I have no shame. Written for a prompt on the kink meme. I've got a feeling that my friends might look at me a little differently after reading this. HI GUYS.
Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Lestrade had been calling both John and Sherlock for approximately twenty minutes when John finally answered.
"Sorry, sorry, didn't hear the phone," John said upon picking up.
"Neither of you? Sherlock's surgically attached to his mobile, especially when he thinks I might call."
"Yeah, he was … uh, making a lot of noise."
Ah, right. Probably torturing that violin again. No wonder John sounded haggard. "Where are you?"
"At the flat."
Lestrade rolled his eyes. He'd tried knocking at the flat and got no answer. "Good. I'm only round the corner. I'll come and pick you up. We have a very important case that I absolutely need Sherlock to look at right now."
Lestrade doesn't miss the slight panic in John's reply. "R-right now? Right this minute?"
"Yes, right this minute," he snapped. "Need I remind you that this is about a murder? I think Countdown can wait, thank you. Now hurry up and get your arse down here. I'm outside."
It was another five minutes before Sherlock finally opened the door, John just behind him. Lestrade opened his mouth to say What the hell took you so long, but stopped short. He doesn't need to be a genius detective to notice that Sherlock's hair was quite a bit on the other side of ruffled, and that his shirt buttons weren't done up properly, and that John's jumper was inside-out...
He probably could have done without knowing that.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow at him, but didn't comment, instead turning back to John. "Shoes, John. Might come in handy."
The doctor looked down at his bare feet and cursed, pulling his jacket on as he ran back up the stairs. He seemed rather pleased with himself when he came back, and Lestrade made a very conscious decision to not even think about why that may be. He'd found himself running through a lot of conversations and interactions he'd observed between the pair in a whole new and disturbing light in the time it had taken John to get ready, and he didn't need any extra mental images to add to those. Instead, he walked them towards the police car, explaining the case as succinctly as possible.
"There's been another of those locked-room murders. Same basic MO; woman in her late twenties, lived alone, only this one was immolated. The fire alarms in her flat went off and the emergency services arrived within half an hour. She was already dead, and there was no sign of the murderer."
Sherlock stopped in the action of opening the car door, looking up at Lestrade with his patented 'is everyone in the world a gibbering idiot or is that just you?' face. "Honestly, Inspector, you really had to call me for this? I'm fairly certain a trained monkey could work it out, although the less we speak of Anderson the better..."
"Sherlock," John warned. "Be nice."
Ignoring his partner, the detective continued. "It really does concern me to see how much of a total shambles Scotland Yard is in nowad – uh!"
Lestrade had no idea what caused it, but Sherlock had actually stopped mid-rant. This had to be a first. The man was staring at John, incredulous and shocked. John was just smiling, hands casually in his jacket pockets, but there was a very slight menace underneath it.
"Be. Nice," he repeated, "or else. Now, shall we go with Lestrade, or am I going to have to lock you in the cupboard until you learn your lesson?"
Lestrade screwed his eyes shut and tried really, really hard not to think about the implications behind that, trying instead to focus on the case and the murders and John being some kind of kinky dominatrix ordering a heavy-lidded, submissive Sherlock and possibly there was leather involved and FUCK NO STOP THINKING, YOU ARE A HETEROSEXUAL MAN AND THIS IS REALLY DISTURBING.
Clearing his throat awkwardly, Lestrade climbed into the car and started the ignition. "So," he began, then tried again when his voice wavered embarrassingly. "So, what's your theory on this?"
"Do I really have to spell it o – ngyuh!" A quick glance in the rear-view mirror caught Sherlock jumping slightly in his seat, but not what caused it. Had John elbowed him? "Alright, alright. Did you see what colour the victim's hair was?"
"Well, it wasn't really something I paid attention to, no. It mostly burned away."
"If – muh!" Sherlock glared at John. "I didn't say anything!"
"You were thinking it."
