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The Only One in the World; I Invented the Job

Chapter Text

My first morning back in England, I wake in Mycroft's slightly dusty second best guestroom (very subtle, Mycroft) sure that I am not alone. I open my eyes and sit up. John is sitting in an armchair in front of the fireplace (small fire in deference to John's cosy sensibilities, no doubt. I'm already sweating) holding a steaming mug.

"Good morning, Sherlock" he says. I don't know what to say. He beams and takes a sip from his mug. Coffee by the smell of it. "Sleep well?"

"John," I say. My voice is rough. "John, good morning." John is so delighted, he can barely contain himself. His eyes are bright, and the tips of his ears are pink. He loves to surprise me. He hasn't stopped smiling since I opened my eyes.

"Why don't you have a wash and collect your thoughts a bit? I'll go and get you something to eat."

"Thank you." I don't want him to leave. "No need to get up. Just use the intercom by the door to call down to the kitchen. Mycroft’s got a housekeeper."

"It'll be nice to stretch my legs," he says. "I've been sitting in this chair all night. I got here just after you got in, but you were already asleep."

"Then you need a rest, not an errand." I flip back one corner of the bedclothes and slide over on the bed to make room for him.

"Slow down,” he says grinning. “You’re always setting people talking.”

"If we're paying deference to that particular set of sensibilities, you will want to leave the room before I get up. I'm not dressed."
He goes the wardrobe and gets a dressing gown. It's my best one with the blue stripes, and it's been cleaned and steamed. I feel more myself as soon as I put it on.
"That's better," John says fondly. "I hardly knew you with that garish hair."

"It's a disguise, John," with dignity.

"I'd never thought to picture you as a blonde. The more I look, the more it suits you, though."

"God, think what the papers would say," with a shudder. "I'll cut it off soon. It's come in dark underneath."

"You look lovely both ways. I'm so happy to see you."

I try to remember one of the sentimental things I used to say to myself about John's looks while I was dead. My mind's such a muddle, though; I can't think of anything. "Thank you."

"I'll just see about breakfast. Don't try to argue; you need your strength."

"Indeed. I'll just have a shower."

"Right, then. See you in a bit." John edges out the door. I get up and attend to my ablutions. When I come back into the bedroom, John is arranging a tray on a little table next to the fireplace (soldiers! and a pot of coffee). I notice my violin case sitting on a side table across the room and feel a little thrill. It can wait, though. John first, then breakfast. I cross the room in two steps and hug John very tightly. I'm flooded with new data about him and I'm so elated I can hardly stand it.

He's lost eleven pounds since I last saw him (very bad). He hasn't showered in about 30 hours (good) I prefer his smell to the smell of his shampoo. Tea, wool, and something evergreen I can't place. Pine smoke? Fir cones? How can I find out? I sniff his scalp silently, I hope. He always seems to find the sniffing unsettling. He's changed his brand of deodorant (wonder why?). He stayed up all night and had three cups of coffee and a large whiskey. He still has the ghost of the limp, but I shall chase it away by this evening; I'm sure. When I let go of him, I see he has tears in his eyes, and my own eyes start to prick.

"Don't cry John, it's catching." He laughs and I laugh, and we sit down to breakfast, still giggling. I don't recall ever being so eager to eat.

Chapter Text

Sherlock has not mentioned our date. I must not have been clear enough when I set it. After we caught Moran, we were both so exhilarated, I was sure something would happen. But when we got back to the flat (221B Baker Street!), he collapsed into one of his multi-day sleeps, and I couldn’t begrudge him that.

Then Mycroft was round every day for a week to needle Sherlock alternately about preparing for the court case and coming to work for his minor office in the British government. So much snarling and flouncing. Sherlock actually bestirred himself from the flat to procure the most lavish cake I have ever seen, just so he could imply that Mycroft would eat it all. It was a delicious cake, though. Sherlock didn’t have any, but Mrs Hudson and I made short work of it.

I brought a piece to Molly at Bart’s. I dropped in at her lunch hour one day, and she was almost startled to see me. I hadn’t been to Bart’s in quite a while. It was nice to be back (without panicking). She’s sharp, Molly. Much more so than I gave her credit for. She spotted my ulterior motives in coming, even though I didn’t realise I had any.

“Are you here to talk about Sherlock?” she asked me after we had exchanged hellos.

“I’m here to bring you a piece of cake,” I was a bit stung. Molly and I are friends. We watched Glee together. Though she also watched Glee with...nevermind. Not worth mentioning. Molly and I are friends.

“Only he’s been back for two weeks and neither of you have been round to see me,” she pointed out. She said it quite firmly, but she blushed right up to the roots of her hair. I was possibly even more embarrassed than Molly.

“Right. That’s right. I’m so sorry, Molly. We’ve both been a bit preoccupied. But there’s no excuse. We should have visited you, and I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine, John. I know what he’s like. What did you want to talk about?” She began to unwrap the little plate of cake and fished two forks out of a drawer.

“I didn’t really have anything in mind.”

“Has anything happened between the two of you yet?” she asked, passing me one of the forks.

“Happened?” I knew full well what she meant, but I hadn’t expected to hear it so plainly.

“I thought it would ages and ages ago. It’s what helped me get over him, to be honest. I could see what the two of you felt for each other. But then-”

“He chucked himself off the roof, and we all thought he was dead for a year.”

“Yeah.” The two of us (and Mycroft, whom I won’t count) excepted, I know, but neither of us said. Not then and not now. I should thank her. I should thank her on my knees, actually. Sherlock told me what she did for him. I speared her cake with my fork and took a bite. “So something’s happened?” she prompted.

“No,” I took another bite of cake. “I, er,” I suddenly felt very conscious of my whinging tone. I cleared my throat. “I’m not sure that Sherlock fancies people. Not like other people do anyway.”

“If he fancies anyone, he fancies you.”

“I know.” I ate a bit more cake before I said, “I can’t just ask him though, can I? Ooh, Sherlock, do you like me? Can you imagine what he’d say if I’d got it wrong?”

Molly smiled a very pinched smile, “I can, actually. Your Christmas party...”

“Oh, Molly, I’m such an arsehole. I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking bringing this up with you. I’m so sorry.”

“It’s fine, John. I brought it up, remember?” She patted my hand. Lovely Molly. She’s so generous.

“Well Molly,” I looked down at the little plate to find I’d eaten all the cake. “Thanks for listening to me complain about my troubles and watching me eat the cake I brought you.”

She smiled, “Any time.”

“Come round the flat some time. I think there’s a bit more cake, and I promise I won’t make you watch while I eat it. You can have some as well.”

She nodded and smiled, “When things settle down a bit. I imagine you’ve still got lots going on there.”

“Oh things never settle down. Either we’ve got a case on and we’re dashing about, or he’s shooting holes in the wall and putting eyeballs in the microwave. But we must all do drinks and have a proper catch up chat.”

“I’d like that.” She gave me an awkward little hug that I didn’t have time to respond to. “I’ve got to get back to work now, John, but it was lovely to see you.”

“Don’t let me keep you.” I picked up the cake plate to return to Mrs Hudson.

“Don’t give up on him just yet,” she said. “He does like you; I can see it. This is just-”

“Not his area.”

“Exactly. You should tell him how you feel.”

I shook my head, “I can’t. Is there anything more humiliating than misreading Sherlock?”

Molly laughed, “Nothing at all.”

Chapter Text

I mustn’t hurry him. It’s there, but he doesn’t see it yet. He must be allowed to realise on his own. It’s agony, though. I want to tell him. Or better still, show him. Take his hand and...what? I hate that I don’t know exactly what to do. I will have to prompt him somehow. I see it and he doesn’t, but I don’t know what to do and he does. Infuriating. I loathe irony.

I’ve been leaving him little traps. I sneaked one of my shirts into his wardrobe. Has he noticed? He hasn’t returned it. I left the piece I wrote for him on my music stand. His name is even written across the top (perhaps a bit looser than usual but legible, I believe). It’s been there for three days. Haven’t had the nerve to play it while he’s in the room yet. Sometimes I play it after he’s gone to bed.

Once we were out on a case, and he was complaining of being cold. I took off my scarf and wrapped it round his neck, without a word. He stood looking at me for ages after I’d turned back to the crime scene. Even with my eyes on a particularly fruitful shoeprint (a tap shoe! lead me right to the killer, though sadly it turned out to be a crime of passion)(dull), I knew that his mouth had quirked in that way it does. In that kiss me, Sherlock way that he doesn’t yet know about.

I let Mrs Hudson see me look at him. Perhaps she’ll say something to him. No, she’ll think I don’t want him to know. I make the tea. No sugar. Splash of milk. I get it exactly right every time (he hasn’t mentioned it). I haven’t used his mug for anything (very) horrid in ages. The other day, I found myself raising a hand to brush his fringe off his forehead. I checked myself, but not before he noticed. I did not explain. He did not ask.

Sometimes I think I’m not completely without encouragement. He sighs rather more than he did, I think. He brushes my arm or my shoulder instead of calling my name to get my attention. Every time it makes me think of how few people touch me. Mrs Hudson, brash strangers, assailants, and my John. He’s taken to covering me with a blanket when I doze off on the sofa. Which I must kick off, sadly. I cherish the sentiment (good god!) but hot is hot.

He walks round in his dressing gown, now. He used to be so buttoned-up. I can hardly look at him when he does that. It’s gotten so that when I hear the clomping of his slippers, I reach for my violin or my microscope. Anything to avert my eyes. I want him to see, but not when it’s so raw. Don’t want to alarm him. Then again, he’s so myopic. I’m wearing my feelings as plainly as I might wear a jacket. Waiting for him to compliment me on my limerence. 'Sherlock, I see you’ve put on a bespoke infatuation. Very fetching.' Anyway, John is not alarmed by sex. Only by me.

I never sit in my chair anymore, only on the sofa. An invitation. An invitation he accepts around 30% of the time. It might be more, I think, but once he’s on the sofa, I immediately begin to crowd him. As much as I can get away with. He’s quite tolerant to a point. Generally he moves when I start to press my knee against his knee. He pops up to make a cup of tea or to use the loo or get the paper from the kitchen table. Sits back down in his chair. He knows I notice, but he’s grateful I don’t mention it. Still I try it.

He pats my shoulder now before he leaves the room. 'See you later, Sherlock' and a lingering pat on my left shoulder. Nothing dreadful will happen. At least nothing dreadful that isn’t also wonderful. Neither of us will be swallowed by a sinkhole before we meet again (though the bottom of a sinkhole could be temporarily interesting). John always knows just how to humanise me (the most human human being no, can’t think of that now). John will know how to kiss me. Will he? Will it make a difference? Kisses have no utility; they’re only symbolic. One need not be particularly proficient in kissing in order to properly express one’s meaning. Or so goes my supposition. John would tell me, if I could ask him.

Wanting John scares me in a way I have not scared myself since the cocaine. I will not be able to do this gently. I am greedy and capricious. I can’t pace myself. I’ll want all of him always. Every scrap of his time and attention. I’ll say cruel things for a moment’s advantage. I’ll insist on my own way. I’ll storm and sulk and refuse to speak. I’ll take him for granted. I’ll know every bit of him; he won’t be able to hold anything back for his own protection (that honest face). I do all of that now, though, I suppose. I must be strong. I won’t push him, won’t pressure him. Not the smallest bit. If he wants me like I want him, we’ll sort it out somehow. For now, I’ll just hint and wait and watch.

Chapter Text

I found John’s sniper before I even left London. He is the only person I have ever killed (to date), and I would do it again. I would murder that man every morning before breakfast for the rest of my life to protect John. John would let me, I’m quite sure. I like that. John would approve of this sentiment.

We’re so dark, John and I. People think he’s a sweet little man in a fair isle jumper (ugh) but John has killed for me, and now I’ve killed for him. Elegant. We are a matched set. I love a good set. I love symmetry. Most people don’t notice because they can’t see patterns (bless them) but I do derive a mild, soothing satisfaction from putting things just so. And now I match my John. Lovely. Both of us decorated with a little red spray. Perhaps I can tell him that. 'Poetry, Sherlock', he’d say. I’d pretend to be annoyed. Must stop deflecting.

If I had ever done this before, the impatience would have killed me. (No, nothing can kill me now. I can come back over and over for John. As long as he’ll have me.) If I had any inkling what to do, I would have swan-dived toward John long ago. I would have grabbed him and kissed him and... what? How does one progress elegantly? Or at least not cloddishly.

Perhaps I could evince bashfulness and muddle through on my theoretical knowledge. I hate blundering. So humiliating. John is such a tender teacher, though. Somehow I don’t feel stubborn and spiteful that he sees things I don’t. Things are better for me (socially) when I let John show me what to do. 'Helpless', he calls me. Affectionately, I think. How can I research this? How do I plan this? I’m sure I can work it out if I think on it long enough.

Molly’s noticed. She brought it up when I was at the lab one night, “You should tell him. John. You should tell John. How you feel.”

It was startling. “How did you know about that?” Silly question, of course. Anyone with eyes in their head could see it. Had to say something, though.

“He knows, too. But you should tell him anyway. He wants you to.”
There was no reply for that. Encouraging though. I must bring her a coffee. Can’t remember how she takes it.

Chapter Text

John is sitting a whole cushion away from me on the sofa, his eyes trained on the television. Unpleasant, but easily amended.

“Why are you staring at me, Sherlock?”

“You’re interesting.”

“Am I?”

“You’re squinting at the television. You need a new prescription, but you haven’t realised yet. I was wondering how long it would take you to notice, but I suppose I may as well tell you now.”

“Right. Thanks.” He doesn’t look at me, so I edge closer. “What are you doing?”

“Foot’s asleep.” I stretch my right leg out in front of me and move my foot back and forth. My leg bumps John’s.

“Are you experimenting on me?”

“Sorry?”

“You’ve been staring and staring. Like you’re trying to work something out.”

“Sorry. Lost in thought, I suppose.”

“Sherlock, what are you up to?”

“You’re so clever; you tell me.” Fuck, why have I said that? He’ll be annoyed.

“You’re waiting for me to do something. Have you set some sort of trap for me?”

I suppose I wait too long to answer. “No.”

“What are you up to?”

“Nothing! Just a bit restless. Fancy a walk?” It’s cold out; he’ll stand close. He’ll point out the full moon (he always does, bless him). It rained last night; the sky will be clear and starry.

“It’s freezing out. Plus I’m watching telly. I like this one.”

“You like all of them. It’s so close in here; I need to get out.”

“Go then.”

“If you will. I’d rather have the company.”

He looks at me for a long moment and shakes his head. “What are you trying to get me to do?”

“Just come and have a walk with me. Please.”

“All right, then. Let me just get a coat.”

Outside John huffs little condensation clouds of indignation, but I walk a bit fast and he soon warms up trying to keep pace. His cheeks get pink.

“Where are we going?”

“Hadn’t thought. Just for a bit of fresh air.”

“Sherlock, you’re more mysterious than usual. Have you got something on your mind?”

“Yes,” I almost sigh, but smile instead.

“Want to tell me what it is?”

I don’t reply, and he stops walking. “Problem?”

“Sherlock, if something is wrong, you’ve got to tell me. All right? Don’t leave me out. You said you wouldn’t do that anymore. What’s going on?”

“It’s nothing, John.” Almost crossly. I can’t stop myself.

“This is how it started, you know,” he says sadly.

Mortifying. I turn to face him and put my hands on his shoulders. “I am not going to do that again. Ever. I swear it.”

He looks steadily back at me, waiting for me to continue, but I can’t. It hurts to look right at him, when he’s got that look on his face. That’s poetry and it’s not poetry. His disappointment makes my stomach hurt. “Tell me what’s wrong, Sherlock. Right now.”

“I promise nothing is wrong, John. I’m not going to do anything mad.”

John is not appeased. “You can’t hide things from me anymore. I can’t take it. I still dream of it. Nearly every night.”

“So do I.”

“Do you know what the worst of it was? Apart from losing you?” he asks in that low, sad voice. “Knowing that you were lying to me. Your last words to me were lies, and I didn’t know why. It made me feel like I was nothing to you. Just a loose end to be tied.”

Intolerable. “John, I’m so ashamed.”

“We don’t need to talk about that right now. Just tell me. Please.”

“I’m not like you, John. I can’t just say what I feel.”

“Well, you’ve got to. I can’t be your flatmate and your handler, or whatever I am, if you’re going to keep things from me. Don’t you trust me?”

“With my life!”

“Just not your secrets.”

“It’s not a secret, it’s a burden.”

He smiles a little at that and says, “You promise neither of us will come to any harm?”

“Yes.”

“All right then. Get your thoughts together. You’ve got a week to confess, or I can’t live here anymore. I know you’re keeping something from me, and I know it’s something to do with me. I’m going back to the flat; I’m freezing.” He ducks out from under me and walks away.

“You would leave me?” I call after him.

“You left me,” he replies without slowing his step.

“I came back, John.”

He stops but still does not turn. “You’ve got to do better this time.” I follow after him, slowing my usual pace significantly to allow him to walk a few steps ahead. I don’t catch him up until he’s unlocking the door. We climb the stairs silently, John just behind me. I glance back at him a few times, but he doesn’t notice. He’s thinking so hard, his face furrowed in concentration. Not even trying to hide his perturbation. When we enter the flat, he pauses halfway to the staircase to his bedroom. He’s wondering whether to go upstairs.

“Tea, John?”

“All right then.” John can’t resist an offer of tea from me. He’s still so surprised every time I make it, though I’ve done it at least a dozen times now. He throws himself on the sofa. An invitation? But he toes off his shoes and puts his feet up, blocking most of it. I get the mugs down, then rummage in the cupboard for a snack. All I can find is a rather old tin of biscuits (gift from Lestrade). I taste one, and it’s a bit stale, but I arrange a few on a plate anyway.

John grins at me when I set the plate on the coffee table. “Are we having a party?”

“Thought you might be hungry,” I say carelessly. He sits up and reaches for a biscuit, and I take the opportunity to sit in the space recently vacated by his feet.

“I do love it when you look after me,” he says fondly.

“Noted.”

“And I love it when you act like an affable robot. Fortunately for you.” The kettle begins to whistle and I stand. “Wait a moment, Sherlock,” John says slowly. “Forget what I said before. I shouldn’t have said it. I won’t leave you.” He waits for me to respond, but he clearly has more to say so I remain silent. “Don’t leave me again, Sherlock. I can’t take it again.”

I drop to my knees beside the sofa and say, “Neither can I.”

“You’re not going to chuck yourself off another building?”

“Only if I take you with me.” John is terribly pleased with that answer. While he’s giggling, I get up and see about the tea.

He’s still chuckling when I return. “So we’re agreed, then,” he says as I set down the mugs. “It’s murder-suicide or nothing.”

“Yes, agreed. I don’t see any way round it.”

“Shake on it then,” he says pushing himself to his feet and holding out his hand. I take it and there is an audible crack of static (improbable, but it did happen. Perhaps somehow arranged by John? No way to tell; he would never admit to it) “Ow, that was a good one,” John says, but he doesn’t let go my hand. “That was a bit spooky. No getting out of it now, I suppose.”

“As if I’d let you out of it, John.” My voice is hoarse, but I find I can look right into his face.

His eyes are bright. Has he been crying a bit? I haven’t paid close enough attention. "I do you love you, you lunatic.” He squeezes my hand, shakes my arm a bit. “And?”

“And?”

“And you love me, as well.” I manage to nod once. “It’s customary to say so, if you reciprocate.” I nod again. “Well, I suppose I should know better than to expect the customary from you, Sherlock.”

“Quite,” I croak. John laughs again. “Just what are you finding so amusing, John?”

“I’ll count this as your confession, if you like. This is what you were fretting about, isn’t it?” I nod again. “I was planning to kiss you, but you look like you might faint dead away.” I really might. I feel odd.“Think you can withstand it?”

“It is a capital mistake to theorise without data.”

“Can’t you just say ‘I don’t know’?” John licks his lips and brushes the tiniest of kisses on my mouth. “All right? Swooning yet?”

“Not yet. Try again.” John does try again, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t quite get me to swoon. Very near to it, though. Very near.

Chapter Text

I have been surprised to discover John has no flaws. His characteristics fall into three categories (so far established): Interesting, Advantageous, and Transcendent. Eg:

1. John’s inability to deduce is Interesting because it is not borne of an inability to observe (as previously supposed) but from want of confidence in his observations. He deduces beautifully on certain subjects (mostly to do with me; especially sex with me)(must watch this tendency for patterns)(the way he grins and shrugs when I ask 'how did you know to do that?')
2. John’s adherence to social mores is Advantageous (!) because he is able to translate me to ordinary people and vice versa
3. John’s open face is Transcendent because there’s nothing lovelier than watching his feelings play across him like a film.

How strange that things that would be hateful in me (and are hateful in others) are perfect in John

“You’re like a really good crime scene, John.”

“Am I? I suppose I know you well enough to take that as a compliment.”

“Yes, a cacophony of tiny details, each unique, each significant all joined up to make something fascinating. I want to carry you round in my pocket and pull you out and look at you when I’m bored. Like my mobile. I want to look at you under a microscope.”

“Don’t you already?”

“How did you know about that? Did you see the spreadsheet? How did you guess the password?”

“You lunatic. You mean you literally look at me under a microscope?”

“...No.”

“Which bits of me have you been looking at under a microscope?”

“Is that really a question you want answered, John?”

“Right, strike that. Don’t ever ever tell me what bits of me you look at under a microscope.”

“Hadn’t planned to. You asked.”

“I suppose I ought to know better than to attribute the use of figurative language to Sherlock Holmes.”

“One would think so.”

 

“John, I want to pull you to bits and pin you to a card, neatly labeled.”
“Oh my god!”
“Not good?”
“On my part. It’s wrong to find that arousing, isn’t it?”
“I may not be the right person to ask.”

Chapter Text

“No, John.”
“No?”
“No, definitely not.”
“Why not? I had a cat when I was at university, and she was good company. It’d give me someone to talk to you when you’re in a strop. Or vice versa.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“You used to talk to a skull.”
“The skull is human, at least.”
“Was human.”
“Is, John. Being dead doesn’t change that.”
“Why can’t I have a cat, Sherlock?”
“Isn’t it obvious?”
“Would I be putting us through this if it were?”
“I’ve seen you with cats, John. You’re all high-pitched.”
“I’m too annoying to have a cat?”
“Don’t be thick, John.”
“I will shake you until your teeth rattle.”
“I only want you to go high-pitched with me. I know it’s stupid to be jealous of a hypothetical cat, but there you are. You keep forcing me to admit these things.”
“I don’t go high-pitched!”
“You do. It’s Transcendent.”
“You are a mad thing. A cat might make you go high-pitched as well, you know.”
“Some things are not to be beheld by mortals, John.”
“Poor creature would probably end up as one of your experiments anyway.”
“Do you really think that?”
“Have I offended you? I’m sorry. I don’t really think that.”
“I don’t hurt animals.”
“I know.”
“I’m not really a sociopath, John.”
“No, love, of course not. Just a bit theatrical.”
“And a genius.”
“Yes, a lovely, slightly mad genius. Like Newton.”
“Maybe not Newton. I haven’t invented calculus.”
“Well you’re only young.”
“True.”
“Let’s get a cat.”
“All right then.”

 

“You have your epiphany look, but we don’t have a case on. What’ve you done?”
“I’d been puzzling over something, and I just sorted it out.”
“Go on, then.”
“It’s embarrassing.”
“If you’re trying to get me really interested, it’s working. Do go on.”
“I’ve been trying to work out how I could have gone on so long without you. How I didn’t miss you.”
“You did miss me. You talked about it all the time.”
“No, not while I was dead. Before we met.”
“Before we met? You can’t miss someone before you meet them.”
“But I did miss you, John. I just didn’t know until we met. It’s like when you suddenly remember you’ve got your binoculars on you.”
“You lunatic.”
“You only say that when you’re blushing, John. Did you know?”
“I don’t blush!”
“You do. It’s-”
“Transcendent?”
“Exactly. How do you know about that?”
“Know about what?”

Chapter Text

Sherlock gets on with Smoke. Bit too well for my liking. He said he’d be jealous of the cat. That might’ve been fun, actually. I do like to see his little sulks as long as he doesn’t act out too horribly. He’s a world-class pouter (god, that lip. It’s not decent to be petulant and gorgeous). As well as being quite talented at pointedly turning his back, huffing, sighing, eye-rolling, and storming out. I have seen the man roll over and pull the sheets over his head to end an argument. I suppose I should have known he’d get on with the bloody cat. There’s a matched set for you.

Smoke is the platonic ideal of a cat. She’s got dense, glossy, dark grey fur and dark blue eyes. She’s a right little shadow. Somehow she looks exactly like Sherlock. It’s uncanny. Sherlock loves to roll his eyes at that one. 'Honestly, John,' he says and tosses his head (really). Honestly what, Sherlock? If you put her in a tiny muffler, you could not tell the difference between them. She follows him everywhere and positively observes him. He won’t let me chase her off the worktop. The fragility of genius and all.

“Must every surface in the flat be horribly unsanitary?”

“I always sterilise with white spirits before experiments, John.”

No point (as Sherlock would say). I keep finding long, grey hairs at the bottom of my mug. It’s quite put me off hot drinks. He doesn’t exactly go high-pitched, but I once caught him offering her a biscuit (she sniffed it, very politely).

Sherlock actually fell asleep in bed one night (with all his clothes on. At 8 o’clock because he’d been up for thirty-nine hours). I lay beside him reading (in my new glasses. Very dashing). He suddenly pushed up onto his side and said thoughtfully,

“John, do you think Smoke is happy?”

“‘Course she is.”

He beamed. It was lovely. After a moment he said, “We should get her a little ginger cat to be her friend. A little John.” He put a hand in my hair.

“Sherlock, don’t pet me.” He stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. “I’m not a little ginger cat for your cat to be mates with.”

“We’ll find one, John. Don’t worry.” My lovely creep. I can’t believe I’ve got to share him with that bloody cat. This is a conversation he claims not to remember. He is quite keen on that little ginger cat, though.

Chapter Text

“Are you going to make room for me?”
“Sit in your chair.”
“So I’m not allowed on the sofa anymore? Because of the cat?”
“Did I say that?”
“Make room for me!”
“Seems rude to displace her for some Johnny-Come-Lately.”
“For heaven’s sake, Sherlock! She is a cat. I am a person.”
“I hardly see a relevant disparity, John.”
“Hardly see a relevant disparity, Sherlock?”
“Not relevant to this circumstance. Move her if you must, but I’ll not be party to your rudeness.”
“Am I being lectured about rudeness by Sherlock Holmes?”
“Even I am surprised at your want of manners, John.”
“Right, well. As I’m not wanted, I’ll go to bed.”
“Little less noise, please. I’m thinking.”

“Sherlock?”
“Mmm?”
“I’ve a question.”
“I assumed so.”
“You’re so morbid.”
“That’s not a question.”
“I mean, why do you like dead things so much? Why all the skulls?”
“Are you just noticing the skulls? You’ve been here three years.”
“Excluding the hiatus.”
“The hiatus. Yes.”
“Anyway. The skulls. Why do you like dead things?”
“I like things that can be known. Dead things hold still and let you have a look at them. Live things can be so...”
“So what?”
“I’m trying to think of a way to put it that isn’t Not Good.”
“Uncooperative?”
“That’s number seven.”
“Sorry?”
“On my list of things I enjoy about John. ‘John is the only person who ever finishes my sentences’.”
“What’s number one?”
“‘If you are not very nice to Sherlock Holmes, Captain John Watson of the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers will shoot you’.”
“Too right I will.”

...

“So what else is on the list, then?”
“Which list?”
“The things you enjoy about John.”
“Oh, that one. It’s all a bit Not Good, honestly.”
“Well, as you recognise it, I’m not too worried. Go on, then.”
“All right. Hmm, number seventeen: John has a temper.”
“Yeah, I suppose I do. You like that?”
“Oh yes.”
“Care to elaborate?”
“You chinned the Chief Superintendent.”
“Liked that, did you?”
“It was excellent.”
“Always a pleasure to be of service. You showed your appreciation by taking me hostage.”
“The situation demanded it, John.”
“You always say that.”
“I always do what’s necessary.”
“Maybe I should keep a list, too.”
“You’ll never remember. That’s number thirty-two.”

“John, when are we getting our little ginger cat?”
“Well Sarah gave me Smoke, so next time one of her elderly relations dies and leaves behind a cat that suits your specifications.”
“That could be ages!”
“That’s number six on my list.”
“What is? On your list of what?”
“The things I enjoy about Sherlock. Number six: Sherlock does not notice sarcasm, but manages to employ it liberally.”
“I understand sarcasm! Your delivery is faulty.”
“You only pretend not to understand it. You do that often, don’t you? Play dense?”
“Ignominious.”
“You’re a bit more obvious than you’re aware, I think.”
“You’re getting to know me too well.”
“Does that make me more difficult to trick?”
“I’ve been waiting for you to notice how odd and dark I am.”
“I’m afraid you never really kept that from me, love.”

“Use the internal mouse, John!”
“Ow, Sherlock! Get off!”
“I can’t stand to see a left-handed person use an external computer mouse. It’s all wrong. You’re clicking with the wrong finger, John! How can you stand it?”
“This finger gets the job done, Sherlock. It’s just as adept as the index finger.”
“Some things are just wrong, John.”
“Fine, I’ll use the internal mouse. But now my clicks don’t make any noise. It’s so much less satisfying to click silently.”
“If only you could type silently.”
“I’m a better typist than you are a shot.”
“What?”
“Had you not noticed you’re a horrible shot? I should think you’d have deduced it by observing that you never hit anything you’re actually aiming for. Though come to that, you’re such a horrible shot, I don’t trust you not to hit things you aren’t aiming for.”
“I hope you don’t intend me to unsnarl that rat’s nest of a sentence.”
“Nice deflection. Maybe I am getting to know you too well.”
“No, that’s number thirty-seven. Anyway you always knew, but you’ve only just now started pointing it out.”
“Well our relationship is progressing to new levels. Got to keep it interesting. Don’t want you to think I’m completely asleep.”
“You’re a bit crafty, aren’t you?”
“Just a bit.”

Chapter Text

I’ve found her, John!
-SH

Found who?

Whom.
-SH

Whom did you find, then?

You really don’t know?
-SH

If I ask, assume I really don’t know.

Have a guess.
-SH

No, thanks.

Please yourself. I suppose you’ll see when you get home.
-SH

She’s not a corpse, is she?

Better.
-SH

Oh god.

Actually.

Hang on.

The little ginger cat?

Knew you’d get there eventually.
-SH

Where did she come from? You didn’t steal her, did you?

Why would you think that?
-SH

Well, I was only joking before...

No, I didn’t steal her, John.
-SH

It was happenstance, really. She’d been living in a skip.
-SH

Have you been jumping into skips again?

I really don’t see why that bothers you so much.
-SH

What if you got hauled away with the rubbish?

I’d get a cab home, of course. Anyway. I’ve taken her for a checkup, and she’s healthy, so we’re going back to the flat soon.
-SH

Where are you now?

Tesco. Do we need anything besides cat food?
-SH

You brought a cat into a shop?

 

Well, I couldn’t leave her outside, could I? She’s asleep in my coat pocket. No one’s noticed.
-SH

We’re nearly out of tea. Get some muesli as well.

I’ve decided to call her Skip.
-SH

Why is it that my cat counterpart is called Skip while yours is called Smoke? Because you’re the fanciable, cool one?

John, one shouldn’t anthropomorphise one’s pets.
-SH

Maybe I’ll start calling Smoke Good Sherlock.

She’d never answer to it.
-SH

I thought cats lacked the cognitive faculties to learn their own names.

Why would you think that?
-SH

YOU SAID IT YOURSELF!

No need to shout.
-SH

I appreciate your frustration at the discrepancy, John, but one doesn’t choose these things, you know. Her name is Skip, and that’s all there is to it.
-SH

Chapter Text

I was rather looking forward to John becoming more transparent to me, but he’s become more of a mystery. I can see his feelings on his face, but I can only explain them about half the time. I’m getting better, I think. Slowly. John is patient, but struggles a bit sometimes. It’s easier, I think, that he struggles a bit. If he found it too easy, it’d be almost galling. I’m trying, but if I offend, let me offend. Mycroft always pretends he’s past caring what an arse I make of myself. As if no one would bother to expect any better. Sometimes John quite wants to shout at me (he doesn’t), and that’s good.

I do love a mystery. Sometimes John will say, 'You’re so funny, Sherlock,' without laughing (often smiling, though). This, I believe, usually pertains to some imagined slight hypocrisy (A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds)(can’t remember who said that). We’ve set some rules. I didn’t like that at first. Makes it seem almost like a game. John said that the rules would make things simpler, and he was right (naturally).

1. No lying

2. No disappearing

3. No smoking

He asked me to set some rules for him, but so far I’ve only been able to think of one.
1. No whistling

He laughed lots when I told it to him, but he hasn’t broken it. Good man. He told me I could keep thinking on it. I made up a flowchart to help me sort out what’s what. John caught me consulting it once, and he was very amused. I offered to make him one about me, but it got too complicated.

Chapter Text

John, please get this disgusting, slimy thing off me at once.
-SH

Just kick it off, if you don’t like it. It’s a hot water bottle not a dead frog.

It’d have a cover on it, if you hadn’t used it to mop up that acid.

Would you rather I’d let it eat a hole in the table?
-SH

It did eat a hole in the table.

Where are you? I’ve been shouting for you, and I’m already hoarse, John.
-SH

Are you serious?

I’m working today. Don’t you remember? I left you some Lemsips and a stack of cold cases.

I said I’d be home at 7. Remember?

Come home now.
-SH

I still have 3 hours left on my shift. I’ll be back at 7.

I need you. Please come at once.
-SH

Why?

I need you to do a throat culture. Could be strep
-SH

I can’t do it myself; I gag.
-SH

It’s not strep. I’ve got other throats to look down now. See you at 7.

SHERLOCK DO NOT HAVE ME PAGED AGAIN.

Medical emergency.
-SH

Then dial 999. We don’t have A&E here.

You’ll be sorry if I drown in my own lung fluid, John.
-SH

But think how smug you’ll be.

Fair enough.
-SH

Okay leaving now. Getting a take-away. Chinese ok?

Cannot eat. Dead.
-SH

You want me to pick something for you?

Lo Mein and egg drop soup ok?

Want some green tea?

Sherlock?

The SMS subscriber you are trying to reach has expired due to your stubbornness. Please try to be a better friend in future.
-SH

Your signature line rather spoils the effect. You prat.

Chicken noodle soup from the cafe it is, then.

Worse than nothing.
-SH

The only good thing about you having influenza (not strep, nor pneumonia) is that I won’t come home to a horrible mess.

Too ill for experiments, right?

Right Sherlock?

I’ll just tidy up a bit. Ring the bell before you come up.
-SH

Chapter Text

“You’ve got a gorgeous voice, you know. You could talk absolute shit all the time, and people would still fall over themselves to do what you said. You’re like a 1940’s film star.”
“What nonsense, John. I often have to work very hard to convince people of the simplest facts.”
“Just one more, er, unit of nonsense. You’ve got a beautiful face. It’s so unfair. You have so much and do so little with it, while more sensitive people do more with less.”
“John you see me put it all to excellent use every day. I know you must have noticed.”
“What you mean on witnesses and clients and Molly Hooper? No, hadn’t noticed. You’re so scrupulous; I have never seen you take advantage.”
“Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, John.”
“I once heard a wise man say that.”
“Mmm, so did I.”
“Gem of a fellow.”
“Indeed.”

...

“You want to rein it in a bit?”
“What? What are you muttering about?”
“You want to stop shouting ‘secret lovers’ over and over?”
“But it’s integral to the motivation of the killer, John! These two pretended to be mere platonic flatmates, but-”
“Yes, yes, I heard you the first time. No need to do the summation again.”
“It’s the second bathroom, John. They were using it for storage-”
“Yes, I heard you! I believe you. I just feel like I go bright red every time you start going on about it again.”
“You don’t. Why would you?”
“Is that a serious question?”
“Are you referring to our relationship? Are we secret lovers?”
“It’s a sort of secret, isn’t it? We don’t talk about it.”
“Why would we?”
“Most people mention it to their friends and family when they’re in a relationship.”
“Do they? Good lord, how dull. Makes me glad I’ve got no friends if that’s the sort of thing I’d be expected to discuss with them.”
“You’ve got friends.”
“Well, put it on your blog or something. Everyone we know seems to read it. Efficient.”
“I suppose I could do that, but it’s not very personal, is it?”
“That’s the primary advantage.”
“Maybe we should have Mycroft and Harry round for dinner and tell them in person.”
“Mycroft and Harry? Is that a serious suggestion?”
“Ha, I suppose not. But we’ve got to start telling people eventually.”
“Why?”
“Aren’t you listening? For all the reasons I just said.”
“I didn’t hear any reasons, but tell whomever you like. I rather doubt anyone will care.”
“I really don’t find that answer satisfactory.”
“John, I’ve given you three and a half minutes of frivolous conversation in the middle of a case. At a fresh crime scene, no less. Who knows what they’ve moved while we’ve been off-”
“Yes, yes, fine. Sorry. Unprofessional. Let’s go back. We’ll talk about it later.”
“Actually John, I’ve had an idea. There are some reporters lurking just outside. If you like I can throw you up against that window and-”
“Nope, no. No, thank you. Not necessary. Remember when those photos of you with the blonde hair leaked right after we nabbed Moran?”
“Ugh.”
“Right. We’ll sort it out. We just need to consider a bit.”
“If you hadn’t bristled with indignation every time someone suggested we were together for the first two years we knew each other, all of our acquaintances would still be happily assuming we’d been seeing each other the whole time.”
“But we weren’t, and I wanted to, so it was really embarrassing. And I don’t bristle!”
“You’re wrong, John. You bristle very energetically.”

Chapter Text

On a certain morning in recent memory, I found Sherlock sitting at the kitchen table peering into his microscope

"Good morning, Sherlock," I said, pausing to kiss him as I walked past into the kitchen.

"Good morning, John."
I opened the fridge and was pleased to discover there was actually food inside it and no visible body parts."Breakfast?"

"Just coffee for me, thanks."

I got the coffee down and turned the coffee maker on."That for a case?" I asked pointing at the microscope.

He didn't look at me to see me point, but nodded anyway. "Mud samples. I'll need to take them to Bart's later. Could you go back and interview the landlady on your own?"

"Sure. Oh, by the way, Sherlock, happy Valentine's Day." I'm not sure why I said it. I suppose it was borne of the urge I nearly always have to wind him up. I expected him to snort in disgust, but he didn’t. Sherlock did not look up from the microscope or answer, but he thrust his free hand into the pocket of his dressing gown, removed an envelope in a lurid shade of red, and waved it at me.

I took it incredulously. It was not exactly paper, it was made of a sort of shiny, slippery material and he'd written 'JOHN' on it in felt tip pen. I opened the envelope cautiously and pulled out the card. It was sickening pink with a great, big, heart made of the same shiny red stuff as the envelope. Inside was printed 'Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet and I LURVE you!!!!' At the top, Sherlock had written 'To Dr. John H. Watson' and at the bottom, under the printed message, 'from his devoted friend SH P.S. Please excuse the poor grammar and punctuation in this card. The selection was excessive, and I chose the one that seemed most festive.' I stared at the card for a long time, fighting the urge to laugh.

"I'm never sure what banalities you observe, so I wanted to be prepared," said Sherlock, still looking into his microscope. "Have you got one for me? You can leave it on the table, and I'll look at it in a bit."

"Er, yes I’ve got one. I just haven't got it in the flat. I'll go and, er, pick it up. While I'm out today."

Sherlock's mouth twitched, "Rule number one, John," he said.

"I'm not lying!"

"John..."

"Okay, I am. But I can't let you show me up in sentimentality, can I?"

"Perish the thought," he said, finally looking up from his microscope to grin at me.

I rushed through the interview with the landlady (Sherlock would have been pleased at how abrupt I was; he loves when I'm rude) so that I could look for a valentine for Sherlock. I went to three different shops before I found one appropriately festive (that is to say, lurid). It was gigantic and pink and had a glittery, red cupid on the front. Very offensive. The printed message on the inside read 'Happy V-Day, Sexy!' and I’d signed it 'from your very attached friend JHW, MD.' I grabbed a cheap bottle of wine as well. So long as we were observing banalities, we might as well get pissed on bad wine and fool around on the sofa like a normal couple.

Flush with triumph, I was on my way back to the flat when I heard someone calling me.

"John! Oi, John Watson!" I looked round to see Lestrade crossing the street toward me, grinning like a Cheshire cat. I considered ducking into a nearby shop to hide, but knew it was no good. He'd already spotted me.

"All right, John?" he said when he reached me.

"Hullo Greg," I answered, dropping my arms to my sides, hoping he wouldn't notice my cargo (not likely, since both the card and the bottle of wine were comically oversized).

"Got a date? Didn’t think Sherlock would let you get away in the middle of a case."

"Er, sort of."

"Who with, then?"

My ears were getting hot. At least Sherlock wasn’t around to point it out. "It's more of a joke, really, than a date."

"Do I know the lady?"

The hotness in my ears crept down my neck and across my face. "Er, it's for Sherlock."

His grin faded a bit, and I felt defensive for some reason. "Oh."

"Yeah."

"What's the joke? Or do I not want to know?"

"Well, he gave me one, so..."

"He gave you a valentine?"

"Yeah. We've been, er, dating, I suppose you could call it."

Lestrade's mouth fell open. "Dating? What this whole time?"

"No, just for a few weeks. Look, Greg, I really must dash."

"Clearly you've got plans," he replied with a bit of a smirk.

"We'll do drinks soon, I expect," I said, trying not to think of what Sherlock would say about his expression.

"I'm sure we will. Off you pop to your plans, then."

"See you later!" I said, trotting away as fast as I could go.

I half-ran back to the flat, rather afraid I’d run into some other acquaintance and be forced to explain myself to them as well. I did take a moment to compose myself in the hall before I went in, but Sherlock spotted something was up straight away. He didn’t say anything, but he looked at me in that deducing way he has. He’d been lying on the sofa in his thinking pose (hands clasped, fingers steepled and pressed to his lips), but he sat up when I came in.

“How did you get on with the landlady?”

“She didn’t hear anything.”

“No witnesses, then.”

“I think Lestrade’s team has been canvassing the area to see if anyone saw or heard anything the night of.”

“No one will have. What’ve you got there?”

“Your valentine.” I dropped onto the sofa by his feet and handed him the card.

He tore open the envelope and raised an eyebrow at the glittery cupid before flipping the card open to read it. “This is hideous,” he said after a moment.

“Yes, it is, isn’t it? I told you I wasn’t to be outdone in sentiment.”

“What do we do with them now?”

“I’m not sure. Bin them, I suppose.”

“That’s not very sentimental,” he said. He stood, crossed to the fireplace and pinned my card to the mantel with the knife he uses to open letters. “What do you think?”

“Still hideous. Might look better after we’ve gotten into the wine, though.”

“I’m afraid there’s only so much I can do for your benefit, John. Drinking that swill is bit too far.”

“I can’t drink bad wine on my own.”

“Then you should buy good wine.”

“I suppose we can save it for emergencies. It was just an excuse to snog on the sofa anyway.”

“I wasn’t aware we needed an excuse.” Sherlock leaned back against the mantel.

“Are you proposing a break during a case? A snogging break?”

“Sadly no. Lestrade texted me. They think they’ve got a lead. Probably nothing, but I said we’d go. Do you need to eat first or are you ready?”

“When did he text you?”

“Just now. Or at least my phone just went, and I assume it was him. I told him to text me if he got any new information, and I’d have a look.” Sherlock pulled his phone out of his pocket to check.

“That might be something else, actually,” I began, but Sherlock interrupted.

“They’ve found another body in the block of flats, and they think there’s a connection. Come on, John!” And he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me out the door.

I hovered against a wall, as Sherlock crouched over the body. I was trying to listen to what he was muttering (much more to himself than to me), but Lestrade sidled up to me and started in on a bit of muttering of his own.

“How long did you say?” he whispered.

“Only a few hours. I’ll have a better idea when I get a closer look after Sherlock’s through, though.”

“No, not the body. The relationship.”

“You really think we should be talking about that right now? It’s a crime scene. There’s a dead girl, just there.”

“Only curious.”

“A few weeks.” I started to edge closer to Sherlock, so Lestrade wouldn’t be able to ask any more questions without Sherlock hearing.

“Step back, John. You’re in my light,” Sherlock said without looking up. I complied. He pulled out his magnifying glass and began to inspect the victim’s clothing.

“Sorry to have spoiled your evening,” Lestrade said.

“It’s nothing,” I answered.

“I really had no idea about you two.”

“It’s not all that different to how it was before, actually.”

“Really?”

“Yep, really.”

“Well you’ve always been close.” The little smirk was returning.

“Some people just get on, I guess.”

“Congratulations.”

“Er, thank you, I suppose.”

“Am I the last to know?”

I really wanted to tell Lestrade he was being tiresome, but it was such a Sherlock thing to say that I knew he’d laugh if I did. And if he laughed, Sherlock would glare at us for breaking his concentration and maybe come over and say something insulting or awkward or otherwise horrible. So I just said, “First, actually.”

“Really? I’m flattered.”

“Don’t be. It was an accident, wasn’t it?”

“Is it a secret?”

“Not particularly.”

“I didn’t know you fancied blokes, John. Not that it matters.”

“It doesn’t, does it?”

“I don’t mean to offend, John. I’m just a bit surprised someone’s actually dating Sherlock Holmes,” he whispered. “It’s not the-”

“Lestrade, if you’ve done interrogating John about our relationship, I’ll borrow him for a moment. John, will you have a look at these bruises here?” called Sherlock, standing up.

“Yeah, coming,” I said stepping forward, quite pleased to have gotten away.

“And I find it’s best not to delve too deeply into the wherefores of one’s proclivities, Lestrade,” Sherlock said rather sharply. “We all surprise ourselves from time to time. It’s pleasanter to just enjoy it.”

Chapter Text

Mycroft, I’ve something to tell you.
-SH

By all means.
-M

John thought you’d want to know we’re seeing each other.
-SH

Yes, I’d noticed.
-M

Though do thank him for his sensitivity.
-M

John wants to know what you mean to imply by that.
-SH

Does he?
-M

He says he doesn’t much care, but he wants you to know he knows you’re implying something.
-SH

Does he?
-M

He says he doesn’t much care.
-SH

If you’re going to try to convince me that I’m making a mistake, let’s have it all out of the way at once, please.
-SH

The circumstances are very different now that you’re back in England, Sherlock.
-M

If you want to lie around your flat getting fat and writing bad poetry about that little doctor, it’s not putting any one’s life in jeopardy.
-M

 

I suppose I might have thought it a waste a few months ago, but you seem very content.
-M

I am not getting fat!
-SH

You’ve put on six pounds.
-M

My trousers still fit.
-SH

Barely. And your shirts don’t.
-M

Oh bugger off, Mycroft.
-SH

You’re very well suited for each other. Much more so than I’d observed in the past.
-M

I know you intend that remark to insult me, but I’m glad you noticed, Mycroft!
-SH

Dear me, exclamation marks. You must be in love.
-M

I don’t mind saying so.
-SH

Your time for saying nasty things is over. Please affect bored indifference as is your custom.
-SH

As you wish, dear brother.
-M

...

“Mycroft, I should amend what I said before.”
“Which bit?”
“I want you to affect goodwill. Ideally, I’d like you to actually feel goodwill, but I know that would be quite a reach.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Oof, where to start? That’s a topic for another time. What I mean to say is that I understand what I owe you. I’m grateful for what you did for me while I was abroad. Keeping all my friends safe. Thank you.”
“My pleasure, of course.”
“I would like to continue to work together occasionally. I think we make a good team.”
“I’m pleased to hear you say that, Sherlock. I think that could be very advantageous.”
“I have more to say, Mycroft.”
“I know. Please continue.”
“I know you think that solitude is strength, but I’m not going to do things that way anymore. I don’t intend to be at all flexible on that point.”
“He’s really made quite an impression on you, hasn’t he?”
“Yes. Good night, Mycroft.”
“Good night, Sherlock.”

...

“Have you really been writing poetry about me?”
“You looked at my texts?”
“No, when you get really wound up, you read them aloud and mutter about them.”
“I don’t mutter!”
“You kept saying ‘Poetry? Ha!’ Is it true, then? You write poetry about me?”
“Ha!”
“You do, don’t you?”
“I’ve never written a line of poetry in my life.”
“May I see it?”
“It doesn’t exist.”
“I’ll find it.”
“No, you won’t.”

Chapter Text

Got your trousers on?

 

At the moment, but they are easily removed. What have you got in mind?
-SH

Nothing along those lines, unfortunately. We’re having dinner with Harry tonight.

We’ve just got a cab now & we’re coming to fetch you. Be there in 20.

 

Bit of notice would have been nice.
-SH

She popped round my office as a surprise.

Oh and the receptionist asked her if she’d met my lovely tall boyfriend, so she knows about us.

 

Wonderful. I presume she still thinks I’m a monster?
-SH

She doesn’t think you’re a monster.

 

She did call me a monster. Don’t you remember?
-SH

She didn’t mean it. She wasn’t quite herself.

 

Wasn’t quite herself?
-SH

Drunk then! Will you be pleasant tonight, please?

 

I can try.
-SH

Please try. You and Harry are all the family I’ve got.

 

One grows tired of being disapproved of.
-SH

Don’t I know it?

 

When was the last time I made you sit through a meal with Mycroft?
-SH

Well Harry’s not Mycroft. I can’t just ignore her. She’s fragile.

 

Everyone is fragile, John. May we set a time limit to this little outing?
-SH

An hour?

 

I suppose I can survive that.
-SH

Thank you Sherlock.

Thought we’d take her to Angelo’s, so she can meet some one else who loves you.

Then she’ll know I’m not just hypnotised by your cheekbones. : )

 

A forgivable failing, I’m sure.
-SH

...

Sherlock was waiting on the street in front of the flat when Harry and I arrived in the cab. He was already wearing his pinched tedious mortals smile. Harry's not all that observant, but no one can miss Sherlock's put upon looks. It wasn't a great start. It got worse, though, when Sherlock got into the cab.

"Harry, you remember Sherlock," I said, sliding over to make room for him to sit.

"Oh yes," she reached past me to shake hands. "The dead chap."

Sherlock's mouth twitched as he took her hand."That's me," he said. "The dead chap."

"Sherlock the resurrected," Harry continued.

"Let's be nice," I said.

"You've got yourself a magic boyfriend, John. Not bad for first time out."

"I hope you're in the mood for Italian," I said loudly. Sherlock had begun to drum his fingers on my knee. "This place is really nice. The owner reckons Sherlock walks on water."

"Doesn't he?"

"Not yet," Sherlock answered. "That'll be my next trick, I expect."

"It's a funny story, actually," I broke in. "He was arrested on suspicion of murder, but Sherlock proved he was actually housebreaking across town at the time of the murder." Sherlock smirked.

"Quite a magician," Harry said.

"Yes," Sherlock snapped, "quite a magician. Someday you'll have to let me saw you in half."

"Oh, I don't think it will come to that," I said, and fortunately, we were pulling up to the restaurant. Sherlock jumped out almost before the cab had stopped moving, paid the cabby, and walked into the restaurant without a backward glance.

"Charming," said Harry as we got out. "He's so attentive; I can see how he won you over."

"Harry, please. Let's not, all right? You could try to be polite to him. Anyway, you're the one who insisted he come along. Was it just to have a go at him? Because if it was, we can just call it an evening, okay?”

"You're very generous. After what he did to you."

"We've got that sorted out now, Harry. It's none of your business."

"None of my-"

"Coming?" Sherlock had poked his head through the door of the restaurant to interrupt.

"Yep, here we come, right Harry?"

“He’s made such a puppy out of you, hasn’t he? I’d hardly have known you.”

When I had fought my temper down enough to reply, I said, “Well then. I don’t think we can do dinner after all. Shall we go, Sherlock?” I walked away without waiting for a reply from either of them, but I could hear Sherlock’s step behind me. It took him only three steps to catch up to me, and when he did, he tucked his hand into my hand. We walked back to the flat in silence.

...

“There’s been a letter for you. It’s on the mantel.”

“Oh thanks.”

“I didn’t know you were called Jack.”

“I’m really not. My mum called me that sometimes. I was named for her father, and he was called Jack, but I don’t much like it. Harry calls me that when she’s trying to get me to see reason. Reckons it’s a special pet name, I suppose.”

“And she’s sent you a letter trying to convince you to finish it with the maniac.”

“Looks that way. Just bin it. I don’t even want to read it.”

“No? You aren’t touched by her concern?”

“I’ll call her and clear the air in a few weeks. It’s just a bit too much getting relationship advice from Harry.”

“Not her area?”

“Maybe if she gave up drinking.”

“You see why she’s so upset, don’t you?”

“She doesn’t really understand you. It doesn’t matter; I’m not looking for permission.”

“You’re Clara.”

“Sorry?”

“The ex-wife. The long-suffering one shackled to a hopeless addict.”

“You really think so?”

“Isn’t it obvious?”

“Maybe.”

“She’s got it wrong, though. We’re nothing like them. You may be long-suffering, but you’re just as addicted as I am.”

“Neither of us are addicted to-”

“Danger?”

“All right then. Fair point.”

“Indeed. You should open the letter. You’ve got a sibling you can talk to. You should take advantage.”

“Is Sherlock Holmes advocating for a family chat about feelings and relationships?”

“It would seem so.”

“I suppose we all surprise ourselves from time to time.”

“I once heard a wise man say that.”

“Gem of a fellow.”

“Indeed.”

...

Dear Jack,

I’m sorry to have lost my temper last week. I wish I hadn’t said those things, but I suppose there’s no help for it now. I’m so worried about you. I don’t think your relationship with Sherlock Holmes is good for you. It seems you’ve organised your life around chasing after this man. It was mad enough before. Then he faked his own suicide and pretended to be dead for a year. Likely you know why better than I do, but whatever the reason, it was a really vile thing to do.

When I heard he’d come back, I thought there was no way you’d forgive him. The Jack I knew would have slammed the door in his face. But he says frog, and you jump, just as before. It’s like he’s got you under a spell. At least get your own flat, so you can have some privacy. And you’re always welcome to come and stay with me. Please think about what I’ve said.

All my love,
Harry

 

Dear Harry,

I wasn’t going to answer your letter; you owe this reply to Sherlock. He’s not a monster; he’s a good man, and I’m a lot more like him than you realise. That is as much as I’ll ever defend my relationship to you or to anyone. I don’t owe you explanations, Harry. I’m a grown man, and I can choose who I spend my time with. If you can’t be civil to Sherlock, I won’t be spending my time with you. I do not need to be rescued.

If you want to try again, the two of us can get a coffee.

John

Chapter Text

Sometimes John will bring me a cup of tea, and I'm about to wave it away when I realise I'm parched. I've given up wondering how he knows. I must lick my lips, I suppose. He's not slept in his bedroom in months, and his things have been trickling down to mine. I say mine. Ours, now. He spends more time in there than I do. The sheets smell of him. Not only on his side of the bed (the left), but all over. Excepting on my pillowcase which still smells of my hair product (that was a hint, John, wasn't it? If only you'd been paying attention).

The things are mostly practical things. John is not a person who likes clutter, and he may be (secretly) even less sentimental than I am (!). He’s loyal, but he’s never blinded by loyalty. He’s pragmatic and clear-sighted and he gives me things like scalpels and torch batteries as gifts. And the stress ball he bought for me while I was dead. He didn’t give it to me, but I found it in the pocket of his dressing gown. It helps.

The charger for his phone was the first thing he brought down. Then his pillows (he says mine are too soft). Then socks, two pairs at a time until my drawers were crowded with them. This sadly discomposed my sock index (and me to a further degree than I generally care to contemplate). When he’d brought down all his socks, I suggested we bring down his chest of drawers (nearly turned my ankle on the stairs getting it down, too). All his clothes immediately followed the chest of drawers.

Then little things. A jar of change, a shoe polish kit, a few books, a blanket. It’s a rough, wool blanket, not at all my taste. But it’d been on his bed and it’s absolutely soaked in his smell. I wrap myself up in it when he’s away and I’m bored. It soothes me. Six days ago, he brought down the lock box in which he keeps his gun. I must find my best lock pick; the one I’ve been using is leaving dings on the lock.

There’s a little black book on his bedside table (brought it down two days after the gun). I’m quite sure he didn’t have it before I died (before the hiatus, as John now chooses to refer to it). I was thoroughly acquainted with the contents of his bedroom, and I never saw it there. I would have seen it, if it had been there. I’ve never seen him write in it, but the pages are well-thumbed, and there’s often a pen sitting on top of it.

Naturally he must be writing about me in it. I believe he began writing in it after I died, as a sort of substitute for his blog (not updated since I died, except for a video clip of a newscast announcing my resurrection and an unkept promise to tell the story of my return from the dead). I long to look in the book, but I’m terrified to. He might tell me what it said, if I could ask him.

Chapter Text

“Ouch, John, that stings!”
“I think it’s the black eye that stings, love. Not the ice.”
“The ice stings the black eye.”
“The ice will bring down the swelling. Only you could turn a witness into a suspect.”
“Suspected of what? Punching me in the face? I think we’re all sure of what happened there.”
“Couldn’t you see he was about to hit you? Why did you have to keep correcting his grammar?”
“He kept using poor grammar, which was hardly my fault, John.”
“This is going to get worse before it gets better, I’m afraid.”
“At least he avoided my nose and teeth.”
“Not because he loves you, I think.”
“Not likely.”
“Can you see all right out of it?”
“Yes.”
“Any head ache?”
“A bit. It’s not bad.”
“All right, well, I suppose this means we’ll be having a night in.”
“Why?!”
“Don’t you want to rest your poor face?”
“I can’t answer that question unless you rephrase it, John.”
“Head injuries call for a night in. Doctor’s orders.”
“Don’t you think it’s unethical of you to treat someone you’re involved with?”
“Nice try, Sherlock. The case will wait until tomorrow.”
“I’ve solved it anyway. It was the sister.”
“Shall I text Lestrade?”
“No, he can wait.”
“He apologised for laughing. Your expression was very funny. And I almost never hear you swear like that.”
“Perhaps if we give him time, he’ll solve it himself.”
“Perhaps. But you’d hate that.”
“True.”

...

“Are you fancying my arm is the fret of your violin?”
“The neck, John. Guitars have frets. Violins have necks. Just like you.”
“Why are you playing violin on me?”
“I was just thinking of something I must play for you.”
“Something you composed?”
“Yes.”
“I’d love to hear it.”
“It still wants practising.”
“Do you think it will be ready soon?”
“Perhaps. I composed it two years ago, and I’ve been practising it since then.”
“And it’s not ready?”
“Not yet.”
“Well, you can practise on my arm, if you like. If you think it will help.”
“It may.”
“Somewhere in here is a joke about f-holes.”
“You know f-holes, but you think a neck is a fret?”
“F-holes are funny.”

Chapter Text

Molly responded very enthusiastically to the photos I sent her of Smoke and Skip, so I asked her round the flat to meet them. Sherlock still felt that cats have no social standing (outside of deserving a seat on the sofa more than I do, of course) and was inclined to be dismissive of the premise of the visit. Well Sherlock is inclined to be dismissive, full stop. I suspect it’s one of his favorite sensations.

Still he condescended to change out of his dressing gown and set the mugs and the tea out on the worktop (he’d put them up out of my reach when I asked him to clear up the mess in the kitchen) in preparation for her visit. Then he planted himself at the kitchen table and bent over his microscope.

“Ah, Molly,” he said vaguely when she came in. I was afraid for a moment that he’d ask her to get him a coffee.

“Hullo Sherlock,” she said, “Experimenting?”

“Mould,” he said. “Hand me a pen?” Molly glanced at me, and I rolled my eyes.

“You’re not in the lab, you clot, you’re in your own flat. Get it yourself,” I told him. But Molly fished a pen out of her bag and handed it over.

“Thank you, Molly,” said Sherlock pointedly. He took his little book out of his breast pocket and scribbled in it. The kettle began to whistle.

“Tea Molly?” I offered.

“Yes, please.”

“Won’t you sit?” Molly hung her bag and her jacket on the unoccupied kitchen chair and arranged herself in Sherlock’s armchair. “Tea Sherlock?”

“Coffee?”

“I haven’t made coffee. I’ve made tea.”

He sighed, “Nothing for me, then, thanks.”

“All right, but if you change your mind in five minutes, you’ve got to make it yourself.” Sherlock sighed again and waved me away. I arranged some biscuits on a plate. I’d had to borrow the biscuits from Mrs Hudson. All that was in the fridge was a takeaway container full of ears, a traumatic discovery I’d made half-drunk at midnight the night before. As a concession to my distress, Sherlock had written EARS all over the container. The lettering somehow had a sardonic look about it. Fortunately Molly takes her tea without milk.

“So, Molly,” I said when I’d set out the tea and biscuits and settled into my arm chair. “How are you? How’s work?”

“Oh fine,” she said, dunking a biscuit into her tea. “Everyone’s still dead. You’re the only one who ever jumped off the slab, Sherlock.” Sherlock snorted, but did not reply. “How are things with you, John? Still at the clinic?”

“Yeah, Wednesdays and Saturdays. It’s my oasis of calm from this one,” I indicated Sherlock with my elbow. “He can’t get at me so much there, although he did have me paged once.”

“I’m impressed you can do both. I should think running after Sherlock would be a full-time job.”

“Yeah, very nearly a full time job. If our little detective agency would give me a pay rise, I could leave my job at the clinic.”

“He pays you?”

“No, I don’t. If you’re trying to draw me into your insipid conversation by continually mentioning my name, John-”

“I haven’t mentioned your name.”

Smoke chose that moment to wander into the room.

“Oooh, who’s this?” Molly asked putting her cup down on the coffee table.

“That’s Smoke. She’s in love with Sherlock, so I’m sure she’ll snub us both.” Unfortunately when Smoke spotted Molly, she puffed up to twice her size and bolted into the bedroom. “Sorry,” I said. “We don’t have much company. She’s not used to new people.”

“Except for clients,” Sherlock interjected.

“Shut up Sherlock. I’ll just bring her back.” I got up and went to find Smoke. She was under the bed soothing herself by giving Skip a very rough and thorough grooming. “Come on now, darlings,” I called, lying flat on my belly and reaching under the bed with one arm.”You’re not being very good hosts.”

“I see you two have got things sorted now,” said Molly from behind me. I sat up and turned to look at her. She was standing in the doorway with her arms folded, looking around the room.

“Sorry?”

“You’re together now?”

“Got there, have you?” Sherlock called.

“Shut up, Sherlock!” I yelled back.

Molly turned and walked back into the living room. I abandoned my attempts with the cats and followed her. “You know you both came to me for advice, but neither of you mentioned that you’d worked it out. I’d been wondering,” she said.

“Had you?” asked Sherlock, looking up from his microscope. “I didn’t know that.”

“My fault. I shouldn’t have expected more than for you to be casually awful. Don’t know why I thought things might have changed after last year.” Sherlock’s face was an interesting combination of enlightened and horrified. He slid off his chair and ran to put his arm around Molly. She didn’t seem to find it comforting, though. “You’re both so selfish, I’m sure you’ll be very happy together.” I opened my mouth to defend myself, but could not think how to begin. “Last year was hard for me,” she continued. “I knew he hadn’t killed you, but it was almost as bad. You were just gone, and I didn’t know what had happened to you or where you had gone. And I had to watch John break his heart over it, and I knew it was a lie and couldn’t say! And you!” she pushed away from Sherlock and pointed at me. “After last time, I thought you had learned something. I didn’t even get any bloody cake!”

I heard Sherlock mutter, “Last time?”

“And the both of you complain to me about the other as if you don’t know full well why that’s hard for me! You are bad friends!”

“Molly, I’m so sorry,” I began.

“Oh, so what?!” she stormed into the kitchen, collected her things, and left.

After a few moments silence, Sherlock said, “Why is it that our relationship makes everyone around us lose their minds?”

“She’s right, you arse!”

“I know. She was terribly noisy about it, though.”

I sighed. “How are we going to fix this, Sherlock?”

“Be better friends?”

Chapter Text

“Our relationship really does seem to have driven all our friends mad.”
“Yes, I know. Ordinary people have such remarkable capacity to care about things that have nothing to do with them. It seems exhausting.”
“Only you could make that into an insult.”
“Is it hard to care so much? It seems hard. No wonder no one can think, all their energy goes to feeling.”
“Oh, don’t sham heartlessness. You can’t fool me. I’ve seen you with cats; you go all high-pitched.”
“Shut up, John.”
“It’s transcendent. Why are you looking at me like that?”
“How do you know about that?”
“Know about what?”
“Nothing, nevermind.”
“I’m a bit worried to tell Mrs Hudson, actually.”
“Oh, yes, I agree. I thought it shouldn’t be delayed any longer, so I’ve just sent her a text.”
“You sent her a text?”
“Yes.”
“Well, no use crying over spilt milk. What did you say?”
“I haven’t spilt any milk! I just said ‘I’ve taken up with John. Hope that doesn’t alarm you.’”
“I suppose brevity is a virtue.”
“Oh, that’ll be her reply.”
“What does she say?”
“She says, ‘Yes, I know, dearie. I can hear you.’ So that’s one less worry, isn’t it? I suppose we should lay a carpet down in the bedroom, though. Wouldn’t you agree, John?”

Chapter Text

“Please leave a message for Molly Hooper.”

“Ah, Molly. Sherlock here. Sherlock Holmes. I see I’ve missed you. Ring back. Please.” Molly Hooper is not taking my calls. I’d never called her before, but I’ve left three voicemails now. I don’t usually leave voicemails. I’ve asked John what I should do, but he doesn’t know.

“Never was much good at getting them to stick around,” he said.

I’ve been trying to soothe myself by playing the violin, but somehow feel I did not deserve soothing. I set my violin down in its case and begin to pace in front of John where he sat in his chair. “Come on, John, help me! I’m still new to the caring lark.”

“Follow your heart, Sherlock.”

“John! This is no laughing matter.”

John sighs, “I know. I’m sorry. I’ve really got no idea what we should do.”

“Maybe we could just ask her?”

“Do you think she’ll see us? She hasn’t been taking my calls either.”

“I suppose I could drop by the morgue.”

“Shall I come?”

“I think not, if you don’t mind. I’ll go first.”

“Will you give her my apologies?”

“Of course. I think I’ll go now, actually.” I pull on my coat and my scarf.

“Maybe don’t turn the collar up,” John says. “Try not to swoop.”

“I don’t swoop!”

“You’re joking, right?” says John. “Sherlock, you have two speeds: swooping and incapacitated.”

“I don’t right now have the time to methodically refute that idiocy, but know that I could. Do you remember how she takes her coffee?”

I reach the door of the morgue clutching a hot paper cup of coffee for Molly (black, two sugars!). The cup's rather scalding my hand, even through the sleeve. Too hot to drink, which is a pity because hot drinks have a calmative effect (until the caffeine starts working). Am about to knock on the door (John says people appreciate knocking) when Molly throws it open from the other side. We both jump, and she drops her clipboard.

“This is for you,” I tell her, pushing the cup into her hands and bending to pick up the clipboard. The report on top catches my attention and distracts me momentarily. “Sliced clean in half? Can I see him?”

“What are you doing here, Sherlock?” Molly asks, taking the clipboard from me.

“I came to apologise.”

“Fine, come in. You can have two minutes.” She opens the door for me, and I walk in and sit down on a stool.

“Thank you, Molly. You were right before. I’ve been so careless, and I’m terribly sorry. I’d have been finished without you. Twice over. Can I do something to make it up to you?”

Molly listens with her arms folded, “Stop treating me like a convenience. If you want me to sit and listen to your problems, you’ve got to involve me in the nice bits of your life, too.”

“Nice bits?”

“Yes, the nice bits. I would really have liked it better if you had told me that you worked it out with John. I was hoping you would. I hadn’t seen either of you happy in so long, and now you’re both going round smiling. It’s nice.” I know John would tell me this is pleasant and normal, but I still can’t help but find it astounding. How can she care what we do?

“I think I understand what you mean, but I’m not sure how to proceed.”

“Neither am I. Let’s think on it for a bit.” Molly tries to sip her coffee and grimaces when she burns her tongue. She takes the lid off and blows on it, “Thank you for the coffee.”

“You’re welcome.”

“This makes me feel like we’re properly friends. Did you know you’ve never brought me coffee before?”

“I didn’t know how you take it.”

“Same as you.”

“Yes, John told me.”

“It’s nice that you thought to,” She blows again and sips. “Thinking of others is nice.”

“I could bring coffee.”

“All right then, that can be a nice thing you do. Bring me a dozen coffees, and you’re forgiven.”

“A dozen coffees? What all right now?”

She laughs, “No, you silly. Bring a coffee every week or every time you want to use the lab or something. When you’ve brought me a dozen, you’re forgiven.”

“Will John be absolved, too?”

“John hasn’t asked to be absolved.”

“He asked me to apologise for him. I said I would intercede on his behalf.”

“That doesn’t work,” Molly shakes her head. “He’s got to apologise on his own; he can’t just ride yours.”

“I suppose that’s fair. Shall I give him a hint for you?”

“This is interceding, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“Tell him he owes me a cake.”

“A dozen cakes?”

She laughs again, “No, one will do. Do you want to see the man who got cut in half? Bet you can’t tell how it happened.”

I bend and hug her. “Oh, Molly, thank you!”

Chapter Text

It had been one of those picture perfect cases. It averted an oncoming torpor, and culminated in an exhilarating footchase. Sherlock disapproves that those are always the ones I remember most clearly. The ones where we fly after a suspect like storybook heroes.

This particular suspect ran into an abandoned building ('Idiot,' Sherlock had huffed), and we were just behind him. We'd set up an ambush with Lestrade and his team, and we had to drive the suspect into it. We banged up the stairs after the suspect in time to see him disappear round a corner. The first door I opened seemed to be into an empty room, but I took a few steps in just to be sure.

I heard the sound of the shot and I felt something hot whiz past my right arm, but I didn’t work out what had happened until I saw Sherlock go after the shooter. He tackled the man, grabbed the gun from the floor where it fell, and whacked him in the face with the butt. The shooter screamed, but I still heard his nose break.

“Shut up!” said Sherlock, pointing the gun right into the shooter's face. “Are you all right, John?”

“Yeah, fine,” I said, rubbing my arm and staring down at the shooter. He was cringing and crying, the blood on his face running down into his mouth, and his nose grotesquely bent and flattened.

“Are you all right, John?” Sherlock asked again, his voice trembling slightly.

“Yes, Sherlock, I’m fine. He didn’t even knock me down.”

“You’re very lucky,” Sherlock growled, his eyes fixed on the shooter. “If you had hurt John, it would have been the last thing you’d done. Aside from feel a great deal of pain.” And he gave the shooter another whack with the butt. “Two for safety.”

Fortunately for the shooter, Lestrade and his team burst into the room at that moment. Sherlock stepped back, still clutching the gun and allowed them to put the shooter in handcuffs.

“Give the gun to Lestrade, Sherlock,” I prompted when the man had been dragged down to the police car to wait for his ambulance. “It’ll be evidence.”

Sherlock held the gun out to Lestrade. I’d never seen his hand shake like that.

Lestrade took it. and looked at it “Whose blood is this?” he asked.

“Er, Sherlock got a bit carried away,” I said.

“He shot you, John!” Sherlock croaked.

“You’ve been shot?” asked Lestrade, alarmed.

“Nah, only grazed. Look, Sherlock, he barely even burnt my coat. He’s a worse shot than you, missing at this range.” Sherlock opened his mouth to answer and swayed. “Ooh, he’s going to faint,” I said, stepping forward to catch him as he collapsed. I sagged under him, nearly falling myself, but Lestrade helped me ease him onto the ground.

Sherlock’s eyelids fluttered, then opened wide. “He shot you, John,” he said again.

“No, love, he didn’t. Only tried, same as dozens of other people have tried. Now shut up. I’m trying to take your pulse. Lestrade, I think I hear the ambulance. Can you pop down and let them know they’re needed up here?”

“Yeah, be right back.” Lestrade left.

“Can you sit up? Lean against the wall.” Sherlock obeyed. I shrugged off my coat, pulled my jumper over my head, and began to unbutton my shirt.

“John, what are you doing?”

I slipped out of my shirt and turned sideways so he could see my arm. “See? I’m fine. He didn’t get me.” Sherlock rubbed my unshot arm with his fingertips.

“You’re all right.”

“Yes, so I’ve been trying to tell you. I’m fine. The wanker did burn my sleeve, though.”

“I liked that coat, too.”

“Yeah, so did I.”

“I’ll bring it to my tailor, if you like.”

“You’ve got a tailor?”

“Of course. He does brilliant things with patchwork, too. My coat’s got seven patches in it, but you wouldn’t know to look at it, would you?”

“No, I’d never have guessed.”

“I’d have killed him, if he’d hurt you, John.” Sherlock’s fingers were worrying at my arm again.

“Yes, love, I know. But I’m afraid that’s a bit Not Good.”

“I don’t care.”

“I know you don’t.” I could hear the paramedics on the stairs, but I kissed him anyway.

“What the bloody hell is going on in here?!” Unfortunately, the paramedics had been escorted by Sally Donovan instead of by Lestrade.

“Oh bugger me,” I muttered and Sherlock giggled.

“Ah, Sergeant Donovan,” he said, getting to his feet. I pulled my jumper on and stood, balling my coat and shirt together. “Nothing to worry about. I was feeling a little faint after chasing down that suspect for you, and Doctor Watson here was just having a look at me.”

“Half naked and snogging? This is a crime scene, Freak! I suppose you just got-”

“Sherlock thought I had been shot,” I interrupted. “I was just showing him that I was all right. And I was not half-naked, I'd still got my vest on.”

“Come on, John,” Sherlock said, “Lestrade will be wanting our statements.” And he took me by the hand and pulled me out the door.

“Stay away from him, John,” Donovan called after us. “Some way or other, Sherlock Holmes will put you in a body bag."

Sherlock paused at the top of the stairs, smirking. “Yes, but we’ve a safeword for that,” he said.

“He’s joking!” I called, following Sherlock downstairs.

“She’s right you know,” he whispered, squeezing my hand.

“Is she?”

“Murder-suicide, John.”

For some reason, that made me feel very safe indeed. “Mind the stairs, Sherlock. Don’t faint again.”

“You know I didn’t faint, John.”

Chapter Text

“What time is it?”
“About six.”
“Come into this cafe with me for a moment. I need to get Molly Hooper a cup of coffee.”
“Okay. Any special reason?”
“I still owe her ten cups of coffee.”
“You probably owe her a lot more than ten cups. Why have you suddenly decided to pay her back?”
“We have an arrangement.”
“Do you ever answer a question in a way that doesn’t raise more questions?”
“Oh, you should pop into that bakery next door and get her a nice cake.”
“You create more mysteries than you solve.”
“Yes, I’m quite remarkable that way. Something with jam, I think.”

...

“Morning.”
“Mmm.”
“Sherlock, where’s the kettle?”
“I believe I told you to shut up.”
“What? When?”
“Last night. You were snoring.”
“You tell me to shut up when I’m asleep?”
“Yes, but it never works.”
“I can’t hear you when I’m asleep.”
“That’s hardly my fault. You can hear me now, can’t you?”
“Unfortunately.”
“Well then.”

“Are you all right? Only you look a bit miffed.”
“I hate it when people talk like that.”
“Like what?”
“You know.”
“I really don’t. Want to tell me?”
“Like I’m an unruly child, and you’re an indulgent nanny.”
“Well, that's Anderson, I suppose.”
“Everyone does it. Everyone thinks I’m so far beneath you. It’s embarrassing.”
“You think people think you’re beneath me?”
“Everyone does.”
“But you’re so tall.”
“I’m being serious, John.”
“I’m sorry, love. I just don’t know what to say; that idea is so mental.”
“Is it?”
“Of course it is! You’re incredible!”
“You really think so?”
“You know I do. You’re the world’s only consulting detective.”
“Oh that. Yes.”
“That’s not all I love about you, though.”
“No?”
“No, don’t be stupid. I love that you’re a twiddler.”
“A twiddler?”
“Everything you touch, you flip around and toss into the air.”
“Do I?”
“Yes, constantly.”
“How is it that you know things about me that I don’t know about myself?”
“Did you know you can’t stand still? You’re always dancing.”
“I pace.”
“The way you do it, it looks like dancing.”
“What else?”
“You get very clingy in your sleep. You wrap yourself around me like a cocoon.”
“You’re so warm.”
“You drool, too.”
“I certainly do not!”
“You leave great wet patches on my pyjamas.”
“You find the compromise of my dignity endearing?”
“I like that you’re a man. You’re not a brain in a jar or a robot. You’re just as warm and soft as the rest of us.”
“It’s very inconvenient sometimes.”
“Yes, mortality can be inconvenient. But as I’m a mortal, I’m glad you’re one, too. We’re a matched set. Remember?”
“Yes. So we are.”

Chapter Text

What was my funeral like?
-SH

Expensive.
-M

Why? Are you thinking of holding another?
-M

 

I went to one today. With John. His aunt died. I’d never been to one before; it was very odd.
-SH

Set me to wondering about my own. Would I have approved?
-SH

No, I think not.
-M

If you are ever required to arrange it again, please see that there are no members of the clergy involved.
-SH

I shall do my best.
-M

Thank you. I can’t say these things to John.
-SH

No, I don’t imagine that would be at all wise.
-M

“Remind me, please, why we’re doing this.”
“Going to my cousin’s wedding? We were invited.”
“You were invited. And that’s a flimsy reason to do something. What else might you do just because you were invited, John?”
“I was invited with a guest, and you’re my guest. And I haven’t seen that side of my family in years. Some of them sent some really nice letters after you died. I’d just like to see them again. Thanks for coming along; I know it’s not really your area.”
“Well, I suppose it’s an opportunity to gather some new data.”
“That’s the spirit. Haven’t you ever been to a wedding before?”
“Not since I was very small. I gather it’s a rather different experience as an adult.”
“Not too different, actually. You’re expected to conceal your boredom a bit better. And you have to bring a gift.”
“A punchbowl.”
“Yes. So?”
“I just can’t think of anything more pointless.”
“People use them when they entertain.”
“Entertain what? Homicidal thoughts?”
“You’re projecting again, love. People put punch in them when they entertain friends in their homes.”
“An open communal drink dispenser is a terrible idea. It’s vulnerable to tampering.”
“I don’t think that happens much.”
“I’ve had at least three cases that involved a punchbowl being tampered with.”
“Well, I’ve been to dozens of parties with punchbowls and never seen one tampered with. And we’ve already got the punchbowl, and it’s all wrapped and ready to be presented.”
“I’ll just suggest that they use it as a fruit bowl instead in the card.”
“The card is for well-wishes. Not punchbowl advice.”
“I wish they wouldn’t leave themselves and their party guests vulnerable to poisoners. Is that not a well-wish?”
“Not well enough.”
“Perhaps we should go over the rules again.”
“In the ceremony, just do what I do. In the reception, try not to glower, don’t talk about murder, and don’t roll your eyes when people try to make small talk with you. And tell the bride she looks beautiful.”
“Even if she doesn’t?”
“Especially then. Anyway, all brides are beautiful. It’s a rule.”
“Number four? Seems like a silly rule. Won’t come up much, I imagine.”
“No, not one of our rules. Just a rule of the universe.”
“Like gravity.”
“Exactly. Will you dance with me?”
“If you let me lead.”
“Ha, I was only joking. Do you dance?”
“Per you, constantly.”
“I mean dance properly, on a dance floor.”
“I have. It is not my favourite activity, but I’m guessing this will be easier for me, if I let you tell me what to do.”
“There’s the ticket. Just do what I say, and the worst part will be wearing the tie.”
“I’m not going to wear the tie. I don’t wear ties.”
“It’s quite a nice tie. And you can wear your diamond tie pin with it.”
“I’ve put that in my tool kit, in case I need a diamond for an experiment. And I’m not going to wear the tie, John. I don’t wear ties.”

...

“Hullo, who’s this then?”
“Her name is Anna.”
“Where did you get her?”
“Her mother is dancing. I said I’d mind her. Is that my punch?”
“You volunteered to mind a child?”
“Is that my punch?”
“Yeah, have it.”
“Did it come from a punchbowl?”
“No, it was a jar thing with a spigot.”
“Ah, good. Probably not contaminated then. Could you hold her for a moment? I’m parched.”
“Yeah, give her over. I’m still confused, by the way.”
“It’s a bit close in here, and my mouth is dry.”
“Yes, I understand how thirst works, Sherlock. How did you come to be holding a baby?”
“Didn’t I just say? Her mother is dancing, and I said I’d mind her.”
“But why?”
“I was just chatting to her mum about the new Bond film. She said she’d be dancing, if she didn’t have Anna with her, and I’d had enough of the conversation, so I said I’d mind her. She looks very like you. Are you related?”
“I dnno who she is. She’s dancing? Point her out to me.”
“I meant Anna. She’s got the same eyes as you. It’s very striking now that you’re holding her.”
“Well, if she’s related to me, her mum must be.”
“Unless it’s through her father’s side, John.”
“Right. She’s got the same eyes as me?”
“‘As I,’ John. And yes. The colour of seawater. They’re blue and green and brown by turns. It’s remarkable.”
“How poetic.”
“Do shut up, John. Doesn’t she look sweet in her little dress?”
“Very sweet. But I almost can’t believe my ears.”
“Are you surprised I like babies? Why would you be? They aren’t stupid like most people. Get me a piece of cake, will you?”

Chapter Text

“Do you want to have a child?”
“How? Have you got a uterus I didn’t know about? Though, even if you did, I’m not sure how I’d access it. Well, not me but my gametes.”
“Yes, Sherlock, I know how reproduction works. And we could hire a uterus. Engage a surrogate, I mean. Or adopt. If we wanted to.”
“Mm, I think not, though I suppose I could be convinced otherwise. I do like babies, but they tend to develop into children.”
“You don’t like children?”
“They’re all right, I suppose. Better than adults. But they’re terribly sticky and noisy and needy once they’re mobile.”
“Don’t want the competition, then?”
“Exactly. Do you want to have a child?”
“Oh sometimes. In an idle sort of way, I suppose. I wonder occasionally what a blend of our genes would be like.”
“Hired uterus or no, I don’t think we could arrange that.”
“Too bad for the world, though. Any child of ours would be unstoppable.”
“Indeed.”
“Hopefully he’d use his powers for good.”
“That’s the question. I’d give it only about a fifty percent chance that he would.”
“Better not risk it then.”
“Better not. We wouldn’t want to unleash an evil, little Hamish on London.”

...

“I know when I’m being manipulated, John.”
“I want you to eat, so I made your favourite food. That’s not really manipulation.”
“I’m busy.”
“You’re just sitting there.”
“I’m thinking.”
“Can you think and eat?”
“I’m fine, John.”
“Your hands are shaking, Sherlock.”
“No, they aren’t”
“Yes, they bloody well are, Sherlock! Just fucking eat something! A piece of toast!”
“John, please don’t shout. My head.”
“Please just eat something.”
“May I have a cup of tea?”
“I'll make us some.”
“I don’t mean to upset you, John.”
“I know.”
“It’s only been four days. I’ve gone longer than that.”
“Don’t. Don’t try to talk me out of it, Sherlock. We're a bit on edge right now. Let's not make things worse.”
“Would you feel better if I had a biscuit?”
“Yes, I would.”
“All right then. The things I do for you.”
“Really not finding that funny at the moment.”

...

“Where have you been?”
“Round Molly’s returning that little cat cage thing. Why? Did you need something?”
“Just wondering why you reek of cheap hand soap.”
“Reek? That’s a bit strong.”
“You’re a bit strong. You smell like plastic and strawberries. It’s disgusting; could you get rid of it please?”
“Get rid of what?”
“That smell.”
“How?”
“However you like. Or sit somewhere else, at least.”
“Are you aware you’re being awful? Or do you not care?”
“I’m always awful, John.”
“I think I’ll go for a walk.”
“Do.”

...

“What’s this?”
“It’s about beekeeping.”
“So I see. Why are you giving it to me?”
“Thought you might want something to read.”
“Ah. Why beekeeping?”
“Honestly, I saw it in a shop and liked the picture on the cover. You’ve been insufferable for nearly a week, so read it and act like a human and I might not have to murder you. And don’t say I couldn’t. It wouldn’t be clever; I’d just shoot you.”
“You could do it, you just couldn’t get away with it.”
“Shut up and learn about bees.”
“If it helps, I’m annoying myself,too.”
“I can see that. And it does help a bit.”
“Thanks for the book.”
“You’re welcome.”
“John, I’ve been thinking it over, and you’ve got to start doing the blog again.”
“We haven’t had anything on in weeks; I have nothing to write about.”
“You haven’t written up any of our cases since I died; write one of those. It doesn’t have to be a fresh one.”
“I can’t remember them well enough.”
“I’ll help you.”
“You don’t remember the interesting things. Only the tobacco ash.”
“Why don’t you want to do this? I need a case, John! I need stimulation!”
“When are you going to stop using boredom as an excuse to be selfish?”
“Don’t deflect, John.”
“Fine. No deflections. I don’t want to do the blog anymore.”
“Why not?!”
“Isn’t it obvious?! I don’t want to pick up any more mad stalkers!”
“Moriarty?”
“Yes! Can’t we just keep going the way we have done?”
“No!”
“Why not?”
“Because I need a case! Get me a case!”
“Now I’m in charge of that, too? Can’t you do anything for yourself?”
“I’m helpless, remember?”
“Right. Of course. Well. I’m going out for a bit. I’ll sleep upstairs tonight. See you in the morning.”

...

“Sherlock? Are you awake?”
“Yes.”
“Did you take all the blankets off my bed?”
“No, John. You haven’t slept there in three months. Are you drunk?”
“A bit. Not so much now.”
“Who did you drink with?”
“No one. Can’t you tell?”
“I can. I, er, don’t think you should do that.”
“I probably shouldn’t.”
“I don’t want you to.”
“I won’t. Sorry.”
“John, about earlier-”
“I’m sorry. I should have explained properly right from the start.”
“It’s all right.”
“Well, I’m still dealing with last year.”
“When I was dead.”
“When you were gone. I feel like I fed him all the details he needed to ruin you.”
“I’m not ruined. And even if I were, that wasn’t your fault, John.”
“Well, I’m not a mad, terrorist, genius, murderer, thief. I’m just a nattering blogger.”
“It wasn’t your fault. I forbid you to think so.”
“Maybe. Anyway, I know we’ve got to do the blog to get clients. I’m just not up for it at the moment. Do you want to take over? For a bit.”
“I can’t do it the way you do. Tobacco ash.”
“I’m sorry I said that. I’ll help you. If you need it.”
“Just for a bit?”
“Just for a bit.”

Chapter Text

An Unnecessary Introduction

Sherlock Holmes here. If you’ve read this blog before (or you read the papers or watch telly or you’ve seen my website, The Science of Deduction), you know who I am. I'll be doing a few guest postings in this space. I’ve had quite a few cases that have yet to be written up. My colleague, John Watson, may supplement my reports with his own perspective, if he has time and he deems it necessary.
I am accepting new clients. Write to me at 221B Baker Street or contact me here. Interesting cases only, please.

 

Comments (24)

John Watson:
Colleague?

Sherlock Holmes:
Are you not still my colleague?

John Watson:
It’s hardly the apt word to describe our relationship.

Sherlock Holmes:
All the words one might use to describe the aspect of our relationship that you are referring to are both embarrassing and reductive. Colleague is serviceable.

Jacob Sowersby:
WELCOME BACK SHERLOCK!!!

Sherlock Holmes:
Thank you, Jacob.

Bill Murray:
John, where have you been, mate?

John Watson:
Oh, around, I suppose.

Bill Murray:
We must do drinks soon!

John Watson:
Definitely.

Sherlock Holmes:
Have the goodness to arrange your social calendar elsewhere, please. This is supposed to be a place to solicit new clients.

Mike Stamford:
Welcome back, Sherlock! Are the two of you together now?

John Watson:
Yes, we are. :)

Mike Stamford:
Brilliant! I knew you’d be good together!

Sherlock Holmes:
Thank you for your encouragement. We’ve just been wondering and wondering. We’ve hardly slept.

John Watson:
He means ‘Cheers, Mike. Nice to hear from you. Thanks for introducing us.’

Mike Stamford:
You’re welcome!

Harry Watson:
*Comment deleted*

Harry Watson:
*Comment deleted*

Harry Watson:
*Comment deleted*

Sherlock Holmes:
*Comment deleted*

John Watson:
All right, everyone. Play nice or I’ll disable the comments.

Harry Watson:
*Comment deleted*

John Watson:
Comments disabled now. I did warn you.

Chapter Text

“I thought we might redo the second bedroom as a study and interview clients there.”
“I don’t think that would be a very good idea.”
“No?”
“People are already half-terrified of me. If I invite them up a dark staircase into a little room to sit alone with me, I don’t think they’d be very happy.”
“You could be right.”
“Could I? Generous of you to say so.”
“Maybe we could tear up the carpet and make it a sort of lab instead. It’d let us clear some of the mess out of here.”
“It’s not mess, John. It’s tools, notes, and equipment.”
“And dishes and newspapers and disguises. Spread all over in little heaps.”
“Oh, you’re so fastidious.”
“Said the man with the sock index. You should have seen your face when I started putting my socks in there. I thought you’d faint.”
“It’s efficiency, John. I have better things to do with my time than pair odd socks.”
“Like work out a filing system for your hosiery.”
“I worked it out when I was fourteen, John. The work is over and done. One of the many advantages of a well-organised mind.”

...

I warned you that you would break him.
-M

I haven’t broken anyone.
-SH

If you’re delicate, you may be able to disengage without causing any more damage.
-M

Don't embarrass yourself, Mycroft. You know absolutely nothing about this.
-SH

Do you think he wants to live the rest of his life in your orbit?
-M

John here. Got hold of Sherlock’s phone. Nice of you to worry about me, but no need. I’d like nothing better than to go round and round Sherlock like a teddy bear.
-SH

Like a teddy bear?
-M

...

“Hullo Mycroft. Still me.”
“Good evening, John. Could I speak to Sherlock please?”
“Sorry, he’s busy.”
“It’s about a case.”
“What case?”
“A new case. May I speak to him, please? Just for a moment. I don’t intend to disrupt your evening much longer.”
“Don’t worry yourself about our evening. I’ll take a message.”
“I’ll ring back another time, then. Goodnight.”

...

