Title: An Ill-Advised Romantic Liaison
Summary: John meets a very nice doctor at a crime scene. Sherlock gets very jealous.
Word Count: 6769
Disclaimer: Not mine. If I wanted to make money off of writing I'd finish my novel and not this.
Warnings: None that I can think of. Unless you don't like sewers or consensual sex.
Spoilers: I mean, seriously. We've all seen it by now, right?
Author's note: My very first Sherlock fic! Not counting all the ones I've written in my head while trying to fall asleep. Beta'd by my very own ladyredcrest
John sometimes wondered what the hell his life was becoming. A year and a half he’d been living with Sherlock Holmes and the oddest things had suddenly become normal: finding half-decayed body parts in the fridge, having his forearms precisely measured for some odd experiment, and being asked to pop up to the store and buy every brand of laundry detergent on aisle 7. Really, the unexpected had become comforting. Mostly because the expected led directly to boredom. Sherlock’s boredom. Serial killers, being kidnapped and strapped into a fairly ridiculous bomb-vest, even watching his date about to be skewered by a Chinese circus freak, all these things were far less frightening to John than the words “I’m bored,” ringing forth in Sherlock’s posh, clipped accent.
It could be argued that Sherlock’s boredom and all the scary things listed previously are one and the same. Sherlock’s ever expanding attempts to prevent boredom had led to each one of them. But, God help him, it wasn’t the danger that frightened John. It was when Sherlock was bored and there was no danger to be found that had John checking the paper daily for heinous murders or esoteric burglaries. He liked to have a mystery in his back pocket to prevent the horrible malaise that would overcome his flatmate when he was genuinely, unstoppably bored.
John wracked his brain for a crime, any crime that he could offer to the silent, pajama-ed man lying on the sofa. Almost as if it was taunting him, the Times headline proclaimed a marked decrease in criminal activity in the city. John made a disgusted sound. That may be a good thing for most Londoners, but in 221b Baker Street, it was about the most depressing thing he’d read about in months.
“Sherlock? I’m hungry. You want to go get a Chinese?”
Sherlock’s only answer was to flip over to face the back of the sofa and pull his knees up to his chin.
“Fine, then. I suppose you’d prefer if I just buggered off then? I’ll be back in an hour or two.”
John closed his eyes for a moment. “Okay, fine. I’ll just order in then, shall I?”
Sherlock didn’t speak, but did roll back over to look at John with a petulant expression.
John tried to hide his smile, but hiding anything from Sherlock was nearly impossible. The corner of Sherlock’s mouth jumped up a bit before he rolled back over to face the sofa.
Sherlock didn’t speak for the rest of the night, but he did eat and sat up to watch crap telly with John before falling asleep on the sofa. John covered him with the least dirty throw he could find, something crocheted by Mrs. Hudson, before taking himself off to bed, smiling.
The next morning Sherlock showered, dressed and went down to Scotland Yard to bother the bobbies. John felt inexplicably pleased with himself as he set off for the clinic.
Sherlock turned up in John’s office around 3pm.
“There’s been a series of murders. The bodies are being dumped in the sewers.”
John looked up from the case he was entering in the computer. “Okay.”
“Come on, John! We get to go into the sewers! How much fun is that?”
Big sigh. “It’s not fun at all, Sherlock. It’s disgusting. It’s a sewer. I’m not coming with you.”
Less than an hour later, John was underground and ankle deep in some kind of muck he had no desire to identify. All he could think was “God bless the NHS.” Lack of doctors willing to work at a small clinic kept his job safe while he was running after Sherlock.
Meanwhile, Sherlock was circling the victim with his usual single-mindedness. John did admit that this was an interesting case. All the flesh had been stripped from the victim leaving a perfectly preserved skeleton. Candles and odd ritualistic drawings surrounded the corpse.
Sherlock moved to question the maintenance workers who had found this body.
Lestrade cleared his throat behind John. Turning, John noticed that Lestrade was accompanied by a tall, attractive man. “Dr. John Watson, this is our forensic anthropologist, Dr. Christopher Wells.”
John moved forward. “Nice to meet you.”
Dr. Wells shook his hand. “And you. Detective Inspector Lestrade tells me you work on cases with him.”
