|Credit where it's due
Author: Richefic PM
John has made many adjustments since returning from Afghanistan but he still has his pride. Living with Sherlock is one thing, sponging off him would be quite another. How come John was happy to use Holmes card in the Blind Banker? Set between 1.1 and 1.2Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Family - Sherlock H. & John W. - Words: 2,248 - Reviews: 37 - Favs: 129 - Follows: 11 - Published: 08-17-10 - id: 6247007
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer - This is a story about money not written for money.
AN - Was anyone else a tad surprised that John was so quick to take Sherlock up on the offer of using his bank card in "A Study in Pink?" I know, it turned out to be a clever plot device but it seemed to me to need a little context. Set between 1.1 and 1.2 My first foray into this fandom.
It couldn't be said that their current investigation was quite as exciting as the taxi driver case. However, it had been demanding enough to keep them chasing around London all day following a trail of clues. As they returned to 221b Sherlock threw himself down into the grey leather armchair and began drumming his fingers on its arm as he became lost in thought After a cursory glance at the empty kitchen, (empty of food that was, John wasn't sure what it said that he wasn't remotely surprised to find a bowl of eyeballs in the fridge) for the want of anything better to do, he sat down and powered up his laptop.
"Come on," Sherlock suddenly surged to his feet. "I need to eat."
"That's okay," John didn't even look up. "You go ahead."
"Don't be ridiculous," Sherlock didn't pause, as he shrugged into his coat and wound a scarf around his neck. "I need to walk for a while. We'll go to that Chinese along the high street."
"Not hungry, thanks."
Already half way out the door, having assumed that Watson would simply follow Sherlock came to a dead halt and turned on his heel as he narrowed his eyes at his new flatmate. Even though, he knew John would have registered his actions, the other man continued to type, deliberately ignoring him.
"Five cups of coffee with semi-skimmed milk, two rounds of white toast, without butter I might add, and one medium apple. That would be about 370 calories in seven hours. Of course, you're hungry," He turned back towards the door, as he continued to speak. "People don't usually try to lie to me. Unless, they're criminals of course, I have to say it's almost refreshing. Generally, they are only too pleased to tell me exactly what they think."
"You've actually been watching what I'm eating?" Now Watson did look up. He hadn't expected that. "That's a bit mundane for you isn't it?"
Sherlock paused. Glad that his back was turned. He had simply been stating the facts as he had seen them. He hadn't realised that action would indicate something about his growing feelings of friendship towards his new flatmate. Not that Watson was his intellectual equal but he had courage and humour and a way of grounding Holmes that the world's only consulting detective found both highly irritating and oddly satisfying.
"Please, you haven't been out of my sight all day," Sherlock took refuge in scorn "Do you seriously expect me to miss something that is right under my nose?"
"You usually manage it well enough when it comes to things like food shopping or cleaning," Watson retorted, before making his tone heavy with emphasis. "Not to mention, taking a hint."
"You're hungry but you don't want to eat with me," Sherlock's tone took on the same cadence he used when he was considering a case. "Why would that be? You're not angry with me. You would have said something. You're not otherwise occupied or you would doing something more productive than writing that diary of yours."
"It's a blog, it's called a blog."
"Maybe you want me out of the flat so you can watch more of that dreadful television you and Mrs Hudson seem to enjoy. No, you would go down to her flat to do that because you still see this essentially as my home and you don't want to disturb me," Sherlock continued thinking out loud as if Watson hadn't spoken, beginning to pace up and down as he endeavoured to piece the puzzle together. "Ditto for planning to bring a date here, if you did meet a woman you would go to her place or take her out to dinner."
Sherlock suddenly stopped both pacing and talking.
As the silent stretched out between them John couldn't resist looking up. He was slightly surprised to see that Holmes had crossed the room and was standing right beside him a frown on his usually animated features.
"Don't say I've actually managed to stump the great Sherlock Holmes." John raised a brow.
"It's the money," Holmes deduced, although he still looked rather perplexed by this realisation. "You don't want to come out and eat with me because you can't afford to pay your share of the bill."
"Most people have a refrigerator so they can keep ingredients in it. From which they can make meals out of things they can buy at the supermarket, not dubious experiments with various body parts. Do you even have any idea how unhygienic that is?" Watson pointed out testily.
"Good, that's good," Holmes nodded. "Transference, making this all about me means that you don't have to talk about what's really bothering you. Because it's not just the money, no that would be much too simple. If you cared about the money you could borrow it, use one of those credit cards in your wallet that you never touch, ask your sister for a loan, or even approach one of those veterans associations. A soldier wounded in action, home from Afghanistan, fighting for Queen and Country how could they resist?"
"I thought you said you were hungry," Watson stood up and moved towards the fireplace, wanting to put some distance between them before he said something he'd regret. "Don't let me keep you. Wouldn't want to deprive all those synapses in that giant brain of yours of the nutrients they need to stay in optimum condition."
"Says the man whose trouser legs are two inches too long because you have recently lost inches from your waist, or whose finger nails have white spots on them indicating that your diet is deficient in zinc and whose lips are cracked suggesting you are not eating enough vitamin B2. Shall I go on? You're a doctor I would have thought you would have noticed these things for yourself."
