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Beneath the stains of time it’s clear, all I ever wanted was you.

Chapter Text

 

Sherlock is back from the dead. Two years gone, travelling the globe to take down Moriarty's network and keep his friends alive. Two years away from home, sneaking around, running away, dodging bullets and doing unforgivable things. Having been done unforgivable things to.

 

Hours and hours of pain and despair, losing hope, losing himself. His body is proof of it. Scars from knives and bullets, cigarette burns and other things no person should ever have to go through. Maybe he wasn't a classic beauty before, but he sure isn't beautiful now. Classic or otherwise.

 

The thought of home kept him alive, even when he didn't want to. He'll never admit it to anyone, but he's thought about giving up, giving in, so many times. Even now when he's back.

 

Months without sleep, without comfort and barely any food. It isn't nearly as much fun when it's mandatory. He got to knew the deepest and darkest places in the world, the people living in it and he doesn't want to remember but locking away memories isn't as easy as it once was. His Palace is falling apart, just like his sanity.

 

His memories haunt him every second, waking him up screaming, trashing around. The place he once called home doesn't feel the same anymore.

 

Home, his lifeline for two years. The knowledge it was all there waiting for him, 221B and Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft and Molly, even Lestrade. But most importantly John.

 

John.

 

He'd left so suddenly, so drastic and definitive. Faking his own death had been the only way but it ached, hearing John break down over the phone. His note.

 

This phone call – it’s, er ... it’s my note. It’s what people do, don’t they – leave a note?

 

It had been the hardest thing to do in his life, leaving John behind without him knowing the truth. He'd thought about sending him a message a thousand times. But he chickened out every single time. How could he even begin to explain? Texts or letters would never be enough. He needed to see John, talk to him face to face. Explain everything and finally stop dancing around the elephant in the room. He needed to tell him how he felt, how important John was to him.

 

He needed to tell him he loved him.

 

Chapter Text

In hindsight his plan probably wasn't the best one. Mycroft tried to warn him but he never really listened to his brother. Not until it was too late.

 

Baker Street? He isn’t there any more.

 

He should have known then, John not being in Baker Street had been a clear sign that things weren't the same as he'd left them.

Why would he be? It’s been two years. He’s got on with his life.

He's been so surprised. What life? John didn't have a life without Sherlock, just like he hadn't had a real life before John. He wasn't himself without him, nothing felt real. Instead for the scars, those were always there, a constant reminder that he hadn't been dreaming. That everything in those two years had happened. He should have known.

 

Seeing John at the restaurant had left him unbalanced instantly, the air leaving his lungs and making him light headed. He blamed it on that, the overwhelm of emotions, that he didn't figure out sooner why John was there with... A woman? Of course that's when John noticed him, recognised him and Sherlock saw the instant change in his body and on his face. The shock, followed with coldness and anger in his eyes. The hard lines around his mouth, the tension in his shoulders and neck as he kept staring at Sherlock as if he was seeing a ghost, a bad memory from the past. It made his heart do a flip, his stomach dropping as his nervousness increased, wanting to turn and run, have a do over. He never was good with emotions after all.

 

Well, short version ... Not dead.

 

John's eyes, the look in them had made him understand John wasn't happy to see him. Not then, not now. He should have acted differently, just with a little more tact but he'd been sure, so sure, John would cry tears of happiness and snug him senseless. Dreams really can be disappointing.

 

Um, one question. Just let me ask one question. Um … Are you really gonna keep that?!

 

So yes, not his best plan ever and when John leaves with Mary, who is actually quite wonderful but also slightly off, it breaks his whole body again.

 

John's moved on. Just like Mycroft said and it kills him. Knowing it will never be the same again, never just them against the rest of the world but maybe it's for the best. He sees that after a few weeks. He's changed and John's changed too and there is no other way then moving forward, how ever slow and painful. He likes Mary, she's bright and funny and seems to tolerate him, at least for now. It's nice being liked. Maybe she really can talk John round, over time?

 

His name's been cleared by his brother, John and Lestrade. He doubts John would have fought so hard for him, so intensely if he had known the truth. It's strange, thinking about this and somehow knowing John wouldn't have. He couldn't, he'd be too hurt, too upset, too angry. His noise still throbs when he goes to his friends. Over time he's come to see them as his family and it makes the sting a little less hard to see the joy and happiness on their faces. Molly knew of course, she was essential for the plan to work and over the years Sherlock has learned to trust her, to see her. All her potential, her wit, her sharp mind.

 

You made it all possible.

 

Mrs. Hudson is hysterical, berating him for being away so long, for leaving her alone but she's happy he's back. Being near her makes him relax a fraction more, feeling welcome and real. She isn't his mother but it's a very close second and England really would fall without her, at least Sherlock's England.

 

Lestrade is the biggest mystery of all. Even John's reaction is quite logical after thinking about it. It takes him even longer then before, his Mind Palace still shattered but he can understand John's anger and rage. John's never been a man of words, even worse then Sherlock, so he showed him how he felt in the only way he knew how.

 

Lestrade's reaction leaves him baffled for much longer. He tries to figure it out, spends hours and hours in his broken down Mind Palace but nothing makes sense. Every reason he comes up with seems illogical. Everything seems illogical.

 

Those things’ll kill you.

 

Ooh, you bastard!

 

The hug was unexpected, making his body scream out in pain once more but he can't blame the man. He doesn't know what happened there, what people did to him. What he did to others. What John did. It's better if nobody ever knows so he lets Lestrade hug him, crush him really, to his chest.

 

It’s time to come back. You’ve been letting things slide, Graham.

 

Greg!

 

He smiles as Lestrade let's go of him, something clicking in his heart, his chest, as he looks him up and down again.

Greg.”

 

A bright smile on Lestrade's face and Sherlock feels uneasy, nervous. It's been a while since anyone smiled at him. Just a real, honest smile, no hidden cruelty behind it, no sign of horrible things to come, no hidden messages and emotions underneath. His back tingles, his eyes sting and he moves away.

 

Are you back for good?”

 

Hesitation in Lestrade's body as he moves forward, somehow knowing something is wrong. He's always underestimated, this seemingly boring man, but somehow he sees more then anyone else.

 

Yes. I'm back.”

 

Another smile from Lestrade, a real and warm one, and Sherlock turns, coat bellowing behind him.

 

Show off.”

 

Chapter Text

Being back isn't easy at all and Sherlock can't find comfort, can't relax. London is the same but also different. It's loud, harsh and bright. Constantly buzzing and while in the past it made him feel alive and energetic now it just gives him headaches and semi heart attacks.

 

It's so large, so big with so many people and it terrifies him. His name is cleared and his face is everywhere. It seems everyone knows him. They all want to be his friend. But the person he wants the most by his side isn't there. Not wanting to speak to him, not even wanting to see him so Sherlock can try to explain. Mary says to give it time, promising she'll turn him around, make John see sense and Sherlock holds her to it, too scared to think of a future where she doesn't succeed.

 

Newspapers, TV shows, billboards. They all talk about the genius detective and his miraculous comeback. They all want him to talk, to show off about his 'master plan'. It's painful to think about so he stays inside most of the time, ignoring the phone. Pacing back and forth for hours, finding endless corners to hide in, haunted by memories and his changed body. It's stiff and aching, his scars itching. A constant reminder. He doesn't move as fast anymore, as bold and unafraid. Is it possible to shrink? He's always cold, paler then ever before and losing weight again. Nothing tastes the same and some smells make him want to throw up. Some do.

 

SHERLOCK HOLMES IS BACK.

 

It's everywhere, flashing before his eyes. Is he really back? Clients come at his door, bringing in boring cases. He can't tell them he refuses them because he's afraid to go outside, to face this new world, this new him. But of course it can't last forever and he wants to panic, call our for help but he can't burden his brother any more then he's already done. He sees the tired lines around his brother's eyes so he takes the case, something to do with a secret terrorist organisation planning an attack. It's always the same and his scars itch as Mycroft waits.

 

Solid information. A secret terrorist organisation’s planning an attack – that’s what secret terrorist organisations do, isn’t it? It’s their version of golf.

 

Mycroft's not amused and doesn't leave till Sherlock promises to look into it. There's a moment, only a flicker when Mycroft's eyes go softer but Sherlock doesn't take it. He can't tell him, can't tell his big brother he's on the verge of breaking again.

 

I will find your underground terror cell, Mycroft.

 

He doesn't want to. Hasn't he been through enough? But he doesn't have another choice either so he does what's expected of him. Again.

 

Mary at least made good on her promise. She worked her magic and John is back by his side. It's painful and exciting all at once. Feeling like old times but not quite as John goes back to Mary after the case is solved.

 

I love you. I've always loved you.”

 

He thinks about spilling it out a million times while they run around London but he always closes up whenever John looks at him. Those bright blue eyes hold a sparkle that's never been there before and he knows it's not because of him. Not anymore or maybe it's never been. As time goes by it's clear to see John doesn't love him, doesn't want him like he wants John. Sometimes Mary gives him a look, his stomach dropping in shame and horror but it's gone before he's really sure the look was there to begin with.

 

The wedding invitation almost knocks him out and John's speech about being his best friend makes him want to die all over again. It's been 6 months and he's still not himself. He's still cold and aching. Having panic attacks at night as his mind tortures him with memories and dreams that feel too real to be dreams. It's never him that's in pain. It's his brother, Molly, Lestrade but most of all it's John. John calling out in agony, calling out for him but Sherlock can't save him, can't even move. He wakes up with a jolt, tears running down his face as his hands pull out another strand of hair. His wrists red and bleeding from scratching in his sleep. Trying to crawl out of his own skin.

 

He's never been an expert at pretending, his brother being the master at it, but he's good enough to fool John. He can't tell John how he really feels. He freezes up, just like a computer screen as John asks him to be his best man.

 

I want to be up there with the two people that I love and care about most in the world.

 

He blinks, trying to understand, to comprehend. He wants to call out, step forward and grab John by the arms, push him against the fridge and show him how much he loves him, how he wants to be more then just his best friend, but he can't. John is happy, has moved on and Sherlock isn't sure John ever loved him in that way. The knowledge that he's in love with a man he can never have breaks his bones.

 

That’s getting a bit scary now.

 

He hides in his favourite corner for the rest of the night, trying to breath and not pull out all his hair as the envelope mocks him from afar. John's scent is all over him and for the first time it's not a comfort at all.

 

The edge is dangerously close and he doesn't see a reason not to jump.

 

Chapter Text

One week after the invitation, that's still in the envelope on the table, he's on the sofa, trying to rebuild his Mind Palace. It's going slow, it seems like every brick takes a lifetime and tonight is even more difficult for some reason.

 

Major James Sholto. Who's he?

 

He lets out a growl, frustrated and upset. He couldn't help it, looking up this Major he's never heard about until a few days ago. Something about John's face, his voice whenever he's mentioned. It's a feeling very close to jealousy and it makes him irritated with himself. Irritated with John and his clear respect and affection for the man.

 

He's lost inside his thoughts, his feelings, so he jumps at the soft knock on the door.

 

Sherlock? It's me, Lestrade.”

 

He's already half up, ready to fight when the voice enters his conscious, relaxing just a little.

 

What are you doing here?”

 

It's not what he wants to say but he doesn't know what else to say. It's been weeks since he's seen the man and suddenly his eyes sting. It's his own fault, ignoring texts and calls to help solve some cases in the beginning. Only saying the absolute necessary to him when they did started working together again. He's still not sure it's the best idea.

 

Relax Sherlock, people know it was all Moriarty. They'll be glad to have you back.”

They don't hate him, not really, but they aren't happy either. Except for Anderson, who smiles at him like a child at Santa Claus, his eyes a little watery.

 

I knew you weren't dead! I knew it!”

 

It's oddly comforting and it's the push he needs to work again. He feels Lestrade's eyes on him every time there is a new crime scene to investigate but it's not irritation or infuriation like Donovan's gaze, or John's.

 

You okay Sherlock?”

 

Lestrade looks at him without any pity or anger and it's unnerving. He sees too much and Sherlock's sure he knows about the panic attacks, the nightmares, the bed wetting.

 

That's why he's been avoiding him but apparently Lestrade isn't too happy with it.

 

Sherlock? Can I come in?”

 

He blinks as he comes back to the here and now, seeing Lestrade standing there. Waiting patiently, a plastic bag in hand. He lifts it up as Sherlock stares at it, a tiny smile on his lips.

 

Just thought you'd like to have dinner.”

 

He frowns, trying to understand and Lestrade's face falls as he lowers the bag again.

 

Or not.”

 

He's already turning towards the stairs when Sherlock reaches out, panic entering at the thought of Lestrade going away. He grabs the man's arm, feeling the warmth on his fingers and shaking his head as Lestrade stops.

 

No! It's fine, sorry Lestrade, I was just. Come in.”

 

He lets go of Lestrade's arm, feeling awkward for reaching out and almost pulling him inside. The food makes his stomach do a nasty flip but he doesn't want him to leave. Having Lestrade stand in his flat makes it feel better, brighter. He can just stop himself from taking a deep breath when Lestrade walks past him, smelling a hint of cinnamon and cigarettes.

 

I though you quite.”

 

He closes the door, seeing Lestrade turn his head to him as he takes out container after container of food. It smells horrible and he tries to not tense or vomit as the pile of food grows.

 

Haven't gotten round to it yet. You okay? You look a little strange.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head, getting closer to the table and raising a brow. Lestrade turns a light pink, shrugging a shoulder as Sherlock gestures to the table.

 

Didn't know what you liked these days so.”

 

It warms his heart, knowing Lestrade is still looking out for him. After what he did, after being gone so long. After ignoring him once he was back. It doesn't feel right, this act of kindness and he's not sure he really deserves it.

 

Oh, that's fine. I don't really...” He stops himself in time. Letting Lestrade know he doesn't really eat a lot anymore, except some yoghurt and pudding, sometimes toast on a good day, isn't the best course of action.

 

Do you want a drink? I have beer.” Sherlock looks down, shuffling his feet as he realises the state of his flat is horrible. He's never been too concerned with how the place looked but since he's back it got even worse. Stags of stuff and piles of junk everywhere you look. He meant to clean up but seeing all the piles, all the memories is too overwhelming so he ignores it instead. Tonight he wished he hadn't. Lestrade doesn't say anything but he doesn't need to, his eyes go round and round the room, taking it all in and it makes him feel uneasy, Lestrade being a witness to the downfall of 221 B.

 

At least he'd showered today and put on clean clothes.

 

That's okay, soda's just fine.”

 

Sherlock nods, going to the kitchen to find two clean glasses, filling them with water from the tap and coming back. Lestrade sits in John's chair, eating rice with chicken and Sherlock stops, glasses in hand as he looks. It's not the same but it doesn't feel bad either. Lestrade turns, a questioning look in his eyes and Sherlock can't stop looking at the chair before his eyes go back at Lestrade.

 

Do you want me to move?”

 

Sherlock blinks his eyes, panic raising as he ponders the question. Does he? It's just a chair. John's chair, but John doesn't live here anymore. Even when he comes over he doesn't sit there. These days John just stands, ready to get out of there in seconds. It seems 221 B doesn't only feel different to Sherlock.

 

Lestrade coughs and Sherlock comes back in the moment, cheeks heating up as he realises how stupid he looks. Standing there frozen, glasses in hand. All because of a damn chair! He wills himself to move, face neutral as Lestrade watches him.

 

It's fine Lestrade.”

 

He swallows down the lump in his throat, not knowing why he suddenly feels sad and walks forward, giving a glass to Lestrade. There fingers touch and it sets him on fire. He pulls back too quickly, his fingers burning on the places Lestrade touched and it feels like the world is spinning too fast.

 

Did John set you up to this?” He asks, setting his own glass down as he walks to his spot, trying to calm down. The food still smells awful but he takes a container anyway, sniffing it for at least 7 seconds before taking the smallest bite possible. His stomach turns and he wants to spit it out instantly but Lestrade is watching him with intense eyes and he swallows it down, feeling it travel down his stomach at an agonizing pace. He hopes he'll keep it all in till Lestrade leaves.

 

When he looks up Lestrade is still watching him with focus and it takes his breath away. How did I not see it sooner? There's so much intelligence in Lestrade's gaze and Sherlock feels exposed, another hit of panic and then Lestrade shifts his gaze to a stack of books.

 

Not John. Mycroft.”

 

He feels the prick of disappointment followed by a flash of anger. He should know better by now! He knows John cares for him but he'll never care as much as Sherlock wants him too. It's not fair, dropping down these big expectations on John. He knows this all on a logical level but it still hurts and he know Lestrade sees it too. He takes another bite, looking down at the table as he takes his time to chew and swallow and feels Lestrade's eyes on him the entire time.

 

Now he knows why people act so strangely around him all the time.

 

This is okay.” He whispers as he takes his glass and drinks half of it, still feeling the food inside his throat. Lestrade gives a tiny smile, shaking his head and Sherlock frowns. Did he say something wrong?

 

You hate it. You don't have to pretend Sherlock. If you don't like it then you don't have to eat it.”

 

Sherlock's eyes widen and Greg huffs out a half laugh.

 

It's okay Sherlock, I won't be upset if you don't eat it.”

 

Sherlock blinks, having trouble closing his mouth as Lestrade watches him with a soft and patient expression. He feels awful. Lestrade went out of his way to buy this, to look after Sherlock's needs and he can't even bring himself to eat half of a container!

 

Sherlock. It's fine, I promise.”

 

Greg gives a smile, taking another bite and Sherlock feels his throat contract. He puts down the container, eyes going back to Lestrade and seeing the relaxed look on the man's face. He deserves some explanation.

 

I don't hate the food. I don't particularly like it at this moment but I don't hate it. I just have some-some trouble eating at the moment, that's all.”

 

He looks away, feeling awkward as he sees Lestrade frown. He can't tell him about the damage to his body, the things they did to him. The way they stuffed up his mouth with food, almost choking on it. He's never been fond of eating but now it's always torture. He feels it in his body and he knows, rationally, he knows, he needs to eat more but sometimes two bites is enough to go into panic mode, running to the toilet to spit it all out, hearing the taunting comments and dead threats. Yoghurt and pudding are the only things he can eat these days without his stomach acting up. On good days he can handle some toast and on really good days a piece of chocolate.

 

I'm sorry Sherlock. I didn't think about- Should I just get rid of all this?”

 

Sherlock sees the broken look in Lestrade's eyes, the deep lines near his mouth and realises it's not been easy for him either. He never thought to ask, how Lestrade had dealt with it all. Did he feel guilty? Angry? Hurt? He's been so caught up in himself, in John, he forgot about Lestrade.

 

Lestrade, the first stranger who saw more in him then just a junkie. He's always been there, helping Sherlock get clean by giving him puzzles and mysteries. Letting him crash on his sofa after a bad trip, cleaning up his mess the morning after. A gentle push in the right direction when he felt like slipping again. A constant presence near him, guiding him along, reaching out with gentle words and sometimes the harsh truth.

 

Just because you're a genius Sherlock Holmes doesn't mean you are allowed to be a dick to the rest of us ordinary folks. Pull a stunt like that again and I'm really hauling your arse in jail! Big brother or not!”

 

He feels his heart crack, knowing it's all his fault that Lestrade looks so broken and pained. Why can't he just eat the damn food?! Lestrade is getting up, taking the containers from the table to put into the bag again and he feels guilty, seeing all that food go to waste because of him and his stupid issues.

 

Stop! You haven't even finished yet! You shouldn't- I mean- you can eat. You don't have to...”

 

He spits the words out, already regretting this conversation. He feels anxiety rise, afraid Lestrade is upset, hurt by Sherlock's lack of appreciation. He's afraid Lestrade is going to leave, so he takes the man's wrist for the second time in an hour. He feels the warmth come off him, the softness so unlike himself. It's been a while since he's touched someone. He was never in favour for it before, pushing people away so they wouldn't even dare think of touching him but with Lestrade it's always been different.

 

He lets go as soon as he realises he's holding Lestrade's wrist for too long, seeing the weird expression in Lestrade's eyes. He releases him as if being touched by a snake and Lestrade's expression changes again, more closed off as he slowly sits down. Sherlock feels his face burn, his hands shake as he tries to explain but that's not what comes out at all.

 

Please don't be mad.”

 

His voice is shaking, lips trembling as he looks at the floor. He takes a deep breath as he feels his eyes sting and suddenly he's being pressed to a solid chest, waves of cinnamon and cigarettes wrapping around him. Panic engulfs him, stopping his mind and he reacts on instinct.

 

GET OFF!”

 

He pushes as he tries to stand up. Trying to shield himself from the punishment that will surely come. He's out of breath, eyes stinging and hears something fall to the floor, followed by cursing. He flinches at the sound, body trembling all over and he stumbles to his favourite corner, knocking things over along the way.

 

This is not good. This is not good. This is not good.

 

Chapter Text

This is not good. This is not good. This is not good.”

 

It's like a mantra in his head, drowning out everything else as he slips down, pulling his hair hard. Feeling the sting as he pulls out another strand, all the while trying to breath. He's drowning again and his stomach turns, the tiny amount of food he's eaten so far leaving his body as his stomach contracts painfully. He lets out a sob, pulling his hair harder, the world getting blurry as tears stream down his face. He knocks his head against the wall, again and again. Anything is better then this, anything to forget. His scars are on fire, making him cry out as he can't stop this. He's drowning, useless and helpless, a dark hole waiting for him.

 

SHERLOCK! DAMMIT SHERLOCK! LISTEN TO ME!”

 

The pain and hurt surround him but it's not his. Not all of it.

 

SHERLOCK PLEASE!”

 

He shuts his eyes, trying to stop the tears but it's not helping. His back is on fire, his body trembling and suddenly there's a stream of warmth running down his leg.

 

Please, please no, please. No, no. Oh god.”

 

The smell hits him hard and unforgiving and he let's out a helpless sob. The light before his eyes changes and he curls in even more, afraid for the blow.

 

Посмотри на это! Он обозленный во всем себя. (Look at it, he pissed all over himself.)

 

He startles when there's a soft voice close by, the sent of cinnamon and cigarettes.

 

Sherlock. It's okay. Nobody is going to hurt you. It's me Greg- Lestrade.”

 

Lestrade.

 

He lets out another sob, pulling his hair again as he slowly comes back to himself. He doesn't want to open his eyes, he doesn't.

 

Sherlock. Please open your eyes for me. Please?”

 

He can't do anything else but obey. The world is still blurry and he blinks, looking down in his lap.

 

Here, take this.”

 

Sherlock looks up a fraction, seeing a white and brown handkerchief, neatly folded and for a second the sight reminds him of his brother. He reaches out, hand trembling as he takes it, wiping away his tears and blowing his noise. He wants to say thank you but his voice is gone, throat all tight and raw. He wants to sneak a look at Lestrade, make sure he's still here but he can't, afraid of seeing the disgust and shock on that honest face. He fumbles with the handkerchief before stuffing it away in the pocket of his pants.

 

Sherlock. Can you hear me?”

 

Lestrade's voice is still soft, sounding very close. Sherlock nods, trying to ease some of Lestrade's worry. The concern is clear in his voice as he keeps talking to him. It's soft but has an edge to it, a tightness that's normally not there. He's never heard it before and it fills him with guilt. He pulls his hair again, closing his eyes as his heart beats too fast.

 

Sherlock. I need you to look at me. Please Sunshine.”

 

He takes a deep breath, releasing it slowly before lifting his head, opening his eyes slowly before turning. Lestrade is squatted down near his right, his face a bit paler then before as his eyes scan Sherlock's face. Sherlock blinks, swallowing down a lump in his throat as he in turn scans Lestrade's face. He doesn't see any anger or disgust. His mouth is in a tight line but it's not because of anger. When Sherlock looks into Lestrade's eyes he sees the man relax a fraction, his mouth softening.

 

It confuses him and he starts shaking all over, teeth clattering.

 

Oh Sherlock. I'm so sorry.”

 

He frowns, wanting to ask why Lestrade is apologising to him but he can't stop shaking.

 

We need to move Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock blinks, not understanding why they have to leave this safe place when the sent of ammonia fills his nostrils and he freezes instantly. Any warmth he had leaves his body as his worst nightmare comes true.

 

Please go, please go. Don't come closer, don't come closer, please, please.

 

Please, please, no, no, no.”

 

He starts trembling all over again. Moving up and down and hitting his head against the wall, trying to calm himself but the scent just gets stronger, taking over the flat. His leg is cold now, feeling like ice and there's a spot on the floor that wasn't there before, getting bigger by the second. He's mortified, breaking down and wetting himself with Lestrade there to witness. Hasn't the man been through enough?

 

Please go. Please, please don't. Go, please go.”

 

He's pleading. Not knowing if he really wants to be left alone but too humiliated to face Lestrade again. He keeps his eyes down, hearing a floorboard squeak and feels relief and disappointment as Lestrade moves away.

 

He wants to call out, beg him to stay, to not hate him but maybe it's for the best. Nobody should see him like this, so damaged and pathetic. He sits there for what seems like ages, his body getting colder, his mind closing down. Is this the moment his Mind Palace crumbles completely? The one he spend so much time on building and rebuilding.

 

Will he ever be Sherlock Holmes again?

 

Chapter Text

The sound of water running fills his ears and he can't place it as he still sits there, frozen like a statue. Did he leave the tap on earlier? Surely he would have heard by now?

 

He can't stop the flinch as the light around him changes again. The floor squeaking once more.

 

Sherlock?”

 

He looks up and sees Lestrade is there, a cautious look in his eyes.

 

Come on Sherlock. Let's clean you up.”

 

Lestrade squats down again, waiting as Sherlock stares at him.

 

You can't stay here like this. You're trembling all over.”

 

I-I can't. You shouldn't see me like this. I-please don't make me.”

 

Sherlock curls up, turning his body to the wall. He hates how broken and silent his voice sounds. He feels mortified and tired, his eyes burning and his scars screaming out underneath his shirt. His pants stick to his leg, feeling dirty and disgusted but moving, leaving his safe place makes him feel fearful all over again.

 

Sherlock. This won't be pleasant for you but staying here on the floor won't help at all.”

 

He lets out a sob, pulling his hair again. He knows Lestrade is right. His back and hip are already aching from sitting but he can't stand up and let Lestrade see how bad he really is, how broken.

 

I'm not leaving you Sherlock. I'm not going home. There is nothing to be ashamed off. Nothing.”

 

There is steel in Lestrade's voice and Sherlock swallows, pulling his curls even harder.

 

You're still amazing Sherlock. Please come out. I swear you're safe with me. I promise.”

 

Sherlock makes a sound of disbelief. He's not been amazing for a very long time but Lestrade is still there. Waiting with the patience of a saint and Sherlock doesn't understand why he deserves it. He turns his head a little, looking at Lestrade and scanning the man's face again. There's nothing hinting at Lestrade lying, nothing saying he's angry or disgusted with him.

 

Lestrade.”

 

It's all he can whisper before his lip trembles again and Lestrade reaches out his hand. Sherlock forces himself to let go of his hair, feeling his scalp burn. His hands shake as he reaches out slowly. He hold his breath as their fingers connect and breaths out as Lestrade takes a firm but gentle hold of his hand and starts pulling him up.

 

He lets out a noise of pain as he's being lifted and Lestrade squeezes his hand, eyes on Sherlock's face the entire time.

 

That's it Sherlock. Now, let's clean you up.”

 

He feels light headed as Lestrade releases him, needing some time to plant his feet firmly on the ground, needing even more time to follow. His legs are stiff and his back hurts as he slowly makes his way to where Lestrade is standing, hand on the door knob, an encouraging smile on his lips as Sherlock reaches him.

 

He's still shaking lightly as the door's being opened and suddenly he realises why water was running earlier. It says a lot about his mental state that he didn't notice it before but he's too tired to worry about it.

 

I hope it's okay? It's warm and I used like half your shampoo bottle.” Lestrade steps aside so Sherlock has more room, eyes going over the bath, seeing all the bubbles, feeling the heat from the water surrounding him already. He looks behind him, nodding his head once and Lestrade beams.

 

I'll let you undress and clean up. I- I looked for some fresh clothes. Do you need help?”

 

Sherlock shakes his head fiercely, heart rate rising at just the idea of Lestrade needing to help undress him. He's been humiliated enough for tonight. His eyes rest on the stool next to the sink, clothes folded neatly on top of them and his stomach turns again.

 

I. I didn't look at anything else Sherlock. Just your wardrobe and top drawer.”

 

Sherlock turns, seeing the unease in Lestrade's frame and he breaths out, giving a weak smile.

 

It's okay Lestrade. I. Thank you.”

 

Lestrade nods his head, a light blush on his face before clearing his throat, gesturing to the bath.

 

Okay, take your time Sherlock, I'll take care of the rest. Call out if you need anything okay?”

 

Sherlock nods and then he's alone, door firmly closed. He can't help but lock it, feeling a fraction better when the lock closes and he takes a deep breath, slowly releasing it as he turns. Feeling a little better as he sees the steam rise from the water and also knowing Lestrade is still there. A constant presence.

 

The water is steaming and Sherlock wants to moan, it looks so inviting. His trousers are sticking to his leg and suddenly he springs into action, stripping it all off in record time and dumping it in the laundry basket, glad to not see it again. His eyes sting as he remembers what happened, but he shakes his head with anger, gritting his teeth.

 

The water is hot and perfect, making his shoulders lose, the pain in his back lessen as he closes his eyes, trying to stop his mind from working. Even though he's tired, he can't stop not thinking, making him even more jaded. He hears sounds coming from the living room, guilt and shame hitting him. Lestrade is out there cleaning up the mess he made. It's almost enough to send him in another state of panic but he grabs his hair, pulls as hard as he can and the pain makes him focus again.

 

Sherlock? Everything okay in there?”

 

He looks down at the stand of hair in his palm and feels it sting. Lestrade must have heard him yell or call out as the pain hit him. Dammit! He makes a fist, bringing his hand into the water and calls out, telling Lestrade he's all right.

 

He stays in the bath for an hour, wanting to stay there for another one, but he hears Lestrade call his name, saying something else he can't make out. The water is getting cold by now and his skin is all wrinkled. Still, the idea of getting out and facing Lestrade is terrifying. He doesn't want to see Lestrade's pity, doesn't want to hear the kind words. He wants to forget.

 

He startles when there's a knock on the door, loud and hard.

 

Sherlock. Get out of that water, it's probably freezing by now. You've been in there for one hour and 25 minutes.”

 

Sherlock grumbles, closing his eyes again but another knock soon follows.

 

If I don't hear you get out in 5 minutes I'm coming in to help.”

