Winter came slowly, almost sluggish. It was always cold yes, but never cold enough for snow. Instead it rained. The world seemed grey, more so than usual. Except it really wasn’t. Not with Sherlock Holmes by your side.
John had met the boy at the start of term. He’d transferred from some posh boarding school, where he had caused enough trouble to be expelled despite his extraordinary intellect. He was rude and he was a bit ignorant and he was definitely very much not normal. But he was also utterly brilliant. The first time they’d met Sherlock had told him that he knew John was considering studying medicine but was also intrigued by the idea of joining the army. He told him that he played the clarinet he didn’t like playing all that much even though he was good at it. He told him that he and his sister didn’t get on, that it was probably due to a problematic situation with his father and that that was probably John’s reason for always feeling like he wasn’t good enough. Well. So far so good.
John wasn’t the only one at the receiving end of such a ‘deduction’ as Sherlock called it. Most people were annoyed at best and seriously offended and revengeful at worst. John wasn’t. He wasn’t sure why. It was a certain charming charisma that Sherlock carried with him. It drew him in. It appealed to him. He felt like a bloody moth and Sherlock Holmes seemed like the brightest and most radiant bit of light.
So they became friends. He wasn’t quite sure how it happened. The boy with the pale skin and dark curls wasn’t exactly what one would call sociable. But somehow, in some way they just seemed to click. To match. And Sherlock the bloody control freak seemed to be as incapable of escaping it as he was.
Which was only a small comfort considering that John was developing a terribly unfortunate crush on his classmate. Tough luck that was. Not only did John have to fall for a boy ('And try explaining that to mom and dad Johnny!’ 'Shut up Harry’) but it was also a boy that had made it quite clear that he wasn’t interested in any kind of 'romantic entanglement’ as he’d call it.
“So you don’t wanna have a girlfriend? Never ever?” he’d ask one day as they were sitting in the library. He could tell that Sherlock was annoyed that he was speaking to him when he was currently engrossed in some book called '100 types of Wool and how to differentiate them’. “Girlfriends? No, not really my area” it was said so dismissively that John almost missed the implication of it. When it finally hit him he mastered the situation as smoothly as ever of course.
“Oh… OH! Uh so, what about a, you know a boyfriend then..?”
He hadn’t been sure if the fact that Sherlock actually bothered to look up from his book and give him an intense stare was a good or bad thing.
He also hadn’t been sure if he was imagining things or if Sherlock actually seemed kind of flustered when he answered.
“Sentiment.. is not an advantage. It distracts you, derails you. I need to be focused. My brain is what counts. Everything else is just transport.”
And there it was. Sherlock Holmes wasn’t interested in dating. Even if he was gay (which John wasn’t even sure about) he very clearly didn’t care for relationships. He liked to pretend that it hadn’t stung the way it had but he was a bad liar and apparently that wasn’t any different when it came to lying to himself. So yeah. Just gotta deal with it. You’re friends, he told himself. Enjoy it and stay away from everything else. And he did do that. For a while at least. But it got more and more difficult as time flew by and they grew closer.
Before he knew it Christmas holidays were coming around and their last day of school was over. John was looking forward to a break from school but he wasn’t terribly keen on being home all day. His mom would probably drink too much, his dad would yell at her and Harry would only sit in her room pretending none of it was happening. Which was a reasonable choice he supposed, but still. He’d also miss Sherlock. Of course he wouldn’t ever tell him that. But he could admit it in a small, silent corner of his mind where no harsh voices would chastise him for feeling those things and no cruel whispers reminded him of the fact that he’d never have that one thing he was so desperately yearning for. It was a dangerous corner, full of dreams and hopes and fantasies and he knew not to linger there, to only stay as long as he absolutely had to.
