Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Characters: DI Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, OMCs
Pairings: Sherlock/John (eventual S/J/L)
Rating: 15/R (this part, NC17 later)
Warnings: Violence, Language
Genre: Drama, Slash
Words: ~6500 this part (~26700 total)
A/N: Originally written for this prompt on the shkinkmeme asking for Lestrade whump. No beta so please point out any glaring mistakes. Concrit is always welcome.
Summary: Lestrade unofficially checks out a lead for Sherlock and runs into a spot of bother...
MISSING IN ACTON
Lestrade rubbed his eyes as he pulled up at the junction. The line of brake lights in front of him blurred through the fog.
God, what a day...
London was being flooded with almost flawless counterfeit 20 pound notes. It had been one for the Fraud boys rather than Lestrade's team but this morning they'd finally found the man suspected of being the engraver, dead in an alley, with his mouth stuffed full of his own masterpieces.
Of course giving Sherlock a murder scene like that had been like giving Sunny Delight to a hyperactive kid. Counterfeiting was "boring" - but a murder scene was a police-tape wrapped present.
Sherlock had meticulously inspected the body and then run off yelling something about pencils, closely followed by John. John at least always had the decency to look apologetic when Sherlock did that. Lestrade was sorry he never got to spend more time talking to John than it took Sherlock to examine a body. He thought he would probably get on quite well with the doctor - all things considered.
Sherlock had only been gone a few hours before he resurfaced and barged into Lestrade's office ranting about needing to find a warehouse near railway tracks with a bookies, a Thai restaurant and a dry cleaner within a few minutes walk.
"The mud on his shoes is from somewhere near a heavily used railway line. The stains on his clothes suggest a nearby Thai restaurant - maybe Cantonese - and a dry cleaners."
"And the bookmakers?"
"The pencil, Lestrade!"
"Sherlock - there must be a hundred places that could be!"
And I'm looking at one right now... Lestrade thought as he glanced across the street at the shop fronts on this stretch of Acton High Street. Three stood out from the rest: 'Easy-Clean', 'William Hill', 'Bamboo Garden'; dry cleaner, bookies, Asian restaurant.
Lestrade's stomach growled, reminding him he'd had practically nothing since mid-morning. What the hell. I could just go for some Fried Rice...
As the lights changed and the traffic started moving again a handy parking space presented itself and Lestrade swung his car into it. As he looked up and down the street, waiting for a gap to nip across the road, he spotted a large derelict warehouse looming through the fog behind the shops. The smell from the 'Bamboo Garden' was now demanding a lot of his attention but he couldn't miss the noise as a train rumbled over the railway bridge at the lights he'd been sitting at.
Hmm... Warehouse, railway tracks...Lestrade shook his head. Yeah, right... Acton's nothing but railways... He spotted his gap and went for it.
And if it turns out this is the place and you didn't check it out? Lestrade halted on the pavement outside a newsagents. Damn it. Alright - five minutes and then he could cross one of the twelve thousand places that fit Sherlock's description off his list and get back to sorting out dinner - and he was bloody well going to have a Crispy Spring Roll too.
A young man with a carry out bag exited the restaurant just in front of him. White, about 19, spiky haircut, skinny jeans, leather jacket. For a second Lestrade thought he was the delivery driver but something about him set off alarm bells. Lestrade might not have Sherlock's genius but he did have a gut instinct born of years of experience he could usually trust (at least until Sherlock pointed out why not). He watched the youth stroll up the street and then duck through a gap in the fence around the derelict building. Lestrade suspected he wasn't merely taking a short cut.
The young man vanished round behind the building. Lestrade squeezed through the gap and followed him. The building was a huge wooden shed, surrounded by a sea of cracked concrete and weeds; out of use for at least twenty years he reckoned. As he got closer however, Lestrade could see that it wasn't as dark as he'd assumed. The windows had been blacked over to give that illusion but it was definitely lit inside.
The ground floor doors were all locked and the windows completely covered but there was a fire escape on the end wall up to a door on the first floor that looked promising. Lestrade crept up it as silently as possible, the rusting metal groaning slightly under his weight. The door at the top was also locked but if he leaned over the balcony he could see in at a window with a few chips missing from the paint across the pane.
The warehouse was completely gutted - just one big open space. In the shadows at the far end he could just about see the young man he'd spotted earlier approaching a table with two other figures at it. They were hard to make out because of the powerful spot lights in the centre of the floor illuminating a large piece of machinery and a couple of portable generators. And on a pallet next to the machine...
