Lestrade had seen plenty of junkies overdose before. It was never really pretty, and never something you could get used to, but the shock of it came a little bit less every time.
Well, except for this time.
Because this wasn't one of the junkies he had seen time and time before come this close to death in the streets or some sink hole of a place they called home. This wasn't one of those men or women that Lestrade had seen and wondered what had lead them here. Why they were here. Did they have anyone who loved them.
This wasn't just another faceless person who he ran in to the hospital only to see them a couple of months later, doing the same thing.
No, this was a bloody genius who had shown up at a crime scene a couple of months ago, taken one look, and told them they were going about it the entirely wrong way. And he was right, despite looking like crap.
And he kept appearing at crime scenes, pointing out things that Lestrade had to admit were genius, and yet so obvious. Except some of the time he was high, or hungover, and no matter how good he was, Lestrade couldn't let him help then.
So he took him home sometimes, helped him get cleaned up, tried to talk him into a detox program, to which the gaunt young man flat out refused.
He was prickly and self absorbed and an absolute genius. Lestrade was enthralled by him, irritated by him, wanted to kill him and take care of him all at the same time. Other people had slightly different feelings. Mostly leaning towards killing him.
And now here he was, red and sweaty, seizing, probably due to lack of blood to that brilliantly idiotic brain. Lestrade had done research. He knew what the effects of cocaine were. Vasoconstriction. Blood vessels get smaller. Heat can't escape. Temperature rises, damaging cells. Blood flow is restricted to vital organs, like the heart and brain. Death. So many ways of death.
Because he's a bloody idiot.
But he doesn't die that night, and Lestrade sits by his bed in the hospital, claiming some sort of police excuse that he can't even remember now, but worked on the nurses. And things look better. He looks better.
Until the next morning when a man comes in, claiming he's family, and a minor government official. He tells Lestrade that this was no accidental overdose, that the brilliant young man who Lestrade had been awed by had done this on purpose. Because as he said, you know who he is and how brilliant he is. This was no accident. This could not be an accident. And Lestrade was furious, screaming at him and arguing who the hell he was to be saying anything. And that man, that bloody calm, cold, calculating man just stood there and took it. And then Lestrade was forcibly removed from the hospital, despite calling in police favours.
And there was no help at crime scenes for months after that. Lestrade didn't quite know what to think. He hoped that he was in rehab, or had been taken away by that strange family member to a house in the countryside. He hoped and prayed that he was not in some god forsaken hole, drugged out of his mind, or worse, lying still in some morgue somewhere.
And then one day, in the spring, he could definitely recall that, because he had wondered why that odd man was still wearing a winter coat and scarf until he realized who it was. He felt strangely overjoyed. And Lestrade had watched as he walked over, inviting himself in again, as if nothing had ever happened. As he practically solved the case for him, Lestrade stared at this strange man with his head full of dark curls and eyes that looked right through you in awe yet again.
And when Anderson, a new tech, asked him who the hell he thought he was and what he was doing, he replied, "Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective," and Lestrade felt strangely proud.