A silly little thing written for a cuddle meme over here http:/ .org ?view=2359905&posted=1#cmt2359905

Love to magnolia822 and Asya Ana for their awesome prompting and enabling over on twitter.

Original inspiration from this pic http:/ ./asset /1047/7787_


"John, we are out of...what is that?"

John turned as Sherlock stood, poised in the doorway, pointing an accusatory finger at his chair. The cat merely fixed his eyes on the frozen man, and settled further, the very tip of his tail flicking a quiet beat against the upholstery.

"Oh, that's Skull," John replied absently, seated across from the ginger monstrosity that seemed to be engaging Sherlock in some sort of eye contact battle. He frowned. The cat flexed a paw. "Lestrade needed a cat-sitter for a few days."

"Les... Sku... oh, very clever." Sherlock walked stiffly to his chair and stood, looking down at the interloper.

"You are in my spot," he said politely. The cat looked up at him, gave a very deliberate yawn, and spread further into Sherlock's spot. Sherlock frowned, and looked up to find John watching him in bemusement.

"What?" he snapped, irritated.

"Sit on the couch, for fucks sake," John replied, tone just exasperated enough to make Sherlock's cheek twitch. With as much dignity as he could muster, Sherlock stepped smartly past his occupied chair and to the couch. The thing sniggered, and Sherlock whirled around.

"Did you hear that?" He snapped, outraged, "Mocking me! John, I will not..." He trailed off at the sight of John's raised eyebrow, and sat down. It wasn't the same.

0o0o0o

Sixty seven hours of sitting on the couch, and Sherlock had had enough. It wasn't his spot. The chair was his spot. How was he supposed to run through his thoughts properly if he couldn't see John's face? John's expression was critical to Sherlock's theorising. Their chairs were perfectly positioned so that Sherlock could move around whilst he talked, and John could sit and listen. The cat was intruding on Sherlock's process and that was not on.

He bounded through the door, ready to lay down the law, and found his chair empty. With a joyful cry, (and possibly a small hop), Sherlock threw himself into his finally vacant spot. He stretched his legs, flexed his hands on the rests, and looked up at John, smiling for the first time since the interloper appeared. Everything was...not back the way it should be.

The ginger monstrosity was lounging in John's lap like a poorly stuffed cushion, making a sound like a death rattle, as John absently ran the hand he wasn't using to hold his paper under its chin and down its flank. It slitted its eyes open and grinned smugly. Sherlock ground his teeth.

"Why is it still here?"

"Hmm?" John replied, not looking up from his article. Sherlock's eye twitched. The cat's tail twitched in response. It was laughing at him, he was sure of it.

"That...thing!" Sherlock exploded, popping up like a jack-in-the-box, "Why is it still here, laughing at me, ruining my process, why?"

John's mouth turned down slightly at the corners, and he carefully laid the paper down on the table next to his left arm. He tilted his head.

"Sherlock," he said quietly, "Are you okay? You haven't...taken anything, have you?"

"What? You think I've taken something because I don't want that smug thing in my house...judging me?" Sherlock snarled, gesturing violently towards the cat, "AND WHAT IS THAT BLOODY NOISE?"

"Okay, first of all, relax," John replied, his mouth twisted now, "and Skull is purring. Nothing but purring. It's fine."

"Fine? Nothing about this situation is fine!"

Sherlock could feel his whole body getting ready to twitch, so he whirled past the confused John, past the smug, purring thing, and out into the night.

0o0o0o

"Where have you been?"

"Out."

"Sherlock, it's 5am. You've been gone for hours. Your brother was ready to call in...something so secretive it doesn't even have a name."

John sounded weary. Extremely so. Sherlock looked around quickly. John wore the same clothes he had been wearing when Sherlock had stormed out, wrinkled now as if he had been moving around a lot. Several mugs, their contents – tea, yes, John's brand – untouched and cold, perched on various surfaces. John's paper lay discarded on the floor, an unheard of event. Sherlock narrowed his eyes.

"You were worried."

"Of course I was bloody worried," John yelled, "You came home, had a hissy fit over a bloody cat, and stormed out!"

Sherlock looked at John's flushed face, the tight line of his mouth, his clenched fists, and frowned. The last time he'd seen those fingers they'd been stroking the monstrosity, and John had seemed much calmer. Content even. Sherlock frowned harder.

"This is ridiculous. You are ridiculous!" John threw up his hands, and stomped from the room, muttering about cats and lunatics. Sherlock looked around quickly.

"John?" He yelled, "Where is the cat?"

A slammed door was the only response he received.

