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When Wato first met Sherlock, she was an inscrutable mystery, one with an intellect well past genius and a fashion sense as eccentric as it was alluring.  She was odd, with her list of highly specific rules for cohabitation and complete lack of understanding of social cues. She didn’t hear a single thing Wato said, and ignored what she did hear.  Sherlock was by far the most difficult person Wato had ever had to deal with, and Wato had spent several months treating weary, untrusting patients in a warzone. But gradually, ever so slowly, Sherlock uncoils a bit, pushing her away while pulling her ever-closer.  It begins the morning after the Shiina sisters, when Wato wakes up not in her bed, but on the couch downstairs with vague memories of gentle hands pulling a blanket over her, tugging the tie from her hair and brushing it out. Wato would’ve dismissed the memories but for the feeling of Sherlock’s head on her blanket-covered leg and the strands of hair that fell around her face.  And when Sherlock throws an arm over Wato’s leg rather than pulling away the moment she wakes, it feels like an apology.

So Wato makes coffee at exactly 82 degrees.  She chases after Sherlock, apologising for her and holding her shoes.  She combats Sherlock’s penchant for selective deafness by finding a way to alert the woman to her presence before she starts talking.  It starts with a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder when she’s asking if she needs anything from the store. Sherlock gives her an odd look but doesn’t shake her off, and just like that it becomes their new normal.  A hand on her forearm as she passes by, a tap to her knee when she sits down on the sofa next to her, a nudge to her side—well, she’s only ever done that once. Sherlock snapped to attention, slapped at her, and told her in no uncertain terms never to do that again.  Wato doesn’t, assuming she’s overstepped one of those invisible boundaries in their relationship. As that relationship progresses, as they go from ‘she’s not my friend’ to ‘you’re my very first friend’, as they go beyond that even, Wato begins to unravel the mystery that has taunted her for so long.  Sherlock, normally so impassive, unflappable, is so easy to rile up if you know where to touch her.  And Wato is nothing if not diligent, finding the spot below her ear that makes her gasp when Wato kisses it from behind, pressing her nose to the crook of Sherlock’s neck and drawing out pleased hums with each breath that ghosts over delicate skin.  She runs her fingers through the baby hairs at the nape of her neck, presses feather-light kisses to her lips that have Sherlock burying her face in the pillows while Wato giggles above her. Getting Sherlock to melt, to tremble with need, to abandon her rigid self-control, is Wato’s greatest achievement, and she can’t help but grin each time she uses her newfound knowledge to play Sherlock just like the cello she isn’t supposed to touch.  

Some things will never change, though, like Sherlock completely zoning out when she’s researching.  Wato gets better at pulling her out of her stupor, a kiss to the back of her neck when she’s at the computer, one on the top of her head when she’s at the table.  She forgets, once, about Sherlock’s warning, nudges a gentle elbow at her side when she’s studying a case file on the couch. Sherlock stiffens, makes a noise that Wato would characterise as a squeak if it came from anyone else, and turns her wide-eyed gaze to an equally wide-eyed Wato.  Wato braces herself for irritated words, but Sherlock just says, “You surprised me,” and resumes her study of the documents. Wato’s so relieved that Sherlock isn’t cross with her that she almost doesn’t notice: Sherlock is never startled by anything. Almost. Wato furrows her brow, turns to look at Sherlock curiously.  Sherlock jumps up, mumbling something about the petals of a rare flower just as Wato opens her mouth to question her, and that was the end of it.

Sherlock has her pressed against the wall, lips grazing the shell of her ear, fingers tracing along her collarbone.  Wato lets her head fall backwards, granting Sherlock greater access to her neck and God , does she take advantage, kissing right below her ear and down her neck until Wato is having trouble keeping her legs beneath her.  Her fingers trail down Sherlock’s sides, trying to find purchase at her hips to steady herself, but Sherlock huffs against her neck, jerking slightly, and Wato draws back.

“Sherlock?” she breathes, opening her eyes.  Sherlock extricates herself from where her mouth is working magic on Wato’s collarbone, face popping up into view, and Wato swallows hard at the way Sherlock’s dark eyes bore into hers.  She’s wearing a self-satisfied smirk, one that Wato aches to kiss off her lips.

