A/N: I recently found myself studying abroad in England and being here in a new place and having to make new friends I'm a bit starved for attention, like a cat who's been left at home alone for too long, so this is the result. This story contains asexual!Sherlock and heterosexual!John.
Disclaimer: I am shamelessly using the characters of BBC's Sherlock for my own wellbeing, but no harm is meant for it. I do not own anything.
Deliberately stepping backwards slightly, Sherlock's back brushed John's arms where they were crossed over his chest. "Oops, sorry," the older man muttered good naturedly, taking a step to the side. "Didn't mean to be in the way."
Sherlock groaned internally, cursing the polite ways of his flatmate and partner. This marked the third failed attempt at light physical contact that week. He wondered if perhaps his approach was too subtle and resolved to find a more assertive way to gain the touch he craved. The next week, as they rode in a cab back home from a crime scene, Sherlock slid his hand across the seat so that his fingertips were touching John's. Unfortunately, just as he had predicted would be the case, the man moved his hand away, acting almost instinctively. The cab came to a halt outside their door and the younger man slammed out of the vehicle with a huff. He stomped up the stairs to their flat, flinging the door open and crumpling into his chair.
"What's gotten into you?" John inquired, receiving a glare for his effort. "Well, all right, then. If it's something I've done tell me and we'll sort it out. And if it's not me…then try not to keep in such a state because I just don't know what to do to help."
The detective rolled his eyes. "Something you've done," he scoffed. "It is certainly not something you've done." He pulled his long legs into the chair, scowling out from behind his knees. "Don't be stupid, John," he snapped as the other man opened his mouth. "It's not anything you said either."
"Will you tell me what it is then? Because I have no idea!" The younger man's only response was to continue scowling. "Christ, Sherlock," John said with a groan, rubbing a hand over his face. "Fine. I'm going to make a cup of tea. Would you like one?" He paused for the response that didn't come. "I'm going to take your silence as a yes," he said snarkily before heading into the kitchen with an exasperated sigh.
Sherlock watched the other man intently, wondering if he could glare hard enough to make him understand. He severely doubted it though, as no amount of glaring could cause Mycroft to cease being a prick. His intent was to remain stoic, but a 'thank you' slipped off his tongue without his permission when he was handed his mug of tea. He scowled harder at the smug look that crossed John's face.
"Are you ready to talk to me yet?" John asked, taking a sip of his tea. He cocked an eyebrow at the man's lack of response. "All right, I'll start then and you can answer. If it isn't something I did or said, what is wrong?"
Sherlock huffed, annoyed. "It's what you didn't do." The implied 'obviously' came across loud and clear.
"What I didn't do? Sherlock, what didn't I do?"
"Anything!" he shouted, springing from his chair and into his bedroom. He flopped onto the bed, pouting. The sound of footsteps told him that John had followed him upon seeing that the door had not been flung shut, and was now standing a few feet away, completely at a loss for what to do. A few breaths, the shuffle of rubber-soled shoes on the floor, then the bed squeaked softly. Sherlock felt the dip in the mattress as the other man sat down hesitantly. He could practically see what was happening even though his back was turned toward the man. John's hand would be hovering mid-air, unsure where to place it before finally settling it in his lap with the other. "That was it, John. Right there," he said in a low voice, "exactly what you didn't do. I want you to touch me, John."
John's breath caught in his throat. "W-what? Sherlock, we talked about this. I'm not sexually attracted to you!"
"Nor I, you," Sherlock snapped harshly, rolling over to face him.
"Then why do you want me to…" he trailed off with a confused look covering his face.
Sherlock sighed the sigh of one tired of explaining simple things to others. "Not all touch is sexual, and the desire for a tactile reminder of the presence of another, in this circumstance especially, is certainly not." John's brow was furrowed as he listened. "So when I say I want you to touch me, it does not mean that I want you to grope or fondle me." He said the words with disdain, grope and fondle, as if even the words were undesirable to him, not just the actions they implied.
"How do you mean it?" John asked.
"I mean," Sherlock replied, pulling himself into a sitting position, "touch me." He laid a hand on John's forearm. He smiled encouragingly as understanding washed over his partner's face.
"Oh," he said thoughtfully. "I'm sorry, it just never occurred to me, wasn't something I thought about."
"Do you love me?" the curly haired detective asked suddenly.
"Of course I do. You're my best mate."
"But it's more than that?" Sherlock prompted.
John hesitated. "I…ah…I'm not sure I follow."
"Yes you do. Think. Picture yourself an old man. Where are you? Who's there with you?"
"We're together," he said instantly. "It doesn't really matter where."
"Exactly," Sherlock replied.
John took a heavy breath. "Okay, so where are you going with this?" he enquired. "We've established that I apparently want to spend the rest of our lives together. Now what?"
Sherlock's gaze was piercing. "So why do you continue to treat me in public like I was any other male friend?"
"Habit, I suppose. All my life I've had casual mates or girlfriends. I've never been in…er…had someone like you in my life before, and," he sighed. "Christ, Sherlock. I don't even know how to describe this," he motioned between them, "let alone know how you need me to act. Clearly, we are more than friends. But does that mean we are in a relationship? Because I just don't know."
"If it helps you to think in those terms, then, I suppose, yes, we are in a nonsexual, quasi-romantic relationship."
"Nonsexual, quasi-romantic," John muttered thoughtfully, trying out the words in his mouth.
"Assuming I'm correct in stating that you don't want to 'date me,' or kiss, or other things of the same nature that occur in standard relationships."
John chuckled. "Yeah, kissing is definitely off the table. Because no matter what Mrs Hudson and the world at large seem to believe, I'm still not interested in men that way. Not even you."
"I'm glad," Sherlock replied with a warm smile. "It's good to be on the same page with that."
Sherlock released an uneasy breath, turning away from the gruesome scene before him. No matter how hard he tried to keep his emotions away from his work, it was still difficult to handle the cases involving dead children. He took a moment to compose himself as Lestrade called for the area to be cleared. John took a step closer to him, letting their arms brush before giving his hand a quick squeeze. It was just the reassurance he needed to get his mind back on track.
Later that evening, like so many times before, they were in the back of a cab. As before, Sherlock slid his hand toward John's side of the seat. But, unlike before, the man took his hand, pulling it so that the dark haired man would be forced to slide closer to him across the seat. As John put his arm around his shoulders, Sherlock sighed happily. Finally he was given the touch he needed.
A/n: Thanks for reading, I hope you liked it. Apologies if they are a bit ooc, but really I'm writing this for myself so keeping it perfect character-wise isnt exactly the top of my priority list. Leave a review and let me know what you think!