… art school, or something.

Sherlock shifts, appreciative of John’s weight, and warmth, that is still beside him even though it’s 10 o’clock in the morning so very far from John’s usual schedule. “Only if they include the pants,” Sherlock mutters as John’s fingers touch his hair.
“Sherlock–!”
“You think very deliberately,” he mused. “Should be an artist’s model. Could do a study in sheets..drapery? Except he’d never bloody move to change poses,” he recites John’s thoughts gently. Then, adds. “Only if they include the pants.” A pair of redpants slung over the top of the headboard. John smirks, presses a kiss to Sherlock’s forehead, a phone rings.

“Oh, Bill. No, no, I’m free,” his words are tentative, he doesn’t want to leave, but feels he should. Sherlock is already sulking. John hangs up after a few moments, pulling the other man close to him, but his energy has changed from before. “Bill wants me to meet him down at the pub. I should go, we haven’t had a chance to catch up for a while.”
“But it’s a Sunday,” Sherlock protests with a groan.
“Sunday lunch or a pint, then. Won’t be long. A couple of hours. Need anything from the shops?” He emerges from the bathroom fully dressed, checking the window for the weather.
“Patches.”
“Anything else?” John stands in the doorway, neatening his clothes, straightening his cuffs, and his collars.
“Ask Gladstone,” he mutters, before rolling over.
“Anything else?” John asks, smiling fondly at the determined, wriggling bullpup. He closes the door to Baker Street, taking the stairs with ease.

Chewie?

The pub is always the same, and while John is looking forward to catching up with Bill, he’s never been very good in pubs since dragging Harry out of far too many in recent (and not-so recent) years. Bill approaches him, smiling from behind newspaper-stand reading glasses and round cheeks. And there’s someone else with him, too. “John, this is Jean, Jean, this is John. Jean works in marketing,” Bill offered gently, and John shook her hand. As the hour drags on, he tries not to think about how pub-excursions with Lestrade are so much better because the two of them just talk about Sherlock while John tries not to use words like bright, brilliant and beaut-

“So, John. You write a blog, I’ve read some of your stuff and I think it’s great,” Jean is smiling, and John realises she’s said something.
“Living with him must be terrible though,” Bill says with a rumbling chortle.
“Oh, it’s, fine, actually. It’s all fine,” John nods, feeling the conservation slow he still doesn’t say anything more.
“So Bill told me you went to King’s? My sister went there she did social science and public policy for a while…”

A text comes through, enough to make John frown, firmly.
Emergency. – SH
“Everything all right?” Jean smiles warily.
“No, sorry. It’s…an emergency. I have to go.” He leaves, slamming notes down on the table and bidding a hasty good-bye. From there, it’s a maze of cabs and sprinting on the pavement. 4 and a half years of chasing Sherlock through the streets allowed him to make short work of the distance home, however. Still, he takes the stairs two at a time, hand firmly on the hilt of his sidearm as he pulled open the door to 221B, and then to Sherlock’s room.

Sherlock has barely moved.

“What the bloody hell?” He stops, finally, to catch his breath.
“Close the window,” he mumbles into his pillow.
“You summoned me all the way from..” he sighs, moving to the window, closing it. “To close a window?”
“How was the date?”
“How did you know that, then?” The good doctor’s hands brush the upper part of Sherlock’s thigh as his sheets are rearranged.
“Sunday. And you and Bill meet on-”
“Saturday,” John finishes, shaking his head, but smiling. “How am I supposed to know if it’s a real emergency though, you know like, oh..the flat’s on fire, or, you’ve finally been run over by a bus, or..”
Sherlock reaches for him, pulls him in close, kisses him. “By a distinct lack of SH.” 

“Right. Well, I’m off to do the shopping, then. Patches, you said?”
“Yes.”

A little while later, John has unpacked the groceries (alone, thank-you), he watches Gladstone waddle away victoriously.

Chewie!

“Patches,” he slips the packet onto the bedside table.
“Perhaps you should draw me after all,” Sherlock’s tone is cheeky.
“Oh? And why would that be?”
“Well, you’ll be needing plenty of interests to keep you entertained through your permanent bachelorhood,” he smirks.
“Oh will I just?”
“Mm. You’d need to study your subject very thoroughly first, however.”

