Alone at Lastby Trynia (tryniamerin at yahoo.com)
Disclaimer: I don't own Sherlock Holmes, who is out of the
mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Sherlock Holmes in the
22nd Century is the property of DIC. This story is PG, for a
bit of language, but is generally clean and in good spirits. This
is an H/L fic, just to let you know, and even though I'm writing
the other story right now, I suddenly wrote it down over the last
few lunch breaks at work, and I thought I'd love to share it with
all you lovers of H/L vignettes. Please R and R, and let me know
if I should include it as a later scene in my first story I
She turned from the cell window, her arms folded across her
chest. Mainly aware that they were likely to be watched, the duo kept
their distance from one another. Just what these sickos wanted by
interring them in this featureless box of metal with a two-way mirror
and nobody to watch them was unclear. It was a subject upon which
her male companion was cogitating. As she turned she felt a dozen
invisible eyes that she was sure that must be trained on them
from some camera somewhere unseen. Slowly she orbited the room,
chewing her lips and searching again with her fingertips for any
crack or hidden door, glancing only occasionally at her cellmate.
"My dear Lestrade, it may benefit you to desist in pacing the
room like a perishing panther," Holmes suggested. He had sat down
against the wall, with his legs stretched before him. Out of his
Inverness he fished his 19th century notebook and pencil. Licking
the tip he started to jot his thoughts down.
"How can you just sit there, knowing those zed heads are
watching us, like we're in some zoo?" she demanded, whirling on
her heel to face him.
"Zoo it may be, but we do not benefit by wasting what energy we
have upon idle and nonproductive movements...."
"There has to be a way out... I mean they put us IN here...."
Lestrade mumbled. Before Holmes could stop her, she backed up for
enough running room and charged toward the glass window. Hurling
her body against it, she hoped to somehow break the plastic with
her shoulder. Unfortunately her body glanced off with a thud and
she landed in an undignified heap on the floor next to the
"Lestrade... are you all right?" Holmes asked as he put down
his notebook and pencil, and moved over to her. Shaking her head,
"At least ONE of us is doing SOMETHING to find a way out of
here!" Lestrade grumbled.
"Correction, both of us, although the way I am pursuing is less
violent, and more fruitful in the long run," Holmes said as he
held out a hand to help her up.
Lestrade knocked his hand away sullenly and snapped, "What are
your precious eyes and brains telling you now? Unless you're some
zedding psychic you could at least HELP me."
"Well, perhaps we start by asking why we are here?" Holmes
suggested, still offering her his hand. Glaring at him, she
grudgingly took it and let him pull her to a sitting position.
"Why, I'll tell you," Lestrade growled. "Because these zed for
brains get their kicks out of seeing their captives sweat it out,
and don't even BOTHER to tell us WHY they're holding us.
If it were Moriarty, you can bet he'd have given us his grand speech by
"Well, that may be one reason, but it is a hasty conclusion,"
Holmes corrected her.
"Why else?" she asked. "I mean they said nothing about ransom,
and nobody grilled us, and..." Lestrade started, and then tapered
off as her eyes fell upon a small crack or seam in the wall near
to where Holmes had sat moments before with his back propped
against it. Maybe that was why she hadn't noticed it before.
"We may be part of some intelligence test... our captors may by
their silence be expecting to test us to see how intelligent we
are... since there is no obvious means of escape," Holmes
mumbled, tapping his lip with his pencil as he picked up his
notebook again. "Perhaps a behavioral experiment."
"You mean like rats in a maze?" Lestrade asked, incredulous.
"I'm surprised. I mean the people captured before were not let
go, and I saw nothing about any of these guys having any psych
"Precisely, but they may have sold us to some interested
parties," Holmes suggested. "So perhaps we could best sit down
calmly and figure out what we're dealing with, since there is
no means of escape... instead of blindly searching the walls."
"For one thing, the floor's cold as absolute zero, and it's
hard as asphalt," she complained. She rubbed her bruised backside
and nursed her shoulder. Her wristcom was dead, and they had
knocked her ionizer out of her hand in the fight, and confiscated
Holmes' cane. Both of them had been passed through a scanner that
detected any electronic devices. Interestingly enough, they'd found
nothing interesting on Holmes, so who knew what low-tech nineteenth
century items he might have on his person to help them escape?, she
"Easily remedied, my dear Lestrade," Holmes said as he got to
his feet, and unfastened the clasp at his throat. Stripping off
his Inverness, he flipped it out and tossed it down to make a
sizeable mat on the floor. Indicating it with his hand, he
motioned for her to sit on it next to him. Lestrade grudgingly let him
help her to sit on it; and they propped her backs
against the wall, which wasn't as cold as the floor, oddly enough,
both facing the window to the empty room.
