Laughing at a crime scene, while not strictly prohibited, is highly frowned upon. John tries not to, he really does, but Sherlock is tearing into Anderson with gusto and the look on the man's face is just priceless.
Lestrade, on the other hand, is doing his best to neutralize the situation. "We've called in a specialist, Sherlock. We'll get it sorted."
"Sorted? Half of Scotland Yard couldn't find their asses with two hands and a flashlight, much less –
"You know," a voice floats into the room from the hall, "they say the longer you go without sex the meaner and bitchier you get."
Sherlock straightens his spine, narrows his eyes, and tilts his chin up the slightest fraction, looking like a peacock preparing to strut. "Blow me," he smirks and throws a glance over his shoulder at the stranger.
"Love to, darling, but I'm working," the man struts into the room, casting a wide, cheeky smile to them all, before throwing his arms open an beaming at the Consulting Detective. "Sherlock! Long time no see!"
"Victor. Flamboyant as ever, I see," Sherlock smiles at him softly.
"Pish, posh. I'm loads more tame than I was at Uni," he waves a hand in dismissal. "But who is this?" Victor has turned his attention to John and is raking his eyes up and down his stocky frame. "I've never met you before."
"A friend of mine. John Watson."
"A friend? My, my, my. Does Mycroft know about him?"
Victor extends a hand towards John. "Victor Trevor. Sherlock and I were at Uni together."
"Yeah, I got that bit," he shakes Victor's hand and tries not to blush under the scrutiny in his gaze. "But I don't get why you're here."
Sherlock huffs. "Victor is a highly respected forensic analyst, specializing in contaminated evidence."
"You might call me a Consulting Analyst."
"Oh, dear Lord, not another one."
"Anderson, don't talk out loud. You'll damage the fetus."
Anderson sputters, eyes bugging. "I don't have a fetus. I'm a man!"
"I know you don't, but Donovan does." The room goes silent. "Oh, I think it just kicked her in the bladder. Did you piss yourself, Sargent?"
"How did you know?" she screeches.
Victor chuckles. "Your shoes, obviously," he says. "And you've got a baby-bump."
"Exactly," Sherlock says. "Finally. Someone who isn't an idiot."
John looks offended, but Victor winks at him and he's blushing once again.
"Gents, there's still a dead body over there," Lestrade says. "Let's get to it, shall we?"
"Well, that was tedious."
"Very," Victor says. "Anderson really is as stupid as you made him out to be. I can't believe it."
"No one can believe it. Dinner?"
"Excellent," Sherlock says, hailing a cab. "John? Dinner?"
"I'll pass. I don't want to be the third wheel."
Sherlock looks puzzled. "Why would you be a wheel?"
John sighs. "It's an expression, Sherlock."
"Must have deleted it."
"Do come with, John. I'd love to learn more about you! There are not many people who can put up with Sherlock. Present company included."
Angelo stares at Victor and John for a long while when they enter the restaurant and then glances at Sherlock with raised eyebrows.
Dinner goes fairly well. John and Victor trade I-Can't-Believe-Sherlock-Didn't-Know-[Insert Common Knowledge Here] stories, smiling at the way Sherlock huffs and says "Dull," to it all.
When his phone rings, Sherlock excuses himself and steps outside, leaving Victor and John alone at the table.
Filling his glass with wine, Victor smiles fondly. "I'm not going to wreck it, you know."
"Sorry? Wreck what?" John asks.
"This," he sweeps a hand from John, to the window where he could see Sherlock talking on the phone, and back again.
"We're not a couple."
Victor tosses his head back and laughs. "I know! That's what makes it so funny!"
"I'm not following."
"Look," he says. "Sherlock and I had a…thing, once. We never told anyone, being gay was still a huge taboo back then, but everyone knew."
"How?" His curiosity is piqued. He's heard so little about Sherlock's life before they met.
"Because of the way he looked at me," Victor says softly. "But John, the way he looked at me, as intense as it was, it was nothing compared to how he looks at you."
