The warmth of a solitary, rebellious ray of light seeping in from between the blinds stirred a consciousness in John. Made apparent by the contrasting chill that stuck permanently to Sherlock’s room, the tickle of warmth tugged John’s mouth into a ghost of a smile before he could fully appreciate why.
Heat growing on his exposed cheek, his mind stirred with other thoughts, attention directing to his left leg, prickling in a deep asleep because of Sherlock’s own legs that lay on top of it. Groggy eyes opened to take in the scene before him, beauty striking his heart with joy with every detail that trickled into focus.
However John had thought Sherlock might sleep before they shared a room, the truth was the complete opposite. Sherlock had two sides to him: the one people focused on, and the one people dismissed. His edges were concentrated on, his softness ignored. John, so ignorant when he met Sherlock, would have imagined Sherlock slept on his back, hands folded together, perhaps not even bothering to use a blanket. If he did use a blanket, he barely wrinkled the sheets. After all, Sherlock didn’t feel anything. He didn’t need comfort. Right?
Wrong. John had been a bloody fool for not picking up on it sooner; his coldness was nothing more than a defense. But Sherlock was always open with John. What he came to see, slowly, was his hidden compassion and willingness to grow. His softness showed in the small kindnesses he did for John, in his reactions when people threw rude comments at him, in his attention to the small but important details.
When Sherlock slept, that was exclusively the side that came out. Sherlock at rest was a mass of tangled limbs, his body ignoring every law of standard flexibility in favor of achieving maximum comfort. For a man so alert in consciousness, he slept through nearly every eventuality, waking only when he deemed it acceptable to do so. It was entirely possible for him to sleep through gunshots, raucous music, and various other noises that would wake John instantly.
John kept his eyes determinedly focused on the man beside him, his heart hurting with love at the way his mouth hung open in a comically wide manner. A slow dribble of saliva fell out of one dainty corner of his mouth, the left sleeve of his robe absorbing the pool of fluid. His left arm supported his head while his elbow wrapped around his head of curls. The result left his lanky fingers dangling several centimeters from tickling his own right ear.
It hurt, truly, to behold him. Sherlock: so beautiful, all angles, yet so innocent, all show in the day, yet so soft in sleep. John’s heart contracted tightly, his fingers itching to reach out and stroke the gentle, exposed cheek before him.
There was nothing to stop him but his own conscious, uncomfortable to touch Sherlock when he wasn’t awake to give permission. Even a simple stroke of his cheek felt so intimate to John that he didn't want to take advantage unless Sherlock knew it was occurring.
A violent vibration against his hip shook him from thoughts of touching his boyfriend. John lifted his hips enough to grasp roughly for the culprit, his fingers searching blindly before wrapping around his phone. Squinting against the light, John quickly turned down the brightness of the device to see-
“Molly?” said John in a breath loaded with confusion. Molly didn’t text him, as a reliable rule. She texted Sherlock, sure, but never him.
John input the password to gain access to the message, fingers stumbling over the numbers in his urgency to see what the waiting text said. As it opened before him, confusion and dread grew in equal measure.
Good morning, John. I don’t know if this is true but I thought you’d want to know about it either way.
There was a link below the message. His finger slid to it, his eyebrows growing closer together to inspect his screen, completely baffled.
Sherlock Holmes and Biographer: Their Secret Affair Exposed
The Sun is proud to announce that we have obtained an exclusive look into the secret life of Sherlock Holmes, nationally renowned detective. The self-proclaimed “consulting detective” has been making national headlines with the help of his biographer and flatmate, John Watson.
Watson, who writes in detail on his blog of Holmes’ cases, is also a veteran who serves in Afghanistan. Famously adamant that they have no intimate relationship outside of being friends and colleagues, we can confirm their denial is a lie.
That’s right: Sherlock Holmes and John Watson have been caught in a web of lies concerning the nature of their relationship. A massive number of emails and texts between the two have been submitted from an anonymous but reliable source. The content shows explicit and irrefutable proof that the two have been engaged in a romantic and sexual relationship for some time.
“You were brilliant, as always,” writes Watson three months ago in a text. “I cannot wait to show you how brilliant tonight when we get home.”
“I am missing my conductor of light,” wrote Holmes in an email while records show that Watson was off in Scotland for a case. “Having a wank isn’t the same as having you here to help achieve the ends.”
