Sherlock is sitting in the back corner of the lab, peering down into the ocular lens of his favorite microscope, well, his favorite work microscope, when he hears the door open and shut with a quiet snick.
He doesn't look up. It's highly unlikely that whoever just arrived is here for him. Alternatively, it's very highly likely that whoever just stepped inside is a bumbling idiot, something Sherlock has little to no tolerance for. So he continues his work, scribbles notes, and tunes out the quiet conversation while the mass spectrometer whirs softly in the background until the words 'completely incompetent' break through his concentration.
He still doesn't look up, but he does listen more intently and is far from disappointed at what he hears.
"Your idiocy almost left a woman without a husband, and two children without a father. There is absolutely no margin for error when there are lives at stake. You do your job, and you do it right the first time. Every time."
Sherlock's curiosity gets the better of him and he looks up, and then he freezes. There, across the room, standing tall, with his wide shoulders drawn back and his head held high, glaring up at the terrified expression of his lab acquaintance (Sherlock refuses to address him as his partner because 'completely incompetent' doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of his stupidity) is a small blond man speaking in a low commanding voice.
It isn't the blazing anger rolling off the man in thick waves that brings Sherlock's mind to a stuttering halt. It isn't the clear compassion for the almost lost patient and his family that accounts for how hard his heart is suddenly pounding in his chest. It's not even the fact that someone other than himself has finally called his lab acquaintance out on his vast levels of ignorance that has Sherlock completely unable to rip his gaze away.
The man is bloody gorgeous.
Sherlock sucks in a quick, harsh breath and drags his eyes over the powerful and compact form of this beautiful man with his golden skin, sun burnished hair, and dark well trimmed beard. He bites at his lower lip as his mind comes to quick conclusions based on the wealth of information he gleans from the man's appearance.
He looks back up, and almost falls over to find midnight blue eyes trained on his, and one eyebrow quirked in an almost smug reaction to Sherlock's slow perusal of his body.
The man, evidently finished berating his lab acquaintance strides confidently over to Sherlock and holds out his hand.
"Hello." He says with a warm smile as Sherlock shakes his hand.
"I'm terribly sorry to disturb your work this way, but these things must be addressed."
Sherlock shakes his head furiously.
"No!" He nearly shouts, then drops his gaze as he feels a flush steal up the back of his neck and stain the tops of his ears red.
"I mean, yes. I agree. That's not a mistake that can be taken lightly Dr..." He trails off, realizing he doesn't know this man's name.
"Watson. John Watson." The man offers and when Sherlock looks back up into the deepest blue eyes he's ever seen there's a knowing gleam twinkling back at him.
"And you are?" The man asks softly.
"Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes."
"Well, Sherlock Holmes. What is someone as young as you doing in a forensics lab at Bart's?" He asks.
"I am only 23, but I have an incalculable I.Q. and a very meddlesome, but also extremely powerful brother. I was brought on about six months ago at his request. He seems to believe that being 'gainfully employed' will help keep me out of trouble." Sherlock says wth a roll of his eyes.
"Oh, I can guess that you're all kinds of trouble aren't you?" John asks, and smirks when Sherlock cheeks flame red.
"This pollen experiment," John says, gesturing towards the notes beneath Sherlock's hand. "Is it yours, or is it for a patient?" John asks.
Sherlock beams at him.
"Yes sir, it's mine."
Behind John Sherlock sees his lab acquaintance mouth the word 'sir' with a look of astonished confusion, and for once, Sherlock can't blame him. Even he's wondering how the hell he managed to let that one slip out. Dr. John Watson however, takes it in his stride as Sherlock pushes on with his explanation. "In my free time I help solves crimes for the Met. Whenever I have to appropriate hospital resources to help solve a crime, the hospital gets paid. As you might imagine, the hospital board has been all too happy to help facilitate this new working relationship." Sherlock says, and yes. Maybe he is a bit smug about how well this has all been working out for him.
"You're very clever, Sherlock Holmes." John says with a smile.
"Sherlock, please." Sherlock says with a light flush and a slight inclination of his head. "Captain or Major?" He asks quietly, and a small smile tugs at the corner of John's lips.
"Captain." John answers. "How did you know?" He asks
"Well, your haircut and the way you hold yourself says military. You work here, so obviously you're an army Doctor. You have a suntan on your face and hands but not above the wrists, so not recreational then. Clearly just back home from either Afghanistan or Iraq. You're rather forceful when you feel someone isn't working up to the standards you set and you're all too comfortable being called 'sir'. It wasn't a very difficult leap."
"Afghanistan." John says with a nod. "Wow, that was brilliant." he continues in an awestruck voice. Sherlock feels his cheeks go red again, and curses his fair complexion.
"Although there are other reasons a man might be used to being called 'sir'." John says, quirking that damned eyebrow again and smiling rakishly up at Sherlock.
Sherlock draws his lower lip into his mouth and nibbles at it lightly, unable to break the eye contact.
John's phone chimes and the spell is broken when he tears his gaze away from Sherlock's to look down at the display.
"Well, I have to be off. Duty calls." He says with a slight shake of his phone.
"I hope to see you again very soon." He adds.
Sherlock nods, unable to find his voice, and John smirks back at him.
"It was very nice to meet you Sherlock." He finishes as Sherlock walks him to the door, and with a quick wink and a small press of his hand to Sherlock's forearm, he's gone.
Mindful of the shocked eyes of his lab acquaintance Sherlock strides calmly back to his seat and goes back to peering into his microscope, but he isn't paying attention.
He's too busy still feeling the warmth of John's hand on his arm, as if there hadn't been two layers of fabric between them.
He sighs, stands, and leaves the lab. There's no point in staying, he already knows he's going to be useless for the rest of the day.
He makes his way to a staff loo and locks the door, then leans over one of the sinks and stares at his reflection in the mirror before him, trying to corral his racing thoughts.
"What the hell was that?" He asks himself out loud, and is completely unsurprised when no answer is forthcoming.
Sherlock has no clue what just happened, but what he does know is that against all the odds, he has to have John Watson.