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fic: The Nets Descend

Title: The Nets Descend
Author: fengirl88
Fandom: Sherlock (BBC)
Pairing: John/Lestrade, past Sherlock/Lestrade, possible unrequited Sherlock/John
Rating: PG-13
Warnings: none
Wordcount: 1025
Disclaimer: These characters are not mine.
Summary: He's never wanted that sort of relationship, and he doesn't want it now. Just because John Watson looks good naked. Lots of people look good naked. Doesn't mean he wants to go to bed with them.
A/N: third in the sequence that begins with A Burst Pipe Problem and Boxing Day Panto, and probably doesn't make much sense if you haven't read those. Deals with the imminent arrival of S2 by ignoring it altogether.

The Nets Descend

Sherlock sits back in the taxi and closes his eyes, trying to blot out the images of the last quarter-hour. His mind is simultaneously clouded and stinging, like a basin of water with Dettol in it. Not sure why he thinks of that; something else he thought he'd deleted, from much longer ago.

It's ridiculous to be affected by something as trivial and mundane as sex. He knew perfectly well what John and Lestrade would be doing after he'd seen them embracing in the kitchen at 221b; he'd timed his entrance into the bedroom deliberately so he could interrupt them at the worst possible moment. If things had gone according to plan, the embarrassment should have been theirs, not his.

It hadn't occurred to him that they might just ignore him. Carry on as if he wasn't there. Maybe he should have burst in a couple of minutes earlier.

But from the way John had reacted, even that might not have stopped him. Having a flatmate with nerves of steel has its drawbacks, clearly.

Not only was John manifestly not embarrassed or flustered, he'd routed Sherlock in a way nobody had done since the death of the Holmes brothers' old nanny. However little intention Sherlock had of doing as he was told, he'd found himself retreating in disarray from the bedroom, stumbling through an awkward explanation and apology to Mrs Hudson, and bolting from the house into a passing taxi.

Surprising, on Boxing Day, to find a cab just passing down Baker Street in the snow. But probably not sinister, all things considered.

It would almost be a relief to discover that this cabbie was a serial killer too. At least he'd know where he was with that. Not like finding John suddenly naked and doing that with Lestrade and being – whatever it was he was being now.

Sherlock knows sex is a thing people mind about, though he's never quite understood why. The physical sensation is pleasant enough, but as a motive for all the mad things people do because of it, it just doesn't make sense. And it keeps getting tangled up with emotions, which are messy and distracting and spoil things. He could have gone on longer with Lestrade if it hadn't been so obvious that the sentimental idiot wanted it to mean something it didn't.

He really had thought he'd deleted that business with Lestrade from his hard drive. But this morning in the kitchen (Lestrade in John's dressing-gown John naked kissing him – stop it) had brought it all back to him.

Seeing the two of them in bed together even more so, obviously. Sherlock winces at the memory of Lestrade slumped on top of John, John groping Lestrade and pulling the covers over them.

Lestrade hadn't said anything during the row, but then he never was very vocal after sex. During it, yes – stop it, absurd to let these memories clutter up his brain.

If those two are going to be having sex at 221b on a regular basis, it's going to be seriously inconvenient. He'll have to speak to John about it. Not looking forward to that conversation, but he can't have his working environment disrupted by these adolescent carryings-on.

Of course, it may not be necessary. Lestrade has a perfectly serviceable flat of his own and a bed that can comfortably accommodate – why he is thinking about Lestrade's bed now, of all things...

Sherlock grimaces.

“You all right, mate?” the taxi driver asks.

“Yes, fine, thank you,” Sherlock says coldly.

“Christmas,” the man says with gloomy relish. “Time for overdoing it, right?”

Sherlock bites back the various insults that come to mind. He's been thrown out of cabs before now and he might not get another one in this part of town. It's snowing harder, too.

Anyway, the easiest way to avoid further awkwardness is obviously for John and Lestrade to piss off back to Lestrade's flat. Rather a pain not having John around, though. He's got used to having someone to make him tea and do the shopping and act as his proxy skull. It's true that John can be annoying, with his tidiness and his conventional views on proper emotion, and his pathetic attempts to date unsuitable women –

Which is another reason Sherlock wouldn't have expected to find John and Lestrade doing that sort of thing. John's never shown any sexual interest in men, unless you count that odd conversation at Angelo's, the night he shot the cabbie. In the absence of further evidence, Sherlock had concluded he must have misunderstood John's intentions, but now he wonders if he was right. Since apparently John's not straight after all.

It's just as well nothing happened between them, obviously. That really would have been messy.

John's exactly the sort to get emotional. As bad as Lestrade, if not worse. They're well matched, the pair of them.

It's not a particularly comforting thought.

You're jealous. The voice in his head is Mycroft's, as so often. Jeering, gloating.

Rubbish, he snaps back.

