As John was staggering up the stairs to their shared flat on 221B Baker Street and struggling to keep his balance in a really pathetic and futile impression of a walk, he thought that spending the whole evening in "Red Lion", drinking pint after pint, maybe wasn't such a good idea.
It was all Sherlock's fault, as usual. A few hours ago he announced fervently that he was bored out of his mind, and, since there wasn't any interesting case available, it could be fruitful to go to a pub and try spying on people. After all, drunk clientele are more prone to spill the beans and reveal some juicy secrets. At least that's what Sherlock claimed using more sophisticated vocabulary and making those puppy eyes, which you couldn't simply refuse. The truth was, John didn't really want to oppose this time, because an evening in a pub sounded fantastic. He envisioned that a bit of unwinding will be a nicer pastime than chasing criminals all around London as they normally do. So John was quite glad when he and Sherlock went to "Red Lion" nearby.
Not everything went as planned, though. It turned out that some Polish guy was celebrating his promotion at work with a bunch of his compatriots in the said pub. The wild group, inebriated to the fullest, was partying hard and asking every guest at the pub to come and drink with them. And if John ever learned anything about immigrants in London, it was that one does not simply say no to a Pole, when he is encouraging you to drink with him. No one ever said 'no' to such proposition and lived to tell about it. In the end, John ended up with a beer mug that never seemed to be empty, no matter how much he drank out of it.
Alcohol has an amazing ability of bringing people together, so Doctor Watson soon expanded severely his Polish vocabulary, knowing how to say "good morning" "cheers" and an awful lot of swear words. It was actually fun when it lasted, but for most pleasures in life you have to atone with a sorry state some time after. And that's the reason why John struggled so desperately with going up to their apartment.
Sherlock, however, seemed to be in a much better shape. He climbed the stairs first with little effort and he looked surprisingly sober. The only indication that he was in fact drinking was the flush on his normally pale cheeks. John had his suspicions that Sherlock was pouring his own beer into his friend's mug, but sadly he couldn't prove anything.
At least John got his little revenge in a taxi when they were coming back from the pub. The cabby must have been a big fan of Madonna, since he was singing "Like a Virgin" all the time during the ride. The look of utter horror and distaste on Sherlock's face was priceless.
Finally, the stairs ended and John put his back against a wall in their living room.
"My God, one more stair and I'll start howling. No way I'm climbing up to my bedroom. I guess I'll just pass out here and sleep on the carpet", said John adamantly with a slight drunken lisp.
"You can always sleep with me. My bed is big enough for two", Sherlock proposed unexpectedly, while taking off his coat and hanging it on the hook.
John stared at him with disbelief.
"What? Sherlock, are you serious?"
"Yes, I am. Problem?"
"People will definitely talk when they see us sleeping together!"
"What people, John? Look around, there's only us here", he stated in a condescending tone, observant as always.
"Well... you're right, but still..."
Sherlock didn't shrug his shoulders, because that wasn't his style, but his facial expression gave it all away.
"As you wish. I hope the floor will be comfortable enough for you".
Sherlock turned around and went to his room without looking back.
John stared at the floor and realised on second thought that sleeping there may not be such a great idea after all. His gaze rested on the couch, which was another potential spot for sleeping. But it was all covered with Sherlock's stuff John couldn't identify half of the things lying there and, to be honest, he didn't really want to. Tidying up at this hour was out of the question, so John looked in desperation at armchairs. However, he spend a night there once and the next morning he felt as if every single bone in his body was aching. The options were wearing thin.
"Oh, sod it," he sighed with anger and dragged himself to Sherlock's room. The owner was already lying on the bed and didn't look the least surprised when he saw his companion at the door. John took off his shoes which required some time and unbelievable skills, and he laid down beside Sherlock.
"If some crazy paparazzi takes a photo of us now and publish it in every tabloid, it won't be my fault," said John grumpily.
"Would it really bother you so much?," asked Sherlock, turning his head towards John.
