A/N: Just another short piece, but I hope y'all enjoy.
It was meant as a distraction, after the incident with Molly and the argument over the woman who had spoken on the phone, not to mention a chance for the detective to show his own mental prowess. John knew this even before he began trying to deduce whatever he could from the pair of shoes sitting in front of him. But, maybe it wasn't just that.
Right before he'd started with his "deductions", he'd looked Sherlock in the eye. At first, the pale gaze he received seemed as guarded as ever. But then, he'd seen, or at least he thought, he'd seen something else. Maybe this was Sherlock's own weird way of trying to make up for the last couple days, in which he'd been acting even more cold-hearted than usual. After all, how many people could say Sherlock Holmes had taken some of his all-important time just to try and teach them something?
So, he'd done as Sherlock asked, haltingly and badly, but, he'd done it. And, oddly, the detective had nudged him along gently enough, even praised his small success. Granted, that done, he'd quickly gone back to being insulting. But, it had been nice while it had lasted. And that was Sherlock after all. He had to make sure these things stayed in balance.
It wasn't the last time it happened either. Some days, if Sherlock had been being particularly annoying, if it was just a bad day for John, if the silence in the flat got heavy and awkward, Sherlock would pull John out of his chair or off of the couch, push him gently but forcefully toward the window, stand beside him to look down at the street below, and ask, "What do you see?"
Most days, John would stare silently out the window for some time. If he waited too long Sherlock might add, "Well?" shifting his gaze to look keenly at his friend.
He would try to make the word sound exasperated. But, since John was normally already angry at this point, the word was spoken with a certain…gentleness wasn't the word. Gentle wasn't the word for almost any of Sherlock's actions. It was just…different from the detective's usual tone, somehow. So, grudgingly, John would look down at the street, pick a passerby at random, and try to deduce something about them from what he saw.
He would be so busy studying his subjects, he wouldn't notice the slight smile that sometimes tugged Sherlock's lips upward.