Title: Underneath (2/?)
Fandom: Sherlock BBC
Pairing: John/Sherlock, John/OC
Warnings:None, though there may be for future chapters
Disclaimer: Not belonging to me in any shape or form.
Description: A girl whose boyfriend came as one half of a crime-fighting duo discovers there are repercussions to dating Sherlock 's 'sidekick'. Or how Prudence Conway had flashbacks and came to a few realisations.
Sherlock came back to a silent flat after finishing up at an interesting crime scene which would have benefited from John’s presence. However Sherlock had been told in loud terms to do something that was physically impossible by John when he had suggested that he accompany him to the scene.
Still, he had not felt insulted (not more than 10% anyhow) as he knew all couples engaged in arguments from time to time and the reason he had knowledge of this very fact was because of the cases in which these arguments ended up in death. Sherlock trusted John not to hurt Prudence without just cause but that left Prudence and the greater risk of her harming John. He gave thought to giving a verbal caution to Prudence of the risk should any harm befall John but decided against it. Instead Sherlock gave her a forbidding look.
In retaliatory reply, Prudence had gave Sherlock a look that was deeply reminiscent of Mummy’s look at the age of 9 when Mycroft had convinced Sherlock to practice chemistry in Mummy’s dressing room and she had come home from the fancy dress ball in a ball gown and discovered all her priceless Dior gowns were ruined.
Even a sociopath like Sherlock knew that such a look was very not good.
Sherlock thought it best to leave with Lestrade and the rest of the ‘drug bust’ crew who had been interrupted in one of their heists with another murder by the serial killer they were currently after. So after two hours away in a stinking warehouse, with numerous body parts around the murder scene, Sherlock felt hesitant about going up to his flat.
Sherlock opened the door and passed by Mrs Hudson who widened her eyes, cocked her head and twisted her mouth. It took a second for him to ascertain that she was attempting to exchange a significant look with him about Watson and indeed not trying to swallow one of those bitter sweets that she had been complaining about last week that she had got for a bargain down the shops.
He sometimes felt that if only human beings communicated solely by way of verbal communication and text messages, he would have a much easier time getting around and everything would be so much more …direct.
“Oh, Sherlock,” Mrs Hudson whispered surreptitiously looking up the stairs, “that woman Prudence left a few minutes ago and if you ask me,” Sherlock opened his mouth to open in the negative but she had not been waiting for an answer “ it didn’t go well at all.”
She dusted a few non-existent dust motes off the banister. “I hope John doesn’t take it too badly. I will bring him my apple tart that I just finished this evening over.” She gave Sherlock a look up and down. “Lord knows you boys don’t feed yourselves.”
Sherlock didn’t even protest against this latest slight on his stature and proceeded with all due caution up the stairs.
John was scrubbing the oven and Sherlock knew that Mrs. Hudson had been right and things had not gone right at all. Firstly, he was scrubbing as if the oven could spontaneously combust and he would keep on cleaning, come what may. Secondly his face was all pinched and unhappy like it did when he came across a dead body and he hadn’t been expecting it.
“So how did it go?” said John, not looking up.
“Ok”. Sherlock said slowly. “I had deduced that the killer is a delusional who believes that he is on a mission from God to clean the streets of evil. This was confirmed from the crime scene in which the victim was surrounded by various Christian religious paraphernalia as the killer undergoes his escalating breakdown.”
Sherlock took off his coat and then laid down full length on the sofa. ”However, that is not what is important at the moment.”
The sound of scrubbing stopped. Sherlock waited. “And what is important?”
“Maybe a better word is relevant…” Sherlock mused, closing his eyes. “Am I correct in assuming that you and Prudence are no longer a romantic unit?”
The sound of footsteps and the sound of a sigh were heard in the room. “Your powers of deduction will never cease to amaze me”.
Sherlock opened his eyes. A bemused John was perched at the end of the couch and smiling wryly off into space. His eyes seemed cloudy and far away.
Sherlock sized him up and knocked his knee into his back gently. “Don’t worry about the loss of your romantic conquest. I’m sure that you will supplant your affections with another before the month is out.” He made sure to give John a smile that in other circumstances he would have been pretending to give but with John came quite naturally. “That is if you behave according to your recent sexual behavioural patterns and the latest copy of Cosmopolitan magazine.”
John looked halfway between perturbed and trying not to laugh. “When did you start reading Cosmo?”
“When I was waiting for you last week in the waiting room in the surgery. I was bored and that magazine was the only reading material available.” Actually it had not but Sherlock had been frustrated by how much time Prudence had been demanding of John lately and had wondered if the magazine harboured any information as to this matter. He got out his box of nicotine patches and debated whether he had need of two or three patches to take the edge off.
“You both can do much better”.
John’s face went still and alert. His eyes held a hint of warning in them. “Did you get that out of a magazine too?”
“No- that’s a fact”. Sherlock closed his eyes again, with John’s pale face imprinted on his eyeballs. He wondered if John would-
“Whatever you are going to ask for, the answer is no.” John’s voice was situated beside Sherlock’s ear which was…..irritating in all the mundane oddities and ways that John specialised in…
Sherlock frowned. His thoughts had been going into tangents more frequently than usual in ways that sometimes seemed to lead into unconscious thoughts that he would catch the tail end of which annoyed him no end . Sherlock’s mind usually picked up on patterns before anyone else. He relied on it for a life that was goal orientated and unusually free of boredom that he normally fell prey to . Maybe he was becoming…compromised in his thought patterns, just from his friendship with John. Maybe he was….
Slowly becoming like a person with merely an average intellect.
It disconcerted him, this dependence on another person. And yet he could not deny that he had pushed John into the role but he had not figured on the feeling of leaving himself open to something more than he had figured in the calculations before he had made the decision to have a flatmate.
Yet he still he reckoned that with John as his partner, he had a definite twenty percent jumpstart in closing cases and that was worth it. He lived for solving cases that nobody else could solve- it made life worth living.
Sherlock cracked his eyes open drowsily. In the evening twilight, Jim was kneeling on the mat beside Sherlock with his head forward and his sandy hair mussed up, breathing heavily-…..
His heart banging in his chest, abruptly Sherlock sat up and shook his head as if he had been underwater. John was scrubbing the rug on the floor, talking as if nothing had happened. Sherlock tuned in abruptly to the sound of John’s voice. It seemed different than ever before. Stronger. As if it had been background noise all this time.
“-Whenever you come in, you ask me for tea or to send one of your ‘texts’ or some other random thing that I have to put up with today.” John sighed and looked up with a glint in his eye that looked weary in the dusk, “ just don’t. Not today.” John looked down and went back to scrubbing the stubborn stain in the carpet that had been there since the chemistry experiment last Wednesday.
“No,” Sherlock leaned slowly back, never taking his eyes off John. “Not today.”