Summary: In which Sherlock gets an eviction notice, Lestrade contemplates a rival and there is a certain amount of sexing.
AN: Spoilers for A Study In Pink.
AN2: Am assuming Cryptic then takes place somewhere between The Blind Banker and The Great Game. And that's all folks! Thank you so much for the amazing comments, and for sticking with it! I ♥ you all.
Part One: Legwork
Part Two: Deduction
Part Three: Analysis
Part Four: Hypothesis
"Aha, Lestrade! I'm glad you're here. I need your opinion on something."
Lestrade dropped his coat onto the nearest chair and wrinkled his nose, wondering if this was a wind up. "Hang on, you need my opinion on something? Is this a sign of the coming apocalypse?"
"Oh come now, a fresh pair of eyes! And I always value your thoughts, you know that!"
Lestrade eyed him, sourly. "Yeah, generally so you can then act all smug about pointing out what I've missed."
Sherlock grinned in delight. "You see! You're not so unobservant after all! But come here, look at this. Tell me what you think." He whipped a cloth off what turned out to be a drawer from the table resting on the top of it and gestured impatiently.
"Oh, Christ!" Lestrade took a step back, arm over his mouth and nose, trying not to gag. A fly buzzed past his ear. "What the fuck - ?"
"Stages of decomposition. Which do you think's been going the longest? And I bet I know which one you're going to say and you're wrong."
"Are they - human?"
"No they're the hands of a mutant badger - of course they're human. Wouldn't be much point otherwise would there?"
"Where the hell - ?"
"Barts. They were only going to be incinerated."
"Get rid of them."
"What? But the experiment's not finished!"
"Get rid of them Sherlock, now!" Lestrade yelled, and Sherlock looked affronted.
"Well, if you feel that strongly about it." He picked up the drawer with its hellish contents and stuck it out on the tiny rusting balcony at the back of the kitchenette. "I'll deal with them later," he promised.
Lestrade continued glaring at him, and Sherlock insinuated his way closer, wrapping his arms around Lestrade's neck and pressing a kiss to his jaw. "You're angry with me," he murmured.
Trying to maintain a scowl in the face of adversity, Lestrade sighed, and gave him a push.
"Get off. I know your games, Sherlock."
Sherlock immediately stepped back and let the affectionate act drop like a curtain. "Suit yourself. But next time the idiot Anderson gets confused by how long a body's been out on the open, don't blame me if I can't provide more accurate data."
"I'm sure we'll get by."
"Small-minded, petty, reactionary, conclusion-jumping idiots!"
Lestrade watched Sherlock pacing the room in a fury, and sipped at his mug of tea. "I did tell you to get rid of them. It's your own fault."
"They were going to call the police! On me!"
"Yeah, just as well I was here, eh?" Lestrade looked up, pretending something had just occurred to him. "Hey does this mean you owe me one?"
"Oh shut up." Sherlock dropped down heavily onto the sofa next to him, and Lestrade shook tea off his fingers resignedly.
"What am I going to do?" Sherlock asked plaintively.
"You'll just have to find another flat. Is it that hard?"
"This one was cheap. How am I going to afford somewhere else on my own? Who'd want to live with me?"
They looked at each other uncomfortably for a moment.
"Look, if you get really stuck for somewhere - "
"We'd kill each other inside a week," Sherlock interrupted snappishly. After a second, he looked up, mildly apologetic. "Thanks, though," he said begrudgingly.
"No problem." Lestrade felt guiltily relieved. "Look, something'll turn up."
"Yes. Yes, I suppose so." Sherlock tipped his head back and groaned. "I need a distraction. How do you feel about full body massage?"
"You heard. Interested?"
Lestrade coughed. "Well I'm hardly likely to say no, am I? I just wasn't sure if this was going to lead in to one of your corpse-based experiments, or if it was actually an offer."
Sherlock smirked. "I've been reading a book. Several books, actually. I was rather hoping I could try it out on a reasonably willing subject." He got to his feet and held his hand out. "No corpses. Promise."