“Mostly I’m just here to wrangle Sherlock.” John looked back over his shoulder where Sherlock was staring at one of the victim’s toes with his tiny magnifying glass, completely ignoring Anderson’s admonishments to not disturb the crime scene. “I’m not very good at it.”
Lestrade snorted. “You’re actually great at it. You should have seen the things he would do before you got here.”
“I don’t even want to think about it.” John nodded in that thoughtful way of his. “Why did you call in Sherlock and a forensic anthropologist? I mean, no offense, but one or the other should do it. And you know Sherlock doesn’t play well with others.”
“I didn’t call Sherlock in, he just showed up knowing about the crimes and pushed his way in. Dr. Wells was called in on the first case because we wondered if the bones could have been older. A cold case or something.”
John looked over. “I shouldn’t think so. They look too. . . new, for lack of a better word. The color would have dulled somewhat over time.”
Lestrade nodded. “The first victim was a 22 year old student. Missing for 18 hours.”
“Eighteen hours? How did someone strip the bones in so little time? Dr. Wells?”
John, Lestrade, and the new doctor moved over towards the body. “Oh, Christopher, please. I believe that they were boiled .”
John nodded. “That would explain the appearance of the bones. That would take time. And a very large pot of water. Do you have any indication of cause of death?”
Christopher looked over at John again. “None whatsoever. Perhaps you would like to look at my notes, Doctor? I have them in my car.”
John nodded. It would be nice to get out of the sewer. Plus, Sherlock would probably want him to look over the man’s notes. For evidence, and whatnot. “Call me John.”
Once out of the sewers, John took a deep breath. Christopher laughed. “I can tell you’re not a medical examiner. That was nothing compared to the smell of decomp.”
“I’m not. But you’d be surprised what Sherlock has dragged me around to.”
“Yes. Lestrade filled me in about your Sherlock. He sounds fascinating.”
“He is. Fascinating that is. If you like crazy people. And he’s not my Sherlock. We’re just mates.”
“Oh. Well, that’s good to know.” Christopher turned to pull a laptop out of his car.
John narrowed his eyes. He wasn’t exactly Sherlock freaking Holmes, but he did know when he was being hit on. It had been a while since he had even entertained the thought of pulling a guy. Since before the Army, before Sherlock, certainly. On the other hand, the thing with Sarah had pretty much fizzled out. She couldn’t understand his desire to wander around crime scenes and carry a gun. And that short affair with Mary barely even got started.
Objectively, Christopher was fairly attractive. He was tall, brown hair, fit. Even ten years out of practice, John knew how this went. He needed a decision right now. Either he was going home with this man tonight, or it would never happen.
John moved in just a touch too close to view the computer screen. “There were no signs of trauma to the bones?” John couldn’t think of one reason not to go with this.
Christopher shifted slightly to his right, toward John. “None at all.”
An imperious voice carried over. “All three victims had a small stress fracture on the largest toe of their right foot. Wherever did you get your degree, Dr. Wells?”
John turned to see Sherlock standing behind them with an indecipherable look on his face.
Christopher’s smiled. “Are you saying that’s COD? Death by toe stumping?”
The icy look on Sherlock’s face rivaled anything he’d ever thrown at Donovan. “No. I was simply correcting you. For accuracy’s sake. ‘None at all,’ is imprecise.”
Christopher nodded magnanimously. “Well thank you, Mr. Holmes. Precision is very important.”
Sherlock merely raised an eyebrow. “Come on, John. I need to go check something out at Piccadilly.”
Christopher spoke up. “Actually, I was hoping John could come back to the lab with me. I would love to have him look over my case notes. A medical doctor can always come in handy. If you can spare him, that is.”
Sherlock moved forward to grab John’s sleeve. “I can’t.”
Sherlock had shoved John into a cab and given directions before John completely processed what was happening. “You know, you could have given me a choice on where I wanted to go.”
“Don’t be obtuse, John. You wanted to come with me.”
John raised his voice. “No, Sherlock, I didn’t. I’m fairly sure I wanted to go with him.”
“Well, as long as you’re fairly sure.”
“Goddammit, you know what I mean.”
“Of course, I do, John. But maybe you forgot that you don’t like boys. I was simply saving you from an awkward morning after.”
Settling back in his seat, John crossed his arms. “I wasn’t really expecting it to be awkward. And when did I ever say I don’t like boys?”
