"John was asking if you would go out drinking with him."
Lestrade lethargically put down the papers, his usual underlying energy for his job having vanished. It was nine in the evening, high time for most people in the division to get some sleep. It was a rule learnt the hard way: if you get a quiet night, take it. Because some day it will be a race to save a hostage and you'll have to stay awake for a few days straight.
"Tell him no. I have to finish these papers by tomorrow evening... What the hell do they mean by 'dependant charges'?"
"Shouldn't our great detective inspector know that?" You teased him lightly, walking over to his side to overlook the papers. They didn't seem like the usual case files which circulated his desk and you reached out for the first page. Lestrade let you do so, leaning his head back and his eyes wandering to his cold cup of coffee on his desk. It hadn't been touched even though he usually had a bad coffee addiction.
"You took some classes in family law, right?" He sounded like he was begging for help after being shot, and you placed a hand on his greying hair. You rubbed the strands in a comforting manner as you looked around for a chair. Not finding any, you leaned against his desk then picked up the papers.
"You've hardly finished filling this in. Is it because of emotional attachment or-" Lestrade scoffed at your comment, a bitter and sarcastic laugh leaving him as his eyes shot with pain.
"Ask Sherlock, he ruins everything- wait, no, not this time. Congratulate the man for saving me having these papers handed to me by her!"
You kept the papers behind your back as if he would tear them to pieces. He instead occupied his hands by clenching them onto the edge of the desk. After a deep sigh you put a page down in front of him.
"Sign here," Lestrade did without a second thought, putting his initials or signature down wherever you told him to. He wasn't even reading the papers, you could make him sign a check and he probably wouldn't even notice the difference. His mind felt like it was running faster than Sherlock's.
"When my wife came here once, Sherlock was about to say something but you told him to shut up and that we all already knew. Was it that she was cheating on me?"
You slowly bowed your head, picking up his coffee cup and swirling the cold contents.
"I'll get you a new one. Two creams, one sugar, right?"
Lestrade didn't question your knowledge of his coffee order, but he followed you for an answer to the previous question. Lestrade hovered at your side as dumped the cup down a sink and rinsed it out. You pulled out another for yourself when Lestrade's hand went over yours lightly. He kept it there until you slowly looked at him.
"Sherlock is blunt and sometimes- all the times- rude, but always correct. If you tell me your own theories, I'm not going to get mad. If they're good enough for that man they're more than good enough for me."
You let out a slow breath, trying to recall that day. You passed Lestrade his coffee and held yours to your lips, neither of you moving for a few moments.
"So, about three years ago... It's been awhile..."
"Yeah, but I know your memory is that good." Lestrade softly prompted you on as you briefly closed your eyes. Your index finger slowly moved in a circle and Lestrade wondered if you used the same technique as Sherlock, a mind palace, but that thought never got finished.
"She wore no socks although there were faint marks around her ankles saying that she did have some on previously. Her hair was tied back but she curled it, meaning she did not mean for it to be tied that morning. Her lipstick was slightly smudged around the sides of her mouth and almost all gone on her lower lip. She-"
You forgot for a moment about the detective inspector and fell quiet. Lestrade ignored your sympathetic look and made a motion with his hand.
"You sound just like Sherlock. So take it a step further."
"Um, the man was strong. Marks from fingers almost bruising beneath her blouse on her shoulders. No other signs of visible physical harm meaning that he either wasn't violent or thought he was the only who could see her body. She had been in a rush, so during their break time, since she had taken the day off. The time was the same as a lunch break for school, considering she missed yours by two hours. And being your wife, she should have known that. The coffee she gave you was black, you never drink that, so it was meant for someone else-"
Lestrade slowly leaned against the wall then let himself slide down to sit on the floor. He put his cup down with shaky hands, the liquid spilling over the brim. He then put his head against his knees and bit his lower lip hard, unwilling to show his emotions. He was your boss, the leader of the division. How could people take him seriously if he now felt like crying? How could a hostage at gunpoint follow the instructions of a man so easy to trifle?
