Title: My Beauty It's Black
Rating: NC-17 (for second chapter)
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of BBC's Sherlock. I am not making any money from this story.
A/N: Many thanks to the wonderful WickedForGood13 for support and help, all mistakes are mine. I'd appreciate feedback, thanks and enjoy (hopefully!)
My Beauty It's Black
You and me, we spark; no, I take that back
Like a dancer in the dark, my beauty it's black
Just match your lips up to mine
Come on and steal a kiss, rob me blind
(Rob Me Blind by Jay Brennan)
It had been for several weeks now that John was going out over the weekend, and Sherlock still had no clue where he went. He knew that John didn't have a girlfriend currently; he knew that he wasn't meeting with Lestrade or Stamford, so where was he going? Sherlock could have asked him, but he would never do that. He could always deduce it; and of course he could know if he had really wanted to.
Sherlock frowned at his violin. Normally it was his chosen distraction, but it wasn't helping this time. He had tried composing something, but he couldn't concentrate, his mind drifting off again and again. He pushed the violin aside and threw himself onto the couch.
Tomorrow was Friday and he was pretty sure that John would go out again. He himself had a case, and he promised Lestrade to help him. They wanted to catch a blackmailer in the act. Sherlock would assume the role of the victim and meet him at a club or a pub - somewhere that Lestrade's people could observe him unobtrusively. He closed his eyes; his fingers positioned beneath his chin as if in prayer, and let his thoughts wander.
Two hours later John came home. It had been a long and busy day at the surgery, and he was tired and hungry. Sherlock was still lying on the couch; he hadn't moved since he had lain down in the afternoon, didn't now, so John said only "Hi," not expecting an answer, and went straight to the kitchen to see if he could find something edible in the fridge. Of course, nothing was there, as usual, because he hadn't had time to do the shopping and Sherlock ... he had decided that it wasn't worth getting upset about something he couldn't change.
"Sherlock, you want something to eat? There's nothing in, so I'm going to get something from the Chinese down the street, I think. Want something?" John switched on the kettle and took two mugs and tea bags from the cupboard. When the tea was ready he went back into the living room and put Sherlock's cup next to him at the coffee table.
"Sherlock! Are you listening to me? New case?" John sat down in his armchair, sipping his tea and watching his flatmate. Sherlock opened his eyes and gazed at John, who was now shifting uneasily in his seat. "Are you all right, Sherlock?" John took another sip.
With an elegant sweep Sherlock sat up. "Yes, I'm all right and Chinese would be nice, thanks." With that he got up and disappeared into his room.
Ok, right, Chinese then. John drained his mug and put it in the sink, then grabbed his coat and went to get their food. He was currently too tired to think or worry about Sherlock.
When the doctor came back, Sherlock left his room and they ate together. Sherlock told him about the extortion-case and that he would help Lestrade the next day. John asked if he could assist, but Sherlock declined, that wouldn't be necessary; Lestrade's people would be there to provide Sherlock's safety. In the moment he had said it, he would have most liked to slap his own face. Stupid, stupid, stupid! If John accompanied him then he wouldn't go out alone. How could he be so stupid? But now it was too late, John would find it very odd if he changed his mind now.
John himself was a little disappointed, as he would have liked participating. But if he wouldn't be needed, then he wouldn't intrude. They watched telly until John's eyes eventually fell shut and he went to bed; Sherlock checked one of his experiments and took some notes.
When John came home from the surgery the next evening, he found the flat empty. Sherlock was on the case with Lestrade and John knew that it could take all night. So he made himself some pasta with tomato sauce - he had done the shopping after work - ate one serving and put the rest in the fridge in case Sherlock would like some later. After he had done the washing up, John went to his room and lay down to read a book; he wanted to rest for a little bit.
Sherlock first went to the Yard in order to discuss the remaining issues. He wore none of his tailored suits, rather some blue jeans and a plain white button down, and he had exchanged his coat for a brown leather jacket. He had also smoothed his hair so that his curls were almost gone. He was ready to go.
When he entered the club where he was supposed to meet the blackmailer, he had changed his whole stature, his gait and attitude; he even seemed to be smaller than before. This wasn't Sherlock Holmes; this was a broken and blackmailed man who came to pay for a mistake he had made years ago.
