Title: A Little Leverage
Characters: Lestrade, Sherlock, John, Mrs Hudson
Warnings: a drugged out Sherlock, mild language, references to but no instances of vomiting
Spoilers: A Scandal in Belgravia
Pairings: None.
Summary: Lestrade helps Sherlock home after the events in Belgravia. And gets a little leverage along the way.
Author's notes: Thanks to Ama, as always, for listening to me tell stories and making them make sense.

"All right, let me see if I have this straight," Lestrade said, glancing down at the notebook in his hand. "You and Sherlock came here as part of an investigation I'm not allowed to know about, to find an object you can't tell me about. During the course of the investigation, several men in black came through that window, knocked out the blonde woman, and attacked you. They were also looking for the object you can't tell me about and in the ensuing scuffle over the object, the woman you won't tell me about killed one of the men, but not really killed because she wasn't directly responsible. Then she drugged Sherlock and escaped through the same window, with the object you can't tell me about."

John nodded. "Pretty much."

"Well, I expect I'll have this solved by tea time," Lestrade said, with a sigh. He closed his notebook and pocketed it. John looked apologetic, but unwilling to elaborate.

Sherlock twitched on the bed they were standing next to. He was lying face down, his limbs splayed out like a corpse at a crime scene.

"Are you sure he's all right?" Lestrade asked.

"I think so," John said. "Whatever he got was powerful, but his pulse is steady and his breathing isn't laboured and his pupils are reactive. He hasn't vomited – which is surprising, but given his history maybe he can handle drugs better than the average person. He's just really, really out of it."

"And..." Lestrade made a gesture toward his own face, implying the large red mark on Sherlock's cheek.

"I punched him," John said.

"Good for you!" Lestrade said, with a grin.

Sherlock's eyes suddenly opened and he struggled to get up. "John!" he yelled, sounding like his tongue was too big for his mouth. "John! I need tea!"

Lestrade and John both saw what was going to happen next and Lestrade got there first, just as Sherlock went face first off the side of the bed. Lestrade caught him before he hit the floor.

"Whoa, whoa, easy," he said, as Sherlock flailed around.

"Release me! I need to see the Headmaster," Sherlock ordered. His words were badly slurred but Lestrade had dealt with enough people under the influence to understand him. "There are satsumas everywhere."

"Christ, what are you on?" Lestrade muttered. He couldn't keep a hold of him and just lowered him to the floor for a more gentle landing. John ducked a flying arm with agility.

"Sherlock, calm down," he said.

"This is unacceptable," Sherlock said. "My legs are missing."

"No, your legs are not missing," John said, in a reassuring tone of voice. It was the voice universally employed by doctors when talking to unreasonable patients. "You need to go back to bed."

"I don't want to go to bed," Sherlock whined, like a child. "I have to finish my experiment. Can't I have five more minutes?"

Lestrade noted that it sounded like the sort of thing someone would say who didn't want to get out of bed, rather than in it. He could suddenly picture Sherlock as a kid, trying to negotiate a later bed time.

"No, Sherlock, you need to rest," John said. "C'mon."

They hoisted Sherlock up and onto the bed. He flailed around some more, but then just seemed to give up and fall asleep again.

"Are you sure we shouldn't take him to the hospital?" Lestrade asked.

"You remember what happened the last time he was in Casualty?" John said.

Lestrade winced. "Oh, yeah. I had to give a formal apology to those nuns. Fair enough."

"I think it would be best if we got him home," John said. "I can monitor him there."

Lestrade decided that John was, after all, a doctor and knew better than him what to do. "Well, no cabbie is going to take him like this. I'll give you a lift if you can wait a bit. I don't think I'm going to accomplish much here, I might as well make myself useful."

John nodded gratefully.

Lestrade made sure everyone knew what they were supposed to be doing, which was hard because he wasn't sure himself what they were supposed to be doing. He could only tell them to gather evidence and hope that no men in black suits showed up to confiscate it. He suspected a visit from Sherlock's brother was likely.

Once he'd handed over the scene to Donovan, he went back to help collect Sherlock. John was sitting at the foot of the bed, writing in a notebook while Sherlock babbled about something, half asleep.

"I'm ready to go," Lestrade said. "How do you want to do this?"

John put his notebook away and assessed the situation, looking like he was preparing for battle. "No idea," he said, after a bit. "Let's just see if we can get him on his feet and downstairs. I'll take the right, you take the left."

Lestrade nodded. John woke Sherlock up and they helped him to his feet. He mostly was able to support himself, though he leaned heavily on the two men. Lestrade, who was the tallest, got most of Sherlock's weight.

"How can someone so thin be so heavy?" he groaned, as they started toward the door.

"The remains of a cremated adult weighs approximately 9 lbs," Sherlock said.