 

Sherlock curses, wondering if Lestrade is being serious when he heard the man answer, his voice sure.

 

Yes I am being serious. I'll break down the door if I have to. Now please, get out and get dressed.”

 

Sherlock blinks in wonder and then a small smile is on his lips before he can even think about it. He gets out, shivering instantly and dries himself quickly. His skin is red by the time he's done and he dresses fast, not looking in the mirror. The clothes Lestrade laid out for him, and it still makes him nervous thinking about someone rummaging around, are wide and soft. As if Lestrade knows he can't stand fabric right now. There's another smile on his lips as he puts them on, feeling better already.

 

He puts on the fluffy, warm socks, even though it's March and getting warmer by the day, wiggling his toes before reaching out for his toothbrush. Since he's been back he brushes his teeth at least 6 times a day, trying to get the vile taste out of his mouth. It helps for a little while, making him feel really clean and pure.

 

He dries his hair, trying to comb it through as best he can but all the pulling has made his scalp sensitive. At least there aren't any bold spots, not as far as he can tell. He doesn't want to look in the mirror to check, haunted by his own face. He drains the bath, watching the water disappear, taking the strand of hair with it and he feels calmer. At least for now.

 

He avoids the mirror again as he reaches for the knob, pausing for a moment to take a deep breath, another one and then he opens the door and steps out. Time for battle.

 

Chapter Text

Turns out it's not a battle. The light in the flat is dim, the fire burning and Sherlock finds Lestrade sitting in John's chair, watching TV. It's still weird, seeing someone else in John's chair but he has to admit Lestrade looks good in it. He opened up the top button of his shirt and rolled up his sleeves and for a second Sherlock envies him.

 

He looks so calm and relaxed, so happy. Not haunted by the deepest and darkest secrets of the world. He shakes his head lightly, berating himself. Lestrade has seen enough war in his life. If only Sherlock knew how to deal with it as Lestrade does. He'll never be as strong, as solid.

 

Sherlock takes a step forward, the floor cracking and Lestrade turns his head, giving him a smile.

 

Want some pudding?”

 

Sherlock blinks, eyes on the big bowl Lestrade is holding up. How he hadn't noticed it before Greg points it out is a little unsettling, staring at it like it's some magic trick.

 

Where did you get that?”

 

Sherlock steps closer and Lestrade smiles, a glimmer in his eyes.

 

I have my sources Sherlock, can't kiss and tell.”

 

Sherlock rolls his eyes, sitting down on the sofa and wrapping himself in a blanket, facing the fire. He stares at the flames for a while, just the sound of the fire crackling and the TV in the air. It's peaceful and nice and Sherlock wants to cry again.

 

You okay Sherlock?”

 

He startles by Lestrade's voice, needing a moment to turn and look at the man. He's still eating his pudding and Sherlock huffs a laugh. He looks ridiculous and adorable.

 

Oi, don't mock my taste Sherlock Holmes or I won't share with you. If you want some that is.”

 

Sherlock swallows, eyes on the pudding and nods his head. Lestrade's smile is like a ray of sunshine as he stands up, going to the kitchen for a moment and coming back with a small bowl and a spoon.

 

There you go. It's very good.”

 

I know, Mrs. Hudson is a genius.”

 

Damn, my secret revealed.”

 

Sherlock snorts and Lestrade laughs, filling up the flat with light and warmth. Sherlock eats with tiny bites, sighing in pleasure. They sit there for a while, eating pudding and watching TV. Unfortunately his mind isn't done torturing him and his eyes land on his favourite corner, seeing the spot on the floor. It's the only evidence of his little meltdown. Lestrade cleaning up his mess again.

 

If only it was that simple for me. Sherlock frowns, the images of earlier coming back to him, seeing himself curled up like a baby and something else. It takes a second to realise but then his eyes go back to Lestrade, wide in horror. Lestrade turns his head at the same time, stopping his movement mid air, the spoon floating before Lestrade sits up, placing his bowl of pudding down, almost empty.

 

Sherlock? What's wrong? What's going on in that brain of yours?”

 

He looks straight through Lestrade, seeing the hug, his reaction, something falling down and he now knows it was Lestrade. He pushed and Lestrade fell. He fell !

 

His eyes go wider as he remembers, eyes moving rapidly as he tries to find the damage but he can't see it from there. He gets up, moving quickly and takes Greg's head, turning it to all sides, checking for a bruise. His hands travel down Lestrade's neck, going down his chest, pressing his arms and stopping at his shoulders. He doesn't realise how close he is till Lestrade reaches out, carefully taking his hands and pulling them slowly off his shoulders, his eyes questioning.

 

Sherlock, what are you...”

 

I'm sorry!”

 

He practically yells it, seeing the confusion on Lestrade's face before it clicks. He let's go of Sherlock's hands and Sherlock walks backwards, hitting the coffee table.

 

Sherlock! Here, sit down.”

 

Lestrade is up, gently pushing him down in John's chair while Lestrade sits down on the table. His eyes are soft as he watches Sherlock, taking a breath before speaking.

 

I'm fine Sherlock. I'm not hurt. It's all fine. Calm down.”

 

Sherlock grits his teeth, nails digging into the chair. He wants to scream that nothing is fine. None of this is fine .

 

Shht Sherlock, it's okay I swear. If anyone should say sorry it's me. I wasn't thinking and I caused you pain because of it.”

 

Sherlock blinks, not understanding why Lestrade is watching him with sad eyes.

 

What are you talking about?”

 

Lestrade flexes his hand, sadness all over his face and it's almost too much to bare. Sherlock reaches out, placing a hand on Lestrade's knee and Lestrade looks down, something strange in his eyes.

 

If I hadn't hugged you none of this would have happened. I wanted to comfort you but I- I didn't know. I'm sorry Sherlock. I'm so sorry. I promise I won't touch you again.”

 

He can't breath, anger rising inside him as Lestrade's words sink into his brain. He should have known, should have seen this coming but it still hurts.

 

Get out.”

 

His voice is cold and harsh and he sees Lestrade lift his head, confusion all over his face.

 

Sherlock what?”

 

Get. Out.”

 

He gives his most dark look, lips a thin line as Lestrade keeps sitting down, eyes scanning Sherlock's face.

 

I don't need your pity Lestrade. I'm not a child, I'm not some fragile maiden who will break down because of the slightest touch.”

 

Sherlock, that's not...”

 

I'M NOT BROKEN!”

 

Sherlock stands up, body shaking with anger as he lunges towards Lestrade. He's fast but not fast enough and Lestrade moves, his punch landing in thin air. He swings out again but by now Lestrade is off the table, ready to fight back.

 

Sherlock stop it! Calm down!'

 

DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN! I AM NOT A CHILD!”

 

He moves again, wanting to break something but suddenly he's on the sofa, trapped by Lestrade's body. He screams and trashes, trying to hurt him but it's no use. Lestrade is stronger and more focused then him.

 

Sherlock stop, please stop this. You'll hurt yourself, please.”

 

He feels the tears burning in his eyes, his arms pinned above his head as Lestrade holds him in place. He can't look at the man, the anger from moments before gone. His lip starts to tremble, eyes burning and suddenly he's crying again, body shaking as he let's it all out. He didn't know he still had tears to spill.

 

Shht, it's okay Sherlock. It's going to be all right.”

 

Lestrade let's go of his hands slowly, lifting his weight of Sherlock, a haunted look in his eyes.

 

It's not contagious Lestrade. You won't damage yourself by touching me.”

 

Oh Sherlock, that's not what I meant. Shht, it's okay, it will be alright.” Lestrade whispers, moving to create more space and Sherlock reaches out on instinct.

 

NO!”

 

He wraps his arms around the man, fingers digging into Lestrade's black shirt as he cries. He feels Lestrade relax against him, moving so he's cradled in his lap.

 

That's not what I mean. I know you're not contagious. I know you aren't a child, though sometimes you do act like one.”

 

Sherlock laughs through his sobs, Lestrade softly stroking his hair and he slowly relaxes, tears finally drying up. He takes a deep breath before making eye contact with Lestrade, feeling stupid for sitting in the man's lap but Lestrade just smiles, holding Sherlock in place so he doesn't slide off.

 

I'm sorry Sherlock, I didn't mean. I don't want to cause you more pain because of my actions. I just wanted to help you but I didn't realise...”

 

Didn't realise what? That I'm damaged goods? Newsflash Lestrade, the last two years haven't exactly been a picnic.”

 

His voice is rough from crying and he sees the frown on Lestrade's face, feels the tension entering in the man's body and he bites his lip, already furious with himself for being so harsh, so honest.

 

You're not damaged Sherlock! Don't say that! It must have been hell and I'm so sorry it's all my fault. I'm sorry I didn't think about you or your needs. I'm sorry for everything you've been through and I'm sorry I wasn't there to help. But I'm here now and I want to help you. In whatever way you'll let me.”

 

Lestrade reaches out carefully, eyes closely on Sherlock's face as he places his hand on Sherlock's cheek, stroking it soothingly with his thumb.

 

Lestrade, I.”

 

He can't speak, too overwhelmed and exhausted by the events of tonight but Lestrade gives a warm, little smile. Pinching his cheek gently before dropping his hand.

 

You should try and get some sleep. You most be tired.”

 

Sherlock gives a grateful nod, feeling his energy leave him by the second and Lestrade moves and Sherlock crawls out of his lap. It's weird but he misses it already, wanting to be wrapped in Lestrade's care and attention. Somehow he can't imagine John doing this for him.

 

Will you s-stay?”

 

He can't meet Lestrade's eyes as he whispers the question, wiggling his feet as he waits, feeling the softness of the socks and relaxing a fraction more because of them.

 

You can sleep in John's- the upstairs bedroom, if you w-want.”

 

It's not John's room anymore, hasn't been for a long time and if he's being honest he wants Lestrade here with him tonight, not John. It hurts his heart, feeling like a betrayal but he's too tired to really think about it. He has enough guilt as it is.

 

Okay, if you are sure?”

 

Sherlock nods, eyes flashing to Lestrade's and Lestrade nods in return. He feels lighter, knowing Lestrade is close by. Not long after he's gone to bed, tossing and turning to find a good spot he hears Lestrade go up the stairs, opening and closing the door. He lets out a sigh of relief as he hears the bed creek as Lestrade steps in, different then when John slept there but welcome none the same.

 

Chapter Text

He wakes up the next morning to the sounds of someone busy in the kitchen and panics for a moment before recognising Lestrade's footsteps. In a way he's glad to not be alone but facing the man in the harsh light of day isn't something he looks forward to either. He still can't believe Lestrade held him in his lap, letting him cry on and on.

 

At least he feels calmer and more focused today so sleeping did the trick. It's also the first time in a long time he hasn't woken up screaming. He hears the sound of pots and pans and feels a little guilty for asking Lestrade to stay. The man does have a life outside of work and Sherlock and he never even thought to ask Lestrade if he could stay. Before he can get out of bed and prepare himself mentally there's a soft knock on the door and Lestrade's warm voice fills the room.

 

Are you awake Sherlock?”

 

Sherlock calls out, sitting up and Lestrade comes in, plate in hand with just some yoghurt, toast and hot tea. He's wearing fresh clothes so he must have showered at some point. Somehow the idea of Greg showering makes his skin tingle and he swallows, fighting off the blush that's threatening to appear. Greg sets the plate on the bedside table and Sherlock loses his battle as Lestrade's eyes go over him.

 

I guess sleeping was just what you needed. How are you feeling?”

 

It's a difficult question and he's not sure if he can even answer it. He still feels shame and embarrassment for what happened last night but he's also glad that now someone knows, that he doesn't have to hide it.

 

I feel. I don't know. Better?”

 

Lestrade nods, his eyes soft and Sherlock gives a small smile before reaching out for the toast.

 

I don't know if you can stomach it but there wasn't any milk for pancakes. Do you still like those?”

 

Sherlock can't help but blush, amazed but flattered that Lestrade still knows that.

 

Yes, I still like pancakes though I have to cut them in tiny pieces. Mrs. Hudson made some for me a couple of days ago, they were fine but not as good as yours.”

 

Lestrade smiles brightly and Sherlock blinks his eyes, feeling his blush grow. He can't look at him for long, his heart doing weird things inside his chest. Apart from Mrs. Hudson, no one knows how his eating habits have changed, except now Lestrade. It freaks him out a little so instead of thinking about it any longer, he takes the toast, sniffs it and takes a tiny bite. It's perfect, not too hard and not too soft and his stomach rumbles as he swallows it down.

 

Glad someone approves.”

 

Lestrade chuckles as Sherlock's stomach groans again, demanding another bite so he relents, eating slowly, feeling nervous and awkward as Lestrade moves to sit in a chair.

 

Are you okay Sherlock? Please be honest with me.”

 

Sherlock swallows down the 'yes, I'm fine' he was planning to say and risks a glance. Lestrade isn't looking any differently at him then before.

 

I'm not good but I am okay. I guess I feel awkward about all of this.”

 

He gestures at himself, taking another bite before continuing.

 

I'm sorry I- I'm sorry.” He whispers as he finishes his toast, stomach not acting up just yet and takes the tea, hot and sweet just the way he likes it. He can't keep in a soft moan and he sees Lestrade's eyes widen just a fraction before the man clears his throat.

 

No need to say sorry Sherlock. I told you already, I was the one at fault. I shouldn't have assumed my comfort was wanted.”

 

Lestrade's face does a weird thing and Sherlock feels his heart contract because of it.

 

Lestrade, of course...”

 

Before he can say more a loud sound fills the room and Sherlock flinches a little. Lestrade sighs, taking out his phone and mouthing an 'I'm sorry' before taking the call and stepping outside.

 

Sherlock finishes his tea, still feeling awkward but also grateful Lestrade stayed. He knows not many people would do that for him.

 

John”

 

He shakes his head. John wouldn't do that for him, not as calm and caring like Lestrade and the knowledge of that makes him sad. John can never know. There would only be too many questions, too many demands and rules and he can't deal with that.

 

He feels a stab of nervousness as Lestrade enters again after knocking and his tongue feels thick and heavy as he tries to speak. He's always been bad at asking for help, always thinking he doesn't deserve it. And hasn't he asked enough of the man already?

 

Lestrade. I- I trust you won't. You won't tell anyone?”

 

His voice cracks at the end and he wants to hit himself in the face for being so weak, so needy. It's not like him, not really. Or maybe he's been like this all along and he just can't hide it anymore.

 

Lestrade steps closer, gesturing to an open spot on the bed and Sherlock feels a spark of irritation.

 

Please stop doing that. I won't break just because you sit next to me!”

 

He bites his lip as Lestrade gives him a look, sitting down and making the bed dip. Sherlock instantly feels sweaty with Lestrade so close, on his bed. Nobody has ever sat on his bed before, come to think of it, not many people have been inside his bedroom. Except John and her .

His body gives a shiver as he remembers Irene and Lestrade's eyebrows go up in question.

 

Dammit Lestrade, will it always be like this from now on? You too afraid to even touch me?”

 

Sherlock, I'm not afraid of touching you. I'm afraid of crossing your boundaries. I don't want to upset you and I need you to tell me when I do. How can I know if you won't tell me?”

 

Sherlock huffs and Lestrade's mouth goes into a thin line, the colour of his eyes a little darker then before.

 

This is important Sherlock. Your safety and happiness are important to me and I'll do anything in my power to give you that. But I can't if you don't help me. So yes, from now on I'm asking permission to sit next to you, walk with you, touch you. Please understand that this is to help you. I'm not disgusted with you Sherlock, nor am I ashamed. I'll never be ashamed of you.”

 

Sherlock swallows down the lump in his throat, already feeling bad for lashing out like that. Lestrade gives a smile, moving his hand closer to Sherlock and after a moment of hesitation Sherlock reaches out.

 

To answer your previous question. I will never tell anyone what happened, okay? I wouldn't do that to you.”

 

Lestrade takes hold of Sherlock's hand, squeezes it once as his eyes stay on Sherlock's face.

 

You're safe with me Sherlock. I won't tell anyone, I won't mock you. I don't look at you any differently then I've done before. You're still brilliant and a great man. That will never change. Okay?”

 

Another squeeze and Sherlock feels too hot, a blush forming in his neck and across his cheeks at Lestrade's words. They aren't true of course, he's not a great man at all but he wants to believe them for this moment.

 

Lestrade, I.”

 

He looks down at Lestrade's hand holding his, feeling the warmth seep into his cold body. He looks up and sees an amused expression on the man's face.

 

Greg.”

 

Sherlock stares, blinking in confusion as Lestrade rolls his eyes at him.

 

That's my name you know. Greg, you could try it from time to time. I know you know it.”

 

A hint of mild irritation in Lestrade's voice and Sherlock blushes even more. He really doesn't deserve this man as a friend at all.

 

I'll do my b-best.”

 

Lestrade chuckles and Sherlock looks up, seeing the lines around his mouth and eyes.

 

All I ask Sherlock. I have to leave now, work called. If you need anything, call me. Promise you will.”

 

Sherlock nods, patting Lestrade's hand twice before letting go, already feeling worse now that he knows he'll be alone again.

 

Call John, Sherlock. He'll be glad to hear from you. He's going a little mental with the whole wedding planning. If I need help, can I call you in?”

 

There is hesitation in Lestrade's voice and Sherlock hates hearing it. He's not at his best game yet but he can still help, he knows he can, so he nods, his heart beating a little faster because of it. Going outside still isn't as normal as it should be.

 

Okay then. Take care Sherlock. Call me if you need anything.”

 

Sherlock nods and with one last smile Lestrade leaves and Sherlock curls back into bed. Maybe he'll call John later, see how it's going. Maybe he can help with the wedding? It's not the first time he's helped plan for one. It could be nice.

 

He falls back asleep not long after, images of Lestrade's smile keeping him company as he drifts off.

 

Chapter Text

Planning the wedding is a good distraction but also a nightmare. John and Mary are around constantly, talking about napkins, colours, flowers and seating arrangements. Them being there is good, it lightens up the flat but at the same time Sherlock feels his heart bleed a little more as time goes on. It's really happening.

 

He knew in the back of his mind that the wedding was real, that Mary is here to stay but there was always that sparkle of hope. Hope that John would come to his senses, wake up one morning and realise he's marrying the wrong person.

 

It's you Sherlock, it's always been you.”

 

The dreams are the worst. They feel so real, so normal that every time Sherlock opens his eyes he's sure John will be there next to him, gently snoring, he's the type, as he cuddles closer to him, a content sigh filling the room.

 

It's never true and he hates himself for feeling disappointed and miserable when the truth kicks in. John will never be his, he's Mary's now and he needs to accept that. But somehow his mind doesn't let him, haunting him with these realistic, picture perfect nightmares.

 

Calm? I am calm. I’m extremely calm.”

 

But the truth is he's anything but calm. The wedding is getting closer and Sherlock feels uneasy and wired all the time. Helping with decorations, planning, going shopping, it's a constant reminder about the way things will change and he needs someone to ground him, to calm him down.

 

Sherlock? Are you okay?”

 

Just hearing Lestrade's voice over the phone is enough to feel better, a weight lifted off his chest. He wasn't really thinking when he called the man, just knew he needed some support. Someone just for him.

 

Sherlock? Do you need me to come over?”

 

Sherlock shakes his head before realising he's on the phone.

 

No. No, I just. I just needed to. I'm sorry, I should let you sleep.”

 

He glances at the clock, seeing it's almost 1 AM and he feels bad, waking Lestrade up in the middle of the night for no good reason.

 

That's fine Sherlock, I just got home. How are you?”

 

It's a simple question but once again a difficult answer so he goes with the truth.

 

Not good.”

 

Sherlock, I can be there in 30 minutes.”

 

He can't help but smile. Lestrade is too good for him, too kind and nice. He wants to give in, ask him to come over and stay but he's asked enough of the man as it is. He still gets a little uneasy when they see each other, remembering what Lestrade has done for him, only a few weeks ago. It's too much to ask for his help now and not being able to give a reason for his emotional state. Not one he wants to share with Lestrade anyway.

 

Sherlock. You still there?”

 

I'm here. You don't have to come over Lestrade, you should get some sleep, you sound tired.”

 

He hears a huff over the line, some sounds and then Lestrade is back.

 

Brilliant observation Sherlock. It's this Water gang case.”

 

Sherlock swallows, willing away a lump of guilt at Lestrade's words. He knows about the Water gang of course. Two criminal brothers that have successfully robbed several big banks and walked away free every single time. Sherlock remembers the headlines once he came back, the press questioning Lestrade's competence, the degrading headlines. He'd been too lost and self absorbed to leaned his help at the time.

 

I thought you caught them in the act this time?”

 

Greg sighs and Sherlock bites his lip, wanting to end the call and kick himself for being so stupid.

 

Yes, and there is a good change we will get them convicted now but there is a lot of paperwork, a lot of i's to dot and t's to cross. We can't let them get away with it again. It's bad enough when you call me an idiot.”

 

Lestrade. Greg, I don't think...”

 

Sherlock hears a small laugh and his heart skips a beat.

 

I know Sherlock. The press is just having a field day with this and I'm sure the whole Water's family is too. It's just frustrating, that's all.”

 

He hears the irritation and sadness in Lestrade's voice and for a moment he wants the man here. He wants to reach out and give him some comfort, some support.

 

You'll get them this time Lestrade, I know you will. You never back down, never stop. It's what I like about you.”

 

It's silent for a long time and Sherlock's hands begin sweating as he goes over his words. Did he say something wrong again?

 

I. That's nice to hear Sherlock.”

 

It's a whisper in his ear, filling his whole heart and making him breath for the first time in weeks.

 

I should let you sleep Lestrade. Sorry for calling so late. I lost track of time.”

 

That's fine Sherlock, I told you to call when you needed it. Can I help you with something?”

 

Sherlock smiles again, being reminded again why Lestrade is too good for him.

 

No. I just wanted to- I'm fine now. Thank you Lestrade- Greg.”

 

So you do know my name.”

 

Sherlock can just picture Lestrade's smile as he says that, his eyes sparkling.

 

I remember the important things. Goodnight Lestrade.”

 

Another silence before Greg wishes him good night too, ending the conversation. He goes to bed not shortly after, leaving the rest of the wedding planning for a later time. It's the first night since helping John and Mary that he doesn't dream about John.

 

Chapter Text

Why didn't you say anything?!”

 

You texted me Sherlock, I thought something was wrong.”

 

I text you all the time! This case has been going on for two years!”

 

I know Sherlock, I was working it!”

 

And now that idiot will get all the credit because of me!”

 

DI Jones isn't an idiot Sherlock and it doesn't matter.”

 

Doesn't matter?! It was your big break!”

 

Sherlock is trembling with anger as he watches Lestrade. He can't help feel stupid and guilty for sending his texts, making Lestrade drop everything to come to his aide.

 

It was your big break and you lost it because I can't come up with a best man's speech!”

 

Sherlock throws his hands in the air before swiping clean his whole desk with one move. He screams in frustration as papers fly everywhere, leaving a bigger mess in it's wake. The flat still looks messy but it's not as it was before, Mds. Hudson helping him with cleaning up, showing him how to get started and this time he's actually paying attention. It feels good, cleaning up his space one section at a time, feeling useful and somewhat normal. Well, as normal as he'll ever be.

 

Sherlock calm down. Yes, that would have been a big break and yes, I'm not too happy about it right now but it's not the end of the world. There will always be big cases Sherlock.”

 

Lestrade steps closer, holding out his hand and Sherlock takes it, letting himself be dragged over to the couch. He sits down with a pout, Lestrade sitting down next to him but leaving some space, eyes going over the room.

 

Right, let's see what you've got so far. It can't be as bad as you think it is.”

 

Lestrade leans down, grabbing some papers and starts reading it. Sherlock watches his face, trying to read every micro expression but it's hard. The wedding is only a week away and he's in a light state of panic. The early drafts of his speech were too serious, too honest and he doesn't know how much he can say about John without confessing his true feelings.

 

He still loves him.

 

Are you sure you want to keep this part in? 'The death-watch beetle that is the doom of our society and, in time – one feels certain – our entire species', sounds a little harsh. Not really romantic.”

 

Romance is a chemical defect found on the losing side, just like sentiment.”

 

Sherlock rolls his eyes at Lestrade's face, grabbing the papers out of his hands and standing up, pacing up and down.

 

I've never done this before Lestrade. What if I mess up? What if I say something rude or obnoxious, we both know I'm both those things and more. I can't do this!”

 

He falls down on his chair, slamming the papers on the desk hard.

 

You can Sherlock. You can do this. Just speak from the heart, be honest. Just,you know, tune it down a notch or two.”

 

Sherlock lets out a laugh and Lestrade smiles, bending down again and collecting some more papers.

 

Just read it back with a critical eye. I know you can do this. And if you feel stuck, just give it to me and I'll make some suggestion. John knows you Sherlock, Mary does too. They know your speech won't be conventional by any means. You won't disappoint them. Now come on, let's get reading. Want some tea?”

 

He takes the papers out of Lestrade's hands, feeling less miserable as Lestrade pats his shoulder once before going to the kitchen, rummaging around in cupboards and putting the kettle on.

 

It only takes them two hours to finish his speech and it's two hours of thinking about John but not in an agonising, longing way. He still loves him and in a way he always will, but it's not as wild anymore, as unruly. It stings when John kisses Mary in front of him but not so much that he wants to push Mary away, grab John and kiss him senseless instead. He doesn't dream about him and John anymore, not as often as before and when he wakes up he can shake the sadness and anger away much better.

 

It feels like saying goodbye and it's bitter but also sweet. It feels like he's slowly healing.

 

Chapter Text

He doesn't feel healed at all by the time the wedding comes. He couldn't sleep, pacing back and forth for hours, wanting to call Lestrade again, ask him to stay but also knowing it's a bad thing to do. He's already asked so much from the man and he can't run to him whenever he's about to freak out.

 

Cause he is.

 

He's sitting in his spot, breathing deeply in and out. His Mind Palace is still not like it used to be but it's functional enough. He's been spending hours conjuring up scenarios where he tells John how he feels and John runs away with him but none are working. He knows, deep down he really knows, that John doesn't love him like that but it's the night before the wedding and it's really happening now. Even more real then when he was spending days and weeks planning for it. Somehow he could convince himself it was his wedding, his big day, his new future.

 

He wants to scream in agony but doesn't want to worry Mrs Hudson anymore then he's already done. Of course she'd heard it when he had his break down with Lestrade. She didn't say anything but there was that look. That 'are you going to snap again' look. She can't help it but seeing it makes Sherlock want to lash out.

 

I AM NOT BROKEN!”

 

It's a new mantra in his head whenever people look at him in a certain way. Mrs Hudson, Molly, John, Mary. The only person that looks at him normally is Lestrade and that's strange cause Lestrade knows how broken he really is.

 

You're still amazing Sherlock.”

 

He still can't believe it. Won't believe it but Lestrade's words calm his soul in the darkest times. That's another strange thing. For the last two years it's been John. John kept him sane and alive, made him move forward, made him keep going. Now when he thinks of John there is light panic and sadness. He's not the calmness inside his head anymore and it's scary.

 

It changes people, marriage.”

 

He doesn't want to believe it her, doesn't want to think about the time after the wedding but Sherlock knows she's right. It's already changed. He makes her leave quickly, being a little too harsh but needing time to breath, time to think and collect his thoughts, his feelings. Did I have so many feelings before? He shakes his head, moving to the bedroom to change and get ready. How do people do it? He's never been good at emotions, desperately holding on to facts and logic to not drown in things like love, hate, friendship. It always seemed so painful, so cruel.

 

Caring is not an advantage Sherlock.”

 

His brother's voice inside his head makes him startled, seeing himself in the mirror as he's dressed for the wedding. Mary has weird taste. It's not bad but it's not perfect either and Sherlock already feels constricted in it, ridiculous with the too high hat. At least he only has to wear it for a short time.

 

When he sees John in his wedding outfit it takes his breath away. He looks gorgeous and so in love, not able to stop looking at Mary beside him. They just scream happily ever after and Sherlock wants to pull his hair. Or run away.

 

Hey Sherlock. You okay?”

 

He wants to sigh out in relief as he hears Lestrade's voice near him, turning to answer the man. His words die as his eyes travel up and down Lestrade's frame, taking in his clothes, his stance, his body. He can't help the stumble in his words as Lestrade gives a small smile, eyes somehow a fraction darker then seconds before.

 

Y-yes. Fine, everything is fine.”

 

Have your cards?”

 

Lestrade touches his arm and Sherlock feels warm again. He swallows, fidgeting with his tie as he nods, tapping the pockets in his coat.

 

Stop fidgeting it Sherlock, you'll ruin it. You look great.”

 

Lestrade's voice is mock commanding as he gentle taps Sherlock's hand away, straightening the tie before stepping backwards again.

 

Almost time to go. Good luck Sherlock.”

 

Another touch on his arm and then Lestrade is gone. He blinks, trying to breath but his nerves are in overdrive and Sherlock's not sure if it's only because of the speech.

 

Chapter Text

Let's hear it for the best man, Sherlock Holmes!”

 

He takes a deep breath, wiling his hands not to tremble as he stands up, taking in the small applause, feeling all those eyes on him, waiting with anticipation. He scans the room and his eyes find Lestrade's, feeling a fraction calmer as their eyes connect. There is a hint of sadness in Lestrade's brown eyes and Sherlock frowns but then someone clears their throat and Sherlock starts speaking, eyes going over the room before stopping to John.

 

John, the man he's loved for years now. The man he died for, killed for, became nothing short of an animal for. John, the man that kept him alive, kept him fighting, kept him breathing when all he wanted to do was give up. John, the man who's looking at Mary with so much love and affection it's clear to everyone that they are meant to be.

 

John, I am a ridiculous man ... redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But, as I’m apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion.”

He stops, taking a breath as he looks at John, seeing the confusion in the man's eyes. He looks up, finding Lestrade instantly in the crowd, that same sadness in place but bigger, almost screaming out.

 

Lestrade, the man he's taken for granted for years. The man he's called an idiot and stupid almost every day. The man that gave him a change when nobody else would. That saved his life by believing in him, by giving him purpose. The man who's seen him broken, crying and screaming in agony but not leaving. Never leaving.

 

Greg.

 

It feels like the air is kicked out of his lungs, as if the world has stopped turning. He blinks, swallowing down something strange but not unwelcome. He knows people are waiting, sees the disapproving looks on their faces but his focus is on Lestrade.

 

Greg .

 

He'll never look at me like that.”

 

His eyes go back to John, remembering the way he looked at Mary just moments before and realising John will never look at him with the same affection, the same love and fondness.

