Lestrade hated dragging the Rookies along on their first day. It made little difference to him whether they were Constables or Inspectors, he still hated doing it before he had a chance to get some measure of the Rookie.
Someone invariably got hurt. If they were lucky, that is. Occasionally someone ended up dead. Not often, but still too often for Lestrade's liking.
He still had scars from that fiasco with the Wright boy. Not just physical scars either. That had been a nightmare, and not something he would likely ever share the full details of with anyone.
This one was clean, at least. Lestrade knew that. He didn't have to worry about him trying to knife him the minute he turned his back, at least. Speaking of scars...
Lestrade figured he'd probably have more scars than unmarked skin by the time he was old enough to retire. If he lasted that long, of course. It was entirely possible he would not. His was a dangerous job.
Dragging a newly promoted Inspector into danger on his first day was, at least, a little better than dragging a Rookie Constable into danger on his first day, though not much. An Inspector would have at least seen some action as a Constable. Rookie Constables were generally clueless, innocent, and a little bit dumb.
And then there was the fact that Inspector Athelney Jones had followed Lestrade without so much as a "why" or "where are we going?" which was more than could presently be said for more than half of the men currently working at the Yard. Lestrade had told him to come on, and Jones had wordlessly followed.
Lestrade was cursing whatever had made him decide to bring the new Inspector along instead of simply leaving and going after Pole himself as the man they had been chasing stepped out of the shadows behind Jones and raised a knife to his throat. He knew better, he really did. And given a choice between going against his own advice and going after someone alone was better than dragging a rookie along and to his death.
Pole grinned, licked his lips, and opened his mouth as if to speak. Jones abruptly moved, and Lestrade could do nothing but watch the rookie panic before he died.
Except Jones did not die.
Instead he calmly plunged the knife he had gone for in one lightning quick motion into the shoulder of the man threatening to kill him and twisted the blade. Pole screamed and dropped his own knife, and Jones turned and decked him.
Pole went down, and Jones kicked him before jerking the knife out of his shoulder. Lestrade watched Jones cuff the man lying on the ground and straighten up.
"Stupid." He berated himself with a growl before the older Inspector could say anything himself. "Should be dead."
Lestrade somehow did not gape and nodded in agreement. "Come on, then." He managed to say. "Let's get him back to the Yard."
When the shift ended and Lestrade sent the new Inspector home, he was still trying to figure out what he was going to tell Gregson when the man stopped by to ask how the new rookie was doing. He was not entirely sure the other Inspector would believe him.