He hadn't minded at first.
He wasn't as entirely averse to physical contact with John, as compared to physical contact with other people: normally, it irritated him when people insisted on touching his arm, brushing against him, any form of unwelcome contact, but John – as per – was a special case. So, he hadn't been bothered when a near unconscious John had rested his head against his shoulder. In fact, their shared space on the sofa had been almost nice.
And after the detective show had reached its frankly pitiful conclusion, Sherlock had fallen asleep. And that had been fine, too. There was something almost pleasant about the closeness of waking up resting on John was John resting on him, and he'd spent the next half an hour indulging in the sentiment and about how it wasn't that bad really (he'd never really understood the prospect of sharing a bed with someone or how that could possibly be pleasant, but maybe there was something in it), but the problem became clear at the point where Sherlock began to get bored.
Because John was still asleep and didn't look like he was about to wake up at any point soon.
It wasn't like Sherlock had any aversion to waking his flatmate up or otherwise disrupting his sleep pattern, but John had been beyond the usual levels of tired last night and given Sherlock was already expecting John to be mad at him when he woke up for other reasons (reasons which he couldn't regret, but were likely going to end badly) he didn't want to increase that by waking him up now. Plus, the reality of waking John up was a lot more acute when John was on his shoulder.
He didn't want to disturb him but, at the same time, he needed John off his shoulder right now or he didn't know what he was actually supposed to do. Stillness was fine when it was self-enforced; often necessary when there was too much data and he found an exact position where he could reregulate his thoughts and not be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of fact the world readily gave, but it wasn't fine right now because it wasn't his choice, and it was claustrophobic and restricting and not good.
Sherlock tried to shrug his shoulder away from John, thinking that perhaps the man might just move in his sleep riddled safe if Sherlock was uncomfortable enough. He couldn't be that comfy anyway given he was wearing a suit not designed for sleeping on, and his shoulders were all too bony to be used as substitute pillows. He wasn't exactly cuddly.
John nestled closer into his shoulder.
Sherlock closed his eyes and tried to think about something else, anything else, other than the fact there was no real way to escape this physical contact until John woke up which could take hours, less Sherlock take matters into his own hands, which he didn't really want to do because he didn't want to piss John off further, and he was rapidly running out of viable options.
It did also mean that John was possibly right about Sherlock's inability to participate in a remotely sexual relationship. The fact that John was so blessedly understanding about it all was really for the best. If only the man would wake up or otherwise remove his head from Sherlock's shoulder and actually be able to see things that were right under his nose, the man would be perfect.
Greg and John had reached an understanding that, if for any reason the doorbell to 221B wasn't answered, he was perfectly within his rights to come right up. It was a matter of practicality, as if Sherlock was in a bad mood with his violin then the doorbell usually went unheard, or at any given point the TV could be turned up to top volume, the two of them been taken hostage by some nutter with a gun and some duct tape, or Sherlock could be too damn lazy to answer the door himself. If Greg actually and continually waited for a response to text messages or the doorbell, they might end up missing a nice fresh crime scene.
When Greg had first walked straight up the stairs with Sally in tow, the woman had been oddly horrified and fascinated all that same time. What if you walked into something personal? Sally had asked, which Greg took to mean she too believed that John and Sherlock were involved intimately and biblically behind closed doors. Greg's 'hate to disappoint you, Donovan, but the most personal scene I've walked in on was an argument about the milk rota' had caused Sally to make a face, but Greg had thought the moment had been quite cute in itself.
This, however, was entirely different.
They were asleep on the sofa. Greg made an involuntary noise something between a snort and an aww before he managed to shut himself up, slightly concerned about what would happen if he woke the two of them up and Sherlock's reaction to Greg being privy to this. John too, actually, as the man was so determined with his 'not gays' that Greg really did try his best to believe them.
He was very glad that he'd told Sally to wait in the car.
"What?" Sherlock asked, his eyes still shut.
"Case," Greg said, as Sherlock opened his eyes – very much conscious – and turned to face him looking ever so slightly manic.
