"Together in This Place"
John had made him a present of London, and Sherlock feels as though he's been waiting all his life for someone – no, not someone, not anyone, but John himself – to demonstrate an understanding of what London means to him. Through John's foresight and practicality and love, London became magical for him, lighting up in a way it hadn't in years, not since he doused those lights himself, snuffing them out by regarding the city of his heart as merely byways and back alleys leading to cocaine, sparkling paths promising oblivion. John made the very bones of the city sing again.
John gave him the gift of rapt attention, an implicit assurance that all the clockwork functioning of Sherlock's mind was more than the senseless movements of hollow mechanisms. At the best of times, Sherlock could feel facts pulled by some greater force out of pockets of his brain to stand in an orderly row that made sense of whatever crime he was solving. But John knew that even at his worst times, his brain was regimented and strict; John saw that, admired it, and then forged his own path in. Sherlock lay down his arms and gladly welcomed him in.
John's laughter is a gift, ranging from that endearingly childlike giggle Sherlock had heard on their first night together to the satisfied chuckle of a few hours earlier, when John had, with no small satisfaction, declared his intention to celebrate Lupercalia whether Sherlock would or no. That sly twist away from the expected extolling of Valentine's Day had triggered Sherlock's own smile, and John's eyes shone with shared mirth. It makes Sherlock feel light, free, as if he can wander as he likes without having to set his foot on the ground; following John's map has proved good so far.
John makes a present of himself every day, a promise to be attuned to Sherlock even when Sherlock feels harmony to be flatly impossible and the path to felicity thoroughly hidden. There are thoughts that crowd into his mind when he's alone, painful musings that John's bright presence diminishes daily. Their bodies tell a different, warmer truth, twining lustfully and meeting delightedly in the expanse of their bed. There is no part of John that does not promise joy, and Sherlock, with wild abandon, throws out the coordinates in his brain in favour of the compass of his thumping heart.
John shared his grand gift of silence at the end of the night. Sherlock was already watching him (the sight of John, at home and in love, safe in 221B and Sherlock's arms, was one of which he would never tire) when John buttoned his lips and smiled. Sherlock considered the map of London John had memorised for the occasion, then smiled and traced one of his own on John's bare hips. No doubt it felt like abstract designs to John, but Sherlock was drawing something profound: the steps of the dance that had led them to this place, together.
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