Author's Dedication: Written as a Birthday Present for my awesome and Sherlock-obsessed GF. I love you!
Author's Note/Warning: This is my first and probably only Sherlock fic, so please be gently. Also, while I'm a huge fan of most things British, I am not actually from the lovely land and my story has not been Brit-picked. Sorry for any mistakes, I tried to fix the obvious ones. Rated T for implications of, well, ahem.
John Watson woke up alone. Which shouldn't have surprised him as much as it did. After all, he had woken up alone many times before and in far stranger places then his own bed. But this morning, this specific morning, waking up alone was surprising and, even though the feeling lasted only a split second, slightly disappointing. Shaking off the feeling he swung his legs over the side of the bed, reaching up a hand to rub the stiffness out of his shoulder. It always liked to act up when he woke up cold. Of course he wasn't cold when he fell asleep. On the contrary-
He shook his head, stopping the flow of early morning thoughts and quickly rising to his feet, padding across the room to his bureau. Better to stop those kinds of ideas before they started. Grabbing a set of clean clothes he quickly made his dash to the bathroom across the hall, closing the door behind him as quietly as he could. No sounds of Sherlock downstairs. Maybe he had gone out. Or was sleeping somewhere. It wasn't much of a hope but a man could try.
As John stepped into the shower thoughts of last night came once again, unbidden to his mind, and no amount of suds in his hair could wash them away. Closing his eyes he grit his teeth against them, scrubbing harder to rid himself of the smell of cheap alcohol and used sheets and… someone else.
"Stupid, stupid…" he turned off the stream of water with what was probably more force then strictly necessary, "You really are an idiot, John Watson."
Sherlock Holmes did not wake up, due to the singular fact that he did not go to sleep. In the early hours of the morning he had extracted himself from John's bed and come into the living room to think for a while-to pick at his own brain patterns. And it was there he had remained, sat in John's favourite chair, Union Flag pillow resting comfortably on his lower back and fingers steepled against his lips, for hours upon hours. Sitting until the morning sun began to creep through the windows of 221B.
The night before John had been… Not drunk and not sober and not himself at the same time. He had tasted like alcohol when he had yanked Sherlock up from his place on the couch and slammed their lips together, stumbled at all the right moments on the way up the stairs. But therein lay the problem. The moments were almost too right, John specifically tripping where one would expect and intoxicated man to stumble over his own feet.
Then again, it wasn't as if he had put up much resistance to the good doctor's advances. Some who didn't know him might say he had taken advantage of John. But he was well within the boundaries that John had set. And besides he was… curious. Ever since that awkward conversation at Angelo's (yes, even he could pick up on the thin social line upon which they were stepping) he had been having… the occasional thought as to what a more permanent-type relationship with Doctor John Watson would be like. Of course he had dismissed the initial quandaries on the issue almost instantly. It was, after all, highly unlikely that John would even remain his flat mate for long. His previous experiences had given him an average of about a one month time frame within which potential mates could tolerate his experiments and violin playing. His cases at all hours and his tendencies to not eat or speak. But John…
John was different. At three months and six days of being flat mates and counting, he had become an outlier. An anomaly that skewed the rest of his data sets. And at two months was when the thoughts returned. Sherlock had always considered himself to be above the very concept of emotion and attachment and married to his work but yet… somehow John had become his work. Or a vital part of it at least. He wouldn't go so far as to say he couldn't remember a time without the doctor by his side (he did have an excellent memory after all) but since John's insertion into his life, it had been as if a gap he didn't know he possessed had been filled. He had never in his life desired companionship, but now that he had it, Sherlock found that he would rather not go back to a time without it.
Which returned him to the problem of the night before. And John's drunk-but-not attitude. Sherlock sighed, closing his eyes for a moment. In precise detail the sensations all rushed back to him: John's strong hands sliding over his waist and up his shirt, his teeth scraping paths down his neck and that one moment when he'd had enough, taking the upper hand and pushing the doctor against the wall, kissing him until they were both panting for breath and hands fisted into the cable-knit jumper while John's own fingers tangled themselves in his hair. The flavor of alcohol dissipated quickly (more quickly then it probably should have), until it was only the two of them. Together.
In a sense… Sherlock thought to himself, opening his eyes again. The experience was overall… he supposed the only word for it was pleasing. The sexual side of relationships had never quite appealed to him (or any side of relationships in general) but somehow none of that seemed to matter as of last night. It was as if everything else had been shut down, leaving only the almost foreign desires and emotion he had been suppressing, quite successfully, since school.
Upstairs the shower switched off. His eyes darted to the doorway, as if expecting John to walk through them any second as opposed to the minutes it would likely take. But either way he would come down eventually, at which point the 'talking about it' would begin. He scowled. There was really no way around it. As a last second decision he stood, taking two long strides and sitting himself in what had commonly become his chair. It provided him with a more direct view of the entrance and was generally the more anticipated spot for him to be, saving them both at least one awkward moment of John decided where to sit. Crossing his legs he pressed the tips of his fingers together, keeping his eyes on the door, waiting.
He didn't have to wait for long. Within moments of his moving John crept into the living room, towel still wrapped around his shoulders from his shower and clad in loose pants and his striped jumper. He opened his mouth as if to speak then closed it, walking to his chair and flopping down in it. If he noticed the lingering warmth on the fabric he didn't say anything about it. And thus the waiting began.
They both sat in silence for a while. After a few minutes John's tongue darted out, wetting dried lips as he tried to find his words again, "So… last night-"
"Yes?" Sherlock responded a moment too soon and once again they were plunged into an awkward silence of two friends stuck between the moment of either becoming something less or something more. John cleared his throat.
