Pairings: Sherlock/Lestrade (plus unrequited John/Sherlock if you squint)
Summary: When Lestrade's injured protecting Sherlock, John is taken aback by the subsequent revelations - but Sherlock has some of his own to contend with.
AN: Written for halotolerant, who wanted to know if Lestrade was satisfied with the status quo in Gentlemen's Agreement...
John paced the flat restlessly. The morning sunlight was seeping through the curtains, and he realised that Sherlock had now been missing all night. Also realised that he didn't know him well enough yet to predict his reaction to the events of the previous day. Would he blame himself? Perhaps Sherlock was still at the hospital, although somehow John couldn't see him being the type to sit anxiously at a bedside.
It was none of his business, he kept telling himself, Sherlock was perfectly capable of dealing with any fall-out himself. Even as John told himself this, his fingers were punching in the number of the hospital switchboard. There were times when being a doctor came in handy.
"I'm sorry Doctor Watson, DI Lestrade was discharged late last night," the woman on the other end told him. "Well, technically he discharged himself," she added, voice pinched with disapproval.
He frowned. Then where the fuck was Sherlock?
A key in the door and he spun round, trying to compose his face.
"Sherlock. Are you alright?"
Sherlock looked at him blankly. "Why wouldn't I be?"
"Well - I - thought - "
"Well don't, there's a good chap, you might strain something." Sherlock let his coat slide off his shoulders and threw it on a chair, went to shake the kettle, switch it on.
John bit his tongue. "I called the hospital. They said he's been discharged, so obviously he's going to be alright." Hoping this would come as welcome news.
Sherlock looked up briefly. "Well yes. He's fine."
"He is?" Wondering at the casual certainty in his voice.
"Well, he was twenty minutes ago when I left him. Can I have one of your teabags, I seem to be out." Dunking it into the mug without waiting for a reply.
John looked nonplussed. "You've - been to see him?" This was a level of personal engagement with the world hitherto unsuspected on Sherlock's part, and while he felt he should be pleased, in fact it just felt mildly disconcerting.
"Well where else would I have been?"
An odd suspicion slithered through John's mind.
"Wait a minute, did you - spend the night there?"
Sherlock hummed without looking up. "Apparently so."
"As in - spent the night?"
Sherlock shrugged. "Well, technically, yes."
"Oh. So you're not - " John felt a flush of embarrassment, thinking he'd misunderstood.
"Well the man's in a sling, it makes things a bit awkward."
There was a silence.
"You and Lestrade?" the incredulous tone made Sherlock look up, faintly annoyed.
"But he's - "
There were a number of words that sprang to mind. "Married."
"No he isn't."
"He wears a ring." John sounded defiant, had felt pleased with himself that he'd spotted it.
Sherlock waved a hand, dismissively. "And have you ever heard him mention this alleged spouse?"
"Well - no." Although he hadn't met the man that many times, and never in what you might call social circumstances. But Sherlock presumably knew better, if they were - that close.
"So - ?" Sherlock prompted, mildly patronising smirk back in place.
"So - " John worked through it irritably. "If he was divorced he'd probably have taken the ring off. So - a widower?"
"Give the man a biscuit!" Sherlock hauled himself out of the chair, and went to look hopefully in the cupboard. "Talking of which, have we - ?"
"No. You ate them all. Seriously, Lestrade?"
"I just - can't really see - " John faltered to a stop. Can't see you in a relationship, he wanted to say. Thought better of it. "You can't see much of each other," he said instead, thinking that Sherlock spent most of his time in the flat.
"We don't. It's not really - " he gestured vaguely in the air.
"So what is it then? Casual sex? Which is - fine," he added, realising how out of line the question was, but it didn't seem to bother Sherlock.
He was watching him, curiously.
"Does it bother you?"
"What? No!" John frowned, trying to come to terms with this unsuspected aspect of Sherlock's life and having difficulty. "So he's okay then?" he asked instead, lamely.
"Well as okay as he can be for a man who's just been shot in the line of duty." Sherlock stared into his tea, and John tried to read the expression.
"You're worried about him."
"Well if he's your - if you're - shouldn't you be?"
"It wasn't your fault you know," John said comfortingly.
"I didn't say it was," Sherlock shot back, obstinately.
"Well - good. That's - good."
There was a strained pause.
