This happens between Scandal and Hound (as will become obvious soon, hopefully) and is my first attempt at a casefic for a whiillleee. Also, first Sherlock for quite a bit too (and I'll be returning to writing John in future chapters because I'm more comfortable with him and Sherlock gets pretty tiring). Hopefully you'll enjoy and review and what not :)
Warnings: an excess of italics (as just seems to happen whenever I write from Sherlock's perspective), lots of messy stuff about addictions, murders and the usual things that happen within the Sherlock framework
His brain was a wash of one dish half washed the rest still on the side with half a bottle of beer, meaning John was half way through the dishes when his sister called and after that couldn't face either beer or washing anymore, trudged back into the sitting room to nag him to move (that's cheating, memory not deduction, but the data's already lodged in his brain and it's difficult to forget it.). And that, incidentally, is why he snapped at Sherlock because John wanted to see a familiar face, paused on the threshold of the doorway and tried to talk to Sherlock only no response – boring conversation, Sherlock didn't – no, Sherlock couldn't – and so reasoning was sentimental and then Sherlock said tea was dull and life was dull (classified as true, especially as thanks to bloody John Lestrade found out about that and now there are no cases until…) and John was upset because the reason he hung up on his sister (phone left in the kitchen, then retrieved as he thought about calling her back, left on the desk, John looked at it repeatedly, ignored second call then switched it off) was because he didn't want to deal with addiction right at that second and then…
Well. How was Sherlock supposed to hypothesis when John didn't provide all the evidence? He wasn't an actual mind reader and as he hadn't moved off the couch for seven point six hours prior to John storming out to sleep with whatever irritating girlfriend was currently bogging down his mind with pointless crap, so he hadn't seen the tea bag already in the tea pot John had already been making both of them cups of tea, was waiting for the kettle to boil, just wanted to make conversation. Didn't take kindly to Sherlock's comments. Didn't need it.
And this was all John's fault, anyway. Because it was just one needle. It wasn't like John was idiotic enough to believe that he was as entirely and always completely clean as he made out to be – Lestrade's idiotic drug raids and his inability not to let it get under his skin when people were touching his things which was made mildly worse by the fact that he really didn't want to serve time for possession (as Mycroft tended to be less lenient about those sorts of things) – and, morally it was questionable to object to his being less careful in his habits. And he'd classified John as having a strong moral framework within the first few seconds, and confirmed it by the end of the first day they'd known each other. Admittedly, conformation of a man being morally sound coming in the form of a gunshot was unusual but those sorts of things were what made John interesting.
If John were here, anyway, which he wasn't. Because he was with Sarah or Jeanette or April or whoever it was this time (more forthcoming than Sarah, who's instance on lilo or sofa had at least provided some material to deduce other than that sort of information: which, actually, had caused John to quote Sebastian at him – 'we'd come down to the formal hall and this freak would know you'd been shagging the night before') and was therefore not here and Sherlock was so bored that he wasn't sure what he would do and nothing was working and why was nothing happening anyway?
His texts to Lestrade were unanswered (mostly consisting of the word 'case' and little else bit his initials) and from his position on the sofa he'd deduced the sexual orientation of every person who'd walked past the window, and not a single bloody person had got mugged. No cases from the website. Even though John couldn't exactly post Sherlock isn't clean right now, please don't call at Baker Street on his insufferable blog, they still seemed to have dried up. Or else John had been smarter than usual and redirected the sound of the bell to only sound in Mrs Hudson's flat, and then had Mrs Hudson intercept all clients and feed the line about a holiday or health reasons or something smart and clever and a little bit interesting.
But no, that had not happened, because Sherlock had spent all of Thursday calling take outs and delivery people and taxis to internally the record the difference in pressure and length each stupidly unimportant person had rang the bell for. And that had pissed John off too, because he'd given them John's number and he was out doing something and Mrs Hudson was visiting her sister and Sherlock certainly wasn't going to answer the doorbell. John hadn't, it seemed, appreciated the many irritated phone calls but he'd come home and that had at least been better because there'd been more data and there'd been something to deduce and an angry John was much superior than no John at all and it had only been one needle, for goodness sake.
And he had regretted telling John that he could have cracked the Vaisey Murder case before the second murder meaning John's own personal prejudice against addictions had led to the murder of three innocent women the second John's eyes hardened. He knew it had been a-bit-not-good but he couldn't retract the comment and then John was leaving and there was just nothing to do.
It had been too far. The sort of comment that John talked to him about in the name of ease of living and respecting victims and people. But he couldn't' stand this. His brain was rotting and there was no case and no nothing and withdrawal and he hated being clean and sober and where the hell where the nicotine patches?
Nicotine was a normal persons excuse for an addiction but it was something and usually John didn't get too upset about smoking or patches (although Sherlock supposed it would have made a difference as to what Sherlock was smoking, but couldn't' comprehend why anyone would subject themselves to weed). And alcohol was a mind numbing shit addiction which had put John in a bad mood before Sherlock had even done anything. But he'd take anything at this point because –
John had told Sherlock for a man who complained about being bored quite so much, his rant about doorbells had most certainly been bloody dull and so Sherlock had been announcing who was at the door before John could look out the window to prove that it was valuable and interesting. Or at least, as interesting as life was capable of being without cases of drugs or some form of high. And John had still been a bit irritated about having to pay off the Chinese take away man and the dominos man and the taxi driver for wasting his time (not that he hadn't been reimbursed – Sherlock had just pointed vaguely at his card and said 'bored' and that had been the end of that), but he'd smiled a bit after the third correct deduction so he'd taken that as forgiveness.
