Chapter 1: Sensing
When Sherlock had decided she would allow John to move in with her, she had been hesitant. As much as she had wanted to ignore the warnings from Mycroft and dismiss them as unfounded, Sherlock knew in the back of her mind that Mycroft was more similar to her than she was willing to admit. However, 3 months had passed since John had moved in and she had never looked back. That was, until one Friday evening.
John had come home, tired from work and looking for a peaceful moment. Sherlock, who hadn’t had a case since the weekend before, was full of angst. Several experiments were running at the same time, including one that looked as though it would explode at any moment, and as John walked into the kitchen to put the kettle on he noticed her long black hair flowing dangerously near to the open reaction.
‘You’re tired.’ It wasn’t a question. Sherlock was merely observing and pointing out the obvious. Anyone could have told John that but it was okay. It showed a glimmer of caring behind the cold eyes.
‘Excellent deduction. One of your finest really. Next to “you have a penis” and “your hair is blonde.”’ He couldn’t help the sarcasm, even if she did mean well.
‘Oh please, you know I didn’t mean it in that way.’ She still hadn’t looked up from her chemistry as he bustled around the kitchen trying to find a spare teacup, swearing when the kettle clicked off and he banged his head on the cupboards above the counter. ‘I was merely observing that you will probably want to sit down this evening instead of discussing potential serial killers with me.’
‘That would be… good.’ Sherlock was learning to read John better even if John still couldn’t wrap his head around her. She was just so… Sherlock. Unlike any woman he had met before. She could happily flounce around the flat in next to nothing and then appear in a flash, fully dressed, if Lestrade texted and needed her assistance. He couldn’t wrap his head around this mystery.
Sherlock, on the other hand, almost had John sussed out, for the most part. He was your average man in most respects. She had known this from the start. Of normal intelligence, nothing brilliant, but certainly not stupid, he had normal feelings for women, and she even noticed him staring at her sometimes. She didn’t mind. Not really. It was to be expected, of course, if she was going to run around the house in her underwear.
There was one thing, however, that she still could not understand. Despite his obvious interest in her, he had never done anything to act on his feelings. He knew, obviously, that she wasn’t involved with anyone. This much she had made clear from the start, although she had been vague about how much she was willing to get involved with someone. But none of this really mattered. It was all semantics for something that ultimately Sherlock refused to try to understand: sexual love.
John sat down in his armchair reading one of the latest mysteries that had come out. Sherlock had scoffed at him for reading such drivel, but had left him to it. Whatever the book was seemed to interest him enough that she didn’t question him again. He was just starting to get to a thrilling bit when Sherlock, mostly naked, came and sat down on the armchair across from him, legs crossed. She had obviously taken some clothes off, as working with chemicals brought out some of her sensible nature and she had been fully dressed 15 minutes previously.
‘What’s occupying you?’ This time it was a question. John was secretly pleased she hadn’t figured out everything on his mind for once.
‘What do you mean? I’ve had a long day at work, I just want some quiet.’
‘Oh please. You’ve had a perfectly average day for your work at the clinic. Someone came in with an ear problem, you gave three flu vaccines to three perfectly normal older ladies, after lunch a boy came in with a broken arm, you’ve drank three cups of tea since you were at work and your final patient thought she had a tumour on her left breast which simply turned out to be swelling from her menstrual cycle. Sounds pretty normal to me.’
John looked stunned and put down his book. Now she was just showing off to get his attention. It had worked. ‘Do you really want to know?’
‘Yes. I can’t figure it out and that’s bothering me. It seems like woman problems, but it can’t be. You haven’t been on a date for a month and a half and there don’t seem to be any women in your life you even want to go out on a date with.’
John hesitated. Sherlock wasn’t one for typically talking about feelings so it was probably to his advantage to express himself before his frustration became too much. ‘It’s you, Sherlock. You’re the preoccupation.’
‘I thought I was doing better with the experiments! I haven’t done anything quite so extreme since the eyeballs in the microwave!’
‘It’s not that. It’s… How do I put this… lightly? You, you-’
‘Please spit it out. I can take bluntness, as you know.’
‘I haven’t been on a date in almost two months because of you.’
‘I haven’t been stopping you, have I? Surely the women in your life understand how unappealing I am to you.’
‘Except that it’s quite the opposite.’
Now Sherlock was beginning to understand Mycroft’s warnings. He had called her, late one evening when she was busy and wanted to text. She was irritated and barely listened to him, although the words still rang in her head: ‘You know he’ll just end up like all the others: smitten although he won’t realise how it happened and unable to turn back. Get out of it while you can. Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.’ He had spoken to her as if they were the same person, simply saying exactly what he would do if presented with a flatmate of the opposite sex. She wasn’t sure what was right.
‘I don’t know what to say.’ She honestly didn’t. Men had been interested before, it was true, but she had felt revulsion when they had begged her to go on one date… ‘It’ll change you, I promise! I’m the one.’ But this time? She wasn’t sure… John was different.
She wasn’t really sure why he was different. He did the same things as the others: staring at her when she walked around barely clothed, asked her about her love life and evidently got himself off a few times a week. But for some reason in John’s case, words spoke louder than his typical male actions: he never complained that she was ‘such a tease for walking around the flat that way,’ he eventually stopped interrogating her about her lack of love life and he even apologised to her after he had made some particularly loud noises one evening that carried throughout the flat. Most of the men she had lived with just gave her a knowing smirk, as if inviting her to join them.
‘What do you mean, you “don’t know”, Sherlock? Surely this is a yes or no question.’
‘You never asked a question.’
‘Well I think I just made myself clear about how I feel. And I suppose you have as well, numerous times in the past. You’re "married to the work". I don’t know why I even brought this up with you.’
He was getting ready to haul himself out of his chair when Sherlock rapidly blurted out: ‘I meant what I said. I honestly don’t know what to say.’
‘Care to explain yourself?’
‘You aren’t like the other men I’ve lived with. I mean, you are. You do the same things, in principle. That’s why it’s difficult for me to look past them. But, at the same time, you are completely abnormal. You somehow seem to understand, even if you have difficulty controlling your average male urges.’
‘Yes, well, I do happen to be a thirty-something man.’
‘Will you allow me to think on what you’ve said?’
‘But John,’ she interrupted him as he was moving to get up again, ‘no matter what this turns into, I’m still not normal by any stretch of your imagination. I’m… asexual.’ She paused for a moment, contemplating her words and then spat some more out quickly: ‘If you don’t know what that is, look it up.’ With a swish of her hair she was back in the kitchen, attempting to make something explode again.
John couldn’t go back to reading his book after what Sherlock had said to him. He wasn’t even sure what it meant… that word, ‘asexual.’ From what he knew, he knew he didn’t really know a thing. So many negative connotations were floating around his head, and yet this was Sherlock. It could never be so simple as a woman who couldn’t get any sex so she says she isn’t interested in it. He grabbed his laptop and went into his room upstairs, not eager for Sherlock to invade in what he was looking up. She would have a smug grin about his cluelessness.
John stumbled across a site called AVEN after a quick search on Google. It seemed decidedly helpful and he began to read more and more. Definitions were swirling around in his tired brain and sometime between 9:30 and 10:00 he must have fallen asleep with the light on and his laptop open.
He heard a decided knock on the closed door. Waking up with a start he looked at his watch. 10:42. John closed the now black laptop screen and called to let Sherlock in.
‘I’ve been thinking.’ She came in, fully dressed this time, not even taking the common courtesy of asking if she could sit on the bed with him.
‘Have you been as well? Because this isn’t a one-sided issue, you know.’
‘I have… done some research and made deductions, as you would do.’
