This story is based on a prompt from the sherlockbbc kink meme community on LJ. The prompt is as follows - not that there are real spoilers here. It may comfort people to know a little about what they are getting into, like reading the blurb on a novel. So - inspirational prompt:

Sherlock is coming off his high and everything is dull and boring to the point where he calls a sex hotline.

He gets John.

He calls the same time every three days, just to talk- to see how his day is and how his sisters drinking habits are.
Imagine Sherlock`s surprise when he hears John`s voice in a local cafe.

it's him

I normally would say, 'Oh, phonesex... how lame!' but for some reason, the idea of Sherlock's being stunned by hearing this voice - a voice he has listened to with such intensity - and hearing it so unexpectedly, in such a setting. It's him. Moreover, it's John. It appealed to me. Moreover, I wanted to see how they ended up there - why is John working a phone sex line? Why would Sherlock call one? What in the world would be arousing to Sherlock via telephone? What would John do if confronted by a customer? What could Sherlock possibly say? I wanted to explore that a little. Well, I say a little...

**Be warned. I hadn't planned on it originally, but there is explicit description of sexual acts via telephone. It is past mature. The fic for the most part reads as Gen, except for the calls. Do not come crying to me if you failed to read this warning, and became disgusted by the depravity of one Jessamy Griffin. I won't have sympathy. Did I mention the idea came from a kink meme?**

Story begins... now.

December 14th, 2009

Sherlock peeled off the used buprenorphine patch from his thin forearm and flicked it irritably at the lamp at the foot of the settee. It missed and landed with flutter between the cushions. He didn't even notice, and began punching at the laptop keyboard again, fingers twitching. Compared to the euphoria of heroin, it was a pale imitation. God, he could use the distraction, any distraction. But he'd given his word to Mycroft, and the tedious course of detox was just about over. Besides, Lestrade wouldn't allow Sherlock the fun of any new cases if he was using again. Those two unsolved suicides had some promise, even if Lestrade was being cagey about the details. Meanwhile, here he lay. The great detective – still in his dressing gown on the settee at three in the afternoon, on the inside track to going spare from the monotony of life.

If I went mad, would the good DI Lestrade even notice the difference? Sherlock wondered in a black humour. Certainly neither Donovan nor Anderson would. One part of his mind played through a whimsical fantasy of what he would do to Anderson if he did lose his mind entirely. Another part pondered whether a plea of insanity would get him off murder charges, or the fact that Anderson's very existence had pushed Sherlock over the edge. My Lord, it was self-defence. You must see that the general intelligence quotient of the world has gone up by 1.3456 percent since his death.

Another part of his brain weighed the probability of Lestrade's team bringing him to justice if he ever did decide to kill someone. Odds - 1,563,976 to one chance of success. Multiply odds against by five if elder brother deployed. As if I would. Yet another part of his consciousness was just circling in a atonal singsong, hum drum boring hum drum boring hum drum boring Boring BORING

He scowled at the monitor screen, and refreshed the website. Idiots. It looked like the advice from tall-dark&clever had been shot down yet again. He had been haunting a few message boards devoted to love and relationship help in an effort to understand people and their motives for murder a bit more. Love - the most common motive. Mundane. Research of this type was necessary, but so annoying and nebulous – people could be so irrational. Unlike the precision of lab work. He quite preferred lab work, when his hands were less shaky. Later.

But these message boards. Unbelievable! No one liked his assessments of their relationships, and the motives for their behaviour! One user, kittypink, had suggested to another hopeful trying to catch a man's attention that the best way to attract him was to present yourself as kind yet mysterious, and as attractively attired as possible.

'After you are married and sure of his love, then you can reveal your true self bit by bit!' kittypink had typed.

Yes, when he is emotionally and financially invested, Sherlock thought. Such an amalgam of deceitful ploys were why the good DI and his squad were kept so busy. "My Lord, she's not the woman I married! I just HAD to!"

But tall-dark&clever's reply had been utterly repudiated. All he had said was, 'You should not distort yourself to attract others, you are only lying to yourself if you do.'

For this obvious statement he had drawn message-board cat-calls and hisses, and cries of 'Oh, I suppose you like natural women then, with no artifice or make-up? Who's lying to himself? We know what men like!' There was also a pithy, 'Piss off!' from kittypink.

Sherlock's lips hitched up in a grimace. He didn't know what men in general liked, but he knew what heliked. Not women, after reading some of the flames he'd received. Reflecting on this, he should have supposed the thread he'd started would have been just as controversial. It went like this:

[tall-dark&clever (2009/12/10) writes: Truth in Relationships.
To clarify what I am saying: In order for your relationship to be successful, it is self-evident that you be as forthcoming as possible before entering a commitment. Too often people who have some character defect enter a relationship without disclosing it to their partner. This is a mistake. If something is not right about you — you think you've got a bad trait or characteristic — it's going to come out eventually. You might as well be honest from the beginning.]

Sherlock's eyes scanned through some of the indignant comments that came after. He was a misogynist, a misanthrope, a Nazi – for suggesting that honesty at the outset was essential to a relationship's success? For god's sake, he was being accused of trolling. Why couldn't these people see? He needed to gather more data – does misrepresentation of self actually increase attractiveness/potential for acquiring new partner? He had used it as a ploy to get information from suspects, but if it came to sexual partners, he'd prefer the truth these days.

He pushed the memory of Seb from his mind and began to move the cursor to the Start button to power down the computer, frustrated at the obtuseness of humanity. Bored yet again. I need a new drug. Or a problem. Or...

Hmm. There. Maybe he should try that as an experiment. A blinking ad – . Time for some empirical data. Could a phone sex operator, creating a false impression meant to cater to his fantasies, actually evoke an honest response from him? Were all those wittering females on the relationship website right?

Sherlock sat up quickly, putting the computer aside and grabbed at his Belstaff coat, scrabbling in the pocket for the credit card he'd swiped from the DI the last time he'd been annoyed with Lestrade.

There. Triumphantly he threw himself into the leather chair sideways and snatched the computer up again. With no compunction for what Lestrade would think the next time he got his credit bill, he entered Lestrade's name, age, and credit information. Done. Now... who to talk to, who to talk to? His lips thinned. None of the pubescent girls posing next to descriptions of their assets would work. Too much information, unless he pre-supposed that the pictures were misrepresentations right from the beginning. Impulsively he clicked through to the "Matchmaker Room" and hit Connect.