Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 29

Obvious Fact

Story: Obvious Fact Storylink: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6622219/1/ Category: Sherlock Genre: Romance/Humor Author: MuseDePandora Authorlink: http://www.fanfiction.net/u/308649/ Last updated: 01/11/2011 Words: 14033 Rating: T Status: Complete Content: Chapter 1 to 10 of 10 chapters Source: FanFiction.net Summary: John knows he has an unusual relationship with his flatmate. He knows their friendship is complicated. And
yes, he knows everyone assumes he's in a relationship with Sherlock Holmes. But he's not. Obviously. It's not like that. John would know. Right?

*Chapter 1*: Chapter 1 of 10

Obvious Fact
by MuseDePandora Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Summary: John knows he has an unusual relationship with his flatmate. He knows their friendship is complicated. And yes, he knows everyone assumes he's in a relationship with Sherlock Holmes. But he's not. Obviously. It's not like that. John would know. Right? Rating: K+, for mention of some sexual themes and violence A/N: This was written about a month ago as a Christmas present for Armity. She gave me several challenges to meet in a Sherlock/John fanfic. The prompts were: vanilla, making a bed, a birthday card, and someone spelling out G-A-Y instead of saying the word. Thanks to Armity for help with initial beta and the agony of choosing a title. Thanks to Lexiodessa for her wonderful help with another round of beta-reading. Especially considering the time of year. I really appreciate it.

John happened upon this discovery quite by accident. It had been a hard day at work, more for the unendurable monotony than anything else. The peak of his day at the surgery was a young woman with a twisted ankle that they thought might be broken. When the x-rays came back, he was actually disappointed. Sherlock was changing his way of thinking more than the war had. Sometimes, he realized that he should be worried. Most of the time, he couldn't understand how he lived so long without this. How did he manage the boredom before Sherlock came along? Work was made into a particular agony because he knew Sherlock was at home working through the first interesting case - Sherlock's words, not John's- that they'd had in two weeks. Somehow, the same man had been murdered three times. First in his London flat in 1998. Again in Australia in 2003. And then for the final time just two days ago in the bathroom of a local club. Each case had a body, positively identified as this man. Scotland Yard was completely flummoxed. Sherlock was exhilarated. John was in physical pain that he couldn't afford to call off from another shift. He limped all the way to work, certain that Sherlock was going to figure it out while he was gone and run off to solve it without him. Sherlock kept sending him texts during the day as if just to make sure he wouldn't forget. As if he could. If he didn't know better, he'd think his friend was taunting him, punishing him for choosing the surgery and unpaid bills over The Work. Of course, John did know better and that sounded just like Sherlock. The bastard. There's a reason it was where we unburdened our prisons. SH Like Georgia. SH The state. Not the country. SH OUT OF FORMALDEHYDE. SH Have you planned your funeral? SH Have you planned mine? SH

DO NOT LET ANDERSON ANYWHERE NEAR MY BODY. SH Shoot to kill, if you must. SH Do you think it'd be exciting to be murdered? SH MILK. PIG'S BLOOD. PATCHES. SH The good thing about the texts was that they reassured John that Sherlock wasn't running around central London solving a case without him. The bad thing was that they did their job and kept reminding John that there was somewhere else he'd much rather be. After eight hours of that, he decided he deserved a treat. Obviously, Sherlock wasn't on the verge of a breakthrough and the only victim of this string of murders was locked up in the police morgue. No one was going to die if he took an extra ten minutes getting home. Plus, it'd annoy the hell out of Sherlock. He enjoyed doing that more than he should. They had a complicated relationship. So John stopped at the grocer's and got himself a pint of the most expensive vanilla bean ice cream they had. Since he knew they had pig's blood and nicotine patches here - and what did that say about him?- he picked up the rest of the grocery list while he was at it. He smiled to himself as he paid for all items with Sherlock's card. When he arrived home, Sherlock was laying on the couch in prime prayer position. John enjoyed it a little too much when he dropped the package of nicotine patches onto his flat mate's head. He ignored Sherlock's scowl and the sound of the package being ripped open. After setting the plastic container of pig's blood into the refrigerator on Sherlock's designated science shelf and putting the milk as far away from that shelf as possible, John finally turned his attention to the ice cream. Strangely enough, Sherlock was far less talkative now that John was home. He wasn't even whining about John being late. He must have finally entered the critical stage of his deductions. Until he had the entire thing figured out, Sherlock would now be moody and socially disconnected. Well, more so than usual. He definitely wouldn't be eating now. John was happy that he didn't even have to offer to make Sherlock a bowl out of politeness' sake. Once he'd served himself, he brought the bowl with him into the living room, sat down and began to enjoy. After the journey home, the ice cream was at that perfect temperature, cold but creamy. The subtle earthy-sweet taste of vanilla bean melted over his tongue, reminding him of the scorching Afghanistan sun and daydreams of this simple luxury. To his dismay, he might've even made a sound of pleasure, not a groan surely but maybe a satisfied, "Mmm." The sofa creaked. He glanced over and found Sherlock watching him. His friend often watched him eat. It was to be expected when John so often ate while Sherlock didn't. But there was something different about this time. Perhaps it was the memories of longing he had tied up into the experience and the frustration of a long day away from Sherlock and the case. Maybe it was the way John had been so caught up in his physical craving and the pleasure of giving in to it. Possibly, it was the fact that John could see Sherlock gulp across the room while his eyes focused on the spoon pulling out from between John's lips. No matter the answer, it felt like he had been caught out in something private. He shivered and it wasn't because of the cold. "What's that?" Sherlock asked. "Ice cream." John decided he wasn't going to stop eating just because his friend was watching. He purposefully scooped up a large portion, the kind where it took two tries to get it all off the spoon. He dedicated himself to the first taste, thinking the conversation over. "What kind?" He pulled the spoon out of his mouth to answer. Though, for the life of him, he couldn't understand why Sherlock would care. Glancing down at the bowl, he hoped he wasn't about to be told that it had been used for some experiment

involving chemicals that reacted lethally to certain artificial flavors. Was there even such a thing? No doubt if there was Sherlock would know because he'd done an experiment. Hopefully not in John's bowl. It was a blue bowl. Blue bowls were for eating. White bowls were for experimenting. Though, it wouldn't be the first time Sherlock got that wrong. "Vanilla," he answered. Sherlock rolled off the sofa onto his feet and in four long strides -two being over the coffee table of course- he was taking the spoon out of John's hand. Any sound of outrage he might have had about personal space died in his throat when he saw the spoon disappear between Sherlock's lips. All he could think was that a second ago that had been in his mouth. And though Sherlock probably didn't realize how intimate that could be, he had to know how unhygenic that was. "I was using that," John said. Sherlock turned the spoon over and gave it one more tidy lick before dropping it back in the bowl with a clang. John swallowed past a dry throat. "I'll take a serving," Sherlock told him, while prowling back to take up his former dramatic pose on the sofa. "Small," he clarified. "Very small." Without thought, John got up to get him a bowl, feeling a little bit like Pavlov's dog. But once his brain seemed to reboot itself, something occurred to him. "Wait, I thought you didn't eat during a case." Sherlock sighed like in a B-grade movie. "Obviously, I am making an exception." "Why?" "It's vanilla ice cream." Not only was Sherlock willing to make an exception that once, but on a hunch the next morning, John set another small bowl on Sherlock's chest for breakfast. His friend was too distracted by the case to look at it or even acknowledge that John brought it, but he did eat it. After several repeat experiments, John found that though Sherlock might not sleep or eat during a case, vanilla ice cream was always an exception. It was hardly healthy but when Sherlock went days without eating, calories were calories and John was concerned about these kinds of things. He made sure there was always a carton in the freezer. For both of them. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 2*: Chapter 2 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accoutrements. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

