What to do When Your Flatmate is Homicidal
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters or this world.
Summary: Sherlock takes Molly's advice when dealing with his dangerous flatmate.
AN: Sorry John.
Molly gave me a magazine. It has one hundred tips for figuring out your man. She said it is a bible amongst women. I will use it to solve the mystery that is John, or, as I like to refer to him, that mad-hatter who sits on my Union Jack cushion until it is flat.
I think John may be my boyfriend. It says here if a man is happy to sit in silence with you doing nothing whatsoever of an evening then you’ve moved on from dating and you may consider him your boyfriend. Not that John and I ever dated. Not much. I don’t think. I’ll go ask him.
John says we did not date. The source material does not elaborate on this point so I think I should just assume he’s my boyfriend so as not to hurt his feelings.
Molly’s magazine says I should take an interest in my boyfriend’s hobbies. John’s hobbies are:
1. Buying groceries.
2. Cleaning the flat.
3. Watching TV.
4. Typing with two fingers.
5. Trying to engage in sexual relations with women.
6. Following me about on cases.
I’ve already showed an interest in number six so I will work on the others.
Followed John to the shops today. It was dull beyond words. He spent a ridiculous amount of time deciding between organic and cheap vegetables. He finally decided on the cheap ones. I was nearly gasping with boredom but determined to take an interest. I questioned the produce girl about organic vegetation. She launched into a fifteen minute lecture. It would have gone on longer but I pretended to swoon. I ‘woke up’ when they paged a doctor and found John hurrying towards me. He just sighed and told everyone I was a mental patient.
I’m not going to shop there anymore.
I observed John picking up the flat. After eleven minutes and nine seconds he got all grumpy with me and said peevishly that I should help. I said I was just taking an interest and he went and dumped all my mold cultures into the sink and turned on the rubbish disposal.
The way he glared at me! I must remember that John is, in fact, a killer. In the first twenty-four hours that I knew him he shot a man and then he killed that circus bloke. I’m rather surprised Mycroft has not warned me off him.
I hid in John’s bedroom (under the bed) to take an interest in his latest sexual conquest. John engages in sex in a rather rambunctious manner that I’m not sure is good for his health. It also disturbs the dust under the bed and makes anyone lying there apt to sneeze.
John put his hands on me in a way that was not pleasant. He marched me down the stairs and stood in the middle of the living room screaming his bloody lungs out. He didn’t appear to remember that he was naked except for a condom.
When I kindly brought this to his attention he took the condom off his penis and chucked it at me. Which is unsanitary. A doctor really ought to know better.
I kindly pointed this out as well and he said, “What the fucking buggering fuck? How fucking hard did you hit your last night?”
Honestly! The mouth on him.
I said I’d hit it pretty hard actually and that might explain why there are two John’s standing in sitting room shouting abuse at me.
He went half all melty with concern for me and half girding his loins to put his professional doctor hat on. It was bizarre. He sat me down in a chair and procured a pen light from somewhere. I am not joking. It was just magically there. So John either keeps a pen light secreted in his arsehole at all times or I really did hit my head hard. I flinched away from it a bit because I do not like instruments that have been stored in the anus to come near my eyes. John pulled my hair to hold me still and got all up in my face with himself. His breath smelled like beer.
I’m not fond of beer but I wanted to taste it. I settled for kicking him in the shins while he probed my eyes.
Molly says that the eyes are the window to the soul. I wonder if John saw anything in there? I think my soul would look like a spark dancing on the wind, alighting here and there, seeking out things to set on fire.
John didn’t tell me anything about my soul. He just sent me to bed and went to check on his sexual partner. He needn’t have bothered. She had scuttled out while he was throwing the condom at me.
Molly’s magazine says that if I’m concerned about my man’s behavior that I should sit him down and have a calm discussion about how it is affecting our relationship. I should use lots of ‘I’ statements.
Basically I just want John to kill people that aren’t me. Or Mrs. Hudson. Or Molly. Also Lestrade.
“John,” I will say, “I would like you to channel your homicidal tendencies towards people that are not in our inner circle of beloved friends.”
John marched into my bedroom with his laptop. He had my file open. The one that I saved as ‘This is private John don’t read it’. Honestly, is nothing sacred? He had all my notes on taking an interest in ones boyfriend open.
“John,” I said calmly, “I feel that my privacy has been invaded.”
John said some things then that I can only paraphrase. It sounded like, “Arse fucking bleeding buggering cunt fuck you sideways with a rusty pole Sherlock Holmes.” Again, I am paraphrasing.
I noticed (because I am nothing if not observant) that John was still parading around naked. I remained calm and used ‘I’ statements.
“John,” I said, “I feel you have forgotten to bring your pants to this argument.”
I think John needs an anger management course. If the laptop had been mine I’m sure he would have chucked it at my head. Instead he stormed from my room and from the flat and he hasn’t been back even though it’s three in the morning. I hope he didn’t go out nude.
Hmph. John paraded about the streets of London in nothing but a pair of boots and my coat.
John woke up at the crack of one o’clock in the afternoon to sit me down and talk rationally and calmly about the above events. Perhaps he found an anger management group that meets in the middle of the night and caters to naked men who steal their boyfriend’s coats? Or maybe Molly has also given John a copy of her magazine? That sly minx.
Anyway, John used lots of ‘I’ statements, which I approved of.
“Sherlock,” he said, “I feel that you think we are some sort of fucked up version of boyfriends.”
I ignored his foul language.
John says we are not boyfriends and that he doesn’t have time to explain why not to a man who is suppose to be a genius. I have retreated with dignity to my bedroom, barricading the door with a pillow and a book. If John wants to get in here, he can, but he will have to push harder. If he cares at all he will push.
John cares. He sat his wee self on my bed and put his hand on shoulder when I shoved my face into the mattress.
“Why do you want to be my boyfriend? It’s not something you’d want.”
“It’s important,” I said. “Being a boyfriend is important.”
“Sherlock,” he tugged gently at my hair. “You are important. Why do you think I let you drive all those girls away? You’re the most important thing to me. You’re my best friend.”
I sat up in a huff. “If we’re boyfriends it could lead to marriage. Everyone says it’s the next step. It’s what everyone strives for. Otherwise it’s ‘just friends’ and John, you’re not ‘just.’”
John was still and thoughtful for a long time. I let him be because John needs a long time with thoughts.
“Do you want to have sex with me, Sherlock?” he said after several years had passed.
“No,” I said. “Sometimes I want to taste what you’ve eaten. I think that means I want to kiss you, but I can live without it.”
John got all shaky. “Shall we try it? An experiment?”
I must have nodded or something because John was kissing me. He does this thing where he takes my bottom lip between his own and breathes in deep like I’ve hurt something in him. And then he does dirty things with his tongue.
“What do you think?” he said after an interval during which the moon waxed and waned and the sun did back flips and the galaxy swooned.
“I don’t know how the universe works,” I said. “I’m just glad you’re in it.”
John smiled and was quiet for a time.
“Sherlock?” he said. “There’s a ceremony for best friends. I think we should become official best friends while we see where this goes.”
“Is there?” I said, feigning ignorance.
“There is. I think Molly presides over these things.”
John slammed the copy of Molly’s magazine down on her desk.
“Hi, love. Sherlock and I are engaged to become best friends. You’ll perform the ceremony of course.”
Molly looked up expecting to find the eyes of sweet John. She saw the killer.
I really must sit him down one day and discuss this. It’s serving me well for the moment though.
Chapter 2: In Madness and in Sluttishness
A best-friends ceremony.
Molly is very keen on the best-friends ceremony. She’s had me round for tea six times. She has ordered a cupcake cake which is, apparently, all the rage. We’ve had an obnoxious number of conversations about attire.
“You should wear a t-shirt and a suit coat with those tight trousers. But you should also have a tie on. I—I mean John would like it.”
“Yes. Definitely. And you should dishevel your hair. A love bite would really put the final touch on the whole thing but I don’t suppose—“ She let out piercing giggle that was nearly as bad as one of John’s. I know I’m supposed to be a cold-hearted bastard but it did things inside my heart.
“You don’t suppose what?”
“That John would give you one. I could. If you thought it added something but—“
I’ve never had a love bite. Or worn a t-shirt and a denim jacket and leather trousers and a tie all at once. Molly took me round the shops and had me try them on in turn and then all together back at her flat.
“I really think the disheveled hair would add a bit of je ne sais quoi,” she said.
None of her taps had hoses so I had to strip down and get in her shower while she washed my hair. I wouldn’t have done a proper job of it on my own, she said. She had to get it the shower with me but she kept her knickers and bra on. They were quite transparent when soaked.
Molly is all soft and curvy and dewy and lovely when wet. I gestured at her with my towel.
“You should find someone to kiss all that. It’s like poems.”
Her lipped trembled but she smiled. “It’s not going to be you is it?”
I wanted John. Molly’s lip was trembling and John could tell me what to do to fix it.
“I wish I could fix your trembling lip,” I said. “But I don’t know how. If I wasn’t having a best-friends ceremony with John I would have one with you.”
Molly did this thing where she laughed and cried at the same time. It was bizarre. She took my towel from me to dry her face.
“Would you mind terribly if I just ogled you? Just for a bit?”
I didn’t mind. I twirled a bit and bent this way and that when she asked me to. She gave me a cigarette and I lounged on her sofa and blew smoke all over her damp bra and knickers.
She dressed me in the leather trousers and denim jacket and t-shirt and tie that she made me buy and put product in my hair that made it flop lazily into my eyes. We looked at me in her mirror.
She cocked her head to one side.
“The tie and the hair but your own trousers and one of your shirts and a blazer I think. It’s more you.”
“The love bite? I’ve never had one.”
“John is not looking after everything then is he? Not yet?”
I didn’t know what to say to that.
“If you were mine I’d want the world to know is all.”
She sucked on my neck. I closed my eyes and when I closed them I imagined John doing what Molly was doing. Molly kissed me after. She pressed her lips against my lips and then she sighed like I’d hurt something in her and pulled away.
“John sucks my lip and does dirty things with his tongue,” I said. “It hurts something in him too.”
She sighed again and rubbed the bruise she left on my neck.
She smiled brightly. “What should John wear?”
John nearly ripped my head off checking out my new love bite.
“We were just practicing,” I said. “Molly says I look properly debauched with it. She says I look like someone takes care of me.”
John threw toast at my head. He’s so violent.
“Does Molly want to clean up the flat and make sure you’ve eaten and slept? Does she want to stitch up your wounds and hide cigarettes and drugs from you?”
John went all red and then he was in my space sucking a bruise into the other side of my neck.
He was panting when he pulled away.
“Who looks after me then?”
I was nonplussed. “You’re not limping, John. I look after you.”
“You’re the only one who sees what’s not there, Sherlock.”
My insides did strange things. They grew warm and soft and made me feel like I had to mark John as my own. I marked his neck and his arms and I was working on his belly when he got all shy and pushed me away.
He pushed my disheveled hair from my eyes. “Don’t let Molly kiss you anymore?”
“We were just having a try on. We wanted to know how I’d look if you’d ravished me.”
“Molly loves you.”
“Yes. She loves me enough to let me love you.”
John sighed. “Sherlock, I’m so, so—I’ve always been so, so straight. I don’t know if I—perhaps Molly can love you better.”
My eyes felt hot and I got up and grabbed my violin. I wanted something lovely in my arms. John was decidedly being not lovely.
“More than one person might love me, John,” I said and then I made the violin sing so I couldn’t hear John’s replies.
It should have worked. My violin has always been able to ease my mind. But the music wasn’t John. The sounds that issued weren’t John sighing like I’d hurt something in him. And the notes didn’t drown out John’s voice.
“The whole world should be in love in with you. I think—I know I am but…you’re not listening.”
He left the flat.
My violin wailed. It was as if it was singing a sad song, all on its own.
John got me a tie. It has skulls on it.
John spent last night at Lestrade’s because Molly says it’s bad luck to see your best friend the night before the ceremony. She dropped the clothes we bought for him off so the first time I saw him in them was when he was walking up the stairs into the sitting room on Lestrade’s arm.
I got him a cashmere jumper and trousers that are very soft and smooth. The thing is, I get to hug him at the end of the ceremony. I want him to be soft.
Molly has put flowers everywhere. They’re on the table and windowsills and blooming from the eye sockets of the skull on the mantelpiece. I have one in my button hole and John has one clenched in his fist. Molly wouldn’t pin it to him. She didn’t want to ruin his jumper.
Mrs. Hudson was sobbing like Riechenbach as we said our vows.
I promised to stand by John through all of his sluttish ways. Whether he was whoring for danger or on behalf of his cock I would do my best to see his needs met.
John promised to put up with all of my insane crap and endeavor tirelessly to convince the world I was not mad and stop me from making a complete arse out of myself on every given occasion.
Lestrade had to pipe in as if this was all about him and his needs.
“Um. You both promise not to get each other killed.”
When Molly said I could I hugged the bejesus out of John. His feet were not touching the floor and he kicked me in the shins with them.
Honestly! The manners on him.
We all went out for dinner and John held my hand but only when it was under the table.
John says it’s really none of my business what he gets up to in the bedroom. His cock is not my concern. Granted. But he is so soft in his cashmere jumper and his smooth trousers and his cock is nestled all up in there. One can’t help but consider it. And think about rutting up against him until he came inside of them. And then acting all affronted that he got them wet. And pulling them open just to see the mess he’s made. And giving him a sound spanking.
During dessert I shoved my hand down the back of his trousers. His eyes fluttered closed.
“What are you doing for your honeymoon?” Lestrade wanted to know.
John licked whipped cream off his spoon sluttishly.
“Doing your job for you. Bickering. Fucking each other brainless. The usual,” John said.
He didn’t mention spanking. It’s okay. John likes surprises.
Chapter 3: Sing a Song of Bedlam
Sherlock enjoys an exorcism. John enjoys olives.
When we got home from dinner John and I had a bit of a slap and tickle, pinch and nibble fight on the sitting room floor. When I finally got him pinned to the carpet I rubbed our noses together and told John all the ideas I had regarding his trousers.
He went still for a moment and then said, “Oh jeez. Oh fuck. I need to take it a bit slow, Sherlock, yeah?”
I didn’t say anything. I kissed his eyelids and then kissed his mouth very slowly and gently. Then I sucked on his nose until he laughed and swatted me away.
John has taken to correcting my behavior to the tune of children’s songs. He is so annoying. Today he handed me a bottle of bleach while I was looking through my microscope. I was clearly busy but he just pulled my chair away from the table and tipped it until I had to stand up or fall off.
“Clean, clean, clean the loo,” he sang. “Clean, clean, clean the loo. Moss in the bathtub. Shoo moss, shoo.”
“I’m studying spores,” I said.
“Spores in the bathtub. Shoo spores, shoo. Clean the loo, my darling.”
He just kept singing until I had relocated the moss to my bedroom and scrubbed out the tub. He says it’s better for his blood pressure than yelling. I think it makes him sound like a nutter.
Though I do like The Rude Consulting Detective. It goes like this:
The rude consulting detective
made Mrs. Hudson cry.
Down came the tears till not an eye was dry.
Down the stairs goes Sherlock to apologize
or John will punch him in his pretty eyes.
I think John just wants excuses to call me darling and tell me I have pretty eyes.
John says I cannot introduce him to strangers as my official best friend and then brandish our certificate under peoples’ noses. He says it makes us look like the insane.
“What am I suppose to call you then?”
“John,” he says.
Oh yes, that’s very clever.
Fuck! I’ve had John’s a Little Tosspot stuck in my head all day! I thought I’d pay him back for making up songs about me but it has backfired rather badly. It’s just so catchy! And true! And apparently leads one to abuse exclamation points!!!
I complained rather loudly about this in close proximity to John. He remained ridiculously unmoved by my plight. I had no other choice but to stand on the sofa and sing John’s a Little Tosspot until he understood the seriousness of the situation.
“Hmm,” he says. “I think you need an exorcism.”
John says Molly also performs exorcisms. I have phoned her and she is popping round after dinner.
Exorcisms are fun. Molly came round with some candles and incense. She shut off all the lights and then told John he had to sing all these songs with other peoples’ names in them except he had to put my name in instead while using a torch as a microphone and wearing a pair of knickers on his head.
It was fantastic. My name is not ever in any songs unless John makes them up.
John was made to sing all these things to me:
Sherlock, honey, I’ve got some money. All is forgiven. Listen. Listen.
Sherlock in the sky with diamonds.
Oh Sherlock you’re so fine. You’re so fine you blow my mind. Hey Sherlock!
Sweet Sherlock Holmes! Good times never seemed so good!
He made such a racket that Mrs. Hudson came up, put a napkin on her head and sang Oh Sherlock Holmes the pipes, the pipes are calling into a spoon. I nearly wet myself.
John says I can’t introduce him as my little tosspot either.
He has so many rules. I made up a rule that he has to call me Clever Sherlock but he is not following it.
I’ve got everyone at The Yard to hum I’m a Little Teapot every time John walks into the room. It’s like he has his own little theme song. I didn’t tell them that they were really humming John’s a Little Tosspot because they’d want to know the lyrics and they’re rather rude.
Bad news. We ran out of olives. Oh, you say, that is no very great problem. I myself have run out of olives on countless occasions. What you do is, you go down to a shop that sells olives and you purchase more. That sounds reasonable, but when you live with the mad small problems can get Out of Hand very quickly.
You see, John stuck his hand into this little jar to fish around for the last olive. His hand went in but it would not come out. I heard him using foul language in the kitchen and banging around but I was quite busy and ignored it. After awhile he came into the living room and turned on the television.
“John,” I said. “You have a jar on your hand.”
“Yes. I know.”
“Is it an experiment?”
“No.” He said he didn’t want to talk about it. It took me ages to get the story out of him.
“Well, you can’t just give up. You can’t just settle for having a jar as part of your anatomy.”
“I know!” he said. “I’m just having a bit of a think about how to get it off.”
He had tried greasing it up and banging it against hard things but none of that worked. In the end he had rest his hand on the worktop while I got out the hammer. He took a deep breath.
“Listen, try not kill me, or seriously injure me, yeah?”
I said okay and then I cracked open the jar. He went all weak in the knees. Then he smiled and washed his hands and then he shoved me up against the refrigerator and kissed me. After that we spent the evening on the sofa, running our hands all over each other and kissing.
Olives are said to be an aphrodisiac. I might have to investigate this further.
Chapter 4: Love Potion
Sherlock brews a love potion.
I’m making John dinner. We are having olives, oysters, asparagus with almonds, champagne and chocolate mousse. I told him to wear his best-friend’s outfit. He has been wearing it all day. It’s very distracting. I finally had to tell him to leave for an hour so I could cook in peace.
John came back. I had some tea with honey in it waiting for him in the sitting room. He was quite pleased.
“I might have to make up a song with nice words in it if you carry on like this,” he said.
He coughed when he saw his dinner. It was a suspicious cough. He was trying not to laugh.
“Nothing!” he said. “It looks delicious.” He was biting the insides of his cheeks to keep from laughing. He ate everything though.
I was watching him lick mousse off his spoon when he said, “No one’s ever made me a love potion before.”
I pretended I was interested in the sugar bowl. Of course John would recognize aphrodisiacs. He is wanted for sluttishness on three continents. Mycroft said he had an application to work in Antarctica rejected. They are probably trying to keep themselves as pure as the new fallen snow. Can you imagine John down there? He’d be serving up penguins as aphrodisiacs in a fortnight. Or interfering with them.
“Are you trying to get me into bed?” John said, drawing me away from dreams of frolicking with him under an eternal star-spangled sky.
“That would be nice but I really just want to keep you. Marry you.”
John stopped molesting his spoon. He set it down on the table with a clink that sounded louder than it should have.
“Maybe we could be boyfriends first?”
I’m not going to lie. I grinned like a loon that has forgotten to take its medication.
John is so very soft and warm. I’d recommend kissing him if you got the chance except that he is mine. His kisses and the little sounds he makes when I rub against him are only for me.
I will tell you that he goes absolutely wild when spanked.
Thunderstorms scare John. The first summer after I got him this big storm blew through and John went very still during it. He breathed shallowly and went and stood next to the place where we hide the gun. His lips moved silently, as if he was praying. Please, God, let me live.
He doesn’t stand by the gun anymore but he goes still and quiet and his eyes are far away. I don’t know where he is but he is not with me.
After today’s storm was over I opened all the windows and took him to bed. I sucked his cock and he was boneless and dreamy afterwards, lying on my bed with the breeze ruffling his hair about.
“Where do you go and what do you say when you leave me?”
“What?” He was all confused.
“Your eyes are some place and you whisper under your breath.”
“Oh, nursery rhymes mostly. I use to say them to Harry when our parents were fighting. We’d hide in my room and I’d say nursery rhymes to her. When we got older I put dirty words in. It made her laugh. Those were the only times we ever really got on. Hiding.”
I wanted him to go on talking. I wanted to tell him that I should have found him and taken him away. I wouldn’t have known what to do with him though. I need this John, as he is now, the John who’s gone through the fire and come out tough and lethal.
He had come back to himself though and seemed embarrassed to be caught so vulnerable.
“Where do you go?”
He sat up and ran his fingers through his hair.
“Nowhere, Sherlock. Just—away—in—out. I don’t know.”
He buggered off to take a shower and I went back to my spores. He spent the rest of the afternoon in his room but in the evening he came down and took my laptop from me and straddled my lap. He kissed me and played with my hair and then he put his head on my shoulder so I couldn’t see his face.
“It was always the waiting that was hardest. When I knew there’d be a fight but I couldn’t do anything yet. You just feel so helpless. And you’ve nothing to do but be frightened. Once something happened, when I could shoot or run, I was always okay.”
John was trembling. John was shaking like leaf and I was frozen. I should have hugged him or something but I didn’t want to startle him. He needed to say these words and I needed to hear them.
“I said the nursery rhymes then, when I was waiting. Just pretending the only thing I was hiding from was anger. I was never afraid of storms before Afghanistan. You can’t do anything with storms but wait and pray.”
I didn’t say anything. When I say things on occasions like this they are usually the wrong things to say. John seemed to like that. After a few minutes he swung himself off me, picked up the remote, and smiled at me.
I smiled back but really I wanted to cry. War is nothing but boys trying to comfort themselves in the wilderness.
I felt like John had given me something I could never reciprocate.
Two things have happened. One is that Molly has a date and the other is that Lestrade has a date. Thank God I have John because I can’t very well split myself in two to spy on them both. I think I shall spy on Lestrade and leave Molly to John.
John says he is not spying on anyone. I tried reasoning with him but there was a limited supply of reason in this case. Then I tried sulking and pouting and sighing loudly and banging things. Then I flounced and flopped and tore apart the flat looking for cigarettes.
John is like stone.
I have disrobed and put on the knickers that John wore on his head the night of the exorcism. They are really quite soft and make my bum look plump and shiny. I’d like to put them on John, and tease him with feathers, and drip some sort of scented oil all over him, and rub it into his skin. And then he’d get the knickers all wet and I’d make him hold them in his mouth while I spanked him.
Bugger. I think I got the knickers a bit wet.
That’s not important. I must focus.
I sauntered into the sitting room and draped myself on the sofa. I played it very cool. I just picked up my laptop as if John was not there at all and studied it intently.
“What is happening now?” John wanted to know.
I sent him a very detailed text outlining all the rewards he was to reap if he would just agree to get off his arse and go spy on our friends.
Mycroft texted me back. I’ll just go ahead and forward this on to John, shall I? How is our little tosspot? Still enjoying the spankings?
That man is insufferable.
“Mycroft is sending along a text that may have gone to him by mistake.”
John’s phone farted. That is his signal for news from Mycroft which even I think is rude, but that’s John for you.
John was not pleased that I had accidently sent Mycroft a picture of John’s bare bottom. He raved on about it endlessly. What part of ‘accident’ doesn’t he understand? Eventually I spread my thighs and told him to read the text.
He got all red and then he stood up and grabbed his coat. “Where do I need to go?”
John is very wily. He tried repeatedly to distract me with kisses and hands on my cock while I stripped off his trousers and stuffed him into the knickers and then put everything back in place. He insisted on trailing Lestrade. As Lestrade is picking up his date at eight John will have to trail him from his flat. I just need to go wait at Molly’s.
First I need to put on some clothes though. I’m not John. I’m not about to go traipsing about London in just my coat and a pair of boots.
I think John should put himself in some kind of treatment program. The demands of his cock are so urgent that he felt the need to nip into a loo to send me a photo of his knickers. I’m surprised he hasn’t been arrested for humping lamp posts and tree trunks. Anyway, that’s how he lost Lestrade in the first ten minutes. It turned out alright though because—wait for it—Lestrade was picking up Molly.
You could have knocked me over with a feather. I was so stunned all I could do was stand there and try to pick my chin up off the pavement. By the time Tosspot-Knickers Boy showed up I was witless. I was entirely without wit. My wits had flown away on gossamer wings. Anyway. That is why I turned to John and said without preamble,
“Why do you steal my coat and walk around London naked in the middle of the night?”
He has done this on several occasions. That I know about.
I believe John found a way to get drunk in the twenty minutes we had been apart because he giggled breathlessly and did not even have the decency to appear ashamed.
“I get off on it.”
“Are you flashing people?”
“No. I just like being wrapped up in you. Where everyone can see me. So there.” He looked all glowy and triumphant and satisfied with himself and was already smiling when Lestrade and Molly spotted us.
“Evening,” Lestrade said.
John laughed like a loon. Molly looked at me sideways.
“It’s a bit dark for sunglasses, Sherlock, and a hoodie doesn’t really suit you.”
“It’s for a case,” I said.
She didn’t say anything but she thought I don’t believe you so loudly that I winced.
Anyway they tried to put us off and escape but John saved the day, in a way.
“We’re here to spy on your date. So you can either make it a double or be spied on from afar.”
“You can spy right back at us. You might even find out that John is wearing Molly’s knickers.”
Everyone got all uncomfortable for some reason. I didn’t. I was imagining Molly ripping open John’s trousers and demanding her knickers back. And then spanking him with her purse.
“I’ll buy you new ones,” John said.
Molly started laughing and then Lestrade started and then all of us were holding on to each other to stay upright. Then Lestrade summoned a cab like a wizard and he and Molly escaped. It was no good trying to track them.
John and I went home and pawed at each other in the hallway outside of Mrs. Hudson flat until she came out and flicked a dishtowel at John’s arse and told us to get a room.
Honestly! Can’t one express affection for ones flatmate anymore?
John took my hand and led me upstairs but I could still hear her mumbling to herself.
“Oh! Of course we’ll need two bedrooms. As if I hadn’t two eyes. Men!”
John says I should not try to set Mrs. Hudson up on dates.
Chapter 5: The Art of Profanity
Lestrade camps out at 221B.
Bad news. Lestrade has moved into our parlor. He says he’s not leaving until I agree to help with his latest case. I am far too busy.
“With what?” Lestrade wanted to know.
“Spores,” John cut in. Then he glared at me. In hindsight I can see how ‘spanking John’ would not be an appropriate answer.
“Won’t you actually, you know, have to go to work sometime?” John asked.
Lestrade stuffed a scone in his face and spoke with his mouth full. “I have the internet and minions.”
Lestrade has not left yet.
John seems to think it’s great fun having Lestrade around. They got a take-away for dinner and now they’re drinking pints and watching a game. John is calling Lestrade ‘Greg’ and Lestrade is calling John ‘Watson’. They are also speaking very loudly and it is mostly profanity.
John swears like a champ but Lestrade is on a whole other level. When he opens his mouth it’s like this long drool of profanity just falls from his mouth. He cares not for the parts of speech. For instance, I just heard him say. “Arse! Arse! Arse ballsing fuck shit!” Which makes no sense.
I called John into my bedroom for a top-secret conference.
“John,” I said. “I think if we ignore Lestrade he will get bored and go away.”
John blinked at me. “You ignore me all the time and I don’t go away.”
“Yes, but let’s face it, Lestrade is smarter than you.”
John’s hands clenched and unclenched at his sides and he had that homicidal look that he gets when he wants to kill me.
“I mean, his self-preservation instinct is stronger than yours.”
John laughed. “Yeah, that’s brilliant. Good plan.”
Something seemed off but I just plowed ahead.
“So you agree not to talk to him anymore and not give him thing else to eat?”
“Absolutely,” John said. Then he went back into the sitting room and shouted, “Greg! Can I get you another pint, mate?”
Perhaps I wasn’t clear.
John says he’s not talking to Lestrade; he is shouting to him. Also, I didn’t say that we would not give him anymore to drink.
Ha! Mrs Hudson came up to complain about all the shouting. I knew she’d be on my side.
Bad news. John has explained the shouting situation to Mrs Hudson and now they are all singing to each other. It’s the most ridiculous thing I ever heard. Though Lestrade does have a set of pipes on him. I wish he’d been here for the exorcism.
Right. I’m going to bed.
This morning Lestrade was still here, drinking a milk-shake, and sitting in my chair. He and John are whispering to each other. It seems it was a late night. The whispering is setting my teeth on edge though. I can’t stand not knowing what they’re talking about.
It’s sure to be rubbish. I’ll just tune it out.
John is completely unreasonable. He refuses to indulge in any kind of spanking or cock sucking or wearing of Molly’s knickers whilst Lestrade is sharing our abode. I hate Lestrade.
Before our liquid lunch I lifted the no talking ban. After all the whispering I felt like the flat was just stuffed with secrets so I opened all the windows to air them out. John went around and closed them as soon as I got one open so I had to start all over again.
“Sherlock! It’s winter.”
“I’m freezing him out,” I explained.
“I have to live here,” John said. “It’s bad enough that I have to freeze when you blow up the furnace or the windows. We’re not freezing on purpose.”
We had quite a large argument. Lestrade put his hands behind his head and looked on as if we were staging a play for his enjoyment. It nearly drove me to distraction. I wonder if Lestrade will realize the error of his ways before or after I am committed to the lunatic asylum. I am not made to live under this kind of stress.
“Living with a lunatic who thinks it’s okay to keep thumbs in the fridge—“ John was saying.
I just snapped. “I’m the lunatic? I’m not the one who sleeps with a gun under my pillow and pops bullets into people at the slightest provocation.”
John went white and Lestrade stood up and yelled for us to stop.
“He’s joking,” John said.
Lestrade looked at me sternly. It’s quite intimidating.
“Yes. Just a stretch of the truth. He has a sling-shot and you know he killed that circus guy. Totally self-defense.”
It would have been brilliant if John hadn’t said, “I kept Henry Knight’s gun but it’s at the bottom of Thames now. I only killed people during the war,” at the same time.
“I forgot about the circus guy,” John prattled on. “Not forgot. Ha! It’s not funny. I have a sling-shot, like Sherlock said.”
“He has post traumatic stress disorder. Did you know? Bit crazy. Walked around with a pretend limp. But not crazy in a homicidal way. I mean, unless there are circus people about.” I added, doth protesting too much.
“That are trying to kill me. I don’t know what I’m talking about. Ignore everything we just said. I’m traumatized and he’s—well—you’ve met him.”
“Uh huh,” Lestrade said. He blew out a deep breath and paced the room for a few minutes. John looked up at me with frightened eyes. I tried to make my eyes say I’m sorry.
“You should get married,” Lestrade said finally. “There is no way either of you should ever be in the position of having to testify against each other in court.”
I love Lestrade.
All bans have been lifted! I am making dinner. John has gone out for some air and Lestrade is working on his laptop and looking very smug. Molly is coming over and John will not be in prison. That, my friends, is a good day.
One would think that Molly would not be able to drink as much as John. She’s had three glasses of wine and she is as right as rain. It is her birthday on Wednesday. She says if your birthday falls mid-week than you are obligated to celebrate it for two weekends. She says she eats whatever she wants and buys herself little treats.
On my birthday Mycroft takes me to Mummy’s grave and we pour a glass of brandy into the ground. Then he drives me home. Molly has opened my eyes to a whole new world of birthdays. This year I’m going buy myself a new laptop and then come home and suck John’s cock. Provided he has been able to keep himself out of prison, of course.
Maybe I could ask that he be put in one of those cages and I could just suck his cock through the bars. They might be lenient if they know it’s my birthday. I’ll bring Molly and she can explain it to the guards.
