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Johnlock

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Gunshots, gunshots everywhere. Soldiers running, screaming, returning fire. Dust, and sand and screams everywhere. He can hear his name shouted “Watson!! Watson!!” the fire continues, the fire isn’t ceasing. He can hear his name again “Watson!”

John Watson jumps in his bed, panting, sweating, his eyes are wide open. It takes him a few moments to realize he is not in the battlefield anymore. It was just a dream, just another nightmare, yet his body is still in panic and it’s hard for him to stop the panting. The dark bedsit, his dark bedsit, is spinning around him as he pants.

John tries to relax himself, he really does. He drops his body back to the matters as he pants.

It was just a nightmare, just a bad dream, breath Watson, in and out, in and out, deep breaths Watson, just breath…

But he can’t stop his whimpers as panic washes over him, he can’t bring himself to relax fully.

Just a few more breaths, Watson, just breath…

John can’t sleep again, even after he’s finally relaxed. He turns up his bedside lamp and sits on his small bed, his hands folded in his lap, staring.

This is everything that’s left from me. This void is my life nowadays.

He barely has anything, any property. He barely feels the need to own any property nowadays. John barely lives, he’s breathing his life away on earth.

He can’t stop these thoughts, not in this time of the night as he’s sitting on his bed, wide awake in his small bedsit, all the curtains closed as he avoids the world, sometimes he wishes it could work and the world was this small bedsit. It could make all of this so much easier…

His life turned around in the last few months and he can’t stop thinking about it, can’t stop his self-hate and self-disgust - I am useless, I can’t help others anymore… I can barely walk by myself.

In these times of the night, it’s hard to find propose for his life, as the world is so quiet.

But today is not the day, not still, pass this night as well Watson, be brave…

John sits on his small bed and holds his thoughts to himself. He takes a deep breath.

Just pass the night, Watson.

It’s better in the morning, not really, but at least the thoughts are a little bit quieter. John is limping in his small bedsit from his kitchen to his desk, with a glass of tea and a single green apple as his usual breakfast nowadays. He doesn’t eat much any longer, he doesn’t feel the need to. He sits down and take out his laptop from the desktop’s drawer, barely noticing his gun, the gun which became a daily interest of his. Something he makes sure to keep in a hand reach, just in case today is the day. He opens his laptop and stares at the screen – ‘The personal blog of Dr. John H, Watson’ is written in front of his face, and yet again John can’t bring himself to write down anything. Another dead void and nothingness.

John only leaves his bedsit nowadays for two things – In search of some food, just to pass another day, or to meet his therapist, Ella. John can’t find any joy in either activity, but he can’t avoid each of them, so he keeps indulging. Well… indulging to some extent…

“How’s you blog going?” Ella asks. John hates the sessions with her, it makes him feel even more broken, so out of place…

“Oh, fine. Good. Very good” John answers, stoic. He tries to look indifferent, even flush a smile, but his good leg is moving in nerves and his hand is twitching. He hates being there, he hates talking about his feelings.

“You haven’t written a word, have you?” she tells, knowingly, as she’s writing down in her notepad.

Annoyance, that all John can feel in this moment. Annoyance and resentment.

“You just wrote ‘still has trust issues’” he says pointedly, as his left hand is twitching.  He tries to smile politely, and fails miserable. Damn it all. Damn her.

“And you just read my writing upside down. See what I mean?” she answers him sincerely

Touché.

“John, you are a solider. It’s going to take you a while to adjust to civilian life – writing a blog about everything that happens to you, will honestly help you. Trust me.”  John has heard this sentence before, it’s not the first time Ella tells him he needs to express his feelings, to give his life on earth nowadays some purpose.

But she doesn’t understand, she would never understand. I am broken and lost and a stupid blog would not turn my life upside-down. She won’t understand, they never understand this void…

John is looking at her bleakly - “Nothing happens to me”

Chapter Text

John is hobbling in Russel square park, leaning heavily on his cane. He is, as usual, deep in thoughts, trying to shut the world around him as much as possible. He wants to end this trip to the store quickly and go back to his bedsit, to his loneliness and pain. Turning home from the military made him shut himself entirely from the world, he’s not sure whether it was from embarrassment or dread. Probably both.

There are people strolling by, but John is in his own world, oblivious as he grimly keeps going on. As he walks by a bench, he hears a voice calling his name – “John!”

It’s probably for someone else…

“John Watson!”

John is buffaloed and really doesn’t want to turn around, but his good manners and curiosity overcome him. He looks at the stranger a little angry. He sees a chubby man in front of him, who seems a little bit familiar.

Oh god, oh please, I can’t leave this bedsit, can’t I?

“Stamford – Mike Stamford, we were at Bart’s together” he says.

Oh damn, I can’t believe this is happening to me.

“Yes. Sorry, yes, Mike” John says as he takes Mike’s offered hand and shakes it. “Hello, hi”

It’s not that John doesn’t want to see Mike in particular - he doesn’t want to see anyone, not in his state, especially not one of his old friends.

“Yeah, I know. I got fat!” Mike continues, as he’s grinning and gesturing to himself.

There are things much more important than this in this world…

John is looking at him a little bit unpleasantly, but tries to get a hang on his manners – “No…” he says as he quickly looks away.

“I heard you were abroad getting shot at. What happened?” Mike asks. John is looking at him confused. Are you kidding me? Can’t you see this cane?

