John was ashamed. Especially after that conversation with Lestrade in front of half of Scotland yard and Sherlock himself.

"Seriously?! This guy, a junkie?! Have you met him?!" "John ..." "I'm pretty sure you could search this flat all day, you wouldn't find anything you could call recreational." "John, you probably want to shut up now." "Yeah, but come on ... No." "What?" "You?"

So now, when his secret was coming out (and really, he should have seen this coming, because with Sherlock, nothing stays a secret for long) he was ashamed. But John kept telling himself it wasn't a problem. If he had a problem, he would know, right?

He was a doctor after all.

It had begun innocently enough. Recreational, just once in a while. Small amounts. Easy to hide. Manageable. No outward effects. He didn't need it. It was just... good. So, so good.

But soon, that wasn't enough. He needed more. And getting more meant more trips out, more lying to Sherlock, and more hiding places. It was getting worse, and worse, and for the life of him, John couldn't figure out what to do.

"John," Sherlock began out of the blue one day, "you have a problem."

John stared at him blankly.

"I've been watching. You really didn't think you could hide it from me did you?"

John was beginning to realize where this conversation was going.

"I have no idea what you're talking about."

Sherlock sighed dramatically. "Have you forgotten I'm the world's only consulting detective?" He rolled his eyes at John. "Of course I noticed. You've been so secretive. Making almost daily trips to Tesco's. Then when I looked I found them everywhere," he hissed.

That's the trouble with addicts; you're all so stupid." The last portion of this was muttered under his breath, but John still heard every word. But before John could even open his mouth (possibly to point out that his statement included him), Sherlock was pushing forward. "I've been covering for you because I thought you would get over it. You are a doctor after all," he pointed out. "But not any more. It's affecting your work."

"And what are you gonna do about it," snarled John.

"I will tell Lestrade. You will no longer be able to work on cases with me until you come to terms with your addiction."

John stared at him.

"I did it. We'll go to meetings. I'll be there for you. So deal with it. I'm not going anywhere."

"Hi. I'm John."

"Hi John."

"It's been three days since... since..." he paused, unsure if he was going to be able to go on. But he saw Sherlock sitting in the back row, hands clasped beneath his chin, nodding reassuringly, and was able to continue.

"It's been three days since I last had any jam."

The crowd broke into applause, and John swore he could hear Sherlock clapping the loudest of all.

AN- The alternate title for this work was 'Preserving John Watson', suggested by my fantastic friend.