"Mmmn." Stretched out on the bed clad in nothing but his boxers, Lestrade closed his eyes and let himself relax into the touch of the hands sweeping over his skin. They were firm, and sure, and seemed to be managing to unknot muscles he hadn't even realised were tense.
Not that every part of him was intent on relaxing.
Sherlock laid a hand on his hip. "Turn over. I want to do the front."
"Oh. Right. Yes. Um. Give me a minute?"
Sherlock laughed. "It's not a problem you know. If you're aroused."
Lestrade groaned slightly at the rather clinical assessment, but rolled onto his back obediently. Flushed as Sherlock's eyes automatically slid to the incriminating bulge in his underwear.
Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "Must be doing something right then." He resumed his ministrations, sliding a deliberate hand up the inside of Lestrade's thigh and watching him stifle a groan.
"Really, how do you people manage to get through the day when perfectly innocent stimuli turn you into panting, preoccupied zombies?" Sherlock shook his head. "I think these should come off, don't you?" he added, sliding his fingers under the waistband of the boxers and easing them down.
Lestrade managed to lift his hips to assist, and bit down on his lip as Sherlock carried on massaging, working his way with minute attention over arms, legs, shoulders, chest.
He'd closed his eyes again, the better to enjoy it, but they flew open when he felt Sherlock's fingers stroking feather-light along his cock. Sherlock didn't look up at him, just smiled slightly to himself and repeated the touch, and then again, with his whole hand.
"Oh God." Lestrade felt his own hands clawing into the bedclothes beneath him, as Sherlock proceeded to bring him to an efficiently rapid and rather messy climax.
When he could breathe again, he sat up, and leaned against Sherlock's side dazedly. Pressed a kiss to his shoulder.
"You didn't have to do that," he murmured.
Sherlock smiled slightly, and handed him some tissues. "Would have been churlish of me not to."
Lestrade laughed, quietly, cleaning himself up. Looked back at Sherlock. "Can I - I mean - would you let me do you? Just as a massage, I mean?"
Sherlock cocked his head slightly, consideringly.
"Have you studied the technique?"
"Oh I'm quite sure you'll tell me if I'm doing it wrong."
In the event, Sherlock was unusually peaceful while Lestrade returned the massage with a slow and tender care. He savoured the feeling of Sherlock's pale, smooth skin under his hands, took quiet pride in finding and soothing the kinks out of the muscles, feeling Sherlock gradually loosen up under his hands.
God but you're beautiful, he thought, gaze drinking in the long legs and dark tousled hair and bright eyes looking back at him consideringly. Flushed slightly, as if Sherlock might read his thoughts.
"There you go," he said instead, sitting back. "How did I do?"
"That was - very relaxing." Sherlock stifled a yawn and looked surprised.
Lestrade kissed him on the forehead. "It's late. I'd better go and let you get some sleep."
They both looked a little surprised at the instinctive reply, but Sherlock held his gaze, and nodded slightly.
"Sure?" Lestrade queried, before climbing carefully under the covers with him as Sherlock snapped off the light.
Sherlock's body was warm against his, and after a second he slid an arm around him, pulling him back against his chest, falling gradually into the pattern of his breathing.
It was the first time they'd slept together since the nights in Lestrade's flat, months back, and given that Sherlock hadn't technically been conscious for that, he realised this was something of a moment to be cherished.
Drifted off to sleep with a smile on his face he was glad Sherlock couldn't see.
Lestrade awoke disoriented and it took him a few seconds to work out where he was. Next to him, Sherlock was twitching in his sleep like a restless cat, uttering breathy noises of distress.
"Sherlock?" he murmured, but he didn't wake, just flinched against the touch of Lestrade's hand. Lestrade wrapped a protective arm round him, draping a leg carefully over his, holding him close in a warm embrace. Gradually, and without waking, Sherlock quietened, his limbs becoming still, his breathing returning to a more even pattern.
Lestrade lay awake for some while, just watching him sleep.
When he woke the next morning, it was to find he was still entwined with Sherlock, who judging by the wriggling going on was now also awake. He went to withdraw his arm, and was startled as Sherlock grasped his hand and tugged it back.
