John stirs. Slowly his senses awaken and return as consciousness washes over him. The first thing he becomes aware of is the sound of muted voices and music coming from near by. His foggy mind slowly processes them; noting that he doesn't recognize them. Then comes scent; the aroma of stale Chinese take-away. And another aroma delightfully sharp and crisp that he can't place but he knows is very familiar. He's rather fond of that scent; if he could just recall what it is. Then he becomes aware of the fact that his bed is longer and narrower than he recalls.
Wait - bed? He's not in bed.
Couch. In front of the TV. That makes sense.
Actually it doesn't. Why is he on the couch?
His groggy mind manages to recall details from the night before.
They'd just finished a case two days ago and Sherlock hadn't had the chance to succumb to boredom and black moods yet. So it was an unusual chance for the two of them to spend a companionable evening together befitting two friends. John suggested they have a simple night in; order Chinese and watch a favorite spy movie of his that he thought Sherlock might enjoy. Sherlock was doubtful that he would enjoy it but agrees anyway.John can get rather defensive when it comes to his movie choices. So they settled on the couch munching egg rolls and watching the movie.
Twenty minutes into it and Sherlock is already bored but manages to keep his complaints to a minimum for John's sake. Really it is nice just to sit together. He'd always underestimated companionship until John came along. And even though boredom was beginning to nag at his mind he remained on the couch; cocooned in a blanket; alternately watching the movie and John. The latter more frequently. He noted from the corner of his eye that John was preparing to stand judging by the mild contracting of his leg muscles and subtle repositioning of his hands so he asks before John can even began his ascent "Where are you going?" "To fetch a blanket. It's getting cold." "I have a blanket." he offers. John doesn't understand though and gives him an amused grin. "I can see that. But I don't" Sherlock lets out an irritated huff and clarifies "I mean we can share it." John stands, shaking his head. "It's fine. I'll just fetch the one off my bed." Exasperated Sherlock begins untangling himself from the blanket saying "Don't be ridiculous. There's no reason for you to expend unnecessary energy going upstairs to get another blanket when I already posses one large enough to be utilized by the both of us." John lets out a sigh and settles back onto the couch because really; it does sound foolish when Sherlock puts it like that. He shifts towards Sherlock; who flings half of the blanket over him before returning his attention to the movie.
Of course Sherlock isn't really watching the movie; he's covertly monitoring John from the corner of his eye attempting to determine his reaction and opinion to this closeness. John for his part is a mite uncomfortable. He's sitting rather stiffly trying to maintain minimal contact with Sherlock. It's not that he has a problem with this; he might even have enjoyed it if he wasn't so concerned about Sherlock deducing his affections at such a close range. It's one thing when Sherlock is sleeping; he's dead to the world then; but when he's awake and observant...
"John is there are reason you've decided to impersonate a statue?" Sherlock quips irritably at John's tense posture. After that kiss the other night in the cab Sherlock was sure John returned his affections; yet he seems so uncomfortable being in close contact. What's going on?
John jumps a bit at the question but recovers himself quickly and responds "This is just a bit different." "Different?" Sherlock inquires scanning John's face. "Yeah. Bit weird." "Ah." Sherlock says turning back to the TV screen. "What's weird about two friends sharing a blanket for warmth?" He mutters rhetorically.
John doesn't have an answer for that and realizes Sherlock is right; there's no need to be so uptight. It will only further the detective's suspicions anyway. So struggling to appear normal he shifts into a more comfortable position. Tucking his leg underneath his he shifts closer to Sherlock until they're sitting shoulder to shoulder.
He gives Sherlock a side-long glance trying to gauge his reaction and is pleasantly surprised to note a small smile quirking up the corners of his mouth. Relieved he manages to return his attention to movie. Sherlock is very pleased to say the least.
It's so cozy and warm cushioned between John and the arm of the couch. He finds himself getting drowsy; a very unusual sensation for him. Generally he doesn't have this odd sort of "down-time" between his bursts of energy and his desperate need for sleep. He's either fully awake or fully asleep. But not now. Now his eyelids feel strangely heavy and he can feel his thoughts blurring.
