John let out a loud, disgruntled sigh as he flung his beige messenger bag onto the plush, red velvet seat of the house, ignoring the amused and shocked faces of his new peers that stood on the stage. He carefully leaned his cane against the seat, already embarrassed that these people had to see him using it. He removed his water bottle from his bag. After a long swig, John managed to remind himself that he was late, and should join the others. He climbed the stairs to the stage slowly, gripping the railing tightly.
“It’s kind of you to join us,” the teacher smiled. He had a clipboard in his hands that he was examining. “You must be... John Watson.”
“I am,” John nodded, adjusting himself so that his weight fell completely on his good leg.
“Welcome to the class, John. I’m Greg Lestrade,” the silver haired man said easily. “I will be your mentor these next few weeks. I was just informing the rest of the class that we will be using this class as a lesson and rehearsal period. There will be a showcase at the end of the session for your families.”
“Wonderful,” John breathed out through his nose loudly. “That is bloody brilliant.”
“We don’t curse, John,” Lestrade corrected. “It’s impolite.”
“I told him earlier he should speak for himself,” a young man interjected from across the staged. “Perhaps he does not curse, but we most certainly do.”
Lestrade turned his attention to the dark haired boy that was staring at him with a blank face. “Sherlock, I do hope you will not be influencing our newest member with your crass remarks.”
“I will surely try my best to do so, Lestrade, yes,” Sherlock shrugged.
John closed his eyes briefly. He had forgotten the type of people that he would encounter during these sessions. To his parents, this had seemed like a wonderful alternative to therapy sessions.They had informed him that these acting classes would make him feel better. John reopened his eyes to see that everybody was watching him.
“I won’t be a trouble,” John finally said. “Let’s just, uh, move on, or something. I can keep up.”
“I know you won’t be,” Lestrade said, finally tearing his disapproving stare away from the boy he called Sherlock. With a clap of his hands, the animated smile returned to his face. “Let’s start introductions. Circle up! Some of you are familiar faces, but we do have some new friends. I’ll start. I’m Greg Lestrade. I’m here because I used to be a student, and now I want to help other kids, like this class helped me.”
The girl next Lestrade looked nervous. “Uh, hi, I’m Molly Hooper. I’m here because my mum thought this was be a good way for me to get over my dad’s death.”
“I’m Anderson. Just Anderson,” the boy next to her huffed. “I’m here because my dad thinks therapists don’t do nothing, but he knows I need help cause of my acting out in school. He just doesn’t know why, the git.”
John realized it was his turn. “I’m John Watson, and I guess I’m here because my parents are worried about me.”
He was surprised that Lestrade accepted that as a reason. He just nodded at John and gave him an encouraging smile. It occurred to John that he was the only new member of this class, that this was all for his benefit.
“I’m Sally Donovan,” the girl beside John said strongly, her hand resting on her slightly pregnant belly. “And I’m here because my parents think it’ll help me sort this out.”
John could not help but to stare at her. He knew that plenty of teenagers get pregnant, but he had never actually met one. He tore his eyes away, and was pleased that nobody had been paying him any attention.
“My name is Sherlock Holmes,” the dark haired boy stated simply.
“And?” Lestrade coaxed.
“And I am most definitely here,” Sherlock examined his hand, purposely annoying Lestrade by refusing eye contact.
“All right, fine,” Lestrade massaged the bridge of his nose. “Moving on to you, Jeff.”
“I’m Jeff Hope,” a boy with wire glasses told them. “I’m here because I got in a bit of a scuffle at school.”
“Jim Moriarty,” the final boy said, revealing a whiney, American accent laced with a faint Irish lilt. “I, like Sherlock, am here.”
John watched Sherlock roll his eyes and curl his lip at the other boy’s words. He looked to Lestrade, who simply glanced to the ceiling, as if pleading with a higher power. After a few seconds, Lestrade looked back down and was smiling again.
“Great, good,” he nodded. “Let’s stretch out for a bit, and then I’ll let you on your way.”
The last thirty minutes of the class were spent running through the different stretches that the group was to do at the beginning of each lesson. John found himself enjoying this part of the day. It felt good to stretch his stiff shoulder muscles and remind his bad leg what it was like to have a full cycle of motion.
“We didn’t get into it this week, but next week we will start with the actual work,” Lestrade stood up, brushing off his trousers. “Have a good week, and remember to grab a yellow sheet on the way out. It has my mobile number on it, just in case you need help or need to talk.”
John was the last off the stage. He picked up one of the sheets from the edge of the stage before going to his bag. His new classmates were all around him, picking up their own bags and talking with each other. John shouldered his messenger bag, and picked up his cane, thankful to have something to lean on again, despite how much it bothered him to use it.
“Watch yourself,” a voice growled, John recognized it as Anderson’s. “Freaks like you shouldn’t be allowed around society.”
John turned to see that Anderson had trapped Sherlock against the railing that blocked the orchestra pit from the audience. Anderson was clutching the collar of Sherlock’s button down. Sally was standing beside Anderson, a small smirk on her face. John looked up on stage, only to realize that Lestrade had left. He sighed before walking over to the trio.
“Hey,” he said, stopping in front of them. “What are you doing there, mate?”
“Mind your own business,” Anderson focused his eyes on John.
“Why don’t you just let him go?” John suggested.
“You’re new, mate, so let me give you a quick lesson. Nobody doesn’t get in the way of me,” Anderson groaned. “This little freak, here, hasn’t learned that. I hope you’re a faster learner.”
Sherlock winced and tilted his head to the side. “Anderson, I do fear you are lowering the IQ of the room. John has hardly had the time to build up a resistance to your stupidity.”
“Bollocks,” Anderson hissed, pushing away from Sherlock. He paused, thinking better of it, and turned to push Sherlock as well. “See you next week, homo. Maybe the new kid won’t have to fight your battles for you.”
With that, Anderson bounded away with Sally right behind him. Sherlock pulled the hem of his shirt, attempting to straighten the wrinkles from it. He raised his eyebrows as he let out a long sigh. John looked up at the boy, who stood a good four or five inches over him.
“I suppose I’ll be seeing you next week, then, John,” Sherlock nodded his head to him.
John watched him toss a blue scarf around his neck and shrug into a sweeping, black coat. He continued to watch him leave the house all together. “Yeah, all right, you’re welcome.”
He started out of the house, only to be stopped by Jim Moriarty. The boy stared at him for a moment before giving him a strangely wide smile. John nodded to him and smiled weakly.
“Oh, hello, Jim, right?” John said, though he knew the answer.
“Yes, but call me Moriarty,” he said, the scarily wide smile not dropping. “Have a good week, John.”
“Yeah, uh, same to you,” John's eyebrows knit together.
He stopped outside of the theatre and looked around the streets. His mother’s car was parked a block down. John shook his head in annoyance, and started towards it, leaning on his cane heavily. He was regretting not using his cane during the actual class. He got into the passenger side of the car, and was met with his mother’s smiling face. It was a fake smile, but it was a smile all the same.
“How was it?” she asked, merging into traffic. “You meet any friends.”
“It was all right,” John sighed, and leaned his head against the windowpane. “I met some people, but I wouldn’t call them friends.”
“Make some friends, John,” she said, the smile falling.
“Sod off, Harry!” John yelled before slamming the car door shut.
“John Hamish Watson!” his mother said sharply through her open window. “How many times do I have to tell you not to fight with your sister?”
“I’m fighting with her?” he threw his hands into the air. “She’s the one making fun of me the entire ride over for having to take these lessons, and I’m fighting with her?”
“She’s just teasing you,” his mother said angrily, dismissively almost.
“She is making fun of me!” John leaned his head against the car. “She is the one that has all of the DWIs, and I’m the one going to these sessions?”
“Mum!” Harry said, outraged and embarrassed by her brother.
“We will talk about this when we get home,” his mother pointed her finger at him. John watched her drive away from the theatre, and groaned. He sucked in a deep breath, calming himself down. It was an oddly nice day for London. The sun was out, and it was a breezy eighteen or nineteen degrees. It was days like these that reminded John of his rugby days. He smiled, and hobbled into the theatre.
The lobby was brilliant. He was so late last week that he had not gotten the chance to look around. Posters of different shows, both old and new, were plastered all over the walls. Posh tables with mosaic tabletops and winding metal chairs sat off to the side near a tiny cafe. John was not one to go to the theatre, but had they all looked like this, he might have gone sooner.
“You like it?” Lestrade’s voice sounded from beside him.
Lestrade was sitting behind the ticketing booth with a book in his hands. He smiled at John, and came out from behind the window. He looked around the lobby, in a way that made John think that it was his first time really looking at it. John smiled nervously at him before nodding too quickly.
“It was obviously redecorated,” Lestrade ran his hand over the railing of one of the cafe chairs.
“Oh, yeah, obviously,” John’s brows lowered and he snorted.
“Did you not see the old theatre?” Lestrade sounded shocked.
“I didn’t know this existed,” John admitted with a laugh.
Lestrade signaled to a chair. Once John sat, he took the seat across from him. “Well, let me give you a quick history. The Adler Theatre was built in the 1890s. The house really shows the age. About five years ago, the young Mr. Adler decided to refurbish it all and allowed Irene, his daughter, to decorate.”
“Well, she did a good job,” John said awkwardly. “I mean, uh, this looks like a coffeehouse, not a lobby.”
“She wanted this to be a cool place for young people,” Lestrade nodded. “She’s one of our main actresses, and is only seventeen.” John nodded slowly, unsure of what to say. “Well, enough of this, go on into the house. You still have about fifteen minutes until class.”
John shot him a closed lip smile. “Okay, Mr. Lestrade, uhm, am I the first here, then?”
“Oh, no,” Lestrade laughed. “Sherlock has been here for an hour or so.”
With a slight nod, John moved across the blue carpet to the house door. He opened it to reveal Sherlock on the stage. He was pacing around with a sheet of paper held in front of his face. On the floor beside him, laid an open violin case complete with violin and sheet music.
“I have almost forgot the taste of fears; the time has been, my senses would have cool’d,” Sherlock’s deep voice echoed through the house, forcing John to sit down to watch. “To hear a night-shriek; and my fell of hair would at a dismal treatise rouse and stir as life were in’t: I have supp’d full with horrors; direness, familiar to my slaughterous thoughts cannot once start me. Wherefore was that cry?”
Once Sherlock had quieted again, John left the final row to head to the stage. He reached the stairs before Sherlock acknowledged him. The mysterious man glanced at him before letting the paper fall to the stage. John, cane and all, ascended the stairs that led to the stage.
“Are you here to criticize me?” Sherlock picked the paper up hastily. “Perhaps to remind me of how you rescued me from Anderson? You could get a jab in yourself, you know.”
“No, what? Don’t be silly! Sherlock, that was really good, mate,” John said with smile. “Like, wow, mate! I didn’t know you had that going for you. What was that from?”
“Mate. It is fascinating how often you use that word,” Sherlock said, which John assumed was his way of avoiding the compliment. Then, he stopped and looked at John in confusion. “What was it from? Honestly? It’s Macbeth.”
“Ah, yeah, I guess I do,” John shrugged, leaning most of his weight on his cane. He winced a bit at Sherlock’s cold tone. He looked down at the violin. “Do you play?”
“No, I stare at it,” Sherlock said with a straight face. “Of course I play, John.”
“Will you play something?” John asked.
“No,” Sherlock said simply.
John looked taken back. “Oh, all right, I’ll leave you be.”
He pushed his cane down to give him a bit of leverage, and started back down the stairs. He took a seat, a bit reluctantly. John was surprised to see that Sherlock had his paper back in front of his face.
“The queen, my lord, is dead,” Sherlock said quickly with a wave of his hand, lowering the paper to his side. “She should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this... Creeps in this- Bleeding words!” He quieted himself. “The queen, my lord, is dead. She should have died hereafter; there would have been time for such a word. Creeps in this- No!”
John looked up, startled by Sherlock’s outbursts. He limped over to the stairs, and took a deep breath, hoping he could recite the simple words. “The queen, my lord, is dead!”
“She should have died hereafter; there would have been a time for such a word. To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, creeps in the petty pace from day to day to the last syllable of recorded time, and all out yesterdays have lighted fools the way to dusty death.” Sherlock paced the stage, his face filled with conflicting emotions. “Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by-”
“Sherlock Homo is here first again!” Anderson called from the door of the house.
“An idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing,” Sherlock spat, glaring at Anderson. “What a fitting part for you to come in on, Anderson. Your timing is impeccable.”
“Anderson, why don’t you shove off?” John sighed. “Isn’t this supposed to be a safe place, or something?”
“What? You have a crush on Queerlock?” Anderson invaded John’s space.
“Queerlock? Do you even hear yourself?” John tapped his cane on the aisle’s plush carpet in a mixture of anxiety and adrenaline. “You sound like you’re the bully out of some cheesy, American soap.”
“Sit down, Anderson,” Sally said softly. John had not even realized that she was there. “Lestrade’ll be in soon.”
“Yes, do sit down, Anderson, and be quiet while you’re at it,” Sherlock hissed, descending the stairs to stand beside John. “I fear you might strain something with all of those clever words you’re putting together.”
“Don’t,” Sally said, grabbing Anderson’s fist. “Lestrade, remember?”
“Did somebody teach you about double negatives in the last week?” Sherlock continued to torment. “I’ll write a thank-you note.”
John pinched the bridge of his nose, and glanced around the house. Somehow Molly, Jeff, and Moriarty had entered without being noticed. Molly was looking angrily at Anderson, while Moriarty looked amused. As if he had sensed as issue, Lestrade entered.
“Everything okay?” Lestrade asked cautiously as he approached them.
“Yeah,” Anderson answered, his eyes glued on Sherlock.
“Quite,” Sherlock responded at the same time as Anderson.
“Well, let’s warm up, then!” Lestrade took two steps at a time as he made his way up to the stage.
Sherlock's monologue: Macbeth in the the final act of Macbeth by William Shakespeare. He has essentially lost his mind, and has just found out that his wife has committed suicide.
Thoughts? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? :)
Much love, Harlem.
John reached for his toes, attempting to stretch out his bad leg. He let out a pained hiss, and released his foot. He massaged his knee and lower thigh with heavy handed pressure. He glanced around to see that everybody else was grabbing their toes with ease, except for Sally, of course. John pursed his lips in annoyance.
“Sherlock,” Moriarty whispered, though it seemed that only John heard him. “You’re wearing green. I do love you in green.”
John shivered at Moriarty’s words. The cadence in which he spoke was frightening at best. He watched as Sherlock merely grimaced, allowing Moriarty to see his displeasure for a moment before regaining his composure. John looked away, put off by Moriarty’s strange actions. Thinking it over, he would not find it particularly weird had Sherlock responded well to it.
“Good,” Lestrade smiled. “Now, I thought we would spend this class on Sanford Meisner’s acting method. Who can give me his definition of acting?” Sherlock lifted his hand lazily. “Of course you can, Sherlock. Go for it.”
“Acting is living as truthfully as one can under an imaginary circumstance,” he rattled off as though he had been saying it forever, and, John thought, maybe he had been.
“In other words?” Lestrade prompted. He saw Molly’s hand raise shakily. “Give it a go, Molly.”
“Be yourself?” she said hesitantly.
“Absolutely! Excellent,” Lestrade praised. “So, you have to be yourself, but with what? What do you need?”
“You must be yourself with layers,” Moriarty answered.
“Raise your hand next time, JIm,” Lestrade said gently. “But you are correct. When you act, Sanford believes that you should be yourself with the layers of your character and the situation on top of you.”
John raised his brows, and looked around in surprise. He scratched his head with an amused smile playing at his lips. Unfortunately for him, Lestrade looked his way.
“What’s so funny, John?” he asked.
“Nothing’s funny, sir,” John responded. “I just have no idea what you’re all talking about. I mean, imaginary circumstances, layers? I don’t get it.”
“Sherlock,” Lestrade began.
“Yes, my liege?” Sherlock interjected, a slight twinkle in his eye.
Lestrade stopped to give Sherlock a look before throwing his eyes up to the ceiling. “For Christ’s sake, Sherlock, just get to your feet. Pick a partner.”
“Oh,” Sherlock said on a sigh, his boredom evident. “I’d prefer not to.”
“Well, Bartleby,” Lestrade sighed. “You must.”
“Fine. John,” Sherlock said grudgingly. John’s eyes widened.
“No, he’s the one you’re supposed to show-” Lestrade paused. “Oh, okay, no, I see what you’re doing, okay.”
Lestrade flipped through a few papers before choosing one. He pulled out two sheets and read over it quickly. He nodded to himself, and started towards Sherlock, who was standing so still that John thought he may have actually turned into a statue.
“Okay, Bobby,” Lestrade said, handing a sheet to Sherlock. He then turned to John, who was still seated on the stage. “Up! You’re JoAnn.”
“JoAnn?” John pushed himself up, then took the paper from Lestrade. “That’s a girl’s part.”
“It doesn’t really matter in the scheme of the scene,” Lestrade assured him. “Now, read it over, it’s a quick one. And, when you’re ready, give it a go. John, really think about how you would act in this situation.”
John looked over the script, his heart had jumped into his throat. Much to his surprise, he was not handed Shakespeare, or anything complicated like that. The scene in his hand was modern, so modern, in fact, that he recognized the subject matter as something he had frequently heard in his own home when he was younger.
“Be back Sunday night. Late probably,” Sherlock called from across the stage, a lower class accent, much like Anderson’s, had slipped into his speech.
“Sunday?” John said hesitantly. He moved across the stage to stand a few feet from Sherlock. What?
“Yeah,” the dark haired man said with a slight shake of his head.
“I thought you said it would be Saturday,” John bit his lip, his eyebrows lowering. You said you didn’t have to work this weekend.
“You got something planned for Saturday?” Sherlock turned to face him.
“I told Jan you might take her to the park,” John swallowed, taking a step back. You had promised to take Johnny to see that rugby game.
Sherlock let out an exasperated sigh, one that said ‘we’ve had this conversation before.’ “Can’t you take her?”
“She needs to spend time with you,” John’s voice, much to his surprise, was softer. You know he’s been looking forward to it. He misses you.
“Well, I’ll take her someplace next week,” Sherlock ran a hand through his hair, looking down at John through lowered lids.
“Yeah,” John let out a breath, not quite a sigh, but not exactly typical breathing. Whatever you say.
“Well, I will,” Sherlock insisted, voice raising.
“I said all right,” John’s voice was a bit... Broken? Just go to work...
Sherlock began to pace, angry quick movements. “What do you want from me anyway? What kind of time do I have to do anything but work?”
“And race,” John said, emotions bubbling up, he turned away. Do you think I don’t know that you started drinking again?
“Hey, listen!” Sherlock grabbed John’s shoulders and roughly turned him. John’s cane fell, but Sherlock held him up. “Racing is the only way things are ever going to change.”
“Right, Bobby,” John’s voice shook. It’s not okay. It’s not ‘just a little.’
“All right then, all of a sudden you’re yelling at me about it!” Sherlock released John’s shoulders, but kept a hand on his arm upstage arm until he was sure that he was steadied.
“I’m not yelling at you about it,” John rubbed his eyes, and picked up his cane slowly. Please, honey, think about this.
“No,” Sherlock pointed at him. “I heard the way you said ‘and race.’”
“Go on; get out,” John yelled, slamming his cane down on the stage. “Go race your car!” You know what? Just go. I’ll tell Johnny that his Daddy won’t even take the time to spend an afternoon with him.
“Wait a minute,” Sherlock’s brows knit together, his voice still booming. “What are you so upset about.”
John stared at him, and let his shoulders slump. “Forget it.” Get the fuck out!
Lestrade led the class in applause, as Sherlock and John continued to stare at each other. Finally, John looked away to smile at the class. He had a faint blush across his cheeks.
“That was very good, John!” Lestrade clapped him on the back. “For somebody who said they didn’t get it, you really delivered. What were you thinking about?”
“My dad was a lot like that as a kid, and I don’t know,” John shrugged. “I guess I just remembered how my mum was and went with it.” He paused, trying to think of how the actors on the Behind the Scenes special features on movies described working with a good actor. “Uh, Sherlock gave me a lot to, er, work with, so it wasn’t that hard.”
“That was great, you know, I really liked that,” Lestrade looked pleased. “Who wants to go next? Anderson, Sally? Get up there!”
John watched Anderson raise to his feet, and offer a hand to Sally. She gripped it tightly and let him pull her up. Anderson placed a hand on the small of Sally’s back. John’s brows lowered, his nose crinkled in thought. He looked up, feeling watched, to see Sherlock nodding at him.
“The father,” Sherlock mouthed to him, confirming John’s suspicions.
“Here you go, baby, I got you a diet coke,” Anderson began. His eyes widened. “I’m not saying you’re fat... What?”
“Why are we here?” Sally sighed.
“We’re having dinner. Uhm... Hello?” Anderson laughed. “Eat up!”
John could not stop staring at them. Sally’s hands unconsciously held her stomach, and Anderson could barely keep his hands off her. John found it difficult to discern whether or not this was part of the act or not. With a sigh, he glanced around his classmates. Unsurprisingly, he found that Molly had her eyes glued to Sherlock. Sherlock, on the other hand, was watching the scene going on in front of him. His back was to Moriarty, who also was staring at him. John went back to the scene, shocked to see how much had changed.
“You’re impartial, right?” Anderson said to the air.
“I’m surprised you actually know what impartial means,” Sally said, exasperated.
Sherlock, obviously amused by the accurate portrayal, let out a deep laugh, meeting John’s eyes momentarily. John chuckled and shook his head. He was hoping that he would be able to tell his mother that he did make a friend when she picked him up after class.
So, in this chapter, we have a few more things! The dialogue Sherlock and John go through is The Trip Back Down by John Bishop. Sherlock's "I'd prefer not to," which prompts Lestrade's reference to Bartleby, is, of course, a nod to the short story Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville. The bit of scene you saw between Anderson and Sally was Bree and Devin in The Matchmakers by Don Zolidis.
I do hope you enjoyed this chapter!
Much love, Harlem.
“Jim, Jeff,” Lestrade nodded with a large, approving smile. “That was very good! I can tell that you both have been practicing since last session. I think that you should perform that for the showcase as one of your scenes.” He turned to Molly. “My final lady! Now, do you want a monologue or a dialogue?”
