Word Count: 1951
Warnings: Depiction of violence, mentions of suicide, but nothing applies to the boys
Summary: This Sunday was by no means unlike a dozen others, the two of them under Lestrade’s duvet, sitting side by side at the head of the bed, each of them engrossed in his own laptop.
A gruesome death bothers the DI, while Sherlock seems unaffected by it.
Title: Duvet Day
It was a Sunday afternoon and Sherlock was in his bed, again, keeping himself busy and gleefully persisting in ignoring the concept of a duvet day. Lestrade knew Sherlock was just mocking him, testing how far he could take this, and Lestrade admitted to letting him get away with too much.
This Sunday was by no means unlike a dozen others, the two of them under Lestrade’s duvet, sitting side by side at the head of the bed, each of them engrossed in his own laptop. The inspector glanced at Sherlock, who was wearing only his own underwear and one of Lestrade’s old and tattered t-shirts, and couldn’t help but think that something, somewhere, had gone very, very wrong.
Sherlock was on the Old Bailey’s website, browsing criminal history of the past two centuries, and Lestrade was typing the report for one case they had closed the previous afternoon; one of the few that had really shaken Lestrade deeply. From time to time he turned to check on Sherlock, not really believing that the consulting detective could be so detached and distant as he wanted to appear.
The case had been odd enough to guarantee the need to involve Holmes.
The cleaning lady had found the body a few days before, when she had entered the apartment to do her job. The body had been in the bedroom, locked from the inside and completely sealed off, all signs that a fight had taken place there, or a robbery gone wrong, but what had buggered Lestrade had been the door. Locked from the inside, and since there was no key, but only a lock, it was truly an amazing feat.
The windows had been all intact and closed too, and they were on the 6th floor, as if the rest hadn’t been enough.
The body showed wounds on his forearms and had a knife stabbed in his heart. He had been bleeding half on the carpet, half on the Egyptian linen sheets of the bed.
Lestrade had taken his phone from his pocket and speed dialed Sherlock without thinking twice. It had all the markers of a closed room murder, and he knew that Sherlock would never cease to bother him if he didn’t at least give him a chance to prove him that there was no such thing as an impossible murder.
While the annoying genius arrived by cab, Lestrade had spurred his team to find possible entries and speculate about theories that covered at least partly what they were facing. He didn’t want them to get lazy and rely too much on someone like Sherlock, who was the living definition of unreliable.
Not ten minutes later Sherlock was inside the door of the flat, removing his leather gloves to put on his white rubber ones. “You said it was interesting. Where is the body?” he had asked Lestrade as soon as he saw him, completely ignoring the sergeant who had tried to brief him and keep him still until the inspector arrived.
Lestrade had rolled his eyes and led him to the bedroom, listing the details and clues they had found. “Male, early thirties, rather well to do, I’d say, seems he put up a fight: the bedroom is a mess and he’s got slashes on his forearms. No suicide note and he’s sporting a big knife on his chest. It looks like a violent murder to me.”
Sherlock followed him in the bedroom, exchanged his usual unpleasantries with Anderson and knelt to examine the body while Lestrade did his best to prevent another murder from happening in front of his eyes.
Sherlock looked at the wounds and tried to figure out the size and shape of the knife still embedded in the man’s chest. He straightened himself and took one collective glance at the room, taking in as many details as possible. He went to the door, tried the locking mechanism, then walked to the windows to check them too, while Anderson muttered a few snarky remarks about having done it all already, to which Sherlock replied by saying that obviously they hadn’t done a very good job of it.
He walked to the corpse again and took out his magnifying glass, examining closely nails, mouth and nostrils of the victim. He turned towards Lestrade and extended a hand. “I need his wallet,” he stated simply, waiting for the item to be handed to him.
Anderson grumbled something and left, so Lestrade rummaged around the evidence bags to get the man’s wallet. He handed it over, “The name’s Edward MacMillan, no family, no friends, the maid found him this morning,” and he stopped mid-description because it was apparent that Sherlock wasn’t paying much attention to him.
Sherlock opened the wallet and took out the bills, sniffed them, then put them back in the compartment, took out the credit cards and traced his finger along the long edge, sticking the tip of his gloved finger under his tongue and finally standing up to voice his deduction.
“It’s a suicide,” he announced to Lestrade, “stop wasting my time,” with that he turned on his heels and got ready to leave, but Lestrade grabbed him by the forearm to block him.
“What do you mean ‘suicide’? What about the struggle? The knife? Bloody hell, nobody kills himself with a knife. Not with the contents of this poor sod’s medicine cabinet. Or with a gun in that chest of drawers over there. It makes no sense,” he protested, his mind finally giving up on trying following Sherlock’s.
“The victim probably had enough cocaine in his bloodstream to overdose a small elephant. And good stuff, too. He probably didn’t feel a thing.”
Lestrade shook his head, and let go of Sherlock’s arm now that he didn’t seem in such a hurry to leave anymore. “But ‘why’, Sherlock, what’s the motive? There’s no suicide note anywhere, no will, no life insurance, and he didn’t have any money or lady problems.”
