To see Sherlock take to John Watson so very fast when Lestrade had had to work so hard to get as close as he was to the younger man yet still be held at arm’s length stung. A lot. Lestrade had gotten the speech that Sherlock wasn’t into men. Or women. Or anything but his work for that matter. It had been hard to believe, but Lestrade backed off. He’d thought Sherlock just hadn’t been ready, that he’d needed to learn to live again after so long on drugs.
But Lestrade had been wrong because as the months turned into years and Sherlock still showed no interest in any type of relationship outside of a working one (Sherlock’s dysfunctional family didn’t count), there had been very little change. Sherlock still pickpocketed him and Lestrade still flirted, but Sherlock never gave any sign that he was interested. But Lestrade was a patient man. Until John Watson walked into his life.
Lestrade had thought he’d seen every mood Sherlock was capable of until he’d realized that first night with the pink lady that Sherlock was actually showing off (it wasn’t just his normal genius), that Sherlock had really been trying to impress John. Then he found out that John had moved in with Sherlock. Lestrade didn’t understand what Sherlock saw in the doctor.
One night after a case it was Sherlock that confronted Lestrade, telling him to stop being such a jealous prat around John (with much bigger words of course). And Sherlock had told him he was sorry, the first and likely only apology he’d ever heard Sherlock give. Lestrade had always known on some level that Sherlock couldn’t have been so blind as to miss it, but having Sherlock say those words really drove the point home.
Lestrade had never been what Sherlock needed. Not even able to fully understand their relationship, Lestrade decided to leave that to John. The other man was doing a better job at getting through to Sherlock than Lestrade ever could and maybe that counted for something. However, it still didn’t stop the hollow feeling from welling in the pit of his stomach whenever he thought about it. Emotions knew no logic or reason.