Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Characters: John Watson, DI Greg Lestrade, Sherlock Holmes
Pairings: eventual John/Lestrade
Rating: PG-13 (this part, higher later)
A/N: Almost to the prompt - but first... you may want to throw things at me for this bit. All comments, corrections and concrit welcome as usual.
Summary: March 16th, 2010, John resolves to have a little chat with Lestrade. Lestrade beats him to it...
Previous Chapters: ( One ) ( Two )
March 16th, 2010
March 16th, 2010
Another day, another crime scene.
It was six weeks since John had met Sherlock and they had settled in quite comfortably at Baker Street. They certainly hadn't settled down, however - which suited John just fine. He was having tremendous fun getting to know London all over again from a very different and unique perspective.
There had been one or two interesting cases prompted by requests to Sherlock's website but the ones John had enjoyed most were the ones where Sherlock was called in by the Met. It was nice to feel you had some backup when Sherlock went haring off - and if that backup was led by a ridiculously attractive Detective Inspector, John didn't mind that at all.
Far from it, in fact.
When Sherlock was bustling round the crimes scene or the corpse and the lesser mortals were waiting for the grand reveal, John frequently had little or nothing to do. When Sherlock started explaining his findings all eyes were on him, but until that happened John tended to let his eyes wander in Lestrade's direction.
He was pretty sure Lestrade was doing the same to him - he just hadn't caught him at it yet.
This was the fourth occasion Lestrade had called on Sherlock's assistance since the serial suicides. Maybe this time John should try and find five minutes to talk to Lestrade before Sherlock dragged him away again. Even if he didn't get as far as actually asking Lestrade out, he could at least test the waters a bit better.
Lestrade was standing in the front garden talking to Donovan when they pulled up. He gave Sherlock a brief nod of acknowledgement as they got out of their cab. He did the same to John but John didn't miss the accompanying sweep of Lestrade's gaze down his body that he hadn't given to Sherlock. Somehow it made the bitter night air just a little less cold.
Finally caught you looking, Lestrade. That settles it - time for a chat...
They followed Lestrade as he entered the hallway.
"So what is it this time?" John asked.
"Don't answer," Sherlock snapped as Lestrade drew breath. "I don't want to hear any of your erroneous conclusions before I've seen things for myself."
Lestrade closed his mouth, stood aside and gestured to Sherlock to precede him up the stairs. Sherlock took them two at a time with Lestrade and John plodding after him.
The room with the body was up three flights and Lestrade was wearing a slightly tighter fitting forensic suit this time. John enjoyed the view all the way up there.
He noticed that Lestrade was no more breathless than he was when they reached the top.
He must keep himself pretty fit.... Football? Jogging? Wonder if he's a member of a gym?
John had a vivid mental image of a slightly sweaty Lestrade in nothing but shorts, lifting weights. He could almost taste the salt...
"Sorry?" John jumped as he realised Lestrade was talking to him.
"I was just asking if I could have a word?" Lestrade jerked his head towards the door across the hall leading into what looked like a former bathroom.
John looked to Sherlock but his flatmate only had eyes for the corpse. "Sure." He smiled happily as he followed Lestrade. One part of him was saying Don't get your hopes up, could be anything... Another was already wondering whether Lestrade preferred Italian or Chinese food and if he shagged on first dates.
Lestrade shut the door behind John as soon as he entered the room. "John..." He put his hand over his eyes and took a deep breath.
"Something wrong, Lestrade?"
"Yes. Well, I think so... Umm..."
"Something to do with Sherlock?"
"No. No, it's... it's you, John."
For some reason Lestrade suddenly seemed to find the floor fascinating. "John, are you... Do you... Are you attracted to me?"
John choked back a laugh. He'd expected Lestrade to be all brash confidence like John's own approach but his shyness was extremely endearing. "Do I fancy you? Is that what you're asking?"
"Yeah." Lestrade looked up and John was surprised to see just how much fear there was in those (beautiful) brown eyes.
Oh, we're not having that! John was determined to kill that fear stone dead. He'd always been a firm believer in the old adage that actions speak louder than words. He leaned forward and pressed his lips against Lestrade's. Not forcefully, just enough to make their lips cling together before separating reluctantly when he moved away again. "Does that answer your question?" he asked softly.
Lestrade's mouth hung open in surprise. His tongue darted out to lick his lips, leaving them glistening wet.