Anyway, Molly said I had to have a glass of wine to celebrate her birthday. I normally abstain. I need to let John be better at one thing after all. But I was feeling celebratory so I relented.
As soon as it was sloshing around in my belly I felt the overwhelming need for nicotine. I got up to search around the flat subtly. John knew what I was doing though and he showed no mercy. I began to dump books off the shelves and riffle through papers and closets but I didn’t find any. I was pleading at John’s feet and he was picking cobwebs out of my hair when he told me I needed another outlet for my stress.
“Is that what they told you at the support group for naked men in their boyfriends’ coats?”
John looked puzzled but he just said, “Yes. Perhaps you should try swearing.”
I thought of Lestrade and his effortless vomit of the vulgar. It’s an art form really. If you think about it really hard. It’s like folk-art.
“I don’t think I’d be good at it.”
“It just takes practice. Just take a deep breath, think of a dirty word and yell it out.”
I had my doubts but I closed my eyes, took a breath and yelled, “Ejaculate!”
It felt really good actually. I opened my eyes and John was smiling at me. I turned around to see what Lestrade thought and he and Molly were sitting with their hands over their mouths. John grabbed my chin.
“Ignore them. Try another. Dirtiest thing you can think of.”
“E Coli!” I yelled.
“Good!” John said. Lestrade still had his hand over his mouth.
“I don’t understand why he’s all affronted. He yelled profanity at the TV for two hours last night.”
“He’s just being a pussy,” John said. “You should yell a whole string of them, like Greg does.”
I thought for minute, remembering how Lestrade had phrased his tirade the night before.
“Ejaculate! Ejaculate! Ejaculating scrotum, E coli, Mycroft’s dick!”
John was smiling hugely and Molly had buried her face in the cushions and Lestrade had tears rolling down his face. He stood up.
“I’m just so proud of you, Sherlock,” he said. He hurried from the room and we could hear him sobbing in the hall. Gosh, he is so sensitive when he’s got the drink in him.
From now on I’m just going to swear when I think I need a cigarette. John says I’m really creative and good at it.
I have been productive. I solved Lestrade’s stupid case in a thrice and he has finally gone home. John closed the door behind him and started to tidy as if I would allow him to do that at that juncture. I put my hands in his trousers and he gasped and dropped the glass he was holding. It shattered all over the floor and he hadn’t any shoes on.
I had no choice but to pick him up and take him to bed and remove all his clothes to make sure he wasn’t injured. John supposed he needed a spanking for breaking the glass and then I had to suck his cock to make him feel better.
After that I curled up with my laptop and made some notes. What I have here is a list of dirty words that I can throw into my strings of profanity. I’ve tried to come up with ones that aren’t commonly used. John’s says that profanity should reflect the soul of the speaker so I really need to be above average if I’m going to do the thing right.
After lunch we are going to the shops to get Molly a birthday present.
Oh, it might be longer than that. I just heard John break another glass.
Chapter 6: The Call of Inanimate Objects
Sherlock and Molly rescue knickers.
John and I have decided to buy Molly knickers for her birthday since we have a pair of hers that we are not giving back. John said he knew just the place to go. Of course he does.
I was not aware that woman’s knickers came in such an infinite and pleasing variety. The knickers in this shop came in all colors and were made out of cotton and satin and lace. There were even some with bits of faux fur on them and one pair made out of leather.
John said we could not get the leather knickers. He said they’d be too warm and that Molly would never wear them.
“You could wear them,” I said.
“We’re not shopping for me.”
“Yes we are.”
“No, we’re shopping for Molly.”
I told John I was capable of doing both at once. He glared at me and told me I had ten minutes in which to shop and meet him at the check-out and then we were leaving.
I was dizzy with indecision and ended up grabbing one of almost everything. John frowned at me when I showed up with my arms loaded. He relieved me of my burden only to go riffling through my pile. He kept tossing my favorites aside. He rejected an emerald green pair and a black thong. I said not a word though my heart felt a little pang at leaving them behind. I thought I might actually weep when he tossed a dove grey pair onto the reject pile.
“Those are slit up the back!” I cried.
John stopped dead and licked his lips. He snatched back the gray knickers but continued weeding ruthlessly through the rest. I was able to rescue an innocent little white pair by professing a love of embroidered rose buds, and shiny blue ones by claiming they reminded me of John’s eyes. He was going to toss aside an exquisite pair of blue cashmere ones with little white bows on.
“Are you mad? Those are like a wooly jumper for your cock!”
“My cock is not in need of a jumper. Besides, they’re forty pounds.”
“They speak French!” I shouted. I don’t know why I said that but John’s face did that little amused quirk and he pulled them back from the rejects.
“You can only get six,” John said holding up a pair of the softest velvet brown and one with ruffles on the bottom. It wasn’t fair. I felt like I had to choose between two cases and one was a locked room murder and the other was a serial killer. I chose the velvet pair, resigning myself to lifetime of not seeing John’s bum in ruffle pants. He tossed them back onto the table like they were so much rubbish.
That’s when we both noticed the woman by the bras. She was looking at us with her nose all wrinkled like we were a bad smell.
“May I help you?” John wanted to know.
She didn’t say anything. She just kept staring at him.
I was beginning to feel uncomfortable and tugged on John’s elbow. It was like poking a hornets’ nest with a stick. John got all bristly and his eyes shot sparks and I believe he grew a small pair of horns. He grabbed me by the collar and pulled me down so he could kiss my brains out. When he finally let me go the woman had huffed off and the back of my neck was all sore. John grabbed our purchases without even sorting through the remaining knickers. He dumped everything next to the cash register.
I took out my wallet with a deep sense of satisfaction. John is like a wildcat in bed when he’s angry.
In the cab I sorted through the knickers. What has happened is we got three pairs of knickers and some slippers for Molly. I can tell which ones are hers because they all have cats on them.
John has twenty-eight pairs of knickers which he says is ridiculous.
I think ridiculous is the wrong word. Splendid, would work. Or sufficient. Yes, it’s surely a sufficient amount of knickers for a man to own.
Unless he wanted to wear a different pair every day in February during a Leap Year. If he’d just had that ruffled pair he’d be all set for Leap Year. I have a strange feeling that the ruffle-bums actually felt bad at being left behind. They probably got very attached to John in the brief time he’d held them.
I hate it when inanimate objects speak to me in this way. They get so sad when you mistreat them and you can’t very well explain to them that they are inanimate and thus have no feelings.
John was still breathing fire and putting his hands on inappropriate parts of my anatomy considering we were in a cab. I pulled him closer and tried to explain my feelings about the lost knickers.
“That’s so, so sad,” John said. “Is there anything at all that would make you feel better?”
And then he stuck my thumb in his mouth and sucked on it.
I’m ashamed to say that all thoughts of the abandoned knickers left my mind entirely.
You may think I’m dim but I firmly believe that having John Watson on his knees with my cock in his mouth is even more exciting than solving crimes.
I finally got him home and out of his clothes and into the dove-grey knickers with the slit up the back. I sat on the sofa and took my cock out of my trousers and got John between my knees.
The thing about John is he’s so very pretty with my cock in his mouth. We like to play a game in which John sucks on my cock until I am very excited and then I push him away and talk to him until he blushes. Then he sucks my cock again, and so on, until we both can’t stand it anymore.
“You look so lovely with cock in you,” I’ll say. “You make pretty sounds, like you can’t get it in you deep enough. Like you’re hungry for cock.”
We’d been at it for forty minutes or so. John’s lips were all swollen and he didn’t even bother wiping the saliva off his face when he paused to lean his head against my thigh.
I reached down to pet his cheek. “Pretty cock slut.”
The sweetest pink blush spread across John’s face and his chest and ears.
“Tell me. Say it.”
The blush grew deeper and John’s eyes were wide and dark. I held his chin so he’d look at me when he said it.
“I’m a cock slut.” He shut his eyes and trembled and pressed his lips against my balls. “Let me have it again?”
“Not yet. Tell me why you want it.”
John gave a delightful little squirm.
“I like the taste of it. The feel of it in my mouth. I like it when it stretches my cheek. The feel of it under my tongue.”
I leaned forward to press a kiss to his temple and run my hand down his torso to his knickers.
“You’re all wet,” I said.
John tipped his head back and fell apart. “Let me taste it. Touch me. I want it. I want you.”
He was feverish with desire and I let him put my cock between his lips again to quiet him. I was getting so, so close though and he pulled away after a moment.
“Give me something to do for you.”
John wanted more. He wanted me to ask for more. Push him. I believe I let out a growl as I pulled him onto the couch and shoved him against the cushions and curled up behind him. I pressed my cock into his crack.
“I want to fuck you one day. I want to spend the next month getting you ready for me. Say you’ll at least try.”
I took his ear between my teeth and ran my index finger over his lips.
“We’ll start slow. I have slender fingers.”
John sucked my finger into his mouth. It was wet when he let it go and he heaved a heavy sigh of contentment when I pressed it into him.
We both went very still. I don’t even think we were breathing.
“How is it?”
John trembled. I could feel it. I could feel it around my finger.
“Come on me,” was all he said though. I took my finger away and started rutting against his arse. He was squirming and crying out and it took me a moment to realize he was rutting the sofa. I rolled over, pulling him on top of me and thrust up against his crack until I came. He clenched and shook when he felt me spurt over his back.
He turned around then, straddling my belly with an anxious look on his face and his hands hovering near his cock.
“Don’t,” I said and I slapped his hands away and took his cock in my mouth.
I had to spank John for fucking the sofa. Then I drew up a set of rules for appropriate furniture interaction and had him sign it.
“You step on the furniture,” John pointed out.
“John, stepping on furniture is hardly on par with assaulting it with your cock,” I said, though talk of the furniture’s feelings did remind me painfully of the ruffled knickers. The shop would be closed and they’d be all alone there in the dark.
John was all post-coital glowy and just smiled at me. His phone farted.
Please tell Sherlock not to purchase ladies’ undergarments for you with my credit card.
My brother is so selfish.
We took Molly out for a birthday dinner. It was me and John and all the people I have forbidden John to kill. Oh, and Molly’s female friend who was making eyes at John all through dinner. I kept kicking her accidently under the table. Then I wiped some tomato sauce off John’s cheek and kissed him better.
While we were waiting for dessert I thought Molly was making eyes at me for a moment. It turns out she was just trying to get me alone to talk. We concocted stories about our bladders and met on the street corner.
Molly took out two cigarettes and shoved one into my face.
“Greg signed his divorce papers today. He got me this necklace.”
It was pretty. If by pretty you mean tacky. It was a cat with a diamond on its tail. But Molly clearly loved it so I hummed like it was the best thing since John’s cock.
“He said he wanted to get me earrings but those come in the same sized box as a ring and he didn’t want to give me the wrong idea but he might like to get me a box that size one day. Oh Sherlock, I’m so happy I almost want to cry. Does John make you this happy? Don’t tell me. I think I will cry.”
I told her about the game John and I play with my cock. She went kind of quiet and stopped smoking her cigarette and just stared at me. When I was done she took a long drag and then she kissed my cheek.
“I love you and I love John and that is entirely too much information.” She stroked her fingers down my cheek. “But I’m glad you’re happy.” Then she slapped me across the face. I was so stunned I didn’t do anything.
“Sorry,” she said. “I promised myself that one day I would either slap you or fuck you. I can firmly move on now.”
“Listen,” I said. “I need your help.”
Her smile faltered.
“No. Not that again. I’ve made some inanimate friends. We need to rescue them.”
I love Molly. If Lestrade is not good to her I will set John on him.
I am finally at peace. Molly and I went back to the shop and she bought the ruffled knickers and the emerald green ones and the black thong and some for herself.
“Not everything I own has to have cats on it you know,” she said as she hurriedly took the dove-grey knickers off the rack and shoved them under her arm. I pointed out the leather knickers and told her of John’s disapproval.
“Yes. Those would be so, so hot,” she said and then she picked them up and went to pay. We paid in cash.
Once we were in the street I took the ruffled knickers out of the bag and ripped the tags off with my teeth and put them in my pocket. We got lattes and walked around for a bit until Molly just happened to lead us past a sex toy shop. She giggled as she walked around. I didn’t. I just stared at everything and made her explain what everything was used for. A shop assistant sidled up to us. He had blue hair and wanted to know if he could be of any assistance.
We were standing in front of enema supplies so I just pointed at them. He launched into a fifteen minute lecture on the various products without blushing. I was reminded of my days in the produce aisle when I was trying to woo John with an interest in organic vegetables. Only this time I didn’t want to pretend to swoon.
“Suppose someone liked to be spanked?”
The blue boy smiled. Molly let out a breathless giggle.
“I’m Todd,” he said as he led us over to a display of paddles and whips and floggers. My mind went blank. I blame it on a lack of blood supply to the brain.
“I need to go get John,” I said.
Todd pointed at me and then at Molly. “Oh! You’re not…”
“No. She likes cats and leather knickers. I like John.”
Molly blushed and giggled some more. She held out her hand.
“I’m Molly. This is Sherlock. We’ll be going. He’ll be back.”
She tugged at me and I turned to glare at her furiously.
“We have another friend that needs rescuing.” I nodded toward the paddle. It was a little leather affair in the shape of a penis with the words cock slut written in small, elegant script on the handle. “Pick something out for yourself,” I said.
I put Molly in a cab and got another for myself. John was so uncooperative when I got home and demanded his attention and tried to shove him into his coat. He’s always so content to just sit about with books and whiskey with his arse in a chair.
“There are other uses for your arse,” I said as I pulled him out the door.
“Is this a case?” he asked in the cab. He was all breathless and eager and dilated now that I’d got him going.
“Yes,” I said. That shut him up. I watched him furl and unfurl his fingers and lick his lips and point his little nose in the air as if he was a dog on the hunt.
He looked confused when I pulled him into the shop. We were the only customers and Todd bounded over to greet us.
“You must be John,” he said. He held out his arm, gesturing the way to the paddles. John clutched at my hand and stopped dead.
“He’s shy,” I said. “Virgin homosexual. He wants me to fuck him soon. I’m new to all of it.”
John was squeezing my hand so hard I could feel my bones rub together.
Todd’s expression went soft and kind and took on the wisdom of the ages. I think he’s all of twenty-three. He walked over to the door and turned the lock and put up the closed sign.
“I imagine you’ve tried some fingers? Have you ever considered beads?”
We left the shop with two bags and Todd’s personal phone number and John’s pretty blush. He was quiet in the cab. I made him tea when we got home.
“Are you angry with me for taking you there?”
John smiled. “When I first met you wouldn’t have known to ask that. I’m not angry. I’m overwhelmed.”
“I don’t want to do anything that makes you uncomfortable—or scared, or—I don’t know. I like to see you blush but, John, I want you to want it. I want you gagging for it. Whatever it is we decide to do.”
John took my tea from my hands and set it on the table. He crawled into the chair with me and kissed the tip of my nose. He cocked his head to one side and brushed the hair back from my face.
“You’re very clever, Sherlock. Make me want it.”
The thing about John is, he’s a killer, and he doesn’t let me smoke, and he makes leaving my dirty socks in the middle of the living room seem like a crime, but I am so terribly besotted with him.
I think it’s because he laughs when Mycroft texts him that he absolutely will not fund a sex toy shopping spree. And then he throws his head back and moans when one of those toys finds a sweet spot inside him and his mouth goes slack and his eyes grow dark and rubs his thumb over my lip.
And later he is pink and snuggly and glares like an angry wolf cub when he reads the text Mycroft sent me.
The least you could do is “accidentally” send me more nude pictures.
I pressed my lips against John’s pout. We are going to have so much fun with Mycroft’s request.
Chapter 7: Out of the Comfort Zone
John insists on a holiday.
John and I spent the morning sending Mycroft nude pictures. First we photo-shopped the Queen’s head onto some pictures of naked women and sent those along in an email. Mycroft emailed us back that he was not amused, and he was surprised at John, and loyalty to ones country, and blah, blah, blah. It was quite a long email.
P.S. I am also not interested in naked women.
The post script made John howl with laughter.
Next we sent him pictures of naked male corpses. He rang me up.
“Sherlock, let’s forget I mentioned wanting photos, yes?”
“I’m just trying to please my big brother. Nothing I do is ever good enough for you,” I said. I am a fine actor and a tear ran down my face and my voice got all deep and distressed. Even John looked genuinely concerned for a moment. He knows my methods though and I was able to soothe him with a wink a little pat to his bottom.
“Sherlock,” Mycroft said, “I was indicating that I wouldn’t mind seeing nude photos of John. But let’s put it behind us. It was, perhaps, inappropriate.”
“Oh! Oh no!” I said. “John loves inappropriate. Inappropriate is John’s middle name and his favorite past time. We’ll fix you right up. Look at no other photos until you hear from us.”
I rang off and John looked at me distrustfully. Honestly! One would think that I lied to him constantly or something.
“Is it too much to ask for a little faith?” I said.
“Do you really want to go picking at old wounds like this?” John wanted to know.
Hmm. I suppose I do lie to him quite frequently. He should make me work on that. Anyway! I took a photo of John’s nude hand and sent it along to Mycroft.
And…, Mycroft texted back.
Next we took photos of John’s bare feet and then his knees and then a close up of a mole. Mycroft stopped answering us but we were feeling generous so we sent along a picture of the skin on John’s upper arm and then his ear and then his scar, which looks like a crater and a flower and is so, so fascinating. I almost didn’t want to share it with Mycroft.
So it was a productive morning.
John says we need to take a holiday.
“We’ve only just got back from Manchester,” I pointed out. John just stared at me for a moment.
“That was for a case. We’re going away to relax.”
“I hate relaxing.”
“Really? Because you haven’t moved from that sofa for four hours.”
“You can think in Maine,” John said.
“Yes. I’ve already bought the tickets and everything and Lestrade said he doesn’t have a case for you. You’re going, Sherlock.”
It’s like I have no free will anymore. John, as usual, had missed my point entirely.
“Main what? Main Street? The Spanish Main? Mainland Europe? What?”
John got all shouty. “Oh for…stop deleting things you learned in primary school! The state of Maine! In America!”
I felt a bit foolish. “Oh. It’s not one of the important ones then.”
“I’m sure the people of Maine will be delighted to hear your opinions.”
I was troubled. I had a little thought that was coming to me. Sometimes when I banish knowledge from the Mind Palace it just goes and camps outside the front door in case it is needed. Apparently Maine was out there.
“Hang on. John, I believe they sodomize witches and burn sodomites in Maine. I’m pretty sure of it. And as you know, John, we are aspiring sodomites.”
John sighed and thumped his head against the wall four times. “I believe you’re confusing it with Massachusetts.”
“Oh no! I’ve been to Massachusetts. They keep Boston there.”
“I mean! You’re confusing it with the Massachusetts of three hundred years ago! And they didn’t sodomize witches. And also, don’t call me a sodomite.”
“Aspiring sodo—“ I corrected but John was glaring at me so violently that I stopped. He took a deep breath.
“It’s a pleasant place. Why don’t you Google it?”
It appears that Maine is all about moose and lobsters. I have no idea what this says about John.
Apparently we are going to some place called Bar Harbor. That figures. A bar is a pub in America. John is taking us to a puddle in the woods with drinking establishments.
“You can drink here. There are many fine pubs in England and if you call them a bar I’m sure they won’t mind.”
“What illogical conclusion have you jumped to now?”
“Bar Harbor? Come John, let’s not dissemble.”
“It has a sand bar,” John said. “In the harbor.”
I’d like to know who made this The Day of Me Being Wrong.
I whispered out of the flat while John was busy packing and making arrangements for things and slid down the street like a ghost. I wasn’t, strictly speaking, allowed out. I was supposed to be gathering my things and disposing of the body parts in the fridge. I remember how pleasant it was to be a free person but alas, those days are behind me now.
I nipped over to Scotland Yard and found Lestrade on the phone.
“Yes. He’s just arrived. I’ll send him right home. Have a good holiday, John.”
I am living in a police state.
No amount of trickery or pleading or bribing would induce Lestrade to come up with a last minute case for me.
“He’s sending me into the wild, Lestrade.”
“Good. Fine. Say hello to the moose for me.”
Lestrade actually put his foot on my arse and propelled me out the door.
I walked home as a man might walk to his doom. It was raining but I didn’t get a cab. I just let it fall on me. Perhaps if I get soaked and chilled and come down with a terrible cough John will not make me go. I tried tripping and falling in a puddle but I just got dirty and tore my trousers and bloodied my knee a bit.
John will not be impressed by a bloodied knee.
John was impressed by my bloody knee.
The look of rage he was wearing melted off his face at the sight of me.
“Sherlock! Your knee. You’re wet as a fish. What happened?”
“I just tripped and fell. I suppose I shouldn’t go to the woods. I get hurt just walking around London.”
John didn’t say anything. He just got me out of my wet clothes and dried me off and put a plaster on my knee. Then he put me to bed and climbed in with me.
“I’ve rented a little cottage in the woods,” he said softly. “I want to have sex with you and not have to worry about Mrs Hudson overhearing, or Lestrade barging in or—I just want you to myself. I want you to be able to do whatever you want to me and have it be ours alone.”
Molly says the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach but I believe that the way to mine is through my cock. I kissed John.
“You should have opened with that bit,” I said.
“Yes,” John said. “Will come with me?”
“I’d love to.”
I hope they allow John’s penis paddle on the plane.
John is not an ideal travel companion.
I had resigned myself to sitting with the unwashed masses aboard the plane as John is very frugal and would not consider first class to be a necessity. So I was all pleasantly surprised when we were seated in the front of the plane with the little curtain protecting us from the barbarians.
“You must really love me. Can we afford first class?”
John was reading the evacuation directions studiously. “Mycroft paid,” he said without looking up.
“Mycroft? How did you get him to do that?”
John just acted like I hadn’t spoken. He has selective hearing when it suits him. I asked again and again in louder tones until people started to stare and John glared at me.
“Alright! I just gave him something he wanted and he was happy to pay for a nice little break for us.”
I was confused for a moment, floundering in blissful innocence. “Something he—“ My mouth dropped open as realization dawned on me and my innocence was lost forever. “What did you do, John?”
John looked around and whispered so quietly that I couldn’t hear him.
“What?” I yelled.
“Keep your voice down. I said, I sent him a picture of my cock.”
My boyfriend is a prostitute. My boyfriend is a prostitute with my brother. My boyfriend trades sexual favors for holidays at New England fishing villages. I am living in a Shakespeare play.
It’s worse. John says it’s not really a picture of his cock that he sent. He says he sent a picture of mine. I am living a in a Shakespeare play set in Las Vegas.
John is all full of giggles. It is so wrong.
“Sherlock,” he said. “At this very moment Mycroft is wanking to a picture of his brother’s cock. It’s perfect. It’s the perfect punishment for lusting after his brother’s boyfriend.”
I stopped hyperventilating. John poured a whiskey down my throat and held my hand.
It’s poetic is what it is. If I could spare him I’d insist that John go write for one of those soap operas on television. I can’t though.
Chapter 8: A Bit of Nature
John and Sherlock climb a mountain.
The ejaculating Americans inspected my suitcase on arrival in their fair land. John says they just randomly pick people. I wouldn’t have minded except that I had shoved all my clothes and things into John’s case to make room for the paddles, and John’s collection of dildoes, and a few other odds and ends. I didn’t like the scrotum-faced, viruses touching them. I kept my eyes averted and breathed through my nose.
John rented a car even though he can’t drive. I may not know the unimportant states and planets but at least I can drive. Which I will, apparently, be doing because there’s no Tube here. John made me drive right into Bar Harbor.
Apparently the reason we are on the other side of the world is because John likes lobster. The first thing he did was drag me into a restaurant. Everyone was sitting outside on pier even though it was cold and foggy. Our server put two red carcasses down in front of us and walked away.
“John,” I said. “There is a large insect-like specimen on my plate. There is also one on your plate.”
John looked puzzled. “Haven’t you had lobster before?”
“Yes, but it did not have eyes.”
What kind of place is this? When I order chicken at home they take off the feathers and feet and things before serving it to me.
“I’ll show you how to do it,” John said and then he picked up a mallet. I am not joking.
I have little appreciation for food that is consumed with the help of hammers and a pick. John loves it. You can see why this would be the perfect food for him. He attacked that thing like a very small bear would attack a hiker. It is a good outlet for his anger and violence. I didn’t know whether to be nauseated or aroused as he tore the fellows’ limbs off, cracked open its skeleton and sucked out its flesh.
“You must taste it. Maine lobster is the best in the world,” John said. I made him take mine apart for me and ate it with a fork like a civilized person. Thus I was not covered in butter and brine like some other people.
John asked how I liked it. I did not think it prudent to divulge too much information at this point. I said I liked it well enough.
Really though, I liked it well enough to shag it and take it home to meet my mother.
It took ages to get John presentable again. The waiter brought over some lemon-scented wipes but it was not enough.
“Perhaps we should throw you away and get a new one.”
“I’ll rinse out,” John said.
I wanted to go see our cabin but John insisted on a walk about the town. There are actually a large number of drinking establishments here. And shops that sell clothing with lobsters on them. The place was positively crawling with Americans.
“Yes,” John said when I pointed this out. “That sometimes happens in America.”
We are finally in our cabin. I don’t think I’ve ever been this deep in the woods before. Moose could come along and attack us at any moment. I proposed setting up a watch, taking it in shifts so we could each get some sleep.
“For fuck’s sake, Sherlock. You can see the main road from here. Besides, moose are pretty rare on the island.”
I was not aware we were on an island.
The owner of the cabin has left a bunch of travel brochures for us to look at. It will have to wait because John has just discovered that I left most of his clothes back in London to make room for my things. He’s being annoying about it and getting rather shouty. It’s going to take hours to get him sorted. I hardly remember what life was like before I had a rabid little man following me everywhere.
It didn’t take long at all. What I did was: I looked at John with wide eyes and spread my thighs open and said, “I wanted you to be naked.”
Then I felt like the lobster because John was manhandling me and sucking at my flesh.
This is a brilliant holiday. After I exercised John for a bit we both slept like the dead. In the morning we lolled about in bed, had tea on the porch, and went back to bed. In fact it’s been three days and that’s pretty much all we’ve done.
I’ve finally gotten a chance to read those travel brochures.
“John,” I said. He didn’t answer because he was busy sitting his naked self in my lap and pinching my nipples. “John, it says here that there is a National Park nearby.”
He was not moved by this information. John has no appreciation for nature. I think I might be really good at nature if I gave it half a chance.
“There’s a mountain called The Beehive. We must go there.”
“If it requires putting on clothes I’m not going,” John said. Honestly! Am I the only one that appreciates the great outdoors anymore?
We did not like The Beehive. The brochure said it had hiking a trail. This is what a hiking trail means in America: bits of metal handholds stuck into a cliff. I am not terribly fond of heights since a certain incident in my past but John and I thought of England and gave it a go.
About forty minutes after that there were two quivering Englishmen on a cliff. Those men may or may not have been us. They didn’t have to be rescued exactly. Some teen-aged girl may have come along and coaxed them back down the cliff with soothing words and placed their feet on the metal bits for them.
When those men were safely back on level ground they were lectured. Jungle Jane told them off for not carrying water and attempting to climb in “city clothes”.
“Get a pair of sneakers and a sensible jacket at the very least. And shorts. It’s eighty degrees out.”
I can’t believe she insulted my coat.
John and I went home and crawled under the covers to lick our wounds. And each other. In the fresh light of a new day we decided to give this nature lark one more go. We went into town and had a gentleman outfit us in the local garb.
We are both wearing shorts and trainers. John has a t-shirt with a moose on it. Mine is just plain green. I have standards.
Though it must be very hard for John to find clothes in a men’s store. Shorts might be the way for him to go. I mean, he wouldn’t have to get them hemmed or anything. And he’d get to flash a little leg.
Our outfitter told us to try climbing Mount Champlain. He said it had a nice easy trail with pretty views of the sea. He assured us there were no metal bits.
Here is what a nice easy trail means in America: Hell.
There was a scrotum-faced rock staircase built into the side of the mountain. It went on forever. Then it stopped and we had to crawl up a slab of bare rock for about a year and a day. John kept asking if we were at the Crack of Doom yet. I think he was losing his mind.
I have never been more exhausted. I asked John to carry me but he flat out refused. After a family with a three-year-old passed us we decided we had to carry on. For England. If we are not heard from again let it not be said that we did not put up the good fight.
We have summited!
The mother of the three-year-old told us there is more than one trail on this mountain. She pointed to a marker on a rock.
“That one’s a nice and gentle climb along the ridge and you can see the ocean the whole way.”
We went down that way.
When we got back to town John took me out to dinner. We were all dirty and John smelled like low tide but no one minds that here. John ordered lobster and raised an eyebrow at me.
There is something about being a mountaineer and navigating the wild that makes a man want to rip animals limb from limb. That’s the way it is with me anyway.
“Make it a double,” I said and picked up my mallet.
Chapter 9: The Silver Bullet
Old wounds and new beginnings.
We are back in our cabin. John is in the shower and I am on the porch with a cup of tea, engaged in riffling through John’s phone and laptop. Don’t look at me like that. If he didn’t want me going through his things he would get a better lock for his suitcase. Besides, John keeps all our money since he pays all the bills (well, the money he knows about anyway) and sometimes I like to review his spreadsheets. They make me smile.
I was just sitting here, quiet as you please, and this sound came along. It was like a thrumming, a vibration in the air. I tore my eyes away from John’s emails to his sister and there was a little fairy floating about a meter from my nose.
Well, I thought it was a fairy. It turned out to be a humming bird but I had such a fright. Not that I’m the kind of person who’d be afraid of fairies, mind you, but it’s quite alarming to be confronted with the supernatural when you’re not expecting it.
Anyway, this fellow was after this little feeder filled with sugar water. It was quite peaceful to watch him and I was just ruminating on the perfection of nature and contemplating my retirement in the English countryside when this other hummingbird came over to have a drink.
That feeder is full and there is plenty to go around but that first fellow wouldn’t share. He chased that other bird away with a John-like violence that made me tremble. They zoomed all over the garden and then they disappeared. I went back to my work until I heard the thrumming again and the whole incident repeated itself. Peaceful feeding, intruder, John-face, zoom.
Nature is selfish.
I am like nature. I would certainly share my food as it is not a precious commodity to me but I would not share some things. A thing. A John thing. It makes me fierce just to think about it.
He’d better not be sharing himself.
I shall ask him.
“John,” I said when he’d waltzed out of the cabin wearing only a towel. “I don’t think you ought to engage in sexual intercourse with anyone but me.”
“Okay,” he said agreeably.
It was too easy. I was all girded up to fight off other suitors.
“Have you been?”
“When was the last time?”
“Well, I do have that standing arrangement with Mrs Hudson. Every day after tea, you know. We have a little knee-trembler in the hall but other than that…”
John sighed and stepped closer to run his fingers through my hair.
“When would I have the time or the energy? I have you and before that you chased everyone away.”
“I’m like nature,” I said and told John about the hummingbird when he looked puzzled.
“That you are. A force of nature.”
“When was the last time before me?” I had to know.
John wouldn’t look at me. I feared the worst. I had visions of John shacking up with Mycroft when I was out of town.
“When you were dead,” John said.
I winced. We try not to speak of that time. I couldn’t think of anything to say so I didn’t say anything. We sat in silence until the hummingbird came back. I snuck a peak at John’s face. He was enchanted.
“Amazing creatures. When they migrate they pass over the Gulf of Mexico in one go. They look so fragile but they can do things that would make me weep,” John whispered.
The sun was setting and dark shadows were growing in the garden and it was like there was a sort of spell on us. I half expected the fairies to show up and bring a moose-unicorn with them.
“You have a savings account. A new one that you didn’t tell me about.” I whispered too. I felt fragile.
“Why would I tell you? You found out anyway.”
“Is it for when you leave me?”
John looked at me. I never want him to look at me like that again. I’d hurt something in him.
“I’m not the one who leaves.”
His voice was so quiet and his eyes looked like they would make tears if he let them.
“I’m sorry,” I said. I’d never really apologized for leaving him before.
John looked up, opened his eyes wide so the tears wouldn’t fall out of them and squeezed my hand.