“That was fun. At least he didn’t call me a monster.”
“No one would. Everyone thinks you’re sweet and innocent, for some reason. Probably the blonde hair and your great, big eyes. And the jumpers.”
“See the jumpers serve a point. You should wear the one Mrs Hudson got you.”
“It’s a rollneck, John.”
“You’ll look artistic.”
“Ooh, that’s always been a dream of mine. How did you know?”
“Everyone will be able to see right away that you’ve got the soul of a poet.”
“According to you, I’m either a poet or a robot. Which is it?”
“Both, of course."

Chapter Text

“You seem to be feeling more cheerful.”
“I’m just pleased we’ve made up.”
“So’m I.”
“I don’t like being out of step with you. It’s like if my hands were attached to the wrong arms.”
“You do invent the most colourful similes. It’s quite a treat to hear you.”
“They allow me to explain complex ideas to simple minds. I’ve had lots of practise.”
“That’s number seven on my list.”
“What is?”
“‘Sherlock swings constantly back and forth between surprisingly complimentary and wildly insulting.’”
“I just say what’s on my mind.”

...

Microwave is missing. Please explain.
-SH

 

Some detective blew the door off it last night.

 

And reattached it.
-SH

 

You’re not serious, are you? We can’t use a microwave that’s had an explosion in it.

 

Why not?
-SH

 

Won’t we be irradiated?

 

I thought you liked adventure, John.
-SH

 

Dying of radiation poisoning in my flat because you blew up the microwave and tried to use it anway is not my idea of adventure. I threw it out.

 

Anyway*
-SH

 

I always know I’ve won when you start correcting my spelling.

 

I assume it was a typographical error not a spelling error.
-SH

 

Your pedantry fills me with triumph.

 

Everyone needs something, I suppose.
-SH

...

“Sherlock, you’ve been looking into that puddle for ten minutes. Take a sample, and let’s go. It’s freezing.”
“Shhh.”
“Look at me, Sherlock. I’m soaking up the sun with my face like some sort of reptile.”
“Here, have my scarf.”
“Oh cheers, love.”
“Better?”
“Yeah, thanks.”
“Will you shut up, then?”
“Well, I was about to tell you something you didn’t know, but I can shut up.”
“I doubt that.”
“Which bit?”
“Both.”
“Now I’m going to do neither. You may never know.”
“I may never know what I don’t know?”
“That’s right. Never.”

 

“All right, love?”
“Fine. Didn’t mean to wake you.”
“Nightmare?”
“It’s nothing really. Just that. Well, I keep dreaming that I walk into the morgue and find you kissing Molly Hooper...oh shut up laughing.”
“Believe me, Sherlock, I have never had any desire to kiss Molly Hooper.”
“I know. I can’t think why I keep dreaming it. It’s so annoying. You don’t even look up when I come in.”
“I would never do that to you, you know.”
“You could never hide it, John. Every thought you ever have flickers right over your face like a film.”
“Well, I wouldn’t. Neither would you. And it’s obvious why you’re dreaming it. You hate it when two people you know stand in the same room with you and don’t spend the whole time chorusing your praises.”
“How you do exaggerate.”

Chapter Text

Hello Sexy,
I’ve missed you terribly. Have you missed me?
See you soon!
xxx

 

“Sherlock, you’ve had a postcard. Look.”
“It’s not him, John.”
“How do you know?”
“Well, to start with, I saw him blow a great hole in his head when I was standing closer to him than you are to me now. After that he likely couldn’t have managed cutting out all these letters for his little note with such dull scissors. Yes, definitely dull scissors. Look how the corners of some of the cutouts are a bit torn. Tends to affect the fine motor skills, having that much of your head detach from the rest of it. This whole enterprise is embarrassingly amateurish, actually. Not his usual way at all.”
“Maybe he fancied something new.”
“Come on, John. Think for a moment! This would be a tremendous regression. Even Carl Powers was more elegantly handled than this. That was neat and tidy, except for the trainers, but only I cared anything about the trainers. He got away with it, and I’m going to find the person who sent this laughably easily because this is just silly messing about.”
“But he loved silly messing about.”
“True. But he did it beautifully. This is just pathetic. This card is fairly dripping with evidence. Surely you can see that?”
“Don’t need to, do I? I’ve got a condescending detective to tell me all about it.”
“Oh come on, John. Don’t be boring. Look, now you know how to do this. I’ve seen you do it before. Look at the card and tell me how it differs from his usual way. Just think for a bit.”
“Sherlock, you’re just going to scoff at how dull I am.”
“You’re not dull. You just need to have a bit more confidence in the things you notice. Tell me a few ways in which this differs from his usual style. Think broad angle.”
“Fine, I’ll have a look. Give me the card. All right, well, he never sent anything with cut out letters like this. And he never mailed anything. He found other ways of getting you things.”
“Very good! What else?”
“Well, when he got in touch with you, it was generally to tell you something. Something new. This is just, well, taunting, isn’t it? Though I suppose the something new could be that he faked his suicide.”
“Oh, no, if he had done, I’d have known ages ago and he’d know I know. I spent all that time investigating his associates. He’s dead, John. But you’re doing well. Go on.”
“He liked to do things publicly, didn’t he? Liked to embarrass you. Seems sort of discreet and private to send a nice postcard.”
“Good. What else?”
“Er, I suppose that’s it. I don’t see anything else.”
“Well, there you are, John! You’ve missed a lot, but that’s quite enough for you to be getting on with. It’s not him; you can see it yourself.”
“Wait, what have I missed?”
“Think on it for a bit. I’m sure it will come to you.”
“Have you got any ideas who it could be, if it’s not him?”
“I know exactly who it is.”
“Who then?”
“This is your case, John. You’re going to tell me.”
“How could I do that? I’ve got nothing to go on.”
“Don’t be stupid, John. You’ve got loads to go on. Here, hand me that pad. Let’s make a list. No, give it to me. I’ll write. You talk. Thinking aloud helps. I’ll be your skull. Now we know it can’t be him by virtue of the fact that he’s dead. That’s big.”
“All right, put that down. The print on the card is of the painting of the Reichenbach Falls from the case that made you properly famous. Is that important?”
“Is it?”
“I think so.”
“Why?”
“Well, whoever sent the card is alluding to that case as a sort of credential.”
“Go on. What do you mean by that?”
“They want to convince you that they’re watching you and interfering with you because that’s what he’d have done.”
“What do you want me to put down?”
“Well, whoever sent the card is familiar with your involvement in that case. That could be anyone, though, it was in the papers.”
“Not just familiar with my involvement. They knew he set it up just so he could make that silly Rich Brook pun.”
“Really? He stole a priceless painting to make a joke no one noticed? He must have been annoyed about that.”
“He was. He stole it to set me up to recover it, so I’d become known as a public figure. Raise me up before my fall and everything. Anyway, that was quite a big hint. What do you make of it?”
“The pun?”
“No, not the pun. Who could have known something like that?”
“Someone who was involved in the setup?”
“Or?”
“Someone involved in the investigation of the setup?”
“Seems more likely, don’t you think?”
“If you say so.”
“It’s your case, John. Do you think it’s more likely?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well, let’s move on, then. What about the wording of the note?”
“Yeah, I noticed that. It’d have to have been someone who knew how he spoke to you, but hardly anyone ever saw him with you. Just me, I think.”
“Well we know it’s not you, don’t we?”
“Ha, yes, we do know that much. Put that down.”
“Who else would know how he spoke to me?”
“He spoke to you through the hostages before you met. I suppose the hostages know?”
“And who might have heard them?”
“Oh, Lestrade! He was there. But he wouldn’t do this?”
“He would have mentioned it in his case notes, perhaps?”
“Of course! So someone who’d seen the notes. Someone at the Met, then? Oh, I don’t much care for that idea.”
“No, not a pleasant one, is it? Fortunately, the incompetence displayed here is a nice hint at the identity of our prankster friend.”
“Anderson?”
“Well done, John. Knew you’d get it.”
“Why would he do this?”
“Well, we all must amuse ourselves some way or other. I doubt the entire scheme took over an hour to devise and execute. And he was drunk, I think. See the jagged cuts where his hand shook while he was cutting out the letters? I need you to send a text. Use my phone; it’s on the mantel.”
“Send it yourself. I’m the detective here.”

Chapter Text

I’ve a message for you to relay to Anderson.
-SH

To Anderson?
-DI Lestrade-

Tell him that I received his card, and I do not care for his familiar tone.
-SH

Tell him also that I do not care to be addressed that way by a married man.
-SH

What’s this then?
-DI Lestrade-

Just tell him, will you?
-SH

...

 

I hear you’ve had some interesting post recently.
-M

Latest report from your lapdog?
-SH

DI Lestrade is hardly anyone’s lapdog, Sherlock.
-M

Not particularly interesting, no.
-SH

You miss him, don’t you?
-M

I saw him just last week.
-SH

You know who I mean.
-M

I’m glad he’s dead. The world’s better off without him. Far better.
-SH

Indeed.
-M

I miss being challenged.
-SH

I can help you with that, you know.
-M

You know I’m still not interested.
-SH

I thought you’d given that up.
-SH

Not quite yet.
-M

...

“He really isn’t coming back, is he?”
“No, John. He’s not.”
“I suppose we can’t all be Sherlock Holmes.”
“Some of us can.”
“What if he did come back?”
“We’d get him this time.”
“We would, wouldn’t we?”
“Definitely.”

Chapter Text

Cracked My First Case

Last week, we had some post that I thought at first was from Jim Moriarty. Sherlock rightly pointed out that Jim Moriarty is dead. Well, after you see one man rise from the dead, you start to suspect it’s not entirely impossible for another man to manage it as well. Then Sherlock told me he reckoned there was enough evidence in the postcard (it was a postcard) that I could deduce for myself who’d sent it. After a couple of hints from Sherlock, I worked out that it was a sort of prank by XXXXXXXX, one of Sherlock’s many admirers down at XXXXXXX. Silly messing about, as Sherlock called it. Quite startled me for a moment, though. But you can all sleep well in your beds tonight. London is safe from zombie consulting criminals. For the time being.

 

Comments (21)

John Watson:
A good friend has asked me not to reveal the identity of the prankster, and for the sake of my friend, I will comply.

Sherlock Holmes:
Honestly John, what was the point of this entry? You didn’t even lay out the steps of your own deductions after I took the trouble of writing them all down for you.

Harry Watson:
Well I think it’s brilliant!

John Watson:
Cheers, Harry! Nice to hear from you!

Harry Watson:
:)

John Watson:
:)

Sherlock Holmes:
Good god.

John Watson:
Shut up, Sherlock.

Mrs Hudson:
Oh dear! If you boys get any more alike, who will defend my poor walls from being shot at?

John Watson:
I will never shoot your walls, Mrs H. Promise.

Bill Murray:
John Watson, consulting detective!

John Watson:
Careful now. Sherlock will be jealous.

Sherlock Holmes:
Ha!

Sherlock Holmes:
Why not write up a real case, John? You’re terribly far behind.

John Watson:
Maybe I’ll do the one where I was shot.

Harry Watson:
You were shot?? When? Who shot you? Why didn’t you tell me??

Sherlock Holmes:
No, he wasn’t shot. And that was a very straightforward one, John, so I can’t imagine why you’d start with that one.

John Watson:
Sorry, Harry. Thoughtless of me to say that. I wasn’t exactly shot, just barely grazed. I’ll tell you about it later. It’s a sweet story.

Harry Watson:
A sweet story about being shot?

Sherlock Holmes:
He wasn’t shot.

John Watson:
Harry, I’m phoning you now.

Chapter Text

I woke very gently. I believe it took me a few minutes to notice my consciousness. There was the sound of rain slowing to a light drizzle. The faint smell of ozone. One of the cats was pressed against my back, asleep. Skip, I knew. Smoke never leaves you, and you weren’t there. I was almost disappointed. Too warm and comfortable, drowsing in that yellow-grey early morning light, to really be disappointed. But wistful. Missing your damp curls under my chin. You run so warm, I don’t know why you cling to me like that in your sleep, balling up small and tucking yourself against my chest. Generally, I wake at least once in the night with a mouthful of your sweaty hair.

As I drifted toward wakefulness, I realised the music I was hearing wasn't leaking in from my dreams, but coming from the next room. You were playing the violin.
Something I'd not heard before. The same bit over and over. Composing then. In the gaps in your playing, I fancied I could hear the scratch of your pencil. I thought of your fingers pressing patterns against the inside of my wrist and shivered a little under several layers of bedclothes. The tone of your pause shifted somehow. You were listening for me, I knew. I tried to deepen my breathing without sounding artificial. Fooled you apparently; you started up again. Felt the little thrill of triumph I always feel when I get one over on you. I threw off the blankets silently and got out of bed. You wouldn't be able to hear me over the sound of the violin right next to your ear. I so rarely get to surprise you and see things you don't mean for me to see. I was trying to be so careful and quiet. But the bedroom door squeaked when I opened it.

Your violin sort of grunted as you drew the bow off it suddenly, "John?"

"Good morning, love," I said stepping into the sitting room in time to see you turn away from the window. You always play looking out onto the street.

"Did I wake you?" You set your violin down in the seat of your chair. Smoke was sitting along the back of the chair, gazing at you as if you were giving her a lesson.

"No, I was enjoying it. Why did you stop?"

You blushed faintly. Delightful. Transcendent, you'd say. "It's not finished." You began to twiddle the knob on your bow, preparing to put it away. No, not a knob, an end screw. I looked it up.

"Is this what you were practising on my arm?"

"It's not finished, John," you said.

"It's really lovely, Sherlock. I'd like to hear it."

"Not yet," you pressed your lips together like you do when you're fighting back a smile for no particular reason and tucked your violin and bow into the case.

"It doesn't have to be perfect," I said."You've been working on it for years. Wouldn't you like to share it?"

You cocked your head, considering for a moment. Then you reached for your bow and began tightening it again. "Sit," you instructed. I smiled and made for my chair. "No, not there. The sofa. Sit at the edge, back straight, please."

"Sherlock, what are we doing?"

"Hush, John. You'll chase away my courage."

'Courage?' I wanted to say, but I didn't. You sat behind me and slid forward so you were pressed tight to me. Your right arm, clutching your bow, came up under my
right arm. You took my left hand in yours and gently stretched my arm so it was fully extended, yours bent slightly under it. You raised your bow; you were holding it with the hairs pointed up. I could tell that it was bothering you to hold it that way. Your fingers fluttered on the frog.

"Head up, please," you murmured, hooking your chin over my shoulder and settling your jaw into the cup of my collarbone. You worked your sharp chin and jawbone against my shoulder. Some of your hair curled into my ear. It tickled. I suppressed a giggle. You began to draw the stick of your bow across my forearm, your fingers pressing and sliding on my wrist. I could feel you drawing long breaths, as your chest expanded against my back. You exhaled cool and controlled against my hair, my jaw, the back of my neck. After a moment, I could almost hear the music. When you were finished, you lowered your bow arm and let it hang loose at your side, but you kept my wrist held tight in your hand, your fingers still in position for the last notes you'd played. You sighed. "That's all I have so far," you said. Your grip on my wrist began to relax, but I didn't pull away.

"It's beautiful," I said. "You're extraordinary."

"It's lucky you're so small," you said. "I don't think it'd have worked if our heights had been reversed." The idea of towering over you made me laugh. You laughed, too, your chest rocking against my back, your breath huffing against my ear.

"Thank you for playing that for me," I said.

"Thank you for hearing it."

Chapter Text

“Why are we here, Sherlock? Remind me.”
“For x-rays.”
“And why are we here for x-rays?”
“I suspect there’s some rhetorical purpose behind you asking me all these questions that you well know the answer to. Shall we skip to the bit where you lecture me? Or we can skip the whole conversation altogether. I’d be quite comfortable with that as well.”
“I thought you promised not to chuck yourself off any more bloody roofs.”
“It was a fire escape. And it was an accident, John. I miscalculated the distance.”
“No more falling, Sherlock.”
“I’ll do my best, but I suggest you address your complaints to gravity.”
“Seriously, Sherlock, you fall off one more building, and you’ll not be allowed near any fire escapes, roofs, balconies, ledges, or windows again for the rest of your days.”
“I do like it when you tut at me. I set the lid to the sugar bowl off centre on purpose for that reason.”
“I’m not in the mood to be found amusing, Sherlock.”
“I’m in the mood to be amused, John. Don’t you want to cheer me? I’m an invalid.”
“I’m closer to strangling you.”
“That would be an overreaction to a broken wrist, don’t you think? It wasn’t even your wrist I broke. Come on, John. Three years of cases together and only one visit to A&E.”
“Except for the one.”
“Right. Of course. I’m sorry, John. I didn’t think.”
“Obviously.”
“I think I’ll get a coffee. Can I bring you anything?”
“Oh, sit down, you idiot. I know you didn’t fall on purpose.”
“I’m not...sorry, my arm really kills. I keep losing the ends of my sentences.”
“Take your time.”
“Thank you. I think of myself as quite hard-wearing.”
“Well, you’ll be all right, soon. Few weeks.”
“I mean I’m not used to being worried about.”
“Well, I do worry. Actually, I think a lot of people worry about you, if only that you’ll brick them into a wine cellar.”
“John, I do enjoy you thoroughly. You’re the only funny person I know.”
“Am I? Is that on your list?”
“I had to give up the list once it had over two hundred entries. I’m sorry, John. No more roofs.”
“Good, we’re agreed. Though I won’t ask you to shake on it.”

...

“John!”
“Yes? What?”
“My arm hurts.”
“Still broken, isn’t it?”
“When is my next pill?”
“One more before bed.”
“I’ll go to bed now, then. Help me out of my things. Gently.”
“It’s only seven, we haven’t even had dinner yet. And you can’t have another until ten.”
“Why didn’t you say ten, then? Bedtime. What an arbitrary designation. When have I ever had a bedtime?”
“You should rest up. Your arm will heal quicker.”
“Oh stop it, don’t doctor me, John. How patronising.”
“You know I actually am a doctor.”
“So you keep telling me. But you never know how to build a mantrap or cure a cold. And, needless to say, you haven't mended my wrist.”

...

“Careful, John! You’re jostling.”
“Last night you told me to stop treating you like my grandmother.”
“Only because you were trying to feed me broth.”
“I offered you some soup because I was having some.”
“I didn’t care for your tone. It was infantilising.”
“Because I’d already asked you twice and both times you just said ‘hmmmm?’”
“I was thinking.”
“I wanted you to eat something wholesome. You’ve had nothing but eggs and toast for nearly a week.”
“What’s more wholesome than an egg?”
“Wholesome or not, you can’t live on them.”
“Now I’ve got a real craving for egg drop soup. Will you go out and get me some?”
“I’m leaving for work in ten minutes. Get it yourself.”
“Ugh, work. Work is boring. Your work is boring anyway.”
“Well, you’ll have all day to destroy the flat and think of new things to complain about.”
“Oh my John, always finding the silver lining.”

Chapter Text

(Mostly) Human

Poor Sherlock has broken his arm. He was trying to jump across an alley from one fire escape to another (testing an alibi) but he sort of crash landed. Nearly gave me heart failure to see him fall like that. It actually wasn’t that far up, but the silly idiot put his hand out to stop himself. So he’s got the cast on for another two weeks, then it’ll be a wrist brace. It was his right arm, but he’s actually coping well with not being able to use it much. He’s even taught himself to write left-handed. Though even with his right hand, he writes like a disturbed child. He keeps telling me that writing with the non-dominant hand is good for the brain, and I should try it.

Anyway, he’s learned a valuable lesson. Even Sherlock can’t jump eight feet without a running start, and even Sherlock will break his arm if he falls onto it from a reasonable distance. Got that Sherlock? You’re a remarkable human being, but you’re still a human being.

 

Comments (21)

Sherlock Holmes:
Of course I’m a human being, John. What else could I be?

Molly Hooper:
Oh no! Are you going to be all right?

Sherlock Holmes:
I expect I will. I have survived worse, as you know.

John Watson:
This got dark immediately. By the way, hi Molly! Nice to see you round these parts. You’ll brighten up the place, I’m sure.

Sherlock Holmes:
You’re the one pondering my mortality, aren’t you?

John Watson:
I’m using you as a metaphor for the human experience.

Sherlock Holmes:
How ambitious. I’d rather not be part of your Life Lessons for Dullards lecture series, if you don’t mind.

Harry Watson:
Even more charming than usual.

Sherlock Holmes:
By the way, even if the results of the experiment were inconclusive, I still solved the case. It was the jeweler for reasons of vengeance. Obviously.

John Watson:
Yes, you went on and on about it after they gave you the pain medication at the hospital. You also told me that you wanted to “throw that jumper on a fire.”

Sherlock Holmes:
Well, fair isle, John.

John Watson:
I like fair isle.

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, I know.

Mrs Hudson:
Are you two typing to each other while sitting in the same room again?

John Watson:
Sherlock says that speaking aloud makes his arm hurt. He’s also been texting me.

Sherlock Holmes:
Make me a cup of tea?

Mrs Hudson:
I’m not your housekeeper, dearie.

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, I know. I was asking John.

John Watson:
Will you come up, Mrs Hudson? We’ve a few extra cakes.

Mrs Hudson:
I’ll be right up!

Sherlock Holmes:
So you will make the tea, then, John?

Chapter Text

John has given me an xray of his shoulder wound (an old xray, from when the wound was fresh, of course). “I know you like bones,” he said when he gave it to me. “Put this with yours, and start a family portrait gallery.” He said it very casually, as if he didn’t know how delighted I’d be with the gift (he did, which is the best part!). He was joking, but I’m quite enamoured of the idea. I’d like to pin them to either side of the mantel, but I don’t think John would like that. He doesn’t seem to like to look at his xray as much as I do.

Unsurprising, given the likely traumatic circumstances of the injury (he still limps a bit when he’s very tired; I don’t let him sit up with me when I’m insomniac anymore for this reason). I long to ask about it, but I never will. Perhaps someday he’ll tell me. Perhaps if I injure myself more seriously. It’d almost be worth it to have such a piece of John’s history in my mind palace.

That’s one of the things I must never tell John. Perhaps I should start a new list. I’ve too many lists already (perhaps I should keep a list of my lists). Being with John is complicated, delightfully so. Learning a person is exciting, and I’ve never known someone so well as I know John. Lately I’ve been testing my ability to read his thoughts off his face by asking him suddenly what he’s thinking. He was surprised the first time, but he’s never asked why. I’m hovering around a 68% success rate at the moment, which is abominably poor, but much better than it was at first. It must be improved. I’ve got to listen more closely. Fortunately I see John exposed to myriad stimuli while we are on cases together. Plentiful opportunities to observe and experiment.

His sense of personal space is flexing in interesting ways. Before our romantic relationship (must find a way to describe our connection that doesn’t sound so contrived) began, (even with his obvious attraction to me)(obvious in retrospect, which shouldn’t count), he’d still shy away from any overly familiar handling. It was an insult to his dignity to be touched too casually. Something I can understand. I didn’t enjoy visiting Buckingham Palace wrapped in a bed sheet, but I couldn’t allow myself to be danced about like a doll. Coming placidly when whistled for, smiling pleasantly, and listening politely would have been even more humiliating.

He did seem to enjoy being patted. Well, anywhere between neck and waist, knee sometimes being safe as long as it was at or below the kneecap and not above. He didn’t mention it, but it did make him look content. Sometimes he’d sigh, if he was drunk or he thought I wasn’t paying attention. Bless him. Almost every pat was an experiment (on some level or other). John sighing. Lovely.

John is more permissive now. I’m allowed to throw my legs over him, if he’s already on the sofa, but I want to lie down. I’m allowed to drag him around by the hand (quite useful when he’s being slow). I’m allowed to drink from his mug and eat from his plate (I always did, but now I don’t have to hide it). I’m allowed to press my face against his back and listen to his heart metronoming away when I can’t sleep. And there’s the sex, of course. I haven’t quite the vocabulary to discuss that yet.

Sometimes I wear his jumpers when he’s out. Neither of us has mentioned it, but I think he knows. Surely they must smell of me, though not too much I hope. John’s smell is one of my favourite things about him (near the top of the now defunct list of things I enjoy about John) and I’d hate to overpower it. I never have decided whether the evergreen smell is pine smoke or fir cones. No way to test it. It’s only the merest hint of evergreen, anyway. Mostly wool and tea and a sort of buttery human smell. But there is that little hint of evergreen. It’s definitely there.

Chapter Text

“Why is the kettle on top of the fridge?”
“Hmm?”
“Did you put this up here to hide it from me? You know I can see and reach the top of the fridge, don’t you? I’m not that small.”
“Yes, yes, fine.”
“Are you even listening to me?”
“What?”
“Oh my god, Sherlock! Did you fill the kettle with fingernails?”
“And toenails. Put the lid back on please, or I shall have to start over.”
“Why on earth did you fill the kettle with fingernails?”
“And toenails. The lid, please, John, or you’ll ruin my experiment. Thank you.”
“Why, Sherlock?”
“Decomposition experiment. Put it back, please. The temperature should remain fairly constant, and it’s the warmest part of the house.”
“Why did you have to choose the kettle?”
“I needed an opaque, lidded container about that size and it was handy. Put it back, please. Didn’t you hear me?”
“What are we supposed to use for tea?”
“Oh hell, John, must you bore me to death with your tedious minutiae? Use a saucepan.”
“A saucepan? What am I, a barbarian?”
“If the cap fits...”
“Said the man with a kettle full of human fingernails.”
“For science, John.”

...

I’ve just found a riding crop under the bed. Why is there a riding crop under the bed?

 

I was using it to retrieve a catnip stuffed mouse.
-SH

 

Why on earth have you got a riding crop?

 

I used to ride. I use it for other things now.
-SH

 

I can’t decide which of those revelations I most want to know about.

 

Oh, you’re so dramatic, John. I don’t ride anymore, but I have the crop. I may as well find uses for it.
-SH

 

What sort of uses?

 

Retrieving catnip mice.
-SH

...

“What are you smiling about?”
“You.”
“Me?”
“You and your poses.”
“My what?”
“Look at yourself.”
“I’m just standing.”
“Stroking your chin and staring out the window with your brow all furrowed.”
“I’m just thinking, John.”
“Thinking about how cool you look.”
“Obviously you're the one thinking about how cool I look."

Chapter Text

I wake to John shuddering next to me in the dark.

“All right, John?” I whisper, finding his hand in the blankets and squeezing it.

“Fine. Nightmare,” he says roughly. “Go back to sleep.” I slide to him and kiss his forehead. His hair is damp. “It’s fine, Sherlock. Just go back to sleep.” He’s breathing heavily. I take one of his hands in both of mine and squeeze it rhythmically. It’s a good sign that he lets me. Sometimes he won’t even acknowledge the nightmares. Just rolls away from me and stares silently into the dark, afraid to shut his eyes again.

I knead John’s hand and count to a thousand in my head. His pulse slows, but he doesn’t fall asleep. “Would you like a hot drink?” I offer when I’m done counting.

His hair rustles a bit on the pillow as he shakes his head, “I’m fine. I’d rather have the company.” I pull him a little closer and begin to rub firm, wide circles on his back. He sighs (lovely). “This is nice.”

“It’s not working.”

“It’s very relaxing.”

“It’s meant to put you to sleep.”

“I’m not going to be able to go back to sleep.”

I kiss him. His smell is rising off his damp scalp like steam.“I’m sure you’ll sleep again at least once before you die, John.”

He chuckles, “Maybe.”

“Murder-suicide, John,” I remind him, rubbing harder. “And I’m afraid I’m not quite up to either tonight, if you don’t mind.”

John laughs again. “Where did you learn to comfort someone who’s had a nightmare?” he asks. “Seems like it’d be a bit outside your range.”

“Research.”

He smiles (can’t see it in the dark but can hear it in his voice), “Ah of course. Looked it up on the internet?”

That smarts a bit, “No, John, original research. I’ve been observing you for nearly four years. I’ve run multiple experiments on what sorts of touch you respond best to.”

“Really? I never noticed.”

“I didn’t intend for you to notice. If you had, it wouldn’t have been usable data.” I begin to draw my knuckles gently along either side of his spine.

John laughs. “Somehow I didn’t realise you were so attentive.”

“Of course I’m attentive, John. It’s what I do.”

“See, I told you that you had the capacity for romance.”

I sigh, “Bite your tongue, John.”

“The best sort of romance, too,” John says. “Quiet and unassuming.”

That’s an amusing idea. “I don’t think anyone has ever described me that way before.”

“You’re usually loud and demanding.”

“Well I’ve a reputation to uphold. Wouldn’t do for people to know I have the capacity for romance. Per you, anyway. I don’t know that I’m convinced of that.”

He kisses me before he replies, “Don’t you observe that you’re in a romantic situation right this moment? Embracing your lover while starlight creeps in under the curtains.”

“I suppose it’s a matter of perspective,” I say. “ I didn’t arrange for the starlight.”

John laughs, “I know you’re a miracle, Sherlock, but even I wouldn’t accuse you of putting stars in the sky.” We’re both silent for a few moments, and I start to hope he’ll drop off. But he says, “I feel rather selfish for not having run any experiments on how you best like to be touched.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t expect it of you. Besides you have excellent instincts. You get it right nearly every time.”

“Do I?”

“You don’t act like I might bite you. That goes quite a long way.”

He grins, “You do bite me.”

“With your permission.”

“That’s all right then.”

“You always seem to think so.” It begins to rain. I hope John won’t notice, but he does.

“How atmospheric,” he says.

“Witch,” I say. “This is your doing.”

John doesn’t stop laughing until he’s asleep.

Chapter Text

Where is the sugar?
-SH

 

We’re out of sugar.

 

I know we’re out of sugar. At Tesco trying to do the shopping. Where do they keep the sugar?
-SH

 

Ask one of the assistants.

 

Can’t find any. Thought I saw one a bit ago, but when I approached, she looked terrified and scurried away.
-SH

 

Do you look extra mad today?

 

I don’t believe so.
-SH

 

Got any blood on your clothes?

 

You can tell me how mad I look at home. At present, I just want to know where the bloody sugar is.
-SH

 

Sorry, haven’t got the layout of the Tesco committed to memory just yet.

 

Why not? You’re here often enough.
-SH

 

The limitations of an average mind, I suppose.

 

Surrounded by tea and coffee. Where is the sugar?? Have been looking for 10 minutes.
-SH

 

Drawing myself a map, so I never have to suffer this indignity again.
-SH

 

No good. They reorder the shelves when they have new products in.

 

May not be able to finish the shopping.
-SH

 

Shocking.

...

“Is this your mess?”
“Excellent deduction, John. What gave me away? Being the only other person who lives here?”
“Are you going to clean it up?”
“I may.”
“When?”
“Are you asking me to clean it up?”
“I suppose I am.”
“What do you think would happen if you asked directly for what you wanted instead of tutting and clucking at me?”
“You’d carry on comfortably ignoring me.”
“Perhaps. You might try it sometime, though. Just to see what would happen. Spirit of scientific inquiry.”
“I think we both know I’m completely devoid of that.”
“A man can hope, John.”

...

“Come on, John, we’re- oh there you are. Hmm.”
“What?”
“New shirt?”
“You don’t like it?”
“Maybe with a different cardigan. No, never mind, it’s fine. We’re late enough.”
“What’s wrong with it?”
“It’s fine. Let’s go; we’ll miss our train. We haven’t even got a cab.”
“You go down and get a cab. I’ll be right down.”
“It’s fine, John! Let’s go!”
“I’ll be right down.”
“Clotheshorse.”
"Sherlock, you can't expect me to go round all day having been hmm'd at."

...

“Sherlock, did you knock my jacket off the hook?”
“Did I? It can really only fit one good-sized coat.”
“Didn’t think you’d pick it up?”
“Didn’t notice it had fallen.”
“Look at it, Sherlock, it’s all over cathair.”
“The coat brush is in the bathroom.”
“You’re not going to say sorry?”
“Overusing a word dilutes it, don't you think?”
...

“You’re going to have to give that back, you know.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Sherlock...”
“We have an arrangement. He annoys me, and I nick his stupid desk toys.”
“You can’t just take his things to punish him; he’s your friend.”
“Getting a bit over-friendly for my taste. Did you hear him call me ‘Sher’?”
“He’s the only person on his squad that doesn’t call you ‘Freak,’ so I’d say quit while you’re ahead.”
“I’ve never, ever done that, John. And I don’t intend to begin today.”
“I’m attempting to domesticate you.”
“Impossible.”

...

“Horse-faced and arse-named? Ha!”
“I told you it was nasty. Well, we already knew how we felt about journalists, didn’t we?”
“Not that I haven’t had worse said about me, but this is so personal.”
“I suppose he thinks he’s witty. Don’t worry, love. You’ve got a gorgeous face, and your name is...very distinguished.”
“I thought you liked my name.”
“I do. It suits you.”

Chapter Text

“What’s this?”
“Dinner.”
“You cooked?”
“Obviously.”
“Since when do you cook?”
“I’m a grown man, John. I can cook.”
“I’ve never seen you boil water.”
“Firstly you've seen me boil water quite recently. I made you a cup of tea just last Sunday. Second, do you think I burst into being on the day we met? I have experiences outside the ones you’ve witnessed, you know.”
“I honestly can’t imagine how you got on before we met. I try to picture it, and I just draw a blank.”
“Do you? How surprising.”
“Shut up. This is good.”
“Of course it is, John. I wouldn’t have offered it to you, if it weren’t.”

“That’s nice, John, thank you. Up a bit? Ah, perfect.”
“You’ve got quite a knot here.”
“Excess brain power. Settles in the shoulders.”
“Right, so I thought.”
“Bit harder? Mmm. It seems your talent in looking after me is boundless.”
“Well, I’m a Sherlock Holmes expert. I have to go to conferences and seminars to keep all my certifications current.”
“You wouldn’t have an ulterior motive here, would you?”
“Of course not.”
“Mmm, pity.”

Chapter Text

“Fuck, thirty-nine. Nearly forty.”
“Thirty-nine suits you, John.”
“Does it?”
“Yes, you’re, ahem, meaningfully employed, you’re in a relationship, you’ve got a lovely flat, and you finally figured out your hair.”
“I’ve been wearing my hair this way since I was twenty-five.”
“No, I think not. It was a bit off before, but it’s just right now. Well done.”
“That is the most pitiful collection of accomplishments I think I’ve ever heard.”
“Well, it’s something.”
“Yeah, I suppose when I was thirty-eight, I was unemployed, living in a hovel, and in love with my dead flatmate.”
“Save something for your birthday toast, John.”

...

“You look smart. Where are you off to?”
“You’re joking right? My birthday do. Why aren’t you dressed?”
“Is that tonight?”
“Yes, I reminded you last night and this morning. Hurry and get dressed.”
“I’m in the middle of this, but I’ll be done in an hour.”
“An hour? We’re supposed to be there in twenty minutes.”
“Oh, you go on ahead, then. I’ll meet you.”
“Sherlock, you’re not suggesting turning up late for my birthday party, are you?”
“If I stop now, I’ll have to start it over. I’ll meet you in a bit.”
“Right, well. As I’m running late for my own birthday do, I don’t have time to row with you about this.”

...

Problem?
-SH

 

Seriously, Sherlock, can we fight about this when I get home? I was hoping to enjoy my birthday party and arguing will spoil it.

 

Must we argue at all? I will meet you there. I promise.
-SH

 

I know you make a point of only ever doing things you want to do. I suppose I shouldn’t have expected better.

 

I went to your cousin’s wedding.
-SH

 

Oh right. I’d forgotten that I visited that particular hardship on you. My mistake.

 

John, I don’t understand why you’re angry with me. It’s a difference of a few minutes. No one will miss me.
-SH

 

I’ll miss you. Besides I don’t want to walk in without you. It’ll look sad.

 

I didn’t know you took your birthday so seriously.
-SH

 

I’ve completely rearranged my life for your convenience. You can’t even rearrange your evening for mine.

 

I hadn’t thought of it that way.
-SH

 

Obviously.

 

I’m sorry.
-SH

 

And you’ll make me a cup of coffee in the morning and I’ll have to drop it. That’s the way it goes, right?

 

Would you prefer tea?
-SH

 

Bad time for a joke?
-SH

 

I’m sorry, John.
-SH

 

Forgive me?
-SH

 

I hope I haven’t spoiled your party.
-SH

 

Have you switched your phone off?
-SH

 

Well anyway, I’ll see you in a bit.
-SH

Chapter Text

My cab got lost on the way to the party, which did nothing to improve my mood. I walked into the restaurant still annoyed but trying to look cheery. The hostess showed me to the table where the rest of the party had already been seated. Sherlock was there already, talking excitedly to Molly and looking a bit pink in the face. The prat. Just like him to wind me up about coming at all and then beat me there.

He popped up from his chair when he saw me, “Ah here he is at last, everyone!” he said, leaning in and kissing me. Which surprised me a bit. He’s not usually demonstrative in front of other people.

“I thought you were tending an experiment?”

“Oh, that’s not important. Where’ve you been, John? Did you get lost?”

“Yes, actually,” I said, “I lost the bit of paper I’d written the address on, and the cabbie didn’t know where the place was. Had to do a bit of exploring.”

“Well, here you are, that’s what counts. What’ll you have to drink, John?”

“I suppose I’ll have one of whatever’s making you all pink and chatty.”

Sherlock laughed, “A whiskey for my friend, please,” he said to the hostess.

“I’ll let your waitress know,” she said rather coolly. Sherlock laughed again and steered me into the seat at the head of the table. Lestrade was at the other end talking to Harry and Stamford, apparently telling them a story that was both amusing and disgusting, from the looks on their faces and incredulous laughter. They looked up as I sat down, and I was immediately out of my chair again, doing the sort of hug shuffle that you do when a group of your friends is making much of you. Well, handshakes from Lestrade and Stamford, hugs from Molly and Harry. And Sherlock.

“Is he drunk?” I muttered to Molly as we were all settling back into our chairs.

“Yes,” Sherlock said, beaming, before she could answer. “I didn’t mean to be, but it got away from me a bit. It’s all right though, everyone will enjoy me much more now.”

“Hear, hear,” said Harry.

I glanced at Sherlock hoping he wouldn’t say anything about her drinking, but he only smiled and said, “Oh, you’re a delight. We must spend more time with you.”

“What about a speech, then, John?” Harry suggested.

“Oh, nobody wants that,” I said.

“Yes, we do! Speech!” said Molly.

“All right then.” I stood again, “I was thinking the other day that last year wasn’t all that good for me. Bit, er, tempestuous. Anyway, the best part of last year was that I realised, belatedly I might add, what good and loyal friends I have. So thank you all for sticking to me through thirty-eight. Hopefully I’ll be a bit less of a sad-sack at thirty-nine. Oh sorry, haven’t got a drink yet to toast you with. So, er, happy birthday to me and thanks to all of you.” I sat and they clapped politely.

“Good speech, John,” Harry said. “Cheerful. Festive.”

“You brought it on yourself, Harry.” I wondered if Sherlock would say anything, but he was talking to Molly again. Something about someone being cut in half. I turned my attention to the other end of the table. Lestrade had resumed his story and Stamford was laughing immoderately at it.

The rest of the evening passed quite pleasantly with food and drink and gift opening. Sherlock was quiet, though, and I found myself wondering (as usual) what he had on his mind. I didn’t press him, and he didn’t decide to tell me until we were going to bed.

“I’m sorry, John. About earlier. I didn't think,” he said, plumping his pillow and getting into bed next to me.

“It’s all right, love.” I yawned and leaned against his shoulder. “You made it. I overreacted a bit.”

Sherlock put his arm around me. “You didn’t,” he said. “I think of myself as being willing to do anything for you. Our relationship can’t be all shooting cabbies and murder-suicide.”

I laughed, “No?”

“I forget sometimes that we aren’t the same person. You like birthday parties, and I like tobacco ash. I’m still adjusting. I’m not used to adjusting. Anyway, I’m not going to neglect you, even when you’re boring.”

I laughed, “Good. Glad to hear it.”

“Thank you for telling me when I offend you, John.”

“I know you don’t mean to, love.”

“I appreciate the opportunity to correct my mistakes.”

“It must not come up very often for you.”

“Mostly it's not worth the bother. But I don't like to leave things wrong between us. It's worth hashing it all out to know things are quite all right between us.”

I smiled, “That’s as humble as I’ve ever heard you,” I said.

“Well, I have so few flaws. I may as well be quite honest about them. No one ever learned anything by flattering himself.”

Chapter Text

Birthday

I turned thirty-nine today. I’m hoping this will be a year where no one shoots at me. It’s going well so far. Touch wood. Thanks to all my friends for the nice presents and birthday wishes. Particular thanks to Mrs Hudson for the cake and Molly Hooper for the photo. I didn’t have one of me and Sherlock together. Where did you find it? I quite like the frame, too. Sort of baroque. Makes us look all dramatic and solemn in our suits. You can hardly tell by looking that we’re both quite mad.

Anyway wish me luck not being shot at. Might be wishful thinking, considering the company I keep.

 

Comments (16)

Sherlock Holmes:
Mad? Speak for yourself.

John Watson:
Oh, let someone else comment first for once, can’t you? Then it won’t be so obvious that you spent the whole time I was writing this hanging over my shoulder and correcting my grammatical errors.

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, the whole of ten minutes. Correcting them to no avail, I might add.

Molly Hooper:
Glad you liked the photo! I almost didn’t like to give it to you because it was from the trial, but it was the only one I could find where you’re both facing the camera.

Sherlock Holmes:
I have some very fond memories of the trial.

Harry Watson:
Happy birthday little brother!! No mention in the post? :(

John Watson:
Thanks, Harry. Thanks for the jumper as well. It’s really nice.

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, your first piece of orange clothing. You’ve got a jumper rainbow now.

John Watson:
Shut up, Sherlock.

Harry Watson:
What did you give him, Sherlock?

Sherlock Holmes:
Bit of a personal question, don’t you think?

John Watson:
Oh, stop putting ideas in people’s heads, Sherlock. He gave me a nice scarf, Harry.

Mrs Hudson:
It looks lovely on you, dear! I’m so glad you liked the cake!

John Watson:
Thanks, Mrs H. I loved the cake! Sherlock did, too. It’s nearly all gone now. You must come up and share the last bit with us.

Harry Watson:
A scarf? If he’s going to get you shot at, he could get you some body armour at least.

John Watson:
He knows I’m prone to fits of chilliness in the neck. And I was quite adept at getting shot at well before I met Sherlock. More fun with him, though.

...

“Am I a good companion, John?”
“Errr...”
“Well?”
“I’m thinking how to answer.”
“Thinking? Don’t strain yourself.”
“Haaa, very funny. I don’t think everyone would find you a good companion. I do.”
“Good.”
“Am I a good companion?”
“Yes, and I think everyone would find you a good companion, actually. You’d make an excellent pet.”
“You really know how to flatter a bloke, Sherlock.”
“You would. Trustworthy, adorable, lethal. It’s a perfect combination. You’ve even got nice woolly jumpers to make you all cuddly.”
“I’m starting to think you’ve previously considered this.”
“Not good?”
“Just a bit.”

...

“John, do you think I could pick you up?”
“Are you asking for permission? The answer is no, don’t even think about it.”
“Not making plans. Just wondering. Do you think you could pick me up?”
“I have picked you up.”
“You have? When?”
“When Irene Adler drugged you and I had to put you to bed, you kept, er, escaping. I had to catch you and put you back. And I caught you when you fainted.”
“Catching isn’t the same thing as picking up. And I didn’t faint.”
“Right, you just fell over for no reason.”
“I didn’t faint.”
“Your processor overheated, and you crashed. Nothing to be ashamed of.”
“Quite. Happens to the best of us.”
“Even robots aren’t physically infallible.”
“Actually I’ve had a nice firmware upgrade, and I’ve been assured it won’t happen again.”

Chapter Text

“Got something on your mind?”
“Hmm?”
“You look more deranged than usual.”
“After all our experiences together, you still use the term so loosely.”
“Sorry, love. I wasn’t comparing you to him.”
“Him? Oh, I wasn’t referring to our old friend Jim. I was only thinking of the last time I gave up smoking.”
“Bloody hell. That was a nightmare.”
“Wasn’t it?”
“Yeah, you put poor old Jim to shame.”
“Indeed.”

...

“Sherlock, what the hell are you doing?!”
“What?”
“No fires!”
“It’s only a little one. And it’s in a pot.”
“You’re going to burn the flat down, you maniac. No fires! Rule four: No fires!”
“Fine, rule four. But you can hardly be angry with me for breaking a rule you’ve only just made.”
“No fires!”
“Yes, yes, I heard you. No fires.”

...

“So love, what are we up to on this beautiful morning? Anything on?”
“Beautiful? What makes it beautiful? It’s hateful, all bird-chirpy and idyllic.”
“I don’t know if I would call Baker Street idyllic. And I only meant the weather was beautiful.”
“Ugh, weather! Why would you ever mention the weather to me? Where are my patches?”
“Right where you left them, I imagine, as I’ve no reason to touch them.”
“They aren’t right where I left them. Where are they?”
“I’ve just said I haven’t touched them”
“Then where are they?!”
“I don’t know, Sherlock! Look for them instead of standing in the middle of the room bellowing like a lunatic. And keep your voice down. You’ll wake Mrs Hudson.”
“Mrs Hudson has been awake for at least an hour. Heard her shower go at six.”
“Okay, making a bigger mess isn’t going to help you find them. Look properly, don’t just sweep things onto the floor like that.”
“I need some air. Come with me; let’s go for walk.”
“Right, just a moment. Let me get my things on. Hand me my scarf.”
“That really looks quite nice on you, John. Maroon is your colour.”
“Yes, I know. You’re handling it well.”
“Handling what well?”
“Being only the next handsomest man in the flat. I knew it was the scarf all along, and here we have conclusive proof. You’ve been your own undoing.”
“I always knew I would be. And it was for a noble cause.”

Chapter Text

Bored

Sherlock Holmes here. I’m alone for the week and bored senseless. Any interesting criminals want to have a bit of fun? I haven’t done a kidnapping in a while. Interesting, mind. And reasonably intelligent.

Comments (20)

John Watson:
If you’re going to invite people to kidnap you, you might at least do it on your own site and not hack into mine.

Sherlock Holmes:
I’d much prefer to but you’ve cannibalised all my site traffic with your inane nattering and your romantic storytelling, so here we are.

Jacob Sowersby:
If you’re looking for a temporary assistant, I’m your man!

Sherlock Holmes:
I’m not. But thank you.

Jacob Sowersby:
Maybe next time, then.

John Watson:
Don’t you think it’s a bit irresponsible to ask people to commit crimes just so you won’t be bored?

Sherlock Holmes:
No.

Molly Hooper:
Why are you alone for the week? Where’s John?

Sherlock Holmes:
Some tedious medical conference or other. I don’t really know.

John Watson:
You do because I left copies of my schedule all over the flat and emailed it to you.

Molly Hooper:
I’m working late tonight, Sherlock. I could do with a bit of company, if you’d like to come round Bart’s.

Sherlock Holmes:
I may do that. Thank you. Coffee?

Molly Hooper:
Yes, please.

John Watson:
Oh cheers, Molly.

Sherlock Holmes:
What are you thanking her for like she’s doing you a kindness? I don’t need a minder, John.

John Watson:
Hopefully not now we’ve got rule four.

Molly Hooper:
What’s rule four?

Sherlock Holmes:
No fires. And I don't need to be tutted over, John.

John Watson:
Found your patches, then?

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, thank you for asking.

Chapter Text

John is away. I haven't slept properly for three days now. He would not approve. I'm keeping it from him, which seems beneath me. Hasn't been a good opening to bring it up, though. He calls in the evening to say good night. I let him gabble about his conference and just listen to his voice. He doesn't ask how I'm doing (because the first time he did, I told him that if he asked again, I'd throw my phone out the window) and I don't tell him (poorly).

I can't settle. I doze on the sofa a bit, but I don't like to go to bed without him. I haven't in months (seven months now, I think. Miraculous). Seems wrong. John would roll his eyes at that. I suppose, in certain lights, it seems like sentiment (!) (why should that surprise me any more? John arouses that in me. I should resent it, I suppose, like I did with Irene)(I don't).

Being in the flat without John for so long makes me think of that stinking little coffin of a safehouse (quite a few of them actually but they were all the same somehow) from the year I was dead. The flat, of course, is just as comfortable as it ever was (doesn’t reek of damp, for instance) but still I can’t settle. John's wool blanket doesn’t smell much of him anymore. I wear one of his jumpers under my dressing gown. It itches.

When I can sit still for a bit, Smoke is very comforting. She lies against me on the sofa (somehow she knows I don’t care to be sat upon). Nice to have something warm pressed against my knee. More often, I can’t sit still, and Smoke finds a perch to watch me pace. Even that is comforting. To be observed, to be noticed. She puts to use everything she knows about me, Smoke does. Clever girl.

I don’t think I’ll be able to articulate to John what I’m feeling. He’d be pleased if I could. He would like to hear that his metronomic heartbeat sometimes calms me to sleep. ‘Poetry,’ he’d say, but it’s not poetry. It’s just what happens. White noise and body heat are both calmative. John would say poetry, though.

...

Hullo Love,
I’ve got 10 minutes until the next lecture, and I miss you terribly, so I thought I’d write. Just to tut a bit. I know you enjoy it. I can tell you aren’t looking after yourself. Please feed yourself and get yourself to bed every 18 hours or so. I’ll see you in a few days.

Yours,
John
PS I took one of your shirts with me. Did you notice? Have you got an index for your t-shirts?

 

Of course I noticed, John. I don't begrudge you it.

Sherlock

Chapter Text

Thanks for looking in on Sherlock. Hope he was pleasantish.

 

Yeah, he was nice. I do actually enjoy his company.
~Molly~

 

Nice, was he? Well, glad to hear it. Sometimes he’s more like furniture than company. Though he’s been a bit restive lately.

 

He seemed out of sorts, now you mention it. He talked about you lots, but he always does.
~Molly~

 

Really? What sort of things did he say?

 

Mostly complaining about you being away. He doesn’t like to be alone in the flat, I think.
~Molly~

 

That’s new. Before, he just carried on talking and barely noticed I was away.

 

Maybe he’s had enough of being on his own.
~Molly~

 

Yeah, could be. I feel like no matter how well I know him, he’s still such a puzzle.

 

I think he thinks the same of you.
~Molly~

 

Me, a puzzle? He’s always telling me he can practically read my mind.

 

You understand each other better than you think you do. You’re both just determined that nothing is ever obvious. Bit thick, the pair of you are sometimes. When it comes to each other.
~Molly~

 

That’s what love does to you, Molly.

 

Doesn’t seem worth the bother stumbling around like idiots.
~Molly~

 

Well, there are lots of shades of idiot. Some are more tolerable than others.

 

You sound a bit like Sherlock.
~Molly~

 

So do you.

...

Any international disasters need averting?
-SH

 

Nothing that needs your attention, thank you.
-M

 

Thought I’d offer.
-SH

 

Not doing so well without John, then?
-M

 

Fine.
-SH

 

Have you smoked yet?
-M

 

Doing quite well with the nicotine patches, actually.
-SH

 

I’m sure John would understand if you did. He can only expect so much.
-M

 

I don’t know why I try to talk to you.
-SH

 

You’re lonely.
-M

 

Well, you make very poor company.
-SH

 

When have I ever pretended otherwise?
-M

...

 

Come home, John.
-SH

 

Be home tomorrow, love. Is that close enough to now?

 

No.
-SH

 

It’ll have to do, I’m afraid. Did you have a nice time with Molly?

 

Have you been talking about me?
-SH

 

Of course. Everyone always talks about you. The conference was about you, in fact. Didn’t you know? Did you look at the schedule I left you?

 

You must have been keynote speaker. You should have brought me with you so I could hear your speech.
-SH

 

Come home, John. My hands are attached to the wrong arms again.
-SH

 

And after you’d just got the wrist brace off. I’ll see you tomorrow, love. Good night.

 

Phone me and say good night. I won’t be able to sleep without.
-SH

 

All right, but I know you’re not sleeping anyway.

 

I just want to hear you.
-SH

“Goodnight, John.”
“Goodnight, Sherlock.”

Chapter Text

When my cab home from the train station pulled up in front of the flat, I could see Sherlock standing in front of the living room window playing his violin. He was frowning in concentration, and he didn’t seem to notice me get out of the cab. As I let myself in the front door, I could hear his music drifting down the stairs at once. It was familiar. I climbed the stairs slowly (skipped the squeaky step), trying to place it. It was the music I’d tried to overhear on the morning he played violin on my arm. I sat down on the landing and leaned against the wall to listen. I’d only been there a moment when Mrs Hudson popped out of her flat,

“Oh hello, John, dearie, “ she said when she saw me. “I thought I heard someone lurking, and I knew it couldn’t be Sherlock. He’s been playing that same tune for almost an hour. Back from your conference, then. Did you have a nice time? What are you doing down on the floor?”

I held back a sigh and pushed myself to my feet. Sherlock was bound to have heard us, and he’d stop playing any second. “Hullo Mrs Hudson. It was good, thanks. Everything all right in my absence? No wall shooting?”

She hugged me and patted my shoulder. “No, dear, not that I noticed. Well, I was on my way to see Mrs Turner, and I’m sure you want to say your hellos. I’ll leave you to it.”

“Have a nice night.”

“You too. My love to Sherlock.”

When Mrs Hudson had gone, I continued up the stairs as quietly as I could. Sherlock had not stopped playing. I paused outside the door to listen as long as he continued, but he finished the piece with a little flourish (I could just see that little twirl of his wrist). I unlocked the door and opened it. Sherlock was still standing at the window looking grave and peaky, but as I stepped into the room, he turned toward me and smiled.

“Hello John,” he said.

“Hello love. Did you know I was there?”

“Yes, I saw you pull up in the cab.”

“I thought maybe you’d missed me.”

“Of course not.”

“Were you playing that for me?”

“I composed it for you.”

“Did you?”

“Didn’t you know? Why did you think I wouldn’t play it for you before?”

“You do love to be mysterious.”

He grinned and nodded a concession, “True.”

I hung my bag and my coat on the hook by the door and crossed the room to give him a kiss. “Why now?” I asked when he was properly kissed.

“Hmm?”

“Why did you decide to let me hear it now? Why not perpetuate the mystery? Has something changed?”

“Moment of weakness I suppose. I’m not on form without you.”

“Here I am.”

“Yes, but you’ve only just got here. Your fortifying effects are still taking hold. When you’re not here, I weaken. I start thinking I’ll give you anything you want and do anything you ask.”

“Mmm, perhaps I should go away more often. Now I’ve got the advantage, I intend to press it.”

Sherlock laughed, “You should always press your advantage, John. I do.”

“Yes, I noticed.”

Sherlock laughed again, “I didn’t intend for you to hear that through for the first time with your ear pressed against the sitting room door.”

“Play it for me again right now. I’ll delete what I heard a moment ago.” I sat down on the sofa to indicate my eagerness to be his audience.

Sherlock crooked an eyebrow at me, “You’ll delete it, will you? Offering me a bargain isn’t exactly pressing your advantage.”

“I’m saving the pressing for later. You’ve just said you’d do anything I ask.”

“I said sometimes I think that I’d do anything you ask. I believe I can manage this, though.”

“Are you really going to play for me?”

“I said I would, didn’t I?”

“It’s just a bit of a reversal. Bit sudden. I’ve been hearing about how it isn’t ready. Did you finish it while I was away?”

Sherlock cocked his head and raised his violin, “I’m not sure yet,” he said, settling the shoulder rest against himself and adjusting his grip on the bow. “But hoarding it isn’t going to do it any good. I composed it for you, so I’ll give it to you.” And he began to play.

Chapter Text

“Well, don’t you look festive. Is there a special occasion I’m forgetting?”
“Shut up, Sherlock. They’re my last pair. I haven’t had time to do laundry because some detective has been dragging me all over creation investigating a kidnapping.”
“They’re not your usual taste. Were they a gift? Ahhh, you’re blushing, John. I must have hit the mark. They’re quite flattering.”
“Right, if I’m not allowed to talk about your pants, you’re not allowed to talk about mine. Fair’s fair.”
“I’ll say anything I like about your pants, John Hamish Watson, and don’t you forget it.”

...

“Sherlock, can I tell you something horrible?”
"You can try."
"Try?"
"You've never horrified me, but feel free to attempt it as often as you'd like."
"Right. I'll remember that. I was just thinking I wouldn't take back the time you were gone."
"No."
"So you understand then? It was awful, but it was...well it was a means to an end, wasn’t it?"
"You think so?"
"Yes, don't you?"
"I do."

“Did you mean it when you told me I should feel free to horrify you?”
“Feel free to try, of course.”
“You don’t think I can?”
“Perhaps you can; I’m quite interested to see. I don’t yet have enough data to hypothesise.”
“Well, I don’t know if I can horrify you the way you horrify me. I don’t lop off people’s heads and put them in the fridge, for instance.”
“I didn’t lop it off, John; it was off! I only borrowed it. With permission, I might add.”
“Even that sentence was horrifying.”
“I wanted to measure-”
“The rate of saliva coagulation after death.”
“Yes, actually. You remembered?”
“It’s one of my most vivid memories.”

Chapter Text

"John, what the hell is this?"
"Little present. Festive, aren't they?"
"Where are my pants?!"
"Right there in your drawer. Can't you see them? They're bright enough."
"My normal ones! What have you done with them?"
"Looks to me like you've got all the pants you need. There must be two dozen pairs there."
"I can't wear these! They're ridiculous."
"Give them a chance, now. They're very supportive. Flattering, I think I heard some one say."
"John!"
"Oh, you mean you don't like to have your pants mocked by a prat early in the morning? Might you say you've learned a lesson about it?"
"John, I don't think you know what you're getting into. Do you mean me to infer that we should be teaching each other lessons?"
"Are there lessons needing learning?"
"You don't want to do this with someone like me, John. Believe me."
"Sherlock, I know this may be difficult for you to comprehend, but you've barely scratched the surface of my depravity."
"Then the game is on."
"So it would appear."

...

"Sherlock!"
"Oh, no, John! Have all my ridiculous red pants stained your laundry pink? Tragic. Perhaps I've got too many of them."
"Fortunately, pink's my colour, you bastard."
"You're quite right about that, actually. You should wear more pink."
"Looks like I'm going to, doesn't it?"
"It certainly does."

...

John, did you do this?
-Shit Head

 

Sorry, who's this?

 

You know quite well who it is.
-Shit Head

 

Sorry, I don't know a Mr Head. I believe you have the wrong number, sir.

 

John! I've been texting with Lestrade and Mycroft all morning!
-Shit Head

 

Oh you know some friends of mine. Have we met? I'm afraid I'm having trouble placing you.

 

Very amusing, John.
-SH

 

Oh, it's you, love. Some one get hold of your phone and play a nasty little prank?

 

Sounds like you've learned a valuable lesson about leaving your phone lying around.

 

Some one could surreptitiously alter your signature line.

 

This isn't over, John.
-SH

 

Ooooh, I'm shaking.

Chapter Text

The Photo

There was a photograph posted here not long ago that I’ve had to remove. Your enthusiastic response to it crashed my blog, so I’ve removed both the photo and the comments. Let’s not have the same thing happen over again. Not that I see what all the fuss was about. Loads of us had stupid hair in 1993. I fancied this girl called Sandra who really liked Kurt Cobain.

A certain detective I know should probably start sleeping with one eye open.

 

Comments (12)

Sherlock Holmes:
You have only to admit that I am your superior, and this will end.

John Watson:
I told you before that you’ve barely scratched the surface of my depravity, and I meant it.

Molly Hooper:
I don’t think you two know what you’re saying.

John Watson:
We’ve just been playing pranks on each other. Sherlock was having a joke on me.

Mrs Hudson:
I liked your hair, John! It was a lovely photo.

John Watson:
Thanks, Mrs H. I think so, too. I don’t know what every one was so excited about.

Sherlock Holmes:
It wasn’t just the hair. It was the flannel. And the boots.

Harry Watson:
How did you get a 20 year old photo of John?

Sherlock Holmes:
Trivially easy.

John Watson:
This is what you get when you allow a madman access to your personal effects, I suppose.

John Watson:
That was a veiled threat, Sherlock. Did you notice?

Sherlock Holmes:
Was it? It sounded to me like you were learning a valuable lesson.

Chapter Text

“You seem to be having fun. Have you worked at all lately?”
“My work is going very well, thank you. As always.”
“It’s nice to see you so light-hearted.”
“Did you need something, Mycroft?”
“Just being friendly.”
“Ah. Well, I think we’ve both had about all we can take of that. Until next time, brother.”

...

“John, I will have you know I was photographed in your little accessory!”
“Were you? There’s one for the scrapbook.”
“How did you even put that on me without me noticing?”
“Trivially easy. Maybe you should have slept with one eye open like I suggested.”
“You know how I feel about having ridiculous photos of me circulating!”
“Ridiculous? Now that just hurts my feelings. You looked very sweet in your little hair bow.”
“John!”
“You should wear more purple. It’s really your colour, love. Does marvelous things for your eyes.”
“How was this a lesson?”
“You mean you haven’t learnt it yet? I’d better try again.”

“It’s not fair to get me twice in a row before I’ve gotten you. You’re breaking the rules.”
“All’s fair in love and war, Sherlock. Besides the last one was just a little apéritif while I got this one ready.”
“You’ve ruined all my shirts.”
“Ruined? Again, that’s very hurtful, Sherlock. I think you look quite dapper.”
“I can’t go out like this. Did you have to sew them onto all my shirts?”
“Don’t you like polka dots? I think all our friends are going to think you look very smart. I don’t think any of us have ever seen you in a bowtie before.”
“John!”
“I suppose I could help you take them off, but then how would you ever learn your lesson?”
“And what lesson is that?”
“That I am your superior.”
“Fine, I’ve learnt it. Just fix my shirts.”
“Say it, please.”
“Say what?”
“Just say ‘John Watson is my superior’ and your shirts will be good as new in no time.”
“John Watson is my superior.”
“Lovely.”

Chapter Text

“So were you impressed with my depravity?”
“I can’t believe you forced me to wear a tie. You monster.”
“Matched set, remember? And you did learn a valuable lesson, didn’t you?”
“That I’m in love with a sociopath? Yes, I did learn that.”
“You’ve never said that to me before.”
“That love thing?”
“I didn’t know I would like it so much.”
“Nor did I. Would you like me to say it again?”
“Actually, I rather like being startled by it. You should save it up.”

...

It’s a good thing we’ve not still got our prank war on, because Sherlock would be beating me. I don’t think he quite knows that, though. He took it to heart when I told him that I enjoyed being startled by his declarations. He has done it twice more in wildly annoying ways and been delighted with himself.

The first time, I’d frog-marched him along to the Tesco with me, and he’d complained continually. It was damp out and he’d forgotten his scarf. The humidity was making his hair fall into his eyes. Our trolley had a crooked wheel. The strawberries didn’t look very nice. They didn’t have his marmalade. They didn’t have brown eggs. There was a light out in the bakery. He didn’t like to use the self-service till. I was about ready to throttle him.

As I was reaching to pay, he stepped in front of me, knocked the debit card out of my hand so he could lace his fingers in mine, put his other hand on my shoulder, looked down into my face, and said, “John, I’m in love with you.” Then, grinning broadly, he picked up the card he’d dropped, handed it to me, and walked out of the shop.

The second time, we had just rung the bell at the front door of the Diogenes Club. Sherlock turned to me, put his hands on my waist and said, “I’m in love with you, John.” And kissed me. Then he adjusted his jacket and offered me some lip balm.

“Yes, all right then, Mr Show Off,” I said as I applied the lip balm. “Don’t overdo it.”

He smiled and said, “If you say so, John. Why are they taking so long about the bloody door?”

...

“Are you enjoying being startled, John?”
“I think I liked the second time better than the first.”
“I thought it might have been a bit much. Do you want me to stop?”
“It’s just that you’re already always startling me in so many other ways.”
“All right, then, I won’t do it any more.”
“You can say it in normal ways, though.”
“I love you.”
“There, wasn’t that nice?”
“Dull.”
“Arse.”

...

“You’ve been remiss, John.”
“Hmm? Oh. I love you?”
“Quite right.”
“Sorry.”
“Don’t mention it.

Chapter Text

“He had the washing up liquid right where I said it would be, didn’t he Lestrade?”

“Well, yeah, we found washing up liquid, but-”

“Then why haven’t you arrested him yet?” Sherlock and I were sat in Lestrade’s office. Sherlock was leaned back in his chair with his hands clasped over his eyes, as if the Met’s slow response time were something he couldn’t bear to look at.

“Right, Sherlock, if I don’t know if ‘circumstantial evidence’ is a term you’re familiar with, but it’s one I try to bear in mind before requesting warrants or raids. I’m not going to spend a load of money and send my team into a dangerous situation if all we’ll have to show for it is washing up liquid!”

Sherlock jerked up at that, “When will you lot learn that I always know the truth? Treat my word as gospel, and you can’t go too far wrong, despite your competence disadvantages.”

“Gospel?” I said. “You’re not actually God, you know.” Apparently he hadn’t known because he fixed me with a very frosty glare.

“Sherlock, as we’re still a decade or two away from a dystopian state, I can’t just arrest some one because he’s got a bottle of washing up liquid in his cupboard.”

“Not, a bottle, Lestrade. The bottle.” Sherlock covered his eyes again and turned his face toward the ceiling.

“Well, there’s nothing proving that, so it would seem an awful lot like I was arresting him just because you said so.”

“So you are! What’s wrong with that?”

“It’s against the law, Sherlock! I need proof. Or at least evidence. Something firmer than what you’ve already brought me.”

“Oh, proof,” Sherlock raised one hand from his eyes and waved the notion away. “Proof’s boring.”

“Well, I need it, don’t I?” Lestrade paused for a moment, considering before he said, “It’s not quite the same as it was before, Sherlock. Not everyone’s forgotten about...” he trailed off at the look on Sherlock’s face.

“Oh do go on, Lestrade. Not everyone’s forgotten about the baseless accusations laid against me by a maniac who was trying to ruin my life? Not everyone’s forgotten that your team lead the charge in carting me away?”

“Well, we tried to cart you away, but you stole a gun, took a hostage, and fled, didn’t you? Not exactly the actions of an innocent man, wouldn’t you say?”

“I was in the middle of something important. I didn’t have time to be arrested.”

“Well, beg pardon for not considering your timetable.”

“All right then,” I interrupted, putting a hand on Sherlock’s shoulder. “I think we’re all clear on our way forward here. Meeting over, I’d say. Come on, Mr Clever, let’s go find some evidence.”

“I’m not going to work a case I’ve already solved!”

“Sherlock, you heard Lestrade. Solving it doesn’t do any good unless they can actually arrest the suspect.”

“Oh, I’ve got to do everything!”

I suppressed a laugh, and said, “Well for a man of your talents, not proving it seems a bit like cheating, I think.”

“What?!”

“No one can really follow your thought processes, not even me-”

“John, if you’re making a point, make it a bit faster, please.”

“Okay then, new rule. It’s not solved ‘til you’ve proved it. Fast enough?” Sherlock stormed out of the office without another word. “Right then. This is us taking our leave, I suppose. I’ll text you with updates when we’ve got them.”

“Thanks, John. You really know how to keep him in line.”

I shrugged, “We’ll see.”

“Well if this new rule leads to an arrest, I owe you a thank you drink.”

Eight hours later, Sherlock, Lestrade, and I were sitting in a pub together. It was surreal. Sherlock was still ranting about the case, which helped allay the surreality a bit.

“If your buffoons had bothered to look in his pantry, they’d have seen the cases and cases of washing up liquid that he’d stolen because he couldn’t remember which bottle was the poisoned one meant for his wife. That’s what happens when idiots think they’ll get clever. They lose track of details...”

“Thanks again, John,” Lestrade said quietly as the barman set our round down in front of us.

“It’s what we do, Greg.”

“No, I mean thanks for making it possible to actually work with this one,” he jabbed his thumb at Sherlock.

“Ha, well, I’ve got to work with him, too.”

Sherlock stopped muttering about the case to say loudly, “What are you two whispering about?”

Lestrade half-turned on his stool so he didn’t have his back to Sherlock. “I was just about to toast your John, here, so you’ll want to get in on this.” He pushed a beer toward Sherlock and lifted a glass himself. “To John Watson, a detective who understands the importance of evidence.” Sherlock pouted, but raised his glass.

I grinned, “Thanks, gents. You’re too kind.”

“So how are things with you?” Lestrade said, turning back to me. “We’re about due for a catch-up, aren’t we? Sherlock being decent enough to you?”

Sherlock huffed loudly from behind Lestrade. “Don’t patronise, Lestrade. And if you’re going to spend the rest of the evening digging for information about our relationship, do let me know now so I can expire of boredom immediately instead of spending hours suffering.”

I smiled, “Decency’s not our strong suit, is it, love?”

“God, think if it were. How incredibly dull.”

Chapter Text

“Have you heard much from Harry?”
“Not really. Haven’t seen her since my birthday. She comments on the blog sometimes, but that’s really the only time she ever contacts me.”
“Does that bother you?”
“A bit. I wish I could... I suppose every relationship finds its level. We’re not arguing this way. I just hate what she thinks of us. That I’m your puppet. Makes it hard to talk to her. I know she’s not taking me seriously. She thinks my whole life is just...a puppet show, I suppose.”
“Can I help?”
“Don’t think so, love. Thanks for asking, though. Means a lot.”
“Anything, John.”

“I suppose I can consider you completely domesticated now.”
“Domesticated? No I’m not! Why am I? Because of the apron?”
“Yes, of course because of the apron.”
“Don’t be silly, John. It’s a lab apron. Health and safety are very important in a lab.”
“But you’re making tea in it.”
“So? Tea break.”
“So you’re the picture of domesticity. Is it what you dreamed it would be?”
“Yes, actually. Being sneered at by a miniature doctor is what I’ve always wanted for my homelife.”
“And I’ve always wanted to be sneered at by a mad detective.”
“Nearly there, John, but keep up the witty remarks and you may be in luck soon.”

...

John really made a gorgeous criminal (if you think of pranks as crimes). The hints he left for me on his blog, the way third incident (the apéritif, he called it!) foreshadowed the fourth. The way he executed it all right in front of me. The slightly mad gloating. It was lovely. I couldn’t have been more pleased. It was no trouble at all to concede to him (bit exciting, in fact), though I made a bit of a fuss for his satisfaction. I almost wish he’d turn to a life of crime, just so I could have the pleasure of pursuing him. Although then I’d miss the pleasure of solving cases with him. John is too staunchly moral (my heart) for this ever to be a real dilemma, but I do enjoy pondering it. If I ever turn to a life of crime, I will have the world’s best accomplice. Or I’ll have a uniquely qualified detective to chase me.

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, are you awake?”
“Yes.”
“Can’t sleep either?”
“Could do if not for the storm.”
“Yeah, it’s really coming down, isn’t it? And the wind’s a bit spooky.”
“John, unless we’re about to be sucked into a tornado, assume I do not want to discuss the weather.”
“Fine, fine, no weather. What shall we discuss, then?”
“Hmm...”
“See, this is why people discuss the weather. I’ve a question for you, though. Been meaning to ask for a while now, and this seems as good a time as any.”
“Oh?”
“Yes. Do you remember the morning you played violin on my arm?”
“Of course.”
“You told me you’d composed that piece two years ago?”
“Yes, but it’ll be closer to three.”
“When was that exactly?”
“After the pool. When you were in New Zealand. Most of it anyway. Bits of it have changed.”
“Did you know then?”
“Sort of.”
“Sort of?”
“Well, it wasn’t like it is now. It was more like it began to occur as a possibility.”
“What was that like?”
“I was annoyed, but I thought I’d just hide it and it would go away. It usually does.”
“Usually?”
“Yes. I’ve, er, noticed people before.”
“Er, generally men?”
“Why do people always fixate on that? Does it matter?”
“I was just wondering if you’re, er, like me. You know?”
“Like you? Oh, no. Generally men.”
“Men and Irene, then?”
“Do I have to discuss that?”
“Of course not.”
“I won’t then. Sorry.”
“No, I’m sorry to pry. Working on my Sherlock Holmes encyclopaedia, I suppose.”
“I know. No harm done. I just. If you don’t mind.”
“Of course. Sorry.”
“What about you? When did you know?”
“I’m not sure. It didn’t come on me suddenly. It was rather like waking up. You know when you wake really gently and you barely realise it and eventually you say to yourself ‘oh, hullo, I’m awake.’ Sorry for the poetry.”
“It’s fine.”
“Ha, very generous.”
“So when did you notice you were awake?”
“I was sure about it just before the hiatus. When Moriarty went to trial. I was going to tell you, actually. It’s just that, well, you were a bit preoccupied.Then about ten things went wrong all at once. You remember. I thought I’d wait until we’d sorted the whole mess and well. You know.”
“John, why didn’t you tell me?”
“I would have, but you were out of sight for a bit, weren’t you?”
“No, I mean after I came back. You should have told me. I didn’t know when I made you-”
“I know you didn’t, Sherlock.”
“I wouldn’t have-”
“If you could have done anything differently, you would have. I know. Remember, it was the means to an end. Sherlock? Take a deep breath, love.”
“Right. Sorry.”
“It’s all right. Sorry. Let’s talk about something cheerful.”
“Bloody rain.”
“Yeah, wind’s a bit spooky, too.”

Chapter Text

"Stop thinking about it, Sherlock."
"I wasn't."
"Yes, you were."
"How could you know that? You've just come in five seconds ago."
"Well, you've got Smoke on your chest and Skip on your ankle. You only let them do that when you're really preoccupied."
"Oh. Yes. So I have."
"I've brought you a present. It's not a cup of coffee even though it looks like a cup of coffee, so don't try to drink it. Oh and you’ll want to put these gloves on before you open the cup."
"Oh, thank you John, how thoughtful... Is this a finger?"
"Does it look like a finger?"
"Yes, left index finger from a male guitarist. Keen amateur, not a professional I think. Severed after death by emergency services to remove a caught ring so the body could be removed from wreckage. Car crash? Some sort of violent accident. About forty-five years old, I'd say judging by the texture and colour of the knuckle hair. Why've you brought me a finger?"
"Just thought it might cheer you up, so I popped by the morgue on my way home. The coffee cup was Molly's idea. Cute, eh? Shall I put it in the fridge?"
"I may have to start keeping the list again."
"Mine's still going strong. Number 207: Sherlock can be cheered by severed fingers."

...

"Will you pass the sugar bowl, darling?"
"I'm sorry, are you addressing me?"
"Yes, Sherlock. I'm not addressing Skip. Though she is closer to the sugar bowl, come to that."
"My name's not darling."
"Yes, I know what your name is, Sherlock. It was what we call a pet name."
"You've already given me a pet name. If you go adding new ones all the time, how am I to know when you're speaking to me?"
"Oh Sherlock, it's too early in the morning for pedantry."
"It's never too early to be correct, John."
“All right, then, Sherlock- oh have you got a middle name?”
“No.”
“Sherlock Holmes, will you pass the sugar bowl?”
“Yes, John Hamish Watson, I will. Isn’t it nice to be correct? Must be refreshing for you. Good change of pace.”

...

“God, those jeans are tight. I can almost see what religion you are.”
“Part of the disguise, John. We’re supposed to be incognito. I’m just trying to blend in.”
“Just trying to show off, more like it.”
“Show off? Show off my ownership of this particular pair of jeans? Show off my ability to work a zip?”
“Show off your very attractive backside. Don’t pretend you don’t know you’ve got one.”
“I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”
“You’ve been longing for me to mention it.”
“Yes, John, I orchestrate these situations for the glorification of my own arse.”
“Sounds about right.”

Chapter Text

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody type so fast for so long.”
“I really only have one typing speed, John, and I’ve lots to put down.”
“What are you writing?”
“Just catching up on some notes.”
“Oh, for the washing up liquid case?”
“No, something else.”
“What, then?”
“I’m not sure I should tell you.”
“Oh come on, Sherlock. If you want to keep a secret, you know better than to wave it around in front of me like that. Tell me!”
“I was hardly waving anything in front of you, John.”
“Come on, Sherlock.”
“Oh all right, then. Hmm, I’m not sure where to start. Do you remember asking me if I look at bits of you under a microscope?”
“Now you mention it, I remember asking you not to tell me what bits of me you look at under a microscope.”
“Ha, I won’t. I suppose that wasn’t such a good place to begin after all. Ah, well, I’ll just spit it out then. I keep notes on you. Er, fairly detailed notes. Remember the flow chart?”
“Somehow I’m not surprised. May I see them?”
“If you must, but I think you may find them rather off-putting.”
“I suppose I’d better trust your judgment on that. Any poetry?”
“John...”
“All right, relax. Only joking. How is it that you’re behind?”
“I’ve reinstated the list. I have to catch up, and I’m months behind.”
“What’s the last thing you’ve added?”
“New freckle on the corner of your mouth. Just here.”
“You lunatic. That’s lovely, though it does make me feel quite scrutinised.”
“Don’t worry, John. You’re doing fine.”
“Well I have been working on my freckle portfolio.”
“Now you’re just putting me further behind, John. That remark will have to go on the list. Go away, I have enough work to do.”

...

“Sherlock, I’m not wasting away of tuberculosis. I’ve just got a tiny bit of a cold. I can still lift a mug.”
“Sorry. I’ve never looked after some one who was ill before.”
“I’m barely ill, really. I just need a good night’s sleep, and I’ll be fine. Is that Lestrade texting you? Maybe you should answer; that was the fifth one tonight.”
“He can do without me for an evening. I want to see you’re comfortable.”
“Yes, fine, Sherlock. I really don’t need to be looked after. Not every one melts into a whingy little puddle just because they’re a bit sneezy.”
“I suppose you intended that remark to be a reflection on me.”
“Oh, d’y’think? You’re so perceptive.”
“Sarcasm is damaging to the immune response, John.”

...

“So, Sherlock, have I done anything noteworthy lately?”
“I should not have told you about that.”
“It’s rather flattering, really. If mad. But those two things are usually coinciding with you, somehow.”
“You keep notes on me.”
“The blog? Not the same, I suspect.”
“No, your little book. On your bedside table. You write about me in it, don’t you?”
“You don’t know?”
“I haven’t looked. Thought I’d respect your privacy.”
“Sorry, what? Respect my what?”
“Oh, John, you and your theatrics. What’s in the book?”
“You’d call it poetry I suppose. Have a look, if you’re curious. I don’t mind.”
“When did you start keeping it?”
“It’s the latest in a series.The others are probably up in the empty bedroom, if you want to look. I started keeping it years ago. Shortly after we met, actually. After we'd known each other for a bit, I realised I was a bit starry-eyed, and I was going to have some thoughts about you I should probably keep to myself. Hence the little book. If you do look, it will make you laugh. Bits of it are quite, er, florid.”
“Some of it must be less than complimentary.”
“Not as much as you’d think. I’m quite comfortable complaining about you aloud.”
“Don’t I know it?”

...

"John, do you trust me to make end of life decisions for you?"
"Is this the murder-suicide? Can you wait to kill us until after Doctor Who comes back? I really want to see the next series."
"I've no idea what that means."
"Yeah, you do."
"Anyway, I'm being serious, John. Considering how we spend our time, we really can't be careless about providing for those types of eventualities."
"I suppose you're right."
"Of course I'm right. I've been thinking it over a bit, and I think the simplest way to do it would be to get married. Or is it a civil partnership? Whatever the heterosexuals are letting us get away with these days."
"Do you hear that, Sherlock? It's the sound of the world record for best proposal ever being shattered."
"All I can hear is the breaking of the one for best acceptance ever. It's positively roaring in my ears."

Chapter Text

"I hope I didn't startle you too severely, John. With my suggestion."
"No, you don't. You live to startle me. Anyway, I'm not startled at all, love. I think it's a brilliant idea."
"Ah, good. I was thinking we could do it next week. Could you make the arrangements?"
"I think it takes a bit longer than that, actually. I'll look into it."
"Longer? How could it take longer? Have we got to go on a quest? Slay a dragon and rescue a maiden? That wouldn't take me longer than a week, come to that."
"You’ve got to register intent before you can actually do it. And I don't know what you're complaining about. I can already tell you're not going to bother yourself about any arranging."
"Well, you're much better at all that bureaucratic rubbish."
"Generous praise, indeed. Is that on your list?"
“Yes, actually. Number 246: John fills in the forms.”
“That’s the real reason you want to marry me, isn’t it?”
“It is. Well spotted, John. The game is up, I suppose.”
“Nah, it’s all right. I’m only doing this so I’ve got some one tall to reach the top shelf for me at the Tesco.”
“I can understand that. All the best biscuits are up there.”

...

“Er, John?”
“Yes?”
“Don’t take this the wrong way, but I was rather hoping this could be more of a matter of paperwork than-”
“Yes, I agree.”
“Oh, thank god. We don’t have to have a party?”
“No, love, I know you wouldn’t like that.”
“You’re not going to make me wear a tie?”
“No, of course not.”
“No punchbowl?”
“Well, that would leave us vulnerable to poisoners, wouldn’t it?”
“Yes, John, it would. I’m glad you understand that.”
“‘Course I do.”

...

“All right, love?”
“Fine. You?”
“Yeah, fine. Bit hungry. Could do with a bacon sandwich.”
“Ah, well I believe I saw a cafe just up the road. Allow me to make you a wedding present of a bacon sandwich.”
“Why thank you, Sherlock.”
“Perhaps a cup of coffee as well?”
“Yes, thank you. How you do spoil me now we’re married.”

“Didn’t think you’d tell me about your news?”
“Why would I?”
“Because I am your elder brother. I believe it’s customary to involve one’s family in these occasions.”
“And what’s that got to do with me?”
“Will we ever have a conversation that isn’t absolutely exhausting?”
“Perhaps. Probably not.”
“Well, anyway. Congratulations.”
“Thank you. Do you really mean that?”
“I’m not sure.”

“I suppose we’ve got to have a host of tedious conversations with all our various acquaintances now.”
“Worse still, love, we may get wedding presents.”
“Ugh.”
“It won’t be so bad.”
“Er, John, don’t shout, but I’ve done something.”
“Don’t shout? What have you done, Sherlock?”
“I’ve just sent a text.”
“Oh, Sherlock, you didn’t!”
“Sorry, John. Had to be done.”
“Who did you tell?”
“Every one.”
“Lestrade and Molly?”
“And Stamford.”
“Not Mrs Hudson, though?”
“No, of course not. Let’s go down and tell her now. May as well get it out of the way. Oh, perhaps she’ll bake us a cake.”

Chapter Text

“Are you going to tell Harry?”
“Maybe. Not now.”
“She won’t be happy.”
“No. I don’t care.”
“It’s all right with me if you care a bit, John.”
“Thanks love. I don’t.”

“What are you doing?”
“I’m indexing your socks.”
“Why?”
“Had to. Call it a wedding present.”
“You’ve already given me a bacon sandwich. And what do you mean ‘had to’?”
“Couldn’t stand it any longer, John.”
“How do I even use a sock index?”
“It’s very simple, John. I’ve explained it to you at least a dozen times.”
“Right, so you have. It’s all coming back now.”
“You and your sarcasm. The ingratitude of you.”

...

"What would you do if something happened to John?"
"Mycroft, if you're threaten-"
"Oh, sit down and don't talk nonsense, Sherlock. I'm not going to harm your husband. Some one else might."
"Yes, it's a possibility, isn't it? I'd moan for a bit then go on a murderous rampage, and they'd make a film about me."
"Rampage like you did with the sniper? Did you have fun? I saw the body. Looked like you took your time about it."
"What's your point, Mycroft?"
"And that unfortunate young man from a few months back. Dear me, gun butt to the face. Twice. He's had three reconstructive surgeries, but they can't quite seem to put his nose right."
"It was his gun I used, Mycroft. He could have killed us."
"A man like you needs to remain aloof, Sherlock. Especially if you're going to play the white knight."
"I don't play the white knight."
"Well, only on very special occasions. You may orbit John Watson like a satellite, but the rest of the world does not. You would do well to remember that."
"All done, then? Nice catching up, Mycroft. See you at Christmas."

...

“You told me I didn’t have to go to any parties.”
“Actually I told you we didn’t have to throw any parties. And it’s not a party, it’s a drink with Molly. We’ve done that before. You enjoyed it even.”
“Is she going to ask about the wedding?”
“Probably. Oh, don’t look like that. It’ll be nice. Just gaze adoringly at me, and I’ll do all the talking.”
“It was hardly a wedding even. Do your friends take you for a drink to celebrate the renewal of your driving licence?”
“Difficult life you lead, Sherlock. People always wanting to congratulate you for one thing or another.”
“I just don’t see why what we do matters to other people. It’s got nothing to do with them; it was just a bit of paperwork!”
“I think they’re just curious to see such a lifelike robot close up.”
“If I’m a robot, that makes you a bit of a pervert, doesn’t it?”
“Always have been, haven’t I?”

Chapter Text

“John, are you sure about me?”
“From day one.”
“What would make you unsure?”
“Nothing. I think I’ve got some sort of brain disease.”
“This is terrifying, John.”
“What is?”
“This!”
“Yeah. So it is. Murder-suicide, though.”
“True.”
“Got something on your mind, love?”
“Yes.”
“Want to talk about it?”
“Yes.”
“Can’t?”
“Yes.”

...

When did yoghurt get so fancy?

 

You’re at Tesco constantly, John. Are you only just now noticing the (admittedly astonishing) yoghurt array?
-SH

 

I suppose I just sort of wandered by before. I did not observe.

 

Texting while shopping. That’s very me of you.
-SH

 

Yes, but it is because I've got a heart full of love. Not very you of me.

 

I can’t believe you’re forcing me to contradict you and put those words in my own mouth.
-SH

 

I won’t tell.

 

Do we need anything besides cornflakes?

 

Everything, actually. We’ve got nothing in.
-SH

 

I suppose this’ll be a long one, then. Wish you were here.

 

Shall I join you?
-SH

 

Do my eyes deceive me? Is the magnificently reposed Sherlock Holmes actually offering to leave the flat and do the shopping?

 

I’ll meet you by the yoghurt in 10 minutes.
-SH

...

“You’re right, John. This is entirely too much yoghurt. I’d forgotten.”
“It’s not the quantity I mind so much as the variety. Look at this. Chocolate yoghurt. An abomination, don’t you think?”
“Abominable.”
“So, what does bring you here, love? Still got something on your mind?”
“Just felt like shamming at being an ordinary person.”
“Ah, so you’ve come here to mock yoghurt with me. Excellent choice. That’ll have you feeling ordinary in no time.”
“Perhaps after this we could get a pizza and see a film.”
“Now you’re just being perverse.”
“And then maybe we could go to the pub for a pint.”
“Right, now don’t speak to me that way in public. In the privacy of the bedroom, perhaps, but not here in the Tesco, Sherlock. There are decent people around.”

Chapter Text

“John, I thought you’d like to know you have a new freckle.”
“Yeah, I do know. Been keeping careful account. Which one in particular has caught your eye?”
“Back of your left hand. Next to your thumb.”
“Oh yes, that is a good one. Any other favorites?”
“You’ve got a cluster on your right shoulder I’m quite fond of. Sometimes when you’re sleeping I draw a spider web in them.”

...

We haven’t had a good case on in a few weeks. It’s not quite as hard as it usually is. John has started us going for long walks in the evening, which helps a lot. After dinner, he does the washing up (as long as there aren’t any experiments in the sink). Then he makes two cups of tea. He puts mine at my place at the table, as a sort of invitation. Whether or not I join him, he sits at his place with the day’s paper and a pad, reading things aloud to me from time to time, and jotting down notes.

Between 8 and 8:15 in the evening (he tries to be casual about it, but I can see him get more eager as the time approaches), he looks at his watch, stands, and says, “Fancy a walk?” as if it’s only just occurred to him.
I look at mine and say, “All right then.” We put our things on, and if it’s chilly, I wrap his scarf around his neck. I put it on for him because it’s always hung up under my coat with mine, as it is the first thing he removes when we get back to the flat (his scarf, my scarf, my coat, his coat). Sometimes I say, “Maroon is your colour, John.”
And he replies, “Don’t I know it.”

We walk abreast, quite near each other but not touching. John points out things that have changed or are changing. Sometimes he even sees things I’ve missed. I tell him the backstories of the people we see walking by. Occasionally, he accuses me of making things up (‘no, Sherlock, I just don’t believe you can recognise a philandering juggler at fifty paces just by looking at him’). I’ve begun to think of it as a patrol of sorts. John and I looking after our city. It all sounds so predictable and ordinary and hateful. But at the centre of it is my John. My doctor who always puts me right and is not hateful and not predictable (even when he is) and never ever ordinary.

Chapter Text

I am about to die. It’s almost all right because I’m looking into the face of John Watson. I’ve had this thought before several times, and been wrong each time. This time I’m right, I believe. He’s covered in my blood. His hands are slick and red and there are great drops of it running down his arms. That’s never happened before. Novel. Significant, I think. I wish he’d stop bothering about binding up my shoulder and just hold my hand.

“Sorry I couldn’t kill you, John,” I try to tell him. I’m not sure what I actually say.

“Shut up, Sherlock,” he says, tearing his shirt into more strips. “You’re going to be all right.” He seems to believe it, which makes me sad. I think he says something else. Perhaps lots of somethings else. Can't tell. He sounds all under water. I wish I could enjoy having his hands bind up my shoulder. I always imagined it would be thrilling to be treated by John. Really treated, not for a black eye or a cold, but properly treated, the way he treated his fellows when he was an army doctor.

I can hear a wailing nearby, an ambulance come to take me to visit Molly, I suppose (pray she’s not working tonight)(can’t remember). I can hear lots of approaching footsteps, and I stop myself from deducing the personal details of each paramedic by the sound of their tread. John has finally taken my hand. I look into his lovely face for a last long moment and shut my eyes.

Chapter Text

He’s Alive

Yes, he was stabbed. He’s expected to recover. Please don’t phone or text. Can’t answer at the moment. Will post updates when he wakes up from sedation.

 

Comments disabled

Chapter Text

Ugh, Heaven. Though at least John will be along in forty or fifty years to help me liven things up. I'd not see him in the other place. No, people don't really go to Heaven when they die. They're taken to a special room and burned. Mummy, what nonsense you filled my head with. Heaven indeed. What, then? Where am I?

I open my eyes and am dazzled by fluorescent lights. John is nearby, I know without seeing him or hearing him. I can smell him (perhaps I'll have the chance to work out that evergreen element! Could I distill his smell? That would help. I shouldn't have left it so long). I blink several times, my eyes watering, and John comes into focus. He’s sitting in a little plastic chair to my right and there’s a flimsy sort of curtain hanging behind him. Hospital, then. Something about those curtains is very distinctive.

"Sherlock? How do you feel, love?"

