AN: The all-American version! Because the British school system goes over my head and I wanted to make you guys cringe a bit (*evil laugh*).

Prompt from tumblr. Check out my tumblr (mersuperwholockabuff) and you can find the prompt there.

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Also, no offense meant by title. I try to be the least offensive person possible and when you see why the title is what it is, you might find it less misleading. (Sorry Guest).


It all started with the scuffle down the hall.

John heard the sounds of lockers smashing and voices yelling from around the corner and thought it was odd because the final bell had rung ten minutes ago. Everyone had gone home. He only returned to his locker to pick up his forgotten shin guards. With his protective gear in hand, he decided to walk towards the noise and see what the bangs and shouts were about.

"You piece of shit!" One of the boys with a hidden face screamed to the ground.

Unseen behind the legs of the fellow bullies was the huddled figure of a younger teen. John could not make out his identity with his arms thrown around his head and body for protection but he made quick sense of the scene and the anger was quick to follow.

The bullies continued to crowd, one throwing out a kick as another added on, "No one wants you, you fucking faggot. Get the hell-"

"Hey!" John's furious voice filled the hall and silenced the rest of that sentence. The group of three boys huddling over the vulnerable figure turned to him with shock and small traces of fear, believing to have been caught by an authority figure. The boys he recognized as fellow juniors relaxed when they saw it was a student but their tension did not recede completely.

John Watson had a reputation after all.

"What do you guys think you're doing?" John continued to ask as he made his way over, the trio creating a makeshift wall to hide the evidence of their harassment.

"Come on Watson," Moran smiled and vaguely gestured back to their victim. "We barely touched him."

"Yeah," Anderson added on. "We were just having a bit of fun."

"Bit late to be having fun," John said with a bitter smile, crowding closer towards them. "Only five minutes till practice starts and you don't have your warmups on."

Each of the three took turns glancing over the sweats John had on while twitching in their jeans.

"You won't have time for stretches and that could lead to a pulled muscle. You guys wouldn't want to do that. No one wants to get hurt here, right?"

The tightening of his fist around his shin guard made clear his double meaning and the others shifted their bodies uncomfortably as they calculated their odds.

"You might have a point." The third and final member, an arrogant jerk named Hope, nodded towards the other two and gestured for the gym. "See you on the field, Watson."

The threatening tone rolled off him like water. John tried to stay out of fights when he could -he really did. His fighting was what got him kicked out of his last school. It was much less frequent now that his sister had graduated and he no longer had a need to stop homophobes from gaining on her but there were occasions, such as this, where he felt that strong, core urge to knock some sense into idiots' brains.

When he was sure they were gone he turned around to find out whom they had been attacking and see if they were harmed. He jumped a bit when he found the smaller teen still on the floor, looking up at him with an intensity he did not expect to find in someone who had just been thrown to the ground. He was small, probably a middle schooler, rather short, and very skinny –to the point where his belt on the last loop seemed one notch too big.

What were they doing picking on such a young kid? He hadn't even gone through puberty yet.

John felt more concerned when the boy continued not to say anything. He just held his overly large cardigan around his body and continued to gawk from under curly locks of bushy black hair and thick spectacles that zoomed in on every movement his eyes made. John couldn't help thinking of his sister's cat curling around itself as it watched the world around it from its perch on the couch.

"Um-" John eloquently stated, pulling the small boy out of his trance and catching his gaze. "Are you alright?" The boy nodded his head and John nodded back, suddenly feeling quite awkward himself. It wasn't as though he did something like this often but usually one would expect a thank you or at least something more than staring. "Okay. Good. You want to talk about-" The boy shook his head and John nodded again. "Okay. Well…Just stay away from them. Okay? They're dicks." The boy cracked a half-smile as he nodded again and picked himself off the ground. He looked bigger with his body unraveled, matching John's height, but not older.

John expected him to talk but all he did was pull at the sleeves of his shirt, push up his glasses, and turn down the hall. John stood there for a moment more, shaking his head at the strange interaction, and headed to practice without a second thought.

Looked like he wouldn't have time for stretches either.

John was going over the final registration preparations for his SATs when he saw the younger boy again. He was sitting in the corner of the library with a book in front of his face but he was not reading. His magnified eyes were darting all over the room, watching things John didn't see. When he looked back, the boy was looking at him, looking at the things he was looking at. John smiled at the confusing train of thought and then nodded at him but he just ducked back behind his book and refused to greet him back. John sighed, blamed it on a bad case of shyness, and went back to work.

A few weeks later John's chemistry partner did not show up and the teacher, Mr. Moriarty, told him to pair with Sherlock in the back of the room. John did not know who he was talking about but when he traveled back there he saw the only table lacking two people was the one occupied by the boy with the glasses and curly hair. John felt a sting of guilt for not having noticed him in the class all semester but threw it aside with a casual smile and a greeting, "Hi Sherlock, I'm John. I guess you're stuck with me today."

Sherlock looked up with that shy gaze and John could have sworn he saw a blush but figured it was because the kid didn't talk to that many people so he turned to the lab on their table for a distraction. There was no need for him to even look at the layout really as Sherlock was more than happy to take over. John completed one task in the time it took him to do seven.

"Wow," John smiled easily as he watched the boy work. "You really have a knack for this stuff. What grade are you?"

Sherlock glanced towards him before turning back to his beaker and squeaking out a quiet, "Tenth."

John smiled at the high-pitched nervous answer, trying to brush it aside, "Really?"

Well he was quite off in assuming middle school then. The guy was quite scrawny for a 16 year old.

