A Hot Day in New London

Chapter 4

by Casey (Jedi at aemail4u.com)

General Disclaimer


Oh, yeah. I forgot all about this little thing, so for chapters 1, 2, 3 and onward, I do not own DIC or Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, though I wish I did. Someone else owns it all and should air it more than twice a week at a more convenient time. (Yeah, and now that I came up with this great disclaimer they are showing it 5 times a week. Go figure. Mess up my disclaimer...not that I'm complaining, though....). However, Josh is mine as is the original material of this story. That's right. So you want him, ask me first.


Ok, before I get to my actual chapter (it is right below this), I'd like to give some special thanks to Belgium Waffle for the inspiration on a few key points in which my story would just not be the same without, for a few lines here and there, for her great reviewing of ALL my work, and forever keeping me going with her cheery replies and sometimes cynical critiques of my work. Gotta take the good with the bad. I'd like to thank another friend of mine, Jessamine, for allowing me to use a fragment of an email in my author's notes. If it wasn't for Belgian Waffle and Jessamine helping me out along the way, my stream of writing might have run dry. Thanks guys. I really appreciate it.

And guys, this chapter is huge.

Chapter 4

As the cruiser lifted off the pavement, Holmes hastily fastened his safety belt and prepared for a rough flight. 'Well, I did ask for her transportation services,' he thought to himself.

"You act like I'm gonna kill you every time you step in my cruiser. It's not like my driving is THAT bad," Lestrade grumbled as she swerved close to a cruiser. "So where are we headed?"

"You'd think you would have asked that BEFORE taking off." He replied as began to glance over the papers once again. "Kathleen Drive, and I'm only preparing myself for the worst," he said as he looked back to her only to find her deathly pale.

Suddenly she snapped into focus and jammed her foot on the accelerator lurching 180 degrees as Holmes began to grip the sides of his armrests. "The name, Holmes?" she said almost as if fearing the answer, gripping the steering wheel with white hands.

'Ahhhh..... a friend in need is a friend indeed.....' Holmes thought as he said, "A Messy Fix."

The rest of the ride held a grim silence as one was lost in many thoughts, while the other thought mostly of what the other was thinking.

As the cruiser landed with a jolt, one occupant sprinted across the drive while the other more calmly stepped from the cruiser and slowly walked across to the door which was being flung open by a particular inspector.

As Lestrade flung open the door and dashed through the entrance, Holmes simply strode through the door in a nonchalant manor as always, his eyes darting across the shop, falling upon tools strewn on the floor, equipment for just about anything littering the corners, various broken appliances in odd places, while spare parts connected the mess in a joyful medley of electronics.

By the counter there were almost six -- judging from the broken mess -- appliances that were in scrap condition. Nonrepairable and unrecognizable. A young man in a labcoat was sitting at the counter with a notebook in his right hand and an icepack in the other on his head staring at the Inspector by the entrance with a look of dread mixed with worry and a calm joy.

Inspector Lestrade, on the other hand, stood by the door close to an old-fashioned clock that ticked with the seconds as the three hands on the clock moved in time. Yet another mess of spare parts littered the floor next to where she stood while the doorknob on the door she had flung open rattled as it hung loosely from its place. As she stood there, she glared at the young man but kept silent.

'And so it seems it has fallen upon me to break the silence,' Holmes commented as he continued to examine the room. Looking up, he noticed the young man was no longer staring at Lestrade but rather at him as if noticing him for the first time. 'Might I ask a few questions about the theft that occurred last night, Mr. Coultrane?'

'Ummmm...sure, mister...uh...who are you?' Josh replied in an uncertain voice as he began to eye Holmes' outfit with interest.

'I am Sherlock Holmes, and this is -- well, you already know who this is, don't you?' Holmes said knowingly, glancing at the quickly sobering Lestrade.

The young man nodded and said, 'Yeah, I do. And call me Josh. That Mr. Coultrane stuff is too proper.'

'Well, then. Josh. Why don't you tell us your story from the beginning?'

As Josh looked up he quickly said, 'Well, in the beginning, I was a wee little lad....'

'NOT THAT BEGINNING, JOSH!' an angry Lestrade shouted as she once again began to glare at him.

