The man was bigger than most people, and would have made Holmes look short. I could see the rest of the Yard come to a standstill, all eyes on the two men. They stood there watching as Inspector Lestrade stared up at a man who was nearly twice his size.
The man grinned. It wasn't a friendly grin. "You're standing between me and the doors, Mister." He said smugly. There was no doubt the little man would have to either move or be crushed by this giant.
"Inspector." Lestrade corrected. "Inspector Lestrade. And you can just turn around and go quietly with Inspectors Jones and Hopkins." I was beginning to worry now.
The man laughed. "You've either got guts or a terrific sense of humor, but not much in the way of brains, I see. You must be daft to be standing here in my way."
The Inspector shrugged off the insult. "You realize this could be considered obstruction of justice, don't you? I suggest you turn around and quietly and calmly answer Inspector Jones' questions." The big man took a step closer to the Inspector, who didn't even so much as flinch. "I'm not going to move." Lestrade informed the man, his tone conversational.
The big man growled and swung at the Inspector. The blow succeeded in knocking him backwards and into the door. Lestrade slumped forward, but managed to pull himself together. As the man prepared to swing again the Inspector darted forward and kicked him in the stomach.
The man actually groaned, and grabbed at the Inspector. I watched in horrified silence as the two were suddenly involved in a battle that there was no way for the smaller man to win. I started forward, with half a mind to do something, and suddenly someone stood in my way.
"Stay out of the way." Hopkins said, not unkindly. "You'll just be a distraction. The Inspector knows what he's doing."
At once I heard the sickening crack of a bone breaking, and the big man let out a yell. A click followed that, and to my surprise, the Inspector was pulling himself up and dusting himself off.
He grimaced and made his way over to the young man who had stopped me from trying to help him. "There's your man back, Hopkins." He gasped. "He should be a little bit easier to handle now." He paused to wipe away some of the blood that seemed to be gushing from his nose. "And if you can't peg him as the man who beat that poor girl half to death you can at least get him for assault and battery of a member of the Yard."
Inspector Hopkins nodded. "Do you need a doctor, Inspector? You look a bit unsteady there."
The other Inspector shook his head, then promptly looked as I he regretted it. "No, I'll be fine, as soon as the room stops spinning. I'll be in my office." He paused. "Your man might need a doctor, though. I may have done some damage to his wrist.
"Yes, sir." Inspector Hopkins replied, and reluctantly left to deal with the man who was currently lying handcuffed and moaning on the floor.
Inspector Lestrade noticed me then. "Doctor." He said as if in greeting; whether he was pleased to see me or not I couldn't tell. "May I help you?"
"Uh, yes." I replied hesitantly. The man seemed to be losing quite a bit of blood. He seemed suddenly to notice the same thing, for he pulled out a handkerchief and began putting forth an effort to at least stifle bleeding. "Holmes sent me to inform you that he has located your gang and requests your presence and assistance."
"Ah." The Inspector managed to reply. He looked around, and caught sight of Inspector Gregson. "Inspector!" He called, and the man turned his head. I wondered how he could tell which Inspector Lestrade was calling for.
Inspector Gregson approached somewhat warily. "I'm not cleaning this mess up, if that's what you're after." He informed the other Inspector with a grin.
"Actually, Mr. Holmes just sent word that he's found that gang we've been after. He wanted some assistance, and I'm in no condition for any potential excitement." All this was said through a handkerchief that was now bright red.
Inspector Gregson smirked. "If you're sure you can't go…"
Inspector Lestrade might have been scowling. "I'll be lucky to make it to my office without passing out." He confessed. "Go before Mr. Holmes decides he's tired of waiting for us."
Inspector Gregson's smile grew even larger. "If you insist. Come along, doctor." I hesitated, worried about the other Inspector. "He'll be all right." Inspector Gregson assured me. "It's not the first time he's been beaten up on the job."
"Go on, Doctor." Inspector Lestrade added. "Inspector Gregson will probably need your help figuring out just where to go."
"If you're certain…" I was still reluctant.
Inspector Lestrade nodded. "Go, doctor."
Reluctantly, I went.
"You needn't worry, Doctor." Inspector Gregson broke into my thoughts. "Inspector Lestrade is fully capable of taking care of himself.
"He was losing quite a bit of blood." I fretted.
"It's just a nosebleed, and he's had worse than that." Now why didn't I find that reassuring? "But if you want, you're welcome to check on him after we finish this business with Holmes."
I decided I would do just that.
The blood was gone by the time we returned, leaving no sign of the fight that had gone on earlier. Holmes grinned. "Someone try to flatten Lestrade again?" He asked Gregson.
The Inspector nodded. "Scared Doctor Watson here half to death, the way his nose was gushing by the time it was over." He informed Holmes with a chuckle. "Told him he could check on Lestrade when we got back. He'll be in his office, Doctor." Gregson said to me.
He was in his office, working his way through the ever present paperwork on his desk. His nose had stopped bleeding, I was thankful to notice, but a black eye was making its presence known. He looked up as I hovered outside the door, and waved me in.
"I take it you were successful?" He asked as I took the offered seat.
"We were." I confirmed. "I see you made it to your office." He nodded, and we sat there in awkward silence for a few minutes. "What you did out there-" I finally began.
"Was nothing more than my job." He finished. "And I received no more trouble for it than a few bruises, a black eye, and a bloody nose. I appreciate your concern, but it is hardly necessary." He considered his abandoned papers for a moment.
"People that large don't expect someone smaller than them to pose much of a threat, or to stand up to them." He explained patiently. "So when someone actually fights back, they aren't ready for it. Add to it the fact that most of the time they're used to using just brute force and not having to actually pay attention to what they're doing, and they're practically useless in a fight against someone who knows what they're doing."
He smiled. "Thank you for your concern." He said. "It's rare to find someone who actually feels concern for a Yarder."
I returned the smile. "I won't take up any more of your time then, Inspector." I said, standing. "Good evening."
"Good evening, Doctor."
Disclaimer: Sherlock Holmes does not belong to me.