Sherlock stepped up behind you. You made no move, no indication that you heard his arrival or felt his presence.
“Is there a reason you haven’t been to Baker street this week?”
“I’ve been busy.”
“Too busy to reply to a text?”
“I did reply.”
“Ah, yes, how could I forget your elegant response of a single letter. I did not realize that we had been having a discussion about potassium.”
“What do you want, Sherlock?”
Sherlock stepped around the bench hoping you would look up. But your gaze remained on the pond before you. “I was hoping to gain some sort of insight as to your new attitude.”
“Sherlock, I really don’t want to have this conversation right now.”
You bit your lip before turning to Sherlock. “You want to talk about what’s going on? Why don’t you deduce what’s happening?”
“I’ve tried. But I think I’m missing a few key pieces of information.”
Sherlock sat next to you, staring out over the pond. “I can tell you’re upset. With the nature of your hostile attitude, I can only assume I am the cause of your anger.”
“So far, so good,” you said sarcastically.
“You haven’t been to Baker street since last Thursday. The events of that evening were relatively simple. You came over after work. We went to dinner. We went back to Baker street. You left around ten. I have heard little from you since.”
“You’ve got the big picture down, Sherlock. Now it’s time to look at the details.”
You reached down and grabbed Sherlock’s hand, slipping your fingers in between his. His hand was stiff and heavy in yours, his fingers straight. You stared down at your hands before glaring up at him.
“You’re cold, Sherlock.”
“The natural temperature of a human is–”
“Emotionally!” You pulled your hand from his. “Sherlock, I’m all for moving slowly. Really, I am. But… I like you so much, Sherlock, and sometimes I want to hold your hand or give you a small kiss but you deny my attentions.”
Sherlock thought back. He did remember that you’d tried to slip your hand into his before, tried to kiss his cheek. He’d let you—after all, that was a typical human behavior. And he didn’t mind it… of all the people he knew, he was willing to experience those things with you.
Sherlock had to admit your hands were soft and small in his, delicate. Your lips were soft as well. And when you were that close to him, he could clearly smell your perfume, a delightful scent.
“I apologize, Y/N. I did not realize…”
“It’s fine, Sherlock.”
The two of you sat there for a few minutes with only the sound of the ducks filling the silence.
“I have to go, Sherlock,” you finally said, standing.
But you didn’t get very far.
Sherlock reached out and grabbed your hand, freezing you on the spot.
“Sherlock, what are you doing?”
Sherlock stood, stepping towards you, but never letting go of your hand. “This is what you want, correct?”
“Sherlock, I don’t want to force you to–”
You turned, looking up at him. “What do you mean?”
“I… want to make you happy.”
“But that doesn’t mean making yourself uncomfortable.”
Sherlock looked down at your clasped hands. “This… is not uncomfortable.”
You looked up at him, a smile on your face. “You promise?”
“I would never lie to you, Y/N.”
The two of you left the park, headed for Baker street. There, the two of you spent the evening on the couch, you curled into Sherlock’s side. Over the next few weeks, hand holding became a normal thing for the two of you (and Sherlock even surprised you a few times by pressing light kisses to your cheeks or forehead).
Sherlock realized that when he was with you, you anchored him. Yes, he was the smartest man in London. Yes, he hated having to spend time with ‘normal’ humans (with the exception of you and John and Mrs. Hudson).
But… he needed you in his life.