Sherlock takes slow steps into the kitchen, where John is at the sink with his shirtsleeves rolled up and his jacket over the back of a chair. He’s washing the last of the china while the kettle heats. “Saved you a Christmas cracker,” he says, half-smiling over his shoulder at Sherlock and setting the sauce boat in the dish rack. He dries his hands on a towel, and Sherlock picks up the cracker from the table.
“Harry always said the sound was Christmas fairies flying out,” John says as Sherlock pulls the ends apart with a pop.
"Mmm, no. Silver fulminate,” Sherlock counters. “It’s noisy and unstable. Welcome home.”
“Reminds me of someone I know,” John says, eyes crinkled at the corners, “and thanks. Glad to be back.”
Sherlock aches to trace those lines beneath his fingertips, to touch the thinning skin around John’s eyes, but--“What was in yours?” Sherlock says, spreading the cracker’s contents on the table to examine them.
“A crown, a sweet--saved it for you, it’s on the counter--and a miniature Rubik’s cube.” The electric kettle boils; John pours two cups of tea and adds milk to one and honey to the other.
Sherlock squeezes his toy. It wheezes. “I have some sort of tuberculotic rubber duck. Trade you.”
“By ‘trade you’, I assume you mean, ‘I’m going to take your Rubik’s cube, solve it, take it apart, leave the pieces on the floor, and laugh when you step on them tomorrow morning’,” John says as he stirs the tea and removes the bags.
“John, you wound me.” Sherlock takes the Rubik’s cube from the counter and tucks it into the pocket of his dressing gown, though he spoils the effect with a coughing fit.
“Right,” John says, voice brisk, “you’re for bed. Go on, take your tea, and I don’t want to hear you prowling about down here until it’s properly morning.”
The longer story is toying with a romantic relationship between Sherlock and John, which I know isn't everyone's interpretation. But so much of it works even if you like to think of them as strictly platonic, so much is perfectly lovely for other reasons entirely and stays perfectly lovely even without the romance, and so much is just Mrs. Hudson, and fever-addled mind palaces, and... *grins goofily*. If you're interested in this show, I do hope you'll give it a read.
Entanglement, for holyfant, author as yet unknown