“It’s for two gold bands if we ever want them.”
I swallowed hard six or seven times.
John smiled but it was a hard smile. “It seems wrong to marry you sometimes. It seems presumptuous to think I could claim you for my own. Like claiming I own the sea, or caging a hummingbird.”
“John,” I said. Just that. Nothing else would come. I am such a crap boyfriend but John kissed me anyway. He swallowed up all the words that wanted to come and were stuck.
“John,” I said again when he pulled away. “I won’t leave. I’ll stay.”
“I know.” He played with my hand for a bit, lining up our fingers and tracing over the lines on my palm. I wanted, for the first time in my life, to believe in hocus pocus, to believe that John could read my love line and find out it is all about him, to see that it is etched deep.
There is something wrong with me. I wanted to say it. But my mouth wouldn’t work the words. It’s just three little words but I could only get one out.
“I know,” John said and maybe there’s something wrong with him too because he didn’t say those words either he just squeezed my shoulder and shivered from the cold.
“You’re not even dressed,” I said.
“Well, five life times ago, when I first came out here, I was going to ask if you wanted to bugger me. I’m so clean. I used one of those enemas in the shower.”
“How could you not let me see that?” The spell was broken. I was shouting and John was giggling. I pushed him inside and took him to bed.
It was hours later. John was lying peacefully under a heap of blankets. My arm was asleep from being pinned beneath him. His breathing was slow and I was so sure he was asleep.
I said those words. The ones that got stuck in my throat before.
He smiled. He said them too.
Thank fuck. We are back home. The Americans decided to have a snowstorm in October and our flight out of Boston was delayed. What kind of place thinks it’s rational to have eighty degree weather one day and a blizzard six days later? If it weren’t for the lobsters I’d tell Mycroft that England really needn’t bother with the Americans anymore.
I wonder if Maine delivers to London?
This is how sweet John is: very.
After that night he’s been holding my hand very often. On the plane and queuing for customs and so on. I don’t know if it’s because I buggered him or because I said those words but some part of him is different. I think it’s the part that makes a grown man act like teen-aged girl. He’ll be writing our initials in hearts soon.
I don’t think I’d mind it.
I’m going to ask him to marry me. Not with aphrodisiacs or anything. I’m going to do it in a proper old-fashioned kind of way. Now, this usually involves a ring but I don’t think John would wear a diamond and the gold bans would be our wedding rings, not an engagement ring. I think I need some advice and I don’t think Molly can help me with this one.
I am not friendly with any other homosexuals besides John and Mycroft. I can’t ask either of them so I will go see Inspector Dimmock.
I found him at The Yard. I did some small talk, commenting on his tie and his recent cases. He seemed to be offended when that was done. Perhaps I should have said his tie was interesting instead of blinding. It is interesting to be blinded by a pattern. It wouldn’t have been lies.
Anyway, I told him the real reason for my visit, outlining my dilemma with the engagement ring fandango.
“What do homosexuals do at this juncture?” I asked.
“I have a wife and a three-year-old daughter,” Dimmock said. He looked peeved. “I’m not, nor have I ever been, gay.”
Oh! It’s funny that he thinks that.
“Too bad,” I said.
“Yes. Well, congratulations and all that but I can’t help you.”
I went to Molly’s. The thing about Molly is, if she doesn’t know the answer she will just make something up and that’s often just as good in these sorts of matters.
“Piercings?” Molly said.
“I have to give him something. I can’t very well get down on one knee and then stab him through his nipple!”
“It doesn’t have to be a nipple piercing.”
“If John is getting pierced that is where it will be. He’d never consent and I don’t really fancy it myself. It’s one of those things you keep in the dark corners of your mind but don’t actually have to see the light of day.”
“Ah,” Molly said.
I told her about the enema John didn’t let me see and she held up her fingers in the shape of a cross at me and told me it was TMI. Then she asked me loads of questions about anal sex.
“Don’t you have a vagina?”
“Just keeping my options open.”
I did the finger cross thing at her and then I crossed myself for good measure. One can never be too careful.
We sat about eating cake and drinking wine and smoking cigarettes for a couple of hours. We were trying to think of what John would like that wasn’t a bottle of whiskey. She told me to close my eyes and do a free-association exercise. She would say ‘John’ and I would say the first things that popped into my mind.
“Yes. More! John.”
“Friend. Doctor. Home. Shouting. Cleaning. Guns. Shoulder. War. Saved. Mine. Saved for me.”
I opened my eyes. I was breathless.
“Get him a bullet,” Molly said.
I went to a jeweler and got them to fashion a little silver bullet that he can wear on a chain around his neck. In the tiniest writing they wrote: Send to S.H. Who’ll stay.
John took me out into the city. We walked along the Thames and he waited until dusk before he stole my moment. I so wanted to propose to him but he beat me to it. He sat me on a bench and got down on his knee and gave me a ring.
It’s not a diamond. It’s the pieces of the bullet they pulled out of him. He had them melted down and fashioned into a dull, ugly, glorious ring.
“It couldn’t hit my heart. That was meant for you.”
I had his silver bullet in my pocket and I made him get up and sit in the bench while I knelt and proposed right back at him. We sat in that bench for a long time just watching the boats and the river and the lights come on in our city.
Just after dark we got a call from Lestrade. A murder in Brixton.
“That’s where I fell down your rabbit hole,” John said.
“Are you happy there?”
“It’s a fairytale. A fucked up fairytale.”
“You wouldn’t have it any other way,” I said. I know him so well.
He held my hand as we ran for a cab.
Chapter 10: The Mysterious Case of John's Missing Buttons
John loses buttons, gets injured, and writes a blog entry.
John is no longer my boyfriend. He is my fiancé. I like the sound of that.
It is a rainy, blustery night and I am sat in my armchair, typing away like a mad thing when I am not sipping tea or staring at my fiancé, John. John is sewing buttons onto his shirt. It’s his favorite shirt and he’s a bit upset that all the buttons are no longer on it. He didn’t raise any objection when I took them off though, so he agrees it is unreasonable to be upset with me.
“Though it doesn’t change the fact that I am upset with you,” he said. “I just acknowledge that it’s unreasonable.”
Here’s what happened:
I was at The Yard with Lestrade finishing up some business. When it was time to leave Lestrade followed me. I was worried he might be planning to camp out in our living room again but he said he just wanted to see if John wanted to go for a pint.
“You never ask me for a pint,” I said.
“No,” Lestrade said and just left it at that. He is a complete arse-hat.
“What if I wanted to come with?”
“Well, you’re not invited so—“
“Listen, Sherlock, it’s nothing personal. I’ve just had enough of dealing with your personality for the day.”
“How is that not personal?”
“Yes, you’re right. It is personal. You’re still not invited.”
We bickered all the way back to Baker Street and were not on speaking terms by the time we entered the flat. That may be why John didn’t realize we had a guest. He had his little self sat in his armchair by the fire, reading a book and downing whiskey like a good little tosspot. He was wearing a gray cardigan over his favorite shirt with a pair of knee socks and his blue cashmere knickers with the little white bows on.
He did not move when he saw Lestrade. He didn’t do anything but turn crimson from the top of his head to his knees.
“John,” Lestrade said. The man was annoyingly unfazed by finding John in his knickers.
“Are you or are you not ogling my fiancé?” I asked.
“A bit,” Lestrade said.
“Aren’t you straight?”
Lestrade waved his hand around. “I had a gay period. Sometimes I revisit it.”
At this point John got up with as much dignity as he could muster and scampered into my room. He returned a few moments later wearing a pair of my trousers that did not fit him one bit. He trod all over the hems of them. Lestrade smiled at him.
“Maybe a pint tomorrow night?”
“I don’t think we can be friends anymore,” John said. “I can’t be friends with someone I can no longer look in the eye.”
“Don’t be ridiculous, John. Lestrade has his own little bedroom secrets.”
They both just stared at me like blank things.
“He likes Molly to put on a strap-on over the leather knickers for one.”
It was like I was talking to myself. They just stared like I was a two-headed talking fish out of water.
“How?” John said finally. Then he shook his head, not caring to delve too deeply into this particular mine, apparently.
“I’m really good at deduction,” I reminded him.
“Yeah. Yes. I like it up the bum,” Lestrade looked like he might burst into giggles. “John? Are we on for tomorrow?”
“Whatever,” John said and then Lestrade buggered off.
I had John take the trousers off and kneel on the floor with his hands behind his head. It reminded me of the day we met Irene Adler. Lovely girl. Bit of a cunt and mostly crazy, but awfully good fun. John gets upset when I speak of her so I just call her The Woman. I did not threaten to shoot John in the head, however. I took the knife out of the mantel piece and cut the buttons off his shirt.
John shook and trembled and said, “Oh jeez. Oh jeez,” when I pushed the shirt open with the blunt edge of the knife. John appreciates a bit of danger with sex.
So that’s the story of how John Watson, my fiancé, lost his buttons.
Mycroft is here. He is offering congratulations and talking to me. He is leering at John. I feel like my skin is on fire.
“Welcome to the family, John.”
“You must be so pleased. It will almost be incestuous when you ogle me now.”
Mycroft looked puzzled. I wanted to kiss John’s brains out.
Mycroft was not to be derailed from rattling on nauseatingly about wedding plans, locations in the south of France, and the guest list.
“One,” John said. “You’ve neglected to include anyone from my family on your guest list. Two, we’re getting married in England.”
“We are?” I had not known this had been decided.
John turned to me. “Anywhere but the south of France is fine.” He turned back to Mycroft. “And three, we are not inviting an arse load of dignitaries and officials unless you are already related to them. This is not a networking opportunity. It’s a wedding.”
Mycroft set his jaw and clutched his umbrella in his hands. I hate it when he does that. It reminds me that Mycroft is human very, very deep down. When he was a boy he had a stuffed bear named Umbrella.
I walked Mycroft outside. We stood on the street and looked at the traffic. There wasn’t much of it.
“He sent you a picture of my cock,” I said after six cars had swooshed by.
“Yes. That penny dropped upstairs.” Mycroft smiled. “Shall we delete the whole incident?”
“John doesn’t know how.”
“I’ll write an apology. Plan whatever you’d like for the wedding. My treat. Am I invited?”
“Stop thinking dirty things about John.”
Mycroft smiled and nodded. I did something then that John might have done. I punched Mycroft softly in the shoulder and then left my hand there, uncurling my fingers and just—touched him. Mycroft closed his eyes briefly and then he put his hand over mine.
“He’s made you a better man.”
Mycroft opened his umbrella even though it wasn’t raining and walked away.
If I ever express the desire to take another case involving prepubescent gymnasts please talk me out of it. Knowing John should have taught me that lethal things come in small packages.
John has been injured. He was kicked in the head and pushed down some stairs by a tiny, female gymnast. I think he was rather inspired by them though because after he rolled down twelve stairs he did a somersault and stood up with his arms over his head as if he had performed a dismount.
I was about to clap and give him a score when he fell on his arse and I noticed all the blood gushing from his forehead. The silly sod tried to give me some song and dance about not needing to go to hospital. He was rather embarrassed to have been so soundly defeated by a 90 pound sixteen-year-old I would imagine.
It turns out that his ankle was fractured and he has a mild concussion. This is not good. John hates his crutches. He looks at them as if they have insulted his mother. He nearly growled at the doctor who told him he might have to use a cane for a bit after the cast comes off.
“I will carry you,” I said.
John glared at me. That’s nice. That’s what I get for helping.
“Not like a baby. You can ride on my back.” I turned to the doctor. “Do you have a harness type thing that I can strap him on with?”
The doctor looked uncomfortable. “Um. I don’t really recommend that.”
I was put out. I’d been imagining scampering around London with a little John-knapsack. When we had to chase criminals he could shoot over my shoulder.
All John got was some crutches and painkillers. He is sitting his chair right now with his face all bruised and swollen, looking quite pitiful. He also looks like he’s vibrating. I don’t think pain killers agree with John.
I pretended to do work on my laptop while really keeping an eye on John. He was just reading and drinking a glass of water. I must admit I let my guard down. He just looks so harmless. After about twenty minutes or so he picked up his glass of water, poured it over the book and threw the novel across the room. It nearly knocked the earphones off the deer skull.
“Not a good book then?”
“That book. It displeased you?”
“Oh!” John said. “No. It’s very good. The character in it was thirsty.”
“Did he want to fly as well?”
“What? Did you see those little girls tumble, Sherlock? That was like flying.”
“Hmm,” I said.
“Have you seen my book?”
“Maybe you should take a nap.”
John is very suggestible. He was asleep inside of a minute.
John woke up in a lot of pain. I had no choice but to give him more pills. He wasn’t doing anything dangerous, like reading, so I thought he’d be okay.
Detective Inspector Dimmock came by to tie up the loose ends on the case.
“What are you going to name this case, John?”
The Yarders are always so amused at John’s blog titles. To be fair, they are the most amusing part of the blog. Unless you consider dreadful writing to be amusing.
“The Faulty Vault? The Vaulty Faulty? A Study in the Vault’s Fault? I dunno. Something with vault and fault in it. Or maybe, The Mean Beam. The Beam that Caused Screams? Seeing Stars on the Parallel Bars? Murderous Scheme on the Trampoline?”
“John, do shut up.”
Dimmock looked positively alarmed. “What’s wrong with him?”
“Drugs. He’s wandered down a bad path.”
I put my foot in the middle of John’s chest because he was trying to get up.
“What do you need?”
“My laptop. I’ve got to write it all down before I forget.”
I got it for him. I’m very, very interested to see how this entry turns out.
When it was time for bed I put John in my room. I suppose I will have to trade bedrooms with him until he is better.
This morning I was packing up all my stuff when John woke.
“What are you doing?”
“I’ll move my things upstairs until you’re better.”
“What? Why don’t you just move my clothes and stuff in here?”
“I’ll do that too, of course.”
“No, I mean, with your things. We’re getting married. We’re going to share a bedroom anyway.”
“We are? For how long?”
“I think it’s until death do us part.”
I stopped packing to give this thought the due attention it deserved.
“No,” I said after several seconds.
“What are you on about?”
“John, I like sharing the bed, but you don’t believe in a sock index. It would never work. I can’t do it. It can’t be done. I can’t have my socks disturbed or my pants in disarray. “
I was panting a bit at the very thought of it. I must have been panting a lot because John made me sit down and put my head between my knees.
“It’s okay, Sherlock. I’ll keep my stuff upstairs. Don’t pack all your stuff up though. I’ll move a few of my things into the sitting room until I’m better and just sleep here. With you.”
The tunnel vision went away. John held my hand and let me breathe for a while.
“I thought you liked it when I put your pants in disarray.”
John spent the day typing innocently on his laptop. I made sure he didn’t have any liquid nearby while he was working. He’s still taking the pain medication. It was evening when he posted and I helped him into bed soon after. He was drawn and tired but smiled at me as I tucked him in.
“Make sure you get some sleep tonight.”
“Yes, of course.”
I hurried to my laptop to read his blog.
A Study in the Mysterious Case of the Scheme of the Murderous Trampoline and Beam (and other equipment like faulty vaults) That Sherlock Holmes Solved
I guess he couldn’t decide on a title. I should have just stopped reading there. I’m just such a curious fellow though!
It began with thousands of words of exposition, then—
With Olympic trials only six weeks away the young gymnasts looked distraught and fearful. One of their number was dead and the equipment had been tampered with again. I tried my best to reassure them while we waited for Sherlock to arrive.
I sensed him before I saw him. The air had a kind of spark in it, an excitement, a thrill that only the arrival of the Great Detective could bring. I bounced on my feet.
“Here he is!” I said. “Consider all your problems solved.”
Sherlock was windblown and rosy-cheeked from the cold. He strolled into the gym like a king might stroll through his realm. He was already on the case, his pale eyes flickering here and there, observing everything from the girls and the coaches to the dust motes in the air and the coffee stain on my tie.
My blood thrilled in my veins! The assembled gymnasts looked on warily but I, who have had the great privilege of seeing Sherlock in action so many times before, could barely hide my excitement. The case was on!
He blathered on some more, mixing up times and names (he even called himself James once) and facts, but otherwise it was accurate and then—
Shercock breezed by us, intent on his discovery, lost in his own world of thought. A smile played on his cupid-bow lips. His eyes sparkled. When he barked my name I tried not to jump to attention and salute. What an honor it is to be the one The Great Detective turns to in his time of need!
There were reams of it. John going on about my eyes and lips, calling me The Great Detective. One time he slipped and called me The Great Darling. One time he spent four paragraphs talking poetically about the rain. There were exclamation points all over the place. He never mentioned how the case was solved, just that I offered to carry him around strapped to my back and made him tea and a sandwich.
By the time I gathered my wits enough to lock the post there were over four hundred comments on it. I should just delete it. That is what I should do.
Someone made screen caps already! It doesn’t matter if I delete it now. Everyone already knows that John likes my lips and calls me darling and admires the rain.
I like to admire John admiring the rain if we’re being completely honest. I’d like to marry John in the rain. Sometimes I admire John so much it almost doesn’t make me hyperventilate to think that my sock index may get disturbed.
I mean, mildly disturbed. Like, I wouldn’t mind if the hem of a sock was faced up instead of down. I don’t want it totally destroyed.
John wouldn’t totally destroy it though. I trust John with my life. I ought to be able to trust the little bugger with my sock index.
I have crawled into bed with John, or James, or whoever he is.
“Shlock,” he said.
“That’s Shercock to you, darling.”
“You don’t call me darling.”
“What do I call you?”
I smiled. I hummed John’s a Little Tosspot to him so quietly until he fell back to sleep.
His email is going to be a nightmare in the morning.
Chapter 11: The Adventures of James and Shercock
Sherlock and John make complete arses of themselves.
The world is such a nice place. Full to the brim of the understanding and grateful creatures. Take, for instance, me. I solve crimes. This small service keeps the citizens of London, England, and sometimes the world safe. People sleep better at night thanks to my efforts, efforts that often put me and my dearest friend in harm’s way.
So, one would think that if an associate of mine wrote an ill-advised blog entry when under the influence of narcotics that people would be forgiving, discreet. Perhaps they might even turn a blind eye to this folly.
Not so. John and I have endured weeks of being called James and Shercock. It’s alright for John, he rather likes the name James.
“I’m pretending I’m Harry Potter’s father,” he says.
“Too bad you didn’t name yourself Joseph. You could have been the father of Christ.”
“God is the father of Christ. Virgin birth and all.”
“Shut up,” I said. I’ve been feeling a bit churlish lately. “It’s alright for you, James. You don’t have a cock in your name.”
John hobbled over to me, clinging to the furniture like a toddler. He is on the mend but refuses to use his cane unless we are doing a fair bit of walking. He put the back of his hand on my forehead.
“You alright? You look a bit peaky.”
“I’m fine. I’ve just got a headache from hearing that stupid name.”
“When was the last time you ate?”
I glared at him. I didn’t need food. I needed nicotine and a new case.
John sighed and limped to retrieve my medical file. He used to keep all my records in a little notebook but I need a lot of doctoring and the file has grown exponentially since we first met. Now he keeps it in a file box. I like to read it over sometimes when I’m bored. In the early days he just kept track of when I needed stitches or medication.
Patient received four stitches above right eye. (Fist fight)
Patient received six stitches. Lower left abdomen. (Knife graze)
Patient received six new stitches as he tore out old ones climbing a building. (Against doctor’s orders)
Patient administered injection of mild tranquilizer to keep him from tearing out abdominal stitches whilst slithering through an air duct. (Patient an arse)
The notes got less and less professional as our friendship grew. There is one note in there somewhere that just says Deceased. Which is sad. But the next line says, Not deceased. Patient received three stitches in cheek from where he was punched in the face on doctor’s orders. (Patient still an arse. :) Which is also sad, but in this case it is a sad statement on John’s self-control.
Anyway, after that he started keeping notes on every calorie I’ve consumed, pain I’ve suffered, and hour of sleep I’ve endured. If he just stuck to the stitches and medication we would need only half a box.
After several hours with the math Dr. Watson concluded that I had not consumed enough calories to keep a gnat alive and practically force fed me. Afterwards I felt rather better but it’s better not to admit to these things. An admission would lead John to lecture in a not-so-stimulating way on the benefits of food and sleep for the functioning adult male.
Also, he might go back to what he was doing before. I don’t know what that was but it was definitely not paying attention to care and keeping of me.
“I need more doctoring,” I said.
John sighed but he got out his doctor bag and pulled out some lights and shone them into my boring orifices. Then he banged on my knees and pronounced me well.
I had pulled some instruments out of his bag to study while he was busy and he began to pack them away as I took more out to look at.
“Sherlock! Leave it!”
I hooked up his stethoscope to my ears and held it up to the air.
“What are you doing? Give me that.”
“I’m listening to the air,” I said, rooting around in his bag for more things. I could perform all sorts of experiments with a stethoscope. One has been sitting under my roof all this time and I never thought of it before.
“Put. It. Back,” John said. “I don’t want you listening to the mating calls of maggots or trying to communicate with spores. It’s a medical instrument. It needs to stay clean.”
“I should listen to your heart while you orgasm,” I said.
Poor John. He is so easily derailed by any mention of him orgasming. It’s lucky he has me. Others of a less then savory nature, without my strong moral fiber, might use this knowledge to their advantage.
To be fair, John held out for the space of a breath.
“If you’re done examining me.”
“Not by a fucking long shot,” John said. I’m told some couples whisper endearments and sweet nothings during love making. Not John. John doesn’t believe in cooing and turtle doves apparently. He likes swear words and references to guns. While we’re on the subject what the fuck is a turtle dove anyway? I have never seen a turtle with wings. And why would you need two of them at Christmas?
Anyway, John grabbed me by my belt buckle and hauled me into the bedroom. He’s quite strong for an invalid.
I have discovered a new thing about John. John is like one of those presents that you unwrap and there is another present inside. I will never get to the bottom of him.
John likes to be stroked just behind his balls. It is an erogenous zone he says. He says it makes him feel melty. Don’t worry, he assures me this is a good thing. This morning he was brushing his teeth with a towel slung round his hips. I pretended I needed the mirror and stepped close to him, slipping my hand up the back of his towel and brushing my fingers against that soft spot.
“No,” John said. “We are meeting Molly in forty minutes.”
“Oh, yes,” I said. “You’re quite right.” I didn’t take my hand away though.
“I’m going to get dressed,” John said.
“Yes, you do that.” I kissed the nape of his neck and applied gentle pressure with my foot to his good ankle. He spread his legs quite willingly. I nibbled on his ear and then smiled at him in the mirror.
“Bastard,” John said.
I kept him there, slightly unsteady on his legs that were spread too wide. I kept him there until he was writhing with want.
“Sorry,” I said when I pulled away. “Look at the time. We’ll be late if you don’t hurry.”
“Not at all. We’re meeting Molly in twenty minutes. Remember?”
John took off his towel and flung it to the floor. He came toward me with a murderous, yet lustful, gleam in his eyes. I’m not ashamed to say I ran.
This is the kind of calm and peaceful domestic life I was looking forward to when I proposed to John on bended knee. If memory serves, I had dreamed about serene Sunday mornings spent being chased about the flat by a naked, erect man brandishing a cane.
I armed myself with a pair of John’s pants and his socks. My superior height and strength and my two functioning legs allowed me to gain the upper hand and stuff him into them. We were only late by an hour or so.
John has toothpaste around his mouth and his hair is all wonky. I wish he’d look in a mirror before venturing into the world. He’s all jittery and distracted and Molly is peeved that we were so late. I’m glad my closest friends are such pleasant people.
Molly didn’t seem to find a disheveled John to be attractive. It does take a certain bearing to pull off I must admit. She kept subtly pointing to her own mouth and hair but John is not very observant.
“For pity’s sake, John! Go to the loo and fix yourself!” she said.
John tottered off, leaving me to deal with the full wrath of Molly on my own.
“They stopped serving breakfast an hour ago so guess we’ll have to order lunch.” That was fine with me but she seemed put out.
“The good thing about breakfast is that it happens every day,” I said.
“How silly of me! Of course, I’ll just come back tomorrow and order a nice breakfast and eat it at a leisurely pace. Oh! Darn! Tomorrow is Monday. Some of us work. Saturday and Sunday are what the working classes refer to as the weekend.”
John had returned in time to hear the end of this tirade and promptly went away again. I pretended to study my menu until he returned with a bouquet of flowers.
I went all red. No one has ever bought me flowers before. He must have really enjoyed our game in the bathroom. I am a generous lover. I may also become wanted for sluttishness on three continents. If I take John to three continents.
The flowers were for Molly.
I wasn’t upset.
Molly is in a better mood now. She’s planning our wedding as John and I can’t be arsed to do it properly. She has a binder dedicated to it that is nearly as big as my medical file.
“Right. Who’s the maid of honor?”
I looked at John. “You have a sister.”
“Is Mycroft the best man then?”
“Surely you jest.”
“I do,” John said. “I jest.” He screwed up his face so that he could think. “Molly should be our maid of honor. Even though Harry will murder me.”
“Could you be our maid of honor with a code name? We could call you the Maid of Knickers or something. John, you’re so good at coming up with names for people that are not their own. What say you?”
John came up with some stunning ideas. It makes me vomit a little in my mouth to write them all down so I will just tell you that we finally settled on Lady of Aiding and Abetting. I think Lestrade should be The Man Who Only Let Us Down On One Occasion. Unless he can think of a better name.
We had to go then. I was feeling really amorous for some reason and kept finding my hands in John’s crotch. After John put my hand back on the table for the third time Molly closed her binder with a huff.
“I don’t know how you two ever get anything done,” she said before stalking away.
I don’t really know either. We are just that amazing.
Lestrade wants to be The Man Who Gives Danger Sluts Something To Do So They Don’t Go Insane. I think that’s a mouthful. He got all irritated with us when I told him my idea for his title.
“That is so far in the past! You know Moriarty played me and I’ve apologized dozens of times!”
“You could be The Man Who Apologized or The Man Who Was Wrong,” I said. John tried to turn his giggle into a cough.
“Listen, Shercock and James. Get the bloody fuck out of my crime scene.”
We just carried on examining the body but Lestrade was serious this time. We were escorted off the premises while the assembled Yarders applauded.
Molly is livid. John and I are in disgrace. John feels it more keenly than I do. I am used to being in disgrace. For John’s sake I must fix this.
“How big is the budget for the wedding?” John wanted to know.
“It’s Mycroft’s treat so…”
“Do you really want the cake and fancy venue and new suits and fancy invitations and all that?”
“No. I want to marry you in the rain in Regent’s Park. I want you to wear your best friend outfit with the ruffled knickers underneath and send every one away after so we can come back here and play with our cocks.”
“Charming,” John said. “I almost mean that.” He was quiet for a time. “That won’t cost much money.”
“Molly’s done all this planning though.”
“She’s living vicariously through us.”
I got married today. After breakfast John put on his soft trousers and cashmere sweater. He took my hand and we walked to the park. Mycroft and Harry and Mrs Hudson were there. Our Lady of Aiding and Abetting and The Man Who Loves Us (And We Love Too) Even Though We Are Sometimes Mean To Him were holding hands under an umbrella. It was raining very softly.
John has a lovely way with people when he is not feeling homicidal. He took all the money we could reasonably spend on a wedding and spent it elsewhere. He’s sending Mrs Hudson on a honeymoon to the Seychelles so we can have Baker Street to ourselves. He came up with a better title for Lestrade and bought him a mug that says #1 Detective Inspector on it. He put the rest of the money in an account for Molly so she can have a nice wedding when the time comes.
John had toothpaste around his mouth. I could see the neckline of that ridiculous moose t-shirt poking out from under his jumper. He held both my hands in both of his and all four of them rested on the cane that the doctor thinks he might need for quite some time.
“I do,” I said.
“Shush,” John said. “It’s not time to say it yet.”
“It’s always time to say it. I always mean it.”
“You have to wait until the wedding bloke tells you to say it.”
I turned to the man who was performing the ceremony. “Can I say it?”
“Well, I’ve got to say this bit here then—“
John stood up on his tiptoes to whisper in my ear. “Remember when I promised to help you not make a complete arse out of yourself on every given occasion?”
“Do shut up, love.”
That bloke droned on and on.
“Do you, John Hamish Watson, take Sherlock Holmes as your lawfully wedded husband?”
“I do, yes,” John said.
“Do you, Sherlock Holmes—“
“You already know I do! I do! I do! I do! Can I kiss him now?”
“By the powers—“
I didn’t hear the rest. I was too busy making a complete arse out myself. Despite all his promises, John didn’t stop me. He kissed me right back.
Chapter 12: The Quest for Happiness
Sherlock hires a servant and shares his wisdom. John makes a new friend.
Molly gave me a magazine. It has one hundred tips on keeping your wife happy. Only she crossed out wife and wrote in ‘John’. I don’t mind if people refer to John as my wife.
It says here that I should clean more. Now, that’s never going to happen but I have no objection to hiring a maid.
I have hired a maid. She’s a Uni student and will be popping round after her afternoon class. John will be at his conference until six so that should give her plenty of time to get this place cleaned up. John will be so pleased.
Our new maid, Petra, started in the bathroom. At first she seemed really delightful and said I was a good husband for treating my wife to a weekly maid service. She is studying geology and I stood in the bathroom doorway and chatted to her about soil and rocks. She knows a lot about rocks. If I ever have a case that involves rocks I will consult with her.
So, all was normal and pleasant until she started on the living room. The skull and the post dagger seemed to make her nervous for some reason. Then she saw my bayonet and I got so caught up in telling my pig story that I knocked over the box we keep John’s sex toys in and they spilled all over the floor.
“I’ll pick those up,” I assured her. “I don’t expect you to pick up sex toys, even if you are the maid. In fact, if you see any other sex toys or weapons you should just clean around them.”
Mrs Hudson bustled in then with a cake.
“Here you are dear,” she said. “Oh! Is this a client? Do you have new case on?”
“No, this is our new maid, Patricia.”
“Petra,” Petra said.
Mrs Hudson got all misty-eyed and kissed my cheek. “What a wonderful surprise! You are a dear boy.”
Then she left.
“Is that—um—your wife?”
I was horrified. “No. That’s Mrs Hudson! John is my wife.”
Petra gave me a look that John sometimes gives me. It’s this sort of blank and deeply confused stare, followed by a mournful sort of acceptance that he will never be able to puzzle out something that comes quite easily to me. It’s so pitiful.
“You can dust my bedroom if you’d like. There’s nothing scary in there. I have a sock index.”
I thought a maid would be familiar with a sock index and congratulate me on my organization but Petra just looked more puzzled. Maybe this is why Petra doesn’t charge too much. What kind of a maid doesn’t appreciate organization?
“I’m not going within six yards of your bedroom, Mr Holmes. In fact, if Mrs Hudson wasn’t in the house I would have left already. Now, why don’t you sit and read a book while I clean the kitchen and then you will pay me and I will leave.”
Gosh, Petra is just like John. Bossy.
I had just opened my laptop when I heard her fall to the floor. It appears that Petra gets light-headed around microwaved eyeballs. It’s a good thing she didn’t look in the fridge. It’s also fortunate that John is a doctor and we have that whole bag of medical instruments. I will fix her up in no time.
When John came home Petra was lying on our kitchen table screaming her bloody lungs out even though I was trying to listen to her heart with John’s stethoscope.
John made sure that when the police arrived it was in the form of Lestrade. Then he gave Petra 300 pounds for her trouble and sent her on her way.
“I was away for one bloody afternoon, Sherlock! Look what you’ve done to the flat!”
John had a point. There were glass and eyeballs on the kitchen floor, and dildos all over the sitting room, and a bucket of soapy water had spilled into the rug. Also the deer skull’s headphones had somehow fallen off. I went to put them right.
Petra is not a very good maid.
John says I may not introduce him to strangers as my wife.
John says I also may not introduce him to strangers as ‘my John’.
“You know there is more than one use for the word ‘John’, yeah? You sound like a prostitute.”
The English language is so naughty.
“But you are my John,” I pointed out. “I can’t help it if other people’s thoughts are impure.”
“You want me to be your John?”
I rolled my eyes. “You already—“
“I’m the best John in the world wouldn’t you say?”
“You’d have to audition if you wanted me to take you on. I’m very picky about my rent boys.”