“What is it?” Sherlock husks, and just the sound of her voice, ragged and mischievous, has Wato groaning and curling her fingers deeper into Sherlock’s shirt where she’s holding it near the hem.  Rather than succumbing to Sherlock’s touch as she so desperately wants to, Wato surges forward, capturing Sherlock’s lips in her own. She hears Sherlock’s chuckle at the action, and it only cements her resolve.  Sure enough, Sherlock is melting against her moments later, all traces of her smug smile gone along with her breath. Wato toys with the hem between her fingers, with the decision before her. It would be so easy to slip her fingers beneath the fabric, and the reward for doing so…  Sherlock collects herself in the time it takes for Wato to deliberate, and Wato feels her hands being guided up and away from Sherlock’s waist, wrists pinned to either side of her head in a firm but gentle grip. She whines, but the sound is quickly lost in a moan when Sherlock returns her lips to Wato’s ear, soft puffs of breath sending sparks down her spine, and she’s gone, gone.

She has Sherlock beneath her on the bed, has her so worked up that she’s practically vibrating with need, head tipped back to let Wato at the hollow of her throat, fingers grasping at Wato’s shoulder blades.  She grazes a scar by accident, and though Wato barely notices, certainly doesn’t mind, Sherlock drops her left arm to her side immediately, keeping her fingers on the scarless side. The care that Sherlock shows, even when Wato’s driving her out of her mind, makes Wato’s heart swell, and she presses a tiny, light kiss to the expanse of flesh she has been ravishing in thanks.  Wato travels downward, and Sherlock’s hands trail up her back, burying themselves in her hair. Wato sighs in appreciation, even as Sherlock whimpers at the feeling of Wato’s tongue on her breast.  

Wato ,” she groans, so desperate that Wato almost feels bad.  Almost. Instead, she takes her sweet time, working her way down Sherlock’s ribs.  When she reaches a spot just below her ribcage, though, Sherlock lets out a breathy squeak (Wato’s sure that’s what it is this time) and tugs at her hair, urging her further down.

“Impatient,” Wato mumbles, but she’s grinning, and a quick glance up confirms that Sherlock is smiling too, right up until she feels Wato’s tongue and her back arches up off the mattress, moan echoing through the quiet of the room.

Wato comes to not with a start, as she’s grown accustomed to, but slowly, gently, waking from what must’ve been a pleasant dream to an even more pleasant reality.  Sherlock’s curled herself around Wato in their sleep, or maybe Wato wormed her way into Sherlock’s arms; either way, Wato’s head is tucked under Sherlock’s chin, face pressed into her neck, and she’s wrapped in Sherlock’s arms.  A small smile finds its way to her lips, and she closes her eyes again, snuggling deeper into the safety and comfort of Sherlock’s arms. The arm slung over Sherlock, though, is falling asleep, so she shifts slightly, moving to rest her hand on Sherlock’s side.  She settles in, moving her fingers back and forth against Sherlock’s skin where her pajama shirt has ridden up in an absentminded gesture of comfort. It seems to have to opposite effect though, as Sherlock’s muscles twitch beneath her touch and the woman begins to stir.  Wato’s peaceful morning is interrupted as Sherlock blinks awake, pulling back slightly to look Wato in the eyes. She’s biting back a smile, and she moves Wato’s hand from her side to her lips, where she can kiss her palm, the inside of her wrist. Wato flushes, Sherlock knows how that gets to her, but two can play at that game, so Wato kisses her on the very tip of her nose and waits for her to bury her face in the pillow.  She always does, and Wato murmurs a very amused, “Good morning,” to the side of Sherlock’s face. Sherlock grumbles a muffled “Morning” back, still not moving, so Wato takes the opportunity to plant a kiss squarely on the back of Sherlock’s neck, the spot where Wato curls her fingers while they’re kissing.  Just as Wato suspects, it’s enough to draw Sherlock out of her shell, and she rolls over until she’s hovering over Wato, both of them grinning.

“Gotcha,” Sherlock murmurs, eyes still half-lidded.  Wato just leans up to kiss her, sighing into her lips, and they lose themselves in the in the haze of the morning.

Wato bites her lip, trying to keep her mouth from morphing into a mischievous grin, as she watches Sherlock out of the corner of her eye from their perch on the couch.  The woman is enraptured by a book, so peaceful, so calm—Wato reaches out, lightning-quick, and ruffles her hair. Sherlock turns to her slowly, as if she can’t quite comprehend what’s just happened.  Wato can’t contain her giggles at Sherlock’s incredulous expression, fun-loving smile breaking out across her face despite her efforts to stop it.

