Sherlock was pacing the flat, wearing his best suit that hugged his body in all the right places. He and John had been invited to one of his mother's summer balls and due to John's enthusiasm, Sherlock had agreed to go.

"Come on John!" He called impatiently, turning when he heard John's footsteps. Sherlock's eyes widened and his breath caught in his throat at the sight before him.

"J-John..." He breathed in astonishment.

John had been the one really interested in the summer ball of Sherlock's mother. He hadn't met the good lady yet, so he thought this was a welcomed opportunity. On top of that, he loved dancing. So he had nagged his flatmate for about a week until Sherlock had finally given in. Now, on the big day, he was actually the one a bit late with getting ready. He didn't have many suits but put on his best one, even if it couldn't compete with the designer piece the detective wore. Still, he tried his best to look appropriately dressed and when he finally entered the living room, Sherlock's reaction was positive to his appearance.

"Is this okay?" he asked, feeling slightly stupid. Like a girl who was going out with her crush and was unsure about her outfit.

Sherlock smiled and moved over to John. The man looked good in a suit, and that was an image Sherlock was going to make sure to file away in his mind palace in that room that was entirely John Hamish Watson. He straightened and smoothed the man's tie perfectly as he spoke, his baritone voice smooth like honey.

"You look good, John."

When Sherlock came closer to John and straightened the doctor's tie, John almost expected a little nagging but instead, the dark, velvety voice caressed his ears and almost made him shiver. He wasn't sure if his friend had even noticed or if John himself was just too nervous to think properly, but the tone of his flatmate had been deeper than usual and god help him if he continued speaking like this. Sherlock pulled back, patting John's arm lightly before gliding past him.

"Come on, Mycroft's sent a car for us, it's waiting outside, can't keep Mummy waiting."

To John's luck, the sleuth didn't keep talking but instead went past him towards the front door.

"Yes, sure; I should've known Mycroft would do such a thing." He sighed, following the taller man outside.

As promised, a black car stood right in front of their door with a man next to it who, as soon as he saw Sherlock and John, held the door open for them. With a short nod, the ex-soldier got into the car, waiting for his friend to do the same. Sherlock slipped into the back of the car and they drove off quickly. John paused before asking what had burned in his mind all day long.

"So, is there anything I need to know? Anything I shouldn't say? Anything I shouldn't do?"

Sherlock looked at John and paused for a moment.

"Well...there will be around eighty to a hundred people there, some family and most friends or acquaintances. It'll be held in the rose gardens, Mummy's just had two new fountains put in, until dusk and then we'll be taken to the great hall were the orchestra will be set up for dancing. There's nothing prohibited really, no areas to steer clear of." He replied thoughtfully.

John sighed in relief at the answer he received. It wasn't as if he wouldn't be capable of behaving like a gentlemen but he had never been to such an event like this and clearly not one where the host was the mother of his best friend. So yes; this was new and since all Holmes' were a bit...different (or at least those he had met, a.k.a. Sherlock and Mycroft), John felt a little apprehensive.

"Okay, good." He said then, nodding slightly to show that he understood. Taking a deep breath, he eventually calmed down, only his fingers playing with the fabric of his suit showing his slight nervousness. Sherlock touched John's forearm to still his fidgeting once it started to get annoying.

"You will be fine John, don't worry." He said softly before pulling back. John felt a light touch on his forearm and turned his head slightly to look at Sherlock. The words where meant nice and he appreciated them, smiling slightly. It even helped his nervousness a bit, enough to make him stop fumbling with his suit.

"I hope you're right." He just replied.

Sherlock looked out of his window, watching dreary London change into lush, green countryside, the afternoon sun soaking everything in a warm glow and they spent the rest of the journey in silence. The car turned down a long drive way, an impressive house visible thanks to large lights and full of cars parked outside, all BMW, Ferrari, Jaguar, even the odd Mustang. John had almost forgot his concerns while he'd looked out at the scenery, at least until they turned down the drive way and the Holmes' estate was in perfect, breathtaking view. For a moment, John felt entirely out of place when he saw all those expensive cars and a couple just getting out of one in perfect designer suit and dress. If he wouldn't know better, he would believe that they were back in Victorian England with classes of rich people, educated ones and workers.

He definitely wouldn't be on the rich side.

'Oh c'mon John, you behave like a little school girl. Straighten up; you're an ex-army soldier solving crimes with a mad genius detective. You don't need to be rich.' he thought to himself and his posture got straighter, more self-confident. Sherlock saw John's reaction and smiled to himself as he almost heard the inner pep talk John would be giving himself.

"Come along." He said, stepping out of the car and straightening out his suit.

"Looks quite impressive, I must say, your mother definitely has a fine, if slightly extravagant taste." John admitted, flashing Sherlock a smile before going towards the entrance where the rest of the guests seemed to go to as well. Sherlock suddenly linked his arm through John's and steered him away from the entrance.

"Come on, this way we'll miss my brother and hopefully the crowds." He said quietly as he led John around the side of the mansion into the rose gardens, which consisted of large open spaces filled with rose bushes and two fountains. John was a bit surprised by the sudden action of his friend but got along with it just a second later. He was so used to following Sherlock and arranging himself to whatever odd/dangerous/mad/genial idea his flatmate had, that it came natural to get along the second their arms where linked. The whole garden was lit with soft lights that hung from every tree, every bush and every surface that could hold a light really, giving everything a comfy glow. There were people everywhere, men in expensive looking suits and women in gorgeous dresses. John watched the people standing everywhere, all those men and woman in their suits and dresses with hair that looked like it would take hours to coif it like so. John didn't have too much time looking around when his attention was back at Sherlock who had squeezed his arm. Sherlock had squeezed John's arm to gain his attention. He gestured to a rather short, older looking woman in the middle of a crowd of people who were all listening to her intently.

"That's Mummy." He said.

Mummy Holmes wore a floor length, red velvet dress, her hair, still jet black despite her age, was arranged into a neat bun accompanied by a diamond hair slide which matched the necklace and earrings she wore. John took in the woman's appearance. Mrs Holmes was a woman who had aged with grace and one could only imagine how astonishingly beautiful the lady must have been in her youth.

"She looks wonderful," he admitted, before looking at the sleuth, "you got quite a lot from your mother, didn't you? Except the height maybe." He asked, only recognising afterwards that he had complimented Sherlock's looks as well with his words. Sherlock easily read past John's words and realised he'd been complimented. He chuckled softly and let go of John's arm as he looked back at his mother.

"Yes she does; my height I got from my Father yes but everything else is Mummy." He said quietly. John nodded at Sherlock's words, tried to ignore the soft chuckle that indicated that yes, he had recognised the compliment as well; but what did he even expect from the most observant man walking upon earth? He should really be more careful with his words, especially if Mummy Holmes was the same bright mind as her two sons.

Mrs Holmes had clocked her son and his friend as soon as they entered the gardens and politely excused herself from the crowd that had formed around her as she made her way over to the two men.

"Ah! Sherlock! Come here and let Mummy look at you!" She cried; her voice soft and warm as she gave her son a kiss on each cheek and cupped his face.

"Just as handsome as always!".

Her sharp, bright eyes, the spitting image of Sherlock's, turned to John and she grinned.

"And this must be the famous Doctor John Watson; I've heard nothing about you!" She joked as she kissed John on each cheek as well. The elder woman radiated such sympathy and warmth that John was a bit surprised by it. He only knew the very collected behaviour of Mycroft and the mostly either very calculating or hyperactive and mad manners of Sherlock. However, the familiarity with which Mrs. Holmes treated her younger son was the opposite of what he had expected. It was heart-warming, making the ex-soldier smile a bit without realising it, while he couldn't help but recognise the parallels between Sherlock's mother and Mrs. Hudson. They did have a comparable smiled softly at his mother's words.

"Any description of John would have been unsatisfactory, I thought it best for you to meet him yourself rather than to form ideas based on words." Sherlock told his mother. Before John could react himself, Sherlock had answered with such a soft, warm voice that John was surprised again by this completely different behaviour. He caught himself soon, thought, turning his attention back towards Mummy Holmes.

"It's a pleasure to finally meet you, Mrs. Holmes. I can't say I've heard a lot more about you either, so I suppose we're basically on the same level then," he joked with a smile, "I must say you have a magnificent looking home here, I really can't understand how I needed to nag Sherlock first to get here. If I were him, I'd come gladly at any time." He added then, trying to charm the lady with his best manners. He didn't want to leave a bad impression on Sherlock's mother, after all.

Mrs Holmes regarded John for a moment, her eyes taking him in. She was indeed where her boys had got their sharp wits and intelligence from yet she chose to keep that to herself; it was better if people underestimated her.

"Why thank you John, I can call you John, yes? My youngest isn't the most social of types, I'm sure you know that seeing as you live together. Well if you think so I'll start sending the invitations to you personally instead of my son." She laughed, a rich, intoxicating laugh.

When Mrs. Holmes looked at John with those sharp eyes, he felt like an object dissected under a microscope. This woman clearly had the same calculating eyes Sherlock had and the strong analysing glance each of her son's possessed. However, it just lasted a second or two so he didn't feel uncomfortable. On the contrary, actually, when she started talking again, he couldn't help but chuckle when Mummy Holmes laughed.

"I know that just too well, yes. But I'd gladly receive the invitation, thanks. I might even be capable of dragging Sherlock along more often, then." He replied. Sherlock rolled his eyes and nudged John playfully.

"Stop making me look bad in front of my mother." He joked and earned a playful hit on the arm from his Mummy and a teasing grin from John. Mrs Holmes stroked Sherlock's cheek and gave him two more kisses.

"Well darling I better mingle, you know how the Dartford's get if I don't give them at least fifteen minutes of my charming company!" She joked before kissing John's cheeks again.

"It was a pleasure John, I'm already very fond of you," she turned to leave before looking back, "a word of warning, stay away from Sherlock's cousin Bessie, recently divorced you see, looking for anything with male genitalia and a pulse, and she's not too picky about the rate of the pulse if you catch my meaning!" She joked before disappearing into the crowd. John had been prepared enough for the kisses to not be surprised anymore. The only thing that had surprise him was the comment he got about the detective's cousin, Bessie. He nodded immediately before Mrs. Holmes disappeared into the crowd.

"Your mother is really nice, I like her. I can see why she seems to be such a popular person among all her guests." He said, turning fully towards his flatmate again.

"I'm glad you like her, and thank you for trying to belittle me in front of my mother. You little suck up." Sherlock grinned at Sherlock's teasing words, not even caring anymore about the fact that they were linked together again.

"Well, I need to use such opportunities every now and then, don't I? And compared to body parts in the fridge or your constant bickering with Anderson, I was really nice in describing a few of your flaws." He countered compared with a swift smirk.

Sherlock was very relaxed. He had missed his mother, forgotten how charming and loving she was and John seemed at ease, and wasn't calling him on his affectionate behaviour or words.

"So, what do you think about show me around a bit more? The garden looks huge and I think doing that you can avoid Mycroft a bit longer. I just spotted him at ten o'clock." John asked, pointing in the direction where the elder Holmes was talking with two other very rich and very influential looking men. Sherlock scowled in the direction of his brother and quickly lead John away to the left and through some large iron gates into another garden.

This garden was filled with conifers and sunflowers and there was a large pathway leading around and to another set of gates.

"The gardens circle the mansion. We can walk through them and make it into the west entrance which is closer to the great hall." Sherlock explained quietly.

"I'd love to do that." John responded to the quiet explanation, smiling softly. Sherlock walked close to John, their hips brushing now and again and they were alone in these gardens, the rest of the guests not knowing their way around and therefore staying put. John felt how relaxed Sherlock was next to him and he knew how rare that happened outside of cases or their flat. He even got a strangely comfortable tingling on his skin at every part their bodies touched every now and then. Sherlock looked around with a soft smile on his face. He'd spent most of his childhood in these gardens.

Out of the corner of his eyes, he watched his flatmate a bit and saw the rare, soft smile on the handsome features, making the man even more beautiful. The thought might be strange, considering that John was a straight man but he couldn't deny how mesmerising Sherlock's appearance was. Tall with curly, ebony hair, moon-coloured eyes that changed their shade ever so often, high cheekbones, porcelain white skin and the suit he wore just matched perfectly with every flattering attribute of his slim body. The detective looked like a walking picture painted by Leonardo Da Vinci, overshadowing the Mona Lisa with ease and grace. Compared to him, the doctor looked painfully boring but he didn't mind that tonight. It was just nice exactly the way it was right now.

Sherlock could feel John's gaze and it made his heart flutter like some lovelorn teenager yet Sherlock couldn't bring himself to care or call John on it. As they walked at a slow and leisurely pace through the gardens Sherlock inhaled the sweet smells of the flowers and caught the scent of John's cologne. He'd have given anything to bury his face in the other man's neck to get a better smell but he restrained himself.

"Care to share some stories? I can see at your look that you have a few nicer memories connected with these gardens." John eventually spoke, a soft smile lingering on his lips while he looked at his flatmate. Sherlock chuckled softly and pointed to a large willow tree that stood in the middle of the gardens they were walking through.

"I broke my arm when I was five. I had climbed that tree and refused to come down. What does Mycroft do but come up after me and manage to snap the branch I'm sitting on. Mummy fussed and fussed, it was a clean break, pain was bearable, yet it was not until a week after my cast came off that I was allowed to leave her sights." He told John, smiling at the memory.

