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the island of conclusions

Four Times Sherlock and Lestrade Danced Without Touching (and one time they did) 2/5

the island of conclusions

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Four Times Sherlock and Lestrade Danced Without Touching (and one time they did) 2/5

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Happy fifth night of Hanukah, everyone! Sorry I missed last night--this got longer than I meant it to. Happy Christmas, too, if you're celebrating that newfangled holiday *g*.

Title:Four Times Sherlock and Lestrade Danced Without Touching and One Time They Did (2/5)
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Rating: PG (this part)
Pairing: Sherlock/Lestrade
Warnings/Spoilers: none: set pre-series
Word count: ~2.2K for this part
Disclaimer: Not mine, no profit
a/n: They are written to stand alone, but the sections of this fic are set in and around the other parts of my Jewish!Lestrade ‘verse.

Summary: DC Martha Gummerman was getting married.

Chapter One: Sea Wrack

DC Martha Gummerman was getting married.

She’d joined Lestrade’s team six months ago, and a very welcome addition she’d been too, with the stamina of a long distance runner and the mind of the maths grad she was. He hardly recognized her standing under the hupa, her long, dark curls carefully arranged instead of scraped back into their usual bun. Not to mention the dress.

Martha was marrying the most pious Jew in the RAF, at least according to Sally Donovan. Given the number of Jews there probably were in the RAF, let alone the paratrooper divisions, Lestrade didn’t think there’d be much competition for that title. He’d said as much to Sally, who’d shrugged and told him that be that as it may, it was Eli Rosen and his family who had insisted on a religious wedding, with their own rabbi officiating. Martha had retaliated by inviting everyone she knew.

As Martha’s boss and co-religionist, Lestrade had been asked to take part in the service—an extremely dull reading from Psalms he was sure had been chosen by the groom’s family. His obligation completed, he twisted a little in his front row seat and surveyed the crowded synagogue. Eli’s entire paratrooper squad appeared to be there, all in dress uniform, yamulkas inexpertly perched on their bristly heads. Half of NSY seemed to be there as well, including a sulky Anderson and Sally herself, radiant in a dark red suit.

And there, towards the back, was Dr. John Watson. And next to him was Sherlock Holmes. Lestrade blinked in surprise. In the few short months that John had been sharing a flat with Sherlock he seemed to have acquired an ability to make Sherlock behave in a civilized fashion at which Lestrade could only marvel. He tried to make eye contact above the rows of guests, but Sherlock stared stonily ahead.


“Explain to me again why we’re eating at eleven o’clock at night?” John asked, materializing at Lestrade’s elbow in the drinks line of the thankfully posh hotel ballroom in which the reception was being held.

“Well,” Lestrade laughed. “According to my DS, the bride wanted a Saturday evening summer wedding, but the groom insisted they be married by a rabbi, and since rabbis don’t marry people on Shabbat, they had to wait until after sunset they both got what they wanted and—“

“Here we are,” John finished. “He really is the most pious Jew in the RAF.”

“So I’ve heard.”

They retreated to the edges of the party and sipped their vodka and limes. Nearby, the strapping Eli was horsing about with two of his even more strapping mates. The groom was clearly relieved that the wedding and the requisite picture taking were over. His bowtie was half undone, and his cheeks had started to go pink from booze.

“I didn’t realize you were Jewish,” said John, tilting his head quizzically at Lestrade.

“Yeah, well it’s not something that comes up too often in our line of work,” Lestrade answered. He did not add, and it never occurs to anybody that someone might be anything other than C of E unless they’re sporting earlocks and tefillin. It might have sounded a little bitter, and he was very much still finding his footing with John.

John at least had the grace not to press the issue. Or perhaps he was just too busy staring at Sherlock, who was across the room deep in conversation with the frail rabbi who had performed the marriage. Sherlock was wearing the deeply annoyed look he got when he was trying to prove a point to someone too obtuse to recognize the light of reason. Lestrade hated to think what Sherlock’s point might be, but the rabbi seemed to be taking it all in stride, perhaps just pleased someone cared enough to argue.

“He’s not—“ asked John suddenly.

“Good lord, no,” Lestrade told him. “Church with mummy every Sunday as a lad.” They shared an awkward laugh.

“Right. It’s just that there’re so many things I don’t know about him.” John didn’t sigh, exactly, but there was a sigh on his face.

