John dug his mobile out of his coat pocket as he turned the corner onto Baker Street. He'd got off the tube a station early because of the continuous starting and stopping from delays. Sometimes the surface roads really were faster.
"Hello," he said , expecting to hear Sherlock but only mildly surprised when Harry's voice answered.
"I was just calling to see how you are feeling," she said and John rolled his eyes. It had been a week since he called his sister to pick him up at the hospital after he saw Jacob and Sherlock kissing. She'd called him several times since then, asking how he was and how he and Sherlock were doing.
He didn't have an answer for her on the last part. He still wasn't certain himself.
"I'm fine. Swelling is down, stitches have healed up nicely. Same as yesterday. Sherlock is fine, he's been home every night since the incident. Same as yesterday. No, things aren't completely back to normal yet. It's still an issue with me and not him. Same as yesterday. I'd explain but since you say 'ew' every time I talk about sex, I'll simply say it hasn't happened yet. And really, Harry, I certainly don't mind hearing from you or talking with you but we didn't speak this often when we lived in the same house. I'm doing all right, honestly. I'd tell you if I wasn't."
He heard her sigh on the other end and knew that she too was rolling her eyes. "Fine," she snapped. "I'll back off. I'm just worried about you. I've never seen you quite that upset and I'm not exactly thrilled about the situation. The bastard broke into my flat if you'll remember."
John smiled despite himself. Harry had been under the impression that her flat was almost impenetrable and Sherlock had shattered that illusion. She'd called in a securities firm to install an alarm system and had a serious talk with the management of the building about the front door locks. The little brother in John found the whole thing just a bit too amusing. "I apologised for that," he said spotting his doorway in the distance. "And I'd make him apologise too if you'd consent to speak to him."
"No," she said quickly. "It isn't necessary." John almost laughed - almost. Harry never appreciated laughter at her expense. "I'm going to Wellow this weekend so I won't be home. If you end up in a pub fight you'll have to call your husband. Or better yet his brother - as he seems to have magical powers over ASBOs. "
"Have a good time," John said instead of letting her jabs hit home. He had no intention of fighting with his sister today. He was still dealing with the remnants of the fight with his husband. And Jacob. He was struggling to think of Sherlock and not think of Jacob and their lips touching. He wasn't having much success. "Be safe and I'll talk to you soon."
"Bye," she said and rang off. He just looked at his phone and shook his head. Sometimes it was so easy with Harry and sometimes it was too hard.
He opened the front door and breathed in the familiar scent. He could tell Mrs. Hudson was making lasagna for dinner which meant that she'd give them leftovers tomorrow. He liked that idea - less cooking for him over the weekend. It wasn't as good as Angelo's but still good.
He climbed up the steps and the relieved feeling about being home started to dissipate. He struggled to hold on to it, he didn't want to focus on this anymore. He wanted to be able to forget.
He couldn't, not yet, and nobody was more disappointed by this than Sherlock. They'd been together every evening since and John had tried desperately to fake it. He couldn't fool Sherlock though, not about this. He didn't know what it was that gave him away, but he suspected it was stiffening in his body or the way his lips moved in a kiss. But Sherlock would always pull away and John would see a mix of emotions in the grey eyes. Sometimes he was annoyed, sometimes he was angry, mostly he'd frown and just shake his head. John didn't know what to say, he didn't know what to tell him. Sherlock had done everything right since then. Everything. It was John's problem at this point.
That morning as Sherlock pulled away in the shower, he'd cupped John's face. John had tightened his fingers on Sherlock's forearms. John wanted Sherlock to know that he wanted to be able to. John wanted to be able to more than anything. Sherlock had just smiled at him, shook his head in a moment of defeat, and said: "I love you, John, more than anything. Remember that." It had made John's chest ache.
John sighed as he opened the door and prepared to face Sherlock. He pushed it a few inches and met resistance. He pushed harder and glanced down seeing green sticks poking underneath the door. He frowned, confused, until a moment later one of the sticks had a leaf.
Flowers, he thought as he shoved against the door enough to squeeze inside. He took a step and felt something under his shoe. He looked down again. More flowers. He looked around the room and corrected his realization. They weren't just flowers; his flat had become a garden while he was away.
