Work Header

Making The Connection

Chapter Text

Monday, December 14th, 2009


Sherlock peeled off the used buprenorphine patch from his thin forearm and flicked it irritably at the lamp at the foot of the settee.  It missed and landed unnoticed with flutter between the cushions. He tapped at the laptop keyboard, fingers flexing with annoyance. Compared to the euphoria of heroin, the patch was a pale imitation. God, he could use a distraction, any distraction. But he'd given his word to Mycroft, and the tedious course of detox was just about over. Not to mention Lestrade had sworn not to allow Sherlock the fun of any new cases if he were caught using again. Those two unsolved suicides had some promise, even if Lestrade was being cagey about the details. Meanwhile, here he lay. The great detective – still in his dressing gown on the settee at three in the afternoon, on the inside track to going spare from the monotony of life.

If I went mad, would the inspector even notice any difference? Sherlock wondered in a black humour. Certainly neither Donovan nor Anderson would. One part of Sherlock's mind played through a whimsical fantasy of what he might do to Anderson if he ever allowed himself the freedom of inhibited impulse. Another part pondered whether a plea of insanity would get him off murder charges, or the fact that Anderson's very existence had pushed Sherlock over the edge. My Lord, it was self-defence. You must see that the general intelligence quotient of the world has gone up by 1.3456 percent since his death. Another part of his brain weighed the probability of Lestrade's team bringing him to justice if he ever did decide to kill someone. Odds - 1,563,976 to one chance of success. Multiply odds against by five if elder brother deployed. As if I would bring him in - he'd find a way to stick his nose in. Yet another part of his consciousness was just circling in a idiot atonal singsong, bored bored bored bored BORED

Sherlock scowled at the monitor screen and refreshed the website. It looked like the advice from tall-dark&clever had been shot down again. In the weeks of enforced boredom he had been haunting a few message boards devoted to relationship help in an effort to better understand people and their motives for murder a bit more. Love - the most common motive. Predictable. Research of this type was necessary, but so annoying and nebulous – emotional attachments were so irrational, unlike the precision of lab work. He quite preferred lab work. Later. When his hands were less shaky.

But these message boards - unbelievable. For amusement as much as research, he'd set up a few accounts, some in for earnest inquiry, others merely to provoke reactions. No one appreciated his candid assessments of their relationships. The drivel they spouted as motives for their behaviour both amazed and baffled him. One user, kittypink, had suggested to another hopeful trying to catch a man's attention that the best way to attract him was to present yourself as kind yet mysterious, and as attractively attired as possible.

'After you are married and sure of his love, then you can reveal your true self bit by bit!' kittypink had advised.

Yes, when he is emotionally and financially invested, Sherlock thought. Such an amalgam of deceitful ploys were why Lestrade and his squad were kept so busy. 'My Lord, she's not the woman I married! It was justifiable murder!'

But  tall-dark&clever's reply to kittypink had been utterly repudiated. All he had said was, ‘You should not distort yourself to attract others, you are only lying to yourself if you do.’

For this obvious statement he had drawn message-board cat-calls, hisses, and cries of ‘Oh, I suppose you like natural women then, with no artifice or make-up? Who's lying to himself? You think we don't know what men are really looking for?’ There was also a pithy, ‘Piss off!’ from kittypink.

Sherlock grimaced. He didn't know what men in general liked, but he knew what he liked. Not women, particularly after reading some of the flames he'd received. Reflecting on this, Sherlock mused that he ought to have known the thread he'd started would have been controversial. It read:

- Truth in Relationships . In order for your relationship to be successful, it is self-evident that you be as forthcoming as possible before entering a commitment. Too often people who have some character defect enter a relationship without disclosing it to their partner. This is a mistake. If something is not right about you — you believe or have a bad trait or character fault — it will come out eventually. Be honest from the beginning .-

Sherlock's eyes scanned through some of the comments. There were a few agreeing with his stance, but they were buried under an avalanche of indignation. He was called a misogynist, a misanthrope, a Nazi – for suggesting that honesty at the outset was essential to a relationship's success? For God's sake, he was being accused of trolling. Ironic, when he was only expounding his own honest views on the matter. Why were these people so blind? He needed more data.

Sherlock tugged up the shoulder of the dressing gown and considered kittypink's assertions. Does the wilful misrepresentation of one's self actually increase attractiveness/potential for acquiring new partners? Sherlock hummed and tapped a long finger on laptop case. Perhaps. He had used it as a ploy himself to get information from suspects. When it came to sexual partners, he'd much prefer, would demand, nothing but the truth.

A memory drifted through his mind - floppy brown hair, the scent of expensive cologne, a face twisting in mockery as posh accents derided Sherlock. Freak. Annoyed, he pushed the memory away and moved the cursor to the Start button to power down the computer. He'd wasted enough time on the boards. He could stand only so much obtuseness in one day.

Bored. He needed a new drug - no, that avenue was barred. A case would be good but that too was out of his reach. A new problem. An experiment. Or...

His finger slipped on the track pad and the cursor jerked, hovering over a blinking ad. Sherlock paused, caught. There. An experiment? The ad was obviously meant to target the lonely people who frequented this forum. - hideous name. The font itself was off-putting. Still... Phone sex. The most ephemeral of relationships, with the expectation of physical release bought and paid for, no emotional attachment and no chance of depth. Also, in all probability the most sanitary of the sex industries.

Sherlock narrowed his eyes. Time for some empirical data. kittypink claimed that one needed to represent one's self falsely in order to propagate a relationship. Could a phone sex operator, creating a false impression meant to cater to Sherlock's fantasies, actually evoke an honest response from him, physical or otherwise? Were all those wittering females on the relationship website right? He clicked the ad. Damn - of course they would require credit card information, but his accounts had been frozen, thanks to Mycroft's well-intentioned interference. How -? Ah, yes.

Sherlock set the laptop aside and stood. A quick delve into the inner pocket of his Belstaff produced the credit card he'd swiped from Lestrade the last time he'd been annoyed with the inspector.

There . He threw himself into his leather chair and snatched the computer up again, a pleased hum escaping him. With no compunction whatsoever for what Lestrade would think the next time he got his credit bill, Sherlock entered Lestrade's name, age, and credit information. Done. Now, who to talk to? He clicked to the personal information pages of the operators. His lips thinned. None of the pseudo-pubescent girls and overly-groomed young men posing next to descriptions of their assets would work. Too much information. He didn't want to know what they looked like. Not that he supposed the pictures were actual representations. His brow lifted as he read on. Defintely not. He wanted an experience untainted by presupposition. 

Impulsively he clicked through to the “Matchmaker Room” and hit Connect.