Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade was tired.
The press conference had been a fiasco, with Sherlock's texts constantly interrupting and contradicting. It was embarrassing. He didn't know why he put up with him.
Well, that wasn't true. He knew exactly why. He needed him, especially on weird cases like this one. The suicides had to be linked, but how? There were no notes, there was nothing to connect any of the victims, and yet none had seemed likely to commit suicide.
He tried to think of ways you could force someone to commit suicide. You could threaten a loved one, he supposed. "Kill yourself or your family will die." Except, if they had been threatened by a serial killer who selected his victims randomly, how would he have known who to threaten?
You could threaten to torture someone to death, but then provide them a quick, painless way out instead, but what was the point? And anyway, you needed to prove that you would follow through on the threat, and none of the victims had been harmed in any way. No bruises, no rough handling. No signs of coercion.
Not to mention that each had died completely alone—though in a place they would never have gone on their own. The locations didn't have any similarities, either, except that they were deserted. He supposed that was a link of a kind (how many people would know about deserted, out-of-the-way spots?) but he didn't see how it could help.
It was baffling, and he was just too tired to think of a solution.
He wondered if Sherlock, with his oh-so-vocal objections during the press conference, knew something he didn't know. Lord knew Sherlock wasn't shy about volunteering his opinions. He had never known the man to pass up on a chance to show off.
He valued what Sherlock offered by way of brilliant deductions that helped solve cases, but hated what he brought in terms of discord among the rest of his team. There was no question that Sherlock acted like a child, but then, so did the rest of his team whenever Sherlock was there. That left Greg trying to keep order, and trying to keep Sherlock out of everybody's way—and them out of his. It got tiring, being the only adult in the room.
Just then, Sally hurried in. "There's been another one."
Greg took the steps two at a time. This was the first time he'd been to the Baker Street flat, but he didn't have time to look around. He knew that finding a note was a break in this case, he knew it in his bones.
It just killed him that he couldn't put his finger on what that break actually was.
He was barely in the room, when Sherlock asked, "Where?"
"Brixton. Lauriston Gardens."
"What's new about this one? You wouldn't come get me if there weren't something new."
He nodded. "You know how they never leave notes? Well, this one did. Will you come?"
"Who's on forensics?" Sherlock asked.
"Anderson," said Greg, already wincing for the rejection he knew was coming.
"Anderson won't work with me."
As if that mattered, Greg thought to himself. This wasn't about ego-stroking. "He won't be your assistant."
"I NEED an assistant." Right, thought Greg, because you work so well with others. He needed Sherlock to come, though, so he swallowed his frustration, forcing it down into a small little ball in the ulcerous lining of his stomach and simply said, "Will you come?
A regal nod. "Not in a police car. I'll be right behind you."
"Thank you." As he turned away he realized there were two other people in the room. More people to witness his humiliation, how lovely. He gave a quick nod to the landlady, glanced past the stranger in the chair—and he was gone.
He had barely been in Lauriston Gardens for ten minutes and was still being briefed when Sherlock showed up. "Freak's here, bringing him in." Sally's voice came through the radio. Good. Greg looked up from pulling on his suit and saw Sherlock striding in. "You'll need to wear one of these," he told the man with him.
"Who's this?" What was the idiot thinking, bringing a tag-along to a crime scene?
"He's with me."
"But who is he?"
"He's with me," Sherlock repeated with a don't-bother-me emphasis to his voice.
Okay, then. Not even an introduction. Right. He knew better than to expect anything resembling manners, but outright disregard for basic protocol? The man was shrugging into the protective gear and asked, "Aren't you going to put one on?" but Sherlock just ignored him and asked where they were going. Greg stifled a sigh as he led the way upstairs. "I can give you two minutes."
"I may need longer."
