AUTHOR'S NOTE: First Sherlock oneshot, so be kind! The title comes from Shakespeare's 'As You Like It'.
John had always kept the bathroom that he and Sherlock shared spotlessly clean.
True, his job was made difficult by the magnitude of assorted limbs or other body parts that Sherlock liked to keep in the bathtub, and it took him a tad longer to clean the sink those mornings when he woke to find it filled with blood or pus, leaking undoubtedly from some monstrosity Sherlock had contained within the drug cupboard. But John's orderly nature, combined with his diligent army training, gave him the necessary skills and tolerance to keep the bathroom tidy.
This particular morning, however, John hadn't noticed anything out of place right away. The sink was clear, the bathtub empty, the floor obscured by neither criminal files nor medical documents. In fact, the bathroom had a faint smell of—what was that?—bleach? How odd, John thought, removing his clothes and making his way to the shower. Had Sherlock finally come around? Had he realized that concentration was infinitely more achievable in an environment where he didn't have to worry about stepping on poisonous toads or gravel?
Of course not, John mentally argued with himself, Sherlock would insist that the toads and gravel were necessary (for experiments in toxicity and durability, respectively) and that he didn't live in a mess but instead surrounded by large, organized piles.
John sighed as he wrapped a towel around his waist and approached the sink to brush his teeth. He made sure there was no cuttlefish ink in the toothpaste this time—"Did the freak finally lose it and knock out your teeth?" Donovan had asked mockingly—and just as he raised the toothbrush to his mouth, he spotted a slight ring-shape outlined on the bathroom counter.
The mark was barely visible and pale yellow, but it annoyed John that his rare oasis of cleanliness was disturbed. He set down his toothbrush and thumbed over the mark, which stubbornly refused to yield. He was about to attack the offending stain with a wet towel when Sherlock's voice sounded, low and matter-of-factly, from outside the door.
"Don't bother, it's dye. It won't come off."
John dropped the towel and blinked stupidly at the door before realizing that this was Sherlock he was talking to. Nothing should surprise him anymore. He sighed again, and was about to pull on his clothes when he saw, from the corner of his eye, a rather attractive blonde woman's face beaming up at him from the trashcan. Approaching it cautiously, he discovered that the face belonged to a box bearing the words Revlon Ultra-Shine Hair Dye. He had thought when Sherlock said 'dye,' he had meant some sort of stain for an organ. John turned to the door suspiciously, still clutching the box.
"Sherlock," he began, his eyes narrowing questioningly. "Sherlock, are you…blonde?"
Sherlock's voice was right outside the door, and John wondered fleetingly if he was able to predict when John was going to ask a question. John can imagine him, spreading butter on toast in the kitchen, suddenly feeling his "Sherlock-sense" tingling and gliding over to the bathroom door, his silk robe billowing behind him like a reaper's cloak.
John tugs on his jumper and jeans as quick as possible and opens the door. Towering over him is Sherlock, his usual dark hair now the earthy yellow of straw. He hadn't bleached his eyebrows, John noticed, and their blackness contrasted with the blonde in a way that reminded John of a teenage girl. He couldn't help it; he burst out laughing, each chortle so strong that he had to hang on to the door frame to stay standing.
"Does it suit me?" Sherlock asked, apparently having not gotten the message.
John replied with a fresh bout of laughs, his words breathy. "What? Does it suit—no! Of course not! Why would you even—?" He simply couldn't continue with Sherlock standing over him like an oversized Barbie doll. By the time he could speak properly again, Sherlock had scoffed and started towards the sitting room. "Is it for a case?" John asked, catching his breath.
"Experiment," Sherlock snarled from his armchair, his mop of suddenly blonde hair disappearing behind a newspaper.
"Didn't know you were into the Christina Aguilera look," smirked Sargent Donovan as John traipsed behind Sherlock under the yellow tape and into the crime scene. Anderson had commented similarly ("So you're into blondes now?") so when Sherlock descended the stairs to the cellar, leaving John with Lestrade on the first floor, John knitted his brows together in disdain and asked, "Does everyone think I'm sleeping with Sherlock?"
"I think it's more like nobody can tolerate him like you," Lestrade said with a knowing smile. John felt a twinge of pride at his words, which immediately dissipated when he realized that it wasn't really meant to be a compliment. John's resignation towards Sherlock's quirks was more learned than anything. True, he may have developed his reticence more quickly than most, but that was because, after moving in, Sherlock had thrust him immediately into a case. The rest was developed through small trial after small trial, countless discoveries of organs in the fridge or pantry, and general exposure to Sherlock's habits. Surely anyone could learn to put up with him, John thought, and then took it back. Perhaps he was the only exception.