Lestrade sympathized. Even after all the time that he and Sherlock had been—whatever it was they were to each other—he still felt that the then things he didn’t know about Sherlock far outweighed the things he did. John could probably tell him a thing or two, since John seemed to be surviving a situation that Lestrade and Sherlock had never even contemplated. There had been stretches of a week or more, over the years, when they’d spent every night together. But sharing a refrigerator? Eating breakfast every morning? It gave Lestrade a strange feeling in the pit of his stomach to imagine it.

“Does this mean that you and he are--?” he’d asked Sherlock when he’d first heard that John was moving into the Baker Street flat, trying to sound unmoved by the prospect.

It hadn’t fooled Sherlock at all. “Don’t be jealous,” he’d said, dismissively. “He’s straight as an arrow.”

But Sherlock saw something in John, even if it wasn’t that. Some kind of connection sparked between them—Lestrade couldn’t be the only one to notice it. It was a good thing, he told himself; Sherlock was too much alone, he needed people on his side. But he couldn’t ignore the way it got under his skin sometimes, like a splinter.

“How on earth did you get him to come to this?” he asked John abruptly.

Without warning, the bluff joviality dropped from John’s face like a stage curtain. “Same way you got him off the hard stuff, I expect.”

Lestrade hoped his face didn’t show how much the question rocked him on his heels. He was a surprising man, John Watson, not to be underestimated. “That wasn’t me, mate,” he said, deflecting as best he could. “You’ve met the brother, I assume?” A strained look passed over John’s face, indicating that he had indeed met Mycroft. “Well, it was all down to him, I’m afraid.”

And that was true enough, as far as it went. It was Mycroft who had made the calls and found the place and sent the car for Sherlock and collected him when he was released. But it had been Lestrade who’d sat with him in A&E the night the doctor told him another overdose could kill him, and Lestrade who’d paced the floor with him all night before the slick black car had come to pick him up.

It had been a good thing, a necessary thing. Sherlock had needed to get clean, had needed to become the formidable person he could only be sober. But it was also true that the off-again-on-again thing he’d had with Lestrade had been much more off than on since he’d gotten back. Sometimes Lestrade wondered if Sherlock hated him a bit for having known him then, for having seen him at his lowest.

But that was certainly not a topic for wedding conversation.

“We’d better sit down,” he said to John. “The toasts will be starting soon.”

Lestrade had been seated at one of the family tables, next to an elderly aunt and uncle who wanted to tell him all about how they’d advised Martha not to join the police force, but that meeting him had given them hope that a Jew could succeed at New Scotland Yard, despite the rumors of anti-semitism one was always hearing.

This, too, was a conversation he did not want to have.

He could see Sherlock and John at a table on the edge of the room. Anderson was there, too, though they were studiously ignoring him and speaking only to each other. John leaned in a bit, as Lestrade watched, and said something that made Sherlock bark with laughter. A wave of some black feeling washed over him—not jealousy, surely not jealousy—and he had to force his face, at least, into a state more proper for a wedding.

Luckily, the music started early. Too much drink and too little food so late at night had made everyone a little giddy, eager to hit the dance floor. Lestrade applauded as Eli and Martha danced to Roxy Music’s “More than This,” then prepared to make his excuses as soon as he could without being rude.

Before he could leave, however, Martha herself requested a dance. She’d pulled her hair back into something like its usual state, and shed the frillier parts of her dress. She looked so much like herself, in fact, that he couldn’t refuse, and so found himself dipping and swaying awkwardly to some hit from the eighties he didn’t recognize. Martha looked beautiful, though, and the joy came off her in megawatts. Lestrade decided he was glad to be at this joyous occasion after all.

Right at that moment, however, at some mystical signal known only to bands that play at Jewish weddings, the music switched from nostalgic pap to “Hava Nagila.” Everyone shrieked with drunken glee, shifted around, and before he knew it, Martha had hold of one of his hands, a complete stranger had grabbed the other, and he had been pulled into a raucous and enthusiastic circle dance. He could have broken free, of course, but the spirit of thing was on him too, now, and he moved his feet in the familiar patterns, an unexpected smile stretching his face.

Everyone seemed to be dancing now: the elderly aunt and uncle he’d been sitting with, stepping with delicate precision; the RAF boys, who had no idea what they were doing, but seemed to welcome the chance to cut loose; even John, looking flushed and rumpled but happy all the same. No Sherlock, though; probably buggered off already, Lestrade thought.

One thing led inevitably to another, and soon enough, someone had hefted a chair over from one of the tables, sat a giggling Martha down upon it, and recruited enough strong shoulders to get her aloft—Lestrade’s among them, since he’d been standing right next to her at the time. The airmen must have been prepped in advance for this development, because they had the fourteen and a half stone Eli up in his own chair in record time. Lestrade hoped the hotel furniture was sturdier than it looked. Someone tossed up a handkerchief that the couple could hold between them, and the two little groups of chair-carriers circled and twirled in their archaic dance while the guests clapped around them. He couldn’t see Martha now, but he could feel as much as hear her laughter. The hem of her white dress hung down, tickling his face as they moved.

