Property of: Chapter 1

I'm fascinated by how John and Sherlock might finally get it together, and this is just one idea I've had. Eventual slash. Please comment, I'd love to know what you think.

They got to the middle of the village, where the war memorial skulked under the lone streetlamp, and the men were nowhere to be seen.

'Damn!' John gasped, bending over to relieve his stitch.

'This is why I hate the country,' Sherlock said, his hands on his hips, scanning every possible exit.

'There!' John was already running again.

Sherlock couldn't believe his friend had rocketed off so quickly, or had any real idea of where he was going, but he took to his heels and followed. It was amazing how the little man could run. His legs must be nearly a foot shorter than Sherlock's but he was always ahead, limbs pumping, head held high, running like a sprinter. It was breath-taking to witness.

Sherlock heard a shout and glanced over his shoulder. The two local bobbies, who had been with them when they caught Morgan and Baker red-handed in the counterfeiting workshop, came skidding around the corner into the square, one stumbling and going down on one knee in his hurry. Country coppers, Sherlock thought derisively. Can't even keep fit.

The skinny detective was not far behind John when he entered a little alley behind the post office. It was narrow, an accident of medieval field boundaries between two stone walls. As Sherlock pounded along, he could glimpse John ahead, the back of his head and shoulders silvered by moonlight as he ran.

Another corner. These bloody winding alleys! Now it was his turn to skid. Then he realised he had come upon a dead end, and the scene in progress was not one even his immense intellect had anticipated.

A fight was going on.

Morgan and Baker, cornered in someone's back yard, hedged in by high Cotswold walls, had decided their best bet was to turn and fight. There was only one man, they had obviously reasoned – two against one was a doddle. It would have been, had their adversary not been a trained commando.

Sherlock scrambled to his feet and watched in awe. He had seen John with a gun, seen what he was capable of in the chase, and had benefitted from his abilities as a crack shot. But he had never seen John fight hand to hand.

The doctor often made him sit through ghastly thriller movies where the fights were more like choreographed ballet than real-life brawls. Sherlock knew what it was like to fight in real life – he had been in enough of them - and it was never that pretty. But this was astonishing. Where ever Morgan or Baker threw a punch, John seemed already be there, ahead of them, throwing one back. He slammed home kicks and backwards punches worthy of Baryshnikov. Sherlock had never seen him move so elegantly, or with such deadly precision. Within a minute or two, both men were writhing on the paving, and John was standing in the middle of the carnage, legs spread wide to give the most stable base, one fist drawn back in readiness, the other hand pushed forward, flat out, in defence.

'My God!' Sherlock gasped, and John's head snapped round. Sherlock had never been afraid of him until that moment, but he could see the pupils were wide with adrenaline, pulse throbbing in his friend's neck, and he suddenly hoped that through that red mist, the doctor could identify him as friend and not foe, because if he didn't Sherlock didn't frankly give much for his own chances.

Then John blinked and seemed to stand down, the soldier turned off inside like a light switch. His shoulders relaxed, his legs softened and he became once again mild-mannered, genial Doctor Watson, everybody's favourite GP.

It was dazzling.

The two coppers stumbled in suddenly on the scene, to find two criminals down, one ex-soldier dabbing his lip where a rare blow had connected, and one seriously impressed and awe-struck detective. The fatter of the two, the sergeant, stood over Baker and fumbled his cuffs from his belt.

'Right, mate,' he said, with narrative inevitability. 'You're nicked.'

The bobbies bundled the two men into their patrol car as Sherlock and John trekked back across the square. Sherlock was feeling strange. He walked a little behind John, silent, trying to work out what was happening to him. There was an intense feeling inside his chest, like pressure building up, and he had a lump in his throat. His breathing was very fast, faster than his recent exertions should have accounted for. John was sidling along, still a little breathless, but he seemed perfectly alright. So what's wrong with me, Sherlock frowned to himself.

'Nice collar,' Watson called out to the policemen as they drove past, window rolled down, and waiving their thanks. He turned to Sherlock, heaved a sigh and grinned. 'Well, I think we can count that as a good day at the office.'

And there was the solution. So perfect. Right before his eyes. Sherlock was shocked he hadn't seen it. The wave rose up inside his chest as he stared at his friend, and those gentle grey eyes, and the sandy hair drenched in moonlight.

Sherlock never did anything on impulse. It might look that way to people who didn't know him, but he had always worked through the possible ramifications of every act before he took it. Now, as the tsunami crashed over him, he did something entirely out of character, completely without thought, without strategy. He reached out, gripping the sides of John's head and using his thumbs on his jaw to tip the doctor's face up to him, kissed him.

For a moment, John struggled. His hands came up and gripped Sherlock's upper arms. But then he seemed to relent, and his body softened, his mouth opening to receive the kiss.

And what a kiss! Sherlock had to admit he had little experience of such things, but right now he felt like he was on fire. It was so good. God, sooo gooood. John tasted so fantastic, of caramel and sweat and toothpaste and onions, and something else so delicious, so piquant, and too delicate to define. His mouth seemed to mould perfectly to Sherlock's lips, his eyelashes brushing Sherlock's prominent cheeks. The scent of his body filled Sherlock's nostrils, sweat and sandalwood deodorant and jasmine clothes softener and soft, wet earth. It was sublime.

I am standing here in the middle of a Cotswold village at nine o'clock at night kissing a man, an incredible, wonderful, awe-inspiring, surprising man. And it is the most fantastic, magnificent, thrilling experience of my life, Sherlock realised.

And then the kiss was over. They stepped back from one another, panting, their gazes locked.

Sherlock swallowed, suddenly aware that he was anxious.

But John grinned. 'I'm thirsty,' he said. 'I could murder a pint!'

'The perfect end to a good day at the office,' Sherlock replied, trying to sound nonchalant, and they turned and set off towards the pub, walking not too close, nor too far apart, and Sherlock's mind going at supersonic speed trying to work out what had just happened to him and why John hadn't decked him.