Sherlock | Sherlock/John friendship | 635 words | gen
This is a coda to tonight's episode (The Blind Banker) so spoilers for that.
ETA: now available as a podfic by diane_mckay.
"You slept with him, didn't you?"
"Hm?" Sherlocks asks, "With whom?"
"Sebastian!" Honestly, John thought that was obvious. And out of the two of them, John isn't the one who usually thinks things are obvious.
"Oh." Sherlock's eyes flick up from his breakfast then down again. "Yes." He says it like it doesn't matter, but his voice gets lower, which means he's lying. They've only known each other a few weeks, but John learnt to read him after five days in self defence.
"At university?" John pushes, doesn't know why he's pushing, rather wishes he weren't.
"Yes." Sherlock finishes cutting his food into neat squares, turns the plate 45 degrees and starts cutting the squares in half. "I started university at sixteen. I slept with him when I was eighteen. He wasn't my first."
John frowns. "What does that have to do with anything?" he starts to ask. That's the most personal information Sherlock has ever given him at one time and he suspects that's only because Sherlock doesn't think he'll be able to see that there's something important there. Wait. "It doesn't matter," he repeats slowly, "Because he wasn't your first. Because he broke your heart."
Something hot and acidic, painful like day-old Indian takeaway bubbles up in his stomach.
"Hardly," Sherlock says dismissively. His hands don't shake but they do tighten around his knife and fork. "Sebastian's not my type."
"Well no, he's a dick," John agrees, "But you were eighteen. And you didn't have any other friends."
Sherlock stands up abruptly, walks to the window, his back to John. "I didn't have any friends," he corrects, "As you heard."
John wants to walk over to Sherlock and put a hand on the small of his back, offer some comfort for years old hurt, but he's not terribly good at offering reassurance. Oh, he can tell a dying man that he'll see his parents again with a straight face and deep sincerity, but he has no idea what Sherlock would find comforting and he doubts he could provide it anyway.
"We had sex fourteen times over twenty seven days," Sherlock tells him, eyes still fixed on the street below. "Then someone found out. They laughed at him. Not at me, no one was surprised that I was queer, but they laughed at him for having sex with a freak like me--" He spits the word. John flinches -- "And then he laughed at me too."
John finds himself on his feet. He thinks of Sebastian in his expensive leather chair in his expensive glass office; one solid uppercut to the jaw might send him flying through one of those many windows.
"It's really very sweet," Sherlock says passively, "That you're indignant on my behalf. A little redundant and fifteen years late, but still sweet."
John has never been called sweet in his adult life (well, actually that's a lie, but great aunts and girls who don't want to date him don't count). "Why did you help him if he was that much of a bastard to you?"
Sherlock laughs softly, shaking his head. "Because he needed me, John," he says, like it's simple.
For a brief, furious moment, John thinks that Sherlock must mean he still has feeling for Sebastian. Then he understands. "And you enjoyed the fact that he needed you." He sits back down. "Vindictive fucker, aren't you."
Sherlock nods, approving. "Very good," he says, "Exactly." He waves at John's toast sitting buttered but uneaten on his plate. "Aren't you going to finish that?"
Normally, John would say that yes, yes he was, since it was his breakfast, but today he says, "No, go ahead," and Sherlock's smile makes his anger fade even if he hasn't had a chance to punch Sebastian in the face. Yet.
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