Author's Note: This one turned out much longer than I'd intended, but I'm quite pleased with it, if I do say so myself. I didn't flesh out all the details of the case, seeing as that wasn't really the point of the story. The first section is John's point of view, the second is Sherlock's, and the third is back to John's. Also, I was asked to do a continuation, and have been working on it (albeit mostly in my mind) so there is more to come eventually!

Originally I was just going to make up a generic Juice shop, but then got it in my head to look up Juice places in London and discovered one called Crush not far from 221b Baker street. I was quite surprised to find that the smoothie name I'd made up off the top of my head turned out to actually be listed at the top of their menu! So then I looked for a nearby park-ish sort of place with benches and bins where they could walk to and sit - I love google maps' street view!

-Obligatory Disclaimer -

These characters belong to the BBC show writers Moffat and Gatiss. This is just fanfiction, no profits made, blah blah blah. And my apologies for any fangirlish butcherings which have no doubt occurred herein.

A Kiss in the Dark

Well that hadn't gone at all as planned.

Either someone had been a step ahead of Sherlock, or John had been too slow in getting there to meet him. Caught the minute he arrived at the address Sherlock had texted him, he'd seen no sign of Sherlock himself anywhere. Just swell. He'd better be out doing something extremely clever right now, John thought, because he certainly couldn't see a way out of this himself.

Harsh barking echoed clamorously around the bare little basement room of the old house as John was dragged, struggling with all his might, into it. A large dog leaped about the trio of men, trying to join the fray.

"Down Rupert!" one of the men cried, shoving it away. "Get off!"

John winced as the taller thug, whoever he was, tightened a cord around his wrists till it bit into his flesh. He tried to run forward and ram his head into the other one's stomach, but he was pushed back and roughly secured to some pipes running along the wall, probably indoor plumbing cheaply installed much later than the place had been built. With a kick to the groin as farewell the two men turned to go, the dog still dancing about barking madly. John glared wretchedly at them in his pain, unable to double over while attached to the pipes.

"Look, it's me you stupid mutt." The one said trying to get at the door.

"Damn dog." The other muttered, then turned back to point at John. "Can't remember who you are for more than 5 minutes. Thinks anything moving must be a threat. Don't worry his bark is worse than his bite, but mine isn't, and I'll be sure to come if he calls for me. So you just sit tight now." He closed the door, making sure the dog stayed in.

As soon as the door shut it was pitch black. From what little John had seen in the commotion, there seemed to be no furniture, no carpet, just bare, dirty, old walls. The only light had come from the adjoining room through the door and was now reduced to a mere sliver on the floor. John flinched as Rupert jumped up on him, scraping his legs and barking in his face, then snuffled about his trousers a bit. Thankfully he settled down after a few more barks, and all that could be heard was heavy panting and nails clicking on the cement floor which seemed ridiculously loud in the echo-y silence.

John shifted his feet and the scuffing of his shoes instantly elicited another bark from Rupert. He sure wasjumpy. John sighed and tried talking to the dog calmly. Normally he was good with dogs, but Rupert didn't seem to be buying his friendly act, so he shut up, hoping no one would come back with a bite for him just yet.

After a while he heard some bumping and footsteps from next door along with muffled voices. It seemed his captors were settling in over there. Well, now they were sure to know if Rupert made any more noise. John settled himself in for a long miserable night on his feet. He couldn't even lean against the wall properly with his hands tied behind his back to the pipes. All things considered, he knew it would still be difficult for him to not nod off in this boring pitch blackness and he anticipated a very sore neck in the morning. He wished there was something useful he could think about, but all he could do was wonder over and over where Sherlock had got to, and what this was all about, and how he would have a thing or two to say to Sherlock about communication when this was all over, assuming he made it out of here still breathing. That thought got him worried about his phone, however. They'd taken it, and now anything new Sherlock might try to tell him would go straight to the bad guys. Maybe he didn't want Sherlock to be more explicit. Not just now anyways.

As is the habit of time when it is dark and one is bored, the night seemed to stretch out interminably. John's mind grew fuzzy as he waited and waited for something to happen, although he wasn't sure he'd really want it to, once it did. At last he realized that he hadn't heard the clicking of toenails for some time and that the panting which had gone louder and softer as the dog paced back and forth across the room and settled itself over near the door and become the even breathing of sleep. It wasn't much relief, but he did feel he could breathe just a bit easier, although he wished Rupert had found a place a little further away from him; the other side of the room perhaps. He took the opportunity to carefully shift on his feet again and wiggle slightly into a position that was, of course, not comfortable, but still infinitely better simply because he hadn't been holding it for the last hour, or several hours, or however long it had been.

It was hard to tell if the sound that came on the edge of his half consciousness had come from a dream or the real world as it rode on his memory rather than his immediate awareness. It had been like a faint gasp of breath, as from someone struggling with something or stubbing his toe. It could have even been his own gasp as he awoke, if indeed he'd been asleep. He couldn't be sure how much his consciousness may have lapsed. But now he heard a very faint shuffling from the other side of the room, and not from where the dog seemed to still lie, for he heard it make a slight snort and scratch itself. John vaguely wondered about rats, but it had sounded more like the rustling of clothes, or a hand sliding along the wall.

