Okay this sounds silly but I didn't mean to post any more Sherlock fic, but then I am pretty proud of this one and um um well I posted it anyway.
Inside my head where it should say 'eating, sleeping, etc.' it's just scribbled out and SHERLOCK SHERLOCK SHERLOCK is written instead. It's really becoming problematic.
Danger Nights, Mycroft called them, and danger it was. Not the regular kind of danger, the gun-in-your-face things-exploding knife-fights kind of danger. That was fine, that was just dandy.
This was Sherlock danger; weak, bored, self-destroying danger. The danger of coming back to find him trying to alphabetise the entire flat, attempting to memorise every brand of shoe imprint having spent several hundred pounds buying out the local Shoe Zone. This was not normal Sherlock. It was a maniacal, high Sherlock, who had track marks up his left arm and that detached, not-quite-there glaze in his eyes. Where he thought he was thinking clearly, and he couldn't be more wrong.
It was stimulating, he claimed. Stimulating when nothing else was. It was fucking dangerous, argued John, and if he could take one look at himself on the stuff he'd be appalled. But then he never was very good at listening, so all John and Mrs. Hudson could do was throw away what they found, and take every warning as seriously as the last. Each time they could stop him was another risk avoided, and it made every false alarm worthwhile.
Mycroft warned John, it was one of the few times they spoke amiably. There hadn't been work in weeks, and a case that Sherlock had pinned almost all of his last wits on turned out to be pointless. Sherlock hadn't taken it well, particularly because Mycroft had given it to him in the first place. He was argumentative, bored, and wanted to lash out; his brother knew the signs.
John and Mrs. Hudson had cleared his room out recently, so a quick check confirmed he hadn't restocked in that time; they just had to wait for the tall, dark storm of a personality to charge in, heading without a word to either of them straight into his room and slamming the door. At least that meant he hadn't got it outside, which he was perfectly capable of doing; the Baker Street irregulars could have half a narcotics lab on their doorstep within the hour.
He was a child throwing a tantrum, but with worse ways to punish them than drawing on the walls. John waited for about a minute, then his personality got the better of him and he got up.
"I'll go check on him," he announced, and Mrs. Hudson gave him a sparkling look.
"Yes, dear, good idea," she said fondly. "Give him something to take his mind off it." Then she winked, which was a little bit scary.
"Well I... was just going to keep him company," he said awkwardly, not liking his landlady's implications all that much.
"Of course," she clucked. "Just what the doctor ordered." Smiling, she got up and gave him a peck on the cheek, then went to her own flat downstairs; John ended up staring at Sherlock's door, wondering just what she meant, for about thirty seconds before he suddenly burst in.
Sherlock was still in his coat and scarf, standing at the bookshelf with his hand in an alcove he thought was higher than John could reach.
"There's nothing there," John said calmly, one hand still on the door.
"I know there's nothing there," Sherlock snapped, not moving.
"So why are you checking?" he asked, and Sherlock whipped around. His mouth twitched, like he was about to speak, but nothing happened at first.
"Habit," he bit, and then crossed his arms. "What do you want?"
"Nothing, just coming by to say hi," John said unassumingly. "See how you're doing."
"Well I'm doing wonderfully, as you must be able to see," Sherlock spat the words at him. "Just fantastic. You can go now."
John didn't move, stuck in his slippers and stared Sherlock out. He could play the stubborn game too.
"You don't need it," he told him eventually.
"Need what?" he growled, for once playing the idiot.
"Cocaine," John answered succinctly. "Just because things aren't going how you want. You don't need it."
"I've never once entertained that notion," he retorted cruelly. "It's not a case of need, but want."
"It's bad for you."
"So is smoking."
"You don't smoke," John pointed out, and Sherlock rolled his eyes; they both knew that he would if he could be bothered, but not being able to chain-smoke through crime scenes and police stations annoyed him far too much to maintain the habit. John knew perfectly well that Sherlock didn't care what was good or bad for him, he just wanted to be entertained, before his mind ate itself with boredom.
"As wonderful as it is that your concern is only for my good health, I'm really not in the mood, John, so would you mind terribly fucking off," he announced eloquently, but his partner-flatmate-friend didn't stir.
"No, I think I'll stick around," he replied genially, as if the anger and venom of Sherlock's tone just didn't affect him. This was good, this was engaging. He would sit and argue with Sherlock all night if it kept him occupied – swearing and fighting with him was one of the healthiest options they had.
"I'm serious," Sherlock warned.
"So am I," John replied, and their eyes met directly; the battle of wills begun. A highly-strung, electric silence followed.
"What do you want?" he burst suddenly.
"Just to talk," John answered calmly. "Or not talk, if that's what you'd prefer."
"I'd prefer if you left me alone," he spat, and John suddenly strode towards him; Sherlock backed against the bookcase in surprise, spreading his arms as John grabbed him by the face, intrusive and bold.
"No," he said sternly, "I'm staying. Because if you're left alone all you'll do is turn on yourself, and you need something to keep this thing going," he explained, meaning the amazing but troubled brain between his hands. "If that thing has to be arguing with me, fine. You're a bastard. Tell me all the ways I'm wrong." Sherlock looked half-scared, half-angry, and between the two all he managed was to close his mouth and twist it into a scowl.
"Well, mother and father were married, for one," he muttered quietly, and John dared to take a breath of relief. As Sherlock went on to explain how categorically there was no definition of 'bastard' that could reliably be applied to his person, especially given the unempirical nature of social circumstance and colloquialisms, John dared to smile. When Sherlock had finally finished, and John realised a little self-consciously that he was still holding him by the face, he let go and moved back.
"Okay," he said coolly. "Point taken." Sherlock just raised his eyebrows, almost surprised at there being a point; he'd become so involved in making it he'd forgotten there was one. "So... do you want to come out and watch a bit of TV?" he tentatively suggested, and saw the flash in Sherlock's eyes as he realised he'd been played.
"Depends," he shot, knowing he was being manipulated, but unable to deny the effectiveness with which it had been done. "What is it?"
"I've been saving this one for you," John remarked with an almost malicious grin. "You're going to love it. It's called CSI:Miami."
"Crime Scene Investigation?" Sherlock echoed suspiciously, narrowing his eyes. "Okay."
When Mrs. Hudson came back to check on 'her boys' not more than an hour after she left, she knew before she walked in that John had brought Sherlock around, because his bellowing at the television could be heard from all the way downstairs.
"Ooh, CSI," she remarked as she walked in and caught sight of the TV, sharing a knowing look with John. "Brilliant, that one."
"It's moronic," Sherlock snapped. "I've never seen such unscientific ridiculous garbage in my- No! No, no, NO!" he yelled at the latest development, and threw a pillow at the television.
"Sherlock, Dear," Mrs. Hudson scolded. "Don't throw things. That TV came with the flat you know."
"We'll manage, Mrs. Hudson" John remarked humorously from his chair. "I already took all the breakable things away from him." As she passed by on the way into the kitchen – to make a pot of tea and ensure her tennants ate food that wasn't expired – she put a hand on John's shoulder, mouthing the words 'well done' at him and glancing back at Sherlock.
John simply offered her a smile and shrugged. He didn't do anything special, he never did.
Because Sherlock would love to hate watching CSI. We know he would.