"You need glasses."
John caught himself in the act of rubbing his tired eyes and looked up to see Sherlock watching him, his eyebrows raised.
"Sorry?" John asked.
"I said you need glasses. Your hearing, however, is perfectly adequate."
John sighed and shook his head, running a hand through his short hair.
"I don't need glasses," he contradicted. "My eyes are just tired from the computer."
"You've been looking at the screen for seven minutes and forty-five seconds, John; not a significant amount of time. Or rather, you've been squinting at the screen for seven minutes and forty-five seconds – it's causing you noticeable discomfort. Your left eye is worse than your right, given your tendency to rub it more."
"It's just the light!" John protested. The screen seemed overly bright in the dim lighting of their living room, which was because of the grey, gloomy day outside, not because of his eyes.
"No, it isn't. You've been doing it when reading books, reading texts, and writing in various lights and circumstances. You need glasses."
"I don't need glasses!"
Sherlock gave him a pointed look and John sighed, clicking his laptop shut.
"You've been suffering with low grade headaches enough that you've decreased both the amount of time you spend writing your blog and the amount of time you spend reading. You've also increased the amount of telly you watch because the screen is further and therefore easier for you to focus on."
"How do you know I'm getting headaches?"
"You've taken to regularly massaging your temples and forehead," Sherlock said, rolling his eyes. "It's not a difficult conclusion to draw."
John sighed, put his laptop aside and slumped down in his chair a bit more. Sherlock held his gaze and John scowled in response.
"Your health is always important to me," Sherlock said. "As a doctor, it should be important to you as well."
"It is," John sighed. "Fine. I'll have my eyes checked."
"We'll go tomorrow."
"We?" John asked. "Are you getting yours checked as well?"
"Don't be absurd. My vision is perfect. I would have noted any change and responded appropriately by now if there had been a problem."
"Yeah, right," John muttered, not quite under his breath. Sherlock sniffed and turned back to his newspaper, making a show of holding it at a normal distance from his eyes. John's scowl went completely ignored and was only deepened when he accepted that Sherlock was probably right.
Sherlock had managed to join John in the exam room simply by acting as though he had every right to be there. The optometrist had spared the detective a vaguely puzzled glance, but hadn't asked him to leave. Sherlock was currently leaning against the wall as John tried to focus – both mentally and visually – on the tests he was being given. It would have been easier to do so without the silent "I-told-you-so" field radiating off of his husband.
John repressed another scowl. Of course Sherlock's vision was still twenty-twenty. He still looked like a twelve year old boy most of the time – why shouldn't his body act that way? Even the occasional strands of white hair were few and far between and Sherlock plucked them out fastidiously so that his curls remained stubbornly dark.
John, on the other hand, was bidding a reluctant if unavoidable farewell to his light brown hair, exchanging it for grey. Sherlock insisted he couldn't tell the difference, which was an outright lie. It made John wondered where Sherlock had learnt that such boldface falsehoods were acceptable in these circumstances.
Now he could bid his good vision goodbye as well, it seemed. John had felt an odd sense of accomplishment at making it to his late forties without needing glasses, but it seemed time would not be cheated.
"You've got presbyopia but it's still fairly mild. Left eye is a little worse than the right. We'll get you fitted with a good pair of reading glasses and that will take care of the headaches, although you might keep getting them for two or three days while your eyes adjust. Use them for reading, writing, when your on the computer, even just when your eyes are tired."
John tried to ignore the sensation of Sherlock gloating behind him and nodded as the optometrist jotted down his prescription.
"What about contacts?" John asked.
"For what you need, it's not worth it. You'd be putting them in and taking them out all of the time. Don't worry, you'll get used to them soon."
I'm not worried about that, I'm worried about never hearing the end of it, John thought as he accepted the prescription with a thank you. He could almost feel Sherlock's triumphant smirk – which the detective did not even try and hide when John glanced back at him. He was probably just happy about being right. He always was.
"Shall we?" his husband asked as they stepped into the corridor.
"We could do it another day," John said. "It doesn't have to be right now."
