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The Long Drive

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Though Greg Lestrade called Sherlock Holmes and John Watson to let them know what time to expect him, they are still not ready when he arrives due to John having to unpack everything Sherlock felt was important to bring, and repack, this time with clothes and toiletries. After a long day at work, Lestrade is annoyed at the delay.

In an effort to drown out the heavy silence that fell in the car, Greg suggests Sherlock put on some music to help him stay awake. It is soon discovered that Sherlock’s top-of-the-line MP3 player contains 60 Gigs of mellow and depressing music. He is informed that he is forever banned from selecting music for any possible future road trips.

It is discovered that Sherlock unpacked John’s music while John was unpacking Sherlock’s bag. John does not mention specifically what in Sherlock’s bag would have been considered a biohazard and highly illegal, and Greg pretends he did not hear anything that was just said. Sherlock and John bicker back and forth for a minute while Greg puts on some classic rock.

Sherlock sees cows and wants to stop. They do not stop.

Sherlock throws John’s soda can out of the car window. John flicks Sherlock’s nose.

Sherlock sulks.

They stop for a stretch and pee break. John contemplates the likelihood of food poisoning from the gas station’s pre-packaged ham sandwiches and opts for popcorn and another soda. Greg contemplates the likelihood of catching disease from the toilets. Sherlock contemplates the gas station attendant’s fondness for dressing up in his ex-wife’s clothing when he is not at work.

Sherlock’s eye does not seem to be turning black, but it is extremely swollen. He lays in the back seat with his head on John’s lap. In his head, Sherlock calculates the amount of force the attendant had put behind his punch and makes a mental list of less harmful outlets for the man’s anger. John is pressing a cold ham sandwich to the detective’s face. Greg is trying not to laugh.

Greg attempts to make light conversation and Sherlock sighs and puts on his headphones. After a few ignored questions, Greg realizes that Sherlock is drowning him out. So Greg uses the opportunity to ask John something he has been wondering for a long time, with no segue.

John’s insistence that he and Sherlock are not dating is made somewhat less believable with the fact that the detective’s head is still resting on his lap. As if on cue, Sherlock turns on his side, face all but buried in John’s crotch. John’s face is beet red.

It turns out that Greg and John have a few similar interests. Greg was unsure of how a road trip would go with John Watson as he’d never had a real conversation with the man. Honestly, Greg had always just thought of him as Sherlock’s pet boyfriend. He found it surprisingly nice to finally get to know him as a separate person.

Sherlock shifts and John squeaks.

Sherlock shifts again and John shoves his flatmate’s head off his lap and climbs into the front seat.

Sherlock sits up looking disgruntled and swollen-faced, and then he looks delighted when he sees sheep and wants to stop. They do not stop.

Both Greg and John get texts. Sherlock loses his phone privileges for texting from within the same car.

In revenge, Sherlock starts naming the species of all the roadkill they pass.

Sherlock’s plan backfires when John and Greg join in and start referring to it as The Roadkill Game.

They stop for another short break and decide to switch drivers. Sherlock is forced to surrender the back seat so that Greg can sleep before he has to drive again. Not a single person in the car ever considered the possibility of letting Sherlock drive, including Sherlock.

Sherlock convinces John to pull over so he can see sheep.

Greg wakes up when Sherlock’s door slams. Greg tells John off for being a push-over and then gets out to try to get Sherlock back in the car without a farm animal.

Sherlock and Greg are covered in mud and are both angry with each other. John is also angry, but only because Sherlock is winning at The Roadkill Game.

Greg falls asleep again.

Sherlock has managed to stretch out in the front seat, feet resting firmly in John’s lap. John continues to drive with a tight grip on the steering wheel while Sherlock’s feet are gently shifting around.

The shifting has not stopped.

Greg wakes up to John yelling at Sherlock to stop rubbing his crotch. There are not enough excuses in the world to keep Greg firmly believing that the two are not involved now. He goes back to sleep again.

7. 33
John is getting quite good at The Roadkill Game. Sherlock changes the rules to include genus as well as species, claiming the lack of specifics was giving him a headache.

John is horrible at The Roadkill Game.

Sherlock switches Greg’s ipod for his MP3 player. He puts on The Cure and gives John a look that clearly says ‘do not make fun of men who know where you sleep’

John forfeits the game. The music, coupled with constantly watching for dead animals has made him lose his competitive edge. John is currently wondering why there is so much roadkill. Sherlock is currently wondering if they are going to hit the rabbit that is sitting in the road. They do.

They arrive at their destination. It is a little after 5am, and Greg decides they should sleep in the car until 8am. John has to sleep clutching one of Sherlock’s hands so that the detective cannot sneak off and break into the crime scene.

Greg is embarrassed. Sherlock Holmes, in a single night, was able to solve a case that had completely stumped local law enforcement for a week. All he had done was spend the night in the young woman’s bedroom and the money-grubbing father is now serving a life sentence. Sherlock is in the back seat, pleased with himself. John is in the back seat, staring at Sherlock. Greg is driving and trying not to notice John staring at Sherlock, but failing.

Sherlock has kept up a running commentary about the ineptitude of the police force and of his own genius. In a random act of boredom, John discovers that if he puts his finger to the tip of Sherlock’s nose, Sherlock stops everything he’s doing, including insulting Greg’s intelligence. Sherlock, by a random stroke of luck, discovers John’s pulse rate, the current temperature of his left index finger, the fact that he used to play rugby, and that focusing your eyes on the tip of your nose is very uncomfortable.

John discovers that the second his finger leaves the tip of Sherlock’s nose, the insult continues from exactly where it was cut off.

