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fic: The Old Bad Songs (5/11)

Title: The Old Bad Songs (chapter 5)

Author: fengirl88

Rating: NC-17

Warnings: sex, drug references

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.

This chapter has Sherlock in it again.  In case you were wondering.

Word count: 1832 for chapter.


 

Chapter 5

 

 

One Of The Minor Players

 

 

Lestrade looks at Sherlock, who is waiting for him to begin.

 

Is that what you're doing here?”

 

He's awake now all right, as if Sherlock's just thrown a bucket of cold water over him.

 

Never mind that,” Sherlock says. “You've lost too much time already. Tell me.”

 

Donovan,” says Lestrade grimly. “I told her not to call you.”

 

She didn't,” Sherlock says.

 

?”

 

She called John.”

 

Lestrade groans. Walked into that one. God save us from a smartarse letter-of-the-law DS with a mind of her own.

 

Why didn't you just say that's what you were here for?” he says, his head spinning again.

 

Why didn't you just tell me you needed my help?” Sherlock snaps. “And don't say you can manage, because it's bloody obvious you can't.”

 

Lestrade knows it's true, and there's a sort of relief in admitting it. Though he is not telling Sherlock the reason. Not for anything.

 

What was all that bullshit about French film, then?” he asks. An easier question right now than Why did you just suck me off?

 

Not bullshit,” Sherlock says grumpily. “True.”

 

Lestrade tells himself it's better not to ask about the sex thing. Obviously. Last thing anyone with any sense would do in the circumstances. Best just to pretend it didn't happen. Who knows why Sherlock does anything?

 

You're wondering why we had sex,” Sherlock says.

 

I'm wondering why you jumped me, yes,” Lestrade says, rather tartly.

 

Loosen you up a bit,” Sherlock says. “Element of surprise. Knew you'd resist me otherwise. Given how stupid you've been about not asking for help.”

 

This doesn't make Lestrade feel any better.

 

Thought it might be nice, too,” Sherlock adds. “It was.”

 

Which does make Lestrade feel better. Loosely speaking. Better in the sense of hot and bothered and confused all over again.

 

Blushing suits you,” Sherlock says, grinning.

 

Shut up.”

 

Not sure who starts the kiss. Sherlock tastes of whisky and woodsmoke – found the Lagavulin, Lestrade deduces – and behind that there's another taste which Lestrade isn't going to think about because if he does he might faint.

 

OK,” Sherlock says, pulling away. “Enough of that. Tell me from the start and tell me properly.”

 

Groaning a bit, and feeling fuzzy again from the kiss, Lestrade does. Mostly. Soft-pedals the stuff about Maurice checking him out. Doesn't mention the opera thing either. But does, eventually, remember to mention the notes he made after that first long rambling conversation with Maurice.

 

Where are they?” Sherlock shouts. “Here, or at the Yard? Why didn't you mention them before? Honestly, Lestrade - ”

 

You try doing without sleep or food for 48 hours and see how well you function,” snaps Lestrade.

 

I function perfectly well, thank you. Where are your fucking notes?”

 

Fortunately for both of them, and perhaps for the furniture and other breakables in Lestrade's flat, the notes are currently in the top drawer of his home filing cabinet. Sherlock sits down to read them and Lestrade finds he has abruptly ceased to exist. So he thinks he'll seize the moment and have a shower.

 

Half-way through the shower, the bucket-of-cold-water feeling becomes an unpleasant physical reality rather than a metaphor. Sherlock has turned the hot tap in the bathroom basin full on. Clearly on purpose. Lestrade curses and hops about and nearly slips on the soap. It really isn't fair that so much of his life gets played out as low comedy.

 

Why didn't you tell Donovan to look into the acting?” Sherlock yells.

 

What?” Lestrade clambers out of the shower, grabbing a towel and wrapping it round him as quickly as possible.

 

Maurice Hall. Acting. Why didn't you say anything about it? Send Donovan to Cambridge sniffing round drinking societies Hall didn't even belong to and completely ignore the one thing you know he did spend time doing apart from having a sexual identity crisis and an unsuitable boyfriend!”

