Hello, hello, hello!
I'd like to start off by warning that I am American, and my knowledge of British vernacular is limited to what I've seen in shows and movies, so please inform me if I've said or done something terribly American so that I can fix it.
Other than that, I'd wish for you to enjoy. :)
After the cemetery, after very nearly crying at that tombstone, and that stressful therapy session, John locked himself away again. He went back to the way things were when he had first returned from his tour in Afghanistan. He left 221B and returned to his old apartment outside of the city; he couldn't go back to that place, not without Sherlock. (Mrs. Hudson kept the flat as it was though because she couldn't bring herself to rent it out to anyone else. It helped of course that Mycroft offered to continue paying for the flat.)
Rent still need to be paid, so John got a job at St. Bart's, in the surgery with Molly. Sometimes she tried to initiate conversation, try and lighten the mood and cheer him up a little, but John didn't respond to any of it. What was he supposed to do now? The man who had saved his life, who had given him something to live and breathe for in civilian life, his best friend – gone. All gone.
He kept his service pistol right next to his laptop once again. There it was, right within reach. Quite often it was more than tempting – all he had to do was open that drawer and reach right in. The chamber was always filled, just in case.
But whenever his thoughts got to this point, whenever he came even remotely close, he would have a visitor. Whether it is Molly, Mrs. Hudson, Lestrade, or sometimes even Mycroft – somehow they always came just in the nick of time, just as he was picking up that gun. Mycroft probably still had him under surveillance; John wouldn't put it past him.
Who knows why they bothered; it's not like he ever spent time with them anymore. Whenever they tried, John would just give glib answers to questions, not bothering to even try to hold up his end of the conversation. What was the point? All conversations were boring without Sherlock – even if he did want to punch him much of the time.
He still keeps up appearances of health – otherwise he wouldn't be able to hold a job and pay his rent, even if he did get checks from the government still. And he still went to his therapy sessions, mostly because his boss practically ordered him to do so, else he wouldn't have a job. But it was the same as before; John barely spoke, had trust issues, no longer kept up his blog.
John Watson was merely going through the paces of life, just barely staying alive.
One afternoon numerous, endless months after the fall, John was sitting at his desk, staring into the drawer that held his service pistol, once again contemplating pulling it out, just ending this miserable, empty existence he held, when his phone rang across the room. He wouldn't have bothered answering it – he didn't want to be interrupted yet again – but it could be the hospital, calling with an open shift. So John forced his eyes away from the drawer, stood up and walked over to his phone, not looking at the caller id.
"Doctor Watson," he answered out of habit.
A familiar voice spoke on the other end. "John?" said Mrs. Hudson quietly. "I hear someone moving around in the flat upstairs. Would you come check it out, dear?"
His brows furrowed. "I'm sorry Mrs. Hudson but I'm not in the city right now. Why don't you call Greg and have him check for you?"
"I tried dear, but he's on a case right now and he can't come."
Closing his eyes and sighing in frustration and acquiescence, John put on a jacket over his jumper and grabbed his wallet and keys and gun. "All right, I'll hop on the Tube. You go downstairs to the café and wait for me, all right? Don't go upstairs."
Forty-five minutes later he stepped out of a cab in front of 221B Baker Street. Not since before visiting the cemetery had John been there – but for Mrs. Hudson, he steeled himself and unlocked the door with the key he hadn't been able to bring himself to return. As soon as he stepped inside he had to stop, his heart racing at the sound drifting down from his old flat: a violin. Without another thought John was dashing up the stairs, stealth and safety forgotten as he shoved open the door. The sight before him stopped his breath cold.
A tall, lithe figure stood in front of the window by the bookcase, violin balanced between left shoulder a chin, right hand holding the bow, back turned to the entryway. When the door slammed against the wall however, the figure stopped playing, lowered its hands, and slowly turned around.
John felt his heart stop for a second then start back up in double time as the man in front of him, the man he had thought dead for months, offered him a small smirk.
"Hello John," said the one and only Sherlock Holmes. When he got nothing more than silence and a dead stare as a response he frowned. "Are you all right John? You seem…" He paused, searching for an appropriate word. "Different."
Standing there, John struggled, trying to decide which urge to resist more: to punch Sherlock in the face, or to give him a bone-crushing, desperate hug. He seemed to have his answer when the wayward consulting detective spoke once more.
Setting down his violin and bow, Sherlock took a small step forward. "As you can imagine, I've needed a lot of helping thinking these past few months so I composed a new song. That's what I was just playing actually." There was another uncharacteristic pause as he strangely hesitated before saying what he wanted, what was on his mind. "I had you in mind when I was –" He was cut off in the middle of his sentence when John lurched forward and gave him a left hook, the opposite of the last time.