Sherlock sat down at the bar and ordered a pint, holding his briefcase in his lap, close to his chest. He looked scared, anxious. Twenty minutes later a thickset dark man took the seat next to him. It was the man he was waiting for and it took Sherlock only fifteen minutes to let him say all the relevant things they need to arrest him. When he tried to escape, Lestrade and his people caught and arrested him. Sherlock ripped the mic of his skin and handed it to Lestrade.
"Come with us? I can give you a lift home." Lestrade glanced at him expectantly. "I'll have lots of paperwork, but you can come over tomorrow and make your statement."
"Ok", Sherlock replied, "I'll come tomorrow, but now I'm gonna stay here and have my drink, if you don't mind. See you, Lestrade." And with these words he turned around and ignored the chief inspector. Lestrade sighed, "All right, see you tomorrow. And greetings to John." His only answer was an "Hm hm" and a nod from Sherlock.
He left the club and Sherlock turned around again to watch the people. He liked that, watching and deducing; he would have liked it more, if he had someone to talk to, but John wasn't there. Stupid, he thought again, so stupid, why had he declined John's offer to help? Should he send him a text?
There were about twenty-five tables and behind them were the dance floor. The audience was mixed, but most was between twenty-five and forty-five. While he was thinking weather he should send a text or not, Sherlock's gaze slid his over the dancers, before he froze. He stared at one particular dancer in black tight trousers, black tight t-shirt, sandy-blonde short hair … John!
His first impulse was to go to him and drag him off the dance floor. He should be here, with him, Sherlock, listening to his deductions. Sherlock watched the dancing doctor closer. He hadn't seen John in this clothing before, it's suits him. Under the tight black T-Shirt he could see his muscles moving, it was … appealing. John was dancing really well. His movements were smooth and powerful; he was moving perfectly to the beat and seemed to be wrapped up in it.
And Sherlock wasn't alone in his observations; he recognised a woman dancing around John. She tried to catch his attention, but John ignored her. Sherlock narrowed his eyes. Not just this woman was attracted to John, there was also a handsome bloke dancing around him as well, and John smiled at him several times. He was about Sherlock's size, dark-haired, with a well trained body, and John smiled at him!
Sherlock felt a stitch in his chest that he didn't recognise and when John and the other man went over to the bar for a drink, two songs later, Sherlock was gone.
The following day found Sherlock on the sofa in his thinking-pose. He didn't speak, he didn't eat, he didn't move. He had heard John coming home early in the morning, so clearly he had spent the night somewhere else. But not with the woman, he had ignored the woman. John had previously only had girlfriends, so since when he was attracted to men? And why did it bother Sherlock so much? The sting in his chest hasn't stopped hurting; on the contrary, it had gotten worse when John didn't come home that night. But why? Sherlock didn't understand what had happened, so he needed to think about it.
It had never bothered him before if John went on out on dates with a variety of women. His relationships usually didn't last very long anyway, and when John was needed for a case he always was there. So what was different about this time?
First of all, John hadn't had a girlfriend for months, which was unusual. Secondly, it had been a man last night. And thirdly, John wasn't usually the one for a one-night stand, that wasn't like him. Something must have changed, but he hadn't noticed anything.
He hadn't noticed… Maybe that was the problem, yes. That was logical and made sense. So why hadn't he noticed it before? How could he miss something like that? What else had he missed? And why was it important whether John was dating women or men? Probably it would be better if he was dating a man; the chance that he would marry and move out was much less with a man than with a woman. But what about "I'm not gay", John had stated in every appropriate or inappropriate situation? Sherlock blinked. And all this could still not explain why he was so irritated!
John didn't come down until late in the morning to make himself a cup of tea and toast. Yawning, he asked Sherlock if he wanted some tea too, but received no response. So he sat down with his mug and his plate to check his mails, then he worked for a while on his blog. The situation was a little bit odd, he thought, because obviously Sherlock didn't want to speak to him, yet he was watching him over again when he thought John didn't notice.
