It was a quiet Wednesday evening in apartment 221B— unusual, but not entirely unheard of. John, finished with his shift, had looked around, called out Sherlock's name half-heartedly, and plopped down on the couch. He fished out his phone and texted a quick where r u? to his flatmate. Then, king of the flat (at least for a little bit), he grabbed his computer, spread himself over the entire couch (a bit of a stretch, but he managed), and settled in for the night with a nice cuppa.
A few hours later, Sherlock strode in the door, coat dusted with a fine layer of snow on the shoulders. "John, I need a cup of tea, it's dreadful outside," he announced as he stepped further in to the living room. "And— what are you doing?"
John took a sip of tea. "Watching telly," he answered, eyes on the flickering screen.
"Obviously, but why on the computer? We've a perfectly serviceable television. Or is something wrong with it?" He walked over to the set, bending over and muttering something about leaving acids sitting too long on the top while John tuned him out in favor of the explosion happening on-screen. Remote in hand, Sherlock tried the basic commands— flipping channels, DVD player, brightness, contrast. As the volume reached the decibel level of a small jet airplane, John yelled,
"Nothing's wrong with the telly, Sherlock!"
"What?" Sherlock roared back. John huffed, got up, grabbed the remote from Sherlock's hands, and turned the blasted thing off.
"I said, nothing's wrong with the telly, Sherlock," he repeated.
"Oh." A puzzled look came over Sherlock's face as he sat down on the couch (taking up two-thirds of it, John noted bitterly). "Then why aren't you watching it on the telly?"
John settled into the (small, meager, barely-there) space allotted to him by Sherlock's stretch of long legs and sighed, looking longingly at the expanse of couch that had been his to rule, for however short a period of time. "It's an American show; don't get it on the channels here." Sherlock's brow furrowed.
"Why are you watching an American show?"
"Because it's interesting."
Silence fell, as Sherlock stretched out further and turned his attention toward whatever had been distracting him for the duration of the day. John glared resentfully at the feet touching his left thigh, then replaced the computer on his lap and pressed play. He had almost made it an entire five minutes of uninterrupted viewing when-
John paused the video. "Sorry?"
"What the announcer said— incorrect."
"The amount of force generated by the collision mentioned wouldn't be enough to set off the reaction of chemicals in the car."
"Well, that's the great part about the show, Sherlock. You get to see the experiments being preformed and know the conclusion, right then and there. No messes in the kitchen."
A shuffle, a slide, and Sherlock was pressed up against John's side, eyes glued to the computer screen. "Really?"
"Hm." He pursed his lips. John grinned.
"Interesting?" He teased.
"Not boring," Sherlock replied off-handedly, shifting back, thumbs clacking away on his phone. A pause, then— "John! There's nine seasons."
"How about you finish your first show, and then see if you want to watch the rest?" John suggested. Sherlock puffed his lower lip out in what anyone else would label a pout (though John's learned to be very careful using that word in hearing distance of Sherlock; the sulks he gets into after being accused of pouting are legendary).
"I haven't seen the beginning. How am I supposed to know what's going on?" John shot him a flat look, but Sherlock merely reached over and pushed the bar back to the start of the episode.
"I was half-done, you know," John grumbled. Sherlock shushed him and moved closer as the beginning credits started to roll.
The episode was declared a success in cinematics by both watchers, which is, in 221B, a very rare occasion. This momentous happenstance sparked a sort of routine (or as much of a routine as is possible, with the lifestyles they lead). If they weren't busy with a case and John was home from work, they would sit on the couch (not cuddling, John would like anyone listening to know, or if there was any cuddling or leaning on shoulders, it was strictly on Sherlock's part, and John let him because, well, because he's Sherlock, alright? Any more questions? No? Moving on.), laptop resting on John's legs, and watch an episode or two of Mythbusters in the late afternoon. Normally two cups of tea and a bowl of popcorn are on the coffee table, and if it's a particularly good episode, Sherlock will mindlessly nibble through most of the popcorn. John watches for the explosions, Sherlock announces his prognosis on the myths as soon as the details are clear, and if the conclusion is deemed unsatisfactory, he steals John's computer and writes detailed e-mails (footnotes, sources, and references attached) to the producers of the show. All in all, John thought as he watched Sherlock pound out another e-mail on his keyboard, muttering under his breath about the "idiots running the show, really, wouldn't they know that the speed isn't the dependent variable, but rather the independent?", it wasn't such a bad way to spend an evening.
