Chapter 1: The Bad Beginning
Sherlock. Sherlock what the hell was that? Come home now. JW.
Well John, I believe that was what you “normal” folk call a kiss. You clearly didn’t like it, and if it’s all the same to you I’ll come back later. SH.
Now. Please. JW.
Sherlock sighed and deposited his phone into his left coat pocket. John wanted him. He’d return sooner or later, best to cut the agony off now. Get it over with. Ascending the stairs he felt a strange ache in his chest, like his heart was on the blink, and his lungs had shrunk. He filed the feeling away for later. Opening the door, he slunk into the living room, pointedly ignoring John. But oh ho John was having none of that. He grabbed Sherlock by the arm and swung him around so they were face to face.
“What,” John said quietly, using what Sherlock had labeled his ‘doctor voice’, “was all that about then?” He looked perplexed, yes, but affectionate, not angry.
“I…uhm,” Sherlock managed, “I—”
John shushed him, “Because I’ll tell you what I got? Fuck it all Sherlock, I never want to see you like that again. So…vulnerable. Sad, even. I never want to see you leave.”
Well that made it easier. John wasn’t angry. Not even a bit.
“I think I love you, John,” Sherlock said after a short pause, “with all my heart. But I can’t be sure, without sufficient data on the topic it’s damn near impossible to draw even the haziest of conclusions.”
John huffed out a breath and curled Sherlock closer to him. “Well I’m not what one might call an expert on the matter either, you having scared away all my girlfriends within hours of meeting them.”
He said the words without malice or resentment, just stated as fact. Sherlock hummed contentedly and pulled John down onto the sofa, surprisingly happy to curl up in John’s lap and gaze vacantly at the flickering light of the television.
He wasn’t too affronted however, when John groaned, muted off whatever inane crap had been playing, and dragged Sherlock up to face him. Sherlock studied John’s features intently, looking for anything that could give him a view of what the good doctor was thinking. John looked somewhere between grinning like a madman and having a minor breakdown. After what seemed like an eternity John managed to breathe out the words “you are so beautiful, you know that?” and Sherlock had ducked his head and buried his face in John’s chest. Anything to avoid showing John his flushed face, and hearing the older man’s steady heartbeat was just a bonus as far as he was concerned. “As are you,” he mumbled without lifting his head. John damn near did cry then, but he blinked away the tears and turned up the volume on Torchwood once more, trying to lose himself in the blatant sexual tension between Jack and Ianto that filled every episode.
Sherlock was his. And that was great. But now was not the time to confuse the poor man with happy tears. After a short while his stomach grumbled, and not long after that, Sherlock's did too. John removed himself from beneath Sherlock, which was no mean feat. The man was skinny, yes, but god he was heavy. John chuckled as Sherlock whined at the lack of contact, but made his way into the kitchen nonetheless.
“John,” Sherlock whined from the sofa.
“What? I’m hungry, not all of us can live on air and tea, no matter how many stereotypes say we can. And to be quite honest with you, ‘Lock, I think tonight’s events call for greasy curry.” With that John picked up the phone and called the Thai place on the corner. Sherlock was torn between being affronted and admiring John, baggy jumpers and all. In the end he settled for a mixture of the two, scowling as he stared unabashedly at John's arse. The scowl dissipated almost instantly as John lifted Sherlock's torso up, sat down, and dropped the man back onto his chest.
“Not exactly the normal way to start one of these things.” Sherlock’s deep voice rumbled once again through John’s chest.
“No. We never did do anything quite as expected though. Not a great start, pretty nice ending though.”
Sherlock looked up, confused. “For me, definitely. For you, how so? I can’t help but feel that you get the short end of the stick here, John.”
“Why on Earth would that be? I’m the one with a beautiful, mad genius curled up on my lap.” John smiled, that being the only way to avoid breaking down, holding Sherlock close and telling him everything no one else ever had. There was time though, and Sherlock did not need to be smothered right now. Sherlock merely snuffled closer into John's chest and said nothing.
