Title: Family and Friends
Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky
Word Count: 3326
Spoilers: None really.
Summary: Written for a prompt, Sherlock accidently calls Lestrade, "dad" at a crime scene. How does everyone react? How does Sherlock? And later, John and Lestrade find out why.
Prompt: Written for a father's day prompt: At the Yard, or while investigating a crime scene, Sherlock absent-mindedly calls Lestrade "Dad." He doesn't get why everyone has stopped dead and is staring at him wide-eyed.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own John or Sherlock, (Heh! I wish!), or anything relating to the show or books. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk to someone about that. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own all things Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the rights to Holmes and Watson. None of them have given me permission to use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not them.
Author's Notes: This was written for a prompt a father's day prompt: At the Yard, or while investigating a crime scene, Sherlock absent-mindedly calls Lestrade "Dad." He doesn't get why everyone has stopped dead and is staring at him wide-eyed. It's a bit late, but I just found this prompt. I hope that's okay.
Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for giving me a Sherlock I can get behind. Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch for making this Sherlock so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. Big thank yous to Emma de los Nardos and Gemma for the super-fast beta jobs. Your input was invaluable and I owe you both so much! Thank you to Elin, who hand held me through this one. It wouldn't be what it is without you. And my biggest thank yous to my greatest influence and my best friend, Ann. She's the Sherlock to my John and without her, I am nothing. (Couldn't do it without you, love. Wouldn't want to try.)
Family and Friends
"Well, if it's not the freak and his…colleague." Donavan's voice is snide and laced with hostility.
John doesn't like the way she pauses before calling him Sherlock's colleague. He knows exactly what she's insinuating, but he refuses to rise to the bait. It will only make things worse. Sherlock on the other hand…
"Really now, Sally. Just because you and Anderson can't work together without ending up in bed doesn't mean everybody does that. Some of us are professional about our jobs."
Sherlock doesn't bother to keep his voice down and John notices a few people looking their direction. Sally's face pales and John almost feels sorry for her; almost. Anderson storms over, his scowl deeper than usual.
"That's uncalled for," he snaps. "If you keep spreading rumors, I'll get you banned from all crime scenes. Everyone knows you're unstable."
John shoots a quick glance at Sherlock. To most people, Sherlock's look is disdainful, rather like he's ignoring them both. But John isn't most people and he can see that calling Sherlock unstable rather bruises his well hidden feelings. John is about to step in and divert Sherlock to the body when Sherlock shoots an angry glare at Anderson.
"I'd like to see you try. I'm here by request of Inspector Lestrade and there's not a damn thing you can do about it."
Sherlock draws himself up, starting to turn away and John prepares to follow him.
"Of course you don't know anything about personal relationships," Donavan snaps. "You get off on dead bodies. Is that what you think about when you and John…"
She stops mid sentence as Sherlock whips on her eyes flashing and John is actually startled at the raw anger he sees displayed.
"Don't talk about John that way," Sherlock growls and John doesn't know what to say.
"Well, seems you two really are…colleagues," Sally says, her voice dropping to almost a whisper.
Sherlock's jaw tightens and he turns away, stalking towards the body. John looks over at Sally and Anderson.
"Wasn't the smartest thing you've ever done," John says to them over his shoulder as he turns to follow Sherlock.
Seems those two are even more dense than John gave them credit for. Just as he turns to ask Sherlock what he thinks, he hears Anderson's voice and John cringes.
"You'd better not contaminate my crime scene."
John sees Sherlock's jaw clench and he prepares for the explosion.
"Alright, that's enough," Lestrade says, walking up, eyes snapping.
John has never been so grateful to hear the man's voice.
"He started it," Donavan responds. "He's making up stuff about us."
"Well, I'm ending it." Lestrade turns to glare at her. "Sherlock is a member of this team right now. He's helping us and you'll treat him with some respect or I'll have you transferred to parking enforcement. Do you understand?"
She looks at the ground, muttering something.
"I'm sorry, I didn't hear that," Lestrade says and John can hear an edge to his voice.
"Yes, sir," Donavan says, her voice quiet. Lestrade nods.
"I understand," he replies sullenly.
"Hmm?" Sherlock looks up at him.
Sherlock frowns and Lestrade sighs.
"I know they goaded you," he says quietly. "But could you do me a favour before I get ulcers and not take the bait? I have to maintain some level of professionalism here."
Sherlock just nods and turns back to what he's doing.
