Sherlock stopped, mid pace, and gave John that look. The one that was a cross between are you an idiot? And What the hell are you going on about? John tried to keep a straight face, but he knew he was only holding back the inevitable. His best friend was completely out of his element. Something that didn't happen very often and John relished each and every time.
"What?" Sherlock asked.
"It's completely obvious. Honestly, I'm surprised you didn't see it already," John said before almost chocking on his tea because the laughter he was holding back tried to escape.
"Fancies you." He had to stop himself again as he nearly snorted into his tea. He was trying not to lose it, at least, not yet, but Sherlock was looking at him as if he had no idea what John was going on about, which he probably didn't. "I know. It's hard to believe and for the life of me I'm not sure why, but for some reason-"
"What do you mean you don't know why?" Sherlock shot.
"Well, I mean, you're…" He gestured at his friend. "…you."
John rubbed his mouth to stop the smile that was forming because that's all it would take, one smile, and he'd lose it.
"And what, exactly, does that mean?"
"It's not really your area…is it?" More of a statement than a question.
Sherlock didn't date. At least, not in the traditional sense of the word, but then, there wasn't anything normal about his friend. The only other woman he'd shown the slightest interest in had been…different. Dangerous. Prone to playing games of her own. Games that had nearly gotten her killed.
Sherlock said Rose's job had been dangerous, but the woman herself wasn't like Ms. Adler. Rose didn't seem the type to play games. That whole business with her sudden appearance aside. She hadn't lied to them, beyond going in her room to sneak out the window, but that had been for another reason. The reason Sherlock came to John with his question in the first place.
"It…" He appeared to be trying to process John's words, but at the same time his mind was trying to refute them. "You think she attempted to sacrifice herself for my brother…because she fancies me? Do you know how ludicrous that sounds?"
"Ludicrous or not that's why she did it."
"Then she's an idiot!"
Sherlock flopped down in his chair and sat back, gazing at the wall in that way he did that told John he was thinking, processing.
"You don't believe that."
"Maybe I do."
"No, you don't."
Sherlock eyed him.
"How would you know?"
"Because I know you. If you thought she was an idiot we wouldn't be having this conversation. You know she's clever. You've known it from the moment she told you how Mr. Slater was murdered, probably knew it before that. This isn't about her. It's about you."
"Yes, Sherlock, you."
The detective sat forward and eyed his friend.
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"You're problem is…you fancy her too."
"What?" Sherlock dismissed the idea with a wave of his hand as he flopped back. "That's absurd. I do not fancy people."
"Really?" John asked, covering his mouth to keep from laughing, but trying to sound completely serious.
"Then what was that little thing you did last night?"
"Offering to let her take your arm."
"That…" His brows drew together. "…I was simply…" His gaze wondered to the other side of the room. "…It was…"
"Yes?" John asked, trying not to laugh as his friend tried to work out why he'd done it…or come up with an excuse that didn't have anything to do with showing someone else affection.
"Oh, shut up, John!" he snapped.
That was it. John lost it. He started laughing so hard he had to set his cup down to keep from dropping it. Sherlock glared at him.
"What the hell are you laughing at?"
"Y…" he tried to control himself long enough to reply, but when he glanced at his friend's furious expression he started in again.
"You're being an idiot!" Sherlock growled, standing up. He strode to the door and pulled it open. "You're all idiots!"
He stepped out and slammed the door shut. John sat there, still laughing, wondering what Lestrade would make of this, which started in a whole new round of laughter.
Thank you to all my brilliant readers!
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