"Then what are you doing in Chemistry? Did you jump a year for AP credit?" Sherlock raised an eyebrow in his direction but nodded all the same. "You must be really smart then. Too bad you can't be my lab partner all year. Mike and I don't know what the hell we're doing half the time."

Sherlock did not speak but he did give one of those tiny half smiles John took as being a good sign. "I'd ask Mr. Moriarty but-" John leaned over his stool and dropped his voice to a whisper, "-the guy kind of scares me. I think he's insane."

That half smile was just breaking into a full one when Mr. Moriarty looked up from his desk and glared in his direction. "Johnny, do you have a question?"

"No. I'm fine. Sherlock's helping," John returned the teacher's call with a false open grin. With a drop of his mouth, he went back to whispering in Sherlock's ear as he continued to grind the same pill into a fine powder for the duration of class. "I hate it when he calls me that."

When Mike returned to their lab the next class, John felt a little disappointed he would not get a chance at cracking Sherlock's walls but rules were rules and he did not want to make Mike feel bad by dropping him. Besides, Sherlock didn't need any lab partner.

When he looked back, he saw the boy hiding behind his table, oversized lab coat rolled up to his elbows and large safety goggles making his eyes look even bigger as they were caught staring in his direction. As soon as he saw John catch him he ducked back down and pretended to be interested in the empty test tubes. John just quietly chuckled to himself.

The next time John noticed the boy staring at him was at their first home game. John was dribbling up the sideline at half time when he saw Sherlock tucked away in the corner of the field with a large jacket wrapped around his body and a piece of pen and paper in his hands. John couldn't imagine what he was writing about but he didn't want to bother him anyway. He did not seem like the kind of kid who liked to be out in public and John wasn't about to make it known that he spotted him for fear of embarrassing him. That was a good game though; he scored the winning goal.

In the cafeteria a few days later John felt eyes on him again. He turned away from his teammates and spotted Sherlock sitting on his own in the corner, no food and his eyes bouncing everywhere. He was quite the people-watcher, John thought.

For a few weeks it went on that way. John would go about his life and smile to himself whenever he felt Sherlock's eyes on him. He would always be kind to him, wave or smile in his direction, but he didn't want to scare him. He never went up to him and tried talking to him. The boy didn't seem like the kind to talk or want to be talked to.

Then Mike didn't show up again and John was paired up with the quiet boy in the back.

"Hey Sherlock," John greeted him like an old friend and sat down as Sherlock nodded at him. They finished up the experiment quicker than the rest of the class. Actually, Sherlock finished it up as John watched and took down the notes and answers. That left them plenty of time to sit and talk. Only, John was really the one doing the talking at first before he started asking the right questions.

"So Sherlock, what do you want to do? When you get out of here? Something in chemistry?" It wasn't the most original question but he did get an answer.

"Not specifically."

John nodded, smirking to himself at getting those quiet words out of him. "Something specific then?"

"Yes."

"Care to share?"

"No."

"Okay," John held up his hands, not wanting to offend him in any way. Just like coaxing the cat off the couch, he had to be gentle. "I've seen you at the games. Do you like soccer?"

"Not specifically."

John had to chuckle at that answer and he caught Sherlock blushing and giving a small smile of his own. "Okay, well what do you like?" Sherlock seemed to freeze completely, the only movement coming from his eyes blinking. John waited for some kind of answer but began to worry he broke the kid so he quickly changed the subject, "You don't have to tell me. I guess. Um, how about family? You have family?"

"Brother."

"Older?" Sherlock nodded and John joined him enthusiastically. "I got an older sister. Is he as much a pain in the ass to you as she is to me?"

Sherlock smirked and finally looked in his direction, adjusted his glasses and muttered, "Probably."

John laughed at that and he might have heard Sherlock give a chuckle but it didn't last long.

John was curious now. He found himself interested in this reserved and enigmatic teen that showed up in his life. Mike came back to school, as he always would, so Sherlock was lost as his lab partner again but the next lunch John left his teammates to go and sit with him.

Sherlock seemed completely shocked and even a bit scared when John placed his tray on the table and pulled up a chair. "Heya Sherlock. Mind if I sit here?"

Sherlock looked around and John found himself bitter and annoyed at the mistrust his friendly gesture received. How many had bullied him into thinking no one could be nice to him?

"I'm not trying anything so you can stop looking around." Sherlock looked back and nodded before turning his eyes on him again, studying him with all that intensity now in close range. When John looked up the gaze would drop but he was used to that as well by now.

"You want my apple?" John plucked the small and deformed looking thing off his tray and held it over. "I notice you never have lunch and I don't want it."

"I'm not hungry." Sherlock replied with a mumble, staring at John's hand as he held it steady.

"Sure you are. Look at you. You're a stick. Go on. Take it."

It took a bit more staring from John, challenging him from under furrowed brows, but Sherlock eventually reached out and gingerly removed the fruit from his hand, his face turning the same red color when his fingers brushed against his. John barely noticed and went back to eating.

Mike and Greg were the first to say something to John about his new friendship. When they were warming up for an away game they both decided to question his sudden interest.

"So I can't make a new friend?" John challenged them as they ran their laps together.

"We're not saying that." Mike panted, a bit more out of breath than the other two.

"It's just- It's Sherlock Holmes." Greg said, as if that explained anything.

"So what? The kids a bit shy. There's nothing wrong with him."

"He's stalking you John," Mike argued. "I think that makes him a bit of a freak."

"He's not stalking me. I'm his friend."

