For an investigation, Sherlock and John attend a Halloween party, and since they don't want to stand out, they go in full costume. They don't coordinate their costumes and they have to meet at the party, so they don't know what the other is coming as. So they have to find the perp/solve the case AND find each other.
Title: Not Normal
Author's Name: Laura Sichrovsky
Word Count: 3409
Warnings: Sherlock/John Kissage.
Spoilers: None really.
Summary: To find a murderer, the boys go to a Halloween costume party at a club.
Disclaimer: This is where I put the statement saying that I do not own John or Sherlock, (Heh! I wish!), or anything relating to the show or books. No one is paying me to do this and if you feel the sudden urge to send me gifts, you might want to talk to someone about that. Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own all things Sherlock and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns the rights to Holmes and Watson. None of them have given me permission to use these characters as I have so if you have problems with the story, please send the pretzel bombs to me, not them.
Author's Notes: I made the mistake of reading one of the Make Me a Monday prompt posts and this idea caught my attention. The prompt is: Prompt from pjordha on The Game is On's Make Me a Monday #60: "For an investigation, Sherlock and John attend a Halloween party, and since they don't want to stand out, they go in full costume. They don't coordinate their costumes and they have to meet at the party, so they don't know what the other is coming as. So they have to find the perp/solve the case AND find each other."
Thanks need to be given, and here is where they go. Thanks to Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat for giving me a Sherlock I can get behind. Thanks to Benedict Cumberbatch for making this Sherlock so amazing. I tried to fight it, but he was just too remarkable not to fall for. Big thank yous to Emma de los Nardos and Gemma for the super-fast beta jobs and the real-time feedback. Your input was invaluable and I owe you both so much! And my biggest thank yous to my biggest influence and my best friend, Ann. She's the best beta ever and without her, I am nothing. (Couldn't do it without you, love. Wouldn't want to try.)
John walked into the club, trying to look as inconspicuous as possible. He hated drawing attention to himself, even on a normal day, and this was decidedly not normal. John grimaced to himself as he realized that "not normal" had taken on a whole new meaning since he'd moved in with Sherlock. And in all honesty, by those standards, walking into a club on Halloween night, dressed as a gladiator so he could help Sherlock catch a killer, wasn't all that odd.
John shook his head as he walked down the stairs into the main part of the club. He reached up, adjusting his helmet so he could see better and scoped out the room for a nice quiet corner from which to observe. He settled in at the end of the bar and started scanning the room for Sherlock. It might have helped if he'd known what Sherlock was dressed as, but this whole event had been planned out in less than an hour through a series of text messages that started with, "get a costume and meet me at the Lucky Spade nightclub at 8:00. SH." John's first instinct was to argue. Maybe he had plans. Sherlock could have at least asked. But then Sherlock had thrown in the word, "dangerous," and John found himself at a costume shop looking for something that fit and didn't have him dressed as a children's show character. He shifted, trying to ignore the sword handle poking him in the side. This wasn't the perfect costume, but it allowed him freedom of movement and had the added benefit of a helmet, so no one would recognize him.
John frowned as he looked around. Where the heck was Sherlock? He saw quite a few men milling about the room, but none of them had the height and build to be Sherlock. Maybe he should walk around a bit to get a better sense of the room. He stuck to the perimeter, noting exits, quiet corners, and defensible positions as he went. Some habits from Afghanistan died hard and when you worked with Sherlock Holmes, it never hurt to be prepared.
As he walked past the stairs, John noted a tall man dressed as death, hood pulled low over his face. John went up to him, slowly, trying to be low-key about it. He stood next to the man for a second, then leaned over.
"No," the man responded, leaning in towards John. "But I could be if you want me to be."
"Oh…uh, no…but thanks," John stuttered, stepping back quickly. He nodded awkwardly at the man and quickly moved on. Well, that wasn't embarrassing or anything.
John made a full circuit of the room before he started to panic. Surely if plans had changed, Sherlock would have let him know, wouldn't he? Well, he would if he remembered, John thought darkly. He considered texting Sherlock, but that was going to involve something complicated to get to his phone, which was in a pouch up under his…well, skirt for lack of a better term. Short of a trip to the bathroom, he wasn't getting to his phone, which on reflection, might not have been the smartest idea. John leaned against the bar again thinking about his options at this point.
"Can I get you something to drink, sir?"
John looked up to see a pretty waitress smiling at him.
"Oh, um…I'm not really drinking tonight," he replied. The last thing he needed when chasing a murderer was to have his brains fuddled. "Maybe a lemonade?"
"Of course," she replied.
