“You’re still here?”
John looked up to find Sarah standing the doorway.
“Yeah, I was behind on some of my charting. Figured now was as good a time as any.” He sighed, leaning back in his chair, stretching his back. It was late afternoon – early evening on Friday, and his last patient had left nearly two hours before. “And you’re still here; you know what they say about glass houses.”
“Hey, I’m not here by choice. Drew’s picking me up, and he’s always late.”
“Oh that’s right, you’re meeting his parents this weekend, aren’t you?”
“Uuuhh, don’t remind me.” Sarah groaned, flopping down across from John. “Drew’s so great, and I really don’t want to screw this up.”
“Please, they’re going to love you. Smart, pretty doctor, you’re who parents try to force on their children.” John grinned. He had been treated to her popping in and out of his office all week, asking what he thought she should or shouldn’t talk about like she was sixteen years old. “Even if they don’t, I don’t think there’s anything they could say to change Drew’s mind, he’s nuts for you.”
“God I hope you’re right.” Sarah smiled. “So, do you have any plans for the weekend? Doing anything fun for the holiday?”
“Not really, no. I might give Harry a call, see how she’s doing.” He wasn’t going to call Harry. The last time he caught her sober, she yelled at him for not trying hard enough to convince Clara to take her back, as if it were his fault she couldn’t make things work with her wife.
“Well, if you have nothing concrete, you could always –”
John interrupted her before she could finish. “Sarah, don’t.” Ever since their lunch, she had been trying to get John to reach out to Sherlock.
“What can I say, I just want you to be as blissfully happy as I am.”
“Oh if only it were that easy.”
“You’ll never know if you don’t try.” Sarah said in a sing-song voice as she got up and headed for the door again. “I’m just going to go call Drew and get an ETA. Think about what I said!”
“Have a good weekend, and don’t piss off his mum!” John called after her. In truth, he hadn’t given up on Sherlock, he just didn’t know how to get him back – if he was ever John’s in the first place. He had come up with scenario after scenario, each more ridiculous than the next, but none of them made sense, and none of them could actually get Sherlock to forgive him. And the more time that passed, the less likely he’d ever get another shot with Sherlock, he didn’t know what to do.
John stayed at the clinic for another half hour before finally giving up, and headed home to his perpetually empty, depressing little flat
He had just turned the corner onto his street when he stopped dead in his tracks, because there sitting on the steps directly in front of his building was Sherlock. It couldn’t be him, there was no way that Sherlock Holmes was sitting and waiting in front of John’s building. John’s misery had finally gotten the better of him, and his mind and eyes were in cahoots and decided to play cruel trick. But just then, Sherlock turned and there was no mistaking those dark curls, or those focused blue-green eyes that seem to hold John and not let go. Not a hallucination then.
“John, you’re… you’re here.” Sherlock stuttered, jumping up as John approached slowly. “I, I thought maybe I’d missed you, or I’d gotten the wrong place.”
John had to remind himself to breathe. In the two weeks since he’d last seen him, John actually managed to forget how gorgeous Sherlock was. His cheeks were pink thanks to the cold February air, which only highlighted those sharp cheekbones. His full lips looked redder, as if he had been biting them. His eyes were bright and clear, but also nervous. And his clothes; when before he’d only seen Sherlock in club attire, or his pajamas – or nothing at all – now John could see Sherlock wore a spotless, perfectly tailored suit beneath his long wool coat. An aubergine shirt stretched across his chest, his trousers hugged his narrow hips and fell in a clean line down his long legs, and the suit jacket fit perfectly to show off his trim waist. Sherlock looked like he belonged on a catwalk, or in a museum behind velvet ropes, not standing on the dirty, wet pavement outside of John’s flat.
“What are you doing here, Sherlock?” John asked once he’d finally found his voice again.
“Waiting for you.”
“Well I figured you weren’t here to see Mr. Banarji.” John said when a thought suddenly struck him. “Wait, there wasn’t some crime was there? I’m not a suspect am I?”
