Written for the Watson's Woes LJ community prompt "Watson is embarrased" I took the prompt rather literally. If this offends someone I apologize, please don't read without a sense of humor.

thanks,

Bart


Embarrassed

Lestrade paused on the stairs. He had managed to gain entry without ringing the bell, with Mrs. Hudson's help,

If his hunch was correct, he believed the overheard conversation would be informative.

Two voices floated down the stairway to his waiting ears.

"I fail to see why my conflict with the Irregulars has a bearing on your affairs.

"It certainly had a baring! All the little buggers left me was my hat!"

"Let's discuss this rationally."

"Rationally? I just flashed my nethers to half of Fleet Street!"

"As if most of the females on Fleet Street were not already familiar with your nethers."

"Well you can safely say all of them are now."

"I did tell you that the Irregulars had it in for me and that staying in for the duration of this negotiation might be..."

"You know how the Turkish Baths help my shoulder and leg."

"Be that as it may, you left yourself in a vulnerable position."

"If you would just pay that half crown you owe them, none of this would have happened! This is all your fault."

"I have no intention of giving in to such underhanded tactics."

"They stole my clothes, Holmes! That coat is Saville Row's best wool!"

"Oh that reminds me, this note came soon after the theft."

"Give us the money or the waist coat gets it? You'll owe me a good winter coat, Holmes, that's more than that half crown."

"You must understand, there's a principle being defended here..."

"My principles went out the door with my knickers!"

Lestrade took that as his cue; he went back down the stairs and rang the bell. Mrs. Hudson came out and let him in with a wink.

He climbed the stairs as the bickering continued at a lower volume.

He paused before turning to go into the Sitting Room,

You can do this, Lestrade, you are Scotland Yard's finest after all.

Even so, a snigger escaped before he could contain it, he cleared his throat and walked in.

Holmes was lounging with pipe in hand, Watson was in a dressing robe and little else across the room at his desk looking busy.

"Doctor Watson, if I've come at a bad time..."

Holmes waved him off. "Do not worry yourself Lestrade, he just got out of the bath.

Lestrade caught the venomous look Watson shot his flatmate before returning to expectant equanimity. "What can we do for you today Chief Inspector?" he asked with feigned curiosity.

Lestrade pulled out his pad. "I was hoping to call upon your deductive abilities, Holmes, there was a disturbance earlier on Fleet Street."

Holmes hid a smile by lighting his pipe. "Oh? Pray tell, do continue."

Lestrade stifled another guffaw with a bit of effort, but only just.

"It seems there was a gentleman, sans all clothing except a bowler strolling down Fleet in the altogether, he was attempting to flag a cab on credit. He was a younger bloke, dark hair, moustache, said he politely tipped his hat as he passed as if nothing was amiss."

Holmes nearly lost it at that statement, he walked to the bank of windows with his back turned, his shoulders shook momentarily, then he regained control. "Was there any other description, Lestrade, those details are rather vague."

Lestrade flipped a page in his pad. "Just something here about a nice bum."

Watson, who had been blushing scarlet, actually sat up a little straighter. "Well that certainly is a distinguishing characteristic."

Lestrade stifled another laugh and managed to say. "Yes, but how do I show that artist sketch around, "Excuse me, have you seen this bum?"

That was all it took, Holmes and Lestrade were laughing, fit to burst.

Watson was back to blushing, his arms angrily crossed. "Let's try to be mature about this, really."

"I can just see the line-up at the Yard. They file in, gentlemen, turn to your left, now face away, now drop your trousers, ladies do you see that nice bum?" Holmes managed between gales of frivolity.

Lestrade had tears streaming down his face, "What nerve, tipping his hat to the ladies, nothing to see here, just my bum."

Holmes sputtered, and then said, "What a cheeky bastard!"

He collapsed onto the sofa, while Lestrade tried to sit in a chair, missed it and landed on the floor where he laughed even harder, completely enthralled.

Watson turned away in a huff, but his mouth curled into a small smile. "Is there a fine for me to pay, am I facing charges?"

Lestrade managed to get it under control. "No, nothing like that, we at the Yard decided the embarrassment was bad enough."

"Yes, being bare assed is its own punishment!" Holmes blurted.

Lestrade and Holmes were off again.

Watson crossed the room and climbed the stairs to his room grumbling vile invectives.

They watched him go still in the throes of laughter. "Don't go, old chap, we'll stop in a moment," Holmes called trying to gain control.

Watson ignored him and when he reached, the landing lifted the back of his robe to let them know what he thought of the entire affair.

He shut his door to the sound of laughter renewed.

This was one event that would not make the Strand!