She came back a minute later, handing him a glass filled with pale, fizzy liquid. He took a sip and it tasted like citrus. Someone bumped up against him and he turned to see a woman looking at him. She was wearing a long, turn of the century dress, complete with a bustle, her hair done in complicated ringlets, pulled back at her neck. She was wearing wire-rimed glasses and had a magnifying glass on a ribbon around her neck. She smiled at him.
"Would you like to buy me a drink?" the woman asked, her voice low and breathy.
"Oh, well…I…I'm not sure that's such a good idea," John hadn't really considered this kind of complication. It was an adult Halloween party. He should have prepared a couple polite refusals in advance.
"Are you sure?" the woman said, arching her eyebrow at him. "I'll make it worth your time."
"You know, as flattered as I am, I'm here with someone." John took a sip of his drink.
"Really, John, I think I already know that."
John was so surprised to hear the familiar low baritone coming from the woman that he spit lemonade about three feet out.
"Sherlock?" he gasped, stepping back.
"Obviously." Sherlock's voice was testy.
"What the…what…" John was at a loss for words as he mopped drink off the bar.
"I thought it would be better if there was no chance someone could recognize me," Sherlock said, his voice low.
"No chance of that," John muttered, shaking his head. "And just what are you supposed to be?"
"I'm Madam Curie," Sherlock replied, looking at John like he was stupid.
"Oh, yes, right. I totally should have known that." John was sure his sarcasm would have come off better if he wasn't still getting over Sherlock's costume. John frowned as a thought occurred to him. "Hey, how in the world are you going to fight in that outfit, if it comes to that?"
"Oh, the skirt just pulls right off," Sherlock replied casually. "I purchased it from an adult film company."
"You know, I really think that was just too much information," John said, shaking his head.
"You did ask." Sherlock stepped over to the bar and picked up John's drink. He sniffed the glass and made a face. "What the blazes did you order?"
"Something that wasn't alcoholic," John replied, grimacing.
Sherlock shook his head and took a sip. He frowned.
"You should have ordered fruit juice."
"Well, yes, I'll remember that next time." John replied. "Have you spotted our killer yet?"
"Not yet, but I know he'll be here." When John arched an eyebrow at him, Sherlock made an impatient noise. "I do have sources, you know."
"I know," John said with a sigh. "I just sometimes like to know exactly whose information I'm trusting."
Sherlock ignored him, looking around the room.
"We really should get out and mingle, check things out," Sherlock said. "Let's go dance."
"Dance?" John stared at him with wide eyes. "What, you mean together?"
"I suppose I could go ask another man," Sherlock sighed. "But that would make it rather hard to talk to you, now wouldn't it?"
"I…" John took a breath, re-evaluating "not normal" all over again. He shook his head, trying not to laugh at the absurdity of all this and he held his hand out to Sherlock. "Why not? Let's dance."
They moved to the middle of the room, finding an empty space on the dance floor and John took Sherlock into his arms. It was a slow song and couples were moving together all around them.
"We might want to stay on the edges and make our way around the floor," Sherlock said, leaning close to John.
John nodded, guiding Sherlock slowly along the fringes of the crowd. He felt like he should be at least slightly freaked out by this. He was dancing with Sherlock. Of course, it was for a case, and this wasn't the craziest thing they'd ever done for a case. He couldn't even bring himself to think about the time with the guinea pigs and the Bunsen burner. But irrespective of the case, John was holding Sherlock in his arms. It should have felt weird, yet somehow it didn't. And John wasn't sure he was ready to face the ramifications of that yet.
He looked up at Sherlock. With the makeup Sherlock was wearing, his face really did look quite effeminate, but now that he knew who it was, he could see Sherlock under all that. Sherlock was frowning in concentration, looking around the room, his eyes taking in everything and John was surprised to realize how well he knew Sherlock's expressions. He thought about Sherlock's exhausted face, his thinking face, his frustrated face, and his, "I can't believe I'm surrounded by idiots," face. He could picture Sherlock's smile and his pouty face. It should disturb him how well Sherlock could pout for a grown man, but John had gotten used to it. If pressed to it, John could even recognize Sherlock's insecure face. It's not an expression he's seen a lot, but he's learned how to defuse it when it happens. Right now, Sherlock was on the hunt. He looked slightly bored, but John knew that nothing was getting past him and his brain was whirling a thousand miles a minute in his head.
Suddenly, Sherlock went rigid.
"Damn," he murmured. "I've attracted attention."
John followed his gaze to see a large, dark man staring straight at Sherlock.
"Does he recognize you?" John asked.
"Likely not, but he seems to have noticed that I was looking for something." Sherlock looked down at John, frowning. "You'll have to kiss me."
