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A Study In Curses

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It really wasn’t John’s choice to be running around London in the middle of the night. Actually, he had been reading and having a late night snack when Sherlock decided to strut into the room and declare that they had a case that immediately needed their attention.

“Sherlock, can’t you see I’m busy?” John said around the biscuit he had just put into his mouth.

“Reading doesn’t count as busy.”

“That seems oddly out of character for you, Sher-“

“Well, not what you’re reading,” Sherlock snapped, rolling his eyes. “Obviously, I read things far more important than a science fiction novel written by some armature that has no idea what he’s rambling on about.”

“It’s a good book,” John said simply, turning a page. Sherlock watched him for a second before smacking the book out of his hands and leaning very close to him, hands on the arm rests of the chairs.

“Don’t be a moron, I know you want to come with me – Hell, you know I know you want to come with me – so go get your gun, we’ll most likely have a chase.”

“I don’t need my gun for a chase,” John replied stubbornly. “You made me lose my place…”

“Come, John,” Sherlock said, standing up and readjusting his shirt. “I can’t assure you it will be life threatening, but it certainly will be interesting.”

And, I mean, of course he was right. Maybe not in the way he thought he would be, but he was right.

The case was very interesting, it turned out. When they arrived, they were actually rushed right in without delay. The body was extremely fresh – she’d been alive maybe fifteen minutes before Lestrade had showed up.

“Who are the suspects?” John had asked Lestrade after a second of Sherlock checking over the body.

“John, please, don’t ask irrelevant questions,” Sherlock interrupted quickly before Lestrade could get a word in.

“It’s hardly irrelevant, I-“

“John, come here, I need you to look at this.” John rolled his eyes and moved forward, bending over the woman’s body.

“Her neck is clearly broken,” he said after a second. “Looks like she was shaken like a rag doll, there are no marks around her neck indicating strangulation – could it have been an accident?” John looked up to see Sherlock glaring at him. He pressed his lips together and said slowly, “They wouldn’t have called you down if they thought it was an accident.”

No, John, they really wouldn’t have,” Sherlock said. “She had to have been with her husband at his work. He clearly works with large machinery.” Sherlock stood up quickly, turning to Lestrade. “He should have a photograph on him.”

“A photograph?” Lestrade asked skeptically. “One that will prove he killed her?”

“Yes, yes – look at her finger,” Sherlock picked up her hand. Her pointer finger had noticeable callus and a slightly pinched look at the tip. “She’s a photographer – at least in her free time – but she uses a rather old Polaroid camera that she usually keeps stringed around her neck.” He moved her hair aside and indicated a faint marking on her neck, as if from a thin strap.

“Brilliant!” John exclaimed. “So, you’re thinking she took a picture of the murderer?”

“She doesn’t part from her camera – but she’s parted from it. Her body was obviously moved to this couch-“

“The husband said he moved her body.”

“He’s a moron. If I didn’t already know he’s the one who killed her, than that would have given him away completely. He got rid of her camera, but he still has the picture – I assume he’s here being questioned?”

“He- just left, actually,” Lestrade answered.

Sherlock gave Lestrade a look before bolting out of the room. John gave a sigh.

“Come on, John!” came a shout. He shrugged at Lestrade and ran after him.

“You’re not going to find him before the picture is destroyed!” Lestrade yelled after them.

But they did. Sherlock found him in the parking lot, working towards his car, almost there. He slammed into the door before the man opened it.

“Give me the photograph,” Sherlock said simply, holding his hand out. The man gave him a panicked look and looked behind him as John caught up.

“What photograph?”

“Do you want me to search you for it?” Sherlock asked evenly. The man took another look at the two of them and bolted. Apparently, he was some sort of sport star, or something, because he was extremely fast. John gave a small groan when Sherlock sped off after him.

“Sherlock,” he yelled after him, “the police are right there! We can just have them handle it!”

“No time!” came the reply as he sped around the corner. It was getting quite dark, but John wasn’t far behind Sherlock. Sherlock sped up and John gave a huff and followed.

They sped around another corner, seeing the man come into view, but Sherlock ran straight into a young woman and they both tumbled to the ground rather harshly. Sherlock got up right away and bolted off, not giving her a second glance. John stopped right away.

“Oh, god,” he helped her up carefully. She brushed herself off as he bent down at picked up her purse and handed it to her, all the while apologizing. “I am so sorry, ma’am! God, sorry, my friend – he’s a moron, he’s reckless, I’m sorry!” She gave him a smile and he said sorry again before following Sherlock, catching up just in time to see him being strangled by his own scarf.

This again?” John asked, rushing forward and tackling the man to the ground, twisting his arms behind his back and holding him down roughly.

Sherlock sat up, gasping and taking his scarf off. His hand was at his neck when he looked over at John, gasping still.

“You are such an idiot sometimes, Sherlock,” John nearly snarled. “That poor woman could have had a concussion, the way you ran into her – and we could have easily let the police catch him.”

“Ah, but that takes the fun out of a good chase, John,” Sherlock gasped out, standing up. “And they were taking too long – he was going to get away.” John opened his mouth to argue, but gave a resigned sigh and shook his head.

The man struggled suddenly, but John slammed him hard onto the ground, twisting his arms tighter. He yelped.

“You should go say sorry to that woman, Sherlock.”

“You’re not the boss of me,” Sherlock muttered, picking up his scarf.

“Oh, no, of course I’m not. No one’s the boss of you! God, you need a sitter. I’m like your sitter, for Christ’s sake!”

“Does he have it?”

“The photograph?”

“No, John, your missing cell phone – of course the photograph!”

“My cell phone is missing?”

Sherlock moved towards the man, eyeing him with distaste and clearly ignoring John’s words. He bent down and quickly tugged out a photograph from his front jacket pocket, nearly ripping it. All of the day’s stress was forgotten with this one photograph. He smiled smugly and they heard sirens. Sherlock looked at John.

“Yes, I texted Lestrade,” John confirmed. Sherlock looked over his tense figure for a second before grinning. John gave a reluctant grin in reply, looking away and giving a soft laugh.

After the police took the man away, John and Sherlock were left to walk back to the flat. John couldn’t stop giving off little laughs, which just made Sherlock grin.

