Warnings: Mild Sherlock/John with a side helping of Mystrade. Slightly cracky.
In Which There are Kittens.
John was used to strange noises coming from the flat when he arrived home with the shopping, so he didn't pay much heed to the snuffling and yowling from behind 221B, too busy trying not to drop four carriers and a saucepan (Sherlock had filled the last one with frogspawn).
He moved to the kitchen and dumped the bags without even glancing at the lounge, which was probably a good thing, because if he'd seen what was there he would certainly have dropped everything.
As it was he stared for a few seconds before wiping a hand across his forehead in a way he hoped appeared long-suffering (because, let's face it, he was).
"Sherlock I can't have been out more than an hour – how on earth have you managed to procure half a dozen kittens in that space of time?"
Sherlock was perched on the sofa with his laptop on his knees and a black kitten seated next to him; it was sitting straight as a ramrod glaring with baleful grey eyes at the screen.
The consulting detective tapped for a few more seconds, then turned to John. "I'd been informed that a certain man who may, or may not, be named Jim Moriarty had come across several kittens and was attempting to set a large mastiff with the name of 'James' on them whilst filming the entire event. The video would then be placed on our doorstep to create panic and chaos on Baker Street. I put a spanner in the works, as it were, by removing the kittens before any harm could come to them."
John gaped, but decided not to point out that Sherlock was perfectly willing to let people die without a drop of emotion, but when it was kittens he just had to go save them. He settled on a different question. "Why would that cause chaos? I mean, granted, I don't want to watch kittens being ripped to shreds, but…"
Sherlock rolled his eyes. "Look at the kittens John. Really look."
He did. There were seven he could see, including the black one, still staring into space. It reminded him rather forcibly of Sherlock himself. The others were scattered at various points throughout the room.
One was lying on the arm-chair, overweight, ginger and lazy. Three were sitting together, a dark brown one with long fur, a short-haired beige tabby and a grey one with a very pink nose. This was batting around a large ball of white string while the others watched intently.
The sixth was a strange reddish-grey, dashing around, drinking from a saucer and running back, trying to interact with the black one on the sofa and giving up. It had four little white paws and every now and then swung a back leg out as if it had a bad hip.
"Sherlock, you didn't manage to turn Mrs Hudson into a cat did you?" Before he'd met Sherlock the question would have been ludicrous coming from a grown man.
Sherlock seemed to think so too, because he rolled his eyes. "Hardly. It seems good old Jim trawled four different shops and six rescue shelters to get the kittens with personalities or looks similar to ourselves. The fat one is undoubtedly Mycroft; the three in the corner represent Scotland Yard, Anderson, Donovan and Lestrade. Molly's appears to be missing at the moment, but she'll show up. She's probably in the kitchen – easily offended that one. The video was going to be some kind of dire warning."
As John watched the light brown tabby detached itself from the others and hissed at the black one on the sofa, which steadfastly ignored it.
"The black one is you."
"You'll find yours by the radiator. It seems to like the warmth."
John looked over and saw a light dun tabby curled up on his favourite jumper, licking something off a plate.
"Did you give a kitten my good jam Sherlock?" he snarled. Sherlock shrugged.
"It was an experiment – you like jam and therefore your kitten must like jam. My kitten seems to enjoy staring at walls, but Mrs Hudson's is constantly interfering in everything. Anderson's is remarkably hostile."
"Should I even ask how you managed to get a box of kittens of Jim Moriarty and mastiff?"
"You do realise we can't keep them all?" John said from his armchair two hours later. Mycroft (the kitten) looked disgruntled at being moved and was now sitting opposite grey Lestrade (again, the kitten) staring at him with a positively hungry look. John was mildly scared by this.
"Why not? Sherlock you can barely feed yourself, let alone several kittens, and we're out at all hours. There's no-one to look after them. And," he added as an afterthought, "it's going to be confusing when people drop round and find we've named kittens after them. They might think we were perverts or something." Besides, he didn't even like cats that much, especially that creepy one with no fur that had insisted on sitting on his lap when they were investigating the death of that television presenter.
"You worry too much John."
"Somehow I find it hard to take you seriously with a black kitten draped around your neck."
"Oh shut up."
There was a knock on the door and Mrs Hudson entered, carrying a plate of buns.
"Me and Mrs Turner had some left over boys," she said, dodging expertly around strewn books and bowls of scraps. "Thought you might like some, but I'm not your housekeeper, just you remember."
John made to stand up and thank her but at that moment his kitten seemed to tire of the jumper and decided his lap was a much better place to sit. As Mrs Hudson set the plate down on top of a teetering stack of paper the limpy kitten came and wound round her ankles.
