by Cyberwolf (wolf at mydestiny.net)
All disclaimers in Part I
AN: First 'angsty' part. Influenced and inspired heavily by
Maureen's 'Watcher' - so it's dedicated to her.
Part VIII: Unwelcome News
Once Lestrade was back at the flat, she first shucked off her
sweatshirt and shoes, leaving her in her undershirt and jogging pants,
and padded around the kitchen. After popping a bowl of quick-cook oatmeal
into the ‘heater, she crouched down to pour some kibble into Seeker’s
bowl, and then some milk into the drinking bowl. Seeker sniffed once at
the breakfast, and then pointedly ignored it as he lapped up some milk.
Lestrade smiled at him, again reaching out a hand to ruffle his fur.
"Fussy pup," she sang. "Fussy, fussy, picky little eater, arentcha boy?"
She heard her comm chime, the tones melodic and strangely loud in an
apartment whose only sound was a small dog lapping at his milk. She
stood, and with a final scratch to the back of Seeker’s ears (answered by
the normal wag of the tail) went off to answer the call.
It was Watson whose elastomask greeted her on the vidscreen.
"Watson....good morning! Why, what’s the...."
Watson interrupted, his voice sounding more human than ever with the
heavy grief in it, "Please, Inspector Lestrade....I have something to tell
Holmes finished lapping up his milk. He was a bit hungry, but refused
to eat the kibble Lestrade had set out for him -- he could barely choke
the things down, as he had discovered last night.
He had been seriously annoyed by that Flushing character. Not only had
his boorish behavior towards Lestrade been most offensive to the
Victorian-gentry instincts inside him, there was also the fact that
Lestrade had obviously (to Holmes) grown tense and displeased with the
lout’s arrival -- feelings which had spilled over to him.
The puppy inside him had disliked Flushing as soon as he’d smelt him.
It was an odor of stale beer and unclean sweat, of indolence and unsavory
habits. It had so annoyed the puppy inside him that while Holmes was
imagining the cutting remarks he could make if he were a human -- sharp
enough to draw blood, too sly for such a fool as Flushing to perceive
them* -- the puppy inside him had quite literally overtaken the body and
(AN: *Notice much bias against the Toilet here?)
Before this, Holmes had been the primary personality in the body,
barely even sensing the other. It had gone all reverse then, with Holmes
the subtle observer deep within and the dog the true master of the body.
They’d been nearing Lestrade’s flat by the time the puppy-mind calmed
enough for it to shift control back to Holmes, to go back to being the
watcher that occasionally made Holmes want to chase things. It was the
first time Holmes had been so aware of the fact that there were two
separate intelligences in the same body, though linked to each other; and
while it was somewhat comforting to know that the urge to play with small
rubber bones was not his own, it still unnerved the erstwhile detective.
He lay down on the kitchen floor, head resting on forepaws. It was most
disturbing....and he had yet to indicate to Lestrade that he was not, in
fact, a small puppy-dog. Or found any hint of a solution to his
predicament. Actually, was he that eager to tell Lestrade? Considering
what she had done, already, believing Seeker to be an actual puppy, it
would be....awkward, to say the least. Maybe he could figure it out on
his own and return to his proper form without anyone the wiser about his
His ears pricked. An odd sound had come from Lestrade’s bedroom; he
rose to his feet and padded inside. He paused at the doorway, an
involuntary whine coming from his throat. The sound he had heard, he
could now see, was the thump of Lestrade sliding down the wall. The
Inspector now sat on the floor, back to the wall, eyes staring out
blankly at nothing.
Lestrade wasn’t aware she had slid against the wall until she suddenly
found herself seated on the floor. Watson had logged off, saying
something about heading out to get more details, but she hadn’t, so the
comm buzzed angrily in her ear; she couldn’t find the strength to get up
and press the power button.
The words Watson had said, in that horribly human, grief-stricken voice
of his, danced in her head, replaying the most unspeakable parts so that
her mind swam with it.
....I have something to tell you...
...Holmes didn’t come home last night....missing....no sign...
...last night there was an accident...witnesses saw a tall man in a
deerstalker...driver attests to a glimpse of a man before the wall fell...
...they’re excavating the wall now....
Her heart beat faster than normal, Lestrade dimly noticed, and each
beat hurt her chest. Her head felt weird....like there was a buzzing,
stinging heat (if heat could buzz, this one did) inside, just behind her
eyes, but that she registered the feeling as something distant from her.
She’d felt this way before, once before -- and again, involving Holmes’
death. That day, when she thought he’d died along with Moriarty. Wrong on
both counts, but she hadn’t known that for a while, so that she’d grieved
for his loss. And here she was doing it again, worse than before because
now she knew him longer, now she had become used to seeing and expecting
to see him -- because no one could get three breaks from fate, no one
could be -- dead and then...not -- thrice in his life.
Her thoughts were getting all muddled.
She felt a cold wet nose nuzzling her hand. Slowly, she raised her
downcast face to see Seeker beside her. He raised his strange eyes and
met her gaze. The puppy stood next to her, using his muzzle to poke at
her. He was whining, the sounds plaintive and easy to understand.
She gathered him into her arms and hugged the small warm body to
herself. Right now, she really needed whatever comfort she could get.
On to Part 9!
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