A/N: In response to how horribly disappointed I was in Moriarty's characterization, slash was born. :-) Sherlock takes two lines of cocaine mixed with Ecstasy and some other unknown elements, which has unforeseen results that John has to clean up after. The ensuing madness brings several revelations to light. Half John POV, half Sherlock's. Assume spoilers for all. Slash, but nothing too graphic. Maybe next time. ;-) Enjoy!
The Great Disappointment
The love life John Watson had envisioned for himself in earlier life was not the lot he was given. No, he was given circumstance after circumstance that interrupted love. He was given war and gunshot wounds and a psychosomatic limp. He was given constant brushes with danger that he thrived on like a drug. The adrenaline high. The thrill of battle. And a flatmate who thwarted his every attempt to get off with a pretty girl.
He was given Sherlock Holmes.
Sherlock Holmes, whose remarkable ability for cock-blocking really should be given its own patented title.
John snorted at the thought. He needed a good laugh after the night he'd had. Sherlock had blocked him yet again, in so many ways, but without even being present. Sarah had accused John of always choosing Sherlock first, and John hadn't argued because he knew it was the truth.
So John was home late, but home, maybe some time past midnight. He had been forcing himself to walk everywhere to overcome the dull thrum of fear that at any moment he might be kidnapped by a deranged madman. If John had given in to his fears and taken a cab each time he went out, he would never be able to walk somewhere alone again.
It was late, but Sherlock was still awake, splayed out on the sofa in the dark. John could only just make out Sherlock's long, lean outline, and an odd shape silhouetted in his hand.
"You're back early," Sherlock said, dull, feigning disinterest, but with a certain hurriedness to his words like he had finished off a pot of coffee rather than tea.
"What's that then?" John asked, meaning the shadowy shape he still couldn't quite make out.
"This? Oh. Your gun."
John stuttered in his step, as if his footing was uneven again from his not-really bad leg. He flipped on the nearest lamp, casting more shadows, but illuminating at least part of Sherlock, and the definite sight of John's gun in Sherlock's hand, the barrel pressed to Sherlock's temple casually, as if it were no strange thing at all for John to come home to.
"Sherlock, what on Earth."
"It isn't loaded," Sherlock said, and promptly pulled the trigger.
The hammer of the gun clicked unthreateningly, but John still tensed, still felt his breath catch and stop in his throat. He stormed across the room to the sofa and tore the gun from Sherlock's fingers. "You...idiot!" he cried. "This is not a toy, and for a genius, you're pretty damn daft for using it like one."
Sherlock rolled his eyes and looked toward the back of the sofa, seemingly bored, but his feet were tap, tapping on the cushions, folded up, like he couldn't really sit still. He was wearing his usual wardrobe for sulking. Old grey T-shirt. Sleep pants. Robe.
Sherlock sat up abruptly then and John stumbled back. The detective's usually pale eyes were almost black in the darkness, but somehow still bright, still shimmering with intensity. He sat facing John, knees pulled into his chest like a pouting child.
"You'll leave now, I suppose," Sherlock said. "Her scent is all over you. You'll go to her and leave me."
"Sherlock," John sighed, knowing that Sarah's scent was indeed all over him but because she had clung, and even cried for a bit before he left. It was odd for Sherlock to get such an obvious detail wrong. "I'm not leaving. I doubt I'll be seeing Sarah again."
"Oh? Just a goodbye shag then? How nice for you." Sherlock's words were short, clipped, and rapid fire as always. He pulled his knees in tighter to his chest, somehow making his otherwise long and lanky form seem compact.
John could be patient tonight. He could. They had nearly died. Again. And it had been so different than any time before it, because Sherlock had lied, and John had been taken, and they had both been so terrified. Oh, John knew Sherlock would never say such a thing out loud, but he knew. The way Sherlock had torn the bomb from him and tossed it away, so frantic, so unlike himself. John knew that somewhere within Sherlock's armor a chink had been made because of Moriarty.
John got all that, understood the simple psychology of it that didn't need deduction or a brilliant mind. So he could be patient, because he knew Sherlock was hurting in his own private Sherlock way, and for once it wasn't merely because of boredom. John tucked the gun away into his jacket and sat down across from Sherlock in a convenient chair.
"No shag. No nice goodbye. Just over, Sherlock, and I'm not leaving. Who would put up with you if I left?" John smiled, a little crookedly, he knew, but a bit of friendly banter was their way. Only it didn't seem to be helping much tonight, since Sherlock's pale face seemed to tighten within the shadows like a tortured theater mask. "Sherlock," John tried again, "It's all right. I know you'll hate to hear this, but I understand how scared you are. I am too. Moriarty was-"
"Oh please!" Sherlock shouted, too loudly, enough that Mrs. Hudson would soon be shouting up the stairs at them. Sherlock rocked in his strange, curled position on the sofa, actually rocked like a mental patient needing the movement to keep from lashing out violently. "Moriarty was what? Frightening? Horrible? An evil mastermind out to get us? Please, John, really. Even you aren't so inept as to not realize what he really was."
