Four Times John Watson Told Sherlock Holmes He Loved Him (And One Time Sherlock Holmes Said It Back).

I

The first time John Watson declared he was in love with his flatmate/best friend/lover was not, in anyway, a dramatic one, though it did start with a rather loud explosion. It didn't happen while they were getting shot at, or when their lives were in danger. They weren't even at a crime scene. They were in 221B Baker Street.

It was nearing dinner time, and Sherlock was pottering around in the kitchen, more than likely doing some kind of experiment. John was sitting in his usual chair, typing up a new blog entry on his laptop. Everything's actually relaxed for once, John mused.

BOOM.

I guess I spoke too soon...

The ex-Army doctor sighed, dragging his hand across his face as the entire flat shook. He shut the lid down on his laptop and set it aside. He stood slowly, dreading whatever he would find in the kitchen. He walked to the entrance of the room warily, heaving a sigh before finally walking into the kitchen...

...And bursting into hysterical laughter. Sherlock was standing in front of the - currently extremely charred - sink. He was covered from head to toe in some sort of thick, neon green goo. He must have swiped some off his face, however, to reveal his extraordinarily bemused expression.

"I don't see anything about this that's funny," Sherlock grumbled coldly as John continued to laugh.

"You look ridiculous!" John gasped out, doubling over slightly.

"Yes, I'm aware," Sherlock snapped in reply.

John finally composed himself, wiping away the tears that had accompanied his laughter as he straightened up. As he looked at his flatmate, his expression melted into a fond, slightly adoring smile.

"What?" Sherlock asked defensively.

"I love you," John announced with a grin.

(And though Sherlock didn't - couldn't - say it back this time, the searing kiss they shared made up for his lack of words (and the goo stains on John's favourite jumper).)

II

His second deceleration of love occurred only days after the first. They were running through the streets of London, both of them wearing huge grins as they chased after a criminal. After spending the better part of three days trying to find the man behind a string of murders, Sherlock had finally figured out the identity of the murderer and they had gone after him instantly, throwing a text Lestrade's way to let him know.

They turned a corner sharply, following after the culprit unthinkingly as he sprinted into an alleyway. Some part of John's mind was screaming at him to turn and run away, that this was dangerous, but the other part - the larger part - was delighting in the chase, Sherlock's enthusiasm rubbing off on him.

They sped down the deserted alley, their heavy footsteps echoing loudly in the silence. Taking quick, sharp breaths, John tossed Sherlock an exhilarated grin and received one in return. They barrelled around another corner before skidding to a stop, their grins simultaneously dropping from their faces.

They were facing a tall - tall enough that it would be impossible to climb - brick wall. A dead end. There was no other way in or out of the alley than the way they had come.

But there was no sign of the murderer.

"Where-?" John began.

He was cut off abruptly when Sherlock shoved him suddenly, causing both of them to fall to the ground in a mess of limbs. Before he could ask what the hell was going on, a gunshot echoed in the alleyway. John's eyes widened in understanding, and then fear as he realised they were being shot at.

The pair of them scrambled backwards, hiding behind a few bins as the man they had been chasing continued to shoot. Sherlock was hissing out breaths and John turned to face him, eyes wild. He instantly zeroed in on the shallow wound on Sherlock's shoulder that was bleeding freely.

A hot flash of anger surged through John as a single thought eclipsed everything else in his mind: Someone's hurt my Sherlock. He was about to lunge out from behind the bin and charge at the man shooting at them, but Sherlock's hand on his arm stopped him.

"John, I'm fine," he ground out, even as he winced in pain.

"You are not fine," John snapped, eyes flashing furiously. "He shot you, Sherlock."

"It's just a flesh wound," Sherlock insisted, surveying said wound intently. "It only grazed my arm."

"You don't understand!" John snarled. "He hurt you, Sherlock. He hurt you and I didn't protect you and you're bleeding and-"

"This is not your fault," Sherlock interrupted firmly. "We didn't even entertain the idea that he would have a gun, though it should have been obvious, looking back on it."

John closed his eyes and huffed out a breath before leaning forward and pressing his forehead to Sherlock's.

"I'm fine," the dark haired man repeated, letting his hand trail down and tangling his fingers with John's.

"I can't loose you, Sherlock," he muttered. Some part of him was aware he was being dramatic - it really was just a flesh wound - but this was Sherlock. "...I love you, so, so much," he sighed.

"John, I-"

Whatever Sherlock was going to say was cut off, however, as the sound of three sets of feet storming down the alley filled their ears and Lestrade and two other officers came around the corner.

(And there are many more whispers of 'love you' and 'God I love you so much' in between kisses and when their bodies are moving together, but those don't count because his words are swallowed by Sherlock's kisses and Sherlock's body and overwhelmed by his moans.)

III

They were at a crime scene together the next time the words fell from his lips, even though they weren't directed at Sherlock himself.

Sherlock was hovering around a body, speaking rapidly as he let them all catch a glimpse of his brilliance. John was grinning widely, stupidly proud of his partner as he finished his explanation in how he knew the victim had gone to a Starbucks before work - small coffee stain on her sleeve, apparently - before going outside to smoke a cigarette - residual ash on her fingers - and getting killed. John opened his mouth to compliment him yet again when Sally Donovan cut across him.

"Freak," she muttered, snorting loudly.

Sherlock stiffened, straightening abruptly as he pressed his lips into a thin line. His eyes darkened, almost changing shade in the way John typically loved, though this time it only caused a surge of protectiveness as he saw the carefully hidden hurt in his eyes.

