your face and my face should make face babies (cj_ludd18) wrote,
your face and my face should make face babies

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[fic] Delayed Reaction

Title: Delayed Reaction
Words: 4400+
In which John Watson suffers under the delusion that he's only gay after that third vodka martini, and is proven wrong in the best way possible. (i. e. sex.) 
Author's Notes: For a fill at the SHkinkmeme. I should mention, this was begun before episode 2, so if it doesn't really fit in the timeline, there's your reason why. X posted to sherlockbbc

“Oh my God.”

It’s supposed to sound more like a bright, blazing revelation than what it actually sounds like—which is something along the lines of “Ohmmmygimmmmmud.” John Watson can be forgiven this, however. He is attempting to engage in coherent speech while being kissed by a very determined consulting detective.

Sherlock suddenly leans back and pants out an impatient, “John. That is the third time you’ve said that in as many minutes. I’ve been told I’m good, but really—”

“No, it’s just, I’ve realized something.”


“You’re not drunk.”

Sherlock scoffs as if this is the most obvious thing in the world. “Of course I’m not drunk,” he says, tugging at the edge of John’s ridiculous looking jumper. “Arms. Up. I barely touched my gin and tonic. And you’re not drunk either, you know.”

“Wait, yes I am. I think I’d know—”

“No, your mind is telling you you’re drunk in order to justify your having sex with another man. God, why the hell are you wearing three layers, it’s almost March.”

“Stop it.” John’s backing away now, running his hands through his hair and trying to wrap his head around this whole thing in one go. He’s failing miserably at it. He’s a gorgeous expression on his face that is making Sherlock’s heart pound absurdly fast.

“So…” John is saying, brow all knotted and creased. “So does this make us homosexuals?”

“…probably,” Sherlock says.

“Okay. Okay.” Deep breaths. He has to convince himself he wants the man in front of him all over again, because the seed of doubt has been planted and is beginning to take root.

He’s drunk. To hell with whatever Sherlock’s been telling him. He’s definitely drunk, because there’s no way Sherlock has ever looked this damn attractive when John was sober. It doesn’t matter, though, if it’s lust or alcohol rushing through his veins at the moment. It all amounts to the same thing. And that is that he hasn't slept with anyone period in ages and here's someone warm, willing, and sexy as hell. “I’m fine,” John splutters out at last. “It’s all fine.”

“Oh, thank God,” Sherlock gasps, before he smashes their mouths together again and finally succeeds in removing the last two layers of John’s clothing. He’s incredibly demanding—making short, unquestionable orders that generally consist of one word. But John really doesn’t mind all that much. He’s ex-military, after all, and therefore used to this sort of thing.

Somewhere between the frantic shedding of layers and kissing and biting, the desperate gropes and deterioration of speech, Sherlock realizes two things: that this is probably the best sex he’s had in his entire life—although to be honest, that’s not saying much, considering he’s hardly experienced—and that he’s going to regret this very much in the morning.

But that can wait. It can always wait.

John’s having a panic attack.

It hasn’t quite manifested into actual, verbal dithering yet. But he’s just woken up to find himself lying in bed next to Sherlock Holmes, and they’re both naked, and the worst part is, he can remember everything that’s led up to this very moment.

“Fuck,” he says to the ceiling.

“Can we wait until after breakfast, I’m a little worn out at the moment.”

John sits up with a start. He has a scandalized expression on his face. Sherlock watches it from his nest under the coverlet, one dark eyebrow curled skeptically. “What,” he says. “Are you the type who generally ‘departs at dawn,’ after leaving a note on my bedside table detailing how it’s not meant to be?” he drawls out.

“No!” John thuds his fist against the mattress. “This is not… I was drunk, dammit!”

“Oh, how many times do I have to say this. You were not drunk. Not really.”

“Then where the devil’s this splitting headache coming from?”

“Maybe it’s psychosomatic,” Sherlock suggests, smirking.

