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the island of conclusions

Thy going out and thy coming in (three Sherlock/Lestrade ficlets)

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Thy going out and thy coming in (three Sherlock/Lestrade ficlets)

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Lestrade
Title (for the series): Thy going out and thy coming in.
Rating: from PG to NC-17
Pairing: Sherlock/Lestrade
Warnings: religion-bending, kinda.
Word count: ~3K total
Disclaimer: not mine, no profit.

a/n: written for purimgifts. The recipient suggested Lestrade as a French Jew whose family immigrated to England sometime in the late-19th to mid-20th century. Originally posted anonymously at AO3, as a series, here. The exchange called for 3 fics, 300-1000 words long, about 1) characters who are Jewish and/or 2)characters who are women and/or 3) characters who are persecuted by evil viziers (as per the Megillah).
a/n: my thanks, once again, to the kind people at sh_britglish. All remaining idiom fail my own.
a/n: title from Psalm 121.

Summary: “Hmm.” Sherlock slumped against Lestrade’s doorway, and drew a tapered finger along the one unusual item there.


1. On the doorposts of your house. (pg-13)


Hmm.” Sherlock slumped against Lestrade’s doorway, and drew a tapered finger along the one unusual item there.

Lestrade sighed, turning the key in the lock. This was why he tried to avoid bringing people back to his place: awkward questions, assumptions he didn’t want to have to bother with. But the case that Sherlock had so unexpectedly solved for them--solved despite being obviously stoned out of his mind--had been deep in the East End, far closer to Lestrade’s flat than to Sherlock’s current miserable digs. And Lestrade’s team might have been willing to turn a blind eye to the way Sherlock had been reeling around the crime scene, pupils blown wide, face pale as death, but Lestrade had decided their new consultant needed at least one coffee, probably three, before he went home.

So Lestrade put a brave face on it now, and said, “It’s a—“

“I know what it is,” said Sherlock, words slurring just the tiniest bit. Of course he did, smug bastard. Knew everything, he did.

“If you say, funny, you don’t look Jewish, I will throw you back down those stairs right now,” Lestrade told him tersely.

“I wasn’t going to say that.” But Sherlock kept his fey, drugged eyes on Lestrade, as if he were deducing something, even so.

“My Gran made me put it up,” Lestrade muttered self-consciously, deciding not to mention that his grandmother, may she rest in peace, had died three years ago, and he hadn’t taken it down. He took Sherlock’s elbow and tugged him into the flat. “Come on, then—coffee.”

He gently pushed Sherlock down on the sofa with an admonition to stay put, and headed into the kitchen to put the kettle on, getting out the French press he rarely used for himself. On impulse, he popped some bread into the toaster and dug out a packet of biscuits. Sherlock was skin and bones these days—he should have something to soak up whatever was circulating through his system.

When he made his way back into the sitting room, however, he saw that Sherlock hadn’t stayed put at all. He was, instead, making a restless circuit of the room, his nervous, elegant hands skimming over Lestrade’s books, the meager collections of stuff on the end tables.

“Ah,” Sherlock breathed, coming to rest in front of the mantle, and lifting one of the objects there for a closer view. “This is interesting.”

Lestrade felt his own hands clench around the tray he was carrying. He wasn’t sure he wanted Sherlock to touch that, to ask him questions about it. The encounter felt all at once too personal, too intimate. It had been a mistake to bring him here.

But he put the tray down and schooled his voice to neutrality. “It’s a Kiddush cup. For blessings. Also my Gran’s.”

“Mmmm.” Sherlock replaced the cup and picked up its pair. “I’ve never seen a matched set before.”

“They’re for a bride and groom. A wedding present—in France, before the war.” Lestrade moved closer, feeling oddly protective of the cups.

“This one is damaged,” Sherlock said, turning it over in his hands, identifying the dents and ineradicable traces of tarnish on the silver. “Stored underwater, perhaps, and recovered hastily.”

