As a Cat
"Luggage," said Sherlock, watching John from the doorway of his bedroom. "Why would you be getting your luggage out? Why do you even have conventional luggage?"
"I did have a life before the Army," said John. "You never come up here, what do you want?"
"I want to know why you're packing," said Sherlock, striding into the room and circling around before flopping onto the piles of clothing John had been making on the bed. "Where are you going?"
"Medical conference, which I told you about three weeks ago." John was calm and amused, despite Sherlock's interference. "It's only for four days. You'll be fine." He gently tugged at the pile of pants sticking out from under Sherlock's shoulder, putting them in the open suitcase instead.
"But who will make me tea and do the washing up?" asked Sherlock plaintively, slumping more firmly on the rest of John's clothing.
"Well," said John with a roll of his eyes, "as you are in fact an adult, I thought you might manage it." He sorted out six pairs of socks and added them to the open case. "Mrs Hudson might also take pity on you."
Sherlock huffed, then moved himself half into John's suitcase in order to examine the few things John had managed to pack. "If you're going for four days, why do you have all six pairs of your good date underwear in here?" he asked suspiciously.
John forewent pinching the bridge of his nose in favour of rescuing more of his clothing from under Sherlock. "In case someone, I dunno, spills coffee in my lap, I want to both have on nice pants for the paramedics and a change waiting in my hotel room for after."
"Hm. Paranoid," said Sherlock, pulling out John's favourite blue silk pair and then tossing them back in. "Try not to burn anything important."
"The takeaway menus are all in the drawer under the microwave. And just think, for four days no one will be around to complain no matter what disgusting or dangerous experiments you do in the kitchen." John re-folded the shirts he'd rescued and finally had to resort to bodily moving Sherlock out of his case so he could put them in. Twice.
Sherlock sighed and sank back onto the now-empty bedspread. "It's not the same."
John couldn't help but smile at how mournful Sherlock sounded at that. "I'll be back in four days, Sherlock, it's not the end of the world."
Sherlock's slit-eyed glare informed him that it might as well be, as far as Sherlock was concerned. John's smile widened into a grin that stayed with him all the way through his packing, which took forever thanks to Sherlock's continued interference.
John found that, just this once, he didn't mind so much.
When John got home from his conference, he found Sherlock curled miserably on the sofa, the very picture of bored dejection. John's case thumped against the open door and Sherlock turned, startled, and his whole posture changed.
"You're back!" said Sherlock cheerfully, getting up and stalking over to John.
"Yes, Sherlock, I told you how long I'd be gone," said John. If he sounded disconcerted, it was because Sherlock had taken his suitcase away and begun to examine him thoroughly, seeking clues as to his activities. "You could just ask me what I've been up to, you know," said John, but his voice held laughter under the annoyance.
"This is faster," said Sherlock, helping John out of his coat so he could get a better look at the clothes he was wearing beneath. "Bad train ride, and you worried while you were gone, your lip is..." Sherlock trailed off, thumb brushing with annoying intimacy over the sore spot on John's lower lip.
Sherlock continued to look John over like he was some sort of crime scene, and John decided it would be faster just to wait for the conclusion than keep arguing, though he did venture one protest of, "I am quite tired from travelling, you know," which Sherlock predictably ignored.
Sherlock went so far as to sniff John's hair, and John was starting to worry he'd be licked as well. His cardigan was removed and discarded once it had given up all its secrets. John had to give Sherlock a very firm look when it seemed like his trousers might follow, though he allowed the shoes to go as he'd intended to take them off anyway.
"Well, go on, you want tea and a sit," said Sherlock, after an inexplicably long examination of John's cuffs.
"God, yes, I do," agreed John, trying very hard to ignore the sound of his luggage being unzipped as he made his way into the kitchen. He was rather surprised to find that not only was there nothing foul in the kettle, there was a clean mug with a tea bag in it on the counter. "Sherlock, did you do something experimental to this cup?"
"It's for you," said Sherlock. John could hear him rummaging, and wondered again at Sherlock's capacity for finding something of interest in other people's dirty underwear. It didn't seem to be a fetish, but it was still a bit odd.
Then again, it was Sherlock. "Deduced anything interesting yet?" asked John, filling the kettle with fresh water and setting out a second cup and bag, figuring Sherlock would want a cuppa once he was done.
"You didn't form any temporary romantic attachments," said Sherlock, "and no one spilled hot coffee in your lap, despite your concerns."
John laughed. "You really are looking at my dirty pants, Sherlock, that's disturbing."
"You're not disturbed, but you are wondering now if I derive some sort of sexual satisfaction from it, which I don't," replied Sherlock, his tone more amused than annoyed, thankfully.