"Where did you boys get these from?"
"On the doorstep," said John before Sherlock could actually tell her and scare her to death. "That one's yours if you want it."
Sherlock glared at him, but Mrs Hudson smiled and patted him on the shoulder.
"Oh you two are so thoughtful! I suppose you deduced my old Tom had died the other week?"
"Indeed," Sherlock replied without taking his eyes off his laptop. Mrs Hudson retreated with the kitten held to her chest, cooing to it gently.
One down, seven to go.
There was a ringing sound that disturbed the brown and white tortoiseshell kitten that had been irritating the black one for the past hour in a way that could only represent Molly Hooper, sending it skittering back into the kitchen.
John rolled his eyes but chucked Sherlock his mobile from where it had been sitting on the arm of the chair.
"Hello? Yes inspector. Yes inspector." A tut. "Indeed not. Yes fine. Whatever." He rang off and threw the phone from him,
"Says I have to give him the evidence he needs or he's going to do another drugs bust."
"It's not a ridiculous request you know."
"But those scorpions were fascinating! I wanted to perform all sorts of experiments on them."
John tried to push the idea of scorpions out of his head as he reached over to separate the Sherlock and Donovan kittens. Sherlock's kitten didn't appear to get on with any of them – Moriarty had certainly done his work well.
There was the sound of a car pulling up and then the door swung open. Lestrade strode in, looking pleased, and almost immediately tripped over a kitten. Behind him Anderson and Donovan hovered in the doorway.
"Hello Freak," said Sally, "Murdered anyone late-are those kittens?"
Lestrade picked himself up off the floor. "Who on earth let you loose with kittens?"
Sherlock scowled. "I may appear to be a cold-hearted pig as Donovan so nicely put it the other day but I draw a line at standing by and watching kittens be torn apart."
"Do I need to know?"
"No. The scorpions are in the oven."
John raised his eyebrows and Anderson stumped grumpily into the kitchen to retrieve the four mentioned scorpions. Donovan was holding a pair of kittens and making goo-goo eyes at them.
"They're so adorable!" she said, seeming to instantly forget her complete distaste of Sherlock and, indeed, John, in the light of recent kitten-like developments.
"Keep 'em," said John, not even needing to look to realise she had the dark brown and the tabby representing herself and Anderson clasped to her chest. "We need to get rid of them."
"Oh you're so kind!" she gushed. Sherlock muttered something along the lines of 'just you remember it at the next crime scene.' She and Anderson left with both kittens and scorpions, under instructions to take them back to Scotland Yard.
"What is it with women and small fluffy animals?" said Sherlock to the room in general. Lestrade, who'd decided to get friendlier with the grey tabby and fat ginger blushed and looked guilty.
"Er…you aren't wanting to keep the rest are you? I mean, I-"
Sherlock smirked and absentmindedly reached up to stroke the black cat currently curled around his neck.
"Take the grey one."
John saw Lestrade's face fall a little. "Really? I mean it's just I prefer things with a bit more…you know…substance."
Sherlock didn't bat an eyelid. "Take the ginger one."
John was in the midst of separating Sherlock's cat from the dishwasher, much to the kitten's and the real Sherlock's annoyance when Mycroft barged in.
"Sherlock!" he bellowed (well, if he'd been normal it would have been bellowing; as it was it was more like a slightly urgent tone). "I've got a case of the utmost importance."
John stuck his head further in the dishwasher and the voices blurred out. When he finally managed to dig 'Sherlock' out from between the plates and drag him, spitting, back into the lounge, Mycroft was already leaving. The grey kitten with the pink nose was suspiciously absent.
"Did he just-" John began, but Sherlock cut across him.
"We should get kittens more often – they seem to be the perfect way to rid us of boring and irritating members of the public."
"Those 'members of the public' as you so kindly put it include your own brother, your landlady, and your sort-of-boss. You'd think you'd be able to refer to them as acquaintances at least."
"Mmmm. Did you get Sherlock out of the dishwasher?"
"Yes." There was an awkward silence, until John brought up the thing that had been bothering him. "You do realise your brother and Lestrade swapped kittens, right?"
"And you don't find it odd?"
Sherlock sighed and set aside the laptop – the tortoiseshell immediately took the opportunity to jump into his lap and bat at the black kitten. Both Sherlocks glared at it in annoyance.
"John, sometimes you fail to observe the most obvious of things." John opened his mouth to protest, but Sherlock rattled on before he could form words. "It is clear that both Lestrade and Mycroft are unhappy with who they truly are and would rather latch onto someone else."
