"You ought to be careful," John said, leaning against one of the empty tables of the morgue as Sherlock preened over another corpse, "paying such close attention to someone else – I might get jealous."

Ever since John had managed to get Sherlock to admit that one of his relationship related fears had been that John might become clingy (sex, as it turned out, was very useful in getting Sherlock to talk), he'd been teasing him about it slightly. John had never been accused of being clingy in his life and he was entirely sure that Sherlock should have been aware that the opposite had been the case with the majority of his relationships in the past (because Sherlock knew about everything).

Besides, the ammunition was just too perfect because it always took Sherlock slightly longer than normal to work out whether or not John was being serious.

As it was, Sherlock froze for a second, glancing over at John's direction before cataloguing John's distinctly amused expression. Sherlock raised his eyes for a split second in response, lips pursing. The whole thing had more or less turned into a bit of game used to work out the boundaries of their relationship (as John wouldn't have teased him about the whole thing if it actually bothered Sherlock), because it was a lot less awkward than rehashing old conversation every time something new came up.

His comment basically meant no, Sherlock, I'm not about to have a go at you for focusing more on the case than me; if anything, I expect it from you without having the awkwardness of directly saying it.

Unfortunately, that was the exact moment that John noticed the entrance of Lestrade and Molly.

Molly bit her lip and seemed to half squeak which only drew attention to the fact that the offhand comment was distinctly revealing. Lestrade looked as though he didn't know where he should be looking, Sherlock rolled his eyes so deliberately that it looked almost painful and John was finding it very hard not to grin or burst out laughing.

If it had been anyone else, John might have been embarrassed. Or maybe if it had been a slightly different day… but only this morning he'd had Sherlock muttering deductions into his skin, not bored and begrudging. He'd willing eating breakfast (lots of nagging still required, but he had eaten) and, before all that, he'd woken with Sherlock somewhat wrapped round him.

It was stupidly imperfect to have Sherlock still so Sherlockian, and yet so much closer to him than normal. He felt he had a right to be pretty bloody happy about the whole thing.

"Where was the victim found?" Sherlock asked, clearly bored of the moment already.

"Flat in Earl's court,"

"She was killed outside," Sherlock said, mapping out a whole series of deductions and observations in a long stream of words. John had lost the thread of it because it had been a few weeks since they'd been on a case (Greg hadn't called them in for anything since they'd had that little chat, which John rather suspected had been a mixture of him wanting to give them time to get the whole relationship thing sorted and to dilute the embarrassment of their last conversation). He'd almost forgotten how sodding animated Sherlock always look in the midst of one of these rants and, given back then he hadn't been allowing himself to really appreciate it, now seemed as good a time as ever to really watch Sherlock's genius in action.

"You think there was another victim before this one?" John asked, pulling himself back into the conversation.

"Possibly," Sherlock said, "that, or our killer has an in depth knowledge about the human anatomy. The cut is too precise and exact. Not a crime of passion; too clinical."

"Okay," Lestrade said, "thanks,"

"You didn't call me in for the Robinson's case," Sherlock said, turning around, eyes narrowing as he glared at him.

"I thought that'd be a… five or something," Lestrade said, glancing at John for a split second.

"That wouldn't normally stop you,"

"I figured you were… busy," Lestrade said, finally.

Sherlock's eyes narrowed further.

"Leave the figuring to me, Detective Inspector," Sherlock said, turning around in a swirl of coat and arrogance, pausing in front of Lestrade for a split second in a way that made John slightly suspicious, "you've proven repeatedly that you're terrible at it. Come on, John,"

"Thanks," John said on the way out, trying very hard not to grin too much.


"Sherlock," John said, hovering in the doorway, "I just had Mrs H asking me about our bed situation."

Sherlock was all splayed out on the sofa, midway through the usual post-cast crash with an ice pack (an actual ice pack this time, rather than a slowly defrosting spleen or anything else disturbing), pressed against his left shoulder.

"Hmm," Sherlock muttered.

"Apparently, the fact that your bed hasn't had sheets on for a week was concerning. She thought you'd stopped sleeping."

John got another 'hmmm' in response.

"So, Mrs Hudson knows," John said, "Sherlock, are you listening? Me, you, people. Are we telling?"


"Are we telling people that we are together?"

"People? What people?"

