Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Characters: John Watson, Sherlock Holmes, DS Sally Donovan, DI Greg Lestrade, OMCs
Pairings: Sherlock/John (eventual S/J/L)
Rating: 15/R (this part, NC17 later)
Warnings: language, violence
Words: ~5200 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: John and Sherlock hear from Sally Donovan and find out why Lestrade isn't answering his phone. Will they be able to find him in time?
( Part One... )
MISSING IN ACTON
John went straight to bed when they got back in. Sherlock went back to his spot on the couch surrounded by the case notes for the murdered counterfeiter. He was still there, lying flat out with his hands tucked in supplication beneath his chin, when John staggered downstairs again, looking for breakfast.
"Any luck?" John asked.
"No. There's been nothing reported overnight that would have necessitated Lestrade's personal involvement - either that or it's something they're keeping out of the press."
John gave Sherlock a knowing smile. "I meant the counterfeiting murder but I'll be sure to let Lestrade know how concerned you were. I'm sure he'll be touched."
"Black, two sugars, John," was Sherlock's response as John shuffled across the lounge towards the kitchen.
John's phone suddenly rang and he dug it out of his dressing gown pocket. He quickly glanced at the unfamiliar number on the display before answering the call. "Hello? Sergeant Donovan - good morning. What can I do for you?"
Sherlock's eyes snapped open and he looked at John intently. "Donovan?"
"Where is he?" Donovan asked.
"Sherlock? He's here with me at the flat."
"Not Sherlock - Lestrade! Was he with you two last night? When did you last see him?" There was a definite edge of concern to Donovan's voice but it was her forgetting to refer to Sherlock as "the Freak" that caught John's attention the most.
"When we were at the station yesterday. Has something happened?" John asked.
Sherlock sat up.
There was a long sigh from the other end of the line. "I shouldn't do this, but under the circumstances... Share this and I will kill you."
John's phone made the sound for receiving a picture message. He flipped it round and couldn't stop the sharp inhalation of surprise.
The picture wasn't great quality but clearly showed Lestrade blindfolded and with his hands behind his back. One side of his face was badly bruised and smeared with blood running from a deep cut across his cheek. The front of his shirt was also spattered with blood.
Sherlock leapt up from the sofa, stepped over the coffee table, snatched the phone from John and peered at it. His face broke into a huge smile. "Brilliant! Oh, that's brilliant!" he cried out. He quickly tapped at the phone and his own phone chirruped from across the room.
John stared at him in shock.
Sherlock thrust John's phone back at him. "Look at the background, John!"
John did as instructed then held the phone up to his ear again.
Donovan was seething. "Did he just say--"
"He means there are lots of clues in the picture to tell us where Lestrade is," John said hurriedly. "He is not happy that Lestrade's been hurt. He's happy... he's happy it proves he's still alive."
There was a long pause. "Fine. We were a bit worried when the D.I. didn't show up for the briefing this morning and then we found that on a phone belonging to some low life the Drugs squad picked up in a dawn raid. We're trying to track it back, find out where it originated. We haven't had any demands yet but I want you to drop everything else and start looking for Lestrade. Forget the counterfeiting stuff - that's my case now and you're getting nowhere near it as long as the Boss is missing. I don't like Sherlock and he knows it but I do like my boss, so, for his sake, anything you need, you ask me for, OK?"
"Got it. Can you email me the highest resolution of that picture you have?"
"On its way. If we get more I'll send those on too."
"I'll let you know as soon as we have anything, I promise."
"You better. The entire Met is looking for his car," she continued. "I'll let you know when we find it."
"I'm sure he'll be alright."
"So am I. He's dealt with the Freak for five years, hasn't he? This'll probably feel like a holiday."
Sherlock was carefully studying the picture on his own phone. John relayed to him what Donovan had said, except her parting shot.
"No demands would imply they didn't kidnap him," Sherlock said. "They're not boasting, they're asking who he is - or what he is. His wallet would have given them his name."
"What about his warrant ca--?" John stopped and sighed. "You've got it, haven't you?"
The card materialised between Sherlock's slender fingers. "Outside left coat pocket. Never inside - he deliberately makes it easy, doesn't want me getting too close," he muttered.
