Most of the works recced here date back to 2012 or before, as RL now leaves me less time to read and review. So I'm seeing this either as a starting point for someone new to the ship, who'd like a survey of that terra incognita, or as a nostalgic trip for those of us who saw the black-and-silver ship launch off on LiveJournal but have lost their link to That Scrumptious Anon Fill, You Know, Back On Part 6 of the Kinkmeme, Unless It Was Part 10. Or Wait, 19.
I've tried to sort them out by themes and genres, though of course there are authors who like to blur frontiers. Most of the stuff recced here is slash; some works, however, are gen and focus on Lestrade and Sherlock as friends or surrogate father and son. A few are flagged as WIPs. (If you spot any referencing mistake, please feel free to comment or PM me.)
Ratings: apart from the PWP section, all fics not indicated as such are under NC-17. Unless indicated otherwise, all fanarts are safe for work.
In a spirit of logical follow-through worthy of our detecting lovebirds, all new recs will be preceded by the mention NEW.
- On AO3, where most fics are posted here (you can also check the "sherstrade" tag).
- On LiveJournal, sherlestrade is a community devoted exclusively to this ship. Also check dilestrade for Lestrade-centered fanworks. You can also check the Sherlock/Lestrade tag on sherlockbbc, the main Sherlock community, here.
- Tumblr hosts much art for this ship, as well as fics, Omegle RPs, recs and communities focusing on rarepairs. Specific communities are Reasonstoshipsherstrade and Fuckyeahsherlocklestrade, or you can simply check out the sherstrade tag.
I. Domestic bliss (fluff and humor):
The Jewish!Lestrade 'verse by Ariadne_string on AO3. A beautiful series of stories in which Lestrade is Jewish and Sherlock comes to meet his family, I'm reccing it in this category because the last fics produce a warm and welcome feeling of domestic happiness, And the writing is constantly rewarding,
In Bloom by anon. Tender post-Hiatus reunion scene, written as a 221b.
Sunday Story by anon. Sunday domestic bliss.
Hair Cut by anon. Greg gives a certain junkie a haircut.
Grey by think_pink. Sherlock worships Lestrade's hair.
Cut your Hair by Pocketbookangel. Sherlock pretends not to worship Lestrade's hair. Post-Hiatus, minor spoiler for S3 if you haven't seen the trailer. Don't skip the second chapter, in which happiness becomes strongly coffee-flavoured.
And my souvenir for the night was a nice ambulance blanket by anon. Gen/friendship. A weary Lestrade gets himself home at the end of ASIB.
Shift by Sparkle_free. John claims a life for himself and Sherlock gets cranky. But there's still the work. And then, there's Geoffrey Lestrade. (Well, yes, this was written before S2. You should still give it a go, if only because it contains one of the best Sherlockian definitions for love I've come across.)
Yell into the Wishing Well by anon. The boys go on summer vacation together.
Untitled. Everyone is born with their soulmate's name on their hand.
In Short by Ficcy_Fics. Life is often written between the lines. One of my favourites - sober, subtle, meaningful.
Crime Scene Salad and Paper Chase by List_of_Lists. Respectively, Sherlock whips up a crime salad and Lestrade lays down a paper chase. (A sample selection, as many of List's fics celebrate domestic fluff. If you haven't read them yet, check her Masterlist.)
I Come to Find A Refuge (gen/friendship). John gets married, Greg gets divorced. John moves out, Greg moves in.
I'm Not Done With You (gen/friendship). Lestrade looking after Sherlock, gen cuddling.
The Comfort of a Bed (anonfill). Instead of Irene Adler, Greg ends up in Sherlock's bed.
The Water and the Sky by aceofhearts61. Asexual!Sherlock and Lestrade share a homecoming. Tender and peaceful.
Dressing-Gowns. Adorable art gift from teabeforewar. (Wish she'd come back and draw more Sherstrade... eh, a girl can dream!)
Muffin baking by Geniusbee. Sherlock learns - from the best - the best way to a man's heart. Hilarious.
Untitled by Flyingpoisson. With a puppy, a television set, and a...oops, spoilers!
I know, I know, most of us prefer to see Greg as our everyday rugged saint. Still, now and then, his dark counterpart provides a delicious frisson. While not all fics feature Sherstrade as the pairing, the Sherlock-Lestrade angle is what drew me to them.
a) The "ouch!" fics
Chameleon by Impishtubist. Lestrade has a secret that no one, not even Sherlock, has guessed. Lestrade/Moriarty, warning for torture. My favorite black swan among Imp's flock of gems.