Sherlock stopped and stared at him as though he'd sprouted two additional heads.
"Why would you delay this, John? Your health is far more of a priority than your desire to avoid having me comment on your appearance." At this, John rolled his eyes. "Your concern over my reaction is unwarranted."
"No, it's not," John insisted. "You're going to snigger."
Sherlock gave him an affronted look.
"I do not snigger," he said, his voice dripping with disdain.
"Yes, you do. You just do it in this weird, silent, upper-class way that should be impossible except Mycroft does it, too."
Sherlock sighed and folded his arms, giving John a long, cutting look. John held his ground against that; he'd been the recipient of those for ten years now. Sherlock twitched his eyebrows up, a small smile darting over his lips.
"I'm certain we can find you one pair of frames that will suit you quite nicely and will cause you to stop squinting. I'd rather see you in glasses than in pain."
John's face relaxed into a slight smile and he gave a resigned nod.
"All right," he agreed. Truthfully, he was looking forward to being able to see properly and enjoy reading and writing his blog again.
They took the prescription to a pretty young girl behind the counter, who explained the latest deals and asked him what he wanted from his glasses. When John told her he didn't really know, she studied him thoughtfully for a moment. The doctor tried to repress a smile when he noticed that Sherlock was glaring at her, arms crossed, as she looked at John's face.
"She's not checking me out," he murmured when she'd moved away to find some suitable frames. "I'm old enough to be her father. And it's her job."
Sherlock gave a quiet huff, grey eyes sliding down to meet John's gaze.
"It's still inappropriate. Only I should be permitted to look at you that intently."
John's lips twitched.
"Really?" he asked. Sherlock huffed again, scrunching up his features, and John laughed quietly. Before the detective had a chance to respond, the saleswoman was back. She had John sit at a small desk and laid out five frames for him to try on. They were all quite simple, which he liked, but Sherlock stood beside him making derisive noises at each one.
"Don't like them?" the woman asked with a small smile.
"Boring!" Sherlock snapped as John took off the last pair. "Look at him! What indications does he give you that he's dull? No, don't answer that, you clearly lack any deductive skills whatsoever."
"Sherlock," John sighed, completely unsurprised when he was ignored.
"This sort of decision can't be left in the hands of someone who doesn't know you," Sherlock continued. He turned to the girl. "You're no longer needed."
"Sherlock!" John said a little more forcefully.
"There's only one person suited to determining which frames will suit you, John, and it's not her."
"What about me?" John sighed, chancing an apologetic glance at the optician. She was sporting a politely blank expression – he hoped she was used to customers like Sherlock. If anyone could be used to someone like Sherlock.
"No, you clearly demonstrated your lack of observational abilities by not even being aware that you needed glasses."
"I should have a say in this," John pointed out, but Sherlock disregarded his protest altogether.
"Come with me," the detective ordered instead and John sighed but pushed himself to his feet.
"This all right?" he asked to the weary looking optician. She gave him a patient smile.
"Go ahead. I'll get a few more that might suit you and might appeal to him."
John nodded, not bothering to point out that this was probably futile. Anything she picked out, even if it looked good on him, would be immediately dismissed by his husband. Sherlock had decided she did not know what she was doing and wouldn't consent to change his mind just because she happened to be right.
"John!" Sherlock snapped imperiously, making an impatient gesture. John sighed inwardly but joined him, resigning himself to his immediate fate.
He was towed around the shop at Sherlock's whim, fitted with frame after frame, none of which he really got to see before they were slipped onto his face and Sherlock was stepping back to evaluate him critically, held tilted to one side, expression pinched into a disapproving frown. With each one came a muttered litany of rejection.
"No. Absolutely not."
"Who would wear those?"
"… Perhaps. No, definitely not."
"Worse than the last pair."
They didn't have a 'maybe' pile. John began to despair that Sherlock would never find anything. He had no idea what any of them looked like – it was entirely possible there was a pair in there that he would have picked. The optician had set aside a few more frames but Sherlock had ignored them. She was busying herself with another customer, keeping an amused eye on them. John caught her gaze for a moment as Sherlock decried yet another pair.