He’d gotten carried away before, lying on his bed, getting lost and lost and lost in it all. He’d fallen too deep, and an intense longing had settled in his heart and stomach. It had taken him three days to snap out of it. He made sure to keep himself occupied, be busy with school or football or his medicine books that he neatly stashed away in his bookshelf. But at times he still felt himself dangling dangerously close to the edge of that dark pit. Especially when the holidays came around and there wasn’t the endless chatter of every day life surrounding him.
But despite all that, his life wasn’t grey these days. And for once the world outside wasn’t either. It was like all little kids had simultaneously asked Santa for a little Christmas miracle, because weather forecast had absolutely not predicted snow and yet here they were, standing outside the school, watching the soft flakes fall and create a white blanket of coldness that slowly but surely covered everything and everyone.
“Who’d have thought that we’d get to actually see some snow this year, eh?”
The excited blabber of younger students almost drowned out Mike Stamford’s voice.
John made a hum of agreement and looked around, taking in all the laughing faces and excited smiles. A wave of something washed over him.
Mike looked at him funny “I said I’m gonna head home now are you coming along?”
“Uh no I’m waiting for Sherlock actually, you can go if you like” John pretended not to notice the knowing glint in Mike’s eyes.
“Ah alright” he winked at him and John gave him a look. “Have fun then kids, but not too much fun”
John rolled his eyes at him “Shut up” he muttered as he felt heat creep up to his neck. He’d hinted at his feelings for Sherlock before, when he and Mike had gone to a party. John had been in a bad mood before they even got there, the party sucked too and all the kissing couples only served as a reminder of John’s own misery. So he’d gotten trashed that night. In hindsight it really hadn’t been the best of ideas not only because of his massive hangover but also because he’d drunkenly answered Mike when he’d asked why exactly he was so upset
“M'not. It’s just- just look at him.”
“Look at who?”
He’d shaken his head ruefully, barely having heard his friend “His eyes are so blue. And his hair. I just wanna touch it. It’d even be kay if he didn want that, a proper relationship with touchin’ , I’d still-still want it I think. Him I mean. S'just I wanna hear his voice, I wanna be with him”
Mike hadn’t exactly been sober at the time but he wasn’t nearly as hammered as he’d been and unfortunately hadn’t forgotten about that conversation. He was also able to conclude who he’d been talking about that night. Ever since then there seemed to be some kind of mutual understanding that Mike would tease him about this and John would snap back at him or just ignore him. Mike didn’t mean any harm, he knew that, in fact the day after the party he had pulled him aside and more or less awkwardly told him to go for it, follow his heart and all that stuff and that he had his blessings. It had meant a lot to John, to have someone who knew about it, someone who assured him it was fine. Still that didn’t mean he wanted to talk about it. Luckily Mike didn’t force him to, he simply gave another wink and a salute and went on his way wishing him happy holidays.
John waited for a few more minutes before he spotted the dark curls from far away, making their way through the crowd, a sour look on the face that was attached to them. John bit his lip to keep from smiling when Sherlock finally came to a stop next to him. He hated and loved it, the way his heart beat a little faster and his palms got a little sweaty.
Sherlock’s reply was nothing more than a vague grunt.
“Sorry? Didn’t catch that I’m afraid” he couldn’t help but grin a little now as Sherlock shot him a dirty look.
“All these people just standing around, talking about nonsense, wasting their time and more importantly mine.”
John laughed. God he’d miss this.
“They’re just enjoying themselves I think. You ready to go?”
Sherlock nodded and John threw his bag over his shoulder. They started walking down the street, side by side. John’s hand kept twitching in the pocket of his jacket, the thought of holding Sherlock’s hand in his crossing his mind more than once.
“I don’t remember it ever snowing like this for Christmas.” he noted absently.
Sherlock’s brow furrowed and he stared at the increasing amount of white that gathered on the ground.
