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John had actually been kipping on the sofa when the screams of his flatmate made him topple off it. He staggered to his feet and blearily dashed upstairs to the bathroom, thinking of murderers and rapists and gunmen that would make Sherlock Holmes scream in such a way.


He burst through the doorway, peering around their tiny bathroom, to see no evil criminals causing untold damage to the resident genius, but the look on Sherlock's face said that much worse was happening.

"What the fuck is wrong?" John asked, his voice groggy, and a pain starting in his temple whenever Sherlock was being annoying.

Sherlock was bent over the sink, peering into the mirror, and his hands were parting his hair on the right side of his skull. He looked ready to burst into tears, and his lips were pulled into such a distraught expression, John felt a twinge of protectiveness over his friend- nothing should make Sherlock look so hurt.

"Pull it out, John! Dear lord, get rid of it!"

"What?" John asked exasperatedly, his sudden burst of adrenaline ebbing away now he had realised there was no danger.

"There! Right there!" Sherlock dared not move his hands from his head, but sort of jerked his head towards his reflection. John stepped forward and went on tiptoes to see what was on the detective's head.

"Oh," John sighed in relief, almost laughing. "It's just a grey hair, Sherlock."

"Get it out!" Sherlock wailed, stomping his feet, as his face crumpled in exasperation and despair.

"Why? It's a grey hair, Sherlock, not a bloody tumour. We all get them eventually."

"But don't!"Sherlock insisted, leaning towards the mirror again to inspect it. John could see the white strand glinting in the dull light, sharply contrasting with Sherlock's inky curls.

"Don't be ridiculous, Sherlock!" John snapped. "What did you expect, that you'd stay young forever?"

Sherlock opened his mouth, undoubtedly to answer with a petulant reply, but quickly shut it again, and cast his eyes downwards, letting go of his head. His hair, having been released, bounced a little, even more in disarray than it usually was due to the manhandling. The grey one, however, was still visible from atop his head.

"I can't believe I'm getting old, John," Sherlock said dejectedly. "So old and decrepit."

John chuckled. "Happens to the best of us, Sherlock. Look at me! We're all going to die some day."

He frowned. "Don't speak like that, John. It upsets me."

John dithered for a second with the sort-of compliment, unused to it, and not quite sure as how to respond.

"If it's really bothering you, I'll pull it out. Not like you've got loads," he agreed, and Sherlock immediately perked up, bending so John could access his head.

He grasped the hair between two fingernails, trying to separate black ones away from it, and yanked on it hard. He then presented it to Sherlock on his palm.

"There you go, Old Man Holmes. You fuss pot!"

Sherlock gave it a grin that usually only very clever criminals that had just been thwarted usually got, and brushed it onto the floor.


"Next time, don't scream like Molly's broken in and is handcuffing you to the pipes, okay?" John asked, rubbing his eyes tiredly. "Tea?"

Sherlock nodded, his eyes widened in alarm as his imagination ran off with him at that comment.

John turned and left, smiling to himself that it turned out, Sherlock was just as human as the rest of them