A/N: sorry peeps, made John a little OOC... okay I over did him a bit on the gay side but if you're a slashing lover (which I'm sure you are otherwise you would not be reading this!) then you'll be fine.
Sequel to 'Revenge'
2 days after Sherlock's departure
The front room shone with an eerie blue light from their telly. John was currently tucked into Sherlock's favourite armchair and watching their plasma TV on the opposite wall. John had spent the money wisely, well, he'd thought he had. Sherlock had thought that the television wasn't a good investment but after the Connie Prince murder he had wanted to keep some of his concentration on the television for anything that could be useful.
"Want more from your deodorant?" An invisible woman asked John in a wonderfully annoying sing-song voice while another, pretty brunette showed a totally uninteresting view of her cleanly shaven and tanned armpit. John nibbled at his biscuit and absentmindedly tucked his feet underneath himself. "Not really." He answered her rhetorical question. He sighed and picked up the remote control flicking through the channels. The flat had been fairly quiet since Sherlock had left for a case. It wasn't a very large case and John hadn't wanted to go anyway, Australia's too far. Who knew where it would take him after meeting with the vice president of some Korean entertainment agency. When Sherlock had gotten the phone call and spent the whole time conversing with the person in Korean John had left to catch a late night movie at the cinema. He couldn't be arsed with concerns about other countries. Not that he didn't care, not at all, but he didn't concern himself with matters in other countries when there were much bigger problems right on his doorstep as Sherlock reminded him on a daily basis.
John sighed and turned the telly off from the remote in his hand. The muscles of his fingers went limp and he dropped the remote with a small clank onto the coffee table. It had been quiet since Sherlock had left. Too quiet. He didn't like the silence his life fell into when Sherlock was gone. He wanted to make a life for himself so that he didn't entirely rely on Sherlock for his excitement… wait, that came out wrong… he meant for his… er… never mind.
He finished off his biscuit and stood on protesting legs. I really shouldn't sit like that in future, he thought idly, it does nothing for my poor muscles. He trudged over to his laptop, plonked down noisily on the wooden chair and opened it. He checked his emails first; one from Sarah – not surprising, she hadn't left him alone much since Sherlock left – another from some patients asking personal questions – great, that's a distraction – and… one from someone he didn't recognise. Curiosity got the better of him and he opened the email. It was from Mike Stamford. Odd, John thought as he quickly scanned over the email. Why would Mike be emailing me now I wonder? He thought. Mike Stamford was inviting him to go for a drink at the pub on Thursday. That was tomorrow. And Sherlock wasn't back yet. John shrugged for his nonexistent audience and tapped the laptop with his blunt fingernails. "I suppose it couldn't hurt to get out a bit more." He muttered quietly. He gently snapped his laptop shut and plodded past his favourite arm chair into the kitchen. He'd cleared off all of the beakers and equipment when Sherlock had left yesterday. It had just been one very long, very tiring day of clearing out. Honestly, Sherlock kept so much crap in their apartment it was almost unbelievable. You would've thought that because he can 'delete' information out of his 'hard drive' that he would be able to get rid of useless crap from the apartment without any trouble, but apparently not. Sherlock Holmes was well known for his unpredictability… and now sentimentally for useless crap like that bloody skull. John did wonder when that skull wouldn't scare him half to death when he came down for breakfast in the morning.
John turned suddenly when he noticed a suspiciously human looking shadow from the corner of his eye. The curtains rustled from the cool, evening breeze that blew through the apartment but there was no one else there. John tried to slow his heart, to stop the adrenaline from pumping around his system but he couldn't. Someone had been there, he was sure of it. In fact, he'd almost been expecting it. Being the only person living in Sherlock's flat while he was away would be the perfect opportunity for someone to kidnap him and blackmail Sherlock. After all, it has happened before. He shuddered as he remembered the night at the pool when he had had a bomb strapped to his chest. It was terrifying. No matter how long you spend getting shot at by soldiers from other countries you never can quite be prepared to be in the middle of a struggle between two geniuses and some Semtex.
