Title: The No-Longer-Secret Conversations between Sherlock Holmes and John H. Watson's Chair
Pairing: John/Sherlock (pre-slash to slash)
Disclaimer: I do not own Sherlock, and I do not make any money from this fanwork.
Summary: Sherlock talks to John when he's not there, and John is tired of missing important information. He sets his laptop webcam to record when he leaves. The footage is... revealing.
"Sherlock," John growls, trying to resist the urge to deck his flatmate. "Why didn't you tell me that I've been chatting up the killer for the past two days?"
"I did," Sherlock replies off-handedly, pulling out his mobile and sending off a quick text.
"When?" John asks. "I think I would have remembered if you said, 'John, the redhead you've been flirting with - well, she's poisoned at least 10 men in the last 5 years.'"
"Thirteen, to be precise. And before," his friend answers, raising his arm to hail a cab.
"Before? Before when? When I was at dinner with her?" John questions, clenching his fist.
Surely Lestrade won't blame him for getting just one punch in?
"Oh. Was that where you were?" Sherlock answers, slipping into the cab. John just sighs and follows.
"Sherlock, how many times have we gone over this? If I'm not in the flat, I can't hear you when you talk to me. If I can't hear you, then I don't know the things you've supposedly told me. You have a mobile. If it's something important - like the fact that I'm having dinner with a serial poisoner! - text me. Or better yet, phone me," John tells him, exasperated.
"Dull," Sherlock replies, leaving the cab in a flurry when it pulls up to Baker Street.
John squeezes his eyes shut and rubs his temples. Sometimes, he has no idea how he puts up with Sherlock. Then he takes a deep breath, pays the cabbie, and goes to follow his friend.
Something really must be done.
And he obviously can't change Sherlock, so he will just have to find some way to accommodate them both.
A week later, Mycroft pulls the old: "Oh look, CCTV cameras can't see you - get into the creepy black car" trick.
Mycroft does not meet him personally - but instead has Anthea give John a laptop with a webcam. They talk until the car lets him off at Baker Street.
Really, if Mycroft isn't even going to meet him personally anymore, why couldn't John have just used the webcam on his laptop?
The webcam... on his laptop.
Sometimes, John gets the best ideas.
"John, I said 'hand me my mobile,'" Sherlock barks at him the moment he walks through the door, holding his hand out.
"Sherlock, I haven't been here for the past five hours. I had a half-shift at the clinic, remember?" he says, shaking his head as he drops his mobile in Sherlock's hand.
He wonders what else Sherlock said while John was gone. Luckily, John doesn't have to wonder for long. He scoops up his laptop and heads towards his room. Sherlock has his 'I'm thinking right now so please stop breathing in my presence' look on, so it's best to give him some space.
John sits on his bed with his computer on his lap. He stops the webcam from recording: 5 hours and 23 minutes worth of footage. He will have to delete it after viewing - takes up too much memory.
John plays the video back from the beginning. At first, Sherlock is just sprawled on the sofa in his blue dressing gown, staring vacantly up at the ceiling. John watches for about ten seconds before fast-forwarding through, wanting to get to the part where Sherlock actually says or does something. Suddenly, about three hours in, the Sherlock on the screen jumps up, walks right over the coffee table, and starts pacing. John stops fast-forwarding, letting it play normally.
"Really, John - this is quite an interesting case. Quite, quite interesting. Several little peculiarities. I would say it is an 8. We have to wait for the sister's dog-walker to get back to me about the dog-treats before I can go any further, of course. I really hate it when idiots destroy my clay. They should just call me in immediately, rather than trying to fumble through themselves and muck it all up," Sherlock mumbles, still pacing frantically back and forth.
John just looks on in fond exasperation. Maybe he will cut certain parts out to keep for posterity. If there are some really funny clips, maybe he will even post them on his blog. Sherlock goes on that way, mumbling about his bricks and clay and the various clues and the stupidity of the police force and the mistake of theorizing without all the facts, for at least another twenty minutes - before he throws himself down in his chair with a huff.
"John, mobile," he says imperiously.
John is not there to give him the mobile.
"John, I said hand me your mobile," Sherlock says again, starting to get huffy.
John is still not there.
Sherlock blinks, looking around curiously - and with a fair bit of petulance.
"Oh, you're gone again. It's quite annoying when you do that, John," he says, focusing that laser-bright gaze on John's chair - as if it was John himself, annoying Sherlock by not doing everything he wants, exactly as he wants, without Sherlock even having to say he wants it.
