AN: I do not own Sherlock or any of the characters within. I do not have a beta or anyone to Brit-pick, so I made do on my own. I really hope you like this story, and forgive me any ensuing OOCness.
Sherlock was lying on the sofa, eyes closed when John tip-toed around the flat, and left for work, thinking that his flatmate was asleep. (In reality, he had been awake all night.) It was seven o' clock on a Tuesday morning. It was the morning of September fifteenth. It was also the morning of John's birthday. Sherlock knew the day was coming for several weeks now, and for several weeks, he had been trying to think of a suitable gift. He lay prone on the couch and extended his right arm up over his head in a perfect right angle; the two nicotine patches that were hidden by his bathrobe when John left the flat were now visible, the sleeve having been rolled down to his elbow as soon as the door shut behind his flatmate. He kept his eyes shut tight against the rising sun, thinking hard. Why was this so difficult? This is what people do for others on their birthdays right? Give gifts? The task was becoming somewhat bothersome, because he never had anyone to give a gift to before in his life.
He had thought about a new jumper to add to John's impressive collection, he knew his size and measurements perfectly after all. But even he with his limited understanding of social propriety understood that men typically don't give clothing as gift, and Sherlock didn't want to overstep his (John's) boundary. He thought about a new laptop to replace his lagging old one. He had heard John swearing under his breath as the machine crashed for the sixth time. But that might make John uncomfortable, highlighting the fact that John cannot afford to replace it himself. Yet another boundary. (Again, John's) "What do I care about arbitrary boundaries?" He muttered aloud to no one but the skull sitting on the mantle. The skull did not reply. That was okay though; the question was rhetorical.
He sat up and rubbed his hands through his brown curly hair and sighed into the still room. He cared about John's boundaries because he cared about John. That was a simple enough deduction. In fact, Sherlock knew that he was in love with the doctor. That was again, simple to deduce.
He realized it on a rainy Sunday this past March. (March twenty third) They had been living and solving crimes together for over a year. It was their first full day off together in three months, having just resolved a case the night before. Sherlock's mind was (very) temporarily placated and so the flat had a (very) rare sense of calm. They had spent their day holed up in 221B doing things like reading silently and playing chess. John had blogged about their most recent case 'The Lesbian Love Triangle'
"Gotta give our readers something interesting once in a while." John had remarked when Sherlock had scoffed while reading over his shoulder. (The sister in law had murdered her brother's wife. They were having an affair and the wife refused to leave her husband. Especially for another woman. "Jealousy." Sherlock had said to Lestrade. "Boring. Tedious.") Afterwards, Sherlock had played the violin for a bit. It was quiet and domestic. Homey even.
The realization hit him in the afternoon. (3:36 PM) He had looked over at John sitting in his armchair reading the paper, (eyes narrowed in concentration, emotional reactions to whatever he was reading flitting across his face.) and felt his heartbeat quicken, and his mouth go dry. He blinked several times and went into the loo. He looked into his own reflection above the sink and saw that his pupils had dilated to almost their full capacity. All of these symptoms pointed to a release of certain chemicals in his brain, or what most people called love. And that was that. Sherlock Holmes was in love with John Watson. At the thought of John's name, his irises were overtaken even more with pupil if that was even possible. The final proof.
He urinated, (the other reason why he went to the loo) washed his hands and went back to the sitting room to play the violin.
Needless to say, this new awareness wasn't too earth-shattering. But it did affect him in little ways over the next few months. Now he found himself cataloguing how John smelled every morning, and correlating it to how he smelled in the afternoon when he got home from work. (He left in the morning smelling like soap, laundry detergent, and toothpaste. When he returned, he smelled of rubbing alcohol, sweat, whatever he was able to eat at lunch, and sometimes vomit) He would look at John's text messages to him 2.5 seconds longer than necessary after reading them. He would chuckle 1.8 seconds longer at John's jokes. He remembered to pick up milk on the way home from St. Bart's. Twice even. (The first time John had discovered this, he had been rather shocked, and it had made Sherlock smile.) He made sure there was a fresh cup of tea out whenever John got home from a late shift.
