The first time Sherlock consulted with Lestrade on a case (well, perhaps it was more like ‘sent criticising text messages to journalists until Lestrade gave in’, but that was beside the point) he deciphered everything he could want to know about Lestrade straight away. It was all terribly tedious. A rocky marriage… no kids… an obsession with his work that left him little time to have any other interests…
Another couple of cases and Sherlock deduced that the marriage was finally over: shirts no longer wrinkle free, an initial loss of weight followed by a gradual gain as he lost his home cooked meals and found takeaways – obviously his wife had left him. Not that Lestrade seemed particularly unhappy about it, Sherlock decided eventually. It just seemed to take him a while to adjust to being alone.
Lestrade really was a very easy man to decipher.
Sherlock was so bored. There was nothing to do: no cases of any complexity, no projects and a distinct lack of criminal masterminds operating in London. It was driving him slowly, inexorably insane.
He’d held out as long as he could. But nothing, nothing could stop the buzzing in his head.
He couldn’t take it any longer.
He had no choice.
Hands shaking with anticipation he gathered his equipment together, retrieved the vials from their hiding place, and applied the tourniquet to his arm…
The euphoria was ending, his mind gradually becoming torpid once more, but that was still no excuse for what he did.
He answered the knock at the door.
He answered the knock at the door, knowing full well who would be outside.
He answered the knock at the door and looked straight into the eyes of Detective Inspector Lestrade.
Lestrade took one look at him and pushed past him, storming up the stairs into Sherlock’s kitchen-diner where he stopped abruptly, staring at the table.
“Bloody hell, Sherlock! How stupid are you?”
Sherlock shrugged his shoulders and slipped past the detective to collapse (gracefully of course) onto the sofa.
“I mean it Sherlock! How bloody stupid can you get?”
“I was bored.”
“You were… so get a hobby… get laid… anything… Of all the fucking stupid reasons! This stuff KILLS!”
“See… not boring…” Sherlock smiled in triumph as he let his eyelids drift shut, just for a moment.
When he opened them again, the first thing he noticed was that he was covered by the blanket that normally resided on his bed. It was also a lot darker in the room than it had been just a brief moment ago when he shut his eyes… ah… and there was a detective asleep in his armchair.
Not a brief moment then.
Damn. Why had he let Lestrade in? Apparently in his euphoric state he had embraced the risk. Well the detective had been partially right – in that at least he had been stupid.
But Lestrade hadn’t turned him in. More… tucked him in…
And now Sherlock glanced about the room he could see that Lestrade had also tried to tidy up: a pile of mugs had been placed by the sink, (presumably he had planned to wash them up before he saw the goldfish swimming in it); empty tins had been stacked up in a corner; it even looked like he might have tried to wipe the table. (Sherlock was relieved to note he had wiped around the vials and equipment, and not tried to get rid of any of them.)
“I managed a little bit by myself.” Lestrade’s voice startled Sherlock – he hadn’t realised the man had woken up. “But I’m going to need your help to finish the job.”
“Because after I found the toe in your cupboard I decided that there were things I needed you awake and sober for.”
“No, I mean… why are you tidying?”
Lestrade gave an exasperated laugh. “You are kidding? This place is a disgrace! You’ve got more mould here than Flemming grew! Did your mother never teach you to tidy up after yourself?”
Sherlock decided to ignore the last question.
Lestrade was now up and out of the chair, stretching his arms behind his back. Sherlock found himself feeling a little guilty, even though he hadn’t asked the man to stay. It was irrational and most infuriating.
Lestrade moved back to the table,
“First things first. Get rid of this… stuff” he gestured towards the clutter on the table, “that I haven’t seen and know nothing about.”
Sherlock rolled his eyes.
“I mean it. If I ever see any evidence of this no matter how small I WILL arrest you.”
Lestrade’s eyes were glinting with barely suppressed anger, his lips pressed tightly together.
Sherlock supposed he had to concede that Lestrade was doing him a favour by not turning him in now. And the concern was a little touching he supposed. He pushed himself off the couch and went to retrieve the equipment.
He found that he had an annoying urge to reassure Lestrade,
“It’s really not that dangerous you know.”
“Yes it is.”
“Not in my hands,” Sherlock insisted.
Lestrade opened his mouth to speak… then shut it… then sighed.
“Look Sherlock, I’m sure you think you know what you are doing. I’m sure you think you have it all under control. But it only takes one mistake. Just one. And we’ve lost you forever.”
Sherlock didn’t know how to reply to that. So he didn’t. He just picked up the remaining vials and returned them to their usual hiding place – inside the underside of the seat cushion of the armchair.
Lestrade watched him, not saying anything.
And when Sherlock had rehidden the rest of his paraphernalia Lestrade turned back to the kitchen and started tidying again.
Between the two of them it only took five hours to get it to a state that Lestrade declared was ‘just about liveable’.
Shutting the door behind Lestrade, Sherlock decided he had to reevaluate his view of the detective. The man had sat by him, keeping him safe as he slept off the cocaine (he would have been safe anyway but Sherlock suspected that in this case it was the thought that counted). He had watched Sherlock stash his cocaine without interfering (and Sherlock had a strange feeling that it didn’t matter that Lestrade knew where he kept it, he didn’t think the man would betray him) and then he had helped him tidy. No one had ever done that. Oh, Mycroft would come and patronise him about the mess, but he would never lift a finger to help. No one had. Ever. Sherlock supposed that no one had ever cared enough.
But Lestrade had.
Obviously he was going to have to redraw some of his conclusions about the man.
Another case that the police clearly had no clue about, another round of text messages to journalists and Sherlock found himself being called in again to help. He met Lestrade at the latest crime scene – the alley behind a dingy brothel posing as a ‘massage parlour’.
“Ah, Sherlock!” Lestrade greeted him, walking up to him and grasping his hand, shaking it firmly, holding it just a little bit too long. Sherlock knew what he was up to. He rolled his eyes.
