Of course everyone bloody notices, John grouses to himself. It's Sherlock, the three-ring circus, top hat included – come one, come all, to see the show. Everyone watches Sherlock, waits with baited breath to see what he'll do next – and more often than not, what he'll do next involves dragging John around (like an overgrown child with a tatty blankie is a comparison John never says out loud) crime scenes forcibly. By the hand. By the shoulder. By the ankle, at times. The point being, personal space between Sherlock and John? Not really existent anymore.
So when Sherlock stops with the dragging and the touching and the crowding up into John's space and the grabbing of John's head (the head, why the head?), John really should have expected people might figure out something has changed between the detective and the doctor. Which was, actually, the opposite of what he did expect. Still, he muses as he shaves, glancing back at the undignified lump of covers in his bed that is Sherlock, it could be worse. People could be talking to him about it, instead of just glancing and frowning and sending confused looks his way.
It should be noted at this point that the phenomenon of the worst possible thing happening directly after the person has said, "It can't possibly get worse," is not a singular phenomena. It is in fact a philosophical theorem. There is also an attatched philosophical corollary, with the given action being that someone shrugs and goes, "Well, it could be worse." In such a case, the person's life then goes straight to hell. (Handbaskets are often involved, though no one quite knows why.) John Watson, sadly, is the victim of this corollary far too often. This is, in fact, partially how he got into the Army. And how he got shot. And how he got, hands-down, the worst flatmate in all of London. (Or at least the most flammable.)
The point being, when Mrs. Hudson asks him down for tea in the moments following, concerned look firmly etched on her face, John Watson sighs and resigns himself to the first of many awkward talks.
"More tea, dear?"
"No, but thank you, Mrs. Hudson." John shifts uneasily in his chair. There is a limit to the number of cups of tea one can drink in a twenty-four hour period. John has been lucky enough to discover it today, of all days.
Mrs. Hudson sits down and offers him a biscuit. John politely refuses. Barely five seconds of awkward silence passes before Mrs. Hudson is chattering away about some television show or another, and how nice it is, John, to have you down here again, hasn't been the same since you got that job at the clinic, such a shame, it was so nice to have someone able to keep Sherlock calm upstairs even for a bittie, and when did you say you were moving out again, John?
John looks up. "Um… sorry, moving out, did you say?"
"Well, yes, dear, naturally I assumed it'd be you moving out. Only Sherlock does make such a mess up there, but really, he does need someone to watch over him, the poor thing, and you're more able to live on your own, really."
"I'm – But – Why am I moving out?" His mind races. Had he forgotten the rent? Not cleaned up after the Gummy Bear Chemical Catastrophe?
"Well, I just assumed – I suppose it might not bother him, but you, I guess I just –"
"Mrs. Hudson." John interrupts, sweat starting to bead on his brow. "Sorry to be rude, but why am I moving out again?"
"Well, haven't you had a fight?"
"A- a fight?" John shakes his head to clear off the cobwebs. It doesn't work. Ok, so he isn't just hearing nonsense.
"Why, yes, dear, a fight. A horrible nasty big one, by the looks of it."
"…a fight. Sherlock and I had a fight."
"You did, didn't you?" She pats his hand sympathetically. "It's alright, dear, you can tell me everything. Let it all out."
"Yes, dear. I assumed you'd broken up over it, whatever it was. He barely looks at you anymore, dear. Why, if that were my husband—"
"Mrs. Hudson," John breaks in hurridly, "we haven't had a fight."
"Oh, no, I got it wrong again, didn't I?" She looks down at her tea. "But something did happen; Sherlock wouldn't have just up-and-changed for nothing. And he was getting so good at showing affection, too." The expression on her face drips with genuine elderly pathos for her tenant.
John doesn't know where to begin. "It's rather complicated—"
"It wasn't about the chemicals, was it?" Mrs. Hudson asks. "Because I told him those had to go, you don't even worry about that, but you know how he is, probably got them hidden somewhere." John snorts, picturing the chemicals stashed away under his bed – "Just until Mrs. Hudson forgets about them, John. They'll be fine, none are too reactive."
"Well, most likely yes, but no, nothing to do with the chemicals. It's just – it's rather private, actually." He pulls back at the last second, unsure of Sherlock's reaction to their secret being told and inevitably dissected by little old ladies during tea.
Mrs. Hudson smiles. "Private, hm? Troubles in the bedroom?"
John feels his face heat up. "No, no, that's – fine, that's more than – good, fine, yes." He takes a sip of his tea, trying to calm his burning face.
"Well, dear, just trying to help. If you ever need any advice…" She trails off, and John belatedly covers his look of horror with what he hopes comes off as pleasantly but definitely uninterested, thank you very much.
"I think we're fine on that front, Mrs. Hudson," he says firmly, and Mrs. Hudson giggles.
"Well, alright then. I do hear Mrs. Turner's married ones share all sorts of things with her— I could ask for a few tips, if you'd like. Or maybe you'd just rather meet them! Oh, they seem just the sort to pop over for a nice chat about –"
"Mrs. Hudson," John begs, "please. We're really all fine in that area. No need for talks. Or tips. Or chats. Of any kind."
