Disclaimer: No one who owns a story writes for this site. I am writing for this site; therefore none of the characters are mine. I hope that's rather obvious.
A/N: A lovely reviewer brought it to my attention that I have been retelling the show rather than writing new material, at least for the past few chapters. I meant to avoid that trap, but I got rather carried away with "The Blind Banker." I'll try not to let that happen again. As a result, I'll be going through the next several episodes rather quickly, and I hope that I won't just be re-hashing what we've all seen on TV already. Please feel free to alert me if that is what is happening. Also, as I noted several chapters ago, I'm trying for an update once every two weeks. That's not ideal, and I'll do what I can to update more frequently than that, but that's my goal in terms of scheduling. I will not abandon this story.
When they'd met for the first time, Sherlock had mentioned that he sometimes didn't talk for days on end. Remus hadn't been sure whether to take him seriously, and he certainly hadn't seen any such behavior for the first several weeks of living with him. Shortly after Remus's second transformation in 221B, however, Sherlock hit his first silent period, and Remus came to understand that he was not the only one in the flat with a hidden alternate nature.
Remus had left Sherlock alone, not sure of how else to act and hoping that Sherlock didn't need his help. But one day, coming back from the surgery, Remus was alarmed to hear what sounded like gunshots coming from 221B. Remus ran up the stairs and flung open the door, mentally preparing to grasp either his gun or his wand depending on how desperate the situation was. He couldn't bear the thought of anyone shooting Sherlock. The horror reminded him of James and Peter and Lily. Sherlock couldn't be next.
Opening the door revealed Sherlock alone in the flat, wearing a dressing gown and shooting at the wall, on which a yellow smiley face was painted for a target. Remus stood for several moments in the doorway, endeavoring to catch his breath and furious with Sherlock for scaring him. "What the hell are you doing?" he gasped, barely managing to avoid cursing in the name of Merlin.
"Bored!" Sherlock yelled, firing another bullet at the poor smiley face.
"What?" Not even the Marauders were this gratuitous with their destructive capabilities.
Sherlock kept firing. "Bored. Bored! Don't know what's got into the criminal classes. Good job I'm not one of them."
"So you take it out on the wall?"
"Oh, the wall had it coming."
For a moment Remus wondered if the wall had made a rude noise at Sherlock, or had changed color to trick him, or had shifted position so that he couldn't get to something he needed. Then Remus remembered that Muggle walls didn't do that. He questioned whether he'd ever be rid of his wizarding notions of the way the world worked. Probably not. As his recent transformation had proven quite painfully, Remus was certainly not anything so uneventful as a Muggle.
Just a minute later, however, Remus's assumption that Muggles were uneventful was quite thoroughly killed.
There was a head in the fridge.
There was a head.
In the fridge.
"It's a head. A severed head." In his shock, all Remus could do was state the obvious.
"Just tea for me, thanks" was Sherlock's only response.
"No, there's a head in the fridge!"
Good Merlin, Sherlock was more impossible than James and Sirius put together. "A bloody head!"
"Where else was I supposed to put it? You don't mind, do you? I got it from the Bart's morgue. I'm measuring the coagulation of saliva after death."
Remus was forcibly reminded of the Potion classroom—all those jars of floating dead things with no purpose except to look imposing. His next thought was of medical school, and examining cadavers, and then his brain raced across continents to Afghanistan, with all the corpses he saw there, and then back to England and the casualties of Avada Kedavra. His overwhelming impression was that death could quickly get grotesque, and that spending more time with it than necessary was sick in more ways than one. What was he doing living with Sherlock Holmes?
Meanwhile, Sherlock kept talking. "I see you've written up the taxi driver case."
"Um, yes." Remus hadn't yet learned to read Sherlock's voice. He didn't remember when it had stopped being hard with the Marauders—they met when they were so young that the concept of having not known them at one point seemed rather ludicrous. It was disorienting to try to live with Sherlock without knowing what to make of half the things that came out of his mouth.
"'A Study in Pink.' Nice." Inscrutable.
Remus played it safe. "Well, you know, a pink lady, pink case, pink phone. There was a lot of pink." Now for the slightly less safe. "Did you like it?"
"Um . . . no!"
"Why not? I thought you'd be flattered."
"Flattered? 'Sherlock sees through everything and everyone in seconds. What's incredible, though, is how spectacularly ignorant he is about some things.'"
Merlin. That was outside the line? Remus had spent his entire Hogwarts career calling James and Sirius gits and idiots and Peter slow and incompetent. He was used to being the smart one, and the most mature, and therefore the one who got away with such judgments when he decided to pass them. Besides, the Marauders weren't exactly nice to each other. Insults were just a part of life. "Now hang on a minute, I didn't mean that—"
"Oh, you meant 'spectacularly ignorant' in a nice way!" No, you idiot, I meant it in a we're-mates-and-I-live-with-you-and-you-insult-me-and-I-insult-you-back kind of way. And if you get to talk about my "funny little brain," then, yes, I do get to call you spectacularly ignorant. "Look, it doesn't matter to me who's prime minister, or who's sleeping with whom—"
"Or that the Earth goes around the sun."
"Oh God, not that again! It's not important!"
