John’s day started off rather badly. He awoke at an awkward angle at the kitchen table - face down on his laptop keyboard, his arms making for a poor excuse for a pillow. “What the hell…?” he blearily questioned his own sanity as to why he had fallen asleep at the computer in the first place.
Ah, yes. Greg had called last night.
“C'mon down to the pub, John. There's a few of us here - I'll stand you the first pint.”
He had happily complied. However, standing was not something he would be doing for very long, as it turned out. He vaguely recalled being shoved into a taxi, pressed between Lestrade and Donovan, if only to keep him upright. Had the two of them brought him back to Baker Street? It would seem so. He also had a distant memory of the Yarders dumping him rather unceremoniously into his own arm chair and huffing down the steps and slamming the door behind them, Sally sounding especially irritable, whinging and muttering the whole way.
And yet, here he was, face-planted into his laptop at the table with a massive headache. What the hell had he been doing? Updating his blog? Oh, THAT would be bloody brilliant in a drunken, brain dead state.
No, that wasn't it. He struggled to think harder. He cringed at the thought of years ago when he had signed up for online dating after coming home from a pub crawl. That had been horrifying. Full stop horrifying.
John dragged the palms of his hands across his tired, achy eyes. He happened to catch a glimpse of his watch as he did so. Shit. He was going to be late for the clinic. Epically late, actually, if he didn't get a move on right NOW. He hauled his protesting carcass up, went through an abbreviated morning routine, and flew down the stairs as quickly as he could manage. The door shook on its hinges in his wake.
It was a tedious work day that certainly wasn't improved by his lingering hangover. Case after case of stomach flus, allergies, screaming babies with earaches, and the occasional self diagnosed alarmist. John shuffled home, up the stairs, and collapsed onto the sofa. He let his head fall heavily on the back of the padded upholstery and took a few deep breaths in and out. He gingerly sat back up after a bit and immediately saw his laptop. On the coffee table. Dammit. Sherlock must have used it. AGAIN. He just left it there to hibernate or to damn well run down to nothing on the battery, the rude git. Why did he even bother changing his password, he grumpily mused, savagely pounding it out onto the keys.
One of Sherlock's latest web tabs popped up to grotesque life. Oh, dear God. THAT was going to take a few nights to scrub from his nightmares. Medieval torture. Right. Note to self - Never suggest a Google search to a tall, infuriating arsehole when he doesn't GET a Monty Python sketch. That was just stupid on his own part. He should have just left to meet up with Lestrade instead of encouraging the berk to watch it with him before he headed out last night. It WAS rather miraculous that Sherlock had actually taken his suggestion, though.
“ Dammit, Sherlock! Just fucking Google it, will you? The Spanish Inquisition! Jesus! A major point in European history! What the hell else did you delete anyway?”
John hastily removed the offending search from the machine's memory and closed a few more of Sherlock's open tabs. This morning’s weather report was the last one open it seemed, when he noticed it at the bottom of the screen. There was a Google Docs file open. Confused, he clicked it and was greeted with something that made his heart lurch to the depths of his stomach sickeningly:
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
I...I would like to. I would really like to. I've wanted to for so long. Sometimes it's all I can think of how much I'd like to...just...you. And me. We. I'd like to. To slowly, over and over. I'd like to by the fire light. I'd like to on the table where we take our tea. Just softly. I'd like to. Just we. I'd like to. To gently...if you let me. Deeply. To just...mmmm. To hear it spoken softly. To say...to say...softly. I'd like to. I'd like to give...and take. To yes oh god yes. I'd like to. Would you. Would you like to?
John Hamish Watson-”
*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***
What. The. Fuck.
John nearly dropped the laptop as if it had been dipped in bubonic plague. Did HE write this? Or better yet, WHY did he write this? What was all this “I'd like to???” And addressed to Sherlock? It was as if someone had hijacked his brain, held it at gunpoint, and forced him to type out THAT. That absolutely ridiculous, contrived and somewhat incoherent drivel.
John had to get out. Out of the sitting room, out of the flat, and breathe for a bit.
