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fic: The Old Bad Songs chapters 3 and 4

Title: The Old Bad Songs

Author: fengirl88

Rating: NC-17

Wordcount: currently 9031

Lestrade/Maurice crossover

Big thanks to ginbitch for beta work on Sherlock/Lestrade scene.

Disclaimer: I do not own this Lestrade, or this Sherlock, or any other characters from the BBC Sherlock who may turn up in the story. Or this Maurice, who is an older version of Forster's as played by James Wilby in the Merchant Ivory film. Or any of the songs quoted here or used as chapter titles.

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

A/N: This story is for kopoushka , who requested it, and who suggested that Lestrade and an older Maurice could meet over a blackmail case. It follows on from the incidents in Close Analysis and Unpredictable. No spoilers for BBC Sherlock as yet.

The title of the story is a translation of a Schumann song title, Die Alten Bösen Lieder, and will make sense eventually. Individual chapter titles are taken from songs this Lestrade knew in his youth.

Chapter 1

Watching the Detectives )

Chapter 2


The British Police Are The Best In The World )

Chapter 3


You'd Better Speak Up Now, It Won't Mean A Thing Later



Maurice Hall holds out for twenty-four hours before he turns up at the Yard and tells Lestrade his ex's name. Gets points for obstinacy, Lestrade supposes, even if not for common sense. And Lestrade had been right about who it was. Durham. Minister for Victorian Values or whatever that stupid Department was calling itself these days.


So Lestrade and Donovan interview Durham, which doesn't go well.


Unproductive, for starters. Durham insists he has no idea who might want to blackmail him or Hall. Also, no, he can't remember the name of anyone who used to come to his parties in Cambridge. Or anything else about them. Well, it is nearly thirty years ago. Does Lestrade remember parties from thirty years ago?, Durham asks sarcastically.


Lestrade does, actually, but he doesn't say so.


As well as unproductive, the interview with Durham is bloody unpleasant. Lestrade doesn't usually think of himself as easily intimidated or made uncomfortable by politicians. Had to grill a few in his time, one thing and another. But Durham is something else again, and it's not the Palace of Westminster's fault. He's a few notches up the social scale from Maurice Hall. Not aristocracy, but definitely big-house gentry. And his look and his manner and his accent raise hackles Lestrade didn't know he still had. Lestrade can't remember who coined that phrase about the hidden injuries of class, but they certainly had the right fucking idea. The temptation to let Donovan loose on this bastard is almost irresistible. Lestrade can tell she's dying to have a go at him.


He resists it, though. Case to solve, and a row won't help that. Not Maurice Hall's fault he has such piss-awful taste in men. Happens to the best of us. Lestrade sighs. Though what Hall ever saw in this one… Maybe he was pretty when he was young. There'd have to be something. Complete waste of space now. Says a lot for Maurice's loyalty – for Hall's loyalty, Lestrade corrects himself quickly – that he held out as long as twenty-four hours before dobbing this one in.


So he and Donovan get whatever basic information Durham allows them to prise from him (not much beyond what College he was at and when, which they could have got from the Net anyway), and take their leave. Good to be out of that stuffy room. Wouldn't think a big room with a ceiling that high could be that stuffy. Must be coming from Durham.


Jesus, what a tight-arse!” Donovan explodes once they're in the corridor.


Lestrade knows he should tell her not to talk like that about a member of Her Majesty's Government. And when he stops laughing he's going to do just that. Maybe.


Trip to Cambridge seems indicated,” he says. “See what you can find out.”


Me?” She sounds scandalized, like he's suggested she take up pole-dancing or something.


Well, someone's got to go and dig around, and you've met these guys,” Lestrade says. These guys. Hah.


She gives in eventually, though he has to insist, and to promise she can call him if she gets out of her depth. Seems to think Cambridge is full of pointy-headed lunatics who never stop talking. Like Sherlock, only not so good-looking.


Not sure where that thought came from. He'd been setting a new record for time spent not thinking about Sherlock. Oh well.


