Sherlock sits on the couch, elbows on his knees, hands clasping either side of the skull.
He stares at the skull.
The skull stares back.
Delete, he commands himself. Delete it, just delete it already. He sighs, frustrated. He's never had this problem before- not being able to delete information. Especially about people- boring, mundane, useless, incapacitorially dull people. Even the information about those he considers his incompetent co-workers, he keeps to a bare minimum [Lestrade: Officer, Scotland Yard. Grey hair, blue eyes. Calls when crime is out of his league. Filed under: Watch. Donovan: Of African descent. Unimaginative: considers "freak" the epitome of insults. Theory based on repetition of insult. Filed Under: Watch. Anderson: Incompetent. Dinosaurs? Filed Under: Watch.]. The only people deserving of an entire folder in his brain are Mycroft (his upper lip curls), Moriarty (a hand lifts from the skull and clenches tightly), and Irene Adler (the size of the folder is miniscule, more from lack of knowledge than disinterest. He prefers to pretend otherwise).
And, of course, John.
Sandwiched between "Variations of Bootprints in Mud and Sand" and "Naturally-Growing Belarusian Poisons" is a sizable folder, the label as no-nonsense and straight-forward as the man himself. And, much to his surprise, Sherlock finds that he cannot bring himself to delete a single piece of information from that damned folder.
It's not just the important events, either: their first meeting, looking up into clear, stern blue-grey-brown eyes, hiding his surprise at the firmness of the older doctor's gaze; the first time they giggle together at a crime scene, John between giggles, saying they should stop, it isn't right; the time John thinks he's finally solved the case himself because of the cat, Sherlock, the disinfectant on the cat's claws, it must have been the brother, then turning away to nearly pout, face fallen as Sherlock hides a smile and explains in dull, matter-of-fact tones how John is wrong once again, it was obviously the assistant; the incident with the Chinese mafia gang, Sherlock's voice echoing throughout the tunnels, "How would you describe me, John? Resourceful, dynamic? Enigmatic?" "Late", John barely breathes, covering up the utter relief in his voice with a thick layer of annoyance. The effect is somewhat spoiled as he leans back in the chair to which he is tied and closes his eyes, lips parting in a small sigh. Sherlock almost misses it in the dim shadows.
No, though a sizable chunk of the folder in his mind is devoted to the more monumentous experiences, it's the smaller, quiet moments that take over the nooks and crannies of the folders, cram the entire business bursting to the brim. The minutiae of John's daily life clutters his mind, spills over into other folders against his will. He's catalogued seventeen different smiles, twenty-four frowns, three giggles, six outright laughs, four irritated huffs, five yells, and two screams of terror. He knows the sound of John's loafers on the stairs, the staccato tempo beating out the rhythm of his day. He knows the smell of John's three favorite teas, both dry and steeped. He can tell exactly how frustrated John is with him before John's even started the inevitable "Sher-lock.", just by observing the twitches of his eyebrow. He's also catalogued all forty-three tonal inflections John has given to his name, from "awed-by-my-not-inconsiderable-intelligence" to "I meant to clean up those ears before he got home-JOHN, DON'T THROW THAT OUT, A MAN'S FATE DEPENDS ON IT!" He even knows the texture and smell of John's jumpers, both while being worn and after they're laundered and put away in John's drawer. (How he knows that last piece of information, he'll never tell.)
And none of it – none of this mundane, useless, absurdly large amount of information – is capable of being deleted from his memory. The space, he knows, would be much better used on facts about the decomposition of Australian aviary specimens. Try as he might, though, he can't bring himself to delete a single file.
Sherlock furrows his brows and growls at the skull.
The skull, unsurprisingly, stays silent.
The door slams, and Sherlock's head jerks up from the impromptu staring match with the skull. John shrugs off his jacket and turns to him with a smile (smile No. twelve, his traitorous mind helpfully supplies).
"So, what's for dinner?" John's voice breaks through through the haze of slightly murderous thoughts in Sherlock's brain. He growls wordlessly, then pitches the skull at him and curls up to face the sofa.
A/N: Hey, guys! So. I've basically come up with a whole universe of stories for BBC Sherlock, and I've written quite a few of them down. Outlined most of the rest, too. Yays! Unfortunately, though, it's all handwritten in what I've come to think of as my "smut-book". So there are still more stories to come; however, they might take a bit! (This also means that the sequel to the jam story might be a bit later than expected, as it fits in after Sherlock and John figure some important stuff out.) But for this short, well, I was thinking- Sherlock's not all that good with emotions, so naturally, it'd take a while for him to realize, admit to himself, and come to grips with his emotions towards John. So Sherlock might be angsting a little in these next few shorts. Did you think it was in character? Thanks for reading!