Title: Hobson's Choice
Fandom: BBC Sherlock
Category: First Time, Missing Scene
Date: August 2010
Setting: Season 1
Disclaimer: Sadly these characters are not mine.
Spoilers: The Great Game
Word Count: 1641
Summary: The missing moments at the end of The Great Game that, strangely, didn't make the final edit.
Notes: First ever Sherlock fic, and first fic for many years. Feedback is better than nicotine patches.
.: Hobson's Choice :.
The adrenalin plummeted from John's shocked system and in its turbulent wake it left his lungs gulping for air. His joints felt like they were full of the same chlorinated water that rippled calmly in front of him. The floor started to tilt and sensing that his knees could now longer be trusted, John awkwardly eased himself down against the end of one of the cubical walls. Trying to calm his pounding heart, he pointedly ignored the explosive jacket lying just a few feet from where Sherlock had ripped it forcefully from his body.
Sherlock paced up and down in front of him, agitated and absently scratching his hair with the seemingly forgotten gun in his hand.
The chlorine stung at John's throat, his breath still laboured. "Are you okay?" he asked faintly, looking up at the taller man.
"Me? Yeah. Fine. I'm fine," came the staccato reply. "Fine," he repeated, softer this time. The pacing stopped as Sherlock's brain whirred to try and express the sentiment foremost in his mind.
"That, err, thing that you did. That you offered to do, that was...err... good." Sherlock stumbled over the words, unable to meet John's eyes. He ruthlessly pushed down the feeling that he had somehow embarrassed himself a few seconds earlier with an overt show of his concern as he had divested John of the lethal jacket.
"I'm glad no-one saw that."
"Hmm..?" For a split second, Sherlock wondered whether John had been taken aback by his clumsy compliment.
"You ripping my clothes off in a darkened swimming pool. People might talk."
Sherlock recognised the doctor's use of humour to elevate the stress of the moment. "People do little else," he quipped back, which elicited smiles from both of them.
Tucking the gun into the back of his belt, he reached out and took John's hand, hauling the shorter man to his feet. "Right. Let me take a good look at you." He tipped John's chin up and carefully took stock of his features in a somewhat clinical manner. He catalogued the rapid breaths, increased heart rate and dilated pupils as a normal reaction to acute stress. He clasped John by the elbow to steady him as he started to list to one side. His other hand settled on John's shoulder in what he hoped was reassurance.
"Did I pass?" John sounded somewhat fatigued.
"What? Hmm? Oh yes, tachycardia, shortness of breath, the list goes on." Sherlock waved his hand around, before settling it back on John's shoulder. "All classic signs of shock, but then you would know that." He gave John a quick, wry smile.
John started to relax under his grasp, reassured by the close presence of the other man. "And there I was thinking that these were the after effects of being man handled by you. Good to know that there's a rational reason for them." He chuckled quietly, but blinked as he looked up into the more serious face of the detective.
"My dearest Watson," Sherlock loomed just a little closer, his voice dropping to a soft baritone. "You have no idea of the after effects of being man handled by me." He meant for the retort to be a jest, a continuation of the earlier humour. Therefore he was utterly taken aback when John's hand reached out to gently touch his sleeve.
"Show me," came the quiet but earnest reply.
Sherlock stepped back out of the loose embrace, suddenly uncomfortable. Despite his admittedly sublimated attraction to the older man, he wasn't yet ready to venture into the messy complications, such intimacy could bring. Let alone with his partner and only friend. He held up a hand, "Now, John, you've had a traumatic night. I.."
"Forget I said anything," John cut the excuse short as he ran a hand through his hair in embarrassment. "I...misread the situation."
While his partners had been for the majority female, John had been known to indulge in one night stands with other covert male partners. Yet Sherlock was different to these. John suspected that it was the allure of Sherlock's quick silver mind and lithe muscular body, laced with more than a substantial offering of danger that pushed all of his buttons remorselessly.
As John turned away, the poorly concealed mortification on his face hurt Sherlock almost as much as it did John. Sherlock's mind ran through the possible outcomes from this exact point in time, and came to the abrupt realisation that the majority of them ended with John leaving 221B Baker Street within forty-eight hours.