“You told me yourself you don’t, John. At Angelo’s, I recall an entire awkward conversation. And you practically have a stroke every time someone insinuates we’re a couple. Clearly, you’re about as boringly heterosexual as one can get.”
“Well, for accuracy’s sake, I never said a thing about not liking men. I just said that I wasn’t interested in dating you. That’s not the same thing at all. As much as it pains you, you aren’t the only person on the planet besides me. . . . And quit saying my name so much. It’s annoying.”
This actually brought Sherlock up short. “Oh. Well, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Leaning forward, Sherlock instructed the driver to forget Picadilly and to return to Baker Street. “I’ll try very hard not to get in your way. I’m sorry that I offend your sensibilities so very much.”
“What the hell are you on about? Please stop talking as if we are in a Jane Austen novel. You don’t offend me at all. I’m just saying that, unlike you, I enjoy getting laid every once in a while. Though you may like to have me trailing after you like a little dog, I do need to get out a bit. How would you like it if I was the only person you ever saw? It would get tiring to say the least, Sherlock. Boring, wouldn’t it?”
Sherlock pursed his lips and didn’t speak until they reached Baker Street. “Pay the cabbie,” he ejected, before flouncing up the stairs to their rooms.
“Oi, your boyfriend’s pretty high-maintenance, huh?”
Taking a deep breath, John shoved the fare into the cabbie’s outstretched hand. “You have no idea.”
By the time John had climbed the steps to their rooms, Sherlock was busily typing away at his laptop. John’s laptop. Rather than start another row, John simply sat in front of the telly and began to unlace his shoes.
Sherlock slammed the laptop shut and thrust a piece of paper in front of John’s face. “Here.”
John took the paper. “Here, what?”
“Please don’t let me keep you from an ill-advised romantic liaison.”
John looked down at the paper. It was Christopher’s address, email, phone number, and the results from his last STD test. John didn’t even want to think about how Sherlock managed to get the test results in two minutes. “Ill-advised? I wasn’t planning on marrying him, Sherlock. Just a one-night stand.”
“Well, feel free. I have plenty of experiments that would be better served by your absence anyway.” Sherlock spat, turning towards the kitchen.
John stared at his back for a moment, wondering exactly how they had gotten into this argument. “Well, I’ll just go then.”
Sherlock didn’t acknowledge him at all.
Forty minutes later, John found himself in front of a door in Soho. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he said, knocking.
The door opened. “Well, I certainly didn’t expect to see you.”
“I’m staying here tonight.”
“Oh.” All innocence. “Boyfriend trouble?”
“Shove it, Harry. I’m in even less of a mood than usual.”
Harry laughed, gesturing him in. “You know my guest room is your guest room.”
Harry made tea while John tried to settle himself down in the den.
“So,” she yelled from the kitchen, “what did you do now?”
“Me? It’s never me. Sherlock’s the one mental one.”
“Yeah. He has an excuse. It’s probably pathological. You, on the other hand, choose to stay with him.”
“For the last goddamn time, WE ARE NOT A COUPLE!”
Harry nodded thoughtfully. “That’s a lot of vehemence for a platonic relationship. And I wasn’t even trying to imply anything. You always rail about people thinking you are together. In all my years with Clara, we were never so immediately recognizable as a couple as you and Sherlock seem to be. I wonder what that’s about.”
John glowered. “Clara would say that it’s the heteronormative patriarchal hegemony’s inability to accept non-standard male friendships as opposed to non-standard female friendships.”
Harry smiled. “Yeah. She would say that. And she’d be full of shit. You two always look like you’re two minutes from either killing each other or ripping each other’s clothes off. I mean, if you weren’t my brother, I’d think you were fucking.”
“Well, we’re not. In fact, I haven’t so much as seen another person naked in four months. Since Mary. I was trying to rectify that situation and Sherlock had to ruin it by being . . . well, Sherlock.”
“Are you saying he cock-blocked you?”
“Crass, Harry. But yes. That’s exactly what he did. And he wasn’t just being oblivious like usual. He did it on purpose.”
“That’s not his normal MO, is it? I thought he usually let you blunder in and then just showed up for all your dates?”
“He doesn’t show up for all my dates.”
“Come on. The only reason we met in the first place was because he thought you were having lunch with a girlfriend. When he found out I was your sister, he acted like he just wasted half a day.”
