Author's Note: Set any time after episode 1-2, The Blind Banker. And remember, reviews are love!
The Night Not at the Museum
Sherlock was lying on the sofa, contemplating the dreariness of a life without a single decent criminal to brighten it up, when he heard John's footsteps coming up the stairs. His flatmate was early. Usually, a date with lovely – if mundane – Sarah Sawyer could be counted on to last three hours and twenty-seven minutes. Tonight was clearly going to change the average, though Sherlock supposed he should consider the event an outlier. He didn't bother to roll over when John made his way into the flat, the sound of the doctor's footsteps and the early hour of his return told Sherlock all he needed to know. Trouble in paradise. "I'm back," John said needlessly. Sherlock grunted, but made no response otherwise. The doctor puttered about the sitting room for a while, doing nothing much, then went into the kitchen. At the sound of the electric kettle heating up, Sherlock rolled over on the sofa and waited. When John emerged from the kitchen with a cuppa, Sherlock sat up, but John didn't hand it off to him as expected. Instead the doctor lowered himself into his favorite chair and raised the tea to his lips with a sigh.
"Where's my tea?" he asked, surprised by this uncharacteristically non-caretaker behavior on John's part.
"Make your own damned tea," John muttered into his cup, though Sherlock heard him quite distinctly.
Sherlock's curiosity roused slightly from its languid state, as he took in all of the data. Shoulders slumped. Neck tense. Jaw clenched. Left hand trembling slightly. Rain was moderate for the last hour. Hair slightly damp, enough for the walk from the cab back into the flat, but not damp enough to indicate a prolonged walk anywhere else. Shoes clean except for slight damp on the soles. No club stamp. Clothing unwrinkled. Lips unswollen, so no goodnight kiss. No trace of Sarah's scent evident in the flat, so no… cuddling. Conclusion: John never left the cab in which Sarah picked him up. Rode somewhere in the city, dropped Sarah off, rode back to the 221b. Trouble in paradise, indeed. Based on tone of voice, lack of eye contact and failure to provide tea, John blamed him for the evening's poor outcome.
John ground his teeth as if he wasn't going to answer, but past experience had proven that if Sherlock simply remained silent long enough, John would tell him what he wanted to know. Finally, John said, "Sarah got us tickets to an exhibit as a surprise. She was very excited about it."
"How is that bad? Was it dull? Could you not bear to go?"
"No it wasn't dull. It would have been fascinating. It was on ancient medical techniques."
"So why didn't you attend?" Sherlock asked in what he thought was a perfectly appropriate show of interest in his flatmate's troubles, but John's reaction was not pleased.
Sitting forward so abruptly that he spilled his tea, hissing as the hot water dripped down his trembling hand, John growled, "Because I couldn't bloody go in! It was at the National Antiquities Museum!"
"If Sarah purchased the tickets ahead of time, then I don't see why you would be unable to – "
"Because I have a sodding ASBO that prohibits me from going within ten yards of the museum! She went without me, and she's was not happy!"
"What on Earth did you do to warrant an ASBO of that sort?" Sherlock asked, genuinely puzzled.
"What did – what did I – you are unbelievable!"
"Yes, you! I didn't do anything, but you and your little Banksy-in-training left me literally holding the bag, Sherlock. I was taken into custody by a Community Support Officer. I had to go to Magistrate's Court and I was issued an ASBO. I have a criminal record now, thanks to you!"
"Why didn't you say anything?" Sherlock asked. "If I'd known about it, I could have – " Sherlock broke off as his own Union Jack throw pillow hit him in the face.
"You did know, you great idiot!"
Tea abandoned, John stomped off to the stairs, clearly headed for his room. With a resigned sigh, Sherlock pulled his mobile out of the pocket of his robe and scrolled through his contact list. The only question now was which favor he should call in to get rid of John's ASBO. Lestrade would laugh at him, but he wouldn't lecture. Mycroft would be… insufferable. Lestrade it was then. He certainly hoped John would appreciate this.