“That. That is not funny.” John throws the coverlet off of himself and stands to begin the difficult task of recovering all the pieces of his discarded clothing. He tries to ignore the fact that Sherlock is watching his every move, scrutinizing him, really, scrutinizing him. He dresses as fast as he can.

But not fast enough.

“Sherlock, dear, I was wondering if you could breakfast by yourselves this morning oh my!”

“Good morning, Mrs. Hudson,” Sherlock says brightly.

“Good… good morning. Oh, really, boys, you could at least lock the door.” The woman has a knowing little smile on her lips. Sherlock smirks.

“Where would all the fun go if we did that?” he says. John can literally feel all the blood drain out of his face with shame. Here he is, standing in the middle of another man’s bedroom after having drunken sex with said man, and now the landlady’s watching them with this unsettling look on her face and said man is talking about it like…

Like he does this sort of thing all the time. Which John Watson hopes to God isn’t true.

Mrs. Hudson is still giggling like a schoolgirl. “You’re impossible,” she says, blushing. “Put some clothing on, now.” She departs, still laughing. The moment the door clicks shut, John pounces onto the bed, trying to look menacing, and brandishes a threatening finger in Sherlock’s face.

“We’re not going to speak of this,” he growls.

“No, the activities I had in mind do not really involve speech.”

“What? What did you just say?”

“I said, do you like jam on your toast, and will you pass me my socks.”

“No, you said something else.”

“Didn’t. The socks, if you please.”

“I’m fairly positive you said something else.”



“Still waiting on those socks.”

“We’re not doing this again.”

“I see my hand and I see my socks. Now, I want to see said socks. Only, in my hand.”

“I really want you to understand that. I mean, for God’s sake, you’re supposed to be the one who doesn’t care about this sort of thing—”

“Alright, I will fetch the socks myself.”


“Put a shirt on, it’s cold.”

John watches with his breath swimming in his mouth as Sherlock gets out of the bed and starts retrieving pieces of his own apparel. He’s inhumanly attractive—slender, the small ridges of his spine rising every time he bends to pick up another bit of clothing, and so pale he almost seems to glow. But there’s a bruise here, a scratch mark there, and the realization that he was the one who left them makes John swallow dryly and blink hard. He tries to think of women. It doesn’t work.

So instead he grabs his jumper and undershirt with a grunt of frustration and charges from the room.

Donovan is staring at the two of them with utter disbelief all over her face.

“You slept with him, di’in’t you?”

John gapes. He blithers and he gapes. And then he turns and snarls at Sherlock, “Did you really—”

“I didn’t. Donovan just likes to invent fairy tales in her head, don’t you Sally? Now, step aside, please, and let us have a look at the vault.”

She purses her lips and lifts her eyebrows. “Alright,” she says, and she holds the police tape up for the two of them to pass. Sherlock goes skipping off to ogle at his crime scene. Donovan stands right where she is and continues to ogle at John.

“What?” he says. Trying to remain casual but failing when his nostrils flare every time she blinks at him in a way that just screams, What did I tell you?

“Just… be careful,” she says at last, before sashaying off. Any other day, and John would’ve been little more than vaguely annoyed.

Any. Other. Day.

At least it wasn’t a riding crop this time around, Molly mused. She kept on glancing nervously from her clipboard to Sherlock’s lithe, rapidly moving body as he vigorously sprinkled a cocktail of chemicals onto the dead body. The smell of burning flesh wafted through the mortuary. Molly crinkled her nose and tried not to let the nausea get to her.

“Listen,” she said, just as Sherlock set down the final flask and started to remove his gloves, “Sherlock…”


“There’s this nice little restaurant that’s opened ‘round the corner, and I was wondering if—”

The door opens. It’s that doctor fellow again, the one with the limp, only… not anymore, apparently. He’s got this really annoyed look on his face, too.

“You texted me?” he says to Sherlock. Sherlock turns and smiles, wider than usual, and nicer than usual, too. Molly feels her heart skip five beats.

