Summary: Sherlock hates Gladstone.
Disclaimer: I do not and never have owned anything to do with Sherlock Holmes. If only...
Warning: Mild spoilers for The Great Game
“What is that?” Sherlock asked in pure confusion. He stared down at the bundle of fur and paws that John held in his hands.
“It’s a dog,” John answered, flabbergasted. “Didn’t you have a dog growing up, or know someone with a dog?”
“Mother was allergic and the neighbor children were idiots,” Sherlock said in explanation, “so no on both accounts.”
“He’s sort of sweet,” John said as he brought the pup to eye level. Its little tongue stuck out of its mouth and it snored softly. John smiled and brought the pup back down and against his chest, covering it slightly with his jacket to keep it warm. He smiled up to Sherlock, turned on his heel and walked away.
“John,” Sherlock warned, “we are not keeping that thing.”
John paid no attention. He just kept up his pace as he walked away from the crime scene in the general direction of Baker Street. Sherlock glared at John’s back and cursed the small creature for taking all John’s attention. Sherlock hated that dog.
“Gladstone! Come here, boy!” John called from the living room. Instead of answering, however, the pup stayed exactly where it was. He sat on the kitchen floor, staring up at Sherlock who was performing some experiment at the table.
“If you don’t follow him,” Sherlock whispered, not taking his eyes off the slowly dripping pipette, “you’ll be my next experiment.”
The pup let out a whine and ran out to find John waiting on the couch with his leash. It came to John and whined sadly, nudging his leg. Gladstone stared up at John with teary eyes.
“There you are, Gladst-what’s the matter?” John picked up the pup and was treated to a soft licking on his palm. “Sherlock, did you threaten the dog again?”
There was a short pause from the kitchen, “No.”
John was not exactly convinced by this. However, he decided to let it go and ready Gladstone for his walk. He attached the red leash to Gladstone’s leather collar, right next to his tags. John smiled as the glint of it caught his eye and he read: If found please return to Holmes-Watson at 221B Baker St.
“We’re going for a walk, I’ll pick up some takeaway on the way back,” John said as he and Gladstone started toward the door of the flat. At the top of the stairs Sherlock caught Gladstone’s glance and glared at him, and mentally berated the creature for being such a tattle.
Sherlock remained resolutely behind the bulldog as it hopped happily along the sidewalk. Several people looked at them with smiles. Sherlock hated anything that made him appear like a usual human. He hated that dog for making him so…normal.
Gladstone seemed not to notice Sherlock’s discomfort whatsoever. The dog let his tongue fly and spit run down his chin block after block. Sherlock stared resolutely ahead and not at the dog, not at the people around them throwing complements of how adorable his dog was.
“He’s not my dog,” Sherlock replied, although no one listened.
“What’s his name?” one woman asked as he and the dog were stopped at a crossing. Sherlock’s mind went completely blank. What had John named the hideous thing? Perhaps something medical?
“He isn’t my dog,” Sherlock tried again. “His owner is ill and insists the thing be taken out, though I really don’t see why. It appears to be more than happy to stay with John. I hate the thing.”
“Well, he seems to like you,” she said. Indeed Gladstone was rubbing against his right shoe and licking at the hem of his trousers. They crossed the street and Gladstone continued happily whilst Sherlock glared at any and everyone they passed, effectively ending any comment a passerby had.
The night was still and another case had been solved. John and Sherlock sat next to one another on the couch, the chessboard on the coffee table in front of them. Naturally, Sherlock was winning, although he had forced himself to slow his mind down as to give John a fighting chance. There had been nothing of any significance to the night at all.
That was until they touched. It had started with a swift move of Sherlock’s bishop. John said something about setting up his own practice now that they were making real money. They discussed the matter at length, as Sherlock was not sure if that was exactly what John should be doing. When the conversation ended both had forgotten whose move is was. Instead of verbally asking both reached forward for their respective rooks. Their hands, forearms, and elbows grazed. The skin of their outer hands and pinkie fingers touched.
