Original Story Title: In Which Sherlock and John Dodge Several Romantic Tropes Only to Fall Victim to One Anyway
Original Story Link: http://mantic-torpor.livejournal.com/41280.html
Original Story Pairings: Sherlock/John
Original Story Rating: PG?
Original Story Warnings: Mentions of corpses, body parts, being shot. Sexual situations.
Remix Story Title: In Which Sherlock and John Dodge Several Romantic Tropes Only to Fall Victim to One Anyway, Kiss Attack Remix
Remix Author: noirrosaleen
Remix Beta: ladyofthelog, betwixt_worlds
Remix Britpicker: N/A
Remix Story Pairings: Sherlock/John
Remix Story Rating: PG
Remix Story Warnings: Mentions of corpses, body parts, being shot. Sexual situations.
"In Which Sherlock and John Dodge Several Romantic Tropes Only to Fall Victim to One Anyway, Kiss Attack Remix"
Sherlock had never quite understood the concept of personal space. He knew of it, generally in reference to himself violating others', but it had never affected him when people had gotten what was generally deemed "too close".
That was why when Suzie McAlistair had kissed him in fourth form he'd been gobsmacked and a little disgusted. He hadn't been implying that he "liked" her (whatever that meant) by standing so close when they talked about their science project, and her pouts and tears and claims of his interest had left him unmoved. After that he'd paid a bit more attention to the body language of those around him, at first to dodge unexpected kisses, but later because people could be fascinating.
Take John, for example. All the little tells on him that day in the lab had been riddled with contradictions, and Sherlock was incredibly pleased by the thought of living with someone who promised to be so interesting. The cheeky wink he'd given John after rattling off his observations and dashing off to get his riding crop would have startled most people who knew him, and alarmed the others; a pleased Sherlock usually involved dead bodies.
The look on John's face when he realised that the mess in 221b was Sherlock's, on the other hand, caused an unusual reaction. A brief zing of what if he decides not to move in? shot across Sherlock's brain, and he found himself apologising and hastily picking up a bit of the mess before he quite knew what he was doing. He almost never apologised; why was he doing so for this near-stranger? Fortunately for Sherlock's peace of mind, John seemed more concerned with the skull and Mrs Hudson's query about the second bedroom, and the moment passed.
(Later that evening, after the suicides and the drugs bust and the shooting, Sherlock decided that probably a bit of mess wasn't going to dissuade John.)
John's conservative feelings about space and privacy didn't seem to be a problem either. The army had worn away at what might have been modesty, and while Sherlock's invasions of the bathroom while John was in the shower were initially greeted with a bit of surprise and annoyance, they swiftly became acknowledged with an eyeroll and a reluctant "What is it now, Sherlock?"
One day after an irritatingly fruitless search on scar tissue (for personal research this time, not a case - yet), Sherlock had just closed yet another tab in frustration when the pipes told him that John had finished his shower. A simple, brilliant idea took hold of him - Why not examine John's scars? Throwing himself off the sofa and snatching up a magnifying glass, Sherlock charged to the bathroom and banged the door open. John, standing there in his ratty towel, started as Sherlock grabbed his shoulder and began examining the old wound.
"Don't have enough detailed analysis on scar tissue," he explained, eyes poring over the knotted tissue. A sigh gusted by his ear. “Shot from the front, shooter was elevated in comparison. Bullet exited out the back with relatively small muscle damage. Most likely a 7.62x39mm cartridge from an AK 47 fired while you were treating somebody.”
"Very good," John said somewhat dryly. Something was slightly off with his voice; perhaps the trauma associated with the injury was bothering him. Sherlock had seen whatever this scar could tell him, though, and that was the reason he moved onward to find more data. Maybe the towel covered another scar?
Tugging the towel down, Sherlock smiled as he spotted one on John's hip, and knelt to get a closer look. John stepped back, looking discomfited and pulling the towel back up. "Sherlock! Really, that's a bit much."
"Why? You never minded before," Sherlock said, annoyance causing his lip to curl as his data were covered by John's fumblings with the towel.
"This is different," John replied.
Different? Heart rate elevated, pupils dilated, tongue moistening lower lip, slight flush - not PTSD, it's- “Ah. Too close to a sexual act for you to maintain distance. Would putting pants on help?” Sherlock quirked an eyebrow up at John, whose color got a bit higher.
"Not really. You're a bit too distracting."
"You find me attractive?" Sherlock blinked; he hadn't thought of that before.
"Yes. I'm not blind."
Tilting his head to the side, Sherlock tried to recall John reacting sexually to him before, and failed. "Your reaction is unusual."
"Doctor, remember?" John finished tucking the towel back in place, hiding his body's response, and looked askance at Sherlock. Clearly that had nothing to do with what Sherlock had meant, and- "And I don't date men."
