Just a silly little fluffy (and later, smexy) fic for starrysummernights, my partner in smut-related crime :P So go easy on me ; )
Reviews make me super happy =^_^=
Sherlock was studiously ignoring Mrs. Hudson as she chided him somewhere in the distance with her predictable, motherly mix of weary irritation and secret adoration.
He was currently searching for a tiny poison-dart frog that he had acquired and clearly underestimated in terms of its dexterity and decampment, and now, its ability to go into hiding in their cluttered living room.
Time was a pressuring factor, and he tried to appear aloof and un-panicked as he searched as calmly as he could for the deadly absconded amphibian. He had informed his landlady that the reason he was prying behind chairs and between ornaments was in order to locate his 'lost' cigarettes, and as yet she was unaware of the danger she was in as she faffed about in the kitchen.
Kudos to the damned creature for managing to camouflage itself somewhere despite being eye-wateringly bright orange and blue, a stark warning of its toxic nature. He would be less worried if he wasn't so painfully aware of the paper cut on Mrs. Hudson's finger, and the scalpel nick on his own palm, two devastatingly effective paths for the fast-acting poison to take.
"Mrs. Hudson, I told you to leave ages ago, why won't you," he drawled irritably over his dressing-gown clad shoulder, voice strained.
"I've only been here five minutes!"
"That's five minutes too long. Go away."
Sherlock inhaled sharply when he caught sight of the tiny animal on top of his skull, its wet black eyes unfocussed, yet somehow staring straight at him (with considerable smugness, Sherlock thought). Its brightly-hued throat pulsed repeatedly as he slowly reached for John's cereal bowl that had been commandeered for the job of retrieval. Upturning it, he frowned as his landlady obstinately kept talking at him. The frog hopped from the skull and now sat directly on the wooden mantel. It was rather sluggish, being used to a hotter climate.
"I bet you don't talk to John like that."
Sherlock successfully slammed down the heavy bowl over the deadly creature, glancing over his shoulder cautiously. Mrs. Hudson was looking at him, eyebrow arched at his odd behaviour and at the now-chipped bowl under Sherlock's large hands. He shrugged innocently.
Raising his hands slowly, he temporarily plonked a few antique hardbacks on top of the bowl for added security.
"Should I even bother to ask what you're doing, Sherlock?" Mrs. Hudson queried, plucking up scattered pages of sheet music from the living room floor with strong, aged hands.
"Would be a waste of mitochondria," Sherlock muttered, moving back from the mantelpiece and scowling as his landlady carried on tidying up.
"…As to your earlier statement," he continued, "I talk to John like that all the time. As well you should know; you're always skulking around up here. For all your constant presence, it astounds me that you still fail to notice that John and I are not in a sexual relationship."
"Not that you've ever denied it before now."
"You weren't irritating me before now."
"You're in a surprisingly bad mood today."
"You're an idiot." Sherlock yanked the sheet music from her hands and flounced over to the sofa, promptly throwing himself down, covering his face with the scribbled papers, and folding his arms resolutely. "By the way, don't move that bowl, there's a poison-dart frog underneath it," came his muffled instruction. "'Thanks for saving my life, Sherlock!'" he added in a sarcastic, simpering voice.
"I take it you haven't done anything about what happened yesterday, then," Mrs. Hudson asked, perching on the arm of the sumptuous leather sofa and talking gently to the petulant 6-foot-something baby sulking below her.
Sherlock sighed dramatically, promptly blowing his sheet music off of his face and all over the floor. Grumpily, tiredly, he rolled to face the back of the sofa, and let Mrs. Hudson pat his head supportively.
"…Not…as such, no." Another protracted, depressed sigh. "Ironic, is it not? John may well be a frog for all his effect on me."
Patiently, silently, Mrs. Hudson endured his ramblings and waited.
"Batrachotoxin," he announced irritably, as if his landlady had actually asked him to elaborate. "Found in deadly amounts in our Houdini-esque house guest," he said, waving an indolent hand towards the mantelpiece. "Amongst other things, causes heart arrhythmia, extrasystole, ventricular fibrillation. It also causes a huge release of acetylcholine. Activates the same receptors as nicotine. There is no known antidote," he added ominously.
