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A Romance Like Any Other

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Greg could tell that there was something bothering Sherlock. While he hadn’t known the man that long really, he knew that for all Sherlock liked to pretend that he was above emotions, he actually felt things rather deeply. Greg admitted that he paid closer attention to the striking man than was necessary, but since said consulting detective was usually so engrossed in the case details, he hadn’t noticed. Greg thought, at least.

 

Today, instead of blurting out case details and calling everyone and their dog an idiot, Sherlock was subdued. He’d started out interested, but then became quiet. Greg tried to pry out details, make Sherlock flounce about to prove himself as usual, but he just gave the answers plainly. Even talking to the people who knew the victim didn’t give him a burst of energy.

 

Greg had asked if he was ok, but was met with a stern glare that threatened not to press further. Respecting his personal space, Greg had backed off and let his concern bubble beneath the surface.

 

Greg now was sat on his couch, beer in hand, thinking about Sherlock. It was no secret to himself that he harboured feelings for him, but doubted anything could come of it. Sherlock was an incredibly attractive and intelligent young man; what would he want with an aging simple copper?

 

He didn’t want to push the boundaries of their friendship by calling him to see if he was alright. He’d been there in some of Sherlock’s more foul moods, and didn’t feel like being on the receiving end of another angry rant. He did worry, though, that Sherlock would turn to a more chemical means of support in difficult times.

 

It had to be the case. The change in him was so sudden, that Greg can’t think of anything else. The problem was that Greg couldn’t really work out what it was exactly about this case in particular that had been so difficult for Sherlock. It was a murder, not too gruesome, and not overly complicated aside from the fact that there wasn’t many people in the victim’s life that interacted with him often.

 

Greg decided that he’d invite Sherlock out for drinks as a way to keep an eye on him without seeming overly concerned. The man might look through his ruse, but Greg needed to do so for his own sake of mind.

 

  • Busy day today. Thanks for your help. Want to get a drink?

 

Immediately after he sent it, he realised how it could be read. He bit his lip and stared in worry at his phone, desperately hoping that Sherlock wouldn’t take offense to the inference that Greg was asking him out.

 

  • I don’t want to be around other people and drink. SH

 

Greg exhaled in relief.

 

  • Yeah, I get that. How about just a drink at yours, then?
  • Don’t feel you have to go out of your way to prove I won’t end up the same. SH

 

Well, that was odd. Greg looked at his phone and read the text over thrice. The same as what?

 

  • I’m not. I want to just relax with good company

 

Greg figured that at least his response could be read as either knowing what Sherlock was talking about or being ignorant.

 

  • Then why ask me? SH

 

That came out of nowhere, Greg thought, frowning. Sherlock really was in a dark mood. Greg’s worry increased, and he just wanted to go over to Baker Street and give him a hug.

 

  • Why wouldn’t I? I like you

 

Greg inhaled sharply as he realised what he’d written, and quickly added another text.

 

  • ‘re company

 

Yes, now it looks like I’m just an idiot who can’t type, not an idiot in love.

 

  • Urgh, ‘your’, Lestrade. SH

 

Or spell, it seems, Greg added in his head.

 

  • So that’s a yes?
  • SH

 

Elated, Greg grabbed a bottle of scotch he’d been saving and left the flat. He was at Sherlock’s in twenty minutes, which was rather impressive. He knocked and the landlady, Mrs Hudson, answered the door.

 

“Oh, hello dear. He’s just upstairs. He was making an awful sound on the violin before.”

“Throwing cats again?” Greg asked, jovial.

“Not much. More… sad.”

 

Greg nodded at her and went up. Sherlock was laying strewn over his couch dramatically, much like he’d seen before, but there was a sombre air in the flat.

“Sherlock?”

“Hello Lestrade.”

“I didn’t know if you actually had anything in, so I brought this.” He held up the bottle. “This alright?”

 

Sherlock cast his eyes towards him and shrugged half-heartedly. Greg pinched his lips and made himself comfortable amongst the mess.

“Composing?” Greg asked, indicating to the violin.

“Why are you here, Lestrade?” Sherlock asked bluntly.