"Well, not Mrs Hudson or Lestrade or Molly," John said, "but my sister or your brother and… the other Yarders and… friends and, I don't know Sherlock, people,"

"Is that customary?"

"I guess," John said, frowning "is your shoulder okay?"

"It's fine,"

"It looked nasty," John said, temporarily removing the ice pack and glancing at the skin beneath, running a finger over the bruise, "bit of a dick, really,"

"Well he had murdered four people," Sherlock said, "and it still looks better than your shoulder,"

"Good job too," John said, "and if we could continue the pattern of not being shot that would be wonderful,"

"Do whatever you want," Sherlock said, "about the people,"

"That's not really how this sort of thing works," John said, placing the ice pack back on his shoulder and distractedly brushing Sherlock's curls out of his eyes for a second, "you can't just… leave it to me,"

"Why not?" Sherlock asked, "You're obviously much more qualified to make the decision,"

"Have you slept since we started this case?"

"You know I haven't slept," Sherlock muttered, irritated, "you made a point of going on about it,"

"Yes, yes," John said, "and I'm very annoying and irritating, but you're burning out and you need to sleep,"

"I'm not moving," Sherlock said, his voice drained of the usual aliveness. He didn't like it much when Sherlock got like this, but it was just another of his processes. The case had been long with a rapidly growing body count and well… this was just Sherlock.

"Fine," John said, smiling slightly as he retrieved Sherlock's duvet from his bedroom (not on his bed, which was currently being used for an experiment that John had decided he'd rather not know about) and chucked it in his direction, "but we're talking about this tomorrow,"

"Dull," Sherlock muttered, closing his eyes for a split second.

"Night, Sherlock,"

"John," Sherlock's voice rang out, slightly stronger. John turned back from the doorway and glanced over at him. Sherlock shifted over to one side of the sofa and cocked his head at the slither of space he'd created.

"You want me to stay down here?" John asked, feeling his forehead furrowing slightly. That was somewhat out of character for Sherlock.


"We have two perfectly good beds," John said, still paused halfway through the door. Sherlock made an irritated noise. "And if Mrs Hudson -"

"Mrs Hudson is aware now. And presumably, since you didn't start this conversation with 'Mrs Hudson asked about our bed situation and thoroughly disapproves' I'm going to assume that she does not care,"

"The woman tried to set us up the day I moved in, Sherlock, she's thrilled,"

"Well, then," Sherlock said.

John crossed over to the sofa.

"There's not much space…"

"Oh for God's sake," Sherlock muttered, reaching out with his good arm and pulling John onto the sofa, wrapping an arm around him before pulling the duvet over the pair of them. Sherlock closed his eyes.

Normally, they woke up all cuddled together, but that was a mutual migration in the middle of the night as opposed to a pre-set thing. John wasn't entirely sure whether this was relationship progress or just a throwback of Sherlock being so tired, but either way didn't think he was going to start complaining; the closeness was a bit uncomfortable and a little too hot, but he was damned sure there wasn't any room for anymore nightmares.

"You feel the need to tell people because of your previous ascertain that you're straight. Am I correct?" Sherlock muttered, and John could feel the words vibrating through his chest.

"You usually are,"

"Well, no one believed you anyway," Sherlock said, a hand folding over John's bad shoulder, "clearly, you're not comfortable with the idea, which is why you bothered asking me in the first place. Forget it."

"Okay," John said, into the darkness, "one more thing, Sherlock,"


"Lestrade was looking at me strangely all through yesterday..."

"He was being irritating," Sherlock returned, coolly.

"What did you do, Sherlock?"

"He shouldn't have interfered."


"I stole his handcuffs," Sherlock admitted. For a brief second John was utterly silent, then the ridiculousness of it all caught up with him and he was laughing and giggling with Sherlock's arm wrapped around him, cuddled up on the bloody sofa. Sherlock was laughing too, his smile ghosting across John's forehead and John was entirely sure he'd never been this amused or content in his life.


The video footage had been skimmed from a security camera. John didn't know why he was surprised, really, because London was so full of security cameras and Mycroft was such a nosy git that it seemed inevitable that he'd wind up in another abandoned warehouse, watching a supposedly incriminating video of him and Sherlock.

If anything, the fact that it had taken over a month after they'd first slept together for Mycroft to have any hard evidence was a sodding miracle.

