Happy red pants monday! Art by the amazing Londonbattlefield, ficlet by me. Yes, we had a lot of fun :P
He can’t really explain the red pants.
They came in a set of four, the other ones a very acceptable black, gray and blue. The red one was something of a surprise, a manufacturer’s attempt at whimsy maybe. He hadn’t put much thought to it when he bought them, but once he found himself standing in the buff in front of his wardrobe, staring into his underwear drawer at the cheerfully red thing, he had inevitably experienced a horrifying moment of ‘oh holy God I am almost 40 bloody years old and am about to put on a pair of red y-fronts what the hell is wrong with me’.
Of course he’d put them on anyway. John Watson wasn’t about to be bullied into conformity by a pair of pants, after all.
They’re very comfy. Logically he knows they can’t be any more comfortable than the gray ones, but he supposes it’s just one of those psychological things that Sherlock would probably have a ball deducing. They fit well. They’re soft. They make his bits feel snug and cozy, which is good. And really now, let’s just be honest, they’re a bit of private party every time he goes to the loo, a flash of bright colour, like a giddy little secret hidden in his trousers.
Again, Sherlock would have a ball deducing all sorts of things about him with that one. Just one of the many reasons John is very glad he flat-out refuses to do any of their laundry, really, even if the frightfully knowing smile Mrs. Hudson offered him after a pile of clean clothes appeared on the foot of his bed, folded neatly, was a little unnerving.
And then he loses them. They’re not in his drawers, they’re not in the hamper, they’re not downstairs in the washer either. He checks under his bed, he checks inside the duvet covers (because you never know), he even bloody well combs out the entire bathroom because stranger things have happened, but the thing’s genuinely gone. It actually sort of ruins his day, because he’s just lost his favourite pair of pants, and it’s not like the thing’s grown a pair of feet and scampered off. He just really can’t stand that sort of thing.
But, when he comes home later that day after a long, slow shift at the surgery, he finds them. It turns out the thing has grown a pair of feet – Sherlock’s feet, to be precise, attached to Sherlock’s impossibly long legs, followed by Sherlock’s impossibly plush bum clad comfortably in John’s red pants. He’s standing in the kitchen, the leggy bastard, doing some experiment on their kitchen table and wearing exactly nothing except for John’s pants. John is used to a lot of things, he genuinely is, living with Sherlock. Finding eyeballs in the microwave, a few feet of small intestine coiled up in the vegetable drawer in the fridge, or even just his flatmate wearing a bright yellow raincoat asleep upside down on an armchair, all of that doesn’t phase him in the slightest any more, but this one gives him a bit of a pause.
Just a bit of one, though.
"Sherlock, are those my -"
"Laundry, John," Sherlock answers, like that just sort of explains everything, because it’s absolutely normal nick your flatmate’s smalls when you’ve run out of clean ones yourself. Your flatmate’s red smalls, even, and John almost asks why he didn’t just pick another pair but realises he genuinely doesn’t need to know Sherlock’s reasoning behind that one.
"So you steal one of my pants."
"It was either this or Mrs. Hudson’s unmentionables, John, and I’d honestly much rather brave my chances with your underwear drawer."
"Do personal boundaries mean anything to you?”
"Not particularly, no."
Well, at least that’s an honest answer. They don’t even suit him that well, John thinks. The red clashes oddly with his skintone, the fit makes him look somewhat adolescent, just a little bit too big on him. Never mind how nice his arse looks in the soft cotton, how the thing reveals yet conceals, and how John finds it worryingly difficult to tear his eyes away. Thank God Sherlock has his back to him, really, because John can’t really say for sure he’s managing to keep his face under control right now. There’s something very specific about seeing Sherlock in an item of his clothing, specific in a way John is pretty sure he’s not really supposed to feel towards his flatmate. His male flatmate. His very male, very god-awfully beautiful flatmate ohjesustapdancingchrist.
He convinces himself this would have all been much easier to deal with if Sherlock had nicked, say, a jumper, rather than his underwear.
"Nice colour though," Sherlock says and John can just hear his self-satisfied grin. He covers his face with his hands and sighs deeply, just resigning himself to the situation because there’s no way he’ll win this weird little battle anyway.
"You’re such an insufferable bastard," he mumbles, the words muffled by his hands, and Sherlock chuckles. "Should you be doing experiments in your underwear though?"
"It’s fine. Nothing corrosive."
John steps closer and reaches out. On a whim he hooks a finger under the waistband, right in the middle of Sherlock’s lower back, his knuckle brushing against warm skin. He’s painfully aware of the shockingly alluring swell of Sherlock’s buttocks, now just about visible within the red fabric, but assures himself it means nothing, nothing, as he pulls on the elastic, just a bit. He feels Sherlock tense ever so slightly, a muscle twitching on the side of one long thigh, then releases the waist band. It snaps back to Sherlock’s skin with a soft if very satisfying thwip.
"Stay out of my stuff,” he says.
"And don’t do experiments in your underwear’."
"And put some trousers on or some such, because this is just distracting, you prat."