For Your Health by Tawabids. There's a price to pay if Sherlock wants to consult Lestrade. Warning for dubcon. Brilliant dialogue - Lestrade's voice is eerily IC here.
Deliver Me From Darkness. Anon fill on the kinkmeme. When the voices become too strong, Greg calls Sherlock. Dark!S/J/L gen. A deliciously twisted version of 221B domesticity.
b) The "not ouch!" fics (if you read to the end)
In Darkness, Light by Kryptaria. When Greg confesses to being a serial killer, John doesn't know how to react. Sherlock, however... The one which totally took me by surprise. Begins as S/J, ends as...hmm, I'll just let you read it!
Dark eyes (my title for this anon fill). Probably the most original take on dark!Lestrade I've read yet. I can't say too much here, except it involves Mycroft and Mummy too and the relationship between Lestrade and Sherlock is more on the paternal side. What I will say is: yes, it's a horror story with disturbing themes. But it's the only horror story in this fandom that leaves me with cuddly feelings!
c) The one that actually made me laugh
Moonlight Sonata in Bone by Iocane (Mystrade). When it comes to keeping Sherlock safe, there's nothing protective!Greg won't do.
a) "Ordinary World" AUs
Barista!Sherlock and Lestrade, adorable fanart by 900.
Western AU fanart by Geniusbee.
Debrief by Flyingpoisson/Eloquy: Intelligence Service!Sherlock debriefing French Resistance!Lestrade.
Veridicality, or the Truth Behind the Perfect Coffee. Gen, another take on barista!Sherlock and Lestrade. Funny and quite IC.
Millefeuille by Imriebelow. The author calls it "a combination of romance and dessert". I call it an irresistible mix. Baker!Sherlock and DI Greg.
A Place Under Canvas, anon fill for the meme. Circus AU. Unfinished, but contains some sweet interaction between fire-breather!Greg and fortune teller!Sherlock.
b) Magical/Fantasy AUs
NEW Sherlock and the Queen of Winter by Pocketbookangel. Rescuing humans who have been stolen by fairies is the part of Lestrade's job that Sherlock doesn't know about. A delightful AU brimming with literary winks and sweet touches of humour, poetry and romance. Better not read the tags, or you'll be spoiled about the ending...
Dreams of the Heart by List_of_Lists. Sherlock has always had the dreams. One day, Lestrade appears in them. Also check the two following by the same author, to whom we also owe...
The Vernet 'verse. Sherlock is actually a robot inspired and constructed by Mycroft Holmes's younger brother, Vernet, in his own image. I'm still calling it a Sherstrade series since Vernet is another version of Sherlock, or vice versa. Strange, poignant, original, and a 'verse worth discovering if you've missed it.
Entertaining Angels Unawares: mentioned here with List's permission, as this is her nearly-finished fill for the kinkmeme. Sherlock is Greg's guardian angel, who does not hesitate to mess with heavenly rules as he gets closer to his charge. A multi-chaptered fic, posted as a WIP so you may have to navigate a bit between the threads, but it includes some nice cameo vignettes on Sherlock's prior angelic career.
List's many fantasy/magical AUs for her OTP include a vampire series; they can all be found on her Masterlist.
Beyond the Stars by Impishtubist. Space AU, contains some angst but read to the end. Also, I love her take on Mycroft here.
Robot AU, untitled, by Eloquy/Flyingpoisson. One of my favourite angsty fics, in which they're both robots who have stopped being robotic around each other. Warning for potential character death.
In the Invisible There Are Friends, anon fill for the meme. All characters have invisible animal spirits/guides. John is the only one who can see them. Focused on John's POV, but the pairing is Sherstrade.
The Devil He Knows by Delphi. An oldie, a crossover with Pet Shop of Horrors. There's a simple reason why Lestrade's preference goes to Sherlock. Unusual.
Crane Wife AU, inspired by the Decembrists' song "Crane Wife 3" which re-tells a Japanese folktale: Fanart by Geniusbee, Companion fic by Killerweasel. While the folktale and song do not have a happy ending, the fic, much to my relief, provides a beautiful fix-it.
Omegaverse 1, slash: Rosy-Minded Fuzz. Both hilarious and oddly endearing. Omega!Sherlock experimenting for science.