John thinks sometimes his life would be a lot easier if he were telepathic - or at least Sherlock-telepathic, so he wouldn't have to constantly scramble for ways to keep up with his brilliant friend.
"I hate it when you go," Sherlock tells the chair, his voice earnest. "You take all the color with you - everything goes greyscale. And there's no one to make me tea, or tell me I'm brilliant, or marvel at my deductions, or... I hate it when you go. You should just stay here all the time, listening to me and making me toast. Even if I don't eat it, I do appreciate it, John. I do. Just, food slows me down, you know. Tea is fine. You make the best tea. And you buy the best milk. It never tastes quite the same when I buy it. I don't know why. You're much better at... normal."
Sherlock trails off with a sneer at the word 'normal'. He falls silent for about three minutes - John keeps his eye on the timer.
Those three minutes are enough for John to reflect on Sherlock's words - and the warm, flattered feeling they give him. He's definitely going to have to save that part, if only so he can listen to how much Sherlock appreciates him when his friend is being particularly difficult. He's not going to post it on his blog, though, or mention it to Sherlock or anyone else. He knows Sherlock would be embarrassed if John brought it up, and he would probably get defensive, as well.
John hates it when Sherlock gets defensive.
"You're my only friend, you know," Sherlock tells the chair, but John knows the words are really for him. "You're my only friend, ever. You just - let me be... me. I know I annoy you sometimes. I don't mean to. Well, most the time I don't mean to. You really are quite attractive when you're annoyed. It's quite... disarming. Sometimes I dream that you're annoyed with me, but instead of huffing off - I do hate when you do that, you know - you stomp forward and kiss me. Your cheeks are all flushed, and you grab my collar to pull me down because you can't reach my lips without it. I like how small you are, John. I like it. You're so big inside - it is quite clever camoflauge that you are so small in body. And it means that if I pushed you down - on the sofa, on the floor, on my bed - and climbed on top of you, I could just cover you right up. Then no one would be able to see you but me. I... sometimes I have nightmares, you know - that you meet a woman. Or even worse - a man. You fall in love, and they become a higher priority than I am - than the cases are, I mean. You move out, maybe get married - have children. You would be a great father, John. You are excellent at taking care of me, and I imagine that can't be any easier than taking care of children. But... they would mean that I'm not... the most important person in your life. I like that. I don't want you to go away - to fall in love. With anyone other than me, I mean. Sometimes I wonder how to make you fall in love with me."
Sherlock falls silent again. John is a mixture of flattered and uncomfortable and...
He knows Sherlock would never say this to his face. He feels like his invading his friend's privacy. But... John just can't make himself shut it off. He's learnt more about his friend's feelings in these couple minutes of video than he has the entire time they've been living together. Also, John can't deny that - while he might not be in love with Sherlock - his best friend is gorgeous and mesmerizing and just... brilliant. And yes, Sherlock is the most important person in his life. If Sherlock said things like this more often, John could even see them being... more.
Actually, Sherlock wouldn't even need to say things like this. Because now - now John knows.
"Is hypotism A Bit Not Good, John? Probably. And I don't think - I don't think I would want you to love me just because I tricked you into it, anyway. It has to be you. Otherwise it wouldn't really count," Sherlock says, with a deep sigh.
"Anyway, Mrs. Hudson says that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Ignoring the anatomical inaccuracies therein, it is an interesting statement. I've been doing favors for various restaurant owners, lately. I can't cook, but I know you appreciate it when I take you out to dinner. Also, as much as you like Angelo's, I know you get bored of Italian. Mrs. Hudson leant me some of her informational videos on courtship. Apparently, it is romantic to watch your... significant person sleep. I always thought that was A Bit Not Good, but the girl on the telly certainly seemed to appreciate it. You are very interesting when you sleep," his friend says, nodding his head in emphasis.
Jesus. John is going to have to have a talk with Mrs. Hudson about which "informational videos on courtship" she shares with Sherlock. He can see that going very, very wrong.
"Also, musical ability is supposed to be attractive in a potential partner. I've been playing the songs you like on my violin, if you've noticed. You always smile to yourself, just a bit, as you putter around the kitchen when I do. I like that I can make you smile. And it really is a very simple thing," Sherlock continues.
Well, that explains why Sherlock hasn't tortured his violin in John's presence since the last visit from Mycroft.
