A/N: part of my "Sherlock is a Browncoat"-universe; a direct follow-up to my fic 'Can't Stop the Signal'
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock (or Firefly, for that matter) or any of its characters
My Kind of Stupid
Sherlock and John had just arrived in a cab back to Baker Street after having run around practically all of London trying to catch the person who had been killing young businessmen for the past few weeks. But before the cab even pulled over, Sherlock spotted Lestrade's car parked out front along with a few other police cars.
Anger quickly flaring up inside him, he ran out of the cab (leaving John to pay, of course), and bolted up the stairs to his flat on the second floor. The door swung open, and Sherlock yelled, "What is this?" He surveyed the area, saw Lestrade sitting in the armchair, and stomped over to him.
"I think you should know by now, Sherlock," said Lestrade, calmly meeting Sherlock's gaze.
"I'm not even hiding any evidence!" Sherlock exclaimed, waving his hands for emphasis. Of course, that was a lie, but damn if he was going to show it to the detective inspector now.
"I'll be the judge of that," said Lestrade, finally rising to his feet.
"Best not upset him, Sir," Sally said, appearing from the kitchen. "Never know just what he'll do next: blow us all up or rub soup in our hair?"
"It's a toss up," Sherlock shrugged, still very upset, but feeling a compulsion to answer Sergeant Donovan's remark.
Sherlock and Sally had begun this secret game of theirs about four months ago when they both realized that the other was also a fan of the cruelly-canceled sci-fi program Firefly. Since then, to ease the tension that usually arose between them whenever they shared a case, each of them would either quote or paraphrase lines from the show or its movie Serenity. No one else knew what they were doing, or, if they did, never said anything.
"It'll be easier for everyone involved if you just tell me what you know," Lestrade said to him. "It doesn't count as helping the police if you go solo."
"I'm not going solo," said Sherlock. "I just haven't gathered enough information yet to find it useful in telling you anything."
At that moment, John had entered the flat and groaned at Sherlock. "I told you this would happen," he said. "Why don't you just show them the envelope?"
If looks could kill, Sherlock would be arrested on the spot.
"What envelope?" asked Lestrade, quirking an eyebrow.
"The one found in Fulworth's place," said John. "There's a photo of a woman in it."
"And where is this photo now?" asked Lestrade.
"Sherlock has it somewhere," said John.
All eyes were again on Sherlock, and a slight smile suddenly formed at the corners of his mouth. "About a dozen officers in here for about... oh, the past forty-five minutes, and none of them came across it themselves," he said, now taking a seat in the chair which Lestrade had formally been in, steepling his fingers together and resting them under his chin. "What does that tell you?"
"No more games now, Sherlock," Lestrade said to him angrily. "I mean it!"
"Whatever do you mean, Inspector?" Sherlock said, innocently.
"Right," said John. He immediately walked over to a pile of folders haphazardly stacked in the living room underneath the coffee table. He then bent down, extracted one of the folders from the pile, took out a large manila envelope and handed it over to Lestrade. "Here. I have work in the morning and I'm dead tired, so if you wouldn't mind packing up and leaving as soon as possible, that'd be fantastic." John then turned and walked up the stairs to his bedroom and shut the door behind him. No one in the flat made a sound.
Lestrade stared at the contents in his hand, then towards where John had just disappeared, then at Sherlock. "Okay," he said. "We're outta here."
Sally somehow found herself the last to leave, giving her the opportunity to see Sherlock silently pick up a violin and bow. "I didn't know you played?" she said by way of conversation.
Sherlock ignored her and began to play a tune that Sally didn't recognize. She sighed, didn't know why she even bothered.
She turned to the door and was just about to disappear into the corridor when she heard the music suddenly pause. "Goodnight, sergeant," Sherlock called out to her. Sally smiled to herself, counting seventeen steps as she left the building.
