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This Is A Test (Sherlock)

Title: This Is A Test
Author: Morgan Stuart
Fandom: Sherlock
Disclaimer: This universe does not belong to me; I'm just an appreciative visitor. I make no profit from this fan work.
Description: John Watson wasn't the first person Mycroft Holmes kidnapped for a little chat in a warehouse.
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet: 221 words, with the last word beginning with a "b."
Historian's Note: This takes place approximately five years prior to events in the Sherlock episode "A Study in Pink."
Chinese Translation: available here and here by freya_fsc



The "guest" stands with legs spread, arms crossed.

Mycroft reads his body language like a textbook. By necessity a scrapper in his youth, Lestrade's first instinct when cornered is still to fight. But he's older and more patient these days, a bit blunted at the edges, and, quite frankly, tired.

At a considerable disadvantage just now, as well. He knows it.

"Right," Lestrade says without preamble, "I get the message. You have money. Connections. You're bold enough to nick a DI off the street in broad daylight."

Scanning the warehouse, Lestrade licks his lips. "So tell me what the hell you're playing at."

"Please, Detective Inspector." Mycroft waves a hand. "Let's not begin on the wrong note."

Lestrade interrupts Mycroft's dramatic pause.

"Let's not waste time, either. I'd thought word got around after the Vassellas bust and Donegal case: I won't be bought."

No false bravado, only genuine stubbornness.

"If this is a hit" – Lestrade's frown deepens, fear present but outpaced by fury and resignation – "then just get on with it, yeah? Spare me the Bond-villain monologue."

This isn’t a hit; it’s a test. Moments pass. In reply, Mycroft offers silence and his favourite calculating stare.

Lestrade lifts his chin, waiting.

Staring back.

Nothing fragile there, Mycroft realises. How... satisfying.

He smiles. Yes, perhaps this man could handle Baby Brother.


THE END

Note: Read a counterpart story from Lestrade's point of view: "Catch and Release" by lady_karasu.

Vital Stats: Originally written in August 2011.

Comments

( 49 comments — Leave a comment )
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(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so tickled you liked it! Thank you so much. :D
methylviolet10b
Aug. 21st, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
Brilliant. Just brilliant. I can just see this whole scene in my head. Your Lestrade is just perfect. :-)

(And is it just me, or did this story appear earlier, then vanish? Is LJ wonky again, or is it just my brain? Wellll...okay, is it *more* than just my brain?)
lucybun
Aug. 21st, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
LJ is wonky. It did the same thing to me on another post.
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 21st, 2011 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
bluerosefairy
Aug. 21st, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
I fully believe this happened. There's no way Mycroft scares Lestrade any more than he scares John.
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad this seems believable to you! I liked thinking about how Lestrade's "interview" was probably a variation on John's: some differences, according to their personalities and positions, but, as you say, neither being overly intimidated. I expect Mycroft doesn't get a frank stare back from people very often. Maybe once every five years. ;)

Thanks so much for reading and for your feedback!
lucybun
Aug. 21st, 2011 05:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, I just found my fic rec for Monday! Yay! I love this dynamic between the two of them. Fics about Mycroft having respect for Lestrade please me to no end. <3 BTW, maybe your experiment should be an indefinite one, because I sure to enjoy these.
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, bless you! That's lovely of you. :D I'm so glad you liked this.

Fics about Mycroft having respect for Lestrade please me to no end.

I agree wholeheartedly!

And thank you so much for your encouraging words about these recent 221b ficlets. I'm just delighted that you've been enjoying them. I appreciate your encouragement!
marysutherland
Aug. 21st, 2011 06:25 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this - Lestrade displaying his own subtly different form of toughness from John's behaviour in the same situation. More willing to take the fight to the enemy and less patient. And I love Mycroft's thought that this is 'satisfying'; I can just hear his voice then.
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so glad you enjoyed this! And I'm pleased that these differences between Lestrade's and John's "interview" felt fitting to you. I'm especially tickled that Mycroft's reaction seemed in character. I'd imagine finding someone who will meet his gaze without shying away is rare enough to be a refreshing experience when it happens.

I appreciate your reading and commenting very much. Thank you!
(Deleted comment)
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 07:57 pm (UTC)
I'm so happy you think so! Thanks so much. I really appreciate it.
belleferret
Aug. 21st, 2011 08:56 pm (UTC)
Gotta love Lestrade's stubborn, weary determination. Yes, he can handle Baby Brother well enough!