“I’m clean,” he muttered, rolling up his sleeve to reveal no injection sites, just a nicotine patch.
Lestrade gave a wry chuckle. “Me too,” he replied in a low voice, rolling up his own sleeve to reveal a matching patch. Sherlock raised his eyebrows briefly but then he caught sight over Lestrade’s shoulder of Anderson starting to move the murder victim.
“WAIT!” he ordered.
As he examined the body and surrounding area (ignoring the stream of insults coming from where Anderson was standing) Sherlock was very aware of Lestrade’s eyes boring into him. However, every time he looked up Lestrade’s attention was apparently elsewhere. It was irritating.
So to get his revenge Sherlock very slowly examined every inch of the crime scene very very thoroughly, despite having worked out who the police should be looking for within the first five minutes. And he still felt Lestrade watching him.
“What is it?” he finally snapped.
“What?” Lestrade asked, apparently confused.
“Why are you staring?”
Lestrade’s cheeks coloured a little and he didn’t seem able to meet Sherlock’s eyes.
“I’m just waiting to hear your conclusions.” It didn’t take Sherlock any skill at all to know that was a lie.
So what was the truth? Lestrade was flushed, his skin slightly glistening with sweat, his pupils dilated… oh. Was it really that simple? Was Lestrade really attracted to him? Well that was… unexpected.
As Sherlock explained that they were looking for a dark-haired man, approximately six foot one tall who was left-handed and had bad eczema, he mused over the puzzle that Lestrade was turning out to be.
It wasn’t that Sherlock hadn’t noticed people being attracted to him before. Really, when the body gave off such obvious signals, how could he possibly have missed it? But normally it was just something he noticed, and that was that. However, with Lestrade it was… interesting…
Several more cases over several more months and Sherlock had to admit to himself that Lestrade’s interest perhaps wasn’t as one sided as he would have liked. Sherlock’s body was betraying him! His pulse started to race whenever he saw the DI, his palms became sweaty, on occasion he had even found himself wishing for slightly looser trousers! It was utterly and excruciatingly humiliating. His only slight relief was that at least the rest of the world seemed completely unobservant – hopefully nobody else had noticed.
He had toyed with the idea of pursuing things further with Lestrade – purely for scientific purposes of course. But… perhaps Lestrade wouldn’t see it that way. And Sherlock had just about trained the DI to work with him - he didn’t want to ruin things now.
Lestrade would soon lose interest. Everybody else before him had done so.
And if Sherlock occasionally masturbated to images of the man to get his annoying body back under control, well… it could be borne…
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another…
Lestrade would soon lose interest. Everybody else before him had done so.
But Lestrade didn’t lose interest. If anything he seemed to care more than ever: dropping in to see Sherlock, even when there was no case; insisting on helping to tidy his rooms; sending people who had mysteries rather than actual crimes to be solved round to him.
And Sherlock felt absurdly grateful. Now - he could admit it to himself at least - even if he had wanted to pursue things further (which of course he still didn’t), he wouldn’t - Lestrade deserved more than a ‘socially inept freak’.
Not that his body appreciated this. In fact, it soon became even worse with the arrival of Dr John Watson into his life. Now his body was behaving like a bitch on heat, responding to either and both men equally – it was repellent! Bad enough when it had just been Lestrade, but now he had to hide its reactions from John as well. Thank goodness he had remembered that line about being ‘married to his work’. At least then if John did pick up on anything (and Sherlock had to consider he might – John was much more observant than most people Sherlock had encountered) he wouldn’t expect anything to actually happen.
Because it wouldn’t.
Sherlock wouldn’t lose the two men he had come to call (in his head at least) his friends by exposing them to the man he truly was.
When Sherlock had agreed to them both going for a drink in the local pub with Lestrade after the case, only to then disappear, John had been a bit annoyed. Still, he figured that having a drink with Lestrade wouldn’t be so bad. The man seemed alright, and at least it was better than sitting in the flat, moping about how Sarah had broken up with him, Sherlock didn’t want him, and ultimately he was all alone in the world.
The night had actually gone quite well – for once since his move into Baker Street he’d been able to have a normal, completely comprehensible conversation. They’d discussed football and cricket, skimmed very briefly over politics and then gone back to football again. They’d even said they must try to catch a match together some time, not that John expected anything to come of it. It was just a nice night spent in good company and he hadn’t been called stupid once.
When Sherlock (and by extension John) were called to a new crime scene a few weeks later, John was surprised to find the DI asking if he wanted to go and watch a local match with him the following Saturday.
“It won’t be a particularly good match – too many coppers on the pitch. But it’s raising money for the Widows and Orphans Fund, so it’s all for a good cause.”
The invitation had included both John and Sherlock, (although John was starting to suspect it was aimed more at him) but Sherlock had backed out claiming he had better things to do than, “Watch morons chasing a ball in a completely pointless waste of time,” and so John had agreed to go without him. It was a date.
It was a date, it turned out. In that incredibly awkward way two practically middle aged men who have spent a long time not dating can’t seem to avoid. But awkward and tense as it was, with John irrationally feeling that every policeman’s eye was on him, he still had a surprisingly good time. Certainly good enough to take Lestrade – no, Greg – up on his offer to go back to his place for a few beers.
A few beers quickly turned into a quick fumble on the sofa: kisses hot and wet and messy, hands down each others waistbands, both having been without for far too long for it to last. And afterwards, an awkward moment of cleaning up, and then John made himself scarce, claiming he didn’t want to raise Sherlock’s suspicions (although he – and probably Lestrade – knew full well that Sherlock would know as soon has he saw him, by the colour of the mud on his shoes or some other obscure clue).
