“There’s no milk.” John stared groggily at the empty container that someone had had the nerve to put back in the fridge. It was Sunday morning and despite sleeping in, John felt all but rested. The past days had been stressful with working throughout daylight hours and running after Sherlock on cases at night. He’d fallen asleep during the movie they’d watched two days ago despite Sherlock’s ongoing commentary, for God’s sake. For now John simply wanted to sit down with a nice cup of tea and some breakfast cereal, peruse the newspapers and perhaps update the blog, and then have a nap in his armchair in front of the fireplace.
“Why is there no milk?” he asked the universe in general. “I bought four pints just yesterday.”
The recipient part of the universe was currently residing in his own armchair typing on his phone. He made a grumbling noise.
John grabbed the empty container, shut the fridge and turned in the direction of the grumble. “What did you do with the milk? Poured it down the drain just to annoy me? Or is there another mould experiment lurking somewhere in the flat I should be aware of?”
“I drank it,” replied Sherlock matter-of-factly, his eyes still glued to his phone.
“Four pints? You drank four pints of milk last night?”
“I had some with my cereal, too, and some I drank in combination with tea. But the rest I drank more or less straight from the container.” Sherlock switched off the mobile and raised his eyes to John. One eyebrow went up as well in what John interpreted as a silent challenge. “Problem?"
“Yes, there is a problem, because now there’s no milk left for my tea and breakfast.”
“Well, then I suggest you go and get some. I’m fine for now.”
John waggled an accusing empty milk container at his flatmate. “Oh no, Mister, I’m not going to get it. You drank it, you get new milk. I’m still in my pyjamas and I’m not planning to get dressed any time soon. You, on the other hand, are dressed.”
“You could always wear my coat over—”
“Sherlock,” growled John, glaring at the other despite feeling a stab of something warm in his chest area at the offer of wearing Sherlock’s beloved Belstaff. Other people weren’t even allowed to touch or look too closely at it.
After a brief staring contest Sherlock heaved a monumental sigh and unfolded himself from the chair, pocketing his phone. He was still wearing yesterday’s outfit, indicating to John that he hadn’t slept the previous night. Of course he hadn’t. He’d been busy drinking four fucking pints of milk, the twat.
“Skimmed or semi?” he asked in a bored voice, behaving as if he was doing John the biggest of favours. Walking over to where his coat and scarf hung over the backrest of the desk chair, he dressed with meticulous care.
“Semi. Skimmed tastes like water.”
John watched him arrange his collar in front of the mirror (vain prat that he is, thought John) and then leave, pert nose up in the air, a haughty expression on his face.
Shaking his head, John returned into the kitchen. True enough, there was an empty, used breakfast bowl on the counter. Of course it hadn’t been rinsed after use, meaning that the remains of Sherlock’s meal had turned into something concrete like and solid. John let some water run into the bowl to at least try and get them to soak a little. Sherlock must have been hungry indeed to eat such a large portion. With a stab of worry, John opened the cupboard and fetched the Cheerios, rattling the packet experimentally. But it still contained enough to feed him this morning. Sherlock really seemed to have drunk most of the milk. Well, thought John, at least he’s got a good dose of protein and calcium now.
From personal experience – and didn’t he have lots of that? – John knew that a quick trip to Tesco’s down the road and back took about ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the queues at the cashiers or the cooperation of his special friends the chip-and-pin machines. He filled the kettle, put a teabag in his cup and poured himself a portion of Cheerios.
Then he waited, his stomach grumbling. He ate a few Cheerios, trying to decide whether the various grains really tasted differently. He laid out four meticulous lines of little rings on the counter and ate them up one by on, before deciding that this was likely the first step towards creating a sock index. He quickly shoved the rest into his bowl again.
He was thirsty, too, and briefly considered having a cuppa without milk and then shuddered at the thought. Black tea without milk was just wrong and evil and wouldn’t do at all. He had a glass of water instead because he didn’t trust what according to its label was supposed to be orange juice. After all, it had lived in the fridge for two weeks. Strange and mostly unsavoury things happened to food that remained in that place for longer than a few days. More often than not, the term ‘living in the fridge’ took on a whole new and very literal meaning.