"Sherlock", he tried after he'd showered, "are you all right?" No response. "What about that blackmailing-case?" He furrowed his brows, Sherlock hadn't told him anything yet. "Sherlock", he tried once more, "could you please talk to me?" Nothing, Sherlock just stared at the ceiling. The doctor gave up. "Ok, I need some air. See you later." With that he left the flat, leaving Sherlock staring.
That evening John went out late. He had tried talking to Sherlock after his walk, but failed again. So he grabbed his laptop and went up to his room to surf a bit on the Internet. It didn't bother him that Sherlock sometimes didn't talk to him for days, he was used to that, but this was different. Being deduced the whole time was nerve-wracking. Perhaps it was a new experiment? How long do I need to cause my roommate to have a nervous breakdown just by staring at him? That would be just like him! Who could know what went on in Sherlock Holmes' head?
It was 11.30 pm when Sherlock heard the front door. He hadn't heard the stairs, so John had paid attention to being quiet. Half an hour later he left the flat and headed to the club where he saw John last night; wearing the leather-jacket, not his conspicuous coat. He was certain that John would be there again and he had to know what was going on. Even if he wasn't quite sure what exactly he meant with that phrase.
Sherlock ordered a drink and found a place from where he could observe the dance floor without being seen himself. And there he was, John, dancing on his own but never alone. The whole time women, but also men, buzzed around him and tried to get his attention. He was dressed all in black again, the trousers and the t-shirt skin-tight, so that he could see the muscles flexing under the fabric. It was gorgeous; John was beautiful, as he was moving to the rhythm of the music.
The next song was a slow one and John's eyes were closed most of the time, ignoring a pretty blonde who danced around him for a while. It was breathtaking, and Sherlock literally forgot to breathe. He could only stare open-mouthed at John. Then a fast song followed, the beat was harder. John seemed to absorb it, was once again one with the music and the rhythm. So it went on for three or four more songs, until John paused and took a drink at the bar. Meanwhile, two other women and a man had tried to dance with him, but he had ignored them all.
Sherlock pressed deeper into the shadows. Under no circumstances should John discover him; he had no clue as to what he would tell him. He was totally confused, didn't understand what was happening to him. He wanted to go home, but then John went back to the dance floor, and Sherlock couldn't tear his gaze from him. He felt totally lost.
Then the dark-haired bloke from the night before turned up again and Sherlock felt a knot form in his stomach. The guy stood at the edge of the dance floor, watching John. Eventually he danced, pushed his way ever closer to John, smiling at him, finally speaking to him. Sherlock felt bile rising in his throat. Suddenly he couldn't stand it anymore. As calmly as he could manage he left the club and headed back to 221B.
He felt dizzy, and the urge to vomit was still there. Restless, he paced through the flat until he heard John's steps on the stairs. Sherlock stopped dead, than stormed into his bedroom and locked the door. So at least John came home tonight, that was good, wasn't it? Sherlock gritted his teeth. What was happening to him? Why was that supposed to be good? He listened. Was John alone? Had he possibly brought the dark-haired fellow back with him? No, he wouldn't…. he couldn't... Sherlock gagged and ran to the bathroom to vomit.
When John came home he saw the light in the living room and he heard Sherlock's steps. For a moment he wondered if he should check on him, but it was late and he was tired. He had danced half the night and it had been difficult to shake off Victor. He wasn't sure if he could deal with his mad flatmate right now. Before he went to bed he came down to get a glass of water, and it was then that he heard it. Was Sherlock vomiting? Was he sick? Oh, for heaven's sake, why hadn't he told him? He knocked at the bathroom door. "Sherlock? Sherlock, are you ok?" His only answer was another gagging.
He knocked again. "Sherlock! Open the door!" Again, a choking sound. That was enough; luckily Sherlock hadn't locked the door. When he came into the bathroom, John saw Sherlock huddled next to the toilet. He was kneeling on the ground, his face was ashen and he looked terrible. "Sherlock", John knelt beside him. "Sherlock, what happened?" Gently he laid an arm around his shoulders to support him; with the other hand he checked his forehead, it was freezing cold, and Sherlock was trembling all over. "Come, I'll take you to bed. Come on." With some effort, he managed to pull Sherlock up and maneuvered him into his bedroom. He sat down at the edge of the bed and helped him to undress. Then he put a bucket at his bedside, placed a packet of tissues and a glass of water on the nightstand. Sherlock had stopped shaking, he lay with closed eyes under the covers, and he looked so ... vulnerable. So not like ... Sherlock.