"Am I alive, John?" Must be sure. Perhaps the afterlife is full of bad lighting and worse curtains.

He laughs (rather hysterical, but lovely), "Yeah, looks like it. I told you you'd be all right."

"John, I've been stabbed." (my shoulder fucking kills. Trying not to think about it.)

"Yeah, love, so you have. We're really a matched set, now. Well near enough anyway." He tugs down the neck of his jumper and his vest to show me the pink starburst on his shoulder. He ruined his shirt making bandages. Even my brilliant tailor couldn't do anything with it. I hope they saved the shirt; I'd like to keep it. That's the sort of thing I'm sentimental about. Bloody bits of shirt.

"Ah, so we are." When I'm feeling a bit better, I'll be absolutely delighted by this.

"I'm afraid yours won't be as pretty as mine, though. Just a line, not even all zig-zaggy. Fairly superficial wound, actually. Idiot couldn’t even stab properly. Missed an artery by this much, you lucky bugger." John's fingers are whispering across my right hand. I catch them and squeeze them as hard as I can. “You thought you were dying, didn’t you? Kept saying ‘Murder suicide. Sorry’ over and over.”

"Theatrical as ever." Mycroft is in the room. He's standing by the window, leaning against his stupid umbrella and trying to look bored. I hadn't noticed him. My wound is affecting my powers of observation, it seems. A temporary failing, I hope. John stands.

He pats my hand gently before he speaks, "Mycroft," he says, "You'll be polite to your brother for once in your life, or I will have you ejected and banned. I will not speak to you about this again."

Mycroft looks quite startled. "Apologies," he mutters and turns to look out the window. I wish I could have recorded that moment. I shall brick it into my mind palace as soon as I have the energy.

John seats himself again and takes my hand. "He's actually quite upset," he says softly. "I don't know why he's acting this way."

"He always does." I want to say more, but I'm so tired. I shut my eyes.

"Yes, love, just rest." John begins to try to disengage the hand that's holding mine.

"Don't leave me."

"I've got to get the doctor, love. Back in a tic. You won't even miss me."

"No, John."

"All right, love. I won't leave. Mycroft? Could you?"

"Of course." I hear Mycroft leave, tapping his bloody idiotic umbrella against the lino. I have a few moments to luxuriate in the feel of John’s breath against my face and the pressure of his hand holding mine before the doctor returns (without Mycroft, who has hopefully fucked off home without bothering to take leave). I have a quick look at him from under my eyelashes (left-handed, late forties, smoker, father of four, educated abroad, god how dull. Shut my eyes again. Not worth deducing).

“Glad to see you awake, Mr Holmes,” he says. “I’m Dr Parnicky, and I’ll be handling your care. How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve just been stabbed.”

“How’s the pain?”

“Stabbing.”

“Likely you’ll be able to go home tomorrow evening, as long as no infection develops. There was relatively little damage done. You’re a very lucky man.”

“Tomorrow evening? Are you sure?” John sounds more anxious than he did when he was talking to me. I want to say something cross and impatient. I’m already so bored of this hospital room. I keep quiet, though. John looks exhausted. John and Dr Parnicky discuss the timeline for the removal of the stitches and recovery of function in the arm. I drift in and out of this conversation. It’s boring (obviously) and I’m sleepy (which I resent. Must talk to John about the case at the next opportunity). I can hear John taking notes. That soft, dry scratch of pen on paper that means John is looking after me, and I’ve a moment to relax. My best man is on the case.

Chapter Text

I didn’t think Sherlock would be in hospital long enough to receive any guests (Mrs Hudson was home frantically baking, despite my protests), but around noon on his second day, Molly turned up with a bunch of grapes. Sherlock tried one and called them, “tolerable but likely overpriced going by the carrier bag,” then added, “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” she said, pulling her chair closer to his bed and helping herself to a handful of grapes.

“Ulterior motive,” Sherlock said, wagging a finger at her. I laughed, and they both looked at me.

“Sorry,” I said. “Don’t mind me. Go back to your banter.”

Sherlock crooked an eyebrow at me. “Thank you, John.”

“You were on the news again last night,” Molly said. “Reminded me of...that other time.” She ate another grape. We were all silent for a moment.

“Thank you, Molly,” said Sherlock quietly. He reached out and pressed her hand. She stood up and leaned over to hug him, but couldn’t manage his sling. She kissed him quickly on the cheek instead. He beamed, and I laughed again.

“Sorry,” she muttered, glancing at me and dropping back into her chair.

“Not at all,” I said, grinning. “It wasn’t as nice as you thought it would be, was it? He needs a shave.”

“I never had the chance to congratulate you on your survival.”
“It’s a talent of mine.”
“Fortunate that John was with you.”
“Very.”
“I’m glad you have him. He lessens my workload considerably.”
“Well, well, isn’t this a sudden reversal?”
“I was wrong.”
“Sorry, what? I must have misheard you. Are you still speaking English?”
“Childish.”
“You’ll have to start watching what you say, Mycroft. If you have to eat your words every time I have a near-death experience, you’ll never lose any weight.”
“Very amusing. Thank John for me, will you?”
“Thank him yourself.”

Chapter Text

“Is there anything I can do?”
“Like what, Harry?”
“Do you need anything? Do you want to talk?”
“No and no.”
“I just want to help, John.”
“I don’t know what to say, Harry. You hate him.”
“I don’t want him to-I just want you to be happy, Jack.”
“I am happy, Harriet. When people aren’t punching holes in my husband, anyway.”
“In your what?”
“Oh god. Any chance you could just congratulate me?”
“When did this happen?”
“About a month ago.”
“Didn’t think you’d mention it?”
“Really busy right now, Harry. Gotta go.”
...

“Cat out of the bag, John?”
“Yep.”
“And how was that?”
“Could have been worse, I suppose.”
“Oh?”
“She could have stabbed me.”
“Yes, that would have been worse.”

...

“John, you’re a Sherlock Holmes expert. Tell me something about myself.”
“Er, something in particular?”
“How could I have just given up like that? It doesn’t make any sense.”
“When you were attacked? Are you actually surprised that stabbing you had some effect on you?”
“I don’t just give up!”
“No, you don’t, do you? You raise bloody-mindedness to an art form. You’re like Rasputin; you refuse to stay down.”
“Yes, thank you, John.”
“Anyway you didn’t give up, you just stepped aside for teamwork. It is all right to let your trauma surgeon husband handle the stab wounds.”
“Hmm.”
“Hadn’t thought of it that way?”
“No, not quite.”
“Yeah, you didn’t give up. You deferred to my expertise. I sorted you out, didn’t I? Well, got it started anyway.”
“Thank you, John.”
“That’s what I’m for, love.”
“Well, among other things.”

...

“Don’t squirm, John. You make a very poor cushion.”
“I’m not a cushion, I’m a person.”
“Well you’ve placed yourself where my cushion was, so I assumed you were offering yourself as a substitute.”
“You never make room for me on the sofa.”
“Don’t exaggerate, John. And stop squirming.”
“You’re so pointy. Stop jabbing me.”
“I can’t help being pointy, John. You won’t be jabbed, if you hold still.”
“I can’t hold still when I’m being used for a pincushion.”
“Then it appears we are at an impasse.”

...

“Good morning, John.”
“Er, good morning, Mycroft.”
“How is everything? How’s Sherlock?”
“We’re fine. Thanks for asking, I suppose. He’s good. Recovery’s going well. He had the stitches out yesterday, and he's on course to finish with the sling next week.”
“Good. That’s good. If you ever find yourself overwhelmed, I’d be happy to arrange for a bit of household help.”
“Ah, there it is. The kind of household help that plants recording devices in your flat?”
“Not that kind, no. I know Sherlock can be rather a handful.”
“Do you?”
“Perhaps you find him easier to manage than I did.”
“I don’t manage him, Mycroft. Did you need something?”
“I wanted to see if I could be of use.”
“Ah.”
“Can I?”
“Nope.”
“Well. You know how to reach me, if you change your mind.”
“I won’t.”
“Thank you for looking after him.”
“I don’t do it to please you.”
“No, of course not.”
“I’m not sure this has occurred to you, but he’s lovely when you’re actually nice to him.”
“Thank you, John.”
“Something to consider.”
“Indeed.”

Chapter Text

This Story’s Full of Holes

Sorry I haven’t updated, and I promised I would. Been really busy (or else exhausted) lately. You might have heard in the news that Sherlock was stabbed. He’s (relatively) fine. His recovery is going really well. He’s actually sort of looking after himself, with only a little prodding from me. He’s had his stitches out already, and he’s almost done with his sling. Which is too bad because having his elbow crooked under his coat made all his swooping about even more impressive. I tried to take a photo, but all the ones I got are either very blurry or prominently featuring a rude hand gesture, so I won't post any here.

Sherlock was really annoyed when we found out the police had already caught the man who attacked him. He consoled himself by saying, “well, if they got him, he couldn’t have been all that much fun to chase.” So you see his brush with death has made him gentler and humbler. Not too much worse than when he broke his wrist, really. He’s quite sturdy, though he doesn’t look it. Good thing, too, as he’s the only consulting detective in the world.

Comments (16)

 

Sherlock Holmes:
John, I strenuously object to being associated with that pun.

 

John Watson:
Leave my prose alone. I’m the only one mad enough to try and recount your doings.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
That doesn’t mean you can’t be held to a standard of decency.

 

John Watson:
I thought decency wasn’t our strong suit?

 

Molly Hooper:
Do you two always just sit in your flat typing to each other?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
We’re interfacing.

 

Molly Hooper:
What's that mean?

 

John Watson:
It’s a robot thing. He’s just being silly.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
He can speak for himself.

 

Jacob Sowersby:
That’s our Sherlock Holmes! Invincible!

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Near enough.

 

Harry Watson:
Why were you stabbed?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Suspect. Just some spooked idiot.

 

Harry Watson:
Something you said, then?

 

John Watson:
Very thin ice, Harry.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Oh relax, John. It’s fine. Your sister made a joke, and it was mildly amusing. Unlike the title of your blog entry.

Chapter Text

“Looks like you solved the ventriloquist case?”
“Yes, this afternoon. Thought I’d texted you. Strange client. He was more upset that I pulled his little doll to bits than that his brother had been poisoning him for six months. Apparently he’d made rather a companion of it. Well, you go into ventriloquy and you have to expect attempts on your life.”
“Good lord, Sherlock.”
“Not good?”
“No, you’re doing that heartless bastard thing again.”
“All’s well that ends well, John.”
“Ends with your brother going to prison for trying to murder you.”
“Actually, I was just thinking he could have the doll remade. I recommended a friend of mine.”
“You’ve got a friend who repairs dummies?”
“Well, an acquaintance. Still she does very good work, and she owes me a favor.”
“And once the dummy’s been put right, everything will be fine?”
“Perhaps not everything. But you can tolerate a lot when you’re in good company.”
“Hang on, I sense a second level to this conversation. Am I your dummy?”
“Don’t be ridiculous, John. If you were, you’d be much more articulate.”

...

“Sherlock, you know what’s strange?”
“Yes.”
“Ha, well anyway. We’ve known each other less than five years. Can you believe it? What were we doing with ourselves all that time before we knew each other?”
“Preparing.”
“Oh, Sherlock that’s-”
“John, stop. I’d be lost without you, but if you say the word ‘poetry,’ I will have to gruesomely kill you.”
“Gruesomely eh?”
“Very.”
“Well, if you’d said ‘cleanly and painlessly kill you,’ I’d have told you to piss off, you brooding poet, you. But gruesomely? I’m intimidated. You’ve shut me up.”
“You’re in for it now, John.”
“Looking forward to it.”

“Don’t open that.”
“What?”
“The fridge. Don’t look.”
“Why not? What’s in there?”
“Rather not say. Just. Don’t open it.”
“Right. I’ll just put it out of my mind. Dinner?”
“In a minute. Go ahead down and get a cab. I’ll be along. I just have to get rid of it.”
“What is it?”
“Just trust me, John.”
“How are you going to get rid of it?”
“Just go and get a cab. I’ll be right down.”
“I suppose I should be grateful that you warn me now. Is it a head?”
“No, but don’t guess. I’ll be right down. Where are the bin bags?”
“Under the sink. Is it worse than a head?”
“That’s a matter of perspective.”
“Right. I’m not going to ask any more questions.”
“Wise of you.”

Chapter Text

“Can’t you look after him a bit better? You’re running him ragged.”
“John?”
“Of course John! Who else would I be talking about?”
“Well, this is our first conversation outside his presence. I didn’t like to assume, as I’ve got almost no frame of reference.”
“God, you’re exhausting! Just look after him, all right? Take him on holiday or something. You’re his husband; it’s your job.”
“Yes, I know.”
“Thanks for meeting me. Didn't think you would.”
“Well, it was a novelty. I’m afraid you’re going to have to be interesting if you want a repeat.”
“Not unless you fuck up again. Not everyone is queuing up to genuflect at your altar, you know.”
“Fuck up again? What have I fucked up?”
“Oh, getting stabbed is not a fuck up? It’s what you meant to do, is it?”
“That was hardly my fault. I didn’t set out to get stabbed, did I?”
“Does it matter?”
“No, I suppose not. How do you propose I prevent it in the future?”
“Same way everybody else does. Don’t go chasing after people who want to stab you. Christ, you’re an idiot. I’m going. Coffee’s on you. Look after my brother. Better than you have done.”
“I will.”
“Do. Or we’re gonna have another little chat, and I won’t be so nice next time.”

...

“You’re not the only one who cares about freckles, you know.”
“No? Been working on your portfolio?”
“Looking after yours, actually.”
“Mine?”
“You’ve got one on your throat, did you know? Right next to your adam’s apple. That’s the best one.”
“Oh?”
“There are others. This one here above your left eyebrow. And this one on your lip.”
“Any more?”
“Yes, lots. You should engage someone to manage them for you.”
“Are you available?”
“Mmm, maybe. Ring my secretary; I haven’t got my diary on me.”
“I don’t know if I could afford your fee.”
“Oh fair point, probably not. My freckle management services are a bit dear.”
“Worth it, I imagine?”
“Well worth it if you can afford it, and I’ve got the time to take you on.”
“I do hope you can squeeze me in.”
“I’m sure I can. Got a bit of a soft spot for you.”

...

“Are you happy, John?”
“Delirious, love.”
“I’m being serious, John.”
“So’m I. Think what it was like for us this time last year. Miserable, alone. Didn’t know if we’d ever see each other again. Wouldn’t even have thought to wish for what we’ve got now. It’s perfect. It’s a miracle. I couldn’t be happier. What about you?”
“Same. I feel the same.”
“Yeah, I know. Quite right, too.”
“You’ve seemed a bit worn out. Am I looking after you? Would you like to go away for a bit?”
“Well, you’re the one who’s needed looking after lately.”
“We’ve got to both look after each other.”
“So we have. I’ll be okay. Thanks for asking.”
“Rule one, John.”
“Well, I suppose I’m a bit tired. Could do with a break. It’s not really a break when you’re bored, though.”
“I won’t be bored.”
“Can you just switch it off?”
“I can cope. And I have you. You’re always good fun.”
“Oh am I?”
“Of course you are, or I’d have bricked you into a wine cellar long ago.”
“All right then, Montresor. Let’s go on holiday.”

Chapter Text

“You are mad. Much more than I thought.”
“We don’t have to. Thought it might be fun.”
“I thought you promised not to jump off any more buildings.”
“That’s BASE jumping. We’d be jumping out of a plane. And I said I wouldn’t do it unless I took you with me.”
“Oh, fair point. That’s all right then.”
“Don’t be boring, John. It’s better than sitting on a beach, isn’t it?”
“I suppose I should have known your idea of a holiday would be absolutely mad and really dangerous.”
“We’d have a qualified instructor with us, John. They take safety very seriously. Helmets, harnesses, back up parachutes. But if you don’t like it, we could swim with sharks or go caving or something. Whatever you like.”
“When did you get so intrepid and sporting?”
“I believe I’ve said before John, I do have experiences outside the ones you’ve personally witnessed. I didn’t burst into being on the day we met.”
“What about your shoulder?”
“My shoulder’s fine. It’ll be better than fine by the time we go.”
“Oh, go on then. Throw me out of a plane.”
“Well, it’s not going to happen quite like that. But I will. Gladly.”

...

Holiday!

All you hellions brace yourselves for a cold snap because Sherlock and I are going on holiday! I know, I can’t believe it either. We’ll be out of reach for a bit (leaving the mobiles at home! Another miracle!). All you criminals in London just sit tight until we come back. It wouldn’t do to disappoint Sherlock by being really clever and interesting while he’s away. We’re leaving week after next, so get your bon voyage in before then, every one.

 

Comments (12)

Sherlock Holmes:
Four exclamation marks in a single paragraph is a really appalling misuse of punctuation, John.

 

John Watson:
Oh calm down about my punctuation! I’m excited! I’m going on holiday with a madman! Wish me luck every one!

 

Harry Watson:
Good luck, John! Where are you going?!

 

John Watson:
New Zealand! It was really incredible when I went before, and I can’t wait to go back! Sherlock’s never been!

 

Harry Watson:
I’m sure you’ll have a lovely time! My love to Peter and Juliet!

 

John Watson:
We may look in on them if we can work out the schedules, but actually we’ve got some other plans!

 

Molly Hooper:
Good for you two! You could both do with a bit of a rest! You work too hard! I hear New Zealand is really beautiful! Will you bring me back a souvenir?!

 

John Watson:
Thanks Molly! Of course we’ll bring you something!

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I’m going to have to kill you all.

 

John Watson:
There’s a sentence that could have used an exclamation mark!

 

Sherlock Holmes:
You first, John!

 

John Watson:
Help yourself, Montresor! I’m ready for you!

Chapter Text

Back Again

Sherlock says a person with holiday photos is a social pariah, but I couldn’t resist posting this one of him. I’ve never seen him so exhilarated outside the company of a serial killer. I wasn’t quite sure about the skydiving at first, but Sherlock was so confident about it that it seemed almost a reasonable thing to do. He’s the Pied Piper of thrill chasing. I’m glad he convinced me. That’s all I can really say about that. If I were a different sort of person, I might say it was a spiritual experience. The trip was completely brilliant. I don’t even know where to start, and I’m rather afraid that once started, I’d just go on about it until forcibly silenced. I’m already dying to go back; we might have to make it an annual trip. There was so much I still wanted to do when it was time to go. It is good to be home, though.

 

Comments(25)

Sherlock Holmes:
It isn’t their company I find exhilarating; it’s their brains. Will you ever write a post where you actually describe something properly? If I hadn’t been there, I’d find these breathless allusions rather irritating.

 

John Watson:
Claiming to find the brains of serial killers exhilarating rather makes you sound like one yourself, Montresor.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
We’ve had that conversation, Fortunato.

 

John Watson:
Calling me Fortunato really makes you sound like a serial killer, love.

 

Molly Hooper:
Nobody understands your references.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
If only there were some sort of widely available tool that you could use to educate yourself with only a tiny bit of effort. Like say typing ‘Montresor’ into a search engine.

 

Molly Hooper:
It’s just a bit intimidating to jump into a conversation between you two when you’re already on about mysteriously exhilarating holidays and horrifying pet names.

 

Harry Watson:
You took him skydiving? Bit insensitive, don’t you think?

 

John Watson:
No need, Harry. We had a lovely time. Want to get a coffee? You can be the first victim of my holiday photos.

 

Harry Watson:
Yeah, I do!

 

Mike Stamford:
I’d like to see those photos myself, John. Been thinking of taking my family to New Zealand. Do anything besides throw yourself out of planes?

 

John Watson:
I’d love to show them to you, Mike. I’ll call round Bart’s. Maybe next Tuesday? We could have lunch.

 

Mike Stamford:
Sounds great! I’ll see you then.

 

John Watson:
See Sherlock? People do want to see the photos.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
A social fiction common among friends, I believe.

 

G Lestrade:
Back are you? Why aren’t you answering your phone? Could have used your help last week.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I assume you could still use my help.

 

G Lestrade:
Well, yeah.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Text me the details. If the case interests me, I’ll be over after I’ve unpacked.

 

John Watson:
You mean after I’ve unpacked. You never unpack.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Things find their way out of my case in time.

 

G Lestrade:
Bickering aside, find your way over a little sooner than ‘in time,’ if you don’t mind.

 

John Watson:
Got your text. Leaving now.

 

Molly Hooper:
Hope you remembered my souvenir.

 

Molly Hooper:
Oh, you’ve gone.

Chapter Text

"What have you done to me, you witch?"
"Sorry?"
"For the last ten minutes, I've been thinking of how your hair is blonde, brown, and sort of ginger all at once and your eyes are blue, green, and brown in turns. Ten minutes I've been thinking of your hair and your eyes, John. You've set some spell on me. Admit it!"
"My eyes are not ever brown."
"They are. Witch eyes."
"Well, I didn't intentionally enspell you."
"You've been taking advantage, though."
"I seem to remember you encouraging me to take advantage."
"You'll have to be burnt at the stake. Witch."
"That’s not very historically accurate."
"Fine then. Drowned or pressed or hanged. Whichever you prefer as I'm feeling generous."
"Pressed, please."
"Excellent choice."
...

“What are you smirking at?”
“It’s just nice to see you in a strop.”
“What?”
“For weeks you’ve been all beatific smiles and loving caresses. Not that I don’t enjoy all that, but it was starting to feel a bit unnatural. Nice to see you with a proper snarl on.”
“Do shut up, John.”
“Call me an idiot.”
“No.”
“You want to, though. I can see it in your eyes. Go on.”
“I won’t give you the satisfaction.”
“Too late. Satisfaction received.”
...

“Anything new on your list?”
“You may not like it.”
“Oh, but I very much want to hear it.”
“All right then. Number 312: John will jump out of an aeroplane, if I ask him to.”
“You jumped, too.”
“It’s just good to know where I stand. Oh and number 313: John is not averse to public displays of affection.”
“Are you talking about after the jump? I think public displays of affection is so mild a way to put that as to be misleading.”
“I didn’t know that about you.”
“Neither did I, actually. I think it was to do with the skydiving, not a general inclination to exhibitionism.”
“Dangerous to presume without more data.”
“Oh, indeed.”

“Back again, witch? I seem to remember pressing you to death last week.”
“Yes, it was quite a good pressing, but I’ve reincarnated.”
“Reincarnated? Don’t talk rubbish, John.”
“You’ve been very whimsical lately.”
“It’s your doing.”
“More witchcraft?”
“You just make me feel relaxed.”
“Relaxed, eh? That doesn’t make you angry?”
“Well, it would do, but I’m too relaxed.”

Chapter Text

“Did you bring me a souvenir from New Zealand?”
“Yes, we did. Ask John. John’s got it.”
“What is it?”
“It’s a bit of a volcano.”
“A volcano? Why a volcano?”
“Just a bit. Not a whole one. We thought you probably hadn’t already got one.”
“No, I haven’t got any volcanoes, actually. Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.”
“So what did you do in New Zealand besides jump out of planes?”
“We walked a lot.”
“Is that all?”
“No.”
“Go on then, Sherlock. Have a chat with me.”
“We went riding.”
“What on horseback?”
“Yes, of course.”
“I didn’t know you rode.”
“I used to ride in school.”
“Did you wear riding breeches?”
“Jeans.”
“Almost as good.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Nothing. What else did you do?”
“Oh you know. Little excursions. Laughed at other tourists. Walked about, ate too much. Got pissed and annoyed the locals. Hand me that pipettor. Please.”
“Here you are. That’s so normal.”
“What were you expecting?”
“I don’t know. High drama. Did you deduce anything?”
“Of course. Loads.”
“Did you solve any mysteries?”
“No, we were on holiday. I ignored the mysteries.”
“There were actually mysteries?”
“Of course.”
“Do you just see mysteries everywhere you go?”
“Of course.”
“That sounds overwhelming.”
“Sometimes. Let’s talk about something else. You’re making me want a cigarette.”

Chapter Text

“Hullo love-oh my god. Why is it freezing in here?”
“Had to open all the windows.”
“Why? What happened?”
“Fumes.”
“What sort of fumes?”
“There was a small explosion. Smallish.”
“Oh my god!”
“Yes. Hence the open windows. I took the cats down to Mrs Hudson’s.”
“Bet she was thrilled.”
“Ha, indeed. We should go down there ourselves, actually. I should have gone to the lab. Didn’t want to get dressed. Stupid of me.”
“Are we being poisoned?”
“I don’t think so. Not poisoned exactly.”
“Let’s get out of here!”
“Yes, I agree. You’re the one standing around asking stupid questions.”

...

"That was brilliant! You were brilliant! Spectacular!"
"You were on sparkling form yourself, John. It'd been a long while since you threatened to shoot someone for me."
"Always a pleasure to be of service."
"Speaking of which, wasn't there an inconclusive experiment that we needed to gather some data on?"
"Right you are. I think I saw a coat cupboard downstairs."
"Ah, yes, I saw the same one. Looked to be full of data."
"It did, didn't it? Shall we?"
"By all means."

...

"This is a nice photo. Where was it taken?"
"That's from the ceremony."
"There are photos of your wedding? May I see them?"
"Just that one. And one I took on my phone of John eating a bacon sandwich."
"What? In the ceremony?"
"No, after."
"But why?"
"It was a wedding present."
"From who?"
"Whom. From me, of course. No one else was there."
"You gave your husband a bacon sandwich as a wedding present?"
"He asked for one. Really, Molly, you find the most tedious things interesting."

...

"John, so help me if you slurp your coffee again, I will punch that ridiculous beard right off your face!"
"I haven't got a beard."
"Yes, you do! Come to that, I may have to punch it off anyway. It's been making all kinds of crackling sounds on your pillow. Intolerable."
"Fine, fine, I'll go shave. Don't drink my coffee."
"As if I would. It's got milk in it."
"Yes, milk. Not poison."
"Same thing."

...

"Guess who I ran into today."
"Do you really want me to deduce it--you know I don't guess, John-- or are you going to tell me?"
"I'll tell you, if you like, but have a guess first."
"Ex girlfriend?"
"Yes, actually. Sarah Sawyer."
"Which one was she?"
"The doctor who got kidnapped."
"Oh right. And how is she?"
"Fine."
"And? Why are you bringing her up?"
"She asked after you."
"Did she?"
"I told her that we're married now, and she fell about laughing. Yes, just like that...all right...all right, Sherlock."
"She wasn't surprised?"
"Not in the slightest."
"Well, she's cleverer than she looks, isn't she?"
"No need for that."
"I suppose it's a long scale."
“Quite a long scale.”

...

“How would you like to die tonight, witch?”
“I’ll have another pressing, please.”
“It doesn’t seem to have done the trick last time.”
“Then you’ll have to press harder, won’t you?”
“Very well, then. Anything for you, I suppose."
“What’s bewitching you tonight, love?”
“Your smell.”
“My smell?”
“Yes, the evergreen element is definitely fir cones. Definitely.”
“I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.”
“Oh, that’s all right. I’m used to it.”

Chapter Text

“Did you enjoy your little trip, Sherlock? Feeling rested?”
“Yes. If you’ve a point to make, make it quickly, please.”
“Why is it that you treat me like some sort of villain?”
“Why is it that you treat me like my life is constantly on the brink of implosion?”
“Isn’t it?”
“Don’t pretend you actually want to speak to me when all you want is to annoy me. Aren’t there more efficient ways for you to do that?”
“Just checking in.”
“No need. If I die, I’ll text you. Otherwise, assume I’ve got it sorted.”
“Like you had it sorted with Moriarty.”
“I did have it sorted with Moriarty!”
“Do you really believe that?”
“I’m not a child, Mycroft.”
“No? You’re playing at domestication, aren’t you?”
“I’m not playing at anything.”
“Ah, then this is the new you?”
“That’s right. Handsome, brilliant, successful, and happy. Who knew it was possible? Well, if anyone could do it, I could. I think you know what’s coming next, don’t you? All together now, fuck off, Mycroft!”
“Until next time, Sherlock.”

...

“I thought Mycroft had come around on me.”
“You’ve never been the real problem.”
“That’s good, I suppose. What’s the real problem?”
“Much of my adolescence was, ah, misspent. It was...not pleasant for him.”
“Oh.”
“Like you and Harry.”
“Oh! You’re Harry?”
“Was. To a degree.”
“God. Well, that was fifteen years ago, wasn’t it?”
“My misspent adolescence lasted until I was thirty-two. Intermittently.”
“Oh.”
“Yes.”
“Wait, how is it that you’ve got a misspent youth? Weren’t you off honing the science of deduction?”
“The cocaine helped with the work. Until it didn’t.”
“Oh.”
“Yes.”
“So I’m Clara?”
“Yes.”
“But you’re clean now.”
“Yes. But there are things you don’t forget, aren’t there?”
“Yeah. I suppose there are.”

...

“I know it isn’t the done thing with the Holmeses to just say what’s on your mind, but we’re all three of us men of action, so you and I may as well be a bit more direct with each other, don’t you think, Mycroft?”
“Oh, do you consider yourself a Holmes now?”
“See, that was an example of being indirect. I just wanted you to know you don’t have to worry about him. He’s got me. And he’s looking after himself.”
“Ah. Well. For now.”
“You’d get on with him better if you’d stop treating him like an irresponsible kid.”
“With respect, John, you may be a bit out of your depth.”
“Bloody hell, Mycroft. I do know him. We’re quite close. With the marriage and all.”
“How long have you known him, John? Five years?”
“Nearly five years. Five years in January.”
“I’ve known him thirty-seven years. You’re not going to tell me anything about him that I don’t know.”
“Well. I don’t know what I was expecting from this.”
“Nor do I.”

...

“John, please don’t do that again.”
“Sorry.”
“I understand the impulse, but. Don’t. It’s pointless.”
“Yeah, so it is. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have.”
“It’s fine.”
“I won’t do it again.”
“Thank you.”
"He's dead wrong about you, you know."
"Thank you, John."
"He is."
"Thank you. Really."
"I mean it."
"I know you do."

Chapter Text

“John, are we collectively dating Molly Hooper?”
“Er, I’m afraid I’ll need that question decoded before I can try to answer it, love.”
“Why is she always round the flat?”
“That’s what dating is to you, is it? When some one just keeps turning up at your flat?”
“Most of it. The tidy bit.”
“Ah, well most people consider the untidy bit to be the operative bit.”
“We’re digressing, John.”
“Oh I don’t know. I think it’s salient. Anyway, no, we are not dating Molly Hooper. Tidy or untidy.”
“You keep asking her round for tea.”
“Well, she keeps doing us favours. Seems like good manners. Keeps doing you favours anyway. Besides she’s been round three times in two months. Not that much.”
“Favours? What do you mean favours? What sort of favours?”
“You’re joking, right? Where did you get that bag of toes you brought home today?”
“The bag of toes warrants a cup of tea?”
“At least a cup of tea, depending on who removed the toes.”
“I did.”
“But she still had to know about it.”
“It didn’t do her any harm.”
“Did she watch you cut them off?”
“No one made her watch.”
“I think you owe her a meal, then. Anyway, don’t you like Molly? We’re friends, aren’t we?”
“I was just wondering if something had changed. Seems different.”
“She’s just warming up to you.”
“Warming up to me? Hasn’t she always been warm? You’ve seen her blog.”
“God. No, not that. She doesn’t-nevermind. You’re a bit scary, love. She’s just working out how to talk to you without feeling an arse. She’s getting on better now you’re being somewhat polite to her. Sometimes.”
“Scary?”
“Yes, Montresor. Bit scary.”
“Did you have to warm up to me?”
“No, love. I like to be scared.”
“Oh, right. So you do.”

...

“John, something awful has just occurred to me.”
“Let’s have it, then.”
“We’re sweet together, aren’t we?”
“Yes, love, I’m afraid so.”
“How bad is it?”
“Very bad. Painful to look at.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I knew it would only hurt you.”
“How do we put a stop to it?”
“There’s nothing for it, I’m afraid. If it helps, you can think of it as chemistry.”
“I do like chemistry.”
“I know you do, love.”

“Have you been wearing my jumpers?”
“Yes, I wear them in the flat when you’re away. Have you only just noticed? I’ve been doing it for quite a while.”
“The elbows are all stretched out.”
“My arms are longer than yours.”
“Yes, I noticed. Why’ve you been wearing my jumpers?”
“They smell of you. It’s comforting.”
“Fir cones?”
“Among other things.”
“What sort of things?”
“Well, you smell of tea and wool and fir cones and sometimes sort of buttery. It’s more obvious on your clothes than your skin. Different notes are stronger on different parts of your body. Your scalp mostly smells of butter and fir cones. It doesn’t sound like they’d be nice together, but they really are.”
“You’ve been thinking about that for a long time, haven’t you?”
“Years.”
“Really? Years?”
“Yes, since we met, practically. I just worked out the bit about the fir cones. It’d been driving me mad.”
“And it took you all that time to notice you were in love with me. You really are an idiot.”
“It’s quite a long scale, John.”

Chapter Text

“Don’t wink at me. You look demented.”
“You wink at me. In fact, you winked at me when you introduced yourself. That was when I started, er, repressing things.”
“Ha, I knew it, though I’ve never heard you admit it before. I never repressed it. As we were talking that first time, I distinctly remember thinking, ‘well, even if nothing else, he’ll be nice to look at over breakfast.’”
“High praise.”
“Indeed. Now admit you were flirting with me at Angelo’s.”
“Not on purpose. You were dazzling me. You and the candlelight. That combination should be illegal. It’s unfair.”
“Yes, Angelo was right about it being romantic.”
“You can say that word now? You don’t choke on it?”
“Witchcraft.”

“Sherlock, where are my-oh you’ve got them. Of course. Why are you wearing my glasses?”
“I wanted to see how they’d look. I need a disguise. I don’t much like these, though. The frames don’t suit me.”
“Now this may stun you, but as they’re for my face, I didn’t get them to suit you.”
“You and your sarcasm. Where can I get glasses?”
“You don’t need glasses.”
“For my disguise, John. These would do in a pinch. Can I have them?”
“My glasses? No, I use them to see. Remember seeing?”
“Can I borrow a jumper, then?”
“Are you dressing up as me for some reason?”
“No, not exactly. I just want to look a bit, well, cardigan-y.”
“Cardigan-y? Is that what I look like?”
“Yes. Did you not know that?”

...

“John, don’t you know when you’re being offered an elbow? I’m trying to be courtly, now take my arm.”
“Oh thanks, love.”
“There, isn’t that nice?”
“Nice for you to have someone so handsome on your arm?”
“Nice for you to be noticed by someone who’s a proper height even though you’re so close to the ground.”
“Nice for you to be seen with a truly stylish person?”
“Nice for you to be helped along so your walking pace resembles that of someone who is actually awake.”
“Nice for your sophisticated companion to overlook how the humidity has made a bird’s nest of your hair?”
“You’ve cut me to the quick, John.”
“Let that be a lesson to you.”
“I do enjoy a good lesson.”
“Yes, I noticed.”

...

“Isn’t it strange to think that we’re still getting to know each other?”
“I’ll always be getting to know you, John. You’re unknowable.”
“I thought you didn’t like that.”
“No, it’s wonderful. When I get bored, I can run a few experiments on you. There are always things I need to find out.”
“Lovely. What sort of experiments?”
“Tut tut, John. If I tell you, it won’t be usable data, will it?”
“What are the ethics of unwitting human subjects, Dr Frankenstein? Do you suppose anything has been said on the subject?”
“Oh, don’t be boring, John. Think of science.”

Chapter Text

“You do realise this makes us proper perverts, don’t you?”
“Shhh, John, if you make me giggle, I won’t be able to do this. It isn’t mannerly to laugh with your mouth full.”
“Oi! Unzipped not all the way off! What if some one comes?”
“Some one will, certainly. Just not down the front of his trousers, mm?”
“Seriously, Sherlock, keep your voice down. We cannot get caught doing this at a crime scene.”
“It’s not a crime scene anymore; I’ve just solved it. Anyway, judging by the state of you, I doubt this will take long.”

...

“John! Where are you?”
“Down at the cafe getting a sandwich. I asked you if you wanted anything ten minutes ago, and all you said was ‘mmmm.’ Remember?”
“Come home at once. I need you.”
“Five minutes. They’ve just started to make it.”
“No, John, now!”
“Why? What’s wrong?”
“I’m doing an experiment and I’ve got my hands full and my hair is tickling both my ears. It’s unbearable!”
“Is one of your hands by chance holding your mobile?”
“No, I used the voice dial.”
“Just brush it away with your shoulder.”
“I tried that! Obviously! Come and help me!”
“I’m not the sort of doctor that attends to nutters, Sherlock. I’ll be back when I’ve got my sandwich. I think you’ll survive.”
“If you’re lucky.”
“I feel like we have this conversation about once a week.”
“And you never get any more sympathetic.”
“I do admire your persistence, though.”
“I raise bloody-mindedness to an art form, I’ve heard.”

...

There’s a bird in the flat.
-SH

 

So?

 

Could you?
-SH

 

No, Sherlock. I’m at work. Just chase it out.

 

I can’t. It flies at me. It’s so big.
-SH

 

Are you afraid of it?

 

No.
-SH

 

It’s alarming to have something fly at your face, John. Something with claws.
-SH

 

So you are afraid of it, then.

 

I’d rather not be clawed and risk some kind of bird foot bacterial infection.
-SH

 

In my face, John.
-SH

 

It flies at my face.
-SH

 

It’s only a bird, Sherlock.

 

Come get rid of it, John.
-SH

 

It’s taking over.
-SH

 

It’s on the worktop.
-SH

 

Sherlock, don’t let it walk on the worktop! It’s probably got salmonella.

 

You know I’d come to you, if you asked me to.
-SH

 

Just chase it out!

 

You’re being completely useless.
-SH

 

I’m not the one frightened of a bird.

 

Oh god, John. It’s touching the kettle! Do something!
-SH

Chapter Text

“How can you eat cold chips?”
“They were hot when I started to eat them. Someone interrupted my dinner.”
“Whoops.”
“Go away, you arse and leave me to my cold chips.”
“Shall I fix you something else?”
“All you can make are soldiers.”
“Actually, I can’t soft boil an egg.”
“So what were you going to make?”
“I don’t think we’ve got anything in, actually. Shall I take you out to dinner, then?”
“Oh, cheers love.”
“Nippy out, I think. Would you like your scarf?”
“Yeah, thanks.”
“There you are, John. You do look nice.”
“I should be annoyed with you, you dick.”
“But you can’t somehow.”

...

“John, you keep falling asleep with your arm on my side of the bed.”
“Well, you must get to sleep at some point despite the obstacles, because I keep waking with you wrapped around me like a starfish digesting a mussel.”
“I have to shape around you because you crowd me.”
“I crowd you?”
“Yes. You do.”
“Sherlock, you are a world-champion crowder. God, the first time we slept together, I thought you were going to smother me to death in my sleep.”
“Would I do that, Fortunato?”

...

“John, milk is not a beverage. It’s to take with tea or pour on cornflakes.”
“You and your rules.”
“There’s a right way and a wrong way, John.”
“You should write a book. ‘How to Live’ by Sherlock Holmes.”
“If I had the patience to write that, people would read it. It would make the world a better place.”
“Maybe I’ll write it. ‘How to Live’ by Sherlock Holmes as told to John Watson.”
“Ambitious. Well, if anyone could, you, John.”
“Very flattering.”
“Indeed.”

...

“I do like to see you preen, John.”
“Preen?”
“You’ve been straightening your tie for a full minute.”
“What do you know about ties?”
“You’re a bit vain, aren’t you?”
“I just like to look presentable.”
“You’re more than presentable, John.”
“Thanks, love. A poet once told me I’ve got eyes like seawater.”
“What rubbish. He must have been in love with you.”

Chapter Text

“Oh no."
“What is it?”
“My cousin Mary’s sent us a wedding present.”
“Where did you get all these cousins?”
“She’s the one whose wedding we went to.”
“Oh. What about the present?”
“Punch bowl.”
“See, John, you should have let me warn them in the card.”
“What should we do with it? Use it as a fruit bowl?”
“We can think of something more fun, can’t we? Oh, can I shoot it?”
“Shoot it?!”
“Oh, please, John! Let me shoot the punch bowl! It’s really got it coming.”
“No! You are not to shoot the punch bowl, Sherlock!”
“Oh come on, John. Do let me shoot the punch bowl.”
“Sherlock, promise me you won’t shoot the punch bowl.”
“Don’t be boring, John.”
“Sherlock, if you don’t promise me right now that you won’t shoot the punch bowl, I will confiscate your lock pick.”
“All right then, I won’t shoot it. Spoil sport.”

...

“What happened here?”
“Where?”
“Here on your lip. Where did you get this scar?”
“Bicycle messenger.”
“You got into a fistfight with a bicycle messenger?”
“No. When I was twelve, I went to France with Mycroft. We rowed and I and threw his passport down a sewer, so he pushed me in front of a bicycle messenger. I bit through my lip.”
“Fucking hell.”
“Indeed.”
“I remember you told me that before. During the hiatus.”
“So I did.”
“It seemed almost funny at the time. I didn’t realise.”
“It’s fine. It was a long time ago.”
“But here it is just sitting on your face still. Bloody Mycroft.”
“You’ve got a lot on your face too, John.”

...

“John, where did you get that?”
“The tea? I made it. I offered you some.”
“How did you make it?”
“Oh, are you acknowledging what you’ve done to the kettle now?”
“Did you use a saucepan?"
“No.”
“You didn’t microwave it, did you?”
“Of course not.”
“How then?”
“Er, I’ve got a secret kettle.”
“What?”
“Yeah, I’ve got an electric kettle hidden in the flat, so you can’t do anything horrible to it. Got it months ago after the incident with the fingernails.”
“And toenails. How could you have got a kettle in here and hidden it without me seeing?”
“Witchcraft.”

Chapter Text

“You do realise you’re holding my hand.”
“Why shouldn’t I?”
“You’ve never held my hand at a crime scene before.”
“Needed a bit of reinforcement.”
“Here I am.”
“This is a good one.”
“I know.”
“Are you excited, John?”
“Yes. You know I am.”
“Good.”

...

Did you leave me a voice mail?
-SH

 

Yes, doesn’t it have my name on it?

 

What does it say?
-SH

 

Listen and find out.

 

I’m not going to do that.
-SH

 

Then you’ll never know.

 

You’re the one who had a message to convey.
-SH

 

Only something sentimental.

 

Thank you, John.
-SH

 

Did you listen to it?

 

Yes.
-SH

 

Thank you.
-SH

...

“The papers keep inventing worse ways to describe me, love.”
“What is it this time?”
“‘Sherlock Holmes is rarely seen outside the company of his diminutive companion, John Watson.’ Oh shut up laughing!”
“What's the story?”
“It’s barely a story. Just a photo of us leaving the press conference from last week.”
“Oh, after I solved the kidnapping.”
“There’s not much about the kidnapping. It’s just a bit about you being a celebrity detective.”
“What?”
“They only want an excuse to run photos of you looking all dark and mysterious.”
“Ugh. How do I get them to stop?”
“Stop being so handsome?”
“How do I do that?”
“You’re buggered, I suppose. I don’t even know where you’d start.”

Chapter Text

“Could you clear this up, please?”
“It’s an experiment.”
“Yes, I see that. Could you clear it up, please? I need to do the washing up. We’re all out of mugs and spoons.”
“Twelve more hours.”
“Twelve hours?”
“Yes. Don’t run the water. You’ll ruin it.”
“You don’t think that’s a bit unreasonable?”
“Clearly, I don’t. Are you hungry? Shall we go and get something to eat? I can leave this for a bit.”
“I’m just trying to do the washing up, Sherlock.”
“Why?”
“Haven’t you been listening? Mugs and spoons.”
“You haven’t got any secret mugs?”
“No, no secret mugs.”
“You’ve just been so clever lately, I thought perhaps you’d hidden some extra tea things.”
“Just the secret kettle. Bit annoyed you can’t find it?”
“I could find it, if I looked for it, John.”
“Oh, do you need to look for it? You can’t just deduce it off me?”
“Let’s see. Airing cupboard?”
“Lucky guess.”
“Yes, I racked my brains for six seconds and got lucky. You know I never guess, John.”

...

“Get off my ears.”
“I’m admiring them.”
“Could you admire them with your eyes and your heart and not your hands?”
“No.”
“Are you experimenting on me?”
“Don’t ask, John. I told you that if you know when I am, it’s not usable data. Scientific rigour, John. I should think a doctor would be able to appreciate that.”
“Yeah, a scientifically rigorous experiment on how admirable my ears are. I definitely appreciate that.”
“I’m not experimenting right at this moment. I just very much enjoy your ears. They change colour. That's number 213. Bit of an old one.”
“Yeah, it’s a sort of warning system. Right now the colour means, ‘keep off my ears, Sherlock.’”
“I’ve already set meanings to the different colours, John.”
“You madman.”
“I love it when you say that.”
“I noticed.”

...

“John, what have you done to your sock index?”
“Ignored it.”
“How can you find anything in all this chaos?”
“With my eyes.”
“You don’t wear odd socks, do you?”
“Well if I did, you’d know, wouldn’t you? The moon would crash into the Earth. Or would you notice that? It is part of the solar system, after all.”
“You and your clever remarks, John.”
“I do my best.”
“Do you? How sad.”

Chapter Text

“Look who’s followed me home, John,” Sherlock said as he walked into the flat with Molly just behind him one evening. “Shall we keep her?”

“Hello Molly,” I said, taking her coat and hanging it on the hook. “I was just about to put the kettle on.”

“Thanks, John, that sounds nice,” she said, following Sherlock to the table. He actually cleared one side of it before sitting down at his microscope (to be fair, in the process he knocked a large stack of newspapers onto the floor and took no notice at all).

“Tea, Sherlock?” I offered, filling the (no longer) secret (but sacrosanct)(rule five!) kettle.

“Thank you, John,” he said. He walked out of the room removing his coat and scarf and returned a moment later with his dressing gown on over his pyjama trousers and t shirt.

“Don’t stand on ceremony,” I said.

“Don’t be silly, John,” he said, settling himself on his chair and leaning over his microscope. “It’s only Molly.”

“Sherlock!” I said. “Be pleasant.”

“I think he meant it as a compliment,” said Molly.

“I did,” said Sherlock looking up from his microscope to raise his eyebrows at me.

“Oh. Sorry, love. Somehow even your compliments sound insulting.”

“Not when you’re paying attention,” said Sherlock. I brought a tin of biscuits and three plates to the table and bent to kiss Sherlock. “You’re making a mockery of the hello kiss window, John,” he said.

“Your mouth’s been busy with clever remarks,” I said after I’d gotten him kissed.

“If you wait for an opening, you’ll be waiting a long while, John.”

“Don’t I know it,” said Molly. Sherlock and I turned in unison to look at her. “In the conversation! An opening to participate in the conversation.”

I laughed. “Yes, that too. Best not to wait until Sherlock stops enjoying the sound of his own voice.”

“A forgivable failing in my case, I think,” Sherlock said.

“Hark who’s talking,” said Molly.

“What? Me?” I said.

“You do enjoy delivering a lecture, John,” said Molly. Sherlock snorted. The kettle clicked, and I went to see about the tea.

“So,” Molly said when we were all settled with our mugs and our biscuits, “Now you’re married, will you have a baby?”

Sherlock choked on his tea. When he was done coughing theatrically, he said, “Look what you’ve done to me, Molly Hooper. I hope you’re satisfied; you could have killed me. And I got tea on my slide.”

“That’ll be your answer, Molly,” I said grinning. “I don’t know why he’s acting so shocked, as if we’d never discussed this.”

“You’d be good parents,” said Molly.

Sherlock waved dismissively, “Easily done.”

“Loads of people manage to botch it somehow,” said Molly.

“So they do,” said Sherlock quietly. The three of us paused to consider the respective ways we’d been botched. “You’d make a good parent, Molly,” Sherlock said. “If you decided to be one, we’d be very fond uncles, wouldn’t we John?”

Chapter Text

Sherlock has been studying my hands lots lately. It started last week when he noticed a new callus on the inside of my left little finger.

“Your ring is too big for you, John,” he said. “We must have it resized. This callus has to be weeks old, at least. How could it have taken me so long to notice this? I hold your hand all the time.”

“Can you really get that much information just from holding them?”

Sherlock frowned at this thought, “Perhaps not.” He lifted my hand and examined it. It was a bit unnerving to watch his eyes bounce around to each scar, freckle, callus, and rough patch. I half-expected him to pull out his magnifying glass. I think he may have been considering it.

He does that to each hand about once a day now. Always rather absent-mindedly as if he were only fiddling with his stress ball. On the sofa while I’m watching telly, in a cab, while we’re queuing in a shop. Once while he was explaining a deduction to Lestrade. Lestrade and I both tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. Somehow I didn’t like to pull away.

“You’re just going to keep changing, aren’t you?” he said rather crossly this morning, after he discovered a new freckle (halfway up my left index finger, just above the knuckle)

“Yeah, planning on it,” I said.

“I’ll have to keep a close eye on you.”

“Well, you’re good at that.”

He smiled, “Ah, so I am.”

...

“Back to bed, John. I’m not above restraining you, if necessary.”
“If you say so, but I’m fine, Sherlock.”
“How can you say that?”
“All right, not fine exactly, but there’s no need for so much fuss.”
“Don’t try to talk; you’re hoarse enough.”
“I can talk, Sherlock.”
“I didn’t say you couldn’t, I said you shouldn’t. Drink your tea.”
“Sherlock, you’re overreacting.”
“It’s only a cup of tea, John. I just want you to sit still and be quiet and drink your tea.”
“I’m bored.”
“You’re not bored. Look at you. You’re all glassy-eyed and exhausted. Just finish your tea and go back to sleep, John. You’ll be all right in a few days.”
“I know I will. You’re the one being all...”
“Attentive?”
“I do feel dreadful.”
“You look dreadful. You’re all drippy and flushed and unfocused. Have you finished your tea? I’ll have your mug, then. Go back to sleep.”
“Don’t leave. I’m so bored; stay and talk to me.”
“John, you need your rest.”
“Am I boring you?”
“Don’t be stupid."
“Don’t make me sit in here on my own with my snot. I can hear you moving around out there. Existing without me. It’s so unfair.”
“You sound a bit like me.”
“Yes, that’s what this illness is. I’m turning into a Sherlock. The snot is just my soul running out to make room.”
“This medicine’s made you a bit funny, I think. Did I give you too much?”
“Scary hanging round with you, isn’t it? And now I’m turning into you, you haven’t even got me to protect you from you.”
“Two of me and none of you. Frightening world.”
“Maybe it won’t be so bad. Maybe we’ll swap.”
“I think I’d like that. All the opportunity for experiments.”
“But then everyone involved would know everything. What about scientific rigour? Now you’re me, does it mean nothing to you, John?!”

...

“Thanks for looking after me, love.”
“It’s my pleasure, John. Truly.”
“I’ve properly domesticated you, haven’t I?”
“Bite your tongue, John.”
“No, no, consider for a bit. You’re carrying a tea tray. And you just wiped my face with a damp cloth.”
“You were all sweaty and snotty and disgusting. I thought you liked to look presentable.”
“You’ve grown quite gentle, haven’t you?”
“Gentle? When you’re feeling a bit better, I’ll have to show you how wrong you are about that.”
“Feel free to try. I’m quite looking forward to it.”

Chapter Text

I can hear you singing.
-SH

 

No, don’t stop.
-SH

 

Where are you?

 

Down in the street. The window’s open. I can see you, too.
-SH

 

Oh god.

 

Why have I never heard you sing before? You sound so happy.
-SH

 

Forgot the window was open.

 

Don’t be embarrassed. New data, John!
-SH

 

I’m just a big pile of data in a cardigan to you, aren’t I?

 

Nothing wrong with that.
-SH

 

Are you still down in the street?

 

No, lurking on the landing. I was hoping you’d start up again.
-SH

 

Much too embarrassed.

 

Don’t be ridiculous, John.
-SH

 

Come into the flat and stop lurking.

 

I fancy a lurk, actually. Want to come out and lurk with me?
-SH

...

“Ah, my esteemed co-lurker! Join me.”
“What, on the stairs? That looks very uncomfortable.”
“It is a bit, but I rather like that. Thinking should be a bit uncomfortable, shouldn’t it?”
“If you say so.”
“Try it.”
“Oh, all right then. Slide over.”
“You’ll get on better if you bend your knees a bit and brace your feet against the steps. Yes, there you are. All right?”
“Yeah, thanks.”
“We should spend more time upside down, John, don’t you think?”
“Your hair is going mad.”
“Oh, it’s always mad.”
“I have very strong feelings about your hair, you know.”
“I did know, actually. I’ve feelings about your hair as well. It’s three different colors. Too many! Perfect somehow, though. Right and wrong at the same time. You always do that. Witch.”
“God, you really are a mad thing.”
“John, I do love it when you say that.”
“That’s why I said it.”
“We should lie on this staircase indefinitely, John. Or we could jettison ourselves in an escape pod. We could do lots of upside down thinking in zero gravity. Would you like to go live on the moon with me, John?”
“Yeah, love. Sounds brilliant. You can hire the spaceship. I’m sure you could get a friends and family rate.”
“Would you sing on the moon, John?”
“Maybe. If I felt like it.”
“I don’t mean to pressure you, John, but I am absolutely desperate to hear that again.”
“When have you ever pressured anyone?”

Chapter Text

“That tickles, John!”
“Yes, it does, doesn’t it?”
“I can’t be held responsible, John. I flail.”
“Oh, you’re a flailer, are you? I might have guessed.”
“You’re playing with fire, John. I’ve injured people in the past.”
“I think I’ll chance it.”

...

"I'm not stupid, you know."
"I find that every time someone says that to me, they're about to do something abominably stupid. I appreciate the warning, Lestrade. What have you got planned?"
"I know what you've been doing."
"Solving your cases for you? I should think so; I'm not particularly subtle about it."
"After the cases, Sherlock."
"Oh?"
"I'm not going to bother asking you not to do that at my crime scenes, but I'll have you know that I won't bother myself about covering for you, when you get caught."
"One of your people will catch me, you imagine?"
"You don't exactly have a lot of cache with the Met, Sherlock."
"Can't think why. You lot'd be lost without John and me."
"Remarks like that, mainly. You want to watch yourself."
"Yes, thank you for your input."
"Really, there are loads of people who'd be happy to see you banned or locked up."
"Yes, yes, I know. There always have been, haven’t there?”
“Just a bit of friendly advice.”

Slight mishap at the lab. I might look a little alarming
-SH

 

What happened?

 

Just a little explosion. Have lost most of my eyebrows, though. And my fringe is a bit burnt.
-SH

 

Are you all right?

 

Fine. Bit of tinnitus.
-SH

 

Is Molly all right?

 

She’s fine. She was rather annoyed.
-SH

 

I went and got her a coffee.
-SH

 

Did that help?

 

No, not at all. She made me clean up.
-SH

 

The nerve.

 

How’s your coat? That’s the real question.

 

Luckily, I wasn’t wearing it. My clothes are fine, though. Hair is more flammable.
-SH

 

Did Molly put you out?

 

I’m quite well practised in putting myself out, John.
-SH

 

You say that like you’re proud of it.

 

Why shouldn’t I be?
-SH

Chapter Text

“You know you don’t look all that much more mad than usual without eyebrows, love. The fringe helps, I think. Despite the burnt bits. You should probably cut those off.”
“I’m really past caring how mad I look, John. Per you, I always look a bit mad.”
“It’s your expression. You always look like you’re plotting something.”
“That’s considered mad, is it? Planning ahead?”
“Not planning, plotting. Got any plots going?”
“I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you.”
“Is that a hint?”
“You’re the only one who could stop me.”
“I’m honestly quite flattered you think so.”
“Well, obviously, John.”

...

“I’m trying to think, John.”
“I’m not stopping you.”
“You’re jostling me severely.”
“You sit right in the middle of the bed. I deserve some, too. You can’t have the whole thing.”
“I don’t have the whole thing. Shape around me.”
“Won’t that jostle you?”
“Shape gently.”
“Sarcasm, Sherlock. Move over!”
“John, didn’t I just say I was trying to think? John, stop it! You’re going to fly off and break your arm. Or your neck.”
“Wishful thinking, Montresor! Try it!”
“Can we be adults, John?”
“Really Sherlock, try it. I tried upside down thinking, didn’t I?”
“Oh, all right then.”
“See? Thinking better already, aren’t you?”
“A bit. What do you suppose Mrs Hudson thinks we’re doing?”
“I’m sure she knows the sound of jumping on the bed when she hears it.”
“I’m still convinced this will end badly.”
“Of all the mad things we do together, jumping on the bed is what frightens you. I love it.”
“I’m not frightened. Only pessimistic.”
“Well if no one tries to kill us, we’ll be ahead of the game, won’t we?”
“Oh, John, you and your sunny perspective.”

...

“Look at the size of that stock pot, John. You’d fit in there.”
“Oh god. My blood just went cold. Are you planning to cook me?”
“Not planning on it, no. If I did become a cannibal, I’d start with you, though.”
“Very flattering. You’d be caught straight away, you know. Everyone would notice I was missing. And that you’d suddenly got a massive pot. Bit suspicious, don’t you think?”
“I’d have to hide the pot, I suppose.”
“How could you even get it back to the flat from the shop to start with? Get inside it and roll home?”
“I’d manage somehow. I’m very resourceful.”

...

“You know I love to hear you play, Sherlock, but that is a truly objectionable sound you’re making.”
“Sorry.”
“Something bothering you?”
“Bit bored.”
“Fancy a walk?”
“I’m starting to feel a bit like a dog. You take me out for exercise when I misbehave.”
“Can I tell you something stupid? You’ve just made me remember something.”
“Of course.”
“Well. When you were gone, before I knew you’d be coming back, I used to see you everywhere. Some one would have a coat like you or hail a cab like you and for just a tiny second, I’d think I saw you.”
“Oh god, John. I’m sorry.”
“Hush, I’m not finished. Anyway, one day out of the tail of my eye, I saw this mass of beautiful, black curls leaning out of a car window, and I had that ghost feeling. I knew it wasn’t you, and I almost didn’t like to look. But I made myself turn just to see, you know. And it was a spaniel.”
“A spaniel?”
“Yeah, a spaniel. I laughed. And then I got my phone out to text you because I knew you’d laugh, too. And, well, I smashed my phone. Right on the ground. Smashed it to bits. Startled a bunch of people. But here you are again. And I can tell you things I thought I’d never be able to tell you. You’re back.”

Chapter Text

“Your hair looks nice now you’ve cut the burnt bits out.”
“I miss my fringe.”
“Yeah, you were quite vain of your hair, weren’t you? Still looks nice.”
“It’s too short.”
“Maybe next time you’ll consider that before setting yourself on fire.”
“I don’t set myself on fire intentionally, John. In fact I always put myself out.”
“You just don’t seem all that bothered about not catching fire to start with.”
“John, if I lived in fear of catching fire, I’d accomplish very little.”

...

“Sorry.”
“Sorry? Why sorry?”
“I didn’t mean to bump you.”
“Molly, we’ve known each other for five years, and you saved my life. And you helped with John. It’s all right if you touch my hand.”
“I just didn’t mean to bump you. I’m not afraid of your hand.”
“So long as we’re clear.”
“You’re not as terrifying as you think you are.”
“No?”
“No, especially not without eyebrows.”

...

“You do realise you’re moaning, don’t you?”
“What? I didn’t say anything.”
“Like hmmm, moaning.”
“No, I wasn’t!”
“Yeah, you were, Sherlock. Not that I object to you enjoying my skilled ministrations. But not in a cab, if you don’t mind. Not to that degree anyway. The cabbie’ll think we’re a pair of perverts.”
“We are a pair of perverts.”
“Not in a cab, we’re not. It’s not good manners.”
“Oh manners. Manners are boring.”
“Manners are essential.”
“Well when you do that to my hair, I lose my manners. I have very sensitive follicles.”
“I do rather like hearing you hmmm like big cat while I fiddle with your hair. Very domestic.”
“Only you could turn a cab ride to the morgue into a scene of domesticity, John.”
“Yes, love, domesticity is a talent of mine. Lucky for you.”
“Indeed.”

“Full moon out tonight, love.”
“You always point that out, John. Did you know?”
“Do I?”
“You do.”
“I suppose I was just wondering how you’re getting on with our spaceship.”
“Quite well, actually. Got a good lead.”
“I was a bit surprised to hear you suggest the moon. I thought you disdained the solar system.”
“I just wanted somewhere I could have you all to myself. I thought of the bottom of the ocean and the inside of a volcano as well, but I decided that the moon would have the best view.”
“So it would.”
“You could point out to me when the Earth was full.”
“I would, of course I would. Got to keep you informed. What would we live on?”
“Starlight and clever ideas.”
“Same as always, then.”

Chapter Text

I do enjoy the sight of your tongue, John.
-SH

 

What?

 

You put it out sometimes when you're concentrating. You're doing it now.
-SH

 

Where are you?

 

Nearby.
-SH

 

Befuddled by the yoghurt again?
-SH

 

Where are you?

 

See if you can find me.
-SH

 

You arse. I asked you to come along, and you just said shut up John I'm thinking.

 

I was thinking.
-SH

 

Got bored on my own.
-SH

 

Fragility of genius.

 

Where the hell are you?

 

You really don't see me?
-SH

 

This is fun.
-SH

 

Show yourself.

 

Use your powers of divination, John.
-SH

 

Or does witchcraft not work in mundane places like Tesco?
-SH

 

You'll have to use your powers of observation, then.
-SH

 

I'm finished with the shopping anyway. Want to meet by the till?

 

Only if you find me.
-SH

 

I'll just leave you in the shop, Mr Clever.

 

Do you suppose I could follow you all the way home without you spotting me?
-SH

 

If you were feeling childish, I suppose you might entertain yourself that way.

 

I'm almost always feeling childish, John.
-SH

 

Let's give it a go, shall we?
-SH

 

I've just found you a little present.
-SH

 

I've gone through check out now. Do you see me?
-SH

 

Oh, ignoring my texts, are you? I can see you looking round for me, John. Wrong direction.
-SH

 

You've got such an expressive face; you look really annoyed, even from this distance.
-SH

 

You're quite attractive, you know. Do I tell you that often enough?
-SH

 

No, not nearly enough.

 

You are. Quite.
-SH

 

Oh you think you can lose me in a cab? No matter, I can still follow you easily enough on foot. Which you well know, don't you?
-SH

 

How many cabs have we chased down together?
-SH

 

Not while texting. At least you'll shut up for a bit.

 

Oi! You didn't tell me you were in disguise! Cheat!

 

Bit disappointed you didn't consider it before, John.
-SH

 

Anyway, it's not much of a disguise.
-SH

 

Do you like my hat?
-SH

 

It's my hat. I thought you hated hats.

 

You don't wear it.
-SH

 

Well, it's a quite a stupid hat.

 

It's no death frisbee.
-SH

 

I want to kiss you now.
-SH

 

Get out of the cab. Let's walk home together. I'll meet you by that phone box at the corner.
-SH

 

All right then. See you in a tic, love.

 

If not sooner.
-SH

Chapter Text

“Ah, my favourite playmate. Hello John.”
“Hello love.”
“Come and give me a kiss before you put the kettle on, John. You do abuse the hello kiss window.”
“All right then, there you are. Prompt enough?”
“Thank you, John. Getting better.”
“So I’m your favourite playmate, am I?”
“Of course you are.”
“I’m not a bit too old to be some one’s playmate at thirty-nine?”
“It’s meant to be a compliment, John. No one else has wanted to play with me since I was four years old and Mycroft left for school.”
“No one wanted to play with you?”
“I’m odd. I frighten people.”
“Perhaps a bit odd, love. But you’re such fun, too.”
“You really think so, John?”
“Of course I do. You’re always inventing games and making jokes. I never had so much fun in my life.”
“Neither have I! Isn’t it lovely to have someone to play with, John?”
“Yes, love, it really is.”
“I think it’s what I like best about you John. You play with me.”
“Not that I shoot people who are not very nice?”
“Shooting is all very well but relatively common. You make me laugh.”

...

“Sherlock, look at the state of your bedside table. It’s a disgrace.”
“This again. How you do exaggerate.”
“Look, you’ve got four glasses each with a half inch of water in it.”
“My mouth gets dry in the night, John.”
“Yeah, I noticed. You clear your throat six times, then take the merest flirtation of a sip of water and clunk the glass down, and then you shift around for five minutes and sigh for another ten.”
“You’re a very vivid storyteller, John.”
“And it’s not very nice to keep fingernails in an Altoid tin. Bit startling, actually.”
“Oh, that’s what happened to those.”
“Sherlock, when you start losing your specimens in the clutter, you’ve got too many specimens and too much clutter.”
“I’ve more important things to do than housework, John.”
“The last time I saw you do housework was the day before I moved in, when you tricked me into thinking you might tidy up from time to time by moving a dusty pile of newspapers from a chair to a table. So innocent, the John Watson of five years ago.”
“You should be grateful I tricked you successfully, John. What if you’d realised I’m untidy, and you hadn’t moved in?”
“Untidy is a very kind way to allude to your affliction. Nice try, Sherlock, but it’s not going to get you out of a bit of cleaning. What’s this on these tweezers?”
“Marmite.”
“Do I want to know why?”
“I think not.”

Chapter Text

Come and find me.

 

Are you all right?
-SH

 

Never better.

 

Where are you?
-SH

 

You tell me, Mr Clever.

 

Are you hiding from me?
-SH

 

Do you see me?

 

No. Are you nearby?
-SH

 

Perhaps. Have a look around.

 

I'm in the flat, John. Where are you?
-SH

 

Come and find me.

 

Give me a clue.
-SH

 

Oh, giving in already? Not very sporting.

 

No! Not giving in.
-SH

 

Then come and find me, Montresor. You've got til 8 o'clock.

 

What happens at 8 o'clock?
-SH

 

If you're on time, you'll see. If not, just go back to the flat, ashamed at your defeat. See you soon, Montresor?

 

Yes!
-SH

 

The game is on!
-SH

...

I don’t have much time, so I have to move quickly (my speciality, fortunately). He must have left me something to go on. It wouldn't be a game if he'd just hidden somewhere. Montresor must be a hint. Start with the portrait of Poe in the bedroom. Ah! A note stuck to the back (actually get gooseflesh down my neck when I see John’s handwriting).

Excellent start, Montresor, but quite wrong, I'm afraid. Try again. Get a bit more personal.
-Fortunato

The portrait would have been too obvious, of course. I know better than to underestimate my John now. More personal, though? What does that mean? Phone goes off in my pocket. I check it. From John, of course.

138
78

Two numbers. A book code! Try the bookshelf, and there's a volume of Poe there that I don't recognise. Nicely bound (black leather, gilt pages), but new, unlike my copy (early edition, gift from Mycroft after coming top in chemistry; not often handled because of its age). I start to flip to page 138, but there’s a note written on the frontispiece (same portrait of Poe as the one hanging in the bedroom).

I gave this to you for your birthday four years ago. If you'd remembered, you wouldn't have needed the clue on the portrait. Tut, tut, Sherlock. Your lack of sentiment has cost you a bit of time, hasn't it?

 

I do love it when he taunts me. Flip to page 138 and count to word 78. I’m so excited that I keep losing count and have to start over twice. Find it, finally. Hope. Hope? What could that mean? Hope? Hope for what? Consider going into my mind palace, but I don’t have enough time. Hope? Hope to what? My phone goes again.

That’s Mr to you.

Mr? Mr Hope? Ahhhhhh yes (triumphant spin)! I know exactly what that means (Mr Jeff Hope, to be precise). Pull on my coat and scarf and bound out of the flat and down the stairs, hardly pausing to bang the door shut behind me. My arm is up to hail a cab before I’ve even reached the kerb. Two pass me, and I’m dancing with impatience by the time the third pulls up.

Snatch open the door, jump in, and tell the driver, “Roland Kerr Further Education College and quite quickly, please!”

Coming to find you, Fortunato.
-SH

 

Hurry up, then.

...

“Back to our beginnings. Very clever, John.”
“Well done, you. And about thirty seconds to spare.”
“Ah, yes eight o’clock. What now?”
“Now you’ve solved it. Which means you get to take me out to dinner.”
“Thank you for the game, John.”
“My pleasure, love. You’re my favourite playmate.”

Chapter Text

“I’m beginning to feel a bit jealous of that peach pit, John. Have you recently taken up with it?”
“Sorry, what?”
“That was my polite way of saying that the suckling sound you’re making is painfully irritating.”
“Firstly, nothing about that was polite. Second, if you think you’re coming between me and this peach pit, you don’t know a thing about it.”
“Is that a challenge?”
“Did it sound like one?”

...

“Look John, I’ve had some fan mail.”
“You hate fan mail. It’s not from a murderer, is it?”
“No, I don’t think so. Look.”
“Good lord. Well. That’s very flattering to you, isn’t it? Flattering proportions. God, she's painted me to look exactly like Elton John. Do I really look like that?”
“Your glasses are less garish. And you don’t often wear a suit.”
“I’m Elton John in a jumper?”
“I’m not sure who that is but apparently.”
“Well, this fan may actually be a murderer, because I think she might stuff us and pose us in her sitting room.”
“Where shall we hang it?”

“Ah, this is a familiar look. Having tea with the queen?”
“I wouldn’t bother with the sheet, but there’s a draught.”
“Well it looks nice on you. And it certainly brings back fond memories.”
“I thought you’d say so.”
“No need to look so smug. Everyone looks good in a sheet.”
“At Buckingham Palace?”
“Not many people have the opportunity to find out, I imagine. If I insisted on wearing the sheet, I don’t think they’d want me enough to haul me off anyway. Don’t know that anyone has ever wanted me to go anywhere that badly.”
“I certainly have. Would you like me to haul you off in a sheet, John?”
“Depends where you were taking me.”
“John! Get off! There’s a draught.”
“You’ll cope.”
“You’ve ruffled my naturally modest sensibilities.”
“I think that may be the most untrue thing I have ever heard you say. No, leave the sheet. You look even better without it.”

...

“Has your laptop offended you, Sherlock?”
“Hmmm?”
“You seem to be trying to type it to death.”
“Some of us have actually learnt to type and can do it with reasonable speed and accuracy. I’d say it comes with practise, but I’ve been watching you abuse your keyboard for five years, and you never seem to get any better.”
“I get the job done.”
“Perhaps if you could type properly, you’d bother to update your blog.”
“I suppose I could write up your most recent case. The one where a handsome blonde man left you enigmatic clues until finally you met. And you were so charmed that you insisted on asking him out to dinner.”
“It's a good job you’re too scrupulous to actually commit crimes. You’d be a brilliant criminal. I’d be forced to join you, and we’d plunge the world into chaos.”
“Or retire young and live like kings in Patagonia.”
“Whichever.”

Chapter Text

“Molly asked me if we’re having a birthday do for you this year.”
“And what did you tell her?”
“I told her I’d ask you. What do you want to do, love?”
“Nothing.”
“Nothing at all?”
“The beauty of the word ‘nothing’ is that it is absolute and, as such, needs no qualifiers.”
“All right then if you're sure.”
“I’m really not one for birthdays, John.”
“Yes, I know. I’d be willing to make much of you privately, if it makes a difference to your enjoyment.”
“It all just seems a bit forced and ritualistic.”
“Not your area.”
“Exactly.”
“Well I’m not suggesting any of that. If you change your mind, we can have cake and silly hats and presents and party guests. But when I say I want to make much of you privately, I’m being, er, euphemistic.”
“Ah. Oh.”
“You’re a bit slow to cotton on when it comes to some things, love.”
“I don’t know why you waste time being euphemistic.”
“Not every expenditure of time is a waste, Sherlock.”
“Indeed. Well. I’d be willing to be made much of privately. Can I have the cake and the euphemisms and none of the rest of it?”
“Of course, love. Anything you like.”

...

“Did your brother send you anything nice for your birthday?”
“Like a train set? Or a model rocket?”
“Or maybe a little recorder so you can capture all your clever jokes for posterity.”
“My brother doesn’t send me birthday presents, Molly.”
“Would it have been so hard to just say that?”
“No, but now I’ve been a bit rude about it, you don’t pity me for not getting on with my brother.”
“I don’t get on with my brother.”
“You’ve got a brother?”
“A younger brother. Reggie.”
“Well you and John and I should form a club for disenchanted siblings.”
“What about John?”
“Yes, John too. Didn’t I say?”
“No, I mean did he give you anything nice?”
“Yes, very.”
“What did he give you?”
“Something personal, Miss Nose.”
“If I’m Miss Nose, you must be King Nose.”
“Never said I wasn’t.”

I’m glad you’re still alive, Sherlock. Many happy returns.
-M

 

As am I. Thank you.
-SH

...

Come round for tea and cake this afternoon at 4?
-SH

 

Are you having a birthday party?
~Molly~

 

No.
-SH

 

Excess cake.
-SH

 

That sounds like a birthday party to me.
~Molly~

 

It isn’t.
-SH

 

Shall I bring some balloons?
~Molly~

 

If you’re determined to bring balloons, I can’t stop you, but you won’t be let in with them.
-SH

 

I’m sure John will arrange enough balloons.
~Molly~

 

No balloons.
-SH

 

It isn’t a party.
-SH

 

And I’m turning thirty-seven, not seven.
-SH

 

All right if I bring my present to your unbirthday party?
~Molly~

 

You don’t have to give me a present.
-SH

 

I know. That’s the definition of a present.
~Molly~

 

Thank you for the vocabulary lesson. Will we see you this afternoon?
-SH

 

Obviously.
~Molly~

 

I’ve had a bad influence on you, haven’t I?
-SH

Don't flatter yourself.
~Molly~

Chapter Text

Molly turned up right at four (16:00:37 GMT) wearing a casual expression that she likely practised while ascending the steps to the flat. John would say that’s rude, so I won’t mention it aloud while she’s here. May ask him what he thinks later, if I haven’t already decided. John cut her a slice of cake and poured a cup of tea, and she dropped into my chair to eat. To annoy me, I think. No, that’s silly. She doesn’t know how I feel about my chair. The impression in the cushions is shaped like me, and I don’t like it rearranged. Takes all afternoon to get it back into its proper shape, and I don’t like to sit still that long. I don’t often say that to people, even I know it sounds mad.

She’s still here, forty-five minutes later, nursing her second piece of cake and chatting to John about something. Not sure what. Haven’t been paying attention. I’ve been sitting at the table, trying to type up some notes from my little book. My handwriting may be deteriorating. I know I’ve been squinting at this page for fifteen minutes now.

“All right, love, you’ve convinced us,” John addresses me suddenly. Probably not suddenly. Haven’t been listening to their conversation.

“Hmm?”

“It’s not a birthday party. Could you take a break from your notes and come chat with us for a bit? Molly’s got to leave soon.”

“I’ve got a present for you, Sherlock,” Molly says, as if she thinks that will coax me.

“I’ve nowhere to sit,” I tell them, looking at Molly. John rolls his eyes, but Molly comes to sit across from me at the table. John follows her. She lifts her bag from the back of a kitchen chair, rummages in it for a moment and takes out a grey box that’s tied with a blue ribbon. Nothing romantic about that. Wish that thought hadn’t popped into my head, but I’ve been on the watch for all that since our Christmas party. Wouldn’t do to repeat any of it. I shut my laptop and take the box (obviously a fountain pen, going by the size, shape, and weight of the box). I start to untie the ribbon.

“Card first,” Molly says. I flip open the card.

For posterity.
x Molly x

I look at Molly and raise my eyebrows.

She grins, “Go on, then. Open it.” Untie the ribbon, pop open the box. Fountain pen (obviously).

“Thank you. This is very handsome.”

“Do you know what it is?”

“A pen.”

“It’s a little recorder. And a pen. The top is a memory stick.” Lift the pen out of the box to look closer. Ah, of course. So it is. Here's me theorising without enough data. “It does video and audio. See the little camera?” She comes round to my side of the table to point out a tiny black dot on the shaft of the pen.

“Thank you, Molly.” I bend and kiss her on the cheek. I can feel her face change shape as she smiles.

“Just wanted to see that your genius is preserved. For future generations. Just turn the cap to the left and tap the top here twice quickly to record and again to stop.”

I turn the cap, tap twice and say, “Molly Hooper is a very thoughtful smart arse.” She laughs. “Just for the information of future generations.”

Chapter Text

“I bought this for you before you asked me not to give you anything, so I kept it until after your birthday.”
“So it isn’t a birthday present?”
“No, just a monocular for no particular reason.”
“Oh, I did need a monocular. Lost mine about a month ago.”
“I know. This one’s quite a good one, too. It’s tactical.”
“Thank you, John. How thoughtful.”
“Have a look at the lens cloth. It’s in the case.”
“The Jolly Roger?”
“If you ever decide to pack in all this do-goodery for a life of piracy, I’ll be more than happy to join you.”
“Thank you, John. I must remember that.”
“Do. We’d be excellent pirates.”
“So we would. Where did you get the impression that I have an interest in piracy?”
“Don’t you?”
“Yes. Thought I was keeping it hidden.”
“Call it my powers of divination.”
“A witch pirate. The high seas don’t stand a chance.”

“Here, this is for you.”
“Have you brought me an ice lolly?”
“Obviously.”
“Er, why?”
“They’re refreshing. You’re sweating and all your face dabbing and lip licking is distracting me. And I know you like pineapple.”
“I can’t eat an ice lolly in the middle of a crime scene.”
“Why not?”
“It lacks proper gravitas.”
“Oh you’re brimming with gravitas at crime scenes, John. You've a very respectable scowl on right this minute. You can afford to eat an ice lolly.”
“You could’ve said you were leaving, you know. We thought you’d wandered away.”
“I didn’t want to miss the cart. I had to run.”
“You ran after the ice cream man?”
“He was about to cross the road.”
“Didn’t you get anything for yourself?”
“Of course not, John. It’s a crime scene.”

“Well, that was embarrassing.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I know, but I’ve never been thrown out of a cafe before.”
“Sorry. Bit on edge. I need some coffee.”
“You need to sleep.”
“I’ll be fine after I’ve had a bit of caffeine.”
“I think you’re more than a cup of coffee away from appropriate social behavior, Sherlock. It’s been seventy-eight hours.”
“I’m fine. We’re close. Let’s just go straight to Bart’s. I need to look at these water samples anyway.”
“Just so you know, after we’ve solved the case and you’ve had some sleep and you can behave, you’re going back to apologise. And you’re going to really lay it on, too.”
“Why?!”
“Shouting at baristas is not on. Ever. Got it?”
“She ignored me for five minutes! I just wanted a bloody cup of coffee!”
“Yes, I heard you before. She was just a kid. You made her cry.”
“Did I?”
“Yes, didn’t you see?”
“Let’s go back now, then. We can spare a few minutes.”
“They won’t let us in.”
“Well, remind me tomorrow then. Should have this case solved by then. Have you got the address of the cafe?”
“I’ll write it down.”
“Don’t let me forget, John.”
“I won’t.”

Chapter Text

“Can’t I leave you on your own in the flat for a day without you destroying it or nearly killing yourself?”
“I’m fine, John.”
“You’re still shivering. Finish your tea. Didn’t it occur to you that it might get a bit chilly with all the windows open? It’s below freezing out; you could have got hypothermia!”
“Yes, you’ve said. I had to let the fumes out, didn’t I?”
“Of all the bloody stupid ways to die, Sherlock! Of a fucking nap! Jump off a building, get stabbed, no problem, but you can’t work out how to have a sleep on the sofa without topping yourself? How could you be such an idiot, Sherlock?!”
“Right. Well. I think I’ve had enough of this. I’m going out for a bit. I’ll be back later.”
“You can’t go out now; you’re not warm enough yet.”
“Permit me the luxury of my own judgement, John. Good night.”

...

Rule two, Sherlock.

 

Answer your phone, you tosser.

 

So you’re ignoring me? Brilliant.

 

Just text me back and let me know you’re not an icicle.

 

Sherlock? You’re still alive?

 

Busy.
-SH

 

Where are you?

 

Morgue.
-SH

 

That’s not funny, Sherlock.

 

Not a joke, John. Bart’s morgue. I'm working.
-SH

 

Rule two, Sherlock.

 

John, you really don’t have the high ground here, do you?
-SH

 

Storming off into a dark, freezing night after an argument when you’re on the brink of hypothermia gives you the high ground?

 

Shouting at me and calling me names because I made a mistake gives you the high ground?
-SH

 

I’m sorry.

 

Will you come home, love?

 

Will you answer your phone at least, so I can apologise properly?

 

Sherlock, I’m sorry.

...

“Oh hello John. Not too cold to leave the flat, then? You didn’t turn into a block of ice as soon as you’d opened the door?”
“I’m really sorry, love. I shouldn’t have said all that or shouted at you. I was really out of order.”
“So you were.”
“Do you forgive me?”
“I suppose so.”
“Will you come home?”
“When I’m finished. Get me a coffee, will you? I’m still cold.”
“Are you still angry with me?”
“Wouldn’t you be?”
“Yes, I suppose I would.”
“What would you want me to do, if I’d said what you said to me?”
“I’m sorry I said those things. I don't know what to say.”
“You’re actually still angry with me as well, aren’t you? Why?”
“Sherlock, I’m apologising. You really want me to get into that?”
“Of course I do. Tell me.”
“Are you sure?”
“John, I’m always sure. Out with it.”
“Well, I'm not angry exactly. Sometimes I feel like you’re careless because you know I’ll turn up to sort it for you.”
“I don’t do that. But you will.”
“Of course I will. Still. It's a lot to have on my mind. Do you think could be a little more careful, love?”
“I don’t mean to take advantage.”
“I know you don’t, love. It’s not just that. I don’t want you to freeze to death in the flat because I did the shopping on the way home instead of coming straight back. Or blow yourself up or any of that.”
“Murder-suicide, John.”
“Right, Sherlock. Murder-suicide. We promised.”
“That’s sorted, then. Get me a coffee?”

Chapter Text

"Do you need me tonight, love?"
"Always."
"Anything in particular? Thought I'd go see a film with Molly."
"With Molly?"
"Yeah, you're welcome to come along if you can sit through it. If you come and walk out, you'll be walking out alone. Unless it's awful, of course."
"They're all awful."
"And that's why I'm going with Molly and not with you."
"John, I imagined that after we were married, you'd stop going on dates with women. Am I mistaken?"
"It's not a date, love. We're just going to the cinema. And you're invited."
"I hate going to the cinema."
"Yeah, I know or I'd have mentioned it earlier."
"So it isn't a real invitation, is it?"
"Do you want me to text you when the film is over? We might get a pint after."
"I hate pubs."
"I know! That's why I'm going with Molly and not you. I like films and pubs and pints."
"Hmph."
"Oh, don't look like that. Come along, if you want the company."
"I'll come along if we can do something interesting."
"The activity's been chosen, love. Got to dash. Come if you're coming. Otherwise, text me if you've got a case. Er, but not to to ruin my evening, all right? I'll be back before midnight."
"You're spending five hours with Molly Hooper?"
"Maybe. Dnno yet, do I? I haven't even left the flat."
"How would you even spend five hours seeing a film and getting a pint?"
"Come along, if you're curious. But I'm walking out the door in ten seconds. Want me to count down while you think?"
"Fine, fine. Go. See you in five hours."
"If you get hungry, there's that tart leftover on the worktop. Don’t sulk all night or your face will stick like that.”
“Oh, very funny, John.”

...

“Hullo, love. Did you have a nice night?”
“Fine.”
“Oh, Sherlock, you’re not still annoyed, are you? I told you to come along, if you wanted the company.”
“It wasn’t a real invitation.”
“Since when do you wait for a real invitation?”
“I don’t like to insert myself where I’m not wanted.”
“You were wanted. I just didn’t want you to go, if you were only going to hate it. Of course I wanted you. I always want you.”
“Not as much as you wanted to see a film and have a drink with Molly.”
“You’re not jealous, are you? I asked you to come along!”
“No, I’m not jealous! Or at least I’m not worried that you’re going to take up with her or something ridiculous like that.”
“What then?”
“It just makes me feel like I did before. Back before I was dead when you’d go off and have fun with other people. And I’d just feel out of sorts and wrong-footed, and I couldn’t work out why I felt that way. I can’t be friends with other people the way you can. Easily and naturally. It doesn’t come to me.”
“Love, I’ve known Molly for years. It’s easy enough to spend an evening with her because we’re friends. You’re friends with her as well. You spend more time with her than I do. She’s more your friend than mine, if we’re all quite honest. She and I just happen to like seeing naff films and drinking beer, and we haven’t got anybody else to do those things with. If you hadn’t noticed, I’ve got about four friends, and one of them is you. It’s not easy for me either. And I’d love to have you come along. So would Molly. We just don’t want to put you through it for our sakes when we know you hate it. If you like, we can all go out together and do something Sherlock-approved. What’s that look? Are you still upset?”
“No.”
“Then what’s wrong?”
“I feel a complete arse. I’m sorry, John.”
“It’s fine, love! You’re a person. You’ve got feelings. Thanks for letting me in on them.”
“Thank you for badgering them out of me.”
“Ha, my pleasure.”

...

“John, I love you.”
“I love you too, Sherlock.”
“Hmmm.”
“Are you taking notes?”
“No. Unrelated matter.”
“Are you experimenting on me?”
“John, I’ve already told you not to ask me that. You know I can’t say.”
“Let’s have it, then. Cat’s out of the bag now.”
“We’ve just been a bit out of step lately. I wondered if that would help.”
“Did it?”
“Inconclusive.”
“Well, you didn’t wait long.”
“I intended to wait longer.”
“Sorry about that. I suppose it was my fault.”
“It’s fine.”
“See if a kiss helps.”
“Going by your expression, I suspect it will.”
“Now, now. It doesn’t do to theorise without data.”
“Right you are, John. By all means, let’s try the experiment.”
“...Well?”
“Inconclusive. Further data required.”
“Well, as it’s for science. And you’ve got the world’s most gorgeous mouth.”
“There’s the spirit of scientific inquiry I’ve been looking for. I always knew you had it in you, John.”

Chapter Text

“Enough sleeping, John. I’m bored. Oh good, you’re awake.”
“Ha, you mean you’ve just waked me. What time is it?”
“Six. I’ve been up since four, though.”
“Four? Why?”
“There was a bird.”
“Singing?”
“Squawking. And looking in the window.”
“I forgot you’re afraid of birds. Somehow. Despite that, er, debacle.”
“It was hardly a debacle. I’m not afraid of them, John. They’re expressionless. I don’t care for that. Impossible to deduce.”
“Why would you need to deduce a bird?”
“If you’re in close quarters, it’s good to be able to predict their movements. Some birds are quite dangerous.”
“What about the one that was looking in the window? Dangerous?”
“Well it was only a starling. Still. It looked underhanded.”
“What if there were a criminal organisation comprised entirely of birds? Could you make anything of it?”
“I’ve never seen an organisation I could make nothing of.”
“Birds, though. They have claws. You’d be at constant risk of some kind of bird foot infection. Perhaps in your face. I hear they fly at your face.”
“Sometimes I suspect you don’t take me entirely seriously, John.”

...

“I think three days is the hard limit.”
“Hmm?”
“To spend in your dressing gown and pyjamas. Then it’s time to get dressed and leave the flat. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent way too much time unemployed.”
“Different pyjamas from yesterday, John.”
“Right, but that wasn’t exactly my point.”
“And what do you propose I do in this world outside the flat that I’ve heard rumours of?”
“You could turn cartwheels.”
“Turn cartwheels?”
“There isn’t room in here. If you started from right there, you’d pitch right into the fireplace. If you started over there, you’d destroy the coffee table. Oh, I know that look. Please don’t set about proving me wrong. If you want to turn cartwheels, do it out of doors, please.”
“I think I could do it in the hall.”
“Lord. This backfired on me. It was only an example of something you can’t do in here.”
“Now you’ve whetted my curiosity.”
“That’s me. Your whetstone. But no cartwheels in the flat or the hall, if you don’t mind. You’ll wheel yourself down the stairs and break your neck.”
“Well, I can’t do them on the sidewalk, can I?”
“More room out there, at least.”
“I’m going to have to look out for a good place.”
“Will you do one thing for me and give me a warning before you cartwheel?”
“Now, John. Where would be the fun in that?”

...

“John, it’s been winter for years.”
“Er, no, not years. Few months, same as always. What do you care anyway? You’ve always got that coat and scarf on. Don’t know that they have much to do with keeping you warm, do they? You just think you look cool.”
“If I have to hear one more person complain about the snow, I’m going to turn into an omnicidal maniac.”
“That’d be quite a change, wouldn’t it?”
“You’re still alive, aren’t you? Obviously I’m not an omnicidal maniac yet.”
“Well even if you did turn omnicidal, you’d spare me, I think.”
“Oh you think so?”
“So I could fetch and carry. An important omnicidal maniac like yourself wouldn’t bother about carrying his own bags.”
“Could I still call myself omnicidal if I spared you to be my porter?”
“I wouldn’t tell anyone. Besides, once the rest of them were gone, you could redefine the word ‘omnicidal’ to mean ‘all except John.’”
“I’m not much one for redefining words, John.”
“Well, we all have our limits.”

Chapter Text

“Did you hear that bang, John?”
“No.”
“Go and look out the sitting room window.”
“Why?”
“To find out what that noise was.”
“I didn’t hear a noise.”
“I did. Just go and have a look for me, John.”
“How am I even supposed to know what I’m looking for? You go.”
“I’ll look if it turns out to be something. Just look out the window and tell me what you see.”
“Fine, then. Oh my god!”
“What? What is it?”
“I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know how to describe it. Good god. I’m speechless.”
“Just tell me what you see, John. What is it?”
“I wouldn’t know where to start.”
“Very funny, John.”
“Ha, sorry. Nothing out here. Probably a fox in the bins, love.”
“It is a capital mista-”
“Mistake to theorise without data. Yes, so we’ve heard. You’re so keen, come and have a look yourself.”
“Hmm. It’s a cat. See the tail?”
“Oh well done you. Case solved. Good thing the world’s only consulting detective was here.”
“Well, I would have asked you for one of your post-case celebrations in the coat cupboard, but I think I’ve gone off you now. Don’t fancy a man with such a smart mouth.”
“Liar.”

...

“Stand still, John. There’s a spider on your sleeve.”
“What?!”
“I said stand still. I’ll knock it off.”
“Hurry!”
“It’s only a little spider, John.”
“The little ones are the most poisonous! Get it off, Sherlock!”
“I will, if you’ll stop dancing about like that.”
“I’m not dancing, I’m ooh! panicking! Get it off! I don’t like spiders!”
“Yes, I can see that. Just stand still. See? Harmless.”
“Ugh, don’t let it crawl about on you like that. Ugh, ugh. Just kill it.”
“John, why-”
“I just don’t like them! Stop making me look at it!”
“All right, then I’ll put it out in the hall.”
“Hurry, it’s going to get away!”
“It’s not going to get away, John. I’ve got it. Oh.”
“What? Did it get away?”
“No, I’ve killed it.”
“Oh. Sorry love.”
“It was only a spider.”