Molly’s magazine says that I should not be afraid to try new things in the bedroom. A sense of adventure between the sheets will keep us both stimulated it says. So if I have to pretend to be a teen-aged rent boy on occasion, and listen to John shout at me to fuck him like I mean it, then that is just what I will have to do.
Marriage is hard work.
I’m afraid that Lestrade’s hero worship of me may be his undoing. In his quest to be just like me he has proposed to Molly. I took him down to a pub to give him some advice from a married man.
“Lestrade, Molly is a lovely girl but you need to know that marriage, while lovely, is a lot of hard work.”
“Sherlock, you’ve been married for four months.”
“I know. That is why I feel you could benefit from my experience.”
“I was married to my first wife for twelve years.”
“And that didn’t go so well, did it?”
Lestrade poured his beer down his throat in one go, belched, and ordered another one.
“I’m probably going to regret this, but go on. Impart your wisdom.”
He didn’t seem to be taking it seriously. “All I’m saying is that sometimes you have to research the servants very carefully.”
Lestrade just blinked at me. I couldn’t think of any other bits of wisdom.
“It’s okay if you have to pretend to be a rent boy. It’s even okay to enjoy yourself.”
Lestrade put his face in his hands. His shoulders shook.
“Nope,” he said. “I give up.” Then he laughed until he was blue in the face. I picked up my coat and left. I hope he passed out.
Molly’s magazine says that I should buy John little gifts even if it is not Christmas or his birthday. I got him a bottle of whiskey. I will have to think of other things that he likes and surprise him because he was very pleased.
I am rubbish at thinking up gifts. Blessed are our Scottish brethren in the north because they make an endless variety of whiskey.
“Sherlock,” John said. “I really appreciate the gifts but ten bottles of whiskey is quite enough.”
I got my coat and wandered out into the streets. Here I was, in a city just bursting with shops and I could not find one little thing to keep my wife happy. London has failed me. My once beloved city is a traitor, a Judas among cities. I’m afraid we will have to go abroad where everything is new and strange and I can delight John with the exotic every night.
I got home a couple of days later. John was curled up in his chair.
“I love my present,” he said. “It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted. Thank you.”
John Watson has gone and gifted himself a puppy.
That guy has done nothing but bother me for two days. He sleeps in my shoes and ate a pair of my trousers and tampered with my sock index. Then he slept on my laptop keyboard and opened all these tabs and typed ‘4r’ in a blank document.
Four R what? That’s what I want to know. Four are coming? Which four? The riders of the apocalypse? The Fab Four?
I will never get used to sharing my living space with this terror. I’ll never get any work done. It’s unhygienic to keep animals in the home.
“I think you should have discussed this with me before you took him in and became all attached,” I told John.
“Yes, isn’t it annoying when someone brings something unsanitary and dangerous into your home?” John said and he allowed that dog to lick him all over his face.
I’m really going to have to put my foot down about this I’m afraid. I’ll just remain calm and use ‘I’ statements and tell John that the dog must go. Sooner is better than later. One time I took this fellow home with me purely as a business arrangement. We were just going to split the rent until we both moved on to better things but the longer he stayed the more it seemed necessary that he continued on staying. Some might call this sentiment. I call it John.
I’ll do that as soon as I’ve brushed Brolly. (I’ve named the dog Brolly.) Then he likes to go for a bit of a walk once he’s all spruced up. Oh my goodness. I’ve got to get the camera and John. Brolly is yipping at the smiley face. He’s so deranged you almost have to love him.
Chapter 13: We've Got Another Thing Coming Undone
John and I have met someone we DO NOT LIKE AT ALL. Now, I know I am well regarded in the field of misanthropy; but John! Even John doesn’t like him! John loves a creature who eats my trousers and chases light. You have to be a right miserable bastard if John doesn’t like you.
Nothing in my life has prepared me for this level of hatred. I thought Mycroft would have been a sufficient training ground. I have been schooled from an early age in the art of repulsion. But there is nothing…not…I don’t.
John says I need to stop typing and breathe into a bag for awhile.
John put a sedative in my tea without telling me. Then he perched himself on my cock and had himself a little ride. I still feel the hatred but it is a far away and foggy feeling. I wonder if John treats all his patients this nicely. I shall ask him.
John says he does not let everyone take advantage of his ‘magical healing bum’ because it is illegal and he’s married. Then he got all upset because I forgot we were married for a wee tiny moment whilst under sedation. You can see why I’d forget. Nothing about our married life is different than from before. John still gets his knickers in a twist over every little thing.
It’s this new DI at The Yard. McDoogle or McDonalds or something. I’ll ask John.
John says that when he tells me he is not speaking to me that means for at least an hour and not twenty seconds. But if he were speaking to me he’d tell me the beast’s name is MacDonald.
He would have had to say a lot fewer words if he’d just said, “MacDonald” and spared us all the lecture. John is not very logical.
Anyway! We were on a case. It was a cold day and I figured out that the murderer had thrown the murder weapon in this little pond. It was the way the ice formed that gave it away. I sent John in to get it.
I couldn’t go because I can’t think properly if I get too cold and my clothes were nicer than John’s. And we couldn’t wait around for boats and things because I didn’t feel like waiting.
So John dove in and got a bit of a very bad chill. (He was in hospital for a bit and everything. I brought him flowers. I keep buying him flowers because I really want him to buy me flowers but he is not getting the hint.) Then this new DI showed up and said, “Oi! Och! Dinne!” at me.
Seriously, how hard is it not to be born Scottish?
Once I implanted my translation device I was able to decipher his meaning which was, “Oi! Och! Why didn’t he wait for boats and things?”
“He’s fine. He’s a soldier.”
“He’s sodding blue! Look at the state of him!”
Anyway, the bastard turned out to be right on this one occasion. So they called in an ambulance and were about to bundle John off in it when MacDonald found out we were married.
“Go with him you pillock!”
“I’m not a doctor,” I explained. “Those are at hospital. Where John is going. You can tell because he’s in an ambulance and ambulances live there.”
To make a long story less long, I was made to go. And I didn’t even get to look at the murder weapon. And MacDonald solved the case without me. And John stopped being blue. And then I was bored.
At this point I was merely irritated with MacDonald. I could have gone on being irritable for ages but things kept on happening.
Like the time John was held hostage for a few little hours because we’d gone on a stakeout and I had to leave him alone for a bit. And the time I let everyone (including John) believe I was abused for a day. It was for a case! John is not a good actor! And I never actually said I was abused. I just heavily implied it.
So six or seven incidents like that happened and then MacDonald took John out for a drink and told him I was abusive. John said he tried really hard not to punch him but he failed.
Bad news. Lestrade says John and I have to go to marriage counseling if we want to continue working with The Yard.
“That’s ridiculous,” John said. “You know there’s nothing to this. It’s Sherlock! Being Sherlock! I’m a big boy. If I catch hypothermia it’s my own damn fault.”
“It’s out of my hands,” Lestrade said.
“Fine,” I said. “Fine. That’s fine. We’ll just work on our own cases. It’ll be fun. We have one all lined up. Get the client back here, John. We don’t need you. Goodbye.”
“Sherlock!” Lestrade said. “This is what happens when you don’t follow basic safety protocols. How hard is it to wait for a sodding boat?” I had to lie down on the sofa. Lestrade knows how I hate to wait. “Look, MacDonald is a good man. He’s just looking out for John—“
I sat up abruptly. “That’s my job! I married the idiot! Do you think I don’t know how much care he needs?”
“Sherlock, you are not helping your case here,” John said.
I flopped over onto the cushions.
John says we are going to marriage counseling. He says he’s not allowing me give up my life’s work and it’s a pity we’ve denied the psychiatric community of our presence for so long.
“You have a documented history of being a nutter, John.”
“Yes, thank you. Getting counseling doesn’t mean you’re a nutter. You know that, right?”
“John, I know you’re not very observant, but I am, in fact, a bit of a nutter.”
John’s face went all soft. He kissed my cheek and snuggled up against me. And he really cannot control himself at all. Soon he was rubbing himself against my hip and then he tossed the blankets off the bed and sat astride me and pinched my nipples.
“Fuck me, you mad bastard.”
I hope our therapist does not help John with his slut issues.
Since the whole world will know about my nutter problem in a short time I confided in Molly. She was very sympathetic and let me smoke all her cigarettes and lie on her sitting room floor like I was dying while she read a magazine.
“Sherlock, you should write one of these articles.”
“What are you on about? I can’t give people advice. I’m the worst husband in the world. I’ll soon have documentation to prove it.”
“Exactly, you know all the things a boyfriend or husband or friend should not do. And I’m sure you’ll find more things as time goes on. You could save people from making the same mistakes.”
She has a point. I do know an awful lot about being crap.
We have come up with a preliminary list.
WHAT NOT TO DO IF YOU’VE GOT SOMEONE YOU LOVE
1. Do not tell them they have forgotten to put on pants if they are screaming at you when they don’t have pants on.
2. Do not practice giving love bites to your friends.
3. Do not make up songs about people you love with rude lyrics in and have everyone hum the tune every time they walk in a room.
4. Do not make your friend come home from work to hand you the TV remote.
5. Do not let your friends suffer if they have a song stuck in their head. Get it out with an exorcism.
6. Do not let your friend live with a jar as a part of his anatomy.
7. Do not spy on your friends when they are on dates.
8. Do not jump off a roof and pretend to die.
9. If you jump off a roof and pretend to die don’t brag about how easy it was to fool everyone.
10. Do not send a picture of your loved one’s cock to his brother.
11. Do not punch your friend in the face just because you need to be punched in the face.
12. Do not drug your friends for experiments.
13. Do not drug your friend’s dog for experiments.
14. Clearly label the poisons.
15. Do not keep body parts on the top shelf in the fridge. They go on the bottom shelf.
16. Do not remind friends of mistakes they made a long time ago.
17. Do not allow your friends to jump into frozen ponds. Wait for a boat.
18. Do not carry on working if your loved one is seriously injured.
19. Do not become too attached to your sock index.
20. Do not tell everyone what you get up to in the bedroom.
21. Do not tell everyone what everyone else gets up to in the bedroom.
22. If you get married do not forget you are married.
23. Do not keep disappearing for days on end and not tell anyone where you are.
24. Do not ignore hints to buy your loved one flowers.
I’m going to bring this list with me to the counseling session. Then the therapist will see how far I’ve come and will surely send us on home.
I crept into the flat with a bunch of the sweetest orange roses and woke John up to show him my list. He was very sleepy. He gets this adorable line between his eyes when he is woken from a sound slumber. His belly went all bouncy with laughter when he read my list. I rested my head there and put my nose in the flowers and closed my eyes, imagining for a moment that bees were buzzing about and we were lying on a warm hillside in happiest June.
John has added a few more items to The List.
25. Do not have conversations with your loved ones when they are not there and then act like they agreed with everything you said.
26. Do not pretend that you ‘deleted’ being told to buy milk. It’s just milk. You are strong enough to carry it home.
This therapist is going to be so impressed.
Our therapist was not super impressed. I must admit I was quite nervous and was holding John’s hand so tightly that he was wincing all over his face. The man introduced himself as David and tried to put me at my ease.
“We’re just here to talk about whatever is troubling you.”
“I can’t work on cases for Lestrade unless I come here once a week.”
“I see, and why do you think Lestrade wants you to come here?” David asked.
“It’s out of his hands. Listen, it doesn’t bother me at all that John is a bit slutty. It’s not something that I feel he needs to work on.”
John closed his eyes and dug his fingernails into the palm of my hand. It hurt a lot. John tried interfacing with the man for a bit. I let my mind wander hither and thither while John sorted things out.
“Sherlock! Pay attention.” They were both looking at me as if I had been asked a question. I didn’t know what to say so I pulled out The List and handed it to David. John groaned and put his hands over his face and started to rock back and forth in his chair in way that did not speak well of his mental health.
“I’d like to talk about number fifteen,” David said.
David said we did really good work today. He says recognizing your problems is an important step and The List will begin the healing process. We got number fifteen all squared away today and we’re going to tackle number ten next week. That one is really all about John so I’ll be able to take it easy.
“To be honest, I’m relieved you’re not serial killers,” David said after John explained about the body parts in the fridge. “I hate serial killers.”
“I love serial killers!” I said.
David frowned at me and made some notes.
John and I walked slowly home afterwards, taking a little detour through the park. The street lights were coming on when we a passed a flower shop.
“Have you ever heard of Rule Twenty-Four?” John wanted to know.
“I wrote Rule Twenty-Four.” My cheeks were warm and my heart was going this fast.
John left me on the pavement while he slipped into the shop. He came out with biggest bunch of flowers I have ever seen.
I feel that therapy is so good for John.
Chapter 14: Where I Left Me
Sherlock makes a new set rules, finds peace, and moves on.
John and I had a huge argument today. I love to argue with John about trivial matters. He gets all worked up, which lets out some of his pent-up rage, and he looks rather sexy. Plus, these sorts of arguments usually deteriorate into intercourse at some point.
We’d not had an argument in awhile so when he mentioned reading an interesting article about how this moon way out there may have life on it, I scoffed at him. I’m an excellent scoffer. John proceeded to cite bits of the article at me and I just said, “No that’s wrong,” or, “I don’t believe that for a blessed minute,” to him. Sometimes I just rolled my eyes and said nothing even though Mycroft showed me that alien once.
For the record, aliens are not very impressive. I would have deleted the incident entirely except that this particular alien looked like Uncle Alpert. I need to keep Uncle Alpert in the Mind Palace because he gave me my first chemistry lessons and told me how babies are made. So now the alien is all wrapped up with old Uncle A and he needs to stay. The alien the Russians have is a bit more attractive, but that’s not saying a lot. Uncle A was not renowned for his beauty.
However, facts do not matter when arguing with John. All you’ve got to do is say you believe the exact opposite of what he is telling you.
You may think this is rather a pointless waste of time but I have not told you about the adorable thing John does. After you’ve got him going strong he will make some point that he thinks is exceptionally brilliant and be so proud of himself. He will put his hands on his hips and say, “So there!” John does not feel an argument is won unless he says, “So there!”
The first time he did this I nearly lost my crackers.
“’So there?’ Were you on the debate team at school? Gosh, the opposing side must have trembled.”
John got rather pouty when I said that so I didn’t say that today. Today I just said, “Well, that’s me told. You’ve clearly won. Shall we start building a bunker in case the aliens decide to invade?”
“You are a horse’s arse. You can’t tell me you don’t believe some bacteria or—or mold or something could exist elsewhere.”
I took John’s hands off his hips and put them on mine and leaned over to speak in his ear. “I just like to see you get worked up.”
“So, I’m right? You agree with me?”
I told John about Mycroft’s alien and so on. You would think he’d have been excited given the fact that he’d just spent thirty minutes trying to convince me of alien bacteria. No. He just flat out refused to believe me.
“I’m not that gullible, Sherlock.”
“It’s true! It looks like my Uncle Alpert!”
“It probably was your Uncle Alpert and Mycroft was having you on.”
“No, Uncle A had been dead for five years when I saw the alien.”
“And you don’t think Mycroft capable of keeping an ancestor’s body around in order to mess with his little brother?”
“The Russians have—“
“This was before Photoshop, John. They are really, really real.”
“I don’t believe that for a blessed minute.”
“Call Mycroft! Ask him.”
“You call Mycroft. I’m going to have a wank.”
I think I pulled out half my hair. John is so stubborn! And frustrating! How can he not believe things that are facts? How he can make me choose between proving I’m right and helping him wank?
John would not let me talk to Mycroft on speaker phone while helping him wank.
“I can do both!”
“No, your mouth will be too busy.”
“You can ask him for me. I promise you it’s real. Just let me—“
“My mouth will be busy too,” John said. Then he manhandled me until I had such a nice view of him. John is pretty all over. He reached down to press his cock to my lips and leaned over to suck on mine. We have never done that activity simultaneously before. We have decided that we are going to do it a lot from now on.
Lestrade is completely besotted with MacDonald. He keeps throwing us together on cases in the hope that we will bury the hatchet. The problem is, if you bury a hatchet it is liable to get dull and rusty and John will not be able to hack MacDonald to death with it.
I am leaving now to go to a crime scene. It is raining buckets and John’s leg is acting up so I will slip out the window so he won’t be tempted to come with. Don’t worry. I know all the handholds in the brick on the way down. It’s how I snuck in here to check up on John when I was dead.
I do not like this case. There is a boy lying dead in a classroom. Not really a boy, I suppose, a young man. Quite thin. Expensive clothes that are a size to large for him. He’s lost weight recently.
“Bit of a loner, Philip was” his professor said. “My heart rather ached for him. So brilliant, but odd in the way that the gifted sometimes are. Not many of his peers understood him. I had him round for dinner a few times, thought he might like the company. He was charming when he was talking about Italian painting or biochemistry, something that interested him. He would have bloomed eventually. He just needed someone to understand him.”
Anderson took one look at his emaciated body and the needle in his arm and called it an overdose.
“Clearly,” MacDonald said. “There are no track marks on his arm, though. Just this one needle. And his professor said he’d been spending long hours in the lab. I know when I’m on the brink of discovery I often forget to eat. What do you think, Sherlock?”
I thought Philip had been killed because he was about to discover something. Something that someone wanted to remain undiscovered.
I’ve just spent several hours in the lab pouring over Philip's notes, while MacDonald paced the room and barked into his phone, proving myself right.
Lestrade is arresting the killer as we speak. It’s really good. It’s good. My knees feel a bit wrong though. I will do some sitting when I get home.
My knees would not wait to do the sitting and sat me down on the cold, wet pavement even though I didn’t want to be there. The police were loading Philip’s body into a car and lights were flashing all over the place. The lights stabbed me in my eyes.
MacDonald came and stood over me with his umbrella.
“I liked the rain. I feel hot. Too hot.”
He folded up his umbrella and knelt before me. His trousers got all wet but they were not expensive trousers so he probably didn’t mind it.
“You okay, lad?”
I am not a lad, but MacDonald is about 150 years old so I probably seem quite young to him.
“There but for the grace of Lestrade and John go I,” I said. I don’t know why I said that. I shouldn’t have said it to MacDonald anyway, but it was raining and I was tired and hot and cold and I couldn’t stop trembling.
MacDonald clapped his hand to my shoulder in a way that made my teeth rattle. It annoyed me. I stopped trembling.
“I love John,” I said. I said it because the rain was loud and there was a chance MacDonald wouldn’t hear me. If he didn’t hear me I could go on hating him forever.
“I know,” he shouted back. “You’re like him. Like Philip. Like me on a good day. You get caught up in it all. The thing is, I was really excited to meet the famous Sherlock Holmes. You were different than I expected. Bit of an oddball.”
MacDonald stood up and held out his hand to drag me to my feet. He opened his umbrella again and we stood silently as we watched Philip’s car drive away. The rain tapered off and then we were just two blokes sharing an umbrella in an empty street.
“I’ve decided I rather like oddballs,” he said. He started to walk away.
“It’s important to love oneself,” I called after him.
He laughed. “I’m in good company, Mr. Holmes.”
David is proud of me for burying the hatchet in regards to MacDonald. John has buried the hatchet too. John will bury any hatchet I bury. That’s what it means to be married.
“You felt alone for a long time, Sherlock. You told me that everyone seemed to be the enemy. Does it feel differently now?”
I steepled my fingers under my chin and pretended to think deep thoughts. David likes it when I think deep thoughts. John elbowed me in the ribs because he knew what I was up to but I ignored him. I was thinking wonderful things.
I was thinking about how Lestrade came along and gave me things to do. I was thinking about this mousy, timid girl who floated at the edges of my world. She floated there for a long time and I regarded her as a dim-witted farmer might regard rain clouds, not realizing how essential they were, thinking they were a bit annoying, really, until he realized he needed them to survive.
And then there is John. John is not rain clouds or things to do. John is not even the sun. He’s not the giver of life. John is smaller and sweeter than that. John is the leaves that dapple the sun’s light on the grass. He’s the scent of a candle that has just been extinguished and is sending up gentle spirals of smoke into an empty room. John is the tender hill of sheets and blankets on a rumpled bed that obligations keep you from crawling back in to. John is the thing you want, and think you’ve had, until you realize he is something you cannot ever fully capture. John is the story in between all the pages of all the books you will ever read.
I opened my eyes.
“I’ll never find a way to be done loving John. I don’t want any help with that. It is my greatest mystery.”
John coughed. He stood up and walked to the window. He was limping and his left hand was shaking. When he turned to face me he was crying. I laughed with a joy that came from depths within me as yet uncharted.
David held up The List.
“This has been a good tool, but I feel it is unhealthy. It focuses on the negative. Draft a new list. Focus on the things you should do. On positive things. Write what you’ve learned from each other. ”
John and I are rewriting the old List. It is snowing so much that it is sticking to the pavement. 221B is the place to be. We have a fire, and a Brolly gnawing at the skull, and John is getting naked because the fire is too hot. He says we cannot play with our cocks until The New List is done.
This is one of those times when everything feels ethereal, fleeting. It’s one of those times that I want to pin down and hold forever. But the snow will melt and John will put on clothes again and the world will turn and some new beauty will wink into life and out again.
I’m going to go ahead and leave a part of myself here, where it’s always peaceful and slightly mad and John is always naked by the fire.
John and Sherlock’s Rules for A Good Life
1. You are beautiful naked.
2. Take care of your friends.
3. Try singing instead of shouting when you are angry.
4. Make your loved ones come home from work early just because you missed them.
5. Embrace mad ideas and act like they are the best ones ever.
6. Reach for the last olive. Your friends will have your back.
7. Take an interest in your friends’ love lives without prying.
8. Be willing to die for your friends.
9. Always believe in your friends.
10. Remember that family is important.
11. Do unto to others as you would have done to you is a good rule except when you are feeling a bit wonky.
12. Only drug your friends if it’s in their best interest.
13. Love the dog.
14. Clearly label the poisons.
15. Make house rules early in the relationship.
16. Forgive your friends when they make mistakes.
17. Know your friends weaknesses. Praise their strength.
18. Hold your friend’s hand when he is sick.
19. Love your friend’s odd little quirks.
20. Be joyful and unashamed in the bedroom.
21. Be happy when your friends are happy in their bedrooms.
22. Marry someone who fits into your life like a glove.
23. Take time to be alone. Give others time to be alone. Give them puppies when they come back.
24. Buy flowers for no reason.
25. Pretend your loved ones are always with you. Know them so well that you can follow their advice even if they’re not around.
26. Be needed.
27. Need someone.
28. Love someone.
29. Be loved.
That’s enough rules for a February during a Leap Year. We should be all set.
I'm actually sad that this story is over. I had so much fun writing it and I'm glad that people have had fun reading it. I won't promise not to revisit this in future should any madness pop into my head, but I think this is a good place to stop. That was one of the joys of writing this story, looking for the wonderful madness of life. Thank you for reading and celebrating that with me.
Chapter 15: Throw it All at Us
Life sucks but it's the only thing we have.
Sorry, I know I said I was done but I got a bit sad and needed something to cheer me up.
David was really distracted today. He couldn’t even summon up his patented forehead wrinkles when I told him about John locking me in the airing cupboard for an hour and a half. John did his thing where he went all melty with concern but also putting his doctor hat on.
“David, is something wrong?”
David shook himself. “Sorry, you were saying?”
“Nothing of importance,” said John.
My husband does not think it’s important that he feels the need to lock me in the airing cupboard on occasion. That’s refreshing. The average man on the street would take the dull and prosaic view that this is alarming behavior.
David stood up. He looked wildly around his office. I looked too. I thought he might have observed something that I had missed.
“Both of you need to stop staring at things that have no importance,” John said in his bossy voice.
I settled right away. David took a few more seconds. He is not as tuned in to John as I am. John has good instincts as far as threats go. If John says there are no threats then threats don’t exist.
I learned this first hand.
We were entering our flat one rainy day when John put a warning hand on my arm.
“Tread carefully,” he said.
My sense of smell told me that John was wise right off. Brolly had pooded all over the carpet. We had to do a sort of ballerina tiptoe followed by three leaps just to get to the cleaning supplies.
“David, talk to us. Well, talk to me. I’m a doctor. I can see something’s wrong.”
David sat down in a big forlorn heap.
“This is very unprofessional. I won’t charge you for this session. I think we need to end it here for the day.”
John looked sad and confused. I hate it when John is sad.
“His mother has cancer. It’s terminal. They just found out,” I said. It was really obvious. “He doesn’t have any other family.”
David crumpled into himself and John leaned forward to put his hand on David’s knee.
“I’m sorry,” John said, so I said that too.
“Why don’t you come over to our place tonight? We’re—um—we’re having—“
John was looking at me demandingly, willing me to supply him with some fun-filled gathering.
“We’re having an exorcism,” I said.
David looked up. He had snot on his face and John handed him about twenty tissues.
David hiccupped. “I can’t. I think we’d make great friends but I have professional ethics and boundaries. You know, Dr Watson.”
“He’s my doctor,” I said. “And he’s written in my medical file that I am an arse and have an amazing though rather small cock.”
I expected John to be rather put out by this. I have promised to keep our bedroom secrets actually secret. But John smiled at me.
I beamed back at him. “He likes it small. John likes it up the bum but when I’m really going at it smaller is better.”
John frowned at me. Really? Where is this line between John’s approval and disapprobation?
“David, come over for dinner and a bit of fun. We’ll fire you in morning if it will make you feel better. Your mum’s dying. It’s time to take comfort where you can get it. I promise we won’t write the ethics committee if you promise not to commit us.”
David didn’t want to laugh but he did. He held John’s hand and pretended the tears weren’t sliding down his cheeks and laughed.
I have called Molly and given her the scoop. She says it is all in hand.
David, and Lestrade, and MacDonald are here. Also me, and John and, Molly, and Mrs Hudson. We are not having exorcism. Molly says an exorcism is a casting out. We are having an innercism. We are welcoming people in.
I think that is nice. I used to think there was no one worth welcoming in. But then I let John in, and Lestrade and Hudson and Hooper scooted in right after him. It seems John left the door ajar.
Molly lit incense and candles just like she did for the exorcism but this time there were flowers everywhere and John was in his best friends outfit and my hair was disheveled. She made us all sit in a circle and hold on to a bit of rope. It was a very long rope and it sagged in between us. There was a knot where I held it and where John and Mrs Hudson and Lestrade held it. Molly tied a new knot where MacDonald and David sat.
The rope grew smaller and tighter. It brought us closer together.
Molly looked beautiful as she put her hand on David’s head. She held the rope ends in her hands and made us all stand up and lean back. We didn’t fall. The force of each of us kept everyone stable.
“If you fall in it’s another matter. So don’t. Lean on your friends,” Molly said.
We all stood on our own two feet except for Molly. Lestrade picked her up and kissed her brains out. I will remind him to buy her flowers.
John was sitting with David’s head in his lap and Mrs Hudson was hugging me around my middle. That left poor old MacDonald with no one to love.
“Mrs Hudson, get a hold of yourself. We must gather our loins and hug MacDonald.”
MacDonald has a very odd expression when he is being engulfed in a hug.
When I engulf MacDonald in hug and look over his shoulder at John, John has a look that says he will let me have my way with him.
Chapter 16: More Stuff That Happened
Unexpected house guests. Sort of.
Oh, balls. I'll never be done writing this.
I am up very early because I have not gone to bed yet. John has left me a scavenger hunt to keep me occupied while he is sleeping. He writes these little clues in infantile codes that I must crack to find the next clue.
They used to be infantile anyway. He’s started to consult with one of the retired specialists at the Met and a retired professor and a retired Naval officer. I think John may have the hots for old men.
Anyway, the codes are more challenging now and John gets more sleep. I was stumbling around with a torch in the dark because that makes it more thrilling and I accidently trod on Brolly. I could have sworn he was in bed with John but perhaps John had farted or started snoring or something.
Brolly let out a shriek like you wouldn’t believe. It absolutely shattered my eardrums. Then he scratched my leg. I believe I am bleeding profusely. It will have to wait till John gets up because I almost have this code cracked.
At the end of my scavenger hunt there was breakfast. This is John’s sly way of getting me to eat breakfast because I am always famished at the end of a case. The breakfast was at this little café and I was still in my pyjamas but they let me in anyway.
“Do you know we have a cat?” John said.
“It’s a dog, John. You saw the tail and the fur, no doubt and assumed, but I’ve told you about assumptions. You must learn to observe.”
John took my laptop away. He pointed to this rather large whitish fellow sitting in his armchair.
“That’s Colin Firth,” I said.
John hopped up to stand on the sofa as Hugh Grant sauntered into the room.
“Christ! There’s another one. What is happening? What is happening to me?”
“Are you afraid of cats, John?”
I picked Hugh up and pet him. He is an elderly chap and not fond of sudden movement like hopping onto to sofas and dancing from foot to foot like one has just had a mouse crawl up ones skirt. John settled a bit.
“I just don’t like when they appear suddenly and inexplicably.” He tried to say that with great dignity but it is not something that can be said with great dignity. “Do you know them?”
“Why are they here? How long have they been here?”
I thought for a bit but I either never knew or I’ve deleted it really well.
“Mr. Darcy is probably here as well. We’ll never see Billy Boyd. He’s so shy he spends all his time under Molly’s bed.”
You may not know this but Billy Boyd is apparently a somewhat famous actor. Molly made me go with her to the stage door of some play he was in once. He didn’t come out but later he was at a party that Mycroft was hosting and I was made to attend. This Boyd fellow was playing in a band and I got Molly to rush over.
She was too shy to go up to him but she said it was the best night of her life anyway. That’s why she named her cat after him. I don’t know who she named the other cats after except that they are probably named Hugh Grant, Colin Firth and Mr. Darcy. In an odd twist of events this feline Boyd is too shy to come over to Molly.
John is making me call Molly.
Molly went ten kinds of hysterical on me before giving the phone to Lestrade. He explained matters quite clearly and it’s all settled. Now I just have to explain it to John.
“Molly can’t handle cat litter because she’s pregnant and Lestrade says she is stressed out and that we have agreed to keep the cats for awhile.”
John went all white and tried to sit in his chair. He nearly sat on Colin Firth but I stopped him in time and made him sit on the sofa and take deep breaths.
“Sherlock. We did not agree to any such thing. At least, I didn’t agree to any such thing.”
“Hmm.” I said. I was having vague recollections. “I may have spoken on your behalf.”
John glared at me.
“I’m so injured, John.” I held up my scratched leg but John was very unprofessional and only spared it a fleeting glance. He continued to glare.
“John,” I said. “Do you remember the time you brought home a puppy without consulting me?”
“That was revenge for all the heads in the fridge.”
“Well, it wasn’t a very good revenge because I rather love Brolly. Maybe these cats will help you get over your irrational hysteria.”
John has taken Brolly for a very long walk. If he divorces me I think he will try to get custody of the dog. I’m going to think of something that will make John not divorce me.
I have not thought of anything yet.
Feel a bit doomed.
I called David. He says he doubts John will divorce me over cats and told me to put together a scavenger hunt for John. Well, David doesn’t really tell me what to do, which is refreshing, he sort of leads me to come up with ideas that are really his but in such a way that I can take credit for them. It’s bizarre.
I am hiding under the bed with Billy Boyd and Hugh Grant and Mr. Darcy have followed me. Colin Firth is as bold as brass and is still sitting in John’s chair but there’s nothing that can be done about that right now. I can tell John has started the scavenger hunt because he has just lifted the skull off the mantel piece and that is the second clue. I left the first stuck to the door.
That was a really hard code to crack. John is getting to be quite adept at codes. He is not just a pretty face and a cute bum you know.
John is on the very last clue. Brolly is ruining everything by creeping in here, looking under the bed to see if I’m okay, getting scared of cats, and running out again. Then he slowly creeps back in and does it all over again. He gets more like John every day.
John’s reward for completing the scavenger hunt was a squirt gun which he promptly aimed at Colin Firth to get him to vacate his chair. I have also drawn up a document that promises to have all cat food and litter delivered to the flat.
John sat in his chair.
“You’ll also change the litter boxes, and no hiring a maid this time,” he called.
I got out from under the bed. Mr. Darcy and Mr. Grant and Mr. Brolly followed me. It’s like having a furry entourage.