A few moments later John notices that Sherlock has gone strangely quiet and still.
Glancing over he sees that Sherlock has fallen asleep. He can't suppress the grin that lifts the edges of his mouth as he watches Sherlock's sleeping form. The pale light reflects on his porcelain skin; casting shadows and catching on the angles. John finds himself watching it more intently then the movie and when he realizes this he quickly refocuses his attention to the TV. He really does love this movie and yet he's only managed to watch it for about twenty five minutes total this evening. Ridiculous. Well maybe not. He has a worthy distraction. Said distraction is now making him drowsy though with the unexpected amount of warmth his cool steely friend is radiating from under the blanket and a lovely crisp aroma seems to be enveloping him. He thinks for a moment that perhaps he should go to bed.
But it's so comfy here; why move?
He vaguely recalls a scene from the movie about fifteen minutes before the end and that's when everything goes dark.
Having recalled the details leading to his couch slumber he suddenly realizes that; if memory serves him correctly there is another person on the couch.
He simultaneously realizes that the couch cushions behind him seem to be breathing.
It all clicks into place and he actually lets out a startled gasp when he realizes Sherlock is spooning against him. He instinctively tries to sit-up but is hindered by a gentle but firm weight around his waist. Sherlock has his arms slung almost possessively around his hips; holding him close. He settles back into the warmth allowing him to enjoy the moment. He can feel Sherlock's steady heartbeat reverberate through him. Feels the gentle rise and fall of his chest gently bumping against his back. This is wonderful. And horrible; because he suddenly realizes that Sherlock will eventually wake up; finding John in his arms.
What is he going to do? How will Sherlock react? This is certainly something more than friendly cuddles. This could change things. For the better or for the worse.
And he's not sure which is more likely. Perhaps he should move up to his room; let Sherlock assume that John went to bed and left him on the couch after the movie ended. His frantic musings are cut short though by a sharp intake of breath that tells him Sherlock has awoken. John freezes. He lies with baited breath waiting for Sherlock's reaction.
"John?" comes a sleepy mumble from behind him. "Yeah?" he manages to croak.
Is his heart trying to escape from a harsh fate that it's sure is coming? Is that why it's pounding painfully against his chest as though it's trying to burst through? The seconds drag by before Sherlock finally asks in groggy confusion "What's going on?" "We uh - fell asleep." John supplies lamely. Nice way to state the obvious. Sherlock doesn't comment on this though; like he normally would. Instead he murmurs "I see." obviously unsure of how to react. Neither move nor speak for a moment waiting for the other's reaction. John dimly notes that Sherlock hasn't shoved him away or leapt off the couch yet; which he supposes is a good sign. Though it could be that the detective it still processing their situation. Awkward silent seconds tick by as they wait for the other to dictate the result of this unusual wake-up.
At that moment a God neither believes in decides to take pity on them.Or perhaps torment them further depending on how you look at it; with a text message.
"Ping!" comes the sharp noise from Sherlock's mobile lying on the table amidst empty take-away containers. John practically leaps from the couch thankful for an easy escape from the awkward situation. He snatches up the phone and quickly scans the text.
"It's Lestrade. Case. Serial killer. Just found his fourth victim." Sherlock's off the couch and at John's side by the word "case" scanning the text over his shoulder.
He actually lets out a crow of delight at the news; whirling animatedly towards his room. "Dress John. Quickly!" he calls before shutting his door. John tosses the mobile on the couch and dashes to the steps; taking them two at a time.
Sherlock's out the door ten minutes later shouting for John to hurry; and their unusual morning lies forgotten in the recesses of his mind.
John's undecided on whether or not he's grateful for this.
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Endorell-Taelos is very well known within the community for her selfless giving and gracious community spirit. Since joining DeviantART over seven years ago, Alicia has continued to make a positive impact on many deviants. Her helpful and thoughtful approach was one of her finest attributes when serving as a Community Volunteer, and this has continued throughout the many contests which Alicia provides on a regular basis. As we approach our Birthday celebrations, we can't... Read More