Just a light-hearted two-part fic to make up for all the angst I'm causing in The Broken Man. Sherlock may be OOC in this...but in the words of Jim Moriarty "That was rather the point!" Enjoy!
It was a Monday evening. 221b Baker Street was calm. It was a rare occasion. When Sherlock Holmes had informed his flatmate that he would be out fairly late chasing up a lead on a murdered student, John had celebrated the fact and had taken the opportunity to invite Sarah round for dinner. John had cooked risotto...sort of.
"Rice soup," he had joked, apologetically, and Sarah had teased him, asking for a straw. They had settled down to watch television. John had let her choose. The evening had, up until now, been perfect. Until...
The front door slammed and John automatically looked at his watch: 21:20. Not too bad. There was a long pause between the door slamming and footsteps on the stairs, so much so that John had begun to think he'd imagined it. Then slow, rhythmic plods could be heard under a voice which carried up the staircase.
John felt Sarah's eyes break from the screen and land on him questioningly. He offered a feeble smile.
John's hand moved to the remote, and thumbed the volume button. His cheeks became rather warm.
"Fourteen...fifteen...sixteen...seventeen!" came the triumphant cry from the landing, followed by a loud exhale. "I am home," the voice told itself. John cringed, and braced himself. The living room door swung open to reveal Sherlock Holmes leaning against the wall looking bleary eyed and very pleased with himself. He threw himself to his knees by the end of the sofa, trying in vain to hold John's hand in his. John snatched it away.
"John...John...John...John..." Sherlock pestered, then scrambled up, plopping himself down on the sofa in between the couple. "Sarah!" he exclaimed, as if he'd just noticed her. He sniffed deeply.
"Sherlock!" growled John through gritted teeth. "What have I told you about sniffing people?"
Sherlock blinked back at him blankly.
"It's rude," John told him, and Sherlock nodded back in apparent recollection.
"I'm home!" he announced again.
"Yes, I can see that," said John. He'd almost said 'smell'... Almost. "Sherlock, how much have you had to drink exactly?" John asked, dreading the answer. Sherlock gave it some genuine thought for a moment.
"Uh...since about this much," he replied, pointing to the number 4 on his watch. John noticed Sarah bite her lip, suppressing a laugh. He was relieved in a way. Sherlock ran a clammy hand down John's face before hoisting himself up. He swayed on the spot before turning towards his bedroom.
When he was out of earshot, John turned to Sarah.
"I'm so sorry about this. He doesn't usually drink, ("Seven...eight...nine...") as I'm sure you can tell. He's been tracking some students down ("fourteen...fifteen...sixteen...") as part of his latest case...("twenty one...twenty two...twenty three...") I'm sure he's got a good explanation for this."
"Twenty five! I'm in my room!" bellowed the voice down the hall. John rolled his eyes.
"It's fine," Sarah said, smiling warmly. She squeezed his hand for good measure. Suddenly, a loud thud came from down the corridor, followed distinctly by an "Ow!" Sarah allowed herself to laugh this time. "Do you want to go check on him?"
"No, no. He'll be fine." He seemed nonchalant on the exterior. Inside, John was mortified.
"John!" came an irritated shout. "Where's my chair?"
"You don't have a chair, Sherlock."
It was several minutes before Sherlock re-entered the room, his dressing gown tied clumsily around his waist.
"How did you get on with the case?" John asked, in an attempt to sober the man up. Sherlock blinked at him gormlessly.
"Yes," said John slowly. "The murdered student."
Sherlock looked confused before turning to Sarah.
"I think he's talking to you," he whispered loudly, before giggling like a school-girl. Sarah smiled politely. John rolled his eyes in frustration. Suddenly, the giggling stopped.
"What street is it that I am in?" he demanded. John had turned his attention to the television in the hope that Sarah would do the same. "Oi," Sherlock jabbed John hard in the cheek with his finger. "I said what street is it that I do happen to be in?"
"Baker Street," Sarah told him, when it was clear that John wasn't going to respond. Sherlock squealed with glee.
