A/N – John's take on the vacay…more unredeemable fluff.
When I imagined this trip, I certainly didn't imagine sitting on a bench in our 5th cemetery in 3 days. Initially, I think Sherlock had just been interested in the idea of mandatory above ground burial. I don't think he was prepared to discover that many of the cemeteries, through age and weather, were in various states of disrepair. The first time he saw a vault with half the door missing I should have known what I was in for.
He poked his face into the darkened hole, desperate to see bones or remains of any kind. He apparently didn't see anything, but when he turned to look at me his eyes were alight with excitement. He immediately began scanning the surrounding area and spotted another vault with a broken drawer. He flattened himself on the ground and started peering inside. He'd stood up quickly.
"Look how many are broken." Many people would have said this with a sense of sympathy for the deterioration of so many final resting places. Sherlock, however, reacted like it was Christmas morning.
His present was in determining state of deterioration, number of people interred, generational breakdowns, and pinpointing the pandemic deaths. It's very comforting to hear the man you share bodily fluids with on a regular basis declare that the vault he has his head in contains victims of the Spanish Flu Pandemic. There isn't enough hand sanitizer on earth to feel clean after that.
He at least had the common sense to hide what he was doing when the tour groups or someone else came into the cemetery.
He mumbled something at one point about wishing he'd brought his camera. I'd happily tried to hand over his brand new one, the one I was in charge of carrying everywhere. When he looked at me like I'd sprouted another head, I'd thought, for a moment, that he had some yet unknown sense of decency. Come to find out, it was offensive that I suggest pictures of remains end up on the same camera where he will be keeping his naked pictures of me. And yet, it apparently isn't offensive to ask me to take a picture next to a memorial plaque bearing my name, or rather the name of someone who died that had also been named Dr. John H. Watson.
He had been genuinely disappointed that I hadn't helped him examine all the vaults. He'd tried to use the excuse that he was in charge of the day's activities. I'd simply explained that if I spent the day on the ground, in a cemetery, I was certain that I'd be too exhausted for any other activities that evening. He'd pouted, but let the issue drop.
His voice draws me back to this cemetery and this bench. "John, there is a whole coffin in this dumpster!" I look up and indeed Sherlock is leaning over the side of a dumpster. He straightens and is clearly holding the handle off the side of a casket. "What happened to the body?" He looks around for a moment as if it will suddenly appear. The question was rhetorical, he's thinking out loud.
"Clearly, they were recently interred." He adds. He looks around some more, trying to identify the recently deceased. Unable to immediately pinpoint it, he turns back to the dumpster. He puts his hand on the edge and bends his knees slightly. I realize, suddenly, that he's about to jump inside.
"Sherlock, I swear to god, if you jump in the dumpster we are never going to have sex again." He pauses; it is the only threat in my arsenal that will make him stop anything quickly.
He turns back to me and frowns, "But…"
"But nothing, it's just a coffin. You don't need to examine it in more detail.
His frown grows, but he walks towards me instead. He has a smudge of dirt on his right cheek. Who knows where that came from?
"You are so boring John." He says, sitting down next to me and crossing his arms. He is moving towards a proper sulk. I laugh.
"Yes, I'm horribly dull. I only let you desecrate the dead for 8 hours on this trip."
He snaps his head around. "I mean no disrespect…"
"I know. It's why I haven't stopped you. But digging around in a dumpster, for fun? I'm drawing the line."
He lets out an audible sigh and stands. "Fine." He looks at his watch. "We need to get cleaned up anyway. We have dinner plans this evening."
This surprises me. He hadn't mentioned any plans other than visiting Napoleon's death mask at the Cabildo and more cemeteries. And beignets, naturally, we had more beignets.
"Where are we going?"
He smirks down at me. "That is a surprise, John." He holds a hand out and pulls me up.