That is a lot of money... Lestrade swallowed the urge to whistle as he got out his mobile to call Donovan. Sherlock's going to be his usual smug self about being right - and so miffed I found it before him... What the--?
The fire escape tilted under him as some of the struts holding it to the building suddenly came away. Lestrade swore as he dropped his phone and grabbed onto the railing. A large piece of it snapped off in his hand and he swayed precariously on the edge before the whole stair lurched the other way and he toppled backwards. His head smacked off the platform and he tumbled off to the side as the stairs completely collapsed. He was unconscious before he even hit the ground...
"...idn't have anything on him except this wallet - it was empty already, I swear to God."
The voice gradually drifted in and out over the white noise inside Lestrade's head, like he was tuning a radio. It came from somewhere above, behind and to his right.
Other senses came back along with his hearing. Blindfold - cloth. Gag - also cloth, tasted of oil and sawdust. He was lying on his left side. His hands were secured behind him, but he couldn't tell what with; rope or tape or something, not cuffs. There was a throbbing pain in the back of his skull which must be where he hit his head when he fell. Was he still in the warehouse? It felt like wooden floorboards under his cheek - so maybe.
"Bank card says 'G. Lestrade'. Think he's a copper?" The first voice again - sounded young, south London. Possibly the lad he'd followed in here.
"Might be. Name certainly rings a bell." Older, deeper voice, same accent.
"I fucking hate coppers. He's a fucking dead man if he's the filth."
"Yeah, yeah, we know. They're all fascist bastards." The older voice sounded as if he'd heard it all a hundred times before. "No warrant card though?"
Bloody Sherlock must've nicked it again... Lestrade groaned as he realised he'd probably have to actually thank Sherlock for that next time he saw him.
"Ey, ey - sounds like he's waking up. Why don't you ask him?"
Footsteps came round to his front and the cloth was yanked from his mouth.
"Oi, you a copper?"
Lestrade coughed a few times but didn't answer. He was still weighing up his chances.
A foot prodded him in his shoulder. "I asked you a question, you fucker - you with the police?"
Lestrade shook his head - and instantly regretted it as the throbbing in his skull intensified. "No."
There was a pause.
"Liar." There was a sudden breath-robbing kick to his gut.
Lestrade's knees came up as he curled in on himself and gasped for air. His assailant grabbed a handful of his shirt and jacket and lifted Lestrade off the ground before a vicious punch landed across his jaw. "Liar! You're a fucking pig, aren't you?" The copper tang of blood flooded Lestrade's mouth as the young man punched him again and again. He felt a cut open across his cheek from a ring on the young man's hand.
"Hey! Leave it out!" Other footsteps hurried over and there was a brief scuffle. Lestrade fell heavily back to the floor as the young man let go of his clothes, presumably thanks to the older man intervening. "Get him up here. We'll soon find out."
They grabbed Lestrade under his arms, one either side, and hauled him upright. He'd only just found his feet when they moved and he stumbled, trying to keep his balance as they walked backwards a few paces and then sat him down onto a bare metal chair.
Lestrade hunched over, trying to relieve the pain in his stomach muscles from the earlier kick. His head was ringing and he felt sick.
"Sit up!" A hand slapped him across the face - mercifully the opposite side from the one the young man had been punching.
Another hand grabbed his hair from behind and pulled him upright. "Say cheese, Mister Lestrade," the young man sniggered. He pronounced it "le strayed" - as if Lestrade didn't hate him enough already.
The blindfold was only partly effective and Lestrade was aware of a bright flash of light. They must have taken his photo. Mobile phone camera probably.
"Right. We just need to wait for a bit. If he is from the Met I'm sure one of the lads will recognise him - even with that split lip you've given him."
The young man leaned in close to Lestrade's ear and whispered nastily, "If he is a copper, I'll give him a damn sight more than that."
Lestrade gingerly prodded at his split lip with his tongue. He could smell the remnants of the takeaway food somewhere nearby but the sick feeling in his stomach was beating the hunger for the time being.
"Way-ay lads! Is he awake then?"
Lestrade turned his head as a new voice called from the far end of the warehouse. Geordie accent... He's off his home patch...
"You took your time. Any luck?" the older voice grumbled.
"Yep - found this singing to itself in the weeds outside," Geordie replied.