When he gets back to the Yard, there's a note saying Mr Hall rang again, says please will you ring him and the landline number. He rings, but there's no answer. Leaves a message to call him back. Then, and he never knows why he does this, because it's so clearly stupid and wrong, he fishes out the card from his pocket and calls the mobile number. From his mobile. A thing that makes no sense at all even as he's doing it.


Rings a bit, he thinks it'll go to voicemail and he'll just hang up, but then -


Hallo?” Hall's voice, sounding a bit apprehensive.


It's Lestrade. You asked me to call and – I left a message on your other phone.”


Oh.” Hall sounds thrown, as if he hadn't expected Lestrade to use this number, despite that pencilled message on the card.


So, what did you want to – have they been in touch with you again?” Lestrade asks. His day for floundering, apparently.


No – oh, no, nothing like that.”


So why has Hall rung him up? Lestrade is too annoyed to make it easy by asking him. Still smarting from the interview with Durham. Let Hall make the effort. He's the one who said he wanted to talk, dammit.


Could we – meet?” Hall's voice is tentative, sounds a lot younger suddenly. Probably not a good sign.




Um. There are – things I'd find it easier to talk about if -”


Easier to talk about not at the Yard?” Lestrade suggests.


Mm. Yes. But also – I know I shouldn't ask you this, you must think I have no sense of propriety - ”


What the fuck is he on about now?


- But I'd find it much easier if I could just talk to you one to one,” Hall says in a great rush.


Lestrade knows the correct answer to this should be “Tough shit”, given what's already happened with the look and the message on the card. Or a polite version of “Tough shit” at least.


It's not usual procedure,” he says, feebly.


But – could we?”


Oh bollocks. There's a note of appeal in Hall's voice that Lestrade has never known how to resist when it goes with that particular accent. If it's not someone he's arresting, obviously. Plus, he does feel quite sorry for the poor sod, as well as wanting to shake him for being such a dipstick. Trying to protect Durham, who so clearly is not worth protecting.


This is all very irregular,” he says, which sounds even more feeble than not usual procedure.


Please,” Hall says.


Lestrade knows he should stand firm, should insist on having another officer present at the interview. Should behave as if it is an interview. Particularly given Hall's obvious interest in him, which was definitely still there this morning. Nevertheless, he agrees to go round to the flat. Tells the desk sergeant he's going out but will keep his mobile on. Doesn't say where he's going.


Is this some kind of personal challenge for how many things he can do wrong in one afternoon?


And when he gets there, Hall doesn't seem to know what it is he wants to say. Which is awkward. So Lestrade tries getting him to talk more about Cambridge, see if anything helpful comes out of that. Bit sticky at first, but once he gets going it's actually quite hard to shut him up. None of it seems particularly relevant to the case, but there's a hell of a lot about realizing he was gay and what happened with Durham and how he felt when Durham told him he was getting married. And several pots of tea.


Lestrade really ought to get back to work, especially if this is all there's going to be: an unstoppable flow of reminiscences and adolescent yearning. Sort of thing you could just about put up with in a Friday night documentary if there was absolutely nothing else on the box, but hardly groundbreaking stuff. Still, he supposes it helps to build up a picture of young Maurice Hall. Who seems to have been knocked for six by the whole business of being gay. And obviously never really got over the big rejection by Durham. There hasn't been anyone else serious. Not even much casual sex, at least not in this country. Another one of these privileged types going off to get laid abroad, as if somehow it doesn't count if you shag another man on foreign soil. Long tradition of that, of course, Lestrade knows. Usually he disapproves of that sort of thing, but he finds himself feeling unexpectedly sorry for Maurice Hall.


He really is going to have to do something about his chivalrous streak, because it is the most colossal fucking nuisance.


Eventually Hall runs out of steam and Lestrade runs out of questions. So there's another awkward bit where Lestrade says he's going and Maurice says yes, sorry, thanks, must you?, and they go round and round that circuit a few times till Lestrade finally manages to extricate himself and goes back to the Yard to write up as much as he can remember. Knowing it's not much use because he can't really put it on file. But at least he can keep a private record of it, in case something rings a bell. He's always had a pretty good memory for dialogue, so the notes end up being quite extensive.