It took only a split second for Sherlock to make the decision between trying to navigate messy complications and John walking out of his life. There really was no choice to be made at all. Sherlock's hand shot out grab John's upper arm, spinning him around on the spot.
John looked up at Sherlock calmly, and the resignation of the end of their friendship that was apparent there, tugged at something deep within Sherlock's chest. As John waited for the inevitable goodbye, for once Sherlock's brain seemed to founder. Giving up on finding the right words, Sherlock's gaze wandered down from John's eyes to his lips, as he reached to pull him closer.
"I..." Sherlock started, but words still failed to come and with a small sigh he slowly lowered his lips to John's.
The kiss started almost chaste, a quiet thanks that they had both survived the night after being played like Moriarty's personal puppets. For John, the initial surprise gave way to a shy confidence, that allowed him to thread a hand into Sherlock's curls and draw the taller man down closer to him. Sherlock's hands, which had settled on John's waist, now pulled him tighter as his large, pale palms splaying possessively over John's back.
Sherlock gave a small groan as John's lips parted allowing him to deepen the kiss. Heat flared deep in Sherlock's stomach, giving rise to a rarely indulged hunger. The two staggered back slightly, looking to find solid purchase, as both battled for dominance in the kiss. Sliding back into the cubicle, Sherlock broke off to growl in annoyance at the flapping curtain that had gotten tangled up with them, before pushing it roughly aside. John's breath was once more ragged but this time Sherlock smiled triumphantly knowing he was the real cause. A swift predatory Sherlock pushed John back against the tiled wall, lowering his mouth once more, desperate to taste more of the rough addictive kisses.
John's hands dipped under the lapels of Sherlock's navy jacket, palming the firm chest beneath. A strong heartbeat gave him reassurance, as he possessively slid his hands up to Sherlock's shoulders. The detective's lips were now exploring along his jawline, nipping and licking, but not able to move much lower due to his shirt and jumper. Deciding that they both were far too overdressed, John reached up to push the jacket off Sherlock's shoulders, before starting to unbutton his shirt.
As the cool air hit Sherlock's chest, he tore his lips away from John's neck. "Christ, John!" he cursed, as he lifted his head to gulp in some air.
John shook his head minutely and blinked up at Sherlock. "What?" he said curtly, frowning that Sherlock had leant back, and by doing so had moved the shirt buttons out of comfortable reach. Sherlock had one hand on the wall to steady himself, the other tore at his hair.
"Come on, not here."
John looked around the small cubicle. It seemed of fairly strong construction, and he doubted Sherlock was going to be too athletic given the contained space. "I'm sorry. Why not here?"
Sherlock looked a little uncertain as to why it seemed necessary to explain. "Not here," he waved his hands around, "not for the first time we..." Sherlock waved his hands in between to the two of them, hoping that John would catch up.
"I'm sorry." John's brain seemed a little short circuited as it tried to process this bit of information. He shifted his balance. "I'm sorry. You've stopped because - and let me get this straight - because you don't want us to have sex here."
"Yes! Yes. Exactly that." Sherlock smiled, pleased he hadn't had to vocalise his concern. As John put his hands on his hips, Sherlock struggled to see where the emerging indignation was coming from.
"I almost died tonight! I was almost blown up by a mad man or shot through the chest, and you want to take this..." John mimicked Sherlock's earlier hand waving between them, "...somewhere more comfortable!" At the realisation that his voice had a slight manic edge to it, which made it almost sound like Moriarty's, John sighed and ran a hand through his hair as he adjusted his clothes and counted back from ten.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he closed his eyes briefly. Opening them he took in the image of a slightly ravished Sherlock, jacket pooled on the floor by his feet, shirt undone by a couple of buttons, hinting at the tantalising pale expanse of skin beneath.
"Fine. Fine." He reached down and handed a slightly dazed Sherlock his jacket. "But just so you know. You're buying the Dim Sum on the way home."
Sherlock smiled slightly and as he shrugged his jacket back on he bent to kiss John soundly.
Breaking away before things could heat up again, John gestured Sherlock out of the cubicle ahead of him. He was just about to tease the younger man for his unexpected romantic inclinations when he looked down with horror at the re-appearance of a dancing red dot on his chest. Dread filled him, as suddenly the door at the other end of the pool burst open.
"Sorry boys..." came the voice. "I'm so changeable!"
.: The End :.