John didn’t regret it though. Anything but. It had been exactly what he needed, what he still did need. And so next time it was he who asked Lestrade out, to the cinema to see the latest action film (which both of them spent the entire time criticising: “Well that wouldn’t happen.”… “People don’t look like that after being shot.”… “Come on! As if!”) Again they retired to Greg’s flat because they were hardly going to expose themselves to any more of Sherlock’s critical attention than absolutely necessary.
This time things progressed from the sofa into the bedroom, still urgent and frantic and hot, but this time each had tried more to please the other, rather than being focused entirely on their own orgasm, and it had been much more satisfying. Luckily it was winter and no one would comment if John wore scarves for the next few days…
When Sherlock noticed John becoming interested in Lestrade he thought his problems would be over – John and Lestrade would get together, his body would realise there was now no hope and would desist with its annoying urges!
If anything it had made it worse though – oh he was ok when they were out having dinner and such like (wondering where they were, what they were up to every other minute, was just a friend caring for their safety), but the few times they had come back to the flat, Sherlock had fled to his bedroom and tried desperately to ignore the images of the two of them together that plagued his mind.
In the end he resorted to absenting himself from the flat every time John came into the living room wearing aftershave: pathetic, but effective... mostly...
Chapter 3: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another… Another snapshot...
It had been a harrowing day. A harrowing case. John still felt sick to the stomach, despite them having finally caught the twisted fucker. He could tell Greg was equally broken by the whole thing, which was why he knew there was only one option for the evening.
“Pizza and beer,” he declared.
“God yes!” Greg groaned. “Just get me out of here, please!”
“Come on then.” John handed Greg his coat and gently hustled him out of the station before anyone else could hassle him.
Practically collapsed on the sofa in Greg’s flat, stuffed with pizza and halfway through the second six pack John slurred,
“Do you know what this reminds me of…? This… this,” he waved a finger about in the air, “reminds me of being a teenager again!”
Greg nodded his head and mumbled something in agreement.
“I mean…” John continued, “Pizza… beer… you know what we should do?”
“We should like… you know… play those games we used to play as kids.”
“What like… like,” Greg paused, his face a picture of furious concentration, “Like ‘I have never…’?”
“Yeah. Yeah. But not that one.” John shook his head violently, “I’d have to drink waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much – was a medical student remember?”
“I can’t remember any others.” Greg looked most put out.
John thought briefly. And then giggled. “Me neither!”
“How ‘bout…” Greg shifted, trying to prop himself up better on the sofa. “How bout we swap fantasies?”
“You know… I’ll tell you one of mine and you tell me one of yours…?”
John had the vaguest of feelings that maybe there was something not quite so good about that suggestion but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it…
“Oh come on… we’re both wasted already… we probably won’t even remember this in the morning…”
Greg was already swaying slightly on the sofa: he was probably right about them not remembering. It would be fine.
“Ok,” he conceded. “But you first.”
“Ok… uh… well when you’re not here I do kinda think – fantasise – about you… and handcuffs…”
John looked up sharply.
“Wha…? Me in handcuffs?”
“No,” Greg shook his head vehemently, almost over-balancing himself. “You’re not wearing the handcuffs…”
“Oh… ohhhh!... That could be fun!” John declared, smiling at the relief and lust that spread over Greg’s face at his words. His lover’s pupils had darkened, his lips were bright red, his cheeks flushed... God the man was hot! Hmmmm. Now the question was had he drunk too much alcohol to…
His thoughts were interrupted by his indignant boyfriend,
“Hey! It’s your turn now!”
“Come on John! I told you one of mine…”
John shut his eyes, imagining, “You, wearing your leather gloves… stroking me… touching me…” He trailed off, opening his eyes a fraction to see how Greg had responded. If anything, Greg looked even more turned on, his voice husky as he declared,
“Mmmm… good choice! We’ll certainly have to try that one…”
John decided he definitely liked this game.
“Your turn again!”
Greg appeared to think deeply, blushing a little as he hesitantly started, “Ummm… well you… fucking me, hard… over the desk in my office…”
John shut his eyes again, loving the images currently flickering through his mind. Who knew his lover would be such an exhibitionist? Who knew how bloody exciting he’d find the idea himself? Taking the Detective Inspector over his desk…
He felt Greg shift slightly on the sofa beside him and wondered if his lover was finding this as hot as he was.
Keeping his eyes shut he tilted his head back and allowed himself to disappear off into fantasies…
He spoke without thinking, describing the image currently filling his mind, an image he had imagined oh so many times.
“You… naked… pressed up against a wall…with Sherlock going down on you…”
John suddenly heard what he had just said, his insides turning to ice as he sobered up instantly. He snapped his eyes open, ready to do some major damage control.
“Oh fuck yeah!” Greg was staring at him with pupils blown wide.
“I didn’t mean… it’s not like…” John fumbled around for the right words.
“It’s ok John,” Greg said, his voice low and soft, wavering ever so slightly . “It’s more than ok.”
“Well it wouldn’t be if it was anyone else… but him…” Greg reached out to John’s arm. “Tell me more? Please?”
John searched his lover’s eyes for any sign of a lie but all he could see was lust and want.
Keeping his eyes open this time, watching for any sign Greg was uncomfortable he started to describe the image in his head,
“Well I’m watching… and he is licking and sucking you, making you feel amazing… and he is touching himself at the same time, those fingers… you’re both totally lost in it all…”
John could feel himself hardening, could see a matching tent in Greg’s trousers,
“… it’s so hot… you’re both so hot… and when you come he takes you deep into his mouth, swallowing every last bit… and comes himself, all over you…”
“John…” Greg’s voice was low, husky.
“And all the time I’ve been watching you I’ve been touching myself… and the sight of you two…”
John’s sentence, and train of thought, was cut off by Greg pressing a kiss hard against his lips and pushing him backwards against the arm of the sofa. John kissed back, wrapping his arms tightly around his lover and grinding against him.
Apparently the alcohol consumption wasn’t going to be an issue.
