Truth or Dare
Fandom: Sherlock (TV)
Relationships: Sherlock Holmes/John Watson
Characters: Sherlock Holmes, John Watson
Additional Tags: First kiss, alcohol, romance, truth or dare.
Disclaimer: Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat own Sherlock; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle owns Sherlock Holmes. I own nothing – I'm just a very happy fan.
John Watson lay on his bed. It was Friday night – a welcome lull after a particularly busy week during which John had had a gun pointed to his head twice. He had cancelled a date with the girl he was seeing, Diana, in favour of a good book and an early night. But here he was, at midnight, bored out of his mind and unable to fall asleep. He turned under the heavy covers, shifting over to his side, pushing his head into his pillow, trying to find a comfortable enough position to no avail. He closed his eyes, trying to clear his mind, trying to focus on the drone of cars and sirens and people outside his window, trying to use them as white noise, but as soon as he started drifting off he'd be jolted awake by an auditory hallucination of his best friend, Sherlock Holmes, calling his name. He sat upright, putting his head in his hands and rubbing his eyes.
Sherlock Holmes. John shook his head, silently chastising himself for thinking of his friend. He had recently noticed that his feelings towards Sherlock had shifted from being grateful to have such a good friend to something more – something newer and more vague. Something he was not yet able to articulate. What he did know was that he would often find himself, when he was in Sherlock's company, staring at his friend's lips, or his neck, and having to keep himself from reaching out to touch them.
John inhaled deeply. This wasn't right. Obviously he had been spending too much time with Sherlock and not enough time with women. He'd always believed he was as straight as a line. He loved women: loved their skin, soft like peaches; loved the smell of their hair; loved the feeling of their breasts in his hands. Not once had his thoughts ever drifted to a man before now. But here he was, confused and aware of a pressing desire to bury his face somewhere near Sherlock's pronounced collarbone and breathe him in.
John let himself drop back onto his pillow with an exasperated groan. He would need to snap out of this, and soon. This, this… whatever it was… could affect their work, their friendship, their –
John's racing thoughts were interrupted by a chime from his mobile phone: a text message. He leaned over and turned on the lamp on his bedside table, taking a moment for his eyes to adjust to the light. Then he picked up his phone – the very same one which had given Sherlock so many clues about him and Harry the first time they had met.
Are you still awake? I can hear you thinking from down here – SH
A small smile played on John's lips.
Sorry. Will try to keep it down. Why aren't you asleep? –JW
He sat up again, anticipating Sherlock's next message.
Bored. Come play Cluedo with me. –SH
John raised his eyebrows. No, no, he would not fall for that again. The last time he and Sherlock had played Cluedo, it had ended up with an upturned board, game pieces all over the carpet, and Sherlock storming off to his room to mope.
Not going to happen. Remember last time. Victim cannot be murderer – JW
Nobody else had a motive to kill. Suicide was the only option –SH
John let out a quick snort of laughter. He did have a point, but he'd also missed the point of the game entirely.
I've learnt my lesson. Not playing Cluedo – JW
Well, what do you suggest then? –SH
John stretched his neck, stiff from lying in the same position for too long.
Anything else. Scrabble. Monopoly. Truth or Dare – JW
Truth or Dare? –SH
John froze for a second. He'd intended that last option as a joke. Sherlock obviously hadn't picked up on that. Now that he thought about it, it was likely Sherlock had never even heard of Truth or Dare. John, on the other hand, had played it enough times at University to know exactly what the outcome of the game always was. His face flushed hot.
"Come downstairs, will you? I'm tired of typing." Sherlock shouted from the living room. John let his feet touch the floor and stood up, stretching his arms over his head, then pulling on his dressing gown before making his way down. He found Sherlock at the foot of the stairs, his hair messy, his eyes bright, dishevelled. John blinked in an attempt to push away any lustful thoughts.
"What's Truth or Dare? Given the name I do predict it'll be quite simple, but tell me the rules," said Sherlock, his head cocked to the side.
"Well, you take it in turns to choose 'truth' or 'dare'. If truth is chosen, then the other person gets to ask a question which has to be answered truthfully. If dare is chosen, then the other person dares the player to do something. I played it a lot when I was younger, usually aided by copious amounts of alcohol," John smiled, looking into Sherlock's face which remained still, with one eyebrow raised ever so slightly.
"You're right," John continued. "It is very simple. It'd bore you. I'll fetch the Monopo…"
"Not at all!" Sherlock said, his eyes widening. "I'd like to play. I'm not one to partake in such things, but help yourself to a drink if it'll make you feel any better."
John looked away. This had not gone according to plan. He had found himself in what had the potential to be a very awkward situation, but if he refused to play now Sherlock would certainly know something was making him uncomfortable and would badger him about it until he told the truth. No, he would have to go along with it. He swallowed hard and made his way to the drinks cabinet, rooting around for a recently-opened bottle of whiskey and a glass. He found them and brought them over to the coffee table, then sat on the sofa and poured himself a drink.
"Truth," Sherlock proclaimed, sitting down next to his friend.
