morganstuart: (Even the King)
[personal profile] morganstuart
The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated! LOL. With apologies for my recent absence (nothing's wrong, just ridiculously busy), here's a wee little 221b offering...


Title: Even The King
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: "Only a fool never doubts."
Historian's Note: This takes place during events depicted in the second-series Sherlock episode "The Reichenbach Fall."
Author's Note: This is a 221b ficlet (221 words, the last beginning with "b").
Warnings (Highlight to Read): Spoilers for "The Reichenbach Fall"




"And then, even the King began to wonder."
- Jim Moriarty's "The Story of Sir Boast-A-Lot," as told to Sherlock Holmes, "The Reichenbach Fall"

"Only a fool never doubts."
- King Arthur to Sir Lancelot, Camelot



He'd come to terms with the fact he wasn't infallible years ago, and he'd swallowed a great deal of black coffee and cigarette smoke and personal pride since then.

To Lestrade's mind, that was the beginning of… if not wisdom, then pragmatism: the humility to ask for help, to seek out others' insights when they might prove useful.

Any honest detective second-guessed himself.

Added to that, Lestrade had Sherlock's repeated word - and the Chief Superintendent's as well - that he was an idiot, didn't he?

When the objections first appeared, of course he wondered.

He was duty-bound to do so.

Never mind that the thought burned like ashes and bile. Never mind that discovering he'd been not only a dupe but an accessory to some murderous charade would break him, as surely as superiors' reprimands and a wife's betrayal and the daily sight of violent death hadn't done.

He stared down "what ifs," scrutinising his recollections of past cases, imploring the facts to speak clearly for themselves.

They vindicated him and his loyalty. Swiftly. No, he hadn't been mistaken.

Not about Sherlock, at least.

But the team Lestrade had assembled, the colleagues he'd respected, the very institutions he'd long served, all so readily manipulated, twisted: they were another matter entirely.

As for the promise of justice…

Oh, he doubted.

Bitterly.



THE END

Vital Stats: Originally written in April 2012.

Date: 2012-04-11 12:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thesmallhobbit.livejournal.com
So glad you're back. This is beautiful. And so sad, one part of his life vindicated, but the larger part, that he'd spent so long building up so quickly and forcibly torn down.

Date: 2012-04-12 02:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much, my friend!

And so sad, one part of his life vindicated, but the larger part, that he'd spent so long building up so quickly and forcibly torn down.

I'm so glad this came through and that it works for you. It really is a tragic turn of events, knowing the system to which he's given his life has been used against his friend and ally. And there he stands, in the middle, between them. Woe!

I really appreciate your kind words. :)

Date: 2012-04-11 12:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fengirl88.livejournal.com
seconding what [profile] thesmallhobbit said - beautiful and sad, and right.
Edited Date: 2012-04-11 12:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-12 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much! I ache for Lestrade and the position in which he finds himself here. I'm so glad this worked for you. I appreciate your kindness!

Date: 2012-04-11 12:53 pm (UTC)
ext_104931: Beauty And The Books (Girl (Make A Wish))
From: [identity profile] melliyna.livejournal.com
LESTRADE AS KING ARTHUR!!!!

Apologies for the caps lock I just, apparently have A Thing for it and you write it so perfectly - genuinely Arthurian feel - sad, beautiful and hopeful.

Date: 2012-04-12 02:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
YAY!

Thank you so much. I'm absolutely delighted that this worked for you. You've put a huge smile on my face!

Date: 2012-04-11 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sc010f.livejournal.com
Oh poor Lestrade!

This is bitingly beautiful.

And so glad you're back!

Date: 2012-04-12 02:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much, m'dear! *hugs you*

Date: 2012-04-11 01:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] list-of-lists.livejournal.com
Oh, Lestrade. As others have said, so beautiful and sad.

Date: 2012-04-12 02:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you so much. Poor, poor Lestrade: my heart aches for him. It means a lot to know this seemed properly moving. I really appreciate it!

Date: 2012-04-11 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] litlover12.livejournal.com
Fantastic!

("Camelot" quote FTW!)

Date: 2012-04-12 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much! :D I'm so tickled you liked the Camelot reference, especially.

Date: 2012-04-11 01:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] impishtubist.livejournal.com
Very beautiful and sad. Well done, as always.

Date: 2012-04-12 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you, my friend! I really appreciate it.

