Lestrade arrives at Baker Street after days locked up in the office finishing what seemed to be an endless stream of paperwork. He's tired but after he's finished the exhausting work, he wants nothing more than to be able to see Sherlock, with whom he's barely communicated with a couple of text messages, and even Greg has been able to notice that there's been a kind of change in the way he communicates, now there's a degree of concern as well, so he craves to see him.
It may be normal for the rest, but Greg was surprised when he climbed the stairs to Sherlock's flat and found the doors closed. They were usually open to whoever came because it was Sherlock who was always there, even though John went with Rosie from time to time, Sherlock kept them that way for some reason that Greg had not yet dared to ask. Anyway, a little doubtful, Greg decided to knock on the front door before coming in.
“Don't be an idiot, Lestrade," said Sherlock, and Greg would have had time to feel insulted if had it not been for the fact that he was seeing his partner kneeling on the floor in front of a small white dog by the side of the sofa. That was definitely something that had missed in the last few days, wasn't it? ”I know you understand it,” said Sherlock, definitely referring to the animal he was now holding with one hand on its chin and the other on its head, "you can't pee anywhere every time you get upset because I didn't pay attention to you.”
The dog in response was clearly trying to solve the scolding by wagging its tail ceaselessly. Greg frowned.
“I brought Italian," he murmured insecurely. He was really curious to know where this creature had come from, but first things first.
“Perfect, I'm starving.” Sherlock turned his head towards him and grinned so happily that Greg simply smiled back. If he was honest, he didn't remember the last time he saw him this way. But the moment Sherlock turned to the dog, it started licking his nose, and the other only laughed. Lestrade stared at them, unable to believe what he was witnessing.
“Who are you?” Greg asked, laughing and shaking his head. Sherlock said nothing but stood up and walked up to him intending to kiss him but Greg took a step back. “ That just licked you," he said with a disgusted grimace.
“ He is a dog, not a thing.” Sherlock rolled his eyes and walked towards the bathroom, the dog had followed him but suddenly he had returned and was walking towards Lestrade.
“I'll get things set up and you'll tell me who it is," said Greg raising his voice, the dog began to smell him, but Greg ignored him as he walked to the kitchen.
The dog had tried to greet him , putting his front paws on his legs, but as Greg was still busy with the rest, he just offered him back a few mimes with a slightly louder tone of voice.
Sherlock came back with his face wet, but this time he was greeted with a chaste kiss on the lips.
“Hello," murmured Greg with a smile before he finished serving the dishes on the table. Sherlock took a seat and Lestrade sat next to him, the dog had meanwhile sat on the floor in the space between the two and looked at them with his eyes wide open.
“You've got your food," Sherlock said with his mouth full of his own dinner and Greg grimaced again. He didn't know what to expect from this Sherlock.
In the absence of response regarding this new tenant in the apartment, Greg told Sherlock some of the data from the cases he had been filing. It was unbelievable, but Sherlock really sat there and listened to him talk about it, even when it was already solved and closed, with murderers probably behind bars many years ago. And it was incredible, he knew it, but Sherlock really seemed to pay attention to what he was talking about as if he really wanted to be there. Despite the time, it was something Greg didn't know how to get used to.
When they were finished, Greg slowly pulled away from the table in the chair and the dog, who had finally lay down when no one listened to him, startled and looked at them expectantly.
“I have nothing for you," said Greg in at his direction. He shook his head for himself, now he was talking to a dog. “All right, tell me," he said quickly to Sherlock.
“It's not much.” Sherlock shrugged. “After a failed experiment in Molly's lab where some blood splashed over my clothes and no taxi wanted to take me, I went to the station and found him walking around. I approached him and he wouldn't go away.” He shrugged again, the dog now was gone, and after sighing very loud he went to his bed beside the window. “He was lost. Mrs. Hudson and I took him to the vet to see if everything was all right and brought him back here.”
“Did you keep him then?”
“No," he said, lowering his head. “I brought him in and asked Mycroft to look for the information he had on his badge and it turned out that he had owners.”
“Damn it, I'm sorry, Sherlock.” Greg put one hand on his partner's forearm because it was clear how suddenly he was fond of this creature. “But...”
