14 July 2011

Day in the life of a lonely baggage handler

You lot have been suspiciously quiet today. I'd almost believe the world had ended outside of this little corner of East Anglia. But I've seen the odd plane overhead, so I assume civilisation is still out there somewhere?

I'm still here, obviously. Wondering what delights to sample for dinner tonight. Might just go to a supermarket on the bike, get some salad or something.

It's been raining here today. Grey, then a proper downpour. We were out in it, so we just sat in the car (I was working with Cameron again.) he used to be a biker, before his three kids showed up, so we had plenty to talk about.

Anyway, today has been...semi productive. Let's just say local knowledge may solve the case. But it could also have meant it going unsolved. If I'm right (and I'd bet you a pound to a bag of shit I am) then 'i've known him since he were a nipper' will not stand up in court as evidence of innocence, no matter how many people here say it. Tomorrow...we'll be going to have a chat with someone. And I think he'll give himself away.




Anyway, all this time alone in the evenings means....


**************

Greg finished tying the ribbon around the last bouquet and watched as John swept the odd leaves and ends of taffeta from the floor. They had fallen into their roles easily in the few weeks they had worked together. John was learning how to arrange the blooms and foliage, and Greg had begun to let him choose which varieties to use in the bunches, as well as having him work on table centres and wedding sets, which were just exercises in copying and repeating set pieces.

John leant on his broom, smiling at Greg. "So...what would you say if I invited you out to dinner, tomorrow," he asked.

Greg looked up and grinned. "I'd say...that'd be brilliant. But you're not allowed."

John frowned. "Not allowed?"

"I can't let you spend your pay on feeding me. No way," Greg replied. "So you can invite me out, but I've got to pay. Youve been awarded 'employee of the month', see, and that's your prize. Dinner, wherever you choose."

John laughed. "I'm your only bloody employee, idiot!"

Greg pretended to look thoughtful. "Suppose you'll have to let me buy you dinner at least once a month then, won't you?"

John just shook his head, smiling. "And what happens when you win manager of the month? What are we going to do then?"

"Ah," Greg said. "Um...you could buy me breakfast and a coffee?"

"That hardly seems fair," John said.

Greg shrugged. "It's a hard life, being the boss."

John squirted him with the spray bottle he'd used to refresh the display. "Idiot," he reiterated.


The next evening they sat in a local restaurant, talking easily on topics from flowers to sports. After a dessert of rich, creamy, tiramisu Greg leant back in his chair. "What would you say if...if I offered you coffee? Back at mine."

John took a moment, then nodded slowly. "I'd say that would be nice, actually."

Greg smiled, watching the expression on John's handsome face. "Excellent."


As they walked up the road, towards Greg's flat, above the shop, Greg turned to John. "So, before you gave in to your life long urge to be a florist, what did you fill your time doing?"


***************

i'll tell you what. I would do bloody anything to see John and the boys right now. Cameron's wife came in at the end of today with his girls, and it just sort of brought it home quite how bloody lonely it is here.

(Oh, I forgot. Saw THIS and thought of you, Danger. - And no, the rest of you, don't take this as some sort of hint.)

46 comments:

Desert Wanderer said...

I know I'm only a quasi-regular commenter, but I've been getting ready to go home (finally!).

One of my mates out here is having a really tough time being away from her family. She's only been here a month out of her year tour, and I find myself at a loss to help her. I feel like I'm running out of options, since this place feels a bit like where you seem to be at (ie, nothing much to do, and not much else on tap etc.). Did going out to the pub help you much? Or did it just make it more difficult?

Does your progress bode well for you returning home in a decent amount of time?

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Hah, quasi-regular is just fine. And glad you're nearly off home!

I feel for your friend. At least I won't be here for a year! And I can't tell you how glad I am that I met John after he stopped being sent all over the world for months on end. I don't think I'd've coped very well.