 

He'll never love me the way I want him too. It will never be enough.”

 

He lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding and he smiles, seeing the way Mary holds John's hand, the way John is at total ease sitting next to her, waiting for Sherlock to continue.


“Actually, now I can.”

 

And suddenly it all makes sense, it all falls into place.

 

Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. So know this: today you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved – in short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that.”

 

After that it's all easy and simple. They even catch a murderer and Sherlock deduces one last thing. He blames it on nerves for not seeing it sooner really.

 

Mary, I think you should do a pregnancy test.”

 

The domestic bliss is complete and he sets the happy couple free to dance, glad to see them glow. He can't help but search for Greg, wanting to find the man and talk to him. He didn't like the sadness in Greg's eyes and for some insane reason he thinks he's the one to blame. Greg should never look sad, it's something Sherlock is sure of and he walks around a bit, spotting Molly and Mrs Hudson with their partners, having fun as they talk and dance.

 

It takes a while but then he spots Greg at the other side of the room and he feels a stab of something close to jealousy when he sees Greg isn't alone. He's dancing with a woman, holding her close to his chest as he talks near her ear. She laughs, pressing closer and Sherlock stops short, not able to look away but also not wanting to stay and see this.

 

I should have known, stupid!”

 

The woman laughs again and Sherlock feels his heart go cold, he turns, not able to watch any longer.

 

Sherlock? Everything...”

 

But he just shakes his head, walking out of the reception room and to the coat check, asking his coat with a snap. His hands shake when he puts it on, having trouble with the buttons. The noise from the reception room is making his head hurt, hearing the woman laugh, seeing the way Greg held her close.

 

Nobody leaves a wedding early.

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock? Sherlock please pick up. Are you okay? I saw you leave in a hurry. Please call me back. Or text me. It's Greg- Lestrade.”

 

It's the third voicemail in an hour and Sherlock can't stop himself from listening to it. Even if Greg's voice is slowly killing him. He sounds worried, caring and Sherlock wants to call back, wants to text him but then he sees the way Greg danced with that woman and he can't.

 

You should have known Sherlock. Who would ever love you?”

 

He hits his head again, trying to stop the voice inside it but it has little effect. He knows the voice is right after all. Who would love him?

 

Who would love a broken down man? Only memorable because of his great mind, his deduction skills. He's never been easy to live with, never been a good man, let alone a kind one. Nobody wants a broken down smart arse, not even Lestrade.

 

Lestrade. Greg.

 

Sherlock bangs his head against the wall, pulling at his curls. Why didn't I see it sooner?

 

He growls in frustration, hands going to his tie and opening it up, pulling it out and throwing it away. He still can't really breath and gets rid of his vest, opens up the top buttons of his shirt and then pulls of the cuffs. It's better but not perfect. Somehow he's afraid it will never be perfect again. Why didn't I see it sooner?!

 

It wasn't till the speech, till his eyes found Greg's that he realised.

 

Love.

 

He shakes his head furiously, pinching his arm hard and cries out, head against the wall again.

 

Love? You don't even know what love is!”

 

The voice is hard and unforgiving, leaving gooseflesh all over his body. He knows the voice is right. He doesn't know a single thing about love. He's read about it of course, knows the sciences behind it but this isn't science now. His word is crumbling again and all he wants to do is go and find Greg, curl up against the man and stay there forever, breath in his scent, feel the warmth of him against his skin, hear that soothing voice near his ear.

 

Sherlock, it's all right. I'm right here. Shhht, calm down.”

 

It's so real, so close Sherlock flinches when he opens his eyes, nobody next to him, nobody there to offer him comfort. Suddenly he feels lonely and his scars act up again. His eyes sting but he blinks, refusing to cry again. He's done enough of that and he needs to snap out of it.

 

Be a man Sherlock! We Holmes's never give up!”

 

He sits up, letting go of his hair, seeing the bruise he made on his arm and he huffs. Drama queen indeed.

 

His phone lights up, almost hurting his eyes with it's brightness and his stomach does a weird flip as he sees the name flash up on the screen.

 

LESTRADE

 

Another call from Greg, another voicemail. It gives him a sense of hope but he shakes his head almost instantly. Someone as pure and good like Greg would never want him. He doesn't deserve it, something so good to keep for himself. He would destroy it, destroy Greg and he can't do that. Greg deserves everything and Sherlock knows he can't give it to the man.

 

He's better, better then when he just came back, but he's not the same anymore. He doesn't have anything to give to another person except smarts and sass and it's not enough. Will never be enough.

 

He needs to forget, needs to erase.

 

Chapter Text

Before he can even get up and start doing that there is a hard and insisting knocking on his door. For a second he's sure the door will just fly open, it's so loud.

 

Sherlock! Are you in here? Please tell me you're okay?! Sherlock? Sherlock!”

 

Sherlock's stomach drops, his heart skipping a beat as he hears Greg call out to him. His voice is loud, full with concern and a little hint of anger and he can't do anything but go to the door and open it up.

 

Thank god! Why didn't you answer me?! I was worried sick!”

 

He can't reply, can't even tell Greg not to come in cause Greg moves forward, wrapping him into a hug so tight Sherlock is sure he hears one or two bones crack because of it.

 

Don't ever do that to me again you hear!”

 

There is still upset and worry in Greg's voice but it's calmer now, soft near his ear and Sherlock shivers, wrapping himself around the man, his noise near Greg's neck, breathing him in. They stand like that for what feels like hours, holding each other, feeling Greg's solid and warm form against his body. When Greg moves he lets out a disapproving sound, moving with him and he hears Greg chuckle in response.

 

Oh Sherlock. Hey, look at me.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head, not wanting to move and also afraid to move but Greg gentle pushes him back, taking a step forward.

 

Can we at least get fully inside?”

 

That makes him open his eyes, turning his head a little to see they are still standing half in the hallway. He lets go of Lestrade slowly, not able to watch the man, turning fast and heading for the living room. He hears the door fall closed, hears the lock turning and he looks back, eyes going over Greg.

 

He looks gorgeous.

His face flames up as he sees Greg looking, walking closer to him and he doesn't know what to say, what to do. His body moves for itself, taking a step towards Greg and then stopping, looking down at the ground. He feels warm all over, not able to breath, to think and it should scare him to death but it doesn't.

 

Sherlock.”

 

His eyes snap up, Greg standing close, hand on his shoulder and he shivers again. Something in Greg's eyes change as he watches him, eyes stopping on Sherlock's mouth for a second too long and Sherlock bites his lip, seeing Greg's eyes change again.

 

Sherlock.”

 

It's a whisper or a half moan and it sets Sherlock's body on fire, he reaches out, taking Greg's hand, eyes on their joined hands and then Greg moves.

 

Greg I. I'm not-”

 

Shht Sunshine. It's all right.”

 

Sherlock wants to shake his head, make Greg see that it's not all right, that he's not right but then Greg leans forward and his lips touch Sherlock's and he's gone.

 

Oh . So that's what all the fuss is about.

 

He feels light and on fire as Greg's lips stay on his, the barest hint of tongue but it's enough to make Sherlock moan, grabbing Greg's shoulders and holding on. Another sweep of tongue and Sherlock opens his mouth and then his knees go weak and his heart does a flip and he grabs hold of Greg tighter, afraid of falling, of stopping. He feels Greg smile against his mouth as they part a little and Sherlock should be terrified, should be ashamed but he's not, not really.

 

Hey Sunshine. You okay?”

 

He nods slowly, blinking his eyes rapidly before they can focus on the man in front of him. It leaves him breathless, seeing the sparkle in those brown eyes, the wetness of Greg's lips, the colour on his cheeks.

 

Gorgeous.”

 

Sorry what?”

 

Now he's terrified, biting his lip before looking down, fidgeting with his hands.

 

Sherlock?”

 

You're gorgeous. I think you're g-gorgeous.”

 

He bites his lip again, pinching his wrist and then a finger under his chin makes him look up, seeing Greg's face.

 

That's good cause I think you're gorgeous too. Can I kiss you again Sherlock? I really need to kiss you again.”

 

He nods and Greg smiles before kissing him again. It's even better then before, Greg's tongue finding his and he lets out another embarrassing moan before he can stop it. He feels his cheeks burn up as Greg pulls back, eyes wide and dark, his lips a little swollen.

 

Sherlock, I.”

 

Greg, I.”

 

They stop, looking at each other before giggling like silly children. Sherlock still feels warm and a little fuzzy, reaching out again to touch Greg, to feel him, to be sure he's really there.

 

Why did you leave Sherlock?”

 

Greg's question brings him back to the present and he lets go, creating some space between them. He sees the change in Greg's face and feels his heart bleed a little.

 

I saw you dance. You looked c-close. Happy.”

 

Sherlock turns and sits down, using the moment to get himself together. It doesn't last long cause Greg sits down next to him, taking his hand and Sherlock doesn't want to pull it away.

 

Sherlock. She was just a woman I met today. She wanted to dance and I said yes. That was all.”

 

He feels relief go through his body at Greg's words, looking up and seeing it's the truth in Greg's eyes.

 

Greg, you shouldn't stay here. With me.”

 

Greg squeezes his hand, his eyes full of confusion and Sherlock sighs, feeling his heart beat a mile a minute.

 

You deserve everything Greg. You're a wonderful man, a wonderful person. Kind, compassionate, beautiful. You should find someone who can make you happy.”

 

I already did Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head, watching Greg's hand over his.

 

I'm not good enough for you Greg. It took me this long to realise, to realise...”

 

He takes another breath, willing himself to say it, to get it out there but also afraid to admit it.

 

I'm in love with you Greg. I mean, I think I am. It's not the same as it was with John but I.”

 

Sherlock. Look at me.”

 

He shakes his head, eyes still on their hands but Greg uses his other hand to lift his chin up. Sherlock sees a smile on Greg's face and he can't help but frown.

 

Why are you smiling?”

 

Why wouldn't I? I just kissed the most gorgeous and intelligent man in the world and he just told me he loves me. Well, sort of.”

 

There is a lightness in Greg's voice as his smile gets wider. He doesn't look upset at all and Sherlock blinks, not understanding.

 

Greg! Don't you understand! You need to find someone who knows he loves you. Someone who isn't broken and damaged. You deserve the best Greg!”

 

You are the best Sherlock. You are the best for me. You always will be. You aren't broken Sherlock! What you've been through, nobody should have to and you came back! You came back to me and you didn't give up. You still don't. You're amazing Sherlock! Brilliant,gorgeous, kind! When will you start believing that?”

 

Sherlock feels his eyes sting again as he shakes his head. It's not true, he's not amazing or gorgeous and Greg needs to realises that before it's too late. He should have never kissed him. He'll be haunted by the taste of Greg's tongue forever now, the shape of his mouth, the touch of their bodies together.

 

I'm not gorgeous Greg. I can prove it.”

 

Chapter Text

He doesn't let himself think too much about what he's about to do. For some reason he needs to make sure Greg understand, needs to make sure Greg doesn't make a huge mistake.

 

Sherlock, what are you-”

 

But before Greg can say anything more Sherlock is standing up, opening his shirt and taking it off, letting it fall on the ground. He can't turn to face Greg but he hears the sharp intake of breath as Greg looks at his back, seeing the scars. This is it, the moment Sherlock's been afraid of. He doesn't want to lose Greg but now that Greg knows how damaged he really is, it won't take long before Greg's gone.

 

See now? Do you understand now? Greg. Greg?”

 

Sherlock turns when he hears a tiny sound and his heart breaks when he sees Greg sitting there, head in his hands, eyes closed, taking deep breaths.

 

Greg? I. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to- I told you I'm not gorgeous.”

 

No, that's not. No!”

 

Sherlock jumps at Greg's voice, loud and full of pain. When Greg finally looks at him Sherlock sees the tears in Greg's eyes and he sits down slowly, not sure what to do.

 

Greg? Why are you-Why are you crying?”

 

Greg can't speak, tears streaming down his face and Sherlock sits frozen for a moment, too stunt to act. Then Greg let's out a sob and Sherlock moves, pulling him into a hug, forgetting he's half naked as Greg curls into him, wrapping his arms around Sherlock's back which makes Sherlock flinch and Greg let's out another sob as he moves his hands, not touching his scars anymore.

 

S-Sherlock, I'm sorry. S-So sorry, all my fault. Please forgive me. Sherlock, oh god.”

 

Greg can't speak, his sobs too heavy and Sherlock just let's him cry, making comforting sounds near Greg's ear, stroking his back firmly. It stops as abruptly as it began, Greg moving to dry his tears and blow his noise as Sherlock moves to take his shirt off the floor and put it back on.

 

Oh Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock freezes, feeling Greg's warm hands on his back and he can't help but tense as Greg's fingers move over the scars lightly.

 

I'm so sorry.”

 

There is real sorrow in Greg's voice and Sherlock turns, Greg's hands dropping to the sofa before he lays them in his lap, his eyes full of sadness and guilt.

 

Why are you sorry? This isn't your fault.”

 

Greg shakes his head as soon as Sherlock speaks, not able to meet his gaze and Sherlock feels a spark of irritation. He puts his shirt back on, letting the front open and moves closer, cupping Greg's head with both hands, making him look up.

 

This isn't your fault Greg.”

 

Don't say that Sherlock. You know it's my fault. All of it. If I hadn't- If I'd just listened to you-”

 

Greg, you couldn't have known.”

 

I should have! I've know you for so long Sherlock, I should have known Moriarty was setting you up and I fell right into the trap! You have no idea, no idea how much I hate myself for even doubting you for a second! It's all my fault Sherlock! You had to fake your own death, spend years away doing god knows what, because of me! Because I didn't believe you!”

 

Greg broke out of Sherlock's hold, getting up and pacing back and forth.

 

When you died I was devastated. Knowing I was the reason the world didn't believe you anymore. The papers printed hateful things Sherlock, all the good work you'd done, all the crimes you'd solved meant nothing to them anymore.”

 

Sherlock wanted to say something but Greg kept on, pacing faster, desperation clear in his every word.

 

I blamed everyone! Donovan for planting the first seed of doubt, Anderson for being so willing to go with it. I blamed you! God, how I blamed you! Running off with John, making everything worse! I hated you Sherlock!”

 

Tears were ready to spill again but Greg shook his head angrily, letting out a half scream, half growl in frustration.

 

Greg.”

 

Don't! I hated you for dying Sherlock! Who does that?! I was so mad at you, so mad. I hated you, Sally, Anderson, John, Mycroft but most of all myself. I hated myself for not being there! You'd gone and I was left alone and I hated you for not saying goodbye. You didn't say goodbye Sherlock!”

 

GREG!”

 

Sherlock got up, grabbing Greg by the shoulder and spinning him round, making him stop and look at him.

 

This is not your fault. None of it is. Moriarty played me, played everyone and he was smarter in the end. There wasn't time Greg, there wasn't time to say goodbye. I didn't want to do it, but Moriarty left me no other choice. I had to Greg and it kills me still that I couldn't let you know, that I couldn't say goodbye. Don't hate yourself, don't blame yourself. It's not your fault.”

 

Greg deflated, almost dropping to the floor but Sherlock was fast, getting Greg to the sofa to sit down.

 

Sherlock, I.”

 

Sherlock shook his head, wrapping his arms around Greg and laying down, Greg relaxing against his chest.

 

It's okay Greg. I don't blame you.”

 

You should.”

 

I would never.”

 

Greg moved, turning to see Sherlock's face and Sherlock's heart broke at the devastating look in Greg's eyes.

 

I mean it. I don't blame you and neither should you Greg. If we have to blame anyone it's Moriarty and his sick and twisted mind. He loved hurting people, playing with them, making me solve puzzles. I walked right into his trap Greg. I wanted to show I was cleaver. I wasn't and I paid the prize.”

 

Sherlock.”

 

It's okay. I would do it again. I'd do it all again to keep you safe. I had to keep you safe Greg, all of you. Memories of home kept me alive. Memories of-”

 

Sherlock stopped, biting his lip as he saw Greg watching him, seeing a soft smile on the man's face as he understood.

 

John. Memories of John kept you alive. I understand Sherlock. I'm glad John kept you going, gave you back to me. I'm so glad you're back Sherlock. I've missed you so much.”

 

Greg, I.”

 

Greg moved again, pressing himself closer to Sherlock, planting a soft kiss on his shoulder before sinking back down.

 

I know Sherlock. I know that what you feel for John is strong but you need to know I'll wait for you. If you need more time to figure things out I'll do that. I'll give you all the time you need.”

 

Sherlock swallowed, squeezing Greg closer as he blinked his eyes. He really didn't deserve this man at all.

 

I mean it Sherlock. You are the one. You've been the one for quite some time and being able to kiss you, touch you, it's more then enough. Can I stay tonight?”

 

Greg looks up and Sherlock can only nod, his heart doing a flip as he sees the smile spread on Greg's face. It's still not a full on happy smile but it's better then tears so Sherlock takes it as a win. He wiggles to have a better position, sighing with contentment as he feels Greg's weight on his, one hand going through that gorgeous silver hair. They'll probably regret it in the morning, their bodies aching from sleeping on the sofa, but right now this is perfect. Sherlock can't help but smile as Greg dozes off, starting to snore softly.

 

He loves me. Greg loves me.

 

He can barely suppress a giggle at the thought, thinking about their kiss and Sherlock falls asleep, big smile on his lips.

 

Chapter Text

He's sure he's made a huge mistake by telling Greg he thinks he loves him. He should have waited, should have given it some more thought before blurting out his semi love declaration. But in that moment at the wedding, seeing the way Greg watched him as he gave his speech, he'd been so sure. Nothing else had mattered in that moment, not even John and then he'd seen Greg dance with someone else and his world had crumbled down.

 

Maybe he should have lied. Maybe it would have been better if he'd just told Greg he absolutely, 100 %, without a doubt, loved him. But he's never been good at not being honest, not when it came to Greg.

 

It's been almost three months and things are still the same between them. Which isn't really a bad thing cause Sherlock isn't ready for people to see and know, but he's disappointed all the same. Greg is still his kind, gentle and wonderful self but they haven't really kissed since, let alone done more then that. It's making him feel sad and frustrated, worrying about his decision to tell Greg.

 

Maybe he's changed his mind after all?

 

Sherlock shakes his head, wringing his hands as he tries to calm down in his favourite spot. He wouldn't really blame Greg. What man would wait around for someone who is still, sort of, in love with his best friend?

 

He hasn't seen John for a while, them being on their honeymoon and Sherlock working almost non stop on a new and trying case. He does spend time with Greg this way but it's frustratingly professional and it's driving Sherlock quite mad.

 

He wants to be with Greg, wants to spend time with him, hear his voice, his laugh, feel his warmth but Greg has been keeping his distance. There are glimpses in his eyes, glimpses of love and lust but when Sherlock blinks it's gone and he's sure he's just dreaming it up. Just like with John.

 

I'll give you all the time you need.”

 

It had sounded like a great idea but Sherlock doesn't want time anymore. He wants Greg but there's a voice inside his head whispering.

 

He doesn't want you anymore.”

 

He still thinks he's second choice.”

 

He won't wait forever.”

 

STOP IT!” Sherlock screams, pulling his curls and suddenly it's quiet in the flat. He takes a few breaths, his heart hammering in his chest and he gets up, walking to his bedroom quickly and taking out a new outfit. He's done waiting. He needs some answers.

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock, what's- Oi!”

 

Sherlock can't help but moan as his lips finally connect with Greg's again. It's been so long and he's missed the way the other man feels, tastes. He hears a door slam shut and then Greg is pulling him closer, taking control of the kiss, hand going into Sherlock's hair and making him purr. He hears Greg moan, tongue sliding over his and his knees shake. Greg pulls back, eyes wide with desire and Sherlock wants to kiss him again, moving closer to do just that when Greg places a hand on his chest.

 

Sherlock slow down, what's going on?”

 

He tries to move forward again but Greg puts more pressure on his chest, his face changing into more confusion and Sherlock let's out a sigh of frustration.

 

You don't want me anymore!”

 

He doesn't mean to scream, to sound so childlike, but still does and he sees Greg's eyes go wide in surprise. Suddenly he feels stupid, face turning red as Greg takes his hand and leads him to the living room, placing him down on the sofa.

 

Sherlock can't look anymore, fidgeting in his seat while Greg moves away, coming back a while later with some tea and biscuits.

 

Sherlock look at me. What's going on in that brilliant mind of yours?”

 

Sherlock shakes his head, feeling himself get warmer at Greg's compliment. This was a stupid idea. He tries to stand up, ready to storm out and have a breakdown, when Greg takes his hands, squeezing them firmly.

 

Sherlock, talk to me?”

 

He slowly looks up, seeing the soft expression in Greg's eyes and he feels even more like a fool.

 

I'm sorry!”

 

Greg frowns and Sherlock swallows, trying to figure out his swirling thoughts.

 

Please don't give up on me, on this! I know I don't deserve a second chance, I know it was stupid of me to tell you but I'm telling you now. I do love you. I really do! Please let me prove it to you.”

 

Sherlock leans forward, kissing Greg hard and demanding and he feels his heart swell as Greg lets him. Maybe it's not all lost?

 

Sherlock. Sherlock love, slow down. What are you talking about? I'm not giving up on us. I would never!”

 

Greg squeezes his hands again before stroking his cheek, pinching it once before dropping his hand again.

 

Then why is everything still the same?!”

 

The same?”

 

You haven't kissed me in nearly three months! You don't come over, you only talk about work, you- you-”

 

Sherlock stops, feeling his throat go tight, the stinging of his eyes. He hates how easily he cries and breaks down these days, the smallest thing is enough to get tears in his eyes.

 

Sherlock. I told you I'd give you as much time as you need. I wanted to give you space, to give you time to adjust to your feelings. You told me you were still figuring it all out and I didn't want to push you.”

 

Sherlock blinks, letting Greg's words sink in as Greg goes on.

 

I haven't kissed you, that's true. But not because I don't want to. I didn't know how you felt about it, I didn't want to assume or move too fast and scare you away.”

 

I'm not a child Greg!”

 

Greg smiles as he shakes his head, taking Sherlock's hand again.

 

I know Sherlock. I just wanted to give you some space, that's all. I told you I didn't mind waiting for you. As for work, it's been pretty hectic out there Sherlock.”

 

A soft chuckle and Sherlock rolls his eyes. Greg is right of course, it seems like all the criminals in London are at it, bringing chaos and murder everywhere they go.

 

I didn't want to interfere with your work, make you lose focus because of something silly like my worries, my feelings for you. I know how you value the work Sherlock. I don't want to stand in between of that. And I also figured you wouldn't appreciate it if I snogged you senseless at the Yard.”

 

Greg smiles again and Sherlock can't stop his mouth from falling open.

 

You want to kiss me senseless?”

 

I always want to kiss you senseless. Haven't you figured that out yet?”

 

Sherlock's breath catches and Greg leans forward slowly, eyes on Sherlock as he licks his lips. Sherlock isn't sure where that tiny moan comes from but then he sees Greg's eyes burn and he can't stop blushing.

 

Oh, you'll be the death of me Sunshine. Just to make it clear, I do want you. Okay? It's taken a lot of control to not kiss you whenever I see you.”

 

Sherlock nods his head, face flaming up even more at Greg's words. He's too stunned to speak and Greg smiles before closing the distance, kissing Sherlock with so much love and passion it almost knocks him out.

 

Your feelings aren't silly.” Sherlock is breathless when they move apart, his lips tingling from feeling Greg's again. He moves closer, wanting no space between them and almost cries with relief when Greg doesn't stop him. He breathes in, feeling his heart skip a beat at the familiar scent of Greg, knowing how much he's missed it, missed him. He's a fool for needing so much time to figure it out, to think John would be the only love of his life.

 

You're allowed to distract me Greg. I love the work but it's not the most important. Not anymore.”

 

He hears Greg's intake of breath and gives a shy smile. Greg's face is bright with happiness, his eyes sparkling, his smile wide and Sherlock feels a blush form again. How did he not see it sooner?

 

I mean it Greg. I've been a fool for not knowing it sooner and I feel awful for hurting you because of it. All you've done for me since I got back, your patience and kindness. You've saved me Greg. You have no idea.”

 

Sherlock lets out a huff of surprise as Greg kisses him fiercely, making his body burn with lust and desire. It's scary, the way Greg has a hold on him like that, how one kiss can make him lose focus. He kisses back, moving so he's in Greg's lap and Greg lets out a growl as his hands find Sherlock's arse.

 

Sherlock, oh god.”

 

Sherlock can't hide the smile as Greg's eyes fall closed, pushing Sherlock closer to him again, their groins connecting. He lets out a sound as he feels Greg's erection against him and Greg growls in response, mouth finding Sherlock's neck and sucking it.

 

I love you Greg. I love you so much. Please believe me.” He's panting, feeling on fire as Greg looks up at him, eyes wide with hunger and Sherlock shivers.

 

Is this okay Sherlock? If we're moving too fast-”

 

Sherlock cuts him off by kissing him again, hands grabbing hold of Greg's hair and pulling it gently. It makes Greg moan and Sherlock feels a thrill of excitement in his heart because of it. He's had sex before, back when he was younger and curious, but it's nothing like this. They're just kissing but it feels like the world's turned upside down and Sherlock wants more.

 

Please don't stop Greg.”

 

Greg lets out a sound again, hands grabbing Sherlock's arse possessively and Sherlock moves, feeling Greg's erection grow. He can't help but move again and then Greg is growling near his ear, making him shiver. The sounds Greg makes!

 

God Sherlock! What- what do you want? I need to know before we- before I-”

 

You. I want you. Anything you want to give me.”

 

Greg's eyes go even wider and Sherlock feels hot and cold all over as Greg keeps looking at him, that hint of possessiveness clear in his eyes, hands still on his arse, unwilling to let him go. No one has ever looked at him like that, like he's a treasure to cherish, something Greg doesn't want to share with anyone and it fills him with lust.

 

Greg?”

 

Greg blinks, seemingly coming back to the moment and Sherlock rolls his eyes as a goofy smile spreads across Greg's face.

 

Sherlock, I want to give you everything! I want to make you moan, scream my name,make you mine, explore your body inch by inch.”

 

Greg's eyes go up and down Sherlock's frame and for the first time there is a spark of doubt inside Sherlock. He feels his body tense and knows Greg has felt it too, his eyes going from desire to concern in seconds.

 

Sherlock? What's wrong?”

 

Sherlock shakes his head, feeling foolish for freezing up but Greg takes his head in his hands, making him look up, seeing nothing but concern and love there.

 

I. My body isn't- I'm not”, he sighs in frustration and shifts, sliding of Greg's lap and sitting next to him, “You've seen it, before when-”

 

Greg's eyes change and Sherlock stops, biting his lower lip as the silence fills the room. He's hot and cold, nervous when Greg doesn't say anything and he risks a glance for a second.

 

Sherlock. Hey, look at me,” Greg tilts Sherlock's chin up with his finger, giving him a smile as their eyes meet. “You are gorgeous.”

 

Sherlock blushes but shakes his head all the same, not ready to believe it. Greg leans forward slowly, his lips just barely pressing to Sherlock's.

 

You don't need to be ashamed around me Sherlock. You're the most beautiful man I've ever met. Hell, if anyone should be nervous about getting naked it's me.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head with more force as Greg finishes his sentence, grabbing Greg's hands and moving forward again.

 

You're gorgeous Greg! I want to see you naked, I've dreamed about it! You're perfect!”

 

You've dreamed about me?”

 

Eyes wide with surprise, seeing that sliver of possessiveness again, disbelieve clear in Greg's voice and Sherlock feels his heart break a little over it.

 

Of course I have. Why are you so surprise? I- I find you attractive Greg. Body and personality.”

 

Sherlock.”

 

It's a whisper and a moan and then Sherlock is back in Greg's lap, having trouble breathing as they kiss and kiss. By the time Greg pulls away Sherlock is shaking all over, breathless and wanting more. His hands travel up and down the front of Greg's shirt and Greg let's out the most amazing noise.

 

Fuck! You'll really be the dead of me Sunshine.”

 

Sherlock blushes, still surprised to hear the nickname, not said to be hurtful or mean but filled with love and respect. It should bother him, nicknames always have, but coming out of Greg's mouth it sounds like a promise, a vow for the future and he loves the idea of being Greg's sunshine. Greg nips at his neck, making Sherlock breathless again and when Greg looks up he can't help but smirk a little.

 

Not the worst way to go I imagine.”

 

It doesn't come out nearly as confident and firm as it should but Greg's laugh warms him up and he feels lighter and more sure because of it. It's still a terrifying idea but he also knows Greg would never hurt him. He's safe with him, safe to expose himself, to share something so intimate and personal. He takes a breath, dazzled by Greg's wonderful smile and gets it out in a rush, feeling a little worried.

 

Greg I. I want to have sex with you.”

 

Chapter Text

The change in Greg's eyes makes Sherlock's stomach do a flip, feeling too hot suddenly as Greg's eyes scan his face. Greg takes his hand, squeezing it once before standing up, guiding them to the bedroom. Sherlock can't stop looking at Greg's arse, seeing how firm it is and all the blood in his body goes south. How can the man possibly think Sherlock wouldn't want to see him naked?

 

The light switches on, Greg turning and giving a hungry smile, wrapping Sherlock into his arm, his eyes burning with heat, love, care, compassion. It's almost too much to catalogue but Sherlock feels a thrill as he notices that possessive glint again. Somehow it makes him feel breathless and on edge and he wonders if Greg knows he does that. Greg leans forward, kissing him sweetly and Sherlock's knees shake as they pull apart, Greg scanning his face again.

 

You're sure Sherlock?”

 

Sherlock nods, his hands trailing up and down Greg's chest again and Greg gives him a hungry smile.

 

I. Can I undress you Greg?”

 

Greg nods like mad and Sherlock's hands shake as he opens up the buttons on Greg's shirt. He's dreamed about this a lot,peeling away all the layers, finding out what's underneath it. He has a fairly good idea about that really, having noticed how Greg's shirts cling to his arms and chest, the way the fabric stretches around his tight arse. It feels intimate and personal and Sherlock keeps looking into Greg's eyes, watching him intensely as he slowly makes work of his shirt, fingers shaking lightly with each button opened.

 

Then Greg is standing before him shirtless and it takes his breath away, his eyes roam over Greg's sunburned skin, seeing his nipples go hard because of the cool air, the line of hair from his belly button disappearing into his pants and he reaches out, wanting to feel everything, to catalogue it. His Mind Palace isn't the same as before but it's enough to build a room for everything Greg. The way he smiles, the sound of his laugh, the sexy noises he makes when they kiss, the feeling of his skin underneath his fingers, so smooth and warm.

