Author: SeverEstHolmes PM
Magpies, Mycroft, Moriarty and - John! Less superficial things are getting under the skin of Sherlock Holmes, not all of them are savoury... Johnlock, Slash, drug references; rated T at the moment, but will be increased to M later.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Sherlock H. & John W. - Chapters: 24 - Words: 58,918 - Reviews: 72 - Favs: 28 - Follows: 36 - Updated: 08-04-12 - Published: 06-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8190728
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I promised a speedy update, so here you are! Again thanks to reviews/story updates- but now I'm really concerned that this is moving too slow, I promise the next chapter will be more exciting :/ I hope anyway! Let me know what you think! Also, let me know if you think I should change the rating from T to M! :)
"How long has he been asleep for?" John had arrived back from Tesco to find Mycroft Holmes standing outside the front door of his flat; he couldn't be surprised – Mycroft had said he would be in touch, but sometimes John thought it would be nice to have a little bit of notice. John had let him into the flat, personally struggling under the weight of the shopping bags that he was carrying, and he proceeded in front of John up the staircase and into the living room. Sherlock was curled up in his armchair, his head rested on his hands and his chest rising and falling very steadily as he took deep breaths in and out as he slept.
"Nearly eight hours now…" John replied laying down all of the bags in the kitchen, he would unpack them once he had regained the feeling back into his arms. "Unless he woke up while I was out shopping that is… He was asleep when I left."
"Good." Mycroft stated, "That's good." He nodded in a very self-satisfied way, John didn't ask what was 'good' about Sherlock having been asleep for so long as he was sure that he would be enlightened before long. He was correct. "It is much easier to speak rationally to you about what is going to occur in the next few days without Sherlock being consciously present." Mycroft stood in the open plan entrance to the kitchen as John began to empty the shopping bags one at a time. "He hasn't had any symptoms of withdrawal yet, has he?" Mycroft asked, the position in which he was standing made it possible for him to look directly at John in the kitchen, and Sherlock curled in the armchair.
"No." John replied, laying several packets of painkillers that he had bought to replenish his medical kit onto the kitchen table. "Well, none clearly present enough for me to notice or be able to identify."
"I brought you something which might help." Mycroft informed John, drawing out a brown glass medication bottle from inside his waistcoat; John eyed it very suspiciously.
"If that's methadone then I refuse to use it." John had stopped unpacking the shopping and was staring at the bottle. "Methadone hasn't been proven to successfully treat cocaine dependence, and it can be addictive as the drug it's meant to help the addict wean off of." This much John had learnt from researching withdrawal within his medical textbooks and new articles that had been published online in the time since he had been a student – all of which he had made a point of studying in the past two days since he had come to the realisation that he was going to have to help Sherlock through a detox. By all resources it seemed like cold turkey, although the harshest way to go about it, was the most successful method of getting clean. And John had decided for Sherlock that that was what he was going to help him do.
"That's your decision, Dr. Watson." Mycroft said, sounding as though he thought this decision to be a very reckless one. "But do you really understand what Sherlock going cold turkey will be like? I think he has been taking a lot more cocaine that he would ever admit to and, unlike you, I know full well what his withdrawal will be like."
"Alright Mycroft." John snapped in some annoyance, feeling frustrated at the unhelpfulness of Sherlock's older brother. "Enough of the lectures, I am a doctor – I don't think anything that could happen would shock or worry me. I can deal with Sherlock." John was surprised at the fierceness of his own words, especially as they seemed to be intimating exactly the opposite of what he was feeling… Mycroft surveyed John for a long few moments; piercing right through the determined exterior and making John feel so uncomfortable that he shifted from one foot to the other.
"I'm glad you think so." Mycroft spoke coldly, his tone implying that he didn't believe John at all, but this chilly eminence made John to do what he had stated he could. "I'll leave that here," Mycroft indicated towards the glass bottle still on the table, "Just in case you need it. And if you find you need anything else, don't hesitate to let me know." Mycroft Holmes turned to leave with some asperity playing across his features, but John's head had been so stuffed full of questions that he knew he had to ask someone about the issues that had been plaguing his mind – and Mycroft was the best person that John could ask.
