221B was quiet that day. Too quiet, entirely too quiet. John realized this while in his room, packing for the mini-holiday he'd planned for himself. Peace and quiet, just for the weekend. He smiled, nodding. It was going to be good, he knew it. He needed it. He deserved it.
The quiet still concerned him.
"Sherlock?" he called out. He didn't receive a reply. "Hey, Sherlock? Do you know where I put that white jumper? Is it down there?" he called down the stairs. When he still heard nothing, he plotted down the stairs, saying, "I know I had thrown it in the wash, but I'm almost positive I'd grabbed it out to pack up specifically." He made his way through the kitchen to the living room. "Sherlock?" he asked.
Sherlock was laying on the couch.
Sherlock knew exactly where John's white jumper was.
Sherlock was wearing it.
"Sherlock, what the hell…" John asked. Sherlock was there, his front curled up against the back of the couch. His arms were crossed, and his legs were drawn up tight. "Sherlock, why are you wearing my jumper?" John asked wearily. Sherlock's head turned, and he peered over his shoulder. "Because I was cold and it was warm. Scientifically, that gave me reason to accost it for personal use." he explained, then turned back to the couch.
"You hate my jumpers." John replied.
"I never said I'd wear it in public." Sherlock retorted arrogantly.
"Well can I have it back? I need to pack it."
"No." Sherlock said shortly.
John furrowed his eyebrows, stalking toward Sherlock. "Sherlock, I haven't got time for this. I need to be down at the station in a couple hours." he said. "Just… just give me my jumper."
"I'm using it, John. How incredibly rude of you."
"Sherlock, you're acting like a child. Give me my jumper."
Sherlock flung himself upright, throwing his long legs over the side of the couch and glowering at John. "I don't understand why you're even going on holiday. Now we have to halt all of our work because you're off to…to…" he waggled his fingers near his head, apparently trying to recall just where exactly John was going. John waited, almost amused at the sight of the worlds only consulting detective trying to recall his holiday destination. "I'm going to Dublin." John said finally.
"Besides which, what work? The whole reason I'm going this weekend is because we haven't got any cases." John defended himself.
"Perhaps not, but what happens if something comes up while you're away? What am I supposed to do then?" Sherlock said, standing.
"Sherlock, you're completely capable of handling a case while I'm gone. Besides, with your track record, you'll probably chuck any cases that come along anyway." John replied. He was getting irritated. All he wanted was to pack his white jumper, the one that was currently sitting on Sherlock's lean frame. They stared imploringly at one another, then Sherlock—teeth gritted—finally grabbed hold of the jumper and pulled it up off of him. He tossed it into John's face, then flopped back onto the couch.
Suddenly John had a thought. "Are you…" John trailed off, the realization striking him quite suddenly. Sherlock sighed heavily. "No John, I'm not moping."
"I didn't even…"
Sherlock looked over his shoulder at him, a familiar knowing expression across his face. John rolled his eyes, rolling his sweater up into a ball and turning on his heel. He had barely made it back to his room when Sherlock had appeared in the doorway. "I just can't imagine why you'd even want to go on holiday. They're so… dull." he said with a weary sigh.
"I just want to clear my head a bit. It's so muddled with blood and deductions and death."
"But those are the interesting bits, John."
John turned, looking to Sherlock. He was leaning against the frame, arms crossed over his chest, hip jutting out lazily. His face was serious—his icy eyes were staring hard at John—and the corners of his mouth were turned downward. "You're upset I'm going." John said. Not a question, a statement. Sherlock thought that no one could read him, but John had learned. He'd studied up, had memorized Sherlock's faces and body language. Sherlock quirked an eyebrow, looking out the window and squaring his jaw.
"Ah. The truth is revealed." John said, a semi-sarcastic smile on his lips. He turned back to his packing, nodding slowly. "Sherlock Holmes is moping." he mumbled.
"I am not moping, John."
"Ah, but you won't deny you're upset I'm going on holiday?" John asked, turning to face Sherlock once again. He too crossed his arms, mimicking Sherlock's jaunty pose.
"I just can't for the life of me think of why you're going. For an entire weekend, no less."
"Can't bear to be without me for that long?" John asked suddenly. He was smiling, eyebrows raised in amusement. Sherlock's eyes snapped to John's face. His lips pursed, as though he were nibbling on the inside of his cheeks. Then his eyes seemed to search the room, dropping to the floor, scanning each wall, temporarily crawling the ceiling… anywhere but John's face.
"No." Sherlock said after a long, drawn out silence. "No. I cannot."
John's eyebrows furrowed. His eyes squinted. He looked hard at Sherlock. Surely he hadn't just admitted to needing John. The man who always seemed to leave John behind… John closed his eyes momentarily. He shook his head. "You're joking."
