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Summary: Mycroft wants to know if the people around Sherlock are reliable.  Lestrade just wants to get the paperwork finished.  The first in a connected series.
Timeline: before A Study in Pink

Rating: PG (some mild language although not by Australian standards)

Type: Gen

See the end for glossary.

I really appreciate comments, especially ones that tell me what you did and didn't like, and what didn't work for you.   

Mycroft Holmes usually devoted a few minutes of his day to worrying about his brother.

There was a lot to worry about, the boy was hopeless! Darting about in that rackety fashion dabbling in this and that, no application, no control and no understanding of the consequences of his actions.

He did seem to be a bit more focused now he'd latched onto a policeman and persuaded the man to let him use all that forensic knowledge. At first it had been a few emails pointing out the obvious, but according to the surveillance Sherlock was now being allowed to inspect crime scenes by this Lestrade. And only Lestrade apparently, there'd been a bit of an altercation when he tried it on someone else.

So who was this Lestrade, was he someone Mycroft could trust around his brother?

Born in Somerset, standard state schools, reasonable marks, moved to London and joined the Met after a few odd jobs, so far so normal. A solid career if nothing special. Commendation for bravery in a hostage situation which appeared to have tilted the balance in favour of his promotion to DI. Other than that he seemed to be an average policeman although admittedly his clear up rate was rather good even before he met Sherlock. Not stellar, and he'd made a couple of obvious mistakes; surely he'd realised that fraud case was much more about the adultery than about the money?

He had started his criminal justice degree part time while still in uniform, a 2:1 wasn't a bad result given that, there had to be some brains in there somewhere.

Sherlock seemed to think so, as this Lestrade was his brother's man of choice. The others might not be as accommodating Mycroft supposed but Sherlock wouldn't give the time of day to someone he considered averagely stupid.

Lestrade was getting value for his willingness to let Sherlock in though, he could see his brother's influence in the man's statistics. He would have to find out if this was a way of hunting promotion, a man who was using Sherlock for that would not be reliable.

Mycroft needed reliable people around his brother.


Lestrade was grinding through the last of the paperwork for the death in the newsagents, which would probably be downgraded to manslaughter by the CPS as while Sherlock might be convinced by the shape of the scrape on the victim's shoe the CPS lawyers wouldn't see themselves putting that before a jury! He sorted the final pages, checked the photos were properly marked and indexed and looked up to see the Superintendent's assistant.

He blinked. Sergeant Bloody Cornwall barely gave lowly DIs the time of day except when summoning them by phone or more usually a terse email to come and kneel on the carpet before God. For her to leave her desk on the Sacred Ninth Floor to slum it down here was unprecedented short of a Royal Visit (or one from the Comnmissioner which was much more important)

"DI Lestrade" she said "you are to come with me. There's someone from the Home Office who wishes to talk to you".

With that she turned and headed out obviously expecting him to follow Right Now, not even giving him the chance to stuff the report back into the file. With a groan he got up and followed because he already had enough "needs to focus more on departmental processes" black marks on his record.

Some men would have been worried, maybe even scared by the fact they'd been pulled out of the office and sent in to talk to a nameless Home Office man who clearly had the Super's people nearly shitting themselves. Anyone who could have Sergeant Bloody Cornwall playing fetch-the-DI was special.

Not Lestrade though. Whoever this bloke was, he was just another manager and management wasn't something he feared. He might feel frustration or anger or sheer wall-thumping pissedoffedness, but not fear.

Fear was being a 22yo beat constable facing a lagered up crowd, being outnumbered what felt like 20 to one, trying to defuse the situation and it all going to hell and him with no stab vest because the Superintendent of Southwark Division thought beat cops in stab vests "sent the wrong message" so there he was in the middle of fists and feet and screaming and wondering when some young idiot with delusions of masculinity was going to pull a knife and cut him to ribbons.