Sherlock stilled and looked out of the side of his eye to catch a flush over John’s cheek. Sherlock dared to move his pinkie, grazing it against John’s. He felt a wave of heat when John did not automatically jump away. He saw John move his gaze to look at him. Sherlock turned his head. John moved his hand to hover over Sherlock’s knee, so close that Sherlock could feel the heat of it.
It had been so long since Sherlock could even remember feeling the heat of another person. The hand found a place just above the knee. John stared at him, all blue eyes and shaggy blond hair and ridiculous jumper. Sherlock was about to move himself closer, place a hand on the back of John’s neck when Gladstone jumped unto the couch, twisted around between them and sat himself down, tongue huffing.
John let out a laugh, looking down at the dog and Sherlock reluctantly decided the moment had passed whatever it had been. They returned to the chess game but Sherlock had a distinctly more petulant attitude. For the rest of the night he grimaced at the dog and glared at the hand that was now wrapped around the switcher instead of somewhere far more pleasant.
It had been a rather hot summer day in July that John had left Sherlock alone with the dog. For the first half hour that John was gone Sherlock sat in his chair, knees pulled up to his chest, and he stared at Gladstone. He postulated twelve possible ways he could convince John the dog had runaway, only four of which actually involved Sherlock drowning the dog in the Thames.
Gladstone sat on the floor opposite the chair and stared at Sherlock, intermediately licking his upper lip and nose. Sherlock did not blink. Neither did Gladstone. When John returned from the shop with ice cream and a fresh bag of dog food the two were still staring at each other. He looked from Gladstone to Sherlock.
“What are you doing?” John asked, possibly to both of them. Neither looked at him.
“The dog hates me,” Sherlock stated. John was not really sure how that pertained to the situation at hand.
“No he doesn’t. He just knows you don’t like him,” John answered. “I doubt very highly Gladstone thinks anything much about you at all. And I’m surprised you’d be so bothered by it anyway.”
John leaned through the doorway to see Sherlock scowl at the dog. “I don’t care if your dog hates me.”
“Our dog, Sherlock, Gladstone is our dog,” John said as he went back to putting away the groceries. Sherlock leaned forward when he was sure John had busied himself.
“You are not my dog,” Sherlock whispered to Gladstone, who merely stared back and yawned. Sherlock lifted an eyebrow, “Touché.”
Sherlock and John had barely walked into the flat when Sherlock was tackled to the floor and John was grabbed around the shoulders by large hands. Instinct kicked in as John jabbed an elbow into his assailant’s abdomen. The man retained his hold on John and let out a sharp gasp of air. Sherlock grabbed any blunt object he could get his hands on but by the time his attacker was unconscious John was on the floor, gun pointed at his forehead.
Sherlock stood carefully, but the man pressed his finger a little too tightly on the trigger and Sherlock stopped where he was, half in a crouch. Sherlock tried to contemplate every possible way to get the upper hand without getting John shot. Suddenly the man began to yell, both Sherlock and John looked on in shock. At the attacker’s leg was Gladstone, latched on, his teeth sunken deep into flesh. Sherlock moved quickly, pushing the man’s arm up so the gun rang out and the bullet lodged itself into the ceiling.
Though lanky, Sherlock was nonetheless made of nothing but muscle. He overpowered the man, pointing the gun toward him as Gladstone released the leg. John grabbed his gun hidden behind one of the books on the shelf and likewise pointed it at the man. The two men loomed over the prone attacker, Gladstone growling at their feet.
After Lestrade had arrested the two men and taken them off Sherlock and John were left in silence. They stood for a moment, watching the flashing police lights pull down the street and out of view and began laughing, neither really knowing what was so funny. John was still laughing as he crouched low to pet Gladstone.
“Good boy,” John said, “You see, Sherlock, he is a good dog.”
Gladstone panted happily and jumped up with surprise strength into John’s arms, nearly knocking him off balance. Sherlock ran forward to grab for him, John’s back falling into his chest. Once John righted himself he turned, Gladstone in his arms.