John chuckled. "You don't derive sexual satisfaction from anything that I've seen, dunno why this would be any different," he said. The kettle dinged, and he poured water over the tea bags, going to the fridge to see if there was any hope of milk.
"Mrs. Hudson got us milk," said Sherlock. "She went to the shops today because she knew you'd be back." His voice held a little hint of something odd, but John chose to ignore it in favour of enjoying that his refrigerator actually contained food for once.
"Good, I'm starving. Want something?" asked John, already getting out the ingredients for a nice sandwich.
"Often," said Sherlock, coming in to lean against the doorframe. "I do, you know."
John cocked his head, though he didn't pause in getting out two plates. "You do what, want a sandwich?"
"Derive sexual satisfaction. Want things," said Sherlock, all annoyed. "But yes, also a sandwich. No gherkins."
"I know how you like your sandwiches by now," said John, hands working to open containers and assemble two sandwiches, similar but not exactly the same. Sherlock liked more mustard than John, and preferred meat and cheese to be separated by lettuce, whereas John preferred them to be together but with a layer of gherkin slices atop the lettuce. "I've no idea what you derive sexual satisfaction from. You made it pretty clear it wasn't any of my business the day we met."
"Technically it was the day after we met."
"Technically, if you're married to your work, then this entire conversation is disturbing. So let's not get technical, shall we?" said John. He added the proper quantities of milk and sugar to each cup of tea, then gathered up his plate and mug. "I'm going to sit and eat now, you do what you like with my dirty pants," he said, enjoying the chance to tease Sherlock for once.
John had to brush past Sherlock to get into the living room, where he stopped short. His chair now contained his suitcase, and Sherlock's chair held most of the things that were previously in said case. The desk chairs were in the corner with some sort of experiment balanced precariously atop them, leaving him nowhere to sit but the couch. John rolled his eyes and sat, wondering what other evidence he'd find of Sherlock's boredom.
Sherlock came along after him and flopped down onto the couch with his usual disregard for John's personal space. "Urgh, gherkins," said Sherlock, stealing a bit of cheese out of John's sandwich.
"You've got your own, just there in the kitchen, entirely gherkin-free," said John with a roll of his eyes. "Tea as well."
"Your tea is gherkin-free," pointed out Sherlock.
John took a long, leisurely sip of it. "That it is," he agreed, letting the familiar warmth relax him even as the caffeine would take the edge of his travel fatigue. "Not nearly so sweet as you like, either."
Sherlock ignored it, swiping the cup as soon as John set it down and stealing a sip. He didn't bother to explain his sudden disinterest in anything but John's food, and the amusement made up for the minor inconvenience, in John's opinion.
"Stop stealing my cheese," said John, around a mouthful of sandwich.
"Bring me mine, then." Sherlock slouched further onto John, long body draped over John's smaller, stockier frame. "No one's brought me tea in ages."
John snorted. "I'll bet Mrs. Hudson brought you tea not two hours ago."
Sherlock sighed dramatically and slumped back against the couch cushions, freeing John to stand, should he wish to give in to Sherlock's ridiculous demands.
"If you follow me into the kitchen," said John, "I'm never fetching tea for you again." It was an idle threat, and they both knew it, but Sherlock seemed to think his best course of action was to take up the entire couch rather than trail after John as he went to retrieve Sherlock's share of their meal. When he came back, Sherlock had taken another sip of his tea and was making the same face he made when Molly brought him inadequate coffee.
"Yours has plenty of sugar in it," said John wryly, swapping out their cups and taking another drink of his tea. "Now budge up."
Long legs folded up just enough for John to resume his seat, finding their way into John's lap seconds later. Eventually the sandwiches were eaten and tea was drunk, though most of John's cheese seemed to disappear into Sherlock's mouth -- despite being declared "gherkiny" -- and the second half of Sherlock's sandwich went to John in its entirety. John got up and made more tea, not quite ready to head up to bed despite his exhaustion, and when he got back he found his lap invaded, not by feet, but a head of dark curls.
With every sarcastic comment on John's choice of television programmes, Sherlock seemed to say, "I missed you," just a little bit louder.
After a bit, John risked a hand in Sherlock's tousled hair, which effectively silenced the remarks. Sherlock stayed still at first, but soon enough he was moving his head, butting it up into John's hand to get firmer petting in specific areas, and letting out little sounds of contentment that, were it anyone but Sherlock, John would have called purrs. John smiled to himself and kept rubbing, using his short nails to scratch Sherlock's scalp or his strong hands to massage, careful not to turn the tousle into a tangle.
After a while, the sound and movement all died down and John found himself pinned down by a real miracle -- a sleeping Sherlock. John sighed and settled in to watch another episode of crap telly, and tried to ignore his growing need to use the loo.
And here John had always thought he was a dog person.
Title: As a Cat