John supposed that it had something to do with the fact that neither of them were particularly coupley in public; not just because, at current, barely anyone was aware that they were in relationship, but because they just weren't like that really. In a relationship that was almost entirely built up of reading between the lines, seemingly innocent gestures that had enough strength to pull down mountains and a hefty amount of guesswork, it wasn't really surprising that screaming acts of PDA were almost completely off the cards. Besides, the first few week they'd been so skittish around each other that it was almost laughable – on occasions, one or other of them would just take the plunge and act, but half of that time John was sure that both of them wanted to be slightly closer but neither of them were prepared to put themselves out there. Course, after he'd worked that out everything was a bit simpler; he pushed ahead with the touching, and the affection, and the bits of sentiment that crept through and Sherlock would react accordingly. And if it wasn't them (which was pretty easy to work out within minutes) then that was that and they no more thought went into it.

Now, they'd gotten into the rhythm of the thing and, most of the time, it felt so natural and obvious to reach out and touch, kiss, ask, that it felt strange to think of the whole before when their relationship had been so quantitatively different.

The clip of video was slightly grainy, but they were clearly distinct; Sherlock in his bloody coat and John's own stride just as easily recognisable. It was just after a post-case meal (turned date, John supposed) and they were walking back to Baker Street, clearly in the middle of talking about something. He couldn't remember the exact conversation but Sherlock said something and then John – and he couldn't even remember why – had reached out and caught his hand for a split second. Sherlock slowed slightly, turned towards him and laughed, then the hand was dropped and the moment was over and the clip restarted.

He couldn't make out either of their expressions properly and, in reality, the clip didn't really prove all that much. The few seconds of hand touching was hardly explicit evidence of a relationship... unless you knew Sherlock, in which case the line of Sherlock's shoulders and the laugh was so telling that they might as well have screamed that they were together. Obviously, Mycroft hadn't managed to find a more obvious clip from his arsenal, but had probably gathered enough of his own brand of evidence from other pieces of security footage to get to a conclusion. Hell, it was Mycroft – he probably only had to squint at Sherlock in one of these photos to work it out.

John watched, again, as his on screen self reached for Sherlock's hand. The thing that struck him was how obviously relaxed and happy they both were. Sherlock laughed again. John vaguely wished he could remember what had been said, but he remembered feeling that utter contentment of being in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

"Well?" Mycroft said, finally pausing the replay (freezing the image of Sherlock, mid laugh) and turning towards him with umbrella aloft.

John glanced back at the image.

"He's definitely put on weight," John said, thoughtfully, "he point blank denied it, the git."


Sherlock was knee deep in the middle of a fascinating experiment involving an almost-full set of toenails when John re-entered the flat.

Surprisingly, his over awareness of John's presence hadn't been as detrimental as he thought it might have been and, for the large part, it was a lot easier to think when he wasn't trying to work out what to do about the whole situation. For all his expectations, Sherlock hadn't banked on it being easier to be in a relationship with John that not be in a relationship with the man.

He suspected it was not the case for regular relationships and this anomaly was entirely tied up in the fact that John was John, so he was able to skip through the pointless sentiments and politics that people obsessed over.

"No," John said (phone voice, terse, weary, strained; probably talking to his sister), pushing open the door to their living room and pausing for a second, "No, Harry, it's not some big secret I just... well, yes, but..."

Sherlock glanced up at John and assessed his appearance.

Evidentially, he'd decided to go through the motions of informing his sister that they were now in a relationship (although Sherlock still didn't understand why this sort of declaration was necessary), which meant that something must have happened to shift his reluctance on the issue. It was possible that Harry had called and John had let something slip, but John was so tight-lipped about anything regarding his sister that he doubted he'd have let something remotely personal come up in conversation by accident. And, besides, Harry usually only called when she was drunk or whining about something or other.



"Big brother is watching you," John said, phone temporarily pressed into his neck, as he set down a photo taken from some CTV footage in front of Sherlock with a grimace before turning back to his mobile, "it just happened, okay?"

John was now close enough that Sherlock could hear the other end of the conversation, Harry's response of 'gay relationships with your mad flatmate don't just happen to apparently straight men, John' cut through Sherlock's brain.


Siblings, at least, were a point of mutual irritation.