“He needed me for a case.”
“Really? How is it that you were so important to the case that he had to track you across town, but when he met me, he could do without you after all?”
“Maybe he was being considerate. We hadn’t seen each other for a . . . . Actually, that sounds stupid to me too. Sherlock’s never been considerate in his life. Still, I’m sure there was a perfectly logical reason.”
Harry chose to let that go. “So what was so different about this time? Who was the girl?”
“It was a guy, actually. A forensic anthropologist, Christopher. Sherlock practically dragged me home.”
Harry stared at him for 5 full seconds before bursting out laughing. “Wait, wait. For what I’m assuming is the first time since you moved in with him, you try to pull a guy? Sherlock gets a bug up his ass, directs your attention to him, clearly ruining any chance you have with this guy, takes you back home, and you’re wondering what it means?”
John looked at her blankly.
“You know what, Sherlock is completely right. You are an idiot.”
“What are you trying to say, Harry?”
“How the hell you ever help solve crimes is beyond me. He’s jealous, you moron. He likes you. He might as well have pulled your damn hair.”
“Sherlock doesn’t want me, Harry. Don’t be ridiculous.”
“So, you’re not saying you don’t want him.”
“Wait. I didn’t say . . . . Stop putting words in my mouth.”
Harry was quiet for a minute. “Don’t be stupid, John. Don’t let something really good slip away because you don’t think you’re good enough for it. Don’t be like me.”
“Oh, Harry. I shouldn’t be here complaining about Sherlock. You don’t need to hear it. I’m sorry.” Harry may have sobered up, but Clara was still unconvinced that they could make a go of it.
“No. It’s fine. John, you started getting better the day you moved in with him. And I don’t know him that well, but I think he’s better with you too. Just think about it.”
John gave her a small smile, cocking his head to the side. “Harry, it’s just not like that-- Sherlock doesn’t do relationships. At all. And if he did, trust me, I’ve seen the looks he gets. He’d do okay without coming to me.”
Harry let out a resigned sigh. Then looked chagrined for a moment. “He is ridiculously beautiful, isn’t he?”
“You know, what? Shut it, Harry.”
“Fine, then. What do you want to talk about?”
They had been reminiscing about childhood vacations for about an hour when John’s phone trilled.
Your leg will begin to hurt if you copulate any longer.
Come to Baker St immediately.
New info about murders.
While John stared at the message trying to think of a reply, Harry read over his shoulder. “Yeah. He thinks you’re in the middle of sex and he still thinks you’ll drop everything and dash back to him?”
“Yes. Exactly. It’s maddening.”
“Is it? Then why are you slipping your shoes back on as we speak.”
John looked down to where he had shoved his feet into his trainers while reading the message. He looked back at Harry, sheepish. “If I don’t go, he could get into trouble. You never know with him.”
“Of course. He needs you.”
John jumped up, completely missing her sarcasm. “Thanks, Harry. You understand.”
John shut the door behind himself.
John walked through to doorway into the shared living area of Baker St. Sherlock was lying on the sofa in his green dressing gown, three flesh colored stickers visible on his left arm.
“What’s so important that I had to come home immediately?”
“Oh. John. You’re here. Turn the heat up.”
John rolled his eyes, but moved to turn up the thermostat. “It’s up. Now what was so important I had come home immediately?”
“How is Dr. Wells?”
John stared blankly for a moment. “What are you—You don’t care, Sherlock. Now tell me what this new information is.”
Sherlock cut his eyes toward John. “It’s not exactly new information. I deduced it while in the sewers. You were just too occupied with serving your body’s baser needs to care at the time. Now that you and Dr. Wells have engaged in sexual intercourse, I hope that you will once again be able to focus on important matters.”
For a moment John almost corrected Sherlock’s incorrect assumption, but then he realized how wonderful it was to know something that Sherlock didn’t, and he kept his mouth shut.
Sherlock managed to look even haughtier than usual when he stood up. “I found that the candles used at the dump sites are bought from a vendor in Picadilly. They are imported from the United States and purportedly are used by practitioners of Santeria.”
“So the killer is into voodoo?”
