It's good to have him back. You'd expect I'd be the last to say that, or at least most people do, but I'm actually fond of his mind and sometimes, just sometimes, of his weird quirks and interests. And what trust I'd been unable to stop having in him had grown insurmountably til I was just really very proud of him by his return.
Sad thing is, Sherlock is jumpy now (and there's no pun intended there). His face twitches a bit sometimes at crime scenes, and he gets a far away look on it, and it's fascinating but terrifying. I still can't keep my eyes off the freak. I even offered to stop calling him a freak, but he'd been offended. He'd wanted things to stay just as they always were. He may still be a dick, but he's a sentimental dick.
I worry about him, but in an entirely different way than before. I used to worry about what he'd do in the future; now I imagine what was done to him in the past. I don't think a man can return unchanged by the world when they've been all alone in it, when what they call home has been taken away and they have to fight to get it back. And he had to do it while everyone he loved thought he was dead.
We've been out for coffee since he's been back, and it's odd but he doesn't hold hardly anything against me. He even told me I'd just been doing my job, and that the evidence had been against him. It made me feel good to hear that.
I still worry about him at crime scenes, though not as much as I did when he first returned, cause one day I saw Lestrade pull him aside.
It was wrong, but I peeked in at them through the crack between the door and the frame. Sherlock was scrubbing his hands together as if he could get them clean of something imaginary—likely blood. Who knows what happened to him out there; I'd only gathered a few bits and pieces, though I was curious. Sherlock liked to talk about lighter stuff with me, though, so I respected that.
I saw Lestrade's arms reach out and he gripped Sherlock to him, tight. He whispered in his ear, soothing him. I have to admit that I was surprised. I'd never seen anyone embrace Sherlock before, and I'd certainly never seen him start to grip them in turn, make a little wordless sob, and nuzzle against them.
I quickly gave them their privacy, shaking my head at an officer who wanted to have a peek too. It was too private.
When they came out, Sherlock's eyes were rimmed red and his voice was a little rough when he spoke, but they continued the investigation.
"You spied on us," Sherlock said to me, and I sighed.
"I did. I was worried," I said. "Is that so wrong?"
"You stayed past the point of worry. You were curious," he said, raising an eyebrow.
God, he could be aggravating.
"You trust him a lot, don't you?"
"Naturally," he said, and then he grinned.
Naturally? Why would he say naturally unless...? "No!"
"No, Sally, I think the response you're looking for is, 'Yes'."
"I don't care what you do, but I'm going with him," Lestrade said. He shook his head, motioning for me to get out. There were tears in his eyes. "John, please," he begged.
I tilted my head, gazing at him in assessment. There had to be some reason he wanted to be so close to Sherlock. I stepped out of the ambulance, nodding to Lestrade. "Okay. But I assume you've got some explaining to do," I said. They closed the doors behind Lestrade, and the ambulance rolled into motion. I felt a bit lost, wishing I could know what was happening, what his condition would be.
I suddenly noticed Sherlock's mobile phone on the ground. It had fallen from his limp hand. It took the fall okay, and seemed in working order. The texts between Lestrade and Sherlock were open on the screen. I flipped through the recent messages a bit idly as I tried to calm from the adrenaline pounding through me. I swallowed as I realized how intimate the texts seemed. I looked over at Sargent Donovan. "Did you know about them, Sally?" I asked.
"About them what?" she asked, looking near tears. I know she worried about Sherlock, in more ways than just whether or not he was going to kill somebody.
I handed her the phone. "'Love you'," I quoted. "'You left your scarf on the sofa.' 'What was that film you were going on about?'" I shook my head slightly, amused and utterly surprised all at once.
Sally stared at the phone. "Oh," she said. "Well, no, I didn't. They weren't exactly advertising it."
"No, suppose not," I said. "And I can't believe I, of all people, didn't know."
She smiled at me a bit through her worry, then handed the phone back, folding it into my palm. "Hey, but we've got bigger issues right now," Sally said with a bit of a sniff and a firm nod. "I'm going to escort you to the hospital in a bit, if you'd like?"
Relief washed over me. "That would be great. Thanks," I said. "Shall we wait together?"
"Might as well," she said with a shrug. "You're a good friend to him, John. I'm glad he has you." I felt warmed by the compliment. She didn't offer many compliments, but they were always sincere.
"And I'm glad he has Lestrade," I said in turn. "Even if I did get kicked out the back of an ambulance."
"Anderson, stop," I said, swallowing. If there was one thing Anderson was perfectly skilled at, it was at being an annoyance.
"I'm not doing anything," he said, expression alcohol-hazed but still full of...want. Disgusting.
"You're flirting with me with your expression and your body language and your sudden interest in my hobbies," I pointed out. "Don't try to fool me; I know these things." Even Sally must have noticed.
Anderson scowled and downed more of his drink. Sally started to laugh at him, which made me smirk a bit, slowly. I like her when she's focused on making someone miserable who isn't me. Especially if it's Anderson.