Sherlock stood up, temporarily abandoning his toenails to make a pilgrimage to the kettle. In part, because talking to his sister always put John in a bad mood and tea was John's first port of call for any given situation (and, Sherlock had noted, when he made any effort to make tea for John the happy-effect of the tea more or less doubled, acting as a get-out-of-jail-free card for most things), but mostly because he wanted to be far enough away as to not hear Harry's responses.

Not that he couldn't deduce them, because Harry was horrible predictable. Idiotic, too. He had tried to be remotely polite when John had forced them into meeting, but the fact remained that Harry had been partially to blame for the rut he'd found John in. It was illogical for him to want to hold an addiction of all things against her, but that didn't mean the large proportion of himself didn't want to. His addiction hadn't bothered anyone but himself. Harry was, or at least had been, all that John had left.

"God's sake," John muttered, "did you want me to ring you up post-coital to inform you or something...? Yes, Harry, obviously... That's generally how relationships...no, I'm not posting an update on the blog... no, not because I'm ashamed, it's just..."

Sherlock rolled his eyes at the ceiling and deposited a tea bag into the tea pot. He loathed making tea. The sheer repetitiveness of the mundane act made him want to tear his skin off, but... well, John.

" – I'm glad you find this so funny," John said, wearily, "but no, you can't tell all of my ex-girlfriends..."

Sherlock poured the two cups of tea, grimacing, before delivering one to John – who offered him a strained smile – and returning to his toenails.

The picture caught his eye for a second.

Damn Mycroft. Obviously, the fact that Sherlock's brother was now in the know had bought on this sudden stroke of madness from John. If Mycroft could just keep his nose out of Sherlock's business then John wouldn't be having this conversation with his sister. He couldn't give a shit what Mycroft thought about him and John (although the prospect of Mycroft's smugness surrounding the issue made his skin itch slightly; he was going to be utterly infuriating for months), but did he have to make it worse by causing Harry to be added into the equation?

"Yes," John muttered impatiently, "fine, I'll ask him," John turned to him, expression dubious, "dinner with Harry on Thursday?"


"Yes," John said, "Thursday's fine by him," Sherlock glared at him. "Yes, fine... okay... bye...yes, bye." John pocked the phone with a visible grimace. "I'll make it up to you,"

"I sincerely doubt that," Sherlock muttered.

"You can have the drawer in the freezer back," John suggested, "wait, damn, you already reclaimed that, didn't you? Um... permission for another severed head? Sex? I won't nag you about eating dinner?"

"I assure you, nothing can make up for an entire evening with your sister,"

"But you'll go?" John said, glancing at him.

"Provided I never have to spend time with her again," Sherlock said, evenly.

"It's not exactly fun for me to have you going at each other's throats," John said, taking a sip of his tea with a thoughtful smile, "and your brother kidnapped me again today. And Lestrade still won't look at me straight after that stunt you pulled with the handcuffs,"

"Fine," Sherlock agreed, already regretting it (and beginning to map out a number of ways he could get them both out of it without erasing suspicion from John, which was honestly the best thing for everyone involved). Although, obviously, he would be making the most of all the things John had offered – he wasn't an idiot.

"Thank you," John said, "and thanks for the tea. How was your alone time with the toenails?"

"Fine," Sherlock said, "I need to check them every half an hour."

"Mycroft didn't say much,"

"I didn't ask," Sherlock returned pointedly.

"That doesn't mean you didn't want to know," John said, setting down his cup of tea and stepping closer towards him. John's hands brushed over the line of his shoulders and Sherlock instinctively leant back into the touch (he was getting better at all of this stuff now, to the point where his brain stopped cataloguing everything about each individual moment of touch and coming up with an instant step back reaction. Instead, relaxing into the moment was become more natural and the instinct to pull closer was beginning to appear). "You're just too much of a stubborn git to ask. He showed me a bunch of CTV footage in usual Mycroft style and I told him it was none of his business."

"Mycroft is under the impression that everything is his business,"

"Tell me about your toenails, then," John said, "the experiment, not your actual toenails."

"Only if you don't blog about it,"

"Honestly Sherlock," John grinned, "I don't think anyone would read about that. It's hardly front news stuff."

"Then why do you want to know?"