The communications, varying from sickly sweet to inappropriately crude, are extensive and conclusive: Holmes and Watson are in a steamy relationship. Will they continue the lie or finally come clean?
By Maureen Lanista, correspondent for The Sun
John’s mouth felt quite dry, now. Much too dry. His heart both raced too rapidly and seemed to have stopped working altogether. Chest tight, breathing shallow, and stomach in his pelvis, his mind raced as it tried to allow the article to soak in.
Their affair, so perfect and wonderful, was only so because it did not need explanation or interference from the world. They never worried about anything other than each other. They meant the world to each other, their relationship blooming into a healthy flower as a result of the absence of pressure.
Now this article… Now their emails, their content…
This was worse than if they had simply announced their relationship together. Suddenly, with no consent, John was out to the world. His family, friends, ex-girlfriends, everybody now knew: he was bisexual. Sherlock, whose sexuality had been a long-time question for many, was exposed too. They hadn’t had any say in the matter.
Their decision to keep their relationship quiet was their own, deciding that it was best for their relationship, their peace of mind, and even their business as consulting detectives. They hadn’t wanted to make each other a target for any psychopath who wanted to hurt one of them.
Of course, they were not subtle when they were in public. However, the constant “no homo” culture around them made the jokes about their relationship nothing more than that: jokes. John never truly felt like he was in danger of being sincerely outed.
A complete violation of privacy. A public call-out of their lies, their sexual relationship, their sexual orientation.
This wasn’t how it was supposed to be.
He was not ashamed, but he wanted it on his terms. He had wanted to tell his family- even Molly and Lestrade- before going public. He wanted to talk to Sherlock about the best way to approach it.
His mobile buzzed again. This time, a message from Lestrade.
Morning, mate. Listen… thought you should see this before you find out the wrong way. Reckon it’s not my business to make assumptions, I didn’t read past the first paragraph to respect your privacy. But you should give it a read… Sorry, John.
Several seconds later, a second buzz. He sent the link separately and John’s panic rose higher. It was spreading.
There was nothing for it, he needed to wake Sherlock up and tell him. He knew the task of waking the rock that lay beside him would not be easy.
“Sherlock,” whispered John in a shaking voice, laying a hand on his right shoulder and giving a light shake.
John nearly jumped at the suddenness of Sherlock’s movement. Shooting straight up and looking at John with drowsy but focused eyes, his tone held barely a shred of sleep when he said: “What’s wrong, darling?”
Sherlock’s eyes scanned the article rapidly, but he took about as long as John had because he read through it several times. His reaction had been more contained than John’s and he wondered if he was hiding his panic in an attempt to appear strong for John, who was comparably a mess.
Always a man of action, Sherlock rose in a blur and briskly walked from the room. His robe swung freely in the breeze since he had neglected to tie the garment closed, but the sight of his marble body brought no objections from John as he made to follow him.
“Your laptop, John. Fetch it,” came Sherlock’s voice from the living room.
John learned long ago not to question his instructions and he wasn’t about to start now. Irritated, he swept away a mass of clothing that was hiding his laptop beside the long-empty bed in what used to be his room. He carried it with him into the living room, sat in a slump onto the couch, and was grateful to find a decent charge on the thing when he opened it up.
Sherlock sat at the desk with his laptop open in front of him His fingers were a temple under his nose, his eyes flat on the unmoving computer screen that was still loading.
“What’s the plan?” asked John when his own laptop had loaded first to show him his bare-bones home screen.
“They hacked our email, we will plant emails.” He said it with no glance up, no indication that there could be anything wrong with his plan at all.
John could think of one rather large flaw.
“But… the emails are already leaked.”
“Fakes. Obviously,” he said with a straight face, but as John stared at him in confusion, his eyes lifted to his, a wink directed at him. The corner of his mouth lifted into a smirk when he looked back to his computer.
John felt a smile creep along his face despite himself. “But who will believe that?”
“Simple, darling,” his eye rose to John’s once again, his hand sweeping before him with a dainty wrist movement. “There is no proof that those emails of texts are authentic. With an anonymous source, they are unreliable and easily disproved. We send each other emails, forge the dates, submit them as contradicting proof. With the source being ourselves, it will convince enough people that The Sun, famous for poor journalism, either lied or accepted a fake source.”
