Since I totally forgot to mention this when I posted the last chapter of "Of Dogs and Dead Consulting Detectives", there is now also a podfic to that one avaiable at archive of our own. Just search for Usagi_Atemu_Tom or type in the title of my story, then you should be able to find it, if you are interested in listening to it. :)
Title: Every Watson needs a Holmes
Warnings: Post Reichenbach
Feedback: Please, yes, I love feedback! Constructive critic is especially welcome.
Summary: Sequel to "Of Dogs and Dead Consulting Detectives".
If someone had told John Watson four years ago that he would one day end up living together with a man in a romantic relationship and two dogs in a cosy flat in the middle of London, he would have told them quite in emphasized tone "I am not gay!" before signing the person off for a mental check.
Disclaimer: Nothing is mine, everything belongs to the respective creators and of course the talented actors who gifted the characters with their great personality.
And not to forget, much thanks to Lee-Ann for her, as always, excellent job in betareading.
Also, continuing what I've started in the fourth chapter of the prequel: I once more declare my support for Mrs. Amanda Abbington in her roles as Mary Morstan in the upcoming third season of Sherlock Holmes!
If someone had told John Watson four years ago that he would one day end up living together with a man in a romantic relationship and two dogs in a cosy flat in the middle of London, he would have told them quite in emphatic tone "For heaven's sake, I am not gay!" before signing the person off for a mental check.
As it stood, John Hamish Watson now found himself in a situation that could not have been further from what he once dreamed of achieving. And he could not have been happier. Granted sometimes he still wondered what had possessed him to ever add a second dog into their 'cosy' home life but then he found himself watching Sherlock running around in the fields with Watson by his side, chased by a rather perturbed Holmes, tail held in a way he only did when he was not happy with the one or other action of his owners, and John could not help but laugh.
Granted, even Greg Lestrade shook his head when the two men introduced the new dog as the latest member of their small family. Especially when on being introduced Holmes showed nothing of the well trained behaviour Watson possessed but immediately jumped against the Detective in enthusiastic greeting. Let it be said that Lestrade did not think anything funny about being 'attacked' by a Great Dane with the height of 70 centimetres.
"You already have one hellhound in your rooms that till this day has refused to listen nor to develop manners, whatever did you need a second one for?" the Detective Inspector asked John in an exasperated tone following the former army doctor rescuing him from being slopped to death by the Great Dane. Who, after realising that the man did not seem to be very happy to see him, sat down with his back to Lestrade, looking for all the world as if he was pouting.
"Granted, at least Watson is well mannered, but this one", Lestrade trailed of, pointing at the sulking dog, shaking his head. Sherlock and Watson had watched the whole scene from the sides, the Consulting Detective smirking until Lestrade hinted at his childish behaviour, whereas the corners of his mouth dropped into what looked suspiciously like a sulking expression. Watson meanwhile sat well mannered on her hind legs, head held a bit to the side as if wondering why everyone around her was acting rather funny.
John himself could not help the slightly embarrassed half smile before shrugging his shoulders, helping Lestrade back to his feet.
"I didn't exactly plan to expand our family", the doctor admitted sheepishly. "But you should have been there when I stumbled upon this one. There is a reason we named him 'Holmes' you know?"
"You named him, John, YOU! Do keep to the facts." Sherlock corrected from the sideline, his mouth still pulled into a frown. It earned him an eye roll from John and a confused frown from Lestrade.
Truthfully, John really had not planned to get himself another dog since they had one already in the house plus a partner that on most occasions was harder to look after than an adventure seeking puppy. At least Watson was a very well mannered dog. One could say what they wanted but Sherlock had done an exceptional job in training her. Somewhat hard to believe with Sherlock's own faults and lack of manners most of the time, but true.