“I got shot” he says awkwardly, as he fleshes a false smile. Mike in nodding at him, embarrassed.

After buying themselves take-aways coffees, John and Mike are sitting side by side on the bench in the park. Mike looks at John worriedly, but John doesn’t notice his glances. John is taking a long sip from his coffee.

You can do a small talk, Watson, it shouldn’t be hard. Just get it over.

He exhales loudly as he’s looking at Mike – “Are you still in Bart’s, then?”

“Teaching now. Bright young things, like we used to be. God, I hate them!” Mike laughs sincerely, but John, although feeling for a moment a bit nostalgic, can’t bring himself to laugh freely. He looks away as he barks a forced laugh, a bit uncomfortable, wishing he hadn’t left his bedsit this morning. He really doesn’t want to continue this conversation.

Deep breaths, Watson, relax…

“What about you? Just staying in town ‘till you get yourself sorted?”

“I can’t afford London on an Army pension” John answers sourly, staring ahead.

“Ah, but you couldn’t bear to be anywhere else…” John tries to swallow his distress “…That’s not the John Watson I know…” John is really getting tired of this conversation right now, and Mike is really getting on his nerves.

Nobody understands.

“Yeah, I’m not the John Watson…”

His left hand is aching. John’s looking at his hand and tries to control the tremor that has started. Mike’s looking at him again, a little uncomfortable and worried.

“Couldn’t Harry help?”

Are you serious?

“Yeah, like that’s gonna happen” John answers sarcastically.

“I dunno – get a flat share or something?” This makes John’s head pop in surprise

He has no idea… No damn idea…

“Come on, who’d want me for a flat mate?”

John doesn’t really know how to react at this point, hiding his emotions and distress with anger and sarcasm. And now Mike is chuckling, and John is all of the sudden intrigued – “What?”

“You’re the second person to say that to me today” Mike confesses, and there he got John’s full attention.

“Who was the first?”

***

Meanwhile, in St Bartholomew’s hospital morgue, Sherlock Holmes is on a case. He unzips the body bag lying on the dissection table to inspect the corpse inside. He sniffs.

“How fresh?”

“Just in. Sixty-seven, natural causes. He used to work here – I knew him, he was nice.” Molly Hooper, the pathologist, answers him as she approaches the table from across the room, smiling.

After zipping the bag up again, Sherlock straightens up and turns towards her.

“Fine. We’ll start with the riding crop” he says with a false smile on his face.

Shortly afterwards, the body has been removed from the bag and it’s lying on its back on the dissections table. Molly watches Sherlock admiringly from the observation room, as he flogs the body repeatedly and violently with the riding crop. Molly is coming back to the room as Sherlock finishes. He straightens up, breathless, as she goes over to him.

“So, bad day, was it?” Molly says jokingly with a huge smile on her face. She chuckles. Sherlock ignores her banter as he gets his notebook out and starts writing in it.

“I need to know what bruises form in the next twenty minutes. A man’s alibi depends on it. Text me.”

“Listen, I was wondering… Maybe later, when you’re finished…” Sherlock is glancing across to her as he is writing, then does a double check – That’s weird. He frowns.

“Are you wearing lipstick? You weren’t wearing lipstick before.”

Why?

Molly is looking back at him nervously “I, er… I refreshed it a bit.” She’s smiling at him flirtatiously.

Hmmm, right, that makes sense

Sherlock is looking back to her, oblivious to her flirtation, then goes back to his writing.

“Sorry, what were you saying?”

“I was wondering if you’d like to have coffee” She continues as she looks at him intently. He closes his notebook as he answers her while walking away - “Black, two sugars, please. I’ll be upstairs”

“…okay”

As Sherlock approaches Bart’s lab, he’s settling in the far end of the lab, returning to his latest experiment. He’s using a pipette to squeeze a few drops of liquid onto a petri dish, fully focused, until there is a knock on the lab’s door. As the door is opened, Sherlock’s looking up. Mike Stamford is walking inside, followed by a stranger. And Sherlock’s world stands still.

A friend, obviously, a very good looking friend… Don’t stare.

Sherlock quickly looks back to his work as John limps into the room, looking around at the equipment.

“Well, bit different from my days” John says

“You have no idea” Mike answers as he chuckles.

“Mike, can I borrow your phone? There’s no signal on mine.” Sherlock says as he’s sitting down.

Hmmm, Hello there…

“And what’s wrong with the landline?” Mike asks as he walks farther inside the room.

“I prefer to text” Sherlock answers pertinently.

“Sorry, it’s in my coat.”

“Er, here.” Hmmm, interesting, very interesting… That’s new “Use mine.” John says as he fishes in his back pocket and takes his own phone out.

“Oh.” Sherlock says as he glances briefly at Mike, a little, almost invisible, smile is tingling in the end of his lips. “Thank you.” Sherlock says as he stands.

Mike interduces John as Sherlock’s approaching him – “It’s an old friend of mine, John Watson.”

Smile Watson

C’mon, close that bottom, look indifferent… Oh god, he’s a doctor… AND A SOLIDER…  Don’t faint, Sherlock, get a hold on yourself

Sherlock reaches John and takes the phone from him, turning partially away from him as he flips open the keypad and starts typing on it. John is moving away as well, a little uncomfortably.

Damn it, he’s hot.

“Afghanistan or Iraq?”

It takes a moment for John to realize this beautiful stranger is talking to him. Mike is smiling knowingly, and John frowns, his head is turning in confusion.