"Her name's Jennifer Wilson, according to the credit cards. We're running them now to see what they can tell us. Hasn't been here long. Some kids found her." They stepped into the room, and Greg immediately backed against the wall while Sherlock did his thing. The man with him looked sick for a moment and leaned heavily on his cane. Not used to seeing dead bodies, no doubt. Greg wondered again why Sherlock had brought him, but put that aside for later, concentrating now on watching Sherlock.
"Shut up," Sherlock said, out of nowhere.
"I didn't say anything," protested Greg.
"You were thinking. Stop it."
Greg and the stranger exchanged glances. The fellow looked appalled at Sherlock's lack of tact, but Greg was used to that by now.
The next few moments were filled by Sherlock examining every part of the woman's body. He smiled briefly at the end and stood up. "Got anything?" Greg asked hopefully.
"Not much," Sherlock said, pulling his phone out of his pocket.
"She's German," came a voice over his shoulder. It was Anderson, leaning casually on the door jamb. "Rache. German for revenge. She could be trying to tell us…"
"Yes, thank you for your input," interrupted Sherlock, and shut the door in his face.
"So, she's German?" asked Greg.
"Of course not. She's from out of town, though, intended to stay in London for one night before returning to Cardiff. So far so obvious."
"Sorry, obvious?" said the stranger blankly.
Greg felt the same way, but had given up saying so years ago. "But what about the message?"
"What do you think, Dr. Watson?" Ah, well, at least now Greg had a name. The bloke was a doctor, was he? He looked more like a frightened rabbit, though. It didn't exactly inspire confidence in his medical ability. Greg wondered what kind of doctor he was. Psychiatrist, maybe? Sherlock certainly could use one. "About the message?" he quavered.
Sherlock said, "No, about the body. You're a medical man." Greg protested that they had their own medical team but Sherlock said, "But they won't work with me."
That was true, but not really germane to the point of letting a complete stranger examine the body at a crime scene. "I'm breaking every rule letting YOU in here," protested Greg.
"Yes, because you need me."
A long pause. "Yes, I do. God help me." And when Sherlock prompted the doctor again, Greg just said, "Oh, go ahead, suit yourself," and stalked to the door. It didn't matter how brilliant Sherlock Holmes was, trying to work with the man was one long exercise in frustration.
He stepped out of the room ("Anderson, keep everybody out for a couple minutes,") while Sherlock and the so-called doctor knelt down by the body. He gave them a minute while the doctor said something about asphyxiation when clearly the woman had died from poison (though he supposed it had led to lack of oxygen). Where had Sherlock found this fellow, and really, why had he brought him along? Shaking his head, he said, "Okay, I said two minutes. I need everything you've got."
And then he just stood back in awe as Sherlock rattled off a string of deductions that made Greg remember exactly why he put up with the nonsense, even while leaving him feeling that his leg was being pulled. He'd been in this situation dozens of times before, and the details Sherlock could put together always astounded.
"She's in her late 30s. A professional person going by her clothes. I'm guessing something in the media judging by the frankly alarming shade of pink," said Sherlock in one long breath. "Traveled from Cardiff today, planning to stay in London for one night going by the size of her suitcase."
"Suitcase?" Greg asked, looking around. He hadn't seen a suitcase, had he?
"Suitcase, yes," Sherlock said absently, glancing around the room. "She's been married at least 10 years, but unhappily. She's had a string of lovers, none of them knew she was married."
"For God's sake, you're just making this up!"
Sherlock pointed to the dead woman's hand. "Her wedding ring. Ten years old at least. The rest of her jewelry's been regularly cleaned, but not her wedding ring. State of the marriage right there. The inside of the ring is shiny, but not the outside. That means it's regularly removed. The only polishing it gets is when she works it off her finger. Not for work—going by her nails, she doesn't work with her hands, so she takes it off for her lovers. Not one, a string of them. She'd never be able to maintain the fiction of being single that long."
"That's brilliant," burst out Dr. Watson.
Ignoring him (and filing a mental note to check his wife's wedding ring later that night), Greg asked "Cardiff?"
"It's obvious, isn't it?"
