"You are completely passed legal, Sherlock. You need to start being independent." Mycroft said. On the other side of the living room, Sherlock was mocking him. "Let's start with you paying your bills on time. I've lost count on how many times your electricity has been cut. You overreacted—" "I did no such thing!" Sherlock said with an incredulous on his face. Mycroft just sighed.
"Why not get a flatshare? Maybe your flatmate would have the common sense to pay the bills properly.. or at least remind you to." Mycroft said with a smirk. He was quite proud of his idea.
"I will do no such thing! Have you looked around you? This is a one person spot. Now, leave." Sherlock said and opened the door with a smile. Mycroft sighed and walked out.
Once Mycroft was gone, Sherlock sat on his couch and placed his head in his hands. How could Mycroft even suggest such an idea! He only entertained the idea of having a flatmate once in his life. Unfortunately, those dreams died with the man he hoped would be his flatmate.
After two months and twelve days of searching, John was on his verge insanity. He could no longer pay for newspapers. He disconnected his internet connection and relied on the computer at work or the few times he could afford to eat out. John's pension was just barely paying a flat in London. He couldn't move in with Harry or, god forbid, his parents. The mobile that Harry passed to him, despite being a bit beat up, was enough.
One day at work, Sarah, once again, catches John looking at news articles during his break.
"Still looking for him, eh? You know, this is starting to turn into an addiction—"
"Something you needed, Sarah?" John said, looking up from the computer's screen.
Sarah laughed, "Nothing, John."
"Oh, by the way, are there any more extra shifts I could probably take? Is Harold still sick? Maybe I could fill in for—"
"He had the flu, John. You can't expect him to be gone forever." Sarah said with complete seriousness. John sighed, "Maybe I can—"
"Look, maybe you should find a part-time job? Or a flatshare?" She said and placed a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"Maybe…" he said with a sigh.
"And John," she started, turning him to look at her. She leaned over and closed the tab on his computer. "Hey!"
"I don't think that chasing after a 'celebrity' is going to help your problems. Mrs. Potts will be with you in a moment."
John watched her as she walked out the door and closed it. He let out a big sigh.
Sherlock was definitely not taking Mycroft's advice. He was just… trying to find a distraction.
Bobby Green, gym instructor. Overly confident and muscular.
"I really think that this space has potential! Look at all this room! We really could fit a treadmill over at that corner!" Bobby said, pointing at the far left side of the room. Sherlock just rubbed at his temples.
"You could even use it too! You're some cop chap, ain't you?" he said and walked around the flat.
"That kitchen is huge! Maybe we could move a—what is that?! OH LORD."
In a second, Bobby was grabbing and coat and was out the door. Hm, Sherlock didn't think it was necessary for him to keep his new stock of "parts" from Barts. Oh, pity.
John was looking through listings. He was trying to find flats outside of London. Maybe, just maybe, the saving he'll get from the rent would be more than enough to compensate for the longer commute.
Robert Wilson. Singly and openly gay.
"So, let me get this straight, you want a flatshare because of the.. drama?" Sherlock said in a bored tone.
"No, Mr. Holmes!" He said, looking slightly offended. "I want it for the romance! Think about it," he said and stood up excitedly.
"We would meet under odd circumstances. Maybe through a common friend? Then we'd be pushed together by fate and live together. We'd deny our relationship at first, of course. Can't be too predictable. But then, then, we would realise that we'd fallen madly in love with each other! What we thought was just a strong companionship was actually a budding romance!" he said and sighed. "Isn't that lovely?"
John could see the bottom of his wallet and payday was weeks away. He had no choice – he just had to brave limping to work. Anyway, he had gone through worse. Unfortunately, he had to wake up at 4 AM just to be able to make it to work on time. What an ungodly hour.
Jonathan Dale. Not only was he completely boring, but he didn't mind anything Sherlock threw at him. He shrugged at the body parts and laughed at Sherlock's violin of death solo. Something was up.