John's smile grew a bit larger for a moment at the velvety chuckle of his friend, before it settled back on the easy softness while listening to the little story. He could almost perfectly imagine how the younger version of Sherlock had climbed the tree and how Mycroft had tried to get him down again, everything ending in the disaster of a broken arm and the watchful glance of Mrs. Holmes not leaving her youngest child for quite a long while. The ex-soldier hung on every spoke word while the sleuth was talking; looking towards him so he wouldn't miss the tiny, heart-warming smiles that broke through every now and looked down and met John's gaze. The small smile lingered on John's lips while he was caught by the unbelievable colours of seemingly tiny galaxies in those hypnotising eyes that belonged to his flatmate.

The light chose that moment to shine softly against the side of John's face, illuminating his tanned skin and soft, tender eyes that could melt even Sherlock's ice cold heart. The smaller man's small smile was perfect and his sandy blonde hair was highlighted by the sun, giving him a youthful glow.

Sherlock drew closer so that now their every step was accompanied by the brush of their hips. He looked around again and they walked through to the next gardens, this one full of carnations and lavender, a large pond in the centre, complete with lily-pads and large fish. John recognised how the detective drew even closer but he couldn't care less, instead even tugging the madman's arm further towards him, so that their bodies where almost aligned completely from shoulder to leg. Sherlock was disarmed by the warmness of John's gaze and how they both seemed to be losing themselves in the other's eyes. When John pulled him closer he smiled widely and rest his other hand on John's bicep, giving it a light squeeze. He sighed peacefully.

"It's really beautiful here; I envy you for the chance at growing up in such a nice environment." John said with a slightly absent voice, eyes sweeping over their surrounding again, imagining how a tinier version of his friend was running around, laughing, that rare, warm and disarming laugh John only heard at so very few occasions, though he would do everything to make Sherlock laugh like that again.

"It is, yes, I am very lucky in the respect that I grew up in such a picturesque place, even if it was with Mycroft." Sherlock said lightly. John did laugh a bit at the comment concerning Mycroft, imaging the bickering between the two siblings at such an amount of time spent together. They nearly bite their heads off sometimes when they're around each other for about five minutes, he could imagine how much trouble Mrs. Holmes must have had with these two. Sherlock drank in John's laughter and smiled. He loved making John laugh, watching the way the lines on his face changed to suit his lips that upturned so beautifully.

"When does the real ball even start? I mean the one in the great hall?" John causally asked then, still looking around at the changing nature of different parts of the garden.

Sherlock thought for a moment before looking down at John.

"We have around half an hour before the formal part of the ball will begin," he suddenly chuckled slightly, "maybe my cousin Bessie will partner you in the dancing."

Even as he'd said that he felt a tiny twinge of jealously. It was all fine and well walking through the gardens arm in arm but Sherlock knew John wouldn't want to dance with him, that was too unlike what two male friends would do, for that's all Sherlock was to John, a friend and Sherlock was fine with that...sort of.

So, he still had half an hour left before they needed to get back into the crowd, acting polite and well-raised, John thought. Not that he disliked it that much but he always preferred to have this alone time with Sherlock rather than anything else with some of those rich snobs. He wasn't really judging them already but he did know how those people tended to behave normally.

"Well, a polite, short dance maybe if it comes to that but I think I rather take the advice of your mother seriously. Anyway, the evening will be quite long, I'm sure I'll have a few more opportunities to dance than just with her. There are plenty of guests and I have hopes that there are some good dancers among them." He said causally, shrugging slightly. He knew he was quite the good dancer and he loved dancing a lot so neither talent nor time nor the lack of a partner was the case at this ball. Therefore, he certainly wouldn't miss the opportunity to dance until his feet would hurt. They kept walking close, intoxicatingly close and Sherlock revelled in the way John's body brushed his.

"Yes, good choice, Mummy knows what she's talking about. Oh and don't worry about the dancing. Every Holmes is classically trained since childhood; it's rather a tradition that's broken out within the family which means the other guests will have taken lessons as well to impress Mummy and our family." Sherlock commented.

He knew John was a good dancer and that he enjoyed doing it. He was looking forward to admiring John do so, imagining how the shorter man's body would look fitting different dance forms and then feeling a pang of jealous again at the thought of someone else getting to dance with him.

John needed to repress the shiver that threatened to run down his spine at Sherlock's words. It wasn't too much the facts presented to him, it was the image linked to them. The image of a certain tall, dark haired man who moved so easily and carelessly with such admirable grace that the mere thought of him dancing was mesmerising and breathtaking. He definitely needed to find a chance to try this and dance with the man, even if it would look odd to everyone else. People did talk anyway and at least he wouldn't need to be confronted with the ones attending this ball at a daily base.

They moved into the last gardens before the west entrance and Sherlock steered John towards a bench that sat beside glorious gardenias and dahlias. They sat down, Sherlock keeping their arms linked and sitting so their thighs were pressed together. He didn't usually respect people's personal space anyway but he was more than happy to invade John's.

John didn't even recognise as the detective lead them toward the bench, he was too caught up in the idea of Sherlock dancing tango, foxtrot, waltz, samba, all different kinds of movements from painfully graciously slow to passionately fast and heated up. Only after a few more moments of complete silence, lost in his thoughts and now finally coming back, John recognised the closeness he and Sherlock shared through the still linked arms as well as their thighs touching. Warmth almost immediately spread through his body and he wasn't entirely sure if he could define it as comfortable or if it made him nervous again in a completely different way. He tried to stay impassive and let the sleuth recognise nothing of it. His military training helped a bit with that and so he was quite good at keeping a collected appearance. Instead, he decided to try and distract his friend's thoughts again with talking once more. Or rather asking a question he had on his mind ever since they got the invitation to this huge ball.

"Sherlock, can I ask you something?" he started, looking at his flatmate, "it's pretty obvious that your family is very rich and you'll probably inherit a nice sum of money. You could easily afford a flat on your own, a much nicer, bigger one on top of that. So, why do you even looked for a flatmate in the first place? Not to share the rent, that's quite clear." He eventually dared to ask, his glance now curious since he really couldn't understand why.

Sherlock had relaxed into the silence and gave a small hum to show John could ask away, looking down at John with an inquisitive eyebrow raised.

"Ah, I thought this question would come up eventually." He said before leaning back into the bench, hand coming to rest on John's bicep again and his fingers stroking over the arm idly as he thought, picked his words.

"Yes, my family are wealthy and yes, I stand to inherit half of our fortune but despite the surroundings in which I grew up in, I found myself drawn to Baker Street, having found it completely by accident. Mummy was the one who insisted I find a flatmate, she was completely against the idea of me moving from home at all but seeing my mind was set she asked me to make sure that I 'find someone who'll keep me right'," Sherlock smiled before chuckling, "I'm quite glad she did as well, I could not have asked for a better flatmate." Sherlock looked at John, his eyes staring into John's as the sun started to dip, giving everything a lazy glow that illuminated Sherlock's face and cheekbones as well as his eyes. He gave the man's bicep a fond squeeze.

John looked at Sherlock all the way through his explanation and now the detective told him why, he couldn't imagine it any other way. Especially the idea of him living alone was somehow...strange. He couldn't even begin to imagine what a mess both the flat and Sherlock would be if he would live without anyone at all.

No, he certainly did agree with Mummy Holmes, leaving the sleuth completely to his own devices was a somehow strange and bit-not-good thought. He wasn't quite at the point if he wanted to admit that he overall just didn't like the thought of not knowing Sherlock. To still be all alone in his little flat outside London, having a boring life and missing the company of this extraordinary man right beside him. He'd already opened his mouth to agree with Mrs. Holmes words, when his flatmate continued to speak. John's mouth stayed open slightly but no words left it for quite a long time and all he could do was simply just stare at his friend. Yes, the compliment had taken him by surprise but what was really keeping him from forming any coherent sentence in his mind was the view he just got from Sherlock's face. He could stare at it for hours without blinking. Only the fond squeeze at his biceps pulled him back to reality.

"Well..." He eventually started, unable to hide his mixed feelings of embarrassment and being flattered, "I think the feeling is quite mutual. Even thought I can get absolutely furious about some of your habits I certainly wouldn't exchange you for anyone else in the world." He eventually admitted, giving Sherlock a genuine smile.

Sherlock had been worried when John didn't reply and his expression made Sherlock nervous. However when he saw the flattery on John's face and slight embarrassment, he smiled widely and chuckled in relief.

"Really? You'd pick me over anyone else to live with? Maybe I have sent you mad!" He joked before smiling again, his cheeks tinting pink, "thank you John; that...means a lot to me."

John couldn't help but chuckle at Sherlock's joke, answering with a short "well, maybe you have" even if he didn't think so, of course. If there was anything driving him mad right now, it was the closeness between the two of them that was accompanied with this tingling sensation he couldn't quite describe. Sherlock leant over and pressed a light kiss on John's cheek, just under his left eye. He knew he shouldn't have but the moment just seemed too perfect not to.

Something inside John made a strangely comfortable hop, like the feeling you got while you're on a roller coaster, a second before you drop down into high speed. He didn't know what to say for a painfully long second, not because he was disgusted or because he hadn't liked it. The contrary was actually the case.

That long second seemed to be the longest second that Sherlock had every felt in his life. He nibbled his bottom nervously, waiting for John to respond and more than likely ask him what the hell he was doing.

John eventually worked up the courage to free his arm out of Sherlock's grip and instead putting it around the detective's shoulders. When John's arm slipped out of his, Sherlock frowned, for the split second he had before said arm coiled around his shoulders and pulled him closer than before.

"Sure thing, Sherlock." John mumbled, not really to say something but rather to have an excuse to stay closer a little longer and inhale the scent of the sleuth. He tugged him closer still to press his lips into the ebony curls but then he let go again and the moment was gone.

Sherlock melted against John instantly and as the kiss was pressed to his hair he let out a soft, contented sigh. He cherished the short moments that they stayed like that before John let go, much to Sherlock's disappointment. He looked back at John but couldn't help the smile that spread over his face. He stood up and gestured his arm for John again. When Sherlock smiled at him after John let go again, the doctor immediately smiled back before watching his friend standing up. The ex-soldier followed his flatmate's example and stood up as well, linking their arms again without a second thought.

"Come, we'll make our way to the hall, perhaps we can catch a few more moments with Mummy while she's no doubt commanding the orchestra about." Sherlock said kindly before leading John inside through large, double doors and into the great hall.

"Alright, I'd love a few more moments with your mother." John agreed, grinning slightly at the thought of the short woman commanding around a bunch of musicians so they would stand in the right order.

The hall was about the size of the whole of the men's flat at least four times over. With high ceilings and chandeliers hanging down, the expensive and lavish wall settings and paintings were illuminated in a soft glow. On the far side was a massive orchestra, all of the musicians dressed in white suits and their instruments all looking brand new or at least finely polished. And there was Mummy Holmes, giving orders and advice to the musicians who were all listening to her intently and her expert advice.

"Won't we disturb her when we just go to her?" John asked quietly enough so his voice wouldn't echo through the whole hall but was audible to Sherlock.

Sherlock chuckled softly and tilted his head down, any excuse to get close to John, and whispered in his ear, his hot breath ghosting over John's neck. As Sherlock tilted his head down and whispered into John's ear, he got goose bumps almost immediately and it seemed like every little hair stood on edge. Only his military control helped him to repress the shiver that, once again, tried to run down his spine.

"She'll have heard us come in, that and she'll probably want to ask you for a dance." Sherlock murmured before he pulled his head back.

"Okay." John could just bring out, the intoxicating closeness not helping with his thoughts to form in a coherent order. Then Sherlock straightened up again and was mostly out of his personal space, leaving John to release the breath he hadn't recognised he had been holding. Sherlock smiled at John before leading him over to the woman.

Mummy Holmes turned as she had in fact heard the two men enter; waving her hand at the musicians to tell them she was done talking to them.

"Ah, here are my Baker Street boys! I saw you sidling off in the gardens, give him the tour did you Sherlock? Good boy. I'm assuming to avoid your elder brother but I long ago gave up on trying to make you two see eye to eye." She commented happily.

John chuckled a bit at the 'good boy' aimed at Sherlock before it dimmed down into a smile again.

"Don't worry Mrs. Holmes, I think it's impossible for those two to get along for more than three seconds." He assured her, remembering the various occasions he had already been around while the two siblings were bickering around.

"I'm just waiting for the day to come into the flat and actually witnessing them fighting with bow and umbrella." He joked then, flashing Sherlock a teasing grin.

Mummy Holmes chuckled and smiled up at her son's friend.

"Bow and umbrella? Now that would be something you my dear John would have to film and send to me," she joked before looking up at the detective, "Sherlock be a dear and go and fetch your Father, he should be in the study, you know how he gets, lost in his books, I'll keep John entertained." She said. Sherlock stalled but nodded, unhooking his arm from John's and smiling at him.

"I'll leave you in my mother's charming presence." Sherlock said before striding off. So, that's probably where Sherlock got his 'lost in his books/experiments/thoughts' from, the ex-soldier thought, looking after the detective a second longer than strictly necessary.

Mummy Holmes hooked John's arm where Sherlock had been and patted the man's chest.

"Now, let's talk about my son, and your intentions." She said knowingly and warmly.

John's attention snapped back to Mrs Holmes the moment she hooked her arm around his and patted his chest. He didn't think anything bad by that but the next words left him a bit gobsmacked.

"I'm not-" He started almost automatically, before cutting himself off again with a sigh.

Why did everyone always assume that they were in a relationship or at least 'secretly in love with each other'.