 

Greg was about to put on a fake nonchalance, but the words died in his throat as he opened his mouth from the glare Sherlock shot at him. He cleared his throat and looked at his feet. “I was worried about you,” he mumbled.

“I’m not using, I don’t have any in the flat. Duty fulfilled. You can go.”

“I… do you want me to leave?”

 

Sherlock didn’t respond, which usually meant that the answer he’d give would give away his feelings. Sherlock didn’t actually want him to leave. Greg sighed. “And Sherlock,” he continued, “I’m not here to just make sure you’re clean.”

“What else would it be?”

“Because I actually want to talk with you.”

“About what?”

 

Again, the words died in his mouth. He couldn’t say ‘nothing’, because that’d be a lie; but he also didn’t want to admit to how deeply he cared for him. “Just… chat, you know?”

“No,” Sherlock said with a hum. “People don’t just chat with me. They either want something or I want something from them.”

“Is that how you see all conversations? Transactions?”

“Aren’t they?”

“No,” he protested. “It’s just… you know, company. Getting to know each other. Friendship. That sort of thing.”

 

Sherlock rolled his eyes, but clearly there was more going on than a distaste for the idea. Greg decided he’d be a bit brave. “I was worried about how you were feeling, Sherlock, and because I care about you.”

“Why?”

“Because you seemed pretty down today.”

“No, why do you care about me?”

 

Greg was a bit stumped. He didn’t have an exact answer for that; not because he didn’t have reason, but because there were so many he didn’t know where to begin.

 

“See? You can’t think of any. So–”

“Oi, hang on. I didn’t answer because I didn’t expect to ever have to answer a question like that. Sherlock, there’s so many reasons I care. I-I like you, you know. You’re smart, you are kind–”

 

Sherlock scoffed at that. Greg looked directly at him so that the man’s icy eyes could see how genuine he was. “No, you are, Sherlock. You might not be a saint, but you are kind. You care for justice, for people, and for the right thing. You’re incredibly talented, you always have something interesting to talk about, you’re quirky… I could keep going.”

 

Sherlock honestly looked like he didn’t know what to say. He looked so small to Greg, so vulnerable all of a sudden. Then it hit him. The victim in the case had been considered ‘different’ by those around him, and so not really interacted with. People hadn’t noticed he’d been killed for days, and even when being asked about him, they weren’t exactly remembering him fondly. Sherlock was worried he’d end up the same – as the text message now implied. Alone and unwanted because of being too different.

 

Greg breathed steadily (or he’d be hyperventilating at the thought of what he was about to do) and put a hand on the younger man’s shoulder. Sherlock didn’t flinch, but looked at him in surprise.

 

“Sherlock, you’re not going to end up like the victim today.”

“I have enemies,” Sherlock protested quietly. “I might run out of luck one day.”

“You’re not alone, though; there’s Mrs Hudson downstairs, and there’s Mike at the hospital, and, well, me.”

 

Sherlock sat upright and shirked his shoulder out of Greg’s grip. “As much as I enjoy working with your ex-boyfriend, Lestrade, it’s not exactly companionship or even a friendship wherein he’d notice if I disappeared for a week.”

 

Companionship? Greg’s mind fixated on that one word. That’s what he wants? He’s despairing because he thinks he couldn’t be loved?

“I didn’t think you were after, er, companionship.”

“Of course I am,” Sherlock snapped back. “Just because I don’t actively seek it, doesn’t mean I don’t want it.”

 

“But you always seem… you say that only the work matters.”

“It’s easier that way. Better to tell yourself that you’re not interested than to stand on the other side looking in on what you want, knowing you’ll never get it.”

“Sherlock,” Greg started, and was met with the most emotional gaze he’d seen from the detective. He swallowed. “Just because you’re a bit different doesn’t mean you’re un-loveable. There’s someone out there who’ll love you for you, quirks and all. Trust me.”

 

“No one would want me like this,” Sherlock breathed.

“That’s not true.”

“How do you know?” Sherlock scoffed.

“Because I do,” Greg answered softly, summoning all of his bravery.

