Chapter 1: Bashful
Sherlock over-indulges and ponders the consequences of his lack of impulse control.
Sherlock groans and rolls over in his bed, one arm flung across his face. His eyelids feel like sandpaper and his mouth tastes as though he’s licked the inside of a rubbish bin. What on earth had possessed him to indulge in those ridiculously flashy drinks John had made? What were they called? Something awfully distasteful having to do with the IRA, he thinks. It started as a curious interest in the foaming action when the multiple beverages were combined, but why on earth had he had more than one? Or six?
And good lord, what had he said to John afterwards? And what had he done? He distinctly remembers loudly proclaiming words like “attractive,” “brave,” and “charming”, and, could it be he’d even resorted to the L-word? But then, he also remembers the feel of hands, rough and solid and warm, on the small of his back and slightly chapped but very yielding lips pressed against his own (hopefully before whatever resulted in the foul taste had occurred). Can it be, then, that his feelings aren’t entirely unreciprocated? Is John (attractive, brave, charming, wonderful John) currently lying in his own room, waffling about in the same manner?
Only one way to find out, he supposes. Sherlock gets up, gets dressed, and emerges from his room, looking distinctly and uncharacteristically bashful.
Chapter 2: Befuddled
Lestrade muses about the impact John's had on Sherlock. Also my realization that I can't write shit to do with cases. I will need to work on this.
Sherlock came barging in, his coat billowing out behind him. DI Lestrade let out a sigh but looked resigned. He’d already warned him that this situation was different. So far all they had to go on was witness testimony, and the witness was a terrified eight year old girl. Her parents had been abducted while she hid under the couch.
Lestrade stiffened as Sherlock walked up to her. He was expecting Sherlock to either shout abuse at her or overlook her entirely. Instead, he was treated to the sight of the consulting detective folding down into a squat, so that he was level with the girl. John walked up to them, resting a gentle, supportive hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. Lestrade couldn’t hear what was going on, but the girl didn’t look apprehensive. She was still clearly upset, but she was talking and gesturing rapidly, Sherlock absorbed in every word. She finished rambling and he smiled at her, stood up, and patted her hair in a tender gesture that looked entirely alien to Lestrade.
“Find the wife’s brother, and look into their insurance. John and I are heading home.”
Lestrade turned his gaze from the man who was both his best resource and a thorn in his side to the doctor who’d obviously turned him around and shook his head, completely befuddled.
Chapter 3: Bubbles
John stumbled down the stairs, blinking blearily. Sherlock was sitting on the floor of the living room, a bubble wand in one hand and a bottle of soapy solution in the other. A series of panes of glass were resting on the sofa. As he watched, Sherlock dipped the wand, pursed those ridiculous lips, and let out a controlled breath, causing a cascade of bubbles to float across the room and pop against the glass, leaving a series of soapy rings on the glass. Watching him pucker his lips like that should have been arousing, but there was something so charming and child-like about it that John couldn’t see it as anything else.
“Isn’t it fascinating, John?” Sherlock leaned over, a look of barely-disguised glee spreading across his face. “Despite looking nearly identical, every bubble is entirely unique, as are the prints they leave. They’re almost as different as fingerprints!” John giggled at the excitement on Sherlock’s face, and was rewarded by a bombardment of bubbles in the face, causing another fit of laughter.
If you’d asked John before that morning what the cutest thing in the world was, he’d have said something insipid and uninspired do with babies, kittens or similar rot. However, if you’d asked him after that morning, the answer would have been unequivocally Sherlock Holmes, blowing bubbles.
Chapter 4: Bereft
Sherlock is sprawled extravagantly on the couch, flat on his back with one foot on the armrest and the other braced firmly on the floor. John, the traitor, has gone to Sarah's. Boring, predictable Sarah – Sherlock always conveniently forgets how she held her own during that first evening at the Chinese circus when he's pouting like this. They're inevitably doing something boring and predictable, like seeing a film and going to dinner. Anywhere but Angelo's, Sherlock finds himself thinking. He also derives sudden, irrational glee from the notion that John will again be sleeping on the sofa.
He has been attempting to work out a particularly complex series of clues, and keeps mentally running in circles, to his immense frustration. He scowls petulantly at the skull, who is tiresome and a terrible replacement for John. How selfish of him to have left in the middle of a case, he knows how much Sherlock depends on him as a sounding board. John knows, of course, doesn't he? Sherlock shouldn't have to tell him he is appreciated, necessary. John is a relatively smart man; he should be able to figure these things out.
Sherlock, for all his incredible brain power and deductive reasoning still cannot determine why the temporary loss of one small, solid, army doctor can leave him feeling so absolutely bereft.
Chapter 5: Brother
John lies in the bed in a darkened hospital room. His eyes are taped shut, there is an IV drip feeding into his arm and a tube in his throat, but the beeps and blinks of the monitors are comfortingly steady. How is it that poor John Watson managed to get himself shot in the spine after being invalided home for being shot in the shoulder? Surely such a good man doesn't deserve to go through this fate once, let alone twice.
Sherlock, despite technically being in perfect health, is not looking much better than John is. He hasn't moved from the room since John had been admitted, and he's looking worse for wear. The man in the chair next to him looks infuriatingly impeccable, as always. Sherlock turns to Mycroft, however his hand stays put, long thin fingers firmly interlaced with John's.
"Mycroft…" a spasm crosses his face, almost as if he is fighting with himself, trying to swallow words that are attempting to escape. "Thank you for all of this. The private room, the doctors flown in from who knows where…" Mycroft smiles indulgently.
"Sherlock, even an idiot could see how good he is for you, and I am certainly no idiot. And besides, you may be an insufferable prat, but you are, and always will be, my brother."
Chapter 6: Betrothed
Angelo's truly outdone himself tonight. There are several candles on the table in the corner. The osso bucco melted on John's tongue and the tiramisu is absolutely decadent. But the good doctor's focused on other things. Sherlock's wearing a new shirt, a deep sapphire blue cut the same as the purple one he's so fond of, and it's making his eyes look warmer and bluer than their usual sharp grey. They keep darting back and forth though, like the genius behind them is apprehensive or nervous, causing John to wonder if they're on a stakeout and he's the last one to know.
He reaches across the table, twining his short, tanned fingers with Sherlock's pale, tapered ones. Sherlock looks at him, uncharacteristically startled.
Suddenly, Angelo comes out from the back, looking ridiculously happy and carrying a bottle of Perrier-Jouet Champagne. He sets it on the table, winks at Sherlock, and disappears. In one incredibly graceful movement, the taller man reaches into his jacket for a small box and gets down onto one knee in front of his love's chair.
John looks down at him and smiles, the emphatic Yes forming on his lips before Sherlock has even had the chance to ask. "John Watson, would you do me the immeasurable honour of being mine now, and forever, and becoming my betrothed?"
Chapter 7: Brilliant
I know I'm not the first person to do a Sherlock/Cabin Pressure crossover, but when I saw "Brilliant" on my list of b-words all I could think of was adorable Arthur. It may not be my best drabble ever, but I regret nothing!
“Honestly, John. With everything my brother has at his disposal, he could have splurged for a plane that’s not held together with tape and wishful thinking.”
The man who greets them reminds John of an excitable otter. “Hello, sirs, welcome onboard your flight with MJN. I am your Arthur and it is my pleasure to be your steward onboard today. Can I interest you in assistance with being onboard?” he says, with all the expertise of someone who’s rehearsed the same speech many times and lost the flow of it halfway through. John smiles and hoists his bag towards the overhead bin. “Thanks, we’ll be fine.”
They settle into their seats but Arthur keeps hovering, like he wants to say something. Sherlock raises an eyebrow. “Can we help you?”
“It’s just… you look very much like someone I know, but I can’t place it. So, are you going somewhere exciting? Why were you in Fitton? I think it’s lovely but mum says it’s boring.” The words spill out so quickly he looks as if he’s about to trip over them.
“We were investigating a string of white-collar crime. I am a consulting detective and John here assists me. We solve cases that the police and government cannot.”
“I hope you don’t mind me saying this, sirs, but that sounds absolutely brilliant!”
Chapter 8: Bored (part I of II)
Tried something a little different here - this is part one of a two-part drabble. There's no real plot to speak of, but they take place immediately following each other chronologically. The second part is "body" and follows this one immediately.
Sherlock was pacing back and forth across the living room, his dressing gown snapping around him every time he turned at the end of his circuit.
John sighed from deep within the kitchen, where he'd cleared a tiny corner of the table-cum-worktop so he could drink his tea and read the paper in relative peace.
"Sherlock, for pete's sake, stop pacing. You'll wear a hole in the carpet."
"There's nothing better to do! I have no cases to work on, the only experiment I've currently got going needs to sit undisturbed for the next three hours, and you're not being interesting enough. I'm bor—" John glared across the flat, effectively silencing Sherlock.
"Don't say it, Sherlock. I'm sure you can find something to keep yourself amused that doesn't involve body parts or my gun."
He stalked into the kitchen and hovered for a moment before resting his aggressively angular chin on John's shoulder, peering over him to read the paper. Ugh. John was reading the sports section. Dull.
He shuffled over to the fridge and opened and closed the door repeatedly, as if he were hoping each instance would yield something new and exciting.
"Sherlock, please! I just want five minutes of peace and quiet. Stop fidgeting."
There really were few things more irritating than Sherlock when he was bored.
Chapter 9: Body (part II of II)
This is the immediate continutation of the previous story, "bored". While there's no real plot to speak of, it still makes more sense to read that one first.
John wasn't sure how much longer he could put up with Sherlock's insufferable whingeing. He sighed and thrust the rest of the newspaper at him, keeping the sports page to himself. "Here you go; see if there's anything worthy of your attention and massive intellect in here."
Sherlock snatched up the paper and flipped through a few pages before slapping it down onto the table with a shout. John looked inquisitively over at him.
"The Yard's found two bodies, locked in a room together, with no signs whatsoever of trauma and no explicable cause of death! Why haven't they called me yet?"
With a flourish, he pushed himself out of his chair and stomped back into the living room to stare out the window, as though the officers at the Met could feel him glaring at them. He then flopped emphatically onto the couch, pulling his robe around him and steepling his fingers under his chin in his thinking pose.
The ring of Sherlock's BlackBerry interrupted his reverie and John's glorious peace and quiet. "Sherlock Holmes." He paused, but the corners of his mouth started twitching upwards and John suspected he knew what was coming. "Of course. We'll be there in twenty."
The consulting detective turned his doctor, pure undisguised glee in his eyes. "Go get dressed. Lestrade's found another body!"
Chapter 10: Beautiful
They crash up the stairs into the flat, filthy and breathless. The chase led them through a disgusting series of rubbish skips before ending in the sewers. The thief got away and all they have to show for their efforts are their putrid clothes.
"Eugh, this is revolting." John mutters. "I'm going upstairs to get undressed." He turns to Sherlock, who is already stripped down to his trousers, and rapidly undoing those, exposing a pair of dark purple pants. "Sherlock! What are you doing?"
"The laundry bag's right over here. It's pointless to track this filth all over the flat for some false modesty, only to have to carry it back. Far more logical to just strip down and get rid of it all here." He steps out of his trousers and takes a step towards John, fingers reaching for the buttons of his cardigan. John sighs, resigned and far too tired to bother arguing. When Sherlock gets to his button-down though, he tenses up again. He flinches as the shirt slips down over his shoulders, exposing the puckered scar that's become such a defining aspect of his body.
"John," Sherlock murmurs, his voice deeper than normal, but still inquisitive as ever. He runs a finger delicately along the thin veins of scar tissue weaving themselves across John's shoulder. "It's beautiful."
Chapter 11: Broken
I have no idea how this happened - this somehow failed to upload yesterday. Sorry for the confusion, I've since put it in its proper place and rearranged the most recent two chapters (broken, and then bees). There's no real continuity to speak of, but I wrote "bees" to make up for the hideous angst in this chapter, so the note there doesn't really make any sense unless this one comes first.
"Damn it, Sherlock. I can't do this right now." John rubs his eyes, looking utterly deflated. He doesn't even look angry. Anger, Sherlock could understand. He could fight back. This just looks like disappointment. He hasn't seen that look on John's face in a very long time. John's eyes, usually windows filled with warmth and openness, are like doors right now. Doors slammed shut in Sherlock's face.
He can't even remember what started the argument. Has he already deleted it? He's never been able to delete anything when it comes to John. So why, then, can't he recall anything other than the crying, the rage, and now this, the cold detachment that's worse than anything else. At least when John's yelling, Sherlock can respond. He has no idea how to handle this sort of thing once it goes past a certain point. I'm the sociopath here, he thinks. I'm the one who's supposed to shut down emotionally. This isn't right.
"I'm going out. Don't wait up, I'm not sure when I'll be back." John closes the door and Sherlock can hear his slow, heavy footfalls as he heads down the stairs. He just drops where he is, landing abruptly on the floor. What's the point, he finds himself wondering bitterly, of having a heart? All they're good for is getting broken.
Chapter 12: Bees
To make up for yesterday's exceptionally angsty drabble, have some fluff! Clearly if they're still together when they're old, whatever they fought about previously sorted itself out, right? :)
The sky is a clear, perfect blue – the sort of blue you never see in London – and the sharp smell of sea air is coming in on the breeze. They've been at the house down here in Sussex for a few years now, starting to settle down and deal with the vagaries of old age. Sherlock is still consulting remotely, offering his insight and opinions on particularly complex cases the Yard sends over, but gone are the days of "legwork," chasing criminals through sewers and across rooftops.
John stares out into the yard, the rows of hives partially obscuring his view of Sherlock. His raven hair's starting to go grey at the temples, but it just makes him look even more startling, emphasising the preternatural hue of his eyes. Smiling fondly, John reaches for the cane that he's been using more frequently and hobbles slowly out into the yard, alerting Sherlock to his presence with a gentle hand on the back of his neck.
With incredible gentleness, Sherlock rises to meet John, his hands cupped together. He opens them slowly, revealing the huge queen, and suddenly they are surrounded by workers, but the doctor holds still, trusting his partner, wanting to share the moment with him. Tenderly, Sherlock places her back into the hive and the swarm follows.
"Fascinating creatures, bees."
Chapter 13: Bath
The frigid air outside had seeped into John, causing his joints to stiffen up and his muscles to ache. The air was damp and the flat felt unpleasantly unwelcoming. A hot soak would do him a world of good.
He stripped down and changed into his bathrobe, grabbing the ridiculous scented gel he'd received as a gift at some point before heading to the bathroom. Rather looking forward to the whole process, he pushed the door open with a sigh that started out contented but rapidly degraded into one of frustration. The bathtub was filled with what appeared to be squid in various states of decomposition. Groaning in exasperation, he lifted them out of the tub and placed them gingerly on the sink while setting the bathtub to fill.
Finally he lowered himself into the tub with a groan, relishing the heat seeping into his sore body. He'd just barely closed his eyes when he heard Sherlock running down the hall.
"John! John!" he pounded theatrically at the door. "Go get ready, Lestrade's waiting for us!"
Grumbling, the cold, tired, cranky doctor pushed himself up out of the tub and grabbed a towel, drying himself off in vicious, irritated jerks. Clearly, they'd never lived with Sherlock Holmes, all those people who claimed there was nothing more relaxing than a hot bath.
Chapter 14: Breakfast
John wakes with a start. He probably would have jumped out of bed had he not been trapped under six feet of lanky, clinging detective who appeared to have grown eight limbs overnight. Oh my god. John thinks. I slept with Sherlock. And it was incredible. But does this change anything? What's going to happen when he wakes up? Do I regret this? Of course I don't. I've wanted it for months. But if he regrets it, I have no idea what I'm going to do. Maybe I should start looking for a new place.
"John, please stop panicking. You were much more comfortable to lie on before you got all tense."
"Sherlock, are you okay? With this?" John gestures towards their entangled limbs, one hand inadvertently brushing Sherlock's bare shoulder. The taller man sighs, contented, and rubs his face into John's broad chest. "I believe I am more than okay. It's you I am concerned about."
"Oh no. Last night was fantastic. You're fantastic. I'm just worried you might change your mind."
"I am nothing if not stubborn, John. Once I've got something I want, I tend to be rather tenacious."
John relaxes. A small, tanned hand runs itself through a mop of unruly curls. "Thank you. How about you and me put some pyjamas on and go have breakfast?"
I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been reading my work and encouraging me, it's much appreciated. As per the suggestion of someone on FF.net I am going to be attempting to write 221 of these! I will do my best. I am rapidly running out of words, I will be going to the dictionary, but in the meantime if anyone reading has any suggestions, please message me and I will try to use them :D
Chapter 15: Breath
In honour of everyone we are remembering today, on November 11. I hope nobody finds this trite or disrespectful, that was not my intention.
John was standing at attention in the sitting room, eyes fixed on the telly where a man was playing Last Post on the bugle. There was a red paper poppy pinned to the left side of his familiar oatmeal jumper. He saw Sherlock move out of the corner of his eye and braced his shoulders, prepared for the moment of silence to be interrupted by a stream of running commentary about trite sentimentalism, the pointlessness of being patriotic, and who knew what else.
What he was not expecting, however, was for the tall, dark-haired man to simply walk up and stand next to him, head bowed and hands clasped. Their eyes met in a sideways glance, before the short ode on the bugle finished, and the look he gave the army doctor said it all. You need this. This is important to you. Therefore, it is important to me.
They stood in complete, pure silence while John took a moment to remember his fallen comrades, to reflect on how absurdly lucky he'd been, and how unfair and unnecessary the whole thing was. If Sherlock saw the tears on his cheeks, he never mentioned it.
John felt Sherlock's fingers entwine with his, surprisingly solid and warm. One corner of his mouth curled up gratefully as he drew in one long, shuddering breath.
Chapter 16: Blinds
John could hear the moaning coming from Sherlock's room. He wasn't sure what was going on in there, and he didn't particularly want to find out. He sat down to peruse the newspaper, but the moans were becoming more and more anguished. Settling into doctor mode, he padded down the hall.
He knocked carefully at the door and the knock was responded to almost immediately with another groan. He pushed the door open and was greeted by the sight of Sherlock curled up in a ball on the bed, his fingers pulling violently at the mass of unruly curls on his head.
"John. I think I'm dying. It's like my brain's finally gotten too big! Everything is glowing. Even my own voice makes me hurt. Please, help me."
"Shhh, I think you're having a migraine. Have you ever had anything like this before?"
He responded with a low whine and an arching of his back.
"I'll be right back. I'm just going to get you something out of my bag. Hopefully it will help."
John came back and lowered himself quietly into the chair next to Sherlock's bed, placing a glass of water and a small bottle of pills on the nightstand. Gently, he leaned over to brush one hand across Sherlock's clammy forehead before reaching up to shut the blinds.
Chapter 17: Billiards
John followed Sherlock into the basement game room, adjusting his deep red tie self-consciously. "D'you think this is nice enough? Why did your bloody brother invite us to his damned gentleman's club anyway?"
Sherlock smiled appraisingly. He'd finally managed to convince John to buy a properly tailored suit, and it was much more flattering to his broad shoulders and surprisingly trim waist than that horrid brown thing he'd owned up until that point. It was an incredibly deep charcoal grey that managed to bring out John's eyes, and the tie matched Sherlock's new shirt perfectly.
"John, you look absolutely delectable in that outfit. I am sorely tempted to throw you over the table and fuck you senseless. I'm even debating getting one of the cues involved in an entirely inappropriate way." John flushed, the combination of embarrassment and arousal tinting his cheeks nearly to match the tie his lover had wound between his fingers. Sherlock leaned over, causing John to lean back against the edge of the table. Their lips met in a furious kiss and Sherlock's hands were about to creep down into John's finely cut trousers when they heard some pointedly heavy footfalls on the stairs.
"John, Sherlock... Dare I ask what you're getting up to down here?"
"Honestly, Mycroft. What an asinine question. We're quite obviously playing billiards."
Chapter 18: Birthday
It's my birthday today, so what better word to use for today's drabble? :)
Startled out of a deep sleep by a sudden heavy weight at the foot of his bed, John woke with a start and instinctively reached for his gun. Thankfully he noticed that it was Sherlock. Of course it was Sherlock. Who else would jump onto the end of a military man's bed, especially one dealing with post-traumatic stress?
"Good morning, Sherlock. Do you need something?" is what John meant to say. However, it came out sounding more like "Mmgfgh. Hng?" He rubbed his face, licked his lips, and tried again.
"Is something wrong? The sun's barely up." However, the look on Sherlock's face was not one of pain, or even the manic glee of a case. He looked excited. John found that more disconcerting than anything else.
"I may not find most societal norms logical, but that doesn't mean I'm going to let my best friend get away with ignoring his birthday." John sat up and took in the full picture of Sherlock perched like a kid at the end of his bed.
At John's feet lay a first edition of Gray's Anatomy with a ridiculous ribbon wrapped around it. Sherlock looked at the book and then looked up expectantly at John's face. "I know it's not exactly up to date, but I thought you might appreciate the novelty. Happy birthday!"
Chapter 19: Baking
Silly fluff chapter today to cheer myself up and get motivated. Also a subtle nod to the good ship Mystrade hidden within. XD
Darting up the stairs to 221-B, Lestrade was assaulted by the smells of chocolate, caramel, ginger, lemon, cinnamon, and countless other things. Perplexed, he stuck his head directly into the kitchen rather than going straight to the sitting room.
“Oh, hullo Lestrade. Sherlock’s not in right now, you can wait around if you’d like or I can pass along a message.” John dusted his hands off, but there was so much flour on him the gesture did very little.
“No rush, I’ll come back later. So what’s all this then?” he looked curiously across the kitchen, filled with baked goods. Pies encroached on territory that was once occupied by Petri dishes, cakes formed an advancing line against shelves of tissue samples, and several trays of cooling biscuits invaded every available surface.
“Strangely enough, it turns out Sherlock has a rather enormous sweet tooth. Not something I was expecting.”
“Must run in the family.” Lestrade muttered under his breath.
“Sorry, what was that?” John raised a brow at the blushing detective inspector.
“Er, alright then. I figured if I’m going to try to get him to eat more regularly, I may as well make things I know he’ll be tempted by. So here I am, spending my one day off this week trying to appease my insane flatmate by baking.”
Chapter 20: Blood
It had finally happened. Sherlock's luck had run out, and he'd met the wrong end of some thug's alarmingly big knife. John had laid Sherlock on his back in the alley after knocking the brute unconscious with his gun and zip-tying his limbs together.
He pulled off his jumper and pressed it tightly to the wound in Sherlock's side. He was incredibly pale, paler than normal, but the look on his face was comfortingly familiar. He rolled his eyes and muttered up at John. "I'm fine, you're being silly. It's just a flesh wound."
Despite himself, John laughed. "I didn't think you'd seen that, let alone committed it to memory." Sherlock looked confused. "What?" John shook his head. "Nevermind. Relax, the ambulance is on its way. We'll get you sewn up and you'll be fine. Stay with me." Thin eyelids fluttered over grey eyes, but Sherlock fought it and opened them again.
The doctor sighed in relief as the ambulance wheeled into the alley and the technicians hopped out, efficiently stabilising Sherlock and strapping him to a gurney. John was too frazzled to think about proper medical protocols and procedures. As they were wheeling Sherlock into the ambulance, he thrust his arm towards one of the technicians. "We've been tested, just in case. I'm a match. Please, give him my blood."
Chapter 21: Blanket
Inspired by the impending frigid weather here in Canada. Also felt like I needed a bit of fluff after yesterday's drabble.
Sherlock woke slowly, careful not to move too abruptly so as not to wake the five and a half feet of sleepy rumpled doctor curled up against him. There was a stillness in the air – it was still early enough that the city outside hadn't woken up yet, and the light seeping in around the curtains had a muted, grey quality. He got up and pulled the curtain aside gently to observe the city below. If he'd been the type for flights of fancy, he could almost see himself imagining that the two of them were alone in the world.
Winter had come on strong and sudden this year; the flat had been frigid until they'd turned on the heat for the night and pulled out the spare quilt. The heavy blizzard had started some time around three in the morning. John, unsurprisingly, had slept through it. It had been a long few weeks, and he needed the rest. Sherlock heard him stirring now though, as he crawled out of bed and padded up to the taller man's side and peered out the window as well.
Sherlock wrapped his arm around John's shoulder and rested his dark curls against John's sandy hair. The two of them stared outside in quiet contentment, watching the heavy snow settle across London like a blanket.
Chapter 22: Blue
I felt like writing something with our patron saint of shippers, Mrs. Hudson.
"Oi, Sherlock, what's all this mess then?" Mrs. Hudson gestured at the piles of clutter and trash, tutted at him, and Sherlock rolled over, facing the back of the couch. The damnable woman was a champion tutter, and she was asking irritating questions.
"Honestly, Sherlock, he's only gone for a week. It's going to take you longer than that to clean this mess up. I'm certainly not going to help you!" she muttered, while picking up the rubbish and putting it in a large bag. Humming to herself, she tidied up the kitchen while Sherlock continued to sulk, wrapped snugly in his bathrobe.
"I'm not going to keep doing this for you, you know. I just don't want the flat to be such a mess when poor John gets home. Don't get complacent, Sherlock. I'm not your housekeeper."
Sherlock snorted derisively and tossed a cushion in the general vicinity of where poor Mrs. Hudson was standing. She picked it up and whacked him playfully in the back before placing it on John's armchair.
A knock at the door sent her trotting down the stairs, leaving Sherlock in relative peace.
"Oh, Lestrade! I'm so glad you're here. Do you have a case for him? The doctor's away at a conference up in Edinburgh for a bit and Sherlock's feeling a bit blue."
Chapter 23: Bacchanal
This story is a crossover with one of my favourite novels of all time. It's kind of obscure, but if you recognize it please shoot me a message or post a review! I'll post the title and author tomorrow if nobody's figured it out by then.
Sherlock studies the exhausted-looking group of students with a critical eye. The young woman, clearly related to one of the boys – twins, perhaps – has a red muffler wrapped snugly around her neck but it does nothing to hide the unearthly bite mark on her throat.
The tallest man, the one with an old scar on his forehead, looks nervous. He is carrying himself far better than the slippery-looking redhead or the other twin, but there is still something unsettled about his bearing. The last young man is honking asthmatically on an inhaler and looks painfully put out by the whole process, his body language is innocent and bordering on angry. Not, however, with the investigators – with his friends.
They stink of wine, but not the sort of wine poor students usually drink. Expensive stuff, and if he's not mistaken, it's been boiled with laurel leaves and other herbs Sherlock can't quite pin down. The salt-and-iron smell of blood lingers around them too, they've made a concentrated effort to wash it off but it's not enough.
Most damning, though, is the pile of torn, bloody sheets. They've been tied in such a way that they appear to have been worn as chitons.
"I'm not yet sure what exactly they've done, Lestrade, but I'm pretty sure those kids tried to hold a bacchanal!"
Chapter 24: Baritone
A while back, before I started writing fanfics, someone posted on Tumblr speculating about how a certain gorgeous, charismatic, spectacularly-voiced actor must sound when he first wakes up in the morning. I decided I wanted to read fanfiction based on that premise, and prompted a few awesome authors, but they were all (understandably) busy. The other day I realised that I could just write it myself, and it was suitable for a drabble!
Also, the book that inspired yesterday's drabble was The Secret History by Donna Tartt.
Anyway, enough blathering, this note is nearly longer than the drabble itself!
John made no denials about it, one of the most attractive things about Sherlock was his voice. That rich, deep voice that he'd heard compared to so many things; a jaguar in a cello, melted chocolate, honey, velvet, and pure unadulterated sex. All reasonable comparisons, but none of them quite did it justice.
When they finally started sleeping together – not just angry, passionate fucking, but actually sleeping, one of the things John was most looking forward to (besides the snuggling, but if you ever told anyone John "Three Continents" Watson was a cuddler he would cheerfully rip your throat out) was hearing that voice first thing in the morning, still drowsy and roughened with sleep.
What he was not anticipating, however, was that Sherlock would keep as erratic a schedule as ever, always managing to be infuriatingly showered, polished, and wide awake by the time John managed to blearily stumble his way into the kitchen. Today though, he had a plan. He'd put his phone alarm to vibrate and tucked it under his pillow, setting it to the ungodly hour of four AM. He woke gently and turned to watch Sherlock, waiting a mere half-hour before he stirred, rolling over to meet John's gaze.
"You're awake awfully early," Sherlock murmured, his voice gravelly, delicious and even deeper than his usual baritone.
Chapter 25: Beckons
Have some pre-slash awkward bromance confusion today! Poor Sarah. She really does get the short end of the stick a lot.
It's peaceful here in Sarah's apartment. John's settled on the sofa, his hand resting casually on her knee. It's comfortable, it's nice. It's not dull, John keeps trying to tell himself. It's a well-needed respite from the insanity that is his life. Definitely not dull.
Sarah's looking lovely tonight, and John finds himself idly wondering if they'll finally end up in bed. The idea should excite him more, but oddly enough, he can't bring himself to care too much. It's not that she's unattractive or uninteresting, there's just something missing he can't quite put his finger on.
His phone beeps , new text alert. Instinctively he reaches for it and then stops himself. Not tonight, I promised. Noticing, Sarah smiles. It should have been pretty, even alluring, but John just thinks she looks insipid tonight. He smiles back, a tight, awkward grimace, and goes back to staring at the telly. His phone beeps again. He stiffens, doing his best to ignore it. It beeps a third time.
He sighs theatrically, but Sarah can see the excitement on his face. "Go ahead. It might be important."
"No, it's fine. He's probably…" Probably what? Destroyed an armchair? Gotten kidnapped? Who even knows anymore.
"John, I promise, I don't mind. We do need to talk about this but for the time being, Sherlock beckons."
Chapter 26: Blissful
Sherlock thrived on observation. Everyone who knew him was aware of it. He could watch a suspect and know exactly what he'd done (or not done, as the case may be). He could study a stranger and know her entire history. What most people didn't know, however, was that one of his favourite things to observe was incredibly mundane, thoroughly predictable. He'd learned everything he could from this particular routine, and yet he found himself watching intently every time he got to experience it.
John stumbled into the flat, soaking wet. It was wretched outside. He shook himself off. Sherlock was reminded for a moment of an adorably shaggy dog. He smiled to himself and then shook his head. It wouldn't do to think in silly metaphors. John shuffled into the kitchen and Sherlock was on the alert. It was starting.
John made tea as if it were a ritual. Always following the same pattern – mug on the counter, water to boil, steep for three minutes, a dash of milk and sugar. However, it was the final step in his routine that Sherlock loved to observe. John would sit down and wrap his hands around the mug and take in one slow, thoughtful sip. The look on his face, no matter what his mood had been before, was always absolutely blissful.
Chapter 27: Blank (part I of II)
Here's another two-parter. I debated being mean and saving the second part (Bond) for tomorrow, but I couldn't bear to do that, so I am publishing them both today.
John paces the impersonal, antiseptic-looking hallway nervously. On his third circuit in front of Sherlock's room, an elegant hand reaches out and gently grasps his wrist.
"John, take a seat. He is in good hands. It's not the first time he's ended up in surgery."
"Thank you, Mycroft. It's just… his head, you know? I can see Sherlock learning to function with damage to a limb, but I can't imagine him without that brain of his."
"No, nor can I. It is certainly an integral part of what makes my brother the charming, affable, loving person he is." John's about to argue when he sees the smirk on Mycroft's face. Does everyone in this family use sarcasm as a coping mechanism? Groaning, he lowers himself into the awful vinyl chair just outside the room.
Interminable minutes later, they wheel Sherlock back down the hall. He's unconscious, his body looking small and vulnerable. John switches into doctor mode, passing a critical eye over the monitors. Everything looks stable, but there's still no way to know what will happen when he wakes up.
When Sherlock finally stirs the doctors examine him briefly, but John impatiently steps in. "Hey, Sherlock. How are you feeling?" His heart sinks as Sherlock studies his face curiously. There is no flicker of recognition, his eyes are completely blank.
Chapter 28: Bond (Part II of II)
Second half of today's drabble, immediately follows the previous entry (Blank).
Shuddering, John steps outside to catch his breath. Someone lays a hand on his arm. "Dr. Watson, there's no need to be too concerned yet. He's still waking up, still disoriented." Inside the room, he can hear Sherlock speaking methodically, his voice dry and alien. John runs a hand through his hair, looking expectantly at Mycroft as he exits the room.
"He recognizes me, and his scathing vocabulary is apparently intact. Why don't you go back in there and see if the second time's a charm?"
With a sigh, John steps back into the dimly lit room, his eyes drawn to Sherlock's form, still looking vulnerable, but more alert. He smiles, listening to him lambaste some poor nurse about the state of her shoes, and what it says about her unhappy life at home, or something. She huffs and stomps out of the room, leaving John in there alone with Sherlock.
"Sherlock? How are you?" John feels tentative, hesitant.
"Not too terrible, all things considered. Have you been here all night?"
John feels faint. His knees wobble and he grabs wall to steady himself. "You… you recognize me then?"