“Why didn't we return him? They're on a trip. He escaped as soon as they left and from what Mycroft said, they were really affected by it but they couldn't do much as they would be late for their flight. Apparently, they left someone in charge, some neighbor, but he ventured a little further," Sherlock told him, and mentioning the latter, Greg saw his eyes light up slightly. “His name is Loki, the plaque says so.”
“Oh, like the character from the movies.” Greg smiled but Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
Lestrade disdained with his hand and shook his head.
“So he's staying with you until they get back.”
“And you've got him a bed and toys.”
“If he’s staying for a few days, the least I can do is to make his stay pleasant.”
Greg laughed, and gently stroked his arm, but suddenly he couldn't contain the yawn he let go.
“Can I go take a nap in your bed?”
“Why do you even ask, Lestrade?
“Manners, Sunshine," he replied with a grin as he stood up and now gently squeezed Sherlock's shoulder, "you should learn from that someday.
“Boring," he announced, and whatever he was about to comment on, he was silenced by a kiss from Greg.
“I'll see you later," he said before going for a well-deserved rest in Sherlock's room.
When Greg woke up and stopped orienting himself as to where he was, he was surprised when he noticed that it was still daylight from the light coming in from the window. He made an abrupt move as he stretched over the bed and almost leaped when he saw something white leaping quickly from his side to the floor and ran out the door. With a frown, he sat down and touched one side of the bed where part of the surface was clearly warmer than the rest.
He stood up without bothering to put his shoes back on and walked out of the room to the kitchen, where Sherlock was sitting typing on his computer.
“Was the dog sleeping next to me?” he asked, followed by a yawn and scratching the back of his head.
Sherlock didn't look up from what he was doing.
“I suppose he was," he said softly, and as soon as he had finished pressing enter with a little more force than the rest of the keys, he turned to him and shrugged. “He usually does that when I'm not paying attention to him.”
“Sleep in your bed?” Sherlock nodded, "He's a spoiled dog then, eh?”
“It doesn't bother me.”
Greg frowned again but glanced around in search of the creature. Loki was now lying in his own bed but stared at him with a sad expression. Sherlock turned to him and laughed.
“What?” asked Greg, slightly offended.
“He’s trying to manipulate you and make you feel bad for getting him out of bed.”
“Why do you even like him?” Greg rolled his eyes but didn't wait for an answer when he walked straight to the coffee pot, thinking how much he needed that. He couldn't wait until that month was over to stop having his superior's gaze on him all the time and forget a little bit of the mountain of files that he still had in his office to finish and finally be able to sleep what he hadn't done in the last few days.
Shortly after Lestrade sat down to drink his coffee in front of Sherlock at the table, the consulting detective had gone back to work on whatever it was he was working on his computer, or probably arguing with whoever he was arguing with at the time, while Greg simply read the news on his phone and drank his cup of hot coffee, from time to time annoying the man in front of him by gently kicking him in the shin pads, getting annoying looks over the laptop screen, Greg laughed softly.
When Lestrade finished and stood up, he saw that the dog now stood in front of the kitchen door and had also risen from his place, vigorously wagging his little tail back and forth.
“I think the dog wants something," he let Sherlock know, gently tapping his shoulder because he knew his partner would be too focused on what he was doing it was so unlikely he would have heard him.
Sherlock startled slightly but was relieved when he saw Greg's gaze and turned to see what he had pointed out to him.
“Ah. He must want to go out," he said then and seemed to doubt it, but looked at Greg again, “don't you want to take him out for a walk? He must do his business.
Greg laughed with pure irony.
“No.” He shook his head and saw Sherlock fake a pout on his lips. “You're such child sometimes. I won't go alone with him, I don't know how he behaves," he said quietly in his voice and Sherlock was about to reply but Greg continued, "My sister's dog used to do strange things, I don't want to find out what this spoiled little boy does outside.”
“He's not so bad," Sherlock said.
“Let's go together. How long have you been there?” Greg asked, pointing to the screen on now.
Sherlock sighed dramatically, “Alright.”
Lestrade smiled and when he looked back at the dog, he saw that he was still wagging his tail happily, probably understanding that he would finally get out of that place. Greg went for his shoes and took his time to visit the bathroom and fix what his little nap had left in his hair. When he returned to the room, Sherlock was standing, already had his coat on and next to him was Loki excited giving small jumps towards Sherlock, with a harness on his body and a leash that ended coiled in the hand of his partner.