Going to the pub was a nice distraction, yeah. The worst thing here is at the end of the day, when everyone else gets to go home, and I don't. I get to sit in this little room, thinking about what I'm missing. And part of what I'm missing is just...I don't know, a hug, or Sherlock dragging me off to see something, or sitting on my lap to show me something online. Y'know, any physical contact. I'm fairly sure a few of them here think homosexuality is catching.

Hopefully the progress bodes very well. I really really don't want to be here all weekend.

Elizabeth said...

Us? Take it as a hint? The very idea! *Grins*

More seriously, I really hope you'll be back with John and the boys in the next day or two, Lestrade.

A bit off-topic -- but do the boys (or you, Lestrade, or John) like Harry Potter at all? Has anyone read the books?

Tink said...

Hi Greg! As you can see, I'm a fast reader! EEE. They're finally getting somewhere! Up to the flat, pasts are discussed, hot etc. is then mandatory for a romance novel. So you may have to somehow lock those posts from the boys, or just fade to black conveniently. But I'm so excited that you guys are continuing the story. It's adorable!

I'm sorry you're so lonely. I'd offer you psychic hugs, but that's even less effective than phone hugs. But have them anyway! Maybe you could hug that desk lady? That way if liking guys is catching, she's already inoculated. ;)

Also I am sending you good vibes towards getting the guy to confess. It's horrible what happened to that couple, and the emotional toll this is taking on you sucks greatly. So for all involved, he better confess!

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Elizabeth - I've never read it/them. Afraid I don't know about John and the boys (Who I presume are out doing something nice...that or Sherlock has managed to grow enough mould to take over the entire flat?)

And thanks, I hope so too.

Hi Tink. Sadly there is no way anything can be locked against the boys on a computer - they're way better at it than we are! Anyway, porn writing is John's forte, not mine. ;)

I like your theory on hugging Tracy. Although she might think I was leading her on!

Yeah, the case is a bit nasty. I worry about how this community will react, if my theory is correct. I don't think it'll be good.

Trills said...

Elizabeth - I don't think Sherlock would take well to the Harry Potter books. I don't see him liking Magic and they're not even Magical Realism.

Love the new instalment of Greg the Florist by the way. Hope your case resolves quite quickly

*sends virtual hugs in the hope that enough from enough people can maybe make up for a real one... ish*

John H. D. Watson said...

THey put it in curry??? I am appalled. The cake doesn't even bear mentioning.

We have...sort of been doing something fun? Well. The fridge broke. So there's someone coming to look at it tomorrow and meanwhile we're eating all the ice cream. You really ought to come home and help us.

Elizabeth - I've read four the Harry Potter books, the boys haven't read any. I don't think they'd go down well.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

it could only improve curry!

The fridge broke...or someone broke the fridge? (For experimental purposes, obviously, not for no reason.)

And thanks. I wish.

Anon Without A Name said...

Yay for more Greg the florist.

I wouldn't recommend hugging colleagues, even (especially?) ones you don't really know, no matter how touch-starved you are; that sort of thing tends not to end well :-p

Hope tomorrow is productive; you think you might be home for the weekend?

kholly said...

I'll join the chorus of virtual hugs. It certainly can't hurt.

I hate business travel. I usually have to spend a week away 4-5 times a year. The work itself tends more toward boring than difficult or emotionally unpleasant, but the loneliness and boredom of going back to a hotel at the end of the night I definitely relate to.

Lindsay said...

Oh lord, I can only imagine Sherlock's reaction to Harry Potter. I have a feeling it would be rather...emphatic.

Why'd you stop, John? Got bored, or just ran short of time? That I can understand, those last few are TOMES.

Glad all is going well, Lestrade- hope you manage to wrap it up neatly.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Nameless - don't worry, I won't be hugging anyone at work. DOn't need an actual complaint about me, after Sherlock's attempted one yesterday.

KHolly - never used to mind it, until I had something worth going home to! But yeah, it's not only an unpleasant case, but then I get to mull over it all on my own in the evening. With the excitement of a boxed salad and a yoghurt, knowing the boys and John are consuming their body weight in ice cream at home.