“Doctor Watson, I believe you said it was inappropriate to giggle at a crime scene?”

“Yes, well, we’re no longer at the crime scene.”

“Do you find it funny that he murdered his wife?”

John gave a shocked bark of laughter.

“No! No, of course I don’t!”

“Then why are you laughing?” Sherlock chortled along as they turned towards their flat only to see the woman Sherlock had knocked over earlier. They both stopped laughing at looked at her.

“Hello,” she said simply, smiling politely and hugging her purse to her chest. John glanced at Sherlock and back to her, his shoulders sagging slightly.

“Look, miss, I’m really sorry about earlier,” John said, not letting himself fidget under her smiling gaze. It was nearly creepy – if adorable and polite could be creepy. John decided that yes, it could.

“I know you are,” she said kindly, nodding at him. Sherlock gave a scowl.

“I would much appreciate it if you would kindly move out of the way, as you’re blocking the way to our flat,” Sherlock sneered, sensing that she didn’t mean her smiles and nods. She looked at him, her smile turning cold, no longer genuine.

“You really need to learn manners.”

“Move out of the way.”

“Sherl-“

“I could teach you manners, as your mother obviously didn’t.”

Sherlock nearly snarled.

“My mother raised me very well, thank you very much. I was on a job and I didn’t have time to stop just because you got directly in my way.”

“Sherlock!” John snapped. “Would you please!”

Sherlock gave a slight huff to his sneer. The woman opened her purse.

“What are you doing?” Sherlock asked. She smiled at him. “What are you, a witch? There’s something off about you.” His expression turned amused. “Are you going to curse me? Oh, please curse me, it would be great to gain that experience.”

“Sherlock,” John said in warning, putting an arm on his shoulder. Sherlock shrugged him off, glaring at him. “I’m so sorry,” John said again to the woman.

“Oh, no, I should be saying sorry! Ignoring a direct request!”

“I… What?” John asked, shoulders squaring in his confusion.

“She means the curse,” Sherlock sneered. “Clearly.”

“Clearly… Right…” John muttered, watching the woman take a game controller out of her purse. She smiled and turned towards Sherlock, pressing buttons. The controller began to glow – and, soon after, so did Sherlock. John gave a yelp and jumped away, but Sherlock stopped glowing and was merely looking at John in confusion and annoyance.

“Calm down, magic isn’t real.”

“Right,” John muttered. “And, uh… Tell me – Why exactly are you hugging me?” Sherlock looked at John in alarm that his arms were wrapped snuggly around him. He jumped back several feet. John looked back to the woman just as she put the controller away.

“It’s okay that you think that for now,” she said to Sherlock. “You’ll soon change your mind. Enjoy your Sims curse!”

And she was gone.

No, literally, she was just gone. She didn’t leave; she was just not there anymore. They both stared at where she was standing. John gave a small awed grin.

“Amazing! How did she do that?”

“Must have been a trick,” Sherlock replied, uneasily looking all around where she was standing. “It HAD to have been a trick… Where are the props? It can’t have been flawless! John, I-“ but when Sherlock looked at John, he saw a blue diamond above his head. He looked up at it curiously. John looked up for a second.

“What are you looking at?”

“The diamond above your head, clearly, John.” Sherlock replied. He looked back at John, frowning – but his frown turned into an expression of alarm. “There are buttons! Buttons!”

“What?”

But Sherlock was apparently clicking the buttons, frowning and looking genuinely freaked out. He stopped pressing buttons and looked at John.

“John?”

“Yes, Sherlock?”

“What is Sims?”

“Isn’t it that video game? The one where you make characters and live as them through their everyday life, or something? They get jobs and raises and have children…”

“That sounds incredibly dull.”

“I wouldn’t know. I’ve never played it.”

“I assume that’s what this is,” Sherlock said, waving his arm in front of him.

“What… what is?”

“This! There’s a bar here that’s green, a bar here that’s red – oh, it says food intake…” Sherlock frowned. “I don’t feel hungry.” Sherlock looked up and his face showed surprise. “There were words! Right above your head!”

“Were there?” John looked up and saw nothing. “What did they say?”

“It said ‘John is confused.’”

“Clearly,” John laughed. “And you’re hungry.”

“You see the words, too?”

“No, Sherlock, you just told me. Let’s go eat.”

Sherlock heaved a sigh and let John feed him up.

Over the next couple of days, John grew more and more impatient with Sherlock’s insistence that he could live with this curse – that he didn’t need to apologize to the woman. And Sherlock grew more used to the curse when he could control it for himself, rather than the witch lady forcing him to do things like pat John on the head or eat all of John’s favourite biscuits with his tea.

He found out, very unenthusiastically, that the curse wouldn’t let him get any work done if any of his emotions were in the red. He had to be fed, rested, social, comfortable – everything that he was used to doing without while on a case – or else become extremely grumpy and be in a sulk, refusing to do anything.

“John, come here!” Sherlock barked from the couch. John clenched his teeth and raised an annoyed eyebrow at the tea he was making. “I need to socialize.”

John stood there a second longer, giving the tea a very unenthusiastic stir, before walking over to Sherlock. Sherlock got up and stood the perfect talking distance away from John before he began pointing at him, muttering to himself as he apparently pressed action buttons.

“Alright, I choose John, and… Why is “flirt” a category choice?” Sherlock scoffed and John sighed. “This curse is odd. It claims that I can make out with you, but kissing you isn’t an option.” John’s cheeks flushed a little bit.

“Sherlock, would you just..?” Sherlock looked at him in slight alarm.

“Make out with you?”

“No! Pick something not in the flirting category!” John ran a hand over his eyes and Sherlock pointed at different areas in front of him.

“Alright, talking works. But now I have to talk about something with substance, because this obviously isn’t doing anything.” Sherlock frowned and went silent, so John took the lead.

“Uh… Has Mycroft been trying to call you?”

“What? No. Why?”

“He’s been texting me. He… He hasn’t been trying to contact you at all?”

Sherlock shook his head.

“That’s odd. And doesn’t he usually call? Why has he been texting me so much, then?”

“It will stop,” Sherlock stated in a cold voice. The conversation ended and Sherlock frowned. “Apparently that wasn’t enough. Well, it took too long and I need to get back to work. Alright, how about…” Sherlock pointed a few times. And then smiled oddly at John, as if the curse was forcing the smile and Sherlock did not seem to like it. His eyes were screaming and John grew worried.

