I am really sorry this took so long, I was rather caught up with university work, and I was pretty sick for a few weeks, ended up in hospital and everything.
This chapter is shorter than the last one, sorry. And it's going to be a bit rough, because I couldn't go over it completely. So I'm sorry for any mistakes.
I'll check it tomorrow. But I thought you might at least like this posted for you to read.
Sherlock's eyes stayed mostly attached to his phone screen through most of the next lesson, and for most of their walk to where Molly parked her car, a street over from the school. John didn't mind it, he didn't really have much to talk about anyway and he was surprised but just how comfortable he actually felt just walking beside Sherlock not speaking. He glanced at the taller teen a few times and almost every time he was looking at his screen, thumbs tapping incredibly quickly at the little keys. He didn't seem to even notice John looking.
"This is it." He said loudly as they reached Molly's car, and even though he didn't look up Sherlock seemed to hear him because he stopped beside him and continued typing. John leaned back against the boot of the car and rested his bag beside him. Molly wouldn't mind, he did it all the time. Molly's car was in pretty good condition, it was only a few years old and the nice blue paint had only a few scratches none of which were there by any fault of Molly's.
"Where are we going?" Sherlock asked without looking at John.
"To get chips, remember." The look John received from that comment was a lot less than friendly.
"I'm not an imbecile John, I do recall Molly inviting us to get chips a little over an hour ago." He looked like he wanted to continue but he caught himself and cleared his throat, doing his best to remove the frown from his face. "I think you misunderstood my question, I didn't mean what are we doing, I want to know where we are going, what shop?"
"Oh, probably the one a couple of streets from my house, the chips are great and it makes it easier when Molly's driving me home, less distance to drive."
"Is it the closest to your house in the area?" Eyes back on his phone screen.
"Yeah, I don't know the full address, but I can give you the street name if you'd like?"
"No, I don't need it, I've already figured out the one you're talking about." He tapped for another few seconds and slid his phone into a pocket inside his coat before his hands moved to slide inside the pockets on his pants. "Why are we going to get chips?"
"What's the purpose, why are we going out and getting lunch? Is there an occasion, do we need to discuss something important, are we meeting somebody?"
John raised his eyebrows and leaned his elbows back to support his weight better. "We're going to get chips because that's what mates do, they hang out and get lunch. We're friends, so we are going to get chips, hang out, chat and have some fun."
"It bothers you," Sherlock stated abruptly, keeping their eyes locked, "It bothers you that I don't know something so simple and normal."
John shook his head. "No, it doesn't bother me that you don't know because it's not your fault; it's the reason why you don't know that bothers me."
"What doesn't Sherlock know?"
John pushed off the car and smiled at Molly as she approached the car. "Don't worry, it doesn't matter." His eyes flashed to Sherlock and then he grinned at Molly. "Just something about the football Sherlock didn't know, it's a bit of a guy thing." Molly laughed and unlocked the car, walking to get in the driver's seat.
"Do you want the front seat?" He offered Sherlock, standing back a little so he could choose where he sat. He simply shook his head and climbed into the back seat. John shrugged and got in the front seat. "Alright, let's go get some food, I'm starving."
Lunch went pretty well, John thought. Sherlock stayed pretty quiet for most of the afternoon, leaving a majority of the talking to Molly and John, but more towards the end of the afternoon he joined in the conversation a little, small comments or observations joining in the discussion in his usual quiet voice. John was glad to see he was trying to join in a little, but he was worried that he hadn't enjoyed himself much. He hardly touched the chips, just picked at them and only ate a few. He didn't complain though, and stayed for the entire afternoon.
Molly asked if he needed a lift home when they were ready to leave, and after hearing that he needed to wait for a bit and then his driver would come John said he could come back and wait at his house until he could go home. He didn't really want Sherlock there while Harry was there, but he wasn't going to leave him alone at the shop to wait to get picked up. That wouldn't be fair, and he knew Anderson and his group sometimes came here.
"Want something to drink?" John asked as he let them into the house and walked straight through to the kitchen to get himself something.
"No thank you."