"Lestrade... Greg... I'm going to take a walk. I'm going to come back in an hour to hand in those papers for you. If I don't find them, I'll go home. I won't mention a word of this to anybody. Alright?"
You crouched down a placed a kiss to the top of his head, making his body freeze briefly in shock. He then buried his head into his arms to hide it completely from anybody. As you closed the doors behind you, you heard the sound of a soft, hardly audible sob. You pretended to ignore it for his sake.
After forty five minutes of chatting with the night guard, pacing up and down the halls, and taking all of two minutes to decide it was too cold outside, you went back to Lestrade. He wasn't sitting, and like you, took to pacing the halls. He pressed a large envelope in your hands before walking past you and into the elevator. His eyes looked to be rimmed with red and glossy. You had never seen him so upset before, and it scared you. You hugged the papers close, hoped that they would make Lestrade happier, and stepped into the next elevator.
You pulled on the hood to your jacket as you passed him, not looking at him as you went down the street to deliver the package. It was a simple enough errand, and upon walking out of the post office, you found Lestrade loitering around.
"Do you have a-" Lestrade looked relieved as you opened up you purse, but not at all amused when you pulled up the sleeve of his coat and placed a nicotine patch on it. He pulled up his other sleeve to show that he already wore one, and you put another one.
"There you go, a three patch problem. C'mon, I'll walk you home-" You waved a taxi over as Lestrade looked almost guilty.
"I really don't want to see her." You helped guide him inside and gave the taxi driver the address to your place. You hadn't remembered if Lestrade mentioned anything about moving back in with his wife, but if he did, surely you'd remember it, right?
"Why do you carry nicotine patches around anyways? You aren't a smoker. I may be oblivious to the ways of women, but not that much."
"Sherlock." It was a one word answer and Lestrade pressed his head against the window. After a few long minutes his hands clenched together and he turned his body partially to face you.
"Are you and Sherlock...?"
"My first response should be that as my boss, you have no right to pry." Lestrade slowly turned away before hearing you finish. "But I suppose this is a fair exchange. His brother hired me for awhile to date him as part of some case. It was actually quite nice, he behaved himself... decently. I've never really had a relationship with someone as honest as that before."
The taxi pulled up on a street and Lestrade was about to give a new address to the driver but you pulled him out and handed over the fare. The driver took the car away as you glanced at Lestrade.
"I'll feel safer with a detective inspector around. Besides, you need a break from that women."
You gave Lestrade a faint smile before unlocking the door and leading him in. Lestrade briefly looked around before sitting down on your couch. He began to undo his shoes while you muffled a small yawn. It was now past eleven, and with work early the next morning, you needed sleep. People would have a field day if their newly divorced boss and co-worker both walked in looking exhausted.
"Do you want anything to eat or drink?"
"No, you sound tired. Get some sleep, and that's an order." It would have sounded teasing if it hadn't been for his grief below his usual tone of voice. You left for your bedroom and came back with a few pillows and blankets. You placed them beside him before giving him a small smile.
"Good night, Lestrade."
"You can call me Greg while we're not working."
"Then sleep well, Greg. I'll be in my room if you need anything."
"G'night. And thanks for... Well, thanks."
You waved off his thank you and left the door to your room open. You changed then crawled into your blankets, wondering if you should finish that report you were going to do at home (back when you would return shortly after nine). You decided not to as you turned and fell asleep.
You had forgotten to set the alarm clock after the night's events. So you were sleeping until someone began shaking you awake.
"Hey, time to wake up." They spoke softly in your ear and you turned around, eyes opening to see Lestrade. You gave a small smile and tried to fall back asleep until he shook you much more firmly. You slowly sat up before yawning and looking at the clock. Your eyes were blurry and you rubbed them before seeing the time. You then stumbled out of bed and began trying to find something to wear from your closet. Lestrade, having his job completed, went into the kitchen. You came in soon after, trying to put your gun away and find your badge somewhere on a tabletop. Lestrade handed you it, having found it on a chair in the living room where he slept, then passed you a cup of tea.