"John is asleep."
"I can see that," Greg said, trying not to laugh.
"Yes," Greg agreed, "well, he did look pretty tired yesterday." Sherlock's expression triggered something in Greg's mind. "You didn't keep him up after you got back, did you? Sherlock, the man hadn't slept in days it looked like."
"It was important," Sherlock said, "how do I get him off my shoulder?"
"Wake him up?" Greg suggested, very much struggling to keep a straight face. "How do you normally er… wake him up?" The comment was worth the dirty look from Sherlock, that was for sure.
"Given it's my fault he hasn't slept," Sherlock said – Lestrade bit back his grin – "I didn't want to."
Downstairs, the doorbell rang again in the usual aggressive way Lestrade associated with Donovan. She flat out refused to enter 221B on her own without announcing her presence first.
"S'that the door?" John asked, groggily, before removing his head off Sherlock's shoulder and blearily opened his eyes. "Get the door, Sherlock."
"It's Lestrade and Donovan," Sherlock said, standing up and moving swiftly away from John towards the other side of the room. Greg was trying really hard to stop grinning. "Case."
"Morning John," Greg said, "wasn't expecting to see you here this morning."
John had been in the middle of a rather elaborate dream involving his blog and creating a 'FAQs' section involving all the daily questioned that seemed to plague him. The questions scoped from 'is Sherlock Gay?' (answer: who the hell knows) to 'are you and Sherlock together?' (answer: in an asexual couple sort of way, yes. In a consummated way, no. Be the plan is to grow old together so take from that what you will) and, of course, 'do you love Sherlock Holmes?' (answer: of bloody course).
The dream was as unrealistic as dreams were, given it wasn't anyone's business what was going on between the two of them and he certainly wouldn't put anything like that on the blog unless Sherlock gave him the okay, and he wasn't about to restart that conversation with Sherlock again anytime soon. Providing Sherlock knew that John had zero intention of leaving and was very much dedicated him, then the whole definition part of things probably wouldn't do either of them any good.
And then the doorbell went and he was vaguely aware that he was both sleeping on Sherlock and that Greg Lestrade was grinning at him.
"Sorry?" John asked, rubbing his face in attempt to feel slightly more conscious.
"This morning," Greg said, "I was expecting you to be at Jane's?"
"Why?" John asked, just as Sally Donovan appeared in the doorway looking impatient, which led to John wondering just how long Greg had been there before he'd woken up. Frankly, he was too tired to care. And Greg may have got an eyeful of John sleeping on Sherlock's shoulder, but it wasn't like either of them were naked or in a bed or anything. It was perfectly acceptable and all fine.
"Well," Greg said, looking slightly awkward for a second, "it was Valentine's day yesterday?"
Oh God, he was the worst boyfriend ever. He'd spent Valentine's Day knocking out pensioners and having a discussion about sexuality with his tosser of a flatmate (never mind coming to the conclusion that Sherlock was likely his life partner, minus the sex). He'd made reservations at some stupid restaurant and how the hell had he managed to forget?
"Sherlock!" John said, whirling around to face his arse of a flatmate. "Did you sodding plan this?"
"Tea, John?" Sherlock suggested lightly.
"You arse! So when you said my relationship with Jane had a two day life span max, this is what you meant? That you'd made some elaborate scheme to ensure I bloody forgot Valentine's Day."
"You were too tired to go out anyway." Sherlock said, waving this away.
"Yes, well," John said, "I'd have at least apologised to her. Sherlock, what did you do to my phone?" Sherlock rolled his eyes and pulled out a sim card from his top pocket. John thought this moment was right up there with the angriest he'd been with Sherlock to date. Really. Bloody really. He'd fallen asleep last night feeling entirely comfortable with everything that they were and weren't, and finally feeling like Sherlock might be too… so to wake up and find that the whole thing had been an elaborate rouse was just beyond his usual levels of shit.
"The case?" Sherlock asked, turning to face Lestrade.
