Just a little something that I cooked up whilst on a short vacation. I have no excuses nor any idea where it all came from. As always: Don't be afraid to tell me what you think. As for "cupid's bow" I know it's a common word to describe part of the human lip, but somewhere in my head canon Mrs. Watson is like my grandma and it's a term she used to use, so I borrowed from her a little bit here. Happy Sherlocking!
Notes: a little bit of foul language, some violence and men kissing. If any of those things bother you, then find something else to read.
Late one evening after tackling to the ground a heavily-breathing criminal then handing the guy off to a pair of rather brawny officers, DI Greg Lestrade walks up on a strange scene. He hums a little under his breath as he swings the torch in his hand back and forth, satisfied that he didn't smack the perp upside the head too hard with the heavy instrument (though at the moment, he really wanted to.) Surely the man will be bruised, but trying to run from four officers standing in a dead-end alleyway was pretty stupid in the first place. Maybe the bruises will remind him.
The light from the streetlamp cuts through the darkness and he spies the tall, lean figure of a certain Sherlock Holmes with his back to a filthy brick wall. Sherlock's left arm is stretched out parallel to the ground while his right hand is gripping against the dirty dishwater blond hair of the man on his knees in front of him. Sherlock's head is tilted back and his eyes are closed. John Watson's forehead is against Sherlock's left thigh. Greg can't decide if its obscene or just bad timing on his part. He seriously considers not flipping the switch on the mag lite he's now swinging like a baton; something about the stillness of the scene just looks wrong. If they were really going at it in the alley, would there not be a little more, uh, gusto? He shakes his head but the thought returns like a bubble-gum pop song ear worm. If John was doing to Sherlock what first appeared to be happening here, could it actually be happening with barely any movement from both of them? He shakes his head one more time as he closes in on them.
Lestrade flicks on the heavy torch. The white beam dances across the scene like the curtain on the first act on opening night. Something is happening here, and it is intense; in fact even more so than he at first believed of the scene he was witnessing. Sherlock's head is not thrown back in pleasure; instead the muscles stand out along his jaw as he is grinding his teeth out of pain. Bright red blood is dripping from two wounds on his outstretched arm and hand. Likewise, there is a dark patch on the back of the right thigh of John's jeans. Lestrade quickly makes a scan of the perimeter out of the corner of his eyes and calls out to them as if he were trying to gentle a pair of wild animals.
"Guys. We got him. Just, just don't move, alright?" Greg shouts a little now, never taking his eyes off of John and Sherlock as he fully expects anyone within the sound of his voice to obey without question. "I need help over here, tell the paramedics we need something sharp. We can cut these goddamn..." he pauses, his voice growing faint for a second and flicks the beam of the torch over the tableau again. He's met with a moan from Sherlock. "These shafts. Tell them I need them YESTERDAY!" He barks out his command as he crosses the last few steps towards Sherlock and John. He needs to see if there's anything he can do in the interim to help.
Sherlock's left hand is covered with blood. Lestrade steadies the light on the wound. It's been caused by an honest-to-god arrowhead. The brass-colored shaft gleams eerily in the white beam of the mag lite. Greg knows some simple first-aid; especially he knows not to attempt to pull out the weapon as it will cause more damage coming out than going into the flesh. He moves his light towards Sherlock's body and takes note that the arrow sticking out of Sherlock's arm doesn't seem to be embedded as deeply as the one in his hand.
"Just get it." Sherlock's deep voice has been impossibly lowered, though the strain is apparent due to the proximity of Sherlock's throat to Greg's ear.
"Sherlock, you know that would be stupid. Basic first-aid..." Greg counters before he's cut off.
"I don't give a goddamned fucking ferretbat, Lestrade. It's not in very deep." Sherlock actually still has the wherewithal to huff. " .out." He spits venomously between clenched teeth as he turns his eyes towards the DI. The first thing Greg sees in the deep green orbs gone shadowy is pain, the second thing is anger, and the third is a very real fear. For a second he is thrown off track considering what types of things would scare Sherlock Holmes, nevermind the language that only rarely comes out of the younger man's mouth. What the hell is a ferretbat? He recovers quickly.