 

Sherlock.”

 

Greg's voice is rough as Sherlock strokes Greg's torso, taking it all in, feeling the muscles flex underneath his hands, loving the way his pale skin stands out against Greg's. He leans forward, kissing Greg once before going down, licking and sucking Greg's neck, hands never stopping with their movement, sliding down Greg's arms, his back, his shoulders. Squeezing Greg's arms, feeling the muscles work, feeling Greg's strength and he moans softly, lost to the sensations, the taste of Greg's skin, they way his chest rises and falls.

 

Oh god. Sunshine, I.”

 

Sherlock looks up, seeing the want in Greg's eyes and Greg strokes Sherlock's cheek, Sherlock capturing Greg's thumb with his mouth and sucking it.

 

Fuck!”

 

Sherlock feels a spark of pride and arousal because of Greg's curse, mixed in with surprise. He's not a virgin but it's been a long time since he's done any of this. And he's smart enough to know that he still has a lot to learn, the previous encounters being rushed and more about getting off then anything else. This is different, he's not even thinking about his own pleasure, too focused on Greg, seeing the way his breath is getting more shallow, the quick rise and fall of his chest, the flush on his cheeks as he watches Sherlock with hunger and love.

 

Seeing the love clearly in Greg's eyes, even now, is all the encouragement he needs and he drops down on his knees, hearing Greg curse again as he opens up Greg's pants, the evidence of his arousal very clear.

 

It should feel frightening, being on his knees, looking up to catch Greg's gaze but somehow it doesn't as Greg's hand strokes his curls, seeing the movement of Greg's chest as Sherlock pulls down Greg's underwear, his erection jutting out.

 

This is because of me.” Another jolt of pride, knowing his actions have this effect on Greg and he leans against Greg's thigh, breathing him in.

 

Sherlock, you don't have-”

 

The rest of whatever Greg was about to say is lost when he takes Greg's cock in hand, stroking it slowly, feeling it throb in his palm as he moves up and down. Greg can't help but move his hips and Sherlock licks his lips as he looks up at Greg. Greg's eyes are blown wide, a wonderful blush on his face as he looks down, letting out a moan as their eyes connect.

 

Fuck, Sherlock, you're so hot.”

 

Sherlock smiles, knowing Greg is only saying that because of his arousal but taking it none the less. He's stroking Greg's cock while leaning in and licking the slit. There's a tiny amount of pre come and Sherlock licks it up, letting the taste fill his mouth. Greg let's out another growl, setting Sherlock's body on fire. He licks again before placing his mouth over Greg's cockhead, adjusting to the stretch as he suckles it, loving the hot velvet feel on his tongue.

 

Fingers grab his hair lightly, pulling once as Greg let's out a moan, his hips moving again. Sherlock pulls back, looking up into Greg's face and he sees the beginning horror in the man's eyes.

 

Fuck Sunshine, I'm sorry, I won't-”

 

It's fine Greg. It's been a while but I can take it.”

 

Greg's eyes go darker, the grip in his hair tightening a little more and Sherlock takes a breath, letting it out slowly before taking Greg's cock in his mouth, hands wrapped around the base.

 

He needs a moment to adjust, not use to it anymore, to the feeling of something so big in his mouth, the reflex to gag is instantly there but he pulls out a little, letting his tongue slide over the hot skin, feeling the little push forward. Greg's hands are still in his hair and Sherlock moans, causing Greg to pull at it again, almost instantly stopping. He lets go with a pop, looking up at him , seeing the restraint in Greg's face.

 

Don't do that. Don't hold back. I want you to move and pull my hair. I love it when you do that.”

 

Greg lets out a whimper as Sherlock takes his cock back into his mouth, moaning as Greg pulls harder on Sherlock's hair, making him shiver with delight, feeling the beginning of his own arousal strain against his pants. It's wonderful and adds just a little more fire to it all but not so much that he can't focus on the man above him.

 

He starts of slow but steady, trying to get further every time. He hears Greg moan and babble above him and it turns him on even more, one hand grabbing Greg's arse and pulling him closer, getting more of Greg's cock into his mouth. He feels the tip of it hit his throat and Greg gives a scream, not able to not move, fingers digging into his curls.

 

Sherlock, oh god, your mouth!”

 

Sherlock looks up, seeing Greg stare right back and it's the most sexy thing he's ever seen. He swallows around Greg's cock, making the man curse again and he picks up the pace, head bobbing up and down as he works Greg to orgasm. It's amazing, feeling Greg's cock inside his mouth, hearing the sounds Greg is making above him, the way Greg pulls his hair harder, feeling Greg's body shake and shudder as he moves even faster. Spit is dribbling down his mouth now, his jaw getting tired, knees burning but it's all worth it, hearing Greg come undone above him is better then any porn movie ever made and suddenly Greg is pulling Sherlock's hair, his hips moving faster, stammering on.

 

Sher. Oh god, come, coming.”

 

Greg tries to pull out a bit but Sherlock grabs Greg's arse with both hands, staying firmly in place as he swallows one more time and suddenly the bitter taste of semen is hitting his throat. He does his best to swallow it all down but some escapes and trails down his mouth. His jaw is aching, tears in the corner of his eyes and his back feels on fire as Greg pets his hair while riding out the last of his orgasm, his cock starting to deflate in Sherlock's mouth.

 

His throat feels raw as Greg slowly pulls out, moving his mouth to relax his jaw and licking his lips, tasting some droplets of cum.

 

You're so sexy right now.”

 

Greg whispers near him, apparently not able to stand any longer as he's sitting next to Sherlock. Sherlock blinks, surprised he didn't hear Greg slide down against him and he smiles as his hand wipes away the extra cum, already feeling sticky on his skin. Greg lets out a noise and Sherlock looks up, seeing Greg's wide eyes, his cheeks a nice pink, his lip swollen from biting it and he leans over to kiss him. He's greedy, his tongue lapping inside Greg's mouth, hands going into Greg's hair as the kiss gets deeper, more urgent. Greg moans as he slides his tongue against Sherlock's, tasting traces of himself as he practically devours Sherlock's mouth.

 

Trust me, your the s-sexy one.”

 

Sherlock blushes as he hears his stutter, angry with himself as it has to happen now of all times but then Greg is on top of him, kissing him wildly and Sherlock moans into the kiss, his hands stroking Greg's strong back. He'll never get enough of this, feeling the warmth and strength of Greg's body against his. He feels protected, Greg's weight a comfort on his and he drags Greg down more, feeling his erection getting harder as Greg's body moves against him.

 

God, you're perfect.”

 

Greg sighs, moving a bit and then he's straddling Sherlock, his knees making a sound of protest and Sherlock can't stop the giggle. He stops, shock entering his brain as he realises what he's done. He's afraid to look up, afraid Greg will be angry with him but then Greg kisses him once and Sherlock has no choice but to catch his gaze. All that's waiting for him is love and hunger and there is a wash of relief going through him at not having ruined this. It's surreal, seeing a naked Greg on top of him but it's not bad as far as views go. His hands reach up and stroke Greg's arms, squeezing his biceps and Greg smirks.

 

Like those do you?”

 

Sherlock nods, a little embarrassed but then Greg shakes his head fondly, stroking his cheek as he moves ever so slightly. It makes Sherlock moan and Greg moves again, his voice rough as he speaks.

 

The idea of you wanting me. God Sherlock.”

 

Before Sherlock can ask Greg is kissing him again, hands in his curls as he licks and sucks at Sherlock's neck, leaving goosebumps all over Sherlock's body.

 

We should probably move to the bed Sunshine. I'm not young anymore, as you can tell.”

 

Sherlock is about to answer, apology already on his lips for laughing before but Greg only grins and leans down to kiss Sherlock again, catching his bottom lip and biting it before letting go and standing up, taking Sherlock's hand to help him off the floor.

 

He walks to the bed, giving Sherlock a perfect view of his backside and he can't help the noise that comes out of his mouth. Greg pulls back the covers, his head turning to throw Sherlock a grin and Sherlock blushes as he casts his eyes down.

 

No need to be shy Sunshine. You can look all you want.”

 

His heart skips a beat at Greg's words, seeing the relaxed smile on his face and he looks so beautiful in that moment. His eyes travel down Greg's body, seeing the smoothness of his skin, the starting softness around his belly, the strength in his arms and legs, the firmness of his arse and the curve of his back. He wants to grab it, taste it, memorise it all. Suddenly he knows one room in his Mind Palace won't be enough for all the facts he wants to remember. Greg's perfect and Sherlock can't move all of a sudden. It seems wrong, getting into bed with Greg and ruining that perfection with his own broken body.

 

No matter what Greg says, Sherlock knows what he looks like and it's not beautiful, not like Greg is. He stands there, unsure and fidgeting with his hands, unable to move or speak. His beginning erection is gone, replaced with only insecurity and doubt. He sees the smile slide off Greg's face, the light going down in those gorgeous brown eyes and feels like a bastard for letting it happen.

 

Sherlock? What's going on?”

 

He feels the beginning of panic rise as he just stands there, not able to speak, to make Greg understand. He wants to share this with him so deeply it hurts but seeing Greg's perfection before his eyes makes it clear to him he doesn't deserve it.

 

He hears noise and then Greg is in front of him, still gloriously naked, cupping his face and meeting his eyes.

 

Breath love. We don't have to do anything. You know that right? I'd be the luckiest bastard if you'd just sleep next to me tonight.”

 

Sherlock blinks but shakes his head. He doesn't just want to sleep next to Greg. He wants to explore him, hear all the noises slip out of his lips as he sucks and licks. But he can't get his mouth to move, his throat suddenly so dry it's almost painful.

 

Sherlock?”

 

There is a slight edge of panic in Greg's voice and Sherlock grabs his wrist, afraid Greg is going to disappears if he doesn't say something soon. He looks up, seeing the worry in Greg's eyes and he lets out a sigh of frustration. He's bad at this! He's always been bad at this, and being away for so long hasn't helped with that. Being honest makes you vulnerable, it's a way for people to use you so he's done his best of keeping quite. His grip around Greg's wrists get tighter and Greg let's go of his face, wrapping his arms around Sherlock. It's a comfort but his body tenses anyway, his scars on fire once again.

 

You're perfect Greg. I don't want to ruin that with, with my, my-”

 

He buries his face in the crook of Greg's neck, breathing him in. Greg pressing him closer a second before letting go and Sherlock can breath a little better. It's insane, he already misses Greg's warmth but is also grateful Greg gives him the space he needs. Greg doesn't say anything, just watching Sherlock's face, giving Sherlock time.

 

His eyes roam over Greg's body again, remembering what they just did and his heart aches. The images are crystal clear, still feeling Greg's cock inside his mouth, the way Greg sounded when he came undone, the silkiness of his chest, the feeling of Greg's nipples against his fingertips. He wants to do it all again, wants to stay and worship Greg's body all night long but he's sure that if Greg takes one close look at him he'll leave.

 

This is about your back.”

 

Sherlock startles, getting back in the here and now. It's not a question and Sherlock just nods, feeling ashamed for reacting that strongly. He's never thought twice about his appearance before, not understanding why some people gave him looks, following him with their gaze as he walked past them. Now he's terrified Greg will walk away screaming once Sherlock stands before him naked and he knows, in the back of his mind, Greg would never do that, would never be so cruel but it's in his head now and he can't shake it, can't stop seeing that moment before his eyes. Seeing the disgust in Greg's eyes as he realises how damaged he really is.

 

Greg doesn't move and Sherlock risks a glance at him after a moment. He sees the furrow between Greg's eyes, the tightness of his mouth and licks his lips nervously. Greg looks mad and Sherlock is sure it's because he's still standing there, fidgeting with his hands. He should be naked by now, in bed with Greg as he licks and tastes him, making him come again. Of course Greg is angry with him!

 

Greg, I'm s-sorry.” And he is. For needing so long to sort out his feelings, for being this silly and insecure now, for all the things he did, the times the though of Greg as just a normal, boring man. He's sorry for it all and the guilt and sorrow in his heart is crushing him, making his eyes sting again as he looks down at the floor, seeing his shiny black shoes.

 

Don't apologise Sherlock. You don't have to say sorry, you hear me.”

 

Greg's voice is a little harder then normal and Sherlock can't help the tremble. He hears movement and then Greg is lifting his head up, his eyes burning with something Sherlock can't quite understand.

 

What do you need Sherlock? What do you need to stay here with me, to feel safe?”

 

Greg's voice is calm and controlled as he looks into Sherlock's eyes. It's not right, Greg putting himself back again to tend to Sherlock's needs. He's been doing it for a while now and it eats away at Sherlock.

 

You don't have to do this. Why are you so calm and understanding? You're allowed to be mad at me, why aren't you angry with me?!”

 

He sees the impact his words have on Greg, the man's face changing all over again, his eyes hard and unyielding as he scans Sherlock's face. He takes a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he places a hand on Sherlock's cheek, his thumb moving up and down.

 

You really believe that don't you.”

 

He sighs again as he sees the confusion in Sherlock's eyes.

 

Come on, let's sit down, I'm getting cold.”

 

He takes Sherlock's hands, sitting him down gently on the side of the bed before taking his pants and shirt and putting it on. It's a shame really, that glorious skin being covered up but Sherlock had noticed the goosebumps on Greg's arms earlier.

 

Why should I be angry with you Sherlock?”

 

The bed dips and he feels Greg close to him, the scent of cinnamon and cigarettes in the air. It's a huge comfort and he takes a deep breath, letting it fill his noise while he takes some time to gather his words.

 

I'm acting... stupid. We should be- should already be naked and- and. I want to see you naked Greg, I love seeing you like that. I should be k-kissing you again, making you moan and sigh and growl my name. I can do that- I can. I want to worship you Greg. Make you come undone, feel you fill me up, take me. But you won't- won't let me do that if- if you see me, without clothes.”

 

He sighs, feeling his face flame with shame as the words tumble out. It sounds silly out loud and he isn't sure he'll ever be able to explain but he has to try. He doesn't want Greg to leave, doesn't want to say goodbye from him.

 

You don't have to do anything in return Greg. I understand that that idea- You don't have to. I can still worship you, can still make you come when I have my clothes on. I understand if-”

 

He jumps in surprise when Greg lets out a growl, standing up and pacing around in front of him. He sees the storm inside Greg's eyes and feels panic enter his body again. He goes over his rambling words but can't find anything that would make Greg so upset.

 

I can't believe- you really think I- Sherlock, you can't be-”

 

Greg stops mid pace, turning all his attention on Sherlock as he walks closer, dropping down on his knees and taking Sherlock's trembling hands.

 

Are you really saying what I think you are saying Sherlock?” Greg's voice is filled with pain and Sherlock can't help but look at Greg, seeing the anguish on his beautiful face.

 

I'm sorry.” He whispers, feeling his eyes sting again, his hands trembling as Greg squeezes them tighter.

 

You don't even know what you're apologising for do you?” Greg shakes his head, placing a kiss on Sherlock's hands.

 

Sherlock. You need to get some things clear okay. This is a relationship, you and me. We are both in this and equally important. I am not running away from you, I will never leave you behind for something as silly as your body and your crazy idea that it's not worth anything. You want to worship me? That's fine, more then fine but this isn't only about me. It's us Sherlock, it's give and take with everything and if you think I'll just take within our sexual relationship without giving back then you are not as smart as you think you are.”

 

Greg stops, taking a breath and getting off his knees, sitting down next to Sherlock on the bed.

 

Don't you understand Sherlock? I love you, no amount of scars will change that. I want to worship you too, want to feel you wriggle underneath my body because I'm taking you apart with my mouth. I want to hear you sigh in pleasure, scream out my name. Sherlock, you have no idea the things I want to do with you. This whole 'you don't have to do anything in return' is bullshit! You say it as if it's a chore, something I'll hate when in fact I'm dying to return the favour.”

 

Sherlock can't stop the blush from spreading, hearing Greg talk like that and Greg gives a smile.

 

I understand if you're not comfortable with the idea now Sherlock. I don't want to pressure you but you need to know you're safe with me. You need to know I'll always find you beautiful, scars or not. I don't want sex with you Sherlock. I want to make love to you, with you.”

 

Sherlock gasps and Greg raises an eyebrow.

 

You really thought I would leave you or just use you and be done with it? Don't you know by now that I'm madly in love with you?”

 

It's too much and Sherlock feels the tears spill, dropping down his cheeks as he looks at Greg. He grabs his hands, bringing them to his mouth to kiss every knuckle and Greg closes his eyes for a moment.

 

Oh Sunshine. Come here.”

 

Sherlock wraps himself up in Greg's hug, clinging to his shirt as Greg gently strokes his hear. Greg loves him! He's said it before but somehow he was too afraid to let it sink in, making himself believe it was true. His heart hammers in his chest as Greg keeps holding him, fingers running through his hair, making him almost purr with delight.

 

What do you need Sunshine? Do you want to go to bed, get some sleep?”

 

He shakes his head and Greg chuckles softly, creating some space between them.

 

That's good cause I have plans with you Sunshine.”

 

There is heat in Greg's voice and Sherlock's body is instantly on fire as Greg watches him. It seems he hasn't lost him yet and he leans forward, kissing Greg with all the passion and adoration he feels for him. They'll make this work.

 

Chapter Text

Can you turn the light off? Maybe just a little one instead?”

 

He can't keep the crack out of his voice, the blush of shame growing on his face but Greg just nods, kissing Sherlock's hand before standing up and turning off the switch. There's a moment of complete darkness before his eyes adjust, seeing Greg move closer to him, switching on the night lamp. A smile brightens up Greg's face and he sits down next to Sherlock again, licking his lips before leaning in and pressing a light kiss to the corner of Sherlock's mouth.

 

You still want me Sherlock? We don't have to do anything else tonight if you don't want to.”

 

Sherlock's eyes go wide, hearing the hesitation in all of Greg's words and he nods fiercely, taking Greg's hands in his.

 

I'll always want you Greg. This is not, it's not about you. I mean, in a way it is but not like you think. I still, I'll always want you. I don't just want to fall asleep next you, even though it sounds wonderful for later. I want to feel you against me.”

 

Greg's smile is almost brighter then the sun and he leans forward to kiss Sherlock's lips, gentle pushing him down on the bed. Sherlock feels his breath catch as Greg's weight is on him again and Greg stops, furrow between his brows.

 

I just really love it when you do that.” Sherlock gestures at their position before wrapping his hands around Greg's waist, a hint of understanding coming into Greg's eyes. “Makes me feel safe.”

 

Good. I swear you'll always be safe with me.” Greg moves and he's laying on top of Sherlock even more, hands cradling Sherlock's head as they kiss. Greg teasing him with licks and tiny bites. It makes his arousal alive again and he shifts a little, hearing Greg's intake of breath as his cock presses against Greg's.

 

Anything else you need Sherlock? This is okay?”

 

Sherlock nods before demanding a kiss again. It's gentle and kind and Sherlock feels his body melt into the mattress, hands sliding down to Greg's arse, grabbing it firmly.

 

Oh! You're a menace Sherlock Holmes.”

 

Sherlock smiles and Greg laughs before taking Sherlock's bottom lip and sucking it, making Sherlock moan.

 

Can I?”

 

Sherlock blinks, trying to focus as his lips still tingle from Greg's attention. Greg has moved, straddling Sherlock's leg with his hands placed on Sherlock's chest.

 

Can I open up your shirt Sunshine?”

 

Sherlock takes a breath, feeling a whisper of nerves before he nods his head, feeling Greg's fingers work open the buttons slowly, always checking to see if Sherlock's doing all right. He takes Greg's hand as the last button is opened, his shirt falling on either side of him, exposing his pale chest.

 

Can I just, leave my shirt on? Is that o-okay? I can't-”

 

Greg stops him with a kiss, his hands slowly going up Sherlock's chest, eyes a fraction darker then before as his gaze meets Sherlock's.

 

Of course it is love, anything you want. You're gorgeous Sunshine.”

 

Sherlock wants to shake his head, dismiss it but then he sees the look in Greg's eyes and he stops. He'll need time, time to learn to believe Greg's words, time to not dismiss himself. He knows it's going to be difficult but he'll do his best. The love of his life deserves nothing less.

 

Do the pants stay on too?”

 

There is a hint of heat in Greg's eyes and Sherlock huffs before shakes his head making Greg open up his belt and zipper in record time. It's weird, being stripped like this but he doesn't feel panic, only heat when Greg slowly strips of his pants, Sherlock pushing his hips up to help him along, seeing the way Greg takes him in, drinking him up and already marking him with his eyes.

 

You too. I- I want to see you.”

 

Greg smiles, taking of his shirt in one effortless movement before crawling off Sherlock, pulling off his pants again and getting back on top of him. It's almost too much to take. A naked Greg Lestrade straddling his legs is the most gorgeous thing he's ever seen and he feels his face flame up, hands starting to sweat a little as he reaches out, stroking Greg's chest. He finds a nipple and softly pinches it, hearing Greg's intake of breath, feeling his body move forward just slightly.

 

Sherlock moans as Greg leans down and kisses him, using his tongue to drive Sherlock mad. It doesn't take long for Sherlock to get hard, moving underneath Greg as Greg's hands travel up and down his body before palming his cock and he let's out a hiss, bucking up against it.

 

God, you're so sexy.”

 

Greg bits down on Sherlock's lower lip before licking his neck, sucking a mark and drawing blood to the surface.

 

Mine.”

 

It's almost a growl and Sherlock bucks up again, the possessive tone making him even more horny, the heat in Greg's eyes enough to burn down cities.

 

Always y-yours.”

 

The kiss he gets is filthy and demanding and so sexy it makes it hard to breath. Then Greg takes Sherlock's cock in hand and strokes it once, making Sherlock whimper underneath the touch.

 

That's it Sunshine, don't hold back. So beautiful.”

 

Sherlock whimpers as Greg starts stroking his erection, slow and intense, his eyes never leaving Sherlock's face. He feels on fire, Greg slowly adding up the pace, using his thumb to catch the little drops of precome and Sherlock hisses again, his hips moving, trying to get more friction.

 

Fuck Sherlock, the way you sound, the way you look right now. Breathtaking.”

 

Sherlock feels his face go red, to the tips of his ear at Greg's words and he moans as Greg leans down, licking the shell of his ear.

 

Make all the noise you want Sunshine. It's such a turn on, hearing you lose control because of me.” Greg whispers in his ear before biting down on his earlobe and he groans, arching up again as Greg goes further down, teasing his nipples before sucking them. It feels like his brain is melting, the rest of the world fading away till there's only him and Greg. Greg, working his way down Sherlock's body, licking and sucking marks all over it, while teasing Sherlock's cock, murmuring sweet endearments as he goes along. He screams and bucks up when Greg goes down and licks his cock, a stripe from base to tip, taking the head into his mouth and suckling it.

 

Oh, I, oh.”

 

He can't speak, can't even think as Greg starts licking and bobbing his head, taking Sherlock's cock deeper into his mouth, using his hands to play with Sherlock's balls. Sherlock's hands are in Greg's hair, holding on, not able to hold still as Greg works him faster, swallowing around him and having him wail in pleasure.

 

G-Greg!”

 

Greg pops off long enough to take a breath and suck one of his fingers. He goes back down, taking Sherlock in all the way while his finger goes further, teasing Sherlock's hole. It's unexpected and Sherlock sobs, not able to decide how to move. Greg's mouth is hot and slick around his cock, making the most amazing noises as he sucks him off while his finger teases Sherlock's hole, going on just enough to drive Sherlock wild.

 

I. G-Greg, oh, I'm!”

 

He pulls Greg's hair harder, the only way to warn him before he comes, letting out a loud moan as he spills into Greg's throat. Feeling Greg's finger go deeper inside his body. Greg swallows most of it down, licking Sherlock's cock clean before it's too sensitive and Sherlock wiggles to get away but also wanting to push further down to take Greg's finger.

 

Greg watches him,removing his finger slowly, circling around Sherlock's opening one more time before moving it away completely. Sherlock feels strangely empty and he looks up, seeing Greg lick his lips clean, eyes burning with pride. He moves forward, crashing their mouth together and now it's Greg's turn to let out a shaky grumble, arms wrapping possessively around Sherlock's waist.

 

Hmn, you taste great Sherlock. So perfect.”

 

There's a wicked grin on Greg's face and Sherlock blushes, his body feeling heavy and warm as Greg let's go of him, pushing Sherlock back into the mattress, eyes vigilant.

 

Was that okay?”

 

Sherlock nods, a smile on his face as he sees the relief in Greg's eyes.

 

Was it for you? I know I didn't- Do you want me to?”

 

He grabs the edges of his shirt while also looking at Greg's dick and Greg gives a grin.

 

It was more then just okay Sunshine. I'm the luckiest bloke in London, probably the whole of England. And I'm not as young as I was, I'm fine Sherlock, I promise.”

 

Sherlock snorts and Greg grins like an idiot, placing a kiss on Sherlock's forehead as he gets up.

 

Be right back, need some cleaning.”

 

Sherlock looks down, seeing some stray drops of cum on Greg's stomach and he feels a spark of heat go through him.

 

Damn, if only I was younger Sherlock, we'd be starting round three by now.”

 

Sherlock's eyes go wide and then he lets out a laugh, seeing the pleased smile on Greg's face before he turns and walks to the bathroom, not able to stop staring at Greg's arse.

 

I can feel you looking Sunshine. Take it in baby, it's all yours as of now.”

 

Sherlock blushes as he nestles down more comfortably. He's tired but in a good way, still feeling Greg's hands on his, the scent wrapping around him as he pulls the sheets up higher. He hears some noises and then the bed dips, Greg's warm body plastered against his own.

 

Of course you fall asleep almost right after.”

 

Sherlock grunts but there is a tiny smile on his lips. He moves, his noise in the crook of Greg's neck, breathing him in.

 

Love you Greg.”

 

Love you too Sunshine, now, get some sleep.”

 

Chapter Text

Are you sure about this Sherlock? You know you don't have to rush this. I'm more then happy with the way things are.”

 

Sherlock saw the sincereness in Greg's eyes and felt lighter because of it. It was three weeks later on a Saturday night and somehow, just moments before, he'd made up his mind. He'd seen Greg's eyes go wide, the beginning of a smile on his lips before he'd tuned it down a bit, asking Sherlock if he was really sure.

 

You don't have to prove anything love. I don't mind, you know that right?”

 

Sherlock nodded, seeing the flash of relief in Greg's eyes. They'd had wonderful sex ever since, taking their time to really get to know each other's bodies, what they liked and disliked, discovering all the wonderful sounds Greg made when he'd entered Sherlock's body, the sensation of being filled enough to make him see stars. He loved making love to Greg but he also knew he wasn't giving all of himself yet. Whenever Greg's hands slipped down his back he tensed up a fraction of a second. Most times Greg didn't notice but Sherlock hated himself for it. It always reminded him of why he had the scars in the first place and those memories did not belong in their bed.

 

Things needed to change and this was the way to do it. Show himself to Greg completely, letting Greg see him for who he really was. No hiding and no secrets. He took a breath as he watched Greg sit on the sofa, eyes kind but alert, scanning Sherlock's face.

 

I'm sure Greg. I've been thinking about it non stop and I, I want to. I need to. I can't keep letting the past hold me back. Just don't, don't freak out?”

 

Sherlock sees the guilty look, his hands shaking as he reached to open up his shirt. It was the only thing that made him have doubt, the way Greg had acted the first time. He still remembered the sound of agony coming from Greg's lips, the horrified look in his eyes. He was 98% sure Greg wouldn't break down like that again but it was nerve wrecking all the same.

 

Sherlock blinked his eyes, taking a deep breath as he was halfway in opening up his shirt, his skin felt cold and he hesitated a second, looking up to catch Greg's gaze. There was nothing but love there, a sliver of heat too and Sherlock felt himself blush as he carried on.

 

I promise, my freak out had nothing to do with how you look Sherlock. I find you ridiculously handsome. Never doubt that please. You're perfect.”

 

Greg was about to get up from the sofa but Sherlock stopped him, hands on Greg's shoulders as he gave a tiny smile.

 

I know you think so Greg. Please, let me share this with you. I can't- Can't keep hiding and if I don't do this now, I'll lose my nerve.”

 

Greg nodded, his hand cupping Sherlock's cheek as he placed a kiss there and Sherlock pulled back, his shirt open and falling to the sides, exposing his pale chest. It was almost too much this but then Greg let out a sound and his head snapped up, seeing the hunger and appreciation in Greg's eyes.

 

Can I?”

 

Sherlock nodded and Greg placed his hands on Sherlock's chest, feeling his heart beat beneath his palms before sliding down, feeling the chest hairs and gentle brushing against Sherlock's nipples.

 

You're beautiful Sunshine. You have no idea-”

 

Greg leaned forward, placing a kiss near Sherlock's heart before placing one on each of his nipples. He sucked in a breath, blood going south and Greg looked up with a smile.

 

I could kiss you all night.”

 

A shiver ran down Sherlock's back, hearing the truth in Greg's voice, seeing it in his eyes and he was still amazed by it. How someone as beautiful and kind as Greg would ever want to kiss him, be with him. It felt like a miracle. He shook his head, seeing the furrow form between Greg's eyebrows and bit his lip. Greg hated it when Sherlock pulled himself down.

 

I'm sorry, it's just so surreal. It still is. You wanting me.”

 

It's more then that Sherlock. I need you. You make me a better man Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock felt his eyes go teary and he blinked, rubbing them to try and stop it. He didn't need Greg seeing him like this again, didn't want this moment to be filled with tears and guilt. Greg took his head, placing a kiss on it and smiled up at him.

 

You're wonderful Sherlock, never forget it.”

 

Sherlock felt the blush on his cheeks as Greg kept staring, his eyes travelling down over his chest and back up again.

 

You're so beautiful Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock took a deep breath, letting go of Greg's hand and sliding his shirt off, letting it fall to the ground. He moved forward, straddling Greg's lap and kissing him deeply, fingers in Greg's hair.

 

Oh Sherlock.”

 

Greg's hands grabbed Sherlock's arse, squeezing it tight and Sherlock let out a whimper. He'd never get enough of this, hearing Greg say his name with passion and awe, the way Greg grabbed his arse as if it was something precious.

 

We can just be like this Sherlock, you don't have to-”

 

Sherlock kissed him again, pulling Greg's hair lightly, making Greg moan. He pulled apart, shaking his head before climbing off again, eyes not leaving Greg's.

 

I want you to see them, to see me. All of me.”

