I don't own Sherlock. Or John. Or Lestrade. Or anyone else, funnily enough. Mofftiss, BBC and ACD do.
Here you are, quite a short story in three quite different parts. Feels a little unfinished, I might go back and edit/expand it at some stage, but I'm swamped with work at the moment (aren't we all?) so no guarantees. :)
Leave a review if you like, just to let me know if you loved it/hated it/want more/didn't understand a word of it/etc. Reviews really do make my day, right up there with coffee and sunshine.
There was a crime scene, as usual. A dingy alley at the back of a Thai restaurant, the body of a man sprawled facedown on the cold cobblestones, a faded b liev n Sh lo k graffiti tag on the wall beside him. The tags didn't mean much, now - Sherlock Holmes had been back in London for a month, once again flatting at 221B with John Watson.
After the Fall, Sherlock had been gone for a bit on his own, and then rumour had it he'd turned up like a ghost in the middle of the night at the Baker Street flat. John had socked him, then sat him down at the kitchen table between the microscope and the thumbs with a cup of tea and a plate of leftover Chinese, and flown upstairs to pack. They'd left London - maybe left England, even - and hadn't been seen or heard of for weeks. Then eight months later the whispers started up - they're back they're back they're back our boys are home - and indeed they were.
The fiasco surrounding the Fall had made a brief reappearance. It was obvious Sherlock had never been a fake, and those involved in the slander had been dealt with, mostly by way of there's a job going at the partner company in Nowheresville, we strongly recommend you request a transfer and economic downturn, you understand, we're sorry but your job no longer exists. The duo had kept a low profile: they'd let the Yard and the Papers know that they were home and would like to be left alone for a bit, thankyouverymuch, and then mostly stayed at the flat, taking time to settle back in. This would be their first crime scene in a very long time.
The clock had just struck 9am as the text came through.
+Body found behind Thai restaurant, St Christopher's, Mayfair. Something funny going on here, you'll want to come and see for yourselves.+ - Lestrade
They exchanged glances.
John's said, Case?
Sherlock's replied, Of course.
"Are we taking it?"
Sherlock affected a disinterested look. "If you want." Had enough rest?
John replied with a twitch of a grin. I think one month is plenty, don't you?
John drained the last of his tea, Sherlock shrugged into his coat and tossed John his - a new one, black leather, balanced on that fine line of tidy/casual which meant it would fit in anywhere, and with enough inner pockets to fit a dozen ashtrays - and they were out the door and into a taxi in thirty seconds flat.
The ten minute ride was mostly silent; partly because they'd long since learnt each other's techniques of nonverbal communication, but mostly because there just wasn't anything to say. As they drew up outside the police cordon, Sherlock murmured, "Nervous?"
John snorted as he exited the cab, "What, for our grand entrance? I think we'll be just fine."
Sherlock made a mmm of agreement, clapped a hand lightly on John's shoulder, and passed the cabbie a twenty. They strode into the alley, neatly sidestepping the public relations officer who tried to intercept them.
"We're here to see Lestrade," John called with a smile, not breaking stride, and knew that both his and Sherlock'seyes were scanning the officer for weapons and tells, scanning the rooftops for danger, scanning the doorways as they passed them. They made their way further down the alley to where Lestrade was standing with his Forensics team.
"... no, don't touch anything until Holmes and Watson get here."
"Oh, we're here, Lestrade; but still don't let them touch anything, there's no telling what evidence they might destroy."
Lestrade swung around, and for a long moment they looked at each other.
Lestrade saw that Sherlock was no longer skinny but rather lean, in that rangy slim-muscled way - obviously the influence of the Doctor. He wore his usual suit and long coat, though on closer inspection his neat shoes proved to be well-disguised boots, sturdy and quite likely steel-capped. John himself was much the same as he'd always been, perhaps a little neater in appearance - dark jeans, charcoal jumper, new coat - and with more of same lean muscle that his flatmate had. Lestrade couldn't help but wonder what the two of them had been up to for the last eight months, to get them into this sort of shape - and with that definite air of tensiondangeralert that they only mostly succeeded in covering up with John's friendliness and Sherlock's indifference.