"I made you breakfast. In return for rent."
"Hmm, I could get used to that."
You made Lestrade give a faint smile before he turned and began serving the food onto plates. His clothes were rumpled from sleeping on the couch and you began to try to smooth his hair back in place. He turned towards you to make it easier for you as he slid a plate onto the table. He stepped forward to make sure it wouldn't tip off, pressing against you. He put his hands behind your back to make sure you wouldn't press into the char as you gave Lestrade a small nod to signal completion.
"So, um-" there was a small ring, signalling a text message, and then another right after that for your phone. You reached for yours while Lestrade pulled out his, both of you showing the message to the other by flipping over your phones.
"Come at once to NSY,
"Hmm, I guess he got too lazy of waiting for us to come to him." You tried to give a faint laugh but it didn't come. You were still caught in Lestrade's embrace, unsure which way to go- if you should go anywhere. There was another collection of ringtones and you pulled out your phone, knowing Lestrade had the same message.
"John's been shot,
That instantly made the two of you separate and grab coats, Lestrade hailing a cab while you locked the door. Whatever plan of not arriving together was broken, and the moment you two stepped out of the taxi, Sherlock bounded towards you both.
"I would suggest changing clothes, Detective Inspector, because even Anderson can deduce such a blatant show."
Lestrade was about to say something when you cut them both off by raising a hand.
"Inside-" Sherlock wasn't so sure what he said, but you and Lestrade began running back inside. The lat thing he noticed was Lestrade's hand, the wedding ring gone when he swore when they parted it had been there.
Regardless, his fixed the collar of his jacket and followed at a slower pace.
"In your bloody foot? Why would he text me that so early in the morning? I didn't get breakfast, thinking that it a was a shot to the head or something."
Lestrade dropped down in his chair then slowly looked around the room after scolding John. John was on one foot, leaning against a Sherlock who looked oblivious to it. Sherlock was instead glancing at (and probably deducing) you, his eyes trailing to Lestrade every so often. Donovan was lightly glaring at you for reasons unknown and Anderson was glaring at Sherlock. Jealousy between you and Donovan? Over what?
"Why is it that the human nature constantly needs a companion-"
Lestrade cut off Sherlock right there, already having heard about Anderson and Donovan through him. "Are you and John sleeping together?"
"Then not everybody here is in a relationship!" Lestrade briefly rubbed his thumb and index finger across his his forehead as Anderson looked shocked.
"You and her are dating-?"
"Oh, shut up, Anderson. You take Donovan and finish up the case with the suicide, and I'll take the rest of the people here to the latest one."
"Sir, I don't think you should trust Sher-"
"I'm in charge, Donovan, not you."
Donovan gave a small grimace, but eventually left with Anderson. When the door closed behind them, Sherlock placed a wedding ring before Lestrade.
"You left that by the coffee machine."
Lestrade slipped it into his pocket and tried not to think about it as he stood up.
"Well, then, let's just get to work. I suppose you have a case for us, Sherlock."
You stepped into the room and helped John hobble in before letting him crouch near the body. As he and Sherlock began inspecting it, Lestrade gave you a small hand motion to check out the rest of the crime scene. He pulled out his gun and left through a set of doors, and you mimicked the act. Usually, officers would do this upon first finding the body, but this time Sherlock seemed to have refused anybody to see it but a few people.
Lestrade's voice echoed to you and you wondered how he got that done that quickly. You still had two more rooms to go. You stepped into the bedroom and saw someone on the bed. You checked their pulse to find none then slowly pushed open the bathroom door with your foot. You gun was raised but ineffective as someone's strong arm went around your neck.
"Lestrade! Sherlock! Help-!"
