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December 22, 2018 3:05 pm  #1

Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

Fics for the 2018 Secret Santa exchange will be posted here. Please comment on them in the other thread (
Clueing for looks.

December 23, 2018 2:16 pm  #2

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

This is for gently69. You wanted to read about good friendship (I hope this here is friendly enough) between Sherlock und John to smooth Johnlock, a plot set during Christmas time and no other pairings concerning Sherlock and John as well as no plots set after S2. I hope I managed to squeeze your wishes into 1,000 words (minus one or two).
The Most Romantic Offer
He was standing with his back to John, bow in one hand, violin in other, not turning around.
“Yes, John?“
“I am going out. There was to be an Amazon delivery, Christmas present for Harry. Could you please accept it for me?“
He was already opening the door and zipping his jacket when he heard Sherlock’s deep voice. Just one word.
“Excuse me?“ John made a step back into the living-room. “Are you going out as well?“
John felt an irrational anger surging up although he was not sure where it came from. Was it the sheer rudeness of refusing this tiny favour or the sheer arrogance of not even turning around when speaking to one’s best friend?
“And why the fucking hell are you not willing to open the door, sign on a fucking monitor and master the death-defying climb of seventeen fucking steps?“
Sherlock turned around, put the violin and the bow back in the case, closed it, and shoved it under his chair. Next he removed some invisible specks of dust from his suit jacket, sat down, crossed his legs and finally looked at John. His face was unreadable.
“I want you to move out. You can stay here until you have found something else but I politely request you to start your search asap.“
It was as if someone had emptied a bucket of ice water over John’s head. He had to lean against the door, his breath going heavily. What in hell had happened over the last few minutes? He had asked Sherlock a small favour, something a stranger or any neighbour would do for him, and now he was out of a flat? Had lost his home?
He looked at his watch.
“I do not wish to detain you from your date with the blonde receptionist from Barts but I would have recommended a different restaurant. The Trattoria Alfredo is terribly overpriced, and the cook has changed only last week.“
John sat down in his chair, leaning forward and bracing his elbows on his thighs. „What is this all about?“
Sherlock just waved his hand. “Of course I will accept your parcel. Off you go.“
John got up, hesitating instantly. “Ahem, thank you.“
The moment his hand touched the door knob, Sherlock spoke again.
“However, I still wish you to find another flat, just so we are clear.“
By now John was exasperated. “Could you please explain what this is all about? This is not because of a fucking parcel, right? What have I done to offend His Highness? Have I been more idiotic than even a saint like you can bear? Or was it the fact that I went to the Yard’s Christmas party instead of watching a documentary on fungus growth on organic matter with you? Or did I insult your brother once too often?“
“Quite the contrary. Insult away where Mycroft is concerned, the more, the better.“
“But what is it then?“
At that something happened to Sherlock’s face, something John could not describe. It became darker and closed off but at the same time strangely vulnerable. Then he seemed to pull himself together.
“You are going on a date with a woman.“
“Two days before Christmas.“
“Yes …“
A deep, a very deep breath. “I cannot stand it any longer. I cannot stand sitting here and watch you chasing all these women, chasing something you never find. Something I …“
John felt a tingling sensation somewhere in the direction of his stomach. Or was it his heart?
“Something you what?“
“Something I could give you.“
Sherlock bent forward and retrieved his violin case, took out the bow and started to meticulously apply the rosin.
John was no consulting detective but he knew when someone was stalling. And suddenly he could read something in Sherlock’s face that appeared there very rarely – fear. The man was afraid of what John would say, afraid that he would get up and leave.
He got his phone out of his pocket, wrote a WhatsApp message and sent it before tucking away his phone.
“So what is it that you could give me?“
Sherlock did not look at him but turned his face towards the mirror over the mantlepiece. “Fun. Good food. Music.“
“This is not what I get from my girlfriends, Sherlock.“
“Nightly walks in parts of the city you have never seen before. Adrenaline highs no girl friend could provide. Danger. Drama. Science.“
John stood up.
“Where are you going?“
“Honestly, Sherlock, I have all this already.“ He dug in his pocket to retrieve his phone when he heard laughter.
“You are not really going to double back on ditching her? This is pathetic.“
“And you are the meanest arsehole I have ever met!“ John held his phone out. The message read:
Angelo, table for 2 in 20 min?
Sherlock gulped. Then he stood up, very erect, and looked John in the eye. „You can stay and live with me, as my boyfriend or partner or lover of whatever it is you wish to call me. Or you can meet Miss This-is-Barts-Hospital-can-I-help-you and move out. Your choice.“
John smiled. “I think this is the most romantic offer I ever got.“
Fifteen minutes later Angelo’s phone pinged with another message:
Would you do a delivery, just this once? Got an offer I cannot refuse. And no, this is not a tasteless anti-Italian joke. P.S. Could you pack a candle as well?
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

