The pale grey light of another London morning streamed weakly through the cotton curtains of 221B Baker Street. Three floors up, above the bustle and chatter of the weekday commute, Sherlock and John were tangled together on the army doctor's bed, naked and half-asleep.
John was lazily tracing circles on the skin of Sherlock's taut abdomen when the detective sat up, stretching. John made of noise of dissent when he was rather roughly pushed off of Holmes' lower extremities, which he'd been draped across. "Hey! Watch it!"
"Oh please, John," Sherlock said scornfully, but a smile played across his lips. "I didn't break you last night. Not much, anyway."
"Well, I'm quite sore this morning, if it's any difference to you," John replied testily, then burst out in laughter. "I can't even pretend to be mad at you after the night we had."
"Yes," Sherlock replied, ruffling his hair fondly as he stood up to fish around for his shirt. "It had a bit from all of your favorite food groups."
"Mmmm, quite. Detective work, running, shooting bad guys, bit of a cab chase, pissing off Anderson, cheap Chinese food, sex. . . "
"Quite delightful. A buffet of adrenaline, no doubt." Having found one of John's pullovers, Sherlock wriggled gracefully inside, adjusting the collar as John stared.
"You just look a little ridiculous in my clothes, that's all. Your usual silk shirts suit you a little better."
Sherlock offered his flatmate a smile. "I like your clothing. It reeks of you."
John laughed. "The word 'reek' is generally not considered a nice term."
"Regardless, I find it appropriate. And soothing."
The two clambered downstairs to the main floor of the apartment, Sherlock in the lead, chattering happily about his experiments and what he planned to do with the day. As they entered the kitchen, John flicked the burner on and strolled over to the refrigerator, bracing himself for whatever may be inside.
It was stark bare. He peered a little closer inside, even going so far as to immerse his head in its depths, only to have his initial reaction of its bareness reinforced.
Mrs. Hudson knocked on the front door, bustling inside. "Good morning, dears, you're up a little later than usual. Sherlock, dear, you're usually up at the crack of dawn: it was nice to have a bit of a lie-in before you started to rustle about." The two flatmates shared a secretive smile. "Anyway, I cleaned your fridge out, nasty business, most everything was rotten. But thank you for throwing that severed head out, dear."
Sherlock nodded, not even kicking up a fuss about the loss of his petri dishes. John smirked. The endorphin high must not have worn off, or the brilliant detective would have been screaming in frustration.
When the landlady had left, John looked at Sherlock, sighing. "We're out of milk, nothing for the tea. I'll have to go out and get some."
"I'll come with you!" Sherlock said, striding over to grab his coat and scarf.
"I'm sorry, what? Did you just offer to go to the store with me?"
"I believe that is indeed what I just offered. It will be an interesting experiment."
"What will be?"
"Seeing if anyone can tell that we spent the night rolling around on each other," Sherlock replied with a mischievous twinkle in his eyes, smiling roguishly.
"WHAT?" John looked shocked, pausing in the middle of putting his arms through his coat. "Can you say that again please so I'm sure I'm not hallucinating?"
"I would assume it would be pretty simple. Neither of us have bathed since we completed coitus, and we lied together for nearly eight hours in the same bed, absorbing each other's oils and sweat quite thoroughly, being as we were both naked. You have declined to put on deodorant this morning, being too much in a rush to get the tea, and I merely splashed myself with a dab of cologne: hardly enough to mask the smell of pheromones and . . . " Sherlock paused, savoring the thought, "perineum."
The detective continued. "Being as we were too aroused last night to attend to our usual grooming rituals, both of us bear a five o'clock shadow. Our clothing is wrinkled from being thrown recklessly on the floor, and while my hair always bears a certain disheveled appearance, yours has clearly not been attended to in a careful fashion. It is evident that we both dressed quickly and with little care, seeing as you are wearing one blue sock and one red sock. The only probable explanation is that we, after enjoying a night of rousing sex, have left our so-called 'love nest' to do what would be socially termed a "walk of shame" to the nearest grocery store, having burned nearly a thousand calories and depleted our energy stores through energetic pelvic thrusts."
John couldn't help but laugh merrily, reaching up to kiss Sherlock lightly on the cheek and then dashing over to flick off the burner. "Brilliant. But most people aren't very observant, so I'm betting that no one will notice. I've got twenty pounds on it."
Sherlock looked incredulous. "I can always tell when a person has recently had sexual intercourse. I put twenty pounds on that someone will notice without being told."
"It's a deal, then. And winner gets to pick dinner tonight."
The detective grinned evilly. "I hope you like a good curry, then."
