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fic: Nothing To See Here

Title: Nothing To See Here
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: Sherlock
Pairing/Characters: Lestrade, Anderson
Rating: PG
Warnings: none, though this is inevitably a rather melancholy story
Wordcount: 883
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.
Summary: “He’s dead,” Lestrade says, not for the first time. “I’m sorry, I wish he wasn’t, but he really is dead and gone.”
A/N: Set before The Empty Hearse and prompted by the mini-episode S3 prequel, Many Happy Returns.

Heartfelt thanks to [personal profile] kalypso for invaluable beta suggestions and inspiring discussions about Anderson's backstory.

People believe what they want to believe; Lestrade knows that well enough. Human nature, isn’t it? Look at Anderson: off his head with guilt, blaming himself for Sherlock’s death, and babbling about sightings. Spend too much time on the internet, it’s bound to rot your brain eventually…

“He’s dead,” Lestrade says, not for the first time. “I’m sorry, I wish he wasn’t, but he really is dead and gone.”

Anderson’s tenacious; always was. It’s what used to make him a good forensics man, whatever Sherlock said to the contrary. Maybe he could be again, if only he could get over this obsession with Sherlock being alive and out there somewhere.

You have to feel sorry for the guy, really. First Donovan dumped him, not that she should ever have been involved with him in the first place. Workplace affairs… (Lestrade squirms a bit at that, remembering him and Sherlock, though that was years ago, and never when they were on a case together.)

Then Anderson started making mistakes, couldn’t see what was in front of him clearly enough after all that time swapping crackpot theories with the 221Believers or whatever they called themselves. Major errors on a case that meant a killer got off scot free. Bloody bad timing that he got the push the same week his wife finally left him.

Maybe Mrs Anderson really hadn’t known about Donovan, or maybe she hadn’t cared. Either way, she wasn’t going to put up with her husband spending half his waking hours with a bunch of crazy fangirls, online or in person. Lestrade doesn’t think for a minute that there was anything sexual going on there, but he’s not surprised she cut up rough when she found the DS_Deerstalker chatlogs.

Anderson has a kind of weird celebrity status with the fans, and it’s definitely gone to his head. He’s actually started to believe that he and Sherlock were mates as well as colleagues. Christ, Sherlock would turn in his grave if he knew…

The man’s getting worse than ever, now there’s no marriage and no job to make him hold it together. He sits in the pub, wild-eyed and unkempt, stabbing at a map of the world with his forefinger and gabbling through one improbable story after another. They don’t even have juries in Germany, for fuck’s sake.

If Lestrade ever gets like this, he hopes someone’ll shoot him, put him out of his misery. Weird thing is, Anderson actually seems happy; happier than Lestrade’s ever seen him. Almost enough to make you envy the poor sod. No point in being happy if it’s all a delusion, though. Has to be. Apart from anything else, there’s no way Sherlock would have faked his death and not told John. No way John was faking being devastated, either. Lestrade knows what heartbroken looks like; he’s seen it often enough.

Coming to terms with Sherlock’s death was one of the hardest things he’s had to do in his life. Suicide’s always a bugger to deal with, and for Sherlock to do that…

It took a long time to accept that the infuriating bastard was really gone. That no matter how many crime scenes Lestrade went to, Sherlock wouldn’t be turning up to gatecrash them or contaminate them. No matter how many press conferences he had to give, Sherlock wouldn’t be disrupting them by texting “Wrong!” to the assembled journalists.

Lestrade had kept himself so busy there were times his feet didn’t touch the ground. Two months in, he’d hit the buffers and spent a weekend getting blind drunk and staying that way so as not to bang his head against the walls. He knew he looked like shit when he crawled in to work on Monday morning, but nobody said anything.

If there’s one thing he knows by now, it’s that everyone’s way of dealing with grief is different. You can shut yourself up with a whisky bottle and pull down the blinds and tell yourself you’re fine. You can sit in a pub venting your obsessions to anyone who will listen. You can make yourself carry on as if there’s still some point to it all even when it doesn’t feel that way, try to hold it together even if other people around you are falling apart.

He’d thought he was doing well, nearly two years on, thought he was over it; but the call from Anderson and the sight of all that junk still in his desk drawer brought him up sharp. A model locomotive, a yellow mask, a pink phone, a DVD of that birthday message he’d made Sherlock record for John. And a box of nicotine patches; no use pretending he’s going to give up smoking again any time soon. He doesn’t know why he still has these things, but he knows it’s time to let go of them and move on. However much you might want them to, the dead don’t come back.

When he can’t put up with Anderson’s ravings any longer, he makes his excuses and gets up to go. He tells Anderson to take care, says he’ll put in a word for him, see if they won’t review his case. Then he sets off for John Watson’s place, carrying all that’s left of Sherlock Holmes in a cardboard box.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/141500.html with comment count unavailable comments.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 5th, 2014 09:31 pm (UTC)
Very melancholy. But very level-headed of Lestrade as well. He had his little break down and moved on. Love that Anderson has become a Sherlock conspiracy theorist, even though it's taken over his life.

I'm so excited for season three, but if they don't offer up some explanations for how Sherlock did the deed I'm going to be unhappy.

Followed your link to the BBC video. That was very, very cool. I can't wait for the big return!
Jan. 6th, 2014 02:29 am (UTC)
thank you - I'm very glad you enjoyed this, and I hope you enjoy the big return!
Feb. 6th, 2014 06:24 am (UTC)
I've just realised I never commented on this, even though I read it at the time and thought it was lovely. The mini-episode is one of Lestrade's finest hours and you've built something wonderful on it. I love how you use the idea of Lestrade as a person who can see the best even in people who have made terrible mistakes and who is tough enough to keep going through the grief. But also that he's not perfect, has to work to keep his own self-destructiveness in check. And I love the final line about the cardboard box. (A call back to the ACD adventure of that name?)
Feb. 6th, 2014 11:23 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you enjoyed this, and very pleased with what you say about Lestrade here. I wasn't consciously referring to the ACD adventure, but the title may have been lurking in the depths of my fic!brain.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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