"Aha - I thought he'd have a phone."
"Open it up then," Young Man demanded. "His phone'll tell us who he works for even if he won't."
"Nope - it's locked. Needs a password."
There was a sudden blast of music and a buzzing noise from somewhere to Lestrade's left. Somebody crossed over to it and it abruptly cut off.
"You've got a text," Geordie said. "...Di Lestrade? Who the hell's she?"
Lestrade's stomach stopped churning and instead sank to his shoes. He took a deep breath as a chill ran down his spine. Here we go...
"Not 'Di', you muppet," Old Man snarled. "D. I. - as in Detective Inspector." He said Lestrade's title slowly, in the same tone of loathing Lestrade usually heard reserved for "Child Molester".
"I told you he was police! I fucking told you!" Young Man screamed.
Lestrade heard footsteps charge across the room towards him. He barely had time to brace himself but instead of the punch he was expecting, thin fingers wrapped themselves round his throat, choking him. "You lying bastard!" The force of the young man's assault tipped the chair backwards leaving Lestrade's legs kicking uselessly against thin air. He was aware of the other two men shouting and trying to pull the young man off him. Spots danced behind Lestrade's eyes and his pulse pounded in his ears as he frantically thrashed, trying to escape the vice-like grip.
He was on the verge of blacking out when the back legs of the chair slid out from under him. He fell heavily, with his hands still tied behind him. His lower left arm took most of his weight as it was trapped between his body and the side of the chair. There was a sickening crunch of breaking bone and an unbelievable burst of white-hot pain but Lestrade didn't have time to scream before all three men landed on top of him, crushing what little breath he had left out of him.
The men scrambled up off him and Lestrade rolled over onto his side, coughing and gasping for breath. Jesus Christ, that hurt! He gritted his teeth and screwed his eyes shut, fighting back tears and hoping the blindfold would catch any that escaped.
"What the fuck is wrong is with you?!" Geordie was yelling. "Don't you know the hassle you get in if you kill a rozzer?"
"And what do you think we should do, you thick Northern ponce? Let him go?"
"Shut up, both of you!" Hands grabbed at Lestrade's shoulders, rolling him further over as Old Man looked at his arm. "Nobody kills anybody till I say so."
"But we have to - we can't just let him go." Young Man sounded like he was pouting.
"No..." Old Man agreed. "We'll have to move things up a bit. We'll dismantle everything tomorrow and stick him back under that fire escape before we collapse the building tomorrow night. With any luck they'll think it was just an accident and he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."
"So what do we do with him until then?" Geordie asked.
Old Man forced the cloth gag back into Lestrade's mouth. Lestrade struggled weakly, trying to twist his head away but even the slightest movement made his arm throb.
"May as well leave him here. We'll be back first thing tomorrow."
"What if he gets away?"
Old Man sighed. He moved away and came back. Lestrade heard the clinking of a chain before his ankles were pushed together and he felt cold metal being wrapped around them. "There. Unless he can drag a two ton printing press with him, he's not going anywhere."
"They must be looking for him."
"I don't think so - not yet anyway. He's on his own and if he'd called it in and then not got back to them, the place'd be crawling with cops by now. I don't think anyone knows he's here. We'll ditch his car, turn his phone off and hopefully we can keep it that way - at least until tomorrow."
Lestrade frowned behind his blindfold - he liked that car and one of his favourite CDs was in it. He couldn't fault the older man's reasoning though. Unless somebody tried to get hold of him, he wouldn't even be missed until he didn't show up for the 9am briefing.
"I don't get it - how did he find us in the first place?" Young Man asked.
"Good question. Tell you what - you can ask him in the morning."
"Looking forward to it already..." Young Man's voice sounded much closer. He'd crouched down next to Lestrade.
"Right. Let's go."
"Sweet dreams, filth. You're mine tomorrow." Lestrade had no warning as Young Man suddenly grabbed a fistful of his hair and slammed his head off the floor, knocking him out instantly...
"Who are you texting?" John asked.
"Lestrade - again - I need to get hold of the stomach contents."
If it had been anybody else but Sherlock, John would have assumed he meant a list rather than the actual contents. The thought of going to the fridge with an empty stomach to discover someone else's full one sitting there was not appealing, especially at this time of night.
"Sherlock, it's nearly one in the morning. Lestrade will be asleep." Like I should be...
