John Watson has always enjoyed his work as a doctor - surgery, analysis of disease, the simple satisfaction of a patient saved. He has not, however, quite yet adjusted to primary care work as opposed to the battle field.
"And when ever I walk there is this twinge."
John raises one eyebrow, "twinge?"
The woman purses her lips, "like a poke."
John clears this throat. "How would you rate this 'poke' on the pain scale?"
"Oh, well." She waves a hand. "It doesn't exactly hurt..."
John glances at the clock above her head and swallows his groan.
Trauma in the field was quick, straight forward - stop the blood flow, locate the shrapnel, assess, transport. His surgeries were perfectly clinical and military environment meant the only problems one had with patients was getting them to admit they were in pain and then to stay in hospital for the correct length of recovery time.
"It's more like a stick is there or something, jabbing away."
John bites the inside of his lip. "Right."
He almost longs for the blood of the battlefield in these moments - not that he enjoyed watching his friends blown to bits but he found medical comfort in obvious wounds and flowing blood.
"And it's just the one foot, mind. My left foot is just perfect!"
John reminds himself of his pay cheque every ten minutes.
John's 'twinge' woman leaves with a prescription for orthotics and the clock ticks on slower than the creation of the universe. John knows he has at least five more patients in his queue. Maybe he'll be lucky and one will have cancer.
John groans and puts a hand over his eyes. "Sherlock's turning me into a right bastard, can't even be pleased with simple diagnoses."
"And why would you want simple?"
John's eyes snap open. Sherlock smiles at him from where he stands with his back against the closed door. John cocks an eyebrow and checks to make sure he hasn't accidentally slept through the rest of the day and it's 5:30 already.
"What are you doing here?"
Sherlock grins and pushes off from the door. "Case. You didn't answer my text and you were on the way."
"I'm not on the way and when did you text?"
"You were on the way from the crime scene and seven minutes ago."
John closes his eyes once then opens them and pulls his phone from his desk. There are, in fact, three missed texts from Sherlock.
"Okay... so, what's the case?"
Sherlock strides over to the chair across from John's desk and hops up to roost on top. "Double murder. No forced entry and missing dog."
John blinks. "I, uh - okay, missing dog?"
Sherlock steeples his fingers under his chin and grins. "Get your coat"
"What? Now? I can't leave now. I have patients!"
Sherlock makes a derisive noise. "The same patients you were wishing cancer upon moments ago?"
John frowns. "I didn't say cancer."
"You were thinking it."
"How would you know that?" John snaps.
Sherlock only chuckles. John's desk phone suddenly rings making him jump. He grabs the receiver.
"John?" Sarah sounds cautious. "You – ahem – you with a patient now?"
John glances at Sherlock who appears restless, rocking slightly on his heels. "Of sorts"
"Your patient," Sherlock makes air quotes, "needs you to vacate this insipid establishment."
"What?" Sarah says.
John rolls his eyes. "Good word use."
"Not you, Sarah."
"So, you are with a patient?"
"Yes," Sherlock barks, suddenly leaning forward and grabbing the edge of the desk.
"No!" John insists then covers the mouth piece. "You're going to fall."
"Not all of us are vertically challenged."
"I can see another patient, Sarah." John removes his hand from the mouth piece and raises his eyebrows at Sherlock. Sherlock pushes off the desk to right himself back in the chair. "Give me one minute," John says to Sarah and hangs up the phone.
Sherlock frowns. "You cannot be serious"
"Come on." John stands up and motions to the door.
Sherlock cocks his head. "You would not rather be here."
"No, but we all do things we'd rather not"
John glares. "Aren't you the special one?"
John comes around his desk and stands in front of Sherlock still crouched on the chair.
Sherlock purses his lips and drops his hands. "Come to the crime scene."
John sighs. "No, Sherlock." He steps around the chair. Grabs the edges, and pitches Sherlock out. Sherlock tumbles to his feet with a swirl of dark gray coat.
"You have your work, I have mine. They're not overlapping right now." John steers Sherlock by the arm, opens his office door and pushes Sherlock through. "Off you go."
Sherlock purses his lips and turns on the spot. "You'll regret this, John."
"No doubt," Sherlock calls back as he walks away.
John's next patient comes down the hall past Sherlock. Sherlock leans into his path as he passes and stage whispers, "wonderful bedside manner, don't let him get fresh though."
The man stumbles once and his eyes become sauce pans. John grinds his teeth together.
