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Sherlock is perched in his chair following John’s movements as he dusts the room. John is humming as he usually does during such tasks (of course sometimes he is blustery and scolding too). The bathroom is already spotless and he has been warned not to start any experiments there for the next three days please Sherlock! I just want to enjoy a clean bathroom for a bit, please. That last please of course wasn’t required but John has added it  and Sherlock will agree. Plus, John had ensured that Sherlock had finished his bath and shave before he started and then spent a frankly ridiculously inordinate time on the task so it would be churlish of him not to agree. The living room is getting the same treatment now. John switches on the vacuum and it drowns both John’s humming and Mrs. Hudson’s daytime telly.

There is a pot of soup simmering on the stove (thanks to John’s experiments for easy healthy eating via one pot slow cooking). It smells good but it needs a bit more thyme. There is also something in the oven that he cannot discern. Though John is obviously going for the 'cook in bulk and always have some healthy home cooked food in the fridge or freezer'. They’ve been through similar fads before and mostly they’ve come out unscathed (except the no-caffeine one which left John so irritable that Sherlock was ready to dunk him in a tub of it at the end of the second day itself). Mostly it helps John feel good about himself and the care he is taking of his flatmate – colleague? partner? friend? best friend? Sherlock?

This has happened twelve times now since he woke up. No matter which task he takes up, he ends up with questions mired in this newfound freedom to stare and ask and touch and smile. So far it isn’t getting tedious because there are so many questions and he hopes that he can gather as many as possible and then begin experimenting to find their answers. He is now allowed to experiment in this regard.

Finally John finishes and switches of the stove. He pulls out the trays from the oven. Whole-wheat loaves and stuffed buns. Of course, given the whole healthy eating theme of the week. The buns obviously have as much vegetables and proteins as John could pack in, in the form a some delicious curry that John no doubt learnt from that Sri Lankan food blog he has been religiously bookmarking.

John is back from his shower (much needed) and is tiredly plating it up. Sherlock waits till he sets the bowls on the table. They are in the same positions he set yesterday. He gets up and seats himself on the same spot and John beams as if he’s just cured cancer. Is this the new norm then or is John thinking that Sherlock wants this? That’s 73 questions in all now. They hold hands again and finish the soup (yes, it does need more thyme but he still refuses to tell John) and two slices of the still warm loaf (surprisingly good). He washes and John tends to the tea. John is still smiling.

They repeat the previous night’s tea taking and then John gets up and holds his hand in clear invitation. Soon they are back on the sofa and Sherlock is once more wrapped around his blogger. But he isn’t sleepy today or remotely tired so he wonders if this is a good time to test some of his early hypothesis. The other part of him wonders what else could happen instead of going to sleep. He decides to go along with the latter.

John’s laughter rumbles through both of them. “How much do you need to think just to cuddle?”

Oh! Cuddle.

“How long should a hug last for it to be a cuddle?”

The two are simply different, Sherlock. For instance, you can’t cuddle standing up. But stop complicating things please. Just do what you want to do.”

“No, today you do what you want.”


“Yesterday I chose, so today you tell me what you want.”

“Ummm, Sherlock, I’m not sure.”

“In this case it’s best to ask and tell clearly. ? I’ll tell you clearly what I like or don’t. Trust me on that.”

Of course Sherlock paraphrases John. Hmmm so time to test it then.

“I like cuddling. But can we do it differently also?”


“Many ways actually. And not necessarily just cuddling. We can do this lying down. Or both wrapped around each other. Or just one of us doing it while the other goes about some thing. Or we could both be say watching telly. Or you could put your head or feet in my lap while I type or read. I could hug you while you rearrange your mind-palace. Whatever we want so long as both of us are ok.” John shrugs.

“Ok. Choose and yry one now.” Sherlock smiles into John’s hair as John huffs.

Soon they are lying down together and Sherlock is still wrapped around John albeit with minor adjustments. “This is equally good. I would suggest we try sleeping like this but I cannot just now and your arm will soon be numb.”

“Ok. We’ll switch then.” John mumbles sleepily.

“Are you going to sleep?” Sherlock looks up.

“Possibly. Sorry.”

Sherlock pauses and John laughs softly, “Just be yourself and stop me from napping. Because you are dying to ask more questions.”

Sherlock harrumphs, “Hardly dying, John.” He folds his arms on John’s chest and props his head on them smiling.

“I’ve liked everything so far. I would have preferred to wake up in the same position I fell asleep though. But I know it wasn’t practical. This would be easier wouldn’t it?”

John stills. “Umm yeah.”

“What is it?”

“Umm the sofa isn’t that comfortable.”

Clearly he is dissembling. Sherlock lifts his head again and focuses on his face. “We could use the bed then. Either of them.”

Even that has John clearly uncomfortable.

“Hmpf. Is this about going slowly or something? Because you usually don’t.”

“I told you I’m scared, Sherlock. This is one of the things.”

“Sleeping with me or scared to have sex with me.”


“Well you have been proclaiming yourself not gay so…”

“No, sorry… I mean. We just, like started yesterday—”

“Nonsense, John. We started way back. We just managed to stop being that scared yesterday.”

And it is such surprising wisdom from his dearest friend that John simply smiles and gathers him closer.

“Fine then, we will hold hands and hug and cuddle for the next three days.” Sherlock is obviously granting him a concession and John cant help his smile as he kisses the top of his precious head.