Kiss and Tell

John Watson knocked back another eggnog and scowled at the tall stranger.

"Oh yes I damn well can."

In peripheral vision Sherlock Holmes watched two women hesitate, then pause on their way through the kitchen.

"I believe you can’t."

John was perfectly aware arguing with annoying men at very nice parties was a bit not good but—

"Let me amend that: I’m certain you can’t."

—this one was really annoying.

John Watson placed his empty glass upon the kitchen table. He hitched up his jeans and lifted his chin. He hadn’t gained a three continents moniker by being shy, retiring, or disinclined to say yes. While he hadn’t precisely been sweetheart to the regiment, even he admits it was a close thing.

"I will bet you a hundred bloody quid I can."

Another woman and two men managed to not-quite pass through the kitchen.

"You’re unemployed and sleeping on your sister’s lilo. You don’t have one hundred pounds to lose."

"Who told you—" John shook his head to clear it of spiked eggnog and annoyance. He would not be diverted. "I don’t know who you think you are, mister, marching around telling me about me, but I’m positive I can and do you want to know why?"

Sherlock Holmes snorted and rolled his eyes. “Because you’re straight?”

John rolled right back and wondered how Daniel knew this giant git. All of Daniel’s friends were nice. Gay and nice.

This one was cranky, sober, and entirely too tall. “No, because I’m observant.”

"Oh really?" Sherlock grinned wolfish, and held out his hand.

John reached back. “One hundred pounds says I can kiss a dozen people, eyes closed, and tell who’s male and who’s female.”

They shook.


Everyone wanted to play Kiss the Doctor.

After decamping to the sitting room—the kitchen could no longer contain the interested parties—Sherlock paced the small space left and laid down ground rules.

Before he could put the full stop on his last directive—”And absolutely no touching”—a non-scent-wearing, facial hair-free person bowed before the blindfolded doctor and pressed their lips to his.

And so it began.

That first kiss was ridiculously soft, which made John think it was a man trying to kiss the way he thought a woman would. He was wrong. And right. It was a woman trying to kiss the way she thought a man would kiss if he was trying to pretend he was a woman (yes, she was overthinking it).

The second kiss was the kind of friendly buss John likes. Firm but not aggressive, a bright hello, a promise, and John was sure it was from the host’s sister. (It was from the host.)

The third and fourth kisses were odd in opposite directions. One was strangely dry, as if the kisser was dehumidifying him as they smooched, while the second was sloppy-wet and poorly aimed. He correctly guessed both were women.

The fifth and sixth kissers each smelt of eggnog, which made John giggle, and he was sure both were men (one was). The seventh definitely was and the eighth and ninth kisses were both from the tall, pretty, black woman who’d been chatting him up earlier.

The tenth kiss was disqualified when the kisser growled low, the eleventh likewise because the man couldn’t stop giggling.

The twelfth kiss was a long time coming and that’s one reason John knew who the kisser was. Again, John has made himself fairly available to a fairly wide array of people on this earth and you learn a few things being so easy—uh, so experienced. You learn that sometimes people pick fights because they want your attention, and sometimes even tall know-it-alls are too shy or awkward to go about it in the regular way.

So when that final kiss came John did what he had not done for any of the others. He leaned into it, he opened his mouth to it. And when he heard the faint baritone moan in reply, John licked into Sherlock’s mouth and whispered, “I win.”

Sherlock, hands rising to cup John’s face, could not be reached for comment.

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WL Chastain prompted meeting under mistletoe, which of course made me think of kissing and that lead to this. Thank you WL!

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