"Sherlock, we– " John said, then stopped as his husband slid another pair of frames on his face and his expression changed altogether, shifting from disapproving to surprised.
"Oh," Sherlock said softly. John blinked in shock at the abrupt approval. Sherlock took half a step toward him and John felt a sudden shift in the temperature between them. Sherlock was giving him a look that went beyond simple contemplation. John swallowed, suddenly aware that they were in a public place, which was not the best time to see Sherlock's eyes darken and brighten and to catch his tongue tracing his bottom lip hungrily.
"Oh yes," Sherlock murmured. "I do like those."
John forced himself to exhale slowly.
"Good," he said, keeping his voice steady. "Then we can get them and go."
Sherlock ignored him, pressing his long fingers lightly against John's jaw to turn his face so that it was in profile. John felt himself being studied critically and caught the nod out of the corner of his eye. He turned back and felt Sherlock's fingertips trail over his cheekbone toward his ear, following the frames to where it curved back behind his ear. He traced the contour of John's ear then back along the line of his jaw.
"In a shop," John said quietly and saw the telltale smirk on Sherlock's lips in response.
"Alone in a shop," was the murmured reply.
"There's three opticians, two customers and several cameras," John said, trying to ignore the gleam in Sherlock's eye. Then Sherlock's hands were on his shoulders, his grip firmer on the right, lighter on the left, and John was being spun toward a mirror. Sherlock dropped one hand to John's stomach and exerted a gentle pressure, pulling John back a step so he could see himself properly.
John met his reflection but was distracted by the acute awareness of Sherlock pressed behind him, body bent enough to rest his chin on John's right shoulder. Grey eyes met brown in the glass and Sherlock smirked, tracing a not-at-all absent pattern on John's abdomen.
"The frames, John, what do you think about the frames?"
John swallowed and tried to get himself to refocus. His brain was happily supplying him with information about precisely where Sherlock's body was touching his. He should have been able to ignore it after ten years but the detective had a way of making himself unavoidable. John could smell him now, too; cologne and shampoo and tea on his breath.
"The frames?" Sherlock repeated, quirking an eyebrow at him in the mirror. John gave an automatic nod and made himself focus.
He was surprised to realise how much he liked them. He'd expected something Sherlock chose to be frankly hideous or bizarre, but they were simple black metal frames that made him look scholarly without looking stern, were simple without being boring.
Sherlock smiled at him in the mirror.
"I like them," John replied.
"Good," Sherlock murmured, his voice low in John's ear, his breath warm against his skin. Then his lips stretched into a wider smile and John caught a feral glint in his eyes. John rolled his eyes, trying to ignore the vibration of a chuckle he felt against his back. Sherlock pulled away abruptly, catching the opticians's attention.
"We'll take this pair," he said firmly. John handed them over to her and Sherlock gave her a glare, as though she might deny his request. "You can have them ready in an hour, correct?"
"That's right," she replied.
"Brilliant. We'll be back. Wait– I have a question."
"Of course," she said.
"How fragile will they be?"
"The lenses will be made of plastic so they're a bit tougher than glass. The frames are metal so they'll bend rather than snap and we can reshape them for you at no extra cost. Generally they're all right if you drop them. I wouldn't recommend running them over with a car and hoping they'll survive, but they'll hold up against normal day-to-day wear."
"What about shagging?"
John suppressed a groan and the girl's eyes went wide in momentary shock.
"Sorry?" she asked.
"Shagging," Sherlock replied. "Can he wear them while we're shagging? I require that he has a pair of glasses that can stand up to that kind of physical activity."
John saw her bite down on a smile and felt himself go red. Sherlock paid him absolutely no attention, his grey eyes narrowed and focused firmly on the girl.
"They should be fine," she said with as straight a face as she could probably manage, but John could see the slight shudder of laughter running across her shoulders. "You might need a bit of time to get used to him wearing them but as long as you don't throw them across the room or crush them, they should be fine." She looked at John, still fighting a smile. "Just try to keep them on or put them aside somewhere out of reach if you take them off."
