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Love at First Lift

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Chapter 1:

He was only here for the case, he lied to himself.  He didn’t enjoy the class, he didn’t enjoy the stupid music and he definitely didn’t enjoy being under the steady, calm instruction of an ex-army captain who looked damn fine in his training gear. 

No, he was here for a case.  Now all he had to do was act like it. 

***

It had started three weeks ago. 

Lestrade called when Sherlock’s boredom was on the tipping point between manageable chaos and lethal destruction and so it was to all the residents in 221’s pleasure that a case had presented itself.  Sherlock had bounded out the flat in his usual flurry of action, glad that his mind would once again have something to settle and focus on. 

Without an object his mind spiralled, switching between a twitchy need to be doing something, anything, flickering between different experiments, web searches, tv channels, composing.  Then there were the crashes where nothing was of any interest at all.  His mind slowed and stagnated, until the only thing of comfort was to pluck listlessly at his violin and wait.  Just waiting.  Constantly waiting.  Repeat this rollercoaster cycle ad infinitum. 

However, when Sherlock arrived at Lestrade’s office and skimmed the files he could barely contain his sigh of derision.  It had to be obvious even to Lestrade that this case was nothing of the calibre Sherlock expected. 

“You can’t be serious,” he stated as Lestrade walked into the office, coffee in hand.

Lestrade looked at him in exasperation.  “How many times have I told you about breaking into my office?  And yes, unfortunately for you, I am serious.”

“But you already know what’s killing them.”

“Yep,” Lestrade nodded as he nudged Sherlock out the way of his chair.  “All overdoses on a new type of steroids that’s making the rounds.”

“And you know how they’re all connected,” Sherlock continued, still scowling as he moved to the opposite side of the desk.  Adrenaline had kicked in reflexively when he heard about the case and was built up with no avenue of release so he began to pace. 

Lestrade nodded again.  “All members of Activate Plus, a gym and fitness centre just around the corner.  Fully kitted out including a wide range of studio classes, intense personal training sessions and a brand new swimming pool.  Motivation to help you find a better you.  Join today,” Lestrade concluded, reading off a leaflet in the file, his eyebrow raised.  He couldn’t help laughing as Sherlock glowered at him.  “Not interested I take it?”

“No thank you,” Sherlock replied in mock-politeness.  “So, you know victims, where and how.  Why do you need me?  Surely even this isn’t outside your realm of possibility.”

“Not outside it no, but my staff are awfully busy, as they always are and, as I have it on good authority you’ve spent the last,” Lestrade made a show of checking a post-it note, “3 days drilling holes into your flats walls, I figured you weren’t too busy to give us a hand.”

Sherlock stopped and stared at him.  It was clear someone had told but which one?

“It wasn’t Mycroft,” Lestrade helpfully supplied, leaving only one solution. 

“She ratted me out,” he said incredulously, his shoulder falling. 

“Couldn’t hack it anymore.  Said you were driving her crazy with all that banging and crashing about,” Lestrade shook his head, imaging only too well what havoc had occurred.  He was suddenly quite thankful that he had the option to only deal with Sherlock in case-mode. 

“It’s my flat!” Sherlock protested. 

“Technically it’s her flat, you’re just renting it out.  Plus she has to live underneath you and all your goings on.  It’s a wonder she’s lasted this long without ringing in for reinforcements.  Just be glad it was me she called and not your brother.”

“At least he might be able to get me an interesting case,” Sherlock muttered, turning his head to the floor but Lestrade’s hearing was sharp. 

“Go to him then. See what he can find, if this is so far beneath you.”

“No,” Sherlock shouted, his head snapping up.  “I’ll take it, though I still don’t see what you want.”

Lestrade smiled at him.  Why the brothers were constantly bickering may be a mystery but Sherlock’s childish insistence the he was old enough to look after himself was amusing to watch. 

“Alright so we’ve got most of the information but, as you can probably guess from the lack of actual arresting going on, we haven’t found the perpetrator yet.  Usually we wouldn’t look into this in depth but with the number of people who all linked and the fatalities we do actually need to intervene.  You read the full report after your breaking and entering yeah?”

Sherlock nodded.  “The dosage was too low to cause an overdose.  It was spiked with a catalyst making muscle-gain quicker but with the unfortunate side-effect of poisoning those using it.  How do you know it wasn’t the company directly?”

“We checked them first, found nothing.  It’s only this gym that these victims have come from so we’re guessing it’s a localised operation, probably from within the gym itself.  We want you to find whoever’s responsible for this.”

“But how?  Wouldn’t it be suspicious- Oh,” Sherlock stopped as he saw what Lestrade was planning.  The DI simply smiled at him, looking far too pleased with himself. 

“If it helps, the Yard will pay your membership fee.”

It was at this point Sherlock made his first mistake.  He took the case.