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    Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

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    GJLestrade

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    Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:44 am

    Greg was tired...no, scratch that. Knackered would be closer. He surveyed the pile of paperwork on his desk and mentally kicked himself for not doing it sooner. He decided to stay and finish it, despite it being after 6.30pm. Still, what was there to go home to? Nothing, since his wife had left him for the bloody PE teacher. He dragged the first file on the pile toward him and opened it, scan reading the contents.

    An hour and a half later, the pile had been reduced to three. Of those, two needed information he would have to obtain tomorrow, and one required a chat with the boss. The rest had been signed off and filed. Greg put the rest away and grabbed his coat. As he did so, his mobile binged. He glanced at the sender to see that it was Mrs Hudson. He frowned. She never normally got in touch with him. He was in the habit of calling in once a week, making sure she was okay, getting an update on Joan.

    After Sherlock had...well, exited dramatically, Joan had retreated into 221b and not come back out. Greg hadn't dared approach her. His part in the fiasco didn't sit well with him, even although he had risked his job to give them forewarning. The part he had played, the part his colleagues had played, none of it felt right. He had kept his job by the skin of his teeth, and he knew only the intervention of a certain Holmes brother had been the reason. There was an on-going investigation, which he was expected to give evidence to, reassessing all the cases that Sherlock had taken part in to see if they still held up. Greg had confidence that most would, but there were those people out there who actively disliked one or other or both of the brothers and so the mud might be made to stick.

    Sorry to bother you, Detective Inspector, but Joan has been rather quiet. Could you call by? Mrs H

    Greg frowned. That was unusual. Mrs H had reported a sighting here, a small conversation there, just enough to keep him posted and to reassure him Joan was, if not alright, at least still alive. She had taken Sherlock's death hard and Greg was concerned, but he really had no idea if he was welcome enough to call. However, a summons from Mrs Hudson was something not to be ignored. He got in the car and pointed it toward 221B, navigating the evening traffic and trying to ignore the trepidation in his heart.
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:01 am


    The witnessing of Sherlock's death hit Joan hard. It was something completely different to witness a friend's death, as she had witnessed many in the four years she was employed with the British ARMY as an Army doctor, than hearing the news through a call or an obituary in the newspaper. No, she had witnessed Sherlock's death, heard his voice the moment before he died, heard that he was a fake- which, frankly, she didn't believe a word of it- and had participated in all the cases that led up to his death.

    She was devastated. Sure, Sherlock was an asshole but he was Joan's friend, one of her only friends since her way back into civilian life. She wouldn't have wished his death for anything in the world. She missed him terribly. Joan had a feeling that Mrs. Hudson was taking care of her and alerting Lestrade of her state.

    The flat was tidied up, as best as it could be in Sherlock's absence and Joan's distaste to tidy it up in fear Sherlock would appear and scold her. As she heard a knock at the flat door, she answered it in a state of disrepair, her hair was a matted mess of light brown. Her eyes look tired and had since lost their luster. She had at least taken a shower and put actual clothes on today. "Oh." She stuttered as she saw it was Lestrade. She was immediately embarrassed, "Hi. Um, come in." She gestured for the Detective Inspector to walk inside.
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:08 am

    Greg paused a moment on the threshold. It was odd to stand there, half expecting Sherlock to walk through the kitchen door or be sprawled along the sofa. He experienced his own moment of intense grief that he would never see the man again. The woman who had been left behind stood there uncertainly, hair dishevelled, normal neatness absent.