He flinched as something brushed against his arm. He was shocked that someone else should be there, but he didn't dare make a sound to confirm this lest he draw the attention of the dog, and hence their captors so close at hand. He hadn't noticed anyone else in the room when they'd put him here, although he had to admit the corners had been shadowy. Certainly he would have been woken up by the dog if anyone had been thrown in afterwards.

His puzzling came to an end when an all too familiar scent surrounded him in the dark. Sherlock? How? His immediate reaction was relief, though he knew he shouldn't be comforted that Sherlock was there too, because that meant he couldn't expect him to come to his rescue. In the pitch black with their hands tied behind their backs, Sherlock leaned his body against John's as way of greeting. It felt wonderful: not only the warmth and something new to lean on, but the fact that it was Sherlock, his dearest friend; the fact that they were together, no matter the circumstance. He always savored the fleeting moments when they touched, knowing they wouldn't last, but in the disorientation of the darkness, this almost-embrace lingered longer than he expected while he drank it in. He'd never realized Sherlock's scent was so comforting to him, never even realized it was logged in his memory, but now in the dark it was like suddenly being home once more. It seemed all he had to do was open his eyes and they would be standing in their own flat. Except his eyes were open. He reminded himself of that by blinking a few times.

He felt Sherlock's face come near his own, brushing against his forehead, feeling out where he was in the dark. He expected him to find his ear and whisper something, which hopefully wouldn't catch the dog's attention. But instead Sherlock's nose and lips slid down the side of his face from his forehead to meet his own nose and mouth. John caught his breath at the softness of Sherlock's lips as they brushed against his skin, and then settled warmly upon his own lips. He almost gasped in shock, but Sherlock covered his mouth completely with his own, and just stayed there a moment pressing against him, as if waiting for John to relax and collect himself. He hadn't dared to let himself dream of this, it was too good to be true, yet he was sure he wasn't dreaming now. Sherlock lessened the slight pressure against John's face without drawing away, and let his own lips open slightly. It seemed as though he was telling John to copy him, but John was frozen in shock. His knees almost gave way when he felt Sherlock's tongue gently run along the seam of his lips, making them part. Sherlock's head turned slightly to fit their open mouths together now and his tongue softly greeted John's. This seemed hardly the time for a snogg, but then again, waiting around in the dark being silent, there really wasn't much else to do.

However John's thoughts of romance were shattered as he felt Sherlock pushing an object into his mouth: a flat hard object with a papery taste. As his tongue came to receive it he felt a tiny prick and realized what it was. Somehow, Sherlock had concealed in his mouth a razor blade that was cased in a paper sleeve. Oh, he's handing this to me. John paused, then carefully nodded, hoping Sherlock would understand that he knew what they were doing now. For a moment the razor sat spanning their touching tongues inside their open mouths as they thought for a moment. Amazingly, they did seem to understand each-other quite well without words. They had to get the sleeve off it for it to be of any use. Of course it would be a double edged one,John thought, which meant it was completely incased in the tight sleeve without an easy part to grip sticking out. He didn't know if both ends were open or not, but the prick on his tongue indicted he might have a chance of getting at it from this side, so John pushed on Sherlock's tongue, making him take it back. Sherlock held the razor between his lips and John tried to capture the barely protruding tip between his teeth. When he had it he tugged and it barely moved, but now he was able to get a better grip on the slim portion sticking out and Sherlock gently worked the paper most of the way off, pulling carefully with his lips. Then John felt Sherlock pause before he firmly bit the other end of the blade which was still in the sleeve. They played tug-o-war just a moment as John wasn't sure whether he was trying to take it back or what, but it seemed Sherlock wanted to turn it around and give John the safe end. So John opened his teeth and reached out gingerly with his tongue to meet Sherlock's, closing the distance between their lips again so they could work together to carefully maneuver the blade around, hopefully without dropping it. John tasted a hint of blood and knew Sherlock must have cut himself on the bare end that was now in his mouth instead of John's. Sherlock held the sharp end while John got it positioned sticking straight out of his mouth. The paper had started to come off one corner in the awkward transition, and he tried to gently push the sleeve back on with his tongue. It didn't work, only causing it to come off more so he gave up. But at least now John had it firmly between his teeth. Oh God, this was going to hurt, and it wasn't going to be easy. But Sherlock was right in passing it to him. Sherlock was apparently free aside from his bound hands. It would have been much more difficult for Sherlock to get at John's hands wedged up against the wall among the pipes, than it would be for him to reach Sherlock's, provided Sherlock could get his arms up high enough. Although the exchange had already been made, Sherlock lingered a moment, and then oh-so-very-softly kissed the sides of John's mouth as if to say, I'm so sorry about this, I know it's going to hurt, since they didn't dare to actually whisper.

Well that had been quite nice. John laughed ironically to himself about how handing off a razor blade in the dark while tied up could possibly be one of the most enjoyable moments of his life to date. Only with Sherlock.