I'm fairly sure (God, I hope so) that it'll be over soon. And thanks for all the virtual hugs.

Tink said...

Tell Tracy you just miss your boys so much and try a Sherlock sad look on her! Or see if the copper with the girls will invite you home for dinner? But hopefully the case will be done soon and you don't need to go to extremes.

I am going to the midnight premiere of Harry Potter tonight so if anyone is up late they can join me here while I wait in line!

Greg, you realise I'm going to now use 'baggage handler' as a euphemism from now on...

Lupe said...

Awww. D: *sends virtual sugar skulls* Well, are they visiting you in the weekend like John said? I hope they are, or at least that you do solve the case tomorrow. Good luck! :)

As for your Not!Fanfiction... god, it's a good thing I didn't read this in the office, or I would've had a hard time justifying the ridiculous smile on my face and the GIGGLES. So embarrassing. But your cute writing does that to me. u_u

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Tink - to be honest, I just want a hug from all my boys! No other substitute will really do. And I think going to dinner with Cameron would just be like torture.

You enjoy the premier. And as for the euphemism, yeah, I might use it too. Apparently it all comes about from some anti-gay minister hiring a rent boy and then claiming he was working as a baggage handler, not a rent boy. I can only assume the DI here thought I was just queer, and not actually a rent boy. Think I'm a bit old for that...

Lupe - I'm hoping I'll be finished by the weekend, or at the weekend. I don't know how they'd get up here. It is the middle of nowhere. And there really isn't anything worth coming here for.

I have been wondering - do people actually write stuff about themselves? It feels horribly narcissistic. And we're doing it in jest. but then, after some of what you lot have told me, I wondered if people really do do it seriously?

Well...given that John is probably busy trying to calm a sugar-high Sherlock, and I've got nothing better to do, I might stick a bad late film on the tv and try to sleep.

Amy said...

Yay, it's Greg the Florist! :)

L, maybe something like watching movies/tv online on the laptop could help you take your mind off things in the evenings? I hope you get home soon.

Amy said...

Ah, I see I should have read further down. :p

About the new poll: I picked proper coffee, but I drink lots of tea as well. I'm with you on the Starbucks 'coffee' phenomenon. There are a couple of branches in my city (Wellington, NZ), but they're mainly patronised by tourists who are after something familiar. The locals all go to proper cafes. It's a city of coffee snobs, in a country of tea drinkers - hence my dual preference...

John H. D. Watson said...

And there really isn't anything worth coming here for.

There's you, that enough. We'll take one of Anthea's enormous cars or something. If you're not back, which obviously would be the preferred option. Sorry I haven't been around much today, it's been sort of a disaster generally.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I really am hoping to be back. If I'm not back, I'll be so busy there really wouldn't be much to keep you here.

Sorry, I wasn't having a moan - I know you've got your hands full. Wish I was there to help. You okay?

John H. D. Watson said...

DW - Very glad to hear you're coming home. I know it'll be hard leaving your friend. Look...this may sound mental, but I'm crap at advice and obviously this has worked for me, so...maybe she could do a blog? It'd let her family know what was going on with her, maybe help her feel a little closer to them. And strangers on the internet can be pretty supportive as well. :)

This man's doing it, and it seems to be going all right for him:
http://rafairman.wordpress.com/

Lindsay - I tried the fifth one and found I just didn't care enough to wade through it. The writing didn't seem as good, and I already knew what happened to Sirius, so. I asked the boys earlier when I saw Elizabeth's comment if they'd be interested. You've never seen such scorn.

John H. D. Watson said...

Sorry, I wasn't having a moan

I know you weren't, I just feel bad about. There was...oh, broken fridge, clogged sink, sugar high Sherlock (really my fault, but still)... There was more, I'm sure. My brain hurts, ugh.

I'll be so busy there really wouldn't be much to keep you here.

Don't care, it'd be worth it just to see you.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Think we can beg borrow or steal a babysitter when I'm back? Sounds like you need a break.

Thanks. I honestly think we might be nearly there. You'll be the...well, one of the first to know, as soon as there's a hope of my escape.