Sherlock growled and turned away, sulking. He stayed like that for the rest of the journey, Lestrade deciding that maybe it would be better for his sanity if he let the consulting detective get his strop over with before they arrived at the crime scene.
He parked and they walked up to the police cordon, Donovan standing guard as usual. She raised her eyebrows as they approached, sizing up to Sherlock.
"Well, I see you finally decided we were worth gracing with your presence, you git."
Lestrade started to tell her off, but Sherlock silenced him with a raised hand. "It's alright. My apologies, Sally. I was clearly overestimating the abil – ungh – I mean, I had assumed that the case was in perfectly capable hands and that you did not require assistance."
There it was again. That weird jumpy thing. What the Hell was going on? John was looking more and more smug, and Donovan was simply gob-smacked. "OK, who are you and what have you done with Sherlock?" she asked, only half-joking.
"You... you apologised. Are you high or something?"
Sherlock twitched with the effort of holding back, but said nothing. Instead, he smiled, swooping under the police tape and entering the block of flats, grabbing a pair of gloves along the way. John followed suit, grinning widely. Donovan waited until they were out of earshot before turning to Lestrade.
"You got any idea what that was about?"
Lestrade shrugged, trying to look unconcerned and failing. "I think John's... training him."
"Training? What, with bells and stuff?"
"Something like that. I don't know how long he's been doing it, but any time Sherlock is rude, he does... something, and Sherlock shuts up. I guess it's a good thing, but it doesn't make it any less creepy."
"You got that right, sir. I'm just glad I'm out here, and not stuck with them upstairs."
Lestrade sighed, ducking under the tape himself and following the pair. "Yeah," he muttered, "you seem to have got the better end of the deal."
He'd expected Sherlock to already be in the flat, examining the body, and so was quite surprised to find him still at the top of the stairs, grasping onto the bannisters like his legs wouldn't hold him. John stood behind Sherlock, a possessive hand on the younger man's shoulder as he said something to him, but then he saw Lestrade and pulled away. It was that that started to worry Lestrade. Sure, consenting adults and all, but what if John was taking his control too far? What exactly was he doing to his partner to make him quite so submissive?
His thoughts were quickly dismissed when Sherlock looked up, because those flushed cheeks and dark eyes showed that the man was definitely not hating this. And then Lestrade wished his imagination had an 'off' button, because it took the opportunity to parade a series of horrific and disturbing pictures through his brain.
Murder. Concentrate on the murder.
"Come on, you two," he snapped, a little harsher than necessary, and dragged them into the flat.
The sight that met them was not a pretty one. The victim had been set alight in the sitting room, the walls and furniture quickly catching too. Everything was charred and blackened, and the fire brigade had doused the whole place, water-logging any potential evidence. Lestrade expected Sherlock to start grumbling about this, but then remembered that he was learning to be 'nice' today. Instead, Sherlock went over to a relatively undamaged cabinet and picked up a photograph.
"Ah yes, as I suspected. Red hair. Not natural, but vibrant; flame hues."
Anderson, who had been rather pointlessly dusting for prints, pricked up at this. "Flame hues? Is that meant to be funny, Holmes?"
Sherlock turned his most withering look onto Anderson, casually leaning on the cabinet behind him. "Not at all. It's quite obvious that this is the connection between the victims."
"What, that they used the same hairdresser?"
It occurred to Lestrade that Sherlock was actually using the cabinet for support, like he had been with the bannisters.
"Sometimes, Anderson, I do genuinely marvel at how such a buffoon could enter the Force."
There. His eyelids fluttered.
"The hair colour," Sherlock continued, "is how the murderer deci... decides who to kill."
Was he out of breath?
Suddenly, Sherlock threw himself away from the dresser and headed over to the body, crouching down to examine some minutiae only he could see. "Flame red hair, immolated. Fire. White blonde hair, strangled. Air. Brown hair... brown ha... oh for Christ's sake can't you connect the dots yourself for once?"