    "I...um..." Great start, Greg, fall over your own tongue, why don't you? "Sorry, if I'm not welcome, tell me to piss off. It's just... Mrs Hudson texted me, said you'd been a bit quiet. She's worried about you." So am I, he thought, but didn't say it. The light had died in Joan's eyes.
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:27 am


    Joan's expression was neutral as she looked at Greg. The great Greg who was now tripping over his words, "I don't want you to piss off, you can come in. IT's just not very clean." She paused and glanced back at her flat. "She did? I mean, I expected her to, but christ." She muttered, "I don't need someone to take care of me."
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sat Mar 16, 2013 10:57 am

    Greg forced a laugh. "If you think this is not very clean, then you should see my place. Since the wife left, everything is a mess." Greg walked in and stood a little uncertainly in the center of the room. "Mrs Hudson cares about you, you know. Let's face it, if she likes you, trying to stop her looking after you is like trying to stop a tidal wave. Not happening. So, since I'm here, how have you been?"
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:56 am


    "Oh." Joan pursed her lips at this, "I'm sorry." She wanted to tell Lestrade how she couldn't believe his wife, well ex-wife, would leave him. He was caring, snarky, thoughtful, a great leader and he used to put up with sherlock.

    "I know she does; England would fall without her." She whispered, remembering Sherlock's words. She smiled slightly, "I'm coping." She paused, "How are you?" She let him walk in and closed the door behind him, "I, uh, can make tea if you'd like." She pushed her dark hair out of her face.

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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sat Mar 16, 2013 12:29 pm

    "Tea would be good, thanks. I've missed your tea." Greg wanted to say more but stopped himself. Now was not the time. He watched as Joan went into the kitchen and flicked the kettle switch. "I'm managing," Greg continued. "I kept my job but I'm on another Murder Investigation Team. I'm on probation really. Feels like they're waiting for me to fuck up again, any excuse to give me the heave-ho. I got my knuckles rapped and I'm under strict instruction not to allow any unauthorised personnel onto a crime scene. HR thought it might be best if I was placed with another team though. Can't say I'm upset about that. I am frankly sick of Anderson's face anyway." Greg leaned against the door frame and watched Joan move around collecting the tea things. "When you say you're coping...what does that mean exactly? Are you getting out at all?"
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:02 pm

    Joan managed a genuine smile at Greg's comment, though it was fleeting and she returned to her neutral expression. She gestured for him to follow her into the cramped kitchen. There was a tightening in her chest as she remembered the first time she formally met Lestrade and the others, when they were here for a "drug bust" that never was. She gripped the kitchen table with the sword slash in it for support. She exhaled slowly to collect her thoughts before moving on towards the kettle, boiling the tea and getting out her usual tea pot. She put the leaves in the strainer and set about making tea. "Ah, made it by the skin of your teeth, eh? I'm sorry.....we..." She forbade to say Sherlock's name now, "made it difficult for you, but we just couldn't handle Anderson's bitchiness, excuse me." She murmured at the swear.

    "How's the new team" She asked, turning around to face Lestrade instead of staring endlessly at the tea kettle. She bit her lip as Greg asked her that question. It was like Mrs. Hudson and her "Anything on?" She disguised it as what was on the telly, but Joan knew it meant if she was coping, if she felt well enough to try and work a shift at the hospital, etc.

    "Means I don't feel like killing myself." She said curtly, a neutral expression on her face. She was being honest, blunt, Sherlock would love her right now. "I'm getting by." She clarified, "Some good days meaning I shower and put actual clothes on, maybe I put in a few hours at Royal." She told him of the hospital "I.....I feel like I did when I arrived back from Afghanistan." She sighed.
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:38 pm

    "To be expected, I guess. I mean...you shouldn't demand too much from yourself, Jo'. Look, I didn't come here to stir things up or reason with you. I really wanted to know if you were okay. God knows, I hoped I wouldn't have to talk you...out of doing anything stupid..." Greg nearly kicked himself. He had been about to say talk you down and realised what a bad idea that would have been. "I mean...we both put up with him, yeah? I dare say we loved him as well, the daft git, but we all get through shit like this at our own pace, yeah?"
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:45 pm


    Joan inhaled sharply through her nose. It felt surreal to be talking to someone other than Mrs. Hudson, she could at least pretend with Mrs. Hudson that Sherlock would return, but with Greg it was a stark reality that their friend, her partner, was never coming back.