"It'll take him two minutes to get me the authorisation."
"Why do you need them anyway?"
"Might help narrow down the list of restaurants."
John went back to staring at the map. It was entirely possible the forger had lived miles from their base of operations but with no other reference he'd taken the dead man's flat as a starting point and was methodically working his way outwards from there. It was tedious in the extreme but at least he felt like he was doing something.
Lucky Palace, 57 Station Road, Harlseden - definitely near a railway... yep.... And a bookies.... Ah, Coral Racing... 63 Station Road, brilliant... Dry Cleaners... dry cleaners... John sat back and sighed. Nearest is almost a mile away... Damn...
He rubbed his eyes and looked at the clock again. I really should go to bed... OK, just one more...
John traced his finger down the page and crossed off Lucky Palace.
Bamboo Garden, High Street, Acton...
"John, call Lestrade and ask why he's not answering my texts."
John looked over to the sofa. Sherlock was lying in the same position he'd been in for the past three hours, eyes still closed in deep thought, but now his hand was held out towards John with his mobile phone lying open on his palm.
"He's not answering because he's asleep, Sherlock."
"No, he puts his phone on his desk at the office and on his bedside table at home, less than 20 inches from his head in either case. The buzz it makes when it vibrates wakes him up. If I've already woken him up, why wouldn't he reply? Besides, he knows I'll just keep doing it until he responds."
John got up, taking the opportunity to stretch tired muscles. He took the phone, scrolled through the address book to 'Lestrade' and hit the Dial button.
The Inspector's gruff voice answered immediately. "This is Lestrade. I can't answer right now. Leave a message - I'll get back to you."
"It's, umm, it's John, Inspector - John Watson," he added. "Sherlock needs you to--"
"Did that go straight to voicemail?" Sherlock suddenly interrupted. His eyes were wide open and he was looking at John with a frown.
John covered the phone with his hand. "Yes," he hissed, before taking his hand away again. "Sherlock needs the stomach contents--" he continued.
"Something's wrong." Sherlock suddenly sprung up from the sofa, stepped across the coffee table and snatched the phone from John. He hung up the call and redialled. John heard the same message start again. Sherlock snapped the phone shut, shoved it in his pocket and headed for the door, grabbing his scarf and coat on the way out.
"What? What's wrong?" John grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair and followed him. "Sherlock?"
He caught up with him at the front door. "Where are we going?"
"Lestrade never turns his phone off." Sherlock flagged down a passing taxi. "He might not answer it immediately but it always rings."
"Maybe his battery is flat?"
Sherlock climbed in to the cab. "He has a charger at his desk, in his car and at home. His phone battery is rarely even half drained."
John got in next to him and buckled his seat belt. "You swipe his phone too, do you?"
"Occasionally, but unlike his warrant card I put his phone back - so I can get hold of him."
"Where to, gents?"
Sherlock rattled off an address John didn't recognise to the cabbie.
"So, where are we going?" John asked again.
"Les-- You mean his home?"
"Obviously his home, John. If he was at the station he would be checking his phone regularly and would notice if it wasn't charging. He'd have access to plenty of other chargers or batteries if his own was broken, therefore he's not in his office. His home is the next logical place to check. Most likely his battery has malfunctioned in some way."
"I'm sure he'll be very grateful when we wake him up to tell him," John said sarcastically.
"Of course this is all assuming his battery is flat - there is another possible explanation," Sherlock said.
"Someone else has turned his phone off for him..."
When Lestrade came round again he was completely disoriented. He had no idea of the time. He couldn't see anything and he couldn't hear anything except his own shivering breathing. At first he thought he may still be unconscious or dreaming, not even awake - it was hard to tell. He tried to peer out from beneath the blindfold but it was pitch black.
Something skittered across the floor in the distance. Rats... great... I hope none of them are as hungry as I am...
He had plenty to think about - the pain in his arm, the pain in his head, how cold he was and how long it had been since he'd eaten anything bigger than a Polo mint.
He was not going to think about how long it was since he'd been to the Gents before leaving the station. Nope, not thinking about it... Thank God I didn't even have time to grab a coffee yesterday afternoon...
He slowly flexed his neck, shoulders, back and leg muscles, trying to stretch without moving too much. "Bone-numbingly cold" was a phrase he'd used in the past but sadly that didn't seem to be the case now - he couldn't feel his hands and feet but there was still the hot, tight, grating pain in his arm.
So they're going to drop the building on me... I might die of hypothermia and save them going to all that trouble...
Lestrade had a sudden bizarre mental image of Sherlock looking dispassionately down at his corpse lying in a pile of rubble and saying "Don't be so stupid, Anderson. That arm was clearly broken at least 18 hours before he died."
Would he do that? Would Sherlock look at him like he was just another puzzle? Would he feel anything?
Probably just annoyed they couldn't find a more inventive way of bumping me off...
He shivered again and bit down on the gag to try to stop his teeth chattering.
I'm probably in shock... Where's a blanket when you need one?
That memory made him chuckle into the gag. Sherlock had looked so adorably bemused by the whole concept; Lestrade had had to jam his hands in his pockets to resist ruffling his hair.
Of course he'd had to fight to keep his hands off Sherlock almost since they'd met. The man was almost obscenely beautiful. That long graceful body, those dark curls, the face, those eyes... Lestrade felt like a dirty old man every time they met and he was sure Sherlock must have noticed.
Lestrade had always thought that if Sherlock was any way inclined it would be more towards his own sex but Sherlock didn't do "touchy-feely" stuff, and especially not with someone like Lestrade, who he heaped scorn on at every opportunity.
But then Sherlock had stood there, in that ridiculous orange blanket, and started explaining why John was the shooter they should be looking for, before spotting the man in question and desperately back-tracking, trying to give Lestrade some complete crap about being in shock and not thinking clearly. As if...
Lestrade knew Sherlock didn't hold his intellect in much regard but he thought he knew him better than that. He'd looked up every detail he could get his hands on about Dr John Watson as soon as he'd got back to the station from Lauriston Gardens; army doctor, recently discharged, crack shot...
John had shot the cabbie to protect Sherlock; Sherlock had claimed to be wrong to protect John. Each action as extreme as the other - if you took into account the men in question - and that was how Lestrade knew Sherlock had fallen for John.
John had apparently taken a little more time to come round to the idea but Lestrade had watched it happen with a sinking sense of inevitability and a disturbing streak of jealousy he hadn't known he was capable of. Arguing over corpses was far from a relationship but it was all he had; all Sherlock had - until John showed up. He couldn't blame John though - or Sherlock for that matter. There was something very intriguing about John's mix of softness and strength. Nice arse, too... Lestrade usually only had eyes for Sherlock but that didn't mean he was blind. He watched them both as they walked away, not just Sherlock.
When the ballistics report had come back from the cabbie's shooting, Lestrade had had a long sleepless night, weighing up how much he wanted Sherlock to be happy versus how much he wanted Sherlock to be happy with him and nobody else. In the end though he'd done what he always knew he would; he carefully buried it - along with a small piece of himself he knew he'd never get back - and got on with his job.
He couldn't stop shivering now and it was getting harder to stay awake. One last thought went through Lestrade's mind before he gave in to the darkness again...
Unless I get very lucky, they might shortly be burying the rest of me...
The cab pulled up just before two at a small nondescript block of flats in one of London's less fashionable leafy suburbs. They climbed the external stairs to the first floor and stopped outside a plain white door with no numbers or nameplate.
"Don't bother." John's finger was an inch away from the bell when Sherlock unlocked the door and strode in as if he owned the place.
"Sherlock!" John hurried in after him, closing the door as quietly as possible. "You'll give Lestrade a heart attack if you just sneak in!" he whispered urgently.
"Of course I won't - he's used to it. Why do you think I have a key?" Sherlock replied matter-of-factly. "Doesn't matter anyway, he's not been home. Today's post is still there."
John looked down. A couple of envelopes hung from the back of the letterbox. He pulled them free and set them on a small stand in the hall.
Sherlock moved into the lounge and then through into the small kitchen, opening drawers and cupboards as he went. He pulled out a half-empty bottle of single malt whisky and frowned at it.
John followed slowly behind him, experiencing a strange sort of déjà vu. The flat was neat, tidy - and completely soulless. This was where somebody ate and slept - it wasn't where they lived. He had had a flat just like it before he met Sherlock.
The only really personal item he could see was a framed photograph on top of the television. At a glance it showed two young men standing on a beach. John turned it over - Me and Pete, Brighton, '89.
