Lestrade stepped out of the shower and towelled himself off, muttering irritated obscenities to the recycled air. Instead of being secure back at Lost Comet Base, they were stuck here on the cruiser Scotland Yard while the base was in quarantine. Not that anyone had coughed up intel on why it was quarantined. Clearly it was need-to-know, and the darlings had decided that he didn't.
"Commander, this is Doc. Do you have a moment?" Doc's voice came through the comm, grabbing Lestrade's grumpy internalising and turning it outward.
He opened his end of the comm. "What d'you want?"
"Charming. I want to check on your head wound. Make sure it's healed properly and there are no lasting ill-effects."
"I'm fine," snarled Lestrade. In fact, his head still ached but he wasn't telling Doc that.
"I know I needn't quote protocol to you."
"You know it's a waste of time, yeah."
"Commander--" Doc's tone said it all. Get into sick bay for a check immediately, or I'll put it on your record that you haven't. They both knew what that would mean.
His head throbbed harder at that moment, convincing as much as Doc's unspoken threat. "I'll be there in five." He closed the comm connection with a punch of the side of his fist. "Get it over with, Greg," he muttered.
He dressed quickly and headed to the lift, the pain in his head increasing with every passing minute. By the time he reached sick bay, he was glad to have made it there at all and doubly glad he'd done so still on his feet.
Doc hurried to catch him as he all but fell into the room. "Commander!"
Greg's eyes fluttered open. He was lying in grass. He could feel it against his ear, cheek, and hands. The pain from his dream was very, very real and he found himself staring at... "What the hell?"
A pink lawn flamingo lay next to his face, its own plastic head and wing spattered with blood. He reached a hand to his head and it came away red and sticky. "Great." With his other hand, he searched for his phone, only to find it and his wallet both missing. "Fantastic." He could see the headlines if this got out: "DI Mugged in Suburbia"; "Assault by Flamingo".
He let himself relax against into the grass. At this point, he almost welcomed a return to the mad dream world of Silverfox and his mates.
He heard the voice then, and the sirens behind it. "Oh my! Are you awake?"
Elderly. Female. Worried.
"Dear oh dear! The medics are coming."
He gingerly pushed himself up to sitting. His head swam, but he stayed upright.
"I don't think you should move, dearie."
He turned and found the source of the voice. The woman must have been more than 80, but still looked spry enough in her floral apron with gardening gloves sticking out of the pocket.
"I'm all right," he said.
"Let the professionals decide that, Detective Inspector," she scolded, sounding for all the world like his old gran when he was a boy, rest her soul. "Oh yes," she added. "I recognised you from the papers. Quite famous, you are, dear." She sounded pleased to have a celebrity on her lawn, even if he was a damaged one.
The ambulance pulled up. A split-second behind it was a police car that disgorged Sergeants Donovan and Jones. Another three seconds brought a cab from which emerged Sherlock and John.
He groaned and lay back down. He was never going to hear the end of this one.
*Title taken from Red Dwarf S2E6 "Parallel Universe":
Holly: I've got to admit it. I've flamingoed up.
Holly: Well it's like a cock-up, only much, much bigger.