The showrunners have always said the theme of Sherlock is “friendship.” Call me crazy, I believe them when they talk.
It’s only “queerbaiting” if they’re doing it on purpose. (Man, the definition of “queer bait” has changed…)
Clearly, one of Martin’s acting choices in S1 and especially S2 was that John was falling in love with Sherlock. Just because an actor makes a choice about character motivation doesn’t mean it was written or intended by writers, directors, etc. (I’d argue that he got over Sherlock in the two years he was “dead.”)
Why do we need them to be a couple on the show? That’s what fic is for. It would nice, sure, but even if there is never a love confession or a Johnlock kiss on th show… so what? They’ve had hundreds of thousands of first kisses. They’ve declared their love in coffee shops, in university, in the past, and at thousands of weddings. They’ve been parents together. They’ve been in polyamourous relationships and BDSM relationships and asexual relationships. They’ve been hobbits and dragons and angels and aliens and ghosts and vampires. ::shrug:: Frankly, that’s enough for me.
I just don’t get this thing about Gatiss flat out saying, “Nope,” and people immediately assuming that HE, of all people, is LYING about that. Why would he???