Memories. They got stirred up easily and made the water muddy when he was studying the bottom of the riverbed. He did not enjoy when something he was doing got disturbed. But the only thing to do was to wait for the water, the memories, to clear and settle before he could go back to what he was doing.
Sherlock did not enjoy his childhood.
"Sherlock, eat your peas."
No, peas were mushy and unpredictable.
"Bad boys who don't eat their peas get punished."
"Sherlock, sit still."
No, there was so much to do, to learn, to explore, that he really wasn't going to just sit here and wait.
"Bad boys who don't sit still get punished."
"Sherlock, listen to me. I'm your mother!"
How did that make her any different than all the other people who told him to do stupid thing?
"Bad boys who don't listen to their mother get punished."
Daddy punished him. Daddy was right. Sherlock should listen to daddy.
"Sherlock, stop that flapping."
But Sherlock was excited and he couldn't hold it all inside. His mind was happy and that translated to happy hands. But mummy and daddy went to see a mean man who told them that Sherlock should be told to have 'quiet hands' and not to do that. Ever.
"Good boys have quiet hands."
Sherlock's hands weren't quiet. Sherlock was bad.
Daddy was the one who did the disciplining. Daddy knew how to teach Sherlock right from wrong. Over, and over, and over, until it finally stuck in his head. Sherlock needed lots of reminders and punishments. Sherlock was bad. Good boys have quiet hands. Sherlock did not.
Daddy kept telling Sherlock. Mycroft tried to help. Mycroft didn't.
Mycroft was a good boy with quiet hands. Sherlock was a bad boy. Maybe Mycroft would rub off on Sherlock and make him good. Or maybe Sherlock would rub off on Mycroft and make him bad.
Daddy wouldn't like if her ruined Mycroft. He loved him best. Daddy even said so.
"Mycroft is a much better son. He has quiet hands. You Sherlock, do not. You are a bad boy."
Over, and over, and over. Until Sherlock learned. His hands were quiet. The bruises disappeared. And Sherlock withdrew.
But daddy never made his hands be quiet again. Sherlock did it all on his own.
But this was John. John was different. Maybe John would be just like his father was when it came to hands. Sherlock withdrew even further. He continued rocking. Was it him making that noise? There was a moaning. Almost a sob. Yes, that was probably him. Indeed.
His hands are not quiet. Ohnoohnoohno. Daddy will be very upset. Sherlock will get new bruises and how will he explain those to John? John is a doctor and knows bruise patterns when he sees them.
John won't have to see them. Daddy will not find out. Sherlock does not have to have quiet hands. Loud hands are okay, John told him that. John told him it was fine, that everything was fine. John was good that way. John would keep daddy away, keep him from getting back and hurting Sherlock until he learned his lesson again.
No, John wouldn't need to. Daddy was dead, gone, good riddance, who needed him anyway. John was the only one here, and John let him have unquiet hands. John let him rock in the corner. John let him flail when Mrs Hudson unexpectedly reorganized their entire flat. John held him tightly when everything was too big too loud too much. John was good. John was perfect.
And John never laughed or called him a freak or a retard or anything else that he absolutely was not. John just called him Sherlock. John just called him a friend.