Nevertheless Watson was a piece of art. She was friendly, attentive, intelligent and had no problem reacting to every command spoken out loud or given in subtle hand signs. In fact, during the first week after Sherlock's return and the English Pointer staying with them in 221B Baker Street, Watson turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Sherlock had been developing a temper no later than the first week coped up inside the flat. Of course he had been exhausted with the ordeal of hunting down Moriaty's network. He was deprived of sleep and food, even though he had been forced to eat now and then to stay at least alive. With the bullet wound and the blood loss his state was even worse. Though John never got tired of repeating constantly how damn lucky Sherlock had been that the bullet did not hit the bone and the infection turned out to be rather mild thanks to the doctor being able to treat the injury quickly.
Still, the Consulting Detective's body had been weakened therefore it was no wonder he spent the next twenty-four hours sleeping without waking up once while fighting down a fever he developed from dirt getting into the bullet wound he received. After that the next days had been a combination of sleeping, cleaning the wound and change of bandages, John nearly force feeding him and of course the talking.
Sherlock had a lot to explain, from how he managed to fake his own death to his hunt through the underworld, taking down criminal masterminds that had been under Moriaty's thumb. All to ensure the protection of the three people that Sherlock could no longer deny meant something to him, no matter how much he still resented the idea of feelings and sentiment.
Of course after the past was out of the way and John got his chance to at least yell himself hoarse, forcing his best friend at the end to promise that he would never, ever pull a stunt like that again without including the former army doctor, their talks became rather personal. There was the matter of the kiss to be discussed.
Truth to be told, Sherlock didn't want any talk about any feelings, least of all his very own which he preferred to deny he even possessed. However, still being a mastermind and perceptive as always, he realised that with John as part of the matter, things could turn out ugly if they did not discuss where they stood now. The former army doctor was not observant enough to realise where he stood with Sherlock. He was unsure how to proceed, not to mention the small shock that lingered in the back of his mind about the sudden realisation that he obviously was not as hundred percent heterosexual as he liked to believe. Sherlock wanted to make sure John would not run away first chance he got from what they could become.
Looking back on it later both men agreed it was the turning point into a very beautiful relationship. However, even with every uncertainty cleared up, because Sherlock was still wounded they could certainly not explore their new-found bond to their hearts content. Certainly, the Consulting Detective never had been one to crave physical needs anyway, even though he was willing to explore them with John.
However for Sherlock it would also have meant a chance to experience something new, to learn something interesting and to keep his mind occupied. The doctor of course did not allow more than kisses and maybe a small touch here and there. For anything else he deemed the Consulting Detective too exhausted and not yet able to stress the wounded arm.
To top it all, Mycroft choose to show up just around that time to ensure the safety of his little brother and to chew him out about the stunt he pulled. The confrontation left the two Holmes brothers in a rather tense mood, though even John could see the hints of relief in the elder brother's eyes. Proof of just how glad Mycroft was that his sibling still lived.
Unfortunately, the whole ordeal left Sherlock in a rather sour mood because as a parting the elder Holmes declared he would ensure that the younger would be without cases to solve until John deemed him fit enough again. Not to mention there was still the whole matter of his reputation and fake death to be taken care of. As it stood, Sherlock Holmes alive was still a wanted man by the police. Mycroft naturally promised, with an air of generosity, that he would immediately double his efforts to remedy the accusation of being a fraud. Nevertheless it would still take some time to clear Sherlock's name.
It was at that point the sulking started in earnest, because if there was one thing that had not changed over the time of being away it was that Sherlock Holmes hated to be bored. When the first week was over and his arm did not hurt at every single move, he decided that the world indeed needed to know about his displeasure; a displeasure that manifested in the use of his violin at ungodly hours. John was just glad that at least they had also been able to tell Mrs. Hudson about Sherlock's return and part of the circumstances - they did not let her know about the threat of her own life, at John's insistence, because Sherlock still believed she would have been able to handle it. John on the other hand felt if they had not his poor landlady would have suffered a double heart attack for not only hearing horrible violin sounds in the middle of the night, but the familiar performance of a dead man.
