turante: (Sherlock smirk)
[personal profile] turante
Posting here for archivial purposes this month's contribution to [livejournal.com profile] thegameison_sh. The theme was LOVE.

Rating: Pg-13
Pairing: John/Sherlock
Word count: 716
Summary: Only Sherlock Holmes would run to the dictionary after having someone declare their love for him.
Title: Semantics

If John had had more knowledge of that branch of linguistics called semantics, and had had the punctual observation skills Sherlock possessed, he would have noticed earlier that his flatmate seldom used one word amongst dozens of synonyms casually. Sherlock usually chose the one that fit best his case.

So, while he referred to 221B Baker Street alternatively as home, the flat, 221B with the same ease and casualness he might have used to choose which pair of socks to wear in the morning, Sherlock paid attention to his tongue and varied his vocabulary according to circumstances.

The day John moved in, Sherlock texted him to come to ‘Baker Street’ because John hadn’t yet finished moving out of his old place and he felt that ‘the flat’ would have been too ambiguous.

The first time John was introduced to Lestrade, or rather, the first time he met Lestrade – because he wasn’t properly introduced – Sherlock said only, “He’s with me,” because he still didn’t know how to describe John; he didn’t have a word that fitted him yet. (Now he had several.)

Lieutenant Donovan immediately dubbed John a ‘colleague’ of Sherlock’s, and Angelo promptly assumed he was Sherlock’s ‘date’. While most of those words were thrown away casually, filled with wishful thinking and erroneous assumptions, they weren’t so far from the truth, if still inaccurate. Sherlock, however, would have never uttered them because they weren’t perfect.

Sherlock mostly called him ‘John’, just as he called detective inspector Lestrade by his surname. It was an appropriate and unambiguous way of addressing them, just the way he liked it.

The first time they kissed, or more precisely, the first time John got fed up with the tension between them and awkwardly pressed his lips to the corner of Sherlock’s mouth – because he chickened away at the last second – Sherlock chose not to comment on the subject. He left the room with the doctor in it and eventually the flat. When Sherlock returned he still didn’t have words to reply, so he settled with another kiss, feeling that it was the only way to effectively express his thoughts, to which John replied by pushing him away in confusion.

John questioned Sherlock, saying that he couldn’t run away and come back to kiss him like nothing had happened. But Sherlock didn’t know why John had felt the need to kiss him in the first place, and didn’t know why he felt the urge to do it as well. He was at a loss for words – something that didn’t happen often – and John had to do the explaining for him because he was the one at ease with words that had a subjective meaning and which Sherlock failed to grasp on a general basis.

A few months later John had gotten used to those rare precious moments in which Sherlock had nothing to say and they expressed their mutual appreciation by actions instead of words, and everything was fine until John felt the need to label things with what Sherlock considered an ill-fitting word.

“I think... I might love you. In some odd way,” John said while they were lying side by side, spent, on John’s unmade bed.

After a few moments of awkward silence Sherlock grabbed his clothes and left the bed, the room and John assumed the flat as well, judging by the sound of a door slamming downstairs. John got dressed and decided to go in the kitchen and make himself coffee or something, anything really, because he couldn’t stay there idle any longer.

Downstairs, he found Sherlock huddled in a corner of the sofa, consulting the dictionary. He got closer to his flatmate, friend and lover, peeking over Sherlock’s shoulder, trying to follow his mind.

John smirked; one of Sherlock’s fingers rested on this definition:

love /lʌv/

  • to need or require; benefit greatly from: Plants love sunlight

John actually chuckled. “Are you comparing me to a plant?”

“No, although humans need sunlight as well to synthesize vitamin D. But in this meaning, I think I... might love you too,” Sherlock replied, looking serious and, if John read his face correctly, a little embarrassed at his own confession.

“Good enough for me.”

It was from that day that Sherlock started saying ‘home’ when referring to their flat.
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