by Alicia (aisumitsukai at home.com)
On a roll here, now that I've got some free time (finally!)
Chapter Four: Negative Words.
After watching Watson grab a taxi to the Louvre, Holmes and
Lestrade were escorted, once again via hover-limo, to the large, new age Talleyrand Hall.
"Lestrade, is the building supposed to be leopard print?"
Holmes stood on the sidewalk, losing his hat as he craned his neck to
look to the top of the beehive-shaped building.
"Apparently." Lestrade picked up Holmesí hat, sticking it back
on his head as he turned to face her.
"I fear for the world." Holmes rearranged the hat on his head,
nodding his thanks.
"You should see the Commonwealth swimming pool in Oxford. Itís
horrifying." Lestrade smiled. "No deerstalker and Inverness today?"
Holmes shook his head as they entered the building. "Iím saving
them for meetings with the President. Iíd rather not stick out like a
sore thumb when Iíve the feeling I might be making a fool of myself....
My God. What is that?"
"Ah. Smart. Er, I think itís supposed to be art." Lestrade
squinted at the oddly shaped, lime-green thing prominently displayed
beside the elevator.
Holmes gave a shudder and stepped into the elevator. "Quick,
get in, before it burns out our eyes."
Lestrade rolled her eyes. "Drama queen."
"One day youíre going to have to give in and explain all your
"Nuh uh. Youíre the worldís greatest detective. You figure it
"I wish you wouldnít keep bringing that up. Iíve been trying to
forget, as I donít think teamwork seminars are a very Great
Detective-like thing to do."
"Quite all right."
The elevator doors opened with a ding to reveal a mauve hallway
and a compu-sign directing them to room 111.
"Well," Lestrade said as they reached the right door. "This is
our last chance to turn back before weíre swallowed whole by the
terror that is teamwork."
"Hey! I thought you didnít know what that meant."
"Please, Inspector, I am the worldís greatest detective."
Lestrade muttered something ungracious and opened the door.
They were greeted by milling crowds of men and women in varying
degrees of fancy dress.
"Maybe sandals and a tee-shirt werenít such a good choice after
all." Lestrade whispered.
"Iím surprised." Holmes replied sarcastically.
"Elizabeth! Elizabeth!" A powder-faced brunette launched herself
onto an unsuspecting Lestrade. "I havenít seen you since the
Academy! How are you! Where are you working now? ... Whoís this?"
Lestrade blinked, then grinned. "Sara! Hi! Yeah, itís been a
life. Iím doing good, Inspector for New Scotland Yard. How about
you? This is Holmes. Sara, Holmes. Holmes, Sara Harrow."
"Holmes? As in Sherlock Holmes? The dead one? Really?" Sara
looked from Lestrade to Holmes then back. "Thatís right! There
was something on the news a while back, but I thought it was
just tabloid mud. Absolutely fantastic to meet you Mr. Holmes."
She stuck her hand out. "Er... sorry about the dead comment."
He shook it with a smile. "A pleasure."
She grinned and turned back to Lestrade. "And itís Agent Sara
Harrow, if you please, Beth. I got a position in Violent Crimes,
FBI, along with a nice cubicle in the Hoover. But Inspector! Way
to show us mortals up. Honestly!" Continuing to talk, she
grabbed them each by the elbow, leading them to the front of the
room to find seats as the MC took his place at the podium for
the opening ceremony.
The ceremony was characteristically dry, but mercifully brief,
and soon the several hundred officers were split into groups and
introduced to their instructor for the day.
Lestrade and Holmes soon found themselves Sara-less, sitting on
yoga mats, with about twenty other people, in a room down the
hall from 111. At the front of the room Instructor Judy, a dyed
redhead in a short skirt and dangly earings, was telling them
to stage a fifteen-minute conversation on the topic assigned to
them. Using no negative words. This was to practice and
encourage positive communication, apparently.
"Right." Lestrade looked at the data pad handed to her, setting
the timer affixed to the corner. "Our topic is... Ďwhat did you
have for breakfast?í Well, thatís fascinating."
"I had crepes for breakfast, but you already know that." Holmes
stared off into space.
"Yeah. I had... zed. You probably know what I had better then I
"You had two scrambled eggs with fried tomato, veggie-bacon, and
four slices of whole-grain toast. I would not say no to some
cocaine right now."
"Oh well, thatís positive. Cocaine screws your brains. Honestly,
thatís disgusting Holmes, how can you...."
"Inspector Lestrade! Thatís not positive language at all! How
many negative words was that? Three? Please, try to be a little
bit more respectful. Mr. Holmes managed to make even cocaine
sound positive, Iím sure you can too. If you bothered to try."
Judy materialized behind Lestrade.
"How on Earth is making cocaine sound positive a good thing?
"Please continue with the conversation, Inspector. Iíll stay and
help you when you hit a rough patch. Iím sorry for the
inconvenience, Mr. Holmes." Judy smiled at him as she marked
something down on her data pad.
Lestrade pressed her eyelids shut momentarily. "Right. So. I had
scrambled eggs for breakfast."
"I know. I was there. You also had orange pekoe tea with milk."
"Yeah. It wasnít so...."
"ĎWasnítí, Inspector? That doesnít sound very positive."
Lestrade was almost homicidal by the first break. Holmes
offered to buy her lunch as a peace offering -- not that he had
enjoyed having Judy make eyes at him any more then Lestrade had
enjoyed her pointless criticisms.
However, food and drink proved wildly successful at restoring
both Holmesí and Lestradeís senses of humour and he didnít
regret spending the extra money. He didnít even mind that she
spent the walk back talking about the many stupid things Sara
and she had gotten up to during their training at the FBI
However, just as they reached Talleyrand Hall, a nondescript
red van flew towards them at breakneck speed, swerving to try to
hit them again when it missed the first time. It quickly turned
away, vanishing into the heavy traffic, when they ducked into
"Second zedding time in twenty-four hours!" Lestrade brushed off her
black pants in exasperation.
"Pardon me?" Holmes frowned at her.
"Someone threw a brick at my hotel roomís French doors last night --
barely missed my head."
"Why didnít you mention it? I was nearly bowled over by a
cleaning trolley this morning."
"Why didnít you mention it?" Lestrade put her hands on her hips.
"Same reason as you, I should think. Itís hardly worth the
bother. But now... as you know, I donít believe in coincidences.
Someone is apparently trying to kill us, albeit sloppily.
Obviously weíre doing something right." Holmes smiled in
satisfaction and rang for the elevator.
"Yeah. But the question is, what exactly are we doing thatís
right?" Lestrade frowned in irritation. "Iíd at least like to
know what it is Iím being done for."
"Good question, Lestrade. Where is Watson when you need him? The
game is afoot! At the risk of sounding clichťd...."
On to Chapter 5!
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