When Greg switches on the light of his flat he finds Sherlock fucking Holmes sitting quietly on his sofa. He doesn’t even look up when Greg lets out a startled curse, just keeps staring absently at the wall. Greg would even wonder if Sherlock heard him enter the flat at all, if it wasn’t that he knows Sherlock notices everything – anything – always. He knows that for a fact.
“What in— How the hell did you get in?” Greg asks, trying very hard not to shout.
Sherlock turns his head at that, long enough to dignify Greg with a condescending look and an arched eyebrow. Greg can hear the unspoken please as clearly as if he had said it out loud. Greg shrugs off his coat with a sigh and throws it in the general direction of his armchair. He misses it. Doesn’t bother to pick it up.
“And to what do I owe the honour?” Greg goes into the kitchen, pours himself two fingers of Scotch. He’s probably going to need it, tonight.
“Just wanted to congratulate with you, Detective Inspector.” Sherlock’s voice floats in from the living room, and Greg thinks he might detect a hint of humour in it. He could practically hear those capital letters. “On the brilliant solving of this enigmatic case.”
When Greg comes back into the living room Sherlock isn’t staring at the wall anymore. In fact, he’s looking straight at Lestrade.
Lestrade thinks the kid looks a mess. He’s paler than usual, which is saying something, and awfully thin, and the shadows under his eyes have got darker.
Sherlock Holmes is a fucking genius.
Sherlock Holmes is an irretrievable addict.
Both things Greg knows for certain. He’s still amazed so many people cannot grasp the former, and he’s growing more and more concerned over the latter.
Yet, Greg is wise enough to know he can’t stand in the way of someone with a death wish. If it’s not cocaine, it would be something else.
He has a feeling it’s either the drugs, or a bullet in Sherlock’s brain.
He’d rather it remained the drugs.
“Don’t think so hard, Inspector. It might hurt your brain.”
Sherlock smirks. It’s incredible, how much that expression suits him. If ever there was a face made for smirking and sneering and scoffing, that face is Sherlock fucking Holmes’s.
“If you wanted to congratulate with me,” Greg replies, evenly, “you could have sent me a text. As you always do. At the most inappropriate moments.”
“You told me to text you only in case of emergency.”
“Since when do you listen to anything I say?”
Sherlock shrugs. Suddenly looks bored again, resume his staring at the wall.
It dawns on Greg, in that precise moment, that maybe he’s the closest thing to a friend that Sherlock has at the moment. The thought fills him with inexplicable sadness.
He clears his throat. “I suppose I should be thanking you, actually. For all your help.”
Sherlock looks up, startled out of a new train of thoughts. Greg sits in the armchair next to the sofa.
“She hated it, didn’t she?” Sherlock blurts out.
Sometimes it’s hard to follow Sherlock’s line of thought. Oh, who is he kidding? It’s always hard to follow Sherlock’s line of thought. No wonders people find him so hard to put up with. Apart from his total lack of manners, his non-existing emotional empathy and utter disregard of social conventions, Sherlock’s ability to make everyone who happens to be within a ten-foot radius of him feel like a complete idiot must be something hard to endure on a regular basis.
“The chair you’re sitting in.” Sherlock makes a vague gesture in Greg’s direction. “The sofa and the chair are mismatched. Unlike this sofa, the chair is quite old – obvious from the worn arms and the holes in the upholstery – and, frankly, rather hideous. I can’t see why someone with a minimum of taste would bear having such an ugly thing in sight, unless it had a sentimental value of sort. You appear to like sitting there, and you haven’t got rid of it now that your girlfriend has left you, which means it’s you who are fond of it and intend to keep such an offending piece of furniture for the foreseeable future. But I don’t think she liked it at all, didn’t she? Bet you even fought about it a time or two.”
Greg opens his mouth, then closes it quickly. He swallows the “How..?” that was on the tip of his tongue. He’s not going to ask Sherlock how he deduced all that, how he knows about Amanda, how he can tell that she left him, and for good this time.
Sometimes, some things he’d rather not know.
Sherlock stares at him for another few seconds before sighing dramatically and leaning back, eyes squeezed tightly shut.
“You are a predictable man leading such a predictable life.”
Greg is a bit hurt at that, and if he’s honest with himself is because the statement is probably true.
He tries not to show it.
“Is that such a bad thing? Being predictable?”
Sherlock opens his eyes, blinks at ceiling as if vaguely puzzled by it.
“I actually envy you, sometimes. All of you.”
A couple of seconds tick by. Greg forces himself to remain silent.
“You have no idea what it’s like.”
No, Greg admits to himself, he hasn’t. Thank God for that. He won’t even pretend he can understand what it must be like in Sherlock’s head, but he knows it must not be pleasant if he has to resort to doing drugs and poking around corpses just to get the thrill he needs to stay afloat.
Sherlock is brilliant, Greg can see that much, but he’s not stupid — he knows Sherlock is so brilliant to believe himself superior, and that’s the most stupid mistake he could make because he’s just human, and even one most fragile than most.
Sherlock burns so bright, too bright, too fast, and he’ll probably burn out too soon.
Eyes still fixed on the ceiling, Sherlock chuckles. Greg turns is head at the sound, surprised.
“Jesus, are you high?”
Sherlock chuckles a bit louder. “Inspector, I’m surprised it took you so long to notice.”