"It's not obvious to me," said the clueless doctor. And it went on like that. Sherlock explaining deductions that were so clear the minute he said them that Greg couldn't believe he hadn't seen them himself. Except he never actually did.
"Why do you keep saying suitcase?" he finally asked, and Sherlock was out of the room, insisting there had to be a case, shouting how much he loved serial killers. Greg stifled a sigh. Right. That would help his reputation with his team. And then Sherlock wondered why nobody wanted to work with him.
"Someone else was here and they took her case," Sherlock told them.
Watson suggested that she might have left it in a hotel but Sherlock said no, she obviously hadn't stopped to fix her hair. (Her hair? But wasn't committing suicide bad for a hair style, anyway?) Then, shouting, "Pink!" the man was out the door, leaving behind a series of hypotheses that, no matter how far-fetched, Greg would now have to follow-up, and a bewildered doctor.
Okay, so … Cardiff, eh? Shouting for Anderson, he turned back to his work. He ran down the list of leads he needed followed and went looking for Donovan. Looking out the door, he saw her talking to Sherlock's doctor or friend or whatever he was. The man didn't look happy, but then, he'd just been abandoned at a crime scene. It was no concern of Greg's, though. He doubted he'd ever see the man again. He called Sally over.
"Stay away from Sherlock Holmes," she threw over her shoulder as she hurried his way, and Greg watched as the man limped away, looking lost.
"What did you say to him?"
"I just gave him some friendly advice, is all. Told him he's better off staying away from the Freak."
Greg just looked at her for a moment. He knew Sally couldn't stand Sherlock, but it wasn't her place to scare off his friends. "You really believe that?"
"Of course I do. You know what he's like; he's a psychopath. I mean, yes, freakishly observant and I'm not denying he can be helpful, but it's just a matter of time before he snaps, is what I think. Why should that poor bloke be stuck with him when that happens? I mean, did you see him? The Freak would eat that poor sod alive."
Greg couldn't really argue with that. He hadn't seen any backbone to the man, and not much medical expertise, either. Just a sycophantic tendency to praise everything Sherlock said. He would be just the type to be run down by Sherlock's rampant … Sherlockness, so maybe he was better off warned away. Unless, of course, he WAS Sherlock's therapist, in which case, more power to him.
At any rate, he couldn't imagine they'd see him again. Dismissing the doctor from his thoughts, Greg and Sally headed back to the Yard to start digging into Jennifer Wilson's background.
Sherlock had been right (of course) and their latest victim had been from Cardiff. She worked in PR and had been head of her own company, here in London for a meeting. And yes, her assistant gave them the name of the hotel she was staying at, confirming she had a one-night reservation, which meant Sherlock was right about a suitcase. Checking with the hotel, he learned that she was expected but had not yet checked in.
He hung up the phone, shaking his head. Sometimes he wondered why he even bothered following up on this stuff, but that was just good police work, wasn't it? Sherlock might point him in the right direction, but Greg still needed a good, solid case. He couldn't build that by swanning off into the night after a glance at a crime scene. He needed details. Lots of them.
Sally came to the door. "We found Rachel," she told him, "But don't get too excited." She explained that Rachel had been the victim's still-born daughter, and Greg's stomach clenched. That was a dead end, then … literally. He paused a moment to give a thought for the mother now reunited with her daughter. That must have been her last thought as she scratched the girl's name on the floor in her final moments, poor woman.
Now, what about the suitcase? He'd had officers looking around for it, but it might as well have vanished. He had a sneaking suspicion where it went, too. Sherlock had had a head start on them, after all. You could say what you liked about him, but when he was on the chase of a puzzle, nothing slowed him down. He was willing to lay good odds that Sherlock had long since found that case.
Come to think of it, Greg hadn't really had a chance to see that new flat earlier. It would be a shame not to pay a call, wouldn't it? Terribly impolite. He just needed an excuse …
The flat was empty when they arrived, but the landlady let them in. "I owe Sherlock a favor, and the doctor seems nice enough, but is this likely to happen often?" she protested.