    She clicked her teeth slightly, "You keep saying that, Greg...."She murmured of demanding too much from herself. She couldn't help it, to keep wanting to move forward, or dissolve completely into the past. She raised a dark eyebrow at his concern, she really didn't realize how much Greg seemed to care. If this was under different circumstances, Joan might have blushed even. "I appreciate you being here, on your own accord." She paused, "It means a lot." She admitted as the kettle boiled and she poured the hot water into the teapot.

    She chuckled lightly, rolling her eyes but eventually nodding in agreement, "Yeah, I did. I mean, we did." She paused, blue-gray eyes meeting Lestrade's. "I keep thinking I'll get over it quickly, just like I had been able to with some of my other friends....but....he was....he made me feel normal."
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 6:46 am

    "Christ! I hate it when people say that. Define normal, for God's sake. My life is hardly normal either, you know. Investigating some of the worst dregs of society and their wrong-doings?" Greg shook his head and sighed. "I never thought of you as anything else, you know. At the end of the day, I suppose it's how you feel, though, not what other people think you should feel. I know it's not something I'll get over quickly, if it's any help."

    Greg watched Joan making the tea, efficient as ever. "I had a deal with him, you know," he said quietly. "When he was younger, back when he was out of control, taking drugs and drinking himself blind at least once a week. I cannot believe that it worked, even now, but it did. Get off the drugs and the booze and I'll let you into crime scenes, I'll give that big brain something to work through, something to ward off the boredom." Greg allowed a smile. "It bloody worked. Nobody was more surprised than me when he turned up dressed in one of those tight shirts and his black suit and that melodramatic coat of his...Hair all over, those eyes fixed on me like...like he was daring me to go back on my word. Like he expected me to refuse, to let him down. I wondered then how many other people had let him down before, promised him stuff they never delivered. I swore I would never do that to him, you know, but I can't help feeling like I have done, somehow. Like I should have done something more or differently, but I didn't know how." Greg saw Joan's eyes, the dark blue gazing back at him. He couldn't interpret the look. "Look, you don't want to listen to me moaning on...I'm sorry...I...I probably shouldn't be here..." Greg turned to leave, to take himself away. Guilt pulled at him. She was okay. Joan was still breathing. That was all he needed to know. Why then did he want desperately to stay, to talk?
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sun Mar 17, 2013 7:15 am


    Joan nodded in agreement, "I do too. After...Sherlock." His name was heavy in her throat, "He made me feel like myself, I guess." She paused, looking concerned at her friend as he seemed still shook up about his divorce. "Well, I'm here if you need to talk."

    "He only took drugs and drank because he needed something else to take his mind off things, to make himself not bored, to be interested in something else." She murmured, looking down as she now started to pour the tea into mugs.


    "You have a way of talking to people, not many can even hold Sherlock's interest, you know that?" She admitted with a fleeting smile before she handed him the hot mug "Be careful, might still be too hot." Her clear gray-blue eyes caught Greg's for a minute, " A lot of people let him down, never you, don't think that." She warned him firmly, "No, please don't go." She said softly, taking her own mug and sipping at the hot liquid, "I...I want you here. It's nice....to have someone around."

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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:43 am

    "If you're sure?" Her words were like a balm. Greg felt a weight lift a little from his shoulders. "Thank you." She was the first person to treat him...well, like himself, in too long a time. Maybe it was their shared experience of wrangling the uniqueness that was Sherlock Holmes, maybe it was just that they were both grieving and needed the company, whatever it was, Greg felt just that bit less alone for the first time in five weeks.

