John and Greg
A/N: This is a series of short stories all connected and related in some way to my story The Ink and the Reaction- A Story of John Watson's Tattoos. As I get more ideas I'll add more chapters. If you read these it will spoil some things for you in the original story but they can be read on their own.
I edited the ending of this a little because I didn't love it when I first wrote it and daily-chan (who is the inspiration for all these if you're wondering who to thank) mentioned the end was too fast! And I wanted to change some things as far as continuity and give more explanation for John and Greg's relationship. So it's a bit different…
Don't own Sherlock, obviously.
"John, I'm going to need all your clothing that has blood on it for evidence. So off with your shirt then." Lestrade demanded not knowing the kind of request he was making. John froze in the middle of the room as Anderson moved toward him with an evidence bag. His eyes were as wide as a deer's caught in headlights. Everything to slow down.
About fifteen minutes ago, the Yard had apprehended two people who had been involved in a knife fight, but the third had escaped them. He had been badly injured during the fight that John had interrupted. John had been struggling with the third suspect and got quite a bit of the other man's blood on his clothing. Lestrade was hoped the blood on John's shirt might lead them to the man because he suspected the man had been arrested before. They had brought John to the Yard to process the evidence and his statement about the fight. Since Sherlock's named had been cleared, almost a full year ago now, John had been restored as part of the force and helped out with crime solving fairly often.
"I'll need another shirt." John managed still not making any effort to remove his clothing. His eyes darted all over the room.
"I'll get you one while you give your statement." Greg promised looking at him a little strangely. It wasn't that cold in here. It was the middle of summer so it was fairly warm in the building and he didn't want him to strip naked, just hand over the shirt that had blood on it.
"Greg, can I talk to you in your office please?" John suddenly asked sounding a bit strained. Lestrade nodded confused, but followed the smaller man down the hall and into his office. Anderson and Donovan whispered about John's odd behavior once the door closed.
'John what is this all about? I just need your shirt to test the blood…" John held up his hand and nodded his head to indicate he understood why Lestrade needed the clothing.
"I understand Greg and I'm not trying to make things difficult. I just need to keep some things private and I'd never be able to if I stripped down in front of half the Yard."
"Like what John? No one here is going to judge you for your scar. You're a hero and one of my best mates. If anyone says a word against you, I'd fire them on the spot." Lestrade declared thinking that John's war wound was the reason for his reluctance. John stared at him with cold eyes.
"Like you fired Anderson or Donovan when they spoke out against Sherlock?"
"I've adjusted attitude because of a hard lesson." Lestrade hung his head. Sherlock's treatment by the Yard was still a point of tension between the two friends. Silence held for a few moments in the office and the only sounds came from the street outside.
"The blood is soaked through my jumper and my undershirt. I'll give you both, but I'll need at least a heavy t-shirt to leave here in. You better hope he hasn't bled out." John told him as he looked at his clothing again then added. "Greg, I'd trust you with my life after what we've been through these last couple of years, but I'm not exactly excited about sharing my private business with you. I don't share this part of my life often. Just don't let me down." John shifted uncomfortably then started to peal the blood soaked clothing off his torso. These declarations startled Greg. He really had no idea what John was talking about.
"John I'm not exactly sure what business you mean…" Lestrade trailed off when he saw the ink lines trailing all over John's arms when he pulled off his jumper. He handed the piece of clothing over to Lestrade. He took a deep breath and pulled off his undershirt as well and handed it over.
John's body was covered in ink. His arms and torso were full of intricate designs.
"Tattoos really aren't that big of a deal John." Lestrade shrugged trying not to stare and diffuse the situation some. Even though he handled hundreds of people who had ink on their skin he never expected John to have tattoos let alone so many. He was very surprised that someone he had such a close friendship with had never mentioned something like this, but really it was a concern of his. John had every right to his privacy, and Greg doubted anything about the tattoos was overly embarrassing or private.
"They are important to me, and I'd prefer that you wouldn't spread this around. I like to keep my art private." John growled again when he pulled his hand away from Lestrade who now had the jumper and undershirt in the evidence bag.
John pulled back. His right arm had been stretched across his body to hand the pieces of clothing to Greg. Then Lestrade saw a tattoo that would explain John's reluctance to undress in front of the others especially Anderson and Donovan. His tone of indifference seemed to vanish.
"Er…John I may have been insensitive before of your feelings. Now I understand better why this might cause a stir. I'll get you another shirt and maybe a jacket if I can find one." He added as he put the shirts in the evidence bag and left the room. He handed the bag over to a lab tech as he went to the lost and found to try and find something for John to wear. When he closed the door behind him, he paused for just a moment.
There had been a tattoo of a violin right over John's heart. The scroll had almost reached the hallow of his throat and the neck stretched down between his pecks. The strings of the instrument spelled out Sherlock. Lestrade knew it would be like hell for John if Anderson found out. He quickly grabbed a few clean shirts and a jacket from the lost and found and hurried back to his office. John sat in the chair in front of Greg's desk with his back to the door.
