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I Live Here

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“Sherlock!” John shouted for no less than the fiftieth time. “Sherlock, this is someone’s back garden. We can’t just go wandering in-” Sherlock disappeared over a tall fence and John stopped to catch his breath. “Apparently we can.” He said to himself. He had been following Sherlock on his rampage for about two hours. At first John thought they were simply running in circles but he soon realised they were in fact moving with a purpose. He kept checking over his shoulder to see if Sherlock was trying to shake a tail but no one seemed to be following them. Why they couldn’t have just got a taxi to this place Sherlock was determined to get to in the most roundabout way, John resigned himself to never knowing.

 

He steeled himself, taking a deep breath and rubbing his hands together before he jumped to grip the top of the fence and pull himself up and over to catch up with his stubborn flatmate. He landed on his feet in the soft grass of a lawn that was either a convincing artificial or professionally kept. He sighed with relief that a splinter wasn’t going to be added to his list of things to hold against Sherlock but was straight back to Sherlock wrangling when he caught the other man already at the house trying to break into the back door. “Sherlock!” He hissed in warning but, of course, Sherlock pretended not to hear him.

 

John’s life, it seemed, was becoming one big ‘how many different ways can you say your flatmate’s name’ competition. Sherlock’s name had become a conversation all of its own, especially when the man in question deigned not to reply.

 

“Who lives here?” John asked. There was no point in stopping him now, John supposed, but he could at least give a man some answers before he broke into an unknown property for an unknown reason. “Why are we breaking in?” He watched the detective warily. He was picking the lock, or trying to. It wasn’t often John got to watch Sherlock fail at something and he didn’t have to guess that wasn’t a very good thing. Sherlock seemed to get frustrated with whatever he was doing to the lock very quickly and John prepared himself for the eventuality of Sherlock giving up and smashing the glass instead. Using a pin in the lock was one thing, but damaging the property to gain entrance was a whole other thing that, apparently, John drew the line at.

 

Sherlock gave up. He smashed the glass.

 

John held his breath to catch another yell of the other man’s name. Damn it.

 

Sherlock reached into his coat pocket and pulled out a key which he then jammed into the lock. He twisted it and let himself in. John stood in the doorway. He stared at the damaged glass, angry and bemused and confused. “Why in the bloody hell did you smash the glass if you have a key?” John asked in a helpless groan. “Why did you try to break in at all if you have a key?” He was sure Sherlock did most things just to mess with him, now, honestly. “Why do you have a key?” He called his questions in quick succession without expecting an answer. He was right not to expect anything as Sherlock ignored him in favour of entering what seemed to be the kitchen and starting to make his way through the nearest drawers.

 

Sherlock was making a considerable racket in his haste. It worried John that his flatmate didn’t seem bothered about being quiet and covert considering they had broken and entered into someone else’s home. He had nothing to work from so he stayed near the backdoor in an awkward limbo, poking at an already rummaged drawer, while Sherlock swore at every new drawer and cupboard he opened that didn’t have what he was looking for. “Where are they, damn it? Where are they?” He muttered in a chorus under his breath.

 

“What are we looking for?” John tried again, unthinkingly putting himself in blame for the blossoming crime with the royal ‘we’. Sherlock was definitely going to be the death of him one of these days.

 

Of course, the brooding detective didn’t reply but he did finally acknowledge his efforts with a defiant glare without stopping his search. John just assumed that the look meant he wouldn’t like the answer but that wasn’t really a surprise given the situation they were in and, you know, he was with Sherlock. Sherlock was a walking surprise which made the unexpected the expected after considerable time in his company.

 

Sherlock disappeared into a walk in pantry and John took a few more steps inside the kitchen to keep him somewhat in view. He might not be able to stop Sherlock from committing petty crimes but he sure as hell wouldn’t let him get into it alone. Maybe he was an idiot, but he would never let Sherlock in on that.

