A/N: Because I normally focus on either case or dark/angsty sort of fics, I've decided it might be fun to try my hand at something a bit… lighter. :) So, don't worry, I'm not aiming to make you cry or anything this time. I may turn this into a series of one-shots or otherwise but at the moment this stands alone. Please enjoy. This can be taken as friendship or pre-slash.
I don't own Sherlock.
"Good morning!" Brilliant blue eyes turned to examine the man slowly descending down the stairs, but he didn't say a word back. John sighed and kept going anyway, deridingly ignoring Sherlock's apparent rudeness. He was far too tired to even care this morning. A cup of tea and he'd be quite alright, but, until then… well, a bomb could explode in the flat and he wouldn't be bothered a bit.
As he reached for the cabinet above the only experiment-free counter, however, things became clear: the tea was gone! His eyes widened. Well, this definitely woke him up. The mystery of the stolen tea. Of course, it was quite obvious who the most likely suspect was. With another sigh, he turned to Sherlock, tapped his flatmate on the shoulder, and tiredly demanded, "Tea?"
"No thank you, I've already had some," Sherlock didn't look up from what he was doing, but John did catch the tiny smirk breaking on his face.
"I meant where's the tea?"
Sherlock only grunted in reply. Sluggishly, John rolled his eyes and simply fell into his favourite sitting room chair, eyes shutting. He sat there for what seemed like hours, resting in the sort of in-between place barely touching sleep, barely touching consciousness. He was startled out of this by a rather loud tap on the door. His eyes flew open and he was greeted by the sight of Mrs. Hudson. In all honesty, John normally would've dismissed her right away and closed his eyes again, but there was something different this time.
She was carrying breakfast. And tea. Oh God, he could just hug her. But, before he could do exactly that, she put down the food and Sherlock grabbed her in an awkward embrace. There was a motherly smile on her face when he let go, and John felt a spike of inexplicable jealousy. He brushed it away quickly, not allowing much thought to it. After all, it wasn't like Sherlock hugged many people. Mrs. Hudson obviously had this privilege and… well, he didn't.
"Mmm, Mrs. Hudson, you are amazing," John announced, taking his place at one of the poorly balanced kitchen chairs. Even as he enjoyed the food and idly chatted with his flatmate and landlady, the thoughts of Sherlock's hugging Mrs. Hudson lingered at the edge of his mind. Why did he care so much, anyway?
Two days later, John had finally brushed off the whole breakfast incident as his being exhausted when Lestrade chanced a visit to the flat. It was just after noon and both John and Sherlock were fully awake this time, though exchanging even fewer words than they had before breakfast two days ago. They moved around the flat doing their separate things - Sherlock experimenting with the last of the milk (again) and John ranting on his blog about Sherlock's use of the milk (again). On a good note, however, they'd found the tea on the floor under the table.
It hadn't been used, of course. John wouldn't touch anything without being sure it hadn't been in contact with one of Sherlock's experiments, and the floor was one of the many likely places that such thing would have happened.
And so they were going about their separate business when Lestrade came bounding up the stairs, looking as though he'd been running quite a bit. Sherlock was on his feet in a flash, eyes glinting with an odd excitement. If he wasn't used to it by now, John might've called his flatmate insane.
"What is it? What do you have for me?" Sherlock hadn't even bothered to keep the hint of excitement out of his normally detached voice.
"You know the double murder in the paper the other day?" At Sherlock's nod, Lestrade continued. "There's been a third. The murderer left a clue, but it doesn't make sense."
"Of course I'll be there." Sherlock grinned widely and, in what seemed to be a moment of complete eccentrics, he pulled the Detective Inspector into a brief hug. The man looked confused, startled even, and had only just moved to awkwardly hug Sherlock back when the consulting detective let go. Not even waiting for the other two men, he was out the door in a flash.
And John felt that jealousy again.
"So… what was that about?"