"Don't be an idiot, John, of course I do." John is flooded with relief. He should have known it would take more than a wallop to Sherlock's head to break their bond.
Chapter 29: Boyfriend
The first time they arrive on a crime scene after consummating their relationship, Sherlock isn't entirely sure how to act. Does John want him to stake a public claim? Is he the type who enjoys public displays of affection? Why is this so infuriatingly confusing? As they walk under the tape he places a hand protectively on the small of John's back, but hesitantly pulls it away, shoving his hands into the pockets of his coat.
However, when it's John who notices the abnormal and unexpected bruising around the victim's torso, John who finds the clue that makes the case, Sherlock can't resist grabbing him and kissing him fiercely for all the Yarders to see.
"So, you and John, huh?"
Sherlock glares at Lestrade, managing to look down his nose despite the fact that he's squatting on the ground next to the corpse.
"What are you implying?""Well, that kiss was quite something. You guys finally realised what the rest of us figured out months ago?"
"Why do I need to announce it? John completes me. He is, to make a ridiculously heliocentric metaphor, the sun around which I revolve. I cannot begin to explain the depths of the connection between us. However, I suppose if it will make your sadly pedestrian little department happy, yes, he is now my boyfriend."
Chapter 30: Balloon
Written for one of chasingriver's word suggestions, and my urge to include Hamish Malcolm Watson-Holmes in one of my stories. For more information on Hamish, please visit http://hamish-watson-holmes.tumblr.com
Sometimes John wondered what he'd done to deserve all this. He'd pretty much given up looking for a family when he realised he already had the beginnings of one, right under his nose. Not only had he found his perfect match in Sherlock, but now they'd been blessed with a wonderful little boy.
And really, who would have thought that Sherlock Holmes, self-proclaimed sociopath and part-time madman would have made such a spectacular father? John mused as he lowered himself onto a bench, a thermos of tea in one hand. He was watching Sherlock push Hamish on a swing, his chubby legs flailing wildly.
Hamish was as curious as his father, and it wasn't long before he tired of swinging and jumped down to inspect something – probably an insect. He had a fascination with bees, and John was always terrified he was going to get stung, but so far it hadn't happened. Sherlock squatted down with him, coat trailing through sand and getting filthy, but he couldn't seem to care less.
Suddenly Hamish darted away from his father and chased down a man selling balloons. Sherlock hoisted him up onto his narrow hip and paid the man, who handed the boy a sunny yellow one. John's heart warmed as he watched Sherlock and Hamish, both of them transfixed by the balloon.
Chapter 31: Bespoke
All aboard the good ship Mystrade, we set sail in an hour! Don't worry, these stories will still primarily focus on John and Sherlock, but I feel like the word "bespoke" had to have Mycroft in it somehow, and I've recently grown fond of this pairing, so why not? Feel free to skip if it's not a pairing you enjoy.
Greg Lestrade rubbed his eyes, wondering how he'd gotten into this situation. There was an ancient Italian man he couldn't understand attacking him with numerous pins and whipping him with a tape measure every time he tried to fidget. He threw Mycroft Holmes a miserable and suffering glare.
He couldn't deny, though, that Mycroft's tailor was some kind of sartorial genius. The man always cut such a dapper, elegant figure in his well-fitted three-piece suits. They belonged on someone like Mycroft. Greg was worried when all was said and done, he'd just end up looking like someone playing dress-up.
"My, remind me again why I agreed to let you do this?"
"Because, my dear, you dress like a peasant. If you're finally coming home to meet Mummy, you should wear something to reflect the occasion. She appreciates the effort."
Lestrade grunted as the tailor jabbed him in a rather delicate area. He was starting to suspect the man was doing it on purpose whenever he complained, there was no way Mycroft would trust such a clumsy worker near his own unmarred body.
The elder Holmes walked around his lover, eyeing him appraisingly as if visualising the final picture.
"Besides, it will be good for you to have something of quality for once. Something tailored to show off your assets, something bespoke."
Chapter 32: Bare
For consistency's sake, let's imagine this is a chronological continuation of drabble #22 - blue. It's also in honour of the incredibly polarising facial hair Benedict Cumberbatch is sporting in the upcoming War Horse.
John drags his luggage heavily up the stairs. It's been a long week, the conference was dull, and he's very much looking forward to seeing Sherlock. He's about to push the front door open when it swings widely open, framing six feet of excited consulting detective, with one unexpected addition. John drops his suitcase in shock. His lover's upper lip is covered in what appears to be a wooly bear caterpillar. Valiantly, John bites his tongue in an attempt to stifle the giggles welling up.
"Sherlock, what on earth have you done with your face?"
The detective huffs, looking hurt. "I had to grow it out while you were gone. For a case. There'd been a murder in a group of moustache-cup collectors, and I needed to infiltrate the ranks."
"Yes, fine, but why in the name of all that is good is it still there?"
"I thought it looked rather dashing. I thought you might appreciate it."
At this, John finally loses it. "Sherlock, I love you and you're gorgeous, but if you think I am going to kiss you with that… abomination over your mouth, you've got another think coming."
Sherlock stomps into the bathroom, slamming the door emphatically behind him.
John can't help but break into a grin when Sherlock finally emerges, his upper lip mercifully, gloriously bare.
Chapter 33: Buoyant
There'd been a lull in hours at the surgery, so John found himself yet again down in 221-A watching some mindless talk show and drinking tea with Mrs. Hudson. He sighed and eyed the tea askance, wondering if he should ask for one of her herbal soothers. His confusing feelings for Sherlock were leaving him jittery and edgy.
"Dear, is something on your mind?"
"Hm? Oh no, sorry. Just tired."
"Sherlock does run you ragged. You really ought to do something relaxing. What about a date?"
John squirmed. He wasn't ready to have the I can't keep a date because I suspect I'm in love with my flatmate conversation with his landlady. He often failed to give Mrs. Hudson the credit she was due though, and after weeks of chatting and telly, she could read him nearly as well as Sherlock could.
"You know, he's mad about you. Have you discussed it with him?"
"He's certainly mad. I think you're reading too much into things, he's too busy with work and whatnot."
Mrs. Hudson tutted. "Who do you think he talks to at three in the morning, when you're asleep? Trust me, whatever this is" her hands fluttered between John and the general direction of upstairs "it's not unrequited."
John hugged her gratefully and headed back upstairs, his mood suddenly buoyant.
Chapter 34: Beat
Two drabbles today - when I got home from a terribly annoying day at work I got inspired and had to get this out, I may skip tomorrow because of it. This one was inspired by the amazing art of livia carica, her Somnophilia series in particular. Please check her stuff out – http://livia-carica.livejournal.com.
Sometimes, when they sleep in the same bed, it's hot, sweaty, a mess of limbs. Sometimes it's a quiet, perfect fit. Sometimes, like tonight, it's nothing but comfort.
Last night, there'd been a nightmare – a bad one. Blood, blinding light, gunfire, explosions. John had tossed and turned, his legs had gotten tangled in the sheets and a thin sheen of sweat had formed over his tense body. Sherlock woke only when John jerked up with a shout, and by then it was too late.
He isn't going to let that happen again tonight. As John falls asleep, his profile dimly lit by the sodium orange light creeping in through the window, Sherlock slots himself neatly around him, a riot of dark curls resting against a soft cotton undershirt. John's breath hitches slightly, but he does not wake. Deftly, protectively, Sherlock wraps his arms around John's comfortingly solid torso. This time, if there is a nightmare, he will know. This time, he will wake before his love does, and soothe him through it.
Slowly, gently, Sherlock drifts off as well, to join John on mysterious adventures of the subconscious. As they settle further and further into somnolent depths, they seek each other out, bodies entangling tighter and tighter. Breathing slows, two breaths settle into one rhythm, two hearts settle into one beat.
Chapter 35: Bride
Here's a little nod to a pairing that never gets enough love, but is one of my favourites.
Sherlock drapes himself across one of the prissy, over-stuffed armchairs and fusses irritably with his boutonniere.
"Mycroft, I refuse to believe you're actually going through with this. Greg's going to be devastated, you know."
Mycroft archly raises his brow. "Who, pray tell, is Greg?"
"Detective Inspector Lestrade. He's been harbouring a not-terribly-secret crush on you for quite some time now, ever since you felt the need to rescue me from that particular case with the dru-"
"Sherlock, could we not discuss your drug habits or the ridiculous soap opera that is your life on my wedding day?"
Mycroft, usually so unflappable, actually looks nervous. Sherlock relishes the thought and debates snapping a discreet photo with his phone, but doesn't particularly like the idea of having the entire SIM-card memory remotely wiped once his brother's less distracted.
"Does she love you, My? This isn't some sort of contrived career move on her part, is it?" Even Sherlock is surprised at how concerned his voice is coming out. "I still can't believe you listed her name as Clytemnestra on the invitations. What is her name, anyway? I should hope you actually do know it."
Mycroft sighs theatrically. "Strangely enough, she does love me. Sometimes I still wonder why, but she does."
"Well then, let's go out there to see your blushing bride."
Chapter 36: Bonspiel
Curling is seriously under-appreciated.
John was constantly learning new things about Sherlock. Some things were fairly straightforward – odd habits, things that would irritate him, what he enjoyed eating, etc.
Other things, however, were completely out of left field. Sherlock’s fascination with curling was definitely one of the odder things John had learned recently. He never imagined Sherlock to be the sporting type, and to an extent, he wasn’t. Half the time he wasn’t even aware of what countries were competing in a particular event, no idea what the players’ names were, where the game was currently being held. That was all extraneous information, irrelevant to his enjoyment of the game.
For Sherlock, it was all about the physics. The friction of the surface combined with the angle and force and sheer grace of the stone sliding across the ice. “It’s like billiards, John, only on a much grander scale. What’s not to find fascinating?”
When their first Christmas together rolled around, John racked his brain for a gift. Nothing he looked at seemed appropriate, until Sherlock marched imperiously into the sitting room and informed him that the day after Christmas they had to head up to Scotland for a case.
Christmas morning, John handed Sherlock an envelope. He watched the grin spread across his flatmate’s face as he pulled out two tickets to a bonspiel.
Chapter 37: Benediction
Little bit of angst/fluff for today, and thank you to everyone who suggested this particular b-word.
John’s sitting at his desk reading the paper when Sherlock barges in, back something at NSY.
“John, what do you see in me?”
John looks up at Sherlock, startled at the forwardness and arbitrariness of the question. The taller man looks uncharacteristically shaken.
“What’s brought that on, then?” John pulls his lower lip in between his teeth, looking concernedly at Sherlock.
“You’re a kind, gentle, brave, wonderful man. I’m a bitter, antisocial freak. You could do so much better.”
At this point John rises and closes the space between them in a few short steps. He wraps his arms around Sherlock’s narrow torso.
“Did you run into Anderson while you were down there?”
Sherlock smiles slightly, despite himself. He loves it when John figures things out like this. “Possibly. He’s right though. There’s a reason I’ve chosen to remain alone – I’m rubbish at this… caring about people, long-term involvement. I’ve never been motivated to bother before.”
“And that, love, is the key word. Before. You are now. Lord knows why you chose me of all people – short, defective man that I am. But there you have it. Anderson doesn’t understand basic maths, let alone the complexities of the human heart.”
John gazes into Sherlock’s impossible moonstone eyes and presses their foreheads together, murmuring gently to his lover as if in benediction.
Chapter 38: Bauble
Here's a festive little drabble to get me in the mood for Christmas. I apologize for the lack of updates recently. For those of you who aren't reading "Out of my Head", I'll summarize - I work in a collectible toy store. This time of year is hell on earth for me. I barely have time to do anything necessary like eating and peeing, so writing's kind of a luxury. I'm definitely not giving up on these drabbles, but for the next few weeks they might be a bit sparse. I apologise!
Sherlock must have been more exhausted than anyone realised, because it was nearly ten in the morning and he was still asleep. John decided to take advantage of his flatmate’s unprecedented lie-in by hanging the decorations without a soundtrack of sarcastic grumbling.
Humming The Carol of the Bells, he hung a string of fairy lights and a fake evergreen garland from the mantle. He set a tiny tree up on the desk, draped more lights around the doorway to the kitchen. In a fit of glee he placed a Santa hat on top of the skull. It seemed to grin at him in approval.
The flat was nearly transformed into a winter wonderland when Sherlock sauntered into the kitchen, curls mussed with sleep.
“Really, John? I didn’t take you for the festive type.”
“Christmas was always… a bit stressful when I was younger. My parents would fight, Harry would drink, it would end with screaming fits and slamming doors. It got to the point where we just stopped celebrating. I thought it would be nice to start over, start some new traditions.”
Sherlock’s face softened slightly. He’d make sure John had the best Christmas possible.
“You forgot one thing though – where’s the mistletoe?”
John smirked and took aim, hitting Sherlock square in his ridiculously plush arse with an unbreakable plastic bauble.
Chapter 39: Bile
Sherlock is pacing back and forth across the remains of the crime scene, waves of fury emanating off his body so clearly they’re nearly visible. He spins on his heels, his coat flaring dramatically as he turns to Anderson. “You insufferable idiot! Why did you clear and move the body?”
Anderson sneers, bristling at Sherlock’s arrogance. “You’re not a part of the team, freak. We’re done, we don’t need you.”
“Clearly you do, or Lestrade wouldn’t have called me.”
Lestrade makes a point of evading eye contact from either of the men, opting instead to roll his towards at John, who is hovering in the background and staying out of the path of Sherlock’s fury. Unfortunately, their relative peace is short-lived.
Sherlock abruptly spins away from Anderson, who is still spluttering excuses, and looms toward Lestrade.
“And you! Why did you let him clear the scene? You’re the one who decided you needed me, and now it seems as though everyone under you is making a concentrated effort to impede me from doing anything.”
Throwing his hands dramatically in the air, Sherlock stalks off without excusing himself or explaining to anyone where he’s going.
John chuckles awkwardly and nods a sheepish apology in the DI’s direction and trails after Sherlock, who is still spewing forth a torrent of vitriol and bile.
Chapter 40: Briefs (part I of II)
Bit of a cute, fluffy two-parter today. Boxers and briefs, how could I separate them?
John Watson is a practical man, sensible and straightforward. His wardrobe reflects this. He's not a bad dresser, but nor is he a particularly snappy one. He tends to favour form over function. Solid jeans, comfortable shirts, and warm jumpers. His underpants are no different. He prefers to be thrifty and buy multi-packs when they are on sale, six or eight pairs of cotton pants in shades of grey and navy.
He'd never given it much thought before. They were comfortable, they kept him decent, that's really all a person needs in an undergarment, right? Several previous lovers had teased him good-naturedly about his boring pants, but it had never really been a serious problem. Besides, he thought, men didn't have many interesting options for undergarments anyway. Things intended to be sexy often veered into the impractical or the outright silly.
However, since he and Sherlock had become lovers, he'd started to feel a bit self-conscious about his rational choices. Sherlock had never said anything negative about them, but the man was always incredibly well-dressed, and of course that extended to what he wore under his trousers.
John was Christmas shopping when he saw them. They were ridiculous, flamboyant, and entirely inappropriate. And that is how he ended up in possession of a pair of low-rise, obscenely fitted, deep red briefs.
Chapter 41: Boxers (part II of II)
The same, however, cannot be said about Sherlock Holmes. His sartorial choices are as much about making an impression as they are about keeping him warm and decent. He lives for fitted shirts and finely cut suits. Even his loungewear is extravagant by most standards. It would stand to reason then, that what he wears under his clothes is bound to be equally fine.
He favours looser pants than his flatmate, but still slim and fitted enough not to cause wrinkles under his well-tailored trousers. His collection of undergarments bears remarkable similarities to his assortment of button-downs – white pairs with thin pinstripes, a soft dove grey, and even a silk pair in rich deep shades of plum. He knows how well those particular ones set off his pale skin, and has often used them to his advantage.
When he first had the pleasure of stripping John down on his bed, he caught himself smiling at the shorter man's choice of pants. Of course he'd wear sensible, solid briefs, they suited him well. He'd also noticed the appreciative gaze the doctor gave his own extravagant undergarments.
Sherlock catches himself humming slightly as he pulls open his armoire. While he was out Christmas shopping, he'd bought something for himself he knew John would appreciate - one new pair of deep red silk boxers.
Chapter 42: Being
Totally and shamelessly inspired by the video that ended up on Tumblr last night. As per the poster of the video's wishes, I will not link to it or any images, but I wrote this drabble last night while the insanity was going on and couldn't resist expanding upon it for today's 221-B.
John sighed and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Somehow Sherlock had lost track of the amount of alcohol he'd consumed, and was swaying contentedly in his seat. At least he was staying put.
"John, come, dance!"
"Sherlock, no. Please just stay here."
"But Joooohnnnn…" The taller man whined and tugged at John's hands.
At that point, the familiar strains of Thriller burst out of the PA system and John let his head sink back onto his chair - he knew he'd lost Sherlock for good now. He looked up to see his lanky, ridiculous flatmate dropping his jacket and sliding across the dance floor. It never ceased to amaze John how Sherlock could manage to be so graceful and so awkward at the same time. Giving it up as a lost cause, he just smiled and appreciatively watched the taller man gyrate and shimmy while some of the other guests whooped and applauded.
John had to give Sherlock credit – despite the fact that it wasn't something he did very often you could tell he was an excellent dancer. He was goofy and relaxed for once, but his innate fluidity still managed to show as he zombie-walked across the floor, tossing his hair wildly.
They'd both regret this tomorrow, but he may as well enjoy the show for the time being.
Chapter 43: Blend
Sherlock's already promised to himself that he's going to do everything in his power to give John a happy Christmas. He'd acquiesced to the decorations, and he's been downstairs getting tips from Mrs. Hudson on how to prepare the perfect Christmas dinner. He'd debated a goose but thought that might be overkill, and instead settled on a standard turkey.
One thing he's missing, though, is a decent gift. He wants to get John something the doctor will use and appreciate, but perhaps a bit more elegant than what he's used to. He walks into the shop, cringing slightly at the flashing lights and tinny music as he's assaulted by an overly-cheerful clerk.
"Happy holidays, sir! I bet you're looking for a gift for that special someone! Would she like some jewellery, or perfume?"
He gives the woman at the counter one of his patented put-on smiles, charisma dripping off him even as he bites back the frustration at her inanity building up inside him.
"I think he" he emphasizes the word clearly "would like a nice jumper." He holds up one he found on the shelf. "Would you have something similar to this in a soft blue?" Sherlock sighs. John had better appreciate the lengths he's going to for this. "Something luxurious but also relatively sensible, maybe in a cashmere-wool blend."
Chapter 44: Bacteria
John sinks down to ground-level with a pained groan. The strange orange substance on the kitchen floor not only stained the lino but actually appears to have eaten holes in it. He’ll have to buy a rug or something, if only to hide the damage from poor Mrs. Hudson. She’s been impossibly forgiving of the damage Sherlock causes to the flat, but that’s no reason to push their luck further.
He scrubs the spot a few more times before giving up and hoisting himself back into a standing position, squinting across the kitchen and surveying the area with as much attention and as little hope as he’d often surveyed the horizon back in Afghanistan. How could one man possibly generate such dangerous messes? Sighing, he picks up a container of what appears to be human ears (and only left ones, at that), covers the top with a sheet of clingfilm, and makes room for it somewhere in the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
When John accepted Sherlock’s offer to move into the flat, he knew he’d be sharing his living space with an impossibly difficult, enigmatic, and yet oddly alluring man. He’d never suspected, however, that he’d also be sharing it with colonies of larvae, pounds of decomposing flesh (both animal and human), and hundreds of thousands of happy little bacteria.
Chapter 45: Blinks
John’s not a terribly poetic man. He doesn’t often give himself to flights of fancy. Even if he were, though, he doesn’t think he could ever do Sherlock’s eyes justice. When it comes to them, none of the metaphors that come to mind are ever sufficient.
The writer inside of John has compared them to moonstones, with their grey-blue iridescence. To a celadon tea pot, a jade hairpin they came across on a case, back in the early days. Sometimes he thinks of a mirror, which makes no sense. Mirrors have no colour of their own. The most frequent comparison though, and probably the most apt, is London herself. Blue sky, green water, grey smog, clouds and pearls and smoke and snow and a million impossible things.
Sherlock is staring out the window, his unwavering gaze locked on the skyline of the city. Those eyes, they’re pale right now, somehow almost white. Pure and unblemished, the better to absorb everything he sees.
The consulting detective turns his back to the window and sees John there, as if aware of him for the first time that day. For a moment those eyes fixate on him and John freezes. They draw the eye contact out a fraction longer than friends, than flatmates, until pointedly, as if to fracture the sudden tension, Sherlock blinks.
Chapter 46: Bedsheet
Behold, Sheetlock! It was bound to happen after seeing all the amazing teasers from yesterday and today.
John puts up with a lot, he really does. He tries to be patient and understanding, but sometimes Sherlock just pushes his luck. He's gotten used to seeing his flatmate in loungewear in the middle of the afternoon – the man has a ridiculous collection of posh robes. It's even gotten to the point that John is comfortable in a vest and pyjama bottoms himself, a far cry from the warm protection offered by the multitudinous layers he usually wears.
But this new development? This is absolutely ridiculous, even for Sherlock. He's flouncing around in a large square of billowing Egyptian cotton. It's lush and thick, but still somehow clinging dramatically to his chiselled torso like he's some kind of Grecian statue in a toga.
John sighs and lowers himself into one of the chairs in the kitchen, staring intently as Sherlock paces around the sitting room and mutters to himself.
"Sherlock, for the love of God, just put some bloody trousers on. Or even just a robe and some shorts. You're positively indecent."
Sherlock eyes John's midsection and lets his eyes trail slightly lower. "You certainly seem to be enjoying it." he purrs.
"That's irrelevant." John coughs and flushes slightly before scowling at Sherlock. "Just go get dressed. You absolutely cannot just wander around all evening wearing nothing but a bedsheet!"
Chapter 47: Baby
Yep, more inspiration from all the awesome teasers and images from Series 2. Skip if you’re worried about spoilers.
Sherlock hisses as John dabs his cheekbone lightly with antiseptic ointment.
“You did ask for it, you know. You asked for it, and then you goaded me into doing it. You’re not getting any sympathy, you great git.”
Sherlock scowls petulantly at the floor and continues the silent treatment that’s been going on since they got home.
“Not to mention those bloody protuberant cheekbones of yours. I think my knuckles hurt more than your face does.”
John is graced with a charming snort in reply this time. He finishes with the antiseptic and blots the wound gently.
“I think you’ll live. It looks a bit rakishly handsome this way, let’s not bother with a plaster.”
Sherlock finally looks up at John, his eyes filled with a strange mix of respect, admiration, and finally, thankfully a bit of amusement.
“Rakishly handsome, John? Really?” He raises a brow, causing the skin over the wounded area to tighten and pull slightly, and gasps again. “I still can’t believe you actually hurt me.” Sherlock whines. John rolls his eyes. “You needed it to be believable, didn’t you? Otherwise what would have been the point?”
The long-suffering army doctor leans over and kisses Sherlock’s cheek lightly, just below the abrasion. “Come on then, come to bed and I’ll make it up to you, you big baby.”
Chapter 48: Birds
His hair, when it catches the light just so in the dim of the flat, shines with the blue iridescence of a raven's wing, which correlates well with his strangely magpie-like tendencies to hoard shiny objects only he can understand the use of.
Sometimes, when John is unlucky enough to be on the receiving end of Sherlock's sharp, keen gaze, he is uncomfortably reminded of any number of flying predators like hawks and eagles.
One time, when they were on a case, John caught him shouting a repeated "Who? WHO?" at a suspect and so much did the taller man sound like an owl, he had to bite his tongue, it was all he could do not to break down in a fit of giggles. Sherlock may have indeed been incredibly wise in some aspects, but John didn't think he'd find that particular comparison favourable.
When he perches ridiculously on the back of a chair, all long limbs and awkward angles, John is often reminded of some large water fowl – a heron or an ibis perhaps.
And now, tonight, he's having a great sulk, balled up on the sofa surrounded by papers and bits and pieces and oddments, much like some small tree-dweller feathering a nest.
One thing John is certain of – sometimes living with Sherlock really is for the birds.
Chapter 49: Beaming
Shifting his weight awkwardly from side to side, John hands Sherlock a carefully-wrapped present.
"John, what is this? Christmas was several days ago." Sherlock studies the package, attempting to deduce the contents.
"I realise that, but I found them today, and couldn't resist. They… made me think of you."
Curious, Sherlock picks open the paper carefully and slides out a cardboard box, the type usually used to store paper. He opens it, and several brightly-coloured Japanese woodblock prints flutter out. He catches them dextrously and gently, and studies the top one. It's an incredibly garish illustration depicting a hideously bloodied woman carrying what appears to be a tray of sashimi. He looks expectantly at John, as if awaiting some sort of clarification. The others are all similarly gruesome.
"They're called "shinbun nishiki-e". Someone I knew in college had a couple, I thought they were kind of interesting. They're the Japanese precursor to tabloids and things like the agony column. They illustrated particularly violent or mysterious crimes, disappearances, that sort of thing, to get the public interested in them."
"John," Sherlock says slowly. "these are absolutely ghastly." John looks crestfallen for a mere second before Sherlock has time to continue, stroking one of the prints reverently with his index finger. "I love them! They're absolutely perfect." John peers up at Sherlock, beaming.
This A/N is going to get very graphic and gory, which is why it's at the bottom. Don't read it if you're easily grossed out or have issues involving mutilation of particularly personal areas.
Shinbun nishiki-e (literally: news brocade print) are a real and completely fascinating thing. They're both incredibly graphic and extremely sensationalist, and were very common in the Meiji era, which coincides roughly with the Victorian era. I think Sherlock Holmes in any of his incarnations would indeed be fascinated by the mentality behind them. The one I mentioned in the story is actually incredibly horrific – a woman found out her husband cheated on her so she murdered his mistress and sliced up her vulva, serving it to him as sashimi before killing him. The book "Dream Spectres: Extreme Ukiyo-e" by Jack Hunter and Shinbaku Press has a great chapter on these, if anyone wants to know more about them.
Chapter 50: Boils
It’s fucking freezing here at work, the heater’s broken and it’s about -15 C out there. I thought a bit of unexpected first kiss fluff might help warm me up, and once again poor John is bearing the brunt of my current misery.
It’s absolutely frigid outside, the type of cold that settles deep down in your bones and keeps you chill for hours, even after you’re ensconced in the safe warmth of home. John’s commute home has been miserable, he can barely move his fingers and the hem of his good work trousers are covered in a revolting brown mix of slush and salt. He trudges up the stairs, resigned to an evening of attempting to warm up and dealing with whatever insanity his flatmate’s consigned him to tonight.
When he gets up to the top of the stairs, Sherlock greets him by helping him out of his coat and rubbing John’s frigid hands between his long, dexterous, surprisingly warm ones.
“Are you alright, John? It’s miserable out there. I’ve just put the kettle on; I’ll make you some tea while you change into some dry warm clothes."
John just stares at Sherlock as if he’s grown another head.
And suddenly, incredibly, everything just clicks into place.
“No, Sherlock. Good. Very good. Perfect.”
Before John has time to think about what he’s doing, he grabs the lapels of Sherlock’s housecoat and pulls the taller man down to his level, pressing his chapped, frozen lips against Sherlock’s incredibly warm, soft mouth.
They both ignore the kettle’s insistent whining as the water boils.
Chapter 51: Bow
Sherlock is standing in the sitting room, staring out the left-side window, when John comes home. He wraps his thick, sturdy arms around Sherlock's narrow waist from behind, stretching up slightly to bury his face in the side of Sherlock's throat. He inhales deeply for a moment, just taking his lover in.
"You were with her again today, weren't you?" he murmurs. The words seem accusatory, but his tone is quiet, fond. "I can smell her here, on your neck."
He reaches around and clasps Sherlock's hand between his own, bringing it round to examine the skin, raw and red on his fingertips.
"I may not be the world's only consulting detective, but I can see how you touched her, made her moan." The doctor nuzzles the words into his lover's palm before letting his hand drop. Sherlock hums in assent.
"Did the neighbours hear you, love? Did they bang on the walls when you made her wail, drew out those noises as only you know how?"
Sherlock shivers slightly, leaning back to rest against John, still not agreeing, but not denying.
"Show me, you gorgeous creature. Show me exactly what you did to her while I was away."
Sherlock bends and stands back up, one hand wrapped carefully around the neck of his violin, the other gently cradling his bow.
Chapter 52: Board
Inspired by the adorable detail of the Cluedo board in the flat in Series 2.
“This game is utterly ridiculous, John.” Sherlock sneers down at the Cluedo board with distaste.
“Come on, Sherlock. Humour me.”
“What are their motives? I have no evidence to examine. It’s ridiculous.” He sounds like a petulant child.
John rolls his eyes but smiles fondly. “You’re just annoyed because I beat you last round. I’m being gracious enough to let you try again.”
Sherlock turns the tiny plastic rope over and over in his fingers, staring at it as though it will somehow yield clues more appropriate to his methodology of work and thought.
“It’s rubbish, John. It’s inaccurate, unrealistic, and overly-simplified, and it’s going to give children a terrible idea of the work actually involved in solving murders.”
“Just admit you’re angry that you weren’t able to solve an ‘inaccurate, unrealistic’ child’s game, and I’ll leave you alone.”
He’s rewarded with the charming view of a pair of lush, full lips curling at him in a childish sneer. John smirks and tucks the edge of the board behind the mirror on the mantel, displaying it like some sort of temporary trophy. Quietly, he bends to collect the pieces Sherlock’s tossed onto the floor in a fit of resentment.
With an emphatic grunt, the world’s only consulting detective lobs a knife at the wall, effectively pinning up the offending game board.
Chapter 53: Breathe
Yes, I'm counting "breathe" an "breath" as separate words. Sue me. :P
Another drabble inspired by ASiB, but not exactly spoilery. Acknowledges the existence of Irene Adler, but that's about it.
"John…" Sherlock, curled up on the sofa, sounds oddly apprehensive, plaintive. John folds his newspaper up and looks over at him, his face encouragingly inquisitive.
"Do you think there's something wrong with me?" He's quiet, and John can tell he's been mulling this over for a while. "I asked Mycroft, but he's as broken as I am…"
Without missing a beat, John crosses the sitting room and settles on the sofa, just a tad closer to Sherlock than mates would typically sit.
"What's brought this on, then?"
Sherlock's breathing is ragged and anxious as he turns, locking his gaze on John's.
"I know everyone thinks it's her…" he says this word with enough emphasis that John knows exactly who he's talking about. "But it's not, John. It's you. It's always been you. And I have no idea where to go from here. I hate it. I hate not knowing."
John cups Sherlock's face in his hands, warm and solid. He leans in so they're close enough for intimate eye contact, but not close enough to make the skittish detective even more fretful. "Sherlock, look at me. Come on. We'll figure this out, I promise. Nothing needs to change yet. We'll work it out at our own pace, nobody matters right now besides you and me. Just look at me, and breathe."
Chapter 54: Bang
A little imagined conversation at the inn during the Hounds episode. Implied Lestrade/Mycroft, as well as the usual John/Sherlock.
Greg and John sit on one of the benches outside the inn, a couple of pints between them. Sherlock's stalked off to harass some local, giving them a few moments peace.
"So, Mycroft sent you up here, did he?" the implication is clear in John's voice, but he sounds amused by it, not judgemental.
"It's not like that. Can't two grown men with common interests just be mates?" Greg stares into his glass rather than looking John in the eye, avoiding the sarcastic and accusatory eyebrow.
"Considering all the barbs I get about Sherlock… even from you…"
"Fair enough. I'm not even going to ask why you two are sharing such close quarters upstairs."
John sighs. "If I said it was the only room available, would you believe me?"
The two men sit in silence, both staring off into the distance when a familiar silhouette with an overly-expensive coat and unruly hair comes into view.
"What's wrong with us, Greg?" John wonders. "Why, of all the people in the world, are we drawn to two of the most dynamic, enigmatic, insufferable people out there?"
"Fucked if I know, but I think it's time we both faced the facts and owned up to it." He chugs the last of his drink and sets the glass back down with a bang.
Chapter 55: Box
An experiment in first-person narrative. Not sure if I was successful or not.
Finally, I think. Finally John's out, Mrs. Hudson is out…
I turn my phone off, won't do to have Mycroft calling at an inopportune time.
I am bored. So painfully bored. I can feel my brain stagnating – synapses breaking up, lobes going blank. Shutting down. Sabotaging me.
John loves me. He loves me the way I am. He needs me like this. He will understand.
It runs through my mind like a mantra, justifying me as I clean my equipment. I am thorough, methodical, sterilising each and every part, all vintage steel and glass. This is the difference between a junkie and a genius. This is what makes me special.
I close my eyes, anticipating the electric crackle that runs through each vein, along each nerve. The sharpness and clarity that's to come. I begin preparing my favoured cocktail, my seven-per-cent-solution, when I am mentally assaulted. John's face, John's voice. Not angry. Disappointed. Angry, I could deal with. But disappointment, that's an entirely different situation.