Occasionally before sleep, he would allow his mind to conjure up John's face with its suntan and lines on his forehead and around his crystal clear blue eyes. He would flick through his mental database of John's expressions until he found the one he wanted to see this particular night, and hold it in his mind until he fell asleep. His particular favourites were excitement, bewilderment, amazement (especially when directed towards the detective himself) and joy. He would see all of John's various facial habits and quirks like the subconscious running his tongue over his bottom lip. Or the subtle thinning of his lips when he was irritated or the furrowing of his eyebrows when he was trying to work something out in his head. God John was so expressive. Every little thing in his mind and heart was so clear on his face; it was as simple as reading a book to figure out what he was thinking.
Sometimes those thoughts would lead to fantasies while he lay in the dark. Fantasies of chaste, stolen kisses in alleyways, and taxicabs. Of holding hands under the table in restaurants. Of secret glances and smiles flashed at each other from across a crowded crime scene, and eventually returning home together hand in hand and watching telly. Then they would hold hands and go into Sherlock's bedroom where they would talk late into the night. John would fall asleep, and the detective would watch him dream, listening to his deep, even breathing. He would always end these fantasies with a soft, lingering kiss to the doctor's blond/grey hair.
Sherlock would fall asleep then alone in bed, curled up on his side, facing his invisible love. In those last fleeting moments before sleep would claim him, John would seem so close it was almost like he could reach over and touch him. It was comforting, but those few hours of bliss came at a price. The next morning, when he opened his eyes and didn't see John Watson lying next to him in the early morning glow, a crushing disappointment would hit him so hard and deep he momentarily couldn'tbreathe from the emptiness of it.
Then there were other fantasies that Sherlock would rarely (yet increasingly often, he had to admit to himself) allow his restless mind to indulge in. Fantasies of kisses slowly leading to disrobing, in which Sherlock lay him down and explore every inch of John's utterly fascinating body.
He wanted to strip the doctor layer by layer and see and taste, and smell and touch everything. He wanted to know. To understand every single thing about John Watson. Every nuance, every crevice and line and wrinkle. Every bump, every childhood scar, every single cell of his body. He wanted to know every sound, every sigh, every moan, cry, and breath. He wanted to know them all, see them all, and memorize them all.
He knew he had been shot in the left shoulder. He wanted to see the scar. To run his lips over the puckered skin and compare the sensations to how his chest, stomach and legs felt under his lips. He wanted to kiss his calloused hands, and run his long fingers down John's sides, and back and touch the soft skin of his buttocks. He wanted to run his lips and tongue over his exposed neck; taste his sweat, smell his pheromones, feel his pulse jump beneath the detective's mouth. He wanted to lay his head on John's naked chest and hear his heartbeat, in perfect timing to his own. He wanted to feel his own pale, lean thighs pressed against the older man's muscular ones. He wanted to hear John's breath hitch in his chest as Sherlock explored his legs and inner thighs with his mouth and hands, eventually moving both up to his erect penis. He wanted to hear John moaning and feel him writhing as white-hot fire coursed his entire body, licking it from the inside. He wanted to taste the doctor's pre-come as he brought his entire length into his own eagerly awaiting mouth. He knew based on his own infrequent experimentations that his pre-ejaculate had a different texture than his actual semen. Was that also true of John? Oh God, what did it feel like? Taste like? He wanted to hear John crying out his name as he came, head thrown back in wild abandon, spine arching upwards. The usually quiet, orderly soldier temporarily replaced with this other man who was wanton, uninhibited, positively drowning in ecstasy, and not caring even a little for how he looked, or for how others perceived him.
He knew that most of the world had alleged him to be completely asexual. Completely unable to not only achieve an erection, but even going so far as to claim he had no interest in anything to do with sex at all. Even he himself had said that relationships (and all their implications) were "not my area" and had never actually pursued copulation with anyone. The detective had always assumed he just never cared about these things. That these baser instincts were preserved for lower, less intelligent beings. However, John had proved him very, very wrong.
It was during these particular fantasies he would become so achingly aroused, he would reach down and stroke himself roughly in desperate need, John's cries of pleasure in his head mingling with his own real ones until he would come hard with the moaning shout "Oh God, John!" bursting from his shaking lips. It was also on these nights he was so profoundly thankful that his flatmate's bedroom was on the upper floor.
