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Danger Nights

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Sunday morning and Kate was wide awake by half nine. Leaving Sherlock sleeping, she went down to the Newsagents on the corner to get the Sunday papers, then settled herself at the kitchen table of 221B with a pot of coffee to catch up on the week’s news.

It was just after eleven when Sherlock finally emerged, ruffling his already tousled hair and yawning.

‘There’s coffee in the pot if you want it,’ she said smiling at him, as he sat down, blinked uncertainly and then rested in his head on his folded arms, as if staying vertical was too much effort.

‘You okay?’ she asked frowning.

‘Not sure,’ he said, sounding a little dazed as he raised his head from his arms experimentally, then, rubbing his eyes, ‘I don’t think that I want coffee though.’

‘Tea?’

‘More sleep, I think. Do you mind?’

‘No,’ Kate tried to keep her voice neutral, not wanting to come across as a histrionic girlfriend, who had been looking forward to spending a lazy Sunday with him. ‘That’s fine, of course if you need to sleep then sleep. You’ve been working flat our lately.’

Wearily he got up from the table, walked over to her chair and kissed her on the the forehead, then walked yawning back towards the bedroom. Halfway across the living room, he hesitated, and turning said, ‘Kate, I don’t think I’m going to be much good for the next few days. Just - I don’t want you to think thats it's about you. It isn’t. Its just the way it goes sometimes.’

‘Okay,’ Kate said uncertainly.

‘Phone John, he’ll explain,’ Sherlock said as he walked back to the bedroom.

And phone John she did, after spending the next two hours trying and failing to concentrate on the papers, tidying the kitchen and even cleaning out the fridge; now a decidedly more pleasant place since she had relegated Sherlock’s experiments to a spare fridge in John’s old bedroom, now turned into a makeshift laboratory. When she checked on Sherlock, he was still fast asleep.

‘What's up?’ John asked.

‘Sherlock. He’s being - odd.’

‘Odder than normal?’

‘It's not funny John. He got up, said about two words, muttered something about not taking it personally and went back to bed.’

‘Ah,’ John said.

‘Ah what?’

John sighed. ‘He does this Kate, when he’s been working hard, it's like a kind of slump after the excitement of a case. He sleeps for days sometimes, doesn’t eat, barely speaks, and then in a week or so, he’ll be back to normal as if nothing has happened. My best advice is to let him get on with it, although I suspect that you’ll get sworn at less for trying to interfere than I used to.’

‘A week? You’re telling me that this could go on for a week?’

‘Make sure he gets up by the end of day three, and starts eating by the end of day six. Thats the advice that Mycroft gave me,' John told her.

‘Seriously?’

John chuckled. ‘You’ll see. He’s hardly slept for the last two weeks Kate, remember? Sometimes I think it's just his body’s way of coping with that.’

‘Right. Thanks, I think. Anything else I should know?’

‘Just make sure he keeps drinking - I used to leave glasses of water by his bed, that's all that he wants when he’s like this, other than that just sit it out. I suspect that it’ll be worse for you than for me. I used to quite enjoy the peace and quiet, to be honest. Gave me time to sort out other things, go out and see friends without being dragged onto a train or a plane at two minutes notice.’

‘Did it never strike you as - odd?’ Kate asked tentatively.

‘Kate, this is Sherlock, nothing about him is usual, you know that.’

Kate took John’s advice, and went out to meet her friend Alice for a few hours of shopping and coffee, but her heart wasn’t in it. Returning to the flat just before six she stuck her head round the bedroom door to find Sherlock still fast asleep, the glass of water that she had left next to him untouched. She spent the evening watching television, reading a book, and trying to catch up on her emails in rotation, but nothing could hold her attention. The flat was eerily silent. Once or twice she went to check that Sherlock was still actually breathing, surely nobody could sleep for this long? She even thought about checking the bedside drawer for something that he could have taken to make him like this, but decided that she would rather not know.

He did move in his sleep occasionally she noticed, so he wasn’t entirely unconscious, and when she finally gave up waiting for him to wake up and crawled into bed beside him, he reached out a sleepy arm and pulled her close, holding her tightly to him as she finally fell asleep.