I make a snap decision, expelling the contents of the syringe into the sink. The water table in London is so contaminated, this won't change much.
Sighing pensively, I carefully repackage my works, tucking each piece into their allocated slots in the velvet lining. I snap the case shut, wistfully caressing the lid of the box.
Chapter 56: Bruised
Sinking into his armchair with a groan, John lets out a pained giggle.
“I really think we’re getting too old for this bullshit, Sherlock.” This bullshit being chasing after a particularly acrobatic jewel thief and his burly hooligans and ending up ambushed in an alley.
The taller man winces and leans against the doorframe, extricating himself from the voluminous folds of his coat.
“That was a particularly spectacular chase, I agree. And I absolutely wasn’t expecting the gorilla with the lead pipe.”
“Come sit here, I want to make sure you don’t need to go to the hospital.”
Sherlock, unusually compliant, perches on the arm of John’s chair and leans over. Gingerly, John cards his skilled fingers through Sherlock’s hair, palpating his scalp and looking for serious wounds. Satisfied that he’s got nothing more serious than a few bumps, he pulls his hands back out.
John expects Sherlock to wander off again, but he remains perched on the arm of the chair, his hands doing a bit of exploring of their own. However, his intentions are far less noble – clearly the adrenaline of the chase has released other fun chemicals in Sherlock’s brain.
He swats Sherlock’s hands away playfully, with a regretful grin. “Maybe later – I’m really not up for it right now. I’m pretty sure even that bit’s currently bruised.”
Chapter 57: Brontosaurus
A friend of mine jokingly suggested “brontosaurus” for today’s word and I couldn’t resist indulging myself in a little bit of ridiculous fanon crack.
The crime scene had a sort of vulgar beauty to it, you had to admit. Some sicko had broken into the Natural History Museum and strung up a series of skeletons in poses from the mundane to the obscene.
Thankfully, one of the night watchmen had noticed the new addition to the display before the museum was opened for the day, and now the experts from NSY, one consulting detective, and one army doctor are crawling carefully around the exhibit.
“Judging by the abhorrent condition of their teeth and the various numbers of badly-healed injuries, I suspect these victims were homeless, which is going to make identification difficult.” Sherlock mutters, his gloved fingers deep inside the mouth of one of the skeletons.
Lestrade groans. “That also probably means nobody will have filed missing persons reports, so we’ve got no idea how long some of these people have been dead for. I’ll get Anderson to try to extract DNA from teeth or bones.”
“Where the hell is that infernally useless man anyway?” Sherlock snaps, whipping his head and torso around with such violence that his hair and coat take a second to catch up.
Sniggering, John points in the general direction of the dinosaur exhibits, where Anderson is staring up fondly, rapt gaze fixed on the skeleton of a particularly spectacular brontosaurus.
Chapter 58: Bastard
I enjoyed writing first-person from Sherlock's perspective the other day, so today we've got some John to help me deal with my pre-Reichenbach angst feelings. Read at your own discretion.
It's been almost three years since you left. Two years, eleven months, sixteen days. Not that I'm counting, or anything.
Nearly three years since you just up and fucking vanished. As if you erasing yourself physically could ever erase you from me psychologically. I have my scars as a reminder. Scars on my body, scars on my brain. Dare I say it, scars on my heart.
Was it my fault then, Sherlock? For taking so bloody buggering long to figure out what you were to me – what I was to you. Your first friend. Your only friend. You said so much that day, hidden under all your ramblings. So much more than friend means to most people.
I shouldn't have brushed you off, I know that now. Maybe if I'd been more honest with you, and more importantly, with myself, you'd have taken me with you – wherever you are. I'd go with you, you know. In a second. I've never been able to stay away from you, not since that first night. It seems so long ago now. Has it really been less than five years?
I know you're not really gone. It's not denial. I can feel it, deep in my bones. I would know if this infernal connection between us had been severed. Just come home, you insufferable bastard.
Chapter 59: Back
Oh look, more angst.
The marble of the stone is cool and smooth against John's cheek; a sharp contrast to the hot, tight tracks of his tears. He jerks a little as he feels a solid hand on his shoulder. He didn't hear anyone come up behind him – Mycroft then, only a Holmes could sneak up on him like that.
"Not now, Mycroft. I just need to be alone today."
The elder Holmes, no, the only Holmes, John finds himself thinking, merely tightens his grip on John's shoulder.
Irritated, John wipes his face with the back of one hand and lifts himself gingerly from the ground, dusting the dirt from his knees. His joints crack and ache, and he finds himself realising how much he's aged these past few years.
He turns, ready to give Mycroft a piece of his mind, and comes face to face with the ghost who's haunted him every minute of every day. One million, five hundred and seventy-six thousand minutes, give or take. John takes a step back, his eyes roaming over that thatch of rich curls, those ethereal eyes, those damned cheekbones. He steps back, leaning against the grave for support. His knees feel like jelly.
Sherlock takes a step forward, closing the gap, and smiles. That rare, genuine, heart-breaking crooked little smile of his. "Hello, John. I'm back."
Chapter 60: Believe
For the "I believe in Sherlock" project on tumblr - search for the tag #believeinsherlock to see some of the amazing creative works that have sprung up.
Mrs. Hudson hovers at the door, Greg Lestrade lurking behind her. John looks up at them with a sigh.
"Come on in then, it's better than having you cluck at me from over there. Thanks for getting the door, Mrs. H."
"We're just worried about you, John. You've barely left the flat in a week..." Mrs. Hudson fusses with a tea towel she'd absentmindedly carried in from downstairs.
Greg nods awkwardly. "I thought maybe, you know, if you're... up for it. We might go to the pub or something? Watch the game?"
John slams his palm against the flat arm of the chair he's sitting in - Sherlock's chair.
"Stop treating me like some bloody war widow, tiptoeing around like this. He's not dead, and he's not..." his voice falters, and he stumbles over his words. "He's a good man. You know he is."
The detective inspector crosses the sitting room and akwardly pats John on the shoulder. "He admitted it all though, didn't he? Richa-" he cuts himself off "Moriary's body up on the roof... And we saw Sherlock's body fall - I read Molly's autopsy report."
Jonh shakes his head, his face stubbornly set. "There's got to be a reason for it all. He'll come back and he'll clear everything up. I have faith in him, Greg. I believe."
Chapter 61: Barnacle
Because we all need a little fluff in a universe where our boys are happy and safe and together right now, don't we?
Sometimes, at night, John finds himself wondering where his limbs end and Sherlock's begin. In all the years they've been together, the taller man has apparently never gotten over the novelty of sharing a bed. He's always careful not to smother John, not to make him feel trapped, but there's always a head resting lightly on a shoulder, legs tangled together, or long fingers laced through John's hair - no matter how short it may be.
Normally, John doesn't mind. He knows Sherlock has gone without genuine affection for so long that he's more than happy to indulge. However, at this particular juncture in time, there is a rather angular hipbone pressing stubbornly into his uncomfortably full bladder, and a pale, slender leg thrown over his thighs. John manages to extricate himself very carefully, trying not to wake Sherlock, but the forlorn little sounds coming from the general vicinity of the curly head make it apparent that he hasn't succeeded.
"I just need to run to the loo, Sherlock. I'll be back in a second."
Sherlock acknowledges him with a petulant-sounding grunt. John hurries to the toilet and back as quick as possible, crawls back under the covers, pulls the grumbling detective close and murmurs affectionately into Sherlock's throat as he feels himself re-encircled by lanky limbs. "You clingy, ridiculous barnacle."
Chapter 62: Belch
A little bit of well-needed silliness.
For all his clipped, nearly Victorian diction, his posh suits, his charmingly eloquent hand gestures, Sherlock Holmes is surprisingly vulgar and boorish within the confines of his own home.
John puts up with a lot, he really does. The detective will often continue a conversation from the toilet, door nudged open just far enough so that John will have to pointedly look in another direction. He'll stir tea - both his own and John's - with a finger that's covered in who-knows-what from some ungodly experiment. He fusses absentmindedly with scabs, which drives the doctor in John absolutely up a wall. He did have to put his foot down the time Sherlock started idly picking at stitches on John's scalp - ones he had earned chasing after the bloody git.
But this? This was just too much. Sherlock had been perched too far into John's personal space, as usual, prattling on about some absurd theory or some case or other. John had stopped listening about twenty minutes ago, unable to muster up the energy involved in pretending to care.
And then suddenly, without turning his head or missing a beat, Sherlock had opened that lush, gorgeous mouth of his and let loose, right in the vicinity of John's face and without so much as an apology, a great, emphatic, reverberating belch.
Chapter 63: Blush (part I of II)
A little more fluff to apologise for yesterday's drabble XD With apologies to all Mystrade shippers – I still absolutely ship it but Lestrade/Molly is fucking adorable in my mind.
"Are you going to ask her out? She seems to prefer casual coffee and lunch dates. Safe and predictable."
Lestrade looked up from his desk to where Sherlock was hovering, over by the glass wall.
"Miss Hooper. Your interest in her is painfully obvious, and it would do her some good to go out with a respectable man for once."
The DI put down his coffee cup and cleared his throat. "It's not like that. Besides, I'm trying to work things out with the wife."
"Yes, yes, the wife." Sherlock's voice dripped with disdain. "The one who, in the past two weeks, has slept with the PE teacher she seems to favour, your butcher, and her female manicurist. Greg… whether you realise it or not, you are important to me, and John has explained to me that I should find ways to express my concern for your well-being. You would be much better off without her, and if your reaction at that hideous farce of a Christmas party John insisted on having is any evidence – which, of course, it is – you have more than a passing interest in Molly."
The loud clatter of dropped papers outside the office interrupted Sherlock's speech. Lestrade pulled open the door, finding himself face to face with Molly, her cheeks painted with a furious blush.
Chapter 64: Butterflies (part II of II)
Direct continuation of the previous drabble - Blush. I am getting quite smitten with Molly/Greg, what can I say? I promise our boys will be back in my next one.
Molly stood there, blinking. Her eyes were huge and startled, her legs splayed awkwardly, and she clutched the few papers that hadn't cascaded to the floor tightly to her chest, a protective barrier.
"I... er... that report you needed. It's all - I mean... I brought it from the lab." she stammered, her gaze flitting between Sherlock and the detective inspector. Sherlock looked beautiful and otherworldly as usual, haughty and remote. She settled on staring at the strong line of Lestrade's jaw instead, felt her cheeks burn as she studied it. He really was quite a handsome man, how was it that she'd never really noticed before? He certainly didn't have Sherlock's eerie attractiveness, but his eyes were warm and kind, his features strong, and there was something inexplicably virile about him.
Could Sherlock really be right? Could the DI really be interested in her?
Lestrade coughed. "Uh, thank you, Molly. Good of you to bring it all the way over here. While you're here... would you maybe like to go grab a bite? Just you and I?"
The look on Sherlock's face as he watched the exchange was insufferably smug.
"That sounds nice. Let me just get my things." Molly bit down on her lower lip and mumbled before skittering off to grab her coat, her stomach filled with butterflies.
Chapter 65: Beatles
The noises coming from the sitting room are loud and discordant. John is reminded unpleasantly of someone strangling a cat. Sherlock's irritated then. Stretching, John scratches his stomach, debating the relative merits of crossing Sherlock on his path to the kitchen versus food and coffee. Eventually food and coffee wins. It always does.
He trudges down the stairs and peeks his rumpled head into the sitting room, where Sherlock is flapping about in a deep red dressing gown, violin resting loosely on his shoulder while he gesticulates with the bow. It takes John a moment to realise he's writing with it - big loopy trails in the air. Sherlock turns towards where John is standing and stares right through him for a moment, focusing on something only he can see. Not angry then - concentrating. It's a relief.
With a slow blink, Sherlock comes back to earth and looks strangely anxious for a moment.
"John, when did you come down? Did I wake you?"
"What? No, no... It's fine." he mumbles, but is betrayed by a rather dramatic yawn.
With a small smile, Sherlock once again puts bow to string, but this time the music is clearly for John's benefit, not his own. John pours himself some coffee as the flat is filled with the familiar, comforting strains of the Beatles.
Chapter 66: Book
The good doctor's abandoned him again tonight, gone out to dinner with some generic new woman, and Sherlock's finding himself increasingly resentful. Worse, he's bored. He's fussed with his violin and checked on some experiments, but nothing seems to be calming his agitation.
Irritably, he rummages through the drawer in the small shared desk, shifting papers around until he finds what he was looking for. His hands close around a small leather-bound volume, and he fishes it out of the drawer, mindful not to disturb anything else.
He stokes the fire and drops abruptly into his own chair, his gaze absorbed in the pages of the little volume. He picks a page at random, scanning it intently. Deborah. Was she the one with the dogs? Unimportant. Meticulously, he removes the page with her name, phone number, and email address, and tosses it into the fireplace. Michelle. Simpering, dull. Up in flames. Rose-Marie. Notable only due to the fact that she tossed a drink in Sherlock's face. Emma. That name doesn't even conjure up an image, so memorable was she.
He repeats the process until there's more empty space than paper, and finally tosses the whole thing into the hearth.
Sherlock feels a strange sense of satisfaction as he watches the tongues of flame consume what's left of John's little black book.
Chapter 67: Burns
Today is indeed Robbie Burns birthday, and haggis is the traditional dinner, along with recitation of his Ode to a Haggis. You can look it up on google. The other poem John is muttering to himself is called To a Mouse, and it's adorable. :)
And for the curious - I share John's enthusiasm when it comes to haggis, I love the stuff!
Mrs. Hudson let herself in the front door and wrinkled her nose, wondering what on earth the detective upstairs was up to, and spared a quick thought for his poor doctor. However, for once, the pungent smell of offal and organ coming from the flat had nothing whatsoever to do with Sherlock, or any of his revolting experiments.
John puttered contentedly about in the kitchen-cum-laboratory, humming to himself as he mixed up the ground heart, liver, and lungs, and the chopped onions, carefully mixing them with cooked oats and lamb fat. The odour was overpowering, and only got more noticeable as John stared at the spice rack for a moment and carefully added in pepper and nutmeg. Sherlock could hear him quietly murmuring something about a "wee timorous beastie" and a "murdering pattle" as John meticulously tucked the disgusting mixture into an empty stomach, of all things.
"You foul, wretched descendant of a filthy Scot." Sherlock muttered, scrunching up his face. "I hope you don't expect me to partake in the consumption of that abomination."
Smiling and rolling his eyes indulgently, John carefully lowered the dark, dense little ball into the simmering water on the stovetop. "Haggis is absolutely delicious, Sherlock. Trust me, you'll like it. Besides, it's a traditional way to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns."
Chapter 68: Brave
I've injured myself somehow and I'm tired and crabby, I thought writing an alternate universe with kid!John and kid!Sherlock might cheer me up. It ended up kind of being angstier than I intended. Oh well...
John rubbed his eyes and shouldered the backpack that was nearly as large as he was. He'd packed all the important things - a few jumpers, his favourite books, and some of the biscuits his best friend liked so much. He winced as the bag grazed the bruises his mother had left on his back, exacerbated by his hag of a sister when he'd gone to her for help. She'd called him a sissy for being unable to defend himself and added nasty bruises of her own.
John debated leaving a note, but knew it was pointless - it's not as if he had many places to go. Inevitably his mum would call Mrs. Holmes, pretending to be distraught and penitent. At least if he left tonight he'd have one or two days of peace and quiet.
When he got there, both brothers were at the door waiting. Sherlock welcomed him warmly but Mycroft looked irritated. "Do you think this is a good idea?"
"John is my friend, and he's welcome to stay in my room as long as he needs. Now butt out before I tell mummy you've been meddling with the household finances again."
John's heart warmed. Sherlock had stood up for him, stood up to his sibling. Something John just wasn't able to do. Sherlock was so brave.
Chapter 69: Blowjob
So I actually had an entirely non-cracky, non-slashy drabble prepped for today, but then I realised this was drabble number sixty-nine, and I just couldn’t resist passing up an opportunity like that. You’ll get the non-ridiculous one tomorrow.
John lets out a sharp hiss as Sherlock rolls over, clipping the side of John’s head with his knee. The smaller man ducks out of the way.
“Watch where you’re putting those limbs, you lanky beast.”
“Yes, well, if you would just relax and uncurl yourself a bit, I suspect this would go a lot smoother. I can’t get near you if you keep your knees bent.”
The two men tussle around on the bed a bit in an awkward attempt to re-position themselves. Sherlock is rewarded for his efforts by John rolling over his hand, one sturdy hip pinning the long, pale digits to the mattress. Sherlock frees himself with a grunt.
“Sherlock, can we just give this up as a lost cause for tonight?” John gestures irritably to his now-flaccid cock. “Or hell, let me take care of you, and then hopefully I’ll be more in the mood, and you can return the favour. We don’t need to do everything you’ve read about on the internet right away, you know.”
The world’s only consulting detective scowls and raises his head and shoulders up off the mattress, as if to study the geography of the bed and the men contained within. “Honestly, John. We can figure this out. I’m sure I understand the basic mechanics of a mutual blowjob.”
Chapter 70: Beginning
I still have the drabble I originally wrote yesterday, but then I realised that today is the anniversary of some big changes in John and Sherlock's lives. This seemed like a much more appopriate b-word.
What the hell have I gotten myself into? John finds himself wondering. Moving in with a pompous, incredible, garrulous, possibly insane, gorgeous man. Gorgeous? Where did that one come from... If you'd told John a week ago that he was about to meet the man who would change his life, that he was about to kill one civilian to save another, he'd have laughed at you.
He shakes his head, packing up the last of the possessions, such as they are. A duffel of clothing, his good suit in a garment bag. A box with a couple of books and his laptop laid carefully on top. He studies the pile of belongings and sighs. Is that really all there is to me at this point? A few paltry boxes?
His cane, leaning in the corner, catches his attention. It feels alien and unnatural that as of last night he no longer needs it. He deliberates a moment and collapses it, resting it against one of the boxes.
Am I making a huge mistake? He sets his mouth in a determined line. I can't be. I haven't felt this needed, this alive, since I got back.
A wry smile crosses his face as he hails a cab, deep blue eyes sparkling with excitement. Off, to 221-B Baker street. To a new beginning.
Chapter 71: Bleach
"What're you doing here, freak?" Sally's voice is sharp and piercing. "We don't need you here – we've determined this wasn't the primary crime scene."
Sherlock snaps back, imperious as ever. "I'll be the judge of that. We know how thorough your forensics team is."
He spins around on his heel, surveying the entire room in one smooth motion. With a start, he stalks over to the wainscoting and runs a finger lightly along one of the carved details, a gesture almost erotic in its delicacy. Rubbing forefinger and thumb together, he sniffs thoughtfully.
"John, how much blood could a woman of the victim's size lose before succumbing?"
Anderson sneers. "We told you, cretin, this wasn't the primary crime scene. We found no evidence of blood."
"Yes, Anderson, thank you. Seeing as how it's nearly unbelievable that you manage to find your own legs to put your trousers on in the morning, I'll take your opinion under advisement."
John stifles a snort. "Just about two pints, Sherlock."
Sherlock looms over the long-suffering DI. "Call Molly. I am willing to bet your victim is missing at least that much blood. I am nearly certain that this was indeed the primary. Someone went to a huge amount of effort to conceal something here, to hide their tracks. Very thorough - ammonia, lye, and bleach."
Chapter 72: Batty
"Oh, Mrs. Turner, thanks so much for having me over." Mrs. Hudson settled herself onto her neighbour's chesterfield, picking absently at one of the hideous crocheted antimacassars draped over the back. "I just had to get out of there. The boys upstairs have been going at it for hours."
Mrs. Turner coughed. "I didn't think yours were... well, you know. The nice doctor one keeps insisting they're just friends, colleagues, whatever."
Blushing, poor Mrs. Hudson put her teacup down with a rattle. "Oh no, no, not like that. They've been arguing about something. Started out as bickering and it's turned into an all-out shouting match. Something to do with kidneys, I think. Best if I just don't ask."
The other landlady nodded. It was nice to have someone to commiserate with when it came to difficult tenants. "Mine have been arguing a fair bit too lately. Just little domestic issues though. Can't imagine either of them have anything to do with kidneys. Eugh." She shuddered delicately, but Mrs. Hudson just chuckled and studied her teacup.
"I don't mind the experiments. They're good boys, usually. Honestly though, I do wish they'd just get on with it and put their efforts into doing something more productive with each other. They're so oblivious. All that unresolved tension between them is driving me absolutely batty!"
Chapter 73: Both
The mood at the kitchen table is solemn, but not in a bad way. Sherlock's uncharacteristically quiet, sipping his coffee, and John's studying his tea as if it contains the answers to life, the universe, and everything.
The morning after. It's supposed to be awkward, isn't it? Especially when you sleep with your charming but insufferable flatmate. So why is this working out so well? Both men are slightly on edge – not with each other, but with the expectation that this is suddenly going to come crashing down around them.
"Thank you, John. Last night was… more than I was expecting."
John smiles. "Not like you've got a great lot to compare it to." He notices Sherlock bristling self-consciously. "No, no, I'm sorry, Sherlock. That came out crueler than I meant it to. I like it, being the first one you deemed worth your time. Hopefully…" he pauses, expectant. "The only one?"
"That's just it, John. What is this? What are we now? Are we still friends? Lovers? I was getting quite fond of having you as a friend." He rolls the word around in his mouth, as though unused to it.
John sighs, fondly touched by seeing Sherlock so befuddled, so out of his element. "That's just it, Sherlock. Nothing has to end. Friends, and lovers. We can be both."
I am sorry for the lack of drabbles these past few days. I suspect they're going to be a bit erratic for a while. Early Monday morning, my aunt and uncle's house burned to the ground. They're safe, as is my cousin, but they lost everything they own, and their cherished pug didn't make it. My mom and aunt are identical twins, so our families are really close, and their place was a second home to me growing up. I don't want to turn this A/N into a huge angstfest but I'm a little distracted right now, and running around trying to help out while dealing with an inflamed achilles' tendon on top of everything else. I'm also working on the next chapter of Out of my Head, so those of you following that will hopefully have some new content within the next few weeks, but things might be a little sparse for me over the coming month. Please bear with me.
Your comments and support mean so much to me, especially right now. chasingriver, longtimegone, CharlieBravoWhiskey, TheMuchTooMerryMaiden, the whole #innercircle crew, amongst others I am being awful and forgetting - your reviews and notes cheer me up so much, even if I haven't had time to reply to them all lately. Thank you so much.
Chapter 74: Bed
Thank you all for your warm, kind words of support. It really means a lot to me. I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply to everyone individually.
Today's drabble comes from my attempt to do something unexpected with the word "bed" - there were so many obvious routes I could have taken, but I wanted to try something different.
While John was working at the clinic, he often came home reeking of antiseptic gel, powder-coated nitrile gloves, and the misama of the perfume and occasionally the vomit of everyone he'd dealt with. Sherlock wasn't particularly fond of those particular odours, but he catalogued them all the same.
When he was still dating regularly, John would often come out of the shower, smelling of unfamiliarly expensive soap, sharp aftershave, and bitter, vile cologne. Sherlock especially hated these nights, not only did they mask John's naturally comforting scents, they signalled the presence of some dull, interfering woman.
On nights they've been out together, hunting down a lead or chasing a criminal, John smells of sweat and testosterone and adrenaline. Strong, masculine and raw. Sherlock likes this particular combination, it makes him think of their adventures, of everything John does with him, for him.
Now it's early in the morning, and John's sitting in the kitchen, he smells faintly of the sweat of the night before, a soft hint of muskiness he's not showered off yet. He smells of warm cotton, soft wool, and the bergamot of his tea. He even smells faintly of Sherlock's own aftershave, as if he's been marked. This is Sherlock's absolute favourite collection of scents. John smells like himself, he smells like home, he smells like their bed.
Chapter 75: Big Blue Box
Wholock is go! I realise I've used the words "blue" and "box" in separate drabbles already, but I couldn't resist when this idea wormed its way into my head... Besides, contextually this is an entirely different ball of wax.
John was not entirely sure what woke him first - the flickering lights or the confusingly unidentifiable vworp-vworp-vworp sound coming from downstairs. He found himself wondering what Sherlock was getting up to. He tossed and turned in bed for a few moments, waiting for the special effects to stop and fantasised about doing something terrible to one of Sherlock's experiments while he was out, in retaliation for months of fragmented sleep.
When the noises and lights showed no signs of abating, he sighed and slipped into his striped robe, and shuffled blearily down the stairs. He met Sherlock on the landing, just outside the kitchen. The consulting detective looked as sleep-rumpled and disoriented as John felt, which made his blood run cold. If Sherlock had been running an experiment, he'd have been more alert, more awake. He brought a finger up to his lips with one hand and pointed in the direction of the sitting room with the other. Sherlock merely nodded and stepped aside as John edged towards the door, nudging it open with his toe.
What the two men saw shocked them, and considering everything they'd seen and done together, that was saying a lot. In the middle of the sitting room was a gawky man wearing a ridiculous cowboy hat and bowtie, leaning on a big blue box.
Chapter 76: Buttons
Nobody could deny that Sherlock dressed with a certain effortless grace. Long, lean suits; shoes always polished to a slick shine, no matter the weather or what he'd been running through; that glorious greatcoat that gave him such a distinctive silhouette. He had somehow even managed to make that silly deerstalker hat look relatively stylish. The man was so wardrobe-conscious he even indexed his socks, for pete's sake.
The one thing John could never understand, though, was why despite all this attention to his appearance, Sherlock's shirts always looked as if he'd appropriated his shirts from some sixth-form student. More than once, John found himself fantasising about the starched fabric reaching a breaking point, the tiny discs of pearl, shell, or resin giving way and popping off dramatically, to scatter across the room and expose Sherlock's gloriously pale, sculpted chest to the world.
Years later, once Sherlock had discovered the wonderful easy comfort of soft jumpers (usually nicked from John and thus too short in the sleeves), John would find himself reminiscing about his former sartorial grace. He'd think about that plush arse in those ridiculously well-fitted trousers, that dramatic coat Sherlock wore whenever possible. But most often, he'd find himself offering a silent mental salute to the most brave and noble of items in Sherlock's wardrobe - his shirt buttons.
Chapter 77: Banal
If you had told Sherlock a year ago that he would become completely spellbound by one specific person, he'd have scoffed and likely called you some unkind name. People, yes. People could be interesting as a unit - average expected behaviours, deviations, it was all intriguing from a remote distance. However, one solitary human, capturing his attention for hours on end, the idea seemed preposterous
John, though, is not like everyone else. He is a source of eternal fascination for Sherlock. Below the surface, hidden under layers of jeans, jumpers, and sport-shirts, simmers an incredibly complicated man. A man who would kill for a virtual stranger, a man with a strong moral code, a man conflicted by past trauma. Sherlock tests him, tests his loyalty. He interrupts dates, he experiments on John without consent. And yet John remains devoutly loyal. He may yell and stomp off, but he always returns. Sherlock would find this sort of unsurprising behaviour infuriating from nearly anyone else in the world, and yet when John reacts exactly the way he'd anticipated, it's not boring - it's confirmation of a theory. If he does something unexpected, it's not a reason to get irritated, it's an excuse for further study.
John is steadfast, solid, and trustworthy. He may sometimes be predictable. Never, however, is he tiresome or banal.
Chapter 78: Biscuits
"You made Moriaty tea." John's voice is flat - neither amused nor accusatory. Frustratingly, Sherlock can't get a read on him yet. "You never make me tea." Ah, there. A tiny hitch in his voice. Jealous, then. "You made tea for her too."
Sherlock feels uncharacteristically out of his depth here. They were guests. They don't know where things go. Isn't that the polite thing to do? Offer guests tea? John doesn't need anyone to make tea for him. John is strong, and brave, and independent. John knows where the sugar is.
"You live here." Obvious. Clearly. "You can make your own tea."
A shadow darkens John's face. "Yes, and I make yours as well. You never return the favour, but clearly you're capable - you know how the kettle works, apparently."
Oh. Reciprocation. Of course. Before Sherlock has time to reply, John heads upstairs to his room.
Later, there's a knock - incredibly faint - on John's bedroom door. By the time he crosses the room and opens it, the landing at the top of the stairs is empty. Wait, no. Nearly empty. There, on a small tray to the left of his door. A cup of steaming tea with a dash of milk and sugar, just the way he likes it, and a plate with a couple of biscuits.
Chapter 79: Bart's
There was a strange sensation at the back of John's head, like he was being watched intently. He put the newspaper down and craned his head towards the kitchen, where he met Sherlock's intense, hawk-like gaze. He raised an eyebrow, as if he were asking a question. Sherlock, of course, responded in kind.
"John, why are you still here? I am well aware I'm not the easiest person to live with."
John chuckled quietly and stared back for a moment, eyes locked on Sherlock's, studying him.
"No, you're not. But you did warn me, going into this." That earned him a small smile from Sherlock, but the look in his eyes urged John to continue. "You're mad, and infuriating. You interrupt my dates, you leave unspeakable horrors in the fridge, in the bath. But you're a revelation to watch when you work. You're a genius, you're incredible. Even though you may not realise it, you can be kind when you think nobody's looking. But most of all, Sherlock, you make me feel alive. You make me feel like there's a purpose in my life. You've saved me, more times than you know. I honestly don't know where I'd be right now, Sherlock. What I'd be doing with myself. If I hadn't run into Mike that day and followed him to Bart's."
Chapter 80: Backside
Because I desperately needed some silly fluff today.
John buries his face in the curve of Sherlock's throat, teasing his tongue along the raised tendons. "You're gorgeous, you inhuman creature."
Sherlock stills under John's lips. "I don't understand it, John. People put so much value on physical appearance, rather than intellect or mental acuity. I hear comments about my appearance from minor acquaintances, even total strangers, and it means nothing. And yet, when you say things like that, it makes me feel strangely warm and giddy."
An impish grin spreads across John's face. "I guess that makes me special then, doesn't it?" Sherlock doesn't look satisfied though. "It's not solely my appearance though, is it?"
John pulls back, staring fondly at the man who has so much understanding of the world, yet so little understanding of love. "Of course not! Your mind is brilliant, fantastic. The way your brain works never ceases to amaze me. This..." he gestures from Sherlock's face down his body. "This is all a bonus. You could be a hideous troll on the outside, I'd still love you as long as you were the same inside."
Placing one solid kiss on Sherlock's lips, John runs his hands down the taller man's sides and settles them on his arse. "But really, Sherlock, a man of your intellect has no business being in possession of this backside."
Chapter 81: Billfold
Happy Valentine's Day, all you lovely, wonderful people.
Sherlock slides his hands into the soft leather gloves John's given him. They're smooth and supple, hand-sewn, and of course they fit his long hands perfectly. It's rare that he has gloves that fit so well, and he can tell John had them custom made. For a moment he's shocked that John managed to get his measurements somehow, but then, the man's always been more than a little fixated on Sherlock's hands.
"John. They're wonderful." He flexes his fingers, marvelling at how well they follow. John smiles up at him, the look on his face fond but a little reserved. He knows better than to expect a gift from Sherlock. Of course, Sherlock reads it on him.
"I... I got you something. I'm just not sure it's appropriate." The look on John's face shifts into a slight panic. "No, no! Nothing illegal, or explicit." Sherlock reaches into the folds of his coat and pulls out a small envelope. He hesitates for a moment before handing it over. John lets the contents fall out onto the table.
"An MRI... of a heart?"
"My heart, John. It's yours now."
"Sherlock... It's... perfect."
Reverently, John holds the picture between his hands, his eyes watering up a bit. Sherlock has the decency to pretend he doesn't notice as John slips the MRI into his billfold.
Chapter 82: Bittersweet
Bit of pre-relationship for today. Who needs continuity?!
The rich, dark square is melting over Sherlock's tongue, reminding him of coffee and salt and dark red berries. John had left the bar on the arm of Sherlock's chair before heading to work this morning, a small note with "For you. I..." and a large strange scribble below it. Unfortunately, he'd written it in marker, quickly, so there was no visible imprint on the back of the paper, and the scribbling had bled through the message, obscuring it forever.
He scowls at the paper, at the chocolate bar. How had John known exactly what kind of chocolate Sherlock prefers? What exactly had John been trying to tell him with the note? And most importantly, why did seeing it there make Sherlock's heart flutter so erratically in his chest?
They've been dancing around each other for weeks now, and it's starting to drive the consulting detective up the wall. Why won't John just make a move? Why does he keep giving Sherlock oddly thoughtful little gifts and then going on dates with hideously dull women? Why is this such a ridiculous puzzle, anyway? John has so much more experience with this sort of thing, the first move really should be up to him...
Sherlock finds himself musing that love, much like chocolate, is much more interesting when it's complex and bittersweet.
Chapter 83: Banana
"Don't think for one minute that I don't know what you're doing, Sherlock." John's patience is wearing thin. Since Sherlock drove off the last woman he made the mistake of bringing home several months back, John's been getting more and more frustrated, and Sherlock's finally figured out a new way to torment him.
John groans as Sherlock's full, pink lips wrap tightly around the ice lolly he's been rather obscenely working at for the past fifteen minutes.
"You're conducting some sort of experiment or something – I know you are."