"So what are we dealing with?" John asked, attempting to think about something else.
"Dead woman," Lestrade answered. "She's been on the missing persons list for half a month now. We've checked out the background to this house, and apparently it belonged to a wealthy old man who died about a month ago. No idea how she wound up here."
He followed Lestrade down the stairs, only to be met with the putrid stench of rotting flesh. He didn't even cover his nose. The smell had become normal, almost familial after enduring endless amounts of human remains in the kitchen.
John approached the corpse and took out a notepad, beginning to write down his observations, verbalizing them to Sherlock as he wrote.
"Victim: female, mid to late thirties. Time of death approximately forty-eight to fifty-six hours ago. Cause of death: severing of femoral artery. Additional non-fatal stab wounds. Missing most of left ring finger. Signs of moderate starvation; likely hasn't eaten in one to two weeks. What do you think, Sherlock?"
Sherlock stared at the body for a minute before snapping his eyes onto John's. "Look at the facts, John. The killer obviously doesn't have much experience; he had to try several times to do the job. He clearly didn't plan it out very well or he would have been more precise with his cuts. That makes it a spontaneous murder, likely a crime of either rage or passion. Severed ring finger says passion. But why would he cut off her ring finger?"
Sherlock's mouth twisted into a slight smile, which was normal for him while talking about murder, but John noticed something strange about his face. John didn't feel as if Sherlock's eyes were boring into him like drills, like they could see right through him. He didn't like it. What was different?
Sherlock continued. "Because the ring reminded him of something; it was mocking him. Probably her wedding ring from her husband. But why would she turn up here of all places, and starving, no less? She could have been starving before she was brought here, but she was married, and her husband cared about her enough to put her on the missing person's list, so not likely. No, she was trapped in this basement and left to starve. Minimal dirt on her clothes says she's changed since she was trapped down here, but would a kidnapper really think to bring clothes along with the abductee? No, she came here by her own will with a suitcase. Bringing a suitcase to another man's house says affair. But when she came here she obviously did something he didn't like. She probably told him she wasn't going to leave her husband. Trapping and starving says torture; he was trying to extract a promise from her. But his patience grew thin and he killed her after two weeks of defiance."
Sherlock paused. Normally this would be the part where John would tell Sherlock how amazing he is, but there was something so off about Sherlock's face that all John could do was affix his eyes and try to figure out what it was. Realizing John had nothing to say, Sherlock went on.
"The records indicate that the man who lived here is dead, but there wasn't a 'For Sale' sign in the yard, and besides, a man this wealthy would likely have written a will. So the killer inherited the house. Upstairs there are several pictures of twin boys; one of them is quite happily married based on the collection of awful Christmas cards of him and his family wearing matching sweaters. So we're looking for the unmarried son of the previous owner of this…John?"
Sherlock's question sounded faintly in John's ear, the majority of his concentration on determining what had changed in Sherlock's face.
"John, did you hear any of that?" Sherlock asked accusingly, raising his eyebrow, and John finally sees it.
"Are you wearing colored contacts?" John said reprovingly, and sure enough, it became immediately apparent that Sherlock's eyes were no longer pale blue but instead a rather warm brown. Combined with his blonde hair, his face now looked less sharp, less critical, less…Sherlock.
Sherlock's mouth twisted momentarily into a strange scowl, and for a moment, John wondered if he hadn't hurt Sherlock's feelings. Then the scowl was gone, replaced by his usual look of disinterest.
"Right," John said, trying to get used to Sherlock's new eye color. "Can you start again from 'twin boys'?"
Falafels had to be the biggest disappointment in the culinary world, John decided. They always smelled delicious, especially hot out of the fryer, and they looked so tantalizing when cooked to a perfect golden-brown. But when he bit into them, chewed them a bit, John was always expecting there to be something else. Something other than a vague, grainy flavor to tide him over to the next bite. Because of this, John had ignored the aroma of freshly fried falafel and ordered pita with hummus.
Sherlock had suggested they go to the park after the crime scene to get some fresh air. He had walked slouched over the entire way there. John was convinced it was because Sherlock was undernourished, so when they arrived at the park to the enticing sight of a Middle Eastern food cart, John had insisted they stop for a bite. He was certain Sherlock would protest and was shocked when, instead of lecturing John about the durability of the human body, Sherlock instead ordered tabouleh salad, baklava and four shots of Turkish coffee, which he requested be laden with milk and sugar.