Sherlock wasn't the type of man who liked being wrong. That was one of the first things John learned about him. Sherlock had assumed Harry was his brother, a mistake anyone could've made. But that was the type of mistake Sherlock hated making. He knew he couldn't get everything right. He was intelligent enough and realistic enough to take that into account during his deductions. However, if Sherlock Holmes made a mistake, he wanted it to be because he was thinking, and not because he wasn't. When he made assumptions because he had mindlessly accepted social norms, that was the worst. Like Harry. One time, John made the blunder of reminding Sherlock about the Harry Mistake while they were inbetween cases. For the next two days, John had to endure Sherlock's running diatribe on the perversion of the reasoning mind through social conventions of gender and heteronormativity. John was quite relieved when a VIP was murdered and Sherlock was distracted by the case. As terrible as that sounded even in his own head. Still, Sherlock never blindly assumed the gender of a person off a name again. Another example of this was also soon after John met Sherlock. On retrospect, that was rather strange, since Sherlock rarely made that type of mistake. John knew enough later to realize that for him to do it twice in such a short amount of time was extraordinary. He wondered if his arrival into things had been distracting. The second instance where Sherlock unconsciously succumbed to social attitudes was with the killer cabbie. All this time, the murderer was right in front of them but no one saw it because cabbies were invisible, nameless extensions of the transport industry. Sherlock hadn't noticed a very important possibility because, like everyone else, he'd dismissed them as non-entities without motivation or consequence. That was unacceptable. They were on their way back from dinner at Angelo's -yes, there'd been a candle- when John learned Sherlock would never make that mistake again. "Where you going, Sherlock?" the cabbie asked. "Home," he answered. "How have you been, Charlie?" John stared at his friend and the plastic pleasantness in his voice. "Ah, you know how it is," Charlie answered and Sherlock actually nodded. "Your brother is still having trouble in school?" And like that, Sherlock and the cabbie were engaged in small talk the entire way to Baker Street. No doubt it wouldn't have happened if they weren't between cases, but the fact that it happened at all was shocking. Sherlock didn't fill his head up with nonsense and he certainly didn't listen to other people's woes just because they needed an ear. He was barely willing to listen to John's complaints when he was the reason for them. But here he was encouraging their cabbie to spill his life story. John learned from their conversation that Charlie's brother was the first in the family to attend university but was talking about pulling out. His wife thought it was because he was afraid to succeed but Charlie thought it was because his brother was pampered by the family and had never had to work for anything before in his life. For a good ten minutes, Sherlock nodded and asked leading questions, just allowing their cabbie to talk. When they reached home, Sherlock gave

a polite - by his standards - good bye and left John to pay for their ride. "Is he related to a case?" John asked while he waited for Sherlock to unlock the door. "No." Sherlock cocked his head to the side, rethinking his answer. "Not yet." "Then what was that about?" The door opened and they both went inside. "It might be important." "What could possibly be important about Charlie's brother?" "Oh, I don't know." Sherlock smirked. "Perhaps the fact that Charlie's wife is having an affair with his brother and they're considering running away to America together. Charlie is very good with his money habits and so has a healthysized savings account built up from over the last fifteen years. However, he's not very good with numbers or dealing with the bank, so his wife handles all of that. Charlie's infertile so there are no children to tie his wife down in what appears to be a very unhappy marriage. Yet, she stays. Why? The money and the brother. Charlie's brother has always been the golden boy of the family but since falling in love with his sister-in-law and failing at university -yes, he hasn't been attending classes for at least a semester- he has begun to resent the expectations of his family and is likely looking to rebel against them in a substantial way. Running away with his brother's wife and money would likely do it. Charlie is an unforgiving man with a temper. It is entirely possible that if he catches them in the act, he will kill them both. See, it's good to be prepared." John glanced back at the closed door leading out to the street and tried to remember what parts of the innocuous conversation with the cabbie could've given Sherlock all those clues. Because John had no doubt that Sherlock was working entirely off of what Charlie had told him. "Amazing," John said and Sherlock grinned in the dim light of the hallway. His friend was all shadows and sharp angles, wicked in his cleverness. For a moment or two, John felt quite overwhelmed by this other man. It never got old. "What made you take interest in that cabbie? I mean, specifically. Let me guess, it was the fact that his shirt wasn't ironed that told you domestic trouble." "Don't be ridiculous," Sherlock replied. "Wives aren't expected to iron their husbands' shirts anymore. His wrinkled clothing is more a marker of his occupation and class than his wife's moods. I know you were in the military but please try to overcome your dated concept of gender-roles." "Then why did you choose him?" "I didn't." "Then how did you know he might kill someone?" John asked, too interested in trying to puzzle out the method of Sherlock's genius to realize the way the man's mood was going. "I didn't," Sherlock snapped. He took the stairs three at a time, his posture like a paper-cut, ordinary but sharp and unexpectedly painful. "And that's rather the point!" Charlie never killed his wife but that didn't mean Sherlock was wrong. It was because he was willing to learn from his mistakes, recognize society's blind spots, and adjust for them. It also helped that John learned from Sherlock, too. The next day, John found Charlie's address on the internet and sent his wife an anonymous letter. No one needed Sherlock to be proven right. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 3*: Chapter 3 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

Spectacularly ignorant. That observation had put Sherlock into a sulk that led to bullets in their sitting room wall, but that didn't make it any less true. Sometimes, John felt it was his job to ground Sherlock, to force a little bit of normalcy on him. That included an equal share of praise and criticism. So, yes, the man was an extraordinary genius about things that escaped the common man's attention, but when it came to everyday life and knowledge, Sherlock could be spectacularly ignorant. And John was going to tell him so. "You're an idiot," John told him as he threw the second sheet onto Sherlock's mattress. "What grown man doesn't know how to make his own bed? Sherlock, are you paying attention to me?" The man in question was leaning against the wall behind him. His head was thrown back, as if enduring some physical agony instead of being taught a basic life skill. "Yes, John," Sherlock answered. A person would easily think he was the one granting a favor. "I still don't believe I need a bed. The sofa is more than adequate when I can't avoid sleep. Anything more is a needless waste of time and mental resources." He pretended that Sherlock stopped after the first sentence. "All right. So I'm going to teach you how to make hospital corners." "Of course, you are," Sherlock muttered. "Watch. You need to make sure the sheet's overhang is equal on all sides and make sure the sheet is flat. That's key. Now, you're going to pull the overhang up and make a 45 degree angle. Do you see what I'm doing here? Make sure it's smooth. Tuck that under. Then you pull the overhang back down. Tuck that under. See? Easy. Now you do it." John glanced up from his straight sheets and clean lines to see Sherlock with his eyes closed. "Sherlock!" His friend's eyes shot open. "Yes?" His voice was all lazy and unconcerned sophistication. In John's opinion, Sherlock was laying on the public school accent a little thick just to aggravate him. "Pay attention." "Overhang equal on all sides. Forty-five degree angle. Smooth and tuck. Really, John, this is an insult to my intelligence." "Yeah?" he asked. Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "Then do it." He pointed at the next corner and crossed his arms with a little bit of smugness. Sherlock stared at the corner for a few long moments. John could see the emotions flickering over his friend's face: haughtiness, doubt, concern, embarrassment, before finally settling on aggravation. Really, that should've given him a clue, since Sherlock's emotions were never that easy to read unless the man made sure they were. But he was too caught up in his minor victory to care. "Perhaps you should illustrate it for me one more time," Sherlock suggested. John tried to swallow his grin, since gloating was hardly polite and he was supposed to be the mature one. "Sure," he said, beginning on the next corner with zeal. It wasn't every day that he got his friend to stand still for a lesson in domesticity. However, that's not what was happening here. Sherlock took advantage of John's crouching on the other side of the bed and was out of the room within three seconds. "Sherlock!" John scrambled to his feet after him. "Get back here!"