“I don’t see why it’s a necessity now”
“Oh come on Sherlock, you must’ve some nice memories of snow. Building a snowman, having snowball fights, making snow angels… Kids love that stuff” John remembered his own childhood. It wasn’t always bright and good even back then, but it was better. They’d go to the park, him and Harry packed in big snowsuits, scarf around their neck, giant beanie on their head. One time they even managed to build something like an igloo. It was only big enough to fit a squirrel, yeah but they’d build it, their father helping with the tricky parts, their mom taking a picture of their proud grinning faces. He swallowed. Things were different now. But snow was still snow wasn’t it?
“I’m not a kid anymore am I?” Sherlock looked distant and John figured that perhaps his friend had been lost in some memories of his own.
There was a short silence before John made a decision. A rash one, pure intuition, not yet approved by logical reasoning.
“Doesn’t mean you can’t have fun” and with those words he made a sharp turn, crossing the street and heading towards the nearest park, the one he knew so well. For once it seemed like he’d actually caught Sherlock of guard.
“What are you doing?” he could hear the surprise in Sherlock’s voice and once again he had to bite his lip hard to keep from smiling.
“Going to the park”
Sherlock finally caught up with him.
“Would you mind telling me why?”
He shrugged and said the first thing that came to mind, the one thing he was sure was true since he didn’t quite know why exactly either.
“I don’t wanna go home yet” magically enough that seemed to shut Sherlock up for a moment. He could feel the blue eyes on him, studying, deducing but he refused to return the look. He was doing this. The fact that Sherlock seemed slightly floored by his behaviour was only encouraging him further.
Soon enough they reached the metallic gates their blackish colour already hidden under the freshly fallen snow. John stopped walking, took a deep breath and turned around, looking at Sherlock for the first time since he’d last spoken. Sherlock looked back at him, eyes narrowed a bit, wearing an expression somewhere between expectant and irritated. “So” Sherlock paused and looked around pointedly. “What are we doing here?”
John cleared his throat awkwardly “We” he mimicked Sherlock’s previous words. “Are gonna have fun”
Follow your gut he told himself, it has worked fine enough so far. So he bent down, back turned towards Sherlock, grabbed a fistful of snow and threw it at his friend quickly and with -if he dared say so himself- quite a fine aim. Sherlock did saw the snowball coming, but the distance between them was too small and John’s throw was too much on point so despite Sherlock’s fast reaction the ball still managed to hit him in the shoulder. The sound escaping his lips couldn’t be described as anything other than a squeak.
“What do you think you’re doing-”
but the next snowball was already flying towards him, causing Sherlock to quickly duck away again. This time he managed to avoid the blow.
“JOHN WHAT THE-”
Another one came, only barely missing his leg.
“STOP IT WOULD YOU?”
John was grinning, another snowball in his hand but this time he gave Sherlock the chance to speak.
“Make me” the challenge in his words was palpable. The curly haired boy seemed to sense it too but he was still scowling. “I’m not engaging in such stupid, childish behaviour.”
“Well then I’m afraid I’ve got no choice” he sighed theatrically and slowly made his way over to Sherlock, giving him a pouty face. Sherlock’s eyes narrowed in suspicion but he stood his ground. John smiled up at him innocently, making sure to keep eye contact. It seemed to unsettle Sherlock somewhat. Unfortunately it also distracted John because bloody hell, Sherlock’s eyes were so so blue. The other boy noticed the shift in mood and his brows furrowed in slight confusion. The blonde swallowed nervously, shaking it off quickly, refocusing on the task at hand and without losing anymore time smashed the snowball into Sherlock’s face.
Sherlock stood unmoving for a few seconds, before he very slowly wiped the remains of snow from his face took a deep (calming?) breath and narrowed his eyes at John. For a moment John was afraid he might’ve taken things a bit too far. But then the other boy nodded slowly. “Alright” he wiped his fingers on his coat. “Alright. You wanna see me having fun? Quite alright. I’ll have some fun. I’m just afraid you won’t.” A shiver of expectation ran down John’s back and he struggled not to imagine Sherlock’s words and attitude in a rather different situation. He swallowed it all down. He had practice at that after all.