John's mind drew a blank. What the hell was he going to ask him? What would you say if I told you I had feelings for you? Have you ever thought about me as anything more than a friend? He took a sip of his whiskey.
"Alright," he said, "Here's my question. Is it true what Irene Adler called you? Are you really a… a virgin?"
He looked down at his feet, then took another sip of whiskey slowly, busying his hands.
"Mmm. It is true I have no practical knowledge of sex, yes. I am a virgin. But I've done ample reading on the technical aspects of the activity."
John looked up at Sherlock, trying to hide his disbelief. A virgin? "Surely you realise reading about it isn't enough?"
"I think it's safe to say a fair amount of people know nothing of the technical aspects and do well enough their first time."
John nodded, unwilling to take this conversation any further. "Dare," he offered quickly.
Sherlock thought for a long moment, pressing his hands together, before suddenly standing up and walking over to the fridge. He opened the door and brought out a test tube filled halfway with a vivid, thick, red substance. He took a long straw from the top drawer and plopped it into the tube, mixing its contents around, then handing it to John, who sat with a bewildered look on his face.
"Eat this," he ordered.
"What the hell is that?" John said, looking up at Sherlock.
"John, you know very well it's not my turn and I've yet to select truth. You've chosen dare and I dare you to eat this."
John paused for a second, his mouth open. He did trust Sherlock. Of course he trusted him. He trusted him with a gun up against his temple. He also, however, knew very little about the nature of the bizarre experiments Sherlock was always conducting in their kitchen, much to Mrs Hudson's chagrin. This could be dangerous. Then again…
John snatched the tube from Sherlock's hand and quickly fished out its contents with the straw, laying them on his tongue and swallowing quickly. His nose twitched as a familiar sweetness began to overwhelm his tastebuds.
"Sherlock," he began, "Was that… JAM?"
He laughed, licking his lips and taking another sip of his whiskey before leaning back into the sofa.
A smile quickly quirked Sherlock's lips, then he sat back down. "Truth."
Feeling a lot more relaxed, John had no trouble thinking up another question: "Why does Donovan dislike you so much?"
Sherlock let out a little hum of amusement, then grinned at John as he said, "I may have used my charm to get her to divulge information about a case and sign a paper to get me access to a body in the morgue some years ago."
John chuckled, "Ah, of course. I should have known." He took another sip of whiskey. "Truth… I think," he smiled at Sherlock.
"Where did you hide my cigarettes?"
"Sherlock, you know I can't answer that."
"You said truth! I've made my request!" Sherlock leaned forward over John, his blue eyes staring deep into him.
John was all too aware of Sherlock's neck over his own face. He looked away and fought the urge to press his finger against it. "Remember you told me that under no condition should I tell you where they are. You'd only chide me for being weak if I gave in to you."
Sherlock backed off and pouted, crossing his arms over his chest. "Fine. Another question, then: why do you always choose me over your girlfriends?" He lifted his chin, still maintaining eye contact with John.
"You always scare them away!" shouted John. The audacity of this man!
Sherlock raised an eyebrow, uncrossing his arms. "Hmm. Dare, then."
"I dare you to have some whiskey with me. It's no fun drinking alone," John said, hoping a bit of drink might loosen Sherlock up and make him a little less, well, intense.
"I had a feeling you'd say that, but you know full well I don't drink whiskey. Will wine do?" Sherlock had got up and walked to the cupboard.
"Should I open the white or the red?" Sherlock asked.
"Definitely the red. The white'll only give you a headache, especially if you haven't eaten today. Which you probably haven't."
"Red it is, and you are right," Sherlock said, opening the bottle and pouring himself a glass, then bringing it back to the sofa.
John took another sip of whiskey. It had started to go to his head. His arms and shoulders were beginning to feel fuzzy. "Dare."
"Well I would dare you to make me something to eat, but I can see you're in no state to do that at the moment." Sherlock took a sip of wine, pausing for a second to lick a stray droplet off his lips. "I dare you to break up with your girlfriend."
John looked at him, stunned. And he has the nerve to ask why I choose him over my girlfriends! He thought about protesting, but an image of Diana going on about her porcelain doll collection over dinner stopped him. He dropped his head to the side. "Eh. I suppose it isn't really working between us anyway. Should I call her now?"
"Well, I'd imagine doing it over text might be considered rude."
Sherlock got up and opened the fridge again, producing a small tub of leftovers. He leaned against the archway, picking at the food with a fork and waiting for the conversation, a tiny smile on his face.
John licked his lips as he waited for an answer. "Hello? He… Diana. Hello. Yes. No, I'm fine. Yes, I know it's late. I'm sorry. Listen, I… You what, sorry? You bought another doll? A redhead? How lovely. Listen… no, listen to me. I think that perhaps we… might want to stop seeing each other for a bit – I… What? No! What do you mean my husband? Diana! Hello? Hello?"
John put his phone down and knocked back a shot of whiskey.
"That went well."
"Sounds like it," Sherlock crossed the room to sit on the sofa again. "Dare."