And really, that should be the end of it. But then Donovan rings up the next day from Cambridge because some fucker of a Don or a Dean or something is giving her the runaround, and Lestrade ends up asking Maurice to lean on the bastard to produce whatever information there is about the drinking society that Durham used to belong to. Which, surprisingly, Maurice does.


More worryingly, Lestrade finds he's crossed the line from Hall to Maurice in his head without quite noticing when it happened. Probably the result of all that teenage yearning pouring out into the room. No way for a grown man to spend the afternoon. Two grown men to spend the afternoon.


Better not to think about that, really.


And then the guy keeps turning up, or ringing up, seems as if hardly a day goes by when he doesn't appear. Meanwhile, the leads from Cambridge turn out mostly dead ends. You wouldn't believe the number of fortysomething men from Cambridge drinking societies who are dead, or have fried their brains with drink and drugs to the point of total incoherence, or who claim amnesia or threaten lawsuits, or both. It's amazing those parties ever happened at all, the number of people who definitely weren't at them. According to them. Even if their names are in the Dean's notice for disciplinary offences in connection with that same society.


So it's really not going well at all. And Lestrade is getting a bit tired of having his ear bent by someone who should probably just go into therapy or ring Gay Switchboard or something. If Gay Switchboard still exists.


He realizes another line has been crossed when Maurice suggests taking him to the opera.


Says no, of course. Opera's not his thing, and anyway... They shouldn't be socializing like this.


Something's gone quite badly wrong if Maurice is asking him out – which is pretty much the only way to classify the opera thing.


Lestrade resolves to stop going round there, put it all on a proper footing, make sure any future meetings are -


Chaperoned was the word that came to mind there.


Never thought he'd need a bloody chaperone.


Though he supposes the chaperone is for Maurice's benefit really.


Must stop thinking about him as Maurice.


M” has a suitably clinical sound to it. Maybe that would help.


Lestrade's still trying to implement this new resolution on the day a mystery voice rings up and threatens to tell the tabloids all about him and Maurice Hall.

Chapter 4


Mystery Dance


Two nights after the mystery voice gave him five days to solve the case, Lestrade is ragged from lack of sleep. He's no closer to a solution and feels he is going quietly crazy. It has to be quietly, because there's no-one he can talk to about it. Doesn't know how he got himself into this stupid fucking mess. Wishes he'd never met Maurice Hall. Wishes he was dead. Thinks he probably will be, soon, if he goes on not sleeping, not eating, barely remembering to have the odd cup of coffee. The only thing he's managed to cling on to is the nicotine patches: he hasn't cracked and started smoking again. But he's on a knife-edge with that one, and he knows it.


At this rate, his career, and Hall's, and Durham's, not that he cares about that, will be dead too, in about three days' time.


His mind goes round and round, no way out. The Cambridge leads were no fucking use at all. Maurice was only ever on the fringe of that society anyway, not really part of it. Typical Maurice. Drifting about vaguely while bloody dangerous things happen around him. Might as well fall asleep in a fireworks factory with a still-lit cigarette dangling from your lips -


Lestrade is not going to think about cigarettes. Not even in connection with fatal explosions.


He still can't understand why the blackmailer is picking on Maurice Hall rather than on Durham. Why would you threaten a stockbroker if you could go for a Cabinet Minister? He gets that Durham will go down as well, but still. Durham had insisted the blackmailer hadn't been in touch with him: no letters, no calls, nothing. Not even anything faintly odd, never mind obviously criminal.


Could be lying, of course. Lestrade wouldn't put it past the fucker. But he's not sure what Durham would have to gain from lying about it.


