AN: I'd give you a thousand excuses for the delay, but you guys really don't want that, do you? Enjoy mates. Forcing Sherlock to go into a movie rental store was much, much, more fun than it really ever should be. Thank you to Charm and Strange for being the most wonderful person in existence and saving ya'lls eyeballs, and for the idea of Sarah's shirt and help with the split ending- and the clerk's accent. Really, how do you deal with me, love.
Sherlock shuddered to himself when he heard Sarah turn on the shower's water. It was like a proverbial count down matching the weather outside. Sure, the sound didn't bother him before, but now it was a reminder that in mere hours John would walk through that door, and God knows what nonsense Sarah would say to him. How the devil would he get out of this one?
Sherlock quickly picked up the phone beside him, flicking through the messages over and over. Small details of a minute plan began to form, but only to dissipate in what was sure to be overflowing anger from John. He did, after all, terrify John's traumatized girlfriend into the storm of the century.
Alright, Sherlock simply told himself. He'd just have to accept John being angry. So, how to make up for it? Hmm…what could make up for causing his girlfriend emotional pain and getting his jacket wet? Suddenly Sherlock's grey eyes focused on a highlighted word on John's phone that his finger had tapped. A text from Sarah talking about the movies from before. A movie. A new movie.
That's it! I'll just run out a get some those bloody Bond flicks that he talks about so much! Oh God, a video store. How horribly…common.Sherlock quickly leapt up to get John's computer to search for where one such store would be found.
It took less than three minutes, but, strangely, Sherlock was so evolved with the task that he didn't hear Sarah approach from across the room.
"Er, Sherlock, it's uh, well, it's early, but I'm…gonna go to bed. Will you...be alright?"
Click. Tap, tap, tap, tap,"Fine," tap, tap, click, click was the only response Sarah got.
"…You're still wet, you do know that, right?"
Sherlock suddenly felt all the water that had sunken into his clothes, and shivered.
"I thought so," Sarah hummed knowingly. Although Sarah was under the notation that he was cold, Sherlock still continued on, his thoughts wrapped up in his plan to appease John somewhat.
Sarah quickly returned with a blanket and awkwardly tossed it to where Sherlock was sitting.
"Thanks again, Sherlock," Sarah said, softly padding to John's room and closing the door.
Sherlock sneered at the blanket next to him, and, for the rest of the of bleak, early-morning hours, decided to look up the first pop-culture item he had ever researched in his entire life: James Bond.
It was 7:03 am when John's phone alarm blared Sherlock's unconscious mind into existence once more. Groaning, and cursing himself for falling victim to sleep regardless, Sherlock clicked off the alarm and pulled a blanket off of himself. He felt disgust briefly as he sought to pick up the flat as best he could. Did he actually resort to using Sarah's blanket during the night, or did she come back and cover him up with it? Either way, it still made him all the more resentful of her.
Soon after the flat was clean enough for Sherlock's taste, he made for a coat, and then the door. Flicking out a key, he tried to open the door, only to no avail. It was stuck fast. Sherlock twisted, trying all manners of lock picking and, later, wire hanger picking, to open the jammed door. Sherlock sighed to himself. He remembered something about the door sticking lately, but he hadn't paid any attention to it because of that one case about the Marple murders. He thought John may had fixed it—after all, he remembered using that door yesterday—but... The storm must have stuck the door again, and I haven't got a clue when John will be home.
Suddenly, an idea took him. Windows. And the only reasonably escapable window he knew of was in the flat's bathroom. Never mind that Sarah happened to be taking her morning shower and that the only window in the bathroom was in the shower itself; Sherlock was on a mission. He already had memorized the layout of every room in the flat, so, keeping his eyes closed wouldn't be a problem. The only problem would be Sarah creating a problem. And she always created a problem.
Sherlock softly closed his eyes, and placed a hand on the bathroom's handle. Taking a breath, he opened the door. How I despise James Bond…
Sarah quickly caught wind of Sherlock's presence. Sherlock wasn't quite as discreet with his eyes closed as he had hoped.
"Oh my God—Sherlock! What the hell is wrong with you?"
"Morning to you too, Sarah, and I promise I'll be out of your hair in a minute."
"What—what are you doing in here?" Sarah called over the rushing water.
