A/N: Okay, hello everyone. This is a sequel to A Habit and continues where that story left off. Please read and review! This chapter is just a prelude so give me your thoughts on what you think is going on, what you want to be going on...anything really!
The air was bitterly cold as they exited the car, Mycroft's man piling their bags up on the pavement outside 221B, helpfully clearing a small hole in the snow before placing them down. Sherlock nodded to the driver thanking him and with a wave the elegant black car slid away leaving them stood alone in the still darkened morning air. He sucked in a deep breath, ah home again. Familiar scents, familiar sights and the familiar flip of his stomach as John grinned across to him, bending down to grab the bags.
Out of the pounding of his heart in his ears Sherlock could've sworn he heard the rumbling of an engine, but there was no traffic this early and with the snow Baker Street was deserted. He too bent down to grab the bags, keeping his eyes on John as he leant over them, checking they were all there. (After all it was a...interesting image.)
Suddenly there was the screeching of tyres and almost in slow motion a dark blue hatchback hurled towards them, skidding on black ice and mounting the curb. Sherlock shouted out and dove, bags and all on top of his lover which sent them flying towards the steps of the flat with punishing force as the car skidded a small way down the pavement before swerving off and carrying on at top speed down and around a corner.
Sherlock let his head drop to the side of Johns head, the doctor lying underneath him. He was sure there was something distinctly odd about that car and he thought back over what he had seen...but then Johns hands were suddenly icily cold against the skin of his chest, skirting over ribs and down his back and lower his skin tingling and he wriggled. (No doubt checking for injuries. A doctor's tic it seemed.)
This was becoming rather...uncomfortable and he turned to look at John, his eyes seemed worried but all Sherlock could think was that his hands were now pulling him closer and he leant down pressing a heated kiss to the other mans lips.
"We should probably get inside...out of these clothes."
"Because they are wet, yes of course. Are you hurt? Phew...that was lucky, I can't believe you managed to see that in time. Very...close."
John was nodding and grinning and was slightly breathless which sent a nice shiver down his spine. (He decided not to mention that the fact his clothes were wet hadn't factored into his plan, but if John was going to remove his clothes it didn't matter what the original intention was. He could always change that.)
John's hands were on his waist and the doctor looked up at him patiently. "Sherlock, do you mind getting off me. My feet are going numb."
The distracted detective nodded after a second and leapt to his feet, pulling his colleague up after him. His cheeks were tinted pink, the snow falling again and it settled in his hair and on his eyelashes, soft smile playing about his lips, he looked stunning. The detective sucked in a haggard breath and rushed forwards to capture the surprisingly warm lips of his lover, holding him close, after all now he was allowed to why did he have even have to ask.
John chuckled as he released him. "Come on; better get inside before it becomes a blizzard out here."
Mrs Hudson greeted them at the door, flailing her arms around and trotting up the stairs to put the kettle on. The doctor insisted on taking the heavier bags and Sherlock watched him power up ahead of him, always in control. He grinned; yes it was good to be home. Very good.
An hour later Mrs. Hudson had taken her fill of fussing over their clothes and pouring tea and holding Sherlocks face in her cupped hands to look at his haircut, cooing and smiling warmly.
"Sherlock dear you look so handsome."
She received a hug from the doctor and a promise that he would tell her the whole story another time before she bustled out of the door. That left them alone and Sherlock stretched from his place on the sofa, getting up with the intention of checking his emails. His veins already jumped with a shot of adrenaline, almost in anticipation of another case, of the thrill of the work.
He was leant over his chair to reach the side unit he was sure he had left the laptop on when two arms wrapped around his hips and he was yanked backwards, landing on Johns lap with a shocked gasp.
He frowned and crossed his arms, heart pounding in his chest at the unexpected action. (He instantly forgave the doctor though, his hands having wrapped around the taller mans waist to keep him there and to stop him from simply slipping away. It wasn't as though he was going to leave but he thought it best not to mention that. John might've let him go.)