"Mycroft…" John started, feeling incredibly awkward about how to ask some of these questions, but knowing full well that some of them had to be asked. "Do… do you know why Sherlock started to use cocaine?" John percepted the stiffening of all Mycroft's muscles as they tensed at the question.
"No." He answered curtly and, John was sure of it, deceptively. "That is something that Sherlock has never expounded upon once he has been clean. Nothing I have ever asked him, or ever requested of him has brought a satisfactory answer forth from his lips – he remains stubbornly silent upon the matter. However, I don't believe for an instant that they are and have always been 'purely intellectual'." John breathed out slowly, Mycroft was confirming something that he had been thinking about often – that there was deeper reasons for Sherlock's cocaine habit.
"So…" He felt even more awkward, and was sure that Mycroft would find the next question insulting at the least, and probably infuriating. "Nothing… Nothing happened to him when he was younger? Nothing that might have led to this?" John was surprised when Mycroft made no reaction whatsoever to this question.
"I… do not know." Mycroft replied very slowly, his eyes resting upon his sleeping younger brother. "If… something happened, then Sherlock never told me about it. I suspect that if something had happened, he wouldn't have told anyone about it." Mycroft had turned his eyes back to John, and the deep thoughtful sparkle that had surfaced within Mycroft's eyes were so reminiscent of his brother's that it startled John. "I may never know." There was particular emphasis upon the word 'I', and John looked confidently back at Mycroft. Then eventually Mycroft's head jerked slightly to the right and the uneasy eye contact between the two was broken. "I must go now, I'm late for an appointment. If you require my advice or presence then send me a message and I'll do my best to help." Mycroft was getting away from this strange placement as quickly as he could; John couldn't blame him.
It was strange, John was unsure of what to expect next. For the past two days, since he had arrived home to find Sherlock hallucinating upon the floor, he felt like every nerve in his body was on tenterhooks. He had never seen Sherlock sleep for so long; eight hours was a very long time, especially for the consulting detective, curled up in that chair – John had considered waking him up and telling him to go to his bed cause surely that would be much more comfortable… but waking an already irritable Sherlock, who was going through a period of withdrawal that he wasn't too keen on partaking upon individually, made John leave Sherlock sleeping in his chair. He was very peaceful when he was sleeping; life was never dull when Sherlock was about, but the notable absence of sleep which consistently lingered about him was always slightly concerning. John had known Sherlock to go five days without any sleep while he was working on a case – even at the remonstrances around him (mainly John) – but it did appear that his brain became much sharper during the deprivation of sleep. John also knew that once Sherlock had finished those cases that he would crawl into bed and not resurface for a few days until he had gained back all of his former strength. But John had never encountered Sherlock sleeping for a prolonged period during the day, in the middle of the living room. For some nonsensical and undefinable reason the fact that Sherlock was asleep made John feel restless.
As he continued to unpack what he had purchased at the supermarket he paused after putting away every second item to re-check whether Sherlock was still asleep. He tried to reassure himself that it was because he was a doctor and it was within the duties of a doctor to check on their patients, which was the category that Sherlock fell under at this moment. John found himself inspecting his friend from a distance. It didn't yet look as though not having taken the drug for almost a day and a half was having any effect upon Sherlock – maybe he had been right, maybe it hadn't been as big a deal as Mycroft and he had made out. John had never given any real thought to Sherlock's features before – but as he studied Sherlock's face as he stood next to the open fridge, with a carton of orange juice in one hand, that Sherlock really did command the air of aristocracy in the way his facial features fit together. High predominant cheekbones were the first thing that struck anyone who met Sherlock; a long straight nose which led to the clear nasion in between his eyebrows; his lips were a very pale pink shade which was equal to the colour which rouged lightly across his pale cheeks; all of these separate components when added together combined into a very regal looking character. Perhaps that was why most people treated Sherlock with a reasonable amount of respect, even when they were meeting him for the first time – or maybe that was just the effect of his reputation.
A blast of cold air upon John's face brought him back to his senses and realise that he was still standing with the door open. Mentally scolding himself for having been stood staring at Sherlock for so long, he placed the carton of orange juice inside the fridge. He had been doing that more often lately – staring at Sherlock – for no real reason, but he had begun to catch himself doing it and pull his mind back, but he could never prevent the flush of embarrassment and the colouring of his cheeks that accompanied that realisation.
