Untitled Frenchfic

Chapter Four

by Alicia (aisumitsukai at home.com)

General Disclaimer

On a roll here, now that I've got some free time (finally!) Enjoy!

Chapter Four: Negative Words.

After watching Watson grab a taxi to the Louvre, Holmes and Lestrade were escorted, once again via hover-limo, to the large, new age Talleyrand Hall.

"Lestrade, is the building supposed to be leopard print?" Holmes stood on the sidewalk, losing his hat as he craned his neck to look to the top of the beehive-shaped building.

"Apparently." Lestrade picked up Holmesí hat, sticking it back on his head as he turned to face her.

"I fear for the world." Holmes rearranged the hat on his head, nodding his thanks.

"You should see the Commonwealth swimming pool in Oxford. Itís horrifying." Lestrade smiled. "No deerstalker and Inverness today?"

Holmes shook his head as they entered the building. "Iím saving them for meetings with the President. Iíd rather not stick out like a sore thumb when Iíve the feeling I might be making a fool of myself.... My God. What is that?"

"Ah. Smart. Er, I think itís supposed to be art." Lestrade squinted at the oddly shaped, lime-green thing prominently displayed beside the elevator.

Holmes gave a shudder and stepped into the elevator. "Quick, get in, before it burns out our eyes."

Lestrade rolled her eyes. "Drama queen."


"Never mind."

"One day youíre going to have to give in and explain all your side-stream lingo."

"Nuh uh. Youíre the worldís greatest detective. You figure it out."

"I wish you wouldnít keep bringing that up. Iíve been trying to forget, as I donít think teamwork seminars are a very Great Detective-like thing to do."

"Ah. Sorry."

"Quite all right."

The elevator doors opened with a ding to reveal a mauve hallway and a compu-sign directing them to room 111.

"Well," Lestrade said as they reached the right door. "This is our last chance to turn back before weíre swallowed whole by the terror that is teamwork."

"Drama queen."

"Hey! I thought you didnít know what that meant."

"Please, Inspector, I am the worldís greatest detective."

Lestrade muttered something ungracious and opened the door.

They were greeted by milling crowds of men and women in varying degrees of fancy dress.

"Maybe sandals and a tee-shirt werenít such a good choice after all." Lestrade whispered.

"Iím surprised." Holmes replied sarcastically.

"Elizabeth! Elizabeth!" A powder-faced brunette launched herself onto an unsuspecting Lestrade. "I havenít seen you since the Academy! How are you! Where are you working now? ... Whoís this?"

Lestrade blinked, then grinned. "Sara! Hi! Yeah, itís been a life. Iím doing good, Inspector for New Scotland Yard. How about you? This is Holmes. Sara, Holmes. Holmes, Sara Harrow."

"Holmes? As in Sherlock Holmes? The dead one? Really?" Sara looked from Lestrade to Holmes then back. "Thatís right! There was something on the news a while back, but I thought it was just tabloid mud. Absolutely fantastic to meet you Mr. Holmes." She stuck her hand out. "Er... sorry about the dead comment."

He shook it with a smile. "A pleasure."

She grinned and turned back to Lestrade. "And itís Agent Sara Harrow, if you please, Beth. I got a position in Violent Crimes, FBI, along with a nice cubicle in the Hoover. But Inspector! Way to show us mortals up. Honestly!" Continuing to talk, she grabbed them each by the elbow, leading them to the front of the room to find seats as the MC took his place at the podium for the opening ceremony.

The ceremony was characteristically dry, but mercifully brief, and soon the several hundred officers were split into groups and introduced to their instructor for the day.

Lestrade and Holmes soon found themselves Sara-less, sitting on yoga mats, with about twenty other people, in a room down the hall from 111. At the front of the room Instructor Judy, a dyed redhead in a short skirt and dangly earings, was telling them to stage a fifteen-minute conversation on the topic assigned to them. Using no negative words. This was to practice and encourage positive communication, apparently.

"Right." Lestrade looked at the data pad handed to her, setting the timer affixed to the corner. "Our topic is... Ďwhat did you have for breakfast?í Well, thatís fascinating."

"I had crepes for breakfast, but you already know that." Holmes stared off into space.

"Yeah. I had... zed. You probably know what I had better then I do."

"You had two scrambled eggs with fried tomato, veggie-bacon, and four slices of whole-grain toast. I would not say no to some cocaine right now."

"Oh well, thatís positive. Cocaine screws your brains. Honestly, thatís disgusting Holmes, how can you...."

"Inspector Lestrade! Thatís not positive language at all! How many negative words was that? Three? Please, try to be a little bit more respectful. Mr. Holmes managed to make even cocaine sound positive, Iím sure you can too. If you bothered to try." Judy materialized behind Lestrade.

"How on Earth is making cocaine sound positive a good thing? Zed! What...."

"Please continue with the conversation, Inspector. Iíll stay and help you when you hit a rough patch. Iím sorry for the inconvenience, Mr. Holmes." Judy smiled at him as she marked something down on her data pad.

Lestrade pressed her eyelids shut momentarily. "Right. So. I had scrambled eggs for breakfast."

"I know. I was there. You also had orange pekoe tea with milk."

"Yeah. It wasnít so...."

"ĎWasnítí, Inspector? That doesnít sound very positive."

Lestrade was almost homicidal by the first break. Holmes offered to buy her lunch as a peace offering -- not that he had enjoyed having Judy make eyes at him any more then Lestrade had enjoyed her pointless criticisms.

However, food and drink proved wildly successful at restoring both Holmesí and Lestradeís senses of humour and he didnít regret spending the extra money. He didnít even mind that she spent the walk back talking about the many stupid things Sara and she had gotten up to during their training at the FBI Academy.

However, just as they reached Talleyrand Hall, a nondescript red van flew towards them at breakneck speed, swerving to try to hit them again when it missed the first time. It quickly turned away, vanishing into the heavy traffic, when they ducked into the building.

"Second zedding time in twenty-four hours!" Lestrade brushed off her black pants in exasperation.

"Pardon me?" Holmes frowned at her.

"Someone threw a brick at my hotel roomís French doors last night -- barely missed my head."

"Why didnít you mention it? I was nearly bowled over by a cleaning trolley this morning."

"Why didnít you mention it?" Lestrade put her hands on her hips.

"Same reason as you, I should think. Itís hardly worth the bother. But now... as you know, I donít believe in coincidences. Someone is apparently trying to kill us, albeit sloppily. Obviously weíre doing something right." Holmes smiled in satisfaction and rang for the elevator.

"Yeah. But the question is, what exactly are we doing thatís right?" Lestrade frowned in irritation. "Iíd at least like to know what it is Iím being done for."

"Good question, Lestrade. Where is Watson when you need him? The game is afoot! At the risk of sounding clichťd...."

On to Chapter 5!

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