    "Five weeks," he said softly, cradling his tea and inhaling the steam. "It's only been five weeks since..." He looked up, met her eyes. "Feels like years." At her gesture, he walked through to the lounge area and took the seat that still sported the Union Jack cushion. It was the only seat he felt safe sitting in. He looked around, seeing very little changed. It was like the man would come through the door any minute, complaining about the idiocy of taxi drivers or people in general. "Is it me? It feels like he isn't really gone. Or is it that I can't let go yet?"
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:23 am


    "It feels like years to me too." Joan said, following Lestrade out into the living room space where her favorite arm chair lay, along with Sherlock's sofa, the smiley face still up on the wall, his chemistry set in the corner, his skull on the cluttered desk where Joan now wrote for her blog. Her blog was in disrepair, just like her life, her therapist tried to get her to continue to write but it was physically painful, especially to read on past posts.

    Joan took a healthy sip of her tea, "Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, thinking I hear him playing a beautiful but increasingly loud violin solo. I get out of bed, planning to yell at him, but no ones there." She admitted, a little embarrassed, "Sometimes I sleep on the sofa, put the tv on, pretend like he's here." She smiled wanly at Lestrade, "We both can't let go, I don't think he realized how tightly he wound himself around our hearts."
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:03 am

    "Then if he comes back, we should tell him, first thing we do. No, first thing I'm going to do is thump the stupid git. Then I can tell him I love him...well, on second thought, actually no, I don't think I will." He chuckled. "Don't want him getting the wrong idea. You can be the one to tell him. For both of us." Greg looked at Joan and tried to smile. "Blog not going well then? You haven't updated for ages. It was one of my ways of finding out if you were okay," he admitted. "Have to say, I hate the silence the most. Being on my own. When you're used to someone else in the house, it gets too quiet. I end up watching too much crap telly."
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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:26 am


    Joan smiled at Greg, "You can beat him within a inch of his beautiful mind and then I will simultaneously tell him that I love him. He won't know what to do." Her eyes filled with moisture at this talk and she looked away for a moment. She took another sip of her tea, her voice breaking when she spoke, "No, it's not. I just, can't find the motivation. It hurts too much to write anything; I don't have anything to write about anymore." She paused, "Crap telly? Like east-enders? "She teased a little before smiling, "You could....stay here sometimes, if you want, you know, come over and check up on me while actually talking to a real human being."
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:34 am

    Oh, Bloody Hell, Greg thought. What an invitation. An offer to stay, with her, here? He wasn't sure what she actually meant but figured it was purely for company. If she was asking for... he sighed. Do not be daft, Greg, there is no way in hell she wants that from you. He smiled and nodded and kept his voice light. "I think I might like that. I'm starved of someone intelligent to talk to, actually. There's honestly too much stupid in the room at work. We could call out for Thai or something, watch a movie..." He shrugged. "Anything you want, really. Hell, we could always try going to a pub sometime, if you like?"
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:47 pm


    I hope he doesn't mean. Does he think? I wouldn't mind if he did- I um- maybe if he... Joan thought before looking back at Greg over her tea mug as she took a sip. "Oh, thanks for saying I'm intelligent." She teased him but she took the compliment graciously. "You should get rid of some of the stupid in the workplace."

    "I do love thai food." She smiled, "A lot actually." She paused, was he asking her out? Oh god, could she handle that? "What type of movies do you like?" She asked, "Um, a beer sounds nice, Real nice. Then I wouldn't be drinking alone." She admitted.
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 1:51 pm

    Greg put as much warmth into his smile as he could. "Drinking alone is not to be encouraged," he said firmly. "Besides, you need someone to lean on when you can't find your way home, not to mention someone to appreciate your off-key singing when you're three sheets to the wind. At least if both of you are drunk, the singing sounds better. Movies? No idea. I can guarantee there won't be a movie that doesn't have some reference to him, you know? However obscure. When my dad died, every bloody movie we watched had something in it that reminded us of him. If you can stand to be reminded of the daft bugger with every movie you see, then it's a date...damn, no, that's not what I meant. Not a date date, a friends' date, a date as in an entry in the diary..." He sighed and huffed a laugh. "I'm just digging myself deeper here. I'll shut up now."