"It's nice," Sherlock admitted, quietly.
Smiling to himself, without a word Lestrade wrapped his arms more securely around him, and they both drifted back into a doze.
They were woken the second time by the insistent ringing of a phone somewhere in the room. Lestrade struggled to extricate his arm from the covers and fumbled blearily in his trouser pocket.
He listened for a minute and then nodded grimly. "Okay, I'll be there as soon as I can." He snapped his phone shut and sat up. "That was Donovan. I've got to go."
"Anything interesting?" Sherlock was sitting up looking irritatingly wide awake and alert.
"You know I told you about that couple of apparent suicides last year?"
Sherlock considered. "In October and - November? Same poison but nothing to connect them."
"Yeah. Well apparently there's been a third."
"A third? Really?" Sherlock grabbed his sleeve as he tried to button his shirt. "I can help."
Lestrade fended him off. "They're suicides Sherlock, there's nothing for you on this one."
"Same poison? Same circumstances?"
"Apparently." Lestrade checked and looked cross with himself. "Look, for God's sake don't let on I told you any of this."
"No, no, of course not." Sherlock looked innocent. "If I could just - "
"No, Sherlock." Lestrade dropped down onto the bed and kissed him. "Good luck with the flat hunting."
Sherlock flopped back against the pillow looking despondent. "Actually there's someone owes me a favour. Might give them a call."
"Yeah, well. Do remember to let me know if you move, eh?" Lestrade buckled up his belt and stood up. "Guess I'll be busy for a bit."
"Call if you need me?" Sherlock insisted.
"Suicides, Sherlock," came the reply as he disappeared through the door.
The second time Lestrade walked up the stairs towards Sherlock's new flat, he paid more attention to his surroundings. The door at the top was standing ajar, and he pushed it slowly open.
Sherlock was sprawled on the couch, in the process of apparently attaching a second nicotine patch to his exposed arm.
"You'll poison yourself doing that," he remarked, coming to a halt at the foot on the sofa.
Sherlock glanced up at him slowly, looking almost consumptive in the half-light. "Helps me think. And you get sniffy if I use anything stronger."
"Who is he?"
"Don't know yet."
"Eh? No, not the bloody murderer!"
"Who then? Oh, you mean John."
"John is it?"
"John Watson, yes. He's helping me."
Lestrade scratched his chin. "He's also your new flatmate?"
"Yes. I think he'll do admirably, don't you?"
"Like I said, I need an assistant." Sherlock sat up and stared accusingly at him. "And half the time you're too busy to listen to me."
"Some of us have got proper jobs."
"Still need me though, don't you?"
They glared at each other.
"Look, Sherlock, letting you into places I shouldn't is one thing, but if you're going to start dragging civilians into this - "
"Not a civilian."
"Ex-army. You can probably look him up." Sherlock blinked. "Or, you have already, and that's why you're here. You want another look at him."
"Where is he, anyway?"
Sherlock shrugged. "No idea. Packing, hopefully." He swung himself off the couch and wandered towards the kitchen, drawing Lestrade's attention away from what he might be unfortunate enough to notice on the floor behind the table.
Lestrade followed him, sighing. "Alright. Whatever. Now tell me, what did you mean, pink?"
"No. Too soon. No point in telling you yet, you'll only confuse things."
"Stop yanking my chain!"
"I'm not yanking anything. You know my methods."
"I bet you've explained yourself to him haven't you?"
Sherlock stopped in his tracks and spun round, fixing him with a piercing look.
"I am not!"
"You don't have to be."
"I am not jealous!"
"I move in with another man, find him compatible enough to confide in, to rely on - you are."
"Compatible is he?" Lestrade folded his arms. "Is that bollock-speak for the fact he's easily impressed by you? Let me guess, you like him because when you're being an arse he doesn't call you on it."
"I'm not an arse."
"All that gushing about how fantastic your deductions were? He's only known you five minutes and already he's got you on a pedestal. You'll let him down one day Sherlock, and then what will he think of you?"
"I am not an arse!"