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School Bag

“You called about a case,” I said, and sat down. Lack of sleep, coffee with two shots, hasn’t left his desk all day, changed his shirt, he’s been home but not to sleep. Forgot his deodorant – his wife is back, but not happy. Definitely needs a new patch. Undoubtedly, he was stuck on a totally pointless fact.

“I just don’t get why they left the kid alone in the house.” Ah. Yes. Not only pointless, but absurd. Lestrade was in fine form tonight. Everything about his body, his mind was so talkative. The clicking of his jaw, the grinding of his teeth, his eyebrows, the way he frowned, how he flexed his shoulders when he was feeling smug, the number of ways in which he would shake his head. His body was…noisy, and occasionally rude. Interrupted my process on more than one occasion.

He glanced about, and I could tell that he felt it was no longer his domain. He was going to ask me a question, about going to the pub. An invitation. I would decline.

“Want to go down to the pub for a pint?”

“No.”

He stopped, looked hurt, then miffed. “Well there’s no reason to–” He’s had an idea. “I had an idea. Come with me.”

The two of us walk not-quite abreast on the pavement, because if you have ever walked beside Lestrade you’ll notice that his shoulders are very…pushy. He’s the man who, after a few drinks, will elbow you after he’s told a joke. To see if you got it. I light a cigarette while we walk. I need peace. We arrive at a Chinese restaurant. I would be surprised it was open this late, if I had not already observed that stayed open till 2am.

“This place stays open till 2am, you know.”

“Yes, I do.”

“Well of course you bloody do. Here. Sit.”

While he’s ordering the food, he asks me what I would like to eat.

“I don’t need anything. I’m fine.” I need peace. I need quiet. I need someone who’s more likely to chew with their mouth closed and drop things on their shirts. Every time he looks down and sees a new stain he says, How’d that get there? Like it wasn’t bloody obvious.

“But you don’t look well, Sherlock.”

“Neither do you.”

“You have to eat, please. Here. Have these.” He nudges a steam basket with dumplings. “If you don’t, your body will just keep eating itself. Your bones will start breaking prematurely because of early on-set osteoporosis.”

He doesn’t realise that I don’t care that I’m probably the worst I’ve ever been. My face is nothing but cheekbones and a jaw.

“Have you been calling that free health line again?”

“Yes. And so I should because I’m bloody concerned about you.”

“They only have registered nurses on those phones anyway. Totally pointless,” I replied. So, he had wanted to get out of Scotland Yard, and now he was trying to rope me into eating, too.

“You need a doctor,” he said with ernest.

“Maybe I do.”

His pager makes a noise, and he excuses himself to use a phone booth. He left his phone in his jacket pocket at the Yard. I have to time what I’m about to do perfectly. I picked up the chopsticks and bit into the dumplings rapidly, only half-heartedly chewing my food, because I hate chewing. It’s so repetitive, and mundane and continuous. I eat, and eat, and try not to think about how the soy is too salty or how much blood will have to leave my brain in order to digest this meal. He’s gone for quite some time, and I binge. When Lestrade returns, the baskets have all been replaced with new ones of the same type. Had he been observant he would have noticed that the dumplings I ate would have gone cold had I left one – these ones are steaming. But he doesn’t.

“You need to eat, Sherlock.”

“Show me a photo of the victim.” He does. A young boy, biological fluid all over his shirt. Items found on the body. None.

“Have they found his school bag yet?”

“No.”

“This is a homicide, not just a suspicious death. His shoes are on the wrong feet. That happens when someone who is facing you. These shoes were put on after death, his feet have been bound by climbing cord, the arson of the house was for a life and house insurance policy that was only guaranteed if the father was the benefactor. The mother and father of the boy are separated, and the boy would be coming of age in a few years, the house is in the mother’s name and the father would soon be cut off from accessing any funds whatsoever.” Generally I love divulging the science behind the deduction. Tonight I can’t be bothered.

“But…but the guy called 999?”

“To make sure it was all going to plan.”

“You’re clever, you know that?”

Obviously.

College

The sun slips through the clouds, but offers no warmth. Its light is brittle and white and Sherlock wakes to the impatient vibration of a flip phone. He can feel John’s frown, and he sits up, knowing the time for secretive, shy touches and whispered latin words has passed already.