"A friend who barely talks and-"

"Whatever you say," Greg raised his hand to get Mike to shut up. "Just- the kid's got a reputation for being a bit of an outsider. People might say some stuff to you and him. They might think things-"

"And I'm supposed to listen to them?" John questioned shortly, a bit fed up with their attitude. "Look, guys, I get it. You're trying to look out for me. But I don't care what other people say. I can be friends with who I want to be friends with."

"Okay. We just thought we'd let you know before one of the guys says something," Greg added, nodding towards the rest of the team running around them. "You're still going to Amanda's party this Friday right?"

"Of course I am."

"Mary's gonna be there," Mike added with a shove in the shoulder and John playfully hit him back telling him to shut up.

As he said he would, John continued his odd friendship with the silent and introverted Sherlock.

Sherlock never truly loosened up but John did learn a few things about him and managed to get him to answer most questions he asked. Never did he hear any stories or get any questions of his own but Sherlock was very good in other respects, mostly in listening. The only thing Sherlock would shut down and not hear a word about was girls. It took more than one one-sided conversation about Mary for John to even realize that Sherlock would bitterly stare down whatever food he had handed him for lunch that day.

"Sherlock?" The boy would not look up from the brownie John had given him. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine."

"You don't seem to like Mary very much." John did not really expect a reply to that statement and Sherlock did not give one. "Is there someone you like? A girl? I heard someone named Irene likes you. She's in your grade I think."

"Girls aren't…" Sherlock momentarily glanced up before going back to staring down at the table and running his fingers along the wrapper of the treat John gave him. It took him a few moments to finish the rest of that sentence, so quiet that the loud cafeteria almost drowned it out. "…my area."

"Oh." John mentally hit his head as he sat back in his chair and better understood. Everything made more sense now, including what Sherlock was being bullied about and the reason Mike and Greg tried to warn him about a reputation. Of course John wouldn't know. It was his reputation to defend people against anyone homophobic. They would never spread rumors with him around.

He waited as Sherlock continued to stare at things in the brownie he could not see and lightly asked, "Any men then?"

"I-I-I-" For the first time, the boy who looked like he would be a stuttering mess actually started to trip over his words, his face turning a deadly shade of red, near purple, as his fingers crushed that brownie wrapper. "Y-y-y-yo-"

"You don't have to tell me," John quickly amended, stopping the boy from having a panic attack and passing out on him. "But if you ever feel like sharing, I'll be your wingman. Any guy would be lucky to have you."

John smiled and hit him playfully in the shoulder, as he would with his other friends, and didn't notice as Sherlock's worried expression fell back into one of expressionlessness.

John saw more of Sherlock after school when the boy offered to help him study for his SATs. They were fast approaching and Sherlock was a very helpful tutor. It seemed that when faced with something he knew completely, something academic, the kid really could talk. John tried to turn this talkativeness into more personal conversations and sometimes it actually worked. John learned more in those one-on-one study sessions in the back of the library than he ever did in the crowded cafeteria, including the reason they met in the first place.

"You actually asked him if his dad was an alcoholic?" John rubbed his face the way he did any time Sherlock displayed utter human indecency. Sometimes he thought maybe it was better he was so shy. That was the reason he thought he didn't have many friends. Anytime something came out of his mouth it was insulting in some way. John was used to it by now.

"How else was I to know? Follow him home?"

They were the quickest and closest of friends, in the strangest dynamic possible. They would spend their free time at and after school together but when John tried to invite him over to his house a few times, every time the invitation was declined. Sherlock never returned the offer but John thought he was too private for company. He didn't mind. The weekends were just more time with Mary for him.

Other kids at school didn't understand quite as much but they knew the two were inseparable. That's all they understood. They didn't comprehend how a popular jock like John would stick around just to hear a freaky geek talk about dust particles and most thought it was some sort of agreement to make Sherlock do his homework. They didn't comprehend why the freaky geek would show up at soccer matches to draw math equations and find weaknesses in opponents that he could show John to help him win the game. The other kids would just shake their head, point and laugh, but the two were too busy with each other to notice.

After taking his SATs John still hung out with him after school. There was only a month and a half of it left before summer break and they wouldn't be seeing much of each other as Sherlock was headed out of the country with his family and John was stuck behind for the family 'college trip' where he would check out all his options before applying.

After school one day, Sherlock didn't meet him. He tried to call his cell and looked for him by his locker but Sherlock wasn't there. He was just about to ask the front desk for the Holmes' home phone number when he spotted him hiding behind the back door, curled up on the grass with his arms flung over his face and his legs dipped under his body -mimicking the position he took the first time they had met. John ran over to him and didn't hesitate this time in kneeling in front of him and trying to peel his arms away.

"Sherlock?"

"Don't touch me!"

The loud, high cry of the silent boy shocked John away as he fell into the grass beside him and stared. "Sherlock, what's wrong?"

"Nothing. I'm fine," came the muffled response.

"No you're not."

"Yes, I am."

"No. I'm using that deductive reasoning you're always going on about. Conclusion? You are not fine." John waited for Sherlock to respond as usually his praise of Sherlock's brilliance when it came to common sense and observation earned him a smug smile but there was nothing. "What happened?"

"Use deduction." Sherlock replied bitterly as his lifted his head and revealed the giant bruise covering his eye.

"Who did this?" John growled as he reached out a hand, promptly batted away by his friend.

"Who do you think?" Sherlock replied as he lifted his broken glasses from his nose and buried his face in his knees.

"I'm going to kill them." John burst to a standing position and stormed around the building, looking to see if he could find the assholes.

"John!" Sherlock tried to call him back but he was not listening and he eventually had to run after him. "John they've left!"

