No one notices.

He makes sure to treat John as acerbically as usual when they're in front of people. He's his usual self, coat flapping, twirling, deducing, snapping at the officers, the mystical dance between the puzzle and his brain continuing uninhibited by the sudden realization that everything, everything does in fact revolve around John. John-centricity.

(Sherlock is only irritated that he's been fooled for so long by the admittedly hazy ideas and limitations of gravity that he'd deemed worthy of saving.)

So - then. No touching, no smiling, no giggling, no nothing. Not around anyone, anyways. It's a well-hidden secret - his well-hidden secret - that Sherlock Holmes does, in fact, have a heart. Showing John off the way he'd like to would tear him open, expose him for the world to see.

Because of this, Sherlock doesn't tug on John's coat sleeves when he wants him to look at something. He doesn't grab John's wrist when he dashes off, hoping - still unsure - that John will follow. Sherlock doesn't snog him when John says something offhandedly, something Sherlock missed, and he stares, breath snatched out in surprise, up into calm, sea-blue eyes, and he is struck again by the wonder that is the observing, seeing, quiet, patient, amazing, lovely John who will - he's starting, just barely, to hope - always be there for him. He absolutely does not throw himself on John and kiss every bare inch of flesh he can reach (not a lot, what with John's stupid, unneccesary penchant for covering up), caught up in the thrill of discovery, when the neurons fire at light-speed, it clicks, connects, works in his brain, and oh, of course it was the uncle, John, who else would've left that note? He wants to share it with John, this pure, unadulterated moment of joy, of being, of feeling, of yes, wants him to know, to feel it coursing through his veins as well, to give him this- this-. But instead he reigns himself in, texts Lestrade with fingers trembling from adrenaline, and rushes off after their killer. (He does, in fact, throw himself on John and kiss every bare inch of flesh after the case is solved, loose ends tied up, and the door is shut and locked at 221B Baker Street - but that's another story.)

It's hard, but doable, and necessary, so necessary. So Sherlock wears John's love proudly in the comfort of 221B, but hangs it quietly up on the coat-peg by the door with the soft touch of hand to warm hand, the brush of smirking lips against knuckles, when Lestrade calls with a case Sherlock can't solve via phone. Then he's whirling out the door, not daring to look behind to see if John's following him again, assuming, John needs it as much as he does, but…

John climbs into the cab behind him. "Where are we off to, then?"

Sherlock smiles.


A/N: Of course, as usual, I own nothing. No BBC Sherlock, no Moffat, no Gatiss. Damn. This has been lurking around in the back of my skull for a bit, and thought I'd finally get it out and let it taste the fresh air of the world that is not my brain. Parts will follow, from John and the Yarder's p.o.v.s! (However, as it's Finals and Papers season, it might take a bit. Sorry!) As always, reviews are met with a ridiculous amount of love. Thanks for reading!