They didn’t normally talk afterwards, just went to sleep. They weren’t bloody girls after all. But John felt he should say something.
“Sherlock,” Greg mumbled sleepily in agreement.
“But you’ve never…? Sorry. None of my business.”
Greg looked over to him. “It’s your business now. But no, never. He’s not interested.”
“He is.” John could have kicked himself – was his subconscious trying to sabotage the best relationship he’d had in a long time? Greg just shrugged and said,
“I rather thought he’d moved onto you.”
“I thought he was interested, at first. But during that first case he told me he wasn’t. He said he was married to his work.”
“Mmmm. That sounds about right,” Greg sighed and shuffled further down under the duvet.
“If he was interested in you,” John found himself saying, “would you…?”
Greg looked up at him, eyes full of warmth and concern.
“You don’t get to escape that easily, John.”
John smiled slightly, relieved, “I wouldn’t want to Greg. I wouldn’t want to.”
Chapter 4: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another… Snapshot the fourth.
Greg Lestrade smiled to himself as he looked over at his lover, silhouetted in the light from the streetlamps that streamed through his cheap curtains. He could remember the exact moment he realised John Watson wasn’t some quick shag, some meaningless fling he was using as a Sherlock substitute.
John had been running around with Sherlock, chasing down a lead that neither of them had deigned to inform him about. He had finally caught up with them, just in time to see John being thrown by the suspect off the bridge and into the river. Greg didn’t even stop to think: he ran down the bank, shedding his coat as he went. Wading into the water he had pushed forwards, kicking out for where he had seen John plunge under. The icy water was chilling him down to the bone, the strong current tugging at him, but it didn’t matter. All that mattered was finding John. He had to find him. He just had to.
Suddenly Greg had seen John’s head bob above the water only a few strokes away from him. Thanking any god listening that he didn’t have to try to find the man under the murky water - he had seen too often how fruitless a search like that could be – Greg had pressed on harder, trying not to succumb to the blind panic that threatened to overcome him as he realised that John was barely conscious.
“Come on. Stay with me, John,” Greg panted as he put one arm around the man. If John gave any response, Greg didn’t hear it. His legs felt like lead, but still he fought on, treading water whilst he pulled John onto his back, adjusted and tightened his grip, and then set off for the shore.
Slowly, painfully slowly, Greg had dragged John back to the bank, repeating futile reassurances that everything would be alright with each stroke, knowing that John wasn’t hearing them and that he didn’t believe them.
Hands on the bank had hauled them both out, and someone must have called 999 because paramedics descended on them, pulling him away from John.
Who just lay there.
Helpless and shivering, Greg had watched on as the paramedics tried to revive his lover. He barely even noticed when Sherlock came to stand beside him.
“He’ll be alright. He has to be alright,” Sherlock had said, although Greg didn’t know who he had been trying to convince.
Seconds ticked by, each one lowering Greg further into despair…
But finally, finally, a breath!
After that, the trip to the hospital, the anxious waiting for news from the doctor, the watching and waiting by his bedside, everything passed in a blur. It wasn’t until much, much later, when John had finally bullied the poor SHO into discharging him (with strict instructions for Greg to check him for concussion every few hours) and they had gone back to Greg’s flat, John quickly falling asleep on the sofa, that Greg allowed himself to think about what he had nearly lost.
That was when Greg had realised what John had come to mean to him.
Chapter 5: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another… Matters come to a head...
When Sherlock had seen the small amounts of red clay in the first building it had become all too clear – the bomber had planted the device in the next building along and made his escape through here. He didn’t mention any of this to John or Lestrade because they would only have followed him and it was far too dangerous. Much better that they stayed where they were in the building that was safe.
He hadn’t even considered that it might have been a decoy, a trap to lure him out into safety whilst destroying the two men he cared about most in the world. It hadn’t even crossed his mind.
Until it was too late.
The explosion knocked Sherlock flat over, leaving him lying prone on the ground, his hands over his head providing inadequate shelter from the shrapnel falling around him. Knowing what he must do, where he must look, but fearing to do it all the same, Sherlock raised himself up on his hands and looked back over his shoulder, blinking his eyes in the dust.
The building he had just left, the building where he had left John and Lestrade, was a wreck. One side of it was still burning, the flames licking high into the sky, thick black smoke pouring out of the few windows still identifiable. The other side had come off slightly better, but not much. It wasn’t burning at least.
But where were John and Lestrade? Had they tried to follow him? Had they tried to explore the building further? Were they hurt? Were they even still…?
Coughing and choking on the smoke Sherlock pushed himself up and started walking shakily back to the burning building. He would find them. He had to.
That far too familiar boom vibrating his ear drums is followed by the ominous silence that John dreads so much. Another one.
Trying to take breaths as shallow as possible, trying not to breathe in the clouds of sand and debris that threaten to choke him, John slowly peels his eyelids open, half needing, half dreading to see the wreckage he knows must be around him. The carnage that is wrought every time an IED explodes…
But as his vision slowly returns he sees that all is not as he expects… no wrecked vehicle… no tatters of combat uniform fluttering… but metal beams… breeze blocks…
Not Afghanistan then.
Resisting the urge to take a calming breath, John tries to take stock of his surroundings, still confused.
“John?” A hoarse whisper is calling from somewhere to his left. “John? John!”
John remembers a name… Greg…?
“Greg? I’m over here.”
“Oh thank god! John! Are you ok?”
“I don’t… I don’t know…” John tries desperately to ignore the pounding in his head and focus. Tries to remember.
“It’s ok, John. Just stay where you are. I need you to stay calm, ok?” Greg sounds very nearly calm, and somehow reassuring. That should be John’s role – John is the medic after all. Unless Greg is too…
He hears shuffling and stumbling. He turns his head towards the noise, tries to turn his body but can’t – something is pinning him into place.
“Woah, stay still John! You have to stay still a minute.”