Doctor? Now she mentioned it, he realized the doctor must have been the stranger in the flat when he'd come to fetch Sherlock earlier. So, he was his flatmate, then? Not his therapist? Odd thing for flatmates to do, though—bond over a murder victim. Where had Sherlock met the man? Mrs. Hudson didn't have much information, just that he was a doctor, though she didn't know what kind, and "don't mention his leg, dear."
"It seems to be a sore spot for him, but then, I know how he feels. I've got a hip." Greg resisted saying that so far as he could tell, she had two, but he had other things to do. He told her to go back to her flat and not to warn Sherlock they were upstairs.
Their timing was perfect. They had only been searching for about ten minutes when Greg heard the front door open. There were a few muffled giggles (giggles?), and then he heard, "Mrs. Hudson! Dr. Watson will be taking the room upstairs." Greg spared a moment to wonder what they'd been up to and if he really wanted to know, when Sherlock came bursting in, out of breath.
Greg was reclining back in one of the chairs, waiting for him. "I knew you'd find the case. I'm not stupid," he told him as he entered the room.
"You can't just break into my flat."
"You can't withhold evidence," Greg told him, "And I didn't break into your flat."
"What do you call this, then?"
Greg couldn't help the smile that spread across his face. "It's a drugs bust!"
The doctor said, "Seriously, this guy? Have you met him?" and completely missed Sherlock trying to warn him off. Interesting that his new flatmate-slash-therapist didn't know about Sherlock's medical history. Greg would have found it hilarious if the situation hadn't been so serious.
"I'm not your sniffer dog." Sherlock said angrily.
"No," agreed Greg. "Anderson's my sniffer dog," as the man waved from the kitchen.
Just when he thought Sherlock couldn't get more upset. "Anderson! What are you doing here on a drugs bust?"
"Oh, I volunteered," Anderson said with pleasure practically oozing off his tongue.
Greg nodded at Sherlock. "Technically speaking, they're not actually on the drugs squad, but they're very keen."
"Are these human eyes?" asked Sally, leaning in from the kitchen holding a jar.
"Put those back!" Ah, Sherlock's inner five year-old coming to the fore.
"They were in the microwave."
"It's an experiment."
"Keep looking guys," called Greg, standing up and approaching Sherlock, serious now. "But if you start helping us properly, I'll stand them down."
"This is childish," muttered Sherlock.
"Well, I'm working with a child." And if this is what having children required, he was just as glad not to have any. "Sherlock, this is our case and I'm letting you in, but you can't go off on your own. Are we clear?"
There were some more tantrums, but Sherlock's mood shifted when Greg told him they'd found Rachel and explained her history. "But that's not right. Why would she do that?" protested Sherlock. Greg almost felt pity at the confusion on Sherlock's face.
Anderson chimed in from the kitchen. "Why would she think of her daughter in her final moments? Sociopath. I see it now."
Sherlock rounded on him. "She didn't just think about her," he said fiercely. "She scratched her name. On the floor. With her fingernails. She was dying. It took effort. It would have HURT."
Dr. Watson spoke up, trying to ease the tension. "You said they take the poison themselves, that he makes them take it. Maybe he, I don't know, talks to them? Maybe he used her daughter somehow."
Sherlock shook his head in frustration. "But that was ages ago. Why would she still be upset?"
Silence fell on the room as Sherlock's words rang about the walls and even he noticed the shocked looks on people's faces. "Not good?" he asked the doctor quietly.
"Bit not good, yeah," the doctor advised.
It was interesting; Greg had never seen Sherlock turn to anyone for social cues before. This Dr. Watson must have hidden depths. Greg didn't have time to explore the thought, though, because Sherlock was already back on track. "But, if you were dying," he asked the doctor, "If you were hurt, in the last few seconds, what would you say?"
