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For morosophe
Follow the Shifter Trail
By PaBurke
Prompt: a Sherlock-centered ‘Can't See the Forest for the Family Trees’ snippet--particularly one involving Lestrade or Molly Hooper.
Disclaimer: No one belongs to me. More the pity.

Mrs. Hudson had called Gregory Lestrade a silver fox.

She had been absolutely right and the words had floored Gregory.

Yes, Sherlock had deduced Gregory’s Shifter status, but even he hadn’t guessed a rare fox. He had somehow gathered some of Gregory’s fur and examined it under a microscope. Mrs. Hudson had known. She wasn’t a Shifter and she wasn’t a Shaman. She was probably one of the even rarer Shaman experiments. There was always a few of them floating about with random powers. She was obviously without a Shaman ordering her about which made Gregory suspicious of the imprisoned Mr. Hudson. And suspicious in Sherlock’s ability to gather enough evidence to convict and imprison a Shaman. Sherlock wasn’t a Shaman, thank God, neither the Holmes brothers were, but Sherlock was genius enough to outwit one.

He was genius enough to spot Gregory’s Shifter and smart enough to keep his mouth shut about it. He wasn’t using it as blackmail… yet, but Gregory was wary. Sherlock would do whatever necessary to get his way and Gregory feared for his secret sometimes.

Oh, it wasn’t a total secret. He was registered. The chief of police knew and so did his secretary but not many more. Gregory was fully aware of the bias and prejudice against Shifters. It had broken his marriage. Only a three of his coworkers knew. He worked extra hard and solved more cases than any other DI, as a precaution for if the secret leaked. Being a Shifter was isolating. There weren’t many in England and they were greatly outnumbered by the Shaman. Traditionally, Shamans hated Shifters even more than the normal humans fearing the unknown. At least once a year, a Shifter was killed by a Shaman. Gregory always always pulled Sherlock in on those cases and Sherlock always always delivered the evidence and often a plan of arrest to imprison the Shaman. He liked those challenging puzzles.

Sherlock was a pain in the arse but he treated all victims the same, be they Shifter or Shaman or normal. He treated all people as stupid people and, if anything, treated Gregory better than the normals on his team.

Even so, Sherlock showing up with a limping man and calling him an assistant and a flatmate was a shocking surprise. Who would tolerate Sherlock? And why?

It was months before Gregory realized John Watson was a Shifter. John wasn’t a fox or a wolf. His disposition was too warm to be a reptile and he wasn’t excessive fond of heights like avians. His other shape was probably a mammal. Perhaps a feline of some sort? They were contrary creatures and one had to be contrary to survive being Sherlock’s flatmate.

Gregory had nearly asked Sherlock, but realized when the consulting detective was asking about a smell too faint for a human nose (Sherlock despised Shifters for not using all of their senses), he didn’t direct the question to John as well as Gregory.

Sherlock didn’t know.

How could John Watson have managed to hide that from Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock didn’t know his flatmate was a Shifter.

Gregory wanted to laugh. He wanted to get a drink. He didn’t want to spill the beans so he tried to hide his feelings. Sherlock was suspicious, of course, and examined John as was his habit. John didn’t change or flinch or try to hide. He was the same old John Watson. Dependable and completely unpredictable.

That was it. He had to be a cat of some sort. He was entirely contrary.

Gregory would buy him a pint for being contrary someday.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 12th, 2012 02:30 am (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Wow, this was perfect. Thank you!

That is so Watson, isn't it--hiding something like that under Sherlock's (inferior human) nose? And that's so Sherlock--taking particular glee in taking down Shamans despite (well, because of) their advantages!

Just so you know, in my head version of your universe, Jethro Gibbs is also a fox shifter. He still tries to make a comfortable pack for Tony, though, despite the fact that foxes aren't particularly pack-oriented.

And once again, this was beautiful, and much better than I had expected. (I hadn't hoped to have such a good look at Sherlock and Watson themselves.) Thank you so much for this!
Dec. 12th, 2012 10:33 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you so much!
I'm glad you liked it. I hadn't thought about NCIS in this verse. Not sure how I'd do it...
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )