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As I think I have explained to you many times before, romantic entanglement, while fulfilling for other people-”

-would complete you as a human being.”

      Sherlock and John, The Lying Detective

 

“I am not gay,” John grumbles as he moves around the flat, more to keep himself busy than to actually accomplish anything. He has been in a foul mood since the woman he had been flirting with turned him down because she thought that he and Sherlock were a couple. Again. The fact that this isn't even the tenth time something like this has happened should maybe tell him something. As is, he is too annoyed to accept the message.

From his position on on the couch, Sherlock huffs and rolls his eyes. “Really John, it's not as if it is an actual lose. She would not have lasted a week with you.”

“That's not the point,” John snaps at him, face set in an angry frown. Because it's not. It's the principal of the matter.

“Kleptomaniac,” is all Sherlock says, but he feels that is all he needs to say.

And now John is pouting, although he would never call it that himself. “Alright, fine. But it's not as if this is the first time this has happened either now is it? I am tired of potential girlfriends being run off because my sexuality is constantly in question.”

“They don't last because they are all idiots,” Sherlock corrects, “Really John, if you didn't have such horrid taste in partners, this wouldn't be a problem.”

“You don't help in the slightest either,” John continues as if he doesn't hear a thing, “always interrupting my dates or pulling me away or getting us kidnapped.”

Sherlock rolls his eyes. “That was one time, when are you going to let that go? And don't make me repeat myself – they are all idiots,” he repeats himself anyways because then maybe John will finally understand.

“No it's because you're a possessive git.” John glares at him, arms crossed. “It's almost as if you want me all to yourself forever, isn't it?”

Sherlock can see the exact moment a realization dawns on his face and braces himself.

“Sherlock-” he begins.

Sherlock sighs. “Don't be tedious. I told you before that dating wasn't my area.”

“No, you told me girlfriends weren't your area. You never did deny that boyfriends were.”

“How juvenile,” Sherlock snorts in disgust, “Boyfriends, girlfriends, it sounds as if we are back in Year 7 and giggling about holding hands. The English language has failed to come up with a better way to describe one's partner and-”

“That still doesn't answer my question,” John interrupts. “It's fine if it is, I told you that too.”

John is not going to let this go. Damn. “And you are bisexual so I would hope so,” Sherlock says with a wave of his hand. “Really this is getting to be quite tedious, are you done yet?”

“I just wanted to make sure-”

“Yes, thank you for that needless reassurance,” Sherlock now is the one interrupting, hoping to move things along, “but I promise you that it is just that. I do not do romantic partnerships. Period. I never had the desire before and I still do not now. Just because the rest of society sees it as the supposed key to humanity or some such rubbish does not mean that I agree with it. I am perfectly fine without.”

John's frown now turns from an angry one to one of concern. He sits down in his chair and looks at Sherlock intently. “Never?” he asks, “Doesn't that get lonely?”

“Don't be dull. Simply because I do not form romantic connections with other people does not mean I cannot connect in other ways. Romantic love is not the holy grail of all relationships.”

John's mouth twitches into a smile. “You know what the holy grail is?” he teases.

“It was for a case.” It sounds defensive to Sherlock's own ears, which is a bad sign. It means he is taking this conversation much too seriously. If he continues to be dismissive of it, John will drop the topic. If he acts too much like he has something to hide then John will never let it go. Fortunately he seems to have missed Sherlock's slip.

“Sure it was,” disbelief is clear in his voice, “Wait, don't form connections or don't want to?”

Or not. Damn. “I don't. At all. Period. The end. Happy now?” Sherlock braces himself for what is sure to come. If he's heard it once, he's heard it a thousand times before. Heartless. Cold, unfeeling bastard. Freak. Because apparently if it is not romantic love then it does not count.

John blinks at him. “You mean you're aromantic?”

Sherlock gives a curt nod, only vaguely surprised that John knows the label at all. Hmm, research about the community when Harry came out likely.

“Oh. Well alright then, sorry about that.” John rubs his the back of his head sheepishly, “guess I never thought about that before.” And doesn't he feel like a right twit now for pushing the topic. It's not a common orientation, but that still isn't an excuse.

It comes to Sherlock once again that John Watson will forever be surprising him. “Nothing else to say about how it's just a phase? Or that I haven't met the right person yet? Or how it makes sense that I am a sociopath after all?”

“People are right wankers aren't they?” John asks instead. Because they are. There's a reason he doesn't talk about his bisexuality after all. Well, more than one reason, but he isn't going to get into that now. He hums thoughtfully, “Besides, I think you have already, haven't you?” The thought still hasn't left him, just changed now.

Sherlock jerks as if hit. “What?” Didn't he just get done saying that he was aromantic? Is John going to be a prick about this after all?

“This still doesn't change the fact that you're a possessive git,” he says, “And are constantly ruining my dates, now does it?”

Sherlock sits up, glaring fiercely, just daring him to keep talking. “If you are going to mock-” But he doesn't continue because John gets up from his chair and joins Sherlock on the couch, using is body to knock him back down. “What are you doing?”

“Making sure you can't run away – physically or mentally,” John taps a finger to Sherlock's forehead, right under one of his wild curls, “Not while you were thinking – whatever it is you're thinking. Nothing good from the looks of it.”

“John-” Sherlock growls.

“No, listen for one moment. I know we're crap at this and so we don't do it,” John shakes his head. Yeah, talking, not really their thing. Not talking about what really matters anyways, “But I think this should be an exception. I'm not poking mind you, but Sherlock,” he licks his lips nervously, “do you want to live together? Permanently I mean, not just flatmates, but partners.” That isn't the word he wants to use, but he can't think of a better one right now. Sherlock is right about that. There isn't always a right word to describe certain relationships.

Sherlock can feel the fight go out of him at the question. “Would it be so bad?” he asks, not actually looking at John as he does, “Living with me without anyone else getting in the way? I don't care about sex, but you keep looking for women as if this is just a pause and not a place to stop. It's inane and tedious and a waste of time when none of them are going to be able to appreciate you correctly.”

John can't help the smile that tugs at his mouth. Doesn't even try to stop it. Leave it to Sherlock to answer a question like that. Maybe it shouldn't be so endearing, but it is. That should also likely tell him something right there. And this time he listens. “What's tedious,” he repeats, just to tease Sherlock's word choice, “is the way you keep chasing everyone who isn't you off. And since it looks as if you are never going to stop, I guess I am going to have to settle here.”

Sherlock turns to John now and examines his expression. He is smiling and warm, not at all resigned as the word 'settle' would suggest. So not settling, but to settle here then. Obviously. There's no sign to show that he dislikes the idea either. Quite the opposite in fact if that smile is anything to go by. He sniffs and relaxes into John's hold. “Good, it will save time, not having to get rid of all the idiots in your life.”

“I knew you were doing it on purpose.” John pokes him in the side. “Possessive git,” he says for a third time now. But he is still smiling.

Sherlock rolls his eyes at him. Honestly John.

Neither of them move.