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fic: The Old Bad Songs chapter 7

Title: The Old Bad Songs (chapter 7)

Author: fengirl88

Rating: NC-17

Warnings: sex, drug references, capture, threat.  Quite a lot of angst in this chapter too. 

Disclaimer: BBC versions of Sherlock, Lestrade, Watson, Donovan etc. not mine; E.M. Forster's Maurice not mine; nor the version of him in the film.  Nor any of the songs quoted here.

Summary:   Lestrade becomes enmeshed in a blackmail case he's working, and has to turn to Sherlock for help.

Word count for chapter:
1819

Tags: sherlock/lestrade, lestrade/other, maurice, crossover, fic


 

Chapter 7

 

Just Too Bad That He Had To Fall

 

 

Lestrade goes on reading out William Vane's diary, and Maurice goes on crying. Quietly, but without letting up.

 

It's not much of a story really. Certainly not the sort you'd think would end like this, with ropes and a gun.

 

William Vane had met Maurice in the cast of Forty Years On. Sherlock was right about that, though in his woozy state Lestrade still doesn't know how Sherlock worked out which boy was the cause of the blackmailer's fury. Vane was one of the rugger boys singing rude songs; Maurice had his part in the Wilde skit. Both minor players really.

 

Maurice had been nice to Vane without thinking, Lestrade gathers, the way he is with

almost everyone and probably was back then as well. Still sleepwalking through life, God help him. And Vane had fallen in love with him, mistaken his absent-minded friendliness for something more than it was. Hadn't told Maurice how he felt, just followed him around as much as he could without being conspicuous. Some people would have called it a crush, but Lestrade doesn't write it off like that. Can't, can he? Since apparently it caused Vane's death. And looks to be about to cause two more.

 

So that's how things were till the show finished its five-day run. And then there was the cast party. Which Vane shouldn't really have been at, being too young for legal drinking. But he'd crashed it, and the director hadn't had the heart to throw him out.

 

Reading between the lines, it sounds as if Maurice must have been a bit drunk that night, overexcited by the success of the play. Also – Lestrade vaguely remembers this bit of his long conversation with Maurice, which now seems a very long time ago – Maurice was very keyed up then about things with Durham, which were getting quite intense but hadn't yet turned fully sexual.

 

Accident waiting to happen, really. Lestrade swallows, feeling apprehensive about what's coming next. But it's not what he expects: no underage sex, not even adolescent fumblings really.

 

People were dancing,” he reads, “and someone put on a slow one. I asked Maurice to dance, didn't think he would say yes but he did. It was the most beautiful feeling I ever remember in my life. If I died tonight I would always be glad that happened. He held me in his arms and he kissed me. Just the top of my head, but it was a kiss. I wasn't sure if he liked me but he must do, mustn't he?”

 

Lestrade doesn't blame Maurice for crying. Doesn't go in for that sort of thing himself but if he did -

 

Poor deluded William Vane, getting a kiss that was almost certainly meant for bloody Durham, or at least about him, and thinking it meant something real about him and Maurice. Maurice probably not even remembering it ever happened, thinking nothing of it. Thinking of Durham who was probably off doing something illegal or dangerous or both, and hadn't come to the cast party at all. But had spotted Vane in the cast, and invited him to one of his parties when he ran into Vane in King's Parade a few days later.

 

I went to Durham's party”, Lestrade reads. “It was horrible. I didn't know people did that sort of thing. You would think someone would tell the police, at least about the drugs. They laughed at me because I didn't want to try. But Maurice doesn't either. Or the other things.”

 

Vane hadn't specified the other things but Lestrade gloomily assumes it's something sexual. Vane was clearly trying to hang on to the idea of Maurice as different from the rest of them, which it seems as if Maurice was. But Vane couldn't ignore what was going on between Maurice and Durham.

 

I saw them standing together”, Lestrade reads, “and Durham put his hand on Maurice's bottom and said something to him and Maurice was embarrassed but didn't move away. You can tell he really likes Durham. If you see them out in public they don't touch but you only have to look at Maurice's face to know what's going on.”

 

Lestrade can imagine that easily enough. Maurice with it written all over him that he and Durham are lovers and it's all he's ever wanted, all he'll ever want. And the boy thinking he has no chance with Maurice at all, because he has no idea that Durham's going to rush into the closet and slam the door behind him the minute he graduates. Has no idea that maybe if he'd waited -

 

Unlikely, though, just the same. Face it, Maurice clearly isn't over Durham even now, so what chance would poor bloody William Vane have had back then?

 

I'm going to run away”, Lestrade reads. “Can't stay here. Everything reminds me of him. It'll be different in London. One of Durham's friends said I could stay at his house till I find somewhere.”

