Holmes went completely still where he lay under the window sill, obscured from view by the bushes that had also kept the burglar's footsteps from being found by whoever had been in charge of examining the grounds after the break-in.

"I don't care how smart you say he is, he's an amateur!" Holmes recognized the voice of the Superintendent down at the Yard. "It makes us look bad."

Holmes heard the familiar stifled sigh Lestrade often uttered behind his back when they worked together. He was somewhat surprised to discover that the man used it with other people as well, particularly with his superior, and especially to his face.

His superior must not have heard it, however, as he said nothing about insubordination or having the proper respect for one's Superintendent or any other such rubbish.

"Mr. Holmes had been of invaluable assistance on more than a few cases, Superintendent. He's not just an amateur. He is one of the most intelligent men I have ever met, and he knows how to put that intelligence to practical use." Lestrade said, calmly enough.

"And Scotland Yard is full of idiots who are desperately in need of his help." The Superintendent added accusingly.

"Compare to him we are a bunch of idiots!" Lestrade snapped. "But for all that he complained about us making a mess of the crime scene and destroying vital evidence, he will find your man where the rest of us have failed."

There was a moment's silence; the two men were likely facing off inside. The room would be a mess by the time Holmes could get to it.

"You seem certain of his abilities." The Superintendent finally murmured.

"I am." Lestrade said without hesitation.

Now that surprised Holmes.

Disclaimer: Sherlock and the boys do not belong to me.