I tapped my pen against the book. I could tell that it was irritating Sherlock, but I really didn't care.
"John," he said warningly. I pretended that I didn't hear him. "John." A little louder. Tap, tap, tap. "John!"
"I'm sorry, did you say something?" I asked. He inhaled audibly and glared at me.
"This is childish," he said. "I don't understand why you're so upset."
"Oh, you don't?" I slapped my book closed. "The first time you meet any of my family and you humiliate Harry in front of her new girlfriend! I think that's enough to be upsetting me."
"If they were truly in love, she should have already known those things."
"They aren't in love, Sherlock. They just started dating, for heaven's sake." I leaned back in my chair and stared at him. "You know, everyone is pretty much aware of your ingenuity, there is no reason for you to try and impress everyone. Not everyone is as amazed by you as I am."
"You're amazed by me?" I blinked at him a few times.
"Everything I just said, and that's what you take from it."
"I take only what's useful from everything I hear," he said, turning back to his microscope.
"Just…timing, okay? Work on that for me, will you?"
"Hm," he said. It was a noncommittal noise, but I took what I could get. I didn't bother opening my book; I hadn't been reading anyways. Instead, I took out my laptop and opened my email. There were three newsletters from a medical website and one message from Sarah. I opened it and scanned through the words. As always, it was thoughtful and well-written. But, I couldn't bring myself to type out a reply. I stared at the screen a bit longer before shutting the computer.
When I looked up, Sherlock was staring at me over the top of his microscope. I stared back for a minute before speaking.
"Something wrong?" I asked.
"Why would there be something wrong?" he replied before going back to his experiments. I had learned long ago how to sort of deal with Sherlock. It hadn't been easy. There were times during those first few months when I wanted to kill him. But, now things were normal…ish. There were still bad days, but the good days outweighed them.
"How's the case going, then?"
"Marvelous." He went to the oven and pulled out one of Mrs. Hudson's white Pyrex dishes. I crinkled my nose at the putrid odor. She would not be happy about whatever he was doing with her cookware.
"What are you doing?" I stood up and went to stand at the kitchen table with him.
"Measuring," he said.
"And is that a-"
"A stomach, yes." Sherlock cut off a piece of the organ's tissue with his scalpel and put it on a glass slide.
"I don't even want to know," I mumbled, but took one of the chairs that didn't have junk piled up in it. Even without all the details, it was captivating just watching him work. There was nothing like seeing Sherlock in his element. He had science down to an art, moving between samples and instruments with a grace that few people ever even hoped to achieve.
"I said what do you think, John," Sherlock snapped at me.
"Oh, do keep up. You know how I hate to repeat myself." He shoved a page under my nose and I took it. The words didn't even look like English to me, but I knew that they were; I just couldn't focus on anything.
"How about I take a look tomorrow?" I said with a fake yawn. "I'm dead tired."
"No, you're not," he said. "Did you really think you could fool me with that? What are you hiding?"
"I'm not hiding anything," I told him. I stood up and looked him in the eye. "I'd just really like to get some sleep." He squinted in suspicion at me, but moved aside to let me by. I held my breath until I was in my bedroom. I took a second to get my wits about me, then changed and went to bed.
It was early, maybe four or five, when I woke up. I had been able to sleep, surprisingly, and I wasn't sure what had woken me. It couldn't have been a nightmare. I hadn't had so much as a flashback in months. Then, I smelled it. Smoke. I stumbled out of bed and tumbled onto the floor.
"Calm down, John," Sherlock's voice rumbled from my doorway. Through the moonlight filtering through my window I could see him with a thick ring of smoke circling his head. It was cigarette smoke that I had smelled.
"What are you doing, you lunatic?" I shouted at him. He simply blew out a stream of smoke.
"Get up off the floor," he said. I found my way back to my feet and crossed my arms.
"I thought you gave up smoking."
"What changed your mind?"
"We were out of nicotine patches."
"And?" He took another drag.
"Well, I was on my way to the store to get some, but it seemed easier to just get a pack of cigarettes." He watched the smoke curl up from the burning end, following it up to the ceiling. "You don't mind, do you?"
"A little, yeah," I said.
"Maybe you should try one. It might relieve some of the stress you're carrying around."
"The only thing that stresses me out, Sherlock, is you." I sat down on the edge of my bed heavily.
"Why is that?" He stubbed the cigarette out on a table, leaving a burn mark in the wood. I tsked, but it was all I could muster in the state I was in. I fell over onto my pillows and closed my eyes.
"Look, I don't care if you smoke right now. Just not in my room, alright?" I was set on going back to sleep, but Sherlock had other ideas. I felt when he sat down on my bed. "What are you doing?" I asked without looking.
"You didn't answer my question," he whispered. I peeked out at him. The light was behind him, all I could see were his eyes staring down at me intensely. "In fact you've been avoiding all of my questions lately." Sherlock was leaning in. I could smell the tobacco on him. I was shocked that it didn't smell as bad as I thought. Maybe because it was mixed with another smell, something that was pure Sherlock.
"I'm too tired to answer any questions," I lied. I was too awake now. He was too close to me. It was too much. I could feel my heart beating a bruise against my chest. He was inching closer. I could feel the burns left where he breathed on me. It felt like my entire body was on fire. I finally opened my eyes.
"What are you hiding, John?" he asked. I opened my mouth to speak, but he silenced me by slotting our lips together. My first thought was to fight him off of me, but it felt so good and so right that I knew I couldn't do that. I leaned into him, but he backed away with a grin.
"What was that for?"
"I was proving a point," he said. "And…exploring my own…feelings."
"And how's that working for you?" I asked in my best pissy voice.
"Oh, I could get used to them, John," Sherlock said as he leaned in and pressed his lips to mine. I think I could, too.