It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, the case had been solved. Sherlock was running on his high after the thrill of the chase and was practically prancing at John's side as they took the detour downtown to Baker Street for a nice walk. At a lazy pace they winded their way down while Sherlock rambled animatedly about his process that led to the culprit. John listened like always, admiring his brilliant friend and interjecting the occasional, "Brilliant!" and "Amazing!" at the correct moments.
"And I knew the murderer was a man by the aftershave stain on the bow tie that was left underneath the victim's bed, thus concluding my theory that it was her secret lover and not the Gardener." Sherlock quickly preened his hair in pride and popped his collar that had begun to wilt. John couldn't help but giggle at Sherlock's concern for vanity.
"What is so funny, John?" The look on his face fell from pride to confusion at John's undignified chuckling. Quickly sobering himself John wiped the tears from his eyes, "Nothing, just you and your collar and Cheekbones..."
"If that is a jab at my vanity I am offended at your amusement of my pride in my appearance. You should be more concerned with yours." Sherlock sucked his teeth and passed a gloved hand over John's tousled hair in distaste.
"Oi, leave me be! I like my hair the way it is, not all whatever it is you are trying with that!" John gestured to Sherlock's wild curls, a hectic but somehow organized mess.
Sherlock pouted and seemed to puff out with indignation, "It's curly is all...I'm not trying anything."
John groaned dramatically, "Oh, please you tend to your hair more that a women! You're always staring into any reflection you see!" Sherlock gaped and seemed to puff even more.
"Are you accusing me of being effeminate!?" Sherlock looked thoroughly outraged at the thought. John blanched, he wasn't about to lie.
"Sherlock, you do realize your long hair-"
John sighed, "Whatever, Medium length hair makes you look kind of like a women, it really does."
Sherlock embarrassingly avoided his gaze and seemed very interested with his shoes.
"Look, Sherlock, I meant no offense, I am just telling you the truth." John regretted his words as he saw the humiliation in the crinkle of Sherlock's brow.
They walked in silence for a while and Sherlock seemed utterly deflated as he sulked his way towards Baker Street.
"Do you want to know why I keep it long?" Sherlock continued staring at the ground. John hesitated, what had he gotten himself into...
"Uhm, yeah, sure." He stuttered dumbly. Suddenly Sherlock stopped and walked in front of John to face him, eyes lifted but still averted from his face. The hunched shoulders, downcast eyes and shuffling of feet screamed a submissive stance. Sherlock? Submissive?!
John waited patiently for whatever Sherlock had to say.
"When I was in university, I uhm, had-was in a relationship and-uhm. Ugh. It started out nice, but it turned violent. And It quickly became abusive, me on the receiving end. I was left with this-" He quickly bowed his head and parted his hair to reveal a long jagged white scar starting at the crown of his head and weaved back into the forest of curls. John hissed in sympathy. Just as quickly he readjusted his curls and shoved his hands back in his pockets. "Thankfully Mycroft ensured the relationship ended, but I was left with this." He gestured towards his head again. "If my hair is kept any shorter the scar is visible because hair doesn't grow there anymore. I keep it long to cover it so I don't have to stare at it everyday. I don't look in the mirror for my vanity John, I look for my sanity. I can't be reminded everyday of what he did." As soon as the pronoun along with the confession slipped from his lips he covered his face in his hands and turned away, embarrassment and fear scrawled across the parts of his face John could see. John had an incline to Sherlock being gay, and frankly he didn't care. Sherlock was afraid of what John might say to him now. John shook his head in sympathy for his friend. To be abused to that degree and then frightened even from John, his best friend for what he might think of him. Just as John reached out a comforting hand to ensure Sherlock that he didn't care and he still loved him the same he took off like a racehorse, coat billowing behind him.
"Sherlock! Wait!" John sighed, with his jabs at Sherlock's feminine appearance he probably confirmed the Man's fear that he was homophobic. He screwed up big time.
John ran a hand down his tired face before following the direction Sherlock disappeared, hopefully he would find him.
And surprisingly he got his answer soon. About 5 blocks down he saw a dark figure standing in front of a window, hands pressed against the glass and a broken smile on his face.
"Sherlock!" John called out and wished he hadn't when Sherlock disappeared again. John ran up to see what Sherlock had been longing and laughed out loud when he saw in the window of the pet shop a pen of two red-setter puppies, 12 weeks old by the sign, and even more importantly they were free. Desperate for homes. A plan popped into John's head, a brilliant plan to apologize to his best friend. Strutting into the shop he walked out ten minutes later with a wriggly puppy stuffed in his coat snuffling at the scent of his new owner.