"A break-through, John!" Sherlock yelled back. "You'll have to finish it for me." This statement was punctuated by the slamming of a door. Sherlock couldn't possibly think he was so stupid as to believe that. They didn't even have a case. John took it as another example of Sherlock's spectacular ignorance. The solar system. Global warming. The Prime Minister. Making one's own bed. These things were just not part of Sherlock's hard drive. He could've run Sherlock down and forced him to learn how to make a bed, but some part of him liked that he knew more than his friend about some things. It made Sherlock a bit more human and gave John a bit more to contribute. If he were Mrs. Hudson, no doubt he'd be ranting about not being their housekeeper. But this wasn't about being the help. Sherlock didn't care about whether his bed was made or not. For God's sake, he didn't even care if he had a bed. But John cared. He wanted to make sure Sherlock had a clean bed the same way he wanted to make sure Sherlock ate enough. Others just assumed that this was evidence of Sherlock's control of him, but it was the opposite. There was power in the fact that he put a cup of tea and toast in front of his flatmate and Sherlock drank and ate it, though he wasn't hungry. There was power in the fact that Sherlock let him into his room because John wanted to make a bed he had no interest in using. Sherlock let John care for him and there was a lot of control in that. Especially since Sherlock didn't need it. That suggested that he wanted it. There were very few people Sherlock needed in his life, fewer still that he wanted. John might even be the only one. So, it was hard to get angry. Spectacularly ignorant, but even that amazed him. "Idiot," John mumbled and finished making Sherlock's bed. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 4*: Chapter 4 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

It was a Tuesday afternoon and John had dragged Sherlock into a bookstore to look for a birthday gift for Harry. Well, John was looking for the gift. Sherlock was looking at texts about taxidermy. For ten minutes, they both skimmed through various books in silent company. Somehow, they'd ended up standing nearly back to back in the small aisle, both absorbed in their own thoughts but still very present in the other's physical space. It was comfortable, familiar, and even friendly. Sherlock was this warm, barely restrained sense of kinetic energy right behind him and it made John smile at the book in his hands, which happened to be about coin collecting. If someone had told him a year ago that he-. Suddenly, a tearing sound burst that feeling of contentment like a soap bubble. John was startled and whipped around to follow the noise. He found Sherlock closing a book and crumpling up what looked to have been a page from inside it. "What are you doing?" John hissed. He glanced around but was relieved to see no other customers or, God forbid, the shopkeeper near enough to play witness. "This book should do," Sherlock said and then glanced down at the book in John's hands. He sneered a little. "Are you getting that?" "Harry and I used to collect coins as kids," John replied before realizing he wasn't the one who needed to defend himself. "Did you just tear a page out of that book?" "The last page, yes." "Why?" "It's never important," Sherlock answered like this was the most obvious thing in the world. "Actually, Sherlock," John corrected him, "most people think that's the most important page in the book." "Most people are idiots." "All right, well, do you mind explaining to me why I've been wrong all these years?" Sherlock paused and his eyes scanned over John's face. He had no idea what his friend was looking for but just stood and allowed himself to be examined. Sometimes, John's military background was invaluable while dealing with Sherlock. It meant that he had been trained to see social niceties as expendable, instead of necessary. Sherlock wanted to put body parts in the refrigerator? All right, just as long as he made sure it didn't drip anywhere. Sherlock wanted to run around London alleys at 3 a.m. after criminals? All right, as long as he could get his gun first. Sherlock wanted to stand in John's space, breathe in John's air, and search John's face? All right, as long as he was told the purpose later. And Sherlock always told him the purpose. Where he might disregard or outright insult others' intelligence by reciting disconnected ideas at them and then mocking their inability to string them together, he always explained to John and answered his questions. Others saw how Sherlock presumed upon him, his space, his time, his emotions, and called it an insult. John knew he could presume upon Sherlock in other ways, on his mind and attention, which were surely his friend's most prized resources. Sherlock not only allowed it, he welcomed it. John was welcome in Sherlock's thinking. No, there were little social niceties, but there was respect. Very few people realized that. But like Sherlock said, most people were idiots. "In most books," Sherlock explained, "the last page is simply a summation of all the content that came before it,

simplified for simple minds that couldn't hold onto an idea with a bucket. When it's not that case, it's often an opportunity for the authors to praise themselves for having an idea and revel in their own self-importance and accomplishment. As if writing a book is some great feat and I should be grateful that they even allowed me to read it. Never-mind the fact that I've rarely read a book that wasn't half nonsense." John smiled, as always both amused and astounded by how easily Sherlock could challenge the mundane. Even a book wasn't simple. It was something to be deconstructed and modified to the man's way of thinking. Still . . . "What about if there was something important on that last page?" he asked. "What if the entire book was working up to it and you never know because you pulled that last page out before you even read it?" Sherlock scoffed. "Are you suggesting that I couldn't work out the conclusion on my own with the rest of the book in my possession? Really, John." "No," he replied. "I wouldn't be surprised if you could work out the conclusion just by looking at the book cover. Well, for ninety-nine percent of books out there. Like people. But, I do wonder about that one percent." "What about it?" The way Sherlock's eyes stared at him without blinking told John that he had that great mind revisiting his position. How could others not see the power, the respect, the appeal of this? The attention and regard of a genius was a heady thing. "It's just, you don't pull your insights from thin air, right?" he asked. "Of course not." "You use evidence. You use clues. So, what if a very important clue is on that last page," John suggested. "You can't be expected to come to the right conclusion without all the clues. And you might not even know it's important until you've read the book. What would you do then?" "Buy another book." "Right, but what if there are no other books?" Sherlock rolled his eyes. "This is the third edition, John. There are thousands of other books." "We aren't talking about that book specifically. We're talking theoretical now. What if something happened and yours was the last edition of that theoretical book and the most important clue, the vital evidence you needed to understand the rest of the book, was on that last page you ripped out? What if, because you tore that page out, you'd never know? You'd never solve the book. Don't you think it'd drive you mad?" Sherlock pressed his lips together into a thin, white line and to others, it might have looked as if he were angry. But he knew that Sherlock was frantically trying to think of something that would disprove John's point. He could see the moment Sherlock gave in and was about to admit normal, everyman John Watson was right about something. Sherlock never ignored when his flatmate pointed out a legitimate mistake in his thinking, but that didn't mean he had to like it. Sherlock looked at the crumpled up page in his hand. A moment later, he shook his head and held it out to John with a frown. "Here. Keep a hold of it for me. I might need it." Sherlock smirked. "After all, we must always be prepared for a literary apocalypse the size of the Library of Alexandria." John took the paper from him and, with a final wry smile, Sherlock took off down the aisle to pay for his book. After catching himself staring at Sherlock's retreating back a little too long, John returned his attention to the paper in his hand. He placed the coin collecting book under his arm and carefully flattened and then folded the paper into eighths before sliding it into an inner pocket of his jacket. After all, Sherlock might need it later. TBC

