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Extended Stay

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This was ridiculous, what was he doing here? He was definitely out of place. He should go. Yeah, he should just go home and see what’s on telly, maybe update his pointless blog. He was leaving, he was definitely leaving, he just had to find…

“Johnny! What’re you doing hiding over here?” Came Bill Murray’s booming voice, as he slid next to John.

“Figuring out an exit strategy”

“Oh come on! You gotta relax. You look like you’re facing a firing squad.” Laughed Bill, clasping John on his shoulder. At least it was his good shoulder, thank God for small mercies.

“I’d prefer the firing squad!” John called over the music. “This really isn’t my idea of a night out anymore, Bill.”

“I know, and that’s why we’re here, to change that!”

Bill was a good man and saved his life, so John bit his tongue to keep from insulting the man and his idea of fun.

“Seriously Johnny, I go back in one week, and I can’t, in good conscience, leave knowing you’re still in your funk, that you’re not out there.” Bill huffed, gesturing out towards all the club patrons, to society in general. “You’ve been home for six months, and it’s been over a year since –”

“Don’t,” John cut him off. “I really don’t want to talk about… her.

“Good, because she’s not worth it. But it is time for you to get out there again. I saved your life once, and it’s time for me to save it again!”

John just shook his head. “I’m starting to wish you hadn’t. How long are you going to hold that over me?”

“Until the end of time.” Bill grinned. “At least get out of this corner, and go to the bar. Mix, meet people!”

“Fine.” John said with a resigned sigh. Bill was a stubborn son of a bitch, it was better to just go along with him.

“That’s the spirit! Now what about her?” Bill asked, pointing to a short, pretty blonde with a pixie cut, laughing with her friends, “She’s your type.”

“I don’t know, I think my type is changing.” She was rather pretty, and perhaps a few years ago he’d go for it, but now…

“Ok, alright, what about him?” Bill nodded toward a tall, lithe man dancing in the middle of the floor, his dark curls bouncing as he moved.

“He’s…” John mumbled, transfixed as the strobing lights illuminate the man, casting shadows, highlighting his sharp, otherworldly features. “He’s way out of my league.”

“That never stopped you before, just saying." Bill shrugged. "Now, if you’ll excuse me, there is a lovely little redhead over there, who I very much need to meet.” And like that, Bill disappeared into the sea of club goers letting loose after a long week.

Alright, mix and mingle, interact with other human beings, you can still do that. The bullet didn’t take that away from you,’ John thought as he started for the bar. This may not have been how he wanted to spend his evening, but he could get a drink at the very least. And standing at the bar was a right side better than hanging out in a dark corner like some old pervert.

 

Getting a drink proved easier said than done, as John didn’t feel like pushing his way through the people crowding the bar, and fighting to get the bartender’s attention away from the pretty young things batting their eyes and flashing some skin. God, what the hell was he still doing here? And why did being thirty-five make him feel so old?

As John hung back, waiting for a break to put in his order, his eyes scanned the club once more. Bill had successful met the ‘lovely little redhead’ and the two seemed to be getting quite cozy in one of the booths bordering the dance floor. ‘Good on you, mate’ John chuckled. The pretty blonde and her one friend were no longer laughing together, so chances were John would probably not have been her type anyway.

As if of their own accord, John’s eyes eventually found the dark haired man again, still in the middle of the dance floor, still mesmerizing. While he’s in the middle of a sea of other dancers, completely surrounded, John noted that the man was alone; people approached him, and he ignored them. Lost to the music, his eyes closed, head thrown back, exposing a long, pale throat, his body moving in perfect sync with the beat, the man was completely wrapped in his own world.

Everything about the man was captivating, and everything about him was untouchable. John didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell with a man like that, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t look, couldn’t admire something so gorgeous if only for a little while.

 

*******

 

God he loved it here, losing himself in the beat, the music loud enough to drown out his thoughts, the constant ebb and flow of people around him, none of them really caring who or what he was. Nobody needed answers; nobody was depending on him to be right, to be fast, he could just be. And after the last few days, the demands, the nonstop running around, Sherlock need to just be, he needed the sound, the movement, the distraction.

One song transitioned seamlessly into the next, and Sherlock’s body moved with it. People tried to crowd him, tried to wrap their arms around his waist, pull him against them, and Sherlock simply slipped from their grasp, never losing step. It was not that he was adverse to a dance partner, but he didn’t need one, he just needed… this.

He didn’t know how long he had been on the dance floor – long enough to have worked up a healthy, exhilarating sweat – when he felt it, someone was watching him. Opening his eyes after what felt like hours, Sherlock swept the room, and spotted him. Standing off to the side by the bar was a man, perhaps a couple years older than himself, well built – if a bit short – and by what Sherlock could see, handsome in an easy, reassuring way. He was slightly awkward, a bit out of place, looking as if he wanted to be anywhere but here. He was watching the dance floor, but mostly he was watching Sherlock. He didn’t look threatening, as if targeting Sherlock – Sherlock was all too familiar with that type of watching – no, he was looking at Sherlock with a look of appraisal, of interest.

Receiving amorous looks was not a new concept for Sherlock, but there was something different about this man. Usually when someone at a club looked at him with interest – and this man was clearly interested – they almost always tried to approach him, but this man didn’t. He seemed content to just stand by himself, and take in the scene, take in Sherlock, but not engage. He was interested, but wasn’t making a move, why?

Well, there was only one way to figure that out.

 

*******

 

Shit, shit, shit! Not only had the man seen him, but now he had stopped dancing and was making his way towards the bar, towards John.

“Carl, give me a Black Russian,” The man said in a deep baritone, leaning over the bar, before glancing back at John, “and a scotch neat.”

Almost instantaneously, the bartender appeared, and the drinks were poured.

“Here, since you’ve been having trouble ordering.” The man said, handing John the scotch.

“Umm… right. Thank you.” John stumbled, accidentally brushing the man’s fingers as he accepted the glass. What the hell was going on?

“Sherlock Holmes.” The man smiled. God, up close he was even more striking, all high cheekbones, and sharp angles. And his eyes, a piercing mix of grey, green, and blue. Not to mention that voice.

John had to shake himself from his semi-trance “I’m sorry, what?”

“My name. Sherlock Holmes.”

“Well that’s unique.” ‘Oh real smooth, Watson.’ “I’m John, John Watson.”

“Hello John.” Sherlock said, cocking his head to the side.

Christ, John didn’t think his own name had ever sounded so attractive in his life. He actually felt his heart jump. He had to actively remind himself to breath for a second. It had been so long since he’d actually felt that pull towards another human being, he’d almost forgotten what it felt like.

“You’ve been watching me.” Sherlock continued.

“Oh, sorry about that.” John blushed. “You’re… uh… you’re a good dancer.”

“No, it’s fine. I was going to say, you’ve been watching me, but you haven’t approach me. Why?”

“And does everyone who looks at you approach you.” John said, gaining a bit of confidence, he obviously hadn’t creeped Sherlock out too much.

Sherlock smirked. “In a club? Yes.”

“Oh, aren’t you the humble one.” John laughed.

“I may not understand why, but I do know that people generally find me attractive.”

“Don’t understand why…” John mumbled under his breath, shaking his head.

“Yes, and you haven’t answered my question.” Sherlock said, stepping just a bit closer to John. “Tell me, why didn’t you approach me?”

“Well, I was way up here, and you looked like you were having a good enough time by yourself, way down there on the dance floor.”

Sherlock raised an eyebrow. “Well I’m up here now.”

“So you are.”

“Then would you care to dance?” Sherlock asked, his deep voice triggering something deep in John. “And I should point out; it’s very rare that I am the one asking for a dance.”

“I guess I should feel honored.”

“You should. So…”

Shameless flirting was one thing, but there was no way in hell John could keep up down on the dance floor. “I’d love to, really. But I’m not much of a dancer, and I’m actually only here to keep an eye out on my friend over there.” John said, nodding towards Bill and the redhead, who were doing what John supposed was meant to be dancing.

Sherlock seemed taken aback but this, apparently unused to people not falling over themselves to be near him, John thought. Well, John Watson wasn’t ‘people’

“He seems to be doing fine on his own.” Sherlock commented.

“True, but I have been keeping an eye on him this entire time.” Countered John

“Other than when you were watching me, you mean.” Sherlock retorted.

“Yeah, other than then. But what kind of friend would I be if I abandoned my post now? Besides, you’ve had no shortage of attention all night, and you’ve brushed them all off.”

“Moot point, they were all boring.” Sherlock said dismissively.

“And how do you know I’m not?” John asked.

“You’re not, I can tell.” Sherlock smiled, leaning a bit closer, his voice dropping lower.

“Really?”

“Really. I can,” Sherlock paused for a second, “…read people.”

“You can read people?”

“That’s what I just said.” Sherlock frowned.

“Alright then, read me.” John said, quirking one corner of his mouth. Sherlock may have had the tall, deep voice, sexy thing going for him, but John was going to give as good as he got. He didn’t get the nickname ‘Three Continents Watson’ for nothing after all.

Sherlock smirked. “I already have.”

“Well, tell me what you read.” John leaned in ever closer.

“Only if you dance with me.” Sherlock murmured into John’s ear before standing up straight and taking a step back.

John nearly toppled over as he instinctively tried to follow Sherlock. Dear lord, he had survived a war zone, He was not going to let some gorgeous posh thing get the better of him in a night club in London.

Fuck it. “Fine. You correctly tell me five things about me, and I’ll dance with you.” Two could play at this game.

“Deal.” Sherlock grinned, lifting one finger. “I knew your drink order, so that’s one.”

“Not earth shattering, but I'm feeling generous, so I’ll give you that one.” John said, folding his arms. “Four more.” He wasn’t actually sure whether or not he wanted Sherlock to name four more, or what he’d do if he did… or didn’t.

“You, John Watson, are a former army doctor.” Sherlock smirked, lifting a second finger. “I say former because you’ve recently been invalided home from Afghanistan or Iraq, I’d say roughly half a year ago. You took a bullet to the left shoulder.” A third finger went up. “A particularly inconvenient injury since you are, in fact, left handed.” Fourth finger. “And lastly, you’ve ended a fairly serious, long-term relationship, possibly an engagement, in the not too distant past.”

John’s thoughts came to a scratching halt, Sherlock was mere inches from him, and those indescribable eyes were staring so deep into John’s, he wouldn’t have been surprised if Sherlock was reading his mind. Come to think of it, it was quite possible he had done just that.

John remained silent, his heart pounding in his chest – because of anger or something else, he didn’t quite know.

“So,” Sherlock prompted when John still didn’t speak, “How did I do?”

“Yeah, right on all counts.” John’s reply came out far more curt than he had intended, or perhaps not.

“Oh, excellent!” Sherlock beamed. John continued to stare, unable to think of what to say, how to feel. This strange, complete mystery of a man just rattled off some of the most personal, difficult details of John’s life as if he were reading a shopping list. He didn’t know if he wanted to punch him, or jump him, maybe both.

“Not good?” Sherlock asked when John still hadn’t spoken.

“Bit not good, yeah.” John breathed.

Sherlock flushed, and even in the odd lighting of the club, John could see his high cheekbones start to turn pink. His whole demeanor changed. “I… um… I’m sorry.” He said awkwardly, as if unused to the words. “I… uh… I do that some times, go a bit too far.”

“That’s one way to put it. Extraordinary, absolutely extraordinary, but a bit too far.” John huffed He then proceeded to take hold of Sherlock’s arm. “Well, come on then.”

“Come? Come where?” Sherlock frowned, a small crease forming between his eyebrows.

“I said I’d dance with you if you told me five correct things about me, and you told me five correct things about me.” John said, moving towards the dance floor.

Sherlock gaped at John, confused. “Really?” The disbelief evident in his voice. “After that, you still want to dance with me.”

“I said I’d do it, so I’m doing it. I’m a man of my word.”

 

If just being in the club made John feel out of place, it was nothing compared to being on the dance floor. It was crowded, enough so that there was only about a foot between John and Sherlock, and the number of people made everything that much warmer, that much more… humid. John hadn’t been lying when he said he wasn’t a dancer, even before the army he never felt at home on the dance floor, but now he felt stiff and awkward. Sherlock however, all confusion gone, looked completely in his element.

Eyes once again shut, Sherlock moved with the thudding beat as if the music was flowing through him, as if it controlled him, and he controlled it. John was transfixed, unable to tear his eyes away from the unquantifiable man in front him. He was a doctor, he knew the human body inside and out, and yet he couldn’t begin to fathom how a body could move like that, with such grace and strength. He wanted to know what else that body could do.

As if reading John’s mind – John still wasn’t convinced he couldn’t – Sherlock’s eyes snapped open, locking onto John’s. Then, without warning, John found himself being grabbed by the waist, and pulled almost flush against Sherlock.

“I said I wanted to dance with you, not at you” Sherlock all but growled into John’s ear.

“And I told you I’m not a dancer.” John’s words didn’t have quite the amount of bite he had hoped for.

“Then let me… guide you.” And at that, Sherlock’s hands slid down to John’s hips, John’s arms falling automatically over Sherlock’s shoulders.

Pressed together from thigh to chest, as Sherlock began to dance again, John’s body moved along with him, his movements mirroring Sherlock’s. Even with the height difference – or perhaps because of it – they seem to slot together perfectly. As Sherlock rolled his hips, John’s rolled with them, against them, the sudden friction on certain parts of the body driving John spare.

“That’s it, you just have to loosen up a bit.” Sherlock purred, suddenly thrusting one thigh between John’s, pressing himself impossibly closer.

And with that, John let the beat draw him in, and let himself go. His head was swimming, the air smelled of sweat, alcohol, and spices, it smelled decidedly masculine. He felt Sherlock’s hands sliding up his back, and fisting in his shirt. Tightening his arms, John pulled Sherlock’s face inexplicably closer, he could feel Sherlock’s breath hot against his cheek as Sherlock panted, evidently as affected by John’s proximity as John was by Sherlock’s.

The music and the other dancers soon faded into the background, and the world narrow to just John and Sherlock moving together as one. He couldn’t say who it was who actually initiated it, but suddenly John’s mouth was on Sherlock’s, his tongue sweeping that plush bottom lip before sucking it between his own, biting down just enough to illicit a deep, throaty moan from the man wrapped around him, the sound shooting straight through him. He released Sherlock’s bottom lip, only to lick along Sherlock’s defined Cupid’s bow before Sherlock took control and deepened the kiss, his tongue parting John’s lips to dip into his mouth.

 

*******

 

They had stopped dancing at this point, all Sherlock’s not insignificant focus redirected to kissing and exploring every inch of John’s mouth.  Jesus fuck, kissing never felt like this before, he was burning.

“Oh god Sherlock!” John gasped, pulling away from Sherlock’s lips, breathing hard. “We have – we have to get out of here. I need – Oh god, I need to get you somewhere private.”

