Pairings: Holmes/Lestrade, Holmes/Watson (unrequited)
Summary: Set in a future where John inevitably gets round to getting married. Sherlock is brooding, Lestrade makes an offer.
AN: Based on the BBC Sherlock characters. Because apparently yes, one episode is enough to cause fic to happen.
Somewhere overhead the banner still fluttered in the night breeze.
Congratulations John and Mary.
Away from the clink of glasses and the sporadic gales of laughter audible over the final strains of the band, Sherlock sat on the lowest of the river steps and watched the black water swirl past his feet.
Poking obstinately at the perverse impulse that had made him come tonight - worse, made him stay, watching - observing them - like worrying at a loose tooth, painful but irresistible.
His gaze drew back from the turgid water to the cigarette between his fingers. Unlit. So far.
Behind him, the sudden bang of a bursting balloon, followed by a woman's high-pitched shriek of laughter.
He scowled, and flicked at the lighter in his other hand. Bright flame, making the darkness briefly darker.
The smoke felt good, warm and comforting inside him, better than the champagne that still lay like vinegar in his gut.
He closed his eyes, savouring the nicotine and the physical sensation of the cigarette between his lips.
Feet, on the steps behind him. A man's dress shoes, medium build, unhurried step, not trying to sneak up on him but not barging in either.
Scrape of soles on the concrete, rustle of a heavy coat as whoever it was sat down next to him. Finally, faint tang of aftershave on the evening breeze.
He opened his eyes, finally, looked dispassionately at the man sitting next to him.
"What are you doing here? I can't imagine John invited you." Distant suspicion that John would have chastised him for being rude. He pushed the thought away. John wasn't here. Not any more. Not in any way that counted.
Lestrade didn't seem offended.
"No-one asked to see my invitation card. And if they had I've got a better one. It's got my photo on it and everything."
"Bet you haven't," drawled Sherlock idly, looking away, back at the river.
Lestrade's hand went to his pocket, his expression changing to one of startled surprise. "What the - "
His look turning from surprise to resignation. Held out his hand.
Sherlock smirked, dropping his ID back into his palm.
"I wish you wouldn't do that."
"Shouldn't make it so easy then." Sherlock took another long drag from his cigarette, examining the glowing end curiously.
Lestrade leaned over, twitched it from his fingers.
Sherlock looked up, raising an eyebrow. Expecting a lecture, he was genuinely surprised when Lestrade put it to his own lips.
"Thought you'd given up," he said mildly.
"Seems like a night for it," returned Lestrade. He offered it back. After a pause, Sherlock curled his own cold fingers around Lestrade's hand, drew it to his mouth. Inhaled a lungful, released him again.
Lestrade was left with the fleeting sensation of warm lips and cold fingers, and his heart beating slightly faster.
"How was the wedding?" he asked, in a vain attempt to distract Sherlock from noting his own physical reaction.
Sherlock yawned pointedly. "She did, he did, they all lived happily ever after."
Lestrade hesitated, weighing the ill advised nature of what he was about to say. Said it anyway.
"You love him."
Sherlock froze, momentarily, then shook himself lightly.
Sounding as unconcerned as ever, bored almost.
"Does he know how you feel?"
"I'm not sure I know how I feel. I'm not sure I know how to feel."
"I don't believe that."
"I'm sure Sergeant Donovan would be happy to convince you."
"I'll be sure to schedule an appointment."
"What are you doing here, Inspector?"
Lestrade smiled, thinly. Took a final indulgent drag at the cigarette and flicked it out into mid-stream. "I thought I'd come and cheer you up."
"What could you possibly offer me that would 'cheer me up'?" Sherlock enunciated the last words as if they were something excessively distasteful.
Lestrade leaned back against the steps, the rough concrete already damp with dew.
Sherlock snorted. "This is London. It's full of murders, none of them interesting."
But Lestrade had noted the slight stiffening of his frame, the half inch his head had turned instinctively towards him.
"This one is."
"Says me." Waiting, for the curiosity to work on the ego, the ego to work on the familiar, child-like impatience.
"Well?" Turning, demanding.
"It's a stumper, I'll say that much for it," Lestrade sighed, swallowing a smile of triumph.
"Well, yes, obviously, or you wouldn't be here." Sherlock waved away the self-evident waffle with an impatient hand.
"And did I mention there's a curse?"
"No such thing."
"Well, no, obviously."
"Seven, over the last ninety three years."
"You know there's no such thing?"
Lestrade held his gaze. "So you'll come?"
Sherlock sighed. "Oh, if I must, I must."
Lestrade already on his feet, holding out his hand. Brief clasp of cold slim fingers in his, already seeming warmer as if a flush of blood was even now stirring in that aloof system.
He smiled, unable to stop himself this time, and for a fleeting second, light of the chase in his eyes, Sherlock smiled back, hungrily, before gesturing with an impatient hand.
"Well? Lay on, Inspector, lay on!"