“Now what?” John groaned slightly. Sherlock’s smile looked strained, his eyes furious, as he lifted his arms and stepped forward. John stepped back in alarm and Sherlock frowned and his arms dropped, shoulders slouching. He then went back to normal. And his “normal” was furious.

“John!” he barked out, fists clenched and neck turning red. “Accept my hug!”

“Is that what that was? I thought you were trying to strangle me, by the expression on your face!”

“I’m doing it again, and you are to accept it or I will pick the little image with the devil horns and punch you in the nose.” John closed his eyes and clenched his jaw for a second.

“Fine.”

The same happened, but John didn’t step back. Sherlock’s arms wrapped around him and John’s went around Sherlock’s middle. Sherlock slouched slightly and kind of rested his head on John’s shoulder a bit, leaning just a bit against him. John blinked in surprise and the hug lasted a lot longer than he expected it to. Eventually, with a sigh, Sherlock stepped back.

“Did it work?” John asked after a second. Sherlock was smiling in an odd way which was seemingly forced into a smirk.

“Yes, and now I continue my— Oh, what the bloody…” Sherlock groaned.

“What?”

“John, go make me some food or I will pick the little picture with the devil horns and punch you in the neck.” John grumbled all the way to the kitchen under Sherlock’s glare.

A few hours at a time were full of Sherlock not being able to control his own actions. It always caught him by surprise. The first time it happened, he was in the middle of a case at the yard.

“Sherlock, you better not be just dragging us along for a ride!” Lestrade spat when Sherlock was being particularly quiet about the details of his observations, instead deciding to spit out where they needed to look and what they would find. “And why do you keep pointing at everything?” Lestrade turned to John suddenly. “Has he gone mad? Have you been poisoning his tea? Has he been poisoning his tea?”

Sherlock sneered and jabbed his fingers at Lestrade after striding over to him before John could do more than shake his head and open his mouth. Sherlock took a deep breath and John watched on warily.

“It would do you well to actually listen to me, rather than run around like a brain damaged baboon like you usually do with your little crew of moronic animals – Anderson certainly smells enough like one, and Sally’s hair houses at least two different species. You know that every time you listen to me, you get to the right end, so listen for once in silence instead of complaining the entire time, you fucking prat.”

Lestrade looked at him in shock, his arms crossed and his eyebrows higher than John had ever seen them. John cleared his throat, shifting awkwardly, and Sherlock swept around and continued examining the room.

“Well, all right,” Lestrade muttered, maybe sounded a bit hurt for once. He swallowed and gave a sigh, uncrossing his arms and putting his hands in his pockets instead.

Sherlock froze where he was, as if whatever he was doing had just been cancelled. He turned around and strode towards Lestrade, stopping in front of him again. Lestrade looked at him warily, frowning, but squaring his shoulders in a sort of self-defense.

“I’m sorry,” Sherlock said. “I went much too far. I do apologise and hope you don’t take any of the insults as honest expressions of how I feel about you giving me the opportunity to come onto these cases and give my brain a chance to express itself. I truly am grateful. Now for a hug.” Sherlock pulled Lestrade in close, long arms wrapping around him. Lestrade awkwardly hugged Sherlock back. “Please don’t be mentally scarred,” Sherlock muttered. He then let go, pulled away, and smiled at him.

And then the smile fell off of his face, replaced with the expression of annoyance he held before.

“What are you both staring at?” he snapped. John burst out laughing. Sherlock looked at him for half a second before his expression turned to one of horror. “Oh, god, it happened again, didn’t it?”

“Y-yes!” John choked out. Lestrade looked on in confusion, not able to hold back his own laughter. He had no idea why it had happened, but it had happened nonetheless and it apparently was an ongoing thing, which was hilarious in of itself with Sherlock involved.

The days dragged on and Sherlock was starting to get extremely annoyed with the curse. John insisted that he just apologize to the woman, but Sherlock seemed so determined to make both of their lives completely miserable.

“Alright, talk. At the morgue today, it really was quite funny, Molly got very flustered when I actually slammed some “nice man’s” arm with a hammer.” Sherlock laughed, but his expression grew cold suddenly as he seemingly read something.

“Erm... What is it, Sherlock?”

“It says “John thinks Sherlock is being rude.”” Sherlock scoffed. John pressed his lips together, raised his eyebrows, and nodded.

“It’s good. Wow, this game.”

“It’s not a game!” Sherlock snarled and pointed in front of him again. “Co— Um… Chat. John, the tea you made today was horrible. And yesterday, you forgot to make my bed. And you had the television on much too loud last night while I was trying to work. Stop that. All of that.” John rolled his eyes.

“You didn’t really pick “chat,” did you?” but Sherlock suddenly looked furious.

“BORING? “JOHN THINKS SHERLOCK IS BORING?

John’s eyes widened, watching Sherlock’s fingers pointing. Like he could control what the words said!

The next day, John was sporting a black eye with a very grumpy air.

And that was the day Sherlock realized that negative socialization brought the red down sometimes. He scowled and gave in. John was extremely relieved.

“She gave me an address,” John told Sherlock as they exited the flat.

“I don’t think we’ll be needing it,” Sherlock said when he opened the door. The woman was standing right there, smiling.

“Hello!” she said cheerily.

“Hello,” John responded with a smile.

“I would much appreciate it if you would remove the curse,” Sherlock said, bringing himself up and looking down his nose at the girl. John gave a helpless noise as he saw this.

“I’m sure you would, but you certainly wouldn’t be thankful, would you?”

“Of course not. You’re the one who put it on me in the first place. It is your place to take it off of me. I am sorry about not apologising when I knocked you over. It was inconsiderate of me.”

“You’re not sorry.”

“Am I not? I believe I just said I wa-“

“Oh, yes, you can say you’re sorry all you want, but I need you to actually be sorry. You seem to be missing my point.” She gave a shrug and smiled. Sherlock reeled back slightly, looking like he might actually hit her. John stepped forward a bit, putting a hand on Sherlock’s arm.

“Just take the damn curse off!”

“No.”

“Please?”