A figure looms into view through the dust…
And suddenly John remembers. They had been on the hunt for the bomber who had been terrorising the area. Sherlock had believed they were getting close… he had seen something and suddenly got very excited… run off… Sherlock…
“Greg! Where’s Sherlock?”
Greg is now standing above him, but even in his still slightly dazed state John can see that his lover is not holding himself right.
Greg shakes his head, “I don’t know John. I just don’t know.” The man doesn’t sound right either, his voice obviously husky from the dust but tinged with something else.
“I’ve been calling for him too. But nothing…”
He looks as sickened by this as John feels. But then he visibly pulls himself together and stiffly crouches down – it is his back then. John can see how much just that simple movement hurts him.
“We have to get out of here, John. We’ll tell the rescue team he could…,” Greg falters, “He could still be in here. But we have to get out.”
John wants to stay, he really does. He wants to stay and hunt for Sherlock. But Greg is in here and the rest of the building could collapse at any minute. There could be another explosive device for all they know. He has to get his lover out.
Then he can come back and look for Sherlock.
“Ok. Let’s go.”
John tries to push himself up again, but again he fails, something is holding him down, trapping him. He will not panic. He will not.
“Hang on, John. Wait a minute. There’s some sort of beam across you. Let me just…”
Greg shuffles around him slightly and leans over. John can see him straining against whatever it is that is across him.
“Greg! Your back!”
“Just try to pull yourself out John. Please!” Greg begs through teeth gritted against the pain. “I can’t hold this for long.”
John finds he has just enough room now to heave himself up onto his forearms and starts to pull himself forwards, inch by inch, trying not to think about the moment Greg will just have to let go of the beam and what that might mean for him under it.
His back is free… and then his thighs… a final grunt and he pulls his legs free just in time to hear an almighty crash behind him.
“I’m ok,” he reassures Greg. “Come on. Let’s get out of here.”
Wincing, John hauls himself to his feet, cataloguing his injuries as he does so. Thankfully, other than the obvious bruising and lacerations, he thinks he may just have come out of this ok. Well enough at least to get Greg out.
He holds out a hand to his lover and helps him up too. Slowly, gingerly, they totter towards the sound of approaching sirens, towards where John hopes rescue and first aid will be waiting.
Sherlock isn’t panicking. He isn’t. The two men are bound to be somewhere under this rubble and he will just keep looking until he finds them.
Half the Met seems to have turned up and most of them seemed intent on hampering his investigation but a few sharp words and the arrival of Lestrade’s team seem to have helped things somewhat. Sherlock finds he is even developing a grudging respect for Donovan when she whisks him out of sight of the other officers, points him in the direction of a hidden entrance and begs,
“Please Sherlock! Please find him!”
Sherlock doesn’t need to be asked twice. Squinting his eyes against the dust he makes his way slowly inside.
Looking dirty and ragged it’s true, but alive!
And not too badly injured John decides as Sherlock practically runs towards them. But John is taken completely by surprise as Sherlock wraps his arms around him, enveloping him in a hug. John looks up at his friend, and Sherlock is looking back down, looking as relieved as John feels… and suddenly Sherlock’s lips are descending to meet his. John operates purely on instinct, shutting his eyes and returning the kiss softly, gently, tentatively, one hand moving up to hold Sherlock’s shoulder as he savours the sensation he has been dreaming of for so long.
It is not until a strong hand slips into his unoccupied one that John forces himself to remember Greg.
He pulls back, but is unable to let go entirely of Sherlock. God this is all so wrong!
Sherlock has gone from looking… blissful?... to looking panicked! John just knows he would run away if John didn’t have such a tight grip on him.
John starts to turn his head, desperately trying to think of what he can possibly say to his lover… his lover who is still tightly grasping his hand… when he is reminded quite how incredibly brave that man is:
One squeeze of John’s hand, one indrawn breath and Greg is saying,
“No kiss for me, Sherlock?” And with that he is turning Sherlock towards him, pulling him in, their lips pressing together.
Where John and Sherlock’s kiss was tentative and sweet, Greg seems to be trying to show Sherlock what he is missing, kissing him hard, passionately, swiping his tongue over Sherlock’s lips, and Sherlock… Sherlock is moaning.
John starts to pull away, feeling jealous (however irrational and hypocritical that is) but Greg just squeezes his hand again, and John finally understands – he is included in this too. They had talked about this, fantasised about this, and now, maybe, just maybe, it is within their reach. John rubs his thumb over the back of Greg’s hand, a ‘yes’.
As Greg pulls back Sherlock really begins to look panicked. He looks between the two of them, clearly speechless.
A quick glance at Greg, both asking and answering in return, and John says,
“It’s alright, Sherlock,” and if it comes out a bit husky he tells himself it is purely because of the dust and nothing to do with the fact that the sight of the two of them kissing has made it hard for John to focus.
Sherlock looks back at him, disbelief written across his face.
“It is.” Greg smiles tentatively at them both. “You can love two people at the same time Sherlock.”
John bites his lip, determined that he won’t allow himself to unravel at that unexpected declaration. Neither of them had ever mentioned the ‘l’ word – it just wasn’t something that you did. Not unless you were as fearless as Greg apparently is. But John sees Sherlock still looks panicked, and Greg is looking a little worried as well now that he looks more closely.
“You can,” John reassures them both, trying to sound more confident than he feels.
Sherlock still looks like he doesn’t believe it, but he hasn’t pulled away from them and so John decides that is enough for now.
Chapter 6: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another… It continues...
Sherlock hasn’t run out screaming on them yet at least. Admittedly he hasn’t exactly said anything positive either. In fact, Greg can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times the man has spoken since Greg kissed him. Bizarrely, one of those times was to mutter “Thank you” to a worried Donovan who had been the first one to greet them as they emerged from the building. It was abrupt and not very grateful-sounding but a thank you nonetheless, and even more bizarrely as far as Greg was concerned Donovan actually flashed Sherlock a tight-lipped smile and nodded. What the hell had happened while he and John had been stuck in that building?
