As it would happen, John's not chased many seventeen-year-olds around London. He's not shot too many cabbies for teenagers, and he hasn't had an adolescent roommate since cadets.
Truth be told, he doesn't really want to make a habit out of it.
It's the way people look when they sit down together. In a café, when hailing a cab. In public, whenever they're together. Sherlock's totally untouchable, he always has been, but they never look at him. The cold shoulder, the eyes of judgment, that's all on John. He's old enough to know better, should know better, does know better. But he doesn't want to know better. No, John will put up with the faces of disgust because he values something more.
Sherlock Holmes is seventeen. When John was that age, he was still in education, still keeping his head down, still living at home. He'd had a girlfriend, and a uniform, and an overbearing older sister. But Sherlock...he lived alone, sleuthing about crime scenes, making eyes at the Detective Inspector to get closer to corpses. The only normal thing sherlock had was his overprotective twenty-something brother. Both equally strange and other-worldly.
However strange it is, John must confess he finds it most endearing. For all of Sherlock's quirks and charms, he's something new entirely. It's refreshing, because nobody sees the world like Sherlock does. It's in the way he inspects people, in the way his hands move with such swift grace and dexterity. There's nobody else like it. When the boy talks, the walls lean in to listen. The world is stunned into silence, humbled.
With Sherlock, there's always more than one way of seeing something.
In the army, they'd all been the same. Everything they didn't like, didn't read or listen to was a waste of time, space and energy. Lads talked about football and girls. Football results and films. Football players and music. Football matches and food. But mainly football. Mostly football. And it had driven John to breaking point.
But with Sherlock, it was as if the world were a football. The boy could tell a player by the ankle if he set his mind on the matter. Nobody else in the world was like that.
So let them whisper and let them stare. It's all fine.
That is, until he stops thinking about Sherlock in a way. It's always been his mind for John. He almost forgets to consider that Sherlock's body is more than just transport. To the extent that he disregards it completely until he clears his head. Why shouldn't John have his cake and eat it? There's no law saying that Sherlock's brilliance must be paired without love for the body that sustains it.
Because, on all accounts, the man really is perfect.
John looks the other way for nearly three months until something drastic catches his attentions. He's watching television when it happens, the news. Half-asleep, John's drowsing, sailing through the minutes with lack of thought. Sherlock at this time is in the shower, taking it hot as the water can get. Steam chokes the entire floor. It's from the steam that John hears the footsteps: wet flesh on laminate, and he turns on the sofa to ask something. At the time it was important, but the words were robbed from his larynx.
Glowing and entirely nude, Sherlock dried his hair with a towel as he walked. Steam rose from his shoulders and lingered behind him like a ghostly companion. For seventeen, there was simply so much of him. Everywhere. And it was just so. All the while Sherlock walked, in his own little world, caught up in some deep thought, he didn't once seem to notice John. Whom, all that while, had forgotten to blink: that's how entranced he was.
The sudden feeling of besottedness wasn't entirely unexpected. I'll start at the start. Begin at the beginning. For that seems a sensible place.