“Did you commit a crime?” Sherlock asked, sounding taken aback.
“No, none that I’m aware of.” John smirked. ‘Stop, Stop flirting now. This will only end in further misery’ he told himself.
Sherlock smiled back. “Then no, you’re not a suspect in anything.”
Oh this was not going to end well for him, John knew it; that smile, it… did things to him.
“I’m sorry, not that it’s not nice to see you again,” John said after the silence between them began to stretch, “but what exactly are you doing here?”
“Yes, right, that.” Sherlock blushed, though it was probably just a result of being outside. “You left this at my flat. I thought you might be needing it back… given the time of year.” He fumbled a bit reaching into his coat pocket and produced a length of dark grey fabric.
Ah, of course, Sherlock was just returning his scarf. He probably didn’t want the reminder of John sitting around. After everything that happened when they last saw each other, John couldn’t really expect any more. Hell, he was lucky he was even getting the scarf back; Sherlock easily could have binned it. It was great. It was fine. He could deal with it.
“Oh, I’ve been wondering what happened to this.” John said through what he was sure was the most forced smile to ever cross his face. “Thanks for bringing it by. You, ah, you didn’t have to do that. Pretty sure the post would’ve been easier for you.” He tried to laugh.
“I could have.” Sherlock said quietly, his shoulders seeming to sag a bit as he said it. “But you can’t trust the post these days, I didn’t want it to get lost, and…”
John’s heart rate sped up; he had to force himself to swallow down the hope he felt rise in his chest. “And?” he prompted.
Sherlock just shook his head. “Nothing, never mind, I should probably be going.”
John watched Sherlock walk away for a few seconds before his brain finally kicked in. He couldn’t let this happen, this is what he’d been waiting for and he couldn’t let even the slightest possibility of a second change slip through his fingers.
And before the words were even out of John’s mouth, Sherlock’s head had jerked up and he had turned to face John again. “Yeah?” He breathed; his eyes wide, almost hopeful.
“You didn’t come by just to return my scarf, did you?”
“No… no I didn’t. There may have been something else.”
“You might as well come in, it’s cold out here.” John said, holding open the front door to his building for Sherlock to walk through. . ‘Please God let me be right about this’ he thought. The walk down the short hallway to his flat had never seemed longer.
“So, why’d you really come?” He asked, turning to face Sherlock once they were safely inside his cheap little combination sitting room – bedroom – dining room.
“Well I did want you to get your scarf back,” Sherlock said weakly, not looking John in the face as he spoke, “but that was more of an excuse.”
“And the real reason is…”
“I… I wanted to apologize for the way I acted.” Sherlock sniffed, lifting his head and looking just over John’s shoulder. “I said things I shouldn’t have, that I didn’t mean, and I never should have touched your phone.”
“No, you probably shouldn’t have.” John mumbled, unable to suppress the small smile working its way on to his face.
“In my defense, and I’m not trying to excuse my actions,” Sherlock added quickly, “I never intended to read your messages. I was already looking and had read it before I realized what I was doing. That doesn’t change the fact that I did it, but I am sorry.”
John had been so desperate for a way to make things right between them, wishing for a second chance, and now Sherlock Holmes was standing in his flat, apologizing. John could hardly believe the fates would allow him this. If he was careful, he could actually get what he wanted; he could make things right.
“I know you are.” John said quietly. “And I feel I owe you an apology as well.”
Sherlock’s eyes snapped to John’s face, his brow furrowed. “For what? You did nothing wrong.”
“Thanks for saying that, but yeah I did.” John chuckled, thinking back to everything Sarah had said. “The message thing was a mistake anyone could have made, and I really overreacted. Plus I said a lot of things I didn’t mean either. I think I was expecting something to go wrong, so I kind of… made it go wrong. So I’m sorry about that, I’m sorry about all of it.”
“Well now that you mention it,” Sherlock hummed, “you did get rather angry rather fast.”