Now they were at the hospital. Greg had managed to escape his cubicle with only the usual lecture about taking things easy (as if he could) but the doctors were concerned John had concussion. (Again! And now Greg was beginning to fully understand why being a copper’s wife might be stressful.) The doctors were being remarkably resistant to John leaving.
Greg and Sherlock had been allowed into John’s cubicle after he had been assessed and were now sitting beside his bed, waiting to hear the result of the latest argument John was having with the medic.
“No, Dr Watson. You need to stay here the night. I will not be changing my mind.”
John utters a groan as the woman left the room.
“I’m fine!” he declares, his voice still sounding hoarse.
“Obviously they think otherwise.” The dry response from the previously silent Sherlock takes both Greg and John by surprise. Sherlock stands up and starts to pace the room, looking agitated. “Last time you were released fairly easily.”
“Discharged Sherlock, I’m not on a psychiatric ward. Yet.” John interrupts.
Sherlock ignores him, carrying straight on with, “So one of your answers must be causing them concern…”
Alarm bells start to ring in Greg’s head – what is Sherlock saying? He looks back to John who is wearing that ‘innocent’ expression that Greg knows means he is guilty as sin.
“The questions are pretty standard. Let’s see. I doubt you have double vision as you seemed to walk out of that building ok – helping Lestrade in fact. If you had any of the truly serious signs you would not be trying to get out of here – much as you love danger you do at least have some idea of when to stop.”
“Unlike others,” John mutters under his breath. Greg ignores him, he is concentrating intently on what Sherlock is deducing about his lover’s health.
“So it must be that you feel you have acted uncharacteristically since the explosion, have done something you wouldn’t have had you been mentally intact…”
“NO!” John shouts before Greg has even worked out what Sherlock has concluded. “No,” he repeats more calmly. If anything, John looks even more guilty now. “I just … ummm… temporarily forgot where I was…”
“What?!” Greg exclaims, horrified, at the same time as Sherlock asks “When?”
John looks over to where Sherlock is standing and reaches an arm out to him, which Sherlock ignores.
“It isn’t what you’re thinking Sherlock,” he pleads. “It was when I first woke up. I’d forgotten where I was. I thought I was back in Afghanistan.” Now John turns to look apologetically at Greg. “I’d forgotten who you were.”
Greg reaches out to take John’s second outstretched hand, searching his face for any sign that he might be concealing something more sinister. How had he not noticed that John didn’t recognise him? Admittedly he had just been through the same explosion but he didn’t feel that that was a good enough excuse.
John gives him a weak smile and turns back to Sherlock.
“Sherlock. That’s why they won’t ‘release’ me. I promise you everything after, everything… none of it was ‘uncharacteristic’ Sherlock. I wanted it Sherlock. You have to believe me.”
Sherlock stands just out of reach of John’s hand, studying him, scrutinising him. Greg suspects that all of the signals tell Sherlock that John is telling the truth but that Sherlock is too insecure to believe them. If nothing else, his long acquaintance with the man has taught Greg that Sherlock’s limited experience with people hasn’t left him with the best of ideas about relationships.
As embarrassing as this was about to be, Greg knows it is up to him to say something.
“It’s true, Sherlock. John was just putting into action something he talked of doing long before the explosion. And I definitely wasn’t acting out of character.” Greg feels his face heat up, but does not regret saying it. John’s squeezing of his hand in silent support just confirms it was the right thing to do.
Sherlock is now studying him and Greg stares right back, determined to maintain the eye contact.
“If that is true…” Sherlock starts slowly, “Why now?”
“Because we thought we’d lost you,” John says slowly, explaining as he would to a small child, which Greg supposes Sherlock is in some ways. Sherlock still does not look away from Greg – presumably he wants to hear Greg’s answer. Greg shrugs – it is pretty much the same as John’s.
“I decided to stop being afraid of ‘what ifs’. ‘Better to have loved and lost’ and all that.”
At least Sherlock no longer looks suspicious – he has obviously decided that neither of them is lying – he is just back to looking confused.
Well it isn’t like he and John know any more about what they are doing – they will just all have to play it by ear.
Chapter 7: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another…
Neither Greg nor Sherlock left John’s side that night – the advantage of one of them being a Detective Inspector John figures. John was certainly grateful for it – at least he had something good to look at when he was woken up every hour. Something very good in fact!
Greg had fallen asleep with his head lying on his forearms which were resting on John’s bed, just below John’s hand. The DI always looked so peaceful when he slept, when all the cares of his work were simply erased and he could just be plain Greg Lestrade, the man John had fallen in love with.
Sherlock had fallen asleep on a chair, his head lolling over onto his shoulder. It didn’t look very comfy – the chair was far too small for Sherlock’s tall, lithe form. John also didn’t like the way the chair had been pushed right back into the corner of the cubicle, as if Sherlock had wanted to get as far away from them as possible, but he supposed his friend had had a bit of a shock too. John could give him time to get used to the idea. In fact John was surprised that Sherlock slept through the night – when Greg slept, he slept like the dead, but Sherlock barely ever slept and he certainly didn’t seem to need much of it.
Eventually, morning had come and John could finally leave. By some unspoken agreement they all took the taxi back to 221b, the atmosphere getting more tense with each junction. When they arrived Sherlock practically bounded out of the vehicle, unlocking the door and charging up the stairs. John and Greg exchanged glances. Greg gestured with an arm, and nodding to him John started to make his way up the stairs.
Greg lingered a little, paying the taxi driver, dawdling with a shoelace, pretending to read a notice in the café window. Finally he too ascended the stairs, hoping that John had managed to settle Sherlock a little – or (because he knew not to pin all of his hopes on miracles) at least put some tea on, (God that hospital stuff had been terrible!)
