Hello my lovelies! Okay, yeah, I'm normal. :D The boys' are back, and ready for action!
This is a sequel to Bed of Roses, but can be read alone, although there are some references back to it, but only at the start. Enjoy!
Snow fell gently as Big Ben chimed for one o'clock. London city was still and silent, almost empty as Dr. John Watson was roused from his very warm and very comfy bed. He blinked as the knock on the door sounded again, and glanced over to the sleeping Sherlock, sprawled, completely naked, on the bed, tangled in the covers. John laughed quietly as he got out and pulled on his boxers, managed to find his pyjama pants under the bed and grabbed a shirt off the back of the chair. Running a hand through his tousled hair, John made his way downstairs.
Every since returning from their kidnapping a month ago, John's limp (real, this time,) was almost gone and he and Sherlock had migrated to his bedroom, because John didn't even want to consider what lurked in Sherlock's. "I'm coming!" he called, quietly, as he manoeuvred his way over the stacks of books and the piles of papers that lay all over the living room floor. Hope whined as she watched him walk over everything and he quieted her with a smile, 'Go to sleep, girl, you have school tomorrow," she gave him a look before padding back to her bed. John chuckled to himself as he made his way down the stairs. That puppy was a part of his and Sherlock's little family, now, and she was going to make a great police dog.
Still smiling slightly, John opened the door and was hit by a blast of cold wind and the sight of Detective Inspector Greg Lestrade, "Greg!" John said, his practiced eyes raking over the man's figure. "Hi John," he said, not meeting John's steady gaze, swaying slightly on his feet as he stood at the entrance to 221b.
Greg was still wearing his suit from earlier that day and it was pretty apparent that he had been wandering around London for a while now – in the bloody snow and wind. Grabbing an arm of the soaked suit, John dragged the man into the building and shut the door, with it, the cold that was starting to send him trembling, dressed as he was. "Why the bloody hell have you been wandering around London?" he asked, trying to keep his voice down and using his most firm I'm-a-solider-and-can-make-you-talk expression. For the first time that night, Greg raised his eyes and even in the dark hallway, lit by the light shining from the open door of the flat, John saw the unshed tears in the red-rimmed eyes, "Greg?" he asked, his voice suddenly much softer,
"I shouldn't have come," Greg dropped his gaze and made to leave but John stopped him,
"What's wrong?" John persisted, quietly, gently, and he felt Greg tense, his back to the doctor. Something's not quite right here… a tremor ran through the DI and it took John a moment to realise he was crying.
Eyes widening in surprise, John spun Greg and he broke down, all projection of the hardcore Scotland Yard agent gone. "Hey," John rubbed soothing circles up on his best friend's arms, still keeping some distance between them, a little worried that it might cause the DI more stress, "Hey, It's alright," John swallowed as the man looked anywhere but him. "Upstairs," John commanded, and Greg simply nodded and allowed John to direct him upstairs.
The heat washed over them as they entered, and John closed the door quietly behind him, flicking the light on and examining Greg properly. The snow had ruined the suit, as had the mud and…John swallowed, the doctor in him kicking into gear, "Greg, where are you hurt?" he asked, scanning the man's figure, the bloodstains on the front of the man's shirt now obvious in the light. He shook his head, "Not me…" he mumbled and it was like a dark cloud had descended on John's previously content mood as Greg collapsed onto the couch.
"Stay here," John ordered and pity washed over him as Greg simply nodded, more tears trailing down his face.
Hurrying upstairs, John ignored the still-sleeping Sherlock and moved to their cupboard. He grabbed Sherlock's pants because they ought to fit the DI better than his would. Finding a shirt, a new pair of socks and jocks, plus their spare towel, John gently closed the door behind him as he made his way downstairs. The DI was sitting exactly as he had been left, staring at the wall, but not really seeing it,
'Here," John handed him the towel and the change of clothes,
"Yes you can," John cut him off and pulled him to his feet, "Bathroom's there," he nodded towards it, "You need it. Go," he pushed gently as Greg tried to compose himself, 'I'll be here when you come back," John added.
