This was stupid.
The demand had come, quite literally, out of nowhere. In fact, the good detective didn't know John was home that afternoon. Sherlock had decided that dissecting a cow's stomach in the kitchen sink, despite the presence of John's leftovers, was a good idea. The doctor entered the kitchen to complain about yet another burnt hole in the carpet—not to mention a ferret running loose in the bathroom—when he noticed the bull's blood on his pasta.
"That's it," he said, slamming down his newspaper and grabbing the knife out of Sherlock's hand. "You're learning how to drive."
Sherlock wasn't sure what the connection was between his "bad" behavior and this punishment; apparently, he deduced later, John wanted him to learn the trade, and guilt was not above his persuasion techniques.
Not that Sherlock felt guilty about any of it. It was all for science. John knew that.
He'd been able to delay the training for two weeks; now, though, John had promised him a relaxing trip to the morgue for more riding crop experiments. Liar. He drove instead to an abandoned parking lot several miles out of London.
"We don't need this car," he whined as John switched seats with him.
John glared. "I'm tired of paying cab fare. We're doing well; we can afford the luxury for now." Somewhere along the way, the men's bank accounts merged. Probably, John thought, because Sherlock didn't want to waste time with bills and paperwork. The good doctor rarely splurged, but when he did, he splurged on a black SUV with tinted windows and a license plate that read "221B."
Sherlock snarled, failing to see the luxury in such items. Cars required money, yes, but more importantly they were time consuming. He didn't want to fill the gas tank or…well, what else did one do with a car? He wasn't sure, but he didn't want to find out.
"The pedal to your right is the brake," John explained, ignoring the looks and sounds flung his way. "The one next to it is the accelerator. Got it? Buckle up first, now. You know better."
"John. Important stuff alone goes into my hard drive."
"A little knowledge about the solar system saved a child's life and led us to Moriarty," John snapped back. "Driving may prove just as useful."
"That's why I'm learning this? On the off-chance that someone's life is saved?"
"No, you're learning this so we save money and I don't have to be your chauffer any longer," John retorted, slightly guilt-ridden by the lie. Cab fare wasn't too dreadful and chauffeuring wasn't much different that riding alongside Sherlock; either way, he was meant to keep quiet and let the genius think. No, if John was truly honest, he would have admitted that he was afraid that Sherlock would one day need a quick escape from criminal masterminds. If his best friend died from automobile ignorance, John wouldn't know what to do with himself.
"Just give it a go," John said, leaning back in his seat. Sherlock was smart. Sixteen year-olds drove every day. It would be a short lesson.
Sherlock slammed on the accelerator. John bit his lip. "Okay, first, don't smash it down. Gentle. Second, you have to put it in drive first."
John moved the knob to the red-highlighted "D" and cleared his throat.
"Yes, of course." Sherlock released his foot from the brake and, rather timidly, touched the pedal. "Is this alright?" he asked as they inched along the parking lot.
"That'll do. See that pole up there? Try turning around it."
Sherlock raised an eyebrow. "That's all you want?"
Twenty-seven seconds later, Sherlock was avoiding eye contact and John was examining a bright yellow dent on the hood.