gracie_musica: David Tennant, Hamlet (brb brain melting)
[personal profile] gracie_musica
Title: Sidelined (A Second Fiddle Side Story)
Date Written: 9/5/11
Rating: PG-13/T
Word Count: 2,265
Fandom: BBC's Sherlock/Doctor Who
Disclaimer: Not mine, property of their respective owners
Characters/Pairings: John Watson/Donna Noble (yes. you read that right), Sherlock Holmes, the Doctor, DI Lestrade
Spoilers: Up through The Great Game (Sherlock) and up through The Unicorn and the Wasp (Doctor Who)
Warnings: None
Author's Notes: I blame [profile] midassa_in_gold for this, completely, utterly, and entirely. All of this. Thanks, as always, to my betas: [personal profile] totally4ryo, [profile] k8stamps, and [personal profile] gingerlr .


Contrary to popular belief, Detective Inspector Lestrade is not an idiot.

Oh, sure. Sherlock calls him one frequently, but the insult is thrown at him far less than the rest of the Yard. Part of the consulting detective's charm -- if you can call it that -- is his downright childish behavior: pick pocketing, complete and utter disregard for the rules and authority in general, insults. It's all the adult version of scrapping in the school yard, anyway.

And, of course, plenty in the Yard themselves look down on him for calling on a private detective for help. Pride is a powerful, dangerous thing, and injured pride more so. The dark-haired consultant and his mild-mannered assistant are a walking Scotland Yard ego bruise. Simply being associated with Sherlock had earned John animosity among coppers who hadn't even met the man, who would probably be perfectly civil to the doctor until he introduced himself.

They don't get it. They never do. Lestrade tried explaining it when he had first started using Sherlock as a consultant -- in the tough end days of addiction and the early days of sobriety, when he truly was just a complete nightmare. With his personality and his past, Sherlock Holmes will never be able to get on as a Yarder, but oh, he has the mind for it. If he's occupied, and if someone's running along behind him, the damage he wrecks can be contained.

More or less.

Besides, they'd get the truth eventually (or so Lestrade likes to delude himself). Why waste valuable time and deny justice when Sherlock Holmes and John Watson can solve the case in under half a day? The system is overburdened enough as it is. They need the help.

That being said, while he is not an idiot, he does make human errors. They all do, from time to time. The stress of a high-profile murder (cousin of a member of the House of Lords, during a dinner party of all things), a terrible automobile accident snarling the traffic between the scene and Baker Street, and a Sergeant distracted by her married lover's wife catching them out earlier in the week made it easy for a quick-talking con artist to slip his way in.

"Excuse me, but who are you?"

The man has Home Office written all over him -- navy blue pinstripe suit and silk tie, the long brown duster. All he's missing is the bowler hat to cover his artfully-messy brown hair and the umbrella...

... and the shoes, Lestrade mentally adds. The man in front of him is wearing a pair of blue Converse trainers. Sensible. Dress shoes are a pain to run in.

"Oh! Yes!" The man digs into his left breast pocket and pulls out a black billfold. He flips it open and beams at Lestrade. "That's who I am."

For a moment, Lestrade thinks he sees a Scotland Yard badge. Then he blinks, and it transforms into a business card for --

" -- Holmes Consulting Detective Agency?" he sputters.

"What?" The man turns the card to himself, then grins. "Well, look at that. Yeah, the good ol' HCDA."

Now, Lestrade has been around Sherlock enough to know that the small details are dreadfully important. He's also been a cop long enough to see the big picture. "Look, I don't know who you are, but I know you don't belong here -- "

"Oh, how rude of me!" The man sticks his hand out in greeting. "I'm the Doctor."

Polite instinct takes over, and Lestrade finds himself putting his hand in the Doctor's. "Doctor... Who?"

The Doctor downright beams. "Love it when you lot say that," he says. "Just the Doctor, Constable..."

"Detective Inspector," he corrects. "Lestrade."

"Inspector Lestrade!" The one-handed handshake turns into a two-handed clasp, the newcomer trapping his hand. "It's such a pleasure to meet you! I've always wondered. What is your first name? Greg, or maybe Geoff?" Lestrade opens his mouth to ask him what the hell he's on about, the Doctor rushes ahead. "Never mind, it doesn't matter. Don't tell me. Spoilers."