The next part was certain to make up for that pleasantness, however. John sensed Sherlock turning around and then felt his hands grabbing at his shirt as Sherlock leaned forward raising his arms behind him, feeling their way cautiously up John's front so as not to bump the razor in the dark. Sherlock's hands found John's shoulder and he paused as a way of confirmation. Ok, they were at a good level. Now the trick was to find Sherlock's hands with his mouth in the dark and cut the cord without cutting Sherlock, at least not too seriously. Sherlock raised his hands just a little to brush against John's cheek and John turned his head, carefully tracing the tip of the blade along Sherlock's hand till he felt it catch on the cord. He braced himself, gripping the blade tight in his teeth while trying to keep his lips away from it and then began to wiggle it back and forth over the cord. As he struggled awkwardly with it, he found it was impossible to keep his tongue and lips out of contact with all the sharp edges of the thing. Soon his mouth was turning sticky and slippery with blood, making it even harder to control the blade, but thankfully the cord was not terribly thick and after a few excruciating minutes it fell away.

In an instant Sherlock had his hands on John's shoulders, then slid them up to cup his face. John could feel one of Sherlock's hands on his chin and he gratefully let the razor fall from his lips onto it. Sherlock pressed against him in the dark with his arms around John feeling for his hands behind him, wedged among the pipes and the wall. He made short work of the cord. If sherlock hadn't been pressed against him already, John would have stumbled forward, but as it was he found his arms clutching at Sherlock as his face smooshed against his chest. For a moment Sherlock held John steady with his arms wrapped firmly around him, and then as that moment drew on John felt Sherlock's hands slide up his arms to find his face.

To his complete shock, Sherlock's warm mouth consumed his own once more. Sherlock's tongue gently smoothed away the sticky blood from John's nicked lips. All too happily John opened up to his touch and Sherlock's tongue reached in to sooth his own lacerated tongue. He felt a surge of desperation drawing them together, but Sherlock's touch remained delicate, mindful of John's wounds. Although their mouths filled with the tang of John's blood, their tongues and lips caressed so tenderly and comfortingly, the moment seemed almost beautiful, sweet. Nothing else mattered, nothing else existed for that moment except the warmth of their mouths, their tongues entwined. Sherlock swallowed much of the blood and saliva himself, perhaps with the thought to save John a queasy stomach. Sherlock sucked on his tongue and lips until the metallic flavor lessened, then simply pressed him close for a while before finally drawing back, his lips seeming reluctant as they slipped away. John immediately missed them, feeling as though he'd fallen back out of a dream.

With his arm around John's shoulder, Sherlock lead him across the room slowly with very precise measured strides. When he stopped, John felt Sherlock's face brush against his own again and this time he did whisper, his breath hot in John's ear, the barest, faintest whisper, hardly more than the movement of his lips, but John understood the word none-the-less. "Window." He then positioned himself between John and the wall and hoisted him upwards over his head. John was a bit surprised by the apparent strength of his arms. He reached up his hands to feel the wall, and sure enough there was a small window close to the ceiling. He was afraid that, being so disused, it would be very stiff, but it wasn't as bad as he anticipated and he did his best to minimize the slight scraping sound while he slid it open. To their great relief it seemed Rupert had gone back to sleep.

It was going to be a tight fit, but they had to try. The glass had been so dingy no light was coming through, but now John poked his head out into the moonlit night and almost squinted from the brightness. He found that he could reach the bars of the wrought iron fence that surrounded the light well into which this little window opened, allowing him to quite easily pull himself upwards. Sherlock gave him an extra boost from behind, his shoulders providing a kind of stair, and soon John managed to clamber out of it and up onto the side of the fence next to the door. A minute later Sherlock's head emerged and he hung out awkwardly over the sill. Looping one arm around the fence John reached down to give Sherlock a hand up. It was even easier for Sherlock with his long limbs to reach the fence, and soon he was hanging onto it alongside John. The street was empty, thankfully, so no one witnessed their odd emergence from the building. As John climbed over onto the right side of the fence Sherlock reached back over with his foot, which John noticed was bare, and gently slid the window closed. Nice. John thought. That'll give them a puzzle. Sherlock launched himself gracefully over the fence and glanced up and down the street rubbing at his wrists. He pulled out a set of keys from his pocket and examined them, then grabbed John's hand and strode over to one of the cars parked along the curb. He opened it.

"How did you. . .!" John stammered as Sherlock climbed in and pulled John in after him as he slid across the seats. John shut the door as softly as possible while Sherlock started the car.

"I pick-pocketed one of them just before they tied me up." He grinned broadly in self-satisfaction as John stared back in disbelief. They burst into laughter, as they drove away filled with relief and excitement and camaraderie and smugness at their escape. "You'd better text Lestrad. Phone's in my pocket."

John looked baffled. "But didn't they take your phone too? They took mine."

"I told you I pick-pocketed him. The keys just happened to be in there too."

John reached over to dig in Sherlock's pocket, feeling strangely shy about it after their kiss in the dark. It seemed as though that was part of another reality, and now that they could see again everything was supposed to go on as it had been before. Or at least, John feared it would. He glanced up at Sherlock and stared at his lips a moment, unable to believe that they were really the source of those sweet sensations in his memory. He found himself sucking his lower lip which still hurt. Sherlock glanced back at him, but John couldn't tell what he was thinking. He set his attention to texting Lestrad their location and the basics of what had happened, glancing up quickly at the street signs before they turned.