"I'm sorry, I have to what?" John thought he might have swallowed his tongue.
"Just do it," Sherlock snapped and the urgency in his voice had John moving before he realized what he was doing.
He leaned up, putting a hand behind Sherlock's head, pulling him down. And then his lips were on Sherlock's and he softened the kiss, amazed at how good it felt and wanting more. He parted his lips and felt Sherlock gasp into his mouth. Suddenly, Sherlock was pushing him away, stepping back.
"How dare you!" The voice was once more that of a woman and John blinked.
Sherlock turned, storming off the dance floor and it took John a second to mentally catch up. If Sherlock had gone back into character…that man must be the killer. John shook his head and followed, keeping his distance and trying not to think about what it meant that he was disappointed that Sherlock had only been acting during the kiss. Yeah, "not normal" was getting redefined so much tonight that it was starting to resemble a pretzel.
John saw Sherlock go up the stairs and he wasn't surprised to see the man follow him. John sprinted up after them. He stepped out of the club into the cold night.
"Thank you, but no," Sherlock was saying, his voice still that of a woman. Sherlock and the man were three feet to John's left, standing at the curb. "I can get my own cab home."
"I couldn't possibly let a lady go out at night, unescorted," the man said, stepping towards Sherlock.
"Again, I have to say no," Sherlock responded.
The man grabbed Sherlock's wrist and pulled him towards the alley next to the bar. Sherlock put up a token struggle, but John could tell he wasn't really in trouble. John followed, keeping his distance.
"Let me go!" John really was amazed how much like a woman Sherlock could sound. "I'm not at all interested."
"But I am." The man's voice was harsh.
John stepped into the alley and saw Sherlock pushed against the wall, the man's hand on his throat. John fumbled up under his skirt, modesty be damned, and pulled out his phone. He took a picture with his phone for evidence, then moved in to help Sherlock. John stepped up behind the man and caught Sherlock's eye.
"It's about time," Sherlock gasped, his voice his own again.
The man blinked, his eyes widening, and he stepped back, freeing Sherlock. After a second, his eyes narrowed and he pulled a knife from his jacket. Sherlock snorted.
"You could at least try to be original," he said, assuming a defensive stance.
The man lunged forward and Sherlock parried, moving to the left. Sherlock brought his fist around, but the man ducked, surging forward, aiming the knife at Sherlock's chest. Sherlock jumped back, then aimed a low kick, attempting to take the man's feet from under him. The man easily stepped back and moved to get behind Sherlock. Sherlock compensated, keeping himself facing his opponent. John watched as this went on for a few minutes, until Sherlock looked at him and sighed.
"Any time you want to help would be good, John."
"I thought you had it," John responded, frowning as he assessed the situation.
After a minute, he pulled his sword off his hip and stepped behind the man, bringing it up and slamming it into the side of his head. The man slumped to the pavement, unconscious.
"This is our killer?" John asked, looking down.
"I'm sure he's much more threatening if one isn't armed," Sherlock responded, fumbling in his skirts. He pulled out his phone and dialed Lestrade.
Fifteen minutes later, they were giving statements to the police. John noticed that Sherlock was rather pointedly ignoring Sally's comments about his costume.
"Okay, explain to me again why you two didn't call us before you came here?" Lestrade asked, walking up. "This was our investigation and you two were withholding evidence."
"First of all, we had no evidence, merely a lead," Sherlock sighed. "Second, what would you have done if we had called you?"
"Set up a stake out," Lestrade replied.
"See? We saved you the trouble."
"Sherlock…" Lestrade's voice sounded tight and exasperated.
"Oh, what now? We caught you a murderer. Think about all the overtime costs you just saved."
Lestrade glared at him and John expected him to start yelling. Instead he took a deep breath.
"Fine, but we will be discussing this when you two come in to the office with the details tomorrow."
Sherlock nodded and Lestrade packed up his team, giving one last glare as they left.
"Well, this has been one of my more interesting Halloweens," John said as he and Sherlock hailed a cab.
"Oh, it doesn't even rate," Sherlock responded as the cab pulled up. He held the door for John. "Three years ago I infiltrated a cult. I broke up their human sacrifice and orgy when I called in the police. The year before that, there was an odd case at the zoo that involved the gorillas. I had no idea wearing fur could be so uncomfortable."
John just looked at Sherlock and laughed helplessly. Sherlock seemed to have a talent for stretching "not normal" to its limits. Sherlock looked slightly hurt until John shook his head.
"No, nothing like that," he said, somehow understanding. "It just strikes me sometimes the life you've lead."
"Oh, well, that's okay then," Sherlock said, nodding. After a minute he frowned and looked at John. "How do you do that?"