“Better!”

“So you will?”

“Nope.”

“What,” Sherlock hissed, “Do I have to do?”

“You know what you have to do.”

Sherlock lunged forward, but John held him back with a yelp.

“Jesus, Sherlock, get a hold of yourself!” he yelled. Sherlock was shaking, but he attempted to pull himself together.

“You’re not any better at all!” the girl said, looking extremely disappointed in herself. “This obviously isn’t working.”

“So-“

“No, I’m not taking it off. You’re getting something else.”

“And-“

“No, you’re keeping this one, too. You’re having both.”

“Both?” Sherlock hissed.

“Yes, I really am rather sorry about this. Sort of, you know.” The girl shrugged and gave off a sort of chuckle. “It really isn’t as bad as you seem to think it is. Annoying, maybe, but not bad. This one might be better. And more fun. At least, for John.” John gave a start.

“How did you- no, no, more important question. Why will it be fun for me?”

“You’ll see!”

And, like days before, she was suddenly gone without a trace.

Chapter Text

"Sherlock, why is the fridge fully stocked?" John called out one evening. He stared into the fridge. John actually hadn't gone into the fridge for days, figuring it was empty since he had used up the rest of the milk and didn't have time to go shopping. He doubted Sherlock went shopping. "Sherlock?"

John turned around and saw Sherlock slumped on the couch, fast asleep. He looked at him for a second and realised that Sherlock's curse wouldn't allow him to work unless he was well fed. Maybe Sherlock went shopping after all?

John walked into the living room and sat down in his chair, leaning his elbows on his knees and resting his head in his hands as he watched Sherlock and considered the curse. Sherlock had calmed down considerably in the past couple of days. They hadn't been giving more than a tiny hint on a piece of paper and Sherlock took it as a challenge to find out what the new curse was and get rid of it before it even took effect.

The note said "Yes, I am a curse, but in the story I was originated from, I was placed as a misled blessing. I can be broken without the one who placed me, but it won't be easy."

Sherlock had been searching online ever since, but to no avail. Eventually, a case popped up that needed his attention and he abandoned his search temporarily.

For now, Sherlock was sleeping. He grumbled for an hour before giving in, not being able to work otherwise, but now that he was asleep, he looked so utterly peaceful. Nearly angelic. At first glance, in such a state, Sherlock might even be viewed as a timid, worrisome fella that only wants friendship. John smirked at the idea.

Sherlock shifted slightly and his mouth fell open as he let out a small, breathy noise. His hair was disheveled, as he had jumped onto the couch before apparently pressing the button to take a nap, but it was oddly charming. Sherlock's hands pulled up to his face, resting under his cheek and chin. John grinned before he noticed that this much movement probably meant Sherlock would be waking up soon.

Sure enough, Sherlock's eyes opened slowly, his face completely unguarded and innocent looking as he made direct eye contact with John. They looked at each other for a second before John realised he had been staring for a good five minutes at a sleeping Sherlock.

"Uh, good morning," John said, lifting his head off of his hands and crossing his arms awkwardly. "Did you- did you sleep well?"

"Why were you staring at me?" was Sherlock's only answer as he pushed himself up and rubbed his eyes with the heels of his hands.

"I wasn't. Did you restock the fridge?"

"No," Sherlock replied with a heavy sigh. "Well, yes."

"Which is it?" John leaned back in his chair, watching Sherlock wake himself up.

"I found that if I click the button that shows up on the fridge that says "eat" enough when the fridge is empty, there's a small little glitch I can click if I'm fast enough that will magically restock our fridge."

"Magi-"

"And by that, I mean it somehow summons Mrs. Hudson to restock it, even though she swore three months ago that she would never do it again, after finding the scorpions I put in there."

"So, it wasn't really magic?"

"I think there are glitches in the curse. I just need to find them."

"Like cheats?"

"What?"

"Cheats! Games have cheats. I've been looking up this game, and I'm sure there must be cheats - otherwise people could never get past the fourth house! I mean, really, it's so-"

"Have you been playing?" Sherlock asked, a smirk playing at his lips and his eyes gleaming with amusement.

"What? No!"

"John, if I turn on your laptop right now and search for it, will I find Sims?"

"Well, yes, but that doesn't-"

"And if I open it, will I find a Sim John and maybe even a Sim Sherlock?"

"Why would I make a Sim you?" John muttered. Sherlock just waited, smirking and lacing his fingers together. John sighed. "Fine, yes, yes. But it's helpful to you if we find out as much as we can about the game."

"I suppose it is," Sherlock agreed. "What have you found out?"

"That it's a really annoying game. I'm already sick of it."

"From the way you type, I'm not surprised you're horrible at video games. I'd give it a shot if I wasn't currently living it," Sherlock scoffed. He ruffled his hands through his hair as John gave a shrug and got up.

"I'm going to make us some dinner." Sherlock looked up in surprise.

"No take out?"

"No, I have some time on my hands and a full fridge. I think we can manage today," came John's reply from inside the fridge, the kitchen filled with clinks of jars and dishes being moved around.

"Make sure not to start a fire," Sherlock replied, heaving himself up and moping over to the window.

He stared outside, hoping something dangerous would happen just so he would have an excuse to leave. It wasn't surprising that he noticed the one big difference of the view.

"John," Sherlock called. "Why is there a blue gnome in front of the flat?"

"What?" John called out, apparently having a war in the kitchen. At least, that's what it sounded like with him smashing all of those pots around.

"Nothing," Sherlock sighed, taking his robe off and throwing it to the couch. He slipped his coat on instead and hurried outside, slamming the door behind him to inform John that his noise in the kitchen was certainly unwanted and not at all appreciated. That should show him.

Sherlock walked over to the gnome and bent down to examine it. It was the bluest gnome he had ever seen – in fact, he had never seen a blue gnome – actually, he had never seen a gnome but for pictures and on the television. Sherlock poked the gnome and choices appeared.

Choices to fill all of his basic needs. Sherlock clicked all of the buttons in excitement and immediately felt refreshed and fed without actually eating. He hopped up quickly and bolted back inside, running up the stairs so quickly that it sounded like a stampede. He slammed into the flat and ran over to John, who was putting some pasta into the boiling water on the stove.