Greg is crying laughing. John is abusing his new-found power. Sherlock is alternating between being angry at being made fun of and completely enthralled with all the information he can gather from John’s finger.

John finally tires of freezing Sherlock with a touch to his nose. John wonders if that would work at a crime scene and if he is being cruel. Greg wonders if he will have abs from how hard he laughed and how much his muscles ache from it. Sherlock wonders what John’s other fingers are like and if he could talk John into doing that again.

They stop for a sit-down meal. Sherlock orders the dish John intended to order. John orders the same and then Sherlock makes him change his order. Greg gives the waitress an awkward smile and orders the cheapest dish on the menu.

Their food arrives as Sherlock is explaining how long it takes various types of beetles to strip a corpse down to its skeleton in this climate. John is thinking about how horrified the waitress must be. The waitress is thinking about her party later tonight. Sherlock is thinking about how dull the waitress’s life is that she is excited for a party. And Greg is trying not to think about how Sherlock knows such specific information about stripping a corpse.

Sherlock has mostly eaten off of John’s plate. After John complains, Sherlock suggests trading dishes. Greg feels like this was some sort of elaborate set up on the detective’s part, but cannot figure out what the goal would have been.

They set out on the road again. Greg puts his ipod back on, setting it to play his upbeat workout playlist just to annoy Sherlock. It mostly consists of 80’s power ballads.

Sherlock catches himself tapping his foot to Foreigner and readjusts so he is sitting on his feet.

John and Greg are discussing first albums in the front seat. Sherlock is in the back seat ranting about the dumbing down of music for the masses, but nobody is paying attention to him.

Sherlock throws John’s soda out of the window to gain his attention. John turns to flick Sherlock across the nose, but stops when he sees Sherlock flinch back from him. Feeling like the bad guy, John sighs and climbs into the back seat.

It is discovered that apparently Sherlock is perfectly content to be ignored as long as he has some sort of physical contact with John. In this case, it is his head on John’s shoulder. John is trying to continue the conversation as if everything is perfectly normal and not absurdly awkward. Greg is also trying to continue the conversation as if everything is perfectly normal and not absurdly awkward. Sherlock smiles and continues to make a mental analysis of the wool against his cheek.

John pushes Sherlock over and the detective’s body flops to the seat, completely limp, narrowly missing the door. John climbs back into the front seat and explains that when Sherlock falls asleep he is dead to the world. Greg wonders if John really has tested the whole “could drop him down the stairs” part. He decides not to ask.

Greg and John both sing along to Journey. During the song it feels like a bonding experience.

After the song ends it feels much more embarrassing and the conversation quickly turns to sports.

Greg starts to talk about things his wife gets annoyed at him for. After the third “Sherlock does that, too” there is an awkward silence. The conversation turns back to sports.

It turns out both men enjoy watching curling, but neither quite understand it. Greg asks if John watches figure skating and when John says no, Greg says he doesn’t either, then switches to talking about movies.

Both Greg and John used to read Batman comic books. Both men liked Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Greg begins to wonder if perhaps John is just in denial about his feelings for Sherlock. Maybe it was an innocent relationship after all.

Sherlock mumbles John’s name in his sleep. Greg decides that, no, there is no way the two are not having some sort of secret affair. John’s insistence that Sherlock “just does that sometimes” is really not helping his case.

Greg pulls over to pee in the bushes. After watching Sherlock twitch in his sleep a moment, John gets out to go pee, too.

They discover the keys were in the car. The locked car. They bang on the window to try to wake Sherlock up, but he sleeps on peacefully.

John and Greg finally give up on trying to wake Sherlock. They fall asleep on the hood of the car.

The car horn scares John and Greg awake. It is around 5am and Sherlock is smiling and leaning over the seat, repeatedly pressing on the horn.

They are very careful about taking turns to go pee when Sherlock climbs out of the car.

It is discovered that Sherlock hid Greg’s ipod before waking him. No more power ballads were heard the rest of the trip.

After looking through some of Sherlock’s music, they decide some Bowie could be tolerated by all since they had gotten some sleep. Sherlock had been hoping for The Smiths.

John makes Sherlock give up the back seat because he would like to sleep. Sherlock does not understand why he has to leave the back seat for that to work, but decides not to voice it.

Awkward silence.

Sherlock sees cows and wants to stop. They do not stop.

While considering the futility of trying to find common ground, both Sherlock and Greg think ‘we have probably never even had a similar thought’ at the exact same moment. Neither man will ever know this.

Sherlock decides to explore the contents of Greg’s glove box. Greg asks him to stop. As an apology Sherlock informs him that Greg’s wife was not cheating on him. The thought had never even crossed Greg’s mind. He asks Sherlock if he would like to to have another try at a black eye.

Sherlock honestly contemplates the threat as an offer. He decides that, no, he would not like to be punched again.

They are nearly finished with the trip. Greg decides to be blunt and tells Sherlock not to hurt John unless he wants to be hunted down. Sherlock assures Greg that the only one of them that is going to get hurt is himself. For a moment Greg wonders if Sherlock is capable of human emotion after all.

They arrive at Baker street. John thinks about how he has to be at work in about 2 hours. Sherlock is hoping for another case soon, or at least an interesting corpse at the morgue. Greg contemplates ways to raise his travel budget. He can drive three for the price of one plane ticket, but it would take a miracle to get a big enough budget approved for the three to fly next time, since the Consulting Detective and his assistant are not, strictly speaking, under employ.

Greg heads home. Then he receives a text from Sherlock detailing the location of his ipod. He hopes the upholstery is not damaged.