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Before it even gets a chance to ring its exasperating “beep-beep-beep,” John slaps his palm down onto the alarm clock, effectively switching the alarm off and accidentally swiping it off his bedside table with an almighty crash. Cringing at the sound of cheap plastic shattering and flinging itselves across the floor, he scrubs a weary hand over his face and inhales deeply. He swings his legs off the mattress and heaves himself upright, his bones cracking in protest. Yawning, he fetches his dressing gown and shuffles downstairs.

“Morning.” John stumbles into the living room, blinking away the sleep in his eyes. He makes clumsily for the bathroom as with every morning, only this time he catches sight of his flatmate already up and reading the papers. Or more specifically, his flatmate’s hair.

John is instantly grateful he has learnt from past (humiliating) experiences to have nothing in his mouth and/or hands whenever he looks at Sherlock. Right now, his body feels torn between dropping dead with laughter or tearing back up to his bedroom and pretending nothing out of the ordinary happened. But for the sake of his pride, and Sherlock’s feelings, John decides to stay put. His mouth though, doesn’t seem to be working as well as it should in articulating his thoughts. Instead he finds it stuck in an O shape, his tongue glued to the roof of his mouth.

---

The moment he heard John’s usual getting-out-of-bed-as-if-drunk noises, Sherlock sits up straighter in his chair. Snaps the newspaper pages sharply to feign nonchalance. Glancing into the mirror above the mantelpiece, he tilts his head this way and that, making sure not a curl is out of place. Catching himself smiling approvingly at his reflection, Sherlock gives himself a little mental shake.

Sentiment. Sherlock. Banish it quickly.

But he can’t help it.

If he’s honest with himself, the man, quite a child in yearning for affection and attention from others, is excited. In truth, Sherlock wants to see if John likes it or not. And hell, he’s proud. Proud that he had done it himself, that the experiment had turned out better than expected. No hairdresser would have done a finer job. He had actually wanted to shake John awake and show him the moment it was done, but recognised it was a bit not good, and so he had forced himself away from John’s door and downstairs to fix himself some tea. Maybe get a Pop -Tart or two.

He’s nervous though, as he has never done this before. He doesn’t know what to expect when John sees it. His flatmate can be a tad unpredictable. Would John approve of the change? Do a thumbs-up, give a standing ovation (hopefully not in a sarcastic way), and admire the magical way the gold just glows (like fire, he muses to himself as he admires his image in the mirror for the tenth time) in the most fascinating way when illuminated in sunlight. Or would John be repulsed by the colour and faint dead away? Run to the bathroom and puke down the bowl? Admittedly Sherlock likes to be a bit… dramatic.

But right now, John’s face is a picture of #internally screaming. His reaction is not what Sherlock had imagined.

The smallest flicker of eyebrows lifted, sclera showing a millimetre more than usual. Pupils dilated. Complexion flushed. Left fist clenched, knuckles white, forearm muscles tense, indicating the hands’ automatic response to move to one’s core but momentum halted by military decorum and restraint - surprised (very surprised actually), with a faint undercurrent of fear (possibly: oh Sherlock what have you done?) and confusion (is that it?) and... sadness…?

Definitely not good. And a little disheartening.

Sherlock grimaces inwardly. He should have known going with platinum blond was not a good idea. Stupid, stupid!

“What… what happened to your hair?”

Burying the cold disappointment welling up in his belly, Sherlock glares at the half-asleep figure gaping at his head as if it had split into two overnight, one hand frozen mid-way to the bathroom doorknob. It must have been a rude shock to John’s system for him to not notice he had worn his dressing gown inside out. His hair sticks up at the back of his head, like a little alarmed duck.

“John you might to close your mouth now. There’s no need to test the limits of how far your jaw can open.”

“But your hair…” At least John has the decency to not to dissolve into a giggling incoherent mess. Or maybe he’s just too shocked to say anything, do anything - other than stare, eyes bulging, at the explosion of newly bleached curls which had replaced the charcoal black ones John seems to have grown fond of. A slight breeze ruffles the top few tendrils, which gives the viewer the startling impression of an Afro. John opens and closes his mouth, not unlike the goldfish Mycroft favours.

“Hmph.” Sherlock rolls his eyes and pops the spine of the papers, hiding his face and his embarrassment behind the pages.

Caring is not an advantage, Sherlock.

He should have known.