Fear was being alone in a house with a crazy bastard and a gun and a hostage. He'd said he'd talk to Lestrade because he knew him from the squash club so there he was in his bloody shirtsleeves again trying to talk the nutter down as he sobs about about his wife and how he was sorry and it was all her fault and the gun wavering between the crying girl's head and Lestrade's chest.

Compared to that, some bureaucrat from the Home Office was easy. He could make life a bit difficult, but it's still nothing like staring down the wrong end of a gun.

Lestrade tramped through the Sacred Ninth Floor at Cornwall's heels like a puppy on best behaviour, and was shown into a small meeting room and the presence of a posh looking Whitehall type complete with umbrella and supercilious expression.

"Detective Inspector Lestrade, please sit down, it is time you and I had a talk".

Saville Row bespoke tailoring, accent upper class enough to show he was "one of us" without being too much so. Question was, was he a Whitehall drone dumped in the Home Office because even Daddy's contacts weren't going to come at a pupillage for a barely scraped pass in law. So he was here on some makework, or was he someone Lestrade needed to pay attention to?

Management wasn't something he feared, but a sensible man didn't piss off the higher ups without good reason. And given the Super wasn't anywhere to be seen and he usually was anywhere he could look good to the home office,  if this man was here on real business it was likely to mean trouble for a DI who wasn't sufficiently helpful.

Lestrade sat down and prepared to be a polite helpful policeman ready to drop everything for the Home Office and provide whatever stats they wanted, or take on some disadvantaged work experience students or maybe do something discreet about a leak from the Cabinet Office. So he got rather a shock at the man's next words.

"How much of your clear up rate is down to Sherlock Holmes?"

Lestrade closed his mouth quickly enough and scrambled for something vaguely intelligent to say. Who was this bloke and what was this about? If he was going to get another bollocking for involving Sherlock it would be from his DCI or the Super, not some Sir Humphrey type. So why did the man know Sherlock's name? And what he'd been doing?  Mind in overdrive, mouth in civil-service mode....

"He's been very helpful on a number of occasions where his skills and knowledge have made him a useful source of information and avenues of approach" he said.

He wanted to say "I don't care what the conceited little brat tells you, there's no conviction without legwork and you don't catch him doing the hard yards, those clear-ups are my team's work and don't you dare say otherwise".

What he said was "but a sound conviction needs a solid foundation of police work which is not Mr Holmes's strong point."

The man's muouth quirked in a meaningless little smile, Lestrade  couldn't have told you what tipped him off, but every cop's instinct he had was yelling a warning. This man was trouble and a DI with a few marks on his record and a reputation for not following the rules didn't need trouble.

There was something about this man, something about the tilt of the head, a fleeting expression, the hands, reminded him of someone... Who was it, who was it...

"How much work is needed when you have Sherlock to tell you what to do? You have been filing reports all day by the state of your cuffs, is that all you do?"

Lestrade half stood in anger, why the arrogant know-it-all sod! Just like....

"You're related to him!" he blurted out, shocked into speech by the idea that Sherlock had family, and hadn't been spontaneously generated by a malevolent fate to make a policeman's life difficult.

The man across the table was equally shocked it seemed, if he was Sherlock's brother than he probably thought your average copper only had enough intelligence to put one flat foot in front of the other so having one who was able to work out who he was might be startling.

But who was he besides Sherlock's brother? Clearly upper echelon civil service, Sherlock's brains on someone who could work with people and play departmental politics didn't bear thinking about! He wouldn't be some policy wonk, he'd be a lot more than that. Secret Service?  

Mycroft did start a little. There was very little physical resemblance and the man had not seen him for more than a few moments and he was sitting down, so what had tipped him off? Ah, that he was talking about Sherlock at all was probably a large part of it, and they both did have their mother's cheekbones if you looked from the correct angle and of course the throwaway line about the filing.

Very well he was observant and quick, although Mycroft hoped he wasn't in the habit of saying everything that popped into his head.