“Will you now? Do show what you’ve got Holmes.” He tried making it sound serious but he couldn’t help the grin sneaking onto his face again. Sherlock was smirking back at him and he was so thrown off for a moment that he hardly saw the attack coming. He felt it all the more though. A shout escaped him when a bunch of snow landed on his neck and some icy water slowly trickled down his chest.
“You asked for it” touche he thought idly. And that’s when their battle began in earnest. He picked up two more hands full of snow, forming them into perfect balls. Sherlock was already backing away, seeking shelter behind a tree. Giddiness bubbled up in his chest. He’d actually gotten Sherlock to do this with him.
Before he knew it something hard and cold hit his head. “Damnit” he cursed. Concentrate Watson! He quickly found a tree for himself, preparing ammunition and sneaking careful glances around. When he had 6 snowballs lying at his feet ready to be thrown, he checked the battlefield again. He couldn’t see Sherlock. Ah, there. A little bit of curly hair was peeking out from behind a tree. John picked up his snowballs and tip toed over to Sherlock’s tree trying to be as silent as possible. He shortly hovered at the other side of it, counted to three and made a quick jump, arm in the air, ready to let the first snowball fly. No one was there. “What… but you were here, I saw you..” he whispered, thinking out loud. He felt his presence a second earlier than he heard his deep, smug voice - but it was too late.
And then snow - it felt like an entire bucket of it- landed on his head.
“How THE-” he turned around but Sherlock was gone again.
“For someone saying this is childish and stupid you’re awfully good at it” he shouted, eyes wandering around again, the other boy couldn’t have gotten very far. He heard a rustle somewhere near the bushes to his left.
“I’m good at everything I do, you know that John” with these words he stuck his head out of the bush a challenging glint sparkling in his eyes.
John snorted, gripping the snowball that was still in his hand a little tighter, careful not to accidentally crush it.
“I hope you’re also good at losing because you’ll be doing that soon whether you want to or not”
Sherlock got up from the ground narrowing his eyes at John. With a quick flick of his wrist another snowball came flying John’s way but he managed to dodge it in time.
“You’re good” he acknowledged, his tongue darting out to wet his lip, calculating his next move “But you’re not good enough”
He started running towards Sherlock, speed steadily increasing, heart thumping wildly. His friend’s eyes widened, he was obviously surprised. He still expected John to stop, or just throw his ball at some point it seemed, because he wasn’t making any effort to move. John had different plans though. When he was close enough he took a big leap, pushing himself away from the ground, into the air and tackling Sherlock into the snow with his landing.
A stunned huff and a slight groan was heard from beneath him and catching his breath, John stared down at the other boy. He felt like a hunter catching its prey. Sherlock’s wide eyes, quick breathing and helpless position only supported that mental image.
“Gotcha” he whispered. Sherlock recovering from the slight shock, tried to move and shake John off but his arms were pinned to the ground very efficiently.
“See” he laughed “I can do whatever I want now.” oh oh wrong train of thought Watson, don’t go down that path he told himself quickly.
“I won’t admit defeat.”
“You can’t win if I don’t say that I’m giving up. We haven’t established any rules to the contrary” god Sherlock was such a proud, stubborn git it was unbelievable. For a moment he considered just getting off of him, and accepting the outcome of this but then again… he could be stubborn too.
“So if I get you to say that I win, then it’s official?”
Sherlock looked at him as if to say 'sure as if that’s gonna happen’. He still shook his head yes though “Certainly”
John nodded thoughtfully. “Alright” he said slowly “seems fair I suppose”. Sherlock narrowed his eyes at him (again, he really did that quite a lot didn’t he?) and John, who was still sitting on Sherlock’s stomach leaned down his eyes never leaving Sherlock’s.
Then he tickled him. He just grabbed Sherlock’s side, tickling him. One would think that the oh so great Sherlock Holmes could control his bodily reactions easily.
Sherlock trashed. He started giggling wildly and clearly unwillingly as he was trying to glare but he barely managed that, just tried to escape John’s skillful fingers.