December 24, 2018 1:25 pm  #3

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

Dear Schmiezi,
you asked for a Johnlock story set after S4 that would set right the situation we were left with after The Final Problem. I feel that a request like this demands a story much, much longer that 1000 words. Still, I tried to address the issues of S4 and to cramp both them and the reconciliation of John and Sherlock into that limited space. I hope you'll enjoy this bit of fluff. Wish you a merry Christmas.
Low Tide at Sea Garden
“My fair friend, this is me and you:
Nor you without me, nor me without you.”
(Marie de France: Chevrefoil)
At last, the helicopter appeared. Resembling an elegant red dragonfly rather than a machine in the twilight, it buzzed over the Tresco heliport for a while, then descended slowly and alighted on the grass-plot next to the wooden hangar. The noise, the murmur of the giant bumble-bee, intensified for a moment. But the blades of the rotor stopped quite quickly after that and the resulting silence flooded the lawn like a high tide.
Sherlock slipped out, stiffly holding a violin-case under his arm.

John, patiently waiting behind the wooden fence, exhaled in relief. He understood Sherlock's need to care for his long absent sister… still, you could never know with Eurus. One visit of Sherrinford sufficed HIM for a lifetime, that's for sure.

He hurried forth and joined his friend by the gate as they hit the road towards the cottage hired for the night. Sherlock took his time in Sherrinford facility and the ferry to Penzance was the impossibility now, the weather and the late season making even the future ship transport from the island dubious. But Sherlock probably didn't mind at all, John suspected. He was not made from steel after all and needed some time for himself after each visit of Eurus.

They wandered through the abandoned island road in wordless pensiveness from Sherlock's side. And John did not try to break this barrier of silence down. He damaged their friendly relations more recently and was used to see more reserved, business-like side of Sherlock from that moment on. So he was not surprised by the silent treatment on this God-forgotten place, nor was he shocked, when Sherlock refused to share the bedroom on their arrival to the Sea Garden Cottages and opted to stay downstairs on his own, in front of the glowing PC monitor.
Cold all over, John undressed wearily and numbly blinked at the total darkness for hours, until the sleep claimed him.

When he opened those eyes again, the sight took his breath away.

Behind the whole-wall window, the chain of rugged rocks and islets, the silver line of the beach and the stormy coloured sea bathed in the dazzling sunlight. It pulled him to the glass panel in an instant.
Besides, it was a low tide. The boulders in front of the cottage were swarming with conspicuous wedge-shaped humps.
Having noticed that, he was struck with a sudden idea.

After some necessary preparations, he crept downstairs and stepped over soundly-sleeping Sherlock sprawled on a carpet. PC monitor was still on, emitting the wan flare into the room. John took a quick look at it, nodded determinedly and skilfully escaped the confines of the room.

“Are you picking mussels?” Sherlock's sleepy voice rasped over him some twenty minutes later, when he walked back from the edge of the coast, his jeans wet to the knees. “They contain microplastics, you know?”

John shook his head in amusement, but didn't respond. Instead, he stepped close to Sherlock huddled in his coat at the threshold, seized his wrist in a gentle grip and deposited a small object into his hand: a single mussel.
“Deduce what it is!” He challenged his friend, a secretive smile dallying with the corners of his mouth.

Surprised, Sherlock hesitantly turned the tiny creature in his fingers: “A bivalve? A marine mollusc with a laterally compressed body, enclosed by a shell consisting of two hinged parts?”

John eyes twinkled. After that, he uttered the phrase, carefully pronouncing the half-forgotten dialect:
Bele amie, si est de nus,
Ne vus sanz mei, ne mei sanz vus.
Sherlock startled. He blanched as if every drop of blood was drained from his face. He stood straighter after that and his features hardened, the wild blue eyes flashing with a steely flame.

“Whoa!” John pressed his palm to his friend's chest in a swift motion. “No, don't leave! I didn't mean to insult you…”
He lowered his voice and stared earnestly at Sherlock: “You were reading that depressive Verlaine again. Il pleure dans mon coeur… that's why I came with that Mary de France silliness. But it was no joke, Sherlock. I meant every word.”

Sherlock's lips trembled and were pressed tightly together again. The detective averted his gaze with a bitter expression surfacing from beneath the glacier of his visage.