"Did you know that a gift of diamonds often results in a reciprocal gift of sex?" Sherlock states, conversationally. "But it is a very tricky thing. The giver cannot expect sex from the giftee in exchange for diamonds: then it doesn't work. Also, it is more likely to work on certain signifant occassions - birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day. Your birthday is coming up, you know."
"Fuck," John whispers, just imagining how incredibly awkward that has the possibility of being.
"Sometimes I try to fantasize about it," his friend says. "It is your birthday, and when you wake up I have tea and toast waiting for you. I wish you a happy birthday, despite the fact that it is a given that I want you to have a happy everyday, and it makes you smile. We have a case, and I am brilliant, and you say so. Then we go to dinner - maybe Angelo's, maybe somewhere else - wherever you want. I bring you roses, and there is a candle on the table, and maybe music in the background. Not the violin though, because I don't like it when you listen to anyone else playing the violin. You keep smiling at me, and your eyes are all... soft, with affection, like they are sometimes when I do something particularly brilliant or good. I give you your present, and you open it, and you like the diamonds. You are very thankful, and you smile at me even more. I tell you that I... care for you," Sherlock stumbles over the last words.
"We return to Baker Street, and I kiss you when we get inside. You kiss me back. We take off our clothes, and... Well, it is very frustrating to attempt to create sensation out of pure conjecture, even though I've tested the approximated stimulation on myself, but you - touch me. And I touch you. You let me touch you... everywhere, however I want. I would like to taste every single inch of you, all over, several times. Just once wouldn't be enough - to be scientific I would need a large enough sample size. I would learn exactly which touches and where to make you sigh and moan and whimper and sigh and... I would want every sound you could make."
John pauses the video. There wasn't even anything particularly erotic about Sherlock's fantasy, but John - John's hard.
He saves the video and shuts his laptop, putting it to the side for now. Then he flops back on his bed, stares at the ceiling, and tries to think.
Sherlock is in love with him.
Sherlock Holmes is in love with John Watson.
...How does John feel about that?
John thinks his best friend is brilliant, and beautiful, and exasperating, and intolerable, and amazing. He can't imagine living with anyone else - leaving Sherlock behind for a white picket house and a wife and 2.5 kids. He wants... he wants to continue sharing a life with this crazy, genius madman - for as long as Sherlock will let him. And taking that video into account - well it sounds like Sherlock would let him have forever.
John takes a deep breath and sits up. He needs... he needs to talk to Sherlock about this. He's pretty sure he's not in love with his friend - but he could be. Very, very easily.
John stands up and walks down the seventeen stairs separating him from Sherlock.
"John! There you are! The dog-walker e-mailed me back. Your computer was missing, so I had to use my own. Most inconvenient. It was the pre-school teacher. I texted Lestrade," Sherlock tells him.
"Sherlock..." John says, and then trails off.
"Hmm?" Sherlock responds, splayed on the sofa - already falling into a post-case sulk.
"You're my best friend," John tells him. "The most important person in my life. I'm not going to leave you for anything or anyone - not if you don't want me to. Also, please don't derive your romantic advice from Mrs. Hudson's films. If I wake up to you watching me sleep, I am much more likely to punch you in the face than kiss you. Unless, of course, we fall asleep together - then I guess I would probably kiss you. The point is that stalking is more than A Bit Not Good."
Sherlock looks at him with wide eyes. It is obvious that John has shocked him. Those eyes quickly narrow - examining John meticulously.
"Your computer was out on the counter and open while you are gone. You've been upstairs for the past hour - sitting in bed, cross-legged, going by the wrinkles in your clothes. You stopped complaining about the fact that I talk to you when you are gone. You recorded the flat today using your webcam. You... saw," Sherlock concludes, something like panic lighting his features as he sits up on the sofa.
"And heard," John agrees. "I don't need diamonds, Sherlock. Just... say things like that a little more often, and I'll be there in no time."
"Oh," Sherlock replies.
They lapse into silence.
"There - as in, in love with me," his friend states, more than questions. He seems bemused, but no longer panicked.
John turns to the kitchen.
"Would you like some tea?" he asks, taking two mugs out before Sherlock even replies. "Also, the milk tastes better when I buy it because I don't leave it sitting out on the counter to spoil."
John smiles to himself as Sherlock picks up the violin and starts to play - yes, all his favorite pieces.
He's going to have to set the webcam to record Sherlock more often, if this is the result it gets.