Hello! The title of this fic came to me in my sleep and so I decided to take a go at it. :) Just a warning, I do not know how to flirt (at all) so if this is totally out of control please let me know. Enjoy the ride!
Oh, and just so you know... everything that follows the break (00000000000) will be from John's POV unless otherwise noted.
Step 1: Deduction
"She was a violinist."
Everyone in the room turned to look at John. He was crouched over the body of a young woman, one of his gloved hands holding hers and looking at it in the light of the crime scene lamps. Feeling the sudden press of gazes, John looked up at them. Donovan's lips were pressed together in something resembling annoyance. Lestrade had a single eyebrow raised and had paused in writing in his notebook. Sherlock's eyes had widened fractionally and his mouth had opened partially.
"And how do you know that?" Lestrade asked, breaking the silence that was hanging awkwardly in the room.
"How indeed, John?" Sherlock murmured. John was absolutely right, of course, but Sherlock was curious as to how he'd worked it out.
John raised the woman's hands. "Her hands. She's got calluses on her left hand from where she holds the violin and presses the strings." He indicated the rougher flesh on her hand. "They're not thick calluses, so it rules out manual labour, and they're not in the right spots for someone who uses a computer all day." John picked up the woman's right hand. "And, she's got calluses here from where she holds the bow."
Lestrade looked dumbfounded. He looked to Sherlock, who nodded. "He's right, Lestrade," Sherlock said. "The woman is a violinist and given the genre and difficulty of the music on the stand over there," he pointed, "she was a professional."
Lestrade shook his head and wrote it down in his book before turning back to John. "How'd you know about those calluses, John?" he asked.
John shrugged a shoulder casually. "Sherlock's got the same calluses on his hands from when he plays."
Lestrade simply nodded and walked off into another part of the house, but Sherlock was staring at John with an intensity that would have made any other mortal squirm. John stared back with slightly raised eyebrows as if to say 'What?' Sherlock pressed his lips tighter together and went off in search of Lestrade.
John just smiled.
The cab ride back to the flat was a quiet one, even for us. Sherlock doesn't usually make it a habit to speak unless he has something to say, and I don't like to interrupt him when he's thinking. Based on the face he's making right now and the way his fingers are tapping against his thigh, I know that he's thinking.
And I know exactly what he's thinking about.
It all sort of started when I had gotten injured on a case about a month ago. We had been chasing a murderer, which for us was just a typical Tuesday. Anyway, we'd followed him into this alleyway and it ended up being a dead end. He was trapped like a rat and he was anxious. He kept darting back and forth between the two walls and every time we'd make a pass to get closer to him, a very lethal looking knife would appear in his hand.
I did not have my weapon on me (Sherlock had sprung me out of the clinic for this case and I hadn't had the chance to go home) and so we were both weaponless against him. But, we had him trapped and we all knew that Lestrade and his gang were right on our heels. It was just a matter of time.
This, however, did not seem to hinder our criminal. In a flash of movement, he'd lunged towards Sherlock and then swiftly changed direction mid-stride, coming towards me instead. As he passed me, he sunk a blade into my gut and it felled me faster than I care to admit. As I was lying there on the ground, I could feel my own blood seeping out from between my fingers, but I only had eyes for the panicking consulting detective directly in my line of vision.
He was staring down at me with wide eyes and a mouth open in shock. He was pale and stuttering my name like he couldn't quite make his lips form the right syllable. He thudded to his knees right beside me and I felt his hands join mine in putting pressure on the bleeding wound. He stared at me with an intensity I had never seen before and I felt myself becoming lost in it. His lips were trembling and by now he'd taken off his scarf and was pressing that to my side as well. I'll never forget those moments because that's when I saw the great heart that lay behind the great brain.
And as I sank into unconsciousness, I am still sure to this day that I heard him say "Hang on John, hang on love, they're coming, just please hold on." I am sure he would deny it with all the vehemence in his soul, but I am sure he said it.
Well…after that, I had to know. Sherlock was the most irritating and childish person I'd ever met in my entire life, but gods help me if that didn't draw me in instead of repelling me. I had spent the first few months of our friendship and partnership ardently denying homosexuality, and yet here I was falling in love with my flatmate who was oh-so decidedly male. After I'd come to terms with my own sexuality (I wasn't gay, but I was still drawn to Sherlock, who was a man…I don't know how that works, but…that's how it is), I kept wandering back to that day and that knife wound and Sherlock's words.
I decided to do my own set of experiments to see if the great Sherlock Holmes, master of indifference, could be seduced. Ultimately, I wanted to find out if he was actually attracted to me as I was to him. I could probably just ask him or something… hell, I could probably just push him up against the wall after a thrilling chase and snog him and see if he responded. That would be fun… but since I've lived with Sherlock I've also learned a great many things and I've come to appreciate a great many things. And what would Sherlock appreciate more than a good old-fashioned experiment? Granted, this was a social experiment and I couldn't believe my own audacity at trying to seduce Sherlock Holmes… but I just had to try it out.
So far…it seemed to be working.
The plan was absurdly simple and so far Sherlock seemed to be playing along. The first part was the hardest, I thought, because it involved being able to make a correct deduction at a scene without Sherlock having divulged it first or without Lestrade providing the information. I'd waited several weeks to find the right case. When we'd happened upon this one, I'd nearly jumped for joy because it didn't take much for me to find out what the woman did. The stack of sheet music on the stand was partially hidden, but I could see 'Violin 1' printed at the top corner. And to be completely fair, I did recognise the calluses on her hands as being those that belonged to a string player because I had indeed noticed those same calluses on Sherlock's hands. He had such beautiful hands… so much different than my hands and on more than one occasion I had found myself looking at them.
I had observed and catalogued Sherlock's reaction to my deductions and even though he seemed pleased he also seemed startled. I couldn't decide whether to be flattered or insulted by this and he wasn't exactly forthcoming.
That's why I was surprised when he turned to me in the cab and said, "Did you really know the woman was a violinist based on the calluses on her hands?"
Ah. There it was. I snorted in amusement. "Of course I did. You think you're the only clever one around?" I resisted the urge to poke him in the ribs with my elbow.
He rolled his eyes and shifted his body to face me more directly. "John," he intoned, "have you really observed the calluses on my hands?" His voice was soft and quiet and a little…hesitant, like he couldn't believe I'd taken notice of something like the calluses on his hands.
I looked at him with a small smile on my face. "Of course I have, Sherlock. I notice lots of things about you." I left it at that, not wanting to give too much away.
It had the desired effect. Sherlock blinked at me a few times and then turned back to the window with a soft huff of his breath. It wasn't an irritated huff, but instead a curious huff, like the sound he'd make when he was particularly interested in a problem.
Oh this was going to be fun.