His hands clenched into fists and he dug his fingernails into his palms, chanting,You can't hit a woman you can't hit a woman can't hit a woman can't can'tcan'tcan't.

He'd opened his mouth and words were falling unbidden from his lips and he let them, his anger and irritation speaking for him.

"You know what Sally? I've had enough of you calling Sherlock a freak. He is definitely not a freak. He happens to be a great man who's mind is too brilliant for most everyone else's to keep up with. And honestly? You seem a touch obsessed with him and it's doing my fucking head in." Everyone was staring at him, mouths agape as he continued on. "There is nothing wrong with Sherlock, all right? Okay, he's a bit rough around the edges, but that's because people like you keep on insulting him when all he does is try to help you out.

"Sherlock Holmes has problems with personal space and dealing with social situations, is a a bit of a dick and sometimes extremely annoying. But you know what? So are lots of people. And I'm fed up of you taking the piss out of him for qualities that thousands of people possess."

John inhaled deeply, glowering furiously at the room at the large now. "Because that man you like calling a freak? I'm in love with him, and I wouldn't change a single fucking thing about him."

(And even though John was horrendously embarrassed after he had calmed down and started stuttering and blushing to himself, the happy, if somewhat stunned, look on Sherlock's face made up for it.)

IV

It was only two hours later when John said it for the fourth time. They had returned to their flat about half an hour before and they were lying in their bed, spent and exhausted. Sherlock had curled himself into an impossibly small ball, his head nestled in the crook of John's neck.

John threaded his fingers idly through Sherlock's curls, dropping a light kiss on the other man's forehead as he did so. Sherlock sighed, his breath tickling John's neck lightly.

"Thank you," he murmured softly.

"You're quite welcome," John replied before pausing. "Though I have to ask, what are you thanking me for?"

Sherlock pulled back slightly and wriggled up the bed, so his eyes were directly in line with John's. John removed his hand reluctantly from the man's hair, instead letting it trail down to cup his cheek. He stroked his thumb across Sherlock's cheekbone, a soft smile on his face.

"For earlier," Sherlock mumbled in reply, leaning into John's touch. "With Sally."

John's thumb stilled briefly before he continued the motion, his smile becoming a little more strained. He didn't regret announcing his feelings to everyone in the room - he wasn't ashamed of how he felt for Sherlock - but Sherlock was still not saying it back to him, and it made him feel insecure.

Sherlock seemed to pick up on this instantly, however, and pulled John in for a blistering kiss. Their lips moved together, perfectly in sync as their hands started to roam over each other's bodies. John moaned throatily as Sherlock's tongue flicked out and brushed over his lower lip, pleading for entrance. John's mouth opened willingly, for once completely content to let Sherlock dominate him.

His partner's tongue massaged his own before beginning to map out the inside of his mouth. John let out a quiet whimper as Sherlock rolled them over so John was lying on his back, his hands once again tangled in Sherlock's curls.

When Sherlock eventually pulled away to breath, he turned his attention to John's neck, littering it with kisses and nipping on the sensitive skin just below his ear.

"God, Sherlock, I love you," he gasped.

(The sex that followed assured John completely that Sherlock definitely felt the same way.)

And the One Time Sherlock Said It Back

Sherlock wasn't good with emotions. John knew that. It had taken him a good year to admit that he felt something romantic towards John. It had never really bothered him all that much, since typically the way Sherlock acted betrayed his emotions anyway, if you knew the man well enough to read him.

And John did. John knew Sherlock inside out by this point. He knew what made him tick, knew what every tiny change of expression meant. John could read Sherlock easier than Sherlock could read everyone else.

But lately, that hadn't been the case.

Sherlock had closed up, suddenly and without any warning. He had taken to avoiding John as much as possible, either by busying himself with a case or with a new experiment. John had no idea why - as far as he knew, everything had been going well between them - but it was deeply worrying for him.

John liked to think of himself of a confident man. He'd never really suffered from insecurities while growing up. But ever since he and Sherlock had gotten together, he was almost always worrying in the back of his mind that Sherlock was going to realise that John was just like everyone else and that he was going to leave him.

So for Sherlock to start acting as if they were complete strangers, as if the past six months between them hadn't really happened, well, it was needless to say John was bracing himself for the seperation.

"Sherlock," John finally said one evening, staring down at the man he loved. "We need to talk."

"We are talking, John," Sherlock replied, his voice muffled, as he was facing away from John, sprawled out on the sofa with his back to him.

"You know that's not what I meant," he responded sharply. "You've been acting weird for a week now, and I want to know why."

No I don't I'm lying please don't leave me I love you.

Sherlock rolled over onto his other side, staring up at John. And all the breath went out of him because Sherlock looked so... vulnerable and raw. Sherlock sat up slowly, and then stood, pressing himself close to John.

"I'm sorry," the consulting detective muttered. "You know I don't deal well with my emotions and I didn't know how to handle it when I realised it and, well, I just panicked a bit, really."

Sherlock was rambling, thoughtlessly, and it was such an unSherlock thing to do that John didn't know how to react, so he just stood there and stared up at the dark haired man.

"Because I do, you know," Sherlock said. "Love you. I know you've been worried that I don't but-"

John laughed and shook his head, grabbing Sherlock by his curls and yanking him down for a kiss.

"I love you too, you insufferable man," he murmured against his lips and Sherlock smiled before proceeding to thoroughly snog the living daylights of his partner.

Fin.


Disclaimer: This version of Sherlock does not belong to me, that honour goes to the wonderful Moffat and Gatiss. The characters are not mine, just the plot and the words etc.

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