I've had this idea in mind for a while now. Pretty much since the series started. I looked around for some fanfictions of BBC's greatest creation to Doctor Who, but it was in vain. I'm quite confused as to why, because Youtube is crawling with fanvids. So I wrote my own. I'm not sure what sort of response I'll get for this. It'll separate the UK readers from the US readers, that's for sure! If any of you have found any Sherlock/John fics in this fandom, please leave them in a review. I'll be massively super-grateful.
Disclaimer: Sherlock owns my soul. BBC owns Sherlock. Thus, BBC also owns my soul.
This is all getting ridiculous now.
Not only that, it's completely wrong. John wasn't homophobic even when he was straight, and that time was only about three months ago, so he hasn't changed at all on that front. Except being on the other side of the fence now. It's not the gay part he has a problem with, though it is a little disconcerting that the only man he finds attractive is Sherlock. It's that Sherlock is so...young. He used to see men his age with women Sherlock's age, and he'd think, Why can't they find someone their own age? Ironic, that. Maybe he should have been less judgemental, and he wouldn't have spent three months in increasing confusion. Well, he says about two months ago to people, because telling them he knows that it's exactly three months, two weeks and half a day sounds a bit like a stalker. Is it being a stalker if the target lives in the same house as you?
Is it being a stalker if you can't look at the target because they're so bloody clever they might work out what's going on?
John sighs to himself, head lolling back onto the armchair. Now even his thoughts don't make sense. It's bad enough talking in front of Sherlock has become...problematic. Luckily, the genius only needs a wall to bounce ideas off of. John doesn't need to speak to help him solve cases. Maybe Sherlock should get a dog. Dogs don't suddenly go insane and fall in love with him and stop being able to look at him above the torso. Bloody Sherlock. Bloody Sherlock and his bloody shirts. Why does he never button them up all the way? And why is his neck so pale and smooth and...
John squeezes his eyes shut. That stops them roaming at least. He much prefers being outside. He'd go out now, but he doesn't trust Sherlock alone with a Bunsen burner. And besides, London isn't the same without him there to mutter strangers' secrets under his breath, chuckling. 'She's having an affair. Such a rich husband too...' 'Well, I hope he caught something nasty in Ibiza!' 'A drunk and a gambler...what must his pregnant girlfriend think?'. One day, John will read his own secrets from Sherlock's lips, moments before he laughs. Until then, wandering through London is the closest thing to pleasant. For one thing, Sherlock wears a scarf, covers up his throat. That and the cold air means he's able to think. Doesn't make a fool of himself.
He's screwed come July.
John laughs to himself. At himself. Being self-deprecating and very aware of his predicament makes it easy. Easier, maybe. Easier than poor Molly the mortician, who is very obviously in love with Sherlock, who very obviously doesn't notice. It's very mean-spirited of him, but he's glad Sherlock doesn't notice. By not noticing anybody's interest in him, Sherlock makes John's life easier. Still, if didn't notice anybody but John, it would be better. He wonders idly if that's what Molly thinks as well. They should get drinks together some time. Swap stories, or something. John laughs again, shaking his head.
"What are you laughing at?"
John freezes. Ah. Yes. Sherlock's maddeningly sharp ears. Maddeningly sharp intellect. This could be the end of it. It's quite confusing, not wanting it to end even when he wishes it would. He opens his mouth to reply, maybe even try to explain, but Sherlock cuts across him.
"Don't care. Pen."
John's shoulders sag in relief. Thank God Sherlock had his back to him. The deer-in-the-headlights look he was sporting would have been humiliating. It takes a few seconds for the actual words to sink in, and John gets up with a sigh. Sherlock will just keep repeating his request until he gets the pen anyway. Sherlock's voice is deep and beautiful, cut-glass accent cutting down his defences. If he had any sort of defence after the first week. For a sociopath, Sherlock was an excellent manipulator, whether he meant it or not. After Afghanistan, he never wanted to harm a man again. Days later, he shot an old man through the heart, because Sherlock was a fool.
"Where is it?" he asks pleasantly, determined to sound like his friend, not his tortured, unrequited love.
Apparently, today is one of those melodramatic days. Tortured? That doesn't sound much like him. Much like something he'd say, anyway.
"Shirt." Sherlock says, agitated.