John continued to march until he spotted the troublemakers on the playground behind the school. He charged forward and, once spotted, Moran, Anderson, and Hope all stood to attention and braced for his fury.

"Which one of you did it?!" John yelled as he closed in but the three were standing together without bending away from his violent self. Stupid of them, thought John.

"Come to protect the honor of your boyfriend?" Hope was the one to ask and that's when John –using that deductive reasoning- spotted the blood on his hand. Lucky for the other two his observation skills had increased because he was about to pummel them all. Instead, he aimed his fist for Hope's face only and let it crack against his jaw.

Anderson and Moran jumped to pull him off Hope before he could land another hit as the boy on the ground pushed up. "We just wanted to know which one of you was the girl, Watson," Hope yelled over his struggles as Anderson and Moran tried to keep him away. "Wanted to let Mary know if she was being replaced. You remember her. Your girlfriend? Thought she'd want to know if you were taking it up the ass. You goddamn fairy-"

With a warrior's scream John pulled away from Hope's guards and tackled him to the ground. He managed to land a few more hits across the douche bag's temples before one loud call stopped them all.

"That's enough!" The principal, Mrs. Hudson, screamed and John was forced off Hope. "In my office. All of you!"

Moran and Anderson argued as Hope wiped the blood off his face and already started to whine about a broken nose. John turned around to follow and saw Sherlock had followed him all the way there.

"You didn't have to do that," Sherlock said with a frown.

"Yeah," John agreed with a matching frown as he wiped a bit of blood from his hand and rolled his shoulders. "But I really wanted to."

Sherlock's swollen face broke out into a wide grin that John matched before Mrs. Hudson called them again.

They all got detention for a week and phone calls to their families. John got more than his fair share of yelling but he couldn't be upset for sticking up for a friend. The rumors spread because of it, helped by Hope and his friends, but John couldn't be bothered about what other people thought. He would continue to be best friends with Sherlock and there was nothing they could do about it.

It was his lack of observation that caused his other good friends to explain why he should be bothered about what one specific person thought.

"He thinks you're together." Mike put it, oh so delicately.

"What?" John looked to Greg to elaborate. "Together?"

"Have you seen the way he looks at you?"

"He's like a love-sick puppy." Mike gave his best impression of Sherlock's stare, making John shake his head in annoyance.

"He's head over heels for you," Greg nodded along.

"The kind thing to do would be to tell him. Don't lead him on anymore. Just tell him you're not interested."

"No guys. Sherlock's my friend. I have a girlfriend. I'm straight. He knows. He's not head over heels for anyone."

"How can you be so blind?" Greg asked with a sigh. "Just look at him, next time he's looking at you. You'll see. He's completely in love with you."

John was bothered by what they said but it didn't really sink in until he took their advice. He started to see what they saw -all the shy drops of the eyes, the blushes at the touches, the slow smiles, and the complete adamancy towards an asexual nature whenever John talked of dating.

After school, a week before vacation started, John had to bring it up.

"Sherlock…you know I'm…you know Mary right? That I have a girlfriend."

"I am aware."

"I have a girlfriend for a reason. I'm straight. Completely heterosexual."

"Why are you telling me this?"

"It was suggested to me…someone said that you might…well, that you might have developed feelings for me. You don't do you? Because, like I said, I mean-"

"You're straight," Sherlock snapped, his eyes never leaving the sidewalk. "No homo. I get it."

"Okay. Good. I just wanted to make it clear bec-"

"Crystal."

They walked in uncomfortable silence for a while before going their separate ways.

The last week continued in that awkward style for them. Every lunch was silent, Sherlock refused to speak when prompted, he refused to acknowledge John in Chem lab, and John felt terrible for even bringing it up. They did not hang out after school until the very last day possible and it was only because John begged him to stay so he could apologize.

"Sherlock. Sherlock, please. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that…like I did. I was just- I was an ass."

"Don't apologize John. We're only friends. I never expected more."

"Okay. Still…sorry."

"Pizza?"

"Yeah." John smiled in relief at Sherlock's offer and let his guilt go as their friendship continued as it always had. "Yeah let's grab a slice."'

Over the summer they spoke through IM. The time zone changes and busy schedules made it difficult to talk over the phone. Their conversations could go on for days, never-ending talks about what they were doing and just in the same dynamic as always. John would send a paragraph about his family, his break up with Mary, or his favorite college and Sherlock would reply with a sentence. John would ask about his experiments and he would respond with a book and ten articles for him to read about penguins or molten lava. John didn't mind in the slightest. He liked it when Sherlock got excited about something, even if it included summer homework for him. Usually it was interesting. Sherlock was never boring.

Summer went fast, as it always seemed to do, and school started up again. It was going to be the first day John would see Sherlock, the very first day of school, and he was excited. This was senior year, and best of all, Sherlock's family spoke to the school and he was going to skip 11th and head straight to 12th with John. They would be in many of the same classes, which meant much help after school with his homework. Most of John's friends, Greg and Mike included, had graduated and gone off to college so it would be great to have his best friend in all his classes.

John was waiting to meet Sherlock by his locker because he said he was bringing him some sort of tea he would enjoy from England and he didn't feel like carrying that around all day. Checking his phone, John texted him to see where he was and waited for a reply while tapping against his lock, shoving a pencil in to keep it open so he wouldn't have to do the combo every time. While he was busy admiring the fact the senior lockers were bigger, his phone pinged and he opened the message.

Right behind you – SH

John smiled at the text and at the fact Sherlock was still so shy he wouldn't announce his presence and would rather text it. With all their messaging, John forgot how quiet he could be. Turning, John shook his head and lit up with a grin, "Sherlock you know yo-" The sentence trailed off as John found Sherlock missing.