 

Before he could change his mind he turned, standing there as what felt like forever. It was even harder now then the last time. The last time had been in a rush, to prove a point, to show Greg why he shouldn't want Sherlock. This time was different, it was sharing something very personal, even if it wasn't good memories, but Sherlock wanted to share this anyway. Still, the longer he stood there, the more anxious he got, wanting to see Greg's reaction but also too afraid to turn around.

 

Oh Sherlock.”

 

He startled as Greg's hands touched his shoulders, the warmth sipping into his blood. Without wanting to he tensed for a second, feeling Greg go still behind him and his heart stopped. He couldn't help it, knowing Greg could see all his scars in detail made him feel a little sick and he had the weird urge to step away, forbidding Greg to touch him, to taint himself with Sherlock's ugliness.

 

He heard Greg breath out slowly, his hands moving from Sherlock's shoulders down to his back and Sherlock bit his lip, feeling Greg's fingertips brush against the scars. He swallowed around the lump in his throat as he felt Greg move just a fraction, his warm hands sliding further down and wrapping around his waist.

 

Thank you for trusting me Sherlock. I love you.”

 

He let out a breath, tension easing away as he felt Greg's breath ghost near his shoulder, pressing Sherlock closer to his body, feeling the strength and warmth of Greg's frame against him. He wasn't leaving?

 

A tiny whimper came out of his mouth and Greg held him tighter, kissing his shoulder once before taking his hand and turning him around. Sherlock scanned his face, trying to find anything that looked like shame, or disgust but Greg just watched him like before, love and care in his eyes.

 

Come to bed Sunshine.”

 

It's clear he can't hide his surprise cause Greg has a frown again, pulling him closer, eyes burning.

 

How can you possibly think I wouldn't want you? How can you think I wouldn't love you anymore? Sherlock, those scars, they are prove of what you did for us, of what you endured and sacrificed for us, for me. How could I look at them and then reject you. If anything, it makes you even more beautiful, more special. You gave so much Sherlock, why would I ever reject you?”

 

Greg's voice is strong and sure and Sherlock can't stop the tears, the words are too much, his tone so loving and forgiving. It's clear when Sherlock looks into Greg's eyes that he means ever word. He's a fool for being so blind to it before. Greg loves him so strongly, it's written all over his face, shows in every action he does, it's filled in every word he speaks. He's so lucky Greg's the must patient and kind man alive. The idea of losing him, because he needed so much time to figure it all out, scares him, making him breathless for a second and he grabs Greg's hands tightly, making Greg look up at him with a question in his eyes.

 

I love you Greg. S-so much. I've been a fool for so long. I'll prove how much I love you for the rest of our lives.”

 

His words are soft, throat tight but Greg shakes his head, a soft smile on his face as he kisses Sherlock's lips.

 

Oh Sunshine, you don't have to prove anything. I know you love me. I see it every day. We've both been fools. Come to bed Sherlock, let me worship you.”

 

There is heat in Greg's eyes and Sherlock nods, letting Greg guide him to the bedroom.

 

 

Chapter Text

2016

 

Greg, I. Oh god!”

 

Greg can't stop the feeling of pride running through his chest, the tiny beginning of a smirk as he hears Sherlock call out.

 

He's been exploring Sherlock for what feels like hours. Kneading his muscles, biting his neck, licking his nipples, nuzzling his dick, touching his scars. He can't get enough of him, hearing all the wonderful sounds Sherlock makes, seeing the desire in those alien coloured eyes. The way he bites his lip sometimes, driving Greg crazy, the whiteness of his knuckles as he grabs the sheets, moving up, trying to get closer to Greg. It's almost like a dream but when he looks up and reaches forward, kissing those plumb lips he knows it's real.

 

His heart opens up even more when he thinks about how much trust Sherlock is placing in him, how hard it is for Sherlock to let his guard down, to just feel. To be worshipped and loved.

 

Sherlock lets out a whimper as he looks into Greg's eyes, clearly seeing everything Greg feels for him, it's intimate and almost like magic, making this even more special.

 

Beautiful, Sunshine.”

 

He adores the blush that forms whenever he calls Sherlock that, the way his eyes light up a fraction, the beginning of a smile on his lips. He wants to make Sherlock blush all day, all night, wants to see that vulnerability in his eyes, make him come undone.

 

It's not just sex, it's never been. And starring into Sherlock's eyes as he buries himself inside is all the confirmation he needs. It's more then sex for both of them.

 

He lets out a moan as he slides in deeper, feeling the tightness of Sherlock around him, seeing the way Sherlock's chest raises and falls as he pushes deeper. It's amazing, perfect and Sherlock lets out a long moan as Greg's cock stills, finally inside him.

 

Greg.”

 

There is hunger and love in Sherlock's voice, making his cock throb inside Sherlock's arse and he moves slowly, going out a little bit before going back in, not wanting to rush this. Sherlock reaches out and grabs one of Greg's hands, his mouth slightly open.

 

Okay?”

 

Sherlock nods and Greg squeezes his hand, feeling Sherlock's body relax. It's then he begins moving, slowly in and out, watching Sherlock's face for any sign he should stop. Maybe it's a bad thing to think but he can't help but feel proud, maybe even a little smug as Sherlock calls out his name, moving to match Greg's thrusts.

 

Greg! I- I- Please!”

 

It's almost enough to tip him over the edge, hearing the desperation in Sherlock's voice as he starts moving faster, harder, taking everything Sherlock wants to give him. The bed creaks, mixed in with their grunting sounds, the sound of flesh against flesh. Greg grabs Sherlock's hip tighter, Sherlock's legs opening more so Greg can move even faster. When he hits Sherlock's prostate they both call out, Sherlock squeezing Greg's hand, eyes going from Greg's face to seeing Greg's dick move inside him.

Oh baby, so good!”

 

Sherlock moans again, his other hand going to his cock and stroking it fast and sloppy, precome helping his movements along. It's the hottest thing Greg's ever seen.

 

Yes baby, just like that!”

 

He's sweating, his eyes stinging from it but he sees Sherlock look up, biting his lip before moaning Greg and that's it. He comes hard, screaming out Sherlock's name as he keeps filling up Sherlock's arse. He grunts and moans and growls as he feels Sherlock contract around his dick, calling out his name in a desperate, broken down voice. Strings of cum land on Sherlock's pale skin, dripping down his hand and Greg wishes he could draw, capturing this moment for ever.

 

Oh Sunshine,god, that was-”

 

He pants above Sherlock, feeling his body shiver before slowly sliding out, hearing the tiny noise of distress. He can't help but watch as his cum comes out of Sherlock's red and quivering arse, another spark of proud and possessiveness going through him.

 

Greg.”

 

He looks up, seeing the tiny smirk on Sherlock's lips and for a second he feels ashamed. He's never been like this before, feeling a need to mark Sherlock as his, to let the world now he's taken.

 

Come here.”

 

Greg moves, giving Sherlock the kiss he asks for before landing on his side next to him. Sherlock is gorgeous, eyes soft and cheeks pink, his lips red from kissing, his hair a mess. All because of him. Another stab of that same feeling and he looks away, not knowing what to do with himself.

 

Don't.”

 

He faces Sherlock again, seeing the satisfaction in his eyes.

 

I'm yours Greg. Only yours.”

 

Of course Sherlock figures it out, his eyes serious as he says the words,getting closer to Greg and kissing him deeply. Greg's heart feels light, his nerves in overload as he kisses Sherlock back, care mixed with hunger. He grabs Sherlock's curls, pulling them so Sherlock tilt his head, having access to his neck.

 

Mine.”

 

He almost growls, sucking another mark into Sherlock's pale neck, liking the way it looks as he gets some distance, taking in all of his handy work.

 

Yours.”

 

There is a smile on Sherlock's face, his eyes heavy and Greg kisses him softly.

 

Be right back.”

 

There is a sound of approval, Greg smiling like an idiot as he goes to the bathroom, grabbing a cloth and towel. Sherlock always falls asleep not long after their lovemaking, letting Greg take care of him, cleaning him up and arranging him the way he likes it.

 

He works quickly, really wanting to wrap himself around the man and breath in his new scent, a mix of Sherlock, sex and him. It's a scent he'll never get enough off.

 

Sherlock hums happily as Greg gets into bed, his chest pressed against Sherlock's back. He places a kiss on one of the scars, squeezing them closer and he hears Sherlock fall asleep. It wasn't always like that in the beginning. Sherlock hated his scars, his body and he didn't want Greg to see it, to touch it. It's taken time and patience, like with everything in their relationship, but now Sherlock is secure enough to show himself, letting Greg kiss and lick his body for hours on end.

 

He never thought it would be like this. He never thought he'd be able to call Sherlock his partner. Then again, he never thought Sherlock would come back from the dead.

 

Chapter Text

2011

 

It's like his whole world turns upside down. Sherlock was there one moment and gone the next. The papers were quick to scream about it. Sherlock the fraud, Sherlock the liar, Sherlock the mastermind. Sherlock, the one who had fooled them all.

 

He should have realised sooner, should have never doubted him, but the circumstances had been too hard to ignore. The little trial of evidence all made their way back to Sherlock, Donovan's doubts and questions nagging his mind. Of course Sherlock running off with John hadn't helped at all. Donovan had been furious, screaming his head off to go find them but them running off had been the first sign that something was horribly wrong. He couldn't name it, couldn't pinpoint it but he just felt it.

 

Of course, by the time they did figure it out it had been too late, Sherlock dead and gone, John angry and miserable and Greg had been lost. The papers couldn't stop about the great fraud, the consulting detective that had fooled them all and Greg hated it.

 

He was devastated, hating himself for letting it all unravel before his eyes, to blind and stupid to figure it all out. John didn't want to speak with him and Greg couldn't really blame him. After all, he was the reason Sherlock was dead. He blamed himself day and night, Sherlock haunting him in his nightmares and soon he found comfort in an old friend.

 

He went back to the bottle, filling his days with drinking and hating himself, then drinking some more to stop thinking at all as he passed out on the couch. He didn't need to get up and go to work, he'd been put on suspension while they went over ever case Sherlock had ever solved for the Yard. It didn't help in the long run, his drinking just making the guilt and shame worse but he couldn't find it in himself to stop, to get it back together. There was no point.

 

If it hadn't been for Mycroft Holmes he wouldn't have made it at all, becoming just like his dad.

 

Mycroft came to him 9 months after Sherlock's dead. When Greg had been drinking almost none stop for 3 months. Seeing the immaculate Mycroft Holmes in the middle of his flat had been surreal and he felt shame as Mycroft's cool eyes sweep around his flat, and him. Clearly the elder Holmes wasn't impressed, raising one eyebrow as he leaned on his umbrella.

 

“I. It's not- I'm not.”

 

“Spare me the lies Detective Inspector.”

 

“I'm not a DI anymore.”

 

“That remains to be seen. This,” Mycroft gestured around the flat, “won't help you.”

 

It was like a stab in the heart, or a kick in the balls, the way Mycroft watched him, his face hard and eyes cold but for one fleeting moment it reminded him of Sherlock. Thinking about how Sherlock would react if he saw him made his face flame up with shame and Mycroft's lip curved up a little, his voice a fraction softer.

 

“You are better then this, Inspector.”

 

He wasn't sure about that but it was clear arguing wouldn't help him at all so he kept his mouth shut, his body trembling as Mycroft kept deducing him. Something changed in Mycroft's eyes, his mouth going open just a little and Greg knew in that moment his secret was out.

 

“If you do have such affection for my brother, then there are better ways of showing it.”

 

“What do you-”

 

Before he could even finish Mycroft had given him a file, almost two inches thick.

 

“Clear my brother's name. It will help you far better then any of this.” Another sweep of Mycroft's cold eyes and Greg had taken the file, his hands trembling slightly.

 

“Mycroft, I. I'm sorry.”

 

He'd swallowed, not sure what he was apologising for but Mycroft gave him a look and something close to a smile before he turned, opening the door of the flat.

 

“Get yourself back together Detective Inspector, for Sherlock's sake.”

 

It was all Greg needed to turn things around again. He got rid of all the alcohol in his house, getting in contact with his old sponsor and going to AA meetings. It was hell but worth it, already he was feeling more like himself again, the clouds in his mind beginning to fade as the days went along. He sometimes reached for a bottle in bad moments, only to grab empty air. He never went to the shops to get more but called his sponsor instead, talking about it, going over everything that had happened over and over again. Every moment, every detail laid out before his minds eye and things started to click again in his brain.

 

He took a leap of faith and called John, almost a year after Sherlock had jumped from Bart's rooftop. It was weird seeing John after all this time, he wasn't sure what to expect but a big hug hadn't been anywhere near the possibilities inside his head.

 

But that's what he got, a hug and a soft smile. It made him relax instantly, seeing the happiness on John's face. It had been a year but it seemed John had moved on well. As far as you could move on from this sort of thing. He met Mary and instantly liked her, her sharp mind and wit reminding him of Sherlock.

 

“Mycroft gave me this.”

 

He handed John the file, seeing John's eyes change as he took in the documents, reading them with full concentration.

 

“He wants us to clear Sherlock's name. Will you help me?”

 

At just like that they started working together to clear their friend's name. Even with the files it wasn't easy and Greg spend weeks going over them, searching for every scrape of evidence there was to prove Sherlock had been right about Moriarty, about everything. It was hard work but it was something Greg could hold on to, something to focus on instead of his guilt and anger. Something to fight for.

 

With Mycroft's help he kept his job but wasn't sure if he was happy about it. It meant going back to the real world where people still thought Sherlock was a fraud and Greg an idiot for believing him for so long. The first month back was awful, Donovan and Anderson going out of their way to be helpful when all it did was make him snappy and irritated. But he gritted his teeth, doing his best to make it work and somehow, after a while, it did work and things were almost back to normal.

 

That's when Sherlock came back from the dead, 2 years gone by.

 

Chapter Text

2013

 

Once Sherlock was back Greg realised how not normal things had been. His world seemed more bright now, hearing Sherlock's voice again, seeing him walking around on crime scenes, using that brilliant mind of his.

 

It did take some time for Sherlock to come back to work, calls were left ignored, texts not answered and Greg started to worry. Clearly Sherlock wasn't himself. He tried to get more information from Mycroft but he wouldn't budge, saying some things were better left hidden, waiting for the right time to come to light. Greg knew Sherlock had gone and taking care of Moriarty's network and he knew, rationally, that it wasn't a walk in the park but Mycroft was stubborn, not willing to give him any details at all.

 

Maybe he wasn't a genius but he wasn't stupid either. He'd seen the way Sherlock held himself once he was back, jumping at harsh noises, even more touch hating then before. His eyes scanned every room with precision before entering, his body constantly on alert. Greg had noticed how thin Sherlock was, always wrapped up in his coat as if he was constantly cold.

 

Having John back by his side was a help, seeing some glimmer of the old Sherlock back but there was a weird tension around them, a strange vibe Greg couldn't name. He'd always thought they were a couple, or at least something more then just friends, but now John had Mary and it was clear how much he loved her. His whole face lightened up when he talked about her, the love evident in his eyes.

 

Yeah, we're getting married in May. Mary's already stressed out!”

 

Anytime the wedding came up Greg saw Sherlock change, almost as if he was closing in on himself, having a lost look in his eyes as he watched John talk. A few times Sherlock opened his mouth as if to say something but then his face went sad, his shoulders sagging and he closed his mouth, seeing that same lost and sad look in his eyes.

 

Maybe they weren't a couple but it was clear to Greg Sherlock wanted them to be.

----------------------------------------

What are you doing here?”

 

Greg's not sure either, already cursing himself for listening to Mycroft.

 

Detective Inspector. I know you've had a rough week but Sherlock needs you.”

 

Mycroft's voice has sounded urgent, a sliver of real worry in it and Greg had gone, not thinking twice about it. Now he wished he had.

 

Just thought you'd like to have dinner.”

 

He feels like a fool, lifting the bag in the air as Sherlock just stares at him, his gaze miles away. The moment drags on, getting more awkward by the minute and Greg curses himself again as he drops his arm slowly.

 

Or not.”

 

He's ready to walk out and leave Sherlock be when a strong hand grabs his arm, pulling him backwards. He almost stumbles, the bag ready to fall but he finds his ground again, seeing Sherlock look at him and really being in the moment.

 

No! It's fine, sorry Lestrade, I was just. Come in.”

 

The flat looks a mess, stuff everywhere Greg looks but he just cleans a space on the table, hearing Sherlock move behind him.

 

I though you quite.”

 

There is a tiny smile on Sherlock's lips and Greg can't help but smile back. It's been a while since he's seen Sherlock smile, even if it's a tiny one. This one at least feels genuine and Greg feels his heart do flip as he empties his bag, putting the containers on the table.

 

He hears a chuckle and turns around, seeing Sherlock lift an eyebrow at the table, feeling his face flame up as he takes in the amount of food he's brought with him.

 

Didn't know what you liked these days so.”

 

The warmth in Sherlock's eyes is enough to set him on fire and he grins like an idiot before sitting down, feeling giddy all of a sudden.

 

It doesn't last long and soon Greg feels like he's stepped into a nightmare, feeling helpless and lost.

 

Chapter Text

SHERLOCK! DAMMIT SHERLOCK! LISTEN TO ME!”

 

He doesn't know how they get from just eating together to this but Greg feels frantic, seeing Sherlock crumbled down, hunched in a corner as he bangs his head and pulls his hair. He can't seem to reach him, can't even know if Sherlock hears him but he gets as close as possible, as close as he dares, the cries and whimpers coming out of Sherlock's mouth will haunt him for a long time after but right now he needs to do something, anything, to help his friend.

 

SHERLOCK PLEASE!”

 

It's no use, Sherlock just curls in more, grabbing his curls, letting out sounds of agony. Suddenly there's a scent in the air and Sherlock goes still, turning away as if afraid of being hit. It breaks Greg's heart, his eyes stinging as he watches the scene before him, slowly getting closer and crouching down.

 

Sherlock. It's okay. Nobody is going to hurt you. It's me Greg- Lestrade.”

 

He does his best to keep his voice soft and steady and after what feels like hours Sherlock lifts his head,watching Greg through shiny, red eyes.

 

Oh Sherlock. I'm so sorry.”

 

He only wanted to offer some comfort, seeing the way Sherlock was stressing out over the food. He didn't mind Sherlock not eating it, more then happy to get rid of it to put his mind at ease but Sherlock had stopped him, stammering and falling over his words as he took his arm.

 

Stop! You haven't even finished yet! You shouldn't- I mean- you can eat. You don't have to...”

 

Please don't be mad.”

 

It had sounded so broken and lost Greg had acted on instinct, wanting to shield Sherlock away from the world and support him. How it had backfired.

 

You're still amazing Sherlock. Please come out. I swear you're safe with me. I promise.”

 

It had taken a while, Sherlock too ashamed and embarrassed to stand up and let Greg help him but at last he'd gotten Sherlock into the bathroom, hearing the door close behind him instantly. It made his stomach turn just like when Sherlock had seen the clothes, his eyes wide as Greg felt himself go tense.

 

I. I didn't look at anything else Sherlock. Just your wardrobe and top drawer.”

 

He'd never been in Sherlock's room and he'd felt like an intruder, doing his best to work fast and efficient, not lingering as he took out the softest garment he could find. It was a wonder Sherlock even had something close to home wear but he'd found it at the bottom of his wardrobe. Going through Sherlock's underwear had been surreal to say the least and he was glad Sherlock didn't ask more about it, clearly as uncomfortable as Greg was.

 

He heard Sherlock move around in the bathroom and made his way downstairs, finding Mds. Hudson for some cleaning supplies.

 

Oh, did he spill something again. I can clean it up for you, no problem at all. The flat is a mess ever since he's been back.”

 

She already walked past him before he had time to answer, making her startle a little at his sharp reply.

 

No! It's fine Mds. Hudson, I don't mind. One question, do you know what Sherlock likes eating these days?”

 

By the time he's finished cleaning up, Mds. Hudson has made a huge bowl of pudding, handing it over to Greg with a concerned look in her eyes.

 

How is he doing?”

 

I don't know. I don't even know how I'll be able to help.”

 

You already are helping Greg. Go on, Sherlock needs to know you won't leave him alone.”

 

When he's back inside it's still quite and Greg feels his heart beat fast inside his chest. He's not sure what to do now, how to act after all that's happened. He's still freaked out by the way Sherlock exploded, the way he recoiled, the heartbreaking cries filling the air as Greg tried to reach him. He's not sure staying here will help Sherlock but he knows he can't leave him alone, he won't. Seeing Sherlock in so much pain makes him feel ill and he wants to make it better, even a little.

 

He takes a deep breath, placing the pudding in the fridge and heading to the bathroom door. He can't make out anything and for a second Greg is worried Sherlock had done something stupid. Just as he's about to knock a strangled cry fills his ears and his whole body goes cold. He wants to break down the door, see what's going on but he also knows Sherlock would never forgive him.

 

Sherlock? Everything okay in there?”

 

Sherlock's answer is short and strained but at least he gets an answer, it's enough for his heart to stop hammering away in his chest and he walks away, turning on the TV and trying to relax, to breath, to figure out what went wrong and how he can fix it.

 

It's easy to see what caused Sherlock to panic but it's heartbreaking to acknowledge it. Sherlock's never been too fond of people touching him, of having people stand too close. Which in a way is ironic cause Sherlock doesn't know a damn thing about personal space, always looming over Greg's shoulder to read a file, standing too close at crime scenes. But when that happens it's always Sherlock that takes the lead. He's not afraid of touching people but he doesn't like it when people touch him. When they start the contact.

 

So it's totally normal that Sherlock got upset when Greg not only touched him but hugged him when he was clearly distressed. It had been foolish but in the moment it seemed like the right move, to offer some comfort, some support. How wrong he'd been.

 

You're an idiot Lestrade!”

 

He shakes his head, getting back to 221 B and realises Sherlock's still in the bathroom. Checking his watch he sees it's been over an hour. He sighs, rubbing his eyes before getting up and knocking on the door hard.

 

Sherlock. Get out of that water, it's probably freezing by now. You've been in there for 1 hour and 25 minutes.”

 

No answer comes expect some light grumbling and he rolls his eyes. He can picture Sherlock's expression, the way his mouth twitches, the eyeroll that's sure to follow. It makes him smile for a moment, realising Sherlock is still in there somewhere and he calls out again.

 

If I don't hear you get out in 5 minutes I'm coming in to help.”

 

Now there's a loud curse and Greg can't stop grinning like an idiot. That's the spirit Sherlock!

 

Yes I am being serious. I'll break down the door if I have to. Now please, get out and get dressed.”

 

He's learned over the years that adding the word please means a world of difference and it still does the trick today. He hears Sherlock curse and grumble but at least he's getting out and Greg breaths a small sigh of relief. If he's honest with himself he's not looking forward to this, knowing Sherlock has a tendency to ignore important things, specially things concerning feelings but he can't pretend that nothing has happened either. It won't do them any good in the long run so he turns, heading to the fridge to dig up some pudding and settles himself in the sofa. He opens up the top buttons of his shirt, needing it to breath and rolls up his sleeves before tucking in on his pudding.

 

This could be difficult conversation but at least Mds. Hudson's pudding taste divine. Small blessings.

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock, what are you...”

 

I'm sorry!”

 

Greg blinks, trying to catch up with Sherlock as he takes Sherlock's hands off his shoulders. He sees the shock and hurt in those pale eyes and can't understand what for. Everything was fine only moments before and then Sherlock changed, his eyes filling with dread as he got up and grabbed Greg's head, hands moving restlessly as his eyes got wider, his movements more frantic. And suddenly it clicks.

 

Sherlock remembers the fall, probably heard Greg curse when he was knocked to the ground as Sherlock got up and ran. He cursed more because of his shock then of any real pain but clearly Sherlock thinks differently. In a strange sort of way it warms his heart, seeing Sherlock so worried over him.

 

Shht Sherlock, it's okay I swear. If anyone should say sorry it's me. I wasn't thinking and I caused you pain because of it.”

 

It's the wrong thing to say and he sees it instantly on Sherlock's face, his question coming out harsh and demanding. He can't speak all of a sudden, afraid Sherlock will get angry again and he flinches a little when Sherlock's cold hand grabs his knee, eyes asking for an answer.

 

If I hadn't hugged you none of this would have happened. I wanted to comfort you but I- I didn't know. I'm sorry Sherlock. I'm so sorry. I promise I won't touch you again.”

 

Sherlock's hard tone makes his body go cold, seeing the hurt and fury in Sherlock's eyes as he let's go of Greg's knee, creating space between them as he gestured to the door again.

 

Get. Out. “I don't need your pity Lestrade. “I'M NOT BROKEN!”

 

He can't help but move and grab Sherlock's hand, can't stop moving closer as Sherlock starts crying, his whole body shaking because of it. It's just in his nature, trying to protect the people he sees as friends and his heart bleeds as he hears Sherlock cry again because of him! It's terrifying, seeing this brilliant, amazing person break down, the hurt clear in every tear, every sob, every whisper.

 

Shht, it's okay, it will be alright.”

 

He whispers into Sherlock's ear, suddenly realising how close they are again and he moves, wanting to give Sherlock some space but Sherlock holds him in place by wrapping his arms around him more tightly, a rough 'no' filling the air and his heart jumps a little as Sherlock moves again, sitting in Greg's lap.

 

It feels natural and Greg relaxes a fraction more, holding onto the man so he doesn't slide off. He feels the weight of Sherlock against his body, feeling the heat grow between them and he can't help but take a breath, smelling Sherlock's shampoo in his half damp hair.

 

I'm sorry Sherlock, I didn't mean. I don't want to cause you more pain because of my actions. I just wanted to help you but I didn't realise...”

 

Hearing Sherlock talk about himself as damaged goods makes his blood boil, seeing the redness of his eyes, his puffy, exhausted face as he looks at Greg, his eyes showing a hint of worry as Greg takes a breath, trying to calm down.

 

You're not damaged Sherlock!” He strokes Sherlock's cheek, wiping away some stray tears, seeing Sherlock's eyelashes flutter and it takes his breath away. Suddenly he's too hot, feeling just how close Sherlock is and he pinches Sherlock's cheek before dropping his hand, swallowing hard. Dammit, this is not happening right now!

 

You should try and get some sleep. You most be tired.”

 

He's grateful when Sherlock nods and moves off his lap, already missing the feeling of Sherlock so close but hating himself for it too. This isn't helpful at all! Sherlock doesn't need this, doesn't need Greg's confusing feelings and treacherous body. He needs a friend, someone he can trust and that's all this is!

 

Friendship and comfort, nothing more.

 

It still doesn't stop his heart from dropping in his stomach and his mind from spinning as Sherlock asks him to stay the night, his expression hopeful but also a little scared.

 

You can sleep in John's- the upstairs bedroom, if you w-want.”

 

He looks so young, so vulnerable and Greg can't bring himself to leave. The need to protect Sherlock has always been strong but tonight it's in overdrive. At least this time Sherlock doesn't seem to mind, actually reaching out to him, asking for his presence. He's not sure why but it makes him grateful either way, being able to help Sherlock tonight, even if it's small.

 

Okay, if you are sure?”

 

A confident nod and then Sherlock is off, leaving Greg alone with his confusing feelings, suddenly exhausted and for some reason beyond sad.

 

Chapter Text

The next morning he's glad to up again, strange dreams haunting him through the night. He sees Sherlock sitting in the corner, not able to reach him as he calls out Greg's name over and over again. Tears streaming down his face, eyes wide with fear and hurt and Greg can't move, can't get closer to Sherlock,no matter how hard he tries. It's a nightmare for sure but his other dreams are even worse, making him feel dirty and pathetic.

 

It's Sherlock in his bed, moaning and panting as Greg runs his hands all over him, tongue licking at his chest, his nipples, further down. He sees the desire and want in Sherlock's eyes, the flush on his face, the redness of his kiss swollen lips, the way Sherlock arches his back to get closer to Greg, to give Greg better access to his body.

 

He wakes up with confused feelings and a definite hard on and he curses, feeling stupid and old. Sherlock will never want him, not like that, not like anything other then a friend. Hell, just a hug from Greg was enough to make Sherlock break down!

 

He grumbles as he gets up, smelling himself and pulling a face, he needs a shower for sure. He slowly makes his way downstairs, peeking his head in but there's no sign of Sherlock yet and a wave of relief goes through him. He's sure Sherlock would read him in one second, kicking him out the next, disgust clear in his eyes as Greg runs home, shame crushing him. Sherlock can't know, it's confusing enough as it is and the idea of losing Sherlock again makes his chest hurt and his knees weak.

 

He goes downstairs and finds Mds Hudson is awake, already baking something delecious.

 

Morning Greg, oh boy, you don't look so good.”

 

He grimaces, knowing it's true but not happy to hear it either way.

 

Yes, I was thinking of going home for an hour, get a shower, a new pair of clothes before Sherlock wakes up.”

 

She nods, something in her eyes he can't place.

 

If he wakes up before I'm back will you let him now where I am? I don't want him to worry or think...”

 

Mds Hudson's face lights up, patting Greg's arm as she nods, following him to the door and opening it up for him.

 

Of course. Don't you worry, I have it all under control. Go take care of yourself young man, you're a good friend.”

 

--------------------------------------------

 

He gives her a smile as she sends him off. He knows she means it and means well but being Sherlock's friend isn't what Greg wants. Ever since Sherlock came back, his feelings for the man have changed, seeing softer sides of Sherlock. Oh, he can tell Sherlock is trying to act as if he's still the same man, but Greg knows better. He sees it in the way Sherlock acts towards victims and criminals alike, sees it in how he deals with Donovan and Anderson. But he mostly sees it in the way Sherlock deals with Mary and John. It's very plain to see these days, Sherlock loves John. He loves him with his whole being and Greg's sure he wouldn't be able to do it. Help plan a wedding so the one he loves can marry someone else but somehow Sherlock does it.

 

He's not sure it's fair to Sherlock, spending all this time with the happy couple, John completely oblivious to Sherlock's feelings, his sad and longing looks. For some reason Greg is sure that Mary knows, something in her eyes when she looks at Sherlock making the hairs on the back of his neck stand up, ready to jump in and defend him. It's foolish of course, Sherlock can take care of his own and there must be a reason why he hasn't said anything to John. Not that Sherlock doesn't want to, Greg's seen him open his mouth, body straight as if ready for battle but it never comes.

 

So Greg being in love with Sherlock is just absurd and would only lead to heartbreak. Sherlock's in love with John, planning John's wedding to Mary. It's complicated and sad enough as it is without an old, grey haired policeman thrown into the mix.