"That's very sweet, Sherlock."
The detective let out a peculiar, muffed yowl of exasperation.
"Maybe if you told him what you just told me, he'd understand what you really meant."
"No, he'd tell me to stop bringing neurotoxic animals into the flat."
"It wouldn't be the first time, dear."
Sherlock rolled onto his back so the full force of his pout might be appreciated. He preened inwardly as Mrs. Hudson tutted and picked a few pieces of sawdust out of his glossy black hair. (Where on earth had that come from?)
"Does John know anything about…" Mrs. Hudson trailed off suggestively, dusting her hands of bits of sawdust.
"John doesn't know anything full stop," Sherlock spat. He rolled his pale eyes and had an upside-down glance out of the window. 12.52pm. Humidity 35%. Temperature 26 degrees. Wind speed 11mph, south-south-easterly. Pollen count moderate. Moon phase – first quarter.
And John would be nearing the end of his lunchbreak. The couple of times he had secretly bugged and tracked John at work suggested that he would probably be on his own in the break room now. Rushing through the words of his novel so that he could finish the chapter before his lunch was over. He hated leaving a book mid-chapter. He'd have to re-read the end of the last one nevertheless, because he always sped through a little too fast to fully retain the details.
He hissed frustratedly at this surprising mental sentiment, and groaned with all the melodrama of the hammy actor he was born to be, if the consulting detective thing didn't work out. At least, that what John had told him once.
"Why won't he just go away? Erase himself somehow," Sherlock asked his landlady, fixing her with a piercing, challenging glare.
"You're talking like you hate him." She had things to do and places to be, but it wasn't often that Sherlock felt the need to vent himself of intense emotions like this, usually in the most cantankerous and dramatic way possible. He unfailingly went to a lot of effort to construct an 'accidental' situation whereby his landlady might be around for him to talk at. She knew he barely listened to what she actually said to him, but he seemed to need somebody else's sentences to bounce his own thoughts off of as he processed them audibly.
"I do hate him."
"You haven't even given him a chance yet. He has no idea you're having this little episode."
"This little episode is the worst possible event to ever occur in the history of mankind. I've been usurped, and infiltrated and…tainted. It's ruined everything I stand for."
"Sherlock, you don't stand for anything except self-glorification."
Mrs. Hudson stood with a small tender smirk, smoothing down her deep-purple dress and bouffing her hair as she prepared to give her recalcitrant tenant a few parting words. Mr. Chatterjee's brother was looking after the sarnie shop today.
"You know as well as I do that lying around here sulking isn't going to change a single thing, except make you more harassed and angry. I know you like to think that you thrive on chaos, but that's only because you've got someone who shields you from it."
Sherlock stared at her as she serenely left him alone in a tousled heap on the sofa.
Downstairs, Mrs. Hudson grinned indulgently as she recalled the heart attack that she had nearly suffered yesterday morning when a fully-dressed Sherlock had flown recklessly down the stairs, wide-eyed, stricken, looking more colourless than usual, panting and shaking violently. Careening into her as she was heading out the front door, nearly knocking her to the pavement, he had seized her upper arms in a crushing grip and yelled "MRS. HUDSON!" in her face, practically deafening her. Passers-by had paused to stare, and got ready to dial 999 if need be.
Bewildered, she felt herself shaken roughly a few times, before she swatted Sherlock away and righted herself. Of all the times for John to actually be at his day job for once.
"What's happened now, Sherlock? You were folding laundry five minutes ago."
"Something terrible's happened!"
She had the sudden instinct to grin, but the drained, hollow-eyed, and frankly deranged-looking man in front of her gave her true cause for concern. His dark curls corkscrewed wildly out from his head, sickly-dark spots of colour stood out on his formidable cheekbones.
"What?" she asked, her own pulse beginning to race in contagious panic. Sherlock stood momentously tall, and took as deep a breath as his speeding heart and electric terror would allow. Several pairs of eyes stared at him expectantly in the otherwise peaceful summer morning.
"I'VE JUST FALLEN IN LOVE WITH JOHN!"
The world, surprisingly, kept turning.