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fic: Close Analysis chapter 2

 

 

The Talking Cure

 

 

 

Lestrade doesn’t know whether to be relieved or disappointed that Sherlock gets off him and goes to sit on the sofa. He settles for being a bit of both, which is probably about right.

 

 

There’s another long silence. Lestrade resists the temptation to break it by inviting Sherlock to lie on the couch and tell him his dreams.

 

 

Sherlock stares at the floor. He looks absolutely bloody terrified, which is a thing Lestrade has never seen him do in all the years they’ve known each other.

 

 

Eventually Sherlock says “The other night - ”

 

 

Knew it! , Lestrade thinks. Went off to dinner, got drunk, shagged the flatmate and now it’s all gone pear-shaped. Typical stupid fucking mistake by the man with a brain the size of a planet.

 

 

There’s another silence. Lestrade wonders if an encouraging “Mm?” would constitute interrupting. Is not sure he can get the correct therapeutic inflection anyway. Leaves it.

 

 

The other night,” Sherlock begins again, “well, um, the, er, morning really, early morning, I - ” He stops again. Clenches his fists. Oops. This doesn’t look like a story with a happy ending. Not, of course, that Lestrade wants it to have one. Or not without him in it as well. Shut up, Lestrade.

 

 

It wasn’t my fault,” Sherlock says. Sounding as if he means exactly the opposite.

 

 

What wasn’t?” Lestrade asks, forgetting his promise. He expects Sherlock to yell at him but he doesn’t. Which is even more worrying.

 

 

It was - I - he’d had a nightmare, and then I - so we were... ” Sherlock breaks off again.

 

This is making a grisly kind of sense, or it would be if it was anyone but Sherlock. Lestrade is gobsmacked, but he has to make sure he’s understood.

 

 

John had a nightmare and you - comforted him?” he suggests.

 

 

Sherlock looks as if he’s about to throw up. Bugger. Got it wrong. Or has he?

 

 

I just - I thought, company, you know? Security. Something like that, I don’t understand how - I mean, we were both groggy, but I said - ”

 

 

Another long silence. Lestrade tries to look neutral and receptive, which is not easy when your main thought is that you’d like to smack John Watson, hard. Several times.

 

 

You said?”

 

 

I said, why not come in with me?”

 

 

Lestrade just barely heard that, but he’s not going to ask Sherlock to say it again. His gut feels knotted with jealousy.

 

 

So he did?” Lestrade wonders how many more of these prompts it will take before Sherlock tells him to shut the fuck up.

 

 

Yes.” Almost a whisper.

 

 

Lestrade braces himself to hear about the shagging, which is the last thing he wants, but he imagines that’s what’s coming next. After yet another interminable bloody silence, of course.

 

 

So we went to sleep,” Sherlock says.

 

 

Oh. Right.

 

 

And then I woke up and I couldn’t - I knew there was someone there but I didn’t - and then I remembered - ”

 

 

Is this about the murder?, Lestrade wonders. Something fishy about that, he’d known it at the time. Couldn’t prove it, though.

 

 

But apparently that’s not it either.

 

 

I remembered who it was,” Sherlock says. Stops again.

 

 

Lestrade feels an almost overwhelming urge to shake him and yell “Don’t come to me with half a story!” But he is a patient man. Mostly. Except where Sherlock is concerned, of course.

 

 

And then?” he says, still feeling he’s on bloody thin ice.

 

 

I don’t do this,” Sherlock says, exasperated. “I don’t do people. I don’t do bed-sharing.”

 

 

Not wrong, though, is it? I mean, just because it’s a man...” Lestrade trails off. No, he’s definitely on the wrong track there.

 

 

It’s not that!” Sherlock is shouting now. “You know it’s not that, I don’t - it’s just wrong for me. With anyone.”

 

 

Lestrade feels suddenly very sorry for him. Another unusual thing. Normally he’s just incensed by that cold, inhuman side to Sherlock, the complete lack of emotional connection. Now - he doesn’t know, so much. It’s as if - almost as if - something has finally got through to him and the poor stupid fucker has no idea what to do with it.

 

 

He thinks of lots of things he could say. They all seem utterly bloody useless so he doesn’t say any of them.

 

 

Sherlock says something so quiet that this time Lestrade really doesn’t hear what it is.

 

 

Sorry?”

 

 

I wanted him to be there. I liked it.”

 

 

Oh.” There’s no answer to that. Apart from wanting to break all the furniture and pitch John Watson through the nearest plate-glass window, that is.

 

 

Then he woke up and I - ” Brace yourself, Lestrade, here it comes. Oh no, it doesn’t. Bloody hell, he’s stalled again. Lestrade is going to need a very large drink at the end of all this.

 

 

I was - I had - um, it, I don’t know why, well, he was lying quite close to me and - ” Sherlock stops again.