“Ah, yes,” he’s saying as he walks across the room. “I need your medical opinion on something.” He grabs the doctor’s wrist—his long, slender fingers around the other man’s tanned skin—and Molly starts to grit her teeth with envy. The two of them start leaning over the burning body. The doctor—John, was it?—keeps nodding at everything Sherlock says in this slow, patient way, and Sherlock’s babbling on with this aura of elation all over him, and all of a sudden, Molly just knows. Just like that.

She may not be as smart as Sherlock Holmes, but she… She can tell when…

He suddenly looks up at her and goes, “Oh, yes, Molly. I recall you were asking me something.”

She shakes her head. “No,” she says, her voice tightening. “No, I was only… I hope it all works out and I wish you every happiness,” she squeaks, before turning out of the room, blinking rapidly.

The doors shut behind her. John looks up from the cadaver with a concerned expression on his face. “She was crying,” he says.

“Was she? I hadn’t noticed.”


“Look at that.” He’s holding up the dead man’s hand—one of the fingers has been burned clean through. “Only took… three minutes and fifty-two seconds. Interesting.”

“Why am I here?”

Sherlock looks up and smiles. “This new restaurant has opened up around the corner,” he says. “I hear good things.”

John crosses his arms across his broad chest and frowns. “Are you asking me on a date?” he says.

“No. I’m asking you to lunch.”

“But… like, a date lunch.”

“It wasn’t a date at the Chinese restaurant.”

“That was different. That was a, ‘Thank you for saving my life, John Watson,’ dinner.”

“So maybe this is a, ‘Thank you for coming down to the mortuary to inspect a body with me, John Watson,’ lunch.” Sherlock has an infuriating, know-it-all, try-me, I’ve-got-a-response-for-fucking-everything grin on his face. It’s terrible, in a beautiful sort of way.

“Sherlock, I understand you don’t have a lot of social experience, but typically, the seducing happens before the drunken sex.”

“You know me, never one to adhere to the rules.” He grins again and throws a sheet over the mutilated body. “Well? Yes or no? I’m paying.”

“That’s even worse.”

“John.” Sherlock steeples his fingers. His tone foreshadows something, and that something is this: I am about to explain something very important to you. Now, I know you’re an idiot, and fathoms stupider than I am, but do try to keep up, for both of our sakes. “Let me outline for you how this is going to work. I ask you to lunch, you say no, I let you go, you spend the next… oh, week or so, scouring London for a woman with whom you will have mind boggling sex—and trust me, it’s going to be unearthly, how good the sex is—but eventually, you’re going to start imagining a different person in bed with you, and one evening you’re probably going to say the wrong name as you orgasm and she’s going to kick you out while you’re only in your knickers, and you will stumble home and figure, it’s better me than nobody, and that will be that.”

John stands there and gapes like a fish on dry land.

“Of course,” Sherlock continues, “We could just skip all that, and you can say yes and come have lunch with me.”

“I’m going home.”

John turns around. His leg is starting to hurt again. He storms through the door and disappears.

Sherlock turns back to the chemical tray. Mouths, “Five, four, three, two, one…”

Doors swing open.

“Fine,” John snaps. “But I’m paying.

The doorbell is ringing like mad, Sherlock is still dazed with the after-effects of four nicotine patches pressed to his underarm, Mrs. Hudson is out visiting her sister, and John probably just doesn’t give a damn.

Ring. Ring, ring, ring, ring.

“Oh, damn it, what now.”

Sherlock stumbles downstairs and wrenches the door open.


“Good morning.” Mycroft steps into the house as if he owns the place. “Sherlock, you really do have to start picking up after yourself, you remember how upset mummy was whenever you left your… souvinirs… lying around all over the place…”

“Mycroft. Is this another one of your recruitment missions, or are you just here to taunt me?”

“Can’t a man visit visit little brother without any ulterior motives?” Mycroft says innocently, starting up the stairs without so much as a ‘by-your-leave.’

“You always have an ulterior motive,” Sherlock breathes.

Mycroft has already reached the second floor now. Sherlock darts after him, following him into the sitting room. Mycroft is frowning at the state of disarray, hands folded behind his back as if afraid of touching something that might exlode upon contact. He finally gingerly sits down in the nearest chair. John’s chair. Sherlock frowns and generally oozes disapproval.