"You will report everything he does to me." said Mycroft, feeling it was time to put a little pressure on.

That got him another wide eyed look. So what would it be, acquiesecence, false outrage, mute incomprehension?

"You don't need me for that, I'm betting you have access to all the surveillance you need, and I don't see him all that often. So what are you really after?"

Because, Lestrade realised, this was about family and you can't get to DI without learning more than you wanted to know about the ways families worked. And the ways they fouled up their kids. This man had to be a brother, some years older, so the eldest? Just as bright he'd lay odds, but much more together. So what had happened between this man's formative years and Sherlock's to produce two such different men? And why was this one wanting his brother watched by the cops? Sherlock's not really fit to be let out without a keeper, there is that, but still... there's protective and there's manipulative and just which side of nice does Mr Five Thousand Quid Suit play on?

Mycroft found himself startled for the second time in as many minutes. This policeman really was out of the usual run, maybe he would be good for Sherlock. Not easily put off or pressured, and the body language showed a good underlying confidence born of competence. He knew his job, and it was rather pleasant not to have to deal with forelock tugging or bluster. That fitted with the man's origins showing in his voice: somewhat mutated by his time in London and the Police into RP flavoured Estuary but still enough Somerset to show he wasn't ashamed of where he came from and so hadn't gone the whole RP hog.

Myhcroft leaned back and steepled his fingers. "Sherlock is, as I'm sure you know, inclined to be impulsive. I need to be sure that this does not...lead to trouble."

Nursemaid? He wanted a nursemaid? Not bloody likely, not only would the barmy git drive him mad, there was real work to be done.

It must have shown in his face because the man across from him did that damn little smile again and said "Oh nothing much more than you are doing now. I just want you to take  notice of him and to let me know if there are any problems. After all Superintendent Marshall did say you would be helpful".

Superintendent Marshall was saying he thought he would look nice in a Chief Super's uniform more like, meaning any jumped up jack in office could get that out of him.  After all it wasn't difficult for Marshall to say "spend all your time babysitting that interfering civilian you are so fond of and still get all your other work done" no skin off his senior management nose. But now he'd been told and Marshall had been told, now it would be yes sir, no sir, three bags full sir, and leave stopped for operational reasons if he didn't babysit a child who was convinced he was God's gift to the stupid coppers when he wasn't stealing warrant cards or mutilating corpses.  

Lestrade pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers and counted to 10. "If I noticed anything in the course of my duties I would of course handle it in a professional manner" he said, when what he wanted to say was "If that crazy bastard wants to go to hell in a handbasket I'd write the address label myself if it would get up your nose. "

"I'm sure you will Inspector, just so we understand what that means."

The man behind the table rose to his feet, the interview was over, don't call us we'll call you. Except no such luck, he handed Lestrade a card, said "As I said, let me know if there are any problems" smiled that horrible little smile, and walked out, his umbrella like a viciously pointed walking stick leaving a stunned DI Lestrade to stand there looking at the card.

"Mycroft Holmes" and a number. Mycroft? Ah well, if your brother is Sherlock, you aren't going to be a John are you! What were the parents thinking?

 Hyper intelligent children would already have it bad at school without the added burden of those silly names.

It almost made him sorry for them.


Part Two: TheFirst TIme He Saw The Car


2:1 means Second Class Honours, Upper Division, which is a solid good degree.

Lagered up: drunk on cheap lager, a dreadful thin beer the poms exported to the colonies and I for one have never forgiven them

Pupillage: traditionally barristers - lawyers who represent clients in court - go through an apprenticeship system called pupillage. Competition is fierce and rumour has it that parental influence can play a part in getting a place

Policy wonk: A wonk is a civil service nerd.  Focused on making policy and analysing statistics,  not interacting with real people.

