AN: Hello and welcome to my sequel to Christmas at 221B (though this can most certainly be read on its own.) As my other half is ill with man-flu, and therefore out of the way, I will actually be able to have it all posted by the end of this year. I didn't think I'd manage it (Not that I'm celebrating his illness or anything *shifty smile*).
Wishing you a very happy 2011
30th December 2010
John Watson wandered lazily back from the bathroom, running his hand through his dishevelled hair. It was nearing 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and John was still in his pyjamas and dressing gown which gave him a sense of freedom and guilt all at the same time. He made his way into the kitchen to put the kettle on and stopped at the sight of his flatmate, sat in his coat at the wooden kitchen table staring at a laptop which John recognised to be his own.
"You've changed your password again."
John sniffed into the bottle of milk, grimaced, and then turned to face his flatmate who was browsing the internet with mild interest.
"Didn't stop you though," John murmured. "Hello, by the way, it's nice to see you too. Thanks for stopping by."
Sherlock looked up with a scoff.
"John, I've only been gone a few hours."
"Three days, Sherlock. You've been gone for three days. I haven't seen you since Boxing Day."
"Ah...I should probably have a shower then."
"Yes, please do."
John sat himself down with his black coffee and scowled when Sherlock made no attempt to move.
"I've decided we're having a party on New Year's Eve," Sherlock spoke eventually, to the laptop screen. John blinked and ran a hand over his face. He must have been mistaken. He thought he'd heard Sherlock suggest a social gathering. It would be best to clarify.
"A party? As in...with people?"
Sherlock looked up at John in mock distain.
"Yes, obviously John. Unlike our usual parties, where it's just the two of us." He grinned widely at his confused housemate. "I thought I'd mention it anyway, as I've already posted it on your blog." Sherlock rose swiftly and left the room, pleased with himself, leaving John in a daze.
Later that day, Sherlock brandished a pen from the desk and began to scribble with enthusiasm onto a notepad. At the top of the page John read the words: Party provisions. He gave a difficult swallow.
"Oh God, I thought you were joking." He sat himself down next to Sherlock, pre-empting the argument that was to come.
"Right, so...what is party food, John? I'm thinking noodles."
"What? No, not noodles. First of all, it needs to be things that people can eat off paper plates with their fingers, and secondly no, we're not having a party!" He snatched the list from Sherlock who looked highly put out.
"Look Sherlock, parties are more hassle than they're worth. Why do you even want one anyway?"
Sherlock was still scowling at the crumpled list in John's hand. It was going to be a challenge to convince John. He'd known this from the beginning. Perhaps he should tell John the real reason for holding the party? Surely John would figure out that Sherlock was up to something eventually. But John was pretty stupid. No, he'd use another tactic.
"John, I have never had a party before," he explained sadly.
"No. Come on, it'll be fun. When have I ever been wrong about anything?" He continued to speak as John opened his mouth to retort. "Besides, twenty nine days after our party will be our Frien-iversary."
"Don't, Sherlock," John cringed, hearing the word he himself had coined. "We agreed we wouldn't use that word unless we were suitably drunk. Fine, if we're doing this properly, put alcohol on the list." He shoved the notepad back in Sherlock's direction. Sherlock hid his victory smile as he lowered his eyes to the page.
"Speaking of alcohol, your sister is coming."
"What? No! Sherlock why are you so intent on pissing me off today?"
"She saw it on the blog," Sherlock pointed out with a shrug.
"You put it on the blog! Right, that's it, I'm inviting Mycroft."
Though John was fairly certain Mycroft would be aware of his younger brother organising a gathering of innocent human beings, John snatched Sherlock's phone from the desk and typed clumsily with fast fingers.
We're having a party for NYE. Please come. Lots of love Sherlock xxx
Sherlock glared at the message in the Sent Box. At that moment, two mobile phones chimed in quick succession. John pulled his phone from his pocket and squinted at the screen.
Thank you for the invite, John. I may pop in if passing. MH
John wafted the phone in Sherlock's face with glee. Sherlock was too busy reading his own message:
Announcing your engagement? M
Sherlock wrinkled his nose with displeasure as he formed his eloquent response:
Piss off! P.S Don't come.
Satisfied that he'd cleaned up John's mess, Sherlock went back to scribbling his shopping list.
"I need to verify that list before you go to the shops," John spoke up irritably from the sofa. Sherlock frowned. He thought John would be going to the shop. That was the point in creating the list. However, forcing John to do the shopping would increase the risk of John cancelling the party, so he simply nodded, vaguely recalling the pleading words of their therapist that Sherlock should never visit a supermarket ever again. He shrugged the thought away.
John was in the process of hoovering the flat when Sherlock returned successfully from the supermarket. John switched off the hoover and watched Sherlock as he emptied the contents of his shopping bags with gusto into various cupboards.
"Cheesy puff?" he offered, wafting a packet in John's face.
"Speak for yourself," John retorted.
"We have a hoovered flat, we have food, we have alcohol and we have a growing guest list," Sherlock noted, glancing through his emails on his phone. "It's surprising how many people had nothing to do on New Year's Eve until this morning. How very sad. I feel quite embarrassed that I know these people."
"And what were your plans before this morning Sherlock?" John piped up. Sherlock chose to ignore him and headed for the stereo in the living room.
"Should we have music? Will people talk over music? Very few guests will have a similar taste in music. How do we please everyone?"
"Radio?" John suggested. Sherlock flicked through his own collection of classical CDs.
"Do you own music John?"
"Only this." John produced Susan Boyle's album from the shelf.
"This is it? This is the only music you own? I bought this for you."
"Stole," John corrected. "You stole this for me."
Sherlock inserted the CD and they listened with a disturbed interest. Mrs Hudson came bustling in, looking very surprised at the sight of the shopping bags in the kitchen.
"Oh, I've got this album somewhere," she cooed. "She's ever so good, isn't she?"
Sherlock looked up at John with a guilty grin and John hid his laugh behind his hand.
"Mrs Hudson, we're having a party tomorrow night and you're cordially invited of course," Sherlock told her to deflect her attention from John whose shoulders were shaking in silent laughter. Mrs Hudson beamed widely.
"Oh lovely," she exclaimed. "I'll make a trifle." She hurried off.
"Please do," Sherlock called after her and John elbowed him in the ribs.
"Behave yourself please. Right, that's music sorted."
"Yes, radio. As grateful as I am to receive this as a Christmas present from you, it really is hideous."
The pair spent the evening trying to forget about their impending party by watching rubbish television and resisting the urge to eat the food Sherlock had bought for the following evening.
"Are you het up?" John asked across the sofa, where Sherlock sat chewing on his thumb knuckle.
"What? No. Why?"
"You look anxious. What's the matter?"
"Nothing," Sherlock lied. "I'm just mulling things over. Plus, I'm slightly concerned that this programme is warping my mind. What are we watching?"
"Coronation Street. What are you thinking?"
"Hmm? Oh, nothing. Doesn't matter."
"Look, Sherlock it's not too late to cancel you know. I can't be arsed if I'm honest."
"No, no we can't cancel. It'll be fine. Besides, you wouldn't want to miss out the chance to meet the future Mrs Watson, would you?"
This was Sherlock strongest tact at convincing John to continue with the party plan. John would get drunk, definitely. And kiss a girl... probably. He smiled broadly and encouragingly at John who looked doubtful.
"You're right, if my future wife is Molly, Mrs Hudson or my sister."
Sherlock wrinkled his nose, his interest waning.
"Each to their own John, each to their own."