"Good then." Lestrade walks over to Sherlock and John. He leans around Sherlock, looking down at the body. "Anything?"
"Thanks for that, Dad," Sherlock says and John is sure he's misheard him. "As to the body, this man wasn't a professional. You can tell by looking at his hands. But he's wearing a suit, so we can infer that…"
Sherlock trails off as he turns and looks at the people behind him. Sherlock's brows come together in confusion and he frowns.
"I did say that in English, didn't I?" Sherlock asks quietly, leaning in towards John. When John doesn't respond, Sherlock's frown gets deeper. "Oh, don't tell me I did something offensive again. I only said three sentences."
John is still trying to come up with something to say, some way to verify what he thinks he heard. And from the stunned silence behind him, he's sure he's not the only one who's speechless. He looks at Sherlock who looks like he might be starting to panic.
"John?" The voice is soft and tinged with worry.
"No," John says, suddenly rallying, Sherlock's demeanor shaking him from his thoughts. "I mean, yes, that was English and no, you didn't…"
John breaks off, unsure where to go. Sherlock leans closer.
"John, what's wrong?"
"Well, it's just…I think you called Lestrade, 'Dad.'"
"I…that's absurd," Sherlock says, all indignation. He frowns and John can see him going over the mental recording of the last few minutes. "Why would I say that? That's just…"
Sherlock trails off, his eyes wide, and John knows that he hadn't heard wrong. Sherlock turns to look at the crowd behind him, his face going red, and John has never seen him so mortified. Sherlock whips around, turning his back to the group and John sees his hands start to twitch.
Lestrade gives a soft cough and walks over to Sherlock and John.
"Yes, well, what was it you were saying about his clothes?" Lestrade asks, his voice completely normal.
John smiles at him and Lestrade just shrugs. John walks over and puts a hand on Sherlock's shoulder.
Sherlock just shakes his head, his face still red, his shoulders slumped.
"Okay then, I'll give it a go," John says, stepping over to the body. "Let's see…his hands...oh, yes, the calluses. He must work with his hands."
Sherlock snorts and John hides a smile.
"But the suit...hmm…oh! He must have been on his way to a job interview."
"Church," Sherlock inserts.
"Church? Where do you get that?" John asks.
"The Rosary in his pocket," Sherlock says.
"How do you know he doesn't just carry it? For luck or something?" Lestrade asks, joining in.
"If he kept it with him all the time, he'd wear it. Most people do. And if he kept it with him all the time, it would look worn. But this one is practically new."
Sherlock goes on, expounding on his observations and Lestrade smiles gratefully at John.
Night has fallen on 221B and John puts a pot of water on the stove to boil. They'd gotten back from the crime scene three hours ago and Sherlock hasn't spoken a word. It isn't really his silence that bothers John. Sometimes Sherlock will sit and stare at the wall without speaking for hours. It's his way of decompressing from the stress of what they do. This time it's the way Sherlock is being silent that has John worried. He still seems shaken by what happened earlier.
John moves around the kitchen, making them dinner and giving Sherlock some space. He's just drained the pasta when there's a knock at the door. John puts the empty pot back on the stove and goes to see who's there. He's not entirely surprised to see inspector Lestrade standing there, shuffling from one foot to the other in the hall. John steps back, wordlessly inviting him in.
Lestrade walks into the sitting room and looks over at Sherlock on the couch. He raises an eyebrow at John in silent question and John shrugs back. Damned if he knows what's going on.
"Would you like to sit down?" John asks, gesturing to an empty chair.
Lestrade nods and sits down looking around. At the sound of John's voice, Sherlock had looked up. Seeing who it was, he pulled into himself on the couch, practically curling into a ball with his back to them. John sighs.
"What can we do for you?" John asks, wondering just how much more awkward this can get.
"I was on my way home and I thought I'd stop by and let you know that we have the victim's brother in custody. We confronted him with Sherlock's evidence and he confessed. I thought you'd want to know."
"Thank you," John says, looking over at Sherlock. "We appreciate that, don't we, Sherlock?"
"This wasn't on your way home," Sherlock mumbles, sounding tense.
"Well, not strictly speaking, no," Lestrade answers. "But it wasn't too far out of my way."
"What do you really want?" Sherlock asks, still not turning to face them.
"Sherlock!" John exclaims. This is rude even for Sherlock.
"No," Lestrade interjects. "He's not all together wrong."
John arches an eyebrow at him and Lestrade shrugs.
"Sherlock, about this afternoon…"
"I'm sorry," Sherlock says, cutting across Lestrade's explanation.
