introduction to 6.00

Excerpt from near the beginning of Chapter 15:

“How did you… How could you possibly know this?” John’s voice was sharp with disbelief. “I never told you about my dream, other than it was about kissing you. I never told you where, or how, or… That was exactly… Well, almost exactly…”

Sherlock quirked a brow at him. John would get there, eventually.

“Did that… Was that… It wasn’t a dream?” He sounded dazed. “That first time… It really happened?”

Sherlock nodded. Was John going to be angry now? “Should I have told you, John?” he asked. “I wanted to tell you, but I was af-… I thought you might be disappointed.”

John was still working it out. “So it was that night, after the park, when you snuck onto the sofa with me. And then in the morning you made that comment about my not minding at the time – this is what you meant.”

It wasn’t a question so Sherlock remained silent, still unsure how John was going to react. Perhaps it had been a mistake to try to duplicate it, but it had been his first kiss and he had wanted to share it with John, in a way that they would both remember.

“So all this time, when I’ve been saying ‘No kissing on the mouth’… right back before we had that conversation in the taxi… I had actually already kissed you?” John didn’t sound upset, just surprised, perhaps a little embarrassed. Sherlock raised his hand to check – yes, that fit his expression.

He nodded. “You didn’t wake up. It didn’t occur to me that you would have any awareness of it, or I would have said something.” He shrugged. “I’m sorry, John; it was my fault. I disturbed you and you – you just kissed me.” He smiled, a little ruefully. “I’ve been nudging you in the night ever since, but you never did it again.”

John chuckled, but then fell silent. “Was that your… Did I take your first kiss and not even know it?”

Sherlock tipped his head to one side. “You were asleep, John. Any taking was done by me. That’s why I wanted to…” How could he phrase this, without sounding unbearably twee? “…give it back,” he finished.

John’s emotions were not clear from his expression and Sherlock moved his hand to stroke his finger around the mouth he’d spent so much time thinking about. “Can we start again?” he asked, his voice low. “I still don’t understand these feelings but I am sure of them now. I’m sure of us.” He could feel John purse his lips.

“What if you wake up back to normal and the feelings have gone, as you feared?” John asked, sounding reluctant yet determined. “What then, Sherlock? What happens to me, then? To us?”

Sherlock found John’s hand and brought it to his chest. “They would grow back, John,” he said. “Whatever happened, they would grow back.” He sat there, holding John’s curled fingers against him and just hoping that the man would accept his words, because he knew now, suddenly with a bone deep certainty, he knew that they were true, but they were all he had to offer.

Eventually, John’s palm flattened and pressed over Sherlock’s heart. “OK,” he said quietly, and Sherlock marvelled at his courage, at his faith, at his love. He was still marvelling when John pushed him back against the sofa and straddled him.

“Now, where were we?” John asked, presumably rhetorically as he seemed to have a definite idea in mind.

[This is a horrible hit-every-branch-on-the-way-down fall out of the cliché romantic trope tree. It’s the tackiest 少女 manga for eight-year old girls. I am baffled by this story’s popularity, nay, celebrity status. This is terrible.]

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