If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 5*: Chapter 5 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

The night was almost too lovely for such a gruesome murder scene but John was more concerned by the fact that Sherlock was carrying a birthday card. It had a teddy bear on the front. Lestrade took one look at it and rolled his eyes. He was doing that thing with his face where he was trying to hide a smile behind a scowl and came away looking constipated. John had to remind himself: no giggling at a crime scene. "Two minutes, Sherlock," Lestrade said, though they all knew Sherlock would get much longer than that. "Two minutes. And don't go poking my people afterwards. I mean it." Sherlock never took his eyes off the body. Well, what was left of the body. It hardly deserved the title of body. It was more like bits. "Do me a favor, John," Sherlock said. "What? All right." Sherlock handed him the card, still without removing his eyes from the murder victim. It was like if he blinked, he'd lose some tiny detail from one second to the next. Perhaps that was true. The mess did seem to be . . . oozing. Maybe the coagulation rate was important? John could never duplicate Sherlock's train of thought, but he still enjoyed trying. He took the card from Sherlock and was more lost trying to follow the clues here than with the body. "What am I supposed to do with this?" he asked. "Mm?" Sherlock pulled out his magnifier and approached the body. "Oh. Give it to Anderson." "Sherlock!" Lestrade groaned. "Tell me, inspector, have you received any reports of a missing woman with diabetes?" "What? How could you possibly know that was a woman, nonetheless that she had diabetes?" Sherlock huffed as if there was no one who suffered quite as much as he did, which was particularly amusing considering he wasn't two feet from a corpse. "The nails, inspector! Look at her nails! Speaking of which, I only see eight. The ones from the smallest digits are missing." "Why am I giving Anderson a birthday card?" John asked. "You're not. I am. Though you can sign your name under mine if you want." "Do you think the killer took her nails?" Lestrade asked. "I think the killer ate-" John decided that he'd just deliver the card now. He had woken up with a queasy stomach that morning and this murder scene was not helping. As always, it wasn't difficult to find Anderson at a murder scene when Sherlock was around. He was always somewhere close, ranting loudly about professionalism and the psychopath.

John checked inside the card to make sure he wasn't about to deliver something that would get him arrested. Sherlock didn't send birthday cards. However, inside was the kind of cookie-cutter birthday message one would expect followed by a simple, 'SH.' It looked benign and that was scary. Donovan saw him before Anderson did. "Is the freak done yet?" she asked and John ground his teeth. "No," he replied, inserting as much fake pleasantness into his voice as possible. He liked the fact that they seemed to think he was the safe one. It amused him. John had killed people and still carried the gun, still used it. Sherlock helped catch murderers and his first impulse was never violence. They thought John was nice and they called Sherlock dangerous, a psychopath, and a freak. Sherlock was right, people looked but they didn't see. "Asked me to give you this." John held out the card to Anderson and the man physically recoiled like it was a viper. "For the love of God!" he exclaimed, throwing his hands up into the air. "I'm taking a break," he told Donovan. "Call me when I can get on with my job." He stomped away, ducking underneath police tape, and making dramatic gestures in the dark. Most the police officers around him gave his back sympathetic looks. John held out the card to Donovan. For a moment or two, it looked like she was about to argue why John thought she should take it. But in the end, she simply gave in and accepted the card. "You shouldn't let him pull you into his mind games, John," she told him. "I know you think he's misunderstood, but he's not. He's just sick and mean. Even when it seems like he's trying to be nice. Like this birthday card, yeah?" She gestured with it as if to help prove her point. "He sends one to Anderson every year. Just to screw with his head." "Maybe he just wants to say happy birthday," John said, and was quite proud of himself for keeping a straight face. Donovan looked at him like he was a sweet idiot. "Trust me, John. He doesn't. It's just another one of his mind games. And he's taking advantage of you, thinking the best of him." Her eyes were caught by something over his shoulder. By the way they widened and then narrowed, he knew who it was. "Coming, John?" Sherlock stalked past them with a dramatic whip of his coat. John offered Donovan a distracted nod and hurried to follow. "I'm dangerous," Sherlock told him, holding up the police tape for John to duck under. His tone was disinterested, but the way his eyes traveled everywhere except to his friend told a different story. "No kidding," John replied with a grin. Sherlock met his eyes and whatever he found there made a corner of his mouth twitch. "From the outburst I overheard, I assume Anderson saw the card?" "Yep." "What was his reaction?" "I think he might have cried a little," John said. Sherlock grinned. "Excellent." At least they weren't technically still at the crime scene when they both burst into giggles. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really

appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 6*: Chapter 6 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accoutrements. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

Despite evidence to the contrary, Sherlock could actually cook things that weren't once human. John was more shocked than anyone. He had often wondered how Sherlock survived before they became flatmates. Not because of the obvious need the man had for backup while running around the London backstreets and alleys like a vigilante. No, no doubt his brother's overbearing ways helped save his life more than once. John was more surprised that Sherlock managed the basics. Like eating and drinking. Most days, it seemed like Sherlock would forget to breathe if it weren't an autonomic function. After all, it was boring. If asked, he probably would've said that he thought Sherlock had survived solely on take-out and because of the surprising durability of the human body. That is, if Sherlock were completely human and not some mutant evolutionary branch, which was an idea that some days John entertained. However, it appeared Sherlock could cook things not involving fingernails or pig's blood. He was so shocked that, at first, John wondered if his fever had spiked and he was hallucinating. Sherlock could not be making omelettes. "What are you doing?" he asked. Though with his head-cold, it came out sounding far less intelligible. He tied his tartan bathrobe tighter around himself before shuffling over to investigate closer. At this point, he realized the danger that was Sherlock playing with fire. His eyes started scanning the room to find the nearest fire extinguisher. Last time he checked, they had three but that was two weeks ago. Anything could've happened since then. "Making omelettes," Sherlock answered. "Huh?" In his defense, he was very, very sick and this was just too much like those fever dreams where suddenly no one's wearing clothes and there are disapproving ducks. "Stop breathing in my ear and sit down, John," Sherlock told him. Only then did he realize how close he had been standing to his flatmate. He'd nearly had his chest against Sherlock's back. He shuffled away and found a chair. "You're right," he mumbled. "I don't want to give this to you." "It's too late now," Sherlock replied. "I was probably infected a day ago and now it's incubating." "Sorry," John mumbled again. He tried to clear his throat but cringed when it upset his head. He heard the stove click off and kept his eyes closed as he listened to Sherlock move around the kitchen. Plates were clinked together. There was the scrape of something against the bottom of the pan. The sound of plates being lifted up. Sherlock's light steps across the floor. The sound of plates being set down in front of him. Sherlock's light steps walking away. The sound of two mugs lifting off the counter. Sherlock's steps again. The silverware drawer being pulled out and in. Steps. The scratch of two mugs on the table and the clink of silverware set on plates. Steps. The scratch of a chair being pulled out. The muffled sound of Sherlock sitting down. "Wake up, John." He opened his eyes with an effort. Sherlock and the omelettes were both still there. That was nice. "Eat."