“No, John, don’t be purposely slow. Real voodoo priests don’t buy their candles in tourist trap shops in Picadilly. Clearly the killer wants us to think it was voodoo. The ritualistic icons drawn around the body are textbook Santeria.”
“Well, then how can you be sure? I assume Santeria graffiti isn’t something everyone knows.”
“When I say textbook, John, I mean it literally. They all came from the same textbook.” With this Sherlock threw a large leather bound tome on the coffee table. “Page 82.”
“Where did you even get this?”
“From the bathroom. It was under the sink.”
“Of course you just have voodoo books lying around. I should have known. How does this help us?”
“Well, there’s a library in Picadilly. This book is in their stacks, but when I called about it the librarian said it was checked out.”
John nodded appreciatively. “That’s a coincidence.”
“Yes, well, you know I don’t believe in those.”
The next day John found himself dragged out of bed at 8am so that they could get to the library early. It only took Sherlock 15 minutes to convince an elderly librarian to give him the name and address of the woman who had checked out the book on Santeria by pretending he left an important letter in it as a bookmark. Sherlock’s ability to cry at will would never cease to amaze John.
“Is your mother even dead?”
Sherlock looked over at John. “What?”
“You just told the librarian that your mother died and that you left the last letter she sent you in the pages of that book. You cried for God’s sake.”
“Don’t be an idiot, John. My mother lives in Surrey. I needed to get the address. The librarian had recently lost her daughter to cancer. It was the most efficient ruse.”
“How did you know she just lost her daughter?”
She had a rosary around her wrist and kept fingering it. For comfort. She had pictures from this Christmas up. Her daughter wasn’t in them, rather, she had a single picture of her next to the family photo. It is clearly handled more than the other photos. Ergo, her daughter wasn’t alive to come to Christmas dinner this year and she looks at the photo to remember her.”
John was impressed, as always. And disturbed. “Don’t you think you might have stirred up some unpleasant memories with your little ruse?”
“Of course. That’s why it worked. And we are here.”
Sherlock stopped in front of a brick apartment building. “She lives on the second floor.”
After climbing the two flights of stairs, John’s leg was acting up a bit.
“Wait up a second, Sherlock.” He said as he leaned against the wall.
Sherlock gave him a look filled with disgust. “I’m not waiting around for your faux leg pain to abate. If you hadn’t spent last night indisposed, you’d be fine. It’s your own fault.”
“Fair enough,” John said, smiling. “Let’s go on.”
Sherlock was clearly expecting him to argue, but John was so pleased that Sherlock still hadn’t deduced where he spent most of last night, that he couldn’t bring himself to be angered. “You’re right. We should push through.”
Sherlock opened his mouth to say something, but closed it suddenly. He stared strangely at John for a moment before nodding and turning toward apartment C2. “Okay.”
A small brown haired university student let them into the flat. She had to look around for the book, but finally found it. She brought it out to Sherlock.
When asked what she had used it, she pulled out a sociology paper on obscure religious practices in the Caribbean. All in all, John figured that they had wasted a day.
Sherlock was quiet all the way back to Baker Street.
“Well, that was underwhelming.” John said, settling into his regular armchair.
“Indeed. So pathetically obvious. I thought this might be worth my effort, but no. Even your Dr. Wells could have put this together.” Sherlock pulled out his phone and tapped furiously. Then he scoffed. “Well, do you want to eat?”
John looked at him blankly. “What are you—.” He cut himself off. Choosing instead to stand and reach directly into Sherlock coat pocket to pull out his cell phone.
University student’s roommate=killer.
Check old locker rooms at uni for evidence of boiling.
“Okay. How? How do you know that?”
“Really, John. You must get so tired of asking the same insipid questions each week.” His voice turned mocking. “How, Sherlock? Why, Sherlock? But I don’t understand, Sherlock. I thought you’d at least have learned something from all the time we’ve spent together. But you really are as stupid today as you were the day we met.”
John took a step back. Sherlock could be unimaginably cruel. He could be imaginatively cruel. But this was the first time he had ever been knowingly cruel. To John anyway. The experience was deeply wounding.
John looked into Sherlock’s eyes, and for a second he thought that he would apologize. But that was stupid. Sherlock never apologized.
John licked his lips. “Maybe I am. I’m very sorry I’m so disappointing to you. But it’s easily fixed. Don’t ask me along anymore. We’re flatmates. We don’t have to be friends.”
