Written for the 'can't sleep' prompt Sidney Sussex and I both did our own take on.

To read Sidneys brilliant version of a not-sleeping Sherlock: s/6987348/1/

Lay him to sleep.

Maybe a nice blow to the head would do it, John pondered.

After all, he had tried everything, well, almost everything, to get the man to just sleep. Hiding the nicotine patches hadn't worked. Neither had threatening to throw out the latest experiment on the different kinds of stains caused by – no, John wasn't going to remember the details of that one.

Telling Sherlock to get some rest now, in his sternest military voice, had resulted in a quirked eyebrow, followed by an amused you're-an-idiot-if-you-think-you-can-order-me-around kind of grin. John decided he had seen that grin far too often the past few months.

He looked over at the detective. Taking in the purple bags beneath the sharp grey eyes, the hollow cheekbones and the skin that was even paler than usual, he mentally sighed. As Sherlock blinked and shook his head to stay focused on the stack of papers he was currently engrossed in, John snapped. "Sherlock," he started. "You need to – " "Case," the man stated curtly, voice hoarse from disuse. He didn't bother looking up to accept the glare John was sending him.

John resisted the urge to throw his arms in the air in desperation. "I know!" He buried his face in his hands. "I know…" he muttered.

Oh, how well he knew.

The I-don't-sleep-on-cases policy had worked just fine. That was until this Moriarty character had shown up, becoming The Case. The one that was always lingering in the background, demanding the detective's attention the minute he finished a 'normal' case, draining him entirely.

This had to stop.

"I'm going out." Sherlock didn't react. John stood and headed for the door. Some fresh air, maybe he'd think of something on the way back.

Or maybe Sherlock would simply fall asleep on the sofa while he was away. One could always hope…

Almost outside, he was greeted by a flurry of wild red curls bouncing up the stairs. "Can I borrow Sherlock for a -" "You can keep him!" John yelled after her, storming down.

Was that… No, probably not.

Sherlock rubbed his eyes, blinking, looking at the files in front of him without really seeing them. Maybe some Paganini would help? He heard the slightest shuffle of feet at the door, tilted his head back and sighed, closing his eyes. "Now is not a good time, Irene."

The woman just smiled one of her more devious smiles. "Is it ever?" She walked over to the detective, who shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "What are you doing here?", he asked, turning his attention back on the rather blurry picture of one of Moriarty's henchmen.

She simply looked at him. "You need to rest," she stated, laying a small hand on Sherlock's shoulder. The man flinched, but didn't back away from her touch. "Can't," he muttered, "case."

The fresh air had indeed been a good idea. Although he still hadn't got the faintest idea as to how to get the no-good genius to actually sleep, he felt better. Much better. John bounced up the stairs, threw the door open and opened his mouth to tell Sherlock to give his laptop back.

He closed his mouth again at the unlikely sight that met his eyes.

On the sofa was the woman Sherlock had been chasing around London. She was humming quietly, and looking down at the somehow sleeping form of Sherlock Holmes.

John stood there, gaping, in the doorway. "What.." he muttered, "who.." the woman looked up and smiled brightly, before continuing to look at the detective, now muttering incoherently in his sleep, "how?" John finally concluded.

She looked up at him again, "Oh, some subtle persuasion and a little bit of feminine charm, that was all it took, really."

John raised one disbelieving eyebrow.

"Oh," she smiled sweetly, fingers curling around a few loose strands of the black curls resting in her lap. "And I might have drugged his tea."