John picked up a fork that felt like it was made of lead and cut off a very small piece. He took another minute getting it sitting on the tines and then very slowly moved it to his mouth. He delicately chewed. He could barely taste anything with his head-cold but he definitely could sense the woody tang of cheese and the sweet, soft taste of tomatoes, over the very delicate, almost overlooked, good comforting taste of eggs. "Mmm," he groaned. He hadn't realized how hungry he was. When everything ached, hunger pains were easy to misdiagnose. He began to cut another piece. "If you're going to continue to eat that slowly, I'm going to the other room," Sherlock told him. John smiled for the first time in days. "I didn't know you could cook," he said, taking another bite. "Of course, I can cook." "You can't make a bed." Sherlock scowled at him for that. "This is really good," he said with a full mouth. "You insult me when you compliment me. Am I supposed to be pleased?" "Nope," John answered. "Not supposed to be anything. Just saying." "You've dribbled cheese down your front," Sherlock said. "Just saying." John looked down and saw a very thin string of cheese sticking to the front of his bathrobe. "You're right." He returned to his slow progress on the omelette. In the end, he ate almost half of it and Sherlock ate the entirety of his own. "You actually cooked for me," John said and Sherlock's eyes narrowed. "I cooked for myself," he corrected. "I needed to eat. You were incapable of cooking. Despite what you seem to think, I did survive before you came along. It is true though that it's much more efficient to have you around to deal with the dull necessities. Thus, it made sense to feed you while I was at it, so that you may recover faster and I may return to more challenging tasks." "Sherlock." He smiled. "John." Sherlock frowned. "You never admit you're hungry." "I didn't say I was hungry. I said that I needed to eat. My blood sugar was low and I couldn't have my hands shaking during my experiments." That didn't deter him. When Sherlock argued semantics, it meant John was uncomfortably close to something. "You could've ordered in," he pointed out. "I couldn't find your wallet," Sherlock replied. "You need to clean." "There are places you could've ordered from for free." "Yes, but none of which served food without harsh cooking oils that would have aggravated your stomach." "So you admit that you cooked for me." Sherlock stood up from the table, the chair scratching the floor behind him. With what looked shockingly like a pout, he trudged from the room. John could hear his laptop power up in the sitting room. He let Sherlock cool off for a few

minutes while he cleaned up their plates. After enough time had passed for Sherlock to nurse his ego, John shuffled into the sitting room. Sherlock sat on the sofa with John's laptop on his knees. His typing sounded like angry mice chewing on wood. His face was a blank slate and he didn't even look up though he knew John was there. "Thank you," John said. He only waited a moment for a reply, but Sherlock pretended he wasn't even there. John nodded and shuffled back to his room. They never outright talked about it again, but whenever John was sick or hurt, Sherlock cooked. That was an answer in itself. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 7*: Chapter 7 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

The hardest thing to deal with about Sherlock was Mycroft. It wasn't that they had to deal with him a lot. It wasn't unusual to go a month without hearing anything from or about his brother. That was the problem. You never knew when Mycroft would come up. Everything would be going great, they would have just solved a case, Sherlock would be in a wonderful mood, and then suddenly a black car would pull up beside them on the street. John had to get ten stitches after that one was over. Then there were the times Mycroft wasn't physically there but they knew he was there. One example, they were having a perfectly nice dinner and the waiter brought them a piece of tiramisu. The waiter didn't know exactly who it was from, but their bill had been paid in full too. John had no idea how Sherlock knew it was Mycroft and not some other enemy but didn't doubt him for a minute. Sherlock refused to eat the tiramisu. John thought it was delicious. Then there were the moments in-between, when the man was both there and not. Like the time when Mycroft was fighting with Sherlock over his need to pay more attention to current events. He smiled and said, "John is always saying so. Isn't that right, John?" It's true, it was a recurring argument between them, but it was something they only ever fought over at home or when alone. He had even taken the bit about the solar system off his blog. It wasn't good letting enemies know Sherlock's weak spots. That's what Mycroft was pointing out; that he knew even though they thought they had been alone. Sherlock tore their flat apart that night looking for his brother's bugs. The damages had added another 200 pounds to that month's rent and he had only found one. It had been in the sofa. Sherlock slept in his bed that night for the first time since John had moved in. So John wasn't really surprised anymore when Mycroft's name came up out of nowhere. Admittedly, he didn't expect to find it in the suggestions of his search engine. When thinking back on the event, John couldn't remember what it was exactly he was meaning to search for, but it had him typing in 'M.' At that point, a suggestion appeared underneath the text. Mummy always liked me best. Underneath it was another suggestion. Mycroft, you bastard. John could only blink at it for a minute. Sherlock had had his laptop that morning but usually he cleared the history and anything else hinting at what he'd been doing long before John got his computer back. Apparently, not today. Curiosity piqued, John pulled up the history in his search engine. There he found what appeared to be a one-sided diatribe from Sherlock. It seemed that he was leaving messages for his brother in John's search queue. It went something like this. I know you're reading this. I found the other bugs. Mycroft, you bastard.

The bathroom, honestly? What could Queen and Country benefit from our loo? Your perversions go too far. What would mummy say? We both know. Mummy always liked me best. John scrolled for several minutes, laughing to himself, and wondering if Mycroft actually did watch their search history. He'd be shocked if he didn't. Mycroft definitely didn't have the time to keep surveillance on them personally, but he probably had people assigned to it. John imagined there was a folder put on his desk every morning with a summary of what Sherlock (and thus John) had been up to the day before. Somewhere, there had to be a printed out copy of this search queue monologue in an official looking government file. It was almost at the end of the search before it moved away from shared history John didn't understand and insults that he could perfectly recall in Sherlock's voice since he'd heard him lob them at his brother a dozen times now. It started getting more interesting again when John's name showed up. You're wrong about John. Your hypothesis is flawed. He is not your concern. Neither am I. Leave us alone. Of course, that had to be where it cut off. At that point, it wasn't funny anymore. It was worrying. What had Mycroft said about John? Obviously, Sherlock thought he was wrong but that didn't make it any less concerning. Then, right in front of his eyes, it all disappeared. Suddenly, his search queue history was empty. Apparently, Mycroft had received the message. John wished he knew what it meant. On impulse, he searched for an answer. Literally. Mycroft, what did he mean? John got a few thousand nonsense internet results for that. He waited several minutes but nothing happened. He had no idea how he expected Mycroft to reply, or even why he expected a reply, but was disappointed to have no response at all. Feeling stupid, he checked his email, checked his blog, and turned off the laptop. Still, he couldn't forget the question. What was Mycroft wrong about? It involved John and he'd told Sherlock about it. Like Sherlock, Mycroft saw things that almost no one else saw. Like Sherlock, Mycroft was almost never wrong. In fact, John had seen Sherlock be wrong before. He'd never seen Mycroft be wrong. So, it seemed more likely that Sherlock was wrong than that Mycroft was. If so, what did that mean about John? Unable to clear his head and with Sherlock still out at Bart's, John went on a walk to think. At the end of the street a black car idled waiting for him. He got in. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 8*: Chapter 8 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

Warning: There are a couple heated lines someone says about religion. It's very short and not the point of the piece, but
it does happen. What the character says is not necessarily the views of the author. A/N: The quote, "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact," is from Arthur Conan Doyle's original work.

