For about the eleventh time in five hours, (he knew because he'd counted, it couldn't be avoided) John sighed. These were not your average, run-of-the-mill quiet, introspective sighs. They were very obvious, soul-lamenting sighs that absolutely grated on Sherlock's nerves, and he swore he was going to smash the mirror over the fireplace if he heard another one. This time, the sigh was accompanied by a maudlin, purposeful stare out the window. Previous sigh-associated activities had ranged from a half-hearted sorting of mail, a forlorn stirring of tea, and three times a check of his cell phone: no calls. Or texts. Scratch that – four times.

Sherlock glared at John over the lip of his John's laptop. For God's sake.

Deciding that his flatmate had finally put him in a mood, he grumpily got up, grabbed the remote, and viciously jabbed the power button. Crap telly. That usually helped. He dropped the remote onto the coffee table with a clatter, spun back around, glared once more at John, and threw himself back into the chair at his desk.

John blinked first at him and then the telly.

A young, perky news reporter with bouncy blonde curls was chirping away in an equally perky voice, informing them that unless you'd already gotten a head start on reservations you were out of luck as "thousands are taking to the streets tonight, with sweethearts in tow, as London gets swept off its feet for Valentine's Day."

Sherlock's head snapped up.

John's shoulders slumped. "If you need me," he said in a voice thick with affected despair, "I'll be hanging myself upstairs."

Sherlock cocked his head, staring at John with a pinched expression across his face, and listened to the doleful sound of his socked feet shuffling down the hall, creaking up the thirteen steps to his room, and the soft snick of his bedroom door.

"Don't use my sheets!" he bellowed, then paused. "Or my nylon rope!"

Sherlock rolled his eyes and groaned. Good Lord, that man was the soppiest thing to ever sop. Ever. Is that what he'd been mooning about all day? Because it was Valentine's Day? The single worst "holiday" ever conceived and one that, had Sherlock even bothered to care, set his teeth on edge the minute the city's storefronts devolved into horrifically romantic displays, and slowly turning London into a red and pink nightmare.

Disgusting.

Above, John's bed made a loud groan, no doubt as John The Relationship Martyr hurled himself upon it. To be fair, he did get points for flair, despite his being tremendously annoying.

Sherlock drummed his long fingers against the desktop, and pursed his lips. Irritating though he was, he had to admit that John's mood affected his own, and he never could stand to see John… moping. He shook his shoulders and made a face as if he'd just swallowed soap.

He pushed away from his desk, resigned to his fate. There was nothing for it.

With a twirl of his robe, he swept into his bedroom, and quickly changed. Next, he went to the kitchen and rooted around at the back of that one cabinet for his emergency stash of sweets that John didn't know about. And lastly, he jumped up onto the counter top, struck a match, and held it up to the smoke alarm. He winced, only slightly, as the high-pitched beeping rang out too close to his ears, and jumped back down with a loud thud.

John's thunderous footsteps and furious cursing preceded him, and Sherlock held out his hand, feigning indifference.

"For God's sake, Sherlock, what could you possibly have gotten up to in the two minutes I've been gone, I swear, it's like living with an overgrown five year—" He stopped, mid-tirade, and stared.

In Sherlock's open palm, lay a large chocolate orange, wrapped brightly in foil paper.

"I'm hungry, John. We're going out now, otherwise I won't eat for probably another two days at least." He reached forward and picked up John's wrist, depositing the chocolate into his hand. John stared down at it without a word. Sherlock brushed past him, reaching for their coats.

"Angelo's. And hurry up before I change my mind."

John turned and looked at Sherlock with bright eyes, and Sherlock just managed to swallow his own irritated sigh. If John cried over this, he was going to slit his wrists.

"Dinner!" he barked.

John stuttered back to reality, and set the chocolate orange onto the table. "Dinner," he repeated. "Right. Although, we might not get in, considering." He looked at Sherlock, who smirked.

"You're funny sometimes, John." He pulled his favoured scarf around his neck and snorted. "As if Angelo would say no to me." He added, "And my date."

Sherlock pretended that John didn't blush and John sighed again, only this time with a great rush of breath, and an exaggerated fluttering of eyelashes. "You always know just what to say to make a bloke feel special."

"John, I will punch you in the face."

He laughed and zipped up his coat. "You can try."

For his troubles, Sherlock chased John down the stairs and into the city streets, chuckling and gasping, dodging highly offended couples waiting for cabs, past paper hearts behind windows hung with obnoxious red lights, and pink frilly things, right into the doorway of Angelo's trattoria.

And for once, John did not object to the candle.


A/N: Thanks for reading! Comments/con crit appreciated. :)