Cardboardram of deviantArt has graciously given me permission to use their pieces for prompts to oneshots. I have used their lovely work entitled "It's an Experiment" (tinyurl .com/ 3qqdfg) for this little bit of whimsy (remove spaces from URL). Make sure to shower them with love!
It's an Experiment
John opened his closet in search of his favorite black-and-white striped jumper. Upon finding that there were no jumpers in his closet, he shrugged and went to look for it in another place.
Wait, what the hell?
He reeled back to the closet and flung open the doors to register just what he had seen: his closet was nearly empty. Not a jumper in sight.
His stomach dropped. ...Jumpers don't just disappear, he thought, trying to reign in the sudden bafflement and distress that was overtaking him. Well, apparently they do, another small voice said matter-of-factly in his head. It sounded obnoxiously like Sherlock when he'd told DI Dimmock It's one possible explanation of some of the facts. You've got a solution that you like but you're choosing to ignore anything that doesn't comply with it.
Annoyance now layered atop confusion, John began to search his room for his missing jumpers. Underneath the bed, in his dresser drawers, the blanket closet, and in the laundry hamper proved to be lacking in said jumpers. John felt a bit of a pang, fretting over them. Not only were some of those jumpers the comfiest clothes he had, some had sentimental value. The black-and-white striped one was a gift from his mother; the lumpy green one was a gift an anonymous citizen- bless them- had knitted for him while he was in Afghanistan. One he was rather attached to- an Aran one the color of oatmeal- had been the jumper he'd worn the day he'd gone to the flat for the first time to consider moving in with Sherlock. He felt a sudden stab of sadness as he worried that he wouldn't find them and the affectionate nostalgia he felt while wearing each one would be lost to him.
He decided that he would take his search downstairs; perhaps Mrs. Hudson had removed them for a washing? While that wasn't entirely sensible, as he made a point of taking her words ("I'm your landlady, not your housekeeper") seriously and not having her clean up after them, he wouldn't put it past her to do something out of kindness or concern.
He headed down the stairs and passed by the living room, only to pause and take a few steps back.
Sherlock was slumped on the couch like a bored teenager, his knees drawn up and his curly head barely peeking past the arch of the sofa's top. He seemed to be buried beneath a multicolored quilt of some sort that seemed familiar to John but that he knew he didn't recognize.
Closer examination and focusing in on the mysterious blanket brought the answer to him like a knock across the back of the head.
Stifling an amused (and exasperated) smile, he ambled over to the couch and leaned on the back, draping crossed arms over the top.
Sherlock's eyes, seeming far more tired than John had ever seen them, slewed over to him. He had the grace to look guilty, but only for a moment before it was replaced with self-righteous indignation and pompousness.
"I was looking for those."
"Hnn. I heard you doubling back when you didn't see them in the closet." Sherlock's eyes flicked to the ceiling as if gesturing towards John's upstairs bedroom.
John heaved a sigh. "May I ask what you're doing with them?"
Sherlock looked like an upset child caught in the midst of a silly game. "'S an experiment," he muttered in his baritone rumble.
"That hardly answers my question."
"I don't think you require an answer."
"Have it your way, then."
John stood up easily, stretching. If Sherlock was surprised that he wasn't putting up a fight, he didn't let it show. His eyes tracked John as the doctor made his way across the room towards the mantle.
Sherlock's eyes narrowed. "John."
John didn't stop.
"John, what are you doing. John? John!"
With an innocent smile, John snagged Sherlock's skull from the mantle. In a flurry of overturned jumpers, Sherlock had bounded off the sofa and pinned one of John's hands down and nabbed the skull with the other. "And what do you think you're doing, doctor?"
"It's an experiment!"
"Highly unlikely." His grip tightened as John tried to wrestle out of his grasp and grab the skull again. "This shall not be touched. I swear, you and Mrs. Hudson…"
"All right, then don't take my jumpers. Think you can handle that?"
"I was experimenting."
"You keep saying that-" John stood on tiptoes, reaching around with the hand that wasn't pinned down to try and get at Sherlock's raised arm holding the skull, "-but you haven't even told me what you were experimenting. Doesn't experimentation involve a bit more of a process than sitting on the couch buried by my jumpers?"
"I believe I mentioned that it was none of your business," admonished Sherlock crisply. "Now, I wasn't doing any harm to your jumpers, so leave me be with them."
"You certainly are difficult." John wasn't about to admit that he was enjoying their strange little game and tried to put on a stern face. "I hope you don't act this protective when Mrs. Hudson hears you were talking to it and comes to take it away again."
"You speak as if I will allow that," smirked the consulting detective. "Now, while your devotion to your jumpers is touching, you must leave them in my care for a while longer as the experiment continues. You will not touch my skull or any other belongings with the intent of using them as revenge or bribery against said experiments, nor will you interrupt me. Understood?"
John sighed and relaxed. "Very well. And you're not going to tell me what you're doing?"
"I believe this is the third time you've asked me, and this is the last time I'll deny you an answer. The next time you ask will result in silence and a brush-off." Sherlock cautiously put his skull down, waiting to see if John would make a lunge for it, but- true to his word- the young doctor did not.
Sherlock's smugness was evident beneath the smirk. "Thank you."
Sherlock stayed on the sofa for the rest of the evening, even after John had gone to bed, submerged beneath wool jumpers. It was cozy and frankly, he didn't have any desire to leave. The weight of the clothes and the warmth that permeated every inch of him was pleasant and comforting…like John.
And that had been the point of this, anyway.
He slipped an arm out from beneath the sea of jumpers and inhaled against his sleeve.
He smiled. Perfect.
His experiment had reached its culmination- every inch of him smelled like John's warm, familiar scent. It had taken some time for the scent to really rub off on him, but now he had it.
The cure to his insomnia, he was pleased to note, could be found in his flatmate's clothes- an easily attainable source. For the first night in weeks, Sherlock slept well, surrounded by a pile of jumpers.