John was back from a particularly grueling adventure with his friend, The Doctor. His muscles were aching, his mind still spinning, and god knows if he's ever going to be able to forget the monsters that he's faced on this one. He never once stopped smiling. This was what he lived for.
Between his adventures with The Doctor, and being on the run with Sherlock, it almost felt unfair. How did he get to be so lucky.
The TARDIS lurched from one side to the other as The Doctor danced around the circular console, his leather coat flapping lightly around him, a mad grin upon his face.
John braced him self against the magnificent console himself. As the TARDIS wobbled dangerously from side to side, John had to wonder what made him trust this mad man.
(Mad men in general, really.)
The space/time machine came to a sudden stop, nearly throwing the good doctor to the ground. The pair erupted in a fit of giggles. John leaned his head against the cool console, and he felt the TARDIS pulse. Somehow, he knew that it- she was laughing along with them.
It took a few moments to compose themselves. Once the giggling subsided, The Doctor stood up straight, and dusted himself off. He smiled at John, and walked right to the great blue doors. He opened the doors open, revealing a place John knew very well.
"We're in London, just around the corner from Baker street. It is now, oh," The Doctor pursed his lips and thought for a moment. "May 12, 2011, around noon time. Have at it." He crossed his arms, and looked at John with mock command. "Don't you take too long. I've got one more stop I want to make."
John sighed dramatically.
"Yes, yes, alright." He made his way to the double doors. "But I don't want to come back here to see that you've gone off on your own again. I get enough of that from Sherlock."
The Doctor rolled his eyes, but John knew that he wasn't going anywhere- the key that hung around his neck ensured that.
He strode out of the TARDIS with his head held high. He breathed in the cool London air, and closed his eyes. He felt good.
John hadn't seen Sherlock in a while, and with that last run with The Doctor (a tiny life/death situation, nothing he couldn't handle.) he was more than a little excited to see his boyfriend.
He couldn't even help but smile at the thought that word- it made Sherlock cringe.
They had been together for almost a year now. In fact, it was about two weeks from their anniversary. Not that he really cared much about how long. It was more important to him that Sherlock was still happy. It was still a bit of a shock to him that Sherlock- that mad, insufferable, incredible, genius had chosen him.
Thinking about how they had got together in the first place still made him wonder.
He remembered it perfectly.
How Sherlock, just one day out of the blue decided that they should be together.
John was typing their about their newest adventure on his blog, when Sherlock walked in the room, and slumped down on one of the couches. John could feel his gaze on the back of his neck. John turned to see that Sherlock was indeed looking at him, an odd expression was painted on that pale face of his.
John willed himself not to give anything away. He'd rather Sherlock not know about the small 'crush' he had on him, but really, who could hide anything from the great Sherlock Holmes? He probably knew before he did.
Sherlock sighed before speaking.
"John, I understand that we share a mutual affection, and that continuing ignoring this fact will hinder the work. It would be much easier if we were in a relationship, and I expect nothing less but your cooperation,"
Sherlock nodded, as if this was satisfying enough, and stretched across the couch to reach for his violin.
John did nothing but gape at his flatmate. That was not what he was expecting. He looked at the laptop screen, and back to Sherlock. He hoped he was wearing a face that said 'incredulous'. He had to be sure.
"Sherlock, what are you going on about?" Had this been some sort of social experiment? John knew that Sherlock had a knack for acting, but he really use it one something like this?
Sherlock glared at him lightly, but there was a certain amusement behind those eyes.
"You know how I hate repeating myself. You know as well as I do that we have never just been 'flatmates.'"
Something about the way he said it made John feel better.
"Oh," John flushes slightly at the implication of those words. "So... wait. What you're saying, is you and I are-"
"There's been another kidnapping today, I expect Lestrade will text me the details later tonight," Sherlock plucked at one of the violin strings.
John smiled lightly. That was about as romantic as it was going to get. And that was ok.
John remembered being wary for a couple of weeks, as if Sherlock was going to turn around one day and go 'surprise, it was all an experiment!' After Sherlock had snapped some sense into him, things had gone pretty smoothly.
Experiments of different sorts still happened, along with the occasional explosion. Sherlock still demanded John to retrieve things that he could easily reach. Most of it had remained the same, except there was more kissing involved, and the (more then) occasional shag. He wouldn't want it any other way.
John climbed the stairs to 221b, and opened the door.
The smell of this place was never the same, but it always did have a certain 'homey' feeling to it. It was a shame he wasn't spending the night here. He'd just have to make due for the time that he had. A mischievous smile spread itself across his face.
Sherlock was standing in the middle of the sitting room, texting away. He was completely absorbed in what he was doing, and didn't even react to the sound of the door closing.
'He probably doesn't even realize I've come back'
John shook his head.
He walked right behind Sherlock, and spun him around lightly.
John moved Sherlock's phone away, and pulled him in by his lapels.
John moved forward and placed his lips on Sherlock's. He couldn't help but smile at the familiar taste. God, he missed him.
But Sherlock was tense. He wasn't moving, like he wasn't quite sure what to do with John.
John pulled away from Sherlock, his hands still holding the taller man in place. Maybe he was in the middle of a case?
But no, that wasn't quite it. Sherlock would have looked annoyed, maybe even angry if that were the case. Instead, Sherlock looked completely shocked, and just a little bit flustered. It would have been funny if it wasn't making John feel completely nervous.
Behind them, John could hear the door open.
The Doctor's head was poking in through the doorway. He looked slightly sheepish.
"Uh, John. I thought you might like to know that it's May 19, 2010."
John could feel the blood draining on his face.
The Doctor chose now to get the year wrong?