"Well, but I don't see anything else that could be the problem, dear! And it does break my heart to see you boys so at odds with each other. It's just not right, you love each other so much."
"Really, Mrs. Hudson, there's no problem at all. We care for each other as much as ever."
"If you say so…" She sighs, unconvinced. "I guess there's really nothing I can do to change your mind about telling me?"
John shrugs. "It's not really something I think Sherlock would like me spreading around."
"Well, alright. In that case, then…" She closes the door, putters back to her chair, takes her time in sitting down and drinking her tea. John's just taken a swallow when she asks, "Now, dear, what are your intentions with Sherlock?" John chokes, then wheezes as the liquid floods down into his lungs, coughing so hard his eyes water. When he's finished, Mrs. Hudson is bent over him, smoothing the hair back over his forehead. "Oh, dear. Feeling better?"
"Fine," John coughs out. Mrs. Hudson smiles and goes back to her chair. John resolves never to drink any sort of liquid in the presence of Mrs. Hudson again.
"If it's all the same to you, John, I'd like an answer." John looks at the smiling, unassuming woman and wonders where the sheathed daggers are. Tries to guesstimate the odds of Sherlock finding the one landlady in all of London as sincerely insane as himself. Honestly, at this point, nothing Mrs. Hudson does should not surprise him. He's probably seen much, much weirder just one floor up.
"I'd…" I love him, and I want to run next to him and call him brilliant and shag him senseless until our dying day. I've killed for him, and would die for him gladly, with his name on my lips. I want to fight for and with him, live for and with him, and if at all possible die for and with him. "I… care a great deal about him." He finally decides.
"Do you have any intention of leaving him?"
"No, of course not."
"In the future?" She presses. He pauses. Closes his eyes. Takes a breath.
"I plan on living with him as long as he wants me there."
She looks steadily at him. "Good. That poor boy's had too many people walk out on him."
He looks quizzically at her. She shrugs. "When a body gets this far up in age, you can just tell, sometimes." He looks down at his tea.
"Right." He purses his lips. "So can I go now?"
"One second, young man." A hand – soft, but stronger than he supposed – lands on his arm. "You're not to hurt him, do you hear?" A squeeze, from the same fragile hand. "Sherlock's had enough pain in his life. No one needs to be adding to it."
John bows his head, amazed that yet again he's missed the blindingly obvious – she really does care for Sherlock. Not only that, she's deduced him – and, what's more, gotten it all right. "No, Mrs. Hudson. I'll be avoiding that at all costs."
She releases him, goes to get his coat. As she helps him put it on, careful of his shoulder, he feels a great surge of affection for the woman who is so fiercely protective of the man he loves, and hugs her one-handedly to him. "You are a queen, Mrs. Hudson," he whispers against dyed-blonde spiky hair. "An absolute queen." He busses her cheek, and she laughs and sends him upstairs, to his "young man".
"He'll be wondering where you've gone, no doubt!"
"Oh, no," he replies, laughing. "He'll have already deduced it!" He's still laughing as he walks through the door. Sherlock is just where he left him, hopelessly tangled up in a pile of blankets and sheets in the middle of John's bed. He grumbles sleepily as John crawls in next to him, searching through the sheets for a way to get to his lover.
"Good morning", he whispers against Sherlock's knee, the only bit of him he's able to recover so far from the wreckage of once-made bed. "Good morning," against the endlessly long, smooth, pale line of thigh. "Good morning," to the sharply jutting hipbone, his lips passing down it, gently pressing kisses. "Good morning," to the sensitive, slightly quavering expanse of stomach, nipping quickly at the tender belly button, listening for the—there it is! – the barely-stifled gasp. "Good morning," to the rosy pink nipples, the hard line of collarbones, the proud line of neck. And finally, "good morning," he whispers against the petal-soft, absurdly bowed lips, grinning as he takes in Sherlock's response to his morning wake-up call, all stretch and lithe limbs and impossible angles splayed all over, tensing, reaching, taking up the entire bed for a second, a big cat utterly at home with his surroundings. Then he relaxes once again, softens his body from long lines of hard, thin muscle to something a bit more cuddly, bright, curious, water-clear eyes gazing up at John.
"Mmmmm…" Sherlock grins, suddenly, leaps at John. John catches him and they both tumble back onto the bed, Sherlock's head safely tucked between John's neck and a sheltering hand. Once settled, Sherlock grins against his neck and pops back up. "Good morning," he purrs, voice purposely dropped an octave lower. The look in his eye promises most definitely danger and most probably sex, and John's breath leaves him in one go.
Good morning, indeed.
A/N: ...and here I thought this was going to be a short-and-sweet two-shot. Damnit. I resist dialogue about as well as I resist cheesecake and shiny new weaponry - that is to say, not at all. (Also end-of-chapter fluff.) I own nothing, as usual. No BBC Sherlock, no characters. Nothing.
Hope you enjoyed Mrs. Hudson! I personally love her character, though of the Sherlock crew I've found her the hardest to write. So. Yeah. Please review (I will give cookies, even if only Internet ones), and happy reading!