“I want to work alone, if that’s okay,” she said bravely.
“Of course,” Lestrade nodded. “Let me just find something for you...”
“I have something memorized,” she said.
“You came prepared,” Lestrade grinned. “Okay, let’s see you, then.”
Molly stood, and smoothed the wrinkles from her skirt. She smiled at Sherlock, who did not even react. The smile, John noticed, faltered slightly, but soon returned. She moved upstage, and took a deep breath.
“Don't tell me to forget it, and don't you dare tell me to ‘let it go.’ God knows, I'd like to. I wish I could, but I can't! I can't forget that we had something, and you're running away. You're running away! Don't you see? You're running from what I've searched for all my life! Why, because you're scared?” Molly walked down stage. “Well, I'm scared too, but you and I - we have something worth fighting for. We could make it work, I'm not saying it would be easy, but I care about you.”
Molly was getting uncomfortably close to Sherlock. Lestrade cleared his throat. “Uh, Molly?”
“And I know deep down, under this bravado,” she signaled to Sherlock. “You care about me. And that's what it's all about, Sherlock, don't you get it?”
“Dear God,” Anderson’s mouth hung open at the name substitution.
“Did she?” Sally’s eyes were wide.
“She did,” Jeff agreed, leaning his chin on his fist.
“It's the human experience. You can pretend all you want, but you're only lying to yourself,” Molly knelt down in front of Sherlock, taking his face in her hand. “You're denying the simple and wonderful fact that you are emotional, and vulnerable, and alive!”
“And it just got better,” Jeff said dryly.
Sherlock blinked at her, and pulled away from Molly’s grasp. He scooted across the stage, stood, and moved to sit elsewhere. John’s mouth was ajar as he watched the scene play out before him. Lestrade, much like Sherlock, could only manage to blink. In a mixture of embarrassment, anger, and sadness, Molly burst into tears.
“Uh, maybe we should call it a day?” John said, glancing down at his phone. “There’s still about a half an hour left, but I think maybe we could just stay longer next time.”
“That sounds great to me,” Anderson scrambled to his feet. His hands were in midair. “Sal, what do I do with my hands?”
“Help me up,” she held out her hands for him. He grabbed them, pulling her to her feet. “Can we go, Mr. Lestrade?”
“Yes,” Lestrade nodded, eyes darting between Sherlock and Molly. “Except you two. You two have to stay.”
John followed the rest of the class out of the house, leaving a stoic Sherlock and a crying Molly with Lestrade. The rest of the class took seats around the tables that sat outside of the lobby cafe, and sat silently, waiting for their rides to arrive. Jeff, who drove himself, sent them a casual wave before nearly running out of the theatre.
“So, what was all of that about?” John asked, when he could bear the silence no longer.
“Molly has been in love with Sherlock since the day she met him,” Sally disclosed, angling her body towards John.
“No idea why,” Anderson cut in, moving closer to them. “The git has been ignoring her since the day they met. She’s not his type. She should move onto someone new.”
“Jeff likes her,” Moriarty said, running a thin blade underneath his nails to clean them. John shivered, both because he found it disgusting and because he could not figure out where he had gotten the blade. “That’s why he skipped out of here so quickly. We all know Jeff’s family doesn’t own a car. They take public transport everywhere.”
John sighed, shaking his head. A car honked, and Moriarty stood. He nodded to them before exiting the theatre. John was thrilled to see him go, and might have waved too enthusiastically. When he looked back, Anderson and Sally were collecting their things.
“We’re out of here,” Anderson said in explanation. “Let us know how Molly is? Hope Queerlock didn’t hurt her too bad.”
“Bye,” John mumbled.
Somehow, John found himself alone in the lobby. He had texted his mother to pick him up early, but she had yet to respond. He threw a glance to the house door. It was still closed, but John was curious. He carefully made his way to the door, as to not hit a creaking board, and peered through the window. Molly was still crying, and Sherlock looked bored. Lestrade was talking to them both, and kept handing Molly tissues.
John returned to his seat in the cafe, and checked his phone. It was half five; the actual end of class. He walked out to the sidewalk, but his mother had yet to arrive. John leaned up against the wall, letting his cane lean against the door. He closed his eyes, and let his head loll back against the wall.
The sound of his cane hitting the ground as the door opened was what stirred John from his snooze. Sherlock, phone pressed to ear, had stormed out of the theatre. He stopped, picked up the cane, and leaned it back against the door, as if John was not standing there.
“Well, that is just spectacular, brother dear,” Sherlock’s voice was like venom. “You promised to pick me up. I do not care that you have dinner plans. I am standing outside of Adler Theatre, after just experiencing one of the most embarrassing moments of my life, and you think that telling me that you have a ‘friend,’ is the way to make me accept your thoughtlessness?”
Sherlock was pacing around the sidewalk, stopping occasionally to a stare at a passersby or to run his fingers over the smooth glass of the empty ticketing window. He had set his violin case down, but his eyes kept darting over to it, checking to see that nobody had swiped it.
“Hm, yes, yes, well, I suppose I will be the one to undergo the wrath of Mummy Dearest,” Sherlock was calm again. “Yes, Mycroft, of course I am not angry with you. I hate you, but I am not angry with you. You will call. You will tell her to retrieve me.”
John watched him pocket the phone, and pick the violin case back up. Sherlock looked at the ground in disgust before glancing at his clothes. He wore a smart emerald green button down and a dark grey blazer and trousers. John chuckled, realizing that he was not sitting because of his expensive clothes.
“Yes, I am sure that it is all very amusing for you,” Sherlock mumbled, his voice calm and calculating. “I know that the others were quite upset, thinking that I have done something to Molly. I merely exist. It is no fault of mine that she is using me as a replacement for her father.”
John swallowed. “I’m not amused? She’s doing what?”
“Come, John,” Sherlock sighed, as if it was obvious. “Her father died last year of cancer, and she was left with all of these strong emotions. Instead of coping correctly, she has pushed her feelings towards me. It is most tiring.”
“Oh,” John’s brow furrowed. “I guess that could make sense.”
“It does make sense,” Sherlock corrected. “I am never wrong. It is one of the reasons why you forever see Anderson angry with me. He is always wrong.”
“Huh,” John ran his hands through his blond hair, unsure how to respond. “I guess that would upset him.”
“It does upset him,” Sherlock corrected again, finally turning to look at John. “How are you going to deal with the fight you had with your sister and your mum?”
“Oh, God,” John groaned, hands falling to cover his face. “I don’t know. She always takes her side. It is really unbelievable. Harry’s the one with all the notices, and I’m the one that needs help?”
“Harry?” Sherlock’s brows lower.
“My sister,” John said. “Name’s Harriet, but she goes by Harry. The whole ride over she’s tormenting me about these sessions, I respond, and I get in trouble!” John sighed loudly. He opened his mouth to keep complaining, but stopped. “How’d you know I fought with my mum and sister, mate?”
“You were obviously agitated when you came into the house today,” Sherlock began. “You sat at the back of the house, watching me, and your shoulders tense, a groove had formed between your brows, and your breathing was higher than usual. I knew that it was definitely a fight with a sibling. I know all about those. I knew it had to be a sister because you have too many feminine mannerisms to have an older brother. I knew it was your mother after we did the scene. You played the part of the mother, the concerned parent, and you were just too believable. Very impressive, by the way. And you could only be pulling from experience. You do not have a child, so I deduced that you were the child, and your mother was the one fighting with your father to take you out. Therefore, the parent you were fighting with this morning was your mother. She always takes Harry’s side, probably because you resemble your father, and it hurts her.”
“That was bloody brilliant!” John’s eyes were wide. “You’re like a genius or something. Wow!”
“Brilliant?” Sherlock looked taken back.
“Yeah, what else would you say?” John took up his cane, and closed the distance between them.
“Weird, intrusive, stalkerish,” Sherlock said, counting on his fingers. “In fact, most people just say ‘Piss off!’ and walk away.”
John laughed. “Well, I think it was brilliant. You knew all that... from what? Body language?”
“Body language, inflection, facial expressions,” Sherlock explained. “I observe.”
John opened his mouth to speak again, but a car horn stopped him. He looked up to see his mother waving at him. “Well, there’s my ride. Uh, I heard you on the phone with your brother... Do you need a ride?”
“No,” Sherlock responded.
“All right, yeah,” John smiled a bit. “See you next week.
John paused, thinking Sherlock would answer, but, instead, the dark haired boy knelt beside his violin case. He opened it, took out the violin and bow, and stuck the magnificent instrument under his chin. John heard the car horn again, and started to the car. He opened the passenger door, and started to get in it. As his mother drove away, he could see Sherlock playing, and could faintly hear Fix You by Coldplay.
Molly's monologue is Amy from And Turning, Stay by Kellie Powell. It is supposed to say Mark instead of Sherlock, but Molly improvised a bit. At the end, Sherlock plays Fix You by Coldplay on the violin. In case anybody would like to hear how beautiful that is, I have the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZePM_4L55s
Much love, Harlem.
“Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation,” John sung quietly under his breath.
His mother had dropped him off an hour early, something about getting Harry to a university interview. John sighed. He did not want to go in the theatre yet. He was not sure who he would face. He dreaded the idea of another history lesson from Lestrade. John had found an empty bench in a park that was a five minute walk from Adler Theatre. He sat down on the bench, and laid his cane beside him.
“Darkness stirs and wakes imagination,” he continues to sing softly. “Silently the senses abandon their defenses.”
“You sing?” a voice behind him sounded, Sherlock’s voice.
John turned quickly, and was startled to see Sherlock sitting with his back against a tree with a book in his lap. John looked around, unsure of where the boy had come from. He would have sworn that he was alone.
“No, I, uh, don’t,” John admitted, voice foggy. “Harry made us watch Phantom of the Opera last night, and the song’s stuck in my head.”
“You know the lyrics and tune quite well for somebody that was ‘forced’ to watch,” Sherlock countered, pushing himself off the ground and sweeping his long hands over his trousers to rid them of grass and dirt. “And you do sing. You just were, and you were doing quiet a nice job of it.
“All right, I might’ve bought it for my iPod,” John said, a slight blush evident on his nose and cheeks.
“No shame there,” Sherlock picked the cane up and laid it across his lap, fingering the metal with interest. “Quite industrial... Does it make you feel more masculine or more youthful?”
“I just didn’t want a wooden one, that’s all,” John said defensively.
“Youthful it is, then,” Sherlock nodded proudly. “Now, back to that song, you know all the words?”
“I only just bought the song,” John mumbled. He looked up at Sherlock, who was giving him a look. “Yeah, all right, I do.”
Sherlock grinned, a truly honest smile, much to John’s bafflement. He opened his violin case, and took out his sheet music. After rifling through it for a moment, he pulled out The Music of the Night by Andrew Lloyd Weber. He laid the violin case out on the sidewalk, and stuck his violin under his chin.
“You ready, John?” Sherlock asked, eyes bright.
“Ready? Ready for what? Ready to sing?” John stuttered.
“Yes, sing,” Sherlock ran his bow over the strings, and looked at John expectantly.
“No, Sherlock,” John nearly whined.
“Oh, God, that was a ghastly sound,” Sherlock made a face. “Come now, just once, and do not even think of bringing your voice to that octave again.”
“Night time sharpens, heightens each sensation, darkness wakes and stirs imagination. Silently the senses abandon their defenses,” John sang, his voice weak. “Slowly, gently night unfurls its splendor. Grasp it, sense it - tremulous and tender. Turn your face away from the garish light of day, turn your thoughts away from cold, unfeeling light, and listen to the music of the night.”
John’s heart was racing, his fingers dug into his jeans. He threw Sherlock a glance, but only received an eyebrow raise in return. Then, Sherlock looked out at the park, and back down quickly. John looked out, only to see that they had an audience. A few people were watching. Someone had even thrown a couple pounds in the violin case.
“Close your eyes and surrender to your darkest dreams! Purge your thoughts of the life you knew before!” John sang a bit louder, despite the voice in his head that was screaming at him to stop. “Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar! And you'll live as you've never lived before.”
John felt a hand on his shoulder, Sherlock had stood and was pulling him up now as well. John allowed him, snagging his cane on the way up, and continued to sing. “Softly, deftly, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it secretly possess you. Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind, in this darkness that you know you cannot fight: the darkness of the music of the night.”
Sherlock’s eyes were closed now, having abandoned the sheet music. He swayed slightly with every stroke of his bow. John, out of breath from holding the note, did not pick up the next cue. Sherlock played it again without question.
“Let your mind start a journey through a strange, new world! Leave all thoughts of the life you knew before! Let your soul take you where you long to be!” John breathed heavily. He had thought the other note was long, but that one took a toll on his vocal chords. Sherlock waited patiently, oddly enough, John took him for an impatient kind of guy. “Only then can you belong to me... Floating, falling, sweet intoxication! Touch me, trust me, savor each sensation! Let the dream begin, let your darker side give in to the power of the music that I write, the power of the music of the night.”
Sherlock played the instrumental part of the song beautifully, with large, dramatic strokes. John watched in awe, unable to bring himself to say anything. He shook his head at Sherlock.
“You alone can make my song take flight, help me make the music of the night,” Sherlock finished the song in his deep, yet beautiful voice.
As the crowd of twenty people began to applaud, John laughed. He looked around in shock, but Sherlock merely bowed his head to them. A few people walked over to Sherlock to ask him about his violin and how long he had been playing. John could not stop smiling.
“That was very good, son,” an elderly woman said, touching John’s arm. “Very good indeed. Are you boys from that theatre? Adder Theatre, or whatever they call it.”
“Adler Theatre?” John said kindly. “Yeah, yeah, we are.”
“Well keep it up!” she smiled. “I hope to see both of you there with names in lights. Cheers!”
“Yeah, uh, cheers!” John responded, shock still written across his face.
Once the crowd dispersed completely, Sherlock looked to John. “First performance?”
“Yeah,” John nodded, putting a hand over his heart as he carefully sat down.
“And what did you think?” Sherlock picked up his violin case and counted up the money. “Eighteen pounds fifty. Not bad for your first go.”
“It was bloody brilliant,” John grinned widely at him. “You do that a lot?”
“Yeah, here or there,” Sherlock nodded, splitting up the money.
Sherlock handed John his share. John pocketed the money. He put his head in his hands, the adrenaline of performing wearing off. He began to feel a bit panicked.
“I can’t believe I just did that,” John said. “I can’t believe you made me do that.”
“I would hardly say that I made you do that,” Sherlock sighed. “Kind of how Harry did not make you watch the Phantom of the Opera.”
“I do not like you,” John looked at Sherlock.
Sherlock looked over as well. He started to laugh. “Oh, yes, you do. You told your mum you made a friend. That’s me.”
“And now, I hate you,” John joined in laughing as well. He checked his phone, and saw that class would be starting soon.
Sherlock stood, a smile still on his face. “You most certainly do not hate me either, John. No, you rather enjoy my company. You shouldn’t, but you do.”
“Come on,” John sighed, though it was more of content than annoyance. “We have class.”
“How positively hateful,” Sherlock groaned.
“I thought you liked acting, and theatrics, and the sort?” John asked as they started to walk.
“Oh, I do,” he looked at John, crinkling his nose. “But Anderson’ll be there, and I hate Anderson. He’s so daft it’s almost criminal.”
John laughed again, and he could hardly remember the last time he laughed so much. Sherlock cracked another smile, and John was sure that it was a rarity to see so many smiles out of the strange boy. Yes, he had made a friend. His mother would be so pleased.
Sherlock plays Music of the Night from Phantom of the Opera on the violin, and here is the lovely man that I listened to playing it on the violin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptGC9wFSALM The David Garrett version is stunning, but involves the piano, which Sherlock and John do not have, of course!
Much love, Harlem.
P.S. Yes, I really do update this quickly on a regular basis; so, keep checking back. :)
“Is that how you make friends?” John asked. “Make them sing in the park?”
“Oh, no,” Sherlock shook his head. “What is it like in your mind? It must be so dull. No, John, that was completely spontaneous. You know what that means, right?”
“Of course,” John said, offended. “I’m not Anderson.”
“Speak of the damned, bloody devil,” Sherlock rolled his eyes.
John looked up to see Anderson and Sally walking towards the theatre from the opposite direction. “Oh, yeah, I meant to talk to you about them. He’s the father?”
“Of course he’s the father,” Sherlock grabbed his phone out of his pocket, typed out a text, and put it away. “You saw it. I just confirmed it. You see how he is with her. He’s the typical doting father-to-be. He won’t stay around with her long, but she likes it for now. Oh, and they’ve seen us. There is no escape now.”
“I knew it!” Anderson yelled.
“You know very little, so this should be interesting,” Sherlock said casually.
“What?” Anderson said.
“We heard that there were two people in the park playing violin and singing,” Sally cut in.
“We knew it had to be Freak-and-Friend,” Anderson added proudly.
“Freak-and-Friend?” Sherlock cocked a brow. “That must’ve kept you up half the night, Anderson. It sounds like a play on Frankenstein. Get some inspiration from Mary Shelley?”
“Frankenstein?” Anderson’s brows knit together.
“I suppose not,” Sherlock chuckled darkly.
“You teaching John here how to sustain himself once he reaches homelessness?” Anderson taunted, ignoring Sherlock’s jabs. “Because if he keeps hanging around with you, Queerlock Homo, that’s what’ll happen.”
“Do you think anybody would ever think that I, the well-dressed-coiffed-violin-playing-boy, was homeless?” Sherlock’s brows nearly hit his hairline. “Come, we have class.”
“Can I quote you on that one?” John piped up, trying to defuse the tension.
Sherlock rolled his eyes before sucking in a breath. He opened the door to the theatre, exhaled, and walked into the lobby.
“You don’t know Frankenstein?” John said to Anderson, as they walked into the theatre. “You know, book about a doctor that made a monster. Monster was bad, killed people.”
“I don’t know,” Anderson shrugged.
Sally winced, tilting her head to the side. “I’ll loan it to you.”
“Don’t bother. I don’t read much,” Anderson admitted.
Sherlock spun on his heels, making them all stop in their tracks. “Why does that not surprise me? You cannot put a sentence together; why would you read? I mean, you’re what? Eighteen? Why start being intelligent now?”
“Oh, God, Sherlock,” John covered his eyes momentarily.
“Damn, Queerlock,” Anderson muttered under his breath as Sally rubbed his upper arm affectionately, throwing a dirty look at Sherlock.
“Freak,” she scoffed.
John looked over at the lobby cafe for the first time to see Molly and Moriarty sitting there. They were sharing a table and both had coffees. They were also both staring at the group. John cleared his throat, causing the other three to turn.
“Oh, hello, Molly,” Sally smiled at her. “How are you doing?”
“Okay, thanks,” she nodded, the stutter in her voice slightly less evident. “Jim and I were just catching up, you know.”
“So I see,” Sally said with a nod. “That’s nice. Good for both of you.”
Lestrade flung open the door that led to the theatre. “We have class!”
“That we do,” Moriarty said with a laugh.
“Where’s Jeff?” Sally asked Moriarty.
“Fucked if I know,” Moriarty shrugged.
“That makes absolutely no sense,” Sherlock blinked.
“How are you, Sherlock?” Molly asked timidly.
John held his breath. Sherlock looked to Molly. “Fine, thank you.”
With that, John was able to exhale and they could move into the theatre. Lestrade was sitting on the stage in a chair. The group of students slowed down at the base of the stage, unsure of what Lestrade was doing to them. He had placed a circle of chairs on the stage and was sitting in one of them.
“Didn’t we all agree to these classes,” Anderson began. “Because we don’t want therapy in the traditionally sense of the word.”
Sherlock opened his mouth to correct him. John sighed. “Give it a rest, Sherlock.”
“Take a seat,” Lestrade sighed. “We’re having a bit of circle time.”
“I don’t like it,” Sally grumbled, sitting in a chair.
“I think it’ll be nice,” Molly smiled sadly.
“Where’s Jeff?” Lestrade asked once they all sat down.
“As Moriarty so brilliantly put it ‘Fucked if I know,’” Sherlock picked at a callous on his hand that was forming from his new bow. “Next great British, excuse me, American novelist.”
“Sherlock, language,” Lestrade chastised. “So, Jeff is missing in action. Wonderful... He never misses class. I’ll ring his parents later. Anyway, we are going to talk! I did not like that monologue outburst last week, and have heard many a cruel word. Right, Anderson? Sally? Sherlock?”
Anderson and Sally looked like school children, staring at their feet. Sherlock, however, sat up straighter. “I call it aggressive self-defense, Lestrade.”
“Sherlock,” Lestrade warned. “While I am aware that you were taunted first, it does not give you the right to use your gifts against others. At the end of class, I will give all of you a monologue. It will be completely different from your personality, from your experiences, and from your upbringing. Prepare them this week, and be prepared to perform next class.
“This week, however, we’re talking. We’re getting it out there. We’re being honest,” he smiled at them, clapping his hands together. “Who wants to start? Sherlock? Wonderful!”
Sherlock blinked, and let out a loud sigh. He had not volunteered, but Lestrade did not care. John rubbed his hands over his right leg, trying to soothe the burning limb. Sherlock straightened himself up, and tucked his long legs underneath himself.
“What do you want me to say, Lestrade?” he sighed.
“How’s your home life?”
“Splendid,” Sherlock snorted. “Mycroft is as controlling as ever, Mummy is trying not to take sides, and Father is blissfully involved with his drink and his secretary. Quite the cliche of a family, so boring... Oh, but father’s secretary is a man. Cue the self-loathing and homophobia! One less cliche in the Holmes family. Next.”
“Have you had any other incidents?” Lestrade was writing notes on his clipboard. It occurred to John for the first time that Lestrade might actually be a therapist, not just some acting teacher for the lost.
“No,” Sherlock sighed. “We all know the answers to these questions. My life doesn’t change. Let’s move along to Molly, who obviously had a breakdown last week and is now seeing Moriarty, who is gay and so obviously closeted. Add that to his violent tendencies and I see a lot of unlucky gay men in the future at his hands. Or flip on over to Anderson and his father’s destructive relationship. Then, there’s Anderson and Sally’s relationship.” Sally’s eyes widened, almost pleading with Sherlock not expose them. Sherlock looked at her for a moment with what John would categorize as pity in his eyes. “Will Anderson really be comfortable with her having somebody else’s child?