The floor was covered wall-to-wall with flowers strewn about the floor. He could immediately identify roses, carnations, and tulips among them. He glanced at the stairs and there was a giant arrangement on each step. Huge bouquets of lilies and irises and flowers John couldn't immediately recognise.
It looks like a florist's blew up, he thought, Or a funeral parlour.
He took a couple of tentative steps towards the living room, seeing more arrangements on every available surface. He started kicking his feet as he walked, flowers flying in the air as he entered the room. He took his coat off and swiped a collection of tulips off the couch and onto the floor so he could set it down.
"Sherlock!" he called and turned towards the kitchen just as his husband's voice called out:
John continued towards the kitchen, pushing the flowers out of the way with his feet as he did so. He didn't like the idea of stepping on them. As he passed his chair he saw a pile of greeting cards. He picked them up and glanced through them. Each one had his name on it.
"Sherlo…," he trailed off as he looked up to see his husband standing in the kitchen, completely naked and covered with some brown substance. "What in the hell?" he said instead.
Sherlock looked up at him and frowned. He gestured towards some three tiered metal concoction in the middle of the table. "It doesn't work. I was trying to surprise you and it doesn't work."
"What is it?" John asked, seeing more of the brown substance around the metal and on the table. "And what is all of this?" He swung his arm around gesturing to the flowers, but his eyes stopped moving when they landed on a small fish bowl on the counter with what looked to be a dozen oysters piled inside. He shook his head; there were bigger things.
Sherlock shook his head and crossed his arms. He looked at the floor and was quiet.
"Sherlock," John said. "What is all of this? An experiment?"
Sherlock's head snapped up at that. "No!" he exclaimed. A flash of anger at what was apparently interpreted as an accusation crossed his features, then faded away. He sighed and dropped his arms. "I don't want you to be upset with me anymore. I've been home every evening. I took you to dinner. I did chores. I miss you. I was unaware of what else to do so I researched ways to apologise online."
"I combined several of the ideas I found there and was trying to offer you a grand apologetic gesture but the chocolate fountain will not work."
So it was chocolate covering his husband's body, that realisation stirred something in John's stomach. It was almost a foreign feeling after so long and it surprised him. And it felt good - very, very good.
"The flowers?" he asked. Sherlock crossed his arms again. John smiled, noticing a dab of chocolate on Sherlock's cheek right next to his nose. He took a step forward.
"A man online disappointed his wife by forgetting to paint the garage door. He painted the door and bought her flowers, including extras to put a few loose individual ones around the house."
John took another step. "I assume he was not specific about quantity." Sherlock shook his head. "And the cards?" John held out the collection that was still in his hand.
"I could not decide which one displayed the most appropriate sentiment." John nodded setting them on the counter.
"And the fountain?"
"Many sites suggested that chocolate covered edibles are an aphrodisiac, along with the oysters," Sherlock said, nodding at the fish bowl.
John smiled, taking another step, feeling flowers crush under his feet. He wanted to see if Sherlock was wearing shoes, but the idea of looking away from that chocolate spot on his cheek just seemed wrong.
"You know that we're supposed to eat the oysters, right?" Sherlock's body stiffened and John knew that he didn't know that. He risked a glance into the grey eyes and saw more disappointment there. Clearly Sherlock though he'd done something else wrong. "And you are naked because?"
Another step - one more and he'd be able to touch Sherlock.
"Sites suggested that it might be stimulating to come home to one's spouse unclothed."
John chuckled at that taking the final step he reached up. Sherlock looked surprised as John's fingers settled in dark curls and began pulling his head down. John took another step, pushing his body into Sherlock's and feeling the crossed arms press into his chest. He met the grey eyes again and offered his husband a quick smile before he darted his tongue out to lick the chocolate spot off his cheek.
He pulled back. "I'm pretty sure that you can skip the rest of this next time and just cover yourself in chocolate."
He saw the flash in the grey eyes and a moment later their lips met. Sherlock's hand was warm and sticky as he brought it up to rest on John's cheek. John pulled out of the kiss and turned his head to start licking chocolate off his husband's palm.
"Thank god, finally," Sherlock mumbled as he pulled his hand away. Their eyes locked again as Sherlock bent down and John felt the warm tongue lick a chocolate spot off the corner of his mouth.