"Not important!" Merlin help you if you ever run into a centaur. Although that argument wouldn't work well on a Muggle. Have to try another tack. "It's primary school stuff! How can you not know that?"
"Well, if I ever did, I've deleted it."
"Listen." Sherlock pointed to his head. "This is my hard drive, and it only makes sense to put things in there that are useful. Really useful. Ordinary people fill their heads with all kinds of rubbish, and that makes it hard to get at the stuff that matters!"
"But it's the solar system!"
"Oh, hell! What does that matter?" Well you weren't the one freezing your butt off on the top of the Astronomy Tower EVERY WEDNESDAY NIGHT for several years of your life, now were you? "So we go round the sun! If we went round the moon or round and round the garden like a teddy bear, it wouldn't make any difference!"
Don't talk. About. The moon.
If we went round the moon we would only see the full side half the year, but we'd see it every day then. But we'd only be truly fully in front of the full part for a little while there. Maybe it would be better than now. I don't know what would happen if we went around the moon, but I know it would be different. Don't say it wouldn't make any difference. Don't. Say. That.
"All that matters to me is the work!" Sherlock was yelling now. "Without that, my brain rots. Put that in your blog—or better still, stop inflicting your opinions on the world!" Sherlock flopped suddenly onto the couch and settled in with his face turned toward the back of it, drawing his dressing gown around him. He looked so upset and pathetic that Remus almost felt sorry for him. Sherlock's boredom with the world seemed to have almost as harsh a grip on him as the lycanthropy had on Remus. Except that Remus could easily distinguish between his wolf self and his human self, whereas he wasn't sure how much of this was normal Sherlock and how much of it was the boredom talking.
The part of Remus arguing that this was Sherlock, not the boredom, won out, and Remus found his way to Sarah's flat.
The next time the boredom hit with this kind of vengeance was about two months later. Even Remus had to admit that the clients lately had been dull. He'd been blogging about them anyway—he'd started to get a bit of a following and was beginning to feel obligated to report something or other to the readers every so often. But really—The Geek Translator? The Speckled Blonde? They were grasping at straws, and Sherlock's brain rotted on straws.
Instead of a dressing gown, it was a bed sheet this time. Remus got up one morning and came downstairs for breakfast. He hadn't been called into work for about a week, and he was getting stir-crazy. As much as he loved the flat, he was beginning to feel cooped up. He could only imagine how heavily such boredom would sit on a brain as great as Sherlock's.
Pretty heavily, it would seem, because the famous detective was draped in a sheet and lying on the couch facing its back again. There was a lack of the slow, peaceful breathing that Remus knew was audible whenever Sherlock was sleeping, so Sherlock had to be awake. Awake and stretched out on a couch facing away from the world. This time, Remus wasn't rowing with Sherlock, and the posture seemed nothing but pitiful. After making himself some tea and toast, Remus gathered up his sustenance and laptop and moved to his chair. At first he set the laptop on the floor and ate his toast and washed it down with his tea. Then everything switched places: Remus moved his dishes to the floor and his laptop to his lap. All morning he answered emails, worked on blog posts, and caught up on the news. The doorbell didn't ring even once, and by noon the former Marauder was getting a bit bored with the Internet.
Remus got up from his chair, stretched, and set his laptop on the table in the middle of the living room. After staggering stiffly back to the kitchen, he made himself a bit of lunch. He'd hardly worked up much of an appetite sitting and staring at his laptop, and he wasn't in the mood for cooking, so he just threw together a sandwich and ate it standing at the counter. He considered making some food for Sherlock and offering it to him, or even just setting it on the floor next to the couch, but it seemed almost as if such an action would insult Sherlock's boredom. If he wanted to be dead to the world, Remus wouldn't be the one to shake him back to life.
So Remus grabbed one of the books from the bookshelf, figuring that anything would be more interesting than checking the view count on his blog for the hundredth time that day. The book looked like it was about something related to crime. Of course it was; it was Sherlock's. Whatever. It would pass the time.
The sun was setting and Remus had just turned on a lamp when Sherlock moved his head infinitesimally. Remus's head shot up from the book in response. "John."
"Aren't you bored?"
"Then what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question."
"But boredom doesn't cripple you like it does me."
"Well maybe I fancied a book." It didn't do to hand information to Sherlock Holmes. Once in a while he did need to be misled. He found out too much anyway.
"No you didn't. Your breathing has been approaching its sleeping rhythm for the past hour. Why are you trying to stay awake?"
All right then. New direction. "Maybe I didn't fancy sleeping. Maybe I was tired but found the book interesting."
"Please. It's mine. Would an ordinary person find it interesting? Balance of probability: No."
"You know what I mean." It wasn't a sigh, but Sherlock added an ellipsis into his speech with a change in his breathing. "Why didn't you go out?"
" . . . Thought you might want company."
"I have my face stuck in a bloody sofa, John."
"Is that relevant?"
"Why would you think I wanted company?"
"Sometimes boredom and loneliness go together."
Sherlock let John drag him to the table and force him to eat dinner.
A/N: Reviews and favorites are great as always. Also, shout-outs to two websites: The Planet Claire blog and Wikiquotes are both supremely helpful as I try to write these chapters.