Title: Lestrade Lays Down the Law
Summary: What if from the very beginning Lestrade had laid down some rules of proper behavior for both Sherlock and his team?
A/N: There may be additional chapters added carrying this into the series if inspiration strikes. So follow the story if you'd be interested in reading more.
They say hindsight is 20/20. It really had seemed like a good idea at the time. Sort of. Well, at least the good had seemed to outweigh the bad. But now, Detective Inspector Gregory Lestrade was thinking that he'd made a serious mistake in agreeing to allow Sherlock to progress from case files to actually being allowed on crime scenes. Sherlock had made the argument a hundred times before Lestrade had decided that maybe now was the time to give it a try.
"Just think, Lestrade. How much more information would I have if I could actually see the crime scenes, see the bodies before they're moved, see the surrounding evidence that is disregarded—"
"All right. All right." A moment's pause had followed. "You're right. And you've been clean for a year. I will call you in on difficult cases and allow you access to crime scenes. But, you need to remember that you're on my turf and follow my rules. Don't contaminate the scene, don't do anything that will make evidence inadmissible, don't run off on your own. And Sherlock. No deducing my team members."
Sherlock had rolled his eyes at that. "I mean it, Sherlock. I know you can't help but notice things and to figure out what they mean, but you can keep your deductions about my team to yourself. Deal?" And Lestrade had held his hand out.
With glittering eyes, Sherlock had reached out and said, "Deal."
But it ended up being like a train wreck that you can see coming but can't do anything to prevent. Lestrade had prepared his team for Sherlock, referring to him as the consultant that had solved all of those cold cases over the last couple years, as well as helping with some recent ones. He'd warned them that Sherlock was a bit short on people skills, but very good at what he did. Then, of course, he had laid down the rules with Sherlock. But, Lestrade had forgotten to mention a Very Important rule: No insults.
Sherlock had arrived in a swirl of black coat and been off to the races with his deductions, while everyone stood around watching him wide-eyed. After only a few minutes, the perpetrator had been practically signed, sealed, and delivered.
"W-what makes you think he's right?" Donovan half-stuttered, unbelievingly. Unfortunately, Sherlock was an arrogant git that knew how to push everyone's buttons, and so he proceeded to use one of his idiot insults, applied rather broadly to the whole team by implication.
Equally unfortunately, Donovan was like an insecure kindergartener that resorts to name-calling rather than ignoring the instigator, and so she proceeded to call him a freak and began a defense of herself and her colleagues.
Lestrade interrupted, "Donovan! Go take over for Cagney out back. Sherlock! You're with me," as he firmly grabbed Sherlock by the arm and took a few long strides out onto the porch and down the front walk, all the while wondering how he was going to fix this problem.
Lestrade plunged in after a deep breath, "Look, Sherlock. I'm glad to have your insight, and it's extremely helpful. However, if you cannot behave professionally, you will not be allowed to come to crime scenes."
"What are you complaining about, Lestrade? I solved your case, didn't I?" Sherlock scoffed.
"Coming to crime scenes is a privilege, and it's not going to happen if you're going to abuse my team and call them names. You can go back to reading the files only if you can't behave yourself," he finished firmly.
"You'd still be clueless if I hadn't come!" Sherlock declared indignantly.
"I would hate to lose your input, and I understand that you can deduce more with access to the scenes. But look, Sherlock! The majority of the cases that I deal with never involve you, and I'm dependent solely on the members of my team. I need their respect and full cooperation," Lestrade's voice began to raise, "and I'm not going to have that if I let you come in and upstage them and insult them to boot!"
"All I did was correct their mistakes and show them where they'd gone wrong. They should be glad for the opportunity to improve themselves!"
"No, Sherlock, you did more than correct someone's mistake. You insulted everybody and placed them below you. If you're going to keep coming to scenes, you cannot insult my team members! If something they say is inaccurate, you may matter-of-factly say something like, 'Actually, this is what happened. See x, y, and z.' If they miss evidence, you can say, 'Actually, this thing is important because of x.' Can you handle that?"
"How can I know every little petty thing that they might take offense at?" he asked scornfully.
"Personally, I think you're intelligent enough that you should be able to avoid the majority of insults. But, let me give you a hint. Look up 'idiot' in a thesaurus, and then look up all the words that it says mean the same thing, and don't use any of those words you see in reference to myself or any of my team, our actions, words or thoughts. That is a condition of coming to crime scenes, Sherlock." A pause. "Do you understand?"
"Yes," was the grudging answer.
"Good, and you'll need to apologize to Sergeant Donovan," Lestrade said briskly.
"I will also be talking to Sergeant Donovan about what is professional conduct expected of anyone working my crime scenes. But, you worry about keeping up your bargain with me so that you can have access, and let me worry about my team."
Sherlock just glared at Lestrade and fumed silently.
