A/N: This happened because, as I was writing Mycroft's take on Sherlock and John for "Why They Get On," I realized all three ficlets could have been taking place over the same day/case, and decided to go from there (decided when I, everybody all together now, got bored at work). Vaguely caseficcy, but only vaguely, since the case isn't actually the point (also, I can't be arsed for all that research - bored at work fic, yo). Gen or pre-slash, depending on however you want to read it. :)
Not brit-picked, alas, alack, so any glaring Americanisms are completely and wholly my fault (I tried to catch as many as I could, but y'all know how it goes). And any overall screwy English is due to me forgetting English, which I do from time to time because I've been living in a non-English speaking country for a decade now and am kinda forgetting how my native language works. XD;;;
Doing short chapters instead of one long fic is an experiment for me, so we'll see how it goes. ^^;;
Chapter 1: Such is Life in 221B
John opened the door to the refrigerator and swore.
"Not my fault," Sherlock said, not even looking up.
"For once, no," John said, shaking his head. "This one's on me. Knew there was something I forgot," he sighed, and shut the door. "I was going to pick up more milk and eggs yesterday on my way home, and I completely forgot. Remind me next time, yeah?"
Sherlock did look up at that, and to give him a look.
"Remind me, or I send you out to do the shopping."
Sherlock shuddered dramatically before focusing back on his laptop. "Duly noted."
"Right. I'm going to go pop out and pick some things up from Tesco so we can actually have breakfast, which you are going to eat. Need anything?"
Sherlock didn't respond, so John took that as a no.
"Right. Don't blow anything up while I'm gone."
"It was only the once," Sherlock said defensively, and John bit his cheek to keep from grinning.
"So let's keep that from becoming a repeat, shall we?" he said, and ducked when Sherlock threw a cushion at his head.
John took one look at the kitchen when the got home and just blinked. "Well, at least you didn't technically blow anything up. I think."
Sherlock scowled. Or rather pouted. "The lid wasn't on completely," he said by way of explanation.
John just blinked more, glad he'd picked up a muffin and coffee on the way back, because the kitchen was looking pretty grim and unusable. "That'd explain the bits of...what was that, anyway?" he said, frowning as he tried to identify the few solid bits of what had been some kind of viscera. Looked like liver.
"Liver," Sherlock groused, and John was a bit proud of himself for being right. "Bison liver."
Bison...?! "Right. The bison liver on the ceiling. And everything else." John said, feeling the corner of his mouth turn up, because that "everything else" also included one small bit of gore Sherlock had apparently missed when he was washing his hair after his failed attempt at...whatever he'd been doing that required bison liver in the blender, and the sight of it kept John from losing his temper at the whole thing, because he could only imagine the look Sherlock must have had on his face when the blender spat pureed liver out all over him. The kitchen was a bloody mess worthy of a crime scene, but Sherlock himself had probably been even more of a bloody mess.
John clamped down on the snicker he felt as the bit of what had been liver started slithering its way down one of Sherlock's curls, and managed a bland voice when he said, "Well, at least it gives you some interesting splatter patterns to catalogue as you clean it up."
Sherlock grinned suddenly at the realisation things weren't a total wash, and the way he perked up made the bit of liver finally slide out of his hair, and it landed on the floor with a faint plop.
John gave in, as he almost always did, to Sherlock when he was actually being reasonable, and ended up helping Sherlock clean the kitchen - it had been an accident and Sherlock was right in that it'd go a lot faster with two of them doing it...and Sherlock had given him that stupid look, that very practiced and completely fake look of helplessness that John gave in to even though he knew it was a complete and total act.
He did, however, make sure to keep Sherlock to the "two of them" part of it, or else it would have turned into "John cleaning Sherlock's mess whilst Sherlock fucked off somewhere." Sherlock did indeed try to fuck off, which John allowed the one time owing to Sherlock requesting he be allowed to wash his hair again and make sure there was no more liver in it, but only the once, despite Sherlock's whinging, cajoling, attempts at bribery, and aggrieved proclamations of it being tediously dull and that if they left it, Mrs Hudson would clean it.
The last one got a glare from John, and Sherlock huffed in irritation before he grabbed the rag out of John's hands and climbed up on the table to scrub at the ceiling, snottily informing John he'd do it because John's short little arms would undoubtedly not be long enough to reach. John ignored the jab as beneath him and went about rewashing all the dishes that had been out.
He stepped in something squishy, and he vowed to make Sherlock scrub the floor once he was done with the ceiling.
After they got the kitchen clean, it was just about lunch time, and John felt a slight pang at the idea of dirtying up the kitchen after they'd spent hours cleaning it.