“Sorry?” he says as he looks back at Sherlock

“Which was it – Afghanistan or Iraq?” Sherlock asks as he looks at John over his shoulder.

It’s mad. How could he know it? It’s mad...

John is looking across at Mike, stunned. Mike’s only smiling at him smugly in return. John’s mouth is literally opened in shock.

Control yourself, Watson

He tries to collect himself as he’s looking at his feet.

“Afghanistan. Sorry, how did you know…?” John is cut as Sherlock looks up at the opened door, Molly Hooper is walking into the room with a mug of coffee in her hands.

“Ah, Molly, coffee. Thank you.” He says as he shuts John’s phone down and hands it back to him while Molly brings the mug over to him.

What is going in?

Sherlock smiles at her falsely as he takes the mug from her, then looks at her face confused – “What happened to the lipstick?”

John is glancing at her as he puts his phone back in his backpacked.

Oh, he’s got a girlfriend…

“It wasn’t working for me” Molly answers him with a bright smile on her face.

Oh, Watson, don’t look at this arrogant, rude, beautiful posh boy…

“Really?” Isn’t she aware to the suitable colors to her skin tone? “I thought it was a big improvement. Your mouth is too small now.” Sherlock says as he turns around and walks back to his station. He’s taking a sip from the mug and grimaces at the taste.

Oh god, this is awful.

“…Okay” Molly answers awkwardly as she turns and heads back towards the door.

Hmm, focus Sherlock, back to the handsome solider

“How do you feel about the violin?” Sherlock asks. John is looking back at Molly as she leaves, ready to hear her answer, but she’s on her way out the door. Mike is looking at him exceptionally and flashes him a smile.

Oh, wait, was he talking to me?

“Sorry, what?” John answers

Sherlock is typing on a laptop keyboard as he talks “I play the violin when I’m thinking. Sometimes I don’t talk for days on end.” He looks round at John - “Would that bother you? Potential flat mates should know the worst about each other” He throws a hideously false smile at John, tries to look charming.

Don’t mess it up Sherlock

John looks at him blankly for a second, and then looks across to Mike, realization washing him

“Oh, you… You told him about me?”

“Not a word” Mike answers as he shakes his head

“Then who said anything about flat mates?” John asks as he turns back to Sherlock

Sherlock’s answering him as he’s picking up his greatcoat and putting it on - “I did. Told Mike this morning that I must be a difficult man to find a flat mate for.” Well… I am. - Sherlock thinks to himself sourly - “Now here he is just after lunch with an old friend, clearly just home from military service in Afghanistan. Wasn’t that difficult a leap.” He ends with a sincere smile.

“How did you know about Afghanistan?“ John asks, as he’s looking at him. But Sherlock ignores the question, wraps his scarf around his neck, then picks up his mobile and checks it. 

This is mad. He is mad.

“Got my eye on a nice little place in central London. Together we ought to be able to afford it.” He says as he walks towards John. “We’ll meet there tomorrow evening; seven o’clock. Sorry – gotta dash. I think I left my riding crop in the mortuary.” He ends with another little smile. God, this mad man is hot. Sherlock is putting his phone into the inside pocket of his coat, he walks past John and heads for the door.

John is stunned. His mouth is slightly open and it takes him a moment to turn around and look at the mysterious stranger.

“Is that it?“ he asks with a little forced smile.

Sherlock turns back from the door.

Oh no, I didn’t mess it all up, did I? Was mentioning the riding crop too much?

He strolls closer to John again - “Is that what?”

Oh god, he really is mad, isn’t he?

“We’ve only just met and we’re gonna go and look at a flat?” John asks in disbelief.

Sherlock is looking over Mike, then turns to John again.

Wasn’t it the whole point of this meeting?

“Problem?” he asks as he can’t stop the little lopsided smile that fleshes across his face.

John smiles in disbelief, looking across to Mike for help, but his friend just continues to smile as he looks at Sherlock. John turns back to the younger man.

“We don’t know a thing about each other; I don’t know where we’re meeting; I don’t even know your name.” He can’t control the little smiles that flicker across his face.

Sherlock looks closely and intensively at him for a moment before speaking. Show time.

“I know you’re an Army doctor and you’ve been invalided home from Afghanistan. I know you’ve got a brother who’s worried about you but you won’t go to him for help because you don’t approve of him – possibly because he’s an alcoholic; more likely because he recently walked out on his wife. And I know that your therapist thinks your limp’s psychosomatic – quite correctly, I’m afraid. “ John looks down at his leg and cane and shuffles his feet awkwardly.

Sherlock continues, smugly – “That’s enough to be going on with, don’t you think?”

What was THAT? How…? How could he know?

John feels a bit ashamed, to be presented like that, almost completely accurately, that a stranger state aloud what a broken man he truly is, but he’s also buffaloed from how charming yet intimidating this beautiful stranger is.  

Sherlock turns and walks to the door again, opening it and going through

Is that it? Hmmm… Maybe I should end it with a smile and a wink, I do that sometimes, that might work. People seem to like it – it humanizes me.

He leans back into the room again - “The name’s Sherlock Holmes and the address is two two one B Baker Street.”

He click-winks at John, then looks round at Mike - “Afternoon.“

Mike raises a finger in farewell as Sherlock disappears from the room. The door slams shut behind him and John is hooked. He turns and looks at Mike shocked. Mike smiles and nods to him.