"No reason you should be," Lestrade says. "You can't help it if I remind you of your father."
Sherlock snorts and after a minute more, he turns around, sitting up.
"You in no way remind me of my father," Sherlock says firmly. Lestrade shoots him a questioning look and Sherlock sighs. "I never called my father, 'Dad.' He was always 'Father'. 'Dad' would have implied a relationship we never had."
John doesn't know what to say, so he sits quietly in his normal chair and watches. Lestrade looks at Sherlock.
"I'm sure it just seemed that way sometimes," Lestrade says, more from the need to say something than any real conviction, John suspects.
"No, I was always such a disappointment to him," Sherlock says, looking at his hands.
"I'm sure your father was proud of you and what you can do, even if he never said it." Lestrade says quietly.
"Not likely," Sherlock says playing with his thumbnail. "I could never live up to his glorious vision for my future." Sherlock looks up at Lestrade. "And he could never just accept me for who I am. Honestly, I think that's what happened today."
"What?" Lestrade asks.
"When you stepped in at the crime scene with Donavan and Anderson. You told them to stop taunting me and to treat me with respect. You thought I deserved that respect. I remember thinking that was how a father, a dad, should act for his son. My father never stood up for me, never once protected me from the other...well, he never protected me. I thought that you'd make a better father than the man I got stuck with." Sherlock looks at his hands again. "I suppose it just came out without my noticing. I am sorry about that."
"You have nothing to be sorry for," Lestrade says quietly. "You've earned that respect, Sherlock. You might annoy the hell out of me some days, but I know that you'll always come and help if we need you."
"Keeps me from getting bored," Sherlock says, a smile tugging at his lips. "And no one wants to be around me when I'm bored."
"God, no," John says, shaking his head. "He set the bathmat on fire last week. Do you have any idea how big a mess melted rubber makes?"
"It's better than some things he could do," Lestrade says, looking at Sherlock.
Sherlock tips his head to the side.
"Do you still worry about that?" he asks.
"Not since you moved in with John, no." Lestrade sighs. "And it's not like we don't have more than enough cases to keep you busy. Unfortunate side effect of a big city I suppose."
"What's this?" John asks, curiosity getting the better of him.
"You've never told him?" Lestrade looks at Sherlock, who shrugs. Lestrade shakes his head and turns to John. "Haven't you ever wondered why I bring cases to Sherlock?"
"I just thought it was because he can solve them," John answers with a smile.
"And you never wondered how I knew that?"
John frowns. How has he never thought to ask that before?
"How did you know?"
Lestrade looks at Sherlock, who sighs.
"The park by my old flat was on his beat," Sherlock says quietly. "He met me during one of my…darker phases. When he moved to CID, he made me a deal. If I stay clean he brings me cases."
John stares at him, all the things he's not saying suddenly making sense. John frowns again.
"You arrested him?"
"He regularly made sure that I made it home," Sherlock answers. He looks at Lestrade. "You could have arrested me, you know."
"I could have. But would that really have helped you? I couldn't stand to see a mind like yours blown out by drugs," Lestrade says quietly. "You are so brilliant and it killed me every time I'd find you passed out in the park. Knew you were destined for better things."
Sherlock shakes his head.
"You went way past your duty as an officer. You were a complete stranger, and you were worried about me and saw more than a drug addict. Another reason I thought you'd make a good father."
"You're the only one who thinks that," Lestrade says with a humorless laugh. "My wife left me because my work was more important than she was and she couldn't see having children with a man like me."
"She couldn't see having babies with a man like you," Sherlock corrects him. "Women rarely see past the nappy changing and midnight feedings. True, you likely would have been bad at that. But the things that count to the child? I think you'd have done very well with those."
John watches as the two men look at each other and he's not willing to say anything to break the moment. Finally, Lestrade takes a breath and stands up.
"Well, I'll let you gentlemen get back to your quiet night at home," he says. He turns to Sherlock. "Thank you again for your help. I really do appreciate it."
Sherlock nods as John gets to his feet to see Lestrade out. They get to the door, but before John can open it, Lestrade turns and looks at the sofa.
"Hm?" Sherlock looks up.
"He was wrong," Lestrade says quietly.
"I'm sorry?" Sherlock's brow furrows in confusion.
"Your father. He couldn't appreciate what he had. If I ever had a son, I'd be proud if he turned out like you."
