Please Sit Down


by Alicia (aisumitsukai at home.com)

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Three vignettes.

White on White


(8/3/02)
Twenty-two-year-old Beth Lestrade screamed and yanked the offending piece of sharp metal out of her thumb, stuffing the finger into her mouth. The silver sewing needle glinted almost boastingly at her under the neon light.
"Grrrrrrrr." Glaring with narrowed eyes, Beth took her thumb out of her mouth and rethreaded the obnoxious needle.
"Hmph, you useless piece of twenty-first century junk! I'll show you!" Angrily Beth picked up her project and started sewing again. "Edith is right. I really should get a sewing machine if I want to continue making these dresses," Lestrade thought out loud as she squinted down at the lacy trim of the underskirt. "But that would make it so much less authentic. White thread on white lace on white. What was I thinking?" Shaking her head resignedly, she was silent, completely absorbed in her little stitches that would never be seen.
Hours went by; rush-hour traffic came and went. Yells and calls echoed outside the dorm room. Lights went on and lights went off, things broke, lives ended and started. Friendships were cast aside and new ones began, love was severed and love was sewn back together. it was all lost on the university student busy remaking the piece of history she wished she hadn't missed out on.
A violin CD whispered mournfully in the background as she packed away her supplies. Neatly, everything in its predetermined place. The dress was hung up, its wrinkles gently smoothed out. Beth sighed, running her fingers down the fabric. The skirt was delicate and looked so out of place, hidden between modern day clothes. Like a lost ghost somehow stuck on a crowded subway.
Beth shook her head. It was just a sewing project. An underskirt at that. It had absolutely no spiritual value whatsoever. Giving the dress a final smoothing, Lestrade went off to bed. But as she pulled the covers over her, she couldn't help but think of how she felt like a ghost, ignored and invisible, stuck in a crowded subway car, not knowing how she managed to get there.

Gotta Love Books!


(4/6/03)
Heh, this is based off my experiences traveling home from Florida. Lestrade's traveling companions are actually real people... though they weren't reading those books....
The airport was crowded. Ridiculously so. But, Beth Lestrade wove her way through the hordes of faceless people with a sureness that implied that she was a) an experienced traveler or b) lived in a big city and was accustomed to seeing this many people stuffed into tiny quarters.
She arrived at her departure terminal with too much time to spare. Indifferently, she sunk into a plastic chair, drawing her legs up underneath her and resting her chin on top of the ratty black knapsack that made up the entirety of her luggage. The minutes wore by, and she swore she could feel her hair turning grey. Finally, just as she was about to start losing hair, the stewardess announced that they would begin boarding.
Twenty minutes later, Lestrade sat down in yet another uncomfortable chair. This time squashed between two others. Before she could make a futile attempt to get comfortable, a girl, a few years younger then her, appeared in the aisle beside her. "Um." she bit her bottom lip, looking shyly at Lestrade through long brown bangs.
"Yeah, sorry." Lestrade slipped out of her chair and into the aisle, letting the girl squish through to her (window!) seat.
The girl gave her a quick grin before taking out a book (!) and engrossing herself in what appeared to be 'The Simarilion'. Lestrade raised an eyebrow (that was a hard book to come by! And she should know!) as she slipped back into her seat. Boredom ensued.
A bald guy, with multiple piercing in his left ear, plunked down on her other side just as the stewardesses were retreating after checking the luggage compartments. (Missing the one above Lestrade and her Darwin reading companion.)
Lestrade didn't spare him a glance. Until the title 'Canterbury Tales' flashed in her peripheral vision. She slowly raised her head. This man, who couldn't have been much older then her, and looked for all the world like the boys her mother used to point out and warn her about (Drug dealers and worthless the lot of them. Don't get mixing up with them, Beth. It won't do you any good, and you can use all the help you can get.) was engrossed in a century-old classic. Another that was very hard to come by. And once again, she should know!
Raising her other eyebrow, Lestrade sifted through the contents of her pack. there had to be something in here to read. She smiled as her hand closed around a Xeroxed copy of one of Watson's journals. She didn't like bringing the originals traveling for obvious reasons.
Mark looked over the rim of 'Canterbury Tales' in surprise. The woman beside him was reading Sherlock Holmes! (What he would give for a copy of the late Dr. Watson's journals.) And here he had taken her for some techie twink. He raised a pierced eyebrow.
***
Lestrade stretched her back and dropped her pack into a blue plastic chair of the New London airport. Holmes and Watson had e- mailed to say they'd be by in about five minutes. This was a welcome surprise as she was way too tired (!) to drive.
A slight tap on her shoulder startled her in mid stretch and she turned quickly, expecting to see a grinning blonde detective. To her surprise, she found her airplane companions standing before her.
"Erm. I was wondering," The bald man cleared his throat. "How much would you like for your book?"
"Eh? Book? Oh! Watson's.oh." Lestrade frowned. "Well, it's a family heirloom. kind of. um."
"Here." The girl pushed The Silmarilion at her before Lestrade had the chance to gather her thoughts.
"But that's Tolkien! That's extremely hard to come by!"
"So is Sherlock Holmes!"
"Oh. I never thought of that. it's always been right there." Lestrade rambled off. She hated to part from anything remotely Holmes related, but she could have another copy made. Heck, she could just ask Holmes!
"Yeah, sure. I guess." Lestrade dug out the journal and handed it over, biting her bottom lip as she did so. Sighing, she put Tolkien away in her backpack, pausing to admire the crinkled paper cover.
"Thank you SO MUCH!" The girl threw herself at the unsuspecting Inspector, hugging her fiercely.
"Eh."
Smiling, the two quickly said their goodbyes and walked off, arm in arm.
Lestrade blinked.
"Who are they?"
Lestrade whirled around again, encountered, this time by the aforementioned detective and, of course, Watson.
"Eh, a couple of fans. I think."
"Of who?"
"You."
"Oh not again."
Lestrade winked at Watson over Holmes' shoulder. "Yeah, the girl seemed really interested in you."
"I'm glad to see you too, Lestrade."

