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Title: Interludes in Winter
Author: [livejournal.com profile] spacemutineer
Rating: G
Warnings: UST
Word Count: ~900
Author's Notes: My first Elementary fic. I fell in love with the show gradually and unexpectedly. It's a very happy surprise.
Summary: It - she - sneaks up on him, a little at a time, despite himself.

He's a step behind her, walking from the subway at night. It's February, cold, and it's spitting snow. Sherlock watches the few flakes sparkle and scatter in the dry air. Watson's shoulders shiver under her cobalt coat. She clutches it tighter around her slight frame and blows into her cupped hands again.

A thought occurs to him, a sudden desire he did not expect.

He wishes he could wrap his arm around her.

He's bewildered by the notion. He's never had a will for anything like that before. Where did it come from? And why?

Ah, yes. It is simply the most efficient way he could think of to manage the problem of his companion's temperature discomfort. Logical. Sherlock always runs a bit hot himself, so it would be the simplest solution for efficiency's sake. Of course. That's obviously why he thought of it.

Clearly, the fleeting, barely noted idea had nothing to do with the thought of feeling Joan beside him, walking-breathing-being beside him, tucked up against him, nestled and warm under his arm.

Nothing at all to do with it.

Not in the slightest.

Clearly.

---

In March, she lures him to the ballet. He hates ballet, but, as she says, "It's Swan Lake!" She talks about it for days in advance.

The night before ends up being a stakeout, long hours spent crammed inside a rental car, driving in circles through Queens following a suspected burglar on a series of banal errands. Laundry, grocery, take-out Chinese. In the end, nothing happens.

At the ballet, she falls asleep before the Dance of the Little Swans, finally losing the hard-fought battle against the soft cushions and the gentle ambience. Her head tips down onto the red velvet seat back and then unexpectedly slides over onto his shoulder.

He tries to lean away, to extricate himself from this accidental entanglement as quickly as he can, but it is obviously impossible to do that without waking her.

So he doesn't move.

For the next hour, she naps and the ballerinas dance. Sherlock's arm goes numb after twenty minutes, but he stays still. Watson seems to be sleeping more soundly than she usually does at home. She is a very light sleeper in most circumstances, likely a remnant of her days, or more accurately, her nights as a surgeon.

Perhaps it is the music that assists her rest, he theorizes. He decides he'll get out his violin one evening this week to test the hypothesis. Maybe every evening this week. To have enough data for a proper scientific assessment, of course. One cannot make bricks without clay.

In the meantime, he waits. Eventually, the ballet ends and the applause begins.

Joan wakes with a start and glances around, clapping to fit in with the crowd. She looks at him sheepishly. "I'm so embarrassed," she says.

He laughs. The side of her face is imprinted with the cable knit of his sweater.

---

Just after what is almost certainly the last snowstorm of the season in early April, business picks up again. He leans on the frame of Watson's door and calls her name.

With a groan, she rolls over to face him. "It's three in the morning, you know. What is it?"

"Terribly sorry to wake you. I was wondering if it might be possible to procure your services for the next forty minutes or so."

"Procure my services? There are working girls for those things, Sherlock, call one of them. I'm going back to sleep."

"No," he says, "your professional services. Your former ones, at any rate. I would do the job myself, but this is a bit more than super glue can handle and my sewing skills have always been so miserably lacking."

In the dark of her room, he can just make out her silhouette pushing itself up on its elbows. "What are you talking about?"

She clicks the lamp on and sees what he means. The blankets get tossed to the floor.

If he'd been able to swing his hips around in time, he wouldn't have had to wake her. Sherlock is resolved to take dancing lessons after this. Maybe next time he'll dodge that frightened squatter's flailed knife instead of only nearly doing so.

Maybe Watson will come with him to dance class.

After she calms down a little.

"What on earth were you thinking? You should never have gone down there at night! At night, alone. You told me we were going to search the building site tomorrow!"

"We are. And now I know precisely where we need to look."

She lays him flat on the kitchen table and he blinks up at the light bulb in the fixture. It's chilly enough in the room without his shirt, but Watson's cool hands on his bare skin startle him. He can't help an involuntary gasp at her touch. Must be the thermostat, set too low. Yes, that explains it. He'll just have to turn it up and solve the problem. Whenever it is she lets him up off the table again.

The former Doctor Watson cautiously traces and prods the four inch gash under his right pectoral muscle with her fingertips, judging the task ahead of her. Her brow furrows, then eases.

"It's not as deep as it looks. Lucky. You're lucky, Sherlock."

He nods his head against the pinewood table.

Agreed.
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