“Yeah. He’s always like that. “

***

Later that day, John has returned to his bedsit. Sitting down on the bed, he takes out his mobile phone and flicks through the menu to find Messages Sent. The last message reads: 

If brother has green ladder 
arrest brother. 
SH 

Puzzled, John looks at the message for a long moment, then looks across to the table where his laptop is lying. He pushes himself to his feet and walks over to the table. Shortly afterwards, he has called up a search website called Quest and types ‘Sherlock Holmes’ into the search box.

It’s the first time since he’s back he feels the need to write in his blog, and he’s not sure how to do it, but before he can think about it, he’s typing about this beautiful madman, about the mysterious Sherlock Holmes.

Chapter Text

In a dark apartment in the outskirts of London, Jim Moriarty is sitting in front of his desk. A few laptops are open in front of him, and he is watching their screens intensively. Sherlock Holmes is on every single one of them, monitored from different angles as he’s leaving Bart’s and about to get into a cab, on his way to his new address - 221B baker street.

Hmmm, he looks so stressed… Like a lost puppy… Delicious.

Jim greens smugly as he freezes one of the screens and sends the screenshot to the printer. As the photo is printed, he stands up from his chair and looks at the photo intensively, his hand is hovering over the close-up on Sherlock’s face.

“Well, well, well… Where should I hang you?”

He purrs as he approaches the little section near the desk which contains photos in which Sherlock looks stressed. He takes a piece of scotch and attaches the photo in the middle.

Perfect.

This apartment is full of Sherlock and only Sherlock, Jim’s biggest obsession – On each wall there are hundreds of photos of Sherlock, each section captures a different kind of expression, from Sherlock’s childhood to nowadays. This apartment is Jim’s favorite place in the whole world. Well, at least for now… Up until he’ll get his hold on Sherlock Holmes and lock him up somewhere, for his own use.

Jim turns back to his chair, and looks at the screens again. Speedy’s café is shown in front of his face, as Sherlock Holmes is stepping out of the car. Then Sherlock Holmes approaches a stranger, and Jim loses his mind.

Who is this man?? Why Sherlock is looking at him like that…? Is he looking SOFT??

Rage is building inside him like lava inside of a volcano.

Oh no no no no no, it can’t be…

He is now pacing back and forth in his apartment, thinking.

I might need to change my plans, can’t let him become all soft and human, no no no no no, he can’t become all soft and human… No no no…

He screams in anger and kicks the wall in his range, the screenshot he has just hanged falling to the floor.

This would not mess up my plans.

Jim’s now sitting again in front of his desk and searches for yesterday’s footage. He missed almost all the day long, doing business with a soviet mobster. He uploads the videos from the hidden camera he has in Bart’s lab and shuffles back and forth on yesterday’s footage, until he sees it. He turns the video back to normal speed as the stranger hobbles into the lab Sherlock is always working at. He turns up the sound and looks at the video intently.

Well, well, well.. You’ve got yourself a new pet, haven’t you, Sherlock?  A little humanly distraction, just like old times... But it was easy enough to get rid of people then, how hard is it going to be go get rid of this old man? Maybe I should stick his cane up his arse, before you’ve got the chance to stick up your cane in there… Hmmm, no no no no no, it won’t be hard to get rid of him, if he won’t run away from you by himself… He smirks, and then talks to the computer screen in his sing-song voice - “I think I’d let you keep him, Sherlock, at least for now… it would spice things up, wouldn’t it? Well, at least up until I’d make my plans for you into action, oh yessss…” he laughs smugly.

Because once upon a time, in a dark apartment on the outskirts of London, lived a man whose name no-one says. Well, at least up until now, but not for far too long…

***

John Watson limps along the sidewalk of Baker street. He took the train, then decided he’d walk what’s left of the way. Excitement is bubbling inside of him, and he tries to pretend it’s because there’s a chance he’ll live in London again, and not because of a certain mysterious madman he has been daydreaming about since yesterday. He reaches the door marked 221B just as a black cab pulls right behind him. John knocks on the door as Sherlock gets out of the cab.

The moment Sherlock sees John again, he can’t help the little smile that rises on his face and the warmth that spreads in his body. He reaches through the cab’s window to pay to the driver as he tries to control his body language and face expressions, then talks to John - “Hello“

John turns around as he hears Sherlock, and can’t stop himself from checking out his ass.

He’s so hot…

John’s eyes travel along Sherlock’s body, and then they reach Sherlock’s face as turns around and walks towards him.

Be cool, Sherlock, don’t drive the cute army doctor away… Oh gosh, he looks so good… Breath, Sherlock, Breath.

Be formal Watson, dear god! You’ve just met him yesterday, hold yourself… Hmm… Formality, formality might be good, this posh boy must want formality.

“Ah, Mr. Holmes” John answers as Sherlock approaches him.

“Sherlock, please” Sherlock corrects him immediately, as he shakes John’s hand.

“Well, this is a prime spot. Must be expensive” John says as he looks around the busy street.

Sherlock stands himself right in front of him.

Keep your body language open, make sure your hands are not in front of you… Yep, putting them at your back is good, Sherlock.

“Oh, Mrs Hudson, the landlady, she’s giving me a special deal. Owes me a favor. A few years back, her husband got himself sentenced to death in Florida. I was able to help out.“ Sherlock explains.

