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Summary: Silenced guns and silenced policemen. Lestrade walks into trouble.
Timeline: before A Study in Pink
Rating: PG

My grateful thanks to[livejournal.com profile] elfbert for brilliant suggestions


It had been a clear picture perfect summer's day which meant dealing with a bored Sherlock was harder than usual. Couldn't the man just relax and enjoy the sun? Probably not given the pale skin, probably thought the sun was just something that accelerated decay in corpses and made them harder to read.

Lestrade had been lucky enough to have something odd to give him, just odd enough to catch the butterfly interest and stop him whining about his boredom and how it was all Lestrade's fault. Later he wondered if he'd have been so happy to bring Sherlock and the case together if he'd known how it ended. But it did keep the brat out of his hair for nearly two days straight running around London chasing the man with the limp and the cameo ring.

The nondescript two up two down was just like every other one in the area although Sherlock was prattling on about marks on the step not being there and they should have been, and look at the flap on the letterbox, and couldn't they just see? The way the rug in the front room was rucked up could only mean the culprit was the chip shop man so all they had to do was find him, he'd be somewhere close to the docks and not too far from a betting shop and besides wasn't it obvious that he'd be wearing a blue suit?

The short sharp cough as he turned the corner meant nothing to him at first nor did the black car nearby but when the man in the blue suit dropped to his knees coughing with an altogether different sound they both meant a great deal indeed.

He should have dived for cover, he should have run, he should have called for backup but he recognised the car and the driver. He didn't recognise the two hard men who looked like SAS in mufti, but he did recognise there was a lot more to this than a simple murder over a ring.

The taller of the hard men turned to him as his partner lifted blue-suit into the boot of the car.

"This didn't happen Inspector. You won't hear anything more and we won't hear anything more, clear?"

Lestrade scowled. He wasn't 22 anymore, he had been driving a desk for years and there was no way he could take these two on especially as he had no idea which one had the gun, but there was a dead man and his case needed that dead man!

"Let me search him first" he surprised himself by saying "he might have evidence on him I need for a murder case".

"There is no murder case" said a familar voice from behind him. He shouldn't have been surprised and he hid it as well as he could.

"Tell that to my inch thick case file" he said turning to face that damned sleek self satisfied posh bastard. "I have a job to do and I'm going to do it" in his best no-nonsense lets not make this difficult hand it over please sir police officer voice.

"My dear Inspector, there is no murder case. You will find the coroner's report now says the unfortunate gentleman with the mismatched shoes who lost the cameo ring died of natural causes. This ...person " (a slight moue of distaste as though even mentioning the man was unpleasant) " has sold his business and left the country. By now the paperwork at the Yard will reflect this."

Lestrade did his best to avoid imitating a goldfish. The sheer arrogance that shoots a man in front of a Detective Inspector and then tells the police to run away and play because reality has been altered to suit the current agenda... No one could blame him if he gaped but damned if he would.

And damned if he'd just slink off either. "So what's your interest in this not-a-murder?" he growled "Wouldn't want the stupid flatfoot to trip over anything you've missed in your rummage through our records so tell me why I shouldn't look for answers?"

Mycroft looked at him, as though he was a dog that had stood up on its hind legs and asked him to pass the mustard. He didn't care. He was past caring. Two weeks of legwork while dealing with Sherlock dancing in and out and calling them names. He had put Donovan so far off her game Lestrade had actually had to take her out to the pub and and talk her self-confidence up after she made an uncharacteristically stupid mistake and went to pieces over it.  And this Whitehall Wonder was telling him to drop it. No bloody way!

Another man would have left well enough alone, but stubborn was his middle name (Sherlock would have said it was stupid but Sherlock thought that was everyone's name) and he wasn't going to just walk away from a murder case he'd put his name on.

There was a long silence.

Lestrade became very aware of the flat light blue eyes of the taller of the two hard men and of the way the man's right side was turned away and his right arm was straight down along his leg.

"Let us just say" said Mycroft "That it is a matter of national security. You must understand that I'm very grateful to you and to Sherlock for tracking this all down for us, but you should also understand that it is no longer your case. I'm very sure you have other work to do."

He gave that horrible little smile, a touch of social lubricant while you screw the lower classes, and climbed into the car. The two hard bastards got in too and the car silently wafted them away while Lestrade stood there wondering what the hell he'd tell Donovan when she asked if he'd had any luck.

When he finally got home, he noticed a printout on the table, a CCTV shot of him walking home from the tube station. Just few feet behind him was one of the hard men, he'd never noticed, never noticed at all!

That was bad enough but what made him sit down heavily was that under it was another one. This time of Donovan, near the Aldgate tube station, waiting for the bus. In the queue just behind her was the other hard man. The one with the flat light blue eyes.

Part Three: Irresistible Force and Immovable Object

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