"John, I have no idea what you're talking about. Mrs. Hudson brought these home and they're delightful." He smacks those infernal lips on the last word, sliding the lolly in and out, wrapping his tongue around it.
"Bollocks. You're studying the effects of phallic foods on the constraints of my jeans or some rubbish." John shifts in his chair, repositioning himself and feeling more than vaguely embarrassed. He's a grown man – watching his flatmate simulate fellatio on a vivid pink frozen treat shouldn't make him half-hard like this. It's ridiculous.
"You're being paranoid. You should try one of these; it might… cool you down." John can hear the smirk in his voice.
Thankfully, Sherlock's nearly finished demolishing the bloody thing. He tosses the wooden stick over his shoulder, and reaches for a banana.
Chapter 84: Balustrade
Sorry for the huge gap between these - I was busy focusing on Out of my Head. Have some silly fluff to make up for it.
Something about the Holmes Manor always makes John a little nervous. He's followed Sherlock up there a few times now, and the stuffy oppressive quiet that spreads over the house never seemed to lift until this morning.
The staff have started opening the house for the spring - the curtains in the guest room have been drawn, letting wide shafts of sunlight in. Something about the sudden shift in the light brightens John's mood considerably, and he bounds out of bed and dresses quickly before hunting down Sherlock, who has already been awake for hours.
He finds the taller man at the landing, staring pensively downwards.
"Sherlock, I bet you slid down these when you were younger." John smirks, peering down the massive and imposing stairs.
Sherlock sniffs. "I did no such thing, John." He tries to look disdainful, but something about it just comes off as wistful, and John feels a pang of sadness for his best friend's strange and stolid upbringing. "Nanny would never have forgiven me if I'd ruined my school uniform."
"Come on. Didn't you ever have any fun in this house when you were younger? I'll race you down!" Overcome with a fit of juvenile impishness, and before Sherlock can argue or tell him off, John slides down the wide polished wood handrail of the balustrade.
Chapter 85: Burning
Some pretty clearly implied sexings going on in this one (nothing explicit but still...), as well as me making Sherlock miserable for once, instead of John. Read at your own discretion.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sherlock eyes the packet askance. "Condoms, John? You know I'm… I've… This is new to me."
John smiles at Sherlock's vulnerability. "Yes, I know. But I'm not. Combined with your history of drug use, it's just safer." He pauses. "If you enjoy this, and want to keep doing it, we'll get tested, but tonight I insist."
John takes his time prepping Sherlock, and when he finally sinks in it's glorious. He's lost in the moment until he realises that Sherlock is squirming in discomfort, not pleasure. John stops abruptly.
"Is something wrong?"
"It's... nothing. It itches. Keep going."
"Sherlock, we're not doing this if you're uncomfortable. It's fine. Let me see."
With great care, John pulls out and reaches down to examine Sherlock. He's treated to the sight of livid red hives in places hives have no right to be.
"Sherlock! Why didn't you tell me you were allergic to latex?"
"Oh. Is that what that is?"
John cringes. "How can you be in your thirties and not know this? What about the gloves in the lab?"
"Bart's uses nitrile. Just never came up, I suppose. Jooohnnnn. It stings. Do something!"
"Okay, Sherlock. I'm going to run to the chemist's and pick up some antihistamines, and some ointment. In the meantime, go sit in a cool bath."
"Hurry, John. It's burning!"
So, they say to write what you know. I'm allergic to latex. I found out when I was a teenager. You do the math...
Chapter 86: Brush
When John walks into the kitchen, Sherlock is flailing around awkwardly, trying to pull something off the back of his head with a hairbrush. John's reminded a bit of a dog chasing his tail.
"Need a hand, Sherlock?"
"I got epoxy in my hair. Don't look at me like that. It was for an experiment."
He bites down his laughter. "Sit down, let me help."
Sulkily, Sherlock lowers himself into a chair and leans forward, letting John pick at the adhesive with his dextrous fingers.
John can't help but notice the steady shift in Sherlock's body language as he gently cards the dark curls with his fingers. It's as if the tension in his body is leaking out through the roots of his hair. Sherlock's posture, usually so poised an alert, is limp and relaxed. Tentatively, John tugs his hair softly, runs his nails over Sherlock's scalp, and is rewarded with a quiet moan.
He stops as he feels Sherlock tense up again. Carefully, he slides his hand out of Sherlock's unruly mop.
"You alright?" John smirks at him, but his eyes are soft and warm. He's not laughing.
"Don't laugh. Feels nice."
"Laugh? At you? Never!" he smiles fondly at Sherlock, who looks mollified. John goes back to stroking Sherlock's scalp and reaches across the kitchen table for the brush.
Chapter 87: Beast
"Sherlock, don't panic but I think we've got a tail." John's voice was quiet, but surprisingly relaxed.
Instinctively, Sherlock grabbed John and pulled him into an alley, flattening them both against the wall just in time for a haughty-looking, elegant black cat to follow them.
Sherlock glared at the cat and rolled his eyes at John before dragging him back out of the alley.
By the time they made it home, the stubborn animal had followed them for over a mile. It flopped down on the front steps of 221 Baker Street, struck a rather indelicate pose, and yowled at John and Sherlock.
Something about the creature's sprawling posture and vaguely irritated expression reminded John of a certain flatmate, and he couldn't bear to leave the poor thing outside overnight.
Once in, Sherlock bonded with the cat immediately. Certainly not enough to remember to feed or care for it, but enough that they often formed a cohesive unit when it was time to harangue John.
A few days later, they received a call from a distressed older woman, asking if the famous detective could help find her prize-winning show cat. It was the easiest job they'd ever had.
John was glad to be rid of the thing. He had grown tired of being looked down upon by both man and beast.
Chapter 88: Buccaneers
A little bit of kid John and kid Sherlock fluff, inspired by Mycroft's line in A Scandal in Belgravia. "Initially, he wanted to be a pirate." Thanks to Suki-Chan36 for the word suggestion.
First mate John and Captain Sherlock settled into one of the huge oaks in the back garden, attempting to smother their laughter as Mycroft combed the grounds looking for them. John had shown up wearing one of his favourite striped jumpers, and the resemblance to a sailor's uniform was so uncanny, Sherlock couldn't resist dressing them both up.
They'd stolen a couple of Mummy's scarves to wear as headgear, and Sherlock had appropriated one of his school ties to use as a belt. The reason they were hiding was that Sherlock had insisted no pirate outfit was complete without a sword, and besides, Mycroft never even used his fencing foils anymore. They'd be much more useful to fight off crocodiles and naval officers, anyway.
They'd managed to evade him long enough to get out of the house, and they'd gained the upper hand by scaling the tree before he got outside.
John's shoulders shook with stifled mirth as Mycroft plodded across the yard, muddying the cuffs of his trousers. The undisguised glee on Sherlock's face proved too much though, and John let out one huge guffaw, leading to a cascade of giggles from both of them. That captured Mycroft's attention, and he was immediately at the base of the tree, yelling at them.
"Get down from there, you filthy little buccaneers!"
Chapter 89: Bike
A bit of Molly/Lestrade today. In my head, Lestrade totally has a motorbike. Thanks to Atlin Merrick for today's word.
Sherlock barged into the mortuary, John trailing behind him and mumbling apologies to anyone Sherlock had managed to irritate on the way in.
"Molly, excellent. I need your help." His voice boomed across the room, echoing off the metal and tile.
"I - uh, I'm heading out now. I've got... plans." Molly's cheeks nearly glowed with pride, and even John could see that she'd made an effort to dress up a little today, her shapeless clothing replaced with slightly more flattering cuts. "By the way, have you, um, seen Greg on your way in?"
Sherlock spun on his heels. "Greg?"
"Lestrade." John piped up, snickering. Sherlock's inability to remember the DI's name was a bit of a sore spot that always amused him.
As if on cue, Lestrade sauntered in, two helmets under his arm. He looked as though he was about to say something, but seeing John and Sherlock standing there, he cut himself off.
"Hello, boys. I hope you're not planning on monopolizing Molly for too much longer."
Molly couldn't contain her grin as she ground her toes nervously into the floor. John was reminded fondly of some of the girls he'd fancied in high school.
"Don't worry, Molly. You go have fun. I'll look after Sherlock."
"Oh, I will! He's taking me for a ride on his bike!"
Chapter 90: Backlog
Glancing across the sitting room, John realised he had no idea where Sherlock was. Even more startling was the revelation that he absolutely didn't care.
They'd been working on a case for four solid days, four days where Sherlock forgot that John had basic needs like food and sleep. When they'd finally cracked it and gotten home, John had stuffed himself with greasy leftovers. Sherlock had been on a post-case high and was prowling around the flat, talking emphatically to himself. He'd still been at it when John went up to his room and fell into bed.
With a shrug, John settled into his armchair and pulled his laptop up off the floor. Unsurprisingly, it was still on and Sherlock had left multiple tabs open, including several of the online medical journals John subscribed to. Apparently he was doing something involving coagulation. Again.
John looked over at his piles of scribbled notes – they'd been so busy recently that he hadn't written up a case in nearly a month. Having the flat to himself was a rarity nowadays, so he decided he'd take advantage of the situation. He put his laptop down and puttered into the kitchen to make some coffee. Once it was ready, he sat down at the desk and cracked his knuckles, ready to plow through some of his backlog.
Chapter 91: Blizzard
Shaking the snow out of his hair, John dropped the plastic bags onto the one corner of the kitchen counter that wasn't covered in experiments.
"Glad I got back in time, it's getting wretched out there. I stocked up on some basics - beans, bread for toast, milk. I think we're good for tea and coffee for a few days. Picked up a few things for Mrs. Hudson too, don't want her going out in this mess. Not with her hip."
Sherlock glanced back from the window and nodded at John before turning his gaze back to the stark whiteness outside. He studied the patterns manifesting in the snow for a while, swirls and eddies of tiny frozen stars.
John dropped onto the sofa, curling up under the hideous crocheted afghan neither of them would ever admit bringing into the flat. He caught Sherlock studying his reflection in the window and smiled, patting the empty space on the sofa next to him. Sherlock grinned back, artless and lopsided, and flung himself down next to John. Both men felt the tension seeping from their bones as their bodies searched each other out, twining together for warmth. May as well get comfortable and settle in. Even Sherlock had to acknowledge that they wouldn't be going anywhere for a while, not in this blizzard.
Chapter 92: Babushka
For Rachel. She knows why ;) And yes, the scores here are accurate - I made sure. I'm not a huge Scrabble nerd or anything, no.
"Z-Y-G-O-M-A-T-I-C, off your T, connecting to the C here. The G is on a double-letter, and I hit the triple word score, plus the fifty point bonus for using all my tiles. That comes to one hundred and thirty-nine points." He scribbles his score in the column, adding it to his prior four hundred and twelve.
"You would use that particular word, wouldn't you?" John sighs and rubs his head, glaring at Sherlock's suddenly offensive cheekbones. "Are you positive you've never played Scrabble before?"
"It's a simple combination of vocabulary, math, and strategy. Anyone can do it." His voice sounds impassive, nearly bored, but the look on Sherlock's face is nauseatingly smug. "You want to play something else. Cluedo, maybe?"
"Oh no you don't. Not that again." Grumbling, John plays downwards off Sherlock's word, turning the G into GOAT for a paltry five points, bringing his score to ninety-three.
"You know, if you'd played OATS over here in this corner, you'd have at least hit the double word score. Strategy, John! A military man should appreciate that!"
John stares down at his tiles, groaning at the Q he's just pulled out of the bag, and not a free U in sight. "Just shut up and play, will you?"
With a flourish, Sherlock racks up another ninety-two points by laying down BABUSHKA.
Chapter 93: Branded
The sound of Sherlock rummaging around in the medicine cabinet got John's attention. He toddled down the hall and peered into the loo just in time to see his lover doing his trousers back up, sitting on the closed lid of the toilet.
"You alright in here?"
Sherlock shifted uncomfortably, looking vaguely like a kid who'd been caught in the biscuit tin.
"John, do we, um, do we have any burn ointment?"
John smiled fondly and leaned forward, kissing Sherlock gently on the forehead.
"What did you do this time, you ridiculous man? Do I want to know how you got burnt under your trousers? Or why I wasn't involved?"
Again, Sherlock grimaced in some strange combination of shame and pain.
"That's not entirely true, John."
"You are involved."
"Sherlock, if you got hurt below the waist and I was involved, I'm sure I'd remember."
Shoulders set, Sherlock relented and undid his trousers again, pulling them down at his hips, along with his pants. There, just above the waist band, tracing his hip bone, were the letters J.W in a rather old-fashioned font. The letters were livid red and swollen, recently having been seared deeply into his pale flesh.
Of course, a tattoo would have been too mundane for Sherlock Holmes. He'd had to have gone and gotten himself branded.
Chapter 94: Brittle
He's familiar enough with the club that John keeps quiet as he's ushered through the first set of heavy wooden doors. It's not until he's safely ensconced in Mycroft's office that he explodes.
"What did you drag me here for today, Mycroft?"
"John, please, have a seat." Mycroft gestures solicitously to one of the armchairs. John glowers at him and remains standing.
"I brought you here to discuss your intentions regarding Sherlock."
"My intentions? What is he, a woman in a Victorian novel? You know as well as I do that my intentions regarding your brother are whatever he bloody well wants them to be."
Mycroft studies his whisky. "John, please don't misunderstand. I know it may not be clear to you, but I love him, and I worry about him. He may be incredibly intelligent, but he is painfully naïve when it comes to matters of the heart, no matter what he claims."
The fight leaving his body, John sits.
"When Sherlock found me, I was shattered. Broken. He put me back together. Problem is, a few pieces were missing. He insinuated himself into those spaces. He tied me to him. For better or for worse, I couldn't leave him even if I wanted to."
"I see, John. I apologise."
John nods, but his eyes are hard, his smile brittle.
And now a quick note for anyone waiting for the next chapter of Out of my Head : I tore the cartilage in my left knee about a week ago, and I've been vacillating between states of hideous pain and opiate-induced stupor. I'm still able to write drabbles in my moments of clarity, but anything longer than this is a challenge. I have the last three chapters all outlined and plotted out, I just need to flesh them out. I will hopefully be able to work on them in the coming weeks, once I'm off the heavy painkillers.
Chapter 95: Blessed
He should be working on this case Lestrade's given him. He really should.
Instead, Sherlock finds himself musing on the strange miracle that brought him a family in a way he'd never expected to have.
When he got home from the Yard, Mrs. Hudson had greeted him warmly, maternally.
"Be quiet when you go up, Sherlock. John was waiting up for you and he nodded off on the sofa. Oh, and before I forget, I made you boys a nice pound cake. You never eat enough." She bustled off to get the cake and shoved it into his hands. He made a show of trying to refuse but eventually just smiled and thanked her for it.
When he got to the sitting room, he paused to study his friend, his partner, the man who somehow made his life complete. John always looked so relaxed, so content when he slept. The creases in his face softened and his mouth slackened. Sherlock had gently pulled an afghan over John's shoulders, smiling as John burrowed into the warmth without waking.
Sherlock is a rational man, a man of science and logic – not a man of faith and hope. How is it then, that as he hears Mrs. Hudson puttering about downstairs, as he watches John murmur peacefully in his sleep, he feels so blessed?
Chapter 96: Bisexual
John absently slides his coffee cup back and forth across the table, staring off into the distance. He's not sure what possessed him to ask Harry out for lunch, but she's been sober for a while now, and he figures it's time to attempt to repair their relationship.
"So where's your gawky asshole boyfriend, then?" Her tone is smug.
"Chrissakes, Harry. He's not my boyfriend, and he's not gawky. Or an asshole." John isn't sure why defending Sherlock's honour is so important to him, but Harry's mocking seems worse than the comments from the yarders, somehow. "And for the record, I'm not gay."
"You say that like it matters, John. Sexuality isn't black-and-white, it's not a switch. Trust me, I'd know." She starts gesturing in the air, as if she's turning on a light. "Gay. Not gay. Gay. Not gay."
John just sighs. It's bad enough getting this from complete strangers, but now family too?
Of course he loves Sherlock. He's completely mad, and hell to live with, but he's also brilliant, funny, unexpectedly kind at times. He makes John feel complete and at peace and alive. That doesn't mean he's in love with him. Does it?
"You're my brother. I want you to be happy. Have you honestly, seriously thought about your feelings towards him? Considered you might be bisexual?"
Chapter 97: Because (part I of II)
Two-parter today, partly because I couldn't contain this in one drabble, and partly to make up for the lack over the past few days. This one comes first, and is followed directly by the next one, Besotted.
Sitting still as John stitches up the gash on his forearm, Sherlock can feel the waves of anger pouring off the doctor. He wipes the area clean with a bit more force than absolutely necessary, and Sherlock winces.
"Sherlock, you bloody idiot! I thought we'd agreed, no more running off by yourself."
"I couldn't let him get away." Sherlock isn't sure why he needs to defend himself. The ends justify the means, don't they. "Besides, it's not like you got hurt."
John sinks down, sitting carefully on the rim of the bathtub.
"That's not the point, Sherlock." He stares at the floor. Sherlock's eyes follow, and for a moment they both study a chipped tile a few inches from the sink. "What if something had happened to you?"
Sherlock smirks and raises his arm, exposing the sutured wound.
"Stop being obtuse, you know what I mean. I can't deal with this, constantly worrying about you injuring yourself. Or worse." John sighs, rubbing his face with his hand.
"Why does it matter to you so much?" Sherlock is genuinely confused.
"Wouldn't you be upset if something happened to me?"
"Well yes, but that's an entirely different situation. I need you."
"You think I don't need you?"
"You have other friends."
"Oh, Sherlock. You really don't understand relationships, do you? It matters... because..."
Chapter 98: Besotted (part II of II)
Please read the previous drabble, "Because" before you read this one. They follow each other.
Sherlock cocks his head and gets up from his perch on the bathroom counter to join John on the side of the tub.
"Because what? Help me to understand."
The look on his face is so earnest, no traces of that familiar manipulative smile, that John's defences crumble.
"Because I'm in love with you, you great arsehole."
Sherlock chokes out a nervous laugh, and John pulls back, a hurt expression shadowing his eyes.
"Don't misunderstand. I'm not laughing at you. Well, I am, but not at your confession. Even I know enough about relationships to know that arsehole is not a typical term of endearment. But then, I'm not exactly a typical object of affection, am I?"
"Not in the least, no." John finally looks up to study Sherlock, who is staring back at him intently, an unfamiliar rosy blush highlighting his improbable cheekbones. "I'm sorry, Sherlock. I shouldn't have said anything. Now I've gone and made things all strange."
Sherlock slides along the lip of the tub, closing the gap between them.
"John, you should know by now, I thrive on strange. And apparently," his voice falters slightly "so do you." Tentatively, he reaches out and strokes John's cheek with one finger.
It's then that everything changes. Then when John realises he isn't alone. That Sherlock, too, is completely besotted.
Chapter 99: Bullshit
I accidentally Superlock.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The doorbell rings. It's late in the evening - odd hour for a client, and they're not expecting anyone. John glances at Sherlock just as two men barge into the flat.
"Nobody move, MI-5. I'm Agent Angus, he's Agent Young."
Imperiously, Sherlock unfolds himself from his chair and glares at them.
"Nice try, but no. Americans, and your accent is painful. Brothers, despite the obvious differences in facial structure. You're older, even though you're shorter, and you won't admit that it bothers you. You've spent most of your lives looking out for one another, living a somewhat transient, unstable life. Demon hunters?"
"What? How... what?"
"Your suits don't fit, you've nicked or rented them. You both smell of sulphur - not enough to be coming from you, but you've encountered it recently. Rough hands, you work with them and often expose them to harsh chemicals and rock salt. Your brother also has tell-tale bruises on his hand and at his neck, he's used a shotgun at an awkward angle in the past week or so. Defending yourselves on a regular basis, combined with the taint of brimstone - demon hunters."
The taller brother, silent until now, turns towards John, who has been watching the exchange intently.
"He's always like that. Sharp as a tack, and a painfully low tolerance for bullshit."
I may write the follow-up to this some day. I dunno.
Chapter 100: Beer
Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone!
It's only mid-afternoon, but the pub is already filled with raucous partiers wearing a motley assortment of ridiculous green hats and shirts. John sees Greg sitting at the bar, catches his eye, and waves.
"John, hey. I wasn't sure you'd be able to escape the missus for this one." the DI blurts out before noticing a familiar tall, slim silhouette picking his way through the crowd, a look of complete and utter disdain crossing his distinctive features.
"Spoke too soon then, did I?" Greg asks, his eyes crinkling with mirth.
John just laughs. "I'm pretty shocked that I managed to convince him, myself."
Greg turns to the bartender and gestures for three beers. John manages to catch her eye in time to change one of the orders to a vodka tonic to keep Sherlock quiet.
When the drinks arrive, they're all a lurid shade of kelly green. Sherlock eyes them with distaste, shoving his back in John's general direction.
"This is absurd, John. We're not even Irish. What do I care about the spread of Christianity and a dead saint? What do any of these people care? And why is my cocktail such an unappetizing colour?"
"Honestly, Sherlock, will you just shut up and relax, for once? It's just an excuse to get a bit rowdy and drink revoltingly dyed beer."
Chapter 101: Bald
John hums happily to himself as he runs his fingers through Sherlock's hair, eliciting the occasional contented purr.
"I'm jealous, you know. It's not fair that you get to be tall, smart, gorgeous, and have this mop."
As his fingers continue to card out the dark curls, he can feel Sherlock's body tense slightly. He pauses.
"I never realised you were that fond of my hair."
"Well, it is pretty spectacular."
Sherlock sits up, his dark mane now in a ridiculous state - flat where he'd been lying on John and sticking out in all directions on the side he'd been playing with. John quirks an eyebrow, encouraging Sherlock to continue.
"I'm sure you've noticed, Mycroft's hair is thinning. Our father's hair also thinned early, as did both grandfathers. It stands to reason that eventually I will follow suit..." he trails off, biting his lip nervously.
John does his best to bite back a smile, Sherlock's obviously quite serious and nervous about this. Eventually though, a giggle slips out. Sherlock pulls away from him.
"I should hope you're not laughing at me."
"You vain, adorable man. You should know by now that I'm in this for the long haul. I assure you, I will still love you, impossible though you may be, even if you go bald."
Chapter 102: Blog
You know this word had to come up sooner or later!
John was pecking away at his keyboard when Sherlock heard him mumbling under his breath.
"I'm sorry, did you just say Norbury?"
"Mm? Yeah, I'm writing about th—"
"No, you most certainly are not."
"Why not, because you were…" John paused, a smirk creeping across his face "wrong?"
"Exactly! If the purpose of your ridiculous storytelling is to bring in more clients, they shouldn't know about the failed ones."
Closing his laptop, John studied Sherlock's face for a moment.
"This genuinely bothers you, doesn't it? For all your talk of not caring what people think, the idea of people being aware that you screwed something up upsets you."
"Not people, exactly."
John quirked his eyebrow. "Mycroft, then? Ireeeene?" he drew her name out teasingly, ignoring the indignant look on Sherlock's face.
"Certainly not." Sherlock's brow furrowed, that strange horizontal crease that John found so charming forming at the bridge of his nose.
"If you must know, John. It's you. For some reason, what you think of me seems to matter to me more than the average person, and I loathe the idea of you fixating on my foibles."
"Alright then, Sherlock. Relax." Reaching out, he patted Sherlock's hand. "I'll get rid of it."
With a sigh, John opened his laptop and proceeded to edit the offending entry in his blog.
Chapter 103: Birth
I'm sick and miserable and felt like writing a bit of Hamish-related fluff. If you're unfamiliar with Hamish, please check out http://hamish-watson-holmes.tumblr.com
Having completed his sixth tour of the tiny waiting room, Sherlock stops short behind John's chair.
"Isn't there something we could be doing? What if they need us in there?"
John leans back, resting his head on Sherlock. Chuckling, he bobs his head a couple of times, bouncing it against the tense muscles of his abdomen.
"Sherlock, try to relax, would you? I'm as eager as you are, but people deliver babies all the time without your assistance, it's what they're trained to do. There are some things the great Sherlock Holmes has no useful input about. Just take a deep breath and calm down. We'll meet Hamish as soon as everyone is ready for us. All you'd do in there right now is get underfoot."
He grips John's shoulder tightly, and John just reaches up, carefully peeling Sherlock's fingers off of him and twining them through his own. He smiles up with a reassuring squeeze. Sherlock stares down at him, eyes owlishly wide in panic. He runs his free hand through his hair, which only serves to make him look even more discombobulated.
"Everything's going to be fine, love. He'll be perfect. Just come sit next to me, okay?"
Eventually, Sherlock relents and settles down in the chair next to John, the two of them eagerly anticipating their son's birth.
Chapter 104: Black
"Young woman, early thirties. Likely cause of death is the gash to her abdomen, found a knife nearby, but no signs of struggle or forced entry into the flat. Not even the slightest disturbance in the blood spatter to indicate a second person."
Sherlock drops and gestures to the body, inviting John to examine the body. He spends a few minutes studying her, moving arms around, rotating the head.
"She's covered in scars and bruises - from very old to quite recent. First thought was systematic abuse, but these seem to span her entire life. She's overweight, like muscle gone soft..." John pauses, studying the back of her head. "Aha, see this scar? Cranial decompression. She's had brain surgery. She was probably an athlete of some sort when she was younger, but was always a bit awful with coordination and spatial perception. Could she have... done it herself? Accidentally?"
Peeling back her lids, John studies the eyes with his torch. He hisses, a sharp intake of air as the light falls to the ground with a clatter. Concerned, Sherlock darts over.
"It's fine, Sherlock. It just... startling, you know? Familiar."
Staring up at them both were eyes so much like Moriarty's as to have unnerved them both - shining like beetles even in death, so dark as to look almost black.
I have indeed committed the cardinal sin of self-insertion in a fanfic. The body is absolutely me, and yes, I can totally see accidentally eviscerating myself with a kitchen knife. John's deductions are accurate, by the way, although I have not had the surgery in question yet. I'm still waiting for it; hopefully this summer. I used to row competitively, but due to myriad health problems I stopped ages ago. And yes, my eyes really are that dark.
Chapter 105: Bluff
Thanks to Atlin Merrick for today's word. Have a bit of UST/nearly first kiss! I'm such a tease.
The air between them is so charged, so thick with tension John thinks he could cut it with a dull butter knife. Sherlock is perched on the edge of the kitchen table, wearing nothing but the red silk robe that flatters his skin so well, and a pair of black pants.
John has been attempting ignore Sherlock and focus on his toast, but it's getting increasingly difficult. He swallows, staring directly into Sherlock's incandescent eyes.
"You know, Sherlock, you should really stop waltzing around like that. You'll give people the wrong idea."
"What idea might that be?" Sherlock's eyebrow quirks. If John didn't know better, he'd swear Sherlock was flirting.
"That you're attempting to seduce your flatmate."
"The flatmate who has been trying his hardest not to stare at me since he sat down?"
"The very same." John pushes the crust of his toast, chasing a dollop of honey across his plate. "You preen around like a peacock, it's almost like you want me to kiss you. Or worse."
"And who says I don't?"
It's John's turn to raise an eyebrow. Before he has time to respond, Sherlock's wrapped one hand around his neck, pulling their faces a hairsbreadth apart.
"John Hamish Watson," he murmurs, their lips nearly brushing together. "By now you should know better than to call my bluff."
Chapter 106: Behave
The crime scene was abuzz with activity. Not only were Lestrade and his team there, but someone had alerted the media and several news anchors were crawling around, trying to get the most dramatic shot of the pile of mutilated bodies.
As soon as Sherlock and John showed up, cameras and microphones were thrust into their faces.
"Mr. Holmes! Mr. Holmes! What do you think happened?"
"What do you think was the perpetrator's motivation?"
"Where is your hat?"
Grabbing Sherlock's sleeve, John pulled him off to the side, and dragged him under the police tape, out of reach of the media vultures.
"We've been through this a few times now, Sherlock. Just ignore them. Don't give them any info, don't give them any more reason to make you their darling of the week."
Sherlock nodded and turned his attention to the victims. He'd just bent down and pulled his magnifier out when one of the seedier-looking reporters leaned over the barricade and shouted.
"Mr. Holmes, what is the nature of your relationship with Dr. Watson?"
Before Sherlock had time to open his mouth, John glanced over and gave him the look. The one that said let him know this was no time for arguments, no time for dissecting the poor news anchors on live television. The one that just said behave.
Chapter 107: Bunk
John pushes the door open to reveal a small, tidy room. There's an armoire big enough for the two of them to share, a small telly for Sherlock to yell at in the evening, and there, in the centre of the room, two single beds stacked one on top of the other, connected with a short rope ladder. He sighs and steps to the side just in time to let Sherlock bluster into the room.
"What on earth is that, John?" he gestures to the sleeping arrangements.
"They're bunk beds, Sherlock. This room is typically used by younger guests, but it was either this or a room with one large bed."
Sherlock just glares at John and shakes his head, as if to say Well why didn't you take that one?
"Because I am not sharing a bed with you unless I absolutely have to, Sherlock. Besides, it's not like you're actually going to sleep, so what do you care what the bed looks like? Think of it as an experiment."
At this, Sherlock's face lights up as he climbs the ladder to the top bed, reminding John oddly of some sort of tall, gangly primate. Grinning, he peers down over the edge of the bed, hair flopping about absurdly.
John just groans tiredly and lowers himself onto the bottom bunk.
Chapter 108: Bitten
They're sitting on the couch when it first happens. John leans forward, closing the already too-small gap between them, and presses their lips together gently. At first it's chaste, a soft brush of skin against skin. Patiently, John waits for a cue from Sherlock – to continue, to stop, anything. For a moment, they're both frozen, breath mingling and eyes open, attempting to read each other.
Finally, as if in assent, Sherlock parts his lips slightly. That's all the encouragement John needs, and suddenly he's pulling Sherlock's full lower lip between his own, dragging his teeth lightly over the soft flesh. His tongue darts into Sherlock's open mouth and encounters no resistance. Relinquishing what little self-control he has left, Sherlock moans softly into John's mouth, long arms wrapping around his warm, solid torso. As one, they fall to the sofa, Sherlock resting against the cushions and John lying atop him. John slides one hand around the back of Sherlock's neck, pulling him impossibly closer, while the other slides under his deep purple shirt. They stay tangled, lips sliding and pressing in concert, hands roaming and exploring, until Sherlock finally pulls away, gasping for air.
John's sure he's never seen anything so arousing. Sherlock, lying prone on the sofa, shirt rumpled up around his chest, cheeks flushed and feverish, lips swollen and bitten.
Chapter 109: Biceps
Every inch of his body is aching, and when John lowers himself down onto the sofa it's with an emphatic groan.
"I'm getting too old for this bullshit, Sherlock. Chasing after you at all hours, staying up for days, skipping meals... it's catching up with me." He rolls his neck, releasing a satisfying crack before reaching up to attempt to rub his shoulders.
"Come on then, shirt off." Sherlock's got a bottle of oil in one hand and he's gesturing impatiently at John's torso with the other. He swings one long leg and settles down on the sofa, between John and the cushions.
Shrugging out of his shirt, John can feel Sherlock's warm breath ghosting lightly across the back of his neck. He shifts his weight, attempting to staunch the flow of blood to his groin before things get out of hand.
Sherlock's voice is a quiet murmur next to John's ear. "You need to relax..."
"It's... difficult with you so close..." his voice is ragged, but playful.
Expertly kneading his fingers into the tight flesh of John's shoulders, Sherlock leans forward and whispers. "I work you too hard. Let me do this for you. You can... repay me later."
With a sigh, John relents, leaning back against Sherlock's torso as long, pale fingers dance softly up and down his biceps.
Chapter 110: Brood
It was mid-afternoon when John got back from running errands. Unsurprisingly, there was still a grumbling, unsociable lump on the sofa, wrapped in a tartan dressing gown.
"Still not talking then, are we?"
John was rewarded with a grunt, and treated to the sight of Sherlock somehow burrowing further into the sofa. He leaned over and started running his fingers lightly through Sherlock's curls, knowing it usually got him a favourable reaction.
"Come on then, what's wrong?"
Sherlock flopped over, looking for all the world like it was paining him to do so.
"Did you call Lestrade? Maybe he's got a cold case or two for you."
"Why don't you?"
Sherlock merely grumbled again and threw his head back, hitting the sofa cushions with a satisfying thud. If Lestrade wanted him, he could bloody well call.
"Well, I was thinking of going for a walk, care to come with me? Change of scenery might do you some good."
John got another charming grunt for his efforts, this time accompanied with a lovely rolling of the eyes and that familiar You're an idiot expression.
Clearly there was no reasoning with Sherlock right now, the best thing to do would be to just let him sulk for a bit. Smiling indulgently, John simply patted Sherlock's back and left him to brood.
Chapter 111: Brain (part I of II)
Well, I'm halfway through all 221 of these! I hope I can find the strength to finish. I figured for such an important milestone in my drabbles, I needed an important milestone for John and Sherlock as well. I also wanted to see if I could do something fluffy and cute with the word "brain". Hah.