"Call it a personal interest," John said, "we haven't had a case for a couple of days and I'm guessing you want an opportunity to feel clever."

Sherlock twisted in his seat, turning to look up at John: it was moments when John said things that were just so utterly perfect that reminded Sherlock why he was so pleased that they were now doing this. John knew how Sherlock worked and wasn't disgusted by it. He didn't look at all of Sherlock's arrogant behaviours and all his screw ups and decided he wasn't worth it, but instead decided he wanted to draw closer. He could see the way John's mind worked, stripping his behaviour down into understandable chunks; John knew that Mycroft usually made Sherlock feel inadequate and redouble the idea to prove himself, knew that Mycroft's view on something like a relationship were hardly going to induce a positive reaction.

He knew Sherlock.

Sherlock reached out, fingers tangling in the material of John's shirt as he closed the distance and kissed him.

Besides, there was still another twenty five minutes until he next needed to check in on his toe nails.


As per normal, Sherlock was being an idiot and John had somehow got pulled into his mess.

John had been woken up at some stupid time in the morning and told that they were going to Birmingham in the wake of Sherlock's latest favourite serial killer. He'd managed to delay Sherlock just long enough to pack some clothes, but not quite long enough to ascertain that Sherlock hadn't bothered to tell Lestrade that their case was moving slightly further north. John hadn't realised that the police had no idea they were heading to the crime scene in Birmingham until a particularly irritable brummie officer had chucked them off said crime scene and refused to cooperate with Sherlock till one of the London Yarders showed up to 'supervise' him.

John couldn't blame Greg for refusing to come to Birmingham, really he couldn't… but that didn't mean it was any easier to deal with a put out Sherlock in a place that was not London, and was therefore not a place Sherlock particularly wanted to be. Sherlock had been an petulant git for the length of time it took John to book a room at a hotel, had called Lestrade to complain a bit more, protested that he didn't want Sally to supervise him (and that he didn't need supervision, which had gotten a laugh from John and Lestrade) and had then reverted to sulking.

With a bit of persuasion, John was just about able to fully distract the man for long enough to end the sulk. Then, he'd left him in bed to try and find some food (as in between driving up to Birmingham, getting kicked off a crime scene, arguing with the police man, arguing with Sherlock and the subsequent hotel sex there'd been virtually no time to eat).

"Sherlock," John said, pushing open the door to the hotel room and stopping short.

Apparently, in the time it had taken him to get two take away pizzas, Sally Donovan had arrived (which meant, most probably, Lestrade had sent her before the big argument had started and had only spent so long arguing with Sherlock to prove a point).

It was a point of great amusement for John that most of the Yarders had absolutely no clue that he and Sherlock were now in a legitimate relationship. Of course, Lestrade knew… but other than that, it seemed that the others were all completely in the dark despite the number of rumours and comments they'd gotten when Sherlock had first starting bringing John along.

"Thanks for coming, Sally," John said, glancing round the hotel room. Sherlock was almost exactly how he'd left him, only with added dressing gown (probably for the best, too, as Sally Donovan looked perturbed enough without Sherlock being utterly naked), and sitting on the bed rather than splayed out all over it.


"John," Sally said, "I have the files the freak asked for. If I could leave them in your room…" the point of the comment was obvious. There was no real need for the files to be with John rather than Sherlock, and everything from Sherlock's ruffled hair and the two suitcases were screaming implications of more.

"It's just the one room," John said, evenly.

Sally Donovan's gaze raked over the evident disarray of the bed, probably reminding herself that they'd only arrived this morning and by all rights the bed should still have been made, Sherlock's appearance and back to John.

"So you're…"

"Fucking," Sherlock finished the sentence for her, "Yes. Obviously."

"Not helpful, Sherlock," John said, rolling his eyes, "we could go through the files downstairs?" John suggested, because now that was out in the open it seemed even more grossly inappropriate to have Sally Donovan just standing there (looking vaguely shocked and possibly a little disturbed).

John dumped the pizza down on the desk with a grimace. Apparently, his stomach was going to have to wait a little longer. He could hardly tell Sally to piss off when she'd just travelled all this way to stop them being done for contaminating crime scenes, and now the case was back in business Sherlock wasn't going to be so easily distracted by food or sex or John.