“But what about your friend?” Sherlock asked, dipping down to nip and suck at John’s neck, he tasted of clean sweat, and something else, something unique. Sherlock wanted more. “I thought you were only here to keep an eye on him.”

“He’s an adult,” John groaned, almost whimpering, his voice doing nothing to quell Sherlock’s growing need, “he can look after himself.”

 

Truth be told, Sherlock didn’t actually remember much of the journey from the club to Baker Street. Other than the brief moment in which he pulled away to hail a cab, he remained thoroughly occupied by John. At one point the cab driver had to slam on his breaks to stop Sherlock from climbing onto John’s lap and having at it right there on the back seat. Before he knew it, they were falling through the front door of 221 Baker Street, stumbling up the steps to his flat, and Sherlock was pulling John into his bedroom; coats, gloves, and scarves being shed along the way.

Sherlock had just enough time to turn on the corner lamp, before John’s hands were back on him, making quick work of his shirt, and pushing him back onto the bed. He could only lay there transfixed, watching as John hurried to undress, all the while staring at Sherlock with unbridled lust. John had just slipped his thumbs into the waistband of his pants, when Sherlock’s senses finally returned to him, and began struggling to get out of his own jeans and pants. Christ, he hadn’t been this uncoordinated in years.

“Need a little help?” John chuckled; running his hands up Sherlock’s clothed thighs, his own pants tragically still in place.

“Appears so.” Sherlock panted, he could feel himself blushing slightly. “And hurry.”

John didn’t hurry; he took his time undoing Sherlock’s flies, and slowly inching Sherlock’s tight jeans down his long legs, kissing every new bit of exposed skin. God! Sherlock was on fire. Finally, after what felt like ages, John had freed him of all his clothes, leaving Sherlock harder than he’d ever been in his life, and sat back on his heels to admire his work.

Sherlock moaned and grasped desperately at John, mind unable to form proper words, something quite rare in and of itself. Grinning, John climbed on top of him, his knees on either side of Sherlock’s hips, his hands caging Sherlock’s head. Holding himself up, and away from Sherlock, John dipped his head down to capture him in a hard kiss, forcing Sherlock’s mouth open and diving in all teeth and tongue.

It wasn’t enough. More, he needed more. With a desperate groan, Sherlock thrust his hands down the back of John’s hateful pants, kneading John’s arse, and forced John’s hips down as he thrust up. He gasped, or perhaps that was John, as his naked, aching length met John’s, only a thin layer of cotton separating them.

Finally taking the hint, John started to roll his hips, grinding himself against Sherlock, sending sparks all throughout Sherlock’s body, shutting off every thought process that wasn’t ‘get more John Watson.’

Sherlock didn’t normally like having people – partners – on top of him, but it was different with John. He couldn’t get enough of John’s weight on top of him, the pressure of John’s body pinning, pressing him down. Coupled with John taking charge, evidently still very much a military man, it was intoxicating, a better high than Sherlock had felt in quite some time. Thrusting, rocking, gripping, panting, against John wasn’t enough, he wanted, he need –

“More!” Sherlock cried out, trying to push down John’s pants. “I need more!”

“What’s that?” John growled, sucking one of Sherlock’s earlobes into his mouth. “What do you want?”

The need flooded Sherlock’s system, short circuiting every sound thought in his head. “You – ngh – skin – feel more.”

“God yes!” John breathed, and suddenly John’s pants were gone, and Sherlock felt John’s calloused hand wrap around both them, pinning their leaking cocks together, and slowly stroking up and down.

“Ga – ugh aah – oh GOD! – YES – GOD YES! Mor – MORE!” Sherlock moaned as John started thrusting in earnest, running his thumb over their heads, applying just enough pressure to drive Sherlock mad.

Sherlock hadn’t felt like this since… Christ, he didn’t think he’d ever felt like this, the tense heat coiling in his abdomen so strong it was like nothing he’d felt before. It had never felt this… good, before. His hands were moving everywhere, they were cupping John’s jaw, keeping his mouth securely on his own; they slid down his chest and around his shoulders where he brushed over the uneven skin of a scar, earning a shiver and moan from the man on top of him.

Finally snaking one arm between their bodies, Sherlock covered John’s hand with his own, taking over. “My hand… bigger.” He panted.

Ahh – Oh god! – No, no arguments.” John groaned, the hand that was formally pumping them, now clutched the headboard in an attempt to keep himself from collapsing onto Sherlock, Sherlock wasn’t too sure he would have minded if John had. John’s other hand snaked under Sherlock head to tangle in his curls. Pulling his head back, John kissed and nipped at Sherlock’s throat, before eventually recapturing his mouth in a wet, rough kiss.

It didn’t take long, with John’s mouth on his, his own hand wrapped around their cocks, stroking them together, before Sherlock movements became erotic, and the tension in his abdomen unraveled. His vision exploding into a sea of white, his climax crashed over him.

“Oh fuck, fuck. Oh fuck, Sherlock! Oh fuck, that was gorgeous, Oh god, you’re gorgeous. You’re perfect OH GOD!”

He could barely make out John’s voice through the haze as he blindly pumped him through his orgasm, only just registering the splash of John’s release against his stomach and chest. It took several long minutes of gentle rocking to ride out the aftershocks, and eventually come down from their mutual highs.

Dropping a limp arm over the side of the bed, Sherlock grabbed his discarded pants to wipe up the mess that painted his chest and stomach, before offering it to John. Whoever said he wasn’t a thoughtful host? Once both were sufficiently clean, Sherlock pulled John against him, reclaiming his lips with slow, sloppy kisses, and ran his hands in lazy circles against John’s back; John’s hands having found their way back into Sherlock’s sex mussed curls.

“Do you mind if just… closed my eyes… just for a second?” John murmured drowsily when the hands and kisses had stopped, and they were just breathing together.

“Mmmm” Sherlock hummed, only able to give a half-hearted grunt, sleep having already started to pull him under.

Chapter Text

It was light streaming in from an unfamiliar angle that woke John, blinding him even through his closed eyelids. As he buried his face in an unfamiliar pillow, John felt a weight shift behind him, and an arm drape itself across his bare waist, and the events of previous night came flooding back. He remembered Bill dragging him out to the club. He remembered Sherlock, flirting with Sherlock, dancing with Sherlock, kissing Sherlock, going home with Sherlock, holding and touching Sherlock. He remembered resting his eyes for a moment –

Shit, shit, shit! He had fallen asleep; he hadn’t meant to fall asleep. It had been years since he had ‘hooked up’ with a stranger, and now he remembered why he wasn’t a fan. Sure the sex was great, better than great if he were being totally honest, but this right now, the awkwardness of the morning after, the not knowing what to do, that’s what he hated.  Should he leave a note and just sneak out? Should he wait for Sherlock to wake up? Should he wake Sherlock up?

“Whatever you’re thinking about,” came Sherlock’s sleep heavy voice, “just say it.”

“Oh… you’re awake.” ‘Real smooth, Watson, that wasn’t awkward at all.’

“Obviously.”

“I was… ah… uh… I was thinking I should probably get dressed.” John said slowly.

“Have at it.” Sherlock huffed, lifting his arm and allowing John to slip out of bed.

It took a few moments for John to locate his clothes; he didn’t pay all that much attention to where they fell the night before.

“So hey, last night was…” John started, slipping on his pants.

“We don’t have to do this.” Sherlock sighed, rolling on to his back.  “We both got what we wanted last night, now we can part as satisfied strangers.” He finished curtly, sparing only a glance at John.

“… Alright.” John was a bit taken aback. He wasn’t expecting much, but some civility would have been nice. “Someone’s different in the light of day.” He mumbled   

Turning his back on John, Sherlock pulled the covers up to his chin. “Oh, and be careful not to touch anything on your way out. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing hazardous out there right now, but it’s best to play it safe.”

‘Fantastic,’ John thought as he continued to dress, ‘I get to risk the plague on top of doing a walk of shame.’

 

Once he finished dressing, John left the bedroom to find his discarded coat and gloves, and caught sight of the rest of the flat. Sherlock’s warning was clearly warranted. The kitchen – off of which the bedroom was – looked more appropriate for cooking meth than cooking food. The table was covered end to end with lab equipment, and stacks of petri dishes growing all manner of things, John didn’t want to look too closely. The sitting room wasn’t much better, though stacks of papers and books, instead of organic matter, covered a desk, one of two arm chairs, the floor around a couch, and a coffee table. The décor was… interesting, a touch macabre, with  a cow skull wearing earphones hung on one wall, a framed picture of a skull hung on another, while a human skull sat on the mantel next to a daggers stabbing several letters. The man did like his skulls. ‘Better than bland beige walls, though’ John thought.

Jacket and gloves on, John made his way down stairs, catching sight of two other doors on the first floor he had failed to notice the night before, and opened the door… to a snowdrift that came up passed his knees. And to make matters worse, the snow was still coming down.

“Shit!” John yelped, quickly shutting the door before any more snow could fall into the foyer.

Great, he just received a rather cold brush off from his one night stand, and was now trapped in the bloke’s building. “Fan-fucking-tastic!” John huffed.

“Is something the matter?” John whipped around to find Sherlock standing at the top of the stairs, thankfully dressed in a pair of pajamas, and wrapped in a dressing gown.

“What?”

“The door slammed, and then I heard you yell. So I’ll ask again, is something the matter?” Sherlock sounded bored.

“Yeah, the snow picked up last night.”

“And?”

“And,” John sighed, his annoyance growing steadily by the second, “I can’t get out, it’s piled too high. Plus it’s still snowing.”

“Oh for the love of…” Sherlock muttered, rolling his eyes, and pushing past John to open the door. “This is London, not the middle of Saskatchewan… Oh… ah, yes. That is rather a lot.”

“What? Didn’t you believe me?” John smirked, feeling his smugness was justly earned.

Sherlock glared. “Well this is an anomaly; normally I would have been correct.” He mumbled under his breath.

“You normally being right or wrong doesn’t make me any less stuck.”

“Well what do you want me to do about it?”

“I don’t know.” John shrugged. “But I have to figure out something.”

“Are you going to dig your way out? Then what?” Sherlock asked, raising a condescending eyebrow. “It’s bordering on whiteout conditions, nothing’s going to be running, no cabs. Walking is out of the question, you’ll freeze to death.”

“Awww, you care.” John smirked. Sherlock could only gape at him, his mouth opening and closing without a sound. John rather liked tripping Sherlock up.

Finally after a few seconds, Sherlock shook his head and opened his mouth as if to respond, but before he could, John heard a door open from behind them.

“Sherlock dear, is that you?” Said an older woman, probably in her mid to late seventies. “Is something the matter? I thought I heard voices.” She stopped abruptly when she saw John. “Oh… hello.”

Sherlock turned to the woman. “Sorry Mrs. Hudson.” A genuine smile on his face. “We were just discussing how the weather is preventing John from being on his way.”

“Oh, so you must be the young man Sherlock’s told me absolutely nothing about.” The woman – Mrs. Hudson – said, looking pointedly at Sherlock.

“Oh…Nnn –” John stuttered. He did not need this nice looking little old lady thinking he was Sherlock ‘young man.’

“Oh don’t worry dear, we get all sorts around here.” Mrs. Hudson winked. “The ones next door are married even.”

John looked to Sherlock for some sort of support, to set Mrs. Hudson straight, something; the man said nothing, he just stood there.

“Now Sherlock Holmes,” Mrs. Hudson’s tone was now admonishing, “I sincerely hope you were not considering sending… John was it?” John nodded. “John, out in this weather!”

“In fact I was not.” Sherlock frowned, actually sounding offended. “I was just about to tell him he would have to wait here until the storm clears.”

“Good!” Mrs. Hudson visibly brightened. “Now I think you two should go back upstairs and start a fire or something to keep warm… In the fireplace!” She added.

Not knowing what else to do, John turned to follow Sherlock back to his flat. He hadn’t even made it to the first landing when Mrs. Hudson’s voice floated up from below.

“Oh and Sherlock, don’t think I didn’t hear you two last night. There better not be any new scratches on my floors, or new dents in my walls.”

Well that settled it; John could look neither Sherlock nor Mrs. Hudson in the eye again for the remainder of his sequestration in 221B Baker Street.

               

*******

 

“So I guess I’m sticking around.” Came John’s voice from the doorway.

Sherlock didn’t even bother opening his eyes; he had just settled himself on the couch, legs stretched out, and his hands steepled under his chin. “It would appear so.”

He could hear John make his way into the flat, and move to sit down. By the sound of denim on fabric, he had picked the red upholstered chair. Interesting that John chose the ‘spare chair’, and not Sherlock’s favorite leather one.

Normally Sherlock enjoyed the silence of others, far less risk of his brain cells committing suicide, but the silence that followed John taking a seat was unbearable. Sherlock could feel John looking at him, could hear him thinking. He wasn’t used to this. On the few occasions he brought someone home – or rarer still, when he went home with someone – they never did the ‘morning after’ thing. Usually the person left once the deed was done, or slipped out with a few parting words the next morning. Now nature had decided to turn on him, and he was trapped in his flat for an unknown period of time with an unknown variable. This was why he so rarely indulged his transport.

With a sigh, Sherlock opened his eyes, staring straight at the ceiling, and not looking at his unexpected house guest.

“What?”

“What do you mean ‘what’?”

“You’re thinking. It’s… distracting.”

“My thinking is distracting?” Sherlock could hear John’s frown.

“Yes. Tell me what you’re thinking, we can deal with whatever it is, and then be done with it.”

When John didn’t respond, Sherlock finally sat up and looked towards him. “Is this because we don’t really know each other, but we’ve slept together, so you don’t know how to act?”

John chuckled. “Bloody mind reader, you are. Mostly I’m trying to figure out how to pass the time. But the sleeping together thing is part of it, yeah.”

“We can delete it, if you want.” Sherlock suggested. It was the simplest solution; he didn’t know why he hadn’t thought of it sooner.

“Delete what?”

“If we hadn’t had sex, things would be less awkward. Do you agree?”

“I guess, yeah.” John nodded.

“Right, so we simply delete the knowledge that we’ve had sex.”

“Not sure pretending it didn’t happen is going to help. But sure, go for it.”

“I didn’t say we pretend it didn’t happen, I said delete it. Pretending is still knowing. Deleting is as if it never happened at all, it’s purging the knowledge.”

“It’s been a while since my psych rotation, but I’m fairly sure that’s not how the human mind works.” John laughed.

“Well I don’t know about human,” Sherlock smirked, “but that’s how mine does.”

“Alright then, I’ll just leave you to aggressively forget.” John smiled. Odd, he didn’t seem put off. Most people were put off by Sherlock eccentricities. Sherlock counted on people being put off by his eccentricities.

“Oh, but before you forget I exist, is there a chance you have a charger that fits my phone?” John asked.