‘What have you deduced about me, then? That I’m a freak? You think I can be cured by you giving me mind-blowing orgasms and I’ll suddenly want you like those women you meet sometimes?’
‘Nothing close to that, actually. While you are an asexual, you did not say that you were aromantic, which to me would indicate that given the right person you are more than willing to participate in a mutually-enjoyable romantic relationship. You did not specify your romantic orientation, but I can at least assume that you do have some feelings for men, or we wouldn’t be sitting here right now, wondering where our friendship is going. How am I doing?’
‘Impressive, Doctor Watson. No one has gotten this far before. Please, continue on your deductions.’
‘Well, there are still many variables involved in this potential relationship. You would need to express your boundaries to me, because for some asexuals kissing would be considered a sexual action, while for others it is simply showing affection. I, of course, will respect your boundaries, but they would need to be discussed. There is also the issue of my being attracted to women sexually. This, unfortunately for you, includes you, Sherlock. A few aces in the forums I read said they were comfortable with their other half getting sexual pleasure outside of the relationship; however, I don’t feel comfortable with this. We would have to come to some sort of compromise.’ Sherlock looked up from her dream-like state with a start, as if that had triggered something. John realised this and took back his words. ‘I do not mean some sort of sexual compromise. Please. I know enough about boundaries to know that intercourse is not an answer for us, at least, unless you say it is. Which is completely your choice and I will not pressure you.’ He said the last words incredibly quickly, as if to stop any assumptions before they became churning thoughts in Sherlock’s brain. ‘It is simply something to discuss.’
‘You’re spot-on in almost everything, John. You really are. Thank you. We can certainly discuss these urges at another point.’ She sat there, silent and completely still.
John waited a few awkward minutes and interrupted her silence. ‘You don’t have anything to say?’ He had just expressed that it truly was ‘all fine’, but he needed some sort of indicator from her. Even Sherlock must surely be capable of some sort of expression of feelings.
‘From all your reading you must surely understand my dilemma then. As much as I do think you are different and I can see us starting a life together as more than friends, there is always this fear that you’ll leave not because affection has waned, but because I cannot provide you sexually what you desire. I am not entirely clear to myself what my boundaries are. It’s been a while since I was in a relationship with someone, and they certainly didn’t respect how far I was willing to go when I had no sexual attraction to them.’
‘Can I be blunt with you, Sherlock?’
‘Please. It’s easier than beating around the bush.’
‘Do you have a libido?’
‘Oh. Well, I suppose that I do. However, I suppress it for most of the time. It’s easier that way. It doesn’t get in the way of the work.’
‘Please don’t assume I asked that to con you into having sex with me.’
‘No. You’re just curious, it’s understandable. You’ve done your research well. You really have.’ John was smiling. Sherlock was never this kind to anyone. This man was clearly different, even if he didn’t realise it. ‘Let me think about all this. Can we discuss over tea tomorrow morning?’
Chapter 2: Misunderstanding
A crime, a misunderstanding and a talk.
'Tea' the next morning didn't go exactly as John had planned it. After Sherlock had left his room the previous evening she seemed to have become carried away with a number of potential experiments. John awoke to her lying on the sofa, curled in a ball and evidently sleeping off the excitement of a thrilling night of data.
Although he was longing to discuss the potential for a relationship with her, he knew she would get in a strop if he woke her up from sleeping: something he scolded her so often for not doing enough of. Instead, John made himself a scrambled egg on toast, some tea and he went back up to his bedroom. Disturbing what looked like blood on the kitchen table seemed like a bad idea and he wasn't in the mood for standing at the counter like a teenager.
About noon Sherlock came barging through his door. 'Lestrade texted me. Very exciting sounding murder. He mentioned a potential serial rapist and suicides as well. You coming?'
John looked up from his laptop. Evidently she had forgotten about last night. 'Oh. Yes, sure. Let me get on some socks and a more acceptable shirt.'
'Do hurry up. I've been waiting for something this exciting for 3 days! I don't want to be held up by my blogger.' She was already tying her wet hair up into a neat bun as she walked out the door. John knew that she would look perfect within 5 minutes and that he better hurry.
Ten minutes later they were hailing a cab and heading to Hackney. 'Bit... artsy don't you think? For a serial rapist?'
'That or the perfect disguise. What hipster is imagining getting raped? It's not that sort of scene.'
'And the suicides?'
'Lestrade didn't say much about them. I can only speculate the rapist had some sort of manipulating power. Potential for pregnancy? No idea.'
Although John had suspected that Sherlock had forgotten about their conversation, she evidently had not. While her usual lack of social understanding surrounding personal space was limited, she leaned closer than ever into John as the taxi sped East, and her piercing blue eyes made John's thoughts deviate farther from the case than he would have liked.
They arrived at a flat in the centre of Hackney and within 10 minutes she had already began to develop a motive for the suicides. It had turned out that all of the people who committed suicide were not only women, but also married to conservative husbands who would denounce them if they found out they were bearing a child that wasn’t theirs. Upon exploring a second flat in the area, Sherlock managed to find a connection with the specialty brand of tea they bought.
By 5 o'clock that evening an employee of a local, organic tea shop had been arrested for raping 15 women and causing 7 of them to commit suicide. Sherlock looked rather pleased with herself as John hailed a cab. They were heading back to Baker Street in no time. Although they were now sitting next to each other on the backseat, John couldn't help but look at Sherlock longingly. Her dark hair had fell out of the neat bun into strands down her face, softening her often hard features.
'Shall we have a cuppa when we get home?' Sherlock looked anxious, now that she had remembered she had neglected her own suggestion that morning. 'I think we have things to discuss, yes?'
'Only if you want to.' John knew that as much as he might want to rip off her clothing at that moment, the relationship had to be on her terms. That was just how Sherlock operated.
‘Yes. I was thinking a lot last night. Or at least a little bit. When I wasn’t busy experimenting.’
‘What was going on in there? I noticed a great deal of blood on the kitchen table but didn’t really have much desire to investigate what might have happened.’
‘Oh. That. Really nothing. I was just examining the absorption tendencies of blood on different fabrics over time. It got a bit messy.’
‘You couldn’t have bothered to clean it up? I mean, really, Sherlock. I put up with the limbs in the fridge, but at least they’re in bags.’
‘You could say that I became... distracted with other things.’ Although she didn’t mention it, this ‘other thing’ was John. She knew there was a reason that she hadn’t gotten herself into a serious relationship before… things like this happened. They were simply distractions from the work and all that she valued. Human interaction could be so taxing on the emotions and the brain. It was much easier to devote oneself to her job than try to worry about making someone else happy.
‘Do you mean us?’ John was trying to be delicate.
‘There is no “us.”’ She turned away.
Her words bit hard as the taxi pulled into Baker Street. John was taken aback. ‘So that’s your decision then, is it? The potential for you to be with someone who respects you and you throw it back at me?!’ Sherlock could hear anger in his voice even as John did his best to maintain his composure.
‘That’s not what I meant.’
‘Oh, sure it isn’t. The great Sherlock Holmes. She’s just too good for little Doctor Watson. Always the sidekick and never the equal. So independent.’ John paid the driver hurriedly and was storming out of the taxi away from 221B and towards Regent’s Park.
‘Really, John. That’s not what I meant!’ Sherlock was shouting now and running to catch up with him.
He turned around, his face livid. ‘Oh really then?! What did you mean, Sherlock? Have you finally decided to be less blunt with your words and have some respect for the normal people in your life? No. You couldn’t possibly have that. You’ll never change.’
