Dire Consequences

Part XII: Back to the Future

by Jenny
7/20/02
Finally, I finished it! It is unpolished and full of fluff, but, nonetheless, it is done. Here goes:
Deidre leaned back in the soft chair, relaxing for the first time. The last few frantic days had become a confused blur.
After Watson got Tennyson, Wiggins, and herself out of the complex, Tennyson was able to repair Watsonís communication band and call New Scotland Yard. They immediately sent help from the nearest dispatch station--and anybody else they could get a hold of. As soon as they heard the sirens come and heard the confusion calm down, they immediately ran back into the dusty complex. Deidre was trying reenter a lot earlier, but Watson forced her to stay "for her own safety." Watson always had put their well-being first. It must be horrible for him to live with Mister ĎOlmes, she thought. He seems to just throw caution to the wind.
Then she remembered that frightening image of "Mister ĎOlmes" unconscious on the ground. Inspector Lestrade was just kneeling next to him, guarding him like a ferocious lion protecting her cubs. Even when the medics arrived she eyed them carefully and refused to leave during the emergency, makeshift surgery. She was finally forced to leave his side when the doctor needed to stitch up her own ionizer wound. Deidre remembered how Lestrade locked her legs into the dust and argued, "IíM FINE, ITíS ONLY A ZEDDING SCRATCH!" as the doctor and two nurses dragged her into the medic tent.
Deidre stretched her legs out in front of her and rested them on the empty seat across from her. She absorbed the familiar surroundings of her home and felt bad that Holmes and Lestrade couldnít do the same. Apparently, they would be heading back out later after they finished this agonizing case. Those two only think about work... they are more like machines than Watson, she thought to herself. She yawned again and closed her eyes, with one last thought in her head. Still, I think they like each other.

 