Walking into 221B, he crept up the stairs missing the tunes of the violin already. When he opened the door to his flat there was not a sign of Sherlock except for his coat on the hook. Quickly making his way to Sherlock's room he knocked gently to receive no answer but he heard what strangely sounded like muffled crying. The kind of painfully silent tears that would rack you. He felt those almost every night from PTSD but to know that he caused this to a man who has never cried in front of him made him feel like a brute. Only the soft ball of warmth tucked to his belly told him otherwise. He was going to make it right. Opening the door gently he peeked inside the darkness to see a Sherlock sized lump underneath the sheets and by his bed a suitcase. Did Sherlock really believe John would kick him out for being gay, so much in fact that he already had his bag ready and was waiting for John to return and tell him the inevitable. That he was gross, a sin, wrong, a freak. Like everyone else had.
The weak sobs were pitiful in their meekness and John's heart clenched at the very real pain in them. Sherlock stiffened as John approached the bed.
John sat at the edge of the bed, perched gently to make sure he didn't squish the puppy that was starting to become restless. Sherlock quickly wiped his eyes with the back of his hands and continued to face away from John, trying and failing to control his breathing.
"Sherlock," John started seriously and that was all it took for Sherlock's last remnant of self-control to dissolve and he fell into tears once again, his cries audible and real.
"We need to talk." John continued and quickly wiped away his own tears before letting the puppy loose, carefully guiding it to Sherlock the puppy wobbled his way on unsteady ground and wriggled forward towards the interesting sound. John smiled at the sight. The puppy finally reached his destination at the back of Sherlock's head and crawled onto the mass of curls, whining at the sadness of his sounds and nipping at the wild curls.
Sherlock froze despite his racking cries and cautiously rolled onto his back, turning his head to be met with a sloppy puppy grin and the milky smell of it's fur. He looked up to see John smiling down at him and back to the puppy before his lips broke into that crooked grin of his, with shaking hands he reached for the puppy and gently lifted it onto his chest where it squirmed happily under the attention and yipped excitedly.
John smiled sadly at the sight, Sherlock looked a mess, his curls pressed to his forehead with a sheen of sweat, his eyes red-rimmed and puffy from crying, tears still falling out of his eyes, his nose red and sniffling. To think that he had caused this was like a blow. But to see the smile and the shudders begin to wane was like a balm and John felt pride at his excellent choice. Sherlock scratched the puppy's head gently, stroking the ears and rubbing a large hand down its soft back, giggling gently when the puppy lapped at his cheeks and nose.
John straightened himself and continued, "Sherlock we still need to talk, you are not getting away with this." Sherlock looked completely lost and afraid at John's seriousness and sat up gently, taking the puppy with him and cradling it to his chest.
John put his best Captain no nonsense face and looked Sherlock right in the eyes, "I am not kidding Sherlock. There will be no second chances. I do not want to have this conversation again. Do you understand me?" Sherlock nodded gently and sniffed before looking away.
John could no longer hold out and he smiled gently, "You will need to feed and walk him everyday. No exceptions." Sherlock looked up, shocked and incredibly relieved that for once he was wrong as to what was being said to him. A true smile plastered to his face as he cuddled the puppy and this time the tears were of joy, relief and love. John scooted forward and pulled Sherlock in for a strong hug, mindful of the puppy he stroked Sherlock's trembling back and whispered to him.
"I do not care who you love. I love you the same. You are still the most brilliant, amazing, intelligent, rude, arrogant cock you always were and nothing can change that. You got that?" Sherlock nodded and hugged back with one arm, the other holding the squirming critter to his side as he cried on John's shoulder. After his sobs waned and the tears stopped Sherlock let go of his death grip on John and smiled at him and down at his new puppy.
"Thank you, John." He croaked, " For everything." Sherlock fussed over the puppy and could not wipe the smile from his face. John sat across from him and reached to pet the puppy before grasping a firm hand to the back of Sherlock's neck to hold his gaze.
"Anything for the man I love." John confessed and smiled openly when Sherlock who looked up with utter shock cried for the third time that day.
A/N: I hope you liked! And you know what? Because I am an ass this will probably become a series. Anywho, till next time, babies! ~Lizzie