious. "Why do we need this done, we've never had a forensic file in the past."
Hopkins put the files down, turning to the inspector his eyes grave. "We always had Holmes in the past. This way it won't take three dead girls before we realize we are dealing with the same killer. "
Lestrade winced, that was not a pleasant memory, but it was the tipping reason that Doctor Watson was now a Police Surgeon.
Speaking of which...
"Is Doctor Watson still here?"
Hopkins motioned with his head towards one of the dissection bays. "St. Cloud asked him to check his findings; he thought there was something fishy with a gunshot wound in a victim that came in this morning."
Lestrade had to smile about that. The formerly arrogant Chief Surgeon had mellowed significantly in the previous months since he had gotten cheeky with Doctor Watson and was rightly decimated by the man. St. Cloud was still a pill to work with, but he was willing to listen to others observations now, Watson's in particular. The two men had formed a working partnership with St. Cloud calling for the man even before the inspectors suggested it. Of course, that dressing down he absorbed at the good Doctor's hands was one of the most precise verbal beatings that Lestrade had ever witnessed, anyone would have lost a bit of ego after that. That was just John Watson's first day. He did not arrive at the Yard quietly.
He stuck his head into the small tiled room indicated. "Mind if I slide in, gents?"
St. Cloud's simian hulking presence was leaning over the body in shirtsleeves and coroner's apron; his cold slate gray eyes glanced at Lestrade and away as if seeing nothing of note. Lestrade felt the old anger begin to simmer. Watson, still wearing his coat, obviously there in an advisory capacity, glanced up and his moustache cocked up to one side in a familiar lopsided grin. "I have no objection; pull up a slab, inspector, mi cadáver es su cadáver."
Lestrade returned his warm smile, circling for a better vantage point.
Lestrade watched as they both studied the older man's chest cavity with clinical detachment. "Do you zee what I am talking 'bout Doctor?" St. Cloud inquired as he lifted the piece away. Watson's forehead wrinkled as he followed the larger man's hand.
He suddenly looked excited. "Turn him onto his side please, Georges. Go to the other side of the table Lestrade, and get down where you can look directly at the centre of the chest.
Lestrade did as he bid, St. Cloud watched the Doctor with a perplexed expression, as Watson walked over to sort through some of the tools of the trade. Watson pulled out a narrow wooden dowel checking it's diameter before putting it back finally settling on one. He walked back over to where St. Cloud had the body propped on its side carefully. Watson poked the dowel into the corpses back then retracted it. He reached into his pocket for something that Lestrade could not see.
Immediately, Lestrade could see a flame behind the body, shining straight through the chest cavity.
"Do you see it Lestrade?" Watson called.
"Yes I can see it clear." Lestrade replied. Watson flipped his lighter closed and deposited it into his coat pocket as St. Cloud placed the body back prone. They exchanged a grave look.
"Zis was not a gunshot wound," St. Cloud concluded.
"No, there was not enough path deviation. My guess is impalement with a rod like device, roughly the circumference of a large bullet, which explains why there was no bullet found at the scene. You were right Georges," Watson concluded.
Lestrade knew that St. Cloud had most likely not come to that conclusion, but Watson was giving him credit to soothe the other man's ego. It was typical John Watson. It cost him nothing to give someone else credit for his hypothesis. It was part of what made the man able to work with anyone, no matter how difficult. It was most likely how he was able to deal with Sherlock Holmes and his idiosyncrasies for all those years.
There was silence in the room as all three men speculated about the type of weapon involved.
Watson finally spoke first. "This was too smooth, too well executed, the entrance from the back straight though the heart is a dead giveaway that this assassin has experience with this implement, I am betting he has done this multiple times before."
St. Cloud nodded, his eyes grave. "Zere was a gold coin on ze dead man's tongue; zat might 'ave been some zort of callin card? No?"
Watson beamed. "It would seem likely. Can I see this coin?"
St. Cloud handed the coin over in an evidentiary phial; half filled with clear liquid.
