Disclaimer: The characters belong to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. This version of Sherlock Holmes belongs to Gatiss, Moffat and the BBC. I don't earn money by writing this.
Author's note: A great big thank you to the wonderful TSylvestrisA for beta-reading this story! Thanks to her, this story is worth being published and without her, I would've given up on it way back. Thank you, Sylve, for supporting and encouraging me. Cuddle Attack Incoming. :)
Now, you lot, thanks for reading in advance, opinions are greatly appreciated and can be left in the form of a review in the comment section below. I also accept cookies and fresh cans of Rockstar Guava. Thank you. :)
A Bit of a Domestic, Chapter one: Enough
John felt like a zombie as he shuffled, yawning, into the kitchen to make himself a cup of coffee. Last night had been dreadful.
"Don't make me compete with Sherlock Holmes!" his last girlfriend had said, and now the voice from last night's dream echoed in his head and he groaned.
"Good morning, John," Sherlock said from behind him.
John jumped. "God, Sherlock, would you mind not sneaking around like a bloody ninja at half six in the morning?"
Sherlock raised an eyebrow, but didn't question him. Instead, he pushed him farther into the kitchen, to the coffee pot waiting on the counter top. John made a noise of protest, but in fact he was far too tired to fight right now. He yawned again, stretching his arms to either side of his body, eyes squeezed shut.
When he opened them again, however, he stared blankly at the cup of coffee sitting in front of him. He blinked several times and his throat made an odd sound when he opened his mouth to speak. He swallowed and tried again.
"Is my birthday today?" he asked, perplexed, and turned his head over his shoulder to look at his flatmate.
Sherlock didn't look up from his microscope, but John could hear the eye-roll in his voice. "One would assume you would know your own date of birth. Furthermore you know that I do not particularly care for such trivia."
"You made me coffee," John stated, blinking again in confusion. He looked back to his mug, filled to the brim with hot coffee and just the right amount of milk. Then his gaze wandered back to Sherlock - or rather, to the back of his head. "You never make me coffee. So I assume it's some special occasion or you want to drug me again."
"You don't believe I would pull the same trick twice, do you? Also, can't one make a coffee for his flatmate without having any diabolical plots in mind?" Sherlock asked, and there was not the slightest bit of mock-innocence in his tone, as was so often the case when he tried to experiment on John.
The doctor was still skeptical. "With any normal flatmate that would be fine, but not when the person you share a flat with is an easily bored genius named Sherlock Holmes, no."
"Interesting. Apparently it's fine to trust your life to me during cases, but I'm not trustworthy enough to make you coffee. Go ahead and brew yourself a new one, then." Sherlock continued to focus on his experiment.
John raised an eyebrow, but of course his lunatic flatmate couldn't see that. He sighed. "Okay, okay, I'll drink your coffee. Thank you." He grabbed the cup and took a sip before sitting down at the kitchen table.
His gaze lingered on Sherlock. On his long, pale fingers adjusting the microscope, to be exact. A violinist's fingers, graceful and thin, skin soft except for the calloused fingertips.
Sherlock felt the eyes on him, but didn't look up when he sighed and asked, "What are you staring at me like that for?"
"Uhh?" John answered unintelligibly, shaking his head. "N-nothing," he managed eventually.
"Well, stop it, it's distracting."
John said nothing, instead dropping his eyes into the light-tan liquid in his coffee mug.
After a long moment, Sherlock sighed again and looked up from his microscope. "God, John, what's the matter with you today?"
"What, am I putting you off by staring into my coffee now?" he complained. "Fine, I'll just leave you to it, then."
He moved to get up from the chair but was stopped by his flatmate's hand on his shoulder, pushing him back down.
"Sleepless night again, I take it. I didn't mean to offend you," Sherlock said, letting go of John's shoulder.
The doctor sighed and shook his head. This was as close to an apology as he would get. "Fine, it's fine. I'm fine," he muttered, staring down on the table.
Sherlock inhaled deeply and pushed the mug back into his friend's hands. "Take a day off and go back to sleep. You look awful," he advised, genuine concern in his voice.
John snorted. "Why, thank you! Not everyone can look as fantastic as you do even after three nights without any sleep," he snapped.
"Now you're just being irritable. I wasn't trying to offend you, I'm merely concerned about your health."
"Thanks, but I'm a doctor, I know perfectly well when I'm healthy or not."
Sherlock exhaled harshly and turned back to his microscope. "Whatsoever you're going to do, I would greatly appreciate if you'd make an effort to contain your foul mood. I have work to do and it's putting me off."
It was exactly the wrong thing for him to say at exactly the wrong time. "Oh, right," said John, smacking his mug down on the table. "My foul mood - which does not, I'd like to point out, take the form of playing the violin at three in the morning, insulting my flatmate's girlfriends, or shooting the bloody walls - is putting you off!"
"Stop shouting, please." It wasn't even a request, John thought, not really. It was an order with "please" tacked on. He hadn't even looked up.
"Where you even listening to what I said, you insufferable prat?"
The detective sighed. "I could not possibly have missed it, because you screamed it right into my ear. The kitchen is tiled, John, and loud noises reverberate unpleasantly." His voice was still calm, his eyes and hands still fixed on the microscope.
The taller man raised an eyebrow and looked at his friend challengingly. "Oh, why don't you help me with that?"
Oh, that was it. That was it. John slammed his hands flat on the table and stood up. "Okay. That's about as much as I can take. You're self-centered and insufferable, and what's worse is that you wouldn't give two shits about me. Not even me, of all people, your best friend! I've had enough. I'm going."
"Fine. We need milk."
"I am not going for milk! I'm-" John exhaled slowly, deliberately. "I am going to look for a flat."
"Don't be ridiculous. We don't need-"
"Not for us, Sherlock. For me. Just me."
Well, he certainly had Sherlock's full attention now. He felt his scrutiny like a physical weight against his skin. Finally the other man turned back to his experiment and said dismissively, "You're being melodramatic and absurd. Clearly your judgement has been adversely affected by sleep deprivation."
John clenched his hands, lips pinched to a tight white line. "Right, then," he said, and strode past Sherlock and up the stairs to his room, slamming the door loudly enough to wake Mrs. Turner's Married Ones next door.