"Please God, let me live," answered the doctor calmly.
"Oh, use your imagination!"
The doctor blinked but maintained eye contact. "I don't have to."
Sherlock reared back at that, ever so briefly, and Greg finally noticed the doctor's military bearing and the hospital-issue cane. Was he an army doctor, then? That would explain not being overly familiar with poisons, he thought, but then why would he flinch when he walked into the crime scene? Surely army doctors had seen everything? Though therapists weren't exactly on the front lines.
Sherlock meanwhile was back on track, performing one of his frantic fits of inspiration. "Look at you lot, you're all so vacant," he finally said, "Is it nice not being me? It must be so relaxing."
Using the woman's password ("RACHEL." Greg would have wondered how he'd missed that one, but it was so unbelievable, how had Sherlock seen it at all?), Sherlock logged into the woman's mobile account and tracked the phone, which came up at 221 Baker Street, which threw Sherlock again. The man simply was not used to being wrong. Even as Greg set his team looking for the mobile, he saw Sherlock's face, suddenly absent, deep in thought. Then, muttering about fresh air, he walked out the door. It was like he couldn't face making a mistake.
Moments later, Dr. Watson said that Sherlock had just got in the taxi Mrs. Hudson had been so insistent about. Greg just shook his head. Brilliant Sherlock might be, but reliable? Never.
Sally protested that he was wasting their time, and beaten, Greg had to agree. "Okay everyone, pack up" he ordered and that quickly the room was clear, just he and the doctor left behind. It was exactly how he felt, too. Left behind. Abandoned. "Why would he do that? Why did he have to leave?"
"You know him better than I do," said Dr. Watson.
Typical therapist response, turning it back on him, thought Greg, reflecting on the enigma that was Sherlock Holmes. "I've known him five years," he said, unable to keep his exhaustion from his voice, "And no I don't."
"So why do you put up with him?"
"Because I'm desperate, that's why." Greg paused for a moment, thinking about all the trouble Sherlock caused every time he brought him into a case, but also about how much good he did. Looking at the doctor standing there so expectantly, waiting for an answer, he confessed, "Because Sherlock Holmes is a great man. And I think that one day, if we're very very lucky, he might even be a good one." And he followed Sally down the stairs.
They were barely back at the Yard when he got a call from a very frantic Dr. Watson. "Jennifer Wilson's phone," he told him, "It's in the taxi."
"Yes, the taxi that Sherlock left in."
Greg's stomach fell. "You mean Sherlock has it?" Had Sally been right about Sherlock all along?
"No!" The doctor's voice was urgent now, and hearing the sure command in his voice, Greg had no doubt now that this man had served in the military. "It's the cabbie. He had Jennifer Wilson's phone. Don't you see? When we searched for it, the cab was parked right outside the flat. That's why it said it was in Baker Street."
"But what was he doing there?"
"He followed us back, or something. But think about it: Sherlock said, 'Who do we trust? Who's invisible even in a crowd?' Well, cab drivers. It was the cabbie all along. He's the killer. That's why he has her phone."
Greg had to admit, it made a sick, twisted sense. Everybody trusted taxi drivers. It made the perfect cover for a serial killer. "Do you have a number for the cab? We'll bring him in."
"Inspector, you don't understand. He came to Baker Street specifically for Sherlock, and now he's got him. He's going to kill Sherlock!"
Christ. Waving at Donovan, he pulled up the phone company's website and typed Jennifer Wilson's information into the browser, sparing a moment to be grateful that Sherlock had been so explicit in his needling so that he actually remembered it. "We're on it," he told the doctor. "We'll let you know when we find him."
He gave Sally a quick run-down while waiting for the website to pinpoint the phone's GPS coordinates, and told her to get the car ready, to alert all other units. He didn't know if they'd be able to intercept the cab, and he had no idea how much time they would have once it stopped. Prat though he was, Sherlock Holmes was much too valuable to lose to a serial suicide killer.