"Go shower, Sherlock," John said, glancing at the pizza with a small smile, "and try not to eat all the pizza,"

"Hilarious," Sherlock returned expression disdainful.

He still hadn't quite gotten over how fun it was to tease Sherlock.

"Sorry about… that," John said, slightly uncomfortably, as he turned back to Sally, "and having to come up here…You know what he's like…" Sally Donovan remained absolutely silent, eyebrows raised slightly.

"So, you two…?"

"Yep," John said, cutting across her.


John was flicking through the files that Sally Donovan had just delivered, sipping a cup of coffee in the hotel bar whilst Sally nipped to the toilet (probably to text Anderson about what she'd just witnessed in the hotel room, if John was brutally honest about the whole thing).

"Hmm," Sherlock said, suddenly behind him and reading the file over his shoulder, one hand curved around the edge of John's bar stool and far closer than usual. John turned to look at him, finding himself much closer to Sherlock's chest than was the norm – very coupley and certainly much more affectionate than they usually were in public, "Sally has a new boyfriend."


"New haircut," Sherlock said, "more expensive than normal, and she's had her nails done. However, clothing less expensive than that she usual wears, suggesting she's saving her favourite items of clothing for someone a bit more special than us. Plus, you can see from the line of her shoulders that she's recently – "

" – if you start deducing things about Donovan's sex life," John interrupted.

"It's hardly a deduction if it's that obvious,"

"Says you," John countered, "I've never seen you look so thoroughly post-coital in your life, and that's saying something."

"And whose fault is that?" Sherlock asked, smirking slightly, close enough that John could feel his breath on his skin.

"Oh no," John said, "I'm not taking the blame for this one. I had to distract you somehow."

"Donovan seems to think we are… friends with benefits,"

"Well," John said, "that's essentially what you told her, Sherlock,"

"That's not what I meant,"

"That's what you said. Nice and romantic, that,"

"You didn't correct her," Sherlock said, eyes narrowed, still very close, "because you think I'd prefer her to believe that,"


"Well," Sherlock said, lips brushing against John's for a split second, "you're wrong."

"So this is the big coming out thing, is it?" John said, one hand reaching out and almost automatically reaching out to curve around Sherlock's hip, "because I thought we'd decided against that,"

"Please," Sherlock said, glancing over his shoulder – towards the woman's toilet where Sally had disappeared to – "the whole yard will know in a few hours,"

"Okay," John said, dropping his hand and turning around. Sally had paused and was watching the pair of them, probably had been for a few minutes, and had witnessed one of the most publically affectionate moments of Sherlock ever (which, it seemed, had been his intention), "although you know," John continued, pulling the file towards him as Sherlock took his own seat next to him, "if you wanted to whisk me away for a nice romantic city break, you could have just asked,"

Sherlock grimaced at the sarcasm, but he was obviously amused too. His eyes glittered slightly.

"I like to think I'd have managed something a little better than Birmingham,"

"It's the second city,"

"It's a poor second. How anyone could even compare this place to London is beyond me,"

"I'll add it to the list," John said, as Sally finally stopped pretending not to be watching them and resumed her seat (eyes still piercing into the side of John's head). Sherlock sent him a questioning look. "A list of the endless things that are beyond you," John clarified, "top being an inability to buy milk when I ask you to."

"It's hardly difficult,"

"And yet you never manage it,"

"So you're a couple, then?" Sally Donovan asked, glancing between the pair of them for another few seconds.

"Yes," Sherlock said, rolling his eyes, "obviously."

And that was that.


The only good thing about the whole situation was that the Daily Mail had one upped Mycroft Holmes. Mycroft had spent a month stalking and had produced a twelve second clip in which John had briefly held Sherlock's hand; the Mail had spent two weeks digging around and now had a picture of them snogging. Not quite on the front page, but near enough the beginning half of the newspaper to mean that John's phone had been going off continually and the traffic on his blog had crashed the server.

The photo itself was a result of John disappearing on a weeklong medical conference which, oddly, marked the longest period of time they'd spent apart since John had gone on holiday with Sarah eons ago. It was hardly a big deal, but this was Sherlock and so things had oscillated between complete silence and continual text messages, which were as annoying as they were nice. In the end, John had missed the bloke (and he suspected the feeling was mutual, even though Sherlock had put up a good show of pretending not to notice John was gone for three days) and when Sherlock had shockingly turned up at the station, he'd just gone right up to him and kissed him.