His spine juts out, and his complexion is pale, made paler by the light outside. He’s corners, and curls and glittering dust and bedclothes. He knows that John sees him. His bruises, the redness under his eyes, his near-constant thin film of sweat. John can’t turn away, and Sherlock can’t pretend.

He just hopes, hopes with all his heart, that John will always look at him the same way. But John won’tThe real question, was would he take Molly’s crest-fallen, wounded look or Lestrade’s stubborn, hard-set jaw and grinding teeth? Or perhaps he would be similar to Mycroft, and avoid looking at him all together.

He crawls to the edge of the bed and pulls out a violin case from underneath the mattress. He clicks it open and tucks the stringed instrument under his chin. He tunes it impatiently, and begins to pluck, and play. His bow slices through the dust motes, slipping up the neck of the violin, and back to the bridge. When he stops, he remains silent.

His limbs are loose but taut like a child, and though he cannot say it, a shy smile in the corner of his mouth and a softening of his eyes would suffice.

Morning.

Don’t Panic

I just sent an application away to a university to look at doing Museum Studies.

I’ve never been the business degree type, I’ve never studied economics and I really just didn’t have the mind for maths. And all through high-school I kept dreading university because I wondered if there was work out there for me, or, if indeed, I was the type of person that anyone would want to hire.

And I still worry about that, really, I do.

And I am certainly not the type to shy away from any available job or work, no matter how menial or inconsequential. But I also really want to stay true to myself, for as long as I can, and to play to my strengths.

I dreaded the concept of university when I was younger because I was worried the only professionals who were really needed were the investors and IT development-types and statisticians. I was worried that I was just an old soul, whose interests would be supplementary in comparison with everyone else’s abilities.

And there still is that wee part of me, that terribly insecure, adolescent side of me that frets over thoughts like this. … but I know those thoughts aren’t true, now, and though I may fuss it was never as alarming as it was before.

Some of this concern stemmed from other people, as well. Teachers or family members or friends telling me I couldn’t get a job just writing whatever I wanted or, that a Bachelor of Arts doesn’t really do anything. So I tucked my little passions and preferences away, and went on my merry way, unsure of my direction in life.

And quietly, I saw other people developing obsessions, running off with their dreams like kites being lifted into the wind. And I wanted that. So, I decided I would go after it.

I like to write, I like to research, I like history, I like finding things out. So here I am, looking for an occupation that will cater to that. Doesn’t mean I won’t work in other fields to make money, or so that I can provide for my family. Mustn’t let my lofty dreams get in the way of practicality, but I feel as though I deserve to chase after what I want now, and I didn’t feel that way before.

… … this is all probably sounding really egotistical and like a shitty, poorly-structured self-help talk, yeah? Yeah.

But I’m just saying don’t let anyone frighten you into choosing something you don’t like. If you’re a bibliophile, or an artist, or a musician do what you love and work in between everything else. Because your interests and passions and obsessions are just as valid and just as useful as anyone else’s.

(And if it doesn’t work out, let everyone else in your life say they told you so.)

But be brave, anyway. Fill in forms, audition, put together your portfolio, write out applications.

You never know, you might get in.

6pm on a Sunday

They were supposed to be observing a suspect in a case. But…it was so awfully boring. 6pm mass on a Sunday. This is how people spend their weekend?

Sherlock turned his face slightly towards John. After a few moments of watching the other man’s face, his chest rise and fall, Sherlock’s eyes began to smoulder.

“…Sherlock.” 

“What?” He shifted forward, lengthening his legs, and spreading them so their knees were touching.

“We’re supposed to be…”

“Confessing our sins?” He smirked a little. He leaned in closer to John’s ear.

“Good idea.” The detective rose and moved to the confessional unashamedly, holding John’s eye contact as he went.

Sherlock Holmes wasn’t the type to experiment sexually outside of his own bedroom, but then he was always finding new habits.

And what else can you expect from a man of his habits?

What’s it Like?

What’s it like, living in a flat?

What’s it like, looking across at each other? Glimpses through curtains and little trinkets by the window. All the pot plants and outdoor patio furniture. Who uses their chairs and tiny coffee table in the morning? Who doesn’t?