"And...what is that, exactly? Other than a psychopath."
Sherlock's eyes narrowed in disgust. "A disappointment, of course!" he cried. "What else? The greatest disappointment I could ever envision. Criminal mastermind? My true arch-nemesis? He is nothing but a spoiled child with a penchant for violence and good connections. He is no challenge for me at all!"
John was shocked. Too shocked to speak as Sherlock went on.
"He had no presence. No commanding force whatsoever. Just some little boy playing a game with me. And that voice!" Sherlock practically snarled, twisting his head around like he wanted to bite at something. "Unbearable. Was he trying to put me on? And all the overt innuendos like it was all some great romance. It was a romance, until he spoiled it! Until he killed all the fun by revealing himself and ruining all my expectations! I can barely stand it!"
"Sherlock, enough!" John hissed, half ready to leap up again and tackle Sherlock to the sofa. He was certain he heard the distant sounds of Mrs. Hudson shuffling below, and now was not the time for her meddling. "Keep your voice down, Sherlock, please. Are you really telling me that all your sulking and childish behavior of late is because Moriarty...disappointed you?"
"Obviously!" Sherlock spat back, not heeding John's warning to be quieter, with arms spread wide as if John needed the visual to understand that the whole of the problem was before him. "What else could it be? Nothing I do seems to calm this...ache he's left in me. That someone with so seemingly a great mind could turn out to be so...wrong." He spat the last word like a curse and rocked forward and back again. "I've tried all my old tricks and nothing. I can't think at all. It's infuriating, John. Something wasn't right with that last batch, I think..." he mumbled off, turning his face into his shoulder like he was trying to rub his cheek against the fabric.
"What?" John said. He wanted to be angry, was so angry, wanted to shout at Sherlock, 'so sorry for disappointing you by living and proving poor Moriarty to be nothing but a great git, but it doesn't make me any less terrified, thank you'. But he couldn't say any of it, because Sherlock's words didn't make any sense.
Not until John stopped for a minute to actually look. And observe.
Sherlock was sitting in the dark, in his robe, by the coffee table that John realized now had been pulled in close to the sofa, which might have been why Sherlock had his long legs pulled up since he couldn't properly let them fall over the edge and touch the floor.
The coffee table was pulled in close to the sofa. But why?
Because there were traces of white powder over the surface.
And a half-cut straw.
And a razorblade.
"Oh for fuck's sake, Sherlock!" John leapt up, nearly vaulting around the coffee table to push it out of the way, and hauling Sherlock up onto his feet. It was easier than it should have been because Sherlock was nothing but bones, barely able to stand on his own. Pulled into the light, John could see better now that Sherlock's eyes really were black, his pupils were so blown. He was pale and sweating and could barely focus on John's face. "You bastard! You bloody bastard! How much did you take!"
Sherlock blinked owlishly at him, as if the sudden movement had disrupted his train of thought and slowed him to a crawl. He thought a moment. "Two lines. Wanted three. Something was off after the first though. My regular man was out. Had to find another. Don't think they cut this one as cleanly. Might be a bit of MDMA mixed in, I think. And a few things slightly more poisonous. It's of no matter." Sherlock tried to pull away from John's tightly clenched hands, but sunk down like his legs were rubber, held up only by John's determined strength.
"No matter?" John snapped back. MDMA was Ecstasy. And that didn't even account for the rest. "You snorted two lines of poison into your body, and it's of no matter? I'm taking you to the hospital."
"Nonsense," Sherlock pushed John away more forcefully, tumbling back so that he landed on the sofa and looked momentarily sick. "I have...priers. And there are many a detective who isn't Lestrade who would love to see me locked away."
"Out of the question."
John bristled but swallowed down his protests. He didn't doubt that was all entirely true.
"I'm fine," Sherlock went on. "You're a doctor. Attend to me, if you must, but I'm staying right where I am." He accentuated the point by lying down on the sofa again, turned in toward the back and pulled into that tight child-like position he favored so much.
John was still seething with anger, but there was also concern and a fear he couldn't shake. Any number of things could have been cut with the cocaine Sherlock had taken. John knew Sherlock's normal reaction to the drug, to his great horror, usually having stumbled upon Sherlock too late to stop him.
This was not normal.
