"Oh, Sherlock," John sighed as he approached his friend, who was downing another drink while giggling at the bar tender, who was smirking slightly and leaning on the counter. He placed a hand on his friend's shoulder and caught his attention. "You okay?"
"Fine, Jothn," Sherlock slurred, smiling up at his friend and turning completely in his seat to face him. "Neva' felt betta."
John sighed heavily but couldn't help but smile down at his beaming friend. "How much did you drink?" John asked, chuckling and brushing a strand of hair out of Sherlock's eyes as he attempted to blow it from his forehead.
"He only had about twenty glass," Steven sighed. "I'm sorry, I was going to stop him, but he did that… that mind trick shit on me and… well, I suspect you know how that goes, being his partner and all."
"Oh, no, no, no, I'm not- I mean, I just his friend," John corrected, waving his hands and laughing nervously. "He's not my partner."
"Oh, my apologizes. I've just heard so much about you that I just thought…" Steven trailed off and nervously chuckled with John. "John Watson, correct? Name's Steven; Sherlock's been coming here for a few years, so naturally-"
"I wanth to go ho'e!" Sherlock declared, standing and taking John's hand in his, pulling him towards the door. "Bye, Stheven!"
"Bye, Sherlock. Be careful, don't be too much of a handful," Steven laughed back before the door shut behind the pair and John was half dragged down the sidewalk. It took him a few minutes before he realized he was being dragged away from the direction of the flat.
"Where are we going, Sherlock?" John asked slowly, looking around as his hand was gripped harder and Sherlock picked up the pace, surprisingly sturdy for someone who just had twenty glasses of alcohol. How was this man even alive right now?
"Ith's a spurprise, John!" Sherlock beamed, pulling the doctor into the park and starting down the path.
John laughed lightly and let himself be pulled by the detective, his mind still trying to wrap around the fact that Sherlock wasn't falling over himself. He followed until they reached the bottom of a hill, a path that wrapped around the bank of the lake stretched out ahead of them. Sherlock pulled John a ways along the path to a bench that was secluded from most of the activity in that park. It was a dip in the path, bent a bit away from the water and hidden by a tall brick wall, built to keep the sand above from slipping down and into the lake. He was pushed onto the bench before Sherlock flopped down next to him, throwing his arms along the back of the bench – one going behind John's head – and stretching out his body, his long legs extended drastically out towards the sun. His head fell back as his eyes closed and he chuckled lightly.
"You a sthmart one, John. Vury sthmart," Sherlock chuckled, his slurring making it hard for John to understand him. "Tis little puzzle yoo've set up thor me, vury sthmart indeed."
"What are you talking about, Sherlock?" John asked, turning towards Sherlock on the bend and watching his friend, the chuckles unable to be held back. "What puzzle?"
"Oh pleash," Sherlock rolled his eyes, the smile barely faltering. "Yoo know w'ich puzzle." His head fell to the side, falling onto John's shoulder and nuzzling his neck, John taking a sharp intake of breath at the feeling of Sherlock's nose and lips rubbing his neck. "T'e puzzle wher' yoo keep droppin' hints righ' in meh facth. Yoo've been waithing for meh to fighure it out."
John's face heated when he realized what this brilliant – and drunk – man may be on about. Was he talking about all those times he tried to hint at the fact that he had feelings for him? Was he really going to confront this while drunk? "Oh?"
"Yeah, and meh thinths meh goth the anther," Sherlock beamed into John's neck, his excitement radiating off his lips and sending chills down John's spine.
"Yeah. Your upshet," Sherlock said slowly, sitting back and looking John in the eyes. "You thel I don't appreciath you enough." John's heart stopped pounding painfully against his ribs and stopped for a moment before dropping into his stomach. "I appreciath you, John! Yoo know thath."
John looked at his best friend's drunken grin, fighting to keep the hurt from his eyes. Sherlock didn't know. Maybe he never would. He forced a smile onto his face and slowly said, "I know, Sherlock. I know you do. I'm sorry for thinking otherwise. Now, let's go home and get you in bed, you're going to have a brutal hang over in the morning."
Sherlock nodded, his smile not leaving his face as he let John pull him to his feet. They made their way back to the main road and John hailed a cab.
Maybe Sherlock would never know.