From the very beginning, everyone assumed they were a couple. It upset John and he wasn't exactly sure why. He had no problem with his sexuality. He just wasn't gay. He had no problem with people thinking he was with Sherlock. Just not in that way. They weren't like that. He told everyone that. But no one seemed to believe him. "Then what are you like?" Sarah asked. "You aren't friends and you aren't colleagues," she told him with a sad smile. "We're friends and colleagues. What you have with Sherlock is nothing like what we have. I can't compete with that." Right, even his pseudo-girlfriend thought they were a couple. Harry kept forwarding him newsletters from LGBT groups. He actually had a very uncomfortable conversation with Mycroft that essentially boiled down to, "You hurt him and you will never have been born." All the meanwhile, Sherlock pretended it was nothing. It wasn't even that he was acting like it didn't bother him. No, from the way Sherlock behaved, it was as if he honestly didn't hear them whispering. He didn't see the candles on the table. He didn't notice how upset John would become. That was frustrating and sometimes, it even made John angry. He had no idea how Sherlock felt about it all, because it was like it wasn't happening. It made him wonder if it was all in his head. Maybe he was overreacting. But was it really overreacting when he suddenly found himself in a de facto relationship that was like nothing he had imagined for himself? And Sherlock's behavior was definitely not helping things. In fact, it seemed to be encouraging people. It appeared that any amount of objection on his part was merely seen as evidence of John being in the closet and Sherlock being his long-suffering boyfriend. Really, it was just a matter of time until John had had enough. They were walking back from another meal out. The weather was good and so lots of people were choosing to go about their business outside in order to enjoy it. They were approaching 221B Baker Street when they met Mrs. Hudson and a young woman coming the other way. "Hello, boys!" she greeted them. They all came to a stop on the pavement. John noticed the young woman was quite pretty. A little shorter than him, very slightly built, large brown eyes, black hair. A very nice figure. Probably was only a couple years younger than him. Her body language said she was shy but that was all right. He smiled at her and she smiled back. "Hello, Mrs. Hudson," John greeted cheerfully. "This is my friend from church, Nina Johanson. Nina, this is Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. They're my two tenants I've told you about," Mrs. Hudson introduced. John offered his hand and Nina shook it. Surprisingly, Sherlock offered and shook hands with her, as well. "Nina and I sing in choir together. She has a lovely singing voice. Soprano." "Really?" John asked. "I'd love to hear you sing sometime."

"Oh, I'm not really-," Nina began but was interrupted by Mrs. Hudson. "Then you two must come to church with me one week, John!" "We're not religious," Sherlock said and John frowned. "I used to go to church," he said. "Fell out of the habit though when I joined the military." "You really should come," Nina said, glancing between him and Sherlock several times. "I'm new myself. I just moved from Dover. The church is really very welcoming and it's filled with . . . all sorts." The way she kept looking at Sherlock and him together made John concerned. He purposefully took a step away from Sherlock, putting a little more distance between them. It felt awkward and obvious to him but this was getting ridiculous. Sherlock frowned at the new bit of space on the pavement where John used to be. "I have no need to reassure myself that there is some divine plan behind the world's chaos and brutality. I do not wonder if there is a meaning to life. I have no wish for others to dictate to me what is moral and what is not. Religion is society concentrated and I already have very little patience for society." Sherlock forced one of his painfully sharp smiles. "But thank you for the offer." Nina blinked several times in succession. "Oh." "Of course, Sherlock. That's your choice. You're always welcome though." Mrs. Hudson's smile was strained. "You too, John. You can always come separately if you like." "Right," John said. "Great. Thanks." "We have things to do," Sherlock replied, readjusting his gloves and glancing at his watch. "The time, John. Come along." With another agonizingly fake smile, he passed by Mrs. Hudson and Nina, determinedly making his way back to their flat. "So sorry about that," he told them both. He glanced significantly at Mrs. Hudson. "You know how he is." "Of course, dear," she replied. "You'll talk to him, I'm sure." "Yes. That really was uncalled for." He held out his hand to Nina again and gave her his best smile. She really was a beautiful woman and if it weren't for the shyness and the fact that they didn't seem to really have anything in common, there might have been something there. "It was very nice meeting you, Nina. Hopefully I'll be able to hear you sing one day at the church." "I hope to see you there," she replied. "And your friend too." He nodded though in his head he thought hell would freeze over before he got Sherlock into a church without a murder. "Have a good day," he told them both and left to catch up with Sherlock, who was already disappearing inside their building. Behind him, he could hear Mrs. Hudson and Nina talking. "Don't mind them, dear. They're always that way," Mrs. Hudson said. "Are they G-A-Y?" Nina asked. He almost stumbled in his step when he realized what she was spelling out. Really, who spells that out like there are children around that shouldn't hear? "I think the term is queer now actually. But don't let John hear you say that, he's still new to the whole thing." That was it. John rushed to their building, took the stairs two at a time, and burst through the half-open door into their sitting room. Sherlock sat in his chair in front of the windows with his violin. He looked at John with something in his eyes, something sharp and wary and just a bit childish. He plucked a string and John decided they were going to have a row and it was going to be a good one, dammit. "What was that about?"

Sherlock ignored him and continued plucking strings. "Sherlock. There was no excuse for going off about religion like that. Nina was just a perfectly nice girl trying to make polite conversation." "God save me from polite conversation," Sherlock said and struck a foul note that made John cringe. "Very funny, Sherlock. Now put that down." "No." John clenched his hands. Sherlock's eyes flickered down and noted the gesture. He looked at the ceiling like it bored him. He played another awful note. "You aren't upset about my manners," he said. "I'm not?" "No." John waited a couple seconds but Sherlock wanted him to ask, so he did. "What am I upset about then?" "The girl." "Yes. Like I said, she was a very nice girl and you attacked her for nothing." "You're upset because you found her physically attractive," Sherlock explained. "You're upset because you are under the misconception that you might have been able to start a relationship with her. But you both are completely incompatible, John. She was raised in a family with a domineering mother who discouraged any bit of individuality she might have initially had. It's there in the way she mimics those around her. Didn't you see how she copied Mrs. Hudson's body language and only shook hands, never offered them? You value independence, John. She values safety and predictability. It's in her clothing. The sky is clear but she was carrying an umbrella in her purse and had a jumper tied around her waist. She was uncomfortable when Mrs. Hudson introduced us. It wasn't augmented at all by your friendliness. She hadn't planned on meeting anyone else but Mrs. Hudson and didn't like the surprise. Her intelligence leaves much to be desired and she'd be forever agreeing with you. She has none of the qualities you are looking for, John, except that she is a woman and she is the right age. I did you a favor." "Maybe I'd have liked to find that out on my own, Sherlock!" he replied. "It would have taken you weeks to admit that to yourself." "That's my choice." "She wouldn't have slept with you. She's sexually repressed. Her bra-" "Christ, Sherlock!" John yelled. "It's not just about the sex. I'm not just looking for sex." "You're not?" Sherlock asked, as if this seriously surprised him. "Then what are you looking for?" "I don't know. A little companionship, maybe?" "You don't get that from me?" "You know what I mean," he said. "No, I don't think I do. That's rather the point." "I want something . . . something . . . something meaningful." Sherlock returned to his violin with a vengeance. The screeching had John clapping his hands to his ears. After a half a