“We also have John,” John’s throat tightened as he heard Sherlock say those words. “He is obviously having a bad time at home, he was in an accident that left him with a bad shoulder and a partially psychosomatic limp, which keeps him from rugby, his love. He wants to be a doctor, but is unsure of how to go about it. He feels he has a higher calling, something other than this mundane life. I am apt to agree with him.
“So, yes, let’s move it along,” Sherlock’s eyes were wild. “My family is crazy, I am fine, and nobody else is.”
John watched Lestrade write ‘major trust issues.’ Lestrade pinched the bridge of his nose. “Was that really necessary, Sherlock? You could say that you didn’t want to talk. You didn’t have to do that.”
“I don’t have to do anything,” he untucked his legs from under him.
Lestrade looked to the rest of the class, and met Sally’ eyes. She nodded, and cleared her throat. As she began to talk about how her mother and father have been treating her since she told them about her pregnancy, John watched Sherlock. He did so covertly, but he watched him all the same. John saw how his eyes were slightly red, and that he had removed his blazer. He saw that Sherlock looked a bit shaken. John pursed his lips, still a bit peeved by Sherlock’s brief, accurate overview of his issues.
Molly had a good cry about Sherlock, not even bothering to hide it anymore. Sherlock’s face was clear, but his eyes, John noticed, could never hide anything. His eyes showed humiliation and regret. Anderson went on about his row with his father the night before. John himself spoke about Harry’s obvious issues with him, and how she is the favorite child to their mother. Moriarty somehow escaped having to speak because they ran out of time. It all seemed like a blur to John.
“Wasn’t I just in the park?” he mumbled to himself quietly.
At the end of class, Lestrade looked exhausted, and at least ten years older. “I have copies of all of your monologues for you. Read them, memorize them, and be ready for next week at performance level. I’m sorry we didn’t get to go over any actual lessons this week, but I think we all needed this.”
With that, class was over. Everybody was piling out of the theatre, looking over their monologues that Lestrade handed them. John had stuffed his in his messenger bag. He saw Sherlock shaking his head at his and glaring at the back of Lestade’s head. Everybody else seemed relatively pleased. Once outside, John looked around for his mother’s car.
“Mum?” John said into the phone. “Are you on your way?
“Oh, sweetie,” she said. John could feel her false smile. “I’m so sorry. I’m still with Harry at the university. Can you wait?”
“Do I have much choice?” John groaned. He saw Sherlock looking at him out of the corner of his eye. A heavyset man stood behind his classmate. “See you later. Thanks a lot, mum.”
John leaned against the outside of the theatre, trying not to eavesdrop on Sherlock and his companion, whom he considered was his brother.
“John Watson?” the unknown man’s voice floated over to him across the sidewalk. “Oh, Sherlock, why do you... You're too young... No relationships, no friendships... Know better.”
“...Do not treat me like this, Mycroft,” Sherlock’s steady voice returned. "You can't even hold a diet, why should I let you... We cannot just let him say here for hours... You know that the Holmes family never..."
“He cannot come back to the house,” Mycroft said, giving in to Sherlock’s wishes.
“Oh, God, no,” Sherlock sounded appalled. “Why would I do that to him? Nobody goes there.”
John’s brows lowered in curiosity and hope. It seemed that the boy was going to stay with him or at least give him a lift home. He glanced over and jumped, Sherlock had somehow ended up right beside him.
“No ride?” Sherlock asked, though he knew the answer.
“Mum’s with Harry somewhere,” John said in response. He knew it would suffice.
“Want to grab a bite?” Sherlock asked. “I took Mycroft’s cheque book.”
“You took it?” John’s eyebrows flew up.
“Yes, when he annoys me, I take his things,” Sherlock shrugged. “It’s like a game. He makes me do things I don’t want to do. I make him go mad searching for his things. So, food?”
“Sure, let’s go,” John agreed. “I have at least an hour.”
“I’d say two,” Sherlock corrected. "Italian?"
"Yeah!" John noded enthusiastically.
What are your thoughts? Also, I am listening to anything by David Garrett right now. If you have Spotify, type him in and give it a listen. Amazing artist. So beautiful Alas, I am swooning. :)
Much love, Harlem.
Hello, loves! I hope you're enjoying this story. Thoughts are, as always, welcomed!
Much love, Harlem.
It had amazed John the moment they walked into the place. An overweight Italian man, whom John suspected was the owner, spotted Sherlock from across the room and came bounding over to them. He showed them to a booth, spoke in Italian with Sherlock happily, and then patted John on the back.
“That’s Angelo,” Sherlock said as Angelo left. “Order anything on the menu. It’s on the house.”
“What? Why?” John looked shocked.
“Angelo owes me a favor,” Sherlock said, the corner of his mouth turning up. “Read your menu.”
“All right, then,” John shrugged.
They were scanning menus when Sherlock looked up. “What day is it?”
“Uh, Sunday, we had class, remember?” John said in confusion.
“Class? Irrelevant,” Sherlock was looking past John, but when John turned around he saw nothing. “Yes, I can eat. Good.”
“Sunday told you that?” John asked, confusion still evident.
“It doesn’t tell you that?”
“No it bloody well doesn’t tell me that,” John laughed. “My mind tells me whether I’m hungry or not, sometimes my mother, if she’s feeling particularly spiteful. The days of the week do not tell me when I eat.”
“I'm so happy to hear that your mind tells you something. I was beginning to wonder if it did anything at all!" Sherlock cocked a brow. John rolled his eyes. "I only eat when I’m not working,” He said, closing his menu. “Eating slows me down, hinders my thoughts, my work, my art. Something about digestion and that it... Hm.”
“What?” John asked, still reading over his menu.
“You know you want the rigatoni with meatballs, but you think that you should pick something more daring,” Sherlock offered. “You’re looking for something interesting, something that will compete with the extravagant meal you expect me to order. What do you think I’m ordering?”
“I don’t know,” John thought. “Steak tartare?”
“Is that even on the menu?” Sherlock looked down to scan the menu. “No, John, that’s disgusting. Raw meat? No, thank you. I am having the tortellini. So, get what you want.”
John smiled, and shook his head in wonder. “Oh, Sherlock.”
“No, that’s it,” John chuckled. “Just ‘Oh, Sherlock,’ nothing more.”
Sherlock raised his brows briefly before catching Angelo’s eye. The Italian man walked across the room to them quickly, notepad in hand. He smiled at John and then at Sherlock.
“What can I get for you this evening, Sherlock? I also want your date’s name,” Angelo said. He looked at John. “It is rude to serve a friend of Sherlock’s and not call him by name.”
“His name is John,” Sherlock nodded to his companion. “I’ll have the tortellini. You know how I like it, Angelo.”
“I’m not his date,” John corrected. “Could I have the rigatoni and meatballs, please? Thank you.”
“I’ll bring a candle for the the table,” Angelo smiled. “Thank you, Sherlock, and thank you John.”
A silence fell over the two men. Sherlock was gazing out the window. John cleared his throat. “You don’t have a girlfriend, then?”
“Girlfriend?” Sherlock pried his eyes away from the streets of London to wrinkle his brow at John. “No, not really my area.”
“Oh, right, then,” John paused. “Oh, duh, Watson. I was never sure if Anderson was just trying to start a row, like blokes do, or if he was serious. Do you have a boyfriend? Which is fine, by the way-”
“I know it’s fine,” Sherlock said easily.
“So, you’ve got boyfriend?”
“No,” Sherlock flicked his napkin onto his lap.
“Right, okay,” John nodded. “You’re unattached, just like me. Fine, good, just two bachelors enjoying a meal. Two bachelors just hanging out together.”
“Are you quite finished?” Sherlock’s voice was a mixture of faint amusement with a splash of ‘is he honestly all right with a lower brain capability?’
“Oh, God, yeah,” John nodded before bursting out in laughter.
Sherlock smiled. “And who says that rugby players are boring chaps? Certainly not I. Though, I do think that any more knocks to the head could’ve rendered you completely useless to me.”
“And you’re quite sure your mother is picking you up?” Sherlock asked, jumping up to sit on the counter that was attached to the outdoor ticket stand window.
“Yeah,” John nodded. He glanced at his phone, the backlit screen told him it was past eight. “Yeah, she knows. There must be traffic.”
“Hey, Holmes!” an accented voice, one that John could not place to a specific region, sounded from across the street. John saw that it was a tall boy with three other guys with him. “Hey, Sherlock-Poof-Holmes!”
“Sherlock-Poof-Holmes, at your service,” Sherlock bowed at the waist before letting out a treacherously long sigh. When he spoke again, his voice was serious and calm. “Remove yourself from this toxic situation, Sebastian, before I let a few of your own personal bombshells fall.”
Much to John’s surprise, Sebastian backed away. The other thugs with him looked annoyed, but followed him. Sherlock went back to staring down the street for John’s mother’s car.
“What just happened there?” John asked, mouth hanging.
“Sebastian, chap from school, attempted to be cleverly mean. Only managed slightly annoying. I threatened him. He left. Really, John, do keep up,” Sherlock said. “He’s a bit insecure. Never you mind him. Your mum is not coming. Let me ring Mycroft. He loves when I call instead of text; he’ll set something up.”
“Thanks,” John looked down at his outgoing calls. He had called his mother six times with no response. “I hope nothing happened.
“Mycroft,” Sherlock said into his phone, holding up a finger to silence John. “What? You know who this is, you just want me to say it. It’s your brother, Mycroft. Yes, I do need you to pick me up. I also need you to give, hm, yes, quite. I shall see you shortly then? We will be waiting in front of the Adler. I expect to see you in less than two minutes or I will fear that your ability to tag me is failing and that you’ve fallen ill.”
John looked at Sherlock. “You don’t, uh, think anything happened, do you?”
“Knowing your mother, no,” Sherlock said as if John had asked him of the weather.
“You don’t know my mother,” John said in confusion.
“I might as well, judging by you,” Sherlock tipped his head to the side. He straightened up. John turned to see Mycroft Holmes walking with a woman. “Oh, good, it’s Anthea. I do love a good brain dead-technology obsessed-‘God, Mycroft, do that one more time I don’t care that your younger brother is in the other room while we fuck senseless’-sister-in-law after a fantastic meal.”
John laughed a bit too loudly. He clapped a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. “I don’t care what the others say, you’re funny as hell, mate.”
“Thank you, Sherlock,” John said, shutting the car door and facing the boy.
“For what?” Sherlock asked, tipping his head to the side.
“Well, for hanging with me and getting me home,” John smiled.
“Ah, yes, well, of course,” Sherlock said awkwardly.
John nodded to him in farewell, and started up the walk to his house. It was a modest house, if John was being generous. In reality, it was a small town house in need of a good repair and redecorating. He sighed as he opened the door to his house. John turned to see that the car was still idling in the street with Sherlock leaning against the door.
“Go in your house so I can go home,” Sherlock groaned.
“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” John laughed. “Bye, Sherlock. See you next week.”
“Goodbye, John,” Sherlock tilted his hand to him.
John opened the door, and stepped into his house. The front door opened onto the sitting room. On the couch laid his mother with the television blaring. She was snoring lightly, her arm draped over her eyes. John saw her phone on the table. He shook his head, and began the long trek up the stairs to his bedroom.
“Hey, Harry,” John popped his head into his sister’s room.
“Hi,” she looked up from her laptop. Her eyes widened. “Oh, God, how’d you get home? Mum never left.”
“Believe me, I know,” John dropped onto the foot of her bed, leaning his cane up against the wall nearest the bed. “A bloke from the class was getting driven home by his brother, so I got a ride.”
Harry put her laptop to the side and leaned forward. “I’m sorry, John.”
“Why?” he sighed. “You’re not our mum. You’re not supposed to have to remember to pick me up and shit.”
“Who’s the bloke?” Harry asked, changing the subject. “You friends?”
“His name’s Sherlock,” John played with the handle of his cane. “Uh, I think we’re friends.”
“Sherlock what?” she asked, picking her laptop back up. “Sherlock is a weird name.”
“He’s a weird guy,” John admitted. “Sherlock Holmes.”
Harry typed something on her laptop before spinning it around for John to see. She had Facebook searched him, and now had his Facebook page up on the screen. John furrowed his brow. Sherlock’s picture showed him in tailored suit sitting on a blanket in the park. His violin was laying beside him. He was looking at the camera in a way that screamed candid photography.
“Yeah, that’s him,” John nodded.
“You didn’t mention that he’s model status, John!” Harry laughed in disbelief.
“You don’t even like boys?” John’s brow furrowed deeper.
“That doesn’t mean I can’t admire,” Harry clicked on the photo section and began to scroll through photos. “There aren’t enough here. Just the ones he’s tagged in by... Mycroft Holmes? His brother? Hm, well, you know, I think I could tolerate a man, if it was him.”
“He, however, does like boys,” John said with a smirk.
“Damn!” Harry handed John the laptop. “Isn’t that always the way? Ooh, I wonder if anybody says that about me?”
“Mhm, sure, Harry,” John said absentmindedly. “Can I log on and friend him?”
“Do whatever you want,” Harry laid back on her bed.
“How was the university thing?”
“It was fine,” she sat up again. “I’ll probably end up there, and, I don’t know, give it a go.”
“It’s far away,” he commented. “That’ll be good for you.”
“Yeah, yeah, it will be,” Harry agreed. “Look, John, uh, I don’t mean to get on your about the whole therapy session thing. I just, er, I don’t even know.”
“Yeah, I know,” John nodded. “I’m going to get some sleep. Night, Harry.”
“Night, John,” she smiled a bit. “Oh, and, John? Call me next time you need to be get picked up. I can do that for you.”
“Thanks, Har,” he said softly, before pushing himself of the bed with his cane and limping out to his room.
John tossed his clothes off, letting them land around the room, and climbed into bed. He switched off the light, and brought his phone to his face. He pulled up his Facebook app to check the three notifications he had seen in Harry’s room when he friended Sherlock. Two likes on his profile photo. One comment on it. He selected the photo, one of him and Sarah from when they were kids. The “like” count had reached two-hundred and thirty-one, and the comments were even higher. The newest one, one from a mutual classmate they had in grammar school, simply said: ‘I’m sorry, mate.’
Just as he was about to close the app, a new notification popped up, and then another. Sherlock had accepted his friend request. He had also sent him a message:
“Knew you would request me. Don’t look so shocked. It’s embarrassingly easy to see. You couldn’t do it before because you felt that you didn’t know me. Performed in park. Class. Ate. “Hung out.” Gave you a ride. You think us friends now. Well, so does Facebook. Until Sunday, John. -SH”
John chuckled, and set his phone on his nightstand. He closed his eyes, let out a long deep breath that turned into a sob. He curled into a ball and let his forehead rest on his knees. He was hyperventilating, every breath was harder to take than the last.
Thoughts? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? :)
Much love, Harlem.
John bit his lip as he typed up his paper. He pushed his laptop away to pull his plate of food towards him. John looked around the bustling cafe as he ate. It was a busy night for a Thursday. He pulled his laptop back and attempted to balance eating and working.
John felt somebody behind him, but assumed that it was somebody waiting in the long line that was looping around the small cafe. After a few minutes, John felt a hand on his shoulder and somebody had put their head beside his. The man so close to him that John’s head was resting against the man’s shoulder. He froze, fear bubbled up in him.
“You have a problem keeping your tenses straight, don’t you, John?”
“Christ, Sherlock!” John let his head lean against Sherlock’s shoulder for a moment. He closed his eyes and breathed heavily. “You scared the hell out of me, mate!”
“Give me your laptop,” Sherlock sat across from John. “I suppose literature is not your best subject?”
“I’d like to be better at writing, but I just,” John shrugged. “You know.”
“You’re right,” Sherlock began to edit John’s paper. “I do know. You are better with sciences, biological and anthropological sciences. You always admired writing, but your mind just doesn’t work that way. You failed literature classes as a child, but your maths and sciences were so high that they moved you along with tutors. They never did anything for you. They showed you what the school wants, but not what you should do. You are not a poor writer. You just are unrefined. I can help.”
“Fantastic,” John smiled. “It’s amazing how you do that. You know that from what? My writing?”
“Yes,” Sherlock nodded. He turned the laptop back to John. “There.”
“Thanks,” John took it back.
“You will just need to close it out. Do not try to add any other pieces to your argument. You’ll exhaust it,” Sherlock took John’s cup and took a sip. “Coffee? What is wrong with you? I need tea.”
Sherlock met the barista’s eye, and nodded to her. John turned in time to see her smiling at Sherlock and nodding back. John raised his eyebrows. “You know her?”
“I come here a lot for tea,” Sherlock smiled at her as she brought it to him.
“And they bring it to you,” John chuckled. “Why am I not surprised?”
Sherlock transferred his light gaze to John. He flickered his eyes over John’s features. John cleared his throat, feeling uncomfortable by the intense scrutiny. Sherlock looked to his tea, and swirled a spoon around in it.
“How’re you doing?” John asked after a few minutes.
“Hm, oh, fine,” Sherlock lowered his brows. “Why?”
“I was just making conversation,” John frowned. He pulled his laptop forward to read over Sherlock’s corrections.
“I have had better days,” Sherlock said after a moment. “Namely last Sunday.”
John smiled. “Yeah, Sunday was a lot of fun,” He closed the laptop. “Do you want to talk?”
“I am not sure, Lestrade,” Sherlock smirked.
“Ugh, sorry,” John smiled. “Seriously, though, if you want to talk...”
Sherlock brought the mug to his lips. “It was not a major issue. I fought with Anthea, and Mycroft reacted poorly. Alas, I’ve found myself here after. It was nothing big, just a bit of yelling and the like.”
“Doesn’t matter if it’s big or not,” John said seriously. “Fighting with family always hurts.”
“I suppose it hurts some people,” Sherlock nodded. “My home is not the best atmosphere, so I thought I’d escape to a place that would allow me to think: this cafe. I wasn’t aware you frequented it.”
“I come here to get some work done,” John smiled. “When I save up enough money to treat myself, of course.”
“It is quite late for you to be eating,” Sherlock commented. “Quarter past nine.”
“I had a bit of a row with my family, too,” John said. “My mum and I fought for a bit, then she told me to leave. Here I am.”
Sherlock was obviously thinking that over, running it through is mind. It was written all over his face. He tilted his head to the side, something John realized the other boy did quite often. “John, when are you allowed to return?”
“I don’t know,” he said softly. A faint blush fell over his cheeks. “This is so embarrassing.”
“Embarrassment is an optional emotion, in my opinion,” Sherlock said easily. He stood up. “You have finished your meal, shall we walk?”
“Sure,” John agreed.
Sherlock took the tray, and placed it on top of the waste bin. John tucked his laptop into his messenger bag. He raised a brow at Sherlock, who merely shrugged. The two started out of the cafe, but Sherlock stopped. He turned and waved to the barista that was still staring at him. She smiled and blushed profusely. John stood awkwardly.
“Shall we?” Sherlock signaled to the door that John had stopped in the middle of to wait.
“Yeah, let’s go,” John nodded. “Where do you live? You strike me as the big house type.”
“I live about thirty minutes away,” Sherlock fell into step beside John. “It is a large house.”
“This is pretty far for you, then.”
“About as far as it is for you,” Sherlock countered. He pushed into John to steer him down a residential street. He gripped John’s arm as he began to stumble from Sherlock’s pressure. “Oh, I’m sorry. I did not take your leg into consideration with that move.”
“It’s fine,” John had pushed his cane into the ground hard, and was using his other hand to grip Sherlock’s lapel. He slowly released Sherlock, steadying himself. “People forget about it. Hell, sometimes I forget about it. Then, well, I stand, and I remember.”
“You know it’s psychosomatic, right?” Sherlock said. He was still holding onto John’s arm.
“Well, I don’t know,” John shrugged. “I did get hurt. I was in, uhm, a car accident. The dashboard went through my thigh.”
“The entire dashboard?” Sherlock sounded skeptical.
“No, Sherlock, not the entire dashboard,” John rolled his eyes. “Don’t be daft, and don’t act like I’m daft. A piece of it went through my thigh.”
“It healed, though?”
“Yeah, mostly,” John nodded. He was not sure where Sherlock was leading them, but he trusted that it was somewhere good.
“Hm,” Sherlock stopped, held out his hand. “Taxi!”
A taxi pulled up to them, and Sherlock let go of John’s arm. John had not even realized that Sherlock had continued to hold onto him, but now that he let him go, he felt the loss of touch. John climbed into the taxi, and Sherlock followed behind him.
“Holmes Park,” Sherlock sighed.
“Ah, Mr. Holmes,” the driver looked at him through the rearview mirror. “How’s your parents? They doing good?”
“They’re quite well, thank you,” Sherlock said politely. “Holmes Park.”
“Right away, Mr. Holmes,” the driver pulled back into traffic.
“Is that your park, or is it just a coincidence?” John asked.
“My grandfather had it created, so to speak,” Sherlock gazed out the window. “It’s not far, but with that limp it would take us years.”
“Sorry,” John mumbled.
“No need to be,” Sherlock pulled his wallet out of his pocket. “I take taxis all the time. I prefer them to all other forms of transportation.”
The taxi stopped, and John watched Sherlock hand the driver far too much money for such a short drive. Both boys got out of the cab in front of a brilliant park. It was enclosed by a wrought iron fence with white, Christmas lights wrapped around the tops. John could see a gazebo and a carousel inside the fence along with several benches.
“This is beautiful,” John looked around in amazement as he walked in with Sherlock.
“You are an amiable man, aren’t you?” Sherlock looked down at John. “You’re such a positive person. I don’t know how you do that.”
“I just stopped letting myself get down,” John told him. “When I’m upset, I try to cheer myself up. You know? See the good in things.”
“I don’t know,” Sherlock admitted. “I don’t see things that way.”
“That’s a shame,” John said honestly. He looked up at Sherlock. “I’ve been seeing a lot of good, now that I’m looking.”
