"Come on Sherlock. I just need a second opinion." John begged.
"A second opinion on what? What type of flowers to purchase? Which, by the way, is a terrible gift idea." Sherlock ranted. "Why anyone would believe a half dead plant would be the appropriate romantic gift for anyone is beyond me." He wheeled around, features exaggerated with mock enthusiasm. "Here darling!" he said, sticking an imaginary bouquet of flowers toward John, "Today, because it is customary in our nation, I have gone out and spent entirely too much on decaptitated plant heads! They'll wither and die, I'm sure, by tomorrow evening, as you probably have little idea of how to properly care for such a thing, and it may actually be far more representative of our superficial, pointless relationship... but look! They're purple! Your favorite color!"
John rolled his eyes, "It's not about the actual gift, it's the thought behind it."
"Convenient how the only time anyone is thoughtful enough to purchase a gift, it's because of some pre-planned holiday, smacked into a calender." Sherlock said with a scoff.
"Look, you don't have to go. I was only asking because you're... you know..." John trailed off, shrugging. "You're my friend and all."
Sherlock's jaw tightened. He'd never really considered the idea of a two-sided friendship with anyone. Not seriously, anyway. He'd been quite fond of John, but... Sherlock didn't speak, for once.
"Look, it's not as superficial as it sounds, you know?" John said, clearing his throat. "It's just taking a day out of the year to spend time with the people who mean the most to you. Everyone is always so busy... running about, work and pubs and gym and... I don't know." He shrugged his shoulders again, looking sheepishly to the floor. "Yeah, maybe it's written down on the calender. But that gives everyone an excuse, a real one, to drop the world for a bit and slow down."
"Whats so great about slowing down?" Sherlock asked.
John took a deep breath, giving a smile that didn't quite meet his eyes. "Hard to explain. Come with me anyway?"
Sherlock jutted out his jaw, looking up toward the ceiling indignantly. "Fine. I suppose if anyone is going to be able to... help choose a proper card or something, it'd be me." he replied finally. He didn't like to admit when John had good points. It made him feel... uncomfortable.
The shops were bustling. Sherlock hated the day time antics of shopping. Everyone always crowded in the aisles, impolite and hot-headed, as though he would want the last heart-shaped box of chocolates, for some reason. And the colors were truly dreadful. All the reds and pinks, all those blushing cherubs and the anatomically incorrect hearts. Sherlock pulled his coat around him tighter. Shopping for Valentine's Day was definitely not his area.
"How about this one? I don't want to be too romantic. I mean, you know, we've only just started dating." John asked, pulling out a card. A little ginger kitten was on the front, obviously caught in mid-meow. Sherlock exhaled deeply, shutting his eyes and clenching his jaw. "Perfect if your date is Molly Hooper, John." he muttered between his teeth.
John surveyed the card again. "Right. You're right. Of course you're right." he mumbled as he stuck it back into the holder. Sherlock quickly scanned over the selection, and within moments snatched one from the display. "This one." he said, handing it to John.
John looked it over. It was simple enough-red, with little hearts drawn like sketches all over it. In the center, it read "Dear Valentine..." On the inside, a simple, thoughtful note: "Thank you for being mine." Sherlock was eyeing it over his nose, jaw set and lips half-pursed. John nodded, the corners of his mouth turned down. He was impressed. Sherlock smiled halfway, letting it drop before John could see it. "Good choice." John said with a nod.
"Thank you." Sherlock replied.
John dragged him to a few more shops. It was Sherlock who, inevitably, would end up picking out the things that John would give to his newest ladyfriend. The mundane act of shopping, however, had given Sherlock time to think. Thinking was his specialty, after all.
John's night had been a disaster.
Valentine's day, he thought bitterly. Ha! "Maybe Sherlock was right." he muttered, his hands shoved into the pockets of his overcoat. The woman he'd been seeing, Samantha, had decided to call it an evening only moments after he'd arrived. He'd handed over the gifts he'd purchased, ready for a romantic dinner for two, and she canceled. "Sorry John. I've been feeling crap all week. I meant to call and tell you, but my mobile has been acting screwy." she said, sympathy written over her face. "I appreciate this though. Real sweet of you."
