Chapter I: A Damsel in Distress
by Jordanna (librarie at jordanna.net)
Author: Jordanna Morgan (librarie at jordanna.net)
Archive Rights: SH22 Fan Page; others please request the author’s
Disclaimer: If you know them, they belong to
DiC, not me.
Summary: Beth Lestrade deals with fantasy
and reality during a New Year’s Eve misadventure.
Notes: My favorite of Doyle’s stable of Yardies gets a
reference here. I hope to do more with him in the future.
Chapter I: A Damsel in Distress
It started the day after Christmas.
"Something troubling you, Lestrade?" Sherlock
Holmes asked offhandedly, settling into the passenger seat of
Inspector Beth Lestrade’s police cruiser. Even those lacking his
observational brilliance could not have failed to read her put-out
expression and short, stiff movements.
"No. Yes." Lestrade pressed the palms of her hands
flat against the steering wheel, then abruptly turned to him, scowling
as though he was the source of her irritation -- which, granted, was
often true, but not so in this case. "It’s that weasel, Jack
Rizzo. He’s been all over me ever since I took him to traffic court
after the Timble case."
Holmes quirked his lips. "Ah, yes. I remember
the redoubtable Mister Rizzo."
Lestrade let out a huff. "That guy has been a nightmare!
He called me up this morning, trying to get me to agree to have dinner
"I presume you’ve tried politely declining his overtures."
"Holmes, this guy is deluded. He wouldn’t
understand the word no if I -- it punched him in the face,"
Lestrade quickly corrected. Then she dropped her head onto her hand.
"He’s going to be at the Yard’s New Year’s party, and I just know
he’s going to be putting over his slimy moves on me. If I had any
choice, I wouldn’t even go, but Greyson expects me to be there."
"How on earth did Rizzo manage to be invited to a
New Scotland Yard social function?"
"One word: money. The guy used his court
date to make more connections than the Yard’s computer core." Lestrade
sighed miserably, and a long moment of silence followed.
Then, slowly, Lestrade raised her head and looked
at Holmes. Hard.
He swiftly raised a hand. "You’re about to ask me
to attend this ‘party’ and run interference for you. I think not,
Lestrade. Unlike Mister Rizzo, I have not been invited -- no doubt
because Chief Inspector Greyson loathes me. And even had I been, I
would not be inclined to attend."
"Number one, Greyson does not loathe you. He
just... doesn’t understand you."
"Nor do most people, but they don’t refer to me as
"Number two, you need to get out for a change.
You’ve already spent Christmas cooped up in your sitting room with
Watson. It’s time for you to rejoin the land of the living."
"That, thanks to you, I already have done," Holmes
replied crisply. "I have no wish to spend an awkward evening
entertaining your... less competent colleagues... with the charming
party trick that is my analytical method. Furthermore, I suspect they
would all just as soon avoid ‘the dead detective’ as well."
Lestrade turned away abruptly, staring straight
ahead through the windshield. "Okay, okay. Forget I ever brought it
up." With a sigh she brought the engine to life, and the hovercar
smoothly lifted off from Baker Street, bound for New Scotland Yard.
Holmes spent the ride gazing out the window in
silence, reconsidering his words.
In the nineteenth century, he had been a singular
individual. In the twenty-second, he was positively an artifact -- and
acutely aware of it. That was more reason than ever for him to want
isolation. He found no great loneliness in solitude; if he had, he
certainly would not have adjusted so well to this new existence of
his, two centuries distant from the world he had known.
Besides, he always had Watson for companionship... or
at least, a most peculiar incarnation of Watson. He appreciated the
irony of it. The methodic and dispassionate "calculating machine" once
chronicled by the true John Watson had rediscovered his old friend in
the form of a real machine.
A machine, even still, with more sensitivity to
feelings than Holmes had ever indulged in.
Perhaps Lestrade was right. It might benefit him to
sample a bit more of society than he had in his former lifetime. At
the very least, it would be an interesting exercise for his skills of
observation. Besides, Lestrade was in need of help, and he was ever
mindful of his debt to her. His return to the world was an adventure
he once might not have chosen for himself -- but once thrust upon him, he
found himself not unappreciative of that extraordinary gift.
Well, most of the time.
Holmes steepled his fingers, stared intently at
their tips, and sighed elaborately. "Oh, very well."
Lestrade glanced over to smile at him, as
unaffected by his sudden surrender as though she had expected
it -- which, of course, she had. She was a woman, after all.
"Great. I’ll pick you up at seven on New Year’s
The detective responded with a slight snort, and
returned to his thoughts.
On to Chapter 2!
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