"Why is it always Doctor or the Doctor?" Doctor Watson wanted to know. "Every once in a while it's Doctor Watson, and your wife calls me John, and insists that I call her Elisabeth. But with you it's always some variation of doctor. Why?"
I didn't have an answer ready. "Why did you and Mr. Holmes only address each other by your last names?" I retorted.
The Doctor shrugged. "That's how we started out, I suppose, and it never occurred to either of us to alter that."
"Well, you lived together." I pointed out. "You and I work together, and sometimes you come over for dinner and to prod at my arm, but that's not near the same."
The Doctor looked thoughtful. "I suppose you're right." He conceded. "How is your arm, by the way?"
I grimaced. "Olivia sits and makes me work with it every night." I informed him. "I can't sleep half the time because it aches so much."
The Doctor smirked. "So you've finally given up fighting with the doctor?"
I shrugged, or half shrugged. "Consider it paying you back for saving it in the first place." I retorted. Doctor Watson almost laughed.
"So how is it going? The recovery, that is."
"Slow." I admitted. "It's frustrating, sometimes."
"Like now?" He suggested. I glared at the man.
"Why on earth would it be frustrating to have my arm all but useless in a sling now?" I demanded sarcastically. "It's not as if we're locked in a room with several dead bodies, or either of us is handcuffed to whatever kind of pipes these are and waiting for a man to come back and embalm us while we're still alive."
"Don't forget they're experimenting with it, so it might not work properly." The Doctor offered helpfully.
"Either way, I'm pretty sure the end result will involve us being dead."
We fell silent, both trying desperately to think of a way out of this.
After several long minutes, I spoke. Anything to break the silence and to distract me from the corpses lying on the tables in front of us.
"Does it bother you?"
"Pardon?" The Doctor wasn't following me.
"What I call you." I clarified. "Would you prefer something else?"
He thought about it. "Maybe when we're off duty." He finally commented. "It's just that you're so formal all the time, Lestrade."
"And so you reciprocate by sticking to Inspector or Lestrade" I returned. He reddened.
"I didn't think you'd appreciate being called Giles." He admitted.
"I wouldn't, not in public." I conceded. "But I could deal with it. My family calls me Giles."
"And your friends?"
I nearly laughed at the man. "I don't have friends, Doctor." I said. He stared at me for a minute, surprised to realize it was true.
"But you have people you trust. People you're comfortable around." He offered when he recovered.
I considered this. "My wife, our children." I counted. "My sister and her husband. Some of the men I work with." I thought a bit longer. "You."
The man looked surprised. "Me?"
Now that I thought about it, the Doctor was probably the closest thing I had to a friend. Bradstreet and Gregson certainly didn't come over just to visit.
"I'm hanging here discussing relationships with you." I pointed out, eliciting a wry smile from the man.
"True enough, I suppose." He replied. "Well then, Giles, I don't suppose you have a plan for getting us out of this?"
I sighed. "Not really, J-Watson." John just wouldn't come out. Of course, Watson didn't really feel right either. "Do you?"
"That depends on if you can maneuver your arm out of that sling and can manage to pick things up." He finally said. He was hesitant, not wanting to push something like that on me. He didn't want to make me feel useless, I guess.
I rolled my eyes. "Tell me what it is and I'll tell you if I can do it." I retorted.
That got a guilty laugh from the man. "They threw my jacket on the table beside you there. Do you think you could reach it?"
"Possibly." I answered warily. "Why?"
"Do you know anything about picking locks?" I shot the Doctor a scandalized look.
"I'm with the police, remember?"
He gave me a look of his own. "Can you pick the lock on those handcuffs?" He asked.
"Not with my right hand." I confessed. "Can you?"
"If you can get the pick into my hand." He replied.
"You have a lock picking kit in your jacket?" I demanded.
"I have a kit of things that might prove useful when I'm traipsing around with you." He clarified. "It's in the left pocket. Do you think you can get at it?"