"If we're staying then we're doing this my way," John said, hauling Sherlock up again, pleased that he weighed more than Sherlock despite their height difference and that he could overpower him in this current state of being high as a damn kite and sick for it. "I'm keeping an eye on you in my room, in my bed, where I can properly treat you with what meager supplies I have and make sure you don't fall into a coma. Not that it's of any concern, of course," he spat, and started to drag Sherlock none too gently toward the stairs.
"In your bed, Doctor? What will the neighbors say?" Sherlock said incredulously, slurring his speech a bit now, which meant he had snorted those lines probably just before John walked in and they were just now taking full effect.
"Shut it," John said. He decided he didn't owe Sherlock any patience tonight after all.
John kept his room fairly clean, the one place he could keep clean in the flat, though his bed had not been made that day. That was fine, since John merely dropped Sherlock on top of it and left him to rearrange his limbs himself.
"Ow," Sherlock pouted, "I hardly think unnecessary force is…" He blinked. "Necessary."
John tried to resist the urge to strangle Sherlock while he watched the usually quite graceful man fumble and tangle in his own limbs as he attempted to roll onto his back and lay on the bed properly. Sherlock's head wasn't quite right on the pillow, but he looked satisfied enough when he was finished.
"Your bed is far softer than mine," Sherlock said, head tilted just slightly back. "How do you do it?"
"God," John groaned, pinching the bridge of his nose to stay the headache he could feel coming. "Definitely Ecstasy if you're switching from paranoia and irrationality to quite the opposite already. And my bed is soft because it isn't strewn with test tubes and dead animals. What were you thinking, Sherlock?"
"I have never taken Ecstasy."
Another sigh. "I'm aware. I'm more worried about your inability to stand properly or keep fully conscious. Cocaine and Ecstasy are known for keeping people alert, you'll recall."
"Must be the poison then."
John tensed. Sherlock said the word with such offhandedness, and so general, 'poison', as if not knowing what you were specifically poisoned with was...of no matter.
Bloody high-functioning sociopathic bastard.
"Doubtful it was intentional poisoning though. My regular man will be back in due time."
"Oh, you won't be seeing your regular man or any other again," John said, moving about his room to collect what he could to best diagnose Sherlock's current condition further than overdosing. He grabbed a thermometer and sphygmomanometer for blood pressure, both of which he kept as hidden as he could to avoid them being used as part of Sherlock's most recent experiments.
Sherlock was actually quite still and accommodating while John checked his breathing, his pulse, and his blood pressure, but he was a bit like a child again when John attempted to take the man's temperature.
"It will only take a moment, Sherlock. Open your mouth."
"Pointless," said Sherlock. "I clearly have only a light fever."
"Light? I can feel the heat radiating off of you from here. Your deductive capabilities are not exactly in high form, Sherlock. Now sit still." John managed to get the thermometer in Sherlock's mouth and held it there, glad that modern instruments didn't require nearly as much time beneath the tongue. "There," he said as he removed it, checking to see that Sherlock did indeed have a high temperature, but not quite at emergency room level.
He didn't like any of Sherlock's vitals, but for now, none of them were life-threatening. That could change rather quickly, depending on what Sherlock had actually taken.
"Enough now, I'm tired," Sherlock said, turning his head to rub his face against the sheets like he had rubbed against his robe's collar earlier. He inhaled deeply as he did so, eyes closed and body carelessly relaxed.
"Sherlock, stop that, you can't sleep. I don't know how you're going to react to all this. You can't sleep yet. Sherlock!" He shook Sherlock by the shoulders.
"Mmm…they smell like you. The sheets. Fantassssstic," Sherlock purred, nuzzling into the rumpled bedding like an overgrown cat.
John felt his face fill with color before he remembered the important detail here. Ecstasy.
"Perfect end to such a lovely day," John bit out, mostly to himself, but took the initiative to hoist Sherlock up into a sitting position against the headboard, to which Sherlock blinked owlishly again like it was some great feat against nature John had just achieved. "Stay upright and alert, Sherlock. If you fall into a coma, I'll never forgive you."
"That's silly," Sherlock said, head lolling a bit in failed efforts to be comfortable with the headboard at his neck. "How would I know the difference in a coma?"
John felt the flat of his nails biting into his palms. He suddenly understood why Sherlock was so upset when he thought someone was being purposely obtuse with him. "I'm going to get you a glass of water. Not much else to do in the flat. But if you take a bad turn for even a moment, I'm taking you to the hospital. Understand?"
Sherlock was staring at the sheets, fingering them with his long digits as if the fibers were particularly fascinating, which John wouldn't have put past a sober Sherlock, but the expression on Sherlock's face was too unlined and young and innocent not to worry him.
He turned to head back down the stairs.
"You're leaving?" Sherlock called after him.
John paused in the doorway. "I'm getting you water, Sherlock."
"You won't leave then?"