“Sorry – you stopped her husband being executed?” John asks, a little perplexed and skeptical.

Who is this guy?

Going for the mandatory assumption I see

“Oh no… I ensured it.” Sherlock answers with a warm soft smile.

He had it coming.

Wait, what…?

John is looking at the street, still confused from Sherlock’s statement. He really doesn’t know how to take it.

The door is opened by Mrs. Hundson - “Sherlock, hello” she says as she opens her arms to hug Sherlock warmly, a huge smile on her face. Sherlock steps back to present John to her, with an unstoppable smile on his face as he waves his hand at John’s direction – “Mrs. Hudson, Doctor John Watson” ,the brave solider he continues in his head

“Hello, come in” she tells him full of Joy, gesturing John inside.

“Thank you” John answers as he’s going inside.

Sherlock can’t stop himself from checking out his butt.

Oh gosh, this will be the death of me.

“Shall we?” Sherlock says as he walks just behind John.

“Yeah” Mrs. Hudson answers and closes the door behind them.

Sherlock trots up the stairs to the first-floor landing, then pauses, turns around and waits for John to hobble upstairs.

Please like it, please like it, please like it…

Sherlock opens the flat’s door with his eyes on John’s face, his lips are constricted a little from stress. Sherlock steps inside, and immediately turns back to John, observing his face to see what he thinks about it.

John follows him in and looks around the room – The room is large and pleasant, but also a dreadful mess. There are a lot of boxes scattered around, books everywhere… But the place also radiant some sort of warmth.

“Well, this could be very nice…” John nods to himself, satisfied “Very nice indeed.”

Phew, he likes it…

Sherlock smiles warmly, hopeful, he is a little less stressed now – “Yes. Yes, I think so. My thoughts precisely.“ He looks around the flat happily “So I went straight ahead and moved in.“ he adds as John says “As soon as we get all this rubbish cleaned out ...” simultaneously.

“Oh…” John stops, embarrassed, when he realizes what Sherlock’s saying.

Oh no…

Oh no, oh no, oh no… It went so well… Focus, Sherlock, make this place look better, gotta impress the Doctor.

Sherlock rushes across the room.

“So this is all ...“ John continues.

Oh no, I made it all uncomfortable now…

“Well, obviously I can, um, straighten things up a bit.“ Sherlock answers, as he makes a half-hearted attempt to tidy up a bit, throwing a couple of folders into a box and then takes some unopen envelopes, puts them onto the mantelpiece and then stabs into them a multi knife tool.

“That’s a skull…“ John points at Billy the skull on the mantelpiece with his cane, looking a bit confused.

“Friend of mine…” Sherlock looks briefly on Billy “When I say ‘friend’...” he tries to treat it as a joke, although it isn’t for him.

I don’t have friends.

He goes across the room again.

Mrs. Hudson is now in the room as well. She picks up a cup and saucer while Sherlock takes off his greatcoat and scarf.

“What do you think, then, Doctor Watson?”

Ahhh, DOCTOR Watson… He smiles at the words to himself as his back is to John.

”There’s another bedroom upstairs if you’ll be needing two bedrooms.” She continues.

“Of course we’ll be needing two.“ John answers her, confused.

Though, I would like to make it into one bedroom… Too soon, Watson, it’s too soon, you’ve just met him and why would he want YOU?

“Oh, don’t worry; there’s all sorts round here.” She answers him, then drops her voice to whisper – “Mrs Turner next door’s got married ones. ”

Try to stay oblivious, Sherlock, don’t show your cards so soon… Just focus on tidying up to impress John, yes… The goal is to make John stay.

John looks across to Sherlock, expecting him to confirm that he and John are not involved in that way but Sherlock succeeds in appearing oblivious to what’s being insinuated.

What is happening? Why would she think that we are together? Why would this posh boy want ME?

Mrs Hudson walks across to the kitchen, then turns back and frowns at Sherlock.

“Oh, Sherlock. The mess you’ve made…“ Sherlock looks up at her briefly as she says it, then continues to tidy up a bit. She goes into the kitchen and starts tidying up as well while John walks over to one of the two armchairs, plumps up a cushion on the chair and then drops heavily down into it. He looks across to Sherlock.

John’s curiosity is taking over him - “I looked you up on the internet last night.”

Sherlock turns immediately at that.

Try to look cool, Sherlock, put that hand in your pocket and straight that back… Hmm, perfect. Damn it, I can’t control my face, control your damned face, Sherlock, stop reacting like a teenage girl around her crush… Be oblivious, oblivious is cool.

“Anything interesting?“

“Found your website - ‘The Science of Deduction’.“ John says as a matter of fact

Clever boy

Sherlock is fluttered – “What did you think?” he asks as he smiles proudly.

You’ve got to be kidding me

It’s written all over John’s face, and Sherlock’s smile is vanished. It’s kind of hurt him.

I hoped he was different.

You said you could identify a software designer by his tie and an airline pilot by his left thumb…?”

“Yes, and I can read your military career in your face and your leg, and your brother’s drinking habits in your mobile phone.” Sherlock is answering him seriously, but John is not convinced - “How?“

It can’t be true, it’s mad… This posh, mysterious man is mad…

Sherlock smiles at him and turns away, keeping his deductions to himself.

I do intrigue you, John Watson, don’t I?