Right, now he can be melodramatic. The pen is hanging at the bottom of the v Sherlock's shirt makes against his skin, pale enough to be almost indistinguishable from the white material. Two buttons undone. Better than yesterday. Maybe John's snappy lesson on social indiscretions made an impression. But still. He's not going there. He is not going to fetch a pen when dangers include brushing Sherlock's skin. Sherlock will know. He will almost definitely know, because John's been lucky to get away with it for this long. His almost hysterical denial of being interested the first time they had dinner should have tipped him off. It only didn't because that taxi distracted him. That awkward conversation is the reason John doesn't entertain hope. At all. Even when Sherlock turned up unexpectedly on his date, had a panic attack when he had those bombs strapped to him...all of it could have been taken as a hint. But they weren't. Sherlock was socially awkward, John was romantically awkward, that was the end of it.
He huffs, with a little more annoyance than necessary for the long-suffering best friend, but he feels entitled to a little frustration right now. John can't refuse, because Sherlock will ask questions. Probing questions. Maybe if he plays it right, he can get through this and still maintain this little charade. It's probably going to fail, but the 'No!' followed by a swivel of the head, a raised eyebrow and a curious 'Why?' would be much worse. This he can handle. A verbal battle with Sherlock Holmes is doomed for failure.
John reaches over Sherlock's outstretched arms, both of the younger (he has to constantly remind himself of that) man's arms occupied with something complicated involving fire and magnesium. It's probably going to explode soon. Maybe that's when Sherlock will need the pen. He tugs clumsily on the pen. Mistake, as it's hooked on, and this action just pulls Sherlock's shirt down more. John bites his lip. Swallows. Fumbling, he goes for the lid of the pen, hoping the pen'll slide right off. No such luck. Bloody cheap biros. John's heart races and his fingertips grasp the crisp shirt edge and pull the pen and cloth apart from each other. The pen is free, but the magnesium crackles, his fingers jerking as he flinches. Sherlock's skin is warm. For some reason, maybe Sherlock's cool demeanour, John thought he'd be colder. His skinny frame isn't conducive to keeping warm either. If John presses a little harder, he'd bump into the breastbone. He can feel the rise of it, jutting out under Sherlock's skin. Sherlock's skin. John jerks his hand away like his been burned. The calluses on the pads of his fingers tingle, and he clenches his hand into a fist, scrubs his fingers against his palm. They still don't stop. Bloody hell.
Sherlock turns to him, John's stomach doing flips. There really is nowhere to look. Sherlock's face is out of the question, with dark brooding eyes underlined by the most gorgeous cheekbones. Any model would kill to have his bone structure, male or female. Sherlock's stark collarbone, smooth throat, sculptured forearms. It's hot next to the Bunsen burner, John supposes, or maybe Sherlock doesn't want to singe the cuffs of this one, because the sleeves are rolled up. Long-fingered hands. Thank God that shirt is loose. John doesn't want to see or imagine bony ribs, slim stomach, sharp curved hips...
Too late. John chooses the floor. Mrs Hudson really does have an awful taste in carpets. That's an oddly shaped stain. Probably best not to ask. He likes the gold thing. Nice against the red. This keeps him occupied, keeps his mind off Sherlock's eyes boring into his, observing and calculating every miniscule detail. Not that he should need to. John can't look at him, for Pete's sake. You don't need the mighty Sherlock Holmes to deduce anything about that. Royal blue is a nicer colour for a floor, John decides. The dark red might hide bloodstains better, but that doesn't detract from its granda's-house feel. On the up side, it goes well with Sherlock's shoes, which are stepping into his line of vision. Funny. John didn't hear him get up. Maybe his distraction technique was working. Or maybe not, because he even thought about Sherlock while absorbed in interior decorating. Either way, it's time to face the music.
"Do I make you uncomfortable, John?" Sherlock voice is like dangerous silk. Maybe he's doing that unnerving half-smile. John wouldn't know: this really is a fascinating carpet.
"No. Course not." John says. Too quickly. Damn, he was planning on being smooth.
"I would be more inclined to believe you if you weren't sweating."
"Am I?" Great, that's at least three octaves higher than his normal voice. This conversation just gets better and better. It must be Sherlock's closeness. He can't think when the man is sitting across the room, for God's sake. With him inches away, and talking, and the shirt, and his tingling fingers...John stumbles back a few steps. Sherlock follows him, swift and purposeful. One long stride covers the distance, and now he's even closer than before. He really didn't think this through. Sherlock really has such long legs. Such nice long legs. Stop it!
"Your heart is racing, John. How intriguing."