Great. They were doing psychology by kittens now. He carried on listening, wondering if it was a good idea.
"Moreover, they seemed to be attached to those particular kittens; I have no doubt the outcome will be a happy one for both parties."
John's mind raced a little. "Wait you mean-"
"Am I ever going to get to finish a sentence today?"
"You just did didn't you?" Sherlock pushed 'Molly' out of his lap, but she climbed back again. His forehead creased. "Maybe I should phone her…pretend I thought it was her birthday or something…"
"If you find her irritating now, imagine how she'll be once you give her a kitten, supposedly as a present." He hesitated. "Besides, I thought you wanted to keep them?"
"This one is a distraction."
Because only Sherlock could consider adorable bundles of fluff a distraction.
"I can't believe you roped me into this," John hissed angrily, wrestling with the squirming tortoiseshell as Sherlock strode down the street unhindered, and hailed a cab. The driver stared at them and the kitten as Sherlock gave the address to the St Barts.
'Molly' settled down the instant she was given to Sherlock, which saved John from further scratches and annoyed Sherlock considerably. The drive was fairly short, and they asked the driver to wait for them. He agreed, but looked very suspiciously at the kitten now purring in Sherlock's arms; John supposed the consulting detective did look a bit maniacal with the long black coat and unruly curls; if he hadn't known Sherlock for a while he wouldn't have trusted him with a kitten either. In fact, he wasn't sure if he did anyway.
The kitten behaved all the way up the mortuary, but when Sherlock began to put it down it squeaked and clung to him. Sherlock growled.
"Come on you stupid cat, I'm not having you ruining my coat, have you any idea how much that thing cos-ow!"
'Molly' had dug her claws right into his forearm; Sherlock gritted his teeth. John sighed.
"Give me that."
He seized the kitten by the scruff of its neck, opened to door, and threw it inside. There was a scuffling and then a surprised voice said "Oh!"
They didn't stick around for the door to open.
John collapsed on the chair, exhausted. Sherlock bounded back to the laptop and began typing again.
"Don't you ever give up?" said John, wishing the kitten hadn't eaten his jam because he really, really, needed it right now. "It's past six, don't you want dinner?"
"But you don't have a case…"
"It's an old case; very important."
John sighed and headed to the kitchen to cook an omelette, which should be easy to force down Sherlock's throat should the need arise. "What, exactly, are you doing on there?" he shouted through.
"Learning Ancient Greek."
John rolled his eyes, breaking eggs into a bowl. "Can you even learn that online?"
"You can learn anything from how to cook carrots to how to make methanol online John. The internet is a wonderful invention."
"Yes, well maybe your time would be better spent learning how to cook carrots instead of letting me do it."
He poured the eggs into the pan and listened to them sizzling. By the time he'd returned with two plates and a bag of salad Sherlock was sitting examining the remaining kittens with a strange look on his face – John made a mental note to keep them in sight in case Sherlock tried to dissect them.
He plunked a plate down on Sherlock's lap (where he couldn't possibly say he'd missed it) and shoved a fork into his hand. "Eat."
To his surprise Sherlock did, spooning the eggs into his mouth without looking at them, eyes still fixed on the kittens.
John looked too and saw the two practically nose to nose, the tabby batting playfully at the other which, for some reason, seemed to be tolerating it.
"That's odd," John remarked. Sherlock 'mmm'd' in reply.
The black kitten suddenly poked out its tongue and licked the other on the nose, than sprang up and began to run playfully round the room. Both Sherlock and John stopped eating eggs.
"Did they just-"
"And they're supposed to represent-"
"Right. Well. It's all fine I suppose."
He blushed and poked the rest of the omelette around his plate listlessly, stomach churning a little. Sherlock was looking at him very intently.
He looked up a little too quickly. "Yes?"
"We are keeping these kittens, right?"
He hesitated, but had to admit he'd grown attached – he couldn't imagine giving them away, possibly getting them separated.
"If you want, god help me."
There was a long, awkward silence, broken only by the kittens racing around the room after each other.
He looked down at his plate again, and the next thing he knew there was a soft kiss to the tip of his nose. He blinked and looked up, Sherlock's black curls falling in his face.
"Come on," Sherlock shouted, seizing him by the hand and pulling him out of the chair. He set off running across the room; John shouted and pelted after him, laughing giddily.
I...I just needed fluff ok? Sorry for any mistakes, feel free to point them out.
Thanks for reading, reviews would be nice.