“Somebody's excited," said Greg smiling and Sherlock made a sound of approval. Lestrade went for his coat too and together they left the apartment.
They knew they wouldn't have much until the sky began to darken completely, but there wasn't much to go to where Sherlock lived to have a nice walk with a dog, so they continued to walk slowly around, stopping at every tree they found where Loki had to mark his territory. Sherlock and Greg chatted quietly while the dog tried to hurry them. Lestrade was very amused to hear Sherlock speak to him and scold an animal with absolute certainty that he would be able to understand him perfectly.
Lestrade wasn't quite sure, but walking this way with Sherlock, so slowly and also accompanied by a dog, grew the desire to simply take his hand and walk by his side with his fingers intertwined, but he didn't know what Sherlock would think of that. He knew it was okay for John and others to know about their relationship, even Mycroft, who surprisingly hadn't found out as one would imagine, but it had been when Sherlock had mentioned it as a matter of fact to him. They've never had this conversation before, would it be okay if he did and people saw them? Sherlock was kind of a celebrity, and Greg himself sometimes had to go out and give statements about the cases NSY worked on. He didn't really know how they would react there when they found out, although some people on his team knew about his bisexuality, the news that he was also with Sherlock Holmes, would probably leave them stunned for weeks. And when it came to work, Sherlock helped them a lot less often than before, and that shouldn't be a big deal.
He let the back of his hand casually touch the back of Sherlock's hand every time they took a step. Maybe Sherlock wouldn't even notice, Greg thought, naturally.
"There's no way there's more pee in that small body, I'm sure," Greg laughed when he saw the dog get excited when he found another tree, he lifted his leg but it was clear to them that nothing came out. Though that didn't stop him the next few times as they walked, of course.
"I know what you're doing," said Sherlock suddenly when they turned a corner. It took Greg a moment to realize he was talking to him and not the dog.
He looked up at him and was sure he had blushed.
"I'm sorry," he replied with surprising shyness. "It's just... I'm not sure if it's okay if…"
"It is," Sherlock interrupted with his gaze fixed on the road. Greg wouldn't be able to read any expression on his face that way. "I wouldn't have imagined you'd be the type to blush with such a thing, Lestrade."
And Greg laughed nervously, finally releasing how tense he had felt the last few minutes as he wondered what would happen if he did.
"To be honest," said Greg, "it's all your fault.
Sherlock looked at him quickly and as soon as he frowned, Greg shoved his arm with his shoulder, laughing again. Sherlock rolled his eyes, but suddenly took his hand and interlaced their fingers. Lestrade let out a sound of clear surprise, looking from his hands to Sherlock's face.
"It's not a big deal," he said quietly as they continued walking, and although Greg didn't agree with his comment, he didn't reply and continued walking with a big smile on his lips.
And the stupor in Lestrade did nothing but get bigger when, the moment the dog stopped to smell something, Sherlock turned to his side and planted a little kiss on his lips. But even in his astonished state, Greg managed to let go of Sherlock's hand and surprise him when he grabbed his neck and planted another kiss, but this time half-opening their lips to allow them to slide their tongues together. He couldn't help but be proud when Sherlock let out a sound of surprise at the act, but no doubt he responded accordingly. Lestrade had noticed before that they were not in a precisely lonely place, but there were fewer people than in the main streets. Part of him hoped that no one would recognize them while the kiss continued.
They didn't talk about it when they walked away because as soon as they looked down they saw that Loki had finally taken care of his needs that afternoon. Lestrade let out a disgusting gesture, to which Sherlock in response rolled his eyes again, as he moved further away from Greg and took out of his coat pocket a small bag with which he disposed of the garbage that the dog had left. Apparently, that had been the peak of their walk, because Sherlock decided it was time to go back to the flat.
Lestrade was not an expert on dogs, but he had noticed that Loki was nervous with the noise of cars passing by so they walked faster this time, probably indicating that their owners didn't live in the center of the city. Sherlock threw the bag in a dumpster on his way.
The dog was notoriously much more exhausted when they entered the apartment and went straight to drink water from his plate. Sherlock had gone to wash his hands and when he came back he planted one more kiss on his cheek. Maybe someday Greg would get used to these signs of affection he gave him out of nowhere.
"Maybe we can order something to eat?" asked Lestrade before Sherlock approached his computer again.
"Didn't we eat earlier today?"
