After the tea was made, and Sherlock’s singing turned to humming, John was sat on the sofa with a dozing baby in his arms thinking about Sherlock. Sherlock was in the kitchen trying his hand at making spaghetti. He told John that cooking is chemistry if you think about it, and he is a graduate chemist. John wanted to tell him that there was more to it, but was too distracted to say anything.
He hadn’t said much to Sherlock after their kiss actually. Was it even a kiss? It was more like a peck on the cheeks, he was caught in the heat of the moment, Sherlock kissed him first. He loved it, he wanted to kiss him again, every time he looked at him, his eyes would linger to those pink lips. They felt like cushions compared to his own. After the kiss, John just felt so warm inside, like a fire has been ignited in his heart. Rosie hiccupped, interrupting his thoughts. He looked down and saw that she could barely keep her eyes open and had half a mind to place her in her crib.
Sherlock was staring at him from the kitchen with a frown. “I’ve been calling your name for ages.”
John shrugged. “Sorry, I was miles away.”
He watched Sherlock rummage through the cabinets until he found the plates. The sound of Sherlock fixing their plates faded as his mind drifted again. Look at him, he’s so perfect. The way he interacted with Rosie, how he fussed about the kitchen trying to cook a meal for the two of them. The domesticity that they shared in 221B flooded his mind in droves. How could he ever think to remove himself of such bliss? Sherlock walked over to him and opened his mouth to speak before his eyes rested on the now sleeping baby in John’s lap.
“Ah, it appears little Rosie was worn down by our playing. She’s making excellent progress with her…”
John’s eyes honed on those lips yet again. The way they enunciated every syllable of his words, the expressiveness of them. John licked his own in the hopes that he would always remember the taste of them. He wished that he didn’t end it so quickly, he wished that he had more courage, he was a soldier dammit! He’s treated the worst wounds, survived an almost fatal gun wound and yet he couldn’t tell his best friend and flatmate that he loved him. He shook his head when he saw Sherlock’s concerned expression.
“John, were you listening to me?”
“Um, yeah, yeah, of course I was. Dinner’s ready?”
Sherlock’s bottom lip quivered a bit and it made John sad to see. Sherlock held his arms out for the baby and said, “I can put her to bed. You can go to the table.”
John nodded absentmindedly and carefully handed her over to Sherlock who walked lightly to her room. John seated himself at the table and stared at the plate that was already prepared for him. He smiled softly at how clean the plate was beside the food directly in the center. John didn’t care much for presentation but of course his posh boy did. He looked over at Sherlock’s plate and saw that it wasn’t nearly as tended to as his own. He loved that man. Sherlock appeared in the dining room and took his seat. His eyes were fixed on John with an eager smile on his face.
“Do you like it?”
John cursed himself at the way Sherlock deflated. What was he doing wrong? What was making him unhappy when he was so cheerful a few hours ago? Sherlock sighed and looked down at his plate, twirling his spaghetti on his fork and eating it with a mournful look. John did the same and when he swallowed, he looked up and saw Sherlock with his puppy face. John smiled and said, “This is good, Sherlock!”
“Is it really?”
John dabbed his face with the napkin and nodded. “Of course it is. You know I appreciate my pasta.”
The joke fell flat and they continued to eat their dinner in silence. Sherlock finished before John, the man never took the time to enjoy food like John did. He folded his hands on the table and waited for his tablemate to finish his food. When John took his last bite Sherlock got up and collected both of their plates and walked to the sink without a word. John fidgeted in his chair and watched Sherlock wash their plates. Was he mad at John? Was he tired of living with him? It agitated him to see Sherlock in such pain. John closed his eyes and inhaled. He had to ask him.
“Sherlock, are you alright?”
Sherlock stopped scrubbing and looked up at him with sad, glassy eyes. He just stared at John for a while before he muttered, “I’m sorry.”
“Sorry for what?”
Sherlock looked reluctant to continue. John didn’t want to force the answer out of him, but he didn’t want Sherlock to think he had to suffer in silence. John sighed and said, “Fine, we’ll do things your way. Whenever you want to talk, I’m here, okay?”
Sherlock nodded petulantly.
“I know you are, John.”
John smirked and began to help collect the silverware and soiled napkins, since Sherlock ran off with their plates in a haste. It seemed like an eternity between them. Sherlock took the pots and began washing them, and John walked around him, storing the leftovers of the food, placing the silverware in the sink, and binning the used napkins. He rested his back against the counter next to Sherlock, and crossed his arms. Sherlock scrubbed furiously at the clean plate. John placed a hand on Sherlock’s back.
“I can help dry the plates if you would like.”
Wordlessly, Sherlock handed him a plate and John chuckled as he grabbed the rag to dry it. They stood together, focused on their chores. Sherlock broke the silence by whispering, “I shouldn’t have kissed you.”
John nearly dropped the plate he was holding. “What?”
“Earlier today, when I kissed you, it was unwarranted and selfish of me.”
John dropped the rag and turned to face him. Sherlock stopped his scrubbing again, his hands submerged in the water as he stood straight and stared at nothing.
“You clearly seem uncomfortable with me now. You tune me out, you reply in short sentences, and what’s worse…you seem bored.”
“Bored?” John was trying to keep his tone level. Sherlock thought he was bored of him? Uninterested? He surely was a madman.
“Now’s not the time to act daft, John. Contrary to popular belief, I know when I’ve overstayed my welcome. Say the word and I’ll pack my things and leave.”
John heard enough of Sherlock’s self-deprecation. He was an idiot, a complete idiot for letting this man think that he of all people became boring and unloved. “Sherlock.”
Sherlock’s chest started to heave as he began his rant and John saw the glistening of tears in his eyes as he poured his heart out to him. “I should be used to this feeling by now, of rejection. I’ve been rejected so…so many times, John. It hurt, it always hurt but I never thought that you would end being one of the people that reject…”
John grabbed Sherlock’s face and brought him into a crushing kiss. He sighed loudly at finally being able to kiss him again, to be able to show his utter love and devotion to the man by something as simple yet passionate as this. Sherlock closed his eyes, and John could taste the saltiness of Sherlock’s tears as they ran down his face and into their mouths. His chest heaved against John’s and he placed his hands on John’s waist to steady himself from the surprise. John pulled away from him, out of breath but never looking away from Sherlock’s gorgeous eyes.
“Listen to me, I’m sorry, okay? I’m sorry that I made you feel like this, like you were alone, that you were anything less than the extraordinary man that I know you are. You are the biggest git to think that I would ever even for one moment lose interest in you. I love you okay? I love you, I love you…” John trailed off and muttered, “I love you” after each kiss he pressed to Sherlock’s wet lips, his salty cheeks, and his forehead.
“You’re so clever, and beautiful, Sherlock I’m utterly besotted, okay? You’re brilliant, and kind, and…Sherlock I don’t think there’s any word in the English language that will ever tell you how dear you are to me.”
Sherlock let out a sob, but he was smiling, he was happy and he was loved and that’s all John could ask for. His face was red and his eyes puffy and swollen from his crying but it was no longer out of pain.
“I only want to hear you say three words, John.” John nearly wept himself at how small and shaky Sherlock’s voice was. He was beautiful when he cried.
“Yes, of course. I love you.”
“No, no.” Sherlock chuckled softly and shook his head as he wiped away the tears. John looked confused at what he wanted. Sherlock took John’s hands off his face and pressed a small, wet kiss to his knuckles.
“I’m a git.”
They both laughed a little louder, and John kissed him again.
Okay so I think, what I want the rest of this to be is just them getting into the habit of learning to be in a relationship with each other and getting used to each other again.
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