This fic was made as part of the JohnlockChallenges on tumblr (johnlockchallenges . tumblr .com). The prompt I was asked to fill was:
"Sherlock, you can't eat ONLY pastries after each case..."
The prompt was generated by and for the wonderful Dunstable (dunstable . tumblr . com)
Also a million thank you's to my beta reader MidnightAngel14 (midnightangel14 . tumblr . com). She has the patience of a thousand John Watson's.
My knowledge of pastries goes as far as I once saw an episode of Cake Boss where the baker made giant lobster tails. That's pretty much all I know about pastries. The rest of the pastries mentioned are courtesy of a two minute google search and wikipedia wiki/List_of_pastries
Sherlock did not know how to cook food. Scratch that, he had no clue how to consume food. The preparation and consumption dumbfounded him.
"Well which one is it, six minutes or eight minutes?! You can't just say six to eight minutes," Sherlock snapped.
"It's just an estimation. Just leave it in for six minutes."
John went up to his room to get ready for his date that evening. This one was a nurse from the local hospital. It seemed very promising so he decided to dress in the shoes he wore only for certain dates.
He walked into the sitting room to leave when he saw Sherlock crunching on his frozen dinner. It was, in fact, still frozen even though John had told him to leave it in the microwave for six minutes.
John grabbed the tray out of his hands and looked at the food. Sure enough the chicken marsala still had little ice cubes on it.
"I thought I told you to leave it in for six minutes," he demanded.
"I did," Sherlock nodded. "Six minutes exactly and this is what I got. Revolting chicken marsala. I don't think it was ever even shown a picture of wine."
"That's because it's still not thoroughly cooked –"
"You told me to leave it in for six minutes and that's what I did. Six minutes precisely."
"Well then it's time to get a new microwave," John conceded. "But still, you should have just looked and seen that it was under cooked."
"I thought it was just what the manufacturers were trying to get me to eat."
"It still has ice cubes," John shrilled.
"Half the things you eat start off as ice cubes or did you really think that Shepherd's pie you had last week was fresh." There was just no winning with Sherlock.
"Fine," John wailed. "Eat your bloody chicken marsala ice cubes."
"No," Sherlock grumbled. "Now I don't want to."
Of course he doesn't. "Then starve," John cried as he slammed the tray on the coffee table.
"I'm not going to starve. Naturally I'll just come with you." Sherlock looked John up and down. "I see you'll be dining at the French bistro."
John opened and closed his mouth. Even after months of living with Sherlock he was still floored whenever he deduced something about his life. "I don't…even know how…"
Sherlock stood up and started pulling on his coat. "Your shoes. You only wear them when you're serious about a date. Where do you always take promising dates that end in utter failure? The French bistro."
"Not even you can know how this date will end."
"Given your track record I say I pretty much can tell. Still I'm willing to play along to your misguided notions. Now come on or we'll be late."
"No," John said as he closed the door to stop Sherlock from walking through it. "Not we. You're not coming."
"Oh don't be so obtuse, John. Of course I'm coming. I might be the only interesting thing at that dinner table." And with that he was out the door and hailing a cab.
"Bye John…umm…I'll call you."
John stood on his date's doorstep bidding her goodnight. Sherlock stood on the pavement grumbling and checking his mobile.
When she had closed the door, John stomped over to join Sherlock and started the walk home.
"She isn't going to call you," Sherlock drawled.
John rounded on him, "Yeah, I got that. I think it was around the time when we got our dishes and you pointed out that her alcoholic father had run out on her family which lead me to believe a second date was probably not going to happen."
"Actually, she still had hope at that point. Don't know why. You were obviously bored with her. I know I was."
"Well it doesn't matter what you think, Sherlock. It matters how I feel about my dates."
They walked in silence for a couple of blocks while John was still reliving the dinner in his mind. "I don't even know why you came to dinner with us. You hardly ate anything," he mumbled.
They kept walking until they passed a nearby bakery specializing in world pastries. John stopped and went inside. He needed at least one thing to go right this evening. Sherlock followed him into the bakery like an extra shadow.
Once inside John scanned the rows of cakes and pastries until he found the one he wanted. "Can I have one Lobster Tail please?"
The man behind the counter nodded, "One Sfogliatelle coming up." His accent was English but the man made the effort to at least attempt the Italian pronunciation. "And your friend?"
Sherlock was scanning the rows of pastries like a child. He was clearly enjoying the selection that the bakery had to offer. John clapped his hands to get his attention but he just shook his head and said he didn't want anything.
Walking back to the flat, Sherlock took pieces from John's Lobster Tail. He seemed to enjoy it so John didn't grumble too much.
It was John's day off and Lestrade called him with a case for Sherlock. He went into the bathroom to tell Sherlock and found him smoothing his hair and his jacket in front of the mirror. It was no surprise that that was what he was doing. The man was incredibly vain.
