Chapter 1 - Not Sherlock enough

Sherlock was sulking laying in a foetal position on the sofa, his back turned to John.

"Dull, dull, dull work of yours, don't say you don't want to accompany me to Scotland Yard. It's FAR MORE INTERESTING than your VULGAR PATIENTS!" he said childishly half shouting half pleading.

"Sherlock, I've never hidden that I was a Doctor, my purpose is to heal people, you know, and it goes without saying that since we have to pay the rent, I have no choice. I'm sure you'll do perfectly fine without me." John was hiding a smile.

"OF COURSE I'LL DO FINE WITHOUT YOU!" Sherlock threw a cushion in John's approximate direction.

"Ok, see you tonight, Sherlock." John knew sherlock wouldn't answer and went out of the flat. He never thought he would get used to this kind of behaviour but now it was his every day life and he kind of liked it...very much.

"How can he choose such a trivial thing as his work over the excitement of a good killer hunt?" Sherlock said to the wall. "If it wasn't for this Sarah, I'm sure he wouldn't even go. Choosing this Sarah over me. It's absurd."

He threw another cushion trough the living room.

"Listen, John," Sarah said "we are not exclusive, since we've just shared a few kisses we can't call ourselves a couple and frankly I believe you already are part of a couple, John, and I'm not Sherlock enough to be the other half of it." she smiled "I've accepted a date with Keith."

"Keith is a patient."

"Yours not mine." She said a smile in her voice before rushing in her office, she was late for her first appointment.

It has been a very long day at the surgery. John came back at the 221B Baker street still upset by Sarah's words...Of course their first date hadn't been what he expected it to be (and surely far from her idea of a perfect date either) and he had, more than once, postponed their rendez-vous to help Sherlock in his investigations but... using the word "couple" was a little harsh. He was lost in these thoughts while climbing the stairs when he heard a big bang noise obviously coming from Sherlock's room.

"Sherlock?" he asked climbing the last steps in a hurry and throwing himself at the door, opening it in one quick movement.

He froze immediately when he found himself facing a half naked Sherlock "Oh!" he said "Sorry, ah, I thought, ah, heard a noise, ah sorry..." he mumbled dropping his eyes to the wooden floor and closing the door, a wild hotness invading his cheeks. He rushed to the kitchen searching for something to do to help him regain composure. Kettle, great, tea, good idea, perfect idea, tea, lovely.

Why am I acting crazy like that? It's nothing, no big at all. Must be tired. Must be Sarah's foolish words, he thought half smiling. He turned around to take the mug he usually left on the table and noticed the mess. There was broken glass on the table and a strange blue aqueous liquid dripping on the floor. A purple piece of fabric was tossed on the wooden floor. It was partly covered in the same blue liquid. John recognised it as one of Sherlock's shirts. He bent and tried to reach for it .

"Don't !" Sherlock had spoken in a loud and urgent voice "It's not something you want to touch with your bare skin, believe me I was close to do it myself ten minutes ago. Poor shirt, it didn't deserve that"

"And what is it supposed to be Sherlock?" John stood up his eyes still caught by the blue stain on the cloth probably expecting it to melt the floor or spontaneously combust.

"A new experiment." Sherlock smiled childishly.

"Are you going to clean this yourself or do I have to call for biohazard experts to come and burn the place to the ground ?" John raised anxious eyes to Sherlock.

"Tea?" was his only answer. He opened the cupboard and reached for mugs on the upper shelf. The three top buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned and it opened wide on his snow white skin when he moved. John caught a glimpse of it before turning to the kettle which was now whistling, lifting it in a movement quicker than necessary.

"What was the noise I heard earlier? By the way sorry for rushing in I was scared something happened."

Sherlock had tossed teabags in the mugs and was holding one in each hand. The table wasn't a safe place to put food or drink on so he held them while John poured water in them.

"I had some blue thing on my shoe as well so I threw it away, a little to violently I fear, it crashed on the wall close to the door. You're home, you can take you're coat off now." Sherlock said watching John's shoulders.

"Sorry what?" For an obscure reason John jumped a little while hearing Sherlock's last words which made boiling water splash on his flatmate's arms. John's eyes widened and with really quick movements, he took the mugs from Sherlock's hands, moved them to the sink, turned the cold water on and put Sherlock's forearms under the cold spray of water.

"Sorry Sherlock, so so sorry, I'm a bit edgy today, are you okay? Does it hurt?" he asked watching Sherlock's skin turning red under the cold water.

"I'm fine John, I didn't feel a thing." Sherlock said in his low calm voice. He was half bent over the sink, his face inches away from John's, he was staring at his friend's face with a blank expression.