“Oi, you were just apologizing a second ago. What happened to ‘you did nothing wrong’?”
“I was. I am. I was trying to be funny. I’m sorry… again.” Sherlock mumbled, looking away, seeming to fold into himself.
No, no, no, John couldn’t have that. They were making progress, Sherlock couldn’t shy away now. “Right,” John smirked, taking a step, closing the distance between him and Sherlock, “well I think you need to work on your routine.”
John wasn’t sure how long they stood there staring at each other; the only sound was that of their breathing. “John,” Sherlock said quietly, as if afraid to break the spell that had fallen over them, “is there any chance we can start over, delete this whole fiasco, because I…”
John inched ever closer to Sherlock, his focus jumping between Sherlock’s eyes and his mouth. “Because you what?” he breathed.
“Because I find that I am experiencing exceedingly fond feelings for you, and I’d like to…”
“Hmmm?” John hummed, lifting up on his toes to run the tip of his nose along one of Sherlock’s sharp cheekbones, their lips mere millimeters apart.
“…explore them” Sherlock finished breathlessly, sounding slightly dazed, his hands hovering over, but not touching John’s waist.
“By all means,” John murmured, “explore away.” And at that, his lips were finally – finally – back on Sherlock’s.
Oh God, how he went nearly two weeks without kissing Sherlock, John would never know. He may have had an ‘international reputation’, but kissing Sherlock was an experience in and to itself. He couldn’t believe he had gone the first thirty-five years of his life without knowing a kiss could be like this. Sherlock arms around his waist, hands fisted in his shirt; his arms wrapped tight around Sherlock’s neck, one hand clutching to those silky dark curls. It was a revelation.
Despite standing outside for God knows how long, Sherlock’s lips were soft and warm as they moved against – moved with – John’s; just the right amount of pressure, the right about of push, of pull. Unable to stop himself, John let out a low moan as Sherlock parted his lips, nipping gently at each one in turn. He allowed himself to melt into the kiss, allowed Sherlock to take control; where Sherlock lead, John would follow.
They kissed, and kissed, and kissed. They kissed until John’s lungs burned for oxygen, and his lips began to tingle. And even then, their parting was reluctant, their mouths still close enough that John could feel Sherlock’s breath ghosting over his lips as they both gasped for air.
“That was…” Sherlock said, licking his lips, still breathing heavily.
“Amazing? Fantastic? Earth shattering?”
John could feel him smiling. “Perfect.” He finished.
“Yeah,” John agreed, cupping Sherlock’s flushed cheek, “you are.” He then recaptured Sherlock’s mouth, this time taking the lead, before either of them could say anything else.
They kissed for several long minutes before Sherlock pulled away. “So does this mean we can start over again?” He asked, resting his forehead against John’s, his thumb rubbing lazy patterns against John’s cheek. It felt amazing
“Oh yes, absolutely.” John grinned. “But I do have one condition.” He said leaning back – though not entirely out of Sherlock’s arms – so that he could look Sherlock in eyes.
“No more invading your privacy?”
“Alright, two conditions.” John chuckled. “Condition one: you have to respect my privacy. I promise I will never give you any reason to doubt me, so you won’t feel the need to go snooping.”
“I promise.” Sherlock nodded. “And condition two?”
“Two, before we do anything else, I want to go on a date with you. And I mean a real date, where we go out together in public and have fun.”
“Fun?” Sherlock frowned. “Like you want to go to dinner and the cinema or something?”
“Yeah, we could do, or,” John grinned, “you make sure to call next time there’s a case, and you and I solve ourselves a crime.”
“Do you really mean that? You’d really like to be part of an investigation?”
“Yeah, absolutely. I told you before I’m dying to see you in action!”
Sherlock didn’t say anything else, he just swooped down to kiss John hard. Not two hours before, John had been miserable thinking he’d let the best thing to happen to him in years – to ever happen to him – slip through his fingers. Now he had reconciled with and made a tentative date with Sherlock, and was being thoroughly snogged by said gentleman. If good fortune had decided to smile upon him again, John certainly wasn’t going to complain.