‘I just meant that there isn’t an “us” yet. We have to mutually decide what parts of this relationship are and aren’t going to work! I did my research as well, you know.’ Now she was the one who was fuming. ‘You think this is easy for me? Getting into a relationship with someone? Because it isn’t, John. I’ve spent my whole life alone because it’s much easier for me to deal with myself and not have to worry about also taking care of someone else. And then you come along, wanting to be all respectful. What am I supposed to do?! Swoon at your knees like all of your other girlfriends?! ’
People were starting to stare at them shouting at each other, but that didn’t stop John. ‘So you tell me there isn’t an us, as if that’s at all respectful. I was trying to show you that I know you have boundaries, Sherlock. I was trying to be delicate and that is what you come back at me with?!’ He took a long breath in. ‘Let’s go inside, please? Sit down and talk. Last night… I felt like there might be potential.’
They walked into the flat and Sherlock flounced over to her chair and sat down, taking her phone out to send a text. John went to the kitchen to make tea. He knew that if he didn’t, she never would and he could really do with a cuppa. Within five minutes they were both sitting down with steaming mugs of tea, staring at each other.
‘John, you know I’m new to this. I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.’
‘Well, the first thing is listening to what’s coming out of your mouth and thinking about how someone else will react to it.’
‘I’m only telling the truth.’
‘Not everyone wants the blunt truth, Sherlock. You can say something that’s true without it stabbing someone in the heart every time.’
Sherlock sat there, probably contemplating the different splatter marks that would appear on the wall depending on the size of knife and force of the attacker.
‘Sherlock, are you listening to me?’
She came out of her trance and snapped her head around. ‘Yes. Just… thinking. I want to try this relationship, John. But there is no guarantee that I will be very good at it. Affection seems so… unnecessary.’
‘Well it’s certainly not essential to our lives. I’ve survived this long without it and look where I am now.’
She always knew how to put the most logical spin on things. Just because she was surviving… John thought this was insane. ‘There’s more to life than survival, you know.’
‘It seems extraneous.’ John got up from his armchair, walked over to the sofa and sat down. Sherlock looked confused.
‘Come here.’ His voice was soft, but direct. ‘Being loved is not extraneous, Sherlock.’
She walked cautiously over to him, as if he was one of her experiments and he might explode at any moment. ‘What do you want me to do?’ She was standing over him, as if he expected something out of her. Sherlock was far more vulnerable than she appeared to be. Behind her calculated exterior was someone who clearly didn’t have enough love in her life.
‘I don’t want you to do anything, but sitting next to me would be nice.’ She nervously sat down next to him, keeping her distance. John put out his left arm and pulled her slowly into him so that her head cradled his shoulder, his hand resting softly on her collarbone.
‘And now?’ There was apprehension in her voice.
‘Nothing. We can just sit here and talk. Nothing has to happen.’ He began to rub her shoulder slowly, as if to comfort her. It took a few minutes but she relaxed into him, sighing slowly. John could smell a soft vanilla perfume on her, something he hadn’t noticed before, and her hair was shockingly soft on his neck. It was peaceful, sitting there with her. Although he longed to be with her, it went beyond that: he had an inexplicable connection with Sherlock. From the moment they had met they knew that they needed each other, even if they couldn’t admit it to themselves. He was her rock and she was the explosion that kept the endorphins running through his body.
Half an hour passed and John thought that she had fallen asleep when she spoke softly. ‘I like this. It’s… comforting. Can we just lie here?’
‘Of course, Sherlock. Although I would like food at some point. I can feel my stomach about to growl.’
This isn't the end of these two, I promise.
Chapter 3: Chatting
Sherlock is concerned.
Snow was beginning to fall outside as Sherlock looked out the window of John’s bedroom. She had laid in bed long enough, desperately hoping John would wake up before she did, but unfortunately, things didn’t happen for her like that. Although she would not be criticised for getting up at such an ungodly hour, she felt a tinge of guilt looking at John sleep so peacefully when she herself had been longing to get out of bed for over an hour. They simply didn’t have the same priorities.
But that didn’t matter. It had been four months since they had first fallen asleep on the sofa together, contemplating chinese takeaway. Or, at least, John had been contemplating takeaway. She had been divided between lying there forever and getting back to her experiments with blood stains. It didn’t matter how good the status quo was, work was always on her mind. However, despite their differences in priorities, they had somehow managed to turn what could have been a terrible relationship into one that was quite cohesive. Sherlock rarely felt pressured by John, and when she did it was no fault of his, merely his body ignoring his mind. These things could be changed. John also seemed happy enough. He no longer complained about the pains in his shoulder: Sherlock could massage those away for him.
Despite her initial reservations about affection, she decided it wasn’t as vile as she had previously believed it to be. Although there were some things she wouldn’t do, public displays of said affection being one of them, it was comforting and warm to have someone by her side as she slept. John still complained about how little sleep she got. Sherlock didn’t have the heart to tell him that she was now getting twice as much as she normally did… he probably would have sent her to A&E many times before if he had truly realised how little she used to sleep.
She heard John toss around on the bed, a sign, she had noticed, that he would be waking up soon. Over the past few months she had carefully noted all of his strange quirks and idiosyncrasies. Many of her favourites involved his morning routine. Most notably was his strange habit of coming out of the shower with wet hair and then failing to tame it before it dried. As a result, he would complain through the bathroom door that he couldn’t get it to settle down to how he wanted it. She laughed. Even being, as what some would have called, an unfeminine woman, she knew that unless you wanted messy hair, you needed to tame it before the power of water dried it into a funny shape. She also loved to watch the way he made his breakfast. John would carefully spread butter and jam right into the corners of his toast, not wanting to ruin one mouthful of bread with dryness. She had never known anyone as careful about their morning food as he was. It was like a small ritual and judging by his tossing about, she was about to experience it again.
‘You’re up early,’ she heard a voice coming from the bed say groggily.
‘Yes, well, you know me. Late to bed, early to rise. Seems to at least make me wise, if not a little wealthy.’
‘But certainly not healthy, Lock. You must eat more.’
‘It slows me down. You know that.’ She loved the way he called her Lock when he was about to scold her. It wasn’t really scolding, it was affection. However, whatever it was, she loved to hear him use that special nickname that only came from him.
‘Let’s not argue this early. I’m sure we’ll have plenty to row about when I see the experiments you were working on last night.’
‘I think you’ll find them cleared up.’
‘Am I dreaming? This must be a dream. Sherlock Holmes learned how to use a dishcloth?’
‘I am capable of some practical things, you know. Just because I could care less about what those trashy women’s magazines have to say about my relationships doesn’t mean that I don’t care that you want some clean space every so often.’
‘Change that to all the time and you’ll have me your whole life,’ John joked.
‘Judging by the fact that you still haven’t run off with a normal woman after this many months, I was fairly sure I had you hooked.’
Sherlock wasn’t one for beating around the bush and John knew she was exactly right about her deduction. He had to admit, at the start it was very tempting to leave. As much as he respected her, it was difficult at the beginning to imagine himself living with her in a romantic relationship and not having sex: that had been part of every other relationship he had had with a woman since age 17. On the other hand, he had weighed his feelings for Sherlock and how he had felt about those other women. It simply wasn’t comparable. The connection he felt with Sherlock went way beyond the physical need of taking her to bed and them getting physical pleasure from each other. You didn’t need that with Sherlock, the thrill was all there in the daily living.
This wasn’t to say, however, that it was easy every day for him to live in a sex-free relationship with her. Having a wank in the shower could provide him relief from the physical symptoms, but it could never replicate the companionship that he felt when you were that physically intimate with someone or giving them pleasure.
John came out of his head to go back to speaking to Sherlock. ‘Yes, I would say you were correct in that deduction.’ He realised how unenthusiastically that had come out of his mouth.
‘You don’t sound too thrilled, John.’
‘I love being with you, Sherlock. You know that. I can’t think of a person who I have ever connected with more strongly on nearly every level.’