"So are you going to tell me what's up?" John asked as Sherlock, still hunched over, took a seat on the park bench next to him, clutching his food.
"What's up with what?" Sherlock said, almost mockingly, digging into his tabouleh as if he hadn't eaten in days. (And, in all honestly, he probably hadn't.)
"That!" John cried exasperatedly, flailing his hands slightly. "You're eating without complaining or having been near death! And you're slouching while you're sitting and walking, and you've changed both your hair and eye color over the course of two days! What's going on? If it's for a case, that's fine, but at least tell me-"
John stopped as he noticed Sherlock beginning to move. He thought the detective might suddenly walk away, having been angered by John's questioning, but Sherlock stopped directly in front of John. When John realized the position Sherlock was assuming, he wished that Sherlock had walked away. Sherlock was down on one knee, newly brown eyes now level with John's. He looked like he was about to propose.
"Is this better, John?" he asked without a lick of detectable sarcasm. John felt his face beginning to flush, the reaction only worsening when other park patrons started looking his way, whispering to themselves. When the man in the falafel cart whistled at them, John decided they needed to get out of there. He grabbed Sherlock's hand and started running, giving Sherlock no choice but to follow him. The small crowd that had gathered around them clapped loudly as they ran, a few of them shouting things like "Best wishes!" and "You two look perfect together!"
John didn't stop running until they'd reached the flat. Once there, he practically threw Sherlock inside and stormed into his room, leaving a rather dejected looking consulting detective staring after him.
In a few days, Sherlock had taken out the contacts, returning his eyes to their usual ice blue. In a week, John could see the dark roots cropping up amidst his blonde hair. Although very relieved that things were returning to normal, John never endeavored to discuss it with Sherlock. There was probably a good reason he had acted that way, and John would respect Sherlock's privacy if he would just go back to being a goddamn brunette.
A week and a half after the incident at the park, Sherlock had dyed his hair back to its natural brown-black, and John had just about managed to convince himself that his flat-mate had never gone crazy and bleached it and tried to proposition John in a public park. He was just about to suggest to Sherlock that they should order take-out and watch old episodes of Get Smart (one of John's personal favorites) when he became distracted by a small crunching sound coming from Sherlock's bedroom.
For a split-second, it seemed completely normal to John that Sherlock should be having a snack in his room. John himself frequently curled up with his laptop and a few biscuits pilfered from the box in the kitchen before Sherlock could use them for experiments. But then he remembered that this was Sherlock he was thinking about, and Sherlock rarely ate in the kitchen, let alone in his bedroom.
John knocked on Sherlock's door, and upon hearing "Enter" in Sherlock's low growl, he walked in. There, in his blue silk bathrobe, was Sherlock, stretched artistically over his bed, feeding a piece of what looked like dry cat food to a hedgehog.
"What-" John started, and then found he couldn't process a single word, choosing instead to retreat and shut the door behind him.
Several deep breaths later, he reentered the room, Sherlock staring at John while the creature munched away.
"What is that?" John asked, face scrutinizing while he tried to make sense of the scene in front of him.
"This is a hedgehog, John," said Sherlock, turning back to the creature. "I'd have thought that would have been obvious."
"Why?" John blurted out before he could say anything else.
"Why?" Sherlock repeated incredulously. "Because it belongs to the subfamily Erinaceinae and-"
"No, Sherlock," John interrupted. "I understand that it's a hedgehog. I'm thrilled that you've found something to talk to that actually has working ears. What I fail to comprehend is why you've chosen the animal equivalent of a cactus."
"Assumptions, assumptions," Sherlock replied, clicking his tongue. "Hedgehog quills are made of the same material as human fingernails. They only hurt when the animal is upset. When it's relaxed, they pose no harm. Observe."
Slowly, almost lovingly, Sherlock picked up the creature and cradled it in his palm. It made a small, contented sound like a sigh. After the hedgehog spread out across his hand, Sherlock ran a finger down its back. When it accepted his touch, he tried again, this time with his entire palm. John watched Sherlock pet the hedgehog for a few more moments before talking.
"Sherlock, this is…odd."
"How so?" the detective shot back, focusing his attention on the animal in his hand.
"Well," began John. "I would expect you to have brought a hedgehog home for the sole purpose of cutting it up into pieces to examine under a microscope. I would have never thought you could be this…this…" John struggled to find the right word. "Caring."