"Right," Lestrade said, glancing at John for a second who was still positively shaking with rage, "originally looked like a standard case of domestic murder, but the DNA of the brother was found under her fingernails. He's been a missing person for over a decade."
"Not bloody likely," John muttered, having finally removed Sherlock's replacement sim card and put his own back into his phone. "I've got to go to grovel."
"John," Sherlock said, turning to face him, "given events and the growing use of expletives in the later text messages, I really think that you'd be wasting your time. Particularly given the fact that you are her rebound from her relationship with another woman and, considering the previous discussion we had whilst you were supposed to be out for dinner with her where you quite clearly stated you were not planning on getting married that suggests you probably weren't that into her anyway. Former mentioned grovelling is going to be futile, pointless and a waste of both of our time. She wouldn't have forgiven you for cancelling dinner anyway; particularly when your excuse was that you were busy knocking out a pensioner or, more likely, you'd just tell her 'case' and she'd ask for details and you'll refuse to give any. You don't care, she doesn't care and this entire exercise was designed to be time efficient, John, so please show some common sense, block her number from your phone and consider this a cease and desist on any hope of dating brainless and irritating women in the near future."
"Jesus," John muttered, "you are ridiculous."
And probably right, John added silently, always probably and damnably right.
John vaguely registered that Greg and Sally were still stood awkwardly hovering in the doorway and was beginning to wonder what exactly they were going to gleam from being witness to this. Because anyone could read that Sherlock was jealous through that garbage. And it was a mark of how patient John was beginning to become that he was secretly pleased about the jealousy, as well as being a bit bloody pissed off.
"If you wanted to spend time with me," John said, squaring up his shoulders and glancing back to Sherlock, "you could have just bloody said."
Sherlock's lips thinned slightly.
"Text me the address of the crime scene, Detective Inspector, we'll be there in half an hour."
"John?" Lestrade questioned.
"Yes, fine," John said, "but I need to get changed." He didn't add that he was still wearing his pyjamas from the previous night underneath his clothes, but the amused look from Sherlock seem to indicated that Sherlock was fully aware of the fact. Bastard.
"Forty five minutes," Sherlock said, "and if Anderson's ruined the crime scene then -"
"- you'll frequently call him an idiot," Greg supplied, "yes, we know. I'll make sure no one else touches anything."
"No elderly women involved in this one are they?" John asked hopefully.
"Not a wrinkle in sight," Lestrade said, unable to prevent himself from glancing between them, winking at John and grinning before exiting their flat again. John didn't even want to look at the expression on Sally Donovan's face.
"I'm still pissed," John said, turning round to face Sherlock properly, "really pissed, actually Sherlock. And later we're going to have another discussion about keeping your nose out of my business."
"John," Sherlock said, "it's inconvenient when you're away and…"
…And Sherlock had been crashing off a semi failure and seriously been questioning the whole status of their relationship because of it. As much as John was loathe to admit it, even just internally, he wouldn't have wanted to leave Sherlock alone in such a state to go on some half-arsed date with Jane. But still changing the sim on his phone was that little bit far.
"Sherlock, if you need me just say, okay? Not a mind reader. Anyway, I need a shower and a cup of tea and a few minutes to breathe deeply and concentrate on not hitting you in the face."
"Dinner." Sherlock repeated.
If you wanted to spend time with me you could have just bloody said. Well, John supposed, the fact that Sherlock was actually listening to him was progress.
"Tonight, with you, on the fifteenth of February?" John repeated, eyebrows raised and staring at him.
"Can we talk about the cigarettes?" John asked, folding his arms. Sherlock nodded. "Fine. Good. Excellent."
And thus, it was back to normal – without the girlfriends – and that was fine and all good, and if he really pushed the 'you changed the sim on my phone' he might actually talk Sherlock into giving up smoking again, and that really would be better for all involved.
And we're done! This was a slightly pointless third part, but I had an extra plunny for this chapter so I thought I might as well give into it. Thanks for all the lovely reviews guys! :)