Josh flinched as said quite meekly, 'I was only trying to lighten the mood.'


'No, I should be sorry. I wasn't taking it seriously,' he sincerely apologized, 'but really, this is what happened....

'After you left last night, I sorta had this, uh, idea, and so I spent another hour working on it before I decided that I had it good enough to leave till tomorrow. So, I was coming out of the lab when I noticed this guy in here looking around. And so I said, "I'm sorry. We're closed now. How'd you get in?" And then, he turned around.'

Josh inhaled quickly at the memory and held a look of disgust on his face before he continued.

'This guy would have to improve a lot JUST to look hideous!!! Ugh!!! It was awful! It was like those scary movies with the zombies and he was all ughh! I wish I could wipe that image from my mind forever!'

As Holmes and Lestrade looked to each other, one thought crossed their minds: 'Fenwick.'

'So, then he grabbed my arm and wanted to know where "Ze lab vus..." and I thought, "Zed no. He is not getting near my precious laboratory (la-boar-atory)." And so I told him to get out. Ummm. That's when he grabbed a computer and hurled it at me.'

Josh took a moment to look back at the counter where the broken appliances were and then said, 'I dodged it but he kept throwing my customers' stuff at me! And then he threw a pipe at me. I think. All I remember before I blacked out completely was him saying, 'Vell, at least I've got zis consolation prize for my troubles.''

His gaze darkened for a moment before returning to worry.

'I don't know how I'm going to explain this to my customers. I mean. I'm supposed to return their stuff to them in better condition than when it came in or at least in the same condition and, and...look at it. I've really failed them. I can't fix that now. What am I supposed to do? I know I have to refund but the policy...there isn't any possible way that I could replace it all. Most of those were antiques! And then the empathetic value! I'm doomed.'

As Josh began to stare at the floor unblinking with his head in his hands, Holmes was inspecting the door and chancing a few glances over his shoulder outside while Lestrade began going over Josh's story in her head.

'Hmmmm, so Lestrade was here yesterday and late last night. Interesting. Both are Americans. The accents and attitude tell me that. And they have known each other a long time. Many years obviously. Ah, I remember the expression Watson had when I first fell from Reichenbach Falls. Lestrade held that expression. The expressions of dread and worry for a dear friend. The question still remains as to how dear a friend he is....' Holmes thought as he suddenly frowned, once more feeling a deep pang inside and an unexpected drive to disprove Josh's story.

As Holmes' eyes darted back to Josh, he exclaimed, 'How could you not have heard him entering? The leverage placed on this doorknob to break it should have been loud enough to wake your neighbors.'

Wincing, Josh replied, 'Ummm, well, I was thinking and when I get caught up in my thoughts I sort of tune everything else out. It doesn't matter what. I just zone out.'

'Well, according to the report, all that was stolen was chemicals. What did he take as a 'consolation prize' anyways, Josh? It wasn't another one of your weird inventions that turn out to be worse for all of humanity than better? Was it?' Beth asked as she began to look at Josh very strangely. 'I thought we had agreed on no more watches....'

That comment got a peculiar look from Holmes -- a look of confusion and interest.

'Uhhh. It wasn't anything like that, Beth...really. It was just....'

'Oh no. It wasn't your notes, was it?'

Josh shook his head and said, 'Don't worry about it,' as he began to grip his notebook tighter.

'Well, sulfuric acid is hardly something you'd keep a batch that large lying around. This laboratory could make large quantities of the acid but not as manufacturing. You just don't have the facilities to keep production at that level. I suppose you were sub-contracted to make it?' Holmes said, eyeing the laboratory from its entrance. It was obvious he wanted to examine it for more details.

'Yes. Jink Chemicals couldn't make their quota this month and so they sub-contracted me to meet it for them. That was the last shipment and it was fresh.'

'Awww, man! You mean he stole the batch we made!? That's it. I am so gonna nail Fenwick with this one! That slimedog's not getting away this time!' Lestrade said in her cocky Yardie tone which then turned to disappointment as she said, 'But how are we going to track him down this time? Normally I tend to catch him leaving the scene of the crime.'