A sudden flash of change surged over Sherlock at John's words. His eyes grew slightly wider, his face perked up, and he turned to John with a mixture of curiosity and…satisfaction? Was that what it was? John didn't know.
"Caring?" Sherlock repeated as if stunned by the word.
"Well, yeah," John said, nodding slightly. "You'd have to be to tolerate one of those." He pointed to the hedgehog. The creature licked Sherlock's palm, and John was forced to admit that it was actually very cute. "May I?" he asked.
"Of course," Sherlock said, extending the hedgehog to John. The shorter man approached the creature and stuck out a hand to pat it. Immediately it let out a disgruntled breath and curled up into a tight ball, trembling slightly, quills sticking out in all directions defensively.
"Right," John said, withdrawing his hand. "I'll leave that to you."
John didn't notice, as he left the room, the tiniest of hopeful smiles curving across Sherlock's lips.
Another week later, and Sherlock had managed to turn the flat into a menagerie.
Apparently he refused to stop after the hedgehog, adding a tabby kitten, a bearded dragon, an aquarium of tropical fish (John quite liked the fish, actually. He liked to watch them swim.) and what must have been an entire fleet of carrier pigeons.
John knew he would never sleep again, what with the constant buzz of the fish tank, the mewing of the kitten, the cooing of birds and rustling of feathers. He didn't understand how Sherlock remembered to feed the animals every day when he couldn't even remember to feed himself.
He was fairly certain that Sherlock was going through some sort of genius menopause, and so John was determined to let this havoc run its course, like he'd done with the head in the fridge. It would have to come to an end sometime, right?
John was sitting on the couch, the tabby curled up in his lap and purring softly, playing solitaire on his cellphone. He had been beating his high score and was almost finished with the game when Sherlock chose to show up.
"John," he said definitively, appearing so suddenly behind the couch that John dropped his phone and knocked the battery out. The tabby gave a feline yelp before jumping off of John's lap.
"Christ, Sherlock!" he spluttered, his breathing shallow due to shock. "What are you-"
John stopped, lost for words as Sherlock came around to the front. He was wearing a very nice button-down shirt, (one without animal droppings on it, which seemed miraculous) a cleanly pressed blazer and pants, and very expensive-looking Italian shoes. John felt a flush rise to his cheeks, and he cursed his body for giving such an honest reaction. He did have to admit, though, Sherlock looked fantastic.
Before he had time to ask why Sherlock was so dressed up, the man in question opened his mouth.
"John," he repeated, clutching the sleeve of his blazer and staring into John's eyes so directly it was almost painful. "Would you like to go to dinner with me?"
Each word Sherlock had said was slow and well-enunciated. Like there wasn't any feeling behind it. Almost as if he had…rehearsed them?
John forgot to breathe for a second. Everything about this was odd. Alright, he thought, let's try to clear this up using some of Sherlock's methods. Sherlock is dressed up, which indicates that he's either trying to impress someone or gain entrance to a place where formal dress is required. He's playing with his jacket sleeve, which indicates nervousness, and he's trying very hard to maintain eye contact. He asked me to dinner, but sounded robotic, like he was reading from a script. That can only indicate that he practiced what he was going to say. Again, nervous, dressed up, practicing lines…
"Sherlock…" John said, entertaining a logical but obviously impossible solution. "You're not…this isn't…are you asking me on a-"
"Dinner, John," Sherlock cut across, tugging on his sleeve again. "Do you want to go to dinner? With me?"
"Er, sure, Sherlock," John replied, not wanting to see Sherlock struggle anymore. "I'd love to. Angelo's?"
John looked down, suddenly very nervous and self-aware in the face of his friend. If he wasn't mistaken, he had just agreed to a date with Sherlock. A date! He had admittedly never imagined himself dating a man, not to mention the world's only freelance consulting detective, but for some reason it seemed alright with Sherlock. But, then again, everything was alright with Sherlock. The muscle tissue in the freezer, the long nights with little sleep, and the very eccentric man standing before him, nervously twisting the sleeve of his jacket. For whatever reason, it was always alright.
"Angelo's is a bit crowded, don't you think?" was Sherlock's response. "I was hoping we could go somewhere where we could, ah, talk." Sherlock tried to flash John a smile, but he just managed to look like he was in pain. Something clicked in John's head.
Oh, he thought, before replying, "Of course."
John felt disheartened during the cab ride to the restaurant Sherlock had chosen. Sherlock hadn't been asking him on a date. He'd been an idiot to think so. Sherlock was clearly speaking like that to warn him that something was wrong. For some reason, they had to get out of the flat and get to somewhere that wasn't being watched so Sherlock could debrief him. Naturally it would be something like this.