RP: Received Pronunciation.  The stereotypical upper middle class accent as demonstrated by old style BBC announcers
Estuary: the current London accent, which is clear when you hear it but indescribable.

CPS: Crown Prosecution Service, the body providing the prosecution lawyers and which decides whether or not to prosecute.


Date: 2010-08-29 09:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beautybecks.livejournal.com
I have a HUGE grin on my face. You've captured the characters so well! I may have laughed out loud when Lestrade announced that Mycroft must be Sherlock's brother, bless him! I love the insights you've giving the reader into Lestrade's background, made it really believable. And commenting on the uniqueness of Sherlock and Mycroft's names was a nice touch, often overlooked.

I really enjoyed reading this. And excellent portrayal of the start of a relationship of sorts. Thank you for sharing :)

Date: 2010-08-30 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] coryphaeusrex.livejournal.com
This is truly brilliant. I love how Lestrade is so very down to earth in the face of Mycroft being... well, Mycroft. Really realistic and fantastically written.

Date: 2010-08-30 09:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] byrons-brain.livejournal.com
This is fab, there really needs to be more Mycroft/Lestrade!

Date: 2010-08-30 09:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] runawayroadkill.livejournal.com
This....was awesome. Im awful at reviews but srsly this has made my night.
I loled so much.

Date: 2010-08-30 09:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] warriorbot.livejournal.com
"the idea that Sherlock had family, and hadn't been spontaneously generated by a malevolent fate to make a policeman's life difficult."

*head EXPLODES at the AWESOME*

*gathers up brain* *sellotapes brain back together* *reads on*

'"If that crazy bastard wants to go to hell in a handbasket I'd write the address label myself if it would get up your nose. "'


God damn you! That's made a right mess of my carpets.

ETA: Part One!? We're going to need a stronger skull...
Edited Date: 2010-08-30 09:26 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-08-30 11:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] megan-moonlight.livejournal.com
This is brilliant! ^o^
I can't stop grinning! Tey stay in character and Lestrade's point of view is well written...

"Mycroft Holmes" and a number. Mycroft? Ah well, if your brother is Sherlock, you aren't going to be a John are you! What were the parents thinking?
This part was truly fantastic <3333

If this is only the first part, I can't wait for more! ^o^

Date: 2010-08-30 11:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
There will be more, I have several files worth and I know where it's going, but the pieces aren't knitting together yet.

I'm so happy people like my Lestrade, I had a lot of fun writing him.

Date: 2010-08-30 12:19 pm (UTC)
beatrice_otter: Me in red--face not shown (Default)
From: [personal profile] beatrice_otter
I love the way you handled Lestrade.

Date: 2010-08-30 03:08 pm (UTC)
ender24: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ender24
your voices , and inner insights into lestrade are perfect!!
as is mycroft!!!
this seems to be an absolut plausible first encounter of them :D
totally looking forward to more of your fics on them!

Date: 2010-08-30 09:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lelann137.livejournal.com
this was fantastic! love your characterizations. thanks for sharing

Date: 2010-09-02 12:15 am (UTC)
ext_121721: Pinigir User Picture (House & Wilson)
From: [identity profile] pinigir.livejournal.com
Loved it! Loved how Lestrade was able to startle Mycroft with his own deductions.

Date: 2010-09-02 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mariole.livejournal.com
> he seemed to be an average policeman although admittedly his clear up rate was rather good even before he met Sherlock. Not stellar, and he'd made a couple of obvious mistakes; surely he'd realised that fraud case was much more about the adultery than about the money?

This is so Mycroft! Wonderful peek into his head.

I loved Lestrade's list of what he feared-- real stuff vs some management git. Words to live by.

I'm really enjoying this. Cheers.

Date: 2010-09-02 06:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
Thanks for that. I'm happy Mycroft is ringing true for you. Lestrade seems to me to be the sort of person who is used to management being pains...

