"When I said I'd like a night out at the theatre, this was not what I meant," hissed John. He was crouched behind a painted canvas flat that wouldn't stop a good punch, never mind a bullet, and his own gun was locked up safely at home. It was sheer luck that they'd not been discovered by the theatre's unsavoury denizens--but that could change in a heart beat.
"I admit I wasn't anticipating this level of drama," murmured Sherlock.
John rolled his eyes. "Oh very clever. Look. We've seen the smuggled drugs. We know the technical director is using the scene shop for temporary storage. Surely that's enough for Lestrade to get a warrant to raid the place."
A shout from the opposite wings caused both men to tense. Shots rang out, filling the entire theatre with the sound.
"Excellent acoustics," Sherlock noted.
John flattened himself to the stage floor, snarling, "Yes. We should come see a show here some time."
The shouting and shooting turned into a full-blown fracas in moments. Glass exploded as bullets hit light fixtures, plunging parts of the stage and backstage into darkness. Wooden planks thudded and crunched against flesh and bone. Curses cut the air like the bullets they followed. The clamour rose to a fever pitch, and then died as suddenly as it had begun.
John and Sherlock waited interminable minutes, but no further noises reached them. Finally, they edged cautiously from their hiding place to examine the situation.
Bodies and blood. Bullet wounds and broken skulls. John checked for pulses and found none. "Rival drug gangs?"
"They've done Lestrade's work for him, although I don't think he'll appreciate it, do you?"
"I understand that the level of paperwork increases exponentially with the number of corpses."
"So, no then."
The wail of approaching sirens urged them towards the stage door. Someone on the outside had heard the ruckus and called the authorities.
John perked up. "Time to go?"
"It would avoid unfortunate misunderstandings if we departed swiftly," agreed Sherlock.
"You mean you don't want to get the blame."
They slipped out the stage door into the blackness of the rain-wet alley behind the theatre and sprinted for the street. Reaching it, they slowed to a more causal pace and joined the scattering of pedestrians. The sirens were louder out here, and approaching swiftly. They turned their backs to the theatre and kept walking.
"I'm a bit peckish," said John, tucking his hands into the pockets of his coat. "Angelo's?"
"He has excellent gelato," agreed Sherlock.
"Super." They reached the corner and turned onto a cross-street just as an ambulance and two police cars arrived on the scene, disgorging emergency personnel and armed officers.
They didn't stop to see if Lestrade was among them.