A.N: These tics are not proofread, and sometimes not even spellchecked. I tend to write fanfics only when I'm desperate to write, but have no clue. I'll update as and when, but these two tonight are for the Papa!Lestrade thing on Tumblr to celebrate Father's Day.
Thank you all for your support,
~~It was almost the end of summer when Saskia met the Yard. She was due to start school in a few weeks, but a particularly paperwork-heavy case dragged Greg back into the office. After he was promoted to DCI, his work had become much more desk-based, which was good as far as Sass [and his safety] were concerned, but he did find it horribly dull. Usually he could do the majority of the paperwork at home, but when gathering statements and scrambling together evidence from all over the Yard, Greg decided that it was easier to stay in the office.
Surprisingly, Saskia didn’t seem too averse to the idea, and by 9 that morning, the two were in the office, quietly getting on. Greg had cleared one side of his desk of its organised chaos, and here Saskia set up camp, colouring pencils all lined up in a neat, rainbow row and paper tucked away nearby. Side by side, the odd pairing scribbled away, both with brows drawn and tongue stuck out in concentration, Greg’s black ink slipping over page after page of forms, and Saskia’s pencils rolling back and forth as her drawing came to life. When Greg asked what she was drawing, Saskia dived over her work, hiding it from his view. “You can’t look, Daddy- it’s a secret!!”
“A secret, hm?? Not a secret that the Tickle Monster could find out??”
Saskia giggled, “Nope!! It’s a surprise!!”
“Well then, surprise me, little Sass!” Greg smiled fondly, ruffling her blonde hair fondly, before returning to the pile of paper in front of him.
The next time Greg spoke, he did so whilst standing up. “Now then, Sass, I’m just going to go and ask Sally something- be good, don’t burn my office down, and don’t bite anyone. Even if it is Anderson.”
“Whhyy??” Saskia asked, “I’ve never met Anderson. He doesn’t sound very tasty.”
“I couldn’t possibly comment!! I’ll be back before you know it, but if anyone asks you where I’m on a Sally hunt, alright??”
“You’re going on a Sally hunt, you’re gonna catch a big one, but you’re not scared!” Saskia chanted, and Greg grinned “I don’t think Sally’s a bear, Sass. Nice try though. See you in a bit.”
Saskia hummed in response, her little pink tongue sticking out between rows of shiny white teeth as she focused on a tricky part of her picture.
Soon after Greg left, Sally knocked on the door. “Greg?” she called, as she pushed the door open, before doing a double take. Her boss appeared to have become a blonde, four year old girl, and when the girl looked up, her face was confused.
“Who are you?” she asked, curious.
“Well, I was about to ask you the same thing! I’m looking for Detective Inspector Lestrade??”
“I’m Sass, and Daddy went on a Sally hunt…. But I asked first!”
“Well that’s interesting, because I’m Sally!!”
“Ohh…. Well, Daddy’s looking for you.”
“I’ll wait for him here then, else it’ll end up in a wild goose chase. How about you tell me a bit about yourself, Sass?” Sally asked the question to try and place Sass- Greg had never mentioned that he had a daughter, and she pondered how much she had forgotten whilst she was away.
“Well, my full name is Saskia, but everyone calls me Sass. I’m five soon, and I like drawing, and Disney, and, and singing, and Winnie the Pooh, and I love my Daddy very much. He’s not like Father.”
Sass’ little voice trailed off sadly as Sally’s heart melted. Finally there was someone who genuinely cared about Greg, and it sounded as if the feeling was mutual. For a moment, Sally pondered whether to press Sass on what she meant, but instead she changed the subject.
“What are you drawing there? May I see??”
“Only if you don’t tell Daddy. It’s a secret.”
“I won’t tell, don’t worry.”
“Well, it’s a picture of me and Daddy, and Winnie the Pooh, and Piglet, and Owl, and Tigger and Eeyore. I think Daddy’s like Eeyore when he’s tired, but normally he’s like Pooh Bear.”
“What, all stuffed with fluff?”
“….It’s Winnie the Pooh, Winnie the Pooh….” Greg sang as he pushed through the door, before stopping abruptly when he saw Sally. “THERE you are! I’ve just been all over this bleeding building looking for you!”
“Which?” Sass asked, blue eyes feigning innocence, as Sally smirked at her boss.