"Look, Mrs. Holmes, you're a very smart lady and your son is an astonishing man but I assure you, there are no 'intentions' on my side other than our friendship, keeping him alive when he heads off into another one of his cases or forgot to eat again, maybe keeping him from putting body parts in the fridge and a flat share." He replied as calmly and as honest as he could, trying not to show her how annoying it was to tell every single person that met him and Sherlock that no, they were not in a relationship and he was not gay, thank you very much.

Mummy Holmes chuckled and smiled affectionately at the other man.

So he really was even fooling himself!

"I can see your frustration John, I made no assumption that you were in a relationship with my son nor that you were homosexual but...well John, come now, you can talk to me. A romantic walk through the gardens, walking arm in arm, it doesn't exactly scream platonic, does it?" She smiled and gave John's arm a squeeze.

John didn't know what to say anymore. The whole time Mrs. Holmes spoke, he was completely helpless at what to reply. First, because she had a point at the walk, though he wouldn't classify it as romantic, it was just Sherlock showing him around. But then he remembered the little scenery with first the detective's kiss on his cheek and then the reciprocation with him kissing Sherlock's hair.

"Sherlock is smitten with you, very much so. How else would you have convinced him to attend, he hates my parties mainly because he hates the pomp and ceremony that I put on for my guests. His aversion for physical contact seems nonexistent when he is with you, you must see this." Mummy Holmes paused and patted John's chest again, just over his heart. John almost opened his mouth to protest immediately when the elder woman said the detective was 'smitten'. Sherlock couldn't be smitten with him, impossible; he was way too boring and ordinary. However, he didn't say anything because this was Sherlock's mother and if someone knew the sleuth better than John himself it probably would be Mummy Holmes. Plus, she was a very intelligent woman and her reasoning was once more quite convincing.

"My son is in love with you John, although don't tell him I said anything for he will likely just shut himself down and with all the progress he's made!"

Just when his mind tried to wrap itself around the idea that maybe, Sherlock was a bit 'smitten' with him, the taller man's mother basically swept John off his feet with her next words.


In love.

With him?

For a second, he believed that Mrs. Holmes was just joking and he was tempted to laugh at the thought. Mrs Holmes was about to speak again when she heard the doors opening again signalling her son had returned with her husband. She simply smiled and kissed John's cheek.

"You shall have to let me dance with you later on" was all she said. She turned and grinned at the two men. John couldn't help but stare at her, unable to react in any other way at all, even when she smiled and kissed him on the cheek again. He barely registered Mr. Holmes and the detective come back into the great hall, his thoughts whirling around in his head like a hurricane. Sherlock, Mr. 'high functional sociopath', the man married to his work, epitome of the most extraordinary man John could imagine, this man, in love with him? It sounded impossible, absurd, strange, so very not fitting. Sherlock would never fall in love with him, not with boring, ordinary, dull John Watson. It was just impossible, impossible.

Sherlock's father was tall and pale, just as his son, although he was taller than Sherlock, just. His face was harder than Sherlock's though and was nothing like that of Sherlock's cheekbones or lips, much more masculine and hard angles and wide set jaw. He was however handsome and had aged just as well as his wife. He smiled softly as he embraced his wife, giving her a quick kiss.

Sherlock moved back over to John and smiled.

"Sorry about that, I'll introduce you to my father."

"Yeah, sure." the doctor just replied to Sherlock's words, barely even listening. He tried to get back to reality, his mind making it hard for him to even think of anything else.

"That would be a good idea." He added, figuring that the best way to handle this was, to distract himself for a while until he had enough time to properly think it through.

Sherlock raised an eyebrow at John for a moment, the man seemed slightly...flustered, confused. He squeezed John's arm softly with a smile before someone cleared their throat behind them.

John's full attention finally snapped back to reality when he felt the gentle squeeze on his arm and heard how Mr. Holmes cleared his throat behind them. Sherlock turned and put his hand on the centre of John's back as he gestured to his father.

"Father, this is Doctor John Watson, John this is my Father."

Mr Holmes took John's hand in a firm handshake. The doctor shook hands with Mr. Holmes, the strength reminding him of one of his generals back in his time as a soldier. But this man wasn't anything alike his generals. When he spoke, Mr Holmes' voice was deep like Sherlock's, slightly gruffer, but his mannerisms showed how much Mycroft took after him.

"An honour Doctor, to finally meet you after all this time. Forgive me for my lack of presence during the afternoon but my boys very much got their bookworm tendencies from myself, I am sure my wife has been keeping you well entertained however."

Mr Holmes was a traditional gentleman who spoke eloquently and held himself well, his suit accompanied with a pocket watch. He had sharp eyes, a crystalline grey that pierced through John. He was the very image of his high class and status.

"The honour is on my side, Mr. Holmes. And there's no need to apology, since your wife was indeed a lovely company." He answered, giving the older man a friendly smile. He was surprised by himself that the sharp eyes weren't making him uncomfortable, since they were so very much alike Mycroft's and had the same, Holmesian glint in them that told everyone 'I can read you like a book'. Mrs. Holmes had this glint as well but she was the only family member where it was dimmed so much, that you barely saw it if you weren't looking for it. Yes, John saw indeed where the two sprouts of the Holmes' family got their mind and skills from.

Mummy Holmes chuckled and linked arms with her husband.

"Come my dear, we should go alert the rest of the guests that it is time for dancing." she said softly. Mr Holmes hummed in agreement and nodded politely at John before patting Sherlock's shoulder as he let his wife lead him out the way John and Sherlock had entered, through the gardens. John reciprocated the polite nod towards Mr. Holmes, before watching them a short time going towards the doors Sherlock and he had entered the great hall through. Sherlock's hand dropped from John's back and his stance relaxed somewhat. John's attention then skipped to the detective, a somewhat empty feeling being left behind as the man's hand left John's body.

"I assume Mummy and you had more gossip about how much you put up with being my flatmate." Sherlock said jokingly, nudging John slightly. John listened to his friend's joking words, grinning slightly himself with a short shake of his head.

"Don't worry Sherlock, I'm just telling people what a horrid flatmate you are when you're around to witness it." He replied playfully, even winking at the sleuth while emphasising the 'horrid' like it actually was a compliment instead of an insult. They were alone again, the orchestra having retired to a small room beside the hall for a last minute drink and practice. Sherlock walked over and stood by the door to the gardens, simply looking out, leaning against the doorframe slightly. The evening sun bathed his body in a dim, warm light and his expression was soft and at ease as he sighed quietly.

John's grin faded away into a thoughtful expression the second Sherlock turned away, leaning against the door frame. It was, once again, a picture breathtaking enough to overshadow the most beautiful sunset in an instant and John was tempted just to stand there and watch. But he knew that staring wasn't quite the most appropriate behaviour so he tore his eyes away from Sherlock, instead looking into the same direction as his friend.

"Are you going to dance, too?" he suddenly asked, the words coming out before he thought twice. He had the image of Sherlock dancing in his head again and one part of him wanted to watch forever, the other part (even if he didn't admit it to himself directly) was somewhat jealous of the woman who would have the fortune to dance with such a graceful man.

Sherlock was too deep in thought to feel John's gaze and was only snapped back when John spoke, looking at the other man and giving a slight shrug.

"Yes probably, well, after Mummy dances with you she will want a dance from myself and Mycroft. A few cousins and aunt's may want a dance but apart from that I am not one to mix with the guests or dance with strangers so I will probably just stand and watch." He replied before looking back out of the gardens. He wanted to ask John if he would dance with him, even if only for a few minutes but instead he simply said;

"I'm sure the female guests will be fighting each other to dance with you."

His voice was soft and quiet. He felt jealousy twinge through him again at the thought of someone dancing with his flatmate. He tried to ignore it, push it away and delete it, block out the feeling but it kept coming back, niggling at him until he ran a hand through his hair to try and distract himself.

John slowly walked over to Sherlock while the latter spoke, answering his question. He had already assumed what the detective now confirmed him with his words and he was partly jealous of all those women who could dance with Sherlock and partly relieved that the other didn't intend on dancing too much with anyone else. Then, however, his thoughts were back the moment his friend raised his voice again, even if it was just a soft, quiet sentence. The army-doctor frowned for the fraction of a second, debating with himself if there was even the tiniest bit jealousy speaking out of this words.

'When Mrs. Holmes is right then of course it's jealousy!' came a tiny voice from somewhere deep in his mind, almost verbally kicking him for his stupidity.

But could it really be?

Sherlock did act different in John's presence and it wasn't always in a strictly platonic way either (he remembered the tiny cheek-kiss again) but was it really 'being in love' he witnessed in Sherlock's behaviour or was it just a...stronger attraction? His mind still couldn't decide, especially not because the thought was so foreign to him in so many different ways. He shook his head slightly to get back into reality, recognising only now that he hadn't replied to his flatmate's latest words.

"Now you're exaggerating, Sherlock. There are other men as well who they could dance with and I'm certainly not the best match they could get here." He said eventually, shrugging slightly. Afterwards, he turned his head a bit away towards the new rising voices that were approaching the great hall. So, the guests where finally coming and soon, the hall would be crowded with people and the air would be filled with music.

'Yes but you're the most handsome of them all' Sherlock thought before chuckling to cover himself and smiled at John.

"Yes but you're new blood." He stated before the orchestra came back out, the sound of voices being heard. Sherlock moved over and started giving orders to the musicians; orders he'd heard his mother give and orders he knew she would have. John chuckled a bit at Sherlock's comment, shaking his head a bit again.

Mummy and Mr Holmes were leading the procession of guests and soon they were all in, the hall not even half full with them all. The two parental Holmes' moved to stand before the orchestra and Sherlock quickly joined John in the array of guests whose attention was now pulled to the two at the front.

"Welcome! Friends, family, we thank you all for your attendance to what I know you will agree to be another beautiful event organised by my beautiful wife." Mr Holmes said, smiling down at the woman and starting a round of applause that echoed around the room, Mummy Holmes grinning and blushing and waving her hand dismissively. The man looked back and cleared his throat as the applause died down and gestured for his wife to carry on.

"I have handpicked some of my and my husband's favourite music and we do so hope you will like it just as much as us. Let the dancing begin!" Mummy Holmes declared happily and the orchestra began to play, crisp clear notes that filled the air, the acoustics of the room turning the notes into heavenly music.

Mummy and Mr Holmes bowed to each other and joined together, starting to waltz gracefully as the other guests soon paired up.

A tall, skinny woman with fiery red hair combed back into style and a rather short black dress on swaggered over to John and Sherlock and smiled seductively down at John. A glance to Sherlock and John knew even before the woman introduced herself, who she was.

"I'm Bethany Sicily Holmes, Bessie to my friends. Would you care for a dance?" She asked the doctor, her voice a delicate as satin.

"My name is John Watson. And I'd welcome a nice dance, surely." He answered politely, giving her a short smile. He knew he should stay away but he also couldn't just tell her to look for someone else. So he decided a short little dance would be the minimum he needed to do and then he could dance with someone else, avoiding the red haired woman for the rest of the evening. But for now, since he had agreed to a dance, he offered her his hand, which was promptly taken and soon, he swept her away in a gracious waltz, joining the other people dancing.

Sherlock sighed as John swept Bessie off, jealously hitting him full force. He looked away, not wanting to watch. Soon however a rather attractive female guest (slender curves, soft blonde hair and bright blue eyes) came over and asked for a dance. Sherlock was about to refuse politely when he caught of a glimpse of John. Well...he needed something to do instead of standing there and pining for the other man. He gave her a small smile, forced of course, and took her hand. She stood slightly closer than necessary for a waltz but Sherlock said nothing, instead simply sweeping with her around the floor gracefully, his posture perfect and his hands firm on her body and yet delicate in her hand. He smiled when they danced past his mother and father and gave John a softer smile as they passed each other.

Soon, at least eight minutes, Mummy Holmes excused herself from her husband and moved over to John and smiled as they stopped dancing.

"Would you mind awfully if I stole your partner Bethany? No? Most kind." She said quickly, not waiting for replies. Bessie, quite aware not to argue with the older woman smiled politely and gave John's cheek a quick kiss and left with a wink. Mummy Holmes took John's hand and placed her other on his shoulder.

"I thought I'd better come and rescue you." She said so only John could hear and chuckled.

It had been horrible. Sure, Bessie was a very attractive woman but she definitely wasn't one of the best dancers, nor was she the most subtle with flirting. And on top of that, it just felt wrong dancing with her. She stood far too close to John for any comfort and thus more or less managed to step on his feet a few times. He hadn't said anything about it, of course, trying to be polite while getting a bit away from her. But every time he brought a few more inches between them, she closed the space again. When they came by a beautiful blonde and Sherlock, he mirrored the detective's smile and his eyes lingered a bit longer on the dancing man until he vanished between the other people again. When, Mummy Holmes suddenly appeared and asked him for a dance, John was so relieved he couldn't thank the elder woman enough. He immediately started dancing with her after he got the kiss to his cheek, feeling the need to get away from Bessie as soon as possible while his feet thanked Mummy Holmes that she was a really good dancer and thus easy and comfortable to lead. When they were far enough away, he heard the words of Mrs. Holmes and couldn't quite hold back his own chuckle as well.

"Much appreciated, I assure you, especially by my feet." He joked, giving the woman a thankful smile.

Sherlock saw his mother begin to dance with John and he felt relief flooding through him. He stopped dancing and excused himself from his own dancing partner, giving her a kiss on the cheek politely and moving away. He moved to a table that had been set up in the far corner and was handed a glass of champagne by the butler which he took gratefully. He stood, leaning against the wall, eyes glued on John and he couldn't seem to look away. He rolled his eyes however when he heard the voice from beside him.

