Title: Idiots and Other High-Functioning Sociopaths
Spoilers: Some for A Study in Pink
Disclaimer: Not mine
Summary: Written for a prompt on the Sherlock BBC kink meme.
A/N: I suck at titles. 'hangs head in shame'
Idiots And Other High-Functioning Sociopaths
Sherlock Holmes was an idiot. No really, he was.
He was also never wrong. At least, that's what he always told everyone, but if Sherlock had to be honest (he tried to be honest with himself at least if not anyone else) there had been some instances when he'd been wrong. And he didn't mean things like not knowing that Harry was John's sister rather than his brother, because there had been no way he could have deduced that, but situations where he could have – no, should have known something but didn't. He'd been wrong in the past and he would probably be wrong in the future again, he was, after all, only human (not that he would ever admit to either one of those facts).
So, he'd been wrong, granted, but he was Sherlock Holmes, and therefore him being wrong happened extremely seldom. But when it happened, when he was wrong, he was amazingly, incredibly, horrendously, catastrophically and spectacularly wrong.
Take the incident with the cabby for instance. He'd been so sure, so thoroughly convinced that he'd chosen the right pill. He'd been ready to bet his own life on it. And contrary to what some people might think, Sherlock really didn't have a death wish. He might like the thrill of risking his life, yes, but he didn't want to actually die. Accepting the cabby's challenge to take the pill had been a well calculated risk – there'd been a less than 0.1 percent chance that Sherlock had been wrong, that he'd chosen the poisoned pill. After all, he was Sherlock Holmes, he was never wrong and therefore the risk was negligible.
It had never occurred to him that both pills could have been poisoned.
It wasn't until after John had sat him down that same evening and made him watch The Princess Bride that Sherlock realised how incredibly stupid he had been. Of course the cabby had poisoned both pills; taking smaller doses of the same poison to build up immunity against it himself so he wouldn't die when he played his little mindgame. It was the only possibility to win the game every time, no matter which pill his opponents chose. It was logical and in retrospect so obvious that Sherlock couldn't believe how he could have missed this solution. If it weren't for John Watson he'd be dead now, killed by an old man and his own stupidity.
Which brings us to the reason Sherlock was an idiot.
John saved his live that night and Sherlock realised now that he needed John in his life – not just as a flatmate to share the rent with or someone who accompanied him on his mad hunts all over London to solve a crime, but as someone who saved Sherlock from himself.
But that insight wasn't what made Sherlock an idiot – if you believed Mycroft he'd always needed a nanny of some sorts to keep him out of trouble, but that wasn't what this was about. It was about the realisation just how much he wanted John in his life.
When he'd told Mike Stamford that he was searching for a flatmate Sherlock had hoped he would find him someone a little bit like Mike himself. Someone who wouldn't hate Sherlock, who was even a little bit amused by his deductions (at least as long as they weren't about themselves), maybe even a doctor, who wouldn't scream or faint when they found Sherlock's little experiments lying around the flat. In short, someone Sherlock could tolerate at best and ignore at worst.
Instead Mike found him John Watson. At first glance John seemed to fit Sherlock's specifications to the letter. A doctor, ex-military, so certainly not squeamish regarding severed human body parts that might find their way into the flat (always a plus in a flatmate). Quiet, unassuming, maybe even boring, but certainly not someone who would annoy Sherlock with inane chatter or irritating habits (that was usually Sherlock's job, anyway).
He couldn't have been more wrong.
Not about the quiet, unassuming part. John was all that, mostly, although he could get rather loud and very demanding when he thought Sherlock was going overboard with his experiments or acting especially stupid (in John's opinion, because really, Sherlock never acted stupid. He wasn't a teenager after all). But boring? John was anything but that.
John always surprised him. From the first time he admired Sherlock's deducting skills (in the cab on the way to their first murder scene when Sherlock resignedly expected him to call him a freak like everyone else did), to refusing Mycroft's attempt at bribery, shooting the cabby to save Sherlock and giggling with him about it afterwards, to the fact that he answered every one of Sherlock's text message summons, sometimes annoyed, sometimes curious, sometimes excited, but he came. Although he knew by now that sometimes Sherlock just texted him because he was too lazy to do something by himself, John nevertheless came. Every. Single. Time.
There was just something about John Watson that made him special.
He looked out for Sherlock, he joked with Sherlock, he made him eat something when Sherlock was too absorbed in whatever experiment he had running at the time, he made Sherlock watch movies with him (and after The Princess Bride Sherlock really couldn't insist on movies being useless anymore), he even needled Sherlock into tidying the flat (under protest, and not to any standard Mrs. Hudson would call clean, but nevertheless! Tidying!).
In one word, John was Sherlock's friend. And that, in and of itself, was the most astonishing fact at all. Sherlock had never had a friend before – he'd never wanted one before. But now he couldn't imagine his life without John in it, couldn't even imagine how he had lived before John came into his life. It was disconcerting.
And that was where Sherlock being an idiot came into play. Because John made him feel so many things, things he'd never felt before. Like friendship, affection and attraction (and just like he'd never had a friend before he'd never been attracted to anyone in his life. Ever).
Which led to that fateful conversation at Angelo's when Sherlock had totally panicked and told John he considered himself married to his work. There. Idiot. Because only an idiot would sabotage every possibility for something more that early.
