Title: The 3 Stages of Friendship - Stage 1
Author: starjenni
Disclaimer: Still not mine!
Warnings: Nasty people!
Rating: T
Spoilers: The usual.
Summary: Stage 1 - Support (or: in which John finally snaps)

1) Support

Another day, another crime scene, another battle to concentrate while the lower mortals titter and prattle around him. Really, they are getting tiring. Thinking that if they keep up this torrent of abuse he will miss something, he will forget something. They should know by now - Sherlock never misses anything. Anything. Which means he could quite cheerfully announce to Lestrade that Anderson has been nicking money from the evidence lockers, or that Donovan is badmouthing him behind his back in a poor attempt to gain a promotion. For gods sake, her cuffs are practically screaming it to the world. Why does no one ever notice these things?

Because they are not him, that's why. And by the sounds of it, he is the last person in the entire world who Donovan would ever want to be.

"For gods sake, why do we even entertain this creep?" she says. Loudly. Anderson sniffs an affirmative. Sherlock inwardly rolls his eyes and bends closer over the body. Lawyer with two ex wives - no…no, make that three -

"It's like we're helping him learn how to commit a crime." Someone needs to gag her. "I mean, is that what the police does now? Encourage psychopaths?" Sociopath, you stupid woman.

"Exactly," Anderson chimes in. Dear Lord, it's like they're joined at the hip. "He's a freak, we don't need his help." Hell yes, you do. Ah, the victim has a young daughter, his hairstyle is screaming it is so. So, young daughter, three ex wives, ah, and a dog. Family man, broken family man, why was he -

"We should be locking him up," Anderson continues -

Why was he murdered, unless…ah, his right finger…

"Or leave him," Donovan adds. "Then he'll die alone and miserable, like he should. "It's not like he's got any friends - "

"Shut up."

It's not Sherlock who says it, though a part of him is screaming it as loudly as possible. He blinks and straightens up, to find everyone in the room staring wide-eyed at John, who is standing, fists clenched.

"Sorry?" Anderson asks in what Sherlock has privately labelled as his 'pompous arse' voice.

"I said shut up," John snaps. "Stop with your incessant and pathetically jealous little comments and your frankly ridiculous immature sniping. This man - " He points a fierce finger at Sherlock, who blinks, entirely taken aback, "This man is worth fifty of you, he could be doing anything with his time, but he is choosing to help you even though you goddamn don't deserve it, you don't even deserve to be in his admittedly genius presence, so just shut your disgusting little mouths and let him work, all right? I'm sick of it!"

John's voice has risen to such a volume that most people by now are staring at the scene. Donovan's eyebrows have shot up under her hair, and Anderson is bright red, but neither quite dare to speak. John, although short and stocky, has military man drilled straight through him, and everyone who looks at him now is getting the instinctive feeling that he's about to scream at them to do fifty press ups one-handed.

Silence reigns. Neither Donovan or Anderson move. John nods triumphantly.

"Right then."

He turns back to Sherlock and apparently only just notices that Sherlock is staring at him as if he has just dropped off the ceiling.

He falters. "Uh," he says, and then quickly breaks eye contact, clearing his throat. Sherlock realises he has broken into a small smile, and opens his mouth to speak, but as he does so, Lestrade bursts in.

"Information! Now!"

Sherlock is transported back to the case, rattles off what he has deduced, and for the moment forgets what has happened.

Donovan and Anderson don't speak for the rest of the night. Sherlock buys John his Chinese after they have solved the case, and John doesn't ask why.

Stage 2 up soon!