The first time they met, Sherlock barely looked at him; a few seconds and he had everything he needed to see right through John. He had been confused, but as soon as Sherlock had explained his deduction, the confusion had given way to amazement. Therefore, he was more than surprised to find that the more and the longer Sherlock looked at him now, the less he seemed to be able to read him.
Sometimes John stated his opinion or let out one of his unconscious praises at Sherlock's abilities, and he would look at him sharply, not giving away any of his thoughts, but John noticed that he was increasingly frustrated by his inability to read him. There were only little details that gave that frustration away. The most obvious was that he rarely responded to him after he stared at him for longer and more intently than necessary. Another one was that sometimes he would inquire more information, information that John was sure he would gather from anybody with a single glance.
He looked across the room to where he was staring out of the window, his long fingers running through his hair, clearly a case that excited him, but not a serial killer. Sherlock's natural reaction to serial killers had become one single step on the coffee table and down, taking the shortest route to the door in which Detective Inspector Lestrade was usually almost self-consciously standing. No, this was not a serial killer, but what then was it? John put down the newspaper he had intended to read when his thoughts wandered to his friend. With a small smile he realised that he had stopped referring to him in his head as his flatmate or colleague.
"Sherlock, what is it?"
Sherlock spun around with one fluent movement, John noticed in fascination. He had never met anyone of his height with such complete control over his body.
Usually, people moved a bit awkwardly, nervous about their stature and somewhat unable to coordinate their limbs. Not Sherlock; he had complete control even over the smallest muscles in his face. He used his acting skills quite a lot to acquire information from witnesses, knowing exactly what facial expression on his side would unconsciously force people to speak the truth, and sometimes John found himself to be on the receiving end. However, that was usually when Sherlock did not want to make his own tea or buy groceries. And in these instances, John wasn't even sure if he was acting at all or being a stubborn pain in the arse who was used to have people cater for him.
"Nothing." He said, clearly lying. "Well," he tried again, inhaling deeply, "there is a small matter which I should resolve but I have not yet enough information on the case to be able to work properly on it."
"Can I help?" John asked, knowing that Sherlock expected him to anyway. His friend looked at him oddly, his eyes locking with his, and for a moment John became self-conscious, not quite knowing why. He had gotten used to his stares, and most of the time he had been sure that he was not really looking at him, but that his mind was in ten different places at the same time, drawing conclusions. Not about him, though, that had become obvious. Sherlock had eventually gotten used to the fact that he couldn't properly read him, and he had been surprised more than once by an answer which John had given, clearly unexpected.
"You might." He said, turning back to the window. "But then again, it's not really dangerous."
"Oh, come on," John said, trying to sound annoyed, at least. "I'm not just going to help you when it's dangerous. Actually, it would be quite relaxing to be able to be of help without having to save your life or get you out of trouble."
Sherlock didn't turn around, but tipped his head to the left a bit, and John could see his reflection in the window. Clearly, he was smiling.
"Thank you, John." He said it quietly, and something in his voice had changed. It sounded as if he wanted to say something else than what he had said, and it sounded somehow as if he had lied about the danger; as if there was more to it than he admitted.
"Do you care for some tea, or will that slow down your metabolism?" John sounded more sarcastic than he had intended to, but again, he found that Sherlock was smiling.
Busying himself with making tea, John didn't hear Sherlock enter the kitchen, and when he turned around to place the mugs on the table he jumped. Sherlock was staring intently at him, only three feet away.
"God, what in the world are you doing?" Again, it didn't come out quite the way he wanted it to. He was confused by how irritated he sounded, but he just leaned back against the counter and stared back into those eyes that were fixed to his face. He noticed that their colour had changed somewhat since the last time he had looked at him, and somewhere in his mind he was surprised that he was thinking about the colour of his friend's eyes and he wondered why he remembered them so clearly to look different. They were blazing now, undoubtedly because of the light behind him, illuminating the kitchen counter and work space; or maybe he had come to a satisfying conclusion, but he was too calm for that. With a small smile he realised that he had unwillingly started to see things Sherlock's way. Not that he had an intellect anywhere close to that of his friend, but he had clearly changed his thinking pattern.
That unconscious smile had a rather impressive impact on Sherlock. For a few seconds he remained staring at him in that strange way, as if he was looking for something, but then his face lit up as he mirrored the smile.
When he leaned forward, John found himself short of breath. For one second his heart seemed to stop and then hammered away. Sherlock picked up the kettle and regarded him with an enquiring look that somehow seemed to amuse him. He could hear him mutter something that sounded an awful lot like "fascinating" as he poured water into the mugs. John blushed, and he cursed himself for it. Thankfully Sherlock had picked up his mug and was making his way back to the window without any further comment.
"I'm sorry," John apologised, "I don't know what's wrong with me today. I suppose I might have caught a bug or something."
"Nonsense." Sherlock said, sounding calm and reasonable. "Your health is entirely stable."
He didn't know whether his subconscious was trying to interfere or if he had been closer to the truth than he himself expected, but just as Sherlock had finished speaking, John sneezed.
This time, his swirl wasn't quite as impressively smooth. He didn't say a word, just looked at him, his eyes narrowed as if he expected something else to happen.
When he was sure that he wouldn't sneeze again, John took his mug without a comment and made his way back to his arm chair.