"John if you wanted to-"
"You only had to ask. What do you mean no work!"
"I mean, this Christmas was the most stressful holiday I have ever had and yes it was also one of the best but I am tired. No matter how much you deny it you are tired too. I just want twenty-four hours where there are no major revelations, no deaths, no murder, no conspiracies plots or corruption. No obligations at all and most important of all no work. Can I have that? Please just this once."
Sherlock frowned. But his mind...it rebelled without work, he needed it. "Then what do you suppose we do, watch television!"
He didn't even try to keep the disgust from his voice, glaring down at his lover as defiantly as possible. John's serious face broke into a grin and his hand slid down from Sherlocks waist to curl over the top of his thigh.
"That isn't exactly what I had planned...I'm sure we could think of something."
Perhaps twenty-four hours without work wasn't all that bad after all.
The next day at almost precisely 8 AM he heard a distinctive set of footsteps on the stairs and he rolled his eyes. John was upstairs taking a shower having had his wish of twenty-four hours and leaving the detective alone to lie on his sofa, arm lifelessly held out as he flicked through channel after channel. The footsteps paused in the doorway and he sighed sitting up.
"Sherlock, how lovely it is to see you this morning." (Irene, a creature of habit it seemed. Always turning up whilst Sherlock was underdressed. He was beginning to think she did it on purpose.) He finally looked at her.
Her hair was up in a severe ponytail, black sunglasses (Indoors no less.) hiding her eyes which he had no doubt were alight with feline predatory light."I did come here to give you some work to do but..."
"One of your little adventures go amiss? Sunglasses indoors Irene. Tell tale giveaway."
She grinned and whipped them off, folding and sliding one black plastic arm into her bust, tight black sweater and tailored trousers finished off with vibrant green heels. She swept across the room and basically threw herself into Sherlocks lap, mirroring his and Johns positions from the day before except he didn't put his arm around her; instead she clung to his neck to keep herself stable.
Her makeup was perfect, but not enough to completely cover the dark bruise around her eye and along her cheekbones and especially not this close. She wriggled licking her lips and whispering close to his ear.
"I do have time to play Sherlock."
He shivered, but not for the reason she seemed to think and the pleased quirk of her eyebrow made him frown. (It was making him decidedly nauseous to have her perfume swamping his face and he fought the urge to throw her off him. But, alas, she had mentioned work and it wouldn't be wise to anger her. Yet.)
"He isn't interested."
Ah John. His hero. The doctor was stood in the doorway, arms crossed, danger face back in full force. The effect was dampened slightly by his fluffy still drying hair and softly flushed skin. The top couple of buttons were undone on his shirt and he wore no socks, bare toes curling against the wooden floors just peeking out from his jeans. Every muscle was tensed, eyes boring into the woman with her hand skimming though his flatmates hair. (It really wasn't fair to be so consistently attractive, no matter what he was wearing, saying or doing. Poor sportsmanship really.)
Sherlock beamed. "John!"
The doctor glanced to him, eyes softening a little and he padded across the floor, placing a hand on Sherlocks shoulder as he bent down for a long languid kiss, thumb stroking over the detectives neck, his skin tingling under the touch. He pulled back with a grin not breaking the eye contact before he turned and walked towards the kitchen, waving over his shoulder at Irene in general.
"I expect you are here to ask for Sherlocks help?"
His voice carried from the other room and Irene pouted, looking down at her former lover. "Oh, so you aren't just flatmates anymore. I suppose it does save on hotel fees...perhaps next time darling."
She smirked and bent down as if to kiss him and John was suddenly back, yanking her clear off Sherlocks hips and onto the floor with a thump. (He committed the image to memory. John looked practically primal and it was a scene he definitely didn't want to forget.)
"Actually, there won't be a next time. Ever."
"You can't be serious. Sherlock Holmes in a committed relationship?"
"Yes actually. Deathly serious."
"And you think he will stay with you?"
"Yes, forever and I would suggest if you need his help in future you simply ask. He doesn't want or need you throwing yourself at him."