"Interesting story, Mr. Dale. Now, how did you find out about the flat? Word of mouth, maybe?" Sherlock asked as he sat on his chair with his violin.
"Found the ad on the paper!" He said with a smile. Big mistake.
Sherlock smirked. "Where did you say you worked again?" Sherlock asked. "A small government agency. Don't worry. My job shouldn't affect my stay here and the income's pretty stable so I can assure you that I can pay for the rent and bills—" "Mr. Dale, may I borrow your phone? I just need to make a quick call. Mine's upstairs and, if we were to be flatmates and potential friends, we should be very open with each other." Sherlock said with a charming smile.
"No problem!" Jonathan said as he reached into his pocket and handed Sherlock the phone.
Sherlock unlocks the phone and immediately scrolls through the contacts list. Sherlock decided he would give "Boss" a call.
"Dale, how was the—" a familiar voice started at the other side of the line.
"Piss off, Mycroft." At that, Jonathan paled and attempted to grab the phone away from Sherlock.
"Also, you should really re-evaluate your entire staff. This one is dumb, gullible, and too easily persuaded. Goodbye." Sherlock said and handed the phone back to a wide-mouthed and guilty looking Jonathan.
"Good day, Mr. Dale." Sherlock said, opening the door and gesturing towards the staircase.
Sunday was a day when, finally, John could relax. John looked out the sad excuse for a window in his flat. It was sunny, for once, outside. No point in staying in the flat. He was going to go out and enjoy the day. Maybe, if he was lucky, he could find a place with free WiFi so he could enjoy his favourite pastime, looking for Sherlock Holmes.
John found himself at the park. It looks like he wasn't the only one who decided to enjoy the day. Unfortunately, that meant that nearly all the park benches were occupied. From a distance though, he could see a park bench occupied by only one man. Hopefully that man wasn't waiting for someone. Maybe he could even get lucky and strike up a conversation. It would sure add some colour to John's, otherwise, boring life.
As John approached the bench, he slowly started to see the man and, to his surprise, he recognised the man. Mike Stamford.
"John? John Watson!" Mike said as he squinted his eyes and adjusted his glasses.
"Mike! This seat taken?" John said as he shook hands with his old friend. "No, go ahead" Mike said and offered him the seat.
"How have you been? I thought you were abroad somewhere getting shot at, what happened?" Mike asked.
John looked down towards his cane and said, "got shot." Mike made a silent 'oh' and cleared his throat.
"So, want a coffee? My treat!" Mike said as he gestured towards a stand.
"Yes, thank you" John said with a smile. Today really was full of surprises. He meets an old friend and now he gets offered coffee! Thank god.
After a while, Mike came back and handed him his cup. "Thank you." John said.
"Are you still at Bart's then?" John asked after taking a sip of the coffee. He didn't realise how much he missed the taste of coffee that didn't come from the clinic's vending machine.
"Teaching now," Mike said and took another sip. "Bright young things, like we used to be. God, I hate them!" Mike said and laughed. John laughed in reply as well.
"What about you? Just staying in town 'til you get yourself sorted?" Mike asked. "I can't afford London on an Army pension." John said with a bittersweet smile.
Mike smiled, "Ah, and you couldn't bear to be anywhere else! That's not the John Watson I know." At that, John shifted in his seat and mumbled something. Mike looks away drinks his coffee.
"Couldn't Harry help?" Mike asked. "Yeah, like that's gonna happen" John said sarcastically.
Mike shrugged and laughed a little, "I don't know. Get a flatshare or something?"
"Come on. Who'd want me for a flatmate?" John said. Mike smiled and laughed.
"What?" Was John's idea that laughable?
"Well," Mike said as he tried to supress his smile, "you're the second person to say that to me today."
Surprised, John asked, "Who was the first?"
JOHN: Come on – who'd want me for a flatmate?