It took too long. Lestrade couldn't wait for the cab to find its destination, he had to be on its trail, had to be moving. Within minutes, Greg was behind the wheel of his BMW, listening to reports on the radio about the direction the cab had gone.
"I still think it's suspicious," Sally said as they drove. "The phone was IN Baker Street, we know it was there."
"Yes, because Sherlock told us it was. He's not stupid enough to do that if he had put it there."
He wanted to scream. "No buts, Sally. Sherlock did not do this. Just … give a rest, will you?"
They drove in silence after that, listening to reports coming in over the scanner. Eventually, finally, he heard that they'd found the parked cab outside a college. Christ, he thought, those places were huge. They could be anywhere. Pressing the accelerator, he sped down the city streets, praying they wouldn't be too late.
They were barely minutes out when the report of a gunshot fired came over the radio. Greg's ulcer clenched into a fist in his stomach. But, the suicides had all been poison, his brain screamed. He ignored Sally's set jaw as she pointedly refrained from making a comment as he pulled to a stop outside the police barricade.
Jumping out of the car, he called for a report. "Sir," said one of the officers on scene, "We have one gunshot victim, older male, sixties, deceased, shot through the chest. We have teams searching the building for the shooter, but there's no sign."
"The victim, was he alone?"
"No, sir. Sherlock Holmes was in the room with him. He's unharmed. And unarmed, as well." He gestured to the two buildings behind him. "Mr. Holmes and the deceased were in the building on the right, but the shot was fired from the one on the left. The bullet went straight through the window and through the victim's shoulder and landed in the wall behind him. We're running tests on it now."
Looking at the distance between the buildings, Greg gave a low whistle. That was some shooting. "And we're sure the old man was the target? Not Sherlock?"
"We don't have any evidence either way. We don't have anything at all on the shooter. We found an open window in the room opposite, and the bullet was from a handgun. There doesn't appear to be anything more unless ballistics comes back with a match."
He held out an evidence bag. "We also found these two pills. According to Sherlock, one is poisoned, the other is not. The, er, cabbie, would force his victims to choose one and then he would take the other. "
"Inconceivable," muttered Greg, as his searching eyes lit on Sherlock. Nodding at the officer, he walked up to the ambulance with a feigned nonchalance. He could barely hide his relief at seeing Sherlock sitting there and being, well, not dead.
"Why have I got this blanket? They keep putting this blanket on me."
"It's for shock," Greg told him.
"I'm not in shock."
He couldn't hide a smile. "Yeah, well some of the guys wanted to take photos."
Sherlock grimaced, then asked, "So, the shooter. No sign?"
Greg shook his head. "Cleared off before we got here. A guy like that, he must have had enemies I suppose. One of them could've been following him, but we've got nothing to go on."
A familiar look spread across Sherlock's face. "Oh, I wouldn't say that."
Greg braced himself. "Okay, gimme."
"The bullet they just dug out of the wall is from a handgun. A kill shot over that distance from that weapon? It's a crack shot, a fighter, his hands couldn't have shaken at all. Clearly he's acclimatized to violence. He didn't fire until I was in immediate danger, though, so strong moral principles." Sherlock paused for breath and looked around before continuing. "You're looking for a man, probably with a history of military service, nerves of steel…" and drifted off, gazing into the distance.
Would wonders never cease. Sherlock Holmes losing a train of thought. Maybe he was human after all. "Actually, you know what, ignore me. Forget all that. It's the shock talking." Sherlock started to walk away.
"Where are you going?"
"I just need to talk about the … rent."
Rent? Greg followed his gaze and saw Dr. Watson standing patiently behind the police tape. "I've still got questions."
"What now?" said Sherlock, obviously anxious to get away. "Look, I'm in shock. I've got a blanket."
"And I just caught you a serial killer … more or less."
