By: Akiko, Keeper of Sheep


Prologue: Malsain


Addiction (noun): the compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly: persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Anyone who had ever had more than a passing interaction with Sherlock Holmes knew that he had an addictive personality. It wasn't exactly a secret, after all. Were he a less secure man, he might have been a little insulted that anyone he interacted with on a daily basis exhibited no surprise that he had a past drug habit. He didn't particularly care what they thought, though, so he ignored it as he did every other predictable aspect of the average human psyche and moved on.

Then along came John.

John, who had been startled and dismayed at Sherlock's use of nicotine patches, as though that was the worst chemical Sherlock had ever introduced into his body. John, who had been so sure that Sherlock would never use hard drugs, even after witnessing his use of patches. John, who had looked so disappointed, so disbelieving, like a little boy who had been told his favorite superhero was just an actor running about with a blanket round his shoulders.

John, who did not approve of addictions, but understood. He understood, and accepted it, because he would be a hypocrite if he didn't.

Sherlock found that he didn't like disappointing John. He hated that the smaller man expected so much of him, hated the stomach-clenching height of the teetering pedestal John placed him on. He wasn't a good man, or a hero, or whatever pathetically quixotic ideas John had about him. He was flawed and twisted and wrong, and as much as he resented that John didn't see that, he was terrified at the thought of John finding out.

He had come to enjoy John's company, his constant, steady presence and exasperating emotions. Sherlock was never lonely before, had never imagined being able to tolerate the company of so mundane a human being. In fact, it could be said that Sherlock Holmes preferred his solidute; yet here was this frightfully dull person, invading his space and reorganizing his books and binning his petri dishes and being John, and Sherlock was loving every second of it.

As such, the thought of John leaving sent shudders of extremely unwelcome emotion through him - anger, sadness, fear, fear, fear. He didn't want John to go away, to leave him alone with his thoughts and no homemade curry and 'freak' hissed at him everywhere he went. He knew he shouldn't want John's affection and tolerance and admiration, he knew he didn't deserve it, but Sherlock also knew that he could no longer do without it.

After John came along, Sherlock stopped using his patches so much. He no longer took out the padlocked case under the floorboards once a month, staring down at it and testing, relentlessly tempting, until he was certain he wouldn't regret putting it away without opening it. He ceased tracing the crook of his arm and imagining...

Sherlock Holmes was no stranger to addiction. He knew it was frowned upon by society, and he didn't care. He knew it was frowned upon by John, and he strove to overcome it. It never occured to him, him, the world's only consulting detective, to suspect that something was amiss.

When Sherlock first noticed his newest addiction, he was equal parts confused, bemused, and curious.

It never occured to him that John was enabling him.


To Be Continued...


A/N - WTF? Where the hell did this come from?

Oh, right, a chat with my sister. Why do all the best/worst/craziest ideas come from her?

I could have worked on the companion piece to SOS. I could have worked on the second part of Lorem Corde Meo. I could have worked on any of the series I have in the works from any of the other fandoms I write for. But no. I chose to start a new series.


This is not SOS-compliant, by the way. It's not part of that universe, but it should be fun all the same. =) Happy! Happy fic! Nothing angsty to see here!


Song for this chapter: 'Ulysses' (Franz Ferdinand)

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