"The number was 17, if you don't remember John."

"Er…right." John muttered as he typed in the address.

Sherlock dictated his information to John. "Vincent Blanchard is dead. I saw the body before they found me. Died yesterday around 4pm. Most likely cause of death is untreated asthma. He had an inhaler in his pocket but his hands were tied so he couldn't reach it. It could have been their smoking, or the mold, or the dog that set him off. Left alone for hours, they never knew his predicament. They wanted him for ransom, not dead. Presumably they have no idea why he died. They're in over their heads now, making stupid mistakes, desperately trying to cover things up."

John glanced nervously through the rear window. "How long do you think till they notice we're missing? Do you think they'll come after us?"

"I think it unlikely they've realized already, and I wouldn't count on them figuring out how to trace us now." Sherlock assured him. "Tell Lestrad he can come for the car at Baker Street." He decided. It seemed they both just wanted to get home.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

As they pulled up outside their flat, Lestrad arrived right behind them.

"You okay?" he asked looking them over as they got out and Sherlock handed him the keys.

"Fine." Sherlock nodded curtly.

"Any other information?"

"No, I think I got it all in the text." John said, glancing at Sherlock for confirmation.

Sherlock nodded. "Everything you didn't already know. If you're quick I think you can wrap it up tonight, but if you manage to muck it up, call me tomorrow."

Lestrad nodded, ignoring the last bit. "I've got people headed over there already, but I wanted to make sure you weren't followed here."

"Thank you." John smiled gratefully. He'd been feeling anxious about that with each passing minute in spite of Sherlock's confidence.

"Thank you two." Lestrad replied ruefully. "I think I'll leave someone in the street here just until things are confirmed." He walked round to look at the license plates on the car, pulling out a notepad as he did so. "Yeah this is the one we've been looking for. " He glanced back up at them, "Well if you're alright I guess that's everything for now."

They nodded and turned to head inside. Luckily the thugs had only demanded John's phone and pocket knife, so they wouldn't have to rouse Mrs. Hudson to get in. John hadn't noticed that Sherlock had been standing with his hand on his back until they were crowded close together at the door while he pulled out his keys and unlocked it. The contact felt nice, so he intentionally lagged as they climbed the stairs so as not to get ahead of Sherlock's hand. As they stood close together once more at their own door before he got it open he let himself just barely lean in against Sherlock's shoulder. He almost didn't want to open it if only they could stay standing like this. He'd been resigned to unrequited admiration of Sherlock before tonight, but now he feared their moment of intimacy would torment him. Still, as unbelievable as it was, there was reason to hope. That second kiss had been entirely unnecessary, even if it had served as an apology and a healing balm. It had certainly been more than that in the moment, no matter what Sherlock might be willing to admit after the fact, and John would hold that in his heart forever. He was suddenly aware of Sherlock's arm supporting him as he pushed the door open. He must have gone weak in the knees while he was remembering. Feeling embarrassed, John determined to act normal as he strode in ahead of Sherlock.

"Well that was an adventure." Sherlock grinned at him as they took off their coats, and of course John couldn't help grinning back.

"You might have given me a little more information. Was I not supposed come to the front door? Or did you plan for me to walk into a trap?"

"Well I was going to be back outside by the time you arrived, but that blasted dog came across me and raised the alarm." Sherlock explained bitterly.

"Ah yes, Rupert was it?"

Sherlock snorted and rolled his eyes. "After they caught me I thought perhaps I could talk my way out, but the stout one didn't appreciate my conversation and knocked me out, dragged me down there, and locked me in with the beast. I pretended to still be out when they brought you in since it had finally forgotten about me."

"I see…" John eyed the ugly knot on Sherlock's forehead. Sherlock reached up to touch it, then glared at the blood that came away with his fingers. "Just a tick." John ran off to get a moist rag and a plaster for it. When he returned a moment later Sherlock obliged by sitting on the arm of a chair so John could reach his head easier.

John dabbed at the knot gently, then decided to test the waters and lightly kissed it in what could, perhaps, have been construed as merely a friendly gesture. "I can't believe we got out of there." He said, smoothing the plaster over the broken skin now that it was clean. "You were brilliant. However did you come by…"

"So were you." The compliment startled him and their eyes met. Sherlock reached out and ran his thumb softly over John's lower lip. "I couldn't have done that without you." It was nearly a whisper. John wasn't sure if he had fallen forward, or if Sherlock had drawn him into his arms, but however it happened, their mouths met deliciously for the third time that night. Here in the comfort of their home, there was no rush. They simply kissed and kissed, slow and soft and sweet and deep, with their arms around each-other, hands in their hair and under their shirts, and Sherlock's legs trapping John's. The night seemed to stretch interminably, as it also does in moments of perfect bliss, and once more it seemed there was nothing else in the world but the soft warmth of their mouths and the comfort of their bodies pressed together.

