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Everything is new, yet nothing has changed.

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John sat, stock still, daring not to move. The laptop screen was now black, and Mary’s words still hung in the air, “…I know you two and what you could become…” Oh God, if my dead wife could see my feelings for this man, how on earth has Sherlock Holmes not worked it out? John's insides squirmed, the idea that Sherlock had known all along that John was madly in love with the man was gnawing away at him. If he had known why hadn't Sherlock said something to him before now? The same argument swam round John’s head, Sherlock knew his feelings but obviously did not reciprocate them. The fear of rejection and the worry that Sherlock would leave if he knew were the only things keeping John from telling Sherlock right there and then exactly how he felt.
Sherlock was the one to break the silence, pulling John away from his thoughts.
“Tea?” Sherlock asked, not waiting for John to reply, knowing he never refused a cup of tea.
Hearing Sherlock pottering around the kitchen, John looked around the house he had shared with Mary. The place had never really felt like home to him. 221B Baker Street had always been his home. The place he missed even before it had been his home, the place he longed to return to after a long day in clinic, even when he had a home with Mary. 221B Baker street was where John belonged and now after everything, even with a daughter in tow, John wanted to call the place his home once again. And after Mary’s final words, he felt he was able to move back in to the flat, back in with Sherlock and maybe, just maybe they’d be able to move forward as something more than friends. John’s heart gave a little flutter at the idea.
Sherlock came back through, placing two mugs on the table. Again, being the first one to break the silence he asked, “What now?”
The question has caught John off guard, Sherlock usually having the answers or the plan. John wasn’t prepared, wasn’t ready to have the conversation with Sherlock just yet. So instead, John shrugged, “I’ll have to pick Rosie up soon, and will need to call work and tell them I need a few days leave. After nearly being blown up, nearly drowning and having heard Mary’s last words to me, I feel that I more than deserve some time off…”
Sherlock smirked, “Yes but John, you only nearly got blown up and only nearly got drowned! Surely a tough army doctor such as yourself can take those minor problems in his stride?”
“Oh, piss off” John threw a cushion at him. It felt good, like being back to normal. Despite not being in Baker Street.
They drank their tea in silence, not an uncomfortable silence, but a silence which was heavy with something unsaid.
Sherlock drained his mug and stood up, he walked into the kitchen, rinsed his mug and walked back into the living room where John remained sitting, mug in hand. “I should get back home, Mrs Hudson has the decorators in, and I want to make sure everything is exactly how it was before the bomb.”
John smiled, of course Sherlock would detect and detest even the smallest of changes to the décor. They said their goodbyes and Sherlock left, leaving John alone with his thoughts once more.
John rarely allowed himself to day dream but with Mary’s words still fresh in his mind John allowed himself to dream about a future with him and Sherlock and now, little Rosie. He imagined the life he and Sherlock already shared, except instead of saying goodnight and leaving 221B Baker Street, John would settle into bed with Sherlock, and instead of having to be the only one tending to the needs of a baby in the middle of the night he imagined Sherlock (who rarely slept) cradling and soothing Rosie. He imagined breakfast in bed with a sleepy toddler nestled in the sheets between him and Sherlock. And Christmases and Birthday’s with Sherlock, Rosie and himself, happy and content… A complete family. He imagined arguments over why Chinese takeout wasn’t a sufficient meal for a child and parents evening where Sherlock would argue with anybody who said Rosie was less than perfect.
His phone buzzed, startling John back to reality. It was the nursery sending their standard text reminding him that Rosie still needed collecting. Shit! John muttered, how had he wasted half the day dreaming about a life he and Sherlock would never share. Pulling on his coat and shoes he left the house and headed for the nursery which wasn’t too far away, thankful that Rosie was still too little to realise she had been forgotten about and left in nursery yet again.

Chapter Text

It was the first Friday night in a long time that John found himself in the pub, drinking a pint with Lestrade. Between the wedding, the baby, Mary’s death and then the End Game with Sherlock the pub had been the last thing on John’s mind. But this Friday Molly had offered her babysitting services and insisted that John took a night off from being a single dad and a doctor. It has been a couple of days since he and Sherlock had watched the video Mary had left and nothing had changed between them. As usual both John and Lestrade had invited Sherlock to the pub and as usual Sherlock had declined, explaining that he was in the middle of a very important experiment. They chatted jovially about the football, Rosie and genuine normal chit chat.