“Sto- ahh stop t-that John!”
“Sorry what? I can’t understand you Sherlock you’ve got to speak more clearly”
He stopped for a moment, letting Sherlock catch his breath. Then he smashed a snowball into his face. Sherlock tried throwing him off again, just as successfully as the time before.
“Ah, ah insults won’t help you Holmes, just admit that I’ve beaten you”
Sherlock stayed silent.
“Well then” he sighed in badly faked regret. “I don’t have a choice”
He started tickling him again and soon enough Sherlock was desperately gasping and giggling beneath him again. His expression bordering on pained. John took pity on him and stopped once more.
“Okay Sherlock, I’m gonna count down from ten now and if you just admit that I win I’m gonna stop.” Sherlock looked up at him with a frown, looking kind of done with it all but still defiant and John figured that he’d soon get him to the point of giving up.
“Let’s begin shall we” and then he was at it again, tickling Sherlock, savouring the fact that he got away with touching him. More than once did he catch himself lingering a bit too long, gliding along his friend’s side rather than actually aiming to make him suffer.
“10…9…8…7, give in yet?” John was staring down at Sherlock with an intense gaze, making sure to observe every reaction that showed on his face. The boy was still giggling and squirming beneath him, now shaking his head wildly.
He sounded defiant still but he was panting and gasping for air and John was sure that he’d soon give up.
“…6…5…4…3…2…” John lowered his voice towards the end, hoping to make his threat seem all the more pressing and serious. His one hand holding the snow ball was hovering in the air already.
“ALRIGHT!! You win” he stopped. A grin spread on his face. Sherlock was still gasping for air, chest heaving.
“See that was fun!”
“I think it was a murder attempt” Sherlock’s voice was a little weak.
“Well that is your idea of fun isn’t it? You’re obsessed with all these detective stories”
“I solve cases John” the glare was evident in his words.
“Yeah you told me that before and yet I’ve never seen you do it. You never took me with you”
“It’s dangerous” John cocked an eyebrow at him.
“So it’s fine for you to be in danger but not for me?” he was a little insulted by that actually. He was a big boy, he could obviously take care of himself.
“What if something went wrong?” Sherlock had turned serious.
“You can’t even beat me at a snow fight” he snapped getting a bit angry “and you think you can make it on the battlefield but I can’t?”
“That’s not what I meant” he sounded a bit frustrated but John couldn’t bring himself to care at that moment. There was so much pent up frustration in him too, so much suppressed desire and want. And now he was here, sitting on the stomach of his best friend, anger surging up in him because god he was so stupid, such a fool for wanting something Sherlock was obviously not ready to offer. Hell, he didn’t even want him on his cases so how did he ever think he could possibly want him as…more.
“It’s fine, I get it” he looked away, body slumping, feeling defeated despite his victory.
Sherlock blinked up at him, for once appearing clueless as to what was going on “What?”
“If you didn’t want me there you could’ve just said so. I get that I don’t meet your standards. I’m no genius. But damn you I’m not an idiot either.”
Sherlock stared at him mouth hanging open. It was a rather peculiar expression on his face, John thought absently.
“Are you -” he cleared his throat “Are you serious?” He sounded utterly perplexed. Another very unlike Sherlock Holmes thing. John’s face scrunched up.
“You think I’m saying this for giggles? Of course I’m serious”
“Well then you are a bit of an idiot”
Sherlock shook his head as if to shake away nonsense “John you’re my… closest friend and I value you and your opinion. I don’t think you’re incapable of helping me and I know you’re smart. I…really don’t mind spending time with you”
Now it was John’s turn to gape. Never ever before had Sherlock said something like that. Something so open and affectionate. The words kept replaying in his mind, making him dizzy. closest friend, value you, I don’t mind.
“I-” his mouth was incredibly dry and he had to try again “I didn’t know that”
Sherlock didn’t say anything but his look was…soft.
