There was no reason this night should be any different to any other night, except that it felt different. They sat in their chairs, nursing their Scotch; the fire crackled and small remarks broke the quiet every now and again. The heavy warmth was not smothering, but comforting; the snow outside effectively cocooning them from the world. There had been dozens of nights spent thus, and would likely be a dozen more, but to Sherlock, this night felt different. Perhaps it was the close calls of the past week – three that John knew of, two others foiled by Mycroft; perhaps the contented look John wore tonight, despite his lack of girlfriend. Whatever it was, Sherlock decided impulsively that now was the time.
“John,” he started, and stopped.
John looked up at him, eyes half closed as he almost dozed in his chair. “Hmmm?”
“You haven’t had a girlfriend in several months.” Sherlock pointed out.
“Yes.” John replied, and the lack of alarm in his tone gave Sherlock courage.
“Are you waiting for someone?” Sherlock asked, heart pounding. He tried to keep his tone light, though a tremor ran through it.
John raised one eyebrow, cocking his head ever so slightly as he studied Sherlock.
“Perhaps I am.” He replied. His gaze was level and Sherlock had the sudden feeling that John knew his thoughts. He was afraid to speak again, but John broke the silence first. “I hadn’t realised it, but I am actually committed to someone else. I’m not sure if they know, though.”
Sherlock nodded his head slowly, noting the slight smile John now wore. Was he teasing Sherlock?
“Would you tell them?” He ventured.
John considered this. “Perhaps, if I thought they were interested in me.”
Sherlock stared at this, wondering how to let John know that he was interested without letting John know he was interested.
“If that person was interested,” Sherlock asked, “how would you know?”
“A well timed smile would do it, I’d say.” John said, his eyes never leaving Sherlock’s face. Hesitantly, Sherlock smiled at John, a blush gracing his cheeks as he did so. John’s grin was wider and more confident, and he summarily put down his glass and rose to move over to Sherlock, pulling him out of his chair, only to push again, so Sherlock sat on the arm of his own chair, now a similar height to John. John’s hands were gentle on Sherlock’s waist and on his face, eyes comforting and reassuring before they fluttered closed at the warm press of lips against lips. Sherlock sighed, melting a little into John, who held him tighter as they kissed.
“Why tonight?” John asked, as they eventually finished kissing, standing close enough to breathe the same air, arms anchoring each to the other.
“Le mieux est l’ennemi du bien.” Sherlock said.
John frowned. “Je ne connais pas cette phrase. Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?”
Sherlock blinked. “You understood?”
John shrugged. “I understood the words, but not the meaning.”
“The best is the enemy of the good.” Sherlock translated, but John still frowned. “In reaching for a pinnacle, a satisfactory level of being may be lost.” As John still appeared mystified, Sherlock sighed. “I did not want to lose the companionship I had with you in pursuit of something more, John.”
“But still the question stands,” John pressed, “Why tonight?”
Sherlock shrugged, unable to explain his intuition. “Il semblait juste.”
Finally John’s expression cleared as he understood. “Oh, Sherlock,” he whispered, “It’s always been right.”