‘Except the one I have not provided you.’
‘We’ve had this discussion before. I don’t care. You know that you’re more to me than an outlet for sexual pleasure.’
John was still lying in bed. Curious. ‘Maybe he was just feeling lazy,’ Sherlock contemplated. ‘Here, I’m going to get my laptop and we can sit in bed together.’
‘No, Sherlock. Not necessary.’
Ah, she had figured out the mystery. ‘Oh please, John. It’s natural that you have an erection. Stop looking so nervous.’
John had a shocked look on his face. ‘How-’
‘I’m Sherlock Holmes, remember?’ she said with a smirk, hurrying out of the bedroom to get her laptop. ‘I don’t know why you’re so worried,’ she said, back with the computer, ‘it’ll go away in a minute. You seem fairly good at controlling your body.’
‘Not this morning,’ John grumbled.
‘Then if you’re so embarrassed, go take a shower.’ She looked at John’s surprised face. ‘Really? You’re surprised at that? You are a fairly average 30-something male living with your asexual girlfriend. Of course you’re going to get yourself off in the shower.’
‘Lying here with you is better.’
‘Then do that, you know I don’t mind.’ She smiled to herself. It was nice that John thought she was more important than his irritatingly present erection. Sherlock continued to type for a minutes before she stopped. John was in his own world, daydreaming about who knew what. ‘John. I’ve been thinking.’
‘You’re always thinking. That’s nothing new.’
‘Ok, I’ve been thinking about us lately. And our dilemma.’
‘Since when did we have a dilemma?’
‘Oh, come on. Of course I’ve seen how this relationship is going. You’re not going to stay here forever with me no matter what I say. Some day you’re going to want to have sex.’
‘I never said that Sherlock! I’m very content sitting here with you. It’s lovely.’
‘Is it always going to be lovely, though?’
‘Are you breaking up with me, Sherlock? Because if you are, please be blunt like you always are and get it over with. I love you too much to drag it out.’
‘John, I love you too. I am certainly not dragging it out or breaking up with you.’
‘No, I just thought maybe we could explore our possibilities. Just because I don’t feel sexual attraction to you doesn’t mean that I don’t care about your needs. And to be quite frank, I would rather fulfil them myself than have you take a mistress.’
‘No. I won’t have you go on like this. I know you resent having to fulfil your needs by yourself in the shower. I’m not ready to have intercourse with you right now, but we could try other things that require less of my involvement. I’ve been doing some of my own research since we got into this relationship. Of course, I required full data before I could come to a conclusion, and I still haven’t acquired everything. However… I’ve discovered I need a real human to confirm my suspicions.’
‘You’ve been using fake humans?’
She rolled her eyes. John could be so clueless. ‘Of course not.’
‘Oh please. I’m not quite that insane.’
‘I wouldn’t put it past you.’
‘Let’s just say… I’ve been borrowing your laptop when you’ve been at the clinic on occasion.’
‘It has a password!’
‘Hardly difficult to guess.’
‘I changed it!’
‘Well then make your brain less obvious to me.’ She was smirking almost seductively at him. ‘So, do you want to experiment or not?’
No guarantees where this is going next. No promises, no expectations, right? But hopefully it won't take me so long to post the next chapter.
Chapter 4: Ignoring
Sherlock rarely listens to what John has to say.
I'm SO SORRY that this took forever. I've been busy and could create a million stress-filled excuses for why this is many days later than I planned it. I'm going to do my best to shove out more material soon. I love you all.
‘Wait, Sherlock.’ John was stopping her from straddling him on the bed.
‘What, John? I mean, really. I know how this is supposed to work. I’ve done my research.’
‘This isn’t about your research, Sherlock. I’m sure you’ve done plenty and this is just putting an experiment into practice.’ He rolled his eyes in his head. This was so typical.
‘Exactly. So what’s the problem here. You obviously want to have sex with me and there are some things that I’m willing to do.’
‘Sherlock, this isn’t about what you’re willing to do, it’s what you want to do, and last time I checked, you don’t want to have sex with me.’
‘Correction. I’m not sexually attracted to you. That has nothing to do with my desire to bring our relationship closer to a place that you’re used to.’
‘This just doesn’t feel right.’
Sherlock frowned at him. How could it not feel right? She was doing all of the things that you were expected to do in a normal relationship… not necessarily in order, for certain, but at some point romantic relationships went in the sexual direction, she knew that. ‘But my research supports-’
‘Damn your research!’ John snapped back at her, audibly frustrated.
‘You’re not sexually attracted to me, are you? I know that I’m not as… voluptuous… as other women, but I can assure you John that my breasts are just as soft and soothing as the next woman’s…’ she tapered off. There was nothing more she could say. John just didn’t want her and that hurt a little even if she wasn’t sexually attracted to him… there was nothing she could do about that.
‘I am, Sherlock! Of course I am. How could I not be? Look at you! And I beg you to remember that you were the one who pointed out my erection this morning.’
‘It’s more than Biology, and you know that.’ He stared at her. Her long brown hair fell in a carefree fashion across her face and tumbled down her shoulders. It matched perfectly with the teal nightshirt that she wore. ‘How can she look so perfect this early in the morning?’ John thought. He could feel his erection getting harder as she stared at him, trying to read his mind. ‘But this isn’t about me, at least not all of this. What do you want, Sherlock?’
‘To be close to you. Your breathing is very comforting to my mind.’
‘Then come lie down, love.’ He winced at that term, which he rarely used. However, she hardly seemed to notice and lay back down in the bed with him, curling around his upper body under the covers. John moved his hand through her hair. ‘So soft,’ he thought. ‘Just perfect…’
His moment of perfection was thrown off kilter when he felt a hand. John had been too preoccupied in stroking her hair to notice something else stroking his- ‘Oh. Sherlock.’ He breathed in, trying to hold it together as she moved her hand up and down in fluid motions. She really had done her research, he was thinking… ‘No.’
‘What?’ she said. Sherlock had not taken her soft hand off of his erection.
‘I can’t do this…’ he trailed off. ‘Ahhh. Oh my god.’
‘Are you sure?’ she said seductively. Before he knew it she had pulled him over on his side so that they could kiss and she could stroke at the same time. Her slow motions had now increased in speed and John could feel himself welling up inside. He briefly contemplated telling her to stop, that this was insane, but he just couldn’t.
Although she continued to kiss him and move her hand quickly at the same time, John was finding it difficult to choose which sensation to concentrate on. He quickly became a mess of syllables and vowels until he uttered one last ‘Sherlock.’ She felt hot semen spill onto her hand from John’s orgasm.
‘That was…’ He was lost for words.
‘Better than in the shower by yourself?’ she said, reaching over for a tissue from the nightstand and smiling.
‘You did do your research.’
‘I’m Sherlock Holmes. Of course I did my research.’
She said in such a matter-of-fact way that John tried hard not to laugh too much. Most people would have just seen what happened instead of learning every possible trick in the book before giving someone else a hand job. ‘Yes, well. I’m grateful. But, really, is this okay Sherlock? I can’t… do anything?’ He knew the answer would be no, but he still felt it was polite to ask.
‘Just lie here with me for a bit. Then we can make some breakfast.’
‘You’re going to eat something?!’ He tried to kid around with his laugh.
‘I may. This is hard work, pleasuring my boyfriend, if you didn’t know.’
‘Yes, well, you will be fully rewarded with any breakfast food of your choice and, of course, a steaming hot cup of tea.’
‘I would expect nothing else,’ she smiled. He leaned over and kissed her. It wasn’t intense like earlier, but it was nice and caring. John ran his hands through her hair, savouring the moment.