"Mind your boots," Holmes said as Lestrade shifted to sit down.
Mumbling, she put her legs straight out in front of her as Holmes
did. Without the voluminous coat, he was in vest, shirt sleeves,
and she could more clearly see how well his anachronistic clothes
conformed to his slender and athletic body.
"I'll try to behave," Lestrade mumbled.
"Stiff upper lip," Holmes said, folding his arms across his
chest and glancing at her. "Now, let's make a list of the
"Humph," Lestrade mumbled. Her eyes drifted to the handwriting
on his paper, and she noticed what he was writing. How odd it was
to see him scribbling away on its lined surface when few would
write things down this way anymore.
"You see that there are some interesting details...." Holmes
whispered as he leaned over to her. His breath tickled her ear,
and she realized he must have been writing something down he
didn't want their captors to possibly overhear.
She peered over his shoulder and read from his scribbles, "Air
for breathing must come from some aperture."
"What now?" she scribbled, taking the pencil from him. "I saw a
line near where you sat... it could be a door? I mean they HAD
to get us in here somehow..."
"Likely, so we sit and wait to see if they will provide
nourishment by that entrance," Holmes scribbled, taking the
pencil back from her.
"Oh great, just what we need, more waiting," Lestrade sighed.
Licking her lips she patted her pockets and belt to see what they
had missed. Her belt pack had several compartments. While they
had taken most of her secret devices, she realized they had left
her emergency food concentrate rations. Unlike Holmes who seemed
content to wait, she was starving.
"Maybe you can wait till feeding time, but I'm starved,"
Lestrade mumbled as she tore open the foil package. Pushing the
open package toward Holmes, she nodded for him to take one. He
wrinkled his nose, but reached for one all the same.
"I suppose this must suffice, for we should retain our
nourishment... in case they don't feed us," he muttered. As he
took a bite, he made a face, and winced at how dry the confound
thing was. "You neglected something to wash this down with...."
"Hey, so sue me," Lestrade mumbled through a mouth full of food
"I have the solution," he said, reaching into his vest, and she
saw his suspenders as he unbuttoned it momentarily and pulled
something that flashed silver in the light that shone down from
above. It lay its strange and harsh light against them, but the
source seemed hard to determine. It came from the ceiling panels
itself. Unscrewing the top of the old fashioned silver hip flask,
he held it toward her, and Lestrade took it, sniffing. A pungent
whiff of alcohol hit her nose, and it was her turn to wince.
"Brandy?" she queried, lifting an eyebrow. "Won't that make us
"Be as it may, it is liquid, and it should suffice to relax
you," Holmes shrugged. Lestrade sighed and took a small sip,
opening her mouth as it burned on the way down, and a warm
tingling shot up from her toes. She handed it back to Holmes, who
wiped off the mouth with his handkerchief before taking a swig
"So, here we are," she said. "In a damn box, waiting for
feeding time at the zoo... what next, play some lame game?"
"Perhaps... such as 'what have we observed?'"
"Light and air has to come from somewhere," Lestrade said
through a mouthful of concentrate. Holmes again offered her the
flask, and she sipped it, making another face before handing it
back for him to sip. Both leaned their heads close to one
another, keeping their tones in a whisper. "WE had best be on our
guard so as not to miss it," Holmes said.
"Funny they didn't take this away, it could be used as a
weapon... alcohol IS flammable," Lestrade whispered.
"I do have my matches," Holmes nodded. "But our captors figure
that it is a feeble means of escape, since these walls appear to
be some sort of polymer coating a rather strong alloy which is
heat- and inspector-resistant."
"Zed, if only they hadn't taken my nitroOX," she mumbled. "I
hate this... I can't do a zedding thing."
"WE can wait, and observe," Holmes said.
"Do you have an answer to everything?" Lestrade snapped,
folding her arms across her chest.
"Only when asked the proper question, " he bantered back with a
slight twinkle in his eyes.
"If you mention eyes and brains again, I'll pound you," she
whispered frustratedly, grabbing a fold of his Inverness in her
fist at her side and pulling at it.
"It's simply a matter of...."