John feels it himself. Breathing like he's run a marathon, stomach twisting itself into a Gordian knot, sweat beading in prickling droplets on his face. Heart hammering against his ribs. That's probably not healthy, actually. His face flushes, but whether it's from lust, anger or embarrassment, he can't tell. All three, knowing Sherlock.
"Stop it," he mutters, head bowed stubbornly. Fascinating, fascinating carpet. "I'm not some social experiment." The sentence seems incomplete without Sherlock's name at the end. But he can't give Sherlock the advantage of any hesitation or stutter. He'll pick away at it like a vulture.
"Au contraire, my dear Watson," Brilliant, John thinks sarcastically. He's talking like a Victorian, and in French. He's in real trouble now. "Everybody is a social experiment."
John chances a glance up. Possibly his biggest mistake of the day, and that is saying something. Sherlock's eyes pin him like a butterfly of a board. Dissecting him. And now John can't breathe. He is so, so screwed. His last short breath, almost a gasp as their eyes met, is ringing in his ears. Fuck, fuck, fuck. John doesn't like swearing. But this a special occasion, and nothing else can describe the churning in his brain and his guts as he turns his head to the side. Down meant he couldn't see what Sherlock was doing, and while it was safer, panic mode wise, it wasn't very comforting being unsure around Sherlock. He was unpredictable, to say the least.
Another step, toes centimetres, millimetres from John's. His body follows immediately, and John can feel Sherlock's breath on his exposed neck. Oh fuck. His skin is hot and prickly, and if Sherlock says one word in his ear, that'll be the end of him. Side was definitely a bad idea. New worst mistake, he thinks. He stumbles back, feet tangling and tripping him in his panic. He's never been this afraid. Afghanistan had nothing on this, and that left him with a shrink and post-traumatic stress disorder! If he survives this, he's going to end up in a coma. He can definitely feel a coma coming on. His back jars as the mantelpiece digs into it. Oh shit. Trapped. He can't even move before Sherlock is there. One hand either side of John, leaning heavily on the mantelpiece, forehead practically touching John's. His breathing is irregular now, hitching. He's half terrified, half anticipating something he's pretty sure won't happen. Would be very wrong if it did happen.
"You physically twitch when Molly talks to me," Sherlock says, murmuring his analysis. "She's no threat, so jealousy. You no longer talk to me, but rather to my chest. I may be taller than you John, but that's really no excuse. You panicked completely when you touched my skin. In my experience, friends are not so..."
John's head is down, because looking at Sherlock's face while he speaks about this might kill him. The blush, or whatever it was is gone now. He felt the blood drain from his face, leaving him nearly as pale as Sherlock. Mrs. Hudson has walked in on so many inopportune moments, so surely there's a chance she'll interrupt him? Then he can run away. Go somewhere else. Australia is meant to be nice this time of year. With the added bonus of some distance from Sherlock, it would be paradise. But his dream of Australia is shattered almost as it is formed. Sherlock completes his sentence.
"...possessive." he purrs. John squeezes his eyes shut. He's a lost cause. Even the carpet can't save him now. He breathes hard, trying to force whatever's rising in his throat down. He won't be able to talk. He swallows. Opens his mouth. Breathes in.
But his voice dries up, because Sherlock's bony fingers have found his pulse point. He might have even made a choking noise, but Sherlock knows everything now, so why worry about potential embarrassment? This will be on 'The Science of Deduction' by the end of the day. Sherlock Holmes' greatest case, John thinks bitterly. Oh, how the world will laugh. Sherlock's fingers ghost over his neck, pressing insistently into his jawbone. His skin is covering in burning trails now, like Sherlock's managed to ignite an oil spill along his neck. That hurts, under his jaw. John gives in, stops keeping his neck stiff and his eyes on the ground. Sherlock forces his head back none-too-gently. They're looking into each other's eyes now. It's like John's trapped, and he doesn't have the will to escape that gaze anymore. This is the one and only time Sherlock will ever look in his eyes, and they are beautiful. This right here is one of the reasons this whole thing will never happen. Sherlock's eyes are such a dark blue they're black. His skin is marble, his hair is like tousled ebony. He's just one step away from Snow White. John is...not. He's perfectly aware of that, thanks.
"Shut up," Sherlock says.
