Hello, fellow Sherlockians!
I'm still suffering from Reichenbach symptoms… so came up with this (hopefully!) humorous one shot for you all to help remedy that. I would really appreciate any reviews or comments on this, as I really would like to know if I have got Sherlock and John's characterisations right! You could always let me know on twitter if you'd like; my name is lochnessloz. :-)
DISCLAIMER: Unfortunately, I don't own Sherlock… or his glorious cheekbones and hypnotising voice…. ahem
Without further ado: here we are!
Suspicious Until Proven Guilty.
To say John was suspicious was the understatement of the century. Sherlock had earlier left the flat on a whim, leaving a rather exasperated John to tidy up poor Mrs Hudson's kitchen from the 'experiment' that his flatmate had left steaming.
But that was a couple of hours ago.
The sound of even footsteps making their way up the stairs towards the living area stole John's attention from a particularly involved novel he was reading, causing him to peer over the top of the book to the sight of Sherlock, who was, by some gravity defying trick, balancing several carrier bags of shopping in his arms. It wasn't the fact that Sherlock had just burst into the flat – he always did that – and it wasn't the fact that Sherlock was looking a bit pink in the face from the cold night air outside that confused him. No, it was the fact that Sherlock Holmes, the World's Only Consulting Detective, the man who wouldn't eat for days on end , had quite evidently gone shopping… and for food no less. It was at this point that John's original feeling of suspiciousness returned with a full vengeance. He closed his book shut and placed it on the arm of the chair, eyebrows raised as he watched Sherlock all but drop the shopping bags onto the now clean and clutter free table. Well, as clutter free as it could be in this flat.
"Been shopping then?" he asked without, hopefully, letting his disbelief alter his voice.
Sherlock seemed to not hear John over his rustling of the carrier bags as he started pulling out the contents. It wasn't until John came up to stand beside him with his arms crossed that the young consulting detective acknowledged him with a quick glance before returning to his task of laying everything out on the table. Uncrossing his arms, John picked up the milk carton that Sherlock had just placed on the table.
"You've actually been shopping," he began suspiciously as he put the milk in the fridge, before holding up a jar of silver-skin pickles to examine, "actual food shopping."
Sherlock quickly glanced at him from the corner of his eye. "Don't sound so surprised, John," he responded tautly, before suddenly making a dive for a bag that John was about to start unpacking. "Leave it, it's fine! I can do it!"
John froze with his arm half extended as he allowed his flatmate to take him by the shoulders and steer him towards the living area. Snapping out of his momentary surprise, John shrugged Sherlock's hands off his shoulders and turned to face the taller man, who was now stood protectively between him and the shopping bags. "Wha- why?"
Sherlock rolled his eyes and crossed his arms defensively. "I am more than capable of unpacking shopping," he said this with disdain, "John. Go back to your little story, or those stupidly sappy emails you like to send. Honestly, you are like a love-struck child at times; it's sickening."
John mimicked Sherlock's arm crossing and squared his shoulders. "Alright, there's no need to sound so insulting about it," he said indignantly.
Sherlock sighed exasperatedly. "You're concern over whether I actually know where the food goes is touching, John, but really, you don't have to have half a brain-cell to work that out when you're constantly in and out of those cupboards." John could have sworn Sherlock sounded almost bored.
"That's because normal people eat," he said, stepping forward. "You know, eat? The action that is required by the body to function. Oh never mind," he added when Sherlock rolled his eyes again.
"Eating is boring."
"Of course it is," John huffed.
Uncrossing his arms, Sherlock made a motion as though to usher John out of the room. "Go and read your book, I can handle this." When John didn't move, Sherlock turned back to face the shopping, before adding in a smug voice. "The protagonist's childhood acquaintance did it." Sherlock didn't have to see John's face to know that his jaw was open. "Oh come on, it was obvious. A child could have figured that out. Look at the title; bloodied memory lane? How apparent of the writer to come up with that. Unimaginative. Boring. Obvious. Then there's the blurb that tells the reader that the main protagonist has no friends or any emotional ties – how cliché – so it is clearly not going to be someone he knows well, and there just happens to be someone from his childhood pop up? How convenient for the writer; can't think of another book to write as he has run out of plot ideas and his last sale wasn't very good, so what does he do? Introduces a character who has never before even been mentioned by the protagonists just when there happens to be a murder? There is no such thing as a coincidence. It was the childhood acquaintance."
John quite often thought that because he had been living with Sherlock for just over fifteen months now, he would be used to his friend's frankly fantastic skills of deduction. Clearly he wasn't. He didn't even have to look at Sherlock to know that he was smirking. A sigh of frustration escaped him. "Great, well. Now that you've spoilt the book for me, I have nothing else to do, so I'll just have to help you unpack," he said cheerily, clapping his hands together and stepping forward.
Unexpectedly, Sherlock did nothing to delay him this time, but merely stood aside to let John reach the table. The shopping, considering Sherlock had done it, was actually full of normal products; something John did not expect in the slightest. Bread, jam, butter, croissants, deodorant, and-
"Salted nuts?" John asked out loud as he pulled a large packet of salted jumbo cashew nuts to look at. "I didn't even know you liked nuts!"