He poured himself a glass of water and led Sherlock out of the kitchen. He glanced into the living room where he could hear the television playing. Harry was on the couch, glass in hand, it looked like coke but he knew there was probably rum in there with it. "Harry, I have a friend here, we're going up to my room. Please leave us alone and don't annoy us. "
He quickly closed the door and cut off whatever she was going to say. "My rooms upstairs, I hope you don't mind waiting up there. Believe me; it's better than sitting in a room with her while you wait." He rolled his eyes and headed towards the stairs. He was still in a lot of pain, and had to lean on the bannister the whole way up. Sherlock didn't complain about the slow pace or say anything about it, and John gave him a grateful glance before going down the hall to his bedroom.
John was a pretty neat kind of person, his bed was made, everything tucked in pretty neatly, his floor was clear except for two small book piles, one by his bed and one by the small couch that was across the room from his door. The foot of his bed was directly left when you walked in the door, and the desk was against the left wall, in front of the window and beside the bed, his laptop sitting on top of it open but with a blank screen. He placed his bag at the foot of his bed and walked over to the desk to plug in his laptop and put down his glass of water.
Sherlock, after a moment of hesitation walked across the room and sat carefully on the couch; his bag pulled off his shoulder and sat next to him. "It's a bit small, but I don't really need more room than this anyway." John said as he hung his coat on the back of the door. He kicked his shoes off and lined them up next to his bag at the end of the bed, untucking his shirt under his sweater as he did so.
"You're very neat, you're almost obsessive about it." Sherlock observed quietly, almost to himself.
"How do you know I didn't just clean my room yesterday or something? I could actually be just as messy as any other teenager."
"There's almost no dust in here, so you clean regularly, everything is organised and the bed was made today, unless you slept elsewhere last night, though judging by your injuries that seems unlikely. Your bookshelf is extremely organised, different genre each shelf, then organised alphabetically by Author, then by series then by book." His lips twitched and he folded his hands on his lap. "Do you need to hear more?"
John chuckled and shook his head, waving a hand at Sherlock to make sure he didn't continue. "Alright, you got me; I'm a bit of a neat freak. Just in my room. It's not so bad with the rest of the house but this is like… my personal space, I like it to be organised and constant. Otherwise it wouldn't be a place to relax."
He slid onto his bed and crossed his legs, shifting back so he could lean against the wall and look at Sherlock who was across the small room. "You know you're not too bad Sherlock, you're a bit rude sometimes I'll admit, and there's no point in denying that you're a bit different, but it's cool. You're a good guy; you just seem to have yourself stuck in a place that's not too good."
"You mean disliked by every student and almost every teacher in the school?" No emotion behind the words, just a statement of fact. He accepted it, took it as it was and couldn't see it being any different. It made John want to hit someone, anyone, whoever had let him think like he did.
"You're not disliked by every student," he countered, "I like you, and Molly does too."
Sherlock still seemed unsure, there wasn't full trust in those blue eyes of his, there was instead a sliver of doubt, it was small and almost went un-noticed, but John was pretty observant. He leaned forward and leaned against his knees. "You don't entirely believe me do you?"
Sherlock didn't answer him, and didn't continue looking at John's face. He turned his attention to his lap, where his fingers were tapping some pattern that was probably the tune for a song or something. "It's not exactly that I don't believe you, you seem quite believable, you've given me no reason to doubt you, and I didn't observe any signs of you lying when you spoke." He peered up at John and it was clear that he was uncomfortable. "I just don't understand it."
John chuckled and grinned. "You can't understand everything Sherlock, no matter how hard you try. Some things you just need to accept as they are. I like you, I want to be your friend, Molly likes you and wants to be your friend too. There's not much more to it than that, try not to over think it because then you'll start to doubt it."
"Tell me why."
"Why what, you need to be specific."
"Why do you wish to be my friend?"
John pulled his knees up and wrapped his arms around them, resting his chin on his left knee. "I don't know, that's not really the kind of question people ask, it's hard to answer. Does it really matter?"
"I'd like to know." He slid off his shoes and pulled his feet up too, mimicking the way John was sitting, hugging his knees.