"You're not cremated," Lestrade told him.

"Yet," John muttered.

They made it to the top of the stairs, where they paused to consider the logistics. After some debate, during which Sherlock helpfully warned him that there were bats in the ceiling, they decided the best option was to just to take their time.

This plan was ruined the moment they took the first step, as Sherlock lurched forward and pulled both John and Lestrade down far more quickly then they would have liked. No one fell, remarkably, but another pause was needed at the landing to get their heart rates back to normal.

Lestrade imagined that in any other situation, people would have rushed forward to help them. If it had been John who was strung out, half the crime scene crew would be doting on him. But it was Sherlock and so those people who were present just watched the three men struggle with apathy, if not down right enjoyment.

"I am smarter than everyone here!" Sherlock yelled.

Lestrade understood their apathy.

They made it to the ground floor safely and headed to the door.

"Hold on a sec," John said. He let go of Sherlock, sort of leaning him against Lestrade. "I'll be right back." He disappeared into one of the rooms.

"The are no tigers in Africa," Sherlock told Lestrade, as though this information was vital.

"Really?" Lestrade said. "I didn't know that."

"32-24-34," Sherlock mumbled.

"What's that?" Lestrade asked.

"Brainy is the new sexy," he said.

John reappeared, carrying a large bowl from the kitchen. "Bit worried about the movement of the car," he explained, miming someone throwing up. "Thought I'd save your upholstery if necessary."

"Thanks," Lestrade said. "He's getting a bit creepy now."

"More so than usual?" John asked, with a grin.

They got Sherlock out to the car. John put him in the backseat and did up his seatbelt. Which Sherlock then undid. John rolled his eyes and did it up again. Sherlock undid it.

"Fine, not like we're going to get pulled over," John said, giving up and walking around to the other side of the car. Sherlock did up his seatbelt.

Lestrade closed the door, after making sure all of Sherlock's body parts were clear of it. Sherlock tapped on the window and then stuck his face up against it. He said something to John, which Lestrade couldn't hear but he could hear John's reply.

"Yes, Sherlock, the window is solid matter."

Lestrade shook his head and walked around to the driver's seat.

It wasn't a long drive to Baker Street, maybe fifteen minutes, but every one of those minutes was entertaining as hell. Sherlock alternated between saying something ridiculous and half passing out. Lestrade watched the proceedings in the rear-view mirror. John dealt with it all very well, only seeming to get disconcerted when Sherlock fell asleep with his head on John's shoulder. He couldn't seem to decide whether it would be better to leave Sherlock's head there or try to push him in the other direction. It looked like he'd made up his mind to push him off when Sherlock woke back up again.

"My coat!" he said. "My coat is missing. I need it to live. Where is my coat?!"

"The...uh...woman took it, Sherlock, remember? You gave it to her," John said.

Lestrade wondered what kind of woman would warrant Sherlock voluntarily giving up his coat.

"We have to find her and get it!" Sherlock announced. "Driver, stop the vehicle!" This was said in a tone of voice that made Lestrade think Sherlock had been driven around by chauffeurs a lot.

"Calm down, Sherlock," John said. "We'll find your coat, later. We have to get you home first."

"Home is irrelevant, I need my coat," Sherlock declared. "I will find her and kill her. With..." his hands swirled around, trying to find a word. "Death!"

"Okay, I promise we will kill her with death after you've sobered up," John said.

Sherlock's head lolled to the side. "I am more intelligent than her," he mumbled, then dropped off to sleep again.

"Who the hell is this woman?" Lestrade asked.

"You don't want to know, really," John said.

"If she managed to get a one-up on Sherlock, I think I might," Lestrade said. "I could use an ally."

John grinned.

Lestrade slowed to a stop at a traffic light and the movement woke Sherlock up again. He looked around and tapped his fingers rhythmically against the window.

"Is he...singing?" Lestrade asked, a moment later.

John nodded, watching Sherlock with a look of fascinated horror. "Yeah. He's singing."

"What's he singing?" Lestrade asked.

John listened for a moment. "Um...the periodic table?" he guessed. He listened again. "Yep. Definitely the periodic table."

Lestrade took his mobile from his pocket and surreptitiously aimed it at the backseat, hitting the record button on the camera. He managed to get about a minute of footage before the traffic light changed and he had to drive again.

"But they haven't been discovered..." Sherlock finished, with as much gusto as a person could muster while that stoned. He had a pretty good voice, really.

John gave him a sarcastic round of applause. Sherlock passed out again.

"I can't decide if this is more or less weird than he usually is," John commented.

"It's nice to have a break between the weirdness," Lestrade said. "Usually it's just a constant onslaught."

John nodded. "Hell of a way to get it, though."

