The Case of the Blown-Up Cottage

Part 2

by Cyberwolf (wolf at mydestiny.net)
8/10/02

--Previous Message--
: Oh, an interesting beginning, can't wait for
: more.

Thank you, thank you. (bows)
I'm in a writing mood, so...here's chapter 2 of 'the Blown-up Cottage'.
There were two things that Lestrade's coffee-awakened mind noticed as she and Holmes entered Grayson's office.
One, there was indeed a baby in the office. The small child who couldn't have been more than a year in age, if that, sprawled on Grayson's couch. (Lestrade was a little amused to note the numerous stacks of paper that had previously filled the seat of the couch now littered the floor.) The baby was kicking its legs and arms and, as mentioned, screaming at the top of its lungs. Grayson and several other officers of the Yard hovered above the child with the expression of bomb-squad members approaching an unknown package.
The second thing she noticed was that as soon as she and Holmes set foot in the office, the loud cries immediately ceased.
The sudden silence seemed almost unnatural. The sheer relief on the faces of the officers in the office was laughable. Lestrade fought the urge to laugh as she saluted her superiors.
"Inspector Lestrade reporting as ordered, sirs."
Behind her, Holmes - as a civilian - merely inclined his head in greeting. Lestrade noted the look of awe growing in the eyes of the officers (with the expected exception of Grayson) as they noticed the tall blond standing behind Lestrade. She'd forgotten what a legend Holmes was within the Yard. She was as well, come to think of it, but the near-weekly chewing-outs she received from Grayson reminded them that she was human. But Holmes....
She chuckled as she imagined Grayson assigning Holmes to assist one of the star-struck Yardies. Holmes would not deal well with that, she was fairly sure. And the unfortunate soul would have their egos (and intellects) run roughshod over.
She shook off her thoughts as they approached Grayson and the three officers beside him.
A sudden noise drew her attention. Every adult in the room stared at the couch as the baby emitted another squeal. It had pulled itself into a sitting position by this time, a few white teeth poking through the pink gums of the wide baby-smile that crossed its round face.
"Mooey!" it called, and then babbled a few lines. It stretched its arms towards - Lestrade blinked - her?
They all stared.
"Mooey!" the baby repeated, stretching its arms more. As no one responded to its nonsensical call, an upset look settled itself on the baby's face. It said something in baby-talk, the voice growing louder. When the baby's lower lip began to tremble in that tell-tale sign that all parents know and dread, Grayson reacted.
"For god's sake, Lestrade, pick the child up! Obviously he wants you to!"
Lestrade hesitated for a single moment, glaring at Grayson. Was it because she was the only woman in the room that she got handed nanny-duty? Then a plainitive cry reached her ears and she looked at the couch, with the baby boy reaching his tiny hands towards her.
She sighed in acquiescence and picked him up. Up close, nearly face-to-face, she could see that he had the sort of utterly cherubic face that one saw only on babies in diaper or milk formula commercials. His head was covered in soft tufty black hair, and he blinked at her with two eyes of absolutely the most emerald hue she'd ever seen in her life. There was a white gauze bandage around his head, and faint red blood-stains peeked through near the center of his forehead.
The baby blinked at her again. Lestrade blinked back. And then his eyes seemed to focus on something beyond Lestrade. He wriggled in her arms, as if trying to get away. Lestrade tightened her hold on the baby as he stretched his arms towards...Holmes?

On to Part 3!
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