"I can try." I offered, and began working my arm loose of the sling. I was immensely grateful that my wife had finally stopped tying my arm to my side.
I was starting to sweat as I finally got free; it still hurt considerably to move my arm much at a time. I let it hang limply for a minute, then began reaching for the coat.
It was a bit of a stretch, and my fingers brushed the material. I stifled a groan, and focused on dragging the material close enough for me to get a grip on it.
My fingers closed around it, and every muscle in my arm screamed in protest. I started lifting it off the table, and nearly dropped it before I managed to bring his jacket up so I could grip cloth between my teeth.
My hand was shaking; it would be a few minutes before I would be able to try anything else.
"I hope nobody returns to find you chewing on my jacket." The Doctor joked after a moment. "That would be a bit difficult to explain."
I glared at the man, but couldn't say any thing. His response was to smirk at me.
I brought my hand up slowly, looking for the left jacket pocket. I found it, gripped the kit inside it tightly and against my body's wishes, and let the jacket fall.
I frowned. I wasn't sure I could maneuver the thing open without dropping it. I was pressing it against my body to be sure I didn't drop it as it was.
"Take your time, Lestrade." Doctor Watson said softly. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before trying anything else.
I brought the case up to my mouth and again used my teeth as I opened the thing. The Doctor winced as I did so, but didn't comment. I gripped the edge of the case and removed the tool I was looking for with a shaking hand.
It was tiny, and my fingers didn't want to tighten enough for me to pull it out. I finally managed it, and somehow didn't drop it, though the case hit the floor with an overly loud thud.
I clenched the thing in my fist and considered getting it into the Doctor's hands.
Our captors had taken one look at the sling my arm was in and only bothered to cuff one hand and fasten the other end around the pipe. Doctor Watson had both hands cuffed, with the links behind the pipe. Consequently, both of us were actually able to reach the floor, which meant his hands were higher up than mine.
Unfortunately, standing on tiptoe wasn't going to help me reach his hands.
The Doctor was thoughtful. "Can you use my leg?" He asked, lifting his foot and placing it against the wall.
"I think so." I said. "But I can't use my hands to steady myself."
"You could put the pick in your mouth." He suggested. "You won't drop it that way, and you've had everything else in there already anyway."
"Very funny." I said, but I stuck the pick in my mouth. I was starting to wonder if maybe I should have just let Dr. Mills cut my arm off after all. It hurt so bad it felt ready to fall off anyway.
But I wasn't even half serious in my considerations, and set about my task. Doctor Watson groaned as I climbed up on his leg, but didn't move, and I managed to latch on to the pipe we were handcuffed to and wrap my arm around it.
I made sure I had my balance back before I let go of the pipe tried taking the pick out of my mouth. Fire was shooting through my hand and up my arm, and I was starting to shake even more, but I managed to once again grip the pick in my hand and transfer it to Doctor Watson's.
I let myself fall to the floor and let my arm hang limp with great relief, and reveled in my painful victory while the Doctor fought with the locks.
He quickly loosed himself, and turned his attention to my cuffed hand. "Good show, Lestrade." He praised. "Excellent job. Really."
"Don't overdo it." I grumbled. "Got any painkillers in that kit of yours?"
"Sorry, Lestrade, nothing that won't knock you off your feet in the process." He replied ruefully as he bent and retrieved both his jacket and said kit. He checked his watch as I straightened up. Then he helped me put my aching arm back into its sling.
"I think that if we hurry, we can escape, inform the Yard, and manage not to be late for dinner with your wife, Giles." He said cheerfully.
"Good." I retorted. "The last time we were late she accused me of trying to corrupt you into missing meals and seeking out danger. I didn't have the heart to tell her that you already had that problem when I met you."
"I was developing it." He corrected. "That was the first case I accompanied Holmes on, you know."
"Either way, it wasn't my influence that caused it."