...

"What's that you're whistling, John?"
"Oh, sorry love. I forgot you don't like it."
"Is that the piece I composed for you?"
"Yeah, I suppose it sounds awful whistled."
"John, this is an historic moment."
"Is it?"
"You're the first person ever to whistle something I composed."
"Am I?"
"The very first."
"That is historic."
"I'm glad you understand, John. I'm not sure I could explain it."
"I still remember the first time someone quoted something I’d written back to me. It was you, actually."
"Was it? What was I quoting?"
"'Sherlock sees right through everyone and everything in seconds...'"
"Ah, of course. Among the first of your enamoured natterings."
"I’ll excuse your impertinent tone and phrasing because I know how much my enamoured nattering thrills you.”
“It does thrill me. I very much enjoy being so openly adored. No more than I deserve of course, but it’s nice to have it all so plain and straightforward.”
“It’s lovely to be openly adored by you as well, Sherlock. Mad and dangerous but lovely.”
“I don’t think the lovely would suit you without the mad and dangerous.”
“Well of course not. Matched set, remember?”

Chapter Text

"This is stewed."
"Well, you left it sitting ten minutes."
"Make me another?"
"I'll tell you how to make another, if you've forgotten."
"Can't you make me another? I'm busy."
"Busy sitting."
"Busy thinking."
"Too busy to drink tea, then."
"This is really not drinkable, John."
"No?"
"I suppose I can get it down. If I must."
“Thought you might.”
"You might have a little more pride in your work, John."

...

“Er Sherlock, you’ve got a leaf in your hair.”
“Have I?”
“Do you want me to take it out for you?”
“You may, if it bothers you.”
“Oh, you’ve got loads of leaves in your hair, actually. Why are you covered in leaves?”
“I was in a tree earlier.”
“Why were you in a tree?”
“Hmmm?”
“Are you pretending not to hear me because you don’t want to answer?”
“Well spotted, Molly.”
“Boring or secret?”
“Boring.”
“I can’t think how it could have been boring to climb a tree.”
“The climbing was all right. Talking about it is just...”
“Too boring to finish your sentence?”
“Right in one.”

...

"Why do you smell all wrong, John?"
"I don't know what you're talking about, so I'm going to let you answer that one. I suspect you've got an answer all ready."
"Are you chewing gum?"
"I think you know that I am."
"How can you do that?"
"With my teeth."
"Gum is so disgusting, John."
"Do you have a stack of stodginess cards that you read from when you want to ruin other people's fun?"
"What's fun about gum? It's just a ball of warm, sticky, nonsense that you roll over and over in your mouth for hours at a time until it’s saturated in bacteria. Then you pull it out with your dirty fingers and leave it somewhere inappropriate."
"Well. That was very vivid."
"Talent of mine. I have to say more on the subject, but I think I've made my point."
"Yes, to say the least."

...

“Oh sorry, love. I dropped off.”
“It’s all right, John. I can think just as well when being used for a cushion as otherwise.”
“Mmm, you’re more comfortable than you look.”
“Thank you.”
“I was going to go to bed, but as you don’t mind, I think I’ll continue using you for a cushion.”
“Yes, John. That’s fine.”
“Good night, Sherlock.”
“Good night, John.”

Chapter Text

“John, personal histories are never an accurate recitation of facts; they’re fanciful stories about how we came to be who we are. Even I’m not immune to that.”
“You’re not making your past sound less intriguing, if that’s the way you think of it.”
“It’s not intriguing, John. It’s just sad and ugly. I don’t want you to see me that way.”
“I could never see you that way.”
“I don’t want you to pity me.”
“I wouldn’t. But you don’t have to tell me, if you don’t want to.”
“I just don’t know why you’d want to hear it.”
“I want to know all about you.”
“I suppose I can understand that.”
“You don’t have to tell me anything you don’t want to tell me.”
“Could you pass me my violin?”
“Are you going to play?”
“I just want to hold it. Hmm. I suppose I can just begin at the beginning."
"However you like, love."
"My parents didn’t intend to have me. I was born when Mycroft was seven. My mother was forty-one, and my father was fifty-six. So you see, I’ve always been a force for disruption. My first memory is of my mother telling me I was giving her a headache. You see what I mean about storytelling? Why would I retain that moment as my first conscious moment?”
“You can’t help what your first memory is.”
“I can’t remember what I was doing or saying. Just the way her ring caught the light when she put her hand over her eyes and how tired she sounded, ‘Hush, Sherlock. My head.’ I was three years old, I think? Mycroft was there, so I must have been about three.”
“What did Mycroft do?”
“He took me out to the garden. That’s what he always did. I must have been asking questions.”
“Asking questions?”
“I had to know everything. So they tell me. It annoyed my parents, but Mycroft would try to answer me. I remember he’d look things up in the encyclopaedia for me. But he left for school when I was very small. When I was four. It wasn’t the same after that. He was always on edge after he started school. Like he was afraid of himself. He didn’t like me as much then. After he’d started school. He started to realise that neither of us were quite right, I suppose. He stopped trying to answer my questions for me.”
“So it was just you and your parents after Mycroft left?”
“No, mostly just me and my mother. My father worked in London. He had a little flat he’d stay in during the week, and he’d come down weekends. Sometimes. When he wasn't too busy.”
“Your mum would make soldiers, right?”
“Sometimes. When she was on.”
“On?”
“That’s what I called it then. Sometimes she seemed sort of switched off.”
“Was she depressed?”
“I don’t know. I suppose she must have been. I didn't know what to look for then.”
“What happened to her?”
“That’s enough for now, I think, John.”
“Of course.”
“God, I want a cigarette.”
“There are two taped to the bottom of an old tea tin in the back of the larder.”
“Rule three, John.”
“It’s all right.”
“No, it isn’t. I can cope. Where are my patches?”
“I think you finished them during the last case.”
“ I think I’ll go and get some, then. Come with me?”
“Of course, love. Anywhere, always."

Chapter Text

“Whoops. You’ve just popped a button.”
“Have I?”
“I knew it would happen some time or other; your shirts are so tight.”
“Ease of movement, John. Where’s the button? I can bring the shirt to my tailor.”
“For a burst button? I can fix it back on for you.”
“Can you sew?”
“Any idiot can fix on a button. Besides remember the bow ties?”
“I’d managed to delete the bow ties.”
“I don’t believe you. You loved the bow ties.”
“All right, I did. Have sympathy for me, John. I can’t help my perverse predilections.”
“Perhaps not, but bow ties are hardly among the worst of your perverse predilections.”
“Oh hark who’s talking, Mr Coat Cupboard.”
“You like a coat cupboard just as much as I do, Sherlock.”
“True.”

...

"Sherlock, I've got to go."
"Don't let me keep you."
"I mean you've got to go as well. I'm leaving in five minutes."
"Right, on your date."
"I haven’t got a date."
"No? I've never seen your knees before."
"What?"
"You've changed clothes. New dress?"
"No, I just always wear trousers in the lab."
"You've not worn it before. The slit in the back is still stitched together. You're meant to cut the stitches out before you wear it, you know. Would you like me to cut it for you?"
"No, Sherlock, I don’t want you to cut it. Just mind your own business!"
"Er, have I said something wrong, Molly?"
"You don't have to pick me apart like that just because you’ve noticed I’m not telling you something. It's embarrassing."
"I'm embarrassing you?"
"Yes!"
"I'm sorry. I didn't realise."
"I don't want to talk to you about my dates, Sherlock."
"Oh. Yes, of course. Sorry."
"It's fine. But, er..."
"Yes?"
"Could you cut the stitches out for me?"
"Of course. Pass me those scissors and turn around."

...

“Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You look very romantic right now with the wind in your hair and your scarf blowing out behind you.”
“Shut up, John.”
“Are you aware of exactly how picturesque you are?”
“I was under the impression that word applies primarily to scenery.”
“You look a bit like scenery now. You look like you just grew up out of the ground.”
“What rubbish, John.”
“Sometimes you look so at ease. Like you’ve always done exactly what you’re presently doing and you’ve been an expert at it the entire time.”
“This is poetry of the worst sort, John.”
“You can’t fool me. I know you like me telling you things like that as much as I like saying them.”
“I wish I could answer in kind.”
“Really?”
“Of course, John. Didn’t you know?”
“I suppose I always think of you as being able to do anything you like.”
“Almost. Not anything.”
“No?”
“Almost.”
“Near enough to anything.”
“All right then. Near enough.”

Chapter Text

Sherlock was in rather a mood that morning. All morning really, but particularly at that moment. He was trying to get a cab in front of the flat, but couldn't get one to stop for us. He was muttering some rather colourful invective and waving fervently when we were approached by a fan. She was about eight years old, and she had one long, sandy plait and large, round glasses.

She stood politely waiting to be noticed for a moment before she said, “Excuse me, sir, are you Mr Sherlock Holmes?”

Sherlock turned and spotted her. “Yes, I am,” he said a bit stiffly (but far more politely than he would have spoken to me, had I interrupted his cab hailing).

“I saw you on telly. The man said you’re a genius detective. I never saw a genius before. Can I have your autograph?” I winced a little at that because Sherlock hates being asked for an autograph.

But he half-smiled, “What’s your name, miss?” he asked, reaching into his breast pocket for his pen and pad.

“Katie Watson.”

He started and threw me a suspicious glance, but began writing out the autograph. I peeped over his shoulder to see what he wrote:

Dear Miss Watson,
It was my sincere pleasure to meet you today. Thank you very much for your support of my work.
Kind regards,
Sherlock Holmes

He tore the page carefully from his book and handed it to her. Then he said, "Can I have yours?" and held the book out to her with another suspicious glance at me. Katie Watson took the book and signed her name, as if she'd been expecting to be asked.

"Is he your boyfriend?" she asked as she handed it back, indicating me with her chin. I waved, but she took no notice.

"My husband," said Sherlock.

Katie nodded, "My mum looks at my dad like that."

Sherlock grinned, "You're clever, aren't you, Katie?"

"It isn't nice to brag."

Sherlock waved the notion away, "Oh don't mind that. That's just stupid. Don't stop noticing things, Katie. Stay clever." He offered her his hand, shook hers once, and said, "Nice meeting you. Goodbye." And he turned his attention back to cab hailing.

"Thank you. Goodbye," said Katie and returned to her mother who was looking at the menu posted to the window of Speedy's and still hadn't noticed that Katie had wandered over to us.

"Before you ask," I said when we'd gotten a cab and were settling into the back seat. "I didn't plant a little Watson out there to get you out of your strop. In fact, I didn't happen

to have been previously acquainted with that particular Watson. If you can believe it."

Sherlock laughed and shook his head, "John, whatever you say, I'll know that was your doing some way or other. It's just your sort of witchcraft."

Chapter Text

"John, get me a plaster?"
"Of course, love. Have you cut yourself?"
"No, but I'm about to."
"About to? What inevitably? Can't you be careful?"
"I'll be very careful. I need to figure out coagulation rates for shallow cuts on the extremities."
"You're not planning to cut yourself intentionally?"
"Well, I can't use a cadaver, can I?"
"No, Sherlock!"
"Just a little cut, John. Just enough to draw blood."
"There are at least half a dozen ways this could go wrong, Sherlock. You could hit a vein or a tendon, and there's the risk of infection. You know we practically live in a skip with all the experiments and specimens and other rubbish you've got around here."
"I've sterilised my instruments, John."
"What instruments?"
"My scalpel. The one you gave me."
"I did not give that to you to use on yourself! If you try, I will confiscate it. Forever. Don't test me, Sherlock. Nothing about the flat is sterile enough for you to even think about doing this. Nothing! Got it?"
"You're speaking loud enough, aren't you?"
"Rule six, Sherlock! No self-administered surgery!"
"Fine, fine. Rule six. But surgery is a bit of an exaggeration in this case, wouldn't you agree? Oh all right, then. Don't look like that. I won't do it. I promise."

...

“Well, don’t you look absolutely adorable?”
“No part of me is adorable, John. You would do well to remember that, lest something unfortunate befall you.”
“It pains me to differ with you, but I’m afraid I must, Montresor. I’d never actually seen you in one of my jumpers before. You’ve chosen well. The stripes really suit you. You look about twenty-five. And completely sweet, despite the grumpy expression and the very rude hand gesture.”
“If you weren’t all the way over there, I’d teach you a thing or two about sweet that you would not forget in a hurry. Er, on a different subject, what about my hello kiss?”
“All right, but I’ll have you know your little ruse isn’t fooling me. I just fancy learning a thing or two about sweet.”

...

“What was that you were singing in the shower, John? It was nice.”
“Ha, you heard that, did you? I thought the shower would drown it out. It was Adele.”
“You know I like to hear you sing, John. What’s Adele? Is that a person or a song?”
“You know Adele. She did that song for the newest Bond film. You liked it, remember? Well I suppose your exact words were ‘not intolerable,’ but that’s high praise from you.”
“I think I deleted that.”
“You deleted a bit of our first date?”
“That wasn’t our first date. Our first date was the first time you kissed me. I remember every bit of that.”
“Kissing does not constitute a date. Ha, nor does enthusiastic frottage on the sofa.”
“Yes, it does.”
“The next bit was even less like a date.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah, remember? We got drunk on that scotch that Mycroft sent us after Moran’s trial. And then we spent the rest of the night giggling at porn.”
“I do remember.”
“And then I think we fell asleep on the floor in the sitting room. Not comfortable. The next morning was not very nice.”
“I thought it was nice. I woke up all curled round you.”
“You’re right, actually. That was nice.”
“See, John? It was a date.”

Chapter Text

The Bouncing Detective

Slow opening automatic doors in shops used to really annoy me, but now I think I love them. That’s after watching Sherlock first bounce a trolley and then himself off the ones at the Tesco. The first time, I only laughed immoderately. The second time was barely twenty minutes later, and I laughed so hard I dropped the carrier bags. I was in tears. I had to get all new eggs, but it was worth it. That’s what happens when you swoop around at speed all the time. The universe can’t always accommodate you. So quite a nice Sunday morning. Except I’ve just remembered we forgot to get the milk. Bother.

Comments (16)

Sherlock Holmes:
You are ridiculously easily amused.

John Watson:
Oh, it was quite amusing. Would you like to see the photos again?

Harry Watson:
XD PMSL!!!

Sherlock Holmes:
Is that string of nonsense supposed to be intelligible?

Harry Watson:
It is to normal people. Brains a bit more rattled than usual from your recent head injury?

Harry Watson:
There are photos??? Can you post them, John?

Sherlock Holmes:
If there ever were photos of the alleged incident, they’ve long been deleted. Look at this, John. You’ve exposed me to the censure of my peers.

John Watson:
I’m rather in shock you’ve just admitted you’ve got peers. Maybe you have rattled your brains a bit.

Molly Hooper:
Are we quite sure there are no photos, John?

Sherlock Holmes:
E tu, Molly? You’re all so eager to see me lose my dignity. It’s unseemly. Fortunately, my dignity is made of sterner stuff than that.

John Watson:
Again, would you like to revisit the photos? Because you went a really lovely bright red both times.

Sherlock Holmes:
There are no photos!

John Watson:
Maybe, maybe not. I do have memories to cherish, though.

Mrs Hudson:
I agree with Sherlock. It is a bit unseemly. Pop down if you want to borrow milk for your tea, boys. I know Sherlock doesn’t drink it without.

John Watson:
Thanks Mrs H.

Sherlock Holmes:
Good to know I have at least one ally in this godforsaken city.

Chapter Text

“Oof. You are heavier than you look.”
“You’re sitting where I wanted to sit.”
“The one time I got to the sofa ahead of you and you can’t even let me enjoy it.”
“I think you’re rather enjoying being sat on, John.”
“You think so, you big lummox? Would you enjoy it?”
“I would, actually. We can swap, if you’d prefer.”
“I think I’ll take you up on that, only because I’m fairly sure you don’t mean it. Up you get, love.”
“Mmm, I told you I’d like it. You’re all warm, and I can rest my mug between your knees.”
“Now, now. I’m not a coffee table; I’m a blanket. If you drip tea on me, you’ll have to send me out to be cleaned.”
“I’ll be careful.”

...

“John, are you doing an experiment?”
“An experiment?”
“What’s this in the basin?”
“Oh, it’s just scouring powder.”
“Scouring powder?”
“Yes, you sprinkle it on dirty things when you want to clean them. Haven’t you ever used it before?”
“If I have, I deleted it.”
“The longer I know you, the more I wonder what your life was like before we met. I still can’t picture it.”
“Messy. It was messy.”
“Well, clearly. No scouring powder.”

...

“Very funny, John. Take it off.”
“What? And what?”
“I know you’re wearing that just to irritate me. Take it off.”
“I happen to think I look quite dashing.”
“You look like a fool.”
“Hurtful, very hurtful.”
“Take it off, John.”
“Make me.”
“Where did you get that thing?”
“What thing?”
“You know.”
“Say it. Or I won’t tell you.”
“That fucking top hat. Where did it come from?”
“Haberdashery.”
“John, if I see that hat again, it will die a very inventive death.”
“If you can get your hands on it, Montresor. I’ve gotten the best of you before.”
“This time I’m desperate, John. I can’t look at th-John! Don’t! Now look. You’ve sullied me.”
“It looks just as good on you as it does on me.”
“Now it’s on, I quite like it, actually. It’s got a sort of winsome lunacy.”
“God knows we could use some more of that."

Chapter Text

My lovely love,
My apologies for my tone and volume this morning. I let my startlement get the better of me, and it was entirely inappropriate. I decided to take a leaf from your book and apologise with a gift. Please find in this box an assortment of items available for enthusiastic destruction (including a certain hat) as well as suggested tools. For safety's sake, please do use only the tools I've included as well as the gloves and the safety glasses.

May I suggest a second entry in your list of Rules for John? Rule Two: No shouting (during arguments anyway). I'm sorry. I was a complete prat. Won't happen again.

Yours,
John

 

John,
Thank you for your thoughtful gift. It does balm my wounds a bit. In fact, I set fire to that hat at once, put it out, and put its remains back in the box for further enjoyment at another time. I know that was in violation of Rule Four, but I'm not at all sorry. Feel free to punish me however you see fit.

Sherlock
PS
John, you thrill me every day. I can put up with a bit of shouting from time to time.
PPS
Sorry about the holes. I've mended them.
PPPS
All is forgiven. Idiot.
PPPPS
Sorry about all the postscripts. Something about you makes me lose my respect for propriety. I'd rewrite this note, but I've left my pad in the kitchen and am now out of paper.

...

"What's so funny?"
"I can see you deducing, John. It's right there on your face. It really is like watching a film play across a screen; I'll never get tired of it."
"Right then, Mr Clever. What am I deducing?"
"You're reading my mind."
"Guessing."
"No, you're deducing. Tell me about your deductions, John."
"I thought you must be thinking something snide about that man's shoes."
"And why's that?"
"Your eyebrows. And your top lip. You glanced at them and sneered and then you looked at me and sneered again. I’m with you, actually. They're awful. I think he must work in a shop or something, as he's got those monstrosities on with a suit. Probably spends all day on his feet. They’re those horrible things that are sort of trainers on the bottom with a shoe upper. Suit's rather nasty as well. Cheap."
"He's got a badge round his neck. See the strap? He sells mobile phones at that shop across the road. It's got the logo on."
"I like that the bent our powers of observation have taken is to be rude about other people's shoes."
"So many people wear such hideous shoes, John. That's one of the things I like about you, actually. Your shoes. Number 86. Quite an old one."
"Thanks, love. I like your shoes as well."
"Of course you do. I've never worn an ugly pair of shoes in my life."
"No? Not even in school? No horrid trainers for PE?"
"Perhaps in school. I've deleted most of that."
"Oh, is that where the solar system went?"
"Thanks to you, John, I shall never again be able to delete the fact that the Earth goes round the Sun.”
“Does it? I thought it went round and round the garden like a teddy bear.”

...

"Ow! Fuck bugger bugger shit fuck motherfucking ow!"
"Are you all right, John?"
"Get me a wet towel or something! Shit!"
"Here you are."
"Shit. Fuck. Ow. Thanks."
"Better?"
"Yeah, a bit better."
"What happened?"
"Do you know what happens when you grind pepper over a steaming pot?"
"The pepper gets in your eyes."
"Exactly. I wish I had known thirty seconds ago. How do they look?"
"Inflamed. Does it still hurt?"
"Yes. I'll have to put my head under the tap, I suppose."
"Do you want me to teach the soup a lesson, John? I've a knack for revenge."
"Ha, yes you do, love, but we're going to eat the soup. Isn't that vengeance enough?"
"If you're satisfied with that, John, it's fine with me. But we could make it suffer first."
“I think I’ll just eat it. But I’ll bear in mind your offer, in case it attacks me again.”
“Do. You have only to ask, John.”

Chapter Text

I need to get into the house tomorrow.
-SH

 

That can be arranged. What for?
-M

 

I need to retrieve some of my effects.
-SH

 

Feeling sentimental?
-M

 

I just want my things.
-SH

 

I’ll be out of the country tomorrow, but the housekeeper can let you in. Help yourself.
-M

 

Up to anything fun?
-SH

 

Not at all. You certainly wouldn’t think so.
-M

 

Well, try not to start any wars. Thank you for being moderately agreeable.
-SH

 

You’re welcome. My regards to John.
-M

 

Now you’re just trying to shock me to death, aren’t you?
-SH

 

I’m just as capable of pleasantries as you are.
-M

 

Indeed. Well said.
-SH

...

"Hullo love. Where've you been hiding?"
"Went to visit Mycroft."
"Oh, new case?"
"No, something personal"
"You didn't kill him, did you?"
"Ha, not yet."
"What, then?"
"Oh you know. Brother things."
"All right, well, enjoy your secrets."
"I do."

...

“Sherlock, where did this photograph come from?”
“I’ll tell you in a moment, but you’ve got to promise me something first.”
“What?”
“Don’t rush it.”
“Don’t rush what?”
“Just promise.”
“All right, I promise. Tell me about the photo.”
“I went to Mycroft’s and got a few things I thought you might like to see. I’ve arranged them around the flat. I’m impressed you found that one so quickly. Took you less than an hour. I dusted and everything. Do you like the photo?”
“Very much. Is that you?”
“Yes.”
“How old are you?”
“About three, I think.”
“Look at your hair! You’re a little ginger! When did it go dark?”
“I’m not sure. I can ask Mycroft, if you like.”
“Really? You don’t mind?”
“Well, he’s abroad right now, but I’ll ask him when he comes back.”
“I thought you weren’t speaking to him.”
“Oh, we’re never speaking to each other until we are. It’s an innocent enough question. He’s my elder brother. It’s his responsibility to talk to me about my childhood, if I want him to.”

...

"That's not Mycroft?"
"It is."
"Oh my god!"
"Indeed."
"The hair!"
"Well, it was 1993. The year of stupid hair, I've heard."
"And the earring."
"Yes, I'd forgotten about that. Next time you see him, ask after his tattoo."
"I definitely will. Did you ever have an earring?"
"...No."
"Rule one, Sherlock."
"I didn't. I, er, I had a ring in my nose for about two weeks in 1997, though."
"Oh my god! Are there photos?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"What happened to the nose ring?"
"Er, some one pulled on it."
"Oh."
"She didn't pull it out, but near enough."
"Well, love, if you fancy getting another one, I'm here to protect you from rogue nose ring pullers."
"That's generous of you, John, but I don't think I'll be needing to avail myself of your services. Not those particular services, anyway."

Chapter Text

“That was dramatic. Feeling better?”
“No.”
“I’m not going to pick those up, you know.”
“I don’t care.”
“So long as we’re clear. Why don’t you smash something from your box? I put the punchbowl in there this morning.”
“Don’t want to wear the safety glasses. They pinch.”
“Got a headache?”
“Yes.”
“Want to have our walk early, then? Fresh air?”
“Don’t want to get dressed.”
“Cup of tea?”
“Can I smash it?”
“Smash the punch bowl.”
“Safety glasses.”
“Want to go to Bart’s?”
“Dressing gown.”
“I could read to you.”
“Am I a small child? Is it my bedtime?”
“Yes. And yes.”
“All right then.”
“Hand me your Poe. The new one that I got you. I’m fairly sure the other one is haunted.”
“Sit on the sofa, so I can see the pictures.”
“Comfortable?”
“Perfect. Thank you.”
“All right, let’s see. What about ‘The Haunted Palace’?”
“I know that one.”
“Well, obviously you know it. Don’t you know them all?”
“I mean I recite it to myself when I’m trying to stop myself shouting at someone.”
“Ah, then you know it by heart.”
“Yes. More than.”
“Ha, indeed. What about ‘The Cask of Amontillado’?”
“Thank you, Fortunato. That sounds just right.”
“Anything for you, Montresor.”

...

Some idiot tried to ambush me. In the flat.
-SH

 

Oh my god! Are you all right? Are you still there? I’m on my way!

 

Oh, it’s all fine, John. Just wanted to warn you. There are lots of irritating officers about. Big silly fuss.
-SH

 

Didn’t want to alarm you.
-SH

 

I’m fine. Perfectly fine.
-SH

 

What happened? Who is he?

 

Fuck. I’ve just stolen a trolley full of groceries from the Tesco. I’ll be there in ten minutes. Text me everything. I’ve got to take it back, but I’ll be right there.

 

His stupidity and my ingenuity landed him in prison a few years ago, and now he seeks his horrible revenge. So dull.
-SH

 

You’ll like this. I hit him with the punchbowl.
-SH

 

Now he’s uglier than it was.
-SH

 

Not really; I just wanted to make that joke. It did shatter, though.
-SH

 

Hadn’t time for the safety glasses, I’m afraid.
-SH

 

How did he get in?

 

He just forced the door and then closed it back again! Can you believe it? As if I wouldn’t notice! Me! He left splinters in the hall!
-SH

 

I sent him to prison, and this is his opinion of me!
-SH

 

And you went in anyway?

 

I wanted to see who had the cheek to make such a shit attempt on my life.
-SH

 

It’s bloody insulting.
-SH

 

Yeah, I’ll have to have a word with him, as you’ve already promised me I could kill you.

 

Yes, that’s what I told him. He’s already in custody, or I’d have put him in with the smashables for you, John.
-SH

 

Anyway, I’m starved. Bring me something to eat?
-SH

 

Of course. What do you want?

 

Doesn’t matter as long as it isn’t from the cafe. If I have to look at another one of those sandwiches, I don’t know what I’ll do. Something desperate.
-SH

 

Actually, I’ve a better idea. After we've got rid of the officers (they’ve sent half the Met, close to; it’s utterly ridiculous), let’s go to Angelo’s and have some pasta and a bottle of that wine you liked so much after that thing with the snakes.
-SH

 

Mycroft always plants cameras in the flat after an assassination attempt.
-SH

 

Let’s go out and give him the chance, and then we can come back and have some fun with those cameras.
-SH

 

Before they go in with the smashables, of course.
-SH

 

Sounds perfect, love. See you in a bit.

 

If not sooner.
-SH

Chapter Text

Still sticky.
-SH

 

From this morning.
-SH

 

I told you to have a shower and change clothes.

 

I did change clothes. And I had a wash.
-SH

 

Didn’t like to shower again so soon after the last one. My hair was still damp.
-SH

 

I must have missed a bit.
-SH

 

My scarf is sticking to my neck.
-SH

 

I can feel the fibres pulling.
-SH

 

So wash again.

 

Where do you propose I do that, John?
-SH

 

Anywhere you like.

 

Useless.
-SH

 

You didn’t leave the kitchen floor all sticky, did you?

 

Does milk dry sticky?
-SH

 

YES!

 

Then I did. Thought it’d dry clean. Like water.
-SH

 

Liar. You couldn’t be bothered.

 

Perhaps subconsciously.
-SH

 

My mind rebels against retaining information pertaining to house work, John.
-SH

 

It’s contrary to my nature.
-SH

 

John, I’m sticky! I’ve got milk in my hair!
-SH

 

You want do something about that. It’ll sour.

 

I’m not replying to anymore milk-related texts today, Sherlock.

 

Unsympathetic.
-SH

 

You’ve been texting me about the bloody milk for an hour, Sherlock.

 

I’m trying to work.

 

Well, I’m sticky. It’s intolerable. Molly is also very unsympathetic.
-SH

 

I suppose I’ll just go home and have a shower. I can’t concentrate when I’m sticky. Keep losing my train of thought.
-SH

 

I’m hungry, too. The rogue milk put me off my cornflakes.
-SH

 

So eat.

 

Bring me something?
-SH

 

I don’t get off for another 2 hours.

 

I’ll wait.
-SH

Very generous.

 

I don’t mind.
-SH

 

Fine, then. What do you want?

 

Anything. Doesn’t matter.
-SH

 

Chinese?

 

I don’t care, John. Anything.
-SH

 

I’m tempted to believe you. Tell you what, if I bring you something and you refuse to eat any of it, I’ll tip it over your head. Fair enough? You’d look sweet all over lo mein.

 

You’ve got the most barbaric instincts, John Watson.
-SH

 

You love my barbaric instincts, Sherlock Holmes.

 

I’m secretly impressed that you got milk in your hair by dropping a jug of it on the floor.

 

Even your accidents are spectacular.

 

Is there a word for a miracle of a disaster?

 

You’ll have to coin one. I don’t think there’s ever been a miracle of a disaster of my proportions before.
-SH

 

No, I don’t think there has. That’ll be another world record.

Chapter Text

In the Wardrobe, with the Punchbowl

You may have heard we had a bit of excitement on Baker Street a couple of days ago. Not to put too fine a point on it, some one broke into the flat, hid in the wardrobe, and tried to ambush Sherlock and murder him. Of course Sherlock knew he was there and was barely even bothered about it. Smashed him over the head with a punchbowl (Cousin Mary, if you’re reading this, I am so sorry), then tied him to a kitchen chair and phoned the police. And then like a lunatic (fool, madman, prat, bloody idiot. Couldn’t decide which would be best here, and I think I might need them all), he explained in detail to the assailant exactly where he’d gone wrong. Yes, Sherlock’s now giving murder lessons to murderers. Nearly had a go myself when I found out about that one. But we live to fight another day. Thanks for asking.

Comments (18)

Sherlock Holmes:
A bit of excitement is an exaggeration, John. When I realised he was in the flat, all I could think was how it was going to ruin my evening to deal with him.

John Watson:
Your evening wasn’t completely ruined.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
True. You managed to salvage the tail end, as is your wont.

 

Molly Hooper:
You don’t need to share quite everything you share.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I meant that we had a lovely dinner, Molly. You do let your imagination run away with you.

 

Harry Watson:
What was this one about, then?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
He was part of a money laundering scheme I shut down a few years ago. Apparently prison didn’t agree with him.

 

Harry Watson:
How can you be so flip about this? What if John had come in before you? He could have been killed.

 

John Watson:
Thanks Harry, but I can wield a punchbowl just as well as Sherlock can. Maybe with less finesse, but with equal smashing.

 

Bill Murray:
Now Harry, John can look after himself. Does a pretty good job of looking after other people, too.

 

John Watson:
Thanks Bill, you make a good point. If I needed looking after, I wouldn’t have married some one who gives murder lessons to a murderer while they’re in the middle of trying to kill him.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
The trying to kill me bit was over. And I wasn’t giving him lessons. Only explaining to him why he wasn’t at all suited to a life of crime and had better take up ditch digging or something else more appropriate for his talents and personal history. I pointed out a very few of the things he’d got wrong. You really do exaggerate wildly, John. Poetic licence, I suppose?

 

Molly Hooper:
It’s always good fun when Sherlock starts accusing John of exaggerating.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
To whom is that remark addressed?

 

Molly Hooper:
To the rest of your audience.

 

John Watson:
She’s right, too. There may be some gaps in your self awareness.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I doubt that.

 

Molly Hooper:
You would. Because of the gaps.

...

"Is this your bear?"
"Of course."
"You had a bear!"
"I did spend a bit of time as a child, John. The usual amount, I believe."
"What was his name?"
"Her name. It's Eloise."
"Eloise. She looks like an Eloise. Did you dress her?"
"I didn't really have the patience for that sort of play. She was a bedfellow, I suppose. For want of a better term."
"Did you have others?"
"An elephant, but I couldn't find it. Bet Mycroft's got it."
"He coveted your elephant, did he?"
"He wouldn't admit it. Ask him today, and he'd swear blind that plush elephants are for babies."
"What was the elephant called?"
"Trunkers."
"So you've been a delight for your whole life, haven't you?"
"You may be the first person to think so."

...

“Sherlock, I was sleeping. What are you doing?”
“Nothing, John. Go back to sleep.”
“Why am I being kicked in the middle of the night, Sherlock?”
“You leaned too close, John. Accident.”
“What the hell are you doing that’s predicating these accidents?”
“Only one accident so far, John. You’re certainly tightly wound tonight.”
“Sherlock it is one o’clock in the morning. What are you doing? Why does it involve all this flailing?”
“Just fancied being upside down for a bit.”
“Oh, of course. Upside down.”
“I believe you were aware it’s one of my proclivities, John.”
“Yeah, I’ve got a running catalogue of your proclivities.”
“Are you being facetious? Because that sounds quite useful. I’ve got a running catalogue of your proclivities, you know. And subsections for the ones you aren’t yet aware of.”
“The ones I’m not yet aware of? Like what?”
“I think it’ll be nicer if you realise on your own. And you knew about upside down thinking, John because we did it on the stairs together.”
“Oh, right. So we did, love. Sorry. I’m a bit fuzzy because it’s one o’clock in the morning and I’ve just been kicked.”
“Tut tut, John. Must keep sharp. Perhaps we should have drills.”
“Sherlock, if you start kicking me awake in the middle of the night on a regular basis-”
“An irregular basis, John. That’d be the whole point.”

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, I know you think taking an interest in telly is a moral failing, but if you don’t shut your gorgeous mouth while I’m watching Doctor Who, I will shake you until that great big brain liquefies and runs out of your ears.”
“That was an unusually colourful threat, John.”
“And what does your genius brain make of that?”
“Need more data.”
“Is that why you’re still talking?”

...

Could you stop pickpocketing me, please?

 

Got to stay sharp, John. You know most of my misdirection techniques, so you’re excellent practise.
-SH

 

Do you have to practise by taking all my cash? Or perhaps you had an ulterior motive for that little exercise?

 

No, I put it all back in the inner pocket of your jacket. Second bit of the exercise.
-SH

 

Oh. Thanks.

 

Well, it was your cash.
-SH

 

Did you do that while I was wearing it?

 

Perhaps. Rather not say.
-SH

 

Leave it to you to impress me by stealing from me.

 

That’s why I had to marry you, you know. Too susceptible to your charms. Had to neutralise you.

 

I’d do absolutely anything to charm you, John. So it’s lucky for me we married as well.
-SH

 

I secretly love it when you show off. Don’t tell anyone. I’ll swear blind you’re a dirty liar.

 

Your secrets are safe with me, John. I’ve got all sorts of inappropriate feelings for you as well.
-SH

...

“John, will you help me find my mobile?”
“Nice try, Sherlock, but I know that one.”
“Sorry?”
“You know exactly where your mobile is. You just want me to go and get it for you, and you’ll let me wander around the flat looking for it for ten minutes instead of just asking.”
“Your deductions are really coming along, John. Get my mobile for me. It’s on the mantel.”
“No.”
“John!”
“You had your chance to ask nicely, but you plumped for trickery and look where it’s landed you.”
“You’ll regret making me get out of my chair, John.”
“I’ll risk it.”

...

Sherlock, you have been endowed with a great honour.

 

Oh?
-SH

 

Yes.

 

Are you going to tell me what it is?
-SH

 

Can’t you deduce it?

 

I don’t have much to go on.
-SH

 

I suppose, if pressed, I’d say first loo text on your new mobile.
-SH

 

You are a wonder. Tell me how you did that.

 

Well you just got a new mobile last night, and you’ve been in the flat since then.
-SH

 

This is our first separation since the purchase, you’re texting me for no particular reason while at work, and it’s about an hour and a half after breakfast.
-SH

 

Loo text. And you said ‘great honour.’ First loo text. An honour.
-SH

 

Clearly one you’re worthy of.

 

Clearly.
-SH

Chapter Text

“Oh, I think these are yours, love. Can’t imagine how they escaped the index.”
“No, those are yours, John. I got them for you.”
“You bought me a pair of socks?”
“A dozen pairs, actually. I can’t believe you’re only now noticing. You should have kept up your sock index. You wore a pair of them yesterday. The grey merinos. I do like those. Weren’t they nice?”
“Why have you bought me socks?”
“I just want to raise your standards a bit, John. Socks are very important.”
“What’s wrong with the socks I’ve already got?”
“You can’t be serious, John. You’ve got synthetic blends. As if you were poverty-stricken or wholly uneducated.”
“Did your school offer a class in sock selection?”
“I meant uneducated by me, John.”
“Don’t take this as an invitation, but when have you ever taught me about socks?”
“I lead by example, John. The aubergine silk are very like a pair I had a few years ago, for instance. Never got the mud out of those. Pity.”
“I really don’t pay that much attention to socks, love.”
“It’s not too late to be correct, John.”
“All right then. Which ones shall I wear today?”
“The brown cashmere. I was hoping you’d ask.”
“Yes, I could tell. You were practically trembling with the desire to choose my socks.”
“Socks are very important, John.”

...

“You’ve got a new freckle, John. A really lovely one.”
“Ah?”
“On your right earlobe. Looks rather like an earring.”
“And you like that?”
“I will confess that many years ago, I had rather a weakness for a man in an earring.”
“Did you?”
“Oh, yes.”
“How intriguing.”
“Not a weakness I allowed myself to indulge at the time.”
“I happen to know, for reasons I won’t get into, that I look completely daft with an earring.”
“John, don’t tantalise me like that.”
“It’s really not a tantalising story. I let Harry pierce my ear with one of our mum’s old earrings and a pin, and overnight it puffed up to the size of my hand. I was on antibiotics for weeks, and I’m still a bit shy of the entire enterprise.”
“Not tantalising.”
“No.”
“But you might look fantastic with an earring as long as your ear wasn’t horribly infected.”
“I don’t dare experiment.”
“Where’s your sense of scientific inquiry, John?”
“I had been keeping it in my ear, but they had to drain it out.”
“That was admirably disgusting.”
“Thank you.”

...

"You're just the best thing on legs, aren't you?"
"And off them, more often than not."
"Ha, indeed."
"Are you referring to anything in particular at the moment?"
"Only how when you're striding around like that, a teaspoon in your hand looks almost like a deadly weapon."
“I could make a deadly weapon of nearly anything, John.”
“I know. That’s on my list. Number 68. An old one.”
“Timeless.”
“Indeed.”

...

“You derive an unseemly level of pleasure in making a mess and a racket, don’t you?”
“Did I wake you?”
“No, I’m still in bed, asleep. Can’t you tell?”
“You and your sarcasm, John.”
“Do you have to smash things in the middle of the night?”
“I did try to sleep, John, but I was too bored.”
“Sleep is meant to be relaxing.”
“Exactly, and being bored is the opposite of relaxing. Thought I’d entertain myself a bit and try again in a few hours.”
“So you’re going to be smashing for a few hours?”
“I don’t have to smash. I could destroy quiet things. Shall I set fire to the top hat again?”
“No! No night fires. No fires. Rule four!”
“It’s quieter than breaking the clock.”
“Maybe you could see how quietly you can smash. That might be useful on a case.”
“I hadn’t thought of that. Hmm. How does one muffle a smash?”
“Maybe you should think about it for a bit, sleep, then try muffled smashing in the morning.”
“Ulterior motive, John.”
“I’m really not trying to hide the fact that I want you to shut up, Sherlock. Don’t force me to confiscate your hammer.”
“I have other hammers, John.”
“Not like this one. This one’s perfect. The grip is the exact same size as your hand and the weight is just right for breaking a small object to bits against a table.”
“I like this. This is what you do to me when you have me at your mercy, John. Unscrupulous.”

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, don’t give her milk. It’ll make her ill.”
“The bacon makes her thirsty.”
“Bacon? You’re not eating any- Hang on. Are you feeding my bacon to the cat?”
“Just the bits you don’t like.The fatty bits.”
“Don’t give the cat milk or bacon, Sherlock. It’s a good job we’ve not got a human child, as you are a very indulgent parent. I’ve long since given up trying to insist that the cat not sit on the breakfast table.”
“First John, I know the difference between allowing treats and allowing poor behavior. Secondly, I never had anything to do with the creation of any cats, and I’ll thank you not to imply otherwise.”
“Hush, Sherlock, that’s no way to tell them. He does love you, darlings. Don’t pay him any mind.”

...

“No, John.”
“Just let me get a bowl of cornflakes. I’m hungry.”
“Stay where you are, John. You make a very nice pillow, and I’m just now getting to sleep.”
“I’ll come right back, love.”
“Come back smelling like kitchen. That’s an awake smell. I need you to smell like bed.”
“You’re not going to let me have breakfast because it’ll make me smell like the wrong room?”
“I haven’t slept in thirty hours, John. Just hush and let me drop off and then you can use me as a tea tray, if you like.”
“Fair’s fair, I suppose. If I’m a pillow, you’re a tea tray.”
“Hush. Stroke my hair.”
“Mmm, you’re going all cling starfishy.”
“Hush, John. Pillows don’t talk.”
“Pillows can’t talk. I can because I am a person and not a pillow.”
“A makeshift pillow, then. Hush.”

...

“Well this is a bit precious, don’t you think?”
“What is, John?”
“Breakfasting in the nude.”
“I haven’t showered. Didn’t like to get dressed.”
“You might have put your dressing gown on. Or at least a sheet.”
“It’s a fine morning. I fancied enjoying the sun.”
“It does look nice on you.”
“Thank you.”
“Anyway this is all for me, isn’t it? A bit of freckle cultivation?”
“Anything to please you, John.”

Chapter Text

It’s 5:17 am, and I’m sweating. The bedding is pulled up to my nose, and I’d very much like to shift it off. The window is closed, too. John must have shut it after I drifted off. Must have taken cold. I suppose he has just as much right to be cold as I have to be hot. I’m sweating. I can taste it on my upper lip. Our bedding is too heavy for the weather. This time of year is so tricky, with the transition.

John is sweating, too. His smell is rising up from him so thick, I can almost see it in the air like the shimmer of a heat haze. It’s his fault I’m hot, even aside from the window. We seem to have got stuck together in the night. One of my arms is under his shoulders, and he’s got a fistful of my hair. His other hand (the right) is just inside the back of my pants. He certainly must have taken cold, as that’s one of his methods of warming his hands (when convenient but he will settle for gloves when he must). It’s lovely (except for being too hot). I fancy his smell is soaking into my skin and my hair. I’ll be catching little notes of John all through breakfast. I love smelling him on me.

John naturally wakes between 6:15 and 7:05, barring us keeping unusually odd hours (which doesn’t happen as often as it used to). Usually he wakes with a sigh, licks his lips, looks round for me (not this morning, I think. His chin is right on top of my head and he's got a great handful of my hair)(I do love to have my hair pulled), and says ‘good morning, love’ or ‘good morning, Sherlock.’ I’m not sure what I best like him to call me. I adore that he’s given me a pet name--even my mother never really gave me a pet name-- but my name sounds so right in his mouth. Like it’s more than just two nonsense syllables pushed together. Like an invocation. Like witchcraft. Then he’ll lick his lips again (his mouth runs dry, especially in the morning, but he won’t keep a glass of water on his night table) and kiss me. And then he'll talk about breakfast.

John likes to list what we’ve got in, which annoys me when I’m in a mood, but generally I do enjoy his little regularities. Helps me keep track of the time. I usually know what day it is now. Progress. I know today we’ve got beans and bread and marmalade and tea and coffee and milk. No eggs. We might have bacon. He may say exactly those words. Must remember to check. Perhaps I’ll make the coffee. I don’t make very nice coffee (I refuse to measure coffee grounds) but John does like me to make it sometimes.

Perhaps I’ll make the toast instead. My toast is very good. People underestimate toast, but John appreciates a good slice. If we’ve got jam in, he’ll want toast. Now I remember we do have jam because when we last went to Tesco, John stood in the aisle dithering about it (‘black currant? blueberry? or raspberry? which one, Sherlock?’) until I tossed all the candidates into the trolley. And pineapple. Yes, I shall make toast. I shall make tea (my tea is much better than my coffee) and toast and John will pretend to be surprised.

Chapter Text

“I have some unfortunate news for you, Sherlock.”
“Oh? You don’t look it.”
“Brave face. It seems your chin has been outlawed. I’m afraid it’s off to prison with you.”
“My chin?”
“Yes.”
“What’s my chin done wrong?”
“Far too attractive. It’s been decided that no man should have that kind of power in his face.”
“And for that, prison? Seems a bit harsh.”
“Well, that’s the state of the government for you. You should keep up with politics.”
“Really not worth the bother. Will you come to prison with me, John?”
“Going to have to. Apparently it’s illegal to have eyes like seawater.”
“As well it should be. I’ve been saying so for years.”
“Vindication at last.”
“Always worth the wait.”

...

“Is this your tiny, little cap?”
“Well, I don’t wear it now, but yes.”
“You should wear it now. It’s a lovely colour.”
“I don’t think I could get even my hair in there now.”
“You have got loads of hair. More than any sensible person needs.”
“You love my hair.”
“It does make for something nice to grab onto when you want some reining in. You never did tell me when you lost your gingerness, by the way.”
“I must ask Mycroft. I don’t think I regret losing it, mind you.”
“No?”
“It’s not a hair colour people take seriously. Would you still respect me if I were ginger, John?”
“No, not at all."
“Would you still love me?”
“No, of course not. The only thing I like about you is your hair colour. Best hope you don’t go grey.”
“I hope it fervently.”

...

“What’s so funny?”
“Do you know you’ve been singing along with the overhead music since we walked in here? I thought you intended to ration your songs.”
“Have I?”
“Yes, and you’ve such an odd look on your face. Sort of dreamy and focused at once. You were gazing at a jug of milk like you weren’t sure if it was an old friend.”
“It’s a favourite of mine, I suppose.”
“What’s it called?”
“‘Oh Darling.’”
“Of course it is. Here’s me taking an interest in pop music. You’ll never convince me you’re not a witch, John Watson.”
“When have I ever tried to convince you of that?”

Chapter Text

“For the god’s sake, John, pick up your feet. I can’t abide shuffling.”
“Do something for me love, and save your more ridiculous criticisms for when I’m properly awake. I’ve only been out of bed two minutes.”
“It’s never too early to be correct, John.”
“So you’ve told me. If you’ll make some coffee while I’m in the shower, I promise not to shuffle anymore today.”
“Only today? That’s not a very good bargain.”
“You could do it just because you’re fond of me. Bad bargains notwithstanding.”
“I don’t want you to think I’m a fool who strikes poor bargains.”
“I could never think that of you, love.”
“All right then, we’re agreed. Shake on it.”

...

“You’ll like this, love. I had coffee with Molly down in the cafe earlier and someone thought we were a couple.”
“Why would I like that?”
“Don’t you think it’s funny?”
“It’s stupid. Must’ve been a complete idiot. You and Molly have got about as much romantic chemistry as a bowl of apples.”
“All right then, settle down. Of course it’s stupid.”
“People are so bad at that sort of thing, and everyone thinks they’re so good at it. Remember before how everyone always assumed we were together?”
“Did that bother you?”
“Bloody presumptuous.”
“Yeah, infuriating, wasn’t it? You never said anything.”
“Well, of course not.”
“Of course not?”
“Didn’t you know why?”
“No, actually. Still don’t. Want to tell me?”
“I could never disclaim you, John. It would have hurt your feelings.”
“That would not have hurt my feelings. And you once told me you had no friends, remember? In Dartmoor.”
“And it hurt your feelings, didn’t it?”
“Well, yeah because I was your friend.”
“Right.”
“Well, it wouldn’t have bothered me if you’d said we weren’t together when we actually weren’t together.”
“Yes, it would’ve.”
“What makes you think it would have bothered me?”
“It bothered me when you did it.”
“It bothered you?”
“Didn’t you notice?”
“No, I didn’t. Why did it bother you?”
“You seemed so indignant. Like the idea offended you.”
“It just alarmed me every time at how obvious I was. I thought I was keeping it to myself.”
“You kept it from me. I wasn’t really convinced until you kissed me.”
“Really? Not until then?”
“Well, I went back and forth. I could see you were attracted to me, but I couldn't tell if it meant anything. I’m a bit stupid when it comes to you, John. Don’t you think?”
“I’ve always thought I was so transparent to you.”
“I thought so at first.”
“And what made you change your mind?”
“You make me laugh, so obviously I think you're quite clever. You see things I don’t see. Not just stupid things. Things worth seeing.”
“Really?”
“Obviously.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, Sherlock.”
“I know.”
“I just felt rather exposed. Bit pathetic to be so obviously interested in someone who didn’t feel the same way.”
“It isn’t pathetic to to be excited by a strong connection. It’s all right to notice you’re attracted to someone. It’s human.”
“Is it?”
“Anyway, it wasn’t your fault I was stupid.”
“You weren’t stupid.”
“I don’t know if you’re flattering me or being modest, but stop it. I was an idiot, and we both know it. I wasn’t paying proper attention to you or to myself. I was abominably, impossibly stupid. I was Anderson stupid.”
“Wait, now. You are referring to my husband, you know, and I won’t hear a word against him.”
“It’s true, John.”
“Well, we’ve got it sorted now, haven’t we?”
“So we have. Yes.”

Chapter Text

"What's that?"
"What?"
"That treasure chest full of rubbish."
"Oh, the smashables."
"Can't you answer a question in a way that actually answers the question?"
"Well, I don't know what you're getting at, Molly. What is it you want to know?"
"How did you come to have a treasure chest full of rubbish in your sitting room?"
"It was a gift from John."
"Why?"
"It was a sort of apology."
"Well, what's it for? What does it mean?"
"It's just things to smash when I fancy smashing something. Obviously. Smashables."
"Why the treasure chest?"
"I don't know. John arranged it. I suppose he thought it looked nice."
"Where did he find a treasure chest?"
"Hell, Molly, I don't know! Ask John your irritating questions."
"John's not here."
"Well, he'll be here soon. There’s a pad under your chair. Write your questions down on it and ask John when he gets in."
"What are you going to do while I do that?"
"Enjoy the silence."
"What if I write noisily?"
"Then you'll have to leave."

...

“What’s that smirk about, Watson?”
“Watson? That’s no way to address your beloved husband.”
“Beloved husband? That’s a bit saccharine.”
“The bloke you’re shagging, then.”
“That’s a bit vulgar.”
“Your coat cupboard companion.”
“You do have a way with words, John. Eventually.”
“Well, you bring it out in me, love. Eventually.”

...

I need your help with an experiment.
-SH

 

Details forthcoming.
-SH

 

What sort of experiment?
~Molly~

 

-forwarded message-
Details forthcoming.
-SH

 

I’m not going to blindly agree to participate in one of your experiments, Sherlock.
~Molly~

 

It won’t hurt you.
-SH

 

That is not reassuring.
~Molly~

 

Why not?
-SH

 

What do you want me to do?
~Molly~

 

Basically all I need is for you to push a button and look innocent.
-SH

 

Will explain more the next time I see you.
-SH

 

After you do, I’ll tell you if I can help you.
~Molly~

 

Fine. I suppose it’s your prerogative to be difficult.
-SH

 

That may have been the most ironic thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
~Molly~

 

You’re very lucky. I loathe irony.
-SH

...

“Are you plotting something, Montresor?”
“I’m always plotting, Fortunato.”
“Want to let me in on it? Or am I, once again, the only man who could stop you?”
“You’re always the only man who could stop me, John.”
“You’re very enigmatic today. Well, as you look so bloody smug, I’m sure it’s something nice.”
“I’ll leave you to your deductions.”

Chapter Text

“Sorry, I don’t think I understand.”
“Oh, it’s very simple. Do you want me to write it down?”
“Just say it slower this time.”
“You and I’ll be in the sitting room when he gets in. He’ll go into the kitchen to put the kettle on-”
“What if he doesn’t?”
“Then I’ll ask him to get me something to eat. So he’ll go into the kitchen, and when he does, play that song I downloaded on your mobile.”
“And then what do I do?”
“Then just hush. And turn it off, if I tell you to.”
“Why are you doing this, Sherlock?”’
“I want to see what he does.”
“Do you have a hypothesis you’re testing?”
“It wouldn’t be an experiment, if I didn’t.”
“Off you go, then.”
“It’s personal.”
“But you want to involve me?”
“Tangentially.”
“It sort of seems like you could do it without me.”
“You know why I can’t.”
“I honestly don’t.”
“I don’t want him to attribute any significance to the song.”
“He might do anyway.”
“True, but there are other things I can try. Just thought I’d start here.”
“Is there any significance?”
“I just think he might like it.”
“Couldn’t you, er, ask him?”
“I need a more detailed answer than ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and he wouldn’t know how to give it.”
“Oh. That’s a bit weird, Sherlock.”
“I told you it was personal.”
“He does like Adele.”
“How do you know that?”
“Something of hers was playing in a cafe while we were getting a coffee, and he hummed a bit.”
“What song was it?”
“Ooh, I don’t remember.”
“Damn! Are you sure you can’t remember? Just think for a moment.”
“No good. Sorry.”
“Damn. That would have been useful.”
“Sorry.”
“No, no, it’s fine. Not your fault, obviously. Thank you, Molly. I appreciate your help.”
“Sorry?”
“Oh, clever you.”
“My mum likes to say I’m smart as a smack on the bum.”
“That’s very colourful.”
“Yeah, Mum’s quite colourful.”
“That must be where you get it from.”

Chapter Text

Accommodating as ever (generous, John calls her), Molly follows me home that very evening. She takes John’s chair this time (thank god), and we sit and wait for him to come home. We are both rather conscious of not looking like we’re waiting for anything in particular. It’d be easier if we didn’t have to avoid the kitchen.

Molly suggests we play twenty questions, but I deduce her object at once (rubbish)( line of sight objects rather spoil the game. I say that every time I play and no one ever listens) and she can’t guess mine (belladonna) at all, even after I allow her an extra question. Molly gets out of her chair to dig through the smashables, and she’s using a disembodied mannequin arm to tease Skip (who has really taken to her)(Smoke still thinks she’s a terrifying abomination. Not sure why) when John comes in.

“Hello John,” Molly and I say in unison, then glower at each other.

John laughs heartily at this. “Hi Molly. Hullo love,” he says, hanging his coat on the hook and coming to my chair at once to kiss me (well done with the hello kiss window). I put my hand on his shoulder to hold him near me for an extra moment. He sighs a bit against my mouth (lovely), and he’s grinning when he straightens up. “Tea then?” He goes into the kitchen without waiting for Molly or me to answer. As soon as he’s out of the room, Molly drops the mannequin arm, pulls out her phone, and plays the song.

“What are you doing, Molly?” I think I sound creditably irritable. She scowls and shrugs at me. ‘Improvise!’ I mouth, rolling my eyes. Really, she should have expected a bit of obfuscation.

“Bit awkward to sit here with you silently staring at me,” she says. “Fancied some music.” I roll my eyes again and shake my head. ‘Raise the volume,’ I mouth, pointing up with my index finger. She complies, and I get up and go to the kitchen.

I can hear John humming as I approach the doorway, and I feel a little thrill. He’s filling the kettle and swaying a bit. I have never seen this before. I should stand quietly and watch without disturbing him, but instead I cross the room and come up just behind him. So close I can smell that hint of fir cones coming off the back of his neck.
I check myself before I actually touch him, but he turns toward me and smiles, "You think you're so clever."

"Sorry?" shamming with John is almost always pointless, but I usually try it anyway.

John cocks an eyebrow and says softly, "If you'd gone about this like a normal person, you might have gotten a leg over by now. Definitely would have, actually. But you fancied playing mad scientist, and now you've got to sit and be polite and make small talk. And you will sit and be polite and make small talk, won't you?"

I shrug, "If you insist."

“Well, you drag your friends into your weird little experiments, and you owe them a cup of tea and some pleasant conversation, don’t you think?”

“Do I ever make pleasant conversation, John?”

“Polite conversation, then.” John smiles right into my face and licks his lips (he knows what he’s about, as well. Cruel). I make a slight adjustment to my trousers, which he pretends not to notice. “Get the mugs, will you?" he says, turning back to the worktop. I set our mugs out and find a clean one for Molly (ornate gold leaf monstrosity from the jubilee. Must be Mrs Hudson’s. Why’ve we got so few mugs?)(actually I think I remember a fungi experiment a couple of weeks ago that landed most of the mugs in with the smashables). “Thanks love. Now go be a nice host and chat to Molly. I’ll be out when the tea’s ready.”

“Well? Any luck?” asks Molly, speaking loudly over the music as I enter the sitting room.

“He knew what I was doing,” I say, settling back into my chair. “You can turn that off, now.”

Molly lowers the volume but doesn’t turn the music off. She sets her phone on the arm of my chair and reaches for the mannequin arm again. “I like this one,” she says.
“Do you?” I reach out and click my fingers, trying to get Skip’s attention, but she’s focused on Molly and the arm. Molly has curled up all the fingers except the middle one into a fist, and she’s waving the arm at Skip, who is delighted.

“‘Course she does,” says John, coming out into the sitting room clutching three steaming mugs by the handles (he won’t use the tray, says it’s affected. Slight on me. Fond slight). “She’s got ears, hasn’t she?”

Chapter Text

“So, love, how did you land on that song for your little plot?”
“I looked at the songs you’d downloaded on your mobile and checked the play count against the lyrics. This one seemed appropriate for my purposes.”
“Ah, very calculated. Are you sure it wasn’t just because you like it?”
“It’s all right.”
“Only all right? You didn’t have an emotional response to a piece of pop music?”
“Bite your tongue, John. I thought its sentimentality would appeal to you as you’re soft-hearted and easily pleased.”
“Lucky for you. It did remind you a bit of us, though, didn’t it? It’s all right to admit it. When you’re in love, every love song seems like it’s telling your story.”
“Speak for yourself.”
“Oh, you can’t fool me. By the way, in future if you have music you’d like to expose me to, you can just play it. On that apparently unused sound system I know you must have paid thousands of pounds for at some point. No, don’t tell me what it cost. I don’t want to know.”
“I didn’t want you to feel observed.”
“I always feel observed, love.”
“It would have ruined the experiment.”
“Was the experiment successful?”
“I got data I wasn’t expecting.”
“Really? What was that?”
“Mustn’t say, John. Stop asking.”
“What were you testing?”
“Can’t say, John.”
“If you want me to sing, you can ask, you know.”
“I wanted you to feel spontaneously impelled. Not one of my more artfully constructed experiments.”
“To be fair to you, it’s not easy to trick someone into thinking they’ve had a spontaneous impulse.”
“Well. Easier than you think.”

...

“Sherlock, wake up.”
“Go away, John. I’m sleeping.”
“Yes, I can see that, but you’ve got all your clothes on.”
“So?”
“At least take off your coat and your shoes, love.”
“I’m fine, John. Quite comfortable.”
“It’s not hygienic.”
“Hush.”
“You’ve got mud on your shoes. It’s getting on the sheets.”
“No, I wiped them on the mat when I came in.”
“We haven’t got a mat.”
“Haven’t we? I wiped them on something.”
“Let me take them off for you.”
“Go away, John. Let my shoes alone.”
“How can you be comfortable sleeping in your coat and your shoes?”
“I’ll be fine, if you’ll stop chattering at me and let me sleep.”
“Right, well you get to wash the sheets later, then.”
“Fine, take them off.”
“No, no. The time to recant has passed. Enjoy your sleep.”
“I won’t be able to now. You’ve ruined it.”
“Yeah, that’s a speciality of mine.”

Chapter Text

John is clever and growing cleverer. Spending time with me and working on cases has sharpened his thinking. He reads more than he used to, as well. He’s always researching something for me or looking up a point in some previous case that he was not quite clear on at the time. He argues that this combined with his internal lexicon (his hard drive) of medical texts, fiction, and classics makes him better read than I am. In order to end this conversation, I usually begin to recite from my monograph on tobacco ash. Lately John has taken to reciting along with me. I must choose another monograph.

Once we were called to a case at a beach in Sussex. A man had staggered out of the ocean up to a pair of sunbathers muttering the words, “the lion’s mane” before falling down dead in front of them. The police had cooked up some nonsense theory about a secret society by the time we got there. The briefing they gave us when we arrived was such a silly muddle. I generally try not to listen to those, if I can help it, but this one was truly a marvel of disorganised thinking.

Even I suspected foul play when I examined the body. There were these thin, curving, red weals all over the skin on the back, ribs, and shoulders. I was puzzling over it when John looked over my shoulder at the body, snorted, and told me the man had obviously been stung to death by a lion’s mane jellyfish (common in that area)(not generally fatal stings but the victim had a weak heart as evidenced by his bypass surgery scars) and weren’t the police in town a pack of dullards? He sounded exactly like me (even his accent went a tiny bit posher)(I would never say that to him, and if I did, he would deny it most hotly). I very generously gave him ninety seconds to explain to the police what had actually happened to the victim before I dragged him off to one of those little changing cubicles (not exactly a coat cupboard, but it did all right. Bit sandy). Well. I didn’t drag him. No need. He kept pace quite well.

Chapter Text

“I could compose a monograph on you, John.”
“Yes, I know. Several, I should think.”
“I could compose an encyclopaedia on you, John.”
“Well, I don’t know if it’d fit.”
“Good god, John, what have you done to me?”
“What do you mean, love?”
“I nearly laughed at that horrible joke. Witch.”

...

“You’re getting a bit shaggy, John.”
“Someone’s always preventing me going to the barber with his shenanigans. I’ve broken three appointments because of you. Broken appointments with my barber, Sherlock. Mortifying.”
“My work is not a shenanigan, John.”
“Our work.”
“Right, yes. Our work. It’s not a shenanigan.”
“I think it sometimes constitutes at least one shenanigan.”
“Anyway, I was going to offer you some of my hair product.”
“Er no, thanks.”
“Are you sure? You’re starting to look a bit nesty.”
“Nesty? How dare you?”
“I certainly couldn’t deduce you were an army doctor now. Not from your haircut anyway.”
“I think you’re worried that my hair is more beautiful than yours. Everyone loves a blonde.”
“What rubbish, John. Of course they don’t.”
“‘Of course they don’t’? Of course they do. Gentlemen prefer blondes.”
“No, John, nobody trusts a blonde adult.”
“What’s wrong with a blonde adult?”
“Unnatural. Probably falsifying their hair colour. Vain. Devious.”
“Vain, devious, and unnatural I may be, but I have never falsified and will never falsify my hair colour. No need, as it’s the perfect colour.”
“Proper hair goes dark before adulthood, John.”
“Jealousy, plain and simple. Anyway, you like my blonde hair. You wouldn’t have me any other way.”
“I’d have you any way you can imagine, John. But yes. I do like your blonde hair. Bit long, though.”

...

“Have you made any arrangements for Molly’s birthday?”
“A gift you mean?”
“Obviously."
“Nothing yet. Reckoned we could just take her for a drink or bring her flowers or something.”
“No, John. Neither of those would be at all appropriate.”
“She’s going to be stunned you remembered. Don’t want to over excite her with too much thoughtfulness in one day.”
“Oh, don’t be stupid, John. Why should she be stunned we remembered? She’s our dearest friend, and she’s mentioned it half a dozen times in the last month.”
“Fair enough. If flowers and pubs are not appropriate, what then?”
“I’ll think of something.”
“You will?”
“She’s our dearest friend, John.”
“I know, but you hate birthdays and sentiment and, er, everything about presents.”
“We both know that to be an exaggeration, John.”
“No, we don’t.”
“Well, it is.”

...

“So, love, what did you land on for Molly’s birthday?”
“Coffee maker. For her office.”
“That’s rather perfect, actually.”
“Of course it is. And some nice coffee. Got sick of drinking that swill from the commissary.”
“You really have a knack for seeming practical while you’re actually being sentimental. Must come of having the brightest mind in Britain.”
“In Europe, at least. Excluding Mycroft, of course, because of his laziness. And I’m not sentimental.”
“She told me about the dozen cups of apology coffee.”
“Hmph. You said something about getting her a cake.”
“Oh, yeah. I’ve got it here.”
“What is this? Why’s it so small? Why’s it all pink? What’s this little heart doing on?”
“It’s a cake. It’s small because that’s the size it is. It’s pink because it’s got strawberry icing on, and the little heart is decorative.”
“I don’t like it.”
“You don’t know if you like a cake by looking at it. You can’t taste with your eyes. Anyway, it isn’t for you. She likes pink and little hearts.”
“And strawberry?”
“I’m not sure about strawberry.”
“What about the cake bit? What flavour is that?”
“Chocolate?”
“Did you buy this cake just for the little heart?”
“Yeah, I suppose I did.”
“Tut tut, John.”

Chapter Text

Thanks for the pressies!
~Molly~

 

He already gave them to you?

 

Did he not mention he was going to?
~Molly~

 

No, he didn’t. The prat.

 

How did you like the cake?

 

It was really good! We would have saved you a bit, only it was so small.
~Molly~

 

He ate the cake, too? He went on about how he didn’t like it because it was so pink and small and the little heart. Massive prat.

 

He did tell me he hoped I liked strawberry with that irritating eyebrow look. You know the one I mean.
~Molly~

 

Yeah, I do, actually. Do you like strawberry?

 

I do! Especially with chocolate.
~Molly~

 

Sorry again we left you out, John. I didn’t know you didn’t know.
~Molly~

 

Oh, it’s fine. It’s not your fault. You and I can meet up for a drink later, yeah? Maybe tonight?

 

Got a date, actually. Sorry.
~Molly~

 

Oh, no, it’s fine. Have a lovely time. I’ll see you later.

 

Happy birthday, Molly!

 

Thanks, John!
~Molly~

...

“I think I fancy David Tennant.”
“Who is David Tennant? Is he with the Met?”
“Ha, no, he’s the Tenth Doctor on Doct-”
“John, no. I do not want to discuss Doctor Who.”
“Well, you asked-”
“You manipulated me into asking. I am not going to discuss Doctor Who. It’s too ridiculous.”
“It’s science fiction.”
“Pointless.”
“Someone’s jealous.”
“Preposterous.”
“You like him a bit. You like his hair.”
“I don’t know what he looks like.”
“Yeah, you do.”

Chapter Text

“What’s funny, John?”
“I just love the look on your face after you rattle off one of your deductions like that.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah, you go all smug and breathless and a bit pink. You even bite your lips. Positively post-coital.”
“Post-coital, eh?”
“Yeah, it’s gorgeous. You’ve done it the whole time I’ve known you. That time you deduced me in the cab when we were on our way to our very first crime scene, I thought you were about to kiss me.”
“Ah, what a world that would have been.”
“You should have done.”
“Oh, were you up for it already?”
“It was an opportune moment.”
“Now I know you a bit better, I see you’re a montage of opportune moments, John.”
“Well, with you, love.”

...

“John, what is the meaning of this?”
“The meaning of what, love?”
“Your eyes have been brown all day. I’ve never seen you do that before. What does it mean?”
“Firstly, I think you know that I don’t consciously change my eye colour. Second, I haven’t got brown eyes, so I suppose the meaning is that you’ve finally gone completely crackers. Don’t worry; I think you’ll be very comfortable there.”
“Come now, John, have a look at your reflection. Your eyes are brown.”
“They’re grey, you loon. Grey or blue or sort of greenish.”
“John, I spend much more time looking at your eyes than you do. At the moment they're brown.”
“They're grey!”
“This is distressing. I’ve got a mad, colour-blind witch living in my flat.”
“I was about to say the same thing.”
“You’ll want a pressing to sort you out.”
“Mmm yes, please.”

...

“Will you hurry up with the toothbrush please?”
“What do you care what I do with my toothbrush?”
“I want to clean my teeth. Obviously.”
“Obviously?”
“It’s customary to clean one’s teeth before bed, John. Good hygiene.”
“Why don’t you use your own toothbrush?”
“I binned my toothbrush two months ago. Didn’t you notice?”
“Why on earth did you bin your toothbrush?”
“Well I noticed you’re ill far less frequently than I am. I thought it might be beneficial for me if I picked up your oral flora, so I started using your toothbrush. It worked, so I decided to continue indefinitely. And I binned my toothbrush. No need for it.”
“Didn’t think you’d ask me first?”
“What difference does it make to you?”
“What exactly do I get full autonomy over?”
“Hmmm.”
“Well?”
“I’m thinking.”

...

“I think I’ve decided which of your freckles is my favorite, love.”
“The one on my throat. Obviously. You pay enough attention to it.”
“That’s a very, very close second. I love that one.”
“I know."
“My favorite, though, is one I’ve just noticed.”
“And it’s already planted itself in your heart. Touching.”
“Well, it’s a special one. It’s in your right pupil. A sort of bright brown dot.”
“Poetry, John.”
“You enjoy it.”

...

“You’ve been looking at me oddly all day, John. Why is that?”
“I had that dream again.”
“Which one?”
“The one where I’m your violin.”
“Oh, I like that one. What was it like this time?”
“Bit of a muddle.”
“Not good?”
“I don’t like dreaming of being inanimate. Though it was nice to be held like that. It was, er, reverent, I suppose. I liked being the object of such devoted attention.”
“You’re not jealous of Celeste, are you?”
“Right, I’m not going to talk about this with you, if you’re going to call it by name. And a girl’s name. Why’s your violin got a girl’s name?”
“So you are jealous, then. Don’t be ridiculous, John. It’s a completely different kind of relationship.”
“Please don’t talk about your violin that way, Sherlock.”
“Would you like me to try holding you reverently, John?”
“Oh, all right then. Give it a go.”
“Come a bit closer, then. How’s this? Comfortable? Feeling revered?”
“Mmm, lovely. Thanks.”
“My pleasure, John. Though you still look a bit odd.”
“Right. Sorry. I was just thinking of the end of the dream.”
“The end of the dream? Do I want to know about that?”
“Even if you do, I really don’t want to tell it.”

Chapter Text

I’ve done something. You’ll be cross.
-SH

 

Oh god. What’ve you done?

 

I’m locked out of the flat. I need you to come let me in. Mrs Hudson is out.
-SH

 

I wouldn’t ask, but I’m in my dressing gown. No cash, no lockpick, no wallet, no keys.
-SH

 

Well I can’t leave now, love. I’ve got a consultation in 3 mins.

 

Wait in the cafe. I’ll try and get away at lunch.

 

I tried the cafe, but it was strongly suggested that I leave. They’ve a dress code I wasn’t previously aware of, apparently.
-SH

 

Getting a bit chilly.
-SH

 

Sorry love, I’d leave if I could.

 

I’ll sort it, I suppose.
-SH

 

Just know that if I’m photographed wandering around London in my dressing gown, people will blame you.
-SH

 

People have been blaming me for you for years now. I’m used to it. Text me again if you get desperate and I’ll see what I can do.

 

I love that of all the ridiculous things you’ve tried to get me home for, this is the one you’re reasonable about.

 

Well, this could be interesting. I’ll text you again if I get bored.
-SH

 

No, that was not on offer. Desperate, I said.

 

Same thing.
-SH

...

Locked out of my flat. Mind if I hang round Bart’s til John can come let me in?
-SH

 

Sure, bit slow today. Touch wood.
~Molly~

 

I will not be touching wood.
-SH

Er, all right. Please yourself. See you in a bit?
~Molly~

 

Yes, thank you.
-SH

 

Bit of a catch, though. Hope you don’t mind.
-SH

 

What sort of catch?
~Molly~

 

I’m in my dressing gown. Nothing under.
-SH

 

Why?
~Molly~

 

Got locked out. Didn’t I say?
-SH

 

What were you doing outside in your dressing gown?
~Molly~

 

I went out the window.
-SH

 

Why?
~Molly~

 

Does it matter? Can I come or not? I’m getting cold.
-SH

 

I know it’s an imposition, but I assure you I have explored all other options.
-SH

 

Just realised I’ve got no cab fare. Can I borrow a few quid to get there?
-SH

 

Will pay you back, obviously.
-SH

 

Fine. Come. I can give you some money. See you in a bit.
~Molly~

 

You may have to hide, though. I don’t think my boss would like it if she found out I had a naked man in my office.
~Molly~

 

On the slab again? Didn’t much care for it last time.
-SH

No, not on the slab! Somewhere. I’ll find you a good place.
~Molly~

 

Doubtful. But thank you for your help.
-SH

 

One more thing?
-SH

 

Are you coming to immediately set fire to me?
~Molly~

 

Clearly not. None of the cabs will stop for me. Could you order me one and warn them about my attire?
-SH

 

Near enough, then. Your cab is on the way. See you soon.
~Molly~

 

In the cab now. He’s giving me a dreadful time. You won’t tip him, will you?
-SH

 

Let’s use this time to talk about how I can make this up to you. May as well get the awkward bit out of the way ahead of time.
-SH

 

How did you land on this as the awkward bit?
~Molly~

 

So transactional. Not looking forward to negotiating the terms, but may as well sort it now.
-SH

 

I didn’t think you’d be a laugh when I met you, but you really are.
~Molly~

 

I’m sure I don’t know what you’re referring to.
-SH

 

Might want to come down. Will be there in two mins.
-SH

 

This is not even the maddest thing I've ever done for you.
~Molly~

 

Hmm, I'd say this is more inconvenient than mad.
-SH

 

You'll want to recalibrate that gauge.
~Molly~

 

...

How’s the nudity coming along?

 

Fine, thanks. At Bart’s. Molly’s been very helpful.
-SH

 

You went to Bart’s in your dressing gown?

 

Had to, didn’t I?
-SH

 

Fortunately, I have unimpeachable personal dignity or this might have been a bit embarrassing.
-SH

 

Yeah, you might be the first completely shameless person in the world.

 

Not necessarily a compliment, by the way.

 

Shame is an impediment to greatness, John.
-SH

 

Though I am slightly ashamed of what I did to the kettle.
-SH

 

Sherlock! Rule five!

 

Oh, no, not the unsecret kettle. The last one. Not the thing with the fingernails and toenails, but the thing after that.
-SH

 

Did I ever apologise for that?
-SH

 

No! And you should be ashamed of that. Bloody shocking.

 

Slightly ashamed, mind you.
-SH

 

I’m hiding in a supply cupboard right now. Supply cupboards make me think fondly of you, John.
-SH

 

You best suppress those kinds of fond thoughts, love. Now is not the moment.

 

I take my moments where I find them, John.
-SH

 

I believe you have some familiarity with the concept.
-SH

 

You are too ridiculous.

 

Quite the contrary, John. My levels are ideal.
-SH

Chapter Text

“Let’s not allow this trouser absence to become a pattern, mmm?”
“Don’t patronise, John.”
“Now that’s rich from a man who literally forgot his trousers when he left the flat this morning.”
“I didn’t forget them, and you know it. I expected to get back in the way I went out. Didn’t think I’d be out of doors more than a moment.”
“And why didn’t you?”
“Window shut behind me.”
“Not an outcome that great brain of yours could have predicted?”
“I had a book to hold it open actually, but I knocked it out behind me. Could have happened to anyone.”
“Somehow these things just seem to choose you.”
“I’ve been told I’m a miracle of a disaster. Fondly, I think.”
“Very fondly, love.”

...

I’ve decided how you’re going to make it up to me.
~Molly~

 

Have you?
-SH

 

You’re taking John and me out to a pub, and you’re going to buy us drinks until we’re both completely pissed.
~Molly~

 

And if you moan about it AT ALL, I’ll turn up to a crime scene in my dressing gown with the pink cats on and fluffy mules.
~Molly~

 

Disproportionate.
-SH

 

You’re not moaning, are you?
~Molly~

 

Wouldn’t dream of it.
-SH

 

This’ll be fun! I’ve always wanted to get drunk with John.
~Molly~

 

Bet he gets really silly, doesn’t he?
~Molly~

 

Yes, actually, though don’t tell him I said so. He thinks he can hold his liquor because he can walk in a straight line and speak mostly without slurring.
-SH

 

Hurrah! We’re going to gang up on you!
~Molly~

 

I’d expect no less.
-SH

Chapter Text

They’re late and I’m early, which is typical. I don’t want to sit at a table, craning around looking sad while I wait for them, so I pop to the loo to check I look undeduceable. I’m never undeduceable, but I haven’t changed out of my work clothes nor put on any lipstick or anything else that Sherlock will loudly and suddenly announce to the room while pretending he doesn’t quite understand what he’s saying. At least I hope so. My hair’s gone a bit mad from the wind, so I run my fingers through it to smooth it out, then put it in a loose plait.

When I come back from the loo, John is stepping up to the bar, trying to catch eyes with the barman. Sherlock is sitting a little ways away at a table, looking sulky and awkward. Now I know him better, I can sort of tell when he feels awkward. Then I know to be on alert for one of his patented hideous remarks. He’s drumming his fingers on the table, the way he does when he wants to reach for his mobile. I walk up behind John and squeeze his shoulder. He startles. I’d got the left one. I’m not supposed to touch that one, Sherlock has implied. I’d forgotten. John turns and smiles at me anyway.

“Hi Molly,” he says, squeezing my right shoulder. “Been too long. Nearly five hours How’ve you been?”

“Oh, you know,” I say, “Good. Did some travelling. Talked to some people who wear trousers.” John laughs. Good start. Sometimes when Sherlock is around, John is so absorbed in him that he misses half of what I’m saying and all of my jokes. Sherlock is actually a bit better about that. I reckon John and I are easier to follow than he is. Takes less of his attention to stay on top of both of us. Both conversations, I mean. “You’re not to buy me any drinks tonight. You’re not to buy any drinks at all tonight, John. Sherlock’s making it up to us for being ridiculous.”

“He’d have to buy the whole pub to do that, wouldn’t he?” John says, catching eyes with Sherlock and smiling fondly. They both go sort of soppy for a moment. I’m not sure they realise they do that.

“He would do, if you asked him to,” I say. Sherlock raises his eyebrows and shakes his head. “Can he read lips?” I ask.

“Probably.” John walks over to Sherlock’s table, and I follow.

“Yes, I can read lips, and yes I can hear you two talking about me. It isn’t all that loud in here, and I pay attention,” Sherlock says by way of greeting when we reach him. I squeeze his shoulder, too. For symmetry’s sake. “I wouldn’t buy you a pub, John, because you’d be dragging me there constantly,” he continues, squeezing my shoulder. A bit hard. He’s got such strong fingers.

“Well, you’re always doing things worth discussing, love.” John settles into his seat and kisses Sherlock on the cheek as if they hadn’t just come in together two minutes ago.

“So why did you go out the window naked, Sherlock?” I ask.

“I was just testing something,” he says, shrugging. I doubt it’s a particularly interesting story, but it’s a bit annoying when he refuses to tell me something just because he can. He does that to everyone, though. Even John.

“What did you learn?” I ask. “Was it about why I’ve not yet got a drink in my hand?” John laughs, and Sherlock rolls his eyes but slides obediently out of his chair and approaches the bar.

“I think this no trousers thing agrees with him,” John says, his eyes fixed on Sherlock. “He’s been in a really good mood all day. Can’t say it bodes well for his future propriety.”

“Well, it was only a matter of time. Anyway, he likes to do things he hasn’t done before.”

“Ha, yeah, so he does.”

“Not indiscriminately,” Sherlock says, clunking our round down on the table and seating himself.

“Are you planning to make a habit out of going round without your trousers, Sherlock? You seem to have really enjoyed it today,” I say, reaching for my drink and taking a sip.

“Two incidents does not a habit make,” he answers, taking a dainty sip from his drink and dabbing his mouth with his napkin.

“Two incidents? What was the other?” I ask.

“Buckingham Palace,” Sherlock says, waving his free hand. “You may tell it if you like, John.”

“Oh, no, I remember now,” I say. “It was on your blog, John. I disagree that it doesn’t mean a habit, though. John, when was the last time you were out of doors in your dressing gown?”

John puts down his drink, and strokes his chin theatrically, “Not in recent memory,” he says in a fair impression of Sherlock.

I laugh and clear my throat, “Pointless,” I say with a wave.

Sherlock pouts, “It’s not as easy to be me as it looks, is it Molly Hooper? If you’re going to act like a pair of babies, I’m not sure I should be giving you alcohol.”

“Oh, have some yourself and lighten up,” John says, nudging Sherlock’s drink closer to him.

Sherlock obliges, then says, “You should both of you spare the world your impressions of me. Not one of your gifts.”

“Have I got gifts?” I say. “I didn’t know you thought so.”

“You’re gifted at asking personal questions.”

“You’re gifted at being unnecessarily mysterious while pretending you don’t like people talking about you.”

“You’re gifted at patience,” puts in John. “And flexibility.”

“Yeah, I am gifted at flexibility. The two of you would know better than anyone, wouldn’t you?” John looks away and snorts. I grin.

“Bit early in the evening for the giggles,” Sherlock says.

“Never too early to be correct,” John says and takes a long draught of his drink.

“I’ll drink to that!” I say. “Do you think if we got enough drinks in him, he’d do impressions of us?”

“He’s done impressions of me, but they are very unflattering,” John says. “I know I’m not as high-pitched as he makes me out to be.”

“You get more high-pitched the thicker you’re being.”

“I think that may be in your mind, love.”

They tend to go on like this once they get started, so I interrupt, “How are you enjoying being sociable, Sherlock?”

“It’s much as I remember it. People with glasses hovering at their chins sniggering at me while I feign tolerance.”

John’s face falls, but I say, “Here, now. If you’re bothered with us teasing you, you can just say so. No need to be mean about it.”

Sherlock looks rather surprised, “Aren’t I returning in kind? I thought you’d be pleased.”

“Bit different in tone, love,” John says quietly.

“Keep practising,” I say. “It helps if you don’t imply we’re making you really unhappy.”

Sherlock takes his notepad out and scribbles on it, then puts it back in his pocket. “Thank you, Molly Hooper,” he says in an odd, mechanical tone. “With your assistance, I will soon be able to integrate seamlessly whenever required.” Then he blinks rapidly several times and takes another pull on his drink. I laugh so hard I knock my glass over.

Chapter Text

“God, you’re amazing. You were just ablaze tonight.”
“How you do go on, John.”
“I hadn’t seen you like that for a while. You were like you were with-”
“Moriarty?”
“Yeah! Hope you don’t mind me saying.”
“Not at all. I was mostly showing off for you. I might just do anything to put that look on your face, John.”
“Ooh, you’re starting to sound a bit mad, Montresor.”
“I think you like me best when I’m mad.”
“I can’t work out when I like you best. I’m not as clever as you are. I do have a new favorite freckle, though.”
“That was quick.”
“You’ve got a really nice one on your jaw. Near your left ear. But don’t worry, love, my inconstancy only extends to your freckles. Every other bit of you has got my undying loyalty.”
“You are giddy tonight.”
“It’s your doing. Witch.”

...

“Thank you for your assistance with this matter, Sherlock. Very neatly done.”
“Well, if you’ll be interesting, I’ll be useful.”
“Mmm, indeed. Generous of you.”
“I do enjoy the opportunity to be impressive.”
“To show off, yes.”
“Call it what you like; it works to your advantage.”
"Well. Frequently enough.”

...

“That was on the floor!”
“Only for a moment.”
“I told you I’d make you another slice.”
“This one was perfect. And it was the last of the marmalade.”
“Don’t eat off the floor for the sake of a perfect slice of toast and a mouthful of marmalade.”
“Oh don’t fuss, John. A little extra exposure to bacteria now and again strengthens the immune system.”
“Tell you what. You stop jumping into skips, and you can eat your breakfast off the floor.”
“Not much of a compromise. Anyway, I haven’t jumped into a skip in ages. I don’t do it for fun, I do it because it’s necessary.”
“Your idea of necessary is so expansive.”
“My idea of necessary is extremely narrow and precise. But situational, of course.”
“And it includes eating toast off the floor.”
“Well, it was the last of the marmalade, John.”

Chapter Text

“All right, love? You look a bit peaky.”
“Fine.”
“You sure?”
“You’re the one with the head injury.”
“Yeah. Worse things have happened to me. You look like you’re going to be sick.”
“You’ve got blood in your hair.”
“Just a bit.”
“I don’t like it.”
“Yeah, it itches. A&E doesn’t tidy you up so well.”
“It’s not funny, John.”
“No, not particularly.”
“Don’t make jokes about it, or I’ll make you wear a helmet on all our cases.”
“Come on, Sherlock. I’m just as sturdy as you are. And we got him, didn’t we? An arrest? Believe they call that a result. And I’ll have a nice little scar near my eyebrow. Something new for your notes.”
“You’ve got enough scars. Let’s focus on keeping your brains inside your head. You can’t spare any.”
“I didn’t lose any brains. They’re still inside my, er. Hmm. What’s that thing called? You like to hang ridiculous hats off yours.”
“John...”
“Come on, love. We were great tonight. We were on form. We won. I’ve got a little bump on the head and three stitches, and you’re going to have the fun of fussing over me this weekend. It’s fun, yeah?”
“A bit.”
“Well, then.”
“Be more careful, John.”
“I will, if you are.”
“Hmph.”
“The only thing is that all this hospital rubbish has denied us our usual denouement.”
“That’s your answer to everything.”
“That’s the answer to everything.”
“Except concussions. No coat cupboards for you, John Watson.”
“Well, there’s gratitude for you.”

...

“John! Wake up. I’ve got to monitor your breathing. You’ve got to stay awake. I’ll open the window.”
“Must be a bit of a thrill for you to be able to actually admit you’re monitoring my bodily functions.”
“John, stop it! This is not a joke, this is not a thrill, this is not an experiment! I thought you were dead!”
“You did?”
“Yes!”
“But I popped right back up again.”
“I couldn't get to you. And it took you thirty-seven seconds. Long enough for despair.”
“Oh god. I’m sorry, love.”
“And now all I can think of is what I did to you. Before. My magic trick. How you spent six months with that feeling.”
“Sherlock, let’s not, okay? Not right now.”
“Why did you forgive me, John? You shouldn’t have done.”
“Don’t be daft.”
“Really, John. Why did you forgive me?”
“Because I love you. Idiot.”

...

“I’m glad you convinced me to do this, John.”
“Not too different from camping out on the sofa all weekend, is it?”
“Except that in here, there’s plenty of room for us both to lie down.”
“And yet somehow you always wind up with about two-thirds of the bed.”
“Scurrilous.”
“If that were false, which it’s not, it’d be one of the nicest things you’ve ever been accused of. Taking up too much of the bed.”
“True. If it were one of my misdeeds, which it isn’t, it’d be among the nicest.”
“Among the nicest? What are the other nice things?”
“They’re mostly to do with coat cupboards.”

Chapter Text

“Here you are, dearie. Milk and tea and biscuits.”
“Thank you, Mrs Hudson. I don’t like to ask, but I didn’t want to leave him to go to the shop, and we’re completely out of tea. He’s quite convinced he needs tea to survive.”
“So do we all, don’t we? How’s his poor, old head?”
“Improving, thank you. He needs to rest, really, and he’ll be all right. Still, I. I don’t like to leave him.”
“Of course you don’t, Sherlock, and you’re doing a beautiful job looking after him.”
“You think so?”
“Yes, dear a beautiful job. I’m proud of you, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“I don’t mind. Thank you.”
“I’m so glad you two’ve got it sorted, if you don’t mind me saying.”
“Not at all.”
“The minute I clapped eyes on that sweet face, I knew he’d be just right for you.”
“So he is.”
“You’re just right for him, too. You’re just what he needs.”
“Am I?”
“You really are, dearie. I never saw such a match.”
“Thank you. I’m flattered you think so. He’s quite a remarkable man.”
“So he is, dear, and he’d say the same of you. Quite right, too.”
“Thank you, Mrs Hudson.”
“Well, I’ll let you get back to your John. Just pop down if you need anything.”
“I will, thank you.”
“Give him a kiss from me.”

...

“Ow! What was that for?”
“It was from Mrs Hudson.”
“She doesn’t pinch!”
“She would if she dared.”
“Well, she wouldn’t do it so hard.”
“Was that hard?”
“Yes, your fingers are like vices. Why is she sending me pinches anyway?”
“Well, it was meant to be a kiss, but I didn’t want you to misinterpret it. As it was from Mrs Hudson.”
“Oh. That’s no excuse, really. You’ll leave finger marks on my face.”
“You leave finger marks on my shoulders.”
“Under completely different circumstances.”
“They’re still finger marks.”
“Sometimes you need steadying. Anyway you like me leaving finger marks on you.”
“I can’t accept a kiss on your behalf and not forward it to you, John. I’m not a monster.”
“You didn’t kiss me, you pinched me!”
“Yes, and I’ve explained why, haven’t I?”
“More of an excuse than an explanation.”
“Call it what you like.”

...

“You’re pinchable as well, you know.”
“Bite your tongue, John Watson.”
“I’ve been cataloging your pinchiest bits. Would you like to hear my list?”
“Not at all.”
“I’ll just enact it then. In order.”
“Don’t you dare.”
“Oh, I do dare. You want to have a guess where I’ll start?”
“I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”
“Luckily, I’ve got unimpeachable personal dignity.”

...

Hullo.

 

Aren’t you going to answer?

 

Why are you texting me from the bedroom? I thought you were asleep.
-SH

 

Do you need something?
-SH

 

No, I just want your attention, and I’m too proud to admit it and too lazy to get up.

 

That sounds like someone else I know.
-SH

 

Does it?

 

A bit.
-SH

 

He must be very charming for you to put up with him.

 

Some find him charming. Some have called him difficult.
-SH

 

Oh difficult. That’s what idiots say about the clear-minded, isn’t it?

 

Come back to bed.

 

All right. Shall I bring anything with me?
-SH

 

No.

 

The less you’ve got with you, the better. I’m going to use you for a pillow, and you’ll need to be absolutely still and silent.

 

Why does it amuse you so much to pretend to be me?
-SH

 

We all need a taste of our own medicine from time to time, don’t we?

 

Would you like a taste of yours?
-SH

 

Yes. Come back to bed. Don’t answer, Mr Last Word. Just come.

Chapter Text

"Are you bored with me playing? Do you want me to stop?"
"No, not at all bored, love. Play on, if you like, but feel free to take a rest if you want a rest."
"What are you writing?"
"Ha, oh nothing. Just doodling, actually."
"I'll have a look."
"All right then, Mr Grabby! Don't rip it."
"Sorry. This is me, isn't it?"
"Ha, yes, it is. How can you tell?"
"I deduced it. Why am I a dragon?"
"It just popped into my head suddenly that Sherlock is a perfect name for a dragon."
"Is it?"
"Sherlock, the Magnificent."
"Sherlock, the Terror."
"Sherlock, the Musical."
"Sherlock, the Savage."
"Sherlock, the Marvel."
"You're easily-impressed."
"You're impressive."
"You like me too much, John."
"Nah, love. I don't."