He turned to leave. “I’m sure you have to head over to Scotland Yard and explain your brilliant fucking insights to Lestrade. We mere mortals would be lost without your guidance. I’ll be out.”
Sherlock picked up a glass from an end table and threw it at the wall. “Yes. Give Christopher my regards,” he sneered.
John froze. He couldn’t really deduce things about people—not like Sherlock. He wasn’t an expert on human behavior or anything like that, but he was pretty much the world’s authority on one subject: Sherlock’s protean moods. At this point, even Mycroft asked his opinion on Sherlock from time to time. Mostly a snarky text message here or there and he’d never admit it, but it all translated into “Is Sherlock in a good mood now? Can I ask him to help on this or that without getting my head bitten off?” He knew how Sherlock was likely to react in many situations, but the one he was most familiar with is how Sherlock acts during an actual, honest to god fight. And this was not it.
John turned back towards Sherlock slowly, all thoughts of storming off forgotten. He looked at the shards of glass on the sofa and floor. He had seen Sherlock throw fits before. But always with a purpose. He was playing a part for some reason. He needed Molly to do something borderline illegal, or he needed some witness to give up some piece of information. But John had never actually seen Sherlock lose control before. This meant something. It was important. But it didn’t make John any less angry.
“What the fuck is wrong with you? You’ve been in a snit all day. And your deductions have been for shite.”
Now it was Sherlock’s turn to be hurt. “My deductions have been fine. Just because you didn’t notice that the student had a roommate who was clearly a sport’s medicine major, and you never notice anything about London that isn’t a tube station or Chinese takeaway, so you don’t know that the university they both attend just opened new locker rooms near the new ball fields. The roommate clearly used the book, that’s why the student had to look for it in his room and he used the old tubs in the abandoned locker rooms to boil the bodies. It was all perfectly clear, if you just cared to look.”
“I’m not talking about the case. Of course, you’re right about the case. I mean about me.” Usually at the end of a fight John would storm out. Sherlock would either shout after him or text him immediately with his, invariably right, deduction about where John was headed. It was always a smarmy “Don’t drink too much down at the pub,” or a texted “Need milk. See if Harry can spare some.” He never got it wrong. And over a year and a half, there had been a fair few fights.
Fights where Sherlock would either get rigidly logical or where he would simply shut down completely and retreat to his violin. But here, Sherlock had lost all control. And he had no idea that John was leaving to head down to the pub for a pint or two while things cooled off. John wondered how Sherlock could be so far off. I mean, it was one thing to assume he had had sex with the doctor once. It was quite another to assume that he would retreat to his place after a fight.
But, then again, Sherlock never assumes anything. Ever. He pulls together evidence. And, sure, he gets some things wrong. But he’s never this wrong. He assumed John and Christopher had sex. He assumed John was rushing off to his place now. And he was angry about it. That was important. Why was it important?
Sherlock looked like John had just impugned his mother. “I am not. I don’t get . . . . that.”
John smiled. “You are.”
“Why would I be jealous? I can’t . . . you haven’t . . . .”
John smiled. “You are. You can’t even put together a coherent sentence. I can’t believe it.” John paused. He stopped smiling. “Really, why are you jealous? You’ve never been jealous before.”
Sherlock turned towards his bedroom. “I thought you were leaving.”
John grabbed him by the arm and spun him back around. “No. We’re having this conversation, Sherlock. If I had walked out the door earlier, that would have been the end of our friendship. You realize that, right? Is that what you want?”
“What I want doesn’t matter at all, John. So just leave me alone.”
“What you want doesn’t matter? Since when? What you want is the only thing that ever matters around here. What you want to leave in the fridge, where you want to eat, when you want me to come half way across town to pull your damn mobile out of your pocket. Hell, you texted me to quit having sex last night. And thirty minutes later, I was here. You get everything you want. When you want it.”
“I didn’t want you to have sex with him in the first place.”
John was getting angry again. “Why not? Just because he’s your stupid rival on the case? What does it matter?”
“My rival on the case? He’s an idiot. He was never going to figure out who killed those people.”
“Then what do you care? You never had a problem with Sarah or Mary, or any of the girls in between Sarah and Mary. Well, you were never very nice to them, but you never actively came between us. What’s the difference?”