"Yeah, and we're human, Sherlock, we need to eat more than once a day."
"Do we?" he said with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.
"Well, if you don't want to, I'll order food for myself then," said Lestrade shrugging and taking his phone out of his pocket.
"Chinese," said Sherlock quickly, even before he picked out something in his head.
Lestrade smiled at him and walked to the room to place the order. When he returned, Sherlock was already sitting in front of the computer, although he wasn't typing this time, but had one hand on the cursor of the device and the other on his lips. He seemed thoughtful.
Sherlock startled and turned his body to look at him.
Lestrade walked towards him, taking a quick look at the room where the dog was now on the floor avidly biting one of his toys. He looked distractedly down at his phone to activate the mobile network that he usually deactivated when he didn't need it, he knew that if his presence was required in the office they would simply call him first.
He had not even been able to take a seat in the chair when the device began to vibrate more times than it would normally.
The younger man lowered his hand from his mouth and gestured to the phone in his hand as he sighed, "See it by yourself," he muttered.
More worryingly, Greg unlocked his phone screen to see that there had been several unread messages from both friends and unknown numbers and names.
"What…?" he stopped mid-sentence when he opened his Facebook app and the first thing he saw was a photograph of himself and Sherlock kissing hotly in front of a building. Lestrade blinked a couple of times at the screen of the device, stunned by what he had just seen. "I…"
He knew his cheeks had warmed up again but ignored it when he heard Sherlock's worried voice.
"Are we in trouble?” he asked and Greg looked up at him, the restless expression of not knowing the clear answer on his face as much as he felt it.
"I'm not sure," he replied. He sighed and took a chair to sit next to him. There was only one way to find out.
He spent a few minutes reading some of the messages that had arrived, but it was nothing more than simple congratulations or ridiculous jokes from men that Lestrade now preferred to ignore. Until he found a message from someone in his work, it was not his Superior, fortunately, but it was none other than Donovan.
She had let him know that in fact, she had discovered them some time ago but that she had not wanted to mention anything because that was part of his private life, which Greg was obviously mentally grateful for, but she had also let him know that as soon as the photograph appeared they had called her in search of a female opinion to find out what she thought of what was happening. She assured him that she had given them the same answer and that it was clear to everyone that Sherlock was no longer as often involved in their cases as he had ever been. At least knowing they were aware had relieved him.
"Apparently," he started talking once he put the phone down and left it on the table, "everything is fine."
Sherlock raised his eyebrows but nodded once. Greg saw him reopening the tab where he would have seen the photo in the first place and turned the computer to show it to him.
"Can we at least agree that Loki looks good here?" he asked sincerely. Greg burst out laughing.
He brought the chair closer to Sherlock's and put his chin to rest on his arm, looking at the picture with a little more attention, "We actually look good there, don't you think?"
He looked up, smiling at him, Sherlock agreed with him.
Lestrade had to take a moment to summon up his courage and call his teenage daughter and tell her that a picture of his father kissing Sherlock would appear and he wanted to warn her in case someone else sent it to him with bad intentions. Sam, his daughter, had known about Sherlock for a long time and in fact, Greg didn't believe how lucky he was, that the two also got along very well. Sam loved Sherlock, but Greg usually tried not to be too demonstrative with his affection for the youngest in front of her, and now, he had to tell her that they had been photographed in the middle of a kiss.
By the time he reached her, Sam had heard about it, and her first comment was to praise the dog and that she was dying to meet him if he was theirs. Greg cleared things up about the dog and promised to see her one of those days before he finished the call.
They sat together on the couch after the food arrived. The dog had put his toy aside and decided it was a better idea to sit on the floor in front of them and look at them with an expression of desolation as they ate what he didn't.
More messages had arrived, and Mycroft had even called Sherlock to ask him to try to be a little more cautious next time because, at the end of the day, he was getting most of the comments about his brother's relationships. Sherlock mocked and ignored him, leaving the phone and the remains of the food boxes to one side, to get closer to Lestrade.
Apparently the idea that they were officially and publicly together had pleased Sherlock more than he would be able to say out loud, because as soon as Greg put his things aside as well, Sherlock had leaned over him and kissed him, with as much emotion as they had done out on the street. And it was only a matter of time before they got warm, and Sherlock added caresses to Greg's neck, trying to put his hand down his chest along with the shirt. Lestrade moved away just a few centimeters to stare into his eyes and smile at him, but when he turned his head, he saw the dog looking at them attentively and wagging his tail, a little more excited when he noticed that now he had their attention on him.