It wasn't a particularly obscene kiss. He never was one for public displays of affection, really, but he remembered reaching forwards and balling up his hands in the material of Sherlock's bloody coat, chests pressed together and grinning slightly as he said "hello, Sherlock." There was one photo of them actually kissing, and another of them frozen like that – all close up, not quite embracing, staring at each other.

All in all, it was rated up there with some of the most outwardly affectionate moments of their relationship and it as just bloody typical that someone had decided to take a photograph. And, bizarrely, this seemed to be considered newsworthy.

"We appear to be in a public relationship," John said, closing a link to the online version of the article without reading the comments. He didn't really want to know what people were saying about the whole thing. Although, knowing what Sherlock had to say about the whole thing would admittedly be an improvement. "Sherlock," John continued, glancing over at his partner and cataloguing Sherlock's apparent disinterest in regard to the whole thing, "they're trying to turn us into a gay pride icon,"

"And?" Sherlock remained splayed out on the sofa, dressing gown reinstated, looking surprisingly cheerful for a Sherlock who was on lockdown until the hype had died down slightly.

"Well, a reaction would be nice," John muttered, lips pulling into a frown, "some opinion, maybe. A sarcastic comment? Oh for - "

" – what now?"

"Lestrade has just emailed me a photo,"


"Of you in a bloody rainbow coat, Sherlock. Your scarf is made of glitter. Oh God… My sister has sent me a link to… Sherlock," John said, taking in a deep breath, "Sherlock, there are people making fan art of our sex lives,"

That, it seemed, was enough to get Sherlock interested enough to warrant actual movement. Almost instantaneously, Sherlock was glancing over the image on John's computer screen.

(He was going to kill Harry, honestly he was, for linking him to this… site; he did not need to see so many reincarnations of himself pushing Sherlock against walls or fucking him in alleyways… it was disturbing and weird).



"Your shoulder," Sherlock said, bending down to get a proper view of the screen, "no wound,"

"But, generally, this is pretty accurate," John said, gesturing hopelessly at the screen as Sherlock began to scroll through the series of pictures. If you ignored the ones where Sherlock was wearing high heels (what?), and tweaked the expressions slightly… well, he couldn't deny the figures in this weird gay… well, porn he supposed, did bear a striking resemblance to them in most ways.

"Debatable," Sherlock muttered, shrugging.

"So it doesn't bother you that a bunch of strangers are imagining us having sex?"


"I need to post something on the blog," John said, flicking back over to the email from Lestrade, where rainbow-Sherlock's scarf was still glittering alarmingly.


"Because," John said, "we are not an advert for gay pride,"


"We're just not, Sherlock. We're not like that. It was one public kiss, not a political statement…"


"So," John said, "they're acting as if this is new news. If they find out we've been in a relationship for a good six months, they're going to think we've been hiding it, which isn't very pride worthy," Sherlock, evidentially bored of the computer screen, was instead focusing in trailing kisses down John's neck, which was making it difficult for him to remember the point he was trying to make. "It's just… a matter of respect," John continued, reaching up and wrapping his hand around the back of Sherlock's neck, holding him close to his skin.

"Was there a picture of me sucking you off?"

John still hadn't quite got used to Sherlock's tendency to revert to distinctly not posh language on occasions, and every time his deep baritone was matches with phrases lie that he quite forgot how to think for a few good minutes.

"No," John said, "Although I can google it if you want?"

"It's fine," Sherlock said, hands ghosting across his thighs, glancing up to his partner, "I'm sure I can remember how it goes. Or do you want me to leave you alone to write that blog?"

"Wait a sec," John said, flipping down the lid of his laptop, "rainbow-Sherlock is creeping me out."

John closed his eyes for a split second. So maybe everyone in that god damn world now knew that he was in this wacky relationship with his mad genius of a flatmate, but maybe said relationship was good enough that he didn't much care that everyone knew.

And we have an endddiinnnngggg! Done, done, done :)

Thanks to everyone for reading and reviewing and hopefully you enjoyed it (even though I carried on slighhhtttttttttttly too long)

PS. I believe I mentioned a writing competition in an authors not before? Well, low and behold I actually WON and now have a published book with Random House! Message me if you'd like more details :)