"Sherlock." The detective scowled over before looking back into the dancing crowd.


Back with Mummy Holmes and John, the woman was impressed by John's dancing and told him so, although she could tell he hadn't been given lessons. John started to enjoy the dancing again, the skilfulness of Mrs. Holmes making it easy for him to forget himself in the flowing movement and the blurring masses around them. The opportunity to dance with such a skilled partner was rare and so he cherished it.

"So dear John, how are you enjoying my little get together so far, be honest, I do love being told what others think but only if they're being truthful." She said as they continued to waltz around the floor.

"I'm really enjoying it," he answered honestly, giving her a smile, "I've never attended such a huge and extravagant ball, so I'm naturally quite impressed by it and since I love dancing, I really can't complain." He added, continuing to waltz over the inviting floor.

However, the song came to an end soon and he thanked Mrs. Holmes for the dance with a polite bow and a smile. Before he could add anything else, though, he was tapped on the shoulder and another woman, tall, chocolate brown hair and moss-green eyes, asked him for a dance. He excused himself from Mummy Holmes then, before dancing away with the other lady, who, to his luck, was also quite good. He had three or four more dances like this, all with beautiful women and he enjoyed sweeping over the floor with them to the different songs. But after a while, he decided he needed a break, so he excused himself from his current dancing partner and got to the tables in the corner of the hall. He spotted Bessie on one of them, winking at him again when their glances met but he looked away soon, pretending that he hadn't seen her.

Instead, he approached Sherlock who was, if he wouldn't know better, almost moping around on another table.

Sherlock had shooed away his brother and thankfully someone, who Sherlock had coldly commented 'must be desperate', asked Mycroft to dance and he left. Sherlock danced with a few more partners, his aunt and a few cousins and another guest before he sat at one of the tables that lined around the hall and pulled out his phone, looking up details about experiments he'd had in mind and checking the news. He tried not to watch as John danced around with more beautiful women as he sighed again. He didn't look up as he saw John coming over to him until the man was sitting down beside him and he gave him a small smile.

"You're a good dancer." He commented, slipping his phone away. He watched as his mother danced with Mycroft and his father with another cousin. He watched as women fought over whom to dance with and as men chuckled and joked with one another about which woman was of the easiest virtue. He ran a hand through his hair again and straightened his tie to keep his hands busy.

"Thank you, I can only give that back. I saw you dancing, you're gorgeous." John admitted, smiling at his friend. Sherlock felt his cheeks tinting pink at John's words.


Had John really just said that?

Sherlock felt his heart flutter and he couldn't help but smile back. John noticed the slightly pink tint on Sherlock's cheeks and his smile got a bit wider.

"But for now I need a little time-out." John added, shortly fumbling with his own tie as well before he came back to what he originally wanted to ask.

"I'd like some fresh air, would you care to join me?" He finally asked, giving his friend another smile.

"I...yes, yes of course." Sherlock said, standing with John as they walked out of the double doors.

Sherlock led them through a side gate and into one of the gardens John hadn't been to yet. It was smaller than the rest. All of the gardens were lit with lanterns hanging along the bushes or trees and they illuminated everything nicely. This particular garden had always been Sherlock's favourite. It had a bench on the far side that was cushioned and surrounded by lavender and roses and ivy archways. There was a small water feature in the centre. The whole garden was quaint but cosy. Sherlock sat down and smiled as John sat beside him.

John almost instantly decided that this garden was his favourite because despite the fact that the other ones were far bigger and maybe even more extravagant in some cases, he liked the peaceful cosiness and the pictorial appearance of this one. The water was purling softly while he sat down next to Sherlock, onto the cushioned bench. It was really comfortable and the lanterns illuminated everything beautifully. He inhaled the fresh air deeply before leaning back, one arm outstretched on the back of the bench, closing his eyes and smiling.

"It's really nice here." He admitted after a little while, opening his eyes again and looking up. It was late enough to already see the stars and the moon; it was almost soppy in its beauty. The music could still be heard here as a faint melody lingering in the air and John savoured this moment.

Sherlock leant back in the seat even though he knew John had put his arm up on the bench and it brushed the detectives back as he relaxed. He watched John as the man closed his eyes and Sherlock couldn't help but smile at the sight of the man. He felt his cheeks blushing again and he quickly looked away before John's eyes opened again. He looked up at the stars, his hands clasped in his lap.

"It's my favourite of all of the gardens." Sherlock commented quietly, not feeling the need to raise his voice any higher than necessary seeing as he and John were the only ones out here and John was right beside him. He looked at the moon for a moment; the light sparkling in his eyes before he looked back down and at John, his features soft and there was the beginnings of an affectionate smile on his face.

"I'm glad you're enjoying yourself." He said.

John smiled slightly at Sherlock's comment, looking at him again while he spoke. The other man's voice was soft, just so he could hear him and there was a light tingle in the doctor's stomach by the breathtaking view he got of the detective. Sherlock's profile was perfectly illuminated by the lanterns, the moon reflecting in those ever changing eyes and for a moment, the detective looked like the most delicate statue out of the thinnest material. So beautiful and breakable at the same time that, even though the idea was absurd, John didn't even dare to breathe properly in illogical fear to destroy the picture. The eyes eventually shifted away from the moon and onto the ex-soldier again, a light smile lingering on those perfect cupids-bow lips. John felt the almost unbearable urge to just lean over and kiss-!

He looked away immediately at this thought, as if the sleuth could read the desire in his eyes if he would look at him a second longer. 'He is in love with you' told the little voice him once more, repeating the words of Mrs. Holmes in his head and he felt his heart thumping harder against his chest.

"I am. I-...yes I am." He just replied rather poorly, still avoiding his friend's gaze without being too obvious.

Sherlock frowned slightly when John looked away and he looked down at his hands in his lap somewhat nervously. He let a silence fall over them as the only sound was the faint music from the hall and the water from the feature in the centre of the gardens.

Sherlock wanted to reach out and touch John, to slide his arms around him and melt against him, take his hands in his and lace their fingers together, to run hands through sandy blonde hair touch. However he didn't dare and he simply sat still and quiet. Sherlock looked up again and scanned the garden, the nights air was warm and light, a soft, calm breeze ruffling Sherlock's curls lightly. He breathed in deeply just as John had before and sighed it out slowly.

As the moments passed by, John's heart still didn't show the slightest signs on getting back to normal. The only thing that was good was Sherlock didn't seem like he had noticed any of John's desires so that was at least something. After a little while, he managed to relax properly again, his heart still thumping but he dared to believe, that he was now less obvious. So he turned his glance back at Sherlock and opened his mouth to say something, when he suddenly heard a new melody played inside the hall, the tunes carried through the mild air.

Whatever John had originally wanted to say was forgotten and instead a light grin spread on his face. Without hesitation, he stood up from the bench. Sherlock was lost in thought when John jumped up off the bench.

"I love this song!" John exclaimed. Sherlock chuckled at the man and was about to suggest they go back inside when John bowed to him and offered his hand.

"May I have this dance, Monsieur?" John asked with a charming grin, trying to seduce his friend into dancing with him.

Sherlock felt his heart racing and he smiled, cheeks tinting pink again.

"I'd be honoured, Mon Ami." He replied eventually, standing up and taking John's hand, feeling sparks shooting through him at the contact.

He decided to let John lead, his hand resting on John's shoulder as the other man's rest on his hip. Sherlock couldn't believe this was happening and he silently thanked the fact that John and his mother had similar music tastes. He smiled at John, not being able to stop as they waltzed slowly and gracefully, their bodies closer than they should have been but neither knowing exactly who had stepped closer first.

For a second, John had feared that Sherlock would refuse but the concern turned out to be stupid when he saw the smile as well as the blush on his friend's face again. The following words were final proof that he wasn't in any way rejected. Instead, when the detective took his hand, he got goose bumps again at the sensation of them being close. It felt so easy and so naturally the second they started to dance, their movement perfectly harmonised as if they were doing it not for the first but the hundredth time in their lives, dancing together. He noticed that they were closer than strictly necessary but this time, with Sherlock as his dance partner, he couldn't care less about the fact, the closeness providing to be too intoxicating and breathtaking at the same time to step back again. They proceeded to waltz through the small garden, music filling the air while the doctor got completely lost in the moment. Sherlock could have danced with John all night. The man's presence was intoxicating and now, with their gazes locked, Sherlock realised just how deep he'd fallen for John and he didn't care; couldn't care less because this moment was so perfect. When he heard the song ending he couldn't help but feel his heart drop. They'd pull away and that would be that, moment gone.

However, when the song eventually finished and a new, slower one began to play, John didn't release Sherlock from his hold. Instead he placed the detective's other hand on his other shoulder before placing his now free hand on the other side of his friend's hips, proceeding to slowly dance to the new tune with a soft smile aimed at Sherlock.

Sherlock felt himself blushing and his heart racing again as John placed his hand on his shoulder and rest his own on Sherlock's side so that he was cupping his hips. Sherlock smiled back fondly and their slow dancing kept them close and the moment intimate.

Bathed in the glow from the lanterns and the shine from the moon, Sherlock couldn't help but stare deeply into John's eyes, losing himself in their depths and pressing his body closer without really realising it until his arms were now coiled around John's neck.

The moment was perfect.

John felt his heart thumping so hard against his chest he would believe anyone who'd said at this moment he could hear every beat. But the music was just surrounding them and the closeness, the intimacy he shared with Sherlock was better than anything he could have ever imagined. He felt how his friend pressed even closer; his arms now completely around John's neck. He felt his neck hair rising slightly at the constant touch but it was a nice feeling and he came even a bit closer himself so that there was barely any space left between them. Sherlock felt relief flood him as John didn't object to the closeness and his heart pounded in his chest as John moved closer as well. He could swear he could feel John's heart thumping as their chests brushed every now and again but he convinced himself he was simply hearing the reverberation from his own. John's eyes never left Sherlock's gem-like ones, the intense stare giving him a tingle inside one might assume as butterflies in ones stomach. It was a stupid thought and at the same time so very fitting it made the doctor smile.

"You're impossible." He said softly without any context at all, just smiling a bit more at his detective and cherishing the moment, hoping this melody wouldn't end too soon as well.

Sherlock smiled as John smiled, pleased to see the doctor happy and simply pleased to be so close.

"I do try." He joked quietly and his smile increased, the corners of his eyes crinkling in amusement. He never wanted this moment to end, wishing for the song to continue the whole night, as the rest of the world melted away until the only thing Sherlock was concentrating on was John, it was all John and it was wonderful. He couldn't look away from John, wouldn't if he could anyway but the man's face was just so handsome, especially in the dim lighting and Sherlock thought that if there was one thing he would remember on his death bed it would be John smiling up at him in the soft light.

John chuckled a bit at Sherlock's joke, watching how his friend's smile got even brighter. He was so lost in the moment, in Sherlock's presence; in everything they shared right now, that if he died this instant, he would die a happy man. The music went on and their dancing went on and the shared intimacy made his heart swell and ache in his longing for this perfect man, this impossible and perfect man. Just when the music faded away slowly, the tiny voice inside his head whispered 'he's in love with you' once more, so softly in his ear and this time, it was the right time to do so.

With the last note, John stopped dancing with Sherlock and loosened his grip. But once more he didn't take a step back but brought his hands up, cupping his friend's beautiful face and looking into his eyes once more, heart beating so strong and fast in his chest he was sure anyone could hear it. But without waiting any longer, he tugged Sherlock's face slightly down, getting on tip-toes and finally sealed his flatmate's lips with his own.

Sherlock froze. Literally froze and for a moment he did nothing, sure he didn't even breathe. Something snapped within him and he suddenly melted against John, leaning further down to press more firmly into the kiss and his heart was pounding rapidly, his stomach doing flips. His hands slipped from around John's neck to clutch his biceps, steadying himself. Their lips glided together and their kiss was...perfect, everything Sherlock had ever imagined and much, much more because it was finally happening and Sherlock didn't think he'd ever been so happy in his life. The doctor felt his heart beat in a maddening speed, his inside prickling and it felt like something finally clicked into the right place in his mind, releasing a firework of emotions to his body. It felt simply amazing and fantastic and breathtaking and just so utterly right, John never wanted to break this kiss ever again.

Sherlock eventually parted their lips when the need for breath overcame him. He let out a shaky sigh and rest his forehead against John's, his eyes still closed peacefully.


The soft sound of his own name made John smile a little and without thinking, he stroked his thumbs over Sherlock's skin, caressing his cheeks.

"I know...I know." He replied equally soft and with a warm, understanding undertone in his voice, brushing their lips against each other once more with a quick, affectionate kiss.

Sherlock kissed back before suddenly chuckling and pulling his head back slightly to look at John properly, thankful that John kept his hands on his face. His own arms moved to coil around John's waist underneath his suit jacket and he pressed a warm kiss to John's forehead. When Sherlock suddenly started to chuckle, John looked up at the other man properly with a slightly irritated expression but not getting away an inch. He shot his friend a questioning glance while allowing those long arms to coil around him under his suit jacket and those lips to be pressed against his forehead.

"She said something to you, didn't she, my mother?" Sherlock whispered, looking at John with a slightly bemused grin. He didn't want to ruin the moment, didn't want to scare the other man off or click him to his senses but he just knew his mother would have something to do with this. He kept John close as he waited for an answer, his hands stroking over John's lower back softly.

When he finally got a response to his questioning look, John couldn't help but grin slightly. Of course Sherlock would figure it out but he hadn't expected anything else, anyway.

