„I can’t believe it.” says John standing in the middle of their hotel room.
“Hmm…” is the only answer John gets from his friend. Sherlock is already busy sneaking around the room looking at everything and searching for something at least remotely interesting. Obviously he isn’t paying any attention either to John or to his problem.
The room itself is quite nice and cozy with its vintage design and warm evening light shining through a window. It contains two old fashion armchairs, one coffee table between them and a lonely lamp standing in one of the corners. But the cause of John’s distress is a big framed mirror hanging on the wall across the entrance and a double bed with big, fluffy pillows and a floral patterned bedspread beneath it.
“Sherlock, she gave us a room with only one double bed” John sighs. He is convinced that it must be some kind of universe’s wicked humor display. Because if not this then he doesn’t know why would it happen to him especially today after a very long day when the only thing he dreams of is a few minutes of peace and a hot shower.
“Yes, I can see that.” says the consulting detective never breaking off his journey through the room or even pausing for a moment to look at John.
“Sherlock, don’t you mind, at least a little bit, that most of the people we meet think we are a couple?” asks John slightly irritated with his flat mate and his never ending indifference to basic matters. They had this conversation before, of course they did, but it can never ends with Sherlock simply answering the question so once in a while John finds himself asking again.
Finally his friend turns around and looks at him “Most people are idiots.” Sherlock says flatly as he slides into one of the armchairs. Then he presses his hands together and puts them under his chin. His legs crossed and eyes closed.
John decides that once again it must be the end of their conversation about this topic so resigned he rubs his eyes and says “I’m going down to ask for another room. You can stay here if you want…”
“…I should be back in a few minutes.” only after he says this the meaning of Sherlock’s words hit him “Wait… What?” John is standing in the doorway with his hand on the doorknob and mouth slightly open in disbelieve.
“Didn’t you see her?” asks Sherlock in a voice that John previously indexed as a one his friend uses when someone doesn’t catch something that is so obvious it hurts. For him at least.
“Of course I saw her, I even talked to her as you weren’t bothered to do as much.” says John maybe a little bit too sharply. Apparently his patience is wearing thin.
“Doesn’t she remind you of someone then?” Sherlock raises one eyebrow at him, patiently waiting for John’s answer. His hands still pressed together under his chin.
“Well, when I think about it…” John recalls a picture of the hostess in his mind as he closes the door and steps back inside. She is a charming old lady. John thinks of her warm smile when she referred to them as “boys” even though they didn’t meet before. Her gentle, kind eyes when she gave them keys to the room and wished a good night. But at the same time somewhere under his skin John can feel the lady’s inner strength and wisdom. “Yeah… In some way she does reminds me of Mrs. Hudson.” he smiles shyly uncertain of his judgment.
“Indeed.” One corner of Sherlock’s mouth turns up a little, he’s undoubtedly glad with John’s answer. “Now when you finally caught up you obviously can see why asking for a room change is a waste of time. Besides however irrational it is I can tell that you don’t want to trouble her or hurt her feelings.” now Sherlock is giving him his “sentiment, isn’t it?” look and John hates it but must admits that Sherlock is right. And yes, it is irrational. “What’s more…” his friend continues “ …If you’d paid a little bit more attention to your surroundings you would have seen that they don’t have any other double room available at this moment.”
John frowns at that “How can-“
“Oh please, the guests record of course.” Sherlock waves his hand “And the keys, they were put in specific order that-“
“Ok, I get it.” That isn’t looking very good, John thinks. The only option they have now is to leave as soon as possible and start looking for another accommodation. “So maybe we should-“
“Staying here is the only logical solution as you clearly are too tired to be looking for another hotel.” says Sherlock plainly. His face as blank as ever.
“Ok… Ok, fine.” John instantly feels that he is in fact tired and without doubts way too tired to be having this conversation for much longer. He also is pretty sure that he already knows the answer for his question, but he asks anyway. “Then how are we going to solve this? Because I am not sleeping on that bloody floor Sherlock, I’m not going to do this.”
“I wasn’t planning on doing anything like that either.” Yep, there it is.
John stays silent for a moment and before he manages to say anything Sherlock asks “Is that a problem for you?” John can see that his friend stiffened a little bit and is looking at him closely. “No, of course not.” he answers quickly. Maybe too quickly.
Sherlock is looking at him for a few more seconds then says “Good.” Next he clears his throat and adds “I believe that you would like to have a shower now.”