“Check the bottom desk drawer, there might be an adapter or something in there. And don’t be ridiculous, John, I’m not deleting you all together. You simply being in here would raise some questions.”

 

The next few hours that passed were fairly uneventful. Once his phone was charged, John engaged in a rather lengthy, and rather hushed, phone conversation. Most likely his friend from the night before, given the number of times John assured the person on the other end that he was still alive and ‘no, I don’t think he’s a serial killer’, and the astonishingly liberal use of expletives in an otherwise friendly conversation. And other than to ask to borrow Sherlock’s laptop, John remained fairly quiet. It didn’t make sense, while John was clearly a private person – that much was obvious – everything else about him told Sherlock he’d be one to at least attempt to engage conversation, especially given the circumstances of their meeting. He could see the questions swimming around John’s head, yet he didn’t ask them, seemingly content to keep them to himself. It’s not that Sherlock disliked the silence, nor that it was uncomfortable, truthfully this was the most comfortable he had been when alone with another person, save for Mrs. Hudson, it was that he didn’t understand why. Why was John’s breathing not driving him up the wall? Why did he not only warn John about the eyes in the microwave, but also make sure John wasn’t bothered? Why was John unfazed by the eyes? And why was Sherlock pleased?

After looking around the flat for a bit, John found a book and settled back into the red chair. It was so… ordinary, yet for the last half hour or so, Sherlock kept finding his eyes drawn back to the man sitting in front of him. John was only reading about unsolved murders in the Victorian era, his tongue popping out to wet his lips every so often as his eyes continued to move across the pages, but Sherlock couldn’t stop watching. Why? Why couldn’t Sherlock retreat back into his mind palace as he normally did on days such as this? What was it about John, this ordinary man, with his neatly kept blond hair, his nice but common clothes, and his cautious but relaxed manor, which prevented Sherlock from being normal, or his version of normal?

Maybe it was just the fact that they’d shared orgasms – rather spectacular orgasms – just hours before, and were now stuck in the flat together, and John wasn’t doing the expected, wasn’t trying to talk to him. That must have been it, he just wasn’t used to this type of situation, and he’d certainly never had any relationships to speak of, to give him insight. Well, once the snow stopped and transport systems started running again he wouldn’t have to worry about it. Surely just a few more hours, and everything could go back to normal.

 

Sherlock had just started to settle into this new dynamic, the companionable silence of another body in the flat, getting used to John’s presence, almost enjoying it, when Mrs. Hudson decided to poke her head in. She correctly guessed that he had nothing edible in, and took it up herself to ‘bring up a little lunch.’ Had he been alone, Sherlock would surely have declined – as he was sorely tempted to – but John seemed to actually like the idea of eating, so Sherlock found himself sat at his partially cleared off kitchen table while his landlady attempted to get to know his one night stand.

“Oh but it must have been awfully frightening over there. I find I could never be brave enough to do something like that.” Mrs. Hudson gushed when John told her of his service in Afghanistan.

“I don’t know about being brave, it was more like long quiet stretches, followed by periods of almost around the clock activity. But the work was needed, and I was good at it… for all the good it did me.” John added, rolling his left shoulder. Sherlock had felt the scar last night, it was rather impressive, if impressive was the correct word. He didn’t understand why John was so ashamed of it – and he was clearly ashamed – when to Sherlock, it was a testament to the resiliency of the human body. He could never tell John that of course, that was far too personal, and perhaps ‘a bit not good’ given the fact that they were never to see each other again once the day was done. Sherlock tried not to think too much about the almost disappointed feeling he got at that thought.

“Oh dear, yes.” Mrs. Hudson nodded sympathetically.  “But it must be nice to be home again, getting to be with people you care about.” She added, glancing towards Sherlock, much to his dismay. Why couldn’t the woman leave well enough alone? Why was she so determined he have people? He was fine alone… he was fine.

“Yeah… Yeah, it’s good to be home. I did miss London quite a bit.” John chuckled awkwardly, eyes glued to the remnants of his soup and sandwich.

“And what about any family?” Good lord, could Mrs. Hudson not see John was uncomfortable with this line of questioning? And people accuse him of being unaware of social queues.

“Not much. It’s just me and my sister now.”

“Sister?” That wasn’t right. “No, you have a brother.” Sherlock frowned.

John snorted. “Pretty sure I know what siblings I have, and I’ve only ever had a sister.” A genuine smile finally crossing his face after all the forced ones during Mrs. Hudson’s questioning.

“But Harry…” Sherlock started.

“Is short for Harriet,” John finished, “my sister.”

“Sister! There’s always something!” Sherlock groaned, leaning back and closing his eyes.

“Nice to know some things get past even you.” John chuckled.

“I think I’ll just leave you boys. Sherlock, make sure to clean the dishes and bring them back down.” Mrs. Hudson said, pushing back from the table. He had forgotten she was there. “I was lovely talking to you, John.” She smiled.

“Oh… yes, you too.” John said, looking up. “Don’t feel you have to leave.”

“Don’t worry dear, I know when I’ve over stayed my welcome.” She added with a wink. Always with the winking, perhaps he should suggest she get tested for a neurological tick, Sherlock thought.

 

*******

 

John found lunch with Mrs. Hudson and Sherlock – though the latter only picked at his plate – to be rather enjoyable, despite Mrs. Hudson going on and on about being pleased Sherlock had finally found someone, ‘and a doctor no less.’ Other than that, and the awkwardness at the end about his time in Afghanistan, it was… nice, a bit of normal in the midst of a very abnormal situation.

“Does she interrogate everyone you bring back to the flat like that?” John asked, starting to wash the dirty dishes. Something told him Sherlock was not going to do it, and he didn’t want to create a mess for Mrs. Hudson.

“She never gets the chance.” Sherlock sighed as he resumed his supine position on the couch. “Mrs. Hudson’s proven to be invaluable to me, but good lord, can she be tedious. I’ve had to put her on semi-permanent mute for months now.”

“That’s not very nice, she seems like a lovely woman.”

“She is, and she knows I mean her no disrespect. It’s fine.”

“Oh it’s fine, well then.” John muttered, flopping back into the red chair he had all but claimed that morning. This man was ridiculous, it was clear that he cared for Mrs. Hudson, and she for him, yet he seemed intent on hiding that affection.

“Wait…” John sat up, something suddenly dawning on him, “how did you know about Harry?”

“I didn’t.” Sherlock grumbled, turning to face the back of the couch. “I thought she was your brother. I got it wrong, no need to rub it in.”

Was Sherlock actually in a sulk over thinking Harry was a he? John would have laughed, but he actually seemed genuinely upset. The man could read people lives at a glance, and he was upset about getting one little thing wrong. Definitely ridiculous.

“No, not that. Hey, hey look at me.” John sighed, trying to coax Sherlock to turn around. “I meant how you knew she existed in the first place.”

“Oh.” Sherlock turned back to face John, his sulk melted away, “I thought that was fairly obvious. I read the inscription on your phone while it was charging.”

'Harry Watson From Clara xxx’ of course.

“You didn’t give me a fake name last night,” Sherlock continued, “so the phone must have been given to you by Harry Watson. The phone is a young man’s gadget, so Harry is a sibling or cousin, and sibling is the far more likely case.”

“And Harry is more commonly used for men, so in conjunction with it being given by a Clara…”

“Yes, I thought along the hetero-normative lines of our society, and assumed Harry was your brother, and not your sister.”

“No, it makes sense.” John nodded, unable to keep the smile off his face. “That was pretty impressive, zeroing in on sibling like that.”

“You really think so?” A small crease formed between Sherlock’s brows. So the man wasn’t made of porcelain after all! “You’re easily impressed.”

“Well it’s not as impressive as all those things you seemed to know about me at the club, but it wasn’t too shabby.” Sherlock smiled at this, and John had to temper the sudden swell in his chest at the sight. It was a nice smile, small and hesitant, as if he didn’t quite believe what he was hearing, but it seemed to reach his eyes, making him look younger, softer almost.

“How did you know all that, by the way?” John asked, giving himself a little shake.

“I didn’t know, I noticed. You can figure out almost everything you need to know about a person just by looking at them, sadly so few people bother to actually look.” Sherlock mused.

“Right, so what was it that you noticed about me that told you ‘almost everything you needed to know’?” Asked John, complete with air quotes. How did this marvel of a man know so much about him?

“Do you really want to know? People don’t usually like finding out how obvious they are.”

“Wouldn’t have asked if I didn’t want to know. And I’ll think of it as a learning experience, maybe try to be less obvious to strangers in the future.” John smiled. He couldn’t help it, Sherlock was utterly fascinating, he had to know how Sherlock did it, how he ‘noticed.’ “In case you forgot, it was that I was drinking a scotch neat, and I’m a left handed ex-army doctor invalided home because of a bullet to the left shoulder… and, uh, the relationship thing.”

“I remember. The scotch was child’s play, when you weren’t looking at me,” smirked Sherlock, “you were eyeing the Glendronach like it had the answer to the meaning of life. You’d have to be an idiot to run the risk of diluting it with ice, and you didn’t look like an idiot to me.”

“I think you just complimented me.” John beamed. As ridiculous as it sounded, there was something about being told he didn’t look like an idiot by Sherlock, that made him feel a touch warmer. “What about the other stuff?” He prompted.

“The way you held yourself, standing at attention, said military. That, and because of the lights in the club, I saw the outline of an RAMC tattoo on your right forearm. So clearly an army doctor, but your hair told me not active duty. It looks like a military cut a couple months overgrown.”

“My shirt was see through?!” John exclaimed. ‘Bloody fantastic, flashing my going to seed physique for the entire world to see. It’s a wonder Sherlock even approached me.’

“Oh you have nothing to worry about, John, the shirt wasn’t actually see through. It was only because of the contrast against your skin that I could see it. Even so, your build is nothing to be ashamed of.” Was Sherlock flirting with him? John thought. Well, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. “Can I continue, or do you not care about the rest of my deductions?” Sherlock asked, completely unaware of the butterflies his words had hatched in John’s gut.

“No, no, please go on.” John managed to get out.

“Doctors are always needed, and the fact that you got tattooed told me you weren’t one to just leave when your tour was over, so there must have been another reason for you not longer being active duty. You rolled your shoulder throughout our entire conversation as if it pained you; a shot to the shoulder could cause nerve damage, which isn’t ideal for a surgeon, the fact that it was to your dominant side only compounds that.”

“Fantastic.” John should be more bothered by Sherlock recounting his career ending injury, but he couldn’t help it, it was simply fantastic.

“Are you aware you say that out loud?” Sherlock frowned, as if confused by John’s praise.

“Oh, sorry. I’ll stop.”

“No… No, it’s fine.” Sherlock shook his head a little. “Now where was I? Oh, right, left handed. That was easy too. You accepted the drink with your left hand, you had faint ink marks along the side of your left pinky finger, you wear your watch on your right wrist, and your tattoo is on your right arm. People tend to endure anything painful on their non-dominant side.”

Sherlock was positively aglow, proving he was smart, and John couldn’t help but feel it too. “Extraordinary.” He beamed.

“Nah, that was nothing. Now your relationship…” Sherlock’s smile faltered and he stopped himself, apparently worried he’d overstepped, unsure if John wanted him to continue.

Part of him didn’t want to hear how Sherlock knew he was no longer affianced, didn’t want thoughts of her intruding on this, whatever this was; but another part couldn’t get enough of seeing how Sherlock’s mind worked. “Go on.” John said quietly, he had to know.

“It was your watchband.”

“My watch?”

“Your watch. There are three sets of initials stitched into the band, ‘GW’, ‘EW’, and ‘HW’. Most likely your father, mother, and sister. It’s not an uncommon practice for soldiers to carry on them something to remind them of home and family; the watch was clearly yours.” Sherlock was hitting his stride. “That being said, there was evidence of a fourth set on initials that had since been removed. You’re not the type to remove a family member, and the holes left behind did not appear to form the letter ‘W’, so not another Watson. Engagement was the more likely option since it’s tends to be an indication of more permanence… That’s… not always the case. Sorry.” He finished, looking away from John for the first time since he started his explanation.

“Sorry? Don’t be sorry. You were… that was… amazing.” It was all there, so simple when spelled out, but no one could be that clever, but Sherlock was that clever. “Truly incredible.”

“You really mean that.”

“Yeah, of course. How could I not?”

“It’s just, that’s not what people normally say. And certainly nobody appreciates my deductions.”

“Well what do people normally say?”

A wry look in his eye, Sherlock smirked. “Piss off.”    

“Ah, well that too.” John said solemnly, then after a brief pause, both men burst into a fit of giggles. The whole situation was ridiculous, and god did it feel good to just give in and embrace the ridiculousness of it.

Eventually their laughter faded away, and they were left facing each other. Wait, when did Sherlock move seats? John could have sworn he was just on the couch.

“How did it happen?” Sherlock blurted, breaking the silence that had settled over them. “I’m sorry, ignore me. That was personal. I shouldn’t have asked.”

“No, no it’s fine.” John said, straightening up in his seat a bit. “I…huh… I’m surprised you didn’t figure it out already.”

“Well some things slip even my notice from time to time. Not often, but it happens.”

“Good to know you’re human.” John chuckled.

“It’s the cross I bear.” Sherlock smiled. “It’s fine, you don’t have to tell me. I was just… curious.”

“It’s nothing tragic, don’t worry. Actually, it’s so clichéd I’m pretty sure it’s happened on multiple Soaps. Came home on leave a day early, you know, thought I’d surprise her; found her in bed with her ex.” John tried for nonchalance, and just missed. “She actually had the nerve to blame it on me.”

“How?” Sherlock asked. “I’m assuming you never suggested it be an open relationship.”

“I did not. No, apparently she, quote, needed someone who was willing to be there for her, and I wasn’t willing to put her first. I wasn’t out at the pub with my mates; I was in a god damn war zone doing my job. Something she knew when we met, got together, and engaged, so I don’t know what she expected.” This was really not the conversation John envisioned he’d be having when he got up that morning. But then again, with Sherlock, nothing turned out how he expected.

“She was clearly an idiot, John.” Sherlock nodded, as if that settled the matter once and for all. “I’d say you dodged a bullet with that one, if you’ll pardon the phrase.”

“No, that was actually funny.” John had to give him that. “That’s what everyone’s told me, that I’m better off with out her. And yeah, if she could lie and sleep with someone behind my back, I can only imagine what else she’d lied to me about. Didn’t make it sting any less.”

“I can’t claim to have much experience in matters like that, but I would imagine so.” Sherlock said awkwardly. It was clear he was unaccustomed to comforting others, so why was he attempting to commiserate with John?

“If I’m being honest, with it all said and done, I’m relieved it ended. I think I only asked her to marry me because I thought it was what we were supposed to do. We’d been together for a few years, and that’s what was done. I cared about her, well what I thought I knew of her anyway, but there was never really that spark.” Certainly not the same kind of spark he’d felt with other people… felt with another person.

