"You're still looking."

"I'm not looking."

"Yes you are."

"No I'm not."

"Why does it matter if I think you're looking?"

"Because I'm not looking. If I was looking I would admit I'm looking."

"There's only one person over there and your face is facing that person. You're looking."

"Well look at him."

"I'm looking."

"Men don't do that."

"Clearly they do."

"Well not any men I know."

"That's not the same as saying men don't do that."

"Do they? Do they do that?"

"They do."


"Why do you want to know?"

"I don't. I just…it's just…I've just never seen a man do that."

"I like it when they do that."


"Because he's pretty. I'm gay John, not blind. Like you."


"You heard me."

"I heard you say something confusing."

"Which part was confusing?"


"Because from what I can see you can see, so obviously you're not blind."

John Watson's eyes shifted back and forth fast. His sister does this to him. She always does this to him. She plays word games. No, not games, ploys. No, not ploys. Fishing. It's fishing. Harry will say a lie so that he corrects with the truth, a truth that's his business, but before he knows what he's done he's blurted it out and so no, just no, he would not fall for that again.

"I'm not falling for that again, Harry."

The long-legged man doing that did it some more. This time with open legs. John cleared his throat so sharply he got saliva in his sinuses, then sneezed so hard his ears popped.

"Go talk to him before you have an aneurysm."

"I don't want to. I mean, I don't…I'm not… And he's a… Isn't he?"

Harriet Watson blinked, blasé. "A high-class rent boy? I have no clue. Maybe. Probably? I've seen others here."

"This is some fancy local you've got."

"Yeah it is. The drinks are fantastic, the girls even better, and the decor—" Here Harry raised eyebrows toward the reclining man. "—leaves very little to be desired."

Ha. John Watson was not going to be fished thank you very much, so he didn't respond to this, his sister's eighth attempt today to get him to admit he may, just may, probably does, definitely absolutely sometimes does notice men. Especially pretty men on chaise lounges with their legs open and pink socks on and slicked back hair and were those gold-tipped Oxfords or—

Harry shouldered John in the back. He tripped forward and was about to whine his petulance at her—which Captain John Watson does not do ever anywhere, but this is another thing Harry brings out in him, along with too many inconvenient truths—when the man with the thighs that were not together looked right at him.

And didn't look away. Or move. He just kept looking at John, one big hand holding the sofa, and John didn't ordinarily think thoughts like he's so…open but he was and did and clearly it showed on his face because the man dipped his chin and smiled.

John was halfway across the room before he had discussed this plan with his feet and by the time he let his feet know he wasn't technically, precisely, completely gay his feet had brought him to nearly within touching distance of the man.

"That's it."

John tilted his head and only then realised he was, like some old codger, aiming his ear at the man to better hear him amongst the bar noise.

"Come now, don't be shy."

Well the aiming thing worked because John heard that deep-voiced purr loud and clear and that made heat rise, incandescent, up his neck and down between his legs.

Then the man held out his hand. John blinked at it a few times as if near-sighted and then the good doctor took it. Didn't even discuss the matter with his own hand, just took it.

The man grinned up at John and said, "I'm Sherlock."

"You're beautiful." John replied, flushing scarlet, betrayed by his mutinous mouth. Apparently his whole body was going over to the other side. As if no one had ever told this man he was gorgeous. (No one ever had.)

Sherlock's gaze slicked past John. His grin faded. He went dead-eyed. He dropped John's hand, stood, and walked away.

Jaw unhinged, the good doctor Watson turned and watched the pretty, maybe-prostitute sidle up to an elegant, bearded man in a perfectly-tailored suit. They talked briefly and then, his hand pressed to the small of Sherlock's back, they walked together out the door.

Right about then John Watson contemplated bursting into flames of annoyance and embarrassment. This, however, was apparently where his willful body drew the line. He remained resolutely unsinged.

And then Harry was there, handing him a double of something brown and expensive and exactly one hour later Harry was chatting someone up at the bar, and John was drunk, slouched in a back booth, and—

"Well hello again you gorgeous little shit."

The man in the expensive suit with the pink socks and slick-backed hair was standing beside the good doctor's table.

John rose, swayed, then stilled himself with an index finger to the tall man's chest. "Imagine I said that without shouting. Or swearing. Or calling you…" John looked to the left, as if the word he needed was—


Sherlock Holmes smiled. "That just leaves 'little.'

John looked up and up and was busy not discussing things with his nose now, because he sniffed loudly, then giggle and said, "You smell like excitement."

Can you know the moment your life changes? Can you? Because right then Sherlock knew, he absolutely knew.

"He was jealous of you. The informant. He wouldn't show himself and then…you touched me."

John was drunk, drunk, drunk. But somewhere deep inside John Watson was quite sober, somewhere that mattered. So he whispered back, very carefully, very sweet. "Imagine I said that other part. The nice part. Let's leave that in, all right?"

Sherlock's grin grew. "What," he said, on this the first day of his new life, "is your name?"

Redscudery said high class escort and sent this image (tinyurl dot com / sherlock-escort) and though I didn't take the story quite as far as you requested, I hope you like it Redscudery!