"Hmm? Oh," Sherlock voiced, prying the packet from John's hand. "Yes I do. On occasion I do eat, when my body decides it can't function adequately without food." The way Sherlock nearly always brushed off eating was slightly concerning from John's medical view; especially when the last time Sherlock went without food for four days, he had found him unconscious in his bedroom. Since that incident a few months back, John had made Sherlock eat more often... and when Sherlock ate, he ate for Britain.
John watched as Sherlock placed the nut packet on the table away from him and out of reach, causing his feeling of suspiciousness to return for the third time that night. Sherlock could be the most inconspicuous person in the world when he wanted to be, but John could almost tell now when Sherlock was hiding something. Memory of a recent event slowly crept into John's mind as he watched Sherlock unpack and pay little to no attention to the nuts.
"Going to eat them then?"
"Not right now."
John smile to himself in triumph. "Well if you're not going to put them away, then why not opne them and eat them now?" he questioned.
Sherlock gave a small pout. "No. I don't want them now, but I will later," he answered rather childishly. The way he said it made John think twice about his theory behind Sherlock's shopping trip. Maybe he had just merely gone out for food….
The rest of the shopping was unpacked in silence, and John was left rather taken a-back when he didn't find anything remotely suspicious in the shopping bags.
Sherlock let out a breath of air and moved to the hallway to remove his coat and scarf. Returning to the kitchen, he pulled his jacket down straight and observed John stood there, frowning. "You didn't trust me to keep to my side of the bargain, did you?" he stated with no emotion behind his voice.
John snapped out of his thoughts and twitched his fingers. "Well, it's not that… it's just-" Sherlock raised an eyebrow, "Ok, fine, no I didn't think you'd actually stick to it. I just know what you're like with your 'experiments' and when you came back with shopping, well, you can see why I was suspicious. To be quite frank, the last time drew the line when Denise found those tong-"
"Denise?" came Sherlock's thoughtful question.
"Yes, Denise!" John retorted. "You know, my last girlfriend? The one you scared off with the jar of tongues in the fridge?" He let out an air of disbelief through his nose when Sherlock smiled lopsidedly in amusement at the memory.
"Oh yes, the one with the blood phobia," he remembered, thoughtfully.
John pinched the bridge of his nose in exasperation. "Yes. That one. If I'm honest, I didn't think you would actually listen to me when I banned any experiments for a month after that." He removed his hand and raised an eyebrow at Sherlock, who had set his jaw at the threat. "Funny how threatening you with Mycroft coming over for dinner can have that effect on you."
"Obviously it's not going to work every time," Sherlock bit back, seeming rather rattled. "Besides, Mycroft has never been able to stop me from doing anything I want; even if he is a well-respected member of the government,' he mimicked in a high pitched voice. "Eugh, I could make Mycroft leave before he removes his coat without uttering a single word."
John shook his head and smiled at Sherlock's childish antic. Walking past the younger, taller man, he clapped Sherlock on the shoulder and headed out of the kitchen.
"I'm going for a shower I've got a-"
"Date tonight, yes, I know," Sherlock said in a bored voice, picking at the table.
"How did you? Never mind."
Sherlock did not move for a minute or two until he heard the shower running with John safely in it. Knowing he now had approximately eight minutes and thirty-seven seconds until John got out of the shower, Sherlock stepped forwards and tore open the seal on the jumbo cashew nut packet, before grabbing a saucepan from the oven, and a bottle of lime juice from the fridge. He emptied the contents of the nut bag into the pan, and then poured half the bottle of lime juice over the top of it. Setting the pan over one of the hobs nearest to the window, Sherlock lit it and watched as the lime juice and salt instantly started reacting.
Feeling rather pleased with himself at his cover story, Sherlock smiled. Salt was a great preservative… especially when ice wasn't the most conspicuous of cover ups when John was watching his back, waiting for him to start an experiment and catch him out. Sherlock would have to thank Molly at some point for doing his shopping whilst he went gallivanting around the morgue to sever the baby toes of all the bodies.
"I need something to be able to hide and preserve these toes so I can get them into the flat," he had told a rather confused Molly. "Something similar in size… like jumbo cashew nuts. Oh, and here's my shopping list." With that, he had given Molly his card and had gone back to the feet of the deceased with a scalpel in hand.
Looking down at the bubbling salt and lime juice on the now crispy toes, Sherlock clapped his hands and turned off the hob gleefully.
"So it was the gardener…" he said out loud, making a mental note to himself to later call Lestrade and tell him to release the dog walker, and to arrest the gardener instead.
He glanced down at his watch, seeing he had just over three minutes to tidy this up before John got out of the shower. Sherlock frowned to himself as he thought of his colleague and friend. John was picking up a bit too much his days… becoming a little too observant. He'd have to try harder to cover his experiments.
Still, at least he had managed to get out of Mycroft's monthly visit.
Please do review!
Lady Elrayen x