 

 

You had an erection?” says Lestrade, trying to sound politely interested and hearing it come out as a jealous croak.

 

 

Sherlock doesn’t say anything, but he nods. Stares at the floor again.

 

 

Well,” says Lestrade, struggling to find something helpful, “it’s not surprising, is it? I mean, can easily happen, you’re in bed with someone you like and next thing you know - ” Stop babbling, he tells himself. Then, fatally, he adds: “Bit tricky if they wake up when you’re having a quiet wank, though.”

 

 

Sherlock’s head jerks up. He glares at Lestrade. “I wasn’t! - I wasn’t doing anything - I just - lying there and I wanted - but I didn’t, nothing , just - ”

 

 

Lestrade now feels like a complete and utter moron. Back to normal, then.

 

 

So, if - ” His turn to run out of words. Another silence, pretty awkward one, truth be told. Lestrade feels like he’s just farted in church or something, which is hardly fair.

 

 

He woke up,” Sherlock says. “It was - his hand was right there, next to - He must have known.”

 

 

But you’re not sure, are you?, Lestrade thinks. Which means JW didn’t do anything. Stupid bastard. Imagine passing up a chance like that. Suddenly he feels more cheerful.

 

 

Sherlock, however, is back to miserable and subdued.

 

 

So,” Lestrade says, trying to go carefully this time, “has he ... said anything?”

 

 

Sherlock shakes his head.

 

 

Um, is he, different with you?” Lestrade asks, thinking And that’s a stupid question to ask about someone the guy’s known for less than a week. Still, it is Sherlock he’s asking. Who, famously, can deduce anything he needs to know about anybody. Except, it would seem, John bloody Watson.

 

 

I don’t think so,” Sherlock says.

 

 

And he sounds so lost, so absolutely desolate and alone that Lestrade is up out of the armchair before he’s had a chance to think, and sitting next to him on the sofa. Oh brilliant. This is not what he meant to do at all.

 

 

Lestrade thinks about putting his arm round Sherlock. Thinks better of it. Settles for patting Sherlock’s shoulder in what he hopes is a reasonably unthreatening way. Struggles with the temptation to kiss Sherlock, which would definitely be a really bad idea right about now. Tries not to inhale too deeply because that wouldn’t be a good idea either.

 

 

It’ll probably be all right, you know, “ he says stupidly.

 

 

Sherlock makes a little hnf sort of noise that practically breaks Lestrade’s heart. Stop being so bloody wet, Lestrade, for God’s sake. Pull yourself together, man.

 

 

But, oh shit, Sherlock. Sherlock leans against him, which is definitely out of character for someone who doesn’t do touching. Buries his face in Lestrade’s neck. Christ. OK, that’s it. Lestrade is giving in now. There’s only so far you can push a man before he cracks and Lestrade has had enough. Yep, putting his arm around Sherlock now. Complete fucking disaster.

 

 

Sherlock is saying something which Lestrade can’t hear, mostly because he’s saying it into Lestrade’s neck. Oh, for crying out loud. Sherlock’s mouth moving against his neck, how is he supposed to cope with that? It’s just not fair.

 

 

What did you say?” Lestrade croaks.

 

 

Sherlock looks up, pulls back from the embrace. His eyes are that sea colour you could drown in, really quite easily, huge, and there are little patches of colour on those extraordinary cheekbones, and actually, thinking about it, not that Lestrade is really capable of thinking any more because every single drop of blood in his upper body just headed south, Sherlock’s pale skin is uncharacteristically flushed.

 

 

Ah. Lestrade really hopes he’s reading the signs right this time, because if he is the afternoon may just have taken a massive turn for the better.

 

 

Sherlock has another go at that thing he was saying into Lestrade’s neck. “I said, thank you for putting up with all that.” Which is sweet, but not exactly encouraging.

 

 

Oh well,” says Lestrade awkwardly. “You know I only do it ’cause I fancy you.” He says it as if it’s a joke, which it sort of is and sort of isn’t.

 

 

Yes, I know,” Sherlock says. For the first time that afternoon, he smiles.

 

 

Lestrade doesn’t have the knotted feeling in his gut any more, but something inside him does a sort of flipping over thing. It’s all very confusing and absolutely fucking typical of his dealings with Sherlock. Meanwhile, there’s this inconvenient erection, yet again, which obviously hasn’t escaped Sherlock’s notice.

 

 

How many is that now?” Sherlock asks.

 

 

I don’t keep a tally,” Lestrade says, a bit huffily.

 

 

Sherlock still has that look about him, like someone who might just possibly say yes, if Lestrade only knew the right question to ask. Which he doesn’t, not for this. Lestrade sighs. Looks like today isn’t going to be his lucky day after all.

 

 Chapter 3: Clinical Observation

 Chapter 1: An Inspector Calls

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