 

Sherlock froze and stared. Greg could see him scanning for any hint of insincerity. He let him.

 

“Oh,” Sherlock exclaimed, shocked. Greg smiled warmly.

“Is that ok?”

“I-I,” Sherlock stuttered.

“I’m not expecting anything,” Greg said quickly. “I know you’re not exactly experienced, and that’s totally fine. Nothing can change if you don’t want it to. But, if you’re open to it, I’d,” – he swallowed – “I’d like to show you how special you are to me.”

 

The air was tense between them as Greg waited. His heart was hammering in his chest as his brain listed all of the reasons why Sherlock would reject him. I’m just an old, dumb cop to him… what would he see in me?

 

“Alright.”

 

Greg took a moment to absorb the answer, and then his heart leapt. He grinned, nodded, and then looked away, still smiling.

 


 

The next time Sherlock appeared at a crime scene, Greg waved to him as he arrived. Sherlock actually looked flustered and twitched his hand in a sort-of wave back.

 

Sherlock behaved as usual, spouting deductions left, right, and centre, but he finished it off with a kind smile to Greg.

 

As they were leaving, Sally shot Greg a questioning look. He just smiled at her.

 


 

Sherlock sat in Greg’s office, listening and thinking, while Greg bounced ideas off Sally.

 

Sally called Sherlock ‘Freak’ again. Greg immediately got defensive and snapped at her, telling her never to call him that again or she can find another department to work in. They both knew that technically Greg couldn’t do that, but the message was clear.

 

Once Sally left the room, Sherlock said to him, “Thank you, Lestrade.”

“Greg,” he responded.

“Greg.”

 

Greg beamed.

 


 

It was a cold morning to be out standing by the Thames. Greg cuddled into his coat and wished he’d had the forethought to buy himself two coffees that morning – one to drink then, and one for now.

 

Sherlock arrived on the scene in a flash of his dark coat billowing in the icy wind. Greg’s mood lifted. He was careful not to make too much of a scene, since he was always cautious of making Sherlock uncomfortable, and so busied himself in observing the body.

 

He waited until Sherlock was right beside him before he let himself smile. Instead of a hello, Sherlock thrust his hand out. Greg looked down and saw a gloved hand giving him a steaming cup of coffee. His heart melted.

 


 

The afternoon had become rather nice, despite its chilly beginnings. Sherlock had solved the case within the first hour, and the rest of the day had involved finding the physical evidence to support a conviction.

 

He pulled out his phone and texted, ‘Hey Sherlock. Thanks for your help today. We might even get enough to put the woman away within the week. Just wanted to remind you that we appreciate you.’

 

The reply came quickly; ‘You’re the only one I care about appreciating me, and you don’t need to text to remind me. SH’.

 

Greg felt lighter for the rest of the day.

 


 

“Hungry?” Greg asked.

“I don’t eat when I’m working.”

“But you’ve solved the case already.”

 

Sherlock paused and considered this. “Very well. I know a good Chinese near here.” He then started walking away.

 

Greg chuckled and trotted after him, ignoring the looks from his team.

 


 

Greg was pacing around his flat. They’d been… well, more than flirting, but not quite dating… for a month now, and Greg wanted to try take the next step. Sherlock had been receptive to all the extra time together and small gestures of affection (bringing coffee, smiles, a bump on the shoulder, kind words spoken), and so Greg hoped that he’d be up to having dinner together.

 

He decided to just go for it. He pressed call.

 

“Lestrade, you know I prefer to text.”

“Yeah, I know Sherlock, but this is something I’d rather ask in person.”

“But you–”

“I realise that,” Greg snapped, and then took a breath. “Sorry, I’m just… I wanted to ask you to dinner.”

“…”

“Sherlock?”

“Very well.”

“Really?” Greg tried not let his surprise to come through. He’d expected more resistance. “G-great, I mean. When is good for you?”

“I haven’t had dinner. Be here in half an hour.”

 

Greg’s eyes blew wide. “Now? Good. Yes. Right. So, where would you…?”

“We’ll find somewhere, I’m sure.” Greg could practically hear the smirk over the phone. “Just come up when you get here.”