"No one, not even my own family, understands what I'm saying, let alone thinking. But you…" Sherlock trailed off, looking out the window.
John didn't really have an answer, so he said nothing. The awkward silence lasted for the rest of the ride home.
John walked into the sitting room carrying two mugs of tea. Sherlock was lying on the sofa, his hands steepled and his eyes closed. He'd changed and showered and was now wearing his pajamas and his blue robe. John stood next to the sofa and Sherlock reached out for the tea, not opening his eyes. John sat in the chair across from him, grateful to be out of the damn costume and into some comfortable clothes. He looked at Sherlock, who was warming his hands on the mug, which was resting on his chest. His eyes were still closed.
"Everything okay?" John asked quietly. "You haven't gone all moody on me already, have you?"
"Hmm?" Sherlock opened his eyes and tipped his head to look at John. "No. Just thinking."
"About?" John asked, taking a sip of tea.
"Several things," Sherlock responded.
"Such as?" John pressed, his curiosity sparked.
Sherlock looked at him, his eyes dark and stormy.
"I'm not entirely sure you'd want to know," he said, closing his eyes again.
"What? Too technical for us idiots?" John asked, trying not to feel offended.
"No, exactly the opposite." Sherlock's voice was just above a whisper. "Far too many raw emotions for me to make sense of."
John didn't know what to say. He'd gotten pretty good at dealing with the many sides of Sherlock, but this one was puzzling him. He looked up to see Sherlock staring at him.
"Why did you kiss me?" Sherlock asked.
"Well…you told me to," John responded, completely confused.
"I told you to kiss me," Sherlock said, frowning. "But then you kissed me. It felt like…but that was likely just…but your lips…"
John watched Sherlock struggling, emotions and uncertainty chasing through his eyes. He seemed to get more distressed by the minute and then suddenly, all the emotion left his expression. It was like watching someone pull down blinds.
"What am I debating about? It's foolish. And I'm not your area anyway."
John blinked, suddenly beginning to understand. The kiss. Sherlock had felt it too. And now he was determinedly talking himself out of it. John took a deep breath, tossing "not normal" completely out the window.
"Well, no, as a rule, men are not my area."
Sherlock was nodding, looking away.
"But you," John went on, his heart pounding in his chest. "You are the exception to every rule and I have to admit, I think you are in this case too."
John watched as what he said sunk in and Sherlock parsed it for meaning. His brow furrowed and he turned to look at John. His eyes were guarded, but John could see the emotions churning behind them again.
"What are you saying?" Sherlock asked, his eyes searching John's.
"I'm saying there's a reason that I know all your expressions so well. And that I know what you mean and can complete your sentences. I didn't recognize it myself until I kissed you tonight. And I guess I didn't admit it until just now." John took a deep breath and looked at Sherlock. "No, I don't normally go for men, but if ever anyone was 'my area,' it would be you."
Sherlock looked at him like a deer caught in headlights and John put his mug to the side and moved to crouch next to the sofa. He put his head right next to Sherlock's and leaned in to kiss him. He expected Sherlock to pull away, but he just closed his eyes and tilted his head, leaning forward to meet John.
At first it felt stiff and a bit awkward, but John softened his lips and he felt Sherlock do the same and suddenly it was amazing. John opened his mouth, running his tongue over Sherlock's lips and Sherlock moaned into his mouth. Sherlock jumped, pulling back, looking completely mortified. John reached out, touching his face and smiling at him.
"No," John said, looking into Sherlock's eyes. "You have nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, that moan was pretty hot."
"It was?" Sherlock's voice was just above a whisper and his eyes were searching John's.
"Very. There's something about knowing I made you make that noise." John stroked along Sherlock's cheek. "I want to hear you enjoy yourself, Sherlock. Why don't we move this to a bedroom so I can kiss you properly?"
"Why?" Sherlock asked, his expression confused. "With all the choices you have, why me?"
"Because you're Sherlock," John said with a smile. "And you turn my life upside down and give it color and I don't want to think about a life without you."
Sherlock's expression softened and he smiled, getting to his feet and reaching for John's hand.
"My bedroom's closer," Sherlock whispered, pulling John to him.
"Yes, but mine is further away from Mrs. Hudson and I intend to see just how much noise you can make."
Sherlock looked at John, his expression unreadable.
"If you agree that the experiment will go both ways, then yes, we should go to your room," Sherlock said. "I want to find out how much noise you can make as well."
John smiled, pulling Sherlock in for another kiss before leading him up the stairs. Seemed that "normal" was all a state of mind and John decided that this version was exactly what he'd always wanted.