"Door's jammed, so I'm using the window."
"And it had to be this window?"
"Of course, all the other windows are much too small."
"Oh…my god," Sarah whispered to herself. It was too early for this. She clumsy grabbed for the nearest towel, wrapping it around herself, and regretfully stepped out of the warmth of the water, still keeping herself within the bounds of the shower. Keeping in mind her thankfulness from last night, she decided just to go with it. Whatever got him out of the room faster.
"And where are you going in such a ridiculous rush this morning?"
"For John." Sherlock grunted, as if that explained everything, pushing a bit of furniture around to try to better reach the window.
"Sherlock, for God sake, it's okay. Open your eyes."
Sherlock promptly did, craning to look up at the window better.
Sherlock paused for a moment, his eyes scanning over Sarah's dripping form, clad in a towel. To any other man, this would have been an unbelievable sight. For Sherlock, it was a simple matter of common sense.
"With you in just that towel? I'd rather you not. You'd be perfectly useless in regular clothes, let alone without them."
Sarah wasn't sure whether to take offense or not. She crossed her arms defensively, and muttered under her breath that John certainly wouldn't think so. To Sarah embarrassment however, Sherlock, of course, overheard her.
"Oh well, not like he'd know anyhow." Sherlock stated nonchalantly.
Sarah's eyes widened. No. No. Sherlock did not just imply…
As if reading her mind, Sherlock continued:
"It's not too hard to tell when two people have been shagging, and you two clearly haven't been." Sherlock lazy defended himself, finally sliding the cabinet into place and climbing up it, making for the window. Sarah gasped from her spot, dropping her hands and tightly clinching them around her towel.
"Sherlock!" She hissed, sounding uncannily like his flatmate. "How could you even—propose that!"
"Sarah, come now. John obviously isn't a virgin,"-he gritted the word out from between his teeth—"but you on the other hand…" Sherlock let his words fade.
Sarah glared at the man before her, realizing that the window was now open. At least he'd be going soon. She took a calming breath through her mouth. "You know, I thought we were fine! But, but now you're in here—and…just…. I swear Sherlock, I just…I just don't understand you. How could you say something like that?"
"I know, I know, I know you don't understand me!" Sherlock snapped, sarcasm running the length of his tone. "Sadly, it's my job to understand you people and your funny little brains."
"Wait!" Sarah called, now stepping out of the shower carefully, soap lining gliding down her legs from lack of attention. "I'm sure there's one thing that we can both level on."
Sherlock was so close to freedom, but he turned his head to look back anyhow. The look in Sarah's eyes seemed….Hm. Did Sherlock even dare name the proper emotion now? Aware. Expectant. Knowing. Dangerous.
"You're a virgin too, aren't you?"
Sherlock screwed up his face for a moment in bewilderment, all manners of brain activity colliding to a stop. That question was the one thing Sherlock couldn't quite understand. It was one thing to have to talk intimately with someone, but it was another to have to eat or touch or do something else that could be done with all clothes still in their proper positions—while Sherlock was wildly uncomfortable with intimate talks, he could stand casual touch. But sex. Now that was something that—Sherlock's mind suddenly filled with bitter images of John and Sarah cuddling and eating and talking and—Oh God, no! They couldn't be...? Sherlock felt an unusual burn slide up his spine, his throat, like bile. It couldn't be, no. Sherlock was always sure of himself. Always. There was no possible way that John would ever be sleeping with her! And God, why would he ever even want to?
In the mist of all the chaos in the detective's mind, there was a brief, weighted silence. Finally, Sherlock opened his mouth:
"….I don't understand you Sarah, really. How could you ask someone something like that?"
And with that, Sherlock shimmied out the window and dropped cat-like to the alley below, leaving a stunned Sarah in his wake.
The streets were slick and muddy with layers upon layers of leaves and debris littering the rode. Luckily for Sherlock, there weren't any large crowds to avoid or cars mulling about. The trip to the store was longer than it should have been because of the lack of cabs, but by the time Sherlock had finally begrudged himself walking, he was nearly there. The outside windows were streaked with mud and the sign was a faded blue and gold. Sherlock was amazed that the store kept business now-a-days. Another faded black and orange sign announced that the store was open 24 hours, and, for Sherlock's sake, that better have had included huge storms. He took a deep breath and pushed the door open.