The Doctor brushes past the inspector and down the hallway, Lestrade following at his heels. "Look, I don't care if you've got a fake business card, it doesn't give you the clearance to just waltz in here like you own the place and intrude on an ongoing investigation!"

"Call Torchwood," the Doctor breezes.

"Who?"

"Oh, that's right," the Doctor sighs. "I keep forgetting. Pity. You really would be Jack's type. Well, everyone is Jack's type, but you would really be his type."

Lestrade idly wonders if the ambulance downstairs waiting to whisk the body away has a straightjacket on board.

"Look. I'm a friend of Sherlock's. He sent me."

The Detective Inspector shakes his head. "Don't think so. I just texted Sherlock. He's on his way. Got stuck in traffic."

"Exactly! I was on this side of town. Sherlock called me and asked me to come and get a preliminary view of the scene."

Lestrade raises one disbelieving eyebrow.

The Doctor beams far-too-innocently in response.

After about thirty seconds of consideration, the Yarder caves. "You. Ring Sherlock. I want to hear his voice on your mobile."

The flip phone that the Doctor pulls out of his coat is shamefully obsolete in this brave new world of smartphones. "Ordered to ring up Sherlock Holmes by Detective Inspector Lestrade," the Doctor muses with all the awe of a fanboy as he dials. "Brilliant." There's a split second pause as the line connects, then, "Donna? You're with John and Sherlock, right? Put one of them on."

The What? can be heard two feet away, then the Doctor hands Lestrade the mobile. He presses it tentatively to his ear. "... Hello?"

"Lestrade." Even slightly distorted by a speaker, Sherlock's voice is unmistakable. "Is there a problem?”

"Yes, there's a bloody problem! You -- sent someone else to consult for you?"

"Hmn?" He sounds bored, disinterested. He's probably playing on his own mobile -- or John's, more likely. "Oh, you mean the Doctor. He's perfectly harmless."

"That's not the issue -- "

"He'll be just fine until I get there. Which, with the way traffic is progressing, looks to be about twenty minutes."

"Sherlock -- "

The phone rings off, the line falling oppressively silent as Sherlock cuts the connection. The Doctor puts his hands in his pockets and rocks back and forth on the balls of his feet. "No problem, I trust, Detective?"

Lestrade's own mobile beeps, announcing an incoming text. He knows who it's from even as he fishes it out of his pocket.

Do what he wants, Lestrade. SH

"Apparently not, Doctor," the Yarder ground out, mentally grumbling about not even having control of his own damn crime scene.

-----

Sherlock sweeps into the crime scene twenty-three minutes later, still typing away on his mobile. Lestrade knows exactly because he'd been glancing at his watch every twenty to thirty seconds as he oversees the Doctor's investigation, in a vain attempt to make the consulting detective arrive faster. John is, as always, a step behind, but tonight he's also escorting a ginger-haired woman. One hand rests protectively -- and a touch possessively -- on the small of her back as they take in the crime scene.

Sally is gawking at John like he's grown another head. "I know I told you to get another hobby," she's saying as Lestrade walks up, "but I didn't mean to corrupt more innocent people."

"Bless, she assumes I was innocent when we met," the woman quips, shooting John a fond look. The doctor smiles back at her, but doesn't say a word.

Sherlock doesn't even look up from his phone, but Lestrade's come to expect no greeting from the detective. John greets him with a curt nod before turning to introduce his date. "This is -- "

"You must be the Doctor's Donna," Lestrade interrupts, holding out his hand for Donna to shake.

"I'm a doctor's Donna," she corrects. "But yes. That one's with me as well."

"Donna," the Doctor calls out. He's crouched next to the body, waving some blue flashlight about. Lestrade assumes it's an ultraviolet light. In the back of his mind, the over-analytical part that Sherlock has awoken via constant contact mutters something about handheld ultraviolet not jiving with an out-of-date phone. "Come here."

"Oh, no," she protests. "I can see that nasty gash along his throat from here. These shoes are expensive, I'm not getting them all bloody!"

"That's the thing," the Doctor mutters. "There's not a lot of blood around the body. On the body, yes, but not much on the carpet."

"Maybe it all soaked into his clothes?" the woman theorizes.