 

Sherlock hung up, and Greg had to take a moment to process what had happened. He’d not only managed to get Sherlock to agree to go on a proper date, but he wanted to do it now.

“Shit, I’d better have a shower,” Greg mumbled to himself.

 

Forty minutes later, Greg was walking up the stairs to 221B. He’d gone for nice jeans, a white shirt, and a suit jacket. If it weren’t for the jeans, he’d look like he was going to work – he just didn’t really own anything that was specifically nice for dates. It hadn’t been a priority. He rationalised that Sherlock would be wearing the same as what he always did, all hidden under that Belstaff, and so it wouldn’t be amiss.

 

He walked into the flat to see Sherlock standing at the window.

“You’re late,” Sherlock said, without any bite.

“Sorry.” Greg couldn’t give any excuses, since he was captivated by the outfit Sherlock was wearing. Someone should probably tell the man that he was wearing clothes two sizes too small, but it wasn’t going to be him.

 

Sherlock turned around and smirked at seeing Greg’s face. “I’m glad you approve.”

“I… yes.”

“You look nice.”

 

Greg blinked. It was still unusual for him to be a recipient of compliments from Sherlock. The past month he’d come to realise more than ever how much of that bravado and bite were done as protective measures around a very vulnerable inside.

 

“Thanks. Feel like Italian?” Greg asked.

“Yes, actually. If you’re amenable to it, I have a suggestion for a venue.”

“Of course.”

“Great. I’ll direct the cab.”

 

Sherlock grabbed his coat and walked down the stairs. Greg had to take a moment to get his brain working properly. It was still caught up with thoughts around, ‘he’s actually going on a date with me, and he’s going looking like that’. He followed behind the lithe frame, taking the chance to admire the purple shirt.

 

The restaurant was, Greg realised once arriving, exactly what he’d been expecting from Sherlock. It wasn’t fancy, but it was nice. Intimate, tucked away, and looked to be in that range of ‘good food’ and ‘good value’.

 

“Sherlock!” a large Italian man boomed from the counter.

“Hello, Angelo. The usual table, please.”

“Certainly, certainly.”

 

Greg was shown to the table by the window, complete with a candle for the table. He felt rather exposed there, but was also thrilled that Sherlock felt comfortable enough being out with him that he’d choose to sit where all could see them.

 

“And who is your friend?” Angelo asked as he handed them the menus.

Greg froze and waited. He didn’t know what to say; he and Sherlock hadn’t exactly discussed their relationship thus far, nor how much they were going to tell others. His heart pounded in his chest and his throat closed up, making the ‘Greg’ he said as a response sound rather squeaky.

“My date,” Sherlock responded, and it made Greg want to hug him then and there.

“Oh, well, let me get you some wine!” Angelo cried happily and left.

 

“Don’t look so surprised, Lestrade,” Sherlock said without looking up from the menu. “Of course I’m going to tell people. It’s not like I particularly care what most think of me, as you should well know by now.”

“Thanks,” he answered dumbly.

 

Sherlock looked up, and then cocked his head gently as his eyes raked over him. “Oh,” he breathed, and put the menu down. “Greg, I’m not ashamed to be with you. You’re one of the few people I’ve met whose company I actually enjoy. You shouldn’t think so low of yourself; we both have our faults.”

 

Greg could only nod as he felt the relief wash over him. Angelo returned with a bottle of wine and left it in an ice bucket. He nodded to them and left again, saying he’d take their menus shortly.

 

“Speaking honestly,” Sherlock continued, “I had rather expected you to be the one with reservations regarding…” Sherlock waved his hand vaguely between them. It was only in the most difficult of emotional issues that Sherlock became unable to articulate himself.

 

“God, no. Not me. I just keep feeling like I’m so far out of your league that you won’t want to be seen with me,” Greg explained. Sherlock just rolled his eyes and shook his head, and it was just so Sherlock that Greg could hear the ‘stupid’ being said in a fond tone.

 

“If you’re in the mood for pasta, Angelo’s lasagne is excellent,” Sherlock said as he returned his attention to the menu.

