For once it hadn’t been Sherlock’s fault. It would have probably been better if Sherlock had been there, Greg decided with a harsh chuckle, wrapping his coat around him and cursing himself for forgetting his scarf. The worst of the British weather was definitely on its way, and the cold wind was only a precursor destined to make his day even worse.
Sherlock’ll call me an idiot, Greg thought, not bothering to duck into the momentary shelter of a wall. Probably am. Should have told him. But, when it came down to it, he and John were still getting used to each other, and Greg was, as Sherlock put it, ‘a far better actor than anyone would suppose.’ Came from years of forcibly holding himself together in front of everybody except Sherlock, but he wished he hadn’t forgotten to stop for John. There was no way he could expect John to be as perceptive as Sherlock, who could see through any of his masks in seconds. Not that that was necessarily going to be an issue anymore.
Greg sighed. All he’d wanted to do after the day he’d had was drink until he forgot the sights and smells of a freshly dug grave of a girl torn to shreds. Instead of that, he’d turned for solace, shattered and stressed, in 221B and Sherlock’s arms, then found Sherlock out somewhere and John his usual cheerful self.
He couldn’t have known, Greg reminded himself. Press black-out, sensitive case. Political, too. Even Sherlock would have trouble finding out about it, unless he’s managed to break into Mycroft’s so-called secure files. Again. He allowed himself a small grin, then his shoulders slumped again.
Any other time, hearing about John’s, probably slightly rose-tinted, account of his perfect day with Sherlock would have been fine. He’d have commiserated with John’s petty complaints, and joked his way through a rebuke about forgetting the milk. Might have dragged John to the Tesco Express with him and come back with a bag full of things that had never been on the shopping list. He wouldn’t have got into a self-inflicted argument fuelled by his resentment of the world, or stormed out before it got worse to take on the bitter night air instead.
‘You left the Yard early,’ a voice said from behind him. ‘I expected you to leave a minute later. The heating must be on the blink, you kept your coat on.’
‘So?’ Greg said, stopping and leaning against a wall.
‘I was going to meet you.’
‘Ah. You have broken into Mycroft’s computer again.’
‘He texted me. He can be useful at times. I… explained things to John. You really should have told him.’
‘Yes, thanks Sherlock, I do know that. And if you dare suggest a questionnaire again…’
‘I thought that was a good idea.’
The stood in silence for a bit, processing the day, letting the remainder of Greg’s anger dissipate. ‘Will you come back?’ Sherlock said eventually. ‘John’s worried and wants to give you a hug.’
Sherlock made a face at the word hug, and Greg really laughed then, letting some of the tension drain away. It’d be a hard night, but Sherlock would be there with his odd but uncanny knack of making things bearable. And there’d be John now, too, which could surely only make things better.
‘Come on then,’ he said. ‘And remind me that all the times you’ve enjoyed a good cuddle were just figments of my imagination.’
‘There’s no one who would be better to be on that case,’ Sherlock said later, as they wandered hand-in-hand back to Baker Street. ‘And John’s not angry with you. He might be slightly annoyed at me when he finds the blood in the microwave, but not at you.’
Still, it wasn’t until Greg had whispered ‘sorry’ into John’s hair as they hugged, and John had looked up and said ‘it’s fine,’ that Greg really felt sure.
And somehow, when Sherlock wrapped his arms around both of them and held them both tight, it seemed like coming home.