"He took a bullet that was meant for you!" John blurted, when the silence became too much.
"What are you saying?"
John couldn't decide whether Sherlock was being deliberately obtuse or genuinely didn't think this was unusual behaviour in someone he apparently merely counted as a passing sleeping partner.
"That that sounds more than casual," he said deliberately.
They lapsed into an awkward silence. A few minutes later when John got up to visit the bathroom, he heard a door slam; when he came out Sherlock was gone.
He replayed the events of the previous night in his head, the rain soaked street, the arrest that had gone so suddenly and violently awry.
Looked with a new perspective on the way the Inspector had lunged in front of the distracted Sherlock, and taken the bullet in his shoulder that had been meant to kill his friend.
Heard again Sherlock yelling "you stupid, stupid man," remembered Donovan's furious expression, remembered thinking she was going to punch him, reacting to what she saw as Holmes' usual arrogance, ingratitude, they all had - but it hadn't been, he saw that now.
Saw, also, in his mind's eye, those long pale fingers digging into Lestrade's upper arms as Sherlock held him up from the wet pavement, tight enough that the grip must have been painful in itself.
"Don't you dare, don't you dare," Sherlock had hissed, all bloody fingers and thin tight lips, before John himself had managed to examine the wound, and ascertain that it probably wasn't life threatening.
It all made rather more sense now. John wondered why he'd never seen it, but then, he hadn't been looking, at least not in the right places.
Went to make himself some tea, feeling unaccountably depressed. Then realised Sherlock had used the last teabag. After a second, he started laughing, helplessly.
"Expecting someone else?"
"Well, no, just - twice in one day?" Lestrade gave a sardonic grin. "I am honoured."
Sherlock stalked into the flat, scowling. "Why does everyone assume I must be feeling responsible?"
Lestrade closed the door quietly behind him, leant against it. His left shoulder was bandaged and well strapped, his arm supported in a sling. "Are you?"
They hadn't spoken of this, last night. Lestrade had been sore and irritable and fuzzy with lingering morphine, Sherlock had been unusually silent. They'd settled down together without discussion, lying back to warm back in Lestrade's bed, exhausted by the late hour and the traumatic hours past.
Sherlock turned and looked at him. "You took a bullet for me," he said softly.
"Yes I did."
"And I should have anticipated he had a third gun," Sherlock burst out, with a sudden flare of self-recrimination.
"No one in their right mind would have expected that. I certainly didn't, or I'd have handcuffed the bastard."
"I'm not just anyone." Sherlock said it without a trace of egotism, but Lestrade's smile widened, fondly.
"Well, I wouldn't have got in the way of it for just anyone," he murmured.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed slightly. "That does make it my fault then."
"Oh for - " Lestrade shook his head, exasperated and half-laughing.
"Do you love me?"
The sudden clinically stated question startled him, and he hesitated. "You're the great detective, you tell me."
Sherlock studied him. "You took a bullet meant for me."
"You - put up with me. With my - idiosyncrasies."
Lestrade's dipped his head, hiding his smile. "Yes."
Sherlock sighed, divining the answer and finally accepting it. "You've never said anything."
"I was worried it might - drive you away," he admitted.
Sherlock came closer, searching his face. Forcing out words that didn't come easily. "I - do care. For you. I'm just not sure that I - can ever - "
"It's okay," Lestrade murmured, shaking his head.
"Is it though?" Sherlock looked disbelieving, experience of the rest of the world suggesting that love tended to equate to demands of reciprocity and compromise.
Lestrade also stepped closer, mirroring his movement, until they were face to face. "You're here. And you care," he said quietly. "Everything else is just semantics."
Sherlock's arm slid round his waist, carefully avoiding the sling. He leaned slowly closer, conscious of Lestrade watching him. Kissed him, awkwardly, on the mouth.
Lestrade slid his good arm round Sherlock in turn, preventing him from pulling away again.
"You really do feel responsible," he whispered.
"It's a completely irrational and very annoying reaction," Sherlock blurted.
"And one I fully intend to take advantage of," Lestrade confessed, claiming Sherlock's mouth gently once more.
He knew that soon enough Sherlock would be back to his former spikiness.
He also knew that Sherlock didn't like committing to any endeavour that he wasn't determined to be good at.
Lestrade intended to make the most of the next few hours.