No help for it, he thought. Especially since I know that madman didn't eat breakfast.
"If I cook," John said, "and put food in front of you, you're going to eat it, right?"
"Not my question."
Sherlock made one of his annoyed sounds, but John crossed his arms and waited.
"Fine," Sherlock huffed finally. "But you said breakfast and there was no breakfast and I want eggs."
Dealing with Sherlock Holmes, John thought, and not for the first time, was like dealing with a recalcitrant toddler. But if the stupid git wanted eggs, that meant he actually wanted to eat, andJohn felt that was to be encouraged. Plus, with eggs, there was a chance of sneaking some vegetables in there.
Some days, John honestly had no idea how Sherlock had managed not to die of malnutrition prior to John moving in and sneaking vegetables into his food and insisting that Sherlock at least take vitamins on the days he was too busy bloody thinking to eat.
Hallelujah, John thought. Tomatoes, cheese, and red peppers are going into that. "Anything else besides eggs, then?"
"DON'T CARE," Sherlock said emphatically, and John rolled his eyes before setting to work, figuring if he was making a weekend brunch, because it was far too late for breakfast thanks to all that cleaning, he was going to do a proper fry-up, and started pulling out ingredients.
There had been relatively little arguing at brunch - Sherlock decided to not be a prat and he actually ate the food John set in front on him, even snagging another waffle and another sausage on top of the eggs stuffed with damned near every kind of vegetable they had in the refrigerator not marked with "Do not use; for an experiment." John filed that away: Sherlock would eat sausages and blueberry waffles (bless that waffle-maker splurge purchase). And eggs if he was in a mind for them.
He decided to give bangers and mash a try some time that week or next, and see if Sherlock would go for it, even though he could be a picky, annoying posh git about everything, including food. Still, he'd eaten two sausages, so John figured it was a fifty-fifty shot. Plus, to counter the "picky posh git" thing, he had seen Sherlock eat beans right out of the tin once after a particularly difficult case, so there was always that - you never quite knew with Sherlock.
Sherlock curled himself on the sofa as soon as he was done, not even an offer to help with the dishes, but he was asleep before John was even halfway through the washing, which John realized when he said, "You could help, you know," and looked over his shoulder to see Sherlock now sprawled on his back on the sofa, one gangly arm trailing off the side, neck at an angle he was going to regret when he woke up, and fast asleep. John was happy enough about Sherlock actually sleeping - the man was a worse insomniac than him, and he at least had right proper case of PTSD to blame for that one, not an overactive brain - that he let it go with a sigh.
Plus, he figured he'd got Sherlock Holmes to both eat and sleep (admittedly, Sherlock had just finished a case the night before, so the next day usually was Sherlock's 'recovery' day, where he finally listened to his 'transport' and ate and slept to make up for what he'd missed, and John made sure whatever food went into Sherlock was relatively healthy and not just bags of crisps, biscuits, and whatever wasn't too expired from the fridge), plus even clean up the mess from an experiment gone pbbth.
Really, he was doing pretty well that day.
When he finished washing up, he made himself a cup of tea, and settled down in his chair to read while Sherlock was asleep, because he'd learned to hard way that if he tried to read while Sherlock was awake (and not engrossed in a book of his own, online, or doing an experiment), Sherlock would read the back of the book and deduce the entire plot, twists and all. Loudly. And then John occasionally throwing the book at Sherlock's head, and once threatening to eviscerate Sherlock with his violin bow.
Sherlock had said that was physically impossible; John responded by narrowing his eyes and daring Sherlock to dare him to give it a go.
Sherlock had eyed the Cluedo board John had impaled to the wall with an Afghani dagger last time he'd been that angry, and wisely declined, since he rather liked that bow. And his internal organs not being removed via said bow.
John read his book, and Sherlock slept.
The sun was beginning to go down, and John was beginning to think about flipping on the lights and maybe poke around for something to make for dinner when Sherlock finally woke up, bleary-eyed and his lip poking out like a small child.
"Tea?" Sherlock said when he finally came on-line enough to manage a word.
"You're lucky I was about to get up anyway," John said with a sigh. "Hungry?"
Sherlock made a sound John was pretty sure was supposed to be a negative, but he ignored it. "Right, food it is, then."
Sherlock gurgled some aggrieved sort of sound and blinked owlishly. John ignored Sherlock being completely out of sorts; the man normally was useless the first ten minutes after he woke up, which was not a surprise given all the stimulants he normally subjected his body to.
John also knew from experience that he had another day, maybe two, before Sherlock started getting bored, so he was going to enjoy this relative peace while it lasted.
He turned the kettle on, then flipped on a light and sat down. Sherlock looked at him sullenly.