It was around this time John Watson started to more than appreciate the presence of the English Pointer in their flat. Not that he did not already love the dog since the first day of their not so fateful meeting back in Regents Park.
When Sherlock started to play the first time, he intended the music to be everything but nice. Being awakened by the horrible noise of a mistreated violin, John came down from his room upstairs to find Sherlock standing in his favourite place by the window with Watson sitting in front of him, pawing the ground with a front paw, head tilted and a small whimper escaping her throat which could barely be heard over the noise of the violin.
However, before John could even open his mouth to complain, Watson all of the sudden started to howl loud and clear and no matter what Sherlock commanded, as long as he did not stop creating scratching sounds, she continued to howl her displeasure, all the while seeking cover behind John's legs.
It took three days and nights in uproar before they found out that Watson did not mind too much if Sherlock played the violin properly. Of course it was still not a lot of fun to be awoken in the middle of the night from the noise of loud music, but John quickly learned that he could fall easily back asleep accompanied by the soothing notes of Bach or Mozart. He would take that over ear-tormenting scratching any time.
Naturally playing the violin was not a long term solution at all. Not even two weeks after his reappearance Sherlock complained loudly to everyone who wanted or did not want to listen just how bored he was. No case for him, since Lestrade and his brother were still in the end phases of clearing his name, which meant it was better if the world did not know yet that Sherlock Holmes was still alive. Originally the doctor wanted to help Mycroft and Lestrade with their efforts as he had before with Greg, but the two men told him in no uncertain terms that it would be better if he kept an eye on Sherlock. Since he had already tried to sneak out of the flat at least twice, Sherlock's behaviour ensured that John could not help but agree wholeheartedly to that decision.
In the end, he was able to negotiate a compromise. With his face hidden under a hood, even if the Consulting Detective of course complained about the choice of clothes he was forced to wear under the circumstances:
"Oh for God's sake, Sherlock you've been wearing similar clothes for WEEKS!"
"That was for the case of protecting you. There is nothing even remotely resembling a case here, John. Do pay attention, please!"
"Why are you looking at me like that? Given the circumstances I was exceptionally polite. I said 'please', did I not? Dear God this is getting tedious already!"
So Sherlock was allowed to take Watson for walks. Of course he had to promise to go easy on his arm, which Sherlock was ready enough to agree to.
The walking with Watson helped. Even though already very well trained, Sherlock did not tire of teaching her even more every day. It astonished John, who tried to accompany his partner as often as he could on those walks (he did still have a job he needed to maintain for now), how the Consulting Detective was able to teach the intelligent dog even the most ridiculous tricks.
The doctor was in awe and just like old times he did not get tired of praising the dog's intelligence and Sherlock's skill and surprising patience at teaching. The Consulting Detective of course was basking in John's awe and attention. Half a week after the start of their walking with Watson, Sherlock offered to teach John how to train a dog. They spent the remaining three weeks enjoying each other's company while teaching Watson silly little tricks.
Around five weeks after being shot, Sherlock was able to use his arm nearly to full potential once again and John agreed he was healed enough to use it as he normally would. Naturally the doctor reminded his partner to still be careful, but Sherlock could have cared less. The moment he got the go-ahead, he wasted no time in grabbing the former soldier by his wrists and pulling him into his bedroom. There he told John in no uncertain terms that he wanted to finally consummate their relationship.
The results lasted in John calling out sick for a week next day. They rarely left the bedroom, mostly only to either walk Watson or to buy the few groceries they needed to survive, including condoms and lube.
John had felt a bit overwhelmed at the beginning. Sherlock caught him off guard when he dragged him into the bedroom. They had talked about what they felt for each other. Not so much in specific descriptions but more by Sherlock admitting while in the past he had cared about no one, he could now not deny that he would do anything for John to keep him alive. The Consulting Detective had also pointed out, that as rare as it occurred that he found things fascinating him over a long amount of time - like the former army doctor did - when he did indeed discover them, he felt rather possessive and unwilling to ever let go.