For reference to what music is playing at the beginning, please read my short ficlet called "Thaxted".
The familiar strains of Holst piped out of the discreetly hidden speakers and John fussed nervously with his tie for the hundredth time today. Sherlock grinned at him, confident as ever, and adjusted the collar John had knocked askew. The registrar smiled at them both, clearly familiar with wedding-day jitters.
Most of the service passed in a blur, John too giddy to hear what was going on. Molly was recording everything on camera, so he could come back to it later. Eventually it came time to exchange vows, and John found himself worrying that maybe letting Sherlock write his own wasn't the best idea.
The look on Sherlock's face as he turned to John was so genuinely earnest, so warm, that John's concerns melted immediately. He smiled up at the man who'd become everything to him, feeling the heat on his cheeks.
"John Watson, before I met you I was convinced that I didn't need anyone - convinced that anyone around me would just drag me down. Somehow, you limped into my life and showed me how wrong I was, and for that I am incredibly grateful. I can only hope to stay with you for as many years as you can put up with me. I love you, and you will always be the kind, understanding heart to my brain."
Chapter 112: Bonkers (part II of II)
Continuation of yesterday's drabble. I couldn't post Sherlock's vows without doing John's as well, now could I? *wibble*
Sherlock was beaming as he took John's hands into his and finished his vows. John realised he was chewing on his lower lip and let go, smiling back at him. There was an awkward pause as their erstwhile videographer stole Greg's pocket square and blew her nose loudly. Mrs. Hudson patted her on the shoulder and made a vague shushing gesture, and Molly nodded, handing the poor detective inspector back his ruined handkerchief.
The registrar cleared his throat and everyone quieted down. All eyes were on John, while John himself only had eyes for Sherlock. Slender, pale fingers squeezed stockier, tanned ones as John steeled himself. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes briefly before nodding at Sherlock and the assembled guests.
"Sherlock, I admit you're not the sort of person I'd initially imagined spending the rest of my life with, but now I can't picture being with anyone else. When you found me, I was broken, a shell of my former self. You swept into my life with your ridiculous coat, and your ridiculous cheekbones, and you sussed out exactly what I needed. You fixed me when nobody else could. I promise to love you and cherish you for as long as I live, even if sometimes you are an annoying git and you drive me absolutely bonkers."
Chapter 113: Barlow
Sorry for the update gap - I was working on other stories. Have a little nod to an original ACD story for today :)
"You know, Sherlock, I'm starting to think with enough practice and enough study, anyone could do what you do."
Sherlock cocks his head, one eyebrow creeping upwards inquisitively.
"Really? Well then, go on." He makes an encouraging gesture with his hand. John pauses, studying him.
"Well, if you must know, I think I've observed that you made some bad investments."
Pursing his lips, Sherlock nods at John to continue.
"Well, you came down this morning without having shaved. You're fastidious. You never wander around unshaven, so I assume that you're distracted. You're already dressed, like you need to go out for something important. Yesterday, you got an email that you looked distressed while reading. Just now, you opened up the financial section of the paper and yelped. All this leads me to the conclusion that you've gotten some unpleasant news of a monetary nature."
"Oh, excellent observations, John." Sherlock genuinely looks proud, but also somewhat amused. "Shame they're all entirely incorrect."
John splutters. "What? But..."
"I'm out of razor blades. I'm about to head out to buy more."
"But what about the newspaper? The letter?"
"I was reading the police blotter, there's an interesting case. It just happens to be in the same section. As for the email, it was nothing more than a reminder from my insufferable dentist, Dr. Barlow."
Chapter 114: Backstroke
When they checked into the hotel the case had sent them to, the woman at the counter had informed them about the pool and Sherlock's face had lit up in a way John rarely saw outside the flat. Needless to say, he was surprised.
When they got to the room, Sherlock ducked into the bathroom and burst back out wearing nothing but a snug and flattering black square-leg suit, and John couldn't hide the flush across his cheeks and throat.
"Come, John. Swim with me."
"Sherlock, I didn't bring a suit."
"At least come sit by the pool! Watch me!" He grinned like a child.
Sighing, John followed him, still confused by this turn of events.
But really, of all the surprising talents Sherlock hid, swimming had to be right up near the top of the list. They'd discussed swim meets before, back when they'd been talking about poor Carl Powers, but Sherlock had never mentioned an interest himself. John suspected it had something to do with Sherlock's general disdain for organised sport competition. He didn't stick to any particular lane, any particular style. He just did whatever he felt like doing under the cool blue of the water.
Leaning back in his lounge chair, John smiled and watched Sherlock's lean form cut gracefully through the water in a perfect backstroke.
Chapter 115: Bunny
Happy Easter to those of you celebrating today :)
Spearing his peas angrily with his fork, lips pursed in a grumpy pout, eight-year-old Sherlock was doing a fine job of demonstrating his displeasure with his family. He swung his legs irritably, thumping his heels against the crossbar, satisfied that the noise was interrupting his mother's peaceful dinner.
Mummy Holmes sniffed disdainfully. "Sherlock, darling, you know it's nothing more than a pagan festival co-opted and dressed up by the Christians. There's no point in you going. Sunday night is for dinner with the family, not for gallivanting down into the... more unseemly areas of London."
Sherlock glowered across the dinner table as Mycroft smiled smugly around a mouthful of roast beef. John had invited him to his family's Easter dinner and he so very much wanted to go. What was so unreasonable about that?
Later, sulking in his bedroom, he heard the familiar noises of his best friend shinnying up the drainpipe, effectively ruining his good dress clothes. John knocked on the window, grinning cheerfully. Sherlock felt the familiar warmth John always brought with him spreading through his chest and smiled back, despite his former grumpiness.
"Your mum wouldn't let you come to Easter, so I brought a bit of Easter to you." He rummaged around in his rucksack for a moment before extricating a slightly melted, somewhat broken chocolate bunny.
Chapter 116: Batman
A while back, a friend jokingly challenged me to use the word Batman for one of these. I figured if Sherlock Holmes was going to be a fan of any comic-book hero, it would have to be the World's Greatest Detective, right?
The three young men had packed up their comic books and headed off, grateful for John and Sherlock's help. John was pecking away at his blog, working on the ridiculously titled case of the Geek Interpreter.
Smiling, he turned to Sherlock.
"They were good kids, weren't they?"
"Honestly, sort of reminded me of my youth. You know, those silly arguments kids all have about comic books. Who'd win in a fight? Batman or Superman? Not that you're familiar with either of them, I'm certain. I can't imagine you had time for something as banal as comics when you were younger."
An amusingly smug grin spread across Sherlock's face, and John just knew he was in for a lecture.
"Don't be too certain, John. One on hand we have an insufferable alien do-gooder. He may have the strength of ten thousand men or whatever, but he's stunted by his moral code and his average intelligence. On the other hand, you have a self-made genius, an man of average strength but incredible intelligence, who creates his own tools and tracking systems. He relies on his own powers of deduction, often being referred to as The World's Greatest Detective. Although I have to disagree with that particular title, there's still clearly no room for argument here, hands down, the winner is Batman."
Chapter 117: Biter
I was in the mood for some Hamish fluff today.
"John! John! Thank goodness you're home!" Sherlock stood at the door, looking frazzled. Hamish was balanced on one of his father's bony hips, fussing sleepily.
"Your son won't stop crying. I've tried everything. I fed him, I changed him, I played the violin, I read to him..." Sherlock trailed off, weary and exhausted, bouncing the baby instinctively. Hamish continued to grumble, his face red and blotchy.
John held his arms out, dropping into a chair.
"C'mere, Hal. Have you been mean to father today?"
He balanced Hamish on one thigh and held his hand out, allowing the infant to inspect it. He wrapped his chubby baby fingers around John's index, pulling it insistently towards his mouth. Momentarily distracted, John's attention was brought back down to earth when Hamish chomped down on his finger.
"Shi- er- drat." He'd been trying to curb his swearing habit around the baby, who had a freakishly advanced comprehension of language. He leaned forward, carefully peering into Hamish's mouth.
"There's your problem, Sherlock. He's teething."
"What? Already? He's only four months old! All the literature I've read has-"
John cut him off. "Bollocks to the literature. Each kid develops at their own pace. Hal's always been a bit ahead of the curve." He looked down at his throbbing finger. "Unfortunately for us, he's also a biter."
Chapter 118: Break-up
"Hullo, Freak. Hullo, Freak's assistant." Sally's barbs lack her usual enthusiasm, as if she's just mocking them out of habit. Her eyes look red and puffy, and her usually lustrous hair is unkempt. John pauses, debating asking her if something is the matter, but notices the tension in her back and thinks better of it.
When they get to the centre of the crime scene, it's buzzing with activity. Anderson turns and sneers, but the wrath and ire generally reserved for Sherlock seems to be aimed in another direction. Sally Donovan turns on one heel and storms back out to the front door, after escorting them in. The tension between them is palpable, and strangely, John finds himself feeling sympathetic towards the two of them.
Sherlock, however, has chosen to ignore the anxiety in the room. If John noticed it, surely he did too, but he's not taking pity on Anderson, and the two of them have begun bickering in earnest. Anderson looks almost relieved to have something more familiar and less difficult to be obnoxious about, so John doesn't step in to try to prevent the argument.
Finally, Sherlock is done. Smiling awkwardly, John nods at Sally as he steps under the tape, dragging Sherlock with him. Best to let the two of them deal with another particularly messy break-up.
I wanted to use this word but couldn't bring myself to do anything angsty involving John and Sherlock. Poor Sally and Anderson. They so often get the short end of the stick in this fandom.
Chapter 119: Bright
As they're getting ready to go to dinner, Sherlock smiles down at John and murmurs. "You're looking positively incandescent tonight."
John beams. Sherlock's sparse with his compliments, but when he gives them, they're genuinely deep and touching.
"And you, Sherlock, are absolutely luminescent."
Sherlock's face falters for a second before he smiles. John notices, and pauses.
"Did… Did I say something wrong?"
"Is that really how you see me, John? Bright, but cold? Radiating plenty of light but little in the way of heat?"
Confused, John raises an eyebrow. Sherlock takes this as an invitation to launch into a painfully detailed explanation of the difference between hot body radiation and cold body radiation. John's eyes glass over just before Sherlock wraps up.
"Thank you for explaining all that, Sherlock. I never meant to upset you. I honestly didn't know the difference. You may be a bit obtuse sometimes, and you're not always emotionally forthcoming, but you're not cold. Bright, yes. Impossibly so. But definitely not cold."
Sherlock smiles, somewhat mollified. If anyone else had called him cold, inadvertently or not, he'd have proudly agreed with them. However, coming from John, he has to confess to himself that it hurts. Sherlock finds himself musing that despite all their years together, flattery is still exciting, and he's glad John still finds him bright.
Chapter 120: Bathophobia
It started slowly. Sherlock came back, John forgave him - of course he did, and they fell back into rhythm, as if nothing had changed.
Gradually though, it got increasingly difficult for John to watch Sherlock fly brazenly into the air. The first time, he had leapt from one roof onto a lower one below. Arms out, mop of hair fluttering in the wind. John froze, heart thudding painfully in his chest. He caught his breath and leaned over the wall, eyeing Sherlock grinning and waving cockily on the flat roof below.
From there, it got progressively worse. One day John came home to find Sherlock leaning over the railing at the top of the stairs and couldn't halt the mental picture of his best friend, lying shattered and bloody, on the landing. Trembling, he slumped against the wall.
Sherlock, for all his powers of observation, overlooked John's increasing panic until one day it just got to be too much and John exploded, finding Sherlock dangling from some scaffolding at a crime scene.
"Jesus, Sherlock. Just stop it. You are not a bloody monkey, keep your fucking feet on the ground." John gasped, hiding his face in shaking hands.
Of course, John thought bitterly. Leave it to one fractured, co-dependent ex-Army doctor to go and get some displaced form of bathophobia.
Bathophobia is a fear of deep, empty voids - staircases, caves, the gaps between tall buildings. I'll leave it to you to figure out why this bothers John so much now. /angst
Chapter 121: Bland
Sometimes, when Sherlock gets into one of his moods, the best thing to do is just to let him vent. Let him rant and rave and stomp about, and eventually he'll run out of steam.
And that is exactly what John is doing right now. Sherlock came home from Bart's in a snit, and is now stomping and gesticulating, muttering about "incompetence" and "trained monkeys" and who knows what else. Every so often he turns to John, as if for encouragement, and John merely nods. Sherlock, of course, takes this as validation for his ire, and continues grumbling and kicking piles of paper as he goes.
Eventually, he wears himself out and flops onto the sofa violently enough to cause it to bump into the wall. Not one to let mere physical fatigue get the better of him, Sherlock continues to bluster and fume, having run seamlessly from complaining about Anderson in particular to a diatribe on the general uselessness of the modern police force in general.
Picking up his tea mug, John makes a point of neither encouraging nor discouraging his giant toddler of a flatmate. Sherlock, in response, increases both the volume and the pitch of his grumbling, and John simply turns the radio up and goes back to his newspaper, the smile on his face passive and bland.
Chapter 122: Blackmail
"But Jooohnnn…" Sherlock's voice has taken on that insufferably whiny pitch. "Molly's got a brand new brain for me, and it's apparently full of really lovely stroke damage!"
John cringes. "You know, Sherlock, in most households that isn't cause for celebration. And I'm fairly certain stroke damage is never 'really lovely'. Besides, you promised to come shopping with me today. The brain will still be there tomorrow."
"If you don't let me go… I'll… erm…" Sherlock pauses, thinking. "I'll withhold sex."
"Yeah, good luck with that." John snorts, clearly amused. "I haven't had a peaceful night's sleep since we started sharing a bed. I think you're making up for lost time. I can't imagine you holding out for more than a night or two. Besides, wanking was good enough for me for years, I'll make do."
By now, Sherlock's in full-on shamming mode. His eyes are suddenly impossibly wide and brimming with tears, and his full lower lip is trembling threateningly. He makes a fatuous show of sniffing loudly, as if he's on the cusp of losing it entirely.
"Look, John. I'm about to cry. You don't want to make me cry, do you?"
"Nice try, love. But you forget – I grew up with the indomitable Harriet Watson. I've had more than enough experience in dealing with feeble attempts emotional blackmail."
Chapter 123: Brocade
John is fussing tetchily with his tie, cursing whatever gods might or mightn't be out there that Mycroft has invited them to yet another insufferable state dinner, and that Sherlock has deigned to go for yet another opportunity to snoop around in Britain's upper crust. The indomitable Holmes brothers even insisted on his getting yet another new suit for the event. He's nearly finished getting dressed, waiting for Sherlock to come out of the bathroom, where he's been fussing for eons. It seems like everything today has been getting on John's nerves.
When John sees Sherlock though, his former irritation with his own clothing and his absurd living situation is all but forgotten. Sometimes, even though they've been together (in every sense of the word) for years now, he manages to somehow lose track of how ethereal Sherlock can look, even in the most mundane of clothing. Tonight though, he's gone all-out. Standing next to him, John feels absolutely drab and dull.
Sherlock's forgone his tie, of course, but he's wearing a new suit in a flat black with subtle satin lapels, a pearl-grey shirt that sets off his eyes, and he's made one extra concession to the formality of the event. Setting off his slim figure and perpetually open collar is a neatly fitted waistcoat in a deep plum brocade.
Chapter 124: Bollocks
Someone on ff.net asked for more Hamish fluff, and, well, who am I to refuse Hamish fluff?
"Damn!" The exclamation is punctuated by a chubby fist flinging a sippy cup onto the floor. John turns to look at Hamish, who's smiling rather smugly.
"Excuse me, little man?"
Grinning, he hurls a small stuffed giraffe from his high chair. "Damn!"
John rubs his eyes, realising that Hamish is merely imitating his own bad habit of swearing whenever he drops anything. He's been trying hard to curb it, but years of ingrained cursing are hard to break.
Gently, he lifts the wriggling, giggling toddler out of his chair and guides him into the sitting room. John settles onto the couch, his son leaning against him.
"Now Hal, I want you to listen to me. Sometimes Daddy says things, but he's trying to stop, because they're not nice. Can you promise me you won't use that word around Father?"
Hamish looks very serious for a moment, his tongue running across his lower lip in an imitation of one of John's other habits, before considering the question.
"Okay." He smiles, and John ruffles his hair.
"That's my boy."
They sit in peace for a while, John watching the telly and Hamish playing intently with one of Sherlock's good shoes, when abruptly he lobs the shoe across the sitting room. Looking directly at his dad with a huge grin, he proudly exclaims "Bollocks!"
Chapter 125: Bewitched
Mycroft's motivations have always fascinated me. You have to wonder what he's put up with over the years to develop such a protective but dysfunctional relationship with Sherlock...
For so long, Mycroft had worried about his brother. Not so much that he'd be alone forever - Sherlock could have handled that, and been content. More that he'd eventually find someone who caught his interest, but also someone who couldn't deal with Sherlock's way of life. It seemed impossible that anyone could.
When Sherlock burst into Mycroft's office, virtually vibrating with excitement, he shifted into high alert. Listening to his brother's eager ramblings about some invalided army doctor who he'd decided to move in with, Mycroft found himself subconsciously preparing for a number of scenarios. Surely, something would scare this level-headed, reasonable man off, and Mycroft would have to pick up the pieces, yet again.
He threw himself into research, learning everything he could about Dr. Watson's military and medical histories, eventually arranging a proper face-to-face with him. What he encountered amazed him, though he didn't show it. Not only was the man already fantastically loyal, it seemed that if anything, he was better off having spent some time with Sherlock. They truly seemed to complement each other, which was a far better result than Mycroft could have anticipated.
He smiled to himself. It seemed that not only had Sherlock found someone who could keep up with him, challenge him even, but who also had him completely and utterly bewitched.
Chapter 126: Bladder
Warning for homophobic slurs, but don't worry, Sherlock puts them all in their place.
The taunts were coming from a group of young thugs at the end of the alley. John was ready to walk right by them, but they'd caught Sherlock's attention, and he was staring them down, much in the manner a hawk might stare down a small rodent.
He stalked down the alley, pulling himself up to his full height, eyes fixed on his target.
"Really, is that the worst you can come up with? Considering that I had my arm wrapped around him, it wasn't really much of a gamble, now was it? As for you three..." Sherlock paused, studying them for a moment. "Your mother left when you were a toddler, and your father is absent at best. You act out in the hopes of gaining some attention from them." He turned to the second one "You're actually a grade-A student, member of several high-achieving clubs. You're hanging out with these clots in an attempt to gain some sort of street cred." Sherlock cringed at the term before analysing the last boy. "And you... still wet the bed?"
John burst out laughing and dragged Sherlock back out of the alley, leaving the three teens to bicker and argue. Faint strains of their conversation carried out into the street.
"...It's not my fault, I have a small bladder!
Chapter 127: Break
The first time Sherlock got sick - really sick - John was taken completely aback. He'd expected his notoriously high-maintenance friend and flatmate to get even more impossible when in the throes of a particularly bad flu. Instead, however, Sherlock was entirely the opposite.
The first thing John noticed was how pliant, how easy-going Sherlock got. He'd taken to following John around, but rather than barking orders and making ridiculous demands as was his usual, he just hovered, silently studying everything John did. Curiously, John put a cup of tea down in front of him, and he consumed it without saying anything. Inspired, John tried the same with a piece of buttered toast. Sherlock ate half of it without complaint, and only after his stomach rebelled did he prod listlessly at the second half.
"Sherlock, are you feeling alright?"
"Hmm?" Even his responses were more placid than usual.
"Are you sick? You're not yourself."
Sherlock looked up at John, eyes glassy and distracted. Doctor's instinct taking over, John pressed the back of his hand against Sherlock's forehead. He was burning up.
"Alright then, come on. We're putting you to bed."
Again, Sherlock followed without arguing, changing into his pyjamas and settling into bed. John dragged a chair in from the kitchen and sat down wearily, waiting for Sherlock's fever to break.
Chapter 128: Bread Bin
"Sherlock, what the bloody hell is in the sink?"
Sherlock shrugs dismissively, avoiding eye contact by focusing on the microscope in front of him. He says nothing, in the hopes that John will simply go away.
John, however, has other plans. He sits at the table across from Sherlock, waiting patiently. He'll have to look up eventually. Sighing dramatically, Sherlock gives up, turning the knob on the scope as he pulls away from the eyepiece.
"Can I help you with something?"
"Sherlock," John sounds defeated already, before even having made his point. "We've discussed this. Anything that was ever inside any human being doesn't go where food or dishes go. This includes the top three shelves of the fridge, the cupboards, and shockingly enough, the sink." He pinches the bridge of his nose before looking at Sherlock, who looks surprisingly chastened.
"I am trying. Contrary to what everyone has told you, I do have some concern for your comfort and wellbeing. I've just gotten so settled in these..." he waves his hand in the air, looking for a suitable word "bad habits, that it's difficult sometimes."
"Thank you, Sherlock. I don't say this enough, but I do appreciate your efforts." John smiles, getting up to make them both some toast.
"Erm, John, you might want to consider avoiding the bread bin..."
Chapter 129: Blasphemy
John Watson swears a lot. There's no denying that. What fascinates Sherlock though, is how John swears. Some people are incredibly banal and unimaginative when it comes to their cursing, but thankfully John is not one of them. Full of surprises, that man. Sherlock himself rarely resorts to blue language of any sort, being perfectly capable of expressing his dismay in a wider array of socially-acceptable terms, but he's learned to appreciate how John swears.
The average person will rely on a few choice words, interspersing them with their regular dialogue. Fuck, bloody, shite, etc. A person raised in a particularly Christian household will often have the benefit of words stemming from their religious views to sprinkle in - Hell, damn.
John, however, has turned the vulgar and unpleasant habit of cursing into an art form. What could have been a simple exclamation of "Cock!" in his capable hands becomes the much wordier "Bloody buggering cock."
Over the years, Sherlock has made a habit of studying John and his amusing verbal reactions to things that upset him. Generally, he starts out calm, using words appropriate for public consumption. The angrier he gets though, the worse he gets. Sherlock can always tell when he's really angry, that's when he resorts to a patented combination of bodily functions, random nouns, and pure, unadulterated blasphemy.
Chapter 130: Biddy
As luck would have it, Sherlock was apparently nearly as irritable without caffeine as he was in the throes of a nicotine fit. John was suitably taken aback when he was abruptly awoken one morning by a looming, completely nude Sherlock barging into his room and demanding "tea, coffee, something, anything!" The fact that he was devoid of pants seemed to have escaped his powers of observation. Either that or he'd decided it wasn't important.
Grudgingly, John got up and dressed, without even bothering to shave or brush his teeth, if only to get away from Sherlock for a few minutes.
Making a mad dash through the supermarket, John grabbed what he needed. Without too much thought, he chose bag of ground coffee and several boxes of tea – some overly expensive and mildly unpleasant Lapsang Souchong for Sherlock, and good old PG Tips for himself. He eyed the self-checkout machine warily for a moment before ducking into a proper line with a proper human cashier instead; he didn't have the time or the patience to get stuck with a testy machine.
The woman ahead of him was taking forever, meticulously counting her change three times before losing track and starting over. Leave it to John to escape his mad flatmate only to get stuck in line behind some muddled old biddy.
Chapter 131: Baker
The rather gruesome sight was laid out before them, a hideously charred arm buried in the dust and ash at the bottom of a huge wood-burning oven. Sally was hovering in the background, looking distinctly green around the gills and studiously avoiding eye contact, and Lestrade was cringing, shoulders slumped, eyes closed. Even John, after all the horrors he'd seen in Afghanistan, was looking distinctly unnerved.
Sherlock, however, was absolutely in his element, rummaging and probing through the debris in the ash. Crowing triumphantly, he reached and pulled out a diamond ring, glittering through the dirt and filth.
"Oh come on!" He gestured emphatically with the ring. "You'd think the lot of you had never seen a dead body before! John, get over here."
"Sherlock, do you really need me to determine the cause of death of the owner of a fried arm?"
"It's baked, John. Not fried. Honestly! And besides, I am fairly certain this was just a disposal site, not the actual murder site."
Lestrade rubbed his eyes. "Fantastic. So now we have to track down not only who did it, but where?"
Sherlock glowered, the look on his face plainly expressing his dismay and irritation with everyone around him. "Lestrade, we know who did it. The only person who knows how to operate this oven is the baker."
Chapter 132: Binks
I'm going to the Star Wars Identities exhibit today and I'm super excited, so couldn't resist a little inspiration in today's drabble.
"It never would have exploded like that, John! There's no oxygen to produce that sort of cloud, and no way for sound to travel through a vacuum." He storms between the desks of the lower-ranking officers and barges into Lestrade's office, where they've been summoned.
"You know, for someone so unfamiliar with the solar system, you sure are an expert on things blowing up in space. Besides," John grumbles, needing to defend the film. "There was oxygen on board, for the life-support systems."
"The whole thing is absolutely unrealistic rubbish, and I don't understand why you of all people seem so fond of it."
Lestrade looks up from his desk, perplexed. "I'm pretty sure you two aren't bickering about the case. What's up?"
John just shrugs sheepishly, rolling his eyes. "I got him to watch Star Wars over the weekend. I've been regretting it ever since."
Sherlock is flapping about in a corner, flipping through the files for cases he's got no involvement in. Lestrade just eyes him askance and lets him rummage for the time being - odds are, he already knows what's in them.
"Star Wars, eh? The original three, I hope? In any case, John, you're a braver man than I. Word of advice though, whatever you do, don't let him watch the one with Jar Jar Binks."
Chapter 133: Bouquets
The first one arrived exactly a month after their first "official" date. A bundle of hand-made spaghetti, tied with a red ribbon, complete with a small index card with a recipe for Angelo's famous bolognese sauce.
"Sherlock, you seen this?" John held the package up, perplexed. Sherlock snatched the card with his long, thin fingers.
"That's just Angelo's way of wishing us luck. He seems to have taken a shining to the fact that we finally realised we were being twits - his words, not mine, and chose his humble establishment as the venue." Sherlock shrugged, but there was a hint of a smile playing around his lips.
John nodded. "Alright then, I'll call him and thank him later."
The second one came exactly a month after that - fresh herbs this time. Rosemary, tarragon, oregano. The smell was overwhelmingly delicious, and even Sherlock's appetite was whetted.
The third, and by now the pattern was more than obvious, was a dozen long narrow breads, dotted with cheese. John couldn't help but notice the ends were curved in a distinctive t-shape, clearly reminiscent of the cane he'd left at Angelo's that first fateful night. He chuckled. It was all starting to get a bit silly, but he meant well, and eventually, the housebreaker-turned-restaurateur would run out of things to turn into bouquets.
Chapter 134: Blocks
I'm kind of weirdly bummed out and unmotivated, I thought a bit of kidfic would cheer me up.
The two structures couldn't have been more different if they'd tried. Sitting on the floor together in John's bedroom, John had built what appeared to be a spaceship of some sort, with no regard for brick colour. Sherlock, on the other hand, had meticulously reproduced a dopamine molecule and built a towering double-helix structure in red, blue, and grey. John peered at it.
"Deoxyribonucleic acid." Sherlock said proudly. John still just looked confused.
John's mother had let them play unsupervised with the Legos on the condition that they all get picked up at the end of the day, before Mycroft came to pick Sherlock up.
"Sherlock, can I put that on the shelf? So I don't hafta put it away?" John chewed on his lower lip, studying the spiral contraption.
"But what about your ship?"
"It's rubbish, I was just going to take it apart."
"Well, I think it's rather brilliant. In a sort of surrealist, postmodern way. Can I take it home with me? Just until next time?"
John grinned. Leave it to Sherlock to turn his shoddy attempt at a spaceship into some kind of artwork.
"Sure. Just don't forget to bring it back! We'll need those bricks next time."
"Boys, Sherlock's lift is here!" Startled, they made quick work of scooping up and putting away the remaining blocks.
Chapter 135: Bathtub
The trumpeting coming from the loo sounds distinctly like someone blowing their nose, but Sherlock's in the shower. There's no way a tissue would stand up to that sort of environment... Concerned, John sticks his head into the room.
"You alright, Sherlock? What was that noise?"
Sherlock peers out from behind the curtain.
"Hm? Oh, nothing, I was just blowing my nose."
"With what? Did you bring a handkerchief in there?" John sounds incredulous, wary.
"No, of course not. I just used my hand and washed it down the drain."
"Sherlock! That's revolting!"
"Why? It's just phlegm."
"This from a man who was in the military, and proceeded on to a career that regularly involves people vomiting or voiding themselves. I had no idea you were so squeamish."
"It'd be fine if it were just you, but I use that shower too!"
"John, I had no idea you were so squeamish about bodily fluids..." Sherlock's voice is teasing now. "Shall I invest in some condoms?"
John groans, rubbing his brow in frustration.
"It's unsanitary, that's what it is."
"I suppose now would be a bad time to mention I occasionally urinate down the drain while I'm alone in here?"
John's face blanches and he leans against the doorframe, realising this is a lost battle. "Just clean the bloody bathtub!"
Chapter 136: Bag
John can hear Hamish wailing all the way from upstairs as he fumbles to unlock the front door, both hands laden down with groceries. He gets the door open and shouts up the stairs.
"Sherlock, what's wrong?"
Sherlock, carrying the screaming, squirming bundle, looks sheepish.
"What did you do? Why's he crying?"
"Well, John... do you remember when he was a toddler, and he found his way into the Tesco's bag, and you took a photograph?"
John glares, his patience waning as their son continues to bawl. Sherlock chews on his lip for a moment before continuing.
"Well, while you were out, I came across it, and I may have told Hamish that while most parents get babies from the hospital, we got him at the Tesco."
John can't help but giggle. "Alright, Sherlock, that's actually quite cute. But why is he throwing such a fit?"
"Well, after I told him, he remembered you saying you were heading to Tesco's, and he may have gotten the idea that you were out shopping for a replacement."
"Oh, Hal." John smiles, reaching out to his son, who climbs into his arms. "C'mere, I promise, I was just getting food. You're more than enough for your father and myself!"
Then, as if to reassure him, John empties out the contents of every single bag.
Chapter 137: Boast
"You figured it out in three minutes."
"That's what I do."
"And the Yarders had been puzzling over it all week."
"Yes, well, you know that collectively their brain power still doesn't begin to rival mine."
"Mm, nope. You are pretty spectacular."
They lounge on the sofa for a bit, Sherlock basking in the glow of John's effusive praise. His eyes droop closed, but John can tell he's thinking, not sleeping.
"John, why do you do it?"
"Hm? Do what?" John looks up, perplexed.
"Flatter me like that? Encourage me. Most people would have told me off by now."
"Yes, well, I'm not most people."
At this, Sherlock rewards John with one of his rare, genuine grins.
"No, and thank goodness for that. We both know how I feel about most people."
John chuckles. "In all honesty though, you deserve it. For all your cockiness, all your gigantic ego, I think sometimes you do forget that what you do is vitally important to the Met. It's like you get caught up in preening, rather than actually admitting to yourself that you're doing good work here."
John flushes a bit, Sherlock's penetrating gaze fixed on him and making him slightly uncomfortable.
"And besides, you seem to thrive on it. I think you'd explode if I didn't let you boast."
Chapter 138: Bagpipes
Trite sentimentalism, Sherlock had said when John mentioned heading up to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. He didn't care though - something in the haunting lilt of the pipes and the rhythm of the drums stirred his Watson heritage and his army blood, and he decided he would go whether or not Sherlock came with him.
Unwilling to pass up a chance to visit another throbbing metropolis, or possibly unwilling to spend three days wallowing in John-less boredom, Sherlock ended up tagging along. He had spent the entire train ride alternating between making snarky deductions about their fellow passengers and pre-emptively complaining about the event they were planning to attend.
When they finally arrived, checked into the hotel, and settled in, Sherlock had graduated from irritating to insufferable and John threatened to lock him in the loo. Looking somewhat chastised, he shut up temporarily and they headed off to the grounds of Edinburg Castle to wander, relax, and indulge in the events. Unfortunately, Sherlock's silence didn't last long, and within moments he'd started griping again, spewing forth unpleasant comparisons to strangulated cats and sheep with various maladies.
John just smiled indulgently, focusing instead on the music and phasing out his blathering flatmate. Sonorous and booming though his voice may have been, even Sherlock couldn't compete with the wail of the bagpipes.
Chapter 139: Brolly
The piles of paperwork on his desk were nearly overwhelming. Mycroft stared at them and sighed, shifting his weight in his rich leather chair. He stared out the window, London spread out before him, lush and alive. The sky was overcast, drizzling lightly, but the sun kept making a valiant effort to peep through. It would have been a good day for a walk.
He pushed the button on the intercom to the front office. "Anthea dear, could you bring me a cup of tea and the Pelham file?"
Magically efficient as always, she appeared in his office nearly immediately, tea and documents at the ready.
"Sir, you've been working all day, you need some fresh air."
Mycroft smiled. It was nice to be mothered now and again, even if it was by an attractive young woman ten years his junior.
"I need to get this finished up before the Minister arrives."