Lestrade had been happier than John had seen him in a long time.
“What has got into you?” John asked over their third pint.
“What do you mean?” Gregg asked, John noticing the slight pink blush spreading across the DCI’s cheeks.
“Oh my God, you’re seeing someone!” John cried, clapping his friend on his shoulder.
At this Lestrade’s face positively glowed a luminous red.
“Who is the lucky girl then?” John continued, ignoring how clearly embarrassed his friend was.
Lestrade downed the rest of his pint, refusing to look at John, quickly stood and left their booth. John was about to call after him when he realised, Gregg was only heading back to the bar. Returning to the booth, Gregg put a pint down for himself and John and then downed the glass of whiskey he had also brought himself.
“I am seeing a guy” Gregg almost whispered, not looking up at John.
John’s eyes widened. He had no idea Gregg had even been interested in men, he and his wife had only just finalised their divorce! And then, John’s heart tightened, how could one of his best friend’s been so nervous to tell him this?!
“Gregg! Why were you so nervous to tell me?! I don’t care who you are seeing as long as you’re happy, and God I cannot remember the last time I’ve ever seen you so happy!” John manoeuvred himself round to Gregg and enveloped him in a tight squeeze. When John let go, he noticed Gregg’s eyes shining with tears and his face was beaming. Despite a barrage of questions from John, Gregg refused to give any details other than he was someone John knew, and it was a very recent thing.
As the bell rang for last orders, both men headed to the bar to buy a final round each. They were already past tipsy and knew that these extra two beers were unnecessary but they both were having such a good night and John wanted to treasure the normality of it. Once comfortable seating, Gregg turned to John, his face suddenly serious.
“You should tell Sherlock you know.” Gregg said, his eyes focused on John.
John debated feigning ignorance but decided against it. Hell, everyone seemed to know he was in love with Sherlock and if Gregg could be honest enough to tell John he was dating a man then John could be honest enough about his feelings for Sherlock.
“I love him and I cannot lose him again. The fall was bad enough, and then when I pushed him away after Mary’s death. There is no way he has any feelings for me, and I cannot live without the man. If being friends if all we are going to be, I can live with that, rather than tell him and then lose him as a friend.” John gushed, looking down, embarrassed at how everything had just flooded out.
Gregg touched his arm and looked at him, “John, Sherlock cannot live without you either. He wouldn’t leave you even if he didn’t feel the same way. And I am convinced he feels the same way.”
The fire that had been slowing burning in John’s core exploded. This was the first time he had ever discussed his feelings for Sherlock and having said the words aloud made them so much more real. After hearing Gregg’s advice and having drank enough to silence the nagging doubts John decided… He was going to tell Sherlock and he was going to tell him tonight. “Gregory, you are right.” John stood up and clapped his friend on the back.
“Woahhhh, will you be okay going tonight?” Gregg asked.
“Yup, and if I don’t go tonight, I might never have the courage to go ever again.” John replied, sounding resolute, if not a little drunk. “Will you be okay getting home?” John checked.
Gregg smiled, even when drunk John couldn’t quite shake the pragmatic, caring side of him that made him such a good doctor. He nodded at John and muttered something about the guy he was seeing had come to pick him up to make sure he got home okay. This seemed to satisfy John who was too focused what he was going to say to Sherlock to ask anything further about Gregg’s mystery man. They said their goodbyes and John headed off towards Baker Street; Gregg was thankful John was too drunk and too preoccupied to notice him sliding into the sleek black car belonging to Mycroft Holmes which was parked opposite the pub.

Chapter Text

John had underestimated how long the walk to Baker street was from the pub. Although he was drunk, and he couldn’t really feel the cold he knew he was getting cold and the rain had been coming down in sheets soaking him through. His shoes were staring to rub, and he could already feel his shoulder would be ridiculously stiff and painful in the morning. The beer had also messed with his ability to form coherent sentences. All John was focused on was getting to Sherlock, he’d figure out what to tell him when he got there.
