What People Normally Say
"Oh, piss off, why don't you?" was the first thing Lestrade heard when he pulled up on the curb by 221b Baker Street. He snorted and dismounted, making his way into the building. He passed a young lady on the stairs who was all mighty glares and bawling less than elegantly into a handkerchief.
Oh, good, Sherlock was in, then?
He poked his head through the still open door of the flat and caught sight of Sherlock sporting an angry red bruise on his cheek. That bad, huh? "It's obscene, what you do to people sometimes." he remarked in greeting.
Sherlock snorted and winced as he felt his swollen cheek. "Not good?"
"'Indecent abuse of her womanly charms'." John sighed in exasperation as he entered with an ice pack. "Just what every recently widowed woman wants to hear, Sherlock. Well done!"
"Well it was true." Sherlock shrugged his shoulders innocently.
"Huh," Lestrade grunted. "that's nice, and all, Sherlock. About the case I told you about?" he asked, eager to get back on track.
"Boring. Open and shut domestic... and a goose." Sherlock deadpanned.
Lestrade blinked impassively at him and sat himself down on the sofa. "I've got time. Is this going to be a long story?" John offered tea, and Lestrade accepted gratefully.
Sherlock glared at him contemptuously. "No. It ends with me being slapped by the young lady who just left. I've got better things to do with my time than tell bedtime stories." John snorted.
"What about you, Lestrade?" The doctor asked. "You got any good anecdotes about Sherlock telling you your life story before he knows your name?"
"I described what I knew about a murder victim and his killer." Sherlock smirked at John. "There was never any need to prove my observational skills to Lestrade." Then he looked Lestrade once over. "Though, that doesn't mean I don't observe once in a while."
"And what have you deduced from your observations?" John asked curiously.
Lestrade squirmed a little, uncomfortable at being the object of their conversation. "Sherlock, you don't have to, really..."
Sherlock silenced him with a casual wave. "When I first met him, he wore a ring." John's eyes widened and he looked at Lestrade, who grimaced a bit. He never knew Lestrade was married! "It was a happy marriage too, he had two children with ages ranging from one year to six years. This, I deduced when I found a picture in his coat pocket drawn in crayon, from his elder child, no doubt. And a small scuff mark on the back of his coat from his younger child's muddy shoe, must've gotten there when he picked her up."
"Sorry, 'her'?" John quieried.
"Christmas presents that year, judging by the store names and the handwritten names on the wrapping, the elder one is a boy named Jack, the younger is a girl named Ellie." Sherlock folded his hands under his chin in contemplation. "Although, that was all when I met him."
John glanced at Lestrade but, satisfied that the man made no move to stop Sherlock's deductions, let the consulting detective continue.
"He doesn't wear a ring now." Sherlock pointed out bluntly. "Stopped wearing it three years ago, in fact. Divorced, then, but not unhappy with the turn-out. No drastic changes in behavior during the time of divorce, no symptoms of remorse, never touched his ring-finger to realize that his ring isn't there anymore."
Sherlock was silent for a moment, staring at Lestrade contemplatively. "Taking your work ethic into perspective, I'd go so far as to say that was the reason for the divorce. It wasn't that you or your wife didn't love each other anymore, it was your busy work schedule. Too many missed dinners, too little time with your family and then you both came to the unanimous agreement that your relationship simply wouldn't work out."
Lestrade lowered his gaze to the floor. "You still go to their birthday parties, though, New Years and Christmas as well, if you can. You still have good relationships with your family, you visit them at least once a week, judging by the average of the times you show up to work grinning foolishly with drawings in your pocket and wrinkled jacket shoulders which can only be gotten when a child clings to your back." Lestrade snorted in amusement.
Sherlock continued. "Being the kind sort of man that you are, you probably insisted that your family keep the house and the logical cause-and-effect is for you to move into a flat close-by the station."
Here, Lestrade interrupted. "Sherlock, how can you know that my flat is close-by the station?"
"Simple, when you're not woken up and called out to a crime scene in the middle of the night, you arrive to work at seven o'clock. The alarm on your phone is set to go off at six thirty. Deducting the time you take to shower, change, and tidy up your flat, you should have about ten minutes to get there." Lestrade nodded. "And, lets not forget, you stop by the coffee shop nearby to get your breakfast if the logo on your coffee cups is anything to go by. Waiting in line, that's another three-to-five minutes gone."
"Lets just say that my apartment is close enough to walk to, before Sherlock starts zeroing in on my address." Lestrade said aside to John with a smile.
Sherlock ignored the quip, but moved on. "You're protective of your subordinates and look after them. I think it's because you've grown up looking after younger siblings and it's something that comes naturally to you." A moment of thoughtful silence. "You have a lover." Lestrade choked on his sip of tea. "You occasionally smell of aftershave, but, considering the stubble you sport, it's not your own."
"Guilty." Lestrade responded, grasping for a handkerchief.
"Your lover always spends the night in your flat when you... overnight." Lestrade had the decency to look a little embarrassed. "You never show up even remotely late for work after he comes over so that is the most logical explanation."
"When you, John, and I go out to the pub, or cafe, you're quick to get the bill. I'm guessing that your date usually gets the tab and has never yet let you pay once. Being a family man, that isn't what you're used to and you have no idea how to handle the situation." Lestrade groaned, blushing and covering his face with his hands.
"You have minor scuff marks on your left shoe, but not on your right. Being a man who isn't very comfortable with physical contact and close proxemity, I'd say that you're either very comfortable around your lover, or you two often share umbrellas with your lover standing on your left, holding the umbrella with his right hand and standing close enough to brush against your foot when you walk. Seeing as you rarely carry an umbrella around, I'm leaning more to the latter option."
"You've been in this particular relationship for a while now, yet you don't show the usual eagerness to get home that most people in serious relationships show. Probably because you know that your lover won't always be there when you get back, there are enough times that you come in from a day off without the smell of aftershave to guess that. I'm thinking a career in civil service? He's very understanding about your long hours on duty and many all-nighters on difficult cases."
Sherlock suddenly leaned forward and sniffed at Lestrade's collar. "His aftershave isn't terribly expensive, but not very cheap either. He's considerably wealthy but doesn't broadcast it, probably because he knows it'll make you less then comfortable." He leaned back into his chair. "So, wealthy, occassionally works at odd hours, he's probably one of those old-fashioned gentleman type, and not clingy, you two don't call each other during work hours."
Sherlock folded his hands again. "What do you think?" he asked Lestrade.
Lestrade had been silent for a while now, watching Sherlock carefully. Then he sighed. "You're wrong, Sherlock, I was never married, and I'm not a dad."
Sherlock frowned. "You're lying."
"I have a younger sister who I am protective of." Lestrade continued, ignoring Sherlock. "Jack and Ellie are her kids."
Sherlock groaned. "And the ring?"
"My father's." Lestrade smirked triumphantly. "I wear it when I visit Jack and Ellie at school, Sis is the one divorced and I fill in as a father figure." Sherlock pouted so he continued. "I stopped wearing the ring three years ago when I got into a relationship."
He scratched his head awkwardly. "I do live in a flat near the station. My boyfriend sleeps over sometimes. I don't wear aftershave. He doesn't let me pay for meals when we eat out. Between us, we own only one umbrella... he keeps hold of it. He is wealthy, doesn't talk much about both his job and his paycheck at all, and he leaves the country occassionally for his work."
Lestrade stood up and made ready to leave. "The aftershave... is Mycroft's." He smiled. "So piss off, before he gets mad at you."
He turned and left before Sherlock could scrape his jaw off the floor.