“Why?” Sherlock asks, so adorable in her confusion, and Wato only laughs harder.

“I just wanted to see your face,” she giggles.  Sherlock tilts her head to one side, considering—and Wato is blindsided by a pillow.  She splutters, still laughing, and pinches at Sherlock’s side the way she used to do to her friends in school.  Both freeze when Sherlock squeals , curling up like a bug on its back.  Sherlock blinks rapidly, trying to come up with an excuse, a lie, anything —but Wato’s already grinning wider than Sherlock’s ever seen, glint of mischief in her eye, and the words die in her throat in favour of scrambling backwards on the couch.  Wato looks positively delighted , following her with a smug grace that reminds Sherlock of a cat stalking its prey.  

“Wato—” she starts, but Wato isn’t listening.

“Did you really think,” she purrs, and oh , Sherlock definitely isn’t getting out of this, “that I wouldn’t work it out?  I’ve been curious ever since that time you said I surprised you. Nothing ever surprises you.”  Sherlock opens her mouth to refute her, but Wato chooses that exact moment to pounce, knocking her back onto the couch cushions and digging her fingers into Sherlock’s unprotected sides.  The first thing Wato notices is that Sherlock doesn’t try to fight her, not really, just tugs at her wrists with a loose grip and squirms weakly enough that she doesn’t dislodge Wato’s hands.  The second thing Wato notices is the way Sherlock’s inscrutable expression breaks, how beautiful her joyous smile looks as opposed to the devious one she wears when they’re on a case. The third thing Wato notices is how different Sherlock’s laughter is to her usual taunting chuckle, giggly and light, carefree in a way the woman rarely is.  Wato’s fingers dance across Sherlock’s stomach, and her laughter comes bubbling out, jumping whenever Wato passes over what must be bad spots. Grinning, Wato buries her face in Sherlock’s neck, which the woman has made an easy target by throwing her head back to laugh, and presses the tiniest kisses to the skin there, sending tingles all across Sherlock’s already hypersensitive skin and down her spine.  Sherlock squeals again , a sound Wato wasn’t aware Sherlock was capable of making 5 minutes ago, and laughs out a halfhearted protest.

“Wahahahahato!  Cut it out!” Wato presses a final, tickly kiss against Sherlock’s collarbone and releases her, bouncing back against the couch with a smug grin.  

“You’re so cute,” she coos, and Sherlock can feel the heat in her cheeks despite her best efforts to remain unaffected.  Even as she denies it, Sherlock knows her words are useless.

“I’m not cute.  You’re just mean, taking advantage of me.”  Wato gasps in mock indignation.

“Me?  Mean? You didn’t even try to stop me.”  Sherlock flushes an even deeper red, and Wato grins.  “See? Adorable.” Wato barely has time to catch Sherlock’s warning growl before she’s pinned on her back on the couch, bouncing off the cushions with a yelp.  Wato squirms, butterflies fluttering in her stomach. There’s a spark of playfulness in Sherlock’s eye that has Wato scrambling to escape, biting her lip to stop herself from giggling.  She’s saved, thankfully, by Sherlock’s phone ringing, filling the loaded silence. Sherlock narrows her eyes and reaches into her pocket, flipping open the phone and holding to her ear with one hand.  

“What is it?” she answers coolly, never breaking eye contact.  Wato can hear Inspector Reimon on the other end of the line, something about a stolen snake, and Wato can tell that Sherlock is intrigued because her grip slackens a fraction.  Wato takes advantage of the lapse and breaks her hold, rolling out from under the other woman with a cry of success. Sherlock curses under her breath, and Inspector Reimon pauses on the phone.

“Is everything okay, Sherlock?”  Sherlock sits up, disgruntled.

“Yes, everything’s fine.  You said it was a python?”  Everything is, in fact, not fine.  Sherlock crosses her arms, wearing that adorable pout that she’ll deny exists, and Wato coos at her, leaning down to kiss her forehead.  She huffs in mock irritation, waving Wato off. Inspector Reimon pauses again, confusion clear.

“Are you sure you’re okay?”  Sherlock glances at Wato, meeting her eyes, and Wato smirks back, gloating.  A slow smile spreads across her face, and Wato’s eyes widen.

“I’ll have to call you back, Inspector.”  She hangs up with a click, and they regard each other for a moment, neither breaking the sudden silence.

“Run,” Sherlock says, and Wato does.