 

Lestrade feels slightly sick, as if he can see the rest of the story unrolling like a cartoon strip in front of his eyes. It's a familiar story, God knows: the friendly host becomes a sexual predator, or drink and drugs get into the picture somehow, or the boy becomes a trophy or a toy to be passed around between the more experienced ones. Lot of homeless kids have a story like that somewhere. Is that what happened to Vane? The diary ends as he's about to leave for London, so Lestrade doesn't know.

 

He looks at Hughes uncertainly, as if the rest of Vane's story might be written on Hughes's face. Doesn't think it is though.

 

How did he die, Mr Hughes?” he asks, hoping to God that question is OK.

 

Hughes looks green – a greyish sort of green but still recognizably green. “They said it was drugs. He wasn't a boy who did drugs. And they said -”

 

Looks as if Lestrade guessed right about the sex as well. Hughes doesn't try to finish whatever the sentence was going to be.

 

Maurice has started saying over and over again that he's sorry, he's so sorry, he had no idea, he never knew. Lestrade thinks this almost certainly isn't going to help, but also that telling Maurice to shut up is not a good plan, the state he's in.

 

What he can't really work out is why Hughes has come after Maurice rather than Durham's bastard friends who are so much more obviously to blame for what happened to the poor kid.

 

He could have been normal, but for you,” Hughes says suddenly to Maurice, who is still saying sorry over and over again. “Could have had a life. You took that from him and you didn't even notice.” Hughes's voice cracks, for the first time, and Lestrade realizes the man is close to tears.

 

You didn't even know he was dead,” Hughes says.

 

Maurice shakes his head.

 

It was in the paper,” Hughes says. “Not the details, but -”

 

That makes sense, Lestrade thinks. Sherlock must have cross-checked for any news reports matching the names of boys in the cast and found this one. Obvious when you think about it.

 

Still not sure what Sherlock thought he was doing placing that announcement in the Times though. Got things moving, all right. Moving all the way to the morgue. Thanks, Sherlock.

 

Where the fuck is Sherlock when you need him?

 

You do realize Mr Hall couldn't have placed that notice in the Times, don't you?” Lestrade says. Playing for time or trying to throw a spanner in the works.

 

Hughes looks at him as if to say Of course. Probably thinks Lestrade did it himself. Given that Sherlock used Lestrade's warrant card, that would be a fair deduction.

 

Maurice says suddenly and unexpectedly “You said you knew who'd done that.”

 

Lestrade remembers saying it, so long ago now it could have been in another lifetime.

 

Yes,” he says.

 

Indiscreet of John to tell you that, Inspector,” a new voice says. “I'll have to take him to task when I get home.”

 

Sherlock. And about bloody time too.

 

 

***

 

Not just Sherlock, fortunately. Because even Sherlock, smart as he is, is not necessarily a match for a man with a gun, even one who's not used to guns.

 

Lestrade has seldom been more pleased to see a room full of police officers.

 

It's still looking tricky about the gun, though. Especially as Hughes's reaction is to grab Maurice and use him as a human shield. Backing towards the window rather than the door, which makes no sense at first. Then makes sense in a really alarming way. Lestrade's stomach lurches as he pictures two bodies falling twenty-eight floors to smash on the pavement in front of the building.

 

In the event it's Sherlock who distracts Hughes's attention by hurling a paperweight at him and yells at Maurice to get down. Maurice doesn't really need telling, given he can hardly stand up. Somebody fires – there'll be questions asked about that later but please God it won't be Lestrade's job to answer them. He's joined the civilians for the evening, snug in a suit of ropes.

 

Hughes is hit, left upper arm it looks like. Bleeding quite a lot. Drops his own gun, which someone retrieves, not particularly cleanly, more questions about organization here but for once some other bugger can have the headache of that. Somebody's untying Maurice, who is so numb he can't really move, and somebody else is untying Lestrade, who isn't much better, quite frankly.

 

And somehow, in amongst all that, Michael Hughes manages to open the window and throw himself out.

 

***

 

So there really will have to be an enquiry, what with all that police presence, and God only

knows what will come out at it. Lestrade's not thinking about that for now, though, or about the nightmares he knows are lying in wait for him. The sound of Hughes falling. The last hour with Maurice and Hughes. The last days of William Vane. He's got all that to come, despite his years in the job. Christ knows what Maurice has in store. But for now Lestrade concentrates on the fact that he is alive, and Maurice is alive. Which, at various points in the last hour, was looking pretty fucking unlikely. He seems to have stopped wishing he was dead, too, which is probably all for the best.

 

Lestrade looks at Sherlock, who has picked up the paperweight again and is turning it over in his hands. The expression on Sherlock’s face is, well, odd. Even for Sherlock.

 

Lestrade has just about enough energy left to wonder what it means.

 

Chapter 8  Welcome To The Human Race )

 

 

 


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
tyhyin
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oh dear lord when is the next chapter going to be posted? Do say that it'll be soon. I'm knee deep in this story now.
fengirl88
Sep. 8th, 2010 08:14 pm (UTC)
very soon...

glad you are enjoying it!

thank you.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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