Title: Come Dine With Sherlock and John

Summary: Based on a prompt to have John as a contestant on the Channel 4 show Come Dine With Me. Chaos ensues.

Parings: Hinted Sherlock/John.

Disclaimer: I own neither show.

A/N: I have NO IDEA how CDWM produces their show. In fact this is only being written because I've always wanted to write a Come Dine With Me/Midsomer Murders story. Based on a prompt from kinkmeme.

This prompt is based around the reality show Come Dine With Me. For those who've never watched it, basically 4 or 5 strangers go to each other's houses for a dinner party over a week, snoop around, criticise their cooking skills, and then score their effort. The winner gets £1000. It's narrated (very snarkily) by Dave Lamb which is where the comedy comes from. There should be some episodes on youtube.

...And for the record I don't think even John and Sherlock's efforts could be as bad as the lady who brought her pet snake out only for it to poo on the table. Or the one who went to bed in-between courses and left her guests to cook themselves.

John had always assumed that Sherlock hated all telly with a passion, but he quickly realised that this was not true. Sherlock did indeed detest scripted television (he claimed because it was 'too easy to work out' but John suspected it was more to do with the fact Sherlock got things wrong too often - on TV the colour of a suspect's lipstick was no indicator of their ability to commit murder and so Sherlock had to guess the answers like everybody else.)

However John soon became used to finding a bored Sherlock flipping through reality TV programmes and pronouncing his verdict on the participants. He could tell when they were lying, when they were being manipulative, and- best of all- when they were being manipulated by the judges and production team.

"She's going out tonight," he would announce after a merely 30 seconds of Strictly Come Dancing. "You see the unflattering dress they've put her in? And they've kept the camera on her for two seconds longer than everyone else. Makes her look more desperate than she is."

Then, satisfied, he'd flip the TV off and pretend he had no clue what John was talking about when John mentioned the correctly predicted result the next day.

"I bet you could win any single reality show you entered," said John idly on one such morning. "You on Big Brother - that would be a laugh. You'd make a fortune in winnings though; maybe you should go in for it."

"Of course I'd win," said Sherlock absently. "I'd just never lower myself to taking part."

"Yeah well," said John, "that can be our back-up plan for when we can't afford the gas bill."

Dear John,

Thank you for applying for the London episode of Come Dine With Me. We have read your questionnaire results and your menu choices with much interest and would like to offer you a place in the competition. Please find your contract and a copy of the rules enclosed.

Kind Regards
Sheila Markdown
Channel 4

"You did WHAT?"

"You suggested using my skills to win reality shows for material gain. Come Dine With Me is, statistically, by far the easiest to win. The menu I've picked is exceptional. I've texted Angelo already and he'll teach you how to make it in advance."

"I-I-" for a moment John was too shocked to speak. "Why me?"

Sherlock looked at John as though he'd gone mad (and really, John wasn't so sure himself.)

"Well obviously *I* couldn't go on it. Can you imagine me having to sit and make conversation with those dullards for five whole nights?"

Over the next month Sherlock planned John's triumph whenever he hadn't anything more pressing to entertain his overactive mind. John got used to Sherlock throwing his door open in the middle of the night and announcing "Don't mention being an army doctor until someone asks you – it'll make you seem brave yet modest," or "make sure you've got lots of pictures of your family around the place."

John, half asleep still, grew used to nodding and rolling over. He did this safe in the knowledge that the contract he'd been sent was still unsigned in his sock-drawer – never to see the light of day again.

"We're going to Angelo's" Sherlock announced without warning a week later. "You'll need to practice the recipe at least four times before the night. It needs to be especially memorable – we've been dealt a blow by getting the first night."

John jumped away from where Sherlock was hurrying him into his coat. "What? How do you know we've got the first night?"

"Because I opened the letter from them this morning. It's bad because statistically the first night is the lowest rated night and..."

"But I haven't sent the contract off yet!"

Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Yes you did. Your signature is pathetically easy to forge."

"I am NOT coming out as gay on national television."

Sherlock frowned. "Why not?"

John paused, unable to find the words to answer such an obvious question. "Because I'm not gay! And because even if I was, it would be one hell of a way for everyone I know to find out."

"Oh we'd tell them in advance it was just an act. It's vital everyone thinks you're gay – any women will respect your sensitivity, any gay men will appreciate the story of you being brave enough to announce yourself as a gay military doctor on television, and any homophobes will give you extra marks because they'll be over-conscious as being perceived as homophobic on television. Besides, gay men are statistically the most successful contestants..."

"Oh I'll just put an announcement on my blog shall I?" said John sarcastically. "'Pretending to be gay with Sherlock for an afternoon cookery programme. Don't worry – it's just an act!'"

Sherlock turned back to his experiment as though the matter were settled. "Good idea. -Though I highly doubt they'll believe you."

Please let me know what you think.

EDIT: Changed the formatting, since it got screwed up in uploading. There are now scene breaks.