John met Sherlock's eyes and remained petrified for what seemed to be a very long time but which should have been no more than a second or two and he resumed his fast movements, turning the water off, reaching for a dish towel and patting the tall man's arms with it to dry his skin.

"Well, I'm going to the bathroom, find ointment...for your arms. Be right back." John left the kitchen in a hurry. When he came back two minutes later, Sherlock was standing at the same spot.

"Give me your arms." Sherlock obliged and John spread ointment on the red areas on his flatmates forearms.

"You know it's not necessary, Doctor Watson, you can see there are no obvious burn marks, my skin reacted to the cold water, that's all." his voice was still low and calm which contrast with John's agitation.

"Better safe than sorry."

"You've been sorry since you came back to the apartment, you said it six time and you're under pressure, you had a bad day at work." it wasn't a question.

"Yeah, yes, it was a bad day." John sighed and smiled a little. "Need to relax, ah, what about take away Chinese and crap TV tonight?" John took off his coat, threw it on a chair and sat on the sofa with a loud whisper. "What about this morning, what does Lestrade want? Interesting case?"

"Nothing really interesting for you here, no patients, no hospital, no female co-worker. Just a boring murder case." Sherlock sat on an armchair an unpleasant look on his face, something between disgust and anger.

"Sherlock," John felt very tired. " I already told you..."

"Yes of course you did." the detective cut off abruptly "Take away Chinese would be lovely thank you."

"And you're going to eat?" John wasn't strong enough to argue, especially with a sarcastic Sherlock.

"Why not?"

"So you didn't take the case?"

"Took it, solved it."

"Told you you'd do fine." John smiled, Sherlock didn't.

Sherlock wasn't in his usual thinking position, close, but not the genuine one. Feet on the coffee table, knees up, elbows on his knees, hands joined, thumbs supporting his chin, a sleeping John's head resting on his shoulder.

The TV show was really boring and every five minutes Sherlock expressed his displeasure, sighing loudly or waving emphatically his hand in the TV's direction. John reacted at first telling him to have pity on Jethro Gibbs and his team, but, after a while, he just left the only consultant detective in the world perform for himself since he had fallen asleep.

"John, John you're snoring, wake up." Sherlock said shaking the doctor's arm lightly.

Without waking up, John turned his head and his upper body lost his balance. His shoulders slid on the leather and his head followed until it softly collide with Sherlock's shoulder. Reluctant to wake his stressed enough friend, Sherlock decided not to move for a moment and wait to see if he would wake up by himself.

He turned off the television and tried to occupy his time thinking adapting his thinking position to the situation.

Sherlock knew john was dreaming because his eyes were rolling in their sockets, his head rolled and his left hand was animated by spasmodic movements. Obviously it was a nightmare and the ex soldier's body started to shake.

"John, you're having a bad dream wake up..." A low grunt came from John's throat, he opened his eyes and got up in one nimble motion. He grabbed Sherlock's collar and pined him flat on the sofa, his left forearm across his neck and a knee crushing his thighs like he was responding to an attack. Sherlock felt John's breath on his face and froze.

"Sherlock?" he said in a hoarse voice "Oh my god, are you all right?" he moved his arm and knee and sat on the floor between the sofa and the coffee table.

"What happened?"

"You...hum...fell asleep watching TV and had a nightmare, when I tried to wake you up, you attacked me." He said turning his head in John's direction.

"Did I hurt you?" he added, anxiously stretching his hands in Sherlock's general direction without knowing where to check for injuries.

Was he stun or surprisingly in control, he just rolled his head from right to left knowing that even with such little light in the room his flatmate would see his answer.

John's hands hovered over Sherlock's chest and, since he wasn't hurt, they landed on his right arm. He pressed it gently. "I'm sorry, I was in Afghanistan again..." he looked around him surprised "Did I woke you?"

"No, I was here."

"What time is it?"

'I don't know."

"Sherlock, are you sure you're okay, can you sit?" he put his hands on his friend's shoulders, gently pulling to help him sit up but felt his reluctance to move.

Sherlock closed his hands on John's wrists. "I'm not hurt and I'm not in shock John." he searched for John's eyes "I'm perfectly fine." he added in a whisper releasing his grip on his friend's wrists, resting his hand lightly on his forearms.

"Okay then, I'm going to bed now. Sorry...again." John stood up slowly and left the room resisting the urge to ask one last time if Sherlock was okay, knowing perfectly well that he was in perfect physical condition. He made his way to his room trying to convince himself it was not Sherlock's erection he had felt brushing his stomach when he was pressed on his body in defensive posture.