Unrealistic as it was, John liked the idea of being Sherlock’s first; he’s not sure how he feels about being Sherlock’s four hundred and twenty-first. Or possibly five hundredth, since Sherlock apparently didn’t bother keeping count while sleeping with half of London. “Twelve, twenty, even thirty people is a pretty average number. Once you hit the hundreds, you’ve become the whore of Babylon.”
John says it before he really thinks it through - calling someone a whore is probably the fastest way to make sure they’ll never sleep with you again - but Sherlock’s wearing that surprised, pleased expression that means he’s flattered.
“You know, most people wouldn’t take it as a compliment.”
“You wouldn’t have said it if you thought I’d honestly be offended,” Sherlock says and John chooses to believe that’s true. Even if he knows it really isn’t. “Most scholars believe the whore of Babylon was a coded reference to Rome, a bustling, metropolitan city of the time. If you compared me to London, I’d take it as a compliment. This is the same thing.”
It’s really not, John thinks but he doesn’t have the heart, or the cruelty, to say it.
- The Whore of Babylon Was a Perfectly Nice Girl