Shoving his own emotions aside, John walked into the kitchen and put the kettle on. He had a feeling they were both going to need a strong brew.
Drier, warmer, but not any less dejected than before, Greg walked back into the living room, where a curious, sad and worried John sat, scrutinising him. He accepted the cup of tea as he sat back on the couch. There was silence for a minute and John didn't push it. Something happened to turn a strong man into…well this. "She's dead, John," Lestrade finally mumbled and John almost dropped his tea,
"Who-Who's dead, Greg?" he asked, hating himself as it brought fresh tears to the DI's eyes,
"My wife," his voice cracked, "Juli-Julianne," he broke off, as an emotional tidal wave washed over him. He put the tea on the coffee table as John left his favourite armchair and was at his side, pulling the widower into a hug.
At the touch, Lestrade started crying in earnest and John let him, merely holding onto him, knowing that he needed this support, knowing what it was like to loose someone, and if he ever lost Sherlock…The thought was enough to almost have him crying too.
The world's only consulting detective in question appeared at the foot of the steps to see John whispering something into Greg's ear as the man poured his heart out. He felt a stab of jealously before he really catalogued what was happening and stopped himself from running in there and pulling Lestrade off his lover when he realised what Lestrade was saying, in soft, shaky breaths,
"She was so-so sweet. My-my everything, John," he dissolved into more tears and it hit Sherlock that he was talking about his wife. Sherlock glanced into the bathroom. Clothes on the floor…blood on them, wet, snow on the tops…his wife's dead… Sherlock looked back up and, even though he knew that it was rather wrong, he felt his heart warm seeing how comforting John could be.
He's Lestrade's best friend…he would do that for anyone… The detective told himself to get rid of the jealously that was all but turning him green. Sherlock bit back the smile as he swallowed his emotions and walked into the living room as John untangled himself, allowing the DI to lie back, his eyes closed, his breathing harsh. His eyes lit up at he caught sight of Sherlock and banished all un-holy thoughts from his mind that the half-naked detective brought, and walked over to him,
'Wife, I know," Sherlock could see the amazement in John's eyes and wanted to just take him back to bed, but knew he couldn't…and he wouldn't. Not with their friend and colleague in such a state. It might just about shatter his heart if he saw them together, happy.
A few months ago, Sherlock would not have given a damn about the inspector…but John had given him a heart. Had taught him to care.
"Poor man," John whispered, wrapping an arm around Sherlock's waist and pulling him into a hug, loving the scent that was purely Sherlock as it washing away his own sadness, "If I ever lost you," he mumbled into Sherlock's collarbone but wasn't allowed to finish as Sherlock kissed the corner of his mouth, stopping pretty much every thought in his head,
'You won't," Sherlock whispered back, playing with John's hair as Greg' breaths calmed down, and fell into a regular pattern, 'He's asleep," Sherlock said, resting his chin on John.
"I know," but John didn't let go and Sherlock chuckled softly,
"Back to bed?" he asked, a tiny hint of hope in his voice but John shook his head,
'He needs us, Sherlock," John looked up at the taller man, 'we need to stay here,"
"I know," Sherlock sighed as John pulled away and cold air rushed to take his place. Sherlock shivered and John rolled his eyes, 'Get a shirt on," he ordered,
'I'd much rather yours,"
"Shut up," John smiled affectionately as Sherlock made his way back up to their room.
John settled down in his armchair when there was another light knock on the door. He placed the remote he had picked up, down again, and after turning down Sherlock's offer to get the door, knowing that he didn't really want to leave his latest experiment, John grabbed Sherlock's great coat before going down the stairs.