Sherlock turned him around and grabbed him by his shoulders. John looked at him in alarm.

"Sherlock?"

"John!" Sherlock nearly yelped in his excitement, beaming with an extremely tight grip on his shoulders. "I have found a way to cheat the Sim system!"

"Oh! Have you? Like game cheats? Er, how, exactly?" John tried to move away, but Sherlock didn't let go. He looked like he had just received information about a particularly difficult case.

"There is a blue gnome outside the flat that lets me fill the bars! If I'm hungry, tired, whatever, I can just go fill up the bars at the gnome!"

"Right… What about the other cheats?" Sherlock frowned.

"What other cheats? Why would I need anything but that?"

"Well, there are cheats where you can get money, cheats that make you friends, cheats that can make you older, where you can teleport, where you stop aging," John listed, thinking. "I think there's probably one that'd make someone fall in love, because that's one of the most annoying parts of the game – getting someone to marry! There's so much to do!"

Sherlock stared at John in awe. John looked up at him, his ears turning red.

"Er, Sherlock, I didn't mean-"

"We can have as much money as we want and we can stop aging, John. And teleport. Things would be so easy if we could teleport." Sherlock suddenly gripped his shoulders tighter and leaned in. "Tell me how to do this."

"I don't know! How would I know? They're typed in commands in the game – there was nothing about a gnome! I don't know what that's about!"

"Maybe it's from a different system."

"Maybe, but I've only played the one on my laptop." Sherlock narrowed his eyes.

"John, you stole that game."

"What? No I didn't!"

"Where's the box?" John stared at him for a second before answering.

"There's no box. I downloaded it off the internet," John said in some confusion.

"That counts as stealing, John," Sherlock said, grinning devilishly. "Tsk tsk, John, shame on you." He poked his nose and left the kitchen.

And that's when John realised the pasta had boiled over and the sauce had burned.

Needless to say, they ended up having takeout.

Sherlock had evidently forgotten all about the new curse in order to concentrate on finding out the cheats for the first one. He hadn't had a case in days and so spent all of his free time doing this. He found that he didn't have to sleep at all with this game. He was actually enjoying his curse by the time he "randomly" ran into the woman on the street again.

He gave her a brilliant, slightly devilish smile and a wink.

"Thanks for the curse, darling, it's been lovely," he gushed jokingly as he walked past her. She blinked in surprise at him and then frowned.

"I knew I shouldn't have left the cheats in…" she said to his back. "And I suppose you haven't even had a chance to work with the new curse, yet."

Sherlock stopped walking and mentally cursed himself. He had forgotten completely about the new curse. He spun around.

"What's the second curse?" he demanded to know. She smiled at him sadly and shook her head.

"Probably more trouble than you'll think it is when it finally starts working. I suppose everyone is rather intimidated by you, huh? Well, we'll just see what happens when you finally find out what it is. In the meantime, there's no reason for you to be having this much fun, so… Here."

She walked forward and put something into his hand before winking at him and walking away. Like a normal person. No vanishing in the middle of a park in broad daylight, apparently. Not for this witch.

Sherlock looked into the palm of his hand and found a little note that said "Your new (3rd) curse. Enjoy! ;)" Sherlock scowled at it and looked at the little figurine of a cat that it was taped to.

Chapter Text

Sherlock was moving at record speed, as neither of the new curses had begun their work and he was well used to the Sims curse. It was astonishing to see, really. John was more in awe than usual, which caused many embarrassing moments where he'd yell out how amazing Sherlock was being only to be stared at by everyone at the Yard as his ears and neck turned red and he rocked on his heels, biting his lips together and avoiding all eye contact.

Sherlock found it highly amusing. Of course, it was because of the cheats, because of his constant green happiness level, that got him this way. He didn't need to eat or sleep or any of that foolish nonsense because he had cheats that did it for him.

"You know, eventually the curse is going to be lifted and then you're going to have to deal with the fact that you have to eat and sleep," John pointed out. Sherlock grinned and winked at him, which flustered John – which, frankly, was something Sherlock found too much fun to pass up doing.

"You can cook for me, if it comes to that," Sherlock said, scribbling something out on a notepad.

"What do you mean 'If it comes to that'? She's not going to leave the curse on you forever, Sherlock," John said, moving to look over Sherlock's shoulder to the notepad. It was John's notepad and he had notes on the current case all over it. Sherlock was editing the details so slightly that it really shouldn't have mattered – word choice, name spelling. John rolled his eyes.

"Not if I keep angering her."

"Sherlock, if you keep angering her, she's just going to keep cursing you." Sherlock heaved a sigh.

"Yes, well these last two curses seem to be useless, now, don't they? I haven't had any other… symptoms, for lack of a better word, besides the Sims! And, anyway, it doesn't matter much to me at the moment. They're unimportant and the – the cheats to the first curse make case work so much simpler, now that boring things are out of the way."

"I really feel like this is all going to build up, Sherlock. It's going to build up and all of the curses will attack you all at once," John said, shaking his head. "You'll probably be begging at her feet to forgive you by the end of this."

"Do shut up, you're ruining my high from the case."

As soon as John opened his mouth to reply, Sherlock got a text from Lestrade and they were off.

"What's happened, then?" John asked Lestrade when they arrived.

"Well, you know the engaged woman with the missing engagement ring? The case, Sherlock, that you didn't find any sort of interesting at the time it showed up," Lestrade asked, glancing at the way Sherlock was looking at Anderson across the room before continuing. "She's dead."

Sherlock reeled back around to look at Lestrade.

"Was the ring found?"

"No," Lestrade replied.

"Interesting. Take me to her body."

"There was no body," Lestrade replied, looking extremely uneasy. "Well, not fully."

"Burned?"

"Uh-"

"No, torn apart and burned in different places?"

"Yes. Well, yes and no."

"And no?" Sherlock asked, pacing and apparently going over the facts in his head.

"According to Anderson, all of her… burnt remains were found except for her left hand. They didn't do an exactly thorough job of burning her. I hope for her sake it was after they had killed her."

"Probably a closed-casket funeral instead of a white-dressed wedding, then, huh?" Sherlock asked. Lestrade did no more than open and close his mouth a few times. John cleared his throat and Sherlock looked at him. John shook his head slightly with a grimace. Sherlock nearly sighed, continuing. "I need to see the arms. Maybe the rest of her."

