“I’m going to Tesco’s.” John announced as he went to put on his jacket and head for the door.
“What? Why?” Sherlock asked, looking up what he’d been doing a moment ago.
“We’re out of milk.” John answered, reaching for the door handle.
“And you’re going like that?” Sherlock’s tone was incredulous.
John paused for a moment, looked down at himself. He saw nothing wrong or out of place with his attire. He’d been wearing this stuff all day.
“Why? What’s wrong with what I have on?” he asked, taking his hand away from the door and turning to look at the vampire beginning to get up from the couch.
“Your shirt. It has a high collar.” Sherlock replied, striding over and reaching out to finger the edge of said collar.
“Yes, I know. You bit me again the other night, remember?”
“Of course I remember, John. But, you have a bandage over it.” Sherlock reasoned.
“Yes...but what’s that got to do with anything? In fact, what’s this whole conversation got to do with anything? I’m just going to Tesco’s.” John was beginning to get a little exasperated. Sherlock was being ridiculous, and as usual he refused to articulate why that was in a straightforward manner.
“Wouldn’t it be more comfortable if you wore a lower collar? With the bandage, no one will see the marks I’ve left.”
“No. Sherlock, no. We’ve talked about this already. We agreed! Biting me on the neck isn’t going to be a regular event, and when you do it I’m going to wear shirts with appropriate collars.”
“Really, John. We decided that since you work with medical professionals, in the event that I should leave a mark on your neck you would wear a higher collar to work. You aren’t going to work, we aren’t even going to a crime scene. You’re going to Tesco’s. I doubt you’ll be scrutinised by many medical professionals while you select which milk to buy.” the tone of Sherlock’s voice was one of mild disdain.
John sighed and began to take his jacket off. “Fine. I’ll go change my bloody shirt. Perhaps I’ll still have time to get to Tesco’s before it closes.” he said, irritated.
Once he’d changed his shirt, he went back to the living room to put on his jacket again and reach for the door.
“John...” Sherlock had been at the couch again, but he’d used some of that inhuman speed he rarely indulged in around the flat to get to John before he had a chance to leave.
As usual, it startled John. He gasped and nearly fell backward. Sherlock reached out to steady him.
“Dammit, Sherlock, we talked about that before, too! I told you not to do that!”
“I only wanted to ask if you were sure you wanted to wear that bandage.”
“You could’ve done that from the couch. And of course I want to wear the bandage.” John insisted.
“Really? The bandage is a bit large, and glaringly white. It might draw more attention than just leaving it off.”
“No, Sherlock. And now I’m leaving. I’ll be back soon.” John said, opening the door and leaving without another word.
“Hey...” a young man whom John had noticed staring at him in the dairy section for the last minute or so said, smiling a bit shyly.
John wasn’t sure if the shyness was an act or not, but he had decided that this young man was possibly about to hit on him. He wished they hadn’t rearranged where the milk was. He really did prefer a specific kind. Maybe he should just choose something at random this once?
“Hello.” John replied, looking over at the young man for a brief moment and giving a smile, before going back to the the milk. Ah, there was what he wanted.
“Oh...nice to meet you, David. I’ve got--”
“I don’t mean to bother you, but I was just wondering if perhaps you weren’t doing anything tomorrow...” naturally David plowed on before John could try to excuse himself.
It was all John could do not to wince. He felt bad for the man, he knew what it was like to be young and interested in someone you weren’t sure would give you the time of day. He’d let him down easily, but firmly.
“Actually, I--” once again John was interrupted, but this time by an unlikely source.
“John! There you are, I was looking for you!” came Sherlock’s voice, decidedly -- and perhaps strangely -- chipper.
The vampire walked up to John briskly, putting an arm around him and leaning into the blond, briefly and pointedly nuzzling at that white square of a bandage. It caused John a momentary shiver and then a blush. What John did not see, however, was the way Sherlock looked at David. The detective and David locked eyes for a moment. Sherlock’s flashing silver for a brief second.
The young man’s eyes widened, his face draining of color.
“Um...you know...I think I’m in the wrong aisle...” David murmured, lamely, before hurrying away.
“Sherlock, what exactly was that?? And why are you even here, I told you that I was just coming here to get milk.” John demanded, irritated at the way Sherlock had treated that young man. Yes, the advances had been unwanted, but John could easily turn David down without Sherlock’s help. And probably would have managed to preserve some of the young man’s dignity in the process. He felt badly for him now.
“John, are you really sure you won’t remove that bandage?” Sherlock asked, instead of explaining either why he was there at all or why he’d been so rude to that David kid.
“I can’t believe you’re still on about that. Yes, I’m sure, of course I’m sure. I came here for milk, I’ve gotten a jug and once I’ve finished paying for it we’ll be at home. Why do I need to take the bandage off for that? In fact, I shouldn’t have had to change my shirt for it!”
Sherlock sighed. “When a human has a fresh bite from a vampire,” he began to explain, quietly so as not to draw attention, “Other vampires can smell the blood as if it were still flowing.”
At first, John didn’t quite understand what this little lecture was all about or why it needed to be given in the middle of Tesco’s dairy aisle. But, after a moment or two the answer dawned on him and his eyes widened, as he looked in the direction that David had gone in. The young man was no longer anywhere to be seen.
“You mean...he was...?”
“Yes. Although, a much younger one than myself. He was hoping for a quick meal. Apparently, he’s still young enough to not have perfected his method of garnering take away.”
“Sherlock, don’t call it that, please.” John sighed. It was just that it was so...creepy to describe humans as take away.
Sherlock just smirked a bit. He did, however, remove his arm from around John and pull away. They were beginning to get some looks for the excessively long display.
“Alright. It’s a good thing you were here, but the situation could’ve been avoided had you just told me about this in the first place.” John said, putting the jug he’d selected in the basket he carried.
Sherlock kept his smirk and said nothing as he followed John so that they could pay and leave. He was just glad that John had been sufficiently distracted from remembering the fuss had actually been about the lower collar on his shirt and the bandage that obscured the bite marks. The bandage which he had also removed without John realizing it.
There were three sets of two marks in a row atop each other on John’s neck. Sherlock’s personal mark, as the center set was offset just the slightest bit so that it seemed slightly out of place. That mark would signify to other vampires that John was Claimed, not a victim and not anyone’s next meal.
But, only if they could see it, of course.