minute of that, he lurched across the room and pulled the bow out of Sherlock's hands. The glare he got for that was monstrous. "I don't mean you're not meaningful," he said. Sherlock didn't even reply. "I just mean that . . . I want something normal." "Now you're lying to us both," Sherlock replied. "You don't want anything normal." He said the word like it was something disgusting. This from a man who put human eyeballs in a microwave just to see how long it'd take for them to explode. "No, I don't," John said. "Maybe I just want something away from you." The room had never felt so quiet. "You have everything else," he explained. "You seem to own every other part of me. You dominate every other part of my life. Maybe I just want some part that I control, that's safe from you." "We aren't talking about the girl any longer." "No, Sherlock, we were never talking about the girl." John threw up his hands in the air and began to pace. "This is about the candles on the table. The looks from Lestrade. The way everyone assumes we're a couple. This is about the fact that you don't correct them and I don't know what that means." "What are you asking, John?" "Are you gay?" "Yes." He wasn't sure what he had been expecting. Not such an easy answer. Sherlock's preferences had seemed much more mysterious than that. John had even half-convinced himself that Sherlock was asexual and so hadn't really even planned this conversation past that question. It made him falter a little bit. "Fine," he said. "All right. Then why don't you correct them when people assume we're in a relationship?" "Because you're the closest thing to what others would term a relationship that I've ever had. Other people's assumptions don't bother me. Why do they bother you?" "Because it's untrue, Sherlock." "Is it?" "Yes!" He always had to correct Sherlock on the strangest points, the most obvious things in the world. No, Sherlock, we're obviously not shagging so we're not in a relationship. No, Sherlock, it's not truthful to tell people we're in a relationship when we're not. "Mm," Sherlock replied. "Tell me, John, what are you looking for in a relationship?" For a minute, John just stared at him, opening and closing his mouth. It seemed so obvious but he couldn't find words for it. "Someone I like, certainly," he replied. "Someone I like spending time with." "Good start," Sherlock agreed. "Someone who I get along with, has a sense of humor. Smart. Fun. Enjoys things that I do. Someone who I care about. Someone who cares about me." "Someone," Sherlock said. "What?"

"Did you realize you're not specifying a gender?" John blinked several times. No, he hadn't. "I thought it obvious what I meant," he replied. Even to his own ears, that sounded defensive. Sherlock scoffed. "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact." John couldn't think of a way to respond to that. "I meet all those other qualities," Sherlock continued on. "Certainly more so than Nina Johanson. Yet, you consider her a possible life partner as quickly as you disregard me. Question, John: Why is it that you are so bothered by other people's assumptions? Is it because of where they're wrong or because of where they are right?" He couldn't answer that. Those questions had never occurred to him before. But now that they had, it felt like something had hit him in the chest like a sledgehammer. He found it difficult to breath. There was too much going through his head. He couldn't think. John turned around and stormed out of the house. Only after he'd been getting strange looks from people on the street for ten minutes did he realize he was still carrying Sherlock's bow. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 9*: Chapter 9 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

For about a week, they didn't talk. It wasn't unusual for Sherlock to go days without speaking, though it had become more and more rare as time went on between them. John liked to think he was having a good influence on him. Other people said so. If that were the case, this week-long bout of anti-social behavior made him feel uncomfortable and even guilty. Sometimes, it made him angry. How dare Sherlock think he understands John better than John does! How dare he twist around John's confusion to fit his own wants. Because that's what it was, Sherlock just wanted to own John. It wasn't about affection. It wasn't about a relationship. It was about Sherlock being a spoiled little child inside who hated sharing his toys. That's what this was about. And how dare he make John feel guilty about standing up for himself! That angry bit lasted for about two days. Then he decided that if Sherlock could play the I-Don't-See-You game, so could he. John went about his business as usual. Made his tea whether Sherlock was in the kitchen or not. Sat in the sitting room reading the newspaper or checking his email, pretending he didn't care that Sherlock was sitting on the sofa. They'd pass each other on the stairs, their shoulders almost brushing, and not say a word. John just imagined this was a normal instance of Sherlock having a sulk, because that's what it was. It was rather easy to do once he got into that frame of mind. The difficult part came when he forgot they were fighting. He'd be making tea in the kitchen and prepare Sherlock a cup without thinking. John would remember about half-way through carrying it into the sitting room for him. He'd set it down on the counter instead. He'd be in the sitting room and read something funny on the internet. He'd turn to where Sherlock was sitting on the sofa and open his mouth to share it before suddenly remembering. John would shut his mouth with an audible click and stare at the screen without seeing. He'd be walking down the stairs and Sherlock would be going the other way. When they'd meet, John would reach out to run his hand down Sherlock's arm in passing and then would suddenly realize what the hell he was about to do. He hadn't even realized that he usually did that until he'd relaxed just enough for the instinct to kick in but was guarded enough to censor himself. This was serious and enough time had passed that John's anger and guilt were starting to turn to fear and worry. What was he trying to figure out? Sherlock or himself? It was hard to tell. He went out with Mike to the pub and got drunk. John ended up at Sarah's with the stupid idea of proving his straightness. Sarah let him in but set him firmly on the sofa. John vaguely remembered talking about Sherlock and someone crying. He thought it might have been him. He woke up the next morning with a voicemail from Harry. Apparently, he'd drunk dialed her the night before to tell her that she was the gay one and there can only be one gay one in the family. "You're such a fucking idiot," Harry said in the message. "I don't know what Sherlock sees in you." Sarah sent him home with tea and a warning that if he showed up to her door at 3 a.m. drunk again, she wouldn't let him in. "Shag him or move out," she said. "This isn't fair to anyone." He nodded and went home. John knew better than to approach Sherlock with another half-baked series of thoughts. He

had to know what he wanted to say. He had to mean it. He had to know what he wanted. He had to know what he was willing to give. It took him three more days to figure that out. It took him another day to work up the courage. John had been sitting in his chair for an hour when he heard their front door slam and the sound of Sherlock's steps going up the stairs. He took a deep breath and let it out. Sherlock walked in, tossed a bag full of official looking police reports on the sofa, and then headed for the kitchen. "I was wrong," John said, though it didn't come out nearly as clear and forceful as he had intended. Sherlock stopped in his steps. "I hate it when you mumble, John." The way Sherlock said it. It was like they hadn't just spent a week freezing each other out. There was an escape route here. Sherlock seemed willing to pretend the entire thing never happened. If John wanted it that way. A few days ago, he would have. But he'd done a lot of very painful thinking since then. He realized a lot of things about himself that he couldn't forget now. Sherlock might be able to pretend but John couldn't. "You're right," John said, making sure he enunciated. He sure as hell wasn't going to say he was wrong again, when he knew Sherlock heard him the first time. It wasn't nearly as hard telling him that he was right. He usually was. "About what specifically?" Sherlock asked. John noticed he was clenching the arms of his chair in a death-grip. He purposefully uncurled his fingers and set his hands in his lap. "We are in a relationship. I didn't like people assuming because I liked to pretend it wasn't there." "Ah." Sherlock nodded. "Good." He turned as if to continue on his way into the kitchen. "Sherlock!" John couldn't believe that that was it. "That's all you say? Ah, good?" "I'm not the one who just had a personal revelation, John." He held up a bag in his left hand. "And there a dozen human tongues in here that need to be put in the refrigerator immediately." "Right, right," John agreed, with some part of his mind wondering when his life had turned into a macabre comedy. Sherlock went into the kitchen. Gathering his courage, John got up and followed him. He leaned against the partition between the sitting room and the kitchen. John watched as Sherlock took a plastic container out of the bag and put it on the science shelf in the refrigerator. It had taken John months to convince him that was important, but once Sherlock agreed, he stuck to the rule faithfully. John watched Sherlock move around the kitchen, all tall and lean lines. He looked at his friend as more than just a mind but also a body and tried to see what he felt about him. His hair was as dark and as beautiful as Nina's. John had often had the urge to touch it before. Once or twice, he'd even ruffled it playfully while roughhousing, like mates sometimes did. But he knew it had just been an excuse. He wanted to run his fingers through it. He wondered if Sherlock would let him. What if he did? Sherlock's lips were full and almost androgynous. In the past, it had seemed wrong for him to have such a soft, sensual-looking mouth when all he seemed to say were cutting, unfeeling things. Then John had watched him longer, had seen that mouth smile and those lips part with laughter. This wasn't the first time he'd found himself watching them. Sherlock's eyes. They were extraordinary. There was so much intelligence there that it could be as off-putting as beguiling. John had often thought they were like a trap, so beautiful and curious that you couldn't help but want more and once they had you, there was no letting go. Right. He was an idiot. "I'm not gay." John cringed at that. It sounded slightly defensive even to his own ears. Staring at Sherlock like that had definitely told him what he wanted to know, but it had also left him feeling hot and uncomfortable and a little embarrassed. Sherlock had to notice. It was a bit obvious. Sherlock glanced over his shoulder, his eyes flickering over John's entire body in a couple of seconds, and a corner of