For the second time that night John opened the door and for the second time he found someone he had not been expecting. Sergeant Sally Donovan, no longer a menace, but, after their ordeal, a good friend, was standing on their top step shivering. "John, have you seen Greg?" she asked, her breath misting in the night. John smiled and opened the door wide,
"Come in before you catch pneumonia," he said and she entered gratefully. Shutting the door and the cold out, John turned to face Sally, "Do you know what happened?" she asked, her dark eyes wide with worry and John nodded, as they climbed the stairs, "Yeah, I do, unfortunately,"
Both of them heaved a sigh of relief as they entered the flat, John finding that his toes were frozen again. Greg was still lying on the couch and he made a small sound that sounded a lot like a whimper before turning so that his back was facing them, his breathing a little harder than normal,
"Hey Sherlock," Sally called softly, well out of the habit of calling him freak, and the detective appeared from the kitchen,
'Ah, Sergeant Donovan," Sherlock said, attempting something like disdain but failing entirely,
'Why so formal?" Sally chuckled,
"Well-" John cut him off with a smirk,
"Don't get him started. We'll be here all night," Sally smiled again before taking a seat. John imitated by falling into his favourite chair, and Sherlock sat on the armrest,
'You don't know how it happened, do you?" asked Sally, breaking the semi-comfortable silence that had fallen, her eyes resting on her boss,
"No," John replied and Sally reached for the cup of tea, not particularly caring that Greg had drunk half of it and was pleased to find it still warm. She took a sip as Sherlock and John waited, 'you remember last week's case, right?" she asked and John furrowed his brow; they had three cases last week, all of which Sherlock breezed through, 'which one?" John asked,
'Jack the ripper copycat?" Sally asked and John nodded while Sherlock just kept looking at Sally,
"Well, Mr. Finch, a.k.a Jack the ripper junior, was being transported last night because of something to do with the trial," she paused, 'He managed to overpower four guards," John raised and eyebrow, and Sally grimaced, "Yeah, I know," she said, "Madness. But he overpowered four guards and then…he made his way over to Greg's house and snuck in through the bedroom window. Julianne was taken by surprise, shot once in the chest." She glanced at Lestrade,
"Mr. Finch then turned to go downstairs but was shot three times by Greg and that, we believe, was when he caught sight of Julianne. The paramedics arrived too late. She was gone and he was in shock. They called me, because he happened to have me on speed dial. By the time I got there, he had disappeared,"
'Disappeared?" asked John, a slightly indignant tone to his voice, "How the hell did they manage to loose him? He could've wandered for hours! He could've died, it's turning into a blizzard out there!" John nodded towards the window and Sally nodded,
Sherlock still hadn't said anything as yet and decided to cut in, "So I take it Mr. Finch is dead," Sally nodded, 'Will Greg be facing trial?"
"I don't think so," The sergeant leant back in the chair, looking between the doctor and the detective, "Well, I'd better get going," she said, getting to her feet and John glanced up at Sherlock who nodded as Sally gathered herself to enter the mess outside,
"Stay the night," said John and she looked relieved,
'Yeah," John took in Lestrade's sleeping form, "He's going to need all of us tomorrow," sally sighed gratefully as she collapsed back into the chair,
'I don't doubt it," she said, as silence fell on the room once more.
John and Sherlock had managed to fall asleep in the same chair, wrapped around each other, whereas Sally contented herself with the armchair and Lestrade had not woken from a deeply troubled sleep. The view of London that was available through their window was completely obscured by the snow that had collected outside and the fog that had clouded the window from the inside, due to their body heat. It was around four o'clock that Sherlock had been woken by a strange buzzing noise. Looking around the room, Sherlock finally saw what was causing the sound – his phone, which was currently buzzing, as there was an incoming call. He couldn't get up even if he wanted to, thanks to the fact that John had him trapped where he was. Not that he minded.
Sherlock closed his eyes and tried to go back to sleep, but the buzzing continued and he opened his eyes again in exasperation. He didn't want to wake John up, but as the phone was in danger of waking the DI, he had to. "John," he whispered and the doctor shifted slightly, nudging Sherlock under the chin, "John," Sherlock bent slightly so he could to nibble on the doctor's ear, rousing him,
"Sherlock," he mumbled, "I'm trying to sleep,"
"I need to get the phone," Sherlock whispered and John opened his eyes,
"Now?" he glanced around in the darkness and saw the lit phone on the side table, "They'll give up eventually,
"It's my brother," John looked back at him,
"Fine," he rolled off Sherlock and onto the floor, quickly taking Sherlock's spot as the detective walked to the side table.