You tried to elbow the person, but a cloth went over your mouth. You refused to breathe, holding your breath and continuing to struggle. You then let your body go limp, as if you breathed in the chemicals. Your body remained limp as the cloth was pulled away and they leaned you on the bed. You then held the gun out again to them.
"Hands up, or I shoot."
They charged towards you and you shot. They fell, sputtering blood as they cursed. It soon faded though, shock settling in and death soon after. Traces of what was on the cloth had rubbed into your skin, causing you to become dizzy and weak. You leaned back on the bed, gun dropping to the ground.
You looked sideways at the still face of another women, the second victim in the original crime. Sherlock was examining them and you felt John check your vitals. After making sure you were fine, he went to check on the man on the ground.
"She killed the man downstairs."
Sherlock looked at you closely, wiping away the drug's remains as best as he could with the sleeve of his jacket. "Explain."
"She did the same thing I did. See? We're in the same position. There's probably scratch marks where her gun also fell."
Sherlock instantly crouched down, using his magnifying glass on the ground. It seemed as though you were forgotten until someone helped you sit up. They placed you on their lap, and after noting it must be Lestrade, you leaned back on him.
"I hate chloroform."
"We all do." Lestrade ran a hand through your hair and you closed your eyes, wishing to sleep away the effects. You couldn't though, but spent a few moments tucked safely into his arms. He smelt like coffee and didn't waver once. Whatever part of him cried because of his wife, that was far away from his job. After a few moments though, Sherlock was pulling you up to your feet.
"But I'm tired-"
Sherlock put an arm around your neck, trying to recreate the scene. With a depressed sigh you grabbed the gun John held out and pointed it at the bathroom. Sherlock kept you there for a moment as you slowly spun around. Sherlock let go of you and you moved towards the closet. It was full of items, and beneath the bed had boxes. You then went into the bathroom and found another body. This one was in a police uniform.
"That women was a cop."
"What makes you say that?"
"I just found her partner. John, time of death?"
John went to the body in the bathtub and checked its pulse, temperature, then eyes.
"Same as the other one. About four hours ago."
Lestrade looked shocked by the time, the body in the living room had been at least a week old. He stood up and tried to make sense of this all.
"So a two cops come inside and see the body. They spread out to find if anybody is still here. The women gets drugged and screams for help. She falls onto the bed, her gun falls. Her partner comes up here, checks the room then bathroom for her killer. He gets into the bathroom and then gets shot. It's a police trap."
Sherlock was too busy looking at the dead man's weapon which laid next to his body after you had shot him. It hadn't been discharged once.
Sherlock stood up and made his own alterations to the theory, "They come in here, Leatrade, but then what? This man didn't shoot anybody. His suit is expensive and there are some legal papers in a pocket. He's a lawyer. That gun belongs to the man in the bathtub. The shot wasn't fired from here then..."
Sherlock quickly strode out of the room and took steady steps backwards. He had a perfect shot all the way down the hall and down the stairs, and he studied the scuff marks about half way down.
"Our killer laid here to shoot the man in the bathtub. Meaning, he's still in the house."
"You're still as difficult as before, Sherlock."
Sherlock said nothing but quickly pressed his lips to your cheek in an action he had perfected with you. It made you fall absolutely mute and stunned, the perfect tool to make you stop talking- and thinking, for that matter.
Lestrade quickly had his hand on your back, pushing you away from the consulting detective and throwing him a disapproving glare. Sherlock hardly noticed, he was already checking the other scoff marks for a shoe size.
"John, help Lestrade. I need to talk with Sherlock for a moment."
Lestrade looked at you with some confusion but John ushered him away, seeing that you needed to speak alone. You then sat next to Sherlock who didn't pay you a second look.
"Don't ever do that again. Especially in front of Lestrade. What are you trying to gain from that?"
"You get jealous?" Sherlock merely shook his head and stood up, sliding his magnifying glass away.
"If he got jealous, it means he wants you. John was worried about you, that you were a rebound for the detective inspector. He was quite insistent that I investigate to find the truth."
