For Queen and Country

Chapter One

"Jesus Christ." Lestrade groaned in frustration as he watched Sherlock canter off down the street with John on his heels, leaving the New Scotland Yard to deal with damage control, yet again. It had been a messy case again, this time around.

Serial killer who brutally stabbed and mutilated his victims, in fact. Lovely job they had, Lestrade thought with a frown as he watched blood being washed off pale skin by the icy rain, red rivlets flowed away from the motionless body. Sherlock had already deduced the identity of the killer and had Lestrade put out an ABP for him but they had found the killer's next victim just a second too late and now Sherlock was on his tail like a bloodhound.

"Sir," Sally called out, jogging toward him. "should we set chase?" She nodded in the direction Sherlock disappeared to.

Lestrade nodded grimly. "Grab a few boys and get on with it." he sighed. "I'll handle the body and the statements until forensics get here." Sally nodded and dashed off, barking for a few idle DCs to follow.

Lestrade shuffled his feet a little, trying to retain a bit of blood circulation in them. Then he moved to cover the torn mound of flesh with a tarpaulin as another officer began unreeling the police tape. "Got to get statements, you know the drill." Lestrade spoke aloud to everyone, but nobody in particular gave inclination that they heard him besides a few grunts.

Lestrade could hardly blame them. They were out in a miserable rainstorm in the middle of the Winter, ankle-deep in coppery water, being led around and ridiculed by an extremely intelligent outside party. Pretty much sums up to be another terrifyingly horrible day.

Lestrade stumbled away from the body as forensics arrived on the scene, eager to get out of the freezing rain. He rubbed his hands together, grateful for the small source of heat to his almost completely numb hands. One spot of sunshine, though, Anderson had called in sick for the day, he had heard Sherlock say something about 'fantastic remedies for a cold' at the same moment Sally accused him of food poisoning.

He had thus decided that it really wasn't his problem.

He nodded in the direction of the body to the new, hopefully more competent, team of forensics and dashed to where his officers were busy taking statements. "How's it coming along?" he asked when he approached.

"Slow." An officer replied sourly. "Nobody saw much of anything, they all got attracted by the blood that was washed out from the crime scene. By that time, the victim was already dead."

Lestrade sighed inwardly. "Well, keep at it. Who knows? Might find something useful." He could almost hear the other officers mentally wondering 'Useful for...?' Of course, he didn't have an answer for them, so he fished out his trusty police notebook and approached an idle-looking witness.

"Evening." he greeted, he might've usually approached with a 'good evening' but it was obvious that, that wasn't going to happen.

"Good evening." An oily voice responded cordially.

Lestrade finally looked the man up and down once, he sure as Hell didn't have Sherlock's god-like talent for observation, but he wasn't blind either. The man was considerably wealthy, that much could be gleaned from the obviously tailor-made suit he wore, not to mention his shoes... impeccably polished, but not cuffed. New shoes? Obviously expensive, probably worth two of Lestrade's suits, if not, more.

And here he thought only women took too much care for their shoes...

The way he moved, and the way he held himself shouted self-confidence. But he also seemed quite relaxed, so, born for greatness? He wasn't old, either, so he must be in the family business, or, he was some kind of genius... like Sherlock. And, if there was one thing that Lestrade envied immensely about the man, it was that he had an umbrella, and he obviously didn't. On a rainy day, fancy that!

He blew out a great breath that instantly vaporized and floated upward. "For the record, please state your name?" he asked, readying his pen.

The man just raised an eyebrow, slightly bemused. "Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but... arn't you DI Lestrade?"

Lestrade's head jumped up in surprise at the recognition. "Er, yes. And that doesn't exactly answer my question." He inclined his head apologetically.

"Of course." The man nodded slowly, observing Lestrade, evaluating him. Like he was some sort of lab rat. If Lestrade had been any other man, he would've felt compelled to shiver under the man's intense gaze. But he didn't. The only explaination? He knew Sherlock for far too long. The man finally broke the silence. "I don't suppose telling you that 'you have no business in knowing my name', will daunt you in the slightest?"

Lestrade snorted and shook his head. "Nope, not in the slightest." he confirmed. "I'm a policeman, I'm nosey, it's kind of a job requirement." He shrugged his shoulders helplessly.

He he so wished, Mycroft could have DI Lestrade fired on the spot for disrupting his precious few moments off work. He sighed, "Inspector, I doubt that my name would mean all that much to this case..."

Lestrade interrupted him by casually tearing a page from his notebook. "Off the records, then? Name?"

Mycroft's eyebrows jumped up on their own accord. Not only was the DI persistant, but he actually quite tolerable about it, although, bordering on brusque. Must be his character... Quite a wonder, considering the other officials from New Scotland Yard that Mycroft had the displeasure of meeting. "Mycroft, Mycroft Holmes."

Now it was Lestrade's turn to raise his eyebrows as he scribbled in his note. "You wouldn't happen to be..." ... the infamous older brother of Sherlock? Then a neutral look. "No- no, you're definintely..." ... Well dressed, obviously intelligent, slightly egotistic, and just a little condescending. Of course you are. A frustrated sigh. "Sorry, can you describe to me, what you saw here?"

Mycroft smiled at the DI's many expressions. "I didn't see anything, quite simply speaking." he admitted. "I was just on a walk when I saw people gathering, I heard the police sirens, and that was when Sherlock decided to rush by, chasing a slightly elderly man in a black raincoat." He nodded his head in the direction Lestrade saw Sherlock run. "As I observed, they went that way."

Lestrade scribbled a few lines on his wet notebook page. "Suffice it to say 'you saw just as much as we all did'." he looked apologetic. "Well, Mister Holmes, I'm sorry to have taken so much of your time." Then, with a slight nod, he began walking away. Then he stopped, and turned back. "By the way, strange choice of weather to be taking a walk, don't you think?" He smiled at Mycroft, waving his ripped-out page. "Off the record, of course."

Mycroft narrowed his eyes at the DI. "You seem to know more than you let on, DI Lestrade."

"Bit hard to know less, yeah?" Lestrade shrugged his shoulders helplessly. "Thank you again, for your help." And he walked away.

DI Lestrade, Mycroft grunted to himself as he watched the man bow his head in self-depreciation as the ME walked the body past him into a van. Mycroft knew, that was the expression of a man who emotionally beat himself for not getting to the scene in time even though, it was obvious that he had done everything in his power to save the victim.

Empathy. That one expression was so alien to Mycroft. Interesting.