Date: 2010-09-06 08:42 am (UTC)
ext_3057: (Default)
From: [identity profile] supermouse.livejournal.com
I really enjoyed this, but one thing driving me mad is the run-on sentences. The rest of the writing and the characterisation are so good that these really stick out. It might be worth your while taking every sentence with two parts separated by a comma, replacing the comma with a full stop or even a semi-colon and seeing if perhaps it reads better that way.

For example:

It almost made him sorry for them, hyper intelligent children would already have it bad at school without the added burden of those silly names.

It almost made him sorry for them. Hyper intelligent children would already have it bad at school without the added burden of those silly names.

Or even:

It almost made him sorry for them; hyper intelligent children would already have it bad at school without the added burden of those silly names.

Date: 2010-09-06 09:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
Thanks for that. I do have a bit of a blind spot with those, although in a couple of places it was done deliberately for what I suppose is a failed effect... I'll pay more attention in future. I definitely appreciate the note.

Date: 2010-09-06 09:07 am (UTC)
ext_3057: (Default)
From: [identity profile] supermouse.livejournal.com
On a more positive note, you do have some fantastic turns of phrase. Lestrade and Mycroft are spot on. I just read part two and enjoyed that as well.

Date: 2010-09-06 10:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
Seeing as I do agree with you about the sentences I've done some editing, and I think all three are better for it. Some have been left though, they fought back!

Date: 2010-09-06 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tehomet.livejournal.com
Very well written and believable. Lestrade is 100% more interesting to me as a character after reading this. And I both like and fear Mycroft more too. :) Great stuff. Thank you.

Date: 2010-09-06 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
Oh I am so happy to have interested someone in Lestrade! I'm much more interested in Mycroft than I was when I started...

Date: 2010-09-15 11:34 pm (UTC)
ext_3277: I made this (Holmes BBC)
From: [identity profile] laura-trekkie.livejournal.com
An interesting start. I loved that Lestrade surprised Mycroft twice in as many minutes *g*.


Date: 2010-09-17 07:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] derry667.livejournal.com
some mild language although not by Australian standards

LOL! Aussie standards being what they are, and all.

This is awesome! I've always had a soft spot for Lestrade (any interpretation of Holmesian 'verse is nothing without a decent version of Lestrade, in my eyes). And I utterly love what the new BBC Sherlock has done with the character.

Hence I equally adore your intelligent, practial, didn't-get-to-be-a-DI-by-being-a-simpleton Lestrade! Wonderful.

Dammit, I really need a Lestrade icon!

And you've thrown in a Yes Minister reference for good measure.

I reiterate - AWESOME!
Edited Date: 2010-09-17 07:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2010-09-23 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leona-macewan.livejournal.com
Thank you so much for writing an intelligent Lestrade!

Date: 2010-10-12 09:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blooms84.livejournal.com
I'm so late to this--sorry! Am on a binge of devouring some Mycroft fic I've missed and have set aside tonight for your gorgeous multi-parter. The voice of Lestrade here is so specific--such great detail. I'm in awe. Can't wait to read the rest. And Mycroft sizing up Lestrade--wonderful!

Date: 2010-10-12 10:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] randomly-rusted.livejournal.com
Thanks for that! I'm having a ball writing Lestrade, Mycroft's getting harder as the series goes on!

Date: 2010-12-03 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bugeyedmonster.livejournal.com
Enjoyed this. And thanks for the Brit-translations on the end. I just realized I've probably heard one of the Monty Python comedians make fun of the "Received Pronunciation" thingy.

Great beginning!

Date: 2011-02-01 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] weefreethings.livejournal.com
Your Lestrade is dangerously witty, and it makes a lot of sense given the stuff that comes out of his mouth, seemingly out of nowhere on the series (and always seems to take Sherlock by surprise). XD

Date: 2011-02-10 07:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nathcoelho.livejournal.com
Very good first encounter!!
Just like mycroft!
and shows how Lestrade is a good at his own! =P
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