"Lestrade," Sherlock said out loud, almost on automatic and then pulled his dressing gown around him and pulled his legs to his chest (but that one's easy, because Lestrade always rings the same way; two sharp punches of the doorbell which even Anderson couldn't miss). Not opening door won't. Can't.
Only ringing the doorbell due to the fact that Lestrade is always super polite after enforced separation from police work and successful drug raid, normally just walks right in. Mrs Hudson returned to London late last night. Probably asleep (and John, before slamming the door and storming out, had told him not to do anything loud and obnoxious and wake her), but she never sleeps through the doorbell anyway and Sherlock is entirely sure that answering the doorbell would kill him or destroy some lines of his thought process just by being so bloody dull.
Probably take less than ten minutes for her to get up and dressed enough to answer the door. Or Lestrade will give up on politeness and walk in and either way he doesn't have to move, because it's only right here on the sofa when he can actually stand to be alive with his limbs folded just so and if he moves out of this position (two point four hours, the length of time from when he'd flounced about angrily after John had left, gone into the kitchen, deduced everything, and thrown the beer away with malice and collapsed back on the sofa) then he won't be able to stand anything at all and withdrawal and reality and everything will just be too much and –
Correct deduction. Lestrade let himself in, then. Or –
Sherlock turned around but no wishful thinking because John wasn't with him didn't let Lestrade in so Lestrade had just… just done the unexpected and let himself in almost immediately and… and -
"Got a case for you."
"I thought," Sherlock spat, "I was off cases."
"Are you off the cocaine?"
Sherlock turned around in effort to find that position again. Facing the back of the sofa with his legs pulled in tight when there wasn't so much data to contend with and he could think without feeling his mind gearing up into overdrive, or tearing itself to pieces, or racing and racing. Because there was just the sofa and holding his limbs still.
"I've got John in the car," Lestrade continued. There. Didn't miss anything. Obviously. "He says you're clean."
Of course he's clean with John's nagging and being off cases and there wasn't really anyway he could not be clean. John's a doctor, not as stupid as Sherlock sometimes thinks (at least, not in medicinal terms – he'd certainly notice if Sherlock was high if he was looking for it). The whole thing is stupid because it was one needle and there's loads of them in the flat but John doesn't know about that and he won't, now, because he'd be banned from cases for months and –
Lestrade was tired. Guilty too, which meant John's told him what Sherlock said about the Vaisey serial killer but there's not much Sherlock can about that now. If they were as bothered about saving lives as they say they were they wouldn't have left him out of the loop for something so important. And Sherlock was too despondent even to look at the case until after it was solved (the idea of not having access to all the crucial piece of the puzzle sounded like too much on top of everything else) and so it's just theory that he could have solved the murder, but it certainly got their attention so it's all irrelevant, really, and if John hadn't been so mad then he wouldn't have minded at all.
"No." Sherlock said, and that position is gone now so there's no point trying to find it and its data overload all the damn time and no one seems to understand that they can't just…Can't just take away the drugs and the cases and everything interesting all at once.
"Student dead in Earls Court. Blow to the back of the head whilst he was on Facebook."
It sounds like it has potential but that's likely just the boredom making anything interesting and he can't let Lestrade have control because Sherlock has always been in control of his addictions and now he's off cases and there's nothing he can do and it's driving him crazy. And he just can't stand it can't take can't do it.
"His flatmate says his memory stick's missing. Very insistent about it."
Memory stick? Student. Unlikely to have any information anyone would be willing to kill for. Accidental? Killer took memory stick to make it look like a break in? No, illogical, wouldn't have taken his laptop. Sobriety effecting thought process. Plagiarism possible, still doubtful.
"Said he never took it out of his laptop. Will you come?"
"John says to tell you you have to ride in the police car."
John's bloody overprotectiveness won't leave him alone until he disappears leaves him to deal with the boredom and then…
"I need a cigarette."
Lestrade surprised. Sherlock hasn't smoked for a significant period of time but he can't think for ease of breathing and he's so sober that his thoughts hurt and if he doesn't have something then he's going to… going to –
Sherlock scowled, threw himself off the sofa and into his room. Remerged ten minutes later in actual clothing, a packet of cigarettes and the same sour expression.
"Fine." He said, pulling on his coat and thinking that he might not be ready for a case, might want to stay inside in that position and look at the sofa because all the data hurts and he really needs to be high for this and he's not and there's so much information and oh look, Mrs Hudson has her idiot nephew to stay and John's in the car and not looking happy about Sherlock lighting up a cigarette but at least it's not in the flat.
The first breath of nicotine makes him fell slightly better. Not because a single cigarette has anywhere near enough effect for him to be able to think properly, but because it's a promise that there will be relief soon.
And after the nicotine, there'd be the case.