"Let's say she did give me a vital hint that eventually led to my actions, yes." He answered, glad that he had received said 'hint' from Mummy Holmes. Otherwise, he surely wouldn't have dared to do those steps.


"Maybe I should thank her when we get back later." He continued, while leaning forward and kissing Sherlock's neck, too lazy to reach up again and aim for his mouth. His hands had dropped shortly before it and were now snuggling under the other man's suit jacket as well, mirroring his friend's position.

Of course. How had he expected his mother not to notice how he felt about John? Sherlock smiled and hummed in approval at John's words and his kisses to his pale neck. There was now not even a breath of air between their bodies and that was just the way Sherlock liked it. Sherlock let John kiss his neck for a few moments before he leant his head down and caught his lips in a kiss, a tender, loving kiss that pressed promises of more into John's lips. Sherlock suddenly let his arms slip below the doctor's backside and hauled him up off the ground, grinning as for once he had to look up to John.

With a surprised gasp, John found himself suddenly quite a bit taller than Sherlock, his hands now automatically steadying the doctor by holding onto the slender shoulders of his flatmate. When he looked down at him, he saw the grin on those beautiful features and rolled his eyes slightly, a small grin on his own face as well. 'Nursery child' he thought before his sleuth raised his voice, turning John's grin into a warm smile again.

"Maybe we should both thank her; I know I have a lot to be thankful for." Sherlock said softly, holding John up with ease. John wrapped his legs around Sherlock's waist then to make it a bit easier for the other man to hold him, before leaning down slightly and kissing his mouth once more.

"Me too, I can't believe how much, actually." He replied between kisses, his hands now coiled around his detective's neck again.

"And if this is a dream, don't you dare waking me up with your violin at three in the morning," he joked then before stealing another kiss, "because I will kill you if that'll be the case."

The detective chuckled at John's reaction to being picked up and he definitely enjoyed the kisses he was given, smiling warmly when John's legs coiled around his waist. He nuzzled John's neck softly; kissing at the skin playfully after John spoke.

"It's not a dream, oh John, it's not a dream, finally." He whispered before moving his head back and catching John's lips with his once more.

The words whispered quietly made John's heart ache for a moment and when he was kissed again he reciprocated immediately. He still couldn't fully believe that this was actually happening. That he was actually kissing Sherlock Holmes; that Sherlock Holmes was kissing him of all people. It was still a mystery to him how his detective could have possibly fallen for him but he was thankful, so thankful that it had happened, because otherwise he wouldn't be capable of experiencing this moment right now. This was something Sherlock would never get used to, kissing John. Each one seemed to be different, a different pressure, angle, feel, it was intoxicating and Sherlock was fast becoming addicted to John's lips, an addiction he knew John would now be all too happy to indulge him in.

"I love you John, so much and for so long." He mumbled in between kisses, emotion thrumming through him as he held John up and revelled in the closeness, the kisses, the tender yet passionate words and the thought that John was his.

John's heart stopped beating for a moment at the spoken words before running off twice as fast as before.

"I love you, too, Sherlock." He replied genuinely, smiling into each kiss.

"More than you could possibly imagine." He added; one hand sneaking into the ebony curls at his sleuth's neck and playing a bit with the hair there.


That was the word that came into Sherlock's head.

This moment.



Pure perfection.

John's words damn near killed him thanks to how fast they made his heart beat. He smiled as John's hand played with his hair and kissed him again, not able to stop. John had infiltrated a heart Sherlock didn't think was capable of much other than pumping blood around him and the fact he had John's heart in return...well that was something Sherlock would be forever thankful for and he would cherish this man until his dying day.

John was so entirely lost in the moment, in kissing Sherlock, touching him, pressed against him, just feeling him that a bomb could have exploded right next to them and he wouldn't have noticed it. He was so completely absorbed by the situation and he wouldn't want to do anything else in the world right now.

Sherlock spun them around playfully, smiling against John's lips. Something about John just broke Sherlock down, crashed through his defences and crumbled down the walls he had built around himself, John drew out the emotions Sherlock claimed not to possess and the detective didn't care because this was John.

When his detective started to spin them around playfully, John grabbed his man's shoulder and neck a bit tighter to keep balanced, giggling a bit at the ridiculous image they probably provided. Sherlock loved Johns giggle and made a mental note to make sure to make him do it as much as possible.

Suddenly there was a clearing of a throat from the gate to the garden.

"I seem to be interrupting something." said a warm, now familiar female voice.

John almost immediately startled, his face flushing in a bright red colour that became even redder the moment Mummy Holmes spoke to them. He opened his mouth, trying to answer but all he got out were a few stammered syllables of "uh...well we...we...uhm..." before looking quite a bit helplessly at his flatmate.

Sherlock chuckled at John's reaction, his blushed cheeks and his babbling; it was adorable! He slowly uncoiled John's legs from his waist and put his feet back on the ground. His arm wrapped around John's shoulders as his mother approached them with a large, knowing smile on her face. John made sure that he had his own arm around his detective's waist, so that they were still kept close.

"Mummy, I believe we owe you both thanks, if it weren't for you...interfering, you wouldn't have caught us in the gardens after dark like a couple of teenagers." Sherlock said, leaning over and kissing John's temple. To his relief, Sherlock spoke to his mother this time (and was much more coherent than John had been) before he felt the kiss pressed to his temple which was welcomed with a small smile. Mummy Holmes simply laughed and took one of both of the men's hands in hers.

"My Baker Street boys, so oblivious! My son fooled by insecurity and my son-in-law fooled by himself." She commented before joining the two men's hands together. At the 'son-in-law' John opened his mouth in attempt of a protest, since they had barely confessed their mutual love for each other and so any further thought was maybe a bit very hasty but he eventually shut his mouth again, realising that it wouldn't help anyway. Sherlock smiled at the 'son-in-law' mainly because he'd fantasized about being married to John so much he was completely comfortable with the idea but he knew John wouldn't be.

"Oh your father will be so proud Sherlock! Catching yourself a doctor, very nice, and such a handsome fellow! I'm sure your cousin Bessie will be kicking herself!" Mrs Holmes teased.

John entwined his fingers with Sherlock's as soon as their hands met; smiling flattered at the words of Mrs. Holmes. Sherlock gave the man's shoulders a soft reassuring squeeze and when John intertwined their fingers, he brought them to his lips, kissing the man's knuckles fondly.

"I'd like to see that, though I probably got the better catch with Sherlock than he got with me," he answered, smiling up to his man fondly for a moment, "compared to him, I'm really just very boring and ordinary."

Mummy Holmes was about to speak when Sherlock interrupted, looking down at John intensely.

"No, never boring or ordinary, not to me." He said firmly but lovingly. When Sherlock interrupted his mother and looked at John so deeply, words spoken to him resolutely but fondly at the same time, something inside the doctor made a little flip and he couldn't help but smile up to his friend. Mummy Holmes smiled and before they had time to even think she had pulled them into a three-way hug, holding them close and grinning. She let go and laughed.

"Oh this is so exciting! You make a wonderful couple! So handsome together, so perfect," she sighed happily and pinched Sherlock's cheek affectionately, "you never let him go now, son, you hear me? You never let him go!" She said before walking off and back inside, giving them one last smile as she walked through the gates. When Mummy Holmes pinched Sherlock's cheek, John grinned a bit, the mere picture of it looking ridiculous if one knew how the detective normally was around other people.

Sherlock chuckled and watched, slightly bemused as his mother left.

"I don't intend to." He said to John, smiling and kissing his neck before chuckling.

"Well, that was...certainly unexpected."

John smiled as well at the words of his sleuth, bending his neck slightly to the side with a soft sigh to give Sherlock more access.

"Very unexpected, indeed." He agreed, closing his eyes for a second to enjoy the pressure of his man's lips on his neck. When he opened his eyes again, he squeezed his detective's hand and turned his head so he could look at him.

"You know what? I think I've danced enough for tonight and I'm sure your mother won't mind either when we're going home. I want you to myself without the possibility of interruption again." He said, flashing his friend a captivating smirk.

"Well then, let us leave for home." The detective said, giving John a hot, eager kiss before pulling back all too soon and teasingly, winking at John as he pulled him along thanks to their clasped hands.

He went the outside way, not wanting to bump into anyone.

"You little tease." John just mumbled to himself while he followed his detective around the mansion.

They quickly made their way around the mansion to the front of the house where Sherlock pulled them both inside the car they came in, the driver perking up when their address was called at him. The car drove off and Sherlock coiled his arms around John's body, pulling him unbelievably close and kissing him again, mainly because he knew he could.

The doctor didn't mind the tiniest bit, responding eagerly to the contact while one hand causally wandered back into the ebony curls, the other one slipping slightly under Sherlock's shirt. He didn't do anything else, of course, since they were in a car but it was enough to dim his need to touch and feel his man, at least for the moment.

John's reaction was more than Sherlock had expected, the hand on his bare skin sending a shiver through him. He hummed in happiness as he suddenly slipped his tongue past John's lips skilfully, exploring the man's mouth passionately, one hand resting on John's thigh and the other rubbing up and down his spine. His need to be inexplicably closer to his new lover was impossible to quench in a car and he just prayed the journey would be short back to the flat. Their kisses were hot and hungry, tongues coiling with tongues, teeth clashing and hands exploring.

John couldn't complain in the slightest about Sherlock's eagerness, it was breathtaking how much his detective obviously wanted him, their kisses speaking volumes as well as their hands. The only thing providing the doctor from doing more than just travelling with his fingers over the bare skin at Sherlock's side and back was his military training, giving him enough self-control for the trip home.

However, that didn't mean he wasn't praying as well for a short journey, Sherlock's hands and kisses making it harder for him to keep up his self-control with every passing minute. He wasn't quite sure how their affectionate, tender kisses from maybe just 20 minutes ago did turn into, well, this. But he didn't even have time to think about it, because the moment they finally arrived at Backer Street, his body decided that it had enough of restraining itself and get Sherlock into the flat, for god's sake.

So he barely even acknowledged the driver when he tugged his detective out of the car with him and to the front door where he needed a bit longer with his keys than usual since he was mostly distracted by the man right next to him.

Sherlock chuckled as John almost ripped him from the car and he deliberately kept close to see John's self-control dwindle away as they got closer and closer to complete privacy.

Once John had opened the door they bounded up into the flat and as soon as the door was shut and locked, Sherlock pushed and pulled John's suit jacket off, throwing it onto a chair and kissing him again, hands roaming over the man's body and feeling the warmth radiating through the thin shirt. His head was spinning and every tiny movement of their lips or hands became deeper and every moan was amplified to his ears as his whole body sparked with want and need for his perfect doctor.

As soon as they were inside their own flat and the door was shut and locked, John's self-control crumbled down in an instant. He let Sherlock get him out of his suit jacket and did the same to him afterwards, both pieces of clothing landing somewhere on a chair but he wasn't entirely sure about that. And to be honest, he couldn't care less. Instead, he responded to every passionate kiss with an even more passionate one, his own hands never standing still while he tried to tug his detective's shirt out of his trousers and to impatiently open the buttons to reveal more skin he could touch. Every kiss and touch and moan of Sherlock burned itself in his mind now, leaving him desperate for more, his own hands now gliding over heated skin, their kisses now lips and teeth and tongue and his ability to bring out any other noise than moans and gasps long gone. Sherlock pressed to John and almost ripped open his shirt in an effort to claim more of that tanned skin.

"My bedroom. Now." John growled deeply between kisses, one hand getting a good grip on Sherlock's belt to tug him along. He knew his room was a bit further away and the steps may cause a little hindrance but he doubted that his madman would be prepared for such occasions, unlike John.

Sherlock let John drag him along, the stairs proving an issue when John wouldn't stop groping his arse. Sherlock couldn't bring himself to care and as soon as they were in John's bedroom, Sherlock pulled off the man's shirt and kissed trails all over his chest, hands stroking and rubbing the man's back hungrily. He suckled at John's nipples and left love-bites across his chest and collarbones but never anywhere where people would see. John was surprised at his madman's even greater eagerness once they reached their destination and the army-doctor needed to hold onto his sleuth when said one started kissing and biting and sucking his skin, leaving John already moaning breathlessly and trembling with need. Sherlock started working on John's belt buckle, needing more. He fumbled with John's trousers and suddenly he was dropping to his knees, John's trousers and pants around his ankles, and John's cock was in his mouth and oh he tasted divine! Sherlock had fantasized about this moment for months and he skilfully sucked on John's hardened length, tongue twirling around the head. Just because he was a virgin, didn't mean he didn't do...research.

John was so lost in the sensation of Sherlock's mouth and hands on his skin that he only recognised what his madman was doing when it was already too late. With a libidinous gasped of "S-Sherlock!" when the other man took him in his mouth, he dug his nails into the other man's shoulder, trying to steady himself with his other hand on the wall he leaned against. The detective felt the sting of John's nails on his shoulder but that didn't deter him, he simply kept sucking hard and fast. John's gasp of his name had sent shivers running through him. John closed his eyes for a moment, his whole body shaking with the effort not to just come into his new lover's perfect mouth.

"G-God Sherlock...s-stop I...I don't..." He interrupted himself with his panting, unable to form any reasonable sentences so instead of trying to speak again, he tangled his hand in Sherlock's messy curls and tugged him up again, so the other man eventually needed to stand up and John was capable of kissing him again, hard. Sherlock winced slightly when John pulled his hair back and was confused as he was kissed roughly after being pulled up. He felt embarrassment sweeping through him and he shrank back slightly.