“So,” Mycroft says. “This is your new flat. Much better than that dump on Montague Street, in my opinion…”

“No one asked for your opinion,” Sherlock snaps. There isn’t anyone in the world who can yank his chain quite the way Mycroft does.

An uneven beat of footsteps comes from down the hall, and then John comes marching in through the door. He takes one look at Mycroft and then stiffens. “What are you doing, in our house?” he asks, voice flat and dry.

Mycroft looks from John to Sherlock and back to John again. His eyebrows do a little dance. “Well, now,” he says, “That was quick, wasn’t it?”


“Congratulations, Sherlock. I hadn’t thought it possible for you to engage in this sort of attachment. You seem to be improving—”

“Oh, God, just shut up, Mycroft.” Sherlock looks positively livid.

Mycroft has an expression of honest astonishment on his face. “Are you denying that you and Dr. Watson have begun a relationship?” he drawls out.

“Even if we have…” Sherlock hisses, “It is absolutely none of your business.”

“And we haven’t. By the way,” John adds, feeling terribly neglected.

“Haven’t we?” Sherlock says, head snapping towards the doctor.

“We haven’t.”

“I thought we had.”


“Then what was that lunch?”

“It was a, ‘Thank you for coming down to the mortuary to inspect a body with me, John Watson,’ lunch, I believe.”

“Really? I was under the impression it was a date.”

“No, definitely not a date.”

“Are you sure? Because I could’ve sworn—”

“Well!” Mycroft gets to his feet. “While this repartee is indeed, very interesting, I do have other things to be getting around to. Sherlock, good to see you again—”

“Can’t say I return the sentiment.”

“—do try to eat a little more, mummy would cry if she saw you looking this thin—”

“Well, in that case, she’d bawl her eyes out if she saw you looking that fat—”

“Doctor. Good evening.”

John is silent. Mycroft nods at the two of them and leaves with a humongous smirk on his face. Sherlock slams the door after him. He pauses for a moment, then blurts out a, “Good show, John.”

“Excuse me?”

“Good… going with the… Following along with the plan.”

“Plan, what plan?”

“My plan to get rid of Mycroft, of course.”

“Which was…?”

“Well, the two of us engage in mediocre conversation on a topic that doesn’t interest him in the slightest until he leaves, of course. Do try to keep up.”

Then he leaves the room. John plops down in his chair and shakes his head frantically. He figures there’s no use in trying to make sense in what just happened.

He’ll never succeed anyhow.

The next day, he’s out job hunting when his phone rings. He takes one look at the caller ID and frowns. The phone keeps ringing. People are looking at him. He quickly flips the clunky, high-tech thing open and puts it to his ear.

“Yes?” he snaps.

“Trouble in paradise?” A familiar, snarky voice drills in from the other end, makes John’s head throb.


“So, have you shagged him yet?”

There’s a long pause. John’s tongue flounders about in his mouth.

“Oh my God, you did, didn’t you? Good for you, John, good for you! So? How was it? Was he, like, a total beast in bed?”


“I’ll bet he was, wasn’t he? Come on then, give me all the juicy details, don’t leave anything out, I promise I won’t laugh—”

“Harry, shut up this instant.”

Harry suddenly changes her tone, as though she’s just realized something absolutely wonderful. “Oooh… I get it,” she says, lowering her voice. “He’s into that kinky stuff, i’in’t he? Listen, if you ever need—”

John hangs up.

“Hand me your phone, mine’s out of batteries.”

John pitches the thing across the room without even looking up from his laptop. Sherlock catches it effortlessly, flips the thing open. His eyes widen ever so slightly. John glances up, watches the flourescent light do incredible things to the other man’s cheekbones and bright eyes.

“Your sister called you today,” Sherlock drawls. It’s not a question. He just knows. He knows everything.

“Yes,” John replies, rubbing his eyes tiredly.

“What did you talk about for… forty-seven seconds?”

No use lying. John sighs. “She asked if I’d slept with you yet.”