To this John could only shake his head and smirk, before responding that Sherlock's possessiveness was not news to him. However the former army doctor had quickly lost his confidence after that. While he had enough time to think about what happened when he kissed Sherlock on his sickbed and he now could admit that he cared for Sherlock deeply, he was still rather thrown off guard by realising that his supposed status of heterosexuality had changed to being bisexual. Of course he did not need to utter a single word; Sherlock was still able to read him like an open book.
"You're shaken by your newly discovered sexual orientation", he began. "You are torn between wanting to take a step further yet, fearing of the unknown since sex with a man is new territory for you. You also wonder about my opinion and expectations since you know relationships are certainly not my area - and no, John, I never had sex with anyone before. Which I know you've been dying to ask even before your realisation of your feelings for me.
"You are determined to give anything I would take from you and nothing more, because you've always looked out for me and this won't change anything in your opinion. But you are still worried that if this relationship between us stays more celibate than anything else, that one day it might not be enough for you, since you are a man who has been enjoying the pleasure of sexual interactions and it would be hard to deny yourself something you already know is very enjoyable to you.
"You don't want to run away from this, though, which is rather admirable after my confession of being possessive; even your brain should be able to realise the meaning of this, shouldn't it? After taking possession, I will never let go of you again. You are already realising this, aren't you? I can see it in the way your eyes widen and your breathing increases. Not to mention you cheeks taking on a rather lovely red colour. So, did I miss anything?"
Even though John certainly was shocked after being picked apart like that, the words of praise and admiration left his mouth without thinking about. Sure, it was once more an analyses of his own person, but it did not change the fact that Sherlock was, as always, dead on with his deductions.
When he found his breath again to think his next question more through, the former army doctor decided to confront Sherlock directly with his expectations and also could not help but wonder why the Consulting Detective all of the sudden was indicating for wanting to rush into a sexual encounter when it had never been tempting before.
Sherlock considered this question for a while, forcing himself to explore what he found most tedious: Feelings. "I have always seen my body as transport, and nothing else", he finally told John after thorough consideration. "However there has never been anyone that I have been as drawn to or fascinated with as you."
The Consulting Detective admitted that for him it was not about the bodily pleasure, but for feeding his mind palace with new things, with chances to experience something and then decide if it was worth it, or had to be deleted. Sherlock told John about his research within the last days about sex in general and sex with another man. What he found out just created new questions for him:
What did John prefer? What could they try which was certainly something really new? How would John look without clothes? Where were his scars; where were his erogenous zones? Not to mention how would they appear after sex when they were out in public again? Would there be not so obvious signs that indicated what happened between them? Something which could certainly be useful in cases, something that was not so glaringly obvious as the scrapped knees of Sally Donovan for example. There was so much Sherlock was looking forward to explore and which he was unwilling to explore with anyone but John.
After that confession, the doctor decided it was time to start the explorations by kissing him breathless; because while everyone else might have been affronted with Sherlock's somewhat clinical point of view, John could not deny he was completely taken in, hopelessly so and totally in awe of his brilliant Consulting Detective. Sherlock's first lesson that day had been that yes, even he could be totally consummated by the pleasure of a kiss, if it was shared with the right person. John on the other hand learned once more that Sherlock's brilliance to master something new also applied with kissing. It did not take long for the genius Consulting Detective to return the favour of breathless kisses. Things progressed just naturally from there.
At the sixth week after their encounter with Sebastian Moran, Lestrade showed up to personally report that Sherlock Holmes was finally found not-guilty of all accusations and that as apology for their wrongdoings the highest members of the police force offered to declare Sherlock's work as a Consulting Detective for the police an official post. Sherlock's response to the hopeful looking Detective Inspector was to ask if he brought any interesting cases with him.