“I didn’t know you like Winnie the Pooh, Greg.” She commented.
“Shush, both of you. I see you’ve met Sass.” He replied, bustling into the room, and Sally smiled wryly. “What, this one? Never seen her in my life.”
“Ha. Right then, I need your statement on the Andrews case- have you got one written out?” He said, taking his seat once more, with a muttered “Alright, Sass?” which was met with a subconscious nod.
“It’s on my desk, Greg, along with the rest of the files. What do you want from it?”
“In other words, come and get what you want, because my name’s not Sherlock Holmes. I’d just sat down as well!! Such cruelty to an old man!” Greg grumbled dramatically, earning a chuckle from both Sass and Sally, although the latter was far better hidden.
“Back in a mo, Sass.” Greg called over his shoulder, as he and Sally left the office. As soon as they were out of her hearing, Sally turned on Greg.
“You never told me you have an utterly adorable daughter!!” She accused.
“You never asked!! And I didn’t last time I saw you?”
“Where did she come from then?”
“Care to elaborate?”
“She had nowhere else to go- her dad went loopy and shot her mum, then killed her brother before getting shot down by the forces. She had no other living relatives, and was going to the orphanage. So I thought “Why not?” Best decision I ever made.” A warm smile crossed Greg’s features as he talked about his daughter, warming Sally’s heart.
“You’re rather fond of her, aren’t you?”
“I should hope so- I’m her dad after all, and certainly don’t want to end up like her father now, do I?”
He’s not like Father. Saskia’s voice rang through Sally’s mind. “The poor little thing’s had a rough time of it, eh?”
Greg nodded sadly. “You can say that again- she’s stuck with me now!!”
Their conversation was brought to an abrupt halt by the Chief Superintendent’s voice balling round room. “Better them than me- a bollocking by that fella is no fun. Poor bastard.” Greg commented, and Sally nodded, before handing the papers to Greg, before shooing him away. When Greg got back to his office, Sass was still hunched over her drawing, pencil in hand and fierce concentration on her face.
“Am I allowed to see yet?” he asked, sidling over to stand over her.
“No!! Not til it’s done!! Go ‘way!!”
“But it’s my office!!”
“And this is my bit of desk. You’ve got a bigger bit over there!!”
“Fiiiine.” Greg copied her tone from earlier that morning, and went back to his work. Sometime later, Sally’s head popped round the door, and she greeted them with a smile “Coffee for you, boss, and squash for Sass.”
“Merry Christmas to you too, Sally!!” Greg grinned as Sally passed the polystyrene cup to him, before crouching next to Sass, to see how her masterpiece was coming on.
“How come Sally gets to see and I don’t?!” Greg whined.
“Because she’s a girl, and girls are awesomer than boys.” Came Sass’ reply.
“Can’t argue with that.” Agreed Sally, laughing at Greg’s expression.
“Sally Donovan, are you leading my daughter astray?!”
“No, I’m offering to find her some Lego. Any objections?”
“It’s fine with me, if you’ve got time?”
“My lunch hour starts before yours, and I’ve nothing better to do. I’m already doing the canteen run for half the Yard in a bit.”
Greg’s eyebrows lifted. “Food? I don’t s’pose you could possibly add us to that list, could you?”
“Well, if I suddenly grow another pair of hands, then possibly….”
“I’ll help!!” Sass piped up, and Sally looked to Greg, who shrugged with a “fine by me.”
“If you don’t mind, that would be lovely!! I’ll have to find that Lego now!!”
“Yay!!” Came the squeak, and a guarded smile lit Greg’s features.
“Well, if you finish your picture-“
“Grand masterpiece.” Sass corrected.
“Of course!! Please forgive my grievous error, Miss Lestrade.” A wry smile now crossed Greg’s face, as Sally continued. “As I was saying, hopefully your most stunning grand masterpiece will be complete by half 12- I’ll pick you up then?”
“Alright then.” The Lestrades chorused in perfect unison without even thinking about it.
Sally smothered a grin as she slipped out of the office, ready to search for the Lego, and then for Anderson. The man was losing his mind, on the verge of losing his job, and if he didn't get this report to her within the next few hours, his head would be going the same way. As she passed the Chief Superintendent's office once again, she heard his voice carrying on as he had been before, never letting up on the heavy abuse. If he carried on like that, she'd have to take Saskia on a 'scenic route' for the lunch run!!