He looked at the picture again. The two men looked to be in their early twenties. The man on the left had floppy blond hair which fell over soft blue eyes. He had an open face and a happy, relaxed smile. He was wearing a casual jacket and a shirt. His arm was draped possessively over the man on the right who was wearing a black leather jacket and a white t-shirt. He had short spiky black hair, dark eyes and a wide, cheeky grin that said he was trouble, but knew he was cute enough to be worth every bit of it.
John was amazed. He'd never seen Lestrade smile like that - he either smiled sarcastically when Sherlock annoyed him or had a grim "somebody's about to be nicked" smile he reserved for the conclusion of cases. The rest of the time he just looked tired, harassed or confused; expressions John was growing very used to seeing on the faces around Sherlock. He'd never thought of Lestrade looking that happy... or that mischievous... or that gorgeous...
"Lestrade was a very attractive young man, wasn't he?"
John became aware Sherlock was watching him. He put the picture back down with a guilty start. "Uhh, yes.... Yes. Not that he's that bad now... I mean... I - I thought he was a widower."
"It's a common perception and one he feels no need to correct. It's generally accurate other than the gender of his deceased partner and the fact there was no legal basis to their union."
"Gay, yes - a fact he doesn't share with his colleagues. It's slightly more acceptable for younger officers now but much less so for a man of Lestrade's years and position. His career has already suffered for other reasons without that becoming common knowledge as well."
"Suffered because of you, you mean?" John could have bitten his tongue. He regretted the words as soon as they were out.
Sherlock didn't seem to mind. "Some people are more interested in procedure than results. They feel he is either cheating somehow or demeaning himself by asking for my assistance. It's absurdly narrow-minded."
John glanced at the picture again. "When did his partner die?"
"1991. He was attacked in the street. The official verdict was that it was a mugging that went wrong but even an idiot could see just from the case files that he was deliberately targeted. The attackers were never caught. Lestrade joined the Metropolitan Police Service a few months later and threw himself into the job. His strong work ethic, talent and determination helped him rise swiftly through the ranks."
"Talent?" John looked sceptically at Sherlock. "This from the man who thinks all policemen are thick as two short planks?"
"In general they are. Lestrade is smarter than most however, and he does have certain qualities that make his acquaintance useful from time to time."
"Such as giving you a key to his flat and not throttling you when you text him at one in the morning?"
"And he's stayed single?"
Sherlock adjusted the picture, making sure it was in the exact same position they had found it. "He has had occasional lovers over the years but none recently and never any long term relationships. I think at first he worried the risk of discovery was too great and now he feels he is too old to take up with someone new, even if he is attracted to them."
John couldn't help but feel a swell of sympathy for the D.I. "He must be very lonely."
"I... suppose." Sherlock said hesitantly. "We should return to Baker Street. There's nothing here to indicate Lestrade's current whereabouts or why he's not answering his phone."
John stifled a yawn. "Maybe he's had to go somewhere where there's no reception? Something on the Underground perhaps?"
"The Underground would be the Transport Police not the Met, John. Still, I'm sure he'll see fit to share with us in the morning if it's something interesting."
"You're just annoyed he may be off somewhere having fun without you," John chuckled.
Sherlock gave him a look and moved towards the door but John blocked his path. "John?"
John looked up at him and smiled. "Can I... hug you?"
Sherlock sighed with exasperation but he was smiling back - if you knew how to see it. "If you must."
John slid his arms inside Sherlock's coat and round his slender body. He leaned his head against Sherlock's chest, feeling the soft fibres of Sherlock's scarf against his cheek.
Sherlock stood there, unmoving. "You really are ridiculously sentimental sometimes, John."
"I know. I just don't have to imagine too hard how Lestrade must have felt when he joined the police."
Sherlock patted him awkwardly on the back which John took to mean Neither do I...
"Right." John stepped back and tugged his jacket to straighten it. "Shall I call a cab?"
"Do you have any idea where we are?" Sherlock smirked.
"Try the letters on the hall table, John..."
"Hey, Wurzel - get up, you lazy sod or I'm eating your breakfast." Pete was standing by the bedroom door with his shirt half-buttoned and early morning sun glinting off his hair. He looked like an angel...
I'm tired, Pete... I want to stay here...
"Wake up. Oi! Come on - wake up."
Someone was rubbing his shoulders. Not hard, but enough to reawaken the throbbing in his arm and therefore the rest of him.
Lestrade felt the hands leave his shoulders and move to the gag. He coughed and tried to spit as it was removed but his mouth felt like sandpaper.