John sighed and treaded carefully toward the window. The curtains were blowing out and into the front room like some ominous portent. John wasn't stupid, or rather he hadn't been deprived of horror movies, he knew the line. "I'm sure that was closed a minute ago." He couldn't help but say it anyway. Call him a sucker for danger but he just couldn't seem to stop himself. John almost found it funny. He slid the window shut and put the curtains back into place before turning slowly back to the front room. Without noticing, the room had gotten a lot darker than when he'd first sat down to watch some telly. It was making him nervous. "Maybe I'll just," he paused and sighed audibly, "go to bed."
He winced when he brushed the mug he'd been drinking from onto the floor with a crack. He sighed again and bent to pick it up. He was being very jumpy, which was understandable considering someone had just broken in. Who knew where they were now. They could still be in the flat. John winced again and glanced around the front room cautiously. If they were still here, did he want to go looking for them? The answer to that question almost popped out of his mouth it was so obvious. No, he did not want to look for who ever had broken into the apartment with the skill of a ninja. That, to John, should have been equally understandable. So, instead, he text Mycroft. Mycroft did have cameras all over the apartment, which apart from making him shiver in revulsion at the intrusion, was a slight help when matters like this decided to arise.
He slipped his phone back into his pocket and made his way up the stairs. Considering the fact that whoever was there hadn't bothered to make their presence known meant – to John – that they obviously weren't here for him or that they just didn't want to see him. If the person had gone into Sherlock's bedroom he couldn't get to him anyway, there were booby traps and large signs going all the way down the hall to that room. John did suffer from slight curiosity… okay, not slight, big… he was very curious about what Sherlock was hiding behind his closed doors. Grinning to himself with mischief he slipped into his room after ascending the stairs and began undressing. Sherlock's absence could work in his favour. If the person had gone into Sherlock's room, he'd want that person out, right? So, John was helping. And when Sherlock asked why he'd been in his room – because he would find out, probably straight away – he could say that someone had broken in and he had to check the whole flat for the bugger. Yep, that was a good enough excuse. He finished dressing into his pyjama trousers and a worn out white vest and sighed quietly again while picking out his torch and Browning L9A1 from the top drawer of his bedside table. The mission impossible theme tune played slowly through his head as he crept down the stairs and entered the front room. Tiptoeing toward the corner leading to the kitchen he heard the clink of various beakers accidentally being brushed against each other. John smirked shakily; it seemed that the person wasn't taking much care, probably thinking John was still up in his room. He flinched when one of the floor boards gave a groan under his light feet. Stupid old house, John thought bitterly. He heard a crash and then a yelp and before he knew it something streaked across the front room – and in front of him – and out of the window. John pointed the Browning at the window ledge as he saw the disappearing face of a tanned, cheeky looking… boy? Girl? He couldn't decide. They'd looked… Mediterranean. He turned back into the kitchen and saw that Sherlock's bedroom door was wide open. He cautiously stepped toward but stopped dead still when he heard 'do it like a dude ' play loudly from the kitchen table. He inhaled deeply, the fear receding slightly when he saw his mobile innocently perched on the hard wood tabletop. He cursed Sarah for fiddling about with his new phone without him realising. That bloody ring tone would be the death of him one day. He picked it up and glanced once at the screen of his IPhone 3GS before sliding his finger across the slider and lifting the phone to his ear. He wasn't the first to speak, "what's going on?" Came the impatient greeting from none other than the youngest Holmes brother.
"What? How on Earth did you-" John spluttered in confusion.
"Myrcroft contacted me. Keep up, John."
John sighed, "someone broke in." He said drawing out a chair at the dining table.
"I need specifics, Dr Watson." He growled through the phone. John stared in front of him in surprised silence.
"What are you so angry about?" John asked stunned at the use of his title and surname.
"John," Sherlock murmured quietly through the phone, "What… is going on?" John was a little unnerved by the obvious strain in his voice. Is he angry at me? He thought in confusion. No, there was no reason for him to be. Was he worried? Why would he be worried anyway? Because someone was in his room? John scoffed lightly into the phone to try and release some of the tension.
"Don't worry I'll check that nothing was stolen from your room." John moved to stand but a sharp command in his ear stopped all movement completely.
"No!" The snapped order made a cold shiver slid down John's spine as he waited for an explanation. Sherlock didn't appear to want to give an explanation.
