Sherlock:

[[Hypothesis: Subject #JW-007 will respond positively to non-platonic advances by test administer (SH-Admin) but will NOT respond positively to similar sexual/romantic advances from control male "suitors". Controls will be nearly identical to Admin in physicality (intelligence and character impossible to replicate). "Dates" will be observed via field study and survey.

Test #1, Control-1.]]

John:

I'm sipping tea and reading the Daily Mail on my laptop when Sherlock appears at my side as if by magic. "I need your help with a case," he says urgently, which is usually enough to get my attention…except that I have to work at the surgery today, I know full well there isn't a case on, and I got about three hours of sleep thanks to Sherlock deciding my bedroom (and thus my bed) was the best place to study the effects of certain corrosive fluids on various materials (namely: my bedsheets, my third favorite jumper, my carpet, and my wood flooring) and that this particular experiment was best conducted at three in the morning, with me sleeping in said bedroom (and bed).

"Whatever it is," I say without looking up, "do it yourself."

I know he's doing the puppy-dog eyes without even looking at him. "John, I need you. I have something on at Bart's, and you're good with people. I'm not, we both know that."

Despite myself, I ask, "This doesn't mean I'm doing it, but…well, what is it?"

Sherlock brightens. "An interview. I need you to go the Dorset on Melcombe after work tonight. I'll text you the rest of the instructions once you're there."

I rub my tired eyes and sigh. An interview? Can't be all that bad, right? Doesn't sound like there will be any running or car chases or inopportune explosions, at least. "Fine. Okay. But that's it: just an interview. And then I'm going to get a nice, full eight hours of sleep. Understand?"

He doesn't answer, just claps his hands gleefully like a tyke, and I'm suddenly nervous as to what I might have gotten myself into.

x

/Okay, I'm here./

/Excellent. Inside table on the left-hand side. Interviewee is named Brian Taylor. Acquire general background info (upbringing, education, hobbies and interests, etc.) in informal manner. (Imagine Brian is a friend.) SH/

/Do I even want to know the relevance of this, exactly?/

/Not important at this time. Will discuss later. SH/

Sherlock:

[[Initial observation: Subject exhibits signs of mild attraction to Control. Subject's manner is casual but with business-like overtones; Control is flirtatious, as requested. More data required.]]

John:

The first thing I notice about Brian is that he looks an awful lot like Sherlock. Same dark hair, same lithe figure. I don't think it's possible that anyone else could have Sherlock's mad cheekbones or wild eyes, but otherwise this bloke is a dead ringer.

The second thing I notice is that he is aggressively trying to get in my pants.

"And you went to uni where?" I say politely, wishing we'd had this interview at a pub rather than a café. I sip my coffee and try not to pay too much attention to Brian's fingers, which are toying with the third button on his shirt (the first two are undone, which I assume is intentionally suggestive).

Brian leans forward; his smile is almost uncomfortably lustful. "Didn't go. I went to bartending school instead."

"Oh, great. Great." God, this is awkward. I wish Sherlock were here to put this guy off…not that Brian doesn't seem nice or anything but- as I keep trying to tell everyone- I'm not gay. "So, um…you're a bartender, then? That's…brilliant. Very nice."

"Oh yeah, I work over at the Whips & Whistles. Heard of it?" Brian bats his eyes coyly and slides his hand over mine. "You should come 'round one night, I'll fix you up something nice. On the house, of course."

I excuse myself as nicely as I can manage and slip to the loo, yanking out my phone.

/What are you playing at?/

/What do you mean? SH/

/Tell me this is a set-up or something. Seriously, Sherlock, I think this Brian character is planning to eat me alive./

/I presume you're not referring to actual cannibalism. Is he making you uncomfortable? SH/

/YES. Hugely. Requesting rescue mission immediately./

/Interesting. Be there in ten. SH/

That last text sends a flood of relief through me, and when I slip out again and settle down across from Brian I'm extremely grateful to note that he seems to have lost interest in me entirely. When Sherlock shows up nine minutes later and dismisses Brian in his typical brusque manner, I'm so glad to see him that I buy him a coffee and force him to tell me all about his experiment at Bart's. If Sherlock seems a little less than eager to talk about it, I hardly care; it's just nice to have him here.

Sherlock:

[[Subject put off by apparent over-aggression on part of Control-1. Will modify behavior during next test. Results currently inconclusive. Testing to be resumed in one week.]]