 

It was then, naturally, that he heard a noise that definitely wasn’t coming from his flatmate. It was a light thumping coming from above and presumably towards the stairs to come down them to investigate what the disturbance was. “Sherlock!” He hissed and twice more with increasing urgency without answer before he walked over and grabbed Sherlock by the shoulder to turn him away. “Sherlock, there’s someone in the house.”

 

Sherlock scoffed and pushed off John’s attempts to stop him. He clearly hadn’t heard anything. “This house is only ever used between the hours of 1am and 6am, if ever, John.” He finally said. “No one is ever here in the middle of a work day.”

 

“Work day? It’s Sunday.”

 

“Every day of the week is a work day to him.”

 

“Him?” John turned to see if the occupant of the house was any closer to finding them.

 

Sherlock slammed a jar back on the shelf in front of him and spun on his heels to continue not telling John anything of value only to be faced with the back of the other man’s head. John was frozen in shock just outside the pantry.

 

They were greeted by the sight of no other than Greg Lestrade, leaning in the doorway leading to the next room in the house. He was wearing nothing but a pair of boxers, socks, and a thin, silk dressing gown. Open.

 

There was no hint of embarrassment in his expression or shock of seeing them in his posture.

 

John looked at Sherlock. Sherlock was confused. John blinked. That was new.

 

“What are you doing here?” Sherlock sneered as he stalked around John and towards Greg.

 

“I live here.” Greg replied, pushing away Sherlock’s pointing finger. He shoved himself lazily off the doorframe, almost like a shrug, and made his way with purpose to the adjacent kitchen counter.

 

“No you don’t.”

 

“Yes. I do.”

 

Greg flipped the switch on the kettle and leaned his hip into the drawers to push them closed as he reached into the cupboard above him to pull down a couple of mugs.

 

John then shook his head as if to shake himself out of whatever trance he was in and turned a sheepish look at the clearly off duty Inspector. “I’m so sorry, Greg. I honestly didn’t know you’d moved. We’ll be leaving now. No need for tea.”

 

Greg eyed John for a moment and then gave him an apologetic smile. “The tea isn’t for you.” John gave a decidedly confused look at the milk Greg was pulling from the fridge to the two mugs on the counter, but he said nothing more. Instead, he turned his gaze back to Sherlock who had been surprisingly quiet. Sherlock was staring at Greg like his eyes could shoot lasers. If looks could kill was not a good enough expression to explain that look.

 

John couldn’t let the threats in Sherlock’s confused eyes become reality so he grabbed the man’s arm and tugged. “Sherlock, we’re leaving poor Greg alone. Why didn’t you tell me that we were breaking into Greg’s place? Of course he could have been in! Just because his shifts are a little all over the place, doesn’t mean he’s working all day every day.”

 

Sherlock stumbled with him for a few steps before he planted his feet and refused to move through the door. He tugged his arm back and snapped at John. “We didn’t break into Greg’s place.” He looked back at Greg again with now sharp, piercing eyes and John could hear the three ticks of a clock in the moment of silence before Sherlock blinked slowly and went pale. Then, he left quickly with a swish of his coat.

 

“Sherlock! What…”

 

John threw his hands in the air in exasperation. He would never understand that man. He turned around to share a shrug with Greg only to remember where he was when he found that, while they were lingering, someone else had appeared in the kitchen. The man was in a similar state of undress, but was covered by a t-shirt, and was now draped across Greg’s back, face buried in Greg’s neck. Greg was smiling. John saw the top if this new man’s hair as he placed a kiss on Greg’s shoulder and then saw his face as he looked up to wink at John.

 

Oh.

 

John caught his shock before it could settle. He nodded, smiled, and then followed Sherlock.

 

He caught back up with his flatmate on the other side of the fence. “We broke into your brother’s house.” John said. Sherlock gave him the ‘don’t say obvious things’ look that immediately became an ‘I’m deleting all of this’ grimace. “They look happy together.” John added and laughed as Sherlock huffed and stormed away, muttering about contaminants and not wanting something anymore.