Once Sherlock was done primping (which was quickly upon hearing the words "parking garage murder, one witness") they quickly left the flat.
Several hours later, John and Sherlock found themselves chasing the supposed "witness" through the parking garage. Sherlock was light on his feet and flat out chasing the suspect.
John stopped and Sherlock did not follow his lead so he began banging on the cars on the top level, setting off the car alarms and making as much noise as possible. Once the car alarms were wailing, John stepped into the elevator and rode it to the bottom floor.
As soon as the doors opened he raised his gun to the "witness's" forehead as he tried entering the elevator. Sherlock was a few paces behind him but stopped once he saw the "witness" with his hands in the air.
Sherlock tossed John the handcuffs he had nicked from Lestrade. "He was arrogant and believed you would cower away from the noise. He was ready to ride the elevator to the top assuming you would have run away. Well done, John," said Sherlock clearly taken aback by John's resourcefulness.
"I was thinking we could have Indian tonight," said John. They had just finished promising Lestrade that they would give their statements tomorrow morning and had wrapped up the parking garage murder.
Sherlock only ever ate once a case was completed. It was one of the things John always looked forward to. Eating alone was always awkward because he ended up looking like a sad and lonely invalid army doctor. Eating with a date was awkward as well. There was always that false pretense that went along with dates. You needed to look and act happy to be there, even if you weren't. Eating with Sherlock…well you almost always knew what to expect. They knew each other well enough that neither one of them needed to pretend and with Sherlock, John never felt like the sad and lonely invalid army doctor.
"You can go if you'd like. I have other plans," said Sherlock and just waved it off.
"Other plans? You mean another frozen dinner. We still haven't gotten a new microwave and please don't try using the stove again."
"No," grumbled Sherlock. "It's not like that. I'm just going to pick something up from the bakery." So John didn't push the point any further.
Rather than eating alone at the Indian restaurant, John brought his dinner with him back to the flat. He had been expecting Sherlock to buy a pastry but not several.
Sherlock sat on the floor of the sitting room with seven different pastries spread out on the coffee table in front of him. He wasn't eating them. He just stared at them with his hands together and his fingers to his lips.
"Err…what are you doing?" asked John.
Sherlock shook his head coming out of whatever corner of his mind palace he had been in and said, "Experiment."
Experimenting with food? Now that's a new one. "What exactly is the problem?"
"Gustation memories. I'm going to try and recall the taste of each pastry, then I will eat the one in front of me and see just how well my gustation memories are," explained Sherlock with a final point at the spreadsheet on the laptop next to him.
"And you need seven to do that?"
"Bichon au citron, Bakewell pudding, Pain au chocolat, Flies graveyard, Runeberg's torte, and Streusel. Yes."
John began laughing his way to the kitchen, "If you want pastry you just eat it, you don't need to make an experiment out of it."
"It's for science, John," called Sherlock as John continued to laugh.
The next time they were on a case, John was used as bait. He sat in his chair handcuffed and bleeding from his lip. The injuries weren't too bad but Sherlock was taking a long time with the distraction.
While John waited, the kidnapper rambled on about what he was going to do with him. John wasn't the least bit interested. He just rolled his eyes whenever the man talked about how pleasant his life was going to be once he disposed of John. John found it quite sad that the man still believed he wouldn't be getting caught.
Finally, the crash sounded from the other side of the door. And as sure as Sherlock's deductions, their suspect sent out his only defense to see what the commotion was. One step outside the door and the man was subdued. Their suspect trembled as Sherlock walked over and untied John. The man didn't make another move. He just let John cuff him and hand him over to Lestrade.
"Stop the cab."
"Sherlock, what the – "
And with a swish of his coat, Sherlock exited the cab on their way back to Baker street. It was only after Sherlock had gone that John noticed they had stopped outside the bakery.
Sherlock spent four of his five minutes perusing the pastries before settling on three, Apple strudel, Viennoiserie, and Pain aux raisins. Walking out, the look of glee on Sherlock's face was that of a six year old.
As Sherlock ducked into the cab with his bag of pastries, John asked, "More science experiments?"
"The last tests were inconclusive," said Sherlock with a note of finality and a giggle from John.
John was out on a date the next time he got called away on a case.
Sherlock was nowhere to be found and the date was going well. She was interested in all the things John was saying and her life as a novelist was in fact very interesting to him.
Possible art heist. 112 Vauxhall Walk. – SH
John ignored it and continued on his date. Yes, tell me more about your dog. Yes, that is a funny story about your cat.
The next time John got a text, he paid attention to it since he no longer wanted to hear about pets.