“Brilliant,” breathed John, his eyes shooting pure love to his boyfriend.
“In time, we will announce our relationship. But this is not acceptable, what they’ve done. Plus, it will feel so good to discredit their shady “gotcha” journalism.”
John nodded in agreement, opening up his own email and preparing an email to Sherlock’s personal address.
“Me first,” said Sherlock with unmistakable excitement coating his voice. “We’ll do it as though it was while you were away in Scotland, I think.” He picked up his computer with one hand and moved to take the seat next to John on the couch. “That way we can discredit their claim that we were together at that point. If we can discredit part of their claim, the whole thing will fall apart.” Sherlock’s fingers flexed a few times before his fingers flew across the board in a blur. While Sherlock had a devilish smile on his face, his eyebrows stitched together trying to figure out why before he turned his eyes to the screen.
Dear John Watson,
We’ve been way too out of touch. Things have been crazy and it sucks that we don’t talk that much. But I should tell you that I think of you each night. I rub my nipples and start moaning with delight.
John let out a bark of laughter, playfully shoving Sherlock with his elbow as he exclaimed: “Why would you write that?!”
Sherlock attempted a straight face, but his eyes were alight with mischief. “I’m just trying to tell the truth,” he said innocently.
“Ha-ha,” said John, voice dripping with sarcasm. “Very funny. But this needs to be perfect, these emails need to prove that we were actually just friends.”
“But-” Sherlock pouted.
“Just let me do it, yeah?”
John moved his own computer to the side and pried the other computer away from Sherlock’s beautifully long fingers. John held down the backspace button until the last two sentences of what Sherlock wrote disappeared.
I gotta tell you life without you has been hard-
“Hard?” whispered Sherlock seductively in John’s ear.
John repressed a smile, erasing the word.
has been bad-
“How bad?” whispered Sherlock even more softly this time, his teeth grazing the skin of John’s earlobe. A shudder shot down John’s spine, but he forced himself to focus. He once more deleted the words and typed:
has been rough.
“Ooooh,” breathed Sherlock, the breath sending goosebumps along John’s entire right side. “Kinky.”
John forced his mind to focus, promising his body he would give in when this was sorted out.
And I miss talking about life and other stuff.
“Oh, that’s so specific,” scoffed Sherlock, pulling away suddenly and rolling his eyes. “I wouldn’t say that.”
“Shut up!” bellowed John, but lacking any real sincerity. “I can’t focus with your damn teeth and perfect mouth on me. It’s… distracting. Let me type.”
I love my colleagues-
A dramatic scoff and an even more dramatic eye roll tested John’s patience, his fingers pausing over the keyboard. “What?” said John defensively.
“Who the bloody hell says that they love their colleagues ?”
John reckoned he actually had a good point with that one, but he would be damned before he’d admit it. Instead, he silently rewrote:
I like my colleagues, but each day’s another fight with the lot of them. If I stop smoking drugs then maybe I would be alright.
“ Smoking drugs? ” Sherlock said with a howl of laughter, unmistakable mockery in his tone.
John’s patience was running thin. “Then fix it, for God’s sake. What should we say you smoke?”
“Crack?!” John said in alarm.
“Yes. Crack cocaine.” Sherlock said it with the air of someone discussing the overcast weather of London.
It must have been the incredulous look on John’s face that made Sherlock finally say, after a long silence, “Fine. We’ll say pot. Marijuana.”
“Better,” said John in a mumble, still unable to believe Sherlock had proposed “crack” as the drug he claims to smoke in the email they were planning to release to the public.
If I stop smoking pot then everything might be alright. I’ve been taking your advice and trying to be nicer, too. I’m trying to turn it around, trying to get by without your friendship.
“There!” said John, satisfied with himself. “This works because it shows that we are close, but not too close. Close enough to confide in one another and miss each other, but we also are explicitly friends here.”
“Works for me,” said Sherlock lazily, already distracted by something else in the room. “Are we done?”
John laughed, shaking his head minutely at the ridiculous man he loved. “This was your idea, you know.”
“Ah, that’s right. Dumb idea.”
“No,” said John, so quickly that he almost interrupted Sherlock. “It’s brilliant. But we cannot just give them one email. They need to be perfect and show that we are actually good friends, nothing more.”
A long groan escaped Sherlock then. He was bored, but there was nothing to be done about it. John placed Sherlock’s laptop back in his lap, bringing his own back to compose a response email.