“Yeah, sounds good.” Greg put his down. “What are you having?”

“I feel in the mood for pesto.”

 

Greg sipped his wine. The music was calming, but his heart still hammered uncomfortably. Angelo returned and took their order with a big smile.

“Whatever you want, is on the house,” he said loudly, clasping his hand over Sherlock’s shoulder.

“No, no, that’s really–”

“No, I insisted. Sherlock gave me back my life!” Angelo interrupted Greg.

“Oh?”

“Yes, sir. Got me off a murder charge.”

 

Greg couldn’t help but frown a little at Sherlock.

“Legitimately,” Sherlock answered with the subtext of ‘obviously’. “Angelo was implicated, but he hadn’t done it. I proved the fact by proving he was housebreaking at the time in a completely different part of town.”

Greg’s eyes flickered uncomfortably to Angelo. He wasn’t on duty, but still had responsibilities.

“Relax, Lestrade. He’s not involved in that anymore.”

“No, sir. Just sharing my passion for food now! I learned a lot from that time.”

 

“Good.” Greg sipped at his wine uncomfortably. “Glad to hear.”

 

Angelo took their orders and left again. Once he was gone, Greg turned to Sherlock. “Please tell me that he wasn’t supplying you with drugs at the time.”

“Would it matter?” Sherlock asked. “It was some time ago. Besides, it’s rather prejudice for you to assume that he was involved in drugs because he was a criminal.”

“No, I just know that generally the only criminals you know are involved in drugs.”

 

Sherlock smirked at him, rather impressed. He didn’t deny it, Greg noted. “You know how I feel about you taking drugs, Sherlock.”

“Yes, yes,” Sherlock grumbled. “I haven’t since that evening you came over.”

“I… really?”

 

Greg smiled fondly at him. Sherlock was making an honest effort for him, and it warmed Greg’s insides. “Thank you.”

Sherlock shrugged it away, but Greg could see the appreciation there.

 

The food was, as promised, excellent. They conversed a little about the cases together, but also about other things. Greg asked about Sherlock’s music, and was surprised that Sherlock actually talked about his passion for music since he was little. Greg spoke about his days as a punk teenager, learning the guitar. Hearing Sherlock talk about music made him want to pick it up again.

 

At the end of the evening, Greg walked Sherlock back to his flat. He knew that Sherlock wasn’t ready for anything physical, but he desperately wanted to give him a kiss goodnight. He hadn’t had that nice an evening in a long time, and it was difficult to restrain himself from pulling the man into a hug. Greg was a cuddly type.

 

“I had a great time,” Greg said as Sherlock opened the door to 221.

“I did as well.” Sherlock paused in the entrance. “Thank you,” he uttered quietly. “No one has made me feel like… just an ordinary person… in some time.”

 

Greg wanted to say ‘but you’re not ordinary, you’re amazing’, but knew what Sherlock had meant. Everyone treated him as being different, and not always in a good way. When everyone made it a point of showing that he wasn’t the same as them, it was special to be treated just like everyone else. A person capable of being loved.

 

“You deserve to have the normal things in life too, Sherlock,” he said gently. He smiled and took Sherlock’s hand. “And I’d very much like to take you out again soon.”

 

Sherlock blushed. It was adorable. Then Sherlock moved forward and pressed a kiss to his cheek, and Greg almost died. He had to stop himself making an unmanly squeak as he exhaled.

 

“Goodnight, Greg.”

“Goodnight.”

 

Sherlock shut the door, and Greg had a bounce in his step as he walked away.

 


 

  • Why are people so stupid? SH
  • Because they’re not you.
  • Lestrade, I insist you select your team based on their intelligence. SH
  • You know I can’t do that. Just tolerate it, and if you do a good job, I’ll take you out tonight for a special dinner.

 

Greg smiled into his phone and looked over to where Sherlock was, attempting to point out evidence to the forensics team. Anderson looked particularly unhappy. Sherlock caught his eye, and then looked back to his phone.

 

  • Bribery won’t work, Lestrade. SH
  • There will be honey flavoured ice-cream involved.