Lestrade looked more than a little uncomfortable. Sherlock glared at him.

"How long did you wait until you contacted me about this?"

"A couple of weeks," Lestrade admitted. "We thought we could handle it. The family-"

"Don't they care who killed her? I need to see her body," Sherlock snapped. John put a hand on his arm and he visibly calmed down, his fury only showing in his face rather than his body language.

"I think they're a little more occupied with grieving than anything else right now, Sherlock," Lestrade felt the need to point out. Sherlock gave a huff.

"No enraged brother or father with the need for revenge or justice?"

"No siblings at all and her father is—uninterested." Sherlock gave another huff and John tightened his grip slightly.

"Anderson," Lestrade called out. Sherlock turned away, shrugging John's hand off and looking at the papers in his hands instead. "Sherlock, he knows more about it than I can tell you."

"I'm not talking to him," Anderson sneered after walking over.

"You will if you want this case solved – and I know you do," Lestrade warned before walking away and leaving them to it. A promotion, or maybe just simply his job, was clearly at stake.

"What do you want to know?" Anderson sighed.

"Since I apparently can't go see the body for myself-"

"It's already been buried. But you could always go dig up the body. I'd love a reason to arrest you," Anderson sneered. Sherlock glared, but otherwise did not respond to his somewhat irrational anger.

"I need you tell me a few detail of the body. Did it look scratched up?"

"It looked burnt. Very burnt."

"I'm aware, you do know, that your promotion is at stake here? I'd advise you to answer as thoroughly as you can," Sherlock hissed. Anderson seethed, but otherwise complied.

"I suppose it did look a little wrecked besides the unsuccessful burning. Yeah, scratches and maybe some bruising- bleeding for sure."

"She was alive, then, while they were cutting her up. Interesting. I suppose that ring held a lot of meaning to the person who took it – meaning the husband bought it from a pawn shop and the woman was incredibly stubborn and stupidly heroic concerning a ring when it came down to them taking it from her. They must have thought she was the one who stole it – and there has to be a bigger meaning behind it, otherwise it's just a ring. Emotional attachment on both ends, sure, but murder really calls for another meaning…" Sherlock trailed off, looking at the papers in his hands again. Anderson gave a frustrated sneer.

"It was her engagement ring. And the husband said it was his Grandmother's."

"It wasn't his Grandmother's. It was bought from a pawn shop-"

"I think I'll take his word for it rather than a psycho-" Sherlock gave him a horrible look. "Oh, I'm so sorry for screwing up and giving you the wrong dangerously villainous anti-social disorder."

"It'd do you best to keep your mind on your work," Sherlock spat out, emphasizing very carefully and looking about ready to punch Anderson in the face. John's hand went back to Sherlock's arm. Anderson, of course, noticed.

"That'd be a lot easier if you two weren't constantly emitting horrible sexual tension," he jibed, staring at John's hand. John gave an annoyed sigh, but only tightened it when he felt Sherlock tense more.

"You obviously don't notice how everyone is incredibly awkward around you and Miss Sally over there," Sherlock retorted. "John and I have a completely and obviously platonic friendship and colleague-ship."

"Oh, please. Even if you two aren't shagging – which, frankly, all of Scotland Yard would be shocked to hear – the way you talk to each other – you two practically fuck with your eyes and snog with your words. It's sickening."

Sherlock glared at Anderson, pretty unaffected by his jibes, as Sally wandered over.

"Your concentration on this is getting rater tiresome. John and I are not together, nor do-"

"I'll believe that, but you two totally want to snog at the least," Sally joined in. Anderson laughed. John sighed again and Sherlock was, again, entirely unaffected.

"I don't see how this matters at all to the case. We clearly don't, and, even if we did, it wouldn't matter at all to the conversation we were previously having."

"It would get rid of the horrible sexual tension," Sally suggested.

"That's what I was saying!" Anderson practically gasped, a horrible, toothy smirk on his face.

"This has utterly nothing to do with the case," Sherlock fumed, enraged at not getting the information he needed for the case. John's grip tightened again.

"Just kiss him, already! Get it over with," Anderson laughed, clearly finding Sherlock's rage highly enjoyable and misinterpreting it to mean he was getting defensive.

Sherlock snarled and turned quickly towards John, grabbing his face and mashing their lips together with a flailing of John's arms and followed by a stunned silence before Sherlock pulled away, looking confused and a bit scared.

"John," he nearly whispered, trying to convey his fear and realisation to John through eye contact. John was staring at him with his mouth open slightly, eyes wide and eyebrows furrowed. Quite a silly expression, really.

"I-I'll just be- uh-" John stammered something about leaving "the kettle on the couch, I-I mean I left the fridge on, or - or- something," before turning abruptly and leaving quite quickly. Sherlock stared after him, utterly confused at the odd turn of events.

"Well, that was awkward," Sally declared after a stunned fifteen seconds. Sherlock spun back to them, shaking his shock and fear away from his expression.

"As you can see, that kiss meant nothing."

"He really doesn't see it, does he?" Anderson mused.

"Really, Sherlock, just go—"

"STOP," Sherlock suddenly yelled. "Tell Lestrade that he should look up who sold the ring to the pawn shop down near Ben's Battered Bakery and then contact me if he can't figure it out from there."

He quickly swept out of the building only to find that John was already gone and probably had caught a taxi almost as soon as he got outside. He swore quietly and stalked off to hail a taxi.


He swept into the flat quite dramatically, taking off his coat immediately and putting it on the hook. John apparently felt the need to make more tea than necessary, as the flat was incredibly warm, smelled of tea, and the kettle was whistling quite loudly on the stove.

Sherlock turned the stove off and moved the kettle to shut it up. John wasn't in the kitchen or the living room. The flat felt very still.

"John," Sherlock called out. "We need to talk about this."

Sherlock heard a shuffling sort of sound come from John's room, but silence fell again. Sherlock gave a frustrated huff and stomped upstairs to John's room, flinging the door open and glaring at John, who was sitting on his bed clutching a mug of tea and not looking at Sherlock.

"John," Sherlock said simply, sulk threatening. John looked up warily.