“Wait!” Sherlock blurted, abruptly pulling out of the kiss. “I’ve just solved a case!”
“What?” John blinked, thrown by the sudden declaration. “You mean right now, while we were kissing?”
“No, no. I just closed a case yesterday. I don’t know when Lestrade will call with another one. What if I don’t get another one for days? I don’t want to wait; I don’t want to wait to get started with you.”
“It’s fine, we don’t –” John smiled, attempting to reassure Sherlock – who, in John’s opinion, was absolutely adorable when he was flustered – but it was clear that he wasn’t listening.
“Have dinner with me. Dinner is a normal date activity, right? And conversation… conversation can be fun –”
Unable to stand seeing Sherlock look so nervous, so worried, John pulled him down to silence him with a kiss. The kiss was slow and gentle, reminding John of those they’d shared that second morning, and he poured every bit of relaxing energy he had to try to calm Sherlock.
“Dinner sounds fantastic. The case was just a suggestion, just to let you know that I’m up for anything, as long as we go out and do it together.”
“Excellent. Let’s go!” Sherlock beamed, tugging John towards the door.
“What? Now? Sherlock, it’s nearly eight on a Friday night, anywhere first date worthy is going to be packed. Besides, I feel like I’m covered in the clinic.”
“Oh don’t worry about that. I know a place, the owner keeps a table open for me. Do you like Italian?”
“Yeah, who doesn’t like Italian?” John laughed.
“Good. Go change your clothes and I’ll call Angelo to tell him we’re coming.” Sherlock said with an almost dismissive wave.
Well, John knew one thing for certain, Sherlock would always keep him on his toes, and he’d never be bored.
“Oh and John,” Sherlock smirked just as John was about to enter the bathroom to change, “if I may be presumptuous, should we decide to retire to only one of our flats after dinner this evening, might I suggest Baker Street? It’s closer to the restaurant, and its amenities are a bit more conducive to certain after dinner activities I have in mind.”
“You were right.” John said, breathing heavily as he rolled off Sherlock to flop down next to him.
“I usually am.” Hummed Sherlock, still coming down from their most recent round of frankly mind-blowing, mind altering, love making. “What was I right about this time?”
“Coming back to your flat was definitely the right choice. The amenities are way better here than at my place.” John smiled, and Sherlock felt as if his heart skipped a beat, or several.
He couldn’t tear his eyes away from vision curled up next to him, unable to believe his luck – not that Sherlock believed in something as pedantic as luck – that he, freaky Sherlock Holmes, could have had a perfect evening with the likes of John Watson. When they got to the restaurant, Angelo was there to personally show them to their table and extol every one of Sherlock’s many virtues, which amazingly did not put John off, neither did Angelo’s enthusiasm for Sherlock ‘finally finding someone.’ If anything, John seemed to find it endearing; Sherlock was simply embarrassed. The food was delicious, the wine was excellent, and the company was even better. Sherlock deduced customers; John laughed and egged him on, and even tried his hand at a few.
They talked until closing, and Sherlock had never been happier. That was until John pulled him into a cab and told the driver to take them to Baker Street. Once they arrived at the flat, John made Sherlock forget all previous lovers, because anything he experienced before didn’t count; anything before was just sex, a base act, it was simply sating a biological urge. But with John, it was far more significant; they made love to each other. They took each other, and gave themselves to each other, over and over. They worshipped each other’s bodies with hands and mouths; touching, feeling, learning every inch of each other. John brought him to the edge over and over again, only to back off until just the right moment. He built, controlled, and intensified Sherlock’s need. Over and over again, John surrendered himself to Sherlock, and made Sherlock his. The night was filled with the sounds of their coupling, names chanted against sweat soaked skin, moans of undeniable ecstasy that tore though Sherlock’s body. John held him before, during, and after, calmed him, soothed him, and cared for him; which brought them to this moment of pure contentment.
