Sherlock Puppy

Part 8

by Cyberwolf (wolf at mydestiny.net)
4/16/02

All disclaimers in Part I

AN: First 'angsty' part. Influenced and inspired heavily by Maureen's 'Watcher' - so it's dedicated to her.

Part VIII: Unwelcome News

Once Lestrade was back at the flat, she first shucked off her sweatshirt and shoes, leaving her in her undershirt and jogging pants, and padded around the kitchen. After popping a bowl of quick-cook oatmeal into the ‘heater, she crouched down to pour some kibble into Seeker’s bowl, and then some milk into the drinking bowl. Seeker sniffed once at the breakfast, and then pointedly ignored it as he lapped up some milk.

Lestrade smiled at him, again reaching out a hand to ruffle his fur. "Fussy pup," she sang. "Fussy, fussy, picky little eater, arentcha boy?"

She heard her comm chime, the tones melodic and strangely loud in an apartment whose only sound was a small dog lapping at his milk. She stood, and with a final scratch to the back of Seeker’s ears (answered by the normal wag of the tail) went off to answer the call.

It was Watson whose elastomask greeted her on the vidscreen.

"Watson....good morning! Why, what’s the...."

Watson interrupted, his voice sounding more human than ever with the heavy grief in it, "Please, Inspector Lestrade....I have something to tell you...."

Holmes finished lapping up his milk. He was a bit hungry, but refused to eat the kibble Lestrade had set out for him -- he could barely choke the things down, as he had discovered last night.

He had been seriously annoyed by that Flushing character. Not only had his boorish behavior towards Lestrade been most offensive to the Victorian-gentry instincts inside him, there was also the fact that Lestrade had obviously (to Holmes) grown tense and displeased with the lout’s arrival -- feelings which had spilled over to him.

The puppy inside him had disliked Flushing as soon as he’d smelt him. It was an odor of stale beer and unclean sweat, of indolence and unsavory habits. It had so annoyed the puppy inside him that while Holmes was imagining the cutting remarks he could make if he were a human -- sharp enough to draw blood, too sly for such a fool as Flushing to perceive them* -- the puppy inside him had quite literally overtaken the body and bit Flushing.

(AN: *Notice much bias against the Toilet here?)

Before this, Holmes had been the primary personality in the body, barely even sensing the other. It had gone all reverse then, with Holmes the subtle observer deep within and the dog the true master of the body. They’d been nearing Lestrade’s flat by the time the puppy-mind calmed enough for it to shift control back to Holmes, to go back to being the watcher that occasionally made Holmes want to chase things. It was the first time Holmes had been so aware of the fact that there were two separate intelligences in the same body, though linked to each other; and while it was somewhat comforting to know that the urge to play with small rubber bones was not his own, it still unnerved the erstwhile detective.

He lay down on the kitchen floor, head resting on forepaws. It was most disturbing....and he had yet to indicate to Lestrade that he was not, in fact, a small puppy-dog. Or found any hint of a solution to his predicament. Actually, was he that eager to tell Lestrade? Considering what she had done, already, believing Seeker to be an actual puppy, it would be....awkward, to say the least. Maybe he could figure it out on his own and return to his proper form without anyone the wiser about his canine transformation....

His ears pricked. An odd sound had come from Lestrade’s bedroom; he rose to his feet and padded inside. He paused at the doorway, an involuntary whine coming from his throat. The sound he had heard, he could now see, was the thump of Lestrade sliding down the wall. The Inspector now sat on the floor, back to the wall, eyes staring out blankly at nothing.

Lestrade wasn’t aware she had slid against the wall until she suddenly found herself seated on the floor. Watson had logged off, saying something about heading out to get more details, but she hadn’t, so the comm buzzed angrily in her ear; she couldn’t find the strength to get up and press the power button.

The words Watson had said, in that horribly human, grief-stricken voice of his, danced in her head, replaying the most unspeakable parts so that her mind swam with it.

....I have something to tell you...

...Holmes didn’t come home last night....missing....no sign...

...last night there was an accident...witnesses saw a tall man in a deerstalker...driver attests to a glimpse of a man before the wall fell...

...they’re excavating the wall now....

Her heart beat faster than normal, Lestrade dimly noticed, and each beat hurt her chest. Her head felt weird....like there was a buzzing, stinging heat (if heat could buzz, this one did) inside, just behind her eyes, but that she registered the feeling as something distant from her.

She’d felt this way before, once before -- and again, involving Holmes’ death. That day, when she thought he’d died along with Moriarty. Wrong on both counts, but she hadn’t known that for a while, so that she’d grieved for his loss. And here she was doing it again, worse than before because now she knew him longer, now she had become used to seeing and expecting to see him -- because no one could get three breaks from fate, no one could be -- dead and then...not -- thrice in his life.

Her thoughts were getting all muddled.

She felt a cold wet nose nuzzling her hand. Slowly, she raised her downcast face to see Seeker beside her. He raised his strange eyes and met her gaze. The puppy stood next to her, using his muzzle to poke at her. He was whining, the sounds plaintive and easy to understand.

She gathered him into her arms and hugged the small warm body to herself. Right now, she really needed whatever comfort she could get.

On to Part 9!

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