A bell rang out as Sherlock entered into a warm, large room. Dark brown shelves neatly lined every corner and the floor was covered by an old, unsightly light purple rug. Sherlock was taken back for a moment, having never entered this kind of shop before. His eyes scanned the movie genres: Action, Mystery, Horror, Thriller, Romance, Kids…
Hey!" Called a loud, obnoxious voice from across the store. A young man suddenly approached Sherlock. He had shaggy brown hair and strange green eyes, and was also rather small, yet gangly. Sherlock easily concluded that this was nothing more than a lazy, stupid teenager who'd gotten conned into thinking that working in a video store would be entertaining. Sherlock scowled at him.
"Hey, I didn't 'spect nobody in today. It was nasty last night, weren't it? Need help findin' anyt'ing, mister?"
Oh God. Sherlock remarked, easily picking up the lad's accent and pin pointing it to the American city of Chicago. Americans. It was too early for this.
"I'm looking for a type of movie called James Bond."
"All da car drivin', babe chasin' action ya can ask for is dis a-way." The teen confirmed, marching off to his left. Sherlock reluctantly followed and then internally cringed at the stand before him, his eyes catching on the title of the horrid pop-culture trend: James Bond. It never seemed to end. All his research from last night should have prepared him for this sensation—but he never expected this.
"Tell me," Sherlock drawled coolly, manifesting his hatred for the bugger spy and aiming it at the clerk. "How many Bond movies are there?"
"How many are there? Whoa, wait, man," the teen's thick accent coiled around his vowels, making them long and harsh like the cawing of a crow. "Whaddyamean how many Bond movies there are?"
Tch. Sherlock cursed himself. The teen obviously wasn't one to let stupid things go. He quickly rubbed at his injured fingers, unsure of what answer would allow him a less painful experience from John. The teen, however, took Sherlock's silence in an entirely new direction.
"Naw," the teen grinned, "Naw way, you—you ain't never seen a James Bond movie?"
Sherlock's brows furrowed a little. No answer.
The clerk continued.
Sherlock suddenly thought that an interrogation from Moriarty would be less painful than this.
"Well you've least let a chick cry all over ya durin' Titanic, right?"
A chill ran up Sherlock's spine. Titanic—he'd have to make a note of never letting that word into John's vocabulary on a boring Saturday afternoon.
"It makes women cry?" Sherlock asked, bewildered.
"You've…you've never seen Titan-ha, well, if you be lookin' fer a movie to watch wit' yer girl, I wouldn't suggest it. I'll save ya the trouble right here."
"It's that awful?"
"Yeah," the clerk snorted. "Chicks bawl. Guys too, mainly 'cause the damn movie's so long."
"But…it's just about the ocean liner sinking, yes? Why would it make everyone so hysterical?" Sherlock asked, raising his brows.
"Uh, yeah, but hundreds a'people died, ya'know."
"People die every day," Sherlock continued, refusing to let even the slightest bit of his internal puzzlement color his tone. "I don't understand why women aren't crying about that, then."
The clerk nibbled the inside of his cheek for a moment, and Sherlock took the brief silence to snatch up another video case.
"They're…they're hard t'understand, I guess," the clerk answered, his words frankly blaring the suggestion that he had no idea how to react to the strange bloke before him, but Sherlock no longer paid attention. God, why did this stupid fictional flamboyant spy take off so well? Sherlock internally antagonized, hating the masses. There were so many Bond movies lining the shelf before him. Some with new main actors, new sexiest blonde love interests, new directors…Bloody hell, even from different eras! This is surely Hell on earth. Why for the love of all that is logical would John ever come in here?
The clerk next to Sherlock quickly reached across Sherlock's field of vision to pick up another case.
"What?" Sherlock hissed, a flame of annoyance igniting the glare that he set upon the alarmed clerk. God, did people have no clue to not bother me when I'm trying to concentrate? First the police, my flatmate, and now a damned public servant to the masses...
"Sorry, sorry! I was just tryin' ta help you choose more movies fer yer girl. You seem a little lost. But, uh, those four movies should be all right to start off wit'—"
The clerk prominently rephrased his next few words at the look of startled hatred in his customer's eyes.
"To..to watch at all. The rest are bogus, believe me. Yer girl wouldn't like 'em."