"Why?" John spoke softly even though he wasn't sure why. The silence he was greeted with on the other end of the phone was eerie and uncomfortable. Why would Sherlock want John to keep out of his stuff so badly? What was he hiding in there? "You know," John said smirking as he could almost hear Sherlock's scowl, "if you don't give me an explanation I'll just go on in there to see."
The answer was quick and John almost didn't catch it. "I have some… things in there I don't want anyone to know about."
John nodded and sighed in defeat. He couldn't take away Sherlock's privacy like that. "Okay, that's fine. You can check when you come back."
John could almost feel the relief he was sure Sherlock was emanating from himself. Instead of calming his nerves, it only seemed to get John more uncomfortable. There must be something really weird in there for Sherlock to get so worked up about it. Most of the things he owned were weird but he never seemed to get this agitated over the head in the fridge.
"Have you called the police?" Sherlock asked and John could hear that his reassurance had put Sherlock in a better mood. That knowledge alone put John in a better mood and began picking at the table top absentmindedly.
"No, I didn't think I needed to. He already left."
Silence. John could feel the anger and winced when he heard Sherlock stand so fast he knocked something onto the floor with a crash. What was wrong with him anyway? Seriously weird mood swings. "John how could you be so moronic? Why didn't you shoot him?"
John's eyes widened in shock for a moment. "Shoot him? Why would I shoot him? It was just a robber."
He could tell Sherlock was seething on the other end of their conversation… or more accurately… argument. "It is never that simple John! He could've planted a bomb in my room knowing I'd tell you to keep out!" And despite how frantic Sherlock sounded he hadn't raised his voice.
John let out a bark of laughter as he remembered the kid's mischievous expression. "I don't think I have to worry about that."
"Why the hell not?" Hm, he was beginning to raise his voice now and he was cursing. That was new.
"Because it was just a kid. I really don't think a kid that grinned at me when he was going out the window thought about all of what you just said." Sherlock didn't seem as convinced of the kid's innocence as John was.
"John," He snapped out his voice sounding low and dangerous. John shuddered and felt warm blood heat his cheeks from beneath his skin. "Call the police, now."
John sighed dramatically even though he was scared shitless of this new, dangerous Sherlock. "I don't need to-" He paused mid sentence noticing a slip of card resting in the middle of the kitchen table. He blinked in confusion and looked around the room for any sign of someone else but found none. Huh, John thought with amusement, I'm not that observant today. "Hold on there's a note here."
"John…" Sherlock muttered again, the dangerous tone of his voice turning slightly icy but John refused to shiver again. Sherlock didn't say another word; he was probably just as curious as John as he reached across to the white card in the centre of the table. The lettering was fancy and there was a simple swirly pattern around the edge of card. It appeared to be an invitation.
Sherlock seemed to get impatient with John's lack of response, "well? What is it?"
John stared at the card in confused surprise as he began to read the invitation out to Sherlock. "Dr Watson you have been invited to a ball being hosted at the Grand Manor in Essex on Friday 22nd of April. A car will arrive at your flat in Baker Street at precisely 7 o'clock to take you and a guest of your choice. The car will then drop you back at Baker Street by 11 o'clock." John stopped abruptly realising that there was no more information on the small card. He flipped it over but there was nothing else on the back either.
Sherlock seemed to be agitated about this too, "is there nothing more?"
John shrugged but then realised he was on the phone and voiced his opinion. "No, there isn't anything else. It's seems a bit strange, doesn't it? That there's nothing about the host to RSVP. It's almost as if they expect me to go."
"Of course they expect you to go John." Sherlock said with a patronising sigh. "They got someone to break into your apartment with the invitation; they're expecting you to be curious enough to attend. However, it's obvious that they don't want you to know the host which most likely means it is being organised by the government or some secret organised crime sect. More likely it is the government because as far as I am aware you have no connections with criminals."
John could hear the slight smirk in his voice at the last comment. John huffed in annoyance. Why would he find it amusing that he didn't know any criminals? Oh, he's referring to my 'queen and country' attitude again, isn't he? Bastard, he thought. "Right, well, that's just great." John said with a sigh. "What do they want this time?"
"This time?" Sherlock asked surprise lacing his voice. "They've tried to contact you before?"