Mrs Hudson comes out of the kitchen reading the newspaper – “What about these suicides then, Sherlock? I thought that’d be right up your street. Three exactly the same.“

Sherlock walks over to the window of the living room at the sound of a car pulling up outside.

Hmmm, interesting… There’s been another one, but what is different about this one?

“Four.” He says as a matter of fact, as he walks closer to the window and looks down at the police car with its lights flashing on the roof that has just parked outside – “There’s been a fourth. And there’s something different this time.”

“A fourth?” Mrs Hudson asks, perplexed.

Sherlock turns as D.I. Lestrade trots up the stairs and comes into the living room – “Where?” he asks Lestrade as he enters the room.

“Brixton, Lauriston Gardens.”

“What’s new about this one? You wouldn’t have come to get me if there wasn’t something different.”

“You know how they never leave notes?”

Boring, get to your point - “Yeah.” 

“This one did.”

OH, interesting…

“Will you come?”

It seems interesting enough to leave the flat for…

“Who’s on forensics?”

Lestrade answers a little reluctantly, knowing already Sherlock’s thoughts about his answer - “It’s Anderson.”

Sherlock is grimacing. Oh god, I really don’t want to see this idiotic jerk…  “Anderson won’t work with me.“

John is looking at Sherlock as he listens intensively, licking his bottom lip.

Oh gosh, he’s so damn hot…

He looks back at Lestrade as he’s talking.

“Well, he won’t be your assistant…” Lestrade reminds him

“I need an assistant.” Sherlock says pointedly.

Lestrade dismisses it - “Will you come?”

“Not in a police car. I’ll be right behind.” He determines.

“Thank you.” Lestrade is settled down from his answer. Looking round at John and Mrs. Hudson for a moment, he turns and hurries off down the stairs. John looks across the room, confused. Then he looks after the D.I. as he leaves, as if reaching for her help to understand what’s going on. He already recognizes Lestrade from the newspapers about the serial suicides, but he doesn’t understand why would he come for Sherlock’s help.

What was all that? Is he a private detective? Why would the police consult a private detective?

Sherlock waits until he has reached the front door.

Hold yourself just a bit, Sherlock, wait a minute…

A huge smile spreads on his face as he hears the front door open, then close. He leaps into the air and clenches his fists triumphantly before twirling around the room happily.

“Brilliant! Yes! Ah, four serial suicides, and now a note! Oh, it’s Christmas!”

He picks up his scarf and coat, then starts to put them on while heading for the kitchen - “Mrs. Hudson, I’ll be late. Might need some food.”

“I’m your landlady, dear, not your housekeeper…” she answers.

“Something cold will do.” He says as he grabs his leather gloves from the kitchen table.

“John, have a cup of tea, make yourself at home. Don’t wait up!” He opens the kitchen door and rushes out. Mrs. Hudson turns back to John. He looks annoyed, even pissed.

Here we are at last, Watson. You’re, as always, left alone, missing all the fun… Why would he even think about taking YOU with HIM? Stop being ridiculous.

“Look at him, dashing about! My husband was just the same.”

John flashes a false smile at her repeated implication that he and Sherlock are an item.

I could never live up to someone like him.

Sherlock stops in the middle of the stairs as he considers taking John along with him.

The company wouldn’t disturb… And I do need an assistant…

“But you’re more the sitting-down type, I can tell.” She smiles at John affectionately.

Oh really, it’s because of the cane, isn’t it? The useless John Watson, the useless old man.

… And I do want to have this cute army doctor around, his skills might be useful…

Mrs. Hudson turns towards the door as she continues – “I’ll make you that cuppa. You rest your leg. “

I can’t deal with this useless body

But would he want to come?

“DAMN MY LEG!” he shouts at her, instinctively. This makes Mrs. Hudson jump, startled, and she immediately turns back to him in shock.

Brace yourself, Watson, where are your manners?

Sherlock hears John from where he stands.

Oh, I definitely should bring him with me

He smiles brightly as he goes up the stairs.

 “Sorry, I’m so sorry. It’s just sometimes this bloody thing ...” He bashes his leg with his cane sourly.

“I understand, dear - I’ve got a hip.” She sympathizes with him, and turns towards the door again.

But she doesn’t understand…

“A cup of tea’d be lovely, thank you.” He tells her, still feeling sourly. He picks up the newspaper which Mrs. Hudson put down

“Just this once, dear. I’m not your housekeeper.”

“Couple of biscuits too, if you’ve got ’em.” He adds.

“Not your housekeeper!” she says back as she lives to her floor.

He looks at the article reporting Beth Davenport’s apparent suicide. Next to a large photograph of Beth is a smaller one showing the man who just visited the flat and identifying him as D.I. Lestrade. Before he can read on, Sherlock’s voice interrupts him and John looks up surprisingly and sees him standing at the living room door.

“You’re a doctor.” Sherlock says as he puts his globes on - “In fact you’re an Army doctor…”

Don’t melt, control that damned smile Sherlock

Don’t seem too excited, Watson

“Yes.” John gets up to his feet and turns towards Sherlock as he comes back into the room again, wanting to get out of this flat already. This is the most exciting thing that happened to him since he came back from war, and he doesn’t want to destroy it.

Prove yourself mighty, Watson, this is your chance

He puts his solider face on.

Don’t be too obvious, Sherlock

“Any good?“ Sherlock asks, as he tries to stop a smile from spreading all over his face.

You’ve got it.

Very good.” John answers firmly.