In week seven Sherlock and John found themselves on every front cover of any newspaper in Great Britain when the Consulting Detective returned to the world with a bang. Even Watson was seen on the photo, since she had surprisingly turned up to be the essential puzzle piece Sherlock needed to find the killer in his very first case he solved after his return from the dead.
And so life slowly started to return to how it was before Moriaty nearly destroyed them all. The only difference now was the addition of Watson, who was either included into their cases or left with Mrs. Hudson.
Four weeks after Sherlock solved his first case, John met Holmes.
Everything started with a new client asking for their help. The case itself did not sound very spectacular in Sherlock's opinion. Things had been rather slow for a few days already, while normally that would not have been any reason for Sherlock to accept anything he deemed 'interesting' only at a seven out of ten. However the young girl was suspecting a neighbour of hers to be involved in a dog smuggling organisation and did not treat the animals very well.
On John's question if she had informed the police about her suspicions, Kelly, as she introduced herself, sniffed disdainfully, saying they told her sorry but they could not do anything as long as there was no proof. After being dismissed, she remembered the picture of the newspaper article concerning the return of the famous Sherlock Holmes. She kept the article because as a dog lover she was very touched that even the great Consulting Detective was fond enough of those animals to take in an English Pointer.
Of course the praise did not exactly change Sherlock's opinion that the case was too obvious and not worthy his time. John pointed out in a soothing voice what Sherlock would do if Watson ever got caught by those people, which was a different matter altogether. With a sniff and his face scrunched in disdain over the idea of sentiment, he accepted the case with a rather thin reason for changing his mind. Neither Kelly nor John considered pointing this out.
The case itself turned out to be not as easy as the Consulting Detective first concluded. Kelly's neighbour was nothing less than a stupid brute; however the masterminds behind the smuggling organisation were far cleverer. It took Sherlock two days and a rather heated discussion with the police officer in charge before they were finally able to storm the headquarters of the smuggler ring.
It was while searching through the buildings of the small estate where the criminals kept the dogs that John caught his first glimpse of the beautiful young Great Dane. One of the greedier smugglers still running around had been trying to get the poor thing into the trunk of a pickup. The dog had been secured with a muzzle and was threatened with a whip. Yet to his great surprise that did not seem to intimidate the endangered animal at all.
John read about Great Danes before, knew they were usually rather friendly, more often than not even shy. This one however did not show the slightest sign of being impressed. Growling warningly, the dog stood his ground gracefully, muscles tense and ready for action. John showing up turned out to be indeed the downfall of the criminal. Glancing over to the newcomer for a small second was enough for the graceful dog to act. With a growl the Great Dane jumped, throwing the panicking man towards the ground and using his body to his advantage to keep the criminal pinned until John was close enough to take matters into his own hands.
Angry at what he had seen of the treatment of the dogs already, the former army doctor made short work of the criminal by decking him unconscious. He did not even think about the fact that by his quick movements and the show of violence he might upset the aggravated dog. However, when John finally remembered the animal, he found him sitting to the side, a look that seemed to scream disinterest on his face while he tried to get rid of the muzzle with his front paw.
Later Sherlock would impatiently explain to him that of course animals tend to sense if people are friendly, not to mention John was reeking of Watson, so of course he must have been a source of comfort to the young Great Dane. At that moment though the doctor for the life of him could not explain why the dog allowed him to step forward and remove the muzzle.
Truth to be told, John suspected it might not have been a wise idea to free the dog at all. He could have used those dangerous canines immediately after he freed him of the confines. Instead the Great Dane allowed him to touch and stroke that magnificent fur. He talked to the dog and with the small trick Sherlock taught him all those past weeks while training Watson, he was even able to coax the dog to follow him back to the main floor where workers from an animal shelter took care of every dog that had been found so far.
The Great Dane left John very much in awe. He found himself thinking about him quite often and two days after the case was closed, the former army doctor found himself in front of the animal shelter that had taken in most of the dogs caught inside the smuggler ring. He visited the Great Dane and spent some time with the graceful dog while inquiring from the workers about his welfare.