“Could have fooled me.” He replied, his voice choked with suppressed anger.

He wanted to break free, but John held him fast and spoke quickly: “You don't believe me… It's my fault, I know. You went through a lot because of me the last year. I felt monumentally stupid after that Culverton Smith affair. But you have forgiven me for that… You even overlooked that unjust beating in a hospital…”

Their eyes locked firmly. John voice lowered even more, changing into a whisper: “Yet you could never forgive me, babbling about Irene Adler that way, am I right?”

A short moment of silence ensued.

Sherlock coughed then and reclining his head to the side, announced: “It was honeysuckle in the original.”

John tacitly raised his eyebrows.

“It was the honeysuckle and the hazel Marie de France wrote about…. not the two parts of a mussel-shell.”

“That binding vine, you mean? Something like this?” John's arms sneaked up Sherlock's torso, entwining around his body like the plant in question.

“Yes, quite.” His flaming gaze boring into John, Sherlock bent forwards inconspicuously.

Their kissed roughly and as they exchanged hot breaths, John's right hand usurped a place on Sherlock's waist, while the left one furtively travelled down….

And in the next second, Sherlock flinched violently and all but screamed.

“Wha…? You..? You don't like that?” Recoiling back, John let him go in a flash, looking at him bug-eyed.

“No!” Red like a tomato, Sherlock barked back. “It's the mussel! It slipped into my underwear… right there! Eww! So gross!”

And in a state of near panic, he undid his zip and started to tear down his belt, trying to get out of his trousers as quickly as possible. He kept cursing the innocent bivalve with gusto, while John flung back his head and laughed uproariously.

Still, as more and more of Sherlock's skin became visible, a look of cunning reverie spread over his face. His tongue slipped out and lashed over his lips sensuously.

He receded towards the door and locked them tightly, closing heavy draperies over the glass wall. After that, he turned on his heel resolutely.

“Wait, Sherlock.” He said with a broad smile. “I'll help you with that.”

Last edited by Yitzock (December 24, 2018 1:28 pm)
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

December 26, 2018 1:26 pm  #4

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

Hello, Kerkerian, 
I hope you enjoy this bit of festive silliness incorporating a few ideas from your prompt! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The Case of the Christmas Sock Heist 
One chilly afternoon, John sat by the fire reading a book. He was relaxed compared to Sherlock, who was shrugging on his coat with a disgruntled expression on his face.  

“With any luck,” he said, “it’ll all be over in a few hours. Or better yet, I can sneak out before it’s over because my parents will get along with whoever Mycroft’s ‘wonderful’ new partner is and be caught up in a conversation even their own son can’t distract them from. At least going now means I can stay here at Baker Street for Christmas this year.” 

“Good luck,” John replied simply. Sherlock snorted in response before heading out. As soon as the door shut, John put down his book and padded silently to the door in his stocking feet to listen to Sherlock’s steps on the stairs, followed by the opening and closing of the door to the street. John then ran over to the window and watched Sherlock walk along the sidewalk and hail a cab. John saw the taxi drive away, but didn’t leave the window until he was sure it wasn’t going to turn around. 

Once satisfied, John headed for Sherlock’s room. When he arrived at the dresser, he reached out and opened the sock drawer. Sherlock had mentioned the sock index to him before, but John had never really seen it, never intended to look at it, even if apparently he had ruined it once. And now, here it was. Sherlock’s socks, all arranged according to a system.  

John pulled out his phone and snapped a few pictures of the neatly-organized drawer before carefully removing a few of the paired-up socks, closing the drawer, and leaving. Socks in hand, he left the flat, descended the stairs, and knocked on Mrs. Hudson’s door.

“I’ve got some samples,” John said when she greeted him. “God – I sound like Sherlock when he’s doing one of his experiments.” 

Mrs. Hudson nodded, put on her coat, and locked up her flat. She and John headed out to the street.  


When Sherlock got home that evening, John was once again reading by the fire as if he had not moved the entire time Sherlock was gone. But John was soon distracted from his book by Sherlock’s giggling. 

“You’re not going to believe this, John!” he said giddily as he hung up his coat.  

“What?” John asked, looking up from his book nonchalantly.  

“Mycroft’s got a boyfriend!” Sherlock practically shouted as he sat himself down in his chair across from John’s. He laughed again.  

“Uh-huh…” John said, unsure how that in itself was so funny. John had never speculated on Sherlock’s brother’s sexuality, only because he felt the man never really let on to much in the way of feelings of any kind, let alone romantic or sexual interests. 

