Disclaimer – characters and settings as depicted in the BBC series not mine. No money being made. Plot is mine.


John let the front door bang shut behind him and climbed the stairs, puffing a little under the weight of the groceries. It had taken months, but finally his arm was back to normal – or what passed for normal by a limb that had been shattered, mended and then injured again – which meant he had taken over sole responsibility for the grocery shopping again.

Sherlock had insisted on doing the shopping in the weeks immediately following his return from captivity, which John had been grateful for at first. After a fortnight of odd meals consisting of what Sherlock insisted was 'finger food' – by which he meant food that could be eaten with one hand – John had insisted on accompanying Sherlock to the shops to oversee his selections. They'd tried giving Sherlock a list, but that worked about as well as you would expect with a genius who was a) bored, b) easily distracted when he wanted to be and c) prone to experimentation on those around him. John had endured a series of toasted bread products – bagels, baps, croissants and tea cakes included as well as the more traditional toast and marmite while his flatmate nursed various bruises from indignant fellow shoppers that didn't appreciate being told the state of their relationships by a complete stranger in the middle of Tesco's.

Lestrade had thanked John when he took charge of the shopping trips, though Sherlock had been quite annoyed at the time. John eventually worked out that it was because people spent a bit of time giving John second looks due to his injuries which was Not Good, according to Sherlock. John had dealt with it by sticking his free hand in Sherlock's coat pocket, or adding his grip to the basket that Sherlock was carrying. Sherlock was very possessive of John in the wake of his return and John … didn't mind it.

He'd thought that his return to Baker Street would be a bit more fraught than it had been. Moriarty had shared some characteristics with Sherlock – high level of intelligence, strong opinions and desire to get his own way and a poor reaction to boredom being the main ones. While John had known that there were untold differences in the two men – what was twisted in Moriarty was tempered in Sherlock – the former captive had expected to come up against at least a few unpleasant associations once free.

It helped that Sherlock went out of his way to consider and meet John's needs – real or imagined – in those first few days. The change in behaviour was so stark that John began to positively long for normality and greeted Sherlock's reversion to some of his old habits with relief.

Not everything went back to what passed for normal between them. John's habit of sticking his hand in Sherlock's pocket encouraged the genius to touch more in return. Touching hands led to linking arms, which led to cuddling, which led to more intimate touches. Sherlock had been hesitant at first – in fact he was still rather shy when it came to initiating what he insisted on calling 'coitus' – but John was slowly wearing that shyness down.

"John! Come and look!" Sherlock called from the sitting room as John deposited his shopping on the table. The counters were currently arrayed with Sherlock glassware, draining over towels after being thoroughly cleaned prior to starting a new series of experiments. John took a moment to put the perishables in the fridge, avoiding the partially defrosted toes as he did, and then headed to the sitting room, wondering what Sherlock was looking at now.

The telly was on with the sound off and Sherlock was standing in front of it, staring raptly. As John came to stand beside him one long arm wound around his waist and an absent kiss was pressed to his hairline, the standard greeting if John had been out of the genius' sight for any length of time.

On the screen there was a picture of Donovan and Anderson in front of what looked like a new build in greater London. From the amount of forensics people visible and the pallor on Sally's face it appeared the scene was a nasty one.

"Is this related to the people smugglers?" John asked, leaning into Sherlock's side and resting his head on the shoulder beside him.

"Yes it is," Sherlock replied, "Now perhaps Donovan will listen to me. Honestly, I don't know what Lestrade was thinking, taking leave!"

"Probably that the last time he went on holiday it was for the birth of his daughter twelve years ago," John replied dryly, amused that Sherlock was still sulking over Lestrade's desire to take a proper holiday with his missus and leave Sally temporarily as Sherlock's main point of contact with the Yard. Sherlock sniffed in a dismissive fashion and then turned and wrapped John firmly in both arms, kissing him passionately for a moment.

"I estimate we have only twenty four minutes until Sally sends for us," Sherlock purred, "And you are remarkably adept at what Google refers to as a 'quickie'."

John felt blood pool in certain key areas and groaned, pressing closer to Sherlock in reply. He didn't waste time debating the merits of beginning anything now, knowing that Sherlock would sulk if they had to stop before they finished.

Not to mention that Sherlock would not be in the mood for anything while working anyway.

It was an unconventional relationship, but it worked and there was no denying that John's life was more interesting because he'd run into Mike Stamford all those months ago.

He wouldn't have it any other way – in fact if he had his way, he'd make it last forever.