...

That's Quite Enough, Thank You

Sherlock Holmes here. Thank you (at John's insistence) for your concern, but John is doing very well. He's had his stitches out, and his head is just fine. In fact, he asked me to tell you all that being pistol whipped is quite refreshing, and he advises you to try it when next you're feeling out of sorts. So you can all stop phoning, texting, emailing, and otherwise hounding me for information on his condition. Your incessant chirps and beeps are disturbing him while he attempts to convalesce. John is fine. Probably better than most of you.

 

Comments (30)

John Watson:
That is NOT what I asked you to say.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
You’re meant to be resting. If you're only going to go commenting anyway, what was the point of me posting this for you? Don't make me confiscate your laptop, John Watson.

 

John Watson:
I'd like to see you try. We both know I'm a much more effective confiscator than you are.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Only because I don't go rifling through your possessions for contraband when you're out of the flat.

 

John Watson:
Yeah, you do. You thought I didn't know about that?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Prove it.

 

John Watson:
Oh proof. Proof is boring.

 

Molly Hooper:
You two are so enchanted with yourselves, aren't you?

 

John Watson:
Obviously.

 

Bill Murray:
That's our John Watson! Tough nut to crack!

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Further puns will result in the disabling of the comments section.

 

John Watson:
Don't mind him. I enjoy a pun from time to time.

 

Harry Watson:
Do you suppose you could go six months without either of you having a near-death experience?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
No.

 

John Watson:
It wasn't a near-death experience.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Near enough near-death.

 

John Watson:
Hardly. Not that I fancy getting much closer, mind you.

 

Harry Watson:
John, answer your bloody phone!

 

John Watson:
I lost it. Well, it’s somewhere in the flat, but I don’t know where.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
You left it in the kitchen.

 

John Watson:
Oh, right. I remember now. Can I borrow yours?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
If you can catch it. I’m not getting up.

 

John Watson:
That was a really horrible throw. Now we’re lost to the world.

 

Mrs Hudson:
I’m about to do the shopping. Do you boys need anything?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Could you get my phone? It went behind the sofa.

 

John Watson:
You probably broke it, actually. It hit the wall really hard first. Don’t know how you expected me to catch that.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
At least now the beeping will stop.

 

John Watson:
Right, we’ve been in the flat for too long. Prepare yourself, Sherlock. We are venturing out!

 

Molly Hooper:
I thought you were resting.

 

John Watson:
I’m taking it easy, but I’m really not as fragile as all that. He just wanted an excuse to threaten our friends. Talk to you later, Molly. Got some chivvying to do.

Chapter Text

"My scar's coming along nicely, isn't it? Don't you think it makes me look hard?"
"It's less a scar than a horrid gash. It makes you look like I haven't been looking after you properly."
"If that were true--and it isn't-- it would be an advantage, wouldn't it? Because you're always looking after me. Even when I've expressly asked you not to. Like this morning when I was in the loo, and you would not bugger off as requested."
"John, why do you keep making jokes?"
"You haven't been smiling nearly enough for my liking, lately. All right, not like that. That's ghoulish."
"I feel ghoulish."
"Love, this is what we do. Sometimes nasty things will happen to one or both of us. But even if we ran a sweet shop, nasty things would sometimes happen to one or both of us. Murder-suicide, though. Remember?"
"True."
"Feel better?"
"A bit."
"Shall I bring you another finger?"
"You don't have to bring me a finger."
"No, no. It's my pleasure. Consider it done."
"Thank you, John."
"Anyfinger for you, love."
"Right, John, if you continue with that ridiculous accent or that horrible punning, I shall have the locks changed while you're out."
“Lucky for me, I’ve got your lock pick.”
“Not my best one.”
“I think I can still get in with your second best one.”
“Takes you ages, though.”
“Well the longer I take with it, the more likely it is you’d get annoyed and just let me in.”
“Yes, that seems quite likely, actually.”
“See, you’ll never be shot of me.”
“So it would seem.”

...

“Don’t take this the wrong way, love, but this one reminded me a bit of you. The ears in jars.”
“I do like ears. I don’t collect them, though.”
“Ears are as unique as fingerprints, you know.”
“Yes, I do know.”
“You can have my ears when I’ve finished with them.”
“Thank you, John.”
“I know you like them.”
“I do like them, though I’m not sure if they’d be as nice once detached from your head.”
“Well, they wouldn’t change colour, but there’d be other advantages. If you look really really carefully at the right one, you can see the earring hole. It’s closed up, but you can see it a bit.”
“You should reopen it.”
“I don’t dare.”
“I can assist you, if you like.”
“No, thank you. But help yourself once I’ve finished with them.”
“You said I’d never be shot of you. Won’t you need your ears the whole time?”
“Very true, love. We can share them. Or we can swap, if you like.”
“I think I would like that, actually.”
“All right then. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, we’ll have our own. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, we’ll wear each others.”
“And on Sundays we’ll wear none at all.”
“My thinking exactly.”

...

“Wait, wait. Could you get rid of the cat first, please?”
“She isn’t hurting you.”
“Yeah, you always say that, but I don’t like her watching us.”
“She’s not watching. She’s just sitting.”
“She does watch.”
“Oh, so what if she does watch? What difference does it make? She doesn’t know what it means.”
“I don’t like it. She’s tutting at me.”
“Cats don’t tut, John.”
“Do you like having the cat watch you?”
“Preposterous.”
“It’s all making sense now. Genius does need an audience.”
“You’re the one who needs an audience, Mr Coat Cupboard.”
“Ha, fair enough. But not a cat audience, if you don’t mind. Put the cat out.”

Chapter Text

“Good god, John! I’ve been awake two minutes. I haven’t even had a piss yet. At least make the coffee before you start blathering at me.”
“I said ‘tea or coffee?’ you arse!”
“Oh. Coffee, please.”
“It’s lucky you’re gorgeous or someone would have killed you long, long ago. Well before I met you.”
“Fortunately for you, I am gorgeous.”
“Yes, I am Fortune’s favourite.”

...

“Sherlock, we had such a long conversation about this on Tuesday. Do you remember where we landed?”
“I want to watch.”
“It’s unsettling to have you staring at me while I’m in here.”
“I’m always staring at you, aren’t I? Would it help if I came in with you? Would you feel less self-conscious?”
“Having a shower on my own would help me feel less self-conscious.”
“I’ll come in with you. Let me just get a towel.”
“I’m not going to kill myself in the shower, you know. You don’t have to watch me every minute.”
“I know. I don’t. I’m not.”
“So you’re not following me everywhere because you think I’ll fall down a sinkhole the minute your back is turned?”
“Any sinkhole with you down the bottom of it would be a sinkhole in serious trouble. No, John. I just want to have a shower with you. Is that so difficult to believe?”
“No, that’s easy to believe. I just want to be sure your motives are pure.”
“Purely prurient.”
“Oh good. Carry on, then.”

...

“You look excellent in a sheet, John.”
“Everyone does.”
“You should always wear a sheet. You’d get away with it.”
“Well, I am showing more freckles than usual.”
“Yes, that advantage had occurred to me.”
“Good, good. Glad to hear it. Any others?”
“Your right knee is visible, but your left knee is covered.”
“I didn’t know asymmetry appealed to you.”
“Asymmetry is interesting. You were right about the scar. It annoys me that I like it.”
“Of course you like it. You’re only human. You’re quite brilliant in a sheet as well, love.”
“Yes, of course. Matched set, you know.”

...

There is a really alarming number of mugs in the kitchen, Sherlock.

 

Don’t suppose you know anything about it?

 

Don’t be cute, John. I bought them. Obviously.
-SH

 

When? Where? Why?

 

I noticed a dearth of mugs. We’d only got three.
-SH

 

Well, four if you include the one with the broken handle, but I don’t. The handle is the essential bit; don’t you agree, John?
-SH

 

Without the handle it’s not a mug.
-SH

 

Anyway, I ordered some on the internet. They arrived this morning.
-SH

 

Do we really need quite so many?

 

Good value.
-SH

 

The shelves are overflowing.

 

Are they? Put the excess under the sink with the rest.
-SH

 

Right, this is ridiculous. This is far, far, far too many mugs. I feel like we’ve been invaded.

 

Oh, they won’t hurt you.
-SH

 

We’ll never have to buy mugs again.
-SH

 

You are abso-bloody-lutely ridiculous.

 

Thanks for putting them away at least.

 

There wasn’t room for them elsewhere in the flat.
-SH

 

Did you try other places? The shower, perhaps?

 

Why would I put the mugs in the shower?
-SH

 

Why would you buy so many mugs? How many are there, anyway?

 

There ought to be 80, per the description on the website, but I haven’t counted yet.
-SH

 

80 mugs did not strike you as excessive? What the hell are we supposed to do with 80 mugs?

 

We don’t have to use them all right now, John. Like I said, we’ll never have to buy mugs again.
-SH

 

What’s it like in your funny little brain?

 

Complicated.
-SH

Chapter Text

We’d been lazing around the flat for the ninth day in a row when Sherlock’s phone went. As soon as he'd checked it, he popped out of his chair and began to put his things on.
I was quite pleased, “Where are we going, love? Got a case on? It’ll be good to leave the flat."

“Text from Lestrade,” he said without looking at me, grabbing his keys from the table near the door. “Triple murder. I’m going. You’re staying. You need to rest your head.”

“No, I’m coming along,” I said. “I can manage. I’ve been cooped up here for over a week. I’m fine.”

“You’re not fine enough for a murder investigation. You’re not coming. We can talk about the case when I get back. Unless it’s painfully straightforward, I’ll probably need a sounding board anyway.”

I began to put on my jacket, and dodged away from him when he tried to take it out of my hands, “Sherlock, I can decide this for myself, all right? You don’t need to wrap me in cotton wool.”

“John, you’re not ready for this.”

“I do know what I’m talking about on this one,” I said. “I am a doctor, you know. I know how to manage concussions.”

“Oh my apologies, Doctor. By all means, make use of your impeccable judgement. After all, it hasn’t steered you wrong since you put on that horrible jumper this morning.” And he slammed out of the flat. If I hadn’t been so stir-crazy, I would have let the git go on his own. But I followed him at half a run and caught him up outside on the pavement. We’re usually quite companionable, even when we annoy each other. Especially on cases. But he hailed the cab with his back to me, jumped in without a glance at me, and spent the whole ride with his eyes fixed on his phone.

When we arrived at the crime scene, Sherlock bounded out of the cab almost before it had stopped. He didn’t wait for me to catch him up before he crossed the crime scene tape (I’d paid the cabby, so I was well behind). When I approached, he was already sneering at Lestrade, who gave me a rather alarmed look. Sherlock stepped away from Lestrade to look at the bodies as soon as I entered the room.

“John, hello, how’s the head?” Lestrade asked, offering me a handshake.

“Hi, fine, thanks.” Lestrade glanced at Sherlock and frowned. I shrugged. “He’s, well, you know,” I said in an undertone. “He’s not having a good day.”
Sherlock huffed and said without turning, “I’m having a fine day, thank you.”

“Then he’s being an arse for some other reason,” I said loudly.
Sherlock pulled out his pad and began jotting notes on it. That generally falls to me, as writing interferes with his train of thought. “Would you two bloody shut up?” he said.

“Your inanities are clogging my thought processes.” I allowed myself a long sigh before I complied. When Sherlock had gotten what he could from the bodies, he began to look around the room, scribbling in his book and occasionally peering at marks on the floor or walls with his magnifying glass.

“Want to have a look at the bodies, John?” Lestrade asked, gesturing toward them. “I’d be happy for your opinion.”
Sherlock whirled and glared at him before saying, “I’ve got everything I need. Going to follow a few leads. Text me if you find out anything new. And get a cab for John, will you? He’s going home.”

“No, I’m not!”

Sherlock was already striding out of the room, so I didn’t have time to apologise to Lestrade before I followed him. I managed to catch him by the coat sleeve before he turned a corner. “Let go of me, John!” he said, pulling hard. “ I have work to do.”

“We have work to do! By the way, Sherlock, do you think we could sort out our disagreements without involving our colleagues?”

“I don’t need you here, John. Just go home.” He jerked his arm again, harder than before, trying to pull it out of my reach.

I staggered a bit, but held on, “You don’t get to decide anymore when you need me. We’re a team, remember? You don’t work alone.”

“John, if you want to be on my team, you have let me look after you when you want looking after.”

“Well, if you want to be on my team, you have to trust me when I say I don’t want looking after.” Sherlock and I glared at each other for a long moment before he shrugged off his coat, spun away from me, and ran. “Sherlock! Stop it! Come back! This is stupid,” I called after him. He ignored me, of course. I followed him, but once I was out of the building and beyond the crime scene tape, he’d vanished.

Chapter Text

You massive, massive arsehole. How could you run away from me like that?

 

Where are you?

 

Answer me!

 

And now you’re ignoring me like you have the bloody high ground.

 

You are really in for it when you get home. That was fucking humiliating.

 

I’m not useless you know.

 

Fucking answer me, Sherlock!

 

Trying to interview a witness. Please stop pestering me.
-SH

 

We will discuss this when I come home.
-SH

 

Too bloody right we’ll discuss it.

...

“Well, that was a waste of my time. Crime of passion. Killer turned himself in. They should have skyped me like they did with the ear chap. Hungry?”
“You really think that’ll work?”
“I thought you’d want to know how the case worked out. And there’s no need to argue on an empty stomach.”
“How could you do that to me? You made me look a complete fool in front of Lestrade. And there’s rule two.”
“I didn’t disappear. You knew where I was going.”
“Sherlock, what the hell is your problem?”
“I think I’ve already made myself clear on the subject, John. It’s a mystery to me what you don’t understand.”
“We are partners. We work together. We don’t go off into dangerous situations on our own. And we don’t go flouncing off like oversized children when we don’t get our way!”
“I can look after myself, John. I can certainly speak to witnesses on my own.”
“I can look after myself, Sherlock! It’s not down to you to decide when something is too much for me.”
“You do it to me.”
“Not like that!”
“John, if you aggravate your injury, it only means a longer recovery time. I do need you with me, but I want you back in top form as soon as possible. If you won’t look after yourself properly, then I’ve got to do it for you.”
“You can’t just overrule me.”
“You’re the one who’s set the precedent for that.”
“Sherlock, think back to the last time you decided you didn’t need my help and went running off without me. Good outcome?”
“Oh.”
“Right. Got there, have you?”
“This isn’t like that.”
“Well, we don’t know that, do we?”
“It’s over now. He’s handed himself in.”
“That’s not really the point. It’s not about this particular case, even though I’m itching for a case nearly as much as you are. It’s that you promised you wouldn’t leave me out anymore, and you’re not going to bloody leave me out anymore! Are you?”
“No, John. I’m sorry.”
“If you don’t want me on a case, you can’t take it either unless we both agree otherwise, all right?”
“All right. Shake on it, then.”
“Good. I’m starved. Want to get something to eat?”
“I’ll go and get you something. Fancy a curry?”
“Yeah, love. Thanks.”
“You’re welcome, John. I’ll be back in a bit.”

...

Look out the sitting room window.
-SH

 

Are you doing it?
-SH

 

Yeah, which way am I looking?

 

Oh, never mind. I see you.

 

What’s up?

 

Just watch.
-SH

 

You are a mad marvel. Have you been practising that?

 

Yes.
-SH

 

Is there anything you can’t do?

 

Can’t do a forward roll. Spent ages trying in the empty bedroom while you were asleep. I kept veering off and hitting the wall.
-SH

 

I thought you didn’t want to cartwheel on the pavement.

 

I scuffed my hand a bit, but it’s all right.
-SH

 

Did you like that, John?
-SH

 

Yes!

 

Anything to please you, John. Really. I was out of order before. I’m sorry.
-SH

 

We sorted it.

 

You're right about my head. I'll take it easy a bit longer.

 

Thank you, John. Means a lot.
-SH

 

And I adore you.

 

Arse.

 

You’ve a weakness for my agile body.
-SH

 

Yeah, that must be it.

Chapter Text

John has given me a treat. To make up for shouting, he said. I can do with a bit of hot-blooded bluster (mmm) if this is the result. ‘This’ being the first installment of his secret little books. It’s better than I thought it’d be. It starts ten days after we met. Ten days. I can’t believe how slow I was to notice. It really is shocking. He says more may be forthcoming. I hope so.

...

9 Feb

Sherlock likes Marmite. Must remember to get some when I do the next shop. He wants feeding up.

 

22 Feb

Sherlock sent me to get him a coffee at a crime scene today. Was really annoyed and almost made a sarcastic remark when I handed it to him, but he looked at me and smiled and I actually thanked him. Well, my brain couldn’t work out whether I ought to say ‘cheers’ ‘ta’ or ‘thanks’ so I said ‘cha tanks.’ He smiled a bit more and raised his eyebrows. Would have been very awkward but then he asked me if I thought the marks on the victim’s throat were fingerprints.

 

16 March

Sherlock woke me with his playing again. Almost went downstairs to shout, but the music was so sad, I didn’t think he’d want me to see him. Seemed indecent. Asked him if he was all right this morning, but he didn’t even look at me.

 

30 March

Took my gun off the madman today. He was shooting bloody holes in the wall out of boredom. Wonder if there’s a place I can put it where he can’t get at it. Doubt it. Need a break. Staying with Sarah. Asked for the sofa, but am already stiff and have not even gone to sleep yet. Must work out what to do tomorrow, if Sherlock is still being, well, all Sherlocky. Sometimes I really want to give him a good shake. At least a good shake. Good, hard shake.

 

12 Apr

Have not seen Sherlock in 6 days. Thought of emailing him just to check in, but I looked over his shoulder at his inbox once and he’d got 782 unread emails. Don’t know what I’d say anyway. Hope he’s all right. Maybe could phone Mrs Hudson? Is it weird to miss your flatmate while on holiday with your girlfriend?

 

16 Apr

Sarah thinks it’s weird to miss your flatmate while on holiday with your girlfriend.

 

29 Apr

Sherlock laughs at my jokes, but not otherwise. Never. Have been watching for it since I noticed. Don’t know what to make of that.

 

2 May

Right, I am not going to do this anymore. It’s making things worse.

 

17 June

Sherlock makes a really fit ninja. And he’s got his own swords. Katanas. Why’s he got his own swords? Because he makes a really really fit ninja, I suppose.

 

18 June

Fit or not, there comes a point when a man has spent too much time lolling round in his dressing gown.

 

19 June

Oh god.

 

9 July

Sherlock is making me spend the night with him in a murder house as a sort of stake-out. Could be dangerous.

 

10 July

Sleepover unnecessary. He solved it. It was the bubble bath.

 

9 Aug

I’m officially Sherlock’s sidekick. The papers are calling us ‘Hatman and Robin.’ I look a complete short arse next to him in the photos. Oh well. I am a good foil, I suppose. Dark and light. Oh bloody hell. Have I really just written that? I am really going to stop doing this. Really.

 

31 Aug

Sherlock left me a 6 min voicemail in which he solved a murder. Hope my phone isn’t confiscated as evidence.

 

15 Sept

Sherlock was naked at Buckingham Palace today. Naked but for a bedsheet. Bloody exhibitionist. I made him laugh loads, though. He’s got rather an evil villain laugh. I want to hear more of it. I already spend too much of my time thinking of how to entertain him. Still haven’t seen him laugh at anything but one of my jokes. Good job I’m such a smart arse, I suppose. He should laugh more.

 

1 Oct

20 texts so far from that Adler woman. 20 that I’ve noticed. What is she saying to him? Maybe I should have a look. He wouldn’t mind. Actually maybe he would. Different when it’s a woman, I think. Or is it? I don’t know. Maybe I should just ask him. Though I already know what he’d say. Nothing. Because he’d just ignore me. I’m really, really not going to do this anymore.

 

25 Oct

Up to 39 in the Adler text count. Getting really bloody sick of that stupid noise. Wish he’d change it. Maybe he likes it.

 

12 Nov

So fucking freezing out today. Keep forgetting to buy porridge. Must ask Sherlock if he likes it, so I know how much to get. Wonder how he takes it. Would be a good opportunity to get some extra calories in him with fruit, butter and so on. Must take advantage of his sweet tooth whenever possible. Yesterday I watched him eat a third of a jar of marmalade distributed over 10 slices of toast. Was quite gratifying, as I had made the toast. He gets like that after we’ve finished with a case sometimes. I like to see how much I can get him to eat. Once he had 13 jammie dodgers without even noticing. I just kept putting them in front of him, and he kept eating them. 48 fucking Adler texts.

 

1 Dec

Wonder what Sherlock would like for a Christmas present.

 

16 Dec

Asked Sherlock what he would like for a Christmas present. He just frowned at me, all puzzled. Have gotten him 10 things of rechargeable batteries for all his gadgets. Appropriate for a flatmate, right? Well, not really, but I can’t give him a bottle of something or a pen set or a jumper. So he gets torch batteries. Have written the card already. Will record the message here, as it took me ages to write it and I may lose the card before I manage to give it to him.

‘A pillowcase full of batteries with which to administer beatings. Or just to keep your torch lit. Happy Christmas. Fondly, John’

Not too sure about that ‘fondly.’ May have to re-write. Fuck. 51 Adler texts.

 

20 Dec

Today Sherlock told me he was going to shoot me, complete with a gun-shaped hand gesture and sound effect. He even put his finger to my temple. That made me laugh for some reason, which set him off, too. We both had the giggles for a really indecent amount of time. No Adler texts today. Feels ominous.

 

25 Dec

No more Adler texts, I suppose. Fucking hell. M reckons it’s a danger night. Still Sherlock doesn’t have anything anywhere in the flat. Almost tempted to flatter myself that I’m having a good influence on him. I did find something else in his room, though. He’s bought me a Christmas present. He even wrapped it. Little red box the size of my hand. I didn’t like to open it. He’ll know I’ve seen it. He knew we searched his things. What could he have gotten me that’d fit in such a small box? I could think on it for years and never guess, I’m sure. Sherlock Holmes is the picture of inscrutability.

 

26 Dec

Sherlock is being a bit of a nightmare. Shouldn’t be surprised. Was obvious that he cared something about her. He’s already obsessed with that stupid phone.

 

27 Dec

He won’t eat. We’ve got nothing on and he won’t eat.

 

28 Dec

And now he’s writing sad music. About her. He still won’t eat. I even tried making toast and marmalade and pretending I wanted to eat it all myself, which usually works. He didn’t even look at me.

 

1 Jan

I might be an awful person. Sherlock is stuffing his face with mince pie, and all I can think is that it’s because she’s back from the dead.

 

2 Jan

She doesn’t make him laugh, though.

 

3 Jan

This is getting out of hand. Must stop. Seriously. Should probably throw this book on the fire. But Sherlock likes fire. He’d ask me what I’m burning and why. Bit awkward. Oh nothing, Sherlock. Just burning all my inappropriately possessive feelings. Should do the trick. Care for a game of Cluedo?

Chapter Text

“So how are you enjoying reading my books?”
“Very interesting. Something has been bothering me, though. You said I’d laugh at you. Before. When I asked about them the first time. You said I’d laugh. How could you have said that?”
“What do you mean?”
“You were so unhappy. How could I laugh at that?”
“It wasn’t really so bad. I fancied you. It was fun.”
“Fun? Really? It does not read as fun. You sound miserable.”
“Well, it’s fun to be a bit miserable sometimes, don’t you think?”
“Fun to be miserable?”
“Not too miserable, but it’s exciting to really really fancy some one, don’t you think? Even if you think they don’t fancy you. Sort of invigorating, you know?”
“I don’t remember. I haven’t fancied anyone but you since-”
“Yes? Since when?”
“You were wondering if I was going to say ‘Irene,’ weren’t you?”
“I suppose so.”
“I didn’t fancy Irene.”
“Not at all?”
“Well, I thought she was clever, and I like finding clever people. But no, I didn’t fancy her at all.”
“It’s all right to say, if you did.”
“Thank you, John. But I didn’t. Not every one likes both, you know.”
“Oh that.”
“Ha, yes. That.”
“So when did you last fancy some one? Before me.”
“At university.”
“Not Sebastian?”
“No, John! Of course not! I did know more than one person at university. And nothing could induce me to take up with that fool. He could barely manage his coursework. It was some one else. You don’t know him.”
“Was he nice to you?”
“Nice enough.”
“What does that mean?”
“Our acquaintanceship had a rather abrupt end. That wasn’t very nice. It wasn’t his fault, but still. Not very nice.”
“I’m sorry, love.”
“Just one of those unfortunate circumstances.”
“Worked out for me, I suppose.”
“I said I fancied him, not that I wanted to marry him.”
“So what happened?”
“I went with him to visit his father.”
“His father found out you were together and disapproved?”
“No, we were never together. I solved a case for them. But it was too much for our friendship to bear. Too intimate. He didn’t like to see me after that.”
“Well, that’s gratitude for you.”
“Don’t be silly, John. He couldn’t help it.”
“You’re not as off-putting as you think you are.”
“Perhaps. I suspect your brain is missing something vital that warns you off lunatics and gunfire and explosions and other dangers.”
“Lucky for you.”
“Indeed. I’m full aware of my luck, John.”

...

6 Jan

Have given Sherlock Cluedo for his birthday. Just for a laugh. He actually promised we’d play some time. I’m sure he’d trounce me at once. Still might be fun, though. Must remember that he likes games.

 

19 Jan

No more Cluedo. Ever. Luckily, Sherlock has destroyed the board. Well, stabbed it anyway. Pinned it to the mantel with his scary little knife. To be fair to him, I did knock it off the table. To be fair to me, it was only after he’d swept the game pieces off. Perhaps he’d prefer something like Risk. Perhaps I should get a girlfriend and stop worrying about what sort of board games my flatmate would most enjoy.

...

“John, I need to speak to you.”
“By all means.”
“We should discuss Irene.”
“You don’t have to do that, love. I don’t have to know everything. You can hold some things back, if you want to.”
“No, John. We should. If you’ll hear me.”
“Of course I will.”
“She never meant to me anything like what you mean to me. Not even at the time.”
“Really?”
“Really. I did care about her. I rather wanted to make a friend of her, I suppose.”
“A friend?”
“I haven’t got many friends, you know. It’s nice to confirm another non-idiot out there among the seven billion idiots. Makes me feel a bit less outnumbered. Less stupid in the room.”
“Of course. I should have realised.”
“Not surprising you didn’t. You’re so obsessed with sex.”
“Haaaa. You’re funny, you are.”
“Not everyone is as tarty as you are, John.”
“Tarty?! It’s not on to call some one you’re sleeping with a tart.”
“No? What should I call it?”
“Joie de vivre.”
“That is a really excellent euphemism. You’ve got a way with words, John.”
“I’ve just realised something.”
“Oh?”
“You’ve been calling her Irene. You wouldn’t use her name anymore after Bond Air. Just called her ‘The Woman.’ Is this for my benefit?”
“I hadn’t noticed I’d changed it, to be honest.”
“Oh.”
“Bit silly to call her that, don’t you think? We call Moriarty by his name, don’t we?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever called her that.”
“Bit silly of me, then. Bit theatrical.”
“Sorry what? Theatrical? When have you ever been theatrical?”

Chapter Text

15 Jan

Tried to talk to a woman today down in the cafe. It was going well, even. Think she was keen. Was enthusiastically noticing her curly dark hair and nice blue eyes when I realised I was only talking to her because she looked a bit like a certain detective. That was rather distracting. Gave it up and came back upstairs. Sherlock was sat in his chair, and he smiled at me when I came in and asked if I wanted to have dinner. I told him I wasn't hungry and came up to my room. Now feel like I ought to say sorry but am not sure how I would explain what I was apologising for. Also am quite hungry, but will have to pretend I'm not until he's gone to bed. Or explain why I went from snittily not hungry to quite hungry in less than 20 mins.

 

23 Jan

Had a surprisingly vicious argument with S today about whether or not the spoon I used to stir his tea had trace amounts of sugar on it. Finally, he tipped the whole thing down the drain and stood there with his arms folded looking really smug as if he'd just taught me a valuable lesson. Burst out laughing at his expression. At first he just rolled his eyes, but then he started to laugh, too. Then he threw my jacket at me and told me we were going out for dinner. Nice dinner. Drank too much. Sherlock kept smiling and patting my elbow. Must have been acting a bit of an idiot. Nice of him not to say.

 

2 Feb

Was in high spirits this morning and took the stairs two at a time. Slipped on the last one and landed hard on my backside. Long silence while S tried not to laugh. He was unsuccessful. But he did make me a cup of tea and tutted over how surprised I was to receive it.

 

26 Feb

Adler has turned up again. In his bed. We came in from the shopping and she was there. Sherlock had chosen a bottle of wine he likes and suggested opening it as we were coming up the stairs. I was quite looking forward to it. But she was waiting in the flat. Having a nap in his bloody bed. A naked nap. Then she just hung round all evening, sitting in my chair, asking him to work out mysteries for her and flirting like mad. Had to leave eventually. He hardly looked up when I said goodbye.

 

6 March

Had a dream that I was Sherlock’s violin, but all he would play on me was that song he wrote for fucking Irene Adler.

 

7 March

She’s gone now. Completely gone. Forever. And I’ve just lied to Sherlock. About something new, that is. Won’t even write it here. Can’t believe Mycroft got me to do that. Sherlock kept her phone. People do. Sentiment. Fuck.

 

8 March

Sherlock has been muttering about the rush shipping fees for harpoons. Should ask, but am afraid to find out. Suppose I’ll find out soon. Unless the fees prove too dear.

 

13 March

Got a case on, thank god. Off to Dartmoor to find a gigantic hound. Only one room available at the inn. Trying to think nothing of it. Must admit, I have packed very carefully. I packed for Sherlock as well. He asked me to. Felt a little odd choosing his clothes for him. Brought along that shirt. The aubergine one. Folded it carefully. He appreciates my folding. Saw him looking at a blanket I’d folded on my chair once. He grinned a bit.

 

13 March

May kill him. I’d never get away with it. May as well do some investigating while he has his little meltdown. Make myself useful, even if apparently I’m not particularly companionable.

Chapter Text

"Some one called me 'Mr Holmes' today."
"Oh?"
"Yeah, it made me laugh."
"What did you say?"
"I said, 'please call me John.'"
"Not Doctor Watson?"
"Who calls me Doctor Watson?"
"Your patients, I imagine."
"Nah, they all call me John as well."
"Well, you may call yourself Holmes, if you like. I know it's a name with cache."
"Thanks, love. That's generous. I'll stick to Watson. You'd make a good Watson yourself, you know."
"That's flattering, John, thank you."
"Really?"
"Of course. You're a Watson, aren't you?"
"And you'd be me?"
"Well, no, not exactly. If I were you, I couldn't be your husband, and that'd be very bad."
"If you were me, you'd be your husband."
"Frankly, John, that sounds awful. You've really got the shit end of the stick. Sorry."
"Erm. I disagree."
"I know you do, but that doesn't make me incorrect."
"You are a marvel and a joy and completely and utterly incorrect."
"You really don't need to flatter me, John."
"I never flatter you, love."
"You compliment me excessively. Am I to believe you're always completely sincere?"
"Always.”

...

“Look here, you’ve left bite marks on me again, you savage.”
“Where?”
“Here on my hip. See?”
“Oh yes. Whoops.”
“Don’t even pretend to pretend you’re sorry. You are so pleased with yourself.”
“Me?”
“You look like the cat that got the canary.”
“I did get the canary, John.”

...

"All right, love? You look a bit unsettled."
"I've got an itch partway up my back, but I don't want to take off my coat so I can reach it. I'm half-frantic, to be honest."
"I'll get it."
"Oooh, bless you, John. That's not quite it. Could you go under my jacket, please? There we are. Perfect."

...

“That could have actually been an interesting case.”
“What do you know about interesting?”
“No need for that. No need to run off clients either.”
“I asked three times. The first time I was polite.”
“Not everyone can rattle off a traumatic story like they’re telling you what time it is, Sherlock.”
“I don’t want to hear stories at all; I want to hear a list of facts.”
“Right, yeah, I know you do, but when you interview a client, it’s rather intimate, and you should be respectful of that. Let them set the pace, at least.”
“Intimate? Will you never stop romanticising? John, if I let the clients direct the interviews, they’d all be a load of pointless, boring snivelling with no relevant information at all. Ordinary people need to be directed. They’ve no idea how to be useful.”
“You’re meant to be useful to them, remember?”
“Which I cannot be unless they’re useful to me first.”
“They’re people, Sherlock, not just game pieces. Their problems mean something to them, or they wouldn’t come to you. They don’t exist just so you won’t be bored.”
“You know I have to maintain distance to maintain clarity.”
“Yes, I know, but you could be polite.”
“Perhaps you should do the interviews.”
“All right, don’t be snide.”
“I wasn’t, John. I mean it. You’re a charmer. You can extract information.”
“You make it sound so insidious.”
“You know what I mean. You’re quite talented at gentle manipulation.”
“That’s even more insidious. And a bit dirty.”
“Ha, yes, I intended it to be.”
“I know.”
“Something about you makes people turn soft-hearted and easily-lead. It’s terribly useful; I envy you.”
“Right now, slow down. You’re going to compliment me to death.”

Chapter Text

"I'll have that back, thanks."
"No, I'm not finished!"
"It's upsetting you."
"It's really interesting."
"Well I'll read you a good bit, and then we'll put it away, all right? Compromise?"
"What sort of good bit?"
"Something nice happening."
"Like what? I don't know what's in there. What nice things happen?"
"You lived them, you know."
"I know, but what things were nice for you?"
"Shall I just pick one, and we'll call it finished?"
"Two."
"Two?"
"Two nice things, then we put it away and renegotiate later."
"That's a very different proposition, you know."
"Yes, yours was rubbish. This one's better."
"Two nice things, and it stays put away."
"Ten nice things, and it stays put away."
"Five nice things. But you have to give me time to find them."
"Acceptable."
"And you have to let me choose the moments to read them."
"How long do you have to discharge this obligation?"
"Infinity."
"Infinity? Seems a bit hard on me to wait so long."
"Well the remainder of our relationship then."
"Same thing. Once we get up to the moon, we just go on indefinitely, if I understand correctly."
"I'm sure you do. Well, you'll always have something to look forward to then."
"Indeed. Rocket's coming along nicely. Any day now."

...

Do I get any grapes?

 

Grapes?
~Molly~

 

Don't I get grapes for my near death experiences? Or is that a Sherlock-only privilege?

 

It wasn't near death. It just knocked you derpier.
~Molly~

 

Derpier?!

 

Yep. Sherlock's loads better at almost dying than you are.
~Molly~

 

Quality not quantity.

 

This may be the most morbid conversation I've ever had.
~Molly~

 

And I do post-mortems.
~Molly~

 

Can't stop giggling, though.
~Molly~

 

Yeah, me neither. Sherlock's really annoyed. He's derpier than I am. See the annoyed face?
*photo attached*

 

You two are ridiculous.

 

That was him. He wrested my phone away from me.

 

Big brute, he is.

 

Are you going to go on like that much longer?
~Molly~

 

Are you asking because you’re enjoying it so much?

 

No.
~Molly~

...

“Is he all right?”
“Yeah, he’s fine. When he’s really upset, he doesn’t bother slamming. He just likes a racket.”
“Should we go after him?”
“No, he just wants some fresh air.”
“Are you sure?”
“You can go after him, if you like, but he’s looking a bit stroppy so he’ll probably be rude and walk too fast. I’m going to sit here and finish my coffee and wait for him to come back.”
“All right then. Why’ve you got toys in your sitting room?”
“Oh, the bear? That’s Sherlock’s.”
“Well, yes, the bear and that little ship behind the skull. Why’s Sherlock got a bear?”
“It’s from when he was a kid. I didn’t even see the little ship. Must be the pirate thing.”
“Er, what? What pirate thing?”
“He liked pirates.”
“Oh, I thought maybe you’d got a secret baby or something.”
“No, no babies, Molly. Where would we get a secret baby anyway?”
“You might steal it.”
“No, we don’t steal babies. Though Sherlock did compare himself to Rumpelstiltskin the other day.”
“Did he? How?”
“He said he was about to tear himself in half with impatience.”
“Ha, I can just picture it. Did he stamp his foot?”
“He did, actually.”

...

“Molly reckons she and I look a bit alike.”
“So you do.”
“No, we don’t.”
“Don’t you see it?”
“Because we both wear cardigans, and we’re both vaguely ginger?”
“Don’t be stupid, John. She’s ginger; you’re not. It’s your integrity.”
“Now you’re spouting poetry about Molly, too? I’ve really made an impression on you.”
“It isn’t poetry; it’s just true. Integrity is wildly overrated, but you’ve both got it sitting right on your face, plain as any of your other features. I always fancy it’s balanced on the tip of your nose.”
“I suppose we’ve both got a bit of a nose.”
“Well, yes, that as well. It’s a perfect nose, but yeah, a bit of a nose.”
“Well, it holds a lot of integrity.”

Chapter Text

“How's the writing, John? Any good?”
“The last time I showed you something I wrote, you said it was ‘perfect for those with short attention spans and soft hearts.’”
“That was a compliment.”
“Was it?”
“Wide reader base.”
“Unlike yours?”
“My natural brilliance often works against me.”

...

“Can’t sleep, love?”
“I’m not tired. Was I disturbing you?”
“No, I love to hear you play that piece. Go on.”
“The kettle’s just boiled, so I was going to stop for a bit. May I play it for you after I’ve had my tea?”
“Of course, love.”
“Tea, John?”
“Yes, thank you, Sherlock.”
“While you wait for your tea, have a look at your friend the moon, John.”
“Oh, a lovely one. I do like those big, yellow ones.”
“Yes, I know. You say so every time.”

...

"How do you intend to amuse me today, John?"
"That's down to me, is it?"
"Well, I could invent ways to amuse myself, I suppose. I could have a go at the smashables."
"Actually, I invented the smashables."
"You didn't invent me breaking things. You procured the box."
"I procured the concept. And the box. And I found all the tools, including the perfect hammer."
"You may have sixty percent of the credit, then."
"Ha, thanks love; that's generous."
"You've still not answered my question."
"I'm playing for time. You've such high expectations, I've got to think of something good."
"You always answer my high expectations."
"Do I?"
"Yes, John, you do."
"Well, if you like you can amuse yourself by trying to amuse me."
"Oh? And how do you propose I do that?"
"We could spend the day together, and you could be very sparkling and witty as if you really wanted to impress me."
"Aren’t I always?”
“Always trying to impress me?”
“Always sparkling and witty.”
“Ah, of course. I’ve an idea. We could make a game of your sparkling wit.”
“What sort of game?”
“Everything you say has got to be either a compliment, a joke, or a rhyme. Lots of opportunity to show off there.”
“For how long?”
“The rest of the day.”
“Hmmm.”
“I’ll sweeten the pot. If you perform to my satisfaction, I’ll read you one of your five nice things.”
“All right then. Shake on it.”
“When would you like to start?”
“I defer to your judgement, John, as it’s always impeccable.”
“Ah, so we’ve begun. Excellent.”

Chapter Text

To make our game a bit more interesting, I decided to take Sherlock to lunch. When I announced my plan, he nodded, got my jacket down from the hook, and held it out for me.

"Ta love," I said. This remark, it seemed, did not merit a joke, rhyme, or compliment because in answer, he only squeezed my shoulder. "You're going to be a bit quiet today, aren't you?"

"Might do."

"By the way, rule one still applies you know."

"I assumed so."

"So all your compliments have got to be sincere." Sherlock half smiled and looked into my face for a long moment before offering his elbow. "Thank you again, my lovely love. How courtly," I said as I took his arm.

"My John, how could I wish else than to keep to the spirit of your entertaining game?"

"How indeed. Shall we invite Molly to lunch? Can Molly play?"

"It's really not her bag, is it? Not the sort of thing she'd be interested in at all."

I grinned, "You want to think carefully about your ironic remarks, love. Saying the opposite of what you mean doesn't necessarily constitute a joke."

"You know best, John."

...

Having a game with Sherlock. Want to play?

 

I don't know. Is it a weird game?
~Molly~

 

Bit weird, but I think you might enjoy it. He can't speak unless he's making a joke, paying a compliment, or rhyming.

 

That's quite weird. But I'll play.
~Molly~

 

How do I play?
~Molly~

 

We're about to have lunch. Want to join us?

 

Sure, sounds lovely. Where?
~Molly~

 

Are you at home? We'll pop round your flat and pick you up.

 

Yeah, come round. See you in a bit, then.
~Molly~

...

After my conversation with John, I tidied up a bit, making sure there weren’t any stray knickers in sight. I thought of changing my clothes, but that’s the sort of thing Sherlock likes to point out. I really didn’t want to hear a rhyme about the significance of me changing from trousers to jeans. Still when the boys arrived a few minutes later, I could see Sherlock deducing as he walked in.

“Very charming,” he said by way of greeting. He sidled away from John and me to poke around my sitting room. John and I stood angled so we could watch him look around while we said our hellos.

“So what do you want to eat?” I asked.

“Doesn’t matter to me,” said Sherlock at once, “I’m here for the company.”

“Was that a joke or compliment?” said John.

“What do you think I meant?” said Sherlock. He lifted one of my books from the shelf and began to leaf through it.

“Right, then. Molly, why don’t you choose a place?”

“Actually, I bet Sherlock knows somewhere around here. He knows somewhere around everywhere, don’t you?”

John and I both looked at Sherlock. He smiled back at us, “Ah, your confidence in me is flattering.” Then he went back to looking at his book. My book.

“It really is hard to know if he’s paying a compliment or making a joke, isn’t it?” I said. “They overlap. You’re having your own game with us, aren’t you, Sherlock?”

“Astute as ever, Molly,” he answered smiling a bit without looking up from his book.

“Do you want us to guess which is which?” asked John.

“I think I’d rather not know,” I said. Sherlock chuckled.

Sherlock didn’t ever actually consent to lead us anywhere, but once we were all three out on the pavement, we found that’s what happened. Perhaps he can’t help it. Soon we were being seated in a nice little Chinese restaurant.

“Oh, I’ve been here before,” John remarked as we settled into our chairs. Sherlock smiled and opened his menu.

“Have you?” I asked.

“You might say it was our first date.” Sherlock rolled his eyes. “Oh dear, a factual inaccuracy. What are you going to do about my use of poetic licence, Sherlock?” Sherlock patted his hand, and he laughed.

“Want to bring me into your little joke?” I said.

“Oh we came here for dinner after he solved the first case we worked together. He brought me here.”

“You two aren’t going to go all sweet and disgusting, are you?”

“Do we do that?” asked John.

“Ergh, god. Always. I’m with Sherlock, though. That wasn’t your first date. Or if it was, you’re both much thicker than I realised. You were dithering long after that.”

“Molly, wise and frank as usual,” said Sherlock.

“Molly is getting loads more of the compliments than I am,” John said.

“My John, everything I say or do is in compliment to you.”

“Right, if that was a joke, it was really mean.”

“How could it have been?”

“He’s already gotten so good at this,” I said.

“We shouldn’t be surprised,” said John.

“It’s such a pleasure to be praised by two people such as yourselves,” said Sherlock.

“Look at what you’ve done, John,” I said. “You’ve found a way to make the world’s most smug and inscrutable man even more smug and inscrutable.”

“Well done, you,” said Sherlock, clapping John on the back.

“I do bring out your charming side, don’t I,” said John, “It’s one of my favourite talents.”

“Must be difficult to choose from among so many,” said Sherlock.

“I was just going to say,” I said.

...

“You are a great sport, love. Really good fun. Thanks. I think I’ll let you off early, though, if you don’t mind. I miss talking to you properly.”
“My pleasure, John.”
“Would you like to hear your nice bit?”
“Shall I get the book?”
“No need. I’ve got it memorised.”
“Have you?”
“‘Have not set foot in my bedroom for three days. Can’t stop smiling.’ Bit sweet.”
“It’s brilliant.”
“You like it?”
“Yes.”
“I hope you like the rest.”
“I will.”
“Does it make up a bit for the others?”
“There’s no need, John.”
“I really always have had such fun with you, love.”

Chapter Text

“You don’t have to get up just because I’m up, you know.”
“Hmm?”
“You’re exhausted. Go back to bed.”
“I’m fine, John.”
“You’re asleep in your chair.”
“I’m thinking.”
“Well you’ll get a stiff neck thinking quite so deeply in your chair. Back to bed, love.”
“Oh, all right then.”
“I can come and sit with you, if you like. Until you fall asleep.”
“You may, if it’ll please you, John.”
“Ha, that’s generous, love. I like that you’ve gotten completely dressed. Just to prove you’re not asleep on your feet, I suppose. Well it’s all going to have to come off before you get under the sheets.”
“So fastidious.”
“It’s not hygienic to wear street clothes to bed. Especially not your street clothes, as loads of them have seen the inside of a skip.”
“Talking of unhygienic skips, you know Skip is asleep on your pillow right now.”
“That’s different.”
“It isn’t.”
“Well, she can’t take off her street clothes and you can.”
“No, I’m clearly too exhausted to bother. If you want me undressed, you’ll have to undress me yourself.”
“You know I think I have more experience in that than almost any other activity in the world.”

...

“Now it’s really time to put something on.”
“Why?”
“You’ve spent the last eight hours naked.”
“Not naked. I’m in my dressing gown. And it’s only seven hours.”
“Put something on.”
“No.”
“It’s unwholesome.”
“When have I ever cared anything about wholesome? Anyway it’s perfectly wholesome. Edenic innocence. Unencumbered by your unwholesome notions of modesty.”
“Modesty is unwholesome?”
“What sort of prurient imagination would decide that a person needs to be covered to be decent?”
“Ha, you are clever. Turned that around nicely. I concede you’re not corrupting anyone. But you do need to get dressed.”
“Why?”
“Because I asked you to, and you’re just so obliging.”
“Actually John, I’m famously not at all obliging.”

...

Any idea why Sherlock is ignoring me?
-DI Lestrade-

 

Have you been trying to reach us? He threw his phone at the wall because he thought he’d been texting a suspect, but the suspect had only left his mobile in a nightclub so he'd just got some random youth instead.

 

I’ll let him know his phone’s broken. What’s up?

 

Come round the station as soon as you can. It’s a big one.
-DI Lestrade-

 

What is it?

 

Oh never mind. It seems he is getting your texts.

 

He says ‘mind the toe ring’. Does that help?

 

Yes, actually, it does. Miraculously it does.
-DI Lestrade-

 

Thanks a lot. Drinks soon, I expect.
-DI Lestrade-

 

Definitely. Give us a call.

...

“Ohhhhh god. From now on gin is banned at 221B. I don’t want to look at it; I don’t want to smell it. I certainly don’t want to drink it. Gin is the devil.”
“I knew you’d say that.”
“Shut up.”
“Shall I make you a cup of tea?”
“I’m anti-liquid at the moment. Just let me lie in here silence, but for my whimpers of self-pity.”
“You do whimper admirably, John. But you’ll feel better once you’ve had some tea. You’re dehydrated.”
“I know what I am.”
“Let me attend to you. It’s such a pleasure, and one you’re nearly never self-destructive enough to allow.”
“Fine, attend, but do it quietly.”
“You need to eat, too. I fancy some porridge. Does that sound nice to you? Do you take jam on your porridge? I think we’ve got some apple jam left from the parcel Mycroft’s assistant sent when you had your little mishap. Or if you don’t like apple, there’s apricot. Also from the parcel. All these A jams. Was that intentional, I wonder? There’s also blackcurrant and blueberry. Any C jams? I suppose we might call it currant jam comma black, but that’s a bit of a reach-”
“Bloody hell, Sherlock! I don’t care about alphabetising our jam! I’m just trying not to be sick on my own slippers, all right?”
“Cherry. There’s cherry. Oooh! Basin, John! Use the basin!”
“Ergh. God. That’s better, actually. I’ll have that tea.”
“Of course. I’ll put the kettle on.”
“And if there are any jams beginning with ‘D,’ I think I’ll have one of those on my porridge.”

Chapter Text

“John, far be it from me to downplay your contributions to our partnership, but shall we just agree now that everything you say and do and are is lucky for me, and you need not clog up our conversations by crowing about it every time you do something especially clever. You’re brilliant. I acknowledge it.”
“No, no, I don’t think that works for me. Some one ought to be crowing about my brilliance, and if it’s not going to be you, it’ll have to be me.”
“Are you suggesting I don’t praise you enough?”
“I may be suggesting that.”
“Would you like to hear some new entries from my list?”
“I really would.”
“All right. Hmm. Number 489: John puts himself to good use in a fistfight, even when concussed.”
“So I do. Tripping people is easier from the ground, though.”
“Ah, your natural modesty showing through despite the purpose of this exercise. Would you like to hear more?”
“Of course.”
“Number 490: John makes lots of jokes when he knows he’s being infuriating. Number 491: John pulls excellent faces in the gallery so I have something funny to look at while giving evidence and I forget to shout at the solicitors.”
“That is not intentional. You’re just always thinking of new ways to shock me when you’re on the stand. It’s like it inspires you.”
“Number 492: John is rightly not at all self-conscious about his new scar.”
“It makes me look less like ‘a kitten in a jumper.’ Molly called me that last week.”
“Clever people who looked at you carefully always knew to be a bit afraid of you, John.”
“Were you ever a bit afraid of me?”
“Mmm, only in theory.”
“Good.”
“Number 493: John is not yet aware that his favourite jam is pineapple.”
“It’s blackberry.”
“You’re wrong, John. It’s pineapple.”

It is pineapple. Damn you.

 

Yes, I know, John.
-SH

 

What’s brought this on?
-SH

 

A patient brought some scones for the staff, and I overheard the transcriptionist telling the receptionist not to let me see.

 

Because I’d be in a ‘horrible sulk’ as some one had just finished the pineapple jam.

 

Which is absolutely true, damn you all.

 

You do sulk over jam. Tut tut, John. The transcriptionist and I are disappointed in you.
-SH

 

Stiff upper lip. Don’t disgrace your heritage.
-SH

 

Piss off.

 

Have we got any pineapple jam in?

 

Of course we have.
-SH

 

I know I’ve got to keep you comfortable John.
-SH

 

Enslaved as you are to your animal appetites.
-SH

 

You make me sound like such a pervert sometimes.

 

Yes, I mean to.
-SH

 

Isn’t that obvious?
-SH

“So I was right, then?”
“That’s not the point, John.”
“Hmm, really? That’s a first.”
“You were right, but you were ill-informed, which is a hundred thousand times worse than being wrong.”
“Yeah, I suppose you’re right. Quick, what does the moon go round? Sun or Earth? Or garden?”
“That was never the fact in question, John! And I thought we’d settled that I’ll never be able to forget that bit of utterly, pointlessly, unimportant trivia ever again!”
“The things you don’t know are pointless trivia, but the things I don’t know are a hundred thousand times worse than being wrong.”
“It’s not entirely your fault your mind is stuffed with rubbish. You’ve only been under my tutelage for five years. Takes a bit to undo a lifetime of bad habits. Oh shut up laughing!”
“Sorry, love. It was between laughing hysterically or punching you in the face.”
“Hmph. I’d have preferred the latter.”
“It can still be arranged.”

...

“You’ve got the best face in the world, John.”
“You do know you do that out loud?”
“You don’t want me to continue?”
“No, it’s fine.”
“For starters, your eyes are not one particular color. You’ll know all about that. Witch. And they’re enormous. Like little faces unto themselves. And you’ve got excellent eyebrows. They’re always bouncing around like mad telling me every thought you have.”
“They do that?”
“Yes, so does your mouth. But you’re still surprising. Always. How do you do that? Even when I know what you’re going to say, I don’t quite.”
“That’s one of my talents, you know. Being all mysterious. I’ve even got this big coat that I like to swoop around in all mysteriously.”
“I don’t know what’s mysterious about my winter coat.”
“Oh, so it wasn’t you who called yourself ‘dynamic’ and ‘enigmatic’?”
“Situationally. I was enigmatic and dynamic in that context. It was nothing to do with the coat.”
“Oh, of course. In that context.”
“Your face is being really excellent right now, John. I wish I could show it to you.”
“Easily done with a mirror”
“No good. It’ll change. Completely different sort of excellent.”
“You could try sneaking a photo.”
“I’ve got loads of stealth photos of you, John. I just don’t like to show them to you because then you’ll know how I take them and I’ll have to work out a new way to do it.”
“My lovely creep. The world is lucky I absorb most of your creeping.”
“The world is certainly lucky to have us both, John. I give you that.”

Chapter Text

"I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!"
"I trusted you, John!"
"I begged you not to trust me, love."
"How could you have done this to me? I said 'just take it off the collar and get my fringe out of my eyes, and I'll go to the barber on Monday.'"
"And I told you to wait until Monday! You insisted!"
"How could you have botched this so magnificently?"
"Well, you make it look like such fun to be a magnificent botcher. If it's any comfort, you're still gorgeous."
"Of course I am. A gorgeous scarecrow."
"I only meant to even it out a bit. I didn't want you to go round looking silly all weekend."
"So you've said. Very ironic."
"I know how you feel about that. Well never again."
"Indeed. Shake on it. And hand over your scissors. You're not dexterous enough to be trusted with them. Comes of being left-handed I suppose."
"My right hand is not any more dexterous."
"No, I didn't mean to imply that it was."

...

Usurper.

 

Indeed.
-SH

 

Remind me what I've stolen?
-SH

 

You've been wearing my jumper, haven't you? Smells of you.

 

I was wearing it last night when I couldn't sleep. That's why it was on the sofa.
-SH

 

I know. That's why I put it on this morning even though it was all over cat hair.

 

Did it help?

 

It helped a bit.
-SH

 

You should've stayed in bed. I can put you right, even in my sleep.

 

I needed to pace. It was just ordinary sleeplessness. Nothing for you to worry about. No nightmares.
-SH

 

You know you can wake me, if you need to.

 

I know.
-SH

 

Talking of dreams, I had a dream about you. We were doing a magic show together. We were all sparkly and wearing top hats.

 

There were hecklers in the audience, and you kept making them disappear. It was the only trick you'd do.

 

You said you'd do your regular act when you had complete silence.

 

You've quite an imagination, John.
-SH

 

Fancy you dreaming of me wearing a top hat. What rubbish.
-SH

 

And I don’t do magic, I *am* magic.
-SH

 

I would never, ever allege that you weren’t, love.

Chapter Text

My barber was very impressed with your handiwork, John.
-SH

 

He asked me if I’d started sleepwalking. Couldn't believe it when I told him you're a trauma surgeon. Crossed himself.
-SH

 

Oh god. Sorry, love.

 

It is a disappointment I expect to survive.
-SH

 

Could he make anything of it?

 

You’ll have to tell me once I get home. At the moment, I don't dare form an impression one way or the other.
-SH

 

The tops of my ears are cold. That’s all I know for sure.
-SH

 

Not the rest of your ears?

 

They were already acclimatised.
-SH

 

Maybe we can get you a nice hat.

 

John, don’t. You’ve robbed me of the patience I need to contend with your clever ideas about hats.
-SH

 

You and your scissors. You’ve snipped it out of me, you butcher.
-SH

 

Oh, all right then.

 

I quite like you with short hair. Hope you don’t mind me saying, tetchy.

 

Bite your tongue, John.
-SH

 

I quite like your face and your head in any of their configurations.

 

I suppose that’s acceptable.
-SH

 

Glad you can appreciate my head even when it's been mutilated under your hand.
-SH

...

"You've forgotten something, John!"
"Have I? Got my keys, my phone, and my wallet. Suppose it's a bit chilly. Do you think I should wear my scarf?"
"Aren't you going to kiss me goodbye?"
"Er, no, hadn't planned to, actually."
"No?!"
"Love, with due warmth and affection, et cetera, you just sneezed about six times in a row. Your mouth is all messy."
"A few of my germs will be good for you, John."
"Ha, generous, but I've already got loads and loads of your germs, thanks. Anyway, it's not just the germs. The texture of your mouth is all off after you sneeze. All over-soft."
"Are you suggesting my mouth is not as turgid as it ought to be?"
"Ergh, no, I don't think I said anything remotely like that. Oooh, bless you. Nice one. And again. That sounded like it rather hurt, actually. Oh, and now your nose is drippy. Your tissues are on the floor in front of the sofa on your right. Ha, sorry on my right. Must dash, love. See you tonight."
"Be honest, John. It's my haircut, isn't it? It's put you off."
"Well spotted. You disgust me now. I will kiss you goodbye, though. Last hurrah."
"Thank you, John. Your pity is moving."

“I’ve a proposition for you, Sherlock.”
“Have you? I like the sound of that.”
“To make up for the haircut, I thought I’d read you another of your nice things. Would you like that?”
“Yes, John.”
“Would you like a long one or a short one? I know the last one was a bit short.”
“You choose it for me, John. I want you to choose it. Shall I get the book?”
“I’ve got it here in my pocket.”
“Wait, let me sit closer.”
“Ready? Sitting comfortably? Let’s begin. Right then, erm, ‘He’s alive. Sherlock is alive, or I’m dead or mad because I talked to him today. I heard his voice. I made him laugh. Spoke to him for thirty seconds, and I made him laugh. Things are going to sort themselves out. Sherlock Holmes is in the world again.’ Ha. So that’s that, then. God, I was so in love with you.”
“So you were.Thank you, John. That was lovely. Thank you.”
“Were you in love with me yet?”
“Yes, I think so. Yes. I must have been.”

Chapter Text

“You do know Mycroft is sat downstairs in your chair, don’t you?”
“Of course I do. That’s why I’m up here. I heard Mrs Hudson let him in, so I popped up to the empty bedroom to avoid him. It’s dusty in here. I’ve got a headache from trying to sneeze silently.”
“You’re hiding from your older brother?”
“Not hiding exactly. I’m fairly sure he knows I’m here. I’m just waiting him out. He’s only been there ten minutes. He’ll go soon, I hope. Was he polite to you?”
“You know me. Never speak ill of family.”
“Ha. Perish the thought.”
“What does he want?”
“No idea.”
“If you don’t want to see him, couldn’t you go downstairs and tell him to piss off?”
“Well, that would be rude, wouldn’t it?”
“Ha, yeah, I suppose it would.”
“I was just thinking of going out the window, actually. Want to join me?”
“Can we? Is there a way down?”
“Of course. I’ve done it a few times before. I’m a bit hungry, now I’m thinking of it. Want to get some dinner?”
“Yeah, let’s go. Should we leave Mycroft?”
“He’ll be fine. If he gets bored, he can let himself out.”
“Well then, after you, my love.”
“Nonsense, John. Age before beauty.”

...

“Pardon me for asking such a ridiculous question, but did I just see you and your husband fall past your sitting room window?”
“You may have, if you were looking out of my sitting room window just now. We didn't really fall, though. It was a bit of climbing, a bit of jumping.”
“I fear I must ask you another ridiculous question. Are you fleeing me?”
“We have a dinner engagement. Sorry to have missed you. Hope you can find your way out.”
“I need to speak with you, Sherlock.”
“Feel free to phone my office and set an appointment, then.”
“Office? What office?”
“Haven't got one. So you'll just have to piss off. Whoops, I've told John I wouldn't say that. Oh it seems he doesn't mind, so that's all right then.”
“I've a case for you.”
“Then you should approach me as if you're soliciting my expertise and not issuing a summons. I value my time just as highly as you value yours.”
“Fine then. I'll call again tomorrow, three o'clock.”
“I haven't my diary about me at the moment, Mycroft, but I've been terribly busy lately. Don't know if I can squeeze you in.”
“This is extremely childish, even for you, Sherlock. I wish I could say I'm surprised at you, but sadly I am not. Do you ever intend to grow up?”
“You might try actually asking me when it is convenient for me to meet you. But you've delayed our dinner long enough. Good evening.”
“Sherlock, stop behaving like a fool and come back up here at once.”
“I’ve really nothing more to say on the subject, Mycroft, and you’ve begun to repeat yourself. I think we can call this conversation over. Good evening. Oh by the way, please clear out of my flat before I get back. You're not exactly welcome, as you can't find it in you not to behave like a pompous arse towards everyone who lives there.”
“There are ways for me to arrange an audience with you whenever I like, whether you are amenable or not.”
“Are you really so opposed to treating me like a person that you'd abduct me rather than ask me when I'm free? Can't say that makes me feel inclined to work your case, Mycroft. Don't know that I'd be able to make anything of it under such inhumane working conditions. Anyway, like I've said many times before, we do have a timetable. Good evening.”

Chapter Text

Shut up.
-SH

No.

 

No?!
-SH

 

You're not even in the flat. You're not allowed to tell me to shut up when you're not at home.

 

I'm out on the pavement in front of the flat. I can hear you and Molly playing that Sex, Death, Marriage game with the characters from Doctor Who.
-SH

 

I'd rather eat a bowl of light bulbs with skim milk than listen to another nanosecond of that conversation.
-SH

 

If you're still doing it when I get up there, I'm afraid I'll have to kill you both.
-SH

 

Feel free to try.

 

Do you have Molly's permission to make that offer?
-SH

 

Yes, more than. We're ready for you, Montresor. Help yourself.

...

“Why’s there a box under the bed labeled ‘John’s Mess’?”
“Did you look inside it?”
“No. I’m scared to. What is it?”
“Nothing for you to worry about.”
“What? What is it?”
“John, I don’t think you want to discuss this.”
“Right, I’ll just have a look, then.”
“Don’t! It’s mine. I’ll move it. Just leave it be. Don’t touch it.”
“Hmmm.”
“Hmmm what?”
“Is this a trap?”
“A trap?”
“You want me to look in the box, don’t you?”
“No, John, don’t! Can’t I have one tantalising secret without you poking your nose in?”
“That’s that, then. I will die before I look inside that box.”
“See that you do.”
...

"John, you look beautiful today."
"Ha, what? Are you being funny?"
"You're a revelation in green. Why've you not been draped in green from head to foot your whole life?"
"That'd be a bit loud, don't you think?"
"Your eyes are so green. God."
"All right then. Settle down."
"Don't you like me complimenting you? You always say such florid things about my looks."
"Oh are we in a contest about that, too?"
"No, of course not, but if I want to tell my husband he's the most beautiful creation on the earth, I'd rather not be rebuffed with pointless modesty. By the way, if you don't like me telling you how lovely you are, the thing to do is not bite your lip like that. You're making things worse on yourself."
"Oh, go on then."
"Try and stop me."
...

“You’re not going to make friction marks feel better by rubbing them, love. Try the ointment I brought you.”
“I know what to do for rope burn, John. I’ve been tied up before.”
“Erm, you weren’t tied up. You just insisted on taking all the carrier bags because you thought I was casting aspersions on your arm strength.”
“You were!”
"No matter how strong you are, hanging seven heavy carrier bags off one arm will leave friction burns and bruises. It's physics. And biology."
"Thank you, Mr Science."
"Doctor Science to you."
...

“John, what on earth is all that racket?”
“Sorry, I just kicked a dish of cat food across the kitchen.”
“Well, could you stop it, please?”
“It was an accident, wasn’t it? I wasn’t planning to do it again.”
“You’re annoying everyone.”
“‘Everyone’ being you and the cats.”
“Obviously.”
“They don’t get a vote.”
“What would we vote on? Just shut up and stop kicking the dishes.”
“I have stopped!”
“Good. Mind you don’t take it up again.”
...

“So I haven’t said because you seem to dislike it, but I really like your haircut.”
“Do you?”
“Yeah, and I’m going to go on about it a bit because you’ve gotten a few drinks in me-”
“Hardly a challenge.”
“Haaaaaaa, shut up. What was I saying?”
“You like my haircut.”
“Yeah. Good haircut. Brilliant haircut.”
“I like you when you’re like this, John. You’re a very affectionate drunk.”
“Am I?”
“Even before we were together, you were a very affectionate drunk.”
“Oh, tell me more. What did I do that was so affectionate?”
“Once you fell asleep on my lap.”
“I did not!”
“You did. It was rather brilliant.”
“You liked it, did you?”
“Very much.”
“Ha, you liked me. You were fond of me.”
“Well, I’m fond of you now.”
“Oh, you’ve been fond of me since the first time you borrowed my phone. Why else would you have winked at me?”
“You should be grateful for that wink, John. It was your coup de foudre.”
“God, I love it when you’re romantic and pretentious at the same time.”
“Bite your tongue, John!”
“Oh! I was talking of your haircut. Good haircut. Brilliant haircut.”

Chapter Text

I am in a really frightful mood. It seems as if it's been grey and drizzling for years. Generally I like that sort of weather, but it's getting bloody monotonous. Found myself muttering, 'What about a hurricane?' the other day. Feeling so listless that I cannot even be bothered to check the website or John's blog for potential clients. John does it for me and dutifully continues to check every evening's papers for interesting possibilities, but the world is insisting on being staid beyond reason. I'm trying to look at a water sample (experiment on different types of scum) with my microscope at the moment, but I've smudged the top slide with my thumb, and the sight of the smudge is irritating me. Try to add another two milliliters of my sample with my pipettor and split both slides. Which is enough to break my temper. I snatch up the little broken halves and throw them at the opposite wall. They shatter (obviously), and I don't feel any better. I can sort of sense John holding in his tuts from his chair, but he all he says is,

"Have you just cut your hand on that slide, love?" Look down at my hand, and it is indeed bleeding. Probably from the palm. Can’t see where the cut is, and it hardly hurts at all. Feel the little thrill I always feel when John deduces accurately (quite often now, but I hope that feeling never goes away. John should be thrilling. John is thrilling).

"Yes." That's all I can bring myself to say politely. John gets up and rummages behind the sofa for his first aid kit. He keeps them all over the flat. I'm rather prone to small (and large but that's neither here nor there) injuries. John shucks off his cardigan, rolls up his sleeves, and goes to the sink to wash his hands. Once he's washed and dried his hands, he comes and sits on the chair next to me.

"Let's have a look, then," he says, gently spreading my hand out flat on the table. "Get the light, love," he says, and I reach for the chain with my left (uninjured) hand and switch it on. John takes a pair of tweezers out of his kit and lifts my hand toward his face. He hums a bit of the piece I composed for him for a few (sixteen) seconds then mutters, "Aha!" He extracts from my palm a sliver of glass about the size of an eyelash and drops it on the table. "Don't touch that," he says. "It'll go right back in." I did rather want to pick it up and look at it. It's so bloody. Red all over. It came out of my hand, and I didn’t even feel it go in. John tears open a sterile wipe packet, swabs my hand clean of blood, applies a plaster (now the blood’s gone, I can see the cut. It’s toward the outer edge of my palm, below my index finger), and drops a little kiss on my thumb. "There's you patched up, love," he says, smiling fondly into my face. I want to kiss him, and that annoys me for some reason. "Next time you might think your tantrum through a bit better? This is why we have the smashables, you know."

"Shut up, John."

John laughs. "If you didn't say that as often as you do, it'd likely really annoy me. But you've overused it, and now it almost sounds like an endearment. You are my lovely love even when you're being a bit horrid." He slides off his chair, puts both hands in my hair (mmm) and kisses me. When he starts to draw back, I wrap my arms round his waist and drop my head onto his chest. Breathe in his smell (strongly evergreen today) and listen to his heartbeat. Soothing. He strokes my hair for another few moments, then says, "Go clear up that mess you've just made, or we'll be picking up that glass with our bare feet." He steps back to allow me to get up from my chair. I stand and look round for the broom. "Broom's in the cupboard," he says. "And when you've finished with that, get your things on. We're going out for a bit. No arguments, please. When you're chucking your experiments across the room, it's time for a bit of fresh air." I consider refusing to cooperate, just for the satisfaction of contrariness, but he’d likely only continue to be perfect and understanding and a tiny bit smug about it. Infuriating. I clear up the glass (takes a bit; all those shards) and pull my coat on. My gloves are not in my coat pocket, where I usually keep them. I look round for them and see John’s got them. “Not that you aren’t always a picture, Sherlock,” he says, handing me one glove, “but you’re going to be just gorgeous when we get back in.”

“Am I?” I put my glove on and reach for the other, but he holds it away.

“You are,” John continues. “You’ll have rain in your hair. And you may be a bit flushed. If we walk fast, as it’s cold out.”

“And that’s gorgeous?”

John nods, “Very.” He licks his lips and hands over the other glove. “And you’re going to be pleasant on our walk, aren’t you, love?”

“Am I?”

“Or at least quiet, if you can’t be pleasant.”

“Oh?”

“Well, if not you won’t see what I’ve got planned for you when we get back to the flat.”

“Have you got something planned for me?”

John opens the front door and holds it for me. “I have,” he says as he steps into the hall behind me. “Just something nice to get you properly out of your little strop.”

I turn to face him, “And what’s that?”

John grins and licks his lips again, “Don’t ask stupid questions, Sherlock.” He offers me his elbow. “Shall we?”

I take it, “Yes. Let’s.” My mood (ahem) is already lifting. John can see; he looks terribly smug. “This has all been quite calculated, hasn’t it, John?” I ask.

He shrugs, his grin broadening. “Maybe. But you like calculated, don’t you Montresor?”

“Don’t ask stupid questions, John.”

Chapter Text

“That’s mine!”
“Share and share alike, John.”
“You’ve got your own collection of lavish dressing gowns. What do you want with mine?”
“It smells of you.”
“Oh.”
“Mmm, yes. I was positively steeped in you a bit ago, but it’s mostly rinsed off in the shower. So.”
“So you've pinched my dressing gown?”
“Yes.”
“It’s a bit short on you.”
“It covers the essentials.”
“Unfortunately.”
“Oh, all right. Have it back, then.”
“Thanks, love. You can just chuck it on that chair, actually. I’m only asking for it back out of spite and lasciviousness.”
“Would you mind terribly if I opened the window, John? I know we’re both a bit damp, but I’m finding it rather close in here after our little constitutional.”
“Go ahead, love. Wet hair doesn’t actually cause illness, you know.”
“It doesn’t cure it.”
“Does it disappoint you when I’m not stodgy enough? Sherlock, I forbid you to open that window! You’ll catch your death!”
“I’m in a generous enough mood to admit that your tutting is usually reasonable.”
“Astonishingly generous.”

“I’m hungry.”
“Yeah?”
“John, I’m hungry.”
“Is that your idea of asking me to make you something?”
“I know you know what I want. You always do; you’re so clever.”
“Flattery will get you everywhere.”
“No, you’re unflatterable. You always know when I’m having you on.”
“Is this flattery?”
“You would know, wouldn’t you?”
“Then it isn’t. You’re right; I am so clever. And handsome.”
“And funny.”

“Could you stop licking your lips, please? It’s extremely distracting.”
“It’s windy. My mouth is dry.”
“Well have some of my lip balm, then.”
“Oh, cheers, love.”
“Just help yourself.”
“Where is it?”
“Pocket.”
“Which pocket?”
“Trouser pocket. Right trouser pocket.”
“Oho, I sense an ulterior motive.”
“I’m working, John. We’re working. We need to focus. Just help yourself to my lip balm and stop licking your lips.”
“I suppose I can save my liplicking for the coat cupboard.”
“Do.”
“You should wear tighter trousers.”
“Compose yourself, John.”
“Right, mustn’t distract you because the sooner you’ve solved it, the sooner I can find somewhere around here to fuck you, yeah? Ooh, all right, love? You look a bit flushed.”
“Could you get me a glass of water, please?”
“Of course. Back in a tic."

Chapter Text

“Uh oh.”
“What?!”
“You only do that hair flippy thing when you’re really stroppy. What’s up?”
“Hair flippy thing? What the hell are you talking about?”
“You sort of flip out your hair with your fingers like you’ve suddenly realised it’s full of beetles or something.”
“Full of beetles? What are you on about, John?”
“You do know you do that?”
“I don’t know what it is I’m meant to have done. You can’t seem to explain it properly.”
“Well, the hair flippy thing wasn’t the point. Is something bothering you?”
“Yes, you are!”
“Right, then. Never mind. Tea?”
“Fine, if it’ll shut you up.”
“If you don’t want to be asked why you’re in a mood, you could be a bit less dramatic about it.”
“Me dramatic? You’re the one who seems determined to argue about nothing.”
“Right, let’s backtrack a bit. Tea?”
“Yes, please.”
“I’ll put the kettle on.”

...

“So Molly, are you ever going to introduce us to your new bloke?”
“Took you long enough to work it out. Sherlock asked about him ages ago.”
“I’ve been wondering for a while. He’s just ruder than me.”
“Yeah, he was quite rude.”
“This weekend, then?”
“What?”
“We should all have a drink.”
“Ha, not likely.”
“No?”
“Nope.”
“Next weekend, then.”
“Tell you what, John. If we get married, you’ll be invited to the wedding.”
“We’re not a dark and terrible secret, are we?”
“Don’t flatter yourselves.”
“Don’t we get a chance to make sure he’s good enough for our little Molly Matchmaker?”
“Ergh.”
“Sorry, Molly. Only joking.”
“Even Sherlock didn’t call me little Molly Matchmaker. That was quite disgusting.”
“Sorry. Don’t know what I was thinking. You’re right. I don’t deserve to meet Neal.”
“How do you know he’s called Neal?”
“Whoops, I wasn’t going to mention that.”
“You’re getting worse than he is.”
“I know. He’s a terrible influence.”

“Could you not sniff me in public please?”
“Why not?”
“It’s odd.”
“So?”
“People are looking at us.”
“They’re impressed. Anyway, people are always looking at us.”
“People may not be as generally impressed with us as you think.”
“Don’t talk nonsense, John.”
“I’ll stop talking nonsense, if you’ll stop sniffing me.”
“You're proposing that terrible bargain, but I know if I take it, you'll only respect me less."
...

One evening Sherlock and I were sat at the table together in a fairly companionable silence. I was reading the paper, and he was typing furiously on his laptop. He paused in his clattering at the keyboard, and I looked up. The moment we caught eyes, he slammed his laptop shut and said loudly, “Cook me a potion, witch!”
“Is this your rudest way yet of asking for a cup of tea?”
He smiled, “Tea? Don’t be boring, witch.” Then he slid off his chair and went to have a shower. When he returned (toweling his damp hair and with his dressing gown hanging open)(mmm), I had a hot drink waiting at his seat. He took a long, eager draw on the mug, wincing a bit as he burnt his mouth. “More magical already,” he declared. “What is this, John?”
“Magic, of course.”
“Hot water, lemon, blackcurrant jam, and ermmm, pepper?”
“No. Magic!”
“Right, of course. Magic.” Sherlock took another long sip of his potion. “Mmm, yes, now I do see that it’s all magic. Nothing mundane like lemon juice in it at all.”
“You’re married to a witch, Sherlock. Mind you don’t make such a mistake again.”
“Shall I make it up to you with a nice pressing?”
“Well. If it’s very nice.”

Chapter Text

"Well. That was a spectacle."
"What?"
"Hadn't seen you flirting in ages. It was just as awkward as I remembered."
"What are you on about?"
"Your little display with the barista."
"Oh good lord. I was not flirting with the barista."
"No? You were very gregarious."
"I'm naturally gregarious."
"With pretty girls."
"Oh, stop it. This is a pile of rubbish, and we both know it. Even when I, erm, had a more active interest in pretty girls, you always eclipsed that. Which you are very well aware of."
"Hmph."
"Did you know that everyone I dated after I met you cited our relationship when they were chucking me?"
"Really?"
"Really."
"That makes me feel better."
"I know."
"Is that wrong?"
"Probably, but it's what I intended. Anyway, you're one to talk."
"Me?!"
"What was it you said to that witness yesterday? That her earrings were striking?"
"Necklace. And that wasn't flirting, it was priming. I wanted to put her at ease, so she'd be informative. For the work, John. For a case."
"Well, it doesn't matter to me because it doesn't mean anything, does it?"
"No."
"Well then."
...

“Argh! What are you doing?”
“I need a cold rinse, John, or my hair goes absolutely mad. Use your limited imagination to think what it’s like to have curly hair.”
“You might have warned me!”
“It wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t overstayed your welcome.”
“Overstayed my welcome?”
“Yes.”
“This is your shower, is it? And I’m a tolerated intruder?”
“Tolerated guest.”
“Very generous.”
“Well, I knew you’d moan, so I set a fire and put your dressing gown in your chair so it’ll be hot when you get out.”
“Set a fire?”
“Lit a fire. In the fireplace.”
“Right. Important distinction. Well, love, that’s very thoughtful and thoughtless simultaneously.”
“Talent of mine.”
...

"Don't you make a pretty pair? You look very sweet together."
"Thank you."
"'Thank you?' Is that all?"
"Hmm?"
"No 'bite your tongue, John!' or accusations of witchcraft?"
"No, my experiences with you have taught me to be a bit more comfortable with my feelings."
"Have they?"
"Yes."
"So your experiences with me, your husband, your partner in every possible way, your constant companion of well over five years have taught you to be more comfortable with your feelings for the cat?"
"Yes. I love her."
"Well. Glad I could help."
"No point in denying chemistry, John."
"No, love, there certainly isn't, is there?"

...

:)

 

Stop it.
-SH

 

<3

 

STOP IT.
-SH

 

;*

 

John, just stop it.
-SH

 

What the hell is that little star thing, anyway? A sphincter?
-SH

 

No! What’s the matter with you?

 

It's a kiss.

 

No, a kiss is like this: x
-SH

 

xxx

 

Are you on an extremely powerful cocktail of narcotics?
-SH

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

Stop it, John!
-SH

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

If you don't stop, I'll break your phone and my phone and all the signal transmitters in London.
-SH

 

Tetchy.

 

Don't you like my kisses?

 

Not delivered that way.
-SH

 

Save them up for our next meeting.
-SH

 

How many was that?

 

177
-SH

 

You counted?

 

Yes, of course. I shall be counting this evening as well. I intend to collect them all tonight.
-SH

 

What have I gotten myself into?

 

We shall see. You'll be very busy; we can be certain of that.
-SH

 

That'll teach me to use emoticons.

 

Let's hope so.
-SH

 

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

 

That was 33. Bring it up to an even 200.

 

Obviously.
-SH

 

Is there an exchange rate for these, by the way?

 

There may be.
-SH

 

But I think those negotiations will be too complicated to enter into through texting, wouldn't you agree?
-SH

 

Yes, definitely.

 

Shall we pick this conversation up at home?
-SH

 

x

 

Stop it, John.
-SH

 

x

 

Oh for fuck’s sake.
-SH

 

I can afford it. 202. Put it on my tab.

Chapter Text

“So, love.”
“Yes, John?”
“About those two hundred and two kisses.”
“Yes?”
“I’d like to propose a trade.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Give us a chance, now. You haven’t even heard what I’m offering.”
“No need. I’ve got you right where I want you.”
“You’ve always got me right where you want me. Anyway, I’ve just found a new Nice Thing. A Thing I’d forgotten about. It was in the little pocket at the back of the book, and I’ve just found it five minutes ago. Would you like to hear it?”
“That’d leave me with only two Nice Things remaining.”
“No, it wasn’t in play when we made the original bargain. It’d be a new Nice Thing.”
“An extra Nice Thing?”
“Exactly.”
“How many kisses do you think an extra Nice Thing is worth?”
“Two hundred and two.”
“Ha, don’t make me laugh, John. Fifty.”
“Fifty? That’s outrageous!”
“Consider it a compliment.”
“One hundred and fifty.”
“Make it two extra Nice Things and you can have that one hundred and fifty.”
“Three extra Nice Things and we call it all two hundred.”
“Two hundred and two.”
“Well, you can have the two now.”
“All right then. It’s a bargain. Shake on it.”

“How will you want your extra Nice Things distributed, love?”
“I’ll have them all now. At once.”
“You don’t want to savour?”
“Of course not. When do I ever savour?”
“Actually, I think you’ve rather a talent for savouring. I know I’ve seen you at it before.”
“Stop wasting time, John. Let’s have it, please.”
“What if I made you savour?”
“John, this is about you discharging an obligation to me. I want it the way I want it, so give it to me that way.”
“Ooo-er.”
“Ha, very amusing. I’m sitting comfortably. Please begin.”
“Right then. This first one is the one I found. Just for the sake of priming.”
“Stop stalling, John and get on with it.”
“If I can’t make you savour, at least let me prime you.”
“I’m primed, John. Let’s have it.”
“Good, good. Priming is important. These are quite long, you know.”
“John...”
“Come on, that was good.”
“Stop playing with your food, and eat it.”
“Ooo-er.”

Chapter Text

I’ve seen him. I’ve touched him. He hugged me, and I think he sniffed me. He does that. Tomorrow we’re going to do what we do best. Catch a baddy. I can’t wait. He’s in the next room; I can hear him pacing. I want to go and see him, but I don’t know if he’ll want the company. I’m a bit afraid to go to sleep. It’s like I’ve been living in one of my nightmares and he’s waked me up, the way he’d do with his playing back before he was dead. He’s so alive now. Such a force.

I should be asleep. Need my rest. Sherlock told me this will be the most dangerous case we’ve ever worked together, ‘This is not a man who objects to getting his hands dirty, John’ is how he put it.

Oh sod it. I’m going to see him. He’s pacing. Restive. He may need me and not want to say. He’ll reckon he’s already asked too much, I suppose. He ought to know if ever he needs me, there I’ll be. But I’ve got plenty of time to remind him now.

“I remember that night.”
“Of course you do.”
“It was one of the best nights of my life at that point.”
“Was it? Have you got a list going?”
“Ha, no. Last thing I need is another list.”
“You’ve already started compiling it in your head, haven’t you?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, I must hear it later.”
“Get on with my next Nice Thing, John. I won’t be derailed.”

...

Have been sleeping in Sherlock's bedroom for a week now. Of an evening, we hang about the flat amusing ourselves until he reckons it's bedtime and says,
"Come to bed, John," in his bossiest voice. Then he drags me away by the hand, as if he thinks I may not be quite sure where bed is. He was quiet tonight, so I thought he might be getting a bit tired of me. Decided to have a little experiment. Began to very slowly get ready to go up to my bedroom. I got to the foot of the stairs before he said, "Where do you think you're going?" Bit rude, but I was quite pleased. Told him I was getting some socks. He smirked all knowingly, so I got two pairs of my knobbliest, wooliest socks and put them right in the middle of his sock index. Thought he'd faint when he saw it. Shammed innocence, and he actually believed me. Love a good wind up. This is going to be fun.

“You did that to my sock index on purpose? You monster. Every time I think I’ve plumbed your depths, you manage to shock me again.”
“Ooo-er.”
“Shall we crack on?”

Sherlock has bought a new suit. For our wedding. He dragged me along when he went to pick it up, ‘So you can see how a gentleman acquires his wardrobe, John.’ He introduced me as his intended. First time he’d ever acknowledged our little plan to anyone else. He was so at ease. Chatted to his tailor (the famous tailor; admittedly quite brilliant)(hard to cock up dressing Sherlock, though) about the break in the trousers and what colour hoisery would be best with it. Kept giving me these sly little smiles. Since the acquisition of the suit (seems like it ought to be capitalised)(The Suit. The one Suit that ever mattered)(ha), he has brought home a series of shirts in varying shades of purple, ‘It’s your favourite colour on me, isn’t it, John?’ Neither of us can seem to work out which we like best. Perhaps he’ll wear them all.

“That was quite a time skip.”
“Well, we may backtrack later.”
“I hope so.”
“Anything you especially want to hear about? Any point in time?”
“I just like having a good look at your brain, John. Unspooling it and smoothing it out in front of me and getting well-acquainted with all your secret nooks.”
“God.”
“What? Not good?”
“Too good.”
“Ha, it’s a talent of mine.”
“Yeah, love. I’d noticed.”

Chapter Text

“Hullo Molly Hooper. What have you done with my husband?”
“Murdered him.”
“Have you? You’ll never get away with it.”
“I don’t know. I’ve loads of good tricks, as a morgue tech. I get away with heaps.”
“Well, you’ve never had me investigate you, have you?”
“You’ve been investigating me since we first met.”
“Would we call that an investigation? I think there’s room for much closer scrutiny.”
“I don’t.”
“Then you shouldn’t have murdered John.”
“He’s in the loo.”
“Actually he’s standing in the hall trying to laugh at us silently. Can’t you hear him?”
“Yeah, now you mention it.”
“That doesn’t count.”
...

"John, what the hell is this?"
"It’s written on the tin. That's what those squiggles are."
"Why've we got decaffeinated coffee? Is it a joke? Was it sent by one of our enemies?"
"I haven't got any enemies. I'm trying to give up caffeine."
"Why on earth would you do that?"
"Because it's an addictive stimulant."
"So?"
"Ha, I suppose you're not the right person to discuss this with."
"What's the point of trying to give up caffeine? How's it hurting you?"
"I just don't like being dependent on it."
"Hmm."
"You can understand that, can't you?"
"Some dependencies are worth it, John."
"Well, I'm trying to give it up."
"What about tea?"
"Erm, I've switched to green tea."
"Green tea?"
"Yes."
"You're not going to put that in the teapot, are you?"
"Why shouldn't I?"
"I'm afraid I haven't the energy to answer that question with the requisite contempt at the moment. You'll have to use your imagination. Hope you don't hurt yourself."
"Very nice. It's not poison, you know."
"Ergh. Near enough. At least poison in the teapot would interesting rather than merely vile."
"So you'd rather I tried to poison you than give up caffeine?"
"Like I said, at least the former would be interesting."
"What if I did both?"
"You can try, but I don't know if you can keep organised enough without caffeine."
"You should give it up, too."
"Right, John, if you say that again, I'll have to poison you."
"I've already been at your poisons. Confiscated them all for my own purposes."

...

“Sherlock, what is this? This is ridiculous.”
“What are you exaggerating about now?”
“You’ve got the teeniest, most precious little bin I’ve ever seen with a spire of tissues and newspapers coming out of it. It’s like a coffee mug with a heap of rubbish balanced on.”
“That was a lovely exaggeration, John. You never disappoint in that area.”
“Where’d you get that little bin? And why are you abusing something so adorable in this way?”
“Do you identify with my little bin, John?”
“What?”
“It goes under the night table, John. That’s why it’s so small.”
“It doesn’t fit under there now. With all the rubbish.”
“I squeeze it in.”

“What’s wrong with him?”
“Ergh. He’s given up caffeine.”
“Even tea?”
“He’s drinking green tea.”
“Can he do that? I thought he ran on English Breakfast.”
“He does. That’s why he’s all...”
“Tetchy?”
“I was going to say ‘wicked,’ but it seemed a bit dramatic.”
“Wicked? What’s he done that’s wicked?”
“He went digging through my drawers looking for a clean vest and left them all in disarray.”
“My.”
“And he refused to apologise.”
“You asked him?”
“I thought it fair to offer him the opportunity, Molly.”
“Anything else?”
“He keeps saying he hardly feels the difference, which is just silly. And he’s wearing that fair isle jumper.”
“What’s the jumper got to do with him giving up caffeine?”
“He’s just being stubborn.”
“You choose his clothes for him?”
“I veto things. When I really have to.”
“You’ve vetoed the jumper?”
“Molly, I want to burn the jumper.”
“Are you sure you’re not the wicked one?”
“When did I ever say I wasn’t?”

Chapter Text

"John, you're going to have to stop it with this decaffeinated rubbish. It's got your smell all wrong."
"If you're only going to talk nonsense, please do it somewhere else. I'm not properly awake yet."
"Yes, I know, but you've been up for half an hour. It's getting ridiculous."
"Not everyone bounds out of bed full of vim and clever ideas."
"Yes, and they supplement their deficiencies with coffee."
"I've got coffee in my hand right this minute!"
"Nonsense coffee. Let's be straight, John-"
"Ha."
"Let's be honest, then. People drink coffee for the caffeine. Without, it's just bitter, ugly water. Now you're not better than all the rest of the world. Give in. Have the caffeine."
"You may be the world's worst influence. I'm fine. Leave me alone."
"You've been scowling for three days straight-"
"Ha."
"Stop derailing me! You have been scowling for three days together, and you've a lovely scowl, John, but I'd like to see a bit more of your range. Now tip that swill down the sink, and I'll make you some proper coffee. Or tea, if you like."
"Decaffeinated is lovely. I may never go back. Ever."
"You and your pointless obstinance."
"Yes, I raise bloody-mindedness to an art form."
"Well, we have that in common."
"Matched set. I recall."
...

"I know what you're doing, John."
"You always say that."
"And I always do. You're trying to slow me down."
"Am I?"
"That's why you've got your arm round my waist, isn't it?"
"No, it's because of affection."
"Then walk faster."
"My affection doesn't affect my walking pace, love."
"Well, it's affecting mine."
"You can have the affection or you can have the swooping, but I'm afraid I can't manage both."
"I don't swoop!"
"Well, not when you're asleep. But otherwise yeah, you do."
"Take my arm instead. We'll get on better that way."
"No, if I take your arm, you'll just drag me along like one of those little wooden ducks with the wheels and the string."
"Like one of those what?"
"One of those little ducks that you pull behind you."
"Why would I pull a duck behind me?"
"It's a children's toy."
"Why would a child pull a duck behind him?"
"I'm not sure, actually. Lots of toys don't make any sense."
"I rather like the idea of putting wheels and a string on you, though. Maybe then you could keep pace with me."
"Oh god. I've awakened a monster."
"Awakened? Don't flatter yourself."

...

"Agh! God, Sherlock! What fresh madness is this?"
"You've got a new freckle on the back of your right arm. You sit in a window seat on the right side of the train carriage, don't you? So that you can prop your arm against the window and have your dominant hand free to fiddle with your phone."
"I suppose so. What's that got to do with-wait, what did you just do to my arm?"
"Erm, licked it."
"Oh, of course. As one does. Why, exactly?"
"Like I was saying, you've got a new freckle on the back of your arm. Just above the elbow."
"That's not really an explanation, love."
"It looked appetising."
"Oh. Thank you. And was it?"
"Inconclusive."
"Does that mean you're going to keep licking my arm?"
"I may. In future."
...