“You won’t believe who it is!” Sherlock said. 



“Oh.” John took a moment to think as he watched Sherlock laugh some more before saying, “I didn’t know they’d met.”  

“Apparently Mycroft tracked him down one day when Lestrade was working on some case the government had also been investigating. Apparently, Lestrade wouldn’t meet in Mycroft’s usual secluded area. He convinced him to have their meeting at a pub, they had a few drinks, and that was that.” 

“Did they seem happy?”   

“I would say so.”  

“Isn’t that nice…”  

“Isn’t that hilarious?!”  


Sherlock knocked on Mrs. Hudson’s door. She greeted him cheerily despite the annoyed look on his face.  

“Mrs. Hudson,” he began, “my socks haven’t by chance wound up in your laundry recently, have they? Perhaps stuck to the inside of the dryer without John noticing they were there?”  

“No,” Mrs. Hudson replied. “Why?”  

“Some of my socks have gone missing, but they’ve all been washed recently and I know which ones are in the dirty pile. I do hope John hasn’t stolen them. They are of superior quality to the ones he buys.”  

“Socks go missing sometimes, Sherlock,” she reassured him.  

“Complete pairs at a time? Highly unlikely.”  

“But possible.”  



After breakfast on Christmas morning, Mrs. Hudson got Sherlock busy helping her with the dishes while John snuck around the flat doing his final preparations for his gift for Sherlock. Once the chores were completed, they were ready to exchange presents.  

Sherlock presented John with his gift, wrapped carefully in gold paper. John peeled it off, revealing a small box. Inside was a little velvet bag with a drawstring. Inside was a magnifying lens exactly like the one Sherlock sometimes used at crime scenes.  

“For your own investigations,” Sherlock said. “You don't have to share with me anymore."

“Thanks, Sherlock,” he said, smiling at the thoughtfulness of the gift. “This is something I can really use.”  

Sherlock smiled, glad that John was happy.  

“But it might make my gift for you seem a bit lacklustre.”  

Sherlock looked confused now.  

“We’ll have to go into another room to get it,” John continued. “It’s not really something I can wrap.”  

Sherlock raised his eyebrows quizzically, but followed John through the flat for a few paces before he stopped.  

“Wait,” John said. “Close your eyes."

Sherlock opened his mouth to protest, but then stopped himself. John took him by the hand and, while watching to make sure Sherlock didn’t peek, led Sherlock to his bedroom. He stood Sherlock in front of the dresser.  

“You can look now.”  

“It’s my dresser,” Sherlock said plainly. “That’s not anything new.”  

“Open it.”   

Sherlock opened the top drawer. John could tell as soon as the look on his face changed that he knew what he was looking at.  

“New socks,” John said. “Already indexed.”  

“You organized them perfectly,” Sherlock said. “You really are getting more observant.”  

John had bought Sherlock new socks that resembled ones Sherlock already liked. Some were in standard colours – black, navy blue – but other were more lively.  

“You really think I’m going to wear the bright green ones?” Sherlock teased.  

“You never know what you might need for a disguise.”  

Sherlock smiled. 


“It’s just that your gift for me is so much more…personal,” John fretted.  

“You can stop asking if I’m disappointed,” Sherlock said after John. “I don’t really ever want anything particular for Christmas. I’ve got everything I need already. Besides, not just anyone could index my socks properly.”  

John watched Sherlock’s expression. It showed no sign of disingenuity.  

“You have everything? You complain to me incessantly.”  

“Only when people are stupid,” Sherlock volleyed back without a hesitation.  

John grinned. So Sherlock wasn’t getting sappy after all. He was worried there for a moment. Relaxing, he turned towards the window.  

“Look, it’s snowing!” John said, noticing the flakes softly falling outside and walking over to the window. “I didn’t think we’d have any this Christmas.”  

In his peripheral vision he saw Sherlock appear beside him. They stood in silence for a minute before John turned towards his flatmate.  

“Happy Christmas, Sherlock.”
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

December 27, 2018 3:54 pm  #5

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

This little story is for nakahara.
The prompt, I hopefully fulfilled a bit, was:
I would like to read some nice or funny mystery taking place in some famous London landmark.

Hope you like it.
Merry Christmas!!!

Some kind of ‘Christmas Carol’

“Jesus! “ John stumbled two steps backwards and hit a shelf behind him. Toy robots fell rattling down to the floor, together with the torch he had held in his hand. 