Watson pulled the magnifier over and studied it carefully. "I know practically nothing about coins, but this looks like a new copy of an old coin. There is not enough corrosion or wear to be the genuine article."
St. Cloud nodded gravely as if he was following Watson's thinking. Lestrade had a hunch the big man was just trying not to look out of his depth. Watson's instincts were normally infallible, while St. Cloud usually settled on the obvious, which is why he agreed with Watson's conclusions knowing he could take credit for them later since Watson seldom did. It was disgusting to Lestrade, but he had taken credit for Holmes' conclusions to advance his career, so he could not throw stones.
Watson handed the phial back. "The mind behind this assault is not frenzied at all; the coin left on the tongue is that others will know their work. That is behaviour, not of a serial killer, but of a professional assassin."
St. Cloud's head was on a swivel he was nodding so much.
Lestrade repressed a groan.
"I wonder if they have left this trademark before, maybe we have record of it." Watson remarked.
Lestrade nodded. "We can ask Hopkins later. Collins has a matter he wants to discuss with you."
"What is it exactly, can it possibly wait? I believe we are onto something here." Watson remarked eyes back on the body.
Lestrade sighed. "This is concerning three different complaints lodged against a Doctor John Watson with Scotland Yard in the past two days, the most serious coming in last night. The young lady involved said she has been treated medically by you, and she was sure of her identification."
Watson looked gobsmacked. "She said what?"(1)
Lestrade nodded his face grim. "I told Superintendant Collins you were with me last night."
Watson nodded, his eyes still showing signs of shock, he still managed to smile. "Did you tell him we went to the Savoy to see The Mikado?"
Lestrade sighed. "A fact which I would appreciate is kept between us."
Watson shrugged, and then replied, "As you wish."
He held a quick conversation with St. Cloud then followed Lestrade out.
Suddenly there were three younger PC's in unrecognizable in white face, walking in little stutter steps side by side, they reached a fuming Lestrade and broke into song with surprising ability.
Three little maids from school are we,
Pert as a school-girl well can be,
Filled to the brim with girlish glee,
Three little maids from school!
Lestrade shot a glare at Watson.
Watson looked unrepentant. "Might I point out that you did not make me promise till just a short time ago, and Yum-Yum, you were a bit sharp."
The young PC on the end looked offended. "I was not sharp, the other two were flat!"
Both of the other PCs turned to him and exclaimed, "Oy!"
Lestrade led a chuckling Watson past the merrily squabbling PCs, ignoring all the catcalls and good-natured ribbing, his ears felt so hot from blushing he was sure they were going to haemorrhage.
They were headed up the stairs when he tossed over his shoulder the declaration, "That's the last time I let you talk me into attending theatre with you!"
Watson snorted. "What, no H.M.S. Pinafore?"
Lestrade gave him the glare he deserved.
They were nearly across the office when a voice yelled. "There he is, there's tha bloke that called my Polly a sow in makeup! I recognize him from the charity wards."
Watson and Lestrade looked up in time to see an outsized burly shore man straining against two muscular PCs, there was murder clear in his eyes. Behind him was a slightly overweight teenage girl dressed in a cheap but pretty dress with a bow in her hair, face flushed with the embarrassment.
Sometimes the defence of a person only exacerbates the original offense.
"Daddy, please stop," she pleaded.
He stopped struggling. He pointed an angry finger at Watson. "My little girl just saved your life, friend."
Watson moved past Lestrade's shielding body. "I assure you sir; I would never humiliate anyone in such a manner, especially not this dear girl. You must be mistaken."
Polly looked down, bashful. "He's not the man, daddy, he looks just like him, but his hair is longer and his moustache is different. Doctor Watson's got kinder eyes."
Watson met the bewildered man's gaze with the forthrightness in which he conducted all of his affairs. "I apologize for what happened to your daughter, can I ask her some questions?"
The man nodded eying Doctor Watson with caution.
Watson knelt painfully to look into the mortified girl's eyes. "Polly, can you tell me more about this man?"