That's a little unnecessary, I'm not even talking, you've already shut me up. This are all things John would have said if his jaw would unstick in time, but it doesn't and Sherlock kisses him. His lips aren't soft, not at all. John doesn't think Sherlock's ever been soft. Even his face is sharp. The kiss is subtly insistent, creeping up on him like a shadow. John kisses back feverishly, without thinking. Those fingers under his chin slide into his hair. Oh. Oh.
'This is wrong', a sleepy, muffled voice mutters in his mind. John agrees, but it's like Sherlock's mouth is magnetic. He can't move away. He's not sure he wants to move away, and Sherlock is taller, and happens to be pinning him against the wall with his hips at the moment. It's all very distracting. John moans involuntarily in his throat when Sherlock's tongue swipes across his closed lips. For a seemingly asexual man, he is very good. That's the opening Sherlock has been waiting for, and the kiss is suddenly deeper, more passionate. John's knees feel weak and his head swims a little bit. Sherlock isn't so much pinning him as holding him up. That's okay. That's fine.
There's a satisfied purr from Sherlock that vibrates along John's lips and reverberates around John's skull. His eyes are closed, not the frantic clamping of eyelids before. Everything about him is loose and slightly disconnected. He's not sure he can move, but to make sure, he unclenches his fist. Success. Suddenly, it's like he can't stay still. One arm snakes carefully around Sherlock's waist. He's not sure why, but holding Sherlock, fingers exploring the bumps of his spine, is good. Close to excellent, perhaps. Sherlock certainly thinks so, because he arches his back and gasps a little, muffled due to the kiss. It's always nice to unravel an enigma, especially one so unshakeable.
He hates it, but humans need to breathe. Sherlock once told him breathing was boring. He was right. Reluctantly, John pulls apart. Sherlock looks as quizzical as he can, cocking his head to the side slightly. Affection jolts through him, and he realises his fingers are still pressed adoringly into Sherlock's back, Sherlock's fingers still woven into his hair. John's other hand traces Sherlock's throat clumsily. He doesn't have Sherlock's surgical precision in these matters. His eyes are fixed on four fingers splayed against Sherlock's flesh. He manages to unhook one button before his common sense slams into him like a shotgun bullet to the face.
"This is wrong," he manages past the lump in his throat.
Sherlock stiffens, stops running the pad of his thumb along his eyebrow. He's hurt. Of course he's hurt. Sherlock has walls, but they're like those Japanese paper ones. Pointless. Just for show. Everybody gets under his skin, but John is maybe the only one who's there in a positive way.
"That," he says, "is a matter of opinion."
John winces at the tone. Somebody could have poured ice down the back of his shirt, and he would have felt warmer. Sherlock is like an ice statue. He's cold and hard and incredible, but most of all, he's breakable. It would take a lot, the mental or emotional equivalent of a diamond-edged saw, but John is holding that saw. He might even have turned it on his last words. The rushing in his ears is like the sound of it whirring.
"You're too..." he hesitates. Sherlock withdraws his hand roughly from John's face. Splinters of ice start flying from the edge of his saw.
"Strange? Difficult? Dangerous?" Sherlock spits, shoving John's hand away with both of his and taking one sharp step back. John envies his grace under duress. "Do I scare you, John? Do I disgust you?"
John flinches at every word. Especially the emphasised ones. He wants to take back everything, everything. Nobody told him being moral and principled was this hard.
He licks his lips. "Young," he says, throat dry. "You're too young."
To his astonishment, Sherlock laughs. Bitter, disbelieving laughter, accompanied by hands clasped behind his head and agitated pacing.
"Young? Young?" Sherlock mimics, and it sounds like he's becoming hysterical.
"Stop it," John mutters, looking away, but Sherlock ignores him.
"I'm quiet for days on end, and when I do talk it's generally insulting! I play the violin at 3am, there's still yellow spray paint on the mirror, and I nearly got you killed!"
"That wasn't your fault," John tries to interrupt, feeling worse and worse by the second. Sherlock keeps going.
"I refuse cases when there's rent to pay! There was a head in our fridge for five days, and right now the table has a large burn mark! There used to be a skull just behind you!"
"Sherlock-" John says, he's close to begging, and that's not right. He's doing the right thing. It could never work, and why can't Sherlock, with his incredible brain, work that out?
"I accompanied you on your date because I was jealous! And then I nearly got her killed as well! I even got you an ASBO, which I honestly don't regret, and now one of the most powerful criminals in the world wants to kill you! And out of all that, out of everything you have good reason to resent me for, you chose my age. I am a sociopath, John, and that doesn't bother you as much as the age gap!"