He's never wanted that sort of relationship, and he doesn't want it now. Just because John Watson looks good naked. Lots of people look good naked. Doesn't mean he wants to go to bed with them.

(Lestrade doesn't look bad himself, considering his age.)

Jealous of both of them, Mycroft's voice persists. Left out. Again.

Shut up.

“This where you wanted, guv?” the cabbie asks.

Sherlock looks at the buildings. He's never been here in daylight, though he thinks he dreams about the place sometimes.

“Looks closed,” the driver says.

Well, yes; a further education college probably is going to be closed on Boxing Day.

He's not sure why he asked the man to bring him. There's nothing here now.

“Thanks,” he says, “but I've changed my mind. Take me back to Baker Street.”

He sees the cabbie's surprised expression in the rear view mirror, and hears him mutter something about people who don't know their own minds, but all the man says as he turns the cab around is “Right you are.”

Sherlock pulls his scarf tighter around him and closes his eyes again.


The title comes from Stephen Sondheim's song, "Liaisons":

Too many people muddle sex with mere desire,
And when emotion intervenes, the nets descend.

Also posted at http://fengirl88.dreamwidth.org/65075.html with comment count unavailable comments.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)

This is lovely. I love Sherlock's introspection, and his thoughts about sex, and his musings about John and Lestrade - perfectly in-character.

Though I do hope nothing will happen to J and L, as they are so wonderful together. Or that it will turn into J/S/L. But that's just wishful thinking. Carry on. Your stories are lovely, always
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC)
yay! so pleased you liked it - thank you very much.

Sondheim FTW!
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:32 pm (UTC)
What better way to spend the last few minutes before S2 than reading this.

Oh Sherlock, what did you hope to achieve? It's lovely reading the doubts of someone who outwardly seems so sure.
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:46 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm so pleased you liked it!

I don't think Sherlock is thinking very clearly here at all - it was a stupid idea in the first place, but clearly the unexpected sight of John naked has Done Things to his brain...
Jan. 1st, 2012 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yes, I can imagine that the unexpected sight of John naked would do things to one's brain ;)
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:56 am (UTC)
thank you very much! there will definitely be more muddle after this, though I'm not sure yet how it's all going to develop...
Jan. 2nd, 2012 04:42 am (UTC)
Nice! Read all the three in one go! Hot and sweet and sour! I should think 'poor Sherlock!', but simply too happy for John and Lestrade... Looking forward to the next part!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 04:47 am (UTC)
thank you very much - glad you liked them! I feel a bit sorry for Sherlock but happy for John and Lestrade as well.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:30 pm (UTC)
love this installment of your baker street triangle; and that this time we are treated to a stumbling sherlockian play by play reflection of what went wrong was a treat indeed. oh those flashes of hot/evocative undeleted memories- pesky little bastards aren't they? sorry for being presumptuous here but already i'm looking forward to more! :)
Jan. 2nd, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - glad you are enjoying it! given that this sequence started with last year's Secret Santa fic, I am moving slowly, but the arrival of S2 seems to have prodded me into life again...
Jan. 2nd, 2012 10:42 pm (UTC)
Love this new part to the series! I can practically feel the conflict of emotions raging in Sherlock as he tries to deduce them and rationalise them all at once. I look forward to see what happens when all three of them have to confront Sherlock's past and present. Well done.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - I'm glad you liked it! progress on this series has been slow, but I hope the energy from S2 will speed it up.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 08:32 pm (UTC)
Yay! You've written a sequel to A Burst Pipe Problem! :-) It's great to get Sherlock's reaction to the John/Lestrade situation. I love his frustration over the way John outmaneuvered him and the way he wonders whether having a flatmate with nerves of steel is such a good idea after all. *g* I think it's really telling that Sherlock asks the cabbie to drive him to the place where John saved him, even if he doesn't realize why on a conscious level. I'm really curious to see what will happen when Sherlock returns to Baker Street, so I hope you'll write more!

BTW, thank you very much for reccing Buckingham & Shaftesbury: The Schemes and the Theatrics to thesmallhobbit! That was extremely kind of you! :-D
Jan. 3rd, 2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
thank you very much - glad you are enjoying it! I wasn't sure in Boxing Day Panto where Sherlock was going in the taxi, but once the driver started talking to him here it became obvious. this series seems to be taking a long time but I hope the next part won't take months to arrive!
Jan. 3rd, 2012 08:52 pm (UTC)
Oh poor Sherlock! You write his confusion brilliantly.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
thank you very much! confused!Sherlock was where my fanfiction writing started (with the first chapter of Unpredictable, which I assumed was a one-off), so I seem to be returning to my roots...
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 4th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
thank you! I haven't managed to write the next bit of J/L yet, but at least there is some progress...
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 7th, 2012 07:04 pm (UTC)
thank you very much!

muse is currently doing best impression of angrybeige Sherlock saying ONLY ANGST, so I haven't managed to write your drunk J/L Boxing Day hijinks fill yet.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )


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