"Here. Y'can have the last of this."
There was a hand lifting his head and something pressed against his lips; a polystyrene cup. The aroma of cheap coffee filled his senses. It was lukewarm and there were only a few mouthfuls left but it was like nectar.
"You're like a bloody ice cube! Bit cold last night, I'll bet, eh?"
Lestrade cautiously nodded. He had no idea if the man was even looking at him. There was a rattling sound and Lestrade realised the chain had been removed from round his ankles. He slowly stretched his legs. All the muscles in his calves and thighs protested at the movement - as did his bladder. He grunted uncomfortably and curled in on himself again.
"What's he moaning about? Didn't like the room service?" Young Man asked.
"Probably needs a slash," Geordie guessed.
"I thought he'd've pissed himself already." Young Man laughed. "Maybe he doesn't know what I'm going to do to him later."
"For the love of God... You - get over here and help me with this. You - sort him out," Old Man barked from further away.
"Aw, what?" Geordie whined. "I'm not--"
"You'll bloody well do as you're told! The pair of you! Now get on with it!"
"Make sure he gives you proper London rates for a handjob, Mike - filth think they get a discount!" Young Man teased.
"Bugger off, Davie."
Geordie - Mike... Young lad - Davie... Lestrade carefully made note of the new information.
"That lad's not right in the head," Mike muttered. "Come on you, up you come." He grabbed Lestrade under his right arm. The movement made the pain in his left arm flare bright and hot again. Lestrade gritted his teeth against it but as Mike hauled him upright, Lestrade's head spun and his legs buckled under him.
"Whoops - alright. Give it a minute." Mike supported him under his shoulders until Lestrade was steadier, then he guided him forward about twenty steps and stopped. There was a strong smell of urine. Lestrade guessed this was where the men went themselves.
"Lean forward - slowly."
Lestrade did so and his forehead bumped up against a wall. He leaned his weight against it gratefully.
"Can't believe I'm bloody doing this," Mike grumbled.
Lestrade felt the Geordie's hands fumbling at his flies and then his zip was pulled down and a cold hand reached into his boxers. He tensed as the hand closed around his cock and pulled it out into the open.
"Get on with it then. I'm not standing round holding your dick all day."
Lestrade could feel his face flush with embarrassment. He was sure the Geordie's was probably the same. He tried to relax and seconds later felt an overwhelming sense of relief which made the awkwardness more than worth it - for him anyway. He let out a long sigh.
"Huh." Mike snorted. "You really did need to go, didn't you?"
"Like a bloody race horse," Lestrade croaked.
Mike laughed and Lestrade allowed himself a small moment of hope. Keep your sense of humour, don't let them dehumanise you, remind them you're a person too... Hostage survival manual, page one. The Geordie seemed to be the most sympathetic of the three. Davie was probably a non-starter but if he could get Mike on his side he may be able to win over the Old Man too.
"Done?" Mike asked.
Mike tucked him back into his trousers and zipped them up again. He wiped his hand down Lestrade's thigh before grabbing his arm again. They turned round and walked back to where they'd come from. Mike let go of his arm and Lestrade heard the chair being righted before he was turned round and sat down on it. He carefully swung his arms round behind the chair and slumped against it. His back was still bruised from his hard landing yesterday but it was better than leaning on his arm or sitting upright, which he didn't think he had the strength to do for long.
Mike sat down somewhere to his right.
"You, uh, you don't have anything to eat, do you?" Lestrade asked. "I'd hate to get killed on an empty stomach."
"Sorry. Just the rest of last night's carry-out."
"That'd probably do me in quicker."
Another laugh. Lestrade decided to risk it. "So you're not a local then. Newcastle? Gateshead?"
"Up that way, yeah. And you're originally from the West Country somewhere."
Lestrade was surprised. "How'd you know that?"
"My ex-wife was from Bristol. Her voice was like yours - still had that oo-ar twang to it if you listened."
"Listen to you two poofs... One tug of his cock and you're swapping addresses already. Boss says it's time to shift the stuff." Davie was back.
Lestrade heard Mike get up and move away. The young man put his hands on Lestrade's knees, fingers digging painfully into Lestrade's legs as he leaned on them.
"And that means it's time for me and D.I. Lestrade to have that little chat... You ever seen Reservoir Dogs, Mr Lestrade?"
( Part Two... )