John wandered into the living room of 221B, hair dripping wet, robe tied loosely around his waist. He collapsed into the chair opposite his boyfriend and picked up the newspaper on the table beside him. Sherlock looked up from his spot on his armchair, putting down the scientific journal he'd been reading and narrowing his eyes.
"What's wrong with you?" he asked the doctor. "You look drugged."
"I've just had a bath," John replied, his voice taking on a sleepy, husky octave.
"Why are you talking like that?" Sherlock asked, leaning forward to rest his elbows on his knees.
"I'm relaxed, Sherlock."
"Never understood baths," Sherlock mused, picking the journal back up.
"They're relaxing. You should try it."
"No, not for me."
"You always liked baths with me," John said after a moment of silence, looking up from the newspaper.
"It wasn't the bath I enjoyed. It was the naked, wet John Watson I was sharing it with," Sherlock said matter-of-factly, eyes scanning the page in front of him. John felt himself blushing.
"It would relax you, you should try it," John said, only to receive a doubtful grunt from Sherlock.
The next day Sherlock walked up the stairs of 221B to find John updating his blog.
"You're home!" John announced, standing up. "I drew you a bath."
"Can you draw me a picture of the murderer?" Sherlock was quick to respond.
"Just…try it. For me. It'll relax you." Sherlock watched John's hopeful expression change to worry that he'd done the wrong thing. He stepped forward and took the smaller man into his arms.
"Fine," he mumbled into John's hair. John looked up to him and gently kissed him before pulling away, grasping one of Sherlock's hands and leading him to the bathroom. Sherlock looked sceptical as he surveyed the steam rising from the bathtub, but didn't fuss as he silently undressed.
"I'll leave you to it," John said with a grin, walking back into the living room to finish on the blog entry he was working on. Not 10 minutes later he was interrupted.
"JOOOHNNNNNN!" It wasn't a yell of pain, it was a yell indicating Sherlock needed something.
John sighed and closed the lid of his laptop, walking back to the bathroom to find Sherlock with his knees tucked to his chest, sitting at the end of the bath. John had to stifle a laugh.
"I'm not relaxed," Sherlock said quietly, sounding like a defiant child. John allowed a chuckle to escape him, only to receive a glare from Sherlock. "I'm bored. Uncomfortable. There's nothing to do."
"Okay," John sighed, quickly undressing and leaving his clothes in a pile next to Sherlock's by the door. He stepped into the bath and put his feet against the end of the tub either side of Sherlock's slim form.
"Come here," John coaxed, putting a hand on each of Sherlock's shoulders and gently pulling him back onto his chest. Sherlock relaxed somewhat, allowing John to wind his arms around his waist and hold him.
"You're not meant to think when you're having a bath," John said quietly. "You're meant to just doze, lay there."
"You know not thinking doesn't work for me," Sherlock mumbled, leaning his head back to rest on John's good shoulder.
"I know," John whispered. "You've just been so tense, this case is wearing you down. You haven't eaten in two days."
"I'll eat when I've solved it," Sherlock said. John tutted and began tracing the muscles of Sherlock's stomach. Sherlock sighed contentedly and lifted one leg to settle on the edge of the bath.
"Look at you," John mused aloud. "All cheekbones and long limbs. It's a wonder you even fit in this bath." Sherlock chuckled, further resting against John and drifting into a light slumber.
John continued to trace his lover's muscles, running his hands up Sherlock's long arms. He cupped Sherlock's muscular shoulders before wrapping his arms back around his waist, nuzzling his nose into the little indent between the detective's collarbone and his neck. He hummed quietly in content.
"I love you," the doctor whispered, closing his eyes.
"I love you too, John," Sherlock whispered in reply.
"I thought you were asleep."
"Just 'dozing'," Sherlock teased.
"Okay, let's get you to bed, sleepy," John said, untangling himself from his boyfriend and stepping from the tub, offering Sherlock a hand. John pulled a very relaxed Sherlock from the bath and wrapped a towel around him. After grabbing a towel for himself, John took Sherlock's hand and led him to their bedroom. They fell into bed together, like they had done so many times before, and Sherlock wound himself around John, those long limbs that John loved so much wrapping themselves around him.
"I love you," John mumbled again. Sherlock chuckled, resting his chin on John's shoulder to look at him.
"You're so cute," Sherlock beamed.
"I'm not 'cute'," John huffed.
"You most definitely are." Sherlock leaned up to kiss the end of John's nose. John giggled, earning him an I-told-you-so look from Sherlock.
Sherlock rested his head back onto John's shoulder, smiling as the doctor's arms wrapped around him and pulled him impossibly closer. John reached up to push a clump of wet curls from Sherlock's forehead and watched as the detective's eyelids drooped. They silently held each other, Sherlock quickly falling to sleep and John watching him until he eventually fell into a deep slumber himself.