'Did you really shoot a smiley into poor Mrs Hudson's living room wall, Sherlock?'
Lestrade chuckled, rocking on his heels, feigning incomprehension and quite obviously enjoying himself immensely. To make his impression of fake amazement complete he even raised his hands in a gesture indicating his lack of understanding.
Sherlock, disappointed that Lestrade was robbing him of a chance to deduce, shot him an ill-humoured glance before he turned to John, but his friend only shrugged and smiled.
'Clearly,' Sherlock simply conceded, turning back to Lestrade.
'You know what they say, Sherlock?'
Lestrade was enjoying this, Sherlock could tell. Oh, this was getting more tedious by the second.
'About shooting, about firing a gun?'
Lestrade was grinning like a Cheshire Cat now and Sherlock felt a light prickling of his skin like a cat raising its hackles when irritated or cornered. He narrowed his eyes at the DI who, as usual, was unable to hide his emotions. Lestrade was as easy to read as an open book, even to John, who had acquired a neat level of people-reading-skills over the last months. Right now there was glee on his face, pleasure and the will to divulge a secret.
'I have to say that I don't quite know what you’re getting at, Detective Inspector Lestrade,’ Sherlock admitted sourly, deliberately using the full title.
Sherlock’s face had hardened into a cold mask, and the fake smile lifting the corners of his mouth did nothing to soften his features. Lestrade must be talking about superfluous and therefore deleted data, Sherlock thought and clasped his hands behind his back. This must be it, surely. Should it ever have been among the things he had known, that was.
'Well, I'm certain you don't mind me enlightening you, then.'
The smirk deepened and suddenly John, who had followed the exchange in silence and with pleasure so far, saw with astounding clarity what it was Greg wanted to tell Sherlock and that it would probably be wiser not to do so.
'Greg, I really think you should reconsider …' he started, but Lestrade was not to be stopped.
'You know, Sherlock. Shooting is a way of getting rid of tension, an outlet of some kind.'
Sherlock rolled his eyes, urging him to get on with it.
'And apparently there are studies which prove that firing a gun causes the same chemical reactions in the brain as a passionate kiss!'
To be continued tomorrow…
The story so far - on tumblr - on AO3 - on ffnet