“Then, why don’t you want me with you?” He realized how needy and insecure that must have sounded but well, it was now or never wasn’t it? In for a penny in for a pound.
“I never said I didn’t”
“But you never invited me either” Sherlock looked away, avoiding his gaze.
Another silence. He gulped.
He still didn’t look at him but with a shrug he finally answered “I didn’t want to scare you away. It’s not exactly appealing to most people. Dead bodies and murderers. Most people think that-” he stopped himself.
“Think that what?” He prompted.
Sherlock took a shaky breath “That I’m a freak”
John’s heart hurt. A mixture of sadness and rage overcame him. No one should think that of Sherlock. And obviously not just think but say. Say to his face. Sherlock, brilliant Sherlock, an outcast, despised by everyone. All alone. Lonely.
His anger from before was nothing compared to this. He took a deep breath, trying to calm himself.
“You’re angry” Sherlock whispered.
“Of course I’m angry, I’m furious” he didn’t think before he said it, he just blurted it out, he didn’t realize that Sherlock interpreted his words very differently from what he actually meant.
“I see” Sherlock was trying to sound neutral but his voice had gone very small. “I should go home I think”
To say that John was thrown of would be an understatement. “What? Why?” He once again became aware of their position as Sherlock tried to get up. He wouldn’t let him.
“You’ve obviously realized that this association isn’t right for you. I figured that it would be like that if you truly took notice of what people think of me and what I do, so there’s no need to let me down gently or anything I’ll just go home and-”
“For Christ’s sake Sherlock. Shut. Up.”
He did but he still refused to meet John’s eyes.
“You know for a genius you can be remarkably thick sometimes.” He rubbed his face thinking about his next words. “Sherlock” he took another breath just to be sure “I’m not angry with you. I’m angry at all these stupid people behaving like dicks towards you. I’m angry that they say mean, stupid things to you, things that aren’t true for God’s sake. You’re not a freak. I never thought so and I don’t think so now. You’re brilliant, you’re incredible and you’re the very best friend I ever had. Nothing and no one can change my mind about that. You don’t have to worry about scaring me off because at this point I don’t think there’s anything that could scare me off. I just don’t want you to shut me out. I’d love to go on cases with you even if I can’t help you all that much. But only if you want me to…”
He trailed off risking a glance at Sherlock. His eyes were wide and unblinking. He didn’t say anything.
“Sherlock are you alright?”
A bit of snow had landed on Sherlock’s face, it had probably fallen off of that tree above them. Something, some higher force probably, compelled John to move his thumb there, slowly, gently brushing it off. His finger lingered. His eyes met Sherlock’s who - if possible - looked even more shocked than before. The next thing John did wasn’t a choice, not really. It was like his heart had just taken over and controlled his limbs even if his brain told him to stopstopstop this was a bad idea, his body just kept moving, his heart pounding so loudly in his ears he couldn’t hear anything, not even the gasp that escaped Sherlock’s mouth as their lips touched. He kissed him. Very softly. Carefully. Sherlock didn’t move. His entire body seemed to have frozen. It only lasted a few seconds - two or three perhaps - before John pulled back.
Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck what had he done. Oh dear lord and bloody hell. Sherlock wasn’t saying anything, wasn’t doing anything, was he even breathing?
John went into panic mode. The silence stretched. He was still sitting on Sherlock, who was as pale as the snow he was lying on. And not saying anything. At all. Just staring.
“I’m sorry” he blurted the words out, emotions overwhelming him, just trying to make it rightrightright.
He shook his head slowly looking at Sherlock and whispering once more "I’m sorry, I screwed up"
He scrambled off of Sherlock’s stomach, panic blooming in his chest making his limbs go wild. He started shaking. He had trouble breathing. “God, I’m sorry bloody hell I messed up, I messed up.” He wasn’t sure who he was talking to anymore. He tried getting a grip on himself. Focus on the situation at hand. De-escalate. A solution popped into his head and he promptly went into action.