They walked around the park in silence. There were several couples, a few groups of university students, and many children walking around the park. John took the lead and headed towards the gazebo. Sherlock followed closely. John took a seat inside the intricate pavilion. Sherlock sat beside him.
“You don’t have your violin with you?” John said. “I’ve never seen you without it.”
Sherlock jumped a bit, as if he had forgotten John was there. “No, I left it at home. I did not think I would be playing it tonight.”
“That sucks,” John looked over at Sherlock. “This seems like a good time for music.”
Sherlock gazed down at John through lowered lids. He leaned down, and took John’s face in his hands. John soon found Sherlock’s lips pressed to his. John’s eyes widened before they closed, and he put a hand on Sherlock’s forearm. Sherlock ran the pad of his thumb over John’s cheekbone. John wrapped his other arm around Sherlock’s slender torso. Sherlock ran his tongue over John’s lips, letting out a content sound as John parted his lips.
After a few minutes of snogging, Sherlock pulled John closer to him. John was nearly in Sherlock’s lap when his eyes shot open.
John pushed away. “I’m not gay.”
“You may want to reevaluate that, John,” Sherlock said softly. “You’ve sent me countless signals that tell me otherwise.”
A faint blush had taken over Sherlock’s cheeks. John stood and turned to walk away, but he felt Sherlock grab his hand. He turned back to him. Sherlock put a twenty pound note in John’s palm and wrapped his fingers around it.
“Take a taxi home,” Sherlock swallowed. “You cannot walk that far at this hour. Knowing the crime rate and your physical impairment, you would not make it.”
John left the gazebo quickly with Sherlock’s money in hand. He looked around the park, searching for the easiest way back to the entrance. After a few minutes of slow walking, John was hailing a cab. He climbed into it and was shocked to see Mycroft sitting in the back seat.
“Oh, sorry, Mr. Holmes, I thought this cab was empty,” John apologized.
“No, no, John, stay. And do call me Mycroft. Mr. Holmes is my brother,” Mycroft winked at John. He clicked his tongue and the driver took off down the road. “We’re going to have a little talk.”
“Uh,” John glanced out the window and saw that the cab was taking him to his house. He let out a sigh of relief. “Yeah, all right.”
“You have been privy to a very different Sherlock,” Mycroft tapped his fingers on his knee absentmindedly. John went red, and he subconsciously played with his lips. “No, not that Sherlock! Though I cannot tell you the last time that he actively pursued anybody. Men and women alike, of course, go after him because of his looks and mystery... But he does not engage them.
“No, John, what I meant was he has been more--now the wording of this will sound dreadful--but he is much more human with you,” Mycroft gave a John a closed mouth smile.
“What do you mean?” John bit his lip.
“Well, you know how he treats that dreadful Anderson boy?” Mycroft paused, waiting for John to acknowledge. John nodded. “That is how Sherlock treats most of the world. He is a very jaded boy, and very short tempered. He has a gift, and that gift makes it hard for him to relate to anybody.”
“You mean how he can, like, well, know everything?”
“That is precisely what I mean,” the older Holmes nodded. “When you meet somebody, you see what they choose to show you. When Sherlock meets somebody, he sees what they show, what they hide, and what they do not even realize they aren’t hiding. It is very hard for him to become close to anybody because of it.”
“And you’re saying that he is close to me?” John tried.
“Well, yes,” Mycroft laughed. “He is kind with you. He worries about you, thinks about you. It affects his work.”
Mycroft pulled out his iPhone, and opened a video. It showed an aerial view of a very messy room. John moved beside Mycroft to see it better. Then he saw Sherlock come into frame. He was pacing with his violin under his chin. Sherlock finished the song, one that John did not know, and lowered his violin. Then, Sherlock picked up a piece of paper, and hit a button on his laptop. The music he had just been playing started; Sherlock tapped his foot with the music.
“What’s he doing?” John looked to Mycroft.
“He is checking his playing with the lyrics,” Mycroft stated. “He runs through the lyrics to make sure that he did not miss a note.”
“What’s the big deal? He always plays.”
“It’s the song, John,” Mycroft sighed. “Now, hush.”
On the video, Sherlock began to sing. “Something in you caused me to take a new tact with you. You were going through something. I had just about scraped through-”
“I don’t understand,” John looked to Mycroft.
“Ssh,” Mycroft rolled his eyes.
“Could it be I like you? It's so shameful of me - I like you,” Sherlock sang in his deep, baritone voice. “No one I ever knew or have spoken to resembles you. This is good or bad all depending on my general mood.”
Mycroft exited the video. John looked to him in confusion. Mycroft sighed. “He doesn’t choose romantic songs, at least none like that. If he chooses a love song, it’s because of its fame and difficulty.”
“So, you’re saying...” John let his sentence drift away. He covered his face. “You’re saying this is because of me.”
“Yes, John, I am implying that,” Mycroft nodded. “I want you to think about this. Do not hurt my brother, John. You will hate to know what will happen to you. I am very concerned about him.”
“And what do you want me to do?” John was angry now. “Do you expect me to just give up what I want to make your brother happy?’
“No, I do not. I expect you to think about this, and figure out what you do truly want,” Mycroft leaned forward. “I think that you are a confused boy, and that is okay. You’re young, but Sherlock is, too, no matter how he acts. He plays that he has no feelings, but we both know that he feels just as much as we do, if not more.
Do the right thing, John,” Mycroft put a hand on John’s shoulder. “Think about it, really mull it over. I saw how you looked at him in the cafe and the park.”
“What look? How did you see anything?” John’s mouth fell ajar.
“CCTV, John,” Mycroft smiled. “I have control. The look when Sherlock was allowing that barista to flirt with him, when he encouraged it. The look when he was behind you, and you relaxed onto him. Oh, and I don’t know, the reaction to him kissing you was pretty telling.”
“Oh,” was all John managed to say.
“Go home, get some sleep,” Mycroft pointed out the window to John’s house. “Your mother is asleep; you will get in just fine. Good night, John, thank you for allowing me to accompany you home. Remember what I said.”
“Uh, good night, Mycroft,” He moved to hand the money that Sherlock gave him to the driver, but Mycroft stopped him. “I have to pay.”
“Keep it,” Mycroft smiled. “I can cover this ride.”
“Thank you,” John nodded, not wanting to argue with him because he did not want to spend anymore time with the elder Holmes.
John walked as quickly as his bad leg would allow him, and entered the house. He saw his mother on the couch, asleep, just as Mycroft said she would be. He climbed the stairs, and shut himself in his room.
He sat on his bed. “What the fuck am I doing? You’re not gay, John. You’ve had plenty of girlfriends. Having a snog with a bloke does not make you gay. It just doesn't. I'm not gay.”
The song that Sherlock is playing/singing in the video is I Like You by Morrisey, by the way! Give it a listen. It is a better John to Sherlock song, but I think it could work Sherlock to John as well.
Much love, Harlem.
Psst. Leave me kudos and comments. They make me happy. ;)
“Thanks, Harry,” John said as he opened the car door.
“Hey, if you want to come here early, who am I to stop you?” she shrugged. “Plus, now I get the car for a couple hours.”
“That’s the spirit,” John laughed.
He got out of the car and walked into the theatre quietly. The lobby was empty, which did not surprise John. He pushed open the door to the house to see Sherlock sitting on the stage with his violin in his lap. He was running a cloth over the body. John kept hobbling into the house. He climbed the stairs, and lowered himself to the stage beside Sherlock.
“Hi,” John said quietly.
“Hello, John,” Sherlock responded, keeping his eyes on his work.
John ran a hand through his blond hair. He leaned on his hand closet to Sherlock, but then straightened up quickly. John watched Sherlock for a moment. He watched the pale, slender hands work the cloth over the violin with deft ease. John returned to leaning on his hand, towards Sherlock.
“Well, you might as well say what you want to say. You’re thinking so loud that I can hardly hear my own thoughts.”
“I’m not gay,” John said, for the thousandth time since Sherlock kissed him in the park. This time, however, was only the second time he had said it to Sherlock.
“Okay,” Sherlock nodded. His brows lowered, his eyes flickering over the air in front of him, as if he was trying to remember something. “I think that it’s best for me to... apologize. That’s what I should do, isn’t it? I’m sorry for kissing you. I thought that you were... and I suppose I was wrong. That is a rarity, but it does happen.”
John scrubbed his hands over his face. He let out a shaky sigh. Sherlock, who had not been looking at him, finally turned to John. He stared at John for a few seconds, John could feel his steady gaze, and finally reached out to feel John’s forehead.
“Are you all right?” Sherlock looked wary. “You're a bit pale, but you feel normal. Perhaps running bit cool,even.”
“I don’t know what I’m doing,” John found himself saying to Sherlock, turning to face him. His eyes welled up. “I’m just in an awful mood. I’m sorry.”
Sherlock blinked at him, face unreadable. “Up, John.”
“What?” John watched Sherlock put his violin away before he climbed to his feet. John took Sherlock’s extended hand. “Why?”
“We’re skipping class,” Sherlock handed John his cane, and picked up his violin case. “Be quiet until we get out.”
“Skipping?” John took the cane. “But you love these classes, don’t you?”
“I like them enough,” Sherlock nodded. “But I like you enough, too, so shall we sneak out before you pass out or do something equally bad, like cry?”
John swallowed, thinking that he must look bad to warrant such attention from the aloof boy. Sherlock made his way down the stairs of the stage quickly, and stood at the bottom to wait for John. They left the house, and crept through the lobby quietly. Once out on the streets, Sherlock hailed a cab. John watched him look up at a CCTV camera and wave to it before ushering John into the taxi.
“Holmes Manor,” Sherlock said simply
“Of course, Mr. Holmes,” the cab driver said. John was sure that it was the same driver from the other night.
“Manor? Your house?” John asked quietly.
“House is a relative term,” Sherlock smiled a toothless grin at him before focusing his gaze outside. “Please don’t throw up in the taxi.”
“I’m not sick,” John insisted. “I’m just conflicted, and not feeling that great about myself. Why did I let you do this? What was I thinking? I need to go back. Lestrade’ll call my mum, and then she’ll spaz out.”
“Already taken care of,” Sherlock said with a bored tone. “Mycroft emailed Lestrade, and then had an email sent from your mother on your behalf.”
“My mum emailed me out?” John sounded unconvinced.
“No, he emailed from your mum’s account,” Sherlock said as if it were obvious. “We should find my home free of distractions at this hour.”
John glanced out the window only to find himself in a part of the city he did not recognize. Massive homes surrounded him, but there was a fair amount of grass and space between each one. The taxi pulled up at the end of the block at a gate. The driver waited, and soon the gate opened. He pulled through it, and down to another road. At the end of the road sat an alarmingly large house with outrageous color and intricate designs on the roof. John looked around for a sign to tell him what part of London they were in, but could find nothing but a sign that read: “Holmes Manor 1887.”
“Not exactly London,” Sherlock corrected. “But I would hardly call us suburban either. We fall somewhere in between. No matter, out you go.”
John climbed out of the cab. “This is incredible. You live here?”
“Of course,” Sherlock nodded.
“You saw my pathetic house,” John kicked at the ground. His face bright red. “And you live in this palace.”
Sherlock walked to the doors, opened them, and signaled for John to go inside. “I hardly see how the two relate or matter.”
John raised his eyebrows, searching Sherlock’s face for something that would tell him that his friend was mocking him. It appeared that Sherlock was genuine, however. John hobbled into Holmes Manor with a quiet sigh.
“Why are we here, though?”
“We are going to go up to my room, avoid the staff, and talk about what ever it is that is bothering you,” Sherlock whispered, looking around for the alleged staff. He pointed to the stairs.
As they ascended them, John looked to Sherlock. “Since when do you care about talking about feelings?”
“When they’re not my own, I find it considerably easier,” Sherlock opened a door.
He stepped inside and held the door open for John. Sherlock’s room was as magnificent as the rest of the house, but, like Mycroft’s video showed, cluttered. He had a large, four poster bed in the center of the room with the duvet crumpled in the center. Fleur de lis wallpaper was adhered to the wall with several other pieces of paper tacked onto. John smiled a bit at the sheet music that was flung around the room carelessly. A book, Micah Clarke by Arthur Conan Doyle, sat at his feet.
“Expensive and a mess,” John nodded, still smiling. “This is your room.”
“I think I take offense to that,” Sherlock made his bed. He looked awkwardly at John. “Make yourself at home.”
John sat down on Sherlock’s bed, and looked at him. Sherlock sat down, before thinking better of it and sprawling out. John chuckled.
“Why are you so upset?” Sherlock asked.
“I don’t know what is going on anymore,” John admitted. “It was like everything fell when you kissed me.”
Sherlock’s face was blank, but his eyes showed pain. “I see.”
“No,” John shook his head, holding up his hands. “I didn’t mean it like that. I mean, everything I thought I knew about myself was just, like, gone. I was questioning everything that I never questioned before. Like... am I gay?”
“Well, John,” Sherlock was still looking a bit hurt. John felt the pit that been festering in his stomach deepen. “I kissed you, that does not make you gay.”
“I kissed back,” John flopped against the bed. “I bloody well kissed back.”
“Yes, yes, you did,” Sherlock said with a far away voice, and a small smile playing at his lips. John had to admit that the dreamy expression was a good look for Sherlock. “What happened to ‘I just stopped letting myself get down,’ what happened to that man?”
“He went on holiday,” John sighed. “This must be a difficult place to have people over to for a, uh, you know. The bed is so big. How do you reach people?”
“Most people would find a large bed to be a good thing in those situations, John,” Sherlock looked amused. “And, since you’re fishing for information, I don’t have ‘people’ over often. When they are over, we most certainly are not in my bed.”
“I’m sorry,” John grimaced. “That was rude.”
“You’re curious,” Sherlock shrugged, the pain in his eyes had subsided, much to John’s relief. “If you’re unsure about your sexuality, John, you do know that you don’t have to define it. It isn’t a requirement. Why can’t people just be attracted to whomever they want? I’m less attracted to gender as I am intelligence and spirit. This is what is upsetting you so much? In the scheme of things, it is rather pointless. Defining ourselves to please others, that is. If it makes you happy, if it makes you feel good, then do it. If it doesn’t, don’t do it.”
“Yeah,” John let the word draw out into several syllables. He bit his lip.
“Do me a favor, John,” Sherlock moved across the bed. “Let me kiss you again, and if you don’t like it, I will never speak of it again and we can go back to how we were before. If you do like it, then maybe something’s been cleared up for you.”
“I don’t know,” John looked nervously at Sherlock. “That doesn’t seem like a good idea, mate.”
“Trust me,” Sherlock whispered, closing the gap between them.
Sherlock pressed his forehead to John’s before brushing their noses together. He let his lips lightly graze John’s, as his one hand found a good spot on his waist. The other felt through blond hair to massage John’s scalp. Sherlock brought his lips back to John’s, kneading John’s lips with his own.
John’s eyes had fallen closed, and he put a hand on Sherlock’s back. He allowed Sherlock to do what he wanted, mostly because a pool of heat had replaced the pit that had been occupying his abdomen. Sherlock licked John’s lips, and, as before, John opened his mouth. This time, however, John flicked his tongue out and slid it into Sherlock’s mouth. He traced over the other boy’s teeth, and touched Sherlock’s tongue tentatively. Sherlock ran his tongue over John’s, before moving back to nip at John’s bottom lip.
“There’s your answer,” Sherlock said breathlessly, pushing his forehead to John’s again. “You know that you at least want me. That is, unless you would like to stop.”
“N-no,” John shook his head, gripping Sherlock when he started to pull away. “No, no, this is, well, this is good.”
Sherlock’s face relaxed. “Good? I’ll have to work harder.”
John was surprised when Sherlock pulled him even closer. Their chests were pressed together, and John found himself laying beneath Sherlock. The dark haired man was back to kissing John, but was moving slower with more thought. He changed the pace from quick and needy to deliberate and slow. He ran his tongue over John’s lips, and then explored the entirety of his mouth. John thought that Sherlock might be memorizing it with the care he was taking to touch it all. John slid his hands up Sherlock’s sides, finding a comfortable place to hold him. It was as if he had always held Sherlock like this.
Just throwing a nod to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in there ;).
Much love, Harlem.
“Oh, God,” John said when they finally broke apart.
“Don’t ruin it,” Sherlock whispered as he stretched, eyes closed and a content smile on his lips. He reached for John again.
“No, I, uh, no,” John babbled.
“What is it?” Sherlock opened his eyes reluctantly, and John saw that pain was back in the light blue irises. “You seemed very much, shall I say, involved.”
“Oh, yeah,” John was blushing again.
“You blush far too often. Is that healthy?” Sherlock commented, placing one of his cold hands on John’s warm cheek.
“I just, uh,” John ran a hand through his hair. He lowered his eyes.
Sherlock followed his gaze, and saw that a bulge had formed in John’s jeans. “Oh, you are involved.”
“I’m sorry,” John sat up. “I’ll just-”
“John.” Sherlock let his head hit the pillow. “Come back over here. You need to relax,” John stared at Sherlock. “Is it going to bother you?”
“I mean, no,” John was a scarily bright shade of red. “It’s just embarrassing and a bit rude.”
“It’s not going to bother me,” Sherlock was unreadable. “Come back over here. It is rude to leave me alone after you’ve properly snogged me, not for being turned on by it.”
John sighed and crawled back over to Sherlock. He allowed Sherlock to wrap an arm around John. “Funny, you don’t strike me as a cuddling type of guy.”
“And you do not particularly strike me as the type of guy that gets an erection from a good snogging session. See? We’re both learning.”
John hesitantly let his hand rest on Sherlock’s chest. It was strange to be met with the resistance of strong, hard muscles. He let out a chuckle, and soon it turned into complete laughter.
“Why?” Sherlock looked down at John, not even bothering to complete his thought.
“You had this planned the whole time, didn’t you?” John said through laughter, which Sherlock must have just realized was a bit mean spirited because he moved away from John. “This is what you wanted.”
“I’m not following you,” Sherlock’s forehead creased. “What did I plan?”
“This!” John signaled to the bed, to himself, and then to Sherlock.
“No, John, I don’t think I planned this,” Sherlock said through gritted teeth, his jaw tightened. “I planned to go to class. I planned to perform my monologue and hear the others. I planned to apologize to you. Nowhere in my agenda did I scrawl: ‘Take John from class, bring him to your home, which you hate, ask him what’s wrong, and then, kiss him again. This was completely and utterly unplanned! How disgusting do you find me to think that I would take advantage of your impaired mental state to further my own sexual wants? How dare you, John Watson.”
As soon as Sherlock finished his rant, punctuated with an exasperated grunt, John felt instantly guilty. The pit in his stomach that had subsided caved in once again from watching Sherlock. He had thrown himself out of bed and had been pacing while giving that speech to John. Sherlock’s hands were clenched into white knuckled fists, as he flung himself back onto the opposite side of the bed.
“Do you think this is particularly enjoyable for me?” Sherlock asked in a quieter, calmer, more Sherlock tone. “We’ve kissed twice, and both times ended in you having an attack. Maybe this wasn’t such a splendid idea, mate.”
John was motionless. He rubbed his temples before looking at Sherlock’s back. He only knew how to soothe girls when they were upset. He knew that girls liked physical closeness partnered with emotional closeness. John was unsure how Sherlock would react to him at the point. Though, John figured it could not get much worse.
John scooted across the bed until he was behind Sherlock. “Look, Sherlock, that was stupid. I just don’t really trust people anymore. I got hurt.”
“There comes a time, John, when you can no longer blame what has happened to you in the past to make up for what you do in the present,” Sherlock sighed.
“Christ, just stab me through the heart,” John laid a hand on Sherlock’s back. “It’ll hurt less.”
Sherlock stiffened beneath John’s hand before allowing himself to relax again. John, taking that as an invitation, leaned his head on Sherlock’s back. He started tracing different shapes over Sherlock’s silk clad bac. Sherlock let out a sigh.
“Okay,” John whispered. “Maybe I’m a bit gay, but only for you.”
“I don’t think that’s how it works,” Sherlock whispered back with a quiet laugh.
“Well that’s how it works for me,” John laughed. “You know, I don’t know anything about you. Tell me something I don’t know.”
“How am I supposed to know what you already know?” Sherlock’s shoulders raised and fell with his sigh, causing John to move with them.
“Well, I know you play the violin. I know you act. I know you have an older brother. You can tell me about my entire life just from how I speak probably, and you aren’t as good at hiding your emotions as you think you are,” John said carefully. “Tell me something else.”
“Let me expand the rich British family stereotype, then,” Sherlock turned to face John, forcing John to move back. “My parents insisted that Mycroft and I take horseback riding lessons, and we surprisingly like it.”
“Are you serious?” John’s eyes widened with glee. “You play the violin, love theatre, and ride horses. I think they wrote about you in Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy.”
“Ha, ha,” Sherlock wrinkled his nose at John. “Tell me something about you that I probably don’t know.”
“That’s not fair. You probably know what color my boxers are,” John sighed. “Uh, I’ve never had a pet.”
“Really? You strike me as somebody with dogs,” Sherlock thought that over. “You like animals, though. You always begged for a dog, but your parents never let you have one. They said you were too unreliable, but you were just a child that wanted somebody to keep you company in that house. Oh, and red. The boxers. Red.”
John pulled the waistband of his boxers out to reveal that they were indeed red. “You’re right about the whole dog thing. We almost got one. Harry found it, but Mum said that dogs would break the china. I wish we had been smarter kids; then we could’ve pointed out that we don’t have china. How old are you?”
“Sixteen,” Sherlock tucked his legs under himself. “You’re seventeen.”
“Yeah,” John nodded.
John crawled back to the pillows to prop himself up against the unnecessarily large, quilted headboard. Sherlock followed him, which relaxed John, who was thrilled to see that he had somehow calmed the boy. Sherlock pressed close to John, and leaned his head on John’s arm.
“Feeling better or worse?”
“Feeling pretty good,” John nodded. “I’m not like you, though, Sherlock. I don’t, well, I don’t want to-”
“Take abuse?” Sherlock offered on an exhale.
“Yeah,” John agreed. “I’m not even sure if this is what I really want, you know?”
Sherlock reached over and palmed John through his jeans before jumping up and out of the bed. John’s eyes widened, and he sucked in a breath.