She nodded, responding to his kind tone. "He was in the lobby of The Argentine, I was there with my auntie for dinner, it's really nice there, I've been looking forward to it for weeks, and I dressed up for it. We were crossing the lobby when a man, who looks just like you, called out, "You can put makeup on a sow, but it will always be a pig." Her eyes were red-rimmed from crying. "I thought it was you, he looks so much like you, but he isn't. I'm sorry."
Watson's eyes were flashing anger so deep that Lestrade thought of locking the man up until it passed. He had seen men kill with that look on their face.
"No, Polly, I am not he. He lied. You look lovely," Watson informed gently touching her cheek.
She managed to give him a smile.
He got to his feet, reached into his coat and pulled out his wallet, giving Polly's father a ten-pound note. Lestrade winced at the expenditure. "Take her someplace nice for lunch," Watson demanded in a dangerous, quiet tone.
The man looked as if he was going to turn the money down, but Watson pressed it into his hand and leaned in close. "Damn your pride, man, she deserves a good memory."
The man saw the strength of will he was dealing with; possibly realizing that maybe it was not Watson his little girl had saved after all. He accepted it with no further issue.
Watson turned to Polly. "I'm sorry this happened, Polly. I hope you won't let it upset you long."
She shook her head, adamant, showing strength of resolve.
"There's a Lady," Watson remarked, his fondness clear.
He turned to Lestrade. "Collins can wait; we are going to The Argentine, now."
Lestrade and Watson made their way across town. Lestrade had insisted that Watson give him his Webley Bulldog, which he had taken to carrying on his person after a Holmes impostor had nearly killed him and Mrs. Hudson less than a month previous.
He had handed it over reluctantly.
They arrived at the Hotel just off the Strand. Furnished with green stripped fabric curtains in the windows and the exterior appointed in South American architecture with white picket porticos wrapping its upper levels, and green awnings adding to the plantation feel, Lestrade had taken Clea to dine here for one of the sundry anniversaries. It was classy, but not overly expensive; the middle class considered it serviceable, the lower class stared at it with naked longing.
Watson strolled in with Lestrade in tow.
Met by a concierge in the opulent lobby, to Lestrade's confusion, Watson took on a bored, precise accent with a slight burr. "Is my seat at the table still open, old bean?"
"Of course Mr. Watson, right this way," the elegantly dressed man replied.
They followed him through a large opening into a expansive parlour, there were men talking loudly, a cloud of cigar smoke hovered like a opportunistic vulture. The focus of the room was a large round green felt card table. Lestrade saw them get several strange looks. He was nearly at the collection of gentlemen when he saw something that made him stop moving, and breathing for nearly a minute.
There was a man re-raising on a bet with an abject ennui, and he did not resemble Doctor John Watson, he was John Watson, but a version not beaten down and burdened by life, and without any warmth in his eyes. (1)
"Gentlemen, allow me to introduce my tedious twin brother John," he said replacing a cigar in his jaw as he studied his cards. "I was wondering when you were going to get here. I've offended nearly the entire populace trying to get you to come find me."
"What do you want, James," Watson growled in a tone that surely must have hurt this throat.
His twin brother looked up, and Lestrade saw foreboding in his eyes.
James removed his cigar. "What I want to be, is alive tomorrow, if you don't help me, I will be dead before dawn."
Story Notes: According to KCS, we hear in SIGN that Watson had an older brother. Byzantine inheritance law in these Victorian days gave all the power to the older male siblings, but what if that sibling was a twin brother born just minutes before you...that would haunt you the rest of your life, especially if he turned out to be a total waste as a human being!
James is not Watson's evil twin, you have to have a conscience to be evil. That being said there is not much to like about James, but I find writing him is a hoot! Does that make me a bad person? I don' t know. I hope you like this installment and will continue to support it and me.
MAKE SURE YOU CHECK OUT THE PROFILE PHOTO! I used two versions of Ian Hart playing Watson, and I think it looks like two twin brothers, one who has lived a lot more life than the other, but is a lot kinder. (1)