I am just up to my eyeballs in poo. Mrs Hudson has taken Billy Boyd to live with her but that still leaves me with an awful lot of poo. I will persevere though because I really, really want Molly to let me play with the baby when it comes.
John thinks it’s surprising that I should want to play with a baby. I think babies are fascinating. At least, I think I do. I don’t mean the sort of babies that cry in public when you’re trying to think. Random babies are just noise. I’ll be able to watch this baby over time. And influence it. It’s like the grandest experiment.
I’ll be super careful with it and buy it things. I hope it’s a boy. Or a girl. Maybe Molly will let it call me Uncle Sherlock. Hopefully it won’t look like Lestrade. Or smoke, like Molly used to. There’s nothing worse than a baby that smokes.
It can smoke when it goes to Uni if it will give me cigarettes from time to time and keep it secret from John.
John has gone all professional and is teaching a health class in the living room. Molly and Lestrade and Mrs. Hudson are here because he is teaching Infant CPR. He has a little doll that he borrowed from the surgery and everything. He is also teaching me how to hold a baby and change its nappy and not give it anything smaller than a hippopotamus to play with so it won’t choke. He keeps asking me if I’m paying attention so I have to stare at him with unblinking eyes and nod until my head comes unhinged.
It’s so unfair. I really am paying attention. I absolutely don’t want the baby to break before I can teach it chemistry.
John is really proud of me. I got top marks on the exam he set. It had a practical and written component and John looked so studious and adorable as he graded the written portion. He put little stars on our papers and then we all talked at Molly’s belly for a bit.
Then they left and I had a very naughty urge to fuck my professor.
Goodness, I don’t think it was Brolly who scratched my leg after all. My new suspect is Colin Firth. One thinks so much better after buggering a professor. I do, anyway.
Chapter 17: The Day We Met
John and Molly are heroes. Lestrade is fucking late. Sherlock's penis hurts.
John and I have just spent the last four days making absolutely certain that he cannot become impregnated. We were reasonably certain of this before but it is always better to have data and experiments to back up your theories. We even tried using a turkey baster, a needleless syringe, and an inflatable dildo.
The inflatable dildo was not meant to get John pregnant, you understand. It just sounded like a bit of fun. John declared the turkey baster both pleasurable and inexplicably hot and has added it to his box of sex toys even though he is running out of room in there. Apparently I should not expect a roasted fowl for dinner anytime soon.
We both feel it is for the best that we cannot produce offspring because that poor child would have Mycroft for an uncle. Also he might inherit my chins and John’s--. I’d really want him to look like John.
Now John is passed out on the sofa with the dog and two cats on him. Colin Firth is sitting in John’s armchair. They have come to an understanding that John gets first dibs on the chair but if John is not using it then Colin Firth can keep it warm for him.
John has overcome his cat phobia. He has me and Hugh Grant to thank for that. Hugh was immediately besotted by John and wanted to be near him whenever possible. He’d tiptoe into John’s lap and perch there so delicately while John froze and breathed like he was going into labor. Hugh never hurt him though (he doesn’t have claws) so John would eventually relax and then Hugh would relax and then I would get rather jealous and want to sit in John’s lap myself.
Now John can’t get rid of the beast. Hugh follows him about like a little stalker. He even follows John into bed. Sometimes John does not sleep when he is in bed. He engages in other activities there and Hugh is a regular peeping Tom. We tried locking him out of the bedroom but he would just paw and yowl at the door so now all of our bedroom exercises are presided over by that perverted rascal. I think he grades us on a scale of one to ten and then discusses our performance with Colin Firth and Mr. Darcy in the dead of night.
John and I are going to Molly’s because Lestrade is at work and she is due any day now. Molly has opted for a home birth which makes John nervous. He doesn’t say it makes him nervous but he spends all his time at Molly’s if Lestrade is not home and sometimes even when Lestrade is home.
I am so excited to see my baby. Molly has absolutely refused to find out if it’s a boy or a girl so I’ve had to buy little outfits in pink and blue. John says it’s ridiculous to spend fifty pounds on an outfit for a newborn but my baby is not going to wander around in rags. I want it to be able to hold its head up around all the other babies.
Yes, I know babies can’t hold their own heads up right away. It was a figure of speech.
Molly didn’t answer her door but we heard a little cry that sounded like John’s name. John looked at me for one second with wide, frightened eyes when he turned the doorknob and found it locked. Then he turned into this tough little son of a bitch and broke the door open with his shoulder.
I would have broken the door open. I’m so much bigger. But it was grand to see John get his soldier on.
Molly was in the loo and John’s tough guy mask fell away when he saw her and his professional doctor hat was on.
“My water broke,” Molly said. She was kind of a mess but John didn’t care. He is used to dealing with messes. Brolly and the cats make all sorts of messes anywhere they feel like it and John usually ends up cleaning them because I pretend not to see them.
“Sherlock, get the bag of supplies and ring the midwife and Lestrade. In that order.”
I hopped to because you just don’t test John when he’s got a baby on the way.
While I was on the phone John got Molly situated in her bed. He was holding her hand and speaking in calming tones to her when I rejoined them.
Molly was not very calm. She was having contractions every minute or so.
“I hate to ask it of you, John, but you are a doctor. Could you stop talking and fucking help me, please?”
It’s seems that John was just waiting for permission because he got down to business and barked at me to hold Molly’s hand. Then everything was rather a blur for me because Molly wanted the whole thing on video and John couldn’t film because he was delivering my baby and Molly couldn’t do it because she was pushing my baby out of her body.
I think that needs repeating because I don’t really believe it yet.
Molly was pushing this whole other person out of her vagina. While I was standing there. In the room. I can’t even.
Anyway, I had to run about with the video camera and listen to Molly yell at me to stop filming John, and listen to John yell at me to get out of the way, and hand him this and that, and then Molly would yell at me to hold her hand.
She called me an insensitive twat. I hope the baby is too busy being born to hear that.
Molly is cursing Lestrade for not hurrying up and being here and asking where the fuck the fucking midwife is, and complaining that the labor is not suppose to go this fast.
“Babies come in their own time,” John says. “It must want to meet its mother.”
And me. It must want to wear the little outfit I got it.
John is smiling. “I can see the head.”
The midwife arrived then and made some noise about taking over but Molly wanted John to deliver the baby. Of course she did. If I had a baby I’d want John to deliver it. My penis hurts when I think like that. I am having sympathy pains for Molly in my penis. I love Molly dearly but this is unprecedented, unlooked for, and unwanted. Delete. Erase. Scrub brain. Repeat.
But really, when John is not being homicidal, or a tosspot, or soldierly, or slutty, he is the consummate doctor. I thought I was so in love with him when I married him. I thought I had reached the limit of the amount of love I could feel, but the current data has proved that theory false. John’s face was enchanted when that baby finally pushed its way to freedom and let out the tiniest, angriest cry you could imagine.
“It’s a girl,” he said as Lestrade barged into the room.
I have taken John home and cleaned him up. Now we are sitting at the kitchen table and we are determined to finish this bottle of whiskey in celebration. John loves me when I’m on the wrong side of respectably drunk. I get all funny. Sort of—sentimental.
I tell John I love him and then I love Brolly so much that I have to tackle him to the carpet and kiss his paws. I’d kiss the cats but they don’t like being kissed much so I hold Hugh Grant in my arms like a baby.
“I didn’t get to hold my baby,” I said. “Everyone else got to hold her but me.”
John staggers towards me and falls on the carpet next to me. He smoothes my hair out my eyes. He is actually sympathetic to my plight for once.
“Ah Sherlock, I was so—just overwhelmed, or I would have noticed. You can hold her tomorrow. You helped deliver her. Lestrade didn’t get to help deliver her.”
“Did I help?”
“I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Maybe John can be the world’s only consulting baby deliverer and I can help him on his cases when crime is slow.
“I touched her hand,” I said. She has such sweet little hands. Someday I will hold her little hand in the park and put a pink balloon in it.
“Fuck, I’m so in love with you,” John said. He said it as if he was helpless and too weak to do anything to stop it even it killed him. “Will you take me to bed?”
I love John in bed. A bed with John in it is so much fun. It is all spy cats and turkey basters and lace knickers. Usually. Tonight is different. Tonight it is pressing tight against each other and little murmurs and sweet words and soft hands. It is not fun. In a good way. It’s not the usual rambunctious romp. It feels beyond fun. It feels necessary. Slightly mysterious. Oh, I can’t describe it.
It was like sitting sun-dazed at a café in the Mediterranean and feeling the slight tremor of an earthquake beneath your body. And that is stunning and unsettling and thrilling. And then you imagine the plates deep beneath the earth, grinding against each other, the unimaginable force of that, and you are sobered and thrilled in equal measure.
That is a whole bunch of words that basically boil down to the clichéd the earth moved. That’s not what I meant to say at all. I want to get it right but John is telling me to turn off the light.
I feel deeper. I feel like a picture that has been colored in.
No, I can’t do it justice at all. Maybe it’s not something that is meant for words and thoughts. Maybe it’s just something I have to feel. I can’t write it so you’ll understand it.
“That was different, John,” I said. “It was all—“ I made twirly motions with my hands.
John understands. I don’t care if anyone else does.
John put the baby in my arms. I remembered to hold her head and support her back and hold her close to me so she could feel my warmth.
"I'm not an insensitive twat," I told her. I wanted to clear that up right away. But then I said, "Not always." Because one should be honest with newborns.
“What’s her name then?” John wanted to know.
“Emma,” Molly said. “Emma Watson Lestrade.”
I beamed but John just said, “Oh the Harry Potter girl. Movie stars. Hugh Grant.”
Molly kissed his cheek.
“Don’t be daft,” she said. “I’ll name my cats after movie stars but I need to name my daughter after someone important. She’ll be kind and strong with a name like Watson.”
John pinched the bridge of his nose. He sat heavily on the sofa. He pressed his face to his knees and his shoulders shook.
“He means, thank you,” I said. Sometimes I have to translate John’s emotions for him.
Um. Sherlock has illustrated his journal if you want to see it. You should only look at it if you know about fine art though. Or like shits and giggles. It's here Really good drawings
Chapter 18: A Sluttish Array of Olives
Sherlock does the shopping. It's part of an experiment.
John has put a chastity device on me. It’s totally for research purposes. We are researching the way I will respond to wearing a chastity device. I will try to update every hour or so but I expect it will be dull reading. What I’m going to do is: not think about sex. It’s mind over matter and everything else is just transport etc.
I have spent the last hour playing my violin and wearing a chastity device. It’s a bit challenging not to think about sex when you’ve got a chastity device around your genitals. I must say that one of faults of this device is that it leads one to think thoughts that are not chaste. So if we are aiming for purity of mind then this contraption is not the way to go.
I need to keep busy. John is insisting on sitting about looking fuckable so I volunteered to do the shopping. I have not done the shopping since that time I swooned in the vegetable aisle so I’m a bit rusty.
“For heaven’s sake,” John says. “You’re a genius. You buy enough knickers and dildos to overflow the cupboards. It’s the same bloody concept except it’s food.”
It’s totally not the same. Food does not arouse me. Not even olives.
Well, olives do arouse me a bit. Not eating them. They just remind me of my heroics when I rescued John from that jar and then he kissed my brains out.
Also he allowed me to pinch his nipples and look down his underpants.
At the shop.
Right. Fruits and veg. Cucumbers are remarkably phallic. This shop has pickling ones and the regular long ones. Hmm. Usually they are all cut up and peeled by the time they get to me. I wonder which John prefers? There are also various squashes to consider. And one can’t neglect the carrots and parsnips. Most of the peppers look too bulbous.
John is right. This is rather like shopping for sex toys.
John is helping me put away the shopping.
“Why have we got four cucumbers and six different kinds of squash?” he wants to know.
Honestly! You’d think a doctor would know about the importance of eating a balanced diet.
“Where are the beans? And the tea? Why do we have parsnips when neither one of us likes parsnips?”
It’s like living with the Spanish Inquisition. I’m going to go look really busy with something else.
John has just yelled my name in a scolding sort of fashion. What I think has happened is: he has discovered the sluttish collection of olives I acquired, or perhaps the scent of the bath products I got is not to his liking.
I’m not ashamed to admit I enjoy lavender scented products. Think of all the bath time fun we could have with shampoo, and soap, and scented oils, and lotions made specifically for the face, hands, and feet. Honestly, do you want to put the same lotion on your face that you’d put on your feet? No, civilized people do not behave in that way.
I have been trying to civilize John for so, so long but it is a challenging operation as you can well imagine. When a man has been allowed to roam freely through rough climes with a gun and camouflage the recovery process can take years.
I must look busy. John has just shouted my name again.
I was studiously working on a photo book for my baby, Rose, when John barged into the sitting room wielding a permanent marker.
“I’m creating art, John. I mustn’t be disturbed!” I yelled. John took no notice of this. He roughed me up and manhandled me in a disturbing and arousing fashion. It was so unfair. He knows I’m trying to avoid arousal.
Anyway, one thing happened and then another and now I have the shopping list written on my forehead and a hand mirror so I can read it. I am standing on the pavement and people are staring at me like I am the mad.
Ha! John’s writing is all backwards in the mirror. He has done this to—something and things and so on and so forth. Bother.
Shut up. I’m wicked good at codes.
What I’m going to do is: I’m going to start speaking in backwards code at John. Klim. Aet. Snaeb.
I’ve just texted John that I ma gniog ot kcuf ruoy snairb tuo.
That will teach him.
Balls. John has just texted me back.
I don’t know how your going fuck my Brians out with your cock tied up, genius.
I texted back that I meant brains but John just replied that he’s busy playing with his cock so I shouldn’t interrupt him anymore until I get back with the shopping done properly. I really must hurry. I hate it when John plays with his cock without me.
Although, one time I was gone for several days and came home suddenly and John was on the couch looking at large breasted women on the internet. He had a plug in his arse and his cock in his hand and he did not even have the decency to appear ashamed. He just waved me over as if I was missing out on something really important on the television.
After that I got a bra with these gel inserts and started doing some exercises that would make me more defined in my breast area. We play with it on occasion.
So sometimes John playing with his cock on his own is worthwhile, but only when I get to walk on him when he’s all worked up. We learn important lessons about each other that way.
Tell me to shut up. I’ve got to get the sgge and hurry home.
Oh.I may have neglected to mention that Rose is Emma Watson. I just like Rose better. As a name. I like to picture John as a little rose and me as a bee. So Molly’s daughter is really named after me and John. She is like our love child. (John says if I really wanted Rose to be named after me then I should call her Beatrice as I am the bee in this situation. I just ignore that. It’s my little daydream so Rose is named after me, and even if the logic doesn’t hold up there she is named after the thing I love most twice which is nearly as good as being named after me once. Or better.) Molly does not approve of this but it’s not like there’s anything she can do to stop it.
Because Rose adores me and looks around when I call her by that name.
Molly says that if she wanted to name her daughter after me she would have to call her Twat Face.
Post partum depression is a serious condition. Also, Molly is angry because she keeps calling her daughter Rose even though she doesn’t want to.
I don’t think my face looks like a vagina.
Though, if it did look like a vagina, I suppose my nose would be the clitoris. I was very interested in vaginas after watching Molly give birth.
It’s not cheating. John says it’s definitely okay for me to be interested in vaginas. He is also interested in vaginas. We have agreed we will not have any dealings with vaginas unless we want to and we are together.
Vaginas are interesting but they make me uncomfortable.
In short, vaginas rather frighten me. John says it’s because I have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from seeing Rose being born and that was a frightening introduction to female nether regions for a man of my age.
I can’t tell if he’s taking the piss or not. I’ve seen lots of nude female corpses.
John is going to ruin our research. He is sitting in his chair with his cock hanging out of his brown and black velvet knickers. He keeps licking his fingers and circling them around his nipples. Then he hisses in an alluring manner.
I can’t function but these klim and sgge are not going to put themselves away.
I put myself in John’s lap.
“Are you after my Brians?” John wanted to know.
I opened my trousers and panted. “This experiment is for the birds. I want out.”
“You haven’t given it half a chance.”
“I have and I’ve drawn my conclusions.”
“What are they?” John put my thumb in his mouth and looked up at me like he was really interested in what I had to say. I stared at what I could see of my thumb until John pinched my arse to get me going again.
“I have concluded that I will hold you down and do nasty things to you until you want my cock so badly that you will take the device off. We have to use the parsnips for something.”
John let my thumb fall from his mouth.
“Yes,” he said. “That would be a stunning conclusion. You really are a genius, aren’t you?”
I think it’s fair to say that, if this was a game, I won.
This chapter would not exist if not for thisprettywren's fic Performance Art. It was one of the first fics I read in this fandom and one I go back to often because it is hot, well written, and hot. If you happened to miss this one I recommend you go read it.
Chapter 19: Stay With Us 'Til We Get Old
Mycroft needs to say something. Sherlock's penis hurts again. John is afraid of Prince William.
Bad news. Mycroft is here.
Mycroft went away and the world seemed so much brighter but today he is back again. He doesn’t even want anything. He says he is “just visiting”. No one does that.
This is the third day in a row Mycroft has visited us. He asked to speak with me privately and John scampered off to watch telly with Mrs Hudson. Then Mycroft proceeded to say nothing of importance whatsoever.
“The cats have gone back to Molly’s, I see.”
“Do you miss them?”
I rolled my eyes at him. I do not miss things. Brolly and John miss the cats, probably because those guys helped them get over irrational fear of their species. They were like a diplomatic delegation from the land of cats.
“You’ve been volunteering at the animal rescue society,” Mycroft said.
“That’s clearly research. I’m looking at different dog breeds to see if any of them are smarter than Brolly. I might need to use a dog to sniff things on a case one day. The Yard uses them on occasion.”
This is true. I am interested in the practical application of dogs at crime scenes. Though I suppose I could just borrow or pilfer one of The Yard’s dogs if I ever needed one. If I stop to visit with the cats it’s really no one’s business. Cats have nothing to offer the world of investigation as far as I can tell but you can’t just ignore everyone who doesn’t aid you in your profession. If I did that I would have to ignore Mrs Hudson and Brolly entirely. And sometimes Lestrade.
So fine. Fine. I like to visit with the homeless cats. I’ve found the homeless to be useful on occasion. If cats evolve properly they could one day be the all the rage in crime solving circles.
Mycroft raised his eyebrows at me.
“She’s the same as she was yesterday, Mycroft. Why are you here?”
He didn’t like that question so he just ignored it entirely.
“Do you remember our nanny?”
Mycroft frowned. He only had the one but she died just before he was sent away to school. After that I had a whole string of nannies. I have never had good luck finding reliable hired help.
“Nanny Finnegan,” Mycroft said.
“I was quite fond of her. You were too, as I remember.”
I was rather fond of Nanny Finnegan. I thought she was my mother for the longest time. When I was very small she would read me all the classics of English literature. She liked Winnie the Pooh the best but Beatrix Potter and Peter Pan made her smile a soft kind of smile. The skin of her hands was thin and I’d trace her veins with my fingers while she read.
You’d think she would have minded a small boy trailing his fingers over her flesh, pointing out her advancing years, but she always smiled at me. After she died Mummy and Father came back for a bit and introduced a new nanny that turned into a series of nannies.
Mycroft took over the task of reading to me. He’d read me Pooh or Potter if I asked for them but he mostly read Where the Wild Things Are. I was a Wild Thing he said. I could sail away without any supper.
He went away to school that year. He was good at making friends, at finding somewhere else to go on holidays. He’d send me postcards and I’d pin them to the wall of my room until some years went by and I hadn’t seen him person. Then I pretended I didn’t know who he was and pulled them all down.
Sometimes I played a game called Mycroft Is Dead. It was fascinating. Some days I would make a big Mycroft-sized cutout and perform the autopsy on it. Other times I would research medical journals or the newspapers for ideas about how he might have died. One of the nannies made me stop playing after she caught me on Funeral Day, burning Mycroft’s paper corpse on a pyre in the garden.
I don’t know why Mycroft is making me take this little stroll down Memory Lane.
I have told John about the top-secret conference with Mycroft and the Memory Lane fiasco.
John says I am disturbing and unsettling but Mycroft’s recent behavior is even more so. I know, right? Predictably, John says he needs some time to think it over. I’ll just go and grow old and moldy in the corner while he does this.
John says he does not want to alarm me and I should sit down.
“It’s just a theory, Sherlock, but Mycroft is trying to spend time with the only living member of his immediate family—“
“The data is not conclusive on that,” I said.
“Well, Mummy’s dead. We had the body, well, we had most of her body, and we’re about ninety-eight percent sure Father is also dead.”
John screwed up his face and then let out a sigh. “Explain.”
“It’s a long story. They were dead once before, in a landslide, never found the bodies and all that rot, but you know how it is, you can’t just take a person’s word that they are, in fact, deceased.”
“God forbid,” John said.
“Anyway, they came back to life and sent word that they were quite happy on an island somewhere. But then there was a plane crash and Mummy’s body was definitely in it, but there’d been a bit of an explosion and they couldn’t tell if Father was actually in the plane but he was assumed to be. So we’re not really sure. It’s very hard to kill a Holmes.”
“Yes,” John said. He looked uncomfortable. “The thing is, Sherlock, sometimes when people, normal people, get disturbing news about their health they might try to spend more time with their loved ones.”
There was a sort of buzzing in my brain.
“You think Mycroft’s ill. Seriously ill.” The words felt like gravel in my mouth.
“It’s just a theory. Let’s not—I don’t have all the data. Would you like me to speak with him? I’ll go now if you—“
“John. Mycroft can lie really well. You’re too trusting. He’d never reveal something he didn’t want you to know.”
“I think he does want someone to know. He wants to tell you something at any rate. We can talk to him together.”
We have decided we will wait until tomorrow as it’s rather late.
My penis hurts. It’s intolerable that I should get sympathy pains for other people in the first place, but it is the height of tragedy that my penis should be the one that is so afflicted. Why not my elbow? Or my hip? I could borrow John’s cane if it was in my hip. I’m just going to think about other things for a bit and it will go away.
Thinking of other things is not working. I’m going to do some groaning and see if that helps.
The groaning has woken John. He is all concerned and thinks I am having an emotional crisis and wants me to call David at home.
That is such a good idea. About calling David at home. It’s just that it has seemed a really good idea far too often in the past and I have called David at home quite a lot. And David’s a bit disgruntled about it. And John doesn’t know about it. And we are not going to tell him. Not you or me or anyone.
I had no choice but to explain about the sympathy pains I’d experienced during Rose’s birth and that they’d come back. I didn’t mention Mycroft. In fact, I said I was having flashbacks to the birthing experience but John didn’t buy that.
“Where are you feeling pain?”
“In my penis, John.” Honestly! Medical professionals shouldn’t get thrown by a reference to the sexual organs.
John has examined my penis area and can’t find anything wrong. Now he’s using my trauma as an excuse to lube up his fingers to feel up my bum. He says he is going to check out my prostate even though I am not having any symptoms in my rectum.
My penis does not hurt anymore. It’s feeling rather frisky actually. John says we can’t have intercourse because he is not feeling sexy right now. He is worried about me.
John looks sexy right now.
John has agreed to mutual blowjobs if I promise to go to see a urologist tomorrow. I scolded him for not being fully prepared to do all my doctoring in house.
“I’m not a specialist, Sherlock. You have to go hospital when you need x-rays and things.”
“We should not get an x-ray machine and put it in my old bedroom. It is not something fun to experiment with.”
Au contraire. It’s is so fun to experiment with x-ray machines. But I see his point. It is very crowded up in John’s old room already and I’m not prepared to get rid of my scuba diving gear to make room for an x-ray machine. I also got John a collection of stockings and kitten-heeled shoes and those are stored up there because he absolutely refuses to wear them. I’m not getting rid of those either because I still hold out hope for a better future. I’m positive like that.
Anyway, we went to bed to play with our cocks and the turkey baster and a pair of fuzzy knickers for what may possibly be the last time if John’s worst fears come true and my penis is breaking.
“Will you still love me if my penis falls off?”
John put a kiss on my shoulder. “You’ve still got your mouth and hands in this scenario, right?”
I nodded. “I’ll get a strap-on too. It works for Lestrade and Molly.”
“Well, as long as we have that and your beautiful brain we should be okay.”
John snuggled into me.
“Of course I’ll love you, you idiot.”
“That’s good, but I was going to ask if you’d wear the fishnets if I am dying.”
“You’re not dying.”
“I’ve Photo-shopped you into them but it’s not quite the same.”
“You’re not dying.”
“I’d take them off with my teeth. Rip them open, like.”
“Fine. Go to sleep.”
I tucked John between my legs and drifted off.
When we woke Mycroft was standing in our bedroom.
“William,” he said, “is in the sitting room.”
“For fuck’s sake,” John said. “If you must barge right into our home you could at least knock on the bedroom door.”
Mycroft just smiled at him as John tried to hide the turkey baster under the pillows and looked around for the sheets.
“The door was open,” Mycroft said. “My apologies.” Then he left the room.
“He will never get our cocks mixed up again. Not now that he’s seen them side by side,” I said.
“Who the fuck is William?” John wanted to know.
“No idea,” I said.
John froze. I thought that unfair. I don’t pretend to know everything. I rely on data and this instance I had insufficient data.
“Sherlock, if Prince William is in our sitting room I am going to be so put out.”
Oh! I hadn’t even thought of that. Mycroft is closer to the Queen but--
William took one look at us and offered his had to John. He was not Prince William.
“John, this is William,” Mycroft said.
“Yeah, hi I’m Tim. William’s my middle name.”
William shook John’s hand and looked sideways at me.
“You’re Mycroft’s brother then? Sherlock?”
“I prefer William,” Mycroft said.
“Oh! Is it Middle Name Day? Or Calling People the Names You’d Prefer Day?” John said. “I’m Hamish. This here is Sherlock and you’ve met the Elder Perv, I gather? Is this a case? Is that what you’ve been keeping from us? Only, Sherlock has been rather worried.”
John is vicious when he’s angry at Mycroft.
Mycroft tried to smile but he couldn’t quite hold it. “Was he?”
I was studying Tim William. Short. Fair. Calluses on hands. Jumper. Military bearing. Bruise on thumb from hammer. Practical but new clothing. Runner.
“Why have you brought your maintenance person here, Mycroft?” I said.
“I don’t work for him anymore,” Tim William said.
“Your former maintenance person, then. Who looks like John and was clearly in the military and—oh!”
“His full name is Timothy William Finnegan. He’s Nanny Finnegan’s nephew.”
John had stepped close to Tim William and he put his hand on the man’s shoulder for comfort because Mycroft and I were getting quite loud.
“You’re lovers,” I said.
“We’re getting married,” Tim William said.
There was all this silence. There was a whole minute of silence and then John let out a deep breath.
“For fuck’s sake, Mycroft, we thought you were dying.”
Tim William laughed. “I told him you’d think that. So I made him bring me round.”
And then they were off talking about Holmes brothers and being in the army. (Tim William was in Afghanistan but he wasn’t shot. He just came home in the normal way.)
Mycroft and I glared at each other. We did that for ever so long but I couldn’t remember why I was glaring. My eyes got really hot. It was from all the glaring and I wanted to stop but I couldn’t. Finally, John came over and took my hand and put it in Mycroft’s.
He stood on his tiptoes to whisper in my ear.
“Say congratulations. Mean it.”
So I said that but I didn’t shake Mycroft’s hand because Tim William said, “Stop being such a pussy and hug your little brother, mate. I don’t think he bites.” And then Mycroft was hugging me.
“I bite,” I said. “I’m a Wild Thing.”
Mycroft got all shivery in his chest. If I didn’t know better I would have thought he was trying not to cry.
John says I still have to go to the urologist. We will just rule things out, he says. Then we will get David to refer us to a therapist who is not just a marriage counselor because I am special and deserve to be studied by people with advanced degrees.
Chapter 20: A Confident Wreck
Sherlock has a taste of his mortality.
There is so much to do! I have to brush Brolly and then I have to visit the homeless cats. John and I are having dinner with Tim William and tomorrow we are babysitting Rose for the first time ever. I must read up on child psychology and buy some new outfits and toys for her. Then I have to make John baby-proof the flat, and buy baby-proofing supplies. Gosh! The list is just endless. I don’t have a moment for anything else.
John says I still have to go to the urologist even though I presented him with my To Do list.
John has given me permission to come see the homeless cats before my doctor’s appointment. I have Dafty on my lap. His owner died and he has nowhere else to go but to this shelter. No one wants him because he is not a kitten. The kittens at this place come and go so quickly it’s hard to keep track of them but Dafty is a constant. He’s only three. Our culture is too obsessed with youth.
Though there is this one sad kitten that no one wants. The rest of his litter died and he nearly did but he soldiered on, only his hind legs are sort of bowed and weak and he walks funny. Dafty loves him.
“The next time I see you I may not have a penis,” I said.
They were so understanding because they’ve both had some alterations to their sexual organs.
I have made John come with me to the doctor’s.
John says I haven’t made him do anything. He was coming with whether I liked it or not.
Privacy! It is trying to have husband who reads your journal over your shoulder.
“You should try having a husband who reads your thoughts,” John says. That is John calling me brilliant. I don’t feel too brilliant at the moment because I’m only wearing this little hospital gown and this chair is sticking to my arse.
Okay. I know you are going to call me a sexist berk but it just never occurred to me that the doctor would be a woman. She opened the door and I stopped rifling through the cabinets and grabbed John’s hand.
“It’s female, John.”
John closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“Can we have one moment, please?” He said to the doctor. She smiled in a confused sort of way but went out and shut the door.
“Sherlock, a couple of things. One: You cannot refer to human beings as ‘its’. They don’t like it and it’s rude. Two: She’s a doctor. She sees dozens of penises every week.”
“No one with a vagina has had dealings with my penis,” I said.
That was lies. Molly ogled my penis that one time, and Nanny Finnegan used to bathe me and change my nappies when I was small. Oh, and Mrs Hudson has seen me naked on too many occasions to count. John gets awfully embarrassed when Mrs Hudson sees me naked because he is usually naked too. My favorite time was when I was going through my artistic phase and decided to paint John with some body paint. The painting was a masterpiece and John actually had a pair of knickers on so I don’t know what he was so upset about.
Mrs Hudson said I was quite talented and it was a shame John would have to wash it off eventually. I took a photo and gave her a copy but she has not put it on her wall.
Anyway, no one of the vagina gender has touched my penis since I was very small.
“Do not mention the word vagina in the doctor’s presence. Do not refer to her having a vagina. Do not think about her having a vagina. In fact, don’t speak at all unless it is totally necessary. If you have questions you should ask me. I mean it, Sherlock. No fishnets if you make the doctor uncomfortable.”
I am going to rid myself of these latent sexist thoughts. I have a female baby! If Rose wants to looks at penises every day of the week when she grows up then I will fully support her in that endeavor. I pressed my lips together and John opened the door.
“Alright?” The doctor wanted to know.
“He’s a bit nervous,” John said.
“Well, that’s natural. We’ll be as quick and gentle as we can. What seems to be the problem?”
“I’m struggling to overcome my sexism. I really can’t raise a female child and be sexist, you know. You should come talk to her. She could learn a lot from a female penis doctor.”
“She’s six months old, Sherlock,” John said. He turned to the doctor. “He’s a bit socially awkward if you haven’t worked that out. His penis hurts on occasion.”
The doctor asked me loads of questions. They were really personal so I’ll just tell you that all my toilet and sexual functions are normal and don’t hurt at all.
I was a bit embarrassed at the prostate exam.
I can’t say it.
Okay. Real quick. Thewomanputaswabinmypenis.
John held my hand the entire time and his face rumpled when I cried out and he leaned his forehead against my temple but it wasn’t enough. I feel violated.
We need to wait for the lab work to come back before they decide to amputate my penis.
John says they will not amputate my penis.
There is a kitten on my bed.
“I love you. He’s really lovely,” I said to John.
If John says I started crying at that point you should just ignore him. I had dust in my eyes and had feelings. Feelings make my eyes really red and wide but it is not crying.
John hugged me and made me tea and put my socks in the microwave to warm them up and pulled them over my feet.
“We can’t keep him,” I said.
“He’s not Dafty or his friend Bandy Legs. They’d never forgive me.”