Finally, he arrived outside 221B Baker Street, he looked up and saw the silhouette of Sherlock in the window. John’s heart begun to race. I should turn around, John thought. Go back home, sleep off this drunkenness and then carry on my life being best friend’s with Sherlock Holmes. I should not be standing here in the middle of the night, soaking wet, freezing cold and drunk. John had no idea how long he had been standing outside of 221B, until suddenly, the door opened and there stood Sherlock. Stood in the golden light that crept out from behind him, he looked like a Greek God, John thought. The effects of the alcohol mixed with Sherlock standing there looking so spectacular, left John unable to focus on what Sherlock was saying. Instead he stood there, mouth gaping, head spinning.
One look at John and Sherlock knew exactly what he had come to say. Sherlock’s stomach knotted. He stood at the threshold of the home they had once shared, looking at the man he loved, standing there soaking wet, freezing cold and very, very drunk and his heart nearly shattered. Ever since Mary’s last video, John had been acting strange. And much to Sherlock’s frustration John was one of the only people Sherlock had a problem deducing. Therefore, it had taken Sherlock the past three days, since he had left John sat on the sofa, to work out what John wanted, no needed, to tell him. And now here he was. He had obviously needed copious amounts of alcohol to build up the courage to tell Sherlock he was leaving. It was the only plausible reaction to Mary’s video that Sherlock could come up with. John had struggled with the loss of his wife and Sherlock had hurt him so much their relationship was beyond repair and now he was left a single father living in London with no family, and no one other than Sherlock and a few others to turn to. There was no reason for him to stay here, London was expensive, and he could find work anywhere in the country with his CV and experience. John Watson was here to tell Sherlock that he was taking Rosie and getting as far away from London (and Sherlock as he possibly could).
John couldn’t focus on what Sherlock was saying, he couldn’t see straight, and his stomach was churning, a mix of too much beer, a bad kebab and nerves. Sherlock guided him inside with a firm hand on his elbow and guided him up to the living room. He gently pushed John into his chair and headed to the bathroom. Sherlock turned the taps on and set about running John a hot bath. He left the bathroom and went to the kitchen, making John a peppermint tea to calm his stomach and a normal tea for himself. Sherlock just managed to put the bucket in front of John just in time to catch the copious amounts of vomit John brought up and handed John the tea, which John gratefully took. Sherlock disposed of the sick and the returned to the bathroom, putting a fluffy towel on the radiator and laying out a pair of his pyjamas and his fluffy robe for John to put on after his bath. He returned to John, gently helping him to his feet and guided him to the hot, bubbly bath. John immediately started stripping off and Sherlock left him to it. Sherlock knew he was prolonging the inevitable, what John needed to say would still be said, but for a few more precious hours Sherlock could pretend it wasn’t going to happen.
John had no idea how he had ended up in the bath. The night was coming back to him in flashes, Gregg telling him he was dating a mystery man. Him telling Gregg he loved Sherlock. Deciding to come to Sherlock and tell him how he felt. And then when he arrived his ability to speak was entirely gone and instead of telling Sherlock he loved him, he was sick. And now he was in the bath, feeling extremely sorry for himself, still drunk and no closer to telling Sherlock. With that John stood swaying slightly and got out of the bath. The towel Sherlock had left was warm and he realised that Sherlock had left it on the radiator. That realisation made him feel all fuzzy inside, touched by how thoughtful Sherlock had been and made him even more determined to tell Sherlock how he felt. He changed into the pyjamas and wrapped the dressing gown around him, snuggling into the smell of Sherlock. With that, John opened the bathroom door and headed to find Sherlock.
Sherlock heard the bathroom door open. He looked at the clock, 2am. John had been here since half past midnight, and he hadn’t said a word. Every step John took Sherlock could feel his heart breaking into smaller and smaller pieces. Finally, John stepped into the living room. He looked at Sherlock, and Sherlock felt himself melt at the sight of John wrapped in his clothes. John’s cheeks were red, from getting out of the hot bath, and coming into the cooler living room. Why didn’t I make a fire, Sherlock chided himself. John wordlessly sunk onto the sofa, slightly too close to Sherlock, their arms and legs brushing past one another’s. John relaxed back facing Sherlock, brining his legs up and crossing them. Sherlock couldn’t help but smile, John looked so young and so relaxed. It wasn’t right, how could John look so calm, how was he so unaffected by what he was going to say?
“Sherlooooock…” John started, his eyes searching Sherlock’s face.
Sherlock, said nothing, instead he stared down at his hands, determined not to cry.