"What's your problem?" asked Lestrade in his direction in a mocking tone.
"I really don't know," Sherlock replied.
The moment had clearly vanished because now Greg was unable to kiss Sherlock again, noticing that the dog was still staring at them. With a burst of laughter, he managed to move a little further away from the other man.
Unfortunately, he informed him that he had to go to his own house as he still had to work the next day and prepare mentally for whatever came his way at work with the new news of his relationship, Sherlock had tried to persuade him to stay with him but Lestrade had had to reject him.
It's been a few days. Greg was again busy working in the field after finding a woman's body in an abandoned house. He hadn't wanted to ask Sherlock for help because even he knew it didn't deserve even a seven on the scale he used to measure how interesting a case sounded.
Luckily things continued normally when he arrived at the office the day after the photograph of the kiss. The same members of the team had made one or another comment to him as a joke, but honestly, nobody seemed to be upset or to annoy him. And even Greg realized that many of them hadn't even been so surprised. Maybe he hadn't been so subtle in the past in front of Sherlock.
Lestrade couldn't be sure if the acceptance he had received was entirely honest on everyone's part, as Sally had let it escape that some of his superiors hadn't wanted to make more noise with the fear that Greg would be able to claim homophobic attacks. Maybe it wasn't the best thing, but he thought the supposed acceptance then, would be fine. He didn't want to imagine now what he'd be in if someone else had been the case.
When many hours went by without talking or a text message, Sherlock would send some new picture of Loki, either him sleeping, him sitting and doing a trick or a direct shot of his eyes. Although Greg was busy and it wouldn't look good anywhere if Detective Chief Inspector was smiling like an idiot at a phone while a person had been killed meters away from where he stood, every time a notification appeared, he just sent some emoji in response.
He had tried to go and visit Sherlock quickly during his lunch hour, but it had been interrupted when he had been urgently called to attend a court session. And when he thought the day was over in his work, he had been called to yet another crime scene. They had been there for hours, getting as much information as they could, but Greg was aware that no one on his team would be able to fully function as they should at that time of dawn so everyone was sent to rest for at least a few hours, including himself of course.
He was too tired and his only thought was to have a comfortable bed to sleep in. His was too far away, he thought, and he didn't think driving in that state of tiredness was a good idea so he took a taxi and went straight to Baker Street. At least sleeping with his partner would do him good, he was sure, even if only for a few hours, he really hoped Sherlock would decide to sleep that night.
Lestrade had held the key to the place for many years, even treasuring it with him after Sherlock's fake death, when he was sure he would never need it again.
He entered in silence and climbed the stairs quietly, he had seen from the outside that the lights were on in Sherlock's apartment, but he was nowhere to be seen in the room now, so Greg just turned off the lights and walked quickly to the open room.
The curtain of the window was a little open and as Lestrade got rid of his coat and the rest of his clothes, he was startled when he saw in the direction of the bed, where a deeply asleep Sherlock was lying on his stomach in the middle of the mattress, his long arm resting on a bundle of white hairs which in fact, Greg noticed, was snoring, as he knew Sherlock didn't.
He didn't quite agree with that, the dog had his bed, for God's sake, but by that time he was tired enough to fall on the floor and sleep there.
With gentle movements, he managed to get under the cover and the sheets, relieved to feel the warmth that finally covered him.
Sherlock let out a sound from the back of his throat but said nothing as he moved a little more to the other side and gave Lestrade more room to settle in.
"I can't believe you're sleeping here with him," muttered Greg, followed by a yawn.
"I had no choice," Sherlock's reluctant response came. Greg lifted his head a little and gasped when he saw that Sherlock actually had his face hidden in the animal's fur, and when Greg noticed it too, Sherlock muttered, "Smells good."
Lestrade shook his head, even though Sherlock didn't see him. And after another yawn, he lay back down but snorted loudly when he heard a growl that definitely wasn't coming from his partner.
"I can't believe you got your dog-shaped copy."