"John." Sherlock whispered over his lips.

"I love you Sherlock." There, he'd said it! John buried his face in Sherlock's neck, kissing it, even though his lips stung a bit against the dry skin.

"...I love you." Sherlock agreed with a kiss on his ear.

Sherlock stood then, walking John backwards a few steps. "Bed. It's late." He mumbled.

John clung to his shirt. "No, I don't want to leave y…"

Sherlock looked down at him quizzically and John realized he wasn't suggesting they go to their separate rooms as usual. John's lips formed a little 'Oh' and Sherlock kissed them again. John hugged him tight, resting his head on Sherlock's shoulder, walking backwards as they still embraced on the way to Sherlock's room. More exhausted from the long day than they had at first realized, they didn't bother to turn on the light. In the dark they helped each-other out of their clothes and simply fell into the bed, tangled together.

John stroked Sherlock's cheek in the darkness. "I can't believe you really…"

"How could I not?" Sherlock replied before he had even finished and drew him into another kiss.

They fell asleep, lips touching, breathing each-other's breath.

As Sherlock drifted toward consciousness he noticed the smell of John which reminded him what had happened last night. He felt John's body, snuggled against him, and felt a strange kind of pride swelling in his chest. My John. My dear John. The words chased around in his head. He laughed at himself for being so sentimental but he knew there was no going back now. He tightened his arms around his John. It felt so good to hold him. He'd never expected that. Before last night he had known he wanted John to remain his flat-mate for the rest of his life. He'd wanted to keep him always by his side as his partner in his work, and as his best friend. He couldn't bare the thought of loosing him, and hoped desperately that John could be satisfied to stay with him and go on just as they were indefinitely. He knew he cared for John in a way he'd never cared for anyone, but he'd never thought he wanted affection, not in the physical sense anyway. Yet now as he nuzzled his face in John's hair he felt he could never be close enough, could never tire of touching him. He wanted to hate himself for it, but he couldn't even do that; this felt far too satisfying. He stroked John's skin and it seemed surprisingly soft. John was cute in many ways, but he was also weathered and tough so he hadn't expected him to feel like this. He let himself drink in the sensations as he waited for John to wake. He would have expected this to be boring, but he found himself fascinated by the sweetness of this affection, fascinated by his own compulsion to give it.

Last night, when he had planned to pass the razor to John without using their hands, he had assumed it would be a simple practical matter, but when he sensed John's pleasure at his touch something had suddenly changed and he'd realized that he was enjoying it as well. He'd nearly forgotten what he was about for a moment as John had leaned in to his lips, and as they had worked together silently he'd discovered he not only wanted to be John's flat-mate and friend forever, he wanted to be his lover. He wanted John to keep making him feel the strange sensation in his stomach that had risen when their tongues touched. He didn't want anyone else to share John's mouth again. As he'd held John in the dark after cutting him loose he'd been overwhelmed by the realization of how dear John was to him and found himself unable to resist the urge to kiss him again.

He longed to kiss John now, though he didn't want to disturb him while his head was snuggled against his chest. He felt protective of him, and smiled to himself, knowing John felt the same for him. Somehow being with John, especially like this, made him feel more complete. He knew it was a ridiculous notion; he and John were certainly complete people before they had met. Still, this felt so right: thinking of himself without John felt empty in comparison.

He felt John's hand tighten on him as he stirred and made a little groan. It was so endearing Sherlock hardly knew what to do with himself. As John turned his head to look up at Sherlock through bleary eyes, Sherlock immediately pressed his lips to John's adorable mouth. John snuggled into his kiss and reached out to twiddle tongues with Sherlock as way of saying good morning.

"I love you, John." Sherlock found himself saying. That was obvious, but he felt the need to say it again "I love you" he whispered, unable to hold it back. It seemed these words had been trying to get out a long time, and now that he was free to say them they wanted to repeat for every time he had held them back not knowing what they were or how to utter them. The words themselves just weren't enough, they could never be enough. He had to say it with his whole being. He would have to keep saying it forever.

"I love you too." John smiled at him across the pillow, taking him in with a wondering expression. Sherlock felt his own smile broaden along with John's; ridiculous giddy grins. Yes, he was very pleased with this unexpected development. Sherlock had never felt this kind of camaraderie before, this sense of belonging and connectedness. He felt a bit silly, not quite like himself, and hardly knew what to make of it.

"So, I guess you're back to having no friends." John said, still smiling.

Sherlock puckered his brow.

"Since your only friend just became your boyfriend." John teased.

My boyfriend. The word caused an odd pang to run through him. That gave him a sudden idea. He'd have to be quick about it, and as much as he hated to, he'd have to ask Mycroft a favor because Lestrad wouldn't have time, even though he owed him.

Sherlock ran his thumb softly over John's lip, as he had last night. "You won't be able to eat properly." he noted. "Smoothie for breakfast?"

John nodded eagerly at the suggestion. "Perfect." Come to think of it, it had been a very long time since either of them had eaten. Their 'first date' had certainly been lacking in the area of cuisine, and just about everything else, and they'd been too distracted with kissing after they got home last night.

