“Sherlock. Sherlock, ” John hisses urgently, but as usual, the mad genius ignores him. John groans quietly, risking a glance over his hiding place. He curses as he drops down once more, heart beating loudly, clutching his gun close to his chest. He can see Sherlock sneaking quietly along the lab, hiding behind the tables, entirely too close to the hoard of eating zombies. They’re distracted right now, of course, but if they catch a whiff of fresh meat…
John doesn’t want to even contemplate it.
Sherlock opens one of the cabinets, sorting through glass vials. The soft clicks of the glasses makes John anxious, so he keeps his gun carefully trained on the hoard of undead creatures. They’re not that many, but he’s not quite confident he could take them all before they got to Sherlock.
Meanwhile his friend seems to have found what he came looking for. He smiles, pleased with himself, carefully placing the vials inside the small carrier bag. Not the safest place for them, certainly, but beggars can’t be choosers and all that.
John watches in horror as one of the glasses inside the cabinet rolls away, unnoticed by Sherlock. He would warn him, but doing so would give away their position and so the end result would be the same. The glass smashes against the floor, making enough noise to distract the zombies from their half eaten meal.
Crap. This is bad, very bad.
Just then, there’s a loud noise coming from the hall, as if something heavy had just fell. A couple of gunshots follow and the zombies seem to decide not to focus on the broken glass and what caused it and instead follow the commotion outside. John finds himself breathing easier and he hurries to Sherlock’s side, who’s looking thoroughly shaken.
“You’ll be happy now,” John murmurs darkly, taking the bag from him. “You almost got us killed.” Sherlock opens his mouth to protest, but a woman’s scream coming from outside startles them. They exchange a look and then Sherlock bolts out of the lab and John curses silently before following.
They arrive to another lab, where a large hoard of zombies has gathered. John is fairly certain that whoever screamed is doomed anyway and it won’t do to alert the zombies of their presence, but he also knows Sherlock is incapable of leaving someone in need behind. It’s suicidal, in his opinion, but his own conscience urges him to help and so he nods somberly when Sherlock looks in his direction.
This trip is definitely not going as planned.
It’s just their luck, John thinks miserably, that the woman they ended up rescuing was Dr. Irene Adler, one of the most notorious microbiologist researchers in the world. In fact, before this whole nightmare began, Dr. Adler had written several papers and done a lot of research on the undead-virus and why it was plain crazy to continue developing it (as if thousands of zombie-movies weren’t illustrative enough).
Now, the fact that the woman is alive and now working with Sherlock in his own search for the cure to the horrible epidemy. is a good thing, John supposes. No, scratch that. John is certain that it’s a good thing: he’s always had full faith in his brilliant friend, but now that he’s being aided by someone as smart and capable as Dr. Adler, his chances of success have improved significantly.
The problem, (which shouldn’t be a problem really, because the world is ending and so survival of the human race should be among John’s priorities) is that Dr. Adler is also unfairly beautiful. Add that to her impressive intelligence and of course Sherlock has become fascinated with her.
How crazy is it that his friend had to wait for the world to be ending for him to fall in love for the first time?
And so yes, John is feeling bitter. He’s been Sherlock’s friend for over 3 years, having met him shortly after finishing Uni, when he was in desperate need of a place to live and Sherlock had had an empty room and not enough money to continue paying for his flat on his own. He’s been in love with him for almost as long: impossible not to, considering how utterly fascinating the man is. But he had kept his feelings to himself, because Sherlock always claimed to be married to his work and then the world was ending and there wasn’t any time for romance.
Except, apparently, there’s plenty of time for that if one finds the right person.
He sighs, rubbing his temples tiredly. This is ridiculous really.
A light knock on his door startles him out of his dark thoughts and he turns to look at the newcomer. Dr. Adler stands by the door, one eyebrow arched, amused at something apparently.
John takes a deep breath, willing himself not to lose his temper. It’s hardly the woman’s fault to be this attractive. “Is there something I can help you with, Dr. Adler?”
She steps into the room, looking around curiously. John shifts on his feet, suddenly self conscious although he chides himself immediately. The room is pretty bare, as every other room in the bunker-like facility. He has prevented himself from adding any persona touches, never having been one to care about decoration.
“Sherlock has required your presence at the lab,” she says, a sly smile on her lips.
“Right,” John murmurs, unnerved by her smile for some reason. He moves to leave the room, but the woman’s voice stops him on his tracks.
“I wonder why he finds your presence so vital for the research,” she says and John turns to face her one more. “You’re nothing more than a regular doctor.”
John bites his lip to avoid saying something nasty. The woman arches an eyebrow, challengingly and the blond glares, before taking off his shirt. Her eyes widen as she takes in the huge scar on his left shoulder and approaches him warily, eyes fixed on it. “You were bitten,” she murmurs, fingers tracing the raised skin hesitantly, curious and impressed in equal measure.
“Two years ago,” John confirms, jaw clenching involuntarily as the memory of those horrible, filled with uncertainty days comes to mind. When the whole mess had started, he had joked with Sherlock that if he got bitten, he could use him to experiment on as much as his heart wished. When he had been indeed bitten, Sherlock hadn’t been able to even think straight, instead mumbling useless assurances that he was going to be fine.