Omegaverse 2, gen: Unexpected, anon fill for the meme. Gen, paternal!Lestrade going into BAMFy protective mode when Sherlock goes into heat on a crime scene. Left me unexpectedly warm and fuzzy.
The easiest answer to the sherstraders' "what-do-we-do-with-John" conundrum...as long as Lestrade doesn't end up playing third wheel to Johnlock.
The Top-Secret LiveJournal of Sherlock Holmes by Malacophilous. NC-17. Extreme crackiness. Sherlock sounds like Bertie Wooster at times, but the witty, zippy naughtiness still makes me laugh like whoa.
The Road Drive series by stupid_drawings. Unrequited S/J, S/J/L bromance. Well-paced and often hilarious. I tend to focus on the first three eps, in which Sherlock and John come to bond with Greg over the miles, but the last one is worth a go, despite Lestrade's absence.
Not Your Average Romance by Thirdbird. Starts as John/Greg + asexual!Sherlock, ends in J/L/S. I wasn't expecting the shift, but Thirdbird's style makes it both credible and endearing. The Sherlock-Greg angle is showcased in parts 3, 4 and 8.
b) Romance, fluff, light h/c
Anonymous kinkmeme fill. Sherlock deducing aloud for John why Lestrade is so cuddly and huggable. The fill too is huggable.
Sleep by plain_jane08. Spooning and cuddling in bed.
White Blank Page by Linguini17. Relationships are not just about sex. With a lovely final peep at their retirement years in Greg's native West Country.
A Strange and Abundant Love by aceofhearts61 (asexual!Sherlock/straight!John/straight!L
Also check The Boat by the same author. A serene boat trip as their retirement years loom up.
Tale of Two Christmases by Fengirl88. Two 221b ficlets. Hearwarming.
Tangle by anon. John and Greg take care of a sick Sherlock.
The Seventh Floor by sparkle_free. Zombie fic, but the focus is less on the zombies and more on Sherlock and John's rescue of Greg, and their mutual bonding as they strive to survive. L/J, S/J, L-S bromance. One of my all-time favourites.
Blanket fic by anon. Cuddling under a blanket to fight hypothermia.
The Space Between Us by pushingcrazies. The boys comfort one another after a bad case. With a nice cameo appearance by Sally.
Knock Three Times by anon. The three of them raising a child together. This one always makes me smile.
Crossing the Rubicon by Mellyina. They are London, each in their different way. Poetic and heartwarming.
Bow-Chica-Wow-Wow by Stickstockstone. Poor Lestrade's sufferings when he has to call on 221B in the heart of summer and finds Sherlock and John sauntering half-naked because of the heat.
Give an Inch and They'll Take a Mile by Strangegibbon and TSylvestris. Part of a two-third triptych. The boys focus on making Greg come undone and, in the process, grasp how important he is to them. Wonderful mix of hot and caring.
D/D/s fill on the meme. John and Greg bond in domming Sherlock. I can only read D/s if I feel the care and focus on the sub, and it really comes across here, as do John and Greg's trust and warmth with each other.
Self Service by Calico. Dreamfic, double penetration. A starker fic, as the dream hints much about Greg's self-esteem issues, but I see the ending as an opening, not a vicious circle.
Still Alive for You, Love by Brighteyed_jill. Greg and John demonstrate their displeasure after Sherlock has rushed into danger once more. I like the back-and-forth structure here.
Drawn into the Shallows by Scribble55178. Lestrade, John and Sherlock compare scars a la Jaws. No crack, and a moving conclusion.
The Case of the Unexpected Guest by Thirdbird. Greg asks John and Sherlock to take care of a bird for a case. A dash of whumped!Greg, and Mrs Hudson at her zany best.
The Sofie Series by Morganstuart (scroll down her Masterlist to find it). I'd advise to read the two fics cited as prequels too. Written before S2, when "the pool explodes" was still a tantalizing trope. Lestrade takes care of Sherlock and John after the aftermath of the Great Game, and all three bond in friendship and their common love for Lestrade's daughter, Sofie. One of my favorite kid!verse with Imp's Winter Child.
Also check her The Day the Music Lived, in which the boys celebrate Buddy Holly with Mrs Hudson.
e) Focusing on whumped!Lestrade, also check the warnings for potential graphic violence
Meatball Surgery by Kelincihutan. Gen, angst and some gory details, but no character death. Moriarty has left the key to a bomb inside Greg. Who learns a few surprising truths while Sherlock is holding him still for John to retrieve the package.