Well, he wasn't missing but where Sherlock's face should have been was the shine of a purple shirt. John followed the sheen of that purple up to the face of his best friend, grown inches taller than the last time he saw him. With his mouth hanging open John made an undignified squeak as he blinked and tried to comprehend the changes he saw.

Not only had he grown half a foot but there were more changes. Because of his growth spurt, the clothes that always looked so baggy on him seemed to hug his curves instead of swallowing him whole. The jeans that had been hanging on for dear life were hugging tight to his waist and falling to a perfect length on the floor, showing off the lean muscles hiding on his thighs. Instead of the one-size-too-big cardigan curling like a blanket, he had on that deep purple shirt, rolled up to the elbow and probably too hot for the summer weather. That was the reasonable explanation for John's eyes to be level with the buttons popped away to expose bits of Sherlock's chest he swore he had never seen before. That chest connected to a long neck and his eyes followed the chiseled jaw line, now obvious with the loss of fat around his cheeks. Those cheekbones were deadly now, framing his exposed eyes. They were no longer hidden behind thick frames and John could make out the color now, an icy blue watching him taking in all the new details. The movements seemed quicker without the pupils magnified. It was funny, he never noticed the color before, nor the small speck of black misplaced in one. It was probably because his hair was cut to an appropriate level, curls no longer bobbing in front of his brows.

"John?"

That undignified squeak turned into a throaty whimper for no reasonable explanation as John was sure he imagined that voice. He was sure he was imagining all of this but he was without a doubt certain that was not the voice of his best friend. It was far too deep, confident, and smooth to belong to his squeaky, mouse-like, nervous friend.

"Sh-Sherlock?" John felt the sudden urge to poke him in the stomach just to see if he would disappear.

"Yes, John. It's me. I was bound to hit puberty at some point in my life."

John's eyes popped wider than they already were as his listened to that new voice hit him with full intensity, a shock vibrating through his system and giving him a full body twitch. He opened his mouth to say something more but it just hung there open as he continued to stare, his head cocked to the side and his eyebrows furrowed.

"John, you're staring."

John let loose a strained laugh as that deep tone danced in his ear and sent an unexplainable thrill down to his toes. He started to shift in embarrassment and finally mumbled, "You're one to talk."

Sherlock gave him one of his famous half-smiles and John felt a flush come over him. With his change, the look suited him more. It made him seem almost cocky but in a pleasing way. In a way that made John want to get him to smile like that again.

His thoughts were interrupted as Sherlock shoved a box into his hand and John had to look down to recognize the tea wrapped up for him. "Thanks," he muttered as he turned to put it in his locker and mouth 'wow' to the back so Sherlock would not see. He turned to face his friend again but found his neck having to strain as he bounced from the usual spot of habit, up to where Sherlock's eyes now were. "Good to see you Sherlock." John reached out and pat his hand on his friend's arm, barely noticing how his fingers slid against the smooth fabric of his shirt. Sherlock nodded and they went to their first class together.

John found himself distracted by the appearance of his friend the entire day. His gaze kept wandering to inspect this new man and catch anything he may have missed before. Underneath it all he could still see the same old Sherlock, there was just so much more of him.

John wasn't the only one that noticed. He heard the people whispering and even overheard a few girls talking about asking him out. For another unexplainable reason, John's possessive side started to creep out yet again. He would never trust people when it came to his friend. Even if it was girls and he knew he had nothing to worry about there.

Sherlock took notice of his unnatural silence and tried to bring it up at lunch, "John?"

"Y-yes?" Why did he stutter? He didn't know. That damn voice made his head spin every time he heard it. No one had a voice like that.

"Have I done something?"

"Done- done something? No. No, you haven't done anything. I'm just- you're just- you shot up like a weed. Something from one of those countries you went to. I'm just getting used to it. Like everyone else."

"Everyone else?"

"Yeah they're all talking about you now. Talking about asking you out. They took notice of- well- um- yeah." He was not about to include the part where he heard the girls gossiping about what other parts of him grew.

"That bothers you?"

"B-b-bothers me? Me? No. Why would it bother me?" John found it did bother him and spent the rest of lunch shoving food into his mouth while Sherlock watched, sitting back in his chair with a tiny smile.

When they went their separate ways after school, John actually hit himself in the head with his palm. There was no excuse for the way he was acting. Why was he so flustered around Sherlock? It was Sherlock! So the guy grew a few inches? So what? He was allowed to grow anywhere he wanted…that was promptly where John stopped thinking about where Sherlock grew and pushed those girls' voices out of his head.

When he got home he started to boil some water to try that tea Sherlock gave him. Then he started to wonder if he would be taken as over-eager for trying it right away, as if he needed Sherlock's approval. Well, that was just stupid of him. Tea was tea, Sherlock wasn't going to care. But, he would probably ask tomorrow. God, he would just drink the damn tea!

It was good too. Very good tea. Sherlock knew him very well. That made him smile and he pulled out his phone to let him know. Then came the cycle of seeming too desperate again. This was all just so stupid. This was Sherlock, his best friend. He wasn't going to freak him out by saying thanks through a text.

Tea's really good. Thanks :D –JW

Was the smiley face too much? He was being such an idiot. He needed to clear his head.

There wasn't much luck in clearing his head for long as that night he had a very…interesting…dream.