As he entered the flat he saw that John was indeed putting the kettle on – but Sherlock was nowhere to be seen. John tilted his head towards Sherlock’s room and pulled a ‘what do we do now’ face. Greg didn’t know the answer – but they weren’t going to do nothing. Even if Sherlock were to throw it all back in their faces and tell them to get lost it would still be an answer.
Not knowing what was going to happen next, not daring to plan, Greg gestured to John and together they moved towards Sherlock’s bedroom.
Sherlock doesn’t understand, can’t possibly even begin to comprehend what Lestrade and John want. God knows he wants the both of them, so badly it hurts but they have each other, he knows they are happy (sickeningly happy) and Lestrade pretty much told him yesterday that he loves John (Sherlock is going to ignore the bit where he thinks Lestrade might have also said that he loves Sherlock too, because that can’t be true).
Why would they want him?
Why would they want someone as weird, as emotionally crippled, as freakish as him?
Even his own family barely tolerate him.
He doesn’t understand and it is driving him crazy!
Sherlock turns, startled from his thoughts by the sound of his door opening.
Lestrade is standing, framed by the doorway, looking… determined. John is standing just behind him, looking equally stubborn, although the way he is shifting from foot to foot suggests he is a little nervous.
“Sherlock,” Lestrade starts in a low almost-growl that goes straight to Sherlock’s groin. He takes a step further into the room, allowing John to move beside him. The room seems suddenly smaller and Sherlock takes an involuntary step backwards. He briefly contemplates making a break for it out of the window behind him, but the way his traitorous body is trembling at the moment he knows it is unlikely he would make the landing safely. He is trapped.
“It’s ok,” John tries to reassure him, using the same tone Sherlock has heard him use on victims and grieving family members.
It is what he expected then. What he knew would happen. They have come to tell him they want nothing more to do with him. Clenching his fists at his side, muscles tensing he waits for the by now so familiar words, wondering what spin these two men will put on them.
“Sherlock,” Lestrade repeats, except now he sounds worried, “It’s ok. Come on, sit down. Calm down.”
Calm down? Ah. That would explain why the room had started to go dark then. Not good. He sits down on the bed where Lestrade had gestured, concentrating on drawing out his breathing, lengthening his breaths. He will not go to pieces in front of them. He will maintain whatever shreds of dignity he has left.
John comes to kneel at his feet – the kind, caring doctor never failing to help those in need. Well Sherlock does not need his help.
“Leave me alone.”
John rocks back onto his heels – even Sherlock can read the hurt in his face.
“We just… we…” John starts, fumbling for the words that will end everything for Sherlock.
Lestrade sits down heavily on the bed beside him, saying nothing. John is still stuttering like a fool. Sherlock knows he can’t hold himself together for much longer.
“Oh just bloody say it and leave me alone!”
“Say what, Sherlock?” Lestrade asks, soft and quiet – now he is using the voice he uses for victims. Sherlock does not want their pity. He just wants them to go.
“You know what. Say that yesterday… it was a mistake… you don’t want… you’re happy…” Sherlock swallows, trying to get his vocal chords back under control. “You don’t want me and you’re going to leave.” He grits his teeth and holds his breath.
“Oh Sherlock!” John’s voice is soft and sad and full of pity.
Sherlock looks away, out of the window, not able to face them any more.
“Of all the… Sherlock!” Lestrade sounds considerably less patient, “I would have thought you would be the last person I would have to say this too but for God’s sake use your brain!”
Sherlock is caught off guard by the insult. Lestrade continues, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Stop – oh I am going to regret saying this – thinking with your feelings at all and use your brain.” He pauses briefly. “How long have you known that I want you? You probably knew before I did. How long, Sherlock?”
Sherlock looks back to the man sitting next to him. Apparently an answer is required. “That case, the brothel, the first time I showed you I was clean,” he answers softly. Lestrade nods. “When did you first realise that John wants you?” Sherlock turns involuntarily to look at the man still kneeling at his feet. “That first night, in the restaurant.” John smiles up at him, shaking his head, presumably in disbelief, saying “I didn’t even know then!”
Lestrade carries on, “And the signs that we showed then, that gave us away to you. Have they ever changed? Have they ever diminished or stopped?”
Sherlock can see where this is going now. He doesn’t want to answer.
“Sherlock?” Lestrade insists. “Just tell us what you’ve observed.”
“No they haven’t changed,” Sherlock says through gritted teeth. “But that is irrelevant. You two have each other. Why would you ruin it by getting caught up with anyone else? Why would you ruin it with me?” That last sentence he mutters under his breath, hating himself for his self-pity, but John apparently hears.
“Because we want to. Because we want you. Because…” he pauses. Out of the corner of his eye Sherlock sees John share a glance with Lestrade before kneeling back up, placing his hands on Sherlock’s knees and continuing, “Because we – both of us – love you.”
Sherlock can’t believe it. Won’t believe it.
“It’s true, Sherlock,” Lestrade whispers softly in his ear. “Trust your observations. Trust us.”
Sherlock wants to. He wants to so badly. He turns to face Lestrade, afraid to ask, afraid to say anything that could extinguish the slight flare of hope he feels. He feels the hands removed from his knees, the bed sag a little behind him where John must have sat down, warm breath fanning over the back of his neck.
“Please, Sherlock,” John whispers.
And he despises himself for his weakness but when Lestrade slowly lifts a hand, placing it against Sherlock’s face, his thumb rubbing gently over Sherlock’s cheekbone, Sherlock leans into the man and tentatively captures his lips in a kiss.
Chapter 8: Because Sometimes Three Isn’t A Crowd
Sherlock wants Lestrade. And John. They both want him (and each other). It’s a tangled mess that will have to be resolved one way or another…
John finds it hard to believe the Sherlock he has just seen. Greg had warned him about it, and he himself has had flashes of this Sherlock when Mycroft visits, but to see the man normally so confident, so self-assured, reduced to someone so unsure of himself, so convinced of his own low self-worth. It actually hurts John. One day he will wreak his revenge on each and every person that has reinforced Sherlock’s obvious belief that he isn’t worthy of being in a relationship, but for now he will concentrate on the man himself.
