Sherlock is at the kitchen table at his microscope solving something or other, intensely focused and generally tuning everything else out.
John watches Sherlock across the room. He watches as Sherlock's long fingered hands gently manipulate the knobs to focus whatever he's looking at. He watches as Sherlock stares unblinkingly into the dual eyepiece, the light from the stand coming up and illuminating his ever changing eyes.
The flat is dim with late afternoon light muted by the gentle rain that's been the norm for the last couple of weeks. John sits at the desk before his laptop, blog open to a new post and utterly blank.
What can he write? Their most recent case wasn't terribly exciting and the only other thing that occupies his thoughts is Sherlock.
John feels the familiar tightness in his chest as he continues to casually stare at his flatmate. The choking feeling that always comes with thoughts of Sherlock and how they are here together, but not actually together.
Sherlock is sitting a million miles from John and his lonely feelings.
Perhaps Sherlock was right to 'delete' all his knowledge of space, because all John can do is make ridiculous comparisons in his head. John is here and Sherlock is the closest star. The time separating them is too vast, John will die before he ever reaches him.
And it makes him inexplicably sad.
After everything, he's finally ready and able to reach out, but he can't reach far enough.
John closes his eyes and presses his hands to the closed lids, seeing flashes of color that linger in his eyesight as he opens them again. He looks down at the blog.
What's the point? Why does he keep torturing himself like this? He should just leave. It'll be better for both of them.
'But you never will.' His inner voice taunts him. And its true. To fall back on his tired space metaphors, they're a binary system, locked in each other's vast orbits until the day they fade.
Until the day the collapsed gravity of everything they've never said swallows them whole.
John looks back over to Sherlock again. He has no idea what John is thinking. No idea the thoughts going through his head.
Suddenly Sherlock looks up and locks eyes with John.
"John. Is there a reason you keep staring over at me? You've been doing it the better part of the afternoon."
"Of course I noticed."
'You look, but you don't see.' John's inner voice turning the memory up for John to say.
But he'll never say it. Of course Sherlock has seen his feelings. He sees everything.
He just doesn't do that sort of thing. Best to leave it unacknowledged.
"Are you okay?"
John snaps his focus back to Sherlock. "Yes, of course." He avoids eye contact with Sherlock and turns back towards his blog.
A moment passes and then, much closer then John expects, "Are you sure?"
John jumps and turns to look at Sherlock who's come up behind him. He can't help the irritation in voice. "Yes. I'm sure."
Sherlock frowns, "John, could you stand for me?"
John is bewildered enough by the change in topic, that he loses grasp of his irritation and stands as he is asked.
And then, most unexpectedly, Sherlock hugs him.
John freezes as a surge of adrenaline runs through him. He has no idea why Sherlock is hugging him and says as much.
Sherlock holds him just a little tighter and presses his cheek to John's hair, "You looked sad staring at me."
He doesn't elaborate past that.
John slowly raises his arms and hugs Sherlock back. It's comforting to feel the subject of his affection (God, his love) warm, alive, and encircled in his arms. He feels the warmth of Sherlock seeping into him, chasing away his thoughts from earlier.
No, he could never leave this man.
He takes a deep breath and realizes his throat has caught and his eyes are stinging with unshed tears. John feels as one of Sherlock's hands come up to gently grip the back of his neck.
Sherlock holds him like that, for minutes or hours he couldn't say if pressed, until Sherlock leans back slightly and looks down into John's eyes. It should be unsettling being the subject of Sherlock's intense focus, but instead it's comforting.
And then Sherlock looks down to his mouth and then slowly back up to his eyes. And John must telegraph how open he would be to such a gesture, because Sherlock leans in.
And this is the way his world ends, not with a bang, a cosmic crashing of forces; but with a whimpering sigh, as Sherlock slides his hand from John's neck to cup his cheek and guide them into a kiss.
And John thinks, almost hysterically, that they are now the big bang, the creators of a whole new universe because now everything, everything, has changed.
John pushes forward into the kiss and pours every emotion he's had for his best friend since he's known him into it. John's chest aches and aches with love allowed to flourish.
They break apart from the kiss. Sherlock gives a small smile, which John responds to with a grin, making Sherlock's smile even bigger.
John smiles impossibly wider, "Oh, very good. Yes."
John watches in fascination as a gentle blush graces Sherlock's cheeks and Sherlock looks away for a moment, clearly proud, but very much not wanting John to know it.
"That's good. Tea?"
John feels like his whole body is alive and every part of him is warm with fondness for the man in front of him.
"I'd love some."
And though everything has changed, nothing is different, because this was always between them.
John shuts his laptop and follows Sherlock into the kitchen.
They will have their tea and sit side by side on the couch while they do. They will hold hands and whisper what they want, what they hope. And then they will go to bed together and wake up together.
And John will never doubt Sherlock's ability to see him again.