"What will they do once they find out who he is?"
"I'm sure someone has told them by now. They may keep him alive because they want to have him as a bargaining chip, or because they are squeamish about killing a police officer, or maybe because they want to torture him some more - possibly all three... or they may just have killed him. Why doesn't this phone have a decent zoom function? Where's your laptop?" He tossed the phone onto the sofa, strode over to the desk and opened John's computer.
"So he's either dead already or having the shit kicked out of him and you're fine with that?" John snapped. "You'll just find somebody else to authorise your pick'n'mix sprees at the morgue?"
Sherlock turned and met his eyes. "Contrary to what you might think, John, I do actually care about Lestrade," he said slowly. "But I cannot think of the man in that picture as being a man I care about, because that will get in the way of thinking about how to find him."
John wasn't sure whether to be horrified or envious of Sherlock's ability to disassociate his feelings from the situation. "So, you'd be like this if it was me in that picture? If I was missing?"
Sherlock seemed to sag slightly. "I... I would have to be. I couldn't... It would be too hard to..."
John walked over and put his hand on Sherlock's arm to calm him. "It's alright. I'm sorry I asked. I know you would and I know why." His laptop beeped. "That'll be the email from Donovan." John put his finger under Sherlock's chin and tilted it up. "You see about getting the man in the picture back - I'll worry about Lestrade... and the coffee."
"Thank you, John..."
"You ever seen Reservoir Dogs, Mr Lestrade?"
Davie moved behind him and there was the unmistakable click of a knife. The blade scraped up Lestrade's right cheek, rasping against his day-old stubble before it came to rest just under his earlobe, where his ear joined his head. It drew back sharply, making a small cut and Lestrade felt the warm trickle of blood as it ran down his neck into his collar. Other than a small intake of breath he sat completely still and silent.
"Don't worry - I'm not gonna slice your ears off." Davie patted Lestrade's head. "Wouldn't have nothing to hold up your blindfold then, would we?" he chuckled. "Now, the good news is I'm not allowed to kill you, because the boss wants it to look like an accident..."
Good luck with that... Sherlock'll take one look at me and know what brand of jeans you're wearing...
"The bad news..." Davie rested his forearms on Lestrade's shoulders and leaned over, resting his chin on top of Lestrade's head. "Is that includes even if you beg me to kill you... and I plan on making you do just that." His arms shifted and Lestrade felt the tip of the knife flick open his top shirt button and make small circles on his chest.
Davie suddenly stood up and wrenched Lestrade's suit jacket back off his shoulders. The jostling movement made pain radiate up his left arm. "Hello - what's this?" Davie grabbed Lestrade's left hand and twisted the ring off Lestrade's finger, causing a further jolt of pain that made Lestrade groan with the effort of not crying out.
No! Put it back, you bastard!
"Awww - so there's a poor old Mrs Lestrade sitting at home wondering whose bed you slept in last night, eh? What's the little woman's name?"
Not a woman, you tosser... Not little either... Lestrade smiled at that thought and was almost knocked from his seat by a hard slap across his head.
Davie wrapped his arm around Lestrade's neck in a choke-hold. "Don't you fucking smirk at me! What's her name?"
The knife cut a clean, sharp line down across his left breast. Lestrade hissed in a breath through his teeth. He had the immediate sensation of a warm, damp patch spreading across his shirt before it was obliterated by the stinging pain of the cut.
"Not laughing now, are you? Anyway, I don't care what your fat, ugly wife's called. I want to know how you knew we were here," Davie hissed in his ear.
"I'm psychic," Lestrade growled through gritted teeth. What the hell - it was a good an answer as the truth and probably slightly more believable.
"Yeah?" Another line of fire suddenly slashed across his right side, from his stomach out to his ribs. Lestrade grunted and tried to lean over but Davie still held him firmly. "Didn't see that coming, did you?"
"Davie! What did I say about the knife?" Old Man yelled across the warehouse.