It's weird that the anonymous letters to Maurice were so vicious, too. Especially given what Donovan turned up in Cambridge. Maurice was easily led, got into a few minor scrapes, but nothing to what Durham and friends went in for. Even at the parties – which are, frankly, starting to feel like the stuff of myth – he didn't inhale. So to speak. Doesn't seem to have done drugs himself, even if he was in the vicinity when drugs were being done. Doesn't seem to have been part of the orgies, either, such as they were. Just mooned about after Durham and got his heart broken, the poor sap. An innocent bystander.


Lestrade thinks briefly how much he would like to wring the innocent bystander's neck. Decides it's best not to continue thinking about that.


He knows he's starting to fall apart, and it scares him. Donovan's noticed something's wrong, which is not surprising – she's sharp enough for that. But normally she'd keep it to herself or just be snarky about it. Not today.


Never thought he'd live to see the day when she told him he ought to call in Sherlock. Even if she did refer to Sherlock as that fucking psychopath.


Never thought he'd turn down that particular piece of advice, either. Doesn't really know why he did.


He's always turned to Sherlock before when he's desperate. Which, let's face it, has been pretty often. And Sherlock's always come up with a solution. Even when it's seemed completely impossible. Especially then.


Case like this, five day deadline with two days gone already oh sweet Jesus, ought to be right up Sherlock's street. So why hasn't Lestrade called him?


He does know, really, if he thinks about it. Just doesn't want to think about it.


Hasn't called Sherlock because he's ashamed. Ashamed of his own stupidity in relation to Maurice Hall, ashamed of having crossed the line over and over again between the professional and the personal. And ashamed, painfully so, of the reason why he did it in the first place.


Because Maurice Hall was the only person who'd made him stop thinking about Sherlock for long enough. About Sherlock and John Watson and all of that.


Not a thing he could ever tell Sherlock. He's dying of shame here as it is. Doesn't need to rip out his guts and put them on the table for Sherlock to play cat's-cradle with.


So he doesn't call him, tells Donovan she's not to either. Just goes on banging his head against a brick wall and getting more and more ragged and stupid from lack of sleep, and from the nightmare torments of trying to make his exhausted brain work on this intolerable bloody mess he's got himself into.


He's in the flat, lying awake, knowing another sleepless night lies ahead. Knows he ought to get undressed and go to bed properly, but can't seem to get the energy to do it. He's almost drifting off when he hears the unmistakable sound of someone breaking into the flat. Skilfully, not clumsily. But still, breaking in.


Lestrade is in a cold sweat. The mystery voice has got fed up with waiting, obviously, and decided to come round and kill him now. That will save time, he thinks, and realizes he's light-headed because he hasn't eaten for the last 48 hours. Which is not going to help if it comes to a scrap.


His mind runs through possible weapons within easy reach. Is not pleased with the results. If he gets out of this alive he will definitely do something to remedy the lack of hardware in the bedroom. Meanwhile, he tries to get off the bed without making the springs creak. Knew he should have replaced that fucking mattress. Which isn't what you want your last thought in this world to be. Looks as if even dying with dignity is off the menu.


He can hear the person moving around, quietly, confidently, not bumping into anything. Which is, if possible, even more alarming. And his police radio is on the other side of the room. Christ, he is really slipping. Another stupid reason to die -


At which point the bedroom door opens and Sherlock comes in.


You're in the dark with your clothes on. Why?” Sherlock says, switching the light on. Stating the obvious. Not like him.


Lestrade thinks he may just have fallen asleep after all because this can't really be happening. It feels like a joke in really bad taste by a particularly sadistic Deity.


Sherlock,” he says, exhausted. “What are you doing here?”


Normally that would be What the fuck are you doing here?, but Lestrade just doesn't have the energy.


Sherlock looks a bit surprised. “Are you all right?” he says.


Never asked Lestrade that before, and it catches him off guard, gets him somewhere in the throat. He struggles to speak.


No of course I'm not,” he says.


Sherlock looks surprised by the of course. Fair enough.


Lestrade tries again: “Please. Go. Away. Can't keep. Doing this.”