“How did you—?“ But now that he was nearer, Lestrade could see the light in Sherlock’s eyes as he tried to discover the hidden story of the goblet, the care with which he held it. And, perhaps because of that, he found he didn’t mind telling the story as much as he had thought he would. “Yes. They sent the children ahead, and bundled all the family valuables down the well of an old friend with land in the country. My grandmother got out, over the mountains to Vichy, then England. My grandfather waited too long. When she finally went back, the silver was still there, but he was gone. Auschwitz, we think.”

“I’m sorry,” Sherlock raised his eyes from the cup and focused them on Lestrade.

“It’s an old story.” Lestrade shrugged. “We were luckier than many.” He ran his own finger along the rim of the cup still on the mantle. The pair probably should have gone to his sister Ruth and her new husband when his Gran died. But he’d always fancied them, and his family had indulged him. He liked to think of them biding their time in the murky water, glinting dully, believing against hope that they’d be saved.

Sherlock carefully replaced the cup he was holding next to its mate and did a surprising thing. He lifted his hand to Lestrade’s face, brushing over the ridge of his brow, down his nose, and across the knob of his chin, as if, like the cups, Lestrade held mysteries he needed to touch to understand.

Lestrade shivered involuntarily. It wasn’t an unpleasant sensation, having Sherlock’s hands on him. Quite the opposite, in fact.

“What?” he asked “Are you going to practice some kind of phrenology now? Tell me I exhibit the characteristics of my race?”

“Oh, no,” Sherlock murmured, the pad of his thumb smoothing over Lestrade’s bottom lip. “Ascertaining something much more individual. I think your religion is not the only thing you don’t talk about at work.”

And then, without Lestrade really knowing how it happened, they were kissing. He could taste the dregs of the day on Sherlock, the inebriated pliancy of his lips, his tongue. He felt intoxicated by proxy, and he couldn’t help pushing into it, grasping Sherlock’s thin arms to bring them closer.

His pocket buzzed. With a sigh, he took out his phone and looked at it.

“I’m needed,” he said, and then surprised himself by adding, “but—stay, please. Eat. I shan’t be long.”

With a self-satisfied smile, Sherlock nodded. He took the nearly forgotten coffee and a piece of toast, and sprawled on the sofa like the world’s skinniest lion.

Lestrade brushed his fingers over the mezuzah on his way out, brought them to his lips.



II. Three men in a tub (pg)


“Oi!” John shouted, and banged his fist against the metal ceiling. It hurt too much to go on with long, so he turned his fury on Sherlock instead.

“Who,” he said, rounding on the detective, “gets tangled up in the affairs of evil Viziers in the twenty-first century? Tangled up and stuffed in a bloody cargo container bound for Limassol for good measure? No—don’t answer that.” He held up his hand as Sherlock opened his mouth to speak. “The same kind of people who have archenemies. Obviously. Being stupid for a minute there, I was.”

“Not an evil Vizier. A Grand Vizier. Though a bit evil. And not so Grand,” Sherlock said patiently, as if John were the one with a warped view of the world. “The office of Grand Vizier disappeared in the early 1920s. He just hopes to be one. When the Ottoman Empire is restored.”

“When the Ottoman Empire is restored. Right. Because that’s the key to solving the problems in the Middle East. Blimey.” John squeezed his eyes shut and pinched the bridge of his nose, where a headache born of adrenaline and constant exposure to Sherlock Holmes was building.

When he opened his eyes again, he noticed that Sherlock was still sitting on the floor of the container, Lestrade’s head pillowed on his thigh. John frowned. It wasn’t like Sherlock to maintain physical contact for so long. He would have expected him to have shifted the unconscious detective inspector onto John’s wadded-up jacket, which was lying next to him expressly for that purpose.

As John watched, Lestrade began to wake up, groaning faintly, and throwing up one arm as if warding off a blow. And then things got even stranger, because Sherlock caught the flailing limb, tangled his fingers with Lestrade’s and held on tight.

