"Here's that file," Davidson said, handing the file to Lestrade. "Why did you want it?"
"Tying up a loose end," Lestrade said. "Thanks. Have a good night."
"Don't stay too late," she said over her shoulder as she left. Lestrade enjoyed the view until she was out of sight. He hoped he was discreet about it. Annie Davidson was still pretty new, and was too damn good a detective to have against him just because he enjoyed looking at an attractive woman, but, sometimes, it was worth the risk.
Shaking his head, Lestrade opened the file. Dr. John Watson. Earlier this evening, when he'd first met the man, he hadn't been impressed. A small plain man, blatantly fawning over Sherlock in one of his "Look at me; I'm so clever" routines. Sherlock had said that Watson was "with" him. Lestrade's first guess had been that he and Sherlock were lovers and Sherlock was showing off. Watson didn't seem especially clever; he'd certainly shown no more ability than Anderson at the crime scene. Although Watson had had far less attitude. He'd taken all of Sherlock's many insults with little reaction. Lestrade's first impression was that this Watson was a new lover, brought along to impress. A doctor, but nothing special, just one of the many drones who listened to coughs and warned about the dangers of cigarettes.
He was a little more interesting at the drugs bust. His insistence that of course Sherlock was clean, "Have you met the man?" had been amusing, to say the least. Lestrade had been a little surprised at his reaction when Sherlock implicitly admitted that, at the very least, Lestrade had grounds to assume that illegal drugs might be on the premises. At least Watson wasn't so far under Sherlock's thumb that he was prescribing things for him. Yet. Even then, though, he hadn't been crushingly disappointed. Watson hadn't reacted to anything, yet, with any emotion greater than mild interest, or enthusiasm to Sherlock's deductions.
It was there, though, that Lestrade had started to wonder. Usually when Sherlock had someone new to show off to, that's what he did. Show off, every deduction spoken as if it were the plain, obvious truth; every insult thrown as if the victims were truly as dim as he pretended. To Watson, although he did sprinkle the insults none too lightly, Sherlock hadn't really been showing off. It had been a conversation, a real one, one Lestrade had never expected to see. It was just Watson asking questions and Sherlock answering, but there, for a few minutes, the insults and melodrama had been suspended. It had been just a brilliant detective trying to figure out what had happened. Watson hadn't tried to take the spotlight, he'd actually melted into the background all too well, but he'd been there, paying attention and keeping up.
That's what had caught Lestrade's attention, he finally realized. Watson had kept up. He couldn't make the leaps Sherlock did, but he could, almost, keep up with the "consulting detective".
He'd kept watch, as well, as Lestrade found out when Watson called, pleading that it was an emergency, that he had to talk to Lestrade. That wasn't Sherlock. Sherlock had little respect for him and almost none for the police at large. Sherlock called the police as a necessary evil, or because there was an errand that might be useful but was too much of a nuisance to do himself. Lestrade smiled; he thought there'd be fewer of those now; Watson would be getting them.
Something, some hunch, had led him to tell Watson his dream for Sherlock: that one day, the great consulting detective would become a "good man". His gut was telling him that Watson's appearance on the scene had been an important step. But why? He was an insignificant small plain man, nothing special as a doctor or he'd have a real practice. What was so special?
And, finally, why had Sherlock spooked as soon as he saw the doctor at that last crime scene. He'd been describing the shooter, not in any way that would let Lestrade find him, but Lestrade knew that Sherlock's description would, eventually, be correct. Why stop as soon as his audience arrived?
Lestrade thought he knew, actually. All he had to do now was to open the file and read.
Watson, John H. Younger of two siblings, only boy. Parents both deceased. Good marks in medical school, better than Lestrade had expected. It was the next part of the file that had the answers.
Military. After becoming a doctor, Watson had joined the army. And not one of the many doctors who handled the day-to-day illnesses and injuries of the soldiers. Afghanistan. Years in Afghanistan. On the front lines, several incidents in which he'd had to shoot to protect his patients. Incidents in which he'd treated life-threatening injuries, and done it well, while being shot at, while shooting back. Lestrade remembered his answer when Sherlock had asked what would you say if you were about to die. "I don't have to imagine it," or words to that effect. The calm comment had even stopped Sherlock for a minute.
The final injury. Sustained on the front lines, trying to get several injured men out of danger. Shooting back, again, but this time hit, and hit badly. Finally invalided out, PTSD, probable inability to perform surgery ever again, and psychosomatic limp. That hadn't lasted long. He'd had the cane the first time they'd met, but he'd been walking on his own with no, well, little trouble afterwards.
Sherlock might have said, in the end, that he didn't know what he was talking about, that he really was suffering from shock. Lestrade had known better. He'd let Sherlock have his way; finding the shooter wasn't something he really thought necessary, but he could still remember Sherlock's description. Crack shot, acclimatized to violence, strong moral principles, history of military service, nerves of steel. He'd seen John Watson and it had been then that Sherlock had backed off, had insisted he didn't know what he was talking about.
Lestrade went through the file, read the descriptions, found the results of his firearms training. Not quite marksman, but a good shot. Steady hands, not easily rattled. He'd need those "high moral principles" to handle Sherlock.
Grinning, Lestrade wondered what the appropriate flat-warming gift for the adrenaline-junkie doctor who had the best chance of changing Sherlock Holmes into a good man. Finally, he decided to go with his first thought. He'd always said that the only way to get anything normal or human into Sherlock was with a hammer; he had just the model for Dr. John H. Watson. It was against regulations, but he put the file through the shredder. Then, he turned off his light, shut his door and headed home whistling. He just prayed Sherlock wouldn't infect Watson too much while Watson was infecting Sherlock.