What he learned had been rather astonishing. Since then John returned to the animal shelter every day. One week after the start of his visits, the workers offered to John to take walks with his new friend, which he accepted happily. Two weeks later Sherlock and Watson accompanied his visits. The English Pointer and Great Dane quickly became friends, both of them tumbling around in the parks Sherlock and John took them to.
In the third week John pointed out to his partner that the Great Dane had a lot of Sherlock's characteristics which of course had been vehemently denied. Nonetheless two days later Sherlock asked the workers on the animal shelter for the paperwork necessary to buy a dog.
Four weeks after the closure of the "Dog Abduction" case John for once went to the animal shelter alone, since Sherlock had declared himself to be busy and needing Watson for an experiment. When the former army doctor arrived at his destination he was in for a great disappointment.
His new friend had been sold just hours ago. It left the poor doctor rather shocked to the core, having not expected this turn of events, even though he knew it was an obvious option to happen. John left quickly after learning of his loss. He returned home with the intention of drowning himself in tea and misery for the next weeks only to find himself being greeted in the living room by Sherlock, who was lying on the couch in his usual thinking pose, Watson and to his great astonishment the Great Dane, the very one who he thought lost forever.
"He still needs a name, John", Sherlock told him from his position on the couch without opening his eyes. A small smile however betrayed the emotion behind his feigned aloofness and John could not help but laugh before giving his answer.
"Was it not already obvious to you? Of course his name will be 'Holmes'. After all, his behaviour is rather similar to yours, Sherlock. He is prideful, intelligent, a damn good fighter and he can sulk just as well as you."
Sherlock's response was a rather indignant look across his face, though his voiced protest was rather half hearted at best. John had been right; the Consulting Detective certainly deduced what the dog's name would be long before the doctor even realised he wanted to keep the dog.
Chuckling John greeted the dogs properly with some heartfelt scratches behind their ears before bending down to kiss Sherlock right on the mouth. The Consulting Detective only tolerated such gestures of affection because he knew it was something John needed as part of a relationship. Not to mention he always made mental notes about the circumstances when those kind of kisses happened. Some of the past reasons had already been rather interesting indeed, inducing him to see if he could evoke another kiss under similar circumstances.
"Thank you, Sherlock, this really means a lot to me", John told the man who he could now comfortably call his life partner. He sat down beside the other on the couch, watching as the two dogs placed themselves right to their feet, getting comfortable.
"You know, we're turning out to be quite the family, don't we?" the doctor continued, chuckling. Sherlock's silent answer was a short, amused quirk of his lips, his eyes warm as they looked on John and the dogs. "I do wonder however, isn't this flat a bit too small to house all of us? I mean, Holmes is not exactly small."
"Surprisingly you are showing a lot of insight for once, John", Sherlock replied, amused, though a shadow of a frown on his face for the already comfortable use of their new dog's name. "However, do not forget that we are more often than not out in London. What we cannot offer them in space we compensate with the many walks and the runs through the city and the parks. Which reminds me, that dog..."
"Holmes", John corrected helpfully with an innocent grin.
"... needs a bit more training before we can take him to any investigations" Sherlock continued unimpressed, ignoring the hint altogether. "I really don't fancy Lestrade wasting my precious time with any rants about some or the other regulation the dog might have been overstepped because he did not stay to heel."
"Well, we do have a bit of time for now, haven't we?" John replied with a shrug. "You don't have any cases, do you?"
"Don't remind me", Sherlock groaned, threading a hand through his hair in frustration, before eyeing the doctor at his side. "But you are right, we have a bit of time to kill. Better use it for something productive. He is not like Watson, but I estimate we will have him ready within less than a week."
"Oh come on Sherlock, you are deliberately avoiding calling Holmes by his name now."
"Do you know how weird it is to call this dog 'Holmes'?" Sherlock complained which John countered with a raised eyebrow.