Of course he’s good, Hmm… Pretend as if you consider this, Sherlock, don’t look desperate.

Don’t back up, Watson, how this posh boy what you’ve got.

“Seen a lot of injuries, then… Violent deaths.” Sherlock says as he approaches John.

“Mmm, yes.” John answers, a little bit distracted by Sherlock proximity.

Focus, Watson, don’t lose it because of his beautiful eyes… Keep it together, Watson this is your chance

“Bit of trouble too, I bet.”

“Of course, yes. Enough for a lifetime. Far too much.” John answers him, quietly. Sherlock flashes a soft little smile at that.

“Wanna see some more?”

FINALLY.

“Oh God, yes.”

GOCHA.

Sherlock spins on his heel, and smiles softly to himself as he leads John out of the room and down the stairs. John calls out as he follows him down - “Sorry, Mrs Hudson, I’ll skip the tea. Off out.”

“Both of you?” Mrs. Hudson asks from near the bottom of the stairs, confused.

Sherlock has almost reached the front door but now turns and walks back towards her.

“Impossible suicides? Four of them? There’s no point sitting at home when there’s finally something fun going on!” He says as he takes her by her shoulders and plants a noisy kiss on her cheek. John is looking at them, smiling internally.

Look at you, all happy. It’s not decent.” But she can’t help by smile.

“Who cares about decent? The game, Mrs. Hudson, is on!” He says with a genuine smile as he turns away and heads for the front door again, followed by John.

He walks out onto the street and hails an approaching black cab – “ Taxi!”

The taxi pulls up alongside and he and John get in, then the car drives off again and heads for Brixton.

Chapter Text

The taxi roars along the street of London as the world becomes darker around it. The warm streetlights are flushed along the taxi’s windows as the it rides to its destination. John and Sherlock sit in silence next to each other. Sherlock is focused on his phone, while John keeps stealing nervous glances at him.

I am glad he wanted me to come, but what am I supposed to do? Who is this mysterious man? What’s going to happen next? Why aren’t we talking about any of this?

Sherlock notices his looks and lowers his phone. He wonders how to continue their interactions.

Oh gosh, he wants to talk, doesn’t he? I don’t do small talk, but I guess there’s no other way around this

Okay, you’ve got questions “

“Yeah, where are we going?” John answers

Wasn’t it obvious from everything that happened back in the flat? Don’t bore me.

“Crime scene. Next?”

“Who are you? What do you do?”

“What do you think?” Sherlock answers him quickly, has John looks back at him.

John answers him slowly, hesitantly – “I’d say private detective ...” he stares out of the window as he answers, considers his next works.

Hmmm, interesting, so he isn’t as oblivious to facts when they’re put in front of his eyes…

“But?”

“... but the police don’t go to private detectives.” John looks back at Sherlock as he continues, confused.

So, who are you Sherlock Holmes?

Clever boy.

Sherlock can’t stop a little smile that spreads along his face – “I’m a consulting detective. Only one in the world. I invented the job.”

John is still confused - “What does that mean?”

“It means when the police are out of their depth, which is always, they consult me.”

John is amused from this statement – “The police don’t consult amateurs.” He looks back at Sherlock, beaming, but keeps his wide smile at bay as Sherlock looks back at him and throws him a look, half smiles to himself.

It’s time to prove you wrong, John Watson, isn’t it?  

“When I met you for the first time yesterday, I said, ‘Afghanistan or Iraq?’ You looked surprised.”

“Yes, how did you know?”

“I didn’t know, I saw. Your haircut, the way you hold yourself, says military. But your conversation as you entered the room ...” …and made my world hold still… “... said trained at Bart’s, so Army doctor – obvious.”

Oh gosh, this is mad, how could anyone be so observant?

“Your face is tanned but no tan above the wrists. You’ve been abroad, but not sunbathing. Your limp’s really bad when you walk but you don’t ask for a chair when you stand, like you’ve forgotten about it, so it’s at least partly psychosomatic. That says the original circumstances of the injury were traumatic. Wounded in action, then. Wounded in action, suntan – Afghanistan or Iraq.”

Obvious up until now, isn’t it?

Oh wow! This is all brilliant! I can understand how he saw things like that when he lays it out in front of me, but how could he know about my therapist?

“You said I had a therapist.”

“You’ve got a psychosomatic limp – of course you’ve got a therapist… Then there’s your brother.”

“Hmm?”

Sherlock hands his hand out over to John as he continues – “Your phone. It’s expensive, e-mail enabled, MP3 player, but you’re looking for a flat share – you wouldn’t waste money on this. It’s a gift, then.”

John hands him his phone and Sherlock turns it over and look at it again as he talks – “Scratches. Not one, many over time. It’s been in the same pocket as keys and coins. The man sitting next to me wouldn’t treat his one luxury item like this, so it’s had a previous owner. Next bit’s easy. You know it already…”

“The engraving.” – John answers. He’s totally focused at Sherlock as he talks, his forehead is constricted as he listens, both from amazement and wonder from the amazing person besides him and from his extreme focus in this conversation as he tries to keep up and don’t miss anything that spills out of Sherlock’s beautiful cupid bows. The next deductions make John’s mouth to open.

