A/N – Well here it is because you asked for it.
Dust in the Wind –
Now don't hang on
Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky
It slips away
And all your money won't another minute buy
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind - Kansas
John sat on the curb with his arm around Mrs. Hudson. She was crying hysterically and he was trying to hear the fireman over her.
"About two weeks I think - they'll have to make sure it's completely aired out before cleaning company can come in. The wallpaper is probably going to have to come down, and the wall between the kitchen and the bedroom is probably going to have to be replaced." John withheld a groan. "We'll have more information for you when we get the final clearance to go back in."
John nodded and squeezed Mrs. Hudson's shoulders tighter. She let out another sob and he mumbled into her hair: "We'll figure it out." She nodded but didn't stop crying.
John looked up and spotted Sherlock across the street. He was still being questioned by the fire investigator. John could see that he was frustrated and annoyed and had absolutely no sympathy for him. It was all his fault after all.
The detective was covered with black soot and John could see little puffs of it billowing off of long fingers as Sherlock gestured. There were paramedics standing next to him and John knew Sherlock hadn't allowed them to examine him. He had to have some smoke inhalation, had to. He was Sherlock Holmes, though, and would ignore it. John groaned and patted Mrs. Hudson one more time. She pulled back, sniffling, and brought a tissue up to her face. John stood, offered her a comforting smile that he knew didn't look genuine and headed towards his husband.
"Sherlock," he interrupted and both men turned to him. "Did they finish looking you…"
"I'm fine," the detective snapped and turned his attention back to the investigator. John took a step back, momentarily startled by the tone, but just shook his head. He looked over at one of the paramedics and the man shrugged.
"Everything looks fine. I suggested the A&E just to make sure, but he refused."
"Because I'm fine," Sherlock snapped again. And John recognised it as frustration and embarrassment. Sherlock wasn't really angry, or even annoyed. Just humiliated.
John looked towards the investigator. "How much longer are we going to have to stay here? I need to get Mrs. Hudson on the train to her sister's and we need to try and find a hotel." It was almost dark and John knew that he'd need to find a shop to buy a couple of outfits for the two of them as well. The investigator stared at John for a minute, looking defiant, but then relaxed. The man sighed and turned back to Sherlock.
"You can go now. I'll need you to let me know what hotel you end up at so that we can get in touch with you if there are more questions, which there will be." John nodded, that was to be expected. His husband had just set fire to a building.
"Thank you," John said and pulled on Sherlock's arm.
"John. I'm not done here. That man…"
"Later," John said and pulled harder, making Sherlock stumble a step. The detective turned and glared at him, but John didn't care. It was taking everything he had not to just leave Sherlock behind. "Go get a cab. I'm going to collect Mrs. Hudson." Sherlock opened his mouth to argue but John just turned and walked away. He risked a glance over his shoulder as he reached the curb and Sherlock was doing as instructed.
John squatted down and placed a hand on Mrs. Hudson's arm. She looked up at him and he smiled again. "I've talked to your sister and you're welcome there. We'll drop you at King's Cross and I'll get you a ticket to Cambridge." She nodded and allowed John to pull her up. He'd been able to help her get most of the soot off but she still smelled strongly of smoke. It was almost over powering. It was going to be a long train ride for whoever sat next to her.
She took his arm and he led her to the waiting cab.
The hotel room was small but it was cheap and since they were going to be staying here for at least two weeks, that was fundamental. Sherlock had said absolutely nothing the entire cab ride. He'd just sat across from John, arms crossed and sulking. John hadn't pushed, he wasn't certain he'd have anything pleasant to say and Mrs. Hudson didn't need any more upset in her day. Hell she probably didn't really want to see either of them again. John certainly couldn't blame her for that - she was too kind to say that though.
John had gone with her into King's Cross and paid for her ticket. He'd bought her a tea and a pastry for the journey and a collection of toiletries in the Boots. When he'd returned to the cab Sherlock was sitting exactly as John had left him. The doctor had just rolled his eyes.
"You're going to have to bin those clothes," John said as Sherlock entered the room behind him. John placed both of the card keys on the small table and didn't bother to pull his coat off. He did a quick look around the room, examining the small refrigerator, microwave and sink they had. He'd have to pick up some plastic utensils and plates and some easy to prepare foods. They couldn't eat out every day.
When John turned Sherlock was still standing there in the middle of the room, not moving. John sighed and walked towards his husband. "Hop in the bath, I'm going to run to the store and pick up a few things. I have to get something to wear to work tomorrow so I'll grab you an outfit or two as well. We'll have a better idea of what we'll need when the investigators are done and we can get a contractor in there." As John spoke he tried not to think about the cost of all of this or how they were going to pay for it. He doubted any insurance would come through as it was clearly an accident caused by neglect. Sherlock's error.
The detective nodded after a second and headed towards the bathroom. John heard the water come on as he grabbed a bin liner from the small kitchenette then walked into the bathroom. He picked up Sherlock's clothing from the floor, pulling the cellphone out from the pocket and setting it on the counter. "I'm going to bin these on my way out," he said.
There was a barely mumbled "Fine." John took a deep breath and counted, trying to focus on the fact that his husband could have died and hadn't instead of on the fact that he really, really wanted to kill him.
