All emotions associated with relationships of a romantic and/or sexual nature were in the upstairs linen closet, stored behind years of cold case details which Sherlock suspected would eventually prove themselves useful.
Storing emotions in the mind palace was complicated, of course. Emotions were not learned, like the things he usually put in there - rather, he had to morph them into storable things using the memories associated with them. The track captain that had laughed in his face when Sherlock had asked him out for a weekend coffee, the detached romp with another student while he was in uni that had ended in tears, the month that he’d spent avoiding a psych professor’s eyes because Sherlock had humiliated him in front of his class and so he’d gotten back at him by needling his ‘unique perversions’. These were broken down into their emotional triggers…and then boxed away, better off forgotten.
It was unexpected - and to a certain degree, unwelcome - when these feelings showed up right there, front and center, one day when John was asking him about jam.
" - and you always complain when I grab marmalade. If you really don’t care what I get, stop complaining when I bring it home. Honestly, what sort of Brit doesn’t like marmalade!”
Sherlock wasn’t really paying attention. His jaw was slack, his senses firing off in ways that didn’t make sense. These weren’t the simple feelings he was accustomed to; those reared up every now and again and were easy enough to deal with. This was…stifling. It was cold water, fresh air, fire and blood and electricity.
"So anyway, if you’re going to complain, the least you can do is tell me if you prefer strawberry over apple, or mixed fruit over cherry, hm?"
Not a bad stifling. That was the strange part. This sort of unfamiliarity should have been frightening, but somehow, it wasn’t. He knew, instinctively. He’d always wondered how people ‘just knew’, as there was no logic or science to ‘just knowing’. But here it was.
"And there’s no way you’ll come to Tesco with - "
John jerked so hard he spilled half of his tea on the table. ”You’ll what!”
"I’ll go with you. To Tesco." Sherlock cleared his throat, nervous. "And help you with the shopping."
John looked at him as if he’d grown a second head. ”I thought that was what you said. Oh, bloody hell, the table…” He grabbed a dishcloth and began mopping up the spill.
Sherlock grinned in spite of the way his chest was feeling at that moment. ”The table’s had worse on it, and you know it.”
"I’m not worried about the table. It’s just a waste of tea." John wrinkled his nose and looked up at Sherlock. "You look sort of off, Sherlock. Are you feeling alright?"
Sherlock’s shoulders tensed a bit, almost defensively. ”Of course I am.”
John didn’t seem convinced, but he kept his argument to the quirk of an eyebrow. ”Hm. But you’re coming to Tesco with me.”
"Sure. Right now, even."
John gave him a penetrating stare, so much that Sherlock started looking for something snarky to say in order to make him stop. He didn’t have time, though, because John stood and pulled Sherlock down to give him a quick peck on the lips. Sherlock blinked, stunned.
"When we get back, we’re working on your emotional expression. Reading you is harder than reading War and Peace.”
Sherlock was still silent, trying to understand what had just happened. He hadn’t told John anything…well, not relating to his emotions, anyway. Was his agreeing to go shopping really that much of a giveaway..?
"Well? Tesco awaits."
Sherlock blinked himself out of it. ”Oh. Yes, Tesco. Of course.”
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