John was grouchy and he was aware of this was making him irritable. But, to be fair, most people would be in the same mental state if their erratic, hyperactive flatmate had dragged them out of bed (literally, covers and all) at two thirty in the morning. John had gotten fairly used to this event, it happened at least once a week since he'd moved into 221B Baker Street and in with Sherlock Holmes. However, John had only just gotten to sleep when the genius had woken him. Despite the prior warning, John did find the violin annoying, but only between the hours of one and six am. Unfortunately this is when Sherlock decided to play the violin most often. John had tried reasoning with the brilliant man, however Sherlock had at this point become selectively deaf. So John was forced to try and sleep through several recitations of Vivaldi's concertos.

To then be woken after such effort would put a lot of people in a sour mood, but to then be forced to stand in the freezing cold rain in front of a dead girl's body surrounded by scowling police officers was adding insult to injury.

However, John couldn't quite catch the small smile that graced his lips at the sight of Sherlock examining the teenager's body. He knew on some level that it was wrong for Sherlock to show so much excitement over the corpse at his feet. But John had learnt to accept the man before him as he was and their friendship was better for it. John had been told by the man himself that Sherlock was a sociopath within twenty-four hours of meeting the genius. Yet it had never quite sat right, John felt the label was slightly off and he was right. After The Pool, the realisation hit John like a bullet (although not as painfully), Sherlock did care. John had grabbed Moriarty and yelled at Sherlock to run. But he didn't and John knew in that moment what it was like to be Sherlock and be surrounded by idiots because Sherlock should have run but he stayed because he cared about John and what happened to him. What an idiot. Could he find a more inconvenient time to find his heart? They were going to have a long chat about caring and how it is not important when being held at gun point by a Semtex loving psychopath. Then his mind flashed back to when they had had that conversation, slightly different context, although positions had been reversed. From that moment on John didn't need to lecture Sherlock about caring because he had proof that he did care about him and that what was missing from their relationship. Equal and acknowledged affection. John never again corrected Sherlock for introducing him as his friend.

John's mind jerked back to the present, the case, and Sherlock bounding around like a loon. However, even Sherlock being entertainingly brilliant couldn't distract John from his bad mood and the cold, wet and exhaustion weren't helping. They were standing right behind a fish and chip bar and the smell of greasy, rotting fish in the confined space of the back alley was making John feel sick. And he was going to shoot Donovan and Anderson if they didn't stop muttering.

"Freak's back then. Don't know why he doesn't just live in the morgue. The only people who can stand him are stiffs."

It wasn't even a particularly bad comment by Donovan's standards, but John had finally had enough.

"At least he doesn't make cheap, nasty comments over a dead girls body, so kindly shut up and show some respect, Sergeant."

The whole space seemed to go quiet. Even the rain wasn't as loud as it fell upon the pavement. Some of John's drill-sergeant must have come through, since Donovan promptly closed her mouth and seemed to straighten as if to stand to attention. She suddenly wondered what rank the good doctor had reached in his time in the army. Anderson gawked. Nobody had ever cut down Sally with just one sentence before. Some part of his brain thought to jump to his lovers defence, but at the same time Anderson recognised a stronger person, both physically and mentally. So he just settled for gawking. Lestrade was oddly smug. He'd been waiting for this for weeks. It was clear that the doctor cared about the genius and more importantly Sherlock cared about Watson. He knew the man wasn't going to allow the verbal abuse of Sherlock to continue for much longer, he was just amazed at Watson's efficiency.

However it was Sherlock's flash expression of impressed gratitude that finally lifted John's spirits.

However nobody else noticed, and he soon went back to reciting his deductions.

"Obviously her girlfriend did it," Sherlock stated straightening up talking to John rather than Lestrade.

"Girlfriend?" Lestrade glance down at the body as if there was some large sign labelled 'lesbian' that he had somehow missed. Sherlock sighed,

"All her jewellery is silver except that gold bracelet. She's too fashion conscious to mix silver and gold, so she's wearing it for sentimental reasons, too new to be a family hand-me down and she wouldn't wear something like that clubbing. The inscription indicates it was given to her by a woman."

Blank stares greeted the consulting detective although John bent down to examine the girl's bracelet.

"It's initialled," John asked more than stated. Sherlock and waved for him to continue.

"And..."

"And there a kiss, well three kisses," Sherlock clapped at his friend.