All too soon the food arrived, and John heaved himself out from underneath six feet of consulting detective. Sherlock was vaguely miffed until he saw John climb the stairs once more, bearing a dozen foil trays and grinning broadly.
"You going to be able to eat all that?" Sherlock asked quietly.
"No," John said, "but that's alright because you're eating too."
"But John--" came the whine of the sulking man-child. "Don't 'but John' me with your face and your voice and that--no. You're eating." John grumbled good-naturedly.
The two sat in silence, Sherlock nibbling delicately at a spring roll in the hopes that John might not notice how little he was eating. In due course John set his chopsticks aside and sighed. Sherlock was tired of waiting and hauled John to his feet.
"Hi," he said once they were mere inches apart. They stood like that for god knows how long, each man tangled in the others arms and each utterly content. In the end it was Sherlock to close the gap between them in a sweet and chaste kiss, and once again, John let Sherlock take the lead. They slowly made their way up the stairs to John's bedroom, stopping every so often to look at the other, to make sure that one wasn't about to wake up and ruin everything.
As the pair lay in John's bed, still clothed, it was Sherlock again that took the lead and asked the question that had been bothering them both.
"How are we going to tell," he hesitated, motioning indistinctly at the air between them, "people. About this."
"The way we tell people everything," came John's ever gentle reply, "in the way they least expect, at a bad time, and in a manner that puts them at great inconvenience. Probably over a body at a crime scene. Or a family dinner with my uncle."
"Ah so much worse than your average narrow minded thug. He's old too."
Sherlock chuckled, "I'll deal with him."
"I don't doubt it." John smiled, and drifted off to sleep, held tight in Sherlock's arms.
Chapter 2: The Reptile Room
John takes a big step while surrounded by snakes and other horrors. Like emotions.
Sherlock and John took the stairs to the morgue hand in hand that morning, no one was around this early. Something about a party the night before, a party with booze, and both of them had steered well clear. It wasn't that John wasn't fond of the odd pint, but after seeing Harry ruin herself again, John stayed off it for most of the time. So the two of them entered the labs that morning, blissfully in love and completely oblivious to the fact that the party had gone slightly awry. Sherlock was just ahead of John, and stopped dead, the shorter man colliding painfully with him.
"Sorry 'Lock," John said, peering over Sherlock's shoulder to see what had startled him so. He immediately regretted that decision. Snakes. John went cold and shut his eyes, completely rooted to the spot.
"John?" Sherlock said, voice filled with concern. The poor doctor was trembling violently, eyes squeezed tightly shut, breathing erratic.
"Sorry Sherlock," he managed, "snakes."
"John, I'm here," Sherlock wound his longs arms around John, holding him close, "I love you." he mumbled into John's hair.
"Get rid of it Sherlock, please," John whimpered, "I'm sorry, I really am. I know it's stupid. I know."
"Hush, John." Sherlock soothed before leaving the smaller man alone to deposit the snake out of the fifth floor window, it fell to the street where it hit some poor sod on the head before slithering off down a gutter. He spun around as he heard a dull thud behind him, John had just buckled. He'd hit the floor hard. So Sherlock followed suit. He crawled over to John who was still shaking, and clutching his leg.
"Hey, John. John." Sherlock hefted the blond man into his lap and smiled at him sadly.
"I know," John said weakly, "it's all fine."
They both laughed, remembering the first time John had said those words. Seven years earlier, before Sherlock had gone and thrown himself off a building and disappeared for three years.
"You alright?" Sherlock asked after a moment.
"Yeah," John reassured him, "fine. Sorry, must've panicked you. Just my bloody leg. Again." John sighed quietly, waiting for the cries of 'It's the power of suggestion John!' that he got from most people. Sherlock just gazed sadly down at him, and kissed him softly.
Three words stopped him. Those three.