Greg knows better than to argue. He'd also rather not have Sherlock just go and rip his arm to shreds by pulling it away from the brick. He tentatively touches the end of the shaft. As always, Sherlock is correct, the thing is merely sticking into his arm like a thorn. Greg tugs a bit harder, wrapping his hand around the shaft. Sherlock hisses again as the pointed head breaks back through the skin on his arm. Greg drops it and it clatters to the ground, almost causing him to miss the sound of John sucking air through his teeth just below Greg's waist.
"Sherlock, are you alright?" John finally mumbles from where his face is partially buried against the muscles of Sherlock's thigh.
"Yes, John. Now that the Detective Inspector has finally learned to lisssen to me..." Sherlock's words break up as he winces as he unconsciously attempts to move his left hand. The arrow is all the way through the muscle, where it miraculously missed bone, and the arrowhead is partially embedded into the wall. Greg decides that there's no point in telling Sherlock to hold still and drops to his knees next to John. He lightly touches John's shoulder and John turns to look at him, leaning his face against Sherlock's thigh. John's eyes are heavy with pain and fatigue. Sherlock shifts his weight a little above them, gently nudging John but taking obvious care not to jostle the man on the ground too much. Greg is secretly impressed that Sherlock can tell John so much with one simple movement. He wonders what he's missed before.
"John, tell me what I can do for you." Lestrade lays his hand on John's shoulder briefly.
"Not much, Greg." John closes his eyes. He is sweating. "I think I'm trying to go into shock...from the pain. It's buried in my thigh, but not sticking out the front. I don't think." John opens his eyes when Sherlock shifts again, carefully placing the toe of his black leather shoe on the ground as he brings his lower leg into contact with John's thigh. Lestrade can tell Sherlock is trying to feel for the arrow with his shin.
"No." Sherlock allows. "I would feel it." His foot goes back to being flat against the ground.
Sirens wail, cutting through the strange calm of the night. Greg can hear booted feet pounding the pavement and then they are surrounded by the paramedics. John instructs them on how to properly stabilize the arrow sticking out of the back of his thigh before they help him lie belly-down on a stretcher. Sherlock's arrow takes a little longer as they are taking care not to cause more damage to his hand. Greg watches as they are finally loaded into the back and the ambulance speeds away from him. He takes time to scan the area again, thinking that the blood on the ground seems so red in the beam of his mag lite. He turns away and heads back to his car.
"Sherlock, shut up!" John's voice is raised in irritation. Greg can hear the unspoken threat in John's words as he pushes open the door to their room. Sherlock is sitting on one of the hospital beds, his bandaged hand in his lap. His mouth is open though it quickly snaps shut as he steps in. A male nurse is carefully attempting to extract the arrow out of John's thigh; John is lying on his belly; his jeans have been sliced open and lay in tatters around his leg. Greg tries hard not to notice the hint of red peeking out from under the belt loops. He clears his throat.
"Hi Greg." John's voice is as muffled against the white linen encased pillow as it was against Sherlock's thigh.
"How are you guys..." Greg starts to say.
"No! You are doing it wrong!" Sherlock stands up and reaches out to grab the nurse by the shoulder. Before he does such a stupid thing, however, Greg catches him by the shoulder and bodily forces Sherlock back towards his bed.
"Sit down." He barks. Sherlock cocks an eyebrow in his direction and does as he's told. He's staring at the nurse with a cold glint in his eyes. "Sherlock, let the man work. He knows what he's doing. Just calm down." Sherlock finally turns his green gaze into Greg's at the same moment there is a loud hiss and a curse from John.
"Got it!" The man in scrubs holds the arrow up to the room at large like a prize. The brass-colored shaft is clean except for a bloody spot towards the arrowhead.
Sherlock starts to open his mouth. Without missing a beat John answers whatever unspoken question hangs in the room between them. "Hell no, Sherlock. That's evidence. You are not doing any experiments on it." Sherlock makes a pouty face and crosses his legs. He tries to cross his arms; instead he gives a little hiss of pain of his own just decides to stick his tongue out in John's direction. Greg snorts.
"Real mature, Sherlock." John warns. Sherlock at least looks a little abashed at being caught out.
Greg can't help it, he barks out a quick chuckle. Sherlock glares at him. "Your bark's lost a bit of it's bite, mate." Greg counters. He gives Sherlock a good solid pat (really more of a slap) on the shoulder that actually rocks Sherlock in place then tells them he'll see them at home and leaves them to it.