They were downstairs, eating breakfast in their pyjamas when there was a knock at the front door.
‘Are you expecting anyone, John?’ She could hear footsteps up the stairs.
‘Trust me, I would be wearing something more decent if I was.’ He looked down at his old shirt and boxers, dreading the look Lestrade was surely about to give him.
‘Must be a case! Oh, I hope it’s another serial killer. I’d love one of those this morning!’ Her eyes lit up at the prospect as the door to their flat opened. Lestrade rarely knocked at the door of their flat, he knew he was welcome.
‘Don’t look too excited, Sherlock.’ Lestrade was walking through the door. ‘No serial killers this time, I’m afraid.’
‘Then what is it? I hope it’s something exciting, or are you all just terribly understaffed and someone less intelligent than Anderson is on forensics?’ Lestrade walked into the kitchen and John shouted. ‘Oh, please ignore John. I think he’s a little nervous around others in his underthings.’ Sherlock was smirking. John scowled at her and walked hurriedly out of the kitchen, up to his room to find a dressing gown, or preferably a pair of clean trousers.
‘It’s to do with the washing machines in the halls of UCL.’ Lestrade looked ashamed he was even asking for her help on his.
‘You’re joking, right?’
‘Nope. Someone has been putting a mysterious substance through the machines. Students are complaining that it has been giving them skin infections and one poor kid’s in hospital from whatever this crap is.’
‘And your people want me to figure out who did it? Surely there’s CCTV, you can just look back at it and find the culprit who’s messing with the machines. It’ll have to be an employee of the university or someone who does maintenance as I’m sure that students’ keycards only get them into their designated halls.’
‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean that all of the footage was deleted.’
‘Oh alright, I’ll come along. But if this takes more than a few hours, I’m not doing it Lestrade. Too boring and I’m sure something more interesting will have happened.’
‘In this snow, Sherlock?’ He pointed out the window at what was quickly becoming a shocking amount of snow for England. ‘I’m sure you’re not too wild about investigating a 5-car pile-up on the M25 parking lot.’
‘Not particularly, no.’
‘Then please just figure it out for us, most everyone good on the team has the weekend off.’
‘Typical. Alright. Well let me get changed and I’ll meet you there. Text me the address, will you?’
‘See you, Sherlock. And tell John to put on some clean pants, they looked stained.’ He gave her a cheeky grin and walked out the door.
John came out of hiding in his bedroom as Sherlock was finishing off the last of her tea. ‘THEY LOOK STAINED?!’ He was incredulous. ‘I’m going to get him back for that.’
‘Oh please, an elementary deduction. Anyone would have noticed that. You should have stayed behind the table, he wouldn’t have been able to see your lack of clothing there.’
‘That’s not the point, Sherlock.’
‘Then what is?’
‘Not everyone needs to know that we’re…’ He realised he didn’t know the word. They weren’t shagging. They weren’t lovers. Girlfriend and boyfriend? It was so much more than that.
Evidently Sherlock had noticed that he was having problems articulating a word for them. ‘Well whatever you’re going to call us, and I don’t mind since it’s all just semantics, please get on and put some clothes on. We’ve really got to get going.’
‘I thought you weren’t wild about this case. Stupid washing machines. Who cares about some skin infecting poison. They can buy new ones and get it to go away.’ John usually wasn’t dismissive of cases, but this one was purely ridiculous.
‘Yes, but John didn’t you hear what he said? All the CCTV footage was gone. So this is someone intelligent. Who knows what else is missing?!’ She had a manic look in her eyes and John could tell it was going to be a long day.
Chapter 5: Excitement
Although Sherlock and John are keen to keep their relationship a secret, something gets in the way.
Oh dear. I am so sorry this has taken me a long time to write. I was busy and busy and busy and then exhausted. But here we are! On with the show!
Ever since the morning that Lestrade found John suitably debauched in his underwear, Sherlock and John had been especially careful to not reveal their relationship to the rest of the team. They knew Lestrade wouldn’t… he wasn’t a gossip monger, but if Sally or Anderson got one whiff that they were shagging (because that would be the assumption) the entire Metropolitan Police would know within the day. At crime scenes they maintained their distance, although a quick look of reassurance was sometimes present behind the backs of others. At home they were affectionate and maintained as much domestic bliss as was possible with Sherlock around.
Although she had warmed to their relationship over time, there were still moments when John doubted the validity of what they were doing. He largely pleased himself, but she would sometimes become involved. It was nice when she did, but he still felt a pang of guilt in his post-coital bliss, wondering if she felt used like she clearly did with so many others. However, this was Sherlock Holmes and if she disliked something, she always made her opinions known whether it was her annoyance at her period (in front of no less than 5 male Met officers) or the consistently dirty knees of Sally Donovan’s trousers (something that had happened more than 7 times in the past 3 weeks). She, thus far, had never expressed disgust at helping John to maintain release; however, she still protested at his efforts to occasionally help her: ‘you know that it isn’t an issue, John.’
They had been together nearly nine months when something happened that forced John to reveal the true nature of their relationship to the public. The evening hadn’t been a particularly cold one, although it was the middle of February. While it could have easily been in the single digits, the weather was shockingly pleasant and the two of them had decided to go for a walk. Actually, it was only John who had decided, but Sherlock had been sulking in the house for almost 3 days and he knew she needed to see daylight. They hadn’t gotten far, only halfway down Marylebone High St, when Sherlock received a desperate call from Lestrade: the Met had been tipped off to some dead bodies in a building in the Docklands and Sherlock was desperately needed for some analysis. She was, naturally, beyond excited and John just sighed, knowing that it was going to be a long night indeed… he had already been tired before he reached home and Canary Wharf and its surrounding area weren’t exactly a stone’s throw away.
They caught a cab and were down there as soon as possible, although it took them nearly 45 minutes owing to terrible traffic in East London. Sherlock was impatient the entire way there, speaking at lengths about the dangers of abandoned buildings, women being clueless enough to meet men they met online and how much she hoped this would turn into a serial killer case.
‘You know, darling, that’s really not decent.’ He gripped her hand a little tighter and smiled, although he knew it just encouraged her.
‘Oh please. You’re just as excited as I am. Besides, we haven’t been out here in a while and I’m somewhat fond of Canary Wharf.’
‘There’s something about it I can’t put my finger on.’
‘You never have feelings like that. Sherlock Holmes can’t put her finger on why she feels that way about something? The world is going to turn upside down!’
‘Oh shut up. I am human, last time I checked. Are you going to catalogue my DNA just to make sure?’
‘Isn’t that something you would do? Besides, I wouldn’t change you even if you did turn out to be some alien from another planet,’ he said. Another grip, just to reassure her. No matter how confident she seemed on the outside, Sherlock Holmes was a vulnerable woman who simply had a better mask than everyone else around her. John felt lucky he could see through it, for the most part, and when he couldn’t it was usually a sign something wasn’t quite right in her world.
They reached the abandoned building, farther from Canary Wharf than John had anticipated, and she began to rattle off deductions about the two women that were lying dead on the concrete floor.
‘OBVIOUSLY,’ she made a point to emphasise this word, ‘the woman on the right is suffering from financial difficulties.’
‘How? Her clothes are from designer labels,’ Lestrade said. He had a point… John thought.
‘Yes, but look at her nails. I mean, really LOOK. While yes, they are painted, it is with a cheap brand of polish and isn’t consistent. You can see hairlines where the topcoat has pressed in because it was cheap and didn’t dry properly because a professional didn’t apply it. Also, look at her hair. Although it is generally sleek, look at the ends. They’re split. She hasn’t had a haircut in a while.’
‘Alright, Sherlock, what else?’
‘Well it’s clearly murder, but you know that already. John, how long have they been dead?’