Really, Sherlock's lesser habits were beginning to make more sense to John, because he was beyond irritated by having to repeat what should be obvious. "Against my better judgment, no. Now, why don't you keep chattering while I fetch the water so I know you aren't dead."
"What shall I chatter about?" Sherlock said as John hurried down the stairs, talking plenty loud still for John to hear him in the kitchen. He sounded oddly delighted, which was usually an intonation Sherlock reserved for a fresh murder.
"How about your incessant drug habit? How did you begin all this nonsense in the first place, that's what I'd like to know."
"No schoolyard narcotics peddlers at prep school, Doctor? Or was it only canibus for you?"
John sighed, even though Sherlock wasn't within view to see how annoyed he was. He filled a clean-enough glass with water from the tap.
"Not a habit you've maintained, I know," Sherlock went on. "The smell would saturate every other scent of you if you did. Far from worth the sacrifice. Your scent is marvelous," he said, as enamored as he had said it before, pushed to declarations of devotion that were quite common with Ecstasy, not that John didn't plan on using this against Sherlock until the end of time.
"So glad you think so," John said tiredly, taking a moment to just breathe at the bottom of the stairs. He stole a small sip from Sherlock's glass of water for himself. "I don't even wear cologne, Sherlock. I can't imagine my own natural scent, the odd concoction of scents within this flat, and that disinfectant, medicine smell of hospital from the clinic is really all that appealing."
He paused, debating stealing another drink or just getting a glass for himself, when he realized there had been no reply from above.
Nothing. Not even an amused giggle, barely even a sound at all save the faintest huff like labored breathing.
John turned and raced up the stairs, sloshing water over his hand as he went. His first thought was that Sherlock was having some sort of seizure. He was almost convinced of that when he saw Sherlock, the way the man had slid down to lie on the bed again, shaking with a particular tremble in his arm. But before John could rush forward and do something about it, he observed more carefully.
Sherlock's trembling arm was attached to a hand John couldn't see. He couldn't see it because it was currently crammed down the front of Sherlock's sleep pants. Sherlock was huffing, his hand moving beneath the cotton frantically, while his head was turned again to press his face and nose into the sheets, inhaling deeply.
Getting off on John's scent.
"Sherlock, stop that!" John called, not sure he dared go near Sherlock when the man clearly had no sense of his real self left at all. "Sherlock!"
Sherlock hummed and groaned, digging his nose into the sheets more deeply, panting.
John had no choice. He stormed over to the bed, slammed the water glass down on the nearest hard surface, and reached out to still Sherlock's urgent movements. He grabbed Sherlock by the elbow, at which Sherlock blinked at him, head turning lazily from where it had been pressed into the sheets, but his hand struggled to continue moving.
"You're in my bed!" John cried, as if that alone should be enough to make Sherlock stop.
Sherlock smiled roguishly, lifting his head as best he could and leaning up toward John. "Yessss."
John's stern expression and voice, along with his steady grip on Sherlock's elbow, seemed to do the trick this time. Sherlock blinked a little more clearly and suddenly froze. He looked down his body as if only then realizing what he had been doing.
"Oh," Sherlock said. "I do apologize."
John felt his temper flare, felt his resolve and sense of sanity waver, but he had to get through this. It would be so gratifying to throw this back in Sherlock's face when it was over.
Calmed, Sherlock allowed John to lift him up against the headboard again. John tried very hard not to pay attention to Sherlock's hand when it reappeared from his sleep pants, glistening a bit with telling moisture. John tried even harder not to care when Sherlock twisted that hand into the sheets, partially to clean it and partially because he seemed like he really needed to grip something.
John helped Sherlock drink from the glass of water, slowly and with purpose, hoping Sherlock's senses were clearing a little, though he knew he couldn't be quite so lucky when it had only been a few minutes since the drugs had begun to take full effect.
"I didn't even think you knew how to do such things," John grumbled. "Damn Ecstasy. You couldn't have managed plain old boring normal cocaine?"
"It isn't only the Ecstasy," Sherlock replied matter-of-factly, far too matter-of-factly for someone who was otherwise out of his head. "I do take a hand to myself on occasion."
John should have known better than to assume even a high and delirious Sherlock couldn't process everything he said. Still, he gaped. "You…do?"
Sherlock blinked around the room after a few more gulps of water, as if he was seeing it for the first time or not quite sure where he was. "It can be unwelcome, but needs swift attention before it becomes irritating."
There, John relaxed. That sounded more like Sherlock.
"My issue is with people, John, not sex. People are fools. Sex can be quite fulfilling, when not causing unnecessary distraction. At least, I assume as much for the final act over more basic practices. My experimentation at university was hardly conclusive. They always ran away before the end." Sherlock's head swiveled in a half circle before his black eyes focused back on John again.