John and Sherlock saw that Lestrade had lost weight (9 pounds), had a few more grey hairs (7% more silver/white hairs, specifically around the temples) and was obviously disturbed to a greater than normal degree by this murder (slight twist to the lip, excessive frown lines, muscle movement in throat indicates discomfort). His marriage was still in its permanent state of semi-repair (wedding ring excessively shiny, obviously been fiddling with it), although he still saw the kids at least every weekend (shirt slightly wrinkled below the navel, perfect head-height for his two daughters).
The moment passed: Lestrade cleared his throat and nodded greeting. "John. Sherlock. Thanks for coming."
"Greg." John smiled tightly. "What've we got here?"
They turned toward the body as Lestrade gave them the rundown. Face down as it was, there wasn't a lot to see - stocky build, short blonde hair, white shirt, dress trousers, tidy shoes.
"Male, mid to late thirties, we're running an i.d. check now. Cause of death is on his front, and it's... messy."
"Well he's a doctor, obviously," Sherlock interjected.
"Mmm. Locum, even," John added, bending down to inspect the man's hand. "Thirty... six years old. Moderate stress lines. Didn't smoke."
"Not in the last five years, anyway," Sherlock slanted a glance toward John that said clearly, don't presume, before crouching down on the other side of the body. "Not married; had at least two different girlfriends in the last... three months. No pets, not even a goldfish."
John choked back a laugh and hissed a reprimanding, "Sherlock, behave!"before glancing apologetically at Lestrade, "Sorry, inside joke."
Greg was watching them, slightly wide-eyed, "Oh bleedin' - Sherlock, what have you done? Bad enough there was just the one of you to spurt out insane details!"
"They're called deductions, Greg, and if you live with the madness for long enough, the method is sure to follow. Shall we turn him over?"
"Go ahead, but be warned - it's really not pretty."
A glance between the two younger men, and they bent and rolled the victim over in one smooth movement.
There was something of a very long exhale of breath from both men, and they locked gazes for a long moment.
Are you alright? was the look from Sherlock.
Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. A half-nod from John, and a flicker of an eye. I've seen worse.
"Mmm..." a drawn out hum, partly of agreement, partly thoughtful. Sherlock glanced at the body and back at John. Looks like we've found the last of Jim's network. It's his handiwork, anyway.
John tilted his head in agreement and blew out a breath, "Well that's boring."
There was a choke of disbelief from Lestrade, who hadn't heard the sub-vocal conversation and obviously thought he was talking about the victim.
"Indeed. He's even signed it for us." A glimmer of amusement and disappointment in Sherlock's eyes. Rather anticlimactic. He shows his hand the first time we're out in public. He turned and looked casually toward Lestrade, sweeping the rooftops with a lightning-quick glance before looking back at John. He's there. "Five o'clock."
"No, twenty past nine," slightly sarcastic from Lestrade.
John half-glanced behind his right shoulder and blinked acknowledgement. He looked back down at the body, taking in the full extent of the damage, seeing what their man was capable of; and when he looked up at Sherlock there was a dark question in his eyes. Are we going after him?
Sherlock twitched an eyebrow. "Now?"
"Well, nine-twenty-two, now."
"No time like the present," John grinned, a gleam in his eye.
There was an answering gleam in Sherlock's gaze as he stood, "Sorry, Greg, we've urgent business elsewhere. We'll drop by the Yard later on with your murderer."
And with that they were off down the alley, John drawing a pistol from his inside pocket as they ran, leaving Lestrade spluttering in their dust.
SH to GL
+Victim's name will be John Watson, or some derivative thereof.+
GL to SH
+ID came back. Jonathan Watson, Locum GP from Brixton.+
SH to GL
+Have your murderer. Pick up from Waterloo Bridge.+
GL to SH
+Got him. Thanks. I owe you one.+
SH to GL
JW to GL
+He means "bring some milk around with the next case and we'll call it even".+
SH to GL
+Make it an interesting case.+
JW to GL