Follows Back in the Saddle
Written: October 30th, 17:18
Current Mood: mischievous
Current Music: the sounds of silence
"This is ridiculous!" Anderson spluttered, "I'm perfectly capable..."
"But not cleared," the Major opposite them interrupted smoothly, "Not for this crime scene."
Lestrade dragged a hand down his face and resisted the urge to kick Anderson's ankle to shut him up. Bad enough that the Army had some sort of classified connection to the crime scene they were facing and insisted on vetting everyone that came onto the scene, it didn't help that his chief of forensics was acting like a spurned lover when told his clearance wasn't high enough for him to do his job. Part of Lestrade suspected it was the not so clandestine, on again off again affair the man was holding with Sergeant Donovan. If you couldn't trust the man to keep that a secret, then entrusting him with state secrets were obviously out of the question.
"Fine," Lestrade announced before Anderson could embarrass them even further, "We'll get someone with clearance in, ok? Army medic, I know just the man."
Which would also get the man's flatmate involved, which meant a quick resolution and all home in time for tea. Otherwise, this would turn into one of those cases - one that dragged on and became a millstone around his neck.
He couldn't deny that he was a little apprehensive about fronting up to Baker Street in search of John and not Sherlock, after all the thin genius was more than a little... fixated on his roommate, who seemed oblivious to it all. Lestrade had a feeling that John Watson was a bit of a dark horse where Sherlock was concerned. He'd either be the making of young Mr Holmes, or the ruination of him. Lestrade was keeping a close eye on that partnership, that was for sure.
Mrs Hudson let him in without turning a hair, bless her patient heart, merely gesturing him up the stairs with a small smile and a roll of her eyes. It was quiet upstairs, which meant that Sherlock was either out, unconscious or had just been subdued by his roommate after being a pest for most of the day. From the look of Mrs Hudson, Lestrade was willing to bet the last scenario was the most likely.
"Good evening Lestrade," from the way the consulting nuisance almost pounced upon him the moment he opened the door, Lestrade could tell it had been a while since Sherlock had had a case. He was used to being examined from head to toe the moment Sherlock saw him, he wasn't used to Sherlock's face falling in obvious hurt and disappointment before smoothing into a mask of indifference.
"oh, you're here for john," the soft words didn't fool Lestrade, for all their tone of cool suavity.
"Me?" the man in question popped his head out of the kitchen, where moments ago there had been sounds of washing up, "Hullo Geoff, what brings you to our humble abode?"
Before he could open his mouth to respond, Sherlock was talking again, the hurt in the genius' tone not quite disguised. It made Lestrade a little sick to think that Sherlock could be so wounded by what he obviously saw as a betrayal by them both. John was Sherlock's in a way that Lestrade could clearly recognise - and Sherlock did not like to share. No wonder, when the man clearly had so few people that he could truly connect with. The thin man waved his hands a little as he spoke, the gestures eloquent with offended dignity.
"Obviously he's found a crime that he thinks only you can..."
"Don't," John murmured, reaching out and catching hold of a thin wrist with a hand that was still slightly reddened by the hot water he'd been using in the sink moments ago, "Let him tell us."
Lestrade shut his mouth when he realised that Sherlock was not only standing quietly and obediently in John's grasp, but that he'd calmed down. The Detective Inspector wasn't sure if it was the grasp or the thumb that was rubbing small circles on his palm that soothed the Consulting Detective, but either way he was glad, once again, that John Watson had managed to do what the rest of them had failed at - to worm his way past the defences Sherlock used and set up residence comfortably within the man's heart.
"We've got a crime scene that the Army are interfering with. They insist that Anderson not be allowed near it as he isn't cleared... I thought you might take a look for us John, which naturally means we can get Sherlock on the scene as your... assistant?" Lestrade was careful to make that last suggestion in a mischievous tone, knowing the doctor would take the hint and run with it.
"I see his affair with Sergeant Sally has come back to haunt him," Sherlock muttered, casting a sideways glance at John. The doctor snorted and rolled his eyes.
"See? Not a betrayal."
The non-sequitor made Sherlock blink, then nod, directing a shy smile at the man who was still massaging his hand with a thumb. Lestrade cleared his throat, unsure if he wanted to see that particular look on Sherlock's face - smitten was not too strong a word, nor was besotted - and the flatmates moved apart: Sherlock to collect coats and scarves, John to collect a backpack that Lestrade had seen once or twice.
"My own version of a field kit," John explained in response to Lestrade's inquiring look as Sherlock all but stuffed him into his outdoor coat, "I find that sometimes its best to be equipped for crime."
"Committing or detecting?" he could no more stop the words than he could stop the tide and wished he had when Sherlock gave him the look that meant trouble, "Never mind!"
He ignored the mutter of 'coward' that came from behind him as he hurried ahead down the stairs, as well as the chastisement that John offered as he followed them. In the car - unmarked, because Lestrade wasn't stupid enough to think that Sherlock would get into a squad car - something struck the genius and he twisted to look John in the eye again.
"You're cleared! How can you be cleared for the scene... unless you're still on active service! Mycr..."
The rest was muffled under John Watson's hand and not inconsiderable glare. Lestrade snatched quick glances int he rear view mirror, wondering what the hell was wrong now. In the months since the flatmates had gotten out of hospital - post pool as Donovan called it - Sherlock had been an odd combination of skittish and affectionate with Watson.
"Don't you dare," John's low voice was enough to raise the hairs on Lestrade's neck, "Yes, I was invalided home on the contingent that my condition would be re-evaluated after a year, yes, I am still technically part of the Army, and yes, your brother interfered to keep me here. No, I am not your flatmate because your brother manipulated it into happening. I am your friend Sherlock, your partner and colleague and sometimes your minder. Yes, I could probably go back to the squad in Afghanistan, but I won't. You're more important to me now."
There was a silent staring competition between the two men. Lestrade shivered from the reflected intensity of it, knowing instinctively that this was one of those moments that made or broke a relationship - and whatever they were or weren't doing in the bedroom these two men were in a relationship that rivaled most marriages.
Then Sherlock nodded once, a small movement. At the same time, and more importantly, his body relaxed into the seat, the tension draining from him as he accepted his partners words.
John grinned and then yelped in disgust, wiping his hand on Sherlock's jacket.
"You licked me! You child!" he spluttered and Lestrade couldn't help but chuckle in response to the look of mischief Sherlock sent his way.
Disclaimer - characters and setting belong to the BBC as portrayed in their show. No money is being made. Plot is mine.