"I asked you, begged you months ago," John yelled, finally letting down the military calm detachment he'd built back up, "and you were there, weren't you? When I talked to your grave, thanked you for saving my life, and I asked you for one favor: Don't. Be. Dead. For me." He threw his hands up in frustration. "And yet you waited, let me believe my best friend was dead. You really are a selfish dick, you know that?"
"Selfish? I just disappeared for several months, went without cases, without anything that could be traced back to me – and all for you." There he went, speaking without thinking about the consequences of his words yet again. But this needed to be said. "You know what I've been doing while I've been dead? I've been watching you, making sure you were all right, making sure none of Moriarty's people came after you even though the order to your life was supposed to be called off when I jumped off St. Bart's.
"I've been watching Moriarty's men, dismantling his web, making sure they would never be able to come after us again so I could come back and things could go back to the way they were. I died not for me, but for you. You, John." Then almost as an afterthought he added, "And Mrs. Hudson and Lestrade," just to be sure John didn't read into things more than he should.
Standing there, so close to Sherlock after so long, hearing him prattle on about how much he'd done – and for him, for John… He couldn't help himself. John rushed forward again, this time to embrace Sherlock, John's arms wrapping tightly around him and his chin hooking over Sherlock's shoulder. Sherlock stood ramrod straight, and though his arms weren't trapped beneath John's, he didn't give a notion he was going to move them any time soon.
Brows furrowed and eyes looking around in confusion, trying to find some answer as to what was going on, Sherlock frowned. "John… what're you doing?"
"What d'you think?" There was John's voice, quiet and so very close to his ear. "I haven't seen my best friend in months, I thought he was dead. I'm hugging you, you idiot." John briefly squeezed him more tightly, as if to prove a point.
As he spoke Sherlock felt John's breath tickle his ear, and with their bodies pressed so closely together he felt John's heartbeat, just below his own, and at an irregular pace, a pace he had felt from someone before. And he was acutely aware of John's hands resting against his back; he felt the heat of them through both his jacket and shirt. Sherlock's face twisted, not exactly in confusion, as he felt his body start to stir and react to all these observations.
He'd once told Irene Adler that he understood the chemistry associated with love – and just so, he knew how to detect it in others, as he had with her, as he was doing with John just that moment. But he had never experience any such thing himself, never thought he would. Sherlock Holmes didn't feel…
But maybe he did. He did, after all, fake his death to save the lives of others, something he would never had done once upon a time. He did call John just before doing so to – to what? Help himself feel better about what he had been about to do? To help John move on from him after his "death"?
And he had watched John, and the others, to make sure they were safe, to make sure no harm would come to them because of him, before he even thought about coming back from the dead.
So maybe Sherlock Holmes wasn't a selfish child after all. And maybe he did feel. He certainly was in that moment, standing there pressed so closely to John, his best friend, his only friend.
There was this strange part of him that wanted to reciprocate, that wanted to hug John back – but he couldn't possibly do that; he was Sherlock Holmes, he didn't show affection. Hell, he didn't show emotion at all because that was something he wasn't supposed to do; he wasn't supposed to feel, feelings just got in the way.
Except he was feeling. Sherlock was experience emotions, and strong emotions at that. And all because of John.
Standing there, wrapped tightly in John's arms, Sherlock felt strangely happy. Then again, because of John, Sherlock was doing all sorts of things he never would've done before. For once he decided not to question it as he had this intense craving for not just human contact but that with John and John alone. Resisting another urge, this time to lower his head, close his eyes and bury his face in John's hair - still cut military-style – and breathe in deeply. He did, however, unconsciously sigh in contentment at the feeling of being embraced.
Feeling Sherlock breathe deeply and give a low sigh, John's eyes snapped back open and his breath hitched. His body reacted immediately and without his consent, rocking forward into Sherlock's and drawing a moan from deep within his chest. Before he could go any further however, John scrambled back and all the way to the couch, flopping down in a rather unceremonious manner and burying his face in his hands, breathing and pulse erratic.
When Sherlock suddenly felt the cold air against his front, the strong scent of John fading ever so slightly, he opened his eyes, confused as to where his friend had gone and why. Looking around he saw the former army doctor sitting on the couch, elbows on his knees and head in his hands. For once worried about someone's feelings – well, actually just John's feelings – Sherlock walked over and sat down on the couch next to him. For a moment he was silent, thinking about what could possibly be bothering John so much that he would abruptly end their wonderful hug – even if John had been the only one doing the hugging. However, he couldn't think of what that might be so Sherlock decided he'd better ask.