Date: 2012-04-11 02:23 pm (UTC)
ext_58380: (Default)
From: [identity profile] bk7brokemybrain.livejournal.com
I love that Lestrade is as open-minded as any scientist, willing to revisit the evidence. And I'm glad he was able to believe in Sherlock and himself. Very cool moment.
XOXO

Date: 2012-04-12 02:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, this does my heart good! I'm so, so glad this worked for you. Thank you, my friend. :)

Date: 2012-04-11 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] splix.livejournal.com
This is excellent. I don't read a lot of Lestrade POV and this feels very much like him - it has bite and soul to it. Thank you.

Date: 2012-04-12 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, this makes me so happy! It means a lot to hear that Lestrade's "bite and soul" come through properly here. I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you.

Date: 2012-04-11 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eanor.livejournal.com
So glad to see you're back! :-)

This was very poignant as usual. Poor Lestrade - but then one could say he's the wisest for allowing doubt and testing it scientifically. I really liked that he wasn't so easily fooled. And the first sentence is my favourite! :-)

Date: 2012-04-12 03:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you so much! I'm so happy that this seemed moving and properly in character to you, and I'm particularly thrilled that you liked the first line. :D I really appreciate your kind comments.

Date: 2012-04-11 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mazaher.livejournal.com
Sometimes one's honest best is simply not enough, and fighting against something as impersonal as institutions and public opinion is the hardest of tests. I still hope that Lestrade will be vindicated in S3-ep.1. Meanwhile, this short story is as masterful as usual for you: welcome back, and thank you!

Date: 2012-04-12 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, well said! I couldn't agree more. I'm so happy that this worked for you. Thank you for your encouragement, my friend!

Love this.

Date: 2012-04-11 07:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lastwordy-mcgee.livejournal.com
I see it as a beginning-- this sounds, to me, like Lestrade preparing for war. He has come to some painful realization, but he also can fall back upon knowing his own integrity is pure and that he was right. That's a place of great power, for someone who knows how to wield it.

And he does.

Re: Love this.

Date: 2012-04-12 03:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
He has come to some painful realization, but he also can fall back upon knowing his own integrity is pure and that he was right. That's a place of great power, for someone who knows how to wield it.

Oh, well said indeed! And you're right: he does know how to wield it. I love how you describe this, and I love the idea of him preparing for war. And if he and John join forces... God help their enemies. I'm just sayin'.

Thank you so much for this. You've made my day.

Re: Love this.

Date: 2012-04-12 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lastwordy-mcgee.livejournal.com
Well, as you know, I want you to write Lestrade forever :) Your grasp of him is just perfect, IMO.

Re: Love this.

Date: 2012-04-14 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, this thrills my heart! :D Thank you!

Date: 2012-04-11 08:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freya-fsc.livejournal.com
OMG... here you are. With a Lestrade POV 221b ficlet. *faint*
I just love it. And I especially like this sentence: "He was duty-bound to do so." It's his job. I even started to wonder if Lestrade had Sherlock arrested and brought into the Yard, he probably would try to prove that the other man was innocent.
Thank you for this! Welcome back!

Date: 2012-04-12 03:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you! I'm so thrilled that you enjoyed this! Especially the line about his duty.

I have no doubt that, by the time Lestrade was arresting Sherlock, he was certain of his innocence. (I don't think he'd ever have called and warned Sherlock what was coming if he still harbored any doubts.) I imagine he saw the official channels as the only way Sherlock could clear his name - but, like everyone else, Lestrade didn't have the "big picture" that Moriarty was painting in view. I can't imagine how Lestrade felt afterward, knowing the last time he saw Sherlock, he'd put the detective in handcuffs. Woe!

I appreciate your kind and encouraging words so much. I have another 221b ficlet coming up soon. :D Thanks again!

Date: 2012-04-11 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijeli.livejournal.com
This is a very good and plausible Lestrade characterisation. He's duty-bound to doubt and to accept weakness - both things that make him anything but a fool indeed. I also really like this scene in the Reichenbach Fall, and I like what you did with it.

Date: 2012-04-12 03:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so glad you found the characterisation believable here. I'm really happy that this worked for you!

I loved your insight here: "He's duty-bound to doubt and to accept weakness - both things that make him anything but a fool indeed." Well said indeed. I agree wholeheartedly.

Thank you for your lovely feedback! I appreciate it.

