"Working on a case?"

Sherlock looked up at John from above steepled fingers. "Mmm," he mumbled, sliding his eyes back down to the three small piles of dirt on the floor before him.

John shook his head, smiling a little, and took off his coat. "Tell me about it?"

"I've been telling you about it for the last three hours, John, or haven't you been listening?" Sherlock didn't look up, instead licking a finger and lightly dipping it into the nearest dirt pile. He examined his finger with a look that said his action had been extremely illuminating.

John laughed. "I've been out. On a date, actually." He walked to the kitchen, humming a little under his breath.

He didn't notice Sherlock look up at him sharply as he tottered about, fixing himself a cuppa. "And how was this date?" Sherlock drawled, examining John closely.

"Good." John filled the kettle, still humming. "I think."

Sherlock leapt up from his spot on the floor and strode over to the kitchen, his long legs facilitating his almost-impossibly quick movements. John turned and watched, curiously, as Sherlock stared at him, taking in every little detail of John's evening.

"Hmm." Sherlock tapped his finger against his lip and looked up, meeting John's eyes. "The date was a disaster. I doubt she'll call you again; the fiasco with the wine was probably too embarrassing for her. That, and she wasn't terribly interested to start." He shrugged and scooped two dirty teacups from the sink, passing them to John. "Now you're out 60 quid with nothing to show for it. But she was a touch materialistic, anyway. Probably for the best that she won't remember you're a doctor."

John raised his eyebrows. "How-"

"Wine on your cuff," Sherlock sighed, "but there are also small droplets on your shirt front. That suggests the wine glass tipped towards you, and not away. Very unlikely you spilled it yourself, towardsyourself, and I don't think you'd have been so eager to help the waiter mop up that'd you'd ruin a good shirt and not notice."

His cuff wasstained, John noticed. Amazing.

"The stains are dry," Sherlock mused, enjoying himself now. "The indication is that the spill occurred early in the evening, probably at about the moment you'd be discussing your careers. She would have been flustered, barely listening...yes. That, coupled with the fact that you are home at half nine suggests that she didn't hear you say you were a doctor."

"And if she had known I was a doctor...?" John asked, turning his back to Sherlock so he could do the washing.

He could hear the disdain in Sherlock's voice as he answered: "Her perfume. I assume she hugged you at one point- probably before the meal, she wouldn't have done so after- and you positively reek of department store perfume. Not top shelf, but still nice enough that she thinks people will believe it was expensive. A girl like that can hardly resist the promise of money. Obviously, she would have been mistaken in your case, but it wouldn't have been unusual for her to imagine a wealthy Dr. Watson buying her expensive little gifts, I'm sure. She wouldn't have rejected you, then, if she'd been listening."

"Uh huh." John turned back towards him, toweling the cups slowly. "And you're sure she was uninterested?" He was smirking a little; the date had went well enough, in his opinion, and he was sure they'd go on another.

Sherlock pointed to his hems. "You walked to the restaurant."

John nodded.

"And you paid for dinner."


"Then took a cab home."


Sherlock shook his head. "Then why did you take your wallet out three times?" He stepped forward and traced small outlines on John's pocket, making John clear his throat a little uncomfortably. Sherlock didn't notice, but went on: "Freshly pressed trousers, so I can see where your wallet was sitting most of the evening," he traced the outline, "where it sat on your cab ride home," another trace, "and where it sits now." He stood straight and smiled. "It could have shifted, I suppose, but that seems unlikely. Those trousers are tailored a little too tightly, and the pockets are small. No, I suspect you paid first for dinner, then for her cab ride, then for your own."

John rubbed his chin. "And?"

"And," Sherlock said, looking positively gleeful, "the restaurant at which you ate was on a one way street. True or false?"

"True...how did you-"

"The wine, shh. Now, that means that while you could have shared a taxi, she insisted on taking her own. Why? Because," he said with a triumphant flourish, "she didn't want to give you the impression of being interested. Avoided the awkward 'come up for coffee' conversation entirely, as it were." He grinned.

John licked his lips. Perhaps he should have been upset...but it was always so fascinating to watch Sherlock's mind work, and the three glasses of wine he had at dinner were settling warmly in his blood. Sherlock seemed to lose interest in the topic immediately, vanishing back to the sitting room and flouncing down upon the sofa with a ho-hum sigh. Rather sleepy now, John put the kettle on (had he really been so distracted as to forget that?) and wandered into the sitting room as well, sitting slowly beside Sherlock, his eyelids drooping.