But perhaps the most startling change that Sherlock would experience over these next few months was just how much closer he desired to be to the other man. Human contact (like sex) was just never something that he ever really thought about until he met John.
Sometimes he would stand 4 inches closer than was necessary to him when they were examining a dead body, under the pretext of needing to examine the body part that John happened to be near. Sometimes he would "unintentionally" bump gently into his side when they were walking down the street. Sometimes his fingers would wind up 4.2 centimetres away from the doctor's when they sat across from one another at a restaurant.
All of these things were things that Sherlock would never tell John of course. He knew how uncomfortable John felt about other people's incorrect perceptions that they were romantically involved. He saw John's eyes move across a woman's face and down her body (as if he could be subtle.) while speaking to her. He understood that John was straight, and that was okay. 'It's all fine' he had thought to himself, echoing John's comment during the earlier conversation they had when they first met. Just having John near him was enough. Just like the ones involving clothing and money, he wouldn't cross this particular boundary either. (Yet again, John's.)
So on that bright and sunny Tuesday morning in September, Sherlock sat on his couch, head in hands, wondering what the hell to get for his flatmate's birthday. Finally he just got to his feet and began pacing the length of the sitting room.
On his fifteenth go, an idea struck him. Maybe he would find an idea in John's room. His friend had often and loudly complained about Sherlock invading his privacy by reading his emails and going through his laptop. Surely he would object to the detective snooping through his bedroom. "But desperate times and all that nonsense…" He said aloud. A broad smile crossed Sherlock's face and he made his way up the stairs, taking two at a time.
He hesitated for a half second before entering the bedroom. The room was sparsely decorated with a bureau, bedside table and writing desk. Nothing on the soft blue walls. The only thing that indicated to whom the room belonged were three framed pictures on the desk. The first was of a young John Watson smiling into the camera holding hands with a smaller blonde girl who could only be his younger sister Harry. He hadn't met her yet, but he knew that the two Watson children would look just alike, albeit John a little more grey.
The second picture was of an older John smiling, holding a diploma with his two beaming parents standing by his sides. Sherlock noted his smile looked slightly strained. Like he just couldn't wait to get out of there. John never really spoke of his parents, and Sherlock didn't ask. (Boundaries again. Although…John's and his own this time. If he pried about John's family, he would be expected to reciprocate.)
And one more, this one interested Sherlock more than the others. It was of him slightly older still, wearing army fatigues sitting at a folding table playing cards with other soldiers. His mouth was stretched in his natural grin. His blue eyes were lined with recent suffering that was not present in the other two photographs. This John looks most like the John he knows, just a little bit younger, thinner and a bit less careworn. This John hasn't been shot yet. He has seen death though. This John has hurt, but not too much. Not yet. Sherlock put the photo down and continued surveying the room.
As was expected, his bed was made army-regulation neat, corners of the bed sheet tucked in so tight and sheet so taut, it looked like a pale green sheet of glass. A smirk came to his lips when he compared it mentally to his own haphazardly made bed.
He opened the bedside table's only drawer and found where Watson kept his illegal handgun. It was loaded, but it had the safety attached. "Oh John…" Sherlock said gently, reverently, a smile touching the corner of his mouth. He shut the drawer and came back to the writing desk. It had three drawers. The bottom one contained his laptop. The middle contained some patient and case files, and the top contained only a single small brown book.
"Gotcha." He chuckled, taking the book out of its spot and moving to the living room to sit (crouch) more comfortably on his armchair, the book resting on his knees.
The book was obviously a journal. John Watson was so predictable. Ever the recorder of events, of course he would have a private journal. It was pretty well worn, and almost all the way written in. Well if anything was going provide the answer of what to get him for his birthday, this would be it. He opened the ledger and started reading.
The first entry was dated the day before he moved into 221B Baker Street. The day they met. The first and only sentence in neat hand was "Met someone strange yet amazing today."
