“Well, of COURSE the Walrus and the Carpenter didn’t do it — this took place entirely BEFORE the Judeo-Christian era!”
John caught the tail end of a seemingly heated argument between Sherlock and his brother, Mycroft.
He was still frowning at the inscrutable nature of the conversation when Mycroft tilted his head toward John, nodding in greeting. Sherlock continued the argument all by himself, muttering about oysters, deception and “mad people,” beneath his breath.
Abandoning his jacket atop a kitchen chair, John stretched his arms above his head before interrupting his own muted groans to ask,
Sherlock spun on the spot, apparently surprised to find John present. John shook his head fondly, oblivious to Mycroft performing his own quick head-shake in a futile attempt to dispel the dash of pink which suddenly coloured the very tips of his ears.
The movement, and particularly the charming (or abominable, depending on your point of view) shade of pink is noted instantly by his brother.
“Mycroft was just on his way out.” Sherlock tried his best scowl, but the overall effect was rather spoiled by the moue of his childish pout.
“Good afternoon, Doctor Watson.” Mycroft inclines his head in John’s direction once more.
“Do think on what we’ve discussed, Sherlock.”
Sherlock finally perfects his scowl, swooping to slam the door on Mycroft’s retreating form.
“Do piss off, brother mine.”
Sherlock decides that he would joyfully squander his entire inheritance a thousand times over in order to bail John Watson out of police custody.
It seemed more likely than not that the man would be imminently arrested for obscenity, lewd conduct, perhaps, if his current molestation of pink and white confectionery continued unabated.
“All gone?” John asked, guessing that Sherlock’s expression was directed at some stray trail of icing sugar clinging to his cheeks and chin.
“All gone.” Sherlock repeats softly, throat clicking around the noise.
John hums happily to himself as they leave the gardens, brushing his sweet sticky hands on his thighs as Sherlock stumbled toward the closest bin, discarding the thrice cursed, now empty box of turkish delight.
Sherlock made a second resolution in as many minutes. He would destroy any sweets which founds their way into 221B, except for turkish delight. Perhaps he’d hide a case of the stuff at the bottom of his wardrobe.
“Bloody hell, Sherlock! Where do you think you are, the Hundred Acre Wood?”
John did his best impression of a thundercloud in the direction of his flatmate, who continued his fruitless attempts to disentangle himself from a snarled and prickly expanse of undergrowth.
Several moments of near silence passed before John took pity, lifting Sherlock to stand forlornly in the dirt and leaf litter.
John bats at Sherlock’s hand as it reaches to smooth dark tangled curls.
“Just stand still, you silly bugger. Let me…”
John did not stop to appreciate this rare moment of Holmesian acquiescence, lest he break the spell.
At last, after no small amount of tutting and clucking from his companion, Sherlock was freed.
John stepped back, satisfied with his handiwork, hand reaching to brush smeared moss from Sherlock’s brow.
He blinked very quickly when Sherlock gripped his wrist, and quick as a flash pressed a kiss to his knuckles.
Sherlock stepped back, smiling.
When he took off, John followed, lest Sherlock get into trouble stealing honey from the bees.
It was one of his more cunning plans, thought Mycroft. Sherlock frequently ate into his work days by being as cantankerous and stubborn as a particularly poorly-mannered billy goat.
When Mycroft required Sherlock’s assistance, it was a good idea to be prepared to negotiate using a wide variety of classic and novel persuasive techniques.
Mycroft considers blackmail to be a classic, but the ingenious twist on today’s particular approach is one he’s quietly very proud about.
“I think this was taken around the time of his eighth birthday. Paleontology was the word of the day.”
John’s gaze shifted to the picture Mycroft was indicating, his heart full of warmth for the tiny knock-kneed creature kneeling in a flower bed with trowel, borrowed pith helmet and rosy cheeks.
He is jolted from his reverie by the uninhibited clatter of feet climbing the stairs to the flat in a hurry.
John leapt from his chair, struggling to compose his face into any expression apart from one which would betray his past hour’s occupation.
“Relax, John.” Mycroft recrossed his legs, flipping closed the slim album resting on his knee.
“John! Lestrade called, there’s been an incident at number nine Downing street! Are you…”
Sherlock’s body caught up with his voice at last, both coming to a halt in the doorway, hands still grasping loosely at his scarf and coat-buttons.
“Mycroft, what are you doing here? No - wait,” he steps out of the doorway, executing a sweeping gesture from his brother to the exit, “I don’t care. I’m not available for your case. Get out.”
Mycroft rolled his eyes, standing slowly to give Sherlock the opportunity to notice the folders and documents he’d brought with him.
An alarmingly prominent vein bulged on Sherlock’s forehead as he spotted the unmistakable brown book.
John glanced between the brothers, taking a cheeky risk (and thoroughly delighting Mycroft in the process) when he asked,
“Has he always been this bossy?” Sherlock tried very hard not to splutter as his cheeks grew hot, his insufferable brother’s laughter boiling his blood.
“Believe it or not, he was worse as a boy.”
John is shaking his head now, barely containing his own laughter,
“Now I know you’re lying.”
Sherlock had yet to recover his powers of speech, or movement, really, stuck in the depths of his total indignation as he was.
“On the contrary,” Mycroft continued, “Sherlock had a terrible habit of trying to order the staff around. He went through a phase of calling each and every one of them ‘Mrs. Wishy Washy,’ the men included.”
John doubled over in his mirth, and Sherlock finally recovered his voice.
“Yes, thanks so much, Moon-Face, that will be all”
Mycroft allowed his furious, flame-faced brother to frogmarch him from the flat as John positively howled with laughter in the middle of the room.
You really were an adorable kid, you know,” John confides later, after breathless sprints through corridors of power, after hilariously verbose witness statements spouted at bemused officers, after greasy Cantonese deliciousness and the glow of pride in a job well done.
Sherlock shifts in his sleep, murmuring about chairs and clouds, branches and laundry.
John looks on until it starts to hurt, then presses grateful lips to Sherlock’s temple, breathing deep and turning in.