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.
Warnings: Crack (but plot-filled crack).
Parings: Hinted Sherlock/John. But you can ignore it if you want.
Disclaimer: I own neither show.
A/N: This is it – the very last chapter!
What happened over the next two hours involved mainly the practical work that needed doing upon finding a dead body in your flat while being involved in a TV cookery programme. Police swamped the crime scene (John, who had difficulty changing in the cupboard-sized bathroom, wondered how four crime-scene officials were managing to work in there).
Petra stalked about with a phone to her ear in serious conversation with her bosses. It went without saying that these episodes would need to be cancelled, and she would have a lot of work to do coping with media interest and the threat of the show being cancelled by a TV station nervous of scandal. She also kept glaring across as Sarah for some reason, which john suspected was to do with the brief conversation Petra had had with Sherlock.
John had been interviewed by Donovan, who looked increasingly incredulous and amused by his story (until the death part at least.) John wasn't sure whether Sherlock signing him up, Sherlock pretending they were a couple, or just the idea of John on Come Dine With Me that she liked the best.
Jordan had been taken away by Lestrade, though why he was the chief suspect John had no idea.
Sherlock was being infuriatingly relaxed about the whole business. He was stretched out on the sofa looking incredibly bored by the whole affair. He had scooped the uneaten dessert into a bowl and was eating it thoughtfully. John walked over to him and sat on the arm of the couch.
"How long do you think they'll be?" Sherlock asked. "Having your flat turned into a crime scene is very tedious."
"I thought you'd be in your element," yawned John. "A murder so close to home."
Sherlock looked incredulous. "If it was in any way complex it would be interesting, but it was a petty, dreadfully boring murder. The idea of it being an Agatha Christie like murder with a host of suspects is ludicrous – to anyone with eyes there could only have been one possible murderer. The only interest the case had for me was in figuring out who the victim would be, and if the murder would happen tonight."
John looked shocked. "You planned this? You knew there would be a murder? Is that why you signed me up for this charade?"
"Don't be ridiculous," said Sherlock. "I had no idea at all until I met the contestants. Then I knew there would be a murder."
"And you didn't think to stop it?" said John.
Sherlock huffed. "I told you, I didn't know when it would happen. I tracked the groups footsteps from downstairs, and it wasn't until I heard you all walking towards the bathroom that I knew it had happened and called Lestrade."
Petra stalked past, still on the phone. John heard her snap something about a 'breach of contract' with a glare at Sarah.
"Sarah is going to have some difficult explaining to do," said Sherlock with amusement. "At least, her bosses will."
"Her bosses?" John stared over at a tired looking Sarah. "She's a vet isn't she?"
Sherlock huffed. "Really John, it took less than a second for me to see through that lie. A vet who has no pets of her own? And who bears no traces of her career? That- combined with her designer handbag and yet consciously dowdy clothes- suggests she's a reporter of some kind. Presumably doing an article on how the show is made. Petra was not pleased when I told her."
John rubbed his eyes. The early rise, and generally chaos of the day had tired him out. "C'mon Sherlock," he sighed, "explain. What happened here tonight?"
"Isn't it obvious?" asked Sherlock, wide-eyed.
"Not to me."
Sherlock looked a little smug at this chance to show off his intellect. "It's very simple. Did you note Jordan's tattoos? The ones on his pectoral muscles?"
John nodded. Jordan's low vest-top had shown off enough skin that they were hard to miss. "Yeah."
"Prison tattoos," said Sherlock. "To get those in particular you'd have to have spent time for a serious attack of some sort. I'm guessing in his teens. Looking at the way he holds himself I'd guess he can't have been out more than two years."
John started. "He's a convict? Why is he on this show?" He thought about what he'd seen of Jordan and he could think of nothing to suggest he'd been a convict of any sort. Jordan had seemed like the sort of person who would apply for Big Brother and fantasise about being in Hello! magazine.
"The way he dressed and acted around the cameras suggested a desperate desire for fame and acknowledgement. He's a model - not a singer, or an actor, and being a former convict not many reality shows would have let him participate. How many famous male models are there? This programme would have been his only chance to gain notoriety and being used to violence he wouldn't have hesitated to use it."
"But killing someone on television?" John burst out. "It's insane! He would have been famous for about thirty seconds before getting arrested."
"Oh he didn't plan to get caught," said Sherlock. "Though frankly his plan was so risky and pathetic that he would have been caught; even without my presence. It just would have taken them a few days to figure it out."
Sherlock had clearly had enough of the dessert and handed the spoon and half-eaten bowl over to John. John picked at the remains absently.
"I knew the second I saw him he was merely waiting for an opportunity to kill. He was waiting for a time where he could kill quietly and without the body being detected for long enough for him to have rejoined the group without suspicion. I think he wanted to wait until the end of the week – when there would have been resentment between the contestants – but the opportunity tonight was too good. He can't have expected to find a set of knives in the bedroom that no one would miss until after a murder. I regret leaving them out now."
A crime scene worker passed with a bag of evidence, causing Sherlock to sit up sharply. "Oi! That's my skull! It's not evidence – put it back!"
John was still reeling. "So he what, was laying in wait?"
Sherlock leaned back again, the skull forgotten. "He probably couldn't believe his luck when there was a delay in filming. When he came out of his interview he saw Morgan enter the bathroom and realised that here was his chance. It didn't matter who he killed, as far as he was concerned. He was away from the cameras, and feasibly anyone but you and Sarah (who was being interviewed still) could have come upstairs to commit the murder. He rushed into our bedroom-"
"My bedroom," said John hastily.
"-The bedroom, picked up the knife that he and Lolli had both held, took off his shirt to prevent staining it, and then burst into the bathroom and attacked her. He was bigger than her, stronger, and had the element of surprise. She didn't have time to scream. Then in a matter of seconds he rinsed the blade, wiped any splashes off himself, and went back into the bedroom where he put the shirt back on and replaced the knife. Pity he was too rushed to wipe the handle."
"He left fingerprints?"
"He was rushed and probably forgot. It was idiotic though, because there were only two fingerprints on the handle from when he and Lolli had looked at it. I checked the footage while you were being interviewed by Donovan and from there it was easy to figure out which knife it was. It couldn't have been Lolli – she was in the living room the entire time with you and a camera crew. Besides which, he didn't know I was downstairs listening for the sound of someone going into our bedroom. Lolli's heels would have been childishly simple to discern, but it was a man's step. Besides which, he dress would have been far more difficult to prevent from getting ruined by blood."
Story finished, he put his arms under his head. "Really, I wish it had been more interesting. Still, I'm sure that you, Lolli, and Danny will each get a nice lot of compensation from Channel 4, far more than you could have won."
John shook his head in amazement at his friend. "Amazing," he said. "And thank you."
Sherlock frowned. "What for?"
"You said it didn't matter who he killed," said John. "You thought it could be me, that's why you warned me to stay with the cameras."
"Well obviously," said Sherlock. "Who else would tell me when I'm right about Strictly Come Dancing evictions?"
THE END (HURRAH!)
A/N: So, it was a bit of a slog but immense fun. Let me know what you think.
Also I've left you to decide whether Sherlock moves back into his own bedroom or not. I know what I'd like to believe...