When he returned, the sitting room seemed a bit less stifling. A fire danced merrily in the fireplace and shadows flitted coyly across the Victorian wallpaper. On the negative side, it now contained a very confusing, lanky detective. Just sitting there. Or rather lying there on the couch, arms folded across his chest, hands together as if in prayer under his chin, a piece of folded paper held between them. John was paralyzed with a sudden realization. Sherlock had used his computer last night AND this morning, as the evidence of the tabs suggested. Had he SEEN the letter?
John still didn't understand what the hell he had been thinking. He remembered being in the center of a group of officers huddled around him, lamenting about Sherlock last night. They wanted more horror stories and by God, he hit them with the most appalling antics Sherlock had pulled as of late. One new, young constable nearly got her head handed to her by the pack when she shyly declared how handsome she thought Sherlock was and how distracting that would be to live with. If she only knew what came with that pretty package, he caught himself thinking. What? Pretty??
Sherlock had definitely been on his mind.
But how did it morph into the languid and almost sensual tone the letter took? John didn't see the his flatmate like that. How could he? This was Sherlock, for Christ’s sake. Good lord, DID he? John knew their relationship was more than a simple friendship. It always had been. Sherlock was his best friend, flatmate, the one that understood how he ticked, pushed his buttons, the life in his life. There wasn't anything John wouldn't or hadn't already done for him. In addition, the man looked revoltingly gorgeous in the modish clothes he swanned about in. The coat, the cheekbones. Even HE had to admit that.
But that letter was about need. And want. Softness. Desire. Is that what his drunken lizard brain was trying to get him to see? Oh,come off it , he crossly berated himself. Sherlock didn't do those things. Feel those things. He'd be repulsed by the very idea. John was stunned by fact that that made him feel sad. Sad and very alone.
Well, not really alone, seeing how the subject in question was actually in the room at the moment. Sherlock hadn't moved or even acknowledged that John had come home and was sitting right across the room from him. He was probably completely focused on redecorating some new niche in his Mind Palace.
John stole a glance over to the Study in Concentration. Sherlock's eyes were closed and John took a moment to gaze at him appraisingly without his knowledge. Shit. He sighed almost wistfully. Why this now? He had been comfortable here. It was home. He finally belonged somewhere. John slumped further down into his chair and hung his head in abject resignation. The letter was true and he now knew it. He wanted Sherlock. That sounded so foreign in his head, but it was real. One thing was for certain - it would ruin everything.
John was torn from his miserable reverie when out of nowhere, Sherlock's body startled, then flinched, and his eyes flew open.
“Yes,” he murmured.
John reflexively jumped at the sudden noise.
“Ah, John. How long have you been home?”
Sherlock rumbled with that impossibly rich baritone register of his.
God. Even THAT was a siren call to him now. John squirmed uncomfortably in his seat. If he was perfectly honest with himself, it always had been. It lured him in, pulling him alongside the perpetually moving whirlwind known as Sherlock Holmes into impossible situations of his own volition. John pinched the bridge of his nose dejectedly and shook his head. This was going to be hopeless. He wouldn't be able to stand it, now that he knew- being so close, and yet so far from Sherlock. He was going to have to move out to distance himself from all this. Just the idea of that made him actually feel nauseated.
Sherlock yawned and stretched his whip-like body out like a lounging cat. All he needed to complete the image was a swishing tail and twitchy whiskers. He sat up and turned that cerulean feline stare on John expectantly.
“I've been home for about an hour now, not that you noticed,” John started techily. Almost out of habit, he lifted his body up, slowly plodded into the kitchen, and started the kettle. Tea had always been John's remedy of choice for anything unsettling. He absently set out two mugs and went to the business of brewing tea for the both of them.
“I was occupied,” Sherlock purred from the other room. More cat comparisons. Stupid brain.
John brought both of the steaming mugs into the sitting room and placed one in front of the other man. The paper that Sherlock had been holding between his palms was now unfolded on the coffee table. John picked it up and carelessly inspected it.
Immediately, he felt as though he had been punched in the solar plexus. It was the letter. THE letter.
The confounded arse had printed it out. Oh, he had seen it alright.