"John…" he started. "Is something… wrong? Did I do something wrong just now?" Then he thought about the fact that he hadn't hugged John back – because, let's face it, that's not exactly Sherlock's cup of tea. "Or rather, not do something?"
His voice came out muffled from behind his hands. "It's nothing," said John, "I'm fine, just – I'm fine."
Sherlock frowned, detecting that John wasn't, in fact, fine. "Listen," he tried again, "I'll admit I don't have much experience when it comes to, well, any sort of relationship, but you're my only friend and I would like to help you in any way I can."
Taking a deep breath, John finally looked back up at his best friend, trying to decide if he should fess up and tell the truth. Either way, he figured Sherlock wouldn't grasp what was going on inside his head very well. On the other hand, perhaps if he told the truth he would feel better, even better than he already did with Sherlock alive and there with him.
Finally John spoke. "Why are you asking me this? Why are you even concerned?" he inquired. "The Sherlock I know would notice and would not be bothered enough to ask, or say I was stupid for dwelling over whatever silly thing is occupying my mind."
Silent for a moment, actually considering what John said before voicing a response, Sherlock muttered, "Because, like I said, you're my best friend; I actually do care about you hence me being gone for so long. And you say I'm the thick one when it comes to things like this…"
"I missed you," admitted John quietly. "You're my best friend, you saved my life, saved me from myself – twice now, you've done that."
"Oh, well, just doing my job," interrupted Sherlock with his trademark smirk.
"It isn't though," John protested. "You didn't have to breathe life back into me by bringing me into your life."
Smirk still in place, Sherlock turned slightly so that he could look at John while he was speaking. "I was bored," he said, "I needed something new in my life. And I suppose I actually needed an actually person, someone who actually cared." Sherlock chuckled at himself. "Look at me, being ordinary and admitting I'm human, that I actually need you."
At that, John lifted his head back up again and looked Sherlock in the eye, shocked that he would say something like that, something so human, so emotional. "What?" he asked, wanting to be sure he heard correctly.
Holding John's gaze, Sherlock reached out and clasped John's right hand in his own left. "I need you, John Watson," Sherlock repeated slowly. "I feel absurd saying this, but I am a better person, a better man, when I am with you."
Mouth gaping open, heart pounding erratically and excitedly, John stared a moment at Sherlock, processing his words. His eyes shifted rapidly back and forth, focusing on each of Sherlock's eyes in turn, as he came to his decision.
For the third time that day John lurched forward, once again for a different reason from the times before. In this instance, John let go of Sherlock's hand and lifted both of his own so as to take ahold of Sherlock's face, holding it in place while John lurched toward him and met his lips a bit roughly, his eyes closing on impact.
Meanwhile, Sherlock sat there and let John do as he pleased, until he saw John coming closer once again, until he felt John's hands on either side of his face, until he felt John's lips on his own. At that point Sherlock's eyes widened in shock; as much as he has bragged about being able to see things others can not, as good as he is at deducing, Sherlock Holmes had not expected this, had not expected John to "lay one on him". In this rare moment of shock Sherlock found himself following the impulses of his body as he started to kiss John back. Just as he had during the hug, he found he was rather enjoying himself. There was even a tingling sensation shooting up and down his spine and along his limbs.
When he felt Sherlock kissing him back John simply couldn't help himself: he moaned and leaned ever more forward and he sat up more, so as to get at Sherlock's mouth at more of an angle. Bearing down, John forced Sherlock's lips apart with his own, eliciting a gasp from the other man, and shoved in his tongue without so much as a courtesy lick. One hand moved to Sherlock's jaw and tilted his head back slightly while the other moved to the back of his head to yank on the hair.
Sherlock allowed John to keep going, allowed him to force his tongue down his throat, but as soon as he felt the tug on his hair, as soon as he felt intense stirringly from within, arousal that caused him to moan, he brought his hands up to John's shoulders and shoved him away, to the other side of the couch, before he stood back up and started pacing, his hands clenching and unclenching at his sides while he muttered to himself.
On the couch John took deep breaths to calm himself down, watching wearily as Sherlock paced in front of him. After a few moments of this, John thought it best to speak; to make sure Sherlock was all right after he sprung a move on him like that. "Sherlock…" he started off hesitantly, trying to get the consulting detective's attention. "I – I'm sorry I did that, I shouldn't have done such a thing without asking you first – hell, I shouldn't have done that at all, not to you."
