Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Pairing: John/Lestrade, past Sherlock/Lestrade
Warnings: voyeurism, not all of it intentional. Also angst.
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.
Summary: Sherlock comes back early from Christmas with Mummy and Mycroft. This is not as good an idea as he thought it would be. Sequel to A Burst Pipe Problem; bits of this won't make much sense if you haven't read that.
A/N: This is for megan_moonlight, who asked months ago what Sherlock would do when he found out what happens between John and Lestrade in A Burst Pipe Problem. I'm grateful to her and kalypso_v for suggestions which influenced part 2 of this fic in particular.
Boxing Day Panto
Act One: Sherlock
221b is unexpectedly quiet when Sherlock lets himself in, listening to the purr of the car as it pulls away. He'd have thought John would be up already – it's nearly 11 – but there's no sign of him. Odd.
He notices the Scrabble board leaning drunkenly against the coffee-table. Scrabble tiles all over the sitting-room floor. Very odd. John doesn't usually play Scrabble, and it's really not like him to leave a mess.
They've had several rows over the past eleven months because of John's silly ideas about tidiness. Sherlock doesn't know why anybody needs to be as tidy as all that. It's a small price to pay for having a flatmate who's invaluable in so many other ways, of course, but it's irritating just the same. Still, it looks as if he's loosening up a bit at last.
More than a bit, actually, Sherlock realizes, scanning the rest of the room. There's a saucepan sitting on the hearth. Not to mention a poker sitting in the saucepan. Two glasses on the floor, dregs of something red and silty.
Sherlock sniffs. Mulled wine.
Candles all over the place, too. Burnt to their stumps.
He peers suspiciously into the kitchen. Different story there: clean pots and dishes in the rack on the draining-board, nothing in the sink. He checks the fridge: leftovers wrapped neatly in foil or in plastic boxes. Everything just as he'd expect to find it after John's been cooking.
John's quite a good cook. Maybe Sherlock should have stayed here for Christmas after all, though it would have upset Mummy. At least then he wouldn't have had to put up with bloody Mycroft.
Christmas Day with John might have been quite pleasant. He's not bad company even if he does have a weakness for crap telly. Though he gets unreasonably annoyed when Sherlock points out the glaringly obvious clues in those stupid detective dramas he likes, which can be rather a nuisance.
Lestrade wouldn't even have spotted the clues. He's an idiot, of course, like most people. Wouldn't have said anything even if he did; not wanting to spoil John's fun. Sentimental idiot.
Probably just as well to leave them to it. Nice dull ordinary Christmas Day they must have had.
Not Sherlock's idea of fun at all.
He looks back at the mess in the sitting-room. If John was really too drunk to clear up before he went to bed, he'll have a shocking hangover this morning. Sherlock smirks. He's looking forward to teasing John about that. Maybe he should play the violin for a bit and wake him up. Can't let the man sleep all day.
Footsteps overhead. Ah. No need for the violin yet. Save it for later.
Whistling. That's unexpected. John sounds more cheerful than he usually does after a heavy night. Perhaps mulled wine doesn't give you a hangover, though you'd think it would be even worse than the normal kind.
Never understood the appeal himself. Revolting stuff. Sticky.
The footsteps get nearer and Sherlock ducks behind the sitting-room door. Better than the violin trick: he'll jump out and surprise John instead. Of course John will be annoyed and say he's being childish, but after two days of being driven mad by Mycroft, Sherlock wants to annoy someone. Anyway, John never stays angry with him for long.
John comes into the kitchen, still whistling. Not just cheerful but positively happy. And stark naked.
He looks surprisingly good with no clothes on. Sherlock hasn't seen him like this before, but it's an experience he wouldn't mind repeating. Or prolonging, given that it's already happening.
Maybe jumping out at him isn't such a good idea. John might get self-conscious and decide he needs to put some clothes on. Which would be a pity.
He really is rather pleasant to look at like this.
John puts the kettle on and gets the tea out of the cupboard. Two mugs.
