Struggling Without Him

The frigid water beat down on the windows and drenched the streets of London, the clouds above huddling into dark gray masses deep inside the sky. The weather was expected, but the unpredicted atmosphere that came with the rain felt tight and dreary. Lestrade hated these types of days, and the mood seemed amplified by the loss of …

"Oh, never mind." Right now, he'd rather not think of it.

.
Lestrade pulled up his case files. Seven homicides in the last week. And that's not even mentioning the record-breaking murder counts before then. Everyone knew things had gotten worse without him. Even Anderson had to admit it. The list of unsolved crimes had nearly tripled during the first week, and things weren't getting any better.

"Got another one!" Sergeant Donavan shouted as she strode in and slapped a manila folder onto Lestrade's already cluttered desk.

"Oh God…" He groaned.

.
The ground was still wet and slippery, making Lestrade almost fall face down as he stepped out of the patrol car. He sighed, and walked deeper into the alley.
"Where is it?"
Sally Donavan quickly sidestepped a broken trash can overflowing with filth. Her heels clicked over to where Lestrade was standing. She pointed to a dumpster.
"In there." She said disgustedly, as if the garbage surrounding them was more repulsive than the fact that a corpse was decomposing in a public waste receptacle. He glanced at her.
"Thanks."

Once they'd removed the body, they saw that she was a female, mid-thirties, and violently mutilated. Just like the rest of them. He could spot several younger officers trying to peek over the perimeter, just to take a quick look. Some of them succeeded, judging by their sick faces.
He pulled the latex gloves over his fingers and gently turned over the body. The stab wounds were far more clean on this side. All eight homicides. Same wounds, and same kind of victims.

He tilted his head at an angle to meet Sally's eyes.
"We've got us a serial killer," he mumbled.

Sherlock would love this, if only he were here….

.

As the body was driven to the morgue, Lestrade remained at the crime scene. They dusted for fingerprints and scoured the area for further evidence while he looked on, wrapping the alley pathways with bright yellow tape. It seemed London itself was in a fuss; everything was more confusing.

"Lestrade! I called you six times!"
"Molly? What are you doing here?"
"It's my day off, but I was just wondering if there was a way I could help."

Sweet girl, he thought. Too bad she got involved in all of this. She looked so distraught… He noticed her trying to hide her eyes behind her brown hair. He glance away.
"Not unless-" They each caught an all-too-knowing glimpse of the other.. A single tear slipped down Molly's cheek, and she turned to walk away, her arms cradling her middle. He felt his heart shatter.

.

Another alley, another body.
This time, he felt the need to investigate alone, without the distractions of the day, so he returned after the initial investigations. His torchlight illuminated the walls of the dark alley. A smear of neon yellow flashed past the corner of his eye, and he turned to meet a brick wall covered in graffiti. He blinked at the marvel, and focused the beam of light on the message. It stood out from the rest of the scribbled names.
"I believe in Sherlock Holmes."

He exhaled, puffing out a tiny cloud of steam.
"As do I…"
No need to get distracted. I have a body to get back to, he reprimanded himself. He sighed and wandered further down the damp passages, leaving the graffiti wall far behind. His job was waiting.

.

When he finally reached the crime scene, all of the CSI investigators and detectives had gone home. Well, he had taken a two hour detour. He squinted at the floor, in search of the seemingly elusive body. Where is it? He thought as he scavenged the alleyways.

"Perfect…" A familiar voice purred.

Lestrade whirled around, dropping his torchlight. A man, cloaked in a black trench-coat, kneeled over a woman's mutilated body. He must've heard Lestrade coming.
A pale face froze in the darkness. It opened its mouth as if to say something…
"Les-"
Lestrade glanced over his shoulder. When he looked back, the figure was gone.
He stumbled backwards, stunned. It wasn't possible…
A single, white square floated onto the grimy alley floor. Squinting to see the print, he picked up the paper.

"Never stop."

Never stop… The graffiti. He'd said… Oh!
"No! It can't-" His thoughts were interrupted by the Donavan squad car pulling up to the alleyway.
"Lestrade?"