With a sigh, "Look, Sherlock, I know you're not used to apologizing. You don't even have to say the words, 'I'm sorry.' You can just say something like, 'I shouldn't have insulted you or your team members. I won't do it again.' And you should be able to agree that you shouldn't have, because it's jeopardizing your crime scene access! So, I'll let you know next time there's a crime scene we could use your help at, but don't show up unless you're ready to apologize appropriately and then behave. Otherwise, you can head straight home and be on probation for a month. Now, off with you."
"No, I'm done here. Thank you for your help. I have a crime scene to finish processing. You know what you have to do before you'll be admitted to another one," he said over his shoulder as he walked off.
"Donovan, come in and shut the door. Have a seat." Lestrade waved a hand at a chair.
"Look, Donovan, I know that Sherlock can be aggravating. It's my mistake for not preparing both you and him better ahead of time. But, no matter how provoking he, or a criminal, or a member of the public, or a superior is, you cannot react like that. Calling him a freak because he's different from you was totally unprofessional."
"But, he was—"
"I've talked with him. I will not allow you to insult him, and I will not allow him to insult you. But, Sherlock has appalling social skills. I really should have expected it of him, but I expected better of you. What in the world made you respond like that?"
"Sir, he- he acted like he was better than all of us, better than you. Superior and genius, looking down on us idiots who do this for a living, like he can do our jobs better than us. And—"
Suddenly, Lestrade realized how insecure Sally actually still was in her relatively new role. "Look, Sally," he sighed, "Sherlock is very, very good as what he does. I have never seen anyone better able to take the pieces of a puzzle and figure out what happened. You aren't anywhere near as good as him at that, and neither am I. But, that's only one small part of your job. You are outstanding at handling victims and distraught witnesses, interviewing them, calming them down, establishing rapport. You are great at dealing with criminals in a cool matter-of-fact way, no matter what they say. You're good at motivating other team members to work toward getting the job done. You're hard-working and stick to a task like a terrier until it's done. You're an outstanding detective sergeant, and I would take you in that role over Sherlock Holmes any day of the week. Do you understand?"
"Yes, sir. Th-thank you, sir!" Sally said as she sat up straighter and lifted her chin. Though Lestrade had offered the occasional praise, he had never made it so completely clear how much he valued her.
"Sherlock would be a lousy police detective, but he is a very good consulting detective. No family should be left not knowing what happened to their loved one." He noticed Donovan had a brief look of shame on her face for having forgotten that in her confrontation with Sherlock. "So, I would like to bring him in on the tough cases, and I'll expect you both to behave appropriately. If you want to make detective inspector some day, you need to learn how to respond professionally even to those who don't treat you the same way. Okay?"
"Good. Sherlock knows that the next time he comes to a crime scene, he Is expected to apologize to you. And I expect you to apologize to him. And I would suggest as the professional, you make the move to apologize first."
"Good. That's all, Donovan." But as Donovan started to open the door, Lestrade looked up, "Oh, Donovan, I'd suggest a better way to address him would be Mr. Holmes."
Lestrade had stopped in routinely on Sherlock a few days later, just to get a feel for whether Sherlock was going to play ball. It was two weeks before Lestrade had a case that he felt was worthy of Sherlock's attention. Lestrade made sure that he and Donovan were off to the side apart from everyone else when Sherlock arrived.
Sherlock stepped quickly into the room, before zeroing in on Lestrade and Donavan and quickly striding over. Both he and Donovan began to speak at the same time, halted, and then Donovan said, "Go ahead, Mr. Holmes."
"Sergeant Donovan," Sherlock began, and then proceeded to repeat Lestrade's sample apology word-for-word, though he did make them sound like his own words. "I shouldn't have insulted you or your team members. I won't do it again. Please, call me Sherlock."
Donovan said somewhat stiffly, "Thank you, Sherlock," and then proceeded more naturally. "I also shouldn't have said what I did. It was unprofessional, and it won't happen again. I appreciate anything you can do to help us get answers." She held out her hand to Sherlock, and after a moment, he shook on their truce.
Lestrade saw several of his team members had been observing from the other side of the room, which had been his plan all along, since they had been offended as well. Word would spread quickly. "Good. Sherlock, let me show you what we've got."
After Sherlock was done at the scene—this time he needed to do some research before providing any final answers—Lestrade walked him out. "So, you stuck with exactly what I suggested," as he turned to Sherlock.
"I don't do apologies, Lestrade. It was either, 'I'm sorry," or what you said. And your proposed script was imminently better," with a wry look.
"Thank you, Sherlock. Welcome to the team."
A/N: If you liked this story and would be interested in further chapters, please follow the story. It's been on my hard drive for a while as I tried to figure out what to write next, but I finally decided that it was a decent story as is, to post it, and then add on later if inspiration strikes.