Title: Friday Night, Or: How Not To Look For Suspects
Disclaimer: Not mine!
Pairings: Mild and fluffy pre-Sherlock/John.
Warnings: Lots of alcohol intake, drugs and a bouncer named Trev.
Spoilers: Sherlock and John go and hunt down a suspect. On a Friday night. In a gay club. Which John knows well…
AN: Dw guys, my 'Burn the Heart' series is ongoing, I just needed to write some fluff to relieve the tension :). I hope you enjoy!
It's only when they're in the taxi and halfway there that Sherlock announces their location.
"We're going to Club 21."
It's lucky John covers his mouth with his hand, otherwise the taxi would be covered in a thin layer of his coffee. He splutters and coughs, and Sherlock leans his head on his hand and looks with interest at his struggles. "Problem?" he asks, when John finally wins the battle with his throat.
"That's a - um." John takes a quick sip of his coffee. "Uh. That's a gay club."
"How very well remembered of you, John." There is just a bare hint of smugness and knowing in Sherlock's tone, but John isn't listening because he is too busy panicking.
He knows Club 21. Well. Uh. Probably too well if he is honest. He spent most of his weekends in his first three years in medical school there, before he got sick of it and moved onto cool, comfortable pubbing, where you didn't end up waking up with your head in the toilet and someone unfamiliar lying in your bed.
Club 21. Well, let's just say that Club 21 was the place where John learnt he wasn't just a ladies man.
People are going to remember him.
He glances out of the window but they are going to fast (for once) for him to consider bolting.
"Uh," he says, faking coolness and failing spectacularly. "Why are we going there?"
"There's a bargirl working there who I think may have something to do with the Pillsbury robberies," Sherlock says calmly, tapping smoothly into his phone. "She's working tonight. I'm going to see if I can get some information from her."
John thinks about the sort of women who work at Club 21 and then tries frantically to forget again. He takes another drink of his coffee and looks sidelong at Sherlock, but he is staring out of the window as if he doesn't have a care in the world.
Shit. It's Friday night.
"Uh," John says hoarsely, then clears his throat and tries again, he may as well get this over with. "I um. I know the people who work there. I mean the bouncers, the bartenders, that kind of thing."
He even knew some of them in the biblical sense, his memory informs him tantalisingly and he coughs to delete the image from his mind.
Sherlock gives him a long, blank stare and John can't help but wonder if Sherlock somehow knew this already. "Really?" is he says.
"Yeah." John runs a hand through his hair in agitation. "So I think I can get us in. You know. Past the queue."
Sherlock doesn't even blink, merely hums in answer and starts tapping on his phone again. John takes a nervous gulp of his drink and wishes he had worn something a bit cooler than his old jacket and a rather stained shirt.
He misses Sherlock's text, which is to Mycroft and simply says, Told you.
It's Friday night and Club 21-ers love Friday nights, and the queue stretches right down the street and round the corner. John and Sherlock pass them, Sherlock with an elegant swish, John far more reluctantly. He is feeling more and more nervous with each step, memories are coming back unbidden and in short, sudden, erotic floods, and everyone is staring at Sherlock - of course they would, he is just their type in this place, edgy, different…dear god.
He pulls his jacket straight and tells himself this isn't as bad as Afghanistan, and approaches the front of the queue.
The bouncer is Danny, an old and huge favourite, and he recognises John as quickly as John recognises him.
"Bloody hell, it's Johnny!" he crows in his Texan accent, dulled only slightly by years in England and a shot or two of whiskey. "Hey Trev - it's Johnny, look!"
He grasps John in a firm but friendly hug and gestures to the other bouncers, and immediately John is swamped by them, all slapping him on the shoulder and laughing and cracking jokes, and John is in equal shares mortified and nostalgic, and Sherlock stays on the sidelines, blank-faced and far too observant for John's liking.
Finally, attention turns to Sherlock.
"Is this your partner, Johnny?" Trev asks. Trev has pixie ears, a ring through his nose and a mouth of big, white teeth, which he flashes at Sherlock. John briefly wonders how Sherlock will take it, but Sherlock takes it like he takes any situation, like a duck to water, and something in his face changes, and the next thing John knows, he is beaming like the rest of them and shaking their hands with prolonged touches to their arms, as if he has known them for years.
"Friend," John corrects Trev, just as Sherlock swings a long arm around his shoulders and makes it look anything but.
"Right." Trev winks. "Friend. And when's he going to stop being your - er - 'friend', Johnny boy?"
The bouncers hoot. John wishes he could sink into the ground, and doesn't dare look at Sherlock.
"Uh, should we queue up - ?" he asks Danny, but Danny is already roaring with laughter and pushing them both towards the entrance, and before John knows it, he is inside the club.
It's like he's gone back in time - everything is almost the same, the bar and the floor, crammed with bodies pushing and pulling and sliding against each other - the only thing that has changed is the music and the fashion sense.
They hover at the entrance, and Sherlock stares at a man in tights downing a pint near them while his friends cheer him on and a girl with more piercings than skin drapes herself over him. "Interesting," he says.