He clicked on the telly. Evening news. The sofa cushions, comfortably worn in, invited him to settle down lower, to close his eyes and drift a bit. The woman on the telly rambled in her soothing, even voice about international affairs. Sherlock shifted, jamming his foot into John's thigh...and without realizing he had done it, he dropped his hand down from his lap and settled it on Sherlock's calf, then let it drift down a bit so John could stroke his exposed ankle. It was the sort of casual touch he'd administered to various girlfriends and lovers, not sexual (not really)...but intimate.

Beside him, the clicking of Sherlock's fingers on the keys of John's (always John's, for some reason) laptop fell away. Even with the silence, it seemed a long time before John realized whySherlock had stopped working. He yanked his hand away like it had been on a hot stove and looked up at Sherlock, his heart racing.

The look on Sherlock's face was one John had never seen. His cheeks were pink and flush, his lower lip clenched between his teeth. It startled John to see how shallow Sherlock's breathing had become.

"I-I'm sor-" John began, but Sherlock interrupted him.

"I told you before," he said, breathless, "that I consider myself married to my work." There was an odd quality to his voice, a sharpness that seemed put-on, like a reproach for something that didn't warrant reproaching.

He wants me, John realized with astonishment. It frightened and excited him to discover that his body was reacting as much as it would if a beautiful woman wanted him: his trousers tightened, his heart rate increased, his senses heightened. He could feel every muscle in his body, all of them suddenly aching for- for Sherlock. Time seemed to slow down. "Have an affair, then," John suggested, his voice surprisingly husky.

The corners of Sherlock's mouth quirked up, just slightly. He looked so nervous, trembling all over, his teeth working over his bottom lip. He didn't say anything, but now even his neck was flushed pink, and John took that as some small form of encouragement. Carefully, he sat up and wedged his way between Sherlock's legs, not resting his full weight on him but not depriving himself of the warmth of Sherlock's groin against his own, either. Sherlock shifted down a bit, stretching his length across the couch so that John could come down on top of him- another small encouragement. Their faces were mere inches apart. John wanted to devour him, to consume him as quickly and roughly as he could manage, but that seemed wrong with Sherlock trembling beneath him, his pale eyes so wide and nervous. Instead, John kissed him carefully, not even daring to kiss him fully on the mouth but instead kissing one corner of his lips, then the other. Sherlock stayed entirely still, his hands at his sides, panting.

"Say something, dosomething, please," John whispered, his lips on Sherlock's ear. "Don't make me feel like this isn't something you want."

Sherlock kept his hands at his side, as though he didn't dare touch John, but he turned his head and pressed his lips to John's so carefully it was as though he was worried he would break him. "I don't know how to do this," he admitted, very softly.

John's throat felt oddly tight. He should have known, somehow, that Sherlock had never felt the weight of another person on his bones, but it still surprised him. More surprising was his body's reaction and the rush of delight and lust he felt at knowing that Sherlock had never let anyone this close to him before. He dipped his head down and kissed Sherlock fully then, his tongue sliding along his lips. Sherlock was still for awhile, but then he began kissing John back, timidly. John traced his lips down Sherlock's long neck, enjoying the smell of him, and flicked his tongue along Sherlock's collarbone. Sherlock made a small, gasping noise, his hips rising up slightly to meet John's.

Something about that made John crazy. He become less careful, less gentle, as his hands slid down Sherlock's chest and up under his shirt. He let his nails drag over Sherlock's ribs, let his teeth nip his neck, and Sherlock groaned, his hips bucking up again and again.

Very tenatively, Sherlock lifted one shaking hand and ran it through John's hair and down his cheek. John brought his mouth back to Sherlock's, kissing him with abandon now, their hips moving together, their warm gasping breaths mingled, and for one solitary second John worried he was going to come in his pants like a schoolboy.

Instead, the kettle went off. The pair flew apart as if by some supernatural force, John instantly lunging for his gun and Sherlock observing every inch of the room in seconds. They realized the source of the noise almost simultaneously, and John couldn't help but laugh. At first Sherlock looked wounded- and John could see why. Sherlock must have felt ridiculous in that moment, his hair wild, face flush, lips swollen and red, clothes rumpled. But he didn't look ridiculous. He looked incredible. A few seconds after John had, however, Sherlock finally saw the humor in the situation and smiled at John, straightening his collar.

No need for that, John thought, but he said: "I'll just get that, then," and gave a little half-jog to the kitchen. As he moved the kettle to a different burner, Sherlock's mobile beeped. John glanced down at his trousers and frowned as Sherlock called out: "Homeless network! I've got some illegal explosives to procure; don't wait up!" The front door clanged shut moments later, and John sighed and poured himself a cup of tea.