“Succumbed already, John? I’m almost disappointed. This is hardly raising bloody-mindedness to an art form.”
“Sorry?”
“You did have a cup of tea today at work, didn’t you? With lunch, I think. Difficult morning?”
“Fine morning. I’ve been doing well with the green tea. I’ve got jasmine today.”
“Oh, John, it’s endearingly pathetic that you’re lying to me about this. Nevertheless it is against the rules, so I must insist you confess at once or be punished.”
“You don’t know anything; you’re guessing.”
“Erm, you know I’m not guessing, John. You’ve got a splash stain on your left cuff. Stirring too hard, I expect. Milk really needs hardly a stir, John. Or you whipped the tea bag out of the mug too quickly. You do that sometimes.”
“What makes you think it’s a tea stain? Could be balsamic vinegar from that salad I order when I have lunch with the NPs.”
“Ha, please. Nice to have you smell nearly normal again, anyway. Now let’s have no more silliness about giving up caffeine.”
“I have given up.”
“Still refusing to confess. You know what that means.”
“Whatever you say, love.”
“That was an experiment, John. You’re mellow and pleasant. No withdrawal symptoms. Caffeine. Admit it.”
“I thought you weren’t supposed to tell me when you were running an experiment on me.”
“This was a very short term experiment and hardly necessary. I know what I know. Anyway, what about my hello kiss?”
“I was wondering when you’d let me get that in.”
“...Ah, John, shall we put that down as your confession?”
“What?”
“Your mouth tastes of English Breakfast.”
“Oh all right then. Every criminal mastermind is found out eventually, I suppose."
“The ones interesting enough to attract my notice, anyway.”
“Are you going to haul away me to tea prison?”
“That’s exactly where I’ll be hauling you, John.”

...

"You see, John, this is why I don't tell you when I'm running an experiment on you. Because I know you won't hesitate to fiddle with my data for your own amusement."
"Your data on the flavour of my elbow."
"The flavour of a freckle on your elbow, actually. A little precision of language, please. You'd be surprised at what sort of data I've got on you, John. But that's neither here nor there. What have you rubbed on your arm?"
"Can't you deduce it?"
"Something citrus."
"Orange rind."
"Ah, of course. Well, don't do it again. You might have really ruined my experiment, as your natural citrus notes are bergamot. What sort of orange rind did you use?"
"No, sorry, that was all nonsense."
"Come on, John. Don't be boring."
"I don't remember. No, really, I don't. It was just an orange, all round and orangey."
"Have a little more care in future, John."
"Can't you deduce it? Lick again."
"Mmm, no I think I licked away the orange residue the first time...now it only tastes of evening elbow."
"I am quite sure that you have not licked my elbow often enough to form an opinion on its flavour at different points in the day."
"Evening arm, then."

Chapter Text

When I wake, I reach for John before I even open my eyes, but he's already gotten up. His side of the bed is still a bit warm, though, so I roll to it and press my face into his pillow. Mmm. Smells of his scalp (bread and butter and evergreen). Fortified against the disappointment of waking without John, I sit up to assess the situation. His dressing gown is hanging on the hook mounted on the open door of the wardrobe (get out of bed at once to shut it; can't stand for a door to be ajar) so he must be dressed already. John does not wander about en deshabille (pity). I can smell bacon and coffee and toast. He's cooking breakfast, then. Big breakfast. He'll be in a sunny mood. Lovely.

Reopen the wardrobe and start to reach for my second best dressing gown (the one with the blue stripes, recently demoted) but think better of it and put on my best one instead. New and a bit lavish for my taste (silk, shawl-collar, dark grey, close-set navy spots) but John chose it for me and pays me such extravagant compliments when I wear it. I do look nice. Bit fussy, but nice. It's my colour. And it goes with all my pyjama trousers (none of which are in play at the moment). I must get a new dressing gown for John. His old one is so tatty. He's quite attached to it, though. And he does look absolutely brilliant in green. I glance in the mirror and make a pass at flattening my hair before stepping out into the kitchen.


John is standing at the stove, singing to himself. I know that song! Haven’t learnt the words because I want to pick them up from John, but I recognise it when I hear it now. I told him once that I don’t know any songs with lyrics. He looked shocked and said it was a tragedy. He sings, though, and I don’t. He’s expressive.

John looks to the door as I walk into the room and beams at me (lovely), “Good morning, my lovely love. Are you marvelous today? You look it.” I wish I could talk to him the way he talks to me.

“Good morning, John.” He should take the pan off hob. The bacon is about to burn. I cross the room and kiss him. He slides both hands under my dressing gown (loosely tied in anticipation of this development) and rubs gently from my ribcage to my hips on either side (shiver). I try to mimic the gesture, but he’s got too many layers on. I get past his cardigan (unbuttoned. Very thoughtful), but then his shirt is tucked into his trousers and under the shirt, there’s a vest which is also tucked in.

“You’re wearing far too many clothes for seven o’clock in the morning, John.”

He grins, obligingly peels off his jumper, and throws it at a kitchen chair (it lands on the floor). “Better?”

“A bit. There’s room for improvement.” I start to loosen the bits of his shirt that are still tucked in.

John playfully knocks my hand away with his elbow. “Breakfast first,” he says, “or the bacon will burn.”

“The bacon is burnt, John. Let’s go back to bed.”

“If I only got to eat when you thought there was nothing better to do, I’d have starved to death ages ago.”

“I feed you!”

“Whoops, there you go transposing the words ‘I’ and ‘you’ again.”

“You feed I?”

John laughs and gets the mugs down. Undeterred. Ah, well. After breakfast, then. I set out pineapple jam and marmalade on the table. John looks round as he puts the bacon onto a plate. He’s looking for the newspaper. We both spot it at the same time (it’s on top of his chair), and the urge to throw it on the (wholly unnecessary and rather stifling) fire flashes through me (he wants to dawdle). Instead I get it from the chair and set it at John’s place at the table. He smiles. Lovely. I’m so greedy for John’s smiles. Fortunately, John is always ready to be pleased with me.

I take my place at the table, and watch him get the toast out of the oven (what did I do to the toaster? Can’t remember at the moment. Must replace it). I believe he means this to be rather a treat. Must show proper gratitude. Should be easy. The toast is perfect. John’s toast is almost as good as mine (mine is slightly more consistent, I think). He sets my plate and mug in front of me on the table and brushes a kiss on the back of my neck (shiver)(prickles a bit. He should have shaved this morning; he’ll have heavy stubble by this time tomorrow) before he reaches for the sugar bowl, and moves it nearer to me.

I spoon sugar into my coffee. Will wait for John to sit before applying marmalade to my toast, or it will cool the toast before I can eat it. Also the toast is still a bit too warm to handle easily with my fingers. I was wrong about the bacon. It’s a bit dark, but clearly still very edible. John sits and tucks in at once. I hadn’t realised he was so hungry. He makes a little sigh around his mouthful of toast, then catches eyes with me and grins. There are crumbs on his lips and a smear of (his favourite) pineapple jam on his chin. Lovely. I feel sorry to have wished this moment away. But my John has brought it back to me, and I’m now quite ready to enjoy it.

Chapter Text

“They’re clean, John! You can put them back on now.”
“No, they’re still all over smudges.”
“I’ve been watching you wipe your glasses for ages.”
“For thirty seconds, you mean.”
“An age is a relative measure, John.”
“Well if you don’t like it, you can look at something else.”
“How complacent of you, John.”
“Keep your dirty hands off my glasses, and I won’t need to spend so much time cleaning them, will I?”
“Dirty hands?!”
“Dirty enough to leave all these smudges.”
“Any hand would leave smudges, John. The texture of the finger and the oil on the skin does it. Fairly obvious biology.”
“Thank you, Mr Science.”
“You’re welcome.”
“Are you jealous I’m Doctor Science, and you’re only Mr Science?”
“Why should I be?”
“I’m a better scientist than you. Seems like the sort of thing you’d be sensitive about.”
“You’re a better scientist than I am?! Under what demented rubric?”
“I should have ‘Doctor Science’ put on the letterbox. It’ll make us look distinguished. Finally an accomplishment for you to be proud of. Marrying a doctor.”
“You don’t even have that. Pity.”
“I’m the doctor.”
“I know what you’re alluding to.”
“I know. That’s why I said it. To remind you that you know.”
“Monster.”
“Yes, well. Matched set.”

...

“Good lord, John! You’ve given me tinitus.”
“You startled me!”
“Haven’t we agreed I always startle you? Anyway, you don’t usually yell when you’re startled.”
“Well, you must feel very special, then. What did you have to grab my ankle for?”
“It was an impulse.”
“Do you think you could work a bit harder on restraining your impulses in future? At least the ones to do with hiding in the shower cubicle and grabbing my ankle while I’m having a piss.”
“No. Anyway, the hiding was planned. Only the ankle grabbing was an impulse.”
“What were you hiding in the shower cubicle for?”
“I practise hiding sometimes. Don’t you?”
“Erm, no, can’t say that I do.”
“You should.”
“Lucky you get to clear up the mess you caused”
“I caused?!”
“Yes, if you hadn’t gone momentarily insane, none of this would have happened.”
“Momentarily?”
“Thought I’d be generous.”
“No need.”

...

“I was reading that!”
“Yes, obviously, but you’ve just had a better offer.”
“Oh, have I?”
“Yes, John, what you really want is to fiddle with my hair and tell me I’m lovely.”
“Leave it to you to uncover hidden urges in me.”
“Hardly hidden, John. Carry on. I give you my permission.”
“You are generous to a fault.”
“Solid start, John, but there should be more fiddling. Ah, yes, good. Now what else?”
“You’ve got really nice hair.”
“I know.”
“The only thing that would make it better is if it were blonde.”
“Right, John I will give you a very generous ten seconds to retract that falsehood.”
“Remember how you were blonde when you came back to life? I liked that. Very much.”
“I suppose it’s another manifestation of your narcissism and vanity.”
“Hark who’s talking.”
“I’ve never told you that you’d look better dark.”
“Because it’s obviously rubbish. I’m perfect.”
“Hmph. So you are, excepting your smart mouth. But you’re meant to be complimenting me.”
“You’re almost as good as a blonde.”
“You’ve ruined my evening, John.”
“Well, you ruined my newspaper.”

Chapter Text

OW.
-SH

 

OW.
-SH

 

OW, John!
-SH

 

What does OW mean?

 

It's an onomatopoetic indication of minor pain or sudden discomfort. Doctor.
-SH

 

Oh, that ow.

 

What's the matter?

 

Nicked myself with my scalpel.
-SH

 

Accidentally?

 

Of course accidentally.
-SH

 

What sort of question is that?
-SH

 

You once planned to cut yourself on purpose with that scalpel. Remember?

 

Well, if I'd done it on purpose, I wouldn't be complaining that it hurt, would I?
-SH

 

Might do.

 

No, I wouldn't.
-SH

 

Anyway. Are you texting for assistance or sympathy?

 

Sympathy. Which has not been forthcoming, so far.
-SH

 

Tut tut, John.
-SH

 

I'm very sympathetic. Whinge away, love.

 

I don't whinge, John.
-SH

 

Tell me what happened, then.

 

Dropped it. Catch reflex.
-SH

 

That'll do it. Are you sure you're all right?

 

I've stopped the bleeding. Left a bit of blood on the kitchen floor, though. Dribbled a bit. Sorry.
-SH

 

That's all right. There are special cleaning exemptions for your own blood.

 

Thank you, John. That's generous.
-SH

 

Did you find the plasters?

 

Yes, thank you.
-SH

 

I'll have a look when I get home, just for safety.

 

Thank you, John.
-SH

 

I’d like that.
-SH

 

Would you?

 

Don’t you know I enjoy it when you treat me?
-SH

 

Is that why you’re always injuring yourself in ridiculous ways?

 

Nearly all of those are accidental or unavoidable, John. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
-SH

 

I suppose it’s just a coincidence you like me treating you, then?

 

I like you looking after me.
-SH

 

Yeah, you do. Is that why you decided to attach me? Back at Bart’s when we met. Because I let you borrow my phone?

 

Because you liked me.
-SH

 

And yes, you seemed trainable.
-SH

 

I suppose you mean that as a compliment.

 

Well, it was at the time, but it’s a bit beneath you as a compliment now, John.
-SH

 

Is it?

 

I wasn’t expecting it to work both ways.
-SH

 

An immeasurable advantage.
-SH

 

That’ll do for a compliment.

 

I’ve been advantaged, too.

 

Well, yes, obviously.
-SH

...

“Erm, no! Get off!”
“I beg your pardon?”
“I am not an armrest or a walking frame.”
“You’re just the right size to lean on, John.”
“Yes, so you’ve said, but you’re cutting off my circulation with your elbow.”
“You know if I could, I’d grow up you like a vine on a trellis.”
“That does not surprise me.”
“You wouldn’t mind me growing on you? I’d chip your paint.”
“Well being a trellis is probably a bit dull, wouldn’t you say? Be nice to have a vine growing on me, telling me clever things and keeping me entertained.”
“Is that why you like me?”
“A bit of it.”
“A bit of it?”
“That and you’re trainable.”
“Was that a pun?”
“What if it was?”
“I’ll have to take you in hand and be a bit severe on you. For your own good.”
“It was, then.”

...

“It’s that sad time again, love.”
“What sad time, John?”
“Time to do the shopping. Shall we pop in here on our way home?”
“Have you just tricked me? Did you plan this?”
“Me? I’m innocence itself. But I do have the carrier bags folded up in my jacket pocket.”
“Your craftiness is growing unbecoming, John.”
“Nah, you like me tricking you. Anyway, we’re out of marmalade. Completely.”
“So that was the last of it you put on your toast this morning! I knew it! You bloody doused it in marmalade!”
“I asked you if you wanted some.”
“You said there was more!”
“Yeah, then when you weren’t listening I said ‘more at the Tesco’ all quiet-like.”
“Bastard.”
“While we get the marmalade, we may as well get a few other things.”
“Ergh, fine. Have you got a shopping list?”
“Yeah.”
“Hand it over. It’ll go faster if we split it up and each take half.”
“Except that you don’t know where anything is.”
“The shop is laid out completely illogically!”
“Oh, god, I forgot you go on about this. You know I’ve read that they engage some one just to design the layout of the products.”
“Some incompetent. They should engage me. I’d sort it out.”
“Sherlock Holmes, consulting detective and interior designer. Got a ring to it. Shall I have new business cards made up?”
“The other horrible thing about you tricking me is that when you do it successfully, you get really smug and make lots of annoying jokes.”
“Ah, now when you start talking like that, I know you must be feeling overwhelmed and frightened by your affection for me. Take a deep breath, love, and don’t worry. It’s normal. I have that effect on nearly everyone.”
“Shut up, John.”
“Never.”

Chapter Text

I have done something selfish, and the result is no less than I deserve. My only excuse is that I didn’t know what I was about at the time. I find myself in that predicament humiliatingly often. It started because I asked too much of John. I wanted to see his little book from when I was dead. He refused with such fervent immediacy that I was rather offended. I wheedled a bit, pretending (and hating myself for it) that I didn’t realise how much my wheedling was hurting him. He was steadfast in his refusal, and I wish I had accepted it. No, I don’t wish that. It’s better that I know now.

Thinking I knew best (how many times has John proved that notion wrong?)(stupid, arrogant, so stupid), I stole what I thought was the book in question. It had been in his jacket. He told me that he kept his little books on his person to stop me seeing them before we were together. So I stole it from his jacket, and got it out to look at it while he was at work.

It wasn’t the book from when I was dead. It was the book he’s got going now. I realised my mistake as soon as I opened it. I almost tossed it aside with annoyance (keep thinking of the ways I could have stopped myself finding out about this)(keep telling myself I’m glad I did). The first page made me smile, though,

‘Sherlock has filled the flat with what seems like a million mugs. They’re bloody everywhere. Lunatic. Still. We’ll never need mugs again, as he says. My husband and his brilliant mind. God, I love him. The maniac.’

Lovely. I flipped through, pausing at entries that caught my eye to laugh or cringe. I reached the last entry (dated two days ago), feeling a bit disappointed, as it was only halfway through the book. This was written on the page:

Boys:
Henry Hamish Holmes-Watson (too many H’s?)
Christopher Alexander Holmes-Watson
Daniel Cedric Holmes-Watson

Girls:
Alicia Amelia Holmes-Watson
Catherine Agnes Holmes-Watson
Charlotte Claire Holmes-Watson (hmm, too French?)

I should have known before that’s what he wanted. Of course he does, and he deserves it. He’d be so brilliant at it. It’s what everyone wants. Well. Nearly everyone. I don’t. I can’t. I wish I wanted it, for John. I’d give him anything, really. Anything, anything, anything. I could be quite a danger to myself and the world for John. But this? I can’t. I can’t.
Anyone who knows me could see it. Except my lovely John, bless him. He thinks far too highly of me. I’m cold, and I’m nasty, and I’m intractably, abominably selfish. I’ve nearly run John into the ground so many times in the past. I ask far too much and give almost nothing in return. I have been the child born to a selfish, cold, disinterested parent (two, actually). I could not do that to an innocent soul. John is just strong enough to stand me but no child could.

Perhaps two years ago, I could have ignored this. Wished and pretended it away. But not now. John has improved me too much and too little. I can’t keep him from this, if it’s what he wants. But I can’t participate in it either. I cannot be a father, not even for my John. If it’s what he needs, he’ll have it without me. I must make him see that it’s all right for him to leave, if he needs to.

I don’t know what will become of me.

Chapter Text

“I’ve done something.”
“Have you? Shocking. Let’s have it then.”
“It’s not a joke, John. I’ve done something.”
“All right, love, well I’m sure we’ll sort it. What have you done?”
“I-I went looking in your book. I wanted to find out how you got on without me when I was dead. I couldn’t leave it.”
“Oh, god, Sherlock. I didn’t mean for you to see that. I never thought you’d see that. I should have burnt it or something. But it’s over now, love. You’re back, and we’re together. That’s what matters.”
“No, I couldn’t find that one. I’d got the one you have now.”
“Oh. Are you confessing to stealing my things? You always do that.”
“I saw your list.”
“My list?”
“Your list of names. You want to have children.”
“Oh, that. Ha, I didn’t really mean for you to see that either.”
“I wish you’d told me.”
“It was just a moment of fancy, really. Nothing to tell.”
“John, I.”
“Are you all right, love? You look odd.”
“John, I would do nearly anything you can think of for you-”
“Ha yes, love I’ve noticed.”
“I wish I could do that, but I can’t. I’m not capable.”
“Er sorry, what? Do what?”
“I can’t give you what you want.”
“What? What are you on about?”
“Parenthood, John! I can’t do that with you. If I could, I would in a heartbeat, but I can’t, and I wanted you to know at once. I don’t intend to try to keep that from you. If it’s what you need, please don’t let me keep you from it. I would hate that. But I can’t do it with you.”
“I haven’t asked you to.”
“I know, but it’s not the sort of thing that goes away, is it? I don’t want you looking round in five years or ten years or fifteen years and thinking ‘why did I waste so much of my life running round with that madman when I could have had a real family?’ If it’s what you want, please go and get it. I won’t try to stop you. I won’t be selfish.”
“This again. God, Sherlock, I thought we’d sorted that I will never, ever leave you. Murder suicide, remember?”
“That’s just a silly game.”
“No, Sherlock, it’s not a silly game to me. Is it a silly game to you? Have you grown tired of me? Fucking hell. ‘A real family?’ We’ve got a real family! Packing me off to the conventional so you can be brilliant on your own again?”
“John!”
“You’ve finished with me, so you decide I’ve finished with you? Is that what it is?”
“No, John, never! I will never, ever be finished with you!”
“And I will never, ever be finished with you. Don’t you know that?”
“I can’t give you the things you want-”
“Stop that! Stop it! Stop deciding that you know my mind better than I do! All I want is to carry on being with you. You want to know the story of the list? I was bored talking to Harry on the phone, and I wrote down some nonsense. That’s the story of the fucking list. The whole story. And I almost ripped it out because I knew if you saw it, you’d think it meant something and it doesn’t. Didn’t know you’d pack my fucking suitcase for me without even asking me about it.”
“I’m sorry, John. Forgive me? I’m quite ashamed.”
“Too fucking right, you are. God. I’m so offended, Sherlock. Really, I am. How could you think that of me? That I’d just be hoarding this secret from you for years and years. That I have some burning secret desire for fatherhood that I’ve never mentioned like I’m some idiot character in a crap, maudlin play.”
“You put it that way, and it sounds ridiculous.”
“It is bloody ridiculous. And anyway, you’re always telling me you can read my mind, practically. Don’t you think you’d have picked up on something like that before now?”
“You’ve mentioned it before. Having a child.”
“Well, as I am alive, I do occasionally give a passing thought or two to the subject of reproduction. But I have exactly what I want, Sherlock. I swear it. Just you. I say just. As if keeping up with you isn’t several full time jobs.”
“You’re brilliant at it, John.”
“I know I am, you tosser. Here, give us a kiss then. You look quite unsettled.”
“I’m better now, John.”
“Good. Don’t let’s be so stupid again. Sorry I shouted, love.”
“I’m sorry I was an idiot, John.”
“Well. We’re a matched set. Aren’t we?”
“Yes, John, so we are.”

...

“Are you still thinking of it, love?”
“Yes. Will you say it again, please, John?”
“Sherlock, all I want in the world is to be with you.”
“Fortunate for me you’re unambitious.”
“Unambitious? My aim in life is to be married to the world’s only consulting detective, and you call that unambitious?”
“Seems a bit of a waste for you to have qualified as a doctor and all that, if all you’re going to do is lay about my flat telling me I’m brilliant.”
“Sherlock, some one I know would say that is a complete mischaracterisation of the situation.”
“Some one I know would call that first some one a tosser.”
“You’re a tosser.”
“And you exaggerate wildly.”
“Lucky for the world we’ve found each other.”
“Yes, John, I do give you that.”
“Clever of us. To have worked it out.”
“Well, we hardly could have helped it, could we?”
“I couldn’t.”
“Nor could I.”

Chapter Text

"So, my John."
"So, my Sherlock."
"When are you going to do something horrid so I can have a shout at you?"
"Oh, I'm always a bit horrid, aren't I, love? You bear it very well."
"No, John, you're always lovely. It's sickening."
"Always lovely? That does sound sickening. I'll have to redouble my efforts to be a bit horrid."
"Perhaps I should invent a lovely and sickening pet name for you. To properly express my feelings."
"Invent away."
"What do you think of 'my scrumptious powder puff'?"
"Ergh. God."
"I'm on the right track, then. What about 'my rosy cherub'?"
"Oh, I'm feeling ill."
"Good, good. Making progress. What about 'my golden angel'?"
"Quite disgusting, but a bit redundant with the cherub one, don't you think?"
"True, very true. What about 'my lovely love'?"
"Oi! That is a very nice pet name. You arse."
"Ha, true, so it is. Please continue to say that to me whenever you feel inclined. It's a very convenient indication of your mood."
"Convenient indication of my mood, is it? I'll have to start saying it when I'm ready to throttle you. Just to keep you on your toes."
"As you wish, my star, my lamb, my flower, my sweet."
"Right, stand back. I'm going to be sick, and I don't want to spatter your shoes."
"My shoes could only be improved with the addition of your sick, my dearest and most beautiful darling."

...

"You two mind not grinning at each other over the stiff? It's creepy."
"What gives you the impression that I care about creepy, Lestrade?"
"You're scaring my new officers."
"So?"
"Best foot forward."
"That applies to people meeting me for the first time. Not the other way round."
"What are you so happy about anyway? Is this an extra nice corpse?"
"Average corpse, at best."
"Well, then?"
"Something personal."
"Right, that's quite enough, thanks."
"You're the one asking."
"Anyway, do you think you could rein it in a bit? Remember that you're smiling over a dead body and not a cafe table in Paris?"
"Mmm, I've been meaning to tell you something since you came over."
"Yeah?"
"Do shut up blathering and let me work, Lestrade. Let your silence be your reply. Good."

...

"Right, no. Stop that. Stop. I can't watch you do that any longer."
"Settle yourself, John."
"You're mutilating it. Just give it to me, and I'll peel it for you."
"I can do it."
"But you're tearing off these tiny bits, and it's already taken you ages, and you aren't even half-finished yet."
"Leave me be, John. I can peel an orange."
"Clearly you can't."
"Just because I'm not a showboat about it. It doesn't need to all come off in one piece."
"Why shouldn't I be proud of my dexterity? You're certainly proud of yours, Mr Twiddler."
"Mr Twiddler? Just what do you mean to imply with that little moniker, John?"
"That you twiddle. Obviously."
"Will you define that term for me? It is not one I am familiar with.."
"No? I'm certain I've used it before. In fact, you’re twiddling this very minute, you know.”
“I suspected you might say that.”
“Then you do know what it means.”
“I’ve a general idea, but I’d hoped you could provide me with some nuance.”
“Can’t you deduce it?”
“I suppose I can.”
“Good, because the definitions you come up with for my nonsense words are always better than what I had in mind myself.”
"Mmm, I disagree. There's nothing better than poking round the corners of your mind, John."
"Nothing?"
"Well. Nearly nothing."
"I've got lots of pokeable corners."
"Yes, so you do."

Chapter Text

"John, now that I'm not flailing about in a panic, it occurs to me to be offended."
"Offended by what, love?"
"Of our brood of six imaginary children, not one of them was named for me. And Henry Hamish Holmes-Watson is far too many H's."
"I like alliteration."
"That was a fairly artless deflection, John, even for you. Address my point. You don't like my name, do you?"
"Your name is just as gorgeous as your face, love, but it's so you. Seems wrong to just tack it onto some one else as if there could be another Sherlock in the world."
"Not a limitation you feel applies to little HHH?"
"Oh, Hamishes are ten a penny."
"Talking of ten a penny, why've you given us six children? Bit excessive, don't you think? We're not in need of cheap labour for our farm. Or have we got an imaginary farm, as well?"
"It wasn't six children, nor any children at all. Six names. For options."
"Ah, I see. Options. Unsurprisingly prosaic options."
"Oh now you're having a go at my taste in names? Very nice. What would be less prosaic? Don't think I'm not shocked to hear you denounce the prosaic, by the way. Seems as if that'd be a selling point for you. As against poetry as you claim to be."
"Shall I submit a list, as well?"
"Submit it to who?"
"'To whom', for the love of god, John. How many times must I explain the correct application of relative pronouns to you? Whom is always the object; who is always the subject. It’s very simple."
"Whom, then?"
"To you, of course. Aren't you the name expert?"
"It was only a doodle! It wouldn't have existed at all if Harry weren't so boring on the phone."
"Well, imaginary children have been brought into the world under worse pretenses, I suspect. As have real children, come to that."
"Yeah, I think I was an accident."
"So was I. Well, give me some time to think about this. Our six charming, imaginary, farmer children deserve only the best."
"This is getting really silly, love."
"John, please allow me the opportunity to occasionally rise to your level of silliness. I realise it is not a plane we mortals can long dwell on, but it buoys my dreams of greater things."
"Right, I think you've had quite enough wine for this evening."
"Another of your areas of expertise. Hand me that pad. We’ll do it now."
“Oh, do you want my help?”
“No, come to think of it. Shut up for a minute.”

 

Lileas Watson-Holmes
Isla Watson-Holmes
Esme Watson-Holmes

 

Magnus Watson-Holmes
Baldwin Watson-Holmes
Lennox Watson-Holmes

 

“No middle names?”
“Extraneous.”
“They don’t sound much like farmers.”
“So you admit there is a farm?”
“Well, only the farm you established. Why’ve you swapped round the hyphenate?”
“I like Watson. Anyway, I thought I’d embarrass you by being more generous than you are.”
“How’ve you been more generous than me?”
“‘Than I’, John! Honestly. Anyway, if I’m at all generous after you’ve been ungenerous, I get extra credit.”
“Do you?”
“Yes, in fact, my generosity counts for double what yours does.”
“Does it?”
“Yes, you’re naturally generous, and I’m appallingly selfish. My generosity is dearer than yours, as you’ve flooded the market with yours.”
“That’s some really interesting logic, love.”
“John, you’re patronising me because I’m drunk. Don’t force me to say something really cutting and witty to show how unnecessary that is.”
“Oh, I think I could withstand it.”
“Ooh, look, there’s only a glass and a half left. Shall I just finish the bottle, then?”

Chapter Text

“Oi! Sherlock! What the fuck have you done to my coat?!”
"I needed the sleeve to insulate some tubing."
"Couldn't you have used a towel?"
“I tried, but it kept slipping off and it wasn't thick enough. The sleeve worked much better. Don’t worry, John, I kept the sleeve. I’ll have my tailor fix it back on later today. I’ve already texted him, and he says to bring it by, and he’ll have a look.”
“I’ve got to go to work today Sherlock. I meant to leave now!”
“Well, phone and tell them you’re ill.”
“Sherlock, I’m a bloody doctor. I can’t just skive and lark about with you. People depend on me.”
“Yes, you really get off on that, don’t you?”
“Oh, don’t think I don’t know a deflection when I hear it. I have to leave now. What the fuck am I supposed to do without a coat? It’s freezing out.”
“Take mine.”
“Erm, no.”
“No? Why not?”
“Because you’re a head taller than me and if I wear your ridiculous coat, I’ll look like two short blokes standing on each other’s shoulders.”
“Wear one of your others.”
“I haven't got any others.”
“Of course you do.”
“No, I have one coat and two jackets. Had one coat. Now I’ve got a mistake and two jackets.”
“Only one coat?”
“You’ve only got one coat. Anyway, stop it. This is just arguing; this is not fixing. Need a coat, Sherlock. Set your brilliant mind to that.”
“Let’s pop down to Mrs Hudson’s and see if she’s got anything you can wear.”

...

 

Mr Spencer says you’ll need to come in for a fitting, so he can check how long to make the sleeves.
-SH

 

Generally, he closes at 5, but he can keep open until 7, so you must leave work at 6 sharp.
-SH

 

What does he need me for? Can’t he just make that sleeve the same as the other?”

 

Apparently, fixing it back on will shorten it, so he’ll need to shorten the other as well. Hence the fitting.
-SH

 

I can’t leave early on no notice because you cut the sleeve off my coat. You created this mess without me and you can sort it without me.

 

Well, I’d pop by the surgery and borrow your arms, but I don’t think you’d be much of a doctor without them.
-SH

 

Ha fucking ha.

 

Tomorrow then?
-SH

 

You’d better tell your coat to sleep with one eye open, Sherlock.

 

John, you wouldn’t.
-SH

 

Really, John, don’t.
-SH

 

I’m begging you for mercy. Please leave my coat alone.
-SH

 

John?
-SH

 

Do I have your word, John?
-SH

 

John?
-SH

 

Please, John, the coat is like a fifth limb.
-SH

 

Well, sixth, haha.
-SH

 

John?
-SH

Chapter Text

"Hullo love."
"John, hello. How are you?"
"Bit tired. Glad to be home. And you?"
"Fine. Are you hungry? Shall we get some dinner?"
"Ha, yeah, I'm hungry but I don't fancy going out at the moment."
"I'll fix you something."
"Oh, thanks, love. That's really nice."
"My pleasure, John. What about a kiss first?"
"Oh, of course."
"...mmm. Shall I put the kettle on?"
"Yeah, cheers, love. You're very industrious this evening."
"No trouble."
"My love, I'm sorry I was a bit cross with you this morning."
"Are you?"
"Yeah, there was no excuse."
"Oh, I don't know. I suppose it was rather trying for you to realise right before leaving for work that you were missing a coat sleeve."
"No, really there was no excuse to be angry. An expression comes to mind. Not sure if you're familiar with it. Don't get mad, get even."
"What?"
"You heard me."
"God, John, my blood's gone cold. What are you going to do to me?"
"Weren't you just about to put the kettle on? I could really do with a cuppa."
"What have you got planned, John? What are you going to do to me?"
"I'm certainly not going to do anything to anyone before I've had a cup of tea. Do you mind, love?"
"John, you're frightening me."
"You like to be frightened, don't you?"
"Yes. A bit. By you, I do."
"Well then. You're in for a treat. Tea?"
"Look, John, I've got gooseflesh."
"Yeah, I know. Looks lovely on you."

...

"Well, isn't this a treat? Doesn't it itch to wear that on your bare skin?"
"I have to keep it with me. You can't be trusted."
"Neither your exhibitionism nor your vigilance will save you, you know."
"John, please."
"Please what, love?"
"Find your mercy, John."
"Sorry. I was keeping it in my sleeve."

...

"You're a monster."
"Flattery will get you everywhere."
"How did you do this? I've been wearing it all day, every day for the last week."
"I know; it's been very entertaining."
"What is this? It's not even a coat. It's a sack."
"You'll find it's still a coat, I think. If you look carefully. I didn't mutilate it like some careless, thoughtless, reckless detective."
"What have you done to it?"
"I sewed the sleeves together and the hem to the collar."
"Well, fix it!"
"You're so clever at cutting; you fix it."
"I'll ruin it."
"Will you? Do you ruin coats by cutting them? That doesn't sound like you, does it?"
"I got yours fixed."
"The sleeves are too short now. My cuffs stick out. They get damp when I hold my umbrella."
"Well, I'll get you another one, then."
"Oh, ta love. That's very generous."
"Will you fix mine, then?"
"I suppose I could do that. After all, this is only, hmm what did I call it before? The apéritif."
"Oh god."
"Hope you're hungry."

...

John, I have been walking around like this all day!
-SH

 

Like what, love?

 

With your little addition.
-SH

 

Don’t you like it? It was so hard to find lace to match your coat. I nearly did the cuffs, too, but I thought it might look a bit overdone.

 

Hadn't made ruffles in a while. I think it's a bit uneven on the left. Does it look all right? Took ages.

 

Molly just asked me why I'm dressed like Captain Hook today.
-SH

 

It's always a pleasure when some one appreciates your homage. Tell her thanks for me.

 

I will as soon as she stops laughing.
-SH

Chapter Text

I’m sat in my chair (drawn back a bit from its usual spot because John would have a fire and the room is bloody hot) pretending to read the paper, but actually watching John. He’s got my coat spread out over his knees, and he’s using a seam-ripper to pick apart the stitches binding his ruffles to the hem. He looks so pleased with himself, smiling and humming. He glances at me, then grins to see me looking at him. I duck back behind the paper and hear him chuckle.

“You can look at me, if you like, love. I’m not a gorgon. I won’t turn you to stone with one glance from my eye. Though some one handsome did call me a monster recently.”

“Mmm,” I say from behind the paper. I want him to go back to daydreaming about whatever it was that was making him hum like that. He chuckles again. We’re silent for a few moments before he starts humming again. I believe it helps him to focus. I can hear him worrying at a particularly tight stitch with the seam-ripper. He’s probably put his tongue out. I resist lowering the paper to see if I’m right in that supposition.

There’s a little snap as the thread breaks, and John whispers, “Aha!” I realise I’m fiddling with the newspaper and shuffling my feet a bit (want to touch John, but do not want to interfere with him while he’s being so interesting). John will have noticed. Force myself to stop fidgeting.Trying to keep still makes me feel like I’m holding my breath. I consider going to my microscope, but I haven’t got any particularly interesting samples to look at. Would just find something noisy to fidget with there. I want John to remain focused on his task, not wonder about my restiveness.

Stand up and wander into the kitchen. Once I’m there I decide to make tea. Put the kettle on. John’s fixed a little notice to the mug tree that reads, ‘Just wash one.’ A recent addition. Two weeks ago, he announced that forty of the eighty (eighty-three including the ones we’d already got) mugs were dirty and only ten mugs at a time were to be in distribution. Then he washed them all (and made me dry them)(would not hear of letting them air dry) and packed seventy-three of them up in boxes, which are now sitting in the empty bedroom.

Kitchen’s no good. I can’t hear John humming and seam-ripping over the gurgling of the electric kettle. Didn't actually want tea anyway. Turn the kettle off and tip the water down the drain. Go back into the sitting room and lie on the sofa. Shut my eyes. Even so far back from the fire it’s too warm in the room. Tug at the neck of my t-shirt. It’s damp; I’m sweating. John is singing a bit now. Lovely. For the most part, I can’t make out the words until he says (sings), “‘...little fool, you never can win...’”

Open my eyes and sit up, “What’s that, John? Have you composed theme music for your pranks?”

John laughs, “No, love. It’s Sinatra.”

“Oh.” Bit disappointed. “Here’s me flattered by your efforts. Pity.”

John laughs again, “You weren’t flattered by my efforts before?”

“Well, I’m always flattered by your efforts on my behalf, John. Even when they’re borne of spite and wickedness.”

John is terribly pleased with that answer. He laughs for a long time before he replies, “You’re a very good sport, love, thanks. It’s such a pleasure to play with you.”

“Have you any more wickedness planned for me, my wicked witch?”

John laughs, “I did have some more in mind, actually, but I’m getting tired of plotting against you, love. You don’t mind if I just leave it?”

“If you think I’ve had enough, John.”

John’s giggles are growing hoarse from overuse (I say ‘overuse’...). Lovely. I’m quite pleased with myself. “You are on sparkling form tonight, love,” he remarks, as he tears free the last of the ruffles. He rolls the lace into a loose ball and tosses it at me before getting out of his chair and coming to throw my coat over me, “There you are, love. Better than ever.”

I kick off the coat and catch him by the hand. “Come closer, witch. You’re due for a pressing.” John allows me to pull him onto the sofa. He rests one hand on my hip and bends to kiss me. Mm lovely.

After a moment, John draws back slightly, “Budge up, love,” he says, pressing gently on my hip. I shift so that I’m lying on my side. John squeezes in, half reclined on his back, resting against the arm of the sofa. He tucks his right arm behind my shoulders, and pulls me against him. Today he mostly smells of wool (try not to sniff too loudly). “All right?” John asks.

“Just right. John.” He sighs. I can feel his breath against my hair when he does. “I’m sorry I ruined your coat, John.” I hadn’t told him that yet. It’s just occurred to me. “It was a lovely coat.”

“The new one is lovely too,” he says, squeezing my shoulder.

“You’re lovely.”

John smiles (can’t see his face, obviously, but feel his chin move), “I rather like it when you do things you regret, love. You come over all sweet and cuddly when you’re trying to make it up to me.”

“Bite your tongue, John.”

“Mmm, what if I bite yours instead?”

“An acceptable compromise.”

He does try, but he can’t for laughing.

Chapter Text

“All right, John?”
“Hmm? Fine. Yeah.”
“Nightmare?”
“No, not a nightmare.”
“What was it, then?”
“How can you tell there was something?”
“Your expression.”
“I was having that dream again.”
“The one where you’re my violin?”
“Celeste.”
“Ha, yes.”
“Yeah, that one.”
“How was that?:”
“It’s always unsettling.”
“What did I do with you? Did I play you?”
“You like talking about this too much.”
“I’m pleased with how deeply I’ve pervaded you, John. Tell me about your dream. Please. Did I play you?”
“Yes.”
“What did I play?”
“I don’t know what it’s called.”
“Hum it.”
“I can’t. It’s too complicated.”
“Mmm. I like the sound of that.”
“You didn’t play long.”
“No? Pity.”
“No, only for a bit, then you.”
“Yes? Then I what?”
“You held me on your knee and plucked my strings.”
“Ah.”
“Don’t laugh.”
“I’m not.”
“It’s so intimate.”
“Yes, it sounds like it.”
“Do you ever dream about me?”
“What do you think?”
“Come on Sherlock, I told you mine. Don’t make me pull it out of you.”
“Would I do that?”
“What sorts of dreams do you have about me?”
“I wish I dreamed of being one of your effects like you dream of being my violin. One of your jumpers. Or your mug. Or your pen. Or a bit of you. Like a freckle or an eyelash or an earlobe.”
“You want to dream of being inanimate?”
“Is it peaceful? It seems like it’d be peaceful.”
“This one wasn’t.”
“Mmm, no, this one wouldn’t be.”
“You’re not going to tell me about your dreams of me?”
“Sometime.”
“Theatrical sod.”
“Clearly my performances are something you enjoy, John, or you wouldn’t dream of being an instrument of their execution.”
“Love, I’m an instrument of their execution in my waking life as well.”
“Ha, yes, I suppose you are.”

...

"Don't look at me like that. I know what you're thinking."
"Do you? Clever you."
"You're thinking of my dream. Are you experimenting on me?"
"John, I'm playing because it helps me to think. Not everything I do is about making you squirm."
"I'm not squirming."
"No?"
"So you are trying to make me squirm, then."
"If I were, I have much more direct methods of doing that."
"But you prefer the indirect methods."
"I'll leave you to your deductions, if you'll leave me to my playing."

...

“There, better?”
“Yes, thank you, John. Much better.”
“I told you it would go in your eyes if you didn’t shut them.”
“I wanted to watch you. Well, next time we’ll have to use the safety glasses.”
“I don’t know if I could get going with you looking up at me from behind those things. I’d be laughing too hard.”
“I think we both know that laughing is little impediment to getting going. And wearing the glasses is better than losing an eye.”
“That’s flattering, but I’ve never heard of spunk putting out an eye, Sherlock.”
“I’m a record setter.”
“They’d put that in the record books, would they? Sherlock Holmes, first man to lose an eye to spunk.”
“Well, we might have to write a few letters.”

“Tell me about one of your John dreams.”
“Mmm. Drowsy.”
“Go on. It’s fitting pillow talk, don’t you think? Dreams.”
“I’m falling asleep, John. Hush and fiddle with my hair. Ow! Not so hard!”
“Whoops. I thought you wanted me to liven you up. That generally makes you very lively.”
“Brute.”
“What about a swap, then?”
“I’m listening.”
“I had the dreams before we were together, you know.”
“I know.”
“Well.”
“You would tell me about one? From before?”
“Is that what you want?”
“What do you want to swap, John?”
“Don’t be thick.”
“You go first.”
“You.”
“All right then-”
“Ha, that was easy.”
“You want to hear it, don’t you?”
“Go on then.”
“Thank you, John. I dream that we’re running handcuffed together. Like we did when we were arrested.”
“Ha, I have that one, too."
“Really?”
“Yeah. I didn’t like to say because. Well you know.”
“Sometimes we fly.”
“Oh, we don’t fly in mine. You’d rather dream of being inanimate than dream of flying?”
“Tell me yours.”
“I had one when you got your new violin.”
“Did you?”
“Yes. You played that Bach piece on me.”
“Bach’s Partita No One.”
“Yes.”
“And how did you like that?”
“Too much. I had to stay away from you for a bit.”
“What would have happened if you hadn’t?”
“Something drastic.”
"What a world that would have been."

Chapter Text

You’d better bring me some rubbish.
-SH

 

Sorry, what?

 

I don’t understand the question.
-SH

 

What do you want rubbish for?

 

There, now is it really so hard to be minimally coherent?
-SH

 

For you it is.

 

What do you want rubbish for?

 

For the smashables. Box is empty.
-SH

 

How could the box be empty?

 

I’ve smashed all that was left. BORED, JOHN.
-SH

 

Bring me some rubbish. Something good to smash. Perhaps furniture? I think I’ve got a little hatchet somewhere.
-SH

 

If you want rubbish, go and get it.

 

No furniture. No hatchets.

 

Mind that, Montresor. No hatchets.

 

Yes, your first message on the subject was transmitted perfectly well, Fortunato.
-SH

 

You bring the rubbish to me. Replenishing the smashables is your responsibility.
-SH

 

How’d you work that out?

 

It’s your box.
-SH

 

Besides it’s in your best interest to prevent my bouts of ennui.
-SH

 

I do that with my sunny disposition.

 

If you’d bring your sunny disposition (and the rest of you) back to the flat, I might not need to smash.
-SH

 

You’re contradicting yourself.

 

So?
-SH

 

Yeah, I don’t know why I bother pointing that out. You never care.

 

I'm afraid I can’t explain this present piece of nonsensical behaviour any better than you can.
-SH

 

I thought you were a John Watson expert.

 

I am the world’s foremost expert on John Watson. Obviously. But it’s quite a long scale.
-SH

 

I am permitting this digression because it’s a subject I enjoy. Don’t think I’ve forgotten my original objective, John.
-SH

 

You’re starting home now, aren’t you? Bring me something.
-SH

 

I am starting home now, but I’m not bringing you any rubbish.

 

I wouldn’t it rule it out so quickly, if I were you, John.
-SH

 

I can be so persuasive.
-SH

 

And I know all your, ah, pressure points. Like I said, I’m the world’s foremost expert on John Watson.
-SH

 

But it’s quite a long scale.

 

Perhaps you’d like to have a rubbish ramble with me this evening.
-SH

 

A rubbish ramble? What’s that? Aside from incredibly precious by the sound of it.

 

Not sure what the textual equivalent of biting your tongue is, John, but if you think of it, do it.
-SH

 

It’s exactly what it sounds like.
-SH

 

We go poking in alleys after dark looking for rubbish?

 

Full moon tonight. We can hold each other's hands.
-SH

 

That is precious.

 

For your benefit.
-SH

 

The full moon excluded, of course. I won't even say I'd put it there for you if I could because I think it'd be a bit selfish of me to disrupt the tides just so you'll look like you can't wait for our spaceship.
-SH

 

Still though. The things I do for you.
-SH

 

All right then, I’ll join you on your rubbish ramble.

 

Mind you, only to make that remark even more ironic than it already is.

 

It almost isn’t worth it
-SH

 

Liar.

“Hullo love. Wasn’t expecting to see you out here.”
“I know to expect you between 6:19 and 6:27, so I came down at 6:17. I’ve not been waiting long.”
“Madman. Give us a kiss then before we begin our trek.”
“Will you have your scarf, John?”
“Yes, love, thanks. I was just wondering how much you’d pout if I went upstairs to wrap up a bit more.”
“I don’t pout, John.”
“Lucky for me, you do, love. Looks gorgeous. Have you got my torch?”
“Of course. I assume you’ve got your gloves, since they weren’t on your dresser.”
“Yeah, got them in my pocket. Where’d you get that little trolley?”
“It’s Mrs Hudson’s.”
“Ha, of course.”
“I found my hatchet.”
“Oh god.”
“It’s only a little one, see? I’d be careful.”
“You’ll keep it sharpened?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Gloves and safety glasses?”
“If you insist.”
“Of course I insist. Where do you plan to do your chopping?”
“Empty bedroom, I suppose.”
“Oh, all right then. Hatchet. On probation. You chop one unsuitable thing, and you’ll be saying a tender goodbye to that hatchet.”
“You do conjure such interesting mental images, John.”
“Judging by the way you’ve been fondling the handle, it’d be a very tender goodbye indeed.”
“Fondling. You and your exaggerations.”
“I know a fondle when I see one, love. I suppose you know where you want to start?”
“Yes, actually. There’s an old serving trolley behind Speedy’s that I’d like to hack to bits for starters, if you’ve no objections.”
“Sounds perfect. Shall we?”
"Let's. By the way, don't think I haven't noticed that you've got something in your coat pocket. Is it that rubbish little fan from your desk? I told you it was shit, but you would buy it anyway. Thank you for bringing it to me. I told you I'd persuade you, and you knew I would, didn't you, John?"
"God. I'll never get used to you just pulling things out of the air like that."
"Hardly out of the air, John."
"Lucky for you I fancy running around town with a hatchet, hung off the arm of a maniac."
"Who wouldn't?"

Chapter Text

“Would you please get out of the skip, Sherlock? Please.”
“It’s not going to be hauled away right now, John. It’s late.”
“Why must you jump into skips, Sherlock?”
“It varies. This one smells interesting.”
“I wish you’d stop saying that.”
“You keep asking-ah! I knew it!”
“What? What is it?”
“John, phone Lestrade! I’ve just found a hand!”
“A hand?”
“Yes, a hand.”
“A severed hand?”
“If it weren’t severed, I’d say I’d found a person or a corpse or perhaps an arm. But, yes, John, it’s severed. Please phone Lestrade. It was severed within the last twenty-four hours, I think, though of course you must have a look yourself. Oooh! God!”
“What?!”
“Don’t be alarmed, John. I’m only excited. I can’t wait for you to see this hand, John. It’s a perfect hand. It’s pristine. It might have been autoclaved or made from scratch in a hand factory. The cut is so perfect, John. They might have used a level. This is going to be brilliant, John. This is going to be just brilliant. Are you excited?”
“Right, Sherlock, it may be pristine, but you’d better have your bloody gloves on.”
“Of course I’ve got my gloves on, John. I’m not an idiot.”
“No, you just jumped into a skip because it smelled interesting. Oh, and apparently to you ‘smells interesting’ means ‘smells like a severed hand.’ Rather makes me wonder what I smell of, as you’re always going on about it.”
“You don’t smell like a severed hand, John. You smell a bit like a bakery in a forest. Should I have left it, then? Don’t be boring, John. And what the hell is taking you so long about phoning Lestrade?”
“I’ve already done it! While you were doing your monologue thing. They’re on their way.”
“Who’s on forensics?”
“Knox.”
“That’ll do. She’s fair. Monologue thing?”
“Don’t pretend you don’t know you do that.”
“I recite monologues?”
“I think I’d use the word proclaim. Proclaim about covers it.”
“I’d say I’ve known you to utter a proclamation or two yourself, John.”
“You do it like no one else, love. You’re like a very pompous klaxon.”
“You and your compliments, John.”

“You are brilliant.”
“We’re brilliant.”
“God yes, we’re brilliant.”
“I can hardly stand it sometimes, it’s so- oh fuck!”
“What? What is it?”
“We’ve left Mrs. Hudson’s trolley in the alley where I found the hand. And my hatchet. Fuck. Do you think they’re still there? How long has it been?”
“Couple of days. Could still be there. Let’s go back and check. Might have been taken as evidence when the police came. Bit awkward that.”
“Ha, yes. Bit awkward. Could be.”
“Or might have been hauled away with-”
“Oh do shut up, John. If I’ve got a good reason to go into a skip, I’m going in.”
“Talking of that, as soon as we get back to the flat, we are binning your clothes, and you are having the shower of your life. Two of them, if need be.”
“I expect you’ll be overseeing the operation very carefully? Making sure my ablutions meet your standards?”
“Well, of course.”
“All right then. I can manage a record-setting shower, if you’re around for support.”
"That's the spirit, love. Anything can be accomplished with team work."
"We're brilliant."
"God yes."

Sure I can't take you for a drink?
-DI Lestrade-

 

With respect Lestrade, that'd be rather a punishment than an appropriate expression of gratitude.
-SH

 

I'll have to send you a bottle of something, then. Any preferences or will anything ridiculously expensive do?
-DI Lestrade-

 

No need.
-SH

 

Well, thanks again, anyway.
-DI Lestrade-

 

You're welcome
-SH

 

Sorry, I'm what?
-DI Lestrade-

 

Not funny, among other things.
-SH

 

For a moment there, I thought you'd come over all polite.
-DI Lestrade-

 

That'll be John's influence, I reckon.
-DI Lestrade-

 

Yes, he's quite rubbed off on me
-SH

 

That double entendre was unintentional. If you acknowledge it, I'll never speak to you again.
-SH

 

You've promised me that so many times.
-DI Lestrade-

 

And yet I always take pity on you.
-SH

Chapter Text

“Another downside to jumping into skips.”
“Shut up, John. You’re ruining it.”
“How’s the temperature?”
“Very nice.”
“Are you sure? You’re really flushed.”
“It’s nearly scalding, but I like it that way.”
“Is it helping your shoulder?”
“It’s helping all over. My shoulder isn’t worse than any of the rest of me.”
“Remember how it’s all right that being stabbed has affected you?”
“That was a long time ago. I’ll be fine in a bit. Just trying to relax. Which is difficult with you in here sniffing at me. Make yourself useful or quiet or go away.”
“You’re one to talk of sniffing.”
“Figure of speech.”
“Poetry, you mean?”
“Get out.”
“Make me.”
“Would do if I weren’t so sore.”
“Ha. I’d like to see you try.”
“Get me a cup of tea or something. Stop gloating. It’s unbecoming.”
“For a man who hates irony so much, you make loads of ironic remarks, love.”
“Get out, John. You’re infuriating.”
“Yeah, you look really furious.”
“It’s a boneless, idle, sort of fury. I could shoot you, if you like, though. I think I’ve the strength for that. Fetch my revolver.”
“Won’t that ruin your lovely bath?”
“If you were inconsiderate enough to bleed into the water, I suppose it could.”
“Nah, I’ve got more refinement than that. I wouldn’t bleed out into your bath. I respect the tub.”
“Good. I don’t like to think I may have taken up with some one who’s got horrible manners.”
“Imagine that. Bloody nightmare, it’d be.”
“Indeed.”

“Sherlock, for you own safety, best lean back a bit because I’m about to punch that cocked eyebrow right off your stupid head!”
“Such violence.”
“It’s four am, Sherlock. I've got twelve hours sleep in three days because of running round after the skip hand guy. I'm exhausted. What do you want?”
“I’m bored, John! You and your bodily functions. Sleeping. So dull.”
“Right, well as you’re just as human as I am, you need to sleep, too. So sod off and go to sleep, Sherlock!”
“I can’t sleep when I’m in this state, John. You know that. Anyway, you’ve had five hours of sleep already today. That’s enough for a man of your age, habits, and-"
“Okay, you don’t need to tell me how little sleep I need. What do you want from me? Why’ve I got to get up because you want to get up? Can’t you entertain yourself without me for a bit?”
“Don’t be boring.”
“I’m going to be very boring, actually, because I’m going to lie here until at least seven, whether you let me sleep or not.”
“How can you just lie there when we could be doing things?”
“No, we couldn’t. Four am doesn’t have any things. It’s sleeping time, the world over. Nothing happens at four am. That’s why we’ve all decided to sleep.”
“Our dozen charming farmer children would have something to say about that. They’re all up by now, I’m sure. Preparing to do the milking.”
“Well, you’re welcome to do the milking with our dozen- hang on. Dozen?”
“Yes, a dozen, John. Six of your invention and six of my invention. Fair’s fair.”
“Our farm must be doing very well, if we can afford a dozen children.”
“We may have been over-optimistic in our farm and family planning. It’s a good job they’re all of them so very charming.”
“Tell you what, love. You let me have a lie-in until eight, and in the morning, I’ll do anything you like. Even have a mad conversation about our charming dairy cows.”
“You almost always do anything I like. Can’t think why you’re being so obstinate now.”
“Really? That’s odd because I’ve been telling you since you bounced me awake with that look on your face. I’m sleeping! Go away!”
“Fine, fine. No need to shout. I suppose we can manage the milking without you.”

“Well, well, well. Can’t say I’m exactly surprised by this. Even geniuses have bodily functions, right Sherlock?”
“Shut up, John.”
“So sleep is only boring when it’s what you’re meant to be doing. Much more interesting at ten am than four am, is it?”
“Do shut up, John.”
“I hope you at least got the imaginary milking done.”
“If you’re going to blather like a fool, come over here for it, so I can make a pillow of you.”
“All right then.”
“Mmm, that’s better. You do make a nice pillow, John.”
“High praise.”
“Well you know you must be good for something, as I allow you to stay here.”
“And I fiddle with your hair.”
“Right you are! I’d forgotten for a moment. Remind me how that goes? Oh perfect, John. Lovely. I really must keep you, then, if you can make yourself this useful.”
“Glad to hear it, love. You have your rest, and I’ll make up my list of demands.”
“Mmm, I’m not listening to you at all, but I rather have the impression that you’re threatening me. No matter. You can do whatever you like to me as long as you keep doing that to my hair.”
“Lucky for you, I’m too scrupulous to press my advantage.”
“You’re not; you press it when it suits you. But I know you well enough to do a bit of pressing in return, so I believe it evens out.”
“What sort of pressing? Witch pressing?”
“Ha, well, yes, that too, but John! Who told you to stop? Never stop. That’s better. Remember my experiments in how you best like to be touched? Worlds of useful data there, John. Worlds.”
“Oh god.”
“Don’t worry, you very much enjoy it when I assert my influence. You’re thinking of stopping, so you can blackmail me into detailing exactly what I mean by that. Won’t work, John, but fiddle me into a nice nap, and I’ll give you a couple of hints when I wake up.”

Chapter Text

"What are you doing here?"
"Fine thanks. You?"
"Very amusing, Lestrade. Have you got a good reason for being in my flat uninvited, or will you be off now?"
"All right then. I'm getting to it."
"Does it pertain to that parcel?"
"It does, actually. We've got you a token of our gratitude."
"Not necessary, thank you."
"You don't even know what it is."
"Forgive me for saying so, but I wasn't exactly thrilled with your last token of gratitude."
"Our last token? Hang on, are you still upset about the hat? That was three years ago, and it was just a bit of fun, wasn’t it?"
"Of course I was never upset about the hat, but I was more, ah, embarrassed than flattered to be used for your mascot. Oh and then discarded shortly thereafter when it was decided that my assistance was a liability. Gratitude indeed."
"Oh."
"Mmm, yes. My humanity seems to come as such a surprise to nearly everyone I know. Can't think why."
"Right well this was under John's advice. I'll just leave it here, yeah?"
"If you insist."
"If you don't like it, you can chuck it in the bin."
"Thank you. Generous of you."
"Thanks again."
"I hope you can find your way out. Bit busy at the moment."
"Right. Well. See you around the Yard, then."
"Yes, I expect you will."

...

"Oh, hullo. I didn't notice this when I got in. Lestrade been round, then?"
"Yes."
"You haven't opened your present."
"Excellent deduction, John. Really well-spotted."
"Don't you want it?"
"Not particularly."
"Greg asked me what you'd like, and I had a few recommendations. Hopefully we managed to hit the mark."
"Leave it there on the table, then. I'll have a look later."
"Shall I open it for you?"
"If you like."
"Budge up, love."
"You don't have to open it right under my nose, John."
"I just want to be sure you see it. Oh, I think I know what it is."
"I presume the options are limited."
"I did vouch for you to get it for you, so use it wisely and at least pretend you're pleased with it."
"It's my hatchet."
"Oh is it yours? I thought it was a new one."
"No, this is mine. I recognise the scratches on the handle."
"Ha, of course you do. Not much of a present. Giving you your own stuff back."
"He doesn't usually. If I leave things behind. Says, well he did say that I need to take more care not to contaminate the crime scene. He said he needed to hold onto things in case they became relevant."
"You never leave things behind at crime scenes."
"I've stopped, for the most part. I wasn't getting them back."
"That's nice, then. Got your hatchet back. Oh, maybe they've got Mrs Hudson's little trolley."
"No matter, I've already got her a new one. That one had a crooked wheel anyway."
"Oh good. Hungry?"
"Not at the moment, but I'll take a cup of tea, if you're making it."
"I’ll put the kettle on."

...

Thank you for the present.
-SH

 

You're welcome. Glad you like it.
-DI Lestrade-

 

It is my property, so it stands to reason I'd like it.
-SH

 

Still. Thank you.
-SH

...

“Sherlock Holmes here.”
“Yeah, it’s me.”
“I know.”
“I should’ve said before I’m sorry about the hat.”
“Like you said, Greg, it was three years ago.”
“I shouldn’t have let them make a joke of you. You’re better than the whole lot of us put together. You’re not a joke.”
“Yes, I know.”
“I, er, I suppose I just wanted you to know I think so.”
“Thank you.”
“I always thought so.”
“Yes, Greg, I understand what you’re getting at.”
“So will you let me buy you a drink then?”
“Erm, no. I hate pubs. But thank you for the hatchet.”
“You’re welcome.”

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, have you seen my charger? It’s not plugged in on the desk.”
“I’m using it.”
“Well, my phone is dead. I need to take it with me to work.”
“My phone’s about to die. I’m using it.”
“What’s wrong with your charger?”
“Broken.”
“You broke it?”
“Does it matter?”
“I need mine back. I’ve got to take it in to work with me.”
“Yes, so you said. If you take it, I’ll be completely without a phone all day. You’ll have the land line in your office.”
“Unless you leave the flat and buy another charger.”
“Busy.”
“Can’t you think and shop at the same time?”
“No.”
“What happens when you try? Do you fall over?”
“Sorry, John. I win.”
“How’s that exactly?”
“Well, it takes you nine minutes to walk to the train station, if you don't stop for a coffee or a newspaper and the traffic is light at the zebra crossing. You've only got nine and a half minutes until your train leaves. If you miss your train, you’ll be late, which you hate, and you were late last week. You’re not going to take the charger because we haven’t actually agreed on who should get it, and you’re too polite to just take it when I’ve already said I’m using it. So I win. Or rather, you surrender. Not as much fun, but acceptable.”
“Are you factoring in my urge to prove you wrong every time you predict me like I’m the outcome to a football match?”
“I’ve never predicted the outcome to a football match in my life.”
“Well, I’m not going to bother with convincing you I deserve it; I’m just going to take it. And I’m going to get a cab. See you later, Sherlock.”
“How am I supposed to communicate with the outside world?”
“You’ll think of something. Anyway, you hate the outside world.”
“What if there’s an emergency?”
“Then you’ll beat it to death with a punchbowl or spear it with your harpoon. Or chop it to bits with your hatchet. That’ll be fun, right love? You haven’t chopped anything yet.”
“Heartless. Not all emergencies are choppable, John.”
“No? Maybe while I’m at work, you can come up with some contingency plans for unchoppable situations. Anyway, I’m off.”
“Good riddance.”

...

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
Subj:

John,
I suppose you’ve no reason to check this address while at work, so I’ve helped myself to your printer to be sure you’ll see my message. Look what you've reduced me to, John. Sending an email. Using a printer. You should be ashamed. I miss my phone.

[page one of one]

 

To: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
From: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
re:

How did you do that?

 

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: To: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
re:re:

Do what?

 

To: To: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
From: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
re:re:re:

How did you print an email on the printer in my office?

 

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
re:re:re:re

I could tell you, but it'd only bore us both, and I'm already bored. What are you doing?

 

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
re:re:re:re:re

Your typing is really abysmal. You should take lessons. How can it take you so long to reply?

 

To: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
From: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
re:re:re:re:re:re

Sorry love. Don’t have much time for chatting right now. Doctoring to do. See you tonight.

 

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: SH@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
re:re:re:re:re:re:re

All right then. I’ll put all my chatter in one message and send it to you when I’m finished chattering.

 

To: SH
From: Dr John Watson
re:re:re:re:re:re:re

Greatest mind in Britain does it again. Can’t wait, love.

Chapter Text

To: john@johnwatsonblog.co.uk
From: sh@thescienceofdeduction.co.uk
Subj: chatter

I don’t mean to pester you while you work, John. I only want to annoy you to the extent that you enjoy it. And perhaps a bit more than that, provided I’m enjoying it. But then I’m always enjoying it. You do pull such excellent faces, John. I miss you. Isn’t that irritating? It’s only been a few hours since I saw you last (186 minutes at time of writing this, if you were wondering). But here we are. I miss you. You’ve pervaded me at least as deeply as I’ve pervaded you, my John. Perhaps more so. It’s difficult to quantify.

I suppose you know I miss you. You always know what I’m feeling, I think. You can read me better than I can read you. When did that happen? Witch. You don’t seem mysterious, but you are. You’ve got your mystery hidden under wool and chambray (that blonde hair and those great big eyes are very much to your advantage as well)(in multiple contexts) and ordinary people just overlook it.

I could go on. I’m always about to go on, John. I have to stop myself very, very often. You know that, don’t you? You know everything important. Well, relatively speaking. Perhaps I should go on, though. You say such lovely things to me, and I wish I could answer. Instead I pretend to sneer and hope you understand me. You do (obviously), but I want to have it out in the open the way you do. I hope I manage to convey my feelings, even though I am not as naturally elegant as you are. I shall keep practising.

Should I tell you more often that I love you? That doesn’t seem quite right somehow. Bit feeble? You’ll know what I mean; you hardly say it either. Ah, well, we don’t need it. Not clever enough for us, is it, John? We’re showoffs; it’s what we do. You show off, too, don’t you? You’d deny it, I suppose (I can predict you that well, at least), but you do. Mostly to do with me, I’ve noticed. You’re rather proud of me, aren’t you John? Is it because I’m so tall?

Me and your looks. Two of your points of pride. Well-warranted, of course. I’m a proper genius, and you’re immoderately handsome. Right before I died, you’d bought this blue suit that you wore to the trial and whatever other nonsense we got up to (aside from the cases, of course. Cases are never nonsense). God. John Watson in that blue suit (for your records, it renders your eyes, your shoulders, and your arse all very distracting). I could not stop staring. Thought you’d say something; I’m sure you noticed. I thought lots about kissing you. It really annoyed me. I was rather hoping my wanting-to-kiss-John feelings would evaporate eventually (hope you don’t mind me saying). I wanted things to be simple. Stupid of me. Limiting. I missed important things because I wouldn’t look properly (wouldn’t observe).

What happened to that suit, John? Do you still have it? We should have a really nice night out some time. The symphony? Would you like that? We could go and see Mr Spencer for tuxedos. Might be a bit awkward about the tie. He’s rather traditional. We could stop for a nightcap at Angelo’s (have I taken you there after closing? It's very different). I’d let you get me drunk. We like that.

I think I could be persuaded to literally worship you, John. Prayers, burnt offerings, the lot of it. What’s the line from that horrible play? ‘the god of my idolatry’? Something like that? I could very much see myself as high priest of the cult of John Watson.

Good lord, what nonsense I’m talking. Writing. You bring it out in me, you witch. Admit you have me under a spell, John. I won’t be cross. Of course you’d want to enchant me. Hmm, it seems I cannot curtail the nonsense. Perhaps I’d better leave it here.

Yes, I’ll go and get myself a new charger, then I won’t feel like you’re so inaccessible (silly, of course. I’d get at you wherever you were, as long as you wanted me). All that remains is the question of the sign off. I might write to you more often, if I could sort that to my own satisfaction.

Yours,
Sherlock (has its advantages, but it’s identical to yours. What am I, if not original?)

With love,
Sherlock (no. Something your aunt writes in a birthday card)

Love,
Sherlock (something your mum writes in a birthday card)

Sherlock
x (something Molly Hooper writes in a birthday card)

Ever yours,
Sherlock (improving but not just right)

Sherlock (just my name will have to do at present; I know you’ll say it’s sufficient)

PS
Oh fuck me, I’ve just realised this is a love letter. Bother. Ah, well. I’ll send it anyway.

Chapter Text

“Good god, John. Your mouth!”
“Thank you and you’re welcome.”
“No, I mean it’s filthy. Where did you learn to talk like that? You make me blush.”
“Ha, do I? I don’t even really remember what I said.”
“I’d repeat it back to you, but I don’t think I could do your delivery justice.”
“You were so eloquent in your letter that I was feeling a bit outdone.”
“Consider me put in my place.”
“Not that I mean to discourage you proclaiming your feelings, love.”
“Like a very pompous klaxxon.”
“Not much like a klaxxon this time. Really Sherlock, that was just lovely. It made me come over all tender on the train on my way home.”
“Dear me.”
“I know. I’m not used to being so, erm, adored. I’ve never had a letter like that before.”
“No? Seems like you’d have a biscuit tin of sentiment stashed somewhere.”
“Biscuit tin of sentiment?”
“Some cache of infatuated missives from former lovers.”
“Dnno that I’ve ever been with some one who was the type to write infatuated missives.”
“I’m not the type.”
“But you’d do anything for me.”
“True.”

...

"Oh, what's that look?"
"Now you really do have me under a spell, don't you, you nature-changer?"
"Of course I do. What's got you so enchanted so early this morning, love?"
"I'm dreaming your dreams, John."
"Sorry?"
"I dreamt you were my violin."
"Ahhhh. And how did you like that?"
"Bit odd. It seemed presumptuous to just play you, and I didn't know how to ask for permission. I plucked G, but even that felt rather daring."
"Well, you have my unlimited permission to play or pluck me as you choose."
"Thank you, John."
"Just remember that my pegs are ticklish."
"Ha, yes. I will remember. Thank you."

...

“Don’t touch that!”
“I’m hungry. Can’t I have a biscuit?”
“They’re not biscuits. ”
“Ooh, are you keeping specimens in a biscuit tin? That’s a bit horrible.”
“They’re not specimens.”
“Explosives?”
“No, Molly. It’s personal. Stop guessing.”
“If it’s personal, why are you keeping it in the kitchen, hidden in a biscuit tin?”
“Because it’s my flat, and I’ll keep my biscuit tin full of personal items wherever I like.”
“Seems like maybe you want it to be discovered.”
“Molly, have the imagination to realise that if I did plant biscuit tins full of personal items around my flat for discovery, the efforts might not be directed at you.”
“Oh, is it for John?”
“It’s personal!”
“Really, I just wanted a biscuit.”
“Here!”
“You’ve had those in your pocket this whole time?!”
“You were too absorbed in ferreting out my secrets to give me an opening to offer them to you.”
“Suddenly you wait for openings. Why’ve you got biscuits in your pocket? Or is it personal?”
“In anticipation of this moment, Molly.”

Chapter Text

The Hand in the Skip

Sherlock Holmes here. As John can’t be bothered to update with anything approaching regularity, I’ve decided to help myself to his blog again and post a write-up of one of my recent cases. If you’re at all attuned to current events--I would hope you are, as you read this blog--you’ve probably heard about this. Or at least heard the utter hash the press have made of a fascinating case. Fortunately here’s me to tell you what actually happened with the serial killer John has named The Skip Hand Guy. Pithy.

[Edited]

John Watson here. Not two minutes after this went up, we got a very nice phone call from our friends at the Met, asking if we could please stop giving murder lessons. I tried to alter Sherlock’s write up enough to post it (such tender, painstaking detail), but by the time it was considered acceptable, it was nothing but redaction marks and insults. So I’ve preserved the insults from Sherlock’s introduction for your entertainment.

Comments (28)

Sherlock Holmes:
This is just offensive.

 

John Watson:
Copycats, remember?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I loathe copycats.

 

John Watson:
That’s one good reason not to spawn any.

 

G Lestrade:
Brilliant job on this one, gents. Really excellent.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Yes, Greg, so you've said. Thank you.

 

Jacob Sowersby:
Wow, I wish you could tell us about it! Sounds fantastic!

 

Sherlock Holmes:
It was.

 

John Watson:
Yeah, you were more astounding than usual, Sherlock.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Thank you, John. That’s saying something.

 

Molly Hooper:
Oh, is this why you’ve been more insufferable than usual lately?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I’m afraid I don’t know what you mean.

 

Harry Watson:
Ha! More insufferable than usual really is saying something! I knew I liked this Molly person. Why’ve we not met yet, Molly?

 

Molly Hooper:
I think we met at John’s birthday party, actually. We didn’t get to chat much, though. Sherlock had my ear most of the night.

 

John Watson:
Wrong tree, Harry.

 

Molly Hooper:
Mind your own business, John.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
John does enjoy interfering with other people’s fun.

 

John Watson:
Me?!

 

Molly Hooper:
Yes, I think we can all agree on that.

 

Harry Watson:
Seconded.

 

John Watson:
Right then. I’ll play along. Comments disabled.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Oh John, don’t be petty.

 

John Watson:
How are you doing that?

 

Sherlock Holmes:
Please. Trivially easy.

 

John Watson:
I’ll just have to stop you manually, then.

Sherlock Holmes:
I’d like to see you try.

 

John Watson:
Well, you’re about to.

 

Sherlock Holmes:
I look forward to it. With relish.

Chapter Text

"Elbow patches, John?"
"So?"
"Are you really that hard on your jumper elbows?"
"No, I'm not, but you are. You stretch them out, you lanky thing. That's not why I bought this, though. I just like the elbow patches."
"What's next? One of those diamond patterned jumpers in garish blue and yellow like your uncle wears to Easter lunch?"
"That was very specific."
"Yes, I paint a vivid picture."
"I'd noticed. Fair aisle and now argyle. What have you got against patterns?"
"I like you in stripes."
"Do you?"
"Very much."
"What about spots?"
"A spotted jumper? No, I don't think I approve of that at all."
"I don't think I've ever seen a spotted jumper. I mean a spotted shirt or tie."
"Oh, yes, I quite like your spotted ties. That's why I put them at the front of your tie index."
"Are you still indexing my ties?"
"Yes, every other week. How is that you don't notice?"
"Just thick, I suppose."
"At least you admit it."

“Are you all right, John? You look a bit unsettled.”
“You’re doing it on purpose.”
“Am I unsettling you?”
“You know you are.”
“My apologies, John. Shall I play more quietly?”
“At least stop staring at me like a cat watching a mousehole. Look out the window like normal.”
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cat watch a mousehole.”
“Use your imagination.”
“Little less noise, please, John. I want to focus on my Bach. Got to keep in practise. Apparently important performances are just going to be sneaking up on me, from now on.”
“Bastard.”
“I thought you liked Partita No. One, John.”
“I do. It’s marvelous.”
“I know. So hush and enjoy it.”

...

“My, my, my, isn’t this a reversal? Addressing your freckle portfolio, I suppose. I thought you found kitchen nudity declasse?”
“When have I ever said that?”
“You’ve thought it.”
“Well you’ve done something with my dressing gown. Where is it?”
“Tut, tut, John. Can’t you look after your things a bit better?”
“Are you denying that you took it?”
“No, of course not.”
“Can I have it back?”
“Certainly, if you can find it.”
“I suppose I’ll just get dressed then.”
“If you really considered that a palatable option, you’d have done it before you came out to ask me about your dressing gown.”
“Remember what I said about my reaction to being predicted?”
“I can’t help predicting you, John; it’s what I do. Anyway, you’re obviously enjoying showing off.”
“Well, I am enjoying the way you’re looking at me.”
“Yes, didn’t I say?”
“Well, I don’t fancy cooking breakfast naked, so you can turn up my dressing gown, or you can make breakfast.”
“Small price to pay.”
“You’re never going to give it back?”
“Mmm, I haven’t decided yet. Let’s see how breakfast goes.”
“Ha, I’m trying to be annoyed about this.”
“But you just can’t somehow.”
“Are you going to hide my other clothes, as well, love?”
“Let’s see how breakfast goes.”

Chapter Text

“Oh hullo. These aren’t biscuits, are they, love?”
“No.”
“What are they?”
“Have a look.”
“Is this a biscuit tin full of sentiment?”
“Take a look in the tin, John.”
“How long have you been doing this?”
“Since our conversation.”
“But that was only a week and a half ago.”
“Yes.”
“Well, there’re two dozen notes here.”
“Twenty-seven, actually.”
“How did you do that so quickly?”
“Most of them don’t say much. It’s an ongoing enterprise.”
“May I look at them?”
“Of course. That is the point, I believe. If my impressions of such undertakings are correct.”
“Ooh, they must be very tender indeed. I’m looking forward to this.”
“Shut up, John.”

...

John,
You touch my elbow every single time you introduce me as your husband. Did you know?
S

 

John,
You’ve fallen asleep on my left arm. Using you for a writing desk. Please excuse my handwriting; I’m finding the pins and needles rather distracting.
S

 

John,
Asked you to text Mycroft for me earlier today. Have just checked my phone to see you called him a ‘flatulent busybody’ which was not in the text I dictated to you. I appreciate your initiative.
S

 

John,
You kissed my right ear this morning. It is now 20:17 and it still tickles. You need a shave.
S

 

John,
Followed you to work today to see if you’d notice. Am in disguise, though. One of your jumpers.
S

 

John,
You counted thirteen mugs in the sink and will not stop grumbling about it. Bit irritating. Maybe I’ll smash the extra three.
S

 

John,
You’re asleep in your chair, and your mouth is wide open. I want to put my finger in it.
S

 

John,
Still in bed and you think I’m asleep. Listening to you sing while you do last night’s dishes. Think I’ll lie here until you’ve done singing. It’ll be a good day today. I always know it will be when you sing before breakfast.
S

 

John,
It is very noisy and very dull and very warm, and I am more than ready to adjourn to the moon, should that be agreeable to you.
S

...

“You mad thing.”
“You’re pleased?”
“Of course I’m pleased. God. Sherlock. I don’t know what to say.”
“You may shut up, if you like.”
“Arse.”
“Idiot.”
“May I put some notes in as well?”
“If you like. But won’t they get lost in mine?”
“I suppose you’ll just have to deduce which ones are yours and which ones are mine.”
“So will you, John.”
“Right, I will, yes. But I’m getting better at deducing.”
“It’s quite a long scale.”
"I'll finish with the rest later, shall I?"
"I'm going to keep writing them, John. You don't have to ration what you already have."
"Thank you, love. It's just. I'm getting a bit."
"Right. Of course."
"Yeah."

Chapter Text

Can’t settle. Trying not to let John see, but he’s watching me. He’s pretending not to. Doing my trick with the newspaper, actually (not very well; he hasn’t turned any pages since he sat down). I’m trying to pace without looking like I’m pacing. It’s not working; John can see I’m in a mood. I’m exhausted, actually. No real reason. Just haven’t slept. My eyes are heavy and there’s a pressure on my forehead, just behind my eyebrows (is there a word for that feeling, I wonder?).

I didn’t sleep last night either. Laid next to John until he was asleep, then pushed my head under the back of his pyjama top (which sometimes helps quite a lot) but it was not effective. Still, I stayed that way until I got a crick in my neck. Came out to the sitting room so I could fidget without disturbing him. Have been floating round the sitting room like a fish in a bowl since then. Haven’t eaten either, which may be worrying John more than the insomnia (not quite sure he knows about the insomnia, now I think of it). John tries not to ask me to eat (pointless, he knows). He’s close now, though. Haven’t eaten since yesterday breakfast. The insomnia and lack of appetite tend to coincide. John would say I can’t sleep because I haven’t eaten.

“Tea, love?” John offers suddenly. Trying to sound careless. Bless him for not fussing openly. It’d certainly lead to an argument I don’t presently have the energy for. Or silent sulking on both our parts. I’ve waited too long to reply.

“Fine.” Can’t manage more than that politely. The pressure in my head is turning to throbbing. John pops out of his chair and into the kitchen at once. There’s a little more bustle than putting the kettle on warrants. He’s fixing me something to eat. Suppose we’ll be having that row afterall. “Not hungry,” I call. May as well get it going now.

“So self-centred,” he calls back. “I’m the one that’s hungry.”

“Who’s hungry, John. Are pronouns really so difficult?” He chuckles. Annoying, which is good. It was irritating me that he was being so pleasant. Lie down on the couch, cover my face with the crook of my right arm. Use my left to tap Partita No. One on the side of the sofa. Wonder if John recognises it. He seems to pause. Continue tapping and try to decide if it’s a listening pause or some other sort of pause. He taps back, and I laugh aloud. John laughs too. I roll over onto my face and listen to the scraping and rustling sounds that mean John is making tea and toast. It seems only a moment later that John comes back into the room.
I roll over and sit up. John has a cup of tea in each hand and two slices of toast with marmalade held in his teeth. He looks rather puppyish. Would he enjoy hearing that? Should I put it in the biscuit tin? He hands me my cup. We catch eyes, and I raise an eyebrow and look pointedly at the toast.

John sits and takes the toast out of his mouth. He chews for a moment and says, “Mmm, bit too much butter.” I roll my eyes. “Not everything is about you,” John says, grinning and taking another bite of his toast. I can smell the butter. I sip my tea and watch John dawdle over his toast. When he’s finished (and after he’s licked his fingers; not too tired to enjoy the sight of John’s tongue) he yawns and shuts his eyes for a moment before saying, “Well, two in the morning does not sit as well as it used to.” Look down at my watch, surprised. One fifty-six. Think of correcting him. Too lethargic to bother. “Will you come to bed?”

“Not tired.”

“All right then. Will you put me to bed?”

“Put you to bed?”

“Just come and sit with me for a bit. I don’t like to go without you.”

“All right.”

“I’ll just clean my teeth. Will you get the biscuit tin? I want you to read me some sentiment.”John gets up and goes into the bathroom without waiting for me to answer. I get the tin from the kitchen, go into the bedroom and lie down on my side of the bed. John comes in a minute later, already pulling his jumper over his head. He undresses and gets into bed next to me. I sit up and lean back against my pillows. I raise my arm and look at John. He slides over to accept my invitation and leans against my side. I prise the lid off the tin (smells of ginger and sugar inside) and pull out a folded slip of paper. Unfold it to see John’s handwriting. Read it aloud anyway,

“‘Hullo love,
I could compose a monograph on the subject of that freckle on your throat. You know the one I mean. Since I am a normal person, I think instead I’ll go see if I can get my leg over.
Yours,
John’”

John laughs (I almost do as well, but thinking of it makes my head ache). “Nice choice, love. And I did, by the way. If you were wondering.”

I smile, “Yes, I think I remember that.”

“What about one of yours then?”

“As you like, John.” I reach into the tin, and pull out a handful.

“‘John,
I can’t stop myself smiling at your impression of me. Pity. I think it’d be more fun for both of us if I could believably pretend to hate it.
S

John,
You just came out of the bathroom and announced 'that piss was aces.'
S

John,
Listening to you slowly lose patience while attempting to order food on the phone. Fighting laughter.
S’”

John laughs heartily at all three notes. “You’re not going to get to sleep this way, John,” I tell him. “All this unrestful chortling.”

John yawns for a long moment (I actually hear his jaw crack) before he replies, “You’re the expert are you?” He shuts his eyes and slumps against me.

I squeeze his shoulder and say, “That’s generally my role no matter where I happen to be or what I’m doing.”

John giggles, “Sorry love, but I’m obviously much better at sleeping than you are.”

“Well you spend an undue amount of your time practising,” I say.

John shakes his head, still giggling. His hair tickles my jaw. “Get the light, will you, love?” he says with another huge yawn.

I comply before I say, “I know what you’re doing, John.”

“Do you?” John mumbles. “Clever you.”

“Not that you even bother to hide it when you’re attempting to manipulate me.” I stroke his arm.

John giggles again, “We don’t stand on ceremony around here, do we?”

“Not in that regard.”

“We’re both open connivers, aren’t we, love?”

I kiss the top of his head, feeling mysteriously sad. “Good night, John.”

“Flatten out, love. I’m going to make a pillow of you.” I obey, reaching for John’s pillow as I recline, but he tosses it off the bed when I hand it to him. “No thanks. Pretty pathetic substitute.” And he settles against me as if I really were a pillow and not a twitchy collection of bony limbs. “G’night Sherlock.” In answer, I only give him a little squeeze. He sighs. Lovely. I stroke his hair and try not to jiggle my foot and shake the bed. I shut my eyes, but holding them closed makes my headache worse, so open them again. Feel wistful as John’s breathing deepens. He’s drifting away from me. Soon he’ll be asleep, and I’ll be on my own again. Watching the dark and waiting for John to come back to me.

Chapter Text

“Thank you, John. Toast and eggs are a panacea.”
“Yeah, I’ve been trying to tell you that for years.”
“Consider me told.”
“Want to try and sleep again?”
“In a bit. For now, I think I’ll just enjoy your company.”
“Want to hear something from the biscuit tin?”
“Of course.”

Hullo love,
I think about your eyes, too. Did you know? You’ve got glass eyes. Sometimes blue, sometimes green, sometimes sort of silvery clear. I know that sounds like utter poetic nonsense, but this is a fucking love letter, isn’t it?
Yours,
John

“You do have a way with words, John.”
“Cheers, love. You bring it out in me.”
“That’s me. Your whetstone. Bit more?”
“All right, then.”

Hullo love,
You’ve got your face glued to your microscope, but you’ve been humming that piece you composed for me. Hmmm.
Yours,
John

 

Hullo love,
You’re asleep on the sofa, and you’ve got one arm and one leg hanging completely off it. How do you do that? What other strange attitudes could you sleep in? Is this what the spirit of scientific inquiry feels like?
Yours,
John

“Another instance of my positive influence.”
“Ha, yeah. That’s you, all right. Positive influence. Any more, love?”
“Not just at the moment, if you don’t mind, John. I think I’ll lie down.”
“Good, good. Glad to hear it. Will you adopt a strange attitude?”
“Anything to please you, John. Shall I sleep upside down?"
"That'll do for starters. I'll think of a few more while you practise that one."
"I shall be very interested to hear them."
"To enact them, you mean."
"Yes, of course. Silly of me."
"I think I can overlook it this time."
"Generous of you, John."
"Well, I'm rather fond of you."

"Use a spoon, you pervert."
"I'm only stirring, John. The fork works."
"Listen to yourself."
"All the spoons are dirty."
"Wash one."
"Be realistic, John."
"You're offending the tea, Sherlock. And the mug. And me. Oh, and now you're just going to let it sit there? Just in, all pointy and tine-y?"
"Yes, it's just going to sit there. The fork and the mug are going to get very well acquainted. And you're going to have to watch."
"It'll bump against your mouth, you know. When you drink."
"Small price to pay to annoy you, John."

Chapter Text

"Erm Sherlock, did you just wipe the lipstick off my mug?"
"It's my mug."
"No, that's your mug. This one's mine. No milk, see?"
"No, Molly, I meant that this is my flat so all the mugs here are my mugs."
"Ooh, dear."
"It's my property, Molly! I don't like it besmirched with cosmetics."
"Besmirched?"
"Dirtied, befouled, contaminated. Call it what you like."
"By my lipstick?"
"By anyone's lipstick."
"Are you sure you want me here? I'm also sitting in your chair and leaning on your table."
"Of course I want you here Molly, or you wouldn't be here."
"Then shut up about my lipstick."
"Fine. Touchy."

...

Have you been kissing my flat?
-SH

 

Er what?
~Molly~

 

My flat is all over lipstick marks. Per our earlier conversation, you're obviously to blame.
-SH

 

Why're you asking, if you've already worked it all out, Mr Clever?
~Molly~

 

'Mr Clever'? Taking a leaf from John's book?
-SH

 

Is he the only one who's allowed to nickname you?
~Molly~

 

Obviously. But that's more of an epithet than a nickname.
-SH

 

Anyway, I'll thank you to keep your mouth to yourself, when you're in my flat, Molly Marie Hooper.
-SH

 

How do you know my middle name?
~Molly~

 

Don't you think that question is beneath you, Molly? It's on your badge.
-SH

 

You steal my badge?!
~Molly~

 

Don't be stupid, Molly. I've looked at it. Doesn't mean I've stolen it.
-SH

 

So you absolutely haven't stolen it, then?
~Molly~

 

No.
-SH

 

Nor borrowed it?
~Molly~

 

I don't remember.
-SH

 

Liar!
~Molly~

 

Well, you've got it back now, haven't you?
-SH

 

DON'T NICK MY BADGE SHERLOCK! I could get sacked for that, you know!!!
~Molly~

 

Fine, fine, I won't borrow it anymore. No need for all that punctuation.
-SH

 

Good.
~Molly~

 

Your parents shouldn't have called you Molly Marie, by the way. Both names are derived from Mary. It makes a pointless middle name even more redundant.
-SH

 

Been meaning to say.
-SH

 

Thanks. I'll pass that along.
~Molly~

 

Do.
-SH

 

The best thing about you is that you're ridiculous in so many different ways.
~Molly~

 

I'm not so desperate for compliments that I'll accept an insult in disguise.
-SH

 

I really do mean it as a compliment. You're always interesting.
~Molly~

 

I suppose I can call that a neutral remark and not take offense.
-SH

 

Would you take offense at something I said to you?
~Molly~

 

Of course, if it were offensive.
-SH

 

I didn't know you care what I think
~Molly~

 

Don't be stupid, Molly. If I didn't care what you think, I wouldn't bother speaking to you.
-SH

 

At least not in a way that invited responses.
-SH

 

That's almost sweet.
~Molly~

 

Don't get carried away.
-SH

 

I nearly told you you're my dearest friend. Glad I didn't, if that's the way you're going to respond.
-SH

 

Really?
~Molly~

 

Yes, of course. Hadn't you noticed?
-SH

 

I don't like to assume with you.
~Molly~

 

What about John?
~Molly~

 

John is John.
-SH

 

Right...
~Molly~

 

John is my husband, if you need more of an explanation. Though that should have been obvious, in my estimation.
-SH

 

So I'm right under John, then?
~Molly~

 

That is not the way I would have phrased that.
-SH

 

Oh god. Sorry. Didn't think. : /
~Molly~

 

It's fine. What’s that bit at the end?
-SH

 

It means I’m embarrassed.
~Molly~

 

Couldn’t you have just said?
-SH

 

I was too embarrassed.
~Molly~

 

So how are your secret biscuits?
~Molly~

 

I've never had any secret biscuits.
-SH

 

You know what I mean.
~Molly~

 

I don't know why you're asking.
-SH

 

I like to hear about your weird little games.
~Molly~

 

Well, you're not going to be hearing anything about this one.
-SH

 

John'll tell me.
~Molly~

 

No he won't. It's personal.
-SH

 

I think you're a bit more rigid about that than John is.
~Molly~

 

You really have no way of knowing if that’s true, do you?
-SH

 

Because I don’t know what I don’t know?
~Molly~

 

Obviously.
-SH

 

Right, well. You’re bonkers, but a nice sort of bonkers.
~Molly~

 

I’m bowled over by your generosity, Molly.
-SH

Chapter Text

“That’s beautiful.”
“Thank you, John.”
“Really, really lovely, Sherlock. What is that? I’ve not heard you play that before.”
“Just improvising.”
“Your speciality.”
“Mmm, indeed. Shall I continue?”
“Yeah, go on.”
“Are you all right?”
“Fine, yeah, fine.”
“You look a bit.”
“I am a bit. Sometimes you look so lonely when you play.”
“Do I?”
“It makes me think of before you died. Sometimes you seemed so adrift. I’d feel a bit helpless, I suppose.”
“Will you get the tin, John? Let’s hear something from the tin.”

Hullo love,
I am so bloody proud of the fact that I’m the only person who ever makes you laugh. I want it carved on my tombstone.
Yours,
John

 

John,
Was pleased to discover at lunch today that I still feel incredibly smug when strangers assume we are together. Yes, this lovely man is indeed attached to me. Thank you for noticing.
S

 

John,
I promised myself years ago that I would never reveal this, but I enjoy doing the shopping with you. Sometimes I bin the last of the milk, so you’ll drag me along to replace it. I suppose I pretend to hate it because you do such funny things to keep me entertained. Shame to give that up. Ah well.
S

 

Hullo love,
Pretending to take notes while we interview a client. Thinking about your mouth instead.
Yours,
John

 

Hullo love,
This may be the best toast of my life. Well done, you.
Yours,
John

 

Hullo love,
Stop acting like I’m any better at this than you are. Demonstrably untrue, as you would say. I can’t quite spit out half the things I want to say to you about how fantastic you are. It’s all right. We’ll be brilliant and stupid together. You can be the idiot genius, and I’ll be the genius idiot.
Yours,
John

“What sort of things can’t you spit out, my John?”
“Ha, erm, let’s see. I love it when you call me your John.”
“You find that difficult to say?”
“I don’t like to interrupt. Usually you’ve attached it to a sentence I want to hear the end of.”
“Mmm, indeed. What else have you been meaning to spit out, John?”
“Ha mmm, I love that you pretend you don’t notice you make those innuendos.”
“You’re only listing things I’m doing right now.”
“Well you’re always doing something I love.”
“Forgive me John, but that does not gel with my recollections.”
“One little thing, at least.”
“What was the smallest thing you’ve ever loved about me?”
“That little point in the middle of your top lip.”
“My philtrum.”
“I love that you’re compulsively pedantic.”
“I love that you’re compulsively sarcastic.”
“I love that when I’m around you, I can be deliriously happy and in a towering rage at the same time.”
“Now?”
“Ha, no love. Not right now.”
“When?”
“Actually, I haven’t been in a towering rage in a long while.”
“Yes, my good influence is softening your quickness of temper. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a towering rage with you, John.”
“That’s because I’m an angel.”
“Mmm, hardly. Though I do enjoy your, ah, little bouts of hot-blooded bluster, John. Always very stirring.”
“Smug bastard.”
“Genius idiot.”