It frightened John to see him like that. Something must have happened. John sat down at his bedside. "Sherlock, what's wrong? Can you tell me what happened?" But Sherlock squeezed his eyes shut and shook his head, then began to tremble again. "Calm down, Sherlock, it's all right." John stroked his upper arm soothingly. "I'll stay here until you sleep, it's all fine." Sherlock gradually relaxed and finally fell asleep. He wasn't aware of John stroking through his curls and giving him a soft kiss on the forehead before he left his room.
Sherlock awoke the following morning with a terrible taste in his mouth. He opened his eyes and saw the tissues, the glass of water and the bucket, and it all came back. Like a wave the realisation struck him. The emotions, which had overwhelmed him, the nausea, it all came back. His body had betrayed him. He began to tremble again. Sentiment! He hated it! He forced himself to breathe calmly until the tremors subsided and eventually stopped, then he took a sip of water and fell back into the pillows.
He needed to think! John. John dressed in black. John dancing. John with the other man. John! His stomach clenched, his chest ached. No! He didn't want this! Sentiment was not his division. The work was his life, everything else was just transport. Caring was not an advantage; quite the contrary, love was a dangerous disadvantage. Irene had supplied the evidence to him. Furious, he turned over in his bed. He had to pull himself together, he had to get his thoughts and emotions back under control.
When John came down an hour later, Sherlock was sitting in his chair, reading the newspaper, next to him a cup of coffee. He was perfectly dressed as always and his face was completely blank as he said good morning to John. John hesitated a moment, then he went into the kitchen to get some coffee. Had the events of last night been nothing more than a dream? He made toast and took the plate and the coffee back to the living room and sat down in his chair.
After he had put down his plate, he took a sip of the coffee. "How are you this morning? Obviously the nausea disappeared."
"Hmm? Oh, yes, yes, it seems so." Sherlock looked up, he was a bit unsure. "Must have eaten something that did not agree with me. Umm ... well ... about last night ... umm … thank you."
John tilted his head and watched him closely. "Are you okay? You just thanked me."
Sherlock's face closed up. He picked up the newspaper again and barricaded himself behind the pages. John sighed, "I'm sorry, Sherlock." But it was too late, Sherlock didn't reply. That was not what he had intended. For the rest of the day Sherlock wrapped himself in silence.
That didn't change throughout the course of the whole next week. Sherlock was exceptionally quiet, even though he had no new cases. Something was bothering him, but John had no idea what it was. Most of the time Sherlock lay silently on the sofa and thought, his hands clasped under his chin. In any case, the doctor suspected that he was thinking.
Finally it was Friday again. John was exhausted from work, and also by Sherlock's non-compliance. Only a few days ago he had thought that it wouldn't bother him if Sherlock didn't talk for days, that wouldn't happen to him anymore.
If he only knew what was going on, how he could help him. He had tried several times to talk to him, had yelled at him, apologized, begged him and screamed again. Nothing. Sherlock simply ignored him and that made him ... angry ... and sad ... and so angry! Eventually, he avoided seeing him any more than was absolutely necessary, because if he was honest with himself, and he was that at least, it did hurt.
John came home later than usual, because he had seen some of Sarah's patients; she had had an appointment outside the surgery that afternoon. But he didn't intend on staying long. After a quick shower, he went to his room, changed his clothes and left the house again. He wanted to eat something somewhere and then go to the club to let off some steam. Maybe he could think more clearly again afterwards and consider what to do about his mad flatmate, how to persuade him to talk to him. He wouldn't survive another week like this. And maybe he would even find something at the club tonight, someone who could distract him from his thoughts at ...
As he crossed the street, he turned and stopped for a moment. His eyes went up to the window of his - their - flat. Was Sherlock in his room, or was he in the living room? Was he perhaps even at the window? The curtain had moved, hadn't it? No, silly to think about that, he dropped his head. Then he straightened up; he had to get over it, this was pointless. He gritted his teeth; right, first he would find something to eat. Resolutely, he turned and walked away.