"Yeah... yeah. Of course. Are you sure you didn't want me to... I don't know, stick around? Could make you soup?" he tried, hopeful.
"Nah. Its a sweet thought, but I don't want you catching whatever I've got. I'll ring when I'm feeling better, yeah?" she replied.
"Yeah. Yeah, of course. Feel better, Samantha."
So it was back to 221B for him then. No romantic evening for two, no promise of after-dinner activites, nothing. Just him in a dirty flat with a mad flatmate who would probably be searching the skies for... oh who knows. He kicked the sidewalk, frowning. Happy bloody Valentine's day.
He shoved his key into the solid door and turned the lock. He wasn't even sure he wanted to see Sherlock. Surely he would smirk, in that knowing way he does, having figured out what had happened well before John had even entered the flat. He sighed as he walked up the first set of stairs. He considered continuing, without looking to find Sherlock, but couldn't resist. What would Sherlock Holmes, the most unromantic man in all of history, be doing on the single more romantic night of the year?
The answer surprised him.
Clear twinkle lights had been draped along the mirror above the fireplace, giving the room a soft yellow glow. That was the first thing that caught John's eye. The other thing was the lack of clutter around the flat. Every box, every piece of paper, every single thing seemed to have gone into hiding. The third, John noticed after a moment, was the stack of movies sitting beside the television. He moved in closer, noticing the titles of the films-all Bond movies. Eyebrows furrowed, he turned and looked to the kitchen. Even that had been tidied, a shocking revelation, considering how strongly Sherlock had defended it being his personal lab.
There, silhouetted by the light of the refridgerator, was the tall, lean frame of Sherlock. He had the bin beside him. He was dumping things from the fridge into the bin.
"Spring cleaning?" John asked.
Sherlock jumped, whirling around quite suddenly. For a moment, he looked similar to a deer caught in the headlights. "You've returned." he said dumbly, a quality John never thought Sherlock's voice could have.
"I have." John replied.
"Bit... earlier than I'd anticipated." Sherlock said, glancing down at the watch on his wrist.
"Change of plans. Whats all this then?" John asked, watching Sherlock set the bin aside and come toward him. Sherlock looked around the room, nodding. "It's erm..." he said, hands on his hips and eyebrow furrowed. "It's erm... well. It's... for you." he said finally. He bit his bottom lip, still looking around the room, almost confused by his own actions.
"For... me?" John asked.
Sherlock nodded. "Yes. Yes. For you. For, you know. Valentine's day." he said, his voice growing less confident with every word.
John forgot to close his mouth. It hung open in a half smile while he looked around the flat. "Really." he said, almost laughing. "For me?" He looked back to Sherlock and-he wouldn't have believed it had he not seen it for himself-he was blushing. Sherlock's eyes were drawn to the floor, his cheeks were becoming pinker by the moment. His jaw was clenched as he gave a short, quick nod.
"Sherlock this is... this is lovely." John said, smiling. Sherlock looked up then, half smiling. "So I've done well?" he asked.
"Well, yeah. This is brilliant but... I just don't understand... why?"
Sherlock shrugged, motioning for John to take a seat. John complied, waiting as Sherlock strode into the kitchen. He returned with a bottle of wine and two glasses. He set one down beside John and filled it halfway, then poured himself his own. "Why? Well. I had been considering your reasoning to celebrate Valentine's day. It's a noble one, certainly." Sherlock said, taking a sip from the glass. He set the bottle on the table. "When other people said it, it always seemed like a bit of an excuse, them justifying going out and doing shopping for no reason." He wasn't looking at John, he was staring at the wall.
"So..." John went on.
"So it had never really dawned on me that perhaps there was something to it. Valentine's day. I thought, if it's a day meant to be with someone you care for, then perhaps I should've... made some effort." he said, finally looking at John.
"Made some effort?"
"I wasn't going to go out and buy you a bouquet of roses. It wouldn't have meant enough. Well, I suppose in theory neither does my cleaning out the fridge of all the body parts-"
"You cleaned out the fridge?" John interrupted him.
Sherlock nodded, "Yes, but-"
"All of them? No more thumbs or eyes or severed heads in there?"