It was signed. Signed with his own cramped signature.
“Where did you get this?” John defensively shot at him.
Sherlock continued to appraise him searchingly. “I found it in my violin case this morning,” he countered calmly.
John was floored. HE himself had left it and left it in the most convenient place for the one person who NEVER should have seen his pathetic ramblings. He dropped heavily back into the chair. That would be that, he mournfully lamented. He again hung his head, both hands foolishly hiding his eyes from Sherlock's.
John heard the rustling of cloth and thump of the table as he presumed Sherlock was rising and stepping on and over the table in an effrontery manner. Through the slits between his fingers, he could see that the tall, looming figure had stopped right in front of him.
“You know how I loathe to repeat myself. I said YES.”
Sherlock was still standing there. John cautiously raised his head a little.
“Yes, what ?, Sherlock. I'm really not feeling all that well right now, just tell me,“ John weakly began, as he looked up at him further.
“I did tell you,” Sherlock all but growled at him. “Yes to ALL those things. YES.”
John could physically feel the confusion on his own face as he helplessly goggled with his mouth hanging slightly open.
With a huff of irritation, Sherlock lunged down right into that face, grabbed his shoulders roughly, and with no finesse whatsoever, crushed his lips to John's. John, startled beyond belief, reared back and Sherlock chased and followed, towering over him, effectively pinning him to the chair.
John didn't, no, couldn't think, and instinctively thrust his hands into the dark, tangled mass of curls above him and let Sherlock invade his mouth. The flick of the tongue across the seam of his mouth was indescribably mesmerizing and John automatically opened it for more. Their tongues and lips clashed, sliding over and around each other madly; probing and teasing as he could feel his heart racing inside his chest. The taste of him, flooding his mouth, and the spicy, clean smell of Sherlock's skin from the vee of his poncy designer shirt was utterly intoxicating. The kiss was clumsy and artless, but visceral and shockingly intense. John's faintly working brain distantly reckoned that he could never get enough of that feeling. He slid his hands blindly down the long, supple back beneath his fingers and hauled him in closer. A knee came between John's thighs as Sherlock regained his balance and pressed the advantage of leverage.
Sherlock began to haltingly grind out words between strokes and slides of his mouth on John's and down the sides of his deliciously short neck. He punctuated the words with almost an assault to John's skin.
“You wanted firelight, it is lit and roaring,” (An open mouthed bite across John's strap-like sternocleidomastoid muscle.) “The table, the give and take.” (A suck and a tantalizing swirl to the skin along the carotid artery.) “All of it, yes. Why did it take you so long?” Sherlock growled again, low and menacing, as John tipped his head back helplessly to give him further access.
John closed his eyes and an embarrassingly loud moan made its way from his lips.
“I'm an idiot, S-sherlock. I didn't know. N-not until just now…”
John stopped for a moment, breathed deeply, and pushed himself away. He thrust himself petulantly to his feet, dragging Sherlock in a standing position with him.
“How long have YOU known?”, he stared incredulously up at the detective, inches apart, and took him in: kiss-flushed, lips swollen and slightly parted, panting, hair disheveled. He had never imagined that Sherlock could even look like that. Would ever WANT to, and no less that HE himself had made it happen.
Sherlock dipped back down to gently lap with the tip of his tongue at the sensitive spot behind John's ear he had discovered on the journey downwards to the heat of John's open shirt.
“Obvious. I've always known. You ARE an idiot.” Sherlock's voice was muffled with the attention it was giving the spot that John never even knew he had.
John's eyes flew open in protest.
Sherlock chuckled darkly as he made his way back up towards John's needy mouth. He paused a moment and rested their foreheads together.
“You are an irreplaceable and engaging idiot. I had hoped you would have reached this conclusion sooner, but you were worth the boredom of waiting for.”
Sherlock barely brushed his lips across John's and then met his dark blue eyes. “Now, I'd like to. Gently, slowly,” Each word was accented with a soft and increasingly insistent kiss.
John wrapped his arms around Sherlock's slim waist, and pulled him flush against his own body. Both men groaned in heady approval.
“Just we,” John murmured back. “Oh, God, yes.”