I think you are doing quite nicely with the 221b format. Maybe you should do 119 more. ;-)
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Aw, I do gotta love Lestrade. Especially when he knows his back is to the wall. ;)

Oh wow, that really makes my -- well, more than my day. My week! Thank you for your encouragement. I don't know about another 119 (lol!), but I'm grateful to know these have worked for you. Thank you, my friend!
(no subject) - belleferret - Aug. 22nd, 2011 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
sabrinaphynn
Aug. 21st, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
Heh. I likes.
BTW, the staring and not talking bit. Totally learned from Mummy. ;D
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
Yay! I'm so glad. Thank you for reading and commenting.

BTW, the staring and not talking bit. Totally learned from Mummy. ;D

I love it!!! That makes perfect sense. *nods emphatically and thanks heaven Mummy Holmes wasn't my mum*
(no subject) - sabrinaphynn - Aug. 21st, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 21st, 2011 10:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sabrinaphynn - Aug. 21st, 2011 10:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 21st, 2011 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
my job is done here... - sabrinaphynn - Aug. 21st, 2011 11:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
lady_karasu
Aug. 21st, 2011 09:19 pm (UTC)
I... really kind of love this. Lestrade's attitude just made me smile (as well as Mycroft's approval). Would love to see this from the DI's prospective - maybe including the pickup and release? Maybe? Just a thought. ;)

Oh god, catch-and-release - there's a fishing joke in here, but I'm refusing to look for it...
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm delighted that you do! Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words.

Ooh, I really like this idea! And the notion of a catch-and-release fishing joke, too... ;P

Edited at 2011-08-21 10:43 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - lady_karasu - Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_karasu - Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - morganstuart - Aug. 22nd, 2011 02:08 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lady_karasu - Aug. 25th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC) - Expand
r34dinglight
Aug. 21st, 2011 09:32 pm (UTC)
god do i ♥ things that reaffirm my headcanon. this one hits it dead on with its implication that lestrade is most definitely involved in sherlock's early!life, and that you betchya yes, mycroft was totally aware. and keeping his eye on it/him/them.

as is shown here that lestrade was up to that challenge and then some simply is the waythatitis. the end. :)
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:46 pm (UTC)
We're most definitely on the same page. What you said is my headcanon, for certain. I'm so tickled this seems fitting in light of those ideas. I do adore Lestrade depicted as being "up to that challenge and then some"!

Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. You've put a huge smile on my face.
bethan_b_bad
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
This is AWESOME. :D I love Lestrade.
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 10:48 pm (UTC)
I'm delighted you think so! Thank you so much for your kind words. :D I adore Lestrade, too.

ealcynn
Aug. 21st, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Ha ha, super work! I, from now, on will take this as truth. I can definately see Mycroft and Lestrade bonding over their mutual genius/albatross. Lovely idea with the 221B as well. Good job :)
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 11:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much! I'm delighted you liked it and found it believable. And I'm so happy you thought the 221B format worked.

I can definately see Mycroft and Lestrade bonding over their mutual genius/albatross.

LOL, oh yes, I can imagine this, for certain! :)

I appreciate your reading and commenting. Thanks again.

hardboiledbaby
Aug. 21st, 2011 11:25 pm (UTC)
This is absolutely what happened. :)

Lovely, thanks for sharing!
morganstuart
Aug. 21st, 2011 11:41 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked it, and that the scene seems believable to you. I like to think that's what happened. :)

I appreciate your kind feedback!
lenap_trap
Aug. 22nd, 2011 05:08 am (UTC)
short and very nice))))
morganstuart
Aug. 22nd, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
Thank you! :D
cookiefleck
Aug. 22nd, 2011 10:50 am (UTC)
Mycroft is such a control freak (hmmm, freak, where have we heard that word) but what an interesting character. You captured the personas well and of course Lestrade is perfection under pressure!
morganstuart
Aug. 22nd, 2011 01:19 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you for reading! I was intrigued by the small ways this "interview" might differ from the one we saw with John. Mycroft does indeed strike me as a control freak (great point about that word). I'm so glad the way he framed his "test" and Lestrade's back-against-the-wall posture worked for you.

Ever since I saw that scene in "A Study in Pink," I've thought how John must have assumed that at least one possible outcome of the kidnapping was being killed and dumped somewhere. I'm guessing Lestrade would have even more reason to assume this might be a hit. I particularly liked the idea of contrasting John's stony courage in this situation with Lestrade's rather harried/resigned/angry "just get on with it already" attitude.

I also wonder if Mycroft only finds a man (besides his brother) who'll actually meet his eyes once every five years. ;) I wouldn't be surprised...

Whew! And I think the 221b lark is now officially out of my system, at least for the present. Thanks for hanging in there with me during my experimentation!
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