He already has a suit on as I walk out of the bathroom. It's one of his good ones, charcoal grey with a faint pin stripe and a white shirt open at the neck. He looks taller than usual, and as my eyes roam upwards I hear the sound of the camera shutter.
I have the towel over my head, rubbing it through my hair and not around my waist. I should have expected as much. I just roll my eyes.
"I didn't pack a suit." I say, since we are obviously going someplace nice for dinner.
"I packed one for you," he gestures, with his head, towards his garment bag hanging in the closet. He's too busy looking at the photo he just took to actually look at me.
I turn and head towards the garment bag and hear the shutter again. "What are you doing with that thing?"
"Taking pictures." He says, in his "stupid question John" voice. "Do you want to see?" I look over my shoulder and he's holding the camera out to me.
"No, thank you." I reply feeling the blush creep into my cheeks. He frowns, but pulls it back.
"You really are very nice to look at." He replies and I feel my blush deepen. I know he means it, but in my head I look more like I did at 25 than I actually do at 40. I like being able to lie to myself.
I pull my suit out and toss it on the bed. It's my black one, Sherlock's favorite, with a white shirt and a black tie looped around the collar. Sherlock grabs the tie and tosses it towards the pillows on the bed. "Won't need that until later."
I laugh again, putting the shirt on. "You are awful sure of yourself."
"Naturally." He leans against the doorway to watch me. I notice the camera is now next to my wallet on the dresser. He's making sure I don't forget it.
I can feel his eyes roaming over me as I button up the shirt. I spot the tie out of the corner of my eye and smile to myself. I make an immediate, and completely out of character decision. He isn't the only one who can be sure of himself. I meet his eyes as I grab the trousers off the bed and begin to slip them on. He's confused for a split second before realization and arousal cross his features.
"John! You aren't wearing any underwear." He takes a few steps towards me, a feral look in his eyes. I step back, intent on getting my dinner first.
"That isn't a particularly clever deduction Mr. Holmes."
Dinner was amazing, the wine in particular, and probably very expensive. Sherlock hadn't let me see the bill.
We stand on Canal St. waiting for a cab to come by. "Are we going back to the hotel now?" I ask, hopeful. The wine had been very good and Sherlock hadn't managed to completely wipe the feral look off his face. I am very excited to make use of the tie.
"Sadly, no." He looks over at me, "I have a surprise for you. I almost wish I hadn't." He looks down at my trousers again, enjoying the idea of what isn't underneath.
"Can't you surprise me tomorrow?" I ask.
He just shakes his head as a cab pulls up. We climb in the back. "St. Peter's and Royal," Sherlock gives as the directions. I put together the rough map of New Orleans that I've created and realize that is in walking distance of Café du Monde. I will honestly be furious if we are going there again. But I can't picture Sherlock trying to eat anything covered in powdered sugar while wearing a dark suit, so perhaps not. The cab ride is quick and we climb out at the corner, Sherlock pays the man and leads me up St. Peter's away from the river, and Café Du Monde.
"Where are we going?" I ask. The sounds of Bourbon Street, which is one block up, are already reaching us.
He stops and points to a sign hanging above our heads. I look up and read Preservation Hall.
I am shocked. "Sherlock? You don't like jazz, especially this type of jazz."
"I know." He says. "Trust me, I know. However, I came across this place in my research and thought I'd surprise you. I knew you wanted to take the daytime tour of the Hall, but would be reluctant to attend the nightly concerts because of my dislike of the music. I did not want you to miss out on something you will enjoy."
I must look stunned as I stare at him because he puts his index finger under my chin and pushes it up, closing my mouth. "I'm allowed to do nice things for you John, even if they are too infrequent." He leans down and places a quick kiss against my lips. "Now give me the camera so we can take a picture before the concert starts."
I don't need to hand it over; he's digging in the pocket of my jacket pulling it out. We stand in front of the building and he grabs a woman walking by. He puts on his most charming Sherlock smile as he asks her to take our picture. She happily agrees.
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