Putting aside his shock at Sherlock’s newfound ability to act like a human being, John crouched next to them and gently pushed Lestrade back into Sherlock’s lap.

“Easy now, Inspector—you took quite a blow to the head back there.”

“Yes, the hilts of those ancient scimitars are surprisingly hard,” Sherlock added unhelpfully.

John glared at him, and then turned his attention to Lestrade’s pupils, which were of noticeably different sizes, and to the robin’s egg sized lump on the side of his head, which at least didn’t seem to have grown larger or more tender since he’d first examined it.

“I’m going to need you to try and stay awake,” he said, as Lestrade’s eyelids started to droop again. “You’re concussed.”

“Hmm?” Lestrade said blearily, peering at John in a way that suggested he might be seeing more than one of him. Then he lost interest in John entirely and pressed his face miserably into Sherlock’s leg, whimpering a little, and murmuring, “Sherlo’” indistinctly.

And Sherlock—Sherlock curled a long, steadying palm around Lestrade’s face. And if he didn’t actually say “there, there,” he made noises to that effect.

John was reasonably sure that his jaw dropped like a cartoon buffoon’s. This was completely unexpected. He had seen the two men together often enough, and they had never displayed anything more than professional respect or professional annoyance towards each other. But either there was less oxygen in this ruddy container than he’d thought, or—

“Sherlock,” he blurted out, “are you and Detective Inspector Lestrade--? Are you--?”

He was stuck. But Sherlock just looked at him compassionately, as if John were a particularly prudish sort of maiden aunt who needed to be gently ushered into contemporary sexual practices.

“Yes, John. Whatever it is that you are trying to ask, the answer is yes.”

“But--but what about being married to your work?”

“I am. Most of the time.” John must have been gaping, because Sherlock continued, “Go ahead, ask whatever you like. Now that you and I are sharing a flat, I’d be happy to tell you anything you wish to know about my relationship with DI Lestrade.”

“No. No, really. That’s okay,” John said hurriedly. “I don’t need to know. I’m just—I’m happy for you, I am. He seems like a lovely man.”

“Lov’ly man,” Lestrade agreed woozily, while Sherlock tossed his head with annoyance.

“God! This is why I hate these discussions. Platitudes, nothing but platitudes. Happy for you. Lovely man. Honestly, John, I expected better of you.”

“Oh, alright. Just trying to be civilized. But never mind about that. How are we going to get out of this? Because your—your—the Detective Inspector could use some proper medical attention.”

“Ah, no need to fret about that.” Sherlock looked smug. “Hand me your watch.”

“My watch?”

“Yes, John, don’t be slow. Your watch.”

John gave it to him, rather surprised that the faux-Vizier’s men hadn’t taken it when they’d taken their phones.

Sherlock started doing something fiddly to the back of the watch, while John and Lestrade looked on. Which is to say, John looked, and Lestrade kept his eyes open and pointed in the general direction of Sherlock’s hands.

“There,” Sherlock said triumphantly. “An alarm should be going off in Scotland Yard right about now.”

“You put an—an alarm in my watch?” John asked.

“And a miniature tracking beacon, so the Coast Guard can find us.”

“But why my watch? Why not yours? Or your boyfriend’s?”

“Not boyfriend,” Lestrade and Sherlock said at the same time.

“Never mind.” John sank further onto his haunches and folded his arms around his knees. “Doesn’t matter. I suppose I’m grateful.”

“As well you should be,” said Sherlock.

“Lov’ly man,” said Lestrade, dropping a clumsy, affectionate hand on John’s bowed head.



III. Thy going out and thy coming in (nc-17)


Sherlock was in bed when he heard the key turn in the lock.

He wasn’t sleeping, just thinking in a horizontal position. And the best place to do that at the moment was his bed. The sofa had become rather too cluttered for such activities. Worse, it had been the site of an unfortunate incident of spillage earlier in the week. The smell lingered.