John moved forward - he just had to kiss that mouth again right away.
To his surprise Lestrade backed off. He didn't look at all happy. "Yeah... I was afraid of that."
John stopped dead. "What? What's--? Shit, I'm sorry, Lestrade. I - I thought you--"
"No, for God's sake, don't apologise." Lestrade said quickly. "I'm incredibly flattered. I mean, you're gorgeous and any bloke would be more than happy to have you."
"Except you... and Sherlock."
"Yeah well, Sherlock doesn't count. He's not really into any of that, is he?"
"And you're the same?"
"No. No, it's--"
"Oh - so it's not you, it's me?" John crossed his arms defensively.
"Crap. I knew this would go badly." Lestrade rubbed the side of his head with his knuckles. "John - it's definitely, definitely not you. I'm sorry, but I'm not looking to be involved with anybody right now. It's... difficult, with my job and everything."
"Is it because of Sherlock? You think it would be awkward?"
"No. Well yes, I guess it would, but that's... I just can't, John. I'm sorry. Trust me, I'm really sorry."
"Look - just... leave it, OK? I have a crappy job and I'm too old for you and you could do way better so just... find yourself somebody else who deserves you, eh?"
Lestrade whirled about and was out of the room and demanding answers from Sherlock before John could kick his brain into gear to reply. "But you're not... I don't... Why on earth couldn't you deserve me?"
John was confused. He'd genuinely thought Lestrade was interested. Damn it, Lestrade was interested - all the signs were there. John was sure he hadn't misread them. So what on earth would make a nice, good looking bloke back off at a hundred miles an hour like that?
Maybe he was still married. John had seen the wedding ring but he'd also got the impression Lestrade was single. Perhaps he'd only recently lost his.. wife? partner? But surely he would have said if that was the reason. It was perfectly understandable - why would he not just explain?
If he'd been really hurt by someone that would fit his actions better - but then why still wear the ring if it had been a painful relationship?
Sherlock could probably figure it out in a second...
John's pondering was interrupted by the man himself banging on the bathroom door.
"John! Need to find a hardware shop. Come on!"
John opened the door in time to see Sherlock's coat-tails disappearing down the stairs. There was no sign of Lestrade in the room with the body or outside as they left.
He hurried to catch up with Sherlock as they headed towards less residential streets.
Sherlock was looking up stores on his phone. He didn't answer.
John tried again. "Sherlock - is Lestrade married?"
He'd expected an irritated one word answer - or more likely, no answer at all - but Sherlock actually stopped walking and directed his attention at John.
"I... just wondered."
John could see Sherlock's eyes darting back and forth - a sure sign he was doing some serious thinking. He took a second to answer - which counted as a long pause for him. "No, he's not. Never has been. The ring was his father's."
OK, scrap those theories. "Right.... thanks."
Sherlock was still studying him. "John..."
"Did he warn you off?"
"How did you--?"
"Try not to take it personally. He does like you. In fact I think he's more attracted to you than he has been to anyone in quite some time, but... he's not a very companionable person."
"Yes, he is. I've heard the others talk about him going out to pub nights and playing football and--"
"Yes, but he doesn't do close relationships. He has... other considerations."
If John's mind was already whirling trying to figure out Lestrade, it was well and truly blown by Sherlock Holmes being tactful.
"Like what? Is he not out? Is that it? Worried his job would be affected if his colleagues found out he was gay?"
"Most of them already know. He doesn't flaunt it but neither has he gone to great pains to hide it. It's just not discussed."
"Then what? He used to be a woman? He's got a mad relative hidden in the attic? He's actually a trained assassin for Mycroft on the weekends?"
"Don't be absurd. Mycroft has full-time assassins. Please - just drop it, John. I can't tell you and I can assure you Lestrade won't. If he's asked you to back off then you must accept that... Pity - I was hoping..."
"Never mind. Now, I believe there should be a suitable shop a little further up this road." Sherlock turned and marched off.
John looked back towards the house they'd just left, debating which way he should head. In the end though, he knew there was no real question where his priorities lay. He could talk to Lestrade another time - Sherlock in a hardware store was something that demanded immediate concern both for his own safety, John's, the general public's and possibly most of all, their flat's.
He reluctantly headed after the consulting detective and resolved to question the professional one at a later date...
( Chapter Four )