“Chemistry is important.” Sherlock nodded.

“Tell me about it… but she lucked out, timing wise I mean.” Sherlock just stared at him, confused. “I got shot six months later. She’d have been stuck; she’d look like a monster if she left me then. She did reach out to me after I got back. Told me that she felt horrible about how things ended between us and that no matter what, she’ll always think fondly of me. It was so transparent; she just wanted to assuage her guilt. She was relieved we ended the way we did, no one wants to be stuck with someone broken.” John said with a forced laugh. He didn’t know why he was saying all this to Sherlock. He’d never said it too his mates, nor to Ella, but somehow he felt comfortable enough to say it all to Sherlock, like Sherlock wouldn’t judge him. Ridiculous really, he’d only known the man less than twenty-four hours.

“You’re not broken.” Sherlock said quietly, blue-grey-green eyes staring straight into John’s.

“Thanks,” John hummed, looking away, “that’s nice of you to say.”

“I wasn’t being nice, it’s the truth.” Sherlock murmured. When did he get so close?

John glanced down at Sherlock’s lips, remembering what they felt like against his the night before, and slowly started to lean forward. “Still nice to hear though.” He mumbled.

“Whoo whoo, boys?”

Fuck.

Chapter Text

Curse that woman. Curse her hip, curse her cooking, and curse her godforsaken timing. Sherlock wanted to scream.

“I hope you’re decent!” Came Mrs. Hudson’s voice from the landing.

“Yes, what?” Sherlock groaned, leaning back in his chair, the moment broken.

“Sherlock, dear, I hate to be a bother.” Mrs. Hudson said, an apologetic smile on her face.

“So don’t be.” He did honestly love Mrs. Hudson, but Sherlock was really not in the mood. Well, not in the mood to be talking to his landlady.

“It’s my garbage disposal.” Mrs. Hudson continued, ignoring Sherlock’s cheek. “When I turn it on, it makes a humming sound, but nothing happens. I tried shining a light down there, and I didn’t see anything jammed, but I can’t be sure.”

“Alright, and you’re telling me this, why?” He just wanted her to hurry up and be done, there was still a chance he could salvage what he and John started.

“I would call a workman, but there’s no way they’d be able to get here in this weather.” Mrs. Hudson explained. “I was hoping you’d have a look for me. I’d do it myself, but long gone are the days I can be crawling around on the floor.” She laughed.

“Is it absolutely imperative that the thing gets fixed now?” Sherlock sighed.

“Well it’s not life or death or anything, but the sink won’t drain properly, and I’d really rather not wait.”

“Don’t worry, Mrs. Hudson, we’d be happy to help.” John pipped up, flashing Mrs. Hudson a reassuring smile. “Come on, it’s the least you can do.” He said as he stood up, slapping Sherlock’s knee in the process. So clearly they were just going to ignore what almost happened between them.

 

And so that was how Sherlock found himself sat on the floor of Mrs. Hudson’s kitchen, reading out instructions to John who lay flat on his back, his head under the sink.

“Ok, I think I bent the thingys back into place.” John grunted.

“Thingys? Really, John? They’re called the impellers.”

John lifted his head to glare at Sherlock, but the gleam in those dark blue eyes spoke of nothing but amusement. “You knew what I meant.” He said. “What do I do next?”

“It says to use the wrench, here,” Sherlock said handing John the wrench, his breath hitching slightly as their fingers brushed, “to turn the ‘flywheel turning hole.’ Good god, who names these things?” He mused.

“Probably the manufacturer. Now what does this turning hole look like, and what do I do with it?”

“It should be a small square nub on the bottom of the unit; you have to turn it clockwise until you feel the flywheel turn freely.”

“Found it. Let me just… ugh. Got it!” John exclaimed triumphantly. “Switch the power back on, see if it actually works.”

Sherlock got to his feet, and leaning over the sink flipped the switch to the disposal. The sound of whirling, grinding blades was instantaneous, and Sherlock couldn’t help but grin. More accurately, the sight of John grinning at the sound of whirling blades was instantaneous, and Sherlock couldn’t help but grin.

 

“So I’ve been trying to figure out what you do.” John called from 221B’s kitchen as he washed his hands.

What I do?’ Sherlock thought “What do you mean?”

“Well I feel a little foolish, I haven't asked you what you do for a living." John explained, bypassing the red chair, to join Sherlock on the couch. "You’re clearly not a handyman of any sort, so what is it you do with your amazing observational powers? Are you a spy or something fantastic like that?”

“My brother would love that.” Sherlock huffed

“Brother?”

“Older. All but runs the government. Awful.” Sherlock wanted to kick himself for bringing up Mycroft. That waste of a three piece suit was the very last thing he wanted to talk about while sitting so close to John Watson.

“Ah, understood.” John nodded. Finally someone who can take a hint, a rare quality to be found in 221 Baker Street as of late. “You never answered my question; what do you do? Remember, I can’t just look at you and know your life story.” He teased.

“I’m a consulting detective.” Sherlock sat up straighter, fighting down the blush he felt creeping up his face. “The only one in the world, in fact. I invented the job.”

John frowned slightly. “Consulting detective.” He said slowly, as if testing the words, processing them. “What does that mean?”

It took Sherlock a moment to realize he hadn’t answered, he was too busy stopping himself from tracing the faint creases that formed along John’s forehead.

“It means whenever the police are out of their depth – which is always – they consult me. Though I do get the occasional private client, Scotland Yard is where I get the bulk of my cases. Like I said, they are always out of their depth.”

“You solve crime.” John goggled at him. “Of course you solve crime. It’s like you’re a hero right out of a Christie novel.”

“I wouldn’t go that far.” Sherlock chuckled, his face feeling hot.

“I would!” John grinned.

Sherlock could only marvel at the man sitting before him. John was telling the truth, he wasn’t trying to gain favor with Sherlock, he didn’t seem to actually want anything from him. While Sherlock’s mind was impressive – there was no point in trying to deny that – most everyone resented him for it, resented someone who could see what they couldn’t. But not John; John actually liked his deductions, encouraged them even. Strangest of all, John seemed to genuinely like Sherlock. People put up with him – the police finding him useful when they needed to solve a case – but nobody actually liked Sherlock for… well, for being Sherlock. John wasn’t a stupid man – that much was clear – so why would he like Sherlock when no one else did? Sherlock didn’t know the answer to that question, all he knew was that he wanted nothing more than to keep John’s interest, to keep impressing John, to keep earning that smile that caused his stomach to flip and his heart to flutter.

“So what were you doing in the club last night?” John asked, completely unaware of the confusion and mental upheaval he was causing Sherlock. “It doesn’t seem to fit with the whole ‘genius detective’ thing. I’d ask if you were undercover, but you don’t strike me as the type to just up and leave in the middle of a case.”

“You know me that well already, do you?” Sherlock smirked.

John smiled back; the skin around his eyes crinkling, making them shine. “Well I may not be the world’s only consulting detective, but I can form a conclusion or two.”

“I see.” Sherlock nodded.

“You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to. I was just curious.”

“No no, it’s fine. I don’t mind.” Sherlock shrugged. “I just finished up a case, and going to the club is how I unwind. After cases, particularly long ones, I’m usually so full of adrenaline that my mind races without anything to focus on; dancing allows my brain to slow down and I can relax. It’s the one outlet I have left.” He paused, looking away, unsure if he should continue. But John had been open with him, and for some reason, Sherlock wanted to be honest with him. “I… ah… some years ago, I had another way of unwinding – less desirable and far more dangerous  – the cases and the dancing help to distract me from… engaging in that outlet.”

‘Well that lasted for all of two minutes, so much for keeping John’s interest’, Sherlock thought ruefully. But he felt he owed it to John, he felt John deserved to know. Why he felt that, Sherlock wasn’t sure, he just did.

“Can I… can I ask what it was?” John said quietly. “Don’t feel you have to tell me.”

“Cocaine. I had a sort of friend in university, he thought it leveled me out, made me more normal.”

“Made you more normal? Your sort of friend sounds like a right dick if you ask me.” John chuckled.

“Former friend, and yes he was. It took me a while, but got treatment. I’ve been sober for three years. I’m clean, completely clean.” Sherlock stressed, feeling he had to reassure John.

John’s eyes went soft, and Sherlock could have sworn he slid down the couch a bit, closer to him. “No, it’s a struggle, I get it. When addiction takes a hold, it’s hard to regain control. But you did, you’re not letting it define you. That’s what counts.”

He did it again, John acted completely contrary to how Sherlock expected. John’s words weren’t the platitudes of an uncomfortable man; no, they were said with honest, genuine care. Instead of pulling away – as anyone sane would do – John offered comfort and understanding. Sherlock was starting to suspect he’d never figure John Watson out.

“And honestly, we’ve all done reckless things.” John continued. “Hell, I signed up for a war because life got boring after medical school, so who am I to judge.” He sighed.

Sherlock smiled slightly. “I thought you said it was needed work.”

“I did. It was. It is.” John sputtered, his eyes wide. “The adrenaline rush was… ah… was an added bonus.” He finished, looking a bit sheepish.

“Well there are certainly worse things to do because of boredom; like poisoning yourself in hopes of making people like you.” ‘Oh don’t remind him! You’re acting like an idiot, Sherlock. Keep it together.’

“Yeah, I guess there’s that.” John chuckled a little before shaking his head. “Alright, enough of that. I want to hear about your cases! Tell me about the one you just finished? Or are you sworn to secrecy or something?”

Bless John Watson. Bless his tussled, golden-silver head, bless his understanding smile, and bless his kind, deep blue eyes. But most of all, bless him for changing topics. Sherlock could have kissed him, Sherlock wanted to kiss him.

“Oh, it was excellent!” Sherlock beamed, ecstatic to finally talk about a case with someone who wanted to hear it. “It started off as a simple suspected stalking. The police got nowhere, so they directed the girl to me…”

 

*******

 

“… and the shop was the perfect location from which to dig. Lestrade and I simply sat in the vault and waited for ‘Spaulding’ and his associate to show.”

“Incredible!” John beamed. Sherlock merely shrugged, as if he hadn’t just finished describing how he foiled a bank robbery.  “Though how anyone would be stupid enough to think a society of red-heads who retype Wikipedia articles ‘as backups’, is a legitimate thing, is beyond me.”

“Ah, but that’s what you need to learn, John; people, in general, are idiots.”

 

John couldn’t remember the last time he had enjoyed an afternoon or evening more. Sherlock recounted case after case, everything from a man pretending to be his step-daughter’s online boyfriend, to a nanny hired to unknowing impersonate the family’s willful daughter, to a son framed for his father’s murder. All of it sounded unreal and unbelievable, but the way Sherlock’s eyes shown with excitement, his arms flying about as he spoke, John knew every bit of it was true. The cases were fantastic because Sherlock was fantastic.

Sherlock didn’t monopolize the entire conversation – though John wouldn’t have minded, the way Sherlock told a story was a marvel – he asked John about his service, and about strange injuries and maladies he saw in medical school. Of course each of John’s stories only reminded Sherlock of another case or another experiment, and he would immediately start regaling John with the tale. They spent hours just talking and listening to each other. John felt like he had known Sherlock his entire life, and not just a day. It was perfect. Sherlock was perfect.

 

It was only when his stomach began to growl, that John realized that dinner was past due, and they headed into the kitchen for some of Mrs. Hudson’s macaroni and cheese. He hadn’t even noticed when she dropped it off, but it must have been her, because the pot was not there earlier and her dishes from lunch were gone.

Setting his empty plate on the coffee table, John settled back on to the couch. “So do you have any extra pillows or blankets I could barrow?” John asked, turning to face Sherlock.                

A look of pure confusion crossed Sherlock face. It was, for lack of a better word, adorable. “Why do you want pillows and blankets?”

“So I can be at least half-way comfortable and warm.” John chuckled. “The snow seems to have slowed, but I don’t think they’ll get transport up and running until the morning. I was hoping you’d let me kip on your couch tonight, but I could probably make it back to my place without becoming the next Ötzi.” He really didn’t want to leave yet. He wanted more time with Sherlock, even if it was only until tomorrow morning when there weren’t any more excuses for him to stay.

“Don’t be an idiot, John, there’s no way you’re going out now, even if the snow has stopped. And I have a second bedroom upstairs. I use it for storage, but there is a bed up there. It’s yours if you want it.”

'Oh thank god’ John could barely contain his grin. “That’d be amazing, thanks!”

“Don’t mention it.” Sherlock said, is mouth quirked up in a half smile. “You’re not going to bed now are you?” He asked.

“I wasn’t planning on it just yet, no.” It wasn’t that late, and John would be damned if he wasted what little guaranteed time he had left with Sherlock.

“Good, good.” Sherlock looked away, the half-smile blooming into a full one. “There’s actually a documentary going to be on that I had hoped to watch; do you mind?”

“By all means. I’m the interloper here.” Even the prospect of sitting in silence watching telly with Sherlock was more appealing than anything else John would be doing on his own. He needed to get a handle on this growing affection towards Sherlock. No matter how it felt, they had only met twenty-four hours ago, and there was the very real possibility John wouldn’t see the man again after tomorrow.

“You’re not an interloper.” Sherlock said quietly as he fumbled with the remote, turning on the telly.

Given Sherlock’s peculiar interests, John wasn’t sure what to expect. What he didn’t expect was a nature special following the inner workings of a beehive for a year. What’s more, Sherlock seemed riveted. Every once in awhile he would glance over at John to tell him some fact or another, and John could only nod or hum. It wasn’t that he didn’t find the documentary interesting – the discussion on the idea of the ‘hive mind’ was something – John just found himself more interested in watching Sherlock watch the documentary. His eyes wide, Sherlock followed everything with rapt attention. There was something endearing about a man whose life involved taking down murderers and experimenting with human body parts, being so engrossed by the life of tiny insects.

What he wouldn’t have given to have Sherlock’s focus directed at him, or even just a percentage of it. Sure Sherlock had asked him a bit about his life – whatever he couldn’t deduce for himself – but anyone can feign interest, he was probably just trying to be polite. Sherlock didn’t strike him as the ‘being polite because that’s what you do’ type of man, but as John had to keep reminding himself, he only knew the man one day. But Christ did he want to get a chance to know him better. For the first time in years – even since before his disaster of an engagement – John felt something, and whatever the something was, it felt significant. He had opened up about the war, about feeling damaged, and Sherlock told him about his struggle with addiction; that had to mean something. He needed more time, he had to know if Sherlock felt it too. He just had to figure out a way to see Sherlock again after tonight. He may have been ‘Three Continents Watson’, but John was absolute shit at transitioning into something real. It’s amazing what being cheated on and getting shot, will do to a man’s confidence.

