A/N: This is based on the BLINDINGLY BRILLIANT BBC Sherlock series. I have no words to describe the MIND BLOWING AWESOMENESS that is Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes and Martin Freeman as Watson. Their performances combined with the scripts rival Granada, which is quite the accomplishment. I don't think I've ever SQUEEEEE'D so very much, or abused the capslock feature so shamelessly. Srsly, I could DIE OF PURE LOVE for this show.
Well, enough of my fangirling and on with the fic!
BTW, this is technically a gen fic, but I suppose it can be read as pre-slash... if you squint. Really hard. And there is one instance of cursing, but it is *very* coarse.
"Lestrade is losing his touch, I see," Sherlock remarks with a yawn as he flings himself down on the sofa.
"What makes you say that?" John calls out from the kitchen, somewhat distracted in his search through the cluttered cupboards for something that will pass as a teacup. He makes a mental note to buy some desperately needed kitchenware for the flat at the first available opportunity.
"None of that lot have a drop of spare imagination to share between them, but Lestrade... I'd credited him with a touch more than the others. I'm afraid he'll need to be demoted to the status of complete idiot now. Can you imagine he entirely overlooked the fact that the victim's shoelaces were done up with a double tied knot? Obviously, that points the finger squarely at Richard Hunter. Not enough evidence, he says. How much more blatant does it have to be?" He finishes off the thought with an impatient sigh.
"I'm afraid I still don't follow -"
"Now, there's a revelation." The doctor swears he can practically hear the ensuing eye roll.
The water in the kettle whistles to a boil the same instant John comes across two mismatched coffee mugs hidden amidst a jungle of glass beakers and retorts laid out on what he can only assume was originally intended to be a breakfast table. He pours out the tea, conscious of how their food preparation space is so perilously near to a cornucopia of deadly toxins.
"Must you keep your chemicals here?" John inquires in a tone that hints at his resignation on the issue even before the thing is settled with a proper row. His madman of a flat-mate, he knows full well, is not going to cave – those chemical experiments are something of an obsessive hobby and all John can do is tolerate it. He has a distinct suspicion he'll be tolerating a great many things when it comes to Sherlock Holmes, though somehow, John Watson is unable to bring himself to mind. It has been five days of sharing this flat with a man who would cause any other sensible person to resort to an act of desperation to get as far away from Sherlock as possible. And yet, sensible a man as he considers himself to otherwise be, the doctor is willing to risk anything just to linger in this man's presence for an extra moment.
"Where else does one keep their chemicals?" The detective wishes to know, the confusion on his face betraying his genuine perplexity.
"Most people – normal ones, that is – don't have chem labs in their flat."
"Don't they? How boring."
John chokes back a laugh, doing his best to ignore how this certifiable lunatic seems to have a positive talent for making him giddy. He really should be getting online to search for a new flat with a mentally stable flat mate; instead, he merely inquires from behind the open pantry door whether Sherlock takes sugar in his tea.
Which is precisely when he notices a butter dish has been absently shoved to the far corner of the topmost shelf. Odd place to store one, especially if no one has thought it fitting to remove the butter first. Oh God, there couldn't still be butter congealing in there, or some other, less savory substance... or errant pickled body part, could there?
Ah, right. He was going to have to condition his nerves to these discoveries, so best to go at the thing head on, then.
Whatever it was the long-suffering doctor did expect to unearth, what he found upon lifting the metal lid was more jarring than if he'd come upon a severed ear or a month's growth of mould. He is genuinely angry and disgusted; something else, too, but John isn't quite able to put his finger on exactly what else he is feeling. All he knows for sure is that here is the point at which the invisible line is drawn. He is a vastly patient man, will tolerate early morning scrapings upon the violin, insults to his intelligence, going forty eight hours with no sleep. He will gladly take a bullet or kill for this man. Has killed for Sherlock Holmes, with barely an iota of remorse. But this, John Watson will not endure.
The psychosomatic limp flares with a vengeance when he storms into the sitting room, hovers over the detective who spares him no more than an upraised eyebrow. He observes how John's hand is clenched tightly around some object which causes his hand to shake as though what he holds is scalding the flesh. This is not the nervous tremor. For one, it's the right hand, and this is more pronounced than that ever was.
"Is this what Lestrade was looking for?"
He opens his palm, still unaware how forcefully he is shaking, as his eyes are fixated on the other man's. It is a gaze that makes even Sherlock Holmes wilt under its pressing weight.
