"What the hell is wrong with you, freak? You should've solved this by now." Sally closed the door to the classroom and rounded on Sherlock. He spread his hands out in a gesture of helplessness. She was right; he should've solved the case by now, and she knew him well enough that he couldn't make any excuses.
"There's something I'm missing," he said, and brought both hands up to rake his fingers through his hair. Greasy: he hadn't been home in two days. "I'm missing something obvious and I can't focus enough to see what it is. I need...something." He spun around, surveying the room they had found themselves in: fifth year, chairs sized for ten-year-olds, the children who'd gone missing when the bell rang at the end of the day today were both ten. "Do you have a cigarette?"
"No, I don't, and you can't smoke in here anyway. It's a primary school."
"It's half-past nine in the evening, Donovan. Hardly any children around to offend with my tobacco smoke." He dropped his hands to his sides, giving a dismissive flick of one wrist. "It wouldn't be enough, anyway. I need—"
"Well, you're certainly not getting anything stronger than nicotine, Sherlock. There are two dozen coppers in a two-block radius, and given your lack of cooperation so far today they certainly aren't going to look the other way if you're caught with something illegal."
"I'm cooperating! It's not my fault every person we've interviewed has either been lying or an idiot or both."
"Yeah, well, you need to sort out which is which and tell us without pissing anyone else off, Sherlock. And fast, so we can find those kids tonight. Greg is holding off the media and his boss and I don't know how much longer he can do it."
"I know, I know. I'm trying. Really, I am." He heard his own voice soften and hated how it sounded but despite what Sally might have thought he did care about the missing children. He'd always had a soft spot for children, at least the ones that weren't afraid of him, even if he usually managed to hide that from most people.
Sally looked around the classroom, as if she thought she might discover something Sherlock had missed. He shook his head and tried not to scoff out loud. She was trying to help, he knew, and was one of the least idiotic people he'd had the misfortune of dealing with today.
"Okay, so no cigarettes and no hard drugs. What else helps you focus?"
"The violin. Chemistry. John Watson." Sherlock's list would come as no surprise to Sally; she actually was privy to quite a bit more detail than most people, after that surprisingly satisfying afternoon in the Watsons' bedroom last summer.
"Yeah, well, Watson's away with his wife, isn't he? Bet between the two of them they could sort you out if they were here." Sally's tone was more matter-of-fact than taunting, and anyway they both knew she was right.
He frowned at her. "Why don't you go fetch me the largest cup of coffee you can find?"
She snorted her displeasure at the suggestion and planted her hands on her hips, the absolute picture of indignation. "I don't fetch coffee, Sherlock. I'm as much a detective as you are."
"Then help me solve this crime already!" He hadn't meant to shout, but it did feel good. He expected her to shout right back at him, not squint at him with a thoughtful expression on her face like she was doing now.
Sally took a deep breath and then exhaled. "All right. I get it. You need to solve this crime. We need you to solve this crime. You're tired and frustrated and need something to inspire you, something to jar the answer loose from your brilliant yet mismanaged mind. Am I right?"
He squinted back at her. "Brilliant yet mismanaged? Is that what you think of me?"
"Shut up," she said, and sighed. "I will do this once, because Watson isn't here, but only once, do you understand me?" She stared at him for the few blinking seconds it took him to understand her offer.
"John has never done that at a crime scene. We're almost always in his bedroom. He's very traditional." He tipped his head, thinking of the possibility. "Mary would be more likely to be willing at a crime scene."
"Oh, for God's sake. You have to keep your mouth shut the whole time, and if you ever breathe a word of this to anyone—"
"I haven't said anything about our last assignation, have I?"
Sally shook her head. "Assignation. Really? I have never heard anyone say that word out loud. Unzip your trousers and keep your mouth shut, all right?"
Sherlock unzipped his trousers, though his mouth fell open fairly quickly when Sally got to her knees in front of him. She was quite efficient, and her mouth was bigger than Mary's though smaller than John's.
"Not too fast, or I won't have time to clear my mind," he said.
She growled without taking her mouth off him and he shivered and leaned more of his weight back against the teacher's desk. It was remarkably clear of the usual clutter that accumulated in primary school classrooms, from what he recalled. He closed his eyes and tried not to think about primary school at all. Sally moved her head and tightened her lips, which helped immensely. He wasn't sure if they were on close enough terms for him to put his hands on her head, but after a certain point he couldn't stop himself. She didn't object; he tipped his torso forward and tried not to buck too hard or pull her hair as he came.
She pulled off him and swallowed but didn't stand up immediately, letting him lean on her shoulders for a moment while he recovered. Which was very unfortunate, because it meant that she was still on her knees in front of him when the door to the classroom opened.
"Jesus Christ, Donovan. Is there anyone you won't do?" Lestrade stood in the doorway, staring.
Sally sat back on her heels and wiped her mouth; not the most dignified motion she could have made, but her options were admittedly limited. "Oh, shut up, Greg. There was a job that needed to be done and I did it, all right?"
"Sherlock is a job that needed to be done?" He looked incredulously over at Sherlock, who shrugged and drew his coat closed around him. It was actually one of the better phrases Sally had ever used to describe him.
"It worked," he said. "It was the teacher. She lied about seeing them leave with the other students."
"What, really? Sherlock, if you're just making this up to cover up you and Sally having a go...."
"No, look!" Sherlock pushed himself away from the desk and turned toward it, zipping his trousers as he moved. "Look how neat and clean this desk is. She's taken all of her personal items, photos and trinkets and the like, with her. She doesn't plan to return. She has the children."
"Oh, thank God." Lestrade lifted his phone to tell the other officers. Sally got to her feet and brushed off her knees. Lestrade finished his phone call and came all the way into the classroom. "But seriously, Sally? Was it his idea?"
"No, I just thought, since he didn't have—" She paused and glanced at Sherlock; he knew she'd been about to say "Watson" and changed her mind at the last moment. "He didn't have any other way to clear his mind and I thought it might help. I won't make it a habit, don't worry."
"Good. That's very unprofessional. Lucky I didn't see anything or I'd have to write you up. And Sherlock—" Lestrade pointed his hand with the phone in it at him. "That is not what the Metropolitan Police are here for. Frankly I'm surprised—"
Sherlock raised his eyebrows, waiting for him to continue.
Lestrade sighed and dropped his hand to his side. "Nothing, I just didn't think she was your type."
"She's not," he said, and tried to adjust himself inside his trousers without being too obvious about it. "I don't really have a type. She did a very satisfactory job, though. Very good technique. Definitely experienced."
"Oi, Sherlock, you—"
Sherlock ignored Sally, keeping his back to her. "Put a note in her file, Lestrade. Willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to get the job done. I believe the teacher has relatives in Newcastle, based on the accent she's tried so hard to shed. Start there."
Lestrade's proclamation of thanks was drowned out by Sally. "Oh my God, Sherlock. I hate you. I need a drink. Is there a water fountain in the hallway?" She strode out of the classroom and Sherlock watched her leave, wondering why she was upset. She had helped him solve the case, after all.