This one obviously turned out longer. Hope you enjoy it.
Was it strange that he noticed it? No, everyone smells like something. Whether it be good or bad, it's still a scent.
Sherlock knew how he smelled before he had met John; cigarettes, chemicals, sweat, decaying bodies. Nothing's wrong with that.
But then along came John.
He remembered walking into the flat after a particularly long day at Bart's. John had finished moving his things in throughout the day, but apparently deleted that fact his mind palace. Opening the door, it slammed into his face. It was foreign to his nose, absolutely strange. He felt every hair on his body stand on end. This wasn't how his flat was supposed to smell. The scent of musty books had been covered, stale smoke out of the open window, and something savory touching his tongue. His brain went into over drive, looking around and inspecting every surface. Where was it coming from? Who was here? And then he found the kitchen and it came back to him.
The little soldier.
John was standing there, stirring his mug of tea. When he heard Sherlock's sigh for the doorway, he glanced up with a tired smirk to greet him. Sherlock nodded his head, watching John finish preparing his tea. The doctor soon dropped the spoon into the sink and passed the other while heading into the living area. That's when he found it. The source of the smell.
Up front, it was musky. But Sherlock cataloged that being from the labor of moving. Which was followed by something warm, and clean. Mostly likely a specific brand of laundry detergent. It was very subtle, probably wouldn't even be able to recognize it throughout the day. By the look of his jumper, John had recently pulled it on. It didn't look as worn from daily use as his jeans did. But then it hit him, nearly smothered him. The robust woodsy, citrus fragrance just lingering in the air John passed through. Oh, now that was pleasant. Making a quick decision, Sherlock fled to his chair and sat with his legs to his chest, simply breathing in the scent of John. At John's offer of tea, he absently nodded while staring. When he saw the blond stand, his instincts propelled him to his feet.
He hovered over John's shoulder the entire time.
From there on out, returning home was pleasant. His greeting was no longer given to an empty flat. Instead, it was reciprocated by the delicious aroma of John lounging in the living area with a cup of hot tea. Sometimes there was even a hot meal waiting for him. It was definitely a welcome change.
John gradually picked up doing house tasks, not really asking Sherlock about them. It was habit to Sherlock to leave his robe on his chair, his trousers where ever, socks who knows, and pants,... well they didn't talk about those. Sherlock only noticed when he would go the day without John and still smell him, still inhale the inviting scent. It was of John's preferred detergent.
In the shower, he could spot a few things out of place. There was a new shampoo sitting on the rack and a bar of soap in the dish. Plucking up the plastic bottle, he flipped open the top and squeezed the gel-like substance on to his hand. He rubbed it between his hands, sniffing until the scent was there.
With a smirk, he ran his hands through his hair, scrubbing and lathering the dark locks, covering them in John's shampoo. He froze. Would John be able to tell? What would he say? Maybe he could pass it off as he just grabbed one blindly? Shaking the thoughts, he rinsed his hair and continued with his shower.
"Did you use my shampoo?" The detective glanced up at the doctor from his chair, which John was leaning over. He clamped his lips shut firmly, eyes going back to his laptop screen. John's soft chuckle rumbled through his ears. There was suddenly a hand ruffling his hair.
"I'll start buy it for both of us then." John threw out, turning and walking away. Oh, how he wanted to call him back and ask him to do that again. To touch him again. A small smile stretched over his face. Running a hand through his still damp hair, he smiled. He smelled of John.
And then there was the time he went in John's room. Purely scientifically research, of course. He was looking for something. He could identify everything John smelled like except for one little detail. The woodsy, clean scent. He couldn't find it anywhere. The detergent was cotton fresh, his deodorant unscented, his shaving cream washed away by the soap in the shower, and he didn't wear any type of fragrance unless he was going out on a date and even then it was fresh, aromatic scent, nothing like the outdoors.
Slowly, he crept up the stairs, keeping his ears trained on the door in case John return from surgery sooner than he expected. Stepping into John's bedroom was quite the experience. It was John all wrapped up in four walls. He looked over the dresser. No small glass bottles or aerosol cans there. Peeking into the drawers, all that were there were lines of neatly folded shirts and trousers. Maybe it was the smell of his drawers lingering on his clothes? He bent over at an awkward angle and sniffed the drawer. Pine, but not even near what he was looking for.
He moved to the desk in the corner. John's laptop and a folder were the only things on it. His eyes fell on the last furniture piece in the room. John's bed. It was a full sized bed with pale green sheets and darker jade duvet with matching pillow shams, a set which was, not surprisingly, a gift from Harry. His bed was made and an old quilt was thrown across the end of it. Cautiously, he lowered himself to the mattress. It sunk around him in a way that was comforting, nothing like his own. Spreading his hands over the duvet, he leaned himself back to sprawl over the bed.
He found it.
The robust woodsy scent that he had been searching for, yearning to find. God, it was addictive. It covered the bed and only the bed. He could smell the detergent left from its last wash and the citrus shampoo over the pillow he used nightly. But the sheets, all of it smelled like newly cut wood in the spring. A sweeter twang to the wood than normal.
When John returned home, he found his bed bare.
"Sherlock, what did you do with my linens?" The detective didn't move his eyes from his computer screen.
"Science, John. For science."
Sherlock smelled of John from that day on.
Thanks for reading.