Moving slowly, John places a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. Sherlock seems to freeze temporarily, mid kiss, but Greg soon coaxes him back to life. John swallows as he tries not to be carried away by the incredible sight in front of him. Moving his hand slowly from Sherlock’s shoulder to rub gently over his back, John places his other hand on Sherlock’s hip. It is half hug, half a way to stop Sherlock from running off, but as Sherlock tentatively raises a hand and places it on top of the one of John’s on his hip, John relaxes slightly. Maybe Sherlock will give them a chance.
When Greg finally pulls back he looks first at Sherlock, and then at John over his shoulder and smiles. To John’s amazement Sherlock doesn’t freeze or seem to panic, instead he turns around to look at John. No wonder Greg smiled. Sherlock’s pupils are wide, his cheeks flushed, want written all over his face. John doesn’t wait to be asked. He leans forwards and presses his lips against Sherlock’s, starting hesitantly at first because he doesn’t want to scare him off, but as Sherlock responds, John can’t hold back any longer and kisses him harder, his tongue darting across Sherlock’s lips, seeking entry.
Sherlock doesn’t want to think any more. With John’s lips pressed against his own he can’t think any more. He just gives in to the tumult of sensations thrumming through his body, parting his lips, tasting John’s tongue on his own. Strong hands reach from behind him to pull lightly on the lapels of his jacket, gently but insistently tugging it off him. Once his arms are free Sherlock lifts his own hands up to John,
cupping the back of his head, pulling the man still closer to him. John’s hands are now trailing down Sherlock’s front, trembling slightly, slowly undoing his shirt buttons.
Sherlock gasps as a hot mouth presses against the back of his neck, a tongue licks over the sensitive skin there and then oh teeth lightly graze over him. And now John’s fingers are running over his bare chest, making him shiver in pleasure.
He wants to touch them, to feel their skin. He tugs at John’s jumper ineffectually but John gets the message and pulls back to strip the offending article off over his head. Caught up in watching the sight in front of him, mesmerised by the pale skin, the soft blonde hairs being revealed, Sherlock doesn’t realise what is happening behind him. He doesn’t notice at all until a low voice whispers in his ear, “Gorgeous isn’t he?” Sherlock turns his head, suddenly coming back to reality a little, but all thoughts of reality are forgotten when he sees that Lestrade has also stripped his shirt off. And his trousers. The man is kneeling on the bed wearing nothing but a pair of black boxers and he looks incredible.
“You’re overdressed, Sherlock.” Lestrade’s voice is sultry despite his slight smirk. Sherlock automatically looks round at John, about to protest, but John is also down to his briefs. His tight, bulging briefs…
John holds a hand out, pulling Sherlock to his feet, quickly and efficiently undoing Sherlock’s belt and pushing his trousers down to pool around his feet. The logical, rational part of Sherlock’s brain is cataloguing how his pulse is racing, his breathing getting shallower and faster, but that part is overwhelmed and silenced as John gently, tenderly, places his hands on Sherlock’s chest and pushes him slowly back down until he is lying flat on the bed, looking up at the two men.
“Hey, it’s new to us too you know,” John offers with a smile, obviously mistaking Sherlock’s anticipation for fear. John slowly trails a finger down Sherlock’s chest, sending shocks of pleasure sparking through him. He continues, “I’d like to think though, that between us, we could work it out…” and with that he moves until he is sitting between Sherlock’s parted legs. Lestrade leans down to Sherlock, capturing his mouth once more, John’s soft fingers are now trailing up the inside of Sherlock’s thighs and Sherlock finds himself hoping that this will never end, that they will stay like this forever… but soon even that thought is forgotten and there is only the three of them and friction and heat…
Sherlock drowsily opens his eyes, confused by the warmth in his normally chilly room. And then he remembers. He is so warm because he is currently flanked by the two men that spent the night with him in his bed. John is lying on his side, facing Sherlock, his arm draped over Sherlock’s chest, still clearly asleep (the drooling giving it away somewhat). Lestrade – no, Greg – is just as close, but he is lying on his back, propped up a little on the pillows, his chest level with Sherlock’s head. Sherlock tilts his head back to look up at the man. He is awake.
“Hey,” Greg says softly, a slight smile pulling at his lips.
“Hey,” Sherlock hates himself for not being able to come up with anything less pathetic, but really, he is so out of his depth here that perhaps he should be grateful he managed to form a coherent word.
Greg’s smile widens and he glances over to John.
“At least it’s not just me he dribbles on.”
Sherlock follows his gaze and feels such a wave of tenderness at the sight that it nearly overwhelms him. He speaks without thinking, “I don’t understand why you would want to share him.”
Sherlock can feel his stomach tighten sickeningly as Greg is silent for a beat… for two beats… he’s still silent…
Finally Greg looks away from John, back to Sherlock and says, “I wouldn’t, I couldn’t for anyone else. But it’s not anyone else, it’s you. I can share him only because I am sharing him with you.”
Sherlock doesn’t know how to answer. Greg smiles at him, reaching down and placing one hand on his shoulder.
“Look. I’m not going to promise that it’s going to be easy. We’ll have fights, we’ll shout and we’ll scream and at times we’ll probably want to kill each other… but as far as I’m concerned it’s worth the effort. I know John agrees. But you have to want to make the effort too. It’s entirely your choice. We won’t abandon you if you decide it’s not worth it, but if you think it is… well…” Greg trails off, and Sherlock decides that the Detective Inspector actually looks scared. It’s strange how their roles have reversed. Because Sherlock realises he isn’t scared any more. And finally finally his body and head are in complete agreement.
“It’s worth it. I’ll try.”