"Oh, save it," Lestrade cut him off rudely. "If there is one
thing I hate MORE than waiting it's waiting with a KNOW-it-all."
"Lestrade, your negative attitude HARDLY..."
"You're right, Mr. Spock," she shot back. "At least trying to
bust out of here gave me something less boring than hearing youLECTURE me!"
"Now hang about," Holmes said, annoyance in his voice. "I am
attempting to think productively how to use my energy, and I
suggest you do the same, that's all."
"Oh, shut up," she snarled. "I'm SICK of you always CORRECTING me."
"Lestrade..." Holmes sighed. "This is hardly the time for...."
"Did you hear me, just don't say ANTHING!"
"Lestrade, enough!" Holmes said sharply. "This is getting us
"Great, we just sit here and admit we're stuck, right?" she
laughed sarcastically, throwing up her hands. "That there is
nothing that even YOU can do... apart from...."
"Apart from waiting, which CAN be fruitful," Holmes cut in.
"And then what?" she asked. "You know I think you actually
think this is a game! You're enjoying seeing what they are about
"There is nothing more satisfying than solving a mystery,"
Holmes said brightly, trying to bait her so she would snap out of
her sudden funk. A black cloud hung over Lestrade, and he could
tell she was nervous, and anxious, perhaps bordering on fear.
"Well, I have a mystery for you, Holmes," she said. "Why is it
you never seem to get that some of us get a bit TIRED of your
advice and being corrected? That you're a big arrogant ponce
sometimes when you get in your detective mode?"
"Lestrade, I'm surprised at you!"
"Well, that's new," Lestrade snapped. "I am willing to bet
credits to crackers that if me or Watson ended up caught or
worse, you'd be analyzing it to death and getting your kicks."
"That's uncalled for!" he said angrily, his gray eyes
sparkling. "If you are as familiar with my exploits as you say,
you must know that I try to keep a lid on unproductive emotions.
"You don't feel anything most of the time, is that it?" she
asked bitterly. "So like you to be so focussed on analyzing stuff
to death you forget the rest of us have feelings!"
"I understand that, but to be a good detective one must not be
burdened with emotions... they cloud your objectivity...."
"Does that mean you feel nothing, that you don't let yourself
enjoy something ELSE besides work?" Lestrade challenged. "I guess
so. Zed, it's a wonder that Watson is more human than you are
sometimes, and he's a zedding robot!"
"Lestrade, what is bothering you, really?" Holmes asked.
"Obviously you're agitated about something that goes beyond our
predicament as now..."
"Why don't you figure it out, if you're so zedding smart?" she
said, turning from him and folding her legs Indian style, and
huddling with her chin resting in her hands on her lap.
"Lestrade," Holmes sighed deeply as he drew his shoes onto his
Inverness and sat much as she did. "I do have feelings, and I do
realize others do as well. What I meant to say is that emotions
can cloud your thinking when...."
"I know that, Holmes," she growled. "But I can't turn them
off... when I ... I mean when I am in a place where I can't DO
"There is no shame in admitting you're afraid," he said softly,
resting his hand on her shoulder.
"Don't patronize me, Holmes," she bit back. "That's NOT what
I'm talking about!"
"Then what do you mean, precisely?" Holmes asked, turning her
shoulder so she faced him. "Something other than your inability
to act physically is troubling you. And as your colleague I
simply wish to know why, so that I may possibly be of help."
"Ask the right questions," she snapped back.
"Are you afraid?" Holmes asked, voice softer.
"Yes, and no," she answered after a minute. Her eyes were
vacant, and held fear, and she huddled over like a small lost
child for a moment.
"Is it perhaps our present predicament warrants temporary
relinquishment of control, till a more opportune time, and you
simply loathe inaction?"
"Yes and no... zed, do you always seem so on top of things?"
she glanced up at the ceiling. "Nothing phases you... you can
handle it... and me... me... I just..."
"Go on," Holmes urged. Slowly he brought up his hand and rested
it on hers. Very gently he took that hand in his own, and began
to stroke the back of her gloved hand. Lestrade shivered a bit,
though she was wearing gloves, at this sudden, very personal gesture.
"I do believe we are finally getting somewhere at last..."
"Did you ever meet Sigmund Freud?" she asked accusingly.
"On a few occasions, yes," he admitted with a slight smile.
"Now as you were saying..."