Our family is so big now. There is me and John and Brolly and Dafty and Bandy and our baby cat. Let this be a warning to you all. If you take in stray soldiers you never know what might crawl into your living room.
John says I can’t think of dying because he can’t deal with this brood on his own. Also, Rose doesn’t know chemistry yet.
“I’d let them cut it off if it meant I could stay with you.”
It is a very dusty day. John had dust in his eyes too. He pressed his eyes against my chest.
“Someday soon we’ll need to talk about how we’ll let each other go. DNR orders and all that. But I can’t do it right now. Take me to bed. Bring the turkey baster and the fishnets and any other goddamn thing you want. We’re not to leave the bed until we hear your lab results.”
I’ve phoned Lestrade and told him to come round and feed the animals and just to ignore any sounds he hears in the bedroom.
In the early hours of morning John was mostly asleep. He rolled toward me and gripped me hard.
"Don't leave me here alone," he said.
I'm not going to do that. I promise.
Chapter 21: The Penis Party
John is surprised. Sherlock is surprising.
It has been two days and we have not gotten my lab results even though John has checked both our phones every thirty minutes. This morning he put his homicidal face on and said he was going to the lab. I reminded him that he has to be back by four because we are babysitting Rose and Lestrade says it would be bad parenting to leave me alone with an infant.
It rather warms my heart that Lestrade thinks of me as a son.
At four all the Lestrades were here but John was not.
“He’s just texted me. He’s on his way. Go. We’ll be fine for ten minutes.”
Lestrade hesitated but Molly gathered her things. They were nearly late for her cousin’s wedding.
“Mrs Hudson’s just downstairs, Sherlock. Call her if you run into any trouble.”
I’m not going to run into any trouble. I have been schooled endlessly in childcare in recent months and have done a fair amount of independent study. Lestrade is forgetting that I am a genius.
When John came home I didn’t know it at first because my face was buried in Rose’s belly. She was lying on the sofa and I was clapping the soles of her feet together and then rubbing my head against her tummy. She has the sweetest laugh.
When I looked up John was filming me with his phone. I didn’t mind. I have been filmed doing worse things than playing with a baby.
“Did you murder anyone at the lab?”
“No,” John said. He looked embarrassed. “I hugged the woman that helped me though. I hugged her rather a lot.”
Apparently John hugged her so much that she got rather uncomfortable and John said, “I’m gay. I’m gay. I’m a bit gay. Sort of. Well, I’m married to a bloke.” And then he tried to explain his sexual history to her.
“It’s called bisexual, John,” I said. John really needs to work on his vocabulary.
Anyway, John was so happy because all of my lab work came back normal. They want to see me again in six months but John figures I really am just mad. We knew that already so it really is good news.
John kissed me with tongue even though Rose was sitting right there and laughed at us. John tickled her feet and then I showed him the feet clapping and tummy game.
Bad news. Rose has vomited on me. John says it does not mean she doesn’t like me.
Bad news. Rose has peed on me. John says I should be grateful it isn’t poo.
I have put on clothes that don’t need to be dry-cleaned and one of Mrs Hudson’s aprons. John is taking photos of me and texting them to all our friends.
I have drool and jam in my hair. Oh, well that’s babies for you, you say. Sadly, Rose has gone home and neither the drool nor the jam are her responsibility. I will give you one guess who is responsible.
After Rose left John wanted me to wear Mrs Hudson’s apron without anything on underneath and pretend to be a sort of French maid. I can do this very well because my French is flawless and I look dashing with a feather duster and John’s unloaded gun. I was a maid slash assassin-for-hire type figure. I’m the only one in the world.
My job is basically to dust at things that require me to bend over to reach them while John watches and to dangle knickers that John left lying around on the tip of the gun. It was great fun until Dafty decided he wanted to play with the feathers and the duster sort of exploded.
Which is odd because when one is playing with a feather duster and a gun you’d think the gun would be the more likely of the two to do any sort of exploding.
Anyway, the feathers got into my hair and the jam on John’s toast. Then John tried to help clean me up but he had jam on his hands and his hands got on my penis and the jam got on there too until John licked it up. He would not lick the jam out of my hair though. That’s not how the drool got there.
Apparently John has just started drooling. Perhaps he is so ancient that I will have to help him cross streets soon and provide him with an ear trumpet and a monocle. Or maybe Rose just rubbed off on him.
John says it is not drool that is in my hair.
Oh. Well done, John. That’s quite an impressive distance to cover.
We are going to shower and then steal another of Mrs Hudson’s aprons so John can have a go at wearing it. We can’t reuse the old one. It looks like a crime scene.
I am having a surprise party for John. It’s not his birthday or anything. I don’t think. I’ll go ask him.
John says his birthday is not for another couple of months so that’s okay. He won’t suspect a thing. He was rather put out that I don’t remember the date of his birth after all these years. That’s why I put it in my phone, so I don’t have to remember. Just because I call it the Mind Palace doesn’t mean there’s endless room in there for trivia.
It’s not really a birthday party anyway. It’s My Penis is Okay, Hurray! party. I’m going round to Molly’s.
Molly says I can’t make everyone (except Mycroft) wear an apron with only their underwear on underneath even though it’s my party.
Molly says she also cannot allow me to make a speech about the great adventures my penis has had.
We’ve left Rose watching footy with Lestrade and have gone to get party supplies. Molly really knows the underbelly of London. She brought me to this shop where they had penis-shaped everything. We got penis-shaped sweets and drinking straws and pasta. I also got John a tie with little pink penises all over it.
Lestrade has taken John out so Molly and I can set up the party. We’ve got a huge banner that says Sherlock’s Penis is Okay. Hurray! so everyone will know what we are celebrating.
These penis pastas get bigger when you cook them. Molly says they are now erect penises and wonders if they will get shrinkage if we put them in cold water.
They don’t. They just get cold and don’t taste very good.
Mrs Hudson has baked a penis-shaped cake. She put coconut on the testicles and there’s a bit of white icing at the tip. It’s super creative but rather disturbing when your housekeeper makes you a penis cake.
John and Lestrade are on their way!
We all crouched down behind the sofa except for Brolly who started to bark and then Dafty started to whirl around like a mad thing on crack and then Bandy tried to whirl like a mad thing on crack but couldn’t on account of his legs. The only sensible animal is the kitten, who is more mature than the rest of them put together. We have to get around to naming that guy one day.
Anyway, John came in and we all shouted surprise at him, and Brolly peed the carpet, and Bandy fell off the mantel piece, skittered across the table, and banged into the penis cake. So now we have a penis-shaped cake with a Bandy-shaped dent in it. All my penises have the worst luck.
“Were you so surprised?” I asked John.
“I was flabbergasted,” John said. He was a bit drunk from sucking whiskey through a penis-shaped straw most of the evening. “I got a lot of presents,” he said.
I beamed. I love it when John is pleased.
“They were mostly aprons,” John said.
“Yes, I told everyone you liked aprons but I didn’t mention that you paraded around in them with nothing on underneath.”
“Did you not? Because Tim got me one with a strategically placed hole in it that says Kiss the Cock with a little arrow pointing to the cock hole.”
“Did he?” Tim William is such a pervert. What a love story. Tim and Mycroft. Two pervs who found each other against all odds.
Everyone has gone home. John is in the kitchen cleaning up the penis food. He is wearing his penis tie and the apron Tim got him and knee socks. He looks ridiculous. I must go save him from himself.
Chapter 22: How a Ship Navigates the Ocean
Boredom. Dirty secrets. Hanging out with God. Sins.
The whole world seems to have gone and gotten a degree in how to bore me. Lestrade is dull. Molly is dull. Rose is going through a phase. Even John is dull. I asked him to entertain me but he says he is doing the taxes. He is full of lies. He’s blatantly just sitting there reading a novel.
“John,” I said. “We don’t even have taxes in England.”
“Mmm,” he says. He knows I hate it when he does that.
“John, I firmly believe we don’t have taxes in England.”
Oh, that’s splendid. My husband won’t even bother to enter into an inane discourse with me. I have no recourse but to flop dramatically.
I tried to flop dramatically at John’s feet but Brolly caught me. He just put himself in my flopping space so I was draped unbecomingly over his back once the flop had been executed.
John looked at us over the top of his book. He was amused but trying to hide it.
“Do stop molesting the dog, yeah?”
As if. I’m not even interested in sex right now. That’s how bored I am. Besides, John and I had a round of sleepy sex early this morning. Then we had a bit of shower fun. Then, after breakfast, we handcuffed ourselves together and pretended we were locked in the airing cupboard by bad guys. That actually happened to us once but it is much more fun when we do it to ourselves. Then I put this plug in John that had a bit of tail hanging off the end of it. John was blushing like mad, and my penis was tired, and Brolly looked offended when he wandered in and saw us, so we decided that sort of thing is not for us. It’s probably the sort of activity Mycroft and Tim William engage in.
I flopped off of Brolly and onto John’s shoes. Brolly licked me all over my face even though I’ve made it clear that I don’t feel that way about him.
“I’m bored, John.”
John says I’m a man of great intellect and talent and that I should put them to use. I knew he was going to say that. Even his advice is dull.
I have taken John’s advice. I have put up a website hiring myself out as a recreational belittler. Irene Adler made a living scolding people so I figure there must be a whole crowd of people out there who want to be insulted for fun.
I’m not making house calls though. I have the technology to chat via video or text. I hate people who leave the house if it’s not entirely necessary. No one has signed up for an appointment yet but I’m sure the word will spread soon.
I stared at my laptop all night but I have no clients. John woke up around four and I explained the whole mess to him.
“Perhaps you’re charging too much. Two hundred pounds an hour is a bit steep.”
“But my skills in this area are superb. You’ve said so yourself.”
“Yes,” John said. He shut my laptop and took it away from me. Then he flopped on me and snored.
John is packing us sandwiches and drinks and putting them into a knapsack like we are going to school. He says we are going on a fieldtrip.
“Where to?” I said. I was very wary. Clearly, John had an idea and his ideas are not always the best, like the time he suggested I set up a website business and it went tits up.
“London,” John said.
John has gotten us tour bus tickets and we are pretending to be tourists for the day. Oh goody.
Do you know there is a place called Buckingham Palace? I was shocked to discover this. I was overcome with delight when I saw the Houses of Parliament and New Scotland Yard. Donovan was standing outside of New Scotland Yard and I may have made a rude gesture from the top of the bus. The tour guide explained kindly that the sign I made does not mean Peace, dude in England.
John pulled me down into my seat and told me to behave or he would not allow me to use my American accent anymore.
We are at Saint Paul’s Cathedral. It’s this really big church. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. John says we are climbing to the top of it. Why is it that on all of our holidays we have to climb things?
I’ve actually never climbed to the top of St. Paul’s before. In the whispering gallery John said we could whisper dirty secrets to each other but only if we did it in code because there were little children about and St. Paul’s is a church. I told John about the time I peed my pants when I was ten because Mycroft was taking too long in the bathroom.
“Yes. Thank you for sharing. I meant we should share dirty sexual fantasies. Also, you should wait until I’m on the other side of the dome.”
That makes so much more sense.
John said he nearly shit himself when he was strapped into that bomb vest. He didn’t though.
I cannot think of any sexual fantasies that I haven’t shared with John. John can’t think of any either. Dull. Everything is dull. I have nothing to whisper to my lover in code across the dome of the cathedral. I suppose I could say I love you but it seems so unromantic. I think if we were on a sinking ship with death staring us in the face John would prefer it if I said something like, “I bet in heaven you will always have my cock in your arse and my fingers in your mouth.”
I really think that he will. Everyone needs to look their best in heaven.
I shuffled mournfully over to John. He was looking down into the church like a little cherub. He smiled at me.
“We know each other quite well.”
“It’s dull. I even know what I’d say to you on sinking ship.”
I told him all about it. He blushed and shifted himself in that way he does when I am literally charming the pants right off of him.
“You’re having unchaste thoughts in a church, John.”
“Yes,” John said.
“Would you like to confess your sins? I could get my priest’s collar out.”
He shook his head. “I want to climb to the top.”
Once John really sets his mind on something even the thought of sex can’t derail him.
The top of St. Paul’s was brilliant. I love looking down on my city. I felt rather god-like standing there. Only I wasn’t as lonely as God must be. John held my hand.
Then he kissed me in front of the entire city and God and the thirty Japanese school-girls that were up there with us.
I am wearing my collar and John is sitting in the bathtub with the shower curtain drawn between us. He’s confessing his sins. He is saying the lewdest things.
“I want come all over me, Father. In my arse and in my mouth and some left over to drip on my face and rub over my cock. It’s not possible and they are wicked thoughts but they haunt me, Father,” he says.
There is a suspicious amount of splashing going on behind that curtain even though we agreed that it is against the rules to masturbate while in confession.
“Are you violating yourself right now, John?”
John just let out a little cry.
I tore back the curtain and found him with his cock gripped in one hand and with the other he was trying to finger himself. It was blasphemous.
It was even more blasphemous when I climbed into that tub with most of my clothes still on and made a proper sinner out of him.
Chapter 23: How do I love Thee?
Sherlock writes poetry and has dreams.
That was so disturbing.
John wants to know if I’m okay because I’ve been jumping out of my skin every time he’s spoken to me all morning.
“Gosh, I’m just fine, sweet darling John-face,” I said. “I’m feeling so super. I may go for a run in the sunshine or, I don’t know, write poetry or something.”
I think I may have overcompensated. Does that sound too chipper?
I opted for poetry or something since there is no sunshine available in the greater London area at this time. John watched me with his mouth hanging open in a sort of dumbfounded stupor as I took up pen and paper and stared moodily out the window as poets are wont to do.
Right, what does one write poetry about?
John says I should write about the troubles of my soul.
Ode to John
Dear John, my love, my kitten, my snack,
I’m sorry that upon waking I humped your back.
Tiny demons haunted my dreams.
Soon, you will divorce me, it seems.
You’ll take the dog, maybe the cats.
I’ll watch them go. I’ll wave goodbye.
Brolly, Dafty and Bandy and that other guy.
I’ll lie on the sofa and wish I was dead.
I’ll take a case and miss your head.
I mean the one that’s attached to your lips.
Not the one between your hips.
There. I think that’s how you do poetry.
I let John read my poem because I had to prove I’ve been working on something.
“You’re a really good detective,” he said. That’s what he said about my art work too.
“Is it your penis again?” he wanted to know.
It is, but it’s not what John thinks. Sometimes I feel that all the trouble of life can be directly traced to the existence of the penis. Anyway, I had to tell John the whole sordid story so he wouldn’t think I was dying.
It was a dream.
In it John and I went out to dinner with Mycroft and Tim William and then we went back to theirs for drinks. Tim William kept opening the buttons on John’s shirt and smiling at him and John kept looking at me as if he didn’t quite know what to do. Then there was a jumbly bit that made no sense. Mycroft kept saying, “This is a splendid evening, isn’t it?”
Then John was naked on the bed and Tim William was rubbing himself all over John and I watched for bit until I went over and held John’s hands above his head so Tim could fuck him. When that was done Tim spanked John for having sexual relations with his almost-brother-in-law and then he gave John back to me and I took him into the closet and his arse was all wet from Tim William and I thought that was wonderful.
Then I woke up and I was rubbing myself against John’s bum. John was elbowing me in the ribs to wake me up and sucking on my wrist.
Then I really woke up and I was horrified because clearly one of six things is happening.
1. I am secretly in love with Tim William.
2. John is secretly in love with Tim William.
3. I secretly want to see Tim William without pants on.
4. John secretly wants to see Tim William without pants on.
5. I just cheated on John with a Tim William figment.
6. John just cheated on me with a Tim William figment.
Clearly, John and I could not engage in sexual relations with my subconscious taking up the whole room in this manner. Also, I had lost my erection.
John was really nice and said I wasn’t required to have sex if I didn’t feel like it. I went to the sitting room and put my laptop in front of my face because I was blushing and didn’t want John to see.
John says none of those six things is happening. He says it was just a dream and I should relax.
“Relax! I can’t relax. I watched you fucking Tim William and it was fantastic and now I can’t unsee it.”
“I can’t see it clearly at all,” John said. “Maybe you should act it out for me.”
Do you see why John is the best thing ever? I would write epic poems about him if I wasn’t so good at being a detective. Epic.
John and I managed to get ourselves stuck in the closet while we were acting out that bit. Brolly tried to help but it was no good. We had to bang on the floor until Mrs Hudson heard us.
“Just unlock the door, Mrs Hudson. You wouldn’t want to open it,” John said. The door wasn’t really locked though. It was just stuck and Mrs Hudson had jiggle and pull at it and the door popped open all of a sudden and John scooted behind me.
So that’s another time that Mrs Hudson has seen me starkers. She didn’t seem to mind it and I didn’t mind it but Brolly hung his head in shame.
After she left John’s phone farted.
“Mycroft is reminding us that we are having dinner with him and Tim tonight.”
I said we should call in sick but John says we have called in sick or busy the last nine times that we’ve had dinner plans with Mycroft.
Tim William is a hugger. If you know him even slightly and come within reach then he will hug you. It is so unfortunate. I was rather nervous I would respond inappropriately to his touch but I felt the same distaste and pity that I normally do.
I got an erection when he hugged John though.
The evening has pretty much gone downhill from there.
Mycroft looked out at the rain. “It’s a splendid evening, isn’t it?” He loves the rain because it allows him to unfurl his umbrella. The sad thing is, that is not even a sexual euphemism.
I was so scattered that I spilled my wine and then I spilled John’s wine. Tim William held his wine for the rest of the meal to keep it safe. Then John got new wine and he held his too because I had knocked over the flower vase and Mycroft’s water glass by that point. It was like I had ten hands.
My nanny was always complaining about only having two hands. Here’s some advice: If anyone ever asks you if you’d like some more hands sewn onto your body you should say no. It’s far too much to keep track of.
Instead of dessert I am buggering John in the loo.
“Would you like to come back to ours for some drinks?” Tim William wants to know.
“Nope. No. We do not. We have a thing and a getting up early. Crack of dawn,” John says. John is so imagining Tim William unbuttoning his shirt. I am so getting another erection.
Molly called me in the cab on the way home. I rather miss Molly. She is super busy now that she has Rose.
“My mother is babysitting and I’m longing for a girl’s night out. Let’s go smoke cigarettes and buy outfits.”
“I can’t,” I said. “John didn’t clean himself up after I buggered him in the loo at the restaurant so I could pretend he’s just been shagged by Tim William when we get home.”
Molly screamed and John started yelling at me. John took the phone from me and promised to babysit Rose tomorrow. Then he folded his arms and glared at me.
“Okay, I won’t spank you for having sex with Tim William. We can definitely leave that bit out.”
John looked positively offended.
“Or we will put it back in. It is in. It is the most in thing that ever inned.”
John says I am going to bugger the daylights out of him and he is going to be angry with me later.
I wrote Remind John to be angry with me on my to-do list. It is right underneath Don’t forget to name the kitten.
I feel so bad for that guy. He’s just wandering the world without a name because we keep forgetting to name him. I will name him after the first thing John says when I’m buggering him. I feel better now that I’ve got a plan.
You just can’t name a kitten Fuck or More Damn It or Use Your Tongue There. It would be unseemly.
She crawled into bed with us after we were done being loud. John smiled at her and said, “Hello, you.”
“John, we’ve got to name her. It is a weight upon my soul.” I think that’s a very poetic way of speaking.
“She should have a girl’s name. She’s the only girl in house full of men.”
“Men? Do we refer to Brolly, Dafty and Bandy as men?”
“Shut up,” John said in a way that poets would not.
“What was your mother’s name?”
John smiled. “We’re not naming such a sweet thing after her. My grandmother’s name was Esther. Everyone called her Essie.”
Our Essie flexed her toes and purred.
These are just some old poems of mine I found lying around. You totally don’t have to read them. They’re just here so if you want to read them out at family functions or something. If you want to publish them you should probably just contact John Watson. He’s my agent.
I’m going to go tell him he’s my agent.
Ode to Dog
Brolly, it is folly
To sit with thou leash
Between thy teeth.
My friend, it is lashing rain
And it is plain
That our dear John
Is stifling a yawn.
He is destined for a nap
And not a lap about the town.
Ode to Cat
How brave thou art,
Cat, to wander the world sans name.
Some days I wish I could do the same.
To slink into corners like a ghost,
Only observed by those I love most.
It would be so helpful when solving crimes
To have no name, a face that isn’t mine.
John says I have a face for the ages.
Often, I feel it puts me in cages.
John, I said firmly,
Bring that dildo to bed now
And also the blue knickers.
Chapter 24: Really Fine Art
John and Molly bond. Sherlock and Lestrade watch porn.
John has stolen my girlfriend.
Molly and I were all set for a night out and John was supposed to stay here to entertain Lestrade. I believe they were going to drink pints and fart at each other. The reason I believe that is because all Lestrade has done since John left with Molly is drink pints and fart at me. It’s a good thing I’m here actually because Rose needs one responsible adult in her life and I guess that will have to be me.
Hang on. I have to blow kisses.
As I was saying, I was looking forward to a night of smoking cigarettes on street corners and buying expensive clothing with Molly when John swooped in and stole my bestie.
“Oh Molly,” he says. “Have you got the new Fantasy Crap novel that just came out?”
(The title is not actually Fantasy Crap. That’s just what I call it because I won’t even allow the real title to dirty the doormat of the Mind Palace. Plus, it’s a good summary of the plot.)
“Oh my God!” Molly said in high-pitched shrieking sort of way. “I forgot that came out today! I love that series!”
“I know!” John says. “I’m afraid Tristan might die in this one though.”
John is totally in love with Tristan Greensleeve who is about to go off into the Hinterland to meet with the evil witch Amelia Mortblood leaving behind the fair Ophelia Graceheart and her brother Captain Alexander to pine for him.
“The author’s signing tonight in Charring Cross road. You should go by there if you get a chance.”
“Jacob Pritchard!” Molly sirened. We all covered our ears and Rose started to cry. “Sorry, sweetie. But John, we must go there. Now. The queue will be tremendous.” She kissed everyone’s cheek and then grabbed John by his collar and pulled him out into the night.
“We were going to watch the game!” Lestrade yelled but it was futile. Even footie cannot stand up to John’s love of Tristan.
Hang on. I have to clap because a cat walked into the room.
I have been trying to break John of his novel reading habit for years. It’s just not sensible, but we are talking about John here so sensible only gets you so far. This series though is the worst one by far. I mean, granted, the premise is somewhat intriguing, and there are lots of fights, and that one sex scene between Tristan and Alexander is fun to act out with props but--
I forgot what I was saying. And I have to pat the kitty.
Rose has started saying a few words. She says Mama and Dada and kitty. I’m going to teach her how to say my name.
“Sher. Lock. Uncle Sher. Lock. What’s my name, Rose?”
“Um, Sherlock maybe you should wait until…” Lestrade started to say.
“Oh No Shar Cock,” Rose said.
I was so elated that my wee darling sort of said my name that I didn’t quite catch on at first. I just clapped.
“What’s my name, Rose? Say it again!”
“Oh No Shar Cock. Oh No Shar Cock.”
“Just Shar Cock. I mean, Sherlock.”
“Oh No Shar Cock,” she insisted.
I turned to Lestrade. He looked sort of embarrassed and also like he was trying not to laugh.
“We’ve been trying to reteach her,” he said.
Apparently every time I call or pop round Lestrade and Molly “have the bad habit” of saying, “Oh no, Shercock.” It’s just an amusing little joke between themselves. Charming.
Although if you say it really fast it sounds like Shark Cock.
If John was not the love of my life I would be filled with nicotine right now and buying him soft cashmere things and also that cock ring with the jingle bell on it that I’ve been meaning to pick up before the holidays are truly upon us. I mean, we could still get all cozy with the fire and mulled wine but it would be so much more festive if John had a jingle bell to wear. I may not even buy it for him now because do you know what I am doing?
I am loving the baby. I am loving Rose’s baby doll and then clapping. Tristan Greensleeve would never find himself in this position.
Captain Alexander would though. He would carry it off with dignity and aplomb. I will endeavor to bear this as Alexander would even though I always play the part of Tristan when John and I are acting it out.
Rose has gone to bed and Lestrade is making me watch gay porn with him.
Lestrade says it is not gay porn. It is art.
It is art with nobs unless my eyes doth deceive me.
“Look at the cinematography,” Lestrade says.
“That is called a penis,” I corrected.
“The way it’s lit and the coloring of the, um, skin.”
“John can do that,” I said after one the actors executed a particularly noteworthy move.
“Can he really?”
“That actor’s name is Callum Wild,” I pointed out.
“We don’t need to tell Molly about this,” Lestrade observed.
“John would very much enjoy the story,” I said.
“So would Molly come to think of it.”
We sort of smiled at each other. It was bizarre. So we sort of grunted at each other and pretended to scratch our balls while we readjusted our penises in our trousers.
“And that’s a nice shot,” Lestrade noted.
I wasn’t sure if he was still talking about the cinematography or not.
The one fellow in this art porn keeps calling the other one baby. I think I will try that out on John and see what he thinks.
John and Molly returned all flushed and triumphant. I wanted to bugger John straight away but we had to listen to their tale of meeting Jacob Pritchard. He shook Molly’s hand and kissed John’s cheek and they acted the whole thing out for us multiple times until Lestrade and I got jealous of them kissing and touching each other and I took John home.
I am getting in my pajamas and then I am going to have a tummy ache.
“You know, I’ll read to you even if your stomach doesn’t hurt. It’s okay to like novels,” John says.
“Was Jacob Pritchard more handsome than me?”
“Of course not,” John said.
I thumped the bit of mattress next to me. “Come here, baby.”
John just sort of paused.
“I was just trying something out. We don’t have to keep it.”
“Let’s not,” John said and then he curled up next to me and opened the book.
“Let’s only read one chapter a night so it will last,” he said.
The end of chapter one is a cliff hanger. Tristan has returned flushed and triumphant and has woken the nude Alexander from a sound sleep.
John says we will just have to imagine how their encounter will go. I’m going to have a tummy ache every night for the next—
Twenty-seven chapters. I mean, nights.
Chapter 25: Show Me the Way to Go Home
Sherlock loses his way. His friends lead him home.
Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you were all somewhere that felt like home.
John is not being fair. He is using the ax I got during The Adventure of the Ax Murderer to chop open the bedroom door. I just want to be left alone because my hand is falling off and the socks in my sock index are not looking right. They look really red and flickery. Socks are not supposed to flicker and John will be really angry if he gets in here before I have the chance to set them right.
This night is not boring. What has happened is: there are two John’s. One of them got in here while the other one was still trying to hack through the door. I will call him Number One John and then I will just call him John because he is the nicer of the two Johns. I will Call Number Two John, James. Okay? That just has to be okay because I don’t know what else to do about it.
There are facts. And the first fact is that John is in here and he is not caring about my sock index. He is caring about my hand falling off and pushing my hair back from my brow which is really sweaty even though I am cold. James is still bent on hacking the bedroom door open.
“Do you hear that?” I said.
“Hear what, love?” He called me love. He is so sweet and understanding and I wiped my nose on his hair because I am crying. I am crying because I don’t want John to know about the really bad thing that happened to me. And I am crying because the only way I will feel better is if I tell John about the really bad thing that happened to me.
“It’s you. It’s James. He is trying to break in.”
“I’m already in,” John said.
I thought John was talking about how he broke into my heart and I thought it was so silly that he thought he needed an ax when he just needed to look like he does and call me brilliant and kill the cabbie.
“Tell James to put the ax away. I already love you.”
The ax had gotten so loud at that point that even John heard it and got up to open the door. I screamed and I am never going to stop screaming until John decides not to open the door.
John has opened the door and all these James are flooding in and I have to block my ears so they don’t get to eat my brain. I hope someone survives all of this and is able to read my last words and if not then my last words are going to be, “Fuck you, brain eaters. I hope I tasted foul.”
Hello. I’m a bit better now. Just ignore all that.
John says I must explain myself because it will be therapeutic. I’ve told him that studies have shown that those who suppress their trauma are better off but he says I can suppress it after I’ve gotten it off my chest.
It’s not really on my chest. It’s in my mind. But my chest does feel funny when I talk about it so maybe John is right in this one instance. Anyway I don’t remember most of it.
I remember climbing out the window because I had a case and John’s hip and shoulder were bothering him and it was a cold, damp night and I didn’t want him to go out. I was dressed up as a homeless and went to go watch a warehouse. I wasn’t planning on any sort of confrontation. I was just gathering data. But the men I was gathering data on were planning on a confrontation.
They grabbed me and I fought like a mad cat. My wrist got broken and my head got banged up and I was bleeding from a wound above my eye. Bad things happened to me and it went on for a long time. It went on for so long that sometimes it feels like I’m still there. Eventually something scared them off and they left me lying in the dirt. I must have lain there for an hour or so but I finally got up and just walked home. I didn’t think to get a cab or anything. I just walked the four miles back to Baker Street, up the seventeen stairs, said hello to John, and locked myself in my room.
John said he talked to me through the door and then threw himself against it to break the lock when he grew alarmed and found me bleeding into my eyes and my sock index.
He also says that he called for an ambulance and I kept trying to pull my socks over his ears to keep his brains safe. So I guess all the James that barged into my room were really just the ambulance fellows.
I’m really glad they came because it is not nice to feel that my brains are going to be lunch.
The doctors think I had a concussion and was drugged. I’m okay now though. Just a bit afraid of everyday objects on occasion. Like the call button for the nurse. I’m a bit afraid of that. So I just scream when I want something and John isn’t here.
John came hurrying out of the toilet with his pants all undone.
“You were gone a long time. I thought something might have happened to you.”
“I was in the toilet. I told you I was going to the toilet.”
“It doesn’t take that long. I thought something might have gone wrong.”
“Something did go wrong. I wasn’t able to poo. I haven’t been able to poo for three days.”
I passed John all the fiber filled elements on my dinner tray. If John doesn’t poo once a day he becomes a right miserable bastard. There was one week in 2011 when constipation was a real issue in our household and we have vowed never to mention to those days.
John shoved them back at me. “I’m not constipated. Every time I try, you scream. It’s really distracting.”
We have decided to call in Mycroft to sit with me and call him The Constipation Corporation.
Mycroft has shown up with Tim and we are all trying not to listen to John in the toilet. It sounds like he is giving birth and masturbating at the same time. Mycroft saw me when I was unconscious but Tim didn’t so he was really fascinated by my stitches and the new haircut they had to give me. All the front left side of my hair is shaved away.
“You look like some kind of rock star,” Tim said.
I didn’t think Tim would kick at invalided person like that.
“He means it as a compliment,” Mycroft explained.
“Yeah, you look like one of those cool scientists with weird hair. Like Einstein or something.”
I am feeling rather vulnerable and huggable lately so I let Tim hug me and didn’t even feel grossed out about it.
He pushed back the hair on the right side of my head. “I was really worried about you, Sherlock. I’m glad you’re on the mend.”
The thing about Tim is: He’s rather a pervert, and has sex with John in my dreams, and loves Mycroft, and presumably has sex with Mycroft in real life, but he really is a nice sort of bloke.
“I’m afraid of your coat collar,” I said. I said it because Tim’s coat collar was made out of fur and I thought it might want vengeance. And it was looking at me in a mean way.
Mycroft and Tim sort of looked at each other in a way that they hoped I wouldn’t see even though I was sitting right there.
“Do you think I’ll ever be normal again?” I asked.
Tim put his hand on my knee. “I don’t think you ever have to worry about that,” he said.
I was comforted until I noticed the grilled chicken on my dinner tray. I just pointed at it and screamed until Mycroft took it away.
Then John came out of the loo and I made him get in the bed with me and I cuddled him fiercely. John is the only good thing in the world and he is mine and I must give him as much love as he can handle.
“Sherlock, Molly’s bringing Rose round today.”
That made me happy. There is no one I love as much as John but I love Rose almost as much.
“You know how she’s really little?”
“You can’t scream around her, Sherlock. It will scare her.”
I swallowed and swallowed and swallowed. Sometimes I feel like I just have to scream. It’s like the air won’t fill my lungs unless it’s to scream. It’s like I will die if I don’t scream but I will also die if I scare Rose.