Sherlock surprised himself by taking a step forward, his hand hovering in the air, as he took in the rigid set of Watson's shoulders as he stared fixedly at the wall. Although, he dropped his hand without making any actual contact, his words were no less sincere.
"You need to eat, John."
"I don't need your charity." Watson said tightly, still intently studying the wallpaper.
"Do I strike you as one of those bleeding heart types?" Sherlock asked his tone thick with disdain.
"Actually, no," Watson paused, as he considered that and finally turned around. "So why are you offering to help me out then?"
"Isn't it obvious? I'm offering to help me." Sherlock shook his head. "You're no good to me if you're going to swoon like a teenage girl from hunger every time we have to chase after a suspect."
"Right, of course," John almost smiled. "Thank you for your overwhelming concern."
"Its not like they ever ask me to actually pay the bill," Sherlock pointed out. "Why else do you think I eat out so much?"
"Because you don't cook? Or shop. Have you ever actually been in a supermarket?"
"Not that I can recall," Sherlock shrugged. "So, can we please go now? As I believe I mentioned several minutes ago, I'm hungry and I could really do with a bowl of Lo Mein."
"Don't let me stop you."
"You still won't come?" Sherlock frowned, considering possible motives for that. "Because you used to have a life and a career which, offered opportunity for advancement and future prospects, whilst this feels rather too much like being a kept man."
"When I moved in here I never expected to live off your .. reputation," Watson managed. The reason that they could not pay for a meal at any restaurant within walking distance of the flat was that over the years Sherlock had their proprietors and their families out of numerous legal predicaments. For a man who professed to care about the case rather than the people Sherlock had certainly helped a lot of people. "I've started looking at getting a job as a GP or even a locum. At least to start with .."
He flexed his hand, which still shook from time to time, just like his leg still ached when he didn't have something better to occupy him.
"All those snotty noses and pedestrian illnesses," Sherlock didn't miss the almost unconscious action. But nor did he want this man to settle for something so mundane not over something as utterly trivial and inconsequential as filthy lucre. "You'd be bored rigid within a week. There's a reason you chose to be a military doctor rather than a GP."
John sounded like he was trying to hold on to his temper, or his dignity, or something.
"For Christ's sake," Sherlock muttered, pivoting around it took him a few moments to find what he was looking for, sending cushions and books flying, before he finally located his cheque book, sank down into his chair and pulled out a Mont Blanc fountain pen to fill out the requisite boxes and sign with a flourish. Tearing along the perforated line he offered the small slip of cream Coutts & Co paper to the bemused physician. "Here."
"What's this?" Watson made no move to take it.
"Half of the consulting fee we earned for solving the Taxi Driver case," Sherlock waved it. "Take it. It's all yours."
Watson blinked, not missing the fact that Sherlock had said 'we' rather than 'I' which for consulting detective was no small admission. Tentatively leaning forward to look at the amount on the cheque his eyes couldn't help but widen at the amount. But he wasn't at all convinced that his input into the case merited such remuneration.
"I didn't solve anything." He waved the money away.
Sherlock paused for a moment. It wasn't all that often that people surprised him but John Watson had achieved that feat more times than he realised since their first meeting at St Barts. That wasn't something that he was willing to let slip between his fingers, even if he wasn't quite sure how to express his feelings about the matter.
"Are you saying that you regret saving my life?"
"No, no of course not," Watson was swift to correct. "Not at all. But a well placed bullet to save you from your own ego hardly compares to .. what it was that you did."
The words slid easily over Sherlock. He was used to people expressing awe and wonder, or even irritation at what he did. But John Watson's actions had struck a chord. The former military doctor had been prepared to stand squarely in the path of danger to save Sherlock from himself and very few people had ever been prepared to do that.
"You'll forgive me if I beg to differ." He smiled.
Watson met his gaze for a moment and then he couldn't help but smile back. Holmes was annoying, infuriating, egotistical and self centred, but he was also one of the most genuine people Watson had ever met. If Sherlock said he thought John deserved the money then there was no doubt he meant what he said. Looking again at the ridiculous amount of zeros for just a few days work John shook his head.
Plucking the cheque out of the consulting detective's hand he felt a surge of satisfaction as he tore it onto little pieces and dropped it into the wastepaper basket. He didn't feel totally comfortable at looking too closely at all the reasons he was still here but he knew none of them were about the money. Reaching for his ratty old parka he shrugged into his coat.
"Alright, if it makes you feel better I'll let you buy me dinner. And if we," He emphasised the word as he moved towards the door. "Need milk or groceries then I'll borrow your debit card if I have to. But I'm still going to look into getting some kind of locum work. A waiting room full of fractious toddlers and grumpy old men sounds positively relaxing. Think of it as a kind of respite care."
"Respite from what?" Sherlock wondered out loud, as he stood up and fell into step behind Watson, content to follow someone else's lead for once.
With his back to the consulting detective, John simply grinned as they made their way down the stairs, knowing that it wouldn't take Holmes more than a few seconds to make the connection. Sure enough, he had just put his hand on the door to the street when the younger man spoke.
"I suppose you think that's extremely droll." He huffed petulantly.