Dating, perhaps not, but John had obviously been sexually involved with men before. Sherlock nodded; John was most likely repressing his attraction to him based on Sherlock's first warning that he was not sexually active. This was quite thoughtful, so he regretfully went back to trying to find more research on scar tissue online rather than demand John submit to further examination.
John's first successful picking of the lock on the bathroom door amused Sherlock. His demand for the shampoo earned him a glower from John (and the bottle, of course), and he simply ignored John's quick, unobtrusive once-over while passing the bottle over. John's eyebrows told him that his form was as expected. Afterward, his tact in not raking his eyes over Sherlock in the altogether on other occasions elicited both pleasure and (oddly) disappointment, which caused some concern. Why should he be disappointed if John respected his stated wishes?
On the other hand, the day Sherlock barged into the bathroom to ask how long it would take a five stone girl to bleed to death and discovered John having a wank, he couldn't help a moue of distaste. True, Sarah and John had split awhile before and he was in what was termed a "dry spell", but really, how was Sherlock supposed to put up with that? He left with his question unanswered, and firmly ignored how easy it was to call up the image of John against the wall of the shower until later that night.
(The prank war started by Sherlock's unintended peepshow lasted two weeks, and involved sudden cold water, body parts on ice, and the skull acquiring the ability to yell at Sherlock to buy milk in a voice remarkably like John's whenever he came within a meter of it, among other things.)
The experiment of scent was possibly the closest Sherlock got to acknowledging his changing attitudes. The information gathered by his nose was useful, and the training would certainly help in the long run, but John's scent - tea and aftershave and home - was enjoyable in its own right. Some of his incorrect deductions were even more a matter of distraction than erroneous information. After a week he halted the experiment, once his accuracy rate reached roughly 85% and his urge to do more than smell John became downright annoying.
Sherlock surrendered to his interest like this:
An abrupt downpour caught them outside after a successful case. By the time they got home, the happy buzz of being right was beaten down by the cold and the torpor that goes along with it. They stumbled into the house, shivering and dripping. John's hands fumbled clumsily on his jacket's zipper, and Sherlock reached over to tease the stubborn zipper open. The suit jacket Sherlock wore was pulled off and dropped in the doorway, and John's careful fingers pried the shirt buttons apart when Sherlock would have simply popped them all off in frustration.
Both of their hands were on John's belt when Mrs. Hudson came in, and the sudden realisation of how it looked crashed in on Sherlock when she backed out, babbling something about them closing the door in the future. He looked at John, who was looking down at their hands on his belt. Awareness of his shirtless state and John's warmth made Sherlock briefly dry-mouthed, but then John, wonderful John, started giggling. "Did you, did you see her face?"
Helplessly, Sherlock joined in, and they laughed entangled in the doorway, Sherlock's head on John's shoulder. After a bit Sherlock raised his head and the look in John's eyes nearly made him gasp. A subtle tension sprang up between them, made of the closeness and the sudden possibility that maybe everyone else had been right and they were in fact in a relationship. Not breaking eye contact, Sherlock resumed unfastening John's belt, heat curling low in his belly.
“Sherlock. I’m fine with this meaning something else. More than fine.” John swallowed, his own words startling him, and confusion chased desire across his face. "But you've never shown interest."
Thinking of how to phrase his feelings (terrible things, feelings, contrary as a cat and disdaining definition in mere words most the time), Sherlock rubbed John's buckle as a focus. “In general I’m not. I have the same irritating impulses. I simply don’t act on them most of the time.”
Fascinated by the actions of his own fingers, Sherlock allowed himself to stroke the fly of John’s jeans. “But this is acceptable. I think you’d keep it from being dull.”
"I'll see what I can do," John smiled, as the fabric under Sherlock's fingers began to heat and press against them.
Sherlock hastened to add, "But nothing...romantic," grimacing at the very word.
“Such a shame. I had a nice bouquet of roses in mind. Pink ones,” John replied straightfaced. Sherlock started laughing again and John joined in, and then John tugged Sherlock's head down and they were kissing, or trying to at any rate. John missed Sherlock's mouth at first and Sherlock was still laughing, and John laughed on Sherlock as they adjusted and finally aligned their mouths into a kiss. John tasted of rain and tea and Sherlock was probably letting himself do more research on John's taste than he was focusing on the kiss.
They broke apart after a bit to try and shed the rest of the clothing. The zipper on John's jeans refused to open, and Sherlock rather abruptly encountered the floor after an aborted attempt to help, and John sprawled on top of him and laughed and laughed and laughed. The door to 221a closed faintly below them, and Sherlock smiled just a bit wider. Clearly Mrs. Hudson really had pegged them from day one. Twisting himself a bit, he got an elbow underneath himself and looked at his erstwhile flatmate, breathless and grinning fit to burst. Maybe this whole relationship thing wasn't bad after all. At the very least, unexpected kisses could become something to look forward to.
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