John said he will leave his hand in mine the whole time and I can squeeze it really hard if I feel like I have to scream.
I didn’t scream. I didn’t even squeeze John’s hand really hard. I just held Rose in my lap and then I started crying and there was nothing I could do about it. Rose didn’t care. She just put her fingers in my tears and said, “Uncle Sherlock come home.”
I found out later that Molly and Lestrade had been teaching her to say that for days. I think that makes it even better.
Molly sat next to me on the bed and she was crying too but not making a big deal out of it. She held my face in her hands.
“You need a new outfit to go with your daring haircut. We’ll leave Rose with Greg and John and spend the whole day. Sometime soon, okay?”
I shook my head. “We’ll take Rose with us. John needs a day off.”
Molly put her head on my shoulder and John went to look out of the window until Lestrade punched him in the shoulder a few times and took him out of the room. I think they went to pour a few whiskeys into John and I think I am ready to go home.
No one has ever asked me what home means but if they ever do I have my answer all ready.
Home is a dog who is tired because he has played fetch in the park with you all afternoon. Home is a meal that someone who is old enough to be your mother has made for you and knows all of your favorite things and loves you enough to make them for you even if they are not her favorites. Home is a cat or three who didn’t really realize you were gone but now that you are back are overcome with affection. Home is lamplight and the fire casting shadows and objects that each have their own story and that story is part of your story. Home has a chair you have loved and abused. Home has a chair opposite your own chair that should never be empty and isn’t.
Home says, “You are an idiot,” because you were and home tells the truth. Home says, “I love you,” and what that means is you are safe and you belong somewhere and the place you belong to is the place you love.
Chapter 26: The Cattle Are Lowing (Also John)
Sherlock recovers. John knows his animals. Mary arrives. Harriet is better than Mycroft.
John has gone out to do the shopping and I have promised to behave myself and remember that Mrs Hudson is just downstairs and John is only a phone call away. I am going to keep that promise.
It’s not misbehaving to put socks on my ears? I understand it’s a bit strange but I do still feel from time to time that things might want to wiggle in through my ears to get at my brain. I have a very valuable brain and I will just feel better if my ears are covered. I’m using a pair of Rose’s socks that she left behind (in the middle of the sitting room but John didn’t yell at her) because mine are too big for my ears. They have ruffles and monkeys on them but that’s okay because I’m only wearing them around the house when I am alone. I’ll have John get me some little boy socks or order some online or something.
I forgot to take my ear socks off before John got home. He didn’t say anything. He just kissed my forehead and fondled my socks. I felt a bit silly.
“It’s just a precaution,” I said.
“Monkey,” John said. I’m so glad he’s learned to identify his animals. He’ll catch up with Rose soon.
“But what do monkeys say, John?”
“What about wearing a nice hat? Hats belong on the head.”
I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.
John gave me his fuzzy winter hat with the snowman on it that Harriet gave him last Christmas. It is not as good as the ear socks because it doesn’t pull down far enough to cover my whole ear and it is rather scratchy. I can pull it down on one side to cover one ear entirely but then I can’t see out of that eye and it leaves the other side open to attack. Obviously.
Then I had an epiphany.
“John!” I yelled and he came tearing into the sitting room from the kitchen in a state of alarm. “The ear hat, John! From days of yore! That will keep my brains in nicely.”
John was so relieved that I wasn’t screaming in terror at the smiley face as I have been wont to do these past days. If I had known then how much that smiley face would haunt me I never would have shot him into existence. We spent the rest of the morning searching through John’s old bedroom for my hat. We found all sorts of things up there.
You see, sometimes without any sort of warning at all John will get all pissy about how much money I’ve been spending on vital household goods. He will put a moratorium on spending and then I have to hide all the things I’ve just bought until the ban is lifted.
Sometimes I forget about the hidden things entirely but that’s okay because we found quite a few of them today and it was like Christmas. We both have new leather trousers and new leather covers for our phones that are embossed with our initials. We also got some rockets we can build and set off in the park and some glow-in-the-dark kites. John got a pair of green glow-in-the-dark pants. Actually,he got loads of things that glow in the dark, handcuffs and condoms and other items for his sexual needs.
There’s this whole website.
I also got some really thoughtful gifts like new cashmere slippers and a silk dressing gown.
John couldn’t even get upset about it because I was so pleased with my gifts and I am in a fragile state.
Anyway, we finally found the ear hat in a box that John had packed up when I was dead. There were a lot of old newspapers in there and some of Lestrade’s business cards and a jumper I had bought for John before I had to go. I meant for him to wear it but he says it made it him too sad.
He put the ear hat on my head and tied a manly sort of bow under my chin and I felt much better.
“Do the monkey sound, John.”
He usually only does his animals sounds for Rose but I think he should do them all the time. It is so disturbingly adorable.
He said, “Oo oo, ah ah ah, eeeeeeeeee!” And then he did an elephant trumpet. It sounds really real. I bet he learned it from hanging out with elephants and monkeys and kangaroos and things when he was in Afghanistan.
Then he got up and climbed over all the boxes and crap to pull the window shades down and all the glow-in-the-dark things started glowing and he put a glowy golden crown on his head and started making sad cow sounds at me.
Our stomachs were hurting from laughing so we explored some of the glow-in-the-dark things that are for John’s sexual needs. It didn’t really help us out much because it turns out that nothing is funnier to us than me wearing a glow-in-the-dark condom. John says it looks like the world’s smallest light saber.
If all you ever saw of John was him typing you would think that he had no dominant hand. You would conclude that he was nobidextrous. He is actually left-handed. I know that seems strange and wrong but left-handed people are just like everyone else except for being strange and wrong in their hands. What I do is, I just pretend it isn’t happening until it annoys me. Then I tell John he is strange for being left-handed.
I myself was ambidextrous until I broke my left wrist and now I am just plain.
John says that is lies and I was always right-handed but you know what they say about those south paws.
If you don’t know what they say about those south paws it is this: Things of an Unsavory Nature.
I’ll be right back. I’m going to see if John tastes unsavory.
He doesn’t. He tastes like tea and biscuits in some areas and like ejaculation fluid in others.
Anyway! I was going to say that it is a good thing that John is not me because I have broken my left wrist. Gosh, I used an awful lot of words to say that. They say that some writers spend days agonizing over sentences and really work to make every word count.
I don’t. It sounds like such an awful lot of bother. My approach to the art is a bit different. What I do is, I just dash off any old thing that pops into my head and then congratulate myself. Sometimes I chuckle.
I think you’ll agree that the result is just fine and it doesn’t ramble or leave you fainting with boredom with unnecessary descriptions of rain and flowers and so forth.
Oh, so the point I was going to make was that John is now my left-hand man. Perhaps I do get rather rambling on occasion. I’ll labor over my next sentence and pare it down so that it is concise.
Okay, here it is.
John helps with buttons and washing Sherlock. Sherlock likes.
John says I sound like Frankenstein when I write like that.
I reminded him of his Shercock and James article and the rain descriptions and he didn’t say anything else.
Ha! I have signed both me and John up for a writing class.
John has also signed us both up for a writing class. We have decided we will go to both and then decide which one we like better. We are both published authors so I don’t know why we are bothering. We are just dedicated to the craft I suppose.
John says we are not published authors just because we keep blogs and publish ourselves.
“We both have lots of readers,” I pointed out.
“I have lots of readers,” John said. “And half of them only read it because they think you’re cool and the other half only read it to mock my writing.”
“Oh, I’m with both halves then,” I said.
John ignored this. “And you only have lots of readers because you pull up your blog on your phone and stick it under people’s noses and make them read it.”
“There’s nothing wrong with promoting yourself. Besides if people didn’t like it they wouldn’t leave all those comments.”
“Eighty percent of those comments are from you logged in under another name.”
I turned a bit red. I didn’t know John knew about that.
“And then you talk to yourself. I especially liked the conversation CleverFellow had with NotBrolly last Tuesday. I was really pleased that CleverFellow was able to make NotBrolly see the light and admit that Sherlock Holmes really is fantastic.”
I didn’t know what to say then so I just pretended my ear flaps were blocking out the sound of John’s voice.
We have had our first class. Miss Delany had us all sit on the floor and hold hands. She played some music and just told us to let our minds wander and become one with our inner creative being and let the energy from others flow through us. John’s hand was really sweaty and Mary, the woman on my left, was just hanging on to my cast so I think that blocked some of the creative energy from flowing.
When the music was over I apologized to her for having a plaster force field but John didn’t apologize for sweating on the force field so I don’t know why I bothered.
We were supposed to share what the Shared Communal Experience meant to us and everyone looked really uncomfortable. She started with John who just looked panicked so I decided to jump in.
“I think that made everyone rather embarrassed and uncomfortable and maybe my cast is to blame or maybe it is because John is a sweaty south paw but what this reminds me of is an exorcism or an innercism perhaps but with less alcohol and fun.”
Miss Delany and John looked really put out but Mary started to clap and then everyone started clapping, even John.
John and Mary and I are not welcome back at Miss Delany’s class. We are at a pub and John and I are getting drunk and John is explaining my cast and ear hat to her. Mary is the happiest person I have ever met but she says she is angry and bitter because her girlfriend left her and her cat died and she just lost her job and she is going to write a novel about mean girlfriends and bosses and really nice cats. She is also bitter that she can no longer drown her sorrows in pints because she is an alcoholic from when her last bad boss and girlfriend fucked up her life entirely but at least she had her cat, Moses, then.
She says she is definitely not going to sit in a circle and pretend energy is flying about.
“What were you two doing there?” she wanted to know.
John began to tell her a about our adventures. Our adventures are long so we went from the pub to dinner to another pub and then back to 221B and then down to Mrs Hudson’s and then back up to 221B and then we all climbed into bed and fell asleep there. In the morning Mary was our lifelong friend and she has decided that we are more interesting than a book about mean bosses and nice cats and bad girlfriends and she is going to write a book about us as soon as she is not hung over.
“But you didn’t even drink,” John said.
“I can still use being hung over as an excuse to procrastinate though. You can at least give me that.”
John said that was reasonable and she said she’d pop round when the first chapter was done.
I asked if she labored over sentences and used description.
She gave me the finger, lit a cigarette without asking John if she could smoke in the house, and said, “Fuck that, Sherlock. I’m just going to write it down.”
Then she left.
“Would it bother you if I had a bit of a crush on our lifelong lesbian friend?” I asked John.
John didn’t answer because he was phoning Harriet. His plan is to get Mary to be our new sister-in-law. I think that is a flawless plan.
John and I have been so sneaky. John has invited Harriet over to dinner because Mary is coming over tonight with her first chapter. Harry studied English Literature at school and John told Mary that Harry has experience in the publishing industry.
The only experience Harriet has in the publishing industry is leaving snide comments on John’s blog whilst drunk but we are not going to bring that up.
I have not really mentioned Harriet before. She spent quite a long time in rehab and John said she wasn’t ready for exposure to the Holmes family quite yet. I am going to be super nice to her. I tried buying her flowers but I got these really loud daisies and they didn’t seem to suit her so I’ve just put them in a vase instead.
Harriet is a lot like John if John was even smaller and plumper around his middle and wore little girl barrettes in his hair and hardly ever talked unless he was drunk. Harriet isn’t drunk anymore so after awhile you kind of forget she’s in the room.
One time I started talking to her about Crime and Punishment by mistake. She really loves that book and then she blathered on for hours. I was able to keep up because I had read a plot summary of it once and she didn’t require me to really participate in the conversation. The thing was, after she talked at me I was quite interested in it and made John read it to me. We both decided it was even better than the Fantasy Crap novels even though Tristan wasn’t in it and it didn’t make us want to bugger each other.
Anyway, Mary came over and hugged all us fiercely, even Harriet who she didn’t know. Harriet took a copy of the manuscript to John’s chair with her laptop and didn’t talk to us for hours even though we were being really entertaining and Mary kept pretending she was Miss Delany while she was interviewing us for her book.
“What sort of energy did you feel when you facing down this hound?” she asked John.
“Terror,” John said.
“What color would say terror was? If terror was a fruit what fruit would it be?”
“Blinding white,” John said. “And a pomegranate.”
We were having so much fun that I forgot Harriet was there. I screamed with terror and pressed on my earflaps when she put her laptop on the table.
“I retyped it and added some bits. You can keep whatever you like,” she said.
Mary printed out three copies so we could all read it over. John and I had read Mary’s version of A Study in Pink earlier and we thought it was great. It was really funny and made me and John seem really cool. I thought Harriet was just going to going to fix the bits that had wonky grammar and stuff but she had changed it.
I mean, she left in all the funny bits and John and I still seemed really cool but there was description in it now. It wasn’t the dull sort of description though. The way she described that house in Brixton made shivers run up my spine. You would think she had been there with us. It was creepy and sad and lonely and real.
She did something with John’s character too. When Mary wrote him John seemed like a nice, comical, loyal fellow who was my sidekick. Harriet’s John was nice and comical and lonely and sad and filled relief at having found me. She made me look even smarter than I am and more mysterious and rather cold. I was more lonely and sad too but she missed the part where I was so relieved to have found John.
John put his papers down when he was done and went to go make tea. His face was all tight. He was trying really hard not to cry but he was all limpy. Mary didn’t bother trying not to cry. She cried and laughed the whole time she was reading and when she was done she put the papers down and dried her eyes. She beamed at Harriet.
“You made it beautiful. You made it human.”
Harriet shrugged. “It still needs some work.”
“Will you write it with me? You’re really good.”
“You’re really funny,” Harriet said and I guess that means she agreed to help write it because next they were setting up times to meet.
John came over and put the tea on the table.
“I didn’t think you were listening to me. All those times when I came to talk to you when you were in the hospital. You just stared at the wall.”
“I know. I didn’t have anything to offer you, John. Sherlock had just died and your sister was in the hospital and I thought you just needed to get your stories out. To talk. And I knew if I started talking you’d want to talk about me and I just couldn’t. So I let you talk about you. It was all I could do for you.”
She said this all really quietly and then she turned to me and grabbed my knee roughly and yelled, “If you ever hurt him again I will rip your balls off.” Then she smoothed down my trousers and said, “Sorry, I just always wanted to say that to you.”
John looked like he didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“Do the elephant noise, John. It’s far more entertaining than laughing or crying.”
“That’s going in the book,” Mary said.
John hugged Harriet first and they went into the living room and talked really quietly to each other even though Mary and I were trying to eavesdrop on them. Then they came back and John did loads of animal sounds for us.
I don’t understand why John gets to have a sibling that makes him look more beautiful and human while I get Mycroft who makes me look like I am three.
Harriet and Mary have buggered off for parts unknown and John is explaining to me in detail what girls get up to when they are in bed together. When he is doing this we have to understand that he is not talking about his sister. He is talking about these girls he is showing me on the internet. John says he likes a full breast but not huge and he doesn’t care if vaginas are shaved or not.
I think I’d like a woman with a small sort of breast. If they were small they wouldn’t look scary in a glow-in-the-dark bra. And she would look more like John. I don’t have an opinion on vaginas. In fact, I think the only conceivable way I would have an opinion on vaginas is if John had one. And then I would love it. And imagine it to be a penis.
Chapter 27: The Places That Thread Are The Places We Mend
John and Sherlock need a break from each other.
John is going to help Mary and Harriet move. I told John I was super sad that I couldn’t help because I’m still wearing my cast. That was a big lie, of course, (I am still wearing the cast but I’m not sad I can’t help) but I knew John wouldn’t believe me anyway so it doesn’t really count. I just feel like I have a higher calling than lugging furniture around.
I’m going to stay home all day and drink tea whilst wearing my new cashmere slippers and look at things on the internet.
“I will miss you,” I told John. “You guys will have loads of fun without me.”
The truth is, I always miss John when he is not around, but I could do with a wee bit of a John holiday. Ever since my Bad Time he is constantly underfoot. If he’s not buttoning or washing me then he is taking me to the doctor’s or asking after my brain and wrist and peering at my head wound. It’s exhausting. Besides, I rather like talking to John when he isn’t here. There is so much less shouting.
John says I am going to come and open doors for people and do other one-handed things.
I felt positively cornered.
“I would, John, but I’m feeling a little dizzy.”
“Then you’d definitely better come so I can keep an eye on you.”
“Not dizzy. I didn’t mean dizzy. It’s just that I have a very full day planned.”
“Breaking in your new slippers is not a full day,” John said and then he shoved my coat sleeve over my cast and buttoned me up.
I don’t know why John can’t have a normal sibling. Mycroft never moves.
John brought our collection of aprons along to wear when we are cleaning. Mrs Hudson is wearing one that says Smoking Hot! and John and Lestrade have ones with May The Force Be With You on them.
I took a plain one and made a picture of a furious face on it but then he started to intimidate me so I had to scribble him out. Mary is making me a new one with a sad little rain cloud on it.
Mary says it’s none of my fucking business if she is sleeping with Harriet or not and that I am a nosy git.
“I don’t really care if you’re sleeping with her. I just want her to marry you so I can keep you. I have experience with Watsons and they are very sexual creatures. John didn’t show any interest in me until I started putting out.”
John started sputtering and scared the bejesus out of me.
‘That is not true! I showed lots of interest in you before you—before—I wrote a blog about you!”
John was all red and Lestrade was looking at him as if John was an interesting specimen. Which he is. To this day I have not quite figured John out. I mean, what is it that causes the man to become attached to a moose t-shirt, for example?
I can’t spend another day dwelling on that so I turned back to Mary. “He may have shown interest but he needed attention paid to his private areas before he would consent to marry me. I imagine Harriet is much the same way.”
Harriet scared everyone by saying, “I’m in the room, Sherlock,” in a bored sort of way.
Lestrade made John leave the room then because he said he didn’t want to do all the paperwork if John murdered me in a homicidal rage.
“We’re just moving into together, Sherlock. We’re just going to be flatmates because Harriet lived in a lethal part of town and my old flat was not fit for human habitation. That is all you need to concern yourself with.”
“Well,” I said. “You should take good care of her anyway because if you don’t you may find yourself with an olive jar on your hand and a song stuck in your head and no one to help you fix it. That’s all I’m saying.”
Mary looked at me like I was mad but Harriet came over and kissed my cheek.
Mrs Hudson has put me in charge of organizing the bedrooms. I’m going to start in Harriet’s room. Now, I’m really good at organizing socks and knickers and things but I don’t even know where to start with makeup and tampons and bottles of scent. I think I need a spreadsheet or flowchart.
John says I can’t just pop home to get my laptop and to just put the stuff away like normal people. I guess normal people just use paper for their spreadsheets.
I’ve called Mrs Hudson in to consult on the organizational chart.
“It’s just a rough draft,” I said because I’d had to erase a lot and it looked a bit messy. I had to cover the whole of the south wall with paper because it’s quite a large chart.
“Oh my,” she said. “Are you sure all this is necessary?”
“Yes.” My God, can you imagine the confusion if I just went ahead and shoved things onto shelves?
“I just shove all my bras in with the knickers and close the drawer.”
“Mrs Hudson,” I said slowly because I wanted to be very clear. “Let me list the circumstances under which it is okay for you to speak with me about your undergarments.”
And then I was as silent as the grave.
She looked sort of stormy and then she said, “You’d better clean this mess up before John gets back.”
It’s not a mess. Everything is laid out on the floor in a perfectly logical order.
Brain work is so much more demanding than grunt work. John and Lestrade had moved all the furniture and boxes in and were working on their third pint by the time I finished organizing Harriet’s clothing.
Mrs Hudson offered to heat up some dinner for me as everyone else had eaten hours ago.
“I guess I should eat something. I still have to organize all the toiletries and then get started on Mary’s room.”
“That’s okay, Sherlock. I can put them away myself,” Harriet said.
“And I’m already unpacked,” Mary added.
Gosh, working with only one arm really slows a fellow down.
“Sorry,” I said. “It’s a bit slow going with the cast. I’ll leave you with my organizational chart, Harriet.”
“She doesn’t want—“ John said but Harriet interrupted him.
“I don’t want to be any bother but that would be really helpful, Sherlock. Thank you.”
Then she told Mrs Hudson to sit down and she got my dinner herself.
We are in the cab on the way home and John looks like my sad apron rain cloud only a bit more menacing.
John didn’t say anything at all which means that I am in Big Trouble. Here’s what you do if you get in Big Trouble with John.
1. Hide the weapons.
2. Back away.
3. Try to think what you did wrong. This is usually a fruitless exercise but John appreciates the effort.
4. Do not just start apologizing without knowing what you are apologizing for.
5. Pray that Lestrade calls with a case.
6. Say something complimentary.
7. When John explodes into fury try to listen to his words instead of focusing on all the ways he can kill you with his thumb.
8. Copy the look that Brolly gives you when he poos on the rug. Give that look to John.
9. Start apologizing like mad and add in compliments.
10. Try to address the issue even if you don’t fully understand it.
11. Use “I” statements.
We are in a cab so there are no weapons unless you count John himself. Which I do. Unfortunately I can’t back away unless I roll out into the street. I have no idea what I did wrong so I’m pressing my lips very firmly together so I don’t break Rule Four.
I have checked my phone and Lestrade has not called with a case.
“You’re really good at moving furniture. Do you have much experience in that area or are you naturally gifted?” I said.
John stopped staring out at the street and turned to look at me. I summoned up my inner Brolly but it is dark so I don’t know if John is getting the full performance.
John is not exploding though. He looks sad. He looks like he has summoned up his inner Brolly.
“Sherlock, do you really think—I wasn’t waiting for you to put out. Do you really think that?”
Of course I do. You see, when we met John was a straight man and he had to see if he could get comfortable having his sexual needs fulfilled by someone of the male gender. He wasn’t sure even though he loved me more than anything. Obviously. I guess that’s not quite the same thing as waiting for me to put out though. He was waiting for himself to put out.
“I’m sorry I made you sound like a bad person in front of your sister. I wanted to put out, John. I feel we were waiting to see if you wanted to be with a male sort of person with your cock. Also, I think you were still under the impression that I was still married to my work and was trying to work out if I wanted my cock to have anything to do with anyone. But the truth is, John, I feel I was married to you from the moment you agreed to get Chinese after shooting the cabbie. Cocks weren’t really a part of it for me. My cock was in from the moment you read your fortune cookie and it said, “You will meet an extraordinary person” and you said that it was right. I’ll write a letter to your sister explaining.”
I’m getting really good at getting out of Big Trouble. It helps if you follow the method, but it also helps if you really mean what you’re saying.
If you get out of Big Trouble John will snog your brains out and get all excited to put out. That only works if you are me though. I don’t know what he does with everyone else. The thing is, I don’t think John cares enough about everyone else for them to get into the sort of trouble I get into.
I would, at this time, like to express my condolences that you are not me.
“I was really mad at myself for giving you my Married to My Work speech almost as soon as I said it,” I said when John was lying in our bed with his head on my chest a bit later. He was all sweaty and incoherent. “I just wasn’t sure what plans I had for my penis at that juncture and I had just met you.”
John just snuffled and groaned.
After awhile he said, “Love you too.”
Then he fell asleep even though I was still talking to him.
I have written an email to Harriet and Mary and Lestrade and Mrs Hudson explaining that John was not waiting for me to put out. I have outlined our shy cock dilemma and John’s latent homosexuality. Hopefully that will clear everything up and no one will think badly of John anymore because he is the best.
I’ve decided to send it to Molly and Mycroft and Tim and David and MacDonald and The Yard in general just in case I ever gave anyone the wrong impression of John by mistake. I’ll send John a copy too in case he wants to add anything about how he forgives me or something.
About five minutes after I sent off my email Mycroft and David and Molly called me all at once. John came running into the sitting room and his phone was ringing as well. Harriet and Lestrade and Mycroft’s secretary were calling him.
I tried to pick up Essie and Brolly and Dafty and Bandy all at once. John will not hurt innocent animals.
“Put the pets down, Sherlock!”
Brolly started barking and ran for John. Traitor. Bandy and Effie saved their own skins. Dafty didn’t have any idea what was going on and settled in for a bit of a snooze around my shoulders. I crouched down behind the sofa.
“I get it. It’s a bit not good. Sorry.”
Everyone at the Yard and at Bart’s is calling me Shycock. In days gone by I was Shark Cock but no longer. Molly says she’s not even going to correct Rose if she starts calling me that.
John thought it would be a good idea for our marriage if he attended a medical conference in Boston this week. He left on Sunday and he called on Tuesday and said his conference was really, really great and he is leaving it early because he misses me too much.
I am leaving for Boston tomorrow and Lestrade and Molly are going to watch the animals. They said they will take good care of all of them even though Dafty is the only one who is loyal to me. I am watching Rose before I go.
Rose and I are in the park. She is walking. She is walking around like it is something fascinating to do, which I suppose it would be if you were just starting out. She is also pointing at the ducks and laughing. I wonder if I was ever so innocent and filled with wonder. I suppose Mycroft knows but I don’t feel like asking him.
I’m not innocent anymore. Anyone who knows John and has two drawers and an overflow box filled with sex toys is not innocent. Also, I’ve seen some murder victims.
No, I’m not innocent but I think I’m still filled with wonder. I mean, why is John so attached to that moose t-shirt? And what could Tim possibly see in Mycroft? And why aren’t Mary and Harriet falling in love and making babies with turkey basters? I’d let them use my sperm and everything. Actually, I’d rather steal John’s sperm but he’d only get on board with that if Mary provided the egg. I assume. And how come marsupials love Australia so much? And why do elephants hate England? England’s great. And why did that fellow end up dead in the London Eye last night with his eyelids sewn shut? And how are John’s fortune cookies always right?
Yes, I think I’m still filled with wonder. Actually, even the ducks are a bit wondrous. They are nearly as tall as Rose is. Actually, that one duck looks a bit threatening. I’d better go.
Chapter 28: Tintinabulation of the Bells
Sherlock focuses on Christmas.
After Boston, John and I drove to Maine to celebrate our anniversary. It was, strictly speaking, not exactly the day or month that we got married but we both forgot the first two anniversaries. Well, I didn’t forget. I just didn’t know one was supposed to make a big deal out of them.
“We’re supposed to buy each other presents and have lots of sex,” John informed me.
If I had known that I never would have let John forget. So we had to crowd two anniversaries worth of sex into one week in Maine.
We went to this little town called Cliff’s Cove. It is called that because there are cliffs and a cove. The American’s are really imaginative like that. We did some Christmas shopping and had some sex and John got caught up in this explosion slash tidal wave thing and lost his right ear.
It’s too bad that we don’t have dominant ears like we do hands and feet because then the ear fiasco wouldn’t matter so much. He can still hear out of it and everything but he says things sound funny and he’s going to go in for some surgery so they can stick some bits of ear back onto him.
I asked his doctor if I could buy tickets to watch the surgery but he said family was not allowed in the room. I’m going to contact the British Government and see if he can do anything about it.
I suppose it all sounds terribly traumatic and thrilling and it was, but you learn to expect explosions and large amounts of deadly water when you hang about with John.
What is really troubling me is what I’m going to give John for Christmas. I know he likes pets but if we have another animal in this flat the poo levels will reach a critical state. I am forbidden to buy him whiskey after that month when we couldn’t pay the rent because I’d bought him so much whiskey as little treats.
I have had a brilliant thought. After several hours of lying on the sofa in my thinking pose it came to me in a flash. I was thinking about finding John amidst the rubble of Cliff’s Cove with his dirty, bloody bandage around his head, soaking wet, and his lips blue from the cold. This is not how I want John to look. When John is covered in sea water it should be of the warm variety.
I had a sudden image of John on a sunny beach, all warm and drowsy from the sun and burrowing into his towel on the sand. We both have fair skin so we would have to spend most of the day rubbing sun lotion all over each other and John would smell like coconuts.
Then these two words flashed into my head like a neon sign. Nude Beach is what it said. I’m going to go research nude beaches.
I couldn’t get any research done because John was whispering fiercely at me to clean up my mess in the kitchen so he could start dinner. The bright side of John having ear difficulties is that his own voice sounds really loud inside his head so he can’t shout. Also, sometimes he can’t tell where noises are coming from and will look around in confusion. This is very serious and not something to laugh at but it is still the most adorable thing you will ever see.
He won’t let me do experiments on him but he did let me blindfold him and play Marco Polo while we were in bed. Marco Polo is not a suitable game for children the way John plays it.
Molly and I have worked out an arrangement in regards to our Christmas presents. We had to do this because we are both married to men who do not appreciate some of the finer things of life. Lestrade does not see the need for Molly to own a Kate Spade handbag, for instance. So, what Molly did is she went and bought a Kate Spade handbag and gave it to me. I wrapped it all up and I am giving it back to her for Christmas. Lestrade doesn’t have any say in it because it is a gift.
We had this idea back in August and I must say that both Molly and I have been very generous with our gifts to each other.
We are having Christmas with the Lestrade’s early because they will be at Molly’s mother’s for Christmas. John and I went toy shopping the other day and John got stuck in the toy animal section.
“They just all look like they need a home,” he said.
We ended up getting so many that the cab driver yelled at us because he couldn’t see out the back window. Rose is getting most of them but John gave one each to Brolly and the cats. Brolly chewed his harbor seal all up in about 37 seconds. Effie ignored her teddy entirely. Bandy is afraid of his chicken, but Dafty loves his aardvark. When they first met Dafty danced all over him and purred. The thing was positively debauched by the time they had finished meeting because Dafty had humped him and then sat on him while he licked his own private areas.
John and I were fascinated and repulsed and jealous.
Bad news. Brolly has murdered the aardvark. He takes after John so much. John just unwrapped one of Rose’s presents and gave it to Dafty. He is now trying to teach Brolly not to murder. I’m not sure John is the best instructor for that course.
Our flat looks like Christmas wandered in here and exploded. Rose doesn’t really understand how to open presents yet so we had open most of them for her. She kept squealing with delight and dancing on her toes when she met her new babies. At one point she was lugging around so many that Molly got nervous she would suffocate.
“Maybe some of these can live at Uncle Sherlock’s and Uncle John’s house and you can visit them here.”
I tried to explain that Brolly was nearly as homicidal as John but Molly didn’t want to listen to me. John got all quiet and sort of nonchalantly picked up this mournful looking stuffed puppy dog and put it in our bedroom.
Does he really think I didn’t notice that? Me?
Lestrade did something smart and funny. I was amazed. At the end of the evening he pulled out a little package wrapped in newspaper and gave it to John.
“What’s that?” Molly wanted to know.
Lestrade just smiled at her and John pulled the tape off one end of the package and peeked inside. He burst out laughing and then Lestrade started laughing and then John laughed so much that tears were running down his face and Molly and I just stood there like idiots.
Lestrade got John an ear hat.
“Clearly, you need one too,” he said.
“Obviously,” John said and then they both started laughing all over again and Molly joined in and I just stood there like an idiot. I would have felt really lonely but Brolly didn’t get it either.
Molly did something astounding. That is not as shocking as Lestrade being smart and funny but it is even better. After they all got over tittering about John’s hat Molly said that she’d gotten something special for me and John. She pulled out a stack of photos of their trip to Cornwall and said she’d made us our own copies.
John gave me a stern look and said that was fantastic and we proceeded to flip through them.
“Another picture of you at the pub,” John said. “Oh, it looks like Rose’s ultrasound picture got mixed up in here.”
John is so unobservant. The scan was clearly labeled Baby Lestrade with yesterday’s date printed next to it.
I wanted to point this out but my mouth was opening and closing with no sound coming out. John looked from me to Molly and Lestrade and then the light dawned all over his face.
“I’m due in June,” Molly said.
No one gets a better Christmas present than that.
John says I have to practice not wearing my ear hat all the time.
I don’t want to. I mean, I could have been a lot closer to that explosion if I hadn’t stayed behind at the inn to rig up a more satisfactory restraint system on the bed. I was a mile from the blast and they still had to pick glass out my face and hands. Imagine what could have happened if I didn’t have my ear hat on. I could be just as confused and earless as John.
I explained this to John and he pretended not to hear me. It’s so unfair when he uses his disability to his advantage in this way.
“We’ll start slow. I won’t let anything get at your ears. Things that want to get at your ears are even more afraid of me than you are. So, when you’re with me you can still wear the hat but the earflaps will be tied up. If you feel uncomfortable you can put them down for one minute at a time. We’ll see how you do and after a week we’ll set a new goal.”