Do you ever wonder who the other people are in the building across from you, what they’re doing? Do you get to learn their routines, and see them, and wonder how easy it would be to rob them or steal from them?

Do you feel guilty afterwards, for thinking that, or do you keep it close to you like a secret because really, who has time to break into someone else’s flat? And that girl sits at her computer most of the time anyway, and you see her through the window and it’s not the most expensive model, so she’s probably studying and strapped for cash.

Who has plants on their balcony? Are they alive? Are they dead? Do you get balcony-greenery envy? Is it like in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Where everyone has robotic android little sheep and goats and hens, and everyone’s trying to save up for a new one?

Is it weird, being able to see in someone else’s home? Are you self-conscious about walking around in your own apartment naked? Even if it’s just to go from the shower to your bedroom? Do you risk it anyway? Do you think nobody would mind?

Is that why some curtains in some apartments stay permanently drawn? So people can walk around naked in their flat and nobody minds? So they can be more themselves, as everyone is, when nobody else is watching.

But then I suppose apartment buildings are different depending on where you live, too. Some are really close together. Some are nearly on top of each other. Most of them all face out to the water as much as possible. It’s a selling point, isn’t it? Being by the water. People find it relaxing.

Do you live in a flat that’s like brand new and one of a dozen in your area, or do you live in one of those terribly old ones where nothing quite works even though it’s being fixed every other week? Do you ever want to talk to people in the next building just because you see so much of their lives?

How would you do it, if you could – if it was a perfect world? Would you just throw a wee paper aeroplane across the distance into the open window? Slip a note under the door, or maybe leave big placards up for the other person to read? Pigeon, maybe. That seems a bit excessive, though. Would you get a walkie talkie after that, to talk to the person that you’ve just met but have actually known for ages, or would you just email each other and text each other?

What’s it like, living in a flat?

A Need for Pride

So today I thought I’d talk about something that I’ve realised is rather important.

Pride, and the importance of it. And the visibility of it.

But, not on an individual level, because I think that’s quite personal. (And, in the words of my lovely wife –  I am not the Lorax, and I do not speak for the queers.)

The visibility of pride is a big issue for me, although perhaps unconsciously so, because I didn’t realise it until I’d stayed in Davie Street Village in Vancouver for over a week. (It’s sort of a land of milk and honey for LBGTIQ people – but really, it’s lovely. They’ve a community garden, some of the best sushi in the city and a leather bar. All bases covered, aye?)

Anyway, so there I was, walking along in Davie Street, and wondering how many pride flags or rainbows were present. I should actually count them one day, maybe. Now I know Davie Street is really the heart of Vancouver’s gay community and so of course there would be a gratuitous amount of gay flags, but it led me onto another thought.

Businesses need to show their pride.

All it takes is a sticker by the door or on a window, not even a flag. It’s a small gesture, but it means a lot. It makes me feel welcomed, and validated and important and that you won’t kick me out if you discover my partner is actually my wife. If I see wee rainbow beside the other signs or menus I tend to go inside just for the novelty of it. Of knowing that I’m welcome, of knowing that nobody will mind.

Sometimes I buy things, other times I don’t. The crucial thing is: I wouldn’t’ve gone in there otherwise, without the pride sticker on the door. (The wife and I actually encountered a kayaking company with a Canadian pride flag – the two red sections being replaced by rainbows. Patriot and proud – two birds with one stone, as it were.) But we approached that company because of the flag, yeah?

Every little bit helps, every little bit of visibility of acknowledgement. You don’t have to be gay or queer or bisexual to support LGBTIQ people. You don’t have to be gay to stick a gay pride sticker on the door of your business, or home, or company catering car. It takes very little effort, but it would be so worth it.

I take note of every sponsor at pride events. (Like the bank ANZ in Australia who did beautiful bedazzled ATMS for Sydney Mardi Gras~!) And I think that a lot more people would get involved if they knew just how much it meant for us to know we’d be accepted. Or, indeed, how loyal the LGBTIQ community can be when we want to be.

Like I said, I’m not the Lorax, I don’t speak for the queers, but I do speak for myself and I speak from experience.

Let me say once more with feeling: Businesses need to show their pride.

And I know there are even more companies and restaurants and hairdressers and entrepreneurs who are LGBTIQ-friendly but don’t specify – do so, please.

It’ll be worth it.