Sherlock knew he liked John more than John did him. Most likely more than Sherlock thought the usual norm for flatmate/flatmate relations to be. He was neither particularly experienced in that field, nor bothered by it though.
John liked Christmas. John liked warm clothing and tea. Sherlock caught himself making lists. On the far left side of an article on muscle spasming, he'd written:
- dog person
- strawberry jam
- July showers
- warm clothing
Coincidentally, Sherlock did too. Like the latter that is, and it was added to the small column on the far right of the paper, which so far read only 'tea' in cursive handwriting.
Everything was easier this way, Sherlock thought. John liked when he remembered small things. And Sherlock liked John.
In fact, Sherlock thought John liking him less than he did John could mainly and only be attributed to the following:
- leaving dead cats in spaces of comfort to test hypothesis #1
- burning/melting/freezing/bleaching family albums
- continuous neglect and disregard towards- from yours truly
- mere human limitation
If he'd terminate the above, the problem would be solved.
Needless to say, the topic of muscle spasming has been foregone by more pressing matters.
Sherlock Holmes wasn't an incredibly insecure man, though John had described him with a few more words, and he was absolutely certain that one day John Watson would start seeing sense and realise Sherlock was really the only person he needed as long as he'd start wearing gloves and protective footwear on a nearly permanent basis.
Sherlock Holmes was a very impatient man, however, and he felt it would be in everyone's best interest if formerly mentioned process were to be sped up a bit. Mostly his own, though, but he didn't doubt everyone would gain from the situation.
Sherlock wanted to have a skin made of eyeballs so he'd never have to leave John out of his sight. Sherlock wanted to preserve John in a large glass jar so nobody but him could look. Keep small slides of skin samples so he could observe the undoubtedly superior layers John Watson was made of. Sherlock wanted to pin him down, very much like a butterfly, and cut him open and look at his heart and the things that made it tick. And he never thought of these as anything short of normal.
Apparently, John did.
Sherlock added it to the second list. He added the League of Gentlemen and Top Gear to the first.
Sherlock observed John on a healthy level. How he ate, spoke, walked, breathed and slept. It was necessary for him to know these things, he reasoned, in order to be able to fully cement the cracks in their relationship. John monitored his eating habits, and occasionally asked if he was still breathing, so Sherlock thought of it as only logical to return the favour.
On a Friday morning, Sherlock realised exactly how he could achieve his goals with the minimum amount of effort. He made John tea. John smiled. Sherlock made more tea. It was all horribly simple. People tended to stare when he attempted to hand John a thermos at the yard though, and Sherlock added a small (not in public).
Instead of solving the case of the middle-aged woman murdered in a room where wallpaper covered every surface, including the door (interesting, fascinating), he spent his valuable hours reading forums including the phrases 'just lie down naked with a rose covering your woo, mate - worked for me' and googling 'what does it mean when flatmate ties shoes with arse facing you'. And John was getting a little suspicious. Not about the vacant staring or Sherlock's search history, the copious amounts of tea.
No, none of that really mattered when John woke up one day to find approximately eight differently-coloured eyeballs dangling from his ceiling. Sherlock thought it quite funny. John didn't.
The suggestion he try humour to 'woo his partner' was crossed off with a frown.
A different matter entirely, yet not so different at all, was the notebook he'd purchased. Small, black and compact. John didn't know of the notebook. Or maybe he did, but paid it no mind. Either way, Sherlock valued the notebook as much as he valued the bullet that pierced John's shoulder.
Favours blackberry tea over earl grey, he wrote. Likes bands of the 1980's and 1990's. Allergy for certain type of flower -, must buy all to test hypothesis. Bloodtype B-; John's bloodtype as special as himself. Likes Italian food. Hates candles.
Copying his earlier notes seemed like an incentive to add more, and the notebook slowly grew full of small things, short sentences filled with affection, much like how the flat seemed to grow its own flowers until one day John woke up puffy eyed and snotty and they disappeared within hours. Much like how Sherlock felt slightly nauseous when looking at John, and much like how the heart he claimed to not have grew until he felt it had slid down his chest and into his fluttering stomach.
It was a good feeling, Sherlock found.
Lestrade did think it a bit odd when Sherlock's vomit splattered the wheels of the police car and John retreated his hand as if burnt, but, Sherlock reasoned, that was the mere price of love, and he'd gladly continue hacking up the roll he'd had for breakfast if it meant John would continue rubbing his back.
Once home, he noted 'likes taking care of people', right underneath 'sandals' and a crossed-out bullet point which previously read 'short dresses' (apparently the near-sighting of Sherlock's bare flaccid genitalia had coursed John into a very long walk in the park).
So far, according to the notebook, Sherlock Holmes and John Watson has precisely three things in common. Sherlock was proud of this, but felt it wasn't quite enough to declare undying affection.
He added 'danger' and marked the right column with a small 'x'.
Four. They were made for each other.
On the twelfth page of his booklet, he'd made a list of items that would constitute the 'perfect date'. As a matter of speaking, of course, yet as perfect as possible. According to the internet, a date consisted of three things: food, entertainment, and 'a cup of coffee - maybe some biscuits if you're lucky'.
And while Sherlock didn't really understand the need for coffee and biscuits after a date especially, since he could get John to fetch him those any time, he would perhaps be open to the idea of getting John some too, if John wanted it.
Stake-outs are not ideal dating opportunities. Danger imminent.
In the span of the week John took to get the sight in his right eye back, Sherlock had managed to add 'likes inane action films' and 'ensure chocolate digestives be present at return'.
Sherlock was nearly certain he'd won over John's affection after he'd hand-fed him the final digestive. He could see it in the way John's chocolate-covered teeth showed when he smiled. Simple logic, that.
He sat on the coffee table as John tried to get himself to sleep, and listened to his breathing.
Perhaps John hadn't been quite asleep when Sherlock kissed his ear, but neither of them felt like mentioning it.
When Sherlock asked John if he'd like to go out with him for the night, John laughed. Although Sherlock wasn't entirely certain what was so funny, he liked hearing John laugh (eighth item, right column). He also happened to like the sting of John's hand clapping his shoulder and the giggles in his throat when he replied a breathy 'yeah'. Very much so.
Sherlock was hopefully, painfully in love.
It was a strange realisation, and he wasn't quite certain what brought it on except for maybe the fact he'd been staring at the candlelight (hates candles) reflected on the side of John's face for ten minutes.
He added how John liked crème brûlée, and Angelo's bread sticks to his inventory. Counted his heartbeats and silently prayed he wouldn't go into cardiac arrest before the coffee.
John didn't seem to be paying that much attention to him though, as Sherlock had read was common courtesy during a date. Nor to his food, really.
He was rather openly staring at the table a few left from theirs, until he ducked his head and smiled.
Sherlock looked over to see what seemed to somehow excuse John from paying attention to his food.
Sherlock came home alone that night and was forced to make his own coffee.
He felt his stomach clench as he added 'women' to the first list.