Had he really been that bad?

"Idiot." John mumbled against his detective's lips, his other hand that wasn't tangled in his madman's hair now opening Sherlock's belt before slipping off his trousers as well.

"I don't want it to be over just now, you hear me? I want this to be properly." He continued, this time being the one attacking his flatmate's neck and collarbone with kisses and bites, sucking in the skin to mark the other man, showing that he was now his property and nobody else's. He let John open his belt and push down his trousers and underwear without argument or encouragement and it was only John's next words that brought him back from despair. John had been...he wouldn't have been able to...oh. Sherlock blushed softly and arched his neck with a gasp and a groan as John kissed and marked his neck and collarbones.

When Sherlock blushed, obviously finally getting what John really meant with his words and why he had tugged him up again, a tiny grin spread on the doctor's lips for a second before he sucked even harder.

Sherlock loved this possessive side of John and knew he wasn't going to cover these marks with his scarf or collar, oh no, he was going to show these off.

The gasps and groans of his madman were encouraging and so John didn't hold back in his kisses and bites, his hands done with getting Sherlock's trousers and underwear off so that they could return to roaming over the now entirely exposed skin.

Sherlock walked them back and fell down onto the bed on his back, pulling John down with him and as John slid on top of him and every part of their bodies rubbed together, Sherlock's legs opened so that John could lie between them and their erections lined up, Sherlock bucking up against the other man hungrily. He looked up at John, eyes blown with lust, cheeks flushed and lips red and kiss ravished.

When his detective led them towards the bed, John followed eagerly. A moan escaped him when he was on top of Sherlock, their bodies pressed together, skin against skin and the other one buckled up, making the army-doctor bite his lip. He stopped doing anything for a moment when Sherlock laid in front of him with his hair messily around his head like a black halo, his pupils so large he could only see a thin, green ring, the red cheeks in wonderful contrast to the pale skin, together with the even redder lips. John's eyes took all this in for a moment and he felt his heart swell a bit before leaning down again, kissing his man on the lush lips.

"You're beautiful." He mumbled against them, making his way down the pale neck again, his voice shaking a bit with tenderness.

"You're amazing." He continued, one hand getting the lube out of his bedside drawer.

"You're fantastic." He mumbled further, spreading lube on his fingers and reaching down, carefully starting to prepare his lover.

"Gorgeous." He went on, spreading kisses now all over his detective's chest to distract him from the probably strange feeling.

"Brilliant." He added, grinding their hips together a bit and making himself moan again. His lips wandered up and aimed for Sherlock's lips once more.

"Just perfect." He eventually concluded, kissing his friend properly once more.

Sherlock groaned and winced at the feeling of fingers inside of him, stretching him. It stung but wasn't altogether painful, a simply twinge. He tried to concentrate on John's words and kisses but not even the grind of the other's hips fully distracted him. His arms coiled around John's neck and kept him close, moaning as he was kissed on the lips again.

" John...I love much." He breathed against the other man's lips before he pulled John against him and hugged him tightly, gasping as John curled his fingers inside of him. John felt a shiver running down his spine at Sherlock's moan and his following words, breathlessly spoken against his own lips, before he was hugged tightly. He didn't complain, thought it made his movements a bit harder. Instead he carefully curled his fingers inside his detective whilst kissing him behind his ear, whispering a soft and slightly playful "love you more" in it. Sherlock wriggled his hips against the fingers, trying to push them deeper, prepare himself more. His skin was covered in a fine layer of sweat already and he was so full of need and want that he thought he might explode.

"Just...just do it it." He suddenly mumbled against the man's neck, where his nose was buried.

John just gave a short nod and took his fingers out, instead preparing himself now with more lube before slowly and carefully pushing into Sherlock.

Fuck, that hurt, fuck John was so big and...God, it hurt. Sherlock's back arched of the bed and he cried out, his voice a mixture of pleasure and pain. His arms tightened around John's neck and his head fell back on the bed, eyes squeezed shut as he tried to get used to being so...full and stretched.

John gripped the sheets under his fingers, trying to hold back so he wouldn't hurt his man. He knew this could and properly would hurt a bit so he didn't want to make it worse, even thought he felt like losing his self-control any second.

"Jesus...S-Sherlock." He moaned when he was finally buried fully in his lovers body, panting hard while he needed all of his willpower to let his friend adjust to the feeling and not just move.

Sherlock gave a whimper as John moaned his name and he let out a shaky breath. He knew John was keeping still for him, could feel how tense the man was while trying to let him adjust and he pushed his hips down softly.

"O-okay...move." He whimpered, groaning again when John pulled out and then pushed back in again. It still hurt, even if the pain was coupled with pleasure but he was getting used to the burn slowly. He gave a few deep breaths, trying to relax his muscles

John panted hard but kept still and otherwise quiet to give his man his time, however, he couldn't deny the small relief he felt when Sherlock allowed him to move. He did so, still carefully though it was now even harder for him. His hands fisted the sheet under them so hard now that his knuckles turned white while he held his self-control, moving slowly. He breathed harder through his nose and closed his eyes, subconsciously scattering kisses over every inch of skin he could find. After a while, he felt how Sherlock relaxed around him enough for John to push in deeper, using a slightly different angle, looking for the right spot inside his madman.

The kisses that were being pressed into his skin helped Sherlock to relax eventually, letting out a shuddered breath. He caught John's lips in a kiss, needing to feel reassured and soothed and finding those things from John's soft lips on his, their tongues tangling together. A keening moan came from Sherlock and into the other man's mouth as John pushed deeper and he wrapped his legs around John's waist, feeling John shift slightly for some reason. John kissed Sherlock back immediately when he caught the doctor's lips, trying to distract himself as well from his demanding urge with it. It seemed to help both of them in some way or at least that was what the ex-soldier hoped when he felt his madman's legs wrapping around him. The reason became clear to Sherlock why John was shifting when his prostate was brushed by the tip of John's cock.

"Ah! John! Right there!" He cried, urging John back into him again, trying to concentrate on the sparks of pleasure that had pooled at his spine at that movement, pleasure that was slowly taking over from the pain.

When his flatmate suddenly cried out and was quite eager for him to move again, John knew he had found what he had looked for, pushing in deeper again and with a bit more force this time, determined to make Sherlock forget the pain. He seemed to be successful with it and his restrain on himself loosened with every thrust, trying to get deeper and make his man feel as good as he could while kissing him senselessly again on those perfect lips, only interrupting himself every now and then with a moan. His grip around the sheets had loosened as well now and he was back on rushing his hands over the exposed skin, exploring every inch of it he could reach.

Sherlock kept the kisses hot, heavy and full of need. He groaned, moaned and whimpered into John's mouth as the pain all but disappeared, pure unadulterated pleasure burning through him with each of John's thrusts.

"Yes...John, yes...oh god..." He babbled against the other's lips. John kept hitting Sherlock's sweet spot over and over again and Sherlock's mind was slowly shutting down so that he couldn't think, couldn't speak as his hormones and instincts took over.

John felt Sherlock practically melting under him and he himself was lost in his man, not holding back anymore when he heard the senseless babbles coming from this perfect mouth. He felt the heat in his own body building up, the sensation of being inside his sleuth, the moaning and panting he caused, skin on skin, everything just pushed him further towards the edge. As John pushed deeper, Sherlock rocked his hips up to meet him, his own leaking cock getting trapped between their stomachs and the friction created was driving him insane. He didn't think he was going to last much longer and although he burned with embarrassment because of it, he couldn't bring himself back from the brink.

"John...I'm close..."

"Me too." John replied with a husky voice, speeding up a bit more while reaching between them to take Sherlock in his hand, moving in synch to his own thrusts. He felt the heat inside him slowly but gradually getting unbearable, biting his lip to keep from coming just now. He wanted to make Sherlock come first; making sure the other would experience the pleasure as well so he still held back.

Relief flooded Sherlock as John confirmed that he too wouldn't last much longer. John increased his pace and Sherlock felt his pleasure levels hit critical. As soon as John started pumping him, Sherlock fell into oblivion. Screaming John's name and digging his nails into John's back he came hard and fast over John's hand, his muscles clamping around the other man as his orgasm shattered through him and short-circuited his brain, reducing him to a quivering lump of pleasure on the bed, panting and moaning. He looked up at John and ran his hands through sweat slicked, sandy blonde hair.

"Come inside of me." He managed to say, his voice hoarse and husky.

When Sherlock came John felt a shudder going through his body. He was so close to the edge as well that he tasted a bit blood, his teeth splitting up his lip slightly. But the tiny sting of pain was worth the picture of Sherlock dipping over the edge right in front of him, moaning and panting and looking so incredible beautiful and sexy and gorgeous at the same time and when he felt those long fingers gliding through his hair, heard those gruff words spoken to him John couldn't hold back any longer.

He muffled his own moan of Sherlock's name at the top of his ecstasy with kissing his man so hard on the lips it hurt a tiny bit, his thrusts now getting entirely unrestrained until he finally came inside his lover with a violent trembling going through his entire body. He couldn't hold himself upright any longer after that and collapsed onto Sherlock, breathing heavily but happy.

Sherlock moaned softly as he felt himself being filled with John's seed, more than happy to accept the wild thrusts before John collapsed on top of him. He wrapped his arms loosely around John's torso and let his legs fall from the other man's waist to rest on the bed as John slipped out of him. Their heavy breaths mingled together as they both bathed in the after-glow together. For a few moments they just laid there, calming down and enjoying the afterglow, before John pulled back and rolled to the side.

As John rolled off of Sherlock, the detective came with him, rolling onto his side to face John and he smiled warmly, his brain still not having re-booted to allow him to produce coherent speech. He snuggled close and brushed his nose against John's fondly and simply stared into his eyes, trying to convey everything he felt for the other man through their gaze. John snuggled closer to Sherlock when the detective rolled with him on his side so they were capable of facing each other. The smile he received and the glance of those moon-shaded eyes together with the light brush of their lips gave the doctor such a warm feeling inside; he just tugged his man even a bit closer, smiling brightly at him. Sherlock reached out a hand as he realised what John had done to his lip and stroked his thumb across the flesh softly, trying to sooth the sting it must be providing to his lover.

John's smile dimmed into a softer one when he felt Sherlock's thumb stroking over his lower lip and the little injury he had caused himself. It didn't really hurt but the concern was much appreciated, so he wrapped his own fingers around Sherlock's slender hand and kissed it with his bruised lip, smiling up at his detective again. Then, he entwined their fingers and lowered their joined hands again, now kissing Sherlock softly and tenderly on the lips again before using his free hand to pull the blanket over the two of them. Afterwards, he placed his arm around his flatmate's waist, drawing a few senseless patterns on the pale skin under his fingertips.

John's loving behaviour and soft touches and kisses made Sherlock feel special and John treated him like a prince. He happily cuddled closer when John pulled him so and when he kissed his hand he felt his heart flutter. Sherlock ran his fingers up and down John's spine lightly, giggling softly as the patterns being drawn on his skin tickled thanks to John's slightly calloused fingers. He gave John's hand a soft squeeze.

Everything was so perfect. This morning he was ready to face another day of denying his feelings and controlling himself around his flatmate and he was facing a night of basking in his feelings and expressing himself around his lover. It was more than Sherlock had ever thought possible. He smiled and gave John a kiss to the forehead and let out a small, contented sigh, closing his eyes slowly and simply enjoying the moment.

If John had any choice, he would make this moment last forever. Surely, the sex had been fantastic but this right now was far more perfect, this quiet moment, the softness of their touches, the warmth inside him that had nothing to do with body temperature. He could just stay like this until all eternity, cuddled together with Sherlock, their fingers entwined, lazy patterns drawn on each other's skin. The small but genuine smile on his lips came so natural to him, as well as the soft sigh escaping them when he felt the light kiss on his forehead. He wouldn't exchange this for anything in the world and when Sherlock closed his beautiful eyes, he did the same, breathing in deeply and relaxing in the warmth surrounding him.

"I love you." He whispered quietly, just audible enough for his madman to hear, followed by a light squeeze of their linked hands and an unconscious, content smile before slowly letting himself drift into the land of dreams.

"I love you too." Sherlock whispered back as he too slipped off to sleep holding and being held by his lover. He slept the whole night through, something he hadn't done in so long, soothed by John's presence. He didn't toss and turn, simply slept peacefully, his mind wonderfully quiet and dormant.

John slept was the first time since before he went to Afghanistan that he had a proper nights rest without nightmares of bloody bodies, screams, comrades getting shot, the ache in his shoulder or the guilt of lost lives. It was the first time he didn't wake up by the noises of another body right next to him as he had so often with his girlfriends. No, this time he slept through it, a deep, soft peace filling his subconscious and giving him the best he'd had in years. It didn't keep him from waking up relatively early though. That had nothing to do with him sleeping badly, it was simply the fact that his body was so trained on waking up early that he naturally didn't sleep longer than eight o'clock. But this time he didn't wake up with a cold sweat and a scream on his lips or exhausted to the brink of being not able to sleep again. This time he woke up to a warm, comfortable bed with Sherlock's lean body wrapped half around John's and the sleeping man tickling his nose slightly with his hair. John shifted a bit so he could look at his madman better, who was still fast asleep. A small smile immediately appeared on his lips while he just watched his friend, taking in the picture of the sleeping beauty with sleep-ruffled hair, long, dark lashes kissing the white of his pale skin, sharp cheekbones softened out a bit by the pillow he laid on and the cupids-bow lips parted a bit for long, deep breathes. John was entirely fascinated by the picture in front of him, the idea of having a painting or a delicate statue right in front of him coming to his mind once more. But unlike the other two times, he didn't need to watch from afar, he could touch it now. So he did, carefully loosening his grip around Sherlock's waist and instead letting his fingers skimming softly over those impossible cheekbones, stroking a strain of curled, ebony coloured hair out of this angelic face. He didn't want to wake his sleuth up, so he laid his hand down again, just watching how his madman's eyes fluttered every now and then as indication of a dream or how his chest rose and fell again with every intake of air. It was mesmerising to watch and since he neither needed to stand up for work nor had he anything to do, he did so, watching his partner sleep peacefully. The time passed by and about one and a half hours later, Sherlock's phone suddenly began to vibrate somewhere on the ground.