"John! Sherlock! Sorry!" Molly blurted out as she burst in on them.
"Ah Molly," Sherlock met her eyes and grinned, "awfully sorry. We'll be on our way."
"Oh, yes of course. I've got um...I've got Mr French's body waiting for you."
"Brilliant, if you could fill his belly button with treacle, I'll be in tomorrow for the results. Thank you Molly, and that new skincare routine really isn't working."
That was all Sherlock could get out before John pulled him from the room, leaving a very red faced Molly Hooper alone in the morgue.
"You could be nicer to her Sherlock," John scolded as they waited for the lift, "she really put her neck on the line for you."
"I was being nice," Sherlock said, confused, "saving her time and effort, no?"
"Yeah." John looked up at Sherlock, "hey, look at me," he said quietly and took Sherlock's face in his hands, "I love you. Okay?" Sherlock damn near forgot to breathe, and instead decided to kiss the breath out of John too.
The lift came and went and neither of them cared or noticed, but a very shocked Lestrade managed to snap a photo on his phone as the doors closed and carried him further up.
To: Anderson, Donovan, Dimmock
Message: You all owe me a fiver. GL.
Lestrade laughed as he hit send. Laughed harder as three messaged came in.
Aw the freak's loved. Fuck. -Sally
Oh please, those two have been at it for ages. -Dimmock.
Chapter 3: The Wide Window
"Sherlock, people are staring at us." John whispered, flushing violently.
"No more so than usual, John," Sherlock smiled at him across the three foot gap they kept between them while the Yarders were around, "Relax."
John rolled his shoulders and tried to shake the feeling that people had been gossiping about him and Sherlock not a minute before they'd walked into the office. They spotted Greg, hunched over his desk, tapping at a calculator and scribbling down some figures.
"Hallo boys," Greg said, looking up from his paperwork, "you look chipper this morning, Sherlock."
Sherlock looked momentarily baffled, but donned his carefully perfected smirk.
"A mere good night's sleep, inspector. You look like you could do with one."
"Yep, thanks Sherlock. Body's in there. Go take a look."
And with that he swanned past Greg to treat yet another dead person's body dreadfully and with no respect whatsoever.
John pulled Greg aside, "What is going on?" he hissed.
"No idea what you mean, John." Greg grinned conspiratorially.
John wasn't kept in suspense all that long though, as Anderson sauntered over, Donovan in tow, looking like the cat who got the cream.
"Ah if it isn't the freak. And his new mate."
"Shut your mouth Anderson," Sherlock called over dismissively, "nothing intelligent ever comes out of it. And Lestrade, I need you to take a look at the front window of the house this woman lived in. I want dimensions."
John wasn't so calm though. He'd had enough. Sherlock wasn't a freak, and if someone had a problem with his 'Lock, they could take it up with him.
"Say that again, Anderson." John said, shoulders tense.
Anderson's already ugly face twisted into something impossibly more disgusting.
"You gay then, Watson?" he jeered, "didn't have you down as the type. Him?" he gestured to Sherlock, "yeah. I see it. You? Naah. Not you. There's no way. What did he slip you?"
"Nothing. I love him, Anderson, and you'd do well to remember that."
"Oh he's got to be up to something, no one could love that."
John clenched, gritting his teeth and relying on his limited self-restraint to keep him from knocking the bastard out cold. He could. He was John fucking Watson, the soldier with a black belt in various different martial arts, legally a lethal weapon.
"Oi. Anderson. That's enough." John turned around to see Sally fixing Anderson with her surprisingly fierce stare, usually reserved for murderers and the odd rapist. Anderson opened his mouth to say something more when Greg jogged back in.
"Six metres wide, two metres high," He said breathlessly, "what's up with you lot?" he asked, noticing John and Sally glaring at Anderson.