"Shit. Sorry, yeah, forgot." Davie moved away and came back. "Boss says if I'm cutting you it has to be with glass - knife edge'll look too clean. So I'll have to do those two again - what a shame." He grabbed Lestrade round the neck again, holding Lestrade's head firmly back against his chest. A much blunter point dragged it's way along the first cut, tearing at the open flesh. Lestrade swore repeatedly under his breath and banged his heel against the ground, determined not to give Davie the satisfaction of making him scream.
"Ooh - nasty," Davie said appreciatively.
The warm wet feeling across Lestrade's chest was already turning cold and sticky. The point moved away to the other cut across his side. He braced himself, breathing quickly and heavily through his nose and gritting his teeth.
Davie held it there for what felt like an age, chuckling with anticipation, then started to draw the glass along the second cut with excruciating slowness.
Lestrade could feel it catching on his skin, turning the clean edges of the knife's incision into a ragged, bloody mess. He half expected to feel his guts come spilling out into his lap. It was too much. He yelled with pain and writhed in Davie's inescapable grip.
Davie sounded delighted. "Yeahhhh..." He licked up the side of Lestrade's face and laughed...
John poured two coffees and came back over to the desk.
Sherlock had opened up Donovan's email and zoomed in on the right hand side of the picture. It showed the edge of a white plastic bag with red writing on it.
John tilted his head and peered at the grainy image. B... A... is that an N... might be an M...
Sherlock opened up Yellow Pages in a new window and started typing. "Last thing I said to Lestrade was to look for an industrial location near a railway line with a bookmakers, dry cleaners and Thai restaurant nearby. Capital of Thailand?" Sherlock asked.
"Bangkok," John replied, nodding.
"Bangkok." Sherlock scrolled through a list of results. It wasn't a very long list.
John sipped his coffee and listened to Sherlock muttering to himself as he mentally pictured the location of each restaurant. "No, not on his way home, no, no, maybe..." Sherlock pulled up another window and called up a list of bookmakers. "No, nothing nearby."
Something was tickling at the back of John's mind. "Bamboo..." he said.
"Bamboo, not Bangkok." John dashed over to his notes. "Bamboo Garden - it's on the High Street in Acton. It was next on my list to check."
Sherlock turned back to the list of bookmakers and narrowed the search. "That's on Lestrade's route home, certainly... Ah! There's a William Hill on Acton High Street."
John watched over his shoulder as Sherlock typed in "Dry-cleaners, Acton".
The page loaded.
They were dressed and out of the door in under five minutes, leaving their coffee mugs growing cold, side by side on the desk...
Sherlock and John had to walk down to Marylebone Road before they spotted a cab. Sherlock flagged it down and they piled in.
"Acton High Street - quick as you can."
"How long to get there?" John asked.
"This time of day... Should be a straight shot along the Westway and down - twenty minutes," Sherlock replied. "You better call Donovan."
John took his phone out and redialled the last number. "Hello, Sergeant Donovan. Yes - we've... What? Where?" He turned to Sherlock. "They've found Lestrade's car - in Vauxhall."
"Probably dumped there as a decoy," Sherlock answered without turning away from the window.
"Sherlock thinks it's a decoy... Yes, we think we've found the location based on the picture and... Acton High Street. We're on our way there now... OK. Bye."
John put his phone away again. "She's going to check out the car then come over."
Sherlock sighed dramatically. "Useless! She won't be able to tell anything from the car."
"It'll make her feel better to be doing something. Besides you know Lestrade has some bizarre attachment to that death trap he drives. He'll be glad to get it back."
John had been glancing out the window at the passing buildings as he spoke but he realised Sherlock had turned and directed his attention to him. "What?"
"The chances are extremely high that Lestrade is already dead, John," Sherlock said quietly.
"Extremely high is not the same as one hundred percent, Sherlock. As far as I'm concerned, Lestrade is alive until I see otherwise. I don't just give up on people like that."
Sherlock suddenly flashed him one of his rare smiles but said nothing else before he turned back to watching the traffic...
The cab dropped them directly outside the Bamboo Garden restaurant eighteen minutes later.
Sherlock glanced along the row of shops. "Yes. It has to be here. Probably that warehouse over there."
John pointed to a gap in the fencing along the street. "Well - let's check it out, shall we?"