Sherlock was awakened by his phone buzzing in his suit trouser pocket somewhere on the floor loudly. He gave a soft grumble and nuzzled his nose into John's neck and moved closer, feeling his whole body aching, especially his backside and that area, thanks to losing his virginity the night before. He winced slightly in pain and the fact his phone went off again and he sighed, pulling away from John and rolling onto his back, leaning up on his elbows to try and survey the room for his trousers, his eyes still partially closed.

John could only chuckle a bit, knowing that now he was awake and needed to move, Sherlock would surely feel their night's activities. So he closed his eyes, enjoying the moment of his madman still in his arms as long as it would last before he eventually pulled away with a sigh, rolling onto his back and over-viewing the ground with a sleepy look. John chuckled at the view once more, leaning onto his own elbow as well and giving Sherlock a soft kiss to his cheek.

"Morning, Love." He greeted him before standing up himself, looking around the room shortly before finally finding the mobile. He knew that his detective had trouble with his movements so he gave the vibrating item to him so he wouldn't need to move too much. Afterwards, he just snuggled back under the blanket again, pulling Sherlock close again and starting to kiss his back and neck without caring whoever was calling his man.

Sherlock smiled warmly when John got up and he knew his doctor must have realised his discomfort and soreness. The taller man watched closely as John looked around the room, enjoying the view of his lovers naked body and muscular form, and simply staring unashamed because this was his man now, his lover, his John, the man who'd taken his virginity and who loved him and he'd stare whenever he liked, thank you very much. Sherlock had rolled onto his side and chuckled softly when John started kissing his back and neck.

"Morning, sweetheart." He greeted back, his voice rough from sleep. John chuckled slightly at the 'sweetheart', giving Sherlock a playful little bite to his shoulder blade for it (since he didn't consider himself a 'sweetheart'. 'Darling' or 'ducky' or maybe even 'honey' was okay but 'sweetheart'?) but he said nothing.

Sherlock saw it was his mother ringing and showed the caller ID to John, clearing his throat, before answering, putting her on speaker phone.

"Hello Mummy, to what do we owe the pleasure?" He said, turning over and resting the phone between his and John's heads on the pillow. There was a familiar chuckle from the other end of the phone.

"We? Have me on speaker phone do you? Morning John! Well I noticed that after I interrupted your little...moment in the gardens last night, you both disappeared pretty quickly, mad dash home was it? Wanted somewhere where your dear old Mummy couldn't find you, hmm son?" Mummy Holmes' laugh was heard again before she cleared her throat. A light grin spread on John's features when she asked the obvious question and laughed afterwards.

"I haven't told your father yet, or your brother, or anyone for that matter, I thought you'd best do that, which means you'll have to visit again, seeing as your father refuses to carry a phone!" Mrs Holmes' voice informed them excitedly.

Sherlock smiled and his hand had rested itself on John's hip, stroking his hipbone softly, almost absent-mindedly.

"Don't worry Mrs. Holmes; I'll get him over again today." He answered instead of Sherlock, giving his partner a small smirk.

"Any particular time?" he asked then, mirroring his madman's action in a way and stroking up and down his chest with a soft smile this time.

Sherlock was about to answer when John did before him. He shot the man a glare before shivering as John stroked up and down his chest.

"Today? Wonderful! How about...oh what time would be good for your father...hmm...half past three? We can have afternoon tea in the sun room, yes?" Mummy Holmes replied lightly.

"Sounds lovely Mummy," Sherlock said tightly, "we'll be there." He said before hanging up and throwing the phone onto the bedside table.

He fixed John with a stare and suddenly whined, frowning and nuzzling his head under the blankets and burrowing his face into John's chest.

"Why did you have to say today? When I'm sore and it'll be even more obvious what we did and I'll have to talk to my Father and urgh...I hate you." He whined childishly, arms around John's waist, clinging to him.

John had stayed quiet for the rest of the phone call, just listening to the time they got and letting Sherlock do the rest of the talking, ending the call shortly after. What came afterwards wasn't entirely unexpected and the childish behaviour only made him chuckle again, his hands lazily stroking through his partner's curls while he listened to the whines and complains, feeling the pale face buried in his chest. He just hummed at the 'I hate you' without taking it seriously, waiting till his madman would stop whining.

"I know you don't and you should maybe let me explain first before using such words, Sherly." He teased, poking the curly head on his chest with another chuckle before continuing to stroke through it. Sherlock grumbled and kept tight a hold of John, growling as John poked his head.

"I have painkillers for your pain so it won't be too obvious, okay? Plus, Mycroft will be there as well and don't you think it's the perfect counter strike to the time he mocked you in Buckingham Palace for 'not getting alarmed because it has to do with sex' and 'how you would know'? Additionally, if you don't want to talk to your Father about this, I'll do it. I have more of those talks behind me than I'm proud of but at least I know how to behave in front of the parents of my boyfriend now." He explained his choice and leaned down to give his madman a light kiss on the top of his head.

"So, do you still hate me and want to sulk for the next ten minutes or would you let me stand up so I can make us breakfast?" he asked with a warm undertone and a light grin.

"Won't be too obvious?! John I'm a private person, I don't want people to see me like this, especially not my parents or my brother!" Sherlock moaned giving John a bite to his chest before continuing.

"Counter strike? He will be twice as insufferable when he sees me like this, especially with the marks you left on my neck!"

Another bite was given to John's chest.

"And of course I don't want you to talk to my Father!"

One last bite. Sherlock huffed and coiled his legs around John's, face still in his chest and his grip on the man tightening.

"And I'll choose sulking seeing as that's the option that doesn't involve you getting up." He said simply.

It wasn't that he was angry with John, because he wasn't, not really. He was embarrassing. Yes he was proud to be with John, of course he was! And the fact they'd had sex, that John had taken his virginity, he was proud of that too but...this was his parents for Christ sake. He sighed and closed his eyes. He'd just wanted a lazy day with his new lover, was that so much to ask? However now he'd told his mother, well now John had told his mother he'd get him to go, he had to.

John just listened to Sherlock's stream of words with an amused smile, his fingers never stopping to stroke through the ebony curls whole his lover fussed around. He even tolerated the little bites to his chest, knowing it was probably payback and since he was used to the madman's childish behaviour, he just looked over it. When Sherlock eventually stopped with his rant and sighed, John chuckled anew.

"Are you finished exaggerating, yet?" he asked but not really expecting an answer. Instead, he continued talking again, staying in position since it seemed that Sherlock preferred that instead of breakfast in bed. Sherlock growled again at that little sarcastic comment, wanting to snap back coldly but holding his tongue.

"You know as much as I do that your mother is clever enough so that she already figured out what we've done and I'm sure that even when we'd go another day, your father would be capable of deducing that as well in an instant. Mycroft assumed since the day I first met him that we're together so he really won't be in any way surprised by it. Then, for the 'twice as insufferable', if he really dares to mock you about it, he can prepare for a hell of a payback by me because I happen to know a few things none of you Holmes' can deduce." John grinned a bit at the thought but didn't specify it, instead going on.

"And you have to realise that I'll have to talk to your father sooner or later anyway, especially when he, and maybe Mycroft, too, will give me the 'I will kill you if you hurt his feelings'-speech, probably with an additional 'and not even Sherlock will find your body then'." He sighed afterwards, giving the hair of his lover a little ruffle while smiling again.

"This is all new to you, Sherlock, so it's natural that you're embarrassed about it but you really don't need to. You're a grown man and you can very well do as you please with whomever you want,-and that whomever is luckily me-, without needing to be ashamed about it even in the slightest. This is completely normal and you have probably more concerns about it than your parents and Mycroft together. Plus, when we do it today, we're done with it and don't need to think about it anymore." He eventually ended his little speech before shifting down to Sherlock and being on eye-level with him again.

"C'mon now." He started, giving his madman a kiss on his nose and a smile afterwards.

"Don't think about it too much, okay? It'll be fine." He assured his lover.

Listening to what John was saying, knowing he wasn't saying anything that wasn't truthful and knowing that John wasn't going to say anything about these 'things' even if he asked, Sherlock remained silent.

"I just wanted a day in bed with you now that I can finally be with you, is that too much to ask? I didn't want to deal with all of this stuff like telling my parents and fighting off my brother's comments until I'd got it sorted out in my mind. Like you said, I'm new to this." He said sadly before sighing again.

He gave John a quick kiss on the lips half-heartedly before hauling himself up, wincing in pain and mumbling something about going in the bath. He didn't bother with his clothes, instead walking downstairs naked, his body aching and painful. He grabbed some painkillers, taking them with a glass of water before moving into the bathroom. He shut the door behind him and looked in the mirror, sighing yet again at the marks John had left from last night. He started running the bath, choosing to stand because...well, sitting caused him some problems.

It took a few minutes for the bath to fill and Sherlock turned off the taps as he slid into the hot water, his muscles throbbing under the water. He leant his head back against the edge of the bath and closed his eyes, retreating to his mind palace. This was all still so...odd. Thinking that someone loved him It was all so...confusing, these feelings that he's suddenly allowed to express and these walls that he's suddenly finding have been knocked down. Everything he's protected himself from for years has suddenly come around and he hasn't had time to prepare for it. John had, Sherlock's mother had told him and he'd had time to think about things. Sherlock hadn't known until John had kissed him.

When Sherlock eventually answered to him, it certainly wasn't what John had expected. So, it wasn't really the fact that his madman was over-thinking things too much; it was the simple fact that he had wanted to get used to it more and have a day with John instead of dealing with everything directly. When he heard the sadness in his detective's voice and watched him leaving the room after a quick, half-hearted kiss, he felt bad. He felt really, properly bad. His heart faltered a bit at what he had forced Sherlock to agree to and had he known the real reason why he didn't want to go today from the beginning, he surely would've chosen to get another date to meet. John sighed, rolling on his back and closing his eyes for a moment in frustration over his own stupidity.

"You bloody moron, John." He mumbled to himself, sighing once more before sitting up, getting Sherlock's phone from the bedside table.

He dialled the last number, the one of Mrs. Holmes, again and held the phone to his ear, listening to the dull peeping sound. It took three of them before the now familiar female voice picked up. He cancelled the meeting with the excuse that he had messed up his work schedule, needing to be in the hospital later and therefore he and Sherlock couldn't come today. Mummy Holmes probably suspected the true reason behind it but the doctor wasn't going to say a word about it, since he thought it would be quite unfair towards his partner and especially because it was John's fault. So he apologised to Mrs. Holmes and promised her to meet on another day. She seemed satisfied with that and so he hung up, putting the phone away again. With a little huff, he stood up properly now stretching slightly before walking around the room to collect the clothes from last night. He put them on his bed before putting on at least some underwear, knowing that he still needed to shower before he could dress properly. Bit since Sherlock was in the bathroom now and he didn't want to interrupt his sleuth, he decided to do what he had earlier suggested, making breakfast. So he put on his dressing gown and walked downstairs into the kitchen, where he started to make tea and prepare their food.

Sherlock felt tears running down his face, not really sure why.

Frustration maybe?


This was all so annoying and he felt...stupid! He had no prior data to go on and he was lost.

What if he couldn't do this?

What if he wasn't enough for John?

What if John got bored with their relationship?

What if his inexperience drove John away?

Sherlock didn't hear John come downstairs as he was too deep in thought. He simply lay in the bath, long after the water turned cold, for about an hour, if more. Eventually the cold snapped him from his thoughts and he realised he was shivering, goose bumps all over his skin. His lips were tinged blue and his fingertips were wrinkled from staying in the water so long. He pulled himself out, his body not hurting so much thanks to the painkillers and grabbed a towel, rubbing himself dry but not warm. He emptied the bath and wrapped the towel around his waist before draping another one over his shoulders, shivering again. He turned on the shower and waited for the water to heat up before dropping the towels and climbing under the hot stream of water. His body soon warmed up and his cheeks flushed pink with the heat as he washed his hair and body.

Fifteen minutes later he walked out of the bathroom, clad in a towel around his waist. His wet hair was slicked back out of his face and he gave John a small smile before moving into his bedroom to grab some clothes. Pulling on some clean underwear, trousers and socks, Sherlock slid a shirt over his shoulders but didn't button it up. He towelled his hair dry softly before lying on the bed, not feeling hungry enough to want breakfast and pretty sure John was angry at him for being so...stupid, so childish. He was still so...clueless, didn't know what to do or say, what a relationship entailed, apart from the clich├ęs he'd learned from crap telly. He felt himself dreading this afternoon, more than anything in his life.