He thought for a long moment, fingers dancing just along the tops of the keys without enough pressure to push any of them.
Dear Sherlock Holmes,
Yes, I also miss our talks. Just stop doing drugs altogether, damn it. Just try to take deep breaths and go on walks. Attached, please see pictures of the most amazing trees. I think you’ll be impressed by my improved forest expertise. I’ve learned so much here in Scotland.
Sherlock didn’t interrupt this time, but John felt his body shake with silent laughter as he typed out the message. John was smiling too, the message was so different from how they really spoke together.
He was playing a character, he knew. It felt too formal, like two messages sent from acquaintances rather than good friends or best mates. But John knew the standard for male friendship was so low, it would pass.
“Oh,” said Sherlock quickly as he grabbed the computer from John’s hands and typed a sentence before the signature.
My sister’s hot.
“What the fuck?” said John, sincere confusion behind the question.
Sherlock looked proud, however. “We are pretending we are straight.” Sherlock wilted as John lightly shook his head at him. “We’re straight! You think women are hot!” he defended.
“Sherlock, we’re pretending to be straight, not gross.”
Sherlock silently conceded defeat, giving John back his laptop with a bit too much strength behind the motion. His arms folded and John promised himself that he would make it up to him three times over when this ordeal was done.
The thought brought John’s body temperature up a few degrees. His cheeks flushed with anticipation and he would be quite surprised if Sherlock didn’t already know what was on his mind.
“Okay, let’s get this over with,” said John with an attempt to sound as though he was impatient because he found the ordeal irritating. The truth, of course, is that he was impatient because he wanted to fuck his boyfriend.
Sherlock shut the laptops simultaneously, surprising John with the motion. When John opened his mouth to protest, Sherlock cut him off. “I think a few short text messages. We can screenshot them and edit those dates and times as well.”
“Brilliant, as always,” said John, planting a gentle kiss on the cheekbone of the man he loved.
Thank you for continuing to text me through your travels, my dear Watson. -SH
The message came through to John’s phone in real time, the message sending a flurry of butterflies through his stomach despite himself.
I am simply glad to call you a friend.
John refrained from looking over to Sherlock’s phone, though he didn’t know why. He almost wanted it- these faked messages- to be a surprise. Sherlock was always surprising him in the most beautiful ways. A buzz ran through his hands as his message came through:
Our friendship goes beyond the average kind of bond. -SH
Then, before John could begin to type his response, a second vibration.
But not because we’re gay. -SH
John couldn’t hold in the bark of laughter, but he muffled it to a soft chuckle.
No, of course not because we’re gay. What a weird thing to say.
We’re close, but not that way. -SH
In fact, the only man that I love is my dad.
It was Sherlock’s turn to laugh. As he typed his response, his toes slid beneath John’s bum, the cold contrast of it sending sharp jolts of excitement though John.
I agree. Well anyway, enjoy your day. -SH
In a dramatic show that took John by surprise, Sherlock flung his mobile across the room, not caring in the slightest about the resulting crash it made as it collided with the tile of their fireplace.
“I’m done,” announced Sherlock, stretching his arms high above his head, causing his robe to lift away from his torso and exposing enough body to drive John absolutely wild.
In an attempt to lick his lips, John became aware of just how dry his mouth was. His eyes fell with a measured speed over the perfect body before him. He was careful not to take any detail for granted: not the dip below his breastbone, not the supreme pelvic bone protruding to define his hips, and not the creamy color of his skin that seemed to sparkle in the dim morning light falling through the nearby window.
When his stretch concluded, Sherlock caught John in his appreciation of his body. He looked at John through hooded eyes, batting his eyelashes innocently in a way that he knew drove John insane.
“What now, captain ?” asked the flawless man who sat mere inches from him, yet was far too far away. His voice was dripping with insinuation, two pale fingers delicately tugging at the fabric that covered his pelvis until it fell away. Half of his body was cloaked in a silk robe that hung to his body, the other half was exposed, the silk falling down his arm and onto the couch below them.
An animalistic growl escaped him, his body moving as quickly as it could to scoop his enticing boyfriend into his arm. Sherlock loved being carried like this and John loved carrying him. With Sherlock in his arms, he strode into the room- their room- and made good on the promise he had made himself earlier.