The hot water felt so good, John simply stood beneath the jet for a moment, allowing the water to warm his cold limbs. Reaching blindly for the shampoo, he proceeded to wash his hair.
It had been a long day at the surgery, patient after patient coming into his room with the same complaint: the 'flu. He knew that the other doctors had had similar days, apart from the momentary excitement of a sprained wrist as the result of a student slipping on some black ice.
There had been so many patients, their hours had stretched to well past normal closing time, and John hadn't left the surgery until near on seven. Then there had been a sleety wait at the bus stop for a ridiculously late bus, followed by a weary, slushy trudge up Baker Street and back into 221.
John had quickly thrown off his wet clothes- wishing to hell he'd thought to wear his waterproof that morning- and had gone for a shower.
As he rinsed his hair, he became aware of the sound of the door opening and then closing. It wasn't loud, especially with the splashing water echoing through the tiny room, but his instincts had kicked in immediately; there was someone in the bathroom with him.
The fact that someone could get in didn't bother him; the lock had been broken for months, they'd never bothered to fix it. No, it was the fact that someone had come in.
A quick peek round the shower curtain told him exactly who that someone was, and he wasn't too surprised. He leant against the tiles, shuddering at how cold they were, and folded his arms, despite the fact that his companion couldn't see him, and cleared his throat.
"Evening, John. The 'flu epidemic's worse than ever, I see."
"Yup," replied John tersely. "And I'm very tired and grumpy, as you can no doubt deduce from my tone of voice."
"And the fact that you simply dumped your clothes on the floor, disregarding the wash basket." John half smiled in spite of himself.
"All clear signs that being disturbed in the middle of my shower are not going to be appreciated. Yet here you are."
"Here I am," agreed Sherlock. John swore he sounded amused. He sighed and reached for the shower gel.
"Do you mind my asking why you're in here?" he said conversationally.
"I've barely seen you all week," said Sherlock lightly. "The Bax murder case has kept me busy the last few days."
"Resolved now, I take it?"
"Of course. It was tricky, but in the end, the only possible culprit was the next-door neighbour."
"The one with the parrots?"
"That's the one. He trained one to fly in and-"
"I think I've got it, thanks," said John quickly, shuddering as he remembered the grisly details of that particular case. "Flattered as I am at the thought of you missing me, I'm sure you'd rather see me clothed than sneaking in to catch me in the shower. Unless..."
"Sorry, I can barely hear you over the water." John smirked.
"So, what did you do?"
"I informed Lestrade and-"
"No, what did you do to upset Mrs Hudson?"
"What makes you think I've upset Mrs Hudson?"
"You're asking the man who's been living with you for the past year. I simply apply your methods."
"Go on." John grinned, pleased to have peaked his flatmate's interest.
"You've entered the bathroom while I'm having a shower, and being fully aware of it, since not only could you hear the water, but the pipes are quite noisy too. Therefore, everyone in the building is informed that I am in the shower. You've snuck in. I know that the lock is broken, but that we haven't told Mrs Hudson about it yet. Therefore, as far as she is concerned, no one could be in here but me.
"I heard her in her sitting room when I got back, but you didn't answer when I called, nor did I see any sign that you were in. Therefore, you weren't in when I got back. But you weren't long behind me, about five or ten minutes, perhaps. The fact that you're still wearing your overcoat shows that you came more or less straight in here. If you'd simply been caught short, you'd have used Mrs Hudson's bathroom. What possible reason would you have for coming in here with me? You're hiding. Mrs Hudson is the only person who could possibly scare you-"
"Please, John, give me some credit!"
"Well, scare your wallet, anyway. You're a bit hard-up for cash at the moment, I know that since you made me pay for last night's takeaway and for your cab when you got back at one in the bloody morning."
"Yeah, thanks for that, by the way."
"I expect to be refunded."
"As you wish." Sherlock's tone told John he'd never see that twenty quid again. Twenty quid!
"So, back to my original question: what did you do?"
"I must commend you on your deductions, John-"
"I was most pleasantly surprised-"
"-that you managed to lay the facts before you and come up with the answer-"
This last was the voice of Mrs Hudson, followed by a list of expletives that John had thought only soldiers under fire knew. And then only when they had tourret's.
"I ask again, what did you do?"
"It was an accident," protested Sherlock.
"That wasn't my question."
"I was carrying a large box through the front door," Sherlock said in a resigned tone, "And the corner caught the wall and took out a sizeable chunk of the wallpaper and plasterboard."
"At which point you hotfooted it up here and hid."
"I'm not hiding," corrected Sherlock. "I am protecting my interests."
"Yes, I suspect Mrs Hudson will have those off you as well after what you did to the living room wall."
"I was bored."
"Sherlock bloody Holmes, where are you? Just you wait until I get my hands on you, you-"
"Give me one reason," said John quietly, "why I shouldn't yell out for Mrs Hudson right now."
"Because if you do," said Sherlock slowly, a soft scuffling following each word, "I'll take your towel."
John thrust his head round the shower curtain. Sure enough, Sherlock had manoeuvred himself over beside the door, and was clutching John's towel in one hand, the other resting on the doorknob.
"You bastard," muttered John, impressed.