"You pay too much attention to what people think. They're all morons."
"Yes, all except the omniscient Sherlock Holmes and his massive intellect," John commented sarcastically. He fell silent for a moment to gather his thoughts. "You know, there's something I want to ask you and I'm actually drunk enough to do it".
"Is it really true what Mycroft implied?"
"And what did Mycroft imply?"
"Well, that you've never slept with anybody?"
"I'm sleeping with you now, am I not?"
"No! I meant sleeping like... you know, being intimate with somebody."
Sherlock squinted his eyes.
"And why do you want to know that?"
"No reason, just curious. And as far as I know, you value curiosity very much," John added casually.
Sherlock just kept staring at him and didn't reply.
"Um, well, if you don't want to talk about it, it's okay..." John began speaking apologetically, but Sherlock stopped him.
"If you have to know, I've never felt the urge to... mate," he almost spat that word.
John looked hardly surprised.
"I see... Well, considering your looks, if you never had anyone, it must mean that you're asexual, right?"
"Brilliant deduction, John. You're improving. Maybe one day you'll become a consulting detective as well", Sherlock stated snarkily. John knew him too well to feel offended, he just laughed.
"Well, that kind of fits"
"Yes. You distance yourself from anything that is human, so it's only fitting that you lack human desires".
"Not having a sex drive doesn't make me any less human, regardless of what you may think". Sherlock's face was dead serious and maybe even a bit hurt.
"I know, Sherlock. I know," he said soothingly. "I was just joking, don't take it too seriously. It's booze speaking, after all. But I was wondering... Well, have you ever been in love?" John was quite abashed for asking that.
"Yes, did you ever love somebody?
Sherlock was looking intensively at the celling as if something really interesting was going on there.
"...I don't know."
"What? How can you not know such thing?!" John exclaimed in confusion.
"Feelings, John! They're dangerous, irrational and vague! How can you make any sense out of them?" He was really frustrated.
"That's the point of feelings. You do not analyse them, but just... feel them."
"My mind doesn't work that way, John."
Watson didn't know what to reply, so he remained silent. It was Sherlock who finally broke the silence after a few long minutes.
"Let's make an experiment, John."
"An experiment? What experiment?", inquired John.
"Kiss me, John," he repeated patiently.
"Kiss you? I'm not gay, you know".
"I'm not asking whether you're gay or not. I'm asking you to kiss me. Do you have some sort of hearing impediment?"
"Why should I kiss you anyway?" He tried a different approach.
"It's an experiment. I cannot tell you anything more, because it would impair the results".
John didn't seem convinced.
"Experiment? Just an experiment?"
"I cross my heart. Or I can cross my brain if it would seem more trustworthy to you".
John sighed with resignation.
"What the hell am I doing... If somebody sees me, I'm going to kill you," he muttered and leaned towards Sherlock. He placed hesitantly a gentle kiss on Sherlock's lips and quickly moved back as if they were burning. He looked clearly freaked out.
"That's how you're kissing your girlfriends? No wonder that they dump you on the spot!" Sherlock taunted him with a smirk on his face.
"Oh, damn you, Sherlock Holmes!" John yelled and pressed his lips against Sherlock's. He was really pissed (in both senses of the word) and he just wanted to make that smart arse finally shut up. He put in that kiss all of his anger and all the hidden feelings that resurfaced when he lost his self-control. He stroked that distracting cheekbones with his fingers and kept kissing him deeply, mingling their tongues together. That felt surprisingly... right.
When they finally parted, they were eyeing each other for a while. Sherlock never looked so clueless in his entire life. John broke the eye contact first and cleared his throat to mask his embarrassment:
"So... The results. What are the results? Of your experiment I mean?"
"The results are... inconclusive," said Sherlock breathing heavily. "The experiment may need to be repeated in due time".
"Good night, John," Sherlock turned his back on his friend. He didn't want John to see a big smile showing on his face.