 

He can't say he's totaly ready to face Sherlock after his shower and new pair of clothes but he doesn't feel as dirty anymore so it's a plus. He makes his way to Baker Street in a brisk pace, stopping by the shop to grab some groceries and is back before Sherlock's even awakes. He can't help but feel relieved, Sherlock looked exhausted last night and needed to rest. He knows how hard sleep comes for Sherlock, that big brains of his constantly working, constantly taking in the world, it's people, always seeing, analysing, processing.

 

He's sure Sherlock will feel awkward and worried this morning, afraid how he'll react to all the tears and honesty. Afraid of how Greg will treat him now. He’s almost positive the moment Sherlock wakes up and realizes what’s happenend he’ll worry himself sick over it, afraid Greg’s going to see him as weak, as less then extraordinary.

 

That image, Sherlock worried and ashamed makes up his mind to act just like before, to not treat him differently, to still see him as the wonderful and infuriating genius he is. He nods to himself, determined to see this through and gets to work, making a light breakfast for Sherlock to digest and a slightly meatier one for himself.

 

It’s another 45 minutes later and Sherlock still hasn’t emerged from his bedroom. Greg is sure the genius will be awake by now so he makes a breakfast tray and head to the door, bracing himself as he knocks and calls out. He’s relief to hear Sherlock’s instant reply, pushing open the door without thinking about it too much. It’s the second time he’s in Sherlock’s bedroom and the first time with Sherlock there.

 

Seeing Sherlock under the covers has a weird sensation happening in his groin, seeing his sleepy eyes and soft features come slowly to life. He looks inviting and Greg places the tray down on the nightstand, berating himself for his thoughts as he sees Sherlock watching him, a hint of hesitation in them.

 

I guess sleeping was just what you needed. How are you feeling?”

 

He can practically hear the gears in Sherlock’s head turn as he thinks it over and Greg waits, happy that Sherlock is taking time to think about it and give an honest question instead of the usual fine.

 

I feel. I don’t know. Better?”

 

It’s clear Sherlock’s still embarrassed by what happened last night and Greg decided not to comment on it, just giving him a smile as Sherlock reaches for the toast and taking a tiny bite.

 

Glad someone approves.”

 

Sherlock stomach grumbles again and Greg can’t help but laugh. It’s just so human and it warms his heart, seeing the way Sherlock blushes a little as he eats the rest of his toast. You tend to forget Sherlock is just human, dazzling everyone with his intellect and quick wit. It makes a nice change, seeing this softer, more vulnerable side of him and Greg can’t stop the spark of pride as he realizes he’s the one getting to witness it, to help Sherlock through this. He knows deep down he’s not really wanted here, seeing the disappointment in Sherlock’s eyes when Greg told him Mycroft send him and not John. He knows John will always be Sherlock’s first choice but if he’s being honest he can’t picture John doing this for Sherlock. Not really.

 

I’m sorry. I- I’m sorry.”

 

It’s a whisper, said with sadness and hurt and Greg wants to reach out again, maybe just take Sherlock’s hand to let him know it’s okay but Sherlock reaches for the tea, taking a sip and suddenly all Greg’s good intentions are out the door. The moan coming out of Sherlock’s mouth as he sips his tea should be illegal and he can’t stop staring as Sherlock swallows it down, seeing the way the muscles of his throat work. Images of licking and sucking that delicate neck come to mind, Sherlock moaning out his name and he snaps himself out of it, clearing his throat awkwardly as Sherlock looks at him, his eyes a little wider then before.

 

No need to say sorry Sherlock. I told you already, I was the one at fault.” He looks away, his heart still beating to fast as he continues. “I shouldn’t have assumed my comfort was wanted.”

It’s a fact he needs to remind himself of constantly, no matter how much he wants Sherlock to be more then just his friend, no matter how much their friendship has changed over the months since Sherlock’s return.

 

He just needs a friend, someone safe, someone he can trust. Nothing more.

 

A loud sound fills the room, breaking up the awkward silence and Greg sighs as he takes out his phone and mouths an ‘I’m sorry’ to Sherlock, seeing him close his mouth as Greg gets up and walks out the door.

 

Sir, you need to come in, we have a bit of a situation here. Some kids claiming their best friend has disappeared after some wacky ritual in a field. There’s a blood trail.”

 

Donovan’s voice sounded tired and Greg sighed again, rubbing his eyes with one hand as he asked some more questions. It sounded like a hoax but Greg had no choice but to go and check it out.

 

Fine, I’ll be there as soon as possible, send me the address, I’ll meet you there. Make sure no one enters that field Donovan.”

 

You got it Sir.”

 

Why can’t the criminals of London take a break, at least for one more day? He pockets his phone, really not in the right state of mind for work but he has no other choice, duty calls and if anyone can understand that it’s the man waiting behind that door. He knocks before entering and immediately sees the change in Sherlock’s body language. His body is stiff, shoulders drawn up and Sherlock scans his face, clearly trying to find something. He bites his lip the whole time and Greg gets another image of being the one biting down that bottom lip, licking along the seam of that Cupid’s Bow, tasting Sherlock’s tongue against his own.

 

Lestrade. I-I trust you won’t. You won’t tell anyone?”

 

He snaps out of his fantasy, seeing the worried look in Sherlock’s eyes, hearing the little crack in his voice and he steps forward, gesturing at the spot next to Sherlock. A flash of irritation lights up in Sherlock’s eyes as he snaps.

 

I won’t break just because you sit next to me!”

 

Greg gives him a look and Sherlock bits his lip again, a little blush on his face as Greg sits down. It’s weird, sitting next to Sherlock on his bed and he can’t help but watch the man next to him, ready to jump up and move as soon as he sees any sign of discomfort. He sees the shiver run down Sherlock’s body and he’s ready to get up again when Sherlock heaves a heavy sigh, watching Greg with hurt and pain, a little sliver of anger too.

 

Dammit Lestrade, will it always be like this from now on? You too afraid to even touch me?”

 

Greg shakes his head, taking a breath before meeting Sherlock’s gaze. He needs to think about how to approach this, clearly his words from the night before weren’t the right ones and he sees how they affect Sherlock, how upset he is by Greg’s actions.

 

Sherlock, I'm not afraid of touching you. I'm afraid of crossing your boundaries. I don't want to upset you and I need you to tell me when I do. How can I know if you won't tell me?”

 

Sherlock’s only response is a huff and it makes irritation flash in Greg’s stomach. Of course he doesn’t believe him. For all his genius Sherlock can be an idiot when it comes to other people and the need to want to help him, to be his friend. He never really believes someone has his best interest at heart, never really believes someone could care for him and want to ease his pain. He always puts himself down, his arrogance just a mask he wears to shut people out and it breaks Greg’s heart. Why wouldn’t he be allowed some kindness, some sympathy?

 

This is important Sherlock. Your safety and happiness are important to me and I'll do anything in my power to give you that. But I can't if you don't help me. So yes, from now on I'm asking permission to sit next to you, walk with you, touch you. Please understand that this is to help you. I'm not disgusted with you Sherlock, nor am I ashamed. I'll never be ashamed of you.”

 

He sees the light blush on Sherlock’s cheeks, his irritation disappearing as fast as it came on and he reaches out his hand in invitation. No matter what Sherlock things he’s done making things worse by just acting on instinct, no matter how strong it is. It takes a second and then Sherlock takes his offered hand, Greg squeezing it before giving a small smile. Sherlock’s hand feels cold, too bony and pale for him. Now that he thinks about it Sherlock has lost weight, being as skinny as four years ago. Instead now there’s no John to nag him about eating and he knows Mds. Hudson won’t ever push Sherlock.

 

You're safe with me Sherlock. I won't tell anyone, I won't mock you. I don't look at you any differently then I've done before. You're still brilliant and a great man. That will never change. Okay?”

 

Sherlock’s blush is adorable, going all the way down his neck and for a second Greg wonders how far down his blush goes. In all the years he’s known him he’s never seen Sherlock blush so much or so fast. Then again, he’s never seen Sherlock break down in front of him either, or sat next to him on his bed.

 

Lestrade, I.”

 

Greg.”

 

The confused expression that leaves on Sherlock’s face is precious and Greg can’t stop an inward smile as he rolls his eyes at him.

 

That's my name you know. Greg, you could try it from time to time. I know you know it.”

 

Sherlock’s blush deepens, a nice soft pink and Greg can’t help but chuckle again. Sherlock knows his name, he’s sure of it but for some reason he always calls him Lestrade. He doesn’t want to think about it as a nickname, Sherlock not really seeming like the nickname type but it warms his heart none the less. The little stutter coming out of Sherlock’s mouth is enough to make his blood go south again and he curses himself, hating his body for being so damn responsive to everything Sherlock does or says.

 

I have to leave now, work called. If you need anything, call me. Promise you will.”

 

Sherlock’s eyes sadden immediately and it makes it hard for Greg to get up and move towards the door. He wants to stay for as long as Sherlock will tolerate him but he knows Donovan is waiting for him, probably already pissed he’s not arrived yet. And he needs some time to clear his head too. Time to work out his feelings, to process what’s happened since last night and how to move forward. To Greg it seems the whole world has changed and he needs some time to figure it all out, to calm his racing heart and hormones.

 

Call John Sherlock. He'll be glad to hear from you. He's going a little mental with the whole wedding planning. If I need help, can I call you in?”

 

He sees the hesitation on Sherlock’s face before he nods and Greg let’s out a breath he didn’t know he was holding. Since Sherlock's been back he hasn’t done a lot of cases, at first even refusing to answer Greg’s texts and calls whenever he asked him to come and lend his expertise. After a while he finally showed up one day alone, asking to speak to Greg in private, fidgeting with his hands as Greg gestured for him to sit down, closing the door behind them.

 

What’s up Sherlock?”

 

I. I want to come back to work, if that’s all right with you?”

 

Just the notion of Sherlock asking Greg’s approval to do something made him realize that yes, Sherlock is back, but he's not the same man as before. Back before the fall he’d been busting down the door, demanding all the new, exciting cases, leaving irritation and awe in his wake. Now he sat there silently, eyes down as he waited for Greg to answer, not able to stop his left knee from bouncing up and down.

 

Of course it's all right with me. We'll be glad to have you back.”

 

A huff of disbelief and Greg understands why Sherlock is acting the way he is.

 

Relax Sherlock, people know it was all Moriarty. They'll be glad to have you back, I promise.”

 

It's clear Sherlock doesn't believe him and Greg can't blame the man, the work relation between them is good but Sherlock and the rest of the Yard is another matter. It also didn't help how willingly Donovan was to throw him under the bus, together with the rest of the team.

 

They know how it really went Sherlock, they don't see you as a fraud anymore. Donovan's, well, she didn't take it to good. You should talk to her, when you're up for it.”

 

He never figured out if they did talk but something clearly happened cause since Sherlock's back they have less fights and arguments. Which isn't a bad thing cause the job is stressful enough without his genius and Sergeant tearing each other's heads off.

 

Greg gives one last smile before leaving Sherlock behind and heading off to work. It feels like he's leaving behind a piece of himself. It doesn't feel right at all.

 

Chapter Text

Damn Water's brothers!

 

Greg could scream for hours on end in pure frustration, it's been months now! Months of banks being robbed, clear evidence who's done it, going to trial and those damn brother's walking free again, laughing to Greg's face as they slip from his grasp again!

 

It feels useless but he's not giving up, he knows they're responsible, it's just a matter of time before they slip up, make a mistake and that's when Greg will be there, hauling their arses to jail, a big smile on his face. He just needs a little more time and a bit more luck.

 

He's just gotten home, closing the door a little to loudly for the time of night when his phone rings. He groans, not wanting to pick up, not wanting to talk to anyone but his hand has a mind of it's own and reaches for it, looking at the caller ID. His heart stops when he sees a very familiar name flash up on his screen and he's hitten accept before he's even taking off his coat.

 

Sherlock? Are you okay?”

 

No answer except Sherlock's breathing and just knowing Sherlock's on the other side of the line is enough to make him relax. Stepping further inside his flat and turning on a light, trying to take his jacket off.

 

Sherlock? Do you need me to come over?”

 

A moment of silence again but before Greg can begin to worry Sherlock's voice nestles in his ear, hearing how on edge he is.

 

That's fine Sherlock, I just got home. How are you?”

 

He knows it's close to 1AM but he's too wound up, still frustrated with his current case and he can't go to sleep right now. Spending some time talking with Sherlock sounds like a much nicer plan and he sits down on the sofa, kicking off his shoes and opening up the top of his shirt, feeling his muscles relax.

 

Not good.”

 

Sherlock's answer makes him tense all over again, hearing the truth in it.

 

Sherlock, I can be there in 30 minutes.”

 

He's already moving, sitting up, waiting for Sherlock's answer but it stays quite on the other side of the line and nerves hit him full on. Was he being too obvious?

 

Sherlock. You still there?”

 

Another second passes and then Sherlock finally answers, sounded less strained then earlier on.

 

I'm here. You don't have to come over Lestrade, you should get some sleep, you sound tired.”

 

He can't stop the huff rolling off his lips, laying down again on the sofa, trying to get his pillow just right.

 

Brilliant observation Sherlock. It's this Water gang case.”

His voice sounds too harsh even to his own ears and he wants to apologise. It's not Sherlock's fault and he shouldn't act it out on him. He's been dealing with enough as it is. But Sherlock's already talking, asking questions and Greg talks about the case, the difficulties he has with it, the way the press are eating it up, eating Greg up. It feels good, letting it all out to someone that actually understands, being able to let his temper rise for once, to vent all his frustrations and doubts. By the end he feels much lighter, more clear. Then Sherlock says something that makes his whole heart flutter and leaves him speechless.

 

You'll get them this time Lestrade, I know you will. You never back down, never stop. It's what I like about you.”

 

Greg is sure his mind is melted, shattered, gone. Hearing the confidence in Sherlock's statement makes his heart beat too fast, his cheeks getting warm as he hears Sherlock breath in his ear. Getting a compliment from Sherlock is a rare thing so when it happens it always leaves him slightly mind blow and off balance.

 

I. That's nice to hear Sherlock.”

 

His voice is too soft but he knows Sherlock's heard it, hearing the smile in his voice as he talks again. It seems they both don't want to hang up yet and Greg forces himself to not analyse it too much, to not let his imagination get away with him. Sherlock called for a reason and he's sure it's not just to hear his voice. But when he asks if he can help with something Sherlock dismisses it and it's hard for Greg to not have hope flare up in his soul.

 

No. I just wanted to- I'm fine now. Thank you Lestrade- Greg.”

 

So you do know my name.”

 

He can just picture Sherlock's eye roll and he's about to say something funny when Sherlock leaves him speechless again.

 

I remember the important things. Goodnight Lestrade.”

 

The important things. He knows he has a goofy smile on his face, his resolve crumbling as he conjures up images of him and Sherlock being together. Walking hand in hand along the street, cooking dinner for Sherlock while Sherlock reads. Making love all night as Sherlock moans out his name.

 

It all comes crashing in, leaving him aching and he wishes Sherlock a hurried goodnight, his body on fire, his cock demanding attention.

 

The important things. Sherlock considers Greg as something important. It's the first night he lets himself wank off to images of Sherlock underneath him, all flustered, eyes wide and dark as Greg claims him, marking him as his own. He falls asleep like a rock after, a smile on his face, dead to the world till his clock startles him awake.

 

Chapter Text

Why didn't you say anything?!”

 

Greg can only stare, mouth open in frustration as he sees Sherlock sitting behind his desk, paper laying around everywhere. When he got the messages his heart was racing, thinking about everything that could have gone wrong. Everything that required a 'help me. Please.' in caps. He had a hard time explaining why he'd called an ambulance and a helicopter for back up when it turned out it wasn't needed. And he's sure to hear about it for weeks on end from his team. He can already picture Donovan's face when she hears the news. Not something he's looking forward to at all.

 

You texted me Sherlock, I thought something was wrong.”

 

Sherlock rolls his eyes, waving his hand and papers fly away, making Greg close his mouth and take a closer look at what Sherlock's working on. His frustration is already fading but Sherlock's clearly agitated, his body trembling as he watches Greg.

 

It was your big break and you lost it because I can't come up with a best man's speech!”

 

Sherlock throws his hands in the air this time, a scream of frustration filling the flat before he swipes his desk clean with one motion, papers falling to the ground. Greg stands still as it happens, seeing the stress in Sherlock's body, in his eyes and he lets out a breath as he steps closer and holds out his hand in offering.

 

Sherlock calm down. Yes, that would have been a big break and yes, I'm not too happy about it right now but it's not the end of the world. There will always be big cases, Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock takes his hand instantly, letting himself be dragged over to the couch, his face a scowl as he sits down. Greg wants to smile, seeing the pout on Sherlock's lips but he knows better then that so he leans down and grabs some papers of the floor, seeing Sherlock's neat handwriting all over the pages, a lot of things crossed out, a lot of restarts. The tone is serious and to be honest sad and Greg frowns, going over some very weird lines.

 

Are you sure you want to keep this part in? 'The death-watch beetle that is the doom of our society and, in time – one feels certain – our entire species', sounds a little harsh. Not really romantic.”

 

Sherlock rolls his eyes, grabbing the papers from him and gets up, pacing up and down.

 

I've never done this before Lestrade. What if I mess up? What if I say something rude or obnoxious, we both know I'm both those things and more. I can't do this!”

 

Greg pinches the bridge of his noise, feeling a light head ache come on as Sherlock's falls down in his chair, slamming the papers on the desk. It's adorable to see really, Sherlock worrying about something as mundane as a best man's speech. He can still remember Sherlock's face when he told him John had chosen him as his best man. Confusion and sadness in those bright eyes.

 

“Why would he choose me?”

 

Sherlock' face has been twisted in confusion as he sat opposite Greg, a file in hand. They'd been going over some more details about a kidnapping case, Sherlock actually taking the time to explain it all to Greg when he'd blurted it out. Greg's heart had swelled and broken, seeing the look on Sherlock's face. It seemed beyond cruel, being the best man for the person you secretly loved. Greg was sure John didn't know a thing about Sherlock's true feelings for him, he wouldn't have asked him otherwise. Even John wasn't that stupid or cold hearted.

 

“Why wouldn't he chose you Sherlock? You've been friends for years.”

 

Sherlock's face was still confused, letting the file drop down on the desk, crossing his legs as he looked at Greg with concentration.

 

“Yes, but...”

 

“But what? You've shared a lot over the years Sherlock, all those cases, up's and downs. You lived together, you know each other through and through. Why wouldn't John want his best friend as his best man. It's really not that strange Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock had looked at him as if he was speaking a foreign language. It made him sad, seeing the clear disbelief in Sherlock's eyes, as if Greg, and John, were messing with him, leading him on. Sometimes he wanted to grab Sherlock's shoulders, shake the man a few times while he yelled 'you are loved, we love you, you genius idiot'. Of course Sherlock wouldn't appreciate that at all so he never did but it was times like these that made the urge flame up again.

 

“You are his best friend Sherlock. You are friends. You went away for two years, faked your own dead, make us morn you and we are still around now. It means something Sherlock, trust me, you have friends. More then you think you do.”

 

Greg had stopped, willing himself to not say more, to act stupid and confess his feelings for the man. He liked the way things had changed, how Sherlock seemed softer whenever they were alone, the fact that Sherlock stayed behind to go over the details of their work, how he sometimes called in the middle of the night. He didn't want to risk it all by being an idiot now.

 

“I. I don't think I deserve...”

 

Greg snapped out of his thoughts, seeing how Sherlock's eyes went to the desk, gaze fixed on the files in front of them. There was a light blush on his cheeks as he bit his lip, knee moving up and down again.

 

“Stop it. Whatever you are thinking right now, stop. You deserve friends Sherlock, you deserve forgiveness. It took us a while but we forgive you Sherlock. We all know you had no choice. Stop beating yourself up over it.”

 

He reached out slowly, patting Sherlock's hand once Sherlock looked up.

 

“You did accept right? You said you'd be his best man?”

 

Sherlock nodded and Greg sighed in relief. John would have been devastated if Sherlock had said no.

 

“Good. You'll do great Sherlock, I know you will. Now, tell me again how you found that abandoned factory.”

 

After that Sherlock hadn't mentioned being the best man again and Greg didn't want to push, knowing if something came up he would tell him. Of course 4 messages with 'HELP ME' hadn't been the most ideal way of asking assistance with his speech.

 

You can Sherlock. You can do this. Just speak from the heart, be honest. Just, you know, tune it down a notch or two.”

 

Sherlock's laugh warms his heart, seeing him relax just a little as he hands over the rest of the papers. There isn't anything Sherlock can't do when he puts his mind to it and Greg knows this is important for him. He still doesn't know how Sherlock does it, writing a best man's speech for his best friend he's in love with but he does it, going out of his way to help John. To see him happy. It speaks of Sherlock's character, showing just what a wonderful and great man he is and Greg wants to say something about it, make him understand that he gets it, that he sees how hard it is.

 

He just doesn't know how to start that particular conversation. Sherlock has never told him what his feelings are for John, he's not even sure if Sherlock is gay or bisexual like himself. He just sees it, in a way he hadn't seen it before. Thinking back it's all very obvious, the way Sherlock was drawn to John, how he looked for his guidance and approval, the ease with which they worked together, how fast they moved in. It all makes sense now and Greg can't help but be a little annoyed at John for not seeing it. How can someone be so oblivious?

 

Then again, it took him years to figure out how he feels about Sherlock and he's no were closer of changing their relationship as he was before. Sometimes, when Sherlock calls him just to talk about his day, he thinks there is something more there. A possibility of more, where Sherlock looks at him and blushes before getting back to work, Sherlock saying something like ' I remember the important things', that knocks Greg's breath away or brushing Greg's arm when he needs to reach for something.

 

It's silly, he knows that, but he can't help but notice it, hope flaming up in his heart every time something small like that happens. Only to be crushed out when there are situations like this. Sherlock asking his help to deal with John. It's clear from his early drafts how not happy Sherlock is with John and Marry getting married. It's all serious and sad, a hint of longing in there and Greg knows Sherlock can't read this out loud for all the world to hear. Maybe John is blind to Sherlock's feelings but Mary isn't and it would ruin any potential future once the wedding was done. It's clear to Greg that Sherlock needs John in his life, no matter how cruel it is.

 

So he stays, making them a cup of tea as Sherlock starts working on his speech again, handing it over to Greg to go over it, crossing off the most rude things and after two hours he's done. Greg beams at him, reading over the final draft. Yes, it's still a touch sad, a touch longing but it's not as bold anymore, not as bright as it was the first time. It speaks of love and affection but you could see it as love for a friend, wanting them to be happy and nothing more. They both know better if course.

 

He says goodbye not long after, feeling a little drained by it all and goes back to the station. Burying himself in paperwork is just what he needs to stop thinking about Sherlock and all the mixed feelings he has for the man.

 

Chapter Text

The day of the wedding has finally arrived and Greg is nervous. If Sherlock wants to pour his heart out to John then today is his last chance. He thinks it’s unlikely, Sherlock has had months to talk to John and hasn’t said a word but maybe seeing John actually get married will be a breaking point for him. A realization he can lose his chance forever and take the plunge anyway, damn the consequences.

 

The look Sherlock gives John is heartbreaking and he makes his way over there, ready to lend his shoulder if Sherlock needs it. It looks like Sherlock’s about to scream, or run away and Greg moves a bit faster, greeting John and Marry along the way, his heart beating a tad too fast.

 

Hey Sherlock. You okay?”

 

When Sherlock turns he needs a moment to come back down to earth, Sherlock looks devastatingly gorgeous in his outfit and Greg feels butterflies in his stomach. Those butterflies only intensify when he notices the way Sherlock is looking up and down his body and suddenly it’s too warm in the room.

 

Y-yes. Fine, everything's fine.”

 

Have your cards?”

 

He can’t help but touch Sherlock’s arm, needing to feel him as Sherlock stutters out a yes, his cheeks a nice soft pink as he fidgets with his tie, his gaze on Greg as Greg steps closer, swatting Sherlock’s hand away to make some last minute adjustments. He’s not sure, and later on, his mind is on a loop about it, but he hears a soft intake of breath as Sherlock stands still, watching Greg’s hands as they straighten the tie in place. Greg feels Sherlock’s warmth against him, smelling his ridiculous expensive shampoo and it makes his knees go weak for a moment, wanting to take a deep breath, breath Sherlock in.

 

The air feels warm, tension between them changing and a loud laugh brings Greg back to the moment, stepping away a bit as he looks at Sherlock one more time, seeing his blush and the darkness of his eyes, which wasn’t there before. Sherlock’s mouth is slightly open as if to say something but then he blinks, hands going in his pockets and he closes his mouth, lightly shaking his head.

 

Almost time to go. Good luck Sherlock.”

 

He squeezes Sherlock’s arm one more time and then he’s off, not sure he can trust himself when Sherlock looks so delicious and beautiful.

 

Chapter Text

“John, I am a ridiculous man ... redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But, as I’m apparently your best friend, I cannot congratulate you on your choice of companion.”

 

Greg startles at Sherlock’s words, he’s sure those weren’t in the original draft and his heart clenches tightly as he sees the confused look from John and the furious one from Mary. Looking around the room isn’t any better, all disapproving looks and gasps. He’s almost certain Mds. Hudson is about to faint and he wants to run up and drag Sherlock away from there, prevent the nightmare that’s sure to go down.

 

Then Sherlock’s eyes catch his and he’s frozen in his seat. All kinds of emotions shift and slide over Sherlock’s face, his eyes changing color as he keeps staring at Greg. The people around him are fidgeting, impatience filling the air as Sherlock stays quite but the man doesn’t seem to realize, just watching Greg, starring at him as he stands next to John and Mary. Greg nods his head lightly, a tight smile on his lips as he tries to get Sherlock to snap out of where ever he is and he sees him exhale, giving a smile before looking back at John and Mary.

 

“Actually, now I can.”

 

Greg wants to sigh in relief, the whole room seems to ease up as Sherlock continues, watching the happy couple as he says the last of his speech, not understanding why people are crying when he’s done. The hug between Sherlock and John seals the deal, people clapping and Greg can’t stop the grin on his face when Sherlock’s gaze lands on his. He nods his head in approval, a brightness forming in Sherlock’s eyes as John lets go of him.

 

For the first time since Sherlock is back he looks totally at ease as if he’s found some inner peace of mind and Greg can’t stop looking at him.

 

“You should tell him, dear.”

 

He startles by Mds. Hudson’s voice and turns, seeing her knowing smirk. He feels heat rise and she smiles, tapping his arm fondly.

 

“You mean more to him then you think Greg. You should tell him.”

 

He can’t really reply, just sitting there stunned and Mds Hudson shakes her head, a little roll of her eyes as she gets up.

 

“Why are you all such idiots?”

 

He wants to protest but there isn’t any bite to her words, just a sad smile as she squeezes his hand.

 

“You can’t hide it forever you know. Even Sherlock will figure it out sooner or later. Now, time to dance, come on!”

 

Before he knows it he’s dancing across the room, trying to not think about Mds. Hudson’s words too much. Is he really that obvious?

“So you’re a Detective? Wow, that sound so exciting. Ever shoot anyone?”

 

“Only if it’s really necessary.”

 

The woman in his arms laughs a little too loud for a little too long and Greg tries to reign in his irritation. He still doesn’t know how he ended up with this brunette in his arms, leaning too close for comfort, trying too hard to seduce him. It makes him queasy, wanting to be somewhere else but the song has just started, the woman holding him too tight to break free so he grits his teeth, smiling as she talks and talks.

 

“Sherlock? Everything...”

 

His head turns as he hears John call out, hearing the worry in his voice. The woman is still babbling on but his eyes scan the room, seeing Sherlock walk quickly to the exit as if hellhounds are behind him. He’s lucky the song has just ended, saying a hasty goodbye to the woman and walking across the room, trying to catch Sherlock and see what’s going on. He casts a look in John’s direction who just shrugs his shoulders, a confused look on his face as he twirls around with Marry in his arms.

 

He curses as he springs to the exit, no trace of Sherlock and takes out his phone. Of course, no answer and he leaves a message, asking if Sherlock’s okay and if he can call him back. He knows Sherlock won’t do that, call or texts but he can’t stop calling, leaving at least three messages before he heads out, grabbing his coat and healing a cab. Something is wrong, Greg’s sure of it and he needs to go and find him. When he’s in the cab he calls again, hearing the worry and stress in his voice as he asks Sherlock to call him back, letting him know he’s on his way over. He prays Sherlock’s just gone back to Baker Street, not wandering the streets somewhere. His drug use is mostly a thing of the past, but Greg knows how hard it is to keep fighting off your addiction. He has the same problem with his drinking, the primal instinct to reach for a bottle when things are tough still strong. It’s an everlasting battle but one he’s winning so far. He hopes it’s the same for Sherlock.

 

It’s a reason the wedding was a big deal for him too, being around people having fun, drinking their champagne and wine. He doesn’t know if Sherlock knows about his relapse. He probably does, asking if he wanted a beer that first night could have been some sort of test. Since then he hasn’t mentioned it and Greg is grateful for it. He would be too ashamed, too exposed and Sherlock asking questions about why he started drinking again would have made it hard to hide the real reason.

 

The cab finally stops at Baker Street and Greg throws some money at the driver, mumbling to keep the change as he walks to the door. The building is dark and quiet and Greg’s nerves are in overdrive as he takes out the spare key, heading up the steps two at a time. He knocks on the door like a crazy person, catching his breath before calling out.

 

“Sherlock! Are you in here? Please tell me you're okay?! Sherlock? Sherlock!”

 

Waiting till Sherlock opens the door is agonizing, seeming to last forever but then Sherlock's in front of him, body stiff and he lunches forward, wrapping the man in his arms tightly as relief rushes through him. He feels Sherlock go tense for a moment before leaning into the touch, wrapping his arms around Greg’s waist.

 

“Don't ever do that to me again you hear!”

 

He feels Sherlock shiver against him and presses himself tighter against the man. Sherlock’s nose is against his neck, feeling his curls against his cheek and he needs to take a deep breath to calm himself down. Sherlock is plastered against his body, heat radiating between them and it’s suddenly too much. He tries to create a little space, but Sherlock lets out a disapproving grumble, moving with Greg, closing the tiny gap in seconds. He can’t help the happiness bubbling up inside him, a chuckle filling the hall as Sherlock stays pressed against him, hands warm above his hips.

 

“Oh, Sherlock. Hey, look at me.”

 

Sherlock’s little no shake is adorable, making Greg’s heart beat even faster but he unwraps himself, gentle pushing Sherlock off him and missing his warmth instantly.

 

“Can we at least get fully inside?”

