He was nervous.
John could tell it from the moment they stepped into the office. He'd been nervous since last night, since the appointment, but... it was getting kind of extreme, John thought.
Sherlock tapped his fingers against the armrest of the chair, eyes flickering from one spot to another. He wasn't saying a word, but his brain was working so fast that it was almost making John's head hurt.
"You don't have to be nervous," he said shortly.
Sherlock's attention snapped around to him. "What? Nervous? I'm not nervous."
John sighed. "Don't act like you're not, your body language gives it away. Besides," he said, glancing towards the receptionist's windows. "Everybody's nervous first time at the dentist."
Sherlock huffed and turned away.
Both Sherlock and John looked up when the nurse called for Sherlock.
"That's you," John said cheerfully, turning the page of a back issue of a gossip magazine. "Have fun."
Sherlock stood up, although he stopped when John spoke. "You're not coming back?"
John glanced up, his laugh turning to a frown when he saw Sherlock's face. "Why would I...? Unless... you want me to?"
Sherlock stared at him studiously.
John sighed. "Fine." He stood up, taking the magazine with him. "Go on. I can't do anything, you know."
"I didn't say you could." Sherlock strode ahead and followed the nurse back to the room, John trailing behind.
The man could be wrist-deep in a corpse but he was still nervous about the dentist. John would have laughed - and probably would, later - if Sherlock's face didn't look so serious.
See, he'd had a toothache. Which nearly put the man out of commission, because Sherlock didn't deal with annoyances very well. It was like a person thinking too much; he couldn't handle the constant throb beneath his gums when he chewed. So, after going through the hassle of finding Sherlock a dentist (because he hadn't been to one since he was a child, apparently), they were here, finally, and Sherlock was nervous.
Sherlock shifted uncomfortably when the nurse had left, saying the doctor would be in shortly. He thumped his head back into the rest and then shifted again.
John looked up just as Sherlock was about to stand up. "What are you doing? Sit still," he muttered.
"I can't," Sherlock retorted. "I'm antsy. I don't like having someone muck about in my mouth, with my teeth."
"I thought you hadn't been to a dentist," John said dryly.
"I don't like the idea of it," Sherlock stressed. "Which is why I've never been. I take care of my teeth for that reason."
John shook his head and was about to turn back to his crap magazine when he noticed Sherlock's hair quivering. Trembling, actually. Which probably meant- "Are you shivering?" he asked, narrowing his eyes slightly.
Sherlock shrank in on himself slightly. "It's cold."
"No, it's not." John put his magazine down. "Just calm down. It's not going to hurt."
"That remains to be seen," Sherlock muttered.
"They'll put some gel on your gum before they even give you the shot, so it'll just bit a little pinch and pressure after you're numb. It's not going to hurt," John repeated firmly. If Sherlock could remember complex chemistry formulas, maybe John battering this into Sherlock's brain would help him calm down, too. "Just close your eyes when they're working."
"Sensory deprivation," Sherlock immediately shot back.
"Yeah, but if you're watching, you'll worry more about what they're doing with what they're putting in your mouth and the tools can look scarier than they actually are, Sherlock."
Sherlock licked his lips, about to say something else when the dentist walked in.
"Relax," John mouthed, leaning back in his seat as Sherlock leaned back as well. It didn't help the worried look on the detective's face.
For all his worrying, the numbing shot went without complaint, although Sherlock was studiously in a not-talking mood afterwards. His fingers were curled around the armrest of the chair and he didn't relax, despite what John told him.
Sherlock did, though, get more and tense as time went on. By the time that the dentist actually started to drill away at his tooth, Sherlock's knuckles were stark white thanks to his grip on the armrest.
It was just the dentist. That was nothing compared to some things that Sherlock went through.
John sighed and pushed his chair over. "Let me know if I'm in your way, Jay," he said to dentist - this was his dentist, actually - and settled next to Sherlock, tapping the back of his hand absently.
Sherlock jumped, although, after a second, his fingers settled over John's. He started tapping; it took John a few seconds to realise Sherlock was tapping out Morse to him.
Can't. John tilted his head. C-A-N-T-W-H-A-T he tapped back.
John sighed. Instead of tapping a response back - he wasn't going to try and argue in Morse with Sherlock, not like this - he just settled his hand on top of Sherlock's. He knew what it would look like. He didn't care.
Sherlock's fingers shifted again to wrap around John's hand, squeezing his fingers tightly.
John smiled faintly, squeezing back gently.
Coming from somebody who was worked up to the point of tears about having to go to the dentist this week for something that went very smoothly (thank you, dentist). Also, coming from somebody who's been to the dentist so much that I shouldn't even be nervous at this point but always end up shivering with my hands curled into fists into my coat pockets. x'D Anyway, it doesn't seem like Sherlock would spend a lot of time at the dentist - personal hygiene, especially his hair and teeth, would be my top guess for Sherlock's 'priority' list.
I do not own Sherlock. Thank you!