“I suppose he isn’t so bad,” Sherlock said, absently running a finger over the dog’s head. He dragged the finger to the inside of John’s wrist where it lingered for a moment. Sherlock brought up his other hand and placed it softly around the back of John’s neck. Sherlock flicked his eyes down to Gladstone, who sat in John’s arm with the side of his face against John’s chest.
Sherlock smiled at the dog and moved his eyes to the small dip between John’s clavicles. His eyes moved to lips, to the way they tipped softly upwards, a small hint of teeth behind them. He leaned closer and felt Gladstone nuzzle at his sternum. His lips pulled tight and he waited for interruption but it did not come, Gladstone settled between them. A small smile unfolded on Sherlock’s lips as he pressed them against John’s.
There was a slight hesitation on John’s part that sent panic through Sherlock. But the press of lips reciprocated, although lightly. Sherlock noted how dry John’s lips were and yet they were not chapped. He also could not help but feel Gladstone sneaking closer and closer to him. Soon the hand that had been near John’s wrist was full of dog. Sherlock grimaced but was soon relieved as John’s now free hand moved swiftly under Sherlock’s jacket and landed on the small of his back.
John pushed closer to Sherlock, Gladstone letting out a small squeal that they both ignored. John used whatever leverage he could to take over the kiss, running his tongue along Sherlock’s bottom lip. There was a moan that could have been either one of them as Sherlock opened his mouth. And when John’s tongue met Sherlock’s there was a new, vibrant shockwave that moved from the front of Sherlock’s brain to the back. He had always used the part of his brain that no one else did but in that moment he felt the part that everyone used and he never did.
But that wasn’t quite right. He had always tucked John away into that small portion of his mind. He wondered if that was what love felt like. He had never loved anyone before. He only had connections or bonds, mostly familial, but he never felt as though he loved his family. He felt bound to them as he had no choice in the matter. John was his choice. Anyone else that Stamford could have introduced him to would have runaway screaming from the morgue at St. Bart’s, long before they had ever gotten near a crime scene.
Anyone else who had found themselves strapped to a bomb would have left. Then again, Sherlock wouldn’t have cared about anyone else strapped to a bomb. His caring about Moriarty’s victims wouldn’t help him save them and it wouldn’t help save John. So why did he? Why had John grabbed Moriarty and told Sherlock to run? And why hadn’t he?
There was an orbit around John Watson and everything that Sherlock pretended he couldn’t be was sucked into it. While tongue slid over tongue and a hand curled into the nape of a neck and a finger brushed up a spine Sherlock could not help but be absorbed into becoming something he had never cared to be. He wanted to be human.
John pulled away for air. His eyes were dark and his lips red and he seemed almost in a daze. He smiled though and Sherlock knew he was alright. Sherlock Holmes, what a funny man he was. So unexpected. And yet John could not help put float toward him, pulled in by gravity, or some unexplainable and unpredictable force of the universe. John released Gladstone into the other man’s arms, although the dog kept a close eye on him as he went toward the kitchen.
“I’ll make us some tea and we can watch crap telly. There’s leftover takeaway in the fridge if you’d like,” John said as he began to shuffle through the kitchen.
“Is this a date?” Sherlock asked with a smile. John grinned.
As John went about in the kitchen Sherlock heard a small noise from the vicinity of his arms, looking down he came eye to eye with Gladstone. The bulldog looked up at him expectantly.
“Oh, don’t look so smug,” Sherlock replied. “That had nothing to do with you.”
Gladstone wagged his tail and gave a small bark in response.
“Alright, fine, you did save his life I suppose. So,” Sherlock whispered as he patted the dog awkwardly on the head, “good boy, Gladstone.”
“What’s that, Sherlock?” John called, checking the microwave for any body parts before putting the leftovers in.
“Nothing, I think your dog deserves a treat,” Sherlock said, joining John in the kitchen and retrieving a small piece of chicken from their leftover stir fry.
“Our dog, Sherlock,” John said and kissed the side of Sherlock’s mouth. “Gladstone is our dog.”
Sherlock glared at him.