"Yes you are. An infuriating, floppy haired, egotistical, unreasonable, high and mighty, arse."
By this point Lestrade had pinned Sherlock back against the wall and was punctuating each word with a fierce kiss to his mouth, leaving them both breathless.
Sherlock went slack in his grip, letting Lestrade press further in, feeling him hard against his thigh.
"Marking your territory, Inspector?" he murmured.
"Oh, I haven't even started, believe me."
Sherlock walked slowly down the deserted and echoing corridors in something of a reflective daze, the hard-won name still weighing on his lips, tasting it, feeling the shape of it. He was vaguely aware of strobing emergency lights outside the main entrance as he approached, and stepped back just in time to avoid being hit by the door as someone hurtled through them.
"Oh, thank God." Lestrade grasped Sherlock's forearms in a vice-like grip and dipped his head for a second as if he'd gone briefly dizzy.
Sherlock smirked. "Aren't there rules against running into potentially armed situations without proper backup?"
Lestrade looked back up at him and scowled uncomfortably at the fact he'd unwittingly shown his hand. "The murderer, is he - ?"
"Upstairs. He's dead."
"It wasn't me!" Sherlock exclaimed.
"Then what? He killed himself?"
Sherlock looked thoughtful. "No, someone else did. Shot him, from the building opposite."
"You're telling me I've got another bloody killer on the loose?" Lestrade demanded incredulously.
"Looks that way," agreed Sherlock. "If it wasn't one of your lot."
"No, we only just got here. Your man Watson called, said the phone trace had finally loaded. Took us a while to get mobilised." He scrubbed a hand through his hair, self-consciously. "For a while there I didn't think we'd get h- "
Behind them, the doors burst open again to admit two armed policemen, and behind them an unarmed Sally Donovan looking mildly more dangerous.
"Upstairs, one corpse, for the collection of," directed Lestrade wearily.
"First floor, room 128," added Sherlock, responding to Donovan's glare with a sweet smile.
"Did you put it there?" she asked suspiciously.
"No he didn't," Lestrade snapped irritably. "But we have apparently still got an unidentified gunman on the loose, so inform all units and keep away from the bloody windows. As for you - " he poked Sherlock in the chest. "Outside, now. I want you checked out."
It was late - so late it was almost early. Lestrade was sitting alone in his flat, rolling an empty whisky glass between his hands, wondering whether one more would help him sleep, or put it irrevocably beyond his reach.
Had let Sherlock go, earlier, had had a crime-scene to run after all, and that was generally easier without him underfoot. Told himself it was good that Sherlock had had someone to go home with, someone to keep an eye on him.
Didn't believe a word of it.
The abrupt knock on the door made him jump, and he almost dropped the glass. Set it carefully on the table before getting to his feet, peering cautiously through the spyhole.
Let his forehead rest against the doorframe and briefly contemplated not opening the door. He was too tired for an argument, and he knew with a heavy heart he wouldn't be able to stop himself starting one if he let him in.
Discovered his hand had turned the door handle of its own accord.
Sherlock walked in with a curious glance as if to ask what had taken him so long.
"It was him, wasn't it," Lestrade said flatly. He'd done a certain amount of digging in certain areas in the last few hours, and coupled with Sherlock's own inadvertent clues had come to an inescapable conclusion.
"Hmmn?" Sherlock looked enquiring.
"John Watson. Took that shot tonight."
Sherlock looked blank. "Depends who I'm talking to right now. Because if it's Scotland Yard's finest - "
"It's me Sherlock, you're talking to me!" he shouted, crossing the distance between them and getting up in his face.
Sherlock pursed his lips, then sighed. "Yes. Yes it was," he admitted finally, watching Lestrade warily.
Lestrade looked away.
"Then I suppose you'd better thank him for me," he muttered awkwardly.
Sherlock reached out, cupped his jaw and turned him back to face him.
"You're jealous," he murmured, consideringly.
"You think it should have been you. To save me." He leaned in, close enough that Lestrade could feel the warmth of him. "You don't have to be," Sherlock whispered, lips brushing Lestrade's mouth.