John waited for Sherlock to finish bathing but it took his madman far longer than he had thought and so the tea he had prepared for him went cold. He started to worry after about half an hour but didn't know if it was really such a good idea to interrupt Sherlock, so he stayed in the kitchen, absent-mindedly sipping on his own tea and waiting. Finally, after what felt like an eternity and a half, he heard the shower and fifteen minutes later, his sleuth came out of the bathroom in just a towel. John was torn between staring at Sherlock and asking him if he wanted to join him, so he could tell him that he had cancelled the plans for today but all he received was a small smile and his flatmate was gone again. The doctor let his head fall onto the tabletop in frustration over himself again, sighing in exasperation. God, he felt so guilty, he wasn't sure that telling Sherlock they could spend the day together and alone was enough to make up for what he had obviously done to his lover. He should have considered more that the other man wasn't experienced in this, any of this and that he should be considerate of Sherlock's emotions as well.

So he kicked himself mentally before standing up from the chair, not feeling hungry in the slightest anymore. Instead, he wrapped his dressing gown a bit tighter around himself and walked determined towards Sherlock's room. Arriving there, he didn't stop to knock on the door but just came in, getting on the bed without hesitation and kneeling over his madman the next moment, pressing his lips firmly onto Sherlock's, slipping a tongue past them and kissing him properly. Only when the need to breath became too much, he pulled back again, looking his detective straight into those beautiful eyes.

As John knelt over him on the bed and kissed him, Sherlock had tensed.


He didn't understand, not at all. He kissed back though, slightly hesitantly if anything but he did kiss back, letting John's tongue into his mouth. His hands however stayed by his side, not moving to touch John at all.

"I'm sorry, I was an idiot. I should've considered what you wanted, too, before I said anything to your mother. I cancelled the meeting while you were in the bathroom, so we have the entire day to ourselves." John explained, closing his eyes and leaning his forehead onto the pillow next to Sherlock's head. A light sigh escaped him, he was still angry at himself for his stupidity.

"I didn't mean to hurt your feelings, or confuse you or anything like that, really. I'm sorry, Sherlock." He apologised once more, feeling miserable for causing his love so much trouble.

His lover's gaze was intense and Sherlock couldn't look away as he spoke, his words entirely truthful, Sherlock could tell, and from his heart. He felt his chest tighten when John said he'd cancelled the meeting with his mother and he felt this aching in his heart when John sighed and closed his eyes. He turned on his side to face John and frowned uncertainly.

"It's okay," He breathed, his voice small and nervous, "I just...I need time, I...I don't know what I'm doing, I'm completely unprepared for this and I...I hate that, hate it so much. I feel vulnerable and stupid and...I'm scared." He trailed off in shame and sighed. He moved down the bed so he could nuzzle his face into the crook of John's neck, pulling the man's arms around himself.

"Don't be angry at me." He whispered sadly.

John felt a wave of relief flooding him when Sherlock said it was okay. He knew it wasn't entirely okay yet but it showed, that his madman at least wasn't too angry or anything at him. The next words, however, made him listen more closely and he felt the almost unbearable need to hug his sleuth as close as he could, trying to protect him from those feelings that obviously confused and hurt him so much. And when Sherlock put John's arms around him, he used the opportunity, hugging his man to his chest even thought he knew he couldn't fight off those thoughts and emotions of his detective just with that.

"Angry at you?" he suddenly asked when he heard the sadly spoken words, laughing tonelessly.

"Sherlock, I'm not angry at you, I'm angry at me." He clarified, rolling both of them to the side so he could lie down and pull his man even closer, making sure that no space was left between their bodies. He even took the time to give his friend a kiss on the forehead before he decided to speak again.

"It's not your fault that you don't know what to do or how to react. This is new for you and therefore, you simply can't know everything from the beginning. So don't blame yourself for not knowing what to say or how to behave, it's okay. I'm the one who should be more thoughtful about you and I already fucked up massively." He sighed at that, closing his eyes for another moment.

"I'm really sorry for it." He said, before opening his eyes again and continuing to talk.

"Okay, you know what Sherlock? I know you think you're the inexperienced one and that this all is just new to you. I have to admit, it's not just for you. It's new to me as well, in a way. Sure, I had a fair share of relationships before but...they were all with women and clearly none with anyone as extraordinary and brilliant as you. Believe me, I am as stupid as you feel about this because I should know better but apparently, I don't. I already messed up and let you get scared of this whole concept and that's just not right. I should make you feel comfortable and loved and special, not scared and stupid and vulnerable."

He stopped with his little speech for a moment to push a little curl lovingly out of Sherlock's face, letting his eyes wander over those familiar and beautiful features before looking back into his detective's moon-coloured eyes.

"I love you, Sherlock. You're brilliant and amazing and beautiful and sometimes you're annoying and stupid and I just want to punch you because you're such a git but I love you nonetheless and I will continue to do so. You're not perfect, I know that and I don't expect you to be. If you need time, then I will wait. If you want to try and prepare yourself, I will help. If you hate this, I will love you even more. If you feel vulnerable, I'll protect you, if you feel stupid, I'll remind you that you're brilliant and if you're scared, well, then I will fight off every single fear of yours as good as I can. That's the least I can do. And I can tell you that you're not alone with it. I had more time than you to get used to the thought but I needed it, too. And I'm much less prepared than you think I am. I feel vulnerable, too, because I want to give you as much as I can but I don't know if that's enough. I've already done something stupid and yes, I'm scared as well. Scared that maybe you mistook something else for love or that you'll get bored of me or that you decide that I'm not worth the effort. I'm scared that I'll do something wrong, a really major mistake and you'll just leave me or that I will lose you because you just miscalculated the risk in a case and die, leaving me all alone again with nothing else in my life but grief and painful memories and..."

His voice broke and he needed to close his eyes, taking a quivering breath, trying to calm down again.

"...And I love you nonetheless. I love you even thought I feel vulnerable and stupid and scared, too because you're the best thing that's happened to me, Sherlock. I was so completely lost and alone without you and I owe you so much and I love you. Because you may not be perfect in the common sense of the word but you're perfect for me..."

He trailed off a bit, smiling unsure at his madman.

"And all I just want to tell you is that...," he took another shaky breath, "It's fine Sherlock, it's all fine and I understand."

Sherlock pressed as close as he could, wanting to melt into John and never let go. He listened to his words silently, letting the information sink in and when John looked at him and kissed him, it was perfect, yet somehow made his heart ache at John's sad words.

"John...I...I'm just so scared that you'll find someone else, someone better, more equipped to deal with emotions and such because I want you to be happy, more than anything in the world, I want you to be happy. I'm terrified of letting my walls down and letting you in because I've never done that for anyone before, and I won't ever find anyone else to do it for because I love you, I know for a fact that I love you and I will never get bored of you because you, John Hamish Watson, are an anomaly, you're different and completely and utterly fascinating in every way, so much so that sometimes you make my head spin and all I can think about is you."

Sherlock kissed John quickly and smiled.

"And you weren't to know John, weren't to know how I felt about us, that I've worried constantly since our first kiss that I'm doing something wrong or not doing what I'm supposed to or something like that. I don't know these things know what I'm like...I hate being in the dark and John...I'm so surrounded by darkness now I can't even see my hand in front of my face until I feel you take it," he paused and took John's hand in his to illustrate his point, intertwining their fingers, "until you take my hand and shine the light on everything because that's what you do John, you show me the way, light my path. You do it all the time, without even realising it, even for other things, during cases, in cabs, in the street, whenever we're together you're like my guiding light and I just don't want you to leave me alone in the dark."

The detective kissed John again softly, squeezing his hand tightly.

"I love you too John, more than life itself and I would do anything for you, I would get on my knees and grovel for you just to prove how much I love you. Even that word isn't enough. I don't just love you, I adore you, worship you because you gave me life, John. Before you I didn't have a life, I had an existence, a self-destructive existence that would have ended up killing me and then you came along, my brave, strong soldier who seemed so normal yet you weren't, disguised so well as this ordinary man and then I suddenly saw it, how special and magnificent you are, how utterly spectacular you are and you took my breath away, still do, always will."

There was silence for a moment as tears ran down Sherlock's face, his smile still present and his eyes shining with warmth and tears.

"I have nothing to give you but everything I am and although it's not much it's entirely yours to do with what you please because I know you'll protect me, know you'll keep me safe and warm and loved and all those things I never thought I'd crave because you've managed to steal a heart I'd long convinced myself I didn't have to give, instead a cold shard of ice but you melted me, broke me down and saw me as the scared little child I am, saw me as a human and not a machine, defended this 'freak' instead of ridiculing him like everyone else."

Sherlock suddenly placed John's hand over the detective's heart, letting John feel his racing heart thumping in his chest.

"It beats for you because you gave it a reason to, a reason to keep pumping and for my lungs to keep breathing. It'll never stop, ever, until the day when we're old and grey and lying in each other arms. I will love you every day for the rest of my days and I won't every leave you, I can promise you that. I will do everything in my power to stay with you because the very thought of not being with you is repulsive to me."

Sherlock chuckled shakily as his tears streamed down his face but he didn't care.

"So yes, I'm completely and utterly terrified at this feeling of the unknown but I know it's stupid and I know I'm being moronic and completely not myself but you do this to me John, you are the first person I've ever been with and you will be the last because no one will ever compare to you, not even close."

He snivelled and kissed John again, hard and needy and full of desperation.

"I love you, adore you, worship you." He mumbled before sealing his lips to John's again, pulling the man closer, if that was possible, and kissing him as if his life depended upon it.

John forgot to breathe.

He honestly and literally forgot to breathe, just like that, just by listening to what Sherlock said, hanging on every word, every letter the other man spoke and still, he couldn't believe it, just laying there, completely lost. He hadn't expected this, hadn't expected his madman to be so completely, genuinely honest and that this honesty would be so...well, breathtaking.

For the whole monologue, for the entire time his sleuth has spoken and even as his lungs burned, John just forgot to breath, all he could do was listening. And then, Sherlock had finished and was pulling him impossibly closer and kissing him and John still couldn't breathe, his lungs burning in the desperate need for oxygen and something ran down his cheek, was he crying? But he couldn't care less because it didn't matter, kissing Sherlock back, wrapping his arms around his man to be as close to him as physically possible, ignoring his burning lungs and his tears and entirely focusing on Sherlock, wonderful Sherlock, brilliant Sherlock, beautiful Sherlock, his Sherlock.

"I love you." He just brought out between kisses, unable to say anything else, think of anything else.

"I love you." He repeated, clutching so desperately onto Sherlock as if he was drowning and maybe he was, he wasn't sure about it, maybe he was just drowning and Sherlock was his branch keeping him over the surface, so breakable and filigree and so very, very strong, holding him up and not letting him drown in his own emotions and 'I love you' and with that, he finally took a deep breath, filling his lungs with air, soothing the burn but not the ache inside him, the one that urged him even closer to his man. However, he couldn't, he just simply, physically couldn't get closer with already not a single hair fitting between their bodies anymore, aligned from top to toe, his own, throbbing heart thumping so loudly against his ribcage that he could hear it drumming in his ears.

John took another deep, quivering breath, before closing the last distance between them again, kissing Sherlock with all the warmth and softness and tenderness and truthfulness he could, trying to tell him that he loved him and needed him and that he felt the same and even more and that he understood and that this was right that this was perfect and that his heart just ached so much, wanting, needing to still be closer because Sherlock was his missing half, was making him complete and whole again and that he just couldn't take it anymore.

Sherlock kept kissing John, passionately, roughly, heatedly, desperately. They were both crying and struggling for air and it was so undeniably perfect that Sherlock thought that if he died that moment he would die a happy man. There was nothing between them apart from their clothes and Sherlock soon saw to that. He stripped himself of his shirt, trousers, underwear and socks, all with the skill and grace that mean that his lips never left John's for more than mere seconds. He opened the man's bathrobe, pulling it from him and almost ripping down his underwear.

Now pressed together, every inch of, now naked, skin was touching and their hands were exploring and mapping out each other's bodies. It wasn't sexual, there was nothing lustful about this, it was simply two people, sharing everything with each other, their mind, bodies and souls. Sherlock felt complete with John, like his whole life had a purpose and his purpose was to find John and love him.

Then suddenly, John pulled back again, just so much that there was enough space between the two of them to breathe, his arms still tightly wrapped around the slim frame of his man, his eyes still closed and his breath harsh, unable to calm down just now. But he smiled, somehow pleased, somehow peaceful when the realisation hit him and when he opened his eyes again there was nothing but pure, honest love for his man reflecting in them. When their lips parted, Sherlock pressed his forehead to John's, their panting breaths mingling together.

"I love you, so much it hurts." John eventually said, just a quiet whisper, like a secret he would only ever share with Sherlock, that was only ever meant for Sherlock and would just stay with them, just the two of them and no one else.

John's words melted Sherlock completely, would stay with him for the rest of his life and his voice was so amazing, so trusting, as if he was imparting the most amazing secret and to Sherlock, it was. He smiled back, beaming and his eyes were filled with love and emotion and tears for his John, his John. He watched his John's face as the man had his eyes closed. The tanned glow that had never left his soft skin, the sandy blonde hair that was just begging to have fingers run through it, the soft lines around his eyes that spoke of laughter and love and those lips that spoke a thousand promises with just one kiss. Sherlock couldn't tear his eyes away. John was beautiful, more so than anything he'd ever seen or ever would see. The detective wanted to recite sonnets of romance, wanted to give John the perfect words that would tell him everything he needed to know but what came out instead was a soft murmur that reached only John's ears.

"I love you, so much that it completes me."

This was written by myself and the wonderful kashikahatake (check her out on Tumblr!) and started life as an RP. After a lot of work I turned it into this so that you guys could read it too! ^_^ xx