John was stunned. And horrified. And felt a bit sorry for Sherlock, really, if he had never actually completed the act of sex with anyone because his as-usual odd nature had run everyone off. John had a very strong feeling that Sherlock wouldn't normally share such details so openly.
"You won't see Sarah again?"
John jumped a bit, but knew he should expect Sherlock's mind to be all over the place, and Sherlock, even off his head, never forgot anything. "Doubtful," John admitted, rather relieved about it, to be honest. Though of course he would see her at the clinic, which was going to be painfully awkward for awhile.
"Good," Sherlock said succinctly. "You're mine."
"Oh?" John sputtered, glad to be standing over the bed rather than sitting on the edge where Sherlock would have been too close. "Are you always so possessive of your friends?"
"Never. You're the only one I've ever had."
John swallowed. Of course on some level he knew that, but it was still somewhat sobering to hear.
"I'm going to kill him for you, John," Sherlock said then, completely switching gears again, as if a new key had been stroked on the computer of his perfect brain. Black eyes with only a sliver of pale blue blinked slowly at John but with fierce focus. "Prison won't be enough, you know. He'll only escape. I'm going to kill him. He shouldn't have tried to hurt you."
"You're my heart, John. He can't burn you away."
John didn't know what to say to that. He remembered Moriarty's words by the pool. The promise to burn away Sherlock's heart, which he didn't have, but oh "we both know that's not entirely true." And so what Sherlock was saying didn't seem only to blame on the drugs, and that made it harder to listen to.
John swallowed again, deeply, unable to stand anymore, so he let himself sit as he hadn't before, close to Sherlock on the edge of the mattress and the rumpled, soiled sheets. Sherlock was slumped but upright, he looked alert but still strangely tired, no doubt due to the poisonous elements cut in with the narcotics cocktail he had unwittingly taken, but still, he was okay. He had a fantastically understanding metabolism. He would be okay.
"You can't not have cared for anyone else your whole life," John said.
"I can't too not," said Sherlock, and then wrinkled his nose at the improper wording. "Of course I haven't," he corrected. "And Mycroft doesn't count."
John chuckled. He really had to. But what thin slit of blue he could make out in Sherlock's eyes seemed to be sober enough to know what he was saying.
And then those eyes were closing, and Sherlock was sinking down again until his head landed more comfortably on the pillow, if a bit haphazard.
"Let me sleep, John, I'm so tired."
"I need to keep an eye on your vitals."
"You can do so while I'm sleeping."
"Best doctor in London."
And that pretty much won the argument.
Whoever invented hangovers should be shot. Sherlock would have made certain it was done too if one could shoot theoretical inventors.
He didn't want to open his eyes. He knew the pain from the light would only worsen at full assault, and yet he had the horrible sensation that if he didn't wake up right then he would be sick all over himself.
Sherlock blinked awake. Cringed. But kept down what little was actually in his stomach. If anything. His mouth felt terribly dry and something like...chalky, he thought, which made little sense, since he had not eaten nor drank anything even remotely chalky.
He licked his lips in disdain. He needed tea.
"John," Sherlock croaked before he had really started to sit up, expecting the good doctor to be...somewhere. Sherlock couldn't exactly remember where he expected John to be, but it certainly wasn't beside him. "John?" he said a little louder and with far more questioning.
John was asleep on top of the covers, head uncomfortably turned to the side from being too far sat up against the headboard, while his breath wheezed over the top of Sherlock's unruly curls.
"John!"Sherlock shouted this time and jabbed John in the side with all the force he could manage in one powerfully long finger.
John winced, flinched away a little too quickly, and lost his balance on the edge of the bed so that he tumbled off the edge with thud and umph of surprise. "Bloody hell!" came the voice of a groggy but awake John Watson, which was better than a sleeping John Watson if that Watson was currently sleeping in Sherlock's bed.
Only it wasn't Sherlock's bed. It was far too clean and soft. It was John's. Sherlock was in John's room, John's bed, under John's covers, while John had been sleeping atop them. That…didn't make any sense.
Sherlock remembered then why he had dreaded waking up. He had a hangover. He had taken something. He had been upset because...John had gone to Sarah's again. But John had come home. And something had been off about that last batch...
"Sherlock, are you even listening to me? Some thank you with that wake up."
"What happened?" Sherlock demanded, eyes narrowing as John righted himself and stood up, still wearing his slacks and jumper and even his jacket and shoes, like he had never really settled in but had been...interrupted. "I can't...can't remember. Something about...those lines I took. Tainted? Or was it intentional sabotage?"