Once John had finished stocking the cupboards with the items that he had bought at Tesco he turned his attention to food. It was nearly half past six in the evening and John was famished. There was no doubt in his mind that when Sherlock woke up he would be hungry also. Even if he refused to being hungry John wasn't going to give Sherlock the option – he was going to eat. He turned into the kitchen, his back to Sherlock as he placed saucepans upon the stove and brought water to boil within them; his mind wandering through various different subjects, from food to what tv programme he could watch this evening without Sherlock screaming irately at one of the characters for some reason or other.
A noise was omitted from the room behind where John was cooking, but John dismissed it as maybe Sherlock rousing from his sleep – if that was the case then John was sure he would hear about it fairly promptly. There was another noise, a scuffling and then what sounded like a mug falling to the floor – John laid down the wooden spoon he was using on the counter and moved to the archway which joined the kitchen to the living room. Sherlock was still curled up within his chair, his eyes were still closed; but his face was more tense, the right side of his face was twitching quite rapidly and repeatedly. John wondered whether Sherlock was dreaming, but that thought was confirmed within a matter of seconds. Sherlock's whole body convulsed through a violent shudder and he let out a moan, still asleep.
"I don't – please don't…" He mumbled quietly, his arms drawing around his knees and hugging them in close to his chest. "Please, I don't want to…" The words that were coming out of Sherlock's mouth sounded very different from his normal speech tone; it struck John that this sleeping version of Sherlock that was speaking sounded like a whiny child.
"Sherlock… " John spoke calmly, trying to bring Sherlock to consciousness without having to physically shake or prod him. "Sherlock? Wake up?" Sherlock tousled in his sleep, but did not wake up.
"Do – do I, why do I have to? No, no, please!" Sherlock's muttering had risen to an anxious tremor. "Please, no… don't make me!" The fear present within Sherlock's voice rattled through John like an electrical bolt through a conductive element. Just speaking wasn't going to wake him up, he would have to physically awaken Sherlock; mainly because he couldn't stand to hear the terror that was ringing rife in his friend's voice. How could something scare Sherlock that much, even in his sleep, that would reduce the rebust mental power to that of a whimpering child? John felt that whatever it was, it couldn't be good – and by waking Sherlock up, he would be saving him from the dream. He could put up with irascible Sherlock, he would even pick irritable Sherlock over a terrified childlike asleep Sherlock!
"Sherlock," John bent over his friend, who was still twitching, and placed his hands lightly upon Sherlock's shoulders. "Sherlock, wake up." Sherlock woke with a massive start, the look of fear and terror which was intense on his face didn't vanish as he woke. It seemed like for a moment that Sherlock was disorientated and didn't know where he was, or – what scared John most – who John was! There was a fearful childish vulnerability rapt in his eyes, until after a second a glaze covered over them and eh appeared to come to his senses, the normal Sherlock that John was used to. "Are you alright Sherlock?" John asked, removing his hands from Sherlock's shoulders.
"I'm – I'm fine." Sherlock replied huskily, his throat was dry and he coughed slightly, straightening himself up in his chair. How long had he been sleeping? Good lord! Nearly nine and three quarter hours! No wonder he had a crick in his neck from sitting squashed up in his chair; he was about to open his mouth to reprimand John for letting him sleep for so long in such an uncomfortable position, but then he caught sight of the look upon John's face. John looked worried, more than the usual concern that was often on his face when he looked at John, and a little bit frightened.
"You were talking in your sleep…" John said slowly, his words as tentative as though he was taunting a wild animal.
"Oh really, was I?" Sherlock replied forcing himself to sound carefree, but internally wracking his brains for what he could possibly have been dreaming about for him to speak aloud. Very unexpectedly Sherlock felt a sharp spasm of pain in his abdomen and chest, he screwed his eyes closed and ground his teeth together until the stream of pain had vanished. There was a noise from the kitchen which sounded like the hiss of steam from a kettle and then it sounded like John had retreated from the living room.
"Sherlock?" Sherlock snapped his eyes open quickly and looked at John.
"Yes?" He snapped, hearing the sharp tone of voice that came out of his mouth.