Uncalled For


(4/2/03)
Lestrade tapped her fingers idly on the top of her desk. It had been a quiet [translation: BORING!] day at the Yard, and she was itching to leave. Which meant, of course, some catastrophe was bound to happen, just as she left her office. Lestrade sighed irritably at her inescapable fate and squirmed into a more comfortable position to await the obnoxious, beeping call from Greyson's office.
It didn't come. The hands of her clock ticked painfully slowly. Eternity by eternity, 6:00 came closer. Lestrade groaned. Reduced to counting minutes!
The door to her office opened at three to six. Lestrade swore mentally. But, the person who stepped in was noticeably different from a Yard errand runner.
"Moriarty! How in zed did you get in?!" Lestrade rose angrily.
"I'm glad to see you too, my dear Inspector." The professor replied mildly. "Not pressing the security button?"
"No. I want to catch you by myself." Lestrade answered. "Calling up a bunch of armed idiots isn't my style. And I'm not your dear anything, zedhead."
"No, undoubtedly it isn't. And do watch your language Lestrade." Moriarty moved over to the window. "Aren't you going to arrest me? You could."
Lestrade narrowed her eyes. "Yeah, I could try. Personally though, I don't feel like walking into another one of your joyful little traps right now."
"Ah, the girl learns." Moriarty smiled. "Don't you want to know why I'm here?"
"Well, first I'd like to know how...but why is good too."
"If you arrested me, think of the respect you'd gain. And not just from your superiors at the Yard." Moriarty raised an eyebrow.
"What are you talking about?" Lestrade leaned forward on her desk. "Do you want me to arrest you?"
"Oh for heaven's sake, Elizabeth, you know who I'm talking about. I'm not blind. Just think of how this would impress him."
Lestrade sat down. "You're -- you're talking about -- absolutely not!"
"Oh?"
"I gain people's respect by doing things. Not by cheating like this. Especially his." Lestrade could feel a slight blush creep onto her cheeks. "Besides, I don't do things because he wants me to -- well, not all the time. But not things like this. I wouldn't ever! I'm still my own zedding person!"
"I'm glad to hear it." Moriarty regarded her levelly, "I think, now, we understand each other, Inspector Lestrade."
Lestrade thought about this for a minute before standing up. "Yeah. Yeah, I guess we do," she said in a slightly shocked tone.
Moriarty stepped forward and kissed her hand. Then with a mock salute, he turned and jumped out the window. The sound of a hovercar's engines could be heard roaring off.
Lestrade bit her bottom lip. "Guess he's human after all." She muttered to her clock: reading 6:03pm.
Her door opened once more. Here it comes, she thought. But no, this time Holmes stepped in, wearing a small smile. "Moriarty has been and gone, I presume?"
Lestrade stared. "How...?
Holmes' smile widened. "And you didn't arrest him?"
Lestrade shook her head. "No, it was like...."
"Cheating?" Holmes all out grinned. "Come home and have some tea, my dear Lestrade. It will make you feel much better."
Lestrade narrowed her eyes. "Moriarty told you, didn't he?"
Holmes offered her his arm. "My dear Inspector, I asked him to."

THE END
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