It was hard work, carrying a laden chair and dancing at the same time, and after a few minutes one of the less physically fit members of Team Martha called for a substitution. Lestrade almost dropped his share of the burden when he saw who had taken the man’s place. Because he and Sherlock had met in some strange places in their day, but they’d never before met under the bride’s chair at a Jewish wedding.

“What--?” he asked, forgetting to keep his feet moving.

Sherlock scowled. “It’s the only way I’ve been able to get close to you all night.”

“Oi,” said one of their fellow bearers, “step lively you two.”

Lestrade did. Everything seemed lighter than it had before, the sounds and faces around him melting into a pleasant blur. When they put Martha down, however—these things never went on for too long—Sherlock was gone.

“Roof, maybe? Wanted some fresh air,” said John in response to Lestrade’s question, too deep into his flirtation with one of the bridesmaids to pay much heed.

And sure enough, the familiar angular shape was silhouetted against the night sky when Lestrade found his way to the top of the hotel.

“I wish I had a cigarette,” said Sherlock, without turning around.

“You mean a nicotine patch, don’t you?” Lestrade came to stand beside him. London stretched out below them. Even from this height, the whirring, multitudinous life of it was a palpable force, comforting, somehow, after the enclosed space of the wedding.

“No. A proper cigarette. A whole pack of them. Maybe two.”

“Not your sort of thing, eh?”

“On the contrary. It was fascinating. I’m always interested in the devotion people pay to outmoded rituals.”

Lestrade wasn’t sure if the drawling contempt in Sherlock’s voice was meant for weddings in general or Judaism in particular. Either way, it made him want to hit him. He tangled his fingers in Sherlock’s hair, instead, and pulled him down into a rough kiss.

“Come home with me tonight,” he said, when they finally broke for air.

Sherlock met his gaze steadily and didn’t answer.

“Come home with me tonight, or I’ll break both your arms,” Lestrade growled, the tensions and frustrations of the evening coalescing into the fierce need to have this one thing, stake this one claim.

But this, for some reason, delighted Sherlock. He crowed with laughter, and the rare goofy grin that made one forget he was a genius split his face.

“Well, come on, then,” he said, without further ado.

“Should you tell John you’re leaving?” Lestrade asked, a pang of compunction hitting him as they exited the building.

“I’ll text him later,” said Sherlock, expertly folding himself into the cab summoned by the hotel staff. “Come along, man, you’re dawdling.”


  • Happy 6th night of Hanukah to you. This is absolutely lovely. I really like Lestrade getting into the swing of the Jewish wedding and letting his past life take over. And jealous!Lestrade, although John sounds quite happy with the bridesmaids.

    Looking forward to what happens next. I always enjoy Christmas fics, but now am adding hanukah fics to the list.
    • Thank you--I'm glad you enjoyed it! I think it would take L. a while to figure out what to make of Sherlock's undeniable intimacy w/ John--even if what's going on isn't sexual....

      Very glad you're adding Hanukah fics to your list!

      Thanks for reading!
  • This is absolutely pitch-perfect. The mysterious instinct of bands at Jewish weddings for the Hava Nagila time; the RAF boys and the kiupas on their crew cuts; the rabbi pleased to argue; Sherlock reacting to "I'll break both your arms" (there IS a moment when that's the exact right thing to tell him); LOVELY.
    • Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! It was fun to work out the details of the wedding scenario--and, yeah, I think S & L probably have to use a certain amount of force to get through to each other.

      Thanks so much for reading!
  • I love Lestrade's fierceness and Sherlock's goofy grin, and the awkwardness between Lestrade and John. enjoying these fics and this 'verse very much... *happy sigh*
    • I'm so glad you're enjoying them! I do like imagining Lestrade being kind of fierce with Sherlock :)

      Thanks for reading!
  • I love it! I have to come back and re-read it properly later, but for now I must just say YAY! I adore your Lestrade.
  • I would like so much to see this filmed! :D
    • oh, man, me too!

      thanks for reading!
      • Man I love the tension between these two! utterly adorable!
        Really wish to see the sequels of this!
        Please //0.0\\ (*puppy eyes
        • I'm so glad you enjoyed it--thanks for letting me know! The sequels are all there--in my head! waiting for me to have time to write them--soon, I hope!
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