The next entry was from a few days later and highlighted all that had happened in that short span of time. Moving into their flat, examining a crime scene, meeting Lestrade, Donovan, and Anderson. Meeting Mycroft and finding out how Sherlock seemed to know everything about him, even though they had just met, being cured of his psychosomatic limp. Even shooting the cabbie in order to save Sherlock's life was mentioned. John wrote in short, yet highly descriptive details.
The entries following that were in no real routine. Sometimes he wrote long entries every day for a week or two, and then an entire month would go by in which each entry was just a vague one or two lines. ("Went shopping." "Had a dentist appointment." "Called Harry today. No answer.")Sometimes the script was neat and tidy, and sometimes it was a scrawl, smeared from where his left hand smudged the ink. The angrier or more emotional the entry, (usually ranting about Sherlock and how ridiculous he could be, or money problems, or even about Harry, but usually about Sherlock) the messier the handwriting.
Now and then the entries were sad. He wrote about the nightmares he still experiences from the war. They weren't as frequent as before, as John had noted in one passage, but they still came. He wrote about being ashamed after waking up crying out, tears on his cheeks, praying to God that Sherlock didn't hear him. (The younger man skipped these particular entries, as they made him feel a pang in his heart he didn't quite understand.)
Finally he found an entry from this past June seventh, about halfway through the book. It spoke of a particularly heated row the two of them had concerning Sherlock's apparent selfishness. He remembered that argument. He had promised to do the shopping while John went out on a date with the latest of his girlfriends, then had gotten distracted by the experiments he was working on. John came home around ten that night. (Tense shoulders, slightly raw eyes, Sherlock had deftly noted these and disregarded them, staring back into his microscope.) When he noticed that the detective hadn't gone to the shop as promised, he exploded in anger. He had shouted loud enough to wake Mrs. Hudson and stormed up the stairs, into his bedroom and slamming the door behind him.
"Is everything alright dears?" Mrs. Hudson had asked, appearing like a ghost in their kitchen in her nightgown.
"I…I don't know." Sherlock had replied, staring up at her, dumbfounded. He had never seen John react that way.
"Did you two have a row?"
"I think so." He looked at their landlady, clearly confused and a little worried.
"Well give him some time and space." She laid a comforting hand on Sherlock's arm. "He'll come round, I'm sure." She patted his arm reassuringly and went back downstairs. He stayed up late into the night playing his violin while staring out the window, reliving what happened over and over again in his mind, wondering where exactly he had gone wrong.
Mrs. Hudson was right though; the next morning John made them a cup of tea and shamefacedly apologized for his behaviour the night before, and explained he had just broken up with his girlfriend, and wasn't really mad over the shopping. Sherlock had accepted his apology, and they let the matter rest. Within the afternoon, they were back into their easy pattern, the row forgotten.
Three months later, Sherlock at in his chair reading John's journal entry from that night. It was so shaky and smeared it was hard to make out some of it. He was in quite a state when he wrote this. He first wrote about the breakup (this one's name was Danielle, he noted) and how she had shouted at him, and how she had cried and how badly he felt, but he needed to break up with her because he didn't love her the way she did him, and it wasn't fair to her (God John cares so much.) Then he wrote about how his flatmate was selfish and self-absorbed and completely oblivious to the people around him. How Sherlock made the absolute worst friend in the entire world…
The detective turned the page and saw just two sentences in the middle of the page. He knew that Watson had written this entry on the same night (the date didn't change.) These two sentences were blotched and smeared and so messy he could hardly make it out. Just ten words. Ten insignificant, yet completely life changing words. "I am in love with Sherlock Holmes. God help me."
The detective slammed the book shut and put it on the armrest. He wrapped his arms around his knees, trying to contain everything flooding him at once. "John Watson…is in love with me….oh." He realized that the last date John had been on was this past June seventh. "I am so stupid!" He yanked his hair in two fists. "Why didn't I see it before?" He cried aloud.
He sprang to his feet and began pacing once again, trying to recall all the relevant data. That John hadn't been with anyone since that night was the most obvious bit he missed, but there were other signs. The way John would lean in subconsciously while they were walking down the street after Sherlock would "accidentally" bump into him. The way he could feel John's eyes on him while he played violin. How John never pulled away when Sherlock stood too close, wouldn't pull his fingers back when Sherlock's got too close over the table…
Suddenly, he knew exactly what to give his flatmate for his birthday. He laughed and kissed the journal and replaced it exactly as he found it in John's desk drawer. The detective then showered quickly, dressed in the black slacks and the snug purple shirt he knew looked good on him, (John's eyes would linger on him 6.2 seconds longer when he would wear it; another point he missed until now.) and then stood at the window, pencil on the music stand, and violin in his hand. The time was half past noon, he didn't have much time.
