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Sherlock paced back and forth in front of the sofa as John carefully typed an email on his phone, ignoring him. 

The flat was suffocating Sherlock; he imagined swinging a sledgehammer repeatedly into the wall above John’s head, raining plaster and dust onto his hair and the sofa cushions and the mobile a half second before John leapt out of his seat, shouting and yanking the hammer away from him-

Sherlock groaned, fisting his hair with both hands. “I need one, John.”

The other man snorted down at the screen of his mobile. “You really don't. You're up to your elbows in nicotine patches.”

John might as well have compared Lambrini to Cristal, and why wouldn’t he look at Sherlock, anyway? Sherlock flung the Union Jack pillow directly at John's face, but he deflected it without comment. Unusual.

 “What’s wrong with you?” Sherlock asked, eyes narrowing as his pace slowed.


Sherlock turned and quickly appraised his posture. “You’re in a bad mood this morning – not like you for a Saturday.”

“Do not start on this, Sherlock,” John grumbled under his breath.

Sherlock stopped in front of him and openly stared. “Definitely less than five hours of sleep.  I’d put you at three."

“Anderson could’ve beaten you to that one," he said, frowning down at his phone once more.

“You were fretting over a girlfriend.”

John froze.

“It would have to be someone new, because you haven’t been sending inordinate texts lately and I haven’t seen any dreadful poetry in your emails.” Sherlock resumed pacing. “You haven’t had your 'date shoes' on for months, nor have you been fussing over your hair; not a girlfriend, then.” He briefly glanced at John’s face for confirmation before turning back at the wall. He’d already forgotten about the cigarettes and the sledgehammer. 

“You haven’t asked her out yet, nor are you even contemplating doing so. Why? Obvious, someone you shouldn’t be attracted to. Too young? No, no.” Sherlock waved his hand distractedly. “But there is guilt.” He looked directly at John, still ramrod straight on the sofa, a perfectly blank expression on his face. Brilliant. “I know her.”

John’s eyes shifted for the briefest moment to his laptop on the coffee table.

Sherlock snatched the computer off the table before John could lunge for it. “Let’s see who she is, hm?”

“Sherlock, Sherlock no.” He could hear actual panic in John’s voice. This was going to be funny. Molly’s Facebook page probably.  He hoped not Donovan’s.

John nearly knocked him over reaching for the laptop. “Oh, stop.” Sherlock said, holding it over his head while the screen loaded. “I’d find out sooner or later you kno-”

A photograph of himself from The Science of Deduction stared back at him.  Sherlock’s comment died in his throat.

For a few moments, nothing, not even a car horn, disturbed the silence of the room.

By the time Sherlock looked away from the screen, John had already grabbed his keys and wallet off the table and was pulling on his jacket.

“Go fuck yourself, Sherlock,” he muttered before slamming the door.

Sherlock stared at the closed door for a second before he caught sight of the photo again. 

He swallowed and shut the laptop, heading to the fridge for the bag of right toes.