As Holmes returned from leaning into the laboratory he quickly said, 'I don't believe finding Fenwick will be any problem at all. He's been following me all day. He was outside when I checked that doorknob of yours as well.'

Josh's expression darkened once again and Lestrade sidestepped to the wall before he continued, 'I believe he might be trying to lure me into a trap. Fenwick is obvious enough to draw anyone's attention. And when I spotted him this morning I decided that it would be best to see what information New Scotland Yard had picked up on him. However, the chemical thefts were the only items that he would have been interested in. And from you're reaction to his, do we dare say, 'fine' features, I'm almost certain that it was him. That and his French accent. But the question now is whether to follow him or not?'

Josh first stepped forward with his face set and said, 'Well, I'm in. I can't just sit by and let it slide.'

'No,' a calmer Lestrade said firmly, 'you are not coming. It's against Yard policy, it's too dangerous, and I think you've seen enough of Fenwick for one day.'

'Hey!' he yelled throwing his hands up, 'I worked hard on that...ummmm...w-w-well....'

As Holmes watched the pair banter from the sidelines as he thought, 'Hmmmmm, blood on his right hand...so it's not from his head....'

'Well, you'd better tell me what he stole NOW, before I have to put it in the Yard's computer LATER. Josh, if you're worried about it affecting your immigration status, I'll do everything in....'

'No! That's not it! I just, I...well...I'm not telling you what it is. And that's that.'

Lestrade narrowed her eyes and prepared for the battle at hand, 'Stubborn.'

Josh: Pigheaded.

Lestrade: Idiot.

Josh: Dimwit.

Lestrade: JERK.

Josh: MORON.

'You're only gonna slow us down!'




Lestrade. STUPID!

Josh: BAKA!!! WENCH!!!!! ummmm, somethinganother......... NOBLE!!!!

Lestrade *taken aback*: What?

'You're just too noble! It's always, "you shouldn't do this" and "you shouldn't do that". "This is against the law" or "against policy". "Too dangerous". "I think the watch is a bad idea". It REALLY TICKS ME OFF.' Josh yelled in frustration, but then said in a softer voice, 'And that same nobleness is what keeps me on the right of way. You always keep me out of trouble and you look out for all my pigheadedness and you stop me before I mess up big time with my inventions and it keeps us friends because if you didn't look out for me, I'd be lost....'

Then the newly resolved Josh looked straight into Beth's eyes, crossed his arms and said, 'And it's past time that I looked out for you. I'm going and that's final.'

As Beth looked to Holmes in desperation she found him oddly staring in the opposite direction, as if suddenly acutely aware of his awkward position. As she let out a heavy sigh, she began to think in defeat, 'Even Holmes won't back me up.'

Broken and defeated, the reluctant yardie said miserably, 'I guess you could come along; just no hero stuff or anything too incredibly stupid. I'm not supposed to....'

'So, I can still do something stupid as long as it's not "incredibly stupid," right?' Josh rebounded jokingly as his eyes began to light up in a moment's excitement.

'Josh,' Lestrade growled menacingly.

'Ummm, right. Just, ah, let me run upstairs and slap something on this slight war wound.' He quickly covered up as he grabbed his notebook and began to dash towards the stairs.

Lestrade: -_-

'You let him win. That was a pretty weak defense you put up and I suppose he's used that tactic more than once, hasn't he?'

'Yeah, like the time he got me to catch the science lab on fire and the time we blew up some.... Hey! Wait a second! How'd you know he's done that before?' she questioned as she glanced over at Holmes who had his attention on her.

'Well, it was obvious from your reaction to the location and to him that you've both been great friends for quite some time. I've never seen you as pale as when I mentioned Kathleen Drive. Your face immediately blanched. It was quite -- memorable. A true testimony to your nervous system.' He smirked.

'Oh, well, I'm so glad you noticed.'

'I'm not done. You didn't need the navigation systems of your hovercar to lead you to Kathleen Drive because you've already visited it many times before. When we arrived, you were much more interested in getting to the witness and so you dashed across the drive; you didn't even check the sign once to see if it was the right shop. With that I could safely predict that you were familiar with both the area and the shops and that you knew the witness well.'

Hearing this, Lestrade begins to wince as she looked up and sarcastically asked, 'And I'll bet there's more, isn't there?'