Ten minutes and one patient later the door swings open and Sherlock's head of black curls appears. "John!"
John and his new patient both jump in their chairs.
"Sherlock?" John replies slowly.
Sherlock eyes the young man sitting in the chair. He frowns. "Two dead bodies."
"What?" The man whips his head around. "Here?"
Sherlock grips the edge of the door and tilts his head. "No, under the desk by John's feet."
The man frowns and John bites his lip. "Sherlock, I said I can't come."
"You said that but you didn't mean it."
"Patient!" John snaps.
"Just tell him he has strep throat, prescribe, and shall we move on?"
"I have strep?"
"Yes, he does."
"What did I say about separation of jobs?"
The man points at Sherlock. "Is he another doctor?"
Sherlock steps inside and closes the door. "Maybe"
John rubs his forehead. "He's not."
"But he said I have strep..."
"Have you looked?"
John stares at Sherlock. Sherlock steps to the side, pulls a tongue depressor from a jar on the counter by the wall and holds it out.
John snatches it from Sherlock's hand and stands up. The patient looks nervously between them as John walks over.
"Open your mouth, please." The man glances at Sherlock again. "I won't let him near your mouth."
He opens his mouth and John does a quick check. His fist clenches as he stands up straight again. He sees Sherlock grin.
"Well?" The man insists.
John clears his throat. "We'll still need to do cultures to be sure"
When the door closes behind John's patient two minutes later, Sherlock holds up John's coat.
"Surely that was enough live patients to allow you to move on to my two dead ones?"
"Yours aren't patients."
"Corpses then; I thought you might have appreciated a title change."
The edge of John's lip quirks and he clears his throat nosily. Sherlock smirks and stands still, watching him.
John shakes his head. "No, I really can't."
Sherlock breathes slowly through his nose still holding out John's jacket.
"I can't! I'd like to -"
"But this is my job Sherlock."
"So, is my case."
"You know it's not the same!"
Someone suddenly raps on the door and it begins to open. "John?"
John grabs the edge of the door so Sarah can't open it further, obscuring Sherlock on his other side from view.
"Hi!" John turns on his charming smile. "Hi, what do - what, uh, what is it?"
Sarah points over her shoulder with the pen in her hand. "Your patient left?"
Sherlock taps John's elbow and John's eyes flick over. Sherlock grins, shaking John's coat soundlessly.
John looks back to Sarah. "Yeah - Yes, step throat."
"Right. Great." Sarah looks down at her clip board, making a note.
Sherlock taps John's shoulder hard. John grimaces and shoots him a glare. Sherlock holds up the screen of his mobile: haven't heard of leaving early?
'No,' John mouths. 'Yes,' Sherlock mouths back. 'No,' John does again. Sherlock nods.
"So." John whips his head back around to Sarah as she speaks. "We've got Mr. Geller with arm pain and Mrs. Braduck with her baby, which do you want?"
"Not baby," Sherlock mutters.
"What?" Sarah's eyes begin to peer past John.
"Baby is great!"
Sarah's eyes latch back onto John. "Right… I'll send them back."
John closes the door and turns to Sherlock. Sherlock cocks an eyebrow. "Are you attempting to punish yourself?"
"Attempting to make me flee? Dirty play, John."
"Has it been effective?"
"Sherlock, you can't invade my work like this! I'll come to the crime scene when I'm off, okay?"
Sherlock turns over his wrist. "3:17."
"Lestrade will be wondering where we are and you wouldn't want Molly to get to the bodies before you."
"Is this baiting?"
"And it's working."
John licks his lips and shakes his head because damn it Sherlock never fails.
Suddenly someone taps on the door.
"Sherlock, wait out in the lobby and I'll be out, okay?"
"When, John? This is a double unsolved homicide."
John stops with his hand on the door knob. "What?"
"I think I am going to stay until you can pull yourself away."
The woman outside knocks again. "Dr. Watson?"
John grabs Sherlock's arm and drags him across the room.
Sherlock drops John's jacket and stumbles after him. "John, what-"
"You want to wait, fine." And John shoves Sherlock into his closet then shuts the door.
"John-" the sound muffles and John walks across the room, picking up his jacket and throwing it toward the corner, and allows his patient in.
"Hi, sorry, phone." He puts on he 'trust me, I'm a doctor' smile. "Dr. Watson.'