"You said it probably wasn't intentional," John said, permanent frown lines deepening around his mouth and forehead. "Not that I trusted much of your judgment last night. There was Ecstasy cut with your cocaine habit, remember, among other things unnamed. You fell asleep. I stayed up until your pulse returned to normal, but must have fallen asleep myself." John stretched his neck with a telling pop. "Brilliant idea on my part."
"But what did I do?" Sherlock demanded, a bit hysterical, he realized, but his brain was not cooperating with him, and that just wasn't done.
"You really don't remember anything?" John asked, looking at him with a sort of deliberate caution, neck muscles tight suddenly from more than just the poor angle of sleeping, lips pursed-shame, and embarrassment, possibly fear-which brought Sherlock's far too sluggish brain right to...
"Oh god," Sherlock said, nauseous again, like he might actually be sick.
"Ah, so you do remember."
Sherlock leapt from the bed, tossing aside the covers. He felt the slight sticky spot where his hand had been clenched tight while he slept, and his stomach lurched. He would not be sick. He would not. But he would not stay another moment in John's bed either.
How dare his regular dealer inconvenience him this way.
No, no. Must get out of the flat. Change. Leave quickly. Find a quiet place he could think. And tea. He desperately needed tea.
"Sherlock Holmes, get back here this instant!" John called, like the awful parody of an over-protective mother, storming down the stairs after Sherlock with impressive speed.
John reached Sherlock's room just as he did, a step faster with Sherlock's movements sluggish from the remnants of the drugs, and slammed a hand against Sherlock's bedroom door to prevent it from being opened.
Sherlock stood up straight, still feeling a bit sick, very sick, and not wanting to look at John with his hair slightly disheveled from sleeping beside him.
John didn't need to say anything. Sherlock knew where this would lead, what would happen now, of course he knew. John was too good a man, too full of moral fiber to have left Sherlock in such a state the night before, but all that would change in the light of day. Everything would change.
"You're going to leave now." Sherlock said, because it was easier if he said it first. Somehow, it had to be easier.
"Leave? Sherlock, why would I leave?"
Sherlock rocked forward on the balls of his feet, wanting to move, but there was nowhere to go without brushing against John's too close body, right there, half between him and the door, and half pressed to the wall. "Because you have no interest in men or me," Sherlock said, eyes forward. "Everything will be different now. You'll be...different. You might as well leave now. It's what you want. I won't be pitied," he said with a bit more bite, because he had every right to be angry.
"Sherlock, I…was surprised by what you said last night and your actions, but...I attributed most of it to the drugs. At least in any romantic sense. Are you saying you really have...feelings for me like that? Romantically?"
"Sexually," Sherlock blurted, because John wasn't allowed to take the proverbial high road if he didn't understand everything that was going on.
"Yes...that too, it would seem." John's tone was unreadable, and for once, Sherlock didn't want to look or observe. He didn't want to know the little intricacies of John Watson that blatantly said 'I do not want you.'
"I really don't know why you insist on being so agonizingly unobservant," Sherlock said instead. "While I feared this outcome, I thought I was being more than obvious with my affections before now. You made it quite clear you weren't interested."
"Obvious?" John said with a note of indignancy. "But you never gave any indication-"
"Never any indication?" Sherlock snapped, his eyes whipping to John sharply, unintentionally, while he moved swiftly forward so that John was the one who was trapped, caught in the corner of the hallway and Sherlock's door. "And what about Sarah? Breaking up your dates as often as possible? Insisting you come with me and entrusting tasks to you, despite your inferior intellect?"
"That was your idea of flirting?"
"That isn't obvious, Sherlock! You said you were married to your work."
Sherlock faltered and pulled back. John's surprise was genuine, not mocking. "I...am. And you are very much a part of my work and therefore being with you would not interfere. That isn't...obvious?" He trailed as he thought it because he really didn't understand, and that was just unbearable. He hated that he longed for surprises and yet was ill-equipped to handle them. Real surprises were always more than he could reason out or deduce. "Damn it all!" Sherlock shouted toward the wall, so angry again. "Moriarty was so damn disappointing!"
"On about that again?" John said with some frustration. "What is it about Moriarty that has you shouting nonsense whether sober or otherwise?"
"Do you understand nothing?" Sherlock scoffed. "No, of course you don't."
"Sherlock, I just…don't quite know how to respond to all this. I mean...Moriarty playing gay…" John said then, trailing, the light Sherlock had been waiting for sparking in John's eyes, though Sherlock wasn't entirely sure he understood everything he could see there. "Moriarty...knew how you felt about me. Playing gay was his way of making a little joke?"
"Hmph. Hardly an intelligent one. I'm not gay, I simply see no logical reason for gender to be taken into account when dealing with sexual attraction. Labels are tedious. I am rarely aroused by anything. I happen to be aroused by you."
John's eyes widened, so easily surprised.