"I know what will cheer me up," John said, walking over to his laptop and opening his music folder. "Dance!" He said, as the opening bars to Abba's Dancing Queen blared out through the speakers. He grinned a little in anticipation – oh, to see Sherlock dancing, all limbs!
Sherlock closed his eyes, "Your choice of music speaks volumes about you. I only know partner dancing. Can I request a partner?"
"Of course. Who do you request? Thinking about calling up Lestrade and asking if you could have this dance?" John guffawed at this last idea, clearly a lot more drunk than he'd thought he was.
Sherlock smirked, grabbed John by the hand and pulled him close. "It may be faster if you just danced with me instead. Follow my lead."
John, giddy from the drink and from being pulled into Sherlock's arms so quickly, began to laugh. I am dancing to Abba. No, I am waltzing to Abba. With Sherlock Holmes. He diligently followed Sherlock's lead, stepping on his toes a few times in the process. For his part, Sherlock pulled them around the room, easily dodging furniture even with his eyes closed, a mock-serious look on his face. He dipped John, who clung to his arms for fear of falling over. Sherlock pulled John back up to his feet and let him lean against him until he regained his balance.
"Bit too much to drink, John?" he smiled.
"A… hic… a tad, I think." John felt his way back to the couch and fell onto it, sprawled while he enjoyed being vaguely dizzy. "Ummmm… truth."
"What are your feelings for me?" Sherlock was the picture of composure. He brought his wine glass to his lips and took another sip. "Your exact feelings."
John sat up. These last words had ground his world to a halt. He gulped, then cleared his throat. He could feel his heart starting to race and the blood rushing to his temples, and he was, more than ever, aware of being watched by Sherlock. This is not good. Keep calm. This is exactly the kind of thing Sherlock notices.
Picking up on this, Sherlock looked away to give John some space.
"How do I say this, Sherlock?" John began, unsure how he was going to get through this. What could he say? That he had fallen in love with his best friend? A man, no less. That Sherlock was the most important thing in his life? That he wanted to run his fingers through Sherlock's thick hair? He cleared his throat again. "I…"
Unable to think of anything to say, he leaned toward Sherlock to give him a peck on the cheek. He turned a deep shade of red, instantly regretting his action, and poured himself another drink, downing it quickly.
"Oh god," he muttered under his breath; "Oh god, oh god, oh god. I'm so sorry, Sherlock…"
Sherlock sighed a little. He took the glass from John's hand, setting it back down on the table. His hand found its way to the back of John's neck and he pulled him close, pressing their lips together for a long moment, then pulling away.
John sat, completely stunned, staring at his friend, trying to process everything.
"Truth," said Sherlock.
John blinked twice, trying to bring himself back to the room. "Would… would it be alright if I kissed you again?"
Smiling, Sherlock looked at him and moved closer. "Of course, John. Any time you wanted."
John tentatively reached to touch Sherlock's high, sharp cheekbones with the tips of his fingers, bringing their faces close together and kissing his best friend, pressing into the kiss, opening his mouth to let Sherlock's inquisitive tongue in to meet his. His mind was racing with hundreds of questions urging to be formed, but he had lost the capacity for syntax here, as he was, melting into Sherlock Holmes. They broke apart and John looked down, his nose scrunching up a bit as he smiled to himself.
Sherlock lifted John's chin and pressed their noses together. "So do you want to continue the game?"
"What do you think?" John said, his voice almost a whisper.
Sherlock kissed John's forehead. "You could ask what my feelings are for you."
John smiled. He had a pretty clear idea. "How do you feel?" He let himself sink into Sherlock, his head heavy from the drink and from the kiss.
"I'm in love with you, John Watson," Sherlock whispered into his ear.
John could feel Sherlock shake slightly. Was he nervous? He stroked Sherlock's arm. He felt his own chest tighten, he felt light. "Oh God, Sherlock, you have no idea how happy that makes me."
He could feel Sherlock relax. He lay back on the sofa, pulling John to lie on top of him. John in turn lay his head on Sherlock's chest, fingering the flimsy material of his shirt, inhaling the smell of his deodorant. He sighed contentedly, if a little drunk.
Sherlock brushed his fingers through John's hair, his other hand drawing small circles on his back. He frowned, "I suppose I should warn you you'll have to be very patient with me. I've never done anything quite like this before. I suppose I can be cold sometimes. But I'll try harder. The jam I had you eat – I made that for you. It was hope I considered coming clean about all this, but then you gave me the perfect device to ensure your feelings."
"Sneaky…" John laughed and brought his head up to plant kisses along Sherlock's jaw, before settling back down on his chest. "You've paid attention. The way to my heart is jam." He grinned widely.
"I'd rather think of it as planning ahead than being sneaky. I even thought of putting 'I love you' on the label," said Sherlock, smiling.
John pushed his head gently into Sherlock's chest. "I love you, Sherlock. I have for a long time." He ran his hands along Sherlock's side. He thought about how he wanted to touch Sherlock – all of him. But there would be time for that later. For now, he was content to be exactly where he was. To listen to Sherlock's breathing becoming slower and more regular, matching it with his own as he drifted off to sleep.