"Food's nearly ready." John told him. "And you're going to have some." It was an order; an order which Sherlock didn't object to. John had cooked – he hadn't cooked in a long time, and no matter how much food usually didn't interest Sherlock, the smell was making his mouth water. "Here you go." Sherlock heard the chink of a plate being laid down on the table, and then the rattling of cutlery. As he stood up he felt a nearly overcoming wave of dizziness pass over him, and he realised that his arms and legs were shaking quite badly as he made his way to the table. He sat down and took up his fork, John mirroring his actions at the other side of the table.
John watched Sherlock in a state of apprehension and slight surprise as the food on the plate began to rapidly disappear from Sherlock's plate. John chewed his food slowly, they were now definitely past the twenty eight hours that Sherlock had predicted before anything would happen… So, why wasn't anything happening? Or was Sherlock maybe feeling the effects and concealing it, very effectively, from John?
"Sherlock?" John began, swallowing a mouthful of food.
"Mmm?" Was Sherlock's reply as he continued to pile forkful after forkful of food into his mouth with almost alarming rapidity.
"Are you alright?" It seemed like a stupid question, John was sure that he probably could have put it into more medical terminology if he had to, but Sherlock picked up on the hidden meaning within John's question.
"I'm not particularly suffering." He answered. "Maybe I was right, that I didn't need to detox because I was perfectly alright as I was." He had a touch of scathing in his voice, John shifted uncomfortably – that was what he had been fearing, that Mycroft and himself had created a situation that wasn't necessary to be in. "I'm fine."
"You… you would let me know if you needed anything, wouldn't you?" John inquired, his eyes focusing on the back of Sherlock's hand that was holding his fork – it was trembling slightly.
"Yes." Sherlock replied, but how trustworthy his answer could be John didn't want to question.
"You're shaking." John pointed out, Sherlock looked down at his own hands.
"Unfortunately yes…" He pulled back the sleeve of the arm which he hadn't been using to inject on quickly, his whole arm was covered in raised goosebumps. "Shaking hands, shaking legs, shivers, goose bumps. Textbook inferences of the start of withdrawal… would you not say, doctor?"
"Sherlock, you know better than I do about what a 'textbook' case is – this isn't anything I'm used to dealing with." John admitted in resignation, he placed his fork down onto the table next to his plate. "I'm used to violent injuries, dismembered body parts blown to shreds by landmines, or artillery injuries… addiction is not something I really had any experience with as an army doctor." John sighed, Sherlock frowned as he saw a subtle expression appear in John's eyes – sadness? Or regret?
"Great, so I'm being looked after by a doctor that doesn't even know what is going to happen." Sherlock tried to steer the conversation away from these murky planes, but the words that came out sounded like a sneer of indignation.
"Do you want to tell me what is going to happen so I know what to expect?" John requested politely.
"No." Sherlock said.
"Because I'm already going to have to go through it, I don't want to place any more thought on it than I have to." He answered, finishing his last mouthful of food and then laying his fork down onto the empty plate. John had picked up his own fork and poked the remaining food on his plate for several moments, lost in thought, when he looked up Sherlock was covering a yawn with his hand.
"Are you still tired?" The words had burst from John's mouth before he could stop them; Sherlock fixed John with an insolent stare. John cowered slightly, as he knew the amount of sleep Sherlock normally sufficed with, the nearly nine hours he had achieved today would have normally served to make up for those lost hours.
"No, my brain is just overheating and trying to dispel the excess heat through yawning." He said, stifling yet another yawn.
"Right… well I'm guessing that your overheating brain won't be up to doing very much, so what are you going to do now?" John was aware that he was practically smothering Sherlock in his attempt to look after him; he was "mother-henning", but at this point he genuinely didn't care. In the time that Sherlock had been sat across from him the trembling of his hands had been increasing noticeably.
"I'm going to go to bed I think." Sherlock responded, pushing his chair back from the table. "Maybe I'll be able to ride this one out by sleeping through it!" Sherlock chuckled slightly, but the undertone of longing was ironically present. This feeble attempt to brush this off in a humorous manner made John wonder whether Sherlock's hardened defences were weakened. Sherlock rubbed one of his hands over his face, his fingers lingering at his eyes. "Right, I'm going."
"If you need anything just shout." John offered sheepishly, Sherlock paused at the door as he was leaving.