He was walking through the halls of the school because he knew he had practice but he couldn't remember where the gym was. He knew he needed to change because for some reason he was only in his boxers and nothing more. He started running when he found the door and threw it open to find an empty space. Coach wasn't there, neither were any of his teammates. He looked around and ran towards the showers but the locker room was empty too. That was until a hand pushed him from behind, straight up against one of the floor length mirrors. He was about to open his eyes to see who it was when the hand curled over his front and ripped his boxers away in a physics-defying pull.

The next thing he knew, the heat of a naked body pressed against him, a long hand splayed over his eyes, and all he could hear was very shallow panting next to his ear. A hand twisted around his thigh and gripped tight around his cock, shaking him from his core and causing his fingers to dig into the frames of the mirror, slipping with the lack of traction and condensation forming from the heat. A short glimpse of black hair in the reflection came from between the stranger's fingers but he couldn't make out who it was. In his ear came a deep and slow moan followed by the raspy call of, "John."

John bolted up with the sound of his name echoing deep velvety vibrations in his mind. He actually had to look around him to make sure Sherlock was not in the room with him.

He took a cold shower that morning.

He also spent half the morning deciding on a t-shirt. His mother gave him a sassy smile when he came down and she commented on liking his dark blue button up and asked him who the girl was. That made him stutter again and lucky for him, he didn't have time to go and change so he took the teasing with unwilling approval.

Sherlock noticed the shirt right off the bat as it was one of the few he approved of in John's wardrobe. He didn't say anything but John could see him looking at it. That made him smile with a sense of appreciation he didn't fully understand.

Things went in a crashing, flustered manner for a few weeks. John found himself nervous every time Sherlock spoke, he found he worked harder to do better in their classes together, and even took more interest in the experiments Sherlock did outside of school. He would actually read articles in their entirety instead of skimming and tried to have an opinion in order to impress him.

John didn't notice this of course, not until Homecoming weekend started to descend upon them. The dreaded dance was coming soon and John had been asked by plenty of women but he had not said yes to one. He knew he would have to go to the dance, or never hear the end of it from his teammates or mother, but he had no explanation towards his denials.

When he had brought the dance up to Sherlock, he had adamant refusal to go. Apparently, these social gatherings were barbaric customs that he did not wish to take part in. John felt himself very disappointed as the subject was a hard one to bring up and his dissatisfaction only made Sherlock stare at him harder. Still, if Sherlock wasn't going to go he knew he wasn't going to have fun anyway.

Instead of going to the dance, Sherlock suggested they finally have one of those sleepovers John had always talked about. It made John light up and he gladly agreed to skip out on the dance for it.

Not only did he hear about not going from his mother but, as teens would do, the gossip train led straight back to him. Now that Sherlock changed, the talk of their relationship being more than just friends seemed more plausible and was therefore spread about more. John would brush people off, as he always had, but for some reason there was a lingering twist in his chest at their whispers. He let their chatter penetrate him in a way he would not yet understand.

John invited Sherlock to sleep over at his house and set up some video games for them to play along with a few movies he had been meaning to make Sherlock watch. Sherlock was just as uncomfortable around his mother as he expected him to be and perhaps even more uncomfortable with his sister who was visiting that weekend. The only time Sherlock seemed to unravel those natural walls were when they locked themselves in John's room.

John set up the hockey game and showed Sherlock how to play as they nibbled on Doritos and soda. Once Sherlock learned the game, and he was a quick learner, he was good. It was John's game and yet he was beating him 7-0.

"You seem mad John."

"I'm not mad," John grunted as he smacked the button on his control. It was NOT doing what it was supposed to do. "You're cheating."

"Am I?" Sherlock asked in that cocky deep voice of his with that cocky half smile and cocked eyebrow as he scored another goal and won another game.

"Dammit."

"I like it when you're riled and competitive," Sherlock laughed as he set up another game, refusing to look away from the screen. "It's amusing."

"You should see me bowling then. You'll be laughing for weeks."

Sherlock smiled and John reluctantly followed with one of his own.

After an awkward pizza dinner downstairs, they went back to John's room to watch Drumline. They were both entertained for a while, Sherlock mumbling things to John and making him laugh as the story progressed, but then Sherlock just had to say, "It's kinda hot up here."

John did not think it was that hot until he turned to the side and a sudden wave of heat hit him with full intensity at the sight of Sherlock lifting up his shirt and exposing a long, lean torso resting against the mattress on his bed. After the initial throw of the fabric, Sherlock leaned down, sprawling over his blanket, and John's eyes followed as the muscles in his back curved.

John tried to watch the movie as he drank three glasses of Mountain Dew, one right after the other, but found everything Sherlock did to be distracting. His milky white skin glowed in the blue light of the TV and threw his attention away when it caused the rays to shift. He did not even notice when the movie ended until Sherlock decided to walk up and change the DVD for him.

John was fairly certain he thanked him but now he could see the front of his friend, toned muscles pulling over his firm chest and leading down his abdomen, outlined by the angular bones leading his eyes below the band of his jeans. When did he start working out?

Sherlock might have said something, like the movie he chose, but John didn't hear. He just nodded his head and closed his eyes and prayed that he would not be having any interesting dreams with Sherlock sleeping in the same room.

The day it all clicked into place for John was during their lab when they did another boring, repetitive experiment that led to very surprising results.

The basics of it were to add liquid A to liquid B and write down the reaction. Usually Sherlock would just do it and tell John what to write down but that day, Sherlock decided to let John participate.

"You want me to do it?"

"Do you think you'll have trouble pouring? If so, you might consider going back to elementary school."

"Alright, just tell me what to do," John did feel a bit suspicious as he pulled up his stool to the bar and peeked at the rest of the class, completely engulfed in what they were doing. He jumped when he felt Sherlock press against his back, his long arms arching around him so he could lean off the counter and talk directly into John's ear. The sudden image of a foggy mirror had John shifting and scratching his stool against the linoleum.