It was eerily quiet as they approached. The day was overcast and the heavy grey sky matched the sombre mood created by the vista of cracked concrete and dereliction.
"This place looks like it's been deserted for years," John commented.
Sherlock peered curiously at the mess of twisted metal on the side of the building nearest them. "Maybe - but this damage is recent - only a day or two old, if that." Sherlock mimed grabbing for something with his left hand, then leaned backwards. "He was standing there... The railing snapped... He must have... Ah." Sherlock suddenly swooped down on something.
"What is it?" John leaned over to see what had caught Sherlock's attention.
Sherlock held up a few short hairs matted together with dried blood, clasped between his fingers. "Hit his head when the fire escape collapsed."
"Hair colour matches and this must have been last night. Yesterday's rain would have washed it away." Sherlock closely inspected another piece of rusted metal. "The fibres caught here on the railing are the same colour as the jacket he was wearing yesterday."
A faint cry rang out from within the building, making both their heads snap round towards its source.
John exchanged a grim look with Sherlock, took his gun out from the small of his back and checked the clip...
Davie clamped his hand across Lestrade's mouth and held Lestrade's head firmly back against his chest as he made more quick, short cuts across the older man's body.
Lestrade squirmed and yelled into Davie's palm at each new line of bright, hot pain. Davie had completely given up any pretence of questioning him. This was just about hurting him - pure and simple.
Davie suddenly stopped and stood up, leaving Lestrade trembling and breathing heavily. Lestrade wondered Why? and What now? until he heard footsteps approaching.
"Jesus, Davie... You're a sick fuck - you know that?" Mike said. The disgust was clear in his voice.
"Did he say anything about how he found us?" Old Man asked.
"Not yet - but I'm only just getting warmed up," Davie answered.
"Doesn't matter. We're good to go. Stick him by the wall next to the fire escape. We'll be long gone by the time they dig him out from there - and don't forget to take off the blindfold and the tape from his arms."
"What if he tries to do a runner?"
"What? No - you kill him first, you moron. Whack him round the head with that."
Say something, you idiot! "You don't have to kill me - I haven't seen your faces," Lestrade blurted out.
Davie grabbed his hair and Lestrade groaned in pain. "Heard our names though, haven't you? Thanks to certain big-mouthed northern twats," Davie spat.
"That's enough." Old Man said firmly. "We've got all the stuff loaded in the van. We'll wait out front for you. Make it quick."
"But you said--"
"You want to still be hanging around when his friends show up? He'll have been missed by now. Take him over there, kill him and get your arse out front. The building's coming down in ten minutes and we're going with or without you."
A set of heavy footsteps pounded away into the distance.
"Boss - wait a minute!"
Lestrade heard Davie running off in the same direction leaving him alone with the Geordie. Last chance... "Mike--"
"I'm sorry, mate - you seem a decent enough bloke for a copper, but there's no way I'm crossing those two."
Lestrade considered for a minute whether to tell Mike that Davie had taken his ring. He knew the old man would make Davie return it but on the other hand it would be one more clue for them to hopefully track the bastard down. "...Never mind then."
There was an awkward pause. "Have you got family? Any kids?"
Yes, hundreds, make something up, make him sorry! Lestrade sighed. "...No. No kids." Just a consulting detective with the behavioural control of a three year old...
"Well that's something, eh?" Mike patted him on the shoulder and then his footsteps too moved away.
Oh yeah, I'm going to take real comfort from knowing the only person who'll miss me is that old lady two doors down whose rubbish I take down to the bins...
Lestrade shivered. He was starting to feel light-headed.
Oh shut up, you self-pitying arse... Donovan'll miss you the first time she has to deal with Sherlock on her own... Ah - here's lover boy back again...
Footsteps slowly approached and then the blindfold was violently ripped from his head, along with a good few hairs. Lestrade felt a slow trickle of blood start down his scalp. The cut on his head must have re-opened. He kept his head down and his eyes shut tight.
Davie slapped Lestrade's face. "Open your eyes!"
Lestrade blinked hard and forced his eyes open. They were met with the sight of his own chest and stomach, covered in the tattered remains of his shirt and soaked in blood. Shit... No wonder he was feeling faint.
