John isn’t entirely sure when it started. It, of course, being the giant elephant in the room. ‘It’ being the unspeakable thing that he was trying desperately to avoid mention anything about, even to himself.
What is ‘it’, you might ask? ‘It’ was the sudden fascination for Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade. Specifically, his hands. Oh, the rest of him is rather lovely as well. But his hands… God.
John had always been one to look at those he was attracted to. He would look at their bodies, their smiles, their eyes. With women, he was most often attracted to her legs; long and shapely, strong and muscular, all of it. While he would never admit it, with men, he was attracted most to the curve of a strong arm and a strong chest. These were the features of a person that got him sexually interested.
Lestrade, though. The man seemed to be absolutely perfect. He was handsome, and his body had been well taken care of. Despite being a little soft around the middle, he was still very well built. He was broader, taller—not hard when standing next to John—but he was gentle and he carried himself with an ease that John largely envied.
But most fascinating were his hands. They were expressive, clenching into fists when angry, sometimes raised to gentle a victim or quiet Sherlock. It seemed as though they had to always be busy, holding something, expressing his point. Something. John found himself continually watching those hands. They weren’t long and elegant, like Sherlock’s. But they were still elegant in their own way. Mostly, he imagines running his fingers over those hands, linking his own through those fingers. Of having those hands on his skin.
Mostly, he imagines those hands holding him. Cradling him. Gentling him through nightmares.
The three of them—Lestrade, Sherlock and John—are gathered in Lestrade’s office, going over case information. He watches Lestrade’s hands as they point out information on a sheet of paper. He isn’t really paying attention to the words the two men are exchanging, only that they seem to have made some headway as they move to gather up their coats, scarves and gloves.
John watches as Lestrade puts his gloves on, covering his hands in cool leather. Something about the sight of it makes his chest ache horridly, especially when the man has to work the cloth over his ring. Sherlock is still gathering a few things when Lestrade moves to leave the small office. John nods at the man as he passes and when John turns his attention to Sherlock, he is curious to find an odd expression on the man’s face.
On anyone else, John would call the look sympathetic. On Sherlock Holmes… He isn’t entirely certain what to call it.
“Something wrong?” John is surprised to find his voice oddly thick, half-caught in his throat.
Sherlock blinks for a moment before sighing, looking slightly discomfited as he approaches his friend and flatmate.
“It’s what friends do, isn’t it? When one falls in love with someone who does not return the sentiment, it is customary to offer condolences and comfort, is it not?” Sherlock’s voice is agitated, uncertain, and John wants desperately to laugh.
He would, if the words hadn’t hurt so much. He finds his voice once again sticking in his throat, the ache in his chest expanding painfully. He swallows painfully as he looks up into his friend’s anxious face.
“Y-yeah, that’s what friends do,” he finally manages, voice soft still thick and pained.
Sherlock nods, hesitating a moment before putting his hands on John’s shoulders gently.
“I am sorry, John. I know that it doesn’t make it any better, nor do I understand how this is supposed to help, but I feel I must at least try.”
John blinks, once and then again. Then he manages a small smile.
“You may not understand it but… You really are a good friend, Sherlock. Thank you.” It seemed the least he could say for Sherlock trying. It was so odd, him trying, but John is grateful all the same for it.
Sherlock smiles a bit, then, his face oddly young before it stretches into a smirk.
“Come, then, John; the game is on.” And then Sherlock is moving away, and John is caught up in the motion of it all.
If he thinks a little too much on what Lestrade’s hands would feel like, grasping his, gently holding his face, checking over him to make sure that he was okay, he doesn’t let it show.
Does as he’s always done: Puts on a smile and hides his shaking hands behind his back.