Harry Watson - clearly a family member who’s given you his old phone. Not your father, this is a young man’s gadget. Could be a cousin, but you’re a war hero who can’t find a place to live. Unlikely you’ve got an extended family, certainly not one you’re close to, so brother it is. Now, Clara.” - Sherlock smiles at that, a little cheeky - “Who’s Clara? Three kisses says it’s a romantic attachment. The expense of the phone says wife, not girlfriend. She must have given it to him recently – this model’s only six months old. Marriage in trouble then – six months on he’s just given it away. If she’d left him, he would have kept it. People do – sentiment. But no, he wanted rid of it. He left her. He gave the phone to you, that says he wants you to stay in touch.”

That would never work, me and Harry…? We never got along. He thinks to himself sourly as Sherlock continues.

“You’re looking for cheap accommodation, but you’re not going to your brother for help: that says you’ve got problems with him. Maybe you liked his wife, maybe you don’t like his drinking.”

“How can you possibly know about the drinking?”

Oh, this is good Sherlock

Sherlock can’t stop his smile at that – “Shot in the dark. Good one, though. Power connection: tiny little scuff marks around the edge of it. Every night he goes to plug it in to charge but his hands are shaking. You never see those marks on a sober man’s phone, never see a drunk’s without them.”

He hands the phone back to John as he continues – “There you go, you see – you were right.”

Wait, what?

I was right? Right about what?”

“The police don’t consult amateurs.” Sherlock answers.

And now you’re gonna run away, aren’t you John Watson? Just like they all always do…

How am I even supposed to answer to all of THAT? This man is brilliant, extremely brilliant…

“That ...” John starts and Sherlock bites his lips nervously. You ruined everything Sherlock, as your deductions always do…  

How can I tell him how amazing he is without drive him away?

 “…was amazing.” And brilliant… Yes, Watson, this will do. He nods to himself.

Well, this is not what I excepted…

Sherlock looks around. He’s so surprised that he can’t even reply for the next four seconds.

… does he really think this way? Is it some sort of a joke, please don’t let it be a joke…

“Do you think so?” Sherlock’s insecurity and past experiences can’t keep him from asking.

“Of course, it was. It was extraordinary! It was quite extraordinary.” And hot… How could he think any other way?

“That’s not what people normally say.” Sherlock answers sincerely.

“What do people normally say?”

“ ‘Piss off’!” He answers as he briefly smiles at John, tries to treat the whole thing as a joke. But as John turns away with a huge smile to look as his window, the smile on Sherlock’s lips ceases from existing and he bites his lips briefly, trying to push away the creeping thoughts about previous interactions with people from this moment. This moment is special and he can’t stop himself from feeling fond by and attracted to the beautiful man who sits right next to him.

Meanwhile, a comfortable silence falls between them and John’s drowning in his own thoughts, but they are different from the thoughts he’s got used to since he came back home from the war – While his previous thoughts were how he’d manage to survive another day on earth, his thoughts are now filled with the extraordinary, jaw dropping and talented man with whom he shares a taxi, and might share much more quiet soon. A man which is a bundle of mystery and contradictions – Both cold and charming, posh and childish… John is already hooked.

The taxi keeps roaring along the streets of London and the warm streetlights keep flushing along the taxi’s windows as their journey continues.

***

Meanwhile, somewhere in London, Mycroft Holmes sits at his office. Files are neatly covering the whole surface of his desk as he checks upon Sherlock’s new association – Dr. John Hamish Watson, Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers, three years in Afghanistan, a veteran of Kandahar, Helmand and St Bartholomew’s hospital.

An interesting fellah, might be just right for my brother.

People always seemed to be attacked to Sherlock, at least until he opened his mouth. His brother was not good when it came to human interactions, so Mycroft decided the best tactic is to warn Sherlock from caring for people, for his own good. But Sherlock was not like him, Sherlock couldn’t isolate himself from others and stop caring - his brother is emotional, but his emotions are bottled, like a volcano who might explode lava all around the place in any moment, destroying himself in the process. He can’t change his brother in this regard, especially not after what happened when they were younger, and not after the whole thing with the drugs…

So, Mycroft Holmes got no other choice than examining each new association his brother starts, especially if the new person might take a permanent time and place in his dear brother’s life.

After fluttering over his medical and military files, accompanied by his friends and family member files, Mycroft now knows – John Watson seems to have a bisexual orientation, and it seems he likes tall, selfless, intelligent, brave and unsocial men.

He is indeed a good candidate for my brother’s companion, might satisfy his military kink and be attracted to him. He also seems his cup of tea.

After glancing over his therapist’s notebook as well, Mycroft is also certain that the man in question misses the war and is attracted to danger, even though his therapist got the situation the other way around. The difficulties of living in a world of goldfish.

Mycroft takes his notebook and pen and starts to write important beats down, preparing himself to a meeting with the new man in Sherlock’s life – The words ‘Trust issues’, ‘intermittent tremor’, ‘Post traumatic stress disorder’ and Sherlock’s new address join the page repeatedly.

A text alert from his secretary stops his browsing:

‘The two of them leaved the apartment together, heading to a crime scene.’

Attracted to danger, indeed.

Mycroft waited for a man like this to be casted off into his brother’s life for a very long time. He waited so long for a person who might stand his brother, preferably romantically, so he would never split his attention from him, because that is what his dear brother needs. A person who would not fear his warnings about Sherlock and would be attracted to Sherlock’s life style. A person who would be there for Sherlock, on Sherlock’s side, and support him. A person Sherlock would allow to get support from.

This might be my golden ticket.

He texts his secretary back:

‘Prepare the car.’