Might as well tidy up the kitchen and throw away some of the more unsanitary stuff while Sherlock’s out and can’t protest, John thought and set to work on the kitchen table. Serves him right for drinking all the milk, the selfish git. Could have left at least enough for tea this morning.
Tidying occupied John so completely – well, a part of it was spent trying to hunt down a pair of gloves because there was no way he was going to handle the experiments without them – that when he gazed at his watch next, Sherlock had been gone for almost forty-five minutes. John shook his head, sighing deeply. What was the wretched man up to now? Had he entered in a discussion with the chip-and-pin machine or got lost among the aisles? Did he annoy the shop assistants and gotting himself thrown out? Retrieving his mobile from the pocket of his robe, John typed a brief message.
Do you have to hunt down a cow first? Where are you? J
He placed the phone on the now acceptable looking kitchen table and stared at it, waiting for it to announce a reply had arrived. It didn’t. John sighed again, gazing at his dry cereal mournfully, and at his cup with its lone teabag. He had another glass of water, before remembering that Molly had given them a box of hot chocolate a while ago. That stuff only needed hot water. As he fetched it from the cupboard, John hoped Sherlock hadn’t tampered with it. But the box was pristine, the inner aluminium cover still intact. John switched on the kettle and waited for the water to heat, once again checking his mobile. There still wasn’t a message from Sherlock. John frowned. This was getting ridiculous. The man was a genius and everything but didn’t manage to buy a pint of milk.
At least the hot chocolate was good, hot and sweet and frothy. John couldn’t recall when last he’d had one. Must have been when he was still a child. He brought his mug over to the living room, fetched the remains of the morning’s newspaper – Sherlock had been at it, so it presented itself in a rather flustered state – and sank into his armchair. Sunlight was slanting through the curtains, and there was the low hum of Mrs. Hudson’s television downstairs. For a moment John considered switching on the TV, too, if only for the news, but then decided against it. There’d unlike be anything decent on at this time of the day, only reruns of soaps and horrible ‘scripted reality’ stuff that was only tolerable to watch when Sherlock was around to tear it apart verbally.
It was peaceful and quiet in the flat, not a frequent occurrence. As much as he loved Sherlock’s energy and the life they led, this was nice for a change. Hot cocoa, an unsullied and uncommented crossword waiting for him to fill it, and a reprieve from the beloved chaos that was Sherlock Holmes. But for the low rumble of his stomach this morning actually wasn’t too bad, John decided. He angled for a pen on the tea-table, then settled into the armchair more comfortably and got to work on the crossword.
He was roused by quick footsteps on the stairs. Opening his eyes groggily, he noticed that the spots of sunlight on the carpet had wandered considerably. A quick glance at his watch told him that he had dozed for more than two hours.
“I got the milk,” he heard Sherlock announce from the kitchen. John got out of his chair, stretched, and turned to face him. Sherlock was pulling off his scarf with one hand while with the other he was waving a two pint container of semi-skimmed milk. It was slightly dented as if it had been dropped at some point.
John stared at it warily. “About time,” he said. “Do I want to know why it’s taken you over three hours to walk down the road to Tesco’s and buy some milk?”
Sherlock placed the milk on the kitchen table with what could only be described as a flourish and proceeded in divesting himself of his coat. “Oh yes, you do. I had quite the adventure. Should be worthy of your blog and won’t be needing your usual poetic embellishments. Put the kettle on and make some tea, and I’ll tell you everything.”
With that, he pulled up a chair and sat down gracefully with his usual ado that in John’s eyes was all pretentious acting but made him look extremely sexy all the same. Shaking his head, John walked over to the sink to rinse his mug and then switch on the kettle with deliberate slowness. He knew that Sherlock was itching to recount his adventures (and show off his brilliance in the process, no doubt), and even though John was curious indeed to hear the account, he decided to let the other stew a bit to repay him for his tardiness. He leaned against the counter, folding his arms and fixing Sherlock with a steady glance. “Well then, you better make this good.”