Chapter Text

"Good god, John! What is all that racket?"
"Nothing. Sorry."
"Just practising scaring the living daylights out of me, then?"
"Got to get a bit of my own back, don't I?"
"Stop being coy and tell me what you're shouting about."
"Did Sherlock Holmes just tell me to stop being coy?"
"I believe you heard me. I hope you don't intend to imply that I am coy, John."
"Playfully mysterious?"
"You imagine innuendo everywhere, John. If there were half as much intrigue in the world as you perceive, I would never be bored.”
“That’s saying something.”
“Mmm indeed. Now stop being coy and tell me what has you making all this noise, John.”
“No.”
“No?!”
“Bit more intrigue in your life, Montresor.”
“How generous you are, Fortunato.”

...

“Sherlock Holmes.”
“John Watson.”
“Do my eyes deceive me or is this candlelight I see?”
“Is there something difficult to believe about that, John?”
“Well, I’ve heard it’s romantic.”
“Is it? It’s a bit stale in here, but it was too cold with the window open. The candles help.”
“You don’t think it’s romantic, then?”
“Hadn’t thought.”
“Mmm, you’ve turned off the other lights.”
“Couldn’t be bothered to put them on. Anyway, it’s not quite dark yet.”
“Ah, right.”
“I’d disabuse you of your mistake, John, but I am enjoying that little grin you’re wearing.”
“Right. Well, shall I put the kettle on, love? Or would you rather I open a bottle of something?”
“Actually after I lit the candles, I thought you might suggest wine. There’s a bottle breathing on the table. Pour me a glass?”
“Ha, sure, love.”
“So smug, John.”
“I’m not smug, I’m pleased.”
“Call it what you like.”

...

"Don't look like that."
"John, perhaps you'd be kind enough to compile a list of the facial expressions I am allowed to wear when I dare to look in your direction. Or maybe you’d rather I didn’t turn my face toward you at all?”
“Sometimes you look like you’re laughing at my thoughts.”
“I thought you liked to make me laugh.”
“Nobody likes to feel ridiculous. Especially for things they haven’t said or done yet.”
“Are you considering doing or saying something ridiculous?”
“Ridiculous? Not to my standards.”
“Oh? And what have you got planned, my John?”
“Nothing in particular at the moment. I just like to know my plans, ridiculous or not, will be met with an open mind.”
“Oh, always John. I do like to hear what you think. Very useful to me. Even when it turns out to be rubbish, it’s generally entertaining.”
“You really know how to flatter a bloke.”
“I’ve too much respect for you to flatter you, John. Besides you don’t need it. Even your flaws are-”
“Transcendent?”
“How do you know about that? You do know, don’t you?”
“Ha, you’re not the only snoop in the flat.”
“Have you known all along?”
“Yep, think so.”
“You nosy, devious, little sneak.”
“You love it.”
“God yes.”

...

“John, you’ve got a new freckle.”
“Have I?”
“Mmm, on your throat.”
“No wonder it escaped my notice. And does it look as appetising as the one on my elbow?”
“More so.”
“I thought you might say that. Something about your expression. Well, help yourself, if you like.”
“Mmmm, generous of you, John.”
“That was gentler than I was expecting. Bit ticklish.”
“I didn’t want you to mistake my meaning, John.”
“No? It’s pretty unambiguous, isn’t it? Scientific inquiry.”
“Precisely. I’m glad we understand each other.”
“Well, of course. Matched set.”

Chapter Text

“All right, John?”
“Nightmare. I tried to catch-talk to me about something. I can still see it.”
“It’s all right, John. It’s over. Take my hand. I’m right here.”
“Talk to me about something cheerful.”
“Let’s go into the kitchen. I’ll make you a cup of tea, and we can have a look in the biscuit tin.”
“Don’t let go my hand.”
“I won’t. Come on.”

John,
You’re cross with me right now. Writing this as a reminder to myself to find out what about, when I’ve a moment to devote to it, and correct it. Though I am enjoying being glared at.
S

 

John,
I saw that vulgar drawing in my pad. Very childish
S

 

John,
You’ve gone to sleep on the sofa with your hand down your trousers. Have taken a photo.
S

...

“Can I see the photo?”
“Of course.”
“Ha, I look so pleased with myself.”
“Well, it’s quite nice down there.”
“Yes, I know. Is the tea brewed?”
“One more minute, I think.”
“Read a bit more.”
“All right, then.”

John,
You’ve had a bit much to drink, and you keep calling me Shhhhlock. Lovely.
S

 

John,
Don’t think I was too distracted to notice you pulled out a great handful of my hair. Bit more care next time, mmm?
S

“I don’t remember that.”
“Oh, then I suppose you were too distracted to notice.”
“I suppose so.”
“Is your tea too hot?”
“I rather forgot I had it.”
“Shall we try a different tack then? What about a walk? Fresh air?”
“Fresh?”
“Ha, well air, then. Cold air. Cool your overheated head.”
“All right, love. That might do.”
“Let’s get dressed.”

“Are you warm enough?”
“Ha, yes, fine. You?”
“Fine, of course. Will you take my arm, John?”
“Thanks, love.”
“May I offer you some refreshment?”
“Ha, you brought a flask? Give us a nip, then. Thanks love.”
“My pleasure. Nice night, isn’t it?”
“Sherlock, you’re not alluding to the weather?”
“Bite your tongue, John. Rather the company.”
“Oh, I don’t know that I’m very nice company tonight.”
“I’m always eager for your company, John.”
“The weather is nice, though. Clear. Full moon tonight.”
“I noticed.”
“How’s our spaceship?”
“Coming along.”
“Seems like we’ve been waiting a long while.”
“Any day now, John.”
“Good, good. Glad to hear it. And I assume there’ll be room for our dozen charming farmer children?”
“And space suits with their names on.”
“Nice one. I like that. Thoughtful.”
“They all look so like you that it’s difficult to tell them apart in their space suits.”
“Oh? I rather think they favour you.”
“Have you forgotten your scarf, John?”
“I suppose I have.”
“Do you want mine?”
“Thanks love. I do love it when you look after me, Sherlock.”
“So do I. You don’t often need it, but I do love to look after you, my John.”
“Generally I hate being fussed over, but it’s rather flattering to have you attending to me.”
“Yes, I feel the same about you.”
“I know. Mind I’m only taking this because it smells of you.”
“Oh? And what do I smell of?”
“Ah, 'shoes and ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings.'”
“'And why the tea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings'? Don’t talk nonsense, John.”
“The sea.”
“What?”
“It’s the sea that’s boiling hot. Not the tea.”
“More nonsense. Nonsensical poetry. The worst of both worlds.”
“Ha, all right, then. You smell of ozone and white spirits and tobacco and starch.”
“That doesn’t sound very nice.”
“It’s lovely.”
“How can I smell of tobacco when I haven’t smoked in thirty-two months?”
“Really?”
“Really. You know that.”
“Not even a puff?”
“Not the smallest puff. It’s against the rules, John.”
“You still use the patches.”
“They help me to think. Anyway, I don’t use them much anymore.”
“I had noticed that, actually. You must be pleased with yourself. Giving up smoking.”
“I don’t like to disappoint you.”
“You gave it up just for me?”
“Why else?”
“You mean apart from the damage it does to your lungs, your throat, your mouth, your skin, your heart-”
“Yes, yes, yes. I’ve already given it up. No need to lecture me about my former vices, Doctor Science.”
“Thank you for using the correct honorific.”
“You’re welcome, Doctor.”
“Ha, so any other vices you’ve given up on my account?”
“Cocaine.”
“Cocaine? But you were already clean when I met you.”
“Well, yes, by coincidence, but I gave it up properly because I thought a doctor likely wouldn’t want to live with an addict.”
“Too right I wouldn’t. I didn’t know that.”
“You remember Lestrade’s ridiculous drugs bust. That incredulous look on your face when you found out what he was there for. I liked that you thought well of me. I didn’t want to disappoint you.”
“Ha, you were in trouble already, weren’t you, love?”
“Trouble?”
“Feelings trouble. You already fancied me.”
“Perhaps. I wanted to be friends. I was already so proud of you. I could already see that you were funny and clever and brave and loyal. I wanted you to be my friend. I wanted to be worthy.”
“Really?”
“Really.”
“And you started to notice my good looks a bit later, then?”
“Of course not. I noticed your good looks straight away, John. I know I’ve told you that before. But I don’t feel the urge to endear myself to every handsome face I see.”
“But you felt the urge to endear yourself to me.”
“I suspect everyone does, actually.”
“I’ve not found that to be the case, love, but I’m flattered that you think so.”
“You’re too modest, John.”
“Not everyone sees me the way you do, love.”
“Fools.”
“Well. We can’t all be idiot geniuses.”
“Am I the only one in the world?”
“Yes, love. You invented the job.”

Chapter Text

“You are a loathsome cheat, John Watson, and I’d never have believed it of you!”
“Me?!”
“Yes!”
“You’re the cheat, Sherlock!”
“I am not!”
“We agreed that we would use the print dictionary, not an online one! And you can’t just swap over to American spelling because you get more points for Z’s than S’s!”
“Those designations are completely arbitrary!”
“Anyway, ‘colourize’ isn’t a word!”
“Yes, it is!”
“No, not spelled like that it isn’t. You’ve hybridised it, so it’s half British spelling and half American spelling. It’s not a word! OI! That was mine!”
“I know that! Anyway, you were peeping at my letters!”
“No, I wasn’t you bloody maniac! Knocking the board off the table is one thing Sherlock, but chucking it in the fire is just mental!”
“It didn’t all go in the fire. There’s a ‘K’ over there. Anyway, if you weren’t always setting fires, this wouldn’t have happened.”
“Not setting fires, Sherlock. Lighting fires.”
“Another arbitrary designation.”
“Lighting fires in the fireplace is completely different from setting fires, and you know it, you tosser.”
“You’re just trying to distract me from what a sore loser you are, you little-”
“All RIGHT then! The board is burnt; let’s stop rowing about it.”
“Can’t just switch it off like a tap, you miserable-”
“All right, I said! Get the tin. Let’s read from the tin.”
“You get it.”
“Fine. Tosspot.”

“You first.”
“You.”
“You.”
“Fine then”

 

Hullo love,
I don’t think I’ve ever wanted anything as badly as I want to stretch out your forelock with my fingers and watch it spring back.
Yours,
John

 

“I haven’t got a forelock, John. I’m not a horse.”
“This isn’t going to work, if you carry on being an arse while we’re doing it. Read one of yours.”
“Fine.”

John,
If you don’t stop licking your lips every 12 seconds, I will get absolutely nothing done today.
S

“Ha, did you?”
“No. You would keep licking your lips.”
“You could have stopped me.”
“Could I?”
“I can think of some ways you could have stopped me. I can show you, if you like.”
“I’m starting to suspect I know what they are.”
“Dangerous to theorise without data.”
“Oh indeed.”
“I’ll just show you, then.”
“By all means. Nothing like some nice, firm, irrefutable data.”
“No, love, nothing in the world.”

Chapter Text

Want to play a game?
-SH

 

What sort of game?

 

Where am I?
-SH

 

I've done this one.

 

Yes, you were brilliant at it, too. This is a lazy version, but I'm bored enough to be a danger to the public.
-SH

 

Let's call it 20 questions.
-SH

 

Where am I?
-SH

 

All right then.

 

Are you within a medical establishment?

 

No. 19.
-SH

 

Are you within an educational establishment?

 

No. 18.
-SH

 

Are you within a commercial establishment?

 

Yes. 17
-SH

 

Are you there for reasons of business or pleasure?

 

Yes. 16
-SH

 

Which one?

 

Ask the question properly. 15.
-SH

 

No, if you won't answer the question, it doesn't count.

 

It's not my fault you ignore the rules, John, 15.
-SH

 

Oh sorry, I thought we were playing 20 questions. Have we switched to Pointless Pedantry?

 

No. 14.
-SH

 

That's the way you want to play it, eh?

 

Yes. 13.
-SH

 

You're at the Tesco. Knew it all along.

 

Spoilsport.
-SH

 

I'm bored, John.
-SH

 

I can see that. Finish the shopping and come home. I'll liven you up.

 

Oh you will, will you? How do you propose to do that, John?
-SH

 

See if you can guess. Let’s do 20 questions again.

 

Is it sex?
-SH

 

Ha, no. 19

 

Have we got a new client?
-SH

 

No. 18

 

These are all guesses; you’re not collecting any data.

 

Thought I’d start with the obvious.
-SH

 

Is it something we’ve done before?
-SH

 

Yes. 17

 

Is it a game?
-SH

 

No. 16

 

Is it for both of us or just me?
-SH

 

Yes. 15

 

Very amusing, John.
-SH

 

Just for me, then?
-SH

 

Yes. 14

 

Did you get me a lung from Molly?
-SH

 

No! 13

 

Ha, from Bart's morgue, I meant.
-SH

 

Obviously.

 

Have you replenished the smashables?
-SH

 

Yes. You win. Also Mrs Hudson left a load of crumbly old baskets by the bins, so I dragged them upstairs.

 

Thought you might like to hack them to bits with your hatchet. They should crunch and splinter very nicely.

 

How you do spoil me, John.
-SH

 

My pleasure, love. See you in a bit, then?

 

If not sooner.
-SH

...

“Ha, is this for me?”
“Obviously.”
“Why’d you get it, though?”
“You have intimated that you’d have preferred I not set fire to the last one.”
“I just don’t think we should try to play it again, since the last game ended with arson.”
“Arson is such a strong word, John.”
“Let’s see, so Cluedo ended with stabbing, Scrabble with arson, and what was Boggle again?”
“Erm, defenestration.”
“Right, defenestration. How could I forget?”
“How indeed?”
“Maybe we should stop trying to play board games together.”
“What’s a little defenestration and arson between husbands, John?”
“The merest of trifles.”
“My thinking exactly. Rematch?”
“All right, but this time, I get to set fire to the board.”

“No, John, it’s two o’clock in the morning. We don’t want any tea; we’re going to bed. Come on, John. Leave the kettle alone. It’s time for bed, John.”
“Sherlock, she hasn’t seen us all day. We can’t just neglect her; it would be rude.”
“Er, to whom are you referring, John?”
“The kettle, of course.”
“Ah, obviously. She?”
“Obviously.”
“Obviously?”
“Of course she’s a she. Just look at her. Look at her spout. Lovely, isn’t she?”
“Mmm, indeed. You’re whimsical tonight.”
“You shouldn’t have let me drink so much. The kettle wouldn’t have done.”
“Are you going to take up with the kettle and leave me, John?”
“Nah, she doesn’t mind I’m married. Lets her keep her independence.”
“How fortunate for me. Would she be in danger of losing her independence with you, John? I haven’t found you to be a particularly demanding husband.”
“Oh, I’m very demanding with the kettle.”
“This must be how you feel when you call me a lunatic.”
“Ah, cherish it, Sherlock. They’re very special moments, each of them.”
“Don’t I know it.”

Chapter Text

“Well, love, that is impressively nasty.”
“I’m a miracle of a disaster.”
“Ha, so you are.”
“May I keep the swab?”
“Er, no, the point of the swab was to send it off to the lab and find out what exactly is growing in your throat. Remember?”
“Does it matter?”
“You want to get rid of it, don’t you?”
“Obviously.”
“Well, then we should find out what it is.”
“Will you do another one for me, then?”
“What for?”
“I want to have a look at it.”
“You’re meant to be resting, Sherlock.”
“It’s not taxing to look into the eyepiece of a microscope, John. Aren’t you curious about what’s growing in you? Spirit of scientific inquiry?”
“Nothing’s growing in me!”
“Oh, John, we both know that’s not remotely true.”

...

“What are you smiling about, John?”
“I don’t like to say.”
“Out with it.”
“You look really pretty right now. Sorry.”
“What?”
“Your eyes are bright and your cheeks are pink. And you’re a bit, erm, tousled. Sorry.”
“I’m extremely uncomfortable, John.”
“I know. Sorry, love.”
“You are sick.”
“Yes.”
“Sicker than me.”
“‘Sicker than I am,’ Sherlock.”
“Oh god.”
“Best get some rest.”

...

"John? John?" I must have been dreaming because I wake myself by calling John's name. My voice cracks; my mouth is bone dry, and my throat is burning. After a few moments, John appears in the doorway with a steaming mug in his hand. I chuckle myself into a coughing fit, and he gets into bed next to me and presses the mug into my hands. I sit up and take a sip, and the tea is pleasantly scalding on my sore throat. John rubs long strokes on my back as I sip. I hunch my shoulders and lean back into his touch. Sometimes I rather wish I could purr (must remember not to say that to John under any circumstances, or will never hear the end of it). Shut my eyes instead and know without looking that it makes John smile.

"Witch," I whisper when I have soothed my throat enough to speak, "Can you hear my thoughts and dreams now or conjure a cup of tea from the air at a wish?"

John laughs a low laugh and answers me in a whisper (lovely), "No, love. This was meant for me."

I yawn (it hurts) and say, "How long have I been asleep?"

"All day." I glance at the clock on my bedside table; it reads 19:24.

"I'm still exhausted."

"Yeah, love you look really groggy. Hungry?"

"No, my throat kills." I push the mug back into John's hand and try to curl my upper body into his lap. It fits quite well, and John is obliging enough to card through my sweaty hair with the fingers of his free hand. His hands are cold, and his nails on my scalp are wonderful. I sigh (it hurts) and think of going back to sleep.

Have nearly dropped off (my brain has yet to decide whether John’s fingers in my hair are thrilling or soothing)(depends on the context, I suppose)(bit of both at the moment) when John pats my back gently, “Sit up love. Let’s have a look at you. I think you’ve still got a temperature.”

“Fever,” I croak as I push into a sitting position. “Everyone’s got a temperature, John. Even the dead.”

John grins. “Shut up,” he says, “you’re too ill to be such a smart arse.”

“You’re the smart arse, John,” I tell him. “I’m a compulsive pedant.”

“Right, so you are love. Now shut up. I can tell it hurts to talk.”

“John, you know I have difficulty shutting up, even under the best of circumstances. I’ve been asleep for three days’ worth of sleep-”

“Fourteen hours is not three days’ worth of sleep,” John breaks in, reaching for the thermometer and packet of sanitary sleeves lying on the bedside table (I loathe the taste of plastic but John is very particular about using the sleeves). “Yes, you’ve got a backlog of very urgent pedantry; I can see that. Hush for a minute while I check your temperature, at least.” I open my mouth to reply and (predictably), John pops the thermometer into it. I roll my eyes and think of spitting it out, but we may as well get through this, as he seems determined. “Yes, the things you do for me, I know. I make your life so difficult.” I roll my eyes again. “Careful now. They’ll spring right out of your head, if you do that much harder.” The thermometer beeps and John reclaims it. “Thirty-eight exactly,” he says. “Getting a bit better. What about some paracetamol?”

“It would be the thrill of my life.”

John laughs, “Yeah, I’d gathered that from your expression, love.” He reaches for a bottle of paracetamol, opens it, and shakes two pills out into my hand. “Remind me next time that it ought to be ibuprofen.”

“I thought you didn’t want me to talk.”

“Ha, mime it. Anyway, has anyone telling you to shut up ever actually stopped you saying whatever you liked?”

“You’ve more influence over me than most.” I lean back on my pillows and start to untuck his shirt. “Why’ve you always got so many clothes on, John? I need to put my head under your shirt immediately, and you’re making it difficult.”

“Trying life you lead, Sherlock,” John says, untucking the other side. “That better?” In reply, I push my head under his shirt and rest my cheek against his side. It’s cool as I’d hoped it would be. “Your face is really hot,” John tells me.

“Thirty-eight degrees celsius, Doctor,” I say, wrapping my arms round his waist to steady myself.

John laughs (jostles me a bit but I enjoy it anyway). “I do love it when you’re snide and cuddly at once.”

“Then you must spend your life delighted,” I say.

John laughs heartily, “I really really do, love.”

Chapter Text

“It is pissing down outside,” I remarked as I entered the flat one blusterous evening. Sherlock and Molly were sat in the front room in the chairs by the fire, and they both burst out laughing as I came in.

“Oh hullo. What are we laughing at?” I asked, hanging my umbrella and my coat on the hook by the door and toeing off my muddy shoes.

“Hi John,” Molly said.

“Hi Molly. Hullo love.” I crossed the room to kiss Sherlock hello. “I’ll just change out of my wet things before I put the kettle on, shall I?” Sherlock grinned wordlessly, and Molly covered her mouth with her hand, apparently to prevent the escape of her little snorts of laughter. “You two are certainly silly today.” Sherlock shrugged and bounced his eyebrows at me. “Right then. Back in a tic.” I went into the bedroom and put on some dry clothes. Skip was lying on the bed, so I scooped her up and carried her out into the sitting room. “Here’s Skip for company while I put the kettle on, Molly, as Sherlock seems not to feel very chatty tonight,” I said.

“Oooh, yes, please,” Molly said, holding out her arms toward me to receive the cat but glancing at Sherlock. Sherlock’s mouth twitched. Bit suspicious.

“What are you two up to?” I asked looking between the two of them.

“Sorry, what?” said Molly, already distracted by Skip, who was batting at her necklace.

“Am I imagining things?” I asked, looking at Sherlock. “Why aren’t you talking?” He shrugged again and patted his throat. “You shouldn’t be having company, if you’re still ill, love. Oh, sorry Molly. Not that I’m not pleased to see you.”

“I barged in,” Molly said. “I do that.”

“Right. Well. Tea.” They both watched me back into the kitchen. I’m fairly sure Molly started giggling again once my back was turned. “I know you two are up to something,” I called from the kitchen. Once I’d got the kettle going, I returned to the sitting room and threw myself onto the sofa. “What’s the game, then?” I asked. “Can I play? Or are you having a joke on me?” Molly glanced at Sherlock, and he glared back. “Seriously, what are you lot doing? Did he rope you into another one of his little sociological experiments, Molly?”

“I don’t know what you mean,” Molly said, turning her attention back to Skip.

“Good god Molly, you’re such an awful liar! Bet’s off!” Sherlock was not at all hoarse, as he'd previously implied.

“You’re the one making me laugh with your stupid eyebrows!”

“I knew you were up to something! What was it? What are you two doing to me? What bet?”

“Sherlock bet me a tenner he could predict exactly what you’d say first thing when you got in,” Molly said. “And I said there was no way, so we both wrote down a list of things you might say and swapped. Five quid for each plus the original ten. And I’m up five so far, so the bet’s not off, Sherlock!”

“No, it’s your fault we were rumbled, Molly Hooper. He would have said more of mine in time, and it doesn’t work now he knows what we’re about. Bet’s off.”

“You made him all nervous by not talking.”

“Well, you said I could get him to say anything. I didn’t want aspersions cast on my sportsmanship.”

“Right, you two have gone crackers. I’ll have a look at these lists, if you don’t mind.”

“No, I think not, John,” Sherlock said, “We may want to play again.”

“We’d have to come up with new lists, then,” said Molly. “Or it wouldn’t be a fair game.”

“I’m not sure anymore who’s a bad influence on who, but you two are going to need a chaperone in future,” I told them.

“‘Bad influence on whom,’ John! Can’t you at least tut grammatically?”

“You’re really not going to tell me what’s on your lists?” I asked. “After I’ve been such a sporting guinea pig?”

“I’ll read you one from Sherlock’s,” Molly said. She pulled a folded bit of paper out of her pocket and read aloud, “‘I hear you darling; I’m coming.’” She wrinkled her nose, “What’s that mean?”

Sherlock chuckled. “He says that to the kettle sometimes.”

Molly fell about laughing, “Of course he does!”

“I do not!”

“You said it yesterday, John.”

“I don’t remember that,” I said.

“That doesn’t surprise me. I’m not sure you’re aware how much you talk to the kettle.”

“Let’s have one from Molly’s, then.”

Sherlock got out Molly’s list from his pocket and looked it over for a moment, “These are so generic, Molly. Fairly close to cheating, I’d say. Ah, here’s a good one. ‘Massive prat.’ It is one of your favoured endearments for me when we’re in company, I believe.”

“In company? You’re even worse in private, then?” Molly asked.

Sherlock winked at me. “Oh, Molly,” he said, “You have no idea.”

Chapter Text

“Oh, what are you tutting about now, John?”
“The state of the bathroom, Sherlock.”
“Hardly a state. I left one towel on the floor. I’m feeling contented and idle. It will keep.”
“You mean I’ll pick it up.”
“Call it what you like.”
“And the steam.”
“Will evaporate. You get yourself in such a twist over the least untidiness, John.”
“Said the man with a sock index.”
“How much of your life do you waste pairing odd socks, John?”
“Ha, you’re right, love. I could be traveling instead.”
“You could be improving yourself, John. Brilliance is a constant, lifelong pursuit.”
“Another mystery solved at last. Why’s John Watson so dim? Disordered socks.”
“It’s never too late to be correct, John.”
“I thought it was never too early to be correct.”
“Correctness is apropos at any point in time.”
“Right, especially if it’s to do with socks.”
“Obviously.”

...

"I must admit something to you, my lovely."
"Sorry, what? I'm your what?"
"My lovely? You don't like it?"
"No, it's very charming. It does make you sound rather more wicked than usual, though."
"Does it?"
"Yes, as if you plan to lock me in a tower or a dungeon with a dragon standing guard."
"Who says I don't?"
"Mmm, I wouldn't put it past you."
"You shouldn't."
"Ha, I don't. Anyway, you were confessing."
"Right, yes. I'm jealous of your curly hair."
"Of course you are, John. Everyone is. It's resplendent."
"Think if it were blonde. The world would be brought to its knees."
"Now you've ruined it."

...

"Tell me a secret, John."
“Er, all right. A particular secret?”
“No, I don’t know about it yet, do I? It’s your secret.”
“Have I got secrets from you? I thought you’d ferreted them all out.”
“I don’t ferret, John. I investigate. Anyway, I leave you your secrets, if you want them.”
“If I want them?”
“Yes, you sometimes want me to discover things that you pretend are secrets, and you know how obliging I am.”
“Ha, indeed. Very obliging. Which of my secrets have I wanted you to investigate?”
“No, I won’t be derailed, John. You answer mine first.”
“Hmmm. I can’t think of anything.”
“You’re hardly even trying.”
“Maybe it would help if you answered mine first.”
“So manipulative.”
“Lucky for me, you like that.”
“Well, from you. Your deflections are getting more artful, John. And your expression is intriguing. I’ll play along. You want me to find out every scrap I can about those dreams you have wherein you’re my violin, don’t you, John?”
“Do I?”
“Of course you do.”
“And what have you discovered lately?”
“Did you have one this morning? You woke briefly around 5:15, then went back to sleep for a bit before you got up for the day at 6:27. You had one then, didn’t you? Your expression when you wake from one of those is so telling, John. Just as it is now. John, your mind is all over your face right now. I wish I could show it to you. You look like you’d like me to play for you. Would you like that, John?”
“You don’t want to hear a secret?”
“I take my moments where I find them, John. Anyway, haven’t you already told it me?”

Chapter Text

I fell asleep on the sofa last night. I’d been sitting up, waiting for Sherlock. He wasn’t in when I got home from work; he was at Bart’s, attending to an experiment. I spent the evening on my own in the flat. Too quiet. Sherlock would have called it hateful. I texted him, but he didn’t have much patience to chat. He didn’t like to stop for dinner. And then he didn’t like to stop to have our walk. And then I shouldn’t wait on him for anything as he was busy, and please don’t pester, John. Well then.

I had my dinner off a tray in the sitting room, while I watched crap telly and tried to convince myself I wasn’t waiting to hear my mobile go or to hear Sherlock’s tread on the stairs. I can pass an evening without my husband quite comfortably. Around ten, I muted the telly and stretched out for a nap. I knew Sherlock would likely be full of cadaver chatter once he got in, and it’s a subject he likes me to give my opinion on. Wanted to be fresh.

When I woke again, it was because of the crick in my neck. I sat up to rub the sore spot, then checked my watch by the light of the television. Half past one in the morning.

“Well, fuck,” I said aloud, looking round for my mobile. He should’ve been in by that point. I glanced down at the floor, started, then laughed. Sherlock was lying face down on the floor next to the sofa, deeply asleep. He hadn’t even taken off his coat. I reached down and brushed a few curls off his face. He didn’t stir. “Wake up love,” I said, patting his shoulder, “You’re on the floor, Sherlock. Let’s go to bed.”

“What? Bed? No, I’m not,” he answered without lifting his head or opening his eyes. I climbed over the arm of the sofa, so I could get down without kicking him and crouched near his head.

“Sherlock, you went to sleep on the floor, love. Get up; let’s go into the bedroom.” I patted him again.

He opened his eyes and smiled at me, “Oh, there you are, John. Where’ve you been all night? I wanted you.”

“I’ve been here, you silly. You know I have. Want to go to bed, or shall we lie on the floor all night? I don’t recommend the later because it does lead to stiffness.”

Sherlock sat up, still smiling blearily and turned to face me, “Yes, yes, let’s go to bed, John. You think you can stay away from me all night with no consequences. We’re going to need to make up for this deficiency at once. I am going to wrap round you like a ribbon on a maypole,” he said holding out his hands so I’d help him up.

I laughed as I pulled him to his feet, “Don’t you always?”

He draped his arm heavily over my shoulders, “Oh, you’ll see, John. I’m hoping to attain new levels tonight. I’ve gone to the kettle for advice in attracting you. I’m not too proud for advice when it comes to what’s really important.”

I laughed, “Glad to hear it. And what did the kettle tell you, my lovely?”

“She said I should get a spout.” We giggled our way into the bedroom, and Sherlock collapsed on the bed, still in his clothes.

I sat next to him, “Wait, love, you have to get undressed first. Take your shoes off.”

In answer, he slung one leg across my lap and wiggled his foot from side to side. “Help yourself, John.”

I began to pick at his shoelaces. “All right, then. I’m feeling obliging. You’ve got to contribute too, though. Get to work on those buttons.”

“No,” he said cheerfully. “But I will contribute.” He put a hand in my hair and rubbed my scalp with his fingertips.

“You’re the one who likes being petted, Sherlock, not me.”

“Don’t be silly, John; everyone likes it.” He patted my cheek. “Isn’t that nice?”

“No, you knocked my glasses crooked, you lanky oaf.”

Sherlock laughed, “Let’s swap then, John. I’ll undress myself, and you can contribute by petting me while I do it.”

“That sounds a bit complicated for one o’clock in the morning.”

“Tut tut, John. You’ll never achieve greatness with that lackluster attitude.”

“Greatness in the field of helping a grown man get his clothes off so he can have a sleep?”

“You consider that beneath you? Unfortunate, as you occupy a significant percentage of your time that way. No matter, I can manage without you, despite your half-hearted expertise.”

He did indeed manage to get out of his clothes and, as promised, tucked his head under my chin and caught me in a sort of dual-pronged hug with his arms and legs wrapped around me. “Maypole,” he muttered with a sleepy sigh, once he was situated.

“Comfy, love?” I asked, putting a hand in his hair. “Feel like you’ve amended the discrepancy?”

“Deficiency,” he corrected, butting against my hand with his head. “Very comfortable, John,” here he paused to yawn. “I’ve been meaning to put something in the tin, but I may as well tell you now. With my mouth.”

“Ha, all right. Your mouth’s got a knack for telling, hasn’t it?”

Sherlock chuckled, then bit down rather hard on my collarbone. “Punishment for your insolence. Anyway. I meant to tell you that you have me entirely at your disposal.”

“That’s a new development, is it?”

“More insolence. I’ll save your punishment for the morning, as I’m more interested in our conversation. Of course it’s not a new development, John. But it does both of us good to hear, and hear often, that I’m completely at your mercy.”

“I’ve got you in my thrall, have I? Despite my being a wicked witch?”

“More because of it, John. If you weren’t, likely I wouldn’t be. No, never mind that; that’s rubbish. Good or bad you’ve got me at your command, John. Deploy me well.”

“Quite a lot of responsibility.”

“Oh, don’t worry, John. You’re doing just fine. Everyone thinks so.”

“Everyone?”

“Mmm yes, John. Everyone.”

Chapter Text

“Why does no one ever move as if they want to get anywhere?”
“Worldwide conspiracy to thwart you and force you to slow your walking pace, love.”
“That’s almost plausible.”
“That and the layout of the Tesco. And people who stand still to text at the train station.”
“Indeed.”
“And the fact that you have to stop moving to open doors.”
“All right, I’m starting to get upset. Talk about something pleasant.”
“Something pleasant, eh?”
“Something very pleasant.”
“Well, if we were at the flat, I’d suggest we consult the tin.”
“The tin is a very reliable source of pleasure, but it wouldn’t do to become too dependent on it, would it, John?”
“I suppose not. Shall I just say something pleasant, then? Something about how pleased I am you’re feeling yourself again and how excited I am about this case and how you’ve got rain in your hair, and I want to kiss you. Something like that?”
“Yes, John, that does very well."

...

“John, what do you think you’re doing?”
“I think I’m making room to sit down in your mess.”
“Don’t touch that, John. It isn’t mess; it’s notes. I’ve not had time to type it up yet, and it’s very particularly ordered. Took ages. Don’t touch a thing.”
“Couldn’t you have typed it in the time it took you to strew it about the flat like this?”
“It isn’t strewn, John! It’s organised, and likely more so than anything you’ve ever handled in your life. Do not touch it.”
“Where am I supposed to sit? Where are we supposed to eat?”
“Wherever you like. Just don’t put my things in disarray while you’re at it.”
“Sherlock, this is disarray. This is the dictionary definition of disarray. If you entered a disarray competition, you’d be disqualified for being a professional disarrayer.”
“John, it is unfortunate that you cannot see patterns laid out right under your nose, but hardly my fault. If you disturb my work, I’ll-”
“Do something desperate. Right. You’re a desperate man. I suppose I’ll go and eat my bloody toast in the shower cubicle.”
“So theatrical. Mind you don’t knock over all the bottles like you did this morning. I’m always picking up after you, it seems.”

...

“Don’t know if I’ve already mentioned it, John, but it isn’t absolutely necessary to blather constantly whenever your mouth doesn’t happen to be too full to speak.”
“Er, yeah, you have mentioned it actually. And I don’t know why you make me out to be such a blatherer. I’m not more talkative than you are. Only more consistent.”
“I’m trying to think.”
“You’re always trying to think.”
“I’ve always got something to think of, John.”
“Right, well, as I don’t fancy being completely silent all the time just in case you’re trying to think, I may get you some earplugs.”
“Earplugs? I may get you some mouth plugs.”
“Did you just threaten to gag me?”
“Might do. If it proves necessary.”
“I’d like to see you try.”
“Then it should be fun for us both.”

Chapter Text

“Why do you look so annoyed, my John? What have I done now?”
“Ha, nothing love. Got a bit of a headache, that’s all.”
“That’s bad. Shall I make a cup of tea?”
“I think too much tea might be the problem, actually.”
“Too much tea? I’m surprised to hear you suggest it within hearing of the kettle, John.”
“It isn’t her fault. I should have paced myself.”
“Mm, indeed. Difficult to control yourself when faced by such a shining example of kettlehood, though.”
“Laugh, if you like. I know you’re only jealous.”
“Me?”
“It’s all right, love. I understand. But there’s no fighting chemistry.”
“Mm, indeed.”
“You know. You’ve got Celeste.”
“Mmm, indeed. So I do.”

...

"John with respect, if my list of things not to care about were finite, that would be at the very bottom."
"That was really well-crafted, love. I'm impressed. You been saving it up?"
"Only for a bit. I thought of it this morning, but I felt the moment wasn't quite right. I'm glad I waited."
"Well that was perfect. You've quite hurt my feelings."
"Thank you, John."
"And you've still not answered the question."
"Right. What was it?"
"You don't remember?"
"I wasn't nearly listening."
"Then how did you know the moment was right for your little gem?"
"Your expression, of course."
"Right of course, my expression. Very clever of you."
"Thank you, John. I know a bit about a bit. I've been called an idiot genius, you know. One of my finer moments."
"Yes, you must have been very proud."

...

John, why do people consult me when they're clearly convinced that I'm a complete fool?
-SH

 

You tell me. I suspect you’ve got an answer ready.

 

Perhaps because they're complete fools themselves.
-SH

 

That seems likely. Who've you made a fool of today, love?

 

I haven’t made a fool of anyone.
-SH

 

Well. I did just have a client arrested for murder. Would you call that making a fool of some one?
-SH

 

I suspect they had it coming. Which client?

 

Prang.
-SH

 

I remember him. I saw his email. Seemed a complete bastard. Ha, I suppose this means we won't be getting paid, then.

 

He did give us an advance, actually. I’ve still got the cheque in the pocket of my pad.
-SH

 

Perhaps we ought to give it back? It cannot be said that we improved his predicament.
-SH

 

Oh, we can afford to give it back. He'll want it for his solicitor's fees.

 

Indeed. My John, ever generous.
-SH

 

I suppose this means you're free for lunch.

 

And famished.
-SH

 

Want to meet at that place with the amazing carrot soup where the bookkeeper was living in the ceiling?

 

How did you know I was thinking of that place?
-SH

 

Witchcraft. Race you?

 

The game is on.
-SH

Chapter Text

My hair is full of Altoids and matchsticks. Are you responsible?
-SH

 

What do you think?

 

I think I've got a husband who takes advantage of me while I'm asleep.
-SH

 

That sounds trying.

 

It is.
-SH

 

Is it as bad as having a husband who takes advantage of you at every other time?

 

Much worse.
-SH

 

Are you looking for pity?

 

I suppose none is forthcoming.
-SH

 

Well, not for this.

 

Is there a word that means delightful and infuriating at once?
-SH

 

Flirtatious?

 

Ah, of course. Knew I kept you around for a reason.
-SH

...

 

Coffee, black, two sugars.
-SH

 

I'm on my way to interview a witness, Sherlock. Remember? I'm not getting you a coffee.

 

Anyway, I know how you take your coffee.

 

I didn't mean for you to get me any. Just wanted to be sure it was still intelligible as a coffee order.
-SH

 

Last two times I've ordered it, have been given coffee with milk in it.
-SH

 

Did you do that thing where you mutter it at double speed and just glare when they ask you to repeat it?

 

Define double speed.
-SH

 

I'll just take that as a yes.

 

You might get further if you allow for other people to be hmm, what's that thing again?

 

Ah right. Human.

 

Baristas, waiters, witnesses, detective inspectors, cab drivers, you, and me. We're all human.

 

Spare me.
-SH

 

You're the one texting me to complain about your coffee order being wrong. Would you rather I ignore you?

 

Thought you might like to know I'm edging toward omnicide again.
-SH

 

I generally assume you're hovering around at least 30% omnicidal.

 

Wise of you.
-SH

...

 

I'm going to sit on you.
-SH

 

What?

 

When I get home. Prepare yourself.
-SH

 

That was not a request.
-SH

 

Right. Of course not. How could I suspect that? Why, exactly?

 

What difference does it make?
-SH

 

None to a chair. But I'm a person. Remember how I'm a person?

 

Just giving you fair warning.
-SH

 

...

 

I'm not sure why I didn't exactly believe Sherlock when he told me he was going to sit on me. I was back at the flat about half an hour before he was, sat in my chair with my laptop, typing up my notes from my interviews with the witnesses earlier that day.

"Hullo love," I said when he came in. Sherlock huffed and hung his scarf and coat on the hook. "That sort of day, eh?" Wordlessly he crossed to me, took my laptop from me, shut it and propped it against the side of my chair. Then he took me by both hands, tugged me out of my seat, towed me to the sofa, pushed me down onto it, plopped rather heavily into my lap, and buried his face in my collar.

"Ah, that's better," he sighed. I squirmed a bit. His hair tickled my face, and his breath tickled my throat.

"You must have missed me," I said, wrapping my arms round his waist.

"Yes, obviously. And I loathe every other person I have ever set eyes on."

"Really? Every other person?"

"Near enough. We’re both aware of the exceptions, and I’m not going to list them. Don't try to make me be pleasanter than I can muster, John."

"Wouldn't dream of it, love." In answer, he only hmm’d. His mouth touched my neck, just above my collar, damp and a bit prickly where his stubble was coming in. I squirmed again.

“Don’t jostle, John. You’ll bounce me onto the floor.”

“You’re tickling me,” I told him, shifting one hand from his waist to the sofa to steady myself.
Sherlock moved my hand back to his waist and inhaled deeply before saying, “Bear the tickling with a soldier’s fortitude, John.”

“Are you sniffing me? That quite tickled as well.”

“Yes. Why shouldn’t I?”

I slid one hand up his back to his scalp and began to stroke his hair before answering, “Never really been able to think of a good reason why you shouldn’t sniff me, love. I suspect there is one, though.”

“How could there be?” Sherlock said, arching back against my hand in his hair like a big cat. “At the moment, I have at least one perfectly good reason to sniff you. I want a dose of your pheromones. I’m trying to fiddle with my brain chemistry and improve my mood.” He marked the end of his speech with a deep and very tickly sniff. “Extra evergreen today,” he muttered.

“You can change your mood by smelling me?” I asked.

“Not sure yet. Experimenting,” Sherlock answered.

“How will you know if it’s my smell working on your brain chemistry or my charming company?” I asked.

I felt the tip of Sherlock’s tongue briefly against my neck before he replied, “May have to do more than one experiment.”

“Now you’re tasting me? Is that part of the experiment?”

“Mmm no, tasting you always improves my mood. No point in experimenting with that.”

I laughed, “Is that so, love?”

“It is so, John.”

“Is that why you do so much of it?”

I felt Sherlock smile against my throat, “John, I suspect you’re not taking this experiment entirely seriously. Sitting on you, smelling you, and tasting you are all tremendously important to my work, and I’ll not allow myself to be hindered by your sneering.” He dabbed his tongue against my throat again, which made me squirm and giggle.

“On the contrary, my lovely. I always take it very seriously when you taste me.”

Chapter Text

"Somehow I wasn't expecting that."
"No? Bit dim, then, aren't you?"
"I didn't know you found sulkiness exciting."
"It wasn't the sulkiness, it was the behavior attached to the sulkiness. In this instance, mind. Not always. Anyway, mood improved, I hope?"
"Yes, John thank you for asking. Though I'm not sure the effects will be long-lived. We should do it again. For safety."
"Mm, love I don't know if the words 'refractory period' mean anything to you, but they do me."
"I can be patient. When necessary."
"Ha, generous of you. What about a chat to pass the time?"
"Oh yes, I've been meaning to take a survey of your favourite small talk topics. Shall we talk of how many people in the area seem to suddenly have small dogs? Or how variable the weather has been lately? Or of what a lot of coffee houses can't seem to make a proper cup of tea?"
"Ha, why be pleasant and sociable when you can have the fun of silently glaring?"
"I don't glare, John. I can't help my reticence. I'm shy and modest."
"Yes, love, you are the blushing picture of bashful modesty."
"The colour may be due to exertion, John."
"No, I think it's modesty."
“You know best.”
“God, I wish I had recorded that.”
“I’ll say it as often as you like, John. You know best.”
“Mmm, I’m going to enjoy this.”
“Don’t you know I think so, John?”
“No, actually. In fact I rather suspect you’re being funny.”
“Bit of a rude joke, if it were one.”
“But it isn’t?”
“Not at all, John.”
“That’s a bit scary, isn’t it?”
“Of course it isn’t. Let’s do the tin; I want to hear from the tin. It’s under the bed, isn’t it?”
“Oh yeah, I think we left it there last night.”
“I’ll get it.”

Hullo love,
Found a sock in the kettle and only smiled. You’re a really horrible influence.
Yours,
John

...

“You take my side over the kettle’s?”
“Just don’t tell her that. She’s really possessive.”
"Ha, I won't."

...

Hullo love,
Just used ‘whom’ correctly and looked round to see if you noticed. Am at work, though. Damn. Ah well. I reckon your grammar censor and your spying-on-John censor have informed you of your pedagogical triumph.
Yours,
John

 

John,
I can hear you talking to Smoke in the next room. Wish you would not refer to me as her ‘Daddy.’
S

“Actually I was referring to myself as her daddy.”
“Just as bad.”

...

John,
It’s been raining all day, which means you’ll come in smelling of ozone. Think I’ll light a fire for you. Not sure whether to put the kettle on. Think I would rather we opened a bottle of wine.
S

 

Hullo love,
I think you’ve been wearing this jumper. It smells of you. Wish you’d wear all my clothes for me before I put them on in the morning.
Yours,
John

 

John,
Had another of those violin dreams. Tossed off in the shower because you were about to miss your train.
S

“All right then.”
“Mmm, I thought that might do the trick.”

Chapter Text

“Erm, I don’t think so.”
“Sorry?”
“Last time you spilled.”
“You spilled!”
“No, Sherlock, the bearer of the bowl is responsible for the seat of the cereal. If you abandon the bowl, you’re still responsible for its continence.”
“You jostled.”
“I was asleep! And then I got the fun of milk running down my pyjama bottoms at two o’clock in the morning.”
“I told you not to wear them.”
“The pyjama bottoms were not at fault, Sherlock!”
“I only left it for a moment.”
“Your judgement has been impeached, love.”
“Unjustly.”
“Who wakes up at two in the morning and thinks, ‘hmm, I’m a bit peckish. I fancy eating a massive bowl of cornflakes in bed’? Remind me why you set the bowl down on the mattress?”
“I’d splashed milk on my hand. I wanted to get a tissue from the night table and wipe it off. You’re so fussy.”
“Fussy?”
“Yes.”
“Me? I’m fussy?”
“Yes.”
“Right, Sherlock, if you let me pour that whole bowl down your pants right now, you can eat whatever you like in bed forever.”
“You’d be the one changing the sheets, you know.”
“I’m already the one changing the sheets.”
“And I already eat whatever I like in bed.”
“Please love, just eat it in the kitchen.”
“So hard to refuse when you ask that way.”
“Ha, I know. I’ll go with you.”
“Oh, well you should have said so to start with.”
“Wasn’t it implied?”
“Ha, I suppose it was.”

...

“Did I wake you?”
“No, love. Ha, well, yes, but I’m glad of it. I haven’t heard you play that in ages.”
“Has it been too long?”
“Well, if I let myself, I’d ask every evening.”
“That could be arranged.”
“Really? Won’t you be bored of it playing it all the time?”
“Do I get bored of showing off for you, John?”
“Ha, no I suppose not.”
“I rather think it’s now my primary occupation.”
“Well, as you’re consistently impressive, you may be due for a payrise.”
“You still find me impressive even after so much exposure?”
“I think I’ll always be still learning to appreciate you, love.”
“Shall I play it through again?”
“That’d be marvelous, love. Do you think afterwards you might like to hear a Nice Thing?”
“Very much, John.”
“All right then. We have something to look forward to.”

He’s back. We’re back. We’re back at 221B, and the world is once again going round and round the garden like a teddy bear, just as it should. It’s not quite the same as before, but it soon will be, I think. Unless we decide we want to change everything instead. I hope we do. I think he’s been looking at me. I wouldn’t swear to it, but I think he has. Not sure if it means anything. Anyway, I could send myself round the twist wondering whether this touch or that look means anything in particular, so sod it all, I’m just going to tell him. Or kiss him. God, I want to kiss Sherlock. I’m going to kiss Sherlock. Yes, I am. Any day now. Fuck.

“You look like you liked that one.”
“That was a lovely one, John. How long was it?”
“Until I worked up the nerve? Ha, a few days.”
“Were you nervous?”
“Couldn’t you tell?”
“I didn’t know what to think.”
“That must have been new for you.”
“It was.”
“Did you hate it?”
“I suppose I’d call it a charming sort of agony.”
“Mmm, well-put.”
“Thank you, John. Talent of mine.”

Chapter Text

Have just twenty minutes ago finished with a brilliant case and am still a bit giddy from it. John and I are in a cab back to the flat. I've always liked this bit, and it's even better now than it was before I died. John's left leg is pressed against my right, and I'm worrying at the outside seam of his trouser leg. John's been scribbling in his pad since we got into the cab, but I suspect it's not case notes. Something about the way he keeps glancing at me and grinning. I squeeze his knee and, still writing, he shifts slightly to bump his hips against mine.

"All right, love?" he says without taking his eyes off his pad.

"What are you writing, John?"

"Just something."

I rather love it when he's evasive, and he knows it. He knows I like to puzzle things out, and he loves to indulge me while seeming like he's not indulging me. It's quite a talent of his. "Is it about me?"

John looks up from his pad at me and grins broadly (so obviously it must be), "So arrogant."

I want to snatch the pad away from him, but instead I squeeze his knee again (bit hard perhaps, his leg flexes under my fingers)(come to think of it, not likely out of discomfort)(mmm) and say, "May I see it?"

"Not before I'm through, certainly," he says.

"And then I can see it?"

"We'll see." John is smug. Must be something lovely. Squirm a little with excitement and John bumps me again. "Settle down," he says (but he doesn't mean it). He curves his shoulder and crooks his elbow a bit so I can't peep at what he's writing, finishes his scribbling with a flourish, then tucks the pad away in his jacket. He rests his left hand on his knee, palm upturned. Invitation eagerly accepted. I give his hand a quick squeeze, then try to slide my fingers under his cuff. It’s too tight for more than one finger, so I work open one of his cuff buttons. John laughs, takes my hand, and kisses it (edge of the palm, near the wrist). Lovely. I’m not even trying not to squirm anymore. It seems to be the reaction John is attempting to elicit (what am I, if not obliging?). “Bit overstimulated, are we?” he says softly. “We shouldn’t have neglected the coat cupboard, should we? We’ll have to get that seen to.” I’ve nothing remotely sensible to say. Sigh and nod. He kisses my hand again. Lovely. “You do know you were marvelous tonight, don’t you? ‘Course you do, look at you.”

“Was I?”

John laughs, “You want me to tell you about how marvelous you are, don’t you?”

“Couldn’t hurt.”

John laughs again, “Superlatively marvelous, my lovely love. Sparklingly brilliant. And indecently gorgeous into the bargain. Will that do?”

“For the moment.”

John squeezes my hand, “Well, perhaps you’ll hear a bit more later.”

Squeeze back, “I hope so.” John is so clever with me, I can hardly bear it sometimes. Wish I could tell him, but can’t quite find the words. Squeeze his hand harder, and smile what I hope is an eloquent smile. It must be, because he smiles back at me as if he understands.

Chapter Text

“So John.”
“So Sherlock.”
“Will you tell me now what you were writing?”
“Mmm now? Wouldn’t you rather just lie here and enjoy my company?”
“Well, I’m talented. I can enjoy both.”
“Ha, yes, so you are, love. But indulge me.”
“Will you show me soon?”
“Yes, I think I can manage that.”
“All right then, you may draw it out a bit, if you like. I know you enjoy that sort of thing.”
“Yes, I do tend toward the theatrical.”
“I like our games, John.”
“Nothing like a good playmate.”
“Indeed. Nothing at all. It is about me, isn’t it?”
“What do you think?”
“I think it is.”
“Got any other clever ideas?”
“Lots.”
“You generally do.”
“Generally.”

...

“Molly!”
“What?”
“Don’t touch that!”
“Sorry! You set it down in my chair.”
“I would have moved it, if you’d asked.”
“Is it really so fragile?”
“I don’t like other people handling my violin. It’s excessively familiar.”
“I only touched it for a moment to put it back in the case.”
“Incorrectly.”
“I didn’t know it made a difference.”
“Then you oughtn’t have touched it. Are you trying to get yourself ejected?”
“For touching your violin?”
“Your tone implies you think that reason insufficient.”
“Seems a bit harsh.”
“Harsh is a relative measure, Molly. Don’t tell me to recalibrate or whatever tedious thing you were about to say. If you were a musician you’d understand.”
“Erm, is it still all right if I sit in this chair?”
“I suppose.”

...

“Shut up.”
“Sorry?”
“Shut up thinking with your stupid, smug eyebrows twitching at me all the time.”
“You’re imagining things, John. My eyebrows have been motionless for hours.”
“Well, you look smug.”
“Me, smug?”
“You love it when I’m in a mood.”
“Why would you think that, John?”
“You don’t? Then you’re delighted about something else, I suppose?”
“Are you in want of cheering, my John?”
“I’m in want of sleep.”
“Am I keeping you up?”
“I’ve said I wanted to go to bed twice now, but you just said ‘Mmm nearly done.Ten minutes.’”
“How long ago was that?”
“Half an hour.”
“Not bad.”
“Very funny.”
“Will you be grumpy with me in bed, too, John? I don’t much care for that idea.”
“I’m not being grumpy, you’re being provoking.”
“Mmm you sound like me.”
“Shut up.”
“Now you sound more like me, John.”
“Right, I’m going to bed, where it’s less smug.”
“I’ll come, too.”
“To smirk at me.”
“Would I do that?”

Chapter Text

Hullo love,
I do love watching you be brilliant. Your eyes go bright and you clasp your hands and mutter and pace. Sometimes you jump up and dance about a bit. I love that. You’re so carelessly energetic when you’re excited. Like a fire burning as hard and bright as possible because it can’t choose another way.

I was only going to scribble a bit of nothing nonsense for the biscuit tin, but now you’re watching me, suspicious and delighted at once. You think I’m hatching some scheme, don’t you?

You always seem to think I’m plotting some affectionate torment for you. Right then, I can play along. I do like having you stare at me all owl-eyed. You get so excited when you think I’m up to something. I will have to get up to something. Wouldn’t do to disappoint you, would it, love? I suppose I’ve dragged it out long enough now. I can see you’re in need of my attention. Well, you know me. Always pleased to be of service.
Yours,
John

“Are you plotting some affectionate torment for me, my John?”
“Would I say if I were?”
“I hope not.”
“Well, then.”

John,
I love to have you watch me be brilliant as well. There’s (nearly)(mmm) nothing I like so well in the world as watching one of my more delicious moments of clarity be reflected back to me on your face a few minutes later. I adore it when I open my mouth to explain something, and you start to tell me your perspective before I can speak. Sends me into a rage whenever anyone else does it, but I do love to see you think, John! I love to hear your thoughts.

It’s been an inexpressible pleasure to watch your natural inclination to discipline and deliberateness inform your approach to our work more and more. Do I tell you enough that you impress me? You do. You see things. Things worth seeing. Thing I've missed, with increasing frequency. You fill in my gaps, John. I imagine between the two of us, we see absolutely everything. We are a matched set. We sharpen each other. How perfect. How elegant.
S

Chapter Text

“That is you, isn’t it? I’m really seeing this?”
“John?”
“On the fucking roof, Sherlock. That’s you, yeah?”
“Where are you?”
“Down on the pavement in front of Bart’s. Answer the fucking question, Sherlock. That is you?”
“Yes.”
“And just what-no, never mind. We won’t do that now. Plenty of time for that on the-come down, Sherlock. Now. No, don’t move. I’m coming up to fetch you.”
“You don’t have to do that, John. I’ll come down.”
“Sherlock, just do as I tell you and don’t fucking move. I’m coming up. Please don’t move.”
“I won’t, John. I’ll stay right here.”
“I’m coming to fetch you.”
“Yes. I’ll see you in just a moment, John.”

...

“John, I’m sorry.”
“Right, just shut up, okay? Let’s just get you down. Come on. Take my hand.”
“John, nothing is going to-”
“Shut up. Stop it. We’re getting down right now, and you’re not saying a fucking word until we’re back at the flat, all right? I need to think.”
“Yes, John. I’m sorry.”
“Right. Come on. My hand, please. Thank you. And just shut up for a minute, and we’ll talk about it at home, Sherlock.”
“I’m sorry, John.”
“Please shut up. Please.”

“Do you know what I thought? When I looked up and saw you? You do know I look up every time I go in? You’ve noticed.”
“Yes.”
“Right. Good. Still observant, then. And you know what I thought when I saw you there?”
“You thought you were having a nightmare.”
“Good. Very good. That’s good. I did think that.”
“I’m sorry, John.”
“Thought I was having a nightmare, yes. Suppose I will tonight. If I can get to- Sherlock what were you doing up there? What the fuck were you doing up there? Why are you up on Bart’s roof outside my nightmares, Sherlock?”
“I’m sorry, John.”
“Yes, you’ve said! Answer the question, Sherlock!”
“I wanted another look.”
“Another look?”
“I haven’t been back since. I don’t like. Revering it. Makes me feel like he beat me.”
“Beat you?”
“Yes. I don’t like feeling like he’s barred me from anywhere. Like he’s changed me.”
“Right well, you know what Sherlock, he’s changed me.”
“I’m sorry, John.”
“Stop saying that!”
“I wanted to remind myself that it was a triumph wrapped in ruin, and that he didn’t win. And that you and I both survived.”
“Right, we survived. Well. For the most part.”
“What do you mean?”
“If you’d seen me jump off Bart’s, would you say that all of you had survived the experience?”
“John, I-no. I don’t think I would.”
“Okay, Sherlock, I thought I could manage a talk about this now, but I really can’t. I’m going for a walk. Alone, thanks. Don’t spy on me.”
“I won’t.”
“Back in a bit. Stay in the flat.”
“Yes, John. See you in a bit.”

Chapter Text

"Have you been smoking?"
"No. I got them out but. I just."
"Right."
"John, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for you to see that. I wouldn't have shown you that for anything. I'm so sorry."
"Yes, love, I know. Erm. I think maybe I was a bit selfish-"
"No-"
"Let me finish, please."
"Sorry."
"I try not to think of that, ever. I had been thinking that I couldn't bear it. But, er, you're right. He didn't beat us. We got through it. And I'm not protecting myself or either of us, I suppose, from anything by acting like we didn't. So if you need to go back, you should."
"Thank you, John. I don't. It's all right. I don't need to."
"All right, well. That's fine. It's fine, if you change your mind as well. But I need you to make me a promise, all right?"
"Anything."
"Please don't go back without me."
"John, I can't take you up there."
"Sherlock."
"I promise."
"Thanks, love."
"I'm sorry, John."
"I know. You can stop saying that, you know. Make me a cup of coffee, if it'll make you feel better."
"Anything you like, John. It is ten o'clock, though. Won't it keep you awake?"
"Erm. I don't think I'll go to bed tonight. Just going to sit up and read, I think."
"Oh. I'll sit with you."
"That would be nice, love. Thanks."
"My pleasure, John. Anything."

...

I hover in the kitchen as the coffee brews. I ought to be out in the sitting room with John, but I'm so ashamed, I can hardly think. Which is no excuse, really. Being selfish, as usual. John is growing tired of my sniveling, though, and I don't know what else to say. Coffee's ready. Pour a cup for me (black, two sugars) and a cup for him (no sugar, splash of milk). Go back into the sitting room. John is sitting in his chair, elbows on his knees, face in his hands. He doesn't look up when I enter. I set the mugs down on the mantel. Stand there awkwardly for a moment, hands clasped behind my back, but John still doesn't look up. I want to touch him so badly, but I think he’d likely only shrug me off (intolerable prospect, best not risk it).

Instead I get my violin from its case, take my usual spot in front of the window, and begin to play John’s piece. I think I hear him sigh after the first few notes (hope he doesn’t think I’m trying to manipulate him), but I resist turning to look at him and focus on playing. Even so, it is not one of my better performances. The pacing is all off (too fast, then too slow) and my fingers are a bit disobedient (miss one note so badly that I wince at my own flatness). But it calms me somewhat, and I play it through twice then stand at the window in rest position until the echoes fade.

“Thank you,” John says, so low I might almost have imagined it. Turn from the window to check. John is gazing raptly at me. There are tears in his eyes. Feel a renewed burst of shame. Set my violin and bow in the case, drop to my knees in front of John’s chair, and drape my head and shoulders across his lap. He strokes my back, and my eyes begin to prick. I suppose I should be mortified, but it’s rather a relief. John continues to stroke my back, and I cry and tell him I’m sorry over and over. He doesn’t ask me to stop again.
I haven't ever lost control to this degree in front of John (last person to see me like this was probably Mycroft, around ten years ago, I think)(Detox. Another reason to be glad I’m clean now). Can't tell if he's surprised. After a bit (around a minute, I think), I stop crying, wipe my face on my sleeve (ergh) and sigh. John's hand moves from my back to my head and he strokes my hair for a few moments before saying, "Sherlock?" I nod. Don't trust my voice. "Feel better, love?" Nod again. “Can you sit up? I want you to look at me when I say this.” I lean back and sit rather heavily on the floor in front of him. Want to hide my face but manage to resist. John slides out of his chair and sits cross-legged on the floor. “Sherlock,” he says, pausing briefly to smile at me when I force myself to make eye contact. “Sherlock, all of that dead stuff happened because of him, not because of you. I don’t blame you for it, not one bit. I don’t want you to blame yourself. Ever. Not for the smallest moment. All right?” He waits until I nod to continue. “I know that because of what you do, mad and horrible things sometimes cluster around you. I want us to manage all the mad and horrible things together. Yes?”

“Yes,” my voice breaks a bit (knew it would).

“I’m sorry I got so angry, love. I shouldn’t have shouted at you.”

Shake my head so fervently that John puts his hand on top of it to steady me, “Don’t apologise, John.” At least I can speak clearly now. John looks as if he wants to contradict me, then smiles and pushes himself to his feet. He holds out his hands to me, and I take them and let him pull me up. John wraps his arms tight around me and presses his face against my chest (take a deep whiff of his scalp, not bothering to hide it. Feel a bit better at once).

“Well lovely,” he says softly, stroking my back again (start to well up at this and shut my eyes against it). “If there’s something we learnt from that, it’s that we do better as a team, yeah? Matched set?”

“Yes, John.” Shiver a bit.

“All right, my love?” with an extra firm stroke.

Shiver again, “You’re being too lovely, John. I can’t stand it.”

John laughs rather darkly. Gives me a long squeeze, then steps back and points to my chair. I sit. John retrieves the two mugs from the mantel and hands me mine (still warm enough to drink, but only just). He seats himself in his chair and crosses his legs. We sip our coffee in companionable enough silence and settle in to wait for the night to pass.

Chapter Text

"I'm not made of blown glass, John!"
"Ha, er, sorry love. I think the beginning of this conversation took place inside your head. Not quite up to mind reading levels. Not this early in the day, anyway."
"Since the other day, you've been treating me like I'm fragile."
"Because I made your favourite breakfast?"
"Among other things."
"Well firstly, I like soldiers as well, so-"
"Do you?"
"Of course, what's not to like?"
"Mmm, that's what I said when you made such a fuss about the kneecaps."
"That's because you would keep them in take away containers. Secondly, it's all right to be a bit fragile sometimes."
"Not for me."
"Yes, for you."
"Anyway, I'm not fragile."
"Everyone is from time to time."
"Not me."
"Your humanity is not something to be ashamed of, love. Remember?"
"Is it something to be proud of?"
"It's something to accept."
"You sound like a fortune cookie."
"You sound like an arse."
"That's more like it."
"Ha, thought you might think so. I know you like a bit of rough treatment from time to time."
"Clever you."
"Right, well you know me. Genius idiot."
"Indeed."

...

"John, I want to ramble to you."
"Hang on, just let me record this in my diary. Momentous occasion, you know. Sherlock Holmes decided to ramble at me. Don't want to forget this day."
"Oh, how terribly amusing you are. At least you must find yourself so because you keep making your little jokes, though I am being generous with the term, I think."
"A little bird told me that you find me amusing as well."
"A bird? Hadn't we established that birds are impossible to deduce and therefore not to be trusted?"
"Right, of course. Birds are quite shifty."
"Anyway, before I was interrupted by your witticisms, I was saying that I've realised something recently."
"That does sound like you."
"Mmm, you're on sparkling form tonight, John. Stop derailing me; you've made me forget my introduction."
"Your what?"
"John, please, do you want to hear what I'm going to say or not?"
"I daresay there's no stopping you."
"Well! I know better than to give my opinion when it's not wanted."
"Erm no, you don't."
"Fine, then. I'll put it in the tin."
"Something to look forward to."
“I know how you like that. Don’t ever let me hear you say I don’t look after you.”
“How on earth could I say that, love?”

“John!”
“Oh, don’t you look a thunderstorm. Bee in your bonnet, love?”
“Very funny, John.”
“It’s a pretty common expression. Haven’t you heard it before?”
“You know what I mean!”
“Well, you haven’t said what you mean. Remember how I can’t literally read your mind?”
“John!”
“Sherlock!”
“Fine, then. What have you done with my trousers?”
“Oh no, have all your trousers mysteriously vanished? Good thing you’re a detective, eh? Should be able to track them down in no time.”
“Give them back.”
“Presumptuous, aren’t we?”
“John, where have you put my trousers?”
“Let’s put it this way. They’re with mine. Wherever that is.”
“Oh.”
“Right.”
“Ah.”
“Yes.”
“I suppose we can look for them later.”
“If we can find the time.”
“If we’re so inclined.”
“Well love, that’s quite an if.”
“Mmm, indeed. Quite an if.”

Chapter Text

"What are you goggling at?"
"Ha, nothing. That was cute."
"Cute?"
"Yes, I'd never seen you so camp before. Darling. Are we calling each other that now?"
"Shut up, John."
"Never."
"Obviously she responded to that sort of thing."
"Right, right, so she did. Well done. She let us right in."
"Sometimes a detective needs to be a bit of an actor as well."
"Yes, I know. Seen you at it lots of times. That was just. Ha, a new one. New character."
"Yes, well. It worked."
"I know love, so it did."
"What are you grinning at, then?"
"Always a pleasure to see a genius at work is all."
"Indeed. Glad I amuse you so much."
"Ha, yes, I know you are. I can see it all over your face."

...

John.
-SH

 

Amuse me, John.
-SH

 

John!
-SH

 

Please yourself, then. I've thought of my own game.
-SH

 

Would you like me to tell you all about it?
-SH

 

Not much of a game really. Have just decided to throw some of the excess mugs out of the sitting room window to see how high the shards bounce when they shatter.
-SH

 

I suppose I ought to drop them, since I've no way of standardising the force of the throw.
-SH

 

No. Veto.

 

You've had your chance for input. Too late for that now.
-SH

 

Anyway you ought to be pleased that I'm ridding us of some of the excess mugs.
-SH

 

Last time you referred to them, you called them 'an invasion.' Very vivid reference coming from a soldier.
-SH

 

No mug chucking. Nor chucking anything out the sitting room window, come to that. Don't make me institute Rule Seven.

 

Are you only going to reply to ruin my fun?
-SH

 

That sets rather a dangerous precedent, don't you think?
-SH

 

You are being unusually boring today, John. Your office must be out of coffee.
-SH

 

You know that ignoring me only makes me dangerously desperate for your attention, John.
-SH

 

Perhaps that's your plan. Absence makes the heart grow fonder?
-SH

 

Well, I'm at my most ingenious when I most crave your attention. You do know that?
-SH

 

See you at home, I suppose. I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labours.
-SH

 

Is that meant to frighten me? Nice try.

 

Sherlock?

 

Sherlock?

 

Very funny.

 

Sherlock?

...

 

I am remarkably comfortable. The room is overwarm, and John’s let me refill his wine glass once or twice too often. He’s still got his glass in his hand, though now we’ve moved from the table to the sofa. I’ve got my legs thrown over his lap, and he’s absently stroking my left shin with his free hand (the right). He chuckles a bit and I can tell he wants me to ask him what at. I remain silent, though, pretending to fiddle with my phone (surreptitiously photographing the hand that strokes my leg).

“Know what, love?” John says after a pause of a few (six) seconds.

Put my phone down and smile at him before saying, “Tell me what, John.”

“I’m a bit offended.”

“Offended? Have I done something?”

He nods, “No, exactly.”

“I’m afraid I don’t understand, John.”

“I thought you were going to wind me up tonight. You implied you had some sort of plot cooking, and I was rather looking forward to it.”

“Actually, what I said was that I was desperate for your attention. I have it, don’t I?”

John grins and squeezes my leg just above the knee (squirm, partly because I know he likes it), “You do have it, love.”

“Well then, why should I put myself out for the sake of getting something I already have? I did plan this, mind you.”

“Did you? That’s flattering.”

“Mmm, well plan may be too generous a term. I opened the bottle. I had something more exciting in mind, but when you walked in, I saw at once that you were in the mood to be, ah, accommodating.”

John laughs, “When you want my attention, you get a drink in me?”

“It’s a particular sort of attention I’m after.”

John grins (lovely), “Ah, I see. You’ve got something specific in mind.”

“Not terribly specific.” I pause to adjust my position to that my head is in his lap and my legs are thrown over the arm of the sofa. “All I want is for you to look at me and think of me and touch me and talk to me. Exclusively.”

John laughs again and kisses me before saying, “That can be arranged.”

“Well, yes, clearly. I’ve already arranged it.”

“Have you?”

“Of course I have.”

“Well. You opened the bottle. Anyway, how do you know I haven’t arranged it so that you’d look at me and think of me and touch me and talk to me exclusively?”

That seems unlikely, but it is a delicious thought. “Well whoever did the arranging, I’ve got you right where I want you now, John.”

John laughs so heartily that I reconsider the idea that he actually orchestrated this (he’s quite crafty in his way). “My thinking exactly, love.”

Chapter Text

John,
I’m listening to you clean your teeth. You hum the entire time you do that. Did you know? Not a tune, just a low ‘hmmmmm.’ At first I thought the toothbrush was faulty, but then you got a cold and you changed the pitch of your hum.
S

 

Hullo love,
I’ve just come home to find you asleep on the sofa with your shirt half on. Comes of being awake for a day and a half at a time, I suppose.
Yours,
John

 

John,
You’ve a new freckle. It’s on your right hip. How did it get there? Explain yourself. Well, no matter, really. It looks particularly appetising. On closer inspection, it tastes of your sweat. More than appetising. Mmm, now I’ve got a bit of your sweat on my upper lip. I do love to smell you on me, John.
S

 

Hullo love,
You're out at Bart's right now, and I'm thinking of taking a leaf from your book and texting you to come home immediately. Reason being that there are four identical take away cartons in the fridge. Two of them contain kneecaps that have been there too long. I'm not sure how long ago you put them in there, but too long ago. I know. Please get rid of them.

One contains some even more ancient risotto that you wouldn't let me finish when it was still worth eating because you said you'd get to it eventually. Still a bit bitter about that actually. You and your possessive streak. Though I quite like your possessive streak when it's directed at me. Here's me rambling. I sound like you.
Last carton has my pad thai from last night, which I am very hungry for. I can't tell that one from the others, and I know if I get the wrong one by mistake, it'll put me off my lunch. You would know which was which, but you are not here. So I'm prolonging deciding by writing this note. Starting to wonder if knee caps are edible. You really are the world's worst influence.

Yours,
John

 

John,
I grow more and more convinced that you're missing quite a vital bit of your brain (the bit that warns you off lunatics) because my possessive streak is not at all charming. In fact, calling it a possessive streak is mild and generous to a fault. To say that I feel possessive of you is to say that you're rather fond of tea. A gross understatement. I should be clear that I have never for a moment worried that you'd take up with some one else (such an anxiety would be an insult to us both, wouldn't you agree?). I only feel wildly affronted when people are too stupid to notice you're attached to me or too arrogant to care (the reverse never seems to happen. I suppose it's because I frighten people; I don't look as if I would bear chatting up)(I wouldn't).

And also I want you to always think of me, look at me, touch me and talk to me (generally me only, but I try to be flexible). In fact, sometimes I rather wish I could shrink you down small and carry you round in my pocket. I shouldn't tell you that because it's ridiculous, but there you are. Frightened yet?
S

 

Hullo love,
I’ve never been frightened of you. Never for a moment. And I think I could make myself very comfortable in your pocket. Though you’re already taller than I am. Perhaps instead I’ll shrink you and keep you in my pocket, so I can be the tall one. I suspect you’d enjoy that.
Yours,
John

Chapter Text

I really need a chat. May I take you to lunch some time this week?

 

Sure, are you free tomorrow?
~Molly~

 

Yeah, tomorrow's great. I'll come to Bart's, okay? One o'clock?

 

Sure, that's fine. See you then.
~Molly~

 

Great, thanks. See you then.

 

All right?
~Molly~

 

Yeah, fine.

 

Well. Sort of. We'll talk.

 

Right. See you tomorrow.
~Molly~

...

"Are you sure you're all right, John? Only you look a bit, er, frazzled."
"Yeah, fine. Well. Fine. Yeah. I mean, I wanted to ask you something."
"Okay."
"Have you, erm. Sorry. Hem. Having a bit of trouble finding my words. Have you been up to the roof? Since? Bart's roof, I mean."
"Once."
"How was it?"
"Er horrible. Thought it'd be worse, but you know. I didn't. Erm. I didn't see it. Happen."
"Right."
"Why do you ask?"
"I'm sort of considering it. The roof. Going up there. Just to see, I mean. Is that mad? Should I even? I mean. Should I even try?"
"Well. Nice view."
"Ha, yeah."
"Why now? I mean-sorry. You don't have to answer that."
"No, it's fine. Erm, just tired of being haunted, I suppose. Ha, need an exorcism."
"Well you know. Nice view."
"Do you think I can handle it? Am I mad to even think of it?"
"No, it's not mad to think of it. Oh, John."
"Jesus. I'm sorry, Molly. Do you have a? My napkin's all dirty. Thanks. Sorry."
"It's fine."
"Ha, see, I'd love for this not to happen."
"It's fine. Sorry, no. I mean. It's not fine, but not because of me. I don't mind. I mean. I care but. Sorry."
"It's like, when it happened, you know I just felt so ruined. Like I'd lost everything. Broken. You know?"
"Yeah."
"Right. Then he came back and we started seeing each other and I dnno. I suppose I thought that would, er. Make up for losing him in the first place? I don't know. I just want to stop seeing it. You know? I'm so tired of that. It's exhausting, you know? Sometimes it just comes on me."
"Yeah."
"I just want to get rid of it."
"Yeah."
"God. Fuck. Ha. Well, good chat, Molly. Good catching up. Ha. Erm. Right."
"What does he say?"
"I, er, I don't really know how to. You know. Don't know how to talk to him about it. I don't like him to know how I, erm. Took it. I suppose. I don't like him to think of me that way."
"Yeah."
"I mean most of the time I'm really really happy. You know? Nearly all the time, actually. It's that last two percent or one percent or whatever. That's the killer. I'm just so mad for him and I don't want him to think that I blame him. Don't want him to feel like he did something wrong, you know? He takes that sort of thing so hard."
"He really loves you."
"Ha, yeah. So he does."
"You should talk to him. Part of trusting him, you know? That he can bear hearing the things you need to tell him."
"Yeah. Yeah, you're right. God. Thanks, Molly. You are brilliant, you know? Brilliant friend."
"Thanks, John."
"Really, you are. Don't know what we'd do without you."
"Dither infinitely."
"Ha, right. So we would."

...

"What was that for?"
"For?"
"Wasn't it for something? Felt like it."
"Just fancied kissing a miracle, I suppose."
"Ah. And did you find it miraculous?"
"Ha yes, love. Always. Sherlock?"
"Yes, John?"
"About the roof?"
"Yes?"
"I'm ready when you are."
"Are you sure?"
"Very."
"Thank you, John."
"You're welcome, love. Anything."

Chapter Text

I didn’t like to rush it, but I didn’t like to keep him waiting. I told him to decide, and he picked the next day. Like me, John is not a man to stand around and wait when he sees his way forward. So here we are. In the lift and nearly to the roof. John has not let go my hand since we got into the cab here. I’m not sure if it’s for him or for me. Both, I suppose. I want to tell him that I’m not going to leave him again. But he knows that, and I don’t want him to let go my hand anyway, so what would be the point? Instead squeeze the fingers interlocked with mine one by one, so he knows it’s not an absent-minded pressure. John squeezes back.

After what seems like an age, the lift stops and we step into a dim, ugly little corridor. We mount the stairs to the rooftop door in silence. When we reach the top, I turn to look at John before I open the door out onto the roof, and he nods at me before I can speak. I open the door and swallow a bit of panic as I step out onto the roof. I’m not sure if John has arranged it this way intentionally, but I’m not struck with deja vu, as I expected to be. The sun is in a different place in the sky, it’s clear and breezy instead of overcast, and of course, there’s no tinny pop music and leering lunatic waiting for me. For us, I should say. I look at John. He’s looking at me.

I wave one arm as if I’m showing him something splendid, “Welcome,” I say, and immediately feel foolish and wrong-headed. Bad time for a joke. John smirks though, and I nearly chuckle myself. John squeezes my hand again. For a bit, we stand with our backs nearly to the door, but eventually John moves forward and I follow after him. He makes for the spot where Moriarty died immediately. John knows a bloodstain when he sees one, so there was no use hoping he’d not be able to find it. Better here than the north edge of the building. Pray he doesn’t get too near there. Though he never saw it from this perspective. He might be interested. I would be.

John looks at the bloodstain for a long time (it isn’t actually a long time; only twenty-seven seconds) before he says, “This was him, yeah?”

“Yes.”

“Hmm.” John crouches (without letting go of me, I follow him down) for a closer look, just as he might at a crime scene. Think briefly of offering him my magnifying glass. Decide against it. The stain is not very vivid anymore. A sort of ochre from being baked by the sun. John touches the edge of it with one finger and rather shudders. “Here’s what’s left,” he says quietly.

“Yes.” I shudder, too.

John withdraws his hand from the stain frowningly and looks at me. “We’re breathing him right now,” he says. “Particles of him.”

That sounds like something I’d say (though I hadn’t thought of it), “I suppose we are.”

“He’s just particles now. Seems a bit unfair.” I think I understand. I nod. John sits back heavily (I follow; he’s still clutching my hand like a kite string). “I want to tell you something,” he says. “I don’t know that I’ve told you properly.”

“All right.” I know I sound terribly stiff, but I can’t think what else to say. Can hardly think at all, actually. Too absorbed in watching John and wanting to memorise every scrap of everything he says and does while we are here.

“Even if you hadn’t come back, you would have been a miracle, Sherlock. Maybe it sounds stupid to say because you didn’t get top marks in school, you jumped off a building-”

“I did both, John.”

“Ha, right. Didn’t mean to downplay your other accomplishments. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I’m so proud of you. I’ve always been proud of you. Right from the beginning. Always been proud to be with you, proud to be your friend. Proud that you chose me. So, hem, sorry. Thank you for saving me all the scores of times that you saved me. I’d have been more than finished without you.” Listen to John speak, wishing I were better so I could have forever every word, every intake of breath, every quirk of his lips and crease of his brow and each other tiny nuance too small to name. I want it all. Let out a breath when he stops speaking. Hadn’t realised I was holding it.

John looks at me for a long moment as if he’d like to say more but can’t quite find the words. Then he takes me by the lapels and buries his face in my neck. Wrap my arms round his waist and am almost startled when a moment later, I feel a tear land on my neck and slide down to my collar. Squeeze him harder and he sighs hot against me. Another tear lands on me, then a third and I stop trying to count them. John gasps a little, trying to steady himself. I squeeze him again, trying to tell him that he need not rush himself for me.

I have been selfish and remiss (of course). John thinks he needs to present a brave face for me. He’s always been the calm one, the steady one. My rock, my heart, my doctor. I want to tell him that if he will do me the honour of weeping against me, I will gladly have every drop. How brave and strong I feel, comforting John. As if I could easily do and be anything in his service. I’ll tell him some time. Some other time. Ridiculous to try and make a speech at this moment, so I only hold him closer and lay my cheek against the top of his head. John sobs onto my neck and shoulder as if his heart would break, and I find that somehow I can bear it.

Chapter Text

“Good morning, John.”
“Mmm, good morning love.”
“All right? Sleep well?”
“Never better.”
“Me too. What would you like to do today, John?”
“Oh hadn’t thought, really. I just want to drink you in.”
“Mm, that can be arranged.”

...

“Why are you laughing at me, John?”
“You pull such funny faces in here.”
“The water is going in my eyes.”
“Ha, you’re like a bird in a bird bath.”
“Is that meant as a compliment?”
“Oh, they’re all compliments.”
“Oh?”
“Definitely.”

...

“You trying to look after me, love?”
“Generally.”
“Ha, this is the third cup of tea you’ve brought me today.”
“You look thirsty.”
“I was actually.”
“I know. Feel better?”
“I do. Thanks.”
“My pleasure.”

...

“John, I want to do something for you.”
“Ha, all right then, love. What sort of thing?”
“I don’t know!”
“All right, love. Settle down.”
“John, I’m a terribly stupid husband. I want very badly to make much of you, but I don’t know how. You always know just what to do with me, and I want to make you feel the way you make me feel.”
“Oh my lovely. You do. Don’t you know?”
“Do I?”
“Of course you do. Don’t be thick.”
“Thank you John.”
“Of course, love. Sherlock?”
“Yes, John?”
“I know how you feel about me. You don’t have to make a show of it just for the sake of making a show of it.”
“No, not a show. But John, I erm. God, I can hardly speak!”
“In your own time, love.”
“Thank you, John. Somehow you know just how to speak to me and just how to touch me and just how to look at me to make me feel like I’m wonderful. It’s just brilliant, John. It’s beyond brilliant. You’re just what I need, and I hate that I’m so clumsy that I can’t do for you what you do for me. But I’m going to teach myself. I’m determined.”
“Sherlock, you are lovely just as you are.”
“I knew you’d say that, John. But there’s no stopping me. I’m determined.”
“Ha, of course you are, love. Start with a kiss, then.”

Chapter Text

"John, may we have our walk early tonight? I'm desperate to have you on my arm."
"Desperate, are you?"
"Frantic."
"Well, I can't say no to that. Nothing I like so much as a desperate detective."
"Oh?"
"Isn't it obvious?"
"Mm sometimes."
"I do. Favourite thing in the whole world, you might say."
"Oh?"
"Definitely."
"Well nice night for it. Warm, clear, not a full moon unfortunately, but waxing gibbous, and I'm rather fond of those myself."
"Are you? I'm surprised to hear you've got a favourite phase of the moon."
"I don't know that I'd say I've got a favourite phase, but I do like the look of it with that sliver missing. Oh and I must warn you, John."
"Warn me?"
"Yes, I suspect I'll be feeling rather, ah, expansive."
"Expansive?"
"Yes, likely you'd say I'm feeling poetic."
"Infuriating of me."
"You have your moments, I suppose."
"Well, my lovely, as you are feeling desperate, frantic, and expansive at once, I suppose we'd better be off right away."
"I am at your disposal."
"As I am at yours."
"Then shall we?"
"Let's."

...

"Mmm, this is atmospheric, isn't it, love? Nice night."
"Yes, nearly as much as I'd hoped."
"Ha, you're hard to please."
"Well, I like things to be nice for you, John."
"It's perfectly nice."
"If you're pleased."
"Very pleased."
"It'll do, then."
"You're in a good mood."
"Ah, it's the company I keep. Has a good effect on me."
"Thank you and you're welcome. Though you were up early this morning, weren't you?"
"Was I?"
"I heard you playing."
"Did you? Sorry to disturb you."
"I wasn't disturbed."
"Sorry to wake you, then."
"Were you composing, love?"
"Perhaps."
"It sounded like it."
"Did it?"
“To me it did.”
“Mmm, I can’t get anything past you, can I John?”
“Ha, I don’t know about that one, love. Is it for me?”
“Is what for you?”
“What did we say was the word for infuriating and delightful at once?”
“Flirtatious.”
“Right. Well. Then?”
“Ha, yes, John. It’s for you.”
“Will you need three years to practise it before I’m allowed to hear it?”
“You’ve heard a bit of it this morning.”
“Answer me properly, you flirt, you.”
“You may hear it the identical moment it is fit to be heard.”
“The identical moment?”
“The identical moment.”
“Will that be three years from now?”
“I hope not.”
“You don’t know?”
“Mmm, sometimes I’m only the vessel, John.”
“Is that you being expansive?”
“Are you accusing me of poetry?”
“Was it unintentional?”
“Not exactly.”
“Well it does nicely for poetry anyway.”
“My, what a pretty compliment.”
“Ha, I was hoping to provoke you into being a bit of an arse tonight, love. I’ve missed it.”
“I’m not being an arse!”
“Just a bit? I’ve missed it.”
“Oh all right. Anything for you. Idiot.”

Chapter Text

“I was really hungry, Sherlock.”
“Still are, I expect.”
“Are you trying to annoy me?”
“Thought you’d missed it.”
“Get some food in me, and you can be as much of an arse as you like.”
“I couldn’t have gotten anything down in there, anyway. It was so boisterous.”
“That affects your appetite, does it?”
“You know it does.”
“Well I can’t say I approve of your method of dealing with boisterousness.”
“Yes, you’ve made that amply clear.”
“It’s just that standing and shouting ‘shut up!’ in the middle of a restaurant doesn’t do much to lessen the boisterousness.”
“It did for a moment.”
“Right, a moment. And then we got thrown out. How many times does that make?”
“Only two.”
“That’s still too many times to be thrown out of a restaurant.”
“The other time it was a cafe.”
“Not the point, Sherlock.”
“You should make a little signboard to hold up; I’m sure you must be getting tired of saying that.”

...

You look nice today.
-SH

 

Are you following me?

 

Yes.
-SH

 

Bored.
-SH

 

You're following too close, you know.

 

Yes, I'm very likely to be discovered, but the stakes are rather low.
-SH

 

That's what you think.

 

Oh? Do you have some retributive plot in mind?
-SH

 

Generally.

 

You realise we're both being one of those horrible people who texts and walks. We'll be thrown in prison any minute, I expect.

 

We'll break out.
-SH

 

Anyway, we've rather more situational awareness than most people. Less likely to collide
-SH

 

I'm getting some really shirty looks.

 

I always do. You get used to it.
-SH

 

I was going to tell you about how nice you look.
-SH

 

Interested?
-SH

 

Well, as you're rather crowding me with your incredibly obvious tail at the moment, what if I just stop walking and you tell me with your mouth?

 

Firstly, you are my husband, and I consider it my prerogative to tail you as obviously as I like.
-SH

 

Secondly, I will gladly tell you with my mouth. Now?
-SH

 

Why not?

 

Oh, ha. Not like that.

 

Well. Not unlike that necessarily.

 

Glad you keep an open mind.
-SH

 

Won’t you have broken another appointment with your barber?
-SH

 

Yes, you’ve turned me into a total barbarian. Where might we?

 

I’ve got a place in mind. You follow me, now.
-SH

 

We’re not going to walk together?

 

Isn’t this more fun? Bit of suspense?
-SH

 

Ha, I suppose it is fun. See you in a bit then.

 

Oh, sooner.
-SH

 

You planned this, didn't you?

 

Obviously.
-SH

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, have you seen the biscuit tin, love?”
“I’ve got it here, John. Are you about to put something in it?”
“Ha, yes. And you’ve just put something in as well, haven’t you?”
“Yes, it seems we’ve both been feeling very affectionate recently.”
“It’s getting a bit overstuffed in there, actually. Let’s have a look.”
“I was just going to say.”

 

John,
I really hate the trousers you've got on right now. Think I'll hide them at the next available opportunity. Do you know anything about my hiding spots? I think I know yours.
S

 

Hullo love,
Had another of those dreams last night. You know the ones I mean. You've probably already worked it out going by my right ear or some other such rubbish. I do love that about you.
Yours,
John

 

Hullo love,
You're smiling in your sleep right now. Wish I knew what about.
Yours,
John

 

Hullo love,
You're interviewing a potential client right now, and he's absolutely terrified of you. Somehow your face is getting more and more expressionless, and he's getting more and more flustered. I'm having a really hard time not laughing. Bit unprofessional. Not paying attention to what he's saying at all, I'm afraid, but I rather suspect we won't be taking this one.
Yours,
John

 

John,
Been working on your piece all day. Thought you'd like to know. It's going quite well. But then you left the house this morning in a particularly inspiring shade of green, so you must have some idea already. Do you? Often I'm not quite sure when you're charming me or when you're just charming. One of the myriad ways in which you are fascinating.
S

 

“Will it be ready soon?”
“Be patient, John. It’ll be ready in time. Doesn’t do to rush these things.”
“Will you practise it on my arm, while you get it ready?”
“I may. Would you like that?”
“Very much.”
“I’ll remember that.”

Chapter Text

“Feeling nostalgic?”
“I’ve really no idea what you mean.”
“I find that difficult to believe.”
“Try.”
“You’ve been visiting some old haunts, haven’t you?”
“Oh, just come out with it, Mycroft. I’m not in the mood.”
“Roof of St. Bart’s Hospital? Twice in the last few weeks?”
“Your snooping knows no bounds.”
“Indeed. And what carried you there?”
“A cab. And then the lift.”
“I see you’re intent on being difficult.”
“No, I’ll be easy and tell you that I’m not discussing this with you.”
“Only wondering if you’re having another of your clever ideas.”
“I’m always having another of my clever ideas.”
“Sherlock, please. Don’t you find it exhausting to be so exhausting?”
“I’m not going to jump off again, if that’s what you’re asking.”
“Ah good. It was so inconvenient the last time.”
“You have no idea.”

“Got a text from your brother.”
“Hope you deleted it.”
“Oh, then you know what it was about.”
“I’ve an inkling.”
“Wanted to know what we were doing up there.”
“I’m sorry, John.”
“Don’t be stupid. Anyway, it was fine. Hadn’t told him to piss off in a while. It was nice.”
“Sorry to have missed it.”

...

“John, do you want me to be more polite?”
“Sorry, what? More what?”
“I mean it, John.”
“Ha, Sherlock, if I wanted to be with some one polite, would I have married you?”
“I’m not always rude!”
“Even your proposal was a bit rude, love.”
“Was it? You didn’t like it?”
“Sherlock, it was perfect. Don’t be thick.”
“Rude and perfect?”
“Sorry, I’ve put my foot in it, haven’t I? Ha, well, sorry. Erm, what I mean is that you are exactly what I want just the way you are.”
“Really?”
“Of course, love! Hadn’t you noticed?”
“I suppose I had. Say more about that.”
“Well, I know that if you say something to me, it’s because you mean it. I suppose when I say you’re not polite, what I mean is that you don’t bother with those little social obfuscations. So I know that you actually are completely mad for me.”
“Mmm, so I am. Say more.”
“That makes me feel really important, you know.”
“Does it?”
“Yeah, like dangerously important.”
“You are dangerously important, John.”
“See I know you mean that. It’s really lovely to be thought of that way. You’re dangerously important, as well you know, Sherlock Holmes.”
“Am I?”
“Now you really are being thick.”
“I just want to make you happy, John.”
“Well, love, I’m bloody delirious.”
“Clearly.”