Hasn't done it recently, of course. Not since he and Watson -


You never minded before,” Sherlock says, sounding a bit hurt and indignant.


I always minded before,” Lestrade says, briefly energized. “You just ignored me every time I told you not to break into my fucking flat.”


Sherlock looks faintly relieved, as if to say That's more like it.


Why are you here?” Lestrade asks. His energy seems to be deserting him as quickly as it had flared up.


I was bored,” Sherlock says. “John's gone out - ”


Sarah?” Lestrade would have been hopeful about this once, but even that reflex doesn't seem to be working tonight.


No, Clara. Ex-sister-in-law. They've gone to a film that lasts six hours or something. About Parisian theatre in the nineteenth century. Bound to be dull. Can't think why he wanted to go.”


Lestrade may be dying by inches but he has some pride left. And he is not acting as fill-in for bloody Watson.


Sherlock, I know you're bored, but please, will you just – just go home. Go home and wait for him. Then you can have a nice game of Doctors and -” He can't think of anything. Settles for “...whatever it is the two of you usually play.”


Sherlock looks pained by the poor quality of Lestrade's insult. Lestrade thinks it would be a bloody sight easier to produce good quality insults if it wasn't roughly 500 years since he last had any bloody sleep.


He's going to be out for ages,” Sherlock says.


Really not my problem,” Lestrade says wearily. “Do go away, Sherlock.”


Sherlock looks as if he's about to go into a major sulk, which Lestrade really does not have the will or the energy to deal with.


I thought I could stay here,” Sherlock says.


Lestrade looks at Sherlock. Thinks about pinching himself. Not happening, he tells himself. Seriously not happening. Going to wake up any minute.


I thought you might like it,” Sherlock says. “After last time.”


This is all making no fucking sense whatsoever. If Lestrade had the energy he would start banging his head rhythmically against the wall. But he doesn't.


Haven't got time for this,” Lestrade says flatly.


Sherlock looks taken aback. Admittedly it's unusual. Well, unprecedented, really. Five years of giving in to Sherlock, always doing what he wanted in the end. Five years of being jerked around, played with, teased and insulted. Five years of aching with lust and making a fool of himself, and Sherlock always knowing, always, what makes him tick. Never been here before, Sherlock being surprised by anything Lestrade could do.


First time for everything. Lestrade just wishes he had the energy to enjoy it. Though if he had that, it probably wouldn't be happening in the first place.


Why are you being like this?” Sherlock asks. An unusual question – well, an unusual form of question. Almost like something you'd say if you were actually interested in people. Which, God knows, Sherlock is not, unless they're part of a case.


Right now, of course, Lestrade is part of one. His best chance in years for getting Sherlock's undivided attention. Just can't bring himself to do it.


Sherlock takes a step towards him. Looks surprisingly tentative. Lestrade doesn't know what his own face is giving out, but it's unlikely to be particularly bloody encouraging, given that he is willing Sherlock to bugger off and let him get some sleep.


Go home,” he says again.


Sherlock ignores him, crosses the distance between them, puts his arms around Lestrade – no, definitely asleep now, seriously not happening, none of it. Christ.


If this is a dream it's too bloody warm and solid by half.


Lestrade is panicking. Not the reaction he'd ever thought he'd have at being embraced by Sherlock. But in the state he's in he literally can't bear the thought of more teasing and mind-fucking and humiliation. Been round this one too many times before, and he's just so tired.


He pushes Sherlock away, as hard as he can, so that Sherlock staggers and falls against the wardrobe. Nasty cracking sound as Sherlock hits his elbow on the edge of it. Then quite a lot of swearing. Sort of thing that would be funny in other circumstances. Probably.


Doesn't seem to have stopped Sherlock, though. Quite the reverse.


Lestrade is not in bad shape, normally. Well, not really. But the strain and the lack of sleep have weakened him, so he's not best equipped to deal with being jumped by Sherlock, which is what happens next. There's a fair bit of staggering around, more swearing, and then the two of them are on the bed, kicking and scratching and biting and – Christ, what is this?