"I can't help it," Lestrade breathed before he knew what he was going to say.
"You don't have reason to be. I promise," Sherlock murmured, kissing him now, lips soft against his.
Lestrade pulled away, still too full of conflicting emotions.
"You should have told me Sherlock. You should have told me where you were going tonight!"
"I didn't tell him either," Sherlock admitted.
"Is that supposed to make me feel better?"
Sherlock smiled slightly, moving in again, and wrapping his arms around Lestrade's waist, staring seriously into his eyes.
"Take me," he breathed.
Lestrade swallowed. "Are you saying you want me to?"
"I'm saying I recognise that you need to."
Sherlock frowned. "Not like you to turn down an opportunity," he said lightly.
Lestrade licked suddenly dry lips. "I'm - not terribly inclined to be gentle right now," he said roughly.
Sherlock bent to his ear, and whispered so quietly it was barely a breath.
"I don't break easily."
He pinned him down across the bed, hands grasping his naked shoulders and biting a livid trail across his collarbone. Their clothes had been discarded in a mutually tangled mess between here and the living room, and Sherlock had lain down willingly beneath his aggressively heated advances.
He was ridiculously hard, cock rubbing against the inside of Sherlock's thigh, his nails leaving tiny white crescents behind in Sherlock's skin, his fingers digging in as the friction sent shocks of uncontrollable lust through his body.
Hand sliding between Sherlock's legs, he pushed them wider apart with his knees before seeking further with his fingers. Taking hold of himself, he positioned his own cock until he was pushing against him, into him, just barely breaching him.
Paused for a second, adjusting his angle, sliding just the tip of his cock shallowly in and out of Sherlock's body, swallowing down hard on the shudders of arousal that were coursing through him.
Sherlock lay quiescent beneath him, silent, accepting. Understanding.
Without warning, Lestrade thrust inside him forcefully, and the stifled gasp that escaped Sherlock's lips at that moment was almost enough to make him come there and then. He slid his hands beneath Sherlock's knees, drawing his legs up a little, finding a deeper angle and pushing further inside, over and over, tight heat sliding around his aching, straining flesh, Sherlock's eyes wide and fixed on him, unreadable. He closed his own eyes, pounding angrily, bruisingly hard into the body beneath him.
For long minutes Lestrade fucked him, letting the anger and frustration, fears and pettiness of the previous hours pour out in a cathartic, exhausting frenzy, until letting go of the final restraint holding him back he came harder than he ever remembered, wave after wave of intense orgasm rocking him in a shuddering climax.
He subsided into Sherlock's waiting arms, breathing shakily and slick with sweat. Buried his face in the crook of his neck.
"Thank you," he managed, voice ragged and all remaining anger finally spent.
Sherlock tightened his embrace. "You don't ever have to thank me," he chided softly. "Not for this."
"Yeah, I do." Lestrade looked up, and stroked a hand wonderingly over Sherlock's face. "I could have lost you today," he breathed.
"Didn't though, did you?" Sherlock pointed out, after a pause.
"You are insufferable you know that?" Lestrade found himself laughing, and lunged up to kiss him, hard, before settling back down in Sherlock's arms.
"What?" Sherlock looked pained. "I solved you the murders didn't I? I was never in any danger."
"Only from yourself, you great twat."
Sherlock grinned. "You know, you should give John a chance. I've got a feeling you two might get on rather well."
"Yeah, well. Maybe," he conceded, feeling rather more well disposed toward the world than he had half an hour previously.
"Feeling better?" Sherlock murmured, stroking a slow hand down his arm.
"Mmmn. Yeah, I'll say. God, this means you'll be even more insufferable than ever now doesn't it?"
"I can't imagine what you mean. Although given that I've been so graciously accommodating, there is a certain new consignment of scanning equipment in the police lab that you might consider signing me access to."
"Mercenary tart," Lestrade yawned.
"Me? I'm just a victim of police brutality, me."
Lestrade smiled, drawing idle patterns on Sherlock's chest with his fingers.
"Oh, you ain't seen nothing yet."