The random outburst wasn't entirely unprecedented, but it certainly took them by surprise. Sherlock was curled into himself, face buried in his knees and hands clutching at his hair. Anderson was gawping. John was snickering, biting his fist to try and silence himself,
and his other hand was still in his pocket.
Sherlock moaned, and Lestrade knew.
"John, Sherlock, can I have a word? Outside, please?"
John abruptly stopped laughing, coughing uncomfortably as he caught the inspector's disapproving glare. Sagging like a chastised puppy, he went out the door. Sherlock didn't move.
"Sherlock, I want to speak to you, too,"
Sherlock's voice was muffled, but Lestrade didn't miss the strangled tension in it. "I think I'd rather stay down here, if you don't mind."
Lestrade cringed, toes curling inside his boots. Yet another item to add to the rapidly growing list of Things Lestrade Really, Really Didn't Need To Know, No Really, Please Stop. "Yep. OK. You... stay there. I'll be back in a bit." He left the flat, shutting the door behind him with a click.
John waited in the hallway, clearly nervous about what Lestrade was going to say. The inspector opened his mouth a few times, trying to think of how exactly to begin this humiliating chat.
"Look," he tried, and then, "Why..." Neither of these seemed to work, so he stood in silence for a bit, awkwardly shifting from foot to foot. In the end, he just said it as quickly as he could. "I don't care about whatever kind of relationship you two are in," Oh, more mental images, how fun, "but you can't go about all this... stuff... when we're at a crime scene. This is a very serious job and I don't want you fucking about with remote controlled I-don't-even-want-to-know-what and distracting my best hope at catching a killer! He's supposed to be focussed on overlooked evidence and possible leads, not you... making him all..." oh god stop talking even John is embarrassed STOP TALKING "...agitated."
Lestrade thanked whatever deities there may be that he hadn't ended that sentence one of the more colourful adjectives flashing neon in his brain.
John nodded, clearly wanting this conversation to be over as quickly as Lestrade did. "I understand. Sorry. Totally unprofessional. Won't happen again."
"Good. Now, let's go back to investigating the murder, shall we?"
John sighed, absolutely mortified, and Lestrade felt kind of bad. Yes, it was entirely John's fault and he deserved to be embarrassed, but this wasn't exactly the best way for the guy you sort-of work for to out you. "Hey, look," Lestrade began, giving John a slightly affectionate sideways-slap to the stomach.
It was, in hindsight, an error.
Lestrade had somehow hit the whatever-it-was remote in John's pocket, and there was a very breathy shout from inside the flat, followed by a thump. Lestrade froze, eyes wide in horror. John slowly reached inside his pocket, as if in disbelief that that had actually happened.
"Bloody hell!" John exclaimed. "How the fuck did you manage that?" He held up the remote, showing that the setting was 'HIGH'. "You turned it up and everything!"
At this point, Lestrade couldn't manage anything more than a slightly startled squeak. Rolling his eyes, John pushed open the door to the flat and went to check on Sherlock. A couple of the forensics team were standing cautiously over the limp detective, who was sprawled just to the right of the victim, fingers twitching slightly. Anderson had retreated to the farthest corner, his expression mirroring Lestrade's.
After assessing that Sherlock was apparently past the point of return, John hoisted the younger man up and began to drag him out of the room, muttering apologies. Sherlock's head lolled and he gave a rather dopey smile. "Blue hair!" he blurted, and it took Lestrade a second to realise he was talking about the case. "Twenty-something single woman, blue hair. Dating site. Next victim. Find her, find your man."
Lestrade nodded, his shocked state finally broken. "Thank you, Sherlock. We'll get right on it."
The pair left reasonably quickly, but they were still close enough for Lestrade to hear Sherlock's rather disturbing question to John.
"Do you think, maybe, that we could get him to do that on purpose next time?"
He really should have stayed in bed today.