"We weren't…lovers or together or anything. I know people thought we were and when others see they will still think that but that's not why I got it. When things were so bad…when everyone was against him, I had to be sure to stand by him and believe in him. I had to make sure I couldn't forget…I couldn't forget him… so I got this." John touched his chest when he explained. His words seemed heavy as he spoke them. Greg put a hand on his shoulder and handed over the shirts. John put one on and while it was slightly too big it was dark so it hid the ink once again.
The tattoo had certainly raised questions in Lestrade's mind when he had seen it. The design was very personalized and right over John's heart. It meant something, but it didn't have to mean they had been a couple.
"You were a better man than any of us during everything. I never should have doubted him. I wish I could explain how sorry I am." Greg knew it had taken over a year for John to clear Sherlock's name but in the end he and Mycroft had done it. The Consulting Criminal's name was ruined and Sherlock's was restored, but neither was alive to face the headlines that had been printed across the London newspapers.
"Yes well, I suppose I should be going now. I have to get back to the flat. I still have some hours at the clinic tomorrow. Let me know what happens with the third man. I hope I helped. Goodnight, Greg. "John left the room in the borrowed shirt and jacket as Greg smiled after him. A few moments after he left the office Anderson and Donovan marched in.
"What was that all about?" Donovan demanded in her high-pitched voice.
"Yea, what was up with him?" Anderson wheezed. Greg, who was always protective of John, suddenly felt very angry at the two intrusive busy bodies.
"Nothing either of you need to be concerned about. John just wanted a little privacy. Now go work on those blood samples." Lestrade ordered defending his friend. He was firm and had a no more questions tone. The two spun on their heels and exited the room. He knew someday he might actually need to do something about the two of them. He didn't have a reason to fire them, but he still wished he could. Greg regretted being swayed by them three years ago. He looked at the calendar and realized it really was nearly three years ago to the day. He wondered if John really was doing alright. He seemed better than in the beginning, but living by himself in 221B had to be hard.
Bing! Suddenly an email popped up.
To: DI Lestrade
From: M. Holmes
Message: I have reason to believe my brother is alive and may return to Baker Street in the next few hours. I believe you have become rather close with John over the past 3 years. I hope it is not asking too much for you to check in and make sure John does not die of shock or kill my brother. I would not blame him for either,r but I would prefer them alive. Especially after all the work it has taken to get him back home.
Lestrade's mouth hung open. Sherlock alive? How? After all this time? More questions flooded his brain than when he had seen John's tattoos. He stood gaping at his computer. Suddenly Anderson came barging into the room without even knocking.
"Sir, the blood on the shirt…"
"Get out! Anderson don't you know to knock? I'm your superior and I need more respect from you in the future." Greg's concentration had been broken by the interruption. Anderson froze in his track and offered a quick 'yes sir' on his way out. Greg continued to stare at his computer.
Bing! Another email popped up in his inbox.
Message: He may actually arrive sooner than expected. He seems to be in a bit of a rush. I would hurry over if I was you.
Message: Knowing John you may want to bring a strong drink to help him deal with the news.
Greg had a bottle of scotch in his car. He could pop over and say he was planning on giving John for his birthday this year anyway. It was coming up in a few weeks. He and John had made plans to go out as they had for a couple of years now, but maybe Greg could lie for now. If Sherlock was alive, John might not need to go out with him this year. He remembered how tough it had been the first year. Sherlock's fall had been so close to John's birthday. John hadn't left the flat for days after the funeral, but Greg went over. He and John had gotten into a fight and John belted him across the chin.
Greg returned to bang on a closed door once a week for six months until John finally let him into the flat. In the tense room tea was the first thing John had offered. It started their weekly meetings. At first Greg went mostly to keep an eye on John because he thought it was his responsibility. Sherlock's death had fallen partially on his shoulders, especially in John's eyes, and he wanted fix it the best he could. In the beginning it was awkward, hard and stiff but they had been friends before. Eventually they found things to talk about. It had taken him another six months of nights at the pub and dinners with his family for John to really forgive Greg.
Once Sherlock's name had been cleared, he invited John back on the force. Now the two men were very good friends personally and professionally.
Greg looked at his watch and phoned his wife on the way out of the office. He couldn't come home. Something was going on with John. She hoped it would be ok. Then he texted John…
Sorry about today at the office. Coming over with take away and scotch. –GL
I'm alright. Go home. – JW
I just want to make sure you aren't in shock. –GL
Lestrade laughed at his own private joke.
Greg you aren't making any sense. What's going on? –JW
Lestrade chucked and jumped into his car. He turned toward 221B. He owed it to John and Sherlock to keep them both safe even if it was from each other. If he had learned anything in the past few years, it was that John had a good right hook. He also learned if John had a couple glasses of scotch, his aim wasn't quite as good.
A/N: Input still appreciated and welcomed for ideas! Hope everyone likes the changes.