Sherlock is pleased, then confused. How does John know he's back already? Why hasn't he said hello? And why would he be making Sherlock a cup of tea without getting dressed first?
Sherlock's just about to say something, though he's really not sure what, when he hears footsteps on the stairs again. Coming down from John's room.
This person isn't whistling; he's singing what sounds like some dreadful old music-hall number.
“Oh, I must have everything Hungarian,
It's the land where troubles disappear...”
John laughs. Not the contemptuous laugh which the song and the singer so richly deserve. It's a purely joyful sound. Younger, too; the way Sherlock imagines John might have sounded before he went to Afghanistan.
“D'you want some tea?” John calls.
The singing stops.
“Best offer I've had all morning,” the singer says, coming into the kitchen.
Not naked, thank God.
Wearing John's dressing-gown, though, which is almost worse.
Lestrade comes and stands behind John, slides his arms around John's waist and kisses the side of his neck.
“Mmm,” John says, leaning back into the embrace.
“You OK?” Lestrade asks.
Sherlock's not sure what to make of the question: solicitous, seductive, showing-off, or a mixture of all three. Hard to tell. He knows he really doesn't like it, though.
“Better than OK,” John says, and there's no mistaking the way he sounds.
Well shagged, Lestrade would call it. Used to call it, in the days when they –
Huh. Sherlock could have sworn he'd deleted that little episode from his hard drive.
Lestrade won't have told John about the two of them, Sherlock's sure of that. And John will be furious when he finds out. Sherlock's almost tempted to step out from behind the door and tell him right now. Except John might think he's just trying to spoil things because he's jealous. Which is an absurd idea, and utterly beneath him.
Sherlock keeps still, keeps quiet. Wishes he hadn't, the next minute. Because seeing John turn around in Lestrade's arms and kiss him full on the mouth makes Sherlock more uncomfortable than anything he can recall for a very long time.
“Come back to bed,” Lestrade says, when they break apart for air.
John nips at his jaw and kisses him behind the ear. He pushes his hands inside the dressing-gown.
“Give me a break, Watson,” Lestrade groans. “I'm too old for the kitchen table or up against the sink.”
John laughs again, that easy delighted sound, and Sherlock's gut knots with what he tells himself is embarrassment. Because it is embarrassing.
Next year he is definitely doing something else for Christmas. A Trappist monastery might be a good place to go. Even if it does upset Mummy.
Lestrade and John pick up the mugs of tea and go back upstairs. He hears John giggling about something and Lestrade saying “Mind my tea, you prat!” Hears the bedroom door open and shut again. More laughter.
Sherlock emerges from behind the sitting-room door, feeling deflated and distinctly aggrieved. This is not how he was planning to spend Boxing Day. It's almost as bad as being with Mycroft.
Hell is other people. Can't remember who said that, doesn't know why he remembers the saying, but it's true. Hell is, in this case, bloody Lestrade upstairs shagging Sherlock's bloody flatmate. Again.
He's not staying in to listen to that, thank you very much.
He's about to storm out of the flat when he gets a better idea. He lets himself out quietly, tiptoes down the stairs and goes out into the street. Waits until he thinks they've had nearly long enough, allowing time for a bit of tea-drinking beforehand just in case.
It's a delicate calculation, but he thinks he's probably got it right. Lestrade's not as young as he used to be. John's not as young as Sherlock used to be, either.
Not being a sentimental idiot – unlike some people he could mention – Sherlock's not going to think about that. Time to swing into action.
He lets himself back into 221b, banging the door hard behind him and shouting for John at the top of his voice.
It's been a rotten Christmas so far, but he has a feeling it's just about to get better.
The song Lestrade is singing is "I Must Have Everything Hungarian", originally sung by Douglas Byng in his adaptation of a Hungarian operetta, Maritza.
in the long gap between megan_moonlight's original request to me and this fic, suzie_shooter wrote a lovely John/Lestrade plus Sherlock story for her, How Do You Like Your Eggs In The Morning?, which you should rush off and read now if you haven't already done so. Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/55287.html with comments.