Thank you all so so very much for reviewing and watching this fic! You have no idea how much it means to me to have people giving such positive feedback. :)
A couple people pointed out that the Yarders don't really have much to go on for teasing Sherlock. I tried to cover that in this chapter a little bit to clear everything up.
Okay, I'm done now. :P Enjoy!
After a fitful sleep, I woke to find a note on my nightstand. "Out. -SH".
I ripped the covers off my bed and raced to Sherlock's room. His bed was neatly made and his dirty clothes were folded at the end of his bed for cleaning. I sunk against the frame of the door, relieved. This was progress. He still wasn't talking to me, but it was progress nevertheless.
As I entered the living room, the more I looked, the more back-to-normal things looked. The newspaper had been retrieved and rifled through, there were several slices missing from the loaf of bread, and the coffee table had a fresh footprint on it. The newspaper, I noticed, had a picture of the both of us on the front, but I didn't stop to read the article. It would just aggravate me again.
I sighed, prepared some tea, retrieved my laptop, and sat in my chair, waiting for my friend to return.
Around noon, I heard the door downstairs open and shut. There was the soft tone of Mrs. Hudson, followed by the rich tone of my flatmate. I found myself smiling. It was nice to have him talking again, even if not to me.
Our door opened and closed and Sherlock stood there, looking at me. "Why are you smiling?" he asked.
I hurriedly removed the grin and cleared my throat, returning my attention to my laptop. He looked at me a second more before walking to the couch and tipping over onto his back.
"Why didn't you think?" he asked.
I stopped typing but didn't look up. "I was afraid," I said.
"Of me?" he asked.
I closed my eyes. "Yeah. A bit." I paused. "But I think I was mostly afraid of myself. I was confused and I didn't know what to do next."
"So you told the whole world?"
"It's my therapy blog! What am I supposed to put on there?"
He glared at me. "The internet's not personal."
"Well, neither are relationships."
He pursed his lips and looked up at the ceiling. He paused, thinking. "Ours is."
I tried to think of a comeback. This was my fault, I knew that. But I didn't know how to make it up to him. Apologies were meaningless to him. I could only think of one thing.
I stood. Sherlock looked over to me with a mix of confusion and annoyance. "Where are you going?"
"Out," said I.
I looked over. "I've got a date."
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "I thought you two broke up last month."
"Not with a girl, you git."
I could see the words turn the wheels in his mind even faster. His face seemed to soften a bit. I saw a ghost of a smile flicker over his features. "Angelo's?"
I smiled back. "Why not?"
We sat in a window seat, the same one, in fact, that we had sat in the day we had met. Angelo hesitantly walked to our table with a candle, but he seemed to remember our earlier dinner and set it on a table next to us. We ordered our meals, two plates of spaghetti, and sat in silence.
Sherlock reached over and grabbed the candle. I pretended not to notice and looked out the window, even though the street was nothing new or interesting. Sherlock experimentally placed the candle on the corner of our table. I held back a smile. I owed Sherlock a lot for breaking a promise. He was really trying to be romantic, I could tell, and he deserved to give it a go.
We slowly struck up a conversation and I found myself heartily chatting by the time the food arrived. For my first ever date with a man, I was really enjoying myself.
I watched Sherlock. He eyed his plate curiously. After a moment, he seemed to make up his mind about something and stabbed his plate, but his fork slid between the noodles. He frowned and tried again, only to get the same result. Brow furrowed, he took a spoon and tried scooping the food up, but succeded only in getting a small helping of sauce. I couldn't help but smile.
Sherlock scowled, took his fork, and, purely from frustration, shoveled a mass of noodles into his mouth. He finally noticed my concealed laughter and looked up at me. Spaghetti hung out of his mouth, sauce was spread all around his mouth like he was a year old, and his eyes were still furrowed in anger.
I couldn't help it; I burst out laughing.
Sherlock looked at me a moment more before biting off his noodles and swallowing. He was obviously embarrassed, and the piercing glare he sent me only fueled my laughter. After a few seconds of my giggling, he smiled, and within a minute, he was laughing, too.
The next day, we ventured to our next case. Lestrade had continued to send texts regarding current cases, so we knew where to go. We drove out to a barn, at which a man had been stabbed with a pitchfork. The murderer had escaped, but had left behind a monocle and a pipe. I saw the light return to Sherlock's eyes as he examined the scene and collected data. He seemed more relaxed here, out doing what he loved.
The first to comment on the two of us was Donovan.
"Looks like you've found one of your kind, Freak."
Sherlock didn't bother to look up. "I've been out for a week, Donovan. I would have expected you to come up with some new material."
Donovan smirked. "It's still funny."
I could see Sherlock was getting annoyed. He opened his mouth to shoot back a response, but I brushed his hand with mine. He gritted his teeth and let the air out quickly through his nose. "Stop talking, Donovan," he said, in a tone I could only describe as exaspirated.
She cocked an eyebrow, but obliged.
Lestrade was next.
He pulled me off to the side while Sherlock crept around the scene. "So are you two, em..."
I eyed him. He didn't seem to be mocking me. He looked genuinely curious.
I let my unknowingly clenched fists jammed in my pockets relax. "Yeah," I replied softly, allowing my eyes to trail off to the side. My head jerked back to look at him, my brows furrowed. "So why'd they say those things? It's my blog. Why drag Sherlock into it?"
I knew the answer before Lestrade said anything. "You know those guys. They're always looking for things to mock 'im for. I didn't see 'em say the stuff they did, I was at my car at the time. One of the inspectors told me what happened."
I gave a sharp nod and cleared my throat. Awkward silence. "I'm going to, um, head back," I said.
Lestrade nodded. "Take it easy."
Back at the scene, I saw Sherlock standing idly. "Almost done?" I asked.
"Done," he said with an air of triumph. "Finished not long after you went and talked to Lestrade."
"Um, then, why are you still here? I would've thought that you'd have taken off."
"What stopped you?"
I felt my ears redden. He smiled and held out a hand. His fingers felt soft. We began to walk to the taxi, but Sherlock called, "Close your mouth, Donovan. A gaping jaw just makes you look like a fish."
The last thing I heard was Lestrade snickering.
Thank you again for staying with me through my first fanfic. This most certainly won't be my last. ;) Until next time, everyone! Keep reading and writing. :)