"Exactly, no boy is going to show that level of sentimentality to his teenage girlfriend. Two women, however, it becomes more likely. Plus her neck is slightly shined in several places indicating she's been kissed by someone wearing lip gloss. Strawberry, judging by the smell."

John straightened up and cringed. He was going to have to ask and it would either earn him an 'its obvious and you're an idiot look' or it would inflate his flatmate's ego. He didn't know which one he was least looking forward to.

"OK, so she's a lesbian, but how do you know her lover killed her?"

Oh it was a mix night. A fond 'you're an idiot but I like you anyway' look coupled with a 'deep breath I'm about to be brilliant' glance.

"Her heels are caked with mud indicating she was dragged and therefore not killed here but not far away, heels aren't that caked. She was dragged, suggesting the murderer was unable to lift her, again pointing to a female killer. She smells like two different deodorants, but both floral. She hasn't come into close proximity with any males this evening. Her neck is the clincher. There is a love bite well covered with make-up. But why cover it up unless her girlfriend wasn't the one to leave it. She was cheating. Whilst kissing her neck, the victims girlfriend probably discovered it. They fought. Wood fragments in the head wound tell what weapon your looking for around the back of any nightclub within five minutes walk. Doubt she'll have stuck around but she won't have cleaned up either. Shouldn't be hard to get fingerprints."

Sherlock looked around. Reluctant but impressed seemed to sum up the general atmosphere at the crime scene. John was smiling. First time this evening. Good, meant he wasn't angry about the violin any more, which he shouldn't be in the first place it did help Sherlock think after all.

"Well, do I have to go and arrest her myself?" Sherlock asked. Lestrade smiled before shouting out orders to his team to start searching the area for the right night club. Sherlock turn and left to allow forensics in to do their job and John followed him, heading for the main street to catch a cab back to Baker Street.

"Doctor Watson," John turned to see Donovan running towards him. John turned to face Sherlock who had also stopped.

"I'll catch you up," John said and Sherlock nodded and carried on walking.

Donovan finally caught up with the doctor yet suddenly seemed unsure of what to say.

"What do you want Sally?" John asked. He was tired, frozen and soaked and he just wanted to go home with Sherlock.

Donovan looked at him, trying to work the doctor out.

"Why?"

John raised his eyebrows in disbelief.

"Why did I defend my friend against what was essentially bullying? And you call Sherlock a sociopathic freak?"

John turned to leave in disgust. Donovan stopped him again.

"He gives as good as he gets."

"But you start it, Donovan. You always have. Remember the first time we met? You knew Sherlock was allowed on that crime scene but you stopped him anyway to be petty and mean and then you sulked when he hit back. So grow up sergeant, or stay out of our way or preferably both," John didn't shout he didn't need to. The entire team had heard it and most of the met would know by lunch that Donovan had received the dressing down of her career twice in one evening by the same man and she knew it. Trying to save face she tried one more low blow.

"What are you his pet guard dog?"

Donovan had been there when Sherlock and John had given their statements about The Pool. She knew Moriarty had called John Sherlock's pet. She was aiming below the belt however John didn't bait as easily as that. He knew his place in Sherlock's life.

"I'm his colleague and I'm his friend."

With that John turned and walked out the alley leaving Sergeant Sally Donovan in the hands of an angry DI Lestrade who owed John a lot. Since he'd moved in with Sherlock, the DI could always guarantee that the consulting detective would be clean, sober and even fed and at least open to most cases, even if he did turn them down in the long run. Lestrade liked John Watson and would not stand his second in command treating him like that.

John walked out to the main street, glad to be away from the oppressive, enclosed space of the alley. He turned his face to the heavens and allowed the rain to wash away his anger.

"Better," a voice stated to the right of him. He didn't jump. He knew Sherlock would stick around to listen.

"Much," John replied and opened his eyed to look at the tall shadow beside him . Sherlock's gaze seemed to go right through him, but he was used to it now. He wasn't used to the puzzled look that came after it.

"You didn't have to do that." Ah, John realised, he's still not used to having someone there for him.

"No, but I wanted to," John stuck his hand out into the road, "and I should have done it a long time ago."

John barely noticed the cab pulling up as he looked at Sherlock.

"Home?"

Sherlock glanced back down the alley where they could see the young girls body.

He then looked back to John and smiled.

"Home."