In the end, John had talked to Mycroft, who had agreed to lock him up in a security facility before he started turning. Sherlock had been beyond himself, yelling at everyone, but in the end he had had to admit it was a great opportunity to examine what exactly happened to someone who had been bitten. For 3 days they had waited, Sherlock sitting just outside John’s cell, waiting for something to change. But other than running a nasty fever, John had been perfectly fine, conscious all the time and he hadn’t turned.
A miracle indeed.
“You’re immune,” Irene murmurs, fingers still tracing the scar. “He’s using your blood to develop a cure.” John nods, not particularly liking how it sounds when she puts it like that. He likes to believe Sherlock does care for him and likes to have him around, not that he only keeps him because he’s useful.
He smiles at the woman tightly before putting his shirt back on and heading towards the lab.
Sherlock is asking for him, after all.
“You don’t like her,” Sherlock comments off handedly later that day, after Irene retires to her room for the night. He’s going to stay working late, as he usually does and John is going to keep him company, also as usual.
John shrugs non committedly, not really wanting to discuss the subject. Sherlock frowns, looking up from whatever he’s examining in the microscope. “Why?”
John takes a deep breath before shrugging once more. His friend narrows his eyes at him and the doctor knows he’s not going to let the matter drop until he has the answers he wants. “It’s just- well. I always thought it was ridiculous that in all this end-of-the-world movies the dashing hero managed to find time to fall in love with the mysterious woman he rescued at the beginning of the film. But apparently, there is indeed time for love even when hoards of zombies are rummaging around.”
Sherlock’s frown has deepened, evidently confused by John’s words and the blond sighs, thinking he really really doesn’t want to discuss the subject. “That seems contradictory,” Sherlock says slowly, almost reluctantly. “You just said you don’t like her and yet you’re apparently in love with her?”
“What?!” John exclaims, slightly horrified.
“You said the dashing hero- ”
“I meant you!” John exclaims, starting pacing around the room, feeling trapped. Sherlock observes him in silence, still frowning.
“I’m no hero,” Sherlock murmurs finally, looking away. “And certainly not dashing .” John snorts, making Sherlock turn to him. “In any case, I’m not in love with Dr. Adler.”
“Oh, please,” John scoffs, rolling his eyes dramatically. “Not that I can blame you: the woman is gorgeous, not to mention a bloody genius. Really, you couldn’t be best matched.”
Sherlock shakes his head. “Except for the fact that we’re both gay.”
“What?” John finds himself asking once more, his heart skipping a beat as he feels his hopes raising. Which is ridiculous, because the fact that Sherlock likes men in general doesn’t make it any more likely that he fancies John in particular.
His friend huffs, crossing his arms over his chest. “Really, John,” he says, annoyed. “How could you not know?”
John blinks. He just never considered it, if he must be honest. It never seemed to matter before. “So you don’t like her?” he asks, just to make sure he’s got that right and it’s Sherlock’s turn to roll his eyes.
“No. I find her interesting and her mind is a thing of beauty, but I don’t like her like that.” John nods, relieved and Sherlock offers him a small smile before turning his attention back to the microscope. “And I do agree the end of the world is not the time to be falling in love,” he whispers, almost as if talking to himself. “But sometimes it can’t be helped.”
“What do you mean?” John asks after a brief pause when Sherlock’s words have sunk in. The younger man sighs, looking up at him, biting his lip gently and John’s treacherous heart skips a beat once more.
“Exactly that,” Sherlock says tiredly, rubbing a hand over his face. “Although to be fair, I was already in love with you before this whole mess started. But afterwards- well, I figured it wasn’t the time to discuss it.”
John must be hearing things. “What?”
Sherlock glares. “Really John, now’s not the time-”
“You’re in love me?”
Sherlock blinks, as if confused by the question. “You didn’t know?” John shakes his head and Sherlock frowns. “Why did you think I was so upset after you got bitten?”
“Because I’m your friend?” John suggests and Sherlock nods, conceding his point. Although, in retrospective- “Oh god. You were really going to kiss me, weren’t you? And I- Oh god.”
“Yes,” Sherlock says, jaw clenched tight. “I assumed you simply weren’t interested.”
“In my defense, I thought I was dying. Or turning into a brain eating zombie, so really-”
“There’s no actual evidence the undead prefer brains over any other organ, John. We’ve been through this before-”
John laughs, shaking his head as he makes his way towards his friend, who interrupts his speech, looking wary at John’s approach. The doctor smiles once he’s standing in front of him and leans down to kiss him chastely on the lips, prompting a surprised yelp from the scientist.
“Oh,” Sherlock murmurs quietly, placing his fingers over his lips. “That was… umm…”
“Want me to do it again so you can gather more data?”
John laughs at Sherlock’s eager expression before complying, humming contently into the kiss. Sherlock throws his arms around his neck, pulling him closer, ignoring the awkward position they’re in. John smiles into the kiss, thinking that all those silly movies were right about something:
There’s always time for love. Even at the end of the world.