Just then Sherlock's phone rang. He crawled over John to hang off the bed and search for it amongst their pile of clothes on the floor. John had to grab his waist to prevent him tumbling head first off the bed as he strained to reach his trousers. It was Lestrad telling them the arrest had been a success and they could pick up their things (shoes, knife, and phone) later today. Sherlock hung off the side of the bed texting him back, and took a moment to send a message to Mycroft while John couldn't see what he was doing. John kissed his back and lay his head against him while he waited patiently. Finally Sherlock struggled back up onto the bed on top of John. He rather liked this position.

"What was that?" John asked.

"Just Lestrad. I said we'd come round later." Sherlock answered wrapping himself around John on all sides and kissing him again.

His phone beeped again. That would be Mycroft with some snide retort. He shoved the phone under a pillow and kept kissing John. If only Mycroft could see his little brother now, God he'd better not be able to. But Sherlock couldn't help feeling rather smug at defying people's expectations of him, especially his brother's. In spite of his teasing, Sherlock was certain he'd prove a better lover as a virgin than Mycroft would ever be. Mycroft making love was a horrifying thought, he banished it quickly from his mind.

Sherlock kissed along John's neck to his shoulder, then kissed his scar. To think that John could have been lost before he'd even known him made him seem all the more precious. He wondered how it was that of the two of them, it was John who seemed more innocent, less cynical and jaded, even though he'd been in war. He stared down at John's adorable face. What was he thinking as he looked back up at him, as he stroked Sherlock's skin, as he lay underneath him? Sherlock rested his forehead against John's.

"I love you." He and John had spoken it at the exact same moment. They stared into each-other's eyes a while, then John pushed him back gently.

"I know you don't need food," he teased, "but as much as I'd like to stay here all day, my stomach says otherwise."

They crawled out of bed together and headed for the toilet. Sherlock shuffled close behind John, wrapping his arms around his middle.

"I never figured you to be clingy." John muttered.

"What?" Sherlock began to let go, feeling a bit indignant, but John grabbed his hands and pulled his arms back around himself.

"No, it's nice." John assured him. So Sherlock remained fastened around him while John peed and then began to brush his teeth carefully with a somewhat pained expression. Reluctantly Sherlock let go and splashed water on his own face, then reached for his toothbrush. They'd been in here together on occasion before, but not like this, not in just their pants, not together. They eyed each-other in the mirror. This 'domestic bliss' really was quite agreeable.

John had to go to his room to get his own clothes, and Sherlock took the opportunity to prod Mycroft once more. He was quite pleased, however, when John returned directly to get dressed along with him. He felt ridiculous for it, but he'd vaguely missed him even in that short span of time. He really did like being alone, but… he preferred when alone included John. As they finished dressing they looked each-other over with approval.

"You know…" John said with a wry expression as they were putting on their coats by the door, "everyone's going to give us hell about this now."

Sherlock rolled his eyes in agreement, then reached for John's hand as he opened the door. "Just ignore them." he said. "Their opinions don't matter anyway."

As they stood in the busy juice bar looking up at the menu, Sherlock put his arm around John's waist. John had rather expected Sherlock to keep his affection for private moments, considering how he hated to look silly or soft. This didn't exactly fit with his reputation. But, on the other hand, his straightforwardness and disregard for propriety might make him totally unconcerned about public displays of affection, if he felt so inclined. Although John felt it would take him a while to get used to being seen as a gay couple, since he'd always assumed he was straight before meeting Sherlock, he certainly liked Sherlock's affection and show of ownership. He shifted closer and put his own arm around him in return.

Sherlock glanced down at him and smiled. "Not something too acidic." he said, eyeing John's mouth before scanning the list again.

"Er…no, that would be bad." John agreed. Just looking at the description of the pineapple smoothie made his mouth sting, and the raspberry one would have all those scratchy little seeds. Sherlock had been very careful about his cuts during all their kissing, but at the moment his tongue hurt enough on it's own to almost counter his ravenous apatite. The thought of nearly anything in his mouth, other than Sherlock's smooth tongue, sounded unbearable.

"What about the first one, that looks mild." Sherlock suggested.

John read the ingredients and nodded. "Yes. That sounds good." He was about to step up to the counter when Sherlock went ahead of him and ordered the largest size they had of the first item on the menu. With all the noise from the blenders he had to repeat himself, and John smirked knowing how annoyed that always made him.

"Number One." Sherlock enunciated pointing at it, refusing to shout, and also, John noticed, refusing to say the ridiculous name they'd given it.

However, the girl taking his order called over her shoulder. "Full Bananarama!" Then turned back to him and asked "Name?"

"Sherlock." He muttered with a revolted scowl. John couldn't help snickering to himself.

Sherlock paid and then nudged him away from the counter as if trying to make a quick retreat. "I thought we'd share." He replied to John's confused expression. Sherlock was turning out to be far more romantic than John would have ever guessed. He seemed to read John's thoughts and muttered to him "Well you always get the middle size and then never finish it." But John suspected this was only a convenient excuse. Actually the more he thought about it, the more Sherlock's open romantic gestures made sense. Not only did he not care about other people's opinions or stares, he was also the jealous type, and now that John was really his, he would of course make sure his territory was clearly marked. John realized he might have to be careful about being friendly to others, and make sure he was equally demonstrative of his attachment to Sherlock. As they sat down to wait at a tiny table by the window he reached across it to place a hand on Sherlock's arm to maintain contact, at the same time letting his feet brush Sherlock's under the table.