Even in the dim lighting of the bedroom, John was radiant. His grin lit up his entire face, reaching those dark blue eyes, which shown with soft, and undeniable affection, as he gazed at Sherlock. His usually neat blond hair – now sweat damp – stuck up at all angles. His lips kiss swollen; his cheeks, neck and chest, were red with stubble burn. Sherlock could only imagine that he himself was in a similar disheveled state; but on John, oh on John it was beautiful. John was the most beautiful man Sherlock had ever seen.
“Gorgeous.” He breathed, and wrapped his arms around John’s waist, pulling him in to a long, languid kiss. If Sherlock spent the rest of his life in bed, wrapped around John, trading touches and kisses, it would have been a life well lived; everything else be damned. He knew he was being foolish, that it was all too soon, and he was getting carried away, but Sherlock didn’t care. He’d never felt like this before, and he was going to bask in the new, confusing, and amazing emotions John inspired for as long as humanly possible.
“Mmmm, you’re not so bad yourself.” John chuckled when they finally broke apart for air. “Actually, with that last go, I think you’ve finally managed to wear me out.”
Moving to settle himself on top of John, Sherlock cocked an eyebrow. “Not permanently, I hope.” He smirked, and began running his lips up John’s neck, sucking gently where jaw and ear met. He could feel John start to squirm beneath him, whimpering as he allowed himself the smallest of tastes of John’s skin.
“Definitely not,” John moaned, stretching his neck to give Sherlock better access, “but right now – uhhh – right now I don’t think I – ahhh – have anything left – haa – in me.”
“That’s fine.” Sherlock said, peppering John’s lips with water droplet kisses. “I’m more than happy with this, just this, right here.” Then, wrapping his arms around John’s waist again, he slide down to rest his head on John’s chest.
They lay like that for a while, John lazily running his fingers through Sherlock’s hair, Sherlock listening to John’s strong steady heartbeat, allowing it to calm him. John’s hand eventually slowed, and Sherlock was just about to check to see if he had fallen asleep, when John spoke.
“I’ve been meaning to ask you something.”
“I never told you where I live, so how is it that you showed up on my doorstep?” Sherlock could hear the smile in John’s voice. That was good, clearly he wasn’t bothered, though Sherlock doubted John would have gone to dinner and returned home with him if he was.
“You told me your name. I couldn’t very well call myself the world’s only consulting detective, if I couldn’t successfully locate one man not currently in hiding. Even if you were in hiding and I didn’t know your name, I would have still been able to find you.” Sherlock grinned, lifting his head to rest his chin on John’s chest.
“Oh, I do like a man who’s humble.” John teased.
“I’m just being honest. What’s the point of humility if you’re not going to tell the truth?”
“Very true, very true.” John sighed. “But I can’t imagine I’m the only John Watson in all of London.”
“You’re not,” Sherlock shrugged, “but you are the only one who works at Gallen Family Medical, and has a sister named Harriet.”
“You ran a search for me?”
“Of course. It’s just one of the many perks of having a working relationship with Scotland Yard. You ought to be more careful who you give such information to; you’re just lucky it was me.”
“Very lucky” John laughed. “You look up a lot of guys you spend a weekend with, then?” John asked.
Sherlock shivered as John ran a warm hand down his back. “No, just the one.”
“I feel honored. Does that make me special?”
“Yes,” Sherlock smiled, “I think you might be.”
“Good, because Sherlock,” John said quietly, gently pulling Sherlock face to meet his, “I find that I’m experiencing some exceedingly fond feelings for you too”
They traded a few more slow kisses and lazy touches, until Sherlock finally succumbed to sleep, wrapped in John’s arms, lulled by his steady heartbeat and deep, even breathing. For the first time in a very long time, Sherlock felt safe and warm. For the first time in a very long time, he was truly content.