A tiny alarm went off in Sherlock's brain. Oh. Oh that's right—I have to go back to Sarah. Bugger.
"Oh…Oh God. Yes. Thanks for reminding me." Replied Sherlock, feeling not so thankful at all.
"Wait, I was just thinkin' an'…I doubt you'd ever seen Pirates Of The Caribbean?"
"Wit' Johnny Depp?"
"Who the hell is Jonathon Depp?"
"Orlando Bloom?" The clerk gasped, amused.
"You have to least set 'cher eyes on Keira Knightley. God, she's hotter 'en—"
"They set her on fire?" Sherlock's eyes widen. My God, what is the film industry sinking to?
The clerk just stared, and then, after a moment of awkward intense eye contact, tried again.
"Er, don't worry about it man, you'll see if you check out dis movie. I really think you should."
"Augh," Sherlock rolled his eyes in exasperation. Whatever made him leave this place faster. "Fine."
"Alright!" The clerk happily agreed, walking back over to the checkout line and sliding through the back. He quickly punched some buttons on an old, beat up computer and grinned when Sherlock slid the cases across the blue counter to be scanned. He quickly went through the Bond movies, but when the pirate movie popped up on the screen, the clerk smiled again. Sherlock gritted his teeth and braced himself for more painful words that John said most people like to make, called "small talk". In a desperate attempt to escape it, Sherlock quickly pulled out John's video store card.
"John Watson?" The clerk raised an eyebrow, extending his vowels as if he wanted them to take flight. Sherlock nodded smoothly, his thoughts flickering back to John and if this abysmal experience would be worth surprising him. The card slid through with the payment. Sadly, this didn't stop the clerk.
"Well John, yer in for a treat wit dis one. You'll really enjoy it. And—" the clerk chuckled to himself here. "Ya honestly remind me of the main pirate dude—the Depp guy. You're both…well, a li'l…."
To Sherlock's complete (and rare) confusion, the clerk proceeded to do some bizarre arm and hand movements, like he was slightly intoxicated, as if that was completely reasonable and would explain his point. When Sherlock simply stared, the clerk chuckled again and waved a hand as if to shoo away the confusion.
"Well, heh, don't worry, you'll see."
Sherlock narrowed his eyes but managed his facial features by clenching his teeth into a painfully forced smile.
Sometime later, back at 221b Baker Street…
Sarah greeted Sherlock happily as he climbed back in through the bathroom window, slightly confused by the exhausted look upon the dark-haired man's face. He quickly tossed the sack of movies onto his chair and sat down on the couch. Sarah quickly went through the treasure.
"Do you have a thing for James Bond?" Her tone suggested a joke.
"The whole world has a thing for that man, apparently." Sherlock commented stonily.
"Well, John will like this at least. Oh! Pirates! Have you never seen it? It's a wonderful movie, I think you'd actually really like it."
"So I hear." Sherlock muttered exasperatedly, snatching up a spare towel and drying off his hair.
"I don't know if John's seen it…we should watch this first! Get you in a better…movie watching mood!"
"Fantastic." Sherlock agreed, trying, for once, to keep the sarcasm out of his voice for Sarah's sake.
Suddenly, there was a knock at the door, a jangling of keys, scratching noises from a missed keyhole, and finally, a worst-for-ware looking John appeared. Sherlock actually had no idea how he'd managed to open the door, but this wasn't nearly as important as John's impending explosion was.
"Morning all….er, well…God, morning to me, I guess," John greeted, somehow managing a bit of enthusiasm into his voice. His hair was damp with the drizzle outside, and he held himself in a way that suggested that he really didn't want to be standing.
"John!" Sarah gasped in delight, skipping up and throwing her arms around the doctor.
"Ah, hello." John shrugged into her warm embrace. From the couch, Sherlock simply scowled as he started reaching for a movie case, thinking about holding it up to show John:
How should I begin? "Look, I've gotten those dreadful movies you ramble about!" No, how about: "Hey, movie, John?" Ugh. No, that last one was just terrible...not even remotely genuine.
While Sherlock decided to introduce his plan, John pulled Sarah into a hug. "M' sorry I must have left my phone," he muttered into her shoulder.
