AN- Written for a prompt requesting Sherlock with a weighted blanket, and John not realizing what it is at first.
When John arrived home, Sherlock was curled up on the couch, covered in a bright blue blanket.
John had never seen it before, but simply shrugged, and went to put the milk in the fridge. He honestly didn't know why he kept buying more, but Sherlock was always insistent on having it, even if neither of them drank it.
John wasn't sure if he was sleeping, but didn't want to bother him even if he wasn't. He took his laptop and sat in his chair, making sure to check Sherlock's blog for updates.
Heaven forbid there be a new ash post that he hadn't read.
There wasn't, which was good, as John had barely made it through the last one without falling asleep. And that took him multiple tries and cups of tea.
He moved onto checking the comments on his blog, deleted one from Harry that really wasn't appropriate for anyone to see, and replied to a few of the others.
He was debating what to do for dinner when Sherlock sprang up from the couch, dropping the blanket on the floor with a thud.
John frowned. Blankets weren't supposed to make that sound.
He had no time to ponder it before Sherlock had exclaimed something about a case, and dragged him out the door. (They had dinner at Angelo's four hours later, after two crime scenes.)
The blanket made a reappearance two days later covering Sherlock's legs as he lay perched on the couch, composing something or other.
"That's a nice blanket," John commented, reading the crime section of the paper as best as he could around the cut out bits. "When did you get it?"
Sherlock didn't even look at him. "Hmm? Oh, a long time ago." He dismissed John with a wave of his bow and a flurry of melody.
John saw the blanket a few more times, not consistently though, but didn't consider it much until Sherlock wore the thing as a cape in the middle of a drugs bust.
They'd arrived home from an afternoon out talking to various members of Sherlock's homeless network. They were following up on leads for a case, but hadn't gotten anywhere, leaving them both frustrated and tired.
John just wanted to shower and sit on the couch with a cuppa, but it wasn't meant to be, seeing as how there were half a dozen uniformed officers rummaging through their flat.
"What the hell is this?" he demanded. It wasn't the usual squad with Donovan and Anderson. It looked like the real deal. John couldn't imagine why though, since the drugs busts were more of a scare tactic than an actual threat.
One of the men stepped up to him and handed him a slip of paper. "It's a drugs bust."
John read through the warrant. "For real? If this is Mycroft's doing again..." he trailed off as the face of the man showed only confusion. "Or not," he muttered.
He could feel Sherlock tensing up beside him.
"John," he said.
John could hear the terror in his voice. It didn't make sense, after all, it was only a few people rummaging through his things, but to Sherlock, it was everything. In his flat, touching his things, moving them, ruining them. It was too much to bear.
John knew they would be headed for disaster if he didn't do something.
"Where's Lestrade?" Sherlock bellowed, looking far too close to tears for John's liking.
Lestrade bound up the steps and into the living room of 221B. He caught a glimpse of Sherlock, standing at odds in the middle of the room, a flurry of activity around him. His hands were twisting in his coat sleeves, and John could only stand by, unsure of what would help and what would only make things worse.
"I'm sorry Sherlock," Lestrade said, placing a hand reassuringly on one of Sherlock's shoulders. "But this is the real thing. I don't know why, maybe Mycroft set it up, or someone else called it in, but it's happening and I can't make it stop."
Sherlock stepped aside, wincing at Lestrade's touch. "Then what is the point of you?" he growled. "Get out. You're not helping. You're just another person touching my things."
The anger was evident in his voice, and Lestrade startled.
"Alright," he said uneasily. "I can go if you want."
John glanced at Lestrade and nodded. He would text later to make sure everything was alright, but at the moment, Greg's presence was only making things worse.
He disappeared down the stairs. John only wished everyone else did the same before Sherlock did something. There was a man and a woman digging through the fridge, looking quite disgusted at the various body parts, but as they were not drugs, strictly speaking, John knew they would be fine. There were another two people in Sherlock's bedroom, and one going through the book shelf in the living room.