Dear Lord. Sherlock is going to stick out like a sore thumb.
At least that is what John thinks, but he should know by now not to make assumptions when it concerns Sherlock. Sherlock takes off his coat and his jacket and then leads the way, and he - well, there is no other word for it, he is a natural. He weaves through the people more expertly than a crowd surfer, gliding past some, shoving lightly past others, smiling noncommittally at those who are catching his eye (and there are a lot of them), bobbing his head to the music, and somehow he manages to get them at the front of the bar in moments.
He shoves his coat at John. "Stay here," he says. "I'm going to have a look out. If you see a small bargirl with long dark hair, text me."
John opens his mouth, but Sherlock has already vanished into the multitude of the colourful and outrageous.
He sighs and turns his attention to the bar, feeling glum. There are people his age here, but still, he feels as though this is a memory that was better left buried. Trust Sherlock to dig it up, the thoughts, the talk, the excitement, the alcohol rushing through his blood, the feel of skin on his, lips on his, moans and -
Stupid, bloody, sodding Sherlock.
"Drink?" says the pretty blonde bargirl passing him. He looks up from his hands, into which he has buried his face, and says shortly, "Rum. Lots of it."
Rum was what he always drank before. He's amazed no-one's called him 'pirate Johnny' yet.
He gets a double on the rocks and sympathetic smile from the girl. "On the house," she says nicely. "Looks like you need it."
He gives her a side-smile and begins drinking.
Sherlock's search falls flat, and he has circled the place twice, and nothing eludes him…he is annoyed, to put it mildly. He returns to the bar irritably, to find John sprawled on the top of the bar, brightly giggling at someone else who has an umbrella in their drink and talking nineteen to the dozen to the air.
He left him for ten minutes. What the hell - ?
He reaches John and attempts to prop him up; an endeavour that is more difficult that it seems, because John seems determined to slide either one direction or the other. "What did you drink?" he demands.
John beams at him. "Sherlock! Hey guys, it's Sherlock!"
The man with the umbrella in his drink raises his glass to him. Sherlock lifts an eyebrow and wrestles John out of the queue and towards one of the tables overlooking the dance-floor.
"What did you drink?" he says again. John is giggling and apparently has decided it is fine to take hold of Sherlock's hips, and this is more distracting than Sherlock would like to admit.
"Your hair looks really green in the light, you know," he answers, squinting up at Sherlock with one closed eye. "Like, green. Really, really green."
Sherlock surveys him. "Your pupils are dilated."
John grins. "I had rum!" he announces proudly.
Sherlock is nonplussed. "How - I left you for ten minutes, John! How did you manage to get drunk?"
"'M not drunk," protests John, attempting to wind his arms around Sherlock and being stopped firmly. "'M only had one little, little, tiiiiiiiny rum…" He holds his fingers apart to show how much he means, then gets distracted and pokes his tongue through the gap instead.
Sherlock raises his eyebrows again and wonders why the hell he thought this was a good idea. Obviously he didn't take John for such a lightweight. "Did you see a brunette bargirl? I've looked everywhere…"
"Blonde," John says cheerfully, reaching across the table for an apparently discarded drink. "I had a blonde. Will that do?"
"No." Sherlock slaps John's hand away from the drink and puts it on another table, but when he turns around John apparently has managed to get a shot of something blue from somewhere and is holding it up to stare at the lights through it.
Sherlock is so not used to having to be the sober, controlled one.
He snatches the shot away too, and glares at John. "Where the hell did you get that from?"
"Her." John jabs a thumb behind him, and Sherlock glances behind him to see a blonde bargirl holding a tray of apparently free shots to random drinkers.
"Mine…" John attempts to reach for the shot, so Sherlock does the only thing he can think of and downs it himself, making John pout. "Sherlock…no fair…"
"Shut up." Sherlock puts the empty shot glass and looks hard at John, who stares blearily back. "John, for God's sake, focus, I need your help!"
"How can I," John says, sulkily (John never sulks, this is weird, like Sherlock has rubbed off on him, he doesn't like having to be at the other end of a sulk) "When you di'nt even tell me her name?"
"Irene," Sherlock says impatiently. "Irene Adler."
"Ooh!" John crows, as if he is watching fireworks. "Sherlock, Sherlock, I found her!"
He turns and points triumphantly at the blonde girl handing out shots. "Her nametag," he says, for all the world like he is announcing the news, "says Irene!"
Oh shit. A wig.
Sherlock stares at the blonde bargirl - or not blonde - damn, had she guessed that someone would arrive to question her? How had she - ?
The blonde turns, catches Sherlock's eye and gives him a wicked wink and a flash of a smile that can only read gotcha!
His vision blurs. He blinks, but he is suddenly light-headed and the action makes the world swirl instead, and he feels giddy, like he's going to start giggling, and that's not normal, not normal at all, what has happened to change this…and then he suddenly realises.
The rum. The shot.
And he actually - !
He turns to stare at the shot glass, and this time sees a fine outline of powder inside the glass.