John, we're going to need your help on this one. Sherlock's gone missing. – Lestrade
His date quickly asked what was wrong. His look of horror must have been easily read on his face. He mumbled a quick "have to go" before running out the door and hailing a cab.
"…So you killed your husband for the money," rambled Sherlock. The pounding he took to the head was now just a dull throb. He was thinking a lot more clearly. Of course, this case required very little brainpower. Another person who got too greedy.
His hands were tied behind his back but his legs would not support his weight so the wife's lover had to prop him up. Sherlock had read her easily and she had not taken it well.
Sherlock was about to mention her second lover, the one living in Luton, when John burst through the door.
Sherlock rolled his eyes and exasperatedly said, "Finally."
John did a quick assessment of Sherlock's physical state. Deeming him alright for the moment then finally turning his attention to the wife's lover who was currently dumping Sherlock onto the floor and charging at John.
A quick side step and the lover ran into the wall. For good measure, John slammed the door into the man's back before he crumpled to the floor.
"Thank goodness you're here," shrieked the woman. "The two of them were holding me captive and I just managed to get the upper hand."
It took everything in John not to laugh at her. The woman moved in John's direction, in order to cry on his shoulder. John took the opportunity to cuff her wrist much to the woman's confused shock.
Once she and her lover were cuffed together, John knelt to look at Sherlock's head. "You should have waited for me you clot."
"I sent you a text," said Sherlock with a wince.
As John and Sherlock climbed into the cab, John gave the address to the bakery. Sherlock looked at him clearly confused by his actions.
"You took a beating to the head. You deserve it," said John.
When they arrived, Sherlock was practically bouncing on the balls of his feet. In the end he could not decide between the Semla, the Mille-feuille, or the Profiterole so he took all three.
"Sherlock, I'm making eggs and sausage. Care for some?" called John from the kitchen.
"No," came Sherlock's response from his perch on the couch.
John stuck his head out to look at him. Sherlock's voice was somewhat muffled and sure enough, he had an Éclair in his hand.
John tentatively stepped into the sitting room and asked, "Sherlock, when was the last time you had something that wasn't a pastry?"
Sherlock responded with a mumble as he raised the Éclair to his lips again.
"You need to eat something. Have some eggs at the very least."
"I'm all squared here," he said with a mouthful of the Éclair.
"Sherlock, you can't eat ONLY pastries after each case."
Sherlock only responded with another bite of his Éclair.
Another chase through London. Those were never too bad except that this time John was in front of Sherlock. Usually John was following Sherlock's coat tails but this time, Sherlock fell behind.
John forced out the possibility that the detective might be hurt and instead chased the murderer to the underground. He made it onto the tube just as the doors began closing but Sherlock was too far and by the time he reached the tube, the doors were firmly shut. The last that John saw was Sherlock giving an angry punch to the doors.
Knowing that Sherlock was safe, just slow, John forced his way through the compartment trying to scare the least amount of people as possible. John found the murderer making a feeble attempt at blending into the passengers.
John wasn't prepared for the elbow but he absorbed the blow and proceeded to knock the man to the ground. Sherlock was usually the one who carried the stolen handcuffs and since he wasn't there, John sat on the man's back until the next stop where he bodily threw the murderer out of the tube and into the hand's of the waiting officers.
It wasn't until the murderer was in the back of Lestrade's car that Sherlock arrived, gasping for air. Soon after, the two of them got into a cab and Sherlock ordered the cabbie to drive them to the bakery.
"Sherlock, no. You need to have a proper meal." John turned his attention to the cabbie and said, "Baker Street."
"John, your sentiment is noted but unnecessary." He turned to the cabbie, "To the bakery."
"Listen to me. I have food back at the flat. You cannot stuff your face with sugar again." He addressed the cabbie, "Baker Street."
Sherlock stuck his finger in the cab drivers face and cautioned, "You change your direction and I will tell your employer about how you've tampered with the meter and have been collecting the difference."
John let out an angry groan.
It had been days since they had had a case to work on. John was tempted to call Lestrade and ask if the criminals of London had signed some sort of peace treaty.
Sherlock was taking it all surprisingly well. For Sherlock, well meaning there were no fresh bullet holes made out of sheer boredom. He mostly spent his time curled up on the couch wrapped in his blue robe. When he wasn't curled up, he was lying on his back with a blanket pulled up to his chin. Other times, while he was working on an experiment in the kitchen, he was dressed in his usual button down shirt and trousers but with the addition of his wool coat. He managed to singe a portion of the coat while working on an experiment. The coat was open and hung loose on either side of his body, which made it fall that much easier into the acid he was working with.
John was busy sipping his tea at the counter. Sherlock had his back to him and was pouring base onto the acid spill. When he turned around to go to the sink next to John, he grabbed the openings of his coat in one hand. Even though Sherlock moved as quickly as he could to get out of John's view, John had seen what he was so desperate to hide.