"Hello." She smiles back, pug-nosed baby in hand, and sits down. "So, Maggie here has a cough."
John blinks slowly but does not look at his closet.
"She's had it for about a week now and I thought better be safe."
John picks up a pen and writes on a note pad in front of him, smile stretched tight.
"And she's been... well..."
John clears this throat loudly and he feels his mobile buzz in his pocket.
"Just a bit off. Do you hear that?"
John stares. "Hear - do I hear what?"
John stares at her, glances down at baby Maggie who also stares back. He raises his eyes to Mrs. Braduck. "No."
Her faces scrunches. "Yes, you do."
"You know, I think little Maggie just has a simple cough!" He pulls out his prescription pad and writes. "Try this for four days and come back if it persists."
"But you've barely looked at her!"
"Bit of a fever, clammy, time of year. End stages of a minor flu. She'll bounce through it." John holds out the prescription.
"Flu!" She squeaks and John hears 'tap tap tap.'
"Trust me. Take it." He waves the paper at her which she weakly grasps.
Something crashes in the closet and they both jump to their feet.
"See Stacy on your way out and give us a call in four days!"
John hustles her out the door, snaps it closed then stalks to the closet and yanks open the door.
Sherlock blinks at him, phone in hand, and clicks his tongue. "Well."
"You can't just wait for anything, can you?"
Sherlock fans his hands. "You locked me in a closet."
"It wasn't locket."
"Hardly the point."
John bites his lip and inches back a step. The closet barely fits Sherlock's full height, the curls of his hair flattened by the ceiling. His one hand presses against the wall and John's scarf rubs on his face where it hangs on its hook. An umbrella sits beside Sherlock's legs and John sees old files crushed into a pile behind Sherlock's ankles.
John chuckles to which Sherlock sighs. "You could move aside and let me out so we can move on to more important things such as my case."
Sherlock shifts forward over the precipice of the closet's edge into John's personal space, hands griping the door frame. "John, this is quite serious."
John holds his ground and most certainly does not feel blood rush to his face. "You look very serious."
Then someone knocks loudly on the door to John's office.
John jumps, the door knob twists, and Sherlock pulls John into the closet.
"Sherlock, no!" John squeaks as the closet door closes.
"Shhhh." Sherlock puts a finger to his lips. "If she thinks you're gone..."
"John?" Sarah's voice sounds louder than John would have expected through the door.
'I will kill you,' John mouths
Sherlock smiles and drums his finger tips against his lips.
"John..." Sarah's voice trails over and John hears her stepping away, probably toward his desk.
Sherlock tilts his head and John feels the edge of Sherlock's coat brush his leg. He breathes in, Sherlock so close, and smells formaldehyde and shampoo.
"You can't do this," John hisses, "I can't just go anywhere at your whim!"
"Why not?" Sherlock whispers back
John shifts, jabbing an elbow into Sherlock's chest. Sherlock groans
"Okay, yes I am a doctor, I can do crime scene analysis and yes... okay... it's interesting how you -"
"Fascinating, how you can-"
"Brilliant! Okay? How you figure things out and I do like -"
"Love it! All right? I love solving cases with you!"
Suddenly the closet door swings open to reveal Sarah. John stares open mouthed.
"Busy?" Sarah asks.
"Hello, Sarah." Sherlock smiles.
John makes a choking noise in his throat.
Sarah crosses her arms and raises her eyebrows. "Stuck in the closet are you?"
Sherlock tilts his head. "Is that a joke?"
"It appears pretty factual to me."
John holds up a hand. "I can explain..."
"I'm sure you can." Sarah cracks the edge of a smile. "Just trying to get out of the closet now?"
"Ah." Sherlock shifts so slouched against the wall in a closet hardly big enough for one adult male he appears to be the most comfortable person in the world. "Now that was a joke."
Sarah raises both eyebrows again. "Good spot."
"I'll let you two get on." She steps back and grips the edge of the door. "I'll see your last patient John."
"Sar-" the door closes and puts them back in the dim light. "Ah..." John knocks his head against the closed door. "Christ..."
"That went well."
John shifts against the wall, knocks his knees into Sherlock's shins and plants a hand on Sherlock's chest.
"Well? Sherlock, you're insane."
Sherlock gives John a nonplussed face.
John sighs and knocks his head back against the wall. "I am in the closet in my office with my best friend..."
Sherlock's lip quirks. "Friend?"
"You did say you loved working on cases with me."
