The new roommate situation was going well.
Of course there was the residual awkwardness, at least on John’s end, that came from moving into a space that felt like it belonged so entirely to someone else.
John didn’t know very much about Sherlock Holmes yet, but this flat seemed to him like a perfect reflection of the man’s soul. Parts of it were organized extensively. There were beakers in the cupboard that seemed to be arranged both by size and glass thickness, impeccably clean, yet there were dishes in the sink and sprawling all over the counter, most with dried chunks of food and many that were busy cultivating colonies of mold.
A final look around the room confirmed to John that there was not a single place in this flat for any of his personal affects. It was probably for the best, he thought to himself. A lifetime of army life had left him with sparse few belongings, and he doubted he would really be staying here long enough to settle anyway.
However there was something about Sherlock Holmes. A magnitude. An electrifying excitement that, when he was truely animated, John felt like a small planet being swept into the orbit of a larger star.
John shook his head crossly, as if clearing the clouds from his mind. Such folly. He was no young boy, staring star struck at the tall shadow of an imposing general standing in his parent’s entryway. He was a grown man, a veteran of wars, a hero according to some.
Mr. Holmes may be an oddity, but he was hardly captivating.
Sherlock himself was currently sprawled across the sofa, clothes rumpled and hair falling down to cover his face.
John had come downstairs from unpacking his room to find the man like this, and to be honest, he was a little concerned that the way the man had his face shoved into the cushion would result in his slow, embarrassing death.
The rise and fall of the man’s back was slow. Too slow. Was he getting any air?
“Mr. Holmes?” John inquired somewhat nervously, a childish quake in his voice that had him clearing his throat abruptly.
“Sherlock?” He said again, more firmly.
He supposed this was one way to get a flat to himself.
Walking over a little to quickly from the kitchen – he was not nervous – John reached the other side of the couch and crouched down, shaking the man’s shoulder with the intent to wake him.
A muffled groan and Sherlock tossed his head so that he was facing towards John. He was clearly still passed out, eyes moving below thin lids covered with spidery blue veins.
John was frozen.
This man, this strange man, was incredible to look at. His face was slightly lined with age, the indents on his forehead indicating a life spent deep in thought. His skin appeared very fine though, and his features delicate. John knew that he himself might be called rugged, if someone was being kind, but Sherlock was the epitome of aristocratic English beauty.
Hair laid across the man’s face, covering half an eye and part of his nose. Unbidden, John’s had swept it back behind an ear. Sherlock’s hair was thick and possessed a slight wave that, were it wet, John thought the man might be able to get it tied back.
When his hand had returned to his side, John flushed.
He couldn’t believe what he had done. How… improper.
Jumping away from the couch, he gathered up his hat and coat, abandoning his walking stick in his haste to leave the flat.
The soles of his shoes hit the stairs with some large measure of force. Really, it was a miracle he didn’t fall down them hat over expertly shined heel.
The front door took but a moment for his hand – his damnable hand – to open, and he was out.
As John rushed down the street in search of a nearby ale, he missed entirely the large shadow that now stood in the window of 221B Baker Street.