“Forget it.” He’d gone very still finally looking at Sherlock again who had apparently gotten up sometime during his inner panic party. “Just forget it” yes he thought to himself, yes that’s it. Just forget it all.
Sherlock’s brows furrowed. When he finally spoke his voice was carefully neutral “I don’t forget things.”
John blinked and then gulped. Next idea.
“Then pretend it didn’t happen.” It was gonna be fine, he could handle this, he’d make it all alright, he wouldn’t lose Sherlock, he wouldn’t.
“I don’t think I can do that” Fuck. John breathed in sharply, about to reply when Sherlock went on. “And you can’t either.” He felt like he’d been slapped.
“We just keep on being friends.” he tried, desperately, struggling to get himself under control. “Just like before okay?”
“No John.” he stopped breathing. Sherlock was shaking his head, seeming calm and not at all like he was just ripping someone’s heart out of their chest. “I can’t be friends with you anymore I think.”
That was it. Everything he’d managed to somehow hold together just broke loose. A sob escaped him. No no no. Stop it. Stop. But it was too late, dry sobs left his throat, he was pressing his hands to his face trying to forcibly shove back tears. This couldn’t be happening. Why the fuck couldn’t he control himself? It could’ve been fine. They could’ve walked out of this park having a stronger friendship and a frankly great day. Now it was turning into a nightmare. And John couldn’t do anything about it. His whole body began shaking. He bit his lip to stop the sobs but some wrecked sounds of agony still escaped him. It hurt. It hurt so much. He really wanted more. He really, really did. But he could have dealt with it. With just being friends. Now he had nothing. He lost it all. He fucked up big time.
Merry fucking Christmas.
“John? John! Can you even hear me? Would you just stop and listen to me!” His head snapped up.
“What?!” He shouted “I get it. No more being friends.” He was positively wheezing at this point. “I get it, okay? I get it! Just leave me alone, please”
“Why would I leave you alone?!”
“Are you fucking kidding me Sherlock? You just made it very clear that you don’t want anything to do with me. At least let me fucking go then.”
Sherlock’s nose scrunched up. “You really swear a lot when you’re emotional” John gave a disbelieving laugh, short and sharp, about to retort but Sherlock cut in first “And I never said that I didn’t want anything to do with you.”
John’s head was pounding madly as he snapped back “You said we couldn’t be friends anymore I think that’s clear enough”
Sherlock looked at him like he wanted to say a thousand things but had no idea how. He grabbed his hand. John startled and looked back up at him.
“Friends don’t kiss each other do they?”
John had gone very still “What?” he breathed.
“I mean” Sherlock struggled with his words “If you want to kiss me and…and I-I want to-to kiss you…then friendship isn’t the appropriate type of relationship for us, is it?”
For the first time since his panic attack started (yes it’s a panic attack Watson, don’t fool yourself) he managed to form a few clear thoughts in his head, trying to calm down, trying to understand and actually- somewhat- succeeding. Sherlock’s hand was still on his and it sent an unexpected spark through him when it tightened to slip around his fingers carefully. He tried analysing the situation like the mad genius sitting next to him would. But his brain still felt muddled and Sherlock’s body so close to his certainly wasn’t helping.
“What are you saying?” his voice was rough and a little broken but he’d gotten the words out and that was all that counted right now.
“I’m saying that-” he stopped frowning.
“It’s-” he looked frustrated stopping again.
“I just mean- argh why is this so difficult, words are never difficult for me, why are they now?” Sherlock was pulling his hair a little seeming genuinely upset. John couldn’t help but smile lopsidedly.
Sherlock took a deep breath, shaking himself.
“Nevermind. Not words then” he looked up at John, determination sparkling in his eyes. It took John’s breath away. Had he known what was about to happen he might’ve made sure to fill his lungs with air once more. But of course he didn’t know.