I'm going to get some sleep - Cam's agreed to an early start in the morning. Try to get some rest?

Love you. Miss you all.

John H. D. Watson said...

I'm all right, it was just one of those days.

Sleep well, love. Good luck tomorrow.

Anon Without A Name said...

I have been wondering - do people actually write stuff about themselves? It feels horribly narcissistic. And we're doing it in jest. but then, after some of what you lot have told me, I wondered if people really do do it seriously?

You mean, writing smutty stories, about themselves? I've not read any, but then I tends to read (and yeah, OK, write) stories about pre-existing fictional characters. The closest I got to writing about myself was when I had one of the characters knock back a pint based on the way I used to be able to do it. Otherwise, they're not me (I don't even have the relevant bits :-p)

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

I really wish I was there. Or you were here. Single bed or not. Everything would be better with you. And I'd hug the stuffing out of you.

Thanks.

Nameless - right, I think i'm glad. Although god knows what it says about us... (it's not spotty though! Good clean fun. With a few possible double entendres.)

Tink said...

John: I sent Greg psychic hugs earlier, so now I'm going to do the same for you. You sound like you need it. Hopefully tomorrow you'll get the good news and if not, the day after you'll be headed his way.

For in the morning, because the short people should be in bed:

Sherlock: Greg is looking at a suspect with intent! Hopefully he'll be home soon but you need to be extra nice for John because he misses Greg just as much as you do. Lots of hugs and drawings and helping out would be a good thing. Maybe you can make Greg a 'Welcome Home' card or sign?

Mycroft: Still thinking of you! <3

Tink said...

Also, other folks: I'll be heading out to the cinema in about an hour. If you too are going to be waiting for the HP final film premier, I'll be hanging about here. Because I like staring at the guy on the motorcycle :D

It can also be a 'Tink Got In Touch With Her Twin After Years Of Not Speaking Really And Now She Is Going To Go Visit Him This Weekend And All Is Awesome' party! :D

Anon Without A Name said...

Tink - that's wonderful, and indeed awesome :-D

Bronwyn said...

Good for Tink! Hope it goes well. I've been moving for what seems like the last eleventy-one years, so I've been in lurky-lurk mode.

Hope you get back soon, Greg. The whole thing reminds me of this casual friend of my mom's. He seemed like a nice guy and turned out to be whackadoo. She went to high school with him and in the intervening years out turns out he killed as bunch of people in creepy home invasion murders. We found out while watching FBI Files after dinner one night when I was in college. Kind of put a damper on the evening, that.

Toodles,
Bronwyn

Anonymous said...

So I am sitting here in the hallway of the theatre, making jewelry, and chattering occasionaly with my fellow Potter fans. I have officially found a coffee worse than Starbucks coffee. Cinema coffee.

This stuff is vile, even with the mountain of sugar I've poured in. Someone save me!

Anonymous said...

That was me, Tink! Silly phone wants me to stay anonymous... Let's try again! :D

P.S. This 'coffee' is still ugh-inducing.

Amy said...

I'm off to see the HP movie in a few hours too. Do you have a costume? I used to dress up for the movie premieres, when I was still an undergrad. :)

I once discovered a beverage that was possibly the equivalent of your cinema coffee: airport tea! I'm used to being given a nice little teapot of tea with a cup and milk jug when I order tea. But one night, after delayed flights, I tried to cheer myself up with a nice earl grey. What I got was a cup of hot water from the espresso machine, a paper cup of foamy milk also from the coffee machine, and a teabag on a saucer. We were stunned.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Tink - I really hope that goes well.

Everyone else - i'm certain.different establishments all specialise in making different beverages horrible badly.

And thanks for everyone wishing me a swift return home. Here's hoping.

Bronwyn said...

Koolickle juice. Mix Kool-Aid powder with 1 cup of sugar and the juice from a 1 gallon jar of pickles. It's the single most horrifying thing I've ever drunk. You can even pour the juice back in the jar and put the pickles back. Leave them for 48 hours and they absorb the Kool-Aid flavor too. Hence, Koolickle.

