Greg Lestrade sat at his desk, trying to get something done, or failing that trying to pretend like he was doing something productive. Answering phone calls without really paying attention to what he was saying (“Yes, Sir. Thank you. Bye”), even as worry gnawed at his gut.
Officially they were looking for Sherlock to bring him into custody, but no one knew the streets and back streets and underbelly of London better then Sherlock Holmes. Lestrade knew that unless he wanted to be caught, Sherlock would be found when Sherlock wanted to be found. With a tired hand over his face, he let out a sigh and rubbed at his hair in frustration. He knew Sherlock hadn’t really done what he was accused off, the idea was laughable to him, as was the idea of him taking John hostage.
But why for the love of anything holy had he run off the way he had?
Lestrade sat that way, eyes closed, until there was a knock on the door frame of his office and he looked up just a little annoyed because it was likely Donovan and he didn’t have the energy or care to deal with her right now. Except it wasn’t, it was a man he didn’t recognizne and his confusion must have shown on his face because the man gave him a too cheerful for his own mood smile.
“Got a jumper for you, off the roof of St. Bart’s” the man said and Lestrade squinted, wondering why was he being told this? He asked as much as the man smiled again, he felt an urge to punch it off his face. “Thought you’d be interested in this though. It’s that guy you’re looking for.”
He frowned in confusion still, even as the gnawing in his gut grew sharper and he told himself that there was no way, absolutely no way. Sherlock wouldn’t—
“Usually I don’t deliver news like this in person, phone call is good enough, but I thought I’d help you out. Heard he was running around and you were having trouble finding him. That fake detective guy yeah? But I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble finding him now, corpses don’t run away” the man said, laughing like he’d told a funny joke.
He froze in his chair, staring at the man (still smiling, not laughing) and there was only one thought that was making itself known in his head. Kept repeating itself even as he lurched to his feet, pushing past the man and walked past Donovan who was staring after him having no doubt heard the exchange and past Dimmock who was biting his lower lip like he did when he was worried.
/My son is dead/
Not his sometimes colleague, not his friend or any other word he might have used out loud to describe Sherlock. His son. He’d never had kids himself, not for lack of wanting on his part but the ex-wife hadn’t wanted any. He’d always thought it was reason they started to fall apart.
But since meeting Sherlock, getting him clean and quitting cigarettes at the same time to try to help and more nights then he could count spent with him and arguing with and debating with and bribing and encouraging him and staying horrible nights in waiting rooms of hospitals and so many other things, he’d fallen without meaning to into the role for the young man. Even if neither of them had spoken a word of it, and hell maybe Sherlock didn’t see him that way—
Lestrade swallowed hard, hand curled tight around the door handle of his car.
Not didn’t see— hadn’t seen.
Oh god, he was dead.
/My son is dead/
No, he refused to believe it until he saw it. This had to be a trick. Sherlock had a million of those up his sleeves, though being a fraud wasn’t one of them. He refused to believe that.
After pulling on the handle a few times, his mind caught up with him reminding him he needed to unlock the door before he could open it, honestly Lestrade and god why did that voice in his head suddenly sound like Sherlock? Shaking his head, he shoved his hand in his pocket, searching for his keys and swearing colourfully when he couldn’t find them. Where the hell?
Fuck, they were in his desk, he’d dropped them next to his mobile in frustration earlier. Which he hadn’t grabbed either and he couldn’t go back inside, didn’t want to see if Donovan looked smug at the news. But he still needed his keys so he could get to St Bart’s. Maybe he could take a cab, patting his pocket that did hold his wallet.
“Sir!” he heard a voice calling behind him, and he wouldn’t have turned around if he hadn’t recognized the voice. Turning slowly, he saw Dimmock walking towards him. And in the other DI’s hands he saw his keys and mobile. “You forgot these” Dimmock said, putting his mobile in his outstretched hand but not his keys.
“Ian” he said, warning, wiggling his fingers.
“I don’t think— you shouldn’t drive, I think you might be in shoc— never mind” Dimmock shook his head and stepped around him, “I want to go too” he added, quietly, and the only reason Lestrade didn’t yell at him was because he sounded upset. So instead of answering, he just nodded and shuffled around to the passenger side, sliding into the seat when the door was unlocked.
/My son is dead/
The car ride was silent and tense, Dimmock’s fingers tapping at random intervals before he finally spoke.
“I don’t believe it either, sir” he said, voice sounding too loud, too sudden and he cleared his throat.
Lestrade looked over at him and swallowed, wetting his dry mouth. “Don’t believe what exactly?”
“That he was a fake. Maybe if he’d only done it once or twice, I could believe it. But how could he research ahead of time everything? He once knew I was considering buying new curtains, I hadn’t even said it out loud, how could he have looked that up about it for an offhand comment?” Dimmock rambled and bit his lower lip again, glancing at him out of the corner of his eye for a second, “He was real, he might not have been a good man most of the time… a lot of the time. But he wasn’t evil, or a fake.”
It was the use of the past tense that made Lestrade look away from him, though he nodded in agreement. He couldn’t be dead. Not his Sherlock, not when he was just becoming a good man.
Dimmock didn’t speak again. Not when he parked the car, or when Lestrade was out of the car and striding towards the building before the engine was even off. Not on the walk down to the morgue after he caught up to him. Not when Lestrade startled Molly, demanding to see Sherlock. Didn’t comment that he said Sherlock, instead of Sherlock’s body, though neither did Molly.
It was only after Molly pulled back the sheet just enough to reveal Sherlock’s pale face, cleaned of blood and eyes closed. Only after he left in a rush and Dimmock followed him, that the other spoke again. And only then it was to take his elbow, words he didn’t pay attention to in a soothing tone, guiding him towards the bathrooms.
He didn’t speak though as Lestrade threw what little he’d eaten up as he knelt in one of the small stalls as the image of that face refusing to leave him mind. Or when he rested his head on the rim of the toilet, eyes burning and throat tight and mouth tasting horrible. Dimmock did rest a careful hand on his back, but that was it.
It wasn’t enough, but it was good to know he wasn’t being judged for his reaction. For his grief.
/My son is dead, oh god it’s real/