“Heyyyyy, Sherlooooock look at m..m..me” John spoke softly, gently cupping Sherlock’s face, pulling it up to look at John who was leaning forward, his face now very close to Sherlock’s own. John’s eyes couldn’t focus properly, it was made worse as Sherlock’s icy blue eyes appeared to be changing colour before his own plain brown eyes.
“I n..n..need to tell you… tell you some…something, butttttt I need you… n..n…need you to p..p…p..promise me that you won’t leave… you won’t gooooo when I tell y..y..you” John now looked timid, his voiced shaking slightly, and he gave a little hiccup; reminding Sherlock that John was still very drunk.
Sherlock’s mind started to race, this didn’t make sense. Why would John need me to promise not to leave if John is the one who was planning on going? His mind combed through all the other possibilities, playing out different scenarios, trying to make sense of what John needed to say.
“Sherloooock, pleaseeeeee…” John hiccupped midsentence “…p…p..pppromise me you won’t gooooo…” John’s voice broke.
“John… I promise… I could never…”
“I love you” John cut him off, and then grabbed the bucket Sherlock had left him. Shit, John thought. The nerves made him retch again. Shit. This was not how it was supposed to happen.
Sherlock let out a breath he hadn’t realised he has been holding. John was drunk, John did not know what he was saying. Sherlock let relief flood through his body. Tonight, was not the night John was going to break his heart and leave him for good.
“You are drunk John” Sherlock chuckled, his raven curls bouncing as he laughed.
“Yessss I ammmm” John drawled, “But I m..m..mean it…. I loooooove youuuu Sherloooock Hoooolmes” John drew out each syllable.
Sherlock’s heart constricted, after all these years he’d longed to hear John say this to him, and now John was sitting almost on top of him, telling him. It was too much, too unfair, to have heard it and to know he would never hear it again.
“You don’t mean it, and you won’t remember it tomorrow John” Sherlock said, flatly. Trying to hide the hurt he felt. “Let’s get you to bed” Sherlock stood up, pulling John to his feet. John too unsteady and knocked them both back onto the sofa, John’s face dangerously close to Sherlocks. For a split-second Sherlock toyed with the idea of kissing John, what harm would one kiss that would be forgotten in the morning do? John’s lips looked so soft and inviting, Sherlock could feel his warm breaths breeze across his cheek. But decided against in, unsure if his heart could take it, and stood up pulling John up with a firmer grip this time.
Sherlock led John to his bed, not wanting him to be a flight of stairs away from the bathroom. He tucked John in who had quietened down and left to get him another sick bowl, a glass of water and two paracetamols. When Sherlock returned to put the water, bowl and tablets on the nightstand John gave a contented hum. Sherlock stood in the semi darkness for a few moments, admiring his ex-army doctor’s face. The lines appeared less deep once John’s face was relaxed with sleep, and his hair, was tousled from the struggled of getting him into bed. Sherlock couldn’t help himself, he leant down and kissed John on the top of his head and whispered, “I love you too John”. With that he turned and left John to sleep off his drunkenness.

Chapter Text

John woke with a start, his heart was racing, his head was pounding, and his mouth was drier than a desert. He didn’t recognise where he was immediately and as soon as he realised, he let out a groan. He was in Sherlock’s bed. He experimentally turned his head, the pounding increased but he saw the water and tablets which he gratefully took. He began piecing his night together, cursing Lestrade for convincing him to tell Sherlock, cursing himself for being sick and then cursing Sherlock for not believing him. He was too preoccupied with feeling warm and cosy and enjoying the smell of Sherlock, which had enveloped him, to decide what he should do. The sound of Sherlock in the living room burst John’s bubble of contentment. Although he had told Sherlock, Sherlock hadn’t believed him. The stubborn git. Too blind to realise it, even when John had spelt it out for him.
With a groan John sat up, thanking Sherlock for running a hot bath, else his shoulder would be in agony right now. His head was slightly better than when he had woken up thanks to the paracetamols, he walked across the room to pick up Sherlock’s dressing gown and wrapped himself in it. He opened the door and walked down to the living room to find Sherlock.
“Good morning, feeling better?” Sherlock asked, not looking up from the paper. He was wearing his pyjama bottoms with his favourite dressing down loosely tied, his marble white chest peeking out.
