A figure lay prone on the smooth leather sofa. Long, lean lines, pale expanses of skin, a halo of unruly curls, and dark lashes concealing unearthly silvery blue eyes; he made a stunning picture, almost eerie in its stillness. The only reassurance was the shallow rise and fall of his chest. Occasionally, he would raise his arms and slide them through the air, rearranging words and images only visible to him.
Sherlock strolled through the dim, maze-like halls of his Mind Palace. There was room after room of meticulously placed information, ruthlessly organized to be accessed within a moment’s notice. Each room was different to suit his needs.
He had a sprawling lab to accommodate his extensive scientific knowledge and a miniscule closet for his information on planets. Sherlock could flit around quickly and find what he needed with no trouble.
Often, he would visit his Palace to weed out any useless material; it took up an unnecessary amount of space.
Today was not one of those times. Today, Sherlock strolled with purpose. He ascended a long staircase and came to a battered black door with ‘221B’ in gold in the center. This was where Sherlock stored his knowledge about John. He’d once only occupied a small section of Sherlock’s Mind Palace but had quickly outgrown it. John now took up the entirety of their flat on Baker Street.
Try as he might, Sherlock couldn’t bring himself to delete anything about John. John was an unending source of interest. One moment, Sherlock thought he’d have him pegged and the next, John would do something wholly unexpected. He was never dull. Nothing about John was useless.
The smell of tea, warm vanilla, and gunpowder wafted through the flat. Sherlock always associated it with John; homey, warm, and safe with a surprising trace of fortitude.
Sherlock wandered around his Mind Palace 221B, quietly examining what he’d gathered on Dr. John Hamish Watson.
In the upstairs bedroom were the very first deductions Sherlock had made about him, laying next to the unused cane in the wardrobe.
The nightstand next to the bed held John’s gun and Sherlock’s memories of all the times John had saved his life.
The kitchen was home to the consciousness that John required meals more frequently than Sherlock, a fact that Sherlock still forgot on occasion. Somewhere along the way, Sherlock had learned John’s tea preferences and those were concealed high in the cupboards behind the biscuits.
On the mantle near the skull rested Sherlock’s favorite part of John: his smiles. The small, polite one he gave to strangers; his ‘I’m only smiling so I don’t throttle you’ one that was really more of a grimace; his wide, genuine grin that was rarely seen, the one that left a fluttering sensation low in Sherlock’s belly.
The flat was endlessly John. Sherlock calculated that it would only be four months and a handful of weeks before John outgrew 221B as well and Sherlock would be forced to expand.
John was everywhere but most important was the small dusty wooden box in the center of the sitting room. It lay on the end table, locked tight.
The box held Sherlock’s emotions, safely hidden from the world. He’d long since learned that emotions were tedious but, like his knowledge of John, Sherlock could never bring himself to delete them.
Instead, he kept them locked away, rusty with disuse.
Sherlock wiped away the dust and held it carefully in his hands. Since John had limped into his life, the box had grown in size. It had lost some of its dullness and now glowed with newfound luster. The lock itself was smaller, less restricted. Sherlock placed it back on the table and swallowed over the lump in his throat.
John was slowly chipping away at Sherlock’s defenses and Sherlock wasn’t sure that that fact didn’t scare the hell out of him.