"There's no need to be nervous John."

"I'm not- not nervous," John gulped as his glasses were the ones now starting to fog. "So just pour the blue one into the yellow?"

"First put on your glove," Sherlock's voice reverberated in his ear at a steady mumble. "You need proper protection. In case something spills over. Want me to put it on for you?"

John glanced at Sherlock whose face was suddenly very close to him but he was looking at him with a completely thoughtful expression, no sarcasm intended. "I think I can do it," John said, a bit quieter than he meant to with his confusion. He glanced out of the corner of his eye as he slipped on his rubber glove but Sherlock continued to stare in utter seriousness.

"Now grab the long, thick tube. The one you can grab with all of your hand."

John's eyes shifted over the counter as he tried to stop the nervous sweat from blurring his vision completely. Sherlock's voice was playing right in his ear and his breathe was rolling over the hairs on the back of his neck. It was as if he was purposely trying to be that close.

"The big one?" John asked as he pointed to the tube Sherlock had been talking about.

"Yes, the big one," Sherlock articulated into his ear. "Grasp it tight and pull it towards you."

John did as he was told and started to set up the clamp to be held over the heat source.

"Gently-" Sherlock warned, raising a hand and placing it over John's as to prevent him from screwing it further. "The pressure has to be just right. You wouldn't want it to shatter just yet."

"Yet?" John gulped as Sherlock's hand move against his and loosened the screw by a quarter turn. He wasn't really sure what to do so he sat there, resting the back of his hand against Sherlock's palm as he waited for more instructions. Really, he could just look at the lab sheet if he were thinking straight, but he was not thinking straight. His mind was as fogged as the lenses on his goggles.

"Now take the yellow liquid and pour it in as I pour in the blue, until the two of us are combined. Make sure every last bit of you is touching every part of me." John felt his hand move as his mind continued to play tricks on him, coming up with images to the words Sherlock spoke that did not match what they were doing.

"All the way John." Sherlock's hand was on his again as he tipped it up to make sure every last drop from the beaker landed in the bottom of that test tube. Even through the latex of the glove John felt distracted by that touch. It was so stupid of him but he found himself wanting more and started to lean into it as Sherlock helped. "That's it John. Go all the way with me."

John set down his empty beaker faster than he needed to, slamming it down on the counter. He looked out to see if anyone noticed the bang but no one had eyes for the back of the classroom. He wormed on his stool, his back sliding against Sherlock's lab coat as he waited for something to happen. He was turning around to ask Sherlock what was supposed to be happening but found the boy's arms trapping him in too tightly. He had to lean into the curve of Sherlock's chest just to view him and when they met eyes, he found the question dying on his lips.

Sherlock was already looking at him, intensely as he had always done. Now though, there were only school-regulated goggles separating the two of them. Any closer and they would be banging frames. His gaze was much more commanding when this close and John found himself much more compliant than he ever expected under it.

After a few moments of the close, tense eye contact –that John would later deem completely inappropriate for the classroom- Sherlock nodded towards the beaker. John watched the tube as Sherlock spoke in hushed tones in his ear, asking him what he could see.

"It's green." John stated dumbly as he continued to stare at it, feeling trapped as Sherlock leaned in more.

"Obvious, John." The very edges of his pouting lips tickled the shell of his ear and he felt them heat red with the accidental contact. "Touch it. Wrap your hand around and feel it."

John did as he was told and jumped as he realized, "It's warm."

"Move your hand up the shaft. Feel it from the base to the top." John's mouth suddenly went dry and he mentally scolded himself for letting his mind wonder with Sherlock's voice. All he was asking him to do was feel a test tube. Nothing more.

"It's warm all the way up," Sherlock continued to talk. "The chemicals touch and react. A slow burn that could last all night. Boring. Let's see what happens when we take them up a notch. Tilt it and I'll get the burner going." John bit his lip as he followed orders but Sherlock was back with his hands over his, turning the tube away from his face. "Eh- John. You don't want anything ejaculating over your face. This could get messy."

John was going to Hell and he knew it. His mind was in the gutter and it was never coming back the same. But, in all seriousness, did he have to say ejaculating? Why would he use that word?

Sherlock lit the burner and John watched from his chair as Sherlock watched from the perch on his shoulder, squeezing him into the small space between his arms. "See the bubbles John? They're really heating up now. All those molecules bumping into each other, over and over again. They can't slow down. They have nowhere to go. They just keep thrusting together until they can't move any faster. The steam rises, everything is getting hotter. Beads slip down the outside, trying to cool the heat it just can't touch. It all builds together until they can't build anymore. They want to explode. Just one final push and they-"

"Sherlock! Are you using the burner? That is not in this lab," Mr. Moriarty called over to them and Sherlock stood back up to apologize and turn it off before anything could ejaculate.

John panted and gripped the table as subtly as he could while trying to hide the sudden anxiety and heat his body felt. As he crossed his legs to hide the sudden tension in his pants, he realized why he had been such a mess. The thought rolling around in his mind was simple but it was life altering.

Son of a bitch. I'm gay for Sherlock.

The panic that followed him after class could not be penetrated even by that deep pulsing voice of his best friend -and apparent crush- no matter how many times he called out for him. John brushed him off with a zombie-like wave as he continued to stare ahead and run through this new information in his mind.

Was it only temporary? How long had he felt like this? Why was he just now realizing? Had everyone known before him? Mike and Greg? Did they know? Who else knew? Did Sherlock know? He had to know. Sherlock observed everything. Did he know what he was doing to him?