"I can't change the laws of thermodynamics, Sherlock," John said. "The water for tea has to boil."
Sherlock gurgled another irritated sound and laid back down on the sofa face-down with a thud.
"You're going to be useless until you get caffeine in you, aren't you?" John asked, and got muffled grunt in response. OK. Brain still booting up. "Right. Well, just wait. Kettle should be boiled soon."
Sherlock mumbled something that sounded an awful lot like "thermodynamics are stupid," and John had to fight very, very hard not to laugh at his flatmate.
Luckily, the kettle went off then, so he was saved from laughing at Sherlock being grumpy and thus making Sherlock grumpier.
The tea only took a few minutes to brew and add milk and sugar to, and John spent those few minutes pondering dinner.
He put Sherlock's tea in front of him and was rewarded by Sherlock lurching up and reaching for it. "So. Curry tonight?"
Sherlock ignored him in favor of drinking half the tea at once before giving his head a shake, as if clearing it.
"Not hungry," Sherlock said, sounding much more awake than he had five minutes ago.
"Too bad," John said, smiling his not-bending-an-inch smile. "We have an agreement, Sherlock. You eat at least twice a day when you're not on a case. You are not on a case. Therefore, you have one more meal to go today. So. Curry?"
Sherlock made a face. "I ate a big brunch, remember?"
"Brunch, which is one meal. You still have one more to go today," John said, still smiling, only now with more teeth showing.
Sherlock let out an annoyed huff. "Fine. Greek. I want dolma."
John's smile morphed away from the "don't make me hurt you" smile into a self-satisfied one. "There, see how easy that was?"
Sherlock rewarded him with a glare, which John ignored as he dug out the menu from the closest Greek restaurant that did takeaway. It wasn't that close, but John didn't mind going out to get it - he knew Sherlock was trying to annoy him with his restaurant choice, but he also knew Sherlock would actually eat if John went and got it. Or if John started playing with a sharp knife while pointedly looking at Sherlock and the food.
There was a reason John left the Cluedo board right where it was, and it wasn't just to emphasise that they were never, ever playing that game again.
It was a nice evening, so John didn't mind the thirty minute walk to the restaurant, figuring he'd take a taxi back home, since his last bit of locum work they'd sent him out to Dublin for had paid quite nicely.
He enjoyed having a few minutes of calm to himself - they were rare, just rare enough to be enjoyable instead of making something in his brain start itching in on itself, feeling as if something was wrong and start twitching at shadows and waiting for gunfire.
John strongly suspected that knowing about that itchy feeling in his brain was a big part of why he had managed to keep from strangling Sherlock when the man was all but scratching up the walls. He could empathise just enough to keep from taking out his gun and braining Sherlock with it.
It was a near thing some days, though.
When he stepped out of the taxi, he could see Sherlock standing in the window, playing his violin dramatically.
That violin was the best barometer to Sherlock's mood that there was, so John waited a moment before he went into their flat to gauge things.
Well. Nothing too worrisome from the sound; more like what Sherlock played when he wasn't in any particular mood but needed something to do.
That was safe. And it sounded rather nice, really - a bit fast, but not frantic, and the way Sherlock was playing was the way he played when he was enjoying himself, with all those bouncing leaps and expressive vibrato. Even the quiet bits sounded more like being pensive and not being sulky.
Yeah, he kind of liked this one, he thought as he opened the door.
John would say this much - living with Sherlock Holmes had definitely increased his appreciation for classical music.
He put the bags of takeaway down on the table just as Sherlock was playing the last few flourishing notes.
"Beethoven's violin sonata in A major," Sherlock said without prompting.
"Ta. I like that one," John said, setting out the food, and not noticing the tiny, crooked smile that briefly quirked Sherlock's lips at his words. "And I picked up some yiaourti for dessert. And you're going to eat it."
Sherlock rolled his eyes, which John did see, and chose to ignore. But once he finished stalling by wiping the rosin off his strings and putting his violin away, Sherlock sat down in front of the food and delicately stabbed one of the dolma with his fork and nibbled at it.
That was good enough for John, since some food was actually going into Sherlock, and he tucked into his moussaka.
John had just flipped on the telly when Sherlock's mobile buzzed. Sherlock looked at it lazily from his sprawl on the sofa, and then jumped up in a flurry of energy.
"Lestrade," Sherlock said, his face lighting up with glee as he grabbed his coat. "Says he's got a possible serial killer, John! A serial killer!"
Sherlock's unabashed joy was oddly infectious, and John wondered if he should be worried about that.
Then he decided it wasn't worth it to think too hard about, grabbed his own coat, and headed out after Sherlock.
Such was life in 221B for one John Watson and one Sherlock Holmes.