John came back forty-five minutes later and was greeted by Sherlock sitting naked on the bed. Usually it was such an appealing sight, but today John could see the residual redness of the skin because of the heat of the fire. He knew it would fade, quickly, but he didn't like seeing it.
John set three bags from Tesco on the floor in the kitchenette then he tossed the bags of clothing at Sherlock on the bed. "I got us each a set of pyjamas, two pairs of jeans for you and a work outfit for me along with boxers, socks and a pair of shoes for you." He started to unload the small collection of food and kitchen items he'd purchased, trying to ignore the fact that his dinners over the next few days at least would be far from delicious. He'd had worse though - nothing could be worse that the Mess at Bastion. Nothing.
He heard Sherlock huff in the background and looked over his shoulder. The detective was pulling one of two shirts John had purchased for him out of the bag and looking at it with pure disgust on his face.
"I will not wear this," Sherlock said and John rolled his eyes. "It's distasteful."
"It's all they had," John said, trying not to be angry. It wouldn't accomplish anything at this point to be angry. He needed to eat something and stay calm. They could talk about it all tomorrow.
"Why would you think I'd wear this?" John turned at that and stared at his husband. He knew Sherlock was trying to grasp at something. He had been frightened and was now upset and embarrassed. He felt guilty and didn't like it so was going to take it out on John, or try to.
John wasn't going to let him.
"Then don't, be naked. I don't care." John turned back and set the plastic utensils and plates in the small cabinet. "It's all they had, I did the best I could. Maybe if you hadn't burnt the flat down it wouldn't be an issue. But you did." He didn't raise his voice, just stated the facts at hand.
Sherlock stared at him for a long moment and John didn't look away. Sherlock snarled before pulling out the pyjamas and the boxers. "These are not horrific, but you can return the rest. I will not wear them."
John took another deep breath, counted and nodded his head. "Fine," he said, snatching the bag and placing it on the table. He pulled out the clothing he'd bought for himself, knotted the bag and left it there. Sherlock stood and opened that package of boxers, made a face as he rubbed his thumb over the material but said nothing further. John grabbed a bag of crisps and his pyjama bottoms and headed into the bathroom. He waited a second and turned the water on, knowing that Sherlock would know he wasn't bathing yet. He sat on the toilet, opened his crisps and quickly ate the whole bag.
Sherlock and Mrs. Hudson were both fine. That was the most important thing. Sherlock coughed in the other room and John tried to hear it over the water. He knew there'd be a lot of coughing over the next few days. He shook his head and tried to focus on the rest of the problems. He'd have to talk to the insurance people and he'd transfer money to his savings account. He'd take some from Sherlock, too; the detective had received a very large finder's fee on some recovered painting last months. John had no idea how Sherlock generally spent his money, but there was no way he'd gone through that much already. He'd check the statements online at work tomorrow.
He was going to have to get Sherlock a cheap computer. The detective couldn't sit in this room all day and not have access to the outside world. He'd burn the hotel down in less than twelve hours. Sherlock did have his phone though, John stared at it still on the bathroom counter. That'd keep him occupied tomorrow at least. Angry Birds alone could do that.
He tossed the crisps bag into the small bin then stood and started to remove his clothes. The muscles along his back were tight, tense from the stress of the day. The realisation of how much he had to do over the next few days wasn't appealing either.
Contractors, he was going to have to find a contractor that could work as soon as possible. He groaned stepping under the hot water. He let it pound on his neck, let it release what little of the tension it could.
He heard the door open and Sherlock's voice filled the small space. "The shampoo is rubbish. You'll have to pick some up tomorrow, perhaps after you get me some appropriate clothing." The door closed.
John let his head hit the cold wall and he eyed the small complimentary shampoo bottle. It was a rubbish brand and was the perfect size to completely block the airway if he shoved it down Sherlock's throat.
He sighed and closed his eyes. He was suddenly exhausted, absolutely exhausted.
John's phone vibrated on his desk. His first patient wasn't due for another hour and he had been seriously considering napping on the examination table. Sherlock had suffered body wracking coughs all night and the mattress had been lumpy and uncomfortable. He hadn't managed more than three hours of sleep.
Where's my clothing? – SH
John looked at it, knowing exactly what his husband meant, but decided to play dumb. In the flat, smelling like smoke.He sat the phone aside and opened up file on his computer. He heard the response come through but ignored it for, deliberately annoying Sherlock. When it vibrated again he picked it up.
I mean the clothing you purchased for me yesterday. It was on the table. – SH
And the second one: John? –SH
They were horrific and distasteful and you refused to wear them. Remember? I returned them to the store on the way to work.John had known Sherlock was just being petulant because of his guilt and embarrassment, but it had still brought him some pleasure to return the items that morning.
What am I to wear? – SH
John stared at the phone and sighed.
Clothing? Your pyjamas? No idea. Go naked.
I cannot leave the hotel in pyjamas. Pick something else up on your way back to the hotel. - SH
John started to type his response when another message came through. And find out when we will be able to get back into the flat. - SH
John stared at the message a moment and at the pile of paperwork sitting in front of him. He deleted all of his initial reply and simply responded with. No.
You're being unreasonable!came through and John laughed at it, too loudly, too awkwardly, not a happy laugh. He set the phone down and turned back to the patient files. A second later he picked it back up and powered it down. He was done.