Exactly three days later, Sherlock found himself cornered in an abandoned warehouse, where he had intended to track down and apprehend Fulworth. John was... somewhere; Sherlock only hoped the doctor had reasoned that it was useless to go wandering about in a big, empty building and instead decided to turn back around and go help his flatmate. Perhaps even if Sherlock gave a quick look up now, he'd see John hiding in the shadows and aiming his revolver at the miscreant? But no, there was only himself and Fulworth, a pistol creating a barrier between them.'
"Well, Mr. Holmes," Fulworth said smugly. "You think you're so clever, eh? But brains don't protect you from bullets, now can they?"
"It's no use, Fulworth," Sherlock said calmly, trying to buy himself some time until he could think up a proper plan to save himself. "The police know it was you. It's over."
"They'd have to find me first," said Fulworth. "And they haven't done such a good job of that so far. Once I leave London, I'll disappear."
"So you're willing to live in the shadows for the rest of your life?" asked Sherlock. "To always be checking behind your back making sure no one is after you?"
"But at least I'd be living," said Fulworth. "Which is more than anyone'll be able to say about you." He then tightened his grip of the gun in his hand to emphasize his point.
"That may be true," said Sherlock. "But have you ever stopped to think that maybe you don't want to kill me? That would be two people the police would be after you for. I mean, those businessmen, that wasn't you; that was all Tommy, and he's gone now, thanks to you. It shows you have a conscience... It must be agony living with that kind of guilt already; why add more weight to your burden? You'd be much happier if you just lowered that gun and gave yourself in."
"Now you're just rambling like a prat," said Fulworth.
"Actually," said Sherlock. "I just wanted you to face me so she could get behind you."
Fulworth immediately gave him a questioning glance and then began to turn his head around, but before he could even comprehend what was happening, Sgt. Sally Donovan knocked him to the ground with a blow to the face.
"For a genius," said Sally, kicking away Fulworth's pistol and kneeling down to handcuff him. "That was a very stupid plan."
"But it worked," said Sherlock.
"Pure luck," said Sally.
"Most assuredly," said Sherlock, flashing her a smile.
As if right on cue, John suddenly appeared, bursting through the doors, along with Lestrade and several other Yarders.
"Are you two all right?" asked Lestrade. "What happened?"
"Sgt. Donovan caught your killer," said Sherlock.
"Good work, Sergeant," said Lestrade, nodding to her.
"Thank you, sir," she responded. She turned to Sherlock, meaning to give him a quizzical stare, but he had already moved away from the crime scene and was headed over to John with a triumphant smile. She watched them laugh at banter she couldn't quite hear before they walked out of the room together. For a brief moment she almost felt jealous, but she quickly shook that thought out of her head and went on with her business.
It was already a few weeks later before she saw Sherlock again. John wasn't with him because he was visiting his sister, apparently. "So why'd you give me all the credit during the Fulworth case?" she asked the moment she knew they wouldn't be overheard.
"Why not?" he answered. "You're the one who subdued him, anyway."
"I suppose..." she said, noncommittally. "Though it was your plan that caught him."
"Thanks to the right research," said Sherlock.
"Oh?" said Sally, quirking an eyebrow. "So watching old telly is research now?"
Sherlock flashed her a cheeky grin usually reserved for John.
"It's nothing to laugh at, you know," she said, a slight smile unintentionally forming on her lips. "We could have died in there."
"Not at all," said Sherlock. "You know why? Because we are so very pretty. We are just too pretty for God to let us die."
Sally rolled her eyes. "You're an idiot."
"No," he said. "Just an obsessed fan."
"The most dangerous creature of them all," said Sally. This was nice, she mused. Just talking without the animosity. Sometimes she forgot why she even hated him in the first place. The more she got to know him like this, the more she saw the human side of him as opposed to the cold, analytical sociopath he proclaimed to be.
"You know," she added after a short pause. "I discovered another program you might be interested in. It's called Community."
"Oh?" said Sherlock, a curious look in his eyes. "I shall have to look into it some time."
"You won't be disappointed," she assured him.