"You're always in control," Lestrade said more softly, looking
at the far wall. "And all I ever... you can't even always do as
"You know I don't always conform to the rules. But my
general approach seems to cause you distress and yet you admire
"Because you're what I always wanted to be," she said in a
whisper, glancing at him. "Something I'll never be..."
"Lestrade," he sighed, as she turned away again. "It was not my
intention to cause you emotional distress..."
"Then why am I always getting chewed up and spit out?"
"If you're referring to Grayson, he seems equally dissatisfied
with the pair of us," Holmes chuckled.
"Not just that," she sighed. "But something else. You're the
person that we all try to be, a role model."
"If you try that, then what can you hope to accomplish?" Holmes
asked. "Perhaps it's the method and not the man you should emulate.
What I am trying to convey to you and Watson is not how to be a
facsimile of me, but how to think... after all, there is only one
"Thank God for that," she laughed. "One dead detective is
"Amen, my dear Lestrade," he smiled, relieved to see her laugh.
"Don't fret. You are learning quite well what it is to be a good
detective. And so is Watson. As you know, even if you are
sometimes incorrect, your feedback is valuable."
"By assisting with your questions. It benefits me to hear
possibilities, to bounce things off as it were, and you know well
that I employ the assistance of others in solving my cases...."
"That's true, but there's still the thing about feelings; when
does the detective become a man?"
And when does the inspector become a woman?" he countered, as
he brushed his hand over the back of hers soothingly. "I have
rarely seen you out of uniform, Lestrade."
"Maybe that's a good thing," she said.
"I find it odd that you do not have a husband or a suitor...."
"Some of us are married to our work, and find romance gets in
the way, like you do," Lestrade answered.
"True, some of us are not like most men who would marry,..."
"Baker Street has no queen," Lestrade nodded.
"Indeed, but even my friend Watson found time for the fair
"And what makes you think I am to be lumped in with the rest of
everyone else? What makes you special?"
"Er, well." He rubbed the back of his neck with his free hand.
"Maybe I'm just like you, Holmes," she answered. "When it comes
"Absurd," he laughed.
"Can go both ways, you know. This isn't the nineteenth
century... maybe I consider men to be a waste of time... like you
"Not you, Lestrade, surely," Holmes said slowly.
"Don't jump to conclusions without knowing the facts," she
"There are logical conclusions to derive from this line of
"I am obsessed to an extent, like you with work... and secondly
you may have had a past traumatic experience with a man that puts
you off... thirdly, it is possible for your base needs to be along the
lines of seeking companionship with women...."
"'Maybe' to one and two, but 'no' to three," Lestrade laughed.
"Or there is another possibility," Holmes said. "Maybe you have
not found the right gentleman yet."
"Maybe," she said, as she looked back at him. "And maybe the
same applies to you."
"There are few coincidences, my dear Lestrade," Holmes said, as
he caught her blue gaze for a thoughtful moment, and her heart
"Uh huh," she said.
"Hem, well, there is a logical explanation, nonetheless. And I
think the answer is quite apparent."
"Is it?" she asked.
"I would be a poor detective indeed not to see the evidence
before me," Holmes said, as his hand slowly tightened on hers.
She could feel it trembling in her fingers, and she felt her own
heart and nerves tensing for what could either break her heart or
set it free.
"I...." Lestrade stammered, the words choking in her throat as
she glanced earnestly at him for a long time.
"Well, am I not accurate in guessing why you are unattached?"
Holmes asked, voice in a whisper now.
"It's the same reason you are," she said finally, as time
stopped and his gray gaze met hers.
"Ah," Holmes said, and cleared his throat again.
"I don't know what you mean," she said, pulling her hand away
as she broke their gaze.
"On the contrary, I'd say the import of my words and my
assessment is quite correct, and yet a certain awkwardness and
the ramifications prevent you from expressing your affirmation."
"If that's the case and we're on the same page... I can tell
you why. Because the person I'd chose doesn't think that such a
relationship is possible."
"Ah," Holmes nodded. "An excellent observation."
"So why even try?" Lestrade asked glumly. "Except to dream
because it wouldn't happen. And even if it did, maybe it would
mess up a good thing...."
"Another valid point," Holmes sighed as he took her hand and
rested it on his lap.
"And I suspect the people in question having not had the desire
to have a relationship would be... afraid or... uncomfortable if
they crossed the line...." she choked, her eyes filling with
"Indeed," Holmes nodded. "Because the parties involved have
"Yes," Lestrade sniffled.
