Promises Kept, Promises Broken
by Mary Christmas (unicorn_76010 at lycos.com)
Lestrade kept her gaze narrowed on Holmes, despite the fact
that she was happy to see him. She was rather upset with him at
the moment, not to mention confused, and she wasnít going to let
him get away with what he thought he was going to get away with.
He had turned back around after her outburst and was rifling
through the various things on the shelf above the floating cot.
He was apparently intent upon ignoring her, which drove her anger
-- and, she had to admit, her curiosity -- up.
"Holmes," she began warningly, but he held up a hand to silence
her. She frowned and started again, but stopped when she too
heard what he must have: the sound of boots hitting the hard
packed dirt of the barn floor. She sighed, folded her arms and
fell back against the wall, still glaring at the detective.
A few seconds later the door burst open and three wet, unruly
figures came running in, one right after the other. It was C.C.
followed by Katy who in turn was followed by Colin. They were all
talking at once, each clamoring to be heard above the other in
their attempt to get her to hear their side of the story, which
she hadnít been able to discern so far. Something about a
dog...maybe a log? She shook her head and then let out a shrill
whistle. Everyone, including Holmes, looked at her in surprise.
"Okay, now, C.C., you start first. Ah ah! Katy, wait your turn.
You can tell your side when sheís done. Go on, C.C."
The girl smirked at Katy then sniffled and gazed pathetically
up at Lestrade. "I was just minding my own business," she
sniveled, "when Katy tried to push me into that bog of mud...."
"I did not! I shoved past you when you wouldnít move out of my
way, you whiny little brat!" Katy shouted, her hands clenched into
"Come on, you guys, it was a little accident," Colin tried to
intervene, his brow furrowed worriedly, "Just apologize for shoving
her, Kait, and..."
His older sister whirled on him, and Lestrade stepped between
the two of them. "Good idea, Katy. You shouldnít push people,
whether they move for you or not." She scowled at Holmes when he
made a noise that sounded suspiciously like a snicker.
"Sorry," Katy said, scowling at the younger girl. Then she
mumbled under her breath something that sounded a lot like, "But
not as sorry as youíre gonna be when I get you alone." Then she
stomped out of the apartment obviously angry at her aunt, who
usually took her side against C.C.ís machinations. She was at
that self-absorbed stage where the whole world was against her if
things didnít go her way, and the situation she and her brother
were in was hardly conducive to learning anything different.
Lestrade watched the doorway where the girl had gone and then
looked back at the other two.
"C.C., I thought your mother told you to clean your room before
you could go outside?"
"Well...." the girl began.
"Well, nothing. I take it from that you didnít do what you were
told. Now go back to the house right now." She pointed out the
door, and C.C. scowled, folded her arms across her chest and
huffed. Then she caught sight of Holmes and her expression
cleared. "No," Lestrade said, "you can meet the new guy later."
"I ainít your Mommy." Lestrade had found that it was more
effective when she put a slight accent in her voice when dealing
with C.C., and it was even more effective when she butchered the
English language. The girl sighed and slumped her shoulders,
clearly not going to leave without letting Lestrade know she was
incredibly mean. "Get." The single word was enough to forestall
the planned spectacle and C.C. fled from the room.
"Well?" she asked Colin as he looked at the door. The boy
looked at her with his big brown puppy dog eyes out of his
cherubic face. She supposed in a few years all that baby fat
would finally fall off and his face would be as lanky as his
form, but she rather doubted it.
"Well, what?" he asked back, suddenly grinning. He was looking
between Holmes and herself. "Oh, I get it." He nodded sagely.
Lestrade scowled and playfully hit him on the arm, even as a
blush rose in her cheeks.
Holmes, rather good at acting, scratched his head and gave them
both a confused look. "íScuse me, but I ainít so sure whatís goiní
Colin choked on his sudden laughter, and Lestrade mock-glared
at Holmes. Her heart was lighter than it had been since she had
come here, and knew that at least her dear nephew could cheer her
up if she needed it. She refused to admit that maybe Holmes had
something to do with that as well, maybe even all of it really.
Besides, she was still upset with him for -- well, for whatever
it was that he was doing here. Which she still hadnít found out.
She hadnít even had a chance!
"Now hold on here a minute," Holmes protested, "I ainít said
nothiní thatís to be laughed about. Iím just a poor drifter
lookiní for a job while I can. Aní I donít think this is the
place...." He placed the Stetson squarely on his head and made as
if to leave. Of course, he wouldnít want to have to explain
himself to her, whether or not it would be something that could
cause her personal danger. Well, too bad for him.
Colin instantly looked contrite, his face creasing once more
into worried lines. Lestrade, knowing what his game was, stepped
in front of him and placed her hand on his chest. She smiled
without humor and glanced over at Colin.
"íSokay, Colly-pup, he knows we were just joking. Didnít you?"
She raised an eyebrow meaningfully.
Holmes shrugged. "íCourse. Didnít mean to make you think you
were beiní rude. But really, I...."
"But really, you have been rude, havenít you, mister? Why, we
donít even know your name...." Lestrade smiled, enjoying herself
greatly. She knew he would never break cover unless it suited his
"Mitch." That one monosyllabic word was filled with his
resignation and Lestradeís smile grew.
"Okay, then," Colin said, the worry easing from his face, "See
ya around, Mitch. Iím gonna go say hi to Scribbles. I forgot to
last week." The boy went running out of the apartment and down
"Now," Lestrade said, once she was sure he was gone, "Youíre
gonna tell me why youíre here."
On to part 5!
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