Now, let’s stop right there reader and extract ourselves delicately from the scene unfolding at our beloved 221B Baker Street. You see reader, I imagine you must have some questions, questions which the boys will answer in a moment.

Let’s fast forward to after John has choked down his surprise and managed to complete his bathroom routine without so much as dropping his rinsing glass as he mulls over Sherlock’s new hair colour. It does indeed disturb him greatly, more than he’d like to admit. What the hell was that git thinking?

“Alright, why?” John settles himself into his chair across from Sherlock, who still has his face buried in the morning papers. The latter stiffens at the question, but with a sigh he folds up the tabloid and tosses it onto the little coffee table between them.

“Why not?” Sherlock bites back, his tone bitter. The detective’s face is clouded over, his eyes smouldering. He huffs and whips his silvery head away from John’s inquisitive gaze.

Having years of babysitting little kiddies in his college days under his belt, and now, living with this man-child under the same roof, John knows better than to push a sulky child convinced that the world is against him and there’s no use explaining oneself “because they just won’t listen!” Instead, John sits quietly sipping his tea and reading the papers discarded by the ding-a-ling presently pouting in his great grey chair.

“Fine. John. It was all your fault.” Ah, the git finally speaks.

“Hmm? My fault?” John is careful to keep his amusement in check. Inside, though, he feels laughter bubbling up his throat. He nods encouragingly at Sherlock. The latter uncrosses his lanky limbs and leans forward earnestly. A faint line appears between his brows (also dyed blond to match, albeit a deeper shade), a quiet urgency in what he wants to tell his flatmate.

“Remember the Game of Thrones marathon you forced me to watch?” John nods, recalling the night Lestrade and Molly had come over for Mrs Hudson’s special Sunday roast, and they had practically tied Sherlock to his armchair to watch with them the latest season out on the telly as a joke. The detective had thrashed about like a spoiled brat in the beginning, but his whining had died down mid-way through the show. John had taken it as a good sign -- for the detective to stay silent while crap telly is playing is no minor feat -- until John discovered the prat had fallen asleep. Now he wonders if it was really so.

“You got me hooked on it now, and I admire Daenerys so much I went and dyed my hair just like hers!” Sherlock finishes breathlessly, his speech tripping and tumbling over one another in his mounting agitation. He tacks on a hideously false smile, but drops it immediately as he waits eagerly for John to respond.

There. It’s out now.

John is thrown. He gulps, once again, like a goldfish. Really, he should stop doing that before Sherlock calls him an idiot. He asks the first question that pops into his head.

“When?”

“Last night, when you were sleeping.” Sherlock gestures airily at the half-emptied bottles of hydrogen peroxide scattered about the kitchen counter, as if asking John to imagine the six plus hours toiling over the kitchen sink, the acrid smell of chlorine and the burning sensation on his scalp as he doused his hair repeatedly in stinking concoctions of toner and bleach. It finally dawns on the doctor why he had dreamt the night before of swimming, and very specifically, in the Pool where he and Sherlock had faced off with Moriarty.

“By yourself?” Sherlock inclines his head affirmatively. A strand of silvery hair falls carelessly across his marble forehead, making his skin seem even paler, more translucent, so sheer John is seized by an unexplainable urge to brush the offending hair back and restore some colour back on his friend’s face. His beryl eyes dance delightedly, the pride unmistakeable.

“People will talk, you know.”

“I know.”

John smiles back coyly.

“Can I call you Banana Head then?”

---

It turns out that Sherlock had truly been serious about his unbelievable infatuation with platinum blond hair. There are no “It’s for a case!” or lofty explanations of the merits of peroxide dye. For two weeks now, the detective had stoically endured the Yarders’ ribbing, Mycroft’s sharp disapproval, Mrs Hudson’s “but it isn't age-appropriate dear,” and the incredulous stares his extreme choice of hair dye drew from people whom they passed on the street and recognised the ‘Hat-man and Robin’.

John and Lestrade themselves had fallen into the habit of addressing the detective as Goldilocks, who was understandably not amused and had retaliated by nicking their things. To no avail.

“Hey Greg, what do you call a blonde who dyed her hair brunette?”

Lestrade makes a show of scratching his head in mock puzzlement, ignoring the murderous look Sherlock throws at him as the latter examines the bloated corpse the police had found floating off the harbour of Whitby.

“Erm… Artificial intelligence?”

The pair titter quietly, hiding their mouths behind cupped hands at the luminous eyes glowering at them beneath the flaxen fringe.