Mike replies, "Come on, he'll be at Bart's. It's about time I get back anyway. Lots of papers to do an all."
They stood and walked to Bart's.
Molly Hopper walks in the room and hands Sherlock a cup of coffee. "Molly! Coffee! Thank you—oh, what happened to the lipstick?" Sherlock asked as he received the cup of coffee. Molly walks towards the door just as it opens again and reveals Mike with a man trailing behind him.
"Bit different from my day," John said as he looked around the room. Suddenly, he spotted the tall man in the room. 'Oh my god,' John though. He froze next to the door.
"It wasn't working for me," Molly said, holding the door open.
'Would he recognise me? Nonsense, we never sent pictures.' John thought sadly.
"Really? I thought it was a big improvement. Your lips are too small now." Sherlock said and took a sip of his coffee. 'God, that voice.' John thought.
"Okay." Molly said with a sigh and walked out.
'God, the pictures in those newspapers didn't give justice to this man's beauty.' John thought. Beauty? What was John thinking? This man was ethereal.
"Mike, can I borrow your phone? There's no signal on mine." Sherlock said while looking into a microscope.
"Well, what's wrong with the landline?" Mike asked as he reached for a stool to sit on.
"I prefer to text." Sherlock replied.
"Sorry," Mike said as he patted his pants and shirt's pockets. "It's in my coat." Mike said and looked toward John. Mike looked at him questioningly. How long has he been staring at Sherlock? Dang it.
John shook his head and took his phone out of his pocket. "Oh, here. Use mine." John said and reached over to hand Sherlock his phone.
"Oh, thank you." Sherlock said and accepted the phone. Sherlock looked at the phone.
"This is an old friend of mine," Sherlock saw the engraving. Harry Watson. It couldn't be—
"John Watson." Mike finished. Sherlock tried to keep his face as neutral as possible, but… John Watson. Could it be? It had to be a coincidence. No.. the tan lines, the posture, and clearly trained at Bart's. Only one way to find out.
"Afghanistan or Iraq?" Sherlock asked with a straight face.
John's voice was stuck in his throat. "Sorry?" his voice cracked. Great.
"Which was it?" Sherlock said and looked up at him. "Afghanistan or Iraq?"
John swallowed. This was it. "Afghanistan." John said and straightened his posture consciously.
"John…" Sherlock breathed out. For a fraction of a second, all the emotion Sherlock has pent up was shown. Almost as immediately though, he sealed it up and just looked down. John breathed in deeply and quite audibly.
Sherlock cleared his throat and said, "How do you feel about the violin?"
"Sorry?" John said, surprised by the sudden change of topic."
"Sometimes I don't talk for days, I'm untidy, and I may or may not cause explosions in the flat." Sherlock continued. "Why are you telling me this?" John said with his breath still caught in his throat.
"Potential flatmates should know the worst about each other. Though," Sherlock said as he moved closer to John. "If I'm correct, I think we'll get along just fine, John." Sherlock said in a barely audible whisper. Almost as if that was only meant for his ears to hear. At that, Sherlock straightened and walked towards the door. "Wait—"
"7 o'clock at 221B Baker Street and the name's Sherlock Holmes." He said from the edge of the door. "Afternoon." Sherlock said before shutting the door.
John couldn't help it. He kept staring at the door with a smile on his face.
"You know," Mike said, breaking John's dream-like state. "If I didn't know any better, I'd think you fancied him." Mike said and laughed.
"What?!" John said in an unconvincing tone. "I think those kids are really starting to get to your head." John said and joined in Mike's laughter.
Their laughter slowly started to die and Mike said, "Baker Street, then?"
A/N: And that's the end! Thank you to everyone who read, commented, and overall loved my fic! :) I really appreciate it! I kept most of the last part as true to the BBC version as possible because I wanted a smooth transition to the events in 'The Study in Pink.' Thank you again! I had fun writing this chapter!