Sherlock woke up once more near the end of the journey, to give a very detailed lecture on types of tobacco. Lestrade thought it would have been very educational, if he could have followed it. The combination of Sherlock's choice of vocabulary, which wavered between words like 'assiduity' and the rather less impressive 'thingys', the slur to his speech and Lestrade needing to concentrate on driving, he missed half of what was being said.

John tried to stop the speech at several points, but Sherlock barreled on, speaking like he was in front of a large crowd of people. John gave up after a while and the speech concluded roughly at the same time Lestrade pulled up next to 221b.

He hopped out and walked around to help Sherlock out of the car. He nearly fell out when Lestrade opened the door, saved by his seatbelt holding him in place. John pressed the button to release it and Lestrade steadied Sherlock and helped him up.

The moment Sherlock was on his feet, his face blanched out in a matter of seconds. Lestrade was positive he was about to vomit. John seemed to agree, as hurried out of Sherlock's side of the car, bowl at the ready.

Sherlock didn't vomit however, he just collapsed. Straight down, without any warning, like his knees had just suddenly evaporated. Lestrade caught him under the armpits before he hit the ground. John looked concerned and checked his pulse.

"I don't feel very well," Sherlock told him, sadly.

For a moment Lestrade felt bad at how much amusement that he was getting from Sherlock's predicament. Sherlock strained his head back to look up at him.

"You're extremely incompetent," he announced.

Lestrade didn't feel that bad anymore.

"And you are very short," Sherlock added, to John. "It's stupid how short you are."

John just laughed. "Yeah, good observation there. We're almost home, Sherlock. Just a bit further. We'll get you to bed and then you'll feel better, all right?"

Sherlock nodded. Lestrade hoisted him back onto his feet and John went up to the door to get it open for them.

Mrs Hudson descended upon them as soon as they got Sherlock through the door.

"Oh my Lord, what happened?" she cried.

"He's all right, Mrs Hudson," John said. "He's just a bit...drugged."

Sherlock's face had broken out into a smile when she appeared and he staggered forward and wrapped his arms around her in a bear hug. Lestrade kept hold of the back of his jacket, afraid he was going to simply squash the little woman.

"Oh dear," came Mrs Hudson's muffled voice. "He really is out of it, isn't he? Sherlock, dear, you're stifling me a bit."

Sherlock planted a kiss on the top of her head and let go. "I need tea," he told her, as though this was a term of endearment.

Mrs Hudson just looked bewildered and concerned. "All right, dear," she said. She glanced past him to John. "Should I make him some?"

"No, we're trying to get him to lie down," John said. "Thanks though, Mrs H."

She nodded. "Is there anything I can do?"

John handed her the bowl he was holding. "You can take this. Consider it a replacement for the one Sherlock disintegrated last week," he said. "And maybe you could go ahead of us and make sure there's a clear path to his room?"

"Yes, of course," Mrs Hudson said. She scurried upstairs, tutting under breath.

"Three sugars!" Sherlock called, after her. "I won't eat biscuits." He turned to John, "I don't want biscuits."

John patted him on the back in reassurance. "Okay, Sherlock. No biscuits," he told him. He rolled his eyes at Lestrade, then gestured with his head toward the stairs. "You ready?"

Lestrade sighed and nodded. Getting Sherlock to the second floor was a production. Somehow they all managed to fall up the steps at one point. Sherlock just giggled, which Lestrade found disturbing. After much toil and manoeuvring, they made to the kitchen, where Mrs Hudson was waiting for them.

"Almost there," John said, when they paused for a breather.

"You poor thing," Mrs Hudson said.

Lestrade thought that Sherlock was having an easier go of it than he and John were, though he didn't voice this thought aloud. He'd been on the receiving end of Mrs Hudson's wrath before and even though she wasn't very harsh, it left him feeling like a child who'd disappointed their parents. Mrs Hudson seemed to be everyone's mum.

She continued to prove this theory by helping Sherlock get to bed once they got him to his room. She took off his jacket and pulled the sheets down for him, then removed his shoes and fussed at him until he lay down. Lestrade and John just watched as Sherlock obeyed her commands without much protest.

"It was a boomerang," Sherlock told her as she brought the sheets up to his chin.

"I'm sure it was, dear," Mrs Hudson said, soothingly. "Now, you just rest. You'll feel better soon."

"I am perfectly..." Sherlock said, but was asleep before he finished the sentence.

"I'll make some tea," Mrs Hudson declared, with the implication that this would solve everyone's problems. She left the room.

"Do you mind staying with him for a minute? I want to get my things and do a set of vitals," John said.

Lestrade assured him that he didn't mind. He was left alone with Sherlock, who seemed at last to be resting peacefully. Lestrade pulled out his mobile and watched the footage he'd taken of him back, chuckling softly. It was always good to have a little leverage with Sherlock, though he probably wouldn't use it.