That night John phoned his sister and talked with her because he thought she would understand better than anyone. After the initial 'Johnny's got a boyfriend' chant, she talked him back into sanity. Nobody is fully straight. Sexuality is a spectrum and if he was on the straight side, that was fine, but Sherlock was a part of that spectrum and his straight, heterosexual color was just a bit blurred by him. They had always been connected in a way John never had been with another guy before. As Sherlock's puberty struck, so did John's sexuality. That was all okay. He just had to decide what to do about it.

The thought of even asking Sherlock out was making him more nervous than he'd ever been asking out a girl. Who would want to say yes to a nervous wreck like him? Oh, that's right. He loved how nervous Sherlock was. That's why he started to like him. It was all clicking together now and he realized how much he had apparently liked him. No wonder Mary hinted at spending less time with him, even though they didn't spend enough together in his opinion.

He could continue to be friends with Sherlock and pretend nothing had changed, but could he keep it up? He did not believe that. If he knew one thing, he knew he wanted to try. Only, the conversation he had with Sherlock right before leaving for summer break was taunting him.

I'm not gay. I'm straight. Completely heterosexual.

He might as well have branded himself with a do not touch tattoo across his forehead. He had already burned that bridge, there was no chance Sherlock would overlook that. But what else was he supposed to do?

After a weekend of ignoring Sherlock and building up his self-confidence, John decided he was going to do it. When they were alone outside the school by the playground he was going to ask out his best friend and he was going to be confident about it.

"Sherlock…" The squeak of his name made him seem less confident but he breathed in deep and tried again. "Sherlock, can I ask you something?" Sherlock nodded, an eyebrow raised as if he already knew what John was going to ask. "I was wondering if you would like to get dinner with me Friday night."

"We get dinner every Friday."

The corner of Sherlock's mouth started to pull and John just knew he was playing with him. He shuffled in place and continued, "I know we do. But I'm asking you to a nice dinner. At a restaurant. With a waiter. I will pick you up and bring you home and I will pay."

"You're describing a date John."

John could hear his own gulp as he fought to keep eye contact. "Yes. Yes I am."

Sherlock stared long with his knowing smile penetrating all defenses and squeezing his insides. John was squirming as he waited for him to finally say something. Instead of a straight answer like John was hoping for, he asked, "Why should I say yes?"

John was thrown by the question and started to stutter, in search of an answer, "Because I'm- because-"

"Because you're asking?" Sherlock's playful gaze turned to one of frustration as he continued to stare him down. "Have you suddenly revoked your not-gay attitude? All because I grew a few inches and obtained some contacts? Why should I say yes? Because you just now find me appealing? You rejected me before, why should I not reject you now? This isn't one of your movies. I'm not the nerd turned prom queen who will take you with open arms just because I've always hoped you'd look at me. I'm me. I haven't changed and I won't change. So, tell me John. How is it fair to me that you are just noticing me now? If our roles were reversed, how would you feel?"

John felt pushed back against the wall with the force of Sherlock's long suppressed truths hitting him full on. "You're right." He shook his head at how stupid he had been for asking and shuffled in place with embarrassment. "It's backwards and condescending and you don't have to say yes."

"So," Sherlock called John's attention back from the ground, giving him a kinder smile as he asked, "Why should I?"

John was locked in those eyes again, staring up as he felt the tinniest parts of him exposed. After a moment he found himself answering, rambling as he paced in his spot and waited for the entirety of Sherlock's rejection to come to a close.

"Because I really want you to. If you don't like me anymore, if you ever liked me, I don't know why you would, I just- If you don't, then don't say yes. I just think I've liked you longer than I realize. There are so many reasons I like you so- And I'm sorry I just realized because you changed. But I did notice you. I noticed you when I pulled those bullies off you and I guess I just didn't notice how I noticed you till now but I guess what I'm saying is- I just really want you to."

When Sherlock did not speak for a time John started to turn away, accepting the dismissal of his pleas, but just as he lost sight of those penetrating blue eyes on him, he was called back, "I noticed." John turned and found Sherlock casually smirking in victory, his hands limply hanging in his pockets as he closed the distance between them and explained. "I noticed your feeling for me from day one. You've finally caught up. Even for you John, that is slow."

"Wait…" John studied that victorious smug face and his jaw dropped as he realized what this meant. "So you knew? This whole time. So the thing with- and in lab- and so when you- in my room you-"

"Yes."

"That's not fair!" John found himself laughing all the same, followed by a true laugh from his companion. "I am so getting you back. You can't say I never noticed you if you knew-"

"Shut up John." Sherlock telling him to shut up was not what made him close his mouth. Instead it was the sudden grab of his waist, the pull of his body pressing up against Sherlock's as he closed the space completely. His body reacted instantly as Sherlock leaned in and he bent back, locking his lips with that of his best friend in an unexpected yet passionate brush. Just as he found his balance returning and reached out with his arms to steady himself against him, Sherlock pulled away and added, "Friday, Angelo's, then bowling. I want to see you riled up." Sherlock's hand slid down his back and gave a very suggestive pinch on his ass before he spun away and strode down the sidewalk, leaving a very dumbstruck John to stare after him.

People would definitely talk now.

Let them.


It was short before and then just kinda exploded. If you wanted specific experts in more detail or more in general or even a prompt of your own then let me know. I'm open to writing a lot of things ;)

Not betaed though I will edit again. I just needed to feel some sense of accomplishment in my life, you know?

And I will get to your second prompt shiko1122! I just found it and it's half written so that's good ;)