John suddenly got a flashback of his meeting with Logan Peters in the café a couple of weeks ago. He sighed and almost smacked his forehead for being so dense. "Well, not really," John chose his words carefully. "Remember the day you were wrecking revenge on me for leaving you with my sister-"
"And getting attacked."
"What?" John asked.
"I was punishing you for being attacked and for being late."
John rolled his eyes. "Okay, okay fine. That day when you were punishing me for… lots of things-" John heard Sherlock chuckle quietly on the other end, all the way in Korea he assumed. Oh, yeah, I really should ask, he thought idly.
"Carry on, John."
"Right, sorry," He shook his head to rid the other thoughts and focus on the point of his flashback explanation. "Right, well, that day – while I was with Sarah in the café – I fell asleep, or I was drugged I'm not really sure and-"
"Drugged?" Sherlock said flatly but John could hear the underlying anger.
"Let me finish!" John snapped out angrily. He couldn't deal with anymore of these weird mood swings. When he didn't hear any protest he continued, "well, when I woke up these men were there, they were wearing suits so I assumed they worked for the government plus I… used to know one of them. Logan Peters was my old gunnery sergeant back in Afghanistan but he was promoted to secret service… that's how I met them. We… oh, don't worry about that, it's another, longer story…" John trailed off and was greeted by Sherlock's silence on the other end.
"Logan Peters?" Sherlock asked. "I don't know that name."
John chuckled bitterly. "Why would you? He's working in a very secretive part of the government. An even more secret part of the secret service."
"What did he want when he came to see you?" Sherlock asked but John could tell that thousands of possibilities were running through his head about why.
John shrugged again but it was mostly for his own benefit. He needed to feel nonchalant about this situation with his old gunnery sergeant if he wanted to sound nonchalant when speaking to Sherlock. "I didn't stay long enough to find out. Actually, I didn't ask, I didn't want to know. All he said was 'come with us' but then I walked out. Shortly after I got a text from you so I just left for the flat."
Sherlock was silent as he considered this new piece of information then he sighed as if talking to a child who can't spell their name correctly, "you really should've asked, John.."
"Yes, yes," John muttered, "I've heard this before."
Sherlock made a small surprised sound, "heard what before?"
John rolled his eyes, "the 'I expected more of you John' look and the little speech to go with it."
Sherlock didn't reply to that comment and instead changed the subject entirely, "I'm coming back tomorrow."
John was still caught up in the earlier conversation so it took him longer than Sherlock to respond, "Oh, right. How did the case go?"
"It's an ongoing investigation." He said in his typical 'I know all' drawl, "I'm more curious about your party."
"Oh?" John said with a smile. He decided a bit of teasing wouldn't be too bad, "so you're assuming you're going, are you?"
There was silence on the other end of the phone, "I'm assuming you'd like to have answers as to why the government is so intent on making you a civil servant."
John resister the urge to chuckle, "Well, what if they want me to spy on you? Maybe I should take Sarah…"
Sherlock scoffed, "Oh, please, spare me. She'll mix and mingle with the utterly manipulative and self-centred members of the government and you won't get anywhere closer to your answers. You need someone who will get straight to the point. She'll just skirt around it."
For some weird reason John didn't think Sherlock was talking about the party anymore, but he didn't press it further. He was just teasing Sherlock anyway. Sarah had become very… ah, what's the word…. clingy these past few weeks. Sending texts asking him where he was and who he was with. The comfortable stage in their relationship had been reached and John was discovering that Sarah was more comfortable making him uncomfortable.
"Alright," John said with a sigh, "I'll take you."
Sherlock didn't find it funny which John could tell by the irritated sharpness to his voice, "I'll be at the apartment by 6 o'clock."
John was surprised, "you're not leaving a lot of time to change."
"I'll be ready before I arrive." And with that last sweeping statement he hung up the phone. Sherlock was never known to be very social so when he wanted to stop talking he did. That was probably the longest conversation Sherlock has ever had on the phone, John mused carrying the phone, torch and gun back up to his bedroom.
Tomorrow would be very, very interesting.
I hope you enjoyed it. If you didn't, do tell me. I like making my fics about JOCK jokey and taking the mick quite a bit so I just realised I've made this chapter get more intense than I thought I wanted.. but then again i did name is 'too intense'... God i'm confused right now, where was I?
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