Sherlock smirks as he starts fiddling with the phone. “And?”

“And… I didn’t have to say a word, apparently, couldn’t even make an attempt at fibbing, she just knew. Am I really that easy to get the better of?”


“Oh, thank Go—”

“I was lying. Yes, you really are. Continue.”

John frowns. Then chuckles tiredly and closes the computer. “I swear, she’s going to start inviting us to… gay pride parades now, or something.”

“Always wanted to go to one of those.”


“Lying again. Proving a point. Continue.”

“Mngh,” John replies, head lolling back. “What did I do to deserve this?” he gripes to the ceiling.

“Supposedly drunk sex with your flatmate?”

“Will you let that go?” John snaps at last, jumping to his feet.

“No,” Sherlock says, calm as you please, texting away. “No, I won’t.”

“And why not?”

Sherlock doesn’t reply.


John sighs, glances at the source of the sound. “Your phone’s sitting on the mantle,” he says, voice flat.

“Is it?”

“You just got a text.”

“Did I?”

Another groan. John marches over to the fireplace and picks up the cell, mumbling, “It’s not out of batteries at all, you dolt,” before he turns the thing around to glance at the screen. His eyes widen.

You want to do it again, don’t you?


He glances up at Sherlock. Who’s still glaring intently at John’s phone, long, pale fingers moving quickly. The cell in John’s hand blips again. He glances back down.

I hope you realize lying to me is a hopeless venture.


John blinks, violently, rapidly, trying to clear the fog out of his head. He collapses into his chair.

Phone chirps again.

Well? I don’t have all night.


Another chirp.

Actually. Scratch that. I probably do.


It’s ridiculous, the way he keeps on insisting on signing all of these. John finally tosses the thing over his shoulder and folds his knees up to his chin. Sherlock still isn’t looking at him, is completely and utterly focused on the phone in his hands.

John can’t seem to talk. He’s too busy kicking himself in the metaphorical arse with a metaphorical foot.

A phase, maybe? A phase, only one that’s happening to John fifteen years too late, and instead of the sexually open college dorm-mate who happens to look like he’s on the rugby team, it’s a supposedly asexual consulting detective who’s built like a Greek marble statue—all smooth planes and pale-nearly-translucent skin and those eyes, those masterful, intelligent eyes—


It wasn’t just the alcohol.

John’s thinking he probably shouldn’t be all this surprised to realize that Sherlock is right, all over again.

He gets up and walks across the room to loom over Sherlock’s curled up frame, too small to fit properly in the confines of the arm-chair. Elbow jutting out there, patch of ankle there, where the edge of his trousers have hiked up ever so slightly.

“I’m not gay,” John snaps.

“Oh, jolly good, that makes two of us.” Sherlock looks up and smiles brightly. “Dinner?”

“No, really, I’m not.”

“Hm. Why is it that you’re always explaining yourself to me, anyways?”

John blinks. Yes, why is it. Hell if he knows. Doesn’t matter. He bends down, one hand on either arm-rest of the chair and face awfully close to Sherlock’s, the other man’s heartbeat coming on more rapidly than usual. He’s breathtaking in any state of sobriety.

John kisses him abruptly, sans warning, hard press of mouth on mouth. Then pulls back and gives out an expectant look that’s meant to say, Well?, but more likely conveys, Shit.

Sherlock is smirking. “Think we oughtn’t keep with tradition and get drunk before we do this?”

“Shut up.”

Another kiss, sensation vaguely familiar, John’s muscle memory kicking in as he recalls doing all this before, every moment of it, every terrifying, mind-melting, bone-jarring, incredible movement used and remembered. It feels like it should be the first time, but it isn’t. That’s fine, though, that’s fine, it’s all fine, because Sherlock’s hands are tugging at the edge of John’s jumper all over again and he’s snapping out, “Arms. Up,” and from here on out—

They make it as far as the dubiously clean floor. John’s starting to panic, now, really panic, because alcohol is no longer available as an excuse for all this. It’s just the pure desire pounding through his veins, not the vodka, and Sherlock’s lips and tongue the only taste filling John’s mouth. It’s impossible, it’s completely impossible, John finds himself starting to compare every aspect of this to having sex with a woman, but all the things are different, but that’s what makes it maddeningly exciting, isn’t it?


