It was a dark and drizzly morning. John Watson was up and puttering about in the kitchen, making coffee and breakfast. And grinning like a loon. And he kept glancing up at Sherlock and smirking some more. It was becoming annoying. Finally Sherlock put down his coffee and snapped, "What, John?"
John smiled innocently, "Remember that little nighttime habit we discussed?"
Sherlock's scowl deepened. He remembered - John insisted that he talked in his sleep, something which nobody had ever mentioned before, at any time in Sherlock's life. Which meant one of three possibilities: 1) This was a new manifestation (unlikely, as sleep disorders such as sleep-talking were generally early-onset), 2) A lot of people had been holding out on him, or 3) "You're delusional," he snapped.
John beamed so innocently, Sherlock could picture the halo. "And that conclusion is drawn from incomplete information," he held up his phone, "So I decided to collect some evidence."
Sherlock felt his heart plunk into his stomach as his head plunked into his hands, "Oh no."
"Yup! And it's class A," John gloated, "Would you like to hear the evidence?"
Sherlock glared at him, torn. On the one hand, this was likely to be horribly embarrassing. On the other hand... he was rather curious. "Oh alright," he huffed.
John grinned wider and came to sit down, "I had to trim off quite a bit. It was a good twenty minutes before you really got going."
"What did you do, have your phone recording the whole night through?"
"Oh yes! I didn't want to miss any of it. The lead-offs are always fantastic and this one was no exception. You sure you want to hear this?" John's finger hovered over the playback button, "Last chance to continue swimming in Egyptian rivers?"
"Just play it," Sherlock grated out. His arms were crossed over his chest and he was wearing his best pouty scowl too, which made it all even better. John reached out to rub his knee fondly. Then he pressed play.
There was a long quiet, filled with the gentle sounds of rain, the occasional creak of the bed, and the snuffling and breathing of two people falling into sleep. Sherlock recognised the rhythm of John's breathing, therefore the other rhythm was his own. How fascinating to observe his own sleeping rhythm; interest started to overcome embarrassment and then... "Macadamia nuts."
Sherlock blurted a startled, "What?" at the same time as John's voice said, "I'm sorry, what?" John grinned.
There was an expectant pause, then John said, "What was that about macadamia nuts?"
"......I'm not familiar with the term 'whizbie', can you define it?"
"'s all................ mouse-tasting." There was a smack and John stifling a giggle. "You were flailing your hand around and smacked me," John supplied.
Sherlock looked incredulous, "'Mouse-tasting?'"
"Oh it gets better."
"And what's mouse-tasting then? Is it like wine tasting?" John's voice was asking.
"Yes, you fin'ly g't one right."
"So you taste different types of mice then, is that it? Field mice, house mice, little white feeder mice?"
"'S capital!" Sherlock's hand fluttered up to his forehead.
John's voice sounded tense with suppressed giggling, "So how did you get into mouse-tasting?"
"'S one 'f those.......... *whap* posh th'ngs."
Bursts of staccato breathing as John tried not to laugh, "So, what, do the upper crust have mingles where they stand around and sample mice tidbits?" Sherlock was biting his lip, trying not to grin at the visual this presented.
"It w'sn't my idea." The grin escaped and Sherlock tried very hard not to look up at John.
"So these macadamia nuts taste like mice, then?"
"......... so d's And'rson." Sherlock's shoulders were starting to shake.
"And how do you know that?" John's voice sounded highly amused.
"'t j'st......... *smack* st'nds t' reas'n..." A muffled snort from John. "H's got th' brains 'f one....." and from Sherlock.
"Suppose I can't argue with that."
"H's gone all st'pid ag'n."
"What's he done this time?"
"H's sn'wing all ov'r th' corpse!" Sherlock's slurred voice sounded affronted. Sherlock was losing control over his own low giggling.
"What's the case, then?"
"'s a......... frog h'ndler." Sherlock finally looked up, "What the hell is a frog handler??" John just spread his hands.
"A frog handler. You've found a dead frog handler and Anderson is snowing over the body."
"And then what happened?"
"L'strade went all........ *whap* finky, s'rt 'f th'ng..." John gave in to his laughter.
"How'd he do that?"
"I t'ld h'm, d'n't push th' b'tton!"
"Terrible. Which button was it?"
"One 'f th'....... r'd ones."
"Oo, pressing big red buttons, never a good idea. So what happened next?" "That almost made sense," Sherlock said.
"Oh yeah," John nodded, "Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you're actually asleep or not."
"I think the snow was something about a sugared doughnut," Sherlock pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes, trying to remember, "He was getting sugar all over the crime scene. I think the red button was we'd got stuck in a lift. I have no idea about the frog handler though."
There was a long, long pause, then, "Do we h've 'ny mint sauce?" Both of them burst into laughter.
"What do you want mint sauce for?"
"Th're's m'ce in it."
"Oh we're back to the mice again. You want mint sauce for, what, a mouse-tasting party?"
Another long pause. "I d'n't think there sh'ld be slime on this, d'you?"
"No, no, pretty sure mint sauce should not have slime on it. I'd be pretty disappointed if I had slimy mint sauce for my mouse canape." Sherlock burst out laughing, "'Mouse canape', John?"
"Hey, I lie awake waiting for this stuff, this is magic!" he wiped his eyes, "It starts off relatively coherent then you get more slurred and disjointed as you get into deeper sleep. This next bit's cut out about forty five minutes of relative quiet, you don't talk so much when you're deeply asleep, just a few words here and there. This next bit, I'm well asleep and you've got the stage to yourself."
It started off with "Hey, that's mine! Give it back!" then they listened as Sherlock sleep-narrated an entire case, complete with rants about Anderson's missing braincell and Donovan's inability to find her own arse with a toadstool, and a particularly puzzling drawl of "Thaaaaaaaaaat's not Mycroft." As John had predicted, it started off alright (for a given value of 'alright'), then got progressively more zany until both of them were crying with laughter.
Sherlock wiped his eyes with his t-shirt, "Is that it? There's more?"
"No, that's it."
"No it isn't, I can see there's more. What are you hiding?"
"You won't like it."
"How bad can it be? What is it, is it personal? Is it embarrassing? Can't be any more embarrassing than learning that you talk about mouse-tasting parties."
"No no, nothing like that," John sighed. He pressed play.
A long silence, broken by a brief, soft rumble of distant thunder. Then... "Vatican cameos!" followed by a creak and a sudden *WHUMP*
Sherlock looked horrified as his recorded self asked "John? Are you injured?" "Was that when...?" He listened as John's voice brushed him off, saying "Must have had a... *hrm* had a nightmare." Sherlock put his face in his hands, "It wasn't your nightmare though, was it."
John grinned and patted his knee. "Didn't seem the right time to tell you. Besides, I'd just snapped out of kip myself, hadn't quite worked it out for myself yet that you'd sleep-shouted our code for 'hit the deck'," he chuckled, "I'm not upset. If anything, it's good to know that my reflexes are still sharp."
Sherlock dragged his fingers through his hair and sighed, "I suppose there's that. And this is very interesting, somniloquy usually takes place during the NREM sleep phases and you say I talk a little when in deep sleep, I wonder what phases are producing the most activity?"
"Oh no..." John mock-moaned and covered his face with his hands.
"I wonder if I can nick an EEG reader from Barts..."
"I knew it, I just knew it," John shook his head and grinned. Life with his flatmate was unconventional, often aggravating, but it was seldom - if ever - boring.