Lifting the phone up and remembering to keep his voice low, Sherlock answered, "What now, Mycroft?" there was a gentle laugh from the other end,
"Good. Why are you calling this late?"
"Well, everyone else was calling in, I figured I'd better join up," Sherlock sighed,
'Are you still keeping this flat under watch?"
"Go away," Sherlock mumbled and Mycroft laughed again,
"How's Greg?" he asked, his voice softening just a bit and Sherlock felt a prick of interest at his tone, but decided to store it away for later blackmail purposes,
'He's in bad shape. Why do you want to know?" Mycroft ignored the question and instead said,
'I'm a minute away from the flat, I'll see you then," Before Sherlock could so much as make an indignant sound, Mycroft hung up. Slamming the phone down onto the side table he walked back to the half-asleep John, who was cuddling up to the union jack pillow in the absence of his preferred pillow.
"What's up?" he mumbled sleepily as Sherlock lifted him up enough to get a seat, 'Mycroft is coming," he said and John chuckled, his blonde hair, black in the darkness, falling into his face,
"I need a hair cut," He stretched against Sherlock, yawning, and the detective shook his head, running a hand through his hair, "No," he said softly an John paused to look up, "Keep it long," Sherlock added and John laughed.
As promised, a minute after he had disconnected, there was a knock from downstairs, "Don't get it," Sherlock grumbled as John stumbled to his feet,
"I have to Sherlock," he started down the stairs, but Sherlock was up surprisingly fast for the middle of the night, and had John trapped on the stairs, between his arms,
"Sherlock," John started as Mycroft knocked again,
'I will make it worth your while if you don't answer that door," Sherlock purred, pulling his body flush against John's, but the doctor, despite being intoxicated by Sherlock, was still aware enough of the knocking downstairs,
'Really?' he asked, placing a chaste kiss on Sherlock's lips before pulling back, running a hand up Sherlock's thigh. He leant in and Sherlock turned to follow his mouth, but John whispered before the detective could do anything, "You'll have to do better than that, Sherlock," With that, John easily found the gap between the distracted Sherlock and the bottom of the stairs.
By the time Sherlock composed himself, Mycroft was already inside, dusting snow off himself,
'Good morning, Sherlock," he said, a little too cheerily for this time of the morning,
'What do you want, Mycroft?"
"Oh, it's not what I want," the elder Holmes said, looking between John and Sherlock, "It's what SIS want," with that he led the way upstairs, leaving John and even Sherlock confused.
"SIS?" asked John, dragging the chair closer to the table, in the kitchen, the white light shining from the ceiling, illuminating every painfully well for this time of the night,
"Otherwise known as MI6," Mycroft nodded as Sherlock sat at the table in the kitchen. Not even he could guess where this was heading,
"What about them?" John asked,
'Well, after your little escapade with the Silver Ring, they want you,"
"Me?" John asked, and Mycroft shook his head,
'Not just you, my dear John," he said, "All of you. Sherlock, Sally, Greg and you, John," John nodded slowly, and Sherlock stood up,
'Right, you've delivered the information, you can go now,'
"Sherlock!" John got to his feet at the same time as Mycroft,
"No need to worry, John," Mycroft said, 'I wasn't planning on staying," he smiled at the doctor, "But all four of you need to get to Vauxhall by thirteen hundred tomorrow," Sherlock raised an eyebrow at the use of military time but ushered his brother out as John just sat there, reeling from this news,
"Do you know that this means, Sherlock?" he asked, the detective walked back in,
"Yep," Hope padded up to them, wakened by their voices. He reached down and picked her up, cradling her in his lap, 'we're going to Vauxhall," Sherlock leant back and John sighed. This was going to be interesting.
Nehehe. I'm back. ;) And crazier than ever! :D This is going to be fun.