 

Greg looked back to Sherlock pointedly, and while he was too far away to see the expression on his face, he hoped it came across.

 

  • SH

 

“What are you smiling at, boss?” Sally asked him. Greg looked up from his phone, and quickly pocketed it.

“Nothing.”

“Right. Well, try remember that you’re at a murder scene.”

“Yes.”

 

He, of course, couldn’t help but still behave altogether too bright for the rest of the morning.

 


 

It was with a blush that Greg knocked on Sherlock’s door. Second official date, his mind supplied helpfully. He tried to tell it to stop acting like a besotted teenager, but it was no use.

 

“Come in, Lestrade,” Sherlock called through the door.

 

He entered the flat, but he didn’t see Sherlock straight away. “Sherlock?”

“Coming.”

 

Greg turned to the source of the voice, coming out of the hallway. He stopped dead mid-swirl.

“Just give me a few minutes. Don’t touch the coffee mugs,” Sherlock said casually, as if he wasn’t standing before Greg in just a towel.

 

Greg could only nod his head jerkily. He sat himself down on the sofa, happy to have some time to himself to process the image of Sherlock’s expanse of pale skin. Pull it together, Lestrade. Yes, he’s gorgeous, but you have to behave.

 

Moments later Sherlock returned clad in a crisp suit, one that fitted better than his purple shirt (well, ‘better’ wasn’t exactly the correct adjective, his brain supplied. ‘More correctly’ was perhaps appropriate instead), but just as perfect.

 

“Is this suitable?” Sherlock asked, opening his hands out for Greg to inspect.

“A-always,” Greg stammered. Sherlock gave a satisfactory humph, and grabbed his coat.

“Good. I would hate to think that I was under-dressing for you.”

 

Greg paused before following Sherlock. “What do you mean?”

“Well,” Sherlock started, but instead of finishing, he looked away.

 

Greg knew this to mean he was embarrassed about the answer, and so he concluded it would reveal his vulnerability. He decided to take a stab. “Sherlock, you do realise that I don’t care what you wear. I’m not expecting you to dress well enough for me or to be seen with me.”

 

There was a moment where Sherlock didn’t move, still looking out into the stairwell. “Most do care about appearances like that.”

“Sherlock, mate. I’ve seen you in clothes not fit to be called such, coated in what I can only describe as eau-de-sewage.”

“Don’t remind me,” Sherlock mumbled, interrupting.

“My point is, that I care about you and not what you wear. I’m pleased that you want to make an effort for me, but I don’t expect it. You could wear nothing at all for all I care.”

 

Greg suddenly realised what he’d said and went bright red, and started mumbling to cover up his slip. Sherlock just turned and smirked at him.

 

“Thank you, Greg,” Sherlock said sincerely, in lieu of a biting remark. Greg closed his mouth and nodded.

 

The restaurant was nice, serving Greek food. Sherlock only picked at his meal, and Greg decided to not go beyond gentle prodding to get him to eat. They weren’t working a case, but sometimes he knew that Sherlock just didn’t feel interested in food. Instead he let the atmosphere remain casual between them with conversation.

 

As promised, Greg took them to a small ice-cream shop. It was tucked away, but it was rather popular. Greg didn’t like that Sherlock seemed uncomfortable around the people there, but at least he seemed more interested in the dessert than he had been for the main meal.

 

Five minutes later, they left with a cup each. Greg had chosen coffee (obviously) and a hazelnut one. Sherlock had elected to have two helpings of the honey flavour. Occasionally Greg would glance in Sherlock’s direction and smile, feeling a mix of fondness and arousal at the sight of Sherlock happily licking a dribble. He seemed so innocent it was downright indecent to be thinking what Greg was, and yet the sight of his tongue lapping out to catch the creamy liquid made it difficult for Greg to look away despite of the effect it was having on him in public.

 

They returned to Baker Street. Greg was hesitant to cross the threshold. He didn’t want to give Sherlock the impression he wanted to take things too fast, but he also really didn’t want the evening to end. Thankfully Sherlock seemed oblivious to his conflict, simply continuing to talk to him while walking in the door and up the stairs.