"So as I was saying, well… Sarah broke it off with me. Last night after work," He looked down at his hands after that, fingers curling into his palms.
Sherlock wanted to say a lot of things to this. Most of them along the lines of "its about time" or "what took her so long?". But in the end he settled for something simpler, something far more thought provoking, "So that explains it."
John's cheeks filled with colour, "Yeah, right. So I went to a pub last night and got kind of drunk so whatever we did last night-"
"You know perfectly well what we did last night," he leaned forward, elbows resting on his legs and stormy eyes boring deep into John's brown ones, "You know perfectly well what transpired due to the sole fact the you were not as intoxicated as you would like to have me believe you were. The signs were all quite obvious, John. Everything from what words you chose to slur to the steadiness of your hands. Did you really think I wouldn't be able to tell?"
By this point John's face had grown even redder and he still wouldn't meet his gaze, "I-I don't know what to say."
"Then why are you saying anything at all?"
As it turned out, that was probably not the thing to say on his part. John looked stricken, as if someone had just told him his childhood pet had died, "Right. Sorry."
Sherlock leaned back once more, waiting for John to speak again. The silence that stretched between them was oppressive to say the least, and he found him self drumming his fingers against the chair in… Nervousness? No, Sherlock Holmes was never nervous. Anticipation? Yes, that was the more likely cause. But the longer he waited the longer John remained silent. Leaving his only option as to take measures into his own hands.
"As Sarah had just broken up with you, you found yourself needing companionship," he started, "I was the obvious choice, as you required the comfort of someone familiar so any random pub-crawler wouldn't do. But you knew I'd never concede unless there were highly unusual circumstances, such as you being drunk, so you had to at least play the part. Why you didn't actually get drunk I don't know. Maybe you didn't want to risk not making it home, maybe you wanted to remember whatever was going to happen. Or maybe," His eyes drifted over to the man in the jumper, "this whole thing was premeditated."
John stood abruptly, walking into the kitchen, hands clenched at his sides. The kettle was removed roughly from the shelf and slammed against the stovetop, the burner flicked on with an unnecessary amount of force. Sherlock paused then followed, unsure if the doctor was angry at him or the inanimate object in his hand, "John?"
Pressing his hands into the counter John leaned heavily on the wood, head bowed in his traditional 'troubled thinker' pose. It was slightly endearing, if not for the type of circumstances that usually caused it. Finally, John spoke.
"…It wasn't the first time I thought about kissing you. God, I was never going to act on it but… then with Sarah…" he ran a hand through his hair, "Look, it was never supposed to be more then a kiss and it was damn idiotic and I'm properly humiliated, alright? Happy now, Sherlock?"
Crossing his arms he leaned against the doorframe, processing, "So you regret it."
Turning, John mirrored his position, still not looking at him, "Of course I do! Hell, Sherlock, we were never supposed to screw each other! It was a stupid idea from the get go and I'll take full responsibility. Now please, let's just pretend it never happened," Once again he turned to the stove, staring intently at his kettle and waiting for it to boil..
Sherlock watched him, staring at his back, arms still crossed, "So you regret us being intimate last night?"
"So you regret us being intimate last night?"
John winced, not turning around again, the words sounding foreign and awkward on his flat mate's tongue, "Of course I do," he replied even though his head screamed no at him. How could he ever regret the feeling of Sherlock's long fingers stroking his cheek, the warm breath on his neck? The only thing he would really regret was however their friendship was going to change. He had screwed up. Immensely, "Don't you?"
Sherlock's voice was soft, a tone he would never have suspected from the man known as the world's only Consulting Detective, "Is that what normal people do, John? Do normal people regret these things after they transpire?"
He whipped around again, sure every movement, every little glace betrayed to Sherlock exactly how confused he was, "What the hell are you saying?"
The man raised one long curved brow, "Do I need to repeat myself?"
"Are you saying that last night, what we did, everything. Even though I was being an idiot, you don't regret that?"
"When have I ever considered myself, or have been considered, normal, John?"
John opened his mouth but found no words to fill the space. He could hardly believe the things coming out of Sherlock's mouth. Hell, he couldn't believe half the stuff that had fallen off his own lips in the past five minutes. So he stood there, dumbfounded, mouth hanging open like a dead fish for what felt like ages. Until Sherlock took a step forward. And then another. He could hardly react until the man was barely a centimeter away, leaning close and looking down at him.
"Sh-Sherlock, what are you-"
"Let's call it further research, John," And without another word their lips were sealed together, all gaps between them closed.
John didn't taste like salt and beer as he had last time. Instead his lips were pleasantly mint flavoured, an obvious product of earlier brushing, with hinted other tastes that Sherlock only wanted to discover more off. But he found that that was a very difficult thing to accomplish when your kissing partner wasn't moving. Trying to find more of those excellent flavours he ran his tongue across the seam of Johns lips.
Suddenly John started moving, kissing back full force with one hand in his hair and another on his shoulder. His lips parted, and Sherlock found himself eagerly slipping his tongue in, exploring every crevice with a care that couldn't be facilitated the night before. John's tongue slid across his, opened the door to a whole new myriad of tangs and tastes that all needed to be decoded, analyzed, and individually stored. But before he got even halfway finished he pulled back, gasping for breath as his lungs ached from the momentary disuse.
John Watson, panting and just as flushed as he must be, smiled at him, a real, true smile, "Thought you said breathing was boring."
Sherlock Holmes smiled back, "It is." And with that he leaned down, capturing his lips again.