"Well I don't know. I thought I was pretty cool with my old mates you know, thought they were alright and I'll admit I was pretty chuffed with being popular, but then I find out that my mates are being dicks behind my back." He sighed and shrugged as best as he could with his arms still wrapped around his legs. "And then you come along, and even after I stood there and let them hit you, you were still pretty damn nice. And I know we didn't really speak until after I stopped them that second time, but I still let it happen the first time, any other person would have still hated me."
"So you want to be my friend because I didn't hold a grudge?"
"No that's not what I mean, you're just a good guy. You're different, you seem to have no understanding of what it's like to have friends or how to act in a social situation, but that doesn't bother me at all, if I'm going to be honest it actually makes me a bit sad. And angry," The noise from the television was floating up the stairs, Harry was watching some music channel, and John almost laughed at the fact that they were having a serious discussion with pop music in the background. They both ignored it though, and stared at each other from across the room.
"It doesn't make me angry at you though. I'm angry at whoever made you how you are. You shouldn't have to be confused by things like this, it's… it's not right."
Sherlock looked away and studied a poster hung up on John's wall. "I can't really explain it, but I like you, and I want to be your friend."
"I don't have friends." Sherlock said without looking at him, and then added even quieter, "I never have, and I don't know how to."
John jumped as the bedroom door opened to his right and Harry stepped in, eyes moving from John, to Sherlock who was still sitting in the same position as him. "Hey we met yesterday yeah?"
"Yes we did."
"It's Sherlock isn't it?" he nodded and she smiled, pleased with herself. "Yes, the gay one."
"Harry!" John snapped furiously. Sherlock's expression hardly changed but for a small twitch at the corner of his lips as he resisted a smile. John didn't care that he was amused by it, it was still rude, and he knew she'd been drinking. "Shut up, get out of my room, and leave my friend alone."
"Hey no offense intended." She held up her hands defensively before one of them moved to grab the doorhandle and swing the door back and forth a little. "And its true isn't it?"
Sherlock slid his feet from the couch and stood, hands slipping into his pockets while his blue/grey eyes scanned Harry's face with a devious glint. All John could think of was the time when he was a kid and saw the neighbour's cat playing with a little mouse it had caught. "I don't know, is it true? You seem to think so, perhaps it's my hair, or maybe the fact that I use skin products, yes I know you noticed. Hmm, and the school uniform you think it's weird I have it tailored to fit perfectly, the way I hold my phone and also the way I held my coffee cup yesterday, seemed a little gay to you didn't it." He smiled pleasantly. "Or perhaps you're convinced because you flirted with me and I didn't flirt back, and of course let's not forget that you think only a gay kid would choose to look away when you're fondling your breasts in front of him." Sherlock smiled and shrugged. "I of course noticed the little game you were playing, so now you need to consider if I was just playing along to make you think I was gay."
Harry stared at him, blinked a few times and then smiled. "Oh you're good."
Sherlock smiled and nodded. "I am."
"You're still gay though."
"That's it." John yelled, getting up from the bed. "Get out, go away, leave Sherlock alone and go downstairs. Go out. Go sleep. I don't care what you do just get out of my bedroom."
She rolled her eyes but allowed him to push her out of the room. "There's a black car out the front." She called a she stumbled across the hall and leant on the wall. John slammed the door and leaned against it when he turned around to face Sherlock.
"I think your ride is here."
"Yes I believe so." He began collecting his things, not moving like he was in any real rush. "Thank you for today it was quite… enjoyable."
"It's no problem, it was fun." John walked downstairs with Sherlock, ignoring the other teen's comments that it would be easier for him to stay upstairs so he wouldn't have to walk back up again.
John was just opening the front door when Harry called from the living room to tell him someone was waiting in the kitchen for them. John glanced sideways at Sherlock and was surprised to see he looked annoyed, almost angry. "Do you know who it is?" He asked quietly.
He didn't answer, and just led the way into the kitchen. There was a man standing by the counter, he looked to be in his twenties and was wearing a nice suit, an umbrella swinging in one hand. Sherlock stood by the door and stared at the ground, though John had no idea why. "What are you doing here Mycroft? Get out, now."
"Come now brother, that's no way to great me. And so rude in anothers house, did you not listen to anything Mummy taught you?"