"Walk in the park?" John suggested. "Somewhere less noisy."

Sherlock nodded appreciatively with a slight smile for John as he turned to watch the counter for their smoothie to be ready. When it came up, John went to collect it. Sherlock linked his arm through John's as they wandered off down the street.

A piece of fruit seemed to be stuck in the straw and John winced and made a little "ah!" as the edge of the straw scraped his tongue while he tried to draw the thick liquid up. Sherlock paused and took it from him. John stifled a smile as he watched him suck hard on it for a moment to get it started, his cheeks going more hollow than usual, which looked a bit silly, but he didn't want to turn Sherlock off from his sweet gesture so he didn't laugh. Then Sherlock leaned over and kissed him, cool and sweet, before handing the cup back and taking his hand. John felt a bit startled and self-conscious, kissing in the middle of the street like that. Not that he had anything against kissing in public, but this very un-dreamlike context drove home the reality of their new relationship once more, causing another wave of shock. He found he was almost feeling a nervous giddiness, like being a teenager again with his first crush. He determined not to let his self-consciousness get the better of him now.

He took a long grateful swallow of their liquid breakfast (the cold creaminess was just what his mouth needed) and unlinked their hands so he could put his arm around Sherlock's waist again, sidling closer and trying to match his stride. Sherlock pulled him close with his arm around his shoulder, and tried to adjust to John's shorter legs. After a few more sips, John handed the cup off to Sherlock, feeling a bit silly for feeling so special to be sharing with him. Sherlock of course was putting on an air of being cool and at ease, but today John thought his usual arrogance seemed to be made entirely of the childish taunt 'I have John and you don't.'

They came upon Cavendish Square Gardens and found a seat on a bench. John was struck by the contrast between being tied up in the dark last night, and sitting in a park like a normal person this morning, or afternoon rather. He glanced up at Sherlock.

"God, I'm glad this isn't all there is." He remarked, nodding at the park, and the people walking through it with their coffees, gossiping on their mobiles.

Sherlock laughed and grinned at him. "Insufferable isn't it? All leading such boring lives."

"Not that I'm fond of crime." John said firmly, "I like days like this, don't get me wrong, but…" They looked at each-other fondly, remembering various adventures they'd shared and found themselves chuckling. It was such a joy, doing crazy things together, …doing normal things together. Sherlock leaned in to capture the straw in his mouth and John tilted the cup his way, then had some more himself, privately marveling that he was sitting here happily sharing a straw with Sherlock. John leaned back against Sherlock's shoulder contentedly and smiled as he felt Sherlock rest his head on his own.

"Before last night," Sherlock's deep voice rumbled quietly to him, "I'd been hoping you'd want to stay on with me, that you wouldn't eventually find some girlfriend to marry. I just…didn't know how to ask you that, when I thought…"

"What? No." John dismissed the idea of leaving, "Well, for a while I thought I wanted that, but…" John felt himself blushing and his voice grew quieter, "for a long time now, all I wanted was to be with you." He felt so cheesy saying it, but it was, after all, the truth. "Even if you never…" he trailed off as Sherlock lowered his face closer to his.

"I was afraid I could never be everything I thought you might want of me. I had no idea how much I wantedyou, John, until I felt you wanting to kiss me as I gave you the razor." John looked up and met Sherlock's lips. Sherlock was still being gentle with his mouth, but John could feel the fervor of his desire none-the-less. With his forehead pressed against John's, he said urgently, "Promise you'll never leave me, John."

John drew back to look at him with a faint laugh, "Are you asking me to…? Oh whatever. Yes, Sherlock!" setting aside the cup he squeezed him tightly in both his arms and spoke softly in his ear "I want to grow old with you." Sherlock tightened his arms around him in return and held him close. It might have seemed a bit early to be asking for that kind of commitment, but they'd really already decided on it individually, so there was no point in putting off admitting it to each-other any longer.

Just then Sherlock's phone beeped. He pulled it out and glanced at it. Congratulations, it read, from Mycroft. Catching sight of it, John felt unnerved.

"He can't, He can't see us right now can he?" he asked glancing around for signs of being watched.

"Well he is a busy-body." Sherlock muttered, glancing about as well. He also glanced up at the clouds which had started misting on them: not quite rain, but damp enough anyway. "His umbrella would have been a bit more welcome right now." They shared a little sarcastic laugh.

John slurped the end of the smoothie and Sherlock shot him a reproving glance.

"What? you don't care about manners!"

"That sound is annoying."