John lets out a puff of laughter. So Victor was just like the rest of them. Wonderful. "And how does he look at me?"
"The same way he looks at cocaine and cigarettes. And he'll stay away from you for exactly the same reason. Because he can't do things by halves. He can't be a weekend lover, the same way can't be a weekend user. He doesn't know how."
"I – Well I – I mean – I'm sorry?"
"He's in love with you, you great daft git," Victor shakes his head.
"But he is. Take it from someone who knows."
This throat is pin hole thin and when he opens his mouth to speak, his voice comes out a hoarse whisper. "What do I do?"
"That depends on you. But if you let him, he will worship the ground you walk on. The sun will rise and set on you. Everything else will come second. Even the work."
"Not possible. He's married to his work," John swallows the contents of his wine glass in one swallow.
"That's why Henry VIII popularized divorce," Victor says. "But enough taking the piss. This is serious. You hold a lot of power over him and you can do a lot of damage. You could ask him to burn the whole of the British Empire to the ground and he'd do it just to see you smile."
"I didn't think you would. Mycroft would have made you disappear if he thought you'd be a danger to Sherlock. He still can, you know. Which is why you need to think long and hard about your next course of action, least you wind up in Siberia or something."
"Sherlock would find me."
"Yes. He would. And that's the point," Victor stabs at his linguini forcefully. "He'll give it all up for you without ever asking for anything in return. My question is, are you that kind of man? Will you dangle him like a puppet on a string, holding your affection just out of arm's length, or are you willing to jump the fence and love him in return; knowing that if you ever leave it will break him?"
"I don't know…"
"Well figure it out, because here he comes," Victor says, and Sherlock reappears at their table a moment later. "Well finally! I was beginning to feel neglected, darling."
"Lestrade needed a word. Something about Russian mobsters at a West End production."
"At least sit and finish your dinner before you go running off!" he pats the empty space next to him.
Sherlock sits next to John instead.
Turns out the mobsters were in the West End production, as they later found out, and when the running is finished, when Victor has gone, and they're standing in the living room alone, John looks at Sherlock and feels his heart swell.
It swells and constricts and beats too fast and beats too slow all at the same time. He's filled with happiness and worry and Christ, what if it doesn't turn out like he planned? What if it all goes wrong? What if he can't love Sherlock enough?
But then, what if he can?
Jump the fence, he thinks. Hell, it isn't even high!
He crosses the room and pulls Sherlock into a soft kiss. "Where does this go, Sherlock?" he murmurs against the taller man's lips. "Where does this take us?"
"I don't know," he's a human tuning fork, humming with anticipation and fear. "Wherever you want."
He's so easy to read it almost hurts. Don't hurt me. Please don't hurt me. Don't leave me. If you leave me, I'll die. I love you, I love you, I love you. Don't hurt me. I love you.
Cupping Sherlock's face in his hands John gives him a reassuring smile. "Let's start with tea, yeah?"
"Right. Yes. That's…good. Tea is good."
They pass the night quietly. Sherlock reads case files and John writes up the West End Mobsters story for his blog. Rubbing his eyes he glances at the clock on the mantle.
"I'm for bed, Sherlock," he says. "Goodnight."
He heads for the stairs, but Sherlock calls out to him. "John."
Turning his head he looks back at the Consulting Detective. "Yeah?"
"May…may I join you?"
It takes a moment for John to wrap his head around the request, but when he does he gets a pleasant rush of endorphins and his heart flutters wonderfully under their influence. He steps back to the couch. "Not tonight," he says.
"We'll get there. I promise," he brushes his fingers over a heavy cupid's bow. "But not tonight."
Sherlock wraps his hand around John's wrist and presses kisses to his fingertips. "When?"
"When you're ready. Not because you think it's what I want or because you think I'll leave and find it elsewhere."
Sherlock blinks rapidly, stunned at having his own thoughts spoken to him. "I'm sorry," he says.
"Don't be," he drops a kiss on a high cheekbone. "Goodnight, Sherlock."