 

Sherlock flopped himself down into his chair. Greg took the sofa more gently.

“That was nice,” Sherlock announced.

“Yeah, I enjoyed it too. I’m glad you came out.”

“Please,” Sherlock said as he rolled his eyes. “I’ve never exactly been closeted. Never saw the point in it. Nor have I in declaring myself either, to be honest.”

“No,” Greg chuckled. “I meant with me for dinner tonight.”

 

“Right. I… I enjoy our time together.”

“Good.”

 

There was an awkward lapse in the conversation. He cleared his throat and stood up, walking to the kitchen. “Coffee?”

Greg’s answer was a long sigh. He stopped and looked at Sherlock quizzically. “I told you not three hours ago not to touch the coffee mugs,” Sherlock explained.

“Oh. Sorry. Distracted, I guess.”

 

Sherlock hummed and bounced out of the chair. “I’ll make something for you. Don’t want you to get poisoned.”

“How kind,” Greg joked. He leant against the kitchen bench as he watched Sherlock prepare the kettle.

“I do try, you know.”

 

Greg let the expression fall on his face and he reached out his hand to gently place it on Sherlock’s shoulder. “I know you do,” he answered gently.

“I’m not the inconsiderate monster your colleagues think I am.”

“I-I know that,” Greg protested. “Why would you think I thought so?”

 

Sherlock didn’t answer. He continued to make the coffee. Greg just waited until it felt right to speak again. He knew that sometimes people gave him a hard time, and guessed it was something Anderson said at the crime scene today.

 

“I try to present like the only thing that matters to me is the work,” Sherlock finally spoke, looking at the bench. “But it’s only because the alternative means that I feel the hurt of being different and alone.”

“You’re not alone, Sherlock,” Greg added in a gentle voice. “If I’m very lucky, you won’t be alone for a long time.”

 

Sherlock looked at him. “You’re serious when you say that, aren’t you?”

“Of course. This isn’t just a… fling, Sherlock. I love you.”

 

It was soon, he knew it, but the moment felt right. Greg knew that Sherlock hadn’t heard those words said to him often in this manner, and so didn’t feel shy to hide it. Suddenly the space between them was much less than it had been, and Greg could sense the man’s breathing on his skin. He swallowed.

 

“I’d very much like to kiss you,” Greg uttered. He knew that it was best to warn Sherlock in favour of spontaneity.

 

Every nerve on Greg’s body fired as Sherlock closed the gap between them and pressed his lips onto Greg’s. He stepped closer to allow his body to lay flush against Sherlock, and brought his hand up Sherlock’s back.

 

It was a tentative, shy kiss, but it was lovely. He could feel Sherlock’s feelings through that tender kiss, and knew then that it hadn’t been premature to say. It had given Sherlock the confidence, or security perhaps, to take another step closer.

 

Greg smiled warmly, and moved in to kiss him again. The kettle signalled it was done, and they broke apart, but remained mere millimetres apart.

 

“Coffee’s ready,” Sherlock whispered.

“Mmm, my two favourite things in arm’s reach. What more could a man want?”

 

Sherlock smiled sheepishly, and turned to pour the water into the mugs. Greg just watched, not caring how stupid the grin on his face was. Sherlock passed Greg his coffee.

 

“Sit on the sofa with me?” Sherlock asked.

“Of course.”

“Coffee’s a bit hot to drink yet.”

 

Sherlock put his mug on the coffee table, and was sure to seat himself right next to Greg. “I’d like to kiss you again,” he said, much to Greg’s surprise. “I like it,” Sherlock admitted bashfully.

“Always. Anytime.” Greg leant forward and pressed his mouth to Sherlock’s wonderfully full lips. “Well, maybe not at murder scenes,” he mumbled in a brief break of contact.

The rumble of Sherlock’s chuckle resonated through the kiss. “Noted.”

 


 

Greg was happy to learn, at a gentle pace, that Sherlock was just as physically inclined as everyone else. They weren’t much different in behaviour around others when working together, but when it was just them, Sherlock’s rough edges all smoothed out. It was just them, a couple like everyone else, enjoying being together.