He recognized a familiar step on the stair, and tried to remember whose bright idea it had been to give Lestrade a key. Ah, John’s, of course. He’d said something about there being a limit to the number of times he was willing to trundle downstairs in the middle of the night just because Sherlock couldn’t be fucked to get off his arse. Especially when he, John, wasn’t the one about to get fucked.

Sherlock had gently chided him for the unnecessary use of barracks language in civilian life, but John had somehow won the point anyway.

And now Lestrade was making his unannounced way into the flat at one in the morning. Sherlock frowned. Lestrade’s step had an uncharacteristic drag to it, a hesitation.

“Sorry to wake you,” Lestrade said, finally coming into the room. “Should’ve rung first.”

“Not sleeping.” Sherlock didn’t bother to get up or turn on the light. “Thinking.”

“Ah,” Lestrade drawled knowingly. “Couch still toxic, is it?”

“You’re drunk.” The evidence slotted together, and Sherlock mentally berated himself for failing to deduce Lestrade’s condition from the speed of his key turning in the outer door. Regular sex must have been making him soft.

“A bit tipsy, yeah.” Lestrade had shed his jacket, was deftly unbuttoning his shirt. “But it’s a mitzvah to be drunk on Purim.”

“Only if you also go to synagogue, I expect.” Sherlock pushed himself up slightly on his pillows so as to get a better view of Lestrade’s neat body emerging from his clothes. Lestrade was pulling his vest over his head now, and except for the dim light from the street glinting off his silver hair, he could have been twenty-five. Sherlock had thought he’d be immune by now to the sight of those limbs, their symmetry, their easy strength. But they stirred him still, every time.

“I have been to temple, you heathen.” Lestrade stepped out of his trousers and briefs, kicked them away. “Ruth told me if I didn’t come see Daisy and Hannah in their Esther and Vashti costumes, she’d cut off my avuncular privileges for good.”

“Playing princess, were they?” Sherlock pitched his voice to be as dismissive as possible. Lestrade was far too sentimental about his nieces at the best of times.

“Mmm. Gorgeous, they were. Tiaras and everything,” Lestrade said fondly, seemingly oblivious to Sherlock’s disdain.

“And there was drink. Scotch by the smell of you.”

“Scotch,” Lestrade agreed happily. Entirely naked now, he stretched himself out next to Sherlock and insinuated both a shoulder and a hip under Sherlock’s body, nudging at him until they were both almost on their sides. “Budge up.”

Sherlock thought he should probably feel crowded, should want to shift away. But he’d grown to find Lestrade’s solidity pleasant, to welcome the work-worn scent of him, present even now under the alcohol and clean-laundry smell of his temple-going. When Lestrade slipped a hand between the folds of his dressing gown, palming over his stomach, he could only muster up a halfhearted protest.

“This doesn’t seem very kosher, on a holiday and all.”

“Sex is a mitzvah too.” Lestrade dipped his hand lower, playing with the waistband of Sherlock’s pajamas.

“Perhaps, but I doubt this is what your God had in mind,” Sherlock snorted, though it was no good trying to disown his response to that practiced hand.

“How would you know what my God had in mind, you goyishe atheist, you?” Lestrade’s slightly slurred words burred in Sherlock’s ear as he neatly flipped the dressing gown out of the way and tugged at the pajamas until they were skin-to-skin.

“Would it better if I were a Jewish atheist?” Sherlock tried to sound indignant, but the hot length of Lestrade’s prick slid between his thighs, and theological debate was suddenly beyond him. He opened his mouth to speak again, but all that emerged was a low, guttural sound, somewhere between a moan and growl.

“For my mum, it would be. Would make up for a lot, that.” Lestrade’s voice held a sly edge of amusement, as he molded himself more closely around Sherlock’s arse, reached around to bring Sherlock’s rapidly hardening prick into closer contact with his own. He rocked them both with his hands and hips, dragging a rough thumb over the head of Sherlock’s prick, and sucking a mark into the skin at the nape of his neck.