Date: 2012-04-11 09:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ascendant-angel.livejournal.com
Beautiful and sad.

Date: 2012-04-12 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much for this!

Date: 2012-04-11 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lotl101.livejournal.com
Absolutely beautiful! Great characterization.

Date: 2012-04-12 03:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I'm so thrilled you think so! Thank you very much for this. I really appreciate it.

Date: 2012-04-12 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fitofpique.livejournal.com
Oh oh oh. This is absolutely heart-breaking!

Date: 2012-04-12 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh! *hugs you* It means a lot to know you found this to be moving. I ache for Lestrade and the position in which Moriarty puts him. No matter which way he looks, the work (and the relationships) to which he's devoted himself are crumbling around him.

Thank you so much for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me!

Date: 2012-04-13 12:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cookiefleck.livejournal.com
You make a good point here... even if Lestrade's faith in Sherlock is unshakeable, he has to have suffered over his team's/institution's actions and how that has affected his relationship with them and the Yard. I'd like to think that his friendship with John and Molly might help see him through this difficult period in his life.

Date: 2012-04-14 04:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much! I'm so glad this seemed fitting to you. I'm with you: I do do hope his friendships with his "fellow believers" will help him through the aftermath of this. I really appreciate your comments, my friend.

Date: 2012-04-13 06:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] labellecreation.livejournal.com
I only hope John in S3 has enough sense to see that Lestrade was between a rock and hard place, not arresting Sherlock would have been seen as insubordination and arresting Sherlock ruins his five years of friendship. The man couldn't win either way.

Date: 2012-04-14 04:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
I agree with you: I hope John realises the terrible position Lestrade was in. I have no doubt Lestrade thought that bringing Sherlock in and going through the legal channels would be the best way to clear his name (and what good could Lestrade possibly do as an advocate for Sherlock if he got himself sidelined by resisting orders?). I think John as well as Sherlock appreciated that Lestrade never would've phoned and warned them the police were coming if he'd had any doubts about Sherlock's innocence. That, I think - I hope! - is what John will remember. *fingers crossed*
Edited Date: 2012-04-14 04:47 pm (UTC)

Date: 2012-04-16 04:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cuddles-and-jam.livejournal.com
This is very true to Lestrade, and very sad.

Date: 2012-04-19 12:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much for this. I'm so glad it felt properly moving and in character.

Date: 2012-06-14 03:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] phiso-kun.livejournal.com
I liked this. I like how, now that we know what's going on with Lestrade's wife, it fits so well into this narrative. And I like how Lestrade is not afraid to doubt, because he knows how important it is, but once he has checked he does not doubt again. He will check once, maybe twice, but he will not be tricked three times.

It's a shame that he worked so hard for Scotland Yard, and it betrayed him this way. He lost a lot for it, and now it's kicking him out, not even realizing how wrong it was.

Oh, Lestrade. <3

Date: 2012-06-14 09:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Dear, dear Lestrade.

I like how, now that we know what's going on with Lestrade's wife, it fits so well into this narrative.

I'm so pleased this seemed fitting!

He will check once, maybe twice, but he will not be tricked three times.

YES. YES. *nods vigorously*

It is a shame that his colleagues gave him no benefit of the doubt. It broke my heart a bit, watching him fall through the cracks in "TRF." But I adored how Sherlock, to the last, knew Lestrade was one of his true friends, one of the ones who counted.

Thank you for your lovely comments!

Date: 2012-07-13 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trishkafibble.livejournal.com
Perfect. ;_;

Date: 2012-07-14 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Oh, thank you so much!

Date: 2012-09-03 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] trishkafibble.livejournal.com
Oh! Oh, thank you so much for his doubt, settling on other shoulders than Sherlock's. Yet it is indeed so bitter, to have those doubts settle so close to home, on the people and the institution he'd given so much loyalty to. The tragedy of that fall reaches far and deep.

Date: 2012-09-08 11:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morganstuart.livejournal.com
Thank you for this. I'm so glad this worked for you. I ache not only for what he's been through, but also what he must endure now, seeing that so much of what he's worked for has been undone. As you say, he's given his loyalty, and that trust has not been returned - if anything, it's been betrayed. Tragedy indeed!
Edited Date: 2012-09-08 11:52 pm (UTC)

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morganstuart
"To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty."
- H.P. Lovecraft, 1921

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