"…Uh, er," Sherlock froze at the sudden confusion in John's voice, his eyes twisting to Sarah's back, or more accurately, what she was wearing on her back. No. No. No. No, NO, NO, NO! That stupid girl! So close!
"Sarah…why are you wearing Sherlock's clothes?"
"Oh, uh." Sarah was suddenly at a loss for words. Perfect timing, Sherlock growled. He could feel John's eyes slowly slide to meet his own.
"Sherlock." Confusion. Almost questioning.
"Ah! No! John! It's okay! Everything's okay! We..just, had, had a, a problem, during the storm! And—" Sarah began. Too late. The wretched woman just had to open her mouth!
"Sherlock." Tone shift. Slightly lower than John's normal range. 45 seconds or less to get out of this. Sherlock felt the sweat forming. Shit, but how? How? It takes no matter of genius to see unreasonable John is about that wretched girl.
"But John, listen! It..it's wasn't..entirely, his fault! I—I got upset! You know!" Sarah quickly gripped John's shirt collar in attempt at calmed restraint for her boyfriend. Her voice dropped into a low, harsh pitch. "Like…before?"
Her eyes narrowed, and John quickly understood. It had happened again. It had happened again, and he left her alone. With Sherlock. Sherlock, who hates her. Sherlock…who loves to freak people out. Sherlock. Who loves to freak people out that he hates. Bloody fuckin'-
"Holmes! I swear to God, if you scared her!" John yelled, extremely livid as he softly shoved Sarah aside and made his way towards his flatmate. Sherlock quickly leapt up from his seat in defiance. John's tone was beyond mad, beyond angry.
"John, I think you should listen to your girlfriend." The detective gritted out slowly, in his deep baritone.
"John, please, Sherlock's right—" Sarah gasped. Sherlock decided to make a break for his room, but not before John caught on.
"YOU!" John yelled, pointing at Sherlock, and freezing the taller man into place. "Kitchen. Now. Stay there, while I talk with Sarah."
For once, Sherlock did at he was told, standing in the kitchen, his thoughts flying and wondering briefly if he should snatch up a pan to defend himself against the solider with. It took a bit, but in less than five minutes, John entered the kitchen. John was surprised at how dark it was in the room, since the living room had been so bright, but then again, Sherlock wasn't one to be considerate to others. Any room he occupied had to reflect his mood.
"So," John began, his tone neutral. Calm. Patient. Sherlock immediately saw through that. Fake.
"I think you're misplacing your anger on me." Sherlock began, trying to pull this whole thing around on his best friend and his stupid, ridiculous, horrid girlfriend. "You're just upset that you left Sarah alone when you knew of her condition."
"Don't." John whispered, his eyes slits. "Even. Dare. Blame. This. On. Me."
Sherlock sucked in a breath of air, already well-prepared for his defensive rant.
"You didn't tell me about her John, and that—"
"Shut up. That didn't matter! You found out! You're a bloody detective! You saw the signs! I know you did, Sherlock! I knew you would!"
"But still—" Sherlock countered, still barreling through.
"Shut up! You did this to her!" John's volume increased, but Sherlock was brave. He tried once more.
"I said shut up, Sherlock! Jesus, for five seconds will you just be quiet!"
Miraculously, Sherlock did, biting hard on his tongue and placing himself further into the shadows of the kitchen. John simply sighed, pitching the bridge of his nose and then turning to the pantry to receive a popcorn packet. The silence raged on as the noises tore into Sherlock's mind—which, for some odd reason, remind clueless and silent. He didn't want to be the bad guy here—No, not to John. But he didn't want to upset John further. What if…was it he really did take this too far? What if….John…hated him?
At that thought, something twanged and snapped in Sherlock's chest that gave him the strangest feeling of slipping into a deep, dark pit inside of himself.
The silent war went on just long enough for the popcorn to be properly popped and John quickly emptied the bag into a green bowl. John then turned to his roommate, his blue eyes studying him completely for once, as if he was trying to deduce the great detective himself. Sherlock felt a tremor run through him.
"You're such an ass-" John began, picking at a hot piece of the yellow popcorn in the bowl, and studying it between his fingers, watching the whips of smoke.
"John," Sherlock began, the words tumbling out of his mouth before he even had the time to register— " I'm….I'm sorry."
There was a weighted silence, much, much heavier than before.