John is a complete earless bastard. He knows I can’t resist a goal.
I have found a way around John’s restrictions. What I do is: I just sit around flapping my earflaps up and down so my minute never really starts. I also glare at John who is pretending he can’t see me.
At lunchtime John said, “Time to eat, my little aeroplane.”
I wanted this whole other John that would get all homicidalish on this John.
But not actually kill him. Just scare him a bit. The real John doesn’t actually kill people unless they are behaving really badly. I’d ask Brolly to do it but Brolly likes John more than me.
After John finished reading to me he took out a little notebook with Sherlock’s Earhat Progress written on the cover.
“It’s been about eight hours since I issued the challenge and since you just kept flapping the fucking things back and forth we’ll say you had your flaps down for half the time. So tomorrow you just have to keep them up for three hours, fifty-nine minutes and you will have beaten your record.”
Then he turned off the light and went into some sort of earless slumber.
I am going to show him. I am going to bury that record and then I am going to take that notebook and have Brolly murder it.
I spent most of the morning nibbling on John’s remaining body parts. It distracts me from my ear hat dilemma. I’m going to spend the rest of the day composing sad music about ears. John says that music sounds all different for him now. It’s sort of hollow and sadder and he can’t abide a high pitch.
I almost want to cut one of my ears off and give it to John so I can hear what it sounds like but that’s rather Van Gogh and has been done. Plus, I offered to donate my ears and liver and kidneys and things to John at the hospital in Maine but they said it wasn’t necessary and gave me a sedative.
John let me open a Christmas present early because I have gone for two hours straight with my earflaps up. He got me a bunch of photos of himself wearing white cotton knickers in the shower. John is really clever at gift giving.
“Who took the photos? Don’t pretend you don’t hear me, you one-eared freak. Who took the photos?”
Sometimes you have to speak to John like that.
“Mary. It was either her or Mycroft. Mary got a lot less excited than Mycroft would have and she promised on her dead cat’s grave that she wouldn’t tell Harriet.”
“Did she suddenly become attracted men and kiss you on your nipples?”
“No,” John said. “She just kissed my penis.”
I threw Bandy’s chicken at him. John is so lewd. And a liar.
John is really proud of me because I put my old record in the dust today. I did not have my earflaps down for twelve hours and I’m going to sleep with them up. John made note of it in the notebook. I have changed my mind about that notebook. Someday, when I am hatless, I am going to frame that notebook and hang it over the smiley face. Or maybe next to it. I may not be afraid of the smiley face by that point.
I told John all this and he kissed me in that sort of way that is serious and I can’t describe.
“You should write down what happened to you at Cliff’s Cove,” he said. “I think it will make you feel better.”
“Nothing happened to me at Cliff’s Cove. I was fine. You’re the one who was hurt.”
“It hurt you too. And you helped all those little girls. And you found me. I think you saved my life.”
I shook my head. “John you were holding your hands over the gushing wound of a factory worker with one eye missing when I found you. You were blue with cold and the blood was leaking down your face from a soaked and dirty bandage and you wouldn’t let go of that guy’s belly. All I did was shout a few teenagers into submission and bandage some flesh wounds. And the whole time I was doing it I wanted to get away from them so I could find you.”
John was quiet for a time.
“I heard from him, Mike, the guy you found me with. He sent me an email this morning. He’s going to be okay. He’s missing the eye but they were able to fix the rest of him. He said to thank you. For saving me. He’s glad his guardian angel has a guardian angel.”
That’s not how it was at all. What happened was, it was really loud and I knew it but I couldn’t hear it. There was all this fire and smoke and screaming going on and sirens sounding in the distance. And John was blue and injured and he looked up at me and his face said he was really sorry but he wasn’t leaving Mike. And I just felt like his face said he was really sorry but he thought it meant he might have to leave me.
I didn’t think. I just grabbed this kid. With my voice. This small teen-aged boy was just wandering around dazed and I shouted him over and put his hands where John’s were and told him not to move until help arrived and then I picked up John and carried him away.
It was all really selfish.
“It was logical,” John said. “I wasn’t thinking clearly and I should have--,” John stopped. “I was never afraid. I didn’t feel any fear until I saw you. I wasn’t afraid until I thought that I might leave you.”
I thought about pulling my earflaps down. I didn’t want those thoughts in my head. But I’m not going to do it. If John can survive an explosion that caused a tidal wave that set a town on fire and save countless lives then I can live without my ear hat.
“You once told me that heroes don’t exist. I don’t believe that,” John said.
“Neither do I.”
How could I? I married one.
Cliff's Cove is not, to my knowledge, a real place in Maine. The disaster that Sherlock and John were caught up in is based on the 1917 explosion in Halifax, Canada. What happened there was an ammunition ship collided with another ship in the harbor and exploded. The displaced water caused a tidal wave. The explosion leveled the town and set it on fire and then there was a blizzard.
That is almost too unbelievable to be true, but it is and people have been studying the human response to that disaster for decades. The best way to survive a disaster is to be prepared. Have knowledge. The worse the disaster is, the longer regular people are alone, without police, fire, or medical aid.
The first responders to disaster are always us. The regular people who didn't think it would happen to them.
Chapter 29: Losing Sherlock's Bottom
John is up to something.
John is in the kitchen singing, "All I want for Christmas is my two side ears. Just my two side ears."
I am in the loo singing, "All I want for Christmas is no earflaps. Just a no ear hat. And a nice blow job and a John on my knob."
John keeps wandering in here to watch me shave and smile at me in the mirror. Then he has to kiss me because I've hung mistletoe just about everywhere, including over the bathroom sink.
No one is going to be about this Christmas so John and I are alone. John's doctor said they can't surgically attach an ear to him so he will need a prosthetic one but that won't happen until the new year. I have made him some temporary prosthetic ones as a Christmas present.
I'm not sure what will work best so we will have to experiment. I have ones made out of dough and rubber and aluminum and wire.
John is wearing his dough ear and a paper crown and is drunk. He is singing "God Rest You Little Gentleman" to my penis. That's actually an improvement over "Joy to my Cock". We are going to bed and staying there until Boxing Day or possibly New Year.
John says we are getting fat. He made me stand on the scale while he measured how big he is around his belly.
"That's my widest bit," he said.
Then he clucked like a perturbed hen at my weight, said I was positively corpulent, and wrapped his measuring tape around my bottom and thighs.
"That's your widest bit," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I'm in love with your bottom but it is threatening to take over the world."
I resent this very much. My bottom would tell me if it had any grand plans.
John says we need to eat more veg and less toast and biscuits and try some exercises.
"We just chased that thief," I pointed out.
"That was last week," John said. "And I caught him in about three minutes. We need to exercise a bit more often than that."
John says sex does not count as exercise even though we get all sweaty.
I had Lestrade look at my bottom because Molly was out.
"John says it sticks out in an obscene and corpulent manner," I explained.
Come to think of it, Lestrade might be a better judge of bottoms than Molly because he watches so much porn. Then again, Molly does look at naked dead people all day. All in all, the Lestrades are a very peeping sort of family.
Before Lestrade could give me any sort of arse advice Rose came over and hit me with a plush cat.
"Bang Uncle Sherlock's bum," she said.
"No Rose, we do not hit," Lestrade said. Rose thoroughly ignored him and toddled off, presumably to find something more lethal in her toy box.
Lestrade and I had to hide in the kitchen so she wouldn't see us laughing. Every time one of us threatened to act like an adult the other one would say, "Bang Uncle Sherlock's bum," and that would set us off all over again.
"This is almost funnier than my penis in a glow-in-the-dark condom," I said. Then Lestrade had to lie down on the floor because he was too weak from laughing.
Eventually Molly came home and yelled at us for not starting dinner even though it is not my responsibility. I wanted her to look at my bottom but she just said, "That thing is taking up room in my kitchen. Remove it, please."
I guess John was right.
John has involved Mrs Hudson in his exercise madness and they have put a treadmill and some weights down in 221C. I am being made to go down there even though I am busy and that place smells funny.
John has put me on the treadmill and he is throwing himself about the room, lifting things and putting them down again, and then rolling on the floor. He says these are not the motions of the insane. They are exercises.
"What's that called?" I asked because he was bracing himself on his hands and kicking his legs in and out and he claims all his exercises have names.
"These are mountain climbers," he says.He is all red and out of breath and his belly is jiggling. I hope my arse doesn't jiggle.
I'll have to get John to video tape me because I can't see my own arse when I'm walking.
There is a clock on this treadmill that times how long your husband has been torturing you. The clock itself is a torture device because it runs slower than normal Earth time. Surely I have been walking to nowhere for at least an hour but the clock says it's only been seven minutes.
I told John I was bored but he just started bending at the knees.
"I'm about to slip into a coma. I'm not doing this anymore."
"Don't quit now, Sherlock."
"Make it interesting!"
John scowled at me and I could see his brain working feverishly. Then he turned and presented his backside to me. He only has his little blue gym shorts on.
"What are you doing?"
"You should do them with less clothes on."
John gave me a wicked little grin. "I'll lose the shirt if you increase your speed."
Never trust John. He was wearing a vest under his shirt and now I have to walk briskly to get him to take it off.
I am jogging and John is doing jumping jacks in the nude. The best part is that his back is to the door and Mrs Hudson walked in here, winced, and went away again. John didn't even notice because he was too busy panting encouragement at me and flopping his bits about in a lewd and becoming manner.
I love exercise. I am particularly fond of squats. Now I understand why Lestrade watches sports. Football is really just a type of soft porn.
I ended up jogging three kilometers and then I had to put John in the shower. I am going to start a research project called Exercises for John in the Nude.
Exercises for John in the Nude
1. Leg lifts
2. Squats (all kinds)
3. Donkey kicks
4. Leap frog jumps
5. Ballet leaps
6. Reverse crunches
7. Mountain jacks
8. Side lunges
9. Reverse plank
10. Lying face down on exercise ball and rolling back and forth
Oh, be still my penis. John is so taking up yoga.
John says we need to run outside if the sun is shining. I don't like this idea because it means John can't be naked. Also, John says I can't ring Tim and ask him to pretend to be a criminal so we can pretend to chase him.
"You can't stop me from doing things I've already done, John."
"What did he say?"
"He said the only crime he ever committed was stealing Mycroft's heart."
John wrinkled his nose. "Did you vomit?"
"I didn't but it was a near thing. I did hang up the phone on him though."
John unwrinkled his nose and gave me a rare smile of approval.
John does not think jogging outside in London is a good idea either. He complained the whole time we were out about the traffic and the noise and the pollution.
"It makes having a little weekend cottage in the country seem almost essential, doesn't it?"
I just made a sort of grunting, panting noise at him. John is up to something.
John has returned from the shops with five bunches of flowers. He put them in water and buried his nose in them.
"That's nice. It would be brilliant to have a bit of land to grow our own flowers, wouldn't it?"
"John," I said, "Please stop dropping subtle hints and get to the point."
John took a deep breath. "I want to buy a little cottage in the country."
"No," I said and I thought the whole thing was done and we could move on with our lives.
John was all worked up though and blathered on and on about London being too loud for him, and Brolly needing a place to run.
I spoke sensibly about my work being in London but John started banging things around because he can't shout anymore. He broke the teapot and was shoving the spoons about. I have never seen him throw such a tantrum.
"I've already bought it," he said after he was done assaulting the eating utensils.
I was stunned.
"You...you bought a house without telling me?"
John looked like he might actually cry.
I wanted to be angry. I mean, I don't know all the laws of marriage by heart, but I think there is one about buying secret houses. If there isn't there should be. I should be really angry but-- well, it's quite impressive.
It takes a special sort of one-eared danger slut to do something so staggeringly inappropriate.
"What the fuck, John?" I said. It was the only thing to say.
"You'll get used to it. You didn't like the dog at first either."
Then he wandered off to pack our suitcases.
That little guy has more balls than a--thing with lots of balls.
Not literally. John's completely normal down there.
Chapter 30: A Farewell to Ears
A cottage, a bed, a lack of sandwiches, a goodbye.
John, Brolly and I have arrived at the cottage. John slept for the first half of the journey. Then he woke up and decided to take an interest in learning how to drive. I tried to dissuade him as most people of his advanced years are considering giving up driving but he was ill-tempered and bossy and made me pull into an empty car park so he could put all of our lives in danger.
He has a lot of natural talent. Most people would swerve around a lone lamppost in an empty car park but John was able to hit it with the side mirror on his first try. Then he turned around to look back at it as he rolled us expertly into a kerb and flattened both the front tyres in one go.
We had to wait forever for them to bring us another rental car so it was nearly dark by the time we got here.
John says he's never bought a house before so he can't be expected to know that the electricity would not be turned on. He stood in the middle of the shadowy sitting room looking defeated and lost. He rested one hand on my shoulder as if I was his cane and his other pressed on his ear and then his old shoulder wound.
It was so odd. Usually John is the one who is capable of dealing with our everyday defeats and small problems. I'm only in charge on cases.
I was about to offer to drive us back to London but John had a look about him that stopped me. I think that suggestion would have hurt his feelings. Instead, I took his hand and led him to the bedroom before it got too dark to find it.
"It's fine. It will be like a stake out. You stay here. I'll get the rest of the things from the car."
The fellow who married us said I have to look after John even if he is earless and has lost his wits entirely. Those weren't his exact words but that is what he meant. I am going to see this as an opportunity to practice my marriage vows.
What no one ever tells you is that sometimes being married means picking up a heaping lump of dog poo that is steaming in the snow even if you could reasonably pretend not to see it because it is dark.
I've got the bed made and John is in it. Now I'm going to see if I can summon my inner caveman and invent fire.
I have invented fire. It's pretty easy. All you have to do is realize that the fireplace is, in fact, a gas fireplace and hope the gas is still on. Then you pick up the remote on the mantle, point it at the fake logs, and then you have fire. It's still cold in here so I'm going to get into bed with John.
John is treating me like I am a blanket. That must be really wonderful for him. I'm still cold. Despite John complaining that we are fat he is still so small compared to me. He is a warm sort of small. He is like heated stones that I've put in my pockets.
Brolly and I walked into the village to get egg sandwiches for breakfast. John was still asleep when I got back. I woke him so he could eat while his food was still warm. He kissed me and sat up in bed to eat but he only took two small bites. He looked small and pale against the pillows and he just stared at the fire. After a bit he kissed me again, told me not to get into any trouble, and then he went back to sleep.
The sun has melted the snow off the stones next to the west wall of the house . There is a chair there that is the perfect chair for sitting in and thinking with my closed against the glare of the sun. I got a knife and carved my initials into it because I don't want John claiming it as his chair.
John is still not up but I feel hungry. I sat in my chair for hours but John did not materialize with a sandwich. There is also no sandwich on the worktop or any leftover morsels in the refrigerator. I'm going to have to drive to the shops.
The shops were all closed up but I found a box of raisins in the car. Thankfully, John packed some food for Brolly because Brolly does not like raisins.
Advice: Don't attempt to eat dog food. Not even as an experiment.
John has decided not to get up today. Took dog creature for ride to obtain food. Got all of John's favorites. Cooked. Had to serve food on books as have forgotten plates. Will tempt John out of bed.
1pm Subject not tempted. Subject desires to remain in bed. Will join subject in bed and apply stimulation to subject's sexual organs.
1:10 pm Subject rejected sexual advances. Verbally claimed to be asleep.
1:30 pm Subject's vital signs within normal range. Subject issued profanity when pupils were checked for responsiveness.
1:31 pm Researcher needs to consult with expert. Conclusion: Will use telephonic device to interface with Molly.
"My subject is in a state of rest and has had no intake of food since approximately half seven yesterday morning. He has voided twice and was ambulatory during that time, but otherwise his form has remained prone. All vital signs are normal. "
"Yes, of course."
"Are you okay?"
"All my vital signs are normal. I have been voiding though my caloric intake is on the sparse end of the human spectrum. Heart rate elevated. Slight trembling in hands."
"Is John okay?"
"Subject is in a state of rest--"
"Yes, okay. Did you ask him what's wrong?"
"I tempted him with favored nutritional items and applied oral stimulation to his sexual organs which he rejected."
"Sherlock, go talk to him and then call me back. Greg and I are on our way."
"What's wrong, John?"
He didn't answer me.
"Are you ill? I'm starting to think you're terribly ill. Is it cancer? Is it penis trouble?"
My palms started to sweat at the thought of John being sick. John is mine. I won't allow him to be taken from me.
"I'm not ill," John said.
"What is it then?"
John sat up abruptly. He was very pale and his eyes were dead but his hands were clenched into fists.
"I've consulted with an expert, John, and I have field notes, and I have observed you and we all agree that you are not fine."
The dead thing that was swimming in John's eyes fled. A fire grew there that was beautiful to behold. Watching it was like standing at the foot of Krakatau as it erupted to life.
"I miss my fucking ear. I miss it. I miss it, Sherlock. And my head aches and I just want it to be silent. And I want you to make me chase a murderer and have it all go away but that won't work this time. I miss my ear. It was mine and I want it back. I want you to fix it. Please."
He crashed back into his pillow. He looked exhausted but more lifelike than I'd see him look in days.
My throat worked really hard to swallow. I pulled John close to me.
"I'd use up all the criminals in the world if it would help you."
"I know," John said.
"I can't fix it." Those were the hardest words I've ever had to say. They were ugly and true.
"I know. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have--I know."
I had John in the bathtub when Molly and Lestrade arrived.
Molly hugged me and then she started to unpack all the food she'd brought with her. Lestrade just barged right into the loo even though I didn't think it was an appropriate time for him to be ogling my husband. What with his wife standing right there and all.
"He's just checking on John. He was really worried."
That alarmed me. I was hoping everyone would say I was overreacting and John really was fine.
There was yelling from the loo. First John's voice and then Lestrade's. I started to run in there but Molly grabbed my arm and pulled me away.
"Let Greg talk to him. Come outside and show me the--um-- the moon."
There was no moon but it was snowing softly. I sat in my chair and Molly sat on my knees and Brolly sat on my feet. I was hungry and I could still hear John shouting but I felt better because Molly was here.
For some reason that made me cry. I tried not to but there were these walrus-sized sobs that we're just galloping out of my mouth. Molly didn't say anything. She just leaned back and put her arms around me. The snow fell softly and silently.
Apparently, Lestrade feels that John is madder than a kangaroo with its pocket sewn shut. John is going to go back into therapy. Molly says that can wait until we get back to London. First, we are having a funeral for John's ear.
I have made another dough ear and I have a box. I'll just wrap it gently in some paper.
Paper is not really the thing to nestle John's ear in for all eternity. I'll wrap it in my blue scarf. I love that scarf but John's ear needs it more than I do.
Lestrade was solemnly carrying the ear coffin to its grave. It was hushed and cold out. It was all wrong. I knew what I had to do but I wasn't brave enough to do it until Lestrade nearly had that box in the ground.
I tore forward and grabbed the coffin. I exhumed the dough ear from my scarf and wrapped the scarf around my neck.
"Sherlock, what are you doing?"
"It's an ear, John. It needs an ear hat."
I took said hat from my head and wrapped it tenderly around John's ear. I put the lid back on the box and helped Lestrade fill in the grave.
Any old thing can wiggle into my brains now but I don't care. John was really touched that I gave up my ear hat for him. He came over to run his fingers through my curls.
His hand sort of got stuck in them. I really need a haircut.
Chapter 31: Very Poor Decisions
The care and keeping of the mad.
Now that John is no longer in his right mind I have to make all the decisions. The first thing I have decided is that it's okay for us to smoke in the sitting room. It's fun to make decisions . I'm going to come up with a whole list of them.
Decisions I Have Made
1. Smoking is permitted at all times in the sitting room.
2. Sherlock does not have to clean cat box as this is an excellent and therapeutic occupation for the mad.
3. John must wear the new white knickers with the bow on the bum on Mondays and nothing else except his blue cardigan if he gets cold.
4. The cardigan must remain unbuttoned.
5. John is not allowed to wear those hideous new socks at any time.
6. We are not allowed to run on treadmills as this is boring and may lead to further psychotic breaks.
7. John is not allowed to disagree with me on any subject.
John has just come in here, grabbed my cigarette out of my mouth, and thrown it into the sink where it died a horrible, hissing death.
I guess it's better for him to vent his anger by murdering cigarettes rather than murdering the citizens of London. It would be terribly hard on me if John turned into a serial killer.
I mean, I would have to stand around crime scenes and not show off. I would know, of course, that John had done it but I would not be able to say anything.
If John was one of those serial killers that left a calling card I bet he'd leave a pair of his knickers. Like, if it was a strangly bit of murder then he might leave the knickers with the bow. If it was poison he might leave the bottle green ones etc.
I'm not sure I like the thought of John leaving his knickers all over London. Although another part of me must like it extremely because I now have an erection.
I have just counted and John can leave calling cards at eight-two murders before he has to start wearing men's pants again. When did his collection get so massive?
I've just spent the afternoon doing some research online. I found a really good website for John to use if he wants some more calling cards. For instance, I found some sea foam green knickers he can use when he drowns someone. And then there's these skull ones he can use if bashes someone in the skull. I would get these Cupid ones with arrows on and send them to that circus guy but he is already long deceased.
How time does fly when one is having fun. That circus case seems so long ago now. I had not yet died, Rose had yet to be thought of, and John had been insane in an entirely different way.
I just looked over at John to see if he had done any aging without my noticing. He hasn't. I keep track of his grey hairs and the way his face changes and how he squints more each month when he reads. It is giving him the most fetching little lines around his eyes.
Of course, it is hard to observe these things when John is nearly always engaged in some bizarre activity whenever I glance up. Just now, as I turned to gaze lovingly at him, he shoved something down his trousers and put his guilty face on.
"What are you doing?"
" Just, you know, nothing," he says. Innocent people don't say that.
"What have you got in your trousers?"
This devilish look came into John's eyes.
"Balls," he says.
I put on my deep voice that John claims is the exact shade and color of an orgasm during a summer storm. That makes no sense at all but John had been reading a rather flowery novel when he thought that one up so we must make allowances.
"Is that your way of telling me that I need to check ?"
"No," John said. "That is my way of telling you I have balls in my trousers but you can check if you don't believe me."
It turns out John did have balls in his trousers. We had Rose over yesterday and John had a little kit with tiny grains. If you add water to the grains then they grow into these little bouncy balls. Hundreds of bouncy balls. John was far more fascinated by this than Rose was and he has kept all the toys for himself and has been obsessing over them ever since.
So, when I glanced up and nearly caught him in the act of playing with his toys he shoved them down his trousers so I wouldn't see, apparently forgetting that down his trousers is one of my favorite places to visit.
Lesson: You have to monitor the mad people in your life so closely.
Lesson: Let those balls harden before you shove them down your trousers. Otherwise they turn into a sort if gel that is hell to get out of lace knickers and is not suitable as a sexual lubricant. In fact, it gives one a bit if a rash and your mad person will laugh at it even if he's suppose to be a doctor.
Bored. John is off at therapy and is not entertaining me. I am also at my own therapy but I 'm tired of trying to annoy my therapist so I think I'll just play with my phone for the rest of the hour.
During my first session I decided to just say random words and see if he thought that meant anything. He didn't. He just stared at me with his creepy green eyes. It seems rather ridiculous to have red hair and green eyes and go around tanking people for tings and telling people your name is Patrick. We get it. Your Irish. No one, not even Anderson, needs that many clues.
I told John that I have decided we are swapping therapists because I can 't stand the obviousness of mine for another minute.
John says we are not swapping and he did not agree to not disagree with me anymore. I could have sworn he was in the room when I told him that.
"That's disagreeing, John. You are not allowed to disagree."
"I disagree," John said.
This is not going as planned.
I explained calmly and using small words that I am the more sane one now and thus in charge of all decisions.
John just looked at me for a long while.
"Molly," he said finally.
I thought for a moment he had gotten me and Molly mixed up because insanity can do that to people but he was just talking really slow.
"She holds sanity contests. You should ring her and set one up."
Molly says that a sanity contest is in really poor taste and she can't organize one until next Friday because she is in labor.
I'm off to the shops. Molly is my very best friend in the world after John but it never hurts to buy the judge of your sanity contest a little present or two.
Chapter 32: The Road Goes Ever On
A Sanity Contest. A Bend in the Road. A Rest.
I’ve stayed up all night researching insanity on the internet. I want to make sure I’m not unconsciously exhibiting any signs of, say, paranoid schizophrenia or something, because today is our Sanity Contest.
The thing is, I now think I am suffering from any number of rather rabid diseases. I’ll just soldier on as best I can. I just have to get through this one day and then I can confess to John (who is my doctor) how diseased I am.
John, of course, is sleeping like the dead. He keeps talking in his sleep.
“Little boy! Just a little boy,” he says. It’s to do with his time in Afghanistan. When he dreams about his ear he says, “That’s mine. Give it back.”
It’s good that John is dreaming of Afghanistan and not his ear. He is slipping into his old, comfortable insanity. Although that’s not very good for my winning the sanity contest prospects. John is used to presenting a sane front with his old insanity.
John is not dreaming of me tonight in the nightmare way. When he has nightmares about me he just says, “My friend! My friend!” in a way that makes my heart break. He is dreaming about me falling. I’m glad I had to leave John then because I could never leave him now.
The morning after I left him I remember very clearly. I woke up and stood at the window for a long time. I was looking at a picture of him on my phone that I liked. He was angry at finding one of my experiments in the sink and he turned to glare at me in that homicidal way he has and I had taken his photo. Even then I thought that behind the homicidal glare was something that said I love you.
I was terribly lonely for him and I sometimes I wish I could have known the fun times with knickers and things that were in store for us. Though, to be honest, at that moment, those kind of thoughts would only have made me miss him more.
My heart is all hurting just thinking about it. I’m going to go make some eggs.
Mycroft and Tim are present for the sanity contest. Also Rose and Lestrade and Grace are here. That’s the child’s actual name and I am going to call her that. Grace. That’s lovely. Even Mycroft is enchanted with her.
Sanity Contest. Round One.
Molly is holding up all these scribbles that Rose drew and John and I have to identify what they are supposed to be.
Brownish scribble. John says Mummy and Daddy. I say road kill. John wins.
Purple lines. John says sunset. I say veins. John wins.
Reddish scribble. John says apple. I say double homicide by wife who has been cheated on. John wins.
Black round thing. John says Sherlock’s coat. I say death. Draw. It’s a sheep.
Note to self: Rose may spend her time drawing less violent things. Understandable confusion due to child’s propensity to slap my arse on every given occasion.
Yellowish scribble. John says sun. I say lion. I win.
Greenish scribble. John says tree. I say duck. I win.
Bluish scribble. John says sea. I say my hair. I win.
Rose and I are mind melded.
Final “drawing”. It’s pink. I’m thinking of A Study in Pink. I’m thinking cat tongues. I’m thinking… “Rose!” I shout. “It’s a picture of you.”
John guessed a cake in rather lame fashion.
“It’s Uncle John’s bum,” Rose said.
Children grow up so fast don’t they? One minute you can change in front of them when you take them to the swimming pool and the next moment it’s entirely inappropriate.
“He has a very pink bottom and he wears funny pants,” Rose said.
Grace let out a bit of a gurgling laugh.
“Yes,” Molly said. “He has a bit of a rash from wearing funny pants.”
Then she glared at me even though it was pretty much all John’s fault.
“Your uncles will take turns watching you while they get changed the next time you visit the pool,” Lestrade put in.
Mycroft was smiling and rubbing his hands together and Tim was looking around the room like the paintings on the walls had suddenly come to life.
That round was a draw. I’m not worried. I’ve just gotten warmed up.
Lestrade has the manual on proper police procedure open. I’m doomed.
Who’s got a Bible? I’m going to open that thing up and point to the part that says Thou Shalt Not Kill. I am losing a sanity contest to a murderer.
Mycroft has A Young Person’s Guide to British History open. I totally know who the current monarch is.
I have lost the sanity contest. It’s okay. John looks very proud of himself. So what if I lost a sanity contest to a homicidal crazy person?
He didn’t kill a little boy in Afghanistan. John doesn’t kill little boys.
They actually got a trophy. John has brought it to bed with us.
“You’re dreaming more about Afghanistan than of your ear. Tell me about the boy there.”
John stopped beaming at his trophy. His hands started shaking and if he had tried to flee the bed he would have limped. I’m sure of it.
“No,” he said. “I don’t talk about it. Leave it, Sherlock.”
“He was little. He came out of the place where people were firing on you. You shot at him before you realized. You tried to stop it,” I said it softly. I just wanted John to know that I knew and that I still loved him.
John let out a breath that was like a sob and twisted his sanity trophy until the top came off.
“I didn’t,” he said. “I saw him. He was so small. Maybe ten or twelve. He was bleeding and I didn’t know if one of my bullets had hit him. He had strength in him though. He hit me. He sent me home. He had a bullet between his eyes before I lost consciousness. I should have died there with him, Sherlock. What are we doing? What the fuck are we doing?”
I don’t know. But all at once crime seemed ugly in a way that made ill. I wanted nothing more to do with it and I wanted to keep John as far away from it as possible. I got out of bed and started to dress.
“Where are you going?”
“The cottage,” I said. “Tonight. Right now. We’ll be there by dawn and then I will fuck you over the kitchen table while the sun rises and then we’ll sleep and then we’ll do something, John. We’ll make a safe place there. And old soldiers can come. Or Grace and Rose can visit. Let’s do that instead.”
John started crying. Normally he just tries to hold back and gets all angry but tonight he just sat in our bed and sobbed. I finished buttoning my trousers and climbed back into the bed. I shoved his head against my chest and put my arms all around him.
After some time went by I said, “No need to cry. We’ll bring the pets.”
Then John laughed even though he was still crying. And he lifted his head and kissed me even though he was all snotty and gross.
And we lived happily ever after.
Not really. We still had our odd bit of trouble. We got old. Brolly and the cats went to frolic in animal heaven and John was devastated and then he fell in love with new animals. Molly had another baby, another girl named Georgette, and the three girls liked to torture me by playing hairdresser. John kept his hair very short during those years.
Rose became a mother at quite a young age. Her baby grew into a troubled sort of soul that John and I were in charge of for one hellish summer. He was called Joseph and he hated John and loathed me and then he came back to us every summer after that. We still had the flat at Baker Street but we rarely went to London by then. We had two dogs, five cats, three sheep, six goats, a fluctuating number of rabbits and thousands of bees.
Rose and Georgie and Grace would stop by once a month to check up on us. Tim moved into the spare room after Mycroft died and then Joseph moved in there too so he could write his novel. They would have epic fights over things like hugging until Joseph moved into the goat shed.
John and I died on our one last case. It was a case that enticed us out of retirement. It was that good. There was a bomb. The red numbers counting down to zero. Too close to zero. John looked at me with a wry sort of smile on his face. It was a smile that said, “Oh fuck, well, it’s been a hell of a ride.”
I yelled, “Vatican Cameos!” one last time and then we were torn asunder.
Not really. That’s how I keep hoping it will go. Looking into John’s eyes. Maybe the plane will falter as we cross the Atlantic on the way to Maine. John’s eyes saying, “This will hurt but I’ll see you in a few moments.” Maybe the lobsters will turn on us and claw us to pieces in that restaurant on the pier. I’ll take any of that. Anything but the torture of us having to say goodbye for anything longer than a fraction of second.
But for now we are living with an angry young activist novelist and a huggable brother-in-law in a petting zoo. Sometimes these women whose diapers I changed stop by to yell at us and bring us food.
Sometimes, in the evening, John and I go down to the lake and he takes off his clothes to swim. I watch him bob and dip and look ridiculous when his face emerges from the deep and gorgeous when his bum does and when he gets out of the water I woo him.
Sometimes he says he is too old and too tired.
“John,” I say. “I feel you have forgotten to bring your pants to this argument.”
And then he lets me lay him down in the cool grass.
I don’t know how our story will end. I don’t think it will.
Love never ends.
I ended this story once before. I will never promise not to write more of it. It's my happy place. If I do write more I think there will be a considerable jump forward in time. Thanks for reading. It makes me very happy that there are more people who enjoy and celebrate the sublime, the daft, the crazy, and the silly joy of things.