John spent the ride pretending he wasn't disappointed, staring out the window, as Sherlock twiddled his thumbs.
By the time the hostess showed them to their seat, John had managed to replace the disappointment in his stomach with anticipation. What kind of case required total eviction from their flat? The cab ride was at least a half hour, and as far as John knew, only Mycroft had that kind of surveillance power.
"So," John began biting off a piece of naan (for Sherlock had chosen an Indian restaurant.) "What kind of case are you on?"
Sherlock wrinkled his nose inquisitively.
"We're here so you can talk about it, right?" John said, tearing the bread apart voraciously. He'd forgotten how hungry he was. "That's why we left the flat, isn't it? To escape surveillance?"
Sherlock looked at him questioningly again before he understood. "John, you seem to be misinterpreting my advances. I assure you, I had no ulterior motives in asking you here tonight. I simply wanted to have a chat."
"A chat?" John parroted, dumbfounded. "About what?"
"I wasn't aware that mattered," said Sherlock defensively, snatching a piece of bread and tearing it down the center. "Isn't this what people do when they go out? Converse?"
"Yes, Sherlock, it's what people do," John agreed. "But it's not what you do."
"Why isn't it?" the detective responded casually.
"Because it isn't—you've never—" John couldn't seem to get the words out. "This isn't you, Sherlock!"
The waitress, who was about to approach the table, heard John begin to raise his voice and decided to come back later.
"Look," said John, one hand on his brow. "I've been trying to avoid saying this, but this is just too much. You've been acting weird for a while now. First you bleach your hair and start wearing contacts, then you actually decide to eat something and kneel at my feet in the park. Next you start an animal collection and now you're telling me that we're at an expensive restaurant located inconveniently far away from our flat just so you can bloody talk with me?"
Sherlock opened his mouth, thought for a bit, then closed it.
"So you're not going to explain. Right. Let's just go home, Sherlock," John said quietly. His eyes were downturned and pleading.
As they waited for a cab in silence, John wondered if he would ever see the Sherlock he used to know again.
John got out of the taxi desiring nothing more than a good sleep. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, turning towards the door to the flat, and walked directly into Sherlock, who had positioned himself inconveniently on the doorstep.
"Move, Sherlock," he commanded, in no mood to be denied his bedtime.
"John," Sherlock said with just a twinge of desperation. "You must understand."
John looked at his flat-mate desolately.
"I…appreciate you." Sherlock said, louder than he had likely intended, and before John could even find the key to the flat, Sherlock had him flipped around, mouth pressed to his.
John reacted almost instantly, returning the kiss and wrapping his arms around Sherlock's neck, before remembering that it wasn't Sherlock he was kissing, or at least, not the one he wanted to be kissing. Knowing, sadly, that he was about to dash away the only chance he'd ever get to be with this man, he broke away, staring at Sherlock unapologetically.
"I don't understand," Sherlock said in his low voice. "Don't you want to do this with me?"
"Yes," John replied immediately, and then, "no. I don't know, Sherlock! Not like this. Not like this."
John walked into the flat in a daze, Sherlock trailing slowly behind him. He had just been kissed by Sherlock Holmes, and he couldn't even enjoy it. Sherlock hadn't answered him when he'd asked what was going on, hadn't felt he needed to explain. But John knew he wouldn't be happy, not with Sherlock forcing himself to act like, well, like a normal person. He would be miserable.
When they reached the staircase leading to John's bedroom, they turned to each other wordlessly.
"Sherlock, I'm going-"
"John, I thought-"
They both paused, not wanting to talk over the other. John broke the silence first.
"I'm going to bed."
Halfway up the staircase he heard Sherlock's deep voice calling after him.
"I thought this was what you wanted, John," he said dejectedly, looking at John with sincere eyes.
John seethed back. "What have I done that would give you the impression I wanted you to change?"
"Your blog," Sherlock replied almost instantly. "You wrote an entry in which you describe me."
John squinted, wracking his brain. "I don't recall, specifically. Do you remember it?"
Sherlock nods. He clears his throat and recites: "'Sherlock has too-dark hair and icy eyes that look at me like they're piercing through. He's tall—infuriatingly tall—and bony. Like I could cut myself on his elbows or cheekbones. He can be a bit uncaring sometimes, and his conversation skills are laughably half-baked, especially compared to his other talents. Sometimes I feel as if he treats me like the lowest form of imbecilic being on the planet. Sometimes I feel like he doesn't appreciate me,'" Sherlock finished, twisting his mouth gracelessly. "It's all there, John."
