All Out of Sorts

"I hate you."

"You hate me?"

"You shouldn't have given them to me."

"I didn't give them to you."

"You shouldn't have let me have them."

"How old are you?"

"Not old enough, apparently."

"You can fight in a war and drink legally and sign for packages, you can control your own urges, Sherlock."

"Apparently not."

"Do you even try?"

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Let's look at each word one at a time and—"

"Shut up John."

"If I have to sit on the floor in a public loo and rub your stomach and dear god listen to you complain my reward is not having to shut up."

"You hate me."

"I thought you hated me."

"Only because you so clearly hate me."

"Oh god, you've been poisoned."

"Yes, by your hatred."

"If you'd eaten wine gums instead of allsorts I could pretend you were drunk and this was the alcohol talking. Instead I know it's just you."

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Let's look at each word—"

"Shut up John."

"Hmm, are you feeling a bit of déjà vu?"

"I think I'm about to vomit again so my tentative answer is yes."

John removed his hand from Sherlock's belly, waited patiently for the puking. He's a doctor. He can 1) wait patiently 2) wait patiently for puke. As a matter of fact—and we're veering wildly off topic here—if John was given a vigorous rogering for every time he's been puked on over the years the good doctor would never be able to sit down again.

When Sherlock's 'déjà vu' was over he lay back on the cool loo floor and began rubbing his own belly.

Back pressed against the tiled wall, legs tented over Sherlock's, John huffed. "You didn't have to eat them all you know."

"I wanted to eat them."

"Did you want to throw them up as well?"

"Technically, no."


Sherlock huffed, as if the answer was obvious.

"You're a disgusting, nasty man Sherlock Holmes. I wondered why you told me to leave your…leavings."

"Did you see the colours?"

"They were difficult to unsee."

"The orange, blue, and green in the allsorts seem to digest quickly, but the pink and yellow retain their colour and were far more vibrant."

John Watson had pretty much nothing to say to this.

"I can't make conclusion with one data set, but preliminary results imply we could determine time of death based on the vibrancy of allsorts in a corpse's stomach. Providing they'd eaten some beforehand."

"If they'd eaten the frankly heroic quantities you just did the damn things were probably the cause of death."

Some childish part of Sherlock—which is to say most of him—was pleased John found the volume of his liquorice consumption impressive.

"If I'd known you would fall on that bag like something starved I'd have…" John licked his lips.

Sherlock read John's lascivious mind which, in this instance, was as easy as spotting a neon sign that has suddenly appeared throbbing between your legs. "Frankly I may never eat another allsort again. Wine gums however would comfortably secrete themselves in more places."

"Why Sherlock?"

"Because wine gums have fewer corners and so can be shoved—"

"No, you barmy berk, why? That bag was nearly a kilo. One kilo."

"I was—" Sherlock rode out a brief wave of nausea, patted his tummy comfortingly, "—sublimating."

John moved Sherlock's hand away. "Rub, don't pat. Patting jars. Rubbing soothes." John began to rub. Sherlock sigh-moaned in a soothed way.

"What were you sublimating?"

"My hurt to your studied indifference."

The urge to pinch passed quickly. John continued rubbing.

"I thought I hated you. Hate is not indifferent."

Sherlock closed his eyes aggrieved. "I'm aggrieved, John."

"You do know I don't know what aggrieved means and haven't for every single one of our years together."

"My point exactly."

John's hand temporarily stilled. Sherlock groaned. John's hand rubbed. "What now?"

"Five years John. The anniversary of you limping into my life occurred five years, one day, and two hours ago."

John blinked. Calculated. Dropped his jaw. "Oh."

Sherlock never remembers things like this. Except the times he does. The good detective belched. Everyone waited to see if that was a precursor to more déjà vu. It was not.

John cocked his head. "So if the anniversary of when we met was five years, one day, and two hours ago, why did you eat so many liquorice allsorts you're fetching up sick in a public toilet again?"

"You take me for granted. I had to do something dramatic."

"So you stole candy from Greg's desk—stuff he'd bought for his three nieces and one nephew, candy purchased to feed four—and you joined Greg and I in the Met's cafeteria—'Want a proper lunch Sherlock, my treat?' I remember Greg saying that—and you methodically bit off allsorts layers one at a time until even that old woman with the eyepatch could see you looked kind of green—so that I—who you maintain is taking you for granted despite the fact that I just bought you—and let you last night use—that four-way speculum—and despite the fact that I am sitting on this cold floor and rubbing your gurgling stomach in a surprisingly sweet-smelling gents—because your feelings were hurt and you wanted me to notice you?"


Sherlock belched. John smelled liquorice. Obviously.

"Was there any reason you didn't just say something my love?"

Five years on and endearments still do it. Sherlock would never have thought himself a man who feels his insides go soft and mushy but he's a man whose inside go soft and mushy when this man calls him love, or sweetheart, or—

"Honey, I'm so sorry."

Sherlock stuttered a big sigh. Stilled John's hand on his belly. John began to smile, to say—

Sherlock shoved John's hand away, sat up, puked noisily.

After a few disgusting moments the silly aggrieved man took a deep breath, felt his husband's head press next to his as they both gazed into the toilet.

"The yellow seems to be breaking down finally. The pink is still hanging on like a trooper though."

Sherlock rested the side of his head against the side of John's. "I'd like you to know that even when you take me for granted I'm aware that you're extraordinary and the perfect man for me."

"Thank you Sherlock."

"You're welcome, John."

"I love you."

Sherlock's answer had a lot of pink.

"These Liquorice Allsorts won't eat themselves," tweeted Mark Gatiss, 20 Dec, 2011. Six words giving rise to over a thousand vomitous one. Yay me and Chocolamousse, who graciously sends me so many wonderful tweets by the Sherlock folks. And yes, I'm aware my boys vomit, get drunk, high, or otherwise physically compromised absurdly often. This is not a trend I see abating. P.S. I went and bought allsorts to see what all the shouting—um, puking—was about. I tentatively like them except the coconut layer. Coconut and liquorice do not belong together.

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