A/N: I'm sorry I haven't been replying to your reviews. I'm trying, but it is just that I am currently in the middle of writing three different stories and I am rather stressed for time. Particularly because I try to make sure that I update every couple of days. But I read and treasure every review. So please keep them coming.
It was two days later. I was at work. I had ten minutes to go before my shift ended. I had just seen my last patient out and I was trying to get all the paper work done when I heard my phone beep. I picked it up.
Lestrade called. We have a case. Murder. I'll pick you up outside the clinic in ten minutes. SH
I'll be there. JW
I had only just stepped out of the clinic when Sherlock came by in the cab. I got in and I found myself reaching for his hand almost immediately. I don't know how it had got like this so quickly, but I almost could not be around him without wanting to be close to him. It wasn't that I wanted to jump him all the time, okay, I wanted to jump him plenty, but this was more about affection than sex.
I'd lost count of the number of times I had told him that I love him in the past three days. And I'd thought that that was the kind sappiness that only affected teenagers. I am a grown man and I am a complete sap when it comes to Sherlock. I tried to explain it away by saying that I felt like I did, because it was all so new. The years have proved me wrong, but back then, it seemed like a reasonable enough explanation.
We got to the crime scene and got out of the cab. We had stopped outside an apartment building. There was the usual line up of police cars. Donovan was waiting outside. It was an awkward moment to say the least. The last time I'd seen her, she'd been smirking at the sight of Sherlock being arrested. It was hard not to be angry with her. Sherlock stiffened next to me as well. Glad as he was, to get back to work, he too would probably have liked to have avoided the bitch if at all possible.
How much she must have hated him, I thought, to take what had been a brilliant deduction on his part and twist it about so that he looked like the one who had committed the crime. Sure Moriarty had helped that bit along, but she had been working with Sherlock for years. I could understand that she hated him, he had never been nice to her, but then he'd had no reason to be nice. She was the one who kept calling him a freak and a psychopath.
Sure he got excited at the thought of a murder, but that was not because he got off on it as she had so stupidly claimed, but because he saw murder as a problem, a puzzle that had to be solved. And with a mind as brilliant as his, he could hardly be blamed for being excited at the thought of an interesting problem to solve. I couldn't see how she could be so thick as to not see that. Even if she couldn't understand it, I don't know how she could possibly look at Sherlock and see a criminal.
As we walked up to her, I noticed that she seemed a bit uncomfortable too. She lifted the crime scene tape. "Detective Inspector Lestrade is waiting for you. Fifth floor." She said, with the kind of stiff formality that I for one, was very surprised to see.
"Thank you, Donovan. I hope you're having a nice day." Sherlock drawled as he walked past her. She had no idea how to react to that. I walked past her without a word. It would be a long time before I forgave her. I was hoping, as we climbed the stairs that we wouldn't have to see Anderson as well. I didn't stand to see that slimy git right then. But, no such luck.
We walked into the fifth floor apartment and found Lestrade and Anderson in one of the bedrooms, standing over the body of a man. He was lying face forward on the carpet and he had been shot in the head. Anderson had retrieved the bullet and he was placing in an evidence bag as we walked in. Lestrade saw us first. "Well there you are." He said. Anderson scowled. I wanted to bash his face in, but I restrained myself. A prick like him is just not worth the trouble, I told myself.
"Well, what do you have?" Sherlock said and Lestrade rattled off the details.
"Name's Henderson, forty-three years old, works as an account manager at Barclays, lives alone..."
"Married and divorced, two kids, fairly young..." Sherlock continued as he walked around the room, looking through the closets, the writing table and the ensuite bathroom as I stood back and watched, glad to see Sherlock back in his element. "...he sees them fairly often, so the divorce was probably amicable, though that bears looking into, which leaves his ex-wife without enough motive unless there's a big insurance policy in his name, in which case the money would go to the kids and not to her, so still insufficient motive." He said.