"As a matter of fact, it was," the detective said with a cool smile. "Rather inventive place to stash this sort of thing – is incredibly handy during fake drug busts. Do you know, I once offered him buttered toast when he was ransacking my rooms on Montague Street?" Reaching up with impossibly long, delicate fingers, he feels assured that his easily beguiled flat-mate will relent to him as he seems to do with everything, subconsciously. But John closes his fist around the three vials of what his medical education screams is undeniably injectable cocaine.
"I should turn you in."
"All the same, you won't."
"Don't underestimate me, Sherlock."
"Oh, I'm not." He sits up, legs casually crossed and a wicked smile tugging at the edges of his mouth. John mentally braces himself, well aware before one word is spewed that this is going to hurt worse than being shot. "Do you have the faintest idea how predictable you are? There was no challenge in figuring you out. So simple minded, just like all the rest. You're here for the ride, because you thrive on danger. Call Lestrade down here, I dare you. In fact, I'll dial his number and hand you the phone. Do it. Have me arrested, then see where you get your thrills from. Now give it to me. This instant."
The doctor takes a steadying breath, wishing he was anywhere but here, having this discussion.
"No. I won't watch you self-destruct, or enable it by turning my back." He can almost see the stifled addict rising to the surface of those cool grey eyes when Sherlock rises, using his towering height as an intimidation factor. He is going to regret this, Sherlock will see to that, though he can't bring himself to stand down.
"Give them to me, now," he hisses.
Anything he says or does that does not involve handing over restricted drugs is not going to end well. So, he avoids any useless pleas for Sherlock listen to reason. Instead, he simply turns on his heel and heads for the loo. By the time the detective's brain unfreezes, it is too late. John makes a dash for the door, which is slammed and locked just as the other man catches up. A loud whoosh foretells the unhappy fate of the drugs.
He pounds on the door, demands the doctor step out, so he can subject the man to the full extent of the most biting verbal thrashing he is capable of. His hopes, however, are dashed when John emerges from the loo with an unreadable expression, and abruptly grabs him by the shirt collar. He leans in so close that Sherlock can feel hot breath at his ear when he speaks.
"If I ever find any of this rubbish in the house again, I'll – "
"You'll what, doctor?"
"I'll leave," he says simply, then lets go of his friend.
Silence. And John Watson has sense enough to know what is not said is what makes the silence so profound. It also helps that this self-proclaimed sociopathic genius turned consulting detective has the look of a child whose just been told their favorite toy has been discarded.
"You don't mean that," he sniffs.
"Just try me. Now, sit down and have your tea before it gets cold."
Inexplicably, Sherlock finds himself wordlessly obeying doctor's orders, already seated at the sofa before his substantial brain has registered just what in the bloody hell has gotten into both of them tonight. It's... like the Twilight Zone. Someone has actually given Sherlock Holmes an order, and if that didn't beat all, he's gone and mutely complied.
Well, fuck. This is a new development.
He eyes John suspiciously when the man returns with their tea.
"Wrong," he mutters, but offers no further explanation, no matter how his new... friend prods him.
It's a nearly nonexistent occurrence, but he supposes these things do happen. He was wrong, has pathetically missed the mark when it comes to one Dr. John Watson. Not only in regards to the man himself, but if he is to be truthful, to his own reaction to this admittedly useful invalid he'd first taken for an idiot. That, it was apparent, was not the case at all, and a reevaluation of the facts was in order.
They spend the remainder of the night flipping through channels – well, Sherlock does the flipping, making a commentary ("Total rubbish, partial rubish, rubbish, rubbish, rubbish. John, why is there rubbish on?) as he passes through – both sitting impossibly close. Something monumental has just occurred tonight, though neither can pinpoint exactly what, though Sherlock does try, and fails, perhaps for the first time in his life, to unravel a problem.
Still, he feels assured that given enough time, he will one day have a neat little index file on John Watson, his profile succinctly summed up and buried under a tower of similar such indexes. That, however, is where he is wrong again, on two counts. First, he never does write up that index, not because he hasn't made a study of his doctor – he has, and a very thorough one it turns out to be. He could never bring himself to relegate John into the same fold as everyone else, so that falls flat. Secondly, he is coming to believe that it is simply beyond his powers to ever fully understand that man. He is constantly amazing Sherlock, and it is quite clear he never will get John's limits.
Strangely enough, this is one instance where being wrong is not such a terrible thing.