“The difference is that you are never going to leave me for a woman.”
Both Sherlock and John looked shocked at the admission. John could tell that Sherlock was about to bolt and grabbed his arm again.
“What do you mean?”
Sherlock closed his eyes for a moment. If John didn’t know better, he would have sworn Sherlock was close to tears.
When Sherlock opened his eyes, John was relieved to see that they were clear. Sherlock took a deep breath. “It doesn’t matter John. You don’t think I’m attractive.”
Had Sherlock gone crazy? “I found you attractive the moment I laid eyes on you. Lesbians and straight men think you’re attractive. You’re fucking gorgeous, and you know it. What the hell does that have to do with anything?”
“You said yesterday that you liked men, but had never been interested in dating me. You liked Christopher immediately. I know how people react in relationships. If you are with a woman, she’ll put up with me because I’m your friend. But if you are with a man, he’ll think I’m a threat and make you choose. You don’t have to choose if you are with a woman. Christopher will make you choose. You might as well just leave now.”
John was silent for a moment. He was trying desperately to put together this particular Sherlockian thought train. He was pretty sure he had it figured out, but he found it very hard to believe.
“OK Sherlock. Let’s just backtrack here.” He rolled his eyes at the look on Sherlock’s face, a mixture of completely lost and annoyed that he’d have to backtrack. “Are you upset because you think I’ll drop our friendship for Christopher, or are you upset because you think I don’t find you attractive?”
Sherlock looked so confused. As if he didn’t understand the question. John drew in a sharp breath. “Oh. I really should have listened to Harry.”
John moved closer to Sherlock. Laying his hand on the back of Sherlock’s neck, John pulled him down into a kiss. Sherlock didn’t react much, but when John pulled away, he followed after him, trying to prolong the kiss.
“You never do anything easy, do you? You couldn’t just say “Hey, John. I think I fancy you. Let’s see what happens?”
“I thought you were straight. And then you said you didn’t want me at all. Yesterday. And even if you hadn’t, I don’t want you to leave. You’ve stayed the longest, but everyone leaves in the end. I don’t want you to leave sooner because I want something you don’t. Or didn’t. Or . . . why did you kiss me?”
“Because I wanted to. Look, you have to disregard the entire Angelo’s conversation. I found you attractive. But I barely knew you. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend. I was looking for a flatmate. I wasn’t saying I thought you were unattractive. You’re the one who made it perfectly clear you weren’t open for that sort of thing. And I’m not leaving you.”
“You almost did just now. You were leaving. That would have been it. You said so yourself.” The look on Sherlock’s face broke John’s heart. “You were going back to Christopher’s flat. And you would have chosen him. You said that we are flatmates, that we don’t have to be friends.”
“Sherlock, I’m sorry I said that. I didn’t mean it. I was angry. And I wasn’t going to Christopher’s flat. I’ve never been there. I spent last night at Harry’s.”
“But I gave you his address and you left.”
“Yes. And I went to Harry’s and I . . . well, I spent the night talking about you. Harry told me you were jealous, but I didn’t believe her.”
“But you wanted to have sex with Christopher.”
“More like, I wanted to have sex and he was right there. It wasn’t exactly a love connection.” John paused, because sometimes dealing with Sherlock was like dealing with a petulant 6 year old. “Sherlock, what I’m hearing from you is that you want me here with you.”
Sherlock nodded. “Yes.”
“How do you want me here? Do you want to go back to the way we’ve always been? Or are you saying you want, god dating sounds ridiculous, let’s say, being a couple?”
A look of great concentration came over Sherlock’s face. John smiled. “Ideally? What do you see as ideal for us?”
“I would like us to be like we always have been.”
John kept the look of disappointment off his face. He had always suspected that Sherlock was emotionally fragile. It probably came with the genius. And if Mycroft was the well-balanced member of Sherlock family, well, that said a lot. “Okay. We can go back to normal.”
Sherlock nodded. “And I don’t want you to date Christopher. Or any men at all. Or any women either.”
John nodded. “That’s . . .okay. I appreciate the honesty, but I . . . .”
Sherlock cut him off. “And I would like you to kiss me again. And I think that you should only kiss me from now on.”
John nodded thoughtfully. “Okay. So that seems doable. We can talk about some ground rules and what we both expect. That would probably be the best way to start off.”