his mouth ticked when a normal person would have grinned. "That doesn't necessarily mean that you're straight, John." He didn't really want to think about that. At the moment, the only thing keeping him from panicking was the idea that this was just a thing he had for Sherlock. He really didn't think of Sherlock as a man. Half the time, he didn't even think of him as human. Sherlock was this force of nature, this category unto himself. He just happened to have a body of a man. Maybe John was cheating, indulging in denial even now but he wasn't willing to completely rebuild his selfconcept in a week. But for Sherlock? He could make room. "You said you were married to your work," John said, a change of subject without one. "I was in the middle of a case. It was not the time to discuss my sexuality. It seemed the most expedient way to satisfy your curiosity without getting too detailed and without possibly losing my new flatmate before he'd moved in." "All right," John said, nodding. In retrospect, that really wasn't the time to have the conversation. He knew better now than to bring up an important matter like that when Sherlock was in the middle of a case. "So." Sherlock turned around. "Yes?" "Are we then?" John cleared his throat. "The relationship thing, I mean." Sherlock tilted his head to the side and stared at him for a long moment. "Yes, I think so," he murmured. He crossed the kitchen toward him and with every step, John's heart beat faster and faster. It was hard to tell whether he was afraid or excited. It felt a little bit like war. It felt a lot like being around Sherlock. Finally, Sherlock stood right in front of him, raised a hand to John's cheek, and leaned down. John closed his eyes and waited. Sherlock kissed him, softly almost chastely, on the corner of his mouth. John gave a little gasp, as if the touch was an electrical shock. With Sherlock, it practically was. The next moment was all heat and teeth and tongues and dear god- did he just make that noise? It was like the taste of vanilla ice cream on his tongue with a desert sun bleeding in his mind. It was as dark as midnight taxi rides and he imagined he could hear something tearing inside himself, like a page he hadn't even known he'd been missing. He laughed into the kiss, thinking of teddy bears and murder, thinking his life a little bit ridiculous and still, rather marvelous too. Then Sherlock pulled back. John opened his eyes and there was Sherlock standing in front of him, caressing his cheek with a thumb, his lips unusually red and swollen. And all John could think was, 'I just kissed that mouth.' Otherwise, Sherlock didn't look any different. John didn't really feel any different. A little bit breathless, yes, but that wasn't really that unusual now, was it? Not when Sherlock was around. It could have been any other day for them. It felt very same. How strange that in this case, that felt exciting. "We'll have sex later," Sherlock said. "I have a dozen cold case files from Lestrade. I suspect Moriarty had his hand in them all. It is unlikely that there will be anything there directly connecting him, but perhaps I can find a pattern. Do you see what this could mean, John?" He grinned and kissed him again, an almost rough press of lips. This was suddenly far more about excitement than romance. "A new lead!" He left John standing there in the kitchen while he returned to the sitting room. All right, so it wasn't exactly all the same. Still, it was surprisingly close. TBC If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

*Chapter 10*: Chapter 10 of 10

Disclaimer: BBC's Sherlock belongs to various persons and corporations that are not me or associated with me. This piece of fanfiction is written with the admiration and respect for the original work. I claim no ownership of the show, Sherlock, or its accouterments. No profit is made from this material, now or in the future. Thanks to Armity and Lexiodessa for beta-reading.

Now that Sherlock had done away with romantic rivals, John was pretty sure the man was trying to sabotage his job. It was hard enough before, getting up in the morning to go into the surgery, knowing that any moment something exciting could happen and he'd be running around London with Sherlock beside him and adrenaline pumping through his veins. Now that they were lovers, it was even worse. He used to get breaks in-between cases. Sometimes, it was even a relief when he was able to go to work instead of staying home and dealing with Sherlock's bored tantrums. Now, if there was no case to occupy him, Sherlock tended to turn his attention to John, which could be rather lovely. Overall, it was pretty much the life they led before, except with more sex and less of John's denials. It was actually somewhat relaxing, finally having the matter of their relationship decided upon. They were in one. There. Done. Moving on. Except Sherlock had a mobile phone with limitless texting. He was under no illusions that Sherlock suddenly came to an epiphany after their first shag and decided to turn himself into a fourteen-year-old girl who couldn't go more than an hour without texting. No, Sherlock was up to something. John was pretty sure it involved getting him fired so that Sherlock would have more access to his time and person. It certainly wasn't because someone's life was on the line. What's your favorite colour? SH Do people really spend time thinking these sorts of thoughts? SH DULL. SH Mrs. Hudson says Nina Johanson is moving into 221C. SH Do you still want to have sex with her? SH Nina. Not Mrs. Hudson. SH OUT OF FORMALDEHYDE AGAIN. SH When's your birthday? SH Nevermind, Mycroft sent me your service records. SH I'm going to throw you a surprise party. SH Your sister added me as a friend on facebook. SH Convinced her to add Anderson too. SH He'll never suspect your sister. SH WHERE'S YOUR GUN? SH After eight hours of that, John was proud that he hadn't accidentally killed a patient or lost his job. Deciding he deserved a treat, he stopped off at the grocer's on the way home. It'd make him late and that would annoy Sherlock, but that was

half the reason he was doing it. They showed affection in unconventional ways. He picked up dinner for himself. Sherlock had sworn off solid food this week as part of some experiment. Everything had to be eaten through a straw. Unfortunately, Sherlock had taken apart their blender and couldn't figure out how to put it back together again. John picked him up nicotine patches and some unbleached cow stomach. That should cheer him up. Then John went to the freezer aisle and decided upon the most expensive vanilla ice cream they had. xoxoxo SH Okay, now Sherlock was just fucking with him. The bastard. He'd have to make his own bowl and John was putting the cow stomach back in punishment. It served him right. On second thought . . . he picked up the cow stomach again. Sherlock was already very obviously in a mood, adding boredom to that would only make it worse. Bringing you fresh stomach, he texted while waiting in line. You're such a romantic. SH They had a complicated relationship. Obviously. FIN If you enjoyed the piece, or if you didn't, please take the time to leave me a review. No matter how short, I really appreciate the feedback. Thanks.

Centres d'intérêt liés