It was too much. Sherlock fell into the current of it, as if into a stream—the rhythm of their hips rolling together, the friction of their cocks, the ragged in-and-out of their breathing. And his own pleasure, coiling tighter and tighter inside him until it spiraled outwards instead, and he spent himself over Lestrade’s fist and his last clean set of sheets.

With a happy grunt, Lestrade followed him, and lay heavy and panting against Sherlock’s back. Sherlock would never have admitted it aloud, but he welcomed the weight; as so often with Lestrade, he felt a bit as if he’d given too much of himself in the act, as if he might float away. It was good to have an anchor.

Still, he felt the need to keep up the appearance of righteous indignation at having his thinking interrupted. “No sleeping,” he said, elbowing Lestrade in the ribs. “Your turn to clean up. Punishment for talking about your mother in the heat of passion.”

“Inna minnit,” Lestrade muttered into his shoulder, soft and boozy. And there was truly no hope for Sherlock, because he let him get away with it, and even fell asleep himself.

  • These are beautiful - and it's so nice to think of Lestrade having a whole other life beyond Sherlock.

    (You're missing a word in the first ficlet - the paragraph that starts with Sherlock's "Oh no.")
    • (fixed! and thank you--I am going to come crawling back to you for beta on the next one, if you can stand it)

      And I'm really glad you enjoyed these--I was also tickled to think about Lestrade's non-Sherlock life--

      thanks for reading and commenting!
    • LoveloveloveLOVE this

      sprawled on the sofa like the world's skinniest lion

      JEWISH!LESTRADE AND SKINNY LION!SHERLOCK ARE MY NEW CANON!!!!

      Utterly, utterly lovely. And I say this as the grand-daughter of French Jews who hid themselves, and their stuff, around various parts of France 1940-1944. (And some were caught and vanished. Auschwitz, we think.)
      • Re: LoveloveloveLOVE this

        Also, newly!humanized!almost tactful!Sherlock is a thing of beauty.

        No-don't answer that." He held up his hand as Sherlock opened his mouth to speak. "The same kind of people who have archenemies. Obviously. Being stupid for a minute there, I was."

        And John's voice! Luvverly!
      • Re: LoveloveloveLOVE this

        It means a lot to me that it rang true to you, and that you enjoyed it! It was surprisingly fun to write--maybe just because I never get a chance to write Jewish characters--or maybe just because Lestrade is so great.

        Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Oooh, nice. Especially for someone (eg. ME) who thinks that the most shaggable on that Show is Lestrade ;-P

    (LOL 'lovely man'!)

    (Psst: thinking vertically? do you mean horizontally?)
    • (I do! thank you for the catch! I have no business posting unbeta'd these days...)

      Very glad you enjoyed these--he really is pretty shaggable, isn't he?

      Hope you're feeling better!
  • Ah, these are beautiful.
  • I love all three, wonderful snapshots of life for them.
  • Eeeee, this is adorable! I love the idea of Lestrade as Jewish and you also got in Purim and a vizier. Awesome :)
    • eee! look at your hamantaschen icon--yum!

      I'm glad you enjoyed it--I was kind of surprised by how much I loved the idea of Lestrade being Jewish myself :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Absolutely lovely! I love the depth this provides for our wonderful Lestrade, and I love Sherlock's responses to him. I'd tell you my favorite of the three, but I can't decide. :) Lovely, lovely fic.
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It's the first time I've written this pairing, and it was a really fun dynamic to work with--

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
  • This series has totally sucked me in! The backstory you've created for Lestrade's family is really fascinating, and I love the little cultural and religious flourishes you've added with some of the language Lestrade uses, the possessions he owns, etc. And the Lestrade/Sherlock relationship works so well! I love the way in which John finds out about them in the second story, especially when a concussed Lestrade grasps onto the word "lov'ly".

    I'm totally saving these stories on my hard drive when I get home! :-)
    • Thanks for the lovely feedback--I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It turned out to be surprisingly fun to flesh out the prompt's idea of Lestrade being Jewish--I'm glad the details worked for you!