"I must apologize," Holmes said as he raised her hand to his
lips and pressed a kiss to the back. "To have intruded upon your
"It's okay," Lestrade sighed. "I know it's a bad idea... forget
"Which could leave us in a vulnerable situation," Holmes
agreed, with a sad nod. Lestrade could feel her chest tightening
as her vision of his clear eyes blurred, and she wanted to bury
herself as her face flushed hot.
"I don't want to be the reason..." she choked, and wiped her
eyes violently. "That you'd use to stop from doing your job... or
be the reason your enemy... uses against you."
"A noble sentiment," Holmes observed, as he again kissed her
hand softly. "And a prudent measure indeed."
"Yeah... lucky me," Lestrade sniffled.
"However," Holmes said as he reached for his pocket handkerchief,
and gently raised it to dry her tears. "There is a certain strength in
such close associations..."
"What?" Lestrade asked, not believing what he'd said.
"The only problem... is that the person in question... is
unaccustomed to how to proceed... considering the
circumstances... and the likeliness of this having happened...
when it seemed impossible before...."
Her heart pounded quickly, and a strange giddiness came over
her as she leaned close, and he did too, his eyes tracking over
the curves of her face. Raising her hand to her cheek, he pressed
it there, and wiped away a fresh crop of tears with his other
Lestrade felt her reserve crumple, and she shut her eyes as her
wall came crumbling down. "Sometimes... it's better... to say
nothing...." she sniffled, tugging off her gloves and tossing them
down. She raised her hand to finger his cheek with the back of
her hand, and he lay his hand on top, their skin finally touching
with a tingling between them. The warmth passed from his skin to
hers, and she shivered in strange anticipation and fear. There
was only one first kiss, and she wanted to impress this moment
for all time in her mind. His skin trembled as she leaned
forwards and touched her lips to his. He stiffened at first as
she kept her lips closed and simply let her mouth make small
presses as she fingered his blonde sideburns. A jolt of
adrenaline surged through her, and she felt her heart in her
throat. Time stopped and she felt him relax and press his lips
more firmly, his hand reaching around her neck as his arm settled
around her shoulder.
"Very... intriguing," he gasped as they parted, panting and
staring at one another in wide-eyed wonder.
"Wow," Lestrade whispered, feeling shy and strange like a
teenager. Holmes this time pulled her to him and turned his head
to the side to deposit a soft caress of his lips onto hers, a
chaste touch of the lips that was followed with soft kisses to
her forehead and then back to her lips. Tears welled up again at
the innocence and sincerity in that chaste yet emotion-filled
kiss. His fingers felt the texture of her hair and smoothed over
her cheek. When they parted again, he was gazing intently at her
face as if gazing at a work of art. Lestrade couldn't halt her
tears, for the gentleness and simplicity of the kiss went right
to her heart. She felt her chin wobbling as he pressed his brow
to hers, and folded her in an embrace.
"Brave heart, my dear Lestrade," he whispered, taking her hand
and squeezing it. "Trust me when I say we WILL get out of this
"What now?" she asked him.
"That remains to be seen... we had best... restrain ourselves
if we are to continue... for I want this... to be...."
"What do you mean?" she asked, pulling away.
"Since this is... progressing... we must proceed with the
utmost care... and this is hardly the appropriate place, for
something that is so significant," he said with a lump in his
throat "Please understand, I want to follow the proper methods...
so both of us will gain the best from this."
"I'm not a bottle of wine!" she groaned.
"No, but this is a rare opportunity and I want it to be
perfect, and after all... I want it to be as meaningful and
respectful to your dignity, as someone that I have come... to be
quite fond of...."
"Victorian formality?" she winced. "Should I drop my
handkerchief for you to pick up?"
"Not quite THAT literally, but yes that's the idea," Holmes
nodded, fingering her cheek and memorizing her face with his eyes
and fingertips. "Please bear with me -- I hope you don't take
offense to me wanting to have things on my terms."
"Always in control?" she asked.
"Well..." he chuckled. "I want... what is best for this situation --
and I don't want to see you in an uncomfortable situation, if we
are to proceed -- and well...I am very fond of you."
"I don't know whether to kill you or kiss you," she laughed.
"I'd prefer the latter," he chuckled as he slid his arm around
her, and she rested her head against his chest to hear his
heartbeat. He kept her close, and she felt hope return as they
waited to see what their captor's next move was. Whatever it was,
they would face it together.
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