A Powerful Thing
To call it unexpected would have been a drastic understatement, a slap in the face to all things hyperbole. No, what transpired that night was something far beyond anything John Watson could have imagined of the Consulting Detective he'd first called flat-mate then colleague then friend. What transpired that night moved beyond the realm of, "Excuse me?" and straight on into the realm of, "No fucking way…" And it was all thanks in large part to Snow White.
"Dull," Sherlock groaned as he slapped the DVD case down in front of John's slowly typing fingers. John paused, not quite able to connect the Disney Classic with the man to his left in any way that made coherent sense. So instead, he settled for the first thing that popped into his head, picking up the DVD case with a frown.
"Is this the copy I bought for Stamford's daughter?"
"Where else would it have come from?" Sherlock rolled his eyes and plopped himself down in his chair with an audible huff.
John ran a hand over his face. "That was for her birthday, Sherlock."
"I can't exactly give her a gift that's already been opened, can I?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes, sinking so far down into the seat he was practically sitting on the floor. "Consider that my gift to her." He stretched, placing steepled fingers briefly against his lips in aggravation. "Why anyone would waste precious time and thought on such a piece of mindless dribble is beyond me."
John opened his mouth to protest, when the reality of the situation struck him in the back of the head. "You just willingly watched a Disney movie."
"Suffered through one, if we're stating the obvious." Sherlock sniffed.
"Analysis of a late 1930's depiction of murder in an animated "Classical Masterpiece."" Sherlock actually raised air quotes as he scoffed out the words. "Not that it did much good. The science was hardly reputable."
"It's a kids' movie," John countered with an awestruck shake of his head, silently wishing that there was a "flat-mate being impossible" return policy for DVDs.
"Obviously." Sherlock rolled his eyes again. "But that's hardly an excuse."
John knew he'd regret asking, but that's how it was with Sherlock: everything laced with a morbid curiosity, a twisted and masochistic sort of intrigue. "An excuse for what?"
Sherlock shifted back into a proper sitting position, locking eyes with John in that way that meant, "Follow closely," and, "Try not to be stupid."
"It was clear from the heroine's reaction to the apple that it was dipped in or injected with a chemical directly related to Tetradotoxin, the symptoms of which designed to mimic the appearance of death." Sherlock explained as though analyzing one of his murder cases, the look in his eyes disturbingly-and amusingly-similar. "Surely it must have been refined considering the length she spends in this state in relation to the film's depiction of passing time. Especially when compared to the general knowledge that one cannot be revived from Tetradotoxin. Let alone from something as scientifically unprecedented as a kiss."
John couldn't help but smirk at the way he spat out the word. "A kiss can be a powerful thing, Sherlock," He replied in attempted seriousness, the man's tantrum becoming more and more entertaining.
"But not life-saving!" Sherlock threw his hands out as if desperate to have John understand, wrenching himself to his feet and directly into a pace. "Unless the Prince had the antidote on his lips, which even then is implausible at best, the likelihood of there being enough antidote to revive her with lip contact alone is preposterous."
"Sherlock," John laughed openly this time. "It was just a movie. Snow White had a spell on her, the Prince's kiss broke it, that's it. No science necessary." The glare Sherlock offered was practically woundable. So John glared back, though it was hardly as effective. "I don't see you making a fuss about the Queen being able to turn herself into an old woman at will!"
"Prosthetics," Sherlock waved the claim away, already back to pacing.
John watched him for a moment, dumbfounded, then got to his feet, grabbing Sherlock by the shoulders to bring him to a halt. "Just stop for a second."
"But the movie-" Sherlock protested almost with a whine, waving his hand out in the direction of the forgotten DVD case.
"Is just a movie. For children." John cut him off, chuckling softly despite himself. "Supposed to teach kids about bravery and love and things like that."
"So a metaphor." Sherlock tried, still frowning.
"A metaphor. Exactly." John nodded, smiling.
Sherlock rolled his eyes again. "What sort of metaphor is supposed to be found in a kiss bringing someone back from the dead?"
John rolled his eyes right back. "I don't know. Love conquers all?" Sherlock sighed, the exhale brushing just past John's face, reminding him that he was still holding Sherlock's shoulders.
"Dull, dull, dull," Sherlock moaned, letting his head roll back in frustration. "What is it with people and sentiment? Expecting things like a magic kiss to fix all their problems? It's idiotic and juvenile and statistically proven to be ineffecti-"
Later, John would tell himself it was to shut Sherlock up, would run the excuse up and down the inside of his head until he believed it-wasn't possible, no way-that it meant anything other than that, was for any other reason, certainly, definitely. Of course. But at that moment, all that mattered was covering the distance between them, tilting his head up and raising his heels off the floor because damn the bastard and his near foot of height difference between them, to feel Sherlock's mouth on his, a kiss that was spontaneous and off kilter and perfect. A kiss that silenced the great Sherlock Holmes.
A kiss that was met with a startled response, an involuntary opening of his mouth, a moan that was low and deep and shot straight up John's spine. And when hands wrapped around to the small of John's back, pulling him in tight, snaking around to John's waist and John's shoulders, long fingers grazing the nape of his neck as they traveled up into his hair, tightening just for a second, briefly, too briefly, it was too much. Because he wanted to stay there, in Sherlock's arms, against Sherlock's lips, he wanted to feel every inch of Sherlock, taste him on his tongue, consume him, but John hadn't meant for this, hadn't planned for this, hadn't thought any of this through. He wanted to stay with Sherlock, like this, forever, and that was more terrifying than anything he'd seen in Afghanistan. Because he could have it. Sherlock worrying his bottom lip between his teeth, letting his tongue slip just barely into John's mouth was proof that he could have it. But that would mean that everyone had been right. And that John had been too stupid to see it. And he wasn't sure if he was ready for that.
He wasn't sure if he was ready for Sherlock.
He tried to ignore the rush of disappointment that flooded his chest when he pulled away, which was much, much easier to ignore than the dazed and eager and confused look that met him in Sherlock's eyes. So, before Sherlock could right himself enough to begin to deduce anything from what had just happened, John took a step back and cleared his throat.
"I, um… I told you a kiss was a powerful thing." John offered lamely, not quite able to look Sherlock in the eye. He looked down at his feet instead, but that just made him feel guilty.
Suddenly, those same long, thin fingers were beneath his chin, raising his head to meet a bright, storm colored gaze, Sherlock's eyes flitting across John's face as if searching for something, which John was certain he'd have no trouble finding. Except, he let go without so much as a wisecrack, the briefest hint of a something flashing so quickly across his face, John could have convinced himself it hadn't even been there.
"Not quite enough to raise me from the dead," Sherlock turned away from John in a swirl of his robe, taking a few steps back towards the table where he stopped just long enough to place his hand atop the DVD case thoughtfully. When he looked back over his shoulder at John, there was a smirk on his lips and something dangerous in his eyes. "But you've made your point."
He walked into the kitchen then, the sounds of tea being made drifting in John's direction, like nothing had happened. Or everything had happened. Which it had, the heat of it settling like humidity in the air around him, and as too much as it was, as confusing as he'd made this for himself, John couldn't help himself from thinking about all the other points he would love to make.