"I don't care for what that means either." Sherlock stood absolutely still for a moment then ran back to the bodies upstairs with an idea in his head. You staid still, even after Lestrade shouted for everybody to hear that they caught the man. You were still on the steps when Lestrade smiled at you his victory grin, when Sherlock explained that the lawyer was in league with the criminal, and they didn't expect the police at all. He let Lestrade take the credit in the reports. John helped move you downstairs when people needed the full stairs to move bodies back and forth.
You were heavily despondent for the rest of the day, vouching to stay in the office to finish paperwork instead of tracking down the assorted suspects of the day. You didn't let Lestrade speak to you, and you went home quietly but early on. When somebody asked, you blamed it on chloroform.
Rebound. Rebound. Rebound.
Would he get back with his wife like last time?
Did it matter to you? You were just the closest person to him at that time?
And seeing him now, you could never tell that he had cried. It was best that way. Just forget about it until it faded from your memories.
It was some time around nine when you heard the door open. You turned around on the couch, going to reach for your gun while trying to see who it was. After Lestrade's familiar head popped in you stopped reaching and sat back down.
He quietly pulled off his jacket and sat next in a chair across from you. He sat there was if he was an unwelcomed guest before looking at you. You looked to be in thought, wearing a loose clothes meant to lounge about in.
"Donovan made me come here to see if something was the matter. She says it's bad enough Sherlock never talks, she doesn't want the same to happen to you..." Absolute silence greeted him. "And I shouldn't have asked about you and Sherlock. And I understood that I crossed a line by asking to sleep here before. I'll tell Sherlock he was wrong, and I swear to never cross that line again-"
"Don't be hard on yourself. I'm the one whose acting childish. Sherlock certainly has a thing for breaking relationships, doesn't he? Especially before they even start... See, as stupid as it sounds, I kinda thought we would go somewhere after this morning. But you just broke up with your wife- I mean, if you decide to go through it. So, you're not thinking of dating but I am. So it's my fault our professionalism is broken."
Lestrade said nothing and slowly rose to his feet. He sat back down beside you, sitting to face you and slowly reaching out for your hand. He held it in his for awhile, thinking it all through. He then gave a weak smile.
"As idiotic as this may sound, may I sleep on it, on your couch?"
You gave a small nod then leaned over and kissed his cheek in a silent goodnight. You would let him chose what direction to go in, wether the relationship never existed or wether it would start to bloom.
"Sherlock, you've been staring at them for ten minutes. What can possibly on your mind?"
"He slept at her place, but they didn't sleep together. He's getting her coffee and they're happy, but he isn't holding her hand like he did the other day."
Watson glanced at both you and Lestrade, then back at Sherlock. "Admit it, you'll never figure out anything that involved human emotions."
Sherlock gave a slight frown before turning around. He had evidence to attempt to steal back from the police. Watson followed, seeing himself out of place in this setting without Sherlock himself.
He left as Lestrade put an arm around your shoulders in a friendly manner, and Anderson poked your arm.
"Are you two an item now?"
You made a motion that it was undecided as Lestrade smiled the way he did after solving a case.
"Why can't things just go slowly? I still have to become officially divorced, she has to get over Sherlock-"
"I am not into him-"
"But we're already fighting like a couple, so we're kinda together. She's my future girlfriend."
Lestrade's hand felt warmer without the metal band around it as he lightly squeezed your shoulder. Anderson turned, rolled his eyes, and then opened up a file. Donovan looked at Lestrade for a long moment then gave him a quick hug.
"You haven't smiled like that for awhile unless we just solved a case without Sherlock."
"I just solved how to make my heart feel better, if that's any consolation."
Donovan dismissed his attempt of wit as she strutted back into her office. Lestrade caught your eyes before the two of you let go for the day. His eyes were bright with excitement and adventure, his face back to the one of your honest leader.
How could he still think you could possibly still be hung up about Sherlock with a face like that?
This would be an adventure good enough for Watson's blog.