He's been drugged.
And John too, by the way he's acting, which at the moment involves clinging to Sherlock a little too tightly and laughing hysterically -
And for once Sherlock wants to laugh back, and the music is thundering loudly in his ears, and he loves this song, why didn't he realise what it was before, and the dance floor is pounding, but that's what he wants to do now, why didn't he realise, he wants to dance, and John is still holding onto him but that's okay now, why wasn't it before, and he stares down at John, who is staring back, and his lips are very moist, they glow in the flashing lights, and he is smiling which is nice because he rarely does it, and his eyes are crinkling at the corners in that way that Sherlock likes and -
"Drink?" he asks John.
"God yes," says John.
They drink and drink, and at some point they get onto the actual bar and dance, which Sherlock shouts to John is mortifying but he doesn't stop doing, and after the manager threatens to get the broom out they move to the dance floor and do more jumping around than dancing, and John tries to teach Sherlock dance moves that involve them being very, very, (far too) close, and at some point Sherlock is pretty sure he kissed an Italian called Fredrico in the toilets, and when he tells John John howls with laughter, and people are constantly coming up to them and laughing with them, and after a while all the songs sound the same but that doesn't matter because its wonderful, its all wonderful.
And it gets even more brilliant even when the club finishes at dawn, because they decide walking all the way home is the greatest idea ever made, so they do so with half a dozen new friends, sharing around a bottle of vodka, having a mini dawn party on the millennium bridge, and they crawl home just as the commuters start going to work, complete with a traffic cone which they leave outside Mrs Hudson's door, and before John crawls up the stairs to his room, he turns around to Sherlock and kisses him, in the silence of the flat, not in the pounding heat of the club, but in the humming after-quiet, and even though they are far too drunk to do anything except kiss, it is absolutely perfect.
Sherlock wakes up on the sofa with a banana-skin on his face and a mouth that feels like he has had a hamster sleeping in it, and the sun is just setting behind the curtains, which is lucky because his head is pounding.
He swears, quietly because it hurts, and sits up, letting the banana skin fall to the floor. He is wearing his shoes still but there is an enormous hole in the knee of his trousers, and a square one as well, which means it was cut out, not just ripped.
He is still staring at this oddity when John comes stumbling down the stairs, frowning at his phone and looking like a creature from the black lagoon.
"Who the hell," he says, flipping through his contacts as he goes into the kitchen, "Is Slutty? What the hell possessed me to add someone called Slutty?"
"Slutty was very sweet," defends Sherlock.
"Was she the one with the - "
"Oh. Well. She was…nice." John turns on the kettle dismissively.
A sudden, nasty thought attacks Sherlock and he rifles frantically for his own phone, which he finds in his sock of all places. He browses his messages and groans.
"What?" says John.
"I texted Mycroft," Sherlock says. "And apparently I can text atrociously when I'm drunk."
He shows John the message. It reads:
Hahaga, your a stupied nob an so's your umbrellaa hahaha - SH
"Oh shit," John says, but he can't help the giggle that escapes him. "He's going to remember that."
"You have no idea." Sherlock gloomily turns his phone off and stands up, looking down at his trousers again. "Why do I have a square cut out of my trousers?"
"Fredrico," John says brightly, spooning large amounts of coffee into two cups. "He came back and demanded to have something to remember you by. I just about stopped him cutting your hair."
Sherlock clutches at his sorry excuse for hair (it is sticky, he vaguely remembers someone threw a glass of something over it) and groans. "It's weird…I can't…remember things."
"Well…that's what happens," John states matter-of-factly, pouring hot water into each cup.
Sherlock frowns and leans against the kitchen doorframe. "I don't forget things. Ever."
"Everyone forgets things."
"I meant, when they get drunk."
"Oh. Right." Sherlock thinks back to the rare times when he got drunk as a student (he swore after that time at Lindsey's 21st when he ended up falling face first into a gutter that he would never touch a drop again and hadn't, until last night) and thinks this probably follows.
He sniffs and takes the proffered cup of coffee. It tastes like heaven, Nescafe heaven.
"So, uh," he says awkwardly, staring into his coffee. "How far do you, uh, remember to?"
John's hesitation is louder than a shouted declaration. "Um, the millennium bridge bit, I think. When you threw up into the Thames halfway through a sentence."
"That was you."
"So nothing after that?"
"No…" A slight pause. "What did I do…?"
Sherlock coughs. "Nothing! Nothing. I mean, I don't remember. Either. I don't remember either."
They drink their coffee. Sherlock risks a sidelong glance at John, and finds John is doing the same thing, but with a bit of a smile on his face. Their eyes meet, briefly, and they immediately go back to their coffees, and this time Sherlock is smiling too.
"We didn't find your bargirl," John says eventually.
Sherlock thinks about the shot glass with powder, and the admittedly wonderful night he had as a result. It meant less thinking, less of his brain moving at light-speed, more of everything else, more of it all, more of normality, and he got a kiss from John.
"I think," he decides. "We'd best leave her alone."