Now, with hindsight, Sherlock realised that John really hadn't come on to him; he'd just wanted to get to know his new flatmate a little better. But in his panic (and he still didn't know exactly why he'd panicked, because really, he certainly couldn't have been attracted to John then already, before he knew about all the many things that made John so unique and special, could he?) he blurted the first thing out that came into his mind that would turn John down without losing him as a flatmate (because even then he hadn't wanted to risk that).
And now here Sherlock was, attracted to his best (only) friend, with said friend possibly even attracted back (if Sherlock could go by all the glances and looks John always sent his way), but with no chance that John would ever act on that (possible) attraction. Because John Watson was an honourable man, and he would never jeopardise his friendship to Sherlock if he thought that Sherlock didn't want a romantic relationship in general and/or with John in particular. Not after Sherlock had set down the boundaries so obviously with his oh so clever declaration of being married to his work. Clearly, an idiot (it needed repetition).
Maybe John didn't just think that Sherlock wasn't interested in a romantic relationship, which had been true until now, but also that he wasn't interested in sex at all, which wasn't true, not by far. Sure, when he was younger Sherlock truly hadn't been able to understand why everyone else was always so obsessed with sex. It was just a physical need, like food, water and sleep. If you were hungry, you ate. If you were thirsty, you drank. If you were tired, you slept. If you were horny, you had a wank. There was nothing more to it – at least that's what Sherlock had always thought.
That didn't mean that Sherlock was inexperienced regarding sex. Far from it. Sherlock had experimented quite a bit at university. He had wanted to know why everyone was always so obsessed about sex – it was completely illogical. But, as he'd realised even then, the rest of the human race wasn't as logical as Sherlock himself (and clearly not as intelligent), and if he wanted to hone his skills of reading people he needed to know about their motivations; and since sex was a huge motivator for a lot of human actions, Sherlock decided to study the subject extensively and thoroughly.
And so, just like every other student on the planet, Sherlock had had a lot of sex. He'd had sex with women, he'd had sex with men, he'd tried almost every kink in the book and some he suspected that hadn't even been invented until then. He'd learned a lot during that time (and gained a phenomenal reputation along the way) – he learned how to charm someone into his bed; he learned how to pleasure his partners, how to play their bodies until they were too hoarse to even whimper; he learned that he could pry every secret, every information he wanted out of them while they were still coming down from the best orgasm they'd ever had (and yes, Sherlock really was that good, after all, what use was it to learn a skill if you didn't plan to excel in it?).
He even learned some things about himself – that he preferred men over women (although he suspected it was more due to the fact that women always seemed to need a more emotional approach from their partners than men), that he liked to be in control even if he preferred to be the bottom and that he actually quite enjoyed sex, contrary to his previous beliefs.
All in all, it was a useful skill that came in handy in his work as a consulting detective – and his personal life, too, of course. True, he preferred to satisfy his sexual needs by himself (mostly because it was quicker and less distracting), but on the occasions that his own hand wasn't enough – well, Sherlock knew he was attractive, he'd noticed how people looked at him a long time ago (with lust and desire) and he wasn't above using that if he wanted to pull someone in a bar. His partners were never left wanting, and he got all he needed out of the encounter, too. So really, no, Sherlock had never needed nor wanted a romantic relationship.
Until now. Until John Watson.
Because John was his friend, and even if Sherlock had been willing to risk that friendship for a one-night-stand, he found that a one-night-stand wasn't at all what he wanted. He wanted John, all of him, his loyalty, his friendship, his giggle, his ridiculous jumpers, his nagging, his caring and his love, forever if possible (and good god could he sound even more like a teenage girl?).
Alright, apparently John wouldn't act on his (possible) attraction, so it would be up to Sherlock to do something about that, and it'd better be soon or someone else might come along and snatch John away right under Sherlock's nose. He'd always been very possessive of John, but now, with this new revelation about his feelings for the doctor Sherlock didn't want to know what he would do if John were to go on a date with someone else (thank god the thing with Sarah had fizzled out on itself after the incident with the Chinese circus and John only ever went to her to sleep on her sofa when he was fed up with Sherlock).
Normally acting on his attraction shouldn't have been a problem for Sherlock (even if he hadn't ever been attracted to anyone before); he knew how to seduce someone, after all. But this was John. What if Sherlock was wrong? What if John wasn't attracted to him? This was one of the very few instances that Sherlock freely admitted he could be wrong, and just like the other times Sherlock had been wrong, it would be catastrophic. He could lose John forever (and again, sounding like a teenage girl).
Therefore Sherlock had decided to test the water first, so to speak. Lingering glances (and letting John catch him watching, for once), brushing his fingers against John's when John handed him something, sitting and standing far too close (not that he'd ever respected any kind of personal space in regards to John before, as he'd realised in hindsight), smiling at John, not calling him stupid (well, not too often at least), he'd even got rid of the severed head in the fridge (and therefore aborting a very promising experiment, if that wasn't love!).
So far John hadn't reacted badly to any of Sherlock's attempts at stealth flirting (he'd invented that concept himself), he'd even blushed once or twice and smiled shyly at Sherlock. Time to raise the stakes. Cuddling on the sofa during movie night was next on the agenda, and from there on... Well, who knew?
And if two nights later Sherlock found himself not only cuddling with John on the sofa but being kissed within an inch of his life, well... Maybe he wasn't that much of an idiot after all.