CHAPTER 6

It had been three days since John dragged Sherlock back to 221B from the ill-fated swimming pool and John was in serious danger of losing his cool.

The first day of Sherlock's recovery John had been solicitous and attended his every whim without a moment of hesitation. He worried and fretted, taking care to ensure his charge ate and was comfortable – he even washed him for God's sake!

The second day (after Sherlock had cunningly convinced him to share his bed with him for a second night claiming to be too physically weak to dismantle his bedroom experiment) John had done his level best to keep his friend entertained as his body recovered and he slept less. He brought him items from all over the flat, sent text messages for him, cooked for him - he even went to the shops for a pound of calf's liver for one of Sherlock's unexplainable experiments (though he did put his foot down and insisted that experiments were not to be carried out in his bed).

By day three John found his patience being fully tested as his almost recovered flatmate basically refused to leave the couch and demanded near constant entertainment, usually in the form of watching John do ever increasingly menial tasks for him while he sat back and "observed". After finally convincing Sherlock to un-trap his bedroom, which he seemed to accomplish with suspicious ease, John felt that at last he would have some respite and began to look forward to the time in the evening when he could gracefully retire to his own bed without the nagging sense of guilt that he was leaving his patient vulnerable by not waiting on him hand and foot.

That night, several hours after he had said goodnight to his irritating flatmate, he lay in bed trying to fall asleep wondering why he couldn't seem to drop off. He was physically exhausted from the previous days caring for Sherlock, his brain was almost flat-lining with weariness but he simply couldn't seem to get comfortable enough to sleep. He tossed and turned, ending up so twisted in his sheets that he felt like some type of Egyptian mummy. The bed seemed too big, too empty and too cold. It didn't seem likely that in just two nights he had become accustomed to sharing his bed with Sherlock but something was stopping his body from relaxing into sleep and in the spirit of self-honesty John deduced that Sherlock's absence was the most probable cause. He could hear Sherlock moving around downstairs, in the kitchen by the sounds of clinking glass-wear, probably setting up some type of new and disturbing experiment on the kitchen table.

John stretched out on his back, shaking out the covers and untangling his legs from the sheets. He closed his eyes determinedly and forced himself to lay still, his hands resting low on his abdomen. He deliberately directed his thoughts to the image which had saved his sanity many times in the Afghan desert, on the hot nights when sleep was the only thing he desired and the one thing he couldn't seem to grasp.

The dark haired, busty woman who appeared in his mind smiled seductively as she moved towards him. She knelt in front of him her vibrant green eyes looking up at him from beneath thick, black lashes as her red-painted lips moved unerringly towards him. It had been so long since John had found sexual release - having a flatmate as observant as Sherlock tended to make one less than cavalier about attending those more private needs.

He felt the tendrils of heat start to coil in his stomach the woman in his mind's eye was becoming blurred, overlaid with a more slender figure, decidedly male, still with dark hair but pale grey eyes looking up at him rather than green. John's eyes slammed open as the image of his flatmate made him moan, the taste of Sherlock's name on his lips.

Sherlock had been pacing in the living room and kitchen downstairs, picking things up only to immediately discard them. He was convinced that the only reason he felt so restless was the lack of cases to solve currently and had nothing at all to do with the man who was sleeping in the room above him. Finally he lost the battle within his own mind and found himself standing silently just outside John's closed bedroom door, straining to hear John's breathing through the timber.

"Sherlock" John's voice was barely audible through the closed door but his name was unmistakeable, as was the moan which had preceded it. Sherlock hesitated, unsure whether to enter the room, not wholly confident that he had read the situation correctly. He thought John was either dreaming and moaning in distress or he was aroused and touching himself while thinking of him. Sherlock considered that the latter very unlikely as John had never shown any homosexual tendencies previously. However, having lived with the ex-soldier for some months he knew the pattern that his nightmares usually took and that they usually woke him with a strangled scream or sudden gasp, not the long drawn-out moan he had heard a moment ago. Undecided, he waited to hear if any further noises issued from the room and finally, hearing only the brief shifting of John's body on the bed sheets before silence reigned again, Sherlock stepped away from the door and made his way quietly back downstairs.

Sherlock's mind was buzzing with the possible implications of what he had just heard. When all other conclusions are proven false and only the impossible remains, the only logical answer must be the impossible he thought, paraphrasing one of his brother's lessons from long ago when they were both children and Sherlock still held Mycroft in high enough regard to learn from him.

So was it possible that John was attracted to him? Enough to fantasise about him while relieving his sexual frustration? Sherlock shook his head, irritated as always at the unpredictable nature of human emotions.

He thought back through the previous months, going over all their interaction trying to find any clue which might indicate a romantic attachment. John had always been attentive to him certainly, always watching him closely, even when he wasn't working, his eyes flickering across a room to make contact with him every minute or so. Sherlock suspected that John wasn't even aware that he did it, or that his body subconsciously turned towards Sherlock no matter where he was in a room. Since the incident at the swimming pool John had been solicitous and kind, catering to his every need and demand with only the slightest hesitation and frustration showing towards the end of his convalescence when in truth Sherlock was only being lazy and demanding rather than too weak to attend matters himself.

He wondered how far John's attachment to him could be pushed, just what he could convince his friend to do. If he were to test his theory it might give him some more definite answers and Sherlock always required conclusive answers before making a decision. He resolved that in the morning he would find out just how far Dr Watson could be pushed. With a smirk Sherlock threw himself down onto the couch and pulled out his violin, bracing it against his raised knees as he plucked the strings absently, formulating his plans.

Upstairs John slept deeply, curled onto his side with a faint smile on his lips and his breathing slow and even, complete unaware of his devious flatmate's plans for him come morning.