Looking up John saw a barely concealed look of contempt on Sherlock’s face. “Do you want to make a list too?” Sherlock moved forward into John’s personal space. Leaning forward, he kissed him again.
With Sherlock, it was always best to give in a little at first, so John let him lead for a moment. Then, with no warning, he pushed Sherlock only a little roughly up against the wall between the entrance and the kitchen. He used both hands to pin Sherlock’s shoulders to the wall and pulled back a little to bite on his lower lip before pushing his tongue insistently back into his mouth.
John moved his left hand up into Sherlock’s hair and tilted his head back a little. John had been expecting Sherlock to push back a bit, but instead he moaned in the back of his throat and relaxed back against the wall, letting his hands come to rest on John’s back.
John smiled to himself. Well, yeah. That made sense.
John pulled back. Sherlock’s pupils were blown wide. His mouth was red and a little swollen. The unfocused look Sherlock pinned him with was far too tempting. They could talk tomorrow.
Sherlock ducked forward, trying to continue their kiss. John purposely pulled back, shaking his head. Shoving his leg in between Sherlock’s thighs, John pressed up against Sherlock’s hard length. With a strangled gasp, Sherlock snapped his head back against the wall.
John watched as Sherlock began writhing against his leg, moving himself up and down jaggedly. The part of John that was coolly cataloging Sherlock’s rather wanton display short circuited into heated want when Sherlock moaned. John had never heard Sherlock make an unpracticed noise in his life. Even rejoicing at the prospect of a new case, Sherlock seemed to think about every word before he said it. In Sherlock’s world, every moment was a performance.
Though, unstudied as it may be, this was quite a performance.
John roughly pulled Sherlock’s head down for a kiss before maneuvering the both of them over to the kitchen table. As it was blessedly free of any questionable experiments, John was able to sweep everything onto the floor just before shoving Sherlock up against it.
“Take off your clothes.”
Sherlock looked confused.
John smiled and began unbuttoning his shirt, jumpstarting Sherlock, who began ripping his shoes off. Once they both were naked, John pushed Sherlock onto his back on the table.
John realized that he was reveling a little too much in Sherlock’s submission and confusion. “Are you sure about this, Sherlock?”
The withering look he received in return was just enough to reassure John and remind him exactly why he wanted this man in the first place. Still, it wouldn’t do to let him get too complacent.
Climbing on top of the detective, John aligned himself with his partner, taking a firm grip of both their erections. As John began to stroke, Sherlock’s eyes fell shut.
“Look at me,” John commanded.
Sherlock’s eyes flew open and John forcefully held his gaze and his strokes grew faster. Several minutes later Sherlock was ejaculating all over John’s hand with a strangled moan.
John followed shortly thereafter, falling forward onto Sherlock’s chest.
Boneless as he was, Sherlock managed to wrap both arms around John, sighing.
After a few minutes of harsh breathing, John decided they were going to have to move. Kitchen tables were neither comfortable, nor particularly shielded from the prying eyes of not-a-housekeeper type busybodies living downstairs.
Pulling himself up, John stretched languidly before looking down at Sherlock, shamelessly sprawled on the kitchen table.
John noted Sherlock’s sleepy demeanor but couldn’t help but notice a haughtily raised eyebrow. As amusing as a pliant, sexed-up Sherlock was, it was oddly relieving to see snarky Sherlock back in control.
“I hope you are deciding whose room we will be adjourning to directly. I’m very sleepy now.”
Well, the words were delivered sardonically, but John was very good at decoding Sherlock speak. He was sated and worried. John was very used to Sherlock embodying two diametrically different states at the same time. What Sherlock really meant was “can we go to bed together now?”
John wondered what horrible cock-ups Sherlock had made of previous relationships if he had to wonder after that.
“Don’t be an idiot. Clearly we’re going to my room, as god only knows when you last washed your sheets.”
Sherlock smiled grandly. “I don’t even know if I have sheets. Mycroft may have sent some over at some point. We could look.”
John rolled his eyes. “Get up and get in my bed. Or stay here the night. I’ll let you know when I feel like round two.”
Sherlock stood up, moving passed John toward the staircase. “Twenty minute catnap and then I’ll be ready for round two.”
John watched his arse as Sherlock took the stairs. That sounded fine, actually.