John rolled his eyes and stood up to toss the cup into a nearby bin. Now so full of iced juice, he found himself shivering. Sherlock must have noticed because he stood as well and pressed John tightly to himself for several minutes. Then he took off his scarf and wrapped it around John's neck. John felt a little stupid, but he didn't think it worth arguing with Sherlock. He decided Sherlock must not be aware of how cliché he was being with his affection, otherwise he probably would have spurned such gestures. It was sweet to think that he wasn't just copying things from some romance movie, that whatever he did reflected his own desires. He was really quite cute. John smiled at him feeling ridiculously pleased and honored that Sherlock belonged to him.

"Shall we go get our things?" Sherlock suggested. Not waiting for a reply, he steered John down the path with his arm still around him.

"How did you come to loose your shoes?" John had been curious about that since last night.

"I kicked them off so I could move more quietly." Sherlock explained. "It especially helped with climbing that wall."

"I was a bit surprised you got up it without waking the dog." John replied. "And, the razor blade? You don't carry those around in your pocket do you?"

"I was having a look around the toilet when the dog found me and managed to grab it before they came in."

"Ah, brilliant idea that. Put a random razor-blade from a criminal's toilet in your mouth. Yeah, good." John teased him, tightening his arm round Sherlock's waist to communicate his profound thanks for that. The corner of Sherlock's mouth tugged up in a self-satisfied crooked smile.

"Good job he hit your head and not your mouth." John commented.

Sherlock gave him a 'No comment' look down his nose.

They hailed a cab and gratefully climbed into it's warm back seat. Sherlock didn't slide all the way across to the other window as usual, and John scooted close as he got in after him. John stared at his profile while Sherlock told the cabby where they were headed. Then Sherlock turned back to him, catching his look of admiration. It was nice not hiding it, not glancing away quickly and feigning preoccupation with something else as he'd always done. Their gaze drew them closer still and their lips touched softly, but John drew back this time. Apparently he'd been right in surmising Sherlock wouldn't care about propriety while obsessed with his new-found diversion: kissing John.

"Not here." John protested.

"Why not?" Sherlock pulled John closer.

John glanced at the cabby so close at hand and Sherlock rolled his eyes, unrelenting.

"You made note that no one ever succeeds in saying no to me." Sherlock said quietly, the tips of his curls whispering across John's forehead. Too fascinated by Sherlock's eyes to be indignant that he had been reading his personal journal, John felt himself caving. "You most of all." The words brushed John's lips as he gave up thinking and melted into Sherlock's embrace, allowing himself to be kissed and kiss back, and forget that they were grown men in the back of a cab in the middle of the day.

When the cab finally jerked to a stop, Sherlock bit John's neck, where his face was buried, just a little harder than intended. Only then did either of them realize that they had slid down on the seat and Sherlock's hand had found its way inside John's jumper, and now partially untucked shirt. His chest pressed harder against John's for a moment as he craned his neck to see where they were before sitting up resignedly.

"Are we there?" John said nervously, feeling uncannily like a school-girl caught making out with one of the 'bad boys' behind the gymnasium during class. Sherlock smirked roguishly down at him, his hair even more mussed than normal, his top three buttons inexplicably undone. John didn't remember doing that. He didn't remember much clearly, actually. He felt horrified, and happy at the same time, that he'd let himself get carried away. Sex with Sherlock was certainly going to defy all previous expectations.

"You were there 10 minutes ago." The cabby said over his shoulder, "but I gave you boys two more turns round the block. Better to get payed for me trouble than waste time trying to break it up."

"Ah, yes." Sherlock straightened his clothes and recomposed himself, extracting the fair the cabby pointed at from his wallet and handing it over. "Thank you." He flashed him one of those inscrutable smiles of his and then helped John sit up and straighten himself out. As he climbed out of the cab after John, his hand slid into John's trousers, neatly tucking his shirt back in before pressing him close to himself for a moment as they stood on the curb. It appeared the cabby had been discrete, stopping a ways down the block from their destination. They smiled at each-other and giggled together from embarrassment and pleasure. Then Sherlock whirled away with a dramatic swirl of his coat to stride purposefully down the street with John's hand clasped in his.

As they made their way to Lestrad's office John had another attack of self-consciousness. These were people they knew, after all, people he'd openly denied his interest in Sherlock to before. He braced himself for the jokes and stares. Someone was bound to notice that he was quite conspicuously wearing Sherlock's scarf. He tried to slip his hand out of Sherlock's grasp, but he glowered down at him reprovingly and wouldn't let go. It wasn't that John didn't want them to know, or wasn't proud to be with Sherlock, but he didn't want to deal with people making fun of them, which he was sure they couldn't pass up. However the only one who took a moment to glance up at them was Donovan, and she just snorted as they breezed past.

Lestrad stared a moment as they entered, but then smiled and thanked them again, handing them a plastic bag with their things. John quickly opened it to pull out his phone, but then stopped, turning it over in his hand as he glanced up in confusion. "Wait, this isn't mine…" he began, but then the words stuck in his throat. There on the back he saw the engraving:

To John

with love

From Sherlock


He looked up at Sherlock open mouthed as Sherlock grinned broadly at him and Lestrad chuckled, glancing between them. "Nice to see you two geniuses finally figured it out." He said with good-natured sarcasm.

"Stop gaping, you look like an idiot." Sherlock said, wrapping John up in another kiss.