At that last statement Sherlock halted abruptly, turning to face John. "'Not on me'? What is that supposed to mean?"
"I mean," said John slowly, not wanting to cause any more trouble, "that you're Sherlock Holmes, you don't know a single thing about romance, besides whatever that hell it is you and Irene Adler had going on there. Hell, you barely even know how to function within a friendship!" Standing up, John stood in front of Sherlock and looked him in the eye once again. "Seeing you for the first time in several months – it got my heart starting again, it – it caused some emotions to run on high and I apologize for not keeping them in check and then acting on them."
With that said and a curt nod, John turned sharply and took a step toward the doorway – but a hand reached out and pulled him to a stop.
"John, wait," Sherlock said in a strangled voice, causing John to turn around with a look of concern; the only times Sherlock had sounded like that were when he was questioning himself during the Baskerville case and during their phone call right before he jumped off St. Bart's. What John saw scared him because there stood a man broken, a man lost and confused as he felt something new, something foreign, something he'd strived against all his life. "I –" Sherlock broke himself off and pulled John forward so that his body would collide with his own, so that when John reached him Sherlock could be the one kissing him roughly this time, mouth immediately open this time and tongue searching, exploring every inch.
John moaned and took advantage of the fact his hands were trapped between their chests, clutching at the lapels of Sherlock's jacket and pulling him every closer, leaning more on his weight on the balls of his feet to make himself slightly taller, all the while thinking, For never having done this before, he is one hell of a kisser.
Even though he found himself moaning again, Sherlock didn't stop this time. Instead he let his body take over, letting the kiss stay heated while his mind kept working, taking note of what John responded extremely well to, what he responded well to, all the sensations running through his body, the overall mechanics of the whole thing. For instance, he noticed that when his hands strayed down to John's hips then back to his ass John responded by bucking his hips forward and moaning. His own hips did the same, grinding into John's lower stomach, when one of John's hands trailed up once more to the back of Sherlock's head and tugged at the hair. Eventually Sherlock had to pull back to take a deep breath of air and steady himself a bit. When he did so John trailed kisses down to his chin and along his jaw before latching on the skin just below the ear, at the joint of the jaw. Sucking, licking, and biting, John used the hand on the back of Sherlock's head to pull it to the side and give him better access. The nips made Sherlock moan, more so when John moved onto the earlobe, sucking and biting.
With the little self-control he had left John pulled back, eyes hooded with lust, to check on Sherlock. "Are you good," he panted, "to keep going? Or do you need to stop and assess?"
Breathing erratic and shallow, Sherlock blinked several times in an attempt to clear his ever-churning mind. Looking at John he found breathing and heart rate to match his own, dilated pupils, and clear arousal. Taking an inventory of himself Sherlock found much the same. Curious about what other ordinary things he may be capable of because of John, Sherlock tightened his grip on the abnormally scrawny doctor and lowered his head so that his mouth was right next to John's ear and whispered, "Teach me, John. Teach me how to give one pleasure, give you pleasure, and happiness, in ways I'd never imagined I would ever want or need to."
John shivered at Sherlock's words, and the feel of breath against his ear. Did Sherlock mean what he thought he did? Was he giving John control? "Of course," he replied, voice wavering, in awe of Sherlock, before extricating himself from Sherlock's hold to lead him upstairs to his own bedroom, slamming the door shut and shoving Sherlock against it, John relieving him of his jacket and kissing and nipping across his collarbone as he unbuttoned the shirt.
Sherlock let himself be led, moaning at the impact with the door then squirming as John started undressing him, placing his own hand on the top of John's, clawing slightly at the scalp at particularly stirring sensations when John found a sensitive spot on his chest, right where the sternum was located. Reaching up his hands slightly, John pushed Sherlock's shoulders back against the door to keep him in place, stopping the attention he was giving to Sherlock's chest to look up at him and shake his head.
"Don't move so much," he ordered sternly.
Raising a brow at the demand Sherlock decided he wanted to be in control, because let's face it, when isn't he the one in control in this relationship? He quickly took ahold of John's arms at the biceps and spun the around, pinning the other man even more roughly than John had done to him, John groaning at the impact. Then Sherlock pulled off John's jumper while the doctor was still a tad stunned before shedding his own unbuttoned shirt and before John has the chance to try to do anything in retaliation Sherlock covered his mouth with his own, swallowing John's small cry of protest.