The Doctor held up two thumbs, and a cheeky little grin on his face.
"Don't even worry about it, I'll just get out of your way." To The Doctor, this was just another 'Whoops, it can't be too bad, it's only a year,'. But John was definitely going to teach him the difference later. He opened his mouth to say something, but that infuriating man was already talking again.
"Meet me back at the TARDIS in, oh, an hour?" Without waiting for an answer, The Doctor ran out the door, and thumped down the stairs.
John could kill the Time Lord. How was he supposed to explain this to Sherlock?
John looked back at Sherlock, and immediately dropped his hands.
That inquisitive look had washed away the shock. Sherlock was already deducing the situation, and John knew that he was in deep, deep shit if he didn't choose his words carefully.
"You've done that before. You've kissed me before."
Why did The Doctor leave? John could actually screw up the time stream (or whatever). He needed one of his clever little lies!
"No, not actually." John looked away, and realized right away that that was a mistake. He laughed nervously, and took a step away from Sherlock (another mistake!). "I don't know what came over me, really."
"And that man," Sherlock continued as if he never heard a word John had said. He moved closer to John, looking for all the clues that John was surely giving away like candy. "He said something about it being 2011? As opposed to what?" John risked a look a Sherlock.
His blue grey eyes narrowing.
"That man was all wrong. He looked at me like he knew me, yet I had never seen him before. Could be that he works with Mycroft, but no, that's not it. Then there's his clothes."
And of course Sherlock was already getting somewhere. Of course there was no way he could lie to him. Why on earth (or any planet, really) he surrounds himself with men he can't tell a halfway decent lie to is beyond him.
Sherlock continued. His eyes continuing to search John's face as he rattled off his deductions.
"All his clothes looked years old. Centuries even. Yet the make of that leather jacket was just about a decade ago. How do you explain something like that, hm?"
John managed to shrug feebly.
"I really don't know him all that well Sherlock, I think he's completely mad if you ask me," After saying this, John realized that he wasn't really lying at all. It still wasn't going to help much.
"Actually, I think you know him well enough to entrust your life to him. Now you, John. You're not quite the same, are you?"
John closes his eyes. Here comes the big finale. Sherlock always did have a flair for the dramatics.
"You aren't wearing the same clothes as you had been when you left. In fact, I don't even think you own that jumper. Looks brand new. It's odd because I don't think I've ever seen that style before. The lines in your face have mysteriously deepened. Not by much, but still noticeable to anyone who would pay attention. And," Sherlock adds, holding a finger up. "You didn't bring home the milk which you've just went out to get. You've forgotten all about that."
With a sinking feeling, John realizes that his past self could walk in through those doors at any moment. Paradox.
"I don't know how, but you seem to have traveled through time. A time in which I suspect," He leans down a bit closer to John. "We are more than just flatmates."
And John can't help but laugh lightly, because there has never been any point in hiding anything from Sherlock.
"You know as well as I do that we have never just been 'flatmates.'" He echoes.
John has the pleasure of seeing Sherlock looking slightly surprised at John's answer. And quite fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on who you ask.) heavy footsteps sounded from the stairwell.
"Hide," Sherlock says under his breath, and John wastes no time. He heads into Sherlock's room, and closes the door as quietly as possible.
"Sherlock, next time you can go out and buy your own damn milk. I am sick of dealing with those machines!" John heard his own irritated voice coming from the other room. He has no doubt that Sherlock has not given away any clues as to who he's been talking to.
It wasn't long before Sherlock had done something to annoy his younger self.
"Sh-Sherlock! What the hell-"
"Hm. Looks like we'll be needing some more milk then. John, you wouldn't mind getting some more, would you?"
As Sherlock said these words, John realized something.
He remembered Sherlock saying that to him.
This was all supposed to happen.
John rolled his eyes, and shook his head.
He was going to give The Doctor an earful when he got back to the TARDIS.
John waited until he head the front door slam before coming out of the bedroom.
Sherlock was looking at John expectantly.
He sighed, and crossed his arms.
"Look, you know I can't tell you anything. Or, at least you should."
Sherlock nearly pouted at John's words. He laughed lightly.
"Wow. For once, I know more than you. A whole years worth of information." Sherlock scowled. "It's not like you won't be seeing me. But, I really have to go before... I come back." He shook his head. He hated time travel sometimes. The tenses got confusing.
John made his way towards the door. He really needed to leave. Sherlock's curiosity can only be held back for so long.
"Just tell me one thing." Sherlock said as John's hand had reached the door knob. He turned to look at Sherlock.
"Does it work?" He asks as if their relationship were a machine.
"Sometimes," John says truthfully. "Gets difficult during cases, or when one of us in a mood. But that's for you to work out." If you want it to work out, John leaves out.
Sherlock nods once, and then John leaves.
"I can't believe you sometimes," John says when he enters the TARDIS. "Why didn't you tell me?"
The Doctor stuck his nose up in the air.
"If I told you, it wouldn't have been as fun for me," He replies.
John shakes his head. The Doctor's already moving around the TARDIS console, and John braces himself for a bumpy ride.
"Right then, where are we going?" John asks.
"You? Home." A bit of sorrow fills his voice. John knows that this might be the last time he sees the Doctor.
The Alien continues to flit about his ship in a mad dance.
"Me? I fancy another trip to London. Let's say... 2005ish?"
"You could go anywhere in space or time, and yet you keep coming back to London."
The Doctor has that look in his eye. He's far away now.
For once, the TARDIS flies smoothly.
John went home, and everything was perfect. No disruption to the time stream.
The Doctor found Rose, and for a while, everything was perfect.