Eventually the documentary ended, and a rerun of some quiz show came on. John half watched the host banter with the panelists and half tried to figure out what to do to extend the evening. He was just about to ask if he could make them some tea – a weak attempt, but he was getting desperate – when Sherlock finally broke the silence that had fallen over the flat.

“You don’t… you don’t have to take the second bedroom, you know.” He said, eyes forward, not looking at John.

John didn’t dare get his hopes up. “Then where will I sleep?”

“Down here, in my… my bedroom. The insulation upstairs is rather poor, and the bed isn’t very comfortable.” Sherlock explained, still not looking at John.

“Is that all?” John asked cautiously.

“Last night was…” Sherlock paused and then restarted. “You have to be here another night, and you and I were… we were rather good. I enjoyed it, and I think you did too… I, I think we should… I want to… we should have sex… again.”

He had to have been dreaming, he wanted to pinch himself. John counted himself lucky to have had one night with Sherlock, but to get the chance to touch and know such an incredible creature a second time… He must have been dreaming.

“Last night was good?” John smirked.

“Yes.”

“But what happened to deleting it?” John teased. He couldn’t help himself; he hadn’t felt this light since before Afghanistan.

“I guess I never quite managed it.” Sherlock blushed. “You know what, never mind. Forget I said any –”

Grinning, John leaned forward, cutting off Sherlock’s sentence with a kiss. It was soft, slow, and so very innocent compared to the kisses they shared the night before, but dear God was it exponentially better. The feel of Sherlock’s lips under his, Sherlock’s hand moving to cover his, while his other arm snaked around his back, pulling John even closer; they should have been doing this all day.

“Thank God you said something,” John breathed, resting his forehead against Sherlock’s, his eyes still closed, “I was dreading having to go upstairs and leave you down here. I was hoping you’d suggest something.”

Sherlock pulled away at that, and fixed John with a stare John guessed was supposed to be intimidating, but with his blown pupils and kiss reddened lips, Sherlock couldn’t quite pull it off. “You were hoping I would say something? Why didn’t you suggest something?”

“What? And risk over stepping? Not on your life, I’m too much of a coward.” John chuckled, unable to resist tangling his fingers in Sherlock’s curls any longer.

Sherlock raised an eyebrow. “Says the man who invaded Afghanistan.”

“That wasn’t just me, and going to war is nothing compared to propositioning the world’s only consulting detective!”

“Well, you’re the sole person in both groups, so you would know.” Sherlock murmured, running his nose along John’s jaw line, almost doing John in right then and there. “But just so we’re clear,” Sherlock said, pulling back again, “that was a yes to sex, right?”

“Oh God, yes. Yes to sex, yes to anything.” John nodded. Perhaps he should have kept that last bit to himself, but Christ it was true; anything Sherlock wanted, John was sure he would give him.

Sherlock swiftly swung his leg over John to straddle his lap. “Excellent, because there were a few things I wanted to do last night before you fell asleep on me.” He all but moaned into John’s ear.

I fell asleep on you?” It was very difficult to sound scandalized with a gorgeous, six foot tall man in one’s lap, but John sure as hell tired. “That’s not how I remember it.”

“Ah, but the human memory is a tricky thing. It’s all quite objective.” And at that, Sherlock swooped down to reclaim John’s mouth, stopping any possible retort. John did not mind in the slightest.

It didn’t take long before the kisses turned urgent, their lips parting only briefly to breathe before crashing back together. John’s hands moved of their own accord, shoving the silk dressing gown off Sherlock’s shoulders – the man never did bother getting dressed – and snaked their way under his t-shirt. John could feel as every muscle of Sherlock’s warm, smooth back moved.  If so inclined, he could count everyone one of Sherlock’s ribs and vertebra. John wanted to – needed to – learn every part of the man on top of him. He had to touch, to feel, every inch he could get his hands on.

John moaned as Sherlock began to rock, grinding himself against him, just as desperate for John as John was for him. His hands immediately fell to Sherlock’s hips, attempting to bring some semblance of control to the frantic rutting. He didn’t remember the last time he wanted someone more. Christ, he never needed anyone more than he needed Sherlock, and he needed him immediately.

“Bedroom!” John gasped when Sherlock tore his mouth from his only to start nipping and sucking on his neck. They couldn’t be restricted, he needed room to move, to explore. “Bed… NOW!” was all he could manage.

On his life, John could not say how exactly they made it to bedroom in one piece, but before he knew it, John found himself stripped naked completely entangled with an equally naked Sherlock, rutting, and panting into his hot, perfect mouth.

Uh – god – John…God, John I need more!”

“Anything – ah – you can have anything.” John breathed.

“Inside me. I want you… I need you inside me – ngh – I need you to take me, fill me – oh God – own me – ugh – Make me yours, John.”

“God yes.”

After much fumbling – which took too bloody long in John’s opinion – Sherlock produced a condom and a nearly full bottle of lube.

“Here, let me.” John said, reaching for the lube, intending to prepare Sherlock. He had been told on more than one occasion, by more than one partner, that the way he prepared them was almost as good as the final act.

“No,” Sherlock growled, pushing John back to lean against the headboard, “I want you to watch.”

He had never seen anything more beautiful – and it was more beautiful than it was erotic – than Sherlock kneeling before him, opening himself up, first with one finger, then two, and finally three. Sherlock’s moans as he added each finger, stretching himself more and more – John’s name on his lips – shot straight through John. If something didn’t happen soon, he was afraid he would suffer a heart attack.

As John reached for the lube and condom to prepare himself, Sherlock pulled his fingers from himself with one final moan, and grasped John’s wrist, stopping his movements.

He leaned forward, his lips brushing John’s ear. “No, let me.” He whispered, sending shivers down John’s spine. Unable to speak, John only nodded.

In one smooth motion, Sherlock had ripped open the condom, and rolled it – if a bit slowly – down John’s aching length. John thought he was going to die when he felt Sherlock’s hand close around him, coating him with warm, slick lube.

“Ready?” Sherlock asked

“Been ready for some time now.” John laughed, his voice thick with want. “God, hurry.”

Sherlock didn’t hurry – John figured he deserved it as some sort of revenge for the night before when he took his time stripping Sherlock – instead he teased John, barely brushing his entrance against John’s head.

This, this would definitely kill him; all he wanted to do was take Sherlock by the hips and force him down so that he could feel Sherlock’s tight heat around himself. But bitting his lip, John regained control. ‘This is for Sherlock,’ he told himself, ‘this has to be good for Sherlock’ If was good for Sherlock, then maybe…

John gasped as Sherlock sank down completely. It was better than he imagined; Sherlock was tight, oh so tight, it was bliss. It took every ounce of will power for John to not start thrusting into him immediately, to take him hard, take him fast, and find his release. No, no he couldn’t and wouldn’t do that, as much as he wanted to use Sherlock to get his release, he wanted them to find their release together. He wanted it to last, he wanted it to never end. So John waited, one arm wrapped around Sherlock’s back, the other buried in his curls; he waited for Sherlock to be ready.

They sat still for a few moments, accommodating to each other, when Sherlock began to move. It was slow at first, a gentle rolling of his hips, as if he were searching for the correct angle, the right position, searching for…

Oh GOD!” Sherlock stiffened as John felt himself graze the small bundle of nerves buried deep within Sherlock. “Ah! John – oh god, John! I need you to move – nha – I need to feel that again… I need it – oh god – harder!” He cried.

Not needing to be told twice, John immediately began thrusting, using his tight hold around Sherlock’s torso to guide Sherlock down as he thrust up.

“Sherlock – oh God – Oh god, Sherlock… you feel amazing…”

Yes… More – uhah – ah – Right… Right there, John… yeah… oh… yeah… there… oh – oh gaaa – JOHN!”

The thrusts became faster, harder; Sherlock lifting himself almost completely off John before sinking back down, forcing John in deeper than he thought possible, dragging himself, hard and leaking, against John’s stomach. Their incoherent babble filled the bedroom as they clawed at each other’s bodies, and moaned desperately against each other’s skin. John could feel Sherlock’s muscles start contract around him – they were both barreling towards the edge – when Sherlock repositioned himself, instinctively tightened his thighs around John’s waist, allowing for John to flip them over.

Yes this, this was what John wanted, what he needed, Sherlock panting, beads of sweat dotting his skin, spread out before him. Kneeling up on the bed, Sherlock’s legs wrapped around his waist, John let his hands travel slowly up Sherlock’s flushed, shaking body.

“Is this ok?” He asked, hand lightly traveling back down Sherlock’s sides, coming to rest on his hips.

“More – More than” Sherlock moaned. “Now please – please.”

“Please what?”

“Please… Fu – Fuck me. Just fuck me.”

John’s grip tightened on Sherlock’s hips, and he slowly pushed back in. “Oh I’m not going to just fuck you.” He growled. “No, I’m going to take you apart bit by bit, leave my mark on every last piece of you. And then, and only then, will I put you back together, with me completely ingrained within in you.” ‘As you’re ingrained within me.’

“Yes, John … Oh god yes!… Mark me!”

Guiding Sherlock by the hips, John began pushing in and then pulling out again. It was slow at first, almost painfully so, but to see Sherlock’s face, the muscles of his abdomen tensing and relaxing as he tried to follow John, was worth it. The slow give and take, push and pull, went on for God knows how long, and soon the heat coiling deep within him tightened, and John began to thrust faster. John was burying himself so hard and so deep that Sherlock had to clutch the rails of the headboard to stop himself from slamming into the wall, and he only cried out for more.

“I’m close – AH! –  I’m so close… Please, John – Oh GOD – Please.” Sherlock moaned.

“Me too.” John panted. “Touch yourself… I want to see… I want to see you pulling yourself off with me buried deep inside you.”

OH GOD – JOHN!” And then he was doing it, those long, slender fingers wrapped themselves around his hot, leaking prick. The sight of Sherlock gripping himself, that powerful, yet delicate hand, stroking himself in time with John thrusting into him, was enough to drive John wild.

His thrusts became erratic as Sherlock’s muscles contracted, squeezing him impossibly tight, and Sherlock was coming, his body bowing off the bed, his release coating his stomach and chest. With Sherlock still contracting around him, calling out his name over and over, John’s own climax took him, his mind went blank, and he was coming harder than he had in years.

His senses had only just begun to return, when John felt Sherlock’s hand on the back of his neck, and he was being pulled down into a hard, uncoordinated kiss. Mouth thoroughly claimed, John rode out the rest of his orgasm with Sherlock, his thrusts slow and careful, so as to not aggravate their already oversensitive bodies.

“That was…” John breathed as he rolled over and settled next to Sherlock.

“Amazing? Fantastic? Earth shattering?” Sherlock supplied, wiping himself off with his discarded t-shirt.

“All of the above.”

“I agree.” Sherlock grinned, before pulling John back on top of him and kissed him softly, the merest brush of lips against lips. It was careful, gentle, almost… loving. But that was only John’s wishful thinking. “When do you think you’ll be ready to go again?” He asked, those intoxicating eyes staring deep into John’s.

John raised his eyebrows. “Again? Aren’t you going to be sore?” He asked. Not that he was adverse to the idea; he just didn’t think Sherlock would be up for it so soon.

“Oh you left me quite sore. Pleasantly sore, I should add,” Sherlock smirked, “but there’s still an extensive list of other things we can do.”

“Well in that case, give me twenty minutes, and I’m all yours.”

“Twenty minutes? I bet I can get you there in fifteen.” Sherlock said, wrapping a leg around John’s hip, and rolling them over, his lips securely planted over John’s.

It took him seventeen.

 

John had slipped into a light doze after he and Sherlock ticked a number of items off Sherlock rather impressive list, when he felt a warm pressure against the back of his neck. The pressure slowly started to move down his back, pausing at each of his vertebra. Sherlock was kissing down his spine, and though he was exhausted, John thought this was not a bad way to be awakened.

“John.” Sherlock murmured, pausing between John’s shoulder blades at around T6.

“Mmmm.” Hummed John. “Keep doing that, it feels amazing.”

Sherlock merely chuckled. “John, you have astonishing musculature.” And continued to planting kisses along John’s back, branching out and kissing said muscles.

“Well you have Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, to thank for that.”

“Well in that case, thank you for your service.” Sherlock’s voice was husky, coming from somewhere around L3.

“Oh Christ, Sherlock,” John groaned, “are you trying to kill me?”

Sherlock’s kisses began working his way back up John’s back. “Quite the opposite, in fact.”          

“Trying to keep me alive?” John shivered.

“To make you feel alive. Now… turn over.” Sherlock whispered, nipping at John’s earlobe.

It took a bit of effort – Sherlock’s kisses had done quite a number on him – but John managed to roll on to his back, to find himself caged between Sherlock’s arms.

“That’s better.” Sherlock said, a wicked grin spread across his face, and dropped his head to kiss John properly.

The snog lasted only a minute or so, because Sherlock quickly tore his lips from John’s, and started kissing down John’s neck and chest, evidently giving John’s front the same treatment he gave his back.

John let out a strangled gasp-groan combination he would later never admit too, when Sherlock paused to swirl his tongue around John’s navel.

“Oh you’re so sensitive, and I’m not done yet.” Sherlock said, his tone dark, dangerous, and oh so inviting.

“Then get on with it!” John groaned again.

“Patience, John. Patience.” Sherlock’s breath ghosted over John’s painfully hard erection.

He then proceeded to kiss along John’s right hip, nosing along the crease where thigh met groin, before switching sides to give the left hip the same treatment.

Oh – ahhh!” John had to bite his lip to keep from crying out as Sherlock finally – FINALLY! – took him into his mouth, swirling his tongue around John’s leaking head, sucking every so slightly.

Releasing the tip with a wet pop, hands firmly planted on John’s hips to prevent him from bucking, Sherlock ran his flattened tongue up John’s shaft from root to tip; first the bottom than the top.

“Sherlock – Oh Sherr – Oh Sherlock – Oh GOD!” John panted. He tried gripping the sheets, but staring up at him beneath hooded eyelids, his eyes burning, Sherlock let go of one hip to place John’s hand into his wild curls.

The moan Sherlock released when John gave an experimental tug, sent shock waves up John’s spine. It felt like he’d been struck by lightening, every nerve felt electrified, his chest felt like it was going to explode. John had been on the receiving end of a number of blow jobs in his life, but never had he experienced one this good. It was… ecstasy.

Sherlock was bobbing in earnest now, swallowing with every down stroke, John wasn’t going to last. Fingers twisted in sheets, John tugged desperately at Sherlock’s curls, he had to warn him, but Sherlock only sucked harder, only swallowed around him with more force. He only had a matter of seconds, he was going to, he was going to…

“Oh God Sher – Sherlock, Sherlock, SHERLOCK!” John screamed, losing control and bucking into Sherlock’s mouth. He was pouring himself down Sherlock’s throat; he had come so many times in the past few hours, yet more seemed to come. He was dead, he must be dead, Sherlock literally sucked him to death, and this was his heaven.