“Erm. Yes, yes that would be lovely.” John was wondering for a while now when it starts to get awkward. And that would be now. He goes to their suitcase and starts looking for his night clothes once again thankful for his hunch that this case might takes a little bit longer than Sherlock believed and for his army skills that allowed him to pack them in less than a five minutes.
When he gathered everything he needs John looks at Sherlock and says “I’m going to be back in a five.”
“Usually it takes you fifteen.” informs Sherlock from his armchair.
“Right. Fifteen it is then.” there is no point in dragging this conversation any longer so he heads to the shower.
When John is standing under the warm stream trying to wash out today’s events he thinks about how on earth did he manage to end up sleeping in one bed with Sherlock bloody Holmes. The more he thinks about it the more surreal it seems to be, and the more anxious he gets. So that’s it. There is no chance this shower is going to be relaxing. John sighs and steps out of the cabin. When he is dried and changed he looks at himself in a mirror “Christ, pull yourself together.” John whispers. One simple, short nod and his out.
When he’s back Sherlock is still sitting in the armchair but at the first sight of John he stands up, grabs his things and goes out without as much as a glimpse at John. Huh. Still awkward then. John shakes his head. He knows it’s only going to get worse. What he doesn’t know is what to do with himself while waiting for Sherlock’s return. He looks at the room so empty now and so terribly silent. He could wait sitting in the armchair but the thought of going to bed later together makes John even more uncomfortable than he already is. So he takes his phone, sets an alarm on, puts it on a bedside table and then slips under a duvet. Maybe he should turn the lights off and try to fall asleep before Sherlock is back, or at least pretends to be. But of course his friend can tell the difference at once without any troubles so there’s no point in doing so. And something like being awake and waiting in a bed for Sherlock when it’s dark in the room is… No no, no. The lights are categorically staying on. John can’t think of a worse night that happened to him in a very long time. He is convinced that in this circumstances even working for Mycroft again wouldn’t look that bad.
Mycroft. Oh God. John hopes that the elder Holmes isn’t paying too close attention to his brother right now because he’s not sure if he could survive Mycroft’s knowing eyes and nasty smiles. What’s more John has a feeling that Sherlock knowing that his brother knows about this cannot ends well. In a best case scenario it would end up with major sulk in worst with poisons mixing experiments at days and torturing the violin at nights. Yes, he most definitely doesn’t need that.
Before John manages to completely freaks himself out Sherlock is back. His cheeks are still a little bit flushed from a hot water, John notices. His hair, slightly damp at the ends, are a mess. Sherlock looks at him without his usual toughness in his eyes, without his barriers raised and then John’s head spins. He takes the breath that until now he was holding then clears his throat and says “Come on. I set the alarm at 8 a.m.”
“Yhm…” hums Sherlock as he slides into bed.
“I’m turning the lights off.”
“Yhm…” another hum.
The room is dark, they are lying on their backs in a silence for a while now and John can’t help but thinks about how Sherlock’s body is warm beside his, about that faint smell of someone else’s shampoo and about how it shouldn’t make his heart race.
“John I was thin-“ Sherlock starts.
“No. I’m not going to do the pillow talk with you so shut it and go to sleep already.”
Sherlock huffs and then without a word turns to his side away from John.
Good. That’s good. “Good night, Sherlock.”
John waits for few minutes and then there it is “Good night, John.” Yes, all is good.
After a few moments John’s breath evens and he drifts off to sleep. When he wakes up in the middle of the night he can’t feel his right arm and something is surely glued to his side. It takes John a couple of seconds to understand his position. Oh. OH. How did this even happen without him awaking earlier. Bugger. Now he has to slowly free himself from his friend. When John starts moving Sherlock groans softly and snuggles even closer. John tries again.
“It’s all fine, isn’t it John?” Sherlock asks more than half asleep. Then he puts his hand on John’s belly and purrs sleepily. John really would like to use another word for the sound Sherlock just made but he simply can’t, there is no other word in his head that fits.
Apparently his best friend is like a giantic cat and that would be nothing less but hilarious if John weren’t so shocked by experiencing it on his own skin.
But what choice does John has “Yes, Sherlock, all fine, now go back to sleep.” he sighs . Yes, as if Sherlock being a night cuddler is anywhere near fine. John bets that it’s going to be a very long night, but getting to know a new side of Sherlock, this side, it’s a rare privilege and a little bit in spite of himself John smiles warmly into the darkness.