"I live in Baker Street," he told her and she nodded in agreement. He patted the pockets of his dressing gown ferociously. "Where is my wallet?"
"For goodness sake, Sherlock!" snapped John, losing his temper. "How the hell you got back here is a miracle."
Sherlock thought on this for a long moment, stroking his chin dramatically.
"There was that man. He helped me home."
"You know the one. I forget his name. He's tall and he wears suits." He chewed on his lip in thought. John's face dropped in disbelief.
"Sherlock...do you mean you?"
"No," Sherlock scoffed. "...Or was it me?" He dismissed the idea with a waft of his hand. "No it was the man. Sarah knows who I mean, don't you Sarah?"
Sarah did not know.
"He says words. And he wears suits and he has that face," he circled his own face with a finger for emphasis. "He gave me a bottle of water. Where is it? Then I got in his car and he drove me home and I think I was sick, or was I? It wasn't him that was sick. It must have been me. Someone was sick."
On this note, Sarah decided to announce that she was leaving. John was mentally kicking himself, and Sherlock...hard. It had been going so well. As she stood to leave, Sherlock grabbed her hand.
"Sarah, Sarah, Sarah," he slurred. "He's not going to turn out like your ex-boyfriend. Why don't you just sleep with him and get it over with." Sarah's face fell. John glared at him. "I'm sick of hearing about it," Sherlock mumbled, picking at his sleeve. John ushered Sarah to the door quickly, knowing that the damage was already done.
"Thank you! Very much!" he snapped as he returned to the living room. Sherlock's head was lolling about from shoulder to shoulder.
"It was Mycroft."
"What?" spat John.
"Mycroft brought me home."
This eased John's mind a great deal. The thought of an inebriated Sherlock climbing into unknown cars was a dangerous one.
Sherlock had become very quiet.
"I don't feel very well."
John sighed loudly and bent to pick up Sherlock's feet. He swung them onto the sofa and pulled off his shoes. They were sticky and splashed with alcohol.
"No. I'llbesick, I'llbesick, I'llbesick!" Sherlock panicked.
"You won't," John insisted. "Just put your head on the arm of the sofa." Sherlock did as he was told and closed his eyes.
"John, I can feel the Earth going around the Sun."
John had to smile at that, as he pulled a blanket over Sherlock's long body.
"I'll get you some water."
In the kitchen, John pulled out his mobile phone.
You could have kept him for one night.
He pressed send and began to fill a pint glass with water when his phone beeped in response.
You're welcome. MH
John snorted and shook his head. Sherlock wasn't his little brother, why should he have to sort him out? Then again, there was something quite satisfying about seeing the brilliant Sherlock Holmes incapacitated, wasn't there? The answer, John discovered moments later, was no. From the kitchen he heard a retch, followed by the dull splatter of liquid against carpet. John groaned before grabbing a bucket from under the sink.
"I was sick," Sherlock told him feebly as the bucket was placed beside him. Sherlock's eyes began to water at the foul taste in the back of his throat. John pushed his dark hair out of his eyes before handing over the pint glass.
"Drink this," he instructed firmly. Sherlock look sceptical.
"What's in it?"
"Hydrogen and Oxygen."
"Science," Sherlock chuckled. "That's why we're friends John. You say funny stuff about science." He gulped it down as instructed. John refilled the glass and placed it beside the bucket. Sherlock's eyes began to droop.
"I love everyone in this room," he announced proudly.
"I know you do, buddy," John replied, brushing the dark curls from his clammy forehead. "I know you do. Which is why you're going to clean this carpet in the morning."
"Because you're a good friend."
"I am a good friend, John," Sherlock agreed.
John sat for several minutes, listening to Sherlock's breathing become shallower. He knew he should go to bed, but a small part of him worried. He could just see the papers:
Consulting Detective chokes to death on own vomit!
Sherlock would be so cross with him.
He crossed the living room and switched the light off, using the glow from the hall light to find his way to his armchair. There was no way he'd sleep tonight. It was cold, and the room smelled of alcohol and sick. Sherlock had begun to snore lightly. John smiled at his friend in the darkness.
It was going to be a long night...