"Anderson's a homophobe, Sally's sister came out last week, and you all seem to know about John and me so I don't think I need to say much there," Sherlock muttered, gazing intently at the dead lady's hand, "no. No, obviously." he said to himself, dropping her hand again and running a hand over her naked back. With a short noise of comprehension he looked up, delighted. What he saw distinctly bothered him. A blisteringly angry John, a rather confused and pissed off Sally, a red faced Lestrade. And Anderson.
"Right okay. So the window?" Greg prompted.
"Oh turns out it was irrelevant. Not plausible. Could've been, if it weren't for the glass still buried under her fingernails. Obviously put there after death. You're looking for a woman, about 5'8, ginger, asthmatic. Probably one of this poor girl's neighbours. So chop chop, restore the balance to society. Lock her up. Oh and Greg? Next time my brother gives you a blow job in your office, do at least try to hide it."
"What? How did-- oh never mind."
Sherlock flapped his hands at Greg, while exchanging a rather fraught look with John. Greg and Sally both noticed and made a hasty retreat.
Anderson was not so courteous.
"Freaks," he sneered, "I bet you take it, don't you Holmes? Disgusting, the pair of you. 'Spose it must run in the family."
"Anderson you can go home, and don't come in tomorrow. Zero tolerance policy, remember? Oh, and Sherlock, tomorrow morning. Need you again, paperwork." Greg called over his shoulder.
Sherlock groaned but not in earnest and Anderson turned on his heel, scowling. Sherlock grinned down at John and threaded their fingers together. John looked up at him affectionately, but not smiling. He brought up his other hand to brush the hair out of Sherlock's eyes. Sherlock kissed him lightly on the forehead, and pulled him from the room.
"Yeah," John said, returning Sherlock's smile at last, "home."
"I didn't punch the twat. Deserve a bloody medal I do."
Sherlock chuckled and pulled John closer, winding his arm around John's waist and leading him towards a cab.
"Oh and 'Lock? I meant it. I do. Love you, that is."
Sherlock hummed approvingly, "and I you."
"So Mycroft and Greg? Didn't see that one coming."
I ship Mystrade okay? If you let me say more on the topic I'll never stop but gah it's cute.
Chapter 4: The Miserable Mill
Sherlock and John go on holiday to the Netherlands.
“Come on, ‘Lock, it’ll be fun!”
John shouted as he pulled Sherlock into the waiting taxi, his lanky boyfriend carrying two bags and frowning.
“I highly doubt it, John. Lestrade said there’d be no phone connection out that far.” John grinned at the thought, and immediately his mind drifted to what he and Sherlock could do, alone in an old windmill, with no one around for miles and no phones at all.
“I’ll make it worth your while,” he teased, beaming madly at the consulting detective.
Sherlock sighed and returned the smile. With John looking this happy things couldn’t go too badly.
The journey to Amsterdam was quiet and uneventful, John content to curl up in his seat and daydream, and Sherlock happy to watch him, very little happened until they got to their home for the week. John grabbed the bags from the cab, paid the man and ran up to join Sherlock by the door.
“Seriously, John?” Sherlock said, incredulous, “here?”
John just grinned playfully and dragged Sherlock inside. And then his face fell.
This was far from a holiday home, it was more of…well, an old flour mill that had been left in a hurry.
“Yes, John. Ah indeed.”
The windows had been smashed, there was grain and flour on every surface, the stairs were rotten, and even the floor looked as if it were about to give way beneath them. John sighed.
“I’m sorry, ‘Lock.”
“S’okay, John.” Sherlock said, melting at the sight of John so despondent and sad.
He gave in and wrapped his arms around the shorter man, kissed the top of his head and held him tight.
“Really though, what are we going to do? We’ve no bed, honestly all I was planning on doing was keeping you in bed all day,” he giggled at the sight of Sherlock’s mildly horrified face, “No, not sex you fool. Not until you want to. Not ever if that’s what you want. Just being…with you.”
Sherlock smiled and flopped onto the damp floor, taking John down with him. He wriggled until he was underneath John.