Sherlock continued to lick and suck at him until John started to soften and slip from those now red, swollen lips, those perfect lips.

“Good?” Sherlock asked, sidling his way back up John’s body.

“Perfect.” John breathed, snaking his arms around Sherlock’s neck and shoulders, crashing their lips together. He could taste himself on Sherlock lips, and on his tongue. Normally, the taste of his own release – for lack of a better word – left a bad taste in his mouth, but on Sherlock, mixed with the taste of Sherlock’s lips and tongue, it was amazing.

As they kissed – tongues sweeping every inch of each other’s mouths – John could feel Sherlock hot and ridged between them. Well, he couldn’t have that. John was the most generous of lovers, and he couldn’t go tanking his reputation now.

Grinning, John flipped Sherlock onto his back and pinned him by his shoulders. “Your turn.”

“You don’t…”

“Oh yes I do.” John forwent peppering every inch of Sherlock’s body with kisses – with the way Sherlock was whining, there was no way he’d last – and took him in completely to the base.

Uuhhhhh – JOHN!” It has been a couple of years since John last sucked a man off – not since… well not since Afghanistan – but he clearly hadn’t lost any of his skills.

Hollowing his cheeks, and a few hard sucks later, Sherlock was writhing underneath him.

“John – I’m – I’m going to – John, I’m…”

‘Do it, I want you to do it.’ John thought, swallowing one last time.

OOOOHH GOD! JOOOHN!

 

“John… that was… ehem… that was…” Sherlock stumbled, after he appeared to have finally got his breath back.

“Hmm?”

“That was good. What you did, that was quite good.” He finished.

“Quite good? I’m honored.”John yawned, settling back into the bed, feeling the all too familiar siren call of sleep. At thirty-five, multiple orgasms took a lot out of a man.

“John?”

“Mmmm?” His eyelids were heavy. He didn’t need his eyes open to hear, he could just close his eyes.

 

*******

 

He knew John couldn’t hear him – John was already fast asleep – but Sherlock had to say it, he had to get it out.

“Stay with me. I don’t want you to go, not yet. Stay with me longer.” He breathed.

Chapter Text

He knew John couldn’t hear him – John was already fast asleep – but Sherlock had to say it, he had to get it out.

"Stay with me. I don’t want you to go, not yet. Stay with me longer.” He breathed. 

 

~***~

 

Sherlock didn’t sleep the rest of the night, which wasn’t a rare occurrence; Sherlock needed far less sleep than the average person, and he had slept at least five hours the night before. But usually at night – when his mind raced – he would plan out and conduct experiments, he would go over evidence and revisit old cases, but tonight all he could think about was John. John, John, John.

Sherlock didn’t do relationships, he didn’t do sentiment. ‘All lives end. All hearts are broken. Caring is not an advantage’ or whatever it was Mycroft liked to say. It was everything he ever believed; it was how he lived his life. Everyday Sherlock saw what caring for others did to people, it got them killed, it got them taken advantage of, it lead to their downfall. And now he seemed to be falling victim himself. He found himself caring about John Watson; caring what John thought, what John thought about him. He wanted more of John, more with John. And it wasn’t just the sex – though the sex was amazing – it was John himself. But Sherlock didn’t understand why! What was different about John? What made him… special?

John was intelligent – not as intelligent as Sherlock, as very few were – but intelligent compared to the rest of the population. But Sherlock knew intelligent, clever-ish people. John was handsome. But there were men out there who were more universally accepted as ‘attractive.’ John was attracted to him, but plenty of people found him aesthetically pleasing. John was still attracted to him even after he opened his mouth. There were far fewer people who fell into that category, but it wasn’t unheard of. John liked his deductions. Lestrade liked his deductions. Alright, so Sherlock’s deductions often times helped him out on a case, but Lestrade like them to some degree. John liked him, or at least Sherlock thought – hoped – he did. Maybe… maybe it was all those things. Maybe that’s what made him interesting, because John was all those things.

This was why he didn’t do ‘caring’, it was all so confusing, and Sherlock hated being confused. He hated not knowing. The only thing he did know for sure was that he wanted to more time with John Watson, because whatever questions he had – whatever confusion this weekend started brewing – John held the answers. Sherlock just needed to find a reason to see John again, to get John to stick around.

Well, he had time to figure it out; John was going to be out for at least a few more hours.

 

Several hours later, John finally began to stir. “Mmmmm… Morning.” He yawned.

“Morning.” Sherlock said, glancing up from an article on the proposed use bumblebees as pollinators for lunar grown food, just in time to catch the tail end of John’s stretch.

The sunlight streamed in through the window, and John was luminous. His sleep – and sex – rumpled blond hair shown golden. Sherlock could see the muscles shift under his skin, skin that still showed vestiges of the Middle Eastern sun.  His dark blue eyes blinked open, bright and fresh from a restful sleep. John was gorgeous.

“What time is it?” He asked, sitting up next to Sherlock with his back against the headboard, completely unaware of the storm raging in Sherlock’s chest.

Control’ Sherlock thought, ‘regain control!

“Ni…” Sherlock swallowed hard. “Nine thirty-seven.” His mouth was dry; it wasn’t dry a moment ago.

“Mmm, love a bit of a lie in. You been awake long?”

“Not long, no.” Sherlock lied, looking back to his laptop.

John nudged his shoulder. “Long enough to get up, get your computer, and come back though?” He smiled.

“Long enough for that, yeah.”

It was quiet for several long moments. Sherlock tried to refocus on the article before him, but he was all too aware of John’s presence next to him. He could feel the heat radiating off of John’s body, soaking into his skin. He could feel John’s shoulder just barely touching his, John’s naked thigh next to his. It was… distracting. Not unwanted, but still distracting.

John seemed to pick up on Sherlock distracted state, shifting slightly to put a bit of space between them.

“I’m not… I’m not overstepping, am I? Sitting here, I mean. I’m not in the way or anything?” He asked worriedly.

“No, not at all.”

“Oh, good. Good.”

“Why would you be in the way?” Sherlock frowned. If anything, he wanted John closer.

“You just have a look on your face; I thought something might be wrong.”

“It’s just my face. Nothing’s wrong, I’m just thinking.” Sherlock said, giving John a half-smile.

“Thinking about…” John prompted.

Sherlock paused for a moment to take a deep breath; it was now or never. “I’ve been thinking about my work.” He said, putting his computer on the floor to face John again. “More specifically, in the course of my work, I have found that a working knowledge of modern medicine and medical practices would invaluable.”

“I would imagine so.” John said slowly.

“So I was wondering… Perhaps, if the timing is right of course, you might be interested in accompanying me on a case, or cases, in the future?”

“What? Really? You’d want me to tag along?”

“Yes. If you’re not interested, it’s fine. I… I understand.” Sherlock’s words were rushed. Of course John wouldn’t want to come along. He had a real life putting his medical knowledge to practical use. John may have liked hearing about Sherlock’s cases, but seeing them first hand was an entirely different story. Not everyone found a fresh crime scene as thrilling as he did. John wasn’t like him, John was normal.

“Sherlock? Hey Sherlock? Can you hear me in there?” Oh, John had been talking.

Sherlock shook his head. “I’m sorry, what?”

“You ask me a question, then get lost in your head.” John sighed, chuckling to himself. “I said it would be fantastic. I’d love to come along.” He grinned.

“Seriously? You really want to come?” Sherlock didn’t dare believe his ears.

“God, yeah. Your stories are great and all, but they’d be nothing compared to actually being there. To be honest, I’ve been trying to think of a proper way to ask you if I could tag along.” John shrugged, still laughing slightly.

“There you go again,” Sherlock sighed in fake exasperation, “leaving it to me to make all the suggestions. I’m not sure I like this side of you, John Watson.” He teased. He couldn’t help it, John wanted to go on cases with him. He still wanted to be around him. Oh, it was Christmas!

“I haven’t even been awake for five minutes. I would have thought of something, you just beat me to it.”

“Five minutes, and you couldn’t figure out how to ask? I wouldn’t broadcast that, John.”

“Oi! Watch it Holmes! You need my medical expertise. Maybe I’ll go to the crime scene and not say a word. I’ll just sit back and watch you work”

Sherlock had to look away. ‘As long as you’re there.

“Hmm… maybe.” He hummed.

“Hey, is there something else?” John asked, scooting closer to Sherlock.

Of course there’s something else, there’s always something else.’ Sherlock thought. Then, mustering up every last ounce of confused courage he had, Sherlock reached a hand to John’s cheek, tilting his head just enough so he could press his lips to John’s. Sure he had kissed John before – quite a bit in fact – but this kiss, this kiss was a risk. This kiss wasn’t a kiss between two semi-strangers who were never going to see each other again. Sherlock kissed John knowing he would see him again; not hoping, not wanting, but knowing. And John was kissing him back. John was parting his lips, he was pressing forward, and he was kissing him back.

“If that’s how you apologize for being a sarcastic little arse, by all means, keep it up.” John sighed, his eyes still closed.

“That may prove to be a problem. I’m rather rude to everyone.”

“Oh in that case, please don’t go around kissing just anyone.”

“No, not just anyone.” Sherlock smiled.

“Good. Now, I could use a shower. You don’t mind, do you?”

“That all depends on what you’re asking me. Do I mind you using my shower? No. Do I mind you going to take a shower, thereby leaving the comforts and confines of my bed? Then, yes. I mind very much.”

“Mmmm. As lovely as comforts and confines sound, I really need a shower. And some breakfast, I seem to have burned quite a lot of calories in the last twelve hours.”

“Uuh, breakfast. Breakfast is boring. Plus I don’t have anything in.” Sherlock grumbled, slumping down.

“It’s not too bad outside now; we could brave the cold and go get something.” John said, slouching to stay at Sherlock’s eye level. “It’ll be my treat. Think of it as a thank you for being such a charming host.”

“… Maybe.” Sherlock words were muffled by his pillow.

“Well, you can think about it. In the mean time, I’m going to go take that shower.” John said planting a kiss in Sherlock’s curls, and was then up and out of the bed before Sherlock could make any last ditch effort to keep him there. Not that Sherlock would ever do such a thing.

“Clean towels are on the bottom shelf.”

“I see them.” John called, already sliding the bathroom door closed.

It was all rather domestic. Waking up with another person, bantering in bed, making plans for breakfast.  Strangely, Sherlock found he didn’t seem to mind.

 

Sherlock sat for a while, listening to the sound of water splashing against the shower tiles, imagining John in there using his soaps, washing off the evidence of their recent activities, but still taking on Sherlock’s scent. For a brief moment Sherlock toyed with the idea of heading in to join John - he realized that he too was in need of a shower – but thought better of it. Joint showers were far less ‘sexy’ than people would like you to believe, and very little actual cleaning got done. They also took way too long, and John seemed to really want to go to breakfast. Sherlock couldn’t care less about going out to eat, but if that’s what John wanted, that’s what they were going to do. John was taking a huge risk doing what ever this was with Sherlock, the least Sherlock could do was make him believe he was worth the effort, worth the risk.

Sighing heavily, Sherlock slipped out of bed and padded into the sitting room to retrieve his dressing gown from the floor  where it had fallen the night before – he never did know when Mrs. Hudson would decided to pay another visit, and it wouldn’t do for him to be lounging about in the nude. He was just sliding his arm through the last sleeve, when heard a muffled ringing coming from the red chair, John’s chair. Reaching down between the arm and the cushion, his fingers closed around John’s phone, it must have slipped down there sometime last night. Before he could decide whether to take John his phone or not, the ringing stopped, and the phone pinged signaling a missed call. Well, he would just tell John when he got out of the bathroom.

Sherlock had just settled back on his bed, a new tab open to start looking for places that would be open for brunch – dear God, was he really about to go to Sunday brunch – when John’s phone pinged again on the bedside table, this time indicating a new text message. It was probably the friend from Friday, checking to see if John had still not been murdered. He glanced over, and there on the screen – bright as the sun, burning into his retinas – were three little notifications that made Sherlock’s heart stop and plummet straight down to the bottom of his stomach.

 

‘1 Missed Call: GF Sarah Sawyer

‘1 New Voicemail’

‘1 New Message: GF Sarah Sawyer John, I need you.

 

GF Sarah Sawyer

GF

 

It didn’t take a genius level intellect to see what was going on. He was an idiot to think he could have something like this, that something like this with someone like John could have really happened for him. How could he be so stupid? There was a reason his encounters were few and far between, and always kept to a single night. You try for anything more, and you just get used. Mycroft was going to have a field day with this; Little Sherlock, sentiment’s fool. 

 

*******

 

What a wonder a hot shower can do, John thought as he wrapped a towel around his waist.

“You know, I’m actually dreading having to put my clothes back on.” He laughed, stepping back into Sherlock’s room. “I’ve been wearing them since Friday, and now I’m all clean… What is it? What’s wrong?” He finally caught sight of Sherlock sitting on the bed, staring stony-eyed back at him.

“There’s something you should know about me, John,” Sherlock spat, “I don’t appreciate being used as a revenge fuck. And I make it a policy to not facilitate infidelity.” His was voice cold and harsh; so unlike the deep, seductively smooth voice that sent sparks through John’s body.

John frowned. “Revenge fuck? Infidelity? Sherlock, what the hell are you talking about?” This didn’t make any sense. When John left him, Sherlock had been – for lack of a better word – affectionate, trying to draw him back into bed. John hadn’t even been gone for ten minutes, where did this Sherlock come from?

“You might want to call your girlfriend, she seems to need to get in touch with you. Does that clear it up?”

“Sherlock,” John said slowly, more confused than ever, “I don’t have a girlfriend.”

“Oh, pardon me. Is she your fiancée again?” Sneered Sherlock, throwing John his phone.

Glancing down, John saw he had a missed call and some messages. “You think Sarah’s… Sherlock, Sarah’s my boss.”

“Really, you mark your boss with a GF before her name? I’m not an idiot. Though I must commend you, I didn’t read adulterer on you. It’s very rare I miss something like that, so congratulations.”

“You think ‘GF’ stands for girlfriend? I’m not fifteen years old.” John could feel his blood pressure rising. Alright, Sarah’s text could have been easily misconstrued, but still.

“Well what else does it stand for, then?”

“Gallen Family!” John snapped. “As in Gallen Family Medical, the clinic where I work!”

Shoulders slumping, Sherlock seemed to shrink in on himself. “Oh.” He said quietly.

“Damn right, ‘Oh’! And where to you get off going and invading my privacy? Just because we’ve slept together, that doesn’t give you the right to go through my things!” John was fuming now. It was hard to believe that not that long ago he had been laying in bed, content to just be in Sherlock’s presence, content to just look at him. Now he could barely look at the man.