"Wait," John said, his head swimming with this new information. "You're telling me you used my blog entry as a checklist of things I wanted you to change about yourself."
"Of course I did," he replied as if it were the most obvious answer. "You claimed my hair was "too dark" so I lightened it, which you didn't seem to take to. So I tried the eyes, which you didn't react positively to either. Of course I can't make myself shorter, so I thought if I kept myself at your eye level you would appreciate it, which you didn't. You also didn't seem to appreciate my attempt at making myself less bony by eating properly." Sherlock winced. "Admittedly, I wouldn't have been able to keep that up for long. Street food is positively atrocious, and there's no way that cart was sanitary. Anyway, next you said I was uncaring. It took me a while to come up with a way to convince you that I was, but I eventually figured caring for a small animal would suffice. And it worked." He smiled slightly. "You said I was caring. I thought if that worked, you would think I was more caring if I adopted more animals, which obviously just ended up annoying you. So I decided to tackle the last part and attempt to converse with you while simultaneously convincing you that you are not, in fact, the lowest form of imbecilic being on the planet, and that I do appreciate you. I decided on asking you to dinner. You saw how well that went," Sherlock finished sheepishly.
John suddenly felt as if the seven or so stairs that separated Sherlock and himself were far too many. He descended the staircase and positioned himself at the bottom, directly across from Sherlock.
"You were trying to make yourself more attractive to me," John said, hoping that saying it with enough confidence would make it true.
"Did it work?" Sherlock questioned.
"Sherlock, I really cannot believe the lengths you've gone through to get my attention. I was attracted to you from the moment we met, surely you knew that."
"I did," Sherlock replied. "That's why I became confused when you posted such an…insulting entry about me."
"Sherlock, nothing in that entry was insulting."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow.
"Okay, some of it was meant to be a little insulting. But mostly they were underhanded compliments. You know, for the smartest man in London, you're honestly, absolutely-"
Sherlock's mouth was on him before he could finish, stealing his breath and his words. John's reaction was tentative this time, at first just wanting to feel Sherlock, but when he felt a warm tongue slide along his bottom lip, John became suddenly aggressive, pressing his own tongue into Sherlock's mouth, exploring the new territory. He felt a spindly arm curl around his back, a body pushing him gently into the wall. John reciprocated, wrapping an arm around Sherlock's thin waist and entangling a hand in his dark hair. Sherlock nipped at his mouth and John deepened the kiss, moving from the corner of Sherlock's lips and trailing kisses to the base of his neck where he stopped, resting his head in the crook of Sherlock's neck, catching his breath.
"Absolutely not an idiot," John finished, breathily. Without looking, he could feel Sherlock's widening grin. "Did you rehearse that, too?" he asked, honestly wondering.
"Of course not. That would require unnecessary physical contact with people who-" Sherlock stopped, pondering his next words. "People who aren't you."
John flushed a little, nuzzling deeper into the detective's neck. "So you're unprepared for this next part, too."
"I have no experience, admittedly. However," he paused to press a kiss to John's hair. "I am willing."
"Never thought I'd see the day when I know something you don't," said John, smirking, taking Sherlock's hand and leading him upstairs.
"You know," John said into Sherlock's bare shoulder the next morning, "This could have all happened a lot sooner if you'd just finished my blog entry."
"Finish it?" Sherlock rasped. It was still too early for him to be talking. "Of course I finished it." Just to confirm his statement, Sherlock sat up, picked up his phone from the side table, started the browser and found John's blog entry. Sure enough, there was a single line of text he had missed. "'Sometimes I feel like he doesn't appreciate me…'" Sherlock read, "'And I am—for no apparent reason—absolutely captivated.'"
Sherlock stared dumbstruck at the screen, angry at himself for having missed so crucial a sentence. John kissed the back of his neck.
"Oh, don't worry about it," he muttered into Sherlock's skin. "At least I got to see what you look like as a blonde."
Sherlock smiled and joined his hand with John's.
"Although," said John as an afterthought, "we will have to get rid of the hedgehog, the cat, the bearded dragon and the pigeons."
"You didn't say fish," Sherlock noted coyly.
"I like the fish," said John.
"I suppose I could find some use for-"
"No, Sherlock, you will not experiment on my fish."
"Fine," he replied resignedly. "I won't." And they looked at each other and grinned because neither of them believed it.