“Much. I still love you though” John chuckled, standing looking down at Sherlock on the sofa.
Sherlock’s head snapped up at lightening speed. His eyes wide with shock.
“I told you last night, and you didn’t believe me.”
“You were drunk last night” Sherlock countered.
“Doesn’t change how I feel about you. Bloody Hell, I was married, and I still loved you.”
For once, Sherlock was speechless. John took this as his cue to plant a soft kiss on Sherlock’s lips. John had imagined kissing Sherlock’s lips before now, but his imagination was nothing compared to the real kiss. Before Sherlock had time to respond John was already making his way to the kitchen to make two cups of tea.
He set the mugs down, and the sat on the sofa in the exact same position as last night, a little too close to Sherlock. He grabbed his tea, nursing the mug in silence, waiting for Sherlock to say something.
“I…I don’t” Sherlock started, and stopped. Sentiment had never been his strong point and right now what he needed to say was too important to be messed up. “I have never felt like this before you. From the start I knew you were different, that my feelings for you weren’t like anything I had felt before… and then I left and I messed it all up and I just needed to protect you and I messed it all up. And then…” Sherlock was now crying, huge teardrops were running down his cheeks, nevertheless he continued. “…Then you had Mary and I resigned myself to life as your best friend… and then she died saving me and you hated me and… and that broke my heart. And now, now I have all these feelings I don’t understand, but all I know is that I cannot live without you. I love you John Hamish Watson. And I want to share my life with you, even though I do share my life with you, I want you in every way possible…”
John leant forward and scooped Sherlock’s face in his hands, he stared into the icy blue eyes which were alive with hope, and kissed Sherlock. Trying to explain that he understood and felt the same. Trying to convey every word he had been too scared to say and assure Sherlock that he understood every unspoken word Sherlock had never said.
Their kiss became less gentle and more passionate, more desperate. John’s hand’s roamed over Sherlock’s bare chest. Although he was thin, Sherlock was surprisingly muscular. His chest was strong and chiselled, his nipples hard. He experimented kissing Sherlock’s neck and nipping at his ears, enjoying the delicious noises Sherlock was making and making a mental noted of the places which make Sherlock shiver. John was practically lying on top of Sherlock, and he was becoming very aware of the growing pressure he was feeling in his groin. He didn’t care, this was all he had wanted for a very long time. He continued to explore Sherlock’s body, kissing everywhere he could reach, sucking and biting on the long marble neck, leaving deep purple marks, and then ghosting his tongue over the bruise as if to soothe it. Sherlock lay under him letting out quiet moans and even the occasional whimper when John found a spot that really turned him on.
“John” Sherlock, broke away, gasping for air. “John, we should stop, before… before we get carried away” John continued to kiss and bite Sherlock’s skin, making it hard for Sherlock to focus. “We need… you need…. Rosie” Sherlock managed to say.
At the mention of Rosie’s name, John pulled away slightly, “She’s with Molly, I don’t need to pick her up til 2” John replied, quickly resuming his position sucking at Sherlock’s neck.
“Errrr… John” Sherlock started again, determined to be more coherent, but God Damn it was hard to think straight let alone, form complete sentences with John all over him! “.. It is 1:30 John” Sherlock huffed out.
With that John sat up, his lips swollen from all the kissing, his eyes wide in disbelief… how did he have to pick Rosie up in 30 minutes?! He stared down at the man beneath him, drinking in the sight of Sherlock, purple bruises blooming up the side of his neck, his eyes hooded and glazed over with lust, and his pyjama bottoms tented at the groin, not hiding the aching erection wanting attention. John felt his cock twitch, he was achingly hard himself and seeing Sherlock like that drove him mad. He bit his lip. “Sherlock…” John started, carefully. “I don’t want to rush this, I don’t want to have a quick 20 minutes of fooling around and then rush off… I want…. I want our first time to be special” John looked away, blushing. He was happy to spend time messing around on the sofa, but anything more, he wanted to take his time, explore Sherlock completely and fully. Neither of them had talked about their past experiences with a man, and John hadn’t done anything with a guy since he had left university. Sherlock pulled John back to him, their lips met but this time Sherlock kissed John softly, reassuring him that he felt the same. John didn’t want to move but Rosie needs picking up and they needed to have a proper conversation about what this meant for them and their relationship, there will be plenty of time for sex John thought.