John covered his mouth, trying hard to cover the grin that had come to his lips. He hadn't expected the swell of adoration that had suddenly come over him. It was almost overwhelming, and just a touch alarming. Not many had completely changed their own characteristics for John. If he had to be honest with himself, no one had. He saw Sherlock standing there, sleeves of his purple shirt rolled up to his elbows and hair just slightly mussed, and he felt something strange. Unfamiliar. Well, perhaps not unfamiliar entirely...
"John? I'd appreciate it if you didn't laugh at my attempts. It's not as though I do this sort of thing regularly." Sherlock said hotly, taking another swig of his wine. He was becoming defensive-his hand was back on his hip and his body was tensing. John stood quickly, shaking his head. "No Sherlock, I'm not laughing, I'm not."
"No, not outwardly." Sherlock muttered into his now-empty glass. John shook his head. He had the overwhelming urge to grab Sherlock by the waist, to pull him in close, to kiss his-John stopped midthought, rehashing, reviewing, recapturing what his urges were asking him to do. He wanted to kiss Sherlock?
Sherlock poured himself another glass. "The point is, I thought-on the off-chance that your date didn't go as you had planned-"
"Okay, I may have already known. But I had nothing to do with it, I assure you. Honestly."
"What I was trying to say was that I just wanted to spend time with you, because you're the only person I actually care about, and I was patient enough to wait until tomorrow. Alright? Thats all." Sherlock explained quickly. He flopped into his chair and poured himself another glass, quickly throwing it down his throat.
John had made a decision.
It may have been one he might have regretted. He was throwing a lot of his character out the window, allowing it to shatter on the pavement outside. One giant leap of faith, come hell or high water, and he hoped that he wasn't about to make a fool of himself. "Sherlock, I'm going to do something. And it may be a bit strange, but... just... go with it." John said suddenly.
Sherlock's face blanched. He looked at John blankly, waiting.
John didn't give himself much time, not to think it through or try to go back on his own decision. He didn't want to give himself the opportunity. Not that time. That time, he decidedly planted himself in front of Sherlock. He stepped into the gap between Sherlock's long legs, dropping himself forward enough to catch himself on the back of the chair. Then, with Sherlock's confused face just inches before him, he reached forward and kissed Sherlock.
He could feel Sherlock tense beneath him. His body had gone completely rigid. John's heart was beating erractically, thrilled and bewildered by the sensation of kissing Sherlock Holmes. But the longer he kept his lips to Sherlock's, the warmer Sherlock became. His body was slowly relaxing, his shoulders slumping. The longer their kiss lasted, the more adept to the feeling John became, to the way Sherlock's lips felt against his own, the way they moved, the taste of his tongue. Tongue? John thought, realizing that they had moved past the simple lip-to-lip kiss. Sherlocks hand had come upward, cupping John's cheek. John had allowed himself to stroke the back of Sherlock's head, his fingers delighting in the feeling of Sherlock's curls.
John pulled his lips away, resting his forehead against Sherlock's. He hadn't expected that, no. He hadn't even considered thoroughly enjoying kissing Sherlock. But there he was, breathing heavier, wondering if Sherlock would be willing to give it another go.
"I erm." John mumbled.
Sherlock didn't let him say much more. He quickly seized John's mouth with his, covering it completely. His hands, those long slender fingers, were clamoring to grab hold of something. Anything. He seemed anxious, confused by the need to feel such intimacy. John leaned into Sherlock's body, freeing his hands enough to hold the back of Sherlock's head, his neck, pressing Sherlock's lips onto his even harder.
When they finally broke apart, it was only to begin the movie marathon Sherlock had planned. Seated on the floor, sitting side by side, Sherlock's fingers seemed antsy as they tickled John's open palm. Neither of them were entirely sure of what happened next, after all. Did that moment, the one that neither had planned, officialize everyones previous assumptions of them? Perhaps, but perhaps not. Perhaps, for that evening, they were simply enjoying each other's company in ways they had both secretly pined for. And maybe it would never leave that room, or that moment, but who really cared? For the first time, they were enjoying Valentine's Day.
"Happy Valentine's Day, John." Sherlock murmured, eyes transfixed on the television screen.
John smiled, picking up Sherlock's hand and kissing his palm. Sherlock looked at him, smiling a small half-smile. "You too, Sherlock." he said finally, "You too."