Chapter III

            The New London night was cool, and bright with the lights of both the city and the sky. Upon its streets both young and old (and the middle-aged, who are not generally noted) walked, some fast, some slow, some too lazy to walk and taking cars instead. But enough of them – let us focus on the one whom this story is about.

            The young lady was of average height, and rather slender in build – though this in no way meant that she was delicate or petite. On the contrary, she radiated an aura of 'please-mess-with-me, so-I-can-have-a-reason-to-kick-ass' to most people; furthermore, she was dressed in the street uniform of New Scotland Yard, and most people didn't like to pick a fight with a Yardie. She had brown hair, with an odd but eye-catching streak of lighter, almost blond hair in the front, and bluish-green eyes, and (you'd be surprised at how many people could pick this up right away) considerable experience at giving deep hurting.

            She was, of course, Inspector Elizabeth Lestrade, and she was on her way home from work. She was in a good mood – Grayson hadn't yelled at her for property damage or irresponsibility or taking the last of the coffee, and she had finished with all her paperwork, and her month of paid vacation was coming up. Ah, yes, life was sweet.

            She passed by a police cordon. Naturally curious, of course, she came nearer, and then lost interest as quickly. A car accident – a collapsed wall – policemen (not Yardies, but the more mundane and rather less glamorized New London Traffic Patrol) Holmes would instruct her to take in the situation, deduce quickly what she could from the minutiae there, and probably would himself for the sheer hell of it, but damn – it was a car accident. There was no mystery involved here, no enigmatic lack of conclusions and facts. Judging from the noticeable lack of media hounds, and no blood seeping anywhere, it involved no casualties. And anyway, Holmes wasn't here.

            So she continued on her way, until almost tripping over something. A very furry something.

            "Hello," she murmured, bending down. "What's this, then?" A puppy? With no ownership tags? The puppy looked miserable, tail in between legs. She picked it up, and was startled to see that instead of the usual dark brown, this dog's eyes were a deep blue. Rather like…well, Holmes'.

            The puppy looked straight in her face, and if Beth wasn't so sure that it was impossible, she would have thought an expression of shock flickered across the puppy's strange blue eyes.

            Impetuous Lestrade, who brought dead men back to life without her superior's permission, there and then decided that this dog would be her new pet. She liked the look of it…


            Holmes could scarcely believe it. Well, he was a dog, and after various tests, had to accept it for the time being. He had four legs, a snout, and a tail. Some differences to normal dogs – he had the clearer, color-enabled eyesight of a human being, and somehow (thank God) retained all his higher brain functions.

And then he had been adopted by, of all the strange coincidences in the world, Lestrade.

            'Bloody hell, I'd kill for a smoke.'

            They stopped by a pet store, where he was bought feed bowls, a bag of puppy chow, some chew toys and (the indignity, the indignity!) a collar and leash, both of which were attached to him while still in the store. He couldn't stop his displeasure at having a leash fastened to him from showing, with a low, quiet growl issuing from himself that surprised him.

            "Quiet, Seeker," she ordered the dog as she clipped the leash onto the collar already around the dog's neck. Holmes quieted, less out of obeying than in sheer shock. Seeker? What, she'd already named him? Well, her job (and her life) was being a detective, seeking out the truth…but naming a dog Seeker…?

            And then she'd had the pet-shop attendant sweep him in a 'bath' of sonic waves that were the exact frequency to kill fleas and ticks and other parasitic pests. Holmes stood still for it, mildly insulted. He'd been swept for fleas. He'd never be able to look at himself in the mirror the same way again.

            They went out of the shop, the bag of pet things Lestrade had purchased on her arm, and Holmes trailing a bit sulkily behind. He was collared, literally, and he was named Seeker. This made everything he said about marriage mild. Although thank God Lestrade wasn't the sort to name a dog Fido or Froo-froo or Rover. He couldn't have borne it if she had.