“Sherlock Holmes!” John’s voice was a mixture of annoyance, amusement, and lust. He got out of the bed to chase after Sherlock “What the hell is wrong with you? That’s not right, mate.”
Sherlock had ran out of his room, so when John got to the door and opened it he was surprised to see Mycroft leaning against the wall. Sherlock was towering over his older brother. John swallowed a painful lump, and lowered his eyes to the ground.
“Ah, John, good to see you again,” Mycroft said in a sickeningly sweet tone. “This time coming out of my little brother’s room. I’m glad you two made up. I mean it was hardly anything. I think you overreacted a tad, Sherlock.”
“He loves to use that card,” Sherlock sighed. “He loves to remind me that he is older than I am. Yes, Mycroft, seven years, we know. Made up? How did you...? You’re not that skilled in deduction, brother dear.”
“Did John not tell you about the newest camera?” Mycroft asked innocently.
“No, he failed to mention that,” Sherlock pursed his lips. “Why does he even know? Have you been stalking people again, Mycroft? You know that that is so frowned upon. A societal faux pas, even!”
John glanced around the dining room, if he could call it that. The room was extravagant. It was filled with plush chairs, golden trinkets, rich fabrics, and amazing tapestries. To John, this was the picture of the British elite. Beside him, Sherlock sat with a bored look on his face. Mycroft, who was sitting in front of them, was the cause for the boredom.
“I’m only saying, Sherlock, that you need to think before you do these things. These things are dangerous.”
“And I’m only saying, Mycroft,” Sherlock mimicked, pressing his bare foot on John’s calf. “That you need to remove yourself from my life. Also, the mixed messages could be done without. Now that I’ve heard about your visit with John, I can only assume you encouraged him. Now, you’re all ‘these things are dangerous,’ and would rather you save your breath for some unsuspecting secretary, or Anthea. Yes, let’s make it Anthea because she so loves when you scold her, doesn’t she?”
“I wish that would stop fighting me,” Mycroft sighed. John was staring at Sherlock, and Mycroft had noticed. “I only have your best interests in mind.”
“He only has my best interests in mind,” Sherlock repeated, rolling his head in a long, exaggerated, even languid, motion. “You confuse me, and John, most likely.”
“Sorry, mate, I’m not jumping in on this,” John held up his hands, feigning neutrality. “In fact, I should be heading home.”
“Nonsense,” Mycroft waved his hand arbitrarily. “I’ve rang your mother.”
“I don’t know what that has to do with anything,” John bit his lip.
“Mycroft has taken it upon himself to keep you here for the evening,” Sherlock clarified, eyes on his brother. “How kind of him to insert himself into your life. Perhaps John has already made plans for his bank holiday?”
“Sherlock,” Mycroft sighed, and began to open his mouth again, but stopped. His face relaxed. “Actually, let’s discuss this tomorrow. Why don’t you and John go to the study? You love the study.”
“I know what I love, Mycroft,” Sherlock pushed out of the chair. “No need to patronize me. Come, John, I will indeed show you the study. It’s fascinating. I swear there’s a new book every time I go in.”
John glanced towards Mycroft, who was looking fondly at Sherlock. John had no doubt that Mycroft was the one that was forever restocking the study for his younger brother. He felt Sherlock’s gaze on him, and looked up.
“Sorry,” John pushed away from the table. “Lead on.”
Sherlock pushes through the massive, French doors, and down the corridor. He picks a door on the left, beside a statue of a horse and boy on it. The plaque under it read: “SHERLOCK HOLMES, 17 MAY 2005, BLOSSOM.” John smirked, running his fingers over the statue. Sherlock gave John a sidelong glance before grasping John’s wrist and pulling him into the study.
John knew why Sherlock enjoyed the room. There were not any walls, only bookshelves. They went from floor to ceiling, to nine foot ceilings. A ladder with wheels was attached to the shelves, and covered in books itself. Two large desks sat at the window, which John presumed overlooked the garden. Great, leather couches sat around a gold plated table that was piled with books--science texts, plays, equestrian novels, and financial guide books.
“This is,” John trailed off. “You could charge people to use this room, set up a library card system.”
Sherlock grinned. It was one of his sincere smiles. The ones that John realized were more like “You like it? I adore it. I come in here, and it’s like the world stops. If I can’t sit around the Adler, I’m in here.”
“It’s great!” John nodded, his earnest smile gracing his features again. He walked over to the desk that he assumed was Sherlock’s. It was covered in papers, papers filled with chemical equations, and fountain pens. “I feel like I’m in another era. You live a period piece, Sherlock, you know that?”
“You keep telling me,” Sherlock curled up on the couch. “Could you hand me that Othello on the desk?”
John picked up the copy of Othello, and his hands over the worn, hardback cover before tossing it to Sherlock. He realized he had made a mistake when Sherlock’s eyes became the size of the moon. “I don’t throw the books, then?”
“You definitely do not do that,” Sherlock stroked the spine of his book with gentle hands. “Help yourself to anything: a book, my laptop, a notebook, pens, anything.”
“Thanks,” John smiled again.
He started to pace along the path in front of the bookshelves, to glance at the books that lined them. He found one on anatomy, and pulled it from its confines. He took another from the shelf, a book on surgical procedures performed in the 1800s. With that, John carefully lowered himself on the couch opposite Sherlock, putting his cane at the far side of the couch.
“What is this?” John asked, holding a long object that he pulled from between the cushions. It has frayed leather ends, and a stiff handle.
“Riding crop,” Sherlock replied with his eyes glued to the page. “Sometimes I whack Mycroft with it if he is being especially irritating. He is so hateful.”
“I think he’s just scared,” John offered.
Sherlock dropped the book. John watched Othello fall into Sherlock’s lap, pages folding onto each other. Sherlock blinked a few times before picking the book back up to smooth the wrinkled pages. He shut the book, after inserting a metal bookmark.
“Elaborate,” Sherlock gnawed at his lower lip thoughtfully.
“Well, duh, Sherlock,” John laughed. “I mean, he watches you on the CCTV feed, keeps tabs on me, watches you through in-house cameras, and is pretty much at your beck and call. He’s terrified something’s going to happen to you.”
“How did I miss that?” Sherlock’s face was clear of emotion, though intense thought lingered in the way his eyes sparkled and how his lips were tightly shut.
“I think you spend too much time hating him to really pay attention,” John shrugged. “Yeah, it’s annoying, but he only does it ‘cause he cares, you know?”
“I’ll have to think on it,” Sherlock leaned his head back on the sofa’s backrest, and closed his eyes.
John chuckled softly before returning to the books he had in front of him. “They don’t have books like this at my school.”
“Hmm,” Sherlock grunted, though he was aware that John had meant that comment to go unheard.
John opened one the surgical book, running his finger down the table of contents list. He flipped to the first page, skipping the introduction, and began to read.
John felt like he was falling. He flailed on the couch, and his eyes shot open. He looked around the room quickly. Mycroft was frozen over Sherlock’s figure, staring at John. He put a finger to his lips. John rubbed his eyes, glancing around the study in confusion. Mycroft dropped a blanket over Sherlock, and that was when John realized that he himself had a blanket as well.
“Go to sleep,” Mycroft whispered, a sound so quiet that John was unsure if the man said anything at all. “Whatever it is can wait until the morning.”
“You’re a good brother,” John said, his speech slurred from sleep.
“Am I?” Mycroft smiled sadly at John. “Good night, John.”
The lights shut off as Mycroft swept out of the room, leaving John in his half-conscious state completely in the dark. John gripped the blanket and buried his face into it. The blanket had a strange mixture of the Holmes brothers: Sherlock’s expensive, earthy shampoo and Mycroft’s equally expensive, musk cologne. He held it tight none the less.
John awoke hours later with a stiff neck and a tingly foot. He sat up sleepily to massage his foot, a feeble attempt to relieve the pins-and-needles pain. He glanced to Sherlock, but saw that couch that the boy once occupied was empty. John stretched his arms out, groaning as his shoulder made a loud popping sound. He grabbed the cane from where it sat propped against the couch before heading out of the study.
He stuck his head in a few sitting rooms. One held a massive piano and several violins, and the other seemed more like a cocktail room. John peeked into the dining room, but that was empty as well. He pushed open the door next to it, and was met with a state-of-the-art kitchen. He also saw the Holmes brothers, Anthea, and another woman with them, whom John assumed was their mother. She had her hands on Sherlock’s shoulders, and was giving him the sweetest smile. Much to John’s surprise, Sherlock was returning the smile.
“Oh, hello, John,” Mycroft poured tea into a mug, passing it to Anthea. “I trust that you slept well? It could not have been comfortable on those couches, though. I do wish you two had gone up to the bedrooms. We had a guest room laid out for you, John.”
“Mycroft, the tea?” Anthea sighed, looking up from her phone briefly. She looked at John for a moment. “Hi.”
“He does not think us poor hosts, Mycroft,” Sherlock sighed, leaning down to press a kiss to the woman’s cheek before going to John. He stepped a pace too close, and was invading normal boundaries. “Good morning, John.”
“Everything was fine, Mycroft, thank you,” John said with a sure nod to Mycroft. He turned Sherlock, and smiled a warm grin. “Morning, Sherlock.”
Sherlock leaned in to press a kiss to John’s lips, but was a blow of air was heard from behind them. The woman shook her head. “None of that in the kitchen, Sherlock, you know better. I raised you better than that.”
I am so sorry for the delay! I have been in a whirl wind of parties and no sleep, all of which are not wonderful for the creative mind. Well, here we are! I am sure that updates will be regular again. Also, this is being posted at an obscenely early time for me... Saying that, there will be typos that I will fix later. I really wanted to update, and my tired eye probably did not catch everything. I do hope none of the mistakes are too glaring.
Thank you! Much love, Harlem.
“Hmm,” Sherlock hummed noncommittally. “Yes, you did teach me something, but I don’t think I recall...”
John was shocked to feel Sherlock’s lips on his. He froze, eyes searching for familial disapproval. He did not find any. Anthea was focused on her phone, Mycroft was trying to cook something, and the woman was smiling. John closed his eyes, and let Sherlock kiss him. His skin vibrated, a heat had rushed through his body, and John found it wonderful.
“John,” Sherlock said, pulling back. “I want to introduce you to the most important woman in my life.”
“Oh, Sherlock,” the woman waved her hand at him.
“This is-” Sherlock began.
Before he could finish, the door to the kitchen flew open to reveal two, unusually attractive people. The first, a woman, wore a handsome fur coat with a bright green dress under it. The other, a man, was dressed in an impeccably tailored, pinstripe suit with an equally bright green necktie. John realized that these were Sherlock’s parents, not the woman standing with them. These two people had every attractive feature and the poise that Sherlock possessed, yet Sherlock tensed. John jumped when Mycroft dropped the frying pan.
“Mummy, Father,” Mycroft crossed the kitchen to them. Anthea put her phone down and darted to the stove. She turned off the gas, and then joined Mycroft. “We weren’t expecting you until this evening.”
“Oh, my dears,” Mrs. Holmes said in an airy voice. “Come give your Mummy a kiss. Yes, Sherlock, you as well,” The brothers approached their mother, and, much to John’s surprise, she air kissed them. “Good, excellent, my good boys. Now, your father and I had the most spectacular time on that business trip, but we took the first train possible home. Oh, it was wonderful! The sex alone was enough to write home about. It was unbelievable! I think that we will be investing in one of those double king beds! Anyway, what are you doing in here? Where is the waitstaff?”
“It’s a bank holiday, Mummy,” Mycroft moved behind her and took her coat off for her. He laid it across his arm. “I allowed them to go home for the day.”
“What?” Mr. Holmes snapped. “We do not send them home on bank holidays, Mycroft! Now they will expect it every time. Call them back.”
“Father, I must disagree,” Mycroft was bright red. “They’re already home. I will simply inform them tomorrow that-”
“Call them back this instant, Mycroft,” he bellowed. John took a step back, which he realized instantly was a mistake because Mr. Holmes jumped at the movement. “Who is that? Mycroft, Sherlock, answer me.”
Mycroft stepped in front of Sherlock and John. He smiled. “Ah, yes, this is John. He’s a friend of Sherlock’s.”
“Friend?” Mr. Holmes lowered his brows. “Well, John ‘friend of Sherlock’s,’ I am Siger Holmes, and this is my wife, Violet. What are you doing here in our home?”
“He was just spending the night, Father,” Mycroft smiled. “He’s from Sherlock’s class. They had a project, sciences or something.”
“Are you John?” Siger glared at Mycroft. “Be quiet, foolish boy. John, what are you doing here? The truth.”
“Mycroft is right, sir,” John swallowed. He could feel Sherlock’s gaze trained on him. “We were working on a project on surgical advancements. Sherlock said you had a book, so we came here.”
“A friend?” Violet stepped into Sherlock’s space. She laid a hand against Sherlock’s forehead before doing the same to John. “Are either of you ill? Sherlock doesn’t have friends.”
“Oh, well, Mummy,” Sherlock blinked a few times. “I will find it difficult to keep this one if we do not stop this madness.”
“Sherlock,” Violet’s voice was stern, a quiet power hidden beneath the surface. She then looked at the other woman, as if seeing her for the first time. “Mrs. Hudson, did you not take time for the bank holiday that my eldest so kindly gave you? How completely disrespectful.”
“Ma’am,” Mrs. Hudson said evenly. “You know I don’t have family. I have your boys, and I would never leave them to fend for themselves.”
“Do not speak to her like that,” Sherlock nearly growled at his mother. “Mrs. Hudson is not being disrespectful.”
“Leave,” Siger said to Sherlock. “You do not speak to your mother like that. You can leave, Sherlock.”
“Gladly,” Sherlock nudged John ahead of him.
John started out of the door, but turned when he heard Siger. Siger had grabbed Sherlock by the arm. John knew the grip was too tight. “What do you think you are wearing, Sherlock? A wrinkled suit? Did you sleep in it? Why didn’t you change for breakfast? That is completely unacceptable.”
“Forgive me,” Sherlock said in a tone John had not heard before: regret, embarrassment, fear? “I’ll change now.”
Then Sherlock’s hand was on John’s back again, leading him from the room. As they left, John could hear Mycroft sighing and appealing to his parents. John ascended the stairs with Sherlock at his back. He opened the door to Sherlock’s room, and Sherlock brushed past him to collapse on the bed.
“That was not supposed to happen,” Sherlock groaned into his pillow. “You were not supposed to meet to them.”
“Those were your parents?” John sat beside him. Sherlock groaned his response. “They seem, uh, well, they are...”
“Horrible, frightening, cruel, insane?” Sherlock supplied, lifting his head to look at John.
“Who’s Mrs. Hudson?” John asked. “I thought she was your mum at first.”
“She might as well be,” Sherlock crawled under the duvet. “She’s a nanny. She took care of Mycroft and I since we were born. She is a wonderful woman. She always encouraged us to be whoever it was we were meant to be. Mummy and Father were just there for photographs and events.”
“That’s really sad,” John commented.
“It just meets the stereotype,” Sherlock shrugged. “I never did see how stereotypical we are until you said something about it. Though, we surely do not keep to ourselves. We break the mold there. My mother announced her sex life in the kitchen!”
“Does she do that often?”
“Unfortunately,” Sherlock stared at John
Sherlock sat up, grabbed John’s shoulder, and pulled it half-heartedly. John complied. He leaned on his arm beside Sherlock, leaving a nice amount of space between them.
“Honestly?” Sherlock sighed. “Don’t be ridiculous, John.”
“How am I being ridiculous?”
“You’re pretending that you’re not attracted to me,” Sherlock huffed. “You’re acting like you’re still not sure about me, but we both know better, don’t we, John?”
“I, uh, no, yeah.” John sputtered.
“On top of that, this behavior of yours is boring,” Sherlock propped himself up on his elbow. “Do you know what’s exciting, John? Kissing you.” John felt his stomach flip. “Dilated pupils, yes, that’s good, John, that is excellent.”
Sherlock grazed his fingers over John’s jawline. His eyes had softened; John could see the relaxation. Sherlock traced John’s features with careful fingers. His slightly calloused tips slid over John’s cheeks, lingered on his temples, and swept down the curve of John’s nose.
“Strange,” Sherlock mumbled. “Your face is so...”
“Strange?” John cocked a brow.
“No,” Sherlock whispered. “Don’t be daft. It’s fascinating, appealing, attractive. It’s a strange mixture of symmetry and asymmetry.”
John flushed. “Oh.”
Sherlock brushed his lips to John’s. He put a hand on John’s cheek, stroking John’s face sweetly. John cupped Sherlock’s face, and took control. He slid over Sherlock, and held him close. John flicked his tongue over Sherlock’s tongue, thrilled that the younger man had already released his mouth to him. Sherlock wrapped his arms around John.
“Oh,” John exclaimed quietly into Sherlock’s mouth when the younger man wrapped his long legs around his.
The new position had John shivering. Their bodies were pressed together, and it caused a delicious amount of pressure and friction. John bit Sherlock’s lip. Sherlock smiled into the kiss. John’s pocket vibrated and let out a loud chirp. John stopped, pulled away to glance at the phone that was encased in his jeans. Sherlock looked distressed.
“Don’t,” Sherlock whimpered, eyes half closed and lips swollen. “Don’t do it... Please?”
“It might be my mum or Harry,” John rolled off Sherlock, and grabbed his phone out of his pocket. “Or not... ‘The camera isn’t mine. It’s Father’s. Do be careful. -MH’ Mycroft? Mycroft has my number?”
“Fuck,” Sherlock sounded disinterested. “This will not be good. In fact, it might even be bad.”
More theatre next chapter!
Much love, Harlem.
Tell Lestrade I’ll be late. -SH
Thank you. -SH
Switch those around. Mistakes. -SH
John pushed the theatre door open, and trudged into the house. He yawned loudly, and tossed his bag into one of the aisles. Lestrade was on the stage with some of the class, and he was giving John a concerned look. John started up the stairs, but lost his footing when his cane did not quite grip the step. Lestrade jumped to help him.
“None of that,” John waved him away. “I’m just tired. There’s been so much schoolwork! Oh, and Sherlock’s going to be late.”
“Oh, thank God,” Lestrade laughed nervously. “I was worried when he wasn’t here. I’m sorry about the work, John. Exams week is a rough time.”
“You the freak’s messenger?” Sally was seated in a chair. John realized she must be too pregnant to sit on the ground.
“Shut it,” John glared at her. “I’m in no mood for that. And you,” John pointed at Lestrade. “Are you just going to let them talk like that?”
“Sally, after class,” Lestrade said. “Let’s get started. We’re missing Sherlock, but I’m sure he’ll be here soon. Last week, we had our monologues delivered. Anderson with Romeo and Juliet, Jim with Love Actually, and Molly with The Merry Wives of Windsor. I want John, Sally, and Sherlock to perform today. Sally, give it a go.”
Sally pushed herself out of her seat, and faced the group. She turned to the side, as if addressing a specific person. “When I saw him again, and he started telling me about how he wasn't ready for a new relationship, and how he actually thinks that dating is pretty stupid... Which, to be fair, is essentially true. It is kind of ridiculous to think that there's one person out there for every other person, and that one person can meet all of your needs, and that anyone could really be satisfied with only one person, for all time.
“There's a rational part of me that does actually agree with him. That thinks that sex is only as complicated as the people who're having it. If monogamy came naturally, why would so many married people have affairs? If people could just evolve past jealousy, we would all probably be a lot happier. He's right. Jealousy is irrational. He wanted something casual, and I was a little disappointed...
“I told myself, ‘Don't get attached, because this is temporary. Don't be jealous, because he's just not worth it.’ But I'd lie awake, with him sleeping next to me, and think... ‘You're always rushing off - you have all these other friends and other things to do, and other women's beds to jump into... and I wish you had more room for me in your life. I wish you gave a damn. Because, someday, you'll meet someone and you'll feel the thing that you always make fun of when other people feel it, and all your rhetoric about how monogamy is stupid and relationships are bullshit will go completely out the window. And I will never be able to stop wondering: Why wasn't it me? Why couldn't it have been me?’”
The class applauded. John was one of the loudest of the group. He thought it was spectacular. He hated to admit that she had a talent, but Sally was a gifted actress. She was close to tears, the angry kind of tears. John twisted his mouth to the side in sudden confusion. Lestrade had said that these were supposed to be monologues that were not like the students, yet John thought Sally’s monologue fit her well. Then again, Sherlock had told him about everybody. He saw everything. Maybe to everybody else, this was different than Sally’s true experience.
“John?” Lestrade said. “Do you want to go?”
John crossed to center. He knew Lestrade was not actually giving him an option. He swallowed, and glanced at his classmates. He was nervous, and he knew it was obvious. His breathing was audible, his movements robotic, and eyes wide.
“God damn you, Paul, why didn't you see me... You hear me, God? Go piss on yourself. While you're at it, piss on me too. Piss me six feet under and bury me next to him! Damn you, God, for this limp, and for Cindy, and for taking him away from me! I know you hear me; you hear everything,” John sucked in a breath. “I condemn you! That's right, you bastard, with my mortality, with my humanity, I condemn you. Whatever my soul is worth I point it as a poisoned arrow at your very core. I hope you rot because of it, and fall from your perfect world and bring down all of your perfect angels and your streets of gold so that they may die and be taken away from you.
“He was beautiful, you know that. He was too beautiful for this world. Given time he would have filled it up with his beauty and then there would have been nothing left for ugly people like me. That's why you took him, you made a mistake by putting him here. You're not infallible, not one bit and maybe my curses hurt. Damn you for letting me see his beauty before you took it away. Damn you, damn you!”
“Wow, John,” Lestrade stared at him. “That was, that was incredible. I really felt your passion.”
“Uh, thanks,” John was taking deep breaths. He smiled a bit. “I really let my anger get away from me.”
“No, John, that was good a thing,” Lestrade insisted. “You can take a seat, John.”
The classmates nodded. Anderson leaned over to Sally. “He might be better than Sherlock.”
