"I'm not hiding." He said, choosing to focus his attention on the cigarette held in his hand rather than on his partner. He did not have to see the raised eyebrows or the disbelieving smirk that appeared on Travers' face at his words to know they were there.
Travers stood behind him without saying a word. There was no need for him to say anything.
"I'm not hiding." He said again, and he was not.
He was tired, and stressed, and had needed a smoke, but he had not been hiding. He would still be in his office, and willingly, were smoking in it an option. As it was, any time he wanted a cigarette he had to come outside for it and so here he was, outside, smoking in the back alley behind the Yard.
He was not hiding, but he was coming out here far too often of late. He considered the still smoldering remains of what he belatedly realized was the last of the pack he had bought just this morning and came to a decision he had been putting off far too long.
He smoked to much. Lack of sleep made him crave it, as did stress, and there had been far too much stress and too little sleep lately. He needed to cut back-well, quit, really, but who had time for that?
"They find her, then?" He asked, finally turning to face his partner. "The saleswoman?"
Travers was every bit as sleep deprived as Lestrade and for once nearly as stressed, but that was Lestrade's fault, insisting on taking the advice of a complete stranger and worrying more about a case of home invasion turned to murder that about other cases-cases that were considered by many to be more important than this one-and he was catching as much flack from the Super as Lestrade was. Detective Inspector Travers was not as used as Lestrade to being on the wrong side of those higher up in the chain of command at the Yard.
The man's hair was mussed, his suit slightly rumpled after spending the night at the office-there had been no point in going home last night-and his tie was crooked. He was overworked and yes, under-appreciated. Lestrade did not have to like the man, or even agree with most of what he said and did, to recognize that Travers was good at his job.
And admitting as much was certainly not conceding that Lestrade himself was not, or that their inability to close several so called 'high priority' cases was his fault.
"They found her." Thin lips pressed even closer in displeasure as Travers answered, and his pale blue eyes bored into Lestrade's. "She's in interrogation now."
Lestrade stood and nodded. He stepped past Travers, back into the building he had spent more nights in than he had at home.