Lestrade looked at him like he might have all the answers in the world. Unsure, John shrugged. He considered his words very carefully before opening his mouth to speak. "I think he was just grateful. You know him. He gets bored, and then you bring him a case… it's like a little kid at Christmas."
Good. Lestrade doesn't look suspicious at all. Since the odd embrace exchanged between Detective Inspector and consulting detective, he'd been trying to sort out the feelings of jealousy. Honestly, hugging Mrs. Hudson had made sense, but Lestrade? It had to have been a moment of complete insanity, and John couldn't help but feel jealous as he watched his mysterious flatmate wrap those pale, elegant (and frankly too long) arms around the Detective Inspector.
"He's insane, he's gotta be," Lestrade muttered finally. Sherlock appeared in the doorway just in time to hear, "What was with Sherlock hugging me, anyway?"
Anderson sulkily followed Sherlock into the room. He looked a bit confused at the words "Sherlock" and "hug" in the same sentence. Sherlock, on the other hand, smirked widely and asked, "You mind? I suppose I'll have to find someone else to hug, then."
And, just to see the man recoil in shock, he actually spun around and seized Anderson. Anderson. John felt the jealousy assault him again, this time more powerful than anything. Sherlock absolutely hated, despised, detested, loathed - and any other synonym - the man, and he'd just embraced him. And then there was John, who'd never gotten anything close to that in the months they'd been living together.
Fortunately, of course, Anderson pulled from Sherlock's grasp immediately, profanities streaming from his mouth. Sherlock looked ever so pleased with himself, that arrogant smirk of his widening a tiny bit at Lestrade's shock and Anderson's reaction. He cast a look over in John's direction, the smirk dropping in happiness at the odd look on John's face, but he chose to ignore it instead.
And John was still feeling that selfsame jealousy.
A week after the first incident and five days after the other, John was quietly minding his business in the flat. He was exhausted, to say the least, after a rather busy day of working followed by a few hours of chasing criminals through London. But he'd promised Harry that he'd update his blog with their newest adventure ASAP. She seemed to have taken a liking to his flatmate - the very thought of them ever pursuing a relationship disgusted him, even though he was well aware that Sherlock disliked his sister. He had been typing for quite a while, sitting at the annoyingly uncomfortable kitchen table, when the exhaustion really began to get to him. He simply closed the lid of his laptop and lay his head on the table. In seconds, he was asleep.
Sleep. Sleep was good. Sleep meant he could forget about the things that had been bothering him lately. Specifically, the issues of jealousy and Sherlock's apparent newfound obsession with hugging people.
Unfortunately, his sleep didn't last long. He was woken almost fifteen minutes later as his body was sort of gently lain down on the couch. Groggily, he opened his eyes to find Sherlock leaning over him, a tired halfsmile on his friend's face. John stared between Sherlock and the couch before it clicked. Had he really just been carried here?
"You looked tired," Sherlock said simply, as if it would explain everything.
"You're tired as well, go to sleep," John yawned rather loudly, but Sherlock shook his head.
"No, I have things to do-"
"Just sleep for once. Even in the chair is good."
"But-" Sherlock actually paused for a second, his argument defeated when he suddenly yawned. "Ugh. Fine."
John grinned at him sleepily, snuggling his head into the couch. He lay still for a few moments before it became clear that Sherlock hadn't moved at all. Frowning, he turned over again and stared up at his flatmate. A heartbeat passed between them, dreadfully slow, before Sherlock leaned down. There was no awkwardness, no arrogance in the way that he pulled John into a tight embrace, murmuring "good night". Unlike Mrs. Hudson - a moment of exhaustion mixed with hunger - and unlike Lestrade - excitement propelled him then - and very much unlike Anderson - he'd just hugged him to get a reaction - Sherlock seemed to actually put some thought and feeling into this. When he drew away, a smile lingered on his face.
As it turns out, Sherlock did, in fact, sleep in the chair, as directed. And John probably had the best sleep of his life on the couch.
After all, he hadn't any reason to be jealous any more.