Sherlock shook his head, still not meeting John's eyes. "It's no easier for me to admit, John. Can we skip the gloating bit?" he replied, his voice flat. John said nothing. He wasn't in the mood for gloating. "You know, there was a time when I could've gotten on just fine. Great, even. Perfect." Sherlock went on. "You've been here for, how long now—nearly a year." he shook his head, eyes traveling the room once again. "And now I question my ability to function for a lone weekend without your company." He huffed, exhaling loudly through his nose.
John couldn't stop staring. He couldn't believe his ears. He knew what it was like to need someone, always. He felt confident in his understanding—he'd long since admitted to himself that he needed Sherlock like he needed air. He'd even come to accept it. But to hear Sherlock, standing there in pyjama bottoms and a simple grey t-shirt, confessing such a thing…
John nodded then. He turned back to his suitcase, only half full, and began pulling his clothes from it. Sherlock's eyes focused on John suddenly. "You're unpacking." he said, entering the room finally. John nodded once again. "I am."
"You're not going then." Sherlock went on.
John shook his head this time. "I'm not going."
"You're not going. Why aren't you going?"
"Because it's crap idea anyway."
Sherlock furrowed his eyebrows, sitting upon John's unmade bed. "You shouldn't change your mind over my needs, John." he said. John shook his head again. "It's not about your needs, Sherlock." he told him. "Believe it or not, I have a mind of my own."
"I never said you didn't."
"No, I did." he replied curtly. He grabbed up the two shirts he'd folded neatly and carefully placed them back into his dresser. "I've been… going a bit mad I think. And maybe I should really still go on this holiday, but…" he shut the drawer, scratching at his eyebrow. "Truth is, I don't want to. Because, I'd thought maybe I was trying to get away from you." He leaned against the dresser, glancing out the window. Sherlock opened his mouth to speak, but John cut him off. "But then I realize that I'd want you to come along. "
"Truth is, I don't want to get away from you."
"Ever. I don't ever want to get away from you." he stood up straight then, crossing his arms over his chest. "This isn't normal for me, Sherlock. You have to understand that. These feelings, about you. They aren't…" he shook his head. "You're my best mate. And that's alright. But I don't know if I'm supposed to…" he sighed, pressing his lips together firmly.
Sherlock was speechless.
"So how about, instead of sitting up here in my room, feeling a bit overwhelmed, we go back downstairs and … I don't know. Find a case or something." John said finally, uncrossing his arms and heading for the door. He stood beside the door, holding the knob and staring at the floor.
Sherlock didn't object. He stood quite slowly and made his way from the room, watching as John shut the door behind himself. John didn't look up from the floor, making to walk past Sherlock quickly. His cheeks were turning red, he could feel the blood rushing to them in waves. He hadn't meant to admit all that. He hadn't quite admitted it to himself—his feelings outside of their friendship. He wasn't gay, per say . Just because he felt strongly about Sherlock didn't mean anything, right?
Before he could squeeze past, Sherlock grabbed him by the shoulder and turned him toward him.
Before he could squeeze past, Sherlock was pulling him in by gripping handfuls of his shirt.
Before he could squeeze past, Sherlock was kissing him. Right on the mouth.
John froze. Every part of his body seemed to be fighting itself. His innards seemed to be pulling and tugging and pushing and screaming. His mind was reeling, flinging itself from past to present, to what had happened all the way to what could. He wasn't sure if he was ready, but what exactly what was he to be ready for? Sherlock's lips were moving against his, and his body was responding by participating. He was kissing him back. He was moving his head forward, closer, pressing harder into Sherlock's mouth.
Sherlock pulled away slowly. Both men were left a little breathless, both nervously shaking. Sherlock released John's shirt, flattening it back out over his chest. Then he cleared his throat, pressing his lips together and nodding. He glanced down between the two men, looking to the wooden floor boards. "Thank you for staying." he said finally.
John nodded. "Right. Of course. Not… not a problem."
A silent moment passed over them, then Sherlock began to giggle. John, unsure of how else to respond to the stomach-churning confusion that seemed to be engulfing him, began to giggle as well. He wasn't sure why he was giggling. Nothing seemed very funny. In fact, it all kind of seemed the opposite. But Sherlock's laughter was infectious—however rare it truly was.
"Hungry?" Sherlock asked.
"A… a bit. Yeah." John replied, amused by his rumbling stomach.
Sherlock nodded once again. He reached down, cautiously pressing a delicate kiss to the corner of John's mouth before heading down the stairs. John watched him walk down the stairs. He touched the corner of his mouth, pressing lightly, as though it may be bleeding. Then, with an uncertain, completely confused, wildly fantastic spring in his step, he bounded down the stairs as well.