24 Things I Hate About You.


"Sherlock! I'm here. I assume it was important..."

John bursts into the flat, phone in hand, panting slightly. He expects to see the whirl of Sherlock's coat, expects to feel hands dragging him back down the stairs in a state of excited urgency, braces himself to grab his gun from the mantelpiece as they plunge back downstairs and back onto the streets of London. He expects impatience, shouted information and instructions. Police sirens maybe. There's nothing.


John coughs slightly, and looks around.

There's no response.

Across the flat, he spots his flatmate sprawled motionless on the sofa. The doctor clears his throat again, shifts his weight to the other foot, and waits impatiently. Suspicion rises in his chest.

Sherlock stretches like a cat, yawns, and slowly rolls over to face his flatmate. He's not dressed in his suit and coat; rather in his pyjamas, and his hair sticks up in all directions. His eyes look a little dull, a little dopey, as if condensation has misted their icy glass. He blinks stupidly and slowly, and looks around. Eventually, his eyes settle on his flatmate.

He couldn't have looked more disinterested in John's presence if he'd tried.

His phone lies on the floor as if it's fallen from his hand and the reality of the situation suddenly becomes very clear. Sherlock's just woken up. And, there is absolutely nothing important that needs attending to.

John swallows this information with some difficulty, and tries to resist the urge to punch Sherlock in his smug little face.

Actually, he thinks, as the detective eases himself into a sitting position; if Sherlock doesn't have an exceptionally good reason for extricating him from what had been a very nice date with a very nice girl, then John rather thinks he could do without Sherlock's own personal brand of oddly captivating features anyway, and vandalising said features would therefore not be a problem.

"Well?" he prompts, hearing the irritation creep into his voice.

Apparently oblivious to his flatmate's blackening mood, Sherlock heaves himself from his sleeping place and pads quietly into the kitchen on bare feet. John follows significantly less gracefully.

"I was just wondering if there was any point breaking into the pet shop tonight," Sherlock muses, sniffing the inside of a very grubby looking mug. He's more talking to himself than to John, and grimaces slightly as the odour hits his nostrils. "Bit of a long shot, but we could find something."

He plonks the mug down, and gazes thoughtfully into space.

John stares at him.

"You brought me here... to ask me a question."

The doctor emphasises each syllable meticulously, teeth clenched tightly together. He angles his face rather pointedly away from Sherlock Holmes, avoiding looking at him. John gets the feeling that doing so would not be good for calm, rational thought.

Sherlock's next words do nothing to quell his bubbling anger.

"There was no rush."

John closes his eyes this time, and tries very, very hard to keep his voice level and reasonable.

"You texted me seventeen times!"

There's a pause, in which one party silently fumes, and in which the other watches curiously.

Eventually, Sherlock's huff breaks through the hostile silence, and the scraping of wood a few seconds later tells John he's settled himself at the kitchen table. He tries not to imagine the petulant scowl that Sherlock has no doubt employed.

Seconds pass. John risks a glance at the detective from beneath lowered eyelids.

Both of Sherlock's eyebrows are raised in mild disbelief and something resembling pity. His pale eyes flick rapidly across John's face as he catalogues how he fights to control his temper.

Sherlock notices him noticing, and smirks slightly. His eyes spark.

"She's too childish for you anyway."

That comment alone is almost enough to send a volatile John Watson over the edge, and a growl of wordless exasperation escapes him. He turns away, and storms into the lounge, just so that he physically can't reach Sherlock to harm him, appealing as the concept is.

"If she is, you definitely are," he snarls at him, stomping upstairs.

He misses the detective's perplexed frown, and how it changes to a quiet digestion of information as his bedroom door slams shut.