"Surprisingly enough, yes I do. Welcome to my world", the doctor retorted dryly, glancing pointedly at Watson.
"Watson is different", the Consulting Detective protested with a snort. John could not see where that difference lay, but he knew Sherlock well enough to be aware that he really did not want to start that argument. Instead he decided to voice something more important.
"Sherlock what should happen with the dogs when we can't involve them with a case? Mrs. Hudson does love Watson and I am sure she will come to love Holmes as well but I really can't see her trying to walk the both of them. Not with Holmes' temper; he would haul her through London if he decides there is something interesting to follow. You know from personal experience just how strong that dog is."
The grin Sherlock now had on his face told the former army doctor that once more he was light years behind the Consulting Detective.
"Very good question, John. Do you remember that case two weeks ago we solved? The one with the young woman and her missing father?"
"Oh, you mean Mrs. Morstan?" the doctor wanted to know, surprised.
"You can call her Mary, John. I know for a fact that you exchanged numbers to stay in contact after the case. You've been getting along splendidly."
"Uhm, okay", John stuttered, once more caught by surprise when he should have known better. He was quick to assure however, "but we are only friends, you have to believe that."
Sherlock's answer was the raise of an eyebrow followed by an incredulous look.
"Of course you are only friends. Believe me John, if I had any inkling to be jealous you would have noticed already. I did tell you before; I am quite possessive. I would have told you in no uncertain terms if I suspected someone threatening my claim of you. Mrs. Morstan simply shares some of those boring common interests you still harbour. Like visiting that little pub by the corner of the next street.
"Anyway, I've met with your new friend today, after I bought Holmes", here Sherlock scrunched his face in dislike of using that name, "because I remembered she told us something about living in a small house with a garden. So I asked her if she would be interested in taking care of our dogs when we are out on a case and she said yes. Mrs. Morstan is young and loves dogs, the perfect requirement for a dog caretaker."
John's eyes were wide as saucers as he stared at the smug Consulting Detective with an open mouth. He had to blink several times before he had calmed down enough from the shock to speak again.
"God Sherlock, you are brilliant!"
John's admiring eyes, flickered from the younger man to their closed bedroom door with a look that told the Consulting Detective quite well what kind of mood he had aroused within the doctor's body.
Sherlock's answer was an amused, short quirk of lips before he rose from the couch in one graceful movement.
"Funny that you are saying that, John, because right now I feel rather curious to find out what you expression of admiration involves. So, what are we waiting for?"
Looking up at Sherlock with a grin, the former army doctor accepted the offered hand and allowed himself to be pulled from his sitting place. Both men went into what once had been Sherlock's bedroom alone, now shared between them, closing the door right in front of their following dogs' noses.
Nearly half a year had gone by since the day John found out that Sherlock bought the Great Dane for him. Since that time both men and their two dogs had arranged their new living conditions perfectly to their work. If he looked very close into it one could say that they had fallen into a quite normal routine of living, just that nothing about the way Sherlock Holmes and John Watson lived could be called 'normal'.
Taking the dogs to case work, or keeping them with Mary was easy enough and also the two animals were a great help when cases were low and Sherlock on the edge of going insane with boredom just like today.
It helped to take the dogs out to fields outside London, to teach them new tricks or start a mad chase over a dog toy or something more ridiculous. The chases kept Sherlock on his toes and sated John's thirst for danger.
The doctor startled out of his reflections, Sherlock's voice already further away from the place he had last seen the Consulting Detective. His partner was waving at him from the entrance to a small forest, Holmes at his feet while Watson was nowhere in sight.
"John, where are you? The chase is on, we need to catch Watson, come on!"
He could not help the grin spreading out on his face. John's heart was already quickening in excitement and his body tense in anticipation. Starting to run to where the Consulting Detective was impatiently waiting for him, John could not help to open his mouth and shout the already obvious answer.