Sherlock Holmes was anything but an ordinary man. At thirty-five years old, he was still eternally baffled by his fellow human beings. He found others silly and so hung up on ridiculous distractions that did nothing but cloud his own mind. No wonder they couldn't use their brains, he thought. If he allowed himself to be distracted by touch and emotion and God forbid, sex, he supposed he would be ordinary too.
But John Watson wasn't ordinary. He realized this the first day they had met. The small, unassuming man had an inner strength that radiated from him. Still yet, he had killed for Sherlock – he had saved Sherlock’s life, and not just once, but multiple times. The first had been mere days after they had met and decided to become flatmates. John Watson, former army doctor, was special. And yet, he appeared to give in to seemingly unnecessary social conventions like dating. The very word made Sherlock cringe, memories flooding his mind. Sebastian. Ignorant prick who had used Sherlock's naiveté against him. Sherlock had needed his friendship, his companionship, and he had used Sherlock’s lack of social graces against him. Now that he was older, he wasn't surprised at this terrible quirk of human nature. That didn't stop the look of disdain from appearing on his face at the recollection or the slight twinge of embarrassment that coiled in the pit of his stomach whenever he remembered Sebastian, or even worse, when he ran into him on occasion.
The affair had begun simply enough. Sherlock recognized Sebastian as someone of high intellect, much like himself. He was much more well-liked at uni compared to Sherlock, though, and Sherlock had hoped to use that to his advantage. But Seb was more than just a brilliant mind – he was a very attractive man. He was tall, almost as tall as Sherlock at just under six feet. His messy blonde hair and perfectly manicured beard made his face look slightly softer, less harsh than Sherlock’s. They had met in one of those silly required literature courses, all completely pointless to Sherlock, but intriguing to Sebastian. It was an amicable arrangement at first. Sherlock would put up with Seb quoting some poet from the 18th century as a way to declare his infatuation with Sherlock. Sherlock always scoffed at this – ridiculous sentiment. But it made Seb smile, and holding hands felt good. Having his scalp massaged felt good. Kissing Seb gently felt good.
What Sherlock was unprepared for was the issue of sex. He had always considered himself to be asexual. He knew that he wasn’t truly attracted to Seb in that way, but how could he tell someone so infatuated with him? So instead, he simply put up with it. He felt bored most of the time. He rarely topped, and he rarely let Seb touch him, so for awhile, he was able to keep his lack of interest a secret. He played along, because he did care about Seb, even though love isn’t the term he would have used.
When Sebastian Moran had found out that the great Sherlock Holmes was asexual, that he had essentially been putting on a show for Seb, Sherlock’s social problems were magnified. Sebastian and Sherlock had a great row, where Sebastian accused him of leading him on, and Sherlock cowered at his anger. In the end, Sebastian told his flatmates how Sherlock had “humiliated” him, as though he were some experiment that had gone wrong. It was truly Sherlock who was humiliated in the end. Sherlock was certain that he would never truly have a relationship with other human beings in that way again.
That isn't to say that he hadn't used his relationship with other people to his own advantage. It took a long while, but he learned how to act the part of a friendly person. He learned what was expected of him, and he used that to obtain information and gain favors. This was always helpful on a case. He wasn't always the brash individual that the Yarders knew him as -- he could turn on the charm when he wanted to. He just chose not to most of the time, because acting the part took a lot out of him.
Sherlock realized that one day, John would figure him out. He was a doctor, after all -- he must have encountered someone at least a little similar to him in his work, even if that work had been mostly patching up soldiers in Afghanistan. But Sherlock was certain that John was smart enough to figure it out. The question that remained was when would it happen? When would John deduce that he wasn't a high-functioning sociopath, as he had often explained? And what would happen when he did?
Sherlock was used to people shying away from them once they knew. He had his reasons for keeping his medical records a secret. He had learned even in early childhood that people who knew treated him with pity. People who didn’t know treated him as an oddity, but that was okay with Sherlock Holmes. He was used to being the oddball, the genius. He had made his peace with that. He had grown up in a home where intelligence was prized, and social niceties were observed in order to further one’s social status. Sherlock failed to understand why people cared about each other so bloody much. He knew the truth, one that Mycroft repeated to him often over the years – “Caring is not an advantage.” He knew this in his head, but it made little sense to his heart.
One day, soon, John would figure him out. And when did, what would happen? Sherlock just hoped that John wouldn't move out.