‘I’d say about 6 hours for the one that you’re deducing right now.’
‘And the other?’
‘Only about 2. Maybe less.’
‘So let’s play this out. What did you find in her handbag, Lestrade?’
‘The one who died 6 hours ago didn’t have a handbag.’
‘Really now?’ She was looking excited.
‘No. But the other lady did.’
‘Condoms, knickers, lubricant…’
‘Okay, so prostitute. The one with the handbag seems to have put up a fight. The bruise marks would indicate so at least, like they had to hold her down. John, cause of death?’
John rolled his eyes. Sherlock already knew, but she still asked. So silly. ‘Poison. At least her.’
Lestrade was getting confused. ‘What do you mean, “at least her”?’
Sherlock spoke before John could even begin to explain. ‘The first woman doesn’t seem to put up a struggle. So how do you explain that? However, the second woman, with the condoms, etc., obviously put up a fight. Needle goes in, she stops fighting, dead as a doornail. So what about the first one… interesting.’
John gave her a look that said ‘don’t get started.’ ‘Well,’ he said, as his medical opinion was obviously needed, ‘she still seems to have died from something that mildly resembles poison.’
‘Are you sure?’ Lestrade wasn’t believing anything until it was proven to him.
‘Well how else? She has no signs of struggling or force used on her…’
‘She didn’t die here…’ Sherlock’s gears were obviously turning as she looked around. Just as she did this, a few officers came running in to the main area of the building where John, Sherlock and Lestrade still were.
‘Sir! We’ve found another room with evidence!’ Donovan was shouting and panting.
They all ran, following the Sargent. Up a set of stairs and though several doors found them in a small room with a bed, dresser, mirror and anything you would need to live there. Except it was perfect, Sherlock thought, just too perfect. No one lives here. There were no signs of it being lived in. She began to pace around the room, trying to figure it out. Something wasn’t right. Just as she turned around, about to speak a revelation to the team, she felt a sharp pain in the right side of her back and she fell over.
John ran to her side and observed the wound. It was a bullet straight into her right Lattisimus dorsi, and, in turn, an area that also held one of her kidneys. Although he could feel the room rushing around him, his entire focus was on Sherlock whose blood was rushing onto the floor. He quickly removed his scarf and pressed down on the wound in an attempt to control the bleeding. John slowly turned her on her side and saw her eyes going glassy and trying to close.
‘No. You cannot do this to me, Sherlock Holmes. You are maddening but SO brilliant. Do not pass out on me now.’ She mumbled something back that sounded vaguely like ‘rap’ as he listened for an ambulance siren. It was nearing and officers were running out and down in attempt to direct the paramedics into the room where Sherlock and John were.
They eventually appeared after what to John seemed like a lifetime. He ran after the stretcher, watching Sherlock’s closed eyes. He wanted to go in the ambulance with her. He had to. ‘Please! Let me come with her.’
‘Sir, what is your relationship with this woman?’ A stern looking man was noting things down as Sherlock was being placed into the ambulance.
‘I’m her… her…’ he was struggling to find a suitable word for it. ‘Her partner.’ It leapt from his mouth before he could think what implications it had.
‘Are you listed as her next of kin?’
‘I… I don’t know.’ He was shaking and they were clearly ready to leave for the hospital. John was ashamed of himself. He should have been more collected about this after seeing so much violence in Afghanistan.
‘I’m afraid you’ll have to go to the hospital separately, sir. We can only allow family or her next of kin with us.’
They closed the back doors to the ambulance and drove away, sirens blaring. John stood there and Donovan came over, clearly ready to blurt something horrible out. ‘Her… WHAT?! Sherlock is a psychopath, John. Do you know what you’ve gotten yourself into? You’re SHAGGING a psycho. Imagine the children. Oh god. Little mini Sherlocks running around with insane hair and blurting out every little thing that comes to their minds.’
He didn’t know what to say to her. He was still in shock and he snapped back without thinking. ‘PSYCHOPATH? Really Donovan? If you think that woman is a psychopath then you really need to get your priorities straight. She is the most wonderful woman that I have ever known. Maybe irritating at times, but always brilliant. Don’t you dare insult her like that.’
‘So you are her partner…’ She had a snide tone in her voice and was laughing dryly, clearly amused at the ‘mistake’ John had made.
‘Better than you any day,’ he whispered under his breath.
‘I’m sorry, WHAT did you say?’ Sally was angry now.
‘I said that she is better than you any day. And she always will be.’ John’s voice was firm and he was really getting riled up now and ready to punch something as a result of the insanity he had to deal with for loving this woman.
Lestrade walked over before he could do any harm. ‘Come, John. We’ll go over there right now and get this sorted out.’
‘Thanks, Greg.’ He got into the passenger side of one of the police cars and they drove away, watching Donovan and Anderson laughing and talking about what was now going to be the most amusing piece of Met gossip in years.
Chapter 6: Recovery
John and Sherlock, post-shooting.
Nothin' to say... just enjoy! Comments are luverly, of course.
Although rationally in his head John knew that Sherlock had a low chance of dying from the gunshot wound, he was still worried out of his mind. Lestrade tried to calm down his pacing in the A&E waiting room, but it did no good. Even a cup of tea and a couple of digestives produced from thin air seemed to do nothing except make his mind race faster from the caffeine. The receptionist seemed unwilling to give John any further details about her progress although he had emphasised the importance that he was both her partner and a doctor himself. It did no good.
Then, in a twist resembling the deus ex machina of Homer’s Odyssey, Mycroft appeared from nowhere and whisked him into a hallway.
‘Now, I can get you to see her, but really John… partner? Sherlock is never attached. Pick a lie that makes more sense if you want to get your way.’
John stood there, stunned. Mycroft of all people should have been able to see the signs that his sister was happy, but apparently he was too busy meddling in other matters to mind.
Mycroft gave him a strange look. ‘You’re… not lying? Oh dear me. You are braver than I thought you were, Dr. Watson. Taking on my sister… I didn’t even think she had feelings for people. Those tend to be too pedestrian for her, more often than not.’
John stood a little taller in an effort to show dominance in the situation. ‘I think you’ll find, Mycroft, that your sister and I have been together for a number of months now. We have a strong relationship and I can’t see it ending anytime in the near future.’ His tone had an air of finality in it. He might as well have said ‘so there’ at the end. ‘Please get me into her room as soon as humanly possible.’
John was just about to walk away when Mycroft caught his arm. ‘John. You’re going to have to be careful with her for some time now. She’s lost a kidney in the accident. You know all about gunshot wounds. It’s not going to be easy.’
‘I understand that, Mycroft.’
‘I’m also told that she may have lost her ability to have children. She doesn’t know this. I think you should be the one to tell her.’
‘Can you imagine her having children, Mycroft? I hardly think she’ll be disappointed.’
Mycroft gave him a look that said, tread carefully. ‘There are many things that surprise me about my sister, John. She was never the sociable type, nor the one for relationships. I think mummy had settled to believe that Sherlock might never marry, but look at you. Apparently that’s not true. Maybe she has some other things hidden in her heart that she’s not willing to reveal yet. Don’t assume.’
‘Who said I want children, Mycroft?’
‘You have pursued fairly normal relationships up until now, John. Sarah Sawyer? That could have turned domestic very quickly if you hadn’t gotten her kidnapped by Chinese smugglers. You are a traditional man. I’m sure somewhere in there, there is a desire for children.’
John didn’t want to admit that Mycroft was right, but as he walked back into the waiting room to find Greg, he contemplated that thought. A son, or daughter, with Sherlock… It would truly be an adventure. She would never be a normal parent, and of course the child would be a genius. But no. He shoved that thought out of his mind. There were more important things to concern himself with than the potential (or lack thereof) of having children with Sherlock. She just needed to recover.