Holmes' eyes began to sparkle as he continued on with his analysis. 'You seemed both angry, most likely at the fact that he didn't call you as soon as it happened, and worried at the same time and so I began to interrogate Coultrane, feeling you might not trust your own voice. Am I right?'

'Yes. You're right,' Lestrade said in a monotone voice.

'You are both Americans and from the same general area by the accent. You've both been through a great deal together. And something has happened to both of you at one point in time with...watches, as I am led to believe? And he holds some kind of knowledge that appears to be very important to both of you.'

'What?' Lestrade said slowly with one eyebrow arched as she began to look at Holmes tensely.

'This knowledge. I don't know what it is you both know...but you obviously left some record of it...I'm thinking that those records are located inside that blue notebook of his. It would appear that that notebook never left his side the entire time we've been here. And when you said, 'notes,' he visibly gripped that notebook tighter.'

'Ok, that's...plausible....' Lestrade murmured softly as her eyes began to dart towards the ground.

'Lastly, neither of you needed apologies after that mock battle of yours,' Holmes began to say jokingly. 'The Watson of old used to get upset with me when I would get into one of my moods and play my violin as horribly as possible. He hated it when I would use him as a decoy and never once tell him. I've been in that situation before.'

Lestrade began to nod as Holmes continued in a more uplifting voice, 'It would appear that you both have had these battles many times before, and by now, I'm certain you're used to losing them. Am I not right?'

'Unfortunately so. He always works on my conscience. He says I'm morally challenged. I can't be bad because I'm too busy being good,' Lestrade said as she began to laugh softly to herself. 'He's awful, I tell you! Always twists everything around. So persuasive. If Deidre ever took lessons from him....'

'Well, needless to say, you've both worked together, whether in a school or business environment. And therefore, he knows all he needs to know to "push your buttons" and perhaps sway you to his views.'

The beat of someone tearing down the stairs broke them both out of their reveries and back to the business at hand.

'REadY!!!!' a jolly voice rang as its owner bounded into the room, patched up with a slight gel in his hair, obviously to protect the bloody mat of hair that particular patch had become.

'Well, then,' Holmes said as he started for the door where the doorknob still hung loosely from its perch, 'let us be off.'

Maureen, I'd like to request that if/when you post this chapter on your site that you also include this thread with it because I truly believe that for some people to understand a certain comment I made in this last chapter, this thread might be required.

*Please Read* Author's Notes

And so, after reading that, you may have felt that I used some 'strong language.' Personally, the only thing that I could possibly see as too strong might have been the wench comment. However, to me, it's not that big of a deal. My friends and I tend to throw words like that around at each other all the time, but as I will explain, all is not as awful as some people think they can be. And so, in the words (exact words in fact) of one of my best friends, Jessamine, in explanation to me at one point in time, all lingering suspicions shall be smited (hopefully). (She is so much better at explaining things than me. I tend to confuse more than clear the fog.... Ever get that 'blank look' after explaining something? Yeah, I get that a lot.).

'And now, I must explain the 'wench' comment. Wench is a most wondrous and excellent title. You see, for my friends and me, a Wench is a friend who helps you out. Someone who hands you a coke becomes a 'drink wench,' And a friend who holds your jacket becomes a 'doorhanging wench,' and a friend who pours you mocha becomes a 'coffee wench.' You are my e-mail wench,' because you send me fun things to read. And wench can also serve as a mild, teasing insult to someone you really like. For me, anyway. In terms of old English and stuff, it doesn't have such an innocent reputation, but that's certainly not the meaning that applies to you. :-)'

Yes. For every word it seems there is a double meaning. Sometimes, you just have to look past the worser of the meanings to see the better one. So please, do not be offended at such use of that word because its intent was not so.

The reason I have tagged this along with my last chapter is because I feel some people might not have quite understood its meaning or might actually get offended as name calling is a touchy subject sometimes. Please understand that this was not a big flamer to Lestrade in my eyes at all. I suppose everyone will articulate their own opinions. However, I do sincerely hope that this thread has convinced you of that particular word's original intent as reflected by the author (me).

All people mentioned by me are designated by their chosen pennames.

On to part 5!

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