That was true. "Okay, be in tomorrow. off with you. " He watched Sherlock walk over to Dr. Watson and smiled briefly before turning back to the crime scene. Judging by how twitchy Sherlock had just gotten, he probably really needed to talk to that therapist-slash-flatmate of his. Greg could only wonder how that living situation was going to work out. If he was any judge, it was going to be harder on the doctor than on Sherlock.
He caught a glimpse of a shiny black car from the corner of his eye and shook his head. He recognized that car from his own meeting with a very polite, very ominous gent with an umbrella. The man had told him he was interested in Sherlock Holmes and, showing up here at this crime scene certainly reinforced that.
Watching from a distance, he saw Sherlock radiating cold disdain as he excused himself as quickly as possible. Dr. Watson dawdled behind for a moment, sharing a word with the man. They definitely looked like they had met before, and Greg wondered if maybe he had hired the doctor to look after Sherlock. He obviously had the money to hire the best care, and Greg would never deny Sherlock could use some. He just wondered if the mild-mannered doctor he had seen tonight was up to it.
Later, at his desk, Lestrade thumbed through the paperwork, hoping to find Dr. Watson's first name. Ah, there it was. Thank you Dr. Watson for calling in that tip and leaving a trail to follow, he thought.
Dr. John Hamish Watson. He started with a simple search and found, among other things, a blog. Clicking on it, he nodded to himself. There was the man's photo, so he'd come to the right place. But … hold on … he wasn't a therapist at all. CAPTAIN John Watson, RAMC, Army surgeon from the 5th Northumberland Fusiliers and just back from Afghanistan?
He ran a background check. If Sherlock was going to be sharing a flat with an ex-army doctor, it would be best to know more about him.
It didn't take long before the file came up, but his blood ran cold as he read it. Army surgeon, wounded in the line of duty (with a hero's status for saving three lives despite being shot in the shoulder). Invalided home with PTSD a month ago.
Poor bloke, Greg thought. Home from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress and get stuck living with Sherlock Holmes. That'll be restful.
Eyes still scanning the page, he suddenly stopped cold. Master class in marksmanship?
Thinking hard, he leaned back in his chair. What had Sherlock said about the killer? A marksman with military service and good moral principles? And he had stopped talking when he saw Dr. Watson? Greg had thought it was because he needed to talk to him, but now he realized that maybe he had really needed to talk to him. But not about the rent. Rather, about the fine, life-saving display of marksmanship.
Dr. Watson had called in the tip about the cabbie, after all. Greg had assumed he was still in the flat, but what if he had been in a taxi, following the other cab? What if he had arrived there first and gone looking for Sherlock? The report said the bullet had been fired from the opposite building, so what if Watson had started looking in the wrong place? What if he'd seen Sherlock in jeopardy through the window but been too far away to do anything?
And what if he had had a revolver hidden in his pocket so that he COULD do something?
Greg wasn't sure how he felt about that, not least because he was certain the gun that fired the shot was illegal. It had saved Sherlock's life, though, and he was willing to overlook a lot for that.
Staring back at the smiling face on his computer screen, Greg came to a decision. This was all speculation, after all. He didn't know anything for certain, did he? So Sherlock's new flatmate was an army doctor, was that really any of his business? Knowing Sherlock's tendencies, it probably wasn't a bad idea for him to have a live-in doctor, and if the man had been a crack shot in the military, well … he'd been shot in the shoulder. Surely, he thought, trying to convince himself, Dr. Watson would have lost that skill when the bullet plowed through all those muscle and nerves. Tonight's shot would have required someone fit, uninjured, wouldn't it?
Besides, whoever had shot that cabbie had done London a favor, so far as he was concerned. Saving Sherlock just made it better. As long as the shooter didn't make a habit of it, well … Greg supposed he was willing to let it slide. Just this once.
All the same, he told himself as he grabbed his coat and switched out the light, he was going to keep an eye on that man. Both of them.
He was sure it wasn't going to be boring.
Note: I don't own any of these characters and the BBC version of Sherlock Holmes is not my world. I just enjoy playing here.