Greg was living his childhood horror. Not that anyone else at the Lochcarron Highland Games knew it. He was undercover, and he'd do his damnedest to stay that way even after they'd closed the case. And they would close the case because he was not going through this for nothing. He cursed Sherlock roundly and shared that curse for criminal they'd tracked to this seemingly innocent cultural festival.
The hand-off of stolen goods would go down here and best sources suggested--okay, Sherlock insisted--it would happen at this specific event: the Over-50 Men's Highland Dance Competition. A friendly event, all reports claimed, and yet there was the line of judges before him. Careful police work told him one of them was the fence they were after. But which one?
How Sherlock had known Greg's mum bullied him into highland dancing as a kid--until he'd rebelled and freed himself of the ghillies, if not the guilt--was irrelevant. Greg kept his mind on the case and his body on automatic as the piper whined to life and the traditional music began. It was shocking how much his muscles remembered after only a brief refresher via online videos while on the train up from London.
There! A familiar shady-looking figure passed close behind the judge on Greg's left hand. He saw a flicker of distraction in the woman's eyes and a subtle movement of her hand. God, they were brazen! He scanned the crowd and caught the searching gaze of Sergeant Calhoun despite his bouncing, jigging feet. The tiniest nod was all it took and the team moved, converging on thief and fence at once.
The piper squeaked to a stop. The other dancers stumbled to a halt. The crowd burbled with shock. Confusion reined in the pavilion. The criminals were taken down, cuffed, and hauled out. Greg fought his instincts the whole time and stayed where he was on the dance floor. He would slip off and liaise with the others once things calmed down. His ego didn't require he make the collar himself. It did require that no more people than necessary discover his hidden talent.
Sergeant Calhoun took the microphone that was used to call the competitors to the stage and spoke through it to the crowd, calming everyone, explaining that things were under control, and that competition could continue. An alternate judge appeared and took the place of the one who'd been taken away. It all happened so quickly that Greg never got the chance to make his escape. Suddenly, he and the two other men on the stage were told they'd be allowed to start over due to the disruption.
He had to do this again? Why hadn't he faked a hamstring pull when the music had stopped so abruptly?
As the piper once again droned to life, all Greg could think was, I'm gonna kill Sherlock for this.
*Title from Christopher Marlowe's Edward II:
"My men, like satyrs grazing on the lawns,
Shall with their goat feet dance an antic hay."