As she'd expected, Anderson wasn't in his office, and nor was he answering his phone. Looking around the office, no report was to be found. In fact, the office was abnormally tidy, except for the large folder that dominated the desk with ease. Loose papers and newspaper cuttings stuck out at every angle, and the writing scrawling across the front of the folder confirmed Sally's fears: "I Believe in Sherlock Holmes- Empty Hearse theories".
Saskia didn't meet Anderson until after lunch- she'd skipped alongside Sally, bringing not just food but smiles too to the Yard, who were all too happy to see a bright, cheerful face within their dreary days, full of desolation and death. When they reappeared at Greg's office, he had been caught red-handed, reaching for Saskia's drawing, and got a thorough telling off at the hands of the aforesaid young lady. He sent many glances to Sally, all pleading with her to save him, but Sally just stood and smirked, Lego box tucked under her arm and a grin stretched across her face.
"I'm very sorry, Miss Saskia. Now, may I eat my lunch whilst it's still vaguely warm?" Greg jumped in as Sass drew breath to go off on yet another random tangent.
"Only if you promise never to do that ever again."
"I solemnly swear never to try and look at your drawings again without your permission, Miss Lestrade. There, will that do?"
"Hmm.... Alright then. I s'pose."
"You've got your dad rather well trained there, haven't you Sass?" Sally interrupted, breaking the staring contest between father and daughter.
"LEGO!!" Saskia cried, running up to Sally with eyes shining.
"There you are little miss. If we pop it down on the floor, you'll have more room to play, yeah?"
Saskia picked up her drawing, and plopped down next to the Lego.
"Do you trust me this little, Sass?" Greg asked, a twinkle in his brown eyes that Sally hadn't seen for far too long.
"Yup. Sorry Daddy." Saskia replied, without even turning round.
"Ouch!" Greg put a hand over his heart, a wounded expression on his face, but Saskia, now absorbed in her Lego, entirely ignored him.
Sally approached the desk, lowering her voice so as not to disturb Saskia. "I found out who was getting yelled at by the Chief Super, and I think I may know why."
"Not my division." Greg responded, swiftly signing off another report with a flourish, before picking up the next.
"Well it kind of is actually. It's Anderson. His desk's all but cleared, and the only thing left is his theories folder.
"Christ. Well, I'll be expecting a visit shortly, and move Sass away from the door- can't have her getting squished by an angry Anderson now, can we?"
"Not if I bite him first!!" Came a little voice from by the door, and Sally raised an eyebrow.
"It's a long story." Greg sighed. "Now, Sally, stop fussing over my daughter, and get on with something. If we're losing Anderson, then we'll have even more paperwork to do before long."
"Alright then, Greg. See you later, Sass!!"
Not long after Saskia's Lego had been painstakingly moved over to the space next to Greg's desk, the door banged open, and Anderson blistered in.
"Well, aren't you going to do something? The bastard's going to fire me and because of what? My hobby?!" Before Greg could speak, Anderson stepped on a piece of Lego, and let out a shriek. "FOR FUCK'S SAKE-"
"LANGAGE, ANDERSON!!" Greg yelled, cutting him short.
"You're a fine one to talk!!" Anderson retorted, before spotting Saskia in the corner. "And what's that doing here anyway?!"
"Not a that, I'm a she!" Saskia sang.
"SHE is my daughter, Phillip, and I'll thank you to be civil to her." Greg replied, cool. "Now, if you'll explain to me what's going on, it would hel-"
"I'm getting FIRED, Greg!! Losing my bolo- I mean my job, because I've taken on a new hobby-"
"A new obsession, which is affecting not only your work rate, but also your work's standard and your mental health. You know the rules, Phillip. We're hard-pressed as it is; we haven't got time to be chasing after daydreams."
"BUT it's not a dream- it's true!"
"Anderson, may I remind you that, two years ago, you all but forced a man to take his own life. He's dead."
"But he's not!"
"Yes, Phillip, he is. He was my best friend, and by listening to you, I helped drive him to an early grave. Is that not enough for you?" Greg's voice cracked on that final word, and Saskia's eyes shifted and narrowed towards Anderson.
"Now that's not fair! If you just look at the facts, you can-" Anderson strode forward, a set in his jaw as if he may harm the Detective Inspector yet. But he had barely taken three steps when a small figure blocked his path.