Sherlock just shrugged. “Maybe he got bored,” he replied simply, and Lestrade felt himself go chilled.
He stared at Sherlock in silence, hoping that no one else had heard that comment, because he knew Sherlock wouldn’t bother to laugh it off, and he feared it to be too close to the truth to make light of it in front of his team.
Sherlock eventually opened his mouth. “I’m not going to kill myself the next time I get bored,” he said, sounding completely unconcerned by it all. “You start to sound like Mycroft. And he pisses me off,” Sherlock warned, his eyes narrowing almost imperceptibly in an automatic reflex to the name.
“Honestly, I don’t understand.” Lestrade turned to face the murder, no, suicide victim lying half on the carpet in a dark pool of his own blood. “That’s one terrible way to go. It’s impossible.” Sherlock raised an eyebrow and Lestrade swore he could feel him doing it, so he hastily corrected himself. “Murder just seems much more likely an explanation.”
“Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth, Lestrade,” Sherlock chided, “the door is impossible to lock from the outside, and so are the windows, the wounds on his arms are consistent with self inflicted injuries – the angle will prove it – and the knife will turn out to be the sole weapon. There will be only his fingerprints on the handle and the entire room, and your pathologist will confirm that he was high as a kite at the moment of death. Bored city boy that stages an un-boring suicide. Hardly a brain teaser, but an entertaining tale for your coffee breaks.”
Lestrade watched him remove his rubber gloves and swap them for the warmer leather ones. “It’s not something to laugh off over a break, Sherlock. This was a man, he...”
“He had no one, you said so before. Why do you care that he killed himself?”
Lestrade thought, ‘Because that might have been you,’ but didn’t need to say it because Sherlock read his concern in his eyes. “Promise I’ll never find you like this,” he said, instead.
“Don’t worry, it looks too painful.” It wasn’t meant to be reassuring, and Lestrade pretended had to make do as the younger man abandoned the scene and left him and his team to finish bagging up evidence, snapping photographs and cataloguing details to finish the investigation after they had all the forensic reports.
Naturally, Sherlock had been accurate on almost every detail. It had been a suicide, and they had eventually found a suicide note (the crazy bugger had swallowed it prior to his death, a most unpleasant discovery for the coroner, and a really disagreeable task for the one who had to read it: Lestrade), the man had been high off his rocket on cocaine, and the room had been truly locked from the inside.
All of which now left him the task of refining his report and writing down the last details of the case. Sherlock’s presence helped, usually.
Lestrade glanced again at Sherlock’s screen and saw that he was still busy researching Victorian crimes. He added one last full stop and then scrolled up. “Would you mind helping me edit this? Grammar, syntax, details: the usual,” he asked, and Sherlock closed his own laptop.
“Ok, read it to me.”
Lestrade rolled his eyes and cleared his throat. “Why can’t you simply read it yourself?”
“We’ve discussed it already. Because I think better when someone else is reading for me. Go on, please.”
“Every time you open your mouth to talk you spoil my fantasies,” Lestrade joked, then started reading his report. Sherlock stopped him from time to time, suggested rephrasing a few sentences and replacing a few words here and there. When they were done with the first lecture Sherlock pushed away his own laptop and took Lestrade’s, placing it on his lap.
“Comma hunting?” the inspector commented, reaching for the discarded laptop so that he could keep himself busy while Sherlock finished polishing up his report.
“You know you misplace them,” Sherlock said quietly, gaze moving rapidly across the words on the screen, fingers expertly tapping keys and fixing what still needed to be fixed. “You are a threat to the written language.”
Lestrade didn’t take it personally, because the man wasn’t entirely serious. “Apart from what you say to me every single time, did I forget something?”
“I think you forgot to mention my deductions from the content of his wallet,” Sherlock said, scrolling back to the paragraphs describing his interaction with the crime scene.
“That was intentional, Sherlock. Go on.”
“It’s… a bit personal, Greg.”
“Of course it’s personal, moron. An intelligent and lonely young man kills himself out of boredom. Sounds familiar?” he replied, maybe a bit louder than strictly necessary, but Sherlock rarely listened to him otherwise.
Sherlock’s eyes widened a bit in realization. “You think… I’m not like him. I am not alone. I have you. To help me fight boredom. And Mycroft, who’d...” he spat the following verb out as if it were a dirty word, “worry if I disappeared, and Anderson, who’d only be too happy to dance on my grave. All good reasons not to off myself.” He offered, trying for a light-hearted smirk.
“Promise,” Lestrade asked, staring at him, serious.
“Good. Now are you done?”
“Almost, it’d be better if I change a few things here and there, make it a bit more objective?”
The detective inspector pushed the keys to save the document and then closed the laptop. “Ok, but later.”
“Why later?” Sherlock inquired.
“First I want my t-shirt back,” Lestrade replied, pulling the garment off the younger man.