Joan took longer in the shower than she should have and even longer drying off and situating herself. It was a stressful situation, this coming out after so long. After all the nights she'd spent wondering if, and how, it would happen. Joan honestly didn't know what to do about it— and hated herself for referring their possible relationship as it—, or if she should do anything other than let Sherlock set the parameters of what he was comfortable with. The problem was, she didn't know what she was comfortable with yet.

Twisting her hair to the side and snapping a tie around it so the tail swung low over her left shoulder, Joan smoothed her clothes once more before walking to the door. I can't keep stalling. I have to go now, she thought as her hand shook on the knob. She took a deep breath and walked into the living room where Sherlock waited, a book in hand as usual. That relaxed her more than it might have another person, Sherlock acting like he normally did. Until he looked at her and let his pent- up emotions wash over his face to reveal all that he'd been carefully hiding for God knew how long.

"I know you're nervous," he said before Joan could even cross the room to where he sat. "But that's to be expected. Change is hard for people and I didn't expect you to be any different on that front. You can't surprise me in all things, Joan, no matter how you try." Sherlock set down his book, calmer and more collected than he had been while Joan lingered. He'd paced for the first twenty minutes and stared blankly at the pages of his book for the last twenty.

Joan slowly sat down in the big, cushy chair she'd bought recently and pulled her legs up so she could cross them. A defense posture, Sherlock observed, but less tense than she would have been were the conversation going to result in a rejection of relationship. A good sign. "I'm nervous as hell," Joan replied, trying to keep her voice steady for Sherlock's sake. He would be deducing every move she made and the last thing Joan wanted was to make him unnecessarily uneasy by giving away how badly she was shaking inside. "I keep wondering if this is some new experiment or if you're testing me or some weird thing that you might be bound to do because you are Sherlock Holmes. But then I tell myself that I'm just being silly, though it doesn't really work out so well. But that's normal, I guess."

Sherlock started to worry about how Joan was reacting to all of this. Her nerves seemed unnatural from his prior observations, though those same observations could be moot in this circumstance- it was one he hadn't encountered in his research before- and Joan was like no other person he'd ever met. "I can assure you that my experimentation on this subject is over , I've found my conclusion and it's that I feel for you as I'm like never to feel about anyone again. I just need to know what you want, to compare and compromise with what I want." He was very formal, which felt like it was wrong for a conversation like this, but it was the only thing he could do. He was so inexperienced with how this "dating" thing went, no matter the amount of time he'd put into figuring out the mechanics.

"Sherlock Holmes, willing to compromise? That's another first I'll have to write down," Joan joked, laughing a little without Sherlock joining in. "That was sarcasm," She said nervously after an awkward silence. Joan cleared her throat and continued, "But what I want is something I don't really know. I've told myself it was impossible for so long... Never let myself consider that this might actually happen that I can' tell you anything more than I want to be with you as much as you're comfortable with. I've wanted a relationship, a real one like men and women have, and they're hard."

Sherlock nodded with her as she spoke. He understood her feelings, they were ones he'd had to work through even though Joan had held them for much longer than he had. How had he not known? It seemed like his Watson had a few tricks he hadn't figured out yet. "I want to be yours. Plain and simple. I want a relationship, a good one, one that I've seen that seems to work." Sherlock stood and started to pace across to short width of the living room. "The best way to achieve that is to let each other be who we are and that's something we do quite well. We can do more of the bonding things you like to do: movies, dinners and maybe the occasional date but I like the system we have going on now." Sherlock spun on his heel to face Joan and asked, "If you'll just let me be good to you, I think this will work. I can be happy with my dear Watson and she can teach me even more things that I don't know about people."

Watson watched Sherlock for what felt like hours but what she suspected was only a few minutes as he paced. This was as unsure as she'd ever seen him, and it felt very… Wrong.

Sherlock was still muttering to himself about how their being in a relationship would work out— and for the better too! — when Joan said quietly, "Sherlock." He kept murmuring and pacing, not hearing Joan's quiet pleas for his attention. Finally, after ten tries, Joan grabbed him by she shoulder and said firmly, "Sherlock."

His head snapped down so he could look into her face, searching for any indication of her answer. Finding none that pleased him from the serious frown that rested there, he asked softy, "What?"

Joan grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, pulling him down and pressing her lips into his. She kept it short and sweet, relishing the moment she'd been waiting so long for. "And now you can't worry about whether my answer was serious or not," she said smugly, loving the look of surprise and confusion that passed across Sherlock's face.

He slowly nodded, still bent forward, held there by Joan's vice- like hands, and carefully rested his forehead against Joan's. The kiss had sent what felt like a spark through his body, down to his toes and back up again, from which he was still recovering. Instead of answering her, Sherlock did what he'd learned from a movie that Joan was fond of and had forced him to watch two weeks ago and placed his hand gently under Joan's chin to tilt her head up and press another kiss onto her lips.

It was slow and gentle, only lasting for a few moments, but by the end, neither Watson or Holmes could deny what it meant.