"Up." Davie grabbed Lestrade's hair again and pulled him to his feet. The world tilted and span alarmingly. Lestrade stumbled and fell over heavily, leaving more of his hair in Davie's fist.
"Get up!" Davie yelled. "I'll fucking drag you over there if I have to."
Lestrade rolled onto his side and Davie grabbed him under his arm and hauled him upright again.
Lestrade's legs felt like they belonged to someone else. He glanced around as they staggered over towards the wall. There was no sign of the printing press or the lamps. The warehouse was once more a huge, gloomy, empty space. The only light came from an open door at the far end and the occasional shaft of weak sunlight through a gap in the paint over the upper windows.
What a bloody miserable place to die...
Lestrade looked up as they reached the wall. At one time there must have been a walkway on the first level but now the fire door he'd stood on the other side of opened into thin air. Even if it had been open when he'd tried it last night, he'd have had nowhere to go.
Davie dumped Lestrade on his knees a few feet away from the wall. He was indeed the young lad who'd picked up the carry-out. He had a piece of timber in his hand, about two feet long. He turned to face Lestrade and smirked as he tossed the piece of wood back and forth between his hands.
Cocky little git... "Your club hasn't got a nail in it. Don't they teach you anything at thug school these days?" Lestrade said mockingly.
"Fucking coppers! You're all such smug bastards. Let's see how smug you are with your brains all over the wall."
"You have a real anti-authority problem, don't you, son?" Lestrade studied him carefully before suddenly realising the answer. "I bet your dad was a copper, wasn't he?"
"Shut up!" Davie screamed. He pointed the timber at Lestrade's face. "I'm going to beat you to a pulp, you filth."
God, I'm tired of this... Lestrade glared up at him and snarled defiantly, "Come on then, you dickless wonder. Give it your best shot!"
Davie sneered and swung the length of timber back over his shoulder, like a baseball bat...
There was a loud crack and the wood disintegrated in a shower of splinters.
Davie looked dumbly at the pieces still in his hand then up over Lestrade's head. His face went white.
Lestrade turned his head as much as he could to look behind him.
"Don't move." John Watson was slowly advancing with the gun-that-he-categorically-did-not-have held unwavering in front of him, pointed at Davie.
Lestrade had never seen such a grim look on the Doctor's face. He was very glad it and the gun weren't directed at him.
A distant squeal of tires sounded from outside. The others must have heard the shot and decided to get out of there. Lestrade looked sharply at Davie but he didn't seem at all worried. Whatever mechanism they'd set up to collapse the building couldn't have been triggered and it appeared Davie didn't expect it to be.
Davie tossed the remnants of the piece of wood aside and looked at John, wide-eyed. "Who the fuck are you?"
"He's ex-military and a damn good shot so I wouldn't piss him off if I were you," Lestrade growled.
"Good morning, Lestrade." Sherlock ran up and dropped to a crouch behind him. Lestrade heard the snick of Sherlock's pocket knife. He winced as Sherlock grabbed his arm to start cutting his hands free. "Hmm. Your arm's broken."
Lestrade gave a tired laugh. "Thank you. I had noticed."
"I was informing John."
John drew level with where Lestrade was kneeling and looked down in concern. Davie shifted as if he was about to make a break for it and John's attention was right back on him. "Don't. Hands against the wall."
Davie turned and put his palms flat against the timber, still scowling.
Lestrade cleared his throat. "John, please don't let me see you with something I know you don't have."
John smiled his tight, thin-lipped smile at Davie. "I can hit you square in the back of the head before you're even half-way to the door - but you're welcome to try." He clicked on the safety and tucked the gun back in his trousers.
Davie looked from John to the door. His shoulders slumped as he clearly decided against it.
Sherlock finished cutting the tape round Lestrade's wrists and stood up.
"Let me take a look at your head, Lestrade." John got down on one knee next to him and started gently probing Lestrade's scalp. "Hmm, not too bad. Good job your head's as thick as Sherlock says."
"Har, har," Lestrade replied sarcastically.
"Sherlock - text Donovan for an ambulance, please," John said. "And can I have your scarf?"