Sherlock actually had the gall to look offended. “I didn’t go through your things.”

“Really?” John let out a humorless laugh. “Because I seem to remember my phone being out in your sitting room. So tell me, how did it end up in here?”

“It was ringing. I was going to bring it to you, but it stopped before I could. I brought it in here so I could tell you when you got out of the shower.” Sherlock said through gritted teeth.

“And in the mean time, you decided to just have a little check to see who was contacting me? That it?” Crossing his arms in front of him, John really wished he were in more than just a towel.

“The screen lights up, it caught my eye. You know what, I don’t know why I’m even explaining myself. I did nothing wrong.” Sherlock scowled.

“You did nothing wrong?!” John huffed. “You flew off the handle, and started making unfounded accusations. I know, how about you just be in charge of my entire schedule from now on, that way we don’t have this problem in the future.”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Sarcasm and wit don’t suit you.”

“Oh sorry Sarah,” John mimed, ignoring Sherlock’s insults, “I’m not sure if I can make it into work today, I have to run it by the guy I just hooked up with.”

Sherlock bolted up, and within seconds, was towering over John. “Right, so I’m just some guy you hooked up with, am I?”

“Well aren’t you?” John said, glowering up defiantly at Sherlock. “You said it yourself yesterday morning: you got what you wanted, I got what I wanted, and now we can part as satisfied strangers? Your words, Sherlock.”

“That was…” Sherlock started, and then shook his head. “You know what? You’re right.” He nodded, shoving some of John’s discarded clothes into his chest. “It was just a one night stand that lasted way too long. You scratched an itch, and now it’s time for you to go. The roads should be clear by now. Have a safe trip home.” He finished with a sneer, before stalking into the bathroom, and slamming the door.

 

John stood frozen, staring at the bathroom door, his brain trying desperately to catch up to what just happened. He woke up this morning in the bed of a gorgeous man, flirted, kissed, made plans, and now it was just… gone. He had been accused of cheating, had his privacy invaded, and been dismissed as a one night stand who overstayed his welcome by the man he was starting to…

Well, John Watson wasn’t going to stay where he wasn’t wanted. He dressed quickly – he certainly didn’t want to be around when Sherlock got out of the shower – stopping only briefly in the sitting room to put on his shoes and grab his coat, and hurried out of the flat.

“Oh, are you leaving? Is everything alright, dear?”

Shit, he couldn’t even get a clean break. “No… No, it’s fine,” John said, turning to find Mrs. Hudson standing in the doorway to 221A, “I just need to head home. Sorry to disturb you, Mrs. Hudson.”

“That’s quite alright, dear. I hope to see you again soon…” Mrs. Hudson said, a slight question in her voice.

“Yeah… Yeah, I’m sure. It was nice meeting you.” There was no point bringing her into it, he would just let Sherlock explain everything to her later, or not, he didn’t really care.

“You too, dear.”

 

The bite of the cold felt good on John’s face, it cleared his muddled head. As he walked towards the nearest tube station – thank Christ they got the Underground working again – he could breath, he could think again. Sherlock was right, he was an arsehole, but he was right. This weekend didn’t mean anything. They met at a club, and went home together. They never meant to be anything more than a one night stand. If the weather hadn’t turned, they never would have seen each other again, the entire day before would have never even happened. Anything John thought he might have been feeling, anything he thought Sherlock might have been feeling, it was all just a result of being stuck together.

The past twenty-four hours, it wasn’t real, and it was time for John to get back to his real life. Pulling out his phone, John decided to start with Sarah’s voice message; it was what triggered everything after all.

 

"Hey John, it’s Sarah. I just got a call from Anthony, the idiot decided to try clearing some of the snow himself, and ended up throwing out his back. I know you’re not scheduled until Wednesday, and I really hate to do this, but I need you to take his shifts for him tomorrow and Tuesday. I know your friend’s in town, and I’m so sorry, but with Tara out of town, you’re my only hope. I’m really, really, sorry. I’ll make it up to you somehow I promise. Just let me know when you get this, ASAP. Sorry again!”

 

Excellent, he had been looking forward to those two days, and just because Dr. Anthony ‘I’ve seen worse’ Monroe, that went straight to hell. Well, it wasn’t Sarah’s fault after all, no point taking it out on her.

 

‘Don’t worry, I’ll be there tomorrow – JW’

 

If there was one thing John knew, after the weekend he had, and having to take on extra shifts, he was going to need a pint. He and Bill were meant to drive out to see their old C.O. the next day, but maybe Bill would forgive him enough for skipping out, and agree to meet him after he got back and John got off work. John needed the pint, and he needed to vent.

Chapter Text

When Sherlock left the bathroom, the flat was empty, John was gone. He had thought John might have tried to put up a bit more of a fight – the very definition of a stubborn soldier – but he probably knew a lost cause when he saw one. Good, Sherlock neither wanted nor needed John around. Out of sight and out of mind, Sherlock could go back to focusing on what was actually important; finding cases. Now if only the out of mind part were as easy as the out of sight.

 

Sherlock spent the rest of Sunday attempting to purge John from his thoughts. He started and stopped his organ charring experiment four times, each time becoming distracted and almost ruining a sample. His attempt to re-order his mind palace just left the rooms in more disarray than before. Nothing worked. And it didn’t help matters when he found John’s scarf – probably forgotten in his hast to exit the flat – on one of the kitchen chairs, hanging half on the floor.

Where did John get off accusing him of invading his privacy? Acting as though Sherlock were some insecure, jealous lover. He saw something in plain sight, and made a logical conclusion based on the facts. He acted as any normal person would, and John had to blow it all out of proportion. And hadn’t John spent much of the day before poking around Sherlock’s flat, looking through his bookshelves, going into his refrigerator? Sherlock didn’t accuse John of invading his privacy.

Honestly, he was glad John was gone. Sherlock didn’t need that type of distraction, he didn’t need John there confusing him, making him question everything he thought he knew about himself. Any feelings he thought himself developing for the ordinary ex-army doctor, were simply some minor form of Stockholm/Lima Syndrome brought on by their forced cohabitation.

What Sherlock needed was a case. He didn’t care how simple, how obvious, how boring, Sherlock needed anything to get his focus pointed elsewhere. Lestrade replied promptly to Sherlock’s series of texts, telling him that he had absolutely nothing for him. The storm had kept any interesting criminals inside, and everything currently on Lestrade’s plate was open and shut, an overworked detective inspector’s dream caseload. He did promise to let Sherlock know the second something came up, but all the promises in the world weren’t going to help Sherlock’s current predicament.

 

Lestrade finally came through for him the following afternoon; a private nurse discovered her elderly patient dead, and quite a few of his valuables missing from the house. According to Lestrade, there were no signs of a break in, other than the missing stuff. And because of the weather, the nurse couldn’t visit in person over the weekend, but called to check in on her patient several times a day, and didn’t understand how anyone could have managed break in, let alone do it in such bad conditions.

Sherlock solved it within a half hour of arriving at the scene. The nurse had in fact braved the snow to do her duty and check on her patient, only to find he had died in the night of natural causes. She then decided to supplement her income a bit by stealing some of the more pricey items in the house, and tried to make her employers death seem suspicious, thereby making the real crime, the theft, secondary to a possible murder. Like an idiot, she figured reporting it herself would shift suspicion off of her.

The case wasn’t even a four, barely worth Sherlock’s time, but it worked, it got his mind off of John. Instead of returning to Baker Street as he usually did after a case, Sherlock followed Lestrade back to Scotland Yard; certainly he could find something for him to look into if Sherlock was there to bug him in person. He did not, and Sherlock was forced to return to Baker Street, and unwanted thoughts.

 

It was another two days of silence before Sherlock had enough, and stormed Scotland Yard, demanding something, anything, to investigate.

“I don’t know what to tell you, Sherlock, I don’t have anything for you.” Lestrade sighed, massaging his temples.

“There has to be something! You can’t possibly be clearing everything on your own.” Sherlock groaned, dropping down hard into one of the office chairs. He needed a case, he couldn’t think about blond, blue-eyed, stubborn soldiers for one more second.

“I’m going to just ignore that last bit. We have a huge room of cold cases that you’re always welcome to.”

Not bothering to say anything, Sherlock got up, cold cases were better than nothing. He was just about to reach for the door handle, when Lestrade’s voice stopped him.

“Hold on, Sherlock. What’s going with you?”

“Going on? There’s nothing going on.”

Surely he wasn’t so transparent that Lestrade could see?

“Despite what you seem to think, I’m not stupid. You’ve never been this worked up over a lack of a case before. There’s clearly something else bothering you.”

Apparently he was that transparent. “And if there were?” Sherlock asked, not looking at Lestrade.

“Well, I’d like to think we’re something close to friends. You can talk to me.”

Not knowing what else to do, Sherlock sighed. “Fine. Last Friday, after I wrapped up that nanny stalking case for you, I… ah… I met someone.”

“You met someone? For nothing illegal, I hope.”

“No! Not like that!” Sherlock frowned. Honestly, did he seem high, did ye seem like he was coming down? “A regular person. I just… ended up spending more time with him than I originally planned. It left me a bit… confused.”

“A good confused or bad confused?”

“He just got under my skin, that’s all. I can’t seem to shake him.”

“Ah, but do you want to shake him?” Lestrade asked.

“This conversation is over, Graham!” Enough was enough, Sherlock didn’t think he could stomach that smug little smile spreading across Lestrade’s face, and stormed off towards the cold case files.

 

*******

 

John didn’t fare much better.

The pint with Bill went about as well as he expected it would. Bill told him all about the redhead, her name was Gwen, she was in publishing, and she was as close to an angel on Earth as any human could be. He then proceeded to tease John about his little weekend in seclusion with ‘the dark haired stranger’. And, after listening to him complain, told John that the guy might have been an arsehole, but at least sleeping with him allowed John to “lose his post-war virginity”, so he should be grateful and forget about him. Forgetting about Sherlock proved easier said than done.

 

February meant head colds, the seasonal flu, and sore throats, along with the year-round earaches, rashes, and asthma flare-ups. And while John was kept busy tending to London’s sick and aching, the work was not as mentally taxing as he wished, and his thoughts inevitably floated back to dark curls, pale skin, and a razor sharp mind that couldn’t leave well enough alone. 

Though he went about his days as normally as he could, treating patients and exchanging pleasantries with co-workers, John was miserable. Try as he might, John could not stop thinking about Sherlock, about what he thought he wanted with him, about how things started to progress between them, only to came to a screeching halt. Sherlock was sure to have deleted their entire encounter by now; how desperately John wished he could too.

 

“I’m heading out to lunch.” Sarah said, popping her head into John’s office a week after the whole Sherlock incident happened, “care to join?”

“Nah, it’s alright. I can just get something from the machines.” It wasn’t that John didn’t like Sarah, quite the opposite in fact, she’d always been a great friend, he just knew he’d be horrible company, and he didn’t want to subject Sarah to that.

“Okay, I posed that as a question, but it wasn’t really a question.” She sighed, stepping fully into the office. “I checked the schedule and we both don’t have patients for the next two hours, you’ve eaten nothing but vending machine food all week, and I still owe you for coming in on your days off. I’m treating you to lunch, and as your boss, I forbid you from declining. Now grab your coat, we’re going.”

For the first time in almost a week, John felt a genuine smile start to creep onto his face. “Yes, ma’am.” he chuckled. “But I get to pick where we go.”

“Of course. Like I said, this is me thanking you for working Monday and Tuesday.”

They ended up going to a small Greek place not too far from the clinic. It was moderately priced – if Sarah was treating him, John didn’t want to make her have to pay too much – but nice, and the service was prompt, which was always a bonus. It wouldn’t do to rush through a meal in order to get back to work.

They made idle chit-chat for a while, until Sarah finally took a deep breath, looking seriously at John. That was never a good sign.

“John, I have to be honest with you, I have an ulterior motive for inviting you to lunch.”

“Which is?” John asked slowly, trying to gage the situation.

“While your work has been nothing but excellent, you seem a bit off this week. You’ve been a lot quieter than usual, and… I don’t know, it’s like you’re forcing yourself to smile and go through the motions. I want to check if you’re alright, if everything’s ok.”

“Oh God, Sarah, I’m sorry. I’m fine, really.” Well if he didn’t feel like a real jackass. “I’ve just been kind of dwelling on something. I didn’t mean to worry you.”

“Hey that’s what friends are for. And if you’re dwelling, I’m always happy to help. It’s not something serious, is it?”

“No, no. It’s dumb really. Just some stupid prick I met over the weekend, and he’s sort of been stuck in my head all week.”

“Wow, he must be something for you to be thinking about him all week.” Sarah smiled. “You much really like him.”

“I thought I was starting too, but like I said, he turned out to be a right prat.”

“Well, tell me about him. What did he do to make you think he was a prat?”

John closed his eyes for a moment, then letting out a deep sigh, dove right into the story of meeting, getting stuck with, and getting to know Sherlock, leaving out the more lurid details of course. Sarah was kind, understanding, and let John talk, listening to everything he said. It felt good, almost cathartic, getting it all off his chest, and not just the stuff he bitched to Bill about.

“… So I left, and that was that. Been replaying the entire thing in my head all week, trying to figure out how I could have been so wrong about him.”

“Alright John, please don’t hate me, but was it really so bad what he did?” Sarah asked cautiously, as if afraid of provoking John. “Not the way he dismissed you, that was harsh, but the other stuff.” She added quickly.

“Of course it was bad, Sarah. He read my texts!”

“Not really, though.” Sarah grimaced slightly. “I mean, sure, he shouldn’t have read it, and he defiantly shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions and started making accusations like he did, but the phone screen does light up. He probably wasn’t aware he was looking until he already was doing it.”

John couldn’t believe what he was hearing; Sarah was his friend, she was meant to be on his side. She was supposed to be agreeing that Sherlock was out of line!

“But the point is that he did read your text, he didn’t just glance towards the light, he actually read the message. And he did make those accusations.” John groaned, scrubbing a hand down his face.

“Well I’m not going to tell you how to feel about it, but it’s obviously bugging you. Now, if you want me to shut up, I’ll shut up, but if you want my opinion, I’ll be happy to share it.” Sarah sighed, and suddenly John felt like a petulant child.

“No, I do want to hear what you think; honestly. I’m certainly not getting anywhere.”

“Okay, obviously I don’t know him, but based on what you’ve said, it sounds like this Sherlock is a bit socially unaware.”

“You can say that again.” John snorted.

“Exactly, and it sounded like he has little to no real experience with personal relationships, like all the emotions involved are new and unfamiliar.”

“Probably.” John shrugged. Ok, he was starting to feel like an arse.

“Right, so look at it from his standpoint.” Sarah said softly. “You’ve never really had a relationship, but you meet someone and start to feel something for him. It’s new, it’s unfamiliar, but you’re giving it a shot, when suddenly you see this questionable looking text. Think about it John, he was confused enough as it was, and so he panicked, he sabotaged himself.”

