Sherlock was maaaaaad.
Sherlock was so mad at John he wasn't speaking to him. As in not speaking. Did you hear that part? About Sherlock? Being silent? Do you know how hard that is for him?
Of course you do. What you also know, what everyone knows, is that it's usually John getting mad at Sherlock, so this? This is completely new.
And you have no idea how nerve-rattlingly spooky it was, that quiet flat. Because John? He could see Sherlock sitting there all irked and riled and when Sherlock's irked and riled—which is often—he gives details, as in, you know, an itemized list.
Yet, though John could see the man seething, could practically smell his synapses sizzling, though he could see and hear Sherlock's slammy slamming of a stack of magazines onto the coffee table his significant other did all these things without uttering one word.
John had tried to make things right, of course he did. There had been literal, abject, on-his-knees-no-kidding apologies. Twice. He'd even drawn a line under the acts and put them in bold-faced type by saying as he did it, "I am getting on my knees in abject apology, Sherlock. I am so sorry that I'm even going to kiss your ringless finger."
He did and Sherlock let him—both times—and still Sherlock stayed mad and still he wouldn't talk.
After six extremely long hours of this John finally developed a coping mechanism. And it was simple: John would talk for both of them. John would relate. Describe. John would fucking narrate everything.
But first one more apology just in case because when you're right, you're right and this time—just this time—Sherlock was right. John had done a dumb thing (a very Sherlock thing if you must know) and his sweetheart, his darling, his one-true-love had every cause to be in a snit.
"My sweetheart, my darling, my love, I tell you three times, I am so sorry."
Honestly, Sherlock wasn't used to having cause for righteous indignation. The feeling was so new it actually gave him goosebumps, which was partly why John's continued apologies fell on deaf ears. Frankly, Sherlock really, really wanted to roll around in this whole John-Screwed-the-Pooch-This-Time-Not-Me-Neener-Neener moment.
Yet that wasn't really why Sherlock was so annoyed with John, so brain-rattlingly irked he actually got light-headed with vexation when he looked at him. Even Sherlock's not that small. Well, not for more than four or five or six minutes at a time.
No, Sherlock was angry and Sherlock would remain angry a bit longer because John had gone and dropped dead on him.
Okay, technically John hadn't technically died. But they'd all thought he had and that was, as far as Sherlock's concerned, exactly the god damn same pretty much.
"I was trying to help. I wanted to help. After the whole back debacle and then the finger fiasco I was feeling a little useless Sherlock. I mean after you went and broke your bum last year you felt the same way, I know you did."
It wasn't even as if Sherlock had complained about John putting his back out after slipping on some black ice because he hadn't. Anyone could slip and fall and not only require a back brace but three weeks of physical therapy to boot.
And lord knows Sherlock would never say one word—not one word mind you—about John trying to hold that lift for him only to discover the thing was ancient, had no safety bumpers on the doors, and wanted to eat John's fingers off at the second knuckle.
Sherlock said nothing about these things mostly because he's a bigger man than that but also because John didn't complain when Sherlock fell off the blue whale skeleton at the Natural History Museum and fractured his coccyx, and he didn't laugh when Sherlock singed off both his own eyebrows with that propane experiment, and he completely pretended not to see it when Sherlock accidentally dyed his hand blue doing that immersion test with the coloured urinal cakes.
So, the point is, Sherlock never complained that John was useless, so why John felt he had to prove himself by jumping into the Thames in February to retrieve Sherlock's mobile (sure, yes, Sherlock had yelled, "damn it the entire case hinges on the evidence in that mobile!" but he'd expected a Yarder to fetch the fucking thing, not John), only to go into hypothermic shock so fast Sherlock almost threw up from nerves as Anderson—of all people—did CPR, he could not tell you.
So no, Sherlock was livid and he would stay that way until he wasn't any longer.
"So you're still going to be mad at me? Even though I have said I'm sorry three times now."
John perched on the coffee table. Slumped on the sofa Sherlock stared past him, his gaze riveted on the television. Which wasn't on.
"Well then. Because you're completely unnerving me, because I can't figure out what else to do, and because it's so fucking cold out I refuse to step one foot beyond the doors of 221B, I'm just going to sit tight and talk for both of us. All right?"
Sherlock's intent gaze told John that the program that was not playing on the telly was very, very interesting.
John took a deep breath, cleared his throat, then dropped his voice. "All right, John."
Sherlock's pretty mouth parted in shock, and his gaze swiveled to John's face.
How the hell long had the good doctor been hiding that skill?
John grinned. "It comes in handy. I've rung up probably half the clients you've ever had to apologize for my 'unforgivably rude behavior.'"
Well that damn well explained the greater consistency in Sherlock's workload. The good detective wasn't sure if he wanted to thank John or rail at him and just as he decided, he remembered he wasn't talking to his lover, not even a little bit.
As a matter of fact Sherlock was still so mad—he just now decided—he wasn't even going to look at John.
That resolve lasted five seconds, when John imitated Sherlock's voice again.
"You do that John. Don't worry, I'll start talking to you again in about—" John checked his watch, "—an hour, when I shout your name as I come."
Oh look, a wee little cliffhanger. I love doing them almost as much as I love the words Sherlock + come + John all lined up in a pretty row.