“Nobody’s better than Sherlock,” Molly disagreed. “He has a true-”
“ I told my dad about how David and I were walking through the hallway and one of the jocks came up and yelled, ‘Fag!’” Sherlock’s voice echoed through the house, bouncing off the bare stage. He was seated in the center row. “And my dad asked me if David was. And I was just, like, ‘Yeah, David's gay.’ And my dad asked me why I would be hanging out with someone who is gay. And I didn't say anything, and then he said, ‘Seth, you're not gay, are you?’”
Sherlock started out of the row. He climbed the stairs, and stopped at the top of them. “And for a minute, I wanted to tell him... you know... everything. But then he looked at me, and he was actually serious, and... I thought he was going to cry, or something. And he said, ‘Seth, please tell me you're not gay.’
“And I just looked at him, and said, ‘No, Dad, I'm not gay.’ And he breathed this big sigh of relief...” Sherlock stuck his hands in his pockets. “And I tried to just think about how in another two years, I'll be able to leave home, and support myself, and I'll tell him, and he'll just have to deal with it. But until then, I have to keep lying so they don't throw me out of the house.”
“I gave you Othello,” Lestrade said, beckoning Sherlock over.
“I know,” Sherlock stopped in front of Lestrade. “And I changed the assignment.”
John glanced to his classmates. They were all staring at Sherlock, and John could understand why. Sherlock was wearing the best suit that John had ever seen. The suit was medium grey and tailored to hug every inch of him. The button down was striped, and the necktie was cross hatched with an expensive looking tie clip. However, they were not only admiring his taste; they were staring at him. His skin was disturbingly sallow, his eyes red.
“Are you okay?” Lestrade asked, putting his hands on Sherlock’s shoulders.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Sherlock asked simply. “How was that performance? Powell is no Shakespeare, but...”
“You did well, Sherlock,” Lestrade smiled. “You always do.”
Sherlock nodded, and slipped out of Lestrade’s hold. He sat down next to John and let out an involuntary hiss of pain as he stretched out his arm to hold himself up. John watched him with concern, a flutter gripped his heart.
“I don’t mean to patronize you,” John whispered. “But how are you doing?”
“I’m fine,” Sherlock replied.
“Now that you’re all here,” Lestrade bit his lip. “I’d like to discuss Jeff. Do any of you know where he is?”
John shook his head, as did most of the class. Sherlock leaned over to John. “Moriarty knows.”
“How do you know that?” John asked softly.
“He’s the only one that vocally said ‘no,’” Sherlock began. “He’s watching everybody else, splitting time between Lestrade and us. And he’s smiling. Well, he’s not smiling much, but his lips definitely twitched. He knows. I know that he knows.”
“Jeff is missing,” Lestrade took a deep breath. “His parents think that he ran away again.”
“Again?” John looked to Sherlock.
“He does this a lot. He runs off, comes back in a few days. It’s been weeks, John. Weeks! I know that Moriarty knows,” Sherlock pressed his lips to John’s ear.
“Oh,’ John shivered.
“Sherlock,” Lestrade barked.
“Sir?” Sherlock used his most disgustingly innocent, 'I'm-toying-with-you,' tones
“Personal space,” Lestrade sighed. “Learn to respect it.”
“Arbitrary,” Sherlock waved his hand around. “Go on, tell us more.”
“I need you to contact me or the police if you hear from him. His parents are worried about him. He’s usually home by now,” Lestrade cleared his throat.
John had turned his attention to Moriarty. He was smiling a bit, though John was hoping that he was imagining it. Moriarty was three spots away from John, but he could see the slight grin from there. He knew that Sherlock was right: Moriarty knew something about Jeff. Yet, John found his gaze falling back on Sherlock.
“You don’t look so hot,” John’s brows knit together.
“This is my best suit,” Sherlock looked down at it, his mouth an a small ‘o.’ “You don’t like it?”
“No, no, that’s not it,” John chuckled. “The suit probably cost more than my house. What I meant was you yourself are not looking so great. Are you sick?”
“Oh,” Sherlock nodded, understanding. “No, I’m not ill. Don’t be silly, John.”
“I want to make this showcase something that will lure people in,” Lestrade clapped his hands together. “I want monologues, scenes, songs, music, you know, the works. I also want volunteers.”
“I’ll do it all,” Sherlock piped up.
“Wonderful,” Lestrade smiled. “I want you to pick two for now, though, Sherlock. This has to be fair.”
“I’ll play something,” Sherlock thought. “And I’ll have a scene.”
“You’ll do a scene?” Lestrade did not sound convinced. “You will share the stage with somebody else without me having to bribe you?”
“You could bribe me anyway,” Sherlock smiled mockingly. “My scene partner will be John.”
“You all right with that, John?”
“Yeah, he’s a bloody good actor,” John nodded. “I think I could force myself in his presence.”
Lestrade laughed. “Fantastic! How about the rest of you?”
“I’ll do a monologue,” Molly offered, and, upon seeing Lestrade’s face, she amended the statement. “I’ll do a monologue that you choose for me, Mr. Lestrade.”
“Dialogue, Sally and I,” Anderson signaled.
“He’s given up on sentences all together,” Sherlock whispered to John.
“I think it’s the verbs that confused him,” John whispered back, earning him a deep laugh from Sherlock.
“Oh, I do like you, John,” Sherlock sighed contently.
“What?” John looked to him.
“You heard me,” Sherlock said, eyes going back to Lestrade. “No, no, I will not do that.”
John had missed something. He had been too caught up in the brief conversation to realize that the world was going on around him. Lestrade was stopped in front of Moriarty.
“Sherlock,” Lestrade clicked his tongue. “You said you’d do it all. Jim wants to do a scene with you. I am sure you can manage.”
“I’m doing a scene with John,” Sherlock said weakly. John could tell that his mind was not as sharp as it usually was. “Two scenes just won’t work.”
“Wonderful, it’s settled!” Lestrade put a smile on his face. “Jim and Sherlock will have a scene together. You all must participate a minimum of two times. I will keep a sheet pinned to the notice board out in the lobby. Please sign up. I do not want to force you.”
Sally's monologue is from Kellie Powell's Thanksgiving in the Wilderness. John's is from Grey Matter by Josh Weckesser. Sherlock's is from another one from Kellie Powell, That Was Then. (John's monologue gives me Reichenbach feels... Tell me I'm not the only one hahaha.)
Much love, Harlem.
“Do you want to get a bite to eat?” John asked. He knew it came out as more of a groan. He was having issue getting up off the stage.
Sherlock held out his hand, and pulled John up. “God, yes. I’m starved.”
“Cool,” John accepted the cane from Sherlock, and started down the stairs. “I saw a Thai place down the road. We could go there.”
“You two going on a date?” Anderson snorted from across the stage.
“Anderson,” Sherlock sighed. John saw that he just did not have it in him to truly fight back. “It is possible for two people to-”
“But it is a date,” John limped over to where Sherlock had stopped in front of Anderson. “Do you have something to say to that?”
“You can’t touch a cripple,” Sally murmured to Anderson.
“Come on,” John cut his eyes to Sherlock, who was staring at him.
“Fascinating,” Sherlock’s gaze on John had softened. “Yes, Thai sounds great right now. Until next week.”
John and Sherlock walked down the aisle of the house, side by side. John’s heart was beating at an alarming rate. He looked up to see Moriarty watching him. The strange boy gave John one of his eerie smiles before turning his gaze on Sherlock.
“I’ll be in touch about our scene,” Moriarty drawled.
“And I will talk to you next class,” Sherlock sighed. “Goodbye.”
“Goodbye, Sherlock,” Moriarty reached up to put a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. He stroked down his arm with a pleased sound.
“All right,” John stood between Sherlock and Moriarty. “See you next week, Moriarty.”
“Protective?” Sherlock allowed John to steer him through the lobby and out of the theatre. “What happened to you this week to prompt such a change? Now you’re okay with homosexuality?”
“You’re an exception,” John grumbled. He leaned against Sherlock as they walked. If asked, his leg was bothering him. In reality, Sherlock looked like he could fall over. “I know it doesn’t make sense. You don’t need to remind me, but it makes me feel better.”
“Okay,” Sherlock nodded.
“What happened?” John finally asked.
“Don’t worry about it, John,” Sherlock linked his arm in John’s. “Are you okay?”
“My leg is bothering me.”
“No, it’s not. You make more sounds when it bothers you.”
“You look like you’re going to fall dead,” John admitted.
“You wanted me to have some stability,” Sherlock’s lips twitched up in a smile.
John opened the door of the Thai restaurant for Sherlock. The restaurant was dimly lit, as most Thai places were, and filled with brightly colored, comfortable looking booths. A host sat them towards the back, at Sherlock’s request. He told John that he enjoyed watching the other patrons. John sat across from Sherlock, who was examining a menu with quick eyes.
“You’re not going to tell me?” John sighed.
“We just argued,” Sherlock scanned the menu. “Do you want to split Guyza dumplings?”
“Uh, sure,” John nodded. He leaned over, took Sherlock’s hands, and squeezed them. “I’m serious, Sherlock, please talk to me.”
“Will it make you happy?”
“My father is an angry man,” Sherlock sighed, setting the menu down. “Nothing is ever right for him. He always watched Mycroft and I using cameras that he set up in the house. Unfortunately, they seemed to have been added to our bedrooms. I don’t know why Mycroft used the camera, and didn’t remove it, but he didn’t. After you left, we had a talk, and he punished me.”
“What did he do? Why?” John was stroking the tops of Sherlock’s hands with his thumbs. He was amazed that most of what he did with girls pleased Sherlock as well.
“He never liked when Mycroft went out with people,” Sherlock sighed. “He hates Anthea. He has a strange view on relationships. Well, that’s not entirely true... He thinks everybody that so much as looks at us is after the Holmes fortune.”
“So, him seeing you, uh, with me,” John said slowly. “That scared him?”
“Yes,” Sherlock nodded. “It doesn’t help that you’re a man. Because of his fear of our fortune being stolen and homosexuality, it was not looking particularly stellar for me.”
“What did he do?” John ran his eyes over Sherlock. He looked gaunt, sickly.
A waiter brought water to them. Sherlock gulped it down quickly. “Excuse me, I’m parched,” He smiled a bit at John, but it faded at John’s serious expression. “He locked me in my room for the week.”
“What about school?” John was shocked.
“I was called out,” Sherlock nodded his thanks to the waiter that returned with a pitcher of water. “My father’s assistant tutors me when this happens.”
“This happens often?” John’s mouth fell open.
“Once every few months,” Sherlock was looking through John. “As pleasant as I find this conversation, could we switch it?”
“I don’t like this,” John sighed. The waiter returned, and looked expectantly at John. “Oh, uh, could I have the drunken noodle?”
“Pad se ew and the house fried rice,” Sherlock said to the waiter. “Oh, and two orders of the Guyza dumplings for an appetizer for us.”
“That’s a lot of food,” John commented, starting to piece everything together. “When was the last time you ate?”
“I don’t eat often, John,” Sherlock waved him before taking a more dignified sip of water. “I thought that was clear from the last meal we shared.”
“Jesus Christ, Sherlock,” John sounded angry. “Stop playing games with me and open the fuck up.”
Sherlock stared at John. He folded his hands. “John, to you, this is foreign. You come from an unfriendly home, but you do have some normalcy. This is what I am used to dealing with, and have been for years,” Sherlock was obviously scanning John for something. “I last ate on Thursday. Mycroft and Mrs. Hudson snuck sandwiches, but he has to work over in Scotland until next week, and Father caught on by Wednesday anyway. I’ve finished with this discussion. Talking about things like this is hardly helpful. There is no point dwelling on it.”
“How are you even talking to me?” John scrubbed his hands over his face. “How are you walking?”
“I’m used to living off little food, John,” Sherlock mumbled.
The waiter brought the dumplings to them. John thanked him, and began to serve Sherlock and himself. He gave them both two of the eight. Sherlock cut into it, dipped it in the sauce, and ate it quickly. John was shocked to hear a moan of pleasure.
“I’m taking you home with me tonight,” John sighed. Sherlock cocked a brow. “Don’t give me that look. It’s nothing like that. I wouldn’t let anybody go back to a house like that.”
Sherlock had already eaten both of the dumplings. He took a third, but slowed down with this one. John ate his share, and continued watching Sherlock. He was done fighting his attraction to Sherlock. He could not deny his body’s reactions to Sherlock, and his thoughts were just as uncontrollable. He wanted to killed Siger Holmes for ever hurting Sherlock, or Mycroft for that matter.
After they had finished their meals, both Sherlock and John reached for their wallets. John cocked a brow. “No, I’m paying, Sherlock. I made this date.”
“That is hardly necessary,” Sherlock shook his head. “I have Mycroft’s card. I took it when he was annoying me more than usual.”
“I’m not Holmes rich, but I can afford to pay for dinner,” John put the notes on the table, and stood. “Let’s go back to my house.”
“Do you need to call anybody to tell them?” John opened the front door.
“No,” Sherlock whispered as they entered the dark house. “They’ll be fine.”
“Well, come on,” John started the long trudge up the stairs with Sherlock behind him. “Sorry I’m so slow.”
“John?” his mother’s voice sounded from the kitchen.
“I’m glad I didn’t get far,” he mumbled to Sherlock. “Yeah, mum?”
“Just making sure it’s you. Harry get you?”
“My friend set me up in a cab,” John smirked at Sherlock. “It was a compromise.”
“All right,” she sounded disinterested. “Don’t talk to yourself, Johnny, it’s weird.”
“Yeah, Mum, okay. I’m going to bed,” John leaned his head on the railing. “Night, Mum.”
With no response offered, John continued up the stairs. Sherlock followed closely, a hand on John’s back. John opened his bedroom door, and held his hand out to Sherlock, who entered the room with interest. He walked over to the dresser to run his hands over the picture frames. He leaned down to examine the contents of each frame.
“Your room is very clean,” Sherlock mused as he examined a photo of John and Harry from primary school.
“Force of habit,” John was beside Sherlock, opening a drawer. “I hate mess, you know?”
“No,” Sherlock smiled. “You saw what I live in; this room is unbelievable. How do you have the time to do this? To clean?”
John put a T-shit and a pair of shorts in Sherlock’s hands. He pulled out sweatpants for himself and another shirt. Sherlock fingered the material gingerly. He nodded, and took off his shirt. John headed towards the door.
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to change,” John pointed to the hall with his cane.
“You can change here,” Sherlock pointed out. “You do not need to worry about me assaulting you.”
“I know,” John opened the door. “I have to use the bathroom anyway.”
John did not miss the look of hurt that crossed Sherlock’s face. It was brief, he quickly covered it with a blank stare, but he saw it all the same. John hobbled into the bathroom. He stripped his clothes slowly before getting into his pajamas. He stared in the mirror, prodded at the bags under his eyes. He washed his face, brushed his teeth, went through the motions, but his stomach was flipping. He was sweating slightly at the temples.
“John Watson,” he looked in the mirror again. “What the hell is wrong with you? This isn’t your first crush.”
When he returned to the bedroom, Sherlock was lounging on John’s bed. He was dozing, and John had to smile. Sherlock’s skin was looking less pale, and the muscles had relaxed enough to please John. He pulled the duvet up to Sherlock’s chin. John took a spare blanket out of the closet before carefully taking one of the spare pillows from his bed.
“John,” Sherlock gripped John’s wrist. “What are you doing?”
“Giving you the bed like a good host,” John whispered. “Go to sleep.”
“We can share,” Sherlock suggested. “You have a double bed.”
“No,” John shook his head. “I’ll take the floor.”
Sherlock’s brows knitted together. The haze of sleep was now mixed with hurt and confusion. “Of course, John, excuse me. Good night.”
“Night, Sherlock,” John ran a hand through Sherlock’s dark curls fondly. He retracted his hand, staring at it as if it was another person’s. He laid down, and pushed his face into the pillow.
“Domesticity suits you,” Sherlock mumbled. “You’re a bit of a romantic, but you think it’s inappropriate because I’m a man, a detached man, at that. I quite like it, though.”
“Good,” John chuckled, his heart warming. “Good, because I can’t fucking control myself.”
“Charming,” Sherlock sounded amused.
“Good night again, John.”
Just a little bit of explanation... I'm considering writing a chapter that backtracks a bit to Sherlock's experience with his father. It would fall between chapters 14 and 15, timeline-wise. We'll see! Anyway, I hope you enjoy!
Much love, Harlem.
Chapter 17: Third Person Sherlock POV
I decided to go through with it and throw in the chapter that would show the argument between Siger and Sherlock. This chapter is seen through Sherlock's eyes, instead of John's. It would fall, as said last chapter, between fourteen and fifteen. I hope you like it.
Also, I'd like to thank everybody for reading/commenting/kudos-ing. I really appreciate it, and am honestly shocked by the amount of kudos/comments this has received. They make me happy, though, so I'm thrilled! :) <3
Much love, Harlem.
“Sherlock,” Siger growled from outside the door. He twisted the handle, but found it locked. “Unlock this door right now.”
“One moment, Father,” Sherlock said.
Sherlock looked at John. He jumped from the bed, and began straightening up. John, taking a hint, also started to adjust the room. John made up the bed, and Sherlock turned to his desk. He stared at the papers littered around it, and started to pile them onto the already cluttered surface.
Sherlock glanced around. “That’s fine. John, when Mycroft comes into view, do go with him.”
“How do you know he’ll be here?”
“He always is. Can you just go with him?”
“Uh, all right?” John bit his lip. “Sherlock, what’s about to happen?”
Sherlock swept across the room, and opened the door. Siger was standing there; his suit jacket had been removed, leaving him in the ghastly, green shirt. He pushed into the room, easily pushing Sherlock aside. Sherlock relaxed his face before turning to Siger.
“Who is this?” Siger flung his hand in John’s direction.
“That’s still John,” Sherlock sighed. “You met him in the kitchen, say, fifteen minutes ago.”
“I know his name,” Siger sounded calm. Sherlock knew better than to feel safe, but he could see that John was relaxing. “Who is he to you?”
“He’s my, my friend,” Sherlock stuttered, and he wished he had not done that in front of John. Now, John was nervous again. Sherlock groaned internally; Siger could smell fear.
“Your friend?” Siger laughed a cruel, short laugh. “You do not kiss your friends, Sherlock. You don’t even have friends. I will try again one more time, Sherlock... Who is he to you?”
“He is John,” Sherlock breathed.
“Is he your boyfriend?” Siger shuddered.
“I don’t have a boyfriend,” Sherlock shook his head. He turned at the sound of footsteps. He spun around to see Mycroft, slightly out of breath, but Mycroft all the same. “Oh, wonderful, Mycroft, why don’t you see that John gets home all right?”
Mycroft paused, obviously debating whether or not to leave Sherlock. Sherlock’s eyes crinkled, concern was written across his face, and it was only something Mycroft would ever see. “Yes, of course. Come along, John, I’ll take you home.”
“I want him to stay,” Siger shook his head.
“Oh, Father, no,” Mycroft stepped over to John, placing a hand on his shoulder. “John has to be home. His mum called me, and said she wants him home by noon. That only gives me a half an hour to return him. We don’t want her thinking that we’re disrespecting her parenting, do we?”
“No, we don’t,” Siger agreed. “Take him home.”
Sherlock nodded to his brother, and he knew that Mycroft understood. To John, however, Sherlock managed a smile. He knew that John did not fall for it, though. He narrowed his eyes at Sherlock, but left with Mycroft all the same. Unfortunately, he saw Siger grab Sherlock’s arm on the way out.
“Sherlock Holmes,” Siger’s hold on Sherlock was unmercifully tight, and it was twisting his arm the wrong way. “What were you thinking? Why were you kissing a boy in your bedroom?”
“Why do you have cameras in my bedroom?”
“This is hardly time for your sass,” Siger released Sherlock, pushing him roughly as he did so. “I told Violet that we should not encourage your lip, but she found it charming. Also, do not think that removing that John from this situation will pacify anything. Is that boy a homosexual?”
“Probably not,” Sherlock touched his throbbing arm , and hissed from the pain. His father had done some real damage for it to hurt already.
“Are you a homosexual?”
“I do not really-” Sherlock stopped, realizing it was useless to explain to his beliefs to his enraged father. “Yes, yes, I suppose I am.”
“So that boy is your boyfriend?” Siger tried again.
“No, no he’s not,” Sherlock took a step away, inching towards the door of his room. “He’s just a friend from the class.”
“The class? I thought he was a friend from school?” Siger was livid.
“Yes, and I take classes at school,” Sherlock cursed himself silently for slipping up. They always referred to his acting therapy as class. He knew his father would not fall for it. “He is a friend from a class at school, Father.”
“You lied to me,” Siger said, his voice steady. “Sherlock, I wish you didn’t do that.”
“Father?” Sherlock looked up at him. His father was four inches taller than him, but he might as well have been towering over Sherlock. “Father, I’m sorry. I just, I know that you do not always take well to those type of people, and I wanted you to like him. I was only trying to please you.”
“‘Those type of people?’” Siger repeated, sitting on Sherlock’s bed.
“Yes, well, he’s rather economically disadvantaged,” Sherlock attempted to find a nice way of phrasing it. He was thrilled to find the words coming easily. “Because of that, he is not as privileged as you ensured Mycroft and I would be.”
“Sherlock, sit down,” Siger patted the spot beside him. Sherlock sat. “I would like you to know that I am willing to hire anybody.”
“Are you offering John a job because I hardly would find that appropriate,” Sherlock’s brows knit together.
“No, no,” Siger held up his finger. “I am forbidding you from ever seeing that boy again. No, I am saying that I will hire anybody to fix this homosexuality issue.”
“Oh, another highly educated man that thinks this is a disease,” Sherlock muttered to himself. “That is not necessary, Father. I do not need to be fixed.”
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, Sherlock,” Siger his smile was condescending.
“And how did talking to somebody like that work for you? Did they stop you from fucking Ivan? No, no, I didn’t think so,” Sherlock stated. Siger’s mouth dropped. “Yes, I know about that, and no, I have not informed Mummy... Not quite yet.”
Siger stared at Sherlock; piercing, blue eyes met piercing, blue eyes. He walked over to music stand, and flipped through the sheet music. Sherlock cradled his arm, sure that bruises were already forming beneath his shirt. Siger picked up Sherlock’s violin from the floor and expertly ran the bow across the strings, creating a beautiful sound.