 

Sherlock opens his eyes, confused for a second and then a blush is forming, eyes cast down as he turns and practically runs into the flat leaving Greg behind. Greg takes his time to get inside, closing the door firmly behind him as he watches Sherlock stop in front of John’s chair, eyes going over his whole body. Greg can’t breathe, seeing the way Sherlock’s eyes darken as he takes him in, stepping forward without realizing, stopping when he does and looking at the ground, hands fidgeting.

 

He looks stunning and Greg swallows around the lump in his throat, cock coming to life as he moves forward, placing one hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. His voice is rough but soft and when Sherlock looks up he blushes, even more, gazing into Greg’s eyes for a second before opening his mouth slightly. All Greg’s focus moves to Sherlock’s lips then, seeing the lushness of them, wondering how they taste, if they are as soft as they look and then Sherlock bites his lip and Greg is lost.

 

“Sherlock.”

 

His voice husky, having trouble breathing and then Sherlock reaches out, taking Greg’s hand, eyes wide and unsure.

 

“Greg I. I'm not-”

 

“Shht Sunshine. It's all right.”

 

Before he can think about it anymore he leans forward, feeling Sherlock’s lips against his own and it’s enough to make his world turn upside down. His tongue comes out to lick the seem of Sherlock's closed lips and it makes Sherlock moan, grabbing Greg’s shoulders and pressing closer. Hearing that sound out of Sherlock’s mouth is enough to make Greg’s knees shake, his tongue coming out again to have a taste, hands moving down to grab Sherlock by the waist, feeling his own cock get harder by the second. It’s moving too fast, one kiss leaving him raw and wanting more so he stops, catching his breath, not letting go of Sherlock.

 

“Hey, Sunshine. You okay?”

 

It takes a moment for Sherlock to answer, nodding slowly and Greg can’t help the little spark of smugness as he takes Sherlock in, seeing the blush on his cheeks, his eyes not yet focused, his lips shiny.

 

“Gorgeous.”

 

“Sorry what?”

 

Sherlock bites his lip again and he has to stop the growl from leaving his throat, wanting to kiss him again, take him to the bedroom and mark him as taken. It’s an issue with Greg, being a little possessive but he burns it down, focuses on Sherlock as he speaks again.

 

“You're gorgeous. I think you're g-gorgeous.”

 

Sherlock can’t hold his gaze anymore, his blush going all the way to his ear and Greg reaches out, lifting Sherlock’s head up, amazed by the heat in those eyes. It’s surreal, someone like Sherlock thinking he’s gorgeous but he doesn’t get into it, just smiles as Sherlock looks up.

 

That's good cause I think you're gorgeous too. Can I kiss you again Sherlock? I really need to kiss you again.”

 

The second kiss is even better, Sherlock opening his mouth, letting Greg explore him, finally taste him. It’s mesmerizing and only get’s more demanding when Sherlock lets out another moan, grabbing Greg tighter, deepening the kiss.

 

Sherlock, I.”

 

Greg, I.”

 

They watch each other for a second before giggling like teenagers, both shy and Greg is sure his heart will bust out of his chest any minute now, seeing the way Sherlock is looking at him. Being able to kiss Sherlock is more than he’s ever dared hope of and Sherlock is still here, in his arms, watching him with so many different emotions it’s hard to keep them apart. Anyone who’s ever called Sherlock a machine is so wrong, he’s never looked more human, more real than in this moment.

 

Why did you leave Sherlock?”

 

His question makes Sherlock step back from him and he already wants to take it back, grab Sherlock and kiss him again. Sherlock looks at him with sad eyes and Greg feels like a bastard for even asking. It shouldn’t matter.

 

I saw you dance. You looked c-close. Happy.”

 

His tone is strained and sad as he turns and sits down on the sofa, his whole body huncing in on himself. He’s a bastard for feeling this but some small part of him is happy by Sherlock’s confession. Just the idea of Sherlock being jealous because he’s dancing with someone else makes him giddy. It goes away just as quickly as it came and he sits down, taking Sherlock’s hand before answering. Letting Sherlock know the woman doesn’t mean anything to him makes Sherlock’s whole posture change, there is pure relief and happiness in his eyes as he looks at Greg again.

 

Greg wants to say more, wants to let Sherlock know he’d been thinking of him all the while, wants to let him know he’d much rather be dancing with Sherlock then some overachieving brunette but he doesn’t get the change. Sherlock’s next statement leaving him cold and confused, even a little panicked.

 

Greg, you shouldn't stay here. With me. You deserve everything Greg. You're a wonderful man, a wonderful person. Kind, compassionate, beautiful. You should find someone who can make you happy.”

 

It doesn’t make any sense, as if Sherlock is speaking tongues and he runs the words around in his head, feeling Sherlock watch him, feeling the heaviness of Sherlock’s hand in his. He grabs hold of it tighter, afraid Sherlock will leave, or worse, that it’s all just been a dream.

 

I already did Sherlock.”

 

He feels like a lost child, seeing Sherlock shake his head and the panic grows as Sherlock goes on.

 

I'm not good enough for you Greg. It took me this long to realize, to realize...” A second of hesitation and Sherlock’s made up his mind, looking at Greg with such intensity it’s a little scary. “I'm in love with you Greg. I mean, I think I am. It's not the same as it was with John but I.”

 

He feels his mouth fall open, panic leaving him as hope and happiness take over, jumping around in his stomach as Sherlock looks down, refusing to look up. It’s strange to Greg why Sherlock’s afraid to meet his gaze, he’s just told him what he’s always wanted to hear!

 

Sherlock loves him! He loves him . He can’t believe it, shaking his head as he breathes in and out slowly, lifting up Sherlock’s chin to watch him, to look into those gorgeous eyes and find out if this is really happening.

 

He’s sure his face will hurt from how big he’s smiling but can’t stop it, seeing the clear truth in Sherlock’s eyes, knowing Sherlock means it, means every word and he wants to kiss him again, make it clear to Sherlock that he feels the same.

 

Why are you smiling?”

 

Why wouldn't I? I just kissed the most gorgeous and intelligent man in the world and he just told me he loves me. Well, sort of.”

 

Sherlock’s expression immediately gets darker, desperation in his eyes as he breaks their connection, hands thrown in the air.

 

Greg! Don't you understand! You need to find someone who knows he loves you. Someone who isn't broken and damaged. You deserve the best Greg!”

 

Hate fills the room as Sherlock stops, his disgust clear in his tone and Greg sees red for a moment. His hands turning into fists at Sherlock’s words, his self-loathing, and hate.

 

You are the best Sherlock. You are the best for me. You always will be. You aren't broken, Sherlock! What you've been through, nobody should have to and you came back! You came back to me and you didn't give up. You still don't. You're amazing Sherlock! Brilliant, gorgeous, kind! When will you start believing that?”

 

Seeing Sherlock shake his head makes Greg’s skin crawl, the disbelief in his eyes as he risks a glance at Greg. How can he not know?!

 

Greg tries to think of a way to explain, making a list why he’s right, why Sherlock is brilliant and kind. He had thousands of little moments to prove it and he’ll list them all off if he has to. Sherlock can’t walk around thinking he’s broken, not good enough for Greg when in reality Sherlock is way out of his league. Smarter than anyone he’s ever known, gorgeous like a supermodel, with the biggest heart possible. It’s insane Sherlock would think any less of himself, insane he’d talk about himself with so much hate and disgust but before he can open his mouth, Sherlock stands up, a determined and frightening look in his eyes as he turns his back to Greg.

 

I'm not gorgeous Greg. I can prove it.”

Chapter Text

Greg? Why are you-Why are you crying?”

 

Greg just shakes his head, vision blurry as he cries. He can't speak, can't think since Sherlock dropped his shirt to the floor, showing the damage to his back. It's too much, seeing the clear evidence of his mistakes and he lets out a sob, his whole body shaking as guilt crashing over him. Suddenly two strong arms wrap around him and he latches on, feeling Sherlock's naked skin underneath his hands, feeling the scars.

 

He can't help but let out another sob as he feels Sherlock tensing underneath his touch.

 

S-Sherlock, I'm sorry. S-So sorry, all my fault. Please forgive me. Sherlock, oh god.”

 

He wants to say more, wants to ask forgiveness for his mistakes but the tears are too overwhelming, making his throat go tight, his body trembling as he leans into Sherlock, taking comfort he doesn't deserve.

 

He doesn't know how long he lets himself break down, doesn't know how long Sherlock holds him, whispering near his ear, stroking his back soothingly before he breaks away, cleaning himself up as Sherlock goes and grabs his shirt off the floor.

 

Oh, Sherlock.”

 

Feeling Sherlock frees underneath his touch makes Greg want to cry again but he grits his teeth, willing himself to snap out of it. He doesn't deserve to break down and cry, doesn't deserve Sherlock's comfort. It's his fault! All of it! His hands tremble as they move over some of the scars, most of them faded over time but still there to see, to feel.

 

I'm so sorry.”

 

Why are you sorry? This isn't your fault.”

 

He shakes his head fiercely as Sherlock pulls on his shirt, covering up his wonderful body and Greg can't look him in the eye. He's too ashamed, feeling sick because of his actions, his loss of faith in Sherlock set it all in motion. If he'd just listened to his gut, stopped and thought about it, then none of this would have happened. Sherlock wouldn't have had to lie to the world, fake his own death and throw away two years of his life to track down a gang of criminals run by a criminal mastermind! He'd been home at Baker Street, running around London with John, catching thieves and murderers where Greg could have kept an eye out for both of them. He wouldn't have scars dishonoring his beautiful body, wouldn't break down by someone touching him, wouldn't be sad or lost, afraid of the world.

 

This isn't your fault Greg.”

 

Sherlock says it with so much confidence, his voice stern and clear and it's almost too much for Greg.

 

Don't say that Sherlock. You know it's my fault. All of it. If I hadn't- If I'd just listened to you-”

 

He wants to cry again, he doesn't deserve this, doesn't deserve sitting here, being with Sherlock, kissing him! Sherlock should hate him, never want to speak to him again. Why isn't he blaming me?! He doesn't want to look into those gorgeous eyes but Sherlock grabs hold of his head, making him look up, seeing the love in Sherlock's gaze as his thumb strokes Greg's cheek.

 

Greg, you couldn't have known.”

 

I should have! I've known you for so long Sherlock, I should have known Moriarty was setting you up and I fell right into the trap! You have no idea, no idea how much I hate myself for even doubting you for a second! It's all my fault, Sherlock! You had to fake your own death, spend years away doing god knows what, because of me! Because I didn't believe you!”

 

He can't stand it any longer and moves, Sherlock's hands dropping if his face as he stands up and starts moving back and forth. All the guilt, the grief, the hate, it all comes flooding back and he can't stop speaking. Wanting Sherlock to see how wrong he is, how it really was his fault.

 

When you died I was devastated. Knowing I was the reason the world didn't believe you anymore. The papers printed hateful things Sherlock, all the good work you'd done, all the crimes you'd solved meant nothing to them anymore. I blamed everyone! Donovan for planting the first seed of doubt, Anderson for being so willing to go with it. I blamed you! God, how I blamed you! Running off with John, making everything worse! I hated you, Sherlock!”

 

His voice breaks down, his eyes stinging but he can't stop now, isn't allowed to stop and cry, to feel sorry for himself. He's a horrible person and Sherlock needs to know that, needs to know that he deserves so much better than him.

 

I hated you for dying Sherlock! Who does that?! I was so mad at you, so mad. I hated you, Sally, Anderson, John, Mycroft but most of all myself. I hated myself for not being there! You'd gone and I was left alone and I hated you for not saying goodbye. You didn't say goodbye Sherlock!”

 

GREG!”

 

Greg startles out of his rant as Sherlock grabs hold of him, shaking him by the shoulder, his eyes on fire and determined.

 

This is not your fault. None of it is. Moriarty played me, played everyone and he was smarter in the end. There wasn't time Greg, there wasn't time to say goodbye. I didn't want to do it, but Moriarty left me no other choice. I had to Greg and it still kills me that I couldn't let you know, that I couldn't say goodbye. Don't hate yourself, don't blame yourself. It's not your fault.”

 

Hearing Sherlock say it's not his fault makes his body go weak, almost crashing to the floor but Sherlock grabs hold of him, letting him fall on the sofa instead. He wanted to say something but Sherlock just shook his head, manhandling him till he lies down, Sherlock wrapped up in his arms, feeling him from head to toe on his body. He relaxes instantly, Sherlock's weight, and he's still a bit too skinny for Greg's liking, grounding him to the moment.

 

It's okay Greg. I don't blame you.”

 

It's still strange, hearing those words come out of Sherlock's mouth and he protests, Sherlock should blame him. Blame the whole Yard. They'd been working together for years, seeing Sherlock's talent unfold and develop over the years and it took one whisper of a madman to make them all second guess themselves. He knew it was mostly because of jealousy, an easy way to finally get back at Sherlock for all the stabs and insults. But Greg was better than that, he wasn't jealous of Sherlock's talent, didn't envy the man his brilliance. He just wanted to learn, to see, to try and be half as good as Sherlock. Sherlock had taught him a lot over the years, more than Sherlock would probably ever now and this was how he'd repaid him, throwing him to the wolves the moment it got hard. He'd lost faith in him and Greg wasn't sure if he could ever forgive himself for it. He wasn't sure if Sherlock should forgive him for that either.

 

But here they were, wrapped up in each other's arms in Baker Street, Greg feeling Sherlock's heartbeat above him, taking in Sherlock's warmth as time went by. He never wanted to leave, never wanted to be anywhere else and he was so grateful they got a second chance. Sherlock being strong enough to get back to him wasn't because of him but he wasn't angry when Sherlock explained who kept him alive those two years.

 

John. Memories of John kept you alive. I understand Sherlock. I'm glad John kept you going, gave you back to me. I'm so glad you're back Sherlock. I've missed you so much.”

 

He pressed Sherlock closer to him, suddenly afraid the man would disappear again, that he'd be alone all over, waking up feeling heartbroken and lonely. He kissed Sherlock's shoulder, seeing the worry in Sherlock's eyes and he wanted to ease him. He wasn't threatened by Sherlock's feelings for John. He knew what John meant to him, had seen it day in, day out. It was hard not too but Greg also knew Sherlock would have never kissed him back if he didn't mean it, if he didn't want to. He'd never be so cruel.

 

I know Sherlock. I know that what you feel for John is strong but you need to know I'll wait for you. If you need more time to figure things out I'll do that. I'll give you all the time you need. I mean it, Sherlock. You are the one. You've been the one for quite some time and being able to kiss you, touch you, it's more than enough. Can I stay tonight?”

 

Going home now was a punishment and Greg held his breath as Sherlock kept quiet for a moment before nodding his head, smiling up into Greg's face, his smile bright enough to light up the entire street. Sherlock wiggles, finding a comfortable position as his hands stroke into Greg's hair and Greg can't help the soft moan. He'd always loved it when people stroked and petted his hair, Sherlock's long fingers setting his body on fire as they card through with ease, a content sigh filling the space between them.

 

This is real.

 

Greg smiles like an idiot, pressing Sherlock closer to him to kiss his forehead and they soon fall asleep on the sofa, wrapped up in each other, the sent of Sherlock filling up his nose.

 

Chapter Text

 

 

Sherlock, what's- Oi!”

 

Feeling Sherlock's lips against his own again is heaven, hearing Sherlock moan as they kiss and he's instantly on fire, dragging Sherlock inside, his tongue sliding over Sherlock's, tasting a hint of sweet tea. He pulls Sherlock close against him, his hands finding their way into Sherlock's hair, knees almost shaking as he feels the softness of them around his fingers. He can't stop a moan as Sherlock moves, getting even closer as the kiss turns more heated, more demanding. It's as if Sherlock wants to consume him, his body on edge as Greg pulls back, catching his breath and taking Sherlock in. He wants to say something, somehow sensing this isn't a normal kiss, but Sherlock moves forward again, ready to kiss him once more. It seems more like an attack and Greg places a firm hand on Sherlock's chest, seeing his face change instantly.

 

Sherlock slow down, what's going on?”

 

A hint of irritation in Sherlock's eyes before he tries to move again but Greg is stronger, holding him in place, confusion and worry intensifying as Sherlock sighs in frustration as he pulls away.

 

You don't want me anymore!”

 

Greg can't say anything, too busy trying to catch up with Sherlock's mind, going over the last three months, trying to figure out why Sherlock would think that. He blinks, seeing the sadness all over Sherlock's face and he takes his hand, giving it a light squeeze before placing him on the sofa.

 

Tea, everything goes better with tea. His mother's voice reminds him so he heads to the kitchen, making some as he tries to calm his racing heart. Their kissing still has him half hard, feeling Sherlock's hands on him, his warm body pressed against his, the intensity of their kiss making his knees feel like rubber. When he gets back Sherlock is still on the sofa, face a little pale as he fidgets with his hands, knee bouncing up and down.

 

Sherlock look at me. What's going on in that brilliant mind of yours?”

 

Sherlock shakes his head but at least his knee has stopped moving. That's when he tries to stand up and move away but Greg reaches for him, taking his hand and squeezing them tightly. He's not letting Sherlock leave like this.

 

Sherlock, talk to me?”

 

I'm sorry!”

 

Greg frowns, hearing the stress in Sherlock's voice, seeing he's on the verge of tears and his heart breaks, wanting to be smarter in that moment, wanting to know what Sherlock is talking about so he can help him, make him calm down.

 

Please don't give up on me, on this! I know I don't deserve a second chance, I know it was stupid of me to tell you but I'm telling you now. I do love you. I really do! Please let me prove it to you.”

 

Sherlock kisses him again, desperation and fear battling as Greg lets his hand brush Sherlock's hair. He's missed this for sure. It takes a moment but then Sherlock finally spills out what's really bothering him and Greg feels like a fool. Of course Sherlock would think he's changed his mind! He reaches out, stroking Sherlock's cheek, hating how sad and unsure the man looks at him. It's all his fault again. He should have known acting as if everything was normal would drive Sherlock mad.

 

Sherlock. I told you I'd give you as much time as you need. I wanted to give you space, to give you time to adjust to your feelings. You told me you were still figuring it all out and I didn't want to push you. I haven't kissed you, that's true. But not because I don't want to. I didn't know how you felt about it, I didn't want to assume or move too fast and scare you away.”

 

It's true, after that night they hadn't really seen each other much, except for work. He hated it but it seemed that every criminal in London was working these past few months, the workload being overwhelming, both of them doing long days as they went over facts, details, witnesses. Every time Sherlock walked into the Yard he had to force himself not to smile like a loon and kiss him in the middle of the station. It was all still new, Sherlock having barely figured out he felt more for Greg than just friendship and even though Greg wanted everyone to know, he doubted Sherlock would appreciate it, knowing how private the man was.

 

Of course, he hadn't thought about how his actions might have seemed to Sherlock. Wanting to give him time and space could have seemed like avoidance to Sherlock and he could kick himself for not figuring this out sooner. Now that he thought about it Sherlock had been more withdrawn and snappy these last few days but Greg had thought it was the aftermath of too many cases and not enough sleep and food.

 

How wrong he'd been.

 

I didn't want to interfere with your work, make you lose focus because of something silly like my worries, my feelings for you. I know how you value the work, Sherlock. I don't want to stand in between of that. And I also figured you wouldn't appreciate it if I snogged you senseless at the Yard.”

 

Seeing Sherlock's mouth fall open at his statement was priceless but broke his heart again at the same time. He really should have known better. For all the arrogance Sherlock had, Greg knew a lot of it was fake, making people see what they wanted to see. The arrogant, emotionless robot genius who could see and figure out everything. Underneath that there was a very human man, feeling so much, caring so much. He must have been in agony, terrified he'd said the wrong thing, thinking Greg had changed his mind but didn't want to upset him by spilling it all out, instead letting him down easy.

 

You want to kiss me senseless?”

 

I always want to kiss you senseless. Haven't you figured that out yet?”

 

Sherlock's breath catches, his eyes going even wider and Greg has to move, has to show he means it, has to make Sherlock understand that he wants him, he'll always want him. He leans forward, licking his lips to kiss Sherlock and the most sensual moan fills the space between them, seeing the blush form on Sherlock's face, the desire in his eyes enough to make Greg's heart stop for a second, his cock instantly half hard.

 

Oh, you'll be the death of me Sunshine. Just to make it clear, I do want you. Okay? It's taken a lot of control to not kiss you whenever I see you.”

 

They kiss again and Greg never wants it to end, the passion clear as Sherlock moves, leaving no space between them as they part, panting heavily against each other, smelling Sherlock's ridiculous shampoo, seeing that shy smile, the blush growing on Sherlock's cheeks. Who would ever turn someone as beautiful and special like Sherlock down? Who would be such an idiot?

 

Sherlock, oh god.”

 

It's hard to think, feeling Sherlock in his lap, their erections brushing against each other as Sherlock pants and moans near his ear, driving him slowly crazy with want and desire. His mouth finds Sherlock's neck, latching onto it, licking and sucking, making Sherlock moan and move against him, Sherlock's hands in his hair, pulling it lightly from time to time. He grabs hold of Sherlock's arse, squeezing it hard, their erections rubbing against each other and Greg growls as Sherlock tells him he loves him, shivering as Greg looks up, seeing hunger and wants in those alien colored eyes.

 

Is this okay Sherlock? If we're moving too fast-”

 

He moans as Sherlock kisses him again, his tongue teasing and claiming him as his hands pull Greg's hair. It's no wonder Sherlock instantly picks up what he likes and he lets out a hungry moan, wanting more, wanting to drag Sherlock to bed and claim him, mark his whole body with love bites and cum.

 

Picturing Sherlock underneath him, strings of his cum on that pale skins makes him even harder and he grabs Sherlock's arse again, pulling him forward, both moaning as their cocks slide against each other. He's already so hard, feeling on fire, ready to burn but he needs to be sure, needs to think this through. It's not just sex between them and he doesn't want to rush this, needs to put Sherlock's needs first. He pulls back a little, a spark of arousal going through him as Sherlock moves with him, not wanting to break the kiss but he plants a hand on Sherlock's shoulder, seeing how red and wet Sherlock's lips are, the unclear focus in his eyes as he looks down at Greg.

 

God Sherlock! What- what do you want? I need to know before we- before I-”

 

You. I want you. Anything you want to give me.”

 

Seeing the trust in Sherlock's eyes makes Greg speechless for a moment, all sorts of images coming to mind of what they can do, what Greg can do for Sherlock, how he can make him beg for release, hear him scream out Sherlock's name.

 

Greg?”

 

A hint of worry but Sherlock quickly rolls his eyes as he sees the smile on Greg's face, hands warm around Greg's neck, Sherlock's weight a comfort in his lap. He never wants to let him leave.

 

Sherlock, I want to give you everything! I want to make you moan, scream my name, make you mine, explore your body inch by inch.”

 

He feels Sherlock tense instantly on top of him, his expression going dark as he sighs and shifts, sliding of Greg's lap and sitting down next to him. Greg wants to protest, drag Sherlock back on his lap, already feeling his warmth leave him but he bits back his impulses, seeing the shame in Sherlock's eyes.

 

I. My body isn't- I'm not- You've seen it, before when-”

 

Greg tilts up Sherlock's chin, making him look into his eyes and he gives a reassuring smile, stroking Sherlock's cheek with his thumb as he speaks.

 

You don't need to be ashamed around me Sherlock. You're the most beautiful man I've ever met. Hell, if anyone should be nervous about getting naked it's me.”

 

It's something that's been on his mind ever since they had their first kiss. Greg isn't stupid, he knows he's not as fit and firm anymore, the beginning softness around his belly makes that clear to him every morning. It's a normal thing with getting older and most of the time he doesn't fret about it, being happy with the way he looks, glad he doesn't have a beer belly like some of his co-workers, glad to have all his hair, even if it's gone grey too early.

 

Of course, now it's different. Everyone can see he's older than Sherlock and he knows some people will think it strange. Someone as beautiful and young as Sherlock settling for Greg. The thought of stripping down, having his body shown to an observant man like Sherlock leaves him worried and panicked. What if Sherlock is disappointed by what he sees?

 

Before he can say any of this, Sherlock is shaking his head at him, eyes on fire as he leans forward. He looks upset and Greg isn't sure why, wanting to ask but Sherlock beats him to it, taking his hands and staring right into his eyes so Greg is unable to look away.

 

You're gorgeous Greg! I want to see you naked, I've dreamed about it! You're perfect!”

 

You've dreamed about me?”

 

Of course I have. Why are you so surprised? I- I find you attractive Greg. Body and personality.”

 

Sherlock.”

 

He can't stop himself, dragging Sherlock back on his lap, kissing him fiercely as he feels his heart beating fast. Sherlock Holmes dreaming about him makes him feel confident and smug, wanting to find out exactly what Sherlock's been dreaming about. Sherlock's hands move up and down his shirt, half pinching his nipples as Sherlock takes control over the kiss, making Greg's head spin with longing and heat.

 

Fuck! You'll really be the death of me Sunshine.”

 

He'll never get enough of seeing Sherlock blush, the way his cheeks go a soft pink as he bits his lower lip making Greg growl again with want, claiming that gorgeous mouth, trailing down to bite and suck Sherlock's long neck. It leaves Sherlock staring at him with an unfocused gaze, lips red and swollen and Greg smirks, loving the effect he has on this extraordinary creature. Then Sherlock leans closer, a touch of shyness in his eyes as he whispers.

 

Greg I. I want to have sex with you.”

 

Chapter Text

Sherlock, you don't have-”

 

Greg can hardly breathe, seeing Sherlock in front of him, on his knees, face right against his cock that's throbbing for more. Sherlock's been running his hands all over Greg's body, as if he's making a map for later, not wanting to miss the tiniest thing. He has trouble staying on his feet, Sherlock's breath hot against his cock, looking up at him as if he's something to treasure. He wants to say more, let Sherlock know that he doesn't demand anything from him but then Sherlock's hand is stroking his erection and he's lost again, skin on fire as Sherlock works him nice and slow. He bucks his hips, seeing Sherlock lick his lips and he wants to come right then and there, mark Sherlock with his cum, see the strings decorate his mouth, his cheeks. Sherlock keeps watching him as he strokes, his eyes wide with desire and Greg has to moan, bucking again, his body demanding more.

 

Fuck, Sherlock, you're so hot.”

 

The smile he gets is bright and his hands nestle in Sherlock's hair, holding on as Sherlock licks at his slit, making Greg see stars. He growls loudly when Sherlock finally takes his cock inside his mouth and his knees tremble, holding on tighter to Sherlock's hairs. Feeling Sherlock's tongue explore his cockhead is amazing, it's hard to breathe, to think, he can't stop looking down, seeing those illegal plush lips around his length and his body acts without him, pushing further down into that warm heat, hips moving with want and desire.

 

Sherlock pulls back a little, eyes still blown wide as he looks up and Greg can catch his breath again, realize what he's done and he feels himself go cold, releasing his grip on Sherlock's head.

 

Fuck Sunshine, I'm sorry, I won't-”

 

It's fine Greg. It's been a while but I can take it.”

 

Hearing Sherlock speak like that makes it hard to keep control, seeing the rise and fall of Sherlock's chest as he takes a deep breath and releases it slowly before leaning forward again, taking in more of Greg's cock. It's agonizingly slow but so hot and Greg grabs his hair again, pulling the curls, making Sherlock moan around him. Sherlock's hands are warm around his base, his tongue teasing his hot skin and he pulls Sherlock's hair again, loving the feel of it, the way Sherlock reacts because of it. Sherlock's moan fills the room up, making Greg's heart beat frantically and he stops, afraid of this overwhelming urge to lose control, to let go and claim. Sherlock pulls back, his eyes hooded as he looks up, a hint of irritation in them as he licks his lips before speaking.

 

Don't do that. Don't hold back. I want you to move and pull my hair. I love it when you do that.”

 

He lets out a whimper, seeing the satisfaction in Sherlock's eyes before he goes back, mouth taking Greg's cock all the way in. Greg's hands find Sherlock's curls again, pulling much harder than before and Sherlock moans loudly, the vibrations making his cock throb almost painfully. Sherlock bobs his head, taking his time to find a good rhythm, the sounds filling up the room almost obscene and he looks down, seeing Sherlock's lips around his cock, the beginning of Sherlock's erection clear in his pants as he works Greg harder, the tip of Greg's cock hitting Sherlock's throat and Greg sees stars, wanting to warn Sherlock he can't hold on any longer. It's been too long, Sherlock feels too good and he tries to pull out.

 

Sher. Oh god, come, coming.”

 

Sherlock grabs his arse, keeping him in place and Greg can't resist any longer, he comes down Sherlock's throat, letting out a deep, grunted moan as he spills inside Sherlock, hearing Sherlock half gag as he tries to swallow it all down. He pets Sherlock's hair, riding his orgasm out before pulling out, sliding down to the floor next to Sherlock, catching his breath. He looks next to him, seeing Sherlock lick away some of the droplets of cum he couldn't swallow and Greg's heart drops in his stomach, wanting to do it all over again.

 

You're so sexy right now.”

 

They kiss, Greg growling as their tongues meet, tasting himself on Sherlock's tongue and it's the sexiest thing ever. Sherlock takes control of the kiss, his hands grabbing Greg's hair, the kiss getting deeper, more intense and Greg moans, wanting to be 10 years younger. He'll never get bored of Sherlock, never will be able to not touch him, kiss him. It's a little frightening, how deep and demanding his feelings are but Sherlock is kissing him back with just as much passion, just as much heat.

 

Trust me, you're the s-sexy one.”

 

Sherlock's stutter makes Greg instantly horny again and he reaches out, sitting on top of the man, Sherlock's hands stroking his back firmly as they kiss. His knees protest when he straddles Sherlock and Sherlock giggles, bringing a lightness to the room that wasn't there before. It's music to his ear but when he looks down Sherlock's eyes are worried, his face a shade paler than before. He leans down, wanting to kiss Sherlock's worry away. They both know he's not the youngest anymore and it would be silly to pretend anything else. He doesn't want to pretend with Sherlock, wants to be just himself, just like he wants Sherlock to be open and honest with him.

 

When he breaks off the kiss, Sherlock's eyes have changed again, relief clear and Greg smiles down, moving his hips a little. It makes Sherlock's mouth do that 'O' shape he loves so much and he grins, seeing the want and lust in Sherlock's gaze. His hands grab hold of Greg's biceps, squeezing them and Greg can't help but flex his muscles seeing the effect it has on Sherlock.

 

Like those do you?”

 

The spark of pride when Sherlock's nods is big enough to light up the whole of London and Greg shakes his head, stroking Sherlock's cheek as he moves forward again, a tiny moan escaping Sherlock's plush lips. His voice is rough when he speaks, his heart beating fast and he wants to take Sherlock right there, uncomfortable burn marks from the carpet be damned!