Missing in Acton by Wastingyourgum. A classic, this one, but I like it too much not to mention it here. I tend to skip to the comforting, but the whole fic is worth reading, if only for Greg being his stoic human self.
The Family You Chose by Pagination. Overlapping with both romance and humour. Greg finds that he's loved and wanted, and we rejoice with him.
Collide by crocodile_eatu. Unfinished, sadly, but an interesting take on John and Sherlock trying to rescue Greg from an abusive relationship.
f) Post-Reichenbach threesomes:
Post-Reichenbach Lestrade by Geniusbee. Art, gen/bromance. Not quite sure this belongs here, but it has John comforting Lestrade (sort of) while they both grieve for Sherlock, so...
Three Minus One (anonfill). S/J/L established relationship before the Fall. Greg and John trying to deal with the aftermath.
Variation on a Theme Impishtubist. The boys before and after Reichenbach. My favorite "realistic" take on their post-Hiatus reunion.
The Adventure of the Resurrected Lover by azriona. Written as a sequel to Fennishjournal's Rites of Passage, but can also be read on its own. While Fennishjournal's fic deals more with the L/J angle, this sequel turns the focus on the Sherlock and Lestrade (though John is not neglected), and I love the clever echoes between the casefic and the boys' emotions as they sort out their post-Reichenbach issues.
Never-made-it, almost-made-it-but, made-and-marred-it, made-it-and-had-to-leave fics. Melancholy songs for rainy days, but you can always invent a fix-it sequel in your head. (I know I do.)
The Fortunate Rival by second_skin. My favorite "enter John, exit Greg" ficlet.
Four Things Mycroft Didn't Know About Lestrade (And One He Did). Greg pines. Mycroft watches. Mystrade, except not quite. Subtle and sad.
Past and Present by Yalubyutebya. John discovers that Sherlock and Greg were married once. What I like here is that the two of them remember and respect their past relationship even though it's over. If you want a fix-it epilogue, nox_candida wrote one here.
Coffee by fengirl88. The winning aroma of nostalgia in all of 221 words. One of my favorites.
Intimacy by thinkpink20. Sherlock arranges a date with Greg. Then stands him up. (You wouldn't believe how many times I've a) reread this, b) withstood the urge to beg the author on my knees for a sequel!)
D/s anonfill for the meme. In a world where everyone is an acknowledged Dom or sub, Sherlock struggles with his needs. Stark and moving.
Because the Night by fengirl88, NC-17. Greg still remembers his first lover. Sherlock is more upset than he lets on. This one actually has a hopeful ending!
Spot-on fanvids with gorgeous music: The Last Night by VoteSaxonPresents, My Skin by JDcation and Breathless by MonstersInside (potential happy ending?).
In which humour carries the day, the boys romp about, laugh, enjoy life together, and absurdity is all fine as long as there's no unhappy ending in sight.
Lestrade takes John and Sherlock along for a car chase by anon. Background S/L.
Lestrade takes Mrs Hudson home by anon. Mrs Hudson happens to be a) drunk as a skunk, and b) quite the matchmaker in her cups. Warning for language.
Endearing!Drunk!Sherlock and Lestrade by anon. Scroll all the way down to “Toaster! Opiekacz!” and its two sequels. Sherlock's drunken mad revels end in a touching claim on Greg. Adorable.
Untitled by anon. Sherlock needs to sort his semantics (S/L, PWP-ish).
Untitled by anon. Sherlock decides to woo Lestrade properly, with a little help from the Internet. Sweet and humorous.
Spring Rain by Second_skin. Spring has come, and Sherlock needs an urgent consultation with John. Short, but hilarious.
Date by Deviant_Planet, art. The boys at Disneyland.
The Gants Hill Variation by R_scribbes, PWP, humour. Greg finds the perfect way to help Sherlock overcome his issues with sex.
Found Out by Kalypso_v. The boys find out about fanfiction.
Simplicity by Chocolate_limes. Mycroft finds Sherlock's flurry of new texts highly suspicious.
Prince Charming by Fengirl88. It's Lestrade's birthday and Sherlock has a surprise for him. Greg and the Roaring 80es, who'd ask for more?
Kindle with Fire, or Snowballing by Grassle. Greg and Sherlock romping in the snow. You'll love the tender hopeful epilogue.
On the Market by List_of_Lists. Greg's divorce becomes official and the Multiverse enters collective "catch-him-if-you-can" hysteria. Both sweet and funny.