John closes his eyes again. Looking at Sherlock's crazed, angry face is even harder than looking at his smile, but for a very different reason.
"Calm down!" he says, growing a little angry himself. He straightens from where he's still slumped against the mantelpiece. "And be a little more quiet, will you! Mrs Hudson-"
He's interrupted by Sherlock's disparaging scoff. "Mrs Hudson, John? That's your problem! You care too much about what other people think!"
"Well, you don't care enough!" John snaps angrily, the words slipping out before he can stop them.
Sherlock visibly gives up, flinging his arms down and turning sharply on his heels. Normally, that would make John happy. Winning an argument with Sherlock is no mean feat. But this is one argument he would have been ecstatic to lose. If anybody could talk him out of his fears and his reasons, and what's more, do it with watertight logic, it would be Sherlock.
"I can't reason with a blind fool."
That's his parting shot.
He's stalking away, and John watches, stricken. It feels like he's falling, stomach missing and eyes unfocused. He's empty, not the hollow way you go when you're grieving. It's a panicky, desperate, lost-something-essential feeling. John lunges across the room without his brain having an input. Keeping Sherlock here is one of those reflex actions. It's impossible to resist them, apparently. He can definitely not stop himself blinking when somebody claps in front of his face. That's a reflex.
His fingers scrabble at his shirt, get a hold and halts Sherlock at the door. He hears a frustrated sigh, before he blurts out.
"I can't do this."
Sherlock turns with a hiss in his voice, one hand resting against the door frame.
"You've made yourself very clear on that point, John," Sherlock says in his nasty, cold voice. "Is it not enough that you've-" John is terrified he'll say 'broken my heart' "-ruined my experiment? Must you also ruin my dramatic exit?"
John is agape. "I ruined-?" But he remembers what he's meant to be doing, and he steps quickly in front of Sherlock. He places his hands on Sherlock's shoulders. Sherlock might be taller than him, but he's skin and bones, where John's stocky and has army training. He can hold him back. He takes a deep breath, the way you prepare yourself to jump off a skyscraper.
"I didn't mean it that way. I-I was wrong. It's stupid to ruin...whatever this is for other people. Your age doesn't matter. The other stuff never did. Not the running, the shooting, not even when you interrupted my date. Truth is, I was bored until you arrived. You've always...I've always, you know. Been...attracted to you. It doesn't matter what people think. Please, I...Just, don't leave. Please."
He's pretty sure that's the worst thing he's ever struggled through. Sherlock's social ineptitude has nothing on him at the moment. And Sherock's not impressed.
"Strangely," he says, "I don't believe you."
Sherlock pushes past him while his arms are limp with shock. John turns to catch him up, spots Mrs Hudson on the stairs. Sherlock is about to shoulder her aside in that moody way of his. John is struck my inspiration, like lightning through his mind and spine. He runs, faster than to that abandoned college, faster than across rooftops. Faster than Sherlock ran after Jim Moriarty left the swimming pool. This time, he's the one pinning Sherlock against the wall.
"Hello Mrs Hudson," he says breathlessly, so Sherlock knows he knows she's there. Knows he's about to prove his point.
The kiss isn't soft or even slow-moving, like Sherlock's. It's forceful and definite, and while it lasts only a few seconds, it's satisfied because of Sherlock's surprise and Sherlock's smile against his lips at Mrs Hudson's "My God!"
John pulls back, grinning. Sherlock was right. It really doesn't matter all that much. He thought he'd be embarrassed, or maybe even proud, or something, but he doesn't really care. It's not that important. People never said anything when they assumed they were on a date. He doubted it would be different if their assumptions were true.
"Satisfied?" he asks, raising his eyebrows.
Sherlock's smile lights up his face. John always thought that was a cliché, but Sherlock changes so much. His eyes look like they're sparkling, not in a glittery, girly way, but like fireworks are going off silently. He looks softer, more inviting. That's why he hated it, for a long time. That smile, especially directed at him, always made him question the assumption that everything he felt was onesided. It looks like he was spectacularly wrong on that front, though. Maybe he can fall in love with that smile.
"I think so, yes." Sherlock says, threading his fingers through John's securely. He indicates the room with his head. "Shall we?"
John laughs. "I think so. Yes," he says, and Sherlock laughs and starts jumping the stairs two at a time, dragging John behind him. Before Sherlock slams the door and presses him against it, John hears Mrs Hudson mutter to herself.
"I bloody knew it."