"I know," John sighed, putting a hand to his face and sipping his tea. "I know we need to talk about this. Sit down, then." John scooted over. Sherlock blinked in confusion and extreme annoyance, but sat down next to John quickly.

"Don't do that."

"Don't do what?"

"Don't- tell me what to do!" Sherlock nearly yelped, fear shining in his eyes again. John furrowed his eyebrows.

"I just asked you to sit down."

"You didn't ask, you told! Don't. Just- don't! Look, I said we needed to talk about this, and I don't see why I need to sit to talk about it, but you clearly don't understand it as well as I do –" John gave a snort.

"That's an understatement. You're the one who kissed me."

"I- what?" Sherlock stopped talking, studying John's face and at a complete loss as to what he was talking about. John looked over at him while he sipped his tea feebly, very aware of Sherlock's sudden change in tone, posture, and expression.

"We're clearly not on the same page," John muttered. "What are you on about?"

"The curse, John! Why? What were you-"

"Oh, the curse, yeah, that's what I was talking about, too, sorry," John quickly stammered. Sherlock opened his mouth to tell John that, clearly, he was lying, and to demand he tell him why and what he was going to say, but instead shook his head.

"We have to-" Sherlock cringed. "We have to limit my contact with anyone. Lestrade will have to text you instead of me, do not, under any circumstances, let Mycroft talk to me – he will immediately know what's wrong – and I cannot talk to anyone but you. You are not to tell me what to do, John. I trust you to understand this and see to it."

"I- what?" John sipped at his tea again. "The curse? What exactly is the curse?"

Sherlock heaved a sigh so tortured that John was sure he had expelled all of the air in his lungs in one quick go.

"People can boss me around," Sherlock explained. John just stared at him. Sherlock closed his eyes for a second, begging for patience that he didn't ever wish to have before. "Remember when Anderson told me to kiss you?" John made an odd noise and Sherlock's eyes snapped open, eyebrows furrowing.

"Yes," John said slowly.

"I did because it was a direct order," Sherlock explained. John stared at him for a second before heaving a sigh of relief. He then began laughing. Quietly at first, but then it was stronger and he was setting his tea down on his night stand. Sherlock's mouth quirked up a bit in amusement at John's unexplained, infectious laughter.

"So- So when I told you to sit-"

"Yes, John, I did it because I had to follow the direct order."

"So," John gasped, laughing and attempting to calm himself down. He took a second to take a few breaths, giggles escaping as he did so. "So, if I told you to hug me?"

"John, part of my speech earlier informed you that you are not to take advantage of this."

"Oh, please, Sherlock, it's merely a hug," John laughed. "Plus, it'd help up your social green," he added.

"I have cheats for that."

"That you have to go outside for. And it's raining," John pointed out. Sherlock scoffed. John stood up, laughing again with his hand clutching at his chest as it tightened up with his laughter. "Sherlock, hug me," he snickered. Sherlock gave him an awful glare before gracefully standing up and wrapping John in his arms as John wrapped his own around Sherlock's mid-section.

There was a sudden and slightly blinding light that left John blinking and confused for all of a second before he realised that Sherlock was gone. He looked around, wondering how Sherlock got out of his grasp before looking down at his still wrapped arms.

And seeing the most adorable black, long-haired kitten with the most horrifyingly angry blue eyes he has ever seen in his life before abruptly dropping it to the ground with a strangled yelp.

Chapter Text

"You," John cleared his throat in order to not sound like he was going through a second puberty. The flustered, black kitten on the floor shook his little head and sat down, eyes wide. "You… are a cat."

The kitten's gaze snapped up to John's face with what couldn't be called anything but a glare. A fierce one, at that.

"I hugged you, and you turned into a cat," John said weakly, lowering himself down to sit on his legs in front of the kitten.

Not a cat, you moron, a kitten. You should know better than that and I don't appreciate the fact that you forced me to hug you, even if it did reveal the third curse, Sherlock attempted to say.

"Mew, meeeww, mrow, meow," is what Sherlock actually said – in the most condescending sort of way a kitten could possibly meow. John started giggling when Sherlock gave off a surprised and annoyed hiss at the fact that he had lost the ability to speak.

"You're really quite cute," John snickered, reaching out a hand to pet Sherlock as he said "And, bonus, you can't talk now!"

Sherlock, of course (John, you moron), attacked John's hand with his new claws and sharp teeth. John gave a yelp and pulled his hand back so sharply that Sherlock was forced to let go, falling back to the ground with a soft thud. His fur puffed up and he glared kitten daggers at John.

"That wasn't very nice," John snipped, dabbing at the blood forming on his hand from some of the scratches and bites. "Just because you have claws now – Sherlock, that doesn't mean you can just attack people! You wouldn't have punched me in the face – or bitten me, even! You had teeth as a human, you know! – if you were still human."

Sherlock sat down again, glaring up at John in his annoyance at not being able to speak. He wanted to keep trying, but his dread at the horribly high pitched and adorable mewing was enough to stop him. John looked at Sherlock and couldn't hold back a completely endeared grin.

"You're so cute," he whispered with a chuckle. Sherlock stood up, looking as annoyed as a kitten can look. "Imagine the look on Anderson's face when a kitten comes to the Yard to solve cases." The kitten's face looked surprised for a second and John grinned. Sherlock looked up at John and crouched low to the ground. "What are you doing?" John furrowed his eyebrows, nearly giggling.

Sherlock shook his hips slightly and tensed up, eyes almost sparkling. John flinched as Sherlock jumped at him, claws attempting to dig into his shirt before falling into John's lap with a surprised squeak. John gave out a bark of laughter and gathered Sherlock up in his arms, standing up and moving them into the living room.

Sherlock gave a sharp mew and John looked down at him.

"What is it?"

But Sherlock wasn't looking at him, he was looking around his arm and back into the room. John turned around and went still. Sherlock's clothes were on the floor. John hadn't noticed them. He had been too distracted by Sherlock's sudden transformation.

John looked down at Sherlock.

"Well, you're a cat now. You don't need clothes, do you?" Sherlock's fur puffed up for a second.

He squirmed himself out of John's arms and onto the floor, swiftly moving towards his clothes. He studied them for a second before grabbing his shirt in his mouth and tugging at it, pulling it and walking backwards with difficulty. John laughed when he stumbled over himself and ended up half under his shirt.

