“Ah, Anderson. Here we are again.”
“It’s a crime scene, I don’t want it contaminated.” Sally listens as Anderson and Sherlock square off. She still doesn’t see why they need to bring Sherlock Fucking Holmes into any of this, but like a good little soldier she shuts her mouth and grits her teeth. As if the last two days haven’t been bad enough, now this.
“Well of course it’s for men, I’m wearing it!” Oh shit. Don’t let him see it in your face.
“So’s Sergeant Donovan.” Fuck. “Oh, and I think it just… vaporized. May I go in?”
Anderson’s face is worried, concerned. Sally wishes he’d just punch Sherlock, just once. “Now look, whatever you’re trying to imply-”
Sherlock begins pushing past before Anderson has even finished talking. “I’m not implying anything. I’m sure Sally just came ‘round for a little chat and… happened to stay over.” He’s standing so close Sally’s sure he should be able to feel the hatred rolling off of her, because she does hate him. “And I assumed scrubbed your floors, going by the state of her knees.” Sally glares. Sherlock walks into the house, his colleague at his heels. Sally swallows her anger back down as Anderson stares at her sadly.
“I’m sorry, Sally.”
“Not your fault.” She steps away from the house, taking in a long, deep breath through her nose, holding it several seconds, then out through her mouth. Just like the therapists teach you to.
“I should have spoken up, should have pushed-”
“It’s not your fault, Anderson.” Sally pauses and gives him a pained look. He reaches out and squeezes her shoulder. She blinks furiously, sniffling. “You… you’ve done more than enough for me.”
“No. You know I can’t. Not yet.”
“He doesn’t deserve you.”
Sally laughs bitterly. “No, he doesn’t. but what else do I have?”
Anderson frowns. “Of all the people I’ve ever met here, you’re the one I would never have expected this from.”
“Well you don’t know what it’s like, Anderson.” Sally throws her head back, lips pursed. “I mean, god, sometimes…” She feels a few tears trickle down her face. “Sometimes he’s… he’s a lot more than what everyone else sees, Anderson.”
“And one day he’s going to-”
“Shut-up.” Sally can feel it, can feel the rage and frustration and self-loathing, even, that bubbles up whenever this subject comes up. “Just… don’t talk about him, alright?”
“He’s dangerous, Sally. You and I? We know the statistics. I don’t want you to end up as one of them.”
“Yeah, but all I have is my word that he says what he says. Nothing that’ll stand up in court, or even on a police report, and you fucking know it.”
And somehow, Sally finds herself sobbing quietly into Anderson’s chest as he rubs small, comforting circles on her back. “I can slap cuffs on a goddamn rapist without blinking but the thought of leaving him, even after… after…” Now she’s crying outright.
“I’m going to talk to Lestrade.”
Sally steps back and nods. “Just… not here.” Anderson sighs and nods, then gives her arms one last squeeze before he heads back into the house. Sally turns away and swipes at her eyes. She can still remember everything from last night.
The phone was in her hand and she didn’t remember dialing but there it was, Anderson’s number and she’s crying and babbling and begging, “Please, I haven’t anywhere else to go, and I wouldn’t ask but…”
And he’s frantic, “Sally, where are you, what’s wrong?” And she’s sobbing and incoherent and just tells him she’ll get a cab, see him in fifteen.
She’s at the door, about to knock when it opens and Anderson is standing there, eyes wide, and his arms are reaching for her and pulling her inside, settling her on the couch with a cup of tea and demanding in gentle tones to know what’s going on.
“It… it was Mark, he…” Sally can’t finish, but she doesn’t have to. Anderson is fuming next to her, his body trembling and he’s spitting out curses and asking if she’s sure she’s alright and she’s telling him Mark never touched her, just threw things around, she’s being silly is all.
Anderson takes her face in his hands and frowns at her, demanding that she never again call herself silly for being scared of a man twice her size who starts throwing things at her, and asking how long it’s been going on and Sally just shakes her head because she can’t remember a time it didn’t happen, but this time was the worst and she had to get out for the night.
“Sally, you can’t seriously tell me you’re going back.”
But Sally just drinks her tea and asks if Anderson’s wife would have a problem with her staying on the couch, just this once, it’ll all be sorted in the morning, she’s sure. Anderson shakes his head and tells her the bed is more comfortable, he’ll take the couch, and he grabs his phone and calls Miranda, his wife, and Sally thinks that for all his faults – because he is human and he has faults – Anderson really is a decent man, and Miranda is lucky to have him.
He smiles at her and tells her Miranda said to help herself to some pajamas, and anything else she might need, and Sally starts crying all over again, because some woman she’s never met is being so kind to her that she almost can’t stand it.
The next morning she wakes up and stumbles out of the unfamiliar bedroom to see Anderson curled up on the couch, mouth hanging slightly open. She smiles and goes into the bathroom, washing her face. When she comes back out Anderson’s awake and making coffee. “Miranda texted and said she thinks she’s out of deodorant. Here, at home, that is.”
Sally nods. “It’s fine.”
“I’ve got an extra one of mine, if… you’re alright with smelling like a man for the day.”
Sally laughs. “Yeah, thanks. And… thanks.”
Anderson smiles and hands her a cup of coffee. “Anytime.”
She turns to see Sherlock Fucking Holmes striding away quickly, ducking under the crime scene tape without pausing and dashing off. He’s sans colleague now, but… what was his name, John? He’ll probably be along in a moment. She puts on her best professional smile for the constable who called to her and goes towards the police car.
Sherlock Fucking Holmes isn’t nearly as brilliant as he likes to believe he is.