“Fuck.” Greg gets up, standing right in front of Sherlock. He takes in the dilated pupils, the shallow breath, the slack posture. He places two fingers on Sherlock’s neck, feeling the elevated pulse. “When?”
“Does it matter?”
The kid closes his eyes, again. “It wasn’t in your flat, if that’s what you’re worrying about.”
“Jesus, that isn’t—Right. You know what. You’re more stupid than you think, you really are.”
Sherlock blinks up at him, looking oddly fascinated.
“Christ, are you even listening to me?” Greg exhales loudly, passes a hand on his forehead. “It hasn’t even been a day. You promised that if— You said the cases would help.”
He can hear how pathetic that sounds, how naïve, and he hates himself for that.
“Not if they’re so ridiculously simple, they won’t,” Sherlock says, his eyes locked on Greg’s face. “You’re not that much of an idiot, Lestrade.”
“Yeah? Why, thanks.”
“I like you,” Sherlock goes on, sounding stunned, as if that was an unconceivable thing.
Greg is still thinking about how to reply when Sherlock gets up in one fluid movement and takes Greg’s face between his hands. They feel warmer than they should probably be and are a bit sweaty, and Greg thinks he can feel some fingers spasm lightly in Sherlock’s right hand.
He doesn’t move. He doesn’t even know why, but he keeps perfectly still.
“I like you,” Sherlock repeats, just a whisper now but absolutely clear in the otherwise silent room. He studies Greg’s face with an expression of utmost concentration, and Greg is reminded of Sherlock crouching next to a dead man on a crime scene, looking exactly as he does right now.
He should probably find it disturbing but – somehow – he doesn’t.
Sherlock’s right thumb traces the line of Greg’s lower lip. A caress.
Sherlock tongue darts out and he licks a corner of his own mouth, but he doesn’t seem aware he’s doing it.
“I don’t care about the armchair,” Sherlock says in a grave tone, and Greg can only nod in response. Sherlock frowns, looking still dissatisfied, like he’s trying to get across a crucial point and Greg is missing it by miles. “She was stupid anyway,” he adds, as if that’s supposed to make more sense.
“I—” Greg starts, without even knowing what words are supposed to follow, but he’s suddenly cut off as Sherlock presses his mouth against his lips, still cradling his face in his hands. It’s a close-mouthed kiss, brief, strangely chaste, and Sherlock breaks it too soon and pulls away, studying Greg’s face as if to gauge his reaction.
“I think you like me, too.” There’s awe in his voice. “I wasn’t sure.”
And he dives back to Greg’s mouth, a bit more aggressive this time, biting his lower lip lightly, capturing it between his teeth and releasing it gently, then biting again – not so gently now – passing his tongue where the teeth have been as if soothing away the pain.
Greg keeps his mouth close. For a whole three seconds.
When he opens it Sherlock’s tongue slides gently inside, tasting, probing. Sherlock sighs, and it is beautiful and Greg shivers. The hands slide slower, over Greg’s shoulders, over his arms, his hips.
They stop at the belt, the finger ghost over the buckle. It gets opened surprisingly quickly.
A hand works its way inside Greg’s trousers. It’s like being splashed with a bucket of cold water.
“Wait,” Greg says, dazed, pulling away. Sherlock hands frame his face again, try to pull him back. “Sherlock, wait.”
Sherlock stops. He looks annoyed, then confused, and then, for a brief second, Greg sees a flicker of panic in those grey eyes. Sherlock drops his hands as if burnt by Greg’s skin.
“What—what the hell was that?” Greg asks, and regrets his words almost immediately because oh, that was the wrong thing to say, he can tell, he can see it from the way Sherlock’s body stiffens and his face closes off, but it’s too late to take it back now. “What are you doing?”
“Nothing you don’t want me to do,” Sherlock says, and the arrogant edge his back in his tone, Greg hadn’t even noticed how tentative he sounded before. “So don’t pretend otherwise.”
That’s the truth, that’s the absolute truth – isn’t it always, with him? – but that’s so not the point.
“If this is some skewed way of thanking me for letting you in,” Greg says, “there’s no need.”
He might as well have slapped him, he can see the way he flinches and it makes him feel a bit sick, but maybe it’s for the best, yes, probably better this way.
“If anything you’re the one who should thank me,” Sherlock spats, taking a step back. “Detective Inspector.”
Greg sighs, runs a hand through is hair. “Well, I did thank you, if I recall correctly. You didn’t seem that interested.”
They stand one in front of the other, and Greg breaks the silence before it becomes too awkward to stand. “It’s late, Sherlock. And you’re clearly not quite yourself tonight. You’d better go home.”
Sherlock snorts, turns back without a word, goes to the door. Greg stops him before he can put his hand on the handle.
“I don’t care what you do with the idle time you’ve got on your hands, Sherlock,” he states. Which isn’t exactly true but some things are not his place to say. “But show up on another crime scene – or in my flat, for that matter – high as kite and I will arrest you. And then there will be no more playing the little detective.”
“What a terrible loss for your career that would be,” Sherlock says.
“Oh, I can survive,” Greg replies, and he’s sure Sherlock can notice the emphasis he deliberately put on that ‘I’, because a corner of his mouth quirks in wry amusement.
“Indeed.” The door opens, and Sherlock stands in the doorway. “Then I guess we’ll be seeing each other,” he adds quietly, and with that he’s out of the flat.