His laughter ended, however, when there was a soft noise joined with a flash of light that apparently resulted in Sherlock sitting on the floor in front of him, naked.

He turned around quickly.

"Er, sorry," was all he said before rushing downstairs.

When Sherlock made his way into the kitchen, John was waiting for his tea to cool off.

"Approximately five minutes," Sherlock stated, putting more sugar into John's tea. John glared.

"That's not your tea, Sherlock."

"We'll need to experiment," he went on. "With both of the curses. I want to see if I can resist being told what to do, and I want to see if the time I have to wait to turn human fluctuates each time, or if it's a definite amount of time."

John was nearly indignant when Sherlock began sipping at his tea. He reached for it, but Sherlock turned away with it, moving towards the fridge and opening it.

"In any case, I do rather like the idea of doing cases as a kitten if only to see Anderson's expression. We'd need to prolong the experience, however. I have a theory that as long as you keep hugging me, I'll stay a kitten. I would like to test this."

Sherlock turned back to John to find him right about to hug him. Sherlock stepped back sharply. John grinned sheepishly, caught.

"You do realise that your favourite mug would be broken on the floor had I not stopped you?" Sherlock asked.

"I hadn't thought about it," John confessed. "Would you like to test things out now?"

"Yes, I would like to start as soon as possible. I mean, let me finish my tea first," Sherlock amended, sipping the tea. John glared at it.

"It's not your tea. Give me back my tea, Sherlock." Sherlock's face lit up.

"This isn't your tea, John," he said happily.

"Oh, so since you honestly believe that since you took it from me that it's now yours, you don't have to do what I said?"

"Precisely! One of my theories."

"Give me the tea in your hands."

"There's no tea, but you can have the empty mug if you really want it," Sherlock shrugged, handing John the empty mug.

John sighed at it and put it in the sink. He moved into the living room and sat down in his chair with a huff. Sherlock was right on his tail. He dragged over a chair and sat in front of John, studying him.

"You're annoyed," Sherlock pointed out. "But not with me."

John snorted.

"I'm constantly annoyed with you, Sherlock."

"Well, it's more than that," Sherlock said, leaning closer. John blinked rapidly, sinking further into the couch under Sherlock's intense gaze. "What is it?"

John could only shake his head and open his mouth to say god knows what before Sherlock's cell phone rang. He shoved it into John's hands and motioned him to answer it.

"Sherlock Holmes, secretary, how may I help you?" John answered sarcastically. He was quiet for a few moments. "No, the man who sold the ring is the murderer. He tortured her—No, listen, he cut up her body while she was still alive- What? No! Well, yes… Yes, he has a habit of being vague on purpose, but that's hardly—Ah."

"Lestrade is angry with me," Sherlock said. "He'll get over it."

"It's a good thing you didn't pick up the phone. He told me to tell you to… Well, it wasn't pleasant."

"Good! The case is fine, all they have to do is find the man, and now we have the whole night, at least, to experiment." John gave off a soft laugh and Sherlock looked confused before brushing it off.

"What should we do, then?"

"I suppose the first thing would be for you to tell me to do things. Turning into a kitten can be rather time consuming and extremely inconvenient. Not to mention, you seem to be rather-"

"Shut up."

Sherlock's voice cut off very suddenly. He looked alarmed. John looked extremely pleased and amused.

"This is useful! I might ask her to keep this one around, at least for me," he chuckled. Sherlock tensed up, looking like he was considering strangling John. "Alright, fine, you can talk! Talk if you want."

"You need to tell me to do something that I don't want to do so much that I actually have a big reason to force myself not to do it," Sherlock stumbled slightly over his words. John grinned.

"Go wash the dishes."

"John! That's not what I meant!" Sherlock snapped as he got up and went into the kitchen.

He sneered at the dishes as he washed them and scoffed when John came into the room to watch for himself. When he finished, he took one of John's favourite plates and dropped it on the floor. John jumped back with a yelp.

"Oops," Sherlock said. John sighed.

"Clean that up and then come sit with me."

Sherlock sighed. He obviously saw it coming.

When he joined John on the couch, he was watching TV.

"Oh, how dull," Sherlock sighed, squirming next to him on the couch.

John shook his head and didn't even look at Sherlock when he pulled him closer and hugged him. With a soft noise and a bright light, there was a startled looking kitten in John's arms again.

He shoved Sherlock's clothes off of the couch and stretched out, eyes still on the television. After John was settled and still, still holding Sherlock, Sherlock seemed to be able to fix his thoughts, now that he wasn't being jolted around.

He squirmed for a while, clawing at John's arm in more of a passive aggressive way than anything else. John raised an eyebrow, but didn't say anything or look at him. Sherlock eventually curled up on John's stomach with John's arms lightly around him.

John eventually stopped paying attention. He was too interested in the movie he was watching. It wasn't until it ended that he realised it had been well over two hours since Sherlock had turned into a cat. He looked down at Sherlock only to see him sleeping.

John started petting Sherlock's extremely soft fur, quite happy that Sherlock's theory was correct. He couldn't hold back a goofy grin when Sherlock began to purr a rumbly, loud purr. And he couldn't help but chuckle when Sherlock jolted awake because of his own purring.

He looked up at John and then up at the clock before jumping out of John's arms onto the floor. He somehow dug himself under his shirt so that he was under it but holding it in his mouth so he wouldn't step on it as he walked to his bedroom.

John watched as the mound of kitten-shaped shirt puddle worked its way to Sherlock's room. Sherlock bound back into the living room a few seconds later and attempted to do the same thing with his pants. It was a little more difficult and took a couple of minute, but he managed. As soon as Sherlock got back into his room, John heard a soft noise and saw a flash of light.

"Approximately five minutes," Sherlock called out.

"Go to bed!" John replied with a laugh.

"John!" came Sherlock's yelped reply as his light turned out and John heard him crawl into bed. John glanced towards his room with a guilty look. He hadn't meant it as a command.

"Sorry!" John worried for a second before shrugging. "You need sleep, anyway! Goodnight, Sherlock."

"Go to hell," Sherlock replied.

"I'm glad I don't have your curse. Sleep well, Kittenlock."