Around seven that night, John walked into the flat and saw Sherlock standing stock-still by the window; back to him, eyes on the street below. His back was straight and his violin was beneath his angular chin, bow poised on the strings. He wasn't playing anything though, perhaps taking a break between songs.
"Hello Sherlock. Let me just take a quick shower, change and we can have dinner." He left the room without waiting for a reply (he knew he wouldn't get one right now anyway.)
Fifteen minutes later, he came back into the sitting room wearing a cream coloured jumper and blue jeans and saw Sherlock still standing at the window, violin still at hand, back still turned to him. So he settled into his armchair and picked up the newspaper. It was useless trying to talk to his flatmate right now. In a while he would notice John was there and would ask about where he wanted to go for dinner.
When Sherlock heard the rustle of the newspaper behind him, he took a deep breath, (he was nervous. Why was he nervous? He had never been nervous before. This was new.) and began to play.
The melody was quite unlike anything John had heard before. It was haunting and sweet and melancholy and hopeful all at once. It was obviously a song Sherlock had composed himself, he could tell by the handwritten sheet music on the stand by the window. He put the paper down on the table next to him and just watched and listened to him play.
He loved to watch his flatmate coaxing music out of the wooden instrument. He could see his face in the window's reflection, and it was lovely. His eyes were closed; his long eyelashes fluttering, as if in a dream. A ghost of a smile playing at his full lips, and his lithe body was swaying ever so slightly to the rhythm.
John allowed his eyes to wander to his hands. His long ghostly white fingers were moving delicately, manipulating the violin's strings and bow. He had to wonder how Sherlock's fingers would feel on his warm skin. Probably cool, and delicate yet strong. They would probably be smooth and nimble and able to coax beautiful sounds out of John as well…
Sherlock spun around to face the man sitting before him, the music swelling and his eyes were open, finding and locking onto John's own. He felt something stirring inside his very soul. Something he couldn't quite grasp. But it was so beautiful. So overwhelming, he had to close his eyes, as if he was staring into a brilliant light; unable to keep eye contact with the dark haired musician.
He longed to melt right into the violin and bow themselves, and unite with the notes and experience what Sherlock was at that very moment. How could anyone accuse this man, this beautiful, mad, wonderful man that composes music like this; so…so full of sadness and longing, tenderness and love of being unfeeling?
How could the detective possibly think himself a sociopath, when he can make this? What was he feeling? What happened in his heart to move him to create this? The song was hitting its glorious crescendo. It was so unbearably full of raw emotion; his heart felt like it was going to rupture with the intensityof it all. Holy god; is this what Sherlock has inside him? How did he stand it? It was as if Sherlock Holmes' very soul was pouring out of his wooden violin and merging with John himself, stirring him down to his very bones.
Finally; when he felt like couldn't stand it anymore; that he was going to cry, scream, laugh, and explode all at once, the last lonely note trailed off into the silence of the darkening sitting room.
John cleared his throat and opened his eyes. He brought his somewhat trembling fingers to his temples and rubbed. He looked up at Sherlock's face. His eyes were still focused on him, now with just a hint of trepidation in them, and the smile he was wearing was slightly strained.
"That…was brilliant Sherlock." John said after a moment, a small sound escaping him. "What you call it?"
"John." He said; his voice low. Husky. Almost emotional.
"What?" Watson blinked a few times uncomprehendingly.
"The song. I call it 'John'" Sherlock replied, a trifle impatiently. He put the instrument down on the table and sat down in his own chair. He leaned forward and steepled his fingers under his chin. "Did you like it?" He asked, a shade of hope colouring his voice, eyes searching John's face for a reaction.