“’Kay,” he said teasingly, pushing the hair off John’s face.
“Be…with me.” Sherlock smirked.
John laughed at the perfect man beneath him, realising that he, John Watson, was lying on top of Sherlock Holmes. And with that he kissed the man soundly, entwining his hands with Sherlock’s and pinning them above the taller man’s head.
“This okay?” he asked breathlessly, always aware of Sherlock’s experience (or lack thereof) in this particular area.
Sherlock just whined and lifted his head, anything to get John’s mouth on his again.
A while later the two of them had ventured outside the mill, the dampness in there was reaching the line between uncomfortable and un-fucking-bearable. They were lying in the tulip field by the miserable old piece of junk and just…being. Again. Sherlock suddenly jumped up and took John by the hand.
“A dance, good sir?”
“But of course Mr Holmes.”
Sherlock maneuvered John into an easier position and started spinning him through the multi-coloured flowers.
“What are we doing now, ‘Lock?” John asked, “I’m not a dancer.”
“Oh free styling for the moment, my love.” Sherlock grinned, wiggling his eyebrows, “But would you care to waltz with me?”
“Oh what the hell.” John chuckled and allowed Sherlock to manhandle him, putting him in the lady’s position for the classic dance.
“I’ll lead?” Sherlock said, before taking John through the basic steps.
“So that’s back, left, together, up, right, together?” John clarified.
“Exactly. Ah this does bring back memories.”
“Oh?” John prompted, interested to know where Sherlock learnt his stuff.
“Yes, Vienna, twenty years ago. I learnt this particular dance in a musty old dance studio above the town hall. The floor splintered all over the place, it took days before my feet were wood free.” Sherlock looked mildly wistful, but mostly just plain sad.
“Hey,” John soothed, “You okay?”
“Yes,” Sherlock said, shaking his head, “Sorry. Not all good. I was the freak, as I am now. I do adore Vienna though, love. I must take you there.”
“Stop that,” John growled, “Never let me hear you call yourself that again.” Sherlock’s eyes misted up and he buried his head in John’s shoulder to avoid letting his love for the shorter man get the better of him.
So naturally this was the time that one of them was to fall on his arse and get a sore ankle. And yes, it was Sherlock. So John took him inside and took up his role of doctor, and Sherlock was a brave little soldier and was honestly just glad it was him who had fallen over, not John.
When he voiced his thoughts to his John, all he got was a short laugh, “Less of that gallantry, Romeo.” Sherlock was close to pointing out that Romeo was honestly the least chivalrous romantic lead to have ever lived. In the course of his ‘romance’ with Juliet, six people died. Including him. And Juliet. But he bit his tongue and let John continue patching him up.
That night the two of them had located a fireplace in the mill, and were lying together in front of a blazing fire, using their bags as pillows and sickeningly sweet and in love. John had his arms around Sherlock’s narrow waist, one hand up in his hair, the other tracing meaningless patterns on his back. Sherlock was making little mewling noises and holding John tight.
“Not so bad after all then,” Sherlock murmured, lips at John’s forehead, breath tickling through his short hair. John said nothing for a moment, but pulled Sherlock even closer.
“Vienna sounds lovely,” he said quietly after a handful of moments, “Let’s go.”
“Mmmm,” Sherlock hummed, “One day.”
Yes, the next day they both woke up hopelessly tangled together, with pounding headaches and stiff limbs. Neither man minded particularly, and after a short voyage into Amsterdam for sleeping bags and food (John keeping Sherlock well away from anywhere potentially dangerous), the couple returned to the miserable old mill, hoping for a marginally more comfortable night.
Chapter 5: The Austere Academy
Sherlock tells John about his schooldays.
This story took a shamefully long time to come up with an idea for. It was staring me in the face the whole time. I am duly ashamed of myself.
"Hey, Sherlock?" John said, looking up from his book, "Where did you go to school?"