“Alright I got a good one. Why do blondes write TGIF on their shoes?”

“Why?” John struggles hard to rein in his giggling, but in vain.

“To remind themselves that Toes Go In First!” Another round of raucous laughter ensues. By this time, Donovan and Anderson join in trading jokes. Sherlock stiffly snaps his magnifying glass closed and straightens up. Narrows his eyes at the group.

“Why did the blonde stare at a frozen orange juice can for 2 hours? Because it said ‘concentrate’!”

“What do you call a smart blonde? A golden retriever.”

“How does a blonde high-five? She smacks herself in the forehead.”

On and on it went. To the others, the jokes were all made in jest. After all, when do you ever catch Sherlock in platinum blond? It’s a chance too good to pass up! Obviously, the merry band has also forgotten Sherlock is, in his own words, ‘a sociopath’ (a highly functioning one, no less, people!). He doesn’t perceive inane things like jokes, as ‘funny’. Rather, he is offended by them, as good-natured as the jabs are. Because, for heaven’s sake, Sherlock Holmes is not a dumb blond! It is a blow to his pride for anyone to even hint at the idea.

So engrossed are the others that none notices the blue eyes glittering dangerously, the imperceptible tremble of the bottom lip, the mouth set in a hard straight line, the jaw clenched with a force so great it’s a wonder the teeth didn’t crack. No. Not one notices and Sherlock is almost glad for it.

---

“Sherlock!”

The detective in question flicks up a sardonic brow in answer to a groggy John stumbling into the sitting room. He knows exactly what triggered such an outburst so early in the morning.

He peeks up discreetly behind his laptop screen. As expected, John is staring at his head, wearing the exact same expression as that one a month back. Except this time, John looks more relieved than scandalised. That’s… good, right? The detective feels the corners of his mouth quirk upwards into a small triumphant smile.

“Miss it?”

Ooh that bastard. John doesn’t know whether to weep in relief or strangle the smug ning-nong* for his sass.

In truth, after days of startling at the sight of Sherlock’s head seemingly engulfed in brilliant white flames in the glare of daylight, John was never able to get used to the silvery curly mane Sherlock so adored. Hell, he’d even seen the man smirking at the glimpses of himself in the mirrors when he thought John wasn’t looking. Well yeah, John has to admit that the swanning primadonna pulled the look off easy-peasy. The hairjob Sherlock had given himself puts the skills of hairdressers in London - no, the whole of England - to shame. But John just knows platinum blond Sherlock isn’t the Sherlock he knows so well. He sorely misses Brunette Sherlock, his Sherlock. Sentiment aside, he knows it wouldn’t work anyway. Platinum Blond Sherlock draws more attention than desired, especially while undercover. Even criminals snicker at the sight of his new hair colour, thereby the crucial respect Sherlock used to evoke effortlessly from those he questioned, the very respect that compels one to answer him honestly and to the point, is lost, much to the detective’s chagrin.

So he isn’t that surprised his flatmate chose to relinquish his vanity and switch back to black. Although John pretends not to notice the little Daenerys wig the latter had stitched together for the skull sitting on the mantelpiece.

John tilts his head at him, shrewdly eyeing Sherlock sitting with his hands steepled thoughtfully under his chin. The laptop is perched precariously on his knee, the screen long blacked out in the tension-filled silence.

“Why.”

Sherlock blinks blankly up at him. He averts his gaze awkwardly.

“It wasn’t working for me.”

“Hmm.” John hums his response into his tea. “So no more Custard Cap then?”

“No,” the detective agreed. “And sod off.”

The boys sit in companionable silence, before John speaks again.

“Sherlock?”

“Hmm.”

“Why did the blonde put her iPad in the blender?”

“John-”

“She was trying to make apple juice.”

John allows himself to pat Sherlock’s head condescendingly before a hoot escapes him and he zooms out the front door before his enraged flatmate lunges for him...

---

A/N: I know I know… this story’s version of John and Sherlock isn’t very canon-compliant and I don’t blame you if you want to pick on that. And I also do apologise if the jokes offended any blondes reading this. I myself have several blonde friends and I swear I don’t crack such dumb blonde jokes regardless whether I’m with them or not. I hope though, that you guys liked this piece of nonsensical drabble; at first I had dismissed it as a silly idea but who knew that brilliant crack fics I read after that sort of triggered it and the story blossomed from there. :)

* Ning-nong is Aussie slang for ‘idiot’.