John frowned and looked between them. "This is your brother?" John smiled hesitantly and offered his hand to Mycroft. "Uh Hey, I'm John."
"Yes, I know who you are." He replied, looking at the offered hand but not taking it. "Sherlock I think it's time we should be leaving. I must say I was quite worried when I heard where you were." He looked around him studying the kitchen, and John didn't know if he should feel offended or self-conscious.
"What's that supposed to mean?" He demanded, crossing his arms across his chest.
"My you are brave," He smirked, "It means I'm concerned for my brothers well-being while he is spending time with you. Single father who barely lives in the house, a sister who spends all her time partying and fighting with her girlfriend, and then there is you. You have good grades, but nothing impressive, you don't keep the best company, and I'd know you'd been in a fight without even looking at you."
"Stop it Mycroft, it's none of your business who I spend time with."
"It is Sherlock. You need to understand John Watson, I'm sure you are a halfway decent boy, but Sherlock is my brother, and he doesn't know what's best for him. I care only what's best for him, and I don't believe that is you. I believe it would be best if you two…. ceased your little friendship now."
John stared open mouthed at the taller Holmes brother and felt anger bubbling inside him. Sherlock still stared at the floor and began to argue but John held up his hand and cut him off, eyes on Mycroft. "Excuse me, but who do you think you are? To come into my house, insult me and tell me that I have to stop being friends with your brother?" He took a step towards the man and glared.
"Do you know who I am John Watson? What kind of power have?"
"I don't give a rats arse who you are!" He yelled angrily. "You're a bloody bastard that's what I know. And you should do your damn research before you come here and say stuff like that, and maybe play a little more bloody attention to your brother. Maybe if you did you'd know I got in a fight defending him from idiots who wanted to beat the crap out of him. Again!"
John was a little satisfied by the surprise that flickered through Mycroft's eyes, which flickered to Sherlock. "You claim you only want what's best for him, but you've not even noticed the fact that he's been getting beaten up every week?" He turned to Sherlock and grabbed his arm, gently, and pulled him over from where he was hiding.
He brushed his curls from his face, and very gently tilted his face up with two fingers under his chin. Sherlock seemed uncomfortable but didn't stop him. With his face tilted up Mycroft got a full view of the bruising around his eye. "I wonder, did you even know that he had no friends? And then you have the nerve to come in here and tell him that the only friend he does have isn't good enough?" John snorted and shook his head. "You are a fool, and I don't care how much bloody power you have, I'm not going to stop being friends with Sherlock because you 'think' you know what's best for him."
He moved his hand from Sherlock's chin and patted him on the arm. "I'd appreciate it if you left now."
There was an awkward moment where John thought Mycroft wasn't going to leave. He stared at Sherlock's face for a moment and then strode past them. "I apologise." He mumbled as he walked out the door. John waited until he heard the front door close and then let go of Sherlock and leant against the counter and exhaled, his breath shaky.
"Jesus, your brother is intimidating." He muttered eyes on Sherlock. "I'm ah… I'm sorry for telling him, about you being hit, it seems like you wanted to keep it to yourself."
Sherlock ran a hand through his hair, and John thought it looked like he was holding back tears. "You alright mate? I'm sorry if I did the wrong thing, but I meant it. I'm not going to just stop being your friend because he says so. You're worth more than he seems to believe."
"It's fine." He muttered, leaning against the wall. He seemed unsure of what to say or do, he glanced at the door like he thought he should follow his brother, but it seemed like he didn't really want to do it. "I can't believe you just stood up to my brother like that. Nobody does. He has a lot of power in high places."
"I really don't care mate; he shouldn't have done what he did."
Sherlock eyes John, studied him, and looked at his face and his general appearance. There was something in his eyes but John couldn't place what it was. "You are something else John Watson." He murmured. "I believe I should go now, I have homework, and places I need to be."
"Alright, you going to sit with me and Molly tomorrow?"
"Yes, I'd like that." John walked him to the door and waited while he picked up his bag. He lifted a hand and awkwardly patted John's arm, like he didn't know what else to do to show his appreciation.