“John, are you ok?” Sherlock stepped out of the dark. He pointed his torch at his companion and John raised his hand.  “Would you ‘please’ stop blinding me?” he snapped. Sherlock lowered the torch. „Why did you jump backwards into a shelf? “ he asked.

John swore silently, picked up his own torch and pointed it at something in front of him. A plastic figure nearly 6 feet tall with a white beard and red clothes appeared in the torchlight. “I had a crash with that guy. Didn’t see him because ‘of course’ we have to roam around in the dark.” John mumbled angrily.

The consulting detective grinned at his friend. “Still afraid of Santa Claus?” Then he headed for the next aisle past shelves and tables full of everything that children love.

John shortly thought about picking up the robots and putting them back but then followed Sherlock. As he caught up he asked, “Sherlock, what the hell are we doing here?” “Hunting ghosts.” Sherlock replied, pointing his torch at soft toys and baby dolls while passing them.

“At the toys department of Harrods?” John grabbed Sherlock’s shoulder to stop him and turn him around. “You’re not serious.”

Sherlock just raised an eyebrow. “You’re not serious… are you?” John repeated. 

“It’s a lucrative job. You are always telling me we need money. And it is the most challenging case we got for weeks.”

“You don’t believe in ghosts.” John said and followed Sherlock, who had turned and gone on again.  When the consulting detective suddenly stopped in front of a shelf John nearly bumped into him. “A teddy bear with a deerstalker? Named after me? Seriously, do children play with… that?” Sherlock asked amused.

“Sherlock, what’s that supposed to mean: hunting ghosts?”

“Hunting ghosts means that we are hunting ghosts. The management contacted me, speaking of inexplicable phenomena. That’s worth a look, isn’t it?”

“Inexplicable phenomena.”

“Yes. Things like toys falling from tables and shelves apparently without external cause. ” Sherlock smiled. 

“So no one banging into it.” John said with a snort. 

Sherlock added “And it also happens during opening hours, not only during the night. Children are frightened and start to avoid this department. Bad for business especially shortly before Christmas. The employees assured me that it wasn’t them playing practical jokes. I have already questioned them quite insistently.”

John’s memory went back to the House Mistress of the boarding school where the children of the U.S. ambassador had been kidnapped some years ago. He wondered which poor woman had had to breathe into a bag this time.

“But why do we have to do the hunting in the middle of the night, in the dark, when those things are also happening during the day?”

“It’s quite necessary, John, to get a complete picture. Children are so annoying. And ghosts are creatures of the darkness, after all. If you want to spot them…” Sherlock winked and continued his tour. 

“So what are we looking for? Clues that these phenomena are man-made?”

“Of course these phenomena are man-made. There are no ghosts. I already suspect someone; I just need proof. As for how - I suppose we will find some kind of technical device that is vibrating the shelves. It has to be very small. I didn’t… “Sherlock jerked to a stop and raised his hand.  “Shush! Do you hear that?”

A buzzing noise reached them from the other side of the room.

“What’s that?” John whispered.

“Remote-controlled toy cars.” Sherlock answered. “I saw them near the entrance.”
He slowly headed towards the noise; his torch turned off and lifted like a weapon ready to be whacked over someone’s head.

John did the same. They now depended on the lights leading to the emergency exits. 

And other noises joined the buzzing. The squeaky barking of a soft toy dog, sirens of toy cars, sounds of different musical boxes and a tic-tac from whatever. “It’s getting loud.” John stated. “Seems to be a poltergeist.” He smirked. 

One of the toy cars crossed their way and drove against a table leg which stopped it with spinning wheels. 

“That’s silly.” John said. “It certainly is just a prank. Perhaps this time your practice of questioning was weak at some point? Oi!”

Sherlock suddenly rushed forward. “It’s him!” he shouted. 

“Who?” John hurried to follow him, leaving a trace of Paddington bears as he once again bumped into a shelf. 

As John reached his friend he already restrained someone on the floor. John joined Sherlock holding the man who surprisingly wore a security guard uniform.

“So you are the guard I couldn’t talk to before because you are on holiday.” Sherlock said, breathing heavily.  

The man swore and tried to free himself but Sherlock held him down with an arm lock, kneeing on his back. John wondered again where Sherlock learned that hold. 
“She is your girlfriend, isn’t she? Lindsey Reid, the woman who was fired last month. And now you want to damage the firm… for revenge. Good plan to disturb Christmas business and blame the boss for it, because he is responsible for the sales figures.”
Sherlock’s deductions came once more quick as a shot. John admired him for his skills but tried not to show it. To be honest John loved much more about his friend than just those skills but tried not to show it.