"I'm saying too much," said Sherlock. "You wish to leave. We cannot hope to go back to the way things were." He had nowhere to go, but he had to go somewhere, and John was blocking his door. So he turned to head out into the main room, maybe even go out into the street barefoot and in his robe if only to escape.
"Wait, Sherlock," John said, strong hand on Sherlock's elbow, like it had been last night while trying to still Sherlock from...
"You're not giving me enough time to process this," John said. "I'm not leaving. I think I understand."
Sherlock highly doubted that was possible, but turned around anyway, searching John's face and posture to see if he really did understand, but once again, Sherlock wasn't sure of anything when it came to the doctor, ever since his first slip of missing that Harry was short for Harriet.
"You shouldn't be disappointed in Moriarty."
"What?" Sherlock gaped, his face twisting into something of a sneer.
"You shouldn't be disappointed in him, Sherlock, for being less than you expected. Be disappointed in me. Because Moriarty knew the truth...and I'm only just starting to realize it."
Sherlock hadn't been gaping before. Not really. Couldn't have been. Because he was gaping now.
"I have…feelings for you that I have never felt toward anyone before," John admitted, moving closer without removing his hold on Sherlock's arm. "I know I couldn't imagine life without you anymore. I know…I was scared and yet flattered by how frantically you ripped the bomb away from me that night, showing such erratic concern. And affection. I didn't know to see it as romantic then. I assumed you were…above all that. Damn it, even Sarah knew, didn't she...?"
"John, you are being overtly difficult to read. What are you saying?"
John's eyes were bright and wet, for some reason. For some...reason. "I'm working this out with my inferior intellect, thank you, can't you give me a minute?" he smiled.
"No. What are you saying?" Sherlock moved in closer still. The little space they were crammed into was small and dark and filled with each other's scents. With John's scent.
Sherlock doubted he was thinking clearly, as improbable as that was. But John didn't say anything else. Not in words. He just looked up, met Sherlock's gaze, bare and open, and everything was just there suddenly, everything made sense, every small detail Sherlock had missed that added up to so much.
He had been disappointed in Moriarty because Moriarty assumed John felt the same way for Sherlock as Sherlock felt for him. That was obvious. The disappointment came because Moriarty was wrong. Or so Sherlock had thought. Only John had figured out the real answer, brilliant man that he was, always missing what Sherlock saw so easily, and always seeing what Sherlock failed to understand.
Sherlock hadn't realized that Moriarty was actually right. Moriarty had known about John's returned affections for Sherlock before either of them.
The close-quarters seemed darker, and too warm, and too tight, and John had fallen against the wall again, and Sherlock was right there, and they were so close.
Sherlock was never good at initiating intimacy, but it didn't appear as though John was willing to take the plunge either. So Sherlock hesitated, but wanted so badly to lean in, to touch his lips to John's that he started to before he really thought about it. And somehow that was enough that John leaned in a little too.
Both their eyes were open, both kept moving closer by millimeters. Sherlock watched John's eyes. His lips. His eyes. He watched John's tongue dart out to wet dry skin. Felt himself do the same. Moved closer still. And John moved closer too. And it was so much easier moving together until...
Sherlock's eyes closed at the same moment skin finally touched, just a brush at first, a press, an experiment. Sherlock liked experiments. And being right. And tea. And one Doctor John Watson.
Sherlock didn't know where to put his hands, so he pressed them to the wall on either side of John, and leaned further in, tilting his head at just the right angle so John would understand, and John did, and the wetness that followed was wonderful. Sherlock understood the mechanics, was good at the mechanics. The emotions were new, but John would guide him.
"Sherlock…" John whispered into the space between them when they pulled apart.
"And the voice," Sherlock said.
"Moriarty. He really has a terribly grating voice. I was disappointed in that too."
John snorted. "How about his age?"
"And his height."
"And that awful suit."
They laughed. Sherlock had never really laughed with anyone else before.
Then Sherlock had to frown because there was too much emotion for him to know what to do with himself, and more and more kept surging to the surface.
"I will never recover if you leave me," Sherlock said, entirely serious, knowing it was true, however dramatic. "And I will kill Moriarty."
"I won't stop you," John said, with honest eyes that looked straight back at Sherlock like they knew him, and they did. "I'm not going anywhere, either. Sarah broke things off because it seems I always choose you over her, and in her words, I should be with the one I'm really in love with if I'm going to be so reckless with my life. Said with quite a bit of spite, granted, but…maybe she wasn't so wrong. Seems Moriarty wasn't the only one who knew better than either of us." He smiled, and took Sherlock's face in both hands, which were gloriously warm, and kissed Sherlock again, strong and fierce and possessive.