“This is a nice violin,” Siger nodded approvingly.
“Yes, it is,” Sherlock agreed. “I was so pleased when I opened it last Christmas.”
Siger smiled at the violin before returning it to its place on the ground. He looked at Sherlock, the smile still on his face, but looking a bit more forced. Sherlock’s heart sank. He knew his father was about to berate him further. Instead, Siger picked up his foot, and let it drop onto the violin. The neck broke loudly, and Sherlock gasped. Siger then stepped on the body, the heel of his dress shoe went straight through it.
“You are not to leave this room,” Siger picked up Sherlock’s laptop, and hurled it across the room. Sherlock flinched as it collided with the closet door, shards of plastic and metal fell to the ground. “I will return when you are allowed to leave. I’m getting help for you, Sherlock. I’ll not have a poofter for a son, especially one that makes such allegations against me. I am happily married to your mother”
Sherlock watched Siger leave. The door was shut and locked, and Sherlock stood. He took off his shirt to see the marks on his arm. As expected, there were red finger marks on his forearm that he knew would bruise. He slipped into a T-shirt. He pulled off his trousers, and put on a pair of pajama bottoms. He took his phone from the pocket of his dress pants.
“He didn’t get you,” Sherlock sighed quietly before getting back into his bed. He could smell John on the linens. He opened his inbox to see a message from Mycroft.
John is home. He is very confused. I’m coming home right away. Is Father with you? Did he hurt you? Do you need anything? -MH
A new life. -SH
Be there in twenty. -MH
Don’t bother coming to see me. I’m on quarantine. Homosexuality catches now? The irony radiating off of Father is immense. -SH
Texted Anthea. She rigged the camera to show a new angle. No view of the bed or door. You’re safe. Sherlock. I shouldn’t have left. -MH
Sherlock? What the fuck was that? Are you okay? -JW
I wish you didn’t have to see that. Any of that, really. It’s bad enough you had to meet Mycroft, let alone my parents. -SH
I don’t care about that, and I kind of like Mycroft. He’s a bit terrifying, but I like him anyway. I only care if you’re okay. -JW
Answer me for God’s sake! Are you okay? -JW
I’m fine. I’m always fine, I’m sure you’ve realized that by now, John. -SH
You’re not fine. This is not fine :(. -JW
Why the face? -SH
I don’t know. -JW
Do you think the face will make it better? Convey emotions via the typed word? It doesn’t. -SH
Don’t be an arse. I’m worried about you. -JW
That’s sweet, but unnecessary. This is my life, John. Perhaps you should stay away from me. I do think that would be the smartest plan. -SH
Don’t be daft. I can’t fucking stay away now that you’ve got me all confused and worried. -JW
Bleeding hell, Sherlock! -JW
Father won’t let me up. -MH
I’ll be up tonight, if you can’t come down sooner. -MH
Mrs. Hudson is making up food for you. I’ll sneak it up later. -MH
Are you alive? -MH
Good to know. -MH
I was the one who opened the door. Sandwich. Couldn’t sneak much else. Sorry. -MH
Thank Mrs. Hudson for me. -SH
And thank yourself for me. -SH
I’m your older brother, Sherlock. I know you hate me, but I can’t help but love you anyway. You’re my little brother, and I always promised to take care of you. It will be easier when we can both leave this place for good. I’ll take you with me. -MH
Heartfelt and disgusting. Bravo, Mycroft. -SH
Sherlock. Look, I’m really worried about you. Please tell me you’re okay. Don’t lie to me if you’re not. You can talk to me, Sherlock. I’m here for you. -JW
Sherlock awoke the next morning to find his room changed. It was tidy. His papers were stacked neatly on his desk. The clothes were shoved into the hamper. The remnants of his laptop and violin were gone. Sherlock glanced around nervously, waiting to see his father. Instead, he saw two boxes on his bed with a note:
Anthea showed me the tape. I brought you a new violin and a new laptop. -M
Sherlock opened the box to find a new MacBook Pro. He ran his hands over the smooth metal appreciatively before laying it to the side. When he opened the other box, he was faced with a case. Sherlock silently, grudgingly, gave a point to Mycroft for knowing better than to put a violin in a box unprotected. Inside the case was a Stradivarius violin and bow.
What museum did you rob? Who did you bribe? Kill? Maim? -SH
You like it, then? -MH
I’m serious. Who is lying in a ditch or rolling in government funds for me to be holding this violin. -SH
Somebody owed me a favor. I covered up something rather nasty for them. Something that would literally end lives. It’s the Lady Blunt. Enjoy it. -MH
That went for ten million pounds. -SH
Don’t break it. -MH
He stroked the body of it before putting it back in its case. As much as he wanted to play it, Sherlock knew that if he so much as let the bow touch the strings, his father would ruin it. Instead, he pushed it under the bed for later use. He picked up his phone again.
I’ll be fine, John. But I appreciate your concern. -SH
Oh, thank God! I thought you’d died or something! I was so close to texting Mycroft. -JW
Died? No, Sherlock Holmes does not die, John... Would it upset you if I had? -SH
Yeah, of course it would! Don’t even talk like that. I’m too attached to you now lol. Can I see you this week before class? -JW
Sherlock put his hand over his chest. The butterflies were back, and he could not explain them. He wished he knew what they were exactly, but he had yet to find a source that would properly tell him. For now, Sherlock just settled on the knowledge that they happened every time John so much as looked at him. Sherlock was shocked that John was initiating a meeting, and genuinely upset that it would not work.
I think I am “grounded.” Therefore, no, you cannot see me. -SH
Though I wish you could. -SH
Me too. -JW
The alarm clock screeched, Sherlock jumped, and John groaned. He pushed himself up to turn off the alarm. Sherlock sat up, rubbing his eyes. John sat on the edge of the bed, head in hands. Dim morning light was just barely pushing through the curtains. Rain was falling loudly against the windowpane.
“Six?” Sherlock blinked several times. “You wake up at six?”
“School’s at half seven,” John rubbed his thigh, trying to get his circulation going.
“Oh, of course,” Sherlock nodded.
“I’m going to jump in the shower,” John stood, looking down at Sherlock “Uh, my laptop’s there, if you want to use it.”
“Okay,” Sherlock nodded again, sleep still fresh in his eyes.
John smiled at Sherlock, and, without really thinking about it, leaned down and kissed him. Sherlock blinked lazily at John, a small smile on his lips. He rubbed John’s side affectionately before grabbing the laptop off the bedside table. John walked out of the room and into the bathroom.
The mirror was wet with condensation, meaning Harry had just left the bathroom. John silently cursed as he realized there would be very little hot water as he laid his cane against the sink. He tossed his sleep clothes to the corner, and sat down on the lid of the toilet. He unhooked the leather belt that held his waist, and pulled the straps away that gripped his thigh. Then, John let it all fall to the ground with soft thud. John pushed himself up, and gripped the bar that was on the inside of the shower. He turned on the water, and was met with a warm shower.
“There is a God,” John chuckled.
After thoroughly showering, John quickly toweled off before hooking the annoying straps back onto himself. He wrapped his lower half in a towel, and took up the cane again. As he approached his room, he heard the end of an Adam Lambert song playing softly from inside. John paused outside the door, staring through the small crack. Sherlock had the laptop on his lap. Another song started, and John was sure this was Adam Lambert as well. This one was an instrumental, however.
“Strip away the flesh and bone, look beyond the lies you’ve known,” Sherlock half-sang, half-spoke. He was tapping his fingers to the beat. “Everybody wants to talk about a freak. No one wants to dig that deep. Let me take you underneath. Baby, better watch your step, never mind what’s on the left. You’re gonna see things you might not wanna see; it’s still not that easy for me underneath.”
Sherlock paused, letting the music run for too long. John assumed the chorus, but did not know why he was skipping it. Before he knew it, Sherlock had opened the door was standing before him.
“Welcome to my world of truth,” he stared at John, a playful light in his eyes. He crossed his arms and tapped his foot. “I don’t wanna hide any part of me from you. I’m standing here with no apologies... Such a beautiful release.”
“I just walked into a musical,” John pushed into the room, shutting the door behind him. He was slightly flushed, and hoped Sherlock would assume it was from the heat from the shower and not from being caught. Unfortunately, he knew Sherlock well enough to know that that was not the case. “That was really good, though, is that for the showcase?”
Sherlock had stopped. He was staring at John’s towel. John chuckled nervously, and cleared his throat. His smile fell when he realized what Sherlock was actually focusing on, and he wished it was the towel. Sherlock had his eyes trained on John’s prosthetic leg.
“Why didn’t you tell me that it wasn’t psychosomatic?” Sherlock asked, eyes trained on the mixture of metal and flesh tone skin in front of him. He picked his eyes up from John’s leg to stare at the rippling scars on his shoulder. He touched the scar gently, John’s eyes followed his every move. “You let me say that, and it’s not that at all.”
“I don’t really like to talk about it,” John lowered his eyes. “I didn’t want anybody to treat me differently. Everybody at school knows, so I can’t really act normal, you know?”
“Can I see it?” Sherlock knelt down to look at it better. “This explains so much!”
“Sherlock!” John said sternly, alarmed. “Towel!”
“Ah, of course,” Sherlock stood quickly. He turned away from John. “How did I never notice it? You were pretty well on top of me a few times.”
John blushed. He pulled on a pair of boxers, and put on a T-shit. “Well, you didn’t exactly have your mind on my legs.”
“Very true,” Sherlock turned as John tapped him on the shoulder.
John stood in front of Sherlock in green boxers and a ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ T-shirt. As Sherlock knelt again to look at the prosthesis, John held himself up on Sherlock’s shoulders. The prosthesis was attached to his thigh with a strap that ran up and hooked to a belt around John’s waist.
“I will not even comment on the cliche that is the shirt,” Sherlock chuckled, touching the leg curiously. “This is amazing. You walk with this all the time? The changing in the bathroom, the lack of movement, the extreme difficulty standing up, the refusing to share the bed with me! It all makes sense, John.”
“Don’t be weird about this, please?” John pleaded.
“Me? Weird?” Sherlock looked up at John with the playful eyes again. “I am never weird, John. In fact, I am the picture of the typical Englishman.”
“Yeah, in the 1700s,” John rolled his eyes. “Get up. Show and tell is over.”
“I’m serious, though, John,” Sherlock stood slowly, allowing John to continue to hold onto his shoulders. “I will not treat you any differently. I just do not know how I didn’t see this before!”
“You thought you knew, so you stopped looking,” John reached around for his cane before looking for some jeans.
“This is brand new information for the John folder,” Sherlock tapped his fingers together in front of his face. He sounded as close to giddy as Sherlock could sound.
“Do you know you said that out loud, mate?”
John snatched his black, leather jacket from the hook on the door. He turned to face Sherlock, who was staring at him again. The translucent blue eyes were fixed on him, and John swallowed.
“You’re doing it,” John groaned. “You’re treating me weird.”
“I’m looking at you,” Sherlock scoffed. “I always look at you. You’re just paranoid.”
“You always look at me?” John mentally reprimanded himself for sounding so effeminate.
“You really notice nothing,” Sherlock was putting his clothes on from the day before. He tapped his head meaningfully. “It must be so dull in there.”
“You’re an arse,” John rolled his eyes, but a smile was creeping at his lips. “Come on, let’s eat something.”
“Eating?” Sherlock shook his head. “School today. No eating.”
“Uh, no,” John left the room, allowing Sherlock to take the stairs first. “You are in my house.”
“I don’t see how that factors into my eating to working ratio,” Sherlock stopped at the bottom of the stairs to wait.
“You’re here, you’ll do what I say,” John clarified. He stopped in front of Sherlock. “Got it?”
“Ooh, so authoritative,” Sherlock mocked, though it was good natured.
“John, who are you talking to?” Harry asked, sticking her head out. “Oh, my God, John, it’s the guy.”
“I’m the guy?” Sherlock looked down at John.
“Harry, this is Sherlock,” John sighed. “Sherlock, this is my sister Harry.”
“Pleasure,” Sherlock’s voice was unusually charming.
“Keep him,” Harry said seriously. “I need to bring my friends over to see him.”
“Do you have straight friends?” John glanced at the clock. “Okay, we have time for a real breakfast. Eggs, bacon, tea?”
“Your house, your rules, or something of that nature.,” Sherlock followed John into the kitchen.
John grumbled to himself as he pulled out two pans. His kitchen was smaller than his bedroom. There was just enough room for a small table. John put the pans on the stovetop, and went for the eggs. He saw Harry staring at Sherlock, who was staring at John.
“Harry, honestly?” John sighed. “Don’t stare at the guests.”
“I’m used to it,” Sherlock responded without any hint of arrogance. He was merely stating a fact.
“Of course you are,” John flung his hands up in the air. “Har, get bacon out of the fridge for me.”
“Are you cooking for me?” she was fixing the bacon without hearing his response.
“Yeah, okay,” John’s tongue stuck out to the side as he concentrated on the eggs.
“Can I... do... something?” Sherlock said slowly.
John laughed. “Wow, Sherlock, be more obvious that you’ve never said that before.”
“Now who’s the arse?” Sherlock said from behind John. His breath hit John’s neck.
“Jesus Christ,” John jumped. “Don’t do that.”
Harry’s jaw dropped. “Wait, are you two a thing?”
“No, we’re not a thing. He’s not my boyfriend,” John glared at Harry.
“I’m not his boyfriend,” Sherlock agreed wistfully.
Hello faithful and/or new reader! We have a song from Adam Lambert in this chapter! It's called Underneath, and if you've never listened to it, I suggest you do. It is an amazingly emotional song, and it has some Johnlock feels. All right, well, happy listening!
Kudos/Bookmarks/Comments/Suggestions for anything in a future chapter/BlahBlahBlah are always welcomed!
Much love, Harlem
“John,” Mike’s voice sounded from behind the locker door. John shut the locker to reveal Mike, his friend from the rugby team.
“Hey, Mike,” John slipped his books into his messenger bag. “I can’t talk. I need to get going.”
“John, come on,” Mike caught John’s shoulder as he turned to leave. “You’ve been dodging me for months. You owe me a conversation.”
“Yeah, weird how I don’t really owe you anything,” John pulled out of Mike’s grip. He started walking away. “Look, I have to go.”
“You killed my girlfriend!” Mike yelled. A few first years looked startled. “You can talk to me for a minute. We’re friends.”
John spun on his heel, and charged as quickly as he could back to Mike. He stopped just an inch from him. “What did you just say? I’m sorry, I must have misheard because nobody would ever be such a prick to say that. She was your girlfriend for a few months. She was my friend for sixteen years. Where do you get off talking like that, mate? That was low, even for you.”
“John,” Mike called after him. “I’m sorry, mate! Hey, come on, don’t be like that.”
John kept walking; he could barely contain his anger, and could not promise that he would not punch Mike in the face. He could see the car park, which finally allowed him to let out a breath. He scanned the rows of cars, hoping to see something that would tell him which one was Sherlock’s.
Then he saw him. Sherlock was leaning against the hood of a shiny, black BMW sedan. He was wearing a grey suit with purple lapels and a purple and white striped tie. John saw a crest with a lion and a lamb on his breast pocket.
“What are you wearing?” John tried to suppress the laugh.
“My uniform?” Sherlock looked down at himself.
“Did you go home before school?” John ran his hand over the hood of the car. “This yours?”
“Obviously, John,” Sherlock snorted. “It’s one of Mycroft’s.”
Sherlock opened the door to the back seat. John was shocked to see Sherlock get into the back. He glanced through the windshield to see a man sitting behind the wheel. John followed Sherlock into the car with an opened mouth and wide eyes.
“You have a driver,” John nodded. “I mean, of course you have a driver.”
“Your bewilderment at my economic status is starting to become considerably less desirable,” Sherlock snapped. “It was endearing, but now it’s just tedious. I have money. Get over it.
John’s mouth twitched, but he kept silent as he watched the city pass through the window. Sherlock crossed his legs and slid back in the seat. John looked at Sherlock, who, in turn, cut his eyes to John.
“A bit not good.”
“Ah,” Sherlock bit his lip thoughtfully. “I’ll take that into consideration.”
"Uh, good, yeah, good,” John nodded, realizing that this was as close to an apology he was going to get. Sherlock seemed to only genuinely apologized when he was frightened. “We going back to my place?”
“That’s what you said this morning,” Sherlock lowered his eyes. “Do you not want me to? I can drop you off before I go home.”
“No, no, it’s fine!” John sounded alarmed even to himself. He sighed. “No, that’s not it. We should stop at your house, so you can get changes of clothes.”
“There’s a bag in the front,” Sherlock smiled. “I knew you would suggest it, so why waste the time?”
John nodded, and was happy to see house up ahead. He thanked the driver before sliding out of the car. He started to the door of his house, throwing a glance over his shoulder to see if Sherlock was following. Sherlock had a leather bag slung over his shoulder. He looked very out of place on John’s street. His fair features, his dark hair, his expensive clothes all screamed ‘upper class.’ John shook his head with a small smile.
“Come on, mate,” John called. “I have some chemistry I could use a hand with.”
“Absolutely,” Sherlock replied, walking to John.
John nodded, and continued to his front door. He opened it to the sounds of Harry and her friends. He groaned inwardly, but kept walking into the house. Sherlock was on his heels, obviously still investigating the house. John turned to press a finger to his lips to signal silence. Sherlock nodded, eyes scanning the living room. John would say that he was cataloging the position of every object, his eyes were darting around so quickly.
“No, I’m dead serious!” Harry shrieked from the kitchen. “He is to die for gorgeous, and that’s coming from me!”
“I want to meet the handsome git!” a girl, John thought that it was probably Soo Lin, said.
“You’ll get to,” Harry was in a rare form that afternoon. “John’s bringing him back after school. Don’t know why, but why complain? He’s good to look at, you know? Quiet, but who cares?”
Sherlock chuckled softly, and he shook his head. John saw that his ears had turned a bit red. He beckoned Sherlock to follow him up the stairs. Sherlock complied, throwing another interested look at the kitchen. John was already a third way up the stairs when Harry appeared at the kitchen door.
“John Hamish Watson, don’t you dare!”
“You sound like Mum,” John retorted. “We’re going up to my room. Leave it be.”
“At least let us look,” Harry grinned.
Soo Lin, Amanda, and Clara were standing behind Harry. She moved to let them into the living room. They were giggling messes, and John could feel the migraine brewing in his temples. They smiled shyly at John, and then locked their gaze on Sherlock. John watched Sherlock, the tall, straight backed Sherlock, lean forward on the stair bannister. He looked to John briefly before letting his gaze return to the four girls.
“Isn’t he model status?” Harry said, sending John a look. The girls all giggle again, and nod. “John didn’t think so.”
“Harry!” John leaned his head on the bannister. “Yeah, weird how I didn’t want to discuss my friends looks with you, isn’t it?”
“Shall we?” Sherlock cleared his throat. His eyes were on John again.
“Yeah, why let them keep ogling you?” John joked. “You’d think they’d never seen a good looking man before.”
“That’s hardly the case,” Sherlock said pointedly. “They do come around here often enough, don’t they?”
John caught Harry exchange a glance with Clara, but ignored it. His body, however, was not as collected. He had felt the blush start at his cheeks before it began to spider out to his ears, neck, and forehead. He continued up the stairs, and was glad to hear Sherlock behind him.
The door to his bedroom was open, so he flung himself through it and jumped onto his bed. The bed whined under his sudden weight. John heard the familiar creak of the floorboards that sat in his doorway. He opened his eyes to see Sherlock leaning against the woodwork.
“Come in, then,” John scooted up the bed. “Shut the door. Oh, and lock it. Harry comes up all the time with her friends to bother me.”
Sherlock obliged, and stood in the center of the room. He held his hands behind his back. John patted his bed with a small smile. Sherlock, yet again, followed John’s instructions by sitting beside him.
“I’m sorry about them,” John rolled his eyes. “They don’t know how to act in front of people. It was probably pretty creepy. I mean, yeah, flattering, but creepy all the same.”
“It was,” Sherlock trailed off thoughtfully. “It was unexpected.”
“Oh, yeah, all right,” John bit his lip, letting his hand slide a bit closer to Sherlock’s. “Yeah, you probably never experience that.”
“I do on the rare occasion, but they’re just being kind,” Sherlock took John’s hand, saving John from making the first move for contact. “You don’t often hear regular, kind people going off on somebody about their looks. They have to say you look nice, well, that is, if they want to keep up their appearance of being kind.”
“What are you talking about?” John squeezed Sherlock’s hand. “Are you that, well, bloody ignorant to romance? People stare at you all the time! They whisper about you, and point.”
“Yes, yes, they do, thank you for pointing that out for me again. As if I don’t see them,” Sherlock glared.
“You said you were used to people staring at you this morning!”
“Yeah, they see what a freak I am and stare. Do keep up, John. My, it must be nice being you. People smile at you, like you, see all the good in you. They see all of your best, most wonderful traits. And they should because you are spectacular, but I do wish that I could know that for once.”
“God, no, Sherlock,” John mentally beat himself up. “They look at you because you’re so goddamn attractive. You walk into the room, and command it! I’m the guy in those romantic comedies; you’re the one in the magazines, the one on the runway. Harry said it: you’re model status. You’re bloody brilliant, Sherlock, and everybody knows it.”
Sherlock blinked at John several times. John could nearly see the wheels spinning. “I doubt that they think that way, John, but I am not ashamed to tell you that I’m happy to hear that you feel that way.”
“Of course I do,” John mumbled. “What? Did none of your other... people ever gush over you?”
Sherlock let out a breathy chuckle. “I cannot say that anybody did.”
John leaned his head against the headboard in thought. He shot Sherlock a few glances, but remained silent as he considered his next question. Sherlock had begun to massage his hand absentmindedly. The mysterious boy, the man, was staring out into the air of John’s room.
“How far have you gone with somebody?” John finally asked.
“Shouldn’t we pick a scene to perform?” Sherlock responded.
“Well, yeah, we should,” John nodded grudgingly, annoyed that Sherlock had dodged him. “But, first I want you to answer my question. I’ll tell you about me.”
