Greg was in a foul mood as he unlocked the front door at his flat. Work had been long and tiring, a criminal he’d brought in had got off on a technicality, he’d spilled his coffee, and he’d caught a glimpse of his ex-mate out for lunch with a pretty omega half his age. Sounded like an excellent night for whatever leftovers lurked in the fridge, a pint and some trash telly.
To his surprise, Sherlock walked out of the kitchen with a cup of tea and deposited it in his hand.
“I didn’t give you a key,” said Greg, eyeing the tea before sipping it.
“No, you didn’t,” said the alpha, walking back into the kitchen
Greg rolled his eyes and followed him, smelling something cooking. “Are you actually fixing dinner?” he asked, knowing it was a stupid question.
Now it was Sherlock that rolled his eyes. “Obviously,” he said, stirring the skillet.
Greg smirked and sat at the kitchen table, scrubbing a hand through his hair. “Thank you.”
Sherlock shut off the stove and dished out the meal. “While I am fully aware that you are quite capable of taking care of yourself I thought perhaps you might like some company.”
“I hadn’t planned on it, but I’ll take it,” said Greg. “And I’ll make sure you have a proper key.”
“I have one,” said Sherlock, bringing over the plates.
“Of course you do,” muttered Greg, picking up his fork and stabbing a piece of broccoli.
For half a moment Sherlock looked uncharacteristically unsure. Greg sighed and reached over to cover his hand with his own. “It’s fine. I know you’re watching out for me.”
“You do the same for me,” said Sherlock. “I’m still sober.”
“I know. And I’m glad,” said Greg, giving him a small smile. “Been a long day, is all.”
“I could tell by your footsteps,” said Sherlock, sipping his tea.
Greg figured Sherlock already knew everything about his day, but he found himself telling him anyway as they ate, gradually relaxing as he got things off his chest.
He was feeling marginally better as they finished their meal. “I’m going to take a shower,” he told Sherlock, pushing back his chair and making his way down the short hall. He undressed quickly and turned the water on hot, stepping under the spray and closing his eyes.
To his surprise, the door opened and closed. Sherlock stepped behind him, wrapping his arms around Greg’s waist and kissing his shoulder.
Greg smiled. “You needed a shower, too?” It should have felt presumptuous of Sherlock, but honestly it was too welcome for him to protest.
“You wanted me here.” Sherlock reached for Greg’s loofah.
“You’re going to spoil me,” murmured Greg.
“You deserve it,” said Sherlock quietly, starting to wash him.
Greg opened his mouth and closed it again, leaning against the wall of the shower as Sherlock worked. It was true that he often felt like he didn’t deserve the care and affection Sherlock quietly offered him. He’d helped Sherlock out because it was the right thing to do; he hadn’t expected Sherlock to return the favor.
Sherlock kissed his shoulder and rinsed off the loofah, nudging Greg under the spray. “Let me get your hair,” rumbled Sherlock.
Greg opened his mouth and closed it again, knowing Sherlock was determined. He got the last of the soap off and stepped back, crouching slightly.
“Here,” said Sherlock, shutting off the water for the moment, got Greg settled on the edge of the tub and started on his hair, massaging his scalp as he worked. Greg had to admit that it was quite relaxing, Sherlock’s fingers both gentle and strong. His eyes slipped closed and he leaned back against Sherlock’s legs.
It was quiet, intimate. As if there was nothing in the world outside of this moment, outside of Greg allowing himself to be taken care of by an alpha that appreciated him. He nipped that thought in the bud, not wanting anything else to interfere with the moment. Sherlock was here and he wanted to be, that was what mattered.
Finally, Sherlock helped him to his feet and turned on the water again. Greg was pliant in his arms as he rinsed off his hair and then dried him with a warm towel.
“Thank you,” murmured Greg.
Sherlock put an arm around Greg to walk him to the bedroom. Greg smiled as Sherlock scented him before helping him into bed.
“Stay,” Greg said quietly.
“I will,” promised Sherlock, tucking him in and kissing his cheek. “I’ll turn off the lights.”
Greg settled under the covers, breathing the scent of the two of them together. He was nearly asleep when the bed dipped and Sherlock got in behind him, still nude as well. He spooned around Greg and held him gently. And, at least in this moment, Greg felt safe.