 

The idea of you wanting me. God Sherlock.”

 

He kisses Sherlock again, exploring his neck with bites and licks, grabbing that wonderful hair as he grinds down. It’s still unreal to Greg, Sherlock wanting him but it’s clear in the way he moves underneath him, touching his arms, hands going down his body to grab his arse, pressing them closer together. It feels amazing but it’s not enough, he wants to take his time for this, lay Sherlock out like the piece of artwork he is and make him moan and growl with pleasure. Reluctantly he stands up, seeing the displeasure in Sherlock’s eyes and giving him a reassuring smile. As if he could ever walk away from him!

 

We should probably move to the bed Sunshine. I'm not young anymore, as you can tell.”

 

He sees Sherlock’s beginning pout and just grins, placing one final kiss on those swollen lips before helping him up, and going off towards the bedroom. His skin burns as Sherlock’s eyes travel up and down his body, he doesn’t even need to turn around, he just knows Sherlock is watching him, it sets him on fire, knowing those all-seeing eyes are taking him in, liking what they say by the sound filling up the room. He can’t resist any longer, turning his head to watch Sherlock standing in the door opening eyes still glued to his body and he grins, seeing the beginning of Sherlock’s blush. It makes him look adorable and sexy and Greg’s heart skips a beat or two in that moment, feeling so lucky to be with this man, to see this side of Sherlock.

 

No need to be shy Sunshine. You can look all you want.”

 

Sherlock turns bright red, eyes going over his frame again, taking it all in, probably making some mental chart in his Palace. Suddenly Sherlock’s posture changes, the light in his eyes going down and Greg feels panic build inside of him as Sherlock just stands straight, fidgeting with his hands as he glances at Greg for too short a time.

 

Sherlock? What's going on?”

 

Sherlock still doesn’t move and Greg feels vulnerable and exposed as Sherlock just stands there, eyes not meeting his. His heart rate is going up, ticking off everything that Sherlock’s seen from his body that could make Sherlock rethink this. He wants to say something, anything but then he looks at Sherlock’s face and sees the sadness in his eyes, the hint of panic and he’s moving, hands cupping Sherlock’s face and making him look up. He needs to look into those eyes, try and figure out what’s going on, what changed so suddenly. He’s not a novice at figure out Sherlock’s mood but this is new territory for both of them and he doesn’t want to make it worse, doesn’t want to speak to early and make Sherlock leave.

 

He thinks it all over, everything that’s happened tonight and suddenly it clicks inside his brain. He looks into Sherlock’s eyes again and there is something there that makes him sure he’s right. Sherlock is still fidgeting, having a hard time keeping his eyes on Greg’s and he strokes Sherlock’s cheek, feeling how warm it is underneath his touch.

 

Breath love. We don't have to do anything. You know that right? I'd be the luckiest bastard if you'd just sleep next to me tonight.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head almost instantly and Greg feels his body go cold, goosebumps forming on his arm. He’s changed his mind, he doesn’t want me anymore. It’s hard to breath suddenly and he swallows, willing himself to calm down, to get all the facts straight before he crumbles down like a lovesick fool. The idea of Sherlock leaving after all that’s happened, after how much they’ve changed is like a nightmare so he takes a breath, wanting to ask what Sherlock is worried about but all that comes out is his name.

 

Sherlock?”

 

The grip around his wrist is firm, almost painful but Greg instantly relaxes. Sherlock’s not leaving, not yet anyway. Greg wraps Sherlock into a hug, needing to feel him close, to breathe him in and he’s relieved when Sherlock lets him, cool hands stroking his naked back in return.

 

You're perfect Greg. I don't want to ruin that with, with my, my-”

 

He stops and Greg feels his heart break a little bit, this is about Sherlock’s body after all. He pulls the man closer, taking a deep breath before Greg moves, giving them a bit more space. Sherlock’s eyes are still sad, a hint of frustration in them as he looks at Greg, eyes slowly going down and Greg feels the heat rise in his belly.

 

This is about your back.”

 

Sherlock nods and Greg feels anger rise inside of him, replacing his lust from seconds before. It’s ridiculous, Sherlock is gorgeous, no amount of scars will ever change that. He’s been dreaming about seeing Sherlock’s naked body for a while now, dreamt about exploring it inch by inch, getting to know all the freckles, spots and scars underneath all those layers of clothes. It makes him sad and angry, seeing the unease in Sherlock’s eyes, the belief that Greg will leave him for something as silly as this. Yes, he finds Sherlock attractive and it’s the first thing he noticed when meeting him all those years ago, how could it not be, but what they have now is so much more than just physical.

 

Greg, I'm s-sorry.”

 

Sherlock’s whispered apology cuts through his thoughts, realizing his hands have turned into fists and his stomach twists painfully as he sees the way Sherlock his holding himself as if he’s afraid of the blow.

 

Don't apologize Sherlock. You don't have to say sorry, you hear me. I’m not angry with you love, please believe me.”

 

His voice is still too hard and Sherlock notices, of course, a tremble running through his body. Greg reacts on instinct, lifting Sherlock’s head up, burning their gazes together and it hurts him, hurts seeing the fear of rejecting in those brilliant eyes.

 

What do you need Sherlock? What do you need to stay here with me, to feel safe?”

 

He’ll do anything, hating himself for making Sherlock feel unsafe with him, for letting Sherlock think he’s not good enough. He can’t help but see Sherlock shaking and crying in the corner of the living room and he never wants to witness that again, never wants to see Sherlock so upset and lost ever again. It still haunts him, sometimes dreaming about it but in those nightmares he can’t get to Sherlock, can’t calm him down, standing by helplessly as Sherlock tears himself to pieces, crying and crying, shaking as he pulls out his hair, banging his head against the wall in agony as he calls out for Greg.

 

You don't have to do this. Why are you so calm and understanding? You're allowed to be mad at me, why aren't you angry with me?!”

 

Desperation and irritation in Sherlock’s voice and Greg blinks, not sure if he’s heard this correctly.

 

You really believe that don't you.”

 

He sighs as Sherlock just gives him a confused look. It’s all the confirmation he needs and suddenly he’s chilled to the bone again, somehow haven forgotten he’s naked till this point. He takes Sherlock’s hands, getting him inside the bedroom as he gestured to the bed.

 

Come on, let's sit down, I'm getting cold.”

 

A guilty look is thrown his way as he grabs his clothes, pulling on his pants and shirt before sitting down next to Sherlock. It shouldn’t be like this. He’s wanked himself to sleep a million times, dreaming of all the things they’d do when Sherlock finally was in his room, on his bed. It’s a selfish notion but he wants to skip this part, get back to the lovemaking that will be perfect, hear Sherlock moan and beg, show him how beautiful and attractive he really finds him but Sherlock’s posture tells him all. He’s not ready, not yet and so Greg sits down, petting Sherlock’s hand once.

 

Why should I be angry with you Sherlock?”

 

It takes a while for Sherlock to speak and Greg sees the frown on his forehead, taking the time to think about it, to try and make it clear what’s going on inside his mind right now.

 

I'm acting... stupid. We should be- should already be naked and-and. I want to see you naked Greg, I love seeing you like that. I should be k-kissing you again, making you moan and sigh and growl my name. I can do that- I can. I want to worship you, Greg. Make you come undone, feel you fill me up, take me. But you won't- won't let me do that if-if you see me, without clothes.” Sherlock sighs, looking at Greg once before continuing. “You don't have to do anything in return Greg. I understand that that idea- You don't have to. I can still worship you, can still make you come when I have my clothes on. I understand if-”

 

He’s up and pacing before he knows it, letting Sherlock’s words fill his mind, making him more confused and angry as time goes by. “I can't believe- you really think I- Sherlock, you can't be-”

He stops, shaking his head to try and get a clear view on things, hearing Sherlock’s mumbled apology and he walks towards him, dropping on his knees in from of him and taking his trembling hands.

 

You don't even know what you're apologizing for do you?” Sherlock keeps quite and Greg places a kiss on Sherlock’s knuckles, taking a breath. He can’t let this go on, can’t let Sherlock think what they just did is enough for him. That he’ll ever be happy with just taking what Sherlock has to offer. He’s sure Sherlock would let him take more than he’s willing to give and it’s a terrifying thought.

 

Don't you understand Sherlock? I love you, no amount of scars will change that. I want to worship you too, want to feel you wriggle underneath my hands because I'm taking you apart with my mouth. I want to hear you sigh in pleasure, scream out my name. Sherlock, you have no idea the things I want to do with you. This whole 'you don't have to do anything in return' is bullshit! You say it as if it's a chore, something I'll hate when in fact I'm dying to return the favor. I understand if you're not comfortable with the idea now Sherlock. I don't want to pressure you but you need to know you're safe with me. You need to know I'll always find you beautiful, scars or not. I don't want sex with you, Sherlock. I want to make love to you, with you.”

 

Sherlock gasps and Greg raises an eyebrow.

 

You really thought I would leave you or just use you and be done with it? Don't you know by now that I'm madly in love with you?”

 

Sherlock’s face falls and he starts crying, tears falling down his cheeks as he grabs Greg’s hands, planting a kiss on every knuckle.

 

Oh, Sunshine. Come here.”

 

Sherlock clings to him like a baby monkey to his mother, his nose buried into Greg’s neck.

 

What do you need Sunshine? Do you want to go to bed, get some sleep?”

 

He strokes Sherlock’s hair, feeling Sherlock relax slowly, his body leaning into him even more. He shakes his head and Greg chuckles softly, creating some space between them to look at Sherlock’s face.

 

That's good cause I have plans with you Sunshine.”

 

He sees the change in Sherlock’s eyes and can’t help a smirk covering his face. He’s determined to make Sherlock understand, to make him realizes for once and for all that he loves him, needs him, wants him. He doesn’t care how long it will take, he’s a patient man and Sherlock is definitely worth waiting for. They can take their time, decide their own pace and Greg plants a kiss on Sherlock's lips, hearing the content sigh coming out of Sherlock’s mouth. They would make this work, Greg couldn’t see a future where they didn’t.

 

Chapter Text

Are you sure about this Sherlock? You know you don't have to rush this. I'm more than happy with the way things are. You don't have to prove anything love. I don't mind, you know that right?”

 

It’s been three weeks since the first time Greg got to claim Sherlock’s body, making him come down his throat and they’ve been exploring each other ever since. They've been taking their time, Greg asking Sherlock's permission to undress him, to touch him. Sometimes he touches Sherlock's back by accident and Sherlock freezes up but even that is happening less and less over time. He sees the frustration in Sherlock's eyes when he freezes up as if his mind and body aren't connected somehow. He never comments on it, kissing Sherlock's lips instead, making him relax again in his arms, underneath his body. It turns out Sherlock likes being pinned down by Greg and Greg is more than happy to oblige, loving the way Sherlock twitches and shifts underneath him as he teases him.

 

Tonight it's clear Sherlock wants to move forward and Greg swallows down more protests, seeing the determination in those intelligent eyes.

 

I'm sure Greg. I've been thinking about it non-stop and I, I want to. I need to. I can't keep letting the past hold me back. Just don't, don't freak out?”

 

He can't stop a wince at Sherlock's words, both of them remembering Greg's breakdown, his tearful apology as he first laid eyes on Sherlock's scars.

 

I promise, my freak out had nothing to do with how you look Sherlock. I find you ridiculously handsome. Never doubt that, please. You're perfect.”

 

Sherlock gives him a smile as he pushes Greg back down on the sofa, a stern look on his face.

 

I know you think so Greg. Please, let me share this with you. I can't- Can't keep hiding and if I don't do this now, I'll lose my nerve.”

 

Time moves really slowly as Sherlock undresses, revealing his smooth, pale chest. His nipples go hard instantly and Greg licks his lips, remembering how they feel underneath his tongue, how Sherlock arches his back when he sucks one into his mouth, how he grips the sheets as Greg blows air unto them. He feels heat rise inside of him, all these wonderful images now part of his world and he reaches out a hand slowly, catching Sherlock's gaze.

 

Can I?”

 

Greg swallows as Sherlock nods, his hands going over Sherlock's chest, feeling the rise and fall as Sherlock breaths, his eyes half closed. He leans forward, placing a kiss where Sherlock's heart is and hears the intake of breath, seeing goosebumps form on Sherlock's arms.

 

I could kiss you all night. You're wonderful Sherlock, never forget it.”

 

Sherlock keeps watching him as he lets his shirt slide off his body, pooling around his feet as he moves forward and sits in Greg's lap, kissing him deeply as his fingers find Greg's hair again.

 

Oh, Sherlock.”

 

His cock is getting harder as Sherlock kisses him again and his hands grab Sherlock's arse, never getting enough of feeling it, squeezing it, biting it on some occasions. Sherlock lets out a whimper and Greg squeezes harder, feeling Sherlock's cock against his leg as Sherlock licks the shell of his ear before stopping to catch their breath.

 

We can just be like this Sherlock, you don't have to-”

 

Greg moans as Sherlock resumes the kiss, heated and filthy, pulling Greg's hair just the way he likes it, making him lose the ability to think, to speak.

 

I want you to see them, to see me. All of me.”

 

Sherlock turned, the light overhead clearly showing his back and Greg held his breath for a second. There were so many of them, some small and shallow, others long and deep and he cringed when his eyes went over them. Sherlock had been to hell for them, traveling the world to bring down Moriarty's web, risking his life every day for two years to save them.

 

How could Sherlock ever think Greg would walk away from him?

 

Greg places his hand gently on Sherlock's shoulder, letting it rest there for a second to help Sherlock relax. There is still a second of tension in Sherlock's body when Greg touches his shoulder or back but it's not as strong anymore, not as demanding and Sherlock soon eases out of his worry, letting Greg's fingers move down his back, feeling some of the scars before he slips his arms around Sherlock's waist, pressing him close to his chest. There is a tiny whimper filling the air and Greg presses a kiss to Sherlock's shoulder, letting his head rest there for a second before turning Sherlock around, giving him a reassuring smile, seeing the worry go away in his wonderful eyes.

 

Come to bed Sunshine.”

 

The surprise in Sherlock's eyes breaks his heart, pulling the man closer to him, eyes scanning his face.

 

How can you possibly think I wouldn't want you? How can you think I wouldn't love you anymore? Sherlock, those scars, they areprove of what you did for us, of what you endured and sacrificed for us, for me. How could I look at them and then reject you? If anything, it makes you even more beautiful, more special. You gave so much Sherlock, why would I ever reject you?”

 

Tears run down Sherlock's cheek and Greg feels his eyes sting too, planting a kiss on Sherlock's lips, smiling like an idiot. There really are sentimental saps!

 

I love you, Greg. S-so much. I've been a fool for so long. I'll prove how much I love you for the rest of our lives.”

 

Oh Sunshine, you don't have to prove anything. I know you love me. I see it every day. We've both been fools. Come to bed Sherlock, let me worship you.”

 

Sherlock nods, eyes going darker by Greg's words and Greg grabs hold of his hand, heading to the bedroom, his heart beating too fast. Somehow this feels like another new beginning and Greg will do his best to make it a good one.

 

Chapter Text

Present

 

“Erlock? What's going on?”

 

Greg is still half asleep, fumbling for the light switch as he hears another sound, feeling the bed move underneath him. He clicks on the light, cursing as the brightness blinds him for a second, seeing only white spots.

 

“Sherlock?”

 

He finally sits up, blinking to clear his vision as the sheets are torn away from him, leaving him exposed and cold.

 

“Sherlock, what the hell?”

 

“Get off, get off!”

 

Greg finally sees Sherlock, pulling at the sheets, face in agony as Greg doesn't move. He wants to say something, ask what's going when his eyes land on Sherlock's side of the bed, seeing the wet spot in the middle of it. He's up and on Sherlock's side in record time, taking the sheets from his hands and dumping them, cupping Sherlock's face with both hands.

 

“Sherlock, it's okay, hey, come on, breath for me. Come on Sunshine, in and out, like we practiced.”

 

Greg takes the lead, slowly breathing in and out, counting to ten before doing it again, all the while cupping Sherlock's face, stroking his cheeks as Sherlock follows the rhythm Greg started. After a moment Sherlock relaxes, looking into Greg's eyes for a second before looking down and Greg pulls him close, feeling him tremble all over.

 

“It's okay Sunshine, it's okay.”

 

He pets Sherlock's hair, Sherlock clinging to him, tiny sobs leaving him as tears spill onto Greg's shirt. He knows about the bedwetting, Sherlock told him one night after a session with Doctor Coulson, but it's the first time it happened since they became a couple.

 

“I'm s-sorry, I d-didn't.”

 

“Sherlock it's fine, no need to say sorry. Come on love, let me look at you.”

 

Greg pulls back a little, seeing the shame and embarrassment in Sherlock's face. He leans forward, planting a kiss on Sherlock's forehead, rubbing their noses together before taking Sherlock's hand and walking them out of the room.

 

“I have to clean up Greg, it's filthy! I'm filthy!”

 

Sherlock's voice has an edge of panic to it so Greg squeezes his hand, shaking his head as Sherlock tries to pull away and return to the bedroom.

 

“Leave it, Sherlock. I'll take care of it later, right now I want to focus on you.”

 

Sherlock shakes his head fiercely, trying to break free so Greg wraps him up into another hug, using all his strength to keep Sherlock by his side. He knows about the obsessive cleaning habits too when this happens.

 

“I'm not important Greg! I ruined your bed! I need to fix it!”

 

Sherlock sobs and Greg pulls back again, anger rising, his heart ready to break because of Sherlock's words.

 

“You are important Sherlock! Don't you dare think otherwise. Our bed is just that, a bed. The sheets can be washed and we have extras. It's an easy fix and you don't need to do anything right now except take care of yourself. Now, sit down, I'll go run the bad for you.”

 

Sherlock tries to protest but Greg gives him his 'I'm serious look' and Sherlock relents, his face in a scowl as Greg goes to the bathroom and starts filling the bath. While that's happening he goes back to the bedroom, taking off the sheets and putting them into the hamper.

 

“Come on Sherlock, the bath is ready.”

 

Sherlock gets up slowly, not able to look at Greg and Greg stops him once he's inside, lifting his chin up gently.

 

“Don't be ashamed Sherlock.”

 

Sherlock just blinks his eyes, gaze hard and Greg sighs, closing the door before turning to face Sherlock again. He's made amazing progress over the last few months but some things are still hard for Sherlock to talk about with Greg. It makes him jealous sometimes, knowing Dr. Coulson knows everything that's happened over there in those two years but it never lasts.

Sherlock is getting better every day and he's grateful for that. He's eating different types of food now, it's slow and has ups and downs but he's doing it, adding some weight to his skinny frame. Every meal is still like a battlefield, seeing the unease in Sherlock's eyes as he takes the tiniest bit of something but he doesn't go running to the toilets anymore to spit it out. It's progress and Greg knows Sherlock is working hard for it, going to therapy, taking some medication, trying to listen to his body, his needs, opening up to Greg and the people around him. It's not easy at all but Greg can't be anything other then proud.

 

Of course, they have a long way to go and tonight is proof of that.

 

“Can I undress you, Sherlock? Is that okay?”

 

Sherlock nods his head after a moment and Greg gets to work, opening and removing Sherlock's pyjama shirt, helping Sherlock take off his pants, bundling it all up and shoving it into a corner. He can deal with the laundry later.

 

“Let's get you into the bath Sunshine. I used your favorite shampoo.”

 

A tiny smile and Sherlock steps into the bath, eyes on the water as Greg strips and gets in with him, holding him close to his chest.

 

“Relax Sherlock. It's all okay, just a bad dream?”

 

Sherlock nods again, letting his head fall down Greg's shoulder, closing his eyes as Greg runs a sponge up and down Sherlock's body, going as far as he can from this position. Sherlock let's out a soft sigh and Greg smiles, placing a kiss on his curls.

 

“Want to talk about it?” Greg asked, using the sponge to go over Sherlock's stomach, then back up to his neck and going down his shoulder. Sherlock was more relaxed now, leaning his whole weight into Greg's and Greg loved it, feeling Sherlock so close to him, getting to take care of him. It had been an issue in the beginning. Sherlock didn't want to seem weak, getting angry when Greg cooked him dinner, offered to wash his hair, making him a cup of tea at 3 in the morning after a nightmare. They'd had words about it, Sherlock storming off in the middle of the night only to come back half an hour later, crushing Greg into a hug and asking forgiveness.

 

It had taken some time for Sherlock to let Greg be his partner. To open up to Greg about his nightmares and doubts. Being in a relationship was fairly new for Sherlock and he sometimes forgets he didn't have to do everything alone. He was allowed to ask help, to ask for a cuddle when it turned out to be a rough day, to ask for affection and love. Greg was more than willing to give Sherlock everything he wanted and needed but Sherlock had needed time to wrap his brain around that.

 

“I don't want you to see me as weak Greg! I'm pathetic enough as it is and I don't want to be yours just because of guilt!”

 

“I am not in a relationship with you because of guilt!”

 

They'd had words again, Sherlock insisting Greg find someone else, someone better and not broken, Greg yelling he'd already found the love of his life and he wasn't going anywhere.

 

“As if I'm so perfect Sherlock! I'm an old, fat cop with a drinking problem! If anyone should leave and 'find someone better' it's you!”

 

Sherlock had stopped him mid-rant, going over to Greg to kiss him fiercely, almost crushing him in his embrace.

 

“You're not old Greg! Or fat! I'm not leaving you! I love you, I love you so much it's frightening, I'm sorry Greg. I didn't mean it like that, you must know how much I care about you, I'd do anything for you!”

 

Sherlock clung to him, burying his face in the crook of Greg's neck, rubbing Greg's back as he pressed closer to him. Greg wrapped him up, kissing his curls before speaking.

 

“And I'd do anything for you. I love you, Sherlock, that means I love spending time with you, taking care of you. I like making you dinner, okay. I like washing your hair, rubbing your feet. I don't see you as weak, I will never see you as weak.”

 

Greg pulled back, staring into Sherlock's beautiful face, his eyes shiny with beginning tears.

 

“You're allowed to cry Sherlock, allowed to ask for help and comfort. We're in this together remember? You're not alone and I'll never be angry with you for wanting my help.”

 

Sherlock gave a teary smile, as Greg petted his curls, never bored of how soft they felt against his fingers, how it made Sherlock relax almost instantly.

 

“I love you, Greg.”

 

“I love you too Sherlock. Always and forever.”

 

After that, Sherlock had found some professional help, and Dr. Coulson had been a blessing for both of them. No matter how much Greg loved taking care of Sherlock he had his own issues too, sometimes having bad days when he was the one needing a little love and attention. It was easier now, knowing Dr. Coulson was there to help Sherlock take back control of his mind and life. It gave them time for each other, just being together, not needing to have a heartfelt and exhausting conversation. It always helped them of course but there was something to be said about just spending time together at night, Sherlock working on an experiment while Greg read a book or watched TV.

 

“It's just a nightmare, Greg. It's the same one as before, where you are trapped, calling out for me and I c-can't reach you.”

 

Sherlock shivered and Greg pressed him closer, turning them a little so he could place a kiss on Sherlock's lips.

 

“I'm right here Sherlock, I'm fine.”

 

Sherlock kissed him again, water going over the edge as he moved, facing Greg completely now, his knees awkwardly on each side of Greg's body.

 

“I can't stand the idea of losing you.”

 

Sherlock whispered, hands going into Greg's hair, kissing him hard and demanding on his mouth as his other hand went under the water.

 

“Oh fuck!”

 

Greg moaned as Sherlock took his cock in hand, stroking it hard but slow, kissing him deeply, hand grabbing a tighter hold of Greg's hair. Greg's hands went down Sherlock's back, feeling the scars as he made his way to Sherlock's arse, grabbing hold of it and squeezing it hard till Sherlock moaned, moving his body forward, his eyes wide and dark.

 

“Never leave me?”

 

Greg shook his head, pushing Sherlock closer to him, tasting the hint of desperation in his kiss. His body was already on fire, cock throbbing and Sherlock sped up the movement, knowing how close Greg already was. It was something Greg had been worried about early on in their relationship. He was getting older, his body not always functioning as he wanted it too and Sherlock know how to push Greg's buttons, getting him insane with want fast. He felt like a teenager, the first time he'd come in his pants after Sherlock had teased him for 10 minutes, wanting to die of embarrassment.

 

“I. S-sorry Sunshine, I didn't-”

 

Sherlock had grabbed him by his collar, kissing him like mad, moaning and panting as Greg kissed back, hands going over Sherlock's body, feeling how turned on he was.

 

“You have no idea how sexy you are when you come, Greg. And you come because of me.”

 

After that Greg had never felt embarrassed again, seeing the wonderful heat and satisfaction in Sherlock's eyes when he made Greg come.

 

“Oh Sher-Sherlock, oh baby, almost there. I-I Oh!”

 

Sherlock kissed him with too much tongue and it was dirty and perfect as Greg came in Sherlock's fist, his cum mixing with the water, seeing the pleasure in Sherlock's eyes as he rode it out.

 

“I'll never get enough of this, seeing you like this.”

 

Sherlock whispered again, the beginning of a light blush on his cheeks as Greg blinked his eyes, coming slowly back down to earth as Sherlock wiggled, finding a good position to lay half on top of Greg's body in the tub. Sherlock as like an octopus at times, always finding ways to wrap around Greg, his long arms and legs trapping Greg completely. Not that he minded, he loved feeling Sherlock against him, hearing his heartbeat, breathing in his scent as they drifted off to sleep. He still thought they needed more nights like that, but with his work and Sherlock's strange sleeping habits he took what he could, happy with how things were.

 

“Want me to return the favor, Sunshine?”

 

He was sure Sherlock was blushing more now, knowing the effect his pet name had on the man. Sherlock would turn red, his eyes going wide for a second before smiling like an idiot. Till he realized he was doing it and put on a fake scowl. He never told Greg to stop using it so Greg was sure he secretly loved being called Sunshine. Or baby, or love.

 

“That's okay. I just want to feel you, just like this.”

 

Greg hummed, placing a kiss on Sherlock's curls as he stroked Sherlock's back lightly, they were at a place now that Sherlock didn't tense up, letting Greg rub and feel his back, tracing and kissing all the scars. Sherlock still didn't like his body but Greg made up for that by exploring, kissing and licking his long frame for hours, making Sherlock gasp and babble, hands grabbing the sheets, curls in a mess as his eyes stayed on Greg. It was one of his favorite things, seeing Sherlock come undone, seeing the depths of his desire, the way Sherlock responded to the lightest touch.

 

“You seeing Dr. Coulson next week?”

 

Sherlock nodded, hands running up and down Greg's arm, his body relaxed.

 

“He's not a total idiot.”

 

Greg huffed and Sherlock looked up, a tiny smile on his lips.

 

“You are one of a kind, Sherlock. Come on, let's get out of here and get back to bed. Water's getting cold.”

 

Sherlock pouted but got up anyway, letting Greg dry off his body before bundling him in a soft robe. Sherlock watched with interest as Greg dried himself, eyes glued to Greg's arse as he turned to open the door. Greg let out a yelp of surprise as Sherlock pinched his butt cheek, a smirk on his lips.

 

“You're a menace, Sherlock Holmes!”

 

“And you love me for it.”

 

Sherlock winked and Greg laughed, swatting Sherlock's arm as the man passed, taking in the curve of his arse as he put a little more spring into his step.

 

“A total menace.”

 

Later, when they changed the sheets and Sherlock was tangled around Greg again, Greg heard a tiny sigh fill the room.

 

“What's wrong love?”

 

“I just. Sometimes I wished we'd found each other earlier you know? I feel like we wasted so much time and I, I don't know. I wish we could go back, restart or something.”

 

Sherlock's breath landed on Greg's neck and Greg rubbed his back, taking a deep breath, savoring this quiet time together. All too soon the sun would rise and it would be crime and criminals occupying their minds.

 

“I don't regret it, Sherlock. Maybe it would have worked if I'd said something sooner but you've changed Sherlock. We all did.”

 

“What are you saying? That if none of this would have happened I wouldn't have chosen you?”

 

Greg heard the upset in Sherlock's voice and shrugged a shoulder. He wasn't sure. Thinking back on how Sherlock had been when he was younger, he doubted Sherlock would have wanted him. If he was being totally honest, he couldn't imagine his younger self having the courage to start that particular conversation.

 

“I'm saying it doesn't matter Sherlock. We're here now, we'll make up for the time we lost.”

 

“I love you, Greg. Thank you.”

 

“Love you too Sunshine. Thank me for what?”

 

“Everything. Without you, I don't know how my life would have turned out. When I came back, I was a mess. You- you gave me so much Greg. Strenght, trust, support, friendship. Love. You gave me everything I never thought I deserved, especially after the fall. I know we have a long way to go, and I know I'm still not 'healed' but I'll work every day Greg.”

 

Sherlock's voice was serious and Greg moved, wanting to see Sherlock's face.

 

“Oh love, you already do! You work so hard every single day, I'm so proud of you. So proud to be yours. You deserve love Sherlock, not just from me. You are an extraordinary person, brave, kind, you have so much compassion in you, so much good. I still can't believe you settled with me.”

 

“Greg!”

 

“You know what I mean Sunshine. You could have anyone in the world, smarter more beautiful people would wait in line for you. Don't be shy love, it's the truth.”

 

Sherlock's blush got even deeper and Greg felt his heart swell up, leaning down to capture those plush lips. Sherlock sighed, pushing his tongue in deeper and Greg let out a moan, hands resting on Sherlock's arse.

 

“You're an idiot Lestrade.”

 

“Oi!”

 

Sherlock smiled, eyes bright and beautiful as he kissed Greg again, hands going into his hair.

 

“You saved me, Greg.”

 

Greg shook his head, pressing a kiss to the corner of Sherlock's mouth, his eyes beginning to tear up.

 

“We saved each other Sherlock. Now, let's try and get some sleep, it'll be morning all too soon and we know how pleasant you can be in the mornings.”

 

Sherlock huffed, rolling his eyes as he pouted, Greg just giving him a big smile in return as he reached for the light switch to turn it off. Sherlock placed a kiss on his shoulder before returning to his previous position, plastered all over Greg, caging him in.

 

Greg sighed, stroking Sherlock's curls as he heard the man's breathing even out. They had a long way to go yet. Both still learning how to live with each other, to learn to work as a team but they would get there. Greg had every confidence in the world they would make it and no criminal mastermind would tear them apart now. They were solid, partners, a team and whatever came their way they would handle it together.

 

The End.