“Maybe you’re right.” John sighed. He definitely felt like an arse.

“No maybe, I am right.” Sarah smirked. “Then add your trust issues into the mix, and everything just imploded.”

My trust issues?!” That was ridiculous. Sure John wasn’t the most open person, but that had nothing to do with what happened between him and Sherlock.

“Yes, John.” She sounded exasperated, but took his hand anyway, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “Ever since that fiasco last year, you’ve been so guarded, refusing to take any sort of risk because you’re convinced it’ll all happen again. So when this minor hiccup with Sherlock happened, you took it as the first step towards disaster, and decided to pack it in.”

John couldn’t look at Sarah. Loath as he was to admit it, she had him pegged. “God, why am I paying Ella when I can just talk to you?” He chuckled.

“You know, I was going to ask you the same question.” Sarah laughed. “I’m quite good at sorting people’s lives for them.”

“Yeah? So what do you think I should do about it then? How do I get him out of my head?” After everything he said to Sherlock before he left, John really didn’t see himself getting a second chance.

“You don’t!” Sarah smiled. “You know where he lives, you should go see him, see if you can set things straight; try and fix it!”

Good god, she wanted him to live out some cheesy nineties rom-com moment. “Now I remember why I go to Ella.” He said, more to himself than to Sarah. “I’m not going to go stakeout his flat, I’m not a stalker!”

“I don’t know, John,” Sarah said, leaning in conspiratorially, “they guy you described sounded like he might be the type who might just enjoy that kind of thing.”

“Oh God! Well that’s not my type!”

“Yeah, yeah you’re right. Let’s hope he’s not that type.” Sarah chuckled. “But come on John, you have to do something. I really don’t to have inadvertently ended what could be the greatest love story since Han and Leia, before it even had a chance to start!” She was pouting; John hated it when she pouted, he hated that she almost always got her way when she pouted.

“Han and Leia, huh? I don’t know if I’d go that far… though he did sometimes put on airs that could rival those of royalty.”

With the posh clothes, public school accent, and social disconnect, John wouldn’t have actually been surprised if Sherlock turned out to be an Earl of something.

Sarah quirked an eyebrow, “Did I say you were Han?”

John couldn’t help but laugh. For the first time in nearly a week, John was genuinely enjoying himself. It felt good.

“Nice, Sarah, real nice.” John said once the laughter subsided. “Remind me again why I put up with you?”

“Because I found you gainful employment, and without me you never would have passed second semester Organic Chemistry in Uni”

“I would have passed.” John mumbled. It had been a nightmare of a class, but it wasn’t that bad.

“You keep telling yourself that, Leia.” Sarah said, patting John’s hand.

 

*******

 

Sherlock’s mood did not improve, if anything, the more time away from John, the worse it got. Add to that, in the days that followed his little admission – while nothing more was said – Sherlock noticed Lestrade shooting him furtive looks, as if checking to make sure Sherlock hadn’t fallen into a swoon, or begun weeping like a tragic heroine.

The cold cases actually managed to help to an extent. The lack of fresh evidence added a bit of a challenge, and while tucked away in an unused conference room, Sherlock focused solely on the files in front of him, driving thoughts of John Watson almost completely from his head. It wasn’t a perfect solution of course, as he would find himself thinking, ‘I haven’t thought of John in X amount of minutes’, which would just cause John to flood his every thought, for twice, three, four times as long as he went John free.

It was the active crimes that helped the most. There was far less time to dwell on unwanted feelings when there were bodies to examine, evidence to collect and test, suspects to chase, and Anderson to snipe at. However, active investigations did not stop the pang Sherlock felt when he realized just how much he wanted a medical consultant on hand.

 

Nine days after The Incident, Sherlock found himself in Molly’s lab at St. Bart’s, trying to identify the unknown substance found in both the victim’s bloodstream, and on the trowel used to sever his carotid, femoral, and brachial arteries. Thankfully Molly was busy preparing samples from some other recently deceased, and stayed out of his way. Lestrade on the other hand – Sherlock second shadow as of late – was sat in the corner doing ‘paper work’, the scratch  scratch scratch of his pen driving Sherlock insane.

“Do you mind?” Sherlock snapped when he’d had enough, he couldn’t focus properly.

“I’m not doing anything.” Lestrade frowned, looking up at Sherlock.

“Your pen needs ink, you’re writing too loud.”

“Well excuse me.” Lestrade sighed. “Molly, do you mind if I borrow a pen?”

“Be my guest.” Molly said cheerfully; Sherlock rolled his eyes. Really, must she be so chipper all the time?

“I don’t see why you’re even here.” Sherlock groused. “I don’t need a babysitter.”

“I’m not here babysitting you, I’m babysitting the murder weapon.” Lestrade said, sitting back down with his new pen.

Sherlock narrowed his eyes. “The lead detective is on evidence guard duty? Why do I found that suspicious?”

“I guess I drew the short straw.”

“Whatever.” Sherlock grumbled. At least the new pen seemed to be working. The quieter Lestrade was, the better Sherlock could ignore him.

What was more difficult to ignore was the conversation Molly decided to strike up, now that the silence had been broken.

“Someone’s snippier than usual.” She said to Lestrade, trying and failing to keep her voice low in an attempt to prevent Sherlock from hearing.

“Oh tell me about.” Lestrade chuckled. “Boy troubles. You don’t even want to know.”

Fantastic, Lestrade was going to broadcast all of Sherlock’s personal failings to the world. He knew he shouldn’t have told him anything.

“Ah, boy trouble. Well don’t we all.” Molly sighed.

“Oh… Are you and… you and Tom ok?”

“Nah, I broke it off. He was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it just wasn’t right between us.”

Well, Sherlock could have told her that. Actually, he told her three months ago, two weeks into her relationship. She laughed and shook her head at him at the time. Why do people not listen to him?

“Oh, I’m sorry. That’s… That’s too bad.” Lestrade said, as if he were trying to sound supportive.

“UGH, you two couldn’t be more transparent if you tried.” Sherlock groaned. He had had enough; he couldn’t listen to them any longer. “Molly, I’m taking the blood samples, and I’ll finish them at Baker Street. I can’t concentrate here; all the skirting around topics and talking without talking going on.” He added pointedly. And they have the nerve to say he had an emotional disconnect.

“You do know that’s official police evidence, right?” Lestrade said as Sherlock passed him. “You can’t just break the chain of custody like that.”

“Really? I don’t recall that every stopping me before?” Sherlock said trying to sound board, and pushed through the door with a swirl of his coat; leaving Lestrade and Molly to whatever it was they were doing, he really didn’t want to think too much about it.

 

Sherlock had just sat down to start analyzing the unknown compound again, when he heard the telltale click of Mrs. Hudson’s heels on the stairs.

“Oh, Sherlock! You’re actually home!”

“I do live here.” Sherlock said flatly, not looking up from his microscope. Was he doomed to never get a moment’s peace? He did have a murder to solve, after all.

“You could have fooled me, the way you’ve been.” Mrs. Hudson tutted, moving Sherlock’s clean dishes from the drying rack back to the cabinets.

“And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Just that you’ve hardly been in. You’ve always dashed about, but… oh, I don’t know… you seem more unsettled than usual.” Mrs. Hudson sighed.

“Do I?” Sherlock hummed, already starting to tune her out. He knew he should be more grateful that someone cared enough to watch out for him, but he really didn’t have time for Mrs. Hudson’s particular brand of mothering.

“Yes. And you’re looking skinnier than ever. You know you worry me, young man.”

Sherlock finally looked up to see that his landlady had taken the seat across from him, concern etched on her face. “I’m perfectly fine, Mrs. Hudson.” He reassured her.

“And I’m sure you believe that, dear. It’s just…” She trailed off.

“It’s just what? I am rather busy.”

Lestrade was one thing, at least he was a trained, semi-talented detective, but if Mrs. Hudson sensed something off…

“Does it have to do with your young man?

“I don’t know what you –” Sherlock started, but Mrs. Hudson cut him off.

“He left in such a hurry last week, and I haven’t seen him since.”

Sherlock’s stomach dropped, he really was obvious. “What does that have to do with anything?” He asked.

“Because this all started after he left. Whatever it was you two argued about, I’m sure you can fix it.”

“I’d really rather not discuss this with you, Mrs. Hudson. And John is not my ‘young man’, as you say.” His sex life, and all around interpersonal failures, was the very last topic Sherlock wanted to get into with the woman he had come to view as a second mother.

Mrs. Hudson, of course, completely ignored him. “I know I only met John the once, but he was such a nice young man, and I’d hate to see you throw something good away over a silly disagreement.”

Sherlock raised his voice. “Mrs. Hudson, please!” The conversation needed to come to an end, immediately.

“Please, nothing! I know what I’m talking about.”

“You really don’t.” Sherlock took a few deep breaths, attempting to regain some semblance of control. There was no way around it, he had to come clean.  In for a penny… “I’m going to be very clear; I am not, nor was I ever, in a relationship with John Watson. He is not my boyfriend, he was never my boyfriend. I had only met him the night before, he was just a…” God he didn’t want to finish that sentence.

“A one night stand?” Mrs. Hudson said matter-of-factly. “I know.”

Alright, he was not expecting that.

“You knew?”

“Well of course I knew. I’m not completely out of touch you know. It was written all over your faces that first morning. That, and poor John went about as red as a tomato every time I talked about the two of you.” Mrs. Hudson hummed.

“Then why have you been pestering me about him?” Sherlock asked. Was she subjecting him to such discomfort just for the fun of it?

“Just because you two started out like… that,” Mrs. Hudson said, breathing hard through her nose, “doesn’t mean it can’t become something more. And you clearly do want something more with John.”

“Is that so? And how could you possibly know what I want?” Sherlock scoffed.

“Don’t you use that tone with me, young man. I have your mother’s number, remember.”

That’s just what Sherlock needed, both of them going at him. “Apologies.”

“Thank you. I know you want something more with John, because I watched you two.” Sherlock’s eyes when wide at that. “Oh, not like that.” She rolled her eyes. “I just mean that I saw you two getting to know each other, I heard you two laughing and talking all day.”

“Well we were stuck together in the flat; we couldn’t very well stay silent.” Sherlock knew that was a lie, he could remain silent for days if he so wished.  By the look on Mrs. Hudson’s face, she knew he was lying as well.

“Your face was positively aglow as you talked to him; you lit up just looking at him.” Mrs. Hudson’s eyes were getting misty. “It was the same with him; wanting to know all about your work, complimenting you, asking for more and more stories. For the first time since… forever, you were genuinely enjoying someone else’s company.”

“I didn’t hate spending the day with him.” Sherlock admitted, quietly. If he were being honest with himself – and if he couldn’t with himself, than who could he be – that Saturday was one of the best days he’d had in recent memory, and there wasn’t even a dead body or criminal involved.

“And you two were obviously very compatible in other ways as well.” Mrs. Hudson added with a wink

Dear god, tt was bad enough that she overheard his and John’s… athletic sex, but the fact that she thought it appropriate to talk about it, to let him know that she knew? It was absolutely mortifying. Sherlock had never been so embarrassed in his life; he could barely look at her.

Mrs. Hudson of course, didn’t seem phased in the slightest, and continued on talking. “John seems so nice; he would be so good for you. Why won’t you at least try to patch things up with him?”

“It’s not that easy.” Sherlock mumbled, still unable to look at her. “He’d never want to see me again.”

Mrs. Hudson looked skeptical. “Well what could have happened that was so bad that he can’t forgive you?” 

Mrs. Hudson was stubborn – she’d have just kept after him until she found out what happened – so with a sense of resigned defeat, Sherlock told her exactly why John would never forgive him. He told her about the text message, and about accusing John of cheating. He told her about telling John that John’s only purpose was to ‘scratch an itch’, and that he was no longer welcome.

“…and I’ve neither seen nor heard from him since.”

“Oh Sherlock!” Mrs. Hudson gasped admonishingly. “You know better than that!”

“Yes, I know.” He felt like he was five years old again, getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar. “I was idiot, and ruined everything…again. Now can we please stop talking about it?”

“Well you’re certainly right about acting like an idiot, but it’s hardly ruined.”

“Really, because I’m pretty sure telling someone you only used them for a physically release puts a damper on any plans for a future relationship.”

“No, not a great way to start off, but all hope isn’t lost.” Mrs. Hudson took his hand, giving it a reassuring squeeze as she got up from the table. “If you go and apologize, explain that you completely overreacted, that you’ll never do it again, and you want to make it up to him, John’s bound to give you a second chance.”

“I’m supposed to just find him, am I?” Sherlock huffed. “I wouldn’t even know where to start looking.”

“You’re a detective, dear, a very good one too. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out.” 

Dear lord, the John situation really did have him muddled.

“I’m in the middle of a case.” He said lamely. “I can’t stop now, I need to identify this compound, I need to find the killer.”

“Then hurry up and solve it, so you can go get John back. I hate seeing you like this, so miserable.”

 

With a renewed motivation, the case proved easy enough to solve; when deciding to stab your loud neighbor ‘just in case the poison didn’t work’, it’s best not to use the same knife you used to cut up the poisonous plant you bought a week before the murder. London’s criminal class was really starting to lose its touch.

Locating John proved even easier. With the case out of the way, Sherlock was able to finally think clearly and focus. He had John’s name, the name of his next of kin, his place of work, and, after commandeering Lestrade’s computer for a quick search using the Yard’s network, he had John’s address. The only thing left was to get John to agree to see him. Sherlock just needed an excuse to get his foot in the door.

For the first time in ages, Sherlock’s mind failed him. He wracked his brain, but couldn’t think of one reasonable, guaranteed way to get John to see him. He couldn’t very well show up at John’s flat or at his clinic, smile, shrug, and say “Sorry about kicking you out of my flat and implying I only wanted you for sex. I’d actually like to see more of you and have you in my life. Want to give it a go?” It was ridiculous; Sherlock never had problems getting people to speak to him before. Suspects, witnesses, victim’s families, Sherlock could walk up, spin a story, and be invited in for tea within minutes. And that was the problem, he spun stories, he lied to get his way, and it worked, but Sherlock couldn’t lie to John. He wanted something real, and he couldn’t get that by deceiving him. Sherlock had to do it honestly, and honestly, he had nothing.

Well, he had almost nothing, there was one option. It was completely absurd, so feeble and laughably transparent a child could see through it. But if John didn’t quite hate him entirely, he may just appreciate the absurdity of it, appreciate Sherlock’s efforts. It was stupid, it was a risk, and it could be over in seconds, but it was worth it, John was worth it. Sherlock had to at least try.

Chapter Text

“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.

“Sherlock.”

“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.

“Sherlock wait.”

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.”

“Ask away.”

“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.