With a smile on his lips, Lestrade didn't take long to fall asleep. And the next morning, he tried not to get upset when instead of his slim partner's body he found a warm mote of wired-like hair that shifted slowly. He squinted as he opened his eyes and got used to the light, staring at the dog that slept placidly hunched over by his side. He wouldn't understand how he had come to that position with him, but at least it calms him down to see Sherlock sleeping on the other side as well, his arm flexed so long as his fingers could touch the animal as well.
The alarm on his phone was still not ringing, so he allowed himself another moment, without having taken his hand off Loki, he began to caress his back and then his neck, earning soft grunts from him, Greg thought he would have liked it because he had only settled better by his side, although it didn't take much until he fell asleep again.
The days went by and Greg tried to go from work to Sherlock to accompany him to Loki in the afternoons. It was no longer a problem at all if people saw them together and holding hands, Greg was really grateful to have that new relief.
That same afternoon, he was about to finish what seemed to be the last piece of paper on which he had to put his signature and he would miraculously leave the office earlier than he had been doing these last few days. In fact, as soon as he dropped the pen on his desk, his phone vibrated in his pocket with a new notification. A message from Sherlock just asking him if he could go that afternoon.
Perhaps yesterday he didn't have the same time as he had the previous days when he was going to visit him or spend the night with him, so he worried a little when he read that, so he preferred to call him.
"Sunshine? I just finished here, did something happen?"
-"Can you come?" he asked again, his voice sounded more hoarse than normal and not with the joy he had been having this week.
"Yes. Er, I'll go get something to eat, if you like? And I'll be there as soon as possible," he said with concern. "Are you all right?"
"I will," Greg assured him and he really didn't expect an answer when the other line sounded dead anyway.
He hurried as fast as he could on what he had to do before reaching Baker Street, where when he opened the apartment door he found Sherlock lying on his back in the middle of the room, next to the dog that had been licking his face, but he quickly took his attention away from him when he saw Greg pass the front door, running cheerfully to him to give him one of his already classic greetings, wagging his tail from one side to the other without stopping.
"Hello, you," he said, scratching with his free hand behind the dog's ear. "Hey, Sherlock?"
Sherlock hadn't risen or changed position until then. It was inevitable that Lestrade would think of the amount of dog hair Sherlock's expensive clothes would have at the time, especially the black pants he wore, but he tried to get the thought out of his head when his partner stood up with the grace that only Sherlock Holmes would be able to have in such circumstances.
"Are you all right?" asked Greg, taking his attention away from the dog for a moment. Although Sherlock's very disheveled appearance was answering for him.
Loki probably didn't decide who to turn to for attention because as Sherlock took a few steps forward, the dog walked between the two of them.
"The owners came back," he finally commented, lowering his gaze quickly towards the animal that had now stopped right next to him.
"Oh," Greg said. Sherlock didn't lift his head, so Greg took the remaining steps to wrapped his unoccupied arm around him. Sherlock didn't respond to that, and he didn't expect him to, but he only let his forehead rest on Lestrade's shoulder. "I'm sorry, Sunshine."
"Maybe they don't want him back and…"
"Don't do that to yourself, alright?" Lestrade caresses his back over the thin fabric of his shirt, trying to comfort him.
"I'm an idiot," said Sherlock against his coat. "I knew this was going to happen and... still…"
"Hey," he said, whispering now against his ear, "that's normal. It's human; you're human after all, Sherlock." And the other snorted at that, "I know you hate to feel that way but remember you were lucky - we were lucky that he was here, weren't we?"
"I guess." Sherlock shrugged.
"You're a good person," he reminded him, but Sherlock now grunted. "You are, you could have left him there, ignored…"
"I hate you," he muttered, interrupting him.
"Sure you do." Greg let out a soft laugh that filled the silence of the apartment. He turned his head in search of Loki and was no longer surprised to see him comfortably in his bed, probably already asleep. Sherlock never returned the hug, but Greg understood that just letting him stay that way was enough. Until then the emptiness in his stomach reminded him of the hours that had passed since he had ingested something solid with a loud grunt. "I'm sorry," he apologized, half embarrassed.
As soon as they had finished eating, they moved back to the middle of the room, where Loki and Sherlock had previously been sitting on the floor. The dog had joined them, leaning on one side of Sherlock but allowing the two men to caress him, letting out some grunts from time to time. Now Greg was sure he would never understand, but the dog continued to want to lick his fingers as soon as his hand stopped stroking him.