John swallows. "I did."
John blinks. "Hmm?"
"Say 'hmm' again."
Sherlock only raises his eyebrows. John signs. "We're in a closet, Sherlock."
"And what do you suggest?"
"I don't know!"
Sherlock falls silent, hands folded together over where his lap would be if not for the awkward angles. John pulls at the edge of his sweater and breathes in muggy air. He glances at the other man in the semi-dark. Sherlock watches him, obviously waiting to see if John decides to do anything.
"You didn't have to pull me in here," John grumbles.
"You didn't stop me."
"You didn't give me a chance!"
"You could have tried."
Sherlock shifts down slightly as he speaks and suddenly their bodies seem to fit together like puzzle pieces.
"Really, John if you were so intent…"
Sherlock's legs click with John's like Legos – John, Sherlock, John, Sherlock.
"…you would have made…"
The files on the floor push back magically out of their way completely; Sherlock's chest slips closer to John's and Sherlock's one arm braces himself against the wall beside John.
"But you didn't, so I could only imply…"
John feels the air move as Sherlock breathes in and out, feels heat from Sherlock's skin, feels a brush of hair.
"And you haven't opened the closet door yet." Sherlock gives John a quizzical look. "So I have to assume-"
"All right, shut up," John cuts Sherlock off and kisses him
Sherlock breathes in quickly with evident surprise but regroups just as fast, sliding a hand up to touch John's neck. John pushes forward the three centimeter of space left in the closet and pins, as though they're not already cramped, Sherlock against the wall. Sherlock hisses and shifts left to avoid the hook in the wall but does not stop John's push.
Sherlock tastes like tea and very faintly of ash (like John didn't know Sherlock had been smoking again). Sherlock's hand pulls John's shirt out of his pants and when he hits skin John jolts in surprise. Sherlock's hand is so cool.
Sherlock chuckles into the kiss and John bites his lip. Sherlock gasps and pushes back against John, knocking John against the wall and taking the offensive. John unbuttons Sherlock's suit jacket and wonders if there is enough space in the closet to get the damn coat off. (Not like shagging in this closet would really be an option).
Suddenly, John begins to giggle. Sherlock kisses him harder obviously attempting to get John back on track but the only makes him laugh harder.
Sherlock pulls back and knocks his head into the ceiling as he does so. "And what is so amusing, John?"
John snorts. "We're in a closet!" Sherlock just stares as John laughs on. "It's like a romance novel and not a good one!"
Sherlock huffs a laugh. "It is a bit cramped."
"Now who has the height advantage?"
Sherlock laughs again and John can feel Sherlock's chest move against his.
John shakes his head then grabs the door knob and turns. The door swings open and John clambers out, Sherlock stepping gracefully after.
John clears his throat. "So."
Sherlock puts his one hand in his pocket and closes the closet door with the other. "So?"
"We just snogged in that closet." John points for reference.
Sherlock nods. "Yes."
"You and I."
"We could again," Sherlock offers. "Though I would skip the closet this time."
John smiles. "Don't you have a case?"
Sherlock's eyes light up and he grins wryly. "We are quite late."
"You're late, I have work."
"I believe Sarah's given you the time off."
John smiles and Sherlock holds out a hand. John has a flash of at least five romance movie scenes then takes Sherlock's hand. Sherlock touches John's hair with his other hand, smoothes down a tiny curl on John's brow.
"So, care for a double murder investigation?"
John smiles and touches a finger tip to Sherlock's ridiculous chin. "How many theories do you already have?"
Sherlock drops his free hand from John's hair and touches his side. "Four."
"Not five?" John traces a path up Sherlock's jaw with his fingers until he settles at Sherlock's neck. "I'm surprised"
"Well," Sherlock inches closer and smiles against John's lips, "I have been encouraging your attendance to the scene for a reason."
"Oh, well then."
Sherlock presses his lips to John's and John slides his hand up into Sherlock's thick hair.
"Crime scene then?" Sherlock asks, nose bumping John's.
John smiles and, suddenly, he quite enjoys his job - the illnesses, the diagnosing, the blood, the clues, the surprising results.
"Yeah, okay." John kisses Sherlock once more. "'Let's go."
John turns, hand still held in Sherlock's, and opens the door of his office. Sherlock picks up John's coat and they walk out. Sarah raises her eyebrows as they pass but John just smiles as Sherlock squeezes his hand.