0o0o0o

The cat had been gone for thirty three hours, and John still looked tense. He was hunched in his chair, fingers white against his paper, Sherlock crouched in his own chair opposite him, scrutinising.

"What?"

"Hmm?"

"You've been staring at me for half an hour now Sherlock," John sighed, setting his paper aside, "What's up?"

"Wrong." Sherlock stated. John raised an eyebrow. "You're mad. No, irritated," he amended at the twitch of fingers on John's left hand, "Also you're...tense. You weren't tense before, when...that thing was here, so the correct question should be, what is the matter with you?"

"Nothing," John replied, the way his t and h slid into each other alerting Sherlock to his clenched jaw, "I'm fine."

Sherlock frowned again, tilting his head. John retrieved his paper from the table.

"Would you like to stroke me?"

John made a small choking noise that turned into a cough. Very deliberately, he replaced his paper on the table, then raised his eyes to meet Sherlock's own inquisitive gaze.

"I'm sorry?"

"I did some research, and reliable internet sources inform me that people find stroking a pet to have an unconsciously calming effect. You were more relaxed when you were stroking that...cat," Sherlock supplied, "The cat is gone, and you are no longer relaxed.

John's eyebrows were still squinted in that way the meant he had not reached the obvious conclusion. Sherlock sighed internally. For a doctor, John could be very obtuse.

"Are you suggesting yourself as a...pet?" John asked, looking a little odd, "because I have to say Sherlock, that's a little too far out of believable."

"Of course not, I'm merely..." Sherlock interrupted before John's words struck, "What do you mean, not believable? Are you saying I would make a poor pet?"

"What?" John was clearly bemused, "I can't even believe we're having this...what the hell are you doing?" Sherlock paused in his action of climbing into John's lap to give him a look.

"I would think it perfectly obvious," Sherlock replied, pushing John's arms out of the way. Honestly, anyone would think the man had never had another man sit in his lap to act as a pseudo-cat for the good of his health before.

"I really don't think..." John was saying ...no, squeaking...as Sherlock tried to curl his legs into a comfortable position, whilst simultaneously trying to tuck his head under the other man's chin and show John where to place his arms so that they weren't impeding Sherlock's attempts. Sherlock had never noticed John's propensity to flail before.

"Oh, this isn't working," Sherlock exclaimed, springing up from John's lap.

"You think?" John groused, before grunting in surprise as Sherlock hauled him from his chair and to the couch, pushing him down and resuming his attempts to catify himself for John Watson.

"More space here," he informed John whilst trying to replicate the ginger monstrosity's rather effortless lounging, "Stop squirming!"

"Sherlock!"

Sherlock found himself on a heap at John's feet, looking up at his agitated friend. John looked down at him, mouth twisted. Not a good sign. Not a good sign at all.

"What the hell has gotten into you?" John bit out, "Have you lost your mind? Are you on something?" He leaned down a little, squinting at Sherlock's eyes, "Is this some sort of experiment?"

Sherlock pulled himself to his feet, did not pout at all, and brushed his trousers down before turning his shoulder to his ungrateful flatmate.

"It's very simple," he snapped out, "That cat was here. You were relaxed. I made the cat go away. You were not relaxed. I was trying to help."

Sherlock turned fully away on the last word, but a firm hand around his bicep stopped him executing any forward motion with the move. He glanced back over his shoulder, and found John smiling at him. Not his you're-a-smug-git smile, or his this-is-work smile, or you-duck-and-i'll-get-the-gun smile. No, this was his you're-bloody-adorable smile. Sherlock hadn't seen it since Sarah.

"Trying to help," John dipped his head a little, and his eyes crinkled, "Of course you were." Then he pulled Sherlock down beside him on the couch.

"Try it this way," he murmured, pulling Sherlock into his side. Sherlock, calculating the height difference, allowed himself to slump until he was curved under John's arm, which was solid across his shoulder-blades, holding Sherlock tight against his side. There was a few moments of silence, then John's hand slid up and into Sherlock's hair, stroking softly.

Sherlock sighed in contentment as John's right hand, previously balled on top of his thigh, relaxed and flattened out. This was exactly what John needed. John's fingers found their way through Sherlock's hair to rub, soft but firm, along his scalp, and Sherlock let out a rumble.

"Uh, what was that?" John queried, his hand stilling. Sherlock butted his head against the unmoving fingers until John took the hint, and yawned, sliding his right arm underneath John's back and slinging his left around his waist.

"Purring," he replied, leaving the 'obviously' unsaid.

"Obviously," John answered, warm and steady, and Sherlock smiled in satisfaction.


My first foray into Sherlock (though unlikely to be my last). Feel free to leave thoughts.