Sherlock hesitated a moment then lifted it off and handed it down to John without taking his eyes from Davie. He then took his phone out and sent the requested text - without looking at it. Davie shifted uncomfortably under Sherlock's penetrating and unflinching stare.
John draped the scarf over one shoulder and helped Lestrade slowly move his arms round in front of his body.
Lestrade's arm muscles burned at being moved from their long-held position. "I don't need an ambulance," he protested.
"Shut up. Of course you do. I'm going to use this for a sling," John explained. "Just hold your arm there for now." He folded the scarf and arranged it over Lestrade's shoulder to support his arm.
"Happy?" Lestrade asked. "Right, first things first. Help me up please, would you, John?"
John frowned at him but put an arm under his shoulder as Lestrade got shakily to his feet. "I need to check those cuts, Lestrade."
"In a minute." Lestrade held his hand out to Sherlock. "Gimme."
Sherlock looked blankly at him and Lestrade sighed.
"You can pinch it back later but I need to have it for this. Hand it over."
Sherlock reluctantly drew Lestrade's warrant card from his pocket and gave it to him.
"Thank you." Lestrade turned back to Davie. "Turn around, son. What's your surname?"
"Evans," Davie spat.
Lestrade opened his warrant card - somewhat awkwardly with only his right hand - and held it up. "David Evans, I am Detective Inspector Lestrade of the Metropolitan Police Service and I am arresting you on suspicion of the murder of..."
Lestrade blinked. Damn - what was the bloke's name?
"Roger Prescott," Sherlock prompted.
"Roger Prescott. You do not have to say anything, but it may harm your defence if you do not mention when questioned something which you later rely on in court. Anything you do say may be given in evidence."
Davie looked at him sullenly but jammed his hands in his pockets and kept his mouth shut.
Lestrade closed his warrant card and held it back out to Sherlock who just looked at it. "Not any fun if you don't have to get it yourself? Fine." Lestrade tucked it back in his trouser pocket and held out his hand again, this time to Davie.
Davie hesitated, then drew his fist out of his left trouser pocket. He reached out to drop its contents onto Lestrade's upturned palm...
Sherlock had already spotted the missing wedding ring when he'd cut the tape around Lestrade's wrists. Chances were high the young man also had Lestrade's mobile phone but that would hold far less sentimental value.
Evans opened his fist but it turned out to be empty. He suddenly seized Lestrade's wrist and pulled him forward, punching into Lestrade's stomach with his right hand. Lestrade doubled over with a grunt and dropped to the ground as John leaped forward to catch him.
Evans ducked and spun away as Sherlock made a grab for him. He bolted for the door.
Sherlock raced after him. He heard John calling his name but ignored it. He'd be blocking John's shot but despite his earlier statement Sherlock knew John would hesitate before shooting an unarmed man in the act of running away - and Lestrade would far prefer Evans to not be seriously injured now he was under arrest.
Evans ducked through the door and sprinted across the derelict car park but he stopped when he was only about twenty feet from the building. He picked up a length of rope and held it up with a triumphant gleam in his eye as Sherlock approached. "Wanna see a magic trick? I'm gonna make a whole building disappear."
Sherlock stopped and his eyes followed the rope to where it was tied round a supporting beam of the building. No internal supporting structure - knock one bit of the wall out, the whole building will collapse.
Evans braced his foot against a kerb and pulled the rope.
The beam must have been sawed through already. It snapped outwards and with a huge groan the whole wall started to buckle.
"See ya!" Evans shouted. He raced off across the waste ground towards the gap in the fence.
Sherlock started back towards the building but the wall above the door suddenly burst out in shower of splinters and glass. Sherlock turned and threw himself to the ground, flinging his arms up to protect his head. Behind him there was a moments stillness then the whole building slowly collapsed in on itself with a roar.
Sherlock kept his head down as bits of debris bounced around him. A larger piece of timber landed across his back but with only enough force to bruise, not break any bones. When he judged the worst of the danger was over, he lifted his head. A huge cloud of dust billowed out towards him from the rubble. He quickly ducked his head back inside his coat collar as he felt it sweep over him then looked up again.
The building was completely flattened - and buried somewhere under it were both the men he'd ever had any reason to call 'friend'...
( Part Three... )