"You wrote that…for me?" John asked, voice nearly an octave higher than usual, his blue eyes widening with comprehension and… shock. Sherlock saw; and it both pleased him and worried him. Did he go too far? Did he miscalculate? Did he overstep yet another invisible boundary?
"Yes. For your birthday." The younger man replied then repeated, noticeably more anxious "Did you like it?"
"I…" John started and then snapped his mouth shut, startled by the sudden lump in his throat. He tried to cough it away, and swallowed hard. "I'm…I'm very touched Sherlock." he was able to whisper, his voice choked. His eyes burned. He looked down at his knees, willing with all his strength his corneas to not leak and give him away. He took a moment to collect himself, breathing deep, clenching his fists. Sherlock looked politely away, admittedly pleased with himself.
"Thank you." John said after about thirty seconds. His voice sounded marginally stronger, so Sherlock met his eyes again.
"So…erm. How about dinner?" He asked, clearing his throat. "It's my birthday, so I vote we go get some Thai takeaway and then come back here and watch a movie. Sound good?"
"I have one more thing to give you first." Sherlock replied, standing up.
"What?" John also stood, an exasperated look coming across his features. "Sherlock, I told you I don't like a fuss being made over my birthday! It's just another day to me. It always has been. Harry didn't even call." He prayed that the detective didn't catch the tiniest hint of bitterness creeping in his voice during that last sentence. But of course, he knew he did.
Sherlock took a long stride over to him, so he loomed over the shorter man. "So you don't want your other gift?" His voice was low, impossibly deep and velvety, almost a purr rumbling from within. He was standing too close, far too close. The older man could faintly smell Sherlock's soap and the laundry detergent they both used. John felt his breath catch in his chest, his heart sped up. He felt this insane urge to reach out and touch Sherlock's chest and diaphragm just to feel the vibration his deep voice must cause. So instead he took a step back and sat back down, before he could so something foolish. "No…I mean…if you already bought it and everything."
The detective's face broke out into a soft smile. John loved it when Sherlock smiled for real. Nearly everyone was fooled by Sherlock's fake smile he would use to get what he wanted from people, or he would wear at parties and other social functions because it's something he knows he should do. But ever since they met, John could always tell which was real. It was easy for him. The differences were small, insignificant and wonderful. The way his real smiles would cast the rest of his features in a gentle glow. The way his real smiles met his sea foam eyes and made them crinkle lightly at the corners. The way his real smiles would only come when it was just the two of them alone, Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson.
Sherlock knelt in front of him so they were seeing almost eye to eye (Sherlock is so damn tall John noted to himself) and extended his right arm palm up, looking into John's eyes with a suddenly intense, piercing gaze. "Take it."
"Take what? Your hand? You're giving me your hand?" the doctor asked, raising an eyebrow and looking down at the slender, pale wrist being offered.
"Don't be thick John." Sherlock replied, all smile gone and now replaced with his usual neutral expression. But his eyes betrayed him. They had the same tiny flicker of anxiety they had earlier after playing the violin. John knew just how profoundly worried he was. If an emotion showed on the face of Sherlock Holmes at all, he was feeling it deeply. "Take it." He repeated, none too gently.
"Take what? Your pulse?" John asked, a bewildered expression coming across his face. His eyebrows furrowed together, and Sherlock could see the wheels turning in his head, trying to work out what the hell his flatmate was getting at.
"Yes. Take it." The younger man said edgily "You're a doctor aren't you? You must know how to read a pulse."
"Okay okay…no need to get testy." John muttered and took Sherlock's hand in his right and then placed his left index and middle fingers on Sherlock's pulse point, and closed his eyes to concentrate. "Your pulse is elevated." He said after a few moments (an eternity to Sherlock) of silence ticked by. "At least 100. Are you alright?"
"Look at my face." Sherlock said by way of a reply.
John looked up into the younger man's eyes. At first he didn't see anything out of the ordinary, but after a moment he caught it. "Your pupils are dilated." His eyebrows furrowed even further then rapidly his eyes flashed with an expression of concern mixed with anger "Sherlock." He said slowly and tightly controlled, clenching his fists. "Tell me you're not on something…"
"No!" Sherlock interrupted loudly. "Oh for God's sake John. You really are an idiot." He mumbled and grabbed him roughly by the front of his shirt and pulled him forward, completely off the chair, so he was kneeling on the floor as well, meeting his lips with his own, in a clumsy, rough, awkward kiss.