“Her boss is a silly boy,” the guard hissed, giving up his resistance. “Do you know why Lindsey was really fired? Because she stood up to him when he molested her. And Lindsey wasn’t his first victim.  He thinks of himself as irresistible. No woman working for him was safe. But if they refused to do as he wanted he made their life hell. First he accused Lindsey of not working properly, breaking toys and things like that, and then he told colleagues lies about her. And at the end he told the directors that he suspected her of stealing money. Yes, Lindsey is suffering from it. And she hasn’t been able to get a new job so far, because he spread bad rumours about her in retail circles. But hey, I’m sure I can join her now in being unemployed.” His last sentence sounded sarcastic.

John nudged Sherlock to make him ease his hold on the guard.

“We will investigate your story.” John stated and received a confused look from Sherlock. 
“We will?” the consulting detective asked.

John continued talking to the guard. “And if it is like you said we’ll get that louse, and we will make sure that Harrods takes appropriate measures against him. So I would say, clean that mess, remove your ‘ghost devices’ and go back to work.”

The man just nodded guiltily, went to the remote controlled toys and started stopping them.

Sherlock grabbed John’s arm and pulled him closer. 
“What do you mean we will investigate that? I just solved the case and found the culprit. We will…”

John interrupted his friend. 
“Listen Sherlock, the problem is that louse who can’t keep his hands off the women working for him, not this chap in love playing ghost. If we don’t stop that jerk it will damage Harrods more than the ‘ghost’ in the long term, don’t you think?”

Sherlock still looked confused but then he admitted, “Well, I’m sure you are more suited for… sentimental decisions. I already have some ideas how we can solve that problem. But in the end I proved there is no ghost.”
Sherlock headed to the exit.

John smiled. “I will get one of those Sherlock bears,” he whispered to himself, “to allay your disappointment, Sherlock, that there aren’t any ghosts.”

He turned around to go back and… “Jesus!”

A line of Sherlock bears hovered in front of him.
                                                                                   THE END
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