John rolled his eyes and pulled him in for a quick hug, squeezing him and patting him on the back. Sherlock smiled at John when he pulled back. "Seemed like you might need a hug, after meeting your brother I doubt you get them all that often."
"That is correct."
"Well good thing I did it then. See you tomorrow Sherlock.
"I'll pick you up in the morning if you'd like."
"That'd be great."
"Also I was wondering… I need to practise my violin piece for my final exam… would you be willing to listen and, maybe give me feedback. I know you don't study music, but you seem to have an ear for it, and it appears the listener sometimes knows better than the composer." He cheeks turned a little pink and John laughed.
"Yeah no problem, I enjoyed listening to you before."
"Thankyou John." Sherlock gave him one last smile before he walked out the door and left in his brothers fancy car.
"Oh come on, that was so gay, you can't tell me that wasn't a little gay."
John turned to glare at his sister and crossed his arms. She had been leaning out of their sight watching the exchange. "What Harry, you're not making sense."
"He just invited you to privately listen to him play music, that's extremely gay. And the way he acted when you hugged him, blushed and everything."
"Did you meet his brother? He probably hasn't had a hug in bloody years the poor bastard."
He walked past her and she followed, eyeing him suspiciously, hands in her pockets. "And what about you, are you gay John?"
John spluttered and blushed, giving her a look. "What, when have I ever given you that impression?"
"Since you started hanging out with that Sherlock kid, though I'll admit I thought it before. You never bring girls home, and I hardly ever see you showing any interest them, that's not normal for a teenage boy John. You're probably not gay and don't know it."
John sighed in frustration and flicked on the kettle. "Do you think everyone is gay Harry?"
"No, just the people who act like it."
He dropped a tea bag into a mug, and leaned against the bench, silently willing the kettle to boil a little faster. John had never really gone out of his way to actually consider his sexuality. He liked girls, they were beautiful and sexy, and he knew he was attracted to them, so he definitely wasn't gay. "I'm not gay, I find girls attractive." But… he was surprised to find himself considering what it might be like to kiss another guy. Was he supposed to think it sounded gross? It seemed like it would be much the same as kissing a girl. Was there really a difference?
Harry laughed and patted him on the head affectionately, leaning beside him. Their arms touched, and neither of them moved. She seemed happy that he allowed the contact. He was usually pretty quick to walk away or tell her to get lost. "That doesn't mean you're straight, it just means you aren't gay."
"Well I don't know, I've never kissed a bloke have I. And I've never thought about either." Harry's expression implied she knew something he didn't, but she didn't push the subject. She wrapped an arm around his shoulder and he didn't pull away, just rested his head on her shoulder. He'd regret it he knew. He shouldn't allow her to do this, show him little bits of love when she was mostly sober, it only made it worse when she got drunk again and just didn't care. But after everything that had been going on recently it was nice to have his older sister actually acting like an older sister.
"You know I'm proud of you John." She hugged him properly and he hesitantly wrapped his arms around her waist. "Life's not fair to you, dad isn't fair to you… and neither am I. I'm glad to see you trying to help this Sherlock kid. He seems a little messed up. You're a good guy to be his friend and help him. I heard you tell off his brother. That was brave. And you didn't have to do it."
Though John didn't want to admit it he had missed Harry's hugs. He really hadn't got them too much since their mother had died, so he let her hold him until the kettle boiled. He silently made them both a drink and he followed her back to the living room. They curled up together on the couch under a blank and watched crappy tv for the hour before John had before he had to get online and chat to Lament. He mentally scolded himself for doing it, for being friendly with Harry like this and letting himself hope for more of this. He was setting himself up for disappointment, and his heart ached a little at the thought. But he decided some time like this was better than none. They laughed at the stupid people on the shows and chatted, not about anything too important. Harry wanted to know about the stuff going on with Sherlock, so John filled her in properly on the situation.
When it finally reached six he reluctantly left the warmth of the blanket and the comfort of Harry's shoulder of his arm. But when he sat down and started typing he had a smile on his face, and though it would only be bad again tomorrow he was glad for the little amount of time he got with his sister today.
Sorry it's not a lot guys, I'm already working on the next chapter though. I promise to try and post more regular now.