He managed to nod and Sherlock sniffed with approval.
"Good," he said. "We'll be back in an hour. Come on, John."
The phrase "undressing you with his eyes" was always so much more disconcerting when it could be applied to Sherlock. John knew how accurate and powerful the detective's imagination was and ten years of being together had given Sherlock more than enough data to picture everything perfectly.
"Put them on," Sherlock instructed.
John shook his head.
"I need them for reading and writing, Sherlock. If I wear them now, everything will just look blurry."
"I'm not interested in how things look to you," Sherlock growled. John swallowed hard, holding his ground. He just hoped Sherlock wasn't planning on issuing orders in French. The sound alone would undo what remained of his resolve. Spending the last hour with the apparently unconcerned detective doing errands had been maddening. To everyone else, Sherlock appeared relaxed and calm, but John could see a certain glint in his eyes, a faint smirk on his lips. It had taken all of his willpower not to just shove Sherlock up against a wall and take him there and then, especially when he caught sight of Sherlock's expression, clearer than ever as he got his frames fitted to his face.
To make matters worse, Sherlock knew this. All the little touches that would seem nearly innocent to anyone else had been specifically designed to batter John's defences. Fingertips ghosting down the back of his neck, the subtle press of his body against John's as Sherlock ostensibly reached past him to pluck a tin from a high shelf in the grocery store. John wished he'd figured out years ago that Sherlock was actually helpful with the food shopping if he could torture John at the same time.
"You can wait," John said. Sherlock gave him a wicked little smile and leant forward, brushing his lips over John's, pulling back when John tried to lean into the touch. He managed to swallow on a whimper but the gleam in Sherlock's eyes told him the detective had heard it nonetheless.
"Can you?" Sherlock murmured in reply, his face still so close that John could almost taste his words.
I'll have to, John thought. If I put them on, the cabbie will kick us out for indecency. As it was, they were getting raised eyebrows and a pointed expression in the rear-view mirror.
Sherlock sat back but reached out and ran a thumb over John's face, touching the skin where his glasses would rest when he wore them. John was glad it was still cold enough out to be wearing a coat that provided some coverage. He crossed his legs, failing utterly at nonchalance, earning a smirk from Sherlock.
Sherlock paid the cabbie as John hurried to their front door and fumbled with the key, finally managing to get it open. The second it closed behind the detective, John had him pushed against the wall, wrapping a hand around the back of his neck and pulling him down into a demanding kiss. He felt Sherlock's knees weaken, but the detective pulled away, resisting John's efforts to catch his mouth again.
"Mrs. Hudson is home," he hissed, his voice more urgent than he'd probably intended, his normally pale eyes dark and gleaming in the dim lighting of the common corridor.
"Bugger," John whispered and Sherlock's lips curled upward.
"Yes, that is what I was intending," he said and John shot him an ineffective glare.
"Upstairs," the doctor ordered and they hurried to the first floor, managing to avoid their landlady hearing them and coming out of her flat for a chat. John was just able to lock the deadbolt behind him before Sherlock had him pinned to the door, pressing his body against the doctor's, wearing far too much clothing for John's taste. He felt warm lips against his again and opened his mouth under Sherlock's, catching a shared moan as their tongues collided. He fumbled to keep hold of the bag from the optician's and to undo the buttons of Sherlock's coat at the same time, wincing slightly when Sherlock shifted against him to let the heavy fabric fall to the floor.
John felt a flash of cool air on his face when Sherlock pulled away and dropped his head to nip at the skin on John's neck. The doctor tilted his head back as much as he could, pushing it into the solid wood of the door, arching his body against Sherlock's. He moaned loudly when the detective's teeth sank into the taut skin that stretched over his clavicle, pulling and twisting lightly. John gasped and made to throw the bag on the small table next to the door when the detective's long fingers curled over his, stilling his movements.
"No," Sherlock managed, raising his head, his voice deeper than normal. "Glasses on, John. Everything else off."