John woke with a start to what sounded like a cat being run over.
Sherlock. Sherlock and that bloody violin.
He shut his eyes tightly, trying to drown out the sound of another one of Sherlock's late night compositions. Filled with a feeling of anger mostly fuelled by sleep deprivation, John threw off his covers, checking the digital clock by his bed before heading downstairs.
Three am. The bastard.
John entered the room, then stopped. Sherlock was standing by the window, illuminated by the lamp nearest to him. The light reflected off his dark curls and that damn silk robe that clung to his body in all the right ways. John swallowed hard, recognizing the feelings he had tried hard to forget clawing their way back into his mind, and his heart. The way John seeks Sherlock's approval, his attention. The only reason John could actually stand living with the severed heads and other body parts in the fridge, the late nights, and Sherlock himself. He was in love with Sherlock. A self proclaimed sociopath. A high functioning sociopath, but a sociopath all the same. John let out a bitter chuckle, drawing Sherlock out of his reverie.
"John. You should be sleeping."
"Well yes, I would be sleeping, if some git wasn't playing the violin at three in the morning." John's tone was calm, even slightly amused. He could never stay angry with Sherlock. It was one of his weaker spots.
Sherlock let out a noncommital noise, lifting the bow back up to the violin. He shut his eyes, entering the dream like state he has previously occupied. His long fingers moved gracefully over the strings, his slight body swaying to the music.
John wondered how he had gotten so good at the violin. Or what had made him want to even pick one up. He could imagine Sherlock as an adolescent, bored with the school's music curriculum, demanding a challenging instrument to play.
"Could you show me?" John blurted out.
Sherlock looked up grudgingly, lowering the violin to his sides. He narrowed his eyes suspiciously. "Show you what?"
John could feel his cheeks burning from embarrassment. "Y'know, show me how to play."
"You want me to teach you how to play the violin," Sherlock said with an air of disbelief.
"Ah, no. Just some notes." He was already regretting asking him this.
"It's going to be difficult to teach you anything when you're standing in the doorway."
John shuffled forward obligingly, mentally hitting himself.
"Hold these." Sherlock thrust the bow and violin into John's arms, moving behind him.
"Sher-" John stopped suddenly, feeling Sherlock's slightly cold hands envelop his. His voice hitched in his throat. His heart was beating so loudly Sherlock could probably hear it. Sherlock guided John's hands up and down the neck of the violin, instructing him on where to place his fingers.
John was only slightly aware of Sherlock talking. All he could focus on was the feel of Sherlock's hands and the lips near his ear, hot breath on the back of his neck.
"You're not paying attention." He sensed the annoyance in Sherlock's tone.
"Of course I am."
"We both know you weren't concentrating in the slightest. Why ask if you weren't even interested?" Sherlock was still pressed up against John, his hands holding the violin in playing position.
"I was interested," John shot back defensively.
"You have a funny way of showing it." Sherlock pulled the violin and bow out of John's grip, throwing both things carelessly on the couch.
"Maybe I was more interested in you." He felt Sherlock stiffen.
"What do you mean?"
God, the man was an idiot. John figured with all his deduction skills he would have been able to pick up on all the looks, all the hints. The boys at the Yard had noticed already, for christsakes. He might as well risk it. It was time to tell Sherlock. Shit.
"This. This is what I mean." He pressed back into Sherlock's chest, relaxing fully into Sherlock's body. It was intimate. A stance only lovers would hold.
A full, uncomfortable moment passed. John heard a small "Ah," behind him. He closed his eyes and moved away from Sherlock, heading for his room. Maybe if he hid in there long enough tonight would be forgotten. Doubtful, but he was always one for false hope.
"Why are you leaving?"
John turned, meeting Sherlock's eyes for the first time that night. Maybe for the first time in a few weeks. He had tried to pull what he liked to call a "Sherlock", and distance himself from his flatmate. He tried to ignore the fact that while his eyes looked upon Sherlock with love, Sherlock's were only only filled with a calculating coldness. Warmth would sometimes flood those clear blue eyes when John had made a witty remark or had complimented him on his deduction skills, but John knew it could never be the same. Sherlock's eyes weren't those of a man who could truly love.
"Don't leave." It was an order, but one full of uncertainty, something Sherlock never displayed.
"Why?" John felt despair sinking in, weighing on his heart heavily. "Just so you can tell me how you're flattered that I'm interested, but you're married to your work?"
He bit down on his tongue, feeling the embarrassment and shame of imminent rejection welling up in his eyes.
"No." Sherlock placed both his hands on either sides of John's face, gazing deeply into his eyes. "So I can tell you that I feel the same. That I've always felt the same."
He leaned in and gave John what he noted as "the best kiss", and what Sherlock cataloged as "the first."