John shakes his head. "The average human has about five liters of blood in them." He makes a face, considering. "Give or take depending on height and weight, of course. There should be more."

"Which means, Donna Noble...?" the Doctor prompts.

"He wasn't killed in here," she replies. "There's another crime scene somewhere in the house."

Sherlock pauses in his typing to glance over and raise an eyebrow. "Picked that up from your police procedurals, did you?"

Donna sneers playfully at him, but doesn't deny it. The corners of John's mouth pull back slightly in amusement.

"You're doing fine, Donna," the Doctor encourages. "Now the question is, how did he get here?"

Sherlock finishes doing whatever it is he's doing on his mobile and tucks it away into his pocket. The Doctor is looking expectantly at the couple and the consulting detective glances over at John in silent permission.

"Not dragged," Dr. Watson finally says at length. "The blood's fresh. There'd have been an obvious blood trail."

"Maybe the murderer... Put the body into a chair or something and pushed it from one room to another?" Donna theorizes.

"From where?" Sherlock prompts.

It's one of the most bizarre things Lestrade has ever seen Sherlock do -- show interest in someone else to the extent of encouraging them to see the world like him, to think the way he does. It speaks volumes to the amount of respect and affection he has for both John -- and it seems, by extension, Donna.

And frankly, it scares him just a little bit, too.

John frowns and immediately begins looking at the floor around the body. The room is carpeted, better for showing footprints, but the guests who had discovered him have left their marks all around the dead man, obliterating any telltale evidence.

The medico eventually agrees with Lestrade's mental assessment and shrugs. "From another room," he answers lamely.

"Half-credit, John. Did you miss the drag marks along the far wall?"

The Doctor turns his flashlight towards the indicated wall. The neon blue light brings the carpet fiber into stark contrast, a sweeping half-arc of disturbed fibers.

"... You're kidding me," Sally manages first. "A hidden door?"

"Professor Peach, in the library, with a lead pipe," Donna growls at the Doctor. "And now Mr. Flippin' Body in the room with the hidden door with a knife. You are turning my life into a game of Cluedo!"

"Come on, Donna," the brown-haired madman scoffs. "It's not like the butler did it."

-----

Excerpt from the blog of Dr. John H. Watson -- A Game of Cluedo

I admit, it was a bit like a board game. The dead body at a dinner party. The hidden passageway. The bloody serving cart that had moved the body from murder scene to dump scene. The blood-spattered bathroom where the victim had been killed.

The butler who was busy cleaning off the butcher knife he'd used, hastily trying to remove evidence while Scotland Yard was distracted by the body on the other side of the house.

I've said before that I worry about the people that Sherlock... That I... Drag into these things. That soldier mentality, I guess, protect the civilians. Sherlock managed before me, I know he can manage without me. The DI and Sgt are trained in this sort of thing. I knew full well what I was getting myself into when I moved in. When it comes to the Doctor and Donna, I don't have that instinct past the knee jerk reaction to haul them out of harm's way when things get really hairy. They have such a confidence about them. It makes me wonder exactly what it is that they do when they travel.

When we disturbed him, the butler did make an attempt at threatening us with the butcher knife, but Sgt ||||||| quickly disarmed him. Donna, as it turns out, has quite the extensive vocabulary when she's surprised.

Sherlock had figured it out long before the rest of us, so he quickly made his exit, bored to tears. At least the wallpaper was intact when I got home this time. Donna, the Doctor, and I stuck around long enough for |||||||| to take our statements, then left -- the Doctor off to who knows where, and Donna and I back to finish our date. The film, of course, had been canceled, but we were able to grab a quick bite before parting for the night.

It's amazing how normal interrupted dates are becoming. Last week, it was the Doctor who appeared and whisked us away to the British Museum, muttering about this point in history and that one. I swear he said something about the fall of Rome and fiddling at one point…

Donna says that at least they take us to the most interesting places. I can't argue with that one.

(no subject)

Date: 2011-09-05 08:12 pm (UTC)
milady_dragon: Dragon Myfanwy (Default)
From: [personal profile] milady_dragon
Loved it!

Lestrade's reaction to the Doctor was hilarious. Don't blame him, and it's good to see someone not automatically accepting the Doctor. And the Doctor being such a fanboy!

And Donna is right about the Doctor and Sherlock...they do take them to interesting places!

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