It was a wet, dreary Sunday afternoon, and John was the bored one, for a change. He'd been lying on the sofa most of the day, restlessly flipping channels. The damp made his shoulder ache, and he was in a terrible mood, resentful of everything--especially Sherlock, who seemed perfectly content to curl up in the armchair with his feet tucked up beneath him and read his way methodically through a stack of newspapers. The one he was on currently had a front-page article about a case they'd helped solve last week, one of the ones Sherlock had refused credit for because it had been too simple. There was a photo from the press conference, the mayor shaking hands with Inspector G. Lestrade.
"Does he even have a first name?" John asked, more irritably than he meant to.
Sherlock didn't ask who John meant. "Gilles," he said absently, drawing out the French pronunciation, Zheeeel, as he flicked over another page.
John blinked. "You're joking." He'd expected George, Geoffrey, something stolid and grey.
"I'm not. Why? Goes with the surname. His father was French, I gather."
"Does he go by it, ever?" John wondered. He couldn't imagine.
A baritone chuckle from behind the paper. "God no. He loathes it. Try mispronouncing it on purpose, if you ever need to rattle him; it's excellent sport."
John wasn't sure why a man named Sherlock felt he had a leg to stand on here, but he let it drop. He envied them both, in a way--he'd always been vaguely annoyed by the anonymity of his own handle.
He regretted having ever brought it up when they ran across Lestrade at a crime scene the next week and Sherlock, while ducking under the yellow tape, said "Thanks, Gills," twisting a conspiratorial smirk at John.
John glanced at the inspector. He didn't say anything, just rolled his eyes and shrugged it off, but a muscle in his jaw twitched visibly, and there seemed a sort of resigned determination in his lack of reaction.
"Why'd you have to do that?" he said to Sherlock, when they were out of earshot.
"Bug him about his name, if you know he hates it. What's the point?"
Sherlock whipped round and fixed him with a sudden, scrutinizing glare, then gave a short laugh, shook his head, and strode on. It was unnerving, to say the least.
"Yes?" John said politely, following. "I know you're dying to show off whatever it is you think you've just deduced."
"Nothing." Sherlock made a dismissive hand gesture. "Should be interesting, that's all. And by 'interesting' I mean 'completely predictable in every way.'"
"What will?" John asked, rather dangerously.
"You and Gilles, of course," Sherlock drawled.
John decided not to dignify this with a response. "I'm not even going to dignify that with a response," he announced finally.
"I believe you just did. He's definitely interested, by the way, if you're wondering."
"Mm." They'd reached the scene; the bodies had been removed, but Sherlock prowled around the chalk outlines, making little clicking sounds of interest and occasional disapproval.
"Sherlock. I'm not."
"Not what?" Sherlock said irritably. "For heaven's sake, John, are you still on about Lestrade? Could we have a bit of focus here, please? Nine-tenths of your brain is taken up with sex, I swear, I don't know how you get anything done ever."
"I am not--"
"He's right behind you," Sherlock told him.
"Yes, hello," said Lestrade. "You're not what, John? Is there a problem?"
John snapped his mouth shut. "Not going to murder my flatmate in cold blood at a crime scene," he muttered. "It's a near thing, though, some days."
"I'm sure it is," Lestrade said pityingly. "I don't know how you manage."
"You so are," Sherlock said under his breath, and John kicked him.
"Not," he said warningly, "another. Word."
The first time they kissed, it wasn't really an issue, because John was mostly too surprised to say anything but "Oh," and then, a bit later, "Oh," and then "Christ, you're really good at that," and for the most part after that he was too breathless and desperate to say anything at all.
It was afterwards that posed a problem. Over the next week or so, John found ways not to call him anything for a while; he said "Hey," and "Listen," a lot, and it wasn't until they were both naked in bed one evening and Lestrade was--oh, holy hell, he was about to go down on him, when John realized he couldn't take it anymore.
"Stop, wait," he said, sitting up suddenly. "I can't do this."
"I--okay." Lestrade sat up too and cleared his throat, looking embarrassed. "Sorry. Really sorry. Things have been moving fast, I know, but we don't need to rush anything, we can wait till you're ready, it's--"
"No, screw that, I'm completely ready." John glanced down at himself. "Are you kidding me? I've never been more ready for anything in my life. No, it's just...I don't know what to call you now."
Lestrade's eyebrows shot up. "I'm sorry?"
"I can't go on calling you by your surname while you're giving me head. I just can't." He pulled the sheet up over his waist.
"No?" Lestrade looked baffled. "This bothers you? Now?"
"Well, it has been," John admitted. "For a while. I know you don't care for your given name, and to be honest I can't imagine calling you that, I haven't had French since my first year at uni and my accent's dreadful..."
"Really, I don't mind," Lestrade murmured, leaning back in and biting gently at his neck. "You can call me whatever you like, honestly."
John shook his head. "It's the principle of the thing. And I have to call you something in my head, don't I? Even if I don't say it out loud, there's--oh." He let out a shuddering exhale as Lestrade began touching him insistently through the sheet.
"G," Lestrade suggested, with a shy upward glance that made John rock his hips and press up into his hand. "You could just call me G."
"That's a letter, not a name," John pointed out. "And it makes you sound like an American rapper or something. I can't--oh God, no, all right, don't stop, that's--"
"You've been spending too much time around Sherlock," Lestrade remonstrated, drawing the sheet down again. "You definitely need loosening up."
"G," John said, trying it out. "G? No, it's silly, I can't--oh, that's--there, you're--oh. Oh, Le-- Juh-- oh, fuck, anything, G, all right, just...please, yes, right there, G, yes!"
"G," he said meditatively to the ceiling, later. "G, G, G."
"You can stop that any time," Lestrade rumbled at him, half-muffled in pillow. "Just call me Lestrade, for God's sake. Everyone does."
"No, it's growing on me," John decided. "You can be Lestrade out of bed. Here you'll have to be G. I can't say 'Fuck me harder, Lestrade,' I just can't, I'd never be able to live with myself."
Lestrade raised up on one elbow and gave him a sleepy grin. "Were you planning on saying that a lot, then?"
"As often as possible," John agreed. "If you've no objections, that is?"
Lestrade, apparently, had none.