After only sitting down for 5 more minutes, a nurse came out of a room not too far down the hallway. ‘Dr. John Watson?’
He stood up anxiously, pacing towards her. ‘Yes, yes, that’s me.’
‘Please follow me. Ms. Holmes is currently sleeping, but you are more than welcome to stay. A private room has been arranged for the both of you.’
‘Mycroft,’ John thought. ‘At least there are some advantages to knowing him.’ He waved goodbye to Lestrade and followed the nurse down the corridor.
Upon entering the room John found not only a chair sitting next to the hospital bed, but also a camp bed that had freshly laundered sheets on it. He felt relieved. Although he wanted to be right there with Sherlock, he wasn’t sure how much longer his body was going to hold up from the stress of the day. It was past midnight now, and he had woken up that morning before 6 due to Sherlock’s violin.
‘I’ll leave you to it, Dr. Watson. If you need anything… you know what to do.’ She smiled and walked out of the room, shutting the door behind her.
Although the bed looked particularly inviting, John sat in the chair and held Sherlock’s hand for a few moments. He needed the comfort and warmth of her body. It was reassuring that she had made it through and that there seemed to be no complications minus the inevitable loss of her kidney. She had been in and out of surgery in under an hour.
Her charts were on the end of her bed. John reached out to look at them. Vitals were normal enough, considering the situation. At the bottom there were a few notes including one that said ‘Fertility? Needs to see Ob/Gyn’. John pushed the thought out of his mind. He felt he knew Sherlock well enough to know that she did not want a child. But did he? Mycroft’s words came back to the forefront of his mind. Maybe he didn’t know her as well as he imagined himself to. Was this why she was so open to having sex with him, despite an obvious lack of interest? They had yet to have intercourse, but she had never said that it wouldn’t happen. He tried to calm his racing mind. He had no pyjamas, but it didn’t matter. Lying down would surely do the trick. He turned out the lights and soon drifted into an uneasy sleep.
John awoke suddenly, not knowing what had startled him. The room was still dark and a look at a clock with glowing red digits told him he had only been asleep for a couple of hours. The monitors on the machines Sherlock was hooked up to weren’t making any strange noises so he wondered what was going on. Slowly, it came back to him. He had been dreaming, or rather, having a nightmare. The unpleasant feeling that washed over him was clearly the result of his body reacting to the numerous shootings he had been in during the past year or so. While the adventurous lifestyle had kept his limp away, John began to wonder if it was really the most sustainable for him and his now partner. There was part of him that wanted to grow old and settle down in a small village. London would always be there, but his body would age eventually.
He managed to fall asleep again and the next time he woke up it was due to light streaming through the gaps in the curtains, not another vision of previous shootings. Sherlock wasn’t stirring so he went into the hallway in search of a cup of tea. He must have looked a mess in his slept-in clothes because the people he passed looked at him like he was something out of a zombie film. This didn’t surprise him. His mind was still racing at the speed of light even though he had managed to sleep another 5 or 6 hours.
John returned to their room, a steaming styrofoam cup in hand, and was just sitting down when Sherlock began to stir.
‘Morning, doctor.’ She was smiling at him. His heart lifted with relief that she seemed to be okay. ‘How’s the hole in my back? We’ve both got our battle scars now.’
‘I can’t say I looked. You were so peaceful. I haven’t seen you sleep that long in donkey’s years.’
‘I suppose that’s what happens when you get shot, isn’t it?’
‘I think I slept longer than you, but then again, it’s all proportional I suppose. How do you feel?’
‘Like someone has been poking around in me and invading my body. I could really do with some food. No. Don’t laugh. I wouldn’t make that up.’
John chuckled a little. Sherlock rarely asked for food. She must have been desperate. ‘Let me go out and tell them. I’m sure that you’ll get something nice considering the fact that Mycroft seems to have interfered as usual.’
‘He does have that habit, yes.’
‘By the way, he knows we’re together.’
‘Damn. I thought I was going to be able to keep that away from him.’ She scowled, looking genuinely disappointed. ‘It was much easier to be grumpy when he thought I had no emotions.’
‘Oh please. I don’t think you’re expected to be any more excited to see him. He’s still Mycroft, not the Queen.’
‘I don’t think he could deal with the demotion!’ They were both giggling a little before Sherlock stopped, realising it was hurting her back.
‘Yes. Please, darling. No more accidents this week. What do you want to eat?’
‘Tea, for certain. And something not disgusting.’
‘With honey. Maybe some fruit.’
‘Yes, your majesty.’ He smiled at her and popped out the door.
15 minutes later, Sherlock and John were chatting and a nurse came in with some food. It was exactly as she had wanted it, evidently Mycroft’s name was still resonating with the staff, and Sherlock scarfed it down, as if she hadn’t eaten in days. In fact, she probably hadn’t, so John wasn’t too surprised.
There was a slight knock at the door, just as she was draining the last of her tea, and Mycroft walked in, a navy blue suit looking sharply pressed that morning, despite the tired look on his face.
They glared at each other for a minute, each not wanting to stand down.
‘Now, now you two.’ John was forced to break the silence. ‘I’m sure Mycroft has a good reason to be here, and Mycroft I am sure you have the ability to make yourself brief. Sherlock is incredibly tired.’ She gave John a knowing smile and Mycroft simply raised his eyebrows, looking a little annoyed at the power John was asserting over him.
‘Yes. Well. I think that you are both aware of what happened last night. You walked straight into a trap that has now become a matter of national importance for us. Although you will not be on the case, Sherlock, until you are fully recovered, and I mean fully, my department will be continuing to observe the whereabouts of a number of suspects.’
‘Oh, please, brother. A matter of national importance? It was a roomful of prostitutes. Yes, a trap for me. But really?’ Sherlock was evidently losing the filter on the brain-to-mouth connection that she sometimes possessed.
‘Yes, sister, national importance. We will be looking into this. However, I do beg you to not get yourself involved. Keep a low profile and recover from this incident without another.’
‘You’re going to keep me cooped up here?’
‘Only as long as necessary. I assure you that once the doctors see fit, you will finish your recovery in the comfort of your own flat, as John is a more than competent doctor himself.’
‘Fine.’ Mycroft had an air of staunchness about him and began to walk out of the room. Before he left he turned back around and spoke directly to John. ‘And Dr. Watson? Please do not forget to discuss the matter I spoke with you about last night.’
‘It will happen, Mycroft.’ And with that, Sherlock’s brother was out the door.
‘What was that all about?’ she said, looking at John with confusion.
‘Nothing. Or something your brother seems to find important. It’s irrelevant at the moment.’ He wasn’t lying. It wasn’t as if they were trying to have a baby then or anytime in the near future. What was important was that Sherlock recover so they could get out of that hospital room as soon as possible. John wasn’t sure how long Sherlock could survive in a 15x12 room without going insane. ‘Come on, Sherlock. Budge up and I’ll sit with you in bed and tell you about the stupid things Anderson did while you were being loaded up into the ambulance.’ With that, John climbed into the bed and tried to enjoy the moment with Sherlock, ignoring the nagging in the back of his mind.
Chapter 7: Secure
Sherlock wants to go home.
The week Sherlock spent at the hospital was a long one. By day 3, she was irritable and by the fifth morning, John found her almost intolerable. She was healing, but the doctors wanted to keep her for a few more days to observe her. There was also the matter John had yet to discuss with her.
They were both sitting by the window, looking out at a barren courtyard, when a nurse came in. ‘Ms. Holmes?’
‘Later today you have an appointment to see an gynaecologist. I am assuming this is fine?’
‘They want to check some things before you go home.’