Then the experiments began.
For a few weeks, it was kept to (relatively) quiet explosions in the kitchen, experiments to see which, exactly, were the chemicals used on the show to produce the explosions.
("What part of 'do not try this at home' do you not understand, Sherlock?" John flings his hand out, nearly knocking a still-smoking beaker off the counter. Sherlock steadies it and looks passively at John. The expression works much better when he is not missing half of an eyebrow.
"But John, how else was I supposed to find out what chemical they used to coat the fake Hindenburg?")
Then, of course, it progressed to social experiments.
("Sherlock, why are there blindfolded homeless people running every which way?" John sighs; he knew he should have suspected something when Sherlock suggested a walk in the park.
"Perhaps they're playing 'pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey'", Sherlock offers, straight-faced.
"All of them? At the same time?"
"Fine, then, blind-man's bluff."
"That's not how the game works."
"Reverse blind-man's bluff."
"I was simply testing whether people could walk in a straight line without their source of primary data in terms with their relation to the physical world."
"How'd you get them to do it?"
"Well, the adults, money, of course. The children I offered sweets."
"A bit not good?"
"Yes, Sherlock. Very a bit not good.")
When they got back from the walk and Sherlock disappeared into the kitchen to check on the latest experiment (John didn't ask), John called up the internet service provider to see if there was any way to block the sites on which they'd been watching Mythbusters from their connection. There wasn't.
The day Sherlock almost blew the flat up trying to prove yet another myth was the day that John declared a ban on all things Mythbuster-related. Sherlock sulked for a week, although they both knew he was watching the episodes while John was at work; the empty popcorn bowls attested to that. Still, John mused as he cleared one from the end table, Sherlock furiously typing away at his computer again, at least he was eating somewhat consistently now.
The next week, after a long case involving a purse-snatcher, a pocket watch, and a peregrine falcon, John had thrown his jacket into a corner of the room (dangerous, but he wasn't too concerned about it, at the moment) and drifted off to sleep on the couch. He was woken rather abruptly by the plopping of his computer into his unsuspecting lap and the arrival of a consulting detective suddenly curled up against his side.
"Sher- Sherlock, what?"
"Shh," soothed the consulting detective, eyes fastened to the screen, where something else was being blown up or rocketed at or John can't really tell at the moment. John stared blearily at the be-coated figure nestled up against him. Sherlock sighed. "Can't sleep, and it relaxes me."
"Mythbusters," John clarified, just to be sure.
"Why not watch it alone?" The video paused, and Sherlock looked up at him, eyes about as tired as John felt.
"Better with you; someone to talk to." John shifted uncomfortably and tried not to think about the heartburn (because that was surely what it was, hereditary, on his mother's side) that was gripping his innards and squeezing like a gleeful child with a full tube of toothpaste.
"Why not watch with the skull?" he grumbled, jittery and resigned and altogether a little uncomfortable at not being uncomfortable with his flatmate pressed up against the side of him, head nestled snugly against his good shoulder.
"Skull doesn't answer back." Sherlock nuzzled his shoulder absent-mindedly and focused tired eyes again on the screen. After a few minutes of silence, John craned his neck and looked down. The steady puffs of breath against his shoulder, closed, fluttering eyelids, and low stream of nonsensical mumbling were enough to convince John that Sherlock was nearly asleep. He eyed the floppy mane of curls, sighed, pressed his cheek against it, and settled in to watch the rest of the episode.
I own nothing Mythbuster-wise or Sherlock-wise. Sadly. I am, however, willing to correct this grievous mistake of the universe, if only someone would lend me the brain of Moffat and/or Gatiss... It is, I have discovered, one of the Hardest Things Ever to switch to past-verb tense when you are used to writing in present-verb tense. I think I vetted all the present-tense out that needed to be, but if you find anything (or just have suggestions as to character, writing style, etc.), please let me know! As always, response is met with cookies and love!