The photographs of his kids on the wall combined with the fact that he lived alone were enough to conclude that he was married and divorced with young kids. But how had Sherlock figured that he saw his kids fairly often and so the divorce had probably been amicable? Sherlock explained that he'd noticed a box of crayons and some drawings on the coffee table in the living room, then there was the half eaten box of chocolate flavoured cereal on the kitchen shelf that he'd noticed as we walked past and then the largish collection of kids clothes and toys in the closet of the bedroom that we were in at that moment...all very clear indications that his kids were here often. It all seems so obvious when he explains it.
He knelt down to examine the body. He stood up after a couple of minutes and said, "John." That was my cue. I walked up to the body and examined it. "Shot at close range, death was instantaneous. He's been dead for anywhere between four and six hours now." I said.
"Who found him?" Sherlock said.
"His ex-wife." Lestrade said.
"Where is she?" Sherlock said.
"We released her after questioning. She's probably at her apartment now. Here. I'll give you the address." Lestrade said as he fished around in his pocket.
"Have you spoken to his colleagues at Barclays?"
"I'm headed there now." Lestrade said.
"Fine. We'll come with you. We'll speak to his ex-wife later. I'm pretty sure she has nothing to do with this anyway." Sherlock said.
And so we headed to Barclays and after a long and seemingly fruitless round of questioning, we went to meet his wife and nothing much came of that either. So we got back home not having made any kind of progress.
Sherlock was lost in his 'mind palace' and not inclined to conversation. So I left him lying on the couch to think while I went into the kitchen and got dinner started. I had never been much of a cook until I moved in with Sherlock. I'd never really had the need to cook. Whether I was in med school or in the army, there was always the canteen or the mess to provide meals on time. And when I got out of the army, I'd subsisted on takeaway.
I would have gone on like that even after I moved into Baker Street. It was Sherlock's appalling eating habits that finally pushed me to learn to cook. If I could only get five meals into him in a week, I was going to make pretty damn sure those meals were nutritious. So I learned to cook and I got pretty good at it.
I stood at the counter chopping vegetables and stirring the pot of pasta, my mind every bit as quiet as my home...it was a silence that I found soothing. I was used to Sherlock withdrawing into himself. I knew he needed it from time to time and I was happy to give him that space. It took me about an hour to finish cooking. I set the table and went to see if I could rouse Sherlock. I found him examining a wallet.
"Whose wallet is that?" I said.
"Henderson's." Of course.
"Are you going to tell me how you got hold of it?"
"Nicked it when I was looking through his closet." Naturally.
"Find anything?" I said.
"Nothing of interest..." He said. He sounded far away.
"I'm not hungry."
I sighed. It was going to be one of those nights. Okay then. I perched on the arm of the couch and I ran my fingers gently through his hair. He leaned into the touch. So I continued. It is surprising how much he likes it when I do this. Soon, he was leaning back with a smile on his face, looking totally relaxed. So I leaned forward and kissed him. He put his arms about me and pulled me on to the couch. And then we were lying next to each other kissing lazily.
"Are you trying to seduce me John?" He said after a while.
"No, love. I'm saving that for later. Right now, I'm just hoping to mellow you down, so that I can get you to eat."
"John! I can't. I have to think about the case. Food will slow me down."
"Right. I've heard that many times before and I still don't buy it."
"Not the point. You need to eat, love."
"John..." His resistance was crumbling, so I pushed my advantage.
"It'll only take about ten minutes and then I'll leave you be. I won't insist that you sleep, I promise." I said. I was sensible enough to pick only one battle at a time.
"It's a good thing I love you." He said.
"It is only because I love you that I fuss over you." I countered.
He sighed in defeat. "Fine. Let's eat." He said as he got off the couch and led the way into the kitchen.
He sat at the table across from me, looked at the food and sighed. "You're too good to me, John." He said.
"It's no more than you deserve, love." I said and we settled down to share a warm meal and quiet conversation, putting aside thoughts of work and everything else, just for a little while. Now it is another matter that halfway through the meal, Sherlock sat bolt upright and said, "That's it!" He sent Lestrade a quick text. Then he grabbed our coats and dashed to the door and said, "Come on, John. We haven't a moment to waste." And what did I do? I grabbed my gun and followed.
A/N: Time to hit the review button :-)