Irene rolled her eyes, looking at Sherlock for a long minute before turning back to the doctor. "Fine."
John nodded and bent down helping her to her feet. "I am glad you understand."
"It's a shame though; he was always one of the best."
She smirked, hands on hips and John blushed a little, something akin to a smug grin flashing across his lips. "Yes well..."
"Here, missing person. That police detective of yours will probably get the report pretty soon so if you find him before they do, don't hesitate to call. My employers would rather he stay outside of her majesties custody."
She reached into that sweater and seemingly from nowhere pulled a thin manila folder out, handing it to Sherlock with a smile. "I suppose this is what you mean by more than you know."
Sherlock just grinned a little wider and she bent down kissing him on the cheek, laying one on John before she wiggled out of the room, her voice barely audible as she reached the stairs.
The front door slammed shut and John glanced down at his lover, double taking when he saw the look on his face. "What?"
"You are going to stay with me forever?"
John blushed for real now and plopped down on the sofa next to him, his thigh warm against the detective's bare skin. He couldn't stop grinning, his cheeks hurting with it.
"Well I haven't really had time to think about it..."
He was quiet for a couple of second before putting his hands together on his lap and tilting his head at them.
"Forever is a long long time but right now I can't see myself leaving you and I know that the things we have seen, the things we have been through, they have been some of the worst things I have ever had to... well it hasn't been easy on either of us and we are still here. Nothing that has happened has changed how I feel about you or this relationship and I can't think of a single thing that would. So forever might be a long time but-"
He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly through his nose. "-It would be a hell of a lot longer not having you there and not much fun at that."
It was like a kick to his stomach and he sucked in a breath. John was looking down at his hands and so he reached out lacing his fingers with the doctors, pressing a soft lingering kiss to his temple.
He wasn't sure what to say, did he tell John that he definitely didn't want to spend forever without him? Did he tell him just how much those words had meant to him? Did he mention that if heaven and hell did turn out to be real he would no question be going downstairs where as John would probably go to heaven to spend eternity and... his mind was running away with him.
He frowned trying to focus his wandering thoughts. "I don't think you'd like hell."
John laughed. "Well, I'm sure we could make do. At least we wouldn't have to worry about heating bills anymore."
Sherlock smiled. He was right, at least there was that.
They had gone out to eat that evening, John explaining that the state of the kitchen when he had rounded the corner had almost given him a panic attack. He did try apologising but the doctor simply put a hand up, danger face and the voice in full effect.
"Don't even mention that mess. I will sort it out later. Right now all I want to do is to eat."
So he didn't mention it again. John chose a restaurant a few streets away and they sat in a darkened corner, Sherlock pouring over the tiny scraps of data Irene had given him. John tucked into his steak, just watching the detective.
"Hmm, it appears Irene is looking for a man named Nico, Gustav Nico. An architect judging by these sketches she found in his office. We will have to visit the place of course...ah, look here John."
The doctor leant across the table, and the detective bent his head too, turning the page to gesture to the bookcase in the image. "See this? This symbol is-"
Suddenly the window across the room from John shattered and a bullet whipped through the air, imbedding itself in the wall just a whisker to the left of Sherlocks ear. He blinked and jumped from his seat, thundering across the restaurant and jumping through the shattered window, he skidded a little on the icy ground, only just catching sight of the blue car as it turned off the street before he slipped backwards, landing heavily on his side.
He sucked in a deep breath, he was winded but nothing was broken and John was crouched over him.
"Sherlock? What was that?"
He looked up to explain but the restaurant owner had appeared and people were crowding around, someone was calling the police. He sighed and leant his spinning head back, blinking hard to try and clear his muddled mind. Pain pounded through him, and yet again he was lying down in the snow after a bizarre near death experience.
(Something clicked in the back of his mind but his thoughts were scattered, it was lost amongst the throb of his skull and warmth of fingers at his neckline.)
Johns eyes were worried, and he lifted Sherlocks head gently, shining a small torch in his eyes.
"I don't know."