Sherlock seems to be intent on ripping Lestrade's clothes off. Lots of shirt buttons flying about, and that was definitely a tearing sound. OK, no shirt, shit, what the fuck is he doing? Lestrade is still struggling, though without much hope or conviction. Can't for the life of him work out why Sherlock is doing this – annoyed with Watson for going to long boring French film doesn't seem enough of a motive, though with Sherlock anything is possible. But he's past trying to work it out. Too busy fighting off Sherlock, who is now trying to get Lestrade's trousers off. Trying, and succeeding.


Any minute now there'll be nothing between Lestrade's pitiful nakedness and Sherlock's scorn. It's not even as if he's got anything to show for it, which normally... Oh well. Never mind. Lestrade knows he is going to die anyway soon from lack of sleep and not eating, shortly after being thrown out of the Force and pilloried in the tabloids, not necessarily in that order. So what does it matter what Sherlock does to him, or why? Lestrade gives up the struggle and lies still.


They lie on the bed, Lestrade naked except for his nicotine patch, Sherlock still wearing all his clothes including The Coat, which must be hot. Wearing, too, a rather puzzled look, because this is not the state he's used to seeing Lestrade in. He touches Lestrade's body cautiously, curiously, apparently bewildered by the lack of response. If Lestrade had the energy for it he'd be bewildered too, but he doesn't.


Sherlock looks a bit like a kid who doesn't know why his favourite toy has suddenly stopped working. Even when he takes Lestrade's cock in his hand nothing happens. He frowns. Makes an impatient sort of noise, and moves abruptly down the bed to take Lestrade in his mouth.


The shock of it is quite something in itself, even before the sensation takes hold. It wouldn't be true to say Lestrade couldn't have imagined this. Sometimes, imagining this is the only thing that's ensured him a good night's sleep. But even that hasn't been working recently. And in any case it's not how he imagined it. Not that he can really remember any more how that was. Or remember anything much else, come to that, because this is working, working rather too well in fact, and it's all about to get quite embarrassing and he wants Sherlock to suck harder and move faster and he wants to hold on to him right there and stop him moving at all. And then he doesn't know anything any more, bloody hell, that really is a lot of noise somebody is making, oh Christ it's him, and he can't hold on and he isn't, he doesn't. Gone.


It's quite a while before his head stops spinning and his vision returns to normal. He can still hear his heart whumping, like a washing machine going through the rinse cycle.


Sherlock is up off the bed, out of the room, back again with a glass of something he seems to be using to take the taste away. Helps the medicine go down, Lestrade thinks woozily. He still feels exhausted and confused but at least it's not actually hurting any more the way it was earlier. Maybe he can finally get a decent night's sleep, which would really help.


So,” Sherlock says briskly, “this blackmail case. You need to give me the details. Now. All of them.”


Spoke too soon.

Chapter 5 One Of The Minor Players )



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2010 12:53 pm (UTC)
I love Maurice (the film) and I'm really really enjoying this fic! Hope you post the next bits soon. And I'm glad Sherlock's going to help sort it all out, I was worrying for angsty stoic Lestrade!

Sep. 6th, 2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
thank you SO much! this is just the encouragement I was needing after another dispiriting lj technical hitch this morning.

*admires your splendid icon*

cannot tell you how glad I am that kopoushka suggested this idea in the first place. next chapter should be up soonish, just letting it settle a bit before posting in case of second thoughts about stuff.

off to wrestle with the chapter after that now...

Sep. 11th, 2010 08:07 am (UTC)
He really is going to have to do something about his chivalrous streak, because it is the most colossal fucking nuisance. - perfectly captures Lestrade. I love that line.

But then the angst, oh the angst! Yay for Sherlock (and especially yay for the way Sherlock gets Lestrade's attention;) )
Sep. 11th, 2010 08:29 am (UTC)
thank you!

can't seem to write fic without /some/ angst unless it is VERY short (e.g. 221 word PWP).

... thought this was probably what Sherlock /would/ do in the circumstances!

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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