December 25

Holmes awoke slowly to find himself staring at the ceiling and covered with a warm coverlet, obviously Watson's doing. He went to stretch his stiff body and discovered Lestrade spooned against his side and snoring softly into his neck. It wasn't a bulldozer snore, but more of a soft hum that he found quite soothing and almost endearing.

He thought about letting her sleep but instead tickled her nose with a hank of her own hair. She sighed and then her eyes popped open, immediately taking stock of the fact that her arms were thrown around his chest and his were around her shoulders. Holmes smiled benignly; she was a cop till the end.

When Beth realized she wasn't in any immediate danger she slowly let go of him and scooted a bit under the bed to examine Francesca and her kittens. Sherlock followed suit and found the mother cat nursing her litter.

"The miracle of life. It's quite fascinating, isn't it Lestrade?"

"Yeah, it is pretty cool."

"Now what?"

"Now we keep an eye on her and make sure she's well fed and the kittens are kept warm."

"You do realize you'll have to visit at least once a day now."

"Why's that?"

"Well, I obviously have no idea how to care for newborn kittens and Francesca seems to have grown quite fond of you."

"Is that the only reason I should come over?"

Holmes blushed, looked away and changed the topic. "It amazes me how well versed you are about domestic animals, my dear Inspector."

Lestrade smiled ever so slightly. "It amazes me that you didn't answer that question last night. Usually you're one to never hold back what you really think."

"What question?"

"You know very well which one, Holmes. Deidre's Would You Rather question."

"Ah, that question."

"And?" She leaned close.

"Hm…I still haven't decided." He stated, seemingly oblivious to her nearness.

She leaned in further, so she was right in his face. "Oh, come on Holmes, get off the fence and make a decision."

"But you see Lestrade, I have no prior experience with either scenario. But I suppose I could remedy that."

She raised a slim eyebrow. "What? You're going to give the Chief a spongebath?"

"No." Holmes leaned in and brushed her lips with his.

It was a chaste kiss, nothing more. She leaned back and studied him as he pressed his lips together, thinking.


"I still can't give you a definitive answer." His face loomed close to hers.

"Perhaps we should try again," he mumbled against her mouth.

The kiss was short; too short in Lestrade's opinion. She raised her eyebrows in askance.

He looked thoughtful. "No, I still don't think I can give you an answer based on the evidence…"

"Zed it!" She grabbed his head and met his lips squarely.

He groaned against her soft lips and she smiled at the sound.

Holmes pulled back. "Stop doing that."

"What?" She cocked her head.

"Stop smiling." He briefly touched his lips to hers. "It makes it quite difficult to kiss you."

Their interlude was interrupted as Deidre, Wiggins, and Tennyson rushed into the room.

Tennyson spun in circles as he chirped ecstatically. It's Christmas, it's Christmas!

"Can we open our presents now?" Deidre was almost ready to bounce down the stairs without an answer.

"Yes. Get out of here. Go. Vamoose."

The three pounded downstairs as soon as Beth dismissed them. Deidre returned a few seconds later to toss something at the adults.

"Oh, yeah. I thought you might be able to get some use out of this. Merry Christmas."

Lestrade looked at the sprig of mistletoe that landed near her head. "Does she ever give up?"

Her eyes closed in realization and she pounded a fist on the floor. "Oh zed! I'm sorry Holmes. I never did get you a present."

"That's all right," Holmes said as he leaned over her and grabbed the mistletoe. "This is a lovely gift."

She giggled and grabbed his wrinkled lapels. "I completely agree."

Just as his lips met hers a flash went off from the door. A glimpse of red hair and laughing accompanied by running feet told them it was Deidre.

Sherlock wrapped his arms around Lestrade as she went to get up. "Leave her be. It's Christmas after all."

Beth let out a huff. "Fine."

He chuckled and kissed her thoroughly. "Merry Christmas, my dear Lestrade."

"Merry Christmas Sherlock. I never thought I'd be with Holmes for the holidays."

He groaned and kissed her into silence.