December 28, 2018 1:56 pm  #6

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

Dear SusiGo,
thank you for your prompt. You wanted to read some funny or heartwarming Johnlock. Funny is not really what I am good at, but there is deep love in it after some angst, so I hope you will like it.
It is set a few years after S4.
Turning Point
There was absolutely no reason to lie wide awake in the middle of the night, Sherlock knew that. No reason at all. Really. The day had not been that extraordinary. A mediocre theft, a thrilling chase, some happy jewellery owner in the end.
Admittedly, for a second it had been a bit close but it had ended well. Thanks to John's brilliant fighting instinct, Sherlock had to admit. Not thanks to his own actions, or lack of it. But it was the result that mattered, not how they got there, and the result was that John had not been stabbed to death by a mediocre thief. So all was well.
Only that Sherlock knew that for three point eight seconds John's death had been more likely than his survival. If John had dodged that attack only slightly slower he would be dead now.
If John had turned to the right instead of turning to the left he-.
If John had -
And so Sherlock was lying in his bed, wide awake for hours now, knowing that John had nearly died today while all he had done was stare at the scene, frozen, unable to do anything.
A sound broke through Sherlock's dark thoughts. The stairs.
There was a time, not long ago, when this sound was heard every night. John padding down the stairs to prepare milk for Rosie. She had developed a habit of wanting an extra bottle when she and John had moved in there. And John, feeling guilty for each and every thing concerning Rosie in the beginning, had complied willingly.
During their first year back at Baker Street the sound was heard every night. When Rosie grew older, the frequency was reduced. Now she was almost six years old, and hardly ever needed attention at night.
Sherlock listened closely. There was no sound to be heard from above, so Rosie was asleep. Whatever reason John had to wander down the stairs at three in the morning, it had nothing to do with her. The sounds coming from the kitchen were easy to understand. John making tea, trying not to make too much noise.
Meaning he did not want to wake Sherlock. Meaning he wanted to be alone. Or he wanted to be polite. After all the years John was still a mystery to Sherlock in that way. The sounds from the kitchen ceased. No steps on the stairs. John was staying in the kitchen, drinking his tea.
Maybe John wanted to be alone. Sherlock definitely did not. He got up, grabbed his dressing gown and went into the kitchen before his brain caught up with it.
When he entered the room, John looked up, not very surprised. There was a second cup of tea standing next to his own. “Thought you wouldn't sleep well tonight,” John offered. He gave Sherlock a half smile, concern in his eyes.
“That's ridiculous,” Sherlock snorted. “You are the one who almost got killed today! I should take care for you, not the other way round.”
John's smile became softer somewhat. “And yet, here we are,” he said and gestured Sherlock to sit down. Sherlock complied. For a second, he saw John in that dirty alleyway again, how it would have happened if John had not been quick enough. The thug's knife would have hit John's carotid artery straight away, the blade being sharp enough to slice through it like butter. John would have collapsed before Sherlock could have reached him. He would have been still alive when Sherlock would have taken him in his arms and dead merely seconds later.
When Sherlock looked up at John sitting in the safety of the nightly kitchen, he could see the pattern the blood on Sherlock's hands would have left on John's face.
And the timing would have been the cruellest twist of fate. For it has been only yesterday that they had almost kissed. They have been disturbed by Rosie but it had not mattered much to Sherlock for he had finally understood that John was really in love with him too and they had the rest of their life to explore that and one day more or less didn't really count.
And when John had been standing in front of him, unhurt, unkilled, Sherlock had had another chance to kiss him, and suddenly he felt all the loss and pain and desperation and insanity and emptiness he would feel should anything ever happen to John, and he had shied out.
And then they had returned home, and Sherlock had fled to his bed, and after four hours of still being unkissed John had made him tea instead of reproaches.
And it was John who was still blaming himself for the mistakes he had made some years ago. Stupid idiot.
Sherlock looked at John again, no imaginary blood on his face this time, and their eyes met. “I am too scared to kiss you,” Sherlock blurted out.
John's expression barely changed. He was suppressing a grin, Sherlock could tell, but did it really well. “Well,” John said, doing his best to sound serious, “I could kiss you instead, but see, I have already survived a knife attack today AND made tea. I really think it's your turn now.”
Sherlock stared at John for almost one minute while he contemplated how to answer.
“I cannot stand the thought of losing you,” he said in his mind.
“I know,” imaginary John answered. “I have lost you once and it almost killed me.”
“And still you are willing to risk losing me again.”
No, too cheesy.
“I have waited for this moment for so long,” Sherlock said in his mind instead, “And now I am scared to ruin it.”
“You won't,” imaginary John said, letting a hand run through Sherlock's wild curls. “I know exactly what I am getting when starting a relationship with you.”
In reality, Sherlock sighed. They did not need more words. They have been talking for years now. And so Sherlock took a deep breath, stepped closer to John, leaned down to him, and let his lips linger just inches away from John's for a moment before finally, finally kissing him.
He had planned to break the kiss after three seconds, needing to make eye contact with John, reading in his face that everything was fine, maybe even better than fine.
But John would not allow that. The moment Sherlock moved back John's arms were around him suddenly, pulling him closer, turning that chaste first kiss into something wilder, something coming from the very depth of John's soul, taking Sherlock's breath away and causing him to sway.
Sherlock felt parts of his body reacting to the kiss, parts that were very far away from his face. For the first time in his life, he did not mind that at all.
He still needed to talk, Sherlock realized. He needed to tell John how much he loved him, how much he meant to him, how he felt at home now for the first time in his life. But that would have to wait until later. Now, there was only this kiss, and John's hands on his body, and the warmth John's body was emanating, and his tongue in Sherlock's mouth, and their hips pressing against each other.
“I ...” Sherlock tried between kisses but didn't get much further.
“I love you too,” John answered, and for a while, the world was perfect.
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

December 29, 2018 2:52 pm  #7

Re: Secret Santa Fics 2018 READ HERE

Dear About-To-Be-Secret-Santa-ed,
you wanted to read something about friendship in a winter setting. I hope this isn't too far from what you expected. Merry Christmas!
A Few Steps From Here
Sherlock blinks, for a moment puzzled as to what has woken him until he hears the faint sounds of Rosie crying downstairs. John and he have swapped rooms when the latter moved back in, since Sherlock's old bedroom is larger and much more convenient due to its proximity to the bathroom and the kitchen. Admittedly, Sherlock would have preferred to keep it, but John and Rosie did outnumber him, after all.

He's not quite used to waking up in the attic room yet though he does most nights whenever Rosie's crying; currently, she's teething, which according to John must hurt like hell. Sherlock turns over and closes his eyes again, to no avail; when the noise doesn't cease after about ten minutes, he gets up, slips into his dressing gown and pads down the stairs. In the kitchen, he puts the kettle on; not much later, John appears, looking rumpled, with Rosie in his arms. Her crying has turned into a tired keening, which is much easier to bear than her wailing.

“Sorry to wake you,” John says in an undertone. “I didn't think her voice would carry that far.”