Sherlock's coat no longer closed properly. It wasn't for lack of buttons or because it had shrunk at the cleaner's. Sherlock had gained weight. John's mouth fell open in shock as Sherlock continued to wash his coat at the sink while his cheeks burned with embarrassment.
Before John could react, Sherlock's phone buzzed. Sherlock looked up with panicked eyes and began to move to the sitting room as fast as he could. John noticed the panicked look of guilt on Sherlock's face so he too made a move for Sherlock's phone.
John managed to reach the phone first and was startled by the amount of anger and panic in Sherlock's desperate attempts to take the phone from him. John held him off and read the message out loud.
Sherlock, I know you've been ignoring my messages but I really need you and John to help on this one. It's been four days and I'm at the end of my tether. – Lestrade
Sherlock abandoned his attempts to seize the phone and instead drooped his head. John continued to look confused. The detective slowly removed his coat and waited for John's remarks on his appearance.
John looked from the phone to Sherlock and back again, unable to piece it together. "Umm…Sherlock, what's going on?"
Sherlock's eyes blazed with anger, "Oh don't be so daft, John. Just look at me."
"You've gained weight," remarked John.
"Yes, brilliant deduction doctor," his eyes blazing with anger and condescension.
Realization dawned on John and he began to laugh. "So that's why you've been hiding underneath your blanket and wearing your coat indoors. And this," John looked at the phone and continued to laugh, "You've been avoiding case work because of your appearance?" He finished with another fit of giggles.
Sherlock snatched his phone out of John's hand and began stomping off to his bedroom. "Sherlock, wait. I'm sorry," John said as he followed the detective.
John managed to stop him from shutting the door in his face and squeezed into the room. "Look I didn't mean to make fun of you."
"Oh didn't you. You know what, I don't need you or your Sfogliatelle or your mindless girlfriends or your opinion as a ridiculous medical professional," Sherlock bellowed.
Had John been a different person, he would have been halfway up the stairs getting ready to pack a bag and move out of Baker Street. But John was John. He knew all of Sherlock's quirks and his defenses. One of his defenses being to lash out when feeling threatened.
Sherlock's eyes were still burning into him and his breathing was coming in short angry breaths. He was just waiting for the moment John would turn and leave him. Instead, John once again managed to surprise him.
John stepped into Sherlock's personal space and looked straight into his eyes and said, "I did not mean to make fun of you."
Sherlock's anger began to die down at the seriousness of John's words. It took him a moment to realize that John was serious. When he realized it, he crumbled and put his forehead on John's shoulder, "I didn't mean it either."
"It's okay. I know you didn't."
Sherlock looked up and gazed at him again, "How could you know that? Not even I knew."
Again, John gave a chuckle and said, "Given your track record I say I pretty much can tell."
Sherlock understood the suggestion and began to laugh along with him but then his face quickly grew solemn once again as he looked down at his stomach. "Oh god what am I going to do about this?"
John giggled and said, "I like it."
"John, don't – "
"No, I mean it," smiled John. "Look, I know you. You're self absorbed and care about your appearance too much and the weight gain might seem like a mark against you but actually, a few pastries managed to accomplish what I've been trying to achieve."
"Make me fat?"
"Add meat on your bones, yes."
"But," Sherlock looked at him, clearly confused by his actions. "Why? Why would you care about that?"
"It's what boyfriends do don't they? Feed you up?"
Sherlock's eyebrows arched in surprise and was rendered speechless. "I…um…"
John giggled even more at the detective's lack of dialog.
When Sherlock finally regained the use of words he stammered, "I, was I away when this happened?"
John continued to smile and giggle as he threw his arms around Sherlock's neck and said, "No you were there. All those times when I went out on dates with you and I had those mindless girlfriends tagging along. Or all the times I was used as bait and I trusted you to come find me. Or all the times you purposefully ran your mouth to get abducted and drag me away from aforementioned mindless girlfriends."
Sherlock opened his mouth in shock but then closed it and used his hands to pull John closer to him. "I think this could work."
John smiled and stood on his toes to press his lips to Sherlock's. Sherlock got over his momentary shock and leaned into the kiss. The press of lips was smooth yet firm. John sucked on Sherlock's bottom lip and was rewarded with a soft moan.
Sherlock moved to deepen the kiss and as he did, John seized the sides of his face and pressed his tongue in. John tasted him and Sherlock could do nothing but enjoy the feel of it.
What he was not prepared for was for John to pull back. Sherlock grasped at him and tried to crush him to his body but John began to laugh.
Through his giggles John said, "You taste like sugar cream."
Notes: On tumblr you will find a post with gifs that accompany this fic
post /41507740182 /i-made-this-fic-and-gif-set-for-dunstable-i-was