The look on her face made it clear she disagreed, but who was she to order around her boss? She nodded and left, shutting the door quietly behind her.
Sipping his tea pensively, Mycroft rummaged through the papers for ten minutes or so, before getting fidgety and irritable.
"Sod this, the files will be here later." Chuckling to himself, he headed for the door, grabbing his coat and brolly.
Chapter 140: Bachelor
"AND DON'T CALL ME!"
The click of high heels echoes down the stairs, punctuated by the loud slam of the front door. Sherlock peers through the doorway, to where John stands on the landing. His jumper is off and his shirt is un-tucked, but he looks relatively put together aside from that.
"Date not going so well then?"
"Fantastic deduction, that. Thanks."
"What happened?" Sherlock looks genuinely curious, if not concerned.
"I..." John flushes. "She... had some ideas. I was fine with those ideas. But I may have said we needed to wait while I came down and made sure you didn't need my help with anything. Needless to say..." he cuts himself off, under Sherlock's scrutinising glare.
"She wasn't fond of that idea, was she? Well, never mind. She was dull anyway. Come, sit. Top Gear's on. You enjoy that, don't you?" Sherlock smiles awkwardly, patting the cushion next to him.
John drops onto the sofa next to Sherlock, settling into a companionable silence.
Really, though, aside from certain physical needs - which John could always find an outlet for without the need for attachment - somehow, Sherlock really did fulfill all his needs for companionship. Strangely contented with this realisation, John comes to terms with the fact that he will likely spend the rest of his life a bachelor.
Chapter 141: Bilbo Baggins
The afternoon is warm and drowsy, golden light slanting in from the two tall windows. John's curled up in his chair, a battered and well-loved paperback in his lap. Sherlock stalks by, carrying a vial of... something, and steals a glance at the cover.
"The Hobbit, John? Again? What is it about that book?"
John shrugs, studying the little novel. "It's a grand adventure! It's about someone who thought he was happy in his quiet, comfortable life, but when presented with a chance to do something exciting, he couldn't resist the opportunity."
Sherlock's eyes widen for a moment, a familiar gesture that John recognises as his realisation face.
"You feel a kinship with the hobbit character, don't you?"
"Yeah, I suppose I do. Does that make you Smaug, then? The strangely alluring, risky, ornery danger in my life?"
Sherlock huffs, a dramatic snort of air through his nostrils that does little besides confirm John's hypothesis.
"It's nonsense, that's what it is. Don't you have a medical journal or a monograph or something you could be reading?"
"Could be, sure. But it wouldn't be half as fun as this." John waves the colourful cover in Sherlock's face as he stomps off towards the kitchen. Smiling, John opens the book and resumes getting lost in the adventures of one brave little Bilbo Baggins.
Oh come now, you didn't think I'd pass up an opportunity like this, did you?
Chapter 142: Broom
The kitchen floor was a sea of shattered glass and vaguely suspicious liquid. Sherlock, of course, had moved on from whatever experiment had resulted in such a mess, and was now in the sitting room, typing away on John's laptop. Gingerly, John made his way through the hazards and road traps and pointedly shut the laptop, trapping Sherlock's hands.
"I do hope you don't intend to leave the kitchen in that state."
"Hm? Oh, I thought you or Mrs. Hudson could take care of it."
"But neither I nor Mrs. Hudson made that mess. Sherlock Holmes, we are not your live-in cleaning service, and unless you've somehow suffered a massive disabling trauma in the ten minutes since I last saw you walking, there is no reason we should be picking up after you."
"But it's dull."
"Yes, well, unfortunately it's something the rest of us grown-ups have to deal with on a regular basis, and it's about bloody time you joined us."
Sherlock scowled, delicately pulling his fingers out from their computerised prison.
"Fine, fine, as soon as I'm done."
"Nope." John glared. "Now. I'd like to make myself a cuppa, and I don't much fancy pulling glass shards out of my foot."
Punctuated by a theatrical sigh, Sherlock stood up and stalked towards the storage cupboard to get a broom.
Chapter 143: Belstaff
I'd been trying to use Belstaff as a b-word for weeks and nothing was working out. floppybelly suggested the origins of Sherlock's coat, and my urge to write more irritated, protective Mycroft just took over.
John picks the great damned coat of the floor, where Sherlock's dumped it, and hangs it up. Dusting it off slightly, he turns to Sherlock.
"You should really take better care of this thing. Where did you get it, anyway?"
Sherlock freezes, the memory rushing to the forefront of his mind.
"Sherlock, please take the coat." Mycroft draped it over his shoulders, rolling his eyes when Sherlock simply shrugged it back off.
"Fuck off, Mycroft."
"If you're going to live in this hovel and waste your money on drugs and cigarettes, the least you can do is let me give you one article of clothing. Look at you, you're shivering."
"I don't need your bloody charity. And don't try to tell me it was yours first, your waist hasn't ever been this narrow."
Mycroft grimaced – if Sherlock was making petty barbs about his weight again, there was no use in arguing. Gently, he took the coat and folded it over the back of the single chair in Sherlock's filthy flat, silently letting himself out.
Later that night, waking clammy and feverish – from hunger, or withdrawal, he wasn't sure – Sherlock grabbed the coat and pulled it up over his skinny frame.
John's voice snaps him back to the present day. "I mean, honestly, it couldn't have been cheap. It's a bloody Belstaff."
Chapter 144: Busker
A particularly sadistic killer had been targeting street performers in the Underground for several days now, and Sherlock's investigation had hit a wall. He was driving John crazy, pacing, ranting, and alternating between flurries of activity and fits of listless boredom.
"I need to find a way for them to trust me, John. Get them to open up."
John pursed his lips, surely the bloody obvious solution hadn't escaped Sherlock. He stared pointedly at the violin resting on the arm of the square armchair.
"You could just go undercover?"
A cloud passed over Sherlock's face, he was clearly irritated with himself for having overlooked it. He walked over to the violin and picked it up, cradling it delicately under his chin and plucking out a few notes.
"Thank you, John. Sometimes the more mundane, obvious solutions slip right by me."
"You've got quite a knack for turning a compliment into an insult, you know that? We'll have to work on your clothing though, your usual posh toff uniform is going to look a bit out of place down there."
About an hour later, having raided their wardrobes, Sherlock stood in the kitchen in a pair of ratty jeans, some trainers dug up from the back of his own closet, and one of John's frayed button-downs, looking every part the starving busker.
Chapter 145: Boy (part I of III)
Hamish and angst! And don't worry, this one's a three-parter! Be sure to read the next two (Belittled, Beneficial) after this one.
After clamoring about in the kitchen, Sherlock stuck his head into the sitting room where John was helping Hamish with some homework.
"Have either of you seen the plate of kidney slices I left in the fridge?"
Hamish looked up, somewhat guiltily. "Sorry, father, I thought that was spoilt food, I threw it in the bin out back."
"You what? I needed that!"
"I'm sorry! Something smelt off in the refrigerator, I thought I'd tidy up so you or dad wouldn't have to." John reached out, patting his son's hand comfortingly.
"Sherlock, it's not a big deal. I'll get you some kidneys from Molly, you can start it over again tomorrow."
"You useless, idiotic child. You've ruined two weeks of work."
"Yeah, well you're a terrible excuse for a father. I don't care if it's bloody obvious my genetic material came from you, John's my only real dad." Hamish stormed up the stairs to his bedroom before even Sherlock could notice the tears welling up on his lashes. He reached the landing at the top of the steps and sat down heavily, wrapping his thin arms around his knees. Strains of shouting carried up from the kitchen.
"Most parents would kill to have such a well-mannered son who cleans up without being asked. For Christ's sake, Sherlock, he's just a boy!"
Chapter 146: Belittled (part II of III)
Please be sure you've read Boy, the previous drabble, before this one, and then follow it up with Beneficial.
Hamish shuddered. He loved Father, he really did, but sometimes it was impossible to live with him. He heard heavy footfalls on the stairs and resisted the urge to bolt into his room and lock the door. Steady, even, solid. Dad then, not Father.
"Hey, Hal." John groaned, lowering himself onto the ground next to his son. "I'm sorry you had to hear that."
He sniffed, a feeble attempt at masking his prior crying jag. "You have nothing to be sorry for, it's him."
"Your father means well." This comment was met with a derisive snort, so similar to Sherlock's that it caused a pang in John's chest. "He's only human. He tends to expect more of you than he should, but that's only because he loves you, and he knows how smart you are. He's just never been very good at expressing his emotions, so when we don't live up to his rather absurd expectations, he lashes out. He wants to apologise though, why don't you come downstairs?"
Hamish rubbed his red, blotchy face and stood up, following John back downstairs. Sherlock was standing in the doorway, looking suitably contrite.
"Hamish… I'm sorry. I was irritated, and I said some very inappropriate things. I treasure you and your dad, and I didn't mean to make you feel unintelligent or belittled."
Chapter 147: Beneficial (part III of III)
Please ensure you've read the previous two chapters (Boy and Belittled) before this one.
Hamish studied his father for a moment before stepping into the main sitting room.
"I didn't mean what I said either, Father. I'm really sorry about that, and that I ruined your experiment."
"Sod the experiment."
John stepped quietly into the kitchen, close enough to be nearby if he was needed, but far enough to give Sherlock and Hamish a bit of privacy. Sherlock nodded at him through the doorway and sat down on the sofa, gesturing for his son to come sit next to him.
"I'm not sure if your dad has ever explained this to you, but before he came along, I was virtually impossible to live with. I was on my own for a very long time. Sure, Mycroft and Greg were around, but I'd gone out of my way to distance myself from everyone, convinced myself that relying on other people, caring about them, was a sign of weakness. It's not that I had no feelings, rather the opposite. But feelings are messy, distracting. It was hard to focus on my work. So I shoved everything to the wayside..."
Awkwardly, Sherlock wrapped an arm around his son's narrow shoulders. Hamish smiled and leaned into him.
"And then you met Dad, and realised that sometimes having someone - or two someones - to care about can be beneficial."
Chapter 148: Behind
They're walking through the International terminal at Heathrow, Sherlock stalking off, leaving John to deal with his bag. When they get to the security checkpoint, where John can go no further, Sherlock turns to say goodbye.
"I'll only be gone a week, John. Possibly less, if I can sort the case out quickly. I'll be home soon."
"I know, Sherlock. Promise me you'll be careful."
"Aren't I always?"
"No, Sherlock, I'm positive that's entirely the wrong word for what you are." John smiles wistfully, adjusting the lapels on Sherlock's coat. He clings to them for a moment before letting go and looks down at his feet. He feels Sherlock's finger under his chin, guiding him to look upwards.
"I will come home to you, John. I will make sure I don't get hurt, don't get stuck there, and I will come home." He kisses John's forehead gently and turns before either of them can say another word, heading through the gate.
It's been years since the incident at Bart's, since the fall, but somehow the pang John feels every time he sees Sherlock leave him, no matter how temporary, never gets any easier. He knows it's irrational, he knows it was necessary that one time and won't ever happen again, but part of him is still terrified of being left behind.
Chapter 149: Buggery
Man, I've gotten way too angsty with these recently. Here, have some ridiculous humour instead.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
John tumbles into the empty barn with a crash, followed shortly by Sherlock, who trips over him. They've been running from an angry farmer for what seems like an hour now – he wasn't too keen on Sherlock pointing out that not only had he been skimming from the farm's profits, but he'd been intimate with the sheep as well.
John collapses to the ground, trying to catch his breath between giggles.
"I can't…" he wheezes out, laughing. "I still can't believe you said that out loud."
"Well, Lestrade asked me if I had any further reasons to be suspicious of the farmer. I'm pretty sure sexual relations with livestock counts as suspicious."
"Still though! A bloody sheep! No wonder he was furious with you. God, Sherlock, what possesses some people?"
"The fresh air, the natural woodsy aromas." Sherlock looks around, studying the interior of the barn. "Isn't that where they got the expression – a roll in the hay?"
John groans, rubbing his eyes. "Don't you be getting any ideas. I'm sore, I'm tired, and it reeks in here."
Sherlock smirks, clearly joking. "Admit it, John. Life with me is never dull."
"God no, anything but. I can honestly say that when I woke up this morning, I genuinely had no idea I'd be getting embroiled in a case of buggery."
Haha, bet you all thought I would go with the other, less disturbing usage of the word buggery!
Chapter 150: Bottle
They'd finally done it, John and Sherlock had finally kissed. John had spent the afternoon with his sister, and finally snapped after several hours worth of teasing, wheedling, and speculation. He'd come home, grabbed a rather perplexed Sherlock by the front of his shirt, and planted one on him.
Thankfully, Sherlock had (after the initial shock) reciprocated, and they'd spent the rest of the evening acquainting themselves with each other's mouths and hands and chests. John, out of concern for Sherlock getting overwhelmed, had kept things above the waist, but it was still more than either of them could hope for.
The next morning, John figured he should call Harry and let her know that she'd been right all along - if she found out later or through a third party, she'd be absolutely insufferable.
He dialled, and the answering grunt on the phone made it clear that she was either drunk already, or well on her way to being so.
"Morning, Harry. I just called to let you know you were right."
" 'Course I was." She pauses, clearly confused. " 'Bout what?"
"I kissed Sherlock last night. And, well..." John clears his throat. "He kissed me back."
John couldn't help but cringe as Harry's excited squeal was punctuated by the familiar smash and shatter of a dropped wine bottle.
Chapter 151: Buff
The first time Sherlock and John slept together was not after their first kiss, or after their first disastrous attempt at a "proper date", or first time they had sex. It was much, much, earlier on than that.
The first time they slept together was the night of the pool incident. The night that a strange twist of fate (in the form of a woman in a wisp of lace and a slash of red lipstick) interfered with a psychopath (in the form of a madman in an outlandishly expensive suit). The night that it was, thankfully, the wrong day to die.
Neither of them were willing to admit it, but even John could see that the incident had shaken Sherlock. Whether it was being at the whims of an insane criminal mastermind, the lack of control, or the sudden realisation that Sherlock cared about someone else's safety more than his own, they could both tell he was upset.
So when, halfway through the night, he showed up in John's room, bundled in his duvet, of course John just nodded and pulled back the corner of his own comforter. Of course he snuggled over to the far side of the bed, making room. What John was not expecting though, was to discover so early on that Sherlock slept in the buff.
Chapter 152: Belonged
Somehow, John had figured out when Sherlock's birthday was, and he was going to drag Sherlock to the pub with some friends, "come hell or high water", as he'd put it. They'd bickered amicably for about twenty minutes until Sherlock decided that it would be an interesting way to study people in a relaxed environment, and eventually assented.
A few texts and phone calls later, they were on their way to the pub. Mrs. Hudson stood between them, having been asked by John and clearly flattered at being included. When they got inside, John spotted the few folks he'd invited and waved. Sherlock studied them all - DI Lestrade, looking tired and rumpled after a long day at work; Molly, smiling too wide, trying too hard, and looking awkward but pleased at having been invited; even bloody Mycroft, incongruous in the pub in his three piece suit. However, all of them had something in common - they looked genuinely happy to have been included in this. They headed across the pub and sat down, greeting everyone in turn.
As his gaze drifted from John and Greg laughing conspiratorially about something to Mrs. Hudson nursing her whiskey sour and smiling contentedly, he couldn't help think that maybe John was right. Maybe, sometimes, it was good to have a place where you belonged.
Chapter 153: Bewildered
OH LOOK. SEMI-PUBLIC SEX. MEN GOING AT IT. ALERT ALERT YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. :D
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
"Has anyone seen Sherlock? Or Dr. Watson?" DI Lestrade's voice boomed across the floor, leading a few of the officers to point in the general direction of his office.
"Oh bloody hell, what're they doing in there?" He got to his door and was about to knock when he remembered it was his damned office, and he didn't need anyone's permission to enter. Once he opened the door though, he found himself wishing he had.
John had Sherlock pinned to the surface of his desk, his trousers down around his knees and the skin of his arse flushed crimson. Sherlock's head was thrown back, and he was moaning loudly. Greg turned away and coughed discreetly, but so distracted were they that they just kept going, until it was quite obvious both of them had reached an immensely satisfying climax. They tidied up and turned around, ending up face-to-face with the DI, who was just standing there awkwardly, mouth hanging open.
"Oh, um, hello Lestrade. Didn't see you there." John blushed, the red tint of his cheeks reminding Greg uncomfortably of the flush on his bottom moments earlier. "Sorry about this, we were just leaving." Sherlock merely smirked, looking insufferably smug and satisfied.
The two of them swept out of Lestrade's office, leaving him slightly aroused, and more than a bit bewildered.
Chapter 154: Beige
Over the years, Sherlock has been drawn to a wide array of colours and tones. He finds deep neutral charcoal greys aesthetically pleasing. He often finds himself buying clothing in rich jewel tones - purple shirts, blue scarves.
For as long as he can remember, he's had a preference for deeper colours. They reminded him of a simpler, more straightforward time. The comforting dark red of Mummy's drawing room, the navy of Father's suits, before things got so strained.
There's an exception in the soft celadon shades of the wallpaper in his bedroom, which sometimes he suspects Mrs. Hudson hung in there because she knew he'd like it. If he were being honest, he'd admit that he's drawn to that range because it reminds Sherlock of his own eyes.
Some colours Sherlock finds fascinating are particularly morbid. Blood, the way the colour changes so drastically upon oxygenation. The grey-green of a bloated corpse, discovered too late to glean anything useful.
So Sherlock was quite surprised when on one quiet Saturday afternoon when John randomly asked him what his favourite colour was, he found his gaze lingering over John's warm, solid, reliable form in his favourite knit oatmeal jumper. Without thinking, without remembering all the colours that have previously impacted his life in one way or another, Sherlock simply blurted out "Beige."
Chapter 155: Beater
Lacuna, this one's for you. Complete and utter absurd crack, inspired by a fake Cosmo magazine cover.
Every so often, Sherlock got stuck on the idea of making their sex life more exciting. Sometimes, like the experiments with bondage, blindfolds, and the memorable night with the ice cubes and the warm mug of tea, the attempts were a huge success. Sometimes, like the breath play or the semi-public sex, they were fun but probably better off not repeated.
It was rare that any of the experiments were thoroughly un-enjoyable for both parties, and even if the end result wasn't a roaring success, the process leading up to the end result was always fun. So John never actively discouraged Sherlock when he said he was up for some experimentation in the bedroom.
They'd been snogging, arms and legs entangled on the sofa now for nearly an hour, and John was sporting a rather massive and uncomfortable erection. He grabbed Sherlock forcibly by the waist and hauled him up, guiding him through the kitchen towards the main-floor bedroom.
Sherlock, however, had other ideas. He had that familiar gleam in his eye, the one that meant he was up to something. He veered off into the kitchen, rummaging intently through the drawers before proudly holding up what he'd been hunting for. John blanched, leaning heavily against the doorframe.
"Christ, Sherlock... No... Just... What are you doing? Is that... an egg beater?"
Chapter 156: Back Brace
If John's being honest with himself, he deserves everything he's got coming. He's not sure what possessed him - he hadn't been on a motorbike since the early days in Afghanistan. But when Lestrade showed up on that gorgeous old Triumph, all gleaming chrome and matte black, and then offered, after seeing the look of desire on John's face, he couldn't resist taking her for a short ride.
Thankfully, he'd not been going very fast when the back tire skidded off some fresh paint on the road. He'd managed to land in such a way that the bike suffered no permanent damage, but unfortunately the same couldn't be said for his back. A quick trip to the A&E confirmed a hairline fracture in one of his lumbar vertebrae, and they left with a prescription for painkillers, bed-rest, and a custom-fit orthotic. Inconvenient, but far better than a full-body cast and traction.
Now Sherlock's hovering awkwardly at John's bedside, unused to being the primary caretaker in the flat.
"Do you need... water? Paracetamol?" John smiles as Sherlock worries the cuff of his shirt. "It... it pains me to see you like this, John. It's my job to get hurt and your job to look after me."
"I'll be fine, Sherlock. Thank you." John groans softly, repositioning himself and adjusting the back brace.
Chapter 157: Boxing
Little nod to ACD canon today, because I couldn't not use this particular word!
A while after they first moved in together, John found himself wondering how exactly Sherlock kept up his toned, lithe physique. It wasn't that he was lazy, exactly, but it seemed like his entire fitness regimen involved abstaining from food and running around playing silly buggers. Neither of which would explain the toned forearms, the subtly defined pectorals, the thick but flexible neck John often found himself admiring in a detached sort of way.
Eventually, he started to notice a pattern. Once a week, unless a case had gotten in the way, Sherlock would disappear for a few hours and come back glistening with sweat and red in the face, and head directly for the shower. John resolved to follow him, to figure out what he was doing. He convinced himself it was strictly out of concern for Sherlock.
He ended up following Sherlock into a shady gym. He hid patiently in a corner, and found himself slightly breathless when Sherlock stepped out of the changing rooms, wearing nothing but a pair of worn silk trunks, his knuckles tightly wrapped with tape and a bit of padding. His torso was bare. John felt his heart pounding in his chest.
Before stepping into the ring, Sherlock smirked pointedly in John's direction.
"John, I had no idea you had any interest in boxing."
Chapter 158: Bookshelf
"Sherlock, where the bloody hell are my Sandbaggers dvds?"
"Over there, with the other white boxes."
John scowls, studying the dvd rack.
"Why, Sherlock, are they not with the other S titles?"
Sherlock gestures vaguely.
"Let me rephrase that. Sherlock, why the fuck is the dvd rack now organised by colour?"
"It appealed to me more this way. Isn't it more aesthetically pleasing?"
Fuming, John turns away from the shelf and stares at Sherlock.
"How am I supposed to find anything this way?"
"Just search by the box colour, instead of the title. It's not complicated."
"Not everyone in this flat has a bloody eidetic memory, Sherlock. I have no idea what colour half my dvd cases are… " Sighing, he rubs his eyes before turning back to the shelf.
"I'll help you then. What are you looking for?"
"Well, where would Series Four of new Doctor Who be?"
"Dark blue. Right there."
"Sherlock, no. And… have you separated all my James Bond films?"
"Obviously. The boxes are all different colours."
John groans, dropping heavily into his armchair.
"This is ridiculous. I don't care if you have some aesthetic aversion to the dvds being alphabetical order. Fix it."
"Alright, but don't say I never do anything around the flat. Oh, and, John?"
"You might want to avoid the bookshelf."
Chapter 159: Boots
They'd been back from the case in Dartmoor for a few days when it happened. John was minding his own business, checking his email, when Sherlock cleared his throat.
John closed the lid of the laptop, studying Sherlock's face. There was a flush across his cheeks, a clear sign that whatever he was thinking about, it was exciting him.
"What's up, Sherlock?"
"When you pulled rank. At Baskerville, I mean. Is that... I mean... can you do that at will?"
John raised an eyebrow. "Are you asking if I can fall back into army mode for a case or something?"
At this, Sherlock flushed even deeper. "Not a case, precisely."
"Sherlock..." John's voice was teasing, slightly rough around the edges. "Are you telling me you've got some kind of military kink?"
"I wouldn't call it a military kink. Not entirely. More of a Captain Watson kink, specifically."
John got up, crossed the sitting room and ruffled Sherlock's hair.
"I think I still have a few things packed up in boxes, let me go check." He smirked to himself, knowing full well he still had a full kit of both combat and dress uniforms.
And that was how John ended up sweaty and exhausted, draped across Sherlock's bed in nothing but his dog tags and pair of well-worn old combat boots.
Chapter 160: Battleaxe
They stood on the stoop of an elegant brick townhouse. John fussed with his cuffs as Sherlock rang the doorbell.
"Sherlock, what if this was a horrible mistake? What if she hates me?"
"I'm sure Mummy will love you, John."
"Thank you, Sherlock. Does she know... about..." He hesitated.
"About the nature of our relationship? I'll wager Mycroft's let her know, but even if he hasn't she'll figure it out within a few minutes of us getting in. It runs in the family."
John shuddered slightly at the idea of being trapped in a dining room with not two but three sharply intelligent, deductive Holmeses. Sherlock noticed the gesture and gripped John's hand tightly just as a formidable-looking woman with a severe steel-grey updo and familiar grey-green eyes opened the door.
She smiled warmly at Sherlock before casting her keen gaze over John. She studied him intensely before nodding, nearly imperceptibly, and then holding her hands out to him.
"Dr. Watson, please come in. Anyone who loves Sherlock as much as you clearly do is welcome here."
John was vaguely embarrassed that it was so obvious to her, but also pleased that beneath her stoic exterior, he seemed to have gotten her seal of approval. Her acceptance meant a lot to him, even if she was a bit of a battleaxe.
Chapter 161: Bowels
This one's quite gory and graphic. Particularly icky case. Proceed with caution.
John was an Army doctor. He'd seen more than his fair share of horrors - children caught in the crossfire, mates who'd driven over IEDs and lost limbs. When Sherlock had first asked him to come along, he'd expected to have to deal with the occasional bloated corpse, the rare disfiguring murder.
However, he soon learned that the Met didn't generally bother calling Sherlock for the simple things. Cases that got weird in theory also tended to get weird in practice. So when Lestrade called and informed Sherlock that they had "a really strange one", John was on alert.
They climbed under the police tape, ignoring Sally's irritated glare, and headed straight over to the DI. John had been expecting something gory, but he could tell this was extreme. The body had quite obviously been mutilated. They'd found a man's hands, both severed, greeting them at the door of the flat. His legs had been cut off too, and posed as though walking towards the bedroom. Getting the hint, Sherlock followed them without a word.
The picture in the bedroom shook John to his very core. Nothing he'd seen either in the army or with Sherlock could have prepared him for this. Gently swinging from the ceiling fan was the limbless torso, hanging from what appeared to be his own bowels.
Chapter 162: Betrayed (part I of II)
Sherlock's sitting expectantly on the couch when John comes down the stairs. He's got a container of leftover lo mein in his lap, and a pile of dvds is laid out on the coffee table.
John cringes. "Oh, fuck, Sherlock. We had a movie night planned, didn't we?"
Sherlock raises an eyebrow, gesturing at the pile of movies, as if to say I thought that was obvious.
"I'm sorry, I've got a date. Jeanette called, she asked if I was willing to give it another go."
Sherlock's face falls, nearly imperceptibly, before he gets his features under control.
"That's.. fine, John. More than fine. I didn't really want to watch these movies anyway, I was only doing it for your benefit. I've got some mould cultures to attend to. Maybe I can call Lestrade and see if he inevitably needs my assistance." Realising that he's rambling, Sherlock shuts up.
"I could... I could call and postpone it. Tell her you need me."
Sherlock rolls his eyes. "Considering her ridiculous reasons for leaving the first time, I don't recommend that. Go on then, have fun." He scowls and flops over on the sofa. Sherlock's been abandoned, let down, ignored, and intentionally overlooked many times through his life, but this is the first time in recent memory he's felt well and truly betrayed.
Chapter 163: Better (part II of II)
Several of you requested a resolution to yesterday's angsty abuse, and you know I aim to please :)
Barely an hour later, Sherlock hears John's footfalls echoing in the stairwell.
"Jeanette still charming and lovely as ever, I take it?" He snarks, eyeing John suspiciously.
John just scowls and rummages through the fridge for a beer. He crosses the living room and sits heavily in his armchair, across from Sherlock.
"Shut it, would you? Besides, she's not that interesting after all."
"So she wasn't interested in... how do you put it? Make-up sex?"
John's face is pinched, but eventually he relaxes, even letting out a low chuckle.
"Not one for beating around the bush, are you?"
"No, but apparently you are."
John splutters, spilling beer down his front. "Sherlock, was that... innuendo?" Sherlock merely shrugs, raising an eyebrow. John grins and raises the nearly empty bottle in a mock toast. "Well done, then, it was a good one. I think I'm about done with... er... bushes for a while though. What do you say to that movie night?"
"I think I'd like that, John. I am sorry your date didn't work out, but I'm glad you're back."
"Don't worry about it, it was never going to work out. Besides" John smiles, stretching his feet out and sinking further into his comfortable chair. His bare toes are dangerously close to Sherlock's, but he doesn't move them. "This is much better."
Chapter 164: Bradbury
Sherlock has a lot of very loud, very pointed opinions about John's library. For some reason, though, the science fiction shelf seems to draw the most ire.
"It's rubbish, John. You're a man of science, why do you read this far-fetched speculative nonsense?"
"Because it's fun and interesting and gives me hope for the future."
Sherlock plucks a book off the shelf at random and studies the back cover for a moment before sighing and putting it back in the wrong spot. John cringes.
"I don't see why it even matters to you, Sherlock. It's not as if I'm reading it out loud, or forcing you to read it yourself. It entertains me, it makes me think."
At the use of the word think Sherlock lets out a grunt.
"Actually, how about that? How about I read one or two short stories to you while you pace the living room like a madman. You can't give me a decent judgement on this sort of stuff if you've not read any yourself."
"Only if you let me read you an article on the rate of decay in brain tissue as impacted by acidity in the water table."
"Deal." Contented, John picks his well-worn copy of The Illustrated Man off the shelf, ready to be transported by the thought-provoking prose of Ray Bradbury.
As you may have heard, they announced Ray Bradbury's passing this morning. I'm legitimately crushed by this. I actually had another drabble written and ready to go, but I wanted to honour Bradbury in my own way today. And if anyone's curious, Sherlock totally ended up loving the stories John read. How could he not?
Chapter 165: Benedict
More meta-absurdity. I figured if I could do one with John reading The Hobbit, I can do this too XD With apologies to the rest of the cast of this episode of HIGNFY, I just made up rude deductions about them all. None of them are true!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The television is on in one corner, mostly ignored. Sherlock's appropriated John's laptop for something, and John's reading a book. Something prompts John to look up though, and what he sees on the screen shocks him. It's an old repeat of Have I Got News For You, but not one he's ever seen before.
"Sherlock, c'mere. Look at this, look at the telly."
Sherlock looks up, eyeing the screen with disdain.
"What am I looking at John? Besides a woman carrying on an affair, a man who's just run over his neighbour's dog, an embezzler, and a ridiculous ging-" he trails off, his mouth hanging open comically.
"It's not just me then, he does look a bit familiar?"
Sherlock scowls, gesturing angrily at the screen. "Look at him. He's all.. smiley. And ginger. I don't see the resemblance at all."
"Bollocks, I know you do, or you wouldn't have reacted. I just looked it up, his name is apparently Benedict Cumberbatch. Any Cumberbatches in your family?" John snickers, apparently relishing saying the name repeatedly.
"What sort of a ridiculous name is that? It has to be a stage name."
"Sherlock, have you forgotten your name is, uh, Sherlock?"
This comment earns a dramatic roll of the eyes. "No, John, I'd completely overlooked that fact. Honestly though. Is his name really Benedict?"
This is not related to today's drabble, but for those of you who read drabble 153 - Bewildered, round_robin has written an incredibly hot story about poor Lestrade after he finds the boys in his office. Please go check it out!
The Desk Job
Chapter 166: Breeze
The sky was bright and clear, the sun streaming through the trees. The weather was uncharacteristically lovely, not a cloud in sight. John smiled and shook out the blanket, turning to watch Hamish. He was dressed in a pair of adorable but ridiculous short trousers Sherlock had insisted on, and a striped jumper that John was sure Sherlock had purchased because it looked very much like John's.
He was pulling the wagon filled with picnic supplies behind him, but kept getting distracted, stopping to study a worm lying across the path, and then picking up a strangely bent stick, and John grinned, wondering if this is what Sherlock had looked like at four years old.
Eventually, Hamish got to the blanket and sat down, presiding imperiously over John as he set out the picnic.
"Daddy, why isn't Father here?"
"Your father's stuck helping Uncle Lestrade at work, but he promised he'd ring as soon as he was done. But for now it's just us."
He nodded seriously, attempting to stifle a yawn.
"C'mere, Hal. Why don't we relax a bit before we eat?"
John laid back, arms crossed behind his head as Hamish curled up on his chest, settling in for a mid-afternoon nap in the sun. Thoughtfully, he stroked the mop of achingly familiar black curls, ruffling in the breeze.
Chapter 167: Butter
Complete crack, inspired by a silly late-night conversation in the #innercircle.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
There are greasy, sticky handprints all over the walls that John dreads explaining to Mrs. Hudson. Sherlock is lying naked and prone on the kitchen table, arms and legs hanging off the sides. John's slumped, similarly exhausted and debauched, in one of the spindly wooden chairs.
"I take it back…" he gasps, between giggles. "That first night chase, after Angelo's. That wasn't the most ridiculous thing I've ever done. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever done."
Sherlock laughs and groans quietly, raising his head to survey the damage to the kitchen. Several experiments have been knocked to the floor, there are more greasy handprints all over the refrigerator and the counter, and – most inexplicably – the faucet is running. He turns his head to look at John.
"You can't tell me it wasn't worth it, though." As usual, he looks insufferably smug, and John grins.
"No, you're right. It was pretty spectacular."
Sherlock preens, running his hand through his tangled curls. The gesture would be a lot more effective had his hands been clean. With a grunt, John sits up properly in the chair, making a feeble attempt at looking decent, despite his sweaty torso, mussed hair, and lack of clothing.