"I don't know what's going on here, Mr Anderson, but at the moment, I don't like the way you're talking to my daddy, and if you carry on like that, I'll call Sally, and you'll definitely lose your job."
"Move, kid. He's not your real dad, and you have no idea what you're talking about. Shut it, and go back to your toys."
"ANDERSON!" Greg bellowed, as Saskia looked down, before raising her head once more, tears shining in her blue eyes.
"You're quite right, Mr Anderson. Greg's not my real father, and I don't know what the situation is here, but I know that my daddy is a good man, and a brave one. And I know what it's like for it to be your fault that somebody died."
"Of course. And you have a pet unicorn and live in a rainbow fairy castle. Naturally."
"I don't know who you think you are, Mr Anderson, but you certain don't know who I am. MY real father went mad a few months ago. He shot my mum right before my eyes, and then killed himself, along with my big brother. Now, my big brother was a hero- when Father shot Mummy, he told me to get the phone, call the police, and hide, whilst he kept Father away. It's my fault that he's dead. But Greg came to the rescue, and gave me a home when I had nowhere to go. So don't talk like you know everything, and my daddy's a worthless pile of donkey poo. When someone's dead, they're dead. Now shut up, go away, and learn a lesson."
Greg's heart swelled with pride, as his little girl tried to set the world to rights with Anderson, but the waver in her voice, the flicker of fear when she mentioned her real father broke his heart in two. Anderson, for once, was absolutely speechless.
"Anderson, you've done enough. You have been a good colleague, but that time is over. I have nothing to say in your defence, so gather your things, and leave. You have my email address, so you may ask me for a reference when you find a new placement. Goodbye, Phillip."
"But- but- but I...." Anderson faltered as he processed this, backing away from the desk.
"Just go, Anderson. I have nothing more to say."
Closing the door with a harsh thump, Anderson slumped off, defeated.
"Are you alright, Sass?" Greg asked, quietly moving to crouch beside her. Biting back tears, she nodded, but still moved to bury her head in her dad's shoulder. "I'm sorry about your friend, Daddy. I didn't know, and-"
Greg rubbed her back, soothingly. "It's alright, Sass. You couldn't have known." They stayed there a short while, before Greg was forced back to his work. "I've got a couple more forms to sign, then we'll go home, yeah?"
"Okay." Sass said, in an uncharacteristically small voice.
"Do you want to pop your Lego away, and we'll give it back to Sally on the way past."
"Can I say goodbye to her too?" Sass asked.
"I don't see why not!"
"AND bite Anderson?"
"Meh. He'd probably taste yucky."
"Like Brussel sprouts?"
"Like Brussels sprouts."
Once the Lego was away, Sass squirmed her way back up onto her chair, and leant her head on his arm, watching as he wrote. As his final signature took shape, Saskia slipped her picture under it.
"DO you want to look at it now?" She asked.
"I always wanted to see it, but you wouldn't let me earlier!" Greg replied, a small smile on his face, which grew out into a grin to rival that of the largest Cheshire cat when he saw it. "That's brilliant, Sass!!" he cried.
"Can you tell who everyone is?" She asked, excitedly, now that her secret was out.
"Now then, let me see. Is that you?"
"And that's me?"
"And are these Winnie the Pooh and his friends??"
"And are you a fantastic little daughter, and an all-round awesome little lady?"
"I don't know. You'll have to tell me that."
"OF course you are, sweetheart!!"
"And you're an awesome dad!!" Saskia grinned as she flung her arms around Greg's waist, and held him close.
"Can I stick it up here, by my desk? Then I can see it whilst I'm working, and it'll make me smile."
And once the picture was in place, the whole room seemed warmer, and brighter, even with the lights off. Finally the dreary room had some life to it, and as Sally hugged Sass goodbye, all three agreed that Sass would most definitely have to come back soon, when there was no Anderson to make things sad.
"Thanks for being so kind to her Sally- you're a Godsend."
I'll hold you to that, Mr Lestrade!! But really, don't worry about it- it's the least I can do, and she's a genuinely sweet kid. Now, be gone- I'm sure you have Winnie the Pooh to watch!"
And so ended Sass' first day at the Yard- with her skipping through the double doors, singing and grasping Greg's hand, and Greg with a fond twinkle in his eye and soft smile upon his lips.