 

I forgot,” says Lestrade. Doesn't sound good, even to him. “Look, he was maundering on for hours, and anyway why would amateur bloody dramatics lead to blackmail? Nobody gets blackmailed for being crap at acting, even if they should. And Maurice – Hall – said he was crap at it, didn't go on with it beyond his first term at Cambridge.”

 

Yes, you idiot, and what was his favourite part?”

 

Lestrade has no idea.

 

You wrote it down,” Sherlock says. “It's here in black and white. He played Gerald in the Wilde skit in Forty Years On.”

 

Given the unpredictable gaps in Sherlock's knowledge (the solar system, for example), it seems really unfair that this happens to be a play he knows and Lestrade doesn't.

 

It's by Alan Bennett,” Sherlock says impatiently. “It's set in a boys' school.”

 

Lestrade still doesn't get it.

 

It has boys in it. Young ones, some of them. They'd have had to use a local school, or something like that. Surely even you can see that that's a lead?”

 

Sherlock starts pacing around saying “Where's your laptop?” and “What do you mean it's not here?” and “For fuck's sake, Lestrade.” Eventually he gets out his own phone and starts sending messages off to all parts of the globe asking for scans of old theatre programmes and student newspapers and God knows what else.

 

Somewhere in all of this, Lestrade falls asleep. Deeply asleep.

 

And doesn't wake up until several hours later.

 

To find Sherlock has disappeared, and the sitting-room seems to have become a makeshift office, with Donovan and Watson and a woman Lestrade's never seen before but he supposes might be Clara, all busy with laptops and mobiles. The place is strewn with half-empty cartons of Chinese takeaway. He realizes he's starving, and starts eating leftovers in an absent-minded way. No point in trying to ask this lot what's going on. They've got that look he knows, gets it himself, so deep into the work that they either won't hear you or they'll lash out and do you some damage if you break their concentration.

 

The food makes him sleepy all over again and suddenly it's dark. The day – shit, the third day – seems to have gone.

 

So have Donovan and the other woman. No sign of Sherlock either. Which just leaves bloody Watson, sitting on a hard chair and looking like he's on night duty at the nurses' station.

 

What time is it?” Lestrade croaks.

 

Past ten,” Watson says.

 

Fuck. Why didn't someone wake me?”

 

I told them not to,” says Watson primly.

 

What fucking business was that of yours?” Lestrade explodes.

 

You were at the point of collapse,” Watson says, annoyingly. “You needed sleep, food, and sleep, in that order, if you were going to function at all. And there was nothing we needed you for.”

 

Thank you very much,” Lestrade says sarcastically. “So glad you were able to carry on without me.”

 

Watson sighs. Lestrade thinks that JW doesn't like him any better than he likes JW, but that – Sherlock being what he is – they are probably stuck with each other. So he'd better make the best of it.

 

Sorry,” he says gruffly. “I've been frantic and the thought of losing a whole day - ”

 

It wasn't lost,” Watson says. “I promise you that. Sherlock's found what he was looking for. It's all starting to make sense. Sergeant Donovan's getting a warrant now.”

 

Lestrade blinks. Wonders how much more of this week is going to seem like a weird dream, and whether he will ever feel ordinarily awake again.

 

Also suddenly feels a bit awkward with JW about what happened with Sherlock last night, which he's only just remembered to think about. And which JW presumably doesn't know about. Surely doesn't know about. That would be much too weird.

 

He's saved from having to think about it by his phone going off. It's Maurice. Sounding shit-scared.

 

Have you seen today's Times?” he says, without so much as hello.

 

No, why?” Probably best not to mention he's been asleep all day, practically.

 

Look at the In Memoriam notices,” Maurice says agitatedly.

 

Lestrade wonders irritably how he's supposed to do that when he hasn't been out all day to buy a paper. Then sees to his surprise that there is a copy of today's Times on the coffee-table, open at the Births Marriages and Deaths page. Someone's even ringed one of the announcements:

 

William Vane. Gone but not forgotten. 1965-1981. MH.

 

Lestrade looks questioningly at Watson, who says “Sherlock put it in.”

 

Sherlock did. Why?”

 

Went round there in the small hours, raised hell, pulled rank – yours, I'm afraid - ”

 

Pinched Lestrade's warrant card again. Beyond a joke.

 

Got them to run it. He said it would get things moving.”