A few days later Lestrade joins John and Sherlock at a breakfast-already-in-progress at 221B. Mrs. Hudson is bustling about the tiny kitchen when Greg makes himself known by tapping at the frame of the open door. She calls out to him, welcoming him with a kiss on the cheek. He sits in an empty chair and she lays a clean plate in front of him. "Coffee?" she asks. Greg nods the affirmative.
After a few moments of happily enjoying the most delectable ham and cheese omelet he is sure he has ever eaten, Greg turns to Sherlock and John. "About the other night. I want to hear the story."
"No you don't." John says straightaway, his blue eyes clear and sparkling with mischief.
Sitting across from Lestrade, Mrs. Hudson gives a light little titter before she turns to her own plate.
Greg swallows another forkful of his omelet. "Why not? I need to know how you two ended up on the business end of not only one, mind you, but three arrows?" He picks up his coffee and sips.
Sherlock's eyes cut to John's across the table. There is certainly a secret there that it doesn't take a Holmes to see. "Uh. We were distracted?" John offer weakly.
"Out with it." Greg orders as he sets his cup back down on the table. It rings against his plate comfortingly. He looks to John and can see that he's working hard on a cover story. "No. The truth, John." John looks guilty for a moment, but then he just sighs. "That's not how we wanted to announce it."
"Announce what, John?" Mrs. Hudson asks airily with a tiny smile behind her toast.
Sherlock is fed up with the whole thing so he just launches into the story. "We were chasing the Cat-Eye Bandit, as John calls him on the blog, and after you caught him by throwing him on the ground and giving him a decent thrashing with that massive torch you were carrying we were alone in the alley. We watched you to make sure you were out of harm's way. The next logical step was to go find something to eat, like we always do at the conclusion of the case. We did not realize that the Bandit had an accomplice. There was just enough light for me to see John's face and he was leaning up on his toes making a comment about my lips." Sherlock stopped talking so fast Greg felt the room grow ten degrees colder. Greg looked up to see a very uncharacteristic blush across his cheeks.
Greg must have laughed because what came out of Sherlock's mouth was a fuzzy mumble. At the other end of the table, John sighs. He clears his throat. "I told him that my ma used to call lips shaped like that Cupid's Bow." Greg almost spills his coffee in his lap when John's cheeks blaze red. Oh god, breakfast and entertainment? He manages to not giggle like a schoolgirl himself before turning towards Sherlock. "Oh kay..." he says slowly. "Then what?" He's pretty much figured out the rest, though he cannot resist watching them squirm like a couple of wet-behind-the-ears rookies on their first day of traffic duty. Mrs. Hudson has given up any pretense of eating and is staring from one to the other of them. She loves her boys, there is no doubt, and she's been wanting them to be a couple forever, so this is just the cutest thing!
Sherlock makes his famous petulant huffing sound as his fork clatters to the table. He pushes away while reaching out with his right hand. "Let's just show them so he will stop this line of inane questioning." John quickly dabs at his mouth with his napkin and steps over to Sherlock. Sherlock uses his hand to position John. "Like this." He says to Greg. Greg can't decide if he should be fascinated or feel like some sort of voyeur.
"Go ahead John. Say it." Sherlock dips his chin towards John. John brings himself up on his bare toes. Sherlock leans in a little more for Greg's benefit, he's sure.
John speaks quietly as if there really are no other people in the room. "Ma always said that those lips..." at this John reaches out with his index finger and lightly traces Sherlock's top lip. Greg decides he's a voyeur. "Are called "Cupid's Bow." John's body pulls towards Sherlock's and his lips part. Sherlock leans down and just before their lips touch his eyes rove over John's head and he says simply: "Arrows." John, caught up in the moment like he must have been that night, places one hand on the nape of Sherlock's neck and pulls him closer. Sherlock's left hand is moving out as if to embrace John. He uses it to point away from them as if someone had come up behind them. Sherlock murmurs "One, Two, Three" and throws his arm out in an imitation of the way it was when the arrows struck it. He still leans in to press his lips against John's.
The light bulb in Greg's head that Sherlock thinks is so dim is burning brightly. "Ah, distracted. I see." Mrs. Hudson giggles. Greg wonders if Mrs. Hudson realizes that the arrows that pierced Sherlock's arm might otherwise have been in John's ribcage. He doesn't mention it.