“Stop thinking.”

“You never listen to me when I tell you to do that.”

“Yes, I know, but you’re not me, so there’s a difference. Stop. Thinking.”

John takes a deep breath and blinks hard, making a small whimper of protest, before finally sitting up and starting to say, “Wait,” but he doesn’t want to wait, he’s waited all his life already. Sherlock lays there and smiles. Ridiculous man. John leans forward and runs his hands through that mess of dark hair. He’s not doing this just to prove something to himself anymore.

Something brilliant sparks behind Sherlock’s eyes, and John nods briefly before smashing their mouths together again, giving in to how right it feels, how the lines of their bodies click together just so. It all doesn’t feel fragile in the slightest, it feels strong and concrete and unbreakable, and there’s no fumbling, just a confidence—knowing all the spots to hit and buttons to push, places to kiss, lick, bite, because they’ve done this before, in the backs of their minds and the hazy moments halfway between sleep and wake.

Two hours later, and they’re right back where they started, only now it’s somehow better.

“Oh my God.”

It’s supposed to sound like a bright, blazing revelation, because that’s exactly what it is. And it couldn’t have come out too far off the mark, because as soon as the words leave John’s mouth, Sherlock smiles, and everything’s just better than fine.

“You’re just jealous because I’m getting laid, Anderson.”

John doesn’t even blink when this admittedly racy sentence wafts in from the kitchen. He flips to a fresh page of the Times, musing absentmindedly that the Euro’s begun a steady march to hell.

“You? Getting laid?” Anderson scoffs. “Your bloody right hand doesn’t count as a person—”

“Ah! That’s important, put it down.”

“It has green stuff growing all over it!”

“That ‘green stuff,’ as you put it so eloquently, is a very delicate culture that I’ve been growing, now put it down!”

It’s the fourth drug bust this month. They’ve become routine, which says something as to the state of Sherlocks’ relationship with Scotland Yard. Lestrade is currently upstairs, raiding John’s underwear drawer, Donovan is foraging through the danger zone that is the bathroom, and Anderson is discovering a new mad science experiment every minute.

“There isn’t anyone crazy enough to sleep with you,” he’s drawling.

Sherlock scoffs. “Right. I’d love to say the same for you as well, but Sally seems to have proved me wrong. Until she left you, that is.”

Anderson purses his lips. “I do have a wife,” he says, through gritted teeth.

“The poor woman. How much did you pay her to marry you, I’ve always been curious.”

“Fifty quid says you’re bluffing,” Anderson snaps.

Sherlock smirks and steps from the kitchen to the living room in three strides. He grabs John by the arm and jerks him to his feet. He looks back to an incredulous Anderson, as if to say, Watch this. Then Sherlock Holmes presses his mouth to John’s and kisses him six ways from Sunday.

John jumps a little, then rolls his eyes, and waits for Sherlock to pull back.

“Right,” he says, when they’ve finally broken apart again. “Do the dishes, will you, they’ve been sitting there for days.”

Anderson is blithering. “You… and him… The fuck! You two?”

Standing in the middle of his living room, John groans. All the questions, all the probing, all the poking-noses-where-noses-don’t-belong-ing—You slept with him, di’in’t you? So, have you shagged him yet? Are you denying that you and Dr. Watson have begun a relationship?

John Watson straightens and holds his head high, reaches out and finds Sherlock’s long, pale fingers with his own.

“Yes,” he says, flat as anything. “Yes, us two.”

Anderson flounders a little longer. Then wordlessly returns to ripping the kitchen apart.

Fwump. John returns to his chair and flips the newspaper open. Sherlock is staring at him, probably grinning in a know-it-all manner, and he knows it, and he smiles.

Then points at the sink and snaps, “Dishes. Now.”

Tags: fiction: written
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