Sherlock visibly tensed. "Harrow."
"That bad?" John asked sympathetically.
"What do you think?" Sherlock said shortly, clearly regretting it, he added more gently, "Yeah. I was worse then than I am now. Worse that at uni, you met Sebastian."
John's heart shattered painfully, he padded over to Sherlock and held the man close. Sherlock relaxed and shut his eyes.
"S'okay, 'Lock. I get it. You can stop."
Later that evening Sherlock looked up from his latest experiment, the effect of glucose on various proteins and looked at John.
"They hated me, you know," he said simply, "Really. It never bothered me. Why should it have done? Didn't need them. Not anyone."
John's whole body went stiff.
"Yeah, well. I need you." He said irritably.
"And I you."
Later still, Sherlock looked up again.
"I've upset you." Sherlock observed.
"No, 'Lock. I just hate that no one else can see what I do."
Sherlock sighed and walked over to John, curling up on the shorter man's chest.
"Can I tell you anyway?" he asked cautiously.
"If you want." John said, not entirely sure whether he wanted to hear it, but ultimately certain that he had to.
"They...mocked me. I was the 'gay freak'," Sherlock began, "Boys liked to lead me on, then drop me and laugh. It hurt. More than I'd care to admit,"
John let out a long breath and stroked Sherlock's hair, always affectionate, "Stole my books, clothes, money. The usual petty schoolboy stuff. Vandalism, minor arson, a few beatings. Left things in my bed. Dead rats once. Then live ones when I experimented on the dead ones. Then, when I cut those open too, switching my shampoo with hair removal products like they thought I wouldn't notice. Like I said. Petty."
John damn near wanted to cry. How was it that it was genuinely just him that saw it? The man was a genius, insanely attractive, and entirely mad. And the thought of anyone even trying to get rid of 'Lock's locks made him intensely angry.
"They uhm. Well they realised that pranks weren't they way to go. Didn't work. So they changed tack. First they started cornering and attacking me. Then just ignored me, knowing that it was infinitely worse. No one acknowledged my existence. After a while that stopped bothering me too. And they'd run out of steam. Well, it was A Level time and they wanted help," Sherlock laughed bitterly, "My help."
"And you gave it to them?" John questioned softly.
"Of course not," Sherlock murmured, "Naturally that didn't help matters. So their last resort. Getting me on drugs. Ruining me."
John's hand tightened involuntarily in Sherlock's curls. His jaw clenched.
"Go on." The doctor said tightly.
"A boy 'befriended' me. Told me about cocaine. The lift it gave you. The escape from being bored. So I took it. Peppered my arms with tiny scars. Just like they all wanted me to. Mycroft had me removed and thrust into rehab. Then again during uni when I relapsed. And again. And a fourth time. Each time I was found lying in a pool of my own sick, stinking and wrecked. They'd finally done what they wanted to. Destroy the different one. But then came Lestrade and cases, and you, John. Thank you."
"You're fucking stunning, Sherlock. You know that right? I can't begin to understand why no one else can see it. You're beautiful and mad and a complete bloody genius," John voiced what had been on his mind for the last twenty minutes, "And I love you. And I'm so damn glad I met you." He swiped violently at his eyes.
"John? John are you crying?" Sherlock asked.
"No." John said stubbornly, blinking hard.
The detective felt his own shoulders shaking slightly, his eyes misting up, "Oh and I love you too. More than anything ever."
Chapter 6: The Ersatz Elevator
"Oh John, must we?" Sherlock whined as John dragged him up the flight of steps, "You limp. Lift, John. Now."
"Fine," John grumbled.
He pressed the button for the lift and the pair of them waited, hand in hand, for its creaky arrival. When the blasted thing finally stopped and the doors managed to open, they stepped in and started on their journey upwards. Sherlock was humming quietly, the deep sound of it cutting effortlessly through the unnecessary music that lift speakers feel the need to play. John slipped an arm around his detective's waist, pulling him slightly closer and smiling. Sherlock looked fondly down at John, still in the stage of wonderment, still uncertain why John loved him, but ever grateful that he did.