    When he thought about it, Joan had always been on his radar. However, he would never say or do anything to compromise their friendship, and certainly not while Sherlock had been around. Even now, Greg found himself reluctant to complicate matters. He watched her for any sign that he had spoken out of turn. She was smiling, though, so he figured he hadn't made a complete ass of himself.
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:08 pm


    "Good." Joan rolled her eyes at Greg's statement, "I'm a great singer, thank you." She teased, "Really? I'm partial to those John Hughes 80's movies or Woody Allen." She pursed her lips, "Your Dad died?" She murmured sadly, her eyes meeting his. "I'm sorry."

    A moment later, she smiled at Greg, "It's okay, it's a date, not a date-date, a friend date, though if you wanted it to be a date-date, it could be." She took a sip of her tea. Greg Lestrade, Detective Inspector, here in her flat and acting like an embarrassed fifteen year old, it made her smile.



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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Sun Mar 17, 2013 11:59 pm

    Greg took a deep breath and cleared his throat. Christ, why was he acting like a teenager with a crush? What had she said? It could be? Oh, Jesus. "No, it's fine. It...can be anything you want it to be."
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:53 am


    Stop that. Keep it together. Don't talk about Sherlock and how sad you are but change the topic, Joan thought. She watched Greg for a moment with a confused expression. Did he want it to be like that?

    "Um, we can just keep it....you know....."Joan paused for the right word, not wanting to shut him down but she knew if she prescribed the title of 'date' to it she'd be incredibly nervous and feel so confused, "Casual. Not saying that I don't want to because I've always admired you and thought you were brilliant at what you do and..." She looked up at him, "I'm just...vulnerable, christ, I hate that word and I think you know how much I hate that word. I don't want people to think I'm weak but, Sherlock's gone and I didn't realize how strong he made me realize I was and now that he's gone..."She trailed off, "fuck, I don't want to keep talking about him, it'll only hurt more."
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:50 am

    "Joan, of course you're vulnerable right now, you're grieving," Greg said, in an effort to reassure. "and yes, I know you hate being like this but you're a doctor, you're not daft. You and I both know there are stages to the grieving process. No two people are the same, some go through all the stages, others don't but even if you do, you don't necessarily go through 'em in the same order as someone else. It's individual. Right now I'm cycling through denial and anger; sometimes I feel so mad I want to break someone's face, other times I don't believe any of it, I think it's all been some horrendous hoax and he'll be back to plague me in a week or so. Look..." he paused, fixing her with a stern look. "Nobody, least of all me, thinks you're weak. Nothing will ever make me think that." Greg smiled. "You really think I'm brilliant at what I do? You sure you want to keep this casual?" he teased.
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    Joan H Watson

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by Joan H Watson on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:23 am


    Joan took a deep breath, letting it out in a sharp sigh, "I know." She was glad that Greg understood that she was grieving and was grieving himself. "I'm in the same place, roughly, I'm mostly in denial. It's been five weeks, he's just...sorting things out now or getting rid of Moriarty's men, he's not really gone, sometimes I really do believe that." She paused, "Other times I get so mad at him, that he did this to me, to us, to everyone." She muttered, turning her gaze back at Greg as he gaze her a stern look. "Thanks." She murmured, "Appreciate it." She clicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and gave Greg a pointed look, "Don't push your luck, might not think you're so brilliant anymore." She teased. "I just want people to think I'm capable, not weak, but that doesn't mean I don't want someone to come and check on me every couple of days." She assured Greg, "Keep it as casual and natural as it can be during this time, don't know how well that'll work out." She admitted.
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    GJLestrade

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

    Post by GJLestrade on Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:41 am

    "Just so you know," Greg said softly, "the wife didn't just leave, she's initiated a divorce. I'm not contesting. We've grown too far apart to go back now. I thought...Last Christmas, when Sherlock... When he pointed out her affair..." Greg took another steadying breath. "Anyway, ancient history. Water under the bridge. I can only look forward really, now, can't I? I just thought you should know."

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    Re: Redefining Redemption (Joan H Watson and GJLestrade)

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