Pairing: Sherlock/John; mentions of Mycroft/"Anthea"
Word Count: 1535
Disclaimer: Not mine, written for fun not profit.
Summary: What has Sherlock done this time to make John so angry with him?
Testing a Theory
It was late morning on New Years Day when Sherlock finally woke, alone in his room at 221b. Sounds from the street below were muffled; the snow which had been threatening all of the previous day must have finally arrived, then. It had yet to fall at 2am when he and John had stumbled upstairs, half-frozen from the winter’s chill.
There was still some residual warmth on John’s side of the bed, but no cup of tea steaming on the bedside table beside him. Frowning, Sherlock tried to remember if he had done or said anything at the party the previous evening to cause the withholding of a morning cup of tea, but the whole night was a bit of a blur, really, up until they had arrived home and fallen into bed, and into each other’s arms, for the first fumbling sex of the new year.
Come to think of it, Sherlock mused, John had been a bit bad-tempered both during and after their love-making. Sherlock had been far too drunk at the time to try to unravel the reasons for John’s mood. He’d simply gone with the flow, then crashed into unconsciousness as soon as the duvet had been tugged roughly back over him.
As Sherlock opened his bedroom door he could hear voices; Detective Inspector Lestrade was in the living room, talking with John. Well, that explained the lack of tea, then; John had been entertaining their guest. Rapidly Sherlock pulled on his robe then paused, forehead creased in thought. Something had upset John last night so it behooved him to at least attempt to redress the issue, even if he had no idea really what he had done.
“Ah, you’re up,” John commented as Sherlock entered the living room a few minutes later, arms full of the linen he’d just stripped from their bed. “And don’t just dump that on the floor; sheets won’t wash themselves.”
Lestrade’s eyebrows rose at the tone of John’s voice while Sherlock felt as though he’d been slapped.
“I’ll put them in the machine, then.” When this elicited no response, he went on, “and get my own cup of tea, shall I?”
“Good idea.” The look John threw Sherlock was murderous, making Sherlock even more confused. What on earth had he done to get John in such a state?
“I should probably leave now.” Lestrade placed his cup back on the china saucer and placed both on the coffee table. “It sounds as though you two need to talk.”
“Stay.” This from John, at the same time as Sherlock called from the kitchen “Don’t let him scare you off.” Sherlock wanted an audience, if only so he didn’t have to bear John’s mood alone.
Lestrade settled back into the armchair and crossed his arms, looking ill at ease.
Tea-making complete, Sherlock took his accustomed seat on the sofa, spreading his long legs out before him. “John, you’re obviously upset with me, but I really don’t know why. It would help me greatly if you could offer an explanation.”
“If you don’t know what you did, then I am NOT going to tell you.”
“How on earth is that possibly helpful? If you don’t tell me why you’re angry, how will I know to avoid doing in the future whatever I did to make you like this? And if it’s due to something I did last night, why did you want to have sex with me when we got home?”
“La la la la,” said Lestrade, fingers inserted firmly in his ears, “too much information!”
Neither Sherlock nor John paid Lestrade any attention. Lestrade rose to his feet, retrieving his coat from the back of the armchair and hastily putting it on.
“You think I’m angry,” John shouted, “your brother is furious! Wait till you see him next, if he’s ever speaking to you at all.”
“Mycroft? What has… oh!” Sherlock’s eyes opened wide with the exclamation. “John, you never struck me as the jealous type! And I thought you of all people would understand that I did it for…” His sentence was cut off as John, who had risen from his seat and crossed the space between them, placed both hands on Sherlock’s chest and pushed him backwards into the back of the sofa.
“DON’T tell me it was an experiment, Sherlock! Don't you bloody dare! I saw you, sitting there flirting with Anthea for half the night before you finally snogged her. I’m surprised Mycroft didn’t punch you out then and there. Although I suppose he’s far too civilised to make a scene. God knows it was all I could do not to flatten you where you sat.”
“I’ll just go now, “ Lestrade said, edging his way towards the door. Sherlock glanced at the door as it closed behind the detective, then dragged his focus back to his angry partner. Was John actually shaking? It looked like it; not just his hand but his whole body.
“No, wait, stop, listen!” Sherlock was getting flustered, a feeling which was so foreign to him that it flustered him even further. “You must let me explain, it really WAS an experiment.”
“This had better be good.” John straightened, rubbing his upper arms as though he was cold. At least he wasn’t trying to push Sherlock through the back of the sofa any more, a fact for which Sherlock was grateful. Sherlock patted the cushions beside him.
“Sit here. No, please John, sit here,” he continued when John showed no signs of obeying him. “I need you to know, to understand.”
John sat, although he arranged himself in such a way that no part of their bodies was touching, and Sherlock continued, “Firstly, until last night I had no idea that Mycroft was romantically involved with Anthea….”
“Oh I’m feeling much better already, thank you!” John interjected.
“No! Let me finish. I’d not seen any signs of a romantic attachment. It was a surprise to me, and she confessed it had surprised her too, that the feeling had crept up on her unheralded but it was nice, she was happy. But that’s not why I kissed her."
“Go on,” John prompted when Sherlock paused to take a mouthful of tea.
“Well. We were discussing how we knew when feelings altered from friendship to love, and how strange the whole relationship-thing is,”
“For some. It’s not rocket science, and I still don’t see why that makes it all right for you to kiss her.”
“I’m getting to that,” Sherlock said impatiently, “you see, I told her that when I kissed you my breathing rate altered, my pulse accelerated, and I felt as though suns were going nova inside my head. I assumed it was because I was kissing someone for whom I had such strong feelings, but I had no basis for comparison and was lacking empirical evidence, so Anthea offered to help me test my theory. And so we kissed.”
John said nothing, just continued to stare straight ahead. Sherlock reached out to take John’s hand, twining their fingers together and resting their locked hands on John’s thigh. John made no move to disentangle them, which Sherlock took as a good sign. He hurried on with his story.
“Don’t you see, John? It really WAS an experiment, an attempt to prove that the reason is you, not the act of kissing by itself. And it was successful. I felt nothing when I kissed Anthea. Oh it was pleasant enough I suppose, but not something I’d seek out again.”
The silence stretched on between them until finally John leaned sideways, resting his head on Sherlock’s shoulder. He’d stopped shaking at least, Sherlock noted with the part of his mind that wasn’t screaming for John to please, please say something, to make it all right.
“You’re a mad bastard, you know,” John eventually muttered, “utterly barking. Certifiable. Although I must be just as mad, as I can actually see how you’d reach the conclusion that kissing Anthea was a reasonable course of action.” He turned his face then, nuzzling into Sherlock’s shoulder. “But no more, okay? No kissing other women, strange or otherwise.”
“That is acceptable. I don’t feel the need to repeat the experiment, anyway.”
John lightly punched Sherlock’s side. “Good, because I swear I’d take my gun and kill you. That’s if your brother doesn’t have you assassinated first.”
“Although the amount of alcohol I drank last night may have corrupted my data, skewing my results….”
Sherlock couldn’t stop the grin from spreading across his face. “A joke, John.” Then, more seriously, “You have my word. I trust that will suffice.”
“Don’t think I won’t keep you to it. And you should know that it goes both ways.”
“I think we need to seal the deal. With a kiss?”
“I’ve a better idea.” John rose to his feet then grabbed Sherlock’s hand, tugging him to his feet. “Come on, let’s take this to the bedroom.”
“Bed’s not made,” Sherlock replied, “sheets in the machine, remember?”
“Not planning on sleeping,” John replied, still stalking towards the bedroom with Sherlock in tow, “ the mattress will do for what I have in mind.”
And it did.