Compromising Positions | Into the Black | Contact

Conversation in a Flat

Notes: more thanks to emungere for the beta.

John comes down the stairs, straightening the cuffs on his shirt. Sherlock is sitting on the couch examining piles of crime scene photos from cold cases. Sherlock glances up at him for a brief moment.

“Out on the pull again,” Sherlock states flatly, his eyes back on the pictures of gruesome deaths.

John can’t help the laugh that bursts out of him at the look of disgust on Sherlock’s face.

Sherlock startles and looks up again. He frowns slightly. “What?”

“Do you truly find the idea of physical contact with another human that disturbing?”

“I just don’t understand this need to…” Sherlock pauses very briefly, and John imagines him quickly going through a database of current slang to select his next words, “Get a leg over. Why go through all the unnecessary bother? Why not just…” Sherlock makes a vague wanking motion with his long, elegant hand.

John barely stops himself from snorting at the sight of Sherlock making such a crude gesture. It’s like hearing your gran curse – it just shouldn’t happen. He figures this is going to take a few minutes, so he sits on the arm of his chair.

“Sherlock, I really don’t think I can explain why it’s so much better when there’s another person involved – it just is.” John shrugs.

“But it’s so messy,” Sherlock says. “All those fluids.” His face scrunches up and he actually shudders a bit.

This time John can’t stop himself from laughing. “That’s all part of the fun, Sherlock. And if you don’t understand that, you’re never going to understand.”

“Then why not just get a prostitute? It would be so much simpler.”

“You mean besides it being illegal?” John replies. Sherlock rolls his eyes at him and John puts another item on the list of charges that Mycroft can conveniently make disappear. “Some people want the real thing, Sherlock. Anything you get from a prostitute is false; they’re paid to like you. There’s also the thrill of the chase. You see someone you fancy down the pub, they fancy you back; maybe you have a nice conversation over a drink or two, then go back to yours or back to theirs.”

Sherlock frowns in thought and then stands abruptly. As usual, he steps onto and over the coffee table, not caring that he’s sending documents flying everywhere. He grabs his jacket off the desk chair and shrugs into it.

“Sherlock, what are you doing?” John asks, standing up. He has a sinking feeling in his stomach.

“Going with you.”

“No.” He grabs Sherlock’s arm. “HELL, no. Under no circumstances, no.”

Sherlock stops in front of John and looks a little wounded. “Why not? You just said that it’s something I have to experience in order to understand, and now I’m curious.”

“Why? I’ll tell you why. First, what chance do I have of pulling tonight with you sitting next to me?”

Sherlock looks at John quizzically.

John lets go of Sherlock’s arm and crosses his own across his chest. “Oh, don’t even, Sherlock. You know you’re bloody gorgeous. No one would even look at me twice with you in the room and you know it.”

“I think you underestimate your charms, John,” Sherlock replies.

“Fine, say you’re right, what are the chances of me being able to get anywhere with you commenting in my ear ‘married’ or ‘didn’t wash hands after going to the loo’ or any of your other helpful comments?” John counters.

“I can promise not to say anything, if that’s what you really want, John,” Sherlock says, in a vaguely incredulous voice, like he can’t believe that John wouldn’t want to hear what he had to say.

John makes an exasperated sound, because he just doesn’t seem to be getting through to Sherlock – not that he really expected to – once Sherlock’s made up his mind to do something, there’s not much that can change it. But he tries one last time anyway. “Sherlock, you know damn well that if we go to the pub together there is no chance at all that I’m going to pull because everyone that comes within five feet of us thinks that we’re shagging.”

“Well, that’s hardly my fault, now is it? I can’t stop people from thinking their stupid little thoughts.” Sherlock looks hard at John, pausing long enough to make John feel a bit uncomfortable under his assessing gaze, and then continues, “You know, John, you are being very vague in your personal pronouns.”

“Yes, I am,” John replies. “I don’t want to be offensive and I don’t currently know your preferences. It seemed a bit presumptive to assume either gender, since you’ve never expressed an interest in a person that wasn’t dead.” John stops and then says, “That came out sounding a little creepy, didn’t it?”

Instead of saying anything, Sherlock leans down and kisses John. It’s soft, slow, and gentle. Sherlock’s fingers brush against John’s cheek briefly before the kiss ends as suddenly as it began.

John’s a little shocked and stares wide-eyed at Sherlock who is staring back at him with a contemplative look. “Sherlock, I’m not, I don’t…” John stutters out, his lips still tingling from the kiss.

Sherlock grins at him, but it looks a little false around the edges, “Just testing a hypothesis, John. Don’t give yourself palpitations.” He whirls and heads back to the couch, once again, over the coffee table. He settles down and starts shuffling through photographs again. Still looking down, he says, “Stay? We can order in and watch something dreadful on the telly.”

It only takes a couple of seconds for John to decide between taking his chances at the pub or staying in and listening to Sherlock make bitchy comments about whatever show John decides to watch. “Fine, but I want curry. I’m bored with Thai.”