"Next time, though" John coughs out, still trying to catch his breath, "we're using proper lube, not the butter."
I would like to take a moment here to clarify that in no way do I condone using butter – or any food product – as lubricant. It's messy and dangerous. Butter is butter and lube is lube and never the twain shall meet. Please do not take this seriously!
Chapter 168: Begonia
"Why did the body have to be in the middle of nowhere?" Sherlock glared at the muddy hems of his trousers. John, in comparison, had his jeans tucked into a sensible pair of wellies.
"Dimmock did warn you, Sherlock. It's not his fault, or the victim's, that you chose to dress like that."
Sherlock scowled as they approached the middle of the field, cordoned off by police tape.
"Why did you call us in here for a body dump? Surely your team can handle something this simple?"
"Shut it, Sherlock. I don't know how Lestrade puts up with you. Come see. This isn't just any body dump."
The first thing John noticed was how peaceful the body looked. She'd been laid out in a circle of wildflowers, almost as if she was sleeping. Often when people staged bodies after a violent crime, they looked stiff and posed. This young woman's hands were curled gently at her sides, not crossed across her chest - which always ended up looking contrived. Her legs were slightly bent, ankles overlapped. The one thing, though, that made it very obvious she'd been laid here with great care and forethought were her eyes. They'd been closed, John wasn't sure if that was peri- or post-mortem yet. On each closed eyelid, someone had placed one pristine red begonia.
In the language of flowers, one of the interpretations of begonias is "beware"
Chapter 169: Bothered
Cursing, John steps gingerly over a stack of photographs of a particularly unpleasant crime scene. Sherlock studies him curiously as he makes his way into the kitchen. He looks into six or seven mugs, sighing at each one, until he gets to the last one, at which point he cringes and swears again. He's found the one with the toes in it, then.
Sherlock turns over on the sofa, eager to avoid eye contact and the ensuing argument. Unfortunately, John's having none of that.
"Sherlock, turn over or I'm dumping these toes on you. Which I'm sure will ruin the validity of whatever the hell it is you're doing with them."
Groaning, Sherlock turns over again, so he's still lying on the sofa but John can see his face now.
"Please don't, John. It's for an experiment."
"Of course it is. Is the rest of the bloody mess in here also part of an experiment? Some kind of study as to how much filth the average English flatmate can handle before going absolutely fucking postal?"
It's not a conscious decision to leave the communal areas of the flat a disaster area, not really. It's just that there's so much more important stuff going on inside of Sherlock's head that when it comes time to tidy up, he just can't be bothered.
Chapter 170: Be
Because man, I love me some awkward mornings-after. I can never have too many of them.
John looks across the bed, the tangle of sheets and limbs - his own tanned, muscular ones and Sherlock's long pale ones - and groans.
"Sherlock, was this..."
"Would you let me finish?"
"Nope." Sherlock, prosaic as always, interrupts John before he continues. "You're worried we've made a terrible mistake. You're worried we've ruined our friendship, that we won't be able to go back to what we had. You're worried I'm going to regret this, or get bored. Is that it?"
John's mouth opens and closes, rather like a fish. "Um... pretty much, yeah."
"Well stop worrying. We live and work together. We rely entirely on each other, we trust each other more than anyone else. This was the most logical progression."
"...Logical. Thanks. That's what I've always wanted to hear from someone I've shagged. This is never going to work."
"John, you forget one thing. You've said it yourself - I'm incredibly stubborn. I want this to work more than I've wanted nearly anything in recent memory." He's silent for a moment, giving John time to process that statement. He just stares at Sherlock. "I'm committed to making this work, John. I'll do whatever you need me to do. Be whatever you need me to be."
John smiles, finally. "Silly git. You're already who I need you to be."
Chapter 171: Bathrobe
John kicks a pile of red silk out of the way, grumbling to himself. Despite his better judgement, he bends down and picks it up, carrying it across the flat.
He gets to the sitting room, where Sherlock is lounging in his big square armchair, draped in more silk - soft grey this time, with a contrasting black collar and belt.
"Christ almighty, Sherlock. How many sodding bathrobes do you own?"
"None." The underlying 'Obvious' is clear in his disdainful tone of voice.
Scowling, John dumps the red one into his lap. "What do you call this then? And the one you're wearing? And the one hanging off the loo door? And the one in the bloody stairwell?"
"Dressing gowns, clearly."
"Oh, my mistake." John rolls his eyes, but he's smiling.
"They're quite different, John. Bathrobes imply post-bath use. They're tatty, unstylish terrycloth things. Wouldn't be caught dead greeting clients in one of those. Dressing gowns are elegant and refined." He scrunches his nose up irritably and dusts the lapels of his gown off with his hands, as if proving a point.
"Fine, fine, whatever. I'm sorry if I offended your sartorial sensibilities." John smirks indulgently.
"Honestly, John." Sherlock snorts, getting out of his chair and swanning into his bedroom, and John can hear him muttering the entire way. "Hmph. Bathrobe!"
Chapter 172: Balance
It's the third time today John's nodded off at his desk, and it's only lunch break. He'd been out with Sherlock until half four in the morning, chasing down some leads that apparently just couldn't wait. The clinic had called at seven, asking if John could fill in for another doctor who'd come down with the flu. It was short notice, but the money would come in handy.
Rubbing his eyes, John debates cancelling his date so he could go home and nap. He'd only been out with the girl once before and it hadn't been the most engaging date in the world, so he feels no particularly strong urge to follow up. The dire need for sleep is overpowering. He's staring blankly at his phone debating whether to call her when it vibrates in his hand, alerting him to a new text.
John, come home ASAP. Need assistance. Hope you weren't too attached to this particular jumper. - SH
He groans and lets his head fall into his hands for a moment. Blearily, he rubs his eyes before sitting up straight and calling to cancel his date tonight. So much for staying in and catching up on some desperately-needed sleep. John sighs a bit as he realises it's becoming increasingly difficult, keeping all these aspects of his life in balance.
Chapter 173: Beaver
Cursing and grumbling, John rummaged through the closet upstairs, doing his best to assemble a full kit of fatigues. Mycroft had invited John and Sherlock to a fancy dress party and Sherlock had conveniently neglected to mention it to John. Mycroft called to confirm that a car would be arriving an hour before the party, leaving John frazzled.
He managed to get his uniform together and get dressed, surprised that it still fit so well – clearly all that running around after Sherlock, not to mention their rather active extra-curricular activities, were clearly keeping him fitter than he'd realised. With a set of electric clippers, he trimmed his hair quickly over the rubbish bin; it wouldn't do to show up in uniform and have shaggy hair hanging over his collar.
John had no idea what Sherlock had planned for his outfit, he just found himself hoping it wasn't going to be another homemade toga using their good linens. Although the look on Mycroft's face might have been worth it. He headed down the stairs into the kitchen, where Sherlock was putting the finishing touches on his own outfit.
John swooned slightly. Sherlock had decided to go in dapper Victorian regalia. He was wearing a morning coat and soft grey trousers, a rather ridiculous cravat, and a top hat in rich felted beaver.
Chapter 174: Bravo
Humming, John turns up the radio.
"Pachelbel's Canon, John? Really? How unsurprisingly pedestrian."
John smirks, he's used to Sherlock's music snobbery by now, and finds it amusing.
"It's a classic for a reason, Sherlock. Besides, I actually do enjoy it."
Sherlock scoffs. "Violin 101, John. I learnt it as a child."
Grinning, John points at Sherlock's violin, left carelessly on the sofa during his last snit about something or other.
"Go on, then. Surely you can do better than whoever's on the Beeb right now."
Never one to back down from a challenge, Sherlock grabs his violin and straightens up. He purses his lips, scowling at John, and preps the bow before putting it to the strings.
The interpretation of the familiar piece that fills the living room is sharp, aggressive, nearly double-time. The music typically soothes John's frayed nerves, but this version expresses all of the irritation and ire Sherlock apparently feels towards it. Somehow, though, it works. It's oddly invigorating, and if Sherlock's intention was to aggravate John, he's failed miserably.
John smiles, drumming his fingers on the armchair in time with Sherlock's frantic interpretation. Eventually he gets to the end of the piece and puts the violin down, glaring at John, who just bursts into applause.
"I think that was the best rendition I've ever heard, Sherlock. Bravo!"
Chapter 175: Battles
"John, hurry!" Sherlock pockets his phone, the text promising a particularly exciting and grisly case fresh in his mind as he thunders across the flat.
"John?" No response, which is unusual. He knows John is home, his coat and shoes are still by the door, where he left them earlier.
Sherlock stops abruptly as he flies into the living room, where John is curled up asleep on the sofa. He's about to shake John awake when something makes him pause. They'd been up late for several days in a row, and Sherlock knows that John can't handle the forced insomnia the way he can. Maybe letting John sleep and going out alone is the kindest thing right now.
Gently, he drapes the tartan afghan over his sleeping friend, as John has occasionally done to him when he's finally succumbed to a desperately needed nap on the sofa.
He places a note on the coffee table, where John should see it when he wakes up. No use having him panic for nothing. Sherlock stares down at John's sleeping form, a strange mix of emotions running through him. He never thought he'd find watching someone else nap so interesting.
There will be more cases, he can wake John up next time he needs him. Sometimes, Sherlock realises, it's best to pick your battles.
Chapter 176: Brick
Squatting over the corpse, Sherlock gestures imperiously. John, of course, comes running. He drops down next to Sherlock, studying the grisly scene. There's blood splatter all over the floor, and the back of the man's head is smashed in. Sherlock merely nods, waiting for John's input.
He studies the wound for a moment, carefully pulling clotted hair out of the way, before checking the victim's eyes, throat, and hands.
"I'm assuming the fact that his skull is smashed in is the cause of death - I don't see any defensive wounds or signs of obvious trauma on the front, so..." He looks to Sherlock for confirmation, "I would say the perpetrator snuck up on him."
Grinning, Sherlock nods and gestures for John to continue. "That wound was clearly not caused by a bare fist..." he pauses, looking closer. Sherlock hands him the magnifier. "Something very heavy, clearly, but not very precise. The bone is smashed, not cut, but one edge is relatively straight. There's some orange-ish dust in the hair..." John trails off, his face lit up with a sudden epiphany. He darts off to the rubbish pile at the entrance to the crime scene.
Even the look of pride on John's own face can't surpass the one on Sherlock's when John rummages through the pile and unearths a bloody brick.
Chapter 177: Brute
"Sherlock? Sherlock Holmes, is that you?"
Sherlock spins around, scanning for the source of the voice. There, across the room. John sees who he's focused on. The man is tall and slim, with cheekbones nearly as sharp as Sherlock's, and loose fair curls. Standing between the two of them, John feels distinctly short, stout, and plain.
"Victor! Victor, this is John Watson. John, this is Victor Trevor. He was my friend in uni."
John freezes, anticipating some sort of contradiction, but Victor just smiles widely.
"Sherlock helped me out with some family matters and stayed at our house one summer."
The surprise must be clear on John's face, and Sherlock lets out a sharp laugh.
"Yes, John, someone was able to put up with me before you came along."
"Sherlock's looking healthy, clearly you're good for him. It was nice meeting you, but I've got to run." Smiling warmly, Victor shakes both their hands and runs off.
"He was nice." Whatever insecurity John may have felt is gone.
"He was. Seems like he still is. I'm glad he didn't have his awful dog with him."
"Sherlock, it's been nearly ten years since you've seen him. The dog is probably..." John looks for a tactful way of phrasing it.
"Dead?" Sherlock clearly has no such compunction. "Good, that thing was a brute."
Chapter 178: Basorexia
Obnoxious sappy fluff ahead.
They're lying in bed together, a pliant, sleepy tangle of arms and legs. John, taking advantage of the rare opportunity, pulls Sherlock on top of him. He traces Sherlock's prominent collarbones with his tongue, working his way up over the protruding Adam's apple, along the faintly stubbled jaw, before finding his way to Sherlock's lips.
Moaning quietly, Sherlock greets John's tongue with his own in a gentle, drowsy interplay. John runs his hands lightly up and down Sherlock's torso, amazed at how quickly he's gotten skilled at this sort of thing. How he's gone from so remote and emotionally withdrawn to this expressive, expansive lover - at least in the cautionary privacy of their bedroom. Outside, he's still as abrasive and brash as ever.
"I think I could get addicted to kissing you. I just want to keep doing it." John murmurs against Sherlock's mouth. "Those gorgeous lips of yours."
"I'd say you were being ridiculous, but there's actually a name for that." Sherlock's lips travel down to John's jawline, up to his ear, and then back to his mouth as he's talking. His breath is warm and exciting against John's skin.
"Oh?" John smirks, as if he thinks Sherlock is pulling his leg, and Sherlock can feel it.
"Mmm," he mumbles. "You can go look it up. It's called basorexia."
Chapter 179: Blackout
It's miserably hot and muggy out, John is tired of chasing after Sherlock, and greatly looking forward to getting home, turning on the fans, and having a cold beer. They throw themselves into a taxicab and Sherlock's immediately pestering him.
"Can I use your phone? I want to send a text, but I don't want to use mine."
"Sherlock, I told you already. My phone is dead, I'll have to charge it when we get home. Use yours or be patient." John grins mischievously, knowing neither of those options is going to appeal to Sherlock, who just grunts irritably.
The cab pulls up outside 221 Baker Street and Sherlock lunges out, leaving John to pay and follow him up the stairs. He's been inside for less than thirty seconds and already Sherlock's got two laptops booted up in front of him, the telly on with the evening news blaring, and John's mobile charging. John didn't even feel Sherlock slip it out of his pocket, but he shrugs resignedly as he heads into the kitchen to grab his desperately needed cold beer.
"One day you're going to regret being so plugged in, Sherlock."
Suddenly, as if in response to John's prediction, the flat goes dark. The unwelcome sound of electronic devices winding down surrounds them as they plunge into a city-wide blackout.
Poor boys! Want to know what happens next (hint - it's sex)? There's a full fic to follow here.
Chapter 180: Bundles
The emotional weight of the clutter in front of him loomed heavy on Sebastian Moran's shoulders. He'd been under strict orders that should anything ever happen to his boss, it was up to him to go clean Jim's flat. The bastard hadn't even left him a key, so he'd had to jimmy the door open, but that was more of an inconvenience than an actual problem.
He sighed to himself, rubbing the back of his neck as he shredded years' worth of documents, crushed a drawer's worth of USB keys under the heavy heel of his boot, rendering them useless.
The boss didn't drink much, claimed it clouded his mind, but he had a well-stocked bar for intimidating guests. Sebastian debated drowning his black mood, but ignored them, heading for Jim's bedroom, where the closet loomed open before him.
The suits. The fucking suits. Jim insisted on being impeccably dressed whenever possible. Sebastian remembered seeing the photos of him disguised as a tourist in the newspapers, and thinking he looked wrong in that hideous cap. These tailored garments, these were his boss. He ran his hands over the silk and wool blends, then scowled. He was getting soft, getting sentimental. Jim would have hated that. Angrily, he pulled them all off their hangers, dumping them at his feet in messy bundles.
Chapter 181: Brunch
Greg Lestrade stares forlornly at a stale doughnut and a cup of coffee that's somehow managed to go from infernally hot to dismally cold in the blink of an eye. He sighs heavily. He's been leaving the house at an ungodly early hour just to get away from the tense atmosphere between himself and his wife, the separation is not going well. He's even found an excuse to be at work on a Sunday morning, despite himself.
He looks up as his door opens, rubbing his eyes. Framed by the light of the bullpen outside is an immaculately dressed man, carrying a newspaper and an umbrella.
"Good morning, Mr. Holmes. I assume you're here about Sherlock again? Have a seat."
"Please, I've asked you before, call me Mycroft. And sitting down won't be necessary; I'm here on entirely…" he pauses briefly, "personal business."
Perplexed, Greg runs his hand through his hair, further disordering it. He finds himself wishing he'd bothered to shower this morning, or at the very least found a clean shirt. Next to this tall, imposing, handsome man he feels rather grubby and insignificant.
"No, Greg. If I may call you that? My motives here are entirely self-serving." He eyes Greg's sad attempt at a snack with distaste. "I was wondering if you'd like to accompany me to brunch?"
Chapter 182: Bondage
The images on John's screen are lurid, pornographic, disturbing, and (if John's being honest with himself) more than a little arousing.
"Sherlock! Sherlock, come here, you have to see this." He tilts the laptop, giving Sherlock a good view of the incredibly detailed drawings and paintings. The two of them, in all sorts of improbable and medically impossible positions. Sherlock scrolls, studying intently. He stops on one particular one, before staring down at John's crotch for a moment.
"Even factoring for particularly heavy engorgement, your penis is nowhere near that large, John."
John glowers. "Yes, Sherlock. Thank you for pointing that out. I love hearing about how not large my penis is from my partner. Besides, I'm not the one who drew these!"
There are stories too, sensationalist ones with campy titles like "The Doctor and the Boffin" or "Consulting Lovers". John reads the first few paragraphs of a couple before cringing and closing them, shifting awkwardly in his seat.
Sherlock purses his lips. "These are complete rubbish, John. Why don't these fans care about our cases, about our work? Why are they just speculating about our love life? It's ridiculous."
"I dunno, Sherlock. Some of them aren't so bad. I rather like that one." John flushes, pointing to a drawing of the two of them engaged in rather heavy bondage.
Chapter 183: Benevolence
John's trying to mind his own business. Sherlock is an adult, he can take care of himself. But honestly, those noises are getting increasingly more alarming, and there's that godawful smell to worry about.
Rubbing his hands over his face, John grumbles and runs down the stairs where he's engulfed in a cloud of yellowish smoke, and the horrifying odour has increased tenfold.
"Sherlock? SHERLOCK! Bloody hell. What is this?" Blindly, John fumbles into the kitchen, where he finds Sherlock looking sheepish and holding the top of a shattered beaker.
"Sulphur..." As if this is remotely enough of an answer to explain the horror in the kitchen.
It's at this moment that Mrs. Hudson decides to yell up the stairs. "Boys? What is that ruckus?"
John groans and leans out the doorway. "Uh, nothing, Mrs. Hudson. Just one of Sherlock's experiments."
"Well it smells dreadful. Just be sure to open a window, would you?" She tuts and shakes her head, ducking back into her flat. John lets out a relieved breath he didn't realise he'd been holding. He was sure that this time would be the last straw, that she'd finally run out of patience and kick them out. It wasn't the first time, nor would it be the last time, that John would be infinitely grateful for their landlady's benevolence.
Chapter 184: Belligerent
Bit of younger Sherlock/Lestrade here - feel free to skip if the idea of this pairing doesn't appeal to you.
Despite his better judgement, Greg trudges up the stairs, heading up to Sherlock's dingy single room in a filthy and suspicious building on Montague Street. Sherlock hasn't bothered him about a case in three days now, which means either he's found something more interesting to occupy his time, or he's in the throes of another binge. Neither option appeals much to Greg.
When he gets inside, the flat smells sour and bitter, sweat and unwashed linens. Sherlock is pacing manically in the tiny kitchen area. His hair is unwashed and his eyes are glassy, but most telling are the visible pinpricks of blood in his inner arm.
"You fucking idiot, Sherlock, what have you done? I can't leave you alone for more than a day. Look at you."
"I'm not a bloody child, I don't need you looking after me!" His eyes are wide and manic, his hands jittery as he waves them in the air.
"Clearly you do. Don't make me call your brother."
Hissing angrily, Sherlock grabs Greg's jacket and pulls him close, pressing their lips violently together. This isn't a kiss; it's an advancing front, a quest for dominance. Even in the sudden silence, their mouths remain at war.
Suddenly, Greg pulls back and runs down the stairs without a word, Sherlock trailing behind him, ranting and belligerent.
Chapter 185: Buckle
Bit of Sherlock being a naughty pervert here. Relatively explicit, read at your own risk.
The soft, muffled, tell-tale grunts are emanating from the shower again. Quietly, Sherlock stands at the door between his bedroom and the bathroom. John's form, so solid and recognisable, is obfuscated by the pebbled glass and the shower curtain, but the noises and the repetitive motions make it clear what he's doing.
Sherlock bites his lip, studying the shifting musculature of John's back through the haze. One hand drifts down, idly palming the stirrings in his trousers. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he knows this is wrong, but it's so fascinating. How is it that John, doing something so mundane, so inelegant, so base and so utterly human, is so interesting - not to mention arousing - to Sherlock? Why is literally everything about John so captivating?
A quiet sigh escapes his lips, his hand grinding harder and faster against the front of his trousers. John's picked up the pace; if he's following his usual pattern, he's nearing orgasm. Sherlock undoes his zip, slides his hand into the front of his trousers and cups his erection, his shoulders mimicking the movements John's making in the shower.
With one loud groan, Sherlock climaxes, warm come flooding his pants, his trousers still hanging from his hips. He leans heavily against the wall, trying to catch his breath as his knees buckle.
Chapter 186: Boundaries
I suppose this is a direct continuation of yesterday's drabble. For HiddenLacuna. XD
The launderette is mercifully quiet, nobody's ever here in the middle of the afternoon. Humming softly, John upends the laundry bag. He pulls out the darks, separating Sherlock's purple shirt, a bunch of socks, and a few pairs of pants. He comes across a bit of cotton with a strange faded spot across it. It's a bit stiff. Perplexed, he picks it up, wondering what sort of experiment led to this.
The sudden realisation that it's a pair of Sherlock's pants causes John to yelp with alarm and drop them. God damn. Sherlock's. Dirty. Pants. With what is quite obviously come on them. Cringing, John picks them up by one leg hole, pinched between thumb and forefinger and held out at arm's length, like a piece of particularly disgusting evidence at a crime scene. Not that there's any risk of him contaminating them. Rather the opposite, really?
Unceremoniously, he drops them into the washer, along with Sherlock's socks and shirts. His own laundry can wait. He pours far more soap into the machine than entirely necessary and slams the lid shut before darting to the dispenser of hand sanitizer, scowling.
He debates texting Sherlock but gives it up as a lost cause. When he gets home, he's going to need to have a long talk with Sherlock about overstepping personal boundaries.
Chapter 187: Basil
The Great Mouse Detective or Fawlty Towers - Take your pick.
Note: No rodents were harmed in the writing of this drabble.
Sherlock sets the cardboard shoebox down on the counter. It's shaking slightly, and there are worrisome scratching noises emanating from it. John raises and eyebrow, staring pointedly at it.
"Sherlock, what the hell is in there?"
"Mrs. Hudson found it and asked me to trap it for her." Sherlock trails off. John waits for him to finish explaining why the mouse is now in their kitchen, in a box. When no answer is forthcoming, he pushes the issue.
"Okay, that was nice of you. But why the hell did you bring it upstairs?"
"Oh, I thought I could experiment on it."
John splutters. "No. No you can't. Sherlock, it's a live animal!"
"Oh, don't worry. It won't be when I'm done."
John takes a deep breath, trying to calm himself. "Absolutely not. You're not killing an innocent mouse in the name of science."
"Oh, I'm sure Mrs. Hudson would confirm that it's not innocent. Why does this bother you so much?"
"Because it's just a poor mouse!" Gingerly, John opens the box and cups the tiny, quivering animal in his hands. "Maybe we could keep him around for a bit. Get a cage. You know, like a pet."
Sherlock snorts. "A pet, John?"
Smiling, John pats the mouse on the head. "Yeah. We can call him Basil."
Chapter 188: Bananaphone
We can blame Lacuna for this ridiculous crack too. For anyone who doesn't know, Raffi is a Canadian children's entertainer who writes incredibly annoying songs that kids seem to love. Bananaphone ended up becoming a meme back when it was released, and she challenged me to use it to end a drabble, and she would do the same. XD
Here is HiddenLacuna's "Bananaphone" drabble. It's much more creative than mine, and possibly a direct chronological continuation. XD
Tiptoeing out of the bedroom where Hamish's crib is, John gently closes the door. He settles down at the kitchen table, and turns the baby monitor on, and immediately both their ears are assaulted with infectious, mindless kids songs. Right now Raffi's cheerfully going on about watermelons down by the bay.
Sherlock closes his eyes, trying to concentrate, before rubbing his temples and glaring at John, who cringes and turns the volume on the monitor down, but it's not enough to muffle the music.
"John, can you please turn that rubbish off now that he's finally asleep?"
John rubs the back of his head, clearly exhausted.
"I've tried, Sherlock. I just got him down for the evening, but every time I stop the music, he wakes up and starts wailing again. I'm never going to forgive Molly for giving us this ridiculous CD. It's the only thing he wants to hear lately."
Unperturbed and blissfully happy, Raffi's voice continues to pipe through the flat as he sings nonsense about a baby beluga.
"I know he's my son and all, but Hamish can't have figured out how to operate the CD player yet. Just don't turn it on."
"Do you want to try putting him to bed without it?"
"Alright, fine. I suppose anything's better than that absurd one about the bananaphone."
Chapter 189: Bossa-nova
They're in a smoky, stuffy, underground jazz club. Mycroft's asked Sherlock to look into a potentially huge counterfeiting and money-laundering outfit apparently comprised of bored housewives, and the details have proved too interesting for the consulting detective to ignore.
John's sitting at the bar, nursing a glass of scotch, while Sherlock does his thing. He glowers bitterly as Sherlock saunters up to a woman, all toothy fake grin and tousled hair. She's smitten with him, they always are. He's probably got her singing like a canary, giving him way more information than he needs. John swigs his drink as Sherlock bores of the first woman, sidling up to her supposed partner-in-crime.
Scowling, John realises how extraneous he is right now. Why did Sherlock even insist on his tagging along? These two ladies can't pose that much of a threat, and John feels completely useless. It's almost like Sherlock is trying to make John jealous.
Sherlock's his friend, his flatmate, his colleague. There's nothing more to it than that, John keeps reminding himself, and there never will be. No reason to be envious of Sherlock shamming it up, flirting and strutting with these middle-aged tarts who fancy themselves hip and intellectual. John digs his heels into the ground, ignoring his heartbeat, thrumming in time to the music, pounding out a heady bossa-nova.
Chapter 190: Bulldog
"It's for a case, John." Sherlock's voice carried up the stairs. What John didn't recognise, though, was the strange scrabbling clicking noise, and the panting. Good lord, what'd he done this time?
John barely had time to sit down and brace himself before he was bowled over by thirty pounds of stubby legs, wrinkle, and slobber. The dog crawled onto his chest, happily licking every square inch of his face.
Shaking his head and spluttering, John glared at Sherlock.
"A case, like I said."
"I hope you're not planning on experimenting on him!"
"Nothing so vulgar, don't worry. I need to investigate a professional groomer, several purebred dogs and cats have mysteriously vanished while in her care, I'm assuming she's selling them on the black market."
"You can't just buy a dog for a disguise, Sherlock!"
"I borrowed him."
John tried to look upset, but it proved impossible while the dog was snuffling intently at his armpit. He giggled, despite himself.
Over the next few weeks, Sherlock remembered the dog when it was convenient for him, but neglected to feed or walk the poor thing. John took over dog duty, and soon he found himself rather attached. He kept having to remind himself that this was temporary, that soon he would have to say goodbye to the little bulldog.
Chapter 191: Bet
Elementary crossover, whoops! Wrote this on Tumblr a while back and realised with a few tweaks, it would be a workable drabble :)
They'd been in New York for a few days now on a case. John was exhausted and irritable. He'd left Sherlock in their room and headed down to one of the ubiquitous Starbucks that seemed to be on every corner. He'd just sat down with his tea (watery, bitter, but better than nothing) when a lovely woman sat down next to him. He smiled, nodding.
"John Watson. Can I help you?"
The woman's eyes bulged briefly, shocked. "J—Joan. Watson. And, I'm not sure."
They both let out nervous giggles, the coincidence too amusing to ignore.
"I've noticed you hovering around at crime scenes. I…" she paused, unwilling to reveal too much. "I work with the cops. Well... someone I know does. But you don't seem to be affiliated with the police..."
John sighed, rubbing his forehead. "It's complicated. We're - my partner - is a consulting detective."
Joan looked startled again. "Are you pulling my leg?"
"I wish I were."
Suddenly, John's phone buzzed.
Bored! Come back to the hotel. -SH
"I'm sorry, Joan. I need to get back."
She smiled and glanced towards the back door, where a scruffy and irritable-looking man stood looming and gesturing at her.
"Not a problem, I think I'm also being summoned. Nice meeting you, Watson."
"You too, Watson. See you soon, I bet."
Chapter 192: Borealis
The case is solved, but they've missed the last train back home, so they've checked into this inn, some hole-in-the-wall in rural Wales. John's staring out the window as the sun sets, marvelling at the sky, the lack of light pollution. Inspired, he turns to Sherlock.
"Come outside with me?"
Sherlock looks up. "Why?"
Sherlock scowls, but he closes his laptop and stands, following John out to the rear courtyard of the inn. They're alone, with just the wind and the crickets to keep them company. John lays down in the grass, and after a moment's hesitation, Sherlock joins him.
"You see that star?" Sherlock tracks John's finger to one particularly bright spot. "That's Deneb. Now follow along, you see how that sort of looks like wings? That's the constellation Cygnus."
Sherlock snorts, trying to sound derisive, but John can tell his interest is piqued. He craves knowledge, and John's a good teacher.
"And that one?"
"Very funny, Sherlock. That's an aeroplane."
John smirks, feeling Sherlock's gentle laughter next to him. Every point of contact as they lie there - shoulders, hands, hips - is another star, another point of blinding hot white light. Quietly, gently, John takes Sherlock's hand in his, twining their fingers together as his other hand points out the sharp curve of the Corona Borealis.
Chapter 193: Bucolic
Something about Sherlock's body language as the train pulled into the station got John's attention. He was excited and eager, but not the manic excitability a case usually brought on. He was up to something, but John couldn't quite put his finger on what.
John tried to get him to confess, explain where they were going, while they took a taxicab into the countryside, but Sherlock was irritatingly reticent. Giving it up as a lost cause, John just watched the scenery unfold outside, getting increasingly rural and charming. He blinked when he noticed one of the road signs.
"Sussex? Sherlock, what on earth are we doing in Sussex?"
"You'll see in a moment, John. We're nearly there."
As if on cue, the taxi pulled into a small drive, heading past a low wall and through an old-looking but well-maintained iron gate. It was another few minutes before they pulled up to a tidy little fieldstone house, two storeys, with sprawling grounds behind it.
"It's one of the family properties, John. It's mine now. Well..." Sherlock stared off into mid-distance, suddenly and uncharacteristically quiet. "Ours? When we're ready to retire?" The question was weighted with things left unsaid.
John smiled, wrapping his arm around Sherlock's waist. The wind was soft and gentle, the sky a soft blue, the grassy hills perfectly bucolic.
Chapter 194: Belgian
Happy birthday, IBegToDreamAndDiffer! Have a little Mystrade fluff, and I hope you have a wonderful day!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
The two men sit together on the same side of a table, heavily laden with empty dishes. Greg's taken Mycroft out to the most lavish dinner his salary can afford. A few weeks' worth of beans on toast back at his own flat are worth the look of happy contentment on his lover's face. So is the uncomfortable itch of the new suit.
"You look ravishing, Greg. You really should wear a waistcoat more often." Greg scowls, causing Mycroft to smile fondly. "Truly though, thank you. You've gone all out."
The smile on Mycroft's face is genuine, almost shy. No traces of the ingratiating smirk that so often crosses his face during the workday. They're relaxing together in contented peace when a waiter discreetly carries in two small plates. There's a solitary lit sparkler on one of them - nothing so garish as pastel candles blatantly announcing Mycroft's advancing age to the public.
As the sparkler burns down, Mycroft eyes the elaborate tiered confection nervously, and Greg can tell he's warring with himself.
"I'm not sure I should, dinner was so decadent and rich already."
Greg frowns slightly, scooping up a small piece and gently holding the fork out towards Mycroft.
"It's your birthday, you deserve to indulge today. Besides, Mycroft, it's made with your favourite chocolate - dark and Belgian."
I'm going to be out of town at a wedding this weekend, with no access to a computer, so there won't be any drabbles for a couple of days, but I'll be back on Monday night, with a new drabble on Tuesday!
Chapter 195: Boring
And I'm back! The wedding was gorgeous, but I'm glad to be home. So tired XD
Sherlock's in another one of his snits, complaining about having nothing to do. There are unsolved cases in a pile on his desk and half-finished experiments in the kitchen, but apparently following John around, clinging to him, and complaining is much more important today.
John sighs, tightness forming around his eyes.
"Sherlock, why don't you just finish all the things you've started?"
"They're not interesting anymore." John's shoulders tense, and clearly Sherlock can feel it, because he pulls away. Turning around in his chair, John looks up at him.
"And what about me then? What will you do when I'm not interesting anymore..." He trails off, tries to look away. Shame and anxiety cloud his features. "Look at me, Sherlock. I'm getting old, getting tired. I'm not going to be able to chase after you my whole life. Then what? Will you get bored of me, too?"