None of them were taking care to put things back how they were found, or even where they were found. John could feel Sherlock tense up beside him every time a book was moved out of place on the shelf.
"Sherlock?" he said quietly.
There was no response, but Sherlock instead took off down the hall, pushing through the people to get into his bedroom.
"Oh," John said. "Um, Sherlock, I don't think you can..." he trailed off as Sherlock reemerged, his blue blanket slung over his shoulders like a cape.
"I don't think you can be in there," he finished lamely.
"Not," Sherlock bit back. He practically threw himself to the floor and curled up tight inside the blanket.
It reminded John of a cocoon. He wondered for a second if Sherlock would emerge a butterfly before he heard the humming noises coming from it.
Humming. Not a good sign.
"Are you alright Sherlock?" John asked quietly, crouching down next to him.
"No," he replied.
Oh. "Is there anything I can do?"
A pause. The humming continued before Sherlock replied. "Out."
John sighed. "I know, but I can't make them leave."
Only a split second passed before Sherlock said "Gun."
John smiled. "They'd never leave if they knew about that. You just stay there and I'll make sure they don't upset the sock index or disturb the agar plates in the fridge."
Sherlock hummed in thanks as John got up to supervise the controlled destruction of Sherlock's sanity.
It was another twenty minutes before John could finally usher the last of the people out of their flat and close the door firmly behind them. The humming never ceased, just changed in volume or pitch occasionally. Sherlock was still enveloped in his blanket cocoon.
"They're gone," he told him, stating the obvious, as per usual.
Sherlock nodded slightly.
It took a minute, but he picked himself up off the floor and moved to the couch.
He removed the blanket from around his shoulders and spread it across his legs and torso.
He lay like that for a moment, staring blankly at the ceiling.
"What's with the blanket?" John finally asked.
"It's weighted. The pressure is good when I'm upset."
Sherlock scowled at him. "I think that much is obvious."
He laid there for a moment before sitting upright.
"No, this isn't working," he sighed.
"Why not?" John asked, surveying the couch. It looked the same as it did when Sherlock usually wrapped himself up to sulk.
"I need you to hug me," he said flatly.
John looked up. "What?"
"You heard me. I need you to hug me. I need the pressure." He looked away from John as he spoke, as though it was something shameful.
"Sit behind me on the couch," Sherlock ordered.
John frowned, but did as he was directed. Sherlock all but crawled into his lap, lugging his blanket with him.
"Now squeeze," he ordered, adjusting his blanket so it evenly covered his legs and John's, the parts that it could reach anyway. John had to admit it was sort of nice. Like a massage.
He hesitated at wrapping his arms around Sherlock. After all, the man had punched people for less, but apparently he hesitated too long, because Sherlock grabbed John's hands, wrapped them around his body, and ordered him "Squeeze."
So he did.
It must have made an odd scene, the both of them cuddling on the couch under a single blanket. John was glad that everyone had left.
He leaned back, pulling Sherlock down with him, still squeezing him tightly.
"Better?" he asked.
They were both silent for a moment.
"When was the last time you slept Sherlock?"
There was a hesitation before replying which meant Sherlock was deciding whether to lie or not.
"About 37 hours."
John sighed. "That's a bit long. It certainly didn't help things."
The both knew what 'things' meant. Meltdowns. Sensory overloads. Whatever they wanted to call them didn't change what they were.
"No," Sherlock finally agreed. He sniffed a little.
"Are you doing alright?" John asked again.
"I haven't slept in 37 hours," he repeated, as way of an answer.
"I know," John murmured.
"The longest I've gone without sleep is 43 hours."
John hummed at him in a reassuring way.
"That's the wrong key to match the ambient hum of the appliances," Sherlock whispered.
"S'okay," Sherlock sniffed. "You can't hear it."
"No," John agreed, wondering just how much Sherlock did hear. On some days he swore the man could hear thoughts rattling around in other people's heads.
"I'll just leave the humming to you then," he added.
Sherlock hummed happily in reply.
John smiled, and let his grip loosen slightly, bit by bit, as they both drifted off into sleep.