Chapter Text

“I suppose we’ve got to come up with names for them now.”
“Hmm?”
“The music you’ve composed for me. There are two pieces, so you’ve got to name them, haven’t you? Or we won’t be able to tell them apart. Well, we could but it might get a bit unwieldy.”
“I’ve sort of named them in my mind, already.”
“Ha, ‘course you have. What are they called, then?”
“Well, the first one, I just call it ‘John’.”
“Of course. Fine name, fine name. Upstanding.”
“Mmm, indeed. Upstanding in the extreme.”
“And the second one? What’s it called?”
“Bit embarrassing, now I’m about to say it aloud. I call it ‘More’.”
“‘More’?”
“Yes.”
“Why ‘More’? What’s that mean?”
“Well, it means a lot of things.”
“Oh, come on, Sherlock. Don’t make me pull it out of you.”
“Would I do that, John?”
“Come on, love. Just tell me. Please.”
“Mm beg a bit more.”
“No!”
“Ha, all right. Have a guess, then. See if you can deduce it.”
“Sherlock, just tell me. I don’t want to guess, I want you to tell me. Please love?”
“That was some very fine begging, John. Exemplary.”
“Arse. Tell me.”
“Tell you what. I’ll put it in the tin. Will that do?”
“I suppose. Theatrical sod.”
“Genius idiot.”

...

John,

I’m not one for talking of the meaning of my compositions (makes me sound like a writer), but as you’ve asked, I’ll tell you a bit. Just a bit. ‘More’ alludes to the fact that I have been afforded the opportunity for more and the fact that I’ll always want more. How fortunate for me that you never seem to be alarmed at how greedy I am for you, John. I surprise even myself sometimes. No, that’s not exactly true anymore. I used to quite surprise myself, though. It was rather unsettling at first. Starting to feel pervaded. Exciting but unsettling. I found myself wanting you so often and so fervently, and I didn't know what to make of it. Well, I have been called an idiot genius. Fitting.

You made yourself indispensable in my work nearly immediately, of course. How did I manage so long without you? You steady me. That’s the most important bit when it comes to the work, I think. You’re grounding, and I didn’t know I needed it before I had you. I suppose I still struggle against it sometimes. You’re patient with me, though. I won’t go on about that. I know you dislike it. One of your few areas of impatience. Listening to your own praise. I think I'm helping you grow accustomed to it.

You know, I suppose, that even after all this time, I feel rather agitated when I don’t have you at hand. Close at hand. It isn’t only that I want to spend all my time (even when I’m absorbed in a case or an experiment, I rather wish I could split myself so I could have my attention on you as well) looking at you, thinking of you, touching you, talking to you, tasting you, etc. I suppose I imagine that if I have you with me all the time, I can make up for how slow and stupid I was for the first three years that I knew you. I can’t, of course. But as I enjoy trying so much, I’ll continue to behave as if I might. I know your forbearance will allow it, my John.

This was meant to be only a line or two, and here’s me with another proper love letter on my hands. Ah well. You bring it out in me, you witch, and neither of us need pretend to be surprised by it anymore.
S

 

Hullo love,
I can’t get enough of you either, you madman.
Yours,
John

Chapter Text

“Shut up.”
“Sorry?”
“You’re all solicitous and sweet, and it’s unsettling.”
“Surely it isn’t so far out of the ordinary for me to be, ah, sweet that it alarms you, John.”
“Generally it’s in smaller doses.”
“My apologies. What do you suggest we do about it?”
“Be obnoxious.”
“How, exactly?”
“It’s less obnoxious, if I give you instructions.”
“I’m at your disposal, John. You have only to ask for what you want, and I’ll supply it.”
“You’re just winding me up, aren’t you?”
“Mmm, yes and no. Yes, I’m winding you up, no I’m not only winding you up.”
“Not only winding me up?”
“Don’t you like me when I’m pleasant?”
“I’m not sure how to answer that.”
“Truthfully?”
“Exactly.”
“Well, John, this has been some very charming nonsense. Keep up the good work.”
“I’ll crack you eventually.”
“Crack me?”
“Eventually.”
“Well. I look forward to it.”

...

“John. May I inquire as to what is going on here?”
“What does it look like?”
“Erm, a bit untidy.”
“Oh, just I’ve lost my brown merinos, you know me and my disordered socks, and I thought they might be in here.”
“They aren’t.”
“I suppose I could have just asked, but I thought it’d be quicker this way.”
“Yes, your expedience is one of your finer virtues.”
“Ha, right. Only trying to keep up with you, love.”
“Mm, you do a fine job.”
“Thanks, love. You’re holding up well.”
“I do enjoy the opportunity to reorder my sock index. Thoughtful of you to provide it.”
“I’ll crack you yet, Sherlock.”
“Do feel free to try.”

...

“Come on, love. Time to do the shopping.”
“Now?”
“Yep.”
“I’m sitting.”
“Yeah, I see that. You can keep sitting while we do the shopping, if you can work out how to manage it.”
“Generous of you.”
“Come on, love. Up you get. The Tesco’s waiting. All those people. The haphazardly arranged products, the queues, the chip and pin machines.”
“I know what you’re doing, John.”
“Trying to do the shopping.”
“This is another attempt to crack me, isn’t it?”
“Does it sound like one?”
“A feeble one.”
“Really? Because I think I’m getting warmer.”
“Well continue to try, if you’re inclined, John.”
“I intend to.”

Chapter Text

Wake with the feeling that something is afoot. Lovely. But John isn't in bed, which is much, much less lovely. Check the clock and it's only 5:50. Perhaps he only needed the toilet, and he'll be back in a moment. Consider lying in the warm until he comes back, but am already too impatient. Get up, put on my best dressing gown (seems like it might be a special occasion, even if not, he'll tell me I look lovely. Lovely).

Step out of the bedroom into the kitchen and John is already sitting at the table, still in his dressing gown and pyjamas (forgot to check the wardrobe for his things when I put mine on; rushing, too impatient). He doesn't look up when I come in, only lifts his mug from the table and shakes it in my direction. I chuckle, come and take the mug out of his hand, and give him a kiss on the cheek. He does not turn his head to accommodate the kiss.

"Good morning, John."

He sighs, "Morning. Coffee?"

"I was going to put the kettle on. Would you rather have coffee?"

He heaves another sigh so world-weary that I nearly burst out laughing, "Never mind. Nothing for me, thanks."

Grin and go to the worktop to turn on the coffee maker. "Hungry?" I ask, opening the fridge (not much in there. Eggs, though and pineapple jam. Hope there's bread. Just eggs and jam together would not likely be very nice).

"Fine." John slumps over the table and rests his cheek on his folded arms.

"All right, John?" He shrugs without lifting his head. "Are you ill?" Shakes his head. All right then, that's out of the way. He must be up to something. Must let this unfold to find out what. Lovely. I do love it when my John is up to something. Lean over and give him another kiss on the cheek (can't get to his mouth)(he gives no real response; stings a bit though I suppose it must be part of his plan) before I go back to the worktop and check the bread bin. Empty, so I get down the cornflakes and pour a bowl (just one; not hungry myself) and set it out on the table with a glass of milk. John ignores both. Coffee's ready. Pour two cups and set John's mug down in front of him. At the sound of the thud of the mug on the table, he looks up. The moment we catch eyes, he moves his arm sharply and tips over the mug with his elbow, spilling the coffee.

"Whoops," he says pointedly.

I really do laugh this time. "Whoops indeed," I say as sweetly as I can (won't be cracked, though I am enjoying his attempts). "Allow me, please." Get a towel from the hook by the sink and mop up the mess. John glares the whole time (though he’s clearly just barely holding back a smirk. Lovely). Chuck the towel into the sink, then pour John another coffee and try to hand it to him. He waves it away, slides off his chair and walks into the sitting room. I follow. John collapses onto the couch with a bit of a grunt and stretches out with his feet up on one arm. I take my chair and try to watch him without staring too hard.

“Bored,” he huffs, with the merest hint of a whinge in his voice. “When’s the next case?”

Takes me a bit to suppress my laughter before I can say, “Nothing really on at the moment. I’ll just have a look at the paper.” Reach for the paper under my chair and open it.

“Hurry up, then,” says John.

I spread the paper open in front of me and hide my face behind it so that I can laugh (silently). After a moment, I hear a leathery squeak. As expected, John tears the newspaper out of my hands a second after that. He rolls the whole thing into a large ball, tosses it into the (cold) fireplace, and climbs onto my lap. I put my arms round his waist automatically to stop him slipping off. John presses his face into my neck (he smells so lovely today) and takes a deep, rather shaky breath. For a moment, I fear I've misinterpreted this whole thing, but he only blows it out in affectedly stroppy sigh (mm). Hold in more giggles.

I must shake a bit with suppressed laughter because John tuts, then bites me quite hard on the shoulder (I get gooseflesh) and says in a low voice (would get gooseflesh if I didn't already have it), "Punishment for your insolence, Fortunato."

Swallow and say, “My apologies, Montresor.” It comes out a bit hoarse.

“Too late for that, witch,” here he pauses to sit up and look right into my face. “You’ll want a pressing to sort you out. Won’t you?”

I nod, “God yes.”

“Right then,” John gets to his feet and stands, arms folded, as if I’ve kept him waiting for ages, “Come on. Hurry up.” And he strides out of the room. I nearly turn my chair over in my haste to follow him.

...

“Well then, love. Do you understand?”
“I think so. Tell me.”
“I want you, all of you, just the way you really are, Sherlock. I don’t want you to sham courtliness all the time because you think I deserve it or whatever. All right?”
“All right.”
“Cracked, then?”
“Yes, John. Well-cracked.”
“I knew I’d crack you eventually, love.”
“Mmm, so did I. John?”
“Yes, love?”
“Will we have that game again?”
“Would you like that?”
“Very much.”
“All right. Maybe we will.”
“I hope so.”
“We’ll see.”

Chapter Text

“Please love, don’t make me go out in that for no good reason.”
“You aren’t made of sugar. You won’t melt if you get wet. And it’s so stale and so close in here. I need some air.”
“Well if you go out of doors now, you won’t get any air because the rain will drown you.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Just open the window a bit.”
“That is not a palatable option.”
“Neither is wandering around while it’s pissing down out because you’re bored and fidgety.”
“Come on, John. Don’t be boring. We don’t like me so much when I’m fidgety. Come along on a walk with me. Storms are atmospheric. I’ll have rain in my hair. You like that.”
“I do like that.”
“And then we’ll come back and have a hot shower, and I’ll make you nice and cosy. We’ll open that wine you like.”
“Cosy, eh?”
“Very cosy.”
“Oh, all right then. Let me get my things on.”

...

“Cosy, John?”
“Mm yes, love. Just right.”
“Good. You look it.”
“Ha, thanks love. So do you. You look sweet in my jumper.”
“Bite your tongue, John.”
“Ha, so did you enjoy your walk, Sherlock?”
“I did, John. Thank you for coming with me. You were right about us getting extremely wet.”
“Well, we knew I would be. Bit more wine?”
“Thank you, John. That’s plenty. What about the tin? We haven’t done the tin for a bit.”
“I’ll get it.”

...

Hullo love,

I've been thinking lately of how you've written me two proper love letters now, and I haven't written you any. Not proper ones. I'm not the adoring missives sort. I'm not the sort of person who would think to say something like 'I could easily see myself as high priest of your cult'. I don't even know how to answer you properly when you say things like that to me. I feel those things, but I suppose I lack your flair for the theatrical. And I’m not a gas bag, like you are. There, I’ve just gone and called you a gas bag in a love letter. That’s all right, though. You’ll only laugh. I do love to make you laugh. I could go on about that. You sound a bit evil when you laugh, love. Did you know that? It makes me feel like your co-conspirator, no matter what we’re laughing about.

I’m so pleased to be your co-conspirator. I think lots about the first time you asked me along on a case. I’m sure you remember every bit of it, but I think I’ll tell you about it anyway. You’d already run off, but you came back for me. I remember you stood in the doorway, putting your gloves on, purring and smirking at me and creeping closer and closer until you were nearly breathing on my face. I remember thinking you smelled of starch and white spirits. It was another of those opportune moments. There were lots of those. I’ve heard I’m a montage of opportune moments.

It is such fun running round with you, love. I feel so much like myself when we’re doing what we do. We’re so brilliant, love. We make a really brilliant pair. We’re a matched set. That says it all, really. We belong together. I’ll leave it there.

Yours,
John

...

“John, that was so lovely.”
“Ha, I only put that in this morning. I wasn’t expecting you to pick it just now.”
“Yes, I saw you put it in. Knew it’d be something nice going from your expression. Well obviously, they’re all nice, but I knew this one would be especially nice.”
“It isn’t really, now I hear it aloud. Glad you’re pleased, though.”
“Shut up, John. Don’t be boring. I say it’s perfect. Of the two of us, which is the idiot genius?”
“Oh, all right then. You’ve convinced me. Who am I to argue with the idiot genius?”

Chapter Text

“So, John, erm, how are things?”
“Fine, thanks. Oh! Fine. Ha, thanks for asking. Good. Everything’s really good, yeah.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, Molly. Thanks for asking.”
“Did you?”
“Ha, ah, yep. Yes, we did. Came down in the lift this time, so er. Ha, you know. Better than last time.”
“Sorry, I shouldn’t have. I don’t mean to pry. I’ll just shut up, then.”
“No, really! It’s fine. It’s all fine. We’re really, really good. Thanks.”
“I’m really glad things are going well for you, John.”
“Ha, me too. Thanks Molly. Really. You’ve done so much for us. I really don’t know what we’d do without you.”

...

“Been a long time since we’ve had a Nice Thing, hasn’t it, love?”
“Yes, it has. The next one will be the last, though, won’t it?”
“Well. We’ll see.”
“You would go on?”
“Would you like that?”
“You know I would.”
“I think I can find you a few more.”
“What will you want for them?”
“Want for them?”
“You’ll want to make an exchange.”
“Are you offering me something?”
“Suggest something.”
“All right if I think about it for a bit?”
“Of course. Let’s take our time.”

...

"Are you being me?"
"Sorry, what?"
"Are you being me, John? Should I be you?"
"Erm, sorry love, I don't know what you're talking about."
"I thought we were having that game again. You know."
"Oh. Ha, no, hadn't thought to. What gave you that impression?"
"Your expression."
"Of course. My expression is always betraying me."
"Not this time."
"Ha, I suppose not. Erm, Sherlock?"
"Mmm?"
"What would, erm. Hmm. What would being me be?"
"Sorry?"
"You know what I mean."
"Are you asking me to do an impression of you?"
"Yeah, I suppose I am."
"I don't dare."
"You’ve just offered!"
"I know, but I regretted it immediately."
"Why don't you want to?"
“I don’t think I could do you justice, John.”
“Really?”
“Really. You pull such remarkable faces, John. And you do have a way with words.”
“Well, there’s a genius idiot for you.”
“Mmm, indeed.”

...

"Could you stop pretending to shoot me, please?"
"I thought you liked me pretending to shoot you. You mentioned it in your book. Anyway you're annoying me."
"I'm just sitting, Sherlock!"
"Sitting and crunching."
"Well, when they invent silent cornflakes, I'll stop crunching."
"You'll only find some other hideous noise to make."
"What happened to sweet Sherlock?"
"Dead. Stone dead. Surly Sherlock killed him in tandem with you and your bloody cornflakes."
"So this is the murder-suicide, then?"
"Ha, so it would seem. Bang, John! You're dead. The ghost of sweet Sherlock's killed you."
"A glorious end. I could hardly ask for one better."
"You deserve it."
"Thanks, love. Means a lot. You know what this means, of course?"
"Have I killed sweet John?"
"Yeah, but you’ve still got surly John."
"That's all right, then. I'm just as fond of him as I am of sweet John."
"Yes, I think he'll get on well with surly Sherlock."
"I expect he will."

Chapter Text

Sherlock has been teasing me. I think that's what it is. Or maybe he means to give me a treat. I can take it either way and enjoy it all the same. He’s been playing bits of his new piece when I can just barely overhear them and stopping before I can have a proper listen. I nearly caught him the other day when I was coming home from work. Saw him standing in the window from the street, and I could hear little snatches of his music. I rushed into the flat, but when I got in, he was playing Partita No One and looking sickeningly pleased with himself. I asked him if he’d done it on purpose, and he only said, “Shhh, John, I’m trying to play. Can’t talk now.”

I think he’s been playing it in the mornings as well. Playing me awake. I’m sure I’ve been waking with bits of it in my head. By the time I’m properly awake enough to listen, it’s something else or he’s stopped completely. He looks innocent enough when I come out to look. Though Sherlock looking innocent is suspicious in itself. He only tries to hide his plotting, when he reckons I’ll be particularly interested in it.

I’ll hear it all in time, I know. He’ll play it for me when it’s ready, and it’ll be more than marvelous. I don’t mind being patient with him. Generally I’m not a particularly patient person, but I manage it for Sherlock. Though he’s always dashing about in a tearing hurry, he gets quite stubborn if he thinks some one else is trying to rush him. He likes to set the pace. So I try to be patient with his rushing and patient with his dawdling and generally when we get to where we’re going (so to speak), I find we’ve arrived at just the right moment.

...

“Are you having a game with me, love?”
“A game, John?”
“You’ve been playing little snatches of your piece for me, haven’t you? You’re only pretending not to.”
“I’m composing, John. How could I compose without playing?”
“It’s had quite the effect on me.”
“Has it?”
“Yeah, it has. Yep.”
“Oh John, do elaborate.”
“I think you know what I mean. Don’t you, love? You’re rather clever.”
“I flatter myself that I am. Still, tell me what you mean. I like to hear it from your mouth.”
“I’ve been having my violin dreams.”
“Have you?”
“Yeah, had two this week. Really, erm, intense ones.”
“Oh?”
“Yeah. You look like you’d like to hear a bit about them.”
“Very much, John.”
“I’ll tell you about one.”
“Only one?”
“It’s the best one yet.”
“What made it the best one, John?”
“Well, I couldn’t hear in the dream-”
“That’s not very flattering.”
“Shut up, love, I’m telling it.”
“Sorry.”
“Right. Anyway, I couldn’t hear in the dream or see really, but I could feel.”
“That does sound intense. What did you feel?”
“Erm, well you tuned me first and plucked my strings a bit. Then you played the scale, I think. Then you started, erm, composing. I think you were composing. You kept pausing. It was. Er. Frustrating.”
“My.”
“Right.”
“I’m sorry to hear I’ve been frustrating you in your dreams, John.”
“Are you? Because you look delighted.”
“Well, both. I hope you’ll let me make it up to you.”
“I suppose I could get used to the idea.”
“Mmm generous of you.”
“Anything for you, love.”

Chapter Text

“Ow! What’s that for?”
“Affection.”
“Biting is not an appropriate expression of affection, Sherlock.”
“No? Since when?”
“Not when you break the skin.”
“I haven’t!”
“Yes you have! See?”
“Oh. Sorry. Hardly broken the skin, though. I didn’t draw any blood.”
“Doesn’t mean you aren’t being too rough, you savage. Do you know how filthy your mouth is?”
“Ha yes, I do in fact.”
“Having a really filthy, microbe-filled mouth is nothing to look so smug about.”
“You’re misinterpreting my expression, John.”
“No, that’s your smug face. Well. You’ve got loads of them, but this is definitely one of them.”
“I do feel smug, but not about my microbes. May I try again?”
“Try again?”
“The biting. You look very, ah, toothsome.”
“I’m not a pasty or a macaroon or something, you know.”
“Still...”
“Ow! I thought you were going to be gentler this time.”
“What gave you that impression?”
“I suppose it was wishful thinking.”
“The best of us sometimes fall prey to wishful thinking, John.”
“Right. Don’t I know it. Well a compromise then, Montresor. Bite a bit more gently, and you can bite all you like, all right?”
“Oh all right, Fortunato. I suppose I’m generally willing to indulge you and your little moments of fussiness.”
“It’s not fussy not to want you to take bites out of me.”
“It’s unreasonable.”
“No, it isn’t.”
“Yes, it is, John. Look at you.”
“I look biteable?”
“In the extreme.”
“I suppose you mean that as a compliment.”
“Isn’t it?”
“Ha yeah, I suppose it is. May I bite you, then?”
“If you think it’s warranted, help yourself.”
“Thanks love. Don’t mind if I do.”

...

Come back to bed
-SH

 

Are you texting me from bed?

 

Obviously.
-SH

 

But I’m in the kitchen.

 

I know. I can hear you.
-SH

 

So come and ask me.

 

No, the floor is cold. Come back.
-SH

 

Get up and ask nicely, you lazy thing.

 

Please, John.
-SH

 

You smell lovely this morning. The sheets smell very much of you. Your side is still warm, John. Doesn’t that sound inviting?
-SH

 

I want to find out if you taste as nice as you smell. I suspect you do, but it doesn’t do to theorise without proper data.
-SH

 

Come and collect your data in the kitchen.

 

John, the floor is cold.
-SH

 

Guess you’re stuck then.

 

Compromise, John? I’ll come into the kitchen, if you carry me in.
-SH

 

How is that a compromise?

 

Honestly I just want to see if you can carry me. I think about that. Is that odd?
-SH

 

I can carry you.

 

Prove it.
-SH

 

God, I wish that taunting didn’t work on me.

 

You can’t help being obliging, John. It’s your nature.
-SH

 

Are you really going to carry me?
-SH

 

Yep. Get ready.

 

Feel a bit flustered, actually. Wasn’t expecting you to agree.
-SH

 

You should feel flustered. I expect you’ll never be the same after this.

 

That’s your way, isn’t it? Witch.
-SH

...

“Told you I could do it.”
“Mmm, I knew you could. Didn’t need convincing.”
“Was it what you’d hoped?”
“It was. Couldn’t you tell?”
“Ha, yes I could. Genius idiot, you know.”
“Mmm, indeed.”
“I’ve just spotted something new for my list, love.”
“Have you, John?”
“Yeah, you’ve got blonde eyelashes. Did you know?”
“Have I?”
“Yeah, that’ll be number 415. Are you laughing at me?”
“Not really. Only. Some one likes 415 things about me. I just felt suddenly incredulous.”
“Right, now I’m going to read every one of these to you. Right this minute.”
“That’ll be going on my list. When you say lovely things as if they’re threats.”
“What number does that make, love?”
“Number 527.”
“I’ll need to hear them.”
“Easily managed. You first.”
“Ha, all right. Number One is Sherlock is always paying attention.”
“That’s a good start, John. I like that one.”
“Ha, I’m glad, love. Are you going to tell me how much you like each of them after I say them?”
“I may.”
“I’ve got 414 left, you know.”
“Yes, my arithmetic is as good as yours, I believe.”
“And you’ve got 527.”
“Yes, John, I recall. I can see you’re about to say this will take all day, but why shouldn’t it?”
“No reason, I suppose. If you won’t be bored lying about all day, listening to me talk.”
“Don’t be stupid, John. Carry on.”

Chapter Text

“John, did you do this?”
“Probably. What am I meant to have done, love?”
“Did you put this little book in my dressing gown pocket?”
“Oh ha yes, I did. Do you like it?”
“I do, yes. Very much. Where did you find a little book of staff paper?”
“Book shop.”
“Book shop, of course. How quaint.”
“Nothing like a book, Sherlock.”
“No, John, nothing in the world like a book. I’ve got over nine hundred on my tablet. And several more on my phone, as well.”
“Have you got a tiny pad of staff paper on your tablet, Mister Clever?”
“No.”
“Well, then.”
“I’ve got sheet music, though.”
“But not your own sheet music.”
“Could do. Once I’ve finished composing it. And there are composition apps.”
“But you like to use pencil and paper. Until you’ve finished writing it, you can compose on the tiny book of staff paper that your very obliging husband got for you at a very nice book shop.”
“Thank you, John. Very thoughtful.”
“It’s not too small?”
“No, it will do very well for when I’ve an idea that I don’t have time to try. I can carry it round in my pocket.”
“Plus I know you like the smell of the binding.”
“How do you know that?”
“Who doesn’t? Anyway, I’ve seen you sniff them. Your new little pads when you rip the plastic off.”
“Hmph, I didn’t know you’d spotted that.”
“Well, I have. It’s gorgeous every time, lovely. You get this little grin. I love it. By the by, how’s the composing getting on?”
“Bit stuck, actually.”
“Shall I do something inspiring, then? Do you want me to shoot some one? Or wear green?”
“Ha actually, John, I was thinking it might help to hear a Nice Thing. If you’ve thought of something you want to swap for it.”
“We don’t need to swap, love. I’ll just read it to you.”
“I want to swap, John. Let me give you something.”
“All right. Hmm. Well love, let’s say we’ll swap the Nice Things for the piece you’re writing.”
“That’s already for you, John; that’s not a swap. I was already giving it to you.”
“Well we’ll say you write it a bit faster this time. Play it through for me sooner than three years from now.”
“I think I can manage that.”
“Shake on it, then. Right. Are you ready to hear it?”
“Now?”
“Yeah, we’ve a timetable, haven’t we? Got to inspire you, so you can finish quicker than three years from now.”
“So we have. Yes.”
“I think I know what’ll just do, too.”

Sherlock woke me with his playing again. Brought me out of a nightmare, actually. Not sure if he knew. Hope I didn’t yell. My room was so dark; I could still see it, so I went downstairs. He was still at the window, playing. Turned and nodded at me when I came in, but took no notice of me after that. Still. It was nice. Fell asleep in my chair. Woke with a blanket on me. Neck’s stiff as a board; it’s killing me. Worth it, though. That blanket.

...

“That was lovely, John.”
“I’m glad you liked it, love.”
“It was just perfect.”
“Do you think it’ll help?”
“I do think so, yes.”
“Good.”
“Thank you, John.”
“My pleasure, love.”
“I know. That’s the best part.”

Chapter Text

"Well, that was fun, wasn't it, John?"
"No, it was completely embarrassing. You don't have to look so delighted every time I make a total arse of myself."
"You didn't make an arse of yourself, John. It was very entertaining."
"Yeah, you look really entertained."
"The way you kept edging between us. Ha, eventually you were standing directly in front of me, and he just carried on flirting and looked right over your head."
"Ergh, yes. I remember."
"He was persistent, wasn't he? Bit dim, though. Really dim, actually."
"Incredibly dim."
"Bit disappointed you kept your temper. I was rather hoping you'd get a bit sharp with him."
"I'm really glad I didn't."
"I'd never seen you jealous before, John. It's fascinating."
"I wasn't jealous; I was annoyed that some idiot was trying to chat up my husband right in front of me. And you have seen me jealous. I nearly burst into flames every time you got anywhere near Irene Adler. Remember?"
"It’s still hard to believe you were jealous of Irene."
"Well, I was!"
"Girlfriends are not my area."
"Ha yes, love. I understand now."
"I thought it was obvious."
"Everything is obvious to you; you give me too much credit."
"I suppose you worked it out eventually."
"Very eventually."
"Yes, it took you ages, didn't it? I dropped all sorts of hints."
"You and your hints. Couldn't you just say? Make it easy?"
"Oh John, when do I ever make anything easy?"
"Not your area."
"Ha, no. It isn't, is it?"

...

"Back again, witch?"
"Always."
"You look particularly wicked this evening."
"Thank you."
"I hope you're prepared for the pressing of your many, many wicked lives."
"Remains to be seen, I suppose."
"You are looking very dauntless. I suspect you are prepared."
"Dauntless and wicked, eh? You've got your work cut out for you."
"So I have. Fortunately, I am marvelous. So I hear."
"Yeah, that's about right, love. Marvelous."
"Flattery won't save you, witch."
"I never flatter you, love. And I don't want to be saved."
"That's lucky because nothing will save you now."
"I should hope not."

...

“John, in here! Quickly!”
“What?!”
“Hush!”
“Sherlock-”
“Hush!”
“What is it?”
“John, shut up!”
“Would you tell me why we’re hiding, please?”
“One of Mycroft’s lackeys. Just there.”
“Is he having us followed?”
“It’s notJohn.”
“Not what?”
“NotJohn. My idiot assistant from when I was dead. Oh shut up laughing.”
“Why should we hide from him?”
“You really think I want to speak to him?”
“You really think he wants to speak to you?”
“Hmph. Fair point.”
“Can I have a look at him, then?”
“Fine, help yourself. Just try to stay hidden. If he spots you, he’ll recognise you.”
“Oh, he is very like me. Bit more attractive, I suppose.”
“Don’t be ridiculous.”
“Ha, thanks love. Looking at him’s a bit spooky, actually. He’s got a jumper on. And I think I’ve got those shoes. Mycroft really did try to replace me, didn’t he? I’ll have to remember to be extra rude next time I see him.”
“I hope I get to see that.”
“Me too.”

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, can I ask you a question?”
“Of course, John. Did you have another one in mind, or were you just checking for permission in general?”
“Haaa. You should be a professional jokester, you should. Anyway, I’ve been wondering lots lately what it was like for you before.”
“Before I died?”
“Yeah, well. Before you knew.”
“Before I knew we were in love with each other?”
“Yeah. That bit.”
“Well. It was a bit muddled.”
“Muddled?”
“I was so slow and stupid, John. It’s rather embarrassing.”
“I was just curious. You were so, erm. Opaque.”
“Was I?”
“Yes!”
“Hmm. I suppose I was quite confused myself. Well. I didn’t realise at the time that I was confused.”
“No?”
“Haven’t we thoroughly covered what a buffoon I was then? I wanted you around all the time, I wanted to entertain you and I wanted you to entertain me, and even through my haze of idiocy, I knew I was wildly attracted to you. I just sort of tried to ignore it. It seemed like an unnecessary complication. I don’t know why I thought that pretending I didn’t fancy you was less complicated than admitting that I did. Haze of idiocy, I suppose.”
“Ha, right. So what lifted the haze, then?”
“Being away, actually. And coming back. I was so miserable without you, John. It surprised me. And I didn’t only want to talk to you. I wanted to see you and touch you and smell you. I thought that being apart would dampen all that, but it only got stronger. And then I came back, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide it long.”
“And I worked it out.”
“So you did. Clever you. You were braver than I was, too.”
“What? Kissing you? Hardly brave, love. Would have been brave not to, actually. You were begging me to kiss you. It was all over your face.”
“Mmm, yes it must have been. I was desperate for it.”
“I thought you were going to on your first morning back. Kiss me, I mean. You looked like you were about to the entire time.”
“I should have done. The blonde hair made me bashful.”
“Ha, you weren’t bashful; you flirted like mad. And I quite liked your hair blonde; you know that. Anyway, despite the sad lack of kissing, it’s still my best ever morning.”
“Is it?”
“Of course.”
“Mine too.”
“Ha well yes, love. Obviously.”

“So, my John.”
“So, my lovely.”
“Have you got a second best morning?”
“Yes, actually. I’ve been thinking since we talked the other day.”
“Have you?”
“Yeah, I have.”
“And what did you decide?”
“The morning we got married, I think.”
“You would say that.”
“Now, don’t scoff. Not the ceremony, though that was lovely. You don’t know about this, actually, and it’ll be such fun to tell you.”
“You’re going to drag it out, aren’t you? Cruel.”
“I love it when you say things like that because I can do the nice thing--which is exactly what I want to do--and still be spiteful because it’s the opposite of what you predicted I’d do.”
“Get on with it, John.”
“All right, Mister Pushy. Just settle down. Anyway, morning of, you weren’t in bed when I woke up-”
“Yes, I was!”
“Sherlock, remember I’m telling you a bit you don’t know?”
“Right. Sorry.”
“Just shut up when I’m trying to be romantic.”
“Sorry John.”
“That’s more like it. So. You weren’t in bed when I woke up, which was a bit disappointing, but I lay there for a bit, waiting for you to come back, and I thought I heard you talking to yourself out somewhere in the flat. So I got out of bed, quiet-like and went to find you and you were in the sitting room, looking in the mirror over the mantel and saying, ‘I will’ to yourself over and over.”
“I didn’t know you knew about that.”
“Yeah, I know. Shut up, love; I’m still telling it.”
“Sorry.”
“Yeah, shhh. Anyway, I’d sort of been thinking the whole time between when you asked me and when we actually got married that, sorry Sherlock, but I’d been thinking that you’d change your mind or you’d get bored or there’d be a case or something. Something would derail us, and we wouldn’t go through with it. Sorry. Don’t look like that; I’m not done. Anyway, you looked so grave. I hadn’t realised you were taking it so seriously. But I saw your face in the mirror and I heard you, ha, sorry, I’m getting a bit. Right. Anyway I heard you practising your vows and I thought, ‘well that does it, doesn’t it? Whatever we manage to do or procrastinate today, Sherlock’s my husband.’ Oh, you’re a bit, too, aren’t you? Well give us a kiss, then. That should help.”
“Yes, John. It always does.”

Chapter Text

John is having a bit of a bad day. Not the sort of bad day that needs sorting with a British Army Browning L9A1, either. Something less fun. A series of small annoyances. He’s got a cold, which he’s trying to ignore, and every now and again, he interrupts himself with a sneezing fit. He’s rather snarly for a few minutes after each sneezing fit. I suspect all this sneezing is giving him a headache. I’m trying not to smile too much. Difficult not to find John agreeable no matter how disagreeable he’s being. Infuriating of me (at least it is when he does it to me), so I’m trying to keep it to myself. He’s rattling around the kitchen at the moment; he’s just finished the dinner dishes and now he’s putting the kettle on. I want to go and watch him, but he won’t like me giggling over his temper. Instead I lie on the sofa, and smile to myself over the sounds of John making tea. Wonder idly if now would be a good time to tease him with a few notes of my new composition. There’s a little crash from the kitchen before I can decide. He’s dropped a mug by the sound or it.

“Fuck!”

“All right, John?” I get up from the sofa and go into the kitchen to look.

“Nothing Sherlock,” he calls as I enter the kitchen. “Oh. You’re right here. Get the broom will you, if you’ve come to stick your nose in.”

“All right,” I say turning quickly to grab the broom and hide my smile.

John holds out his hand for it, then watches, arms folded, as I sweep up myself. “I’ll go to bed, then,” he says when I’ve finished and disposed of the shards. “Take the kettle off the hob, will you?” I obey, then follow him into the bedroom. “Shadowing me, are you? I really am going to bed. Sorry to disappoint, if you’ve got any clever ideas about me entertaining you.”

Smile and say, “Clever ideas? That doesn’t sound like me.” John doesn’t smile, only rolls his eyes and gets undressed for bed. He leaves his things in a heap on the floor (unusual, but he does that sometimes when he’s ill), so I pick them up and begin to fold them.

“Stop tidying up after me,” he huffs.

Smile at the novelty of the sentence, then throw his things into the air like confetti (dodge a shoe as it descends), “My apologies, John.” John hides a smile with a scowl and gets into bed. He situates himself in the middle, but I squeeze in on my side anyway.

John sighs, “Can’t you just let me be in a mood?” he says. “Stop trying to cheer me. Let me indulge in irritability.”

“It can be rather satisfying,” I agree. I kiss his ear (he’s rather withholding his mouth by keeping his head at an odd angle on his pillow; that always stings a bit), and it must tickle because he shivers a bit. He sighs and shakes his head slightly, so I lie back on my pillows, trying not to be offended. Difficult not to push myself on John, especially when he’s so near (smelling lovely, too), but he seems quite genuinely annoyed with me. Not sure how to put it right, as (for once) I don’t deserve it. Interesting being the blameless party in this scenario. Thought I’d feel smugger. Only feel a bit fretful and hurt and very conscious of not showing either of these things.

John lies silent and rather rigid in the middle of the bed, and I start to wonder if he wants me to go. After several moments (a little over two minutes, which is a very short time and a very long time, depending on the context) of this discomfiting silence, John leans over, lifts my tee shirt and pushes his head under it. I chuckle in surprise.

"I can see why you like this," he says, muffled a bit by my shirt. "I think I feel a bit better."

"Good.” I begin to stroke what I can reach of his back. Still trying to pace myself; don't want to overwhelm him. Though he happily submits to it from me, John does not often initiate this particular sort of physical affection. Still trying to work out what it means. If anything. John might say that not everything means something in particular. Which is true, I suppose. Still it's difficult not to assign meeting to the things that John does, especially when they're to do with me.

John sighs (comfortably, not with annoyance, I think) and I try to lie still (he's breathing across my ribs and his hair is sort of in my armpit; it's all very ticklish). After a few moments, he pulls his head out and tucks it up almost right under my chin (lovely). "I think I'm ready to be cheered now," he says (lovely!).

"All right," put one hand in his hair (no, he doesn't like that; move it to the spot between his shoulder blades). "Would you like to hear something from the tin? I think it's under the bed."

He shakes his head (tickles, his hair is so soft), "No, love, not at the moment. I don't want to move, ha. Just pet me and tell me I'm lovely."

Smile and kiss the top of his head and say, "I think I can manage that easily enough." John smiles and opens his mouth to reply, then hastily pushes himself into a sitting position and sneezes vigorously six times. Then he glances down at me and glares. Playful glare this time, so I let myself laugh. John laughs, too. “Sorry love, what were you saying?”

“Mmm, can’t remember. The violence of that little emission quite derailed my train of thought.”

John snorts, “Right. Taste of your own medicine, then. You’re always derailing me with your violent emissions. I’ll make a suggestion, shall I?”

“Please do.”

John settles back down on the bed (moves slightly to allow me a bit more room) and tucks himself against my side (mm lovely) before replying, “You could tell me about your second best morning.”

“Mmm, that’s an excellent suggestion, John.” Pause to think and lay my cheek against his head.

We’re both quiet for a long moment (nearly three minutes) before John tilts his head back to look up at me (suspect he’d fallen asleep, actually) and says, “Well?”

“Been thinking,” I say. “There are lots of candidates.”

John chuckles. “Go on, then.”

“Well tonight I think I’ll say that-”

“Tonight? Does it change?”

“It changes a bit. Do you want me to continue?”

“Yes!”

“Hush, then.Tonight my best morning is the morning after the first time you kissed me.”

“Interesting. Tell me about that.”

“I’m trying to; you won’t shut up.” Pause to allow his giggles to run out before I continue. “It was lovely. I had been feeling still rather unsettled. Even after I came home, I still felt sort of unmoored. I had been craving for six months just to look at you again, and as soon as I did immediately began to feel that I didn’t have nearly all I that wanted. I thought perhaps I’d been so slow and wooden and stupid that I’d squandered you. It was. Lonely.” Sigh a little, then cringe at my own theatricality. John is silent, waiting for me to continue. Pause again to consider before I do. “Anyway, you were much, much cleverer than I was and you sorted it-” John interrupts to kiss me, which I am happy to allow. “And yes, ha. That’s what you did. Clever you.” Pause again to remember John holding me for the first time. How long ago it seems and still freshly astounding. John makes a little throaty impatient sound, and I chuckle. “Allow me a moment for fond recollection, John.”

“Recollect fondly on your own time,” John says, nudging me. “You’re meant to be cheering me right now.”

“True. Anyway, mm you kissed me and we passed the rest of the evening very, ah, agreeably and fell asleep on the floor in the sitting room. And when I woke up in the morning, you were lying against me, and you’d already woken up, but you waited until I was awake to get off the floor. And I thought, ‘Sticking to me, that’s good, then. I might get nearly as much of him as I want now.’”

“Ha, and did you?”

“Nearly.”

“Well you’ll be closer to your ideal levels now, won’t you love?”

“Yes and no. In some ways I’m much nearer, but in some, I’m just as far as ever.”

John opens his mouth, then thinks better of it, nods once and says, “I think I understand.”

Chapter Text

"I'm getting a bit sick of that, John."
"Yeah, so'm I."
"Well curtail it, then."
"I'm not doing it to entertain myself, love."
"I didn't say you were."
"I can't stop it just because you don't like it. I don't like it either."
"Work a bit harder to keep them in."
"Keep them in? Sherlock, I am not holding in my sneezes because they annoy you. That's ridiculous."
"You keep startling me."
"That's ridiculous, too. You know I've got a cold; you should be expecting them."
"At least do it more quietly. You sound like a freight engine."
"No, I don't. I sound like a man with a cold."
"Your perspective is skewed."
"There's another of your ironically ironic remarks, love."
"Bite your tongue, John."
"I thought you liked looking after me. Now's your moment."
"I like looking after you when you've got a nice, quiet, sedate ailment. This one's made you noisy and drippy."
"I don't like it any more than you do. Shut up and get me a cup of tea."
"Noisy, drippy, and rude."
"Well you're always rude and noisy. What's your excuse?"
"The people with whom I choose to spend my time find it rather charming."
"The people you choose to spend your time with? Just me, then."
"And Molly."
"Right. Where did we land on the tea?"
"Fine, fine, I'll get it. Noisy, drippy, rude, lazy, and bossy."
"So I'm turning into you, then."
"Plus the drippiness."
"Oh, I don't know. You're not always entirely undrippy."

You and John want to have a drink with me?
~Molly~

 

What do you think?
-SH

 

That you’ll moan and be rude and John’ll make you come along anyway, and we’ll all have fun.
~Molly~

 

John’s ill; he won’t want to. He doesn’t drink when he’s ill.
-SH

 

Come round for a cup of tea instead.
-SH

 

Oh thanks. This afternoon?
~Molly~

 

That’s fine.
-SH

 

See you soon, then.
~Molly~

 

Indeed.
-SH

...

I’d been dozing on the sofa all afternoon, but I didn’t think I’d properly gone to sleep for any length of time, so I was quite surprised to be roused by a hushed conversation in the kitchen. I sat up.

Can’t imagine how he knew, but I heard Sherlock say at once, “Ah, he’s awake now. Shall we go and say hello?”

“Sherlock?” I called back, “Who’ve you got with you? I’m in my pyjamas.”

“Only me, John,” answered Molly as she and Sherlock entered the sitting room. Sherlock was in his pyjamas as well. At least he had his dressing gown on. Molly sat down the opposite end of the sofa, and Sherlock fetched a chair from the kitchen, so he could sit nearer than the armchairs.

“Well, this is cosy, isn’t it? Have you planned a slumber party without telling me, love?” Sherlock was very amused when I launched into a sneezing fit before he could answer.

Molly watched me sneeze, looking more and more embarrassed, then turned to Sherlock and said, "He really is ill."

"Yes, obviously. I told you before that he was ill."

“Then why’d you ask me to come round?”

“It was a compromise. Your suggestion was much worse.”

“All right, you two!” I said. “No need for all that.” I stood. “Excuse me for a moment, Molly. Let me just get my things on.”

Sherlock rolled his eyes, “Come on, John. It’s only Molly.”

“That’s a bit rude, love. Anyway you can put your things on or I can, but we can’t both be swanning around the flat in our pyjamas when we have company. It’s-”

“Indecent?”

“Right in one, love.”

Sherlock grinned and rolled his eyes again, went to the door, got down his coat from the hook, and tossed it at me. “There. Cover yourself.”

I pulled it on and sat down. “I suppose it’ll do. Do I look ridiculous in this thing, Molly?”

Molly smiled, “Very dashing.”

Sherlock laughed a bit too heartily. “Tea, John?”

“Love some, thanks.” Sherlock went to the kitchen and returned. The mug was hardly even warmish when he handed it to me. “Sherlock, when did you make this?” I asked, setting the mug on the floor next to the sofa.

Sherlock looked at Molly, “How long have you been here?”

“About an hour,” she said.

Sherlock shrugged, “Three quarters of an hour ago. Approximately.”

“Ergh, Sherlock! Why did you offer that to me?”

Sherlock shrugged again. “Well I made it for you. I didn’t like to leave it sitting for ages.”

“You did leave it sitting for ages!”

“Right, if you two are just going to argue about tea, I’m going,” said Molly.

Sherlock gave her a theatrical glare, then grinned again, “What were we discussing before John woke up, Molly? Ah, I think we were talking about Neal, weren’t we?”

“You were talking about Neal? She won’t talk to me about Neal.”

Molly frowned, “We weren’t talking, he was badgering me.”

Sherlock slapped a hand to his heart, “Badger? Me badger? Mortally wounded, Molly. Mortally.” Molly laughed rather grudgingly.

“So why can’t we meet Neal?” I asked. “Just out of curiosity. Are we that horrifying?”

“No, you’re not horrifying. Well, a bit but so’m I.”

Sherlock laughed. “What then? Is he horrifying?” Molly blushed, and Sherlock looked delighted. “He’s horrifying? Oh please introduce us, Molly! I want to know what your brand of horrifying is.”

“You already do,” Molly muttered. “Neal is, erm. Well, he’s a fan.”

“A fan?” I said. “A fan of what?”

“A fan of mine?” Sherlock asked, narrowing his eyes. “Doesn’t work in IT, I hope.”

Molly and I glared at him in unison, and Molly said, “No, not in IT. He’s in publishing.”

“Oh publishing? Anything we’d-”

“What do you mean by fan?” Sherlock interrupted. “He reads the blog? Not that there’s been much to interest on there lately.”

“Ah, you are so generous with your little compliments, love.”

Sherlock ignored me. “Is he one of the loony fans who draws pictures of us and things? Or one of the really loony ones who-”

“No, he’s a normal person!” Molly said. “He’s just really interested in you. In your work, I mean. In you a bit as well, I suppose. I mean he just thinks you’re interesting. That’s why he’s, er, interested.”

Sherlock smirked, “Right. He’s interested because I’m interesting.”

Molly rolled her eyes, “See that’s why you’ve not met him yet. That stupid eyebrow face you’re doing right now.”

Sherlock ran a finger over each eyebrow in turn. “They seem to be in order. Wouldn’t suit Neal?”

“I think she’s referring to your condescending prat expression, love,”

Molly nodded, “John’s got it. He might be a bit starstruck, and I know you hate that. I just don’t want you to meet him, if you’re only going to be all snippy or all snide or all smirky.”

“Oh go on, Molly. Introduce us. I won’t be anything beginning with an S. Except Sherlock, I suppose. I’ll be that.”

Chapter Text

"Stop that. John, stop it."
"No."
"No??"
"You manage your biscuits, and I'll manage mine."
"Pervert. I can hardly believe I'm married to a dunker."
"Believe it."
"You're getting crumbs in."
"I like the crumbs."
"Maniac."
"Ha, you and your compliments."
"I'm glad you know them when you hear them."
"'Course I do."

...

"John, could you go to Tesco for me?"
"Now?"
"If it's convenient."
"What do you need?"
"Erm, privacy, mainly. And we're nearly out of coffee."
"Privacy?!"
"You've been hanging round the flat for days. I need a bit of time to think."
"I've been ill!"
"Yes, I know. Still."
"I can't believe you want to get rid of me."
"I need to work on my composition. I've had an idea for three days, and it's driving me mad that I haven't tried it yet."
"Oh. Well I'll be back at work tomorrow."
"Right. Tomorrow. I suppose another fourteen hours of pins and needles won't kill me."
"Fine, fine, I'll go. What did you say we needed?"
"Coffee. Shall I write it down?"
"I can remember one thing."
"Well. We'll see."
"Remember the bit about how I'm doing you a favour?"
"At the moment, you're only arguing with me."
"God, you're charming."
"Sarcasm is the lowest form of humour, John."
“You don’t think you charm me?”
“Of course I do.”
“Well then.”

...

What did you say we needed?

 

I knew you'd forget.
-SH

 

Haven't forgotten, actually. Coffee. Only wanted to annoy you.

 

Trying to compose, John. Don't pester.
-SH

 

Pester? Me? That's rich.

 

Switching my phone off, you nuisance.
-SH

 

Liar.

 

Picking up some food as well. Want anything?

 

I think I fancy something hot. Sound good?

 

John, as flattering as all this clamour for my attention is, it rather defeats the purpose of your excursion.
-SH

 

Now shut up.
-SH

 

I quite liked that Thai place we went to the other day. Do they do takeaway?
-SH

 

Don't answer that.
-SH

 

I'm just enjoying the fact that you find even my texts irresistible. They do takeaway.

 

Witchcraft. Please shut up now.
-SH

“So love.”
“So John.”
“How did you get on with your composition?”
“I’ll have my hello kiss first, please. You do abuse the hello kiss window.”
“Ha, sorry.”
“Mmm, that’s better.”
“So how-”
“Is that my food?”
“Yeah, have it. How-”
“Could you get me a glass of water or a cup of tea or something? The food from this place makes my mouth tingle.”
“Are you deflecting me?”
“I’m thirsty.”
“You don’t want to talk about your composing?”
“John, I’m thirsty!”
“Fine, be mysterious. There’s gratitude for you.”
“I want to get you wondering, John. I’m hoping to bring about one of your dreams.”
“So it went well, then. You’re pleased with yourself.”
“Mmm, I’ll leave you to your deductions, John.”

Chapter Text

“How did you turn that back on me, you witch?”
“Sherlock, I’m sleeping.”
“Sleeping and spellcasting.”
“Shut up.”
“Mmm, it was a lovely one, though. Would you like to hear about it?”
“A lovely what?”
“A lovely dream, John. Obviously.”
“Did you have one of your violin dreams again?”
“One of your violin dreams, John. I know you plant them in me, you witch.”
“I haven’t planted anything in you.”
“We both know that’s not nearly true.”
“Ha fine, if you’re not going to shut up anyway, tell me about your dream. Did you play me?”
“Oh yes.”
“How was that?”
“Mmm, it was excellent. Wish I could remember what I played, exactly.”
“Was it a bit of your composition?”
“I suspect it will be.”
“You’ve just said you’ve forgotten it.”
“Oh, I think it will come back to me.”
“You’ve got a plan for bringing it back, I suppose.”
“Mmm, I’ve usually got a plan, John. Getting drowsy. Fiddle with my hair and tell me I’m brilliant.”
“I’ve got a question though.”
“Well, you’ve come to the right man. At least fiddle with my hair while you-ah, perfect. Go on.”
“When you have the dreams, how do you know it’s me? I mean how do you know you aren’t only dreaming of playing?”
“Ha. Please.”
“Really, though. How do you know?”
“You think you can hide from me, John? Don’t be ridiculous. I’ll always know you. Always.”
“You mad thing.”
“I do love it when you say that to me, John.”
“I know, love.”
“That’s why you say it.”
“Ha well. That’s one reason.”

...

"Sound the trumpets; strike the lyres and the lutes! My muse has arrived! Hello, John."
"Hullo love. I'm your muse, am I?"
"Of course you are."
"I wear lots of hats on your account, don't I love?"
"Figuratively, thank god."
"Ha, right. Figurative hats."
"Let's see. You're my blogger, my doctor-"
"Well-"
"Shut up, John. You're my doctor. Blogger, doctor, muse, witch, personal bodyguard-"
"Housekeeper."
"It's your house too, John."
"Tea boy."
"Well, that's an exaggeration."
"PR agent."
"Hardly. You make me sound ridiculous every chance you get."
"Freckle accountant, cook, masseur, and husband."
"Mmm the last one's my favourite."
"Mine, too. Muse is a close second, though. Well, Orpheus, shall I put the kettle on?"
"Orpheus? Hmph."
"You don't like Orpheus?"
"If he'd kept his wits about him, he'd have had Eurydice back."
"Ah, well, We can't all be Sherlock Holmes. Not everyone has your talent for resurrection, love."
"Indeed. Good thing, too. World's overcrowded enough as it is."
"As your PR agent, I'm going to advise you to keep that particular sentiment to yourself, love."

John,

I haven’t been able to sleep tonight. Well. Didn’t like to try for long for fear my fidgeting would wake you. I woke you last night, so I don’t like to wake you again. Though as it’s just started to rain, I think I’ll try again. The sound of the rain is nearly as soporific as the sound of your sleeping, John. You make a little racket in your sleep, John. Did you know? You breathe very, very deeply. It’s inspiring. You’re miraculously relaxed. Between you and the rain, I’ll be well-lulled.

Must refresh myself tonight, John. I intend for us to take a very long walk tomorrow. You can walk for ages before you get tired, so I’ll need my stamina. I hope it’s still raining in the morning. You smell lovely after you’ve walked a long time in the rain. I wish I could show you. It soaks into your coat a bit, but not nearly enough. Your jumper is sometimes saturated to a satisfactory degree.

Thinking of this is making me very impatient for the morning, so I’ll leave it here before I set myself prowling again. I’ll wrap round you and claim my lulling. Perhaps it’ll be one of those mornings where I wake with the smell of your sweat on my lips. I hope so.

S

Chapter Text

I thought we were having dinner? I'm at the flat. Are you hiding?

 

Sorry. Just saw the time. Been stuck in traffic for ages.
-SH

 

Feeling quite omnicidal again.
-SH

 

Trying to use very mild language, as I suspect even you would be alarmed by the level of rage I am feeling at the moment.
-SH

 

Really? Are you alarming yourself?

 

Nearly.
-SH

 

And I'm famished.
-SH

 

You'll feel better once you've eaten.

 

Yes, I know that!
-SH

 

Uh oh. Exclamations marks. That must be very potent rage.

 

It would curl your hair.
-SH

 

I think I'd like that, actually. I like curly hair.

 

I know you do, but I think you might look a little odd with it.
-SH

 

I suppose I can enjoy it enough when it's growing out of your head.

 

Yes, so we can.
-SH

 

Well I'll enjoy your hair, and you can enjoy me enjoying your hair.

 

Something to look forward to.
-SH

 

You are very talented, John.
-SH

 

Feeling better, then?

 

Yes, a bit. Back below 30% omnicidal.
-SH

 

Wow, that is quite an achievement on my part.

 

Yes, so it is. I'm glad you appreciate its magnitude.
-SH

 

Another of my talents, I suppose.

 

Indeed.
-SH

...

"Oh hullo love. I thought you'd just text me when you were near the flat. Aren't we having dinner?"
"I'm still in need of a mood adjustment, and I was promised I could enjoy you enjoying my hair."
"I thought you were famished."
"This takes precedence."
"Well, sit down then, so I can reach you properly, you giant."
"Giant? Your perspective is skewed."
"So I've heard. How's that?"
"Bit harder, please. Ah, perfect."
"You won't fall asleep, will you?"
"It's only half past seven, John. We haven't even had our dinner yet"
"Well, you get sleepy when I do this to you."
"No, I get relaxed. There's a difference."
"Feeling relaxed now?"
"Mmmmm yes, thank you."
"You sound sleepy."
"Recalibrate your ears, John. What you hear is the sound of a profoundly contented detective."
"Ah right. Silly of me."
"Indeed. Oh wait, hang on. I'm wrong."
"Sorry what? You're what?"
"Hush, John. I'm not profoundly contented; I'm only very contented."
"Are you inviting me to ratchet up your contentment?"
“If you would.”
“All right, love. I think I can manage that. What do you suggest?”
“Let’s do without my suggestions. You’re much cleverer at managing me than I am. I am at your command, John. Ratchet me however you like.”

Chapter Text

I can't stop my knee bouncing. Well. I could, but I can't. John's next to me on the sofa, and he wants to put his hand on my knee to quiet it, I can tell. He doesn't because he knows it wouldn't steady me. I'll have to wait this out. Feel a bit nauseated as well. John would say it's because I haven't eaten. Unintuitive but likely true. Haven't even the attention span for a cup of tea at the moment. There are two cold ones sitting on the coffee table. When I asked for the second, I'd forgotten that I'd already abandoned the first. John didn't mention it. He made me another, though he knew I was not likely to finish it. Not sure I even tasted it, actually. He still hasn't mentioned it. Shouldn't have had coffee this morning, though I know the caffeine can't still be affecting me; that was hours ago.

Haven't felt so restless in ages. We've not had a good case on in a while. Turned one down last week, but rather wish I'd accepted it now. Was dull, though. So dull (adultery). Wouldn't have helped, I suppose. Get up from the sofa, stretch and go over to the smashables to poke around a bit. There's a vase on top with a broken lip. I swept that over with my dressing gown while I was pacing this morning (not sure how on earth a vase made its way into our flat; a gift perhaps, only sensible explanation for it) but I let John blame Skip. Too indolent at the time to open my mouth.

Pick the vase out of the rest of the rubbish and hold it up, "I broke this. Rule one," I add to explain the announcement.

"It's fine," John says. Knew he would; don't bother to reply.

Put on the safety glasses, take my hammer (perfect hammer; John got it for me, bless him) and a paper sack out of the chest, and go over to the kitchen table to smash the vase. John winces on the first strike (I'm minding my fingers of course, but I can see him in my peripheral vision) which is admittedly a little harder than it need be. Smash the whole thing nearly to a powder a little too quickly. It helps a bit. Only a bit and only for a moment. Sigh (comes out more like a groan) and throw myself at the sofa again. I jostle John rather severely, but he raises his right arm to shoulder height and smiles at me. An invitation. I slump against him, and he puts his arm round me. I drop my head onto his chest (he smells lovely but a bit too citrus; he must be anxious), and he pats my shoulder. Feels nice. Wish it soothed me. Sigh again, softer this time. My mobile goes. I haven't got it on me, but I can hear it buzzing nearby against a hard surface.

"It's on the mantel," says John.

Untangle myself from him without replying and get my phone from the mantel, hoping it's Lestrade or a client. Mycroft. He’s been pestering me quite a bit lately. Something to do with my trip to Bart’s roof with John, no doubt. I will never discuss that with him, nor anybody. Haven’t taken any of his calls. Drop the phone toward the mantel, but it bounces off and falls into the fireplace.

Ignore it and go back to the sofa. Try to curl sideways onto John's lap. Half successful. Good enough, since I'll only be on my feet in a moment again anyway. John puts one hand in my hair, but I'm too tense to allow it. Overstimulating. I shake him off. He sighs. "Want to have a walk, love? Nearly the time for it anyway." I shake my head, turn over onto my face and cover my head with my arms. John puts his hand on my back. Shake him off again.

He goes a bit tense, so I half turn and try to smile at him. "Sorry. Not right now." Kiss his knee as a sort of apology. He sighs again, so forlornly that I roll onto my back, prop my head on his lap and look up at him. He wants to touch me again; I can tell. He doesn’t (bless him).

Scrubs one hand through his own hair instead, looks away for a moment then back down at my face, “You’re really miserable, aren’t you?” he asks quietly.

Of course I am. Obviously. Can’t exactly tell him that, nor exactly lie. I shrug. “I’m not very comfortable.”

“What can I do?” he asks. “I want to help.”

“Nothing for it,” I say (not too gruffly, I hope). “It’ll pass on its own. Or we’ll find something good to do.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to have our walk?” John offers rather fretfully, “or we could play a game or-”

“Stop it, John,” I interrupt. “I know what my options are. I don’t need you listing.” His face goes carefully blank. Would be agonising, if I weren’t in such a state. “Sorry,” I mutter.

“It’s fine.” His voice is blank, too.

“It was much worse when I had to do this alone,” I tell him. He reaches down and runs one finger along the back of my hand. A rather timid invitation. Can’t resist such a plaintive appeal. I catch his hand and squeeze it. “Thank you, John.”

“I wish I could do something for you.”

“I know you do, John. That helps.” It does, too.

Chapter Text

"Oh John, this is a good one!"
"Yes, I know."
"Perfect timing, too."
"Ha yes, so it is."
"Are you excited, John?"
"Very."
"You don't seem it."
"Ah, well you're excited enough for both of us. I'm trying to keep you calm. Not that I don't enjoy seeing you dance about like that."
"I'm not dancing, John."
"You are, love. Just a bit."
"Let the record show that I quibble with your terminology."
"The record always shows that."
"Good. I hope you're prepared to be impressed, John. I shall work very hard to show off for you."
"Oh, this is about me, is it? Generous of you."
"John, hadn't we established that everything I say or do is in compliment to you?"
"Wait now, don't go pinning all your nonsense on me."
"You're very fond of my nonsense."
"True but I don't deserve the blame or the credit."
"Sorry, John. It's been decided that my life's work is to pay you tribute."
"Has it? Where was I?"
"Your input was not thought necessary at the time."
"Right. Silly of me. Kiss for luck, then? As this is all in my honour."
"I don't need luck, but I'll have the kiss."
"Sorry. Can't have one without the other."
"Fine, I'll take the luck as well."
"Don't do me any favours."
"No, I want it."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, please. I'll have the luck."
"Oh all right then. As you ask so nicely."

...

“John, that was brilliant!”
“Thank you, and you’re welcome.”
“The whole of it, not just the coat cupboard bit.”
“Ha yes, I know what you meant.”
“I mean the coat cupboard bit was-”
“Mmm, yes. So it was.”
“But the other bit.”
“Ha right. My pleasure.”
“Your whole face changes when you draw your gun, John. Did you know? And your voice goes quite low and soft. You’re just terrifying. It’s fantastic.”
“I terrify you, do I?”
“Not exactly, but you would, if I didn’t have you right at my shoulder.”
“Ha thanks, love; that’s flattering. Will this help along your composing?”
“Yes, I think it will.”
“Good. Get on with it, then.”

...

"Oh my god! Sherlock! What are you doing?"
"Sorry Molly. Forgot where I was for a moment."
"What was that?"
"My phone."
"Why've you just hurled your phone across the room?"
"Hardly across the room. Only a couple of metres. My interfering prig of an older brother won't stop phoning me."
"And you don't want to talk to him?"
"Never."
"Mightn't it be important, if he keeps ringing?"
"Oh he saw John and me doing something recently, and he thinks he's got the right to know all about it."
"Doing something? Something illegal?"
"No. Something personal, Miss Nose."
"Oh. Erm my, that is interfering."
"Ergh, not like that. You do let your imagination run away with you."
"Well you know there's a button on the side of your phone that lets you silence it so it'll ring out without annoying you."
"Yes, thank you Molly. Your assistance has been invaluable, as always."
"Better than smashing your phone to bits every time your brother calls you."
"Oh I throw my phone all the time; it doesn't do it any harm. Not much anyway."
"Better than startling me by throwing your phone every time your brother calls you."
"Ah, the self-interest emerges."
"You scared me! I split my slide."
"Oh. Sorry."
"Just. Hush."
"Ha right. Sorry."
"This is a workplace."
"Yes, Molly, my apologies."
“Mind you don’t let it happen again.”
“Perish the thought.”

...

“Ha, it makes me feel a bit nostalgic when you look at me that way, love.”
“I’ll try to take that as a compliment.”
“Are you against nostalgia?”
“Sentiment.”
“That really makes me feel nostalgic.”
“Oh shut up, John.”
“Never.”
“What exactly about my look is provoking this nostalgia, John?”
“Don’t you know?”
“Don’t be coy; it’s infuriating.”
“Mmm, but you like me infuriating you.”
“Spit it out, John. Get on with it, I mean.”
“Ha, nice amendment, love. Anyway. You look at me smugly. But not like you’re smug about your own cleverness. Like you’re smug about me.”
“Of course I am smug about you, John.”
“Ha yeah, of course. Quite right, too. Still it was nice, you know. Then. To catch little glimpses of it. You know?”
“I think I do.”

Chapter Text

"What are you sniggering at, love?"
"I just enjoy seeing you carry a cup of coffee as if it's a vial of acid."
"It's hot, Sherlock. I don't want to burn myself."
"Erm, unless you've made some rather dubious modifications to the coffeemaker, you're not going to burn yourself with that cup of coffee."
"Want to test that theory?"
"Are you threatening me?"
"Mm generally."
"Actually. You've just given me an idea, John."
"Er, love, if you've got an idea that's to do with pouring hot coffee on either of us, you'd better give it up now because it is not happening."
"No, I just wondered how seriously a person could be injured in the flat. What of our possessions could be used as weapons, and how much damage they could inflict."
"You mean you haven't had that worked out for ages already?"
"Well, not formally. Not methodically. Quite an oversight, now I think of it."
"You are not going to test on yourself. Right?"
"Of course not, John. Don't be stupid. That's not at all methodical."
"Right. Well, I suppose you'll be attending to that right away."
"As soon as I've finished my coffee."

...

"Fuck."
"Yes."
"Mrs Hudson will have our skulls for sewing baskets."
"Two sewing baskets?"
"Well yours'll be a sewing basket, and mine'll be a knitting basket."
"She doesn't knit; she crochets. Anyway a human skull is too small. Perhaps a bison-"
"Sherlock. Not the point."
"Right."
"I suppose we should ring the builder."
"I'll do it. He likes me."
"Ha, yes he does."
"I’ve chopped something unsuitable."
"So you have. To say the least. Well this was a proper accident."
"I knew you'd understand."
"You're not going to mischop again, are you?"
"No, John."
"All right then. I can't stay cross with you, my lovely. Look at you embarrassed."
"I feel stupid."
"Ha, it was a bit stupid to lodge a hatchet in a window sash."
"I was trying to-"
"Yes, I know. Don't tell me again; you'll only upset me. Right, well give us a kiss then. Last one before Mrs Hudson kills us I suppose."
"Nice knowing you, John."
"Ha, yes. Nice knowing you as well, Sherlock."

...

“You look odd.”
“Thank you, John.”
“I mean what’s that look?”
“What look?”
“The look you’re wearing now. Why are you looking like that?”
“Because you’re asking me silly questions.”
“Well if you’ll stop deflecting, the silly questions will be over and you can go back to pulling odd faces. Just tell me, please, what the odd face means.”
“It’s stupid.”
“Oh, I like stupid very much. Go on.”
“I’ve got a new trick for getting to sleep and sometimes it comes on me suddenly when I’m not trying to sleep.”
“And what’s that, love?”
“I don’t like to say.”
“Go on then, Sherlock.”
“Well, you remember how I said I’d like to dream I belonged to you?”
“That you want to be my pen or an eyelash or something, you maniac, you? Yeah, I remember that.”
“Well, to help me fall asleep, I imagine I’m your jumper.”
“My what?”
“I imagine I’m your jumper.”
“Right. And what does that entail?”
“Well, I start out folded in the drawer-”
“I hang my jumpers in the wardrobe.”
“I know, but you shouldn’t. It warps the shoulders. I start out folded in a drawer and it’s dark and there are other jumpers about-”
“Ooo-er.”
“John, you’re making me tell you this. If you want to hear it, just shut up and let me tell it to you.”
“Fine, fine, go on. You’re in the dark drawer with your jumper mates.”
“And you open the drawer and take me out and pull me on--that bit’s lovely-- and I’m all softly wrapped round you and your smell is just soaking into me.”
“You mad, lovely thing. Why’s all that got you looking so odd?”
“What did you just do, John?”
“I put my-oh. Jealous?”
“Shut up.”
“If I could wear you, I would do.”
“I know.”
“This is one of our most disturbing conversations, I think.”
“Worse than you dreaming of being my violin?”
“Well, that’s not, like, a fantasy. It just comes; I don’t ask it to come. It’s just there sometimes.”
“This is not a fantasy, John. It’s just a calming visualisation to help me get to sleep. Like my mind palace helps me store information. You just triggered it outside of-”
“The drawer?”
“Infuriating man.”
“Would you feel better if I gave you a nice lint-brushing?”
“Oh, do shut up, John.”
“Never.”

Chapter Text

“My lovely creep.”
“Sorry?”
“You're stalking me again, aren’t you love?”
“No, I'm not. I'm at the flat, John.”
“Liar. Where did you get that silly coat?”
“I don't know what you mean, John. I'm at home.”
“Rule one, love. Give it up; you've been spotted.”
“Oh all right then. What's silly about the coat?”
“Ha nothing really, I suppose. Makes you look like you work at a bank.”
“It's a disguise, John.
“Right. Where did you get that thing?”
“Charity shop.”
“I don't think I've seen you wear it before.”
“I've just bought it five minutes ago.”
“What you mean while you were following me?”
“Yes.”
“That is impressive.”
“Well, I must keep challenging myself. You're actually quite difficult to follow for long, John. You generally recognise me; you know me so well. That's why I mostly practise on you.”
“Who else do you practise on?”
“Molly sometimes, though I feel a bit odd about that. I keep accidentally seeing her on dates.”
“The infamous Neal.”
“Indeed. Lestrade as well. He's sadly easy to follow, so not him very often. Mainly when I actually need to spy on him because he's trying to withhold a case from me.”
“The nerve.”
“Indeed. Sometimes I follow Mycroft, but he always spots me at once. Anyway I'm avoiding him at the moment.”
“Really?”
“Really. He's being really officious about the whole roof situation.”
“He's probably worried about you.”
“Unlikely and unnecessary.”
“It's all right with me if you tell him about it, love.”
“Not with me.”
“Right. Well it's up to you.”
“I know.”
“Anyway. Want to have lunch with me today?”
“Yes, John. Sounds lovely.”
“Well, see you in a few hours then.”
“If I can wait that long. I may hang round the surgery and peer in the windows of your office.”
“No, you won’t. Veto.”
“Knew you'd say that.”
“Just trying to entertain me with nonsense, then. Love that about you.”
“Yes, I know.”
“See you in a bit, love.”
“Yes, John. In a bit.”

...

“Hullo love. You’re a sight for sore eyes.”
“Hello John. Difficult morning? Some one’s been sick on you, I see.”
“How did you know that?”
“You've changed your shoes; that’s suggestive. And there’s a little splash of it on the side of your trouser leg. Outside of your left ankle”
“Ah, right. Well-spotted, though I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. Yes, difficult morning. Definitely ready for a break. All set for lunch?”
“Yes, shall we?”
“Definitely. Oh, just out of curiosity, what have you done to the receptionist?”
“Nothing.”
“Nothing?”
“Well. I congratulated her on her pregnancy.”
“Sherlock!”
“I didn’t know it was a secret! It’s so obvious.”
"Obvious?"
"The swelling in her face and breasts, the way she stands and walks. Obviously pregnant. Doctor. Doesn’t she realise? She's about five months along, I'd say. She must realise."
"You can't just go round telling people they're pregnant, Sherlock."
"I didn't know it was news. Well, better late than never, I suppose."
"You really don't see what's wrong with this?"
"Bit awkward, I suppose."
"Are you going to apologise?"
"Apologise?! That's your answer to everything. Why should I apologise?"
"Gave her a bit of a shock, didn't you?"
"I didn't mean to."
"Well, tell her that."
"What would be the point?"
"Erm, to be pleasant."
"I've not been unpleasant!"
"How would you feel if some one you hardly knew offhandedly pointed out that you were pregnant? At your office."
"I'd feel like getting away from the lunatic because I've not got the appropriate anatomy for pregnancy."
"You know what I mean. Empathy and all that."
"I'm very empathetic, John. I generally know what people are feeling from their expression and their body language."
"Sympathy, then."
"Right. Bit trickier."
"Ha yes, love but it'll be good for you to practise, won't it?"
"If you say so, John."
"Well, I do."
"Fine, fine. I'll apologise. Don't know what you'd have me say, though. 'Sorry you're pregnant'?"
"No, of course not! Don't mention pregnancy. Just apologise for putting your foot in and say you didn't mean to embarrass her. And go on a bit about what an arse you are."
"You seem to have got a speech all worked out; perhaps you should do it."
"That'd be completely stupid because I'm not the one who’s been an arse. Shall I write it down for you?”
“Don’t patronise, John.”
“Seemed like you wanted the help is all.”
“No, I mean I can remember it.”
“Ha, right. Of course you can.”

Chapter Text

“I do love catching you in my jumpers.”
“I was chilly, and it was at hand. You’ve a habit of leaving your things laying about.”
“Me?”
“Yes.”
“Me, John Watson?”
“You, John Watson, yes.”
“I leave my things laying about? Me? John Watson?”
“What are you on about, John?”
“I’m sure one of us must be confused.”
“You’re the one asking all the questions.”
“Right, I suppose it’s silly to question some one so obviously delirious.”
“I was just telling myself the same thing.”
“Ha. Anyway. You look sweet in my jumper, love.”
“Bite your tongue, John.”

...

John’s new piece has been my constant companion these last few weeks. Nearly moreso even than my John himself. It thrums in my brain as I fall asleep, and I wake humming it to myself before I’ve even lifted my head to kiss John good morning. I’ve been tapping bits of it on every surface at hand (sometimes not realising it until John taps back)(!)(lovely!) I carry my little book of staff paper round with me everywhere now (John's smile when he sees me pull it out)(mmm). I feel quite restive, but deliciously so. It's the elation of inspiration, of taking the constant whizzing and whirring of my mind and forcing it into beautiful order. And for my John. In tribute to my John. Marvelous (as John would say).

Chapter Text

“Sherlock, I need to see you at once. Please come to the house. And bring John. I’ll send a car.”
“Mycroft, I’m perfectly well able to arrange transport to the places I actually want to visit.”
“Sherlock. Please.”
“That’s a decent enough start, but I think you can be politer still, if you give it a go.”
“Sherlock, stop. Please. Not right now. Mummy’s died, Sherlock. Yesterday. I need you to come to the house right away. Will you come? Sherlock?”
“Yes. I’m coming.”

...

“John?”
“What is it, love? I’m working.”
“John, I need you to come home, please. At once. This isn’t a game or a trick or a case. Please come.”
“Now?”
“Yes, immediately.”
“Everything all right?”
“Not exactly.”
“Are you hurt? Are you in danger?”
“No, nothing like that.”
“All right, well. We’ll sort it, love. I’m on my way.”
“Right. See you in a bit.”

...

“Hullo love. Oh. All right? You look peaky. Are you ill?”
“Fine. Well. I’m not ill. My mother’s just died.”
“Your mother? Oh god. I’m so sorry, love.”
“Yes. We’ve got to go and see Mycroft at the house. Stay with him, actually. For a bit. Few days. The, ah, the service is tomorrow, and then our solicitor is coming round the next day to discuss the estate. So, we’ve. We’ve got to stay for all that. Erm, I texted Molly to ask her to look in on the cats already.”
“Sherlock, take a deep breath, love.”
“Right.”
“Shall I put the kettle on? Have we got time?”
“Ha no, John. It’s fine. I’m fine. Just a bit agitated. I’ve not had the chance to pack yet. Could you?”
“Of course. Will you just sit down for me? Sit down for a moment, all right? Stop pacing.”
“The pacing is helping, John. I’m just. Trying to think.”
“Right. Well. If it helps.”
“He’s sent a car. Mycroft. He’s sent his car. It’ll be here any moment. So. I’ll just wait in front of the flat, all right? I need some air. Come down when you’ve packed, all right? I’ll meet you downstairs.”
“Right, love. I’ll be down in just a moment.”

...

“You thought she was dead already, I suppose. My mother.”
“Well. Yes, actually.”
“I meant you to. Sorry.”
“You meant me to?”
“I didn’t like to tell the actual situation. I will now, I suppose.”
“If you want to, love. You don’t have to.”
“I do have to. I’d rather you heard it from me than from. Mycroft.”
“Right.”
“Ah. Erm. I’m not sure where to start.”
“In your own time, love.”
“Right. Am I squeezing too hard? Your fingers are turning colours.”
“It’s fine, love. It’s nothing. Squeeze away.”
“All right. Hem. Erm. My mother never liked me. I see you want to contradict me, John. Don’t. It’s incontrovertible. My mother never did like me. I was a disruption right from my first moments alive. She loved me, I suppose, in that mammalian compulsion way. But. It’s not quite the same, is it? Right. Anyway. She has dementia. Had. As it all progressed and she lost more of the world, she disliked me more and more. Couldn’t help it, I suppose. Something fundamentally disagreeable about me. To her anyway. Eventually she wasn’t sure who I was but she was very sure she wanted me nowhere near her. She’d cry at the sight of me. I, erm. I’ve been obliging her for four years now. I. I’m sorry I never told you.”
“Oh Sherlock.”
“Please don’t look at me like I’m a tragedy, John.”
“I don’t think you’re a tragedy. I only wish I’d always known you, my lovely.”
“So do I. Only I don’t know that you’d have taken to me, if we’d met before we did.”
“You’re not going to convince me you’ve not been a wonder your whole life, love.”

Chapter Text

When we arrive at at Mycroft's, we're let in by the bloodless housekeeper and escorted to his study at once. It used to be our father's study. Mine and Mycroft's. Smells the same. Wood polish, leather, old paper, tobacco smoke, and a hint of whiskey. Romantically intellectual masculinity. Mycroft does love his set-pieces.

Mycroft is sat in a high-backed leather chair by the fire. There's a tea service laid out for three on a trolley situated in the center of the ring of chairs, but he's holding a tumbler of amber liquor (whiskey, likely) and staring into it as if crystal gazing.

He doesn't look up as we enter, even when the housekeeper murmurs, "Mister Holmes and Doctor Watson, sir."

"Yes, thank you," Mycroft answers absently. The housekeeper backs out of the doorway and melts into the corridor. I edge into the room, John shuffling along at my elbow. Can't shake the sense that I'm about to be reprimanded. "Won't you sit?" Mycroft suggests, waving at the chairs that have been brought to the hearth for us (no divots in the carpet at the feet, as there are under his)(shut up; stop deducing).

I don't want to sit, but I do so that John will. Mycroft crowds his glass onto the tea tray and pours out for us. It makes me think of our little adventure at the palace, and I glance at John. He's holding back a little smirk. Thinking my thoughts. I want to squeeze his hand. Don't want Mycroft to see, and feel rather ashamed that I care anything about that. Slide my foot sideways along the carpet until my shoe bumps John's. He bumps me back at once, and I feel foolishly grateful. Tap a bit of his piece on the arm of my chair, and he tilts his head toward me and smiles.

Mycroft is watching us. I scowl at him, then feel immediately ridiculous. He half-smiles at me. He loves it when I'm childish. It comforts him, I suppose. Let the world be ever in disarray, his younger brother is sure to seize all opportunities to be pointlessly intractable. That is Mycroft's order.

John clears his throat and takes a sip of his tea. I do the same, grateful for the good example. Mycroft's half-smile broadens. I don't know why I should find that so infuriating. Wish I had my violin. Should have brought it with me. Tap on the arm of my chair again. John taps back. Mycroft looks rather as if he may laugh (Mycroft doesn’t really laugh, but he does occasionally make a sound that indicates amused disdain). Glance at John. He looks calm. My John. My steadiness. I smile. John clears his throat again. He's ready to press on. He loses patience with our little tiffs rather quickly. That's good, though. Keeps me focused. Mycroft is so talented at distracting me.

"What happened?" John asks quietly. I hadn't even thought to wonder.

Mycroft shakes his head, "She was eighty years old, Doctor Watson. She died."

"Seventy-nine," I say before I can stop myself.

"Yes. Thank you, Sherlock," Mycroft says then mutters, "Precision at all costs or we are lost to barbarism."

John shifts in his chair. He wants to ask more about Mummy, I can tell. Doesn't want to be pushy.

"Nothing in particular precipitated?" I ask.

"Pneumonia," Mycroft says quietly, reaching for his whiskey again. "I would have told you that she was failing, if I'd been afforded the opportunity." John shifts again. I can nearly hear the angry retorts he's biting back. He crosses his legs and takes another sip of his tea. I put my hand on the arm of his chair, and he puts his on top of mine at once (his cup clinks against the saucer rather sharply; he set it down very abruptly). Out of the tail of my eye, I see him give a tight little nod. Not even sure he knows he's done it. I must be imagining that Mycroft looks rather wistful. John's told me that not everyone admires us as much as I think they do.

"I suppose you expect me to feel ashamed of avoiding you," I say.

Mycroft sips his drink before he replies, "I never expect you to feel ashamed of anything."

"That's not necessary," John says before I can answer.

"You're out of your depth, John," Mycroft tells him. "This is nothing to do with you."

"If it's to do with him, it's to do with me!"John answers angrily. John Watson, ever my champion. I nod silently. I can't speak.

Mycroft sighs, "Touching." He really does look wistful. I'm not imagining it. I am not eager to attribute tenderness to my brother. Mycroft drains his drink and sets his glass down on the tea tray. "I imagine that's all the fraternising any of us will be able to bear until dinner. I've some phone calls to attend to. Please make yourselves at home. Sherlock, perhaps you'd like to show John around your former home. He may find it interesting. It'll give him a bit of, ah, insight." Mycroft rises without waiting for an answer and exits through a side door. As soon as it's slid shut behind him, John pulls me to him by my sleeve and kisses me (bit roughly, I bite my tongue). When he lets go of me, he's breathing a bit heavily, and he shakes his head.

"I know," I say. "Well then. Fancy a tour? Want to add a bit more to your Sherlock Holmes encyclopaedia?"

           John smiles rather grimly, "Always."

Chapter Text

The house is just as silent and over-sized as I remembered. John took my hand as we got up from our chairs, and he’s been holding it since. Buoying. The corridors are rather dark, and I’m pleased to discover that I don’t remember my way around very well. Exorcising it. The first room we look into is the guest room where our things have been put for us. The best guest room. I've never stayed here before. John had it on my first day back in England, and I had the second best. Despite being a novelty to me, the room is not particularly interesting. I do appreciate that we are sharing it this time. The last time we were here, we shared the second best. Eventually. John came to find me. Thrilling.
I’m fairly sure Mycroft is lurking nearby and I’d rather not bump into him, so I lead John upstairs without bothering with the lounge or the dining room or kitchen. I make automatically for my (former) bedroom. John knows where we are at once, with no explanation, as soon as we enter.

“This is you, yeah?” he says with a little grin.

I smile, “Got my handprint, has it?”

John grins a little more broadly, “Just a bit.”

It really does. Still smells of rosin and white spirits and formaldehyde (overlaid with the scent of dust and slowly decaying paper). There’s a really excessive number of preserved insects collected on most surfaces. One of my youthful hobbies. Going to take a few of these back to the flat, actually. Some are quite good. Won’t be taking any of the spiders, though. John is carefully avoiding looking at those, though he seems rather taken with a little case of ladybirds. Must not forget those. There’s a music stand untidily covered in dusty sheet music next to the window. I’ve always liked to play while looking out of the window. That window looks onto the garden. I’d watch the bees as I practised. There are quite a few of those preserved as well. Definitely want to take a couple of those.

John walks eagerly into the room and begins to look around. I hover near the doorway to watch him. He starts at the bookshelf by the door, pulling a couple of books and several logbooks (I have been an avid experimenter since first I learned about the scientific method) from the shelves and tucking them under his arm. When his arms get full, he tosses the books onto the bed (stripped, no doubt, and covered by a dust cloth). He finds a framed photograph on the bookshelf. My entire family. The only photo of all the Holmes' collected that I can remember ever having. The Christmas day before my seventh birthday, all of us rather dour under our smiles, though Mycroft and I are wearing the hats we'd won in our crackers.

John studies the photo for quite a long moment, then looks up at me wearing a sad little smile, "You look much happier now," he says.

"Yes," I say, returning his smile. "Much happier." John comes to me and hugs me very tightly. I squeeze back.

"I want to hug him," he says, "The little you from the photo."

I chuckle, "He would not much have enjoyed that." 

John laughs a sniffy sort of laugh. "Sensible of him," he answers, his voice rather thick. "Doesn't do to go round letting yourself be hugged by weepy strangers. Poor little fellow." I squeeze him tighter and lower my head to get a whiff of his scalp. Very evergreen. Soothing. He strokes my back, and we stand clutching each other for a few more moments before turning back to the bedroom.

Somehow I feel a bit reluctant about coming properly into the room, but John walks back in, gathers up the books from the bed, whips off the dropcloth (sneezes at the ensuing cloud), toes off his shoes, flops down on the bed and smiles at me. Something about the sight of John Watson in amongst my old things, looking sunny and smiling and utterly alien is reassuring. I’ll be able to walk out of this sad little cell with its attendant misery still twenty years past. I take off my jacket, toss it over the desk chair, and throw myself down next to John. “Hullo love,” he says and kisses me.

Chapter Text

We had a bit of a sour start to dinner. Sherlock had seemed to be a bit more comfortable by dinner time, but when we entered the dining room, Mycroft said by way of greeting,

"My, how companionable. Do the pair of you go about arm in arm always or only on special occasions?"

Such a charmer, that one. I glanced at Sherlock, and he frowned a bit, which was a good sign. When he's really upset, he goes sort of blank. We took our seats and sort of picked at the food. It looked very nice, but I didn't have much appetite, and Sherlock didn't seem to either. I've never actually seen Mycroft eat anything. Not so much as a biscuit with his tea. I patted Sherlock's knee under the table a few times, and he'd bump his foot against mine in reply.

After a few minutes of silence, Sherlock looked up as if he'd just realised where he was and said, "Mycroft, when did I go dark?"

Mycroft seemed to have been in his own reverie, "Pardon?"

"My hair. I used to have ginger hair. When did it go dark?"

Mycroft put his glass down and tapped his index finger to his mouth, "I suppose I'd say you started to go dark when you were about four. It was around when I left for school."

Sherlock nodded solemnly, "Thank you."

"Why do you ask?"

Sherlock shrugged. "Been meaning to. Seemed like an opportune moment." I squeezed his knee, and he smiled without looking at me.

"I see," said Mycroft, looking between the two of us.

"I asked," I offered.

"Ah." Mycroft can pack disdain into a syllable even more economically than Sherlock can.

I did allow myself an eyeroll before I continued to try to be pleasant, “So, erm, Mycroft. Been a while. How’ve you been?” I said. Mycroft frowned without answering.

“Small talk,” muttered Sherlock.

“Yes, Sherlock. Thank you,” said Mycroft. “Very well, thank you for asking, Doctor Watson. And yourself?”

“John is fine. Nobody calls me ‘Doctor Watson.’ Anyway, you’re my brother-in-law. Seems a bit. Rigid.”

“Indeed. How have you been, John?”

“Just fine, thanks. Both of us.” I patted Sherlock under the table again and he nudged my knee with his.

Mycroft made that little wince that he thinks is a smile, “Good, good. That’s good. Bit nostalgic, I understand?”

“Do shut up and mind your own business,” Sherlock said at once.

“Erm, have I missed something?” I said, “What are we talking about?”

“Nothing!” said Sherlock. “Some things don’t bear discussion,” he added quietly.

“Must you always be so secretive? Certainly you can understand my concern.”

“You’re just going to have to live with your concern, Mycroft. I am not going to discuss that with you. Ever. And I wouldn’t be secretive, if you would stop your meddling and spying.”

I cottoned on then. “Am I the only one with déjà vu?” I asked. “Let’s not, all right? Is there any pudding?”

Mycroft and Sherlock glared at each other for a long moment. I didn’t think I would get an answer, but Mycroft said, “I’ll check,” got up from his chair, and left the room.

“Come on, John,” Sherlock said, getting up too.

“He’s not coming back, is he?” I asked, following Sherlock out of the dining room.

“Sorry John,” he said over his shoulder, “no pudding.” I snorted.

We went back up to his bedroom to collect some books, then right back down to the guest room, where we passed the evening companionably enough. I lay on the bed reading, and Sherlock sat beside me, scribbling alternately in his notepad and his book of staff paper, sometimes tapping things out on his knee or mine. Very nice, actually. I would have quite enjoyed it, if it hadn’t followed a (bloodless, Holmesian) row. After a few hours, he put his pads down on the night table and began to get undressed for bed. I followed suit.

“I didn’t know I had pyjamas,” he remarked as we got into bed.

I kissed him, “Of course you did. You spend half your life in pyjamas.”

Sherlock smiled indulgently at the jab. “I mean I didn’t know I had this little suit of pyjamas. Did you get these for me? Thoughtful of you.”

“Well, if I didn’t see that your bum was properly covered, who would? Not you, you exhibitionist.”

Sherlock giggled and shut his eyes, “Thank you for looking after my bum, John,” he said, tucking his head under my arm and leaning against my chest. “Good night.”

“Good night, love.” I kissed him again, and he sighed. I wasn’t sure he’d really sleep, but he pressed tight against me, and it didn’t take long for his breathing to slow. I must have dropped off too, because I woke in the night with his left hand wrapped around my left wrist, his fingers pressing and sliding patterns on it. I didn’t let on that I was awake, and eventually his hand quieted, his grip slackened, and he slept again.

Chapter Text

Everything all right? Are you two on a case?
~Molly~

 

We're visiting Mycroft.

 

Really? Mycroft?
~Molly~

 

Yeah, their mum died. Funeral was today. We'll be back late tomorrow. Still got some things to deal with.

 

Oh how horrible! I'm so sorry. Is there anything I can do?
~Molly~

 

Thank you. We're fine. I've got to go back to work on Saturday, though. Could you look in on Sherlock? He could do with the company.

 

Of course. Sounds lovely.
~Molly~

 

How are the cats?

 

Skip's an angel, Smoke thinks I'm the devil. As usual.
~Molly~

 

Thanks for looking after them for us.

 

You’re welcome! Have a nice visit. I'll see you soon.
~Molly~

 

Ha, yes. We'll try. Thanks.

 

Sherlock says hello.

 

Hello Sherlock!
~Molly~

 

He disapproves of your exclamation mark.

 

Of course he does.
~Molly~

...

"Oh hullo dearie! Have you just got back?"
"Five minutes ago. John's upstairs. I just popped down to see if you'd like to have some tea with us."
"Sounds lovely, dear, if you don't mind me being a bit loopy. I've just had my evening soother."
"Ha, no we don't mind. Would you like to come upstairs, or would you rather we came down?"
"I'll come up and see you. Oh, it's been so quiet without you boys. I am glad to have you back."
"Do we make that much noise?"
"You have your moments, dearie, but I do like to hear your little thumps up there. It's a nice, cosy sound. Like company. Oh goodness! What's that for? Not that I mind at all."
"It's just nice to see you."
"Nice to see you too, dearie. What about one more for good measure? And a kiss. Yes, that's nice. Just sit for a moment, and let me see if I can scare up some biscuits."
"It's all right; you don't need to do that."
"Hush, now. You look peaky; you want feeding up."
"Thank you."
"No trouble, Sherlock. No trouble at all."

...

"Oh this is a nice photo."
"Is it?"
"Is this your family?"
"My parents, Mycroft, and me."
"Right. Your mum's pretty. She looks very like you."
"You think so?"
"Yeah, you've got the same eyes, same mouth. And she's got lovely, curly hair like you, as well."
"True."
"What was her name? Sorry. If you don't mind me asking."
"I don't mind. It was Anne. Anne Charlotte Holmes. Née Anne Charlotte Gibson."
"That's pretty. What was she like?"
"Fragile. Very, very fragile."
"Oh. I'm sorry."
"Sorry? What for?"
"All of it."
"Ah. Right. Oh! Molly! I've spilt my coffee!"
"Sorry."
"It's all right. Bit of warning next time. You quite startled me."
"Sorry."
"It's all right. Here, give it another go."
"You don't mind hugs?"
"No, why should I?"
"I rather thought they made you feel a bit, erm, put upon? Sorry."
"Well, not when I'm expecting them. Not from the people who are actually inclined to administer them."
"Oh. I'm inclined."
"Yes, so I see."
"I'll remember that."
"Do."

Chapter Text

Sherlock,
I noticed that you took some sheet music from your bedroom, and it reminded me that I meant to offer you the use of Mummy's membership at the Royal Opera House. Please excuse the oversight. I was rather preoccupied. Use it in good health. Logistical details enclosed. Pleasure to see you, as always. My bes