Sherlock stares down at John. His eyes are wide, a flush creeping across his high cheekbones. He's silent for a moment, but when John opens his mouth to speak again, Sherlock just drops to his height and crushes him with a passionate kiss. When he pulls back, his expression is one familiar to John - slightly irritated, amused, but fond.
"John, you may be a lot of things, but you will never be boring."
Chapter 196: Blackberry (part I of II)
It was the pattern of the footsteps down the stairs that made Mrs. Hudson peer out her door. They sounded panicked, and there was only one set. She got to the landing just in time to see the hem of Sherlock's coat slipping out the front door as John dropped to the top step, looking heartbroken.
"Oh dear. What's happened?"
John ran his trembling hands through his hair.
"I... miscalculated. Sherlock. He's so frustrating. I thought... I got the wrong impression." John paused, realised he was rambling. "I just wish he'd behave like a normal person."
"Oh, John. Come down here, let me make you some tea."
"I kissed him, Mrs. H." He looked embarrassed, and stayed put on the staircase. "I thought he reciprocated, but he just looked at me like a startled animal and ran off."
"John Hamish Watson, you get down here. You need to trust your instincts. Sherlock's crazy about you, trust me. He's just new to this sort of thing, and doesn't know how to react. Just give him time, he'll come around."
John cocked his head, stood up, and shuffled down the stairs, allowing himself to be steered towards the sofa. He smiled slightly when Mrs. Hudson vanished and reappeared with two mugs of tea and some scones with jam. His favourite too - blackberry.
Chapter 197: Bold (part II of II)
I felt bad for leaving you guys hanging there yesterday, so here's part two. XD If you're reading these backwards, please read Blackberry first.
The front door slammed shut and Sherlock bounded up the stairs. No timid slinking back in, of course not. John stood up, facing Sherlock, fussing with the cuff of his shirt.
"Sherlock, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-"
"John, listen, I didn't know how to-"
The words spilt out in unison, and they both chuckled. Hesitantly, John gestured for Sherlock to continue.
"I don't know how to do this. I know running off wasn't the right thing to do, but I'm lost here. Clueless." he scowled, as if the admission was unpleasant.
"Sherlock, it's fine. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done it. I misread what I thought were signals from you. I thought you wanted it." He stared at the floor, defeated, a hot flush creeping up his neck.
"John..." Something in Sherlock's voice made him look up. "I don't... not... want it." His brow furrowed again, irritated with his inability to express himself. "You just caught me by surprise. As I said, I'm clueless about this. Told myself that I was imagining your interest, that I was the one misreading the clues."
John's heart thundered in his ears as he stared into Sherlock's eyes. "So we're both clots."
"Indeed. Do you think we could try that again?" Sherlock stepped forward and pressed his lips to John's, suddenly bold.
Chapter 198: Baggage
The click click click of a pair of ridiculously expensive pair of Christian Louboutins echoed through the long hall connecting the gate to the terminal. Irene adjusted her blazer, straightened her stockings, quickly touched up her lipstick in her compact, and headed for the entrance.
Kate was waiting for her on the far side of the security barrier, a shock of red hair and a brilliant smile, and she felt her heart beat faster. Years of working with men, with women, knowing everyone's most intimate secrets, and somehow, still a smile from that woman could set her aflame. Sherlock may have provided her with a temporary distraction, but damn him, that's all he was. That, and an easily manipulated exit strategy. Kate was steadfast, reliable, witty, and gorgeous. And all hers. No adorable but pesky jealous flatmates to over-complicate things.
Irene hummed to herself, flipping through the images on her camera phone as she waited in line to clear customs. When she got to the series with one handsome consulting detective and his charming doctor, she repeatedly hit the delete button. Cleared to leave, she tossed her duffel full of dirty robes and disguises into the trash bin by the front door, feeling a huge weight lifting off her shoulders as she divested herself of both the physical and emotional baggage.
Chapter 199: Bedbugs
"What're you looking at so intently in there?" John sidles over to where Sherlock's peering keenly into his microscope before leaning down to scratch the irritated red spots on his calf.
Sherlock's response is mumbled and unintelligible. He's talking out of the side of his mouth.
John pulls away. "Oh god, Sherlock. Why did you bring a bedbug into the flat?"
"It seems to have showed up of its own accord. With friends."
The sudden realisation dawns on John as he looks down at what he thought had been a rash on his leg.
"Oh Christ. We have bedbugs. WHY do we have bedbugs?"
Sherlock looks sheepishly down into the microscope to avoid further conversation.
"It was that disgusting hotel you insisted we check into in Glasgow, wasn't it? The one with the owner with the weird upper lip."
"I needed to be sure he was the man we were tracking down, John!"
John groans, rolling his eyes and sitting in one of the kitchen chairs, scratching his legs all the while. Sherlock seems entirely unbothered - of course he's found a way to ignore it, if he's even been bitten at all.
"This is your fault, Sherlock, you can hire someone to take care of it. You insisted on staying in that hovel, and now we have bedbugs."
Chapter 200: Beam
The platinum hoop on a chain around Sherlock's neck catches John's eye as Sherlock throws his head onto John's lap. He runs his fingers fondly through Sherlock's hair before fingering the necklace.
"Why don't you ever wear your wedding ring?"
Sherlock makes a disbelieving noise that reverberates through John's lap.
"I'm wearing it now."
"Sherlock," John's voice is playfully chiding, but there's an undertone of hurt hiding there. "You know what I mean. On your finger. In public."
Sherlock disentangles the ring from John's hand, studying it for a moment.
"It's precious to me, John. I don't want to damage it with chemicals, or worse, lose it."
John's fingers work absently through Sherlock's curls. "Mmm, I appreciate that, but what about when you're not at work? You're not embarrassed, are you?"
Sherlock sits up so abruptly, he nearly collides with John's head in the process. His hair's a hilarious mess and his eyes are wide and startled. "Oh god, no. John, you don't think that, do you? I'll make an effort."
The look on Sherlock's face is so earnest that John just smiles, kissing his cheek gently.
The next time they manage to head to dinner, Sherlock makes a point of dressing up. John's heart swells when he catches the ring on Sherlock's finger, glinting in a sun beam.
Chapter 201: Blinding
Sherlock knows he's handsome. He fusses with his hair far longer than he admits, but John notices. He dresses in a way to highlight his best assets - long toned neck, narrow waist. John's seen him use his face to endear him to suspects, to catch people off-guard.
As good as he looks when he's dressed in a nice suit, when he's making an effort, there's something about him when he's genuinely relaxed, traipsing about in one of his dressing gowns, laughing at a joke John's made, getting absorbed in research. He's not trying, it's effortless, and John's the only one who gets to see that. The way his hair rumples on one side when he sleeps, the way his eyes and the bridge of his nose crinkle when he laughs, the way his robe hangs off one shoulder when he's distracted.
John stares at him, studying Sherlock's profile, limned with the warm light of the setting sun. Those soft brows, that upturned nose, those lips. He's lost in thought, studying something on the screen of his laptop, when his eyes light up, his mouth forming a perfect round O. He's always handsome, John thinks again, but it's the moments like this - unawares of his surroundings, not putting on airs, caught up in something, that his attractiveness is nearly blinding.
Chapter 202: Basement
"Fuck, Sherlock, stop it. Stop running off without me." Gasping for breath, John catches up with Sherlock and grabs him by the coat as they head towards the crime scene Lestrade's summoned them to.
Startled, Sherlock spins around so they're facing each other. His quicksilver eyes scan John from head to toe, sizing him up.
"Why, John? You've got a gun, you were in the army. You're strong and capable of taking care of yourself."
Pinching the bridge of his nose, John takes a deep breath. "It's not me I'm worried about, you arse. You're..." he shudders. "You're bloody reckless, and I can't handle losing you. Don't make me go through that again."
Looking suitably chastened, Sherlock nods. Neither of them need to clarify what John means. They turn a corner and arrive at the crime scene. John rests a hand on Sherlock's arm, getting his attention.
"Remember what I told you."
Sherlock nods briefly before turning to Lestrade, who is waiting in the doorway of a small house.
"Oh, boys, glad you're here. Sherlock, you're going to want to see this one, she's downstairs. But be careful, there's a..." Lestrade doesn't have time to finish his sentence before John's shoulders slump, his request clearly unheeded as Sherlock's face lights up with glee and he tears off alone toward the basement.
Chapter 203: Blearily
The soft noises John makes as he sleeps are fascinating, Sherlock muses. Not quite talking, but more distinct than just heavy breathing. The moonlight seeping in through the window highlights John's eyelashes, looking even longer and more lush than normal in the dim illumination. His posture is soft, relaxed, and his breathing is even. Deep sleep, a pleasant dream, no nightmares yet, Sherlock finds himself thinking. Good.
A small wooden chair in the corner creaks as Sherlock sits, the noise muffled but enough to wake John from his deep slumber.
"Mghh? Sh'lock?" He blinks a couple of times, clearing his eyes, and Sherlock finds the gesture inexplicably endearing. Slightly more alert now, John raises one eyebrow. "D'you need something? What time is it?"
Sherlock shakes his head. "No, nothing, go back to sleep."
"Why're you... were you..." John sits up, his fair, disordered hair framing his face like the petals of a sunflower. "Were you watching me sleep?"
"Mmm." Sherlock doesn't say obvious out loud, but it's understood.
"Why the hell were you watching me sleep, Sherlock? That's beyond inappropriate."
Sherlock can't even be bothered to fake looking remorseful. "It's interesting. You make funny little noises."
"Asking you to go away isn't going to work, is it?"
John just rolls over, pulling the comforter over his head and grumbling blearily.
Chapter 204: Bigamy
Because Mrs. Hudson is a stone-cold BAMF in her own right and deserves better than someone who has two secret wives. This takes place during the opening bit of Hounds.
Damn Sherlock and his bloody harpoon and his astute observations. Mrs. Hudson fumed silently as she stormed down the stairs and out the door, only to duck right back in to Speedy's next door.
"Don't you even start with me, Somnath Chatterjee." She snapped, before the shop owner had a chance to even say hello. "When, exactly, were you planning to tell me about your wife?"
A thin sheen of sweat cropped up on the man's forehead, and he pulled at his collar while pretending to fuss with a sandwich.
"My wife..." He sighed theatrically. "It was a loveless marriage. Arranged, you know. That was the custom when I was young. She thought it best if she stayed back in Pakistan while I-"
Her sharp glare cut him off. "Pakistan? I was talking about the one in Doncaster... You really are a pig. I tolerate a lot, Mr. Chatterjee. I tolerate you being late with the rent, I tolerate you banging against my wall when you get in here at four in the morning, I tolerate your overly loud radio until closing time..." He opened his mouth to speak again, but she just put her hand up and continued shouting. "I dealt with enough crap from my last husband, I deserve better this time around. I refuse to tolerate bigamy."
Chapter 205: Biro
The smile plastered across Sherlock's face couldn't look phonier if he were actually trying. John elbowed him gently in the ribs, hissing through his teeth.
"Smile, damn it. They're trying to thank you."
The fake grin widened, all shark teeth and cheekbones, as Sherlock shook the businessman's hand.
"Thank you so much, Mr. Holmes, you've saved us from bankruptcy."
"Embezzling is such a pedestrian crime. Anyone could have figured this out."
John glared sidelong at Sherlock. "He means thank you."
Thankfully, the man was too pleased with the outcome of Sherlock's investigation to be concerned with his lack of manners. With a flourish, he pulled a long, narrow box out of his suit pocket and offered it ceremoniously to Sherlock, who eyed it with distaste. Smiling gratefully, John accepted the box and proffered another thank you.
In the taxi on the way home, Sherlock fiddled with the box, not deigning to even open it.
"A fountain pen, John. Have you ever seen me with ink on my fingers, or my cuffs? What reason would they have for buying me a fountain pen?" He shook the box, causing a substantial thump. "And an expensive one, at that. Probably a Montblanc. I'll give it to Mycroft, he's a sucker for the trappings of wealth. I'm much more comfortable with a sensible old biro."
Chapter 206: Bridges
Teeth, on every available surface, grinning eerily at John. He rubs his eyes, tries to focus again, and realises there are fucking dentures all over the kitchen. At least three dozen sets, covering every available surface. He shudders, feeling the gooseflesh crawl up his spine and down his arms. Why did it have to be teeth?
Sherlock's sitting at the table, a tub of alginate at his elbow as he meticulously presses yet another set of dentures into a tray filled with gel.
"Oh, John, you're awake! Excellent, you can help me with this."
"No thank you, Sherlock. Teeth give me the willies."
"Nonsense. These aren't real teeth, they're just polymer. Except that set," Sherlock points vaguely in the direction of a particularly stained and old-looking pair, "those are old, and made of ceramic."
John makes the mistake of looking where Sherlock is pointing, and cringes.
"I suppose this is for a case, right?"
Sherlock nods, pressing another pair into a tray. "Cannibalism at a retirement home."
At this, John can't help but laugh. It's so ridiculous. Has his life really come to this?
"Alright then, I know if I don't help you, you'll just make my day miserable."
"Excellent, then you can help me with these." Gleefully, Sherlock upends a box on the table, spilling out several partials and bridges.
Chapter 207: Ballroom
Sorry this is so late! I was out of town and just got home. Hopefully the fluuuuuffffff will make up for it ;)
edit: kamerer220 has written a lovely little vignette about what happens immediately after this drabble. Please check it out!
Dancing Around Attraction
The musicians in the corner of the grandly decorated room settle in, and the strains of Valses Nobles et Sentimentales carry out into the air. Sherlock's face lights up across the table, as he begins conducting with his fingers. John grins at him, caught up in the moment, obviously enjoying himself for the first time all evening.
"Like this music?"
"Mummy used to play it for us when we were younger. Ravel was a bit obsessed with waltzes, but he did them so well."
"Why don't you find someone to dance with? I bet you had lessons when you were little."
Sherlock smiles smugly. "I did indeed. Care to join me?"
"What? We can't! I'm a man!"
"Oh dear, nobody informed me." Sherlock pretends to look shocked.
"You know what I mean, Sherlock. Two men can't waltz together. Besides, who would lead?"
"Nonsense. Historically, men have danced together for centuries. And I would, clearly. I know what I'm doing, and I'm taller."
John takes a swig of his drink, good old liquid courage, and stands up, holding his hand out to Sherlock.
"Alright then, you're on."
Smiling fondly, Sherlock straightens John's form and grabs him in the frame of his arms. Ignoring the scandalised looks from some of the more old-fashioned guests, Sherlock deftly and elegantly guides John across the ballroom.
Chapter 208: Best
"I hope this rain clears up in time for the Olympics." John says, staring out and resting his hand against the window.
"What does the weather here matter?" Sherlock looks up, his expression so genuinely puzzled that John has to pause.
"Sherlock, the Olympics are here this summer. In London. Surely that can't have escaped your observations?"
He shrugs expansively. "Didn't seem important. I must have deleted it. I mean, really. Professional sports?" He spits out sports the same way most people would talk about doing housework - a combination of boredom and displeasure. "Although, it does explain why my brother's been even easier to irritate than usual, the logistics must be a nightmare for the government."
John chuckles, imagining Mycroft drowning in paperwork and Sherlock badgering him via texts. "You seriously have no interest at all in the Olympics?"
"Why should I care whether or not someone from here beats someone from over there in the fine art of running around a track or hopping over something? It's got nothing to do with me, unless they find out one of the events was rigged, in which case I assume someone will bring it to my attention."
John's brow furrows as he tries to explain. "It's a matter of national pride, I guess. The knowledge that our athletes are the best."
Chapter 209: Bludger
I accidentally Potterlock. Whoops. Also managed to avoid the usual House arguments, because I am craftily non-confrontational like that.
"Sherlock, this is amazing!" John's gleeful shout carried out over the garden to Sherlock, who was idly prodding a small toad with his wand. "I can actually practice flying out here, without worrying about anyone seeing me!"
With a whoop, he looped his broom close enough to Sherlock's head to tangle a few errant curls before landing on the ground with a soft thud.
"Thank you so much for inviting me to your house for the summer, Sherlock. Are you sure your parents don't mind?"
"They're just shocked anyone was willing to spend time with me. Mummy's over the moon." Sherlock grinned before turning his attention back to the toad, which was turning an alarming shade of violet.
"Sherlock! You're not supposed to be doing magic outside of school!"
Sherlock just scoffed. "If they do actually track me, Mycroft will sort it out. Having your brother work at the Ministry is handy like that."
John rolled his eyes and took flight again, kicking off with his heels.
"In that case, go find a ball or something and make it chase me – I could use the practice. Going for team captain next year!"
Summoning a tatty old football from who-knows-where, Sherlock glanced up into the sky and settled down at the far end of the lawn, chasing John with the improvised bludger.
Chapter 210: Baiser
Did something a little different here. Today's drabble is in French. Just because I can. Haha! But there's a translation beneath it, for those of you who can't read french. Unfortunately the translation itself is not a 221b.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
La lune luit par la fenêtre, traçant le profil de Sherlock. John roule sur son coté, étudiant Sherlock, qui étudie a son tour le plafond.
En réponse, Sherlock tourne, face-a-face avec John. "Mm, ouais. Pourquoi?"
"T'avais l'air perdu dans tes pensées."
Sherlock sourit. "John, je suis presque toujours perdu dans ma tête, tu devras y savoir par maintenant."
John rit, la motion secouant doucement le matelas.
"Presque? Y'a-t-il vraiment des moments ou le grand Sherlock Holmes ne pense a rien?"
Le coin d'un coté des lèvres de Sherlock monte, un sourire subtil, mais quand-même évident a John, qui connaît si bien ses expressions.
"Pas rien, exactement. Plutôt que le présent m'intéresse tellement que ca ne me tente pas de penser a d'autres choses." John laisse traîner ses yeux sur Sherlock, comprenant exactement qu'est-ce qu'il veut dire. Ses lèvres sont rouges, ses paupières tombantes, son excitation évident. Mais John a envie de lui taquiner un peu.
"Je ne comprends pas du tout."
Avec un air renfrogné, Sherlock commence a tracer le long du cou de John avec sa langue, montant vers son oreille. Avec un soupir, John laisse tomber sa tête du cote. Il a la sensation qu'ils devraient bientôt dormir, mais tout a coup ca ne semble plus important. Beaucoup plus pressant qu'ils prennent leur temps a s'embrasser, a baiser.
The moonlight seeps in through the window, tracing Sherlock's profile. John rolls onto his side, studying Sherlock, who is in turn studying the ceiling.
In response, Sherlock turns face-to-face with John. "Mmm, yeah. Why?"
"You looked lost in thought."
Sherlock smiles. "John, I am nearly always lost inside my own head, you should know that by now."
John laughs, the motion shaking the mattress slightly.
"Nearly? Are there really moments when the great Sherlock Holmes is thinking of nothing?"
One corner of Sherlock's lips rise, in a subtle smile but one that is nonetheless evident to John, who knows his expressions so well.
"Not nothing, exactly. More like the present is so interesting that I am not tempted to think of other things." John lets his eyes trail over Sherlock, understanding exactly what he's implying. His lips are red, his eyelids hooded, his arousal evident. But John feels like teasing him a bit.
"I don't understand at all."
Scowling, Sherlock begins to trace the length of John's neck with his tongue, rising towards his ear. With a sigh, John lets his head fall to the side. He has the vague notion that they should go to sleep soon, but suddenly that doesn't seem important. Much more urgent that they take their time embracing, kissing.
Chapter 211: Beetroot
Hamish is lying draped across the sofa, his head hanging down onto the floor while Mycroft looks on from an armchair.
"Hamish, don't sit like that, it's bad for your posture."
"Father sits like this all the time."
"Well he's not here, I'm in charge of you right now. And your father is not someone you should strive to emulate."
Hamish scowls, raising his head off the floor and glaring at his uncle.
"Oi. Father solves all sorts of cases for other people, even ones you can't."
Mycroft purses his lips, breathing through his nose in an attempt to avoid snapping at Hamish.
"Your father may have settled down and turned his hobby into a relatively respectable job, but your dad had a lot to do with that. Before John came along, Sherlock was, shall we say, a bit of a holy terror."
At this, Hamish perks up and scrabbles onto the sofa, staring intently at Mycroft.
"Uncle Mycroft, will you tell me stories about when Father was little? So next time he yells at me for acting out, I can tell dad that he did something worse?"
Leave it to the little manipulator - he'd learnt from the best. He knows exactly what buttons to push to get Mycroft to talk.
"Hmmm, well, have I told you about the beetroot?"
Sorry for the lack of a drabble yesterday, work was too busy and I was so zonked when I got home. As for "the one about the beets", I will leave that up to your imagination.
Chapter 212: Bentley
Sherlock was convinced one of the employees of a car dealership was using his access to shipping crates to assist smugglers. Normally, John would have distracted the salesman while Sherlock broke numerous laws in the back, but at some point there'd be a test drive for veracity's sake, and John didn't have a permit. Also, if either of them looked like the type to purchase a luxury car, it was Sherlock.
Sighing, he slipped through the back as Sherlock marched through the front doors, drawing all attention to himself. John peered through the glass partition, watching Sherlock chat and sham his way to a test drive. Certain the salesman was off the premises, he collected the documents he thought were relevant and took photos of everything else. Positive he'd done what he could, John headed back to the flat, as planned.
He was greeted by Sherlock leaning against a sleek silver car, parked illegally in front of their door.
"Why is the car still here?"
"I bought it."
John spluttered. "You bought a bloody Conteninental Supersports? I thought we were there to investigate. How the hell are you going to pay for this? What was it, seventy or eighty thousand?"
"I put it on Mycroft's account. It was closer to a hundred and thirty, John. It is, after all, a Bentley."
Chapter 213: Bronchitis
"J-J-J... John!" Sherlock's wavery cry brings John from upstairs. He's standing in the kitchen, shivering and soaking, teeth chattering. His face is pale, his cheeks flushed, his eyes glassy.
John bolts across the landing.
"Sherlock. What happened?"
"I f-ff- fell. In the... Tha..."
"Oh god, Sherlock, you fell in the Thames?"
Trembling, he manages a nod. In one swift move, John leans across the kitchen and sets the kettle to boiling as he starts divesting Sherlock of his cold, filthy, water logged clothing.
Peeling his leather gloves off proves difficult, but the coat and scarf fall away in a sodden heap. Unfortunately, Sherlock's soaked straight through, his suit and button-down clinging to his body. His fingers are blue, and John can see the erratic muscle contractions running through his body. Without a second thought, he begins unbuttoning Sherlock's clothes. He manages to pull his jacket and shirt off, but when his fingers start working the flies of Sherlock's trousers, Sherlock makes a strangled noise.
"Wh- at- are you..."
"I'm undressing you, you great idiot. You're shaking too much to do it yourself."
Sherlock turns around, still trembling. "I can- d-d-do it." John just turns with him, brushing his hands out of the way.
"For god's sake, Sherlock. I'm a doctor. I'm not going to risk you getting bronchitis."
Chapter 214: Babbling
John's peaceful slumber is interrupted by Sherlock muttering to himself as his fingers fly across his phone. Grumbling, John rolls over.
"Sherlock, it's three in the morning, what the hell are you playing at?"
"You told me you wanted me to sleep with you more often. I'm trying to be more amenable to your requests."
Eyes fixed pointedly on the phone, John says "Whatever you're doing, Sherlock, it's not sleeping. Also, I keep forgetting I need to be clearer about these things. When I said I wanted you to spend more time in bed with me, the implication was not sleeping."
Comprehension dawns on Sherlock's face, but he still hasn't put the phone down. Thoroughly awake now, John shimmies closer to Sherlock, his fingers tracing not-so-idly up and down the pale length of Sherlock's thigh. He feels the muscles trembling under his hand.
Sherlock looks pained, almost conflicted. "Can't John, not right now. Need to finish this. The case... married... work..." He's mumbling now, arguing for argument's sake, even John can tell his heart's not in it. Insinuating his way under Sherlock's arm, John perches over him, nipping his earlobe. "Don't... nnhhgg.. John... stop..."
Using his weight to pin Sherlock to the mattress, John kisses him thoroughly and passionately. He glides his tongue against Sherlock's lower lip, effectively silencing the babbling.
Chapter 215: Besmirched
This one's kinda angsty, feel free to skip if you're just here for the fluff.
The stack of newspapers weighs heavily in John's arms - far more heavily than a pound and a half of newsprint should. The headlines alone seem to weigh several pounds each.
Suicide of fake genius.
Mad boffin detective dead.
Sherlock Holmes - a consulting sham?
John spreads them out across the kitchen table, the one that feels so empty and alien without all the beakers, the pipettes, the microscope. He may not be Sherlock, but at least he's going to try to put it to some use.
Methodically, he starts going through each article, comparing them to his own records, and to Sherlock's case files. Surely it won't be difficult to prove to the rest of London that Sherlock was the real thing, not when he's got all this evidence in front of him. At first, things go smoothly, as John finds dates and facts to back up his claim, back up the truth. However, each time his eyes trace over certain words - tragedy, death, blood, fallen - the sharp, stabbing pain in his chest worsens.
John pushes the papers away, rubbing his eyes in frustration. He debates giving up and burning the lot. But no. Making himself a cup of tea, he strengthens his resolve. Sherlock may be dead, but John isn't going to rest, seeing his reputation besmirched.
Chapter 216: Berries
Foraging through the pantry, Sherlock stops, leans over, and stares pointedly at John.
"What is it with you and jam, John? Do we really need eight - no, nine jars?"
Methodically, Sherlock removes each small jar, lining them up on the counter before studying them as if they contain the answer to some clever puzzle that's troubling him.
"They're all different." John shrugs, walking across the kitchen. He stares at the phalanx of little pots, all with their metal caps and fancy labels before picking up the red currant, pursing his lips pensively.
"It reminds me of being a kid. Grandma used to make all kinds of fruit spreads and things while Harry and I were out there spending the summer with her. We'd go out into the fields behind her house and pick wild strawberries, get tangled up in the raspberry canes. We never bickered then, Harry and I. I think without our folks arguing, and before she started drinking..." He trails off.
Sherlock, surprisingly, is keeping his mouth shut, a strangely melancholy look on his face. He just nods, encouraging John to keep going.
"And I guess preserves are the closest I can get to that feeling, you know? The breeze in my hair, Harry and I getting along, the taste and feel on your tongue of sun-warmed berries."
Chapter 217: Bugs
Warning for big icky larvae. Feel free to skip.
The body is laid out before Sherlock, presented neatly on the metal morgue table. Upon initial observation, the torso and abdomen appear bloated, but he's waiting for Molly to cut him open before passing any concrete judgment.
She comes up beside him, scalpel in hand. He steps out of the way, allowing Molly to do her job without interruption for once. As she makes the incision, Sherlock can't help but let out a yelp of glee as a cascade of enormous larvae pours out of the widening cavity. Nearly vibrating with excitement, Sherlock steps forward again, reaching around Molly to grab one with a pair of tweezers. She grumbles, but doesn't stop him.
He brings it up to the light, studying it before holding it out to John.
"Isn't it gorgeous, John?" The grub wriggles, trying to free itself.
John furrows his brow. "I think that's a pretty subjective question. Does it tell you anything useful?"
"Mmm, I think it's a rhino beetle larva. If I'm right that's definitely important, they're not native to here and certainly not the sort of thing you'd expect to find in a body. Molly, get me a specimen jar so I can bring this home, would you? I need to study it properly, there is so much fascinating information to be gleaned from these bugs."
Chapter 218: Brusque
Sherlock stumbles into the kitchen, rubbing his eyes. He stretches, his shirt riding up and giving John a rather lovely view of his abdomen, his hip bones, and a soft trail of dark hair leading into the waistband of his pyjama bottoms. Sleepily, Sherlock reaches out to John, wrapping his arms around John's torso and burying his face in John's throat.
"Well hello there." John smiles, ruffling Sherlock's tangled mane.
The first time this had happened, John worried that something was wrong, that perhaps Sherlock was sick, or under the influence of something. But as their relationship grew, it happened more frequently, and John started noticing the patterns. Any time they'd solved a particularly long and difficult case, or later on, after a night of particularly intense sex, any sort of emotional peak for Sherlock, he'd crash hard. At first the crashes had manifested themselves as tantrums, fits of pique, and broken crockery. However, once Sherlock realised he had another outlet, he turned to John instead. And got – well, there's really no other word for it – cuddly.
Clearly he's in one of these moods today. As nice as it is to have Sherlock pliable and agreeable in his arms, John still finds it a bit strange. Part of him, however tiny, wants his usual Sherlock back – irritable, genius, and brusque.
Chapter 219: Boon
"What did you do, study cheesy romance novels?"
The look on Sherlock's face makes it clear that yes, that is exactly what he did. Before supper they'd gone to see a matinee repeat of Casablanca, of all things. The remains of their picnic are scattered across the blanket. John's flat on his back with his arms crossed behind his head, content and sated.
"I wanted it to be right, John. Our first proper date."
John's face softens, smiling up at Sherlock. "You twit. No matter what, it'll be right. We've been living together for how long? I'm pretty sure you don't need to try to impress me at this point. Besides, I've already seen you naked. Trust me, there's no way I'm letting you get away from me."
Sherlock actually blushes and it might just be the most endearing thing John's ever seen. He reaches out, tentatively, to take Sherlock's hand in his, but before he manages, Sherlock's on his feet and packing up.
"Hurry, John, it's nearly seven, the sun's about to set. We're going to be late." Without any further explanation, Sherlock scarpers off, John following. When John finally catches up with him, he can't help but grin - Sherlock really did go all out for this, even if he has apparently been taking tips from Mills & Boon.
Chapter 220: Basket
Doing the shopping alone was tedious. That was John's justification. In theory, bringing Sherlock along would be a welcome distraction. In practice, however, it was one of the most terrible ideas John had come up with lately.
It was obvious Sherlock had not done any grocery purchases in years, and John wondered what exactly he'd eaten before they moved in together. Every aisle, every turn, filled with people to deduce and things to study.
They headed towards the fresh vegetables, and Sherlock's face lit up.
"See that woman? She's buying the makings of a romantic dinner, for her lover. The lover's got no plans to leave her husband, but she keeps stringing the girl along. Look at the state of her blouse, and her manicure."
John glared at Sherlock, willing him to shut up. Apparently finished, Sherlock wandered over to a manager's selection of exotic fruit. Gleefully, he started rummaging through the prickly rambutans, star-shaped carambolas, and vaguely threatening-looking pitaya. He held them up, looking hopeful.
"Are you actually going to eat any of those?" John asked.
"Of course not. I'm going to cut them up and study them. Aren't they fascinating? What sort of absurd evolutionary purpose would these shapes serve?"
Resignedly, John just held his hand out, allowing Sherlock to toss the collection of oddly-shaped produce into the basket.
Chapter 221: Began
Sherlock is out in the yard with his bees when John gets the phone call. He steadies himself against the counter for a moment before stepping outside.
"Sherlock? Can you come in here for a moment?" John's voice sounds defeated, and Sherlock can tell something is wrong, so he ducks inside with no argument.
There's an odd pang of nostalgia as John sits at a kitchen table that's entirely devoid of beakers and burners - since moving out here Sherlock's been keeping his experiments in the basement. He feels a wave of disorientation as he remembers life back in London. Nervously, Sherlock sits down next to him.
"Mrs. Hudson..." He trails off, and he doesn't need to say anymore. "It was peaceful. In her sleep." John shudders, and Sherlock wraps his arms tightly around him.
The trip back to London is nearly silent, the two of them lost in their thoughts, but John reaches out and takes Sherlock's hand on the train and doesn't let go until they're trying to flag down a cab. They've got time before the service, and in unspoken agreement, they ask the cabbie to take them a bit out of the way to Baker Street.
John leans heavily on Sherlock's shoulder, the two of them staring pensively at the gleaming black door where it all began.
Oh my god, you guys... I did it. All 221 of them. Part of has me debated keeping going, but I really need to break out from being "that drabble lady." I'm definitely going to keep writing little drabbles and things, but much less regularly.
I really want to take a moment to thank you all, everyone who has read, reviewed, commented, and encouraged me through this process. Without you guys, I'd have no motivation! Thank you for your prompts, your support, and your helpful and discreet pointing out of typos and errors XD. Whether you've been with me from the beginning or you just started reading these recently, the fact remains that you have stuck with me until the end, and for that I am truly grateful. I'm humbled by all the feedback these have gotten, over 2000 comments in total spread across two platforms, plus the innumerable notes and reblogs on tumblr, for the ones I've happened to share there. I never expected my silly, self-indulgent sandbox of a writing project to take off like this. You guys have made it worthwhile.
Every single one of you is truly appreciated, but a few of you have been there for me through some really serious ups and downs, so I'd like to take a second to personally thank the following folks for their constant and unflinching support:
The entire #innercircle crew
The Timelord's Consultant
I am sure there are people I have missed, and please forgive any oversights. If you suspect you should be on this list, feel free to stab me with a cattle prod.
Now that these are completed, I am going to stop posting on FFnet. I've gotten increasingly frustrated over the administration here, as well as the content uploading system.
If you enjoy my writing and want to keep following me, I'll still be posting on AO3 (Archive of our Own) under the username Moonblossom.