"What?" John snapped, frozen in the dim light, his ears perked. "…What was that?"
"You heard me," Sherlock whispered lightly, steadying himself against the counter top. He felt extremely nervous, leaving his thoughts dead in his skull. His palms were slick. He felt light-headed. Sick. He didn't want to repeat himself. In the bits of wavering light from the living room, Sherlock saw John moving towards him.
"Sherlock..." The detective braced himself as best as he could. Was John going to hit him? Throw him out? He flinched.
"Tell me what you just said."
"I'm..." Sherlock managed, slipping against the counter top. "Sorry."
John didn't smile. "Look—"
Sherlock suddenly opened his mouth and, for the life of him, went on the fastest tangled rant John had ever heard him say.
"Sherlock, shut up, and let me finish." John quickly interrupted, not catching a word his panicking roommate was saying. "I said: Look, I know you're an ass. But, for what it's worth…. thank you. Seriously. And don't worry, I know you're sorry. I mean, hell, you went out in storm to get Sarah, who I know you can't stand….and then you went and got movies—James Bond movies, of all blasted things-"
To Sherlock's confusion, John's words suddenly turned into withheld laughter. "Sorry, sorry. This is just…really…nice of you."
Sherlock bit his bottom lip to stay quiet.
"… You can be such an ass, but, I mean, even Sarah defended you, so, obviously, something good must have happened out of all this. And even better, I get to punish you more by having Bond movies in the house—all thanks to you. And…partially..yeah, you're right. I…I do feel terrible. Horrible, really. I wasn't there…again..to..to protect her. And I don't mean from you. Just…I always leave her. And…I'm sorry, for not telling you..I just..figured that, you already didn't like her enough. I didn't want to force you to have to look out for something else about her. And...the damned storm. I didn't think it would cause her to react so badly… It..it's just so stupid now. I don't know what I was thinking."
John paused, swallowing nervously.
"Ever since The Blind Banker case..she's just been a wreak if I'm not there. I'd call it PTSD but Hell, everyone jumps to that conclusion now a days. You saw that I was misdiagnosed with it. And she's a doctor—she doesn't think she has it either…but regardless, that also means that she won't admit or get help to..whatever it is…. Of course I had to leave her, with you…and her blaming you..and you…well, being you."
John took a moment to breathe, sighing tiredly, and ran his fingers through his hair, then lowering them to rub his temples. He slowly smiled. "Just think Sherlock, perhaps there is one more person on this planet that actually likes you."
Sherlock titled his head slightly. John…did that...for me? He took recognition that I don't like his girlfriend…and is okay with it?
"Yes," Sherlock then rolled his eyes discontentedly, taking in the small kitchen to make up for his lapse of sentimental thought, his brain firing back up from its moment of despair. "I'm just so glad she likes me now. And, John, you really shouldn't be so surprised at yourself. You never think." Sarcasm that even John could understand.
"Piss off," John said testily, but his tone had lightened somehow. He quickly picked up the bowl and went back into the sitting room.
Sherlock quickly let out huge breath of air that he'd had no idea he had been holding in. His chest ached. His legs shook. It was like a brand new drug high. He didn't know how to begin understanding this feeling.
"Sherlock!" John's voice suddenly rang out, and John popped his head back through the doorway.
"You're not out of this yet. Get out here and sit down."
"Of course John... But only if you change your shirt. You've got Sarah's lipstick stain all over the collar. It's just unsightly. Disgusting, really. It's like being at that dreadful theater in my own home," Sherlock added with a slight smirk.
"What—how?" John abruptly stopped. "Holmes. Get out here and watch Johnny Depp."
"Ah, right! Who is that fellow?" Sherlock asked earnestly, walking towards the door.
John simply sighed as he held open the door for Sherlock to pass through.
"Sherlock…this is going to be a long movie night."
AEN: Annnnd that's the end! Was it worth the ridiculous wait? Probably not, but if it made you smile, my day was at least made. Sherlock totally wouldn't know about Johnny Depp. Also, I love makin' John call Sherlock 'Holmes'. It's sexy. Wait, what? Thanks for reading. It means the world. :3 Thanks to my lovely editor again, Charm and Strange. And for you, dear reader, for dealing with me and, hopefully, giggling to yourself. It's all I ask for.