Watson's eyes widened. Thoughts of "This can't be real!" flashed across his mind like bolts of lightning. But there it was. His slightly chaffed lips pressing against his own. Sherlock still had his jumper in his strong grip. John's mind was reeling, his lungs contracting. Sherlock smelled of tea and soap and one thousand other scents that he couldn't place. The song…the pulse…the pupils. It all made sense. The weight of the realization hit his stomach like a punch, and at once he felt lighter than he ever had. Sherlock…loved him. Suddenly, he was scrambling to grab at Sherlock's shoulders, pulling him in closer and kissing him back.
"How did you know?" John asked unevenly, breathing hard. They were still grasping each other's shirts.
"I read it in your journal." Sherlock replied, letting go of the jumper and looking down to the right. This is when John would pull away, insist this was all a mistake and then yell at him about the immense invasion of privacy.
But to his surprise, the doctor let out a loud laugh, and wrapped his arms tight around Sherlock's neck, dropping his face into his shoulder, body quaking with laughter.
"What is it?" the younger man asked, completely nonplussed. He was expecting so much, but not this. John looked up and kissed his raised eyebrows.
"You look cute when you're confused. It's a good look for you. I don't get to see it often enough."
"You read it in my journal right?
"The journal I keep in my desk, top drawer?" He asked then, a playful edge to his voice.
"Yes…" He replied again, furiously trying to work out where this was going.
"You mean the journal I could have locked in my briefcase, or left at work, yet I left in the most obvious hiding place imaginable?"
Sherlock's eyes widened as he figured it out. "Oh!" heexclaimed "You left it out on purpose."
John kissed him on the lips again, nipping his bottom lip gently before replying "Full marks."
"That doesn't make any logical sense. Why would you do something like that?"
"You're the world's only consulting detective. You figure it out."
"…you knew how I felt?" He said slowly.
"Not knew. Hoped." John corrected. "I figured it out the night I broke up with Danielle. The night we rowed. You don't know it, but I came back into the sitting room and saw you playing the violin. It sounded so…sad. I looked at you playing and I just…knew. You know?"
"What would you have done if I didn't feel the same way?"
"I dunno." John replied simply, shrugging his shoulders. "But it looks as though I don't have to worry about it anymore."
Instead of a verbal reply, the young detective wrapped his long wiry arms around John's middle and stood, pulling him up to his feet so their entire bodies could be pressed together. Sherlock cupped John's chin in one cool hand and kissed him deeply. After a minute, the kiss broke naturally and they just stood in their sitting room for a long time, arms wrapped around each other like steel hoops, swaying together. John resting his head on Sherlock's shoulder, and Sherlock bent down, nose in John's hair. All thoughts of dinner and DVD's forgotten.
Silently, John took his hand and led him upstairs to his bedroom. The two men got undressed slowly to their undershirts and underwear. They kissed again at the foot of John's bed, this time shy and chaste. They lowered themselves onto the bed and lay down; their lips still pressed together, arms rubbing up and down each other's sides. Their undergarments remained on. There would be time for sex and all that later. Right now, all either of them wanted was to just be. To wrap themselves up in each other and just be together. John scooted upwards on the bed, so they lay facing each other, foreheads gently pressed together, breathing each other in. Sherlock kissed between his eyebrows. John brushed an errant hair off of the detective's pallid cheek and they stared into each other's eyes. Into the eyes of the man they each loved. They knew that now. After so much time, after so much waiting, and longing and hoping, they finally understood. They were each so full of joy, and terror and love; it was nearly enough to undo them both. But instead, they clung to each other; they were prepared to ride this out.
"By the way, I love you too." John said after a long while.
"Happy birthday John." Sherlock replied, bending his neck down to brush a kiss onto John's upturned mouth. "I give you only myself. Is that enough?"
"Oh it's enough." John said with a shaky, delirious laugh, pressing himself into Sherlock's chest as tight as he could, nose in the hollow space above Sherlock's prominent collarbone. The detective draped his arm around John's waist. "God, it's enough."