Sherlock seemed thoughtful, and the truth was that Greg also had something going on inside his head, too, “Would you like to have a dog, Sherlock?” he asked him finally, and then added, "With me. We could have one and take care of it together if that's what you want," he said simply.
And Sherlock, who had laid his back on the floor again, rose abruptly, looking at him with an arched eyebrow.
“Was it as simple as that, the way you and you ex-wife agreed on having a child, Lestrade?” he asked, but quickly smiled proudly. Lestrade shook his head but laughed.
“Brat," he mumbled. “I just wanted to know.”
“I don't want to," he then replied more abruptly than Greg thought it would be necessary and tried to avoid asking why, but Sherlock went ahead of him, lowering his voice a little bit. “I think it's just him," he said, nodding at the dog with his head, who had leaned his chin on Greg's stretched leg. “I like his personality, it matches mine.”
“That’s true,” Lestrade agreed. Because he couldn't actually believe that a dog could match his partner in any way.
“I don't want another one," Sherlock added, but clearly avoiding Greg's eyes, who thought it was better this time to leave him there for now; he didn't want to push him.
They spent the rest of their afternoon together, playing and petting the animal. Greg couldn't help it and continued taking pictures of the dog licking Sherlock's face and each of the things they did together, because if this was going to be the last time the three of them were going to be like this, at least he would prefer to keep the memories in a place other than his head.
He asked for his afternoon off, glad to be able to accompany Sherlock on this because he didn't want to imagine how he would behave on his own.
Mycroft offered to take them, had sat in the copilot's seat while his driver took them. Apparently, he wasn't fascinated by the idea of filling his very expensive suit with the dog's white hairs; by this point, Sherlock clearly didn't care because his beautiful coat was fully covered with them. He and Greg had sat in the back seats, Sherlock was carrying Loki sitting on his lap, and Greg just couldn't stop smiling when he noticed how amazed the dog looked as he peered through the window glass.
Greg may generally be used to silence, and even though he simply can't stand it right now, he decides to take Sherlock's hand and hold it in the seat space between the two of them. Sherlock doesn't look at him when he does it, he doesn't say anything either, but Greg knows he’s grateful to him when he doesn't take his hand away.
Mycroft was the one who had been communicating with the dog's family. They would wait outside the station, but it was only Sherlock and Greg who got out of the car when they arrived. Loki goes to the side of Sherlock and Greg, who carried a bag with the dog's things, once again dared to take his partner's hand to offer him as much support as he was able at the time.
They had no trouble recognizing people, because as soon as they approached the place, Loki began to pull the leash that Sherlock was carrying when he passed them on the way, and instantly, the grip on Lestrade's hand tightened.
When Lestrade looks up, it's a woman and a child no older than ten years old who are approaching them and the dog apparently can no longer contain the emotion because Sherlock was finally forced to let go of the leash, letting the dog run freely to them. Their excitement was clear as soon as they recognized him. The boy got down on his knees and wrapped his arms around the animal’s neck, hiding his face in it, Greg couldn't avoid smiling with a little melancholy; that dog was really loved by that little one and he couldn't imagine how much he would have missed him if Sherlock hadn't been the person who found him.
The woman smiled friendly at them as they stood in front of her, and began to thank them non-stop for taking care of him. She told them that they were really thrilled and that she and her family couldn't believe it when they found out that they had also been willing to take care of him while they were on their trip out of town. In all the time the woman spoke, it was Greg who responded by nodding his head, or dismissing the matter, assuring her that it hadn’t been a problem at all, even though the dog hadn’t even stayed at his home; he was not surprised that Sherlock had not said a single word, although it comforted him that he was still holding his hand.
Lestrade exchanged his glances from the woman speaking to him, his partner and the child in front of them. Sherlock was frowning, looking also at the boy, who was still in the same position, and Greg wasn't sure, but it seemed to him that he had been crying while the dog had sat down and continued to move his tail back and forth in excitement.
Eventually, the mother picked up the leash that was still on the ground, and it was at that moment that the boy finally released the animal and stood up, although never looking at them. When Greg offered her the bag of his things, the woman gave Sherlock a doubtful look, but still let them know that if they ever wanted to go out with him for a walk, they could just call her and that they would be fine with that. Greg thanked her and took a step forward, to bend down and scratch behind Loki's ear for the last time, the dog continued to wag his tail as he looked at him. When he got up, he glanced at Sherlock waiting for him to say goodbye somehow, but he barely nodded to the woman and turned on his heels walking back to the car. Lestrade apologized in front of them, and saying goodbye once again, turned to follow his partner.