I will put this up against anything, possibly including urine, for disgusting drink of the moment. And it's real. You can but it in corner stores.

Toodles,
Bronwyn

Anonymous said...

Greg: Why are you awake?! The office doesn't open until 9, you should get some more rest. *frets over* But thank you for wishing me well. Considering my brother and I only really stopped talking because of the ex, and I still have several years worth of birthday and Christmas presents to give him, I think after the initial awkwardness we'll be okay. :D I am optimistic!

I am also optimistic about you wrapping things up today! It seems like a good day for things like that.

-Tink

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Bronwyn - don't think you can even get Kool Aid here. Let alone then turn it into some horrifying drink (more horrifying? It sounds pretty bad on its own).

Tink - I'm always awake early. It's just how my body clock is set. And Cam's going to come in to the office early today anyway. We need to do some work before heading out and doing the final enquiries. Then I really hope for an arrest later. Although I feel I might jinx it if I get too optimisitc!

Just read your comment on the other post - I'm so glad you got in touch with your brother and it went well. It's great to hear that. I'm sure there will be more tears and aughter when you meet up. But hopefully he'll now be there to help you on the path to being confident in yourself and your place in the world again.

thesmallhobbit said...

Tink - best wishes to you for this weekend.

John & Lestrade - virtual hugs to both of you.

They've just played Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" on the radio, which is what we all deserve - a fanfare.

Tink said...

This is the third time I'm trying to post >_< Let's hope my phone doesn't decide to eat this one too.

Greg: I will remain optimistic for both you and me! But I won't think about it too hard so I don't kind it :D

Hobbit: Thank-you! I'm excited and nervous all at once!

-Tink

Rider said...

Lestrade, get on the bike!

I know it's flat as a tack out there, but the police will know of any local racer roads. Put the bike in 4th and don't use the brakes so you have to pay attention to entry speed and apex. You'll find it concentrates the mind and improves the skills!

Then do it at night.

Unless of course you get more phone calls ...

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Rider, I have been out! But yeah, flat, high hedges with no visibilty, single lanes and large tractors... I've had a few good runs, but the last thing I want to do is join the dead flies on the front of a Massey Ferguson. It's better at night, just because you can see the lights heading for you, but it's dark so late at the moment it's not ideal.

And I hope not to be here much longer - or not alone, anyway.
, if John and the boys do come up.

Tink said...

Greg: Are they planning on coming up tonight or tomorrow, do you know? Have you talked to your B&B lady about a room for the boys? (And maybe a room with a bigger bed for you and John?)

How's the investigation going?

Amy: I wore my Hufflepuff t-shirt :D It's grey with a badger head embroidered on it, and Hufflepuff written below. Made of awesome it is. Did you wear a costume? What did you think of it? My reactions were wide and varied, but I loved it right up until the very very end. BLEH. :D

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Tink - caught him. There's a new post up. Just got to sort out loose ends. :)

Desert Wanderer said...

John, great advice! I got more words from her in a ten-minute conversation about a blog than I have in the last three days. Her daughter gave her a stuffed animal she's going to do a "Flat Stanley" type thing with. She's started a blog for the toy to document its adventures.

Lestrade, great job. You said you thought the town would have problems with the result if it was who you thought it was. Does it look that way? Hope you get back home soonest.

Greg 'Orio' M F Lestrade said...

Thanks. And yeah, he's a local lad. Everyone here was sure it would be an outsider. It will take a very long time for the community to get over it. I wouldn't be surprised if his family left the area. Very difficult to cope with someone doing something like this.

Desert Wanderer said...

Good job they had a cop with compassion and sympathy working the case then, if it had to be someone from the outside. I imagine it'd be quite a bit harder if their "interloper" were a jerk as well.

Have you gotten your vote in for what kind of ice cream needs to fill the newly-fixed fridge?

John H. D. Watson said...

DW - that's wonderful! I'm so glad. :)

(And we got him coffee ice cream.)

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