“In the future, don’t ask questions you don’t want to hear the answers to. You won't take them well,” Sherlock looked at John with his thoughtful, glassy, silver eyes. He reached out his free hand to touch John’s cheek. Usually, John would find it condescending, and part of him still did, but most of him found it strangely comforting. "I know you, John Watson."
All right, as always, I am posting very late at night/early in the morning. However, tonight, it is much closer to early in the morning hahah. In fact, some would just call it morning ;). I have not proofread this yet, and I'm sorry about that... I just wanted to post it.
Also, I would like to thank you again, dear readers, for your reading, comments, kudos, bookmarks... Over 100 comments and over 100 kudos! I'm so happy that you're enjoying it! Well, I'm just happy that you're even reading it :).
Love you long time, Harlem. <3
John stared at Sherlock with a creased brow. He released Sherlock’s hand before pushing himself into a straighter sitting position. Sherlock stretched out on the bed further. He folded John’s pillow in half to rest his head on it.
“Now you’re upset,” Sherlock buried the side of his face in John’s pillow.
“I’m not upset,” John rubbed his leg absentmindedly. “I get it, really. You don’t trust me, and that’s fine. We haven’t known each other that long.”
Sherlock twisted his lips back and forth in thought. “I do trust you, John.”
“Oh,” John did not know what to say. His fluttering heart told him to let it go, but his mind was too curious. “You can talk to me.”
“Before you, I’d never even kissed somebody,” Sherlock let out a puff of air.
“Wha, no,” John’s mouth hung open. “No, you’re too, well, good. You kissed me first!”
“I don’t know what that has to do with anything,” Sherlock was slightly pink. He closed his eyes.
“Well, I just, uh you took control. That’s not what, well, I guess you don’t really do the norm, you know? But, like,” John knew he sounded like an idiot. “I’m sorry. I just assumed you were really experienced.”
“Hmm,” Sherlock’s eyes were still closed, though his cheeks were heating up.
“I thought you didn’t get embarrassed?” John teased. He felt a bit better about himself now that he knew that Sherlock chose him to be his first sexual experience.
“Yes, well,” Sherlock opened his eyes, and met John’s.
“You know, I think it’s fine,” John said. “You don’t have to have done stuff. That doesn’t matter.”
“And you?” Sherlock steepled his fingers.
“What?” John raised his brows in question.
“You said you would tell me about you, if I told you about me.”
“Oh, yeah, uh, I’ve done it all.”
“With a woman, not with a man.”
“No, definitely not with a man! No, no,” John said too quickly. He felt the butterflies in his stomach turn into the pit. The pit that he had grown used to dealing with these last few weeks. He then realized the hurt on Sherlock’s face. He reached for Sherlock’s hand, but Sherlock turned away from him. “Shit, no, I didn’t mean it like that. I meant that I, I just, uh, didn’t mean it like that. Christ.”
“Of course not,” Sherlock sat up. “Go get your chemistry for me.”
John took his chemistry work out of his messenger bag, and handed it to Sherlock. He also took out his maths, knowing he could finish that quickly. As expected, he was making fast work of the problems when he heard Harry yelling his name. He sighed, and looked to Sherlock, who was making even faster work of the chemistry. He was writing equations out with such confidence that John had to smile.
“Is there anything you’re not good at?”
“Sport,” Sherlock would not look up at him. John felt guilty. He knew he hurt Sherlock. “Harry is calling.”
“Harry’s always calling,” John sighed. Harry let out another yell for him. He opened the door. “God, fuck, Harry! I’ll be there in a minute!”
“Hurry up! You’re so slow,” she complained.
John laughed bitterly with a shake of his head. “Har, I can only move so fast!”
John descended the stairs. He was secretly pleased to hear that Sherlock had followed him out of the room. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs, Sherlock on the step behind him. Harry sat with Amanda, Soo Lin, Clara, and now Mary with several bottled of alcohol. They had wine, beer, vodka, rum, and some juice. Sherlock snorted.
“Come join us!” Harry was buzzed. “We have alcohol!"
“It’s Monday,” John offered, as if that meant something to his tipsy sister and her friends.
“Mary’s here,” Harry said suggestively.
“Yeah, I see that,” John did not so much see her as he did feel her staring at him.
Harry made her way across the room slowly, trying not to knock into any of the furniture and failing miserably. She grabbed John’s wrist and started to drag him to the couch. He let out a sound of protest, but could not pull away for he had dropped his cane. His leg was making a loud sound as his dragged against the old, wooden floors. John let out a low cry of pain as the leg dug into his thigh. Sherlock was quickly beside him, one hand held onto John’s arm and the other removed Harry’s grip from her brother. Sherlock picked up the cane, and handed it to John.
“Thanks, mate,” John said gratefully, his face flushed with embarrassment.
“He’s so sweet,” Soo Lin said to Amanda as she stared at Sherlock. “He went right to help John.”
“That wasn’t nice, Harry,” Mary glared. “John, come sit on the couch by me.”
“He’s had me his whole life,” Harry scoffed. “He better be used to me by now, you know?”
John waved Sherlock to follow him. They both sat down; John in between Mary and Sherlock. Harry held her hand out to the bottles and the glasses. John took a beer, and Sherlock poured himself some of the red wine.
The girls talked all about how they had no idea what to wear or who to bring to the dance that the school was having as a fundraiser. John changed the subject a few times to various subjects. Sherlock watched them all, boredom evident. Yet, his apparent disinterest did not keep Soo Lin and Amanda from trying to win his affections. They kept leaning over to playfully touch his knee or arm any time he said one of his sarcastic comments.
After several drinks, Harry stood. “Let’s do karaoke. We have that Karaoke Revolution thing!” The girls voiced their excitement. “John can go first.”
“What?” John nearly spit out the sip of beer that he had just taken. “Oh, no way!”
“Yeah, come on, Johnny,” Harry pleaded. “You’re such a good singer. My brother is such a good singer.”
“No, no way,” John shook his head. “I’m not doing it.”
“Please, John?” Mary stuck out her lower lip. “For me?”
“Oh, go on,” Sherlock seemed interested now. “You have an excellent voice. Go on, then.”
John looked around at all of them, took another swig of beer, and sighed. “Yeah, all right, fine...” As he stood, he leaned in to whisper to Sherlock. “This is for you.”
“That’s the spirit,” Sherlock took a sip of wine.
John scanned the list of songs carefully. He wanted to pick the perfect song, one that Sherlock would like. He selected the song, and started to bob with the music. “Oh, yeah, I’ll tell you something I think you’ll understand... When I’ll say that something, I wanna hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand.”
The girls, who were considerably drunker than John, were dancing around the living room. Harry and Clara were dancing hand-in-hand. Soo Lin and Amanda were both dancing around near Sherlock, trying to lure him up to dance with them. Sherlock, however, was perched on the couch where John had left him. He had a small smile on his face, and a light in his cat-like eyes.
“Oh, please, say to me,” John sang. He cut his eyes to Sherlock quickly. “You’ll let me be your man, and please, say to me, you’ll let me hold your hand! I’ll let me hold your hand. I wanna hold your hand.”
Mary moved to dance beside John. She smiled at him flirtatiously before placing her hands on his shoulders. He smiled weakly at her. She leaned over and kissed his cheek before letting out a giggle. John managed to escape her, and swayed over to the side. Mary simply sighed, but was still smiling at him. John felt his heart sink: she thought this was a game.
“And when I touch you, I feel happy inside,” John sang, shaking himself out of the funk. He shot a few glances to Sherlock, who was looking fondly at John. “It’s such a feeling that my love I can’t hide. I can’t hide, I can’t hide. Yeah, you’ve got that something... I think you’ll understand: when I’ll say that something, I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand, I wanna hold your hand.”
The girls all cheered and clapped excitedly. Sherlock was clapping from the couch with one of his wide grins plastered on his face. When he saw how pleased Sherlock really was with him, John pushed away the embarrassment that always flooded him after he did anything in front of people. John sat back down on the couch beside the man.
“We should really go back to our work,” Sherlock suggested.
“Yeah, all right,” John nodded.
“Oh, no, stay,” Mary grabbed John’s hand. She smiled devilishly. “Please, John, for me? I’ll let you hold my hand.”
John felt guilty. He half smiled at her, and pulled out of her grip. “Sorry, but Sherlock and I really should finish up the work.”
“Ugh, John,” Harry groaned. “Fine, go, we’ll have a better time talking about you anyway.”
John and Sherlock returned to John’s room. He sat down on the bed so that he could stretch out the prosthetic leg. He rubbed his thigh, willing it to calm down. Sherlock sat beside him, pressing against him. He leaned his head on John’s shoulder.
“Do you take it off?” Sherlock signaled to his leg.
“Yeah,” John nodded. “It gets annoying.”
“Why don’t you take it off, then?” Sherlock suggested. His voice was soft, unimposing. “You can get comfortable.”
John gave Sherlock a sly smile. “You just want to look at the leg.”
“I do want to look at the leg,” Sherlock agreed with a small, lopsided smile. He got up, opened his bag, and removed his pajamas.
Sherlock tossed his blazer onto the floor before whipping the tie off. He carefully undid his dress shirt’s buttons, and let it fall to the floor. His chest was all bones with skin stretched over it. Each rib poked through his skin, and his hipbones jutted out. Yet, his stomach was well-defined with muscle. He pushed down his trousers, revealing boxer brief underwear. John finally looked away, shocked that he was watching Sherlock strip.
“Get it together, Watson,” John whispered to himself.
He took off his T-shirt, and looked down at himself. He was a bit bigger than he would like to be, but he was by no standard a big man. John knew that stopping rugby was the reason for the extra kilos he was carrying around. He took off his jeans reluctantly. He could feel Sherlock’s eyes on him.
John laid back on the bed to undo the straps that held his waist and thigh. He released them, letting the leg fall to the floor. His thigh ended just above where his knee was supposed to be. The end of his thigh was rounded off and a scar was visible over the end. It was irritated, reddened from Harry’s violent dragging. Sherlock, now dressed in his pajamas, sat beside John.
“What does it feel like?” Sherlock asked, eyeing the unusually smooth skin.
“It feels like a leg,” John looked over at Sherlock. “It is a leg.”
Sherlock tilted his head to the side. “Of course, but that’s not what I meant..”
John sighed, looking at the clock. It was only nine, but it felt so much later. He regretted staying after school to watch the rugby practice. If he had not done that, he would not have run into Mike. That anger was still brewing in him, and John guessed it was the reason he agreed to drink on a school night.
He pushed himself off the bed, and used his cane to help hop across the room. He took a tank top out of the bureau, and slid it on carefully so as not to topple over in front of Sherlock. He then grabbed his sweatpants. John sat back on the bed.
“Can I...” Sherlock trailed off, and reached out tentatively.
“Go for it,” John nodded, biting his lip.
Sherlock touched the rounded end of John’s leg with careful fingers. He traced the scar. John shivered, and closed his eyes. It was an odd sensation to have somebody focusing on this part of him. He took in a shaky breath.
“I’ll stop,” Sherlock retracted his hand quickly. Concerned eyes walked over John, looking for something to use to figure out why John reacted that way.
John smiled at him. “You’re fine. It just feels weird. It’s not really a place people touch.”
“None of your lovers?” Sherlock asked.
“Uh, no,” John ignored the sting from those words. Emotions started to brew up that he had been pushing away. “I haven’t had anybody since... Nobody sees this. Especially without the, the...”
“Okay,” Sherlock nodded, he picked up the sweatpants that John had laid on the bed. “Put these on, and relax.”
John put them, and laid back on the bed. He took a deep breath that turned into a yawn. He watched Sherlock lay beside him. The man scooted over to stay close to John. Sherlock took John’s hand, and squeezed it tightly. His features had softened, but his grip was tight. John, using their linked hands, pulled himself closer to Sherlock. The room was quiet, but the girls laughs could be heard from downstairs. Sherlock reached out his other hand to take John’s. With both of their hands together, John smiled. He was feeling good again.
Today, we have I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles as our karaoke song! I trust that you all have heard this song before, but if somehow you have not, you must go listen to it. I hope you've enjoyed! :)
Much love, Harlem.
“You’re in the class for that?” Sherlock whispered, his breath hitting John’s lips as he spoke. He was signaling to John’s leg with his eyes.
“Partly,” John said softly. “You’re there because of your parents?”
“Partly,” Sherlock responded. “John, I want you to know that if this situation ever makes feel uncomfortable, I’ll stop.”
“I just serenaded you in my living room,” John retorted dryly. “Talk about the point of no return.”
Sherlock blinked his acknowledgement, but his eyes were glazed over from thoughts, thoughts that John could not guess. John pulled one hand free, and used it to lightly feather his fingers over Sherlock’s forearm. He smiled softly, sleep began to overtake him.
“Harry, what the hell are you doing?” John heard his mother yell from downstairs. “I said no parties on weekdays. It’s Tuesday!”
“Well, it’s Monday, but good try with the parenting, Mum,” John whispered to himself.
“You shouldn’t sleep anyway,” Sherlock used his newly freed hand to run his long fingers through John’s hair. “You’ve yet to finish your work, and it’s not even ten yet.”
“I’m tired,” John complained.
“I have two of your chemistry problems left.”
“There’s no convincing you to let us just go to bed?” John tried.
“I don’t care about homework, but I know you’ll be upset tomorrow when you realize that you don’t have a single assignment competed,” Sherlock stated.
John closed the gap between them to press his lips to Sherlock’s. The feel of Sherlock’s full lips against his made John’s heart soar up. The tipsiness from his few beers had been evening out, but kissing Sherlock brought the lightheadedness back instantly.
“Mmm, but if you want to do this,” Sherlock said into John’s lips. “I could just leave those problems blank for you... Your teacher would grow suspicious if you suddenly became a genius anyway, wouldn’t he?”
“Shut up,” John nuzzled Sherlock’s nose with his own. “Just bask, and try not to think for just a second. Can you just try not to be insulting for a minute?”
“First you say a second,” Sherlock held John away from him. “Then you say a minute. John, that is conflicting information. I think I should analyze what you really mean for me to do.”
John grabbed his comforter, which had been balled around their waists, and pulled it over them. “Come here.”
Sherlock moved closer to John, letting his head rest beneath John’s chin. John smiled widely as he wrapped both arms around Sherlock. The warm breath that hit his neck and collarbone was unusually comforting. He sighed into the dark, tangled curls.
“How did you know?” John lazily traced his fingers over Sherlock’s arms and back.
“How did I know what?” Sherlock’s voice was muffled from his position.
“That you were into both?” John was being cryptic, and he knew it.
Sherlock chuckled. “I just always knew. I never questioned it. It never seemed different to me until my classmates started teasing me. I still don’t find it bizarre.”
John nodded, holding Sherlock. He was content, and the idea of falling asleep holding Sherlock was enough to hasten sleep. It felt like seconds, but he knew it was at least an hour when Sherlock’s phone rang.
“Yes?” Sherlock said into the phone, his voice thick with sleep. “Of course. I’ll tell him.”
“Who was that?” John asked, rubbing his eyes.
“Lestrade,” Sherlock sighed, stretching his back. “He is calling a meeting for tomorrow after school,” John opened his mouth, but Sherlock held up a finger. “No, he did not tell me why, and, as you heard, I did not ask.”
“So, we’re going there after school, then?”
“Did you miss the part where I said the meeting was after school?”
“You’re sharp tonight,” John mumbled, making himself comfortable around Sherlock. “Something wrong?”
Sherlock looked at him, his eyes flickering over John. “I just had a strange feeling, and I did not particularly care for it, but let’s sleep. It’ll go away.”
John and Sherlock returned to their previous positions, letting themselves fall back to sleep. John dreamt of nothing that night. His mind as blackness, damp and grey. Yet, he had a distinct image of Jim Moriarty seared into the back of mind. He was laughing, but John could not see why or who he was laughing at. There was no backstory accompanying him; just Moriarty in the dark.
“John, did you want to go to school today?” Sherlock’s voice rang through John’s ears.
“Uh, yeah, why?” he rubbed his eyes, rolling into Sherlock’s side.
“It’s ten o’clock and I really see no point in going if you’re already tardy,” he sighed.
John jumped out of Sherlock’s grasp and looked around the room frantically. He could not be late. He looked at the clock. It did say that it was a bit after ten. He let out a groan, and returned to the bed beside Sherlock. He scrubbed his hands over his face, and shot Sherlock a look.
“How long have you been awake?” he asked after a moment.
“Oh, I would say three hours,” Sherlock looked up at the ceiling. “Give or take.”
“And you thought you would just not wake me up?”
“Right, then,” John crawled back into bed. “So, we need to see Lestrade when? At four?”
“Yes,” Sherlock said again, returning to his position wrapped around John.
“I wonder what he has to tell us,” John thought aloud.
“Hm,” the other boy hummed, more out of politeness than anything else.
After a few minutes of silence, John was starting to drift back to sleep. He was tired, unnaturally so, and Sherlock was like a space heater beside him. He radiated warmth, and that was lulling John back to sleep. A nice lie-in would serve John.
“I know what scene we should do for the showcase!” Sherlock said, voice far too loud for moment. "Oh, my, yes! Sit up, John, this is important!"
John walked into the Adler with Sherlock on his heels. Lestrade was seated in the cafe with Molly and Moriarty. Moriarty had an arm around Molly, but his eyes were on Sherlock. It made John uncomfortable, but he looked back to see Sherlock staring neutrally ahead at nothing in particular. He took a seat at one of the beautiful, mosaic tables, and Sherlock took his place beside him. After a few moments of silence, Anderson and Sally came in laughing about something, but they fall silent. John guessed they could feel the severity in the air.
“Okay,” Lestrade said, his voice far from its usual cheerfulness. “I wanted to talk to you because I’ve heard from Jeff’s parents, and I thought I should bring this to your attention as soon as possible.”
The class looked at each other. John watched as Molly looked towards Sherlock, expecting him to have an answer, no doubt. Yet, Sherlock was looking at Lestrade with interest. John looked back at Lestrade, waiting for some sort of explanation.
“Jeff’s parents found him in his room today, which, as you know, was unexpected because he has been missing,” Lestrade continued. Relief splashed across their faces, but John saw that two people looked different. Sherlock did not seem convinced that this was the end, and Moriarty looked amused. “They found him dead...”
Sherlock nodded, and John wondered if he had deduced it before Lestrade had even said anything. However, he could not keep his focus on Sherlock for long because Moriarty was smiling. He looked positively gleeful, and John’s blood ran cold.
“How did it happen?” Moriarty asked with big eyes.
“He killed himself through some sort of poison. They found him with a glass jar, and no obvious signs of death. They’re assuming poison, as I said, but that has not been confirmed,” Lestrade explained, eyeing Moriarty with suspicion. “Jim, everything okay?”
“Why wouldn’t it be?” the strange boy drawled. “I’m still breathing. Everything’s grand!”
John grimaced at the statement. It was in poor taste, definitely, but it was also very daring to say to their teacher. Lestrade stared at him for a moment, but looked away, tapping his nail-bitten fingers on the tiles.
“Does anybody need to talk about this?” Lestrade finally said. “I know that some of you have, er, had known Jeff for quite a while.”
Nobody said a word. Molly had her eyes on her feet. Sally was looking over at Anderson, who looked confused. Sherlock was looking straight ahead, passive. Moriaty was still looking a bit too pleased. John cleared his throat, feeling uncomfortable.
“No, well,” Lestrade sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. He looked worn out. John figured that the apparent suicide of a student in these types of classes must be hard on their teacher. He must feel so responsible. John looked down, biting his lip. “You can go home, but do not hesitate to call if you feel the need to talk. Any hour.”
“Something’s off,” Sherlock mentioned quietly as the students began to leave. “Moriarty is...”
“No shit, Sherlock,” John hissed. “He’s excited... It’s sickening.”
“Mmm,” the other boy hummed. He stood and handed John his cane.
John took it with a nod, and walked out of the theatre with Sherlock. Once outside it, Sherlock pulled John to the side. He pressed John against the wall, keeping his hands on either side of John's shoulders, essentially trapping him there under his body. He glanced around at everybody, and then nodded. John swallowed, unsure what Sherlock was about to do or say.
“Calm down,” Sherlock breathed, very close to John. “I’m not going to molest you in the streets... You saw Moriarty in there, then?”
“Hard to miss the happy guy when his mate offed himself,” John sighed.
“Yes, well, I think that he was involved,” Sherlock disclosed, eyes on John. “I think he was the one that got Jeff to take that pill. Jeff had a less than adequate life, but it was not that horrible.”
John thought that over for a moment. He nodded. “I believe you.”
“Do you?” Sherlock said with surprise, but then a certain look, fondness, John thought, took over his eyes. “Good, good, very good. Okay, I need to go home.”
“Oh,” John said, disappointment clear in his voice.
“I need to do some work on this,” he clarified. “I need to find the substantial proof that Moriarty did this. Also, I need to get you a copy of the play that our scene is from for you to read.”
“So, I’ll see you before the next class, then?” John said hopefully.
Sherlock tilted his head to the side, narrowing his eyes. He was softer spoken this time. “Of course you will.”
“Oi,” a man said, seeing Sherlock holding John against the wall. “You take your boyfriend and get a room.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” Sherlock responded, rolling his eyes. “Keep an eye on your phone. I’ll text you.”
John nodded stupidly. “I’ll do that. Uh, when do you think we’ll meet up?”
“Undecided,” he pushed away from John after running a hand over his cheek lightly. “Take Mycroft’s town car home. I’ll catch a cab.”
“His town car?” John watched Sherlock wave to the street, and a black car pulled up. “Ah, of course, are you sure?”
“Quite,” Sherlock opened the door, and ushered John inside of it. He kissed John lightly, but lengthily.
“Text me,” John added, as Sherlock started to walk away.
Sherlock quirked a brow at him. “I already said I would, John.”
Wow. Over a month to update a story I consider very active. I am very sorry, dear readers! I have had a terrible case of the writer's block, have moved, and classes have started up for me again! So much is going on right now! I would like to apologize for this chapter... It was, hopefully, my last chapter written under writer's block... Thank you so, so, so, so much for being patient with me!
Okay! So, I have storyboarded the rest of the story... I imagine there will be thirty chapters total. There may be more, but definitely not less.
As always, your thoughts and kudos are appreciated!
Much Love, Harlem.