Johnlock Challenges Gift Exchange for ~Holmescombs
Prompt: “John and Sherlock (attempting) playing a sport, where John is a right bit better than Sherlock. I imagine Sherlock being a tad annoyed by that (even if he doesn’t show it :U)”
The unfortunate thing about being an on-call replacement was when John got saddled with an early shift after running through any given London alleyway mere hours before. The even more unfortunate thing was that this had been the circumstances John had faced before staggering in to find a thankfully empty 221B at 3 pm and collapsing on (Sherlock’s) couch. He ignored the toe-less foot that was residing on the kitchen counter and quickly drifted off.
It had been less than an hour. John considered pretending to be unconscious, bad idea- Sherlock had vials of adrenaline somewhere, or dead, worse idea- who knows what Sherlock would try on a new corpse. Not that Sherlock would be fooled if he had tried.
Oh god. He was far too enthusiastic. Not bored. That meant-
“JOHN! WE HAVE A CASE! TRIPLE HOMOCIDE! IT IS PRACTICALLY DIVINE PROVIDENCE! JOHN!”
John groaned. If Sherlock left the house personally that meant this was at least a seven. He had been to the scene based on the text Lestrade sent him prior asking to “reign in” Sherlock. Which meant it was not instantaneously solved. Which meant, individual investigation. John couldn’t help but wonder when this became routine (or when he began ‘deducing’ too). Better yet, why he put up with it. But he knew the answer to that one, and the entirety of New Scotland Yard had bets on it.
“Ugh, I’m up, don’t be such an arse. Some of us need sleep to survive, not just secondhand smoke.”
“Dull. Now, John, do you still have your studs from your rugby days?”
“Yes, please tell me that is all you need and I can go back to sleeping.”
“Nonsense, I have my own. We have a football match in an hour. Here’s your uniform.”
“I’m sorry, what?”
“Do try to keep up, John. Triple homocide, three footballers. Clearly the murderer is on the team, it’s just a matter of which member. This works in our favor as they are 3 players short. Now get dressed, I’ll call a cab. You do know how to play?”
“Well, yeah, I haven’t since I was at Bart’s, but I wasn’t half bad then.”
“That should be adequate, it is merely a pub league, hardly the World Cup.”
Sherlock bounded down the steps. John sighed and rubbed the sleep out of his eyes. He pulled on the football uniform, the bright yellow stinging his exhausted neurons. He went upstairs, grabbed his studs, and cast a longing look at his bed. Only Sherlock would expect him to play football on an hour of sleep. And only for Sherlock, John would. John trudged down the stairs cursing his flatmate who was positively vibrating with energy. No doubt thrilled by the mental stimulation the murders provided. Mrs. Hudson was right, it wasn’t decent.
Sherlock was beginning to expect more from murderers and they were continuously disappointing him. The case was solved within minutes of stepping on the pitch (it was the striker). However, Sherlock had neglected to mention it was the league championship and John’s sportsman honor had convinced Sherlock the striker could be arrested after the game and that they should not begrudge the rest of the team a shot at the championship. Sherlock agreed, only if John let him keep the samples that were currently growing in the bread box for another 12 hours (the foot, however, had to go).
Sherlock had researched the game and understood it’s mechanics and rules. Combined with his athletic prowess, stamina, and speed he made an excellent footballer. During medical school John had been a rugby player and had not touched a football since his first year at Bart’s playing pick-up games. He also was not at the same level of fitness he maintained in the army. All being said, Sherlock should have been the better player. And that was what he repeated to himself as John out-ran, out-scored, and generally out-played him. It was all a bit frustrating.
After the match ended, the game won 3-1 (two of which were scored by his faithful blogger), and the striker dutifully arrested, Sherlock sat to the side of the pitch as John explained to the rest of the team what had happened. John was in his element. A team sport, socialization, dirt and sweat and testosterone. Tedious. But as Sherlock watched him, a knot formed in his stomach. John beat him. They played together but John played better. This wasn’t how it went. Sherlock did something amazing, by John’s standards, and then John told him so. How could John tell him he was brilliant, superb, fantastic, amazing, not-a-freak, worthy-of-notice, worthy-of-praise, worthy-of-love, when John was better? Sherlock felt panic and anger build up in him. Sport was not emotion, or tact, or the solar system. Those were John’s areas. A case, running, statistical calculation and physics (that’s all sport is, after all) were all Sherlock’s area. And Sherlock wasn’t amazing today, John was. And all those blokes told John so, instead of John telling Sherlock. That made Sherlock fume, chest tightened, pulse elevated.
John. So he was done being showered with praise. Sherlock abruptly stood up.
“Good game, John.” Far more biting than intended. Sherlock turned on his heel and headed for the street to hail a cab.
“Sherlock!” John followed after him.
“SHERLOCK!” John shouted. Sherlock stopped. John caught up. “What the hell, Sherlock?”
Sherlock turned. John was too close. He could observe his hair, tousled, drenched with sweat (yet still it’s usual sandy gold), dilated pupils (ah! a surprise, though not uncommon after physical activity), dark circles beneath his eyes (when did he last let John sleep?), a bit of mud on his neck, scraped knees (from sport, not ‘scrubbing floors’), heavy breathing (still slightly out of breath), excess stains on his left leg (he still favored it).
“You know bloody well what I’m talking about. We discussed you attempting to leave without me. We are no longer on a case. The samples still need 9 hours to cultivate. Lestrade hasn’t texted. So what. the. hell. Sherlock.”
“I thought you played well. So did the rest of the team judging by their near worship of the ground you walk on, including number 12 who also displayed sexual interest. Pity his parents don’t know.” Sherlock watched as embarrassment flooded his friend’s face. Then, humility, confusion, pity. And somewhere in there, lust. Now that was interesting. Sherlock’s small shock (how did he miss his flatmate’s sexuality? Perhaps he deleted it? No, he never deletes information about John. Except his girlfriends’ names. Dull.) broke his facade and ever emotionally perceptive John both observed and saw.
“Oh my god. You’re jealous.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, John. I’m a sociopath.”
“No, I saw that. What were you jealous of? Number 12? Or that I got the attention? So, him or me?” Sherlock stayed silent. The knot built up in his stomach. Sociopath or no, the pressure within him was near unbearable. “Or… both?”
“Both? Oh that is-“
John was cut off by lips on his own. Sherlock had boiled over and John could feel his every emotion dominating the kiss. Sherlock’s want, his desire, his need for John’s appraisal all rushed in. It was a bit sloppy, Sherlock’s inexperience showed, and both tasted of sweat, but it was perfect. Though Sherlock would most definitely strive for mastery, and the thought made John quiver. They broke apart, breathing as though they were back on the pitch.
“Home?” Sherlock questioned.
“Yeah, definitely,” John smiled “oh, and Sherlock?”
“You know you still do that out loud?”