I wish I hadnít let him get the coffee. Lestrade cursed herself and grumbled into the gray pillow the hovertrain attendant had given her. She anxiously tapped her foot, waiting for his return. Finally, she heard a shuffling and scraping outside the glass door. She leaned forward and, with some effort, got up to open the door. The sight made her laugh out loud. Holmes was balancing a coffee tray complete with cups, pot, and sugar with his right hand, the milk boat jammed between him and his bandaged shoulder in the arm sling, and the morning newspaper in his mouth. His grayish-blue eyes twinkled above the headline, "YARD ARRESTS LONG-ELUSIVE CRIME RING!"
"Holmes, give me that," she chuckled as she took the coffee tray. "I wish you wouldnít try to be so chivalrous. I am completely capable of taking care of myself." She sat down on the soft seat.
He didnít answer her as he took the newspaper out of his mouth and removed the suffocating milk.
"I donít even know why I let you come back on a hovertrain," she continued, "You arenít even supposed to walk more than the distance from the living room to the kitchen until the infection completely heals." Holmes chuckled and sat down next to her.
"I really do think I can manage, Mother," he dryly replied.
Lestrade gave up and picked up one of the cups. "How do you like your coffee?"
"Just a little milk, thanks."
Lestrade poured some milk into the cup. Holmes raised an eyebrow as Lestrade added the coffee, and handed it to him.
"That is irregular," Holmes asserted as he took the cup.
"What is?" Lestrade questioned, pretending to be distracted by the construction of her own coffee.
"You added the milk before the coffee." He glanced up at her and took a sip of the steaming coffee, his eyes mischievously glaring over the rim.
"Are you just trying to start something?" Lestrade quipped. Holmes chuckled again. I canít believe how good of a mood he is in. He looks so relaxed and loose considering everything. Why hasnít he mentioned anything about the kiss? Maybe....
"How does your arm feel?" Lestrade questioned, interrupting her own thoughts.
"Perfect. I never felt better."
Lestrade sighed. "I donít understand you."
"Why not?" Holmes smugly smiled.
"Holmes, you got shot with an ionizer, developed a threatening infection, a moderate concussion, dehydration, multiple bangs, bruises, and lesions -- not to mention being unconscious for nearly three days -- but you still have the nerve to tell me you are feeling perfect?"
Lestrade remembered those three days too. She had unwaveringly stayed next to him, leaving only to sleep and shower. She even stayed during the makeshift, at-site surgery, when they basically had to cut off his shirt, cut open his left shoulder, and pour in antibacterial 'goop' into the bleeding wound. One of the most horrific sights she had ever seen. And yet, when he finally woke up, three agonizing days later, it was all worth it to be there, smiling. Just like the first time we met....
"Maybe I am a little tired," he interrupted her thoughts. "But remember, you were shot yourself."
"Yes, but I am taking care of myself. And besides, it only skimmed my skin. I am being more cautious then you are, and mine isnít even that serious. You, Holmes, are throwing your health away."
"Well, if you are so concerned about health, dear Lestrade, why are you drinking that cup of coffee?"
"What?"
"According to you, we are severely dehydrated. You should be drinking water."
Lestrade paused and let the cup lower from her lips. She grumbled and slowly dumped her coffee back into the pot, before picking up a glass of water. Holmes chuckled as he took another sip of his coffee.
"Holmes, give me the cup."
"Come, Lestrade, you donít really think I would..."
"NOW!"
Holmes narrowed his eyes and glared at her as he took the top off of the pot and slowly dumped the precious coffee into the pot.
"Here," Lestrade added. She twisted toward him and reached to hand him the glass of water. The ice jingled against the glass as the hover train rocked back and forth. Holmes slowly took it, still glaring. He swirled the cold water in the glass, by rocking his hand back and forth. After making a little whirlpool, he took a sip.
"Holmes?" Lestrade asked.
"Yes?" Holmes eagerly turned back toward her.
Almost a little too eagerly....
"What do you think will happen to Moriarty?" Lestrade questioned.
"If it was up to me, he would hang." Lestrade scowled at the reply. She noticed that Holmes sensed her disapproval, before he then added "But considering the time period, of course, he should be locked up and the key thrown away."
"I agree."
An awkward silence filled the small compartment and lasted for a moment. It felt like an eternity to Lestrade. He can sense it too... he wants to ask me about the kiss, but he wonít....
"It is lucky we had Watson with us," Lestrade broke the silence. "What would we have done?"
"Not have caught Moriarty or the majority of the crime ring leaders, not have escaped...."
"Did you read what it says in the paper?" Lestrade interrupted.
"No. Does it mention you?"
"It kind of mentions US." She held up the paper and began to read, "The Yard, in a marvelous show of bravery and cunning, tracked down and captured the infamous New London Crime ring last week. For the first time, the full story has come into view. The capture of the leading members took place 75 kilometers outside of New London in an abandoned underground prison. It was here a raid... blah blah blah.... Oh, here it is, in the last sentence: The Yard was also investigating the disappearance of one of its Inspectors and a civilian at the time of the capture."
Holmes chuckled. "I didnít expect they would even mention that much."
"They called you just a civilian, Holmes. They didnít even mention Watson or your Irregulars."
Holmes nonchalantly shrugged and took another sip of water. The silence took control again. Lestrade took a deep breath. OK. Now is the time....
"Holmes, there is something I have been meaning to ask you ever since we were locked up in those cells."
"Yes, Lestrade?" He turned towards her and just gazed. Lestrade stared back into his deep blue eyes. She felt his warmth as their shoulders leaned into each other. He knows what I am going to say....
"Well, I was wondering," she slowly pronounced each word on the end of her tongue, "just where exactly you learnt all of those songs." Quickly, she had changed the subject.
Holmes looked relieved and sat back in his chair, lost in his thoughts. He rubbed the back of his neck, reasoning. Then he remembered her question and regained his good humour, chuckling, "Here and there...."
"Meaning...."
Holmes turned toward her. "Look, Lestrade, I can tell what is going on here."
"What?" Maybe HE will say something....
"When I..." He paused and looked, for the first time since his arrival to the 22nd century, awkward. "When I passed you the key... you know, when my hands were tied...."
"You mean the kiss." Lestrade put the words in his mouth for him.
"Right...." He paused again. "I was meaning to talk to you about... how we should...interpret it."
"Interpret it?" Could he have put it any more scientifically?
"Yes. Was it just a professional and necessary means of survival, or was it... more."
"More?"
"Will you stop repeating the last word I say and just answer me? You know exactly what I have been trying to tell you for the last twenty minutes!"
Lestrade thought for a second, half-smiling. Then she leaned in, close to him and answered.
"The last twenty minutes?"
Holmes paused and looked into her eyes. Then, quite unexpectedly, he laughed. Lestrade laughed too, and they laughed for a very long time, together, on the hover train back to New London. Lestrade smiled and rested her head on his shoulder. This was all of the answer he needed and he put his arm around her. They sat in comfortable silence for a long time, contemplating the future.
Lestrade finally spoke. "Holmes?"
"Yes, Lestrade?"
"What do you think happened to my hover car?"
Holmes thought for a moment. "I suppose it is destroyed."
"I guess it is, thanks to you no doubt." She chuckled again. "How am I supposed to drive to work now?"
Holmes squeezed his arm around her a little tighter. She could see him smile out of the corner of her eye....
"I would be happy to drive you anywhere."
"NO!" Lestrade immediately answered. Holmes chuckled again, and then relaxed.
Lestrade, still smiling, kissed Holmesí cheek. Holmes turned and kissed her forehead, enveloping Lestrade in warmth. Peacefully, she leaned into his shoulder, slowly fluttered her eyes closed, and floated away. The monotonous sound of the trainís movement seemed to sing a lullaby, rocking Holmes and Lestrade as they drifted off to sleep.

THE END
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