Sherlock lay outstretched on the sofa, umpteenth play in hand. Some truly unimaginative criminal fancied himself clever enough to taunt Scotland Yard with passages from Shakespeare. It was to his credit that none of the Yarders had studied drama. Sherlock had deleted the bulk of what he'd learned long ago. He knew the method, all that remained now was the details; details which could apparently only be found among Shakespeare's dozens of works. Charming.
John placed a fresh cup of tea on the table to replace the one Sherlock had ignored before. Glad enough to be distracted from this latest grudging romance, Sherlock took a sip: perfectly prepared, as always. He smirked up at his blogger, following his progress with his own tea, back to his own chair. His doctor was ever-reliable, for amusement, for companionship, and even the odd timely rescue. Sherlock wasn't a believer in fate or luck, but if he were, he would call himself a lucky man for having met John Watson and being met by the same.
" By my sword , Doctor, thou lovest me. "
John halted his progress, head tilted, his face no doubt adorned with familiar long-suffering patience. "'By his sword,' he says," Sherlock heard him murmur to himself. "Of course, he has a sword." No more distracted by the Bard, Sherlock sipped his tea again and waited. John let out a gusty sigh and dropped into his chair, surrender written in his every line. " Do not swear, and eat it. "
Sherlock lifted his oft-replenished tea in toast to John's evident affection. " I will swear by it that you love me; and I will make him eat it that says I love not you. "
An eyebrow raised, " Will you not eat your word? " And both of their teas went on neglected.
Sherlock turned onto his side, fingers flipping the feathered pages. " With no sauce that can be devised to it. I protest I love thee. "
John hummed in contemplation. " I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest. "
Sherlock dropped the play onto the floor. 'Boring.' But John wasn't. "You've skipped a line or four." He was on his feet and stalking in three.
John met him in the middle. "I think I've made my point."
" Come, bid me do any thing for thee, " he said and meant it; he almost laughed. " I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange? " Strange for a man who loved his work more than breathing, dull breathing, boring breath.
" As strange as the thing I know not. It were as possible for me to say I loved nothing so well as you: but believe me not; and yet I lie not; I confess nothing, nor I deny nothing. " He let loose a shaky breath. " I am sorry for everyone else."
Sherlock caught his fingers in the weave of John's jumper. "Don't be." Soon, John's hands covered his. He turned it over as to inspect the calluses of trigger, scalpel, and kettle. " By this hand, I love thee. " 'And by this ruined shoulder, treacherous leg, and burned heart,' which he could never say.
" Use it for my love some other way than swearing by it. "
"How?" He could only imagine, tracking the motion of John's tongue across his lip.
"Blushing pilgrims comes to mind."
His eyes rolling in disgust, Sherlock ignored John's rambling and kissed him anyway. There would be no dying at the end of this story. Not for a very long time.