This time John was the one struggling against the other man's ministrations and Sherlock used John's own words against him, growling "don't move" against his lips before moving on to the neck, worrying at the skin to leave a huge red mark. John, in response, swiftly undid Sherlock's belt and torn it off, leaving room for him to stick his hands down the back of Sherlock's pants and grab his ass cheeks, digging in his nails. With a gasp and a growl, Sherlock pulled back away from John's neck to capture his lips once again, moving his hands down to start working at John's pants as well.
Unfortunately, while the two got their pants down at the same time, they had forgotten about either of their shoes, causing John to snort and Sherlock to chuckle at the ridiculousness. The two men stood there with no shirts and their pants around their ankles in the middle of John's bedroom, laughing at themselves and the situation. Eventually they simmered down and John started clothing himself again, pulling up his pants and grabbing his jumper off the floor. Slightly confused once again (he thought they had been going somewhere with this, that John was more than happy to see him, especially going by the erection he still clearly had) and frustrated with himself for the fact that he was confused in the first place, Sherlock followed suit, buttoning and tucking in his shirt before flopping onto the edge of John's bed with a slight pout.
Looking up from buckling his belt John saw Sherlock sitting on his bed with his arms crossed in front of his chest and a tiny pout on his face. Smiling slightly and shaking his head John went over and sat on the bed next to him, reaching out and turning his head so that they were looking at each other.
"What's the matter," John asked, "why the pout?"
Grumbling, Sherlock uncrossed his arms and threw them in the air. "This!" he exclaimed. "I come home at last, because it's safe and because I miss you, and we start doing this," he does a little motion between their bodies, indicating the two of them, "and it's new and exciting and nothing I'd ever thought I'd want to do. But I do, very much so. The emotions are strange, I hate feeling, it's horrible and ordinary – but it feels so good, being close to you.
"These conflicting thoughts, they're running through my head, but I seem to be enjoying it, and you most certainly are, so I just keep doing what my body instinctively tells me for once in my life.
"Then all of a sudden you stop the snogging, stop everything and get dressed, acting like this is some ordinary thing, like you're used to doing this – which are probably are because, let's face it John, you've had a lot of girlfriends since we've met. But I'm confused as to why we stopped, then I'm frustrated with the mere fact that I'm actually confused about something, then I'm angry with myself for even caring about all this and I just –"
John stopped his rant, covering Sherlock's mouth with his hand. "Don't analyze it so much," he said softly, moving his hand once he was sure Sherlock wouldn't keep talking and stroking that sharp cheekbone of his with his thumb. "Just let yourself feel, don't think about it and just let yourself go."
Brows furrowed, Sherlock resisted the strange urge to lean into John's touch. "I can't just stop thinking John," he protested. "As I've said before, my brain is constantly at work, analyzing people and their actions, my surroundings, thinking about my experiments, thinking of new experiments – thinking is my job, it's my life."
Looking at Sherlock, John knew he was telling the truth, he knew that's how he was from the get-go – but looking at him then, John saw the conflict in Sherlock's eyes, saw that he was struggling to understand what it was he was feeling all of a sudden. And it was all because of him. John had made Sherlock human, or as close to it as he could be.
Sighing in defeat, John sat back, removing his hand from Sherlock's cheek, and leaned against the headboard, trying to get a bit away from the other man but not too far. He sat with his knees upraised, arms folded loosely around them, head leaning back and eyes closed as he tried to accept the fact that maybe Sherlock really wasn't ready for something like this, wasn't ready for a legitimate relationship of any kind.
The change of demeanor in John didn't escape Sherlock – nothing about John escaped Sherlock's attention. Frowning, he turned on the bed so they were facing each other and mirrored John's position. He looked down at their feet, thinking about what his next move should be, and then stopping himself as John's words rang through his head. Just let yourself feel, don't think about it and just let yourself go.
Lurching forward, Sherlock took John's face delicately in his hands and placed a kiss on his lips, leaning into it to give a little pressure, trying to convey that he was trying to do what John asked, trying to follow his body's instincts, trying to go with what he was feeling and not think.
John opened his eyes as he felt the bed shift with Sherlock's sudden movements and gave a small gasp as he felt the other man kiss him so sweetly, with so much emotion behind it. He returned the kiss, understanding what Sherlock was trying to tell him, and just a little bit proud that Sherlock was actually taking his words and trying to put them in practice. Keeping his eyes open to gaze at the beautiful man in front of him John savored the moment and memorized the feeling of Sherlock's hands on his face, all in case this was some cruel dream, messing with him.
So, I'm not sure just yet whether this is just going to be a one-shot or continue. Either way, I'd love for you to review, let me know what you thought!
Thanks for reading! :)