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What I still have to live is in this onslaught

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There have doubtlessly been other similar thoughts, before, that fleetingly crossed your mind without you noticing, without you giving them any kind of importance.

Anyhow, it's probably just a coincidence that this one, perhaps the first one — though you doubt that — rings with a vivacity that makes your mind tingle.

He really has magnificent legs.

As soon as these words form in your brain, you freeze, unable to believe that you actually just thought that.

Of course, context is always crucial. What's the context here?

The day is fading, night is falling on Baker Street; Sherlock just crossed the living room, like he so often does, violin in one hand, bow in the other, his curls bouncing lightly around the sharp features of his face.

Nothing here disrupts your usual routine, you know that.

Except for this thought, apparently; this sudden, out-of-nowhere appreciation of Sherlock's lithe legs, flattered by his well-tailored black trousers.

Your first instinct isn't to panic. After all, Sherlock is a handsome man, and you know that, everyone does; even the most obtuse heterosexual could feel jealous of those long muscled thighs, those firm and powerful calves, those light, nimble feet.

You aren't feeling jealous, but that isn't important.

You're just proud to be comfortable enough in your own body to recognize the unprecedented beauty of your best friend.

The first time was just the starting point.

You start noticing more and more similar stray thoughts randomly crossing your mind.

He should've worn his purple dress shirt, when Sherlock finally gets dressed to go to some political thank-you gathering.

I wonder which shampoo he used today, when you catch yourself staring longer than necessary at Sherlock's scandalously messy hair.

You're not overly worried about these quiet reflections. In fact, they wouldn't worry you at all if they weren't usually paired with way more ferocious little thoughts.

God, does he know what these trousers do to his arse? when you follow Sherlock up the stairs.

It should be illegal to have such long eyelashes, when you zone out and stop listening to Sherlock's deduction, getting lost in his impossible eyes.

All this has no consequence, you think.

A man is allowed to enjoy another man's physique, right? That doesn't mean he's gay.

Especially if that other man is Sherlock Holmes.

Exactly. Anyone should be allowed to admire Sherlock.

Especially you. You are his best friend, after all.

Things don't change, and you slowly get used to your eyes lingering on Sherlock's back, or admiring the pale line of his delicious neck, or devouring the hypnotic expressiveness of his hands.

You tell yourself it's normal, that there have to be consequences to you spending every day of your life with someone else, be they male or female.

You soothe your worries, convince yourself that it's a typical psychological process: you see Sherlock's body so much, his face, his hands, his lips, you simply developed a particular fondness for his features.

You ignore the fact that you haven't been with a woman for quite some time.

You wake up more and more often with an almost-painful erection, the fading feeling of large, warm hands tingling over your body, and flashes of immaculate skin drowning your senses.

Strangely enough, you can still look Sherlock in the eye.

For you, these fantasies are just an unfortunate but inevitable milestone in the co-dependent friendship you two have; your friendship and professional relationship have no business being affected by your private musings about the taste of Sherlock's skin or the warmth of his hands.

Besides, Sherlock — if he even noticed — doesn't mention it either.

You still don't go out and you haven't looked at a woman since... it doesn't matter.

Nothing changes between the two of you.

Sherlock kisses a suspect to fish for information.

You don't remember why it was necessary or how it even worked.

You only remember Sherlock, his body, slender like a reed, pressed up against a muscly, taller man — too tall, way too tall — and his hands cradling a tattooed neck.

You don't really know why you're in such a bad mood when Sherlock's impromptu kiss is what makes the arrest of the criminal organization possible.

I wonder if his lips are soft.

This musing lingers in your head, ringing, echoing longer than they usually do, before fading.

Sherlock explains his deduction succinctly and expertly as Lestrade takes precise notes.

His mouth forms around words that you no longer hear.

I wonder if his lips are soft...

The case is finished; Sherlock has decided he finally has the time to sustain his transport, and he is enthusiastically masticating a huge bite of orange chicken.

His lips purse and smile around his mouthful, covered in a glossy sauce that makes them gleam.

I wonder if his lips...

Sherlock is playing the violin. His expression is serious, his lips are pinched, his eyes are closed; he is swaying slightly and his black curls dance with the music.

I wonder...

You are sitting opposite Sherlock, pretending to read the newspaper, when really, you can't help but stare at him as he thinks, his hands joined under his chin.

I wonder.

"You can kiss me, if you like."

You jump; Sherlock opens his eyes. His quicksilver gaze freezes you in place.

"Really," you say.

You aren't really surprised; Sherlock sees everything, Sherlock understands everything.

He doesn't answer, and you remember your question wasn't one.

You stay silent as well, waiting for something, something more, and then you realize Sherlock has already said it all.

The ball is in your court.

I wonder.

You breathe deeply, once.

You stand up.

You walk to Sherlock.

(His eyes follow you.)

You bend towards him, one hand on each armrest of his chair.

You approach his face slowly.

You don't waver, you've already hesitated long enough.

I wonder.

Your noses brush, and you kiss Sherlock.

Everything around you vanishes, except for the tender press of your lips against his.

He smells even better from up close.

Good God, is it good.

What is that smell, vetiver?

I should've done this ages ago.

Your mouths part and rejoin, and you kiss Sherlock, again and again and again.

His hands press against your back, caress your nape, tangle into your hair.

His breath is warm on your tongue, he tastes like black coffee.

His lips are soft; you smile against his mouth.