 

Maurice is saying something which Lestrade misses. Asks him to repeat it.

 

I knew him,” Maurice says. “I didn't know he was dead, though. Why does it have my initials? I didn't put it there.”

 

Don't worry,” Lestrade says. “I know who did, and it'll be all right. Look, I'll come round and you can tell me properly, how about that?”

 

Maurice sounds relieved, and JW is clearly not sorry to end his babysitting shift. Good news all round.

 

On his way to Maurice's, Lestrade thinks belatedly that he probably should have asked JW to fill him in a bit more before he set off, but he hasn't really got time for that. And Maurice is clearly in a right old state, so the sooner Lestrade gets round there the better.

 

He does wonder where Sherlock's got to and what he's up to. But there'll be time to find out about that later.

 

Maurice buzzes him into the building, which is just as well, because the concierge is obviously on his rounds. The door to the flat is ajar, and Maurice's voice, sounding very strained, says “I'm in here.” Where else would he be, silly bugger?, Lestrade thinks. Thank fuck Sherlock has cracked this case because Maurice sounds next door to a breakdown. Lestrade's almost forgotten how close he felt to that himself, last night, before Sherlock turned up and -

 

Afterwards, he thinks it's probably the recollection of sex with Sherlock that distracts him, slows his reflexes. He pushes the door open, sees Maurice tied up on the floor and looking very scared, but before Lestrade can get the fuck out of there it happens.

 

Classic blow to the head. Slugged from behind by whoever has broken into Maurice's flat and tied him up.

 

Call me Marlowe, Lestrade thinks, and falls forward into darkness.


 Chapter 6  Waiting For The End Of The World )


Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
warriorbot
Sep. 12th, 2010 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh God I am /devouring/ this in massive big bites and loving every mouthful!

(Speaking of mouthfuls, I will /never/ be able to taste Lagavulin again without thinking of Lestrade. And Sherlock. For which I thank you...)

I love your writing - I'm consumed by the plot, and love the way Lestrade is developing.

Onwards!
fengirl88
Sep. 12th, 2010 07:14 pm (UTC)
ooh - lovely comment. thank you /very/ much! so glad you are enjoying it.

*giggling about the Lagavulin*

Lestrade has good taste... I am glad you don't mind this association for the future! some people might object.





warriorbot
Sep. 12th, 2010 11:41 pm (UTC)
I blush to tell you that I'm planning to renew my supplies of Lagavulin precisely /because/ of what you just did there.

*sigh* something has gone very wrong with by brain but I like it too much to bring myself to care...


Edited at 2010-09-12 11:41 pm (UTC)
fengirl88
Sep. 13th, 2010 07:32 am (UTC)
*blushing a bit myself now*

thank you very much!

do you think if I told them I was advertising their product in this way they would send me a free sample?

*snorts*

something has gone very wrong with ALL our brains and it's just lovely...
warriorbot
Sep. 13th, 2010 10:09 am (UTC)
heehee - Mind if I friend you, my broken-brained friend?
fengirl88
Sep. 13th, 2010 04:18 pm (UTC)
I would be delighted and will friend you instanter. always a bit shy about asking.

still chortling about the Lagavulin...
marysutherland
Oct. 7th, 2010 07:23 am (UTC)
I was late coming to read this one, because I wasn't sure how much I would get, not having seen the film or read the book of 'Maurice'. But even without that, it is wonderful. The way that associating with the whirlwind that is Sherlock means you may suddenly find an impromptu office in your house, staffed with not just John and Donovan but Clara as well. And the last line of this section had me laughing out loud.
fengirl88
Oct. 7th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC)
oh - thank you so much! I'm delighted you're enjoying it. and very glad you liked the impromptu office, which pleased me greatly when it occurred to me. also the last line...
Clara has been cropping up in my fics almost since the beginning - I was surprised the first time she showed up but now she seems to be a fixture.
venturous1
Mar. 10th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
I've been unwilling to read sherlock with anyone other than JW,but I really love BBC!Lestrade, and I am LOVING your take on him! WONDERFUL, cant wait to read the next bit.
fengirl88
Mar. 10th, 2011 10:13 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! I'm glad to know that you are enjoying this.

BBC!Lestrade was just irresistible to write about...
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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