Lestrade looked at Anderson warily. Oh. Oh, don't worry. Why would he even be concerned?
"Oh, Lestrade," I said to Lestrade. "I'm not in the least bit interested." We hadn't been together very long, so he was still learning to trust in our relationship.
Sally looked between the two of us, already sort of getting it. "You care about Sherlock's romantic interests now?"
"What? No, I...." Lestrade shook his head helplessly, catching my gaze, wanting assistance, wanting to know whether to hide it or to let everyone know.
Why try to hide it? I certainly wasn't ashamed, and he had no reason to be ashamed of me.
"The two of us are in a relationship. No, there isn't sex," I continued, hoping to cut short any mental images Sally or Anderson might have, "so don't try to imagine us in any compromising positions."
Lestrade sort of gaped at me, and Sally and Anderson stared.
"Guess that makes this a double date," I said smoothly, taking a swig of my drink.
The corner of Sally's mouth twitched, and then she laughed, which made Lestrade laugh a bit too. Good.
And Anderson was still sulking.
I looked up when the jibes at Sherlock got particularly bad. I'd been holding my tongue because, well, I don't mind him, and he's been through a lot lately. Greg Lestrade came to his rescue before I had to.
"Okay, stop it, all of you! Do you realize what this man has been through?" He looked around. "Let's cut it with the shit. He was out there making the world a better place, and he did it all alone. It was for you, for me, for everyone out there."
"Mostly for you," Sherlock said bluntly. He glared at everyone but Greg.
"Oi, Sherlock, stop interrupting, yeah?" Greg looked around again. "He's a hero, if you ask me, and you lot should be asking me before you go spreading rumors that he's gonna kill us all. Violence was part of his life, but he's a good man. I'll say that with all the certainty in the world now."
Sherlock approached Greg carefully, resting a hand on his arm. He bowed slightly, looking grateful. "Thank you, Greg," he said.
Greg looked around. "Anyone got any problems?"
There were some quiet murmurs, but I certainly didn't have anything to say. "What's more," he said, raising his voice slightly, "I'm gonna come clean." He looked over at Sherlock, who tilted his head in permission. "Sherlock Holmes is my boyfriend. So, you can complain all you like, but there'll be no undermining him, no sabotage, and nothing to get in the way of his work. Otherwise, you'll have to answer to me." His expression was a bit fierce, probably fiercer than I'd ever seen it.
Good for him.
Sherlock quirked a brow in amusement, leaned in toward Greg, and gave him a furious kiss, deep and claiming.
They finally pulled apart for air, and Greg looked overcome, but embarrassed. "Okay, okay, I think they get the idea."
"Do they?" Sherlock chuckled, still much too close to Greg. "One more, so we can be certain?"
Greg gave him one more, a quick one, ignoring the cheering coming from Sally Donovan and me.
I've seen a lot of disgusting things at crime scenes, but Sherlock Holmes passionately ending a series of silly deductions with a kiss to Greg Lestrade's mouth was one of the most disgusting.
Talk about contamination.
"Oh, don't look so jealous, Anderson," Sherlock said. "There's room for one more."
I quickly shuffled away, hearing Lestrade and Sherlock howl with laughter behind me. I could definitely wait my turn with the body, if that's what I had to look forward to.
I needed to find Sally and tell her they were together. Then at least I'd have someone to laugh with. The two of them had always fought like an old married couple, but that was preferable to them snogging like adolescents in puppy love.
Like I said, disgusting. I did like the look of surprise on John Watson's face, though. And, come to think of it, on Lestrade's.
My eyes narrowed as I watched the new sargent flirt with Sherlock. She was relentless, absolutely relentless, and, actually, Sherlock looked a bit uncomfortable. I'm not really the jealous type, but the more comfortable Sherlock is, the less likely he's going to do something rash. And it takes a great deal of something to cause him discomfort, my Sherlock.
I moved toward them, interrupting her with a quiet clearing of the throat.
"Sir?" she said, at attention, mind seemingly back on business.
"He's dating someone already, Sargent Kent," I said gently. "So, don't mind his lack of interest, but he's taken."
Sargent Kent sighed. "Oh. Well, she's very lucky then," she told Sherlock with a bright smile.
Sherlock's eyes sparkled with amusement as he looked at me and said, "Yes, I like to think so. And pretty too."
"Plans for marriage?" Sargent Kent asked, a bit excited at the prospect.
Sherlock ran a finger over his lip, concentrating, running it over in his head. He observed me as I couldn't help but fidget a little, not knowing what he'd say, not knowing what I hoped he'd say. "Yes," he said pointedly as he watched me. He smirked. "And what a blushing bride she'll be."
"Oh, shut up," I said, but I saw the hint of earnestness in his eyes that said he was actually considering marriage. A thrill ran through me, lasting even through Sherlock's quick fabrication of wedding plans. I stood there and half-listened, captivated by the way he'd periodically glance up at me with those damn sparkling eyes.