"It's not like that."
"I'm not actually gay"
"Not like that at all."
"I'm not...he's not...we're just not..."
"Not what John? Why do you insist on lying to people?" Sherlock's voice was snappy as their client walked away. John sighed in defeat at having let yet another person walk away with probably the image of the detective and himself in a compromising position in their minds.
"I'm not lying Sherlock. We're not a couple. We never have been, a couple. We don't go on dates, we don't cuddle in front of the telly late a night, and we're certainly not fucking like everyone seems to think we are."
Sherlock took a step back, John could see he'd annoyed the detective, but he couldn't be arsed to care. He was sick of everyone assuming that just because he was a bachelor and he lived with another male he was being royally fucked in a hundred different positions.
He was surprised however when Sherlock roughly grabbed his arm and shoved him up against the wall of the building they were standing near. Post Office, but they were slightly out of sight thanks to it being on the corner of a side street.
"Now people will definitely..."
"For god's sake John, let them bloody talk! Are you that ashamed of me?"
John stopped, he wasn't being held down by his flatmate any-more, but he certainly wasn't moving. He couldn't quite place the emotion that he was seeing in his flatmates eyes, but it looked a little hurt. He opened his mouth and shut it again as Sherlock placed a finger over his lips.
"Don't answer that. I know you're not."
John opened his mouth again, and when Sherlock's finger didn't move to shush him he continued, "I wasn't lying though. We are NOT a couple, by any standards."
"There's more to being a couple than sex John, or have you not paid any attention to anything that goes on in society at all."
Sherlock held a finger up to stop John from interrupting him before he tried to as he continued.
"There are other things, more important things, and they are the things people notice. You correctly observed that we are not engaging in sexual activity together, and to be frank, neither of us want to, but you and I, John Watson, show more than enough characteristics of a couple that even a blind man would begin to consider the option that we are, romantically engaged. You are devoted to me the same way I am to you and you've never let me down yet when I've needed you. The same loyalty you showed for your country, you show to me; you shot a man for me the day I met you, then you offered to do it again. I did once say that no-on in their right mind would want to live with me due to my vast eccentricities, yet here you are, and even Mycroft is of the opinion that you understand how I function more than anyone. If I said we didn't respect each other, I'd be lying and we both know it. You are a smart man Dr Watson, you can at least see that this makes sense can't you?"
John nodded slowly, not game to comment in the middle of a tirade.
"You've expressed your admiration for me in nearly every way possible in the English language, you hold the unique ability to make me laugh at the most inopportune moments, and most of the police force knows it. Between your nightmares and my experiments and general eccentricities we have both seen each other at our worst. You are the one person that I am willing to just spend time with, and while I'm sure you have other friends from the surgery, yet you still spend a ridiculous amount of time with me. If that doesn't say something John, then you must be blind, deaf and stupid. Just for once take a look at what we have from the outside. Here we are, two men, bachelors, perfectly willing to just spend time with each other doing such boring, lame domestic chores, yet at the same time, willing to steal, get arrested, kill someone, all for the other at the drop of a hat. Look at the amount of times you've walked out of the flat so angry, yet you always return, and by some miracle manage to forgive me for whatever social cue I forgot in the hurry of a case, even if it should have pushed you away completely. We might not go out on 'dates' or be affectionate, or fuck each other into the mattress, but if that is truly what defines a couples' relationship for you John, then I'm glad you think we are not in one, because it would a hollow shell of a relationship indeed."
With that he walked away, leaving John still leaning against the wall of the post office, both in shock and a little embarrassed with himself. He took a few deep breaths and followed his friend trying desperately not to think about all the things that were flying through his head.
It took two days before either man spoke to the other after the incident. Sherlock was watching a new crime series on telly and as yet had not started yelling at the screen. John was still feeling bad about the whole thing but he knew if he even tried to bring up the topic with Sherlock he would just get sneered at. So he made tea.
He walked into the living room with the two cups and set one down in front of Sherlock before sitting beside him on the couch. He felt his friend stiffen beside him as sat, and felt another rush of embarrassment. There was a tense silence for a few moments while Sherlock picked up his mug and took a few cautious sips.
John cleared his throat, it was now or never, "Umm, Sherlock?"
"I'm sorry...about what happened."
John looked down at his cup. When he looked up, the detective was looking at him, a small smile playing at his lips.
"Can you do me favour John?"
The doctor nodded and Sherlock looked back towards the TV screen.
"Can you get me my phone?"
John stood before he realised he didn't know where it was, "Where is it?"
"Shirt pocket," was the curt reply, and John couldn't help but smile and roll his eyes as he proceeded to attempt to extricate the item without knocking the mug of tea out of his flatmates hands.