Laurel had loved her ex-husband, probably always would, but she hadn’t been in love with him for a long time. He’d been great with the kids, more of a father then her prior ex had been. They might not have been his biologically, but they were his in all the ways that mattered. It had been one of the many things that had endeared Greg to her. His sense of humor, his drive, the way he always knew what to say had made falling so easy.
While from a bystander’s point of view, being a copper’s wife might have looked glamorous, Laurel had found out the hard way that it wasn’t for her. She’d known that Greg had taken his work seriously, that he’d loved it. Laurel hadn’t realized that he was all but married to his job, all but having an affair with it. Maybe she’d rationalized it that it was almost like cheating, that his job was his bit on the side. That’s what she’d told herself the first time she’d cheated on him.
Greg wasn’t providing for her, so what harm was it to take care of her needs? It wasn’t a choice she was proud of making, but there had been no changing it. Laurel knew that Greg had loved her, but it had hurt when he didn’t want to have sex with her. She’d never known a man before that had so little interest in having sex. It hadn’t helped that it was always her that was pushing him for more, and while Greg had rarely denied her and had never had any problem physically getting it up, Laurel couldn’t help but feel more often than not that he was mentally far, far away from her. It hadn’t been pleasant, and was the subject of more fights that she’d cared to admit.
When Greg had found out that she’d cheated on him, she’d hated herself a bit for the pain she caused him and it had almost destroyed their relationship. But they’d given it another try and went to counseling both for their sake and for the kids. There had still been enough love to work with then, still been enough of a relationship to fix. And things had been good for a while, great even, but they hadn’t lasted and the old doubts and hurts had come to the forefront. When Laurel cheated the next time, Greg had known. One look at her guilty face as she still smelled of sex and another man’s cologne and he had known.
That was the last night Greg had spent at the house. When the divorce papers had come a few days later it hadn’t been a shock, but it had hurt. For the sake of the kids, they tried to keep it civil. They went out for coffee every few months, but it was always awkward, always painful. Greg hadn’t deserved what she’d done to him, but she’d deserved more than what he could give her.
Laurel had introduced him to her new boyfriend, not to rub it in his face, but for his approval because Greg was so good at knowing how to spot the good guys, and he had a right to know who was around the kids. Look at Sherlock, he may have been an ass, but he was a good man, and surprisingly great with the kids. When the day came that Greg said he had someone he wanted her to meet, she shouldn’t have been surprised or as hurt as she was. She had no right to be, not anymore.
Following Greg into his flat after he let her in, Laurel wasn’t sure what to expect. Rounding the corner her stomach dropped and she backed away, shaking her head in a mix of disbelief and horror. There was no way. Greg couldn’t be queer. He couldn’t… could he? It would explain so much. For a moment Laurel felt sick and used.
“Laurel, please. It’s not what you think,” Lestrade said, catching her wrist as she made for the door.
“You have no idea what I’m thinking right now! God, the laughs you must have had at my expense, forced to settle for me when you really wanted to take it up the ass.” Laurel laughed, a bitter ugly sound.
“It’s not like that. It was never like that. I loved you. I like woman. I just happen to like blokes as well. I’m sorry. I should have told you. I—just people don’t normally react so well.” Greg’s face was tight with regret.
Greg was a horrible liar, always had. And his words held nothing but truth. But this—she glanced over at the man sitting so quiet and composed on the other side of the room—she didn’t know what to think about this. She had no claim on Greg anymore she knew. This almost felt like a betrayal of sorts. Laurel forced herself to calm down and breathe; she was better than this. She could be the better person here.
Crossing the room, she offered her hand as the man rose. “Laurel Maddox.”
The man took her hand raises it to his mouth, inclining his head for a polite almost-kiss to the back of her hand. “Mycroft Holmes. It’s a pleasure,” Mycroft said formally.
Noting the last name, Laurel’s brow rose. At least this one had manners.