John cracked open a beer and handed it to Sherlock before opening another for himself. The invite to a barbecue at Lestrade's had been surprising enough. The fact that Sherlock had been willing to accept it was downright astonishing. It was upon their arrival at Lestrade's that the reason for the little gathering had become clear. Lestrade had company, and John and Sherlock were there to lower the pressure.
Now, the John and Sherlock stood on the little patio behind Lestrade's little house. Lestrade was manning the barbecue grill, and D.I. Sophie Marquardson was standing by him. Very close by him.
"So, what do you think?" John asked Sherlock in a voice barely above a whisper.
"They're not sleeping together. Yet," Sherlock answered just as softly. Marquardson laughed at whatever Lestrade had just said and laid a hand on his shoulder. "Ask me again tomorrow, though. I suspect I'll have another answer."
They continued to watch as Lestrade became more and more involved in his conversation with Sophie. The D.I.s laughed together over another private joke. Lestrade's grill, and his additional guests, seemed all but forgotten.
Sherlock was fully absorbed with his sociological study of Detective Inspectors in the Early Stages of Mating. John's attention, however was caught by the flames suddenly flaring up through the barbecue grill, licking the sides of the steaks. It was fascinating, really. Almost hypnotic. John wondered idly if it would catch the climbing roses next to the house on fire. Then he wondered if this was his fourth beer or his fifth. The sensible part of his brain thought he should call out to Lestrade, but the detective was so captivated by his lady friend that John was hesitant to interrupt.
Fortunately, Sherlock did it for him.
"Detective Inspectors?" They turned to him, inquisitive expressions on both their faces. "Is that trellis supposed to be on fire?"