Kissing in the Rain by List_of_Lists. Lovely cameo of the boys playing in the rain.
The Livefeed by Thegirlwhohuggedatrain. Drunk!Sherlock live-tweets his bed antics with Greg. Unashamed, delicious crack.
The Match by anon. John drags Sherlock to the Spods vs Plods rugby match. Lestrade captains the Plods. Sherlock, contrary to all expectations, isn't bored.
Untitled by anon. Lestrade has to carry Sherlock to a safe place. Sherlock is being adamant about oysters, beetroots and a few other essential truths.
Sophisticated as Hell by anon. Gen/crack. Mycroft once made Lestrade the same offer he made John in ASIB. Lestrade followed Sherlock's advice and said yes.
Cinematicreality's paternal Lestrade-and-Sherlock fics can be found on her FFnet profile here. They make up a poignant, hopeful, beautiful verse, one in which Greg's sorrow at his own incapacity to have children is compensated when he discovers Sherlock; gives him much-needed love and help, and finds that he is repaid in affection. The 'verse stops before Sherlock's return, so let us hope S3 will encourage the author to further it!
Paper Weights by softly_smile: Sherlock gets Lestrade a gift for Father's Day.
If You Must by heretherebefic: ditto.
Beautiful Boy by Notluvulongtime. Set during the Hiatus. Notluvulongtime's montages always impress me, and the accompanying fic hits the right note of pride, despair and longing for Lestrade. (Happy ending. Sshhhh.)
Milk by anon: Sherlock, Lestrade, milk. Perhaps my favourite take on nurturing!Lestrade.
Friends and Family by Laurtew: Sherlock accidentally calls Lestrade "Dad" on a crime scene. Written to fill a prompt of mine on the kinkmeme that also spawned the following 'verse:
The Father's Day 'Verse by List_of_List: Biology aside, Lestrade might as well be Sherlock's father. Rot-your-teeth fluff, excellent reading for bit-not-good days.
A Word to the Wise: Anonfill for the meme. Once in a while, Sherlock needs to consult Lestrade.
The Good Father Series by Morganstuart: crossover with The Professionals, but you don't need to know this show to relish the wistfulness, fluff and final catharsis here. Morganstuart is one of my favourite authors and this series is a beautiful sample of her talent.
Scarborough Fair (anonfill): Lestrade sings Sherlock to sleep. Adorable.
Winter Child by Impishtubist and Canonisrelative. A well-known and well-loved 'verse. Sherlock and John find that they're ready to start a family - one that includes Lestrade irreversibly as the years pass and the true nature of his relationship with Sherlock is revealed.
Impishtubist also has a number of excellent paternal-Lestrade-and-Sherlock stories on her Masterlist.
Basaltgrrl's illustrations for Winter Child can be found here, including several wonderful takes on "Lestrade comforts Sherlock".
Lestrade meets kid!Sherlock by bennai. Sweet.
Consulting Five-Year Olds by IamnotAlyanna. Adorable.
Constable Holmes by Johanirae. Grin-inducing.
Fanart by pencilfish: Sherlock sleeping in Lestrade's arms. (Could be slashy, but I tend to see it as gen.) Lovely.
Guardian angel!Greg by lovelynobodyOO.
No Daddykink, no chan or de-aging: Greg and Sherlock are together, and Greg has a child/children of his own.
Hot and Cold by anonykink. Sherlock goes with Lestrade and his daughter to a carnival. Everything is going well until Lestrade buys ice cream.
In Which Lestrade Gets a New Partner, and so does Sherlock by second_skin: Sherlock and Greg's daughter learn to put aside their quarrels as Christmas looms up with a new case. I love the snarky exchanges between Sherlock and young Rosie, who gives as good as she gets.
Single Father by Annella. Greg has had to cancel a date and Sherlock wants to know why.
Anonfill for the meme: Sherlock, Greg and Adam, Greg's son. Compromises can always be reached where there is love.
Through the Fire by Impishtubist: Greg and Sherlock will raise Lestrade's child together.
Tipping the Scales by Engel-caine. Greg and Sherlock getting together. Lestrade has two children, Yves and Léa, who appear in the latter parts.
And now for something slightly different...
Improbably by drachenmina: Greg gets Sherlock preggers. Mycroft is not amused.On to part II: Hurt/Comfort, Whump, Casefics, PWPs, The Oldies and The Stormverse