Title: Double Date
Sherlock/John. Rated M as I don't really understand the ratings.
Summary: This was in answer to my own prompt at sherlockbbc_fic. I can't figure out how to post it there. If anyone could help me, brilliant.
Prompt: John is sick and tired of Sherlock 'showing up' / ruining his dates (with Sarah?) and tells him he can only come along if he brings a date of his own. So Sherlock has to find a date (Molly?) to take. What happens? Trying to 'out-date' each other?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. These characters do not belong to me.
John stomped up the seventeen stairs to the flat, slammed into the living room and glared down at his flatmate reclining on the sofa who opened one eye above steepled fingers.
"We're out of milk. I take it from the heavy tread of frustration that you once again failed to 'get off' with Sarah."
The other eye opened as John flung off his coat. The patrician head actually turned in his direction. And so it bloody should, thought John in a fit of the sulks. He wanted to throw himself full length on the sofa in his pyjamas and turn his back for a change. He settled for looming, menacingly he hoped, before running his hands through his short hair.
"You've got to stop doing that, Sherlock!" he finally burst out.
'Doing what? Deducing the sadly humdrum state of your love life — or rather, lack thereof?' The deep rumble of the other man's voice failed to soothe him and his own rose in indignation.
"No, showing up and ruining my humd–my love–my dates! Every bloody time! Sarah's only just agreed to give me a second chance after that last fiasco and you go and turn up again! Oh, don't give me that look. Behave. You know exactly what I mean. That trendy new sushi bar, and you, and your knife-off with the chef – incidentally, how many people bring their own knives to a restaurant? – and then having to leg it from the police, and... Still gives me the shivers."
"I have to eat," Sherlock commented mildly.
"But that's just it — you don't!" John pointed a would-be accusatory finger in the direction of the sofa as he paced. 'You appear, sit yourself down, pick at my food, swig my drink, and criticise my choices! Then you say you're bored, and you're off. I should have guessed, tonight, though. I should have damn well known when the waiter brought me your favourite spaghetti dish instead of what I ordered."
"I was saving time, John. It would have taken too long to send your lasagne – why you insist on it I'll never know – back and order a fresh dish. I simply phoned ahead." All this with that oh-so-reasonable, what's-it-like-in-your-tiny-brain calm. "I was somewhat surprised to see Dr Sarah, however. What happened to office-worker Samantha?"
"You happened! Or rather that, that thing happened! And that's another thing. You can't invite other people along on my dates. Especially not your gang of homeless urchins/informants."
"Even if they need a meal? What happened to all that 'caring' lark?"
John could feel the enamel chipping off his teeth and he fought to stop grinding them.
"Do you," he managed to spit out, "have any idea of the explaining I had to do after that well, teenage rent boy plonked himself down at the table with us and said we owed him at least a meal after all the services he'd performed for us?"
Sherlock arched a brow at this, and John uncrossed his arms from his chest and tried to calm down.
"She still didn't believe me and she got her own back. I can't use that employment agency anymore. Not since the interview she sent me on for that high-powered pharmaceutical company position turned out to be for a rep for their skincare range. Eww!" John shuddered at the memory of first the waiting room and then the interview panel of young attractive girls smirking at him.
"I was sparing you wasted effort. It wouldn't have worked out. You only had to look at those appalling shoes she was wearing to know that."
"I don't know that! Look, that's what dating's for; it's a 'try it and see' thing. Something new, different company—"
Sherlock rose to his feet in one sharp-edged flow and John took a step back.
"And night after night I'm left here alone while you take another fruitless and not even amusing stab at sexual pick-n-mix. What if I need company?"
"Mrs Hudson took it."
"Oh." John ignored the personal insults. After a month they'd ceased to register. But the skulllessness was a worry. God alone knew how Sherlock would fill the void. John sneaked a look around for any signs of disgusting experiments or fresh bullet holes and felt a pang of pity for his brilliant yet clueless friend.
"You don't have to stay in alone, you know. You could come out."
"And stop you 'getting off' – as if that were ever going to happen?"
"— if you brought a date. We could have a double date." The moment the rash words left his lips he felt faint. There was a buzzing in his ears – was he actually going to pass out? It wasn't just the words he'd so stupidly uttered, but the unholy quicksilver gleam which lit up Sherlock's eyes. A manic energy shot through the tall, gangly man and his black curls seemed to tousle even more artfully, alive with electricity. He clapped his hands together loudly, making John recoil and sink into a chair.
"Brilliant, John! I knew there was a reason I kept you around. You're in touch with all the trivia, all the mind-numbing, soul-crushing everyday social mores I'm far above. Your next pathetic attempt at courtship is via those tickets you purchased on the Internet, yes?"
John nodded, knowing better than to do anything as pointless as insert words like 'How did you know?' or any words at all, really, into the flow of Sherlock's monologue, which continued even as his flatmate dashed into his bedroom and rummaged around noisily. Stray phrases such as 'I've been observing data,' and 'There's a science at play here,' reached him. He flinched as Sherlock re-emerged, threw on his coat and scarf and loped to the front door.
"I'm off to get a date. Don't wait up."
He was hefting a large zipped-up bag into which he stuffed a cushion snatched off the sofa, after flexing it experimentally between his long-fingered hands. John thought it showed how long he'd been with Sherlock that his first thoughts of where the lanky sociopath might get a date were not of singles nights or speed dating, but of abduction, a van with blacked-out windows, and an experiment into Stockholm syndrome. He pointed weakly at the bag.
"Wait. D–do you have chloroform, a blindfold, handcuffs…a gag?"
Sherlock did the long, slanted, narrow-eyed look. "Bless you, John, but I don't come to you for dating advice. Although thank you for confirmation of your particular kink. I'd long suspected it but had little stomach for the surveillance which substantiation would require."
"No, no–I–stop! Where are you going to get a date?"
"Where else but the mortuary, John, the mortuary!" This trailed up the stairs in Sherlock's wake.
"Sherlock; you can't bring a bloody corpse on a date! This isn't Weekend at Bernie's; dates have to have a pulse or it's another area entirely! Sherlock! Oh, sorry, Mrs Hudson. Did we disturb you? Erm, cup of cocoa? Oh, we're out of milk, I believe. Perhaps you could…"
"I'm not your housekeeper; I'm your landlady, dear."