Sherlock hummed. Kissing had always been an utter failure compared to this. He made a mental note that clearly emotion or at the very least actual arousal and attraction were necessary for the act to work out correctly.
"You kiss rather sweet for such a cold bastard," John said, with nothing but endearment in the words and his expression.
Sherlock smiled, as wide as if he had a brand new case or theory to work out.
"And you...wank off to thoughts of me then?"
Sherlock might have blushed or fumbled his words if he was any other man. Instead he grinned wider and said, "Exclusively."
The way John flushed with color had Sherlock very much wanting to touch him then, really touch him, but he wasn't sure how to begin. He settled for moving the hands he had braced against the wall to both rest on John's chest. Sherlock wasn't any other man, but this was still unfamiliar territory, and he cursed at how his hands shook.
John's chest was warm. A bit too warm, since the poor man was still wearing his jacket that he had been in since the night before. Sherlock moved his hands upwards until he reached John's shoulders and the skin at his collarbone and neck.
Skin. Skin was definitely preferable.
Sherlock's hands were still trembling, but he caught John shudder in response to his hands on him, even if only on his neck, and felt accomplished. He couldn't wait to touch more bare places of John, skin against skin, and see how John would react.
"I might be rubbish at this," Sherlock said.
"Possibly. But I meant a...relationship." Sherlock said the word as if it tasted badly on his tongue, which it did a bit.
"Well," John grinned, "You are rubbish at friendship. But quite brilliant at being you and that seems to be enough for me, so...I think we'll be all right."
Sherlock huffed, but couldn't really disagree with any of that logic. "Have...you ever...?"
"What? Had sex? Or been in a relationship?" John was having him on now.
Sherlock huffed again. "With a man," he said.
"Don't you know just by looking at me?"
"You are not so easy to read sometimes. Though I would guess possible experimentation at university, like myself, only more thorough, as you do not share my shortcomings. And potentially an affair while abroad. A soldier's life can't be easy, after all."
John's face lit up with that expression Sherlock couldn't help but adore, since it was usually followed by declarations of how brilliant he was. "Well done as always," John said.
"Indeed? I did wonder at my first assumption of you the night of our first case, that you were propositioning me before I crushed such aspirations by saying I am married to my work."
John's eyebrows raised as if to say maybe he was, judging by the accompany smile, or maybe he had been propositioning Sherlock that night subconsciously and only now realized how true it was.
"Yes, my assumption was not entirely incorrect, I think," Sherlock said. "I am hardly ever wrong, after all."
Sherlock's hands were still at the juncture of John's neck and collarbone, close on the left side to where John's bullet wound was hidden beneath his clothing. He allowed his hands to travel further up again, long fingers coiling around John's wonderfully crooked ears and short-cropped hair until he was holding John's head like the precious thing it was, with a perfectly average brain but more than average mind.
Sherlock leaned as far forward into John's body as he could without crushing him to the wall, held John's head reverently and inhaled deeply of John's hair and neck and body. He really did adore the way John smelled for some reason that defied all logic Sherlock might apply to it.
John shuddered enough that Sherlock felt it as well as observed the way it moved beneath John's layers of clothing like ripples on water.
"I will need some…guidance in this area," Sherlock said.
John swallowed, and licked his lips, and seemed unable to stop watching Sherlock's lips in return and the pale expanse of skin revealed by Sherlock's T-shirt, which was...very interesting indeed.
"No complaints so far, though ordering you around should be fun," John said.
"Only kidding. A bit." John's smile was crooked now, playful, and although Sherlock's hands still had a hold of John's head, there was no resistance when John leaned forward again to kiss him.
Why would Sherlock ever offer resistance?
But then he did resist. And pull back. Because his mobile was in the pocket of his robe and it was vibrating annoyingly.
Sherlock released John to retrieve the device, irritated at first but unable to resist seeing if it was Lestrade. Or Mycroft. Or Heaven forbid, Moriarty.
He was quite pleased to see that his first assumption was the correct one.
"There's been a murder," Sherlock said with delight, but when he looked up at John, he found his companion scowling, still flushed. "Oh. We could…skip this one," he offered, surprising himself that he would ever make such an offer to anyone.
John looked surprised too, but his scowl softened and he shook his head. "And risk alienating your first wife? Come on. You need to get dressed then. There will be time after. We'll make sure of it."
He moved just enough so that he could reach for Sherlock's door and open it like an invitation, understanding Sherlock so perfectly it was practically impossible.
"Improbable, Sherlock. You and me. Not impossible," John said.
Sherlock gaped a minute, wondering if he had somehow said that aloud, but was quite certain he hadn't. "You are marvelous," he said with conviction, and kissed John promptly before disappearing inside his room to find suitable attire.
John's laughter followed after him. "Yes, I know," he called. "I love you too."