A/N – I managed to steal computer time on my own laptop today, shocking in and of itself. This is what I did with my 30 minutes. Also, I will happily concede that every word in the American dialect is inferior with one exception. I lack the ability, as a Southerner, American, human, to use arse, so for the purposes of this story I used the American version ass. (Also, I've always thought cars having bonnets was a little strange, but that is irrelevant.) If that bothers you I apologize and please stop reading now. If it doesn't read on.
Warnings – Not a one I can think of if you got this far
Disclaimer – If you are under the impression that I own them you are wrong.
Opening Gambit (or Hypnotizing Chickens if you are in an Iggy Pop mood)
The chase was long, especially in the unusual April heat. The satisfaction of watching the hacker being cuffed by Lestrade made it all worth it. John knew that Sherlock found it oddly satisfying to have outsmarted this particular young man. The detective insisted at regular intervals during this case that the criminal "is very clever John, very clever indeed." John wanted to point out to the 19-year-old how honored he should be to have earned the respect of the detective; it is one of the most exclusive clubs.
That would take too much energy though, and after the long run the doctor was only concerned with catching his breath. He currently stands bent over, hands on knees, gasping. He is doing better than the detective though, whose long frame is leaning against the wall of the Oxfam store. He appears barely able to stand. John turns his head and looks up at Sherlock, faced flushed, sweat dripping down his temple, eyes closed. John feels the familiar twist in his stomach and pushes it away.
There are moments when he allows himself to enjoy the attraction he has for his flatmate, but never in the detective's presence. The feelings are subtle and enjoyable. He isn't pining away, spending countless hours wishing for something that will never be. He realizes that Sherlock isn't as asexual as he pretends to be, but the work always comes first. John can live with that, he has no expectations. He is a realist, capable of enjoying what he feels without reciprocation. If it becomes too much to handle he'll deal with it then.
He turns his focus to the alarming flush that won't leave Sherlock's cheeks. He hasn't eaten in 2 days and is probably on the verge of being dehydrated. He had no business running so hard. He notices that there is a Boots on the other side of the Oxfam.
"I'm going to go buy you a water and you are going to drink it." John says, making more of an effort to control his breathing. He needs the energy to make it into the store.
Sherlock opens his eyes and focuses on John for a moment before he nods in agreement. He's gulping down breaths much too fast and John makes the mental note to buy some kind of food too. The detective clearly needs calories. He watches as Sherlock leans his head back against the wall, eyes narrowing but not closing.
John realizes that the eyes are still on him, just not on his face. He mentally traces the gaze. He thinks perhaps the detective is checking out his ass, but corrects this. It doesn't quite line up. His lower back, maybe? Without moving John takes a quick physical inventory and realizes that, in his current position, his shirt is pushed up on his back. There is a patch of skin showing between the bottom of his shirt and the top of his jeans. Sherlock is staring at that patch of skin.
John doesn't push the twist away this time, enjoying it as he looks over Sherlock quickly. He has learned a great deal about observation living with Sherlock, but doesn't need any of it to understand the clues Sherlock is unconsciously giving off. His fingers are flexing, stretching and he quickly licks his lips. The detective wants to touch, wants to taste. The twist tightens and John enjoys it and the warmth it brings.
Interesting turn of events, the doctor thinks and then wonders momentarily if Sherlock is even aware. And as if to answer the unvoiced question the detective shuts it down, regains control, and closes his eyes. John almost laughs at the realization that Sherlock caught himself looking. He is also completely unaware that John noticed the crack in the ever present emotional armor.
The doctor has a quick debate, ignore or make a move, and settles on something in between. He straightens and takes two steps well into Sherlock's personal space. When the detective opens his eyes to look at John he is met with a sultry smile and cheeks that are flushed for a reason other than running. John notices the flash of surprise, before Sherlock brings it under control. The doctor doesn't move away.
He grabs Sherlock's wrist and quickly traces a thumb across the tendons. He watches with quiet amazement as the detective's pupils widen and his mouth opens. An almost silent "oh" escapes him.
"Crisps or Biscuits?" The doctor asks, his insides jumping.
The detective doesn't respond immediately, John counts that as a victory. The doctor's smile grows as he repeats his thumb's action and his question. "You have to eat something, crisps or biscuits?"
"Crisps." The reply comes as Sherlock twists his hand to run his fingers across John's palm. The doctor doesn't hide the shiver that moves up his arm. Unbelievably, the detective's pupils grow wider and his throat catches as he swallows.
"Ok." John says releasing his grip and stepping past Sherlock. The doctor doesn't bother to prevent his hand from running across Sherlock's hip as he strides past. He also doesn't miss the sharp intake of breath.
He pushes the door open and walks into the brightly lit store. He smiles to himself; he'd have been completely satisfied with the day if they'd just caught the bad guy.
*Hypnotizing Chickens is a line from Iggy Pops Lust for Life, which has been blasting on my iPod all day.