      Thanks for reading!
  • These are lovely! And I am a die hard Sherlock/John shipper, so that's a lot for me to say. I really liked Lestrade and Sherlock together here. They were sweet and bickery and very much themselves. Lovely work.

    And I like giving Lestrade that background, all those little touches that feel like home.
    • Thank you--I'm so happy you enjoyed it! I've only ever written John/Sherlock or gen before, so it was a new pairing for me--I'm glad you thought it worked okay. And I never get to write Jewish characters, so it was surprisingly fun to flesh out the details of what a Jewish Lestrade would be like.

      Thanks for reading!
  • some kind phrenology

    some kind OF phrenology, I would imagine?
  • These are all delightful. My favorite lines were the description of Sherlock as the world's skinniest lion, and the line likening John to a maiden aunt. Brilliant, you are!
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed them! And especially that you liked those lines--it may be the most fun thing about writing Sherlock fic, getting to put in lines like that :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • Thank you for these Sherlock/Lestrade gems. What a wonderful read.
  • oh these are so sweet....cuddly and adorable, even when surrounded by concussion situations :) really lovely :)
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed them--I kind of love writing the three of them together--and Sherlock/Lestrade turned out to be fun too :)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
  • “How would you know what my God had in mind, you goyishe atheist, you?”

    Goyishe atheist.

    GOYISHE ATHEIST.

    Just imagining Rupert Graves saying this makes me squiggle (squee/giggle) SO EFFING MUCH.

    THANK YOU FOR THIS STORY! WE ALWAYS NEED PURIM FIC, DAMNIT. <3
    • I don't think you know how happy I am that you liked that line! And yes, the idea of it coming out of RG's mouth is golden :)

      Purim fic is awesome, who knew?

      Thanks for reading--I'm so glad you enjoyed the story!
  • ahhhhhhhhhhh, lovely build up you did there. New headcanon was a delightful surprise as well! great job!
  • (no subject) - megan_moonlight
    • Yay--I'm always happy to get a hug! And I'm so happy it got you to giggle--that's the best part of writing in this fandom :)

      I've never heard of that com *goes to check it out* thanks!
  • Beautiful, all three of them! He is a lovely man and certainly deserved your attention, zest with words, and an armful of Sherlock.
    • Thank you for the lovely comment! I glad you thought the fics lived up to how lovely a man he is :)

      thanks for reading!
  • these are just lovely - so glad you posted them here (found via sherlestrade).
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      (and I'm glad a flistie pointed me over here--looking forward to reading more Sherlock/Lestrade fics)
  • You just won. Everything.
  • This little series makes me very happy! I love Sherlock/Lestrade with an even power dynamic and you've done it so well here. <3
    • I'm so glad you enjoyed it! I can really only ship even power dynamics, and the age difference actually helps here--glad it worked!

      thanks for reading and commenting!
  • This? This is awesome. You captured it beautifully.

    - Anna, who is a descendant of French Jews (Alsace, to be precise)
    • Thank you so much--it means a lot to me that you enjoyed it, and that the idea of Lestrade's heritage rang somewhat true!

  • I love Jewish!Lestrade. It is always wonderful to read about a hidden aspect of a character's life. Then you get awesome Purim fic with tiny nieces dressed as Esther and Vashti (I wonder if they fight over who gets to be who? I was always an Evil Queen type myself).

    I ship John and Sherlock, so I feel a little lonely for John, but I love the sweetness and restraint of your Sherlock/Lestrade. There is a deeper bond there, certainly (even Moriarty could see that) and I love the way you build on it.

    And Rupert Graves is SO SEXY. so yeah. :D
    • I bet they do fight over who gets to be Vashti!

      Thank you for the lovely feedback--I have a soft spot for this series myself, and I'm hoping to get more of it done for Chanukah. I know what you mean about John, though, so I always end up giving him a GF in this 'verse ;)

      Thanks for reading and commenting!
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