The Fifth Hour

A/N: More for my benefit than yours, but it's around nine-thirty now. And I'm desperately trying to keep the times straight in my head.

John ducks into a nearby Tesco as Sherlock surreptitiously hacks into the NSY mainframe to see what sort of mayhem Gallifreyan_Exile_87 was able to cause on such short notice.

He's sending a congratulatory message to the hacker when John re-emerges, tucking his shopping into the leather satchel Harry had sent him a few months earlier.

(Looks aside, it was dead useful for carrying medical supplies/notes/whatever the hell Sherlock needed him to bring on the weirder cases. And of course there wasn't a secret compartment at the bottom containing a British Army Browning L9A1. Because John is a law-abiding citizen…most of the time.)

Sherlock's curiosity was instantly piqued, although he wouldn't sink so low as to ask why John felt the need to have another row with the chip-and-pin machine when there were so many more interesting things to be doing.

But John will say nothing on the subject, and they simply drift towards the nearest park in search of a much-needed coffee. Ten minutes later, they're stationed on a park bench with two steaming cups of Crammer's Roast (featuring twice the recommended daily intake of caffeine and on the road to being banned by the FDA, but still the best alternative to a few hours of sleep). John burns his tongue as they watch the late businesspeople dash by, screaming into their blackberries about can we reschedule for ten o'clock and I swear I'll be there in five minutes.

Neither will ever admit it, but this is the most fun they've had in weeks.

A flicker of movement in the corner of John's eye sets him on high alert, as he turns his head just enough to see Donavon directing several officers into positions around the park's perimeter. He surreptitiously alerts Sherlock, and the two form a whispered plan.


Sherlock rises abruptly from the bench and heads for a nearby copse of trees, with John hot on his heels. Once they are concealed from sight, Sherlock begins a headcount while John pulls out his earlier purchases and commences mixing them. Acetone, nail polish remover, bleach…

Sherlock gives the atomizer a quizzical look as John screws on the lid and gives it a small shake- no time to distill it properly, but this will do. A small grin spreads across his face as he regards his blogger's creation. "When on earth did you learn to make knock-out spray?"

John's devious smile is infectious as the two grin at one another like schoolboys. "I was a delinquent student once, you know. Picked up a few things when I wasn't studying or drinking." He tucks the bottle into his pocket as the two wave their way through the trees to where Donavon and Anderson stand flanked by several officers. Donavon smirks, folding her arms over her chest. "Hello, freak. Your brother wants a word."

"And you're doing his dirty work for him. Really, that's low, even for you two." Sherlock is working to keep his tone dry as his eyes flicker over the scene, the beginning of a plan working itself out in his mind. If he can just stall them a little bit longer…

"Keep talking, Freak," Donavon growls as the officers step forward. "I'll be happy to take a statement down at the Yard."

The officers step forward to apprehend them…

And John neatly flips the first once over his shoulder as Sherlock jabs another in the solar plexus. The officers halt for a fraction of a second, watching in stunned disbelief as two of their comrades tumble to the ground.

That's all the time they need. John presses his thumb into a cluster of nerve endings, and another collapses. Two squirts from the atomizer and another's down, and the final one is tossed into a nearby tree.

Sherlock has gone for the more traditional approach, taking out one with a roundhouse kick to the legs and tossing one that comes charging at him into the more hesitant officer that was hanging back (handily pick-pocketing his pepper spray at the same time).

Eight down, two to go. Donavon looks stunned, and Anderson has gone pale. Sherlock gives him his coldest stare. "Never thought that Mycroft would be that desperate, really."

Donavon collects her thoughts enough to sneer at him. "Say what you want, but the bonus I get for slowing you down will be very useful."

Now it's John's turn to speak. "Slowing us down? Not stopping us?"

Anderson viciously kicks a rock. "In the event of being unable to apprehend you, we were to try and slow you down as much as possible." He grins. "He knows exactly where you are, now. How long do you think it is before he finds you?"

John mutters a few choice words and gives Anderson his most withering glare. When Sherlock looks at you like that, it's as if he knows everything about you and has decided that you're too boring to bother with. John, on the other hand, looks at you like an extremely interesting person. However, you get the feeling that at the same time he's offering you tea and a biscuit, he's figuring out the easiest way to knock you out/ quietly kill you/make sure you'll never, ever be found.

It's not a look he uses very often, but when he does, you remember that he was a soldier as well as a doctor.

Anderson quails, and Sherlock sees his opportunity. John tosses him the atomizer, and he sends two squirts directly into the forensics officer's face. He's snoring before he hits the ground.

They make a…hasty exit.

Sherlock doesn't even give the cameras a glimpse as they blend into the crowds at Leicester Square, so they must still be on the fritz. Two tickets later, they're boarding the tube. Sherlock commences reading the other passengers (silently, thank god) as John sinks onto a bench with a sigh. They can't stop for very long, but a few minutes won't hurt.

And for a brief while, the only sound is the ever-winding train snaking its way though the tunnels.

See? I haven't forgotten this, though the speed at which I update my stories will be slowing down somewhat- I've gotten into the habit of writing them in notebooks during school and transcribing them onto the computer at a later date. But I will keep updating- this is far too much fun to write, so I won't abondon it.

As always, reviews/prompts/random comments are as welcome as the TARDIS in 221B (dear god, I'm a wholock fangirl. Don't stop me.)