Laughing, you wheeled out of the kitchen with two cups of steaming black tea. "So, are all dates with you as exciting as that one?"
John had just told, in great detail, the story of taking a date to a Chinese circus only to have Sherlock crash it and end up getting the terrified girl in a hostage situation.
"I wish," John chuckled. "Nowadays I'm forgetting that there ever was such a thing as an exciting date."
"So you're not bringing in all those ladies?" You shot him your own pitiful version of a seductive glance, and the two of you burst into childish giggles.
"Sadly, no." While he tried to say it with a cheerful tone, he could tell a trace of remorse had slipped in with it. Your face showed no signs that you had caught it, but he wasn't about to underestimate a Holmes.
You sighed quietly. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that. Obviously my job keeps me from dating for reasons of being away for too long and in large amounts of danger. I can't say I wouldn't mind a romantic relationship, but I'm just not sure there's anyone out there that would be willing to put up with my work. I love my job, I really do—something about helping people out of such terrifying situations, and the satisfaction of winning psychological battles—but as you've seen, there are times when it can be overwhelming." You smiled. "But no matter. The rewards are far greater than the losses. I suppose I don't mind it as much anymore."
"That's good," John said encouragingly, though truthfully he felt disheartened by the fact that you weren't happy with your long-time single status. For reasons he couldn't pinpoint, your muffled unhappiness made him discontented.
You smiled almost wistfully. "Yeah."
There was a pause as you stirred your tea and took a sip. You cleared your throat. "So, it seems Mycroft wanted to pull Sherlock into his warehouse for something. How happy do you suppose he's going to be when he arrives home?"
John laughed. "Not very."
"What would Mycroft have to say to Sherlock that he couldn't to me, though? It must have something to do with me." You frowned and set down your teacup.
"Well, you don't need to jump to conclusions," John said carefully, not wanting you to feel upset. "It's possible it's something he doesn't want me to hear, and he just couldn't pull you aside because of the interview."
Your expression softened, but you still looked concerned. "But he could have found another time... Well, it's Mycroft. Who knows?"
"You can never know with a Holmes, can you?" John jested.
"Hey!" You sent him a mischievous grin, which he returned. "You know I don't really like doctors all that much, either."
John's expression turned to mock-offended, though he was trying not to grin. "Well lucky for you, I'm not your doctor. I'm your frie—"
He stopped himself just as Sherlock's tall form appeared in the doorway. "You were saying?"
You'd been sitting with your back to the door, and your head whipped around rather quickly. "Nothing, Sherlock. We were just talking."
Sherlock nodded and went to set down some grocery bags in the kitchen—wait, Sherlock had bought groceries?—and John breathed a sigh of relief, though he could have sworn you looked slightly disappointed. He cleared his throat.
"So, ah, what did Mycroft want?" John glanced cautiously in your direction, and you shot him a grateful look.
Sherlock waited a moment to put something in the fridge before calling, "Just some more details about the case. Nothing important at all. It doesn't concern you."
"Well, why did he need to pull you into his warehouse?" you asked, your face showing signs of concern.
"I don't know. He's Mycroft!" Sherlock huffed, slamming the refrigerator door closed. It seemed this answer suited you, as you shifted back to face John with a relaxed countenance.
"So," you started, "what were we talking about?"
John hesitated for a moment, not sure if he wanted to repeat what he'd been about to say before Sherlock had interrupted. He wished he could have taken his last half-sentence back. He'd been about to call you a friend—why wasn't that alright? From quite a bit of past experience, he could tell that to him, you were more than a friend. He—he could admit that. But whether or not you wanted—or he wanted, for that matter—to go any ways beyond that was an infuriating mystery to him.
"Oh, er, I was just saying how, uh—that I'm not your doctor."
Your expression brightened. "Right! And it's a good thing, too—you'd have a job bloody well cut out for you just trying to stop me from leaping off buildings and slamming body parts into things. I'd run you ragged."
John gave a hearty laugh. "I'm sure you would." Not that he'd mind.
"I forgot the milk," Sherlock groaned, coming into the living room and flopping heavily onto his armchair. You gave a small giggle at his rather haphazard composure.
"I'll get it," you sighed, putting your arms down by the wheels on your chair, ready to move. Both men made to stop you.
"No, it's fine—I'll get it," John said quickly, getting up to go put on his shoes. You groaned.
"Great. Now I'm stuck in a house with two men who want to do everything for me like the independence–squashers they are." You said this with a smile, discouraging any doubt that you were actually upset about not being able to go to the store on your own. It really was too much work to catch a cab on your own in a wheelchair, and right now you felt pretty lazy.
"I'll be back in a bit," John promised, slipping his shoes on and heading down the stairs.
"Bye!" you called after him, a small grin still echoed on your angular features even after John had closed the door to the flat behind him.
Sherlock cleared his throat rather loudly and you looked up. He only did that when he was really sick or something was bothering him. As of now, it was obviously the latter.
"Anything wrong?" you asked, holding your breath. If he was going to chew you out again over something as stupid as a moved experiment, you were going to lecture right back.
"How... attached are you to John Watson?" He said this in such a serious, mildly concerned manner that you burst into laughter. You could feel his scowl piercing the top of your skull.
"Attached? Sherlock, what are you reading into here?"
He cleared his throat again, slightly quieter. "(F/n), neither of us are daft. It's clear to me and hopefully to you that your sudden friendship with John is bordering on romantic."
Your brother was, in fact, so daft that it made you cringe. Something about the way he'd worded that put you instantly into a foul mood.
"Sherlock," you began slowly, masking the small bit of anger that flashed in your eyes, "what ever gave you the idea that I fancied John?"
"It seemed obviou—"
"I don't fancy ANYONE," you cried, "I CAN'T fancy anyone! I work months at a time, I can't even manage my own thoughts, and I most certainly cannot manage a friendship, let alone a relationship! It would never work, and we all know it! You even said so yourself the night John took my out to dinner! I'm not involved in any relationship—and I likely never will be."
"Well then tell John that so his boundaries are clear."
Your face couldn't even find the right expression for the surprise you took at this remark. "Sherlock Holmes, you can't possibly be suggesting that your flatmate fancies me. He'd have to be daft."
"Well, he's John."
You almost laughed. Almost. "Brother," you started in a patronizing tone only Mycroft could emulate, "I am fully aware that neither John nor I should really even try to fancy each other at this point. I—I don't fancy him. I'm not sure what gave you that notion."
"Er, do we need anything else? Besides milk?" John. You felt your face go white. Had he heard the whole thing?
"U-uh, just some bread I think? We're r-running out." Your voice squeaked, and you prayed you sounded not at all terrified.
Sherlock raised his eyebrows at you, and you hissed at him, "What?"
"Disappointed, are we?"
"Sherlock, you will be silent this instant or I will phone Mycroft and tell him about all your black market purchases."
That did it.
"Sorry. You were saying something, John?" He was trying to hide amusement and failing miserably.
"Just bread and milk, then?" he confirmed with a smile that bordered on a grimace. You nodded, and he headed back down the stairs. "I'll be back in a bit."
When the door closed and you were sure he was gone, you turned back to Sherlock.
"You were saying?" he asked, almost sneering. You were too flustered to be exasperated with him again.
"Alright. While I'll admit I enjoy his friendship a great deal, I couldn't possibly maintain a relationship. He, on the other hand, goes on dates nearly twice a week. He couldn't possibly fancy me. Case closed."
Your brother heaved a sigh, obviously wanting to say more but refraining. You pursed your lips and opened your laptop, wanting to forget about the nagging feeling in your mind that said maybe Sherlock was right.
Or the hope that maybe you were wrong.