Without another word, Lestrade turns and walks out of the flat. John looks at Sherlock who is starring at the door with wide eyes. After a minute, Sherlock shakes his head, reaching for his phone. He sends off a quick text, then sits back on the couch staring at his hands.
John moves to go back to the kitchen, intending to finish making dinner, but he's halted by Sherlock's voice.
"My father held a rather high position in the government, much as Mycroft does now. He expected that his sons would follow after him. Mycroft was the good son. He acted normal, made friends, and fit in. I never did. I suppose I thought that the other kids would be impressed with what I could do. Turns out, they really weren't. My years at boarding school were pure hell."
"I can imagine," John says, sitting back down in his chair. He'd not really thought of what Sherlock's childhood had been like before.
"I'm pretty sure you can't," Sherlock says wryly. "I was always thin, small for my age. I wasn't that good in a fight and I got in quite a few of them. Knowing I couldn't physically overpower the other boys, I fought back the only way I knew how."
"Oh, God," John says, his eyes going wide. "You deduced things and used it against them. Like you do with Donavan and Anderson?"
"Why do you think I'm so good at embarrassing them?" Sherlock asks with a slightly malicious smile. "I've been doing that most of my life."
"The school must have loved that," John says, shaking his head.
"Yeah, oddly, they didn't take kindly to my yelling out people's family secrets in the dining hall. My parents received so many phone calls about me. I was constantly getting lectures about fitting in and not harassing the other boys."
"But they went after you first," John interjects.
"I tried to tell my parents that, but my father didn't care." Sherlock's hands were moving restlessly in his lap. "After I got out of school, he expected me to buckle down and take my place in the government. I of course rebelled. I didn't want that life, so I went off on my own. My parents were horrified by my behavior, they wanted nothing to do with me. Not that I blame them. I cut quite a path through the London party scene and my drug use went over particularly well with my father."
"No parent wants to see their kid do that," John says.
"That had nothing to do with it. They told me I was an embarrassment to the family. My father couldn't even look at me. Mycroft was the one who put me into rehab, not that it worked." Sherlock looks at the door through which Lestrade had disappeared. "Nothing worked until Lestrade told me that if I stayed clean he'd give me cases. My father tried to pretend I didn't exist. I was slowly killing myself, and his response was to tell me I needed to be a man and stop embarrassing him."
"Lestrade was right, you know," John says. Sherlock looks up at him, quirking an eyebrow. "Your father was wrong. You have a different way of doing things than most people, but you've got a good heart. Even if you pretend that you don't. It's not hard for me to see what Lestrade sees."
"Maybe you need glasses," Sherlock says with a slight smile.
"Idiot." John grins at him.
"Dinner?" Sherlock asks. "I'm actually rather hungry tonight."
John laughs and shakes his head as he goes into the kitchen to finish their dinner. Later, after the dishes have been done and the two of them are relaxing in the sitting room, John looks over at Sherlock.
"Who was that text to?" John asks. He didn't intend to say anything, but his curiosity is killing him.
"The one you sent right after Lestrade left," John answers.
Sherlock looks at him and John can see him mentally debating. John fully expects to be told to mind his own business, so, he's surprised when Sherlock picks up his phone, pushes a couple buttons, then hands it to John.
John's eyes go wide as he looks at the sent text and he looks at Sherlock, rather speechless. Sherlock just smiles and shrugs. John looks down at the phone, rereading the text.
And if I could have picked my father…
It lacks the usual "SH" at the end, but John is sure Lestrade will know who it's from. John stares at Sherlock, who finally sighs and turns to John.
"Written evidence?" John asks, holding the phone up.
"Well, it's not the kind of thing you say in person, is it?" Sherlock asks.
"You? No, I suppose not," John answers with a smile. "Do you think this will change anything?"
"In what way?" Sherlock asks, frowning.
"Well, it's just…this was rather an emotional…"
He breaks off as Sherlock waves his hand.
"No, I'm pretty sure this won't change anything." He gives John a little smile. "He and I…we understand each other."
John thinks about it for a second and he realizes that they probably do at that. He nods to Sherlock, who gets off the couch and picks up his violin.
"What are you in the mood for tonight, John?" Sherlock asks, tuning the violin. "Maybe some Brahms?"
"I was rather hoping for some Paganini, if you wouldn't mind," John says, settling more comfortably in his chair.
"You would pick an athletic composer," Sherlock grumbles.
"If it's too hard…" John leaves it hanging and Sherlock snorts as he puts the violin to his chin.
John just closes his eyes and listens as the music fills the room.