Back in the car, Sherlock continued without saying anything but moved closer to Greg as soon as the driver started the vehicle, and to everyone's surprise, leaned his head on Lestrade's shoulder, who took his hand again with more strength this time. He was very much aware that Mycroft was able to look at them through the rear-view mirror, and although they weren’t yet really used to showing something in front of others, special Mycroft, he tried to ignore it.
Sherlock got out of the car as soon as it stopped, obviously without saying a word on his way out. Greg was about to thank Mycroft and follow him, but then the man turned in the seat to look at him.
“Do you think he wants one?” he asked, seriously, "Surely I can buy one…”
Greg didn't try to correct what he thought seemed like an atrocity to even suggest buying an animal in such a way, but he made it clear that, as a matter of fact, he had already asked him.
“He says no.” He shrugged, adding, "But I don't think he meant it, maybe eventually he’ll admit it," he said and saw Mycroft nod, probably thinking about what that says about his brother, with whom Greg preferred to be now, truth be told. “Is that all?”
“No." Mycroft's head disappears from the seat space for a moment, to return offering him a package now. “It seemed to me that he didn't sound very well yesterday when I called him, so I thought he might accept this," he said, with a cold and even disgusting expression, and Greg wondered with fear what Mycroft was now offering him. He didn't dare to ask, but he accepted the little package. “I guess I got carried away by sentimentality.”
Lestrade looked down at the gift before nodding at him. This time he thanks him for having taken them there and finally manages to escape from the car.
Sherlock's lying on the bed cover, his back at the door. Greg sighs sadly because he knows it's not normal for Sherlock to become so attached to another living creature and he can't really imagine what must be going through his mind at that moment. He leaves Mycroft's gift on the bedside table and goes to bed to lie behind him.
"I'm an idiot," Sherlock mumbled when Greg wrapped his waist with his arm. “It's just an animal that's only been here a little over a week.”
Lestrade was silent but got closer to him until their bodies were completely together. He waited until Sherlock's breath felt quieter to let him know about the package Mycroft had sent.
Sherlock seemed really interested when he moved away slightly from him to sit down and ask for it.
He ripped out the wrapping paper as soon as Greg left it in his hands, without even waiting and appreciating the sweet moment of figuring out what it was all about, as he usually would and Greg very well knew he loved to do. But he assumed the curiosity was stronger now.
He was unable to see what Sherlock was now looking at with a frown, but he could tell that unbelievably, his cheeks had blushed. He didn't mention it anyway, though he feels really confused.
Sherlock clears his throat and leans to the other side of the bed, ripping out the paper completely, and then Greg heard the sound of something being placed on the bedside table on the other side, and this time he didn't wait for Sherlock to turn back to lean over him, looking over his shoulder to see what it was all about. He smiled when he saw a nice and probably expensive, wooden frame that had inside the photograph that had appeared on the internet of Sherlock, Greg, and Loki a few days ago.
Greg puts a hand on his shoulder, still smiling.
“That’s probably the best gift he’s ever given me," said Sherlock, shrugging as he turned to him.
Lestrade lets out a snort when he hears it and shakes his head before looking him in the eyes and leaning over to kiss him on the lips.
It was just a tender caress, and when they parted and Greg takes one of their hands, he can't help but ask him what's going on in his head, “Are you sure you don't want a dog, Sunshine?”
Sherlock lowers his head and looked at his hands together, but then shrugs.
“Maybe the next time you ask me, I won't reject the idea again," he sincerely replies, and Greg promises himself that that’ll do for now.
The two men lie down again, this time on their backs and side by side, being a matter of seconds until Greg reaches Sherlock's hand to intertwine his fingers.
“I suppose I should thank you for coming with me," Sherlock muttered suddenly.
“I suppose," replied Greg, "if you really mean it.” Sherlock turned his head at him and rolled his eyes.
Lestrade smiles and winks at him, while he himself knows it's really important to him every time Sherlock verbally expresses what he actually feels. He brings their hands up to his mouth and pressed his lips over the back of Sherlock’s hand, assuring him that everything will be alright.