And this is the point at which something had to go wrong. Because the universe did not always look kindly down on Sherlock and John, and letting the lift jam when they were late already was just one of its many ways of showing them its affection. So yes, the lift halted jarringly, and John's arm tightened involuntarily around Sherlock's waist as the cables creaked and the box swayed.
"Hey, John. It's okay." Sherlock's smile was kind and genuine, the way it only ever could be for John.
"Yeah, I know. And at least now we have a valid excuse for missing Molly and Martin's recital."
"Aha. I knew you were just as reluctant as me." Sherlock grinned triumphantly.
"Well, when a man who looks just like your perfect boyfriend, minus all the beautiful bits, it can rub one the wrong way." John said fondly.
Sherlock was so taken aback at being called perfect that he missed the rest of John's reply. Not that it mattered. He swept John in to a rib-cracking hug, beaming.
"Sherlock?" came John's voice, muffled, from somewhere deep in the folds of Sherlock's coat.
"Alarm? Also breathing."
Oh, of course. Yes. The taller man loosened his grip on John enough to press the button and call for help, in the process giving the doctor space to take in air.
"Thanks," John mumbled, "So where did Molly meet this chap again?"
"Aaah plane ride?" Sherlock said, "He was the oh so gallant captain, all ready to help her aboard."
"Oh yeah, and dropped her bags, no?" John finished.
"That's the chap. A match made in heaven if you ask me."
"Be nice." John warned, grinning all the same.
A voice crackled over the intercom, "Hello. We've sent someone to bust you out, until then-- sit tight chaps."
"Mmm so we have ten minutes. Give or take." Sherlock said, calculating as ever.
"Yes indeed. And Molly's recital starts, oh right about now." John smirked.
"That's a shame." Sherlock returned, pulling John towards him, hands on the smaller man's arse.
"Not here, 'Lock." Sherlock pouted. "I mean it! Not here. Although, the instant the flat door is shut it's fair game. M'kay?"
A short while later, a man had pulled them both out ("Told you," John muttered, patting his lover's bum) and the two were on their way out when they ran into Molly and her beloved.
"Oh hallo Molly, Martin," John greeted the couple amiably.
"Hi John," said Molly nervously, "How was it?"
"Ah." John said, rubbing the back of his neck sheepishly.
"We missed it, got stuck in the lift." Sherlock cut in.
"Oh," Molly said quietly, "Okay."
"Sorry Molly." John apologised. Molly hushed him and turned to Martin.
"Love some, Molls." the man smiled before turning white as a sheet.
"Oh hello Martin," a smooth voice came from behind John and Sherlock, "With friends I see? Well I won't keep you but Carolyn wants you in Fitton…right about now actually."
"Fitton is three hours away." Martin said stiffly.
"I know," the grey haired man drawled cheerfully, something John had never thought possible, before sweeping through the group and not so subtly eyeing a rather young woman.
"Well, we must be off." John said, looking at Sherlock.
"Yes indeed." Sherlock added, dragging John into a taxi he had somehow managed to conjure up.
"Fair game you said."
"The instant the flat door is shut." John reminded him.
And the instant the flat door was shut, it was indeed fair game.
This chapter took me a damn long time to write, I'm sorry. But here it is, and don't expect the next one for a while because I'm spending a week with my geography class in sunny Barcelona next week :)
Chapter 7: The Vile Village
"John," Sherlock's deep voice was barely audible over the rain hammering on the windows, "when were you going to tell me that you're going home for Christmas?"
John sighed and scrubbed a hand over his face.
"Honestly? I wasn't planning on mentioning it at all, I was hoping to avoid it entirely this year."
"John, I never thought I'd hear myself say this, but I want to meet your parents. Vile, homophobic father and all."