“Old house, bad insulation,” Sherlock mutters. “Not a problem, though.” He wanders into the living room, takes up his violin and begins to play a lullaby. The new violin still feels a little alien; his old one didn't survive the blast from the bomb, which is something he forgets until his hands remind him that they were used to another instrument. Whenever he visits Sherrinford, however, it already seems like an ally. It's the only thing that's comforting about the whole affair. He likes playing to and together with Euros, but he's always glad to be leaving again. What a life she's having to accept. What a fate. Sherlock really doesn't know how she's able to endure the confinement, the absence of daylight, the loss of control. Well. She got that back for a while, to no good ends.

He plays a while longer until he notices that both John and Rosie have fallen asleep on the sofa. No tea needed, then. After a moment of deliberation, Sherlock very gently shakes John awake. The doctor blinks: “Oh. Yeah. Thanks.” With a yawn, he gets to his feet and disappears in the direction of his room. Sherlock looks at his retreating back; John's return to 221B brought warmth and life back into the flat, which is palpable even now. At one point, Sherlock wasn't sure what was going to happen, if John'd ever forgive him. Sherlock is certain that he will never again forget the raw pain on John's face, the sounds he made: inhuman, unbearable. Furious. Mary's death was worse than anything that happened before, even Sherlock's fake suicide. He still feels a pang when he thinks of her, which probably won't ever stop; returning from being dead for two years seems like a walk in the park compared to the more recent events. For the time being, however, it feels like they have weathered a storm. He and John are still a little cautious around each other at times, as though they're not quite sure that the ice underneath their feet will carry them. Which still is infinitely better than the loneliness of the past few years.

On the following day, Sherlock visits Sherrinford. This time, neither his parents nor Mycroft are present, which Sherlock is glad about. They always look so stricken, his mum and dad, which somehow is difficult to bear these days, especially since he, Sherlock, can't muster up anything other than pity for Euros. The music seems to be the only thing which they truly have in common; apart from that, she could be a stranger.

It still puzzles Sherlock how his own brain managed to trick him into entirely blanking out such a vital part of his childhood. He knows about coping mechanisms and repression, of course, but the extent of it all seems rather infeasible to him. It also rankles that Mycroft not only knew but elected to keep this knowledge to himself. His reasons may have been noble, but Sherlock is certain that he also, in some twisted way, enjoyed his position as secret-keeper.

As the first weeks after what Sherlock has come to think of 'the reboot' go by, he finds himself wondering about the things he simply can't remember: how did their family break further apart after the fire and after Euros had been taken away; why didn't his parents talk to him about it? About her?

It pains him to think about it, even though he's surprised by this. He always managed to keep these emotions at bay, but now shutting them out doesn't seem to work anymore; not when his sister is locked away on a rock somewhere in the North Sea. Not when he knows that it is breaking his parents' hearts all over again.
On the days on which he sets out for that desolate rock in the North Sea- John refers to it as 'Azkaban', whatever that means- Sherlock comes home in the late afternoon, and today is no exception. He's tired, chilled to the bone and craves a cup of tea as he gets out of the cab in front of 221B, but John is just lifting Rosie's stroller over the threshold, ready for a walk even though it's already getting dark, as has become usual on a Sherrinford day. So Sherlock wills himself to ignore the coldness; it is much easier now that's not overwhelming his mind anymore whenever John looks at him. Which he does now: he looks Sherlock over as he turns up his collar against the rather icy wind. “All right?”

The light isn't quite back in his eyes, but his tone is friendly and genuinely interested. If only there was something, Sherlock thinks once more as they fall into step next to one another, towards the park. A melody, a magic potion- something to vanish the sadness. It's less visible when Rosie's around, but John is wearing it like a cloak; Sherlock can't blame him.

“Not yet,” he says softly.

John nods; there is nothing to add and nothing to ask. Sherlock glances at him sideways: “You?”

For a moment, John's face remains impassive, then he inclines his head a little: “Yeah,” he says, nodding at no one in particular, and it almost sounds surprised. But to Sherlock, it seems like a step forward, and there haven't been many of those. So he nods as well, and they are silent again. If it weren't for the baby, it could have been a random evening from the time before. They won't get that back, Sherlock is painfully aware of it, not with everything that happened. But they've begun to build on it. Sometimes, it requires silence, or pushing a stroller through Regent's Park at nightfall on a cold winter's day with feet which feel as though they're going to fall off any minute now. Still, he thinks; layers. Steps. One at a time.

They are going to get there.
Clueing for looks.
     Thread Starter

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