They caught a cab, both being too tired to walk the six blocks to the store and back. All during the ride the two men were stealing glances each others' way, hoping the cabbie would notice, but the jaded taxi driver seemed so intent on not hitting a bicyclist that he spared no thought for the two men giggling quietly in his back seat.
Arriving at the store, Sherlock waited for John to accompany him inside. "The effect is more pronounced when all members of the act are present," the detective whispered, rather loudly in John's opinion. The doctor only smirked.
"What? The sexual tension is exceptionally thick between us; someone is bound to notice."
"The only reason that someone would notice is because you keep talking about it in that booming voice of yours," Watson replied in a stage whisper. A woman near the cantaloupes gave them a funny look, and John had to bite his knuckle to keep from laughing.
As they passed the bananas, Sherlock nudged John in the ribs, smiling obscenely.
"Sherlock, behave," John said, attempting to sound severe but failing quite spectacularly.
"There was nothing in the rules against being childish to get my point across," Holmes replied primly.
John merely ignored him, putting items into the cart with a regular ease. Their needs were simple – just the staples – since neither was too fond of cooking. Sherlock made it a point to request a package of chocolate digestives, and he surreptitiously stuck a box of Cookie Crisp in the cart without John noticing, but other than that he merely hung onto the cart, staring wide-eyed at the dizzying whirl of colors and packaging. A tired-looking mother of three passed them in the cereal but barely afforded them a glance.
"How long has it been since you've been inside a grocery store?" John asked as he perused the cans of beans.
"I usually sent Mycroft out for my shopping. Or if he was busy, off in China or whatever, I just wouldn't eat."
"Of, of course, brilliant," John replied jokingly, "just starve yourself to death instead of walking to the store. A right genius you are."
Sherlock drew himself up, ignoring the stare of an elderly gentleman who was reading soup labels. "My attention span for domestic matters is quite short, and I prefer not to waste my time on boring duties like cleaning or cooking."
"Right, right. That must be why every Indian take-out in London knows you by name."
"Perhaps they read my website."
John shook his head, chuckling. If he wasn't so fond of the eccentric genius he shared a flat with, he would be constantly perturbed by his paradoxical nature and bizarre mannerisms.
Having finally reached the check-out, both men were shooting amused glances at each other. This would be the first true interaction with another human in the grocery store, and Sherlock had no doubt that the cashier would recognize both the strong scent of sex and their affectionate behavior, being led to the conclusion that they had spent the night together.
John unloaded their items onto the conveyor, looking at the trashy magazines with an expression of glazed ambivalence, while Sherlock continually invaded the doctor's personal space, even going so far as to pick a speck of lint from his coat.
The cashier, a young androgynous woman with several piercings, looked at them strangely as Sherlock handed John his card. She tilted her head slightly, and the two flatmates looked at each other, biting their lips to keep from grinning.
"Did you two just. . . "
Sherlock interrupted, "Yes! Yes! Brilliant! How did you know?"
"Well, you're both a little lovey-dovey."
John rolled his eyes while Sherlock babbled about how the young woman was "brilliant" and "had a future in detective work, no doubt." A little hyperbolic, the older man considered, but at least he wasn't ranting at her.
"Oh, it's no matter. We get them in all the time, the registrar's just down the street. How was the ceremony?"
Sherlock paused. "I'm sorry, what?"
The cashier appeared taken aback. "I. . . I thought you two'd just come back from getting a civil partnership. That's what you meant, right? We get a lot of couples in just after the ceremony to buy food for after parties."
The detective appeared baffled while John took over, thanking her and hoisting up the bags as Sherlock stuttered and blustered.
When they'd secured a cab and climbed inside, both burst out laughing hysterically.
"You owe me 20 pounds!" John gasped between peals of laughter.
Sherlock sounded as if he were choking as he shot back, "Fine, but if you order from that awful Italian place again I will dispose of your body in the Thames."
"Deal," John sighed happily as he leaned against his flatmate. Sherlock responded by wrapping an arm around his shoulder.
"I'm not sure why she thought we were together," he replied.
"Sherlock, we are together in the physical sense. . . and we could be together in other senses too. If you wanted."
"Yes, yes, of course," Holmes replied, attempting to sound dismissive but failing.
John simply smiled quietly, leaning into the taller man's shoulder.
When they had wrestled the groceries up the stairs and said hello to Mrs. Hudson, John suddenly dropped his bags beside the door, gasping and smacking his head. "Fuck!"
"What is it?" Sherlock asked, snatching up the bags and checking for breakage.
"Sherlock. . . "
"We forgot the milk!"
"Well, fuck the milk then, John. Fuck it like I fucked you last night. Hard." Sherlock responded evenly, right before they broke into hysterics once more.