"And uncle?" John said apprehensively, although he knew uncle Francis would probably steer well clear.
"I think I can knock him down a peg or two."
A week later John and Sherlock were watching the incessant english drizzle pour down the windows of a cab as they rolled slowly intp John's home town.
Sherlock grew more bored by the tedious environment John had grown up in as they drove down the high street. They passed dull shops, grey and closed, showing no signs of life gone by, a small church, and a doctor's surgery.
"My dad worked there," John murmured as they passed it, with no real sense of nostalgia, and as Sherlock turned to look at the shorter man, he turned away sadly.
"John, do you want to leave?"
"Yes," John said, "but I can't. This is a vile place, not a single decent memory in it, but I can't. Not now mum knows we're on our way, she's dying to meet you, love, even if dad isn't."
Sherlock nodded, and took John's hand softly.
"I'll handle your dad, John, don't worry about it."
Sherlock took the bags and paid the cab driver while John summoned up the courage to ring the doorbell.
"It'll be fine." Sherlock had said quietly, just as John's mum reached the door.
The ensuing greetings and introductions were done on auto-pilot, Sherlock because he didn't want to upset John, and John because of the ever-present fear that his father would come clattering down the stairs.
"John, love, do take Sherlock into the kitchen, Harry and I were making lunch." John's mum (Greta, Sherlock reminded himself) said, and he soon found himself being pulled gently along.
Harry was standing at the stove, stabbing viciously at a lump of frozen meat and scowling.
"Hey Johnny-boy," she sang as he dragged Sherlock in, "long time no see."
"Hey Harry," John said stiffly, "Sherlock, this is my sister, Harry, Sherlock."
"Ah so you're him then?"
"I suppose so," Sherlock said, "I am him."
"Well it's great to finally meet you at last old sport." Harry chuckled quietly as she turned back to the meat.
A moment later, a short and stout man, with slight remnants of blond hair and a red face stumbled into the room.
"Greta, Greta where's pork p-- and who the fuck are you?" he slurred upon seeing no sign of his wife, but a tall, dark stranger instead.
"Hello Mr Watson, the name's Sherlock Holmes, we haven't had the pleasure." Sherlock said politely as the man turned on him.
"Yes you little shit I knew that, I meant what the hell are you doing in my home? I don't like poofs, but they're my kids, so I deal with it. But you," the man wagged a finger at Sherlock, "you I can do something about."
"I can assure Mr Watson, that won't be necessary."
"No dad, no it won't," John and Sherlock both turned to look at Harry, who was no longer attacking the meat, and was instead looking fiercely at her father, "because you're sadly outnumbered here father dearest. Four to one and I'm afraid you either suck it up, or leave."
Mr Watson went through varying shades of red and purple before settling on a vibrant magenta, and storming out of the kitchen.
"Johnny, you couldn't help me with this?" Harry said easily, as though the last few minutes were a mere dream.
"I…yeah no sure." John had said.
And that had been that. John's dad hadn't shown up at lunch, nor dinner and though he made a brief appearance on Christmas morning, he made himself very scarce. No one missed him very badly although it must be said that years of medical work had left him very skilled at slicing up bodies, so his turkey carving skills were unavailable, but they made do. John had been able to laugh and joke with his mother and sister and hold Sherlock's hand, without the fear of his father's homophobia, Sherlock found himself getting along very well with Greta, who, like John thought he was incredible, and Harry had stayed off the wine.
"Not so bad, was it John?" Sherlock had asked once they were safely back in a cab on their way to the station.
"We've had worse."
Sherlock smiled and looked out of the window, he still hated the little village, it was monochrome and mundane, with far too many close-minded bigots per square metre, but they were leaving, and if one can't be happy about that, then one can't be happy at all.
If you're one of the people who's been waiting for this chapter, then I am so sorry it took me so long. Between holidays, school trips, writer's block, and a minor cancer scare, this has taken me a while. Apologies. K x.