After Hounds, Lestrade drives the three of them back to London. Sherlock and John bicker and annoy each other in the back seat like a couple of kids while Lestrade is the father quickly losing his temper and threatening to turn the car around if they don't behave.
A/N: The lovely La'ienth has translated this story into French so if anyone wants to read it, visit her profile. The french title is Le Long Chemin du Retour.
The Long Ride Home
Lestrade must have been mad to offer Sherlock and John a ride back to London. After Sherlock vetoed the radio and all the CDs Lestrade had in the car in a flurry of scorching criticism ("I see your taste in music is just as outdated as your crime-solving methods"), John pulled out his laptop to stave off boredom. The silence was broken by the clatter of key strokes.
The bickering started only a few moments later.
"Oh God, The Hounds of Baskerville? Really, John!"
"What could you possibly find wrong with that title? It describes the case perfectly!"
"Well, there is the small fact that there weren't actually any hounds. And even if you are to accept the hallucinations we experienced as cause for titling this case 'The Hounds of Baskerville', you will recall, I am sure, that there was only ONE hound."
"I'm sorry, would you like me to name it 'The Psychedelic Drug of Baskerville'?"
"It would certainly be more truthful"
"And would give the entire thing away. Do you even understand the concept of suspense?"
"Certainly John, but are you not attempting to document our cases in as truthful a manner as possible?"
"Yes, Sherlock, I am. But if I give away the solution in the title there would really be no point in writing the story at all."
"Excellent reasoning John!"
"No, no! You need a semicolon there, not a comma. You're connecting two independent clauses without a coordinating conjunction."
"I don't think I asked for an editor Sherlock."
"But clearly you need one."
Lestrade felt the beginnings of a severe headache forming behind his eyes.
"'He was a short, stocky fellow with a kind smile but nervous eyes...' How is that at all relevant to the case?"
"Stop reading over my shoulder Sherlock!"
"It is a rather dull way to engage my mind but there is nothing else to occupy me."
"We could be listening to music if you hadn't banned Lestrade's CDs."
Lestrade grit his teeth.
"Please. You call that music? It's a waste of-"
"Nevermind! Can't you… I don't know, read something?"
"NOT my writing!"
"You write a blog on the internet John. It's rather stupid of you to expect no one to read it. Besides, I know you have a number of followers and you have never complained about them."
"That's because they aren't YOU. THEY read my stories because they find them interesting. YOU read my stories to disembowel them and bludgeon me with your proper grammar."
"Knowing how to accept criticism is a vital skill for an aspiring writer."
"I'm NOT an aspiring writer!"
"Then why do you write?"
"Because my therapist told me to write!"
"Your therapist doesn't know the first thing about you. Quite frankly I don't know why you keep seeing her. You are simply never going to adjust to civilian life.-"
"OH FOR GOD'S SAKE! You play the violin! I don't see you trying to become a professional musician!"
"That is quite different. I play the violin because it helps me think. Something that is obviously quite beyond the capabilities of you ordinary people."
Lestrade had always considered himself a patient man. One had to be when dealing with Sherlock Holmes on a semi-regular basis. But everything had its limits and Lestrade had finally reached his.
"Would you two just SHUT UP?" he barked.
"Certainly not." Sherlock said smoothly.
"ME? He started it!" John sounded scandalized.
"I don't care who started it, (although you're right John) if you don't stop bickering I'm going to turn this car around right now and then you can find your own way back to London!"
"That's really quite impossible, this is a one-way street Lestrade" Sherlock commented
"You can't do that. You offered to drive us back!" John protested.
"A mistake I will never repeat again. This drive is long enough without you two having a lovers spat in the backseat."
"FOR THE LAST TIME, I AM NOT GAY! THERE IS NOTHING GOING ON BETWEEN US!"
"Your defensiveness on this topic is astounding John. Have you brought this up with your therapist?" Sherlock's voice was as cool as ever.
"THERE'S NOTHING TO BRING UP!"
The bickering went on as Lestrade considered the merits of murdering his passengers. Surely the world would only thank him. And Anderson would definitely agree to cover up for him.
"Try not to think of two things at once Lestrade, you just ran a red light."
"No, murder is beneath you Lestrade. Or perhaps above you. Either way, you'd never get away with it; my brother can be a little sentimental about family."
"And Mrs. Hudson is expecting us home today." John put in.
"Are you comparing Mrs. Hudson to my brother, John?"
"Have you seen her make a salad lately? The knife is a blur in her hands."
"A knife, even in the hands of an admittedly capable old lady, cannot compare to the entire British secret service. That's not to say that they aren't all morons but they're morons with guns."
Lestrade pressed the gas pedal a bit harshly.
"You two are INSUFFERABLE!" he snarled. "Now Sherlock, if you don't stop baiting John I won't let you near a crime scene for a month. And you, John, stop smirking! You're the one who's going to have to put up with him being bored."
Both his passengers started sputtering at once.
"Quiet!" he cut them off.
"Yes Daddy!" they chorused derisively before dissolving into giggles.
Lestrade hid his smile with a long-suffering groan and resolved never to have kids.