‘And they need an gynaecologist for this?’
‘Yes. There’s something on your sheet about internal trauma reducing your fertility.’
‘Fine.’ Sherlock turned away from the woman and began looking back out the window. The nurse walked out, apparently dismayed at Sherlock’s lack of understanding. ‘John…’ she was wary once the woman had left. ‘What on earth is going on?’
‘I didn’t set this up.’
‘What do they mean?’
‘They’re not sure about how the internal trauma of having a gun shot into your body will affect your ability to have children.’
‘Why would I be concerned about that?’ There was something in her tone that meant this had never before crossed her mind.
‘Routine, I suppose.’
‘You did set this up. Don’t lie, John. You know you can’t get away with this.’ She looked him straight in the eyes, not blinking.
‘I didn’t. I swear. Mycroft wanted me to speak to you-’
‘Mycroft?! Since when did he care about my body?’ Her tongue spat out syllables. ‘This must be part of his plot.’
‘Plot?! Sherlock I think he’s just concer-’
‘Oh please. He’s never concerned with my well-being unless it has an end goal. If I have children, Mummy will be pleased and will never bother him about it.’
‘Do you not want children, Sherlock?’
‘Oh don’t give me that, of course I don’t!’ She flew out of her chair, forgetting that her body wasn’t as strong as it normally was and then winced, moving slowly to sit on the side of her bed.
‘I see.’ John wasn’t looking up. He didn’t want to reveal to her that he had decided it wouldn’t be so bad to have a little one running around if they calmed down their lives a bit. However, John had forgotten that his face had more tells than a 7-year old to Sherlock.
‘You want children.’
‘I didn’t say that, Sherlock.’
‘You just confirmed my beliefs. Thank you.’
‘I wasn’t forcing you to have my babies, Sherlock. You know that.’
‘Oh weren’t you? This isn’t some sort of plot to get me comfortable with you and then, when I’m least expecting it and most vulnerable, we have intercourse. Of course it’s fiiiine with me because I’ve become accustomed to your touch, even if I’m not sexually attracted to you. And somehow, you conveniently forget condoms in the heat of the moment and there I am, PREGNANT. Was that the plan, John? Was it? Were you going to fool me?’ The words had literally spilt out of her mouth, leaving John stunned and silenced. ‘You know what John? Go find some other woman who wants to take your seed.’ With that, she stormed out of the room. John didn’t know what to do.
After letting himself calm down from the shock of her words he walked out the door and down the hall, looking for her. A few minutes later and many hurried steps down the corridors of the hospital found John looking at a Sherlock who was huddled up on a chair in a corner.
‘Darling, what are you doing here?’ He did his best to make his voice as soft as possible; there was no use scaring her away again.
‘What do you think I’m doing?’ She didn’t look at him.
‘I just want to tell you that it doesn’t matter if I want children or not, Lock. In the eternal words of Mick Jagger… “You don’t always get what you want.”’
‘We’ll listen another time. But I mean it. Genuinely. This relationship is more important to me than having children. You know that. I wouldn’t still be here if I was hell-bent on having a child. I would have found some desperate woman, gotten married and gotten her pregnant. We could have even skipped the marriage bit. But instead, I’m sitting here in this miserable hospital with you.’ She smiled a little, just a hint. ‘You think I want to be in here? I may be a doctor, but this is downright depressing. We need some running to happen, even though I can’t see that happening any time soon…’
‘Then why do I need this stupid exam?’ The childish nature in her was coming out again, and a pout was forming on her face.
‘Let’s put this in your terms, Sherlock. They’re just cataloguing each part of your body. Would you be completely satisfied with your data of an experiment if you had missed out a key component that could be relevant at a later date?’
‘Then this is the same. Just because you’re not needing your ovaries right now doesn’t mean that there won’t be a point when you will.’
‘And if I never do?’
‘There is no harm in what you’re about to do. You’ll get one exam and probably an ultrasound. It’ll be just you and another woman.’
‘You’re not going to be there?’
‘Surely you don’t want me there while they’re poking around down there, Sherlock.’ But it struck John that maybe she did want him there. She could be so peculiar. Confident and in charge one moment, a nervous wreck the next.
‘Would you…’ She didn’t want to ask, but John could tell by the lilt of her voice what she meant.
‘Of course. Whatever you need. Come on. Let’s get you something to drink at least before you get stirruped up.’
‘Before I get what?!’
‘You’ll see,’ John replied, grinning a little internally.
‘That was the most horrifying event of my life.’ Sherlock was actively shuddering as she and John walked out of the exam room.
‘Surely being stabbed in the hand that time was worse?’
‘Hardly. And the coldness of that gel?’ She cringed as they walked into the lift to head back to their private room.
‘You’re very silly sometimes, Sherlock.’
‘Have you ever been violated on an exam table like that by someone you don’t know?’
She had a point. ‘No, but I’ve done it enough times to others.’
‘Then have a little sympathy for the women in your life.’
‘You know you’re supposed to get that done once every 2 years, right?’
‘How?!’ There was disgust in her voice.
‘For your health, they say.’
‘Yes, well, let’s ignore that little order and get on with our lives, shall we?’
‘I think we can now that they’re fairly sure all your innards are working properly.’ He tickled her tummy as the lift neared their floor.
‘Seriously, John. Can I go home now?’
‘I’ll talk to your supervising doctor and see about that. It’s not like I can’t provide you with the care you need now that you’re just healing.’
221B was a relief for Sherlock. The moment they passed through the door into their flat, she went as quickly as she could up to her room for her better dressing gown that hadn’t been taken to the hospital. Tea was made soon after and she and John curled up on the sofa together to watch what Sherlock called ‘the stupidest film ever made.’ To John, it was simply Hot Fuzz.
‘Oh come on. This is hilarious, Sherlock.’
‘I do admit, it is funny. The stupidity of many of the constables rivals that of Anderson and Donovan.’
‘I know you’re enjoying it. You just won’t admit it. To silly for the great Sherlock Holmes?’
‘I’m still sitting here, aren’t I?’
The film ended half an hour later with, what John thought, was a smashing conclusion. However, he was about to get up to put the DVD away when he looked on his shoulder. Sherlock’s eyes were peacefully closed and he felt bad taking away her human pillow. He repositioned them on the sofa and before long he was asleep like her.
In the morning John awoke to find Sherlock bustling uncharacteristically in the kitchen. He rubbed his eyes, thinking he was still dreaming.
‘Oh don’t darling me, John. Mycroft brought buy some of his fancy cakes and I was just putting them away so they don’t spoil. You would have scolded me for letting the cream sink in the heat of the flat.’
‘Your thought process got beyond “I hate Mycroft”?’ He was shocked.
‘Yes, yes. Although using empathy doesn’t come naturally to me, I am still perfectly capable of deducing what humans expect out of me.’
‘You speak like you’re not from this planet.’
‘I’ll let you decide whether that’s true or not. What am I allowed to do?’
‘What do you mean?’
‘Obviously running around is forbidden. But I need cases. I’ll use your gun to shoot another smiley face in the wall if I don’t have one.’
By the look of her face, they weren’t, but John didn’t take offence. There was no substitute for carrying an illegal firearm through London, chasing a serial killer. He came up behind her and hugged her around the middle gently, being careful not to hurt her back, which was still in pain from the wound. Sherlock turned around, smiling, and John pressed a chaste kiss onto her lips. He didn’t feel the need to deepen it. She knew exactly what he was saying to her, and the fact that she was still in his arms said it all.
Well, this is the end, at least for now! I may come back to this idea another time, but right now I’m anxious to write something else. Hopefully it won’t be too long till you’re hearing from me again. Thank you for the kind words and favs and subscribes :)