chocolamousse: (Sadyna)
[personal profile] chocolamousse
Title: My Favourite Hobby
Pairing: Sherlock/John
Category: Romance
Rating: PG-13
Beta: The amazing [ profile] verityburns
Word count: 1594
Translation into Chinese by Lowtension available here or here.
Summary: John loves going to the theatre. So does Sherlock - but only if John is with him. And for completely different reasons.

I love the theatre, it's true, but I love the theatre with Sherlock still better and I know he enjoys these evenings out too. The first time we went I had to drag him along a bit ("Boring") but since then he's been rather easy to convince.

For now, he's very busy observing the auditorium, probably looking for some mystery to solve or some criminal to confound among the audience who are settling down. His eyes meet mine, he rolls them with a martyred look then gives me a smile and sinks back in his seat. I remind him that I wouldn't feel any pleasure in knowing how the play ends right from the first minutes, he declares that he assents not to tell anything but that I deprive him of his whole enjoyment and he hopes I appreciate the true worth of his sacrifice. I confirm that I do.

I relax in my seat and soak up the theatre atmosphere, the humming of the voices around us, the smell of old fabric. The lights go out and immediately Sherlock's hand is laid on mine on the armrest. I smile in the dark and interlace our fingers. It's going to be a nice evening. The curtain rises, the show begins.

The start is very funny and I can't help laughing several times. Sherlock doesn't laugh but when I look at him to check he’s having fun too I can see a broad smile on his face. Good. The play goes on and emotion gradually prevails over laughter. Some scenes are really moving and I feel Sherlock pressing my hand; I turn it palm up and squeeze back. My tender-hearted sociopath...

The show ends and, as soon as the lights come on again, I turn to Sherlock. He looks quite pleased.

"So, did you like what you saw?"

"I loved it."

I can see he's sincere. And he managed to keep still and quiet and not to fidget with his phone for the whole show, which is a minor miracle in itself. Well, I knew it was a good play but it must be really first-rate if Sherlock loved it.


John loves the theatre. For my part I can't say I particularly cared about it before I knew him but things have drastically changed since then. Because going to the theatre without John cannot be compared with going to the theatre with John. I wasn't really thrilled the first time he asked me but he said, "Please, Sherlock," with this look and this smile and... Well. I consented. But I sighed a lot to compensate. And I discovered the pleasures an evening at the theatre with John could offer me. Tonight won't be an exception to the rule.

The curtain rises. John's eyes focus on the stage. Mine focus on John. The show begins.

Watching John without him knowing is one of my favourite occupations. Just watching him is, in fact, one of my favourite occupations but watching him without him knowing is even more gratifying. I must say that, to my deep regret, he's much less oblivious to my looks than he was before we got romantically involved. It's now frequent that after a few seconds he looks up and smiles at me, which is very pleasant in itself but of course spoils everything.

But here, in the theatre, conditions are ideal. I'm close enough to him not to be hampered by the dim light, John is too engrossed in the play to be aware of my gaze, and above all it's a time when John feels emotions. I can read them on his face as in an open book. There's nothing more interesting than John's face when he feels emotions. And there's nothing more beautiful.

As soon as the curtain rises he's completely absorbed. His eyes are bright, his lips slightly parted, he's almost vibrant with anticipation and suddenly he seems younger. This is what he must have looked like as a little boy, when he was told a story at bedtime or when he was taken to the pantomime; he must have had the same air of gleeful expectation, ready to let himself be carried away and to marvel. I'd like to have known him as a little boy. I'm not especially fond of children but I'd have loved this one. I'd have protected him from any evil and any suffering. I don't consider myself cruel by nature but I think I could hurt those who would have wished John harm when he was a child. And if this hadn't been enough I'd have taken him in my arms and cradled him to comfort him and I'd have told him that it didn't really matter, it was going to get better, he'd become a good and a strong and a wonderful man and one day we'd find each other and we'd love each other and then nothing could affect us any more. Mycroft would be so amused if he knew that such fantasies cross my mind. I'm afraid he knows already. I even suspect he's secretly pleased. The smug sneerer.

I suppose the play is entertaining, because John laughs. More precisely, he giggles. John's voice is my favourite sound and John's voice when he giggles makes me feel strange things inside my chest. He suddenly turns to me and I only have time to avert my gaze but my expression must satisfy him since he immediately returns his attention to the play. I attempt to follow the plot for some minutes. Dull. Boring. Predictable. I come back to John, who is not at all dull, boring or predictable.

I bitterly regret that I can only see his profile but it's an inevitable inconvenience. I watch each tiny shift in his expression or in his posture, I detect each imperceptible variation in the rhythm of his breathing. It's fascinating. I could spend hours on it. I do, actually. I watch and classify and store everything and I'll never, never forget.

John hasn't been laughing for some time, he doesn't even smile any more. His eyelids and his lips quiver. He seems vulnerable. I take a quick look at the stage. Weeping and moaning. John doesn't weep (and doesn't moan of course) but he's very moved. He feels unhappy. I don't like that very much. Nobody should be allowed to make John unhappy, not even fictional characters. His sadness is real. I squeeze his hand. He turns it over and I clasp our palms together. The hint of a smile passes over his face. That's better. I don't want him to be sad. He has been sad enough.

The plot must work up to a rather intense climax because John is now slightly tense and breathless. If I saw him face-on I'm certain I'd see those two little wrinkles he has between his eyes every time something is worrying him, that make me want to smooth them out with my fingertips or with a kiss. I gently shift my hand in his and I set my thumb on his inner wrist, on the place I like to caress with my lips because the skin there is so thin and sensitive and soft and warm and I can feel his heart beating. John is too concentrated on the play to take any notice. Pulse elevated. He must feel very alive just now and suddenly I'm vaguely jealous of these people on stage, of the author of the play and of the theatre in general. I alone should be allowed to make John feel so alive. It's probably a bit not good but it's how things are. It doesn't matter much. Soon the play will be over and we'll go back home and John will pull me towards the bed and I'll see to it that for a good while he'll only look at me, with more intensity and passion than he ever looked at this stage, he'll look at me and he will be mine and I'll make his heart beat stronger and faster than it beat for these puppets.

The play ends. John applauds wildly and though I think that his hand was more judiciously used when it held mine, his enthusiasm is a pleasure to behold. The lights come on again. He turns to me with a beam and I can't help smiling back.

"So, did you like what you saw?"

"I loved it."

And God I mean it. It was probably a good play after all since John loved it. I can't tell him I spent two hours watching him because he was the best thing to watch in the theatre. He wouldn't be angry. I think he'd look a bit shocked then his expression would soften, he'd say, "Oh, Sherlock," and would kiss me and hold me tight and he'd be both a little confused and happy. But afterwards, when we'd go to the theatre again, it wouldn't be the same, he'd know I'm watching him and he'd behave differently, and above all he wouldn't enjoy the play as he does now. Perhaps he wouldn't even want us to go there any more since it doesn't interest me. But it does interest him and it makes him happy, thus there's no question of our giving up these evenings out. I'll tell him one day, later, when we're old, too old to go to the theatre, and he'll give me the same smile he gives me today, and his face will still be the most interesting and beautiful thing in the world.

Author's note: I wrote this fic for the lovely [ profile] anarion's birthday, in August, as a thank-you for the story she wrote for my birthday. I drew my inspiration from one of her great 221Bs, An Evening Out. She tells us what happens before and after the show and I felt like imagining what happens during the show.

As always, a thousand thanks to my very patient beta [ profile] verityburns and to [ profile] arianedevere for their endless kindness and support. That, er ... thing that you, er, that you did... That was, um ... good.

Identity URL: 
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.