Sherlock’s hand tightened around his once more, holding it properly. It was a little sweaty and warm. John wished to never feel anything else again. Suddenly Sherlock came inching closer until his face was right in front of John’s. Wait was he gonna…? All his thoughts stopped when Sherlock’s lips touched his. This time they actually moved. Slowly and carefully and not very expertly. He was pretty sure that Sherlock had never done this before, he didn’t quite know what he was doing, but it was apparent that he was trying hard.It didn’t matter, none of it, it was the best kiss he’d ever had.
So there might actually be something else I’d rather feel than Sherlock’s hand in mine the random thought made him smile against Sherlock’s lips. Actually all of this was making him smile. All the terrible feelings in his chest had vanished and pure bliss was settling around his heart. He started giggling in joy, against the warm and now wet lips at first then into the air as Sherlock pulled away looking perplexed. Before Sherlock could say or do anything else he pushed him down back onto the snowy grass, lying down on top of him and kissing him properly, putting all those unsaid words, all the pent up frustration and the longing into it. Sherlock didn’t fight him, just took it all, trying to give as much back as he was given but John could tell that he was overwhelmed. A moan escaped the boy beneath him and it urged him on all the more, to make this as beautiful for Sherlock as it was for him. His breathing had speed up and when John finally pulled back to breathe Sherlock was panting, looking up at him, eyes so so big, pale cheeks colored red.
“John…” his voice sounded amazed and breathless. He was opening his mouth again apparently wanting to say something but then closed it again. All that made it past his lips was another soft whisper of “John”
If John hadn’t read all those medical books and known that it was impossible that such a thing could happen from kissing, he’d have been sure his heart was about to burst.
“You’re beautiful.” Sherlock’s eyes - if possible - went a little wider. “You’re stunning Sherlock, I-” he shook his head “I can’t believe it”.
“While the human senses generally aren’t the most reliable source of information I think it is safe to say that by using them and the ability to logically analyse things we can safely deduce that the situation at hand is indeed happening and real, so you needn’t worry that-”
John broke him off with a kiss. Sherlock was trying to protest at first, clearly annoyed about not being able to finish what he was saying, but after a second or two he was melting away again, apparently satisfied with the alternative. This would definitely be his favorite way of shutting Sherlock up, he thought, enthusiastically devouring the raven’s mouth again.
Reluctantly John pulled back once more as he noticed a certain lower region reacting to the situation. Best not take things too far too soon. He wasn’t all that experienced himself and he knew for a fact that Sherlock wasn’t so he didn’t wanna rush anything. There was no need, was there? Apparently Sherlock wanted this. Wanted him? How was this even possible? It seemed to good to be true.
“You want this?” He couldn’t help but ask. To be sure. To know.
“I’m not- I’m not sure what exactly this is to be honest but-” he looked embarrassed but earnest “but I want you. In whichever way you’ll have me…”
“I’d like you to be my…” the word felt kind of silly to him. This was Sherlock and the term he was about to use just didn’t do him justice. No term ever could. But it still felt important to say this, to clarify just what kind of relationship he’d like to have “-to be my boyfriend. If you want that.”
Sherlock was biting his lip but John could still see the shy smile break through.
“I want that”
“Perfect” he couldn’t resist leaning down for another kiss (a chaste and soft one this time) then, albeit a bit regretfully, he got off of Sherlock, stood up and offered his hand to him.
Sherlock took it and let himself be pulled up. However, when he tried to let go John strengthened his grip and squeezed Sherlock hand, wordlessly asking for permission. The blue eyes blinked back at him, obviously taken aback. But then he nodded. And smiled. John beamed